Bloggers discuss the latest in the John Bolton saga, as well as Bill Gates' prediction that cell phones will ultimately replace iPods, and American Malcolm Glazer's hostile takeover of Manchester United.
Bolton slips by:Lacking the votes to endorse John Bolton as U.N. ambassador, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted his nomination out of committee and into the full Senate without recommendation yesterday. The vote hinged on Ohio Republican George Voinovich, who had previously criticized Bolton. Voinovich has drawn ire from both the left and the right—not as much for his vote, though, as for his prevarications preceding it.
"The Prince of Cleveland, Senator George Voinovich, has finally finished his to-be-or-not-to-be act," writes John Hinderaker at conservative syndicate Power Line. "Why the flip flopping?" wonders progressive blogger C.J. Minster of Chicken Foot Stew. "Well, [Voinovich]'s still a Republican and unable to stand up to the pressure of the entire Republican machine." Even some bloggers who find Bolton odious suspect his likely confirmation heralds progress. "Isn't [Bolton] exactly what the United Nations needs, a big meanie to get the house back in order?" asks Tom at blog-between-friends Scared Monkeys. "The status quo is just destroying them."
Plenty of bloggers think it's time to admit the Bolton nomination battle is not as consequential as debate has suggested. "Overall, I find it appalling that so many in the blogosphere leap immediately to the rhetorical big guns—'traitor,' 'backstabber,' 'spineless,' 'stupid'—for a situation that does not call for it," saysPennywit. "I know that spinmeisters and hacks on both sides of the aisle want their audiences to believe that every confirmation battle, every issue, is a FIGHT TO THE DEATH, but it just ain't so." At Balloon Juice, conservative John Cole agrees. "[A]nyone who thinks that John Bolton is going to single-handedly go in and bully the United Nations into submission … has no concept of the powerful force known as institutional inertia," he writes.
Oliver Willis of Media Matters still objects. "I do think that if we are to reform the UN (and it does need some serious work—and as a member of the security council that includes America), an a-hole is not the one to do it," he writes. "If you're going to fight terrorism and tyranny, even America can't do it alone. … It isn't about appeasement, not in the least, but about doing the hard things that it takes in order to lead the globe."
Read more bloggers on Bolton here.
Death of the iPod?: In an interview with a German newspaper, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that Apple's iPod success is unsustainable and predicted that cell phones, powered perhaps by future Microsoft software, would replace MP3 players.
"I can see where Bill's coming from. I mean, why do we have MP3 players now?" asks Joe at Akron blog RubberBuzz. "Because they're a lot smaller then a CD player and a stack of discs. If you already have a cell phone, it'd be awesome to have it play MP3's too." Others think Gates' proclamation stinks of premature triumphalism. I think most people won't [use cellphones for MP3s]," guessesMad Anthony, a tech support worker in Baltimore. "For one thing, all in one devices tend to do lots of things, but do few things well."
"[U]nfortunately I have the constant need to disagree with everything Bill Gates says," says iVeronica from Geek News Central. "Hey, Bill—heard of the 'Halo Effect' lately? Apple's market share is growing, so don't count them out yet."
Read more about Gates' predictions.
Man who?:American billionaire Malcolm Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, announced today that he had established controlling interest in the Manchester United soccer club, called by some the world's most valuable sports franchise.
The Mind Reader reports on the protests of Man U. fans, who believe the Yank will raise ticket prices and siphon money from the club to cover his own debts. Chris Applegate at QWGHLM thinks fans should have expected as much when their club went public in 1991. "That means anyone can buy shares in your beloved United if they offer the right price, and if someone can afford to buy enough shares to fully take over the club, well then tough. …" he says. "While your newfound stance against the nebulous forces of capitalism might just evoke some sympathy from this jaded football fan, you were curiously silent when the club's venture into the stock market gave it the money to invest in a rebuilt stadium, buy better players and make a lucrative move into Far Eastern markets, all of which have contributed to healthy multi-million pound profits year-in year-out and made you the richest club in the world. Funny, that."
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