Dover Bitch

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


DB was lured out of vacation, but I'm truly taking time off indefinitely. Here's another poem until I return:

Away, Melancholy
by Stevie Smith

Away, melancholy,
Away with it, let it go.

Are not the trees green,
The earth as green?
Does not the wind blow,
Fire leap and the rivers flow?
Away melancholy.

The ant is busy
He carrieth his meat,
All things hurry
To be eaten or eat.
Away, melancholy.

Man, too, hurries,
Eats, couples, buries,
He is an animal also
With a hey ho melancholy,
Away with it, let it go.

Man of all creatures
Is superlative
(Away melancholy)
He of all creatures alone
Raiseth a stone
(Away melancholy)
Into the stone, the god
Pours what he knows of good
Calling, good, God.
Away melancholy, let it go.

Speak not to me of tears,
Tyranny, pox, wars,
Saying, Can God
Stone of man's thoughts, be good?
Say rather it is enough
That the stuffed
Stone of man's good, growing,
By man's called God.
Away, melancholy, let it go.

Man aspires
To good,
To love

Beaten, corrupted, dying
In his own blood lying
Yet heaves up an eye above
Cries, Love, love.
It is his virtue needs explaining,
Not his failing.

Away, melancholy,
Away with it, let it go.

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Now for something civil...

DB is supposed to be on vacation, but I can't let my last (profane and deleted) post lead this site while I'm away, so here's a more "civil" and "rational" response to the nonsense Gideon Rose has pushed out into cyberspace.

First off, here's the reason I responded as I did. It is a cowardly tactic to say something monumentally offensive and provocatively stupid, while couching it in a "high road" plea for civility. That's precisely what Rose did. I call his bluff.

I've never written anything like that last post to anybody on the blog-o-sphere. But I'm not going to allow Rose to dictate the terms of the debate, which is the entire point of this Internet-wide topic -- that the Very Serious People (VSPs) in the foreign policy community are more interested in shutting down voices than they are at reaching conclusions that reflect reality.

Here is the point as Atrios articulated it:

The "foreign policy clerisy" apparently exists to close off public scrutiny of or wider debate about America's appropriate role in the world, to limit the range of options which are "on or off the table" and which are open to public debate or discussion. They exist to monopolize debate and have veto status over club members. Members of the community are clearly chosen for the ability to perpetuate this agenda, rather than for their expertise. Max Boot? Peter Beinart? Pollack? O'Hanlon? Can anybody in this gang tie their shoes?

Challenging his critics to use "civil" language is simply an extension of this attempt to monopolize debate, particularly in the context of a post which aims to equate and ultimately dismiss two completely different groups of people with opinions. As I wrote above, I don't typically use that language, but I'm not about to let Rose tell me what is appropriate. To cede that point is to cede the entire argument, really. Of course, I'm not suggesting that the solution to America's problems is more posts like my last one. I'm simply not going to let Rose tell me what I can and cannot write. Ever.

Furthermore, I was enraged by that comment because nothing more vibrantly demonstrates elitist, ivory tower-dwelling detachment than suggesting that a conversation about whether or not America should drop nuclear weapons on countries that do not threaten us is something other than the highest stakes. If a first-strike nuclear attack isn't high stakes, just what is?

I wrote at Hullabaloo a while back that the ivory tower many of our most visible pundits occupy is apparently shielded from the view of the consequences of the policies and decisions hatched and/or advocated there. That Very Serious People like Gideon Rose are also unable to recognize that the cost of their failures comes in the form of dead children, among other atrocities, is a disqualifier in and of itself. To suggest that those stakes are so low that some vulgar blogging is, by comparison, some sort of heinous transgression is simply adding insult to injury (literally, as the injuries are legion).

So let's take a look at the main points in Rose's response to the blog-o-sphere in challenging his claims that the netroots are like the neocons. I'll take it point-by-point:

MY LAST post has sparked some discussion elsewhere, so I figured it was worth doing a follow-up before finishing up my stint as a guest-blogger here. What seems to have annoyed critics most is my comparison of the netroots to the neocons. To elaborate my position, I think there are three main similarities and one difference:

  • 1. Both are obsessed with Iraq to the exclusion of other issues. Back in the day, many neocons put Saddam at the center of all the world’s troubles. No matter what the question—terrorism, nuclear proliferation, Arab-Israeli relations—Iraq was the answer. The netroots’ version of this is to argue that the war is so far and away the most important issue of our time that people’s views on it are the only important thing to know about them.

  • Wrong. I won't waste any time listing the myriad issues that the netroots discuss every single day. Likewise, I won't presume to speak for the neocons, who certainly spend time thinking about issues beyond Iraq.

    But what should be clear to anybody paying attention, particularly the managing editor of Foreign Affairs, is that the neocons are as interested in bombing Iran. The neocons clearly see Iraq as the first step towards a wider conflict. The VSPs don't appear to appreciate the severity of the disaster the neocons have created. It's about America's role in the world and the limits we are willing to impose on ourselves. This isn't just about Iraq.

    How much more obvious can it be, Mr. Rose? In fact, part of what got this entire debate about VSPs and neocons started was Glenn Greenwald's pointing out that they were following the same script used in Iraq while talking about Iran. It is impossible to believe that Rose doesn't think this is about more than Iraq.

    It is not unlike Joe Lieberman's last campaign for the Senate, when he claimed the people supporting Ned Lamont were only thinking about one issue -- Iraq. Now Lieberman is on television talking about hitting Syria. He's already talked about striking Iran. Joe Lieberman is a liar. Rose is parroting his campaign rhetoric.

  • 2. Both are sure that policy questions have obvious right answers. The neocons were so convinced that disagreement on Iraq constituted heresy that they bullied dissenting voices on the right into silence or expelled them from the conservative movement altogether—to the point where antiwar conservatives felt driven to start their own magazine. As for the hardcore lefty bloggers, well, here’s how Ezra Klein put it recently: “In the opinion of the netroots, if you opposed eliminating dividend taxation and drilling in ANWR but enthusiastically supported the war in Iraq—and appear incapable of really repenting or learning from that error—you are not 66 percent liberal and thus an ally; you were and are wrong on the preeminent issue of our time.” And thus, of course, an enemy.

