Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Stonehenge mystery...solved.

Some common sense on the proposed cluster bomb ban.

Some women are upset at how Hillary was treated during this primary process. Here is Mark Steyn's take on the subject, and the return of Patriarchy.

Looking for a job? Iowa is the place to be.

More anarchy and fear in Mexico.

Think the housing market looks bad? It's only going to get worse.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tony Snow cancels an appearance. The fact that his doctors don't want him to travel makes the story sound ominous.

Clinton loyalists plan a protest outside the DNC Rules Committee meeting that will decide the disposition of the delegates from Florida and Michigan. While this does not look good for the Democrats, it is still possible that all the differences will be patched up and the party will unite around a nominee. Hillary Clinton, as evidenced by this letter she sent to all the superdelegates, still believes she should be the nominee. But the question of party unity will only be answered when we see her response to the Rules Committee decision, if they do anything less than seat all the delegates and award her the delegates based on the popular votes in those states. If, after an unfavorable ruling and the end of the primary process on Tuesday, Hillary is still behind in delegates and popular votes (and while it is impossible for her to catch up in delegates, depending upon how one counts the votes it can be argued that she is ahead in the popular vote), but she vows to fight on to the convention, then one can begin to imagine a scenario of disunity that severely impacts the party as it heads into the November election.

Bob Novak says Clinton's behavior has caused some inside the Party to sound like Republicans when they talk about her (and her husband).

In Nepal, the King is told to beat it, as lawmakers declare a Republic (looking at the Hammer and Sickle flags in the photo, I'm guessing it will be a People's Republic).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The IAEA is unhappy with the Iranians, due to a lack of cooperation concerning their nuclear "energy" program. When the Iranians detonate a nuclear weapon, we will all be unhappy.

The latest probe to explore the surface of Mars is getting ready to do some digging.

H.D.S. Greenway believes that John McCain and his supporters have learned the wrong lessons from Neville Chamberlain's ghost. I agree with him to some extent. It is true that Chamberlain and his French counterpart were not wrong to go to Munich to talk with Hitler (and Mussolini). They were wrong to acquiesce in his demand that the Czechs not be allowed to participate in the talks, and they were wrong to agree to his demand that the Sudetenland be transferred to Germany. If they had stood fast, perhaps Hitler would have backed down. But the fact of the matter is that the English and French peoples were not willing to go to war for the Czechs, and their political leaders reflected that belief. It was only after Hitler reneged on his promises at Munich that the scales finally fell from the eyes of the British and French people, and their leaders, that this was a man who would not negotiate in good faith and could not be counted on to live up to his bargains. It seems naive to us, as we look back in retrospect but, with the memories of the horrors of the Western Front still fresh, the people of Great Britain and France did not want to go through it all again and, therefore, were willing to grasp at straws (and sacrifice the freedoms of other peoples) to avoid another war.

Sydney Pollack, dead at 73.

Harry Reid's broken promises may lead to reprisals in the Senate.

Where the British failed, the United States Marines come to the rescue. This, of course, sounds unfair to the British, but the article itself gives no background as to the extent of the British effort, or their resources. I suspect they did not have the resources to do the job properly.

The Rockefellers want some new thinking at Exxon.

Senator Tom Coburn says his fellow Republicans are in denial. I say, Amen.

Bill Clinton says his wife is the victim of a cover-up. Yeesh.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hillary Clinton, in defending her continued presence in the race, brings up the Robert Kennedy assassination. A gaffe, to be sure, but not "the dumbest thing ever said in American politics", as Michael Goodwin would have you believe.

Mark Warner as a possible V.P on the Obama ticket?

Could John McCain win the election by a larger margin than Bush in 2004? Some GOP strategists, looking at the electoral map, are daring to hope. Still, there is ample evidence that it should be a good year for Democrats, especially in Congress, which leads some on their side to hope for an expansion of government reminiscent of 1965-66.

$4 a gallon gasoline may finally be altering the habits of American drivers.

