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I Want to Know...



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Will Gore still release his tax and health care plans early next year? After all he said he would. Will any reporter ask him to?

Outrage Over Iran Policy



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How does the State Department allow things like this to happen? (Okay, so maybe that’s a dumb question.)

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Gore as Nixon



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That’s the only conclusion I can draw from yesterday’s announcement. There’ve been similarities there all along. But in this case I think it boils down solely to political calculation of the landscape. Richard Nixon lost in a squeaker in 1960 after having served 8 years as VP. He concluded that he couldn’t run again for eight years. The party and the public didn’t want him to do it (of course, Kennedy’s assasination was a big and unique factor). But from 1960 to 1968, Nixon thought about running again. Gore didn’t say “You won’t have Al Gore to kick around anymore,” but he might as well have. And this idea that he won’t be able to run ‘08 strikes me as more of an appeal for sympathy than a reasonable calculation. Why can’t he run in ‘08? He’ll be young enough. The only thing that would stop him is if a Democrat beat Bush in ‘04. But I doubt he thinks that’s likely.

Web Briefing: September 22, 2014

Tsakopoulos Loses



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The Supremes split 4-4, so the Ninth Circuit is upheld.

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Me & Malveaux



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Yesterday on CNN I joked that Mitch McConnell’s indefensible position on Trent Lott is that this is nothing but the “high tech lynching of an uppity segregationist.” Everyone laughed, except Julianne Malveaux who took the opportunity to lecture me on how irresponsible I was for using the word “lynching.” I found this odd since she’d just called Trent Lott a Klansman, Judge Pickering too. I told her I wouldn’t let her mau-mau me which in turn caused her to call me “two steps from Trent Lott” — who she considers a Klansmen. Anyway, the transcript really doesn’t do it justice, but I thought some people might be interested in what I have to put up with.

White Victims



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This morning our local NPR station, WAMU, ran a story teasing a new study on the death penalty in Maryland. It’s not out yet, but the gist is that murderers who kill white people are more likely to get the death penalty than murderers who kill black people. One reason for this is that mostly black Baltimore City doesn’t impose the death penalty much at all, but mostly white and suburban Baltimore County does. So the area where victims tend to be white skews the data. Regardless, we’re supposed to be outraged. Indeed, this is a complaint that surfaces from time to time across the country. The injustice, we’re told, is that white lives are valued more than black lives. Nevermind that black people serve on these suburban juries too and the bias may be that people in suburbs, regardless of race, are more pro-death penalty.

But whatever. Let’s assume things are as the critics say. Murderers of white folks get harsher treatment than murderers of black folks. I agree that if this were the case, that would be wrong. But, keep two things in mind. First, the way to fix that would be to execute more murderers of black people. And, second, I assume the people outraged by this discrepancy are also outraged by hate-crimes legislation which as a matter of law explicitly say that the race, gender or sexual orientation of the victims warrant more severe punishment. After all this death penalty discrepancy is the result of juries making decisions on a case by case basis. Hate crimes make this sort of bias a matter of black-letter-law. Which is the greater outrage?

We Three Kings of Terrorism Are



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An Anglican bishop attacks common images of Magi; says they were part of a Herod assassination plot to kill the Christ child.

Gossip Corner



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From an Australian paper, Bill Clinton is allegedly dating Demi Moore and will separate from Senator Clinton in 2003. Moore’s ex-husband, Republican Bruce Willis, is said to disapprove of Moore’s involvement with the ex-president.

The Great Christmas Search



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Dick Morris...



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…who used to work for Lott, is defending him.

Phew!



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I was afraid for a moment that this headline was referring to us.

Six More Years!



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Where’s Phil Gramm when you need him? He’d be a Leader!

This Better Not Be True



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Henry Kissinger wasn’t vetted by White House staff before his appointment?! Could they have done a Nexis search? Heck, a google search might have helped.

I’m Threatening to Strike



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until every NRO reader has subscribed to NR on Dead Tree. (It’s Christmas. Have some sympathy for a gal trying to get some brownie points with the suits.)

Random Horse-Race Thought



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It could be that McConnell is developing a strong position in the race to replace Lott. Nickles is probably hurt a bit by being the first to ackowledge the obvious (although we should be grateful that he did it). McConnell, on the other hand, is being a loyal soldier (and that’s what seems to matter most to Senators most), but will probably be available if Lott is actually forced aside.

Nice



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Hope all those who defend Lott on grounds that GOP shouldn’t sbumit to demagogic charges of racism, notice this from WashPost. Lott is going to try demagogic charges of racism of his own: “Lott will not go down without a fight, though. His allies were examining Nickles’s voting record to try to show that it smacks of intolerance on issues important to African Americans.”

Strike Postponed



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The subway strike is off for now! The union says talks have processed sufficiently to put the strike on hold. That could end at any moment, but for now, those of us who’d have to walk to work are breathing a huge sigh of relief, because tomorrow morning we’ll be having something of a snowstorm. These union people are incredible. The city is on its knees economically, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority is facing a staggering deficit next year. Yet they transit workers are demanding a 24 percent pay increase over three years! A woman said it well tonight on the news: “These days, people are getting laid off all over the city. These people ought to be thankful they have jobs at all.”

What a Crock



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From NYTimes:

On the CNN program “Early Edition,” Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, said his party would have acted by now had one of its leaders been at issue.

“If Tom Daschle or another Democratic leader were to have made similar statements, the reaction would have been very swift,” Mr. Dodd said. “I don’t think several hours would have gone by without there being an almost unanimous call for the leader to step aside.”

Dick Morris...



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..is on Fox right now and says Lott’s ok, unless he “really screws up” his BET hour.

Back to The Moon?



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It’s been thirty years since Apollo 17. Is it time to go back? The writer of this article in the Guardian looks at some of the issues.

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