  • No. The problem isn't with the answers. Again, the problem is with the questions. "Should America drop nuclear weapons on countries that do not pose an immediate threat?" If that question was ever illegitimate in a policy debate, it was because answering in the affirmative would be immoral. That question is left out of the conversation today because it seems to be a given among VSPs that America can do whatever it wants. As Greenwald writes (and Rose ignores):

    As I said the other day, there is no such thing in the Community as "unserious war advocacy"; that term is an oxymoron. That is why you can travel as far along the spectrum as possible, arrive at the most extremist neoconservative point, and still be comfortably within the acceptable range of Serious Community Views. Kristol's partner, Fred Kagan, is a revered member of the Community. Rudy Giuliani knows that he can hire as his top foreign policy advisor an outright psychopath like Norman Podhoretz and not be deemed unserious because the Community takes Seriously all war advocacy. That is its nature, its ideology, its identity. Argue for the U.S. to start a war now with Iran and you are Serious; but argue that we should take off the table nuclear weapons when attacking a terrorist camp or that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegitimate, and you are an unserious leftist.

    Rose ought to know this since Rudy's obscene foreign policy views were printed in Rose's own publication. Rose writes that the neocons "bullied dissenting voices on the right into silence," but what about the voices on the left? Did they not get bullied? Of course they did. The problem is they still do.

  • 3. Both consider politics a blood sport with stakes so high that rational or even civil discourse is a frivolous luxury. This one hardly needs citations, does it?

  • I dealt with this one at the top of this post. Although, I neglected to mention that VSPs lack some civility as well.

    Finally, the lone difference Rose sees between the netroots and the neocons:

  • 4. The neocon’s views led to a disaster that the netroots’ views would have avoided.

    Many of my critics think the fourth so outweighs the first three as to make any comparison between the netroots and the neocons ludicrous, and I can see their point. The Iraq war has turned out to be the biggest disaster in recent American foreign policy, and so anybody who was in any way an enabler of it has some 'splainin' to do.

  • So, in Rose's view, the distinction between the netroots and neocons is that one was catastrophically wrong about a trillion-dollar, life-consuming quagmire, and the other wasn't. But they are also similar in unflattering ways. So they both should be dismissed. Except that only the one that was correct about the disaster is unserious. The catastrophically wrong group is Very Serious and belongs on our televisions every day.

    And while the neocons on television and in the newspapers tell us about the people we should kill, sitting next to them in a detached, dispassionate and civil manner will be a Very Serious Expert to explain why, this time, the same thinking that brought us Iraq is sound.

    There's a great deal more in Rose's post (like his comparison of a millionaire baseball player swinging a bat at a ball and missing with a foreign policy expert who couldn't contemplate the death, carnage and misery of Iraq... Or, his imaginary world in which Hans Blix didn't ask for more time and believed that Iraq had WMD...) but I'm supposed to be on vacation, so I'm not going to spend any more time on this post. I could swear at Rose for that, too.

    UPDATE: Joe Klein writes:

    Also readers should make the distinction between full-time TV talking heads like Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, and members of the Priesthood, like Jessica Matthews or even Ken Pollack, who appear on TV infrequently unless they are under contract as Tony Cordesman is to ABC (I think). If you want to make the argument that the networks ignored anti-war voices, fine. I agree. But that's a different argument from saying that the Priesthood was overwhelmingly in favor of the war, or anything else (except comity and "a free and frank exchange of ideas.")

    Fair enough.


    Sunday, August 19, 2007


    DB is taking a break from blogging for a bit. Not sure how long. Here's a poem:

    A Statesman's Holiday
    by William Butler Yeats

    I lived among great houses,
    Riches drove out rank,
    Base drove out the better blood,
    And mind and body shrank.
    No Oscar ruled the table,
    But I'd a troop of friends
    That knowing better talk had gone
    Talked of odds and ends.
    Some knew what ailed the world
    But never said a thing,
    So I have picked a better trade
    And night and morning sing:
    Tall dames go walking in grass-green Avalon.

    Am I a great Lord Chancellor
    That slept upon the Sack?
    Commanding officer that tore
    The khaki from his back?
    Or am I de Valera,
    Or the King of Greece,
    Or the man that made the motors?
    Ach, call me what you please!
    Here's a Montenegrin lute,
    And its old sole string
    Makes me sweet music
    And I delight to sing:
    Tall dames go walking in grass-green Avalon.

    With boys and girls about him.
    With any sort of clothes,
    With a hat out of fashion,
    With Old patched shoes,
    With a ragged bandit cloak,
    With an eye like a hawk,
    With a stiff straight back,
    With a strutting turkey walk.
    With a bag full of pennies,
    With a monkey on a chain,
    With a great cock's feather,
    With an old foul tune.
    Tall dames go walking in grass-green Avalon.

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    Friday, August 17, 2007


    Kevin Drum flags this steaming pile of crap from Gideon Rose, managing editor of Foreign Affairs:

    The lefty blogosphere, meanwhile, has gotten itself all in a tizzy over the failings of the "foreign policy community." The funny thing is...hell, I'll just come out and say it: the netroots' attitude toward professionals isn't that different from the neocons'....

    The charges the bloggers are making now are very similar to those that the neocons made a few years ago: mainstream foreign-policy experts are politicised careerists, biased hacks, and hide-bound traditionalists who have gotten everything wrong in the past and don't deserve to be listened to in the future. (Take a look at pretty much any old Jim Hoagland column and you'll see what I mean.) Back then, the neocons directed their fire primarily at the national security bureaucracies — freedom-hating mediocrities at the CIA, pin-striped wussies at the State Department, cowardly soldiers at the Pentagon. Now the bloggers' attacks are generally aimed at the think-tank world.

    Wow. Not unlike the pathetic whines of the traditional media, who think that they must be doing something right because they get complaints from "both sides," when the right-wing wants them to advance their agenda and the left just wants an honest discussion.

