Jihad Jollies
April 15, 2007

As I pointed out a few days ago, President Abbas had consoled the director-general of the BBC that he had "credible evidence" that the abducted English Gaza correspondent, Alex Johnston, was alive and well. Forgive me. But I suggested that there was no such evidence at all. Now comes a statement from an organization called The Brigades of Tawheed and Jihad announcing that it had killed the reporter "to support," as the AP characterized it, "demands for the release of Palestinians prisoners held by Israel." Forget about the logic.

Mixed Message On Children
April 14, 2007

by Sonya Michel Was anyone else struck by the ironic juxtaposition of these two headlines on the front page of the March 26 New York Times: "Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care" and "Failing Schools See a Solution in Longer Day"? What's a woman--and, more to the point--what is American society to do?

Iraq's Carnage
April 14, 2007

The slaughter in Iraq--yes, the slaughter that the U.S. and the U.K. are there honorably trying to end--continues. The fact is that the Sunnis and Shi'a harbor genocidal intentions against each other. So please stop the debate as to whether this is a civil war or not. It is worse, much worse. Worse numerically certainly than Darfur, which you know how terrible I think that is.

Even More Killing
April 14, 2007

And in the ten minutes I was posting my last Spine on Iraq, two Reuters dispatches were put on the Times web-site, one about a Muslim bomb attack killing three including a child, on a base in Tolo in the Phillipines, the other about a suicide attack, presumably by the Taliban, killing at least eight. Tell me again this largely is a religion of peace.

New Brunswick Or Bust
April 12, 2007

On the heels of her Internet support for the Rutgers women's basketball team, now Hillary is going to see them in person. One question: has she always been a Scarlet Knights fan? Update: Reader D.T. writes in to chide me that "the talking point that Hillary is a fake Yankees fan really needs to die" and includes a link to this Media Matters report arguing that Hillary did indeed like the Yanks before she set her eyes on the Senate. --Jason Zengerle

Mccain's Speech
April 11, 2007

One of the (many) vexing things about our political culture is the ability of politicians to both define a speech they are giving as "big" and then rope the entire press corps into reporting tired cliches as newsworthy. Case in point: On the front page of the NYT's website, Adam Nagourney has a piece on John McCain's monumentally huge Iraq speech today, which the senator's campaign has been hyping for weeks. And what did the Arizonan say? "Our defeat in Iraq would constitute a defeat in the war against terror and extremism and would make the world a much more dangerous place," he said.

We Love To See You Smile
April 10, 2007

by Darrin McMahonWho's tired of GNP? A lot of people, it seems.

Congress' Complications
April 10, 2007

I am finally in a hotel that has internet connections which work. This means I can catch up on the news and even reflect on it. Actually, the English language press--which means mainly the Hindustan Times and the Times of India--have virtually no reports from or on America or Europe. And even in its articles about India, the front page is usually devoted to cricket or stars of Bollywood. Today's HT (not Herald Tribune) reports in a big story on page three that a particular starlet, Aishwarya Rai, will use 15 kg of henna for her henna ceremony.

India's Inconsistencies
April 10, 2007

Well, the hotel at which I could finally read several newspaper websites and my incoming e-mails did not allow or technologically permit me to send e-mails. So, aside from the following two postings being a bit out of sequence, they reflect the incoherence of my experience in India, about its sublime beauty in many places and its grinding poverty in others. We did not go to Bombay or other big cities. So we did not see how the thousands of graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology have transformed the economic landscape (those of its graduates, that is, who are not now in America.)

King Coal Comes Knocking
April 09, 2007

Most coal companies aren't exactly thrilled by the prospect of Democrats putting a cap on carbon emissions in the coming years. So that means... lobbying. Whole shovels full. In March, the day before Al Gore testified before Congress on climate change, the coal industry held a $1,000-a-head fundraiser for Virginia Democrat Rick Boucher, chair of the House subcommittee in charge of global warming legislation.