March 31, 2007
jk Defends John Travolta
Instapundit calls it "More Celebrity Global Warming Hypocrisy." This Is London says With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming. And I settled in for a feast of self rigorousness at a Scientologist’s expense. What a great Saturday.
Travolta owns five jets, and a mansion with a private runway. He logged 30,000 flying miles in 12 months.
But the hypocrisy charge is a little thin. At a gala glitteratifest, Travolta suggested that people "can do their bit;" that's hardly hectoring. He suggested alternative fuels; President Bush is Federally funding them. He wants to colonize other planets and build domed cities; that does not comport with Vice President Gore's solutions.
They excerpted the following quotes:
"It [global warming] is a very valid issue," Travolta declared. "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.
I give the man points for admitting his glass house (with private runway) and seeking technological solutions. He didn't tell anybody to live in a cave.
We now resume ThreeSources's anti-celebrity, DAWG denyin' editorial content in progress...
March 30, 2007
That Supply and Demand Thing
I glanced at this item in the Wall Street Journal this morning. But only after receiving a 91.7% gloat-free email from Josh at Everyday Economist did I think to relate it to a previous discussion at ThreeSources.
It seems that a record corn crop is being planted this year, the most corn planted since 1944. "The market reacted immediately this morning, fearing that a large crop would flood the market with corn. At the Chicago Board of Trade corn prices were down by 20 cents -- the daily limit -- to about $3.70."
Weather and additional Ethanol demand might keep prices up, as the article states -- but I'm inclined to trust the Chicago Merc more than a WSJ reporter. One has to admit that it is pretty classic demonstration: corn demand increases -> corn price increases -> farmers plant more corn -> corn replacement supply increases -> corn price decreases.
Corn planting will be higher this year in most farming states, taking away acres from soybean, cotton and rice production, the USDA said. Farmers in Illinois, North Dakota and Minnesota will each plant record-breaking corn crops for their states. Louisiana, a major rice-producing state, will plant 700,000 acres of corn this year, more than double the acreage in 2006, the USDA said.
Somebody should tell Congress about this Economics thing, I think it's gonna be big.
In a comment blog brother AlexC claims that "...90% of Americans believe in God." Personally I thought the figure was closer to 97 percent, so I googled the string american belief god poll and learned that the 97% figure comes from a University of Minnesota study that estimated atheists at 3%. Actual surveys put the number around 10%, in line with AC's claim.
The U of M study must be in error though because a recent Gallup poll, as cited by the LA Times Ed page, ranks atheism as the most objectionable of a long list of political negatives. (If 10% of people will admit to atheism, a greater number must secretly harbor the disbelief belief.)
In a Gallup poll last month, 53% of respondents said they would not vote for an otherwise well-qualified atheist — far more than wouldn't vote for a homosexual (43%), a 72-year-old (42%), someone married for the third time (30%), a Mormon (24%) or a woman (11%).
It is such a black mark that the "Secular Coalition for America" used a new word to replace atheist: "nontheist." [Shouldn't it be non-theist?]
"Nontheist," by the way, is the latest secularist term of art for folks "without a god-belief," replacing the traditional terms "atheist" and "agnostic." (The former believes there is no God; the latter isn't sure.) But the American Humanist Assn. — and who's not a humanist? — prefers nontheist because most Americans wrongly think that atheists are anti-theists: people who not only don't believe but also object to others' belief in God(s).
(For the record, I outed myself as atheist when atheism was less un-cool than it apparently is now.)
ThreeSources should collect the most overwrought statements about the US Attorney firings. I wonder if I am up to the task.
Honorable mention goes to Senator Leahy (Devil Incarnate -- VT) who wondered aloud in a Press Conference "what a witness was hiding" when that witness chose to exercise Fifth Amendment rights. This man is head of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and he equates 5th Amendment rights with guilt.
But his eyebrowness was eclipsed by the Editors of The New Republic. An editorial today, Bush bends the law beyond recognition, compares the attorney firings with Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre.
In the historical race to the bottom that is Nixon v. Bush, the late trickster would seem to have the edge: He was an unimpeachable lawbreaker--actually, an impeachable one--a claim that doesn't quite stick to Bush. But, in the last month, Bush has been closing fast. While he may not have any second-rate burglaries under his belt, his record now includes his very own version of the Saturday Night Massacre, thanks to the purging of eight U.S. attorneys.
So, firing a prosecutor who is prosecuting you carries no weight with the boys at TNR. Just the same as what President Bush did. Months of emails and memos and document sifting by the Democrats have turned up no evidence of malfeasance. But -- hang on, this is the best part -- that's what makes Bush so bad, he hasn't broken any laws. Damn, what a clever cover:
It's true that his behavior in this episode may not runup the score in compulsory categories like obstruction of justice or lying under oath. But the fact that he has inflicted massive damage on the American system without apparently breaking many laws should earn Bush major style points.
I smell Rove here. What a fiendish plot, not breaking laws.
Murtha: The Draft Is Absolutely Needed
I could have sworn in 2004, a Bush victory would have led to a draft.
Murtha is a Democrat, in case anyone forgot.
(tip to Extreme Mortman who titles his post, Murtha, Wind and Fire)
Josh at Everyday Economist picks up on an interesting comment that a reader sent to Don Luskin.
Now, let me get this straight.
Review Corner Red Alert
Don't. Don't. Don't purchase or rent "Happy Feet." Resist the allure of adorable, dancing animated penguins.
I found this to be the most offensive movie I have ever seen. Watching nature shows and kids' cartoons, one frequently is hit with an unmistakable subtext that people are bad and that we should extinct ourselves or move back to caves. In this movie, it is not subtext, it is the actual plot.
When you're not offended, you will be bored to tears. Dancing penguins are cute for a few minutes, then the film jumps among dull, disjointed, and offensive -- with a little abject terror thrown in to make it inappropriate for toddlers who would otherwise be the only demographic intellectually unoffended.
A half a star, and I am being kind.
March 29, 2007
The Real Front Line in the Iraq War
I place great importance on the lessons of history. Unfortunately, having lived only since the early sixties (and having a mediocre public school education influenced by John Dewey) I wasn't aware of a counterinsurgency war in the fifties - fought by France and the Algerian government against Muslim extremists in that country - until today.
Arthur Herman, retired professor of History at George Mason and Georgetown Universities, explains on today's WSJ Ed page how the French ultimately defeated the combatants on foreign soil but were ultimately forced to surrender to them anyway.
What happened was this: while the French military had been concentrating on fighting the insurgency in the streets and mountains in Algeria, an intellectual and cultural insurgency at home, led by the French left and the media, had been scoring its own succession of victories.
The "surge" is underway in Iraq. While long overdue it is, as Herman describes earlier in the piece, showing remarkable progress. [Read the whole thing.] But to avoid the same fate described above, America's domestic leaders need to initiate an intellectual surge on the home front. The survival of Iraqi patriots, and of America's ability to champion liberty anywhere in the world, hang in the balance.
Hope Congress Is Reading the NYTimes
Our 535 Bankers-in-Chief are posed to do to mortgage lending what they did to public corporate finance. Ruin it.
I am disturbed for a few reasons. The biggest, of course, is knowing that the market will heal its own problems faster, cheaper and better than will new regulation. Secondly, I am baffled by the phrase "predatory lending." In a better world, that would be an amusing joke: some evil banker in a blue pinstripe suit is lending too much money to people who shouldn't be borrowing -- put these guys behind bars!
Mostly, the Hayekian in me hates the idea that Congress is going to restrict the choices that people are offered. Reps Waxman, Dingell, and Frank are prepared to decide what financial vehicles are good and which are bad, when lenders, borrowers, and experiment should make those choices.
The NYTimes has a smart piece in the Business section today by University of Chicago Economics professor Austan Goolsbee. He looks at the people who have been able to buy a home because of innovations in subprime finance, not the small minority who are facing foreclosure:
When Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, gave his opening statement last week at the hearings lambasting the rise of “risky exotic and subprime mortgages,” he was actually tapping into a very old vein of suspicion against innovations in the mortgage market.
Regulators are not by nature mindful and are having hearings to work up to the high dudgeon required to craft the next SarbOx. These champions of the people are going to make home ownership a privilege of the rich to prevent the poor from facing foreclosure.
I am a subprime disciple. I refinanced my house to stay alive while I was funding a start-up. I got a decent loan with no income thanks to my home value and good credit rating. After said start up went bust, I refinanced again to cover losses and medical bills. I chose an interest-only mortgage. Interest only is frequently derided and will probably be the first financial instrument the 110th Congress makes illegal.
It's an awesome mortgage. I pay interest and escrow every month to keep Countrywide happy. The first year and a half, I paid higher interest debt, now I am getting around to reducing the principal. This was a good move and I am glad I had the option to choose it. Even now, I face an interesting choice. I should probably increase my tax-deferred 401K payments rather than pay down my tax-deductible home mortgage.
It's my choice. But I fear others will have their choices made for them by Congress. That is, those who can get a loan at all when this is over.
