Today's Blogs


The blogosphere is still abuzz about John Bolton’s hearings before the Senate foreign relations committee. Bloggers also assess the indictments handed down in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal and eagerly await our future robot overlords.

Ambassador-in-waiting (and waiting): John Bolton’s nomination to the post of U.N. ambassador stalled yesterday when Democrats delayed a committee vote that would have sent the nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. They want more testimony on Bolton’s alleged harassment of intelligence analysts (and more timeto win over moderate Republican Lincoln Chafee).

Lefty blogger Common Ills says the Dems are taking the right step: “Appealing to America’s better nature and rejecting fear-based operations would go a long way in helping Democrats better define what they stand for and would also crystalize why Bolton is the wrong person for this job.” Roaring liberal APolitical Misery doesn’t believe the delay will amount to anything but still holds a grudge.“Hold onto the grab bars as we careen down Mr. Bush’s Wild Ride, and awaken the long-term memory cells still buried under the THC of the 60’s and 70’s,” he writes. “Stash all these tidbits of info on people like Bolton away and when the 2006 elections come, dust off them there memories and compare them with the candidates.”

Bolton supporters are, predictably, in a tizzy. At Bloggedygook, pragmatist Daniel Berczik composes Bolton’s alternate-reality response to Sen. Barbara Boxer, who criticized the undersecretary of defense’s disdain for the U.N.: “I believe that the evidence shows that the UN has done everything in its power to earn my disdain and that of every American and freedom loving person around the globe. So the question isn’t ‘why do I have such disdain.’ The question, Senator, is ‘why don’t you?’ ” Libertarian-conservative Pejmanesque points out a bit of hypocrisy: “[T]he past few years have been filled with stories about how Bolton has distanced himself from official State Department policy. … Now, all of the sudden, he is being portrayed as too loyal to his superiors and the talking points they have set out.”

Scott Ott at humor outlet ScrappleFace uncovers some moustache-related testimony that apparently didn’t make C-SPAN. And an excerpt from reader mail received at National Review Online’s The Corner:

Subject: News Flash re Bolton
I have it from a close source that Bolton once dismissed a subordinate with a raised open palmed hand and uttterd the word, ‘whatever’ in a snarky, Valley Girl sorta way.

Read more about John Bolton here.

Oil and trouble: Today, Texan David Chalmers of the Bay Oil corporation and two others  were charged with diverting “millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq” as part of the U.N. oil-for-food scandal. Author Austin Bay (no relation to Bay Oil) is live-blogging today’s indictments. He explains that:

Bayoil defendants allegedly did three things:(1) Paid inflated commissions to oil industry brokers knowing the commissions were earmarked for kickbacks to Saddam.
(2) Instead of funneling aid to needy, the funds were sent to Saddam’s front companies
(3) Fixed oil prices. Oil prices were “artificially deflated.”

Mystery novelist Roger L. Simon, who’s been on the oil-for-food beat for months, is pleased by the indictments. “[A]sk yourself whether it isn’t time for a strong reformer like John Bolton for US Ambassador to the UN,” he writes.

Read more about the U.N. oil-for-food scandal here; Slate explained the roles played by Saddam, Kofi Annan, and others here.

Hostile takeover:InstaPundit points readers to a Guardian story in which scientists name the biggest threats to life on Earth. Standbys like climate change and viral pandemic made the list, but so did “Telomere erosion”—essentially, an expiration date for each species—”super-volcanos,” and a robot takeover. Guardian critic Scott Burgess at the Daily Ablution wonders why the article considers pandemics, robots, and terror bigger threats than climate change: “[A]ccording to the Guardian, we should expend more effort and money on fighting terrorism than on climate change.” If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, says Indian-British songwriter/blogger Bzangy Groink. “As for uploading myself into a robot, bring it on!,” he writes. “I’d love to run amok through downtown Derby, squishing passers-by with my enormous metal feet whilst shrieking my robot catchphrase, ‘FFEFFE A89CCF!’ ”

Read more about the end of the world here.