Pontificator: News and Commentary

Saturday, October 19, 2002 :::
This Weekly Standard article is easily summarized:

"Dowd make fun of Clinton -- should get Pulitzer!; Dowd make fun of Bush -- should be jailed!"

Does this seem like a minor point to you? It's more important than that. Right wing demagogues across the mediascape have been whining that the New York Times is biased in favor of Democrats. Of course, they forget that the New York Times broke the Whitewater story and consistently inveighed against Clinton's so-called ethical lapses. Chafetz's take on Dowd illustrates the intellectual bankruptcy of those other New York Times'-bashing rightwingers (or as Hesiod would say, "wrongwingers.")

::: posted by Pontificator at 5:43 PM

Maybe Jimmy Carter should monitor the November 5 election in Florida. . .

::: posted by Pontificator at 4:00 PM

Hmmm. . . Ashcroft will monitor the November 5 election in Florida. Somehow, this doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

::: posted by Pontificator at 3:55 PM

Perhaps Bush is worried the SEC will have enough money to investigate Halliburton AND Harken. This may give the Democrats the issue they're looking for in the mid-terms. Even Harvey Pitt is against the proposal:

"Harvey L. Pitt, the commission's chairman, has acknowledged through a spokesman that the administration's level of financing will not allow it to undertake important initiatives.

The White House has put Mr. Pitt in the awkward position of having to choose between Congressional Democrats who want a larger budget and administration officials who want less. Brian Gross, the commission's director of communications, said that Mr. Pitt was concerned that the agency would not be able to do many of the technology and enforcement projects that he would like if the commission received only what the White House has recommended."

Carnahan, Cleland, McBride, etc. -- Milk this one for all it's worth!!! Karl -- thanks for putting Bush's foot in his mouth again!

::: posted by Pontificator at 3:26 PM

Friday, October 18, 2002 :::
The best thing about Hesiod is that he's damn funny! Also that he coined the phrase "chickenblogging wrongwinger."

::: posted by Pontificator at 6:26 PM

The scariest thing about the Anthrax mailer is that he stopped! He's (or they're, or, i suppose, she's) still out there, and could start up again. (unless he's one of the people under constant surveillance as a suspect -- if so, I hope the FBI, et. al., doesn't let up). What if the DC sniper does the same thing?? What if he just . . . . . stops.

In terms of psychological effect on the masses, there are a lot of similarities between the Anthrax mailer and the DC sniper. They both created a constant low-grade feeling of, if not terror, then nervous fear. And both haven't been caught. I'm not suggesting that they're the same person, or that they are part of the same group or "cell." Or maybe I am suggesting that.

::: posted by Pontificator at 6:17 PM

North Korea: it has nuclear weapons, and is producing more. Now what? If we take the Iraq model seriously, we have to consider invading. Like Iraq, it broke a treaty whose purpose was to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Like Iraq, it is a brutal dictatorship. Like Iraq, it is a threat to the peace and security of the region. Moreover, it is dirt poor, and could certainly make some quick cash selling nuclear materials to Al Qaeda. If we believe in Bush's new preemption doctrine, we should invade. And every minute we wait is a danger to us, etc.

It seems to me that Bush's preemption doctine essentially accepts the inevitable downfall of civilization. As communications and technologies improve, it is going to be easier and easier to obtain weapons of mass destructions, and, under the doctrine, we will be forced to invade more and more two-bit dictatorial regimes. Eventually, this situation will lead to global chaos as we try to put out all the world's nuclear, chemical and biological fires.

Well I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid. There's got to be a better way.

::: posted by Pontificator at 6:02 PM

For those hoping to get rid of Tom Delay, the time is now!

::: posted by Pontificator at 2:27 PM

J. Micah Marshall nails the phony shenanigans perpetrated by South Dakota Republicans. Unfortunately, however, a lie can go half-way around the world before the truth gets its boots on.

