Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Morning Bloggy Goodness

Here's a couple of snippets from the past few days' most interesting developments

The Pentagon has recently announced that the inmate who initially made the whole Koran flushed down the toilet allegation has since recanted.

The thought crime police is awake in Italy, bringing charges against well-known author Oriana Fallaci for defaming Islam. A few bloggers have retrieved the origininal complaint and translated the 18 "incriminating" remarkes from Oriana's book. The statements are now referred to as the 18 things you can’t say about Muslims in Italy.

Instupundit notes how EU election observers are criticizing Jimmy Carter's behavior and accussing him of undermining the Etheopian election results by making a premature blessing of the election.

And finally, several Tennessean lawmakers have been arrested by the FBI for bribery and extortion, in a sting operation called "Tennessee Waltz."

Peggy Noonan gives a thorough tongue lashing to the 14 Senators who broke away from their parties to make the judicial compromise. It's a must read and is titled "Mr. Narcissus Goes to Washington."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Al-Rueters Strikes Again

Rueters, in its pursuit to desparately show that Newsweek was right, throws up this misleading headline: "FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran"

However, thats not what the report is really about. The article really says the following:
"An FBI agent wrote in a 2002 document made public on Wednesday that a detainee held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had accused American jailers there of flushing the Koran down a toilet."

Once we realize that Al-Queda agents are trained to make such bogus claims, we realize we can take what they say with a grain of salt.

When you look at the efforts the U.S. has gone through to accomodate the religious beliefs of their captives it is remarkable. This includes distributing surgical masks to the detainees so they could make little hammocks from which to suspend the koran, as well as painting arrows in their cells pointing towards Mecca so that they know which way to pray.

I'd be naive if I believed no koran desecration of any type ever took place, but taken on the whole, the US must be the most accomodating captors in the World.

Monday, May 23, 2005

"No, we're not anti-American. Just skeptical"

Posted by Hello

Riding Sun points out how Newsweek's foreign editions provide enough red meat for your typical Howard Dean lovin, Bush-hater.

LGF has the translated text. The headline says, "America Forsaken --The Day America Died - The ideal of 'freedom' falls to the ground due to Bush continuing in office."

Riding Sun also points out that there is a cover-story article by Andrew Moravcsik, titled "Dream on, America". (This was translated into Japanese as "Yume no kuni Amerika ga kuchihateru toki", which is even harsher; it means, roughly, "America, the dream country, is rotting away".)

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Constitutional Option

Ann Althouse points out that the founders considered requiring a supermajority to reject judicial nominations. She then cites to the published notes taken during the constitutional convention which says:

Mr. Madison, suggested that the Judges might be appointed by the Executives with the concurrence of 1/3 at least of the 2d. branch. This would unite the advantage of responsibility in the Executive with the security afforded in the 2d. branch agst. any incautious or corrupt nomination by the Executive.

Here's another on the same topic demonstaring that the founders didn't have in mind the current process of severe congressional vetting of nominees:

Mr. Madison moved that the Judges should be nominated by the Executive, & such nomination should become an appointment if not disagreed to within days by 2/3 of the 2d. branch

This idea was not followed and the congress was given the "advise and consent" role, which subsequently led to nominees needing to receive a majority. The way the democrats are playing, all you need now is a sliver of a minority who wish to filibuster to effectively reject the nomination.

One commenter on the site makes a great point:

The filibuster is a tradition in the Senate. It remains a tradition because it is rarely used. In fact, part of the filibuster tradition is that it is rarely used. Filibustering seven circuit appeals nominees is clear abuse of the tradition. In a sense, once the filibustering occurred the tradition was scuttled. We can cartinaly argue over who crossed the Rubicon first. It doesn't matter. Either way, there will no longer be a filibuster tradition regarding judicial nominations in the U.S. Senate.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thursday Morning Bloggy Goodness

Here's what's new and interesting on the blogosphere this morning.

The myth-busters of Silent Running decided to put the whole "flush a Quran down the toilet" idea to the test by attempting to flush a book which deserves the mistreatment.

Meanwhile, Powerline has exerted enough pressure on PepsiCo to get them to release the full text of a commencement speech that its President made, comparing the U.S. to the "middle-finger" of the hand.

And once again, Roger L. Simon is breaking news on the oil-for-food scandal.

