"I'M WITH FUZZY." Great things are happening in my onetime adopted home state of Wisconsin. First of all, there was Russ Feingold with the new Air America Morning Zoo crew this morning, talking about how the Democratic senatorial caucus talks big in public, and then folds in private, usually on the advice of consultants "with connections to the previous Democratic administration."
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: CENTER-LEFT FOREIGN POLICY RUMBLE. In the October print issue of the Prospect, James Lindsayreviewed two new books purporting to offer alternative foreign policy visions to both neoconservatism and "liberal hawk" interventionism -- Michael Lind's The American Way of Strategy and Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman's Ethical Realism. Today, the authors of those books respond -- vigorously -- to Lindsay.
EXPORTING AMERICAN VALUES. Today in Baghdad, according to the Associated Press, gunmen stormed a Sunni television station and killed 11 people. "It was the second attack on a television station in the capital in as many weeks," reports AP writer David Rising.
YOUTUBE THROUGH THE AGES. There's an interesting piece by Sam Howe Verhovek in today's L.A. Times about trackers, those (typically young) campaign staffers tasked with carrying audio or audio-visual equipment to their opponents' public events and taping their every utterance. Their goal is simple: Trail after opponents in hopes of catching them saying something contradictory, stupid or malicious -- or trifecta: all three! S.R. Sidarth stands as America's most famous tracker, at least for the moment. But he's certainly not alone.
Everyone knows that the dynamic U.S. economy generates new jobs at a much faster pace than the sclerotic economies of "Old Europe." Well everyone is wrong. Since 2000, Old Europe (the EU-15) have generated jobs at a 0.9 percent annual rate compared to a 0.7 percent rate in the U.S.. This follows a decade in which job creation was considerably more rapid in the U.S. than Europe, but for at least the last half decade, Old Europe has been winning the job creation race.
AMERICAN POWER. Responding to a relatively unobjectionable Tom Friedmancolumn calling for "Russia and China [to] get over their ambivalence about U.S. power", Mattnotes that "ambivalence about U.S. power is a natural thing for Russia and China to feel."
LIBERTY SUNDAY. The crazy train is coming to town! I'd like to thank Governor Willard-Mitt Romney (R-Chameleon) for inviting these fine folks to gather right in the heart of that part of town where secular American democracy was birthed, especially now that his national party is attempting to put out a sexual bonfire at least partly by smothering it with the party's gay officials and constituents. I'd also like to thank him for demonstrating to every thinking American that he plans to run for president firmly on the Australopithicine end of the ticket.
LOST BEFORE TRANSLATION. This is the sort of statistic that I simply cannot understand:
Five years after Arab terrorists attacked the United States, only 33 FBI agents have even a limited proficiency in Arabic, and none of them work in the sections of the bureau that coordinate investigations of international terrorism, according to new FBI statistics.
Counting agents who know only a handful of Arabic words -- including those who scored zero on a standard proficiency test -- just 1 percent of the FBI's 12,000 agents have any familiarity with the language, the statistics show.
STOP! THIEF! I got your pre-emptive strike right here. With James Wolcott having declared war on this particular piece of soon-to-be-published-by-the-soulless offal, I feel it incumbent upon me to note that, if Dinesh D'Souza is passing off that cheap wisecrack about Tip O'Neill resembling the federal government ("big, fat, and out of control") as his own, he's not only a disreputable intellectual vandal, he's a dishonest one, as well.