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[ 0 ] November 15, 2008 |

This is pathetic. Next year, I expect UK will schedule several high school teams to open the season. That said, they did rebound from a similarly embarrassing loss last year.

On to Damascus! And Tehran! And… Er…

[ 0 ] November 15, 2008 |

God, what a wankfest.

My friends, I remember when the war in Iraq as supposed to be a quick, opening segment of a comprehensive project to cauldronize the Middle East. Now that we’ve elected the socialist black dude, though, Greater Wingnuttia has trimmed its expectations to the point that a phone call from the Bedwetters’ Ernie Pyle to Glenn Reynolds is sufficient to send them reaching into their pants for an afternoon of satisfaction.

Oh, well. There’s probably still time to nuke Tora Bora!

From the Mouths of Wingnuts

[ 0 ] November 15, 2008 |

The Astute Bloggers make a claim:

I have believed from the start that Bush should have nuked Tora Bora in 2001. The GWOT would have ended right then and there. It would have sent the right message: Don’t Tread On Me!

Instead Bush has has the USA wage a war with one hand behind our back, a war of halfassery. That’s why I have long said that “Dubya stands for wimp ” and that I would have never voted for him again except if he ran against any Democrat.

Nuking Tora Bora with a few small tactical nukes would have killed the entire al Qaeda leadership and warned everyone – terrorists and the nations which aid or harbor them – that they shouldn’t fuck with us. Had Dubya done this the Bush Doctrine (“you’re either with us or against us”) would’ve has some teeth – and some positive effect. Now it’s too late; what we could’ve done then in righteous reprisal can not be done now. Not until we are attacked here in the USA again.

Heh; indeed.

I’m kind of curious; what do you think would have happened if Bush had ordered the use of tactical nuclear weapons when we thought we knew the location of Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora? I really haven’t the faintest idea; I suspect that it would have led to any number of horrible things, but I find myself unable to pick between them. Thoughts? What if Bin Laden and his top lieutenants had been killed? What if they had survived? Would the military have obeyed the order? What would it have meant for Iraq? For US foreign policy more generally? For proliferation?

The Plot Thickens

[ 0 ] November 14, 2008 |

Most anyone who has ever taken a class from me knows that I have a deep and abiding affection for Hunt for Red October, in spite of the fact that the film channels a river of Team B bullshit about Soviet and American naval capabilities. A few years back, I was discussing Hunt for Red October with a Ukrainian graduate student, and she told me that she much preferred K-19: Widowmaker. K-19 dispenses with the nonsense about crew members spontaneously singing the Soviet National Anthem, officers having casual conversations about the contrariness of privacy to the Soviet public interest, and the dread superiority of the Soviet military-industrial complex. Rather, K-19 is about a group of sailors and officers testing a submarine that doesn’t quite work right, and trying not to get killed or have their careers destroyed in the process. As such, my Ukrainian friend argued, it was much closer to the reality of Soviet life than the Connery film.

With that in mind, I’ve been following the Nerpa story with great interest. Galrahn has a detailed post with the latest information, the most intriguing of which centers around the fact that the fire suppression system may not have deployed by malfunction. Of course, much remains to be learned, and the Russians have a vested interest in claiming crew perfidy instead of manufacturing defect. Nevertheless, it appears that the story of the Nerpa incident will serve to increase the cinematic appeal of the Russian submarine service…

Joan Walsh Would Like You To Pay For This

[ 0 ] November 14, 2008 |

Shorter Verbatim Camille Paglia: “Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.” Ah, yes, center-right “contrarianism” defined: you expand a progressive coalition by simply defining “not-x” as “x.” The value of this type of expansion is not explained.

Or try this one: “For example, I had thought for many months that the flap over Obama’s birth certificate was a tempest in a teapot. But simple questions about the certificate were never resolved to my satisfaction.”

Or…well, look, pretty much every sentence she’s ever written for Salon could be a “verbatim.” Why they think that this will attract readers — let alone subscribers — in 2008 remains inexplicable.

Obama is the New Canada

[ 0 ] November 14, 2008 |

Backpackers: Stop wasting your time trying to memorize words like “Chretien”, “Eh”, “Ottawa”, and “Harper”.

Sarkozy Brings the Funny

[ 0 ] November 14, 2008 |

The only deterrence that still matters:

With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

H/t to Duss.

Walt on Foreign Policy Challenges

[ 0 ] November 14, 2008 |

Good diavlog. Watch the rest.

Exit Polls and Retrospective Bandwagons

[ 0 ] November 13, 2008 |

Bob Somerby, responding to CNN’s exit polls:

It’s hard to believe that those data are accurate. Did four percent of last week’s voters really vote for someone other than Bush or Kerry in 2004? And what would explain that nine-point gap between Bush and Kerry voters? In theory, Democrats were enthusiastic about last week’s election, Republicans somewhat less so. Can it really be that 46 percent of last week’s voters voted for Bush in 2004—versus only 37 percent who voted for Kerry?

Bob isn’t considering one crucial possibility here: misreporting. Political scientists have found a “retrospective bandwagon” effect in which some people will remember having voted for the winner even if they didn’t. One example, as this paper reminds us, is that after his razor-thin victory about 65% of respondents claimed to have voted for JFK. Admittedly, Bush’s extreme unpopularity should lessen these effects, but then this a pretty small retrospective bounce.

It is, of course, true that exit poll data should be treated carefully. But there’s nothing about the 2004 election question that would suggest that CNN’s sampling was bad; it’s about the result you would expect.

But I Manage ‘Cuz I’m A Savage Inside

[ 0 ] November 13, 2008 |

Some excellent work from Dan Savage here:

The point about churches engaging in political funding and activism and then hiding behind the bushes is a particularly important one. It’s also good that Savage has apologized for his post-election scapegoating of African-Americans.

By the way, does the backlash against Prop 8 prove that initiatives are a bad political strategy? Or does this logic only apply to backlashes against progressive strategies?

Doubling Down on Twenty

[ 0 ] November 13, 2008 |

Apparently, in response to their initiative getting roughly 0.0% of the vote in Colorado, advocates for giving zygotes constitutional rights are planning to broaden their campaign. I would advise anti-choicers in the strongest possible terms to put their resources behind this movement. But who will protect the Spermatazoan-Americans?

"Law & Order" Conservative of the Day

[ 0 ] November 13, 2008 |

Nino Scalia.