Last updated:
8:20 AM, 31 May 2016



Jim Miller on Politics

  Email:
jimxc1 at gmail.com



What's he reading? Francis Parkman.

News Compilers
(Why These?)

A&L Daily
Drudge
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Yahoo


Big Media
(Why These?)

Atlantic Monthly
BBC
CNN
Chosen Ilbo
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*Deutsche Welle
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Guardian (UK)
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National Review
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Der Spiegel
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Times (UK)
El Universal
U. S. News
USA Today
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Washington Examiner
Washington Post
Washington Times


References:

Adherents
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Census Quick Facts
Dave Leip's Election Atlas
FactCheck
Federal Statistics
How Stuff Works
NationMaster
Refdesk
Snopes
StateMaster
Tax Facts
Unionstats
Wikipedia


Smart Media
(Why These?)

ABC News Note
*The American
The American Spectator
Michael Barone
City Journal
Commentary
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Michael Fumento
The Hill
Media Research
Michael Medved
New York Sun
Number Watch
PJ Media
Public Interest
Roll Call
Spinsanity
Townhall
The Weekly Standard


Blogs
(Why These?)

My Group Blog:
Sound Politics

Northwest:


The American Empire
AndrewsDad
Chief Brief
Clear Fog Blog
Coffeemonkey's weblog
Croker Sack
"DANEgerus"
Economic Freedom
Federal Way Conservative
Freedom Foundation
Hairy Thoughts
Huckleberry Online
Andy MacDonald
NW Republican
Orcinus
Public Interest Transportation Forum
<pudge/*>
Northwest Progressive Institute
*Progressive Majority
Matt Rosenberg
Seattle Blogger
Seattle Bubble
Washington Policy Center
West Sound Politics
Zero Base Thinking


Other US:


Ace of Spades HQ
Alien Corn
Ann Althouse
American Thinker
The Anchoress
Armies of Liberation
Art Contrarian
"Baldilocks"
Balloon Juice
Baseball Crank
La Shawn Barber
Beldar
Bleat
Big Government
Bookworm Room
Broadband Politics
Stuart Buck
Keith Burgess-Jackson
*Bush Center
Chef Mojo
Chicago Boyz
Classical Values
*College Insurrection
Confederate Yankee
Jules Crittenden
Daily Pundit
Discriminations
Gregory Djerejian
Daniel W. Drezner
Econlog
Econopundit
Election Law
John Ellis
Engage
Dean Esmay
Gary Farber
Fausta
FiveThirtyEight
Flares into Darkness
Flopping Aces
The Long War Journal
Gateway Pundit
Grasping Reality With Both Hands
Keith Hennessey
Hugh Hewitt
Siflay Hraka
Instapundit
Iowahawk
Joanne Jacobs
Jeff Jarvis
The Jawa Report
Brothers Judd
JustOneMinute
Kausfiles
Kesher Talk
Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
Little Green Footballs
Megan McArdle
Michelle Malkin
Greg Mankiw
Marginal Revolution
Mazurland
Minding the Campus
The ModerateVoice
*The Monkey Cage Mudville Gazette
"neo-neocon"
Betsy Newmark
Newsbusters
No Watermelons Allowed
Ambra Nykola
*The Optimistic Conservative
The Ornery American
OxBlog
Parapundit
"Patterico"
Daniel Pipes
Polipundit
Political Arithmetik
Political Calculations
Pollster.com
Power and Control
Power Line
Protein Wisdom
QandO
Radio Equalizer
RedState
Riehl World View
Right Wing News
Rightwing Nuthouse
Dr. Sanity
Scrappleface
Screw Loose Change
Linda Seebach
Sense of Events
Joshua Sharf
Rand Simberg
Smart Politics
The Spirit of Enterprise
Stability For Our Time
*Strange Maps
The Strata-Sphere
Andrew Sullivan
Don Surber
Sweetness & Light
Taking Hayek Seriously
TalkLeft
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TaxProf
USS Neverdock
VDH's Private Papers
Verum Serum
Villainous Company
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
Wizbang
Dr. Weevil
Matt Welch
Winds of Change
Meryl Yourish
zombietime


Canadians:


BlazingCatFur
Colby Cosh
Five Feet of Fury
Kate McMillan
Damian Penny
Bruce Rolston


Latin America:


