• The War on Terror (Michael Ledeen Mental Remix)

    Via Matt, Michael Ledeen is talking crazy: As of 9/11, the terror masters were five: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Today they are three, which is certainly good work on our part. But it isn’t nearly good enough. We cannot possibly have decent security in Iraq unless we end the murderous tyrannies in Tehran and Damascus, and convince or compel the Saudi royal family to shut down the global network of terrorist brainwashing centers they spend billions of dollars to operate. All this should convince us that it is a mistake to microanalyze the London operation. It is just another event in the terror war, one of many, with many more to come. Its real significance should be seen as a further wake-up call to us and our allies. Our enemies know they are at war, and they are attacking us everywhere they can, in every way they can. Do we really know we are at war, and that we cannot win it within the parameters we have set for ourselves? This sort of lunacy fascinates me...
  • Looking For Love in All The Wrong Places thinks they've found the group who'll revive Social Security privatization: Social Security reform garners major support from young Americans, who know that the system is tilted against them. Personal accounts are supported by 2/3rds of young Americans and almost universally by Young Republicans. Since the over 55 crowd will not be affected by any reforms, the face of reform should be young Americans. YRs have an opportunity to fill that void alongside groups such as Students for Saving Social Security . Gee-willickers, Social Security is really in trouble! I didn't know 2/3rds of young folks believed in anything ! But it seems I was wrong. Not only do they believe private accounts are a good idea, but they believe Bush is a lying scumbag who can't be trusted. Here are more results from the 18-29 demographic in the exact same poll : • 26% approve of Bush's handling on Social Security, 51% disapprove; • 39% mostly trust what Bush says about Social Security, 54% think he's...
  • Call On Me, Mr. Kotter

    Horatio writes : I’d like my pals on the take the Michael Moore test. If Mr. Moore had revealed the identity of a covert operative, whether she was on active assignment or not, whether he gave the name explicitly or just laid out for a reporter the means to find out, whether he even intended to reveal her identity or not, would you advocate that Moore merely be incarcerated for life, or would you go so far as to call for the death penalty as the traditional punishment for treason? Oh, oh! I know! I know!
  • Working for Health Care

    While we're talking health care, this is a great point by Nathan Newman. Springboarding of Toyota's decision to build a new plant in Canada so as to take advantage of their lower health care costs (Canada's care saves employers $4-$5 an hour on each employee), Nathan writes: Ironically, tightening trade rules increasingly disfavor direct government subsidies to industry-- the US and the EU are fighting before the WTO, arguing that US federal and state subsidies of Boeing and EU financing of Airbus are both illegal under trade agreements. The WTO just declared US subsidies to the cotton industry illegal under trade agreements. Which means that providing national health care (like a strong education system) may emerge as one of the few legitimate subsidies governments can provide to encourage industry to locate in their countries. And the United States is increasingly finding itself in a terrible economic disadvantage internationally because it refuses to create a national health...
  • Too Many Treatments

    Business Week's got an interesting article doubting the benefits of coronary heart surgery. Apparently, bypass operations and angioplasty, save in the most severe of cases, do shockingly little in the way of risk reduction. Patients who undergo the operations are no less likely to have or die from a heart attack than those who don't. There may be some benefits in symptom reduction, but even that's questionable. The reason seems to be a reevaluation of how heart attacks work. While the old conception held that ever-increasing plaque buildup eventually narrowed arteries to the point that no blood got through, it now looks like the plaque actually breaks off into clots, and the clots block arteries causing attacks. That's why so many heart attacks strike unexpectedly and why there's so little evidence linking narrowed arteries to heart attacks. Seen that way, widening the arteries won't do much: it's lifestyle changes and certain medications that reduce plaque and tamp down on bad...
  • Anniversary

    Today's two-and-a-half years with Kate. Wow. I'll be back tomorrow.
  • I Want Silver Surfer's Truck

    Via Defamer , it seems that Fantastic Four isn't only a bad movie, it's a bad toy line : there has never been a more ridiculously stupid and insulting toy than the Fantastic 4 Human Torch™ ATV (with Light-Up Headlights!). And this is why: The Human Torch has no need for an "All-Terrain Vehicle"--because the last time I checked, the Human Torch can fucking FLY. Has anyone told the Human Torch that it might not be safe to sit on top of a gas tank when one is on FIRE? Nice message to send the kids, assholes! [...] What does the freaking Human Torch need with headlights anyway? HE'S ON FIRE! File under Movies I Will Not See. No way I'm replacing the glorious afterglow of Batman Begins with Fantastic Four. And so long as I'm talking culture, how great of a song is Warren G's "Regulate"? Fucking great was the answer you were looking for. It just popped up on iTunes party list after years of aural absence. Brilliant stuff.
  • Blogospheres

    This week, the biggest blog on the left and one of the largest on the right decided to purge their comment threads of disruptive influences. Kos's smiting was aimed at conspiracy-theorist leftists who were blaming Blair and Bush for the London bombing. , for their purging part, is declared jihad on leftists in their comments. Enough has been said about the right's distaste for comments that I'll not waste your time by charging that trampled ground, but it's nevertheless interesting that one of the few prominent sites in the conservosphere consciously attempting to build community and foster discussion is rapidly lifting the drawbridge and ejecting liberals into the moat. I've got conservatives on my blog. I've got conservatives in my e-mail. And while it's not always pleasant to read their rebuttals and rejoinders, I've always figured it's part of the conversation. Why hasn't the right done the same? Matt thinks it's because of our parents. Atrios and Kos always had...
  • No More Polls?

    As Kevin notes , there are now more cell phone subscribers than landline subscribers in the US. My girlfriend and I are a good example -- two cells, no landline. The question, then, is how long before this starts violently skewing poll results. Pollsters are legally barred from calling cell phones. Cell phone users, to some degree or another, make up a different demographic profile than the rest of the country (skewed young and economically mobile), and may have different political opinions than the land users. This got a lot of attention in 2004 but, in the end, the polls turned out almost exactly right (indeed, those who harp on the exit polling forget that nearly every poll in the country got the results within the margin of error). As the country switches to cell phones, though, that won't last forever. So when's the tipping point?
  • So True

    Wolcott : Kevin Drum says he's going to let out a primal scream if one more commentator praises Londoners for their collective "stiff upper lip" in carrying on in the face of adversity. Me, I'm more of a groaner, though I appreciate British understatement and placid fortitude as much as anyone. The curious thing is that so many of the rightward bloggers and Fox Newswers who are hailing the Brits for their quiet stoicism and pluck don't seem to realize they're issuing an implicit rebuke to themselves and their fellow Americans. They're saying, in effect, "You've got to admire the Brits for showing calm and quiet perserverence after these explosions--they don't get all hysterical, overdramatic, and overreactive the way we Americans do." They don't seem to realize the example shown by Londoners might be a lesson to them, a model they might follow instead of playing laptop Pattons at full volume every time they feel a rousing post coming on.