Hat-tip: Greg Mankiw's Blog
March 28, 2007
Professors Mankiw vs. Blinder
Like Don McLean in "American Pie" I get overwhelmed on occasion with bad news. The Senate has voted for surrender, and the Wall Street Journal news pages have endorsed a paper citing greater than anticipated consequences of free trade.
This is like President Bush capitulating to the DAWG crowd. Prepare to hear Senators Jim Webb and John Edwards intone "even the Wall Street Journal said..." Nobody will read this paper or understand it, but it will be taken as proof positive that Smith, Mises, Hayek, and Friedman were wrong. "Didn't you hear? I read that that had been completely debunked?"
I didn't have the chops to take Alan Blinder on, but I knew one of my betters would.
Greg Mankiw comes to the rescue in My Father is Darth Vader (Blinder was a professor of his).
For some reason, Alan does not respond to this rise in technology-driven offshoring as he would to a rise in policy-driven trade. But economic logic suggests that if he is to embrace tariff reductions as an economic positive, he should similarly embrace technology-driven trade increases an an economic positive. But instead of recognizing this change as primarily a force for good, he offers mainly hand-wringing. In doing so, he gives, perhaps unintentially, aid and comfort to the protectionists.
Amen to that last fear. Today and yesterday were bad days for freedom.
"Milton Friedman" Giuliani
I fell completely into the Rudy-Oh-Eight fold last Monday night. He appeared on Kudlow & Company and hit every question out of the park. Stephen Moore was also impressed, suggesting we might call him "Milton Friedman Giuliani." Larry was ready to throw in Mises and Hayek. There's a clip from the show posted on Reason Magazine - Hit & Run where David Weigel talks about the appearance and a rumor that Steve Forbes is signing on with Hizzoner.
It's easy to forget with the dulcet tones of Arthur Branch massaging our ears, but Rudy Giuliani is still the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Two nights ago he appeared on Larry Kudlow's goofy CNBC show* and talked almost exclusively about economics, at one point sounding like he regretted his days as a grandstanding, trader-busting U.S. Attorney.
* Weigel explains: "*I like Kudlow's economics, but he's way too prone to linking movement in the stock market to things traders don't care about but right-wingers do. " I can see plenty of areas where a pure, big-L libertarian would break camp with Kudlow. But it is an astonishing aberration to have a show like Kudlow's on TV. Kudlow & Company is about the only place you're going to hear classical-liberal economics espoused.
Giuliani was outstanding on every question. My friends are enjoying the Sen. Fred Thompson boomlet, and I think highly of the Senator (though I have never seen his TV show). Thompson's continuing support of McCain-Feingold bothers me more than Giuliani’s unfortunate position on guns. It seems far more likely that the next President would be involved in campaign finance than in gun rights.
UPDATE II: Cultural illiterates like me will need to be told that Arthur Branch is "a fictional character on the long-running TV crime drama Law & Order, portrayed by former United States Senator Fred Dalton Thompson." -- Wikipedia.
Betting on the Lottery
Not powerball. More and more parents are forced to pin their hopes of their children's future on a charter school lottery.
John Stossel showed some footage of one of these on his TV special, "Stupid in America." I found it to be one of the singularly saddest things I have ever seen on television. People who cannot afford to move to another district or attend private schools show up for a government lottery to award the scarce seats in a public charter school.
The Wall Street Journal Ed page today suggests that New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver attend one of these lotteries. Silver opposes raising the caps that New York places on such schools.
The public charter school, which opened last year, is holding an admissions lottery at 6 p.m. to fill 105 kindergarten slots for next year from the 500 or so families who've applied for them. Harlem Success was founded by Eva Moskowitz, a reform-minded Democrat who formerly served as a New York City Councilwoman specializing in education issues.
You lose the Colorado State Lottery, you're out a buck. You lose this lottery, you've lost a chance at getting a good education for your child. This is unconscionable.
March 27, 2007
CornHuskers For Surrender
Sad to see the US Senate voting for defeat. Curious to me was that the reasonably red state of Nebraska supplied both the switchers that allowed this one to pass.
Similar legislation drew only 48 votes in the Senate earlier this month, but Democratic leaders made a change that persuaded Nebraska's Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson to swing behind the measure.
Insert your own Taranto joke about Senator Hegel, I would be surprised if many of the good people I know in that great state will be happy that their two Senators gift wrapped this present for enemies.
More Mommy Party
ThreeSources friend and commentress Dagny (who may or may not forgive me for that intro) made a superb point about "Why Mommy is a Democrat."
Dagny asked -- properly -- "Why would anyone consider it a good thing, or even an appropriate thing for a government to perform the same functions as a Mommy?"
David Boaz of the Cato Institute runs with that riff in a TCSDaily column, It Takes a Hillage
Even when the government doesn't step in to take children from their parents, Clinton sees it constantly advising, nagging, hectoring parents: "Videos with scenes of commonsense baby care -- how to burp an infant, what to do when soap gets in his eyes, how to make a baby with an earache comfortable -- could be running continuously in doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any other place where people gather and have to wait," she writes. The childcare videos could alternate with videos on the Food Pyramid, the evils of smoking and drugs, the need for recycling, the techniques of safe sex, the joys of physical fitness, and all the other things the responsible adult citizens of a complex modern society need to know. Sort of like the telescreen in Orwell's 1984 -- or the YouTube video.
What a concept.
Don't Use Yesterday's BusinessSpeak
If you have a meeting today, be sure to show how hip and up to date you are: use the word "bucket."
Business Types Get a New Kick Out of the 'Bucket' (Paid link, sorry!)
Posted by John Kranz at 10:59 AM
March 26, 2007
Iran Hostage Crisis - Day 3
We can only hope that the 15 British servicemen taken hostage on March 23 by Mahmoud and the boys will be released unharmed faster than the 52 Americans taken hostage at our own embassy during Jimmy Carter's presidency. This certainly seems to be a return to form by the Iranian president who, many claim, took part in that very kidnapping in 1979.
For his part, British PM Blair is getting tough. "The Iranians should not be in any doubt over how seriously we take this act, which was unjustified and wrong." At the same time, an American lieutenant commander echoes a question that occured to me when I first heard of this: "Why didn't your guys defend themselves?"
"I don't want to second-guess the British after the fact, but our rules of engagement allow a little more latitude. Our boarding team's training is a little bit more towards self-preservation."
If they had a reputation for defending themselves, perhaps they would not have been the target of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' elaborate plot to manufacture an international crisis.
March 25, 2007
In case you were wondering...
[The Tax Foundation] find that America's lowest-earning one-fifth of households received roughly $8.21 in government spending for each dollar of taxes paid in 2004. Households with middle-incomes received $1.30 per tax dollar, and America's highest-earning households received $0.41. Government spending targeted at the lowest-earning 60 percent of U.S. households is larger than what they paid in federal, state and local taxes. In 2004, between $1.03 trillion and $1.53 trillion was redistributed downward from the two highest income quintiles to the three lowest income quintiles through government taxes and spending policy.
It still ain't fair... the poor hardly pay any taxes!
March 24, 2007
Speaker Pelosi's Big Win
I almost put scare quotes around win, but the war appropriations bill was a win for the new Speaker. It was a loss for the country and for freedom, but elections matter and I'm afraid that's a dichotomy we'll need to get used to.
The Wall Street Journal Ed Page scare quotes the victory metaphorically (free link). Most notable is how hard this victory was to achieve. The clear mandate she thought they had received last November took a little greasing -- well, larding -- to push through.
The lengths that Democratic leaders had to go to win their "triumph" betrayed its cynicism. To get her narrow majority of 218 votes, Ms. Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman David Obey had to load it up like a farm bill: $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers, $283 million for dairy farmers--all told, some $20 billion in vote-buying earmarks of the kind Democrats campaigned against last year.
Bravo to the house GOP caucus; Leader McConnell, you're up next, slay this porcine perversion.
Mister Gore Goes to Washington
Reuters: Glad-handing like the lifelong politician he was until losing the 2000 presidential race to George W. Bush, Gore called his return to Congress "an emotional occasion."
As a former Washington insider, Gore knows how to play the game:
Former British journalist Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley says he was not surprised Gore intentionally violated a rule requiring him to submit his written testimony 48 hours before the congressional hearings.
And Gore fillibustered during Sen. Inhofe's allotted 15 minutes, trying to avoid more pointed questions like, "Are you ready to change the way you live," as Gore himself asked viewers at the end of his propaganda movie.
Or, just wait until the committee chairmen are Democrats so they will do your bidding for you: "Boxer is the kindest bad-ass on Capital Hill, always finding new ways to remind us of how fantastic she is. Like this Wednesday, when she smacked down Senator James Inhofe for trying to cut off Al Gore during his testimony on global warming. Best part -- when she waves her gavel in Inhofe's face to remind him who's in charge."
And we don't expect MSM outlets like CNN to call attention to the veeps antics:
Brianna Keiler: "Wow. All right. That was quite an exchange. And, you know, we were expecting something from Senator James Inhofe. He is a critic of global warming....We thought maybe it might be with him and former Senator, former Vice President Al Gore, but it ended up between him and Senator Barbara Boxer. She really got a stinger in there, I will say."
