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Not Evacuating



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My Cannon source and now Peter King on MSNBC are reporint that they are NOT evacuating. Source tells me there was just an announcement to stay in their offices. Of course, this was some 15 minutes after a friend from another Cannon office called to say “lock the door.”

Evacuating?



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CNN and FNC says Cannon’s being evacuated. Apparently a man put his backpack on a security scanner, gun was seen, and the man grabbed it and ran. Police lost track of him.

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Mother of All Disingenuousness



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Noam Chomsky “surprised” US policy “failed” in Iraq.

Web Briefing: December 18, 2014

More Ramadan



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From a reader:

Dear Mr. Goldberg

Just as a to add on to a previous posting about Ramadan, the Islamic calendar, while lunar like the Jewish calendar, doesn’t make any attempt to reconcile itself to the solar calendar. While an extra month is added seven out of every nineteen years to the Jewish calendar, the Islamic calendar just starts about ten days earlier (according to the Gregorian calendar) every year. Ramadan can therefore occur in any season, making for longer fasting periods in the summer. Not that this argues against your point at all, but those summer fasts must be pretty awful, regardless of latitude.

[Name withheld]

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Msnbc/Fnc Reporting Now



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They’re suggesting it may be a man with a an “automatic weapon” in his backpack who got passed security. FNC reports Cap Hill police told to “take him down.”

Gunman in Cannon?



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House staffer reports that Cannon House Office Building staffers on the Hill are being told to lock their doors. Police and ambulance activity reported on the scene. Source cautions though: “there sound like normal lobbyist like noises outside my door…so could just be wild rumors (I’m not gonna keep opening the door to check though).”

“Sad But True”



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From a liberal G-File reader:

As a liberal who was decidedly ambivalent about the war (I loved the idea of taking out Hussein and the Baathist, but thought Bush’s unilateralist track record leading up to the conflict put us in a weak position to rally an effectively ass-covering coalition) I have to admit that your critique about the Dem’s stand on reconstruction is right on. What choice do we have, strategically or morally? It’s so depressing that they’re playing politics with this, even if many Republicans played similar games with Bosnia/Kosovo, which I believe had much more strategic importance than Haiti (though I supported that action too).

More Ramadan



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From my famed “Islamic stuff” guy:

Jonah,

You’re right on Ramadan, mostly. It’s never been a truce month in warfare (even intra-Muslim warfare), as some of the “we’re shouldn’t bomb during…” people seem to insist. But as far as the fasting goes, it’s actually fairly onerous. Don’t forget that most of the Islamic world is closer to the equator than we are, so that days don’t shorten as dramatically.*

You basically have a billion people wandering around cranky as hell for a month. (And some really pious Muslims take the stricture to mean that nothing goes down your throat–so no smoking, and for some, no swallowing your own saliva. Some people wander around spitting all day.)

Plus, all this is aggravated by the fact that it’s a big holiday. Everyone’s family comes to town and stays for a month. You think the goyim have it bad between Christmas and New Year’s. But, yeah, in furtherance of your point, the consumption of meat, sugar, etc., all goes UP during Ramadan, because everyone pigs out every night. Sort of a Yom Kippur-meets-Thanksgiving deal, but for a freakin’ month. Can you blame them for being a tad irritable? : )

A Word About Midge



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Midge Decter, an exquisite lady, is, of course, a familiar name to most of you. The book she authored pre-Rumsfeld however, is a little bit of a secret. And Old Wife’s Tales was published right before 9/11/01, so obviously did not get the play it otherwise would likely have gotten. It’s part memoir (though not the exposé-type), part history, part commentary.

To give you a taste, later that fall, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese wrote this in her NRODT review of Midge’s book:


in her passing jabs at the women’s movement, she displays more homey wisdom and common sense than vituperation. A staunch opponent of affirmative action, Decter failed to understand “why any woman would fight for years to become a member of a club whose majority were opposed to allowing women to join.” How could affirmative action under such conditions result in anything but “massive seizures of self-doubt”-as she believes it has for “some blacks in elite colleges and women learning to be fighter pilots”? Comments and reflections like these, which she drops throughout the book, remind the reader that she is also the author of The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation–and of countless other directly political interventions that more acerbically dissect what she views as the failures and outright dishonesty of the last three decades of affirmative action and identity politics.

