Thursday, July 28, 2005


If stealing an election does not disqualify one from serving on the Supreme Court, I don't know what does.


more on TPM.

Daily Show Slump

Boy has The Daily Show sucked lately. Last night's show was just awful. Even Stewart knew it -- at one point when a bit (on music industry payola) was completely dying, he said something like "I paid the audience to keep quiet tonight." This slump seems to have hit when they started using the new set, although I doubt the two are related. But sheesh, guys, get back on the ball here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Not Enough Experience

Talk Left raises the same issue I did about John Roberts: he simply is not experienced enough.

It doesn't help that Roberts indicated to Sen Durbin that he would have to recuse himself on issues that would put him in conflict with the Catholic church.

According to two people who attended the meeting, Roberts was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout Catholic and is married to an ardent pro-life activist. The Catholic Church considers abortion to be a sin, and various church leaders have stated that government officials supporting abortion should be denied religious rites such as communion.

Renowned for his unflappable style in oral argument, Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Daily Show Indecision 2004

I bought this DVD set a few days ago. Last night, I watched the Democratic Convention coverage and I've barely recovered from laughing so hard. I literally lost my breath laughing at Stephen Colbert's bit about rising from his lowly roots as the son of a turd miner and the grandson of a goat ball licker. I'm not sure I can survive watching the Republican Convention coverage, which I recall being much funnier (probably from having so much more material to work with). Highly recommended.

W and Clinton

I was listening to Al Franken on the way back from lunch and he had President Clinton on. Franken would ask multi-part (sometimes up to 4 seperate issues) questions and Clinton would answer each part fully and completely -- no rambling, no what did you ask me, just straight on full and complete answers. W the village idiot, on the other hand, can only be asked one simply worded question with no follow-ups or he can't respond. I often think of this when I watch the British House of Commons question time -- there is no effing way Bush could ever do what Blair does in those sessions. But Clinton could, and with ease. I realize Reagan made it acceptable to have a moron as president but W is so much worse.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bye Bye Bubba

I don't know when this happened because I hadn't checked SouthKnoxBubba in about a week, but he's stopped blogging. Too bad -- I always enjoyed this site. I know he was "outed" recently by a petulant local independent newspaper editor who later apologized for revealing Bubba's real name and place of employment. Don't know if that had something to do with his decision to stop blogging.

Judicial Activism

Exactly what is judicial activism, the favorite conservative buzzword when they don't like a decision a judge makes? Siva Vaidhyanathan has a good post on this.

...the current Court is about the most activist court in American history...when conservatives use this language they are being blind to the real situation and willingly ignorant about how law works...ask [conservatives] where in the Constitution does it say that federal courts have jurisdiction over the vote-counting process in individual states. Ask how in the world a Court busy "restraining" itself could possibly justify appointing a president over the wishes of the American electorate and in direct violation of Florida law.

The Roberts Battle

Billmon (who I've always thought was the best writer in the blogosphere) has two excellent posts on how to fight the Roberts nomination (and I think we should fight with all our might):

Think Like Michael (Corleone)

The Dems need to try to be more like Michael -- cool, analytical and totally pragmatic. "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business." Sometimes that means ordering a hit, sometimes it means biding your time. Sometimes it means striking with everything you've got. Sometimes it means offering to talk peace, while secretly preparing to wack the guy. Sometimes it means just plain talking peace. But it has nothing to do with fairness or open-mindedness or listening to opposing points of view. It has to do with what's best for the "family" -- which in this case we can define broadly as those groups and constituencies in American society who oppose the GOP machine and want to see it destroyed (or at least kicked out of power.)

Defining Mr. Roberts

Blasting Roberts as a corporate lawyer is an excellent smear tactic. People hate lawyers. They dislike and mistrust big corporations...I'd call him a fat cat corporate lawyer who made millions catering to wealthy CEOs. A Washington insider who has spent his entire adult life shuttling back and forth between K Street and Wall Street. An arrogant, out-of-touch Ivy Leaguer who probably vacations at posh resorts with other arrogant, out-of-touch Ivy Leaguers...I'd put together ads juxtaposing pictures of him with photos of Bernie Ebbers, Dennis Kozlowski and Ken Lay, and run them in selected media markets...Ditto for Roberts's ruling on the POW damage claims. I'd get some disabled Gulf War I vets to do testimonials and hold press conferences: "Saddam only destroyed my health, but Judge Roberts destroyed my faith in my country." Gulf War Veterans for Truth has a nice ring to it...And if all this still failed to derail the nomination, then I'd hang it around Bush's neck -- as just another sign of how arrogant and out of touch this White House has become after five years in power.

And that's why we have to fight this nomination -- so that when the inevitable horrible decisions are made, its hung on the necks of Bush and every Republican out there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

You Scratch My Back...


In case anyone is wondering if Roberts really is a partisan hack or not, Jeffrey Toobin's book "Too Close To Call" sheds some light on that subject:

The president's first two nominations to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia curcuit --- generally regarded as the stepping-stone to the Supreme Court --- went to Miguel Estrada and John G Roberts Jr., who had played important behind-the scenes roles in the Florida litigation.

"Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this justice..."

Roe v Wade is NOT about Women's Rights

Can we be clear about this? Roe v Wade is about the right to PRIVACY. Its about the government keeping its nose out of your personal business. Its the same principle as Griswold v Connecticut which said that laws preventing married couples from using birth control violating an individual's right to privacy.

