Marriage is love.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The (NYC) Jewish Week: Mississippi Healing?

For the Jews of red-clay country, Killen verdict signals a new beginning. But much work remains, they say.
Doug Chandler - Special To The Jewish Week

The memory all these years later — 41 years after Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were found buried in the red clay of Mississippi — is still chilling.

In 1964, Alfred Rosenbaum, who would later become the mayor of Meridian, Miss., and other members of the Jewish community were working to end segregation when civil rights workers from outside the area began showing up.


Now 85, Rosenbaum recalled the conversation he had with Schwerner in the lobby of a black-owned Meridian hotel just days before Schwerner and his two colleagues disappeared in nearby Philadelphia, Miss. It lasted only a few minutes.

The owner of the hotel, Rosenbaum remembered, urged him to warn Schwerner that he should leave the state for his own safety.

“I urged them not to do what they doing,” Rosenbaum said, referring to Schwerner and other civil rights workers from outside Mississippi. “I said, ‘If you’re lynched, I can’t unlynch you.’

The story, told to others in the past, surfaced again last week with the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen, the former Ku Klux Klan leader involved in the 1964 killings of Schwerner, 24, and his two companions, Chaney, 21, and Goodman, 20. Chaney was a local black man, while Schwerner and Goodman, both New York City natives, were Jewish.



Ha'aretz: 3 Stabbed at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

Religious Jewish assailant causes participants light, moderate wounds

Jerusalem's fourth annual gay pride parade was temporarily halted Thursday evening after a religious Jewish man stabbed three participants.

The assilant ran into the crowd, stabbed one man, moved on to a young woman stabbing her hand, and then lightly wounded a third man. Police arrested the assailant as well as 13 other religious protesters who were detained for disturbances of the peace.

Some 200 religious protesters faced off against 2,000 participants, according to police estimates.



Conservative Rabbis Speak Out for GLBT Jews

New group of Conservative rabbis seeks place for gays in movement
By Debra Rubin
June 30, 2005

WASHINGTON, June 30 (JTA) — Sympathetic to concerns of gay and lesbian Jews seeking a place in their movement, some Conservative rabbis are, in a way, coming out of the closet.

Some 100 rabbis from the United States, Europe and Israel signed on this month with a new group called Keshet-Rabbis.

The organization seeks to provide members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community with resources to help them find a welcoming place in Conservative Judaism. Rabbis open to giving guidance to gays and lesbians are listed on a Web site


BBC: Bolivia Gay Pride in Pictures

Bolivia Gay Pride in Pictures


BBC: British soccer fans scream "die Glazer die"

You can't tell me that this isn't anti-Semitism:

A senior policeman has defended his officers' actions after a protest by Manchester United fans opposed to the club's takeover turned violent

Fans were trying to stop new owner Malcolm Glazer's sons from leaving Old Trafford after their first visit. More than 100 officers were deployed as up to 500 protested on Wednesday night. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas said: "In our view, this was a violent demonstration that had the potential to become even more violent." Joel, Avi and Bryan Glazer eventually left the ground hidden in the back of a van. Two people were arrested.


Mr Thomas said hundreds of demonstrators built barricades blocking exits and the crowd erupted into violence, with bottles and bricks thrown.


Many of the fans chanted "die Glazer die" during the protest.



BOB HERBERT: Dangerous Incompetence

Published June 30, 2005 in The New York Times

"The president who displayed his contempt for Iraqi militants two years ago with the taunt "bring 'em on" had to go on television Tuesday night to urge Americans not to abandon support for the war that he foolishly started but can't figure out how to win."


"The incompetence at the highest levels of government in Washington has undermined the U.S. troops who have fought honorably and bravely in Iraq, which is why the troops are now stuck in a murderous quagmire. If a Democratic administration had conducted a war this incompetently, the Republicans in Congress would be dusting off their impeachment manuals."



Galloway Turns Anti-Semitism Into Electoral Strategy

British Leftist Pol Turns Anti-Israel Stance Into Electoral Strategy
July 1, 2005

George Galloway, a leftist British politician who recently launched his own party, never has been much of a supporter of Israel, but in the last two months his political star has risen after a series of confrontations with Jewish politicians.