LGF links to Baralli's Blog who has taken a few photos at an "art" exhibit at MIT. (scroll down).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who's to to blame?

National Review has a great article which puts the whole Newsweek story in the right context. While it's easy to pile on Newsweek, this article points out who the real culprits are in all this mayem:

Newsweek, in reckless pursuit of a scoop that might score the daily double of embarrassing the Bush administration while heaping more disrepute on the Left's favorite punching bag, Guantanamo Bay, falsely reported a martial toilet-flushing of the Koran. Oops, I'm sorry, I mean the Holy Koran — after all, I don't want to be left out of the new, vast right-wing "we can be just as nauseatingly pious as they can" conspiracy.

The false report, according to the New York Times, instigated "the most virulent, widespread anti-American protests" in the Muslim world since...well, since the last virulent, widespread anti-American protests in the Muslim world — particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where at least 17 people have been killed.

That's right. The reason for the carnage is said — again and again, by media critics and government officials — to be a false report of Koran desecration. The prime culprit here is irresponsible journalism.

Is that what we really think?

Here's an actual newsflash — and one, yet again, that should be news to no one: The reason for the carnage here was, and is, militant Islam. Nothing more.

Newsweek merely gave the crazies their excuse du jour. But they didn't need a report of Koran desecration to fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers, to blow up embassies, or to behead hostages taken for the great sin of being Americans or Jews. They didn't need a report of Koran desecration to take to the streets and blame the United States while enthusiastically taking innocent lives. This is what they do.

The outpouring of righteous indignation against Newsweek glides past a far more important point. Yes, we're all sick of media bias. But "Newsweek lied and people died" is about as worthy a slogan as the scurrilous "Bush lied and people died" that it parrots. And when we engage in this kind of mindless demagoguery, we become just another opportunistic plaintiff — no better than the people all too ready to blame the CIA because Mohammed Atta steered a hijacked civilian airliner into a big building, and to sue the Port Authority because the building had the audacity to collapse from the blow.

What are we saying here? That the problem lies in the falsity of Newsweek's reporting? What if the report had been true? And, if you're being honest with yourself, you cannot say — based on common sense and even ignoring what we know happened at Abu Ghraib — that you didn't think it was conceivably possible the report could have been true. Flushing the Koran down a toilet (assuming for argument's sake that our environmentally correct, 3.6-liters-per-flush toilets are capable of such a feat) is a bad thing. But rioting? Seventeen people killed? That's a rational response?

When the White House Press Attacks

Yesterday, the press came out swinging against the administration on a whole host of issues. The New Criterion has a great round-up below:

OK, so Scott McClellan holds a press briefing at the White House this afternoon. Several subjects come up: judicial nominees and the filibuster, a highway bill making its way through Congress, and Newsweek, Newsweek, Newsweek. The Drudge Report called it the “Revenge of the Sith Press,” an allusion to the Star Wars movie. Mr. Drudge posts an image of the comic-strip bad guy, Darth Vader. But if this is supposed to be the “Fourth Estate Strikes Back,” poor ole Darth needs a bottle of Geritol. Mr. McClellan suggested that perhaps Newsweek might want to go beyond its mealy-mouthed retraction and, you know, try to repair some of the damage they did by publishing a totally unfounded story based on an anonymous source that the United States military flushed copies of the Koran (“the holy Koran” in Mr. McClellan’s words) down the toilet. The last time I checked, 17 people had been killed in the riots sparked by that story, scores more injured. But so what? Here we have the pampered US media: their enemy is the Bush administration, and if some natives somewhere have to die to embarrass the US government, well, you can’t make an omelette, etc., etc.

Here are a couple of the questions:

Q. Scott, the Senate has managed to function -- or not function, as the case may be -- for more than 200 years without a ban on judicial filibusters. Is the President concerned about the historic nature of what's being talked about up on the Hill?
Q. Well, let me ask two questions about what you just said. Where in the Constitution are judicial nominees guaranteed an up or down vote? And what about the impact of this whole so-called "nuclear option" on this idea of equal representation in the Senate?
Q. Right, and he's made that clear. You made clear just a moment ago that he opposes judicial activists. And, yet, if you take a look, as I'm sure you have, at the records of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown, both records reveal, according to conservatives -- not me, but according to some conservatives -- judicial activism, number one; and, number two, a judicial temperament which is, at times, very sharp, very acerbic in their opinions, and not consistent with what some people consider the kind of judicial temperament that would be appropriate for the kind of circuit court positions that they're being nominated to. Is there -- is the President sort of violating, in these nominees, his own principle for what he wants to see --
Q: With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it’s appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?
Q: Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you’re saying here?
MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, let me finish my sentence. Our military --
Q: You’ve already said what you’re -- I know what -- how it ends.

