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Sources say there is a meeting going on now in the Capitol between Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Warner, Bill Frist, and Mitch McConnell, along with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and a representative of the Justice Department.  The subject is the detainee treatment issue, and the participants are said to be coming closer to an agreement, which could be made public today or tomorrow.  The meeting is taking place in the vice president’s office in the Capitol, but the vice president himself is not there.



Ahmadinejad has been invited to speak at Columbia .


Another Fan


Your Lindsey Graham cover!
Will join the “We’re Winning” cover as classics of being 180 degrees from reality.
Keep up the crappy work. Sadist.

Web Briefing: April 16, 2014

From an Allen Guy


who reflects a frustration that this campaign has been an easy ride for Webb (it has–amazingly easy):

Would you guys take just a little time-out from posting Romney love letters, and spend a little time talking about the substantive issues in the Allen-Webb race? NRO doesn’t stand for National Romney Online.  Webb wants to cut and run from Iraq, but doesn’t have the courage to come out and say it.  Allen has been a steadfast supporter in the war against Islamic Fascism.

Webb believes taxes are too low – and opposes extending the Bush tax cuts (which means taking away the per child credit, the marriage penalty, the 10 percent bracket, the capital gains and dividend tax relief, and so on).  Allen supports making the tax cuts permanent, and has been a consistent advocate for supply-side tax reforms.  Webb supports mandated health insurance coverage (ala the Massachusetts plan).  Allen is a supports consumer-directed health care reforms, such as HSAs, health insurance tax credits and association health plans.  Allen recently unveiled a substantive energy independence plan, but nobody paid attention to it.  Webb has no plan.
Well, ok, the e-mail also reflects a frustration that I’m keen on a guy from Massachusetts. But that’s another race entirely. Reelect Allen!


Chavez and the Venezuelans


After the Chavez spectacle, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton defaulted to the standard talking point that Chavez can say those things here, but many people can’t say such things in Venezuela.  In fact, though the government runs a far-flung media empire, there is a prominent and lively opposition press in country. Today, in an editorial in El Universal, commentator Nelson Bocaranda described the extravagant entourage of bodyguards that Hugo Chavez brought with him to New York fearing a “magnicide” attempt by the diabolical Americans.  Bocaranda reports that in the history of the United Nations, nobody has ever brought a larger entourage with him, and he intimated disbelief that the U.S. State Department had granted visas to almost all of them.  He seems particularly angry that the entourage hired an ambulance to stand by in the case of a sudden crisis, with emergency room doctors at the ready, and hospitals staked out throughout the area, at the expense of an extra $10,000/day.  Then, turning to the international scene, Bocaranda notes:

Despite the handouts of oil and money, trade agreements signed all over the world, and diplomatic pressures of various kinds, they [Chavez & Co.] realized that they still hadn’t tied down enough votes for a Security Council seat.  Might criticizing and insulting the United Nations have helped get him the votes he needs?
That’s a point people should keep in mind.  Just because diplomats appreciate Chavez as an entertaining interruption to an otherwise endless litany of boring platitudes, it doesn’t mean they have any desire actually to see him on the Security Council.  Latin America gets one seat.  Normally, if there is a regional consensus behind a particular country, that country gets it.  But if not–and with Mexico’s opposition there will not be this year–it goes to a secret ballot in the General Assembly, where the country must win by a 2/3 super-majority of those voting.  And since the ballot is secret, the pattern which we have seen in Latin America–where even recipients of huge amounts of Venezuelan largess (such as the Dominican Republic) have refused to openly endorse Venezuela’s candidacy–will be repeated worldwide. I hope Chavez enjoys his moment in the spotlight — it may have come at the expense of a seat on the Security Council.  The vote is set for the middle of October….



