Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
If I've honked my horn more than 5 times, aside from announcing my presence in front the the homes of people I was picking up when I was younger, I'd be surprised.
Click through to the affadavit, the allegations are truly horrible.
...adding, you may not want to click through. Short version: conviced girl in his foster care that she should donate eggs for money, and that he needed to conducted regular "examinations" to prep for it.
So, add 4 Dem senators, 10 House members, and a president, and can something better happen in 2009?
The presideent clearly thought and acted as if he were above the law, or could bend it completely to his will. What happened was sickening, appalling on all the levels you describe.
Anonymous: 9/15/06 you typed about Clinton: "When a president loses his credibility, he loses an important tool for governing -- and that is why I thought he should step down." Do you think Mr. Bush retains credibility enough to govern effectively?
David S. Broder: I think that is seriously in question. But Vicve President Cheney would have less,so that option is not really available.
Just putting it out there for the record.
But you can be a good liberal or progressive and have different views about that. Many peoples' opposition to immigration is rooted in deeply illiberal beliefs and there are some obvious liberal positions on how to deal humanely with immigrants, legal and illegal, once they're here, but I don't think there's One Liberal Viewpoint on the appropriate scope and composition of the US immigrant population.
But for the much of the rest of the city there's a whole bunch of killing going on.
What we need to realize is that the infamous “Bush bubble,” the administration’s no-reality zone, extends a long way beyond the White House. Millions of Americans believe that patriotic torturers are keeping us safe, that there’s a vast Islamic axis of evil, that victory in Iraq is just around the corner, that Bush appointees are doing a heckuva job — and that news reports contradicting these beliefs reflect liberal media bias.
And the Republican nomination will go either to someone who shares these beliefs, and would therefore run the country the same way Mr. Bush has, or to a very, very good liar.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Not saying the fact that when I was that age a bald head could be seen as a kind of statement meant that it should have merited punishment, but I could at least see how school officials might have some reaction. Now I can't believe they'd even notice.
Announcing Seder 3.75
May 16, 2007
Ladies and Gentleman:
I am happy to announce the launch of what we (by we, of course, I mean me) like to call Sam Seder 3.75, a fully updated and revised Sam Seder. I’m convinced you are going to love this new and improved Sam Seder even more than you did the old one. Sam Seder 3.75 includes a new radio program, Seder on Sundays; a new updated website, Samsedershow.com; and a general sense of more, wholesome Sam Sederness.
Seder on Sundays premieres this Sunday, May 20th at 4pm est. My old friend, Lauren K. will produce Seder on Sundays and it will feature many of the regular guests you’ve come to know from the Sam Seder Show plus some new faces, er, voices. Speaking of which, the SammyCAM will be in effect.
We will be introducing a couple of new weekly features including the Comfy Chair Award, presented to the most deserving corporate media aristocrat of the week and the Weekend Watchdog segment presented by Bill Scher.
Meanwhile, we are soft launching the new blog!!! You will notice that we now have an Open Mic section, not unlike the diaries found at Daily Kos. By registering on SamSederShow.com, you will essentially be able to create your own blog housed within our blog. Of course, you’ll always be able to continue to post or lurk on the main blog without registration- just like it’s been for the past three years. You’ll also notice more features on the new site including audio and soon, video. There will be more comedy, both from me and my friends. Soon, Senator Katherine Harris will have her own page on the site. Photos from Honeydo farm will be posted soon. Sweet lord, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!
Folks, Sam Seder 3.75 is just the beginning and merely a lead up to Sam Seder 6.47 when I will simply be known as Samuel. Won’t you join me on this journey?
I also got a chance to talk to Richardson a bit before the speech and, of course, the trick with something like that is that almost all even moderately successful politicians are pretty charismatic, but nonetheless he seemed very impressive.
This isn't universally true, as some politicians managed to achieve their positions through means other than flesh-pressing, but it is true of a lot of them. It's one reason I don't like talking to them too much. I don't like talking to anyone who is trying to sell me something, really, even if what they're selling is themselves.
But as for this:
I particularly liked his insistence on the idea that most people underplay the role of transportation and land use policy in the energy puzzle. This was appealing because it's what I already thought, but Richardson said it totally unprompted, and it's true. More fuel efficiency is good, and more renewable energy is also good, but we're also going to need people to drive less. And that's going to mean that we'll need policies that make it realistic for people to do so -- mass-transit, but also transit-friendly, high-density constructions.