First, in early May, Galloway won a seat in parliament by unseating Oona King, a black-Jewish member of the Labour Party who had supported the Iraq war. A few weeks later, he scored a political coup when he turned an appearance in front of a U.S. Senate committee into a chance to excoriate American leaders and the committee chairman, Jewish Republican Norm Coleman of Minnesota, over American policy in Iraq.

In his latest salvo, Galloway shifted his focus from Iraq to Israel when he challenged another Jewish member of Britain's parliament, Louise Ellman. Ellman is one of 21 Jews in the 646-person House of Commons, and vice chair of Labour Friends of Israel. At an appearance in Ellman's hometown of Liverpool last week, Galloway called Ellman "Israel's MP on Merseyside," referring to the city's river, and said his Respect Party would challenge her in the next elections, which will probably be in four years.



Richard Cohen: Echoes of Vietnam

Washington Post, Thursday, June 30, 2005; Page A23

About two years ago I sat down with a colleague and explained why Iraq was not going to be Vietnam. Iraq lacked a long-standing nationalist movement and a single charismatic leader like Ho Chi Minh. The insurgents did not have a sanctuary like North Vietnam, which supplied manpower, materiel and leadership, and the rebel cause in Iraq -- just what is it, exactly? -- was not worth dying for. On Tuesday President Bush proved me wrong. Iraq is beginning to look like Vietnam...


NOAH FELDMAN: A Church-State Solution

July 3, 2005 in the New York Times Magazine








If we could be more tolerant of sincere religious people drawing on their beliefs and practices to inform their choices in the public realm, and at the same time be more vigilant about preserving our legacy of institutional separation between government and organized religion, the shift would redirect us to the uniqueness of the American experiment with church and state. Until the rise of legal secularism, Americans tended to be accepting of public, symbolic manifestations of faith. Until values evangelicalism came on the scene, Americans were on the whole insistent about maintaining institutional separation. These two modern movements respectively reversed both those trends.

The novelty of these developments does not mean they are wrong, of course. But in an America grown so religiously diverse that it can no longer easily be called ''Judeo-Christian,'' we need to learn from our history if we are to have any hope of constructing a single nation that will endure. Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus will have to join Protestants, Catholics, Jews and atheists in finding a resolution to our church-state problem that all can embrace. A solution that will work for our generation must bind us to the past. But like all successful nation-building, it will work only if it also sets a foundation for our future.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

This is who is in it, you apathetics??

Read, PLEASE, folks, and then, think, and then...for GOD's SAKES - ACT!!!

This man is running your country!!!

Karl Rove

It's hard to imagine how Karl Rove's appearance could fit his role any more perfectly than it does.

Portly, balding, malicious, simpering, he looks like a cross between Sesame Street's Mr. Hooper and the Third Reich's Heinrich Himmler. And he acts like a cross between Heinrich Himmler and Henry Kissinger. Whom he also looks like. And not in a good way.

Oh yeah, he's a man who compromised national security, putting lives of American agents in danger. Wait, I forgot a word there. What was it? Oh, I remember! Allegedly.

Rove is an old-school political operator who would have been right at home working on Huey Long's campaign. Of course, Long did a lot of good things for his constituents, to offset the sleaze and corruption. Rove's protege, George W Bush, has a ways to go in that regard.

Rove was a "Young Republican" back when being a Young Republican wasn't cool (a historical era ranging from 1959 through the present). As a student at the prestigious University of Utah, Rove (who still had hair at the time) teamed up with a young Lee Atwater to seize control of the College Republicans political club in the early 1970s.

By all accounts, the race for the coveted chairmanship of the meaningless College Republicans organization was a portent of things to come. According to the Washington Post, the two men executed a balls-to-the-wall campaign to put Rove in the catbird's seat, and once there, he wasted no time getting his group involved in dirty tricks on behalf of Richard M Nixon's 1972 campaign. You may remember that campaign, it was the beginning of Watergate.

Oxymoronically, Rove dropped out of college to become executive director of the College Republicans, all the while practicing dirty tricks on behalf of the candidates of his choice. According the Post, these tricks included identity theft, petty larceny and campaign fraud. Rove characterized these felonies and misdemeanors as a "youthful prank."

A political visionary, Rove recognized early on that he had the opportunity to leech onto not one, but two failed, third-rate presidents in the form of what is comically referred to as the "Bush Dynasty." Rove worked as an assistant to George Bush Sr. in the Republican National Committee during what is arguably the lowest point in the history of the Republican Party, the aftermath of the Nixon presidency.

