Friday, October 13, 2006

About time already!

Dissatisfied with the reporters' prickly questions, Bush went about answering his own. He said abandoning Iraq would allow terrorists to launch new attacks on America. "How do I know that would happen?" Bush asked himself. "Because that's what the enemy has told us," he answered.

Oh, did he finally get and read that PDB titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S."?

P.S. Mr. President, do you always take your intelligence cues from the enemy?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Daily Goods

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A general note

It has occurred to me that, in some of my broader posts on thought and reasoning, e.g. On Means and Ends: A Confusion, I might come across as the kind of crazy crank who think's he's found some deep new insight, never before realized. But I do doubt that any of these are truly new to the world. Rather, since I lack a formal training in philosophy, epistemology, etc., these are things that are somewhat new to me. I generally have to figure these things out myself the hard way, reasoning from first principles and my own knowledge of the human condition. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least if many of my "great ideas" are covered in your average Philosophy 101 class. Nonetheless, it might be interesting to see the approach of someone who hasn't been exposed to these particular ideas. And assuming they aren't new, some do seem to be forgotten by people in the course of typical political discussion and such, so a reminder now and then can't hurt (except those who benefit from illogic and unreason; screw 'em).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Daily Goods

Daily Goods has been a bit overwhelmed of late. There's just not much point to trying to keep it updated with the latest Foley news. On the other hand, there's been a bit of a drought of non-Foley news. But I'll bring you what I can.

Ignoring the Elephant in the middle of the... closet?

Reader DK @ TPM cracks wise, but I'll try to outdo him:

As a precaution, the governor [Jeb Bush] was ushered into a T-station supply closet and stayed there until the crowd left.
When I said Republicans were on the run, this isn't quite what I had in mind.

When I said there were a lot of Republicans in the closet, this isn't quite what I had in mind.

Note: Another new feature added: When I'm quoting liberal sources, the quotes will be in blue; when I'm quoting right wing sources, the quotes will be in red. More or less neutral sources (typically the media) will remain in orange. I might slowly apply this to the archives as well.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is he catching on?

From today's White House press conference:

MR. SNOW: So when you take it in the broad sweep of history, and as we look back — you and I probably — well, you may, centuries from now, but I don't think I'm going to last as long as you will, Helen — but the facts is –

Is Tony "Racism Is Dead" Snow starting to think that, when the revolution comes, he will, indeed, be one of the first up against the wall?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Disgrace and Schadenfreude

While there is certainly room for a lot of Schadenfreude in the massive political upheaval over former Rep. Mark Foley and those who heard about his behaviour but didn't bother to investigate thoroughly, and its probably ramifications in the upcoming election, it pains me to see that this is what it takes for the scales to fall from the eyes of the people. All the news and revelations of this past week alone aside from the page affairs — those in Bob Woodward's new book, how much contact there was between convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House, another warning before 9/11 ignored, let alone Congress "abridging" the Constitution without going through the proper Article V process for amendment, and authorizing not-quite-torture — is as naught compared to a single (so far, and I don't mean his marital status) Congressman taking advantage of probably a few dozen Congressional pages, and some of his party's leadership not looking into the matter adequately, if not actively covering up.

Granted that the behaviour of the Congressman was sick, wrong, evil, and deserving of bringing down the careers of himself and many of those involved, and hopefully some well-earned jail time, it pales in comparison to the violence that has been done to our nation's institutions, foundations, and Constitution. And if one might think, "but those are just abstractions, these are real people, children even, who've been hurt," I would point out that these "mere abstractions" could have very real, concrete consequences for many of our nation's citizens and the people of the world, and more abstract consequences for all of us. The consequences were pretty concrete for the 74 US servicemen killed and the 577 gravely wounded in the most recent months I can easily find (September and August, respectively), let alone the approximately 1,579 Iraqis killed in September. The ignoring of the CIA warnings might have seemed rather real for about 2.973 people who used to dwell in New York and Washington, DC, if they were still with us.

More abstractly, one of our Constitutional rights, one so important that it went into the main body of the Constitution rather than being passed later in one of the amendments of the Bill of Rights, has been pretty much rendered null and void, so that our President can imprison whom he wants to, when he wants to, without having to explain to himself why. Oh, and he can go ahead and torture them now, as long as he wouldn't judge it to be torture. Abstract for now, for most of us, and apparently for all US citizens except Jose Padilla, but I wonder how long it might be until it becomes all too real and concrete for some of the rest of us.

But all of that can go on the back burner for now, because we've got a sex scandal!! And that's what the media really wants to talk about. Apparently, people just can't bother to get worked up about all that death of people and liberty. But give them some titillating emails and IMs, and they're finally ready to rise up and throw the bums out!

It's a disgrace to thinking people across this country, those who actually pay attention to what's going on, and care about this country and the path it's taking. And yet, if it's what it takes to get some responsible people actually capable of governing, rather than just playing political games with other people's lives, I guess I'll take it, for now.

Added: I think I just came up with the right metaphor for it. It's like getting Al Capone on tax evasion charges. Yeah, you got him, but....

Update: The September count for serious injuries of American soldiers is out now. Up to 776, a 34% increase over August.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The little beasts were egging him on

Matt Drudge thinks the Congressional pages were just asking for it:

And if anything, these kids are less innocent — these 16 and 17 year-old beasts… and I've seen what they're doing on YouTube and I've seen what they're doing all over the internet — oh yeah — you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You're not going to tell me these are innocent babies. Have you read the transcripts that ABC posted going into the weekend of these instant messages, back and forth? The kids are egging the Congressman on! The kids are trying to get this out of him. We haven't got the whole story on this....

You could say "well Drudge, it's abuse of power, a congressman abusing these impressionable, young 17 year-old beasts, talking about their sex lives with a grown man, on the internet." Because you have to remember, those of us who have seen some of the transcripts of these nasty instant messages. This was two ways, ladies and gentlemen. These kids were playing Foley for everything he was worth. Oh yeah. Oh, I haven't… they were talking about how many times they'd masturbated, how many times they'd done it with their girlfriends this weekend… all these things and these "innocent children." And this "poor" congressman sitting there typing, "oh am I going to get any," you know?

Damn those kids these days, with their MeTubes and their InterWebs! The little sluts were just asking for it! And taking advantage of that poor, trusting, upstanding Congressman.

At least I now have a good "Exhibit A" for people who wonder why I don't do Drudge sludge.

Also, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) thought the only important thing of the affair was how it might affect the upcoming elections:

HASTERT: No, I’m not saying [that Congressman Reynolds is lying]. I just don’t recall him telling me that [in the spring]. If he would have told me that, he would have told me that in the context of maybe a half a dozen or a dozen other things. I don’t remember that.

REPORTER: Other allegations of improper e-mails?

HASTERT: No, just other things that might have affected campaigns.

Added: The ever-wise James Dobson' group has something they'd like to share with us, too:

"This is not a time to be talking about politics, but about the well-being of those boys who appear to have been victimized by Rep. Foley. If he is indeed guilty of what he is accused of, it is right that he resigned and that authorities are looking into whether criminal charges are warranted.

"This is yet another sad example of our society's oversexualization, especially as it affects the Internet, and the damage it does to all who get caught in its grasp."

And that from the same man who said,

When assessing the legacy of Bill Clinton, we can’t overlook his shameful sexual behavior in the Oval Office, and then, his lies under oath to the American people to cover it up. Indeed, it is my belief that no man has ever done more to debase the presidency or to undermine our Constitution -- and particularly the moral and biblical principles upon which it is based -- than has William Jefferson Clinton.