Saturday, January 30, 2010
Pelosi stopped one CIA operation. So why not waterboarding?
As one of the top four leaders on Capitol Hill, Pelosi had numerous tools at her disposal if she had truly wanted to block waterboarding. She could have threatened to put a hold on funding for the CIA interrogation program, or held up funding for other administration priorities, or worked with her Senate counterparts to hold up nominees for senior CIA positions, or simply called the national security adviser -- as she reportedly did in the case of the Iraq program. Pelosi did none of those things when she learned about waterboarding. By her silence, Pelosi gave her consent -- and then misled the media by claiming she was powerless to act.
Journalists did not question Pelosi's claims -- and then they stopped questioning her. Pelosi announced that she would not take more questions on the topic, and the media complied. Reporters who relentlessly chased the Valerie Plame leak let the story drop. Pelosi's role in stopping another covert operation gives lie to her claims that she was powerless to stop waterboarding -- but the Washington press corps failed to "connect the dots." Now that the truth is out, will they continue to let her get away with not answering questions? We'll learn the answer at her next press briefing.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Populism: Just Like Racism!
And even if I were to accept the Brooksian view of an upper class that must be looked to to fix things and take care of the lower classes and create the needed wealth to help us escape our economic crisis, the whole point is that this upper class he is talking about has abdicated that very responsibility — and, perhaps having reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not worth saving, has taken on a new mission that involves not creating wealth for all but simply absconding with whatever wealth is remaining.
It’s not pessimism or “combative divisiveness” to talk about these problems and insist that they get fixed. On the contrary, it’s a very positive view of what citizenship is to believe that everyone has a real role in fixing his country’s problems, and that when we identify problems, we should try to do something about them because we might actually succeed.
On the other hand, telling oneself that when powerful people “rig the game” one should just tolerate it, because one’s best hope for seeing the situation fixed rests in hoping those same powerful people fix it themselves — I would describe that as pessimism, or something worse than pessimism. The whole point of America is that we are all supposed to be our own masters, never viewing anyone as being by birth or situation inherently better or more capable than ourselves, and so the notion of relying upon some nebulous class of investment bankers to “channel opportunity” from on high strikes me as being un-American.
If there is a Republican who aspires to be Reagan 2.0, the best thing they can do is read Taibbi's reporting on the Bubble and Crash. The game-changing candidate will be the one who combines an intelligent appreciation of Hayek with a clear-eyed willingness to address the need for financial reform.
Hint-- Jamie Gorelick, Larry Summers, and Barney Frank are gifts that keep on giving.,
Note that Ann Coulter gets it.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The victory of a Democrat in the special election to fill Vice President Gerald Ford's House seat in February 1974 was a clear indication that the bottom had fallen out for the Republican Party. Brown's victory last week looks as if something similar has happened to the Democratic Party.
Ace has some thoughts on why Obama's mandate was so fleeting.
If i worked for the RNC, i'd worry about a repeat of 1998. Over-confidence can be a killer. (Just as Former Speaker Gingrich.)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Fox leads for trust
Americans do not trust the major tv news operations in the country- except for Fox News.Our newest survey looking at perceptions of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News finds Fox as the only one that more people say they trust than distrust. 49% say they trust it to 37% who do not.
'Mole-hunter' breaks 30-year silence
For 30 years Stephen De Mowbray has maintained a self-imposed silence on a career that once took him to the heart of one of British intelligence's most controversial episodes.
In 1979 he quit his job with the Secret Service because he believed officials had failed to take seriously the claim that British intelligence had been further penetrated by its enemy - the Soviet Union's KGB.
A number of spies had been discovered in the 1960s but De Mowbray believed there were more. But he found no-one at the top willing to listen.
Speaking of his 1991 film JFK, Stone said he thought it was “a good thing” to revisit the JFK assassination but was surprised when historians and film reviewers jumped on him for fudging facts, inventing characters and elevating speculation to truth in an effort to back up his own belief that Kennedy was killed by a CIA-led cabal masterminded by the “evil genius” Clay Shaw, a New Orleans businessman.