For the next decade or so, Rove kept his nose buried up the ass of the nearest Bush. He helped George Jr. embarrass himself in a 1978 congressional bid, then bailed out of Bush Sr.'s first and failed presidential bid in 1979.

He maintained a close buddyship with the future president Junior, however. In a high point of Time Magazine's history of powerful journalistic coverage, a 2001 report revealed that George W. Bush's pet name for Rove is "Turd Blossom." No, really.

Rove helped Bush Jr. transform himself from rich-dilletante wastrel into rich-dilletante-wastrel-with-power in 1994, acting as his political adviser in Dubya's successful run for Texas governor. According to ABC News, more than half of the campaign's nearly $1 million budget went to Rove. Considering the challenge of making Bush look good, the sum was probably not out of line.

Rove's tactics tend toward making politics more about playing percentages than kissing babies. An early adopter of direct mail and targeted computer lists, Rove is widely credited with making the Texas GOP the cash cow is today. He also specialized in converting conservative Democrats who were already Republicans in every meaningful sense into Republicans in name as well, including arch-conservative and failed presidential candidate Phil Gramm, who suspiciously resembles a much thinner version of Rove himself.

Brought in to shepherd Junior to his rightful place as chief executive of the last superpower, Rove was largely responsible for creating the veneer of "compassionate conservatism" that led George Jr. to his triumphant loss in the 2000 presidential election.

First, Rove and his little buddy had to beat off a surprise primary challenge from charismatic war hero John McCain, whose sacrifices in a military prison camp in Vietnam looked all the more impressive against Bush's no-show National Guard travesty. Rove conducted a whisper-campaign to spread sleaze, pushing ridiculous allegations, such as that McCain was a stoolie while imprisoned in Vietnam. Rove was reputedly the brains behind a sleazy e-mail forward that alleged McCain had fathered an illegitimate black daughter, a lie which was "proven" by actual pictures of McCain with his black daughter, whom he had actually adopted.

Obviously, McCain should have been drinking and snorting coke throughout the '70s, rather than serving his country, enduring torture and adopting children. Bush trampled the challenger handily, and moved on to the general election, where he faced Vice President Al Gore.

Despite running against the stiffest Democratic candidate since Adlai Stevenson, Dubya couldn't quite clear the hurdle in the nationwide popular vote, which he lost by a margin five times larger than Nixon lost to Kennedy in 1960. But the pesky little electoral college thing sank Gore, thanks to Jeb and Florida. As early as Labor Day, Rove was doing the usual political dance and predicting it would be a close race. And how close it was! As mentioned above, Gore won the popular vote by a small but convincing margin. However, the electoral college — which actually dictates who will become president — was right down to the wire. The outcome of the election rode on the election results in Florida, which Gov. Jeb Bush had promised to "deliver" for his brother.

You all remember Florida. We won't beat it to death again here. Karl Rove's role in Florida was "damage control," and there was a lot of damage to control. Rove's basic public strategy consisted of "we won, so leave us alone." Voting irregularities, mandated recounts -- these things were trivia, bureaucracy, Democratic dirty tricks. "We won" was the message of the day.

Privately, of course, the Bush team was far from certain that they had, in fact, won. Jeb Bush promised to stay out of the recount debate, and instead entrusted it to his political appointees, who lived for no other reason than to curry favor. Rove didn't like the looks of this, so he stacked the deck in every conceivable way.

Among the tactics he employed: Loading Republican operatives from Washington, D.C., onto a bus and sending them to Florida, where they played the part of "angry mob" shouting and intimidating the hapless bureaucrats who had been lumped with the unenviable job of evaluating the ballots. Ah, those youthful pranks!

In the end, Bush came out on top, of course, catapulting Rove into a position of power that few Mr. Hooper-lookalikes have ever achieved. Although the White House repeatedly insisted that Rove had no policy-making role, the advice of his "White House Office of Strategic Initiatives" was sought on virtually every major decision that Bush administration faced.

After September 11, Rove found himself feeling cranky, according to investigative reporter Bob Woodward. Rove was pissed off because he wasn't being allowed to sit in on National Security Council and war cabinet meetings. Bush and Dick Cheney were afraid the politico's presence would send the wrong message.

