October 2005

2005 10 31
Pardon watch, Part I

The New York Sun wants Bush to pardon Libby.

I assume this will be an ongoing series.

Via my favourite wingnuts.

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2005 10 30
Cock up your beaver

Posted by in: Odds and ends

I have nothing to say today, so I’ll just point you over to more beaver blogging.

Good lord, I’m so very immature.

Howls of outrage (2)

2005 10 28

Well, I told you so. Or at least, I’ve got the most important part right so far. My guess was always “Libby with an assist from Rove.” But here’s the problem: As I’ve argued before, Libby has absolutely no reason to make a deal. That’s because Libby is surely confident that George W. Bush will pardon him on any convictions. He will. He just will. And everyone knows it. So if Fitzgerald needs Libby to bring down Rove, he’s not going to be able to do it. Hell, I practically wet myself if a traffic cop looks at me sideways and I wouldn’t be nervous in Libby’s shoes.

Still hoping for more Fitzmas presents though. Perhaps the case against Rove won’t depend on getting anything out of Libby. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

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2005 10 28
Bizzaro World Belle on SSM

I find opposition to same-sex marriage so infuriating that I usually just want to walk away from a debate about the issue before I punch someone in the nose. (See here and here, for slightly more restrained statements of my opinion.) Still, I think Belle Waring’s exercise of attempting to develop as sympathetic as possible a view of the anti-SSM position is a very helpful one. If I weren’t so pressed for time, I would actually address the points she makes. Since I am pressed for time, let me just make this far more modest point: She really has nothing at all to apologize for. A really important part of thinking about an issue is sympathetically reconstructing various positions you disagree with. And I think the way she engaged in the exercise was spirited, but it wasn’t flip or casual or mean-spirited.

Indeed, I think the blogosphere would be a better place if everyone were obliged to write at least one bizzaro world post for every five regular posts on any given subject.

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2005 10 28
Calling “a spade a cake fork”

Posted by in: Iran, Political issues

Ahmadinejad’s words are a threat, not a slur.

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2005 10 28
All about beavers

Posted by in: Odds and ends

Beavers, beavers, beavers, beavers, beavers, beavers.

Sometimes you just get on a roll.

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2005 10 28
Keeping it in perspective

Victor Davis Hanson wants us to keep it all in perspective:

AS the aggregate number of American military fatalities in Iraq has crept up over the past 13 months – from 1,000 to 1,500 dead, and now to 2,000 – public support for the war has commensurately declined. With the nightly ghoulish news of improvised explosives and suicide bombers, Americans perhaps do not appreciate that the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the effort to establish a democratic government in Iraq have been accomplished at relatively moderate cost – two-thirds of the civilian fatalities incurred four years ago on the first day of the war against terrorism.

I love “the effort to establish” here. That must be what Hanson thinks has been accomplished at a relatively moderate cost: the effort. Of course the actual establishment has been botched, probably beyond repair. Which is one reason that we might doubt whether it’s worth so many lives. There’s also a rich irony in being lectured about context and perspective by someone who casually runs together civilian deaths on 9/11 with casualties in the Iraq War.

Anyway, what I’d really like to say is this: Fuck you, editors of the NYT. Why didn’t you hide this crap beyond the “Times Select” so that I couldn’t read it? You know it only upsets me.

Howls of outrage (4)

2005 10 27
So you mean she *is* willing to disagree with him?

Posted by in: Law and the courts

Miers’s withdrawal letter:

However, I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country.

Perhaps in the future we’ll be refering to the Miers Principle:

I have steadfastly maintained that the independence of the Executive Branch be preserved and its confidential documents and information not be released to further a confirmation process. I feel compelled to adhere to this position, especially related to my own nomination. Protection of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch and continued pursuit of my confirmation are in tension. I have decided that seeking my confirmation should yield.

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2005 10 27

Posted by in: Gadgets

I know they say that if robotics get too advanced, we might end up kowtowing to the orders of our artificial friends. But so soon?

A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2005 10 27

Posted by in: Baseball


Howls of outrage (4)

2005 10 26
I have left-handed ears

Posted by in: Psychology

Figures, since I’m (more or less) left-handed. What about you?

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2005 10 25
Patrick Cockburn on Baghdad Hotel Bombings


Even by the grim standards of Baghdad it was a big bomb. I was in a house on the other side of the Tigris river about half a mile away which had its windows blown out by the blast.

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2005 10 25
Libby/Cheney speculation

Swopa, who knows far, far more about the minutiae of the Plame case than I ever will, guesses that Libby handed over the notes incriminating Cheney as part of some sort of plea bargain. I agree that it does appear as if the notes were just handed over, and that it’s difficult to see any other motivation for it. Still, if I were Libby I would never go for it. Think: Bush is very likely to pardon anyone convicted in this mess. If you stay loyal to the team, keep your trap shut, and be a good boy, everything will work out for you. Hell, just look at what happened to the Iran-Contra goons. On the other hand, if you break and make a deal, you lose everything: social network, business network, everything.

Why would Libby break down and sell out Cheney now, when he has so many reasons to stay loyal to the team? There has to be a better explanation.

Howls of outrage (2)

2005 10 25

Posted by in: Political issues

Truly disgusting.


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2005 10 24
Recent Shows

Posted by in: Music

Last night I went to see Juliette and the Licks at the very fun Bowery Ballroom. The Juliette in question, in case you didn’t know she was also pursuing a career as a rocker, is Juliette Lewis, the actress.

It was a fun show. The music, I admit, wasn’t great. As both Nick (see sidebar) and his brother Dan pointed out, it was all pretty much the same tempo with the same feel, and with few really catchy hooks. Dynamics, man, dynamics! Nevertheless, the band was tight, and Lewis’s performance was so energetic and over-the-top that I found myself really enjoying the show. And I never noticed before, but goodness gracious me, Lewis is so very, very hot, in that sort of freaky, alpha-woman sort of way I know we all love. I was right up close to the front, off to stage left. But if you were at the show, I assure you I wasn’t the jackass screaming “Julliette!” repeatedly – I was standing in front of him, getting it screamed in my ear.

Which reminds me: In September, I saw a few other bands at the same venue. I’ve mentioned Frog Eyes before. The show was alright, but not as good as I’d hoped after listening to one of their albums 400 times.

A week after that show, I saw The National and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on the same evening. The National writes catchy, sappy tunes that I like without really respecting myself for it. My main objection to their recorded stuff is that it sounds a bit too processed. Live, they were much rougher around the edges, which I sort of found refreshing. On the other hand, perhaps they overdid it: the main singer had the worst time feel I’ve ever seen in a live performance.

CYHSY was awesome. If you’ve never heard them before, have a listen:

Upon this tidal wave of young blood (mp3)

Over and Over Again (Lost & Found) (mp3)

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