Showing posts from October, 2007

the politics of pile-on

The resemblance of this video to the other one is ... not a good thing.

Hillary hilarity

As others have noted , the GOP field is running against Hillary Clinton, as if she were the incumbent in the White House rather than George Bush. This hilarious, yet pathetic, video from TPMtv makes the point pretty effectively: I think that once the filing deadline for NH passes and (assumed) Gore does not file, then it's time to pick a horse. I have serious problems with Hillary, admittedly, and in many ways Obama would be a stronger candidate with more crossover appeal. But in the absence of a Gore run (ideally, a Gore/Obama ticket), I think that Hillary is the one who brings the most to the table. I'm probably going to vote for Edwards in the primary but I also intend to show Hillary support because she's taking all the incoming fire from the GOP, and that has given Obama and Edwards both a lot of breathing room.

the tiger's tail

The China Rises blog notes that the Beijing Olympic Games has constrained China's behavior in an interesting way: Looks to me like countries once reticent to invite the Dalai Lama are now doing so with open arms, and making a big show of it. They know China will come back and blast them for “severely hurting the feelings of the Chinese people,” threaten “severe consequences” and maybe even cancel some meetings. But foreign diplomats calculate that a window has opened to welcome the Dalai Lama. [...] Beijing has reason to be wary. It seems that with the Olympics looming, wherever the Dalai Lama travels, he is received in grand fashion. And Beijing’s warnings don’t carry much weight. After all, how can it retaliate against the West without harming itself? This is an intriguing development. I've been somewhat leery of the Olympics providing legitimacy to China's approach to human rights. However the reverse dynamic is also at work, whereby China must moderate its own behavior

Condi on Israel-Palestine

Scott MacLeod at TIME's Middle East blog notices something buried in Condoleeza Rice's recent testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee: In language that seemed a little blunter than usual, she stated categorically, "Israel must stop settlement expansion and remove unauthorized outposts." Palestinian leader Abbas and Arab diplomats have been complaining that Israel's settlement policy essentially is a sign of bad faith going into the peace conference. The bombshell came in the Q&A afterwards, when she warned that time was running out to negotiate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Condi's specific words to that effect were, Our concern is growing that without a serious political prospect for the Palestinians that gives to moderate leaders a horizon that they can show to their people that indeed there is a two-state solution that is possible, we will lose the window for a two-state solution . As MacLeod notes, if that window c

She'll end America as we know it

The Republican presidential candidates are all single-issue candidates. War on Terror? Fiscal hawks? Social values? nope. 2008 is going to be an entertaining election season. This is reason enough to console myself with a Hillary nomination (as increasingly seems inevitable). The headline at myDD is a gem: " Snow White and the 8 Angry Dwarves ".

GOP (should) heart Huckabee

At myDD, there's a post about the true dark horse on the GOP side , Mike Huckabee. The bottom line on him is that he has a reserve os support and money that belies his "third tier" status and, in the words of Mike Caulfield , There is this air of reasonableness which flows off of him. He's a year 2000 George Bush with 40 additional IQ points and without that damn smirk. Even that doesn't hit it -- Huckabee is as talented on the stump as any of the candidates, Democratic or Republican. [...] Hillary v. Huckabee is a threat to a Democratic victory in a way that Hillary v. Guiliani is frankly not. Were the Republican base to get past its craving for 2002, when hate was in vogue, they'd see that their best chance for an election win is to rerun the formula of 2000 with a sharper and more experienced candidate. Well, today Huckabee just got a major boost, since Brownback just announced he is out : Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback will drop his White House bid in an announ

Paul Krugman on GDS

Paul Krugman looks a little more closely at Gore Derangement Syndrome: What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane? Partly it’s a reaction to what happened in 2000, when the American people chose Mr. Gore but his opponent somehow ended up in the White House. Both the personality cult the right tried to build around President Bush and the often hysterical denigration of Mr. Gore were, I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration. And now that Mr. Bush has proved himself utterly the wrong man for the job — to be, in fact, the best president Al Qaeda’s recruiters could have hoped for — the symptoms of Gore derangement syndrome have grown even more extreme. The worst thing about Mr. Gore, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right. Krugman also notes that what really drives the conservatives crazy about Gore is that the smear campaign has failed. They succeeded in keeping Gore out of offi

No Go for Gore in 08?

