SocraticGadfly: 5/22/05 - 5/29/05

May 28, 2005

Intelligent Design — more reason to loathe the Smithsonian

As if Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small’s egregious violation of endangered species regulations, and his refusal to resign for it, aren’t enough reason for Smithsonian’s moral stock to be tanking, we now have the Smithsonian showing a Discovery Institute “documentary” for a paltry $16,000 donation like some cheap whore.
When asked whether the announcement on the Discovery Institute's Web site meant to imply that the museum supports the film and the event, (Discovery Institute President Bruce) Chapman replied:
“We are not implying in any sense that they endorsed the content, but they are co-sponsoring it, and we are delighted. We're not claiming anything more than that. They certainly didn't say, ‘We’re really warming up to intelligent design, and therefore we're going to sponsor this.’”
I repeat what I said over the Small non-resignation — the only way to get the Smithsonian’s attention is to threaten membership cancellations, or better yet, actually doing that, then letting them be on the dime.

In the wake of the Richard Sternberg fiasco over intelligent design, are folks at the Smithsonian really that clueless?

May 25, 2005

Kroger gets an environmental thumbs-up

I just discovered that my Kroger, at least, pays you 5 cents a bag for using your own bags at their store. Now, if we can get more stores to do this.

Was the filibuster compromise a Democratic win?

I don’t think it is a win; at best it’s a draw with a bit of a bump.

Here’s some of my random thoughts.

Ohio GOP Sen. Mike DeWine, one of the 14 compromisers, says he will have no hesitation in working to ban filibusters if he thinks Democrats are using them for non-extraordinary means.

Then he says: “We don't think we're going to get there.” Why not? Everybody is saying William G. Myers or Henry Saad will be filibustered or withdrawn. South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham was even saying one of the next three judges — Priscilla R. Owen, Janice Rogers Brown or William H. Pryor Jr. — will be voted down.

But, don’t you think Karl Rove’s calling Graham to the woodshed right now? You know Bush is not going to withdraw any nominees. So are Graham and five other Republican Senators actually going to vote against a Bush nominee?

Puhleeze. I’ve got some Lindsey Graham South Carolina desert to sell you in that case.

Besides, DeWine, didn’t promise they’d be voted down. He ust left the door open to a filibuster, and that on Saad or Myers, not one of the first three — and also left the door open to his vote to eliminate the filibuster if he thinks Democrats aren’t using it responsibly enough.

So, the “moderates” on the Democratic side have made their party hostage to however Republicans define good behavior.
At best, we have a cease-fire over nominees that have been in the confirmation pipeline for some time. After that, when we get to Supreme Court nomination time, who can say?

What if Bush and Rove get really Machiavellian, even to moderate Republicans, and renominate Robert Bork? Admittedly, that’s not likely, but given this White House, it’s not impossible, either.

Aside from the Bork scenario, given the vagaries of gerontology, etc. re SCOTUS, the question is: delayed until WHEN?

If it’s uncomfortably close to the 2006 general election season, then moderate GOPers might just make a visit up to the White House and insist Bush pull in his horns.

But, what if Rove pulls what the GOP in the Senate essentially did to LBJ in ’68, after letting Fortas wither on the vine?

If Rove/Bush simply say, “We’ll wait six months to make a nomination,” then it’s post-2006, but a hot potato, hand grenade, etc. for 2008 GOP primaries, in which case, Frist ain’t seen nothing yet from the Christian right.

Stay tuned, kids.