Coast to Coast

Apparently Art Bell is returning to Coast to Coast. v I had insomnia a couple of weeks ago, and my usual cures are AM radio or C-Span. C-Span failed, so I turned on Coast to Coast with George Noory, and it is clear to me that night time talk radio is a strange beast. One call was about a fellow who had been possessed by Demons (well- one demon, and he fought it off), another fellow lost 13 days in the Bermuda Triangle. Strange goings on, indeed.

No Kidding

This is news only to those who like to continuously say that Bush is lying to the American people:

President Bush said Wednesday there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — disputing an idea held by many Americans.

“There’s no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties,” the president said. But he also said, “We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11” attacks.

The president’s comment was in line with a statement Tuesday by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said he not seen any evidence that Saddam was involved in the attacks.

In one week, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice have all stated the same exact thing they have stated for the past two years- there is no evidence that Hussein had anything to do with 9/11, but we do know that he was connected to Al Qaeda and had ties with numerous other terrorist groups. I am sure someone out there is going to be misguided enough to claim that this is yet another Bush lie, or that he is just ‘coming clean’ from his previous lies (apparently mentioning Al Qaeda, 9/11, and Osama all in one speech qualifies as a ‘lie’ nowadays).

Once again, whether you agree with their assessment or not, the administration believes the action in Iraq was an integral part of the wear on terror, not a distraction. I am inclined to agree, and I am glad we have ended the regime and are taking care of the hornet’s nest. Still a long row to hoe, though.

Drug War Rant

Via Talk Left, I see that there is an excellent site dedicated to the war on your neighbor called the Drug War Rant. You can find Drug War Rant in the permalinks down and to the right.

Recall Lunacy

I have been against the recall since day one, but will everyone on the left please quit calling this an unconstitutional power grab. Clearly, it is constitutional. Clearly, Davis is scum. Not so clear, however, is how wise the recall provision of the California consititution is or how wise it is for judicial interference in elections BEFORE they occur.

Not Even Close

John Hawkins surveyed Right Wing Bloggers tyo find out who their favorite editorialist/opinion writers were, and the results can be found here.

For the record, my top three were:

1.) Mark Steyn
2.) David Warren
3.) Christopher Hitchens

Wednesday Bullets

Tacitus has his daily bullets up, and this might be the anrkiest episode ever. I particularly enjoyed the description of Kevin Drum’s Paul Krugman interview:

Paul Krugman is hopelessly naive and never paid attention to conservatives before the year 2000. That’s the only conclusion I can draw from his interview with Kevin Drum, in which he plumbs the depths of the right’s hidden agenda to find that we’re opposed in principle to most if not all social programs! Back to the hive, comrades, we are exposed. The corollary rhetoric about the abolition of the First Amendment and the cancellation of meaningful elections is just risible paranoia. There is a worthwhile nugget of insight in his observation that the strategem of “starving” social spending via underfunding and deficits simply won’t work absent national catastrophe; certainly an important point in itself. But on the whole, if Drum’s exposition was supposed to move us beyond Krugman’s image of a frenetic, blinkered partisan, it only succeeded in solidifying that perception. Next: Krugman finds that libertarians want to eradicate government altogether. Someone must warn the American people.


Great Advice For Everyone

Meanwhile, Will Saletan has some great advice for the hacks who have spent the last few months doing nothing but working on the ‘Bush is a liar’ meme. No need to point names- you guys kow who you are (and this will apply to the right wing should the Democrats ever get their act together and get in power of something other than the NAACP and the NEA). Saletan explains it is time for you to grow up:

I’m not excusing the games Republicans play. But by projecting all evil onto Republicans, Democrats spread the same political disease: the notion that you don’t have to be wary of lying or cheating unless the other side is doing it. Lying and cheating don’t belong to Republicans or Democrats. We’re all susceptible, and we’re all guilty.

Sure, some people are more guilty than others. But if that’s your obsession, I commend to you the words of my colleague, Jack Shafer: If you’re interested in which wing lies more, you’re probably not very interested in the truth.

The natural response- “But Bush really is the biggest liar ever- we can’t let the Re’thug’licans bully us into not playing hardball.” The Shafer piece is a must read, btw.

David Corn, Liar

In the Nation (the left wing political rag whose editor does not know who represents her in Congress), David Corn writes:

September is back-to-school time, and Bush hit the road to promote his education policies. During a speech at a Nashville elementary school, he hailed his education record by noting that “the budget for next year boosts funding for elementary and secondary education to $53.1 billion. That’s a 26-percent increase since I took office. In other words, we understand that resources need to flow to help solve the problems.” A few things were untrue in these remarks. Bush’s proposed elementary and secondary education budget for next year is $34.9 billion, not $53.1 billion, according to his own Department of Education. It’s his total proposed education budget that is $53.1 billion. More importantly, there is no next-year “boost” in this budget. Elementary and secondary education received $35.8 billion in 2003. Bush’s 2004 budget cuts that back nearly a billion dollars, and the overall education spending in his budget is the same as the 2003 level.

Sounds damning, and some on the left rushed to link approvingly to this newest bit of evidence to add to the “Bush is a Liar” meme.

