Among other things, they cut defense spending. In the United States, it’s impossible to cut defense spending, because the world’s reserves of whiskey/sexy/democracy/freedom depend utterly on the ability of the United States to egregiously outspend any rival or potential coalition of rivals by a factor of five or so. In the US, as we know, the idea that the growth of defense spending should be cut is radical hippie peacenik nonsense. And incidentally, we also need a few engines that we’ll never use…
Category: Robert Farley
Mickey Kaus has taken out papers to run against California Senator Barbara Boxer. What is so interesting about Kaus is that he takes positions that traditional Democrats might have favored. He is against Amnesty and a strong opponent of illegal immigration. Kaus is also admittedly pretty skeptical of Unions, especially the Teachers Union. He is also uncomfortable with Congressional Gerrymandering.
Kaus became known as a powerful voice in the blogging world with his investigative reporting prior to the election of Arnold Swarzeneggar, where he uncovered Arnold’s claim in a magazine that he had participated in group sex. Later, he also discovered that the current Governor, then brick layer, was damaging chimneys to help his own business. Perhaps we should have listened at the time, and saved ourselves from “The RINOnator”.
Via Greenwald and Digby.
UPDATE [by SL]: That second link is a real find. I mean, “I censored the key word here–the Left never does” — are we sure this isn’t another parody? I especially like the claim that The Left finds Dane Cook funny. Uh…
UPDATE [by Rob]: I demand that the Left step forward and answer this charge of finding Dane Cook funny!
Absolute monarchy is an institution that humanity never should have given up:
After serving 12 years in the position, Motley, the official White House Jester, was beheaded Tuesday after delivering a poorly received jape about the spiraling national debt before President and Mrs. Obama…
Witnesses said Obama’s mood immediately darkened and, pounding on the arm of the Presidential Throne, he demanded new jesting. After nervously clearing his throat, Motley was heard to ask, “Wherefore is the National Debt like a sprouting leaf of spinach?” When a glowering Obama demanded the answer, Motley stated, “For it shall rapidly grow into something our children cannot bear.”
At this, Obama reportedly dropped the large turkey leg in his hand and signaled to nearby Secret Service agents, who seized Motley and dragged him, pleading, to the Executive Dungeon. The President exited the Hall in a fury, and within minutes had drafted an order of execution by beheading.
“The First Executioner completed his task in one true swing,” said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who presided over the assembled crowd of some 20,000 onlookers. “His head has been spitted on a pike and displayed facing E Street as a warning to they who would mock our most precipitously extended federal debt.”
In his career, Motley entertained three presidents, capered at five White House Correspondents’ Dinners, and hosted a season of Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. He is the first sitting White House Jester to be executed since the 1998 drawing and quartering of his predecessor, Dennis Miller, on the National Mall.
Here’s a thought: If you’re going to make one of your main characters a Catholic priest, try to have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the viewer. You’d think, for example, that the Catholic priest might have some mild qualms about the plan to abort several hundred alien eggs with plastic explosives. Did the Pope determine that the Visitor unborn don’t have souls? If so, did the half-human-half-lizard baby have half a soul?
I really wish I could believe that this was a subtle dig at the incoherence of the anti-choice movement, but coming from ABC that really strains credulity…
Josh Pollack engages in a somewhat defensive dissent from the idea that Israel may have offered to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa. He argues that the documents do not provide sufficient proof that Israel offered to sell warheads to SA, and mobilizes Avner Cohen, who knows a lot about the Israeli nuclear program, in support of this case. A couple of observations:
- Cohen and Pollack are correct to note that the evidence presented is not definitive. The problem is that, short of a signed confession by Shimon Peres detailing his intentions behind offering payloads in three sizes, there essentially can be no proof of Israeli willingness to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa. Even in that case, it could correctly be noted that Peres often undertook somewhat adventurous foreign policies, and there’s no evidence that Rabin would have allowed the sale go forward. There might be some document somewhere in the Israeli archives indicating a willingness, but I doubt even that. The question, then, isn’t whether we have 100% proof of such willingness, but rather what standard of evidence we’re willing to accept. Frankly, I don’t know whether Rabin (and the rest of the relevant bits of the Israeli national security apparatus) would have gone ahead with the sale if the South Africans had pursued the question further. In this sense, Pollack is probably correct to suggest that McGreal’s headline was a touch sensationalist. I do know, however, that the documents raise some exceedingly difficult and twitchy questions about the Israel-South Africa relationship, above and beyond what was previously known.
- Cohen and Pollack seem to allow that Peres was at least rhetorically open to the option of selling nuclear weapons to South Africa. While the statement “Israel was prepared to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa” is more troubling than “Israel’s Defense Minister was willing to entertain the idea of selling nuclear weapons to South Africa,” the distance isn’t all that great. As I suggested in my earlier post, catching the Defence Minister of Iran, Pakistan, or North Korea in a similar conversation would produce calls for the most drastic international action. Relatively few, I suspect, would worry overmuch about whether Supreme Leader Khamenei or Kim Jong-Il had actually given the go ahead to such a sale.