But just what is Gore up to here? What is behind his zealous crusade? Carbon dioxide? Bovine belching? Listing of icebergs as an endangered species? At Real Clear Politics Robert Tracinski tells us:
This, then, is the essence of Gore's complaint: there are too many humans and they are too well off.
Tracinski concludes, however, on a positive note:
But Al Gore is not getting it all his own way. In New York's Newsday, Ellis Hennican describes a three-on-three debate held last week in New York City, in which opponents of the global warming hysteria (...) took on some of the scare's defenders. The interesting thing about this debate is that the organizers polled the audience before and after the event. The result? The number of people who thought that global warming is a "crisis" dropped from 57% to 42%.
March 23, 2007
Better Living Through Activism
The crazy rightwing nut jobs on the WSJ Editorial Page hit the perfect tone in the Edwards' announcement:
In today's nasty and polarized politics, we weren't surprised to see some of the cranks on the Web criticize John Edwards for announcing that his Presidential campaign will continue despite the return of his wife's cancer. By these lights, he is supposed to retire from public life and tend to her full-time.
It is hard to think of a politician with whom I have more fundamental disagreements. But their announcement was classy and well done. I hope his candidacy gets pummeled to the ground in short order mind you, but I wish the two of them the best.
The Mommy Party
I remember a little hubbub when this book came out, but I never saw it up close and personal.
My brother emails a link to the site and some sample pages.
I'm rendered speechless by the three sample pages, you'll have to do your own commentary. But it really does make you appreciate all the porn on the Internet.
March 22, 2007
It Ain't Fair
First, a joke...
A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St.Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.
The Hill (not Hillary)...
Former President Bill Clinton yesterday complained that “it’s just not fair” the way his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is being depicted for her controversial Iraq war vote.
Of all things that give me the chills about a second Clinton presidency, it's the aforementioned spinning.
He said he had re-read the Iraq resolution last week, and that his wife had voted only for “coercive inspections.” Clinton justified his wife’s refusal to apologize for her vote by explaining that she was acting out of concern that future presidents might need similar language authorizing “coercive inspections to avoid conflict.”
Ahem... pardon my language.
The title of the f*cking resolution is "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.
I guess you could technically argue that it doesn't say "invade Iraq," but it certainly says it's possible... and that's without even reading the text.
Besides, the only reason the coercive inspections were even happening were the thousands of American soldiers massing in Saudi Arabia.
Nobody called that 2002 resolution anything but the war declaration. Grr. Who is she kidding? Senator Kerry famously quipped "I voted for it, before I voted against it!" when defending his vote.
Who is fooled by the triangulation?
The Rapidly Advancing 2008 Primary Date
Governor Rendell ought to amend his plan to move the Pa primary to February, because Florida is looking at end of January.
Hoping to muscle Florida into a pre-eminent role in picking next year's Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, the state House voted Wednesday to leapfrog almost all the other states and set a Jan. 29 primary, with an option to go even earlier.
One of these days, the political class is going to realize, we're all growing tired of a campaign season that's a year ahead of schedule.
Guns and the Courts
TrekMedic passes along this Steve Chapman article about the affect of the 2nd amendment court decision last week.
So if this decision is upheld, it will not change our treatment of guns very much. Complete bans would be off-limits, but they are already rarer than white buffaloes. Most other gun-control laws would remain on the books, and anti-gun groups would be free to press for additional ones.
The conventional wisdom is that gun-control issues cost Algore the 2000 election. Democrats know it's a loser. It's about time.
The Best Blog Post Headline Ever
Hoyer seen yelling at staff…
Though I am a faithful Extreme Mortman reader, honor dictates that I offer the hat-tip to his Glennness
Cancer is in the news again today. "Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., announced today that his wife's cancer has returned, but that his presidential campaign will go on." Mrs. Edwards' cancer is apparently a metastasis of her breast cancer, thought effectively treated in 2004 with radiation and chemotherapy. And the metastasis site is now within bone, which makes it difficult to treat: The bone is one of the most common places where breast cancer spreads, and once it does so it is not considered curable.
When it comes to cancer, the present day "standard of care" as it's called - radiation treatments and chemotherapy - is brutal on the body and bleak in long-term prognosis. Cancers are very rarely referred to "cured" but instead are said to be in remission. The good news is that the scope and quality of cancer fighting research is truly impressive in this nascent age of genetic science.
The bad news is that no new treatments have thus far been approved by regulatory bodies which do much more than to extend a patient's life by a few months or years. What's more, the cutting edge pharmaceuticals being developed are monstrously expensive - on the order of $10,000 per week with treatments required for life in some cases.
But in February 2007 something different came to light. A biomedical researcher at the University of Alberta, Canada, Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, published a research paper in the journal 'Cancer Cell' that showed "Cancer Mitochondria Are Hyperpolarized and Have Suppressed Oxidative Metabolism, Both of which Are Reversed by DCA."
"DCA" or dichloroacetate, is a simple compound that has apparently been approved for treatment of certain rare metabolic disorders in children. It is also a long-standing compound and can't be patented. Nonetheless, unless Dr. Michelakis' team's discovery is another cold fusion debacle, it could be a safe and powerful new treatment for this devastating disease. If true, this could also be an incredible threat to the big business of cancer cures.
But the more pressing concern is what is happening with DCA today among current cancer patients, some of whom are considered "terminal." They are treating themselves - illegally - with this unproven compound.
Desperate cancer patients are self-medicating with a cheap compound that has yet to be tested in humans, despite dire warnings of potential toxic poisonings.
Predictably, the medical establishment and government regulatory bodies reactions range from extreme caution to total fear of the unknown. But for someone with no hope left, what's to lose?
Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, the cardiologist whose academic paper sparked the worldwide fervour, said people shouldn't take DCA until clinical trials prove it is safe on humans and actually shrinks tumours as it did in rats.
This is a complicated moral situation, one on which I've had difficulty forming an opinion. I think though my attitude is best expressed by an opinion on "thedcasite.com" which asks, "Is DCA worth trying?"
We absolutely think so..
Well... someone can't be troubled.
Seems the New York senator and former President Clinton fired up the motorcade to drive a little under a quarter-mile from a fundraiser to a Lebanese restaurant just down the street. I imagine the traffic tie-ups from the motorcade didn't help cut back on those dastardly carbon emissions from all the cars and buses on Connecticut Ave. either.
You can't very well have a former president walking down the block after all...
I thought I would only keep my OpinionJournal Political Diary subscription through the election. I enjoy it though I wish they would move it to a web delivery system instead of email. I have written enough letters to suggest this I'm sure I have my own "crank" folder at Dow Jones.
Elections are now eternal -- politics certainly is. So I'll be forking over the $3.95 month for a bit. Here's John Fund today:
You could never tell from the news coverage, but there was a second witness on global warming yesterday on Capitol Hill.
No Toilet Paper
What's wrong with people?
Especially these people.
Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style. Isabella’s parents, Colin Beavan, 43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost, see above); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation.
Environmentalism is a new religion.
There's no toilet paper. Crazed.
March 21, 2007
Good Enough for Thee
March 20, 2007
Well then don't play
Colorado Rep Marilyn Musgrave (R-Atlantis Farm and environs, I believe...) has a good record on spending and the war, and I was happy to see her win a close re-election in 2006. But she opens herself to the old joke "We've established what you are. We're now quibbling over price."
She may just go ahead and vote for defeat in Iraq so that she can bring home some Federal jack to her constituents:
"She hates the games the Democrats are playing," said Guy Short, chief of staff to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), a staunch conservative who remains undecided, thanks to billions of dollars in the bill for drought relief and agriculture assistance. "But Representative Musgrave was just down in southeastern Colorado, talking to ranchers and farmers, and they desperately need this assistance."
If you hate the game so much, Rep Musgrave: don't play.
Hat-tip: Instapundit, one of whose readers wonders "Um… I thought the Democrats had a 'mandate' on Iraq? Why do they need to buy votes?"
Don't Interpret -- Abolish!
I was thinking of ThreeSources friend TrekMedic251 from Is This Life? JohnGalt posted about the DC Court ruling upholding the Second Amendment and TrekMedic commented "how soon before the knee-jerk reactions from the "let's talk" liberal crowds??" I linked to a WaPo editorial and commented "less than 24 hours."
But this is a piece of work. Benjamin Wittes writes in TNR:
It's time for gun-control supporters to come to grips with the fact that the amendment actually means something in contemporary society. For which reason, I hereby advance a modest proposal: Let's repeal the damned thing.
Wittes starts out applauding the NYTimes and WaPo editorials we ridiculed. He then quotes liberal and conservative jurists supporting individualist interpretations of the Amendment. He's convinced, as few in the TNR coffee room are, that the Second Amendment actually allows Americans to bear arms.
