Monday, February 28, 2005
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Published: February 27, 2005
ERUSALEM, Feb. 27 - As Israelis buried their dead from a suicide bombing, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned Palestinian leaders today that there would be no further moves toward peace unless they destroyed militant groups behind such attacks.
Mr. Sharon also accused Syria of hosting militant Palestinians from the Islamic Jihad group that took responsibility for the Friday bombing of the Stage club on Tel Aviv's palm-lined beachfront. Four Israelis - one of them a 28-year-old woman celebrating her forthcoming wedding - died in the blast and 49 more were injured.Second story:
Published: February 27, 2005
AGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 27 - The Iraqi government said today that it had captured a half-brother of Saddam Hussein, a man who for several years headed the country's domestic intelligence and security service, once the most feared agency in Iraq.
The half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, was No. 36 on the list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis that the American government compiled after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. On the deck of cards portraying the 55 men, Mr. Tikriti appears as the six of diamonds, and a black-and-white portrait on the card shows him as a young, smiling man with a thin moustache. Two other half-brothers of Mr. Hussein who were on the list, Barzan al-Tikriti and Watban al-Tikriti, were seized right after the Hussein government crumbled.WaPo leads with politics:
Anxious Lawmakers Negotiate With Democrats on Social Security Changes
Sunday, February 27, 2005; Page A01
Secret Meeting in 1987 May Have Begun Program
Sunday, February 27, 2005; Page A01
The LA Times leads with Israel:
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said today that peace efforts with the Palestinians would be frozen if they do not crack down on militant groups in the wake of a weekend suicide bombing that killed four Israelis outside a Tel Aviv nightclub.
Friday's attack and its aftermath broke two weeks of relative calm and strained recently warming relations between the Israelis and Palestinians following the election of moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last month. Dozens of people were wounded in the bombing.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi officials said today that Syrian authorities had captured Saddam Hussein's half brother and 29 other officials of the deposed dictator's Baath Party in Syria and handed them over to Iraq in an apparent goodwill gesture.
The arrests dealt a blow to an insurgency that some Iraqi officials claim Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan was helping organize and fund from Syria. The U.S. military said two American soldiers were killed today in an ambush in the capital.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
I can't decide. Althouse says no. (One day after I started this post, I continue). Althouse has more here on her own blog, including a speech from Elizabeth I, and Galadriel from The Fellowship of the Ring, a personal favorite of mine, that I've been saving to use during a good game of slapjack or the next cocktail party I attend:
(A blogger can dream, can't she?) I should take up chess just to use that line correctly. I'm inclined to say the article, because it's in the fashion section and written by a fashion writer, as opposed to a political reporter, is not diminishment, although, I suppose you could make a good argument. [You're waffling -ed. I know!] But also because a thing of beauty is to be remarked upon, and the tall, fit, healthy Rice is attractive. People will want to remark on that.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
WaPo lede story:
Sunday, February 20, 2005; Page A01
Published: February 20, 2005
APLES, Italy - In an unadorned classroom at the NATO military base here, 18 European and 3 American officers came together recently for an intense orientation on how to train the Iraqi Army's new officer corps.
Many in the room came from "new" European countries - Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Estonia - and were clearly grateful to take part. "You can't be a NATO member and just sit back and do nothing," said Maj. Rudolf Jeeser of Estonia, who, like his fellow officers, volunteered for duty in Iraq. "For me, it's important to pay back NATO for what it has done for my country."
Notably absent were officers from America's major and longstanding European allies - France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Greece - countries that still contend that the American-led war in Iraq is wrong and refuse to send a single soldier there.
This is the Europe that President Bush will find when he lands in Brussels on Sunday, Feb. 20: a continent still deeply divided over how much to bend to the will of Washington on issues of war and peace, and how warmly to support the Bush crusade to spread its definition of freedom around the world.
From Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium — President Bush sought to repair rocky relations with Europe, opening a visit today to soothe allies embittered by the U.S.-led Iraq war and frustrated that their views were often ignored by the White House.
Bush, in a speech Monday, will urge allies to work together to advance freedom and democracy, particularly in the Middle East, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said on Air Force One as Bush flew here. Bush also will urge support for the Iraqi people.
But WaPo did cover the Europe story with two small links under the larger headline and description of the Bush-Putin story:
Europe Hopes Trip Augurs Closer Ties
Sunday, February 20, 2005; Page A09
Leaders Expected to Try to Mend Ties With Bush During Visit, Despite Public Hostility Toward Him
Sunday, February 20, 2005; Page A11
Saturday, February 19, 2005
The Patriot Act is up for renewal this year, I think.
Friday, February 18, 2005
DNC Chair Howard Dean. (Via LaShawn Barber) Democrats can say that and be "funny;" Republicans aren't allowed to try to be funny. I think the argument goes that Repbulicans wanted to cut welfare benefits so they must hate poor people and because African Americans are disproportionately represented in the lower economic levels, Republicans therefore hate African Americans. It's a bit tired, that, especially after a Democratic president signed welfare reform into law and Kaus among other welfare experts are cautiously calling a success. I'll have to look for that Kaus link later--I can't get to my old archives just yet. UPDATE: Here's that Kaus discussion on welfare.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Kids born in the '70s and '80s are now coming of age. The colorful ribbons and shiny trophies they earned just for participating made them feel special. But now, in college and the workplace, observers are watching them crumble a bit at the first blush of criticism.
She didn't cry about it though. On the other hand, she didn't have to. She had a very high GPA, I recall. Hat tip Wizbang. One of his commenters, an ex-school-teacher, has some painful examples.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). Hat tip KJL.
Link! Link! Link! I haven't read anyone feeling all that victorious, but people are assuming the tape was incriminating enough not to ...
[started this post sometime yesterday, but (believe me!) today Kaus is echoing some of my sentiments exactly!]
Fast Times at WSJ High: On February 10 the Wall Street Journal ed page prints an opinion piece by one of its writers, Bret Stephens, that concludes:
But when CNN seemingly decides it doesn't want its news dvision led by a man who can't be trusted to sit on a panel, the WSJ ed page denounces the network for allowing itself to be "stampeded" by an "Internet and talk show crew." Why wasn't it stampeded by the WSJ? ... P.S.: At the end of its high-schoolishly self-centered and defensive editorial, the Journal actually boasts that it's the "grown-up" and doesn't engage in the "enthusiasms and vendettas of amateurs." ... P.P.S.: Don't you think that when the editor of a site devoted to lecturing professional journalists about proper journalism denounces the "salivating morons" who brought down Eason Jordan and the "gleeful gloating of the moon howlers at all too many politically-inclined blogs"--and when he shrewdly goes out of his way to make it clear he isn't talking about powerful Jordan critics lke bloggers Buzzmachine or Captain's Quarters--that he should at least come up with one (1) example of who he is talking about?
Mr. Jordan made a defamatory innuendo. Defamatory innuendo -- rather than outright allegation -- is the vehicle of mainstream media bias. Had Mr. Jordan's innuendo gone unchallenged, it would have served as further proof to the Davos elite of the depths of American perfidy. Mr. Jordan deserves some credit for retracting the substance of his remark, and some forgiveness for trying to weasel his way out of a bad situation of his own making. Whether CNN wants its news division led by a man who can't be trusted to sit on a panel and field softball questions is another matter. [Emph. added]
Monday, February 14, 2005
Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision
"This is a government that will have very good relations with Iran. The Kurdish victory reinforces this conclusion. Talabani is very close to Tehran," said Juan Cole, a University of Michigan expert on Iraq. "In terms of regional geopolitics, this is not the outcome that the United States was hoping for."
and was delighted to see he'd clarified himself a few weeks later. It took him that long because he'd been travelling abroad. [Three hours later again.]