The junta in Burma may finally allow aid workers in to aid their people.

Friday, May 23, 2008

William J. Bennett and Brian T. Kennedy have these recommendations for our foreign and national security policy as we head into the next Administration. Of course, what they don't say is that a John McCain Administration is far more likely to implement these recommendations than a Barack Obama Administration. I agree with most of the recommendations, but I wish they had added something about creating a national energy policy to deal with our "friends" in OPEC.

Here is an idea on what can be done to defeat OPEC before they defeat us.

Amir Taheri has some thoughts on what is behind the Israeli-Syrian peace talks.

There is more talk a possible Obama-Clinton ticket. I don't think it will happen.

Eugene Robinson thinks that Hillary is really going forward because she wants nothing less than to be President. We will know more, of course, after the rules committee resolves the issue of the Michigan and Florida delegates on May 31. If they choose to seat only a portion of the delegates (or none at all, which I think unlikely) and Hillary responds by vowing to fight the ruling at the convention, then we can properly assume that she is serious about going all the way, despite any negative consequences for the Party.

An Appeals Court has ruled that Texas authorities illegally seized the children from that Mormon Sect's compound. I have had a bad feeling about this thing from the beginning.

Another special election, another Tory victory.

Charles Krauthammer thinks the Obama policy of negotiating without preconditions is really the result of a gaffe that he has refused to admit. If so, it is an even worse indicator of what kind of President Obama might make.

John McCain rejects a controversial pastor's endorsement. Some have tried to maintain that this is equivalent to the Wright situation, but it doesn't fly, since McCain (to my knowledge) does not have any pastor who can be seen as a life-long mentor, as Wright was for Obama.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

With the Turks playing mediator, the Israelis and Syrians are engaged in peace talks. Could this mean that the Syrians are trying to distance themselves from Iran, or are they playing a double game?

In Qatar, peace talks conclude between the various Lebanese factions. Hezbollah comes out having achieved it's goals. It seems clear now that Hezbollah does not want to take over Lebanon (and they may believe, despite their recent military victories, that they do not yet have the power to do so), but rather slowly gain power to do what they wish as they bide their time, expecting an eventual victory. Of course, the real victor may be Iran.

As Hillary Clinton campaigns in Florida, one has to wonder what it is she hopes to accomplish. Could it be that she really thinks she can pull it out in the end? Does she hope to pressure Obama to put her on the ticket? Does she want to cripple Obama so that he loses in November, thus opening the door for her to run again in 2012? Facts are stubborn things. It is a fact that she cannot beat him in pledged delegates when the voting comes to an end. It is a fact that the super delegates will not, under those circumstances, deny him the nomination and thus, at a stroke, ensure a massive backlash from African-American and other core Democratic Party constituencies. Therefore, she will not win the nomination. So, again, what is she up to?

Also in Florida, according to this story, many Jews are expressing doubts about Obama.

Here is a good historical example as to why a President might not want to talk with his adversaries.

Joe Lieberman wonders what happened to his party's former steadfastness on foreign policy and security issues. He goes on to answer his own question.

Dick Morris, looking at recent polling data, foresees a potential GOP Senate massacre in November. I'm sticking with my earlier prediction of a 5 seat loss, but it could be worse.

Bob Novak sees the McCain campaign refusing to fight on Obama's ground. Good for them. I am still a lot more optimistic about McCain than I am about the GOP in general.

Iraqi troops are welcomed in Sadr City. Another sign that the new strategy in Iraq is working.

Robert Samuelson examines middle class anxiety.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stanley Kurtz has this extensive piece examining the relationship between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that President Bush has decided to attack Iran before the end of his term. I don't believe it.

Caroline Glick, also writing in The Jerusalem Post, seconds the President's opinion about appeasers, and says Barack Obama is one.

Two more primaries today, as Hillary Clinton refuses to quit, an attitude Richard Cohen tries to explain in this piece, while her campaign is now claiming that they have the lead in the popular vote.

