Friday, October 07, 2005

Miller Time redux

On July 6, 2005, yours truly wrote, “Can we PLEASE let go of any sense that Judith Miller is any kind of hero or martyr for a free press? For one thing, her drumming up support for the Iraq war in the New York Times (the supposedly "LIBERAL" New York Times, that led the headlong rush into war and was the primary water carrier on Whitewater) would have done Keith Moon and John Bonham proud. She is not protecting a SOURCE--she is protecting a CRIMINAL!

And guess what? Today we get from Reuters that New York Times reporter Judith Miller discovered notes from an earlier conversation she had with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and turned them over to the prosecutor investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity, legal sources said on Friday."

She just DISCOVERED these “notes?” How convenient.

She is a disgrace, and honestly, so is the New York Times

Thanks but no thanks......

From the Desk of God

From the Desk of God

Dear Humanity:

I have recently heard that President George W. Bush said that I told him to invade Iraq. As the creator of the world, of all that is seen and unseen, I have but one comment on the president's statement:


Let's see. I made this:

and this:

and this:

I inspired him:

and him:

and her:

Do you SERIOUSLY think I told HIM

to do THIS?????

Now I admit that once back when he was at Yale that I DID tell him it would be a good idea to have a 12-pack of Schlitz and then go over to the Kappa house and serenade the sisters with "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" by Jay & The Techniques without wearing pants. That was strictly for fun though. Deities need a laugh or two once in a while as well, you know! But this mess? Home, no! (sorry, heavens no!)

One more thing. He said before that Jesus was his "favorite philosopher." I saw the boy a couple of months ago. Oh, don't act surprised, you know, he's busy, I'm busy, that whole "seated at the right hand of God" thing is way overblown. He said to tell you, though, Georgie, that while he appreciates the thought, he thinks you're a dick.

Have a nice day, all.


From my voice mail

From the voice mail this morning:

Peter, this is Alexander Hamilton. Thanks again for inviting me to visit with you. I have one more thought I would like to share on original intent and the role of the courts. Those of you above ground can find it in From Here to Constitutionality, oops, I mean Federalist Paper #22:

"Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation. The treaties of the United States, to have any force at all, must be considered as part of the law of the land. Their true import, as far as respects individuals, must, like all other laws, be ascertained by judicial determinations."

Well, thanks again. Back to old Trinity Church, I have just been getting buried lately!

Originalist, or BS artist?

From Salon:

OK, so we take it all back. It turns out that Harriet Miers does have experience in matters of constitutional law: As the Wall Street Journal reports today, she has argued a case involving the rather obscure 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Her client: George W. Bush. Her argument: Dick Cheney wasn't really a resident of the state of Texas even if he was really a resident of the state of Texas. ed: sound familiar to anyone?

As the Journal says, the 2000 case of Jones v. Bush was mostly lost amid the clamor over a case called Bush v. Gore . But the Jones case could have been just as important for the man who would be president, and Miers was there to help him out.

The 12th Amendment prohibits the electoral college votes of any one state from going to both a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate who come from that state. In the days after the 2000 presidential election, some Texas residents filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that Texas couldn't cast its electoral college votes for the Bush-Cheney ticket because both Bush and Cheney were Texas residents. Bush didn't dispute his Texas-ness, but Cheney did -- despite the fact that he had lived and voted and held a driver's license in Texas until just after Bush picked him as his running mate in July 2000.

Miers led the legal team that successfully fought off the lawsuit. There's nothing surprising about that: While Miers doesn't have a national reputation as a litigator on constitutional law issues, she was Bush's personal attorney and apparently well respected in Texas. What is unusual, the Journal notes, is the argument that Miers' legal team made. While conservatives like to say they believe in reading the Constitution strictly, the Miers team had to rely on what it called a "broad and inclusive" reading of the Constitution to ensure that Bush made it to the White House. Miers' co-counsel argued that, whatever the 12th Amendment might have meant when it was adopted in 1804, the provision's meaning had evolved over time. "Differences between the year 1800 and 2000 is more than two centuries, it's light years," her co-counsel argued, noting that the "rapidity with which each of us have changed addresses from schools and college to various marriages and jobs."