It's hard not to join in rallying cries, and it's good to back up your assertions always! I wish Wright had done so with a quote because I'm still skeptical. In fact, so is Taranto (whom I don't know how to permalink, sorry!) who writes,
Wright's assertion that the Bush administration never wanted democracy in Iraq is untrue. Here is what President Bush had to say on the subject way back on Sept. 12, 2002, in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly:
I'm not sure she was asserting Bush "never wanted democracy." I think she's asserting this is the last government he wished were elected, but she hasn't cited any evidence to back that up.
The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world. These nations can show by their example that honest government, and respect for women, and the great Islamic tradition of learning can triumph in the Middle East and beyond.
Also Brit Hume noted that The New York Times didn't spin the elections that way at all:
Split Verdict in Iraqi Vote Sets Stage for Weak Government
The verdict handed down by Iraqi voters in the Jan. 30 election appeared to be a divided one, with the Shiite political alliance, backed by the clerical leadership in Najaf, opposed in nearly equal measure by an array of mostly secular minority parties.
Hmmm...which paper are we to believe? Wright also never mentions that her source Cole is a liberal and, judging by his attention from NRO, anti-Iraq war, something I think her readers deserve to know.
In any case, in my continuing quest to form political principles, and keep them over party, restraining myself from partisan pep rallies is no easy task
Here's what Columbia Journalism Review's Steve Lovelady emailed to Jay Rosen, NYU journalism professor, on Eason Jordan's resignation:
(I'm so proud.) (By the way, I don't doubt he cares for his reporters very much, but why demonize the military without enough evidence to produce a story?)
I read what they call right-wing blogs, though none of them seem to consider themselves right-wing. Most are libertarian, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and pro-Iraq war, and several, I think are Democrats. These bloggers did create a swarm to find out what Jordan said, but to my recollection, didn't call for his resignation. Now, if Lovelady cared to cite which ones who did, then he'd have an argument to make, but without doing that, he just seems at best intemperate and at worst (fill in the blank). I'm sure someone said some nasty things, but are they influential? It wasn't Instapudit. It wasn't Kaus, or Althouse or Simon. I'm disinclined to believe CNN would fire Jordan over misperceptions from the blogophere. My guess is there were other things going on as well. Check out Kausfiles for some of those things.
Plus, aren't we his audience? Why say such nasty things about your readership?
In answer to Lovelady, I think the blogosphere is more like letters-to-the-editor, only better published.
It's past the kids bedtimes and I don't even have them in their pj's! Well-researched and well-cited blogging is a time-consumer--I've got to run!. Thanks for listening to my musings, meandering though they are.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
He chatted up Lanie and me for two hours. They were the only other two without chairs. Nice guy--from Conroe. I think his name is David. Horses cost $200 bucks when we were kids, but these days they're selling nags for $8000, and if his daughter really took a passion for riding, he'd have to shell out 10 or 12 grand to buy her one.
He grumbled that Parker's mom got him signed up without having to wait in line because she was recovering from liposuction, and just why didn't she send her husband? Bah. We're just a bit uncharitable in the chilly morning hours before dawn.
Of course I'd forgotten the paperwork, the immunization records. Once in, I nervously spilled the few drops left in my coffee travel mug, but I got her signed up, and left still feeling dirty about the process.
Tech Support took the kids out for the morning, but I couldn't sleep, not with the stench of all that PTA estrogen clinging to my skin like an oily film, so I picked up a book that I'd put down months ago and tried to re-create the plot as I advanced. I'm almost through. It'll be the first book I've finished in a long while. The combination of motherhood and motherhood keeping me at arms' length from unnecessary drama.