We’re beginning to see the outlines of South Korea’s response to the sinking of Cheonan:
President Lee Myung-bak said on Monday that South Korea would drastically reduce trade with North Korea, restrict North Korean merchant ship use of South Korean sea lanes and call on the United Nations Security Council to punish the North for what he called the deliberate sinking a South Korean warship two months ago…
Cutting off trade with North Korea is probably the strongest unilateral action the South can take against the impoverished North. South Korea imports $230 million worth of seafood and other products from the North a year. North Korea earns $50 million a year making clothes and carrying out other business deals with South Korean companies.
Mr. Lee also said that South Korea would block North Korean merchant ships from using South Korean waters off the southern coast. That would force the ships to detour and use more fuel.
South Korea has also agreed to a major anti-submarine exercise with the United States, more extensive naval coordination with the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative), and resumption of propaganda broadcasts from loudspeakers in the DMZ. North Korea, for its part, has threatened to start breaking (more of) South Korea’s stuff:
North Korea threatened to fire at South Korean loudspeakers along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and destroy them, Monday, if Seoul resumes propaganda broadcasting suspended since 2004.
“If South Korea installs new speakers for psychological warfare, we will directly aim at them and open fire to destroy them,” an unnamed North Korean military commander said in a statement, carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.
While on the topic, allow me to say that I’m less than impressed with this David Sanger article. Key graf:
A new American intelligence analysis of a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean warship concludes that Kim Jong-il, the ailing leader of North Korea, must have authorized the torpedo assault, according to senior American officials who cautioned that the assessment was based on their sense of the political dynamics there rather than hard evidence.
The officials said they were increasingly convinced that Mr. Kim ordered the sinking of the ship, the Cheonan, to help secure the succession of his youngest son.
“We can’t say it is established fact,” said one senior American official who was involved in the highly classified assessment, based on information collected by many of the country’s 16 intelligence agencies. “But there is very little doubt, based on what we know about the current state of the North Korean leadership and the military.”
Well…. that’s pretty authoritative. The crucial bit of evidence seems to be that Dear Leader visited and decorated the leader of the unit that’s suspected in the attack. Call me a raging skeptic, but that seems somewhat less than conclusive. I suspect that Kim Jong-Il did push the button; CoGs tend to be responsible for this thing more often than not. However, I also wouldn’t be stunned if the order came from a lower level commander, or one of the various brokers jockeying for position in anticipation of Kim’s death. If there’s a single problem that has bedeviled US intelligence in the last sixty years, it’s the difficulty in understanding the internal operation of authoritarian regimes. Even when we have a relative wealth of information (Kremlinology, for example) we still manage to make large errors. In this case, the officials that Sanger quotes don’t really seem to have any evidence worth noting.
If Luke Russert continues to score points off the state of Kentucky’s leading Senate candidate, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Clay get up, leave his tomb, and appear himself on this week’s Meet the Press:
Twitter is abuzz with word that Rand Paul is trying to cancel his appearance this Sunday on Meet the Press, probably because the biased media keeps asking him about things he’s said, like jerks. Meet the Press is responding with a public shaming — both host David Gregory and executive producer Betsy Fischer are tweeting about it.
Update: Luke Russert is joining in on the Twitter shaming, channeling his deceased father, the former host of Meet the Press: “Hey Dr. Paul, if you can’t answer tough questions how are you going to be able to make tough decisions as a U.S. Senator? -TJR.” (We think he’s referring to this line of Tim’s.)
The Randernaut is setting records for “not ready for prime time, or even Sunday morning time.” Incidentally, it’s obvious that Rand’s particularly vision of the relationship between the individual and the federal government would appall Clay, who strongly believed in the necessity of Federal investment in and facilitation of local economic activity.
Nice, from Jack Conway:
Less than 48 hours after Tuesday’s primary election and it’s already become painfully clear: Rand Paul’s narrow and rigid ideology would have dangerous consequences for Kentucky’s working families, veterans, students, disabled citizens, and anyone without a voice in the halls of power.
Students who need federal loans to help pay for college? Sorry. Disabled people facing discrimination on the job? Tough luck. What about a person of color who is refused service at a restaurant? Paul thinks businesses should be free to do that.
Rand Paul says that there’s too much government oversight in America today. Really? Does he think that too much government oversight caused the oil spill in the Gulf, the collapse of Wall Street and the housing market crash?
If you think Rand Paul is completely out of touch with the vast majority of Americans, you’re right – he is. So it’s up to us to stop him.
Making clear the (extensive) benefits that Kentuckians receive from government is key; the mention of the disabled twice is not accidental.