Personally a difficult day over here for some family members who are crucible-stepping. If you could keep J and P in your prayers, I would really appreciate it.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty to read!
Big Doings: for the launch of Big Hollywood. I like the Steyn quote highlighted by Ed Driscoll he’s right!. And Driscoll is correct that editor John Nolte will keep the site provocative, smart and funny. I like the site a lot – it’s quickly going to become yet another of my daily “must reads” and a clear counterpart to Huffpo. Being a fan of the graphic novel Watchmen, I really enjoyed Jonah’s piece and the blogging seems pretty promising.
Also, don’t miss this biting, no-holds barred post by center-left John Ridley, who takes issues with labels, Hollywood’s intellectual dishonesty, and brainlessness-in- general as he discusses his story Three Kings, which this blog has referenced a few times.
Garbriel at Ace has the first ten bills of the eleventy-first congress. I feel a nightmare coming on. And isn’t the-permanent-majority-lady one scary little powermonger? I hope Obama can deal with her. And with this.
Bainbridge says House Dems are not serious about reform. Well, they are. They just want to reform things like term limits and such in their favor!
WSJ: What Congress knew about torture. I expect this issue will be one that undergoes a subtle change over the next four years, now that the Democrats have the WH and the Congress.
Did Leon Panetta know about the “extraordinary renditions” policy developed by the Clinton Administration? It’s worth asking. Unless, as I say, these issues are about to undergo changes in conventional wisdom.
President Bush: He’s always been better on the environment (and even Kyoto-esque treaties) than the press and the left would ever acknowledge, so this is really not a surprise, nor is the left’s continued lack of generosity toward him and these inconvenient truths.
Meanwhile: Bush gets some advice from the military. The press chooses not to cover.
Hitchens: writing about the religion that gets people to censor themselves (hint, it ain’t Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism) and the failings of Gaza. And here’s a thought on the failings of the media in their reportage. Bob Owens has more
On Gaza: Here is a thought I had while participating in this thread. It’s not a “happy” one, I admit, but certainly a longview. I admit it may be naive:
If Israel goes forward & extends her operations into South Gaza, she will be seen as brutal & relentless, yes, but if that convinces the Palestinians to eject Hamas, then Israel will have, paradoxically, helped Palestinians grab hold of their own destiny, declare themselves and (hopefully) begin to create the State they desire.
We can’t imagine that because all we can see is what’s before our eyes, and it looks awful. Taking the longview, Israel’s defeating Hamas could be a real “springtime” for Palestinian people; they may finally dare to establish themselves as a legitimate government able to engage in real diplomacy,real markets.
Palestinians are like everyone else; they want schools, hospitals,jobs and dreams. They need help getting them. Hamas has not brought it to them. The PA did not bring it to them.
Israel’s actions now could provide Palestine with a “paradoxical liberation,” freeing them from the power-mad ideologues who have never had any use for the Palestinians except as they might be exploited for political and monetary gain. But the Palestinians have to grab the opportunity before the next Arafat or the next Hamas comes in, weeps for them, takes aid and prizes on their behalf and then builds armories in and around their schools & homes.
Remember that Clinton brokered a deal giving Arafat’s gang 95% of what they wanted, including (if I remember right) a portion of East Jerusalem; Arafat walked away from it. Ran away, actually, with Maddy Albright in hot pursuit. And people forget that President Bush’s administration was the first to openly talk about and wish for a two-state solution.
The daring irony: Israel, subjecting the Palestinians to a grueling, intense sort of chemotherapy, could well leave them fragile but cancer-free. From there, if they have solid support from nations like the US, they may well grow and prosper; then they can engage Israel diplomatically, as equals-in-state. What a concept.
But the price getting to that point is heavy & cruel; there is no being cavalier about that. Mothers will weep on both sides. Great change is not wrought in timidity, and Israel will have burdened itself with responsibility for real grief; she will HAVE to help Palestine heal & grow.
What I am describing sounds awful, but a different perspective finds a little hope. Israel wants to live. Palestine wants to live. Neither WILL live, and never in peace, if Hamas and their ilk are not dealt with.
And yes, that is probably incredibly naive. Just my gut talking.
Why Israel Fights: the quick answer
Tony Blankley thinks Obama is missing a chance for Muslim outreach by keeping silent on Gaza. I think Obama’s being smart. It’s not his headache, yet, and no matter what he says, he’s going to piss someone off. Given his recent political appointments, it seems clearer that Sen. Obama is – like Bill Clinton – first and foremost a politician, and what is deemed “good politics” or “safe politics” will be the lens through which he views what he encounters, and his response mode.
Pro-Palestinians making noise in San Francisco
Why I love Glenn Reynolds.
Obnoxious, condescending putz: If a Republican had said it, he’d already, perhaps rightly, be hearing calls for his resignation.
Speaking of obnoxious: The Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2008 as per Hawkins.