“It’s an amazing story and I did it,” Stone said. “I thought I would be respected for it, and I was lambasted in the establishment press. I was called a myth-maker, a propagandist. I didn’t see it coming. I thought the Kennedy murder was safe.”
Dale K. Myers provides the appropriate commentary:
Anyone with a half-nut knows that Stone’s JFK, while fabulous and provocative filmmaking, doesn’t have anything to do with reality when it comes to the JFK assassination. For Stone to pretend that it does shows just how bankrupt the conspiracy crowd is when it comes to dethroning the case against Lee Harvey Oswald. That doesn’t stop them from trying though, does it?
For forty-six years we’ve been hearing about the big conspiracy that killed Kennedy and still we’ve seen not one shred of believable evidence that anyone other than Oswald was behind the deed.
It's not every day that a Nobel Prize winner becomes involved in a U.S. election, but Lech Walesa -- famed for his Cold War leadership of the Solidarity movement in Poland -- will be campaigning this week for a GOP gubernatorial candidate in Illinois.
The former Polish president will be the keynote speaker Friday at a Chicago luncheon fundraiser for Adam Andrzejewski, one of five Republican candidates for governor in Illinois.
It is hard to see what else his paper could have done. When they tried to verify her information, Ellie Light lied to them. I give them a lot of credit for addressing the issue in a forthright manner.
I'm still curious about the choice of newspapers. How many of these emails did "Ellie Light" send out? She hit a lot of small newspapers in small cities/towns. She must have a lot of time on her hands.
Patterico is still on the beat and moving the story forward.
Follow the blog reaction on this memeorandum thread.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Within a week of Sarah Palin ascending to national prominence in 2008 we knew every intimate detail of her life, most of it portrayed in unflattering fashion by the Washington press corps. Meanwhile, you had an "an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman" and her cheating husband still getting good press even after these writers knew the truth.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I'm pretty predictable on the subject: Local elections turn on local personalities and parochial factors and should not be hyped by the media into some sort of national trend.
Except for this one.
The Massachusetts Senate race is different because Martha Coakley should have won it without breaking a sweat. For all her flaws as a candidate--who takes a week's vacation in a five-week race?--it shouldn't have been close. And whatever Scott Brown's strengths as a candidate (other than once being Cosmo's "sexiest man"), he was clearly boosted by growing resentment of Obamacare and the nation's direction in the bluest of blue states.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
No matter how well a movie appears to fare in the box office race reported by the media, it is usually in the red at that point. So where does the money that sustains Hollywood come from? In 2007, the major studios had combined revenues of $42.3 billion, of which about one-tenth came from American theaters; the rest came from the so-called back end, which includes DVD sales, multi-picture output deals with foreign distributors, pay TV, and network television licensing.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
But there is no way i can root for Nick Saban.
Plus, they bear the taint of MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
Tonight, there is only one team that right thinking Americans can support.
UPDATE: More proof that the football gods do not always favor the good guys. This is turning into a pigskin annus horribilis.
Seven years and he still does not know his limitations.
On the other hand, maybe Excitable Andy can't help it.
Ace has the best take down.
Follow the discussion at Memeorandum.
I have a theory about why the Times still publishes a dope like Brooks. It goes back to this passage from David Gelernter:
Today's elite loathes the public. Nothing personal, just a fundamental difference in world view, but the hatred is unmistakable. Occaissionally it escapes in scorching geysers. Michael Lewis reports in the New Republic on the '96 Dole presidential campaign: 'The crowd flips the finger at the busloads of journalists and chant rude things at them as they enter each arena. The journalists, for their part, wear buttons that say 'yeah, i'm the Media. Screw You.' The crowd hates the reporters, the reporters hate the crowd-- an even matchup, except that the reporters wield power and the crowed (in effect) wields none.