Bear in mind, it wasn't that Rove wasn't being consulted. He was consulted about every single thing that happened in the White House and every decision that emerged from the Oval Office. He just wasn't being allowed to sit at the meetings himself. He had to get his updates after the fact from Bush, Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

Despite his enormous power, Rove was mostly spared any real scrutiny by the mainstream media, which preferred to write with grudging admiration about his alleged political skills and chuckle over the "Turd Blossom" thing. By the time the Iraq invasion rolled around, Rove was back to sitting in the meetings.

His thoughtful evaluation (told to Woodward) of the ramifications of invading a sovereign country and deposing its leader? "The victor is always right."

Until late 2003, anyway, when an ugly little incident revealed just how dark the dark side of Karl Rove could be, in a burgeoning scandal that could have serious consequences for the Bush White House.

A former U.S. ambassador by the name of Joseph Wilson was one of the biggest political liabilities the White House faced in 2003. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger early in 2002 to investigate whether Iraq was trying to buy uranium there. Turns out, they weren't.

He reported this information back to the White House, which promptly ignored it. Bush cited the uranium story in his 2003 State of the Union address, Cheney cited it repeatedly, and the State Department cited it in several of its endless justifications for why the U.S. just had to invade Iraq.

When the war was "over" and still no Weapons of Mass Destruction had been found, Wilson pointed out to the media that he had TOLD the White House that there was no uranium purchase. He wrote about his fact-finding trip in the New York Times as well.

This did not please the White House. It was bad for politics, bad for poll numbers. And when the poll numbers are threatened, Karl Rove gets cranky. Homicidally cranky, apparently. Did I say apparently? I meant allegedly.

In July 2003, arch-conservative Robert Novak reported that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent, blowing her cover and endangering her life, not to mention national security. (Inexplicably, no one has gone after Novak over this issue.)

Wilson and his wife didn't take this lying down. They came out swinging. Wilson accused Rove of being the source for the leak that endangered his wife's life and destroyed her career.

"Rove is someone who at a minimum would have condoned it and certainly did nothing to knock it down for over a week after the article appeared. The outing of my wife was obviously a political or communications move. The head of the political operation is Karl Rove," Wilson told reporters.

In late September, the Justice Department launched a full criminal investigation into the leak, which is an aggravated felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine (which actually seems a little low for treasonous activity and political intimidation designed to silence political opposition and whistleblowing).

The White House has refused to speculate on the source of the leak. Not only has it refused it speculate, it's actually refused to care. Despite widespread outrage, the White House declined to launch an internal investigation of the leak, with a Bush flak saying that it was "ridiculous" to suggest Rove was involved, and that "there has been absolutely nothing brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement." I guess they don't get CNN on the cable system there.

Needless to say, the prospect of the Bush Justice Department investigating a Bush political operative doesn't thrill Democrats, who have already called for an independent counsel investigation.

Fortunately for Republicans, the party leadership cleverly disabused the nation about the worth of special prosecutors and impeachment proceedings a few years ago, when they hounded Bill Clinton into a constitutional crisis over blow jobs.

Considering the mounting list of actual scandals the Bushies are racking up, that strategy is proving to be prescient. Most Americans are about as thrilled at the prospect of a special prosecutor as they are at the prospect of a root canal.

In the meantime, just remember: don't cross Karl Rove. Whoops! We just did... dammit!


25 Dec 1950

Karl Rove born, Denver CO.


Karl Rove sneaks into the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and steals some letterhead. He then prints up 1,000 party invitations promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," which he then distributes to homeless shelters.


Drops out, University of Utah.


First person hired by the George HW Bush presidential campaign.


Starts political consulting firm Karl Rove & Co.

Mar 1991

Testifying under oath before the Texas Senate for an appointment to the Texas State University Board of Regents, Karl Rove prefigures Bill Clinton:


How long have you known an FBI agent by the name of Greg Rampton?


Ah, senator, it depends -- would you define "know" for me?


John Ashcroft campaign pays Karl Rove & Co. over $300,000 to help with his senate race. New York Times.


The George W Bush campaign effort pays Karl Rove & Co. $2.5M for July through December. According to Rove, "About 30 percent of that is postage."


Sells Karl Rove & Co..

