Sent : Thursday, September 22, 2005 4:35 AM
Subject : How many flavors?
HERE'S VIDEO of the JetBlue emergency landing. Here, too. posted at 10:58 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORKBUSTERS ON CNN: Ian Schwartz has the video. posted at 09:03 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink RAY KURZWEIL'S BOOK comes out tomorrow. Here's a post on Kurzweil by Tyler Cowen ("It is no longer intellectually acceptable not to know his major arguments."). And here's a review from Kirkus. And here's my interview of Kurzweil. UPDATE: More thoughts from Matthew Yglesias. And from Kevin Drum. (I liked this comment, which echoes this column.) The blogosphere is certainly buzzing. posted at 08:53 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink NO ACTUAL SPECIFICS in response to her porkbuster questions, but Sissy Willis grades her elected representatives (Sens. Kennedy & Kerry, Rep. Capuano) on form. Grades are mixed. Minnesota reader Monte Myer emails: I just got off the phone with Senator Coleman's office (Minnesota). We have 9 Million in pork going to bike trails. The only thing they said was that it was virtually impossible to rescind something like this (it takes 2/3rds vote). He didn't sound that interested, but said he would pass on my message to the Senator. Not much of a response. I was hoping for better. Indeed. More of these as they come in -- please put "Pork Response" in your subject line, and please don't use that subject for anything but reports of what your Senators / Congressperson said on this. Meanwhile, N.Z. Bear posts some thoughts on what we're trying to do: "a fiscal 'Broken Windows' policy." If you've come to this late, the background is here. UPDATE: Reader Pat Clancy emails: I called my Senators (Coleman / Dayton) and Congressman (Oberstar)earlier today. Not one had any position on the isssue of "re-evaluating spending in light of the recent hurricane" but would pass on my comments to the respective represenative. My feeling in speaking with each office was one of ambivalance. I can imagine. posted at 08:29 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink JOHN LITTLE is hurricane-blogging from Houston, and plans to keep it up as long as he's able. posted at 08:25 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink THE HANDBOOK FOR BLOGGERS AND CYBER-DISSIDENTS IS OUT! posted at 08:12 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink MY TECHCENTRALSTATION COLUMN has inspired a discussion of space elevators vs. NASA's current plans on Slashdot. The "elevator music" comments quickly pall, but this one is good. posted at 07:55 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink TANGLED BANK, the science blog carnival, is up. posted at 07:34 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink 92105sm.jpg HEH. posted at 06:55 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink TRAFFIC CAMERAS IN KNOXVILLE: I think this is a terrible idea. UPDATE: Maybe I shouldn't say that! ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's how it worked in Hawaii: Everybody didn't like something about traffic cameras. Invasion of privacy. Zero tolerance. Pay-per-ticket. A presumption of guilt. No police involvement. Rising insurance rates. Speed traps. Bureaucratic bungling. Poor public relations. Political posturing. City and state bickering. Thousands and thousands of tickets that didn't pass legal muster. What went wrong? Take your pick. In the end it was a combination of all those people and things that doomed the van cams. Gov. Ben Cayetano ordered an end to the program last week amid increasing signs that the courts and state Legislature were about to pull the plug anyway. The program, which was launched in early December, had noble aims: use advances in technology to slow traffic, reduce accidents and save lives, and free police officers for other duties. In just more than four months, however, it became possibly the most hated public policy initiative in Hawai'i history, almost uniformly disliked, even by those who thought it actually worked. I'll have to send a copy to the Knoxville City Council. posted at 06:45 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink FOLLOWING UP MY EARLIER POST, WALT MOSSBERG has a review of emergency gadgets in the WSJ today. (Free link). posted at 05:27 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink I'M SUPPOSED TO BE ON PUBLIC RADIO'S MARKETPLACE program between 6 & 6:30 Eastern, talking about PorkBusters. Listen live at the link. posted at 05:15 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink AUSTIN BAY has more on oil shale. posted at 05:12 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink A HURRICANE RITA ROUNDUP with some interesting photographs. posted at 05:10 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink TIM NOAH VS. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Eugene Volokh referees. posted at 04:54 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink THE MORE YOU TIGHTEN YOUR GRIP, the more readers will slip through your fingers. posted at 04:36 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORK UPDATE: Today Alabama Senator Richard Shelby (Republican) said he would be willing to give up some of his allocated Federal monies for pork projects in his state to help fund recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina. Which raises the question whether California Congressman Adam Schiff (Democrat-29th District) would be willing to shift funds as well? Nancy Pelosi is! House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said Tuesday she was willing to return to the federal Treasury $70 million designated for San Francisco projects in the new highway and transportation bill and use the money to help pay for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. ditocracy. posted at 01:49 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink T.S. ELIOT WROTE that there's no greater treason, than to do the right thing for the wrong reason. In fact, however, that's often the best we can hope for, which is why I'm still glad that Harvard will be allowing military recruiters on campus, even if it is because of the Solomon Amendment and not some native patriotic impulse. posted at 01:30 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: So people want me to follow up on my earlier disaster-preparedness posts with lots of recommendations, but I don't have anything all that new. But for those interested, here's a pretty comprehensive list of stuff by Sarah Mankowski. There's more to preparation than buying stuff, though, and you might want to acquire some training via the Red Cross, FEMA, or the Citizens' Corps. And this PDF booklet from the LAFD, though focusing on earthquakes, has a lot of useful knowledge. It's useful to have the right stuff handy, but you also need the right knowledge, and mindset. That doesn't come from a catalog. posted at 11:45 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: I think the idea is developing more and more momentum. Here's a Wall Street Journal editorial: The idea of a pork-for-reconstruction swap had already been denounced as "moronic" by a spokesman for Don Young of Alaska, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and proud father of the now-infamous $223 million "bridge to nowhere" near Ketchikan. Since then the White House and Congressional Republican leadership have been acting as if the cost of Katrina relief should have no impact on the course of an administration that has presided over the fastest growth in discretionary spending since Lyndon Johnson. But thankfully, a grassroots Internet campaign and a handful of House GOP conservatives have refused to give up on the idea that spending cuts should be found to defray the estimated $200 billion federal price tag for hurricane relief. In the Senate, John McCain is proposing a similar pork-for-Katrina swap. The Internet campaign picks up on the idea of revisiting the earmarks in the Highway Bill. A Web site called Porkbusters (www.truthlaidbear.com/porkbusters.php) helpfully lists these projects by state and directs readers to the appropriate Representatives and Senators to ask what they would cut. Around the country a flood of letters to local newspapers has echoed the theme. And if revisiting the Highway Bill is too much to ask, how about a one-year moratorium on all non-defense earmarks for fiscal 2006? Rep. Ron Lewis (R., Kentucky) proposes just that in a "Dear Colleague" letter dated Monday. Other suggestions include across-the-board spending cuts at federal agencies of 2.5 cents on the dollar and delaying the introduction of the Medicare drug benefit by a year. We should be hearing more today when members of the House Republican Study Committee -- led by consistent spending hawks such as Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling and Jeff Flake -- announce "Operation Offset" and a list of specific options to find savings in the budget. The campaign also got another mention in the Washington Post, courtesy of Howard Kurtz. And Mark Tapscott continues to round up other reactions. And Leslie Paige of Citizens Against Government Waste wants some help from the blogosphere: CCAGW is considering bringing in grassroots folks from districts all over the country who have publicly decried or offered to reject their own pork-barrel projects in order for those dollars to be redirected to Katrina Relief. We've pointed her to some folks, but if you're interested send me an email with "CAGW" in the subject line and I'll forward it on. No word, so far, from my congressman, Jimmy Duncan. posted at 10:37 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink TRADING TASTES: My brother's new book is out. Congratulations, bro! posted at 08:50 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink JOHN TIERNEY ON DISASTER RELIEF: I don't think Washington needs any more czars. But if President Bush feels compelled to put someone in charge of rebuilding the Gulf Coast, let me suggest a name: Lee Scott. Scott is the chief executive of Wal-Mart, one of the few institutions to improve its image here after Katrina sent a 15-foot wave across the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. If you mention the Red Cross or FEMA to people in Slidell, you hear rants about help that didn't arrive and phone lines that are always busy. If you mention state or