Misc Commentary For August 24, 2006

John McCain has hired a new staffer for his future failed run at the presidency: Nicco Mele, a former webmaster for the Howard Dean campaign. What’s the matter? Couldn’t he even find a prominent Republican web guru, like Patrick Ruffini, that would work with him?

— Speaking of 2008, some people have asked me which candidate I’m going to support. I haven’t made a decision on that yet, but I can definitely tell you a few candidates I won’t be supporting:

* John McCain: He’s a poster boy for most of what’s wrong with the Republican Party.

* Chuck Hagel: I don’t even want him as a Senator. In fact, I’d love nothing better than to pull a Lieberman on him in 2008 and replace him with a Republican Senator that’s a better match for an extremely red state like Nebraska.

* Rudy Giuliani: I like Rudy a lot, but he’s not a conservative and his domestic agenda could genuinely end up being slanted to the left of center. I could live with Rudy as veep candidate, but there’s no way I could ever support him in a primary.

— Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had some kind words for Rightroots again over at VOLPAC:

“If we are to succeed to nominating and electing conservative Republican candidates, if we are to keep Congress from falling into the hands of a Speaker Pelosi and a Majority Leader Reid, we must organize and communicate effectively across the Internet. Surely the extremists that helped nominate Ned Lamont aren’t the only ones who can do so.

That’s why I’ve endorsed Rightroots, an initiative led by prominent bloggers to raise much needed funds for deserving conservative candidates.

And that’s why I’ve been leading a series of conference calls between bloggers and Republican Senate candidates like Bob Corker and Mike McGavick. These calls include national blogs like Power Line, RedState, and Right Wing News …”

Much thanks, Bill!

— From the New York Times:

“Biologists have developed a technique for establishing colonies of human embryonic stem cells from an early human embryo without destroying it. This method, if confirmed in other laboratories, would seem to remove the principal objection to the research.”

I’d agree that these techniques remove the moral objections people may have to stem cells. But, my principal objection to them is that, contrary to what you may have heard, adult stem cells show far more potential than embyronic stem cells. That’s why if there’s any Federal money to be had, it should all go to adult stem cells. But regrettably, for politics sake, we’ll undoubtedly end up pouring money that could be better spent elsewhere into embryonic stem cells.

— From the Wall Street Journal:

“Europe was expected to take the lead in manning a 15,000-strong force called for in the French-U.S.-brokered resolution to police the Aug. 11 truce between the Hezbollah militia and Israel. But France has since hesitated to commit a significant number of troops for the force amid concerns that they will end up fighting Hezbollah; so far Paris has offered only 400 soldiers, and Europe is having trouble raising as many ground troops as the U.N. says it needs to create a balanced force of troops from European and Muslim countries.

…The hesitation — however justified by events on the ground — is forcing Europeans to grapple with some uncomfortable realities: They don’t have enough deployable combat troops; they are disliked as much as the U.S. by Mideast radicals; and their determination to stop the destruction and insert peacekeepers could come at a higher price than they are willing to pay.

…The outlook for successfully keeping the peace and neutralizing Hezbollah is poor, and the risks high, no matter whose troops are on the ground or how well they are armed, military analysts say. Any breakdown of the cease-fire would result in European forces either returning to their barracks or shooting at Israelis or Muslims — both unpalatable outcomes given the Continent’s large Muslim populations and the legacy of the Holocaust that annihilated European Jewry.”

Europe is like an ex-champion boxer, who’s way over the hill and knows that even though people think he can still fight, he just doesn’t have what it takes to get the job done in the ring anymore.

— Three months before the elections, many of the same ignoramuses who made fools out of themselves by proclaiming that a draft was right around the corner in 2004, are back at it again. Here’s TalkLeft with the standard spin:

“Is There a Draft in Your Kid’s Future?

Now that President Bush has said we’re no-way, no-how leaving Iraq, and the Marines are calling up reservists (the Individual Ready Reserve), ABC’s Brian Ross reports an Iraq War Veteran’s group says a military draft is coming.”

Now, here’s TalkLeft back on Sept 19, 2005:

“Despite Rumsfeld’s statements Bush wouldn’t start a draft either, recent actions of the Pentagon cast doubt on that claim. For example, the miltitary’s use of the “stop-loss” program has been alleged by many to be a back-door draft. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) thinks a reinstatement of the draft is warranted.

Ralph Nader warns a draft is coming….unless he’s President, of course. Bills have been introduced in Congress to reinstate the draft…although they have little chance of success.”

Let me be exceptionally blunt here: if you think there’s a draft right around the corner, at best you’re ignorant and at worst you’re dishonest. In the case of the folks over at Talkleft, I’m leaning towards the latter.

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