Friday, April 25, 2008

Overnight - A roundup of news items that you might have missed

63% That is the percentage of Americans who, according to Gallup, believe that invading Iraq and toppling Hussein was the wrong thing to do. It's a record by the way - disapproval increased even though the poll was conducted after the latest Petraeus Promenade.

Really, John? You say that you are shocked! Shocked, I tell you! And appalled! (Don't forget appalled!) at the feeble response by this administration to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I dunno that I put much stock in those words today, though - not when you had an opportunity to say something at the time. I recall you and the current occupant spending some time together around then...

If you haven't calculated it, why not give it a whirl?...the people CBS News correspondent Daniel Sieberg met were about to change the world - or at least their little corner of it. It is a CRAG: a Carbon Reduction Action Group. It's like the Weight Watchers for the energy conscious. "It's just like any club," said Shannon Moore, the CRAG's founder. "There's … the peer-support side of it. And there can be, depending on the group, the peer pressure side of it, where people are saying, 'hey, look at your footprint!' Look at my footprint." "Footprint" means how much carbon dioxide you personally release into the atmosphere through daily life. It's about 26,000 lbs. a year for the average American. Moore's group aims to be 10 percent below that by year's end. But a little more wouldn't hurt...

We call it "kicking the can down the road..." Julian Barnes: In promoting Army Gen. David H. Petraeus to commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, President Bush is doing more than rewarding a job well done in Iraq. The president also is taking a step toward perpetuating his policy of high troop levels in Iraq and is putting his most trusted general in charge of renewing the military's focus on Iran. Petraeus has been the prime advocate of Bush's policy of a large troop presence in Iraq. By naming Petraeus to a job that lasts into the next administration, Bush ensures that the new president will confront the military's strongest voice for maintaining a big force in Iraq. Again, what the hell happened to General Douglas Lute?

Yes, sometimes a Democrat does get caught doing something naughty: D.C. police say the mayor of District Heights has been charged with propositioning an undercover officer posing as a prostitute. Police say 30-year-old James Walls (bio) Jr. was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Thursday at Sixth and F streets northwest and charged with solicitation for lewd and immoral purposes. District Heights vice mayor Eddie Martin called the accusation against Walls ludicrous. "You can't lock up a person for talking to someone in the street." When this happens to you, you better hope the vice mayor is there to back you up...

About that whole thing called "Judicial Activism..." Justice Antonin Scalia on 60 Minutes this weekend, talking about Bush vs Gore: "I say nonsense," Scalia responds to Stahl’s observation that people say the Supreme Court’s decision in Gore v. Bush was based on politics and not justice. "Get over it. It’s so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal Constitution, that wasn’t even close. The vote was seven to two," he says, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision that the Supreme Court of Florida’s method for recounting ballots was unconstitutional. Furthermore, says the outspoken conservative justice, it was Al Gore who ultimately put the issue into the courts. "It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts,'" says Scalia. "What are we supposed to say -- 'Not important enough?'" he jokes. Important enough to send goons in to stop the vote counting, however...

The ABC affiliate in Denver reported today that Rush (why does this asshat have to hail from Missouri?) Limbaugh called for riots in Denver during the "Democrat (sic) convention" in order to assure that Democrats lose at the polls in November. Dubbing his wet-dream of violence "Operation Chaos" he extolled the virtues of inciting violence in the streets of America. "We do, hopefully, the right thing for the sake of this country. We're the only one in charge of our affairs. We don't farm out our defense if we elect Democrats ... and riots in Denver, at the Democratic Convention will see to it we don't elect Democrats. And that's the best damn thing that can happen to this country, as far as I can think," Limbaugh said.

You already know that "abstinence only" sex-ed is an unmitigated disaster, (see here for a previous post and here for the 2006 Guttmacher report) but did you know that it is a disaster on such an epic scale that the GAO can't even quantify how much of a disaster it really is? If this idiocy outrages you like it does us, head on over to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, check out what they are all about and if you have it to spare show them some love. They are doing good, reality-based work over there.

Domenici gets a demerit on his way out the door the Senate Ethics Committee has admonished retiring Senator Pete Domenici for "creating an appearance of impropriety" when he called U.S. Attorney David Iglesias and pressured him to file charges in time to influence upcoming elections. This is small potatos - we are going to hear more about Domenici. When he lawyered up last spring, he retained Lee Blalack to represent him. Lee Blalack is not the lawyer you retain for petty squabbles. He is who you call when you don't want to cool your heels in a cell for the next five -to-fifteen. He is who you called when you did it, and Johnny Cochran is dead.

The new government in Pakistan is near a peace deal
with the militants in the federally administered tribal areas on the Afghan border. This is causing great consternation in the Bush administration.

Pale Rider (who again tonight gets a tip o' the hat for his help with the roundup) has been absolutely vigilant in following the VA suicides-coverup scandal. If you need to get caught up on this issue, start here. Then go here. And finally here.