In Kentucky, 51 delegates will be awarded proportionally, 34 by congressional district and 17 statewide. In Oregon, 52 delegates will be awarded proportionally, 34 by congressional district and 18 statewide. The latest Kentucky polls put Clinton way ahead in that state, and the Oregon polls put Obama ahead there. Expect another split decision, and another step to the nomination for Obama.

Another no-hitter in Boston.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Orleans rebuilds from the bottom up.

Amir Taheri has some thoughts on what Hezbollah is up to in Lebanon.

Is it really possible that in what should be a banner year for the Democrats, John McCain could be the exception on a night when Republicans fall left and right? I think so, and Bill Kristol agrees. There are a lot of reasons why that might be so, and Kristol points out some of them, including the fact that from 1968 to 1992 the Democrats pretty much ran the show in Congress, yet GOP candidates for President won 5 out of the 7 elections during that period. Americans prefer the "mommy" party for domestic issues, and the "daddy" party for national security and foreign policy issues.

Another sign of trouble for Obama is in this piece in The New York Times about the reaction of some women to the fact that Hillary Clinton is probably not going to be President.

Some even accuse Mr. Obama of chauvinism, pointing to the time he called Mrs. Clinton “likeable enough” as evidence of dismissiveness. Nancy Wait, 55, a social worker in Columbia City, Ind., said Mr. Obama was far less qualified than Mrs. Clinton and described as condescending his recent assurances that Mrs. Clinton should stay in the race as long as she liked. Ms. Wait said she would “absolutely, positively not” vote for him come fall.

Ms. Ferraro, who clashed with the Obama campaign about whether she made a racially offensive remark, said she might not either. “I think Obama was terribly sexist,” she said.

Cynthia Ruccia, 55, a sales director for Mary Kay cosmetics in Columbus, Ohio, is organizing a group, Clinton Supporters Count Too, of mostly women in swing states who plan to campaign against Mr. Obama in November. “We, the most loyal constituency, are being told to sit down, shut up and get to the back of the bus,” she said.

Read the whole thing.

Another area of difficulty for Obama could be in the debate about foreign policy. Bring it on, says former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

At first glance, the idea of sitting down with adversaries seems hard to quarrel with. In our daily lives, we meet with competitors, opponents and unpleasant people all the time. Mr. Obama hopes to characterize the debate about international negotiations as one between his reasonableness and the hard-line attitude of a group of unilateralist GOP cowboys.

The real debate is radically different. On one side are those who believe that negotiations should be used to resolve international disputes 99% of the time. That is where I am, and where I think Mr. McCain is. On the other side are those like Mr. Obama, who apparently want to use negotiations 100% of the time. It is the 100%-ers who suffer from an obsession that is naïve and dangerous.

Negotiation is not a policy. It is a technique. Saying that one favors negotiation with, say, Iran, has no more intellectual content than saying one favors using a spoon. For what? Under what circumstances? With what objectives? On these specifics, Mr. Obama has been consistently sketchy.

Like all human activity, negotiation has costs and benefits. If only benefits were involved, then it would be hard to quarrel with the "what can we lose?" mantra one hears so often. In fact, the costs and potential downsides are real, and not to be ignored.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is Russia now a totalitarian regime in the Fascist mode? Certainly, Vladimir Putin seems to hold all the real power in the country. Like all dictatorships, though, the problem will come when a succession is needed.

Some thoughts on Israel's "American Problem".

Tom Friedman has these thoughts on Obama and American Jews.

Nicholas Kristof has these thoughts on Tibetans fed up with peace.

Dick Morris has a road map to a McCain victory.

When a nation stops building things, and relies on an economy based on moving money around, it is in decline, according to this piece by Kevin Phillips.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Big Dig in Canada.

Once upon a time, when a soldier deserted in wartime, he would be court-martialed and, if convicted, stood up against a wall and shot. Now, he gives a press conference on Capitol Hill.

