Saturday, January 12, 2008

Which one is the better Mitt Romney?


Rudy on Freedom

His campaign is essentially dead in the water (not as dead as Fred Thompson's, but pretty close), and here's yet another good reason why. The best mayor ever to see his city hit by a major terrorist attack and somehow try to turn that into a strength, in 1994:

"What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Your Bush administration at work

Baghdad Embassy Is Called A Fire Risk
'Serious' Problems Were Ignored, Says State Dept. Official

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 12, 2008

The firefighting system in the massive $736 million embassy complex in Baghdad has potential safety problems that top U.S. officials dismissed in their rush to declare construction largely completed by the end of last year, according to internal State Department documents, e-mails and interviews.

Some officials assert that in the push to complete the long-delayed project, potentially life-threatening problems have been left untouched. "This is serious enough to get someone killed," said a State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation. "The fire systems are the tip of the iceberg. That is the most visible. But no one has ever inspected the electrical system, the power plant" and other parts of the embassy complex, which will house more than 1,000 people and is vulnerable to mortar attacks.

Nice work, fellas. Note in particular that last sentence, you know, the mortar attacks...

Friday, January 11, 2008

A good ID-ea?

The Supremes heard oral argument in a case involving Indiana's voter ID law (requiring a photo ID at the polling place.) The measure is obviously a political one, as there have been exactly zero reported cases of "voter impersonation" in the state of Indiana.

Note that this isn't about REGISTERING to vote, where your eligibility is determined through the presentation of various documents and information. This is AT THE POLLING PLACE where you have already established your eligibility and they already have your name on the list. To vote fraudulently, you would have to impersonate a registered voter. Here, the election judge compares your signature when you get your ballot to the one on file.

Voting has been characterized by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right, and as such, any restriction is reviewed under the "strict scrutiny" standard. The state must show a "compelling interest" to prevail. Does it have one? I certainly can't find it.

Note: Here are the ID requirements for REGISTERING to vote in Indiana:

Box 10: Identification Documentation If you are registering to vote in Indiana for the first time, and you are sending this application by mail, you must provide identification documentation. Identification may include a current and valid photo id, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter. You may include a copy of your identification with this application. Do not mail an ORIGINAL copy of your document! If you do not provide identification with this application or to the county voter registration office before election day, you will be asked for it the first time you vote.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pot, I have the kettle for you on Line 1...

Der Chimpenfuhrer called upon Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian lands. Wow, what a great idea there, ending the occupation of Arab lands in the Middle East! George, you should give it a try!

Why does anyone want John Kerry's endorsement?

Nothing like associating yourself with a winner..ahem.

The senator, pictured below, endorsed Obama today.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Wisdom of Mitt Romney

Doing his best parsing on his marching with Martin Luther King lie:
"I'm an English literature major," he added, after the questions didn't stop. "When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn't necessarily mean you were there."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Meanwhile, back in Frostbite Falls....

24 die in fresh Iraq violence

BAGHDAD: Blasts and clashes throughout the country and a fire at an oil refinery killed more than 24 people yesterday. Two suicide bombers struck in a Sunni district of Baghdad, killing 14 people including the leader of a US-backed neighbourhood security patrol.

And naturally, "The US military blamed Al Qaeda for the attacks, saying the attacks provided `perhaps the clearest proof of the nature of this enemy that will destroy the very people and neighbourhoods of whom it claims to protect'".

This one's just funny

ST. CHARLES, Mo. - What the ...?

A St. Louis-area town is considering a bill that would ban swearing in bars, along with table-dancing, drinking contests and profane music. City officials contend the bill is needed to keep rowdy crowds under control because the historic downtown area gets a little too lively on some nights. City Councilman Richard Veit said he was prompted to propose the bill after complaints about bad bar behavior. He says it will give police some rules to enforce when things get too rowdy.

Early Results

In New Hampshire, there are these two small towns that have the quaint custom of conducting their voting at midnight, so that their small vote totals have some national media attention. Well, here's some attention to the results from Dixville Notch and Hart's Location (combined):

McCain 10 (43.4%)
Huckabee 5 (21.7%)
Paul 4 (17.4%)
Romney 3 (13.0%)
Giuliani 1 (4.3%)

Obama 16 (69.6%)
Clinton 3 (13.0%)
Edwards 3 (13.0%)
Richardson 1 (4.3%)


Monday, January 07, 2008

Rocket Man

(crossposted to the Scoreheads group)

So, Roger Clemens filed suit against his alleged steroid injector.Frankly, I'm amazed.The case was filed in Texas state court, and I admit to knowing NOTHING about Texas civil procedure. However, I'm assuming they have a rule similar to the federal one where, prior to discovery, in a motion to dismiss, the court assumes that everything the plaintiff alleges is true. If those allegations state a claim, the case proceeds, and goes into discovery.THAT is where things get interesting.