Al Gore has ruled out running for President in 2008, saying "I'm in another kind of campaign." In an interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK, he said he would not make a fresh bid for the White House. Mr Gore told NRK he wanted to focus on his climate change campaigning, which won him a Nobel Peace Prize last week. Mr Gore, the beaten Democratic candidate in the 2000 election, had repeatedly stated he had no interest in standing again for president. But a national organisation which has campaigned for him to stand once more for the White House said traffic on its website had surged in the wake of his Nobel triumph. [...] Mr Gore told NRK it was a "great honour" to be awarded the prize for his climate campaigning. Asked how it would affect his political future, he replied: "I don't have plans to be a candidate again so I don't really see it in that context at all. "I'm involved in another kind of campaign. It's a global campaign to chan

Gore Derangement Syndrome (GDS) watch

Time to start collecting these. * Gore is a " sanctimonious lardbutt " according to the Telegraph * Gore is the " secular high priest " according to Kowalski at RedState * the Nobel is a " consolation prize " according to Moe Lane at Redstate * Charles Bird accuses Gore of impropriety for donating his prize money to the nonprofit advocacy group, the Alliance for Climate Protection, because Gore is the chairman of the board. * Ann Althouse calls Gore a coward . * Ian Murray at the National Review says Gore should share the prize with Osama bin Laden, because they're the same, or something.

Al Gore, Nobel Laureate

As expected, Al Gore has won the Nobel Prize for Peace: Climate change campaigner Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee cited "their efforts to build up and disseminate knowledge about man-made climate change". Mr Gore, US vice-president under Bill Clinton, said he was "deeply honoured". Mr Gore, 59, won an Oscar for his climate change film An Inconvenient Truth while the IPCC is the top authority on global warming. [...] He said he would donate his half of the $1.5m prize money to the Alliance for Climate Protection, reported the news agency Reuters. The Prize was jointly awarded to Gore (an individual) and to the entire UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, whose chairman is Rajendra Pachauri. The work that the IPCC did in establishing and validating the scientific concensus should not be underestimated, and they deserve the prize as much as Gore. From the article,

Good on ya, mate

I've added Strata-Sphere blog to my feeds, because he has shown to be a principled and thoughtful conservative voice. See his rebuttal and admonition to the conservative blogsphere's frenzy over the issue of S-CHIP and the demonization of an ordinary middle class family, for an example. Well done, sir. Incidentally, some of the worst excesses of the conservative blogsphere are being noted in the mainstream press . The politics of personal destruction are a two-edged sword, indeed.

carbon tax skepticism

It's funny how my views on global warming have shifted over the years. If there's one common thread, it's that I've been leery of the conventional wisdom, but trusting of the establishment. That's due to my biases: highly pro-peer review, highly pro-evidence-based policy, and highly anti-incrementalism. Count me as a skeptic of the power of markets to effect social change, as well. This is why I currently believe strongly that (1) global warming is real, (2) is anthropogenic, and (3) is unlikely to be ameliorated in any significant way by carbon taxes. Here's an example of the argument against carbon taxes : LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The battle to beat climate change has come down to one weapon -- the price of carbon. And analysts say it is not working. Much lip service has been paid to cutting climate warming carbon emissions through measures such as improved energy efficiency, technological innovation, reduced demand, higher standards and carbon output restr

Jena 6 revisited: passions cool, injustices multiply

Several people in the last thread and via (thoughtful) email pointed me in the direction of more information regarding the Jena 6, which have served to substantially cool my earlier anger about the issue. The most relevant item is this opinion piece by sports columnist Jason Whitlock (whom as everyone noted, irrelevantly, is also African-American). What is notable is that Whitlock takes a very Cosby-esque turn of analysis: The fact that we waited to love Mychal Bell until after he’d thrown away a Division I football scholarship and nine months of his life is just as heinous as the grossly excessive attempted-murder charges that originally landed him in jail. Reed Walters, the Jena district attorney, is being accused of racism because he didn’t show Bell compassion when the teenager was brought before the court for the third time on assault charges in a two-year span. Where was our compassion long before Bell got into this kind of trouble? [...] Here is another undeniable, statistical