Friday, July 22, 2005

Santorum on the Daily Show

Apparently, Senator Rick Santorum will be on the Daily Show on Monday.

No, really.

Now, I am not going to predict that Jon Stewart will crack this nutball. I'm sure it will be funny or informative or frightening, all of which are valid, life-affirming reactions.

But this got me thinking that we are fortunate, in that there are no other George W. Bushes on the horizon. Bubble Boy is able to snow people with his "I'm not that bright, but I'm a godfearin' down-home good ole boy" act, while behind the scenes he stokes the fires under some heavily roasted nutjobs.

But the up-and-comers for front man of the Conserva-choir just don't have that same appeal. Frist? Santorum? Shine a little light on these fellas and they will either shrink before your eyes, or just ask to be mocked endlessly. Go ahead, fellas. Run for President. I'm rooting for you.

One sensible Republican

On the reauthorization of the Patriot Act:

Even some Republicans were alarmed by the exclusion of many amendments.

Representative C. L. Otter of Idaho said the action amounted to a "gag rule" that prevented a full debate on needed restrictions in the law. "I'm embarrassed to be on this side of the aisle," Mr. Otter said.

Thank you, Congressman Otter.

Not all Republicans are hacks. Just the ones that are in charge right now.

News you can use

More information about the corrupt Tom Noe, big-time contributor to the Bush-Cheney ticket.


Rove's supporters spoon-feed a cover story to the New York Times. Warning: no actual news here, just the latest spin for this news cycle.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Theme for 2006

I have helpfully come up with the theme for the 2006 elections. I will be flogging this theme across the internets.

Here 'tis:

President Bush and his administration have not been held accountable for saying that Iraq was a threat to the U.S., now that we know it was not a threat.

Karl Rove went as far as destroying a CIA agent's cover in an attempt to deflect questions about Iraq and what kind of threat it posed.

Congressional investigations are needed to address questions about the administration's public statements about Iraq being a threat.

Vote for a Democratic House and Senate in 2006 so that we can learn the answers to these questions.

Also posted at first draft.

Edited, 7/22 AM.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bush, Roberts, and that pesky Constitution

Via Froomkin:

The President said, 'I just offered the job to a great, smart, 50-year-old lawyer who has agreed to serve on the bench.'

Section. 2., Clause 2:

[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court...

Bush: "Roberts, ol' buddy, the job is yours."
Roberts: "Um, don't I need to go before the Senate first?"
Bush: "Dammit! I always forget about them. Karl! I thought you said we'd be done with the Consitution by now."
Rove: "Working on it, Mr. President."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Conservatives and the next Grover Norquist

Want to ensure that you have access to, and the attentive ear of, your elected representative?

Here's how:

1. Get rich.
2. Get a bunch of your rich pals together.
3. Have regular meetings, possibly with some silly rules involved.
4. Dangle a bunch of cash in front of people who are running for office.

The article talks a bit about the dynamic of fiscal conservatives, who have got the money, and social conservatives, who have got the self-righteous indignation. The author makes some broad assertions about the social conservatives that come off as, well, broad assertions.

But the cynical, nut-shell conclusion after reading this article is that part of the conservative power structure is trying to rake in more money from the middle- and lower-classes, and the other part of the power structure is trying to tell everyone else how they can live their lives. A double-whammy - you can be an economic slave AND an ideological slave. Enjoy!

She blinded me with science

This article starts out as a straightforward science piece, explaining some of the research being done by astronomers to find planets that could possibly contain life.

About three-quarters of the way into the piece, there is an unfortunate left turn.

This would merely be an interesting academic argument except for a film that is going around, and which I recently viewed, called "The Privileged Planet," which suggests that the Earth's nice qualities [for supporting life] are no accident.

The film, produced by Illustra Media in California, is based on a book of the same name by Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer at Iowa State, and Jay W. Richards, a philosopher and vice president of the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

It argues that Earth is so special and unlikely that it must be the work of an intelligent designer. "What if it's not a cosmic lottery?" Dr. Richards asks in the film.

This is not a criticism of the article's author. He actually does a nice job of recognizing the intelligent design concept, and also pointing out that...well, it ain't science. (My paraphrasing.)

What makes that part of the article unfortunate is the need to bring it up at all. What has happened to our society that we are backtracking a couple of centuries and questioning the very nature of scientific research? Why the need to put markers down saying "no more research here, boys and girls, we've decided that God made this?"

[Insert concluding thought here. Something witty, perhaps even pithy.]

Monday, July 18, 2005

Not WalMart

Via Nathan Newman at TPMCafe, a story about Costco and its employee practices. Well worth reading.

Note, on the other hand, the comments of a Wall Street analyst:

Emme Kozloff, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, faulted [chief executive Jim] Sinegal as being too generous to employees, noting that when analysts complained that Costco's workers were paying just 4 percent toward their health costs, he raised that percentage only to 8 percent, when the retail average is 25 percent.

"He has been too benevolent," she said. "He's right that a happy employee is a productive long-term employee, but he could force employees to pick up a little more of the burden."

In other words, "sir, we feel that you are missing out on an opportunity to stick it to your workers. And that's what we are looking for here."

Why in the world would you want to be quoted in the NYT as saying that? Even that is your position, do you really want it in the public record?


What if Fitzgerald indicts not just Rove, but Rove, Lewis, Bush, and Cheney? Wouldn't that be something? And he would probably want to send a big, public thank you card to Novak for his cooperation (as long as I'm here in fantasyland).

Acting president...John Dennis Hastert.