    America's foreign policy is a disaster. The majority of Americans think the Iraq War was a mistake, wasn't worth it and would like to see it over with as soon as possible. In fact, the majority of people on Earth think that. By any objective standard, in fighting the Iraq War, none of the goals one would normally hope to accomplish in a war have been reached. Unless you see the Iraq War as a step in a desirable expansion of hostile actions in the region, which is, of course, the neocon agenda.

    On one hand, a small faction of people who are complaining that the professionals are not helping them advance their narrow agenda.

    On the other hand, everybody else, with countless different agendas, who have witnessed the disaster yielded by the neocons and complain that we turn on the TV every day to see only neocons and think-tankers calling us "unserious" and supporting that disastrous agenda.

    Yeah, the netroots' attitude is just like the neocons'.

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    Monday, August 13, 2007

    Ownership Society?

    Now that the entire blog-o-sphere is buzzing about the Chris Matthews-Erin Burnett encounter that was blogged here first (DB notes in an unseemly, self-congratulatory way since nobody else noted it), I've gotten over the bulk on my sympathy for Burnett and the shock of her insane comments about the bargain China is giving us on poisonous food.

    What I've been thinking about mostly since then is this comment:

    BURNETT: You know, Chris, just to throw it out there and be provocative, but also ask a fair question, you know, maybe not everybody is able to own a home. We like to think of owning a home as a right in this country.

    MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    BURNETT: It might not be.

    This is, apparently, the new meme. That people are entirely responsible for kidding themselves into thinking they could own a home when, clearly, they're deadbeats.

    I want to make it clear up front that people who took out loans they could not afford absolutely own some responsibility for the hole they dug for themselves. But this did not happen in a vacuum. What about the responsibility of the lenders, who certainly should have understood the repercussions more than anybody? What about Alan Greenspan?

    But really, as Bush's brain steps down today, can there really be a greater repudiation of his vision for an "Ownership Society," the foundation of Bush's domestic agenda, his plan to follow the New Deal, Great Society, etc... His mark on history, than this?

    Here's how Rove characterized it:

    We will build an ownership society by expanding the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance, and preparing Americans for the challenges of life in a free society. We are putting government on the side of reform and progress, modernization and greater freedom, more personal choice and greater prosperity. The great goal of modern-day conservatism is to make our society more prosperous and more just.

    The think-tankers loved it. But if Americans can't partake in the Ownership Society, what good is it? If Americans prove not to be infallible, what does that say about the Bush efforts to take away the safety net? If creditors cannot be trusted to give loans responsibly, why give them protection with legislation like the bankruptcy bill?

    The answers have always been the same. But if conservatives are going to start placing the blame entirely on the shoulders of the people losing their homes, they're going to have to take a long, hard look at their own dogmatic efforts to reshape America.

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    The family that drinks together...

    John McCardell of Choose Responsibility was on MSNBC today to advocate the lowering of the national drinking age to 18.

    Without commenting on that debate or Choose Responsibility's proposals, I can't help noting how McCardell's appearance ended. McCardell said that, because the law prohibits adults from giving alcohol to minors in the privacy of their own homes, the law is "anti-family."

    Really? Anti-family? Come on.


    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    CNMI Update

    Human rights activist Wendy Doromal, who has been working tirelessly on behalf of exploited workers in the Northern Marianas Islands, has posted a diary on Daily Kos, her first.

    The good news is that our voices are being heard by Congress. However, Americans who believe that workers on U.S. soil should not be treated like property still need to put pressure on Congress to stop the abuses in CNMI, once and for all.

    Time is running out. Please read Wendy's diary and help by telling Congress to act.


    Really close

    DB was watching Hardball yesterday and heard this from CNBC's Erin Burnett:

    You know, when you talk about inflation, that's another interesting point because a lot of people like to say, scaremonger about China, right? A lot of politicians, and I know you talk about that issue all the time... I think people should be careful what they wish for on China. You know, if China were to revalue its currency or China is to start making, say, toys that don't have lead in them or food that isn't poisonous, their cost of production is going to go up and that means prices at Walmart here in the United States are going to go up, too. So, I would say China is our greatest friend right now. They're keeping prices low and they're keeping prices for mortgages low, too.

    I'll tell you, when I picked my jaw up off the floor, I decided to wait for the rebroadcast to make sure I heard it correctly. But a few minutes later, I was forced to change my mind and go easy on Burnett because Chris Matthews' behaviour became so lecherous and demeaning towards her, I thought she didn't deserve any additional grief. (Video here)

    Here's how the segment ended:

    BURNETT: You know, Chris, just to throw it out there and be provocative, but also ask a fair question, you know, maybe not everybody is able to own a home. We like to think of owning a home as a right in this country.

    MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    BURNETT: It might not be.

    MATTHEWS: Can you get a little closer to the camera?

    BURNETT: My... What is it... is it...

    MATTHEWS: Come on in closer.

    BURNETT: ...zooming in strangely?

    MATTHEWS: Come in further, come in closer... Really close.

    BURNETT: What... What are you... What are you...

    MATTHEWS: Ha! Ha! Just kidding. You look great! Anyway it's, thanks. Erin, it's great to have... Look at that look...

    BURNETT: I don't even know... I'm going to have to go look at the tape here...

    MATTHEWS: No, you're beautiful...

    BURNETT: ... I'm in a strange location...

    MATTHEWS: I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding, you're a knockout. Anyway, thank you, Erin Burnett.

    BURNETT: Alright, Chris.

    MATTHEWS: It's alright getting bad news from you, even. Thanks for coming on Hardball

    Uh, ewwwwwww. Makes me want to eat lead.

    UPDATE: Burnett's comments about China remind me of this Woody Allen joke:

    Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions."

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    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    You can also do other things

    Words of wisdom from Bob Novak at the 29th annual Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference held at George Washington University on July 31:

    If you really want to be a professional journalist, if you want to be a reporter, you want to be in the news business, or television, not the press person for the National Rifle Association, don't tell anybody you're a conservative. Don't tell 'em.

