Showing posts from May, 2005

gotcha politics

Why do self-styled political analysts prefer the "gotcha" game rather than substantive debate? Because such analysts are more concerned with short-term political advantage only, bereft of principle. Case in point:   Mark Kilmer of takes a low shot at Howard Dean, using this excerpt from the transcript of Dean's Meet The Press appearance this weekend. MR. RUSSERT: "Well, you said there were weapons of mass destruction." DR. DEAN: "I said I wasn't sure, but I said I thought there probably were. But the thing that really bothered me the most, which the 9-11 Commission said also wasn't true, is the insinuation that the president continues to make to this day that Osama bin Laden had something to do with supporting terrorists that attacked the United States. That is false. The 9-11 Commission, chaired by a Republican, said it was false. Is it wrong to send people to war without telling them the truth. And the truth was Osama bin Laden

The Federalist Option

With the impending showdown in the Senate attracting maximalist positions from right and left, I've found that neither side really seems to be taking the long view. The Democrats are prepared to risk the loss of the judicial filibuster, to try and Judge Owen (whose record is of unalloyed judicial activism ) from being appointed. However, they will probably lose that gamble, meaning that the threat of extremist Supreme Court nominees is actually greater. The Republicans meanwhile are ready to destroy the Senate for the sake of raw short-term majoritarian power. My feeling is that Judge Owen is bad, but the Supreme Court is more important . A compromise along those lines has just been put forth by a reader of Josh Marshall's which I think makes the case very well:   Let Owen go through . It will not make the 5th appreciably worse; the only more retrograde Circuit is the 4th. I know it will further imbalance the 5th and violate the dictum laid down by Sen. Schumer. The way I see i

veto time is long past

I've stopped participating at RedState for the time being - here's the thread that really made me realize that for all the rhetoric about honest debate, you're either with them or against them, and the posting rules are selectively appplied accordingly. However, the new RedHot section is really quite good, and far better than the NRO Corner which it is loosely modeled after. A comment by Doverspa there got my attention - he writes:   Veto time [Doverspa] The President should veto the Transportation Bill even if it is overriden. And it shouldn't be the last thing he vetoes. Spending needs to be checked and the President should take the lead. Posted at 05/17/2005 05:45:53 PM EST When was the last time the President vetoed anything? And I think that the President's signature on the Medicare "reform" bill - the most egregious example of corporate welfare I've seen in my lifetime - should have long since put to rest the idea that the modern Republican par

Bill Moyers and public broadcasting

PBS veteran host Bill Moyers' closing remarks at the National Conference of Media Reform: VIDEO | AUDIO A report from The Nation on these remarks is below. It's a powerful statement by Moyers on the role of the media in providing for a factual public discourse. And how that role is being actively undermined today. Read on...   Posted 05/15/2005 @ 3:40pm Bill Moyers Fights Back Bill Moyers is not taking attacks by Bush administration allies on public broadcasting in general and his journalism in particular sitting down. "I should put my detractors on notice," declared the veteran journalist who stepped down in January as the host of PBS's Now with Bill Moyers, who recently turned 70. "They might compel me out of the rocking chair and into the anchor chair." Moyers closed the National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis on Sunday with his first public response to the revelation that White House allies on the board of directors of the Corporation for P

Dean scream #45,765

One of Dean's endearing qualities during the election was his refusal to silence his dissent from the orthodoxy of the political discourse. That orthodoxy was an artificial one, cemented in place by 9-11 and which Dean deserves due credit for cracking open - today, the political dscourse is back on both thrusters, left and right. Granted it is far more partisan and acerbic, but it is also at least balanced (though the Right maintains certain structural advantages, which are unlikely to evaporate anytime until 2006 at the earliest). Why, then, does Dean continue to act as if that orthodoxy remains? From the boston Globe:   (full story from the Globe below) At a Democratic convention in Massachusetts, Dean made yet another intemperate remark, this time about Delay. There are some uttterances of Dean that I have defended him for - his remark about voters with confederate flags on their pickups being a notable example - but this one, along with his alleged statement that he hates Repub

Wisconsin Irregularities

Just because it's not a conspiracy doesn't mean it's not a problem: "A task force looking into potential voter fraud on Election Day said Tuesday that it found more than 200 felons voted illegally and more than 100 instances of people voting twice or using fake names and addresses. "The investigators found hundreds of fraudulent votes in all and counted 4,600 more ballots than registered voters in Milwaukee — but did not uncover any proof of a plot to alter the outcome of the hotly contested presidential race in Wisconsin's largest city. They also found ballots cast using the names of dead people. "Prosecutors have not filed criminal charges in the probe. "'There is not the evidence of an overriding conspiracy in all of this,' U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said. "The task force, however, did find evidence of sloppy record-keeping and poor training for poll workers, who were overwhelmed by thousands of absentee ballots. Biskupic said the

Stop activist judges!

Such as Priscilla Owen. Below the fold is what the editorial pages of the major Texas newspapers had to say about her record.   "[O]wen is so conservative that she places herself out of the broad mainstream of jurisprudence. She seems all too willing to bend the law to fit her views, rather than the reverse." (Austin-American Statesman, 4/29/03) "Owen's judicial record shows less interest in impartially interpreting the law than in pushing an agenda...a justice who has shown a clear preference for ruling to achieve a particular result rather than impartially interpreting the law. Anyone willing to look objectively at Owen's record would be hard-pressed to deny that." (The Houston Chronicle, 5/12/03) "Once competency is established, the most important qualification for a judge is commitment to following the law as it is written - regardless of personal philosophy. Justice Priscilla Owen is clearly competent, but her record demonstrates a results-oriented