If, on the other hand, the amendment really does as Silberman, Tribe, Amar, and Levinson essentially claim--and I suspect they are all more right than wrong--then it embodies values in which I don't believe. I grew up obsessively shooting .22 caliber target rifles at summer camp in the Adirondacks. I like guns well enough in rural areas. I don't like them in cities. I don't believe that the Constitution ought to prevent my hometown of Washington, D.C.--which has a serious problem with gun violence--from making a profoundly different judgment about how available handguns should be than the New York legislature would make for the hamlet near my old camp. Guns, in other words, present a legitimate policy question on which different jurisdictions should take very different approaches--including, in some areas, outright bans.
I certainly hope the Democratic party takes this up in the 2008 election. The netroots crowd will love it, and middle America will be reminded what nanny-staters the party of Jackson has become. I think the GOP would win 260 seats.
What Engineer Gap?
There's certainly no lack of engineers at ThreeSources -- how about the nation as a whole? We keep getting told that we are underproducing this valuable commodity (they obviously haven't met some of the engineers I have) compared to China. But The Numbers Guy says "It depends on how you define 'engineer.'"
Motor mechanics and shipbuilders are counted in China’s official statistics, as are recipients of two- or three-year degrees, according to an article in the new issue of Issues in Science and Technology, the magazine of the National Academy of Sciences. By this definition, Chinese universities may have awarded more than 517,000 degrees in engineering, computer science and information technology in 2004-2005, nearly four times the U.S. total, but the article questions the quality of those degrees. “Graduation rate increases have been achieved by dramatically increasing class sizes,” according to the article, and only graduates of the top-tier universities have much credibility in the job market.
I don't want to join the China-bashers, but I'd add that is wise to take government figures with a grain of salt, and totalitarian regimes' figures with a mountain. Counting degrees seems dubious whomever it favors. I know many people with engineering degrees who do not -- and honestly could not -- perform engineering work. Two of ThreeSources's leading lights perform engineering work without any degree.
I will agree that a good way to fix a gap is to let foreign graduates stay in the US.
Hat-tip: Everyday Economist
Posted by John Kranz at 11:41 AM
WSJ Imitates Tom Tancredo
I'm afraid JK ain't gonna like this... (and no, it's not about illegal immigration.)
Way back in July of '05 Tom Tancredo was asked, "Worst case scenario, if they do have these nukes inside the borders and they were to use something like that, what would our response be?" Tom's response can be paraphrased as, "Nuke Mecca."
On this morning's WSJ editorial page, board member Bret Stephens writes:
What would a sensible deterrence strategy look like? "Even nihilists have something they hold dear that can be threatened with deterrence," says Max Singer, a collaborator of the great Cold War theorist Herman Kahn. "You need to know what it is, communicate it and be serious about it."
Twenty months ago JK found such a suggestion "completely off the table" and that it's "irresponsible to discuss it."
About this Stephens says, "One needn't have answers to these questions to know it requires something more than pat moralizing about the terribleness of nuclear weapons or declaring the whole matter "unthinkable." Nothing is unthinkable."
I fully agree with Stephens that, "the question of what to do after a nuclear 9/11 is something to which not enough thought has been given. We urgently need a nuclear doctrine--and the weapons to go with it--for the terrorist age."
For my part I still stand by The List.
March 19, 2007
A Question for War Opponents
Today's Democrats can be divided into three groups:
I'll concede that there are some Democrats who still support the war, but they have no representation in party leadership, so I dismiss them.
I encourage everybody to read Michael Totten's amazing report on progress in the Kurdish north. He compares a visit there fourteen months ago to a recent visit. Erbil, the "capital" city of Iraqi Kurdistan (Totten eschews the scare quotes) is a bustling and booming metropolis, rivaled in growth and construction only by Dubai. Totten notes plans for the tallest building in Iraq, as well as mobile-phone billboards (with attractive, unscarved females!), construction -- all the signs of commercial life.
Kurdistan’s rise flips Iraq on its head. The Kurds are ahead, but they started from nothing. Under Saddam’s regime they had the worst of everything – the worst poverty, the worst underdevelopment, and worst of all they bore the brunt of the worst violence from Baghdad. 200,000 people were killed (out of less than four million) and 95 percent of the villages were completely destroyed.
It is an awesome read. Totten is not very optimistic on Baghdad or Anbar, and the desire for Kurdish independence, which I have supported for years, has some troubling repercussions.
All the same, the liberation of the Kurdish North from Saddam Hussein is a huge success -- dare I say "Mission Accomplished?" This region is showing its neighbors the advantages of freedom and plurality as it gives hope and opportunity to its citizens. This could not have happened without coalition troops.
I ask all those who have abandoned -- or who proudly proclaim they've never given -- support to the mission if the liberation of the Kurdish North is not in and of itself a good reason for war. And if you think I'm going too far with that, how can you deny the opportunity for freedom to the rest of Iraq? It is a credit to the coalition troops that they gave opportunity to all Iraqis. Some have embraced it and some have elected to pursue tribal vendettas and brutal power struggles.
But you cannot read this and call the war a mistake and a failure.
Hat-tip: Insty (all my links today are: Coals to Newcastle...)
Seen this yet?
Hat tip: Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends
Thr Real Enemy
JohnGalt thinks it is Plato, and Arnold Kling thinks it is Karl Marx. I have suspected that it is John Lennon. But I think we all must admit that the true philosophical leader of the forces of darkness and anti-modernity -- is Yoko Ono.
Oleg Atbashian, who grew up under Soviet totalitarianism has studied "The Gospel of John and Yoko" extensively, and narrowed it to these theses:
1. A collective hallucination can create objective reality.
I was certainly brought up on this crap. Although I have aggravated some of my blog brothers and sisters with my rejection of Objectivism, I do credit Ayn Rand with showing me the fallacies in that way of thinking. Atbashian opens the piece with a Rand quote -- she remains a powerful antidote to Onoism.
Like Kling's Folk-Marxism, I see a lot of what drives my leftist friends in this, and recognize that anybody my age in America was inculcated in this nonsense.
Gov. Mark Sanford says he’s not running for president in 2008.
Real live pigs in Congress is what we'd get with a Vice President Sanford.
March 16, 2007
Trilogy Wine Bar
Karl Popper Is Not Post Modern Enough
The science is settled. It's just "Post Normal Science."The Belmont Club explains
Wikipedia shows that the curious term used by Mike Hulme, who argues Global Warming can only be met by something called "post-normal" science has a history of use in the environmental movement since the late 1980s and early 90s.
Not just for the English Department anymore -- eeech!
It's Okay, SIlence
Friend of this blog, Everyday Economist, is quoted at length in a USA TODAY article debunking huge productivity losses in March as workers' attention turns to college hoops.
Wayne State University economist Josh Hendrickson says there are several flaws in time-theft estimates. For one, the computers used to goof off are largely responsible for the huge jump in productivity over 20 years, he says, and idle workers may be doing the company a favor if they surf rather than distract busy co-workers.
ThreeSources readers are a year ahead of the game, having read my post in 2006. ThreeSources readers are much better looking as well, but we'll save that for another day.
Sorry, SugarChuck, Gonzales outlasts Gonzaga. Good luck with your Blue Devils, Silence!
She don't hear so good
Terri at I Think ^(Link) Therefore I Err thought it was Friday Calf Blogging. The little calf is going to ruin the planet with greenhouse gases, but she sure is cute.
March 15, 2007
Hugh Hewitt's (superb) headline for a complete posting of the Senate Minority Leader's superb remarks:
“It is unprecedented in the powers it would arrogate to the Congress in a time of war; it is a clear statement of retreat from the support that the Senate only recently gave to General David Petraeus; and its passage would be absolutely fatal to our mission in Iraq. “Previous resolutions proposed by the Democrats were a mere statement of opinion, or sentiment. This one has a binding quality. It would interfere with the President and General Petraeus’ operational authority to conduct the war in Iraq as he and his commanders see fit. It would substitute for their judgment the judgment of 535 members of Congress.
My favorite Senator recalls statements from Clinton, Reid and Biden against timetables, and forcefully rolls the vote and the debate.
No doubt this is good journalism and in keeping with the NYTimes Style Guide, but this grouchy hawk rolled his eyes at this Headline:
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, long said to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, confessed to them at a military hearing held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon yesterday. He also acknowledged full or partial responsibility for more than 30 other terror attacks or plots.
We can't be sure, mind you -- it's just a rumor about something somebody might have said he might have said. Again, it is probably correct to phrase it this way. It just seems to me that the NYTimes is able to find its certain declarative voice on the important topics of the day, like Bush Administration malfeasance, gender discrimination at golf clubs, and the importance of shutting down Guantánamo and releasing all those innocent freedom fighters.
March 14, 2007
Here's your chance to take an all-expenses-paid trip with Nick Kristof, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times.
Second prize: Two trips with Pulitzer-Prize winning NYTimes columnist, Nick Kristof. I dunno, a night of cocktails with MoDo maybe, but carrying Kristof's luggage? Not me, man.
UPDATE: Sorry, I forgot the link.
Club For Growth Freedom Awards
The Club For Growth released its 2006 Scorecard and Economic Freedom Awards. We complain about politicians, but it is worth recognizing some of those who are doing it right:
I may be different than some, but I would score that as Colorado 1, Pennsylvania, 0.
