Michael Barone


April 2006


Someone, please, tell me that this is just a joke

The Corner poster notes the following from the Eursoc:

Thing is, because of common ancestors we also share large amounts of genetic code with dogs (95 percent), mice (somewhere between 85 and 98 percent, depending on who you ask) and 74 percent with a primitive nematode worm known as C. elegans.

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Odds and ends

From the invaluable Corner of National Review Online I find this gem, from Spain

The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that ...

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The immigration bill and Mexico's election

Those were the subjects of a talk yesterday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies by Jorge Castaneda. Castaneda was Mexico's foreign minister from 2000 to 2003 and is a scholar who has written many books.

I have been acquainted with him since about 1990 and find him one of the ...

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The Gulag

Jon Utley, a friend whose views on foreign policy are very different from mine, brings to my attention the opening of Ellis Island of exhibits from the Perm concentration camp in Russia. Jon's father died in the Gulag, and he has visited the Perm camp. I pass along this from an E-mail:

On May 3 ...

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Two good pieces from the Los Angeles Times

Here is a story from the Los Angeles Times on how teachers unions bilk their members by steering them into investments that don't give them maximum returns but do give massive returns to the unions.

The teachers unions, of course, say they represent the best interests of the teachers, but their ...

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Tony Snow

It's official. Tony Snow is the new White House press secretary.

I've known Tony since we appeared together on Bob Beckel's misnamed McLaughlin Group knockoff Off the Record circa 1990. Tony was then and is now one of the nicest people in the news business and also one of the best-informed. He ...

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From my reading list

As you hear people moaning about gas prices and read polls showing half the country thinks we're in a recession, you can get a more accurate picture of the American economy from Gerard Baker's column in the Times of London. Excerpts:

Even when you account for the fact that U.S. growth is not going ...

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A Mexico Marshall Plan?

Interesting opinion article in the Saturday Washington Post by Steven Hill of the New America Foundation. Hill argues that the United States should imitate the European Union's policies toward its new members, policies begun when Ireland, Portugal, and Greece were added to the EU and then applied ...

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Airbrushing out inconvenient facts

The Washington Post ran a sympathetic profile of fired CIA analyst Mary McCarthy on Sunday. . Astonishingly, the article didn't mention that McCarthy donated some $7,500 to Democrats in 2004, including $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry and $5,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party. Also a Michael McCarthy of ...

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Fox in the henhouse

You can't make this stuff up: "United Nations Commission on Disarmament on Tuesday elected Iran as deputy for Asian nations."

The last sentence in the release is a winner too: "They [Non-Aligned Movement member states] also called on Israel to sign up to [the Non-Proliferation Treaty] and give ...

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Will the Democrats win the House?

Here is my Creators Syndicate column for this week. It's based on my analysis of the special election last week in the 50th Congressional District of California. Democrats had hoped their single viable candidate, Francine Busby, would get 50 percent of the vote and thus, under California's special ...

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Public employee unions

My U.S. News column this week is about one force that threatens to gobble up our otherwise thriving private sector economy: the greater-than-economic-growth increases in spending mandated by current entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But there's another force ...

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American generosity

Days after the Boxing Day tsunami in December 2004, after the United States government pledged $15 million in aid, United Nations Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland reproached the United States and other rich countries for being "stingy" with foreign aid in general. Soon afterward, as the extent of ...

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Liberalism for the left

Many of us have read with pleasure and profit the blog of Norman Geras, a left-leaning Briton and staunch supporter of the war on terror. Here he has summarized his credo in what he calls the Euston Manifesto. Read the whole thing. And you might want to compare his thinking with that in former New ...

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What the Italian elections mean

My blog entry on the Italian elections was written when it looked like there was a good chance that the center right would have a majority in the Senate and might still get a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

Now the results show that the center left will have a supermajority in the Chamber ...

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Iraq bloggers nail mainstream media

In surfing through some of my favorite websites this morning, I came across references to these interesting articles on Iraq.

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds links to Austin Bay's analysis of the silent war against Moqtada al-Sadr. Bay builds his analysis on his own observations when called up for ...

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Italy votes

Alas, I didn't go to Italy to cover the election April 9-10 as I did in 1996 and 2001. Too many other things pending, including finishing my book on the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 and participating in a conference on April 7 at Claremont McKenna College and then on a panel April 10 at ...

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War with Iran?

Seymour Hersh has got the left-wing world of journalism abuzz with his story charging that the Bush administration is planning military action against the mullahs' regime in Iran. But what if it's the other way around? What if Iran attacks the United States? Ralph Peters contemplates the ...

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An Iraq-al Qaeda collaboration on 9/11?

Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters makes his living as manager of a call center. But he also blogs brilliantly and thoroughly. Those who insist that there could never have been a collaboration between the Saddam Hussein regime and al Qaeda on 9/11 need to read Ed's following blog entry, in full.

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Accountable teachers?

Interesting column today on Page 2 of the Wall Street Journal from the often interesting David Wessel: "It's the Teachers, Stupid" (subscription required). It starts off sounding as if Democrats are finally interested in having kids actually learn something:

"Now a band of Democratic-leaning ...

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The K Street Project

In the wake of Tom DeLay's announcement that he will resign from Congress, commentators of all stripes have been close to unanimous in criticizing him for his lead role in the K Street Project. This was the attempt to get trade organizations and large corporations to hire Republicans as lobbyists.

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NBC targets NASCAR

This is a perfectly wonderful story. NBC recruited Muslims to dress in Muslim garb at NASCAR events in order to film them being discriminated against. Michelle Malkin has the links here, via Instapundit.

Of course, the subtext of all this is the idea implanted deep in the heads of old media people ...

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The spring bunny in East Minneapolis

St. Paul City Hall evicts the Easter Bunny. The bunny with some fake grass was placed there by a secretary and removed by the "human-rights director."

"I sent an E-mail that Easter is viewed as a Christian holiday and advised that it be taken down," said Tyrone Terrill, the city's human-rights ...

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Concealed carry

Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo., has an excellent post at the Volokh Conspiracy on concealed-carry weapons laws. Nebraska's action means that 40 of the 50 states have shall-issue (or even less restrictive) laws on gun possession. This is a great example of federalism:

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