Like some of the other accomplished women of her generation (one thinks of Himmelfarb and Carolyn Graglia), Decter minimizes the difficulties that she, as a woman, encountered during the course of her career. Indeed, she places little emphasis on her feelings in general. The spare account of her private life leaves no doubt that she must have been a young woman of singular determination. The youngest of three daughters of a Jewish shopkeeper in St. Paul, Minn., Decter early developed a secret longing to live in New York; and after dropping out of the University of Minnesota, she moved there. Decter says nothing about having been discouraged in her pursuit of education. (To the contrary, her parents expected her to finish college, leave home, and embrace a career.) She says only that, even though she knew a college degree could prove useful, she hated school. So, armed only with her self-confidence and minimal typing skills, she left for New York to perfect her Hebrew “at the College of Jewish Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and otherwise, as the cliche of the time would have it, [to] ‘find myself.’”


If you missed it, I do recommend it. It’s a treat. (And I am not just saying that because I have banned myself from talking about a certain other book for the duration of the day.)

A Response Re: The Petition



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Dan Lips, an organizer of the petition (and friend of mine), writes: “I disagree that it’s bad to reserve judgment. First, reserving judgment doesn’t require watching the show. No doubt there will be lots of commentators ready to provide analysis for us. Second, I think it’s much more rational to reserve judgment than to completely boycott CBS without giving them the chance to respond. I think I’d feel silly encouraging 10,000 people to sign a petition to protest CBS if they actually do put forth something fair.

“The purpose of this effort shouldn’t be just to tell Babs to go to hell, but rather to show America that a sizable population loves Reagan and cares deeply about his legacy. That’s the silver lining of this thing — it has given Americans the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their love for Reagan. I think if we get enough people lined up in support, and there’s enough news about it, that will be the lesson drawn from this whole thing.”

Rumsfeld Fans



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will be fans of Midge Decter’s latest. Here’s my Q&A with her.

The Reagan Movie, Ctd.



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A Corner reader writes: “The problem with the petition web site is that it actually encourages people to watch the mini-series, in order to determine how accurate it is. This conflicts directly with the appeal of some protestors to not only not watch the mini-series, but to boycot the advertisers. I will probably not watch the series, because I have neither the time nor inclination to patronize
such liberal drivel (since when has it become news that the networks are
biased against conservative presidents?), but I will probably not boycot the
advertisers either (how will I know who they are, unless I watch the
series), so I guess I don’t have a dog directly in this fight. But I do
wish Reagan supporters would develop a consistent game plan on this and
stick with it.”

Halloween Preps Tiring You?



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You’ll likely enjoy Meghan Gordon’s NRODT piece. You can preview some of it here.

Ramadan



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A couple points. First, the recent bombings once again underscore that Ramadan doesn’t stop terrorists from attacking people, so why it should stop Americans from defending themselves is a mystery. A point I made a while ago in a column
I am still proud of, if no other reason for using the phrase “clay urn of whup-ass.”

Second, while I have no doubt that Ramadan is in fact an extremely important holiday for all Muslims, I do wish people would stop saying Muslims fast for a straight month. They don’t. They fast during daylight hours which, at this time of year, are getting shorter. In other words, they skip lunch. The symbolism is still valid and admirable — going with hunger for a period every day for a month is a nice and worthwhile reminder. But it just doesn’t seem like a monthlong hunger strike — which is how commentators sometimes describe it.

Gore’s “Boom”



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Several readers have objected to the reader comment that Gore presided over a boom when in fact the economy was already starting to slide into recession. Here’s an interesting email (and then I’m done with this topic for a while):

Dear Jonah,
Your correspondent’s harping on Gore and the economy is misplaced. 1. The stock market was already in freefall by the time of the election so everyone with 401K plans or other investments was beginning to feel less comfortable about their economic well-being. 2. Bush wasn’t proposing anything that could be argued reasonably as being a major detriment to the economy. There was no reason to expect different economic performance under Bush than under Gore except in a way positive for Bush because he advocated cutting taxes.

The result was that Bush appealed to those who were growing concerned about the economy and didn’t frighten those who thought everything was still peachy.

This time, however, all the major Democratic candidates have announced their intentions to roll back at least part of Bush’s tax cuts. Most people realize that the rollback will significantly impact their wallets and probably the economy. It is doubtful that the majority of voters will perceive no important differences between Bush and the Democrats as to how they will handle the economy. The difference will favor Bush.