    The news media is filled with liberals. It's dominated much more by liberal executives than it was when I first came here 50 years ago and, therefore, it's harder to break in. What you've got to be, you've got to be, like in the old days, a communist. Infiltrating something. You're a conservative and you can do certain things that help your cause. Just telling the truth is helping the cause. But you can also do other things.

    And eventually you may be as outspoken as I am, but when you're at your age, don't walk into NBC and say "I want to go on the air as a conservative." They'll kick you right out.

    Now, let me give you an example. How many of you know Brit Hume? You all know Brit Hume because he's a big talking head at FOX. He's the managing editor in Washington and he's a conservative. You know he's a conservative.

    I first met Brit Hume when he was a leg man, a reporter for the Jack Anderson column, not a conservative column. He was a leg man for Jack Anderson and I sat next to him at some basketball games. He's a great friend of Fred Barnes'. Fred Barnes and I had tickets next to each other at the old Washington Bullets games. We still have tickets next to each other at the Wizards games. And he used to bring... Brit Hume was a guest once in a while. I had some conversations. When you watched the Washington Bullets, you had to talk about something besides basketball.

    I said, you know, this guy sounds a little bit like a conservative, you know? Not much, but a little bit. He was a big conservative but he was in the closet. He left Jack Anderson and he got a job with ABC News, no idea of his reporting that he was a conservative, becomes a White House correspondent for ABC. So, he's rising up the food chain and, suddenly, I see an article by him in The American Spectator. A conservative article. So, wow, he's starting, at least in print, to come out of the closet.

    That's the model. Be smart. Don't impale yourself on the horns of liberalism.

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    The Misery Strategy

    This New York Times editorial, The Misery Strategy nails it.

    The country will have a long time to watch this approach as it fails. The politicians who killed the Senate bill for offering “amnesty” have never offered a workable alternative. Their one big idea is that harsh, unrelenting enforcement at the border, in the workplace and in homes and streets would dry up opportunities for illegal immigrants and eventually cause the human tide to flow backward. That would be true only if life for illegal immigrants in America could be made significantly more miserable than life in, say, rural Guatemala or the slums of Mexico City. That will take a lot of time and a lot of misery to pull that off in a country that has tolerated and profited from illegal labor for generations.

    The American people cherish lawfulness but resist cruelty, and have supported reform that includes a reasonable path to earned citizenship. Their leaders have given them immigration reform as pest control.

    Think how bad America would have to make life for these families to make them want to go back to third world conditions with no prospects. Is that how we want our country to treat people? Like pests?

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    Game over

    The New York Times has a story today about how hard it is to be the father of a total failure, in this case George Bush:

    These are distressing days for the Bush family patriarch, only the second former president in American history, after John Adams, to see his son take the White House. At 83, he finds it tough to watch his son get criticized from the sidelines; often, he likens himself to a Little League father whose kid is having a rough game. And like the proud and angry Little League dad who cannot help but yell at the umpire, sometimes he just cannot help getting involved.

    Only in the Bush family could they compare a man engineering conflicts that are costing thousands of lives with a kid booting a ball at third base. There are plenty of fathers today who will never go to a Little League game with their sons.

    Because they're dead now.

    I was going to let this go, it being the puff piece that it is, but I saw this from Atrios:

    Three months ago today, the 4th branch of government said that it was "game time" in Iraq.

    Since then, approximately 177 US troops have died in Cheney's game.

    It's all a game to them. Today on Countdown, Jonathan Alter told Keith Olbermann that when Steve Skvara asked John Edwards about health care during Tuesday's debate, Alter was so moved he turned to his son and told him "This isn't sports."

    It's nice to know there are people in the media who are still able to snap out of it.

    Before the debate, Tucker Carlson said "You are watching MSNBC, the place for politics. Eight minutes from game time." As soon as it was over, Chris Matthews said "It wasn't an NFL football game, but it was pretty close." In fairness, the debate was at Soldier Field. I'm not sure it would have made a difference.

    P.S. Can somebody at please get with the program and make transcripts available promptly like CNN does? It's not even close.

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    Wednesday, August 08, 2007


    Newt Gingrich gave a speech yesterday to the National Press Club, another notch in his bid to "create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen."

    He spent the bulk of his time discussing the relative vapidity of today's political process, with particular attention to the format of our debates. Nothing he said in that regard was particularly offensive. In fact, much of it was substantive and thought-provoking. (All though, DB takes exception to his quip that a debate wonk like me has a lousy social life.)

    Naturally, the media covering the event focused on his major theme -- that the debates and campaigning process could be dramatically improved. I listened to the speech and what jumped out at me, however, was his emphasis on Iran.

    I believe we are on the edge of a precipice. The Iranians are desperately trying to build nuclear weapons and they will use them. This is a state with... Read what Ahmadinejad says. He writes poems about the joy of being a martyr nation. He gets to wipe out Tel Aviv, maybe the Israelis use nuclear weapons and wipe out Tehran. He'd accept that in a minute because he believes everybody in Tehran goes to heaven and everybody in Tel Aviv doesn't.

    Gingrich went on to make it clear that we should be terrified. We should understand that Iran is unreachable diplomatically because they are driven by religion and are, therefore, irrational.

    It's very hard for secular elites to understand this. Religiously-driven people do things that don't calculate in nice academic faculty surroundings and they don't calculate at the State Department and they don't calculate in a rational way in most of our bureaucracies. We are in trouble and somebody better begin talking about it in a blunt way.

    Yes, secular elites cannot understand that world leaders driven by religious dogma are dangerous:

    President George Bush has claimed he was told by God to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden's stronghold of Afghanistan as part of a divine mission to bring peace to the Middle East, security for Israel, and a state for the Palestinians.

    The President made the assertion during his first meeting with Palestinian leaders in June 2003, according to a BBC series which will be broadcast this month.

    Why hasn't there been a discussion about that?

    Why aren't liberal bloggers paying attention to the fact that wackos might be driving politics in the Middle East?

    On July 16, I attended Christians United for Israel's annual Washington-Israel Summit. Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain. In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC and elements of the Israeli government.