In any other situation, that sort of argument would elicit groans of protest from Antonin Scalia, who counters talk of a "living constitution" by insisting that the document is very much dead. But 2000 wasn't like any other situation, and the legal wrangling over the disputed 2000 election wasn't like anything else. At least that's what Republicans on the Supreme Court told us when they suddenly found themselves interested in an expansive reading of the Equal Protection Clause -- and then just as suddenly warned that the decision they were handing down in Bush v. Gore shouldn't be considered precedent for any other case."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The No Exit Strategy

The president’s speech today was bizarre. He starts out in typical goofy fashion by saying that “I appreciate Carl Gershman…I appreciate Chris Cox, who's the chairman of the U.S. Security (AHEM---GET THE NAME RIGHT PLEASE!) and Exchange Commission….I appreciate the secretary of state, Condi Rice.

You don’t appreciate them being there, you just appreciate them. Period. How sweet.

From there he jumps off the deep end, with “the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia. With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people and to blackmail our government into isolation.”

So, this ragtag group of disparate and unconnected cells of thugs, while admittedly capable of causing havoc and criminal damage, could “establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia,” DESTROY Israel, intimidate EUROPE and ISOLATE the United States? Oh please. From there he moves into a completely inappropriate comparison of “terrorism” with “communism.” Of course the “communism” that confronted the United States was the apparatchik-laden statism of the Soviet Union as compared to the stateless wanderers of modern “terrorism.”

You might attribute this to a simple-minded man speaking about things he doesn’t understand in the usual hyperbole, dragging out all the old shibboleths that let him lie a nation into war before. You might wonder about his mental health, if he has again taken up the bottle or become Marlon Brando’s Col. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.

I however, think there is something more sinister afoot. We all know why we invaded Iraq (if anyone out there thinks that Saddam Hussein had massive stockpiles of “weapons of mass destruction” that provided an “imminent threat” to our “national security.” STOP READING NOW. Log off and resume your fascination with small shiny objects.) We invaded Iraq because the 9/11 attacks provided the harmonic convergence allowing this “president” the excuse to exorcise his familial insecurities while promoting a bizarre neocon agenda once played out in think tanks but now elevated to the halls of power that called for a “re-engineering” of the Middle East to make it more U.S. and Israel-friendly.

In the neo-con’s perfect little world, an invasion of Iraq that everyone expected to succeed with ease would be followed by the effortless installation of a U.S. puppet government (insert “Chalabi” here). But lo and behold, the Shi’a majority in Iraq didn’t want to play the part of the compliant stooges, and the Sunni minority did not take kindly to being overthrown and marginalized. The end result is of course the administration being forced to put forth all of this nonsense about “elections” and “democracy” with the predictable outcome of us being in the middle of a low-grade civil war.

What always puzzled me was the question of why, in this low-grade civil war, we were taking the side of Shi’a fundamentalists who wanted to establish an Islamic republic closely allied with Iran. Why would we want to “train” and turn over authority to an inherently radical and hostile regime?

Then it dawned on me (Hello, McFly????) We ARE not turning over authority because WE ARE NOT LEAVING. In Iraq, we have engineered a “constitution” guaranteeing a permanently hostile Sunni minority, and many of them will act as an armed resistance. Violence justifies our staying, as the “Iraqi” (insert `Shi’a militias’ here) forces cannot “stand up” so we cannot “stand down.” A tailor-made excuse for a permanent occupation, accomplishing directly (the U.S. military) what we could not do indirectly (the puppet-stooge state.)

As Deep Throat once advised, follow the money. Dick Cheney told us to prepare for “decades” of war. Barely hours after this poorly-received speech, we have a “credible threat” in New York. Credible, right? Follow the money. Years of contracts for Halliburton, General Dynamics, Halliburton, Bechtel, Halliburton, etc.

The reason that there is no exit strategy is that there is no exit strategy. A truism, but it is oh so true. This is not a war on terror or violent extremism. It is a war on peace.

I hate to drag out an oldie but a goody, but may I remind you of Randolph Bourne’s thoughts in 1918, coming out of the nightmare of World War I. He said that “war is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense…minorities are rendered sullen, and some intellectual opinion bitter and satirical, but in general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Loyalty - or mystic devotion to the State - becomes the major imagined human value. Other values, such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed”

The state may then be quite healthy for some time to come!

We're on a mission from god

(Said in my best Chicago/Blues Brothers voice). Okay, I'm not, but apparently President Fucking Moron thinks he is. From an upcoming BBC special:

God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers

President George W. Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals.