William Shatner, a man who has done more with less talent than anyone in Hollywood. So, is it possible he has more talent than we realize?

A state-by-state analysis of what Obama will need to do to get 270 Electoral College votes.

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us that the recent spate of finger-pointing memoirs by former high-ranking military and civilian officials over their part in the Iraq War is nothing new.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Michael Novak imagines a world in 2012 with Barack Obama as President, and it isn't a pretty sight.

John McCain imagines a world in 2013 with John McCain as President, and most of our troops out of Iraq.

Gerard Baker says, if you believe the American press, Obama is the Great Redeemer...just like Bobby Kennedy once was, and Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.

California becomes the second state, after Massachusetts, to legalize gay marriage by judicial decision. As a personal matter, I believe there is no logical, non-religious basis to deny civil marriage to homosexual adults. As a political matter, I believe it is best solved via the political process, rather than through court action, since I also do not believe that civil marriage is a civil right.

President Bush warns against appeasement, and is attacked by the Obama people. I think the Obama folks are better off ignoring the President, as most people have by now concluded that he is a failed President.

Peggy Noonan has it right in this piece in The Wall Street Journal.

What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn't happen in 2005, and '06, and '07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They're stuck.

Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party's fortunes from the president's. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn't be left with a ruined "brand," as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.

It all spells D-O-O-M.

But, even with all the gloomy signs, John Fund, also writing in The Wall Street Journal, after describing the extent of the problem, does have one hope...

In 1996, the Democrats had a chance to seize control of the government. Bob Dole was clearly going to lose to a reinvigorated Bill Clinton, and polls showed that GOP control of one or both houses was in jeopardy. Republicans, in control of Congress for two years, were suffering from many of the same problems they are now – an identification with unpopular positions on issues and a relentless Democratic ad campaign designed to undermine their most vulnerable incumbents.

The Republican National Committee decided to take bold action by directly appealing to the public's fondness for divided government and fear of one-party rule. It rook out ads that featured a fortuneteller staring into a crystal ball showing scenes of Biblical devastation, plague and conflict were seen. The announcer warned what could happen if Democrats swept the elections:

"Remember the last time Democrats ran everything? The largest tax increase in history. Government-run health care. More wasteful spending. Who wants that again? Don't let (insert local state) down. Don't let the media stop you from voting. And don't hand Bill Clinton a blank check."

It worked. Republicans gained two seats in the Senate and lost only a handful in the House. Haley Barbour, the then chairman of the RNC and now governor of Mississippi, told me at the time that the ads had stopped the slide in the polls of several vulnerable members and helped boost voter turnout among listless Republicans.

With John McCain at best an even bet to win the White House, Republicans may enter the fall homestretch with the prospect of losing the White House and sinking much further into minority status. It would be better if congressional Republicans finally decided to adopt a coherent message and a bold reform program for this fall's elections. But an alternative may be to emulate their 1996 success and make a direct appeal to voters to keep power divided so that Democrats once again don't have a blank check.

I don't think it will work. In fact, I think the reverse is more likely, with John McCain squeaking out a narrow victory while Republicans get crushed in Congress.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Democrats will not let go of the New Hampshire GOP phone-jamming case. All's fair in love, war and politics, I say. But, I am a little queasy about using the coercive power of the state (police, courts, jails) when trying to crush one's political opponents.

John Edwards, as expected, endorsed Barack Obama late yesterday. Will Edwards be the V.P. candidate? Considering the fact that Obama will need some Southern white voters to try and prevent McCain from winning every Southern state in the Fall, it might not be a bad idea. Still, I would think that someone with a military and/or foreign policy background might make a better choice.

In Iraq, the war goes on as U.S. and Iraqi Government forces try to build a wall in Sadr City.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah wins the day as the government backs down on two initiatives that caused Hezbollah fighters to take to the streets.

You would think that a United States Senator has better things to do than get involved in a controversy over a professional football team breaking league rules (but not breaking any Federal, State or local laws that I am aware of). Arlen Specter, though, apparently thinks that making a Federal case out of the Patriots Spygate scandal is worth his time and energy.