Discovery involves production of documents, interrogatories (written questions) and depositions (interviews with a court reporter present), both under oath. While there are limits of course, the scope of questions that can be asked in discovery is far more broad than what could be asked/introduced at trial. I am somewhat stunned that Clemens is willing to go under oath for such a far-reaching inquiry, when many stones can be turned over (He may also try to "out-lawyer" him, given that Clemens has millions and a trainer--doesn't.)

Substantively, under Supreme Court precedent, Clemens as a public figure has to prove "actual malice." For ordinary folks like us, we can sue just for falsity, even if the defendant had thoroughly researched the matter and made a mistake. For public figures, to promote open discussion under the 1st Amendment, they have to show actual knowledge of the falsity or a "reckless disregard" for the truth.

It will be interesting!

It's the end of the (Clinton) world as we know it...


Did either/or Iowa or what happens tomorrow end the "Clinton era?"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

When the wingnuts turn on themselves

It's awfully fun to watch...

So, tonight the GOP is having another debate in New Hampshire, this time on the right wing propaganda network known as Fox News. For this debate, despite polling ahead of some of his competitors (including Hollywood Fred), Ron Paul has been put on the sidelines, and his supporters are fighting mad. Check out these posts on a story at FoxNews's website about the debate:

"I have been an avid supporter and fan of Fox News. If Fox News is to be Fair and Balanced then why have I heard that Ron Paul has been excluded from the NH roundtable discussion. I am interested in hearing his repsonses in comparison to the other candidates.
You report, We Decide!!"

"I will not be watching since this will be a farce. I will no longer be watching any fox news programs as fox has showed they can not be trusted with honest news. Ron Paul should be in the forum!"


You don’t know how dissapointed many, many of your fans are for your exclusion of Paul and Hunter from Sunday’s debate.
You have left us looking for your replacement in the “fair and balanced” arena.

Shad Hutnyak
Spring Creek, Nevada"


Ahhh, blessed Schadenfreude.

Always a bridesmaid...

I heard an interesting rumor tonight, via . He posited that Edwards is trying to cast this as a two-person race (Obama-Edwards), and then said something surprising. The rumor is that Edwards might consider a veep run, round 2, with Obama.

When you think about it, it makes some sense. Edwards is still a young guy politically speaking, and could easily run on his own after being vice-president. However, if he doesn't, and doesn't get the nomination, his political career is practically over (approaching Harold Stassen territory then.)


Back from Nawlins

Great city to visit - bring an appetite, money, and your walking shoes. Oh, and some willingness to ignore the idiots (like the woman working at the World War II museum - great museum, btw - who was ranting about how Bill Clinton sold the national soul to the Chinese after he fooled around with Monica).


1) I cannot say I'm saddened by Obama's performance Thursday night and the resulting Obamania surge in New Hampshire. As I said, I like Edwards a bit more, but I do really like Obama, and he's not Hillary.

2) I find it absurd that Hillary is touting her "35 years" of experience. She hasn't been in politics anywhere near that long - that dates back to her graduating law school. Essentially all that says is that she's older than Obama, who was 11 years old 35 years ago. Big whoop.

3) Schmidlap pointed out that Hillary had a big lead in the InTrade trading a few days ago. The worm has now turned, with Hillary at 38.0 to win (down from 75 in October and 69 on Jan 1) and Obama at 61.0 to win (up from about 21 on Jan 1). I have no idea what any of that means.

4) There has been a back-and-forth on the whole "hope" thing that Obama has been doing, with Hillary's supporters essentially treating it as wishful thinking. Obama, I think, has defended the idea pretty well, and it's what seems to be catching people's attention - working for something better, and people seem to be inspired by it. If he can continue to attract young voters the way he did in Iowa, that would be huge not just for his campaign, but for politics, where the Democrats haven't seen a real influx of new young voters since Kennedy.