Tierney says libertarian discontent over Republican policies on things like gambling and pot spells trouble for the GOP. "Why did Republicans assume there was a Moral Majority? Where in the
Bible does it say that the virtuous outnumber the wicked? When you
define wickedness the way Republicans do, the numbers are daunting."
Westerners especially dislike having morality dicated by DC, he says. I would add the Schiavo case as evidence that this sentiment is nationwide.
Electoral implications: "Libertarian voters tend to get ignored by political strategists
because they’re not easy to categorize or organize...Many don’t even call themselves libertarians...They distrust moral busybodies of both parties,
and they may well be the most important bloc of swing voters this
election, as David Boaz and David Kirby conclude in a new study for the
Cato Institute. Analyzing a variety of voter surveys, they estimate
that libertarians make up about 15 percent of voters — a bloc roughly
comparable in size to liberals and to conservative Christians, and far
bigger than blocs like Nascar dads or soccer moms."
It's hard to say that Rachel Lea Hunter has sunk to a new low in her campaign for the state Supreme Court; after all, this is a woman who compared a black candidate to a slave on a plantation, lied about a major endorsement, and referred to her opponent and his backers as "the beast" and "mafia."
But in her latest campaign release, Hunter slithers further into the muck. She not only compares Justice Mark Martin to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, she runs a photo of Goebbels alongside a photo of Martin.
Remember, she's not just running for any office...Rachel Lea Hunter wants to be on the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Last time out, when she ran as a Republican, Rachel Lea Hunter merely seemed underqualified and undignified. This time, as a Democrat (albeit one disowned by party leadership), Rachel Lea Hunter comes across as batshit crazy and completely unsuited for a seat on the state's high court.
Decoding the genetic structure of honeybees: important work that proves the
WaPo: "It's not what you have in
your genome but how you use it"...said Jay D. Evans, a scientist at the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory.
And: "Food and sex -- it
is not unreasonable to hypothesize they were important in the
development of social behavior," [Gene E. Robinson, a neurobiologist at Urbana-Champaign
and a co-leader of the genome consortium] said.
NYT, in Asheville with Heath Shuler: "In their push to win back control of the House, Democrats
have turned to conservative and moderate candidates who fit the
profiles of their districts more closely than the profile of the
Good. A national party has to be flexible and inclusive. Build on common ground, allow for differences.
Noteveryone is so sanguine, at least about some of the comments in the article. I could live without Tauscher's "left cliff" rhetoric, too, but the part about focusing on national security and fiscal responsibility makes sense to me.
As a social libertarian I'm confident that the culture is ahead of politics on a lot of issues that matter to me, and in any case I don't think the moderate Dems are going to go all Schiavo on us if elected. A government that doesn't invade the wrong country and then screw it up horrendously while pretending it didn't, and that preserves and enhances a social safety net while helping people not to need one, seems like a pretty damn big improvement to me.
Garry Wills: "The right wing in America likes to think that the United States
government was, at its inception, highly religious, specifically highly
Christian, and even more specifically highly biblical. That was not
true of that government or any later government—until 2000, when the
fiction of the past became the reality of the present."
I would quibble that it's actually "a certain portion of the right wing...", but there ya go.
A detailed look at our first faith-based presidency, from justice to social services to science and health and war.
Noah Feldman in the NYT mag: "The prospect of not just one Islamic bomb, but many, inevitably
concentrates the mind on how Muslims — whether Shiite or Sunni — might
use their nuclear weapons...What makes suicide bombing especially
relevant to the nuclear question
is that, by design, it unsettles the theory of deterrence."
More: "In Saudi Arabia in particular, radical Muslim scholars with much more
learning than bin Laden have sought to develop legally persuasive
justifications for civilian killings...The debate about how jihad may be prosecuted is not over by any means.
But it is an unavoidable fact that the classic restrictions on the
killing of women, children and Muslims in jihad have been deeply
undermined in the last decade."
Meanwhile: "Ahmadinejad surely understands the consequences of using a nuclear
bomb, and Shiite Islam, even in its messianic incarnation, still falls
short of inviting nuclear retaliation and engendering collective
Photo courtesy of National Nuclear
Security Administration / Nevada Site Office
David Wharton co-authored a compelling opinion piece on the preservation of War Memorial stadium. Previously, Ogi Overman says the N&R pulled a switcheroo on the project; Gate City says, "A promise is a promise."
LAT: "Rove is giving a virtuoso performance designed to prevent the Democrats
from taking control of the House and Senate or, if that is no longer
possible, to hold down the size of the Democratic victory to make it
easier for the GOP to come back in 2008. His plan is three-pronged: to
reenergize any conservatives who may be flagging; to make sure the
GOP's carefully constructed campaign apparatus is functioning at peak
efficiency; and to put the resources of the federal government to use
for political gain."
Lots of interesting stats on this list (via Chewie), but this is just flat wrong: "There've been few new additions to the Forbes 400" since 1985.
In fact, the list has changed hugely since then (about the time I worked on producing it).
Forbes, on the 20th anniversary of the Rich List in 2002: "Only 58 names have remained on the list for all 20 years."
Back in the early days, the list had a lot of heirs to Gilded Age fortunes, including a slew of du Ponts and various Rockefellers, Mellons, et al. Most of those folks are long gone, due to death, taxes, improved research by the Forbes team, and failure to keep up with newer wealth...
...of the sort generated by this guy, a possible newbie in '86, and a huge number of other techies. Other industries and regions have cycled people onto and off of the list, too.