    But CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers - Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. - must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation. Over a dozen CUFI members eagerly revealed to me their excitement at the prospect of Armageddon occurring tomorrow. Among the rapture ready was Republican Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. None of this seemed to matter to Lieberman, who delivered a long sermon hailing Hagee as nothing less than a modern-day Moses. Lieberman went on to describe Hagee's flock as "even greater than the multitude Moses commanded."

    Why haven't secular elites noticed that things can get really, really bad when religion is the driving force behind military action?

    Actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest member of the famous Baldwin brothers, is no longer playing Pauly Shore's sidekick in comedy masterpieces like Biodome. He has a much more serious calling these days.

    Baldwin became a right-wing, born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks, and now is the star of Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. As an official arm of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a "Military Crusade in Iraq" in the near future.

    "We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region," OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. "We'll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq."

    The Defense Department's Chaplain's Office, which oversees OSU's activities, has not responded to calls seeking comment.

    Gingrich calls for somebody to talk about this problem in a blunt way. Apparently, not him. He ended his visit with this:

    ...We have inherited -- this is the 400th anniversary -- a remarkable civilization, which believes that your rights come from your creator. We should make English the official language of government. We should ensure the courts do not interfere with the right to say 'One Nation Under God' as part of the pledge. And we should insist both that first-generation immigrants can pass a test in American History and that high school graduates can pass a test in American History. Thank you very, very much.

    Earlier, the man who already suggested that we might need to limit free speech in order to combat terrorism continued to lecture the civil libertarians among us.

    We are simply not prepared today to be a serious country and my fear is... I am genuinely afraid this political system will not react until we lose a city. And nobody's thought about the threat to our civil liberties the morning after we decide it's that dangerous and how rapidly we will impose ruthlessness over ourselves in that kind of world. I think those of you who care about civil liberties had better be thinking about how we win this war before the casualties get so great that the American people voluntarily give up those liberties.

    When will some secular elitist notice that our government can respond to terrorism with ruthlessness?

    My favorite part, though, was when Gingrich said this:

    In the end, the American people are going to pick somebody and the job of all of us then is to try to make that person succeed. Sometimes you have to put patriotism ahead of partisanship and decide that whoever the next president is, we better help them have this conversation and help them have these decisions and hopefully make it work for the whole country.

    Yes, Newt is such a uniter that CNN, in the first article linked above, felt they needed to add this to their story:

    Gingrich stepped down as House speaker in 1998, after Republicans lost seats amid the drive to impeach then-President Bill Clinton over allegations that he lied under oath about a sexual relationship with a White House intern.

    In March, Gingrich acknowledged he was having an affair of his own around the same time. He insisted he was not a hypocrite because Clinton was not impeached for the affair -- but for lying about it.

    Are we compelled yet?


    Correction: Wrong McCain quote

    DB saw this timeline of Friedman Units and decided to look for a missing McCain entry I blogged about here and at Hullabaloo. To my horror, I realized that I pulled the wrong item from my notes and used an incorrect example of McCain calling for more troops at a time which coincided with Michael Hirsh's appearance on CNN.

    I linked to this appearance from McCain on Meet Tim Russert and assigned it the date of Nov. 12, 2005, the day after Hirsh's visit to CNN. That appearance was actually from Nov. 12, 2006.

    I regret the error. However, I was certain that McCain had been saying the exact opposite of what Hirsh described the military was supporting at that time and I was not wrong about that. I simply pulled the wrong quote.

    Here is the example I should have given, from Nov. 10, 2005, the day before Hirsh's appearance on CNN:

    To enhance our chances of success with this strategy, and enable our forces to hold as much territory as possible, we need more troops. For this reason, I believe that current ideas to effect a partial drawdown during 2006 are exactly wrong. While the U.S. and its partners are training Iraqi security forces at a furious pace, these Iraqis should supplement, not substitute for, the coalition forces on the ground. Instead of drawing down, we should be ramping up, with more civil-military soldiers, translators, and counterinsurgency operations teams. Our decisions about troop levels should be tied to the success or failure of our mission in Iraq, not to the number of Iraqi troops trained and equipped. And while we seek higher troop levels for Iraq, we should at last face facts and increase the standing size of the U.S. Army. It takes time to build a larger army, but had we done so even after our invasion of Iraq, our military would have more soldiers available for deployment now.

    Again, although the substance of my post isn't altered a bit by my mistake, I regret that I picked the wrong example from my notes.

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    Born on third

    The other day, after I posted at Hullabaloo, in the comments DB was called out for cheating. Well, for relying on quotes from Jonah Goldberg, which are so easily mocked it's almost unfair to use them. It's a good point.

    The same could probably be said for Tucker Carlson quotes, but I just can't resist. Here's what he had to say right before the AFL-CIO sponsored Democratic debate Tuesday:

    BILL PRESS: The rights that I enjoy as a union member...


    PRESS: ... Whatever rights I have in terms of pension, in terms of vacation time, in terms of health care comes from the union. I wouldn't have zip without the union and neither would any other union member in this country...

    CARLSON: You know, that's a total crock. I have a union card in my wallet right now, and I will pull it out and show you, and it gives me zero rights. Zero rights. Any right I have, I negotiated because I paid my lawyer to do so, OK? This is a total joke and I'm forced to pay into this because of stupid laws surrounding it pushed by people like John Edwards.

    PRESS: I want to see, Tucker, you get in a run in with MSNBC and see how fast they come to help you.

    CARLSON: Yeah, right.

    PRESS: The union will be there...

    CARLSON: The union? Are you kidding?

    PRESS: Absolutely, just like they get behind any working man or woman in the country.

    CARLSON: Aaaaaaaagh.

    PRESS: And where do you...

    CARLSON: Alright.

    PRESS: Where do you think you get your, the vacation that you get? Where do you think you get your health care?

    CARLSON: Because I paid my lawyer to negotiate it.

    It's hard enough to understand what keeps this guy on the air at all, but it's impossible to figure out why they'd air somebody with no sense of history or appreciation for his surroundings right before a debate where real Americans were discussing real problems with the candidates. It didn't sound to me like any of the people asking about health care, worker safety and job protection had personal lawyers to negotiate their vacation schedules.

