…known to everyone else in the world as Rebecca MacKinnon at the Rconversation blog. I must confess I’ve been thinking about my own issues but I thought I’d check up on how thing are going in China:

It ain’t pretty:

….the crackdown is broad and deep, and shows no sign of ending. In May, 20 civil rights lawyers who had defended Tibetans, Falun Gong members, and other politically sensitive clients were effectively disbarred. In July the licenses of another 53 lawyers were revoked. On the same day as Xu’s detention, security officials raided the office of Yi Ren Ping, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting discrimination, and confiscated all copies of its latest newsletter on grounds that they don’t have a publishing license. A number of people involved with a citizens’ effort to collect information about children who died in the Sichuan earthquake and raise questions about shoddy construction of schools have been arrested. Earthquate survivor He Hongchun was convicted for disturbing social order. Huang Qi, who reported online about the plight of children who died in the quate, went on trial this week for disclosing state secrets; the court’s ruling has yet to be announced. According to Human Rights in China a key witness was kidnapped and prevented from appearing in court to testify for Huang’s defence. Tan Zuoren, an activist who conducted an investigation into the reasons why so many school buildings collapsed in the quake, is scheduled to go on trial for state subversion next week.

Attacks on free speech and civil rights in China didn’t stop just because nobody decides to complain about them anymore. Our free speech diva isn’t going to keep quiet about it. She and maybe Jay Nordlinger will keep reminding us, although she will do it from the lion’s den.

…or at least 1000+ of them do:

More than 950 requests for speeches have poured in for Palin, and over 120 candidates for office have asked her to appear, including folks running for Senate, House and state Legislature, aides said.

And that is months before her book comes out.

But I shouldn’t make anything out of it since all of these really smart people think Sarah Palin is stupid. Her supporters don’t read books they’re just fringe idiots.

We’ll see who is laughing come spring.

in the Amazon.com ranking against actual conservatives like Michelle (still 8th after a month), Mark (still 33rd after 5 months) and Glenn (Still #7 after 2 months). Is to try to spice things up a bit:

Former DHS secretary Tom Ridge exposed himself as a weasel nearly two weeks ago when he allowed his publisher to gin up bogus book buzz with a false claim about the Bush administration pressuring him to alter homeland security alerts for political purposes.

He confirmed his weaseliness again in a USA Today interview published today, in which he walks back the sham allegation:

Remember when all the smart people told us Ridge was the man and Toomey can’t win.

What a difference a little time makes:

That’s two Nelson’s in two days!

Update: Of course there is always plan B.

There are plenty of reasons to hit Olberman, but I think this is nitpicking:

The man who believes he’s got the top rated news program on cable told his tiny audience Thursday that the eldest Kennedy brother was “shot down in World War II.”

In reality, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was part of an experimental program called Operation Aphrodite that attempted to turn a bomb-laden plane into a remote controlled explosive device.

Kennedy was one of many pilots who lost their lives trying to make this program a reality.

I frankly never heard of Operation Aphrodite but if you watch the clip embedded in the link it is apparent that it was considered even more dangerous than a regular run.

As the clip shows the plane was on an offensive “bombing” mission (with the plane as a bomb) when it blew up. It is a really minor difference and wasn’t the focus of the segment.

And it certainly wasn’t a question of trying to pump up Joe. The danger of the mission actually enhances his rep.

I can’t see how it rates a Newsbusters post. Olby is wrong enough lets not sweat something like this.

Update: Now this is interesting but old.

…was to leave the Red Sox and to face last place teams as often as possible:

Smoltz doesn’t care about the skeptics who point out his first starts have come against last-place teams. He struck out nine, including seven in a row, last Sunday at San Diego. The Nationals are 14-12 in August, with a shot at their first winning month since September 2007.

“People can say what they want about the Nationals maybe not having the best of years, but lately they’ve been swinging the bat extremely well, scoring in double digits every time you look up,” Smoltz said. “I was fortunate to keep them to one run.”

Smoltz has a 0.82 ERA after going 2-5 with an 8.33 ERA in Boston, leading to his release earlier this month.

All four of his wins this season are against teams in last place. He has also lost 3 games against basement dwellers. The combined record of the teams he has defeated this year is 206-318.

Will he manage to win against the big boys? Will the Cards choose to spot start him? Only the next month will tell.

You know something hit me today during the coverage of the British terrorist release business.

I can’t see how England did this without at least informing the US if this is true the big loser is Not going to be president Obama.

Back when Hillary was named Sec of State it seemed a shrewd move for both parties. By making Mrs. Clinton a part of the administration she is tied to it, and by taking State she not only avoids having to deal with a declining economy but she puts herself in a position to resign in protest at a key moment if she wants to make a move.

It it turns out that the British DID inform the US prior to the release/deal concerning Al Megrahi release, that would likely have gone up the command ladder. It is impossible that it would not have hit Hillary before it reached the president.

Now Mrs. Clinton is in an untenable position. As she didn’t object at the time she becomes complicit, and if she HAD then the president backs her up and has another mini toughguy episode to play with.

It is not impossible that the British foolishly (or cleverly) didn’t say a word to us, but baring that this might be another example of playing the Chicago game very well.

Pure speculation of course but that’s what I think.

Update: Mr. #24,154 agrees that it’s unlikely the Administration didn’t know. You can decide if that improves my case.