Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You have to hand it to the Bushies ...

... no matter how many times you think that "they can't top this!" -- they do:


The link is to the official DOJ report about how the Bush administration broke the law by using nakedly partisan considerations to fill career lawyer positions in DOJ. In one case a top anti-terror prosecutor didn't get hired because his wife was a Democrat.

Oh yeah, and Goodling asked some candidates "what is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?" (Page 18) Gee, I thought career DOJ lawyers were serving the people of the United States.

Eerily similar to the hapless GOP flunky some months back who told Sen. Leahy about her oath to the president, provoking an impromptu civics lesson from the senator to the clueless lackey that her oath was to the Constitution!

Monday, July 28, 2008

National Geographic on Iran

This month's National Geographic has an informative piece on Iran, including an handy detailed map of the country that will undoubtedly prove useful if there's a war.

While studiously non-political, the article does manage to bring up some interesting points. One thing that I think that most of those that are pushing for war and demonizing the Iranians ignore is the bad feeling that Iranians still feel over the coup that brought the Shah to power. Certainly this kind of thing ought to be thought about before glibly advocating a strike. Now what kind of self-respecting country is not going to be enraged by such an act? Remember Pearl Harbor?

The Iranians are proud heirs to an ancient civilization, so we know they are self-respecting. It's really insane to even think about starting a war that we know we can't finish.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain vs. Obama contrasting images of July 24, 2008

So, while Barack Obama is talking to hundreds of thousands in Berlin ...

John McCain is on the TV talking to a reporter in front of some German restaurant in Ohio ?(nearly being drwoned out by windchimes)

Really odd juxtaposition.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is the kind of shit that makes me despise the current GOP

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lyaMrS0hzk

The bottom line is that McCain operatives had the police eject a 61-year-old woman (a librarian) from public property outside a McCain event that was supposedly open to the public for holding a sign that read "McCain = Bush."

As the lady points out in the video, why would Republicans think this is offensive? Don't they think Bush was great?!!! It's not like she was even holding an antiwar sign or something.

This suppression of legitimate, mild dissent is disgusting, unAmerican and reinforces why the GOP simply has to be bounced out. Until these blockheads remember they are Americans they don't deserve positions of power.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brits say we're liars

From Balkinization we learn that a parliamentary report suggests that the British government ought not to put much stock in American denials of engaging in torture considering that it doesn't tell the truth about what it does and when it does tell the truth it defines that truth absurdly.


Friday, July 18, 2008

The doldrums of summer have hit

But yet we still have news.

Obama's heading to Europe where he seems likely to face swooning schoolgirls and presidents.

McCain's back home, trying hard to make some news that's actually favorable.

Former AG Ashcroft further solidifies his growing reputation as the sane one, who actually believed in following the rule of law -- who'd have thunk?

Bobb Barr makes progress in his crusade to punish the GOP for forgetting all its principles by giving conservatives who just can't bear the thought of voting for a Liberal but despise the current GOP a place to park their votes for now. It seems to me likely that Barr will siphon off enough votes to make a difference.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

FISA Follies

The abject worthlessness of the Democratic party was on full display with how they collectively handled the FISA issue -- which is to say they didn't handle it collectively at all.

Say what you will about the Republicans -- and there's a to say -- when it comes time to vote on an issue they usually get their ducks in line. Here and there the Democrats may shave off a couple of GOP members on a particular issue, although rarely enough to make up for the number of Democrats who get chipped off their bloc.

The Democrats area different story. More than once, some really bad legislation wanted by the administration has been passed by enlisting a substantial number of Democrats to vote with the nearly unanimous GOP. So we have the amazing sight of the so-called majority party caving in to the minority party line, despite the unpopularity of the minority party and its president. While they were the majority party, the Republicans were able to act as though they owned a supermajority despite the fact their edge was actually rather narrow, due to this Democratic habit.

The problem for the Democrats is that the public perceives them as being weak, fractious and ineffective. This is a problem because the public perception happens to be accurate. This perception, more than anything else, will pose a problem for the Democrats down the line unless they manage to change. Their time on top may not be as long-lived as it was before because the Republicans, should they manage to regain their conservative soul (see Andrew Sullivan for more on that) will be poised for a quick comeback.

Obama's flip-flop on this issue is a disappointment, although it doesn't change the basic calculus that the only way to mitigate the damage done is to have a change of party.

Monday, July 7, 2008

And he won't even be counted a casualty

The story of another casualty of the war.


These sorts of tragedy are unavoidable in war, so wars ought to be avoided.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Political dead season

There's not really going to be a lot happening in the presidential race over the summer. While political junkies will follow things, most voters won't, so all the noise about Obama's alleged flip flops and such aren't very important.

Barring some dramatic event like a terror attack, what will be important is the organizing going on under the radar.

All indications are that Obama's campaign is busy building up its on-the-ground strength in all 50 states. Meanwhile, the McCain campaign is reorganizing its top echelons for the third time. Naturally it's way too early to make predictions, but clearly an impartial observer would have to say that any candidate would rather be in Obama's position than McCain's.

There's some rumblings that an actual landslide might be in the offing. So far as I know, all those suggestions see the landslide going one way -- in Obama's favor. If McCain wins, it will be in a tight race, or so the conventional wisdom goes. That does seem the way to bet. But it's too early to bet.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Pat Buchanan: Bring on the religious wars

Buchanan rants in favor of Dobson's mullah-like approach to religion in America over Obama's more moderate republican one.



The Columbian hostage rescue was a stunning, brilliant special operation.

Some details here: http://www.yehey.com/news/article.aspx?id=219181

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We don't deserve a July 4th

Oh, I have no doubt the Makins and Hewitts and their ilk will howl over this column: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/chris_satullo/20080701_Chris_Satullo__A_not-so-glorious_Fourth.html

But Satullo is right.

After all, as the New York Times reports, we took our cue straight from the Chicoms: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/02/america/02detain.php

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Interesting read on Obama and the economy

A rich dude's advice to President Obama


Into The Wild

The movie has renewed interest in this story, but I must admit I'm a little puzzled by it all.


It's certainly tragic that the man died, but it really seems like it was due to his own negligence.


I mean, it's stunning that a healthy man would starve to death on the middle of Alaska in the summer time.

Apparently the book and movie leave out some relevant facts, which is not surprising, but a warning for those who get their news from single sources.

The Boy Scouts teach you to BE PREPARED.

Apparently Chris McCandless was never a Scout, so he never learned this lesson.

If people want to make his story a lesson in preparedness and common sense, good, but if they're just going to romanticize his recklessness then they're doing his memory a disservice.

Slate - Encyclopedia Baracktannica