Thursday, January 19, 2006

Somebody, please, do away with this bitch

I've had it with Senator Clinton. She's the worst kind of warmongering hawk, a hawk in liberal's clothing, trolling for votes without principle. God, I hate her.

Not quite as promised

I told you I'd present an analysis of the Supreme Court's "assisted suicide" decision when the opinions were available. They're here, and I did indeed write a long post evaluating the three opinions (Kennedy for the 6 in the majority), plus dissents by Scalia and Thomas, with the Chief concurring with Scalia. But Blogger ate my post and, alas, I didn't save it and haven't the inclination to re-present it in its entirety.
So here's the upshot: Most of the differences between majority and dissent were over statutory and regulatory interpretation and power, with the majority restricting both and the supposed "conservatives" arguing for expansive definitions and intent of federal law. First of all, that's counter-intuitive, right? Second, the dissents were willing to adopt a definition of "medical practice" as "curative" related to the body solely (think Terry Schiavo), whereas the majority didn't pretend to make that judgment, holding that the Attorney General had no such power under the statute. So, what appears to me is that if the issue is a doctrinairre one (medical marijuana, right-to-die, abortion) the conservatives are willing to grant the feds wide authority over Americans' conduct; but if the issue is commerce, they're careful to leave business alone.

Why am I surprised?

In case you missed it

and I'm not surprised you did, given the MSM's inattention to the bloodbath in Iraq, here are a few items from the last couple of days: (1) a killing field north of Baghdad caused by US troops detouring Iraqis to off a main highway--forty Iraqis dead; (2) two bombs in Baghdad kill 23 and wound 26; (3) Iraqi army recruits attacked north of Baghdad--34 dead.

Iraq is a smaller in area and population than California. Can you imagine what condition we'd be in--and what the talking heads would be talking about--if even 1/10 of that carnage happened in this state?


I'm thinking... Army's maximum enlistment age upped to 40; enlistment bonus increased to $40,000. I'm 65 and could certainly use some cash. At this rate, by the time I'm 80, they'll reach my age and with the commensurate bonus increases, they could tweak my interest. What the hell, I've always wanted to travel in the Middle East, and by then the safest way--probably the only way--to do so will be by armored Humvee.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A tiny bump on the way to dictatorship

Today the Supreme Court, 6-3, upheld Oregon's "assisted suicide" law, ruling that Ashcroft didn't have the authority to criminalize doctors' prescription of drugs that ended patients' lives. It was a definite rebuff, some have styled it a rebuke, of the Bush administration's position that it's entitled to control by any and all means any Americans' conduct not favored by the Christian Right.
Well, maybe. But mark this: the three dissenters were Scalia, Thomas (known fascists) and--guess who?--Roberts, their new fellow-brownshirt. With the addition of a fourth fascist(appropriately, given Mussolini's second-rate status), an Italian-descent Alito, that decision would have been 5-4.
After I've read the opinion, I'll comment on the dissents (Roberts didn't write one, hiding for the moment behind the skirts of Scalia and Thomas). But this much is certain: We're in for an ugly, ugly time, we liberals and, for that matter, Americans. Anthony Kennedy, a decent guy but no moderate, is going to be the new swing vote on the Court, which means it's going to be a long, long decade.

Say goodnight to Knight-Ridder

Reporting like this has characterized Knight-Ridder's work in Iraq. Rare, almost unique, among major reporters. Some British and Canadian sources--The Independent, the Scotsman, The Telegraph, Reuters--dig around for truth, but not the US MSM, not ever. It's my recollection that UPI--previously a decent wire service--was recently taken over by the Washington Times, a Bush-supporting rag owned by the Rev. Sun Yung Moon's companies; and now I hear that Knight-Ridder might be taken over by one of the MSM conglomerates, Gannet Publishing, that owns many papers, including USA Today. So--how to get the news anymore? The Internet, a few radio stations--KPFK locally, and a few reports from the banal Air America--and that's about it.

Does it begin to feel like 1938 Germany?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What's the value of dried powder?

Until I read this NYT editorial about Bush's two most recent attempts to exercise dictatorial powers (I'd known about them before, just didn't patch them together), I was of the "keep our powder dry" school with respect to the Judge Alito nomination: a filibuster would waste public support for the Democrats, I thought, and wouldn't prevail in any event. But now I'm not sure that the powder's worth saving. Alito, loosed in the Supreme Court with the fascists Thomas, Scalia and Roberts, tempered only by Kennedy's vote, could empower Bush to do almost anything in furtherance of the "war on terror." What good is dry powder if the war's already lost?


Here (read the first comment, too) is a possible outcome of the situation in Iran, with the trigger being Iran's announced intention to start and oil bourse in March. Hold onto your hats. And your your duct tape.