It was a beautiful day today, the kind that could coax even a vampire like me outdoors; I tried to keep my nose in a book while Miss E. bounced on, off and all around me. I kept a worried eye on Snort who for too-long seemed content to sit still in the shade until he finally began to "army crawl" to all manner of God knows what in the yard. Tech Support put the finishing coat of red and pink on Miss E.'s night stand, and I snuck away to buy her a small lamp with a hot pink cylindrical shade. Though she can't read, she tends to look at books at night in the dim glow of her night light across the room. Makes my eyes hurt just thinking about it, and so it was time. Plus, the night stand, a box, open at the front, is a nice place to stack all the books she accumulates in her room and I weekly return to the den's book shelf.
Our shadows lengthened, the breeze cooled and we went in for the day--a little email, a little playing, feed the kids. I'm an official Stepford Wife as of today. Miss E. and I put the finishing touches on our Valentine gifts by tying up some bulk cherry jelly beans in plastic wrap and tying with white ribbon to add to pink plastic valentine cup, along with a red and pink pencil, a heart-shaped eraser and some Pooh Valentine cards. Well, you may wonder, do I have a holiday-appropriate wreath on my door too, Suzie Homemaker? Well, no. But consider what I made for dinner--I guess I'm not a Stepford Wife afterall.
Posted FEB 13 2005, 7:54 PM CDT (link here)
Friday, February 11, 2005
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
It is entirely possible and indeed too possible that I may have to get up at 4:30 Saturday morning to sign Miss E. up for our preferred time slot of pre-school next year. Charleen, of the improbable tan, mentioned that last year, she had to do the same to secure for her son Christopher a seat in their desired class. Lanie, a friendly snowbird from Minneapolis (accent and all!) and I were aghast. Showing up at 5:00 for a pre-school sign-up which begins at 8:00 is indeed a desperate measure. Charleen, however, has been chosen to help hand out numbers in the lottery, and has hinted that she would be more than generous with them.
Moral crisis time. How strongly do I feel about getting Miss E. into the Monday-Wednesday-Friday morning program? Perhaps I'll decide over my Friday night glass of wine.
I do hope you are following and enjoying the blog swarm over the Eason Jordan affair. Remember him? The CNN News Chief who wrote a piece in the NYT's about being Saddam's mouthpiece so that they could have journalistic access? He shot his mouth off in Davos about American soldiers targeting and killing journalists; this was received warmly by many Arabs and Europeans in the audience, but it left the Americans stunned, including moderator David Gergen, panelist Barney Frank and audience member Senator Chris Dodd. Frank challenged Jordan, and he back pedalled, but was reportedly later congratulated for his bravery by the non-Americans in the audience after the discussion. The short version is here. Mickey Kaus has some other spin on it too, but you don't have to look very hard to hear the ever-loudening buzzing from the blogosphere. Jordan may be very close to getting stung.
Here's an interesting report from UCLA law Professor Bainbridge's Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity. With 25 people on his staff, he is .72 percent short of Native Americans, among other minorities.
I have little else to share except that I have taken back the living room from Tech Support's cables, and gadgets, his boxes and computer stuff. Desperate housewife? I have a new role model!
Posted FEB 9 2005, 4:05 PM CDT (link here)
Monday, February 07, 2005
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Frost had criticized Kos and removed an ad from his blog because Kos, on the murder of four American contractors in Iraq, had written, "I feel nothing over the death of the mercenaries [sic]. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them." (He later apologized.) Bartlett argues that Kos's incipient influence will grow: "At first it seemed the entire affair might ruin Kos; in the end it was, as he put it in an interview with the New York Times, nothing more than a 'blip.'"
Kos may, as Bartlett argues, have some pull in the Democratic party, but the question is, is that good for the Democrats? Wizbang linked Kos's 2004 election track record from Redstate a few months ago. Kos had a list of candidates which he "targeted for fundraising by the Daily Kos community." The results? 0 for 15. What does this mean? Not sure, but if the Democratic Party is indeed reaching out to Kos, they may be reaching away from electable candidates.
Posted FEB 2 2005, 4:27 PM CDT (link here)
Posted FEB 2 2005, 9:31 AM CDT (link here)