Guest Review Corner - '300'
Three Sources reliable reader and reluctant commenter "Macho Chick" (college-aged daugther of commenter Macho Duck) saw the '300' movie last weekend and raved about it. Dagny suggested she write a review for the blog. Here, other than minor punctuation and formatting, is her original work:
Hi Three Sources! I’ve been an avid reader and have been meaning to add my two cents for some time. I found something I thought should be cleared up right away before the movie critics, in all their infinite knowledge, give anyone the wrong impression.
I went to the midnight showing of 300, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, this past weekend, and thought I was going to be REALLY sorry about it in the morning, but as it turns out I was pleasantly surprised.
“In 480 [A.D.], an enormous force of more than a quarter-million Persians under their King Xerxes invaded Greece, both to enslave the free city-states, and to avenge the Persian defeat a decade earlier at Marathon. The huge force of ships and soldiers proved unstoppable on its way west and southward until it reached the narrow pass at Thermopylae (“The Warm Gates”) in northern Greece. There a collection of 7,000 Greeks had blocked the way. They hoped to stop Xerxes’ horde outright — or at least allow enough time for their fellow countrymen to their rear to mobilize a sufficient defense of the homeland.” (Victor Davis Hanson) (Thanks for the resources j.g.)
Many of the critics focused on the awesome fight scenes and cool computer generated graphics, and failed to point out the much more significant philosophical aspect. While the movie was very well put together and the actors talented, there was a very objective, American message. In the movie, without giving too much away, the hero, King Leonidas is conflicted about whether to go to war and protect his people from slavery or listen to the UN… oops I mean politicians… oops I mean Gods, and do the always successful 'sitting around to see what the Gods decide.' Great plan! His wife asks him not to do what he thinks the Gods would want, what the political committees think wise, or what tradition has demanded, but to do what a FREE MAN should do. What a concept.
“300 preserves the spirit of the Thermopylae story. The Spartans, quoting lines known from Herodotus and themes from the lyric poets, profess unswerving loyalty to a free Greece. They will never kow-tow to the Persians, preferring to die on their feet than live on their knees. If critics think that 300 reduces and simplifies the meaning of Thermopylae into freedom versus tyranny, they should reread carefully ancient accounts and then blame Herodotus, Plutarch, and Diodorus — who long ago boasted that Greek freedom was on trial against Persian autocracy, free men in superior fashion dying for their liberty, their enslaved enemies being whipped to enslave others.” (Hanson)
I have to disagree with the critics, (shock) and say I don’t think the movie is reduced in anyway. Not only does it address freedom versus tyranny, but what it really means to be free. The Persian leader tries to negotiate with Leonidas and his men, “Cruel Leonidas demanded that you stand. I require only that you kneel.” Is this freedom? Is the United States without free trade and freedom of religion, to name a few, free?
MC includes two links:
"Credibility and Honesty" of Climate Scientists
Those clever boys Cox and Forkum have their own inimitable way of describing how, when it comes to DAWG, "the science is settled:"
Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community. They say the debate on global warming has been "hijacked" by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.
JK recently commented that the data doesn't disprove DAWG any more than it proves it. Perhaps not. But consider the motives and tactics of those who would reshape the world economy on the basis of this "consensus:" If it walks like a duck (or a Marxist) and quacks like a duck (or a Marxist), what is it? (Well, other than Al Gore.)
Check out the entire C&F post. It also includes a working link to the "Great Global Warming Swindle" film.
You Gotta Be Stoned to Like It!
Colorado is under Democrat rule. They earned majorities in both houses of the state legislature in 2004, and won the Governor's Mansion in 2006.
Today they are voting to officially oppose the war in Iraq (President Bush will have to pull out if the Colorado State Legislature doesn't back him!).
That’s bad enough, but this cannot stand:
“A high is medically the releasing of endorphins in the brain — yes, drugs cause it, but so do lots of other things,” said State Senator Bob Hagedorn, a Democrat from the suburbs of Denver who successfully led the drive on Monday to make Mr. Denver’s anthem “Rocky Mountain High” Colorado’s second state song. The tune will have joint status with “Where the Columbines Grow,” which pretty much everyone agrees is about flowers.
Nobody alive today has ever heard "Where the Columbines Grow." Berkeley Square is Top 40 by comparison. There was some buzz in my teen years about replacing the state song with "If I had a Chevy I would Drive to Colorado." I could support that.
But John Denver? No! Where can I march? What building can I burn down? Nooooooooooooo!
March 13, 2007
A Pox on your Heresy
There are some issues with "The Great Global Warming Swindle." Apparently, it's also a swindle.
A graph central to the programme's thesis, purporting to show variations in global temperatures over the past century, claimed to show that global warming was not linked with industrial emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet the graph was not what it seemed.
Other graphs used out-of-date information or data that was shown some years ago to be wrong. Yet the programme makers claimed the graphs demonstrated that orthodox climate science was a conspiratorial "lie" foisted on the public.
(tip to HotAir)
No Hi Def?
Now he thinks he's Instapundit!
Anybody talk me out of this TV?
Now that I am one of the mindless masses working for the man, creating no jobs for other people, I have been rewarded by my betters in Washington with a large tax refund. I was thinking I might finally succumb to the hi-def craze.
When I did a little shopping and soul searching, i wondered "What the hell will I watch?" Larry Kudlow's Quotidian Cavalcade of Unattractive Bald Economists? I looked at the HD offerings of may satellite provider and I don't watch any of those channels. I could watch football on the HD broadcast of my local channel, but that's it.
So, $300 bucks more for the HD and $20 a month for HD satellite, divided by 16 Bronco games (playoffs? call it 20) we're talking $25 bucks a game. I don't even see that well.
But this baby matches the resolution of my current Buffy DVDs and satellite broadcast. Big and flat I dig, HiDef, I'm not sold. Any HD fans out there?
I have heard that Durkin, the producer of "The Great Global Warming Swindle," is a Marxist (which seems strange, in light of the association of Marxism with the global warming movement in the documentary) and has engaged in dishonest editing practices in the past. There is some documentation and proof of these claims -- though the claims made in the documentary about (1) the science of climate change and (2) the Marxist connection to the global warming movement should be taken independently on their own merit; to do otherwise would be to engage in the fallacy of poisoning the well (attacking a person's character, instead of attacking his argument and ideas).
What we now have is an out-and-out propaganda piece....
But there are some articles relating to this issue regarding Wunsch here (scroll down to see articles) at GlobalWarmingHype.com.
And an article has been published in which Durkin answers his critics, discussing a number of specific criticisms, after "Swindle" was broadcast.
Smoked White Rhino on a Stick!
Lance at Second Hand Conjecture has taken PETA's suggestion to eliminate livestock as a deterrent to Global Warming. He looks forward to the "one last global barbecue" and suggests that serious environmentalists might want to go a bit further:
Thank God we already got rid of most of the Buffalo. It is often said sarcastically about idealistic thinking “and I want a pony too!” Well, you can’t have one, and they pretty much need to be marked for extinction.
Unfortunately, Lance is not serious about saving the planet. He refuses the minor inconveniences of what he calls "green sex:" bamboo sheets and hemp lingerie (No, not Captain Kirk).
A great post. He offers his patio for that last barbecue. I'd like something rare, done medium.
2-4-6-8,who we gonna regulate?
The Democrats are in charge and have decided that the FDA (my personal bete noire) should regulate tobacco. So, how have those shorts on tobacco panned out?
Terrible. As Adam Smith told us in 1776, businesses don't want freedom and a level playing field. They, like incumbent politicians, want protection from innovation and competition. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup analyses both tout the positive effects of the bill on big tobacco's share value. Citigroup says "We believe the results" of regulation "would actually help the major cigarette manufacturers since it would entrench their position further allowing them to maintain market share or increase it."
This is from a Wall Street Journal editorial (paid link) that enumerates the advantages to entrenched providers:
First, the Kennedy bill (co-sponsored by Texas Republican John Cornyn) specifically prohibits the FDA from banning tobacco products, so some in the industry feel this gives the Marlboro Man and the Camel brand a new lease on life.
Everybody wins, huh? I'm going back to bed now...
March 12, 2007
Weather Prediction Was Wrong.
Stop the presses! The BBC* has some good news about the Great Barrier Reef. It seems that recent storms have cooled the ocean and helped to partly reverse deleterious "bleaching" that had occurred in recent years. Good news, but I wonder if they didn't bury the lede:
Scientists had predicted that this summer would be a tough one for the reef. They feared that extreme heat would scorch the coral. But recent storms that dumped torrential rain across much of Australia's north-east have brought some unexpected good news.
Hmm. Scientists thought that it would be warmer. And that things would be bad. But they're not. Should we be happy now? Oh. no, scientists think things are going to be worse.
The future, however, still does not look good. Researchers believe as the world's climate continues to change the bleaching of the coral will become increasingly common.
No word on whether that would be the same group of scientists who thought things were going to be bad this year...
* British Broadcasting Corporation, producer of global warming denying documentaries.
Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM
Make that three heretics!
I must revise my opinion of the BBC up a whisker or two for airing that bit of heterodoxy. That was a superb film.
