Last updated:
7:28 AM, 1 2014



Jim Miller on Politics

  Email:
jimxc1 at gmail.com



What's he reading? Francis Parkman.

News Compilers
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A&L Daily
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egopnews.com
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Big Media
(Why These?)

Atlantic Monthly
BBC
CNN
Chosen Ilbo
*Daily Mail (UK)
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Guardian (UK)
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Times (UK)
El Universal
U. S. News
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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
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ABC News Note
*The American
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Michael Barone
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Media Research
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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
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Keith Burgess-Jackson
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John Ellis
Engage
Dean Esmay
Gary Farber
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FiveThirtyEight
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Grasping Reality With Both Hands
Keith Hennessey
Hugh Hewitt
Siflay Hraka
Instapundit
Iowahawk
Joanne Jacobs
Jeff Jarvis
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Brothers Judd
JustOneMinute
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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
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Radio Equalizer
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Dr. Sanity
Scrappleface
Screw Loose Change
Linda Seebach
Sense of Events
Joshua Sharf
Rand Simberg
Smart Politics
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Stability For Our Time
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zombietime


Canadians:


*BlazingCatFur
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Five Feet of Fury
Kate McMillan
Damian Penny
Bruce Rolston


Latin America:


Babalú
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The Devil's Excrement
Venezuela News and Views


Overseas:


"Franco Aleman"
Bruce Bawer
Biased BBC
Tim Blair
*Andrew Bolt
Peter Briffa
Brussels Journal
*Bunyipitude
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
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¡No-Pasarán!
Fredrik Norman
Melanie Phillips
John Ray
samizdata
Shark Blog
Natalie Solent
Somtow's World
Bjørn Stærk
Laban Tall
*David Thompson
Michael Yon
This is Zimbabwe

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


"Bush Thought Obama Had 'No Clue'"  That's how President Bush assessed the Democratic candidate.

From a book by Bush speechwriter Frank Latimer:
After one of Obama's blistering speeches against the administration, the president had a very human reaction: He was ticked off.  He came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming.  "This is a dangerous world," he said for no apparent reason, "and this cat isn't remotely qualified to handle it.  This guy has no clue, I promise you."  He wound himself up even more.  "You think I wasn't qualified?" he said to no one in particular.  "I was qualified."
Unlike Barack Obama.

Bush was correct, of course, as even a few "mainstream" journalists are beginning to recognize.  What troubles many of us is that, in spite of Obama's time in the Oval Office with access to all the intelligence that the US government can produce, the cat still doesn't seem to have a clue.

Bush is a smart man, much smarter than his enemies believed.

(Latimer also describes Bush's candid views on Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.  I think he was right on both.)
- 7:28 AM, 1 September 2014   [link]


Elizabeth Warren's Regulatory Agency, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is having personnel problems.
America’s newest federal agency, charged with regulating financial institutions to prevent another hostile economic downturn, is having troubles regulating hostilities and discrimination among its own employees.

Evidence gathered by congressional investigators, internal agency documents and Washington Times interviews with workers discloses scores of cases of U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employees seeking protection from racially offensive, sexist or discriminatory behavior, including that:

• A naturalized U.S. citizen, with more than a decade of service with the U.S. government, was called an “f’ing foreigner” by management.

• A department was internally dubbed “the Plantation” because of the number of blacks working in it — all supervised by white managers — without any obvious promotional track or way to get transferred.

• White employees were twice as likely to get the most favorable personnel ratings in employee reviews, as were minorities.

• Managers intimidated and retaliated against employees for voicing complaints or offering an alternative point of view — from denying vacation requests to hiring unqualified friends to supervise jobs and then asking subordinates to train them.
Serious problems, if even half of the charges are true.

By way of the Boston Globe, which assures us that the CFPB is doing good work in spite of these problems.  (Citing a Mother Jones article may not be the best way to demonstrate that point.)

I have been dubious about the agency ever since I learned that it was set up to be independent of congressional and executive oversight.  Such oversight is always incomplete, and often unfair, but it is better, by far, than no oversight at all — especially in a democracy.

It occurs to me that the agency might have attracted some managers who liked the idea of being unaccountable.

(I should warn you that the servers for the Washington Times web site are not the fastest in the world, and that the newspaper uses that common trick of forcing you to click for the next pages in a six-page article.  But you may find the time spent worthwhile, anyway.

No promises, but you may be able to read the article more quickly, if you convert it to the printed version, first.)
- 8:35 PM, 31 August 2014   [link]


The Hyper-Normal World Of Bridge Columns:  I regularly look at bridge columns, not because I now play the game (though I did years ago, socially), but because I like the little logical puzzles they present.

And, in recent years, I have begun to notice that none of those columns ever mentions any disturbance in the outside world, even when the bridge is played in an exciting place.