Babalú
Caracas Chronicles
The Devil's Excrement
Venezuela News and Views


Overseas:


"Franco Aleman"
Bruce Bawer
Biased BBC
Tim Blair
*Andrew Bolt
Peter Briffa
Brussels Journal
Butterflies and Wheels
Crooked Timber
Davids Medienkritik
Egyptian Sand Monkey
EU Referendum
Greenie Watch
Guido Fawkes
Harry's Place
Mick Hartley
Oliver Kamm
JG, Caesarea
*Le Monde Watch
¡No-Pasarán!
Fredrik Norman
Melanie Phillips
*Political Betting
John Ray
samizdata
Shark Blog
Natalie Solent
Somtow's World
Bjørn Stærk
Laban Tall
*David Thompson
Michael Yon

Science Blogs:
The Blackboard
Cliff Mass Weather
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Climate Science
*Judith Curry
Future Pundit
Gene Expression
The Loom
In The Pipeline
Roger Pielke Jr.
Real Climate
A Voyage To Arcturus
Watts Up With That?

Media Blogs:
Andrew Malcolm
Dori Monson
David Postman
Rhetorical Ammo
Tierney Lab
*White House Dossier

R-Rated:
Horse's A**
Huffington Post

*new



Pseudo-Random Thoughts


1%?!  That will sound like a joke to anyone who has been looking at poll questions where there are just two options, approve/disapprove in this case.  I can't recall ever seeing that low a result before.

Unfortunately, the result is not just extreme; it's important.
Just 1% of Russians approved of U.S. leadership in 2015 -- the worst rating in the world last year and the lowest approval Gallup has measured for the U.S. in the past decade.  Remarkably, this is even worse than their previous record-low 4% approval in 2014.
Ordinarily, when there are just two choices in a poll question, you expect both of them to hit at least 5 percent, if only because some misunderstand the question.

Vladimir Putin has won the propaganda war against Barack Obama — inside Russia — as completely as it is possible to win.

The "reset" with Russia turns out to be a reset to practically zero.

(Republican presidents have been far more successful in negotiating with Communist leaders (or their successors like Putin) than Democratic presidents.  Eisenhower was able to negotiate a truce in Korea that Truman couldn't.  Nixon was far more successful in negotiating with the Soviet Union and China than Kennedy and Johnson had been.   And so on.

I think part of the reason for the relative Republican success is that Republican presidents are more likely to appeal to common interests, rather than common values.  They are less likely to preach at the men on the other side of the table, more likely to argue that a particular agreement would make both sides better off.)
- 8:20 AM, 31 May 2016   [link]


Need A Joke On A Specific Subject?  There's a book for that.  (Here's the edition I have, and here's a later edition.)

The Penguin Dictionary of Joke is not a collection of great jokes; it's a reference book.  So, for instance, if you need a joke on accidents, you can find thirteen in that entry to choose from.  This one is about average:
First impressions are often lasting — especially if they're made by a car bumper.
Not a great joke, but it would work in some situations.

And I have to admit that I get a kick out of the very idea of a reference book on jokes.

(Yesterday's New Yorker cartoon didn't strike me as at all funny, but it does tell us, not that many of us needed telling, just how ugly the general election campaign will be.)
- 7:10 AM, 31 May 2016   [link]


Two For Memorial Day:  Thoughtful:  Uwe Reinhardt's op-ed, "The American Dead in Foreign Fields"
My wife, born in China and reared in Taiwan, and I, born in Germany and a longtime U.S. citizen, first visited the World War II cemeteries when our American-born children were young.  We would tell them: Here rest some of the warriors who sacrificed their lives so that your parents and people in many parts of the world would be free from tyranny and could pursue their dreams in freedom.  We made it clear to our children that this was not just a grown-up talk—that it was real and part of their proud heritage.
Touching:  Dana Canedy's article. "We Lost Our Soldier, but We’re Still a Family".
I am still not sure what hits me the hardest, Father’s Day, his birthday or the anniversary of his death.  At least Memorial Day brings pride with the pain.

My son and I lost our soldier, First Sgt. Charles Monroe King, in October 2006, just 30 days before he was due to come home from a yearlong tour of duty in the United States Army in Iraq.  The improvised explosive device that detonated under his armored military vehicle shattered his body and our lives.  Jordan was just 6 months old and met his father only once, during a two-week leave from the war.
There isn't anything I can add to those two, except my own thanks to those who served.
- 2:38 PM, 30 May 2016   [link]


That Perplexing Rat/Cellphone/Cancer Study:   Andrew Pollack's article in yesterday's New York Times left me completely confused as to what conclusions one could draw from the study.

