Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gail Collins on the women of the civil rights movement.

Bill O'Reilly: Proudly progressing from "a caricature of himself" to "a caricature of a caricature of himself."

The Edwards education plan, conveniently summarized by the New York Times:

Speaking at Brody Middle School here, Mr. Edwards outlined a plan that he said would evaluate students more effectively, reduce class sizes and reward teachers who work in high-poverty schools with up to $15,000 in incentive pay, initiatives similar to those championed by education officials in New York City and elsewhere.

He also called for universal preschool, the creation of a national university that would become a “West Point for teachers” and an initiative that uses what he described as “education SWAT teams” to sweep in and rebuild failing schools.
I'm with him on everything except the SWAT team part, because I'm pretty sure Tom Berenger already tried that.

Mark Shields, on Friday's NewsHour, finally illuminating his opposition to MoveOn's Petraeus ad:

First of all, Americans do not like to have people's names made fun of. Everybody has had the experience him or herself at one time in life having their own name made fun of. And to do it in this unflattering, unfair fashion was beyond the pale.
As you might imagine, I don't have any real problem with the ad, and I'd wondered why Shields had reacted to it the way he did. That quote sure seems to explain it, though: Mark Shields was emotionally scarred by name-calling elementary schoolers.

An interesting point from a TPM reader:

Contrast that to the (admittedly luried) [sic] tale of Norman Hsu, fronted by papers around the nation. That was a case of a major donor to Democratic figures who turned out (unbeknownst to the politicians to whom he donated) to be a crook and a fraud. That's big news. But when a businessman who is a major donor to Republican politicians turns out to be a crook and a fraud, and some of the nation's senior legislators are revealed to have knowingly accepted his bribes and funneled him earmarks in return, it's hardly worth mentioning.
Emphasis mine.

McCain, at the NRA's "Celebration of American Values" conference:

Two women walked right in, making peace signs with hands and yelling for the troops to come home. After they were removed, McCain said, "Well, my friends, we beat you yesterday, we beat you the day before, and we'll best you today." He received a standing ovation.
One wonders what it is about McCain that Jon Stewart continues to like so much.

Friday, September 21, 2007

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: George Bush is an immodest man with a great deal to be modest about.

This guy is really quite funny.

[I drafted this post two months ago, but the OMB language is sufficiently funny that I'll go ahead and post it now.]

Via the Honolulu Advertiser comes this highly entertaining OMB explanation for the Bush administration's opposition to a 3.5% pay raise for the armed forces:

Like the House, senators favor a 3.5 percent military pay raise for 2008 versus the administration's proposed 3 percent to match private sector wage growth as measured by the government's Employment Cost Index or ECI. The White House calls the extra half percentage point unnecessary and notes that basic pay has jumped by 33 percent since 2001. The added cost of the bigger raise, $2.2 billion through 2013, is money "that would otherwise be available to support our troops," said the OMB letter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

John McCain, speaking for the Senate Republicans, on why the Webb amendment is a bad idea:

The Constitution of the United States gives no authority for the Congress of the United States to set lengths of tour or lengths of duty in the military.
A fine point, albeit confusingly said, except for the fact that it's plainly not true (Art. I, sec. 8: "The Congress shall have power... to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces."). In other words, as Harry Reid shot back,
Anyone that suggests that the Webb amendment is unconstitutional either is not reading the law or no one's explained it to them very well.

(Amusingly, the other major argument against the Webb amendment [an argument that made its way around the Sunday talk shows this weekend] is that it would force the military to tackle "a management nightmare: having to track the service in Iraq of each soldier." Because Lord knows we wouldn't want that.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Iranian state TV is running a miniseries (based on a true story, no less) about "an Iranian diplomat in Paris who helped Jews escape the Holocaust." Go figure.