Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's new Middle East Real Time blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world. Previous non-paywalled WSJ Real Time blogs include Korea, China, Canada, India, Brussels, Emerging Europe, Japan.
"Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically." Link. [more inside]
You would be hard pressed to find an article about Obama that didn't mention approval ratings. Ditto during Bush's presidency. This interactive graph lets you compare approval ratings over time for presidents since Truman (article itself is dated but the chart is current). This graph offers less interactivity but adds some historical points of context.
She's baaaaaaaack! Farnaz Fassihi, the Wall Street Journal reporter whose private e-mail to friends lamented the dangers of reporting in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration's war policy, is returning to her war beat next week for the first time since her missive sparked a controversy in October. Reports that she was being punished by her newspaper for the e-mail were apparently false. Her e-mail brought her unexpected attention, raised issues about whether reporters covering Iraq were telling the whole story, prompted some introspection in journalism circles, and led a variety of news outlets to confirm her dour outlook (last link is a reprinted NYT article). Previously discussed here.
Want to talk about GOP? Not in the WSJ! The latest WSJ internal style guide has banned the use of GOP (Grand Old Party) as a reference that too few would be familar with. Republicans seem to find it amusing, considering their domain name, however. I'd just been speaking about this to a colleague a few days ago when someone at lunch asked what a GOP was. Do the other mediums follow suit? Is this as big a deal as some publications using the term "homicide bomber" instead of "suicide bomber?"
Middle East war predictions "..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]
"How Bush should spend his windfall of political capital." Many links have been posted in the past 10 days to cheap political opportunism in the wake of 0.81- but this takes the cake: an op-ed calling for Bush to explicitly exploit this tragedy to pass bigger tax cuts, ANWR drilling, etc. Yep, another sickening WSJ effort; I'm sure the families of the victims will take heart in knowing their loved ones are, in fact, a "windfall of political capital" for Bush. (sorry for the two-front-page-posts-in-a-row, btw)
The Greenwood Position. Partisan perhaps, but will Peggy Noonan's latest OpEd in the WSJ be a rallying cry for frustrated conservatives? She offers compelling arguments and solid suggestions for proactive redress. Talk amongst yourselves.