Powerline adds: "This is just unbelievable. Newsweek publishes a false report libelling the U.S. military, which contributes to riots and fatalities abroad, and, in the eyes of American journalists, who are the villains? The Bush administration, the military, and--how bizarre is this?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek Round-Up

Winds of change has a great collection of Newsweek related links:

"Veteran journalist Joe Gandelman has a roundup of reactions left and right, and specifically notes that making these kinds of allegations is part of the al-Qaeda training manual; this makes apologists' references to "similar allegations from other prisoners" rather rich, IMO. Greyhawk adds an excellent post on similar but debunked allegations in the past and the possible origins of Newsweek's story. In the aftermath, Jeff Jarvis has a fine point to make about Newsweek's mischievous CBS-style non-retraction - which is likely to get even more people killed. Satirist Scott "Scrappleface" Ott is funny as always, and Glenn's post-"retraction" roundup offers a fine back and forth getting at the issues and responsibility. Responsibility that includes religious sects who see incitement to violence and murder as an acceptable response in such situations (but not in Iraq, says Omar)."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Does NEWSWEEK have blood on its hands?

Newsweek has now backpeddled from its orgininal column that alleged U.S. interrogators had flushed copies of the Koran down tiolets. The original column has led to massive protests throughtout Afganistan and the Gaza strip, causing approximately 15 deaths.

Instapundit writes: "People died, and U.S. military and diplomatic efforts were damaged, because -- let's be clear here -- Newsweek was too anxious to get out a story that would make the Bush Administration and the military look bad."

Austin Bay says the Newsweek apology is "News Weak."

Captain Ed: "Remember this when the Exempt Media gets on its righteous high horse and instructs us on their superior system of checks and balances."

Michele Malkin posts the following related links:

Little Green Footballs: The Jihad Newsweek inspired

Blackfive: Partners in terror?Mudville Gazette: Shredding the book

Marc Landers at U.S.S. Neverdock asks: "[H]ow many in the world will read this admission?
And of those who do, how many will conclude that Newsweek was pressured into this admission by the government to quell the riots?"

He also wonders where the MSM was when terrorists used the Bible for toilet paper.

The Anchoress offers an answer to the question: "What is at work here - why is Newsweek deliberately pouring fuel onto a fire?"

A reader at powerline also goes out of his way to nail Newsweek for it's choice of spelling the Koran. Calling Newsweek's spelling of "Qu'ran" a blaring example of "political correctness run amok" since an acceptable spelling of the "Koran" has existed sinces at least 1625. "So using Qur'an instead of Koran is like using 'Athina' for 'Athens' of 'Moskva' for 'Moscow.'

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Official U.N. Blog Attacks Roger L. Simon

Via Michele Malkin:

Pajamas Media blogger Roger L. Simon has done excellent reporting on the U.N. Oil For Food scandal.

Now, U.N. Dispatch--the U.N. Foundation's blog run by former John Kerry campaign aides--is lamely attacking Simon's motives. They are outraged, outraged that Simon is not a shill for U.N. projects that have yet to be corrupted (just wait, it's only a matter of time) and they are even more outraged that tons of people are going to Simon's blog and giving him traffic.

Just yesterday, AP news reported that Kofi failed to initially disclose important contacts he had made with the commission investigating the scandal.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Harry Reid

What led a former promenant republican staffer to say this?

"Harry Reid is a disgrace to the Senate and to [his] Church of Latter-day Saints," said Manuel Miranda, who was forced to resign as a Republican Senate staffer after downloading files on judicial nominees from Democratic computer servers. "Both bodies should censure him."

Apparently, Harry justified his continued resistance to support one of Bush's judicial nominees, saying there was "a problem" in the nominee's "confidential report from the FBI." There are strict Senate rules that prohibit the diclosure of a nominee's confidential FBI file and it is unclear whether senators can make general remarks about the files w/o describing what they actually contain.