Dec 2000

Signs a campaign disclosure form, but neglects to mention he is still President of Karl Rove & Co.

Mar 2001

White House political adviser Karl Rove meets with executives from Intel, seeking approval for a merger between a Dutch company and an Intel supplier. The government rubberstamps the deal, and Rove's $100,000 in Intel stock surges.

Apr 2001

Arnold Schwarzenegger meets with Bush political advisers to discuss whether the actor should run for Governor of California in 2002. Karl Rove says "That would be really nice. That would be really, really nice."

Jun 2001

White House political adviser Karl Rove meets with two pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. At the time, Rove holds almost $250,000 in drug industry stocks.

Jun 2001

White House political adviser Karl Rove meets with a group of Muslim activists including Sami Al-Arian.

12 Mar 2000

George W Bush and his wife Laura are photographed with Karl Rove, during a campaign stop at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

30 Jun 2001

White House political adviser Karl Rove divests his stocks in 23 companies, which included more than $100,000 in each Enron, Boeing, General Electric, and Pfizer.

30 Jun 2001

The White House admits that political adviser Karl Rove was involved in administration energy policy meetings, while at the same time holding stock in energy companies including Enron.

10 Apr 2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger meets with White House political adviser Karl Rove to discuss anything other than whether the actor should run for Governor of California in 2006.

14 May 2003

During a meeting with South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun, President George W Bush brings only two officials: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and political adviser Karl Rove.

29 Aug 2003

Retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson names Karl Rove as the White House insider who leaked his wife's identity as a CIA operative to the press.

28 Mar 2004

Several hundred supporters of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act pile out of school busses in front of Karl Rove's house in Washington D.C., swarming onto his front lawn and shouting for him to support the act. Rove appears briefly to order the mob off his property, at which point they rush his house, banging on the windows and doors. He finally agrees to talk to two representatives if the mob disperses; they do, and after a couple minutes of discussion he shuts the door on them midsentence.



From Shakespeare's Sister - go for it!

Hi, everyone. The big story tonight is an AP wire report “Blair: Downing Street Memos Distort Facts.”

It’s running everywhere; funny enough, it seems to be showing up in papers across the country that haven’t really covered the DSMs much at all, but suddenly Blair makes an attempt at discrediting them and it’s newsworthy. You can Google it to find a slew of papers running it, and here’s one link:

Anyway, he’s basically invoking the Cheney defense (

"I am a bit astonished at how this has received such coverage in the U.S. because the fact is, after the memo was done, we went to the United Nations," Blair said.

The problem with that, of course, is that the originally leaked memo states:

The NSC had no patience with the UN route…

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors…

The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

So his big attempt at discrediting the Memos is to say that because they did exactly what the Memos suggest they considered doing in order to make the war more politically palatable, somehow the Memos distort the facts. I guess trying to give people whiplash is their best option at this point. In any case, let’s make sure we point out how truly ridiculous such an explanation is.

Blogswarms away!


The Real Idiot Is ...

. . . Here.



Court Gestures
by Alexander Barnes Dryer in The New Republic

No one knows yet whether William Rehnquist plans to resign this week. But if he does, the stage will be set for the most contentious nomination battle since the Clarence Thomas hearings of 1991. That battle will in all likelihood provide Washington's primary political drama of the summer; and at the center of that drama will be the eighteen members of the Senate Judiciary Committee--ten Republicans and eight Democrats--each pursuing his own agenda, some nurturing their own aspirations to higher office. Below, TNR Online's guide to the committee members who will likely play the biggest parts.



Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Take action NOW!

From Mario:

Congressman John Conyers, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee are asking their colleagues in the House of Representatives to join them on the evening of June 28 to discuss the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of the House.They need our help. Please contact your Congress Member right away and ask them to contact the Judiciary Committee staff and commit to taking part.

Phone: 1-877-762-8762

the Media !

-- " It feels a hell of a lot better to try and lose than not to try at all. In any case I have to say that I don't really feel like we have lost. We only lose if we quit. There is an enormous amount of power in numbers, and we can still change this country (and that is exactly what we're going to do!)."

Howard Dean


Read, think, ACT!!

Ms. Julien


LA Times on Arlen Specter

By way of The Forward's Campaign Confidential

Ailing Arlen: What Does It Mean for Judges?


MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: Who Are Americans to Think That Freedom Is Theirs to Spread?


Around the world (and at home), America's long-held desire to export liberty and democracy is called hubristic, messianic, imperialistic and worse. But try imagining a world without it...


WP Editorial: Ten Opinions

Tuesday, June 28, 2005; Page A14

THE SUPREME Court's decisions yesterday on displays of the Ten Commandments on public property were not a model of clarity or judicial consensus. To resolve two cases, one from Texas and the other from Kentucky, the justices delivered 10 different opinions -- one, we suppose, for each commandment in the Decalogue. These ran the gamut from Justice John Paul Stevens's strict separation of church and state, under which both displays would have to be removed, to Justice Clarence Thomas's radical suggestion that the First Amendment's establishment clause does not apply to state governments at all. In the end, the court eschewed either a blanket prohibition or any general permission for Ten Commandments displays. One five-justice majority ruled the Kentucky display beyond the pale; another -- with Justice Stephen G. Breyer switching sides -- held that Texas's could remain. That general guidance is constructive.



Do We Really Need More Idols?

Christian Groups Plan More Monuments - Many Expect Confusion and Litigation on Ten Commandments to Continue
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; Page A06

Within hours of yesterday's Supreme Court decision allowing a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol, Christian groups announced a nationwide campaign to install similar displays in 100 cities and towns within a year.

"We see this as an historic opening, and we're going to pursue it aggressively," said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition, which organized vigils outside the Florida hospice where Terri Schiavo died this year.



Monday, June 27, 2005

Forward Forum: And the Choirs Kept Singing of Freedom

DAVID TWERSKY in The Forward, June 24, 2005

This week's guilty verdict in the trial of 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen, charged with the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, closes an important and bloody chapter in American history.

Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were members of the Congress of Racial Equality, known as CORE. In June 1964, they traveled to Neshoba County, Miss. They were arrested by the sheriff, released and then shot by a mob and buried in a shallow grave, where their bodies were discovered August 4. Killen was arrested and tried on federal civil rights charges in 1967, but the all-white jury deadlocked and he went free. Seven others were convicted on civil rights charges; none served more than six years.

Mississippi was no stranger to civil rights killings. A year earlier, Byron de la Beckwith had shot to death Medgar Evers, the state leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. De la Beckwith, who had once been stopped driving around New Orleans with a gun and a map indicating the home of the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, was convicted for that murder in 1994.



The Right Tries to Pick the Right Justice

In Battle to Pick Next Justice, Right Says, Avoid a Kennedy
Published: June 27, 2005

WASHINGTON, June 26 - When Anthony M. Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987, he took the place of a fallen conservative icon, Robert H. Bork, whose defeat in a Senate conflagration still shapes judicial politics. Sunny while Mr. Bork emanated gloom, clean-shaven while Mr. Bork was bearded, Justice Kennedy was above all philosophically undefined while Mr. Bork's conservatism was chiseled.

But for the next few years, Justice Kennedy sided so reliably with the court's right flank that relieved conservatives proclaimed him an ally: "Bork without the beard."

No one calls him that now. Instead, some notable conservatives are calling for his impeachment. For more than a decade, Justice Kennedy has infuriated the right, writing decisions in cases that struck down prayer at public school graduations, upheld abortion rights, gave constitutional protections to pornography and gay sex and banned the death penalty for juveniles.



Sunday, June 26, 2005

SCOTUS and Conservative Judicial Activism

Activism, Ripe for The Takings
By Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post

Sunday, June 26, 2005; Page B07

The "takings" clause of the Fifth Amendment is for conservatives what the equal protection clause of the 14th is for liberals. It wouldn't be fair to say that conservatives cherish property the way liberals cherish equality. But it would be fair to say that the takings clause is the conservatives' recipe for judicial activism -- imposing their agenda through the courts rather than bothering with democracy -- just as they say liberals have misused the equal protection clause.

Of course, conservatives always claim to be against judicial activism. Liberals have long suspected that this was a decoy and that once conservatives had control of the federal courts they would twist their mustaches, laugh contemptuously and reveal the various policies they planned to impose by judicial fiat. Conservatives and liberals alike have been waiting for this moment for a third of a century....


