Today's big news: Condi Rice to be named Secretary of State, replacing Colin Powell who resigned today. So be it. Personally I liked Powell and his moderating influence on the White House, but I agree the consistency Rice brings might be helpful.
Ann Althouse suggests Condi Rice for President in '08.
Slate explains What's that Flower on Blair's Lapel? A Flanders poppy, of course, an international symbol of remembrance for veterans of war.
Poppies are featured in Sting's Children's Crusade, one of the best lyrics ever, as he compares WWI to the drug wars of the 1980s...
Meanwhile the diplomatic Jacques Chirac comments, "Britain gave its support [to the war in Iraq] but I did not see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors systematically..." American friends? Non. [ via LGF, in a post titled "It's hard not to hate the French". Certainly not Chirac and his regime. ]
Robert Novak: The Senate vs. the U. N. "'The extent of the corruption is staggering,'' Sen. Norm Coleman told me. 'The scope of the ripoff at the U.N. is substantially more than the widely reported $10 billion to $11 billion in graft.'" Woah. That's $B as in billion. That is our money.
Robert Crawford comments on Tom Maguire's blog: "I'm not sure if I have this straight: On Saturday, the NYTimes prints a story going after blogs for repeating conspiracy theories that have been debunked. Then, on Sunday, the NYTimes prints an EDITORIAL latching on to those same debunked conspiracy theories." Uh, yeah. Maybe they don't read their own paper? [ via Glenn Reynolds ]
John Fund reports on the Swift Boat Vets: The Last Mission. "I met John Kennedy. I know John Kerry. The two men were very different in how they handled the military, despite John Kerry's attempts to create a Kennedy aura around him. I think the American people rendered the right verdict this month. They concluded that John Kerry was no Jack Kennedy." Indeed. [ via Powerline ]
Yet another red/blue map - the coolest yet, showing population as columns. Pretty clear what's going on here, huh? [ via Bigwig ]
Randymac on GNXP considers Dutch demographics. "Clearly, the Netherlands needs a new policy towards its immigrant population." And it seems the murder of Theo Van Gogh gives such a change political momentum.
The Economist plugs patent reform: Monopolies of the Mind. "Patent offices need to find ways of applying standards more strictly. This would make patents more difficult to obtain. But that is only right. Patents are, after all, government-enforced monopolies and so, as Jefferson had it, there should be some 'embarrassment' (and hesitation) in granting them." Absolutely. Next to tort reform, this is our biggest problem.
nerd techie on your list and don't know what to get them for the Holidays? Check out Tom's Hardware's 2004 Holiday Buyer's Guide. For me, how about the Digital Tiger triple monitor display system; 1920x1200 in the middle, and 1600x1200 on either side. Ho ho ho.
AlwaysOn discusses Embryonic Stem Cell Misconceptions. "Embryos are the only source for the stem cells that will cure diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and a host of debilitating diseases, right? Um, not quite." The technology is promising but not a general panacea, of course.
Joe Kraus: flossing and startups. "Just floss the teeth you want to keep. Just measure the goals you want to meet." Excellent. Joe is batting 1.000 on his blog.
Harvard Business School asks Tivo Ready to Fast Forward? "TiVo appears to be running out of time. In its fiscal year that ended in January, the company lost $22.4 million on sales of $141 million, which was followed by two more quarters of losses. What's worse, competitors are surrounding TiVo on all sides." Oh no Mr. Bill! Maybe broadband video will save them - I seriously doubt advertisers will...
Finally, Beavers weave stolen cash into Dam. "A bag of bills stolen from a casino was snapped up by beavers who wove thousands of dollars in soggy currency into the sticks and brush of their dam on a creek in eastern Louisiana." Excellent. I am not making this up.