Rebublicans were outraged at Harry's dirty trick of making broad negative remarks, knowing that no one could go back and justify them because of the seal.

CBS, at it again

CBS has shamelessly taken Judge, and former special prosecutor Kenn Starr, out of context in order to paint the picture of how bad the nuclear option really is. After being dowdified, National Review, as well as Rush Limbaugh contacted Starr's office to see what was going on. Starr sent them both an email clarifying the situation and they have even asked CBS for the full transcript, which it has declined to produce.

for the full story here is the URL as my link function is down.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blogging on Bolton

For those of you who missed all the action in the senate foreign relations committee, Michelle Malkin was live blogging. Her posts are here, here, here, and finally here.

Turns out that Voinavich pulled an ultimate cop-out and said he would send it to the senate floor, but vote against Bolton. Of course, what am I complaining for, at least he sent it to the Senate floor. I'm glad he took the curtesy to actually show up this time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Workers of the World, Unite!!!???

I know the Soviets have a right to celebrate VE day just as we do, but do they really have to glorify the whole communist aspect. I mean, goose-stepping, huge red flags with the hammer and sickel, a giant image of Lenin?

I mean, hey, communsim has only killed 100 million people. Why shouldn't it be glorified? Hollywood seems to think it is cool, as does Howard Dean.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spitzer, gone too far?

New York's AG, Eliot Spitzer was initially known has a hard-nosed, but fair individual who sought to clean up America's financial institutions. Since his early successes, he has now reached a level where some are comparing him to a mafioso.

Stephen W. Stanton has said: "He breaks the law. He lies. He intimidates. He makes his own rules, and he gets what he wants. And yet he remains a very popular guy. "

Jay Bryant says that he is now resorting to extortion, while William J. Holstein has called for his resignation over a conflict of interest.

Spitzer has now turned his sights on the sub-prime lending business, a business which offers loans at a higher rate, to high risk candidates who otherwise would not be able to get a loan. Spitzer sent out a letter recently to all the major banks, requesting information that demonstrate banks were discriminating in their issuance of loans based on race. As is probably true, there is a disproportionate number of minorities who don't qualify for the current rates and must seek the sub-prime rates. While this in and of itself means nothing, it could provide fodder for Spitzer's future press conferences and demands. Unfortunately for those with poor credit, an attack on the sub-prime lenders might remove the only option they have left.

Hopefully, Spitzer sticks with financial institutions that really are hurting and cheating Americans.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Huffington Post is up

The blog set up by Ariana Huffington is now up and running. For those of you unfamiliar with the "Huffington Post," it is a collection of a few hundred celebs, pundits, and others posters, designed specifically to compete with the Drudge Report. Its kind of like a blog/news site. I've skimmed some of the posts and they look pretty lame, ranging from Ellen DeGeneris babbling about horsemeat to Arthur Schlesinger Jr. criticizing Bush's Yalta comments.

The news page looks fairly sorry as well. One of the lead stories is on the whole Jeff Gannon non-story, which is extremely old, and extremely irrelavent.

The WaPo has a review of the blog here.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

SLC Olympics Golden Boy in '08'?

Robert Novak reports that the LDS governor of Massachusettes, Mitt Romney, held a secret meeting with prominent republican politicians where he revealed that he might not run for reelection in 2006 in order to run for the presidency in 2008.

I don't know much about Mitt, other than the fact that he is respected and liked by alot of republicans and democrats.

I think the make-up of the republican party presents an interesting dynamic when analyzing whether a Mormon can actually become president. Everyone is aware of the repub's strong christian/evangelical base in the south, and I wonder how they would feel about Romney. I only ask because, based off my personal experiences alone, evangelical christians seem to be one of the religious groups most vocal about their disagreement with Mormonism. I'm curious as to how this would affect the nomination. One things for sure, it will definitely put Mormonism under intense scrutiny.

Assuming he can win the republican ticket, it remains to be seen how he will fare against Hillary. One things for sure, he probably has more sex appeal given his racy ads and magazine appearances.

