13 February 2006

First thing we do is discredit all the lawyers

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Meeting in Chicago today, the ABA’s Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will vote on new “equal opportunity and diversity” standards. If they are approved, any law school that seeks to maintain or acquire ABA accreditation will be required to engage in racial preferences in hiring and admissions, regardless of any federal, state or local laws that prohibit of such policies […]

Apparently it’s not real law if the ABA doesn’t like it.

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FDR was always generous to his friends

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THAT EXCEPTIONALLY WISE diplomat Sir Frank Roberts once observed that “Roosevelt and Churchill were susceptible to Stalin because he did not fit the dictator stereotype of the time. He was not a demagogue; he did not strut in flamboyant uniforms. He was soft-spoken, well organised, not without humour, knew his brief — an agreeable façade concealing unknown horrors.”

Roosevelt was definitely the more susceptible of the two. Paradoxically, this came from his own vanity. Proud of his famous charm, he was convinced that he alone could win Stalin to a postwar partnership after the wartime alliance. But such a transformation was highly unlikely. Roosevelt overestimated his own abilities and completely underestimated Stalin’s paranoid schizophrenia, xenophobia, ruthlessness and cruelty.

Roosevelt’s instinctive generosity and vision in 1941 must be recognised when he decided to throw his country’s industrial might into supporting the Soviet Union immediately after the Nazi invasion. The letters in My Dear Mr Stalin, a collection of the correspondence between the two, remind us of the staggering scale of US aid. In October 1942, at the height of the Battle of Stalingrad, Stalin provided a shopping list for delivery each month: 500 fighter planes (he understandably rejected the American Kitty Hawk as obsolete and demanded the newer Airacobra); 8,000 to 10,000 trucks; 5,000 tons of aluminium; and 5,000 tons of explosives. “In addition to this,” Stalin continued, the USSR needed “two million tons of grain” over 12 months as well as “fats, food concentrates and canned meat”. Machine tools, smelters, even refineries were to be shipped.

The great irony, unacknowledged by Russian historians even today, is that had it not been for the hundreds of thousands of Dodge and Studebaker trucks, the Red Army would never have reached Berlin before the Americans.

Roosevelt refused to attach strings to aid. Nor, more surprisingly, did he intervene or protest when it was discovered that the Soviet Military Mission in the US was spying shamelessly and flying quantities of stolen documents from the Manhattan Project out of the country.

Why not? What did Stalin ever do that FDR found objectionable?

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Professionalism in action

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David Gregory (NBC): “Why was the White House relying on a Texas rancher to get the word of Cheney’s hunting accident out over the weekend”, asked Gregory, accusing McClellan of ‘ducking and weaving.’

“David, hold on… the cameras aren’t on right now,” McClellan replied. “You can do this later.”

“Don’t accuse me of trying to pose to the cameras,” the newsman said, his voice rising somewhat. “Don’t be a jerk to me personally when I’m asking you a serious question.”

“You don’t have to yell,” McClellan said.

“I will yell,” said Gregory, pointing a finger at McClellan at his dais. “If you want to use that podium to try to take shots at me personally, which I don’t appreciate, then I will raise my voice, because that’s wrong.”

“Calm down, Dave, calm down,” said McClellan, remaining calm throughout the exchange.

“I’ll calm down when I feel like calming down,” Greogry said. “You answer the question.”

“I have answered the question,” said McClellan, who had maintained that the vice president’s office was in charge of getting the information out and worked with the ranch owner to do that. “I’m sorry you’re getting all riled up about it.”

“I am riled up,” Gregory said, “because you’re not answering the question.”

Not a parody. And someone slip some extra in McClellan’s paycheck.

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They're doomed now, Al Gore has signed on

Now, in addition to Senator Hillary Clinton getting mash notes from the Saudi Entity, Al Gore is attacking President Bush for being too soft on the Saudis. Maybe the Bush partisans are correct and Bush really is putting the hurt on the Saudi Entity.

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