national politicians, you hear obscenities. But if you visit the Wal-Mart and the Sam's Club stores here, you hear shoppers who have been without power for weeks marveling that there are still generators in stock (and priced at $304.04). You hear about the trucks that rolled in right after the hurricane and the stuff the stores gave away: chain saws and boots for rescue workers, sheets and clothes for shelters, water and ice for the public. "This was the only place we could find water those first days," said Rashan Smith, who was shopping with her three children at Wal-Mart on Saturday. "I still haven't managed to get through to FEMA. It's hard to say, but you get more justice at Wal-Mart." That's the same assessment you hear from public officials in Louisiana, and there's even been talk of letting Wal-Mart take over FEMA's job. The company already has its own emergency operations center, where dozens of people began preparing for the hurricane the week before it hit by moving supplies and trucks into position. Of course, not all for-profit institutions are that giving: I would have linked this yesterday at its New York Times home, but since TimesSelect forbids that, I'm linking it at the Tallahasseee Democrat today. Read the whole thing. posted at 08:35 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink GLOBAL WARMING ON MARS: "New impact craters formed since the 1970s suggest changes to age-estimating models. And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress." If only we had ratified Kyoto. posted at 07:40 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink NASA'S RETURN TO THE MOON PLAN: I take a skeptical line, and suggest an alternative, in today's TechCentralStation column. UPDATE: Related thoughts from Dave Price. posted at 07:14 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink SOME THOUGHTS ON HURRICANE RITA, over at GlennReynolds.com. UPDATE: Ack, MSNBC's permalinks are buggered. Go here or just scroll up from the link above. posted at 07:12 AM by Glenn Reynolds P ALLISON HAYWARD: "The Club for Growth is a court-bound guinea pig for the application of some new FEC theories." posted at 06:29 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink JIM HOFT sees surprising progress in Iraq. On the other hand, there's a problem with missing money from the Iraqi Defense Ministry. Rather a lot. This would seem to underscore the point, made here earlier, that corruption is a bigger threat than terrorists, long-term. UPDATE: Here's more good news on the terrorism front, but the corruption issue still needs to be dealt with. An Iraq that looks like Nigeria would be better than what we had under Saddam, but not as good as it ought to be. ANOTHER UPDATE: More here. posted at 06:27 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink "DON'T GET STUCK ON STUPID:" Just heard Gen. Honore's reproach to a reporter at a press conference on Rita. UPDATE: Transcript and audio here. Could this be a new slogan for the blogosphere? posted at 06:13 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: So I made the call I suggested other folks make, calling my Congressman (Jimmy Duncan) to ask if he would be willing to forego some local pork (either the specific items identified earlier in this post or something else, maybe from this Knoxville News-Sentinel list) in order to fund Katrina relief. I spoke to his budget analyst, who promised me a swift response -- by postal mail, as they don't do email. Hmm. I know that franked mail is "free," but it's not as cheap as email -- I think I just figured out another way for the Congress to save some money. . . . UPDATE: Reader Jim Ewing emails: Just tried sending Congressperson Duncan an email to reinforce that it might be a good idea to respond to you via e-mail. From your "Jimmy Duncan" link, I got his page on the house.gov site. The contact menu button took me to the "write your representative" page of the site. This asked for my zip, which is in Georgia. So it get a prompt to inform me that my zip precludes me from sending a him an email. So the email barrier operates bidirectionally, in a way that would make Franz Kafka blanch with envy. I think it's safe to say that Rep. Duncan has no ambitions toward nationwide office. However, this seems to be a function of the House's lame email setup which requires a ZIP+4 to send an email. posted at 04:02 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORK UPDATE: Tom DeLay has changed his t Either the FBI has too much money, or the government's priorities are screwed up, or both. If there's another terror attack in America, how will Gonzalez and Mueller justify this? Maybe by blaming Congress: "Congress began funding the obscenity initiative in fiscal 2005 and specified that the FBI must devote 10 agents to adult pornography." (Via Volokh). I would have slapped the PorkBusters logo on this post, but I was afraid someone would notice that the pig isn't wearing pants . . . . posted at 01:09 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink IN THE MAIL: John Yoo's new book, The Powers of War and Peace : The Constitution and Foreign Affairs after 9/11. Looks very interesting, and it's sure to receive a lot of