It always comes back to Karl Popper for me. You can disagree with any of the scientists in that film or their theories, but you cannot watch that and claim "the science is settled," or recite the number of scientists who agree. Popperian epistemology teaches us that all of those claims need be refuted before DAWG is accepted as fact.
If you're planning the great ThreeSources film festival, I would follow a showing of this film with "Mine Your Own Business." You'll have to buy a DVD of that one, but I beg you to do so. It carries forth the final sequence of the swindle film: the environmentalists' moral repugnance at denying basics like electricity, clean water, heat and economic sustenance to the developing world because of the radical environmentalist agenda.
Here is a YouTube promo for Mine Your Own Business:
I strongly agree with AlexC's recommendation of The Great Global Warming Swindle.
The video is an hour and fifteen minutes long, and was produced by a television company in the UK. I'm not sure if having the video on the Internet like this is a copyright violation.
2) The scientific evidence that the sun drives temperature changes. As they say in the documentary -- besides the fact that the sun heats our atmosphere, and thus is the major cause of temperature change -- cloud cover controls temperature, cosmic rays control cloud cover, and the sun's "solar wind" controls cosmic ray influence on the earth. Scientific evidence, going back thousands (or was it millions or billions?) of years, supports this claim.
3) The fact that water is the major green house gas: 90% of all the green house gases in our atmosphere. CO2 is only something like ten to fifteen percent.
4) The fact that the earth's temperature was colder (than the current trend) for 200 years, ending about 1850, and was warmer (than the current trend) for thousands of years, ending about 8,000 years ago.
5) The fact that temperature rose until 1940, when it fell for 35 years to 1975, when it again increased. This is contrasted with the fact that CO2 production by man was low until 1940, then rose from 1940 to 1975. AlexC shows this in the graph in his post.
The video goes beyond most discussion, which covers only physical science, and neglects the science of philosophy. "Swindle" goes on to provide evidence that:
2) the MMGW people resort to force, intimidation, threats, and violence in their campaign. They do not appeal to reason, argument, debate, evidence. Thus, again, they are like the Communists who sent millions of their critics and the "bourgeois" to the Gulag and Siberia, or who buried alive thousands at a time (the latter happened in Pol Pot's Cambodia). The MMGW people, like the Communists, attempt to silence their critics by whatever means, and to rewrite history.
3) the MMGW people -- following the Marxist distinction between the "proletariat" and the "bourgeois" -- divide people into two camps: "the people" and the "evil polluters" and supporters of "pollution." And then go on to try to destroy capitalism and those who produce and who make a profit.
The latter three points are not drawn explicitly in the documentary. They are conclusions you can draw by studying history, Marxism, and logic, and by observing the behavior and practices of modern MMGWers (e.g. Senator Rockefeller or the Weather Channel's Heidi Clum.)
Three Decades of Peretz's TNR
Martin Peretz gives a serious and honest summary of his tenure as owner of The New Republic. I have subscribed to the digital version for a few years now and had no idea he was the owner. I thought he was just some guy who wrote the best pieces in the book.
He admits (as the New York Times will not) that freedom has not been served by TNR's and its readers support of anti-Americanism up to and including Stalinism.
What is dogma to many of them is simply the historical and psychological assault on the United States. In the cold war, many Americans did not want the Soviet Union to lose. And that France has now become a heroic nation simply for resisting the invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq is preposterous. After all, France is a closed-minded, prissy, rigidly class-bound, economically retarded, and nostalgic country. Nostalgic for its martial glory that goes back a century plus, and jealous of it, too, in resisting the reality that military might no longer belongs to the motherland. During my time at tnr, we've tried to guide liberalism away from such intellectual mush. To my regret, we haven't always prevailed.
Their Stalinist phase was before his day, but he still admits "there have been many times when I've hurled my own magazine against the wall in anger." It's a great and succinct piece, let me know if you can't get it and I'll email it. He defends Israel and provides a look at the UN that would be at home in The Weekly Standard, but that TNR readers need to hear:
Which brings us to the United Nations--a failing, bloated, corrupt, and unprincipled institution whose very foundations compel it not to act justly. It is functionally the captive of three cynical permanent members of the Security Council and the wild mob of illegitimate states in the General Assembly. The next decade will find us preoccupied with the issue of how democratic societies succeed in this overstructured and overdetermined world disorder.
Still no shortage of things to disagree with: why does he publish Jonathan Chait? How can they want US involvement in Darfur when they have withdrawn their support for Iraq? All the same, I wish there were a thousand more Martin Peretz's on "the other side" and a lot fewer Koses.
March 11, 2007
HRC = JFK?
People and their inflated egos.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked the campaign of the nation's lone Catholic president, John Kennedy, last night as she talked about her challenge in becoming the first female commander-in-chief.
Yeah. Let's just pray a Hillary presidency would end better.
Call me a heretic.
Watch this show...
In the meantime, I suggest we enact sweeping regulations and alter the make up of both economy and society "just in case...."
The 42nd minute absolutely hits the ball out of the park.
March 9, 2007
News Item of the Decade
What's that? Did Bill Gates promise to buy Apple Computer and divide all of its stock amongst all the AIDS patients in Africa? Did Mahmood I'mInAJihad just convert to Christianity? Did Hillary divorce Bill? No.
Owning guns in D.C. may soon become legal, as federal appeals court ruled that the right to bear arms applies not only to militias.
Just what was this D.C. gun ban? From the Cato Institute via P.R. Newswire: "Under existing law, no handgun could be registered in the District, and even pistols registered prior to D.C.'s 1976 ban could not be carried from room to room within a home without a license."
Well, what's wrong with that CNSnews? If that is the "democratically-expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia" then who cares that, "Even though the nation's capital had one of the strictest gun bans in the country, it also suffers from one of the five-highest murders rates of major cities nationwide?" I guess two out of three federal appeals judges care:
In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."
The opinion of the lone dissenting judge is telling. Her foundation for supporting the 30-year old law was not that individuals are not militia members, or that handguns are not hunting tools. Instead she wrote, "the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state."
Can I believe my eyes? I'm still not sure I believe a sitting federal judge actually wrote this. The reporter must have misrepresented, right? I wonder if she would also argue that the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth (take a breath), twenty first, twenty second, twenty third (oh really?), twenty fourth, twenty fifth, twenty sixth and twenty seventh amendments don't apply to D.C. because "it is not a state?"
For some time now I've been considering creation of a "Slave-o-Meter" that reflects the global movement toward collectivism and away from individual liberty modeled after the Union of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." I was dissuaded by the notion that the "Slave-o-Meter" would only ever move in one direction: toward collectivization of humankind. (And because I still haven't thought of a better name than Slave-o-Meter.) This development in D.C. is one rare, delicious, possibly temporary case where it moved noticeably in the other direction.
UPDATE: [13 March] I am eternally grateful to JK for his comment link to the WaPo editorial on this. It allows me to share this remarkable quote:
So in the document that begins ... We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America, an interpretation by the "National Rifle Association and abetted by the Bush administration" that one of its amendments applies to "individuals" is "unconscionable."
DUDE! WHERE'S MY COUNTRY?!
150 Newly Minted BIllionaires
Larry Kudlow has been referring to "the hedgehog and the fox" for a while now, I and must confess the allusion went over my head.
I think I get it now: The Hedgehog Marches On
As I have repeatedly argued, the one good idea from the hedgehog always wins the race against the many small ideas of the fox.
And that spread of capitalism around the globe is reflected in Forbes magazine.
"This growth in the billionaires list is a mere reflection of a dynamic global economy. More people are better off on this Earth than ever before…This is the richest year in human history."
Capitalism for Campesinos
ThreeSources's "Freedom on the March" category was created in January of 2005. Freedom seemed in true ascendancy. Iraqis were showing their purple fingers, Libya was giving up on its nuclear programs. The cedar and orange revolutions were just around the corner.
Freedom has lost some ground since then, I won't dwell on it.
Yet I don't think Latin America has scored a post in this category in all that time. Today, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page calls for (paid link, sorry!) more free trade with Latin America to counter the new left of center message with one of freedom and prosperity.
This is the root of the U.S. problem in Latin America: the lack of trade leadership. The 2002 Bush steel tariffs did their share of harm, but the biggest obstacle is Congress. The Central American Free Trade Agreement barely passed last year, and now Democrats are saying they want to renegotiate bilateral deals with Peru and Colombia that have already been signed. Trade is by far the biggest leverage the U.S. has in the region, and the best tool for improving living standards and strengthening democracy. If Congress fails to renew "fast-track" negotiating authority this year, the problem will get worse.
It doesn't look good, but it reinforces my pragmatism. President Bush fumbled the ball when he enacted the steel and softwood tariffs and the GOP Congress has sucked on trade issues.
But I watch Rep Charlie Rangel, and Senator Webb and it appears that protectionism has completely taken over the Democratic Party.
March 8, 2007
In Other News, Avs win 3-2
I guess the science is settled. I'm not sure about the scientific publications or policy directives, but Sports Illustrated has weighed in.