Pax,
[Name withheld]

(Bush v. Gore was essentially a race for president of the fraternity council. Gore was Greg Marmalard. Smug and smarmy but apparently competent. Bush was Otter. Likable, but potentially incompetent. The DUI news added to the incompetent impression of Bush and may have swayed some last minute deciders to go with the “competent” prick. Having watched Bush in office the issue of incompetence won’t fly. Likability (George Will’s living room test) will have more weight. I think most Americans will prefer Bush to Howard (The personification of weenie) Dean.)

“Easy There, Cowboy”



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From a reader:


Easy on the giddy, gleeful gloating on the GDP numbers:

1) They’re going to be adjusted downward most likely when the Fed gets more
information.

2) A fat lot of good presiding over a boom did for Gore. My point is that 2000 calls into question the syllogism that if the economy is growing, then the incumbent sails to re-election. Granted, it’s not a detriment, but it’s no longer a guarantee.

3) Expect the Dems/the media attacks on Iraq to go from semi-focused and irritating to white-hot at a much higher volume.

That being said, Krugman’s cat was kicked so hard it’s now in the parallel universe where Krugman is the editor of NR, you are a vegan and a PETA
organizer, Ramesh writes for The Nation, and Lowry is a Red Sox fan and runs an anti land mine NGO in Boston and just coauthored Queen Noor’s autobiog.

More



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From another reader:

Well my liberal friends have already begun to spin the numbers. They cite a 10.9% unemployment level for people ages 18-24. For one, I can’t seem to verify that number, and two, that’s an awful narrow age margin to cite. It’s like saying the unemployment level for people ages 2.5-2.6 is 100%. The bottom line, when the economy is sluggish (when is the US economy in really bad shape? It hasn’t been in “bad” since the Carter years) the dems love to cite GDP data, but when the GDP data looks good, they turn to other stats to back up their assertions. And when all the economic data looks good, they’ll rely on deficit numbers (which is a legit concern for this admin, but should be remedied with spending cuts). Furthermore, as any good supply-sider knows, if the economy is moving along at an annual rate of 3.3+% growth, the tax revenue brought in this year should help with the deficit problem (though we should still cut spending). So all the dems have left to hope for is that Americans die in Iraq and that Iraqis are unable to establish some form of stable government to replace the Baathist regime. I’d be pretty depressed if I was a dem.

Probably Right



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From a reader:

Jonah,

The question is a no brainer. This is the best economic growth since the 80’s so they will switch to 80’s style tactics. The ecomomic growth will be denounced as symptomatic of corporate greed. Halliburton and the Defense Industrial Complex are making a killing on the war and American tax dollars, driving the economy higher, but at the expense of the poor and the middle class. The Dems will latch onto lagging unemployment numbers as proof.

Expect soundbites from the primary contenders such as: “This Administration is rolling back the clock to the times of corporate corruption, greed and record deficits. We are abandoning education, worker’s rights, sound fiscal policy and basic health care to fund million dollar corporate birthday parties and international adventurism. Republicans then have the gall to point to the thickening wallets of corporate fat cats as proof that the economy is improving, while average Americans are waiting in ever lengthening lines to get their unemployment checks.”

You watch. It will happen.

Joe Frye
Don’t withhold my name.

Possible Spin



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From a reader:

Wesley Clark: “Well, as I have always said, the Bush team is doing a great job, just a great, great job…oh crap, I forgot, it’s 2003 now, not 2002.”

Al Sharpton: “Maybe the WHITE MAN’s economy is doing better, but the BLACK MAN still lives in the shadow of the JEW BLOODSU…er, that is to say, I mean, my people are still in need!”

Joseph Lieberman: “The Bush team has cynically arranged so that the economic boom affects only Republican donors in the upper income quintile, while the poor continue to live in a grainy, black-and-white Depression. A Lieberman boom will spread the wealth around!”

How Will The Dems Spin These Numbers?



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Obviously, the Democratic presidential contenders will — fairly — call attention to the lackluster job growth. But how long can jobs lag behind? Anybody in the Corner have any suggestions for the most likely soundbites from Dems to explain why the economy is bad when it isn’t?

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