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:17 PM

A little more sleaziness from brother Jeb. Bribes (sorry, alleged bribes) and booze down in Florida. Could you imagine if this were done by Hillary? O'Reilly would bust a blood vessel in his forehead. Hannity would damage his vocal cords. Instead -- I bet there's not one word on Fox. If Fox does do a story, it'll be on Democratic "negative campaigning."

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:59 AM

Hesiod notes that a federal judge is yet again ordering Cheney to turn over his energy task force papers. Again, Cheney is refusing. You have to wonder why they're fighting so hard, given the bad press. Did Cheney meet with Osama Bin Ladin? More seriously, perhaps these pre-9/11 meetings show him cozying up to some rather unsavory characters. Could he have been planning a Taliban pipeline? Again, that's a bit fanciful, but would explain the scorched earth litigation tactics. The most likely explanation is that Ken Lay and his ilk wrote the Cheney energy plan. If that's the case, Cheney may reluctantly cave just after the mid-term elections.

::: posted by Pontificator at 8:59 AM

Advantage Carnahan? Are the Republicans sweating? Missouri was the one toss-up State that still seemed to be going their way. Definitely one to watch.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:21 AM

Thursday, October 17, 2002 :::
Ralph Nader may run in 2004, again on the Green Party ticket.

"Green" stands for Getting Republicans Elected --- Environmentalists' Nightmare!!

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:40 PM

Bill O'Reilly is entertaining, but should apologize for metaphorically linking the Koran with Mein Kampf. On July 12, 2002, he argued that the Koran shouldn't be on the mandatory reading list for incoming freshmen at the University of North Carolina:

"O'REILLY: Absolutely. I wouldn't read the book. And I'll tell you why I wouldn't have read "Mein Kampf" either. If I were going to UNC in 1941, and you, professor, said, Read "Mein Kampf," I would have said, Hey, professor, with all due respect, shove it. I ain't reading it."

An outrageous statement -- comparing the Koran, a major religious text, which has enormous personal significance to hundreds of millions of people, to Mein Kampf, history's most destructive progenitor of hate and murder -- is nothing short of a blood libel.

As far as I'm aware, O'Reilly has never apologized.

He should apologize.

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:21 PM

I'm a big fan of instapundit, and it's astonishing how someone with such an apparently busy schedule has time to blog so frequently and, for the most part, so cogently. So it was somewhat disquieting to see his ideology trump his common sense in his latest blog:

"MAJOR BOMBING IN THE PHILLIPINES, which looks to be more of the same terrorist stuff.
It seems to me that the fact that this stuff is accelerating as we get closer to an attack on Saddam suggests that there's a connection between him and Al Qaeda nowadays."

What?!?! Even if we give Instapundit his highly debatable point that Al Qaeda and Saddam are working together, the idea that Al Qaeda is lashing out at mostly Australian tourists in the far east to fend off an American military attack thousands of miles away is a bit bizarre, to say the least.

The danger of over-blogging. . .

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:37 PM

Of course, the police might possibly know more than they're letting on, but somehow, considering the lack of coordination on display, I kind of doubt it.

::: posted by Pontificator at 7:01 PM

So we're back to square one with the sniper. No "olive skinned man," no "AK-74," no "cream colored van." I doubt he drives a white van at all -- that's why he hasn't been caught. Moreover, those reports of "partial license plate numbers" appear to be bogus. According to the Washington Post: "License plate numbers generated Monday night 'were not necessarily a vehicle leaving the scene but driving in the vicinity,' Fairfax police Lt. Amy Lubas said." All investigators seem to have are bullet fragments, which are nearly worthless without ballistic fingerprinting. (thanks NRA!).

::: posted by Pontificator at 6:51 PM

Another good reason to be skeptical of eyewitness testimony, if you ever happen to be on a jury.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:19 PM

This blog is inspired by talking points memo.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:52 AM

Welcome to a brand-new blog focused on news and commentary.

::: posted by Pontificator at 1:40 AM


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