Of course, if Mitt doesn't make it, there still Leavitt as the HHS head, and Harry Reid as Senate minority leader. For your pleasure, here's a list of some of the current LDS politicians.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Dutch Court Decides not to Throw Bush in Slammer

Fortunately for President Bush, the Hague international court decided not to arrest President Bush when he visits the Netherlands on Saturday, despite the pleas of a dozen moonbats.

THE HAGUE (AFP) - A court in The Hague turned down a demand by a dozen plaintiffs who wanted to force the Dutch government to arrest US President George W. Bush when he visits the Netherlands Saturday, the judgement made public said.

The plaintiffs, mostly left-wing organisations and activists, accused Bush of "numerous grave violations of the Geneva Conventions". They also said the president is responsible for the deaths of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq and Washington's refusal to recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world's first permanent war crimes court.

The court said that the case was political and that the demands "could have far-reaching consequences for US-Dutch relations". -- Uh, you think?

Yet another reason we shouldn't recognize the International Criminal Court. And you thought it was bad when there were rumors the ICC would try to prosecute U.S. soldiers for war crimes.

Are you sure you want to do that?

Chrenkoff has a great photo essay demonstrating why its really a bad idea to be a top al-queda operative.

My link function is down so here's the URL.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Liberal Struggle to "Dehumanize" the Fetus

From BOTW, a great piece detailing the lengths that sime will go to in order to avoid threatening abortion rights:

Michelle Ann Foust, 31, was jailed last Wednesday when a urine sample allegedly showed the presence of methamphetamine, which would violate the terms of her bond agreement.Just five days earlier, Foust was in court for a preliminary hearing on a charge of child endangerment. She was arrested last October shortly after she gave birth to a son after blood tests allegedly showed both Foust and the infant had meth in their bloodstreams. . . .
The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized Fremont County Attorney Ed Newell for bringing the case. Foust's attorney, Gordon Ellis, said the law shouldn't apply to Foust because a fetus is not a child.

A fetus is not a child. This story encapsulates how pro-abortion absolutism has warped American liberalism. Perhaps liberalism's greatest virtue is its professed concern for the most helpless and vulnerable members of society. But here we have the ACLU, the premier liberal organization, taking the position that we have to tolerate what amounts to (alleged) child abuse in the name of dehumanizing the "fetus."

Liberalism also claims to respect science. But what scientific basis can there be for the claim that "a fetus is not a child"? It's a defensible distinction if the question is whether abortion is permissible early in pregnancy, but as a biological matter, at some point a "fetus" becomes capable of surviving on his own and thus indistinguishable from a child by any criterion except location.

To say "a fetus is not a child" is to say that the act of birth somehow instantly transforms a mere clump of cells into a human being. If that is true, then birth really is a miracle--and Ed Newell is a creationist.

Harvard Hypocrite

Here's an unintentional commical profile of Fred Ho, from the Harvard class of 1979 in Harvard Magazene. He's a marxist, saxophone jazz player who recently helped train security forces for the king of Cambodia.

The Volokh Conspiracy points out an interesting juxtapostion of two paragraphs from the article. There first one says:

Ho is an uncompromising Marxist. He currently believes that the capitalist patriarchy should be replaced with its opposite -- a matriarchy -- as a necessary transition stage toward true communism. His music and radical politics, both discovered by the age of 14, are inseparable and dominate his life. "All music is political," he explains, "whether the artist is conscious of it or not. I subscribe to the interpenetration of ideas and material life. I talk the walk."

Later towards the end of the article:

Ho earns a moderate living making music because he has only himself to support and because he is a well-organized businessman who competes in the open market for arts funding, frequently winning awards, commissions, and artist-in-residence positions at schools or art colonies. (He recently returned from working with musicians in Alaska as part of the CrossSound Festival.) He cannot apply for grants because his company, Big Red Media Inc., is a for-profit venture.

Here's a few other interesting tidbits from the article:

He has not even stepped into a clothing store in more than 12 years because he designs his own apparel, though he generally prefers to be naked. “What I create is better than Armani, better than Ralph Lauren, better than these boring mass marketers,” says Ho, whose signature piece is a fire-engine-red silk duster patterned with white cranes, made from a recycled Japanese wedding kimono. “I am not a Luddite and I don’t subscribe to purist positions regarding consumer capitalism. I just choose to consume something better.”