Jerusalem Post: Annual Gay Pride Parade Will Take Place

Jerusalem court approves gay parade

The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday approved the annual Gay Pride Parade in the capital, slated to take place on Thursday, June 30.

The court ruling came after the parade's organizers, Jerusalem's Gay and Lesbian Center, appealed the Jerusalem municipality's decision to cancel the parade.

In addition, Army Radio reported, the court ordered the city to pay a sum of NIS 60,000 to cover the organizers' legal expenses, out of which Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski must pay NIS 30,000.

In response to the verdict, the parade organizers announced that the court decision "proved that Israel is a democracy." ETC...


Armageddon In Ohio

‘Forces Of Righteousness’ Battle ‘Hordes Of Hell,’ As Ohio Restoration Project Seeks To Bring Theocracy To The Heartland

by Jeremy Leaming, Church and State Magazine, June 2005

Ohio pastor Russell Johnson is girding for a battle of biblical proportions.

“There is a warfare for the heart and soul of America,” says John­son, pastor of a burgeoning fundamentalist Christian congregation in Lancas­ter. “This is a battle between the forces of righteousness and the hordes of hell. Millions of souls weigh in the balance and the church stands at the Critical Crossroads of history.”

What is Pastor Johnson’s strategy for addressing this crisis? He and an array of powerful Religious Right leaders across Ohio are trying to form a church-based political machine to dominate the state Republican Party and eventually seize control of the governor’s office and other governmental posts...


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Exhibit Review: A Blessing to One Another

Rabbi Abie Ingber took me and 3 friends through the exhibit on Friday afternoon. It was great - took us about 90 minutes to go through (and that's with Abie telling stories). The Holocaust is a significant part but the photos are (in my opinion) not the kind which would give children nightmares.

My friends were quite impressed - the exhibit explains a lot about the man Pope John Paul II was and the acts he took as pope. The exhibit will be in Cincinnati until July 15th - after that it goes to Washington DC & NYC. Then it will likely go to Boston and Chicago.

Here is the exhibit information, followed by a newspaper article:

"A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People" is currently at Xavier University's A.B. Cohen Center in Cincinnati OH. The free exhibit will be open to the public through July 15 at the gallery, 1658 Herald Ave., north of the Cintas Center. On display are oversized photographs, artifacts, video and audio interviews.

Directions to the Exhibit

Friday, May 13, 2005
Local rabbi brings pope's story to world
By John Kiesewetter
Cincinnati Enquirer staff writer

Rabbi Abie Ingber heard enough people say, "This story should be told," that he decided to make sure it was heard here - and maybe eventually around the world.

The Hillel Jewish Student Center director was one of the driving forces behind "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People," a new international exhibit at Xavier University that documents John Paul II's unprecedented actions to bring Catholics and Jews together...


FRANK RICH: The Armstrong Williams NewsHour

June 26, 2005

HERE'S the difference between this year's battle over public broadcasting and the one that blew up in Newt Gingrich's face a decade ago: this one isn't really about the survival of public broadcasting. So don't be distracted by any premature obituaries for Big Bird. Far from being an endangered species, he's the ornithological equivalent of a red herring.

Let's not forget that Laura Bush has made a fetish of glomming onto popular "Sesame Street" characters in photo-ops. Polls consistently attest to the popular support for public broadcasting, while Congress is in a race to the bottom with Michael Jackson. Big Bird will once again smite the politicians - as long as he isn't caught consorting with lesbians.

That doesn't mean the right's new assault on public broadcasting is toothless, far from it. But this time the game is far more insidious and ingenious. The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.

There's only one obstacle standing in the way of the coup. Like Richard Nixon, another president who tried to subvert public broadcasting in his war to silence critical news media, our current president may be letting hubris get the best of him. His minions are giving any investigative reporters left in Washington a fresh incentive to follow the money...



Faith Healing by Kenneth Baer
Only at TNR Online | Post date 06.24.05

Since last November Democrats have been debating how to deal with religious voters. Some say the party must be more inclusive--opening the tent to social conservatives like Bob Casey, Jr., the pro-life candidate running against Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. Others embrace the views of minister and best-selling author Jim Wallis, who maintains that religious beliefs can be used to promote liberal causes. Still others are defiant, arguing that the party should not change its positions in response to a reactionary minority and instead should stick to meat-and-potato issues.


