Archive for October, 2008
In response to a variety of nuclear mishaps (B-52s flying while armed with nukes, nuclear triggers delivered to Taiwan, personnel falling asleep on nuclear weapons duty), the Air Force has created Global Strike Command, which is intended to concentrate on the management of nuclear weapons. Careless handling of nukes was the proximate cause of the firing of Air Force brass last year, although it’s fair to say that other considerations also affected the decision. As Jeffrey Lewis points out:
I should add that the Air Force is considering some organizational remedies. But the real question is “above the paygrade” the Air Force and, even, the Secretary of Defense. The “lack of focus” that SECDEF described reflects the reality that these weapons are largely irrelevant to the day-to-day mission of the Air Force. That we have nuclear weapons we do not need is evident in the day-to-day neglect by those who handle them.
The primary purpose for the creation of the USAF in 1947 was the conduct of nuclear strategic combat with the Soviet Union. This is no longer a pressing mission, and focusing on it no longer pays the USAF bills. Consequently, attention and diligence falter. This problem can’t be entirely remedied by changing the USAF’s organizational structure (although I think it may well help). The larger problem is that the USAF is a branch that doesn’t have a compelling reason to exist; the nuclear issues (and the F-22 problems, and the airstrike problems, etc.) flow from this.
I remember when Andy McCarthy was just a garden-variety hack, making sudden conversions to farcical constitutional arguments that happen to favor Republican interests (note: his analysis of the unconstitutionality of filibustering judicial appointments expires in January 2009.) But impending electoral oblivion has apparently removed any remaining mental faculties, causing him to become a crackpot Obama birth certificate truther (hey, if you don’t spend most of your resources defending against ludicrously frivolous lawsuits filed by people who are to 9/11 what you are to Obama, their claims must be true!), claim that Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s biography, and to unthinkingly endorse claims about black Obama supporters assaulting McCain supporters so implausible even Michelle Malkin won’t touch them. What a shame it is to lose one’s mind, such as it was.
This representation of New York Times Presidential endorsements is absolutely fascinating. Some tidbits:
- Grover Cleveland was the first Democrat to be endorsed by the NYT. He shares with Franklin Roosevelt the honor of being endorsed three times.
- Eisenhower received the endorsement in both 1952 and 1956, and is the last Republican to do so.
- The NYT endorsed Wendell Wilkie for some reason in 1940.
- The only third party endorsement came for John Palmer, who garnered 1.3% of the vote in New York and .96% of the vote nationwide in 1896. Not big William Jennings Bryan fans, it’s fair to say.
- The longest NYT losing streaks are 3; Harding-Coolidge-Hoover, and Reagan-Reagan-Bush.
Commenter “Njorl” on McCain social policy:
There are plenty of options for children with no special needs. They can:
-Marry a beer heiress.
-Get elected to Congress and get comprehensive medical care.
-Start a small business and earn over $250,000 per year.
Six year olds who are not doing these things are expressing a preference for not having quality medical care.
At this point, it also seems worth noting that the McCain/Hensley family fortune was based on
risk-taking job-creating entrepreneurship a government-established rent-extracting racket that restricts consumer choice while adding no discernible value. Now that’s the kind of state intervention we can support, my friends!
I think there’s only one solution to the crisis in the McCain campaign…another bold initiative to send us to Mars!
My friend JJ has been planning to vote for McCain. Don’t know if he’s still going to. His summation of St. John’s campaign:
“You go your whole life desperately clinging to this ‘sense of honor’ thing, and sure, sometimes you fail, in fact sometimes you fail miserably, but you’re pretty much as honorable as the next guy. Then the election comes up towards the end of your life and you do and say literally anything to get elected… AND you lose. If you win, you get a chance to reshape your legacy, people talk about the things a president did during his presidency. But when you lose, that’s all anyone’s ever going to remember about you: the guy who was a stone cold war hero in his youth and then turned into a two dollar whore to try to win an election. Then he died.”
Marine Corps barracks bombing 25 years ago today. 241 dead, almost all USMC. 58 French paratroopers died the same way, on the same day.
I don’t ascribe to the bombing the importance that neoconservatives have accorded it; Al Qaeda et al would have discovered other “evidence” of American “weakness” even if St. Reagan had kept us in Lebanon until 1989. But I do find the deification of Reagan by neoconservatives fascinating, especially in the context of the withdrawal from Lebanon, the ensuing Iran-Contra deal, and the arms control agreements with the Soviets. Neoconservatives deserve the scorn heaped upon them for their efforts to co-opt Wilson and Truman, but the fact that even Reagan substantially fails to live up to their standards too often goes unremarked…
Scott McClellan endorses Obama. Scott, you couldn’t carry Ari’s flag lapel pin.
If Indiana, North Carolina, or Virginia go for McCain (or are slow to call), Obama still hits 271. If Florida, Ohio, or Pennsylvania go the other way, then we wait until 10pm, when Iowa and Nevada close.
Rememmber; it’s never too early to plan out your election night drinking strategy. Unfortunately, Kentucky prohibits the opening of bars and liquor stores until the polls close at 6pm…