This is basically the deal. We need to increase the proportion of the population who live in areas where one car per driving age household member isn't a necessity. Well-designed mass transit and pedestrian transit-oriented development is a requirement for that. I think it's wrong to see it simply as encouraging "high-density constructions," as there are plenty of places which are actually quite dense, but are dense in stupid ways and lack adequate transit. The flip side is there are places with adequate transit (certain suburban rail lines) which lack density in the appropriate places (Nimbyism, sometimes understandable, is often the cause).
CNN just ran a pretty straight story on this. Progress.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Something is very off with our pundits as well.
...it suddenly occurs to me that the post title could be interpreted as a desire to kill pundits and/or debate audience members. My intention was to describe the bloodlust of the latter and the obliviousness of this by the former.
I thought he was clear. He does not believe in trial by jury, or the presumption of innocence, or the right to counsel, or an independent judiciary, or the right to liberty. He believes that the government should
bedisappear people from their homes and send them to prison camps where brutal guards will beat them up at their leisure. He thinks we need more Gitmos and bigger Gitmos. He wants to recreate the gulag. You saw how excited the audience was. They understood it. Why don't you?
This happens because of two basic reasons. First, there's no actual way to define social welfare scientifically. One can define social welfare functions which meet certain kinds of pleasing properties, but ultimately judgment calls have to be made. You know, is overall social welfare enhanced more if you give an extra dollar to me instead of Bill Gates? Consequently per capita GDP as a measure of society's welfare is seen as a kind of value-neutral measure. But it isn't, or at least policies which lead to more or less growth aren't value neutral as those policies don't necessarily just impact growth and subsequent per capita GDP, they also impact income distribution. So if you advocate for a policy such as "Free Trade," which will increase GDP by $100 but cause Bill Gates to earn $150 more (all of the gains and more), you're implicitly saying that either income distribution is irrelevant or that it's "good" from the perspective of society if Bill Gates gets more and the rest of us get less. Since one needs to make value judgments to evaluate income distribution effects of policy, there's a tendency to just assume they aren't important.
The second is that early on it becomes hardwired in our young economist brains that it makes sense that if the pie is bigger there are more slices to pass around. You can have gains from a policy such as "free trade" and then redistribute the goodies later. But the redistribution doesn't happen.
All this leaves aside other issues, such as the fact that people, especially French people, don't just like goodies but also this mysterious thing called "leisure" which doesn't get counted in that GDP figure...
So I'm glad to see Tom Friedman suggest that his audience read Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City "details [as to] the extent to which Americans recruited to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad were chosen, at times, for their loyalty toward Republicanism rather than expertise on Islamism." Two CPA staffers, for instance, were asked whether they supported Roe v. Wade, assumedly because Iraqis are really concerned over whether the American Constitution includes an implicit right to privacy.
Worse than that, really:
The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion.
Does this sound in any way like the behavior of a government operating under the rule of law, which believes that it had legal authority to spy on Americans without the warrants required for three decades by law? How can we possibly permit our government to engage in this behavior, to spy on us in deliberate violation of the laws which we enacted democratically precisely in order to limit how they can spy on us, and to literally commit felonies at will, knowing that they are breaking the law?
How is this not a major scandal on the level of the greatest presidential corruption and lawbreaking scandals in our country's history? Why is this only a one-day story that will focus on the hospital drama but not on what it reveals about the bulging and unparalleled corruption of this administration and the complete erosion of the rule of law in our country? And, as I've asked times before, if we passively allow the President to simply break the law with impunity in how the government spies on our conversations, what don't we allow?
If we had a functioning political press, these are the questions that would be dominating our political discourse and which would have been resolved long ago.
I don't understand it myself.
It may seem perverse to suggest that, at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback. But don't be astonished if that is the case.
More important, he is demonstrating political smarts that even his critics have to acknowledge.
In other respects, too, Bush has been impressive in recent days.
He has been far more accessible -- and responsive -- to the media and public, holding any number of one-on-one interviews, both on and off the record, leading up to Wednesday's televised news conference. And he has been more candid in his responses than in the past.
With the public eager for some bipartisan progress on all these fronts, Bush is signaling that he, at least, is ready to try.
