“Former Vice President Al Gore has accepted an invitation to testify next month in a congressional hearing on the highly controversial issue of climate change. … Gore will appear at a joint hearing on Wednesday, March 21. He will be the only witness to appear before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality and the Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.”
in a hail of gunfire north of Baghdad, police and witnesses said — the fourth lost in Iraq in the last two weeks. The U.S. command said two crew members were killed, and the top U.S. general conceded that insurgent ground fire has become more effective.”
Percentage of Americans who “favor a firm timetable for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq within a year. That figure includes 37% who favor an immediate withdrawal and 18% who want a timetable that will complete the withdrawal in a year,” Rasmussen reports. Just 33% believe U.S. combat troops should remain in Iraq “until our mission is accomplished.”
I was going to say something about New Republic editor in chief Martin Peretz’s vile smears against George Soros, but I’m trying to maintain a positive demeanor so let’s just say his take on blow-dried politicians is genuinely amusing and move on.
Off topic, let me also note that I don’t quite understand why the Grizzlies are trying to trade Pau Gasol; normally it seems to me that you only want to trade your team’s best player if he’s old and past — or nearly past — his peak performance level. Gasol’s only 26, not worrying about hairline like Joe Biden, and he still seems to be improving.
All that said, the reason I’m trying to maintain a positive demeanor is that it turned out this morning that I needed to . . . delete my entire hard drive and do a clean installation of the system software. Fortunately, almost all of my files were backed up, but I did lose a significant chunk of a draft of one chapter of the book. It did, however, present an opportunity to further re-think my software commitments. Thus, I’ve downloaded Camino and have been using it this afternoon. It’s pretty good. People in love with their Firefox plugins will probably be disappointed by the relative paucity of similar offerings for Camino, but I never really used much of that stuff.
Obviously, we already know that some of his remarks to other audiences have had a somewhat different tone, but when Ezra Klein asked John Edwards about Iran, the former senator gave a good answer. Edwards also recommended this recent Thomas Friedman column which I have to agree is pretty good.
Charles ”Cully” Stimson, the Pentagon’s top official on detainee affairs, “resigned Friday over controversial remarks in which he criticized lawyers who represent terrorism suspects.” In a radio interview last month, Stimson said he found it shocking that lawyers at many of the nation’s top law firms represent detainees at Guantanamo, and that companies “might want to consider taking their legal business to other firms that do not represent suspected terrorists.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), an opponent of Bush’s escalation plan, appeared on last night’s edition of Hardball. She told host Chris Matthews that she is “getting a lot of pressure” to go along with Bush from her conservative colleagues. “Tensions are definitely there,” Collins said. “And feelings are running very high on both sides.”
Collins also described a “pretty contentious discussion” in which she stood up and responded to claims by the White House that the escalation resolutions “send mixed signals to our troops.” “I am really offended when people say that those of us who are in favor of the resolution are somehow betraying the troops,” Collins said. “I don’t believe that at all.” She added: “I think all Americans support our troops.”
This morning, the Politico quotes an unnamed conservative saying the debate over escalation is “starting to get really ugly.” According to the lawmaker, those who voice doubts over the Bush plan are being “beaten down” by other conservatives.
Transcript: Read more
An increase in the minimum wage is “unfair to workers and, in many cases, it will be harmful to the very people it is supposedly designed to help,” according to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). See the real facts here. (HT: Bob Geiger)
. . . to become an economics commentator for National Review Online? Apparently, a sketchy command of the subject matter. Larry Kudlow offers a “footnote to today’s strong jobs support”. Excellent. In particular, he promises “some new factoids to sink your teeth into concerning all the nonsense about wage inequality — a subject that the brilliant Washington economist Alan Reynolds has debunked voluminously.” Ah, yes, that Alan Reynolds. Also note that one can hardly debunk a subject. Nor is Reynolds’ paper especially voluminous. Even better, though, the factoids Kudlow presents are . . . irrelevant to the question of wage inequality. He writes:
At $16.76, average hourly earnings are nearly 20 percent above year 2000 levels, and 44 percent above the $11.65 level in the fifth year of the Papa Bush/Clinton business expansion cycle.This is the fifth year of the GWB cycle.
Ah, yes, the old nominal figures gambit. But wait!
Even in inflation adjusted terms, real average hourly earnings are slightly higher than the 2000 peak, and nine percent above the 1995 fifth year average level.
In short, the critics are right! Median wage growth has been anemic. Or, as Kudlow triumphantly puts it, “real average hourly earnings are slightly higher than the 2000 peak. That’s very poor performance. Meanwhile, high-end incomes have increased quite a bit. That’s growing inequality!
NRO needs a higher caliber of hack. Alan Reynolds at least knows what he’s trying to “prove.”