In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a major three-part series on BBC TWO (at 9.00pm on Monday 10, Monday 17 and Monday 24 October), Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003.

Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

The series charts the attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, from Bill Clinton's peace talks in 1999/2000 to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last August.

Norma Percy, series producer of The 50 Years War (1998) returns, with producers Mark Anderson and Dan Edge, to tell the inside story of another seven years of crisis.

Presidents and Prime Ministers, their generals and ministers tell what happened behind closed doors as peace talks failed and the intifada exploded.

Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace - Mondays 10, 17 and 24 October, from 9.00 to 10.00pm on BBC TWO.

Be afraid.

The president is absolutely right

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush told Americans on Thursday that evil men must be stopped "before their crimes can multiply"

I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Alexander Hamilton on Harriet

Much has been made of "original intent" with regard to the framers and the constitution. Let's ask one, shall we? Again, the Thinker spares no expense to bring you the news you need. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Alexander Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton, I must say you're looking quite well for someone long dead.

Hamilton: Thank you, Peter. Normally I wouldn't make such an appearance, but lately I seem to have a real Burr in my saddle.

The Thinker: Ahem, well, anyway, I know your time with us is short, so I just have one question. You helped shape the constitution and the process of presidential appointments. I'm assuming that "Burr" you mentioned is the appointment of the president's personal lawyer to the Supreme Court?

Hamilton: Exactly. But first, one quick thing. I owe you all an apology. You know the national debt? That was my idea. I thought that by placong long-term bonds with our leading citizens, we could tie their interests to those of the new government. Jefferson hated it, but he hated everything until Louisiana. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I had no idea, though, that a dimwitted frat boy would plunder the Treasury like a Barbary pirate and then spend like a drunken sailor on credit drawn from the Bank of China!

But anyway, back to Harriet. I addressed this specific issue in Federalist Paper #76. By the way, who came up with that lame title? I suggested "To Kill a Monarchy" or "For Whom the Liberty Bell Tolls," and we end up with "The Federalist Papers." It sounds like we're housetraining Washington's dog, but anyway, let me read it to you. After all, given that I'm dead, my memory isn't so good. Let me skip to the good parts. Why involve the Senate?

I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity....he would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure."

Get my point?

The Thinker: Absolutely. You consider the appointment of a personal crony to be an affront to the constitution?

Hamilton: Without a doubt. Well, my time is up. Many thanks, Peter. It's back to New York, if I can be buried there, I can be buried anywhere. By the way, could I borrow ten bucks?

Bulls Trade

The Chicago Bulls recently traded Eddie Curry to the New York Knicks.

Normally, I am not much of an NBA fan, but I mention this only because they traded him for Jermaine Jackson:

and a Tito to be named later.

With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein...

Sing to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music (you know, the whole “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” thing!) and pronounce the "double-u!"

George W Things

Floating dead bodies and tax cuts for Wal-Mart
Big no-bid contracts and cutbacks for Head Start
Unqualified judges all from the right wing
These are some very George W things!

Crony appointments and huge budget shortfalls
Insider stock sales when we all make windfalls
Hoping that Tom DeLay’s buddies don’t sing
These are some very George W things!

Illegal invasions and gay male hookers
Cowing the press into timid onlookers
Stealing elections with Diebold machines
These are some very George W things!

Prayer back in classrooms and laws based on Jesus
Don't give a damn how those foreigners see us
Let's drill for oil right behind the West Wing
These are some very George W things!

When the war tanks
When the polls sink
When I'm feeling sad
I get liquored up and cut aid for the poor
And then I don't feel so bad!


Ignorance on Parade

I would like to address a syndicated column that appeared in today's Chicago Tribune. This brilliant piece of journalistic analysis comes to us courtesy of Kathleen Parker, a talentless right-wing hack who writes for the Orlando Sentinel. As evidenced by this impressively thoughtful piece, it is obvious that Ms. Parker is, hmmm, I'm looking for the right word, hold on just a second, it will come to me..oh right, STUPID!!!!

She begins her blather by stating that "the 1st Amendment has been getting a workout in recent weeks on two college campuses--the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--where students are learning that free speech is a messy business."

Pssst, Kathleen, unless there are jackbooted thugs in the employ of the U.S. government arresting these students or shutting down the papers, there is no "1st Amendment" question. Let me explain something to you. The 1st amendment to the constitution (you know, the constitution, old yellow paper, fancy writing, We the People and all that?) clearly states "Congress shall make no law." Congress, get it? It doesn't apply to the states and it certainly doesn't apply to individuals or non-government entities.