Some inside the GOP believe they could lose 20 House seats in November. I have long believed that if the people of this country want big, nanny government, they should get it, but that it should be given to them by the party that professes to believe in such stuff rather than the party that professes not to. Because the GOP, upon taking power in Congress in 1994 and ever after, refused to really pare down the size of government and, instead, merrily joined the big government party, they should be punished. I expect that my party will return to the minority status it held through much of the middle part of the last century and ought to remain in that position unless and until the majority of Americans decide they really want smaller government.

Marie Cocco points out that in the Clinton-Obama contest, racism is not tolerated, but misogyny is a different story. She has a point.

Bob Novak celebrates 45 years. I wish him many more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some people still believe the United Nations can get things done, like saving the people of Burma. I'll believe it when I see it.

Mark Helprin makes an argument that needs to be made, over and over again, that old-fashioned big wars are not gone from the realm of possibility, and it is China that stands as a potential foe.

Is the credit crisis over?

It's too bad the company that made it went out of business in 1914, because they sure made one helluva light bulb.

Former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr is running for President, as a Libertarian, meanwhile, Ron Paul's people are planning on making mischief at the GOP convention, if this story is to be believed. Both stories could cause trouble for John McCain in the Fall, but it is this story that will hurt the most, as the new ABC News/Washington Post poll says 82% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, the worst showing since 76% thought the same in 1992.

Still, if Barack Obama is the nominee, he faces some problems, including the racism that still exists in the hearts of some. His immediate problem today is in West Virginia, where a primary is being held that will allocate 28 delegates proportionally, 18 by district and 10 statewide. Obama has already conceded that he will probably lose in West Virginia, and perhaps by a wide margin, as one poll puts Hillary ahead by 36%. The size of the margin will, no doubt, provide the Clinton campaign with some much needed energy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

In The New York Times, a story about the success of the Iraqi Army in Basra.

Claudia Rosett writes about the recent fighting in Lebanon, who the real villains are, and what ought to be done about it.

Amir Taheri makes some good points about why the Iranians have no incentive to agree to any package that would cause them to stop enriching uranium.

In Massachusetts, anti-income tax advocates are trying once again to get a question on the ballot that would repeal the state income tax. The last time they tried this, it almost worked.

Edward Luttwak has this very interesting take on why a President Obama wouldn't necessarily be capable of improving relations with the Muslim world.

Bob Novak has some thoughts on McCain's Christian problem.

Competing views on the significance of the 60th birthday for Israel. Bill Kristol ponders the meaning of the anniversary, and a Palestinian shares his quite different view.

I have read and heard some Conservatives speculating about Barack Obama's potential weaknesses as it now appears he will be the nominee. Some have compared him to McGovern, others to Mike Dukakis. Susan Estrich, who worked for Dukakis in 1988, has this insightful piece on the similarities, and differences, between Obama and Dukakis. But it is her concluding paragraph that makes the most salient point...

But the most important difference between Obama and Dukakis has absolutely nothing to do with the two men, or their primary opponents, or the issues that did or did not get raised. It's the difference between where the country was then, and where it is now. In June 1988, a majority of Americans thought the country was on the right track. Although the wrong track numbers had been higher earlier in the year, by the summer they turned around. Americans were pleased with the direction of the country. Today, the equivalent numbers are 80% wrong track. Ask any pollster and they'll tell you that there is no better indication of which party will win an election than the right track-wrong track numbers. This should be a Democratic year. Obama, if he is the candidate, will face a negative machine. But in the end, that machine cannot change the way people feel about the direction the country is heading, or the party that is responsible for it.

