Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Interesting News - 8 January 2008

The NYT engages in a grand exercise of raising form over substance. And this passes for a legitimate editorial? Even adding Bill Kristol won’t be able to save this rag.

The People’s Republic of Baltimore vs. Wells Fargo Bank. As the city which gave birth to Nancy Pelosi suffers a short fall in revenue, they go after banks for making subprime loans, primarily to African Americans, which are going into default. The proposed remedy the city seeks include "damages to cover the diminished property tax revenues and higher costs that the city said it had incurred. Additional costs include those for fire and police protection in hard-hit neighborhoods and expenditures to buy and rehabilitate vacant properties." This is both racist and a travesty.

My own perception is that playing not to lose and simply preserve a tenuous lead is rarely smart. That truism holds for sports as it does for politics. In this case, Clinton strangled her presidential bid by limiting access to the press, refusing questions, and giving non-answers to the few questions she took. That has all changed now. But is there enough time left on the clock?
Its always someone’s special interest that seems to be getting gored. Gender-baiting Gloria Steinem bemoans her belief that, while vote for Obama in Iowa seems to mean that institutional racism is no longer a significant problem, the failure to vote for Clinton means that we all suffer gender-bias. This is leftist identity politics at its worst.

I normally agree with Ralph Peters, but on this one, I thinking he is reading more into the effect of what happened with the Iranian speed boats threatening our warships than is justified. Having worked on hot borders before, this seems like little more than some idiocy hatched by the speed boat crew members and likely to have no long term ramifications . . . unless they should try such a stupid maneuver again.

Professor Fouad Ajami has an excellent article in the WSJ discussing the ‘Bush legacy’ in light of the recent history and current circumstance of the Middle East.

A good article on earmarks in the Daily Standard. "President Bush seems to grasp the issue. A year ago he publicly complained that "over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate. They are dropped into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You didn't vote them into law. I didn't sign them into law. Yet, they're treated as if they have the force of law."" Earmarks are corrupting and, unfortunately, a wholly bipartisan addiction.

A public opinion poll in Pakistan sponsored by the Univ. of Md. shows troubling results.

Of all the countries in the Middle East, I probably know the least about Yemen. But when the country’s major newspaper fete’s a person for their liberal contributions to the country, it sounds promising.

A "Green attack" on the Inhofe Report is dissected at A Western Heart. All of this seems to have the Greens rattled. But the EU is poised to make its run at some economy busting climate change measures anyway. And as Richard North notes, he does not expect it to stop even "when we are sending icebreakers up the Thames as the world hurtles into yet another period of cooling."

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