Here's what made the headlines:
About 2 to 3 percent of the male rats exposed to the radiation developed malignant gliomas, a brain cancer, compared with none in a control group that was not exposed to radiation.
(The radiation was the kind you are exposed to from cellphones, but at higher levels.)

So, even though the difference was not statistically significant, maybe there is reason to worry?

Maybe, maybe not.  The female rats in the study had almost no tumors, just like the controls..

So maybe men should give up cellphones, but not women?  Not necessarily, since the normal rate of these tumors is about 2 percent.

So maybe cellphone radiation protects female rats from tumors, but not males?  Possibly, but that doesn't' explain the control group.

If you aren't confused yet, let me add one more fact:  "Another anomaly was that the rats exposed to the radiation lived longer on the whole than animals in the control group."

And there are other puzzles I haven't mentioned.

Clearly, further research is needed — and I am not being at all ironic, when I say that,.
- 9911:07 AM, 29 May 2016   [link]


Pepper And Salt is mildly political, today.
- 10:13 AM, 29 May 2016   [link]


What Kinds Of Liars Are Clinton And Trump?   Neo-neocon argues, correctly I think, that Hillary Clinton is a strategic liar, and that Donald Trump is a pathological liar.  Clinton lies when she thinks it will give her an advantage; Trump lies all the time because he enjoys lying.

The frequency of his lies during this campaign is simply astonishing.
With the GOP front-runner scooping up delegates in a march toward the Republican nomination, POLITICO subjected a week’s worth of his words to our magazine’s fact-checking process.  We chronicled 4.6 hours of stump speeches and press conferences, from a rally in Concord, N.C., on Monday to a rally on Friday in St. Louis.

The result: more than five dozen statements deemed mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or simply false – the kind of stuff that would have been stripped from one of our stories, or made the whole thing worthy of the spike.  It equates to roughly one misstatement every five minutes on average.

From warning of the death of Christianity in America to claiming that he is taking no money from donors, the Manhattan billionaire and reality-show celebrity said something far from truthful many times over to the thousands of people packed into his raucous rallies.  His remarks represent an extraordinary mix of inaccurate claims about domestic and foreign policy and personal and professional boasts that rarely measure up when checked against primary sources.
As is his willingness to repeat lies that he has been called on.

My favorite Trump lie may be this one:  He says he is truthful, "Maybe truthful to a fault".

(According to his "mind-meld" advisor, Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama is a strategic liar.  Bill Clinton can be a strategic liar, too, but I have long thought that, occasionally, he told lies for the fun of it.

The post title reminded me of this Far Side cartoon.)
- 3:32 PM, 28 May 2016   [link]


Another "Trans Species" Human:  This one decided to be a goat — temporarily.
When the rat race became too much for Thomas Thwaites he quit London and became a goat... in Switzerland.

T he 35-year-old spent a year creating prosthetic 'goat legs' that would allow him to roam the Alps comfortably on all fours and an artificial stomach that would enable him to blend in and 'eat grass'.

Thwaites said: 'I suffered quite a lot as a goat, because of the slope I was constantly falling over, and of course I had to eat grass.
(I have my doubts about whether he really survived on just grass, even with an "artificial stomach".)

You'll be pleased to know that he found true love up there on the mountain.

Do animals ever get confused and think they are human?  Sure.

For example:
Sexual attraction to humans can develop in non-human mammals or birds as a result of sexual imprinting when reared from young by humans.  One example is London Zoo female giant panda Chi Chi.  When taken to Moscow Zoo for mating with the male giant panda An An, she refused his attempts to mate with her, but made a full sexual self-presentation to a Russian zookeeper.[7][8]
And you can find another example, with falcons, just below, though it may make some feel a little squeamish.

Should Chi Chi be helped to live as a human?  I think you know the answer to that question — and why I am asking it.
- 1:57 PM, 28 May 2016   [link]


Bolivia's Telenovela?  For years, I have been saying that "Presidents of the French 5th Republic" would make a great soap opera.