In a series of decisions (that really annoy conservatives), the Supreme Court has held that many of the basic protections listed in the Bill of Rights are also found within the 14th amendment. Even still, this applies to GOVERNMENT action.

Kathleen is bleating about a Michelle Malkin in training pants who was fired from a campus newspaper. Why? Well, this is a lot of he said, she said about quotes out of context, but basically the issue is that she wrote that "I want all Arabs to be stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport."

Chatty Kathy continues "one could make a strong argument that Bandes' column was silly, amateurish, lacking in taste, strident and ineffective. Being outrageous for the sake of outrage requires no special talent. Witness Howard Stern. But people have a clear and protected right to be both silly and amateurish."

Amazing. OF COURSE she has a right to be "silly and amateurish" but she doesn't have ANY right to do so in the employ of ANY newspaper, even one sponsored by a state university. This is an issue between the employer and the employee and has ABSOLUTELY NO constitutional implications!

Kathleen, meet the constitution. Constitution, this is Kathleen. I'm sure you two will have NOTHING to talk about!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harriet and the High Court

There are so many things to dislike about this appointment.

First of all, I expect anyone sitting on the Supreme Court to have attended a better law school than I did. Sorry all you legal Mustangs out there, but SMU doesn't cut it.

I am also very concerned about a statement by the National Review's David Frum:

"In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met."

Obviously she needs to get out more.

I am also not comforted by the fact that wingnut groups are displeased with her. So the qualification to sit on the high court is that you are not demonstrably crazy??? What about competence? I have often said that the biggest problem with the confirmation of Clarence Thomas was not that he in all likelihood was a repugnant sexual cad, but that in all of the Coke can and adult film hoopla, the Senate forgot to look at the fact that the man was grossly unqualified to serve on the court. I hope that they do not hunt so hard for an ideologue that again they miss the incompetent.

Her lack of judicial experience is not a disqualifying condition. Many outstanding jurists have come to the court from other environs, and dreadful justices have been promoted from within. A fellow contributor (JTB) observed that some variety of experience could be good for the court. For those of you unfamiliar with the legal world, there is a "judge-professor" track, where top students at top schools make the law review, get post-graduate judicial clerkships, have a stopover at a prestigious law firm and then head off for the bench or academia. JTB's premise is that this pool of talent is not exposed to "real" law and that a court comprised solely of those breathing this rarefied air could be rather intellectually stagnant. Now mind you, we are not talking about elevating the guys with bad hair and cheap suits down at Traffic Court or that you see on late-night infomercials, but real world experience certainly can be a positive attribute.

Not this "real world" experience, however. Her career in private practice as a commercial litigator does not stand out from thousands of other competent attorneys and certainly does not say "Supreme Court." From there she moves into George Bush's political orbit as advocate and apologist, hardly distinguishing characteristics. With the unmitigated disasters of Iraq and Katrina before us, we also cannot help but notice the hideous stench of cronyism. This insider also comes from far too deep inside. First of all, she will be placed in an untenable position as many administration policies which she helped to promulgate will come before the court. In addition, her political partisanship and unabashed loyalty to the president will make it impossible for her to bring with her the balance, objectivity and judicial temperament appropriate to the high court.

Ozzie and Harriet

Okay, cheap joke, but what do you expect?

Think of the kittiesI

If you agree, click on an ad----------->

If you disagree, click on an ad!------>

Monday, October 03, 2005

My new favorite ice cream place!

I have a new favorite ice cream store--perhaps.

It begins this way, Please, dear God, don't ask me why, but while waiting for Monday Night Football, I tuned into Bill O'Reilly's show (like I said, don't ask.)

He was reading the email from his dumber-than-dittohead fans when one said that Ralph's Italian Ice in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, refused to serve her because she was wearing an "O'Reilly Factor" t-shirt! I was all ready to give Ralph's a big shout out and a solemn promise to visit my next time in New York, until I looked up Ralph's website. According to Ralph's site, they don't have a location in Lake Ronkonkoma! Now there is a "Rita's Italian Ice" there and remember, anyone stupid enough to wear an O'Reilly shirt could easily not know where they are. So I admit to not being sure.

As a result, if you're on Long Island, find out which one it is and always go there to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Six plus six=six?

