Archives for September 2005
God got Tom DeLay:
copy of the still-unfinished film, entitled The Big Buy, was obtained by National Review Online Friday.
On several occasions in the film, Earle engages in monologues on what he believes is the sinister effect of money in politics. “The root of the evil of the corporate and large-monied interest domination of politics is money,” Earle says as he takes the filmmakers on a nighttime drive around Austin. “This is in the Bible. This isn’t rocket science. The root of all evil truly is money, especially in politics. People talk about how money is the mother’s milk of politics. Well, it’s the devil’s brew. And what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to turn off the tap.”
In another scene, Earle describes how he deals with offenders in cases like the campaign-finance investigation. “It’s important that we forgive those who come to us in a spirit of contrition and the desire for forgiveness. That’s important. But if they don’t, then God help them.” The film then dissolves to a picture of DeLay.
The big guy is probably still peeved at DeLay about that Schiavo business. Although why he went after him with a prosecutor rather than the more traditional lightning bolt is beyond me…
*** Update ***
Here is Delay’s district:
Checking out DeLay’s district, maybe God was chucking Rita at DeLay for his ‘sins.’ Ronnie Earle was just the backup plan.
And no, I am not serious about any of this.
Fresh on the heels of ironing lemon pledge into a bunch of shirts, I just accidentally sprinkled Arm & Hammer kitty litter deodorizer all over the floor thinking it was carpet and room deodorizer.
Fabulous. I hope there isn’t much difference between the two, as they are both baking soda based.
I really need to start reading labels.
Now what this guy said is idiotic:
ERWIN: Well, I think, if you look at what‘s going on, this whole region has always known that, with the church, that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are known for sin.
And if you go to a church and you read your Bible, you are always told avoid sin and that there‘s judgment for sin. And I just think that, in my analysis—and I can‘t speak for everybody, but I believe that, if you look at the factors, that you had a city that was known for sin—the signature of New Orleans is the French Quarter, Bourbon Street. It is known for sin. And you have a Bible that says God will judge sin, you can put two and two together and say, it may not be the judgment of God, but it sure looks like the footprint.
So, I just told my friends, in an opinion, I think it could be the judgment of God on the Gulf Coast and on New Orleans. And I would urge the good folks that are the innocent victims to rally and rebuild that city and get a new signature.
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) writes at TPM from Iraq, listing things she thinks need to be done to stabilize the country and make progress. These include:
1.) Get the power on.
2.) Get the oil out.
3.) Get the government ministries going.
4.) Get Zarqawi.
Each item has a little blurb why this is important.
The first, and I mean very first, commenter (noblesseoblige), writes:
Dear Rep. Harman:
Your suggestions to get Zarqawi, get the power on, get the ministries going, etc, are excellent.
None of them ever occurred to us and we thank you for the tip.
— CentCom Commander Gen. John Abizaid
PS If you think we should also bring about peace, stability, and prosperity, don’t hesitate to let us know.
A pretty detailed report detailing the troubles facing Army recruiters going into the next fiscal year:
The Army is closing the books on one of the leanest recruiting years since it became an all-volunteer service three decades ago, missing its enlistment target by the largest margin since 1979 and raising questions about its plans for growth.
Many in Congress believe the Army needs to get bigger – perhaps by 50,000 soldiers over its current 1 million – in order to meet its many overseas commitments, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army already is on a path to add 30,000 soldiers, but even that will be hard to achieve if recruiters cannot persuade more to join the service.
Officials insist the slump is not a crisis.
Michael O’Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution think tank, said the recruiting shortfall this year does not matter greatly – for now.
“The bad news is that any shortfall shows how hard it would be to increase the Army’s size by 50,000 or more as many of us think appropriate,” O’Hanlon said. “We appear to have waited too long to try.”
The Army has not published official figures yet, but it apparently finished the 12-month counting period that ends Friday with about 73,000 recruits. Its goal was 80,000. A gap of 7,000 enlistees would be the largest – in absolute number as well as in percentage terms – since 1979, according to Army records.
Read the whole thing, and remember that this is Army specific, and not a military-wide analysis.