BAGHDAD - A parked car bomb exploded near a market in a Shiite enclave northeast of the capital, killing at least 32 people and wounding 50, police said Wednesday. Hospital officials and some of the wounded said it appeared that chlorine gas was used in the attack, but police denied the reports.
The attack occurred about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in the village of Abu Saydah in the volatile Diyala province, local police said, giving the casualty toll.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Barring freakish developments, he's the next mayor.
Stopped by the Nutter party for a bit as it's being held only a couple blocks from Eschaton World Headquarters. Occurs to me I've lived here awhile as I actually bumped into a bunch of people I know.
...yes, I voted for Nutter, though I would've been content with other candidates.
...oddly, I never saw the Olivia ad which all the local talkers are now saying won it for him.
The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country.
Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces.
He denied the withdrawal was motivated by political pressure from Washington.
He said: “We believe at some point, in order to break this dependence on the . . . coalition, you simply have to back off and let the Iraqis step forward.
“You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the country.”
That was in August of 2005.
There will eventually be confirmation hearings. There will be pressure on Democrats to confirm him. Then Tony Snow and the president will say the Democrats have no right to criticize the plans because they just voted to confirm the guy who will implement them.
In other words, reboot the F.U. machine.
AIDS is the wrath of God upon homosexuals.
AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.
He lived a decent-length, if not long, life. One hopes he finds that his God is a more forgiving being than he believed.
...Steve Benen has more.
My take is that while 9/11 drove a bunch of people bonkers, most of them kept it in check for awhile. That is, they witnessed a traumatic event, but had the sense enough to recognize that it might drive them a bit bonkers so they should try and maintain a certain perspective. That slowly unraveled during the Spring of '02, and the nutters found a bunch of other nutters to convince them that they weren't losing their minds but were instead Very Wise And Serious People Who Saw Things That Others Didn't.
I'm reminded of Joe Klein's comments on the program:
"People like me who favor this program don't yet know enough about it yet," he says, "Those opposed to it know even less -- and certainly less than I do.
Those of us opposed to it know it's... illegal.
It's absurd. Social Security is fine. With a wee bit of luck it'll be fine until the end of time. It is not a pressing problem of any kind. It is not worth wasting time or column-inches discussing it as a pressing political issue.
Monday, May 14, 2007
The staffer claims that the Senate leadership was going back and forth all weekend on whether to allow this vote. "I think there are probably some people who would prefer not to see a vote on this," the staffer says. "It forces people to take a stand."
I imagine there's a pretty close correlation between those who regularly prattle on about Democrats needing to stand for things and show strong leadership, yadda yadda, and those who aren't too thrilled that they'll have to actually take a stand.
People hate this war and George Bush, I really don't know why some lawmakers are still a couple years behind the polls.
I find it to be very hard work to follow local politics and to make informed judgments on even the major races, let alone the ones more down ticket (When in doubt I vote for the people who show up at Drinking Liberally). More than that, it's difficult to really know what the range of possibilities are, where the bottlenecks and blocks to progress are, what could reasonably be hoped for, etc.
It's also the case that my personal pet issues probably don't necessarily echo the pet issues of most people in the city. I have no kids and live in a low crime area, and while education and crime reduction are of course very important issues for every urban area, and successful improvements will have positive impacts for the city generally, it's still the case that they aren't things which by and large impact me directly.
Remember to vote early and often! I intend to.
Grubisich thinks the public square has become too open, and he wants to erect some new barriers to entry. That's what the pseudonymity discussions are always about: Privileged members of the media feeling great anxiety that they're no longer set apart simply by access to microphones and looking for ways to keep the barbarians off the stage. But whatever, I'm willing to meet them halfway. I'll start running background checks on my readers if Grubisich and his colleagues consents to some symmetrical constraints: If they write something stupid, inflammatory, or wrong, they will lose their jobs. If what you want is for new entrants to the public sphere to feel more vulnerable when participating, it's only fair that you do the same.
This is it in a nutshell. And, as Ezra suggests, the club that they want to use is the "consequences," which for most of us is about having current or future employment prospects threatened because someone googles our names and discovers that we don't like George Bush enough, or we hate her favorite rock band, or some other reason. This, of course, is a barrier too high for plenty of people. Which is the point.
*Stupid for Time Warner, of course, genius for AOL shareholders.
Oh, and Publius called and asked me tell Mr. Grubisch to go Cheney himself.
