Can nuclear terrorists be deterred?

Deproliferator1.0THE DEPROLIFERATOR — As you no doubt know, deterrence is the product of a balance of power — nuclear arsenals, in other words, that are roughly equal. Constrained by the eye-for-an-eye principle, but to the umpteenth power, states armed with nuclear weapons, such as the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and India and Pakistan today, keep their nukes holstered.

But terrorists, according to conventional thinking, are immune to deterrence. If they ever obtained nuclear weapons, they’d suffer few qualms about using them. First, they’re secure in the knowledge that they’re ostensibly stateless. It’s unlikely that the state which they’ve attacked with nuclear weapons, such as the United States, would retaliate against the state which served as their command center for the attack. (Can’t speak for another possible target, Israel, though.) Continue reading

Climategate? Not likely.

In case you were unaware, hackers got into the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) servers and published hundreds to thousands of documents and private communications from CRU climate scientists that pertain to climate disruption. And the climate disruption denial and conservative blogs have subsequently gone completely apeshit over it. The Wonk Room has a few of the better quotes from the deniers:

“If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW,” says the Telegraph’s James Delingpole.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey claims the emails discuss “repetitive, false data of higher temperatures.”

The National Review’s Chris Horner salivates, “The blue-dress moment may have arrived.”

“The crimes revealed in the e-mails promise to be the global warming scandal of the century,” blares Michelle Malkin.

The Australia Herald-Sun’s Andrew Bolt claims the emails are “proof of a conspiracy which is one of the largest, most extraordinary and most disgraceful in moderrn [sic] science.”

So, do these emails and documents represent proof of a “conspiracy” and “scandal”? At this point it seems highly unlikely, and the more that people look at the illegally-obtained emails and documents, the less likely it will become. Here’s why. Continue reading

FEC unwisely OKs return to cheap private jet travel by members of Congress

Let’s say you’re Sen. John Dough. You’re running for re-election. You need money. Often, you have to travel to where the money is to get it. Say, in Los Angeles. So you fly. But you wish to avoid flying commercial. Too much time wasted. Too many hassles, mingling among the proletariat in lines and in the damn crowded plane.

Back in the good ol’ days, you’d merely text your old pal I.B. Loaded, CEO of Amalgamated Rules Bender Inc. Loaded’s given you tons of cash over the years for your campaigns. He, his wife and children, his employees, his vendors — all have seen the wisdom of slipping dough to you, your official campaign committee, and, of course, your “Leadership PAC.”

And, of course, Loaded would have his Gulfstream V (I mean, rather, his corporate-owned private jet) fly into Reagan National to pick you up (after, of course, a taxpayer-paid car and driver deposited you, your luggage, and golf clubs there). Loaded himself would be on the plane to entertain you and see to your every need. After you’d both consumed a few hits from Loaded’s stash of 40-year-old Glen Garioch, he’d probably steer the conversation into an arcane tax-policy issue that would likely benefit Amalgamated Rules Bender Inc. to the tune of millions of dollars.

You’d be the only passenger on a sophisticated jet costing $59 million with an hourly operating cost of about $7,000. Yet, before 2007, you’d only pay the cost of first-class airfare to LA — maybe a grand or less, depending on discounts. Then Congress shut the door to corporate-provided air travel by passing the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.

And this week, those idiots at the Federal Election Commission reopened the door.
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Tournament of Rock – Legends: The Beatles vs Elvis Costello

Results: It was only a matter of time: there are now officially no Gen Xers left in the ToR, as a great Boomer legend waxes U2 … by nearly a two-to-one margin. Wow, on so many levels. The numbers: #5 Neil Young 65%; #1 U2 35%. NY moves on to the Great Eight.

Up next, our search for the greatest Baby Boomer band of all time takes you to the Hollywood Bowl region where the heavy favorite awaits another challenger. Can Elvis pull off the biggest upset ever?

#1 The Beatles: Listen #4 Elvis Costello: Listen

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