David Brooks -- just one more Freddie Uncle from the New York Times.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Arians’ offense put up great numbers ... in the sunshine of Miami. But back in Cleveland, where the season was lost, Arians had called 42 pass plays and only 20 runs in zero-degree weather with 30-35 mph winds gusting over 40 mph. The protective Pittsburgh media blasted the effort of the Steelers instead of Arians’ ridiculous game plan as the season died on the vine.I posted this two years ago.
The Steelers still need a fullback and an interior lineman or two, but those have always been easy positions to fill, nothing like the FS-CB-MLB-NT quartet looming on defense. The other position to fill should be offensive coordinator.
Does Tomlin have the courage to fire a man with whom he won a ring?
Fear and dread in Steeler NationThe same problems that bedeviled the team in 2007 and 2009 were also present in 2008 when we won the SuperBowl. As this blogger noted, there was a razon thin difference between winning it all and sitting out the playoffs.
I think the larger reason is that the team that wins does not look like the Steelers teams we are used to watching. No longer do we pound the ball on the ground and play suffocating defense. Now our victories are keyed to big plays in the passing game and a desperate hope that the defense can make a couple of stops. Classic Steerlers football was a 20-7 game that never felt close. This years version is perfectly captured by the second Cleveland game and the win over the Rams. No lead felt safe because no lead was safe.
The 2009 Steelers have played 13 games this year; 9 of those games have been decided by one possession (they’ve only won 2 of these “close games”).
Last year the team only lost 2 of their close games and won 7 of them.
The sad thing is, many of those games should not have been close. The offense frittered away opportunities with Arians's wicky-wacky play-calling. The symbol for the season should be the third-and-one in Cleveland.
And it wasn’t just the mental errors, it was the alignments and the playcalling and the poor timing of each. A third-and-one shotgun snap to start the game, deep in your own territory, on the road in gale-force December winds, is not what Art Rooney II wanted to see in THE game of his very first season alone at the helm.
Do you think he missed the stark contrast that in those conditions, in his division, his Steelers played finesse ball and the Browns came right at them with a beastly wildcat quarterback and a couple of young, mobile, strong and highly-drafted linemen?
Monday, January 04, 2010
"This White House doesn't view the Northwest [Airlines] failure as one of national security, it's a political issue," says the White House source. "That's why Axelrod and Emanuel are driving the issue."
Toby Harnden of The Telegraph:
Complacency, faux moralising and partisan shots at Republicans. It was a neat summary of where Obama is going wrong after the Christmas Day debacle when the Nigerian knicker bomber managed to waltz onto a Detroit-bound flight.
For a man who campaigned denouncing the politicisation of national security under President George W Bush, it is worth noting how intensely political Obama's treatment of what might henceforth be known as Underpantsgate has been.
Rehabbing The D.C. Snipers
Now the network [CNN] has completely scrubbed Islam from the picture, offering child abuse (boo-hoo) and spousal revenge as alternative motives for the snipers' bloody rampage.
Nowhere in its one-hour special - promoted as "The Minds of the D.C. Snipers" - is Islamist brainwashing even hinted as a motivating factor behind their serial assassinations. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that they were on a jihad.
In their own words, Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo traveled across the country to terrorize Washingtonians on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks - first by picking off random people and then by blowing up school buses using plastic explosives loaded with ball bearings.
As time passes, CNN's take has become increasingly prevalent in the MSM. The ideological motive is ignored while the spousal revenge plot is given currency despite the lack of evidence for it. (Basically, his ex-wife claims he was out to kill her and the media takes her at her word.)
I wonder how authorities and the media came to believe her and reject the evidence that she was less than a fearful innocent hiding from her crazy ex-soldier spouse?
But a simple check of local news stories at the time would have revealed that neighbors reported seeing Muhammad visit with his former wife and children at their Maryland town house before and during the shootings. One neighbor said he even jogged with him.
Police even staked out her house in the hope he would visit again.