Details are beginning to emerge about a shooting that occurred within the past hour-and-a-half at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. There has been one confirmed fatality and at least one arrest. Although little is known about motive, talk has already turned to a connection with the violence currently occurring in the Middle East.
On a congressional trip to Estonia, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton astonished her traveling companions by suggesting the group do what one does in the Baltics: hold a vodka-drinking contest!
Delighted, the leader of the overseas delegation, Sen. John McCain, quickly agreed, the NEW YORK TIMES is planning to report on Saturday.
The after-dinner game went so well — memories are a bit hazy on who drank how much. McCain later told people how unexpectedly fun he found Hillary to be. …
“One of the guys,” is the way McCain describes her.
Heh. The article will apparently be on the front page of tomorrow’s Times. It’s not just about the drinking game, of course, but about the broader issue of how “Clinton and McCain have developed an amiable relationship”:
[T]he interplay between the two senators — both celebrities, both self-styled centrists, both with compelling personal narratives and a knack for infuriating their own parties’ bases — remains intriguing as they navigate the early phase of a presidential race with an eye toward conceivably running against one another.
President Bush says he would back a U.N. resolution, deployment of multinational force, to end Middle East crisis. Visit CNN for the latest.
A high-speed solar wind stream is blowing around Earth and causing mild geomagnetic storms. Northern sky watchers should be on the lookout for auroras tonight.
The Planetary K-Index is at 6. According to this map, that means Northern lights could be potentially visible across the northern tiers of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; portions of upstate New York; and northern New England.
In other Google news, the problems I was having last night with the search engine appear to have abated… but I’m continuing to have issues with Blogger, which is owned by Google. Those “issues” explain why the CNN Breaking News alert about Floyd Landis didn’t actually appear on the site until more than three hours after its stated timestamp… and why a cell-phone photo post from atop the Chase Tower several hours ago never appeared at all. (Although this site is powered by WordPress, I use a convoluted system involving Blogger and MySQL to post my CNN alerts and cell-phone posts.)
The view from the tallest building in Arizona. Woohoo! Now we're heading to the rotating restaurant on top of the Hyatt for dinner. It's a tall-building lover's dream! :)
NOTE: Due to a technical glitch, this cell-phone post did not actually appear on the blog until 8:55 AM on August 1. I have adjusted the timestamp to more accurately reflect when the post was originally sent via cell phone.
Tour de France winner Floyd Landis fails drug test, his Phonak team says, according to media reports. Visit CNN for the latest.
The Sunset Limited train from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, which I memorably rode as far as New Orleans in 2002, has been temporarily shut down due to a freight-train derailment along the Arizona-California border, according to the Amtrak website:
July 26, 2006, 4:00 pm PST — Due to Union Pacific freight derailment at Glamis, Arizona, Amtrak Sunset Limited trains 2(26) and 1(27) are cancelled along the entire route with no alternate transportation. Texas Eagle train 21/421(27) is cancelled west of San Antonio, Texas with no alternate transportation. … The railroad is estimated to reopen by Friday, July 28.
I blame inconvenience-ists.
A while back, I blogged about Ã¢â‚¬Å“a bizarre and mysterious infection called Morgellons disease” that seemed to be spreading at random in several Southern states. Well, now the CDC is launching a study of the condition, which is often misdiagnosed as delusional parasitosis. (Hat tip: Alan Sullivan.)
Glenn Reynolds is talking about disaster preparedness.
An Andrew Sullivan reader from Connecticut is unimpressed with Kos’s take on whether Joe Lieberman has been representing his constituents:
What kind of view of Connecticut’s politics does he think he has from San Francisco, exactly? Representing “the people of Connecticut” is exactly what Lieberman has been doing, which is why he is crushing Lamont and the GOP candidate in a 3-way general election with over 50% of the vote. What Kos wants, of course, is for Lieberman to represent his vision of what the Democratic Party should be. He goes on to say that Lieberman would not be abiding “by the democratic will of the people of Connecticut” if he loses the primary and wins the general election. Right, because “people of Connecticut” = “20% of Connecticut’s registered Democrats who turn out for the closed primary in the middle of the summer.” Spare me.
Is anyone else having trouble with Google? It’s been acting very erratically for me in the last hour — sometimes loading very slow and sometimes not at all, other times working fine.
There are women who have had sex, gotten pregnant, brought the baby to term, and given birth in the time that’s passed since USC beat Notre Dame last October 15. In other words, it’s been a long time. But this video is still pretty freakin’ sweet. (Hat tip: WeAreSC, in a thread that also links to my videos.)
See also this highlight reel.
In case you missed the day’s really big story, here it is: ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass is gay.
Well. Thank goodness that’s settled.
When Bill Clinton was president, well-known terrorist Yassir Arafat was one of his most frequent guests. Warren Christopher met with Syrian dictator Assad more than a dozen times. Ill-advised agreements with North Korea allowed the rogue communist nation to gain aid from the United States while secretly enhancing their WMD abilities and developing missiles to reach American cities.
Since Bush has been president, the Dems have only sunk lower. Criticizing the Bush administration, John Kerry made the excruciatingly hilarious claim about the current Hezbollah-Israel skirmish that, “If I was president, this wouldn’t have happened.” The Dems have repeatedly chided Bush for not pursuing direct talks with Iran and North Korea, and they are currently criticizing the administration for not pushing a diplomatic solution to the Lebanon crisis involving Syria.
With this as backdrop, then, the hypocrisy of the Democratic leadership is simply amazing when they boycott and threaten to boycott Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki’s speech to a joint session of Congress. And then they have the gall to accuse Maliki of being on the wrong side of the Global War on Terrorism. Maliki’s crime is that he made statements that, in effect, were supportive of Hezbollah and critical of Israel. Not unlike Kofi Annan, I might add, but you won’t see Dems expressing outrage at the UN Secretary.
In sum, the Democrats approach is: Welcome talks with Assad, Arafat, and Kim Jong Il, but oppose and boycott the democratically-elected Iraqi Prime Minister.
While former Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi was accused by top Dems of being Bush’s puppet, the Dem criticism of al-Maliki is now the opposite: that he isn’t parroting Bush’s support of Israel. Aside from the fact that Democrats are only strong supporters of Israel when she is under attack and it is election season, does anyone else see it as richly ironic that the Democrats would expect al-Maliki, who is a Shiite (Hezbollah are Shiite), and Arab (Hezbollah are Arab), to not reflect the popular Arab and Shiite views in this conflict, even as they opposed the removal of his deposed predecessor Saddam Hussein, who fired SCUD missiles at Israel and compensated the families of Palestinian suicide bombers? How brave of the Democrats to boldly protest al-Maliki’s typical Arab brand of anti-Semitism, even as they hypocritically demand the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq (which would only guarantee that even more radical anti-Israel and anti-West elements take control of that country) and say the war to remove Saddam from power was a huge mistake.
The performance of Bush and the Republicans these past few years is driving the conservative in me absolutely nuts, but when one takes a look at what kind of political and foreign policy lunacy is being advocated in the other party, well, that just puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?