There's plenty to think about on that list of economic disparities, but stasis among the Forbes 400 is a fiction.
Ben Holder unpacks Hinson's lawyer's press conference.
Related: I said this today to a commenter about Jerry Bledsoe's ongoing Rhino series: He has compiled a lengthy and disturbing list of allegations against Lt. Hinson, and he has identified what seem to be some serious problems in GPD culture.
He has yet to address Wray's alleged transgressions.
Lil Jon will release his new single, "Act A Fool," for one day only at his MySpace page on Oct. 31. He also got two nominations for BET Hip Hop Awards, and will be the announcer for that show as well.
I know this because I got an email press release about it from a PR agency. I've been getting a lot of email press releases lately, aimed at my personal blog, for things well beyond the tech pitches I've always gotten. Interesting.
As the last person on Earth who neither owns nor wants to own an iPod or similar device, I understand that this is very important stuff in all kinds of ways. Business. Culture. Christmas presents. Have at it.
This, too, is very important: a mobile phone from Nokia that does music real good. Said to be a threat to the iPod.
I do have a mobile phone. My company provides one to me. It's useful on occasion. At other times, it is turned off and ignored.
George Lakoff on Bush not staying the course about staying the course.
Frame negation, metaphorical thought, lingusitic strategy...whatever. Sometimes it's best to just go to the video.
More Lakoff: And if the president loses, does that mean the Democrats will win?
Perhaps. But if they do, it will be because of Republican missteps and
not because they’ve acted with strategic brilliance. Their “new
direction” slogan offers no values and no positive vision. It is taken
from a standard poll question, “Do you like the direction the nation is
This is a shame. The Democrats are giving up a
golden opportunity to accurately frame their values and deepest
principles (even on national security), to forge a public identity that
fits those values — and perhaps to win more close races by being
positive and having a vision worth voting for.
though, no language articulating a Democratic vision seems in the
offing. If the Democrats don’t find a more assertive strategy, their
gains will be short-lived. They, too, will learn the pitfalls of
staying the course.
Peter Boyer in Virginia, on what The New Yorker calls "The strangest Senate race of the year."
[Webb's] unifying theme...has been that of put-upon people (the military, Southerners, white men) suffering the smug disregard of a hostile élite...That he now finds himself a Democratic candidate in a pivotal U.S. Senate race is a development that proceeds, by its own stubborn logic, from this insistent theme. Webb’s candidacy is partly a quest to reclaim the Democratic Party for what he sees as a natural constituency...His people don’t hate the government; they hate governmental intrusion. It is the government’s job to build dams and highways, not the perfect society.
One possible outcome is that Allen, should he hold his Senate seat, will emerge as an even stronger national candidate, having weathered scrutiny of an intensity usually reserved for Presidential nominees.
Elizabeth Edwards, interviewed by Maryam Scoble at ConvergeSouth, talks about using the web for politics, and the different communities that supported her when she needed it most: "People think that people in the public eye somehow have some special strength that they don't have...I don't think we have vulnerable models, people who are in public life don't want to show that they're vulnerable...I got knocked down by my son's death, or by breast cancer, or by other things that I had to face, and here's how I stood up: people handed me crutches."
Brooks: "We’re about to enter another of those periods without a dominant
ideology. It’s clear that this election will mark the end of
conservative dominance. This election is a period, not a comma in
NYTon the Kissell-Hayes race in NC's 8th distirct: "Kissell is one of a dozen Democratic candidates for
the House, and a
few for the Senate, who are making at least some headway in tapping
voter anxiety about trade."
More: "Though Mr. Kissell’s chances may not be great, Democrats say he
could pull an upset, given his creative insurgent tactics. He got a lot
of publicity, for example, from a stunt selling gasoline at $1.22 a
gallon to remind voters of the price when his opponent first took
office eight years ago.
"And when news reports showed that Mr.
Kissell had $88.94 in his campaign account, compared with $1 million
for Mr. Hayes, he merrily announced that he was sorry it was not zero.
An additional $150,000 quickly came in, along with promises of help
from two popular North Carolina Democrats, former Senator John Edwards and former Gov. Jim Hunt."
Interesting stuff in the second installment of the Bledsoe series about the long history of racial politics within the GPD.
The News & Record began its  article about the
meeting this way: "Black police officers told city officials Tuesday
that they want an end to the 'good-old-boy' system that they say keeps
them from getting promoted, transferred and recognized by the
Greensboro Police Department."
These were not new accusations.
In July 1976, a group of black officers filed a complaint about racial
and gender discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Yet David Wray himself does not seem to be a racist.
The case I see being made against him is that he was allegedly operating outside the rules, and thus lost the confidence of his bosses; if true, he deserved what he got.
The N&R may well have underplayed the alleged misbehavior in favor of the race angle in its early coverage, and Bledsoe may be doing the same thing. That's not to say the racial politics aren't real, but that they may not be the proximate cause of Wray's undoing.
UPDATE: Discussion in the comments on why this is newsworthy. Shaq is really just a curiosity, the story is the trend toward paramilitary-style activity by police, and the new wrinkle of raids based on unreliable IP tracking.
UPDATE II: Bedford (VA) Bulletin: "The Bedford County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that one of those
participating in executing the search warrant was NBA basketball star
Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat, who was visiting Bedford that
More: "The search was based on incorrect information provided to investigators by the Internet service provider involved with the case...the IP belonged to a provider called FairPoint Communications, based in Charlotte, N.C."