What I'm Reading This Morning

Room Eight is a new blog tackling New York politics, tackling conflicts of interest among New York's Congressional delegation.

The IEA has released an interesting report on CO2 emissions and energy efficiency.  Crazy lefties, apparently.

The Washington Note uncovers more neocon front groups , this one called Family Security Matters.  The board is full of all-star wingnuts.

Christopher Hayes has a piece on progressive funding and how it works (and doesn't).

House Armed Services Committee Chairman is a serious War Profiteering Hero, Duncan Hunter.  America owes this hero a debt of gratitude for the debt he's helping us incur.

David Sirota has a good piece pointing out that Chuck Schumer, David Broder, and David Brooks are weirdly out of touch.

Once again, I'm going to point you to this awesome piece in Defensetech on North Korean missile hype. The New York Times editorial board agrees.

And another day, another ridiculous hit piece on Al Gore and global warming. Come on, people.  

What are you reading?

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North Korean Missile Hype

I keep seeing North Korean missile fear-mongering all over the cable news channels.  Now I'm not going to pretend that North Korea isn't dangerous, but the fear-mongering seems to be just that.  It's the same retreads of the fat Republican/pundit lazy cowards who are too insular and stupid to understand the difference between risk and certain doom.  Normally I'd put this in breaking blue, but this story seems to be huge (though not really discussed in the liberal blogs).

Defensetech offers a long post with lots of experts chiming in.  It's worth reading.  The gist is that there's lots we don't know, the intelligence is incomplete, and it's quite possible that the threat is much smaller than the Dick Cheney's of the world presume based on North Korea's use of military hoaxes to achieve negotiating leverage.

At any rate, I'm glad that sane and sober people are in charge of our government and media right now.  Ugh.

UPDATE: Redstate seems to think that the words of former Clinton hacks as well as the words of uberloser Walter Mondale are sufficient proof that military strikes against North Korea would be swell, or something along those lines. I prefer to rely on the US inelligence agencies we didn't listen to prior to invading Iraq before destroying the world economy with another lazily conceived war:

U.S. satellites have observed liquid fuel canisters being placed near the missile, but officials said there was no confirmation that fueling took place. "We can't say anything for sure," said one top official with access to the intelligence.

Loading fuel into the rocket boosters for the Taepodong-2 missile would almost certainly suggest a launch will take place, because it is difficult to siphon out the fuel. But North Korea has a long history of doing things simply for the benefit of American satellites -- and to bring the world's attention back to the Stalinist state.

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My Liberal Fantasy: Russ Feingold's 2008 Nomination Acceptance Speech

Good evening, I love New York! Applause. Smiles broadly and waits for silence. And I proudly accept your nomination for President of the United States. Crowd erupts with sustained applause and cheers.

My friends, the time has come for an American renaissance of community, values, and justice. Almost seven years ago in this great city Osama Bin Laden unleashed his terror and the Republican Party unleashed a reign of indecency. Tonight we begin anew in the very city where it all went wrong. We bring hope.

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North Korea: A Very Rational Country

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

It’s popular amongst the media to characterize North Korea as an irrational state run by a madman. North Korea continuously provokes the West, it is said, for no apparent reason. Proof that it’s an unpredictable, irrational actor that could do anything.

There are in fact very few states in history that could actually can be said to have behaved irrationally. I can only think of one state in the twentieth century which fits the description above. That was Germany just before and during the Second World War.

North Korea has in fact behaved quite rationally throughout the past few years. As a pariah state with only one ally, a very weak economy, and the enmity of the world’s superpower – the government of North Korea has to realize a way to protect itself. This is especially true given that said superpower has repeatedly used its military to strike down dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi who have earned its hostility.

Muammar Gaddafi is an extremely telling example. One unfortunate side-effect of the successful American intervention there is that the intervention has probably permanently ruined any possibility of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons. Just look at Muammar Gaddafi to see what happens when countries hostile to America give up their nuclear weapons. And in fact, North Korea has done just this. The rational, logical conclusion: the only sure deterrence is nuclear weapons, especially with Seoul and Tokyo as hostages located so conveniently close to North Korea.

The death of Kim Jong-il also explains a lot of North Korea’s recent aggressiveness during the past couple of years. North Korea’s leaders knew that Kim Jong-il’s health was in dire straits after his stroke, and that he was probably going to die very soon. They were thus preparing hastily for his succession. The new leader needed a military accomplishment to add to his belt before entering power. Thus the artillery bombardment of a South Korean island, repeated nuclear tests, and the sinking of a South Korean ship. These were designed to be just enough for the new leader to boast about without actually getting North Korea in any danger of being seriously attacked.

North Korea is not another Nazi Germany. It’s just a very weak, very poor country whose government is trying its best to survive against the might of the world’s superpower.




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