The next time a ball game gets rained out during the September stretch run, you can curse the momentary worthlessness of those tickets in your pocket. Or you can wonder why it got rained out -- and ask yourself why practice had to be called off last summer on a day when there wasn't a cloud in the sky; and why that Gulf Coast wharf where you used to reel in mackerel and flounder no longer exists; and why it's been more than one winter since you pulled those titanium skis out of the garage.
The article then explains the science to those who've been fiddling with their fantasy football roster as Rome burned.
The article continues with many examples of sports influenced by weather and attempts by some players and franchises to mitigate environmental impact.
But you won't find one word of nuance or hedging. It's here, we caused it, it is the worst environmental issue, it caused record snows in Colorado and record drought in France at the same time, more severe hurricanes -- all matter of fact.
Sports Illustrated used to be a serious magazine. Its beat was frivolous to some, but its writing quality was superb and its topics were often serious. I guess they used to have editors.
Hat-tip: ThreeSources friend SugarChuck by email.
March 7, 2007
Buffy Season Eight
In comic book form, executive-produced by Joss Whedon.
On March 14, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will return in comic book form. Joss Whedon, "Buffy's" creator, has written the first five issues and will oversee — or "executive produce," he says — the whole arc as if it were a television show. Whedon has enlisted former "Buffy" staff writers, along with a few writers from the comic book world, to join him in continuing the story, which is scheduled to run for at least 30 issues to be released monthly. Whedon, the show's fans and the series' publisher, Dark Horse Comics, have deemed it "Buffy Season Eight."
Not my first choice of formats, but I'm in all the same.
Posted by John Kranz at 5:34 PM
Life Imitates ThreeSources
I made a goofy suggestion in a comment that VP AL Gore was offsetting his preternatural energy use by consuming cows.
PETA wonders why the enviros ignore the largest contributor to greenhouse gases, and Jules Crittenden sides with them (once).
Norfolk, Va. -- This morning, PETA sent a letter to former vice president Al Gore explaining to him that the best way to fight global warming is to go vegetarian and offering to cook him faux "fried chicken" as an introduction to meat-free meals. In its letter, PETA points out that Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth--which starkly outlines the potentially catastrophic effects of global warming and just won the Academy Award for "Best Documentary"--has failed to address the fact that the meat industry is the largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions.
I'm sorry to be redundant about this, but I don't think people fully appreciate the logic. Meat eating is either the number one cause of GW or it is not. If it is the number one cause, then why are the GW people not talking about it? Even the skeptics are not focusing on meat as they should be. I think meat may be the Achilles Heel of GW, as it puts the lie to them. The skeptics should be pressing it. I think the logic is being blurred for several reasons. One is that lot of people think we should conserve (we should), and end our dependence on foreign oil (we should). This does not mean that CO2 is being released in sufficient quantities to cause climate change, though. People rationalize going along with the GW scare because we need to conserve, and they forget that conservation of oil is a different issue. (I think it's right to conserve oil and reduce dependency, but I think fudging the issue is manipulative.)
I'm thinking of a hybrid, half cow-half chicken, think I can get some Federal subsidies?
Scandal or SOP?
Standard Operating Procedure for government work.
Ronald Bailey on Reason Magazine’s Hit & Run blog hits a theme I also heard from Fred Barnes on FOXNews last night. The "scandalous" treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed is indeed an outrage, but it is also how the government does business and what we should expect when we create our own American version of the UK's NHS:
Well, look no further than the scandalous mess at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Crappy hospitals, endless waits, mountains of paperwork and, at the end of the day, no real accountability from the people who run the joint. Folks, if the government can't or won't take good care of our injured soldiers, what makes you think that it will take good care of little Sally or Uncle Bill?
Hat-tip: Everyday Economist
The "middle editorial" in the WSJ Ed Page today was written to show how petty and churlish the Junior Senator from Massachusetts is. I'm far too big a man to reprint it just as an attack on Senator Kerry (who am I kidding?) but there is a more important element between the lines.
Last week Sam Fox, a 77-year-old St. Louis businessman, sat before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a confirmation hearing widely expected to be uncontroversial. But in the 2004 campaign, Mr. Fox gave $50,000 to the Kerry opposition group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
This is a stunning reminder that even the relatively benign and uncontroversial demands for transparency are a violation of our right to free speech. "Do you think, Senator, that you have any business knowing how much the 77-year old nominee for Ambassador to Belgium gave to your opponents in a previous election?"
Unlimited free speech == unlimited anonymous donations to any political candidate, party or interest group. Sorry, Senator McCain, that would be a right.
March 6, 2007
The Great Global Warming Swindle
Fortunate viewers in the UK are two days away from the premiere of An Inconvenient Truth - The Sequel:
The film argues that the earth's climate is always changing, and that rapid warmings and coolings took place long before the burning of fossil fuels. It argues that the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions not only may have little impact on climate change, it may also have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." I think that day is still a far distant hope, but I'm encouraged the same may soon be said about the melting of polar ice, from the proliferation of soda bubbles, borne by men and their labor saving machines.
50 years from now...
50 years from now you'll be able to tell your grandchildren, "I was alive when plain English was spoken at the U.N." Sadly, those days are behind us now. But the man who did so is still riding shotgun on America's diplomatic corps as it whistles past the graveyard that is the DPRK.
In The North Korea Climbdown Bolton writes:
The reports raise three separate issues. First, what exactly is the intelligence judgment about North Korea's enrichment activities, and how valid was it in 2002? Second, what are the implications for the administration's ongoing negotiations with North Korea? And third, is Mr./Ms. ASO speaking for the Bush administration, or for those elements in the permanent bureaucracy that have consistently opposed key elements of the Bush foreign policy, at least as conducted until recently?
He then elaborates on the second issue:
North Korea's aggressive mendacity puts it near the top of the list, perhaps tied with Iran for the lead, of countries that need the most transparent, most intrusive, most pervasive verification systems. For America to agree to anything less would be to make our national security, and that of close friends and allies like Japan, dependent on North Korea's word--never a safe bet. And yet, it is precisely this extensive verification system that the North cannot accept, because the transparency we must require would threaten the very rock of domestic oppression on which the North Korean regime rests. North Korea's negotiators understand this contradiction. So do ours.
Bolton concludes by challenging the president to reign in the "permanent bureaucracy" and hold Pyongyang's feet to the fire. Personally I think Bush and Cheney have decided to put this issue on simmer, leave it for the next administration, and focus on the signature foreign policy issue of this administration: capturing or killing big name terrorists. The Iraq "surge," the Afghanistan "spring offensive," the 82nd Airborne deployment to the Afghan/Pak border, and Cheney's recent trip to Pakistan's capitol all bode well for this assumption.
150 Years Ago
150 years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a long, muddled opinion in Scott v. Sandford, which Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes later said was the Court’s greatest “self-inflicted wound.” The case was brought by Dred Scott (right), a Missouri slave. Chief Justice Roger Taney, writing for the Court, ruled that African-Americans are not citizens under the Constitution, and could not file suit in federal courts.
I wish I had started my project in time to be completed today, but I will take this opportunity to pass along some personal news.
I have decided to write a book that will center on Dred Scott v. Sandford. I had some definite ideas about its content, but now that I have begun my research, several of my initial assumptions and prejudices have been challenged. I was Amazon's best friend last week and, plowing through the first few books, I am blown away by how interesting this time period is, and am intrigued by the complex characters.
My hope is to devote much of blogging energies to the book. In four years, I have posted 2500+ blog entries. It's been a gas but it occurs to me that the same effort could have produced something of more lasting value.
If my posting deteriorates in quality or quantity, assume the project is going well. If not, know I am goofing off.
On the other hand, she had to date Jon Corzine
Oh, those wacky Garden State Democrats. John Fund in TheWallStreetJournalOpinionJournalPoliticalDiary:
It's the story that will not die. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has now admitted making additional large gifts to the leader of a state employee's union whom he dated before becoming governor last year. The revelation has stirred up additional resentment of how Mr. Corzine solved a budget crisis early in his term by refusing to seek even modest concessions from state workers, who benefit from lavish pensions and generous overtime. Instead, Mr. Corzine raised taxes.
Is there anything that would make these people vote for a Republican? Yes, Rudy Giuliani at the head of the ticket.
Continued Lack of Introspection
I've long said that the modern liberal does not have a capacity for introspection, or deliberately snuffs it out.
[Democrat candidate John] Edwards, in an interview with the Web site Beliefnet.com, said Jesus would be most upset with the selfishness of Americans and the country's willingness to go to war "when it's not necessary."
Former Senator Edwards then retired to his 20,000 square foot mansion, before stopping off at Al Gore's mansion for a suntan.
I don't be begrudge these men their wares... but c'mon. Look in the mirror once in a while without combing your hair.
Personal Hype Machine Engaged
I submitted the "It's Alive" piece.
I believe this is my second. So in the ThreeSources Best of the Web submission contest, I am catching up to JK, who has three or four. Right?
