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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Dehli attack warning

The US Embassy in India has warned of possible "imminent attacks" by militants in the capital, Delhi, and advised US citizens to be vigilant.

Too fat to fight

A WaPo editorial by two former chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, says that childhood obesity is a national security threat as a quarter of all kids are too fat to fight. They call on Congress to introduce laws to give children better nutrition.

(I can't find the original, so here's the BBC cover.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pssst.... Hey, buddy...

Wanna buy a money losing, completely discredited right wing newspaper?

The Unification Church (Moonies) are looking to sell the Washington Times. They've been "subsidizing" it to the tune of $35 million a year.

Thought for the Day

I wonder if the headline grabbing Gulf of Mexico oil spill will change the recent policy on opening up more offshore drilling?

Later: I guess I'm a little late.
The US administration has banned oil drilling in new areas of the US coast pending investigations into the cause of the oil spill off Louisiana.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Branding against belief

According to the WaPo, the Democrats are going to try to brand themselves "the party of results," painting the Republicans as obstructionist.

True or not, I think that's going to be a hard sell. Branding the Repubs as obstructionist may be fairly easy, but rebranding the Democrats against the general (and well deserved) perception that they're chaotic and ineffectual will be really tough, especially in a midterm election where there isn't a single candidate to act as spokesman, mascot, or whatever.

They're going to have to graft Obama's image onto Congressional Democrats. It can be done. It's just very hard to brand against perception.

More Arizona thoughts

1) No matter how you spin it, Arizona passed a law which allows police to interrogate random people based on the color of their skin. Even post-9/11, that's not been allowed for Middle Eastern appearing men.

2) If that Arizona law stays on the books and stays as unpopular, it's going to cost them alot of money at a time when their economy is already suffering. Convention and event losses, boycotts, limited economic activity by Hispanics afraid of getting harassed by police....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Post Census Congressional District changes

I found this article a somewhat interesting thought provoker.

Much has been made of the shrinking relative demographics of the GOP, as they grow older and more white while the country grows more diverse, BUT, if you look at the way the Census is likely to affect the apportionment of Congressional seats,there's a fair argument that the Democrats my be losing the geopolitical battle.

In the Congressional seat reapportionment, it's predicted that Congressional seats will largely be taken from fairly blue midwest and eastern states and portioned to the growing states in the South, sunbelt and west, and, as the Republicans currently control (or will likely control) the state governments in those growing states, they will control the redistricting, giving them more influence over what party gets elected in the newly drawn districts.

So, post 2010 reapportionment, there may be a burst of new Republican seats at the cost of safe Dem seats from the northeast.This will also effect Presidential politics as the growing Republican states will gain electoral votes as well.

However, I might argue that that this gain may be a high water mark in the longer term as a fair percent of the population increase that's driving those states to grow comes from more traditional Democratic voters, so, in the multi decade future, many of these growing states may slowly begin to turn tossup or Democrat as well, leaving the currently modeled GOP struggling for a geographic base.

However, in the next decade, the political geography seems to favor the red.

Just thinking out loud.

Thought for the Day

In theory, shouldn't the Tea Party crowd be throwing fits over Arizona's immigration law? Stopping and questioning citizens seems like the kind of arbitrary government tyranny they're supposedly against.

(Oh, that's right. Only white citizens have rights.)

Related: If the Arizona law stays on the books and stays as unpopular, it's going to cost them alot of convention and event money.

Laura Bush tells (her version of) all

The NYTimes has some bits from former First Lady Laura Bush's new book. A completely unsubstantiated claim that someone tried to poison the Bushes on a trip to Germany and a seemingly self serving presentation of her fatal car accident at 17 seem to be the big selling points.

I don't know if it's her or the NYTimes' treatment, but this coverage left me with a very bitter feeling towards her. (but I couldn't stop reading it.)

Later: Maybe it's because she killed a guy after running a stop sign, and yet she still attempts to blame everything else.

Later Still: Somewhere in an attic there's a portrait of Laura Bush that keeps aging.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Picture of the Day

I never thought I'd see these signs again in my lifetime.

(Demonstrators protest Arizona's new immigration law outside the Arizona state capitol building on April 23. (AFP/John Moore))

Monday, April 26, 2010


With Arizona once again making headlines for its legislative "statements" around race, I thought it was time to drag this one back out. It's hard to believe that "By the Time I get to Arizona" is 19 years old. (And we're still talking about Arizona.)

Today's read

The article making the murmurs today is the New York Magazine article on how effectively Sarah Palin has juiced her newfound prominence for lots of money.

(I didn't make it halfway through, but alot of the blogs, both left and right, seem excited about this piece.)


Mark Halperin tells me what an amazing job Obama has done so far. (Notable primarily bacause Halperin is center right, and, for some reason, highly read in the power circles.)

The floppy disk is no more

I'm so old.


Kinda quiet this morning before the Senate vote this afternoon on financial regulation reform.

Somehow the Republicans think blocking the financial regulation bill is good politics. (?)

The politics of their position seem to rely on the complete falsehood that this bill enables more bailouts.

I'll be very curious to see how Republican refusal is covered.