Political Animal

THE PENTAGON PAPERS….Warblogger whipping boy

THE PENTAGON PAPERS….Warblogger whipping boy Robert Fisk thinks American journalists are doing a lousy job of reporting on the Bush administration’s anti-terror plans:

Take Eric Schmitt in The New York Times a week ago. He wrote a story about America’s decision to “confront countries that sponsor terrorism”. And his sources? “Senior defence officials”, “administration officials”, “some American intelligence officials”, “the officials”, “officials”, “military officials”, “terrorist experts” and “defence officials”. Why not just let the Pentagon write its own reports in The New York Times?

Why? Because they don’t need to. As with any good Republican administration, they’ve privatized the job.


SUPER BOWL UPDATE….Why is a Canadian singer performing “God Bless America” at the Super Bowl? I mean, I’m happy to stand arm in arm with my Canadian comrades and all, but wouldn’t an American be more appropriate?

On the other hand, the Dixie Chicks did a pretty good job with the national anthem. Using a group was a good idea.

Raiders by 10.


A VICTORY FOR BIG MACS….On Wednesday a judge tossed out the suit against McDonald’s that claimed their food caused obesity. Here’s what the Center for Individual Freedom had to say:

Returning some common sense to our runaway tort system, the judge explained that his decision was ?guided by the principle that legal consequences should not attach to the consumption of hamburgers and other fast food fare unless consumers are unaware of the dangers of eating such food.?

Actually, this is what happens to virtually all groundless suits: they get tossed out. The judge in this case was not “returning” common sense to our tort system, he was just doing what judges do every day.

I wonder: is there any area of public policy with more urban legends than tort reform? If I had a nickel for every story of a multi-jillion judgment awarded for patently outlandish behavior, I’d be a millionaire. And if I had a nickel for every one that turned out to be true, I probably couldn’t buy a cup of coffee.


THOSE WACKY SOCIOLOGISTS….OK, here’s some Sunday fun: Project Implicit, a research project designed to test your unconscious feelings about stuff.

What stuff? Well, they’ve apparently got about 60 different tests, which they assign randomly on subjects such as young vs. old, black vs. white, coffee vs. tea, Jew vs. Christian, etc. You have to take a few minutes to register, which seems fair since this is a genuine research project, and the test itself takes about ten minutes. By chance, when I took the test I was given Democrats vs. Republicans, and my results are shown below. No surprises there, moderate fellow that I am.

Go ahead and give it a try. Maybe you’ll finally find out whether you prefer Denzel Washington or Tom Cruise….