For example, yesterday, the New York Times carried a column by Phillip Alder, which begins with this paragraph:
At the 15th World Youth Teams Championships here last week, in the girls event, for players born after 1988, the round-robin qualifying matches were followed by four 56-board quarterfinals.   In these, there were easy victories for China, Italy and the Netherlands (over the United States).  In the fourth, Australia led France by 27 international match points, with 14 boards to be played, but in a big last session, France triumphed by 12 imps.
And goes on, as these columns almost always do, to describe one of the more interesting hands played at the event.

But the column says nothing about the location: Istanbul — and right now that is a very exciting location indeed.  Most of the European jihadis who are rushing to join ISIS probably pass through Istanbul.  Istanbul is also the center of secular and moderate Muslim resistance to Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But none of that is even mentioned in the column, which is fine with me, though it seems a little odd.

But I suppose it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves, from time to time, that even in exciting places, most people, most of the time, are doing ordinary not-so-exciting things.  And though bridge games can be exciting to those who understand the game, they are less exciting to almost all of us than religion and war.  So it is nice to see the normal, perhaps even the hyper-normal, in these bridge games being played in exciting places.
- 3:06 PM, 31 August 2014   [link]


The Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Scandal:  The best succinct description of the scandal that I have seen is in this New York Times article.

Samples:
A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.
. . .
The vast majority of perpetrators have been identified as South Asian and most victims were young white girls, adding to the complexity of the case.  Some officials appeared to believe that social workers pointing to a pattern of sexual exploitation were exaggerating, while others reportedly worried about being accused of racism if they spoke out.  The report accused officials of ignoring “a politically inconvenient truth” in turning a blind eye to men of Pakistani heritage grooming vulnerable white girls for sex.
. . .
Three earlier reports, published from 2002 to 2006, detailed the abuse, and according to Ms. Jay, “could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham.”  But the first one was “effectively suppressed” and the other two “ignored,” she said.
The best commentary I've seen on the report is from John Sullivan.

Samples:
Official attitudes to the young white girls in Rotherham were different — but, if anything, worse.   They combined sexism with a contempt for the white working class that is now common in both the progressive intelligentsia and the lumpen-intelligentsia whose members respectively lay down and enforce social policy under uncomprehending or cowardly political leaders.  Thus the police shared the opinion of the criminals that their victims were little better than “sluts.”  They were powerless, without influential parents or friends, lacking an ethnic support group that would rally to their defense.  If racism is a weapon that can be used only by the powerful, as the progressive mantra holds, then the girls were victims of racism.  But they were the wrong victims just as the criminals were the wrong pedophiles.  Their plight had never been a topic in lectures on diversity.  In short, they certainly weren’t worth risking a reprimand for disrupting good community relations or undermining diversity.
. . .
A final factor is that Rotherham and South Yorkshire have been Labour “pocket boroughs” for 80 years or more.  Until the last local elections — when UKIP broke through to win ten seats — there has been no effective opposition to hold Labour to account.  The threat from UKIP in recent years has made Labour still more determined to hold the Muslim vote and even more reliant on those Muslim Labour councilors who were its missionaries to Muslim voters.   So Labour kept the lid on the scandal as long as it could and discouraged interest in it.   (You may hear certain American echoes there.)
(UKIP = United Kingdom Independence Party.  They want limits on immigration, and independence from the European Union.)

Americans will naturally wonder whether something similar could happen here.

I think it could, and that, on a much smaller scale, may already have happened.  I have seen a few reports on young Somali men in the pimping business, and have wondered how many I haven't seen, because our "mainstream" journalists would prefer not to cover such stories.

I'll have more to say about this scandal when I have read and studied the report.

(Rotherham has a population of about 260,000.  A very rough calculation suggests that as many as 1 in 20 white girls there were victims.

And there have been similar scandals in similar cities in Britain.)
- 7:11 AM, 30 August 2014   [link]


"We Don't Have A Strategy, Yet"  That Obama answer has drawn a lot of attention.
Obama, asked at a news conference on Thursday if he needs congressional approval to launch air strikes in Syria, said he "didn't want to put the cart before the horse.  We don't have a strategy yet."

Here's his full answer:
You know, I have consulted with Congress throughout this process.  I am confident that as commander in chief, I have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently.  As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think that it'll be important for Congress to weigh in and we're -- that our consultations with Congress continue to develop so that the American people are part of the debate.

But I don't want to put the cart before the horse.  We don't have a strategy yet.  I think what I've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are.  And I think that's not just my assessment, but the assessment of our military, as well.

We need to make sure that we've got clear plans, that we're developing them.  At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard.

But there's no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.
I think that President Obama is using that answer to tell some of the people in his administration, Kerry and Hagel for example, to tone down their rhetoric.

