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Mental Defrag

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June 23rd, 2006

11:13 am - Saddam ends hunger strike after missing one meal

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May 22nd, 2006

01:06 pm - Hillary: Democratic Nightmare
Sullivan has this bit from New York Magazine:

"Every conversation in Democratic politics right now has the same three sentences:
  • One: 'She is the presumptive front-runner.'
  • Two: 'I don't much like her, but I don't want to cross her, for God’s sake!'
  • And three: 'If she’s our nominee, we’re going to get killed.'
It's like some Japanese epic film where everyone sees the disaster coming in the third reel but no one can figure out what to do about it..."

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May 14th, 2006

03:18 am - Iran supplied al-Qaeda in Iraq with AA weapons
Story over at Iraq the Model

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May 10th, 2006

02:33 pm - The Cole-Hitchens dispute
To do soon: evaluate the dispute based on these (and the origional) sources.  Opinions are welcome.

Bob Wright argues in favor of Cole's translation, or at least thinks Hitch has lost the exchange regarding Cole's point about the translation.  http://bloggingheads.tv/?id=88&cid=314

From Sullivan, defending Hitch via links and explanations:

(pretty definitive)   http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/05/cole_hitchens_a.html
(thorough) http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/05/hitch_vs_cole.html

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May 8th, 2006

03:46 am - Gays, Republicans, Democrats...
Andrew Sullivan makes a case that, contrary to the hysteria of the far left (we really need a better term for the Kos/MoveOn/Moore crowd; one that does not insult the most intelligent of our liberals), Bush, Cheney, Rice, and the like are not the bigots they are made out to be.  This just after Howard Dean's bigotry reveals itself again.

Here, here, and here.

Something to ponder:

Republicans are using/pandering to the religious right for political gain, but it remains true that the most powerful of them are much more moderate than their base:  W. may be a born-again, but his wife and mother are pro-choice, as is his Secretary of State.  This speaks volumes about the man himself, of course.   And his VP is proud and accepting, by all accounts, of his openly gay daughter.  McCain has notorious struggles with the Republican base, and is currently taking a lot of flack for trying to mend some wounds there.  The fact remains that he has likened Pat Robertson to Farrakhan; if he's now trying to win the GOP nomination, more power to him.  Giuliani will face his own version of this problem, but has been able to keep a slightly lower profile about it lately.

Democrats, on the other hand, are using/pandering to the "greens", gays, blacks, and the like, but their record with these groups, if it is at all better than the Republicans, has often been less than savory.

So if you're a liberal, which should you find to be worse?  Personally, I'd prefer to see the Christian right get duped and used, rather than minorities who have long struggled to rise to their full height. 

By no means do I think this is a cut and dry issue, exhausted by the question as I pose it: if Barack Obama beats Hillary out for the nomination, for example, I will feel less cynical about the sincerity of the Democrats.  However, that "if" remains huge.

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02:37 am - FDR and Bush
Mickey Kaus on Bloggingheads.tv

"FDR was very deceptive...Even Bush, who I agree often gives false rationales for things, couldn't get away with what FDR did...The lend/lease program, getting us to help Britain on the eve of WWII was frought with deception and fake rationales, and yet it was to a good end. So why does the left go crazy when Bush says we're going to war in Iraq for one reason, and they say "hey that reason doesn't work!" without assessing the underlying real reason..."

(The rest of it is worth a listen.)

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May 7th, 2006

03:28 am - Israel foils Hamas assassination attempt on Abbas
Just what it sounds like.

Israel foils plot to kill Palestinian president

When will those sneaky Jews learn not to meddle in Palestinian affairs?   What kind of world are we living in when a government doesn't even have the right to assasinate its own politicians...?

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May 3rd, 2006

02:39 pm - The end of Howard Dean
Last week, a long time Democratic activist, Paul Yandura, criticized the pusillanimous way in which the Democratic party takes gay money and then fails to exercize even minimal courage in standing up and defending gay equality and dignity. According to the Washington Blade, Howard Dean responded by firing Yandura's domestic partner, Donald Hitchcock, from his position as DNC gay outreach adviser. Paul and Donald are friends of mine, for the record. And Dean denies any connection between the two events. But I don't buy it. I don't trust Dean for a second. He's an angry, petty man, whose support for gay people has always been transparently opportunistic. Yandura's criticism of the Democrats is dead-on, especially with respect to the Clintons. He deserves support from gay Dems and Republicans in our shared struggle for civil equality and simple moral courage.


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May 2nd, 2006

01:03 pm - Religious right, sanity, abortion...
From Sullivan:

It is encouraging to see the extreme abstraction of theoconservatism beginning to collide with the reality we all live in. The Pope has commissioned a study to see whether, in a serodiscordant marriage, condoms are morally a lesser evil than infecting your spouse with a serious virus. Yes, they actually need a study to figure that one out. Nick Kristof (TimesDelete) also makes the very important point that in secular, liberal, post-Communist Germany, the abortion rate is a fraction of America's. Hmmm. That couldn't have anything to do with much better contraception availability, counseling and over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill, could it? The great tragedy of the extremism of the current pro-life forces is that they have become de facto pro-death. They allow for the early deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the developing world by opposing condoms in a health emergency; and they add to the number of abortions in America by making emergency contraception hard to find. In their theological abstraction, the logic is perfect and circular. On the ground, they are abetting death. They need to get a better grip on their own good intentions and see how their extremism has led them astray.

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04:48 am - More on Saddam
From Powerline:

Joseph Shahda has translated another Iraqi intelligence document, which appears to indicate that Iraq procured equipment to detect nerve gas in or about December 2000. This equipment is described as "prohibited" and as "similar to the required quality compared with the Russian equipments," which are described as having "expired." It appears that the equipment was tested in December 2000 and was found to detect "nerve agents" successfully. Which certainly seems to confirm that Iraq had some quantity of nerve gas as of early 2001.

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