The problem is that Justin Katz and Steve Verdon have run the numbers- and Bush wasn’t lying. Corn was:

In summary, it is only through a combination of selective data and careful parsing of words that David Corn is able to exploit the habitual budgetary tricks of the federal government to call the President of the United States a liar. And his faulty conclusion has probably already caught on sufficiently that careful analysis of boring numbers will not prevent it from becoming “common knowledge.”

This is the Democrat strategery, and it started with the fabricated yellowcake ‘scandal.’ Simply make charge after charge about Bush being a liar, and don’t waste a second checking the facts. The idea is to just throw things up and hope they stick. When you are corrected, merely ignore the corrections, and wait a couple of weeks to re-surface the charge. By then it will be, as Justin pointed out, ‘common knowledge.’ The Democrats will know it is a lie, but they will keep saying it over and over again, because it might lead them to the only thing they care about- winning the White House.

Batteryless Flashlight

The Instapundit talks about Fed-Exing flashlights and batteries to relatives, and it reminded me of a really cool invention I saw the last time I was at my parents house. Batteryless flashlights. I thought they were a super cool idea.

Milton Friedman

John Hawkins managed to interview the irreplaceable Milton Friedman.

The Answer is Clear

I don’t know how this happened:

A man reportedly involved in a pay dispute set off an explosion Tuesday that killed himself, a hostage and a police officer in an office building in western Japan. Twenty-three people in the city of Nagoya were injured in the blast, which blew out a row of windows and started a fire that burned for more than an hour in a violent climax to a three-hour standoff televised by national media…

Armed with a knife, he burst into the parcel delivery company, took eight employees hostage and doused the floor with an unidentified liquid, said Makoto Furuta, a state police spokesman. People evacuating the building said they smelled gasoline.

It just doesn’t make sense- Japan has super strict gun control laws.

Isabel Hysteria

Granted, if there is anything for the media to get hysterical about, a certain measure of hysteria is warranted if a Class 5 Hurricane is hurtling towards the eastern seaboard. However, I thought a lot of the coverage was a touch premature, and now, several days later, the storm is much weaker than predicted.

No real point to this post, other than it reminded me of the old Calvin Coolidge quote:

Never go out to meet trouble. If you will just sit still, nine cases out of ten someone will intercept it before it reaches you.

Mos of us know the bastardized version- “If you see ten problems coming down the road, do nothing and 9 of them will roll of into the ditch on their own.”- or some variation or another.

The Hammer Nails It

Sorry for the title of this post, but you nee3d to read Krauthammer in Time:

Bill Moyers may have his politics, but his deferential demeanor and almost avuncular television style made him the Mr. Rogers of American politics. So when he leaves his neighborhood to go to a “Take Back America” rally and denounces George W. Bush’s “government of, by and for the ruling corporate class,” leading a “right-wing wrecking crew” engaged in “a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States way of governing,” you know that something is going on.

That something is the unhinging of the Democratic Party. Democrats are seized with a loathing for President Bush a contempt and disdain giving way to a hatred that is near pathological unlike any since they had Richard Nixon to kick around. An otherwise reasonable man, Julian Bond of the N.A.A.C.P., speaks of Bush’s staffing his Administration with “the Taliban wing of American politics.” Harold Meyerson, editor at large of The American Prospect, devotes a 3,000-word article to explaining why Bush is the most dangerous President in all of American history his only rival being Jefferson Davis.

The puzzle is where this depth of feeling comes from. Bush’s manner is not particularly aggressive. He has been involved in no great scandals, Watergate or otherwise. He is, indeed, not the kind of politician who radiates heat. Yet his every word and gesture generate heat a fury and bitterness that animate the Democratic primary electorate and explain precisely why Howard Dean has had such an explosive rise. More than any other candidate, Dean has understood the depth of this primal anti-Bush feeling and has tapped into it.

But really- they don’t hate Bush. They just hate his policies. And Republicans hated Clinton more (even though they just said they don’t hate Bush). Plus, he brings it on himself with his arrogance and his lies and he is acting like a dry-drunk and he is illigetimate and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth that is always contorted into a smirk and he is stupid and can’t speak well and did I mention he stole the 2000 election? But really- they don’t hate Bush. It is just his policies.

Maddy Strikes Again

This Q&A between Time and Madeline Albright is just beautiful:

Should the U.S. have invaded Iraq?

I always believed Saddam has the kind of record that justifies taking action. I didn’t see Saddam as an imminent threat, which is where I parted company with them … I think the whole thing has been mishandled.

Has the war made the problem of terrorism better or worse?

The Administration immediately tied Sept. 11 to Saddam. They said, basically, that Saddam and Iraq were a hotbed of terrorism. While I had many criticisms of Saddam, that’s not the way I saw it. But now Iraq is in fact a breeding ground for terrorists.

What should the U.S. do next?

Frankly, if there was a President Gore, we wouldn’t be in this particular mess. But we are, and we cannot fail. I very much hope there will be a U.N. resolution that makes clear the U.S. has military command but that would set up a U.N. high representative to coordinate the political and humanitarian things the U.N. does very well.

Frankly, if my aunt had testicles she would be my uncle. You- bad voters- see what happens when you don’t vote for Democrats?

Mail Client

I am looking for a mail client. I have been using Eudora, but my filters are simply not working and I am tired of screwing with them. I need something that can separate the numerous listservs I subscribe to from personal emails and spam. Any suggestions (other than Outlook) would be appreciated.