March 5, 2007
Lileks vs. The New Design Economy Professor
It's not a fair fight. One of them is Lileks and, as a hunting opponent once asked, "Is it a sport if the other guy doesn't know you're playing?"
Anyhow, James takes down a U of M professor who has written yet another one of those tiresome paeans to the old inner-city life and the horror of the 'burbs. He takes down the academic superciliousness which is fun but, more importantly, he ridicules the "top down" planning of urban planners and dares to praise the freedom and choice that underlie the expansion. A few excerpts:
Beware people who regard the distinctions between public and private as a mere legality, and one based on subjective viewpoint at that. In the end, they can define anything private as public, which gives them the right to take it away. And if you lose something you own, well, “loss” is a subjective concept as well that does not match real life. Or at least the real life you can understand if you have a whole new mind.
Somebody please explain how these illiberal people came to be called liberals again. They want to tell everybody where to live, how to live, what to drive, what to eat -- yet they have successfully appropriated the word liberalism. Mises must spin in his grave.
Clinton and Obama in Selma
I watched C-SPAN's "Road to the White House" yesterday. It's not that I have no life whatsoever. I had a bad drug reaction and didn't feel well enough to research 19th Century jurisprudence, so I watched the candidates.
Senator Obama was the best of the lot, but he was not pitch perfect by any measure. He gave a good speech, but wandered in text and timbre. At times he would find the prosody of the southern preacher, but the next sentence would come out introspective and overtly nuanced. Good, but not the singing performance we saw at the 2004 convention.
Obama scored some points with me by asking for more responsibility from the African American community. Yes, let's make the schools better -- but let us also teach our children that learning to read is not "acting white." Let us pursue equality in government -- but let us also realize that fatherhood does not end at conception. These were powerful applause lines in the southern, black church and they differentiate Obama from the crowd.
Senator Clinton gave a forced delivery. Many years ago, we all lost track of what the natural HRC looked or talked like. She speechifies instead of speaks now, and she felt that the Reverential Cadence was required. It's true that I'm a tough critic of hers, but I'll have to agree with John Fund, who wrote in OpionionJournal's Political Diary:
Mrs. Clinton also drew a standing-room only crowd, but her speech suffered from her delivery. At times, she sounded shrill or bombastic. Her stirring text made an appealing case for why she as a white woman saw herself as a "grateful beneficiary of Selma" and the progress it sparked, but the crowd reaction was much less than what Bill Clinton would have received. "In [Bill] Clinton's hands that speech would have blown the doors off of the church," one Democratic consultant told me. "It's just the latest example of how she has every asset in this campaign except charisma."
A couple of blogs have made sport of her fake Southern Accent but the whole thing was forced.
I was also struck by the religious pose struck by both candidates. Representing what I think of as the secular party, both took a tone that I cannot imagine a Republic trying. Senator Clinton began with "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice!" Senator Obama, in a nice riff, compared the 1965 civil rights marchers to "the Moses Generation" and his "the Joshua Generation" needing to complete the hard work the first have started. It made a good point, and it gave homage to the oldsters without pledging fealty to the Sharpton-Jackson-Mfume wing.
Yet I cannot imagine a GOP candidate trying -- or getting away with -- a parable as political speech. Rightly or wrongly, I think they'd be hung in the press.
From Alabama. C-SPAN took us next to New Hampshire, to a house meeting with Senator John Edwards. He was likeable. Of course, he spoke all the claptrap about the need for unions and the vanishing middle class, the need for universal health care (which he’ll pay for by [everybody sing] "rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans!") Somebody teed up a softball question for him on how his campaign will differ from Kerry-Edwards 2004. The questioner was giving him a chance to whine about how the election was stolen, but Edwards answered a better question. I won't talk about the other campaign, but I will talk about mine and you can draw the difference, said Edwards. Every American will know exactly where I stand on nationalized health care, I'm for it, raising people out of poverty, I'm against it [yes, he said that but the tone made clear what he was saying] and where I stand on Iraq.
I must struggle to say something nice about Senator Edwards, so I'll take that. He will stake out his positions more than his Democratic opponents. Yes, he's pandered a bit on Israel and Iran, but he won’t triangulate or nuance the electorate to death. People will know where he stands, and if the nation should vote for that, perhaps the nation deserves him.
No, I don't think I’ll be switching parties anytime soon.
A Toast to Baghdad
So after only a couple weeks we can feel, despite the continuing violence, that much has been accomplished. Many Baghdadis feel hopeful again about the future, and the fear of civil war is slowly being replaced by optimism that peace might one day return to this city. This change in mood is something huge by itself.
No doubt dark days lie ahead. But if Iraq can gain some security in its capital, that sets a foundation for order.
March 4, 2007
At dinner this evening, one of my liberal companions made the comment that something to the effect of plenty of people have been killed in the name of Christianity.
"Kill 'em cause they're not Christian" (or some such nonsense, using a first person "yokel" voice)
To which I responded "Nothing compared to the hundred million killed by communist and socialist atheists in the 20th Century."
He couldn't believe what he heard.
"100 million? Where?" He faced betrayed complete ignorance.
At this point, my blood pressure is zoooooooming.
"60 million on the Great Leap Forward in China, tens of millions in Russia, including the forced Ukrainian Famine, Nazis throughout Europe."
Someone else at the table kicked in "millions in the Killing Fields."
The litany goes on and on... North Korea, Vietnam.
How is it possible that a someone in their fifties, an admitted liberal, who was in the Peace Corps (as a teacher), doesn't know about the murderous record in the name of equality.
I'm sitting here still NOT understanding how this is possible.
Forget global warming denying. There is such a thing as communist denying.
March 3, 2007
I guess if President Bush was elected in spite of the last minute DUI, perhaps Senator Clinton can be elected in spite of this picture:
March 2, 2007
And they say government cannot innovate
Hat-tip: Andrew Roth at Club for Growth
VP Gore's House Threatens Solar System
Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.'s palatial estate in the tony Belle Meade section of Nashville uses so much energy, that the carbon dioxide produced is now threatening neighboring planets.
Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says
Of course, the theory that it is caused by solar activity is plausible. But I have been told that the science is settled. Global warming is anthropogenic. And apparently extraterrestrial.
March 1, 2007
I had heard about this, but I finally followed an Extreme Mortman link, and watched this speech by Rep. Sam Johnson’s (R-TX).
Happy Blogiversary to me...
Perry got me thinking -- yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my first blog entry.
Posted by John Kranz at 5:57 PM
Cheers, Perry! Eidelblog: Two years later
I'm goin' on four, and I never met Larry Kudlow...
Hugh on Rudy's judges
This was going to be an update to another post, but I'm feeling loquacious.
Hugh Hewitt, a Romney supporter and -- I would suggest -- as interested in good judicial appointments as anybody, answers the politico charge in a Townhall column. I gotta tell you, I like what I hear. He referenced Ted Olsen as a key adviser for judicial issues in a Giuliani administration. If President Rudy starts with Olsen's advice, we're going to end up in a good place.
Even more than what he said, I like this guy's tone. Here's what he said about President Bush's picks:
RG: I’m going to say I’d put people like…I mean, the best way to do it is to just say I would, I could just have easily have appointed Sam Alito or Chief Justice Roberts as President Bush did, in fact. I’d have been pretty proud of myself if I had been smart enough to make that choice if I were the president.
Compare that to Senator McCain calling Iraq "a train wreck!" and his global warming strategy "a disaster!" and now saying that lives were "wasted" in Iraq.
I like the guy's style. I still remember him on 9/11. A reporter was pushing him to speculate on a casualty figure and he said "the losses will be more than we can bear." That's still the greatest thing I have ever heard a politician say. I want to caution folks from leaving Hizzoner over this datum. The man has a candor that sets him apart from everybody else in the race. Give him a chance. Ted Olsen's SCOTUS picks are fine by me.
Posted by John Kranz at 1:45 PM
A good friend of this blog emails a Politico.com link: Giuliani-Appointed Judges Tend to Lean to the Left
When Rudy Giuliani faces Republicans concerned about his support of gay rights and legal abortion, he reassures them that he is a conservative on the decisions that matter most.
I'm rather unfazed, for three reasons:
1) He was Mayor of New York, and was not elected with a conservative mandate. A good friend of mine registers himself as a Democrat in Boulder, although he is about as much a Democrat as is Karl Rove. He explains that that is the game in Boulder, and if you want to play, you play on that field. I think this applies to NYC judges as well.
2) I love Nino (Associate Justice Scalia) as much as anybody, but after Raich I realized that he is not the ideal justice (Clarence Thomas may be). I think Scalia legislates conservatism from the bench. My ideal justice interprets. And being an officer of the International Assn of Gay and Lesbian Judges does not preclude that. I concur that not selling liquor on Sunday is non-secular and likely conflicts with the New York State Constitution.
3) I don't like this one, but I am going to use it many times. Republican voters do not have the deep bench in 2008 that they did in 2000. If Phil Grahm decides to run instead of flacking for Senator McCain, I may switch. In the meantime, there is nobody else in the race who interests me at all.
Giuliani 2008. Though I will concede that judges -- irrespective of campaign promises -- would be the weak link in my support.