Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 12, 2007
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*I'm not thrilled to see any foreign leader meddle in US domestic politics, but it is nonetheless heartening in John Howard's war or words with Barack Obama to see a reminder that the "international community" is not as monolithically anti-American as sometimes portrayed. Powerline has some useful thoughts on why Obama's response was so ham-handed. Of course, the Democrats are never as solicitous of countries that actually support our policies.

*An interesting analysis of the Hamas-Fatah accord. Via Frum. My guess as to the alternative explanations for Abbas' behavior would be "all of the above." I tend to think that the accords are a good thing simply for the fact of their existence, i.e., the fact that an Arab government sat down two warring Arab factions and got them to negotiate an agreement without the involvement of the US, the UN, Israel or financial or territorial concessions from any of the above. Hamas is still Hamas, but I still believe that while you can't negotiate about terrorism, you sometimes need to negotiate with terrorists, and it's not like there are other good alternatives. The best policy for the US is to avoid the situation as much as possible and play "show me" - i.e., make the Palestinian regime demonstrate its trustworthiness and peaceable nature before we give them anything. At least with Hamas in power, there is less pretense that they are actually peaceable or trustworthy unless they can genuinely demonstrate otherwise through deeds.

*There is little enough worth saying about the Anna Nicole Smith story; she rose to fame due to her natural physical gifts combined with tremendous ambition and a corresponding willingness to use and add to what she had, and she fell due to a lack of sense and even greater lack of discipline. A familiar Hollywood story. But Larry Miller has useful words on the litigation that will long outlive her:

Since yet another of the heart-broken offspring has gallantly appeared to pick up the cudgels and continue contesting it, I'd like to offer two choices of what I think is some pretty good advice: (1) Get a job. You didn't earn that money and you don't deserve it. And, by the way, every penny of it should go to Anna Nicole's daughter. Or, (2) Try your best to get reincarnated as a sexy woman.

*Yes, CENTCOM is indeed engaged in the blogosphere.

*A statute beached by the tides of history: Y2K litigation reform.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:53 PM | Blog 2006-14 • | Politics 2008 • | War 2007-14 | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

Come on...if a foreign leader criticized Bush, you would have blasted that person. But when a foreign leader speaks up against a liberal politician, you praise it?

I love that you preface it by saying that you don't like foreign leaders meddling in US affairs, and then go on to praise a foreign leader that does just that.

And if Australia was really worried about Iraq, they may want to send more than the 1700 (or something close to that) troops that they have there.

Posted by: dave at February 12, 2007 7:32 PM

The Hamas-Fatah accord means nothing in English. Remember what Tom Friedman (who is fluent in Arabic) always says: The english translation frequently has NOTHING to do with the Arabic one.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at February 12, 2007 8:42 PM

How did Anna Nicole's daughter "earn" the money? Why is she more deserving than anyone else? It's a disgusting spectacle, fitting in every way. Litigate on.

Posted by: abe at February 12, 2007 8:44 PM

dave, for the record, I said I don't favor Howard's meddling. It's just that I do appreciate the reminder of the fact that Australia is on our side.

Posted by: The Crank at February 12, 2007 8:59 PM

There were Democrats who interfered in Australian politics the last time Howard was up for re-election. It's beyond hypocritical for the Dems to complain now when someone bashes one of their own when for years they love it when a foreigner bashes President Bush. And it's even more pathetic that the Dems would go after the best ally the US has ever had. But that's just their nature. Punish and abandon America's allies and reward its enemies.

Posted by: andrew at February 13, 2007 1:14 AM

Australia is "the best ally the US has ever had."

Hmmm. Wanna lend me your history book, Andrew? I've always been curious to study the History of The United States: 2003-2007. A long & developed area of scholarship.

Posted by: Mike at February 13, 2007 7:38 AM

Mike, I believe the Aussies are the only ones who have fought on our side in every war since WW1.

Posted by: The Crank at February 13, 2007 8:49 AM

How about NZ? The UK? Canada sat out in '91, is that it?

If that's correct, I take back what I said, Andrew.

Posted by: Mike at February 13, 2007 9:27 AM

As far as I can tell, NZ & Canada were our allies in Korea, Vietnam & 1st Gulf War as well.

South Korea obviously had no opportunity to be our ally in either World War, but they -- more than Australia -- have been the US's most staunch ally since then. More than 300,000 S. Koreans served with us in Vietnam & over 5,000 died.

Posted by: Mike at February 13, 2007 9:33 AM

Hmmm. Interesting that Obama was so ham-handed in his response. Very unpolished, maybe he was tired. I have a lot of skepticism about candidates that have never run for president before or don't have extensive political experience.

I felt the same way about Clark last go round, when a lot of folks were measuring drapes for his oval office in August 2003 as soon as he announced. I said something about it on a blog at that time, about him being 'untested' and had a few people jump down my throat (he's a general! wtf do you mean untested?!?).

Nothing can prepare you for a presidential campaign though, the 22 hour days, tasteless fundraiser food every day, traveling daily, every belch or fart recorded by the media, people digging through your video rental records and interviewing your high school girlfriends. Its a tough business.

The buzz around Obama is so intense though...can he overcome a few stumbles like this? Probably at this stage...but not this fall I'd guess. This is sure going to be interesting.

Posted by: Dwilkers at February 13, 2007 9:43 AM

Oh also. He's running against Hillary. She's going to play I wouldn't want to go up against the Clinton machine, he's really in a fight whether he knows it yet or not.

Its funny, my Dem neighbor was blaming Pubs for tearing down Obama a couple weeks ago. I asked him which Pub was running for the Dem nomination. That flew right by him.

There's going to be a lot of that, hide and watch, people unable (or unwilling) to see what's really going on in this campaign deflecting blame.

Posted by: Dwilkers at February 13, 2007 9:51 AM

He's running against Hillary. She's going to play hardball

We haven't seen 1% of 1% of it yet. She's gonna bring out the biggest guns we've ever seen in a Dem primary. I'm not positive how she feels re the national election, but Hill thinks the Dem nomination is HER's and she'll let no one get in the way.

Posted by: Mike at February 13, 2007 10:09 AM

I have determined tht I am the father of Anne Nicole Smith's daughter. I pledge to use that $500 million to help provide that little girl with the hottest, sexiest new mommy possible.

Posted by: maddirishman at February 13, 2007 10:57 AM

Find the best culinary schools ?

Posted by: JeeYoun at March 4, 2007 7:27 PM
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