    I didn't go to Yearly Kos, but anybody criticizing the bloggers who went, claiming they sold out or something, need to remember what it looks like when somebody with zero connection to the real world is given a microphone day after day and paid handsomely to drool on it.

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    Monday, August 06, 2007

    GOP soothsayers

    (Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

    Josh Marshall picks up on a key Ron Paul moment in Sunday's debate:

    It's sort of obvious now that he said it. But I had not quite thought of it that way. The same people now continually raising the stakes on the price of redeployment from Iraq with increasingly lurid tales of genocide, ethnic cleansing and regional implosion are pretty much exactly the same people who gamed us into this mess in the first place with another bunch of fairy tales.

    It is -- and has been -- obvious. Outside the GOP base, the people who dreamed up this nightmare have no credibility, whatsoever. Even if someone had the ability to accurately predict the future of Iraq, why would anyone think these people could? They've already demonstrated they possess the opposite of ESP.

    Paul is right to mention Vietnam, the last example of a prophesied domino effect that was never to be. Somehow, nothing quells the war mongers' imaginations, though, when it comes to impending doom. The Washington Times' Tony Blankley delivered the ultimate domino rant on KCRW's Left, Right & Center back in January:

    Nobody can predict. But an awful lot of experts who are not supporters of the president think there's a high likelihood that if civil war breaks out completely and were not there to contain it in any way, that Turkey will get sucked into Kurdistan, that Syria will be lapping over to support the Shias, that the Saudis, Egyptians and other Sunni countries will be giving more and more support to the beleaguered Sunni 20 percent. And in the middle of all this of course is little Israel, which according to the London Times last week, a paper of some repute having been in business for a few centuries, that they have a plan, not that they're necessarily planning to execute, they have a plan to use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities. Now, you can't... you know, plus 19 million barrels of oil flowing through the Hormuz Straights, keeping the world's economy functioning, all in jeopardy, the Saudi oil fields, which are unfortunately for the Saudis or those Sunni country, the Shias happen to live on the Saudi oil, the danger there... so that is the most flammable possible setting.

    Amazing how nobody in the White House Iraq Group or any of the president's supporters ever considered that a possibility before the invasion. At least, they never said as much. Some, like Jonah Goldberg, weren't too concerned:

    Obviously, Saddam's overthrow could destabilize the region, but since when is stability the highest standard for American foreign policy? Destabilizing a stable system of cruelty and oppression sounds pretty good to me. We're all for destabilizing the mob, right?

    Excellent analysis. Of course, Goldberg is now using the potential for post-departure chaos as a rhetorical weapon against the left:

    Liberals used to be the ones who argued that sending U.S. troops abroad was a small price to pay to stop genocide; now they argue that genocide is a small price to pay to bring U.S. troops home.

    Nobody is making the argument Goldberg assigns to liberals and, beyond that, there's little reason to believe our current strategy in Iraq is sustainable.

    But let's face it, nobody who said this can claim to truly care about the Iraqis:

    Q: If you're the leader of a peaceful and prosperous nation which serves as the last best hope of humanity and the backbone of international stability and a bunch of fanatics murder thousands of your people on your own soil, what's one of the smartest thing you can do?

    A: Knock the crap out of Iraq.

    Why Iraq? Well, there are two answers to that question.

    The first answer is "Why not?" (If it helps, think of Bluto burping "Why not?" in Animal House.)

    The second answer: Iraq deserved it.

    Now. Here's the important part: Both of these are good answers.

    More compassion from Goldberg:

    "In the weeks prior to the war to liberate Afghanistan, a good friend of mine would ask me almost every day, "Why aren't we killing people yet?" And I never had a good answer for him. Because one of the most important and vital things the United States could do after 9/11 was to kill people."

    The people who support this war don't care about the Iraqi death tolls. They're not motivated by any kind of real fear for the Iraqis' well-being. Of the millions displaced, only a few hundred have been allowed into the United States. The Iraqis are second-class citizens in their own country. Instead of concern for any Iraqis who might have been abused, the Right attacks anybody who alleges misconduct. They attack the credibility of any serious efforts to quantify the loss of Iraqi lives.

    I'll not be lectured on compassion or history by any of them. But my point is that, aside from their cataractous crystal balls and pathological lack of empathy, the proponents of this debacle all have ample motives to push this looming-crisis meme, even if they don't actually believe it (assuming they even bothered to consider its validity as opposed to marketability).

    We hear about the risks of leaving, but the risk of staying is clear. Every single day our troops are in Iraq, they are an unfortunate incident away from triggering a war with Iran. Thanks to the Lieberman Amendment passed a few weeks ago, our troops now have a Congressional mandate to increase their potential interaction with Iran. The last thing the PNAC signatories want to see happen is our troops leaving that powder keg. Anything they say to dissuade our egress should be viewed through that lens.

    And for whatever GOP dead-enders there are whose thirst for blood is nearly quenched, there has to be a set-up for the "I told you so" that will inevitably come with every death after we walk. The "party of surrender" must be held to account for every problem that ensues after the order to leave is signed. The GOP enablers who allowed Bush to turn Iraq into the mess it is today won't be satisfied until they pin all the responsibility on the liberals.

    Could the Iraqis suffer more if we leave? It's a possibility. But they don't want us there and the fools who started this war and the lunatics who want to expand it just can't be taken seriously when the question is debated.

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    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    A suggestion

    How about putting something like this in the Constitution?

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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    What's the frequency, Rudy?

    (Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

    The tragedy in Minneapolis, like any disaster in America, provided another example of bravery and selflessness on behalf of everyday citizens and, especially, the nation's first responders. Fortunately, we haven't lived in the kind of country where disasters happen with extreme regularity. But when they do occur, there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to climb across wreckage or dive under a precarious pile of concrete.

    Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion yesterday praised the rescue efforts and delivered a piece of unsurprising, but nevertheless gratifying news: The state's investment in interoperable communications equipment had passed its first real test.

    Perhaps the most important aspect of the 9/11 legislation the Democrats succeeded in getting signed into law this week (no, I'm not talking about the infuriating Senate bill on wiretapping) was the part that will fund interoperable communications systems throughout the nation. The chaos in New Orleans during Katrina was a stark reminder that every minute emergency crews spend trying to get information can be the difference between life and death for a victim -- or themselves.