Bingo. All my Conservative friends should remember that it is "peace and prosperity" that wins elections, despite all policy or ideological differences. In the modern political era (which I define as beginning in 1920, when women first exercised the right to vote), when Americans feel like they are blessed with peace and prosperity without reservation or ambiguity, they stick with the party in power (1924, 1928, 1956, 1964, 1984, 1988, 1996). When they think things are going very badly, either the economy or a war, or both, they throw out the party in power (1932, 1952, 1968, 1980, 1992). Not all elections fit neatly into this picture, of course. FDR's personality and the sense that he had saved so many from the Depression helped him win in 1936 and 1940, and his status as wartime leader got him the nod again in 1944. Razor thin elections happened in 1948, 1960, 1976, 2000 and 2004 (with 1960 and 2000 being virtual ties). All happened during periods when perceptions about the economy were mixed. Looking ahead to November, unless the atmosphere changes radically, the perception will exist that things are going very badly, indeed. Perhaps not as badly as 1932, but it might feel like 1980, which bodes very ill for the GOP.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A TV station in San Francisco is now reporting that sexual misconduct complaints against former radio talk host Bernie Ward go back to Ward's days as a Catholic priest. Writing in The Corner on the National Review website, David Freddoso thinks Ward is getting his comeuppance.

Hezbollah, victorious in Beirut. A journalist on the ground describes the situation in some detail.

Bob Herbert is one of the many Liberals who have finally come the proper conclusions about the Clintons.’s one thing to lack class and a sense of grace, quite another to deliberately try and wreck the presidential prospects of your party’s likely nominee — and to do it in a way that has the potential to undermine the substantial racial progress that has been made in this country over many years.

The Clintons should be ashamed of themselves. But they long ago proved to the world that they have no shame.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Hillary continues to hold a huge lead in the polls of West Virginia and Kentucky, while Obama leads in Oregon.

Fred Barnes says that, despite the in-fighting in the Democratic camp, Republicans have good reasons to be gloomy about their prospects in November.

Still, the Jeremiah Wright controversy may not go away, as Stanley Kurtz examines Wright's magazine, and finds some interesting stuff.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Can it get any worse? Yes, it can. But, right now, the price of oil is surging again, now over $126 a barrel, on concerns about Venezuela. This trend, along with (and partly the cause of) rising food prices, threatens to precipitate a global crisis, as governments line up to impose ill-conceived controls and barriers to free trade.

In the department of even more bad news, Hezbollah has now overrun West Beirut. Will Hezbollah take over Lebanon, or will another civil war ensue? Either path looks dark, indeed.

Want more bad news? In Mexico, a top federal police official is gunned down. Is Mexico coming apart at the seams?

David Brooks writes about the political shift that seems to be taking place in Great Britain, where the Conservatives are on the rise.

Jay Cost thinks that Hillary is not out of it yet. Charles Krauthammer thinks otherwise.

Noted Liberal radio talk host Bernie Ward admits to child pornography charges.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Boston Globe asks why Clinton is doubling down. Good question. Could it be that she would rather see McCain win in November? Nicholas Kristof is also wondering. Harold Meyerson likens the Clintons to Cronus, who ate his children.

Karl Rove has a good analysis of the whole situation in this piece in The Wall Street Journal. But I especially like Rove's last point...

Almost everything we think we know right now will be revised and even overturned during the next six months. This has been a race in which conventional wisdom has often been proven wrong. The improbable or thought-to-be impossible has happened with regularity. It has created a boom market for punditry and opinion offering, and one of the grandest possible spectacles for political junkies in decades. Hold on to your hat. It's going to be one heck of a ride through Nov. 4.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A good night for Barack Obama last night as he wins big in North Carolina and loses only very narrowly to Hillary Clinton in Indiana.

Here are the North Carolina results (with 99% reporting):

Obama 890,695 56%
Clinton 657,920 42%

That's a beat down, by any measure.

In Indiana (with 99% reporting):

Clinton 638,274 51%
Obama 615,862 49%

That's a squeaker, by any measure.