Apparently Republicans forget basic math when they are on the spin cycle of damage control. On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) made a big deal, in responding to Rep. Rahm Emanuel’s (D-IL) statement that it was “a grand jury that indicted Tom DeLay,“ of the fact that it was just a “six-member jury.” See transcript. Apparently, the congressmen was suggesting that only six individuals needed to be convinced, and therefore, the indictment was somehow less credible.

But a local TV station in Austin reports differently, and their information comes from a man who should know, grand jury foreman William Gibson. He reported that "he did his duty and that bound him to look at Tom Delay as just another Texan accused of criminal conspiracy. I like his aggressiveness and everything, and I had nothing against the House majority man, but I felt that we had enough evidence, not only me, but the other grand jury members, Gibson said."

"The grand jury foreman also takes great exception to accusations that he and 11 other grand jury members followed the lead of Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle instead of following the evidence. It was not a rubber stamp deal. It was not an overnight deal. If we needed extra information, it was provided to us, Gibson said....We would not have handed down an indictment. We would have no-billed [editor's note, a no-bill means the grand jury declined to indict] the man, if we didn't feel there was sufficient evidence, said Gibson."

"The evidence is there to prove Delay was involved in wrongdoing and also prove that he and his fellow grand jurors acted independent of political influence, Gibson said...It wasn't Mr. Earle that indicted the man. It was the 12 members of the grand jury, Gibson said."

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, Part II

DeLay Indicted Again!

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas grand jury indicted U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering Monday, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader.

Both indictments accuse DeLay and two political associates of conspiring to get around a state ban on corporate campaign contributions by funneling the money through a political action committee to the Republican National Committee in Washington.

DeLay's earlier indictment charged that conspirators carried out a fund-raising scheme by having the DeLay-founded Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee send corporate money to the Republican National Committee. The RNC then sent back a like amount — $190,000 — to distribute to Texas candidates in 2002, the indictment alleges.

More fun with George

"Listen, I, I, I wanna thank, uhh, leaders of the -- in the faith, and uhh -- faith-based and community-based community for being here, we've got people who represent thousands of volunteers who are in the midst of helping save lives."

"Secondly, we're strengthening the defenses at our most important and vulnerable locations. In other words, part of a strategy is ta -- to try to figure out where the enemy may attack. You assess your weaknesses, and you build on those -- and you, and you, strengthen your weaknesses. That's the -- remember, we're, this is a war. This isn't a -- you know, maybe a, you know, a kinda, a law enforcement adventure. We're at war with these people, and therefore, during a time of war, you've got to do everything you can to strengthen your defenses. And so we'll continue to enhance protection at our borders and coastlines and airports and bridges and nuke-u-lar power PANTS!"

Find the audio here.

Letters, we get letters...

Well, in this case, the Chicago Tribune received the letter (you can always post comments or contact us at but still...

This one is from Alan Tigner of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois (picture below)

He writes "I wonder how Cindy Sheehan and the war protesters who gathered in Washington recently would have reacted more than half a century ago when things were not going well for us during the first few years of World War II. We were losing many young Americans every week, young people who also were fighting in far-off lands, and we were scoring few victories."


"In those days we were united as a country and stood behind our leaders, whose job it was to make the tough decisions and to do what they believed was the right thing for America. In those days people like Sheehan, and there were some, would have been scorned as traitors by both the public and the press for suggesting that we retreat from our commitments."

Alan, let's check in with FDR's distant cousin, Teddy Roosevelt, who said "to announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." And just what are those "commitments," Al? A commitment to supporting a fundamentalist Islamic republic? That is in the best interests of America???

Alan concludes "If we had cut and run in World War II like the anti-war movement would like us to do today in the war on terror, we would be living in a very different world where the freedom and prosperity we have enjoyed for the last 50 years would not have been possible."

All I can say is thank God FDR was president rather than the current idiot.

Better run, Alan, Rush is on.

While I was gone.......

I spent the last two days howling in pain and hugging Mr. Porcelain after some of the FDA's under-inspected meats gave me one hellacious case of food poisoning. My incapacitation gave me the opportunity to do something I rarely do. I watched the Sunday-morning talking heads.

I was watching Tim Russert when he gives us this gem, "The president has said, and everyone seems to agree, our only exit strategy is when the Iraqi troops stand up, Americans stand down."