    It is simply disgraceful that the federal government couldn't get the funding together for these communications systems until this week, six years after 9/11 and 14 years after the first attack on the World Trade Center. That's just another reason to wish for the premature departure of Alaska's corrupt Ted Stevens, who, as former Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, is as responsible for the delays as anybody in Washington.

    It's a good thing that Minnesota didn't waste time waiting for the Republican Congress before implementing their radio plan. The results could have been much worse. Just ask Rudy Giuliani.

    No responsibility is more fundamental and reflective of the nation's values than that of its Public Safety agencies. The citizens' legitimate expectation is that when their life or property is endangered, their government will respond. Vast federal, state, and local resources are committed to ensure this obligation is met. The effectiveness of police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and other Public Safety officials is inextricably tied to communications capability. Today's communications environment, however, impedes meeting this responsibility. Rescuing victims of the World Trade Center bombing, who were caught between floors, was hindered when police officers could not communicate with fire fighters on the very next floor. Similarly, the inability to communicate among the agencies that had rushed to the Oklahoma City bombing site required resorting to runners to relay messages. The lack of sufficient, quality radio spectrum suitable for Public Safety use deters technological innovation, diminishes the responsiveness and effectiveness of Public Safety, and ultimately compromises the safety of the responding officers and of the very individuals seeking their help.

    That's from the Final Report Of The Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PDF), ironically presented to Congress on Sept. 11, 1996, five years to the day before New York had to deal with the exact same problem once again. The federal government had been slow to deal with this issue basically because of money and the revenue Congress expects to make auctioning off spectrum. The broadcast industry hasn't exactly rushed to relinquish the frequencies they will be giving back as the nation moves to high definition television, which is one of the reasons you haven't heard this issue discussed much on the brain vacuum.

    It is likely that widely accepted use of commercial services may take longer than five years. The need for spectrum to provide interoperability is immediate, and the alternatives for short-term solutions are limited.

    Public safety cannot afford to wait five or more years for spectrum relief assistance from the commercial sector as a solution to pressing interoperability problems today. By the time commercial services become more widely used for Public Safety applications, the amount of spectrum needed to accommodate yet-to-be-discovered applications will likely increase with those new requirements.

    But Giuliani was willing to wait five years for the federal government to act. Nothing prevented the City or State of New York from working out their local communications problems themselves, especially in light of the attacks that had already been carried out there and the ample evidence of inadequacies. The Republicans like to say that we can all spend money better than the federal government, but the Republican mayor and governor of New York were perfectly willing to pass this job off to Washington. The results speak for themselves:

    A NYPD helicopter pilot reported early, before the fall of the South Tower, that the North Tower was going to fall, but the fire chiefs did not hear of this. When the pilot saw that the South Tower was falling his announcement to police command was instant, and police command issued a forceful and robust order to evacuate the remaining building and to move all department vehicles to safety. Notwithstanding that this was a successful communication that resulted in the saving of many lives, the fire chiefs did not hear this order.

    The command of the North Tower was covered with debris when the South Tower fell, and Chief Joseph Pfeifer, in complete darkness, gave the order, "All units in Tower One evacuate the building."

    Just how many firefighters escaped in the twenty-nine minutes from Chief Pfeiffer's order is not certain, but we do know that one police officer, at least five Port Authority police officers, and 121 firefighters were killed when the second tower collapsed. Others were killed on the street, including four ESU 5 officers and a number of other firefighters who had successfully evacuated the building. -- 9/11 testimony of Dennis Smith, June 19, 2004 (PDF)

    We ask these brave men and women to risk their lives when the unimaginable happens. Is it too much to ask that they have the proper equipment to do the job? Giuliani and the superficial media may believe that he owns 9/11, but he wasn't willing to own the responsibility of providing for his own first responders. If he and his former GOP governor and administration want to own 9/11, they can start by accepting responsibility for the lack of effective communications systems.

    Giuliani says he knows more about the threat of terrorism than anybody. I'd be willing to bet every single firefighter in New York (and Minneapolis) has forgotten more than he'll ever know.

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    Friday, August 03, 2007

    The Golden State

    (Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

    Have you heard the one about the liberal plot to use the issue of Global Warming to seize power?

    Isn't it amazing? As soon as the Democrats go from the minority to the majority, the Republicans stop calling them the "party of no ideas" to the "party of the craziest, most sinister ideas, ever." Who could have predicted that?

    Well, I'll show you an example of how the issue of Global Warming is being brazenly used for political purposes at the expense of the least fortunate. What a shock to learn it's the GOP putting their own interests ahead of the truly needy.

    California's state budget is over a month late because the GOP refuses to pass it. Why? They don't like what Jerry Brown is doing to clean up California's environmental policies.

    The two-thirds majority required to pass a state spending plan gives the Republican minority leverage during budget negotiations that it lacks the rest of the year.

    It is using that leverage to try win concessions on several other issues. In addition to eliminating the deficit, Republicans are seeking changes on other issues that are not directly related to the budget process.

    For example, they want assurances that billions of dollars in transportation bond money approved last year by voters will be spent as intended in the ballot measure. They also are trying to rein in efforts by Attorney General Jerry Brown, who has been pressuring local governments to address the negative effects on global warming of their various development projects.

    Republicans fear Brown's actions hold the potential to delay or stop housing and road projects.

    Schwarzenegger said he was willing to address that issue later but told reporters, "It shouldn't be part of the budget."

    Without a signed budget, the state controller's office said it could not pay $326.6 million to community colleges; $170 million to school districts for programs such as special education and summer school; $140 million to companies that sell products to the state; and $300 million to preschool and day care programs.

    Controller John Chiang said he will be unable to pay $2.1 billion due in August unless there is a budget agreement by the end of the month.

    On Wednesday, one of the GOP senators, Abel Maldonado, voted with the Democrats to try to pass the budget, but it still came up one vote short. To fully appreciate how hard the GOP is playing here, understand that Gov. Schwarzenegger has line-item veto power and offered to remove parts of the budget that the GOP senators found objectionable. They turned him down.