So, what does it all mean? The math still doesn't work for Clinton, unless Florida AND Michigan are included. We will now find out something important about Hillary Clinton. If she really believes in her party and it's ideals, she will step aside gracefully and work to unite the party behind Obama. If she really is more concerned with her own ambitions, then she will fight all the way to the convention, and she will exert all her efforts to ensure that either the Florida AND Michigan delegations are seated as currently composed, or re-votes are held in both states.

Here is one view of the ugly truth why Hillary Clinton won't quit.

A volcano is making news in Chile. Apparently, it is not a large enough eruption to impact the climate.

Tom Friedman says we are facing a democratic recession.

Michael Gerson says Liberals are all worked up about a phony war on science, while the real issues remain obscured.

Japan becomes a land of few children.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It is primary day in Indiana and North Carolina, as the Obama-Clinton contest rolls on.

In Indiana, 72 delegates are at stake, all awarded proportionally, 47 by congressional district and 25 statewide. Indiana also has 13 superdelegates. The RealClearPolitics average of the most recent Indiana polls puts Hillary up by 5% (interestingly, only the Zogby poll has Obama ahead, by 2%).

In North Carolina, 115 delegates are at stake, all awarded proportionally, 77 by congressional district and 38 statewide. North Carolina has 19 superdelegates. The RealClearPolitics average of the North Carolina polls puts Obama ahead by 8%.

In both cases, what will be most interesting to watch is whether or not there is a "Bradley Effect". Will the actual results show Clinton doing better in each state than the polls suggest? We will find out tonight.

Thomas Sowell has a negative opinion of Barack Obama.

Bob Herbert writes about a proposal for a new GI Bill. McCain is opposed, which to me seems to be very bad politics.

Anne Applebaum writes about a possible war in the Caucuses.

Frank Gaffney writes about the dangers of Islamofascism here at home.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Here is a review of Iron Man, and another. Combined with some others I have seen, it is mostly positive, and everyone seems to like Robert Downey, Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark.

A Tory beats "Red Ken" in the London Mayoral race. Apparently it was a very bad day for Labor in the local elections across England and Wales. This time they can't blame Tony Blair.

Another story about Republicans voting Democratic. Republicans? Maybe. Conservatives? No.

Fugitive financier Robert Vesco is dead...maybe.

One writer believes it is good news if we are alone in the universe.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The jobless rate falls slightly. What does it mean? I haven't a clue. All I know is that if fuel and food prices continue to rise, it can't be good news for the rest of the economy. Meanwhile, those rising fuel prices are finally having an effect on the types of cars that people are buying, as this article in The New York Times points out. I've been wondering at what price we would start to see an impact on the composition of the automobile fleet in this country, as well as driving habits.

Republicans in Massachusetts continue to lose ground. It's a one party state, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Al Franken finds himself in a tough spot in his Senate campaign, primarily due to the dogged reporting of a Republican blogger. This may be the future of media in this country, as newspapers decline, someone else will pick up the slack.

Here is what Obama wishes he could say about the Clintons.

Susan Estrich says the Wright controversy is all about Obama's judgment and character.

Charles Krauthammer slams Obama's race speech, in light of his new stance toward Wright.

Robert Kagan sees ideology's rude return with the rise of autocratic Russia and China.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A mystery from the last days of the Romanovs is solved.

An examination of the civil war inside the Democratic Party.

Bob Novak thinks that Obama has misplayed the hand dealt to him by the Reverend Wright.

Obama walks a fine line when trying to gain white, working class votes. Fortunately for him, most of the African-American community is not infected with the insanity of people like Reverend Wright.

Another woman wins the Silver Star, the second since 2001. I thought the case of the first woman, SGT Leigh Ann Hester, an MP who participated with great courage and aplomb in a fire fight in Iraq in 2005, made the case for women in combat. The case of SPC Monica Brown, a medic, is just another piece of evidence in favor of changing the rules. Brown was pulled from her unit due to those rules, to the detriment of her fellow soldiers. We are at war with a ruthless enemy. We need all the qualified people we can get, and we certainly do not need to discard those who prove themselves capable of soldiering through the crucible of combat.