The problem with rescinding Roe is that is means the government would be able to tell EVERYONE, not just women, what they can and can't do in highly personal matters. That is not acceptable in a modern democracy. Period.

I've always thought the way to frame this is something to do with a men's health issue that is very much in the realm of personal privacy. Not sure what, but that's how I think we have to re-frame the Roe v Wade principle.

SCOTUS Nominee

My take? He doesn't have enough judicial experience. Hammer away at that. Don't argue idealogy (although his is bad news). He just doesn't have enough experience to be a Supreme Court justice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Full Swing

Operation Get Karl Rove Off of the Front Page is in full swing:

President Bush has decided whom to nominate to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court and was poised to announce his pick in a prime-time Tuesday night address.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the Bush administration was asking television outlets to broadcast the speech live. Bush's spokesman would not identify the president's choice.

But there was intense speculation that it would be Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The televised speech was scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

Shakespearean Accent = North Carolina?

I laughed out loud when I read this on the BBC this morning:

In August the theatre will stage an "original production" of Troilus and Cressida - with the actors performing the lines as close to the 16th century pronunciations as possible.

By opening night, they will have rehearsed using phonetic scripts for two months and, hopefully, will render the play just as its author intended. They say their accents are somewhere between Australian, Cornish, Irish and Scottish, with a dash of Yorkshire - yet bizarrely, completely intelligible if you happen to come from North Carolina.

For example, the word "voice" is pronounced the same as "vice", "reason" as "raisin", "room" as "Rome", "one" as "own" - breathing new life into Shakespeare's rhyming and punning.

Friday, July 15, 2005

What He Said

Both of them: Krugman and Kevin Drum:

If there's any single thing that I hold against George Bush more than any other, it's the way that, with almost animal instinct, he decided within days of 9/11 to use it as nothing more than a routine opportunity to destroy his domestic enemies, rather than as a unique and fleeting chance to unite the country and destroy our foreign enemies. That tawdry instinct came from Karl Rove and people like him, and it's that instinct that is destroying the modern Republican party. Someday the few remaining grownup conservatives will figure that out.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Interesting post on Political Animal. From yesterday (pre-London bombing) but relevant.

The commander of US Marines in the Pacific says:

This is no more a war on terrorism than World War II was a war on submarines. It’s not just semantics...Words have meaning. And these words are leading us down to the wrong concept...The center of gravity, the decisive terrain in this war is the vast majority of people who are not directly involved but whose support, willing or coerced, is necessary to insurgent operations around the world. Hearts and minds are more important than capturing and killing people.

And a recently retired general says:

...there is powerful opposition to the American presence, and that our troops are having great difficulty with the cultural and social challenges of combating an urgan Iraqi insurgency that, in his words, has as its sanctuary the Iraqi people. Thus, notwithstanding how overloaded our troops are, General Abizaid and others have concluded that more American forces would make the problems worse, not better.

Kevin Drum writes:

This is pretty much at the heart of the liberal/conservative divide over Iraq. Is our real battle with terrorists themselves? Or is it with the fact that far too many people are sympathetic with their aims? George Bush and his advisors appear to believe the former. I believe the latter... As long as 10-20% of the Islamic world is actively on the side of al-Qaeda, there's not much chance of ever truly defeating them. So far, though, most of our actions in the Middle East have just made this worse. When are we going to get serious about taking on the real enemy?

When indeed.


My favorite post from the BBC eyewitness reports:

I am a tube driver who was working through central London this morning as the diabolical events happened. I am sickened as are my colleagues that our customers, ordinary working people should be targeted like this. As soon as the network is deemed safe I will be driving on the tube. Unfortunately it will be with a feeling of nervousness but nonetheless those responsible for the deaths will not stop us moving London. We all have a part to play to keep each other safe, please report everything suspicious to staff or police. Finally my thoughts are with the families of the victims of today's events and also with the drivers on the affected trains whose condition is still unknown to us.
Dennis, London

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Worth Reading

Meant to link to this essay by Phil "Bad Astronomy" Plait a long time ago. Definitely worth reading.

Happy Birthday

To the Dalai Lama. He is 70 today. I like this from skippy the bush kangaroo.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive."

Why Live 8 Was/Is Important

My daughter and I watched most of Live 8 on Saturday. While the TV production was atrocious, some of the performances were great.

But the best thing is, Live 8 accomplished what it set out to -- it raised awareness, particularly among insular Americans, that there is a world out there that doesn't consist of malls and SUVs -- a world that is suffering as a result of our greed and consumption. I'm for anything that raises awareness of the global community. Most Americans know nothing about the G8, know nothing about other countries and feel no obligation to help the less fortunate (true at home, too). So if Live 8 helped make them aware of the horrid situation in Africa, terrific.

I'm also for anything that promotes liberal viewpoints. And for anything that might make someone believe more in the power of democracy.

Some have criticized Live 8 for not raising money. Bullshit. So they might've raised a few hundred million worldwide. The G8 leaders can take action that means BILLIONS of dollars. Pressure on them is a very good thing indeed.

"You may say I'm a dreamer. But, I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us. And the world will live as one."

Friday, July 01, 2005


What an interesting turn-about:

President Bush’s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.