    This isn't about fiscal responsibility, but then, it never is. The Republicans love spending taxpayer money, just not on services for the less fortunate. They are playing with people's lives, fragile lives, and they don't seem to care at all. How else can you describe this kind of avarice?

    At nursing homes, the cash crunch threatens not only their ability to pay staff but to buy essential supplies, such as food for elderly residents.

    Eduardo Gonzalez, who with his wife owns the Fillmore Convalescent Center in Fillmore, said their food supplier may soon stop delivery. Of the home's 88 patients, 64 are on state-funded Medi-Cal.


    Small homes for developmentally disabled adults are another immediate casualty of the state budget fight. They rely completely on state funding.

    Bob Horrigan runs 19 homes, each with six beds, in La Verne and throughout San Bernardino County. He said he had suspended all repairs on vans, houses and wheelchairs, and soon would be unable to pay his employees. He and his wife, who together own the homes, are exploring ways to borrow money. But Horrigan said that his bank is balking and that other potential sources of money carry steep interest rates.

    "Times like this you get money wherever you can," he said. "You alienate your family. You go behind on your mortgages."


    The inability of the state to cover its bills is equally hard on the thousands of in-home child-care providers whose clients pay them with state subsidies. The caregivers, many already living on the margins themselves, rely on the state checks to pay their own rent and utility bills. This week the checks stopped coming.

    "They will eventually get the money, but they need it right now to pay the rent," said Cliff Marcussen, the executive director of Options, a West Covina nonprofit that facilitates state payments to 1,000 child-care providers.

    The state has suspended the subsidies for more than 250,000 children.

    "Without payment from the state very soon, our programs — full of children of low-income parents — will have to close, leaving them with no child care," Kathy Lafferty, North President for the Child Development Administrators Assn., said in a written statement. "How does this serve the people of California or its businesses?"

    Even if some of the larger institutions that provide state services are able to weather the budget impasse, many of the small businesses that are a backbone of their operations may not.

    "I'm already living on borrowed time, as far as my bills, insurance and payroll," said Daniel Rojas, general manager of Midway Care Medical Transportation, an Artesia company that shuttles about 300 dialysis patients from their homes or nursing facilities to treatment centers. Rojas, who employs 25 people, said 95% of his funding comes from the state. He is frantically trying to secure a bridge loan, but his prospects are uncertain.

    "If this doesn't get settled by the 10th, I would have to shut the doors down," Rojas said. "It's going to put us out of business."

    There you have it: The Grover Norquist Republican Party. Dialysis patients and low-income children, used as pawns because the GOP doesn't approve of Jerry Brown and his environmental agenda.

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    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Here comes another one

    (Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

    Just two weeks ago, we read this chapter in the closing-the-barn-door-too-late saga of the Bush years:

    "Many of us feel very badly burned because of what both Justice Alito and Justice Roberts told us about their belief in stare decisis," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a Judiciary Committee member who voted against both nominees. "So we will be very very cautious with respect to the next nominee — very cautious."

    Feinstein supported a filibuster of Alito, after initially opposing it. She seems, from her votes and the above statement, to understand that Bush's nominees are willing to say anything to get a lifetime appointment to the nation's top courts. And, once there, they promptly go to work dismantling the progress America has made towards equal justice.

    When Bush narrowly won reelection and the GOP controlled Congress, they were quick to throw the word "mandate" around. Today, Congress is completely in Democratic control and the president is as unpopular as any in history. One would think that his nominees would be more reflective of the nation as a whole. At a minimum, one would think that the nominee would be representative of the state from which he or she hails.

    But it's George W. Bush we're talking about so, naturally, the nominee the Senate Judiciary Committee considered today is Leslie Southwick, Bush's third choice for the Fifth Circuit Court. His first two picks for this seat -- Charles Pickering and Michael B. Wallace -- didn't make it out of committee.

    If the Republicans want to take advantage of their opportunity to fill these seats, they should have to present candidates that don't just satisfy the National Review and Wall St. Journal editorial boards. Especially in light of the fact that there's a distinct possibility that the next president will be a Democrat.

    Here's what kind of move to the middle Bush was willing to make:

    In 1998, Southwick joined a ruling in an employment case that upheld the reinstatement, without any punishment whatsoever, of a white state employee who was fired for calling an African American co-worker a "good ole nigger." The court's decision effectively ratified a hearing officer's opinion that the slur was only "somewhat derogatory" and "was in effect calling the individual a 'teacher's pet.'" The Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision.

    In 2001, Southwick joined a ruling that upheld a chancellor's decision to take an eight-year-old girl away from her mother and award custody to the father, who had never married the mother, largely because the mother was living with another woman in a "lesbian home." Southwick went even further by joining a gratuitously anti-gay concurrence which extolled Mississippi's right under "the principles of Federalism" to treat "homosexual persons" as second-class citizens. The concurrence suggested that sexual orientation is a choice and stated that an adult is not "relieved of the consequences of his or her choice" – e.g. losing custody of one's child.

    At the confirmation hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin asked Southwick for an example of when he stepped up to defend the powerless and he couldn't think of a single example. Today, Durbin revealed that he, in fairness, asked Southwick for an answer in writing, to give the nominee time to think of a good example. Again, Southwick was unable to think of a single episode.

    The "Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Magnolia Bar Association, Mississippi NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Society of American Law Teachers, Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Alliance for Justice and People for the American Way among others" have all expressed their opposition to Southwick's nomination.

    But Sen. Feinstein had a meeting with Southwick and he assured her that he is "not outside the mainstream." Despite her promise to be "very, very cautious" with Bush's nominees, Feinstein voted with the unanimous GOP to send Southwick's nomination to the Senate for a vote. When she announced her vote, she conceded that she "could be wrong" and that "maybe" she's been wrong before.

    This president and his nominees have zero credibility on civil rights and most other issues. Why is Feinstein trusting them now?

    UPDATE: Of course, I'm not surprised by Feinstein, just frustrated. Just had to add that since the comments at Digby's showed people really think I was expecting more from her.

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