Friday, March 28, 2008

Candy black market

Local News: Students turn a profit from candy sales | candy, profit, sales - Victorville Daily Press: "VICTORVILLE — With candy sales banned on school campuses, sugar pushers are the latest trend at local schools. Backpacks are filled with Snickers and Twinkees for all sweet tooths willing to pay the price.

“It’s created a little underground economy, with businessmen selling everything from a pack of skittles to an energy drink,” said Jim Nason, principal at Hook Junior High School in Victorville.

This has become a lucrative business, Nason said, and those kids are walking around campus with upwards of $40 in their pockets and disrupting class to make a sale."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Clinton sleaze

What if Hillary Clinton gave a speech about gender? (And why she won't.) - By Melinda Henneberger and Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine: "Her biggest supporters are the women who see themselves in her and who feel that she is/they are owed this; after all she has/they have endured. But she won't give that speech because those women don't have as much in common with her as they think. Sure, her husband's behavior has humiliated her. But she has also helped him humiliate the women he's been involved with."

No Sadddam plot to kill Daddy Bush

Saddam’s Files | Newsweek International | "The study found that the IIS kept remarkably detailed records of virtually every operation it planned, including plots to assassinate Iraqi exiles and to supply explosives and booby-trapped suitcases to Iraqi embassies. But the Pentagon researchers found no documents that referred to a plan to kill Bush. The absence was conspicuous because researchers, aware of its potential significance, were looking for such evidence. 'It was surprising,' said one source familiar with the preparation of the report (who under Pentagon ground rules was not permitted to speak on the record). Given how much the Iraqis did document, 'you would have thought there would have been some veiled reference to something about [the plot].'"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Clinrton sleaze

Leading Obama Adviser Attacks Ex-President for Remarks - New York Times: "Mr. Clinton, in a speech to voters in North Carolina on Friday, said “it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country.”"

Clinton lies

Clinton lies

Obsidian Wings: "We Just Ran With Our Heads Down": "Frankly, though, the fact that she can't tell the difference between having an eight year old read her a poem on a tarmac and fleeing through a hail of bullets doesn't give me a lot of confidence in her grasp of military affairs. Who knows? If she were President, she might decide that she was under attack by helicopter gunships when she was actually standing in a perfectly peaceful receiving line at a state funeral, and declare war. If she thinks the video I linked to shows her running for safety in a hail of bullets, anything is possible."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Politics of fear

God Bless Mike Huckabee

James Fallows (March 20, 2008) - God Bless Mike Huckabee: "Two people have now elevated themselves thanks to Rev. Wright and his tirades.

One, of course, is Barack Obama.

The other is Mike Huckabee, who (as I see via Andrew Sullivan and others) dared speak as a human being rather than as an on-message apparatchik in his comments about Obama and Wright."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Clinton racism

The Red Phone in Black and White - New York Times: "It is significant that the Clinton campaign used its telephone ad in Texas, where a Fox poll conducted Feb. 26 to 28 showed that whites favored Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton 47 percent to 44 percent, and not in Ohio, where she held a comfortable 16-point lead among whites. Exit polls on March 4 showed the ad’s effect in Texas: a 12-point swing to 56 percent of white votes toward Mrs. Clinton. It is striking, too, that during the same weekend the ad was broadcast, Mrs. Clinton refused to state unambiguously that Mr. Obama is a Christian and has never been a Muslim.

It is possible that what I saw in the ad is different from what Mrs. Clinton and her operatives saw and intended. But as I watched it again and again I could not help but think of the sorry pass to which we may have come — that someone could be trading on the darkened memories of a twisted past that Mr. Obama has struggled to transcend."

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Clintons, a horror film that never ends | Andrew Sullivan - Times Online

The Clintons, a horror film that never ends | Andrew Sullivan - Times Online: "Remember: Bill Clinton could have easily settled the Paula Jones lawsuit years before he put the entire country through the wringer (Jones sued Clinton for sexual harassment alleged to have occurred while he was governor of Arkansas).

Recall: Hillary Clinton could have killed what turned out to be the White-water nonstory at the very outset by disclosing everything she could (the scandal centred on a controversial Arkansas property deal).

Consider: the Clintons could have prepared for primaries and caucuses after February 5 – so-called Super Tuesday, when 24 states held their presidential nomination vote – as any careful candidate would. They chose not to do any of these things. Not because they are incompetent. But because they live to risk."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

book notes

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam

While Kim Il Sung vastly exaggerated his biography, he was in fact a major guerrilla fighter against the 33-year Japanese occupation of Korea.

Stalin greatly preferred highly uncharismatic leaders in the satellite countries. Very smart, since the two charismatic leaders -- Tito and Mao -- were disasters for the Soviet Union.

Truman's secretary of defense was a Washington lawyer who was rewarded for raising money for the '48 campaign when no one else would -- because everyone expected Dewey to win.

Truman's upset victory in '48 set the stage for the communist witch hunts because the GOP had been shut out of the White House for 5 consecutive elections.

Matt Connelly on Truman traveling to Wake Island to meet MacArthur: "While General MacArthur had many of the attributes of a foreign sovereign. I said, and was quite as difficult as any, it did not seem wise to recognize him as one." (MacArthur didn't salute Truman when they met)

Mao on MacArthur: "An arrogant enemy is easy to defeat."