SocraticGadfly: 8/13/06 - 8/20/06

August 19, 2006

Lamont latest Democrat to not get it, and underestimate Rove

Josh Marshall, in not so many words, says Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont was asleep at the wheel in underestimating Karl Rove, to the degree Rove had a role in getting Joe Lieberman’s independent campaign off to a hot start.
Anyway, the Joe cult aside, I'm more and more getting the sense that Ned Lamont just didn't get, coming off last Tuesday's win, that he was still very much the underdog and had maybe a week to thoroughly dispatch Joe from the race. But he didn't. From what I can tell he went on vacation to Maine right after the primary. And he was scarce for like a week after the primary.

Lieberman, on the hand, went basically beserk right after the vote, which of course he had to do, to make absolutely sure that everyone realized that, as far as he was concerned, his primary loss meant nothing more than a difference in the way he'd be identified on the ballot in November. He was still the senator, still running for reelection. News of his demise had been greatly exaggerated, and so forth.

As Josh’s reader/guest blogger DK plainly says in this post, “Rove is the carnival barker.

Let’s assume that, as I believe is the case, Lieberman and Rove had some sort of contact before the Democratic primary. Given the stridency with which Lieberman was making these noises, shouldn’t Lamont and his camp have operated under the assumption Lieberman had Rove contact, too? And shouldn’t Lamont have been under the assumption that Lieberman, even without Rove help, would have hit the ground running?

DK again:
Look, one of the Dems' problems in recent years is an inability to walk and chew gum at the same time. Rove Republicans throw everything but the kitchen sink into various electoral strategies.


Of course, the DSCC can also be faulted for being asleep at the switch, if not worse. The “worse” is evident when you have former staff from New York Sen. Charles Schumer now working for Lieberman.

Seen: “Condi in ’08”

I just saw my first “Condi in ’08” bumper sticker. Doorknob, spare us all.

I’m afraid she would incorporate the worst of Bush hard-headedness and Cheney conspiratorial delusionism with enough of a dash of neocon wet dreams of running the table in the Middle East to truly be scary.

Of course, that’s not the scariest thing right there.

Picture Condi vs. Hillary. If that’s not enough to:
A. Make you call American or United to find out where you can buy your own stock of barf bags, and
B. Make you vote Green,
What is?

Picture that. The worst of BushCo’s foreign policy screw-ups, personified, vs. a pseudo-liberal panderer who exemplies a lot of what’s wrong with today’s Democratic party.

August 18, 2006

George W. Bush: I am the hereditary king

Our clueless and dictatorial (bad combination) CEO president claimed that people who supported U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s ruling that National Security Agency warrantless wiretapping is unconstitutional “simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live.”

Wrong. Rather, HE simply doesn’t understand the constitutional world in which we live. He and his neocon buddies have been so fond of parroting the phrase “rule of law” in conjunction with the invasion of Iraq and other matters of foreign affairs.

Well, Judge Taylor’s ruling said, “THIS is the rule of law in the United States of America.”

And, as far as “the world in which we live,” how many times must we repeat Ben Frankin’s injunction to value liberty more than liberty-lessening “security” before the portion of Red Staters less than total knuckleheads actually starts getting it?

George W. Bush is NOT the hereditary king. Out of some mix of self-righteousness, Messianic delusision, cluelessness and assumption of the mantle of a family legacy, he has clearly shown himself to be the court jester, but that’s another thing entirely.

August 17, 2006

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus

And put Anna Diggs Taylor on my Christmas card list

The federal district judge ruled that the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program was unconstitutional.
“Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution,” Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.

As an actual, living, breathing, card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, this is a red-letter day. And ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero certainly agrees.
“At its core, today's ruling addresses the abuse of presidential power and reaffirms the system of checks and balances that's necessary to our democracy,” Romero told reporters after the ruling.

He called the opinion “another nail in the coffin in the Bush administration’s legal strategy in the war on terror.”

A bit unfortunately, while this is more than a half a loaf, it’s not a full loaf. Judge Taylor dismissed the part of the ACLU’s suit filed against the NSA’s phone record data mining. She said not enough had been publicly revealed about the program to address the issue of state secrets involved with this and the potential for damaging them.

And, at the same time, let’s not forget Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and the other Democrats who voted to confirm the man who started this all, former NSA head Michael Hayden, to run the CIA.

August 16, 2006

More photos are up

I have just posted a folder from Redwoods National Park and the start of another from coastal California, which includes beauties such as the above picture from Cape Mendocino.

How could NASA lose this???

Neil Armstrong vanishes into the ozone

NASA recently announced it had lost the original recording of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

A NASA spokesman said the tape was part of 700 boxes of missing tape from all Apollo missions. And, worse, he said the agency had no clear paper trail on the Apollo 11 tape since the late 1970s.

Plus, it doesn’t sound like NASA knows for sure if or when it made either tape backups, or later, digital ones, of any of this equipment.


Also, why isn’t the original tape, or at least a very good copy, in the Smithsonian?

August 15, 2006

Romanelli, Pennsylvania Greens need to clearly disavow fraudulent GOP help

If, indeed, it turns out to be fraudulent.

A week ago, I cried foul over Pennsylvania Democrats’ attempt to keep Green Party Senate candidate Carl Romanelli off the ballot.

But that was before allegations not just of the GOP helping get petition signatures, but of obtaining fraudulent ones.

If the Democratic charges are true, Romanelli and the state Green Party needs to immediately disavow this type of help. The Green Party needs to strenuously avoid devolving into little more than a more progressive version of the two current major parties.

First vacation pictures are up

This picture, from Olympic National Park’s coastal section, should give you an idea of some of the nature I saw during my recent vacation. I have two “2006 Summer Vacation” albums up on my Yahoo Photos page, linked in the rail on the right-hand side here. One is from Olympic and the other from a mix of Lassen Volcanic, Crater Lake and Rainier national parks.

August 14, 2006

Life at the office: We get nutbar calls

A local developer, one not part of a national group, called earlier today to complain about a story I had in last week’s paper.

The story was about the first nine months of city police officers here in Lancaster, Texas, doing state truck inspections, after having been appropriately trained, and the city being certified by the state as being eligible to do such work.

The lady said that this was only one side of the story, that the lower weight limits mandated on side streets, and being enforced now, were why the city didn’t have more restaurants, retail stores, etc. And so on she went in a largely conspiratorial vein, including asking about my political affiliation, etc.

Finally, this Pat Buchanon-type paleoconservative who, I presume, like any good Texas Republican, stereotypes trial lawyers (i.e. civil trial lawyers and lawsuits against businesses) as the devil and Antichrist, threatened to sue me if I had anything derogatory about her in this week’s paper.

Tag this one under “hypocrisy.”