Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Froomkin gets it. Here's the intro of his column today:
Today's Senate vote on President Bush's detainee legislation, after House approval yesterday, marks a defining moment for this nation.

How far from our historic and Constitutional values are we willing to stray? How mercilessly are we willing to treat those we suspect to be our enemies? How much raw, unchecked power are we willing to hand over to the executive?

The legislation before the Senate today would ban torture, but let Bush define it; would allow the president to imprison indefinitely anyone he decides falls under a wide-ranging new definition of unlawful combatant; would suspend the Great Writ of habeas corpus; would immunize retroactively those who may have engaged in torture. And that's just for starters.

It's a red-letter day for the country. It's also a telling day for our political system.

The people have lost confidence in their president. Despite that small recent uptick in the polls, Bush remains deeply unpopular with the American public, mistrusted by a majority, widely considered out of touch with the nation's real priorities.

But he's still got Congress wrapped around his little finger.

Today's vote will show more clearly than ever before that, when push comes to shove, the Republicans who control Congress are in lock step behind the president, and the Democrats -- who could block him, if they chose to do so -- are too afraid to put up a real fight.

The kind of emotionless, he-said-she-said news coverage, lacking analysis and obsessed with incremental developments and political posturing -- in short, much of modern political journalism -- just doesn't do this story justice.

Read the whole thing.
House Approves Bill on Detainees

"I was done two minutes ago, Denny. Now reach over here and give me a shake."

House Speaker Dennis Hastert and President George W. Bush compete to see who can piss on the Constitution the fastest. Hastert lost the contest, after initially having trouble finding his penis underneath rolls of flesh.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Study Doesn’t Share Bush’s Optimism on Terror Fight
“Here we are, coming down the stretch in an election campaign, and it’s on the front page of your newspapers,’’ Mr. Bush said at a news conference with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. “Isn’t that interesting? Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes.’’

Adding, "only I should be able to do that."
The top result from a Google search for "Fort Richardson, Alaska" is this site:

That is a web site for U.S. Army Alaska.

According to Wikipedia, "Fort Richardson is a United States Army installation in the U.S. state of Alaska, adjacent to the city of Anchorage."

I've never been to Alaska, regrettably.

I have no idea why someone, or some automated script, in Fort Richardson, Alaska is so interested in this blog. (No one else is that interested - even I am not that interested in it.)

I do find it to be curious, though.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Stricter Voting Laws Carve Latest Partisan Divide

The NYT treats us to a lot of "he said, she said" about legislative efforts to suppress voters. You gotta read through to paragraph TWENTY to get to this:
There is no data, however, to show more than isolated instances of so-called impostor voting by illegal immigrants or others.

Experts in election law say most voter fraud involves absentee balloting, which is unaffected by the new photo identification laws. Few people, they say, will risk a felony charge to vote illegally at the polls, and few illegal immigrants want to interact with government officials — even people running a polling place.

Of Arizona’s 2.7 million registered voters, 238 were believed to have been noncitizens in the last 10 years; only 4 were believed to have voted; and none were impostors, plaintiffs stipulate in their lawsuit to overturn the law, statistics the state has not challenged. Nor is there evidence of impostor voting in Georgia, Indiana or Missouri.

Thanks a bunch, NYT. This article could very well have been a report headlined "GOP Claims About 'Voter Fraud' Mostly a Bunch of Crap." That would have been a more accurate assessment, even though it wouldn't qualify as "balanced."