More bad news for J-Ry.

More bad news for J-Ry. Apparently Blagojevich is leading in most categories. It is very strange. J-Ry, despite being fun to ridicule over the name confusion, isn’t a bad guy. He may look the other way from time-to-time, but he has no worse of a reputation than Blagojevich.

Who knew, Blago would have the more attractive name….

The Washington Post has an

The Washington Post has an op-ed by Karen Armstrong. I’ve schlepped for her before and I’ll do it again. Read it and love it. And then be critical of it. I think her writing is some of the best when it comes to religion, but there are two problems with her article.

First, Iraq’s children haven’t been victimized by the embargo. They have been victimized by a fascist dictator who has chosen to spend money on weapons and refused to allow a market economy. I will certainly agree the perception is present that the embargo has killed children in Iraq, but that is a different question than what has caused the actual problem. The Kurdish zone is doing quite well under the same sanction regime. The problem is Saddam Hussein.

The above is not meant to absolve the US of years of backing despots in the region and she is correct in that criticism.

Second, attacking Iraq may be necessary. I would prefer to look at increasing aid to domestic resistance groups, but the current President doesn’t seem to want to even acknowledge the possibility. Hussein has attacked American interests and he will do so again. He is (probably) not responsible in any way for September 11th. However, trying to kill a former President of the United States is an act that should have clued us in to this guy.

It is true that we must deal with the Arab perception of our actions and the way to do that is with UN sanction. However, the President bungled this by allowing the debate to drift while he was on vacation. Going it alone would be disastrous. However, approaching it from a multilateral position focused on previous promises by Hussein gives us the ability to force him out while setting a reasonable precedent for future actions. Her point that we need other nations is essential, but also we must act.

And we must change how we interact with the Arab world. Fundamentalist dictators are never friends of democracy no matter how much oil they have underneath them.

How bad are things in

How bad are things in Illinois for the Republicans? This article seems to indicate the Rs are losing endorsements they should be winning. Topinka is competent and reasonable. If the Ds are rolling over everyone this hard, pulling out the Treasurer or AG race are going to be damn hard in the fall for the Rs.

Zell Miller is one of

Zell Miller is one of my least favorite Democrats, but he voices my position nearly perfectly on Iraq. One caveat–I’ve convinced myself that action needs to be taken to remove Saddam. I’m open to the type of action, but the current administration can’t convince me of anything until they convince themselves of something, anything.

I suppose it is hard to point out that Hussein tried to take out a former President of the United States, when that former President is your father.

Rich Miller provides some good

Rich Miller provides some good counterbalance to Birkett’s ads in the Trib. Oh wait, those are news stories. Actually they are and those stories are important. However, a bit of balance is in order. Madigan is far from perfect and her ties to her father’s machine are entirely legitimate for news stories. However, Birkett’s issues are just as relevant and this story is revealing. Too bad the Sun-Times and the Trib have left the work to Rich Miller.

Hitchens has a good article

Hitchens has a good article on exactly who the radical islamists are. Andrew Sullivan picked out the key paragraph,

“It is also impossible to compromise with the stone-faced propagandists for Bronze Age morality: morons and philistines who hate Darwin and Einstein and who managed, during their brief rule in Afghanistan, to ban and to erase music and art while cultivating the skills of germ warfare. If they would do that to Afghans, what might they not have in mind for us? In confronting such people, the crucial thing is to be willing and able, if not in fact eager, to kill them without pity before they can get started.”

The second great paragraph is here:

“I repeat what I said at the beginning: the objective of al Qaeda is not the emancipation of the Palestinians but the establishment of tyranny in the Muslim world by means of indiscriminate violence in the non-Muslim world, and those who confuse the two issues are idiots who don’t always have the excuse of stupidity.”

The Palestinians are just being used as tools for another movement of fascists. The US must address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for both moral and practical reasons, but al Qaeda is just another Middle Eastern fascist movement. Different in underlying ideology compared to the Baathists in Syria and Iraq, but just another group of fascists.

I wonder if Shrub would like to take on this line though:
“morons and philistines who hate Darwin and Einstein”

He wouldn’t want to alienate the Base, now would he–oh wait, that is base lower case…

From the adults are back

From the adults are back in charge file:
I missed this one by Molly Ivins. I’ve become increasingly bored by her columns in general. Her brillance is writing on the subject she knows more than anything else-Texas. The columns on international relations and a lot of national issues aren’t very insightful. However, this one asks one of those questions that the rest of the media doesn’t seem to think is important even though it really is. Cheney’s, the head adult, was either the most incompetent CEO ever or was involved in rebuilding a Iraq’s oil fields illegally.

Krugman hits the nail on

Krugman hits the nail on the head. The Powell-Cheney fiasco was hysterical and the privatization debate is a joke–and a pretty funny one. However, Tapped played a fun game a week ago and bet that Kaus and Sullivan would have coniptions over a pretty damn inocuous passage, and I’ll take shot today.

This passage:

Is it inaccurate to say that personal accounts equal privatization? We could argue on the merits. Under the Bush plan, a worker’s personal account reflects any gains or losses on the stocks it represents. When risks and rewards accrue entirely to the individual, isn’t that privatization?

But wait, we can do better. The push to convert Social Security into a system of personal accounts has been led by the Cato Institute. The Bush plan emerged directly from Cato’s project on the subject, several members of Mr. Bush’s commission on Social Security reform had close Cato ties, and much of the commission’s staff came straight from Cato. You can read all about Cato’s role on the special Web site the institute set up, socialsecurity.org.

And what’s the name of the Cato project to promote personal accounts? Why, the Project on Social Security Privatization, of course.”

Let’s start the countdown to numerous complaints about how Bush has always varied just a teenie-weenie bit from the CATO line and so Krugman is unfair and part of the Rainesian conspiracy…and the NEA is involved somehow.

The Back Room is back

The Back Room is back at the Sun-Times and they have a great line from Jim Ryan’s campaign:

“The Democratic candidates are, for the most part, inexperienced political hacks who are all family members of the old ‘Chicago Machine.”

First, before addressing him anymore, let’s call him J-Ry since he is so terribly concerned about voter confusion. Generally, J-Ry isn’t a bad guy. A bit too conservative for my tastes, but he is generally honest and no more of a blowhole than the average pol. But come on J-Ry, let’s whine about your real problem–G-Ry.

After yesterday it is clear the two of you are far more at fault for the state of your campaign than those big bad Chicago pols (and it isn’t like DuPage is r’ral now is it?). The Capitol Fax dissects the problem well (no archive so get it while it lasts).