A mayor's race that began with high-minded debates and polite candidate forums has degenerated in its last hours to harsh personal attacks between the two perceived front-runners.
While Tom Knox depicted Michael Nutter as a compromised political insider, Nutter railed against Knox as "a scumbag." Nutter made the comment after flyers were distributed outside at least two Catholic churches early yesterday accusing Nutter of changing his religious beliefs for political reasons.
It was a sharp departure from a day in which all but one of the five candidates vying for the nomination in tomorrow's Democratic primary acted in typical candidate fashion: scouring the city, especially its voter-rich African American churches, for votes.
"Remember that Democrat Tom Knox is a practicing Catholic," the flyer reads. "Michael Nutter? He was Catholic when it was convenient for him, so he could get a quality Catholic education. Now? He quietly left the Catholic Church to become a Baptist, probably because his polls told him it would be a smart move."
All this is perfectly fine. I'd prefer a world where religion was considered to be rather a personal thing, but lots of people seem to think that the religion of politicians is something which should more front and center in campaigns. Religion can't simultaneously matter and not matter.
...adding, you put religion on the table as campaign fodder and it will become... campaign fodder, fair game for the same sorts of political attacks as any other issue. It isn't always nice, pretty, or fair, but campaigns aren't always nice, pretty, or fair. People seem to imagine that the politicians/faith issue simply boils down to religious politicians incorporating religious language and giving stirring speeches about their faith. In reality it involves explicitly exploiting yet another brand of tribalism. We don't live in a happy can't we all get along ecumenical service.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Matthews: Republicans revolting on teh Preznit
Gregory: they told him u have no credibility
Stengel: Bushies think they're all wimps after all Hoover is a hero now
Kay: hes a total mental case
Tucker: he has a messiah complex god told him to keep us in iraq with too few troops to succeed
Kay: hes teh Commender Guy
Stengel: Mitt Romney's gonna run as teh guy who thinks war was badly managed and can do better after all he ran teh Olympics and Duane Reed
Matthews: teh drugstore in dangerous
Gregory: yeah but was war a bad idea or just badly managed
Matthews: uh yeah
Gregory: no one is talking about the real question which is is we stop teh war in Iraq who do we go to war with next after all we must be at war at all times
Matthews: who made u an expert on teh middle east dood
Kay: but teh base still luvs Bush
Tucker: GOP base are impevious to teh facts shut up about the war
Matthews: i still luv McCain
Gregory: dood he'll stick with Bush
Kay: Tony Bliar is loathed in Britain because he is seen as Bush's poodle
Mattthews: yeah none of the other dogs want to sniff Barney's butt anymore its sad
Gregory: yeah but Blair was right about everything we must crush the middle east infidels!!!
Matthews: i luv teh movies!!!
[shows clip: "David Beckham, Harry Potter, teh Beatles, Bush is a bully"]
Kay: Chris yur crying over "Love Actually" yur so fucking weird dood
Matthews: who is teh God-candidate
Tucker: Huckabee, Brownback
Matthews: i mean non-crazy ones
Kay: rudy has to start running against hillary now
Matthews: exactly he already has my vote!
Stengel: but GOP aren't as terrified of brown terrorists as they were
Matthews: they truly fear hillary
Tucker: they wont sell out everything they believe in just to stop hillary
Matthews: but my religion is hating hillary i do it every sunday morning
Gregory: i was hanging with the queen and I kissed the royal jewels and dood they're real and they're spectacular
Tucker: The Generals are hating on Bush
Stengel: Fred McGruff gave a bad speech
Matthews: graduation advice
Kay: Travel see the world
Matthews: i luv Aussies
Gregory: thank teh people who allowed you to become teh whore u are today someday u might meet teh queen
Tucker: dont run up credit card debt
Stengel: dont follow yur bliss study science
Matthews: dood yur with Time magazine
Stengel: ok smart dood whats yur advice
Matthews: dont ever let anyone tell you mental illness is a barrier to hosting 2 tv shows if thats yur dream
Pollack and some other analysts, including Frederick Kagan of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who was an architect of the "surge" policy, say it's much too early to declare failure. Two of the five brigades of additional U.S. troops, each comprising about 3,500 soldiers, have yet to begin operations in Iraq, they note.
ABC's "This Week" — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; actress Brooke Shields.
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
CNN's "Late Edition" — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh; Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C; former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga.
"Fox News Sunday" — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.