But it didn't come out that way; instead it came out as a gaffe, as Aaron Blake explains at some length.
As with all gaffes, the worst ones are the ones that confirm people's pre-existing suspicions or fit into an easy narrative.  That's why "47 percent" stung Mitt Romney so much, and its why "don't have a strategy" hurts Obama today.

Polls have increasingly shown that Americans view Obama as a weak commander in chief without much direction or heft t0 his foreign policy.  The latest is a Pew Research Center survey, released shortly before Obama's errant statement Thursday, that showed 54 percent of Americans say he's "not tough enough" when it comes to foreign policy and national security.
How many think he is too tough?  Currently, three percent, which if you know anything about polls, means approximately no one, since about five percent will agree to almost anything.

(Detail-oriented people may wonder why I inserted that comma in the headline, when the journalists didn't.  That's because I heard enough of a pause in his answer to deserve a comma.   Similarly, I would punctuate Hillary Clinton's famous Benghazi answer like this:  "What difference, at this point, does it make?"  But I have often seen the commas omitted.

For students, I should add that there is no correct answer in either case, that it is a matter of taste, and ear.)
- 8:53 AM, 29 August 2014   [link]


It Can Be Advantageous To Be Homosexual:  As even some British street criminals have figured out.
A violent father-of-two escaped deportation moments before being put on a plane to Jamaica – by suddenly declaring he was homosexual.

Alvin Brissett, 55, was ordered to be sent back to his Jamaican homeland after building up a long criminal record including thefts, drug possession, and assaults.
Amazingly, he found some judges who believed him.

(Could something similar happen in the United States?  Sure, although the details would differ.  Like Britain, we give special consideration to those who might be persecuted back in their homelands for their political views — or their sexual practices.  Inevitably, some are going to take advantage of those policies.  And, now that I think about it, no doubt some already have.)
- 7:18 AM, 29 August 2014   [link]


We May Have Made A Mistake When We Let The Tsarnaev Family Into This Country:  Here's more evidence for that conclusion.
A sister of the Boston Marathon bombers was busted in New York City Wednesday for allegedly threatening to blow up her live-in lover’s baby mama, The Post has learned.

Ailina Tsarnaeva, who lives in North Bergen, NJ, allegedly phoned the woman at her Harlem home on Monday and warned her to keep her distance or face explosive consequences.

“Leave us alone. I know people who can put a bomb on you,” Tsarnaeva, 23, allegedly said.
People besides her brother, who is now in custody?  I do hope the police will ask her a few questions about that.
- 7:46 AM, 28 August 2014   [link]


President Obama Is The Wrong/Right Man To Confront ISIS:  That odd headline is my way of saying that I found myself agreeing with two pieces that came to opposing views on that question.

The Washington Examiner suspects that he is the wrong man:
The bigger issue, however is whether Obama and his chief advisers are smart enough and tough enough to defeat ISIS.  That's doubtful if a weekend observation by Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser is indicative of the administration's approach.

U.S. officials will "monitor very closely whether or not [ISIS] will seek to develop plots that are aimed at the West, aimed at beyond this geographic area where they have been operating,” Rhodes said during a White House briefing.
The terrorist organization claims that they are already making plans to attack the United States, and our open southern border provides an easy way for them to get into the United States, if they are not already here.  (I suspect at least a few of them are.)

The 9/11 attack should have taught even Obama to take such threats seriously.  But I doubt that it has.

James Taranto thinks that Obama is the right man.
Leonard Nimoy memorably declared that "only Nixon could go to China."  It's not literally true that only Obama could bomb Iraq--his three predecessors all did, and even Obama didn't put an immediate stop to the fighting.  But perhaps only Obama could bomb Iraq now without encountering serious domestic political opposition.

Let us be clear (to coin a phrase): None of this should be taken as a defense of Obama's conduct of foreign policy for his first 5½ years in office.  Nor are we confident, although we are hopeful, that he will do all that is necessary in the face of the ISIS threat.  But at least there is little doubt that what he does will be necessary, and will be widely understood to be.
So President Obama is the wrong man to confront ISIS militarily and diplomatically, but the right man, politically.

Is there any solution to this dilemma?  Possibly.  We can hope that Obama will find a competent general to take charge of our military response, and that he will not interfere too much with our diplomats, some of whom are capable of rallying support.

We don't need a David Petraeus and a Henry Kissinger, just a competent general, and a few competent ambassadors.
- 6:31 AM, 28 August 2014   [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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June 2014, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
July 2014, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
August 2014, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
September 2014, Part 1






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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University Reform


Uncorrected Mistakes


Vote Fraud


The Gang of Four


Articles


Assignment Desk
(What's This?)


Columns


Common Mistakes
(What's This?)


Chomsky Cult Program


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