...Ideologically, he was a “yellow nationalist” until the summer after his freshman year, when he joined the I Wor Kuen, an Asian-American radical group, initially modeled after the Black Panthers, that morphed into the League of Revolutionary Struggle.

I'm assuming Harvard profiled this guy because he's supposed to be admired?

My Congressman Hard at Work

Jim Moran, my congressman, was on a left wing blog site the other day and gave an interview where he had a few classy things to say about the administration.

Here's an excerpt from the transcript discussing the President's Soc Sec Plan:

"The only actual news that he reads is the sports section. All the national news, all the opinions that he gets have been filtered, and it goes to his daily briefing that has already been pre-screened to give him what he wants to read. He doesn’t read any books, and he doesn’t talk with people that don’t already agree with him. He’s surrounded himself with ideological sycophants. And the biggest a**-kisser of all is Dick Cheney."

Moran now claims the quote was taken out of context, of course, its hard to see what context he could put it in that would make it acceptable.

Moran's got a spotty past and has made idiotic remarks before. This all doesn't matter northern Virginia liberals apparently.

Insurgents Suffering From Low Morale?

Here's an interesting article:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military said Tuesday it has seized a letter from Iraqi insurgents believed to be intended for Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi complaining about low morale among followers and weakening support for the insurgency.

Last week, U.S. forces nearly missed capturing al-Zarqawi after following a truck he was in with an unmanned drone. He apparently slipped out of the truck when it drove under a freeway overpass. Forces did capture a number of his bodyguards and his hi-power laptop.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Laws of Economics

From the NYTimes: an important headline that is completely obvious...
Pentagon Says Iraq Effort Limits Ability to Fight Other Conflicts
Now, from RWP, get a sneak-peak at tomorrow's headline:
Bank Says Spending Money Now Limits Ability to Buy Other Stuff
Doing anything that requires resources, means that those resources can't be used for other projects.
Econ. 101. Duh!

Why "DeLay" the Ethics Inquiries?

I'm sure many of you are aware of the democrats' efforts to take down Tom Delay with so-called ethics violations. Republicans, completetly aware that this was a witch hunt, changed the ethics commitee rules to make it more difficult to begin actual investigations by the committee. Obviously, democrats cried foul and for the past few months have been lampooing DeLay.

The only problem with their strategy, as DeLay has pointed out, is that he has done nothing that democrats haven't also done.

At first, dems were all over DeLay because it turned out that he had family members as paid staff. This just led the republicans to point out that there are plenty of democrats who hire family members as staff and pay them much more than what DeLay paid his family. Furthermore, DeLay even filled out all the proper forms, something the Dems failed to do.

Next, Dems attacked a few of DeLay's aides because they accepted travel money from a number of lobyists. Lo and behold, two democtratic congressman themselves have received travel funds from the same lobyists. Dems are now trying to rationalize their behavior after being exposed.

It now appears that the Dems' relentless attack on DeLay may be backfiring on them.

As things now stand, Dems' will have to be willing to take down a large number of their own in order to get at DeLay.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The reason dems filibuster

Steven Calibresi explains why the dems are filibustering Bush's judicial nominees.

"Because these Clarence Thomas nominees threaten to split the Democratic base by aligning conservative Republicans with conservative voices in the minority community and appealing to suburban women."

Read the whole thing.

The First Welfare State to Fall: GM?

George Will has a great column, describing how the first welfare/entitlement economy to fail will be the automanufacturer GM.

WASHINGTON -- Who knew? Speculation about which welfare state will be the first to buckle under the strain of the pension and medical costs of aging populations usually focuses on European nations with declining birth rates and aging populations. Who knew the first to buckle would be General Motors, with Ford not far behind?

GM is a car and truck company -- for the 74th consecutive year, the world's largest -- and has revenues greater than Arizona's gross state product. But GM's stock price is down 45 percent since a year ago; its market capitalization is smaller than Harley Davidson's. This is partly because GM is a welfare state.

In 2003 GM's pension fund needed an infusion from the largest corporate debt offering in history. And the cost of providing health coverage for 1.1 million GM workers, retirees and dependents is estimated to be $5.6 billion this year. Their coverage is enviable -- at most, small co-payments for visits to doctors and for pharmaceuticals, but no deductibles or monthly premiums.

Read on.