Everyone, Tim? Everyone? I don't have to look too far to find some who doesn't "seem to agree." And I wanted to scream when he wouldn't ask Gen. John Abizaid, commander of Iraqi operations, about how this ill-trained group of people with questionable loyalties to the new "government" can do something that the United States Army has been unable to do.

Then NBC went to break, and I kid you not, here are the three commericals that aired:

and finally, of course

I guess you get what you pay for!

Hacky Sack? Captain Crony?

Harriet Miers has been nominated by Blinky the Chimp to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

I repeat, Harriet Miers.

The overwhelming response so far has been,

The proper response should be

"Oh my God, not again!"

Here we go again, another crony put in a position where they have no business being.

A woman with no judicial experience, a fiece Bush loyalist who helped Governor W to cover up his little drinky drivy problem and the former director of the Texas State Lottery (and the fifth winning number is seven!). Now if those aren't qualifications for the Supreme Court, I don't know what are. Buddy-system government, cronies in the capital, call it what you want, but this is a national disgrace.

Another point from a purely legal standpoint. I love it when conservative judges, as a means to advance their agenda, call themselves "strict constructionists" and say that they adhere to "original intent."

Are we channelling James Madison now, is George Mason speaking to you through messages in the classifieds?

Just a quick note on this. "Original intent" sounds good in theory, and the old boys did the best job they could in Philadelphia that summer, but--they were by no means perfect. Their document protected slavery and treated slaves as 3/5ths of a person. The constitution contained no right to vote and provided that the senate would be appointed by state legislators. After all, it was 1787. I would suggest to (I hope she is never) Justice Miers, if she wants to interpret the law as if it were 1787, I suggest she return there.

For love of the game

First of all, congratulations to the Chicago White Sox for winning the AL Central Division.

As the Sox headed to Cleveland for a season-ending series rendered somewhat meaningless, I heard many talking heads ruminate that it would somehow be inappropriate for the Sox to rest starters and set their rotation during these games, that it would be an affront to the "integrity of the game."


The White Sox, or any team in a similar position, don't owe any duty to Boston, New York or the game of baseball that would be violated by giving the regulars a couple of days off. Any particular team's duty is to do what it can within the rules to win the World Series, and if the Cleveland Indians face a lineup largely made up of reserves, so be it (editor's note: the Sox swept Cleveland anyway.)

Want to see an affront to the integrity of the game? How about Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmeiro and any other walking science project? Affronts? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bud Selig. This grinning idiot happily held the tethers of the afore-mentioned Macy's parade balloons while they turned the game into a home run circus. There are legions of other offenders, from self-important umpires with made-up strike zones to batters wearing body armor that charge the mound on inside pitches to George Steinbrenner's wallet to absurd over-expansion.

But getting a team ready to have its best chance in the playoffs? Hardly.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Call for Civility

It's a post by Barack Obama on the daily kos, if you haven't read it yet (just read it myself, after reading other posts referencing it). It's essentially an argument that, regardless of what those on the right do, people on the left shouldn't attack each other just because we don't always agree or vote lock-step on things. To me, it's a strong call for civility, not weakness, and a request for an essential change in politics that can be used to attract moderates. Among other things, Obama argues that making every issue an us or them sort of thing alienates those who don't have a strong ideological bent. For example, most people agree that the war in Iraq is a bad thing, mismanaged and a mistake, but that doesn't (for some) mean that they hate the president. So when our case is "Bush=Hitler", they tune us out. But we can argue against the war and then explain to them what we'd do differently. And then if a democrat doesn't buy into a given plan, for one reason or another, we allow them the right to disagree without making them the enacter of evil. Another example he gave was on the Roberts vote, Russ Feingold is getting attacked bysome (especially in the blogopshere) as someone who doesn't support civil liberties. Feingold voted against the Patriot Act, and I think he was the only one. Obama argues that, while we might disagree with Feingold here, this one vote doesn't make him someone to hate, and that Democrats need to have a civil discourse about their disagreements.

I don't know where he'll go, or if a strategy like this just allows the corrupt sociopaths that call themselves republicans another way to attack us, but I really like reading what Obama writes. It's so much more articulate than what we're used to in politics, and it is a call for a different America, where (as he talked about in his Con speech) we don't focus on what divides us. I hope that message sells. I'm also glad that I get to live in a state that, until something changes, on election day I actually want to vote for my current Senators.