The EU wants some control:
The European Union insisted Friday that governments and the private sector must share the responsibility of overseeing the Internet, setting the stage for a showdown with the United States on the future of Internet governance.
A senior U.S. official reiterated Thursday that the country wants to remain the Internet’s ultimate authority, rejecting calls in a United Nations meeting in Geneva for a U.N. body to take over.
EU spokesman Martin Selmayr said a new cooperation model was important “because the Internet is a global resource.”
“The EU … is very firm on this position,” he added.
The Geneva talks were the last preparatory meeting before November’s World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia.
A stalemate over who should serve as the principal traffic cops for Internet routing and addressing could derail the summit, which aims to ensure a fair sharing of the Internet for the benefit of the whole world.
At issue is who would have ultimate authority over the Internet’s master directories, which tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic.
That role has historically gone to the United States, which created the Internet as a Pentagon project and funded much of its early development. The U.S. Commerce Department has delegated much of that responsibility to a U.S.-based private organization with international board members, but Commerce ultimately retains veto power.
If someone has an article that discusses the real-world implications (other than the free speech issues), please forward it to me.
John Hawkins asked a number of bloggers (me included) who they would pick, who they thought Bush would pick, and who they hoped Bush would not pick.
The results are here.
I suspect we can expect the Plame Game to kick into high gear now that Mrs. Miller has been released from jail:
Judith Miller, the reporter for The New York Times who has been jailed since July 6 for refusing to testify in the C.I.A. leak case, was released Thursday from a Virginia detention center after she and her lawyers reached an agreement with a federal prosecutor in which she would testify before a grand jury investigating the case, the publisher and the executive editor of the paper said.
Ms. Miller was freed after spending more than 12 weeks in jail, during which she refused to cooperate with the inquiry. Her decision to testify was made after she had obtained what she described as a waiver offered “voluntarily and personally” by a source who said she was no longer bound by any pledge of confidentiality she had made to him. Ms. Miller said the source had made clear that he genuinely wanted her to testify.
That source was I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, according to people who have been officially briefed on the case. Ms. Miller met with Mr. Libby on July 8, 2003, and talked with him by telephone later that week, they said.
Discussions between officials and journalists that week that may have disclosed the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, Valerie Wilson, have been a central focus of the investigation.
Ms. Miller said in a statement that she expected to appear before the grand jury on Friday. Ms. Miller was released after she and her lawyers met at the jail with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, to discuss her testimony.
I was going to just ignore this because it is such a stupid non-issue, but now that I see it is all over cable news, I guess I will defend Bill Bennett because no one else will.
Bill Bennett is a pompous ass who has made a career peddling culture war bullshit. He is an avowed drug warrior, which makes me respect him even less, pretends to be a conservative while believing in the vast expansion of federal powers, and, most of all, is a hypocrite. While running around telling us what sins we should avoid and what we should be punished for, he picks and chooses his own behaviors with nary a concern about the ‘decline of western civilization.’
In other words, I don’t like him one bit.
But this Howard Dean statement (and those like it) is just stupid and more racial demagoguery:
“Bill Bennett’s hateful, inflammatory remarks regarding African Americans are simply inexcusable. They are particularly unacceptable from a leader in the conservative movement and former Secretary of Education, once charged with the well being of every American school child. He should apologize immediately. This kind of statement is hardly compassionate conservatism; rather, Bennett’s comments demonstrate a reprehensible racial insensitivity and ignorance. Are these the values of the Republican Party and its conservative allies? If not, President Bush, Ken Mehlman and the Republican Leadership should denounce them immediately as hateful, divisive and worthy only of scorn.
“As Americans, we should focus on the virtues that bring us together, not hatred that tears us apart and unjustly scapegoats fellow Americans.”
Here are the remarks:
BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don’t know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don’t know. I mean, it cuts both — you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well —
CALLER: Well, I don’t think that statistic is accurate.
BENNETT: Well, I don’t think it is either, I don’t think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don’t know. But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.
There is nothing for him to apologize for regarding this statement. It is a statement of fact, he was not advocating it, and, in fact, he noted that it would be an “impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do.”
Similarly, if you wanted to lower the rates of obesity in the United States, you could shoot all fat people. But that would be an”impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do.”
Bill Bennet is an ass. But flailing him over this and attacking him as ‘racist’ for these remarks is petty, juvenile, and just plain wrong. In the big picture, Bill Bennett may have a lot of things to answer for, but this isn’t one of them.
*** Update ***
I am sad, but not surprised, to see Oliver peddling this bullshit.
*** Update ***
Matt Yglesias is right (Why? Because he agrees with me!). I haven’t been reading him as much lately. I need to.
*** Update ***
The Freakonomics author responds.
*** Update ***
As does Brad DeLong, who had much the same post that I did, but before me.
*** Update ***
As usual, Jeff Goldstein pulls it all together.
More here from Classical Values.
Here is the story:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in California, saying that although he believes gay couples are “entitled to full protection under the law,” the bill would have wrongly reversed an initiative California voters approved five years ago.
“I do not believe the Legislature can reverse an initiative approved by the people of California,” the governor wrote in his veto message.
Schwarzenegger’s rejection of the measure was expected, even though when he was asked about same-sex marriage last year he said, “I don’t care one way or the other.”
The bill, AB 849 by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) was the first sanctioning same-sex marriage to clear a state legislature without a court order. It passed the Senate and Assembly earlier this month with no Republican votes and without a vote to spare after lengthy, debate.
Leno accused Schwarzenegger of “hiding behind the fig leaf” of Proposition 22, which 61% of California voters approved in 2000. It says that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
“The governor has failed his test of leadership and has missed a history opportunity to stand up for the basic civil rights of all Californians,” said Leno. “He cannot claim to support fair and equal legal protections for same sex couples and veto the very bill that would have provided it to them.”
Schwarzenegger’s veto will not end the debate over same-sex marriage in a state whose residents are evenly divided, 46% to 46%, according to an August poll.
We will see what comes of this…
Now Roger Simon is getting pissy about ID. Good. He should.
Via the irascible Richard Bennett, who has a few things to say himself.
And before any accuses me of smearing Richard, let me just say that irascible in today’s idiotic world is a high compliment. At least from me. From one cranky bastard to another, I guess.
The Prism Warden takes Sullivan to task for his seeming abandonment of principle:
Surely, given his personal history with outing and his apparent distaste for Rogers’ tactics, one would think Sullivan would condemn this activity and not give it the time of day.
You’d be wrong. Here is the Andrew Sullivan of today:
DREIER PUSHED ASIDE: Any bets that James Dobson and Karl Rove vetoed? Any bets why?
It seems attacking Republicans is a far higher priority for Mr. Sullivan than his principles. Once against the outing tactics of people like Mike Rogers, he now finds them a handy reference guide for grinding his political axe.
Andrew Sullivan – a man with no shame whatsoever.
There are a lot of reasons for being angry at this administration, but Andrew recently has, sadly, read like a Kos diary. Even when I agree with him.
I want the old Andrew Sullivan back.
Judge Roberts was confirmed:
Judge John G. Roberts Jr. was confirmed as the 17th chief justice of the United States today in a formality that intensified speculation over who will be President Bush’s next Supreme Court nominee.
The Senate confirmed Judge Roberts by a vote of 78 to 22, with unanimous support from Republicans and with many Democrats voting for him as well. Judge Roberts was to be sworn in by Mr. Bush at the White House this afternoon amid expectations that the president will announce his next choice for the court very soon.
Those voting for– all 55 Republicans, 22 Democrats, and Jeffords.
Those voting against- Bayh, Biden, Boxer, Cantwell, Clinton, Corzine, Dayton, Durbin, Feinstein, Harkin, Inouye, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Mikiulski, Obama, Reed, Reid, Sarbanes, Schumer, Stabenow.
The bold names are those who are frequently mentioned as 2008 Presidential candidates. I don’t think any Democrats with publicly stated Presidential ambitions voted yes (well, Lieberman did, but I have a better chance of being the ’08 Democratic nominee than Joe Lieberman).
In my own state, Byrd and Rockefeller voted yes.
Now we shall see what happens with Bush’s next nominee. Is he going to veer right to shore up the base or will he nominate someone else like Roberts?