He just said that reports have never documented an Iranian violation of the nonproliferation treaty. This is not true. Changes in inventories of nuclear materials must be reported to the IAEA, and nuclear facilities declared, and the IAEA has documented many violations by Iran of these disclosure obligations. In all cases, the information concealed is critical to a weapons program, and that is what has convinced the Europeans that Iran’s nuclear activities are not for peaceful purposes.

“This slapping of foreheads — Oy vey, I never knew about Grandpa Irv — is starting to sound a bit hollow.”


In light of this week’s Allen coverage, I’m reminded of this Sherri Annis piece from 2003. It takes a political consultant to point out that being Jewish can be a great electoral benefit.



Ahmadinejad is about to claim rights under the nonproliferation treaty. He should be reminded of Iran’s obligations under international law, which include the following clause of the UN Charter:

Article 25: The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.

Si Se Puede!


Jonah:  The thing we children of Albion want to know is, since our remote ancestors came from Spain, presumably making us Hispanic, are we eligible for Affirmative Action boondoggles?

There Can Be Only One...


..ethnicity of Sean Connery in Highlander and, alas, it’s Egyptian not Spanish as several astute would-be watchers have noted.  But perhaps he was called The Spaniard because the Celts were originally from Egypt?

Goat Story


But Jonah, was it a nanny goat or a billy goat?  We should be told.

Regardless, this guy will be the butt of many jokes.

Your Taxes at Work


I guess you could argue this story either way, but it seems unnecessary to me.  At very least, I’d mind it less if now and then I read an item about some Gulag or Laogai ex-guard being deported.  Which I never have.

No Russian Visa for Dalai Lama


The Chinese may have designs on Russian land (i.e. Siberia), but the Russians have designs on Chinese souls.

No Relation to Harry


British Home Secretary (=Attorney General) John Reid addressed a group of Muslims in east London, and got heckled.  Here’s the Beeb report

Personally I’m having a spot of trouble reconciling this paragraph:

“Following the speech, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said it was ‘extraordinarily difficult’ to clamp down on Islamic extremism without offending large groups of Muslims.”

…with this one:

“Mr Reid later described the hecklers as ‘unrepresentative’ of the Muslim community.”

As to: 

“Massoud Shadjareh, who chairs the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said Mr Reid’s demands were ‘unrealistic and not demanded from any other community.’” 

Well, perhaps that’s because no other “community” is blowing up buses and subway trains, and flying planes into buildings.

My Absolutely Last Allen Jewish Post


According to the dictates of Jewish law, George Allen is Jewish because his mother was born to a Jewish mother herself. (Conversion doesn’t count.) So if he becomes president, George Allen will be the first Jewish president.


Getting Your Goat


You Want Heterodoxy on the left?


I’ll give you heterodoxy on the Left! How in the name of Chomsky did this vicious review of the documentary Jesus Camp make it into the Village Voice?

The Direct Approach


I just got an e-mail with the subject line “I hate you” — lots of expletives inside so I won’t bother reproducing. Like Jonah and Chavez , I like the directness. 

RE: Cooper


This reader, of course, is right, but I’m judging Cooper on a relative scale:

After watching the video of Anderson Cooper interviewing Ahmadinejad, I wasn’t so impressed.  Cooper was smiling and half chuckling when he dished out his big response to Ahmadinejad.  It was far too tepid for me.

After all, we’re talking about genocide here, with a smarmy punk who’s training terrorists to kill Americans.  If I’d been in Cooper’s chair, I’d had been looking angry, and ready to punch the jerk.  Let me know if somebody like that starts doing televised interviews. I might make time to watch that sort of thing.


First Typo of the Day


A reader: 

 ”**ROBERT** Burton?  C’mon Derb, it’s 9.30.  Finish mudding that drywall and correct this heinous mistake, or your name will be mud!”

[Derb]  Yeah, yeah, this isn’t the bloody New Yorker, you know.

As to that joke:  If I tell you that the last word in it is the third person plural, present indicative, of the Latin verb “esse,” you will probably be able to reconstruct the whole thing.


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