attention. posted at 12:03 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Howard Kurtz has picked up on the porkbusters effort and given it an extensive plug, though he's pretty skeptical as to whether it will make a difference. He may be right, of course, but it seems to me that we need to try. I also think that pork-barreling thrives through lack of transparency and scrutiny, and that we can work on that. Transparency and scrutiny are what the blogosphere is best at. Speaking of which, the Porkbusters page has been updated, with lists of members of Congress and whether they've committed to cut pork. (Basically, no, at the moment). The list also has links to their webpages so that you can call or email them and ask why not. Is it enough? Who knows, but it's what we can do, and it can't hurt. UPDATE: Mark Tapscott says the porkbusters approach is gaining momentum and notes Congressional action and media agreement. posted at 10:51 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink GRAND ROUNDS is up! posted at 10:44 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink NICK SCHULZ WRITES on the link between poverty and bad governance. posted at 08:07 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink MORE ON PORK: Powerline warns that the Katrina-relief bill will be a pork magnet beyond all precedent, which is undoubtedly true. Perhaps the blogosphere should take the "adopt a box" approach that Hugh Hewitt pioneered, with different people taking on different provisions. Meanwhile, on a larger, structural level those of us who want more discipline on fiscal (and other) matters should probably think of pushing something like Brannon Denning & Brooks Smith's proposed Truth In Legislation Amendment, which would impose considerable discipline on the practice of hanging unrelated items on big funding bills. posted at 07:50 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink DEAN ESMAY: "For a country that's on the verge of collapse, we seem to be doing pretty well." posted at 07:46 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink INDEED: Thank God for the evil pharmaceutical companies. One day, when the history of this period is written, I have a feeling we will look back with astonishment as we recognize that advances in medical science, particularly pharmaceuticals, were arguably one of the most significant developments of this era. And yet the people who pioneered these breakthroughs were ... demonized and attacked. Baffling and bizarre. I'm merely grateful the attacks haven't stopped the research progress. They've merely slowed it. I hope that we'll remember who was behind that, too. posted at 07:37 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink YEAH, I GUESS THAT'S, LIKE, PURE EVIL: "The Time Maus: "Who needs Reed's Democratic Leadership Council if its leaders are going to go to bat for this Old Democrat, special-interest, anti-government law?" posted at 07:19 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink September 19, 2005 WELL, IT'S NOT QUITE THIS, but you can see it from here: "In the final declaration last week 191 countries, including Sudan and North Korea, went along with a restatement of international law: that the world community has the right to take military action in the case of 'national authorities manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity'. It comes too late to help Darfur, not to mention Rwanda and Cambodia, but it is a millennial change." And now that this principle is established, the next international human right is clear. posted at 11:08 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink TOM MAGUIRE offers to refresh Bill Clinton's memory. I think Chris Lynch was right. posted at 10:01 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Michael Barone weighs in with this observation: A worthy idea, and one that raises the question, an uncomfortable one surely for many congressmen, of whether voters really value pork barrel projects. Of course some interested parties do, but do most voters? In the course of writing the Almanac of American Politics, I have to read of all the various projects that members bring to their districts. It's tedious reading after a while. I suspect that most voters in a district don't care about the pork, and would be happy without it. posted at 08:59 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink And don't miss the Blawg Review. Also, the Carnival of Personal Finance and the Virginia Blog Carnival. posted at 08:19 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink ANN ALTHOUSE photoblogs from Hell. posted at 08:17 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink CHRIS LYNCH WRITES that Bill Clinton doesn't understand the new media. posted at 08:00 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink NOT MUCH LIKE THE MINUTEMEN: Notwithstanding Michael Moore's comparisons. posted at 07:54 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink VARIFRANK has some interesting thoughts on China, Russia, and North Korea. posted at 07:53 PM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink JEFF JARVIS: "We pay attention to big num TOUR THE INDIAN BLOGOSPHERE: The latest Blog Mela is up!