Knowing even less about telenovelas than soap operas, I am nonetheless convinced that Bolivia has a great ongoing plot for one, as I learned from this New York Times editorial, "The Worst Boyfriend in Bolivia".
If Bolivia’s widening political scandal were to be turned into a soap opera, a fitting title would be “Heartless Ex-Boyfriend.”  The protagonists: a Machiavellian statesman and a former paramour.  The plot:  She threatens to expose him as a monster, but he is determined to stay in power indefinitely, even if he has to jail, silence and discredit her and his critics.
There's much more, including a small child, who either is, or is not, alive, depending on who you talk to.

Some company should step in and start producing a telenovela based on this remarkable series of events.  If they time it right, they can be just a few months, or even weeks, behind the actual events.

(A telenovela, rather than a soap opera, because this story has a beginning, and will, almost certainly, have an end, within the next few years.)
- 4:16 PM, 27 May 2016   [link]


President Obama's Hiroshima Photo-Op Versus The Numbers:  It isn't necessary to link to that photo-op; if you pay any attention to the news at all, you have already heard about it, probably even seen parts of it on TV.

Bur it is quite unlikely, unless you are a careful reader of the New York Times, that you have seen these numbers:
A new census of the American nuclear arsenal shows that the Obama administration last year dismantled its smallest number of warheads since taking office. The new figures, released by the Pentagon, also highlight a trend — that the current administration has reduced the nuclear stockpile less than any other post-Cold War presidency.
(Emphasis added.)

Specifically, less than Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

You may be surprised by how much less, when you look at the numbers in this 2014 article, also by William Broad.

As I have said before, the risk of nuclear war has increased while Barack Obama has been president.  Not all of that increase is his fault —it is hard to think of practical ways to restrain North Korea and Iran — but I do think he, and his secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, might have done better in negotiations with Russia.
- 10:52 AM, 27 May 2016   [link]


What Happens When You Ask Socialist Bernie Sanders About Socialism In Venezuela?  He evades the question.

The exchange is pretty funny, especially when you realize that he should have had a few talking points on the subject, ready to go.

(I am inclined to think, now, that the Bernie Sanders had little or nothing to do with the criticism of the Venezuelan regime that went out under his name.   It doesn't sound like Sanders, so it was probably written by a campaign aide.

Worth reading:  Nick Cohen's brutal critique of leftist political tourists, "Radical tourists have been deluded pimps for Venezuela":
Radical tourism is no different from sex tourism.  In both the political and the coital, the inhabitants of the rich world go to the poor to find the thrills no one will give them at home.
Amazingly, it was published in the Guardian.)
- 9:07 AM, 27 May 2016   [link]


An Old Cold War Joke May Explain The Exodus Of So Many Wealthy Chinese From China:  After he had consolidated his power in the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev invited his aged mother to visit him, so she could see how well he was doing.

He showed her his office and his fancy cars, and took her to see his luxurious dacha, and much else.

His mother didn't seem as impressed as he had hoped she would be.  Instead, if anything, she seemed worried,  Finally, he asked her:  "Aren't you impressed with my success?"

"It's all very nice", she replied.  "But what if the Bolsheviks should come back?"


Many wealthy Chinese must worry that the Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution will come back.  China has not recovered from those traumatic years, and many of those who can are preparing safe retreats, abroad.

For example, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, has bought an estate in the Adirondacks.

If President Xi Jinping continues to tighten his control over China, expect many more to follow Ma's example.

(Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem is both an excellent science fiction story, and a good introduction to the Cultural Revolution, as seen from below.)
- 8:02 AM, 27 May 2016   [link]


Archives

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January 2011, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
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January 2012, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
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January 2013, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
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January 2014, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
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October 2015, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
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January 2016, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
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May 2016, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4






Coming Soon
  • Plan 17 Conservatives
  • FDR and Waterboarding
  • How Long Do Wars Last?
  • Carbon, Carbon Dioxide, and Crescent Wrenches
  • De-Lawyering and Attorney General McKenna


Coming Eventually
  • JFK and Wiretaps
  • Green Republicans
  • The Rise and Fall and Rise of Black Voting
  • Abortion, Cleft Palates, and Europe
  • Kweisi Mfume's Children
  • Public Opinion During Other US Wars
  • Dual Loyalties
  • The Power Index
  • Baby Dancing
  • Jocks, but no Nerds
  • The Four Caliphs




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