"Less than a year since Bush's reelection, evangelicals--in fights over judges, abortion, end-of-life care, stem-cell research, and the legal status of gays--have made clear they want their views written into law. But as seen in the dwindling popularity of the House Republicans after the opening rounds of these battles, there is a religious middle--faithful and tolerant, God-fearing and fully aware of their own human fallibility--that is searching for a political home. Adopting the mantle of religious pluralism, as opposed to accepting the mantle of secularism with which they are so often tagged, will allow Democrats to reach these voters--if, that is, the brand of pluralism they push is an affirmative one that acknowledges the contributions different faiths bring to the public square. Many religious Americans don't want to live in a secularized European country, but they don't want to live in an evangelical Christian country either. And with any luck, by November 2008, they will be ready to bid the Republican Party and its fundamentalist base Godspeed."


Rehnquist Retirement Looms Over Top Court

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ends its work Monday with the highest of drama: an anticipated retirement, a ruling on the constitutionality of government Ten Commandments displays and decisions in other major cases.

Traditionally there is an air of suspense as the justices meet for the final time before breaking for three months. Justices usually wait until then to resolve blockbuster cases.

Added to that is the expectation that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is presiding over the court for the last time. Rehnquist has thyroid cancer and many court experts believe his retirement is imminent...


E. J. Dionne on "Keeping Faith With Religious Freedom"

This is an excellent column. Rep. Obey does however make the common mistake of using a club ("pharisee") that hits not only its target (the Religious Right) but also his allies (Jewish liberals):

E. J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post, Saturday, June 25, 2005; Page A23

There was no obvious political benefit in David Obey's decision to take on the defense of religious minorities at the Air Force Academy. Because he stood up for their rights on the floor of the House of Representatives, the Wisconsin Democrat found himself accused of "denigrating and demonizing Christians."



En Route to Baltimore...

Hello Julien's List readers! Alix and I are on our way to Baltimore, where she begins a year-long vascular surgery fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Only one fellow in her discipline is chosen each year...I am so proud of her (even though we will be living out of two households for the next year). The little rescue puppy is accompanying us on our road trip, of course... :)

I will be posting throughout the week I am gone, but while I am "en route", I would be very interested in your thoughts about the recent attack on Democrats/liberals. I guess the main thing I wonder is: Karl Rove is a true "bully" who does know how to go right to the jugular of his enemie(s) we have the chutzpah (we meaning all liberals/Democrats - those in leadership positions and those in the "grass roots" ranks) to do the same to him and his Republican machine?

Because that is what we HAVE to do, folks...our existence depends on it.

Ms. Julien


Friday, June 24, 2005

TMV on Karl Rove's Comments and Public Reaction to Them

TMV = The Moderate Voice = Joe Gandelman

Rove-ism Replaces McCarthyism

More On Karl Rove's Declaration Of War

One Republican View Of Karl Rove's Comments


TMV: A Leading Centrist On Karl Rove's Declaration Of War

We've given you our view on Karl Rove's remarks (and we PROMISE next time we'll tell you what we really think....) and a Republican's view. Now here's a reaction from Rick Heller, one of the most prominent and thoughtful centrist bloggers around:

"These are vicious remarks, and they are worse than Howard Dean's about Republicans. Dean's remarks were merely insulting, but they were not insidious, because no one would believe that most Republicans have never done an honest days work in their lives. What Rove is doing, by contrast, is a more calculated smear, conflating the sins of the far left, and applying them to mainstream Democrats..."



TNR: Barack Star

Obama's commencement speech: the best case for liberal politics in recent memory.
David Kusnet - Only at TNR Online | Post date 06.20.05

What happens when a prominent political figure who's usually a media star gives a great speech that doesn't get much news coverage? If the pol and the staff are smart, they'll keep using the frame and the phrasings until the news media, political insiders, and, eventually, a national audience start paying attention--and the speech that once was ignored becomes the politician's trademark. That, at any rate, is what happened to Ronald Reagan's case for conservatism, Mario Cuomo's tribute to "the family of America," and John Edwards's populist stump speech.

Much the same fate may await the commencement address Barack Obama delivered at Knox College on June 4. The speech got little coverage outside local papers and has been largely ignored by columnists and talking heads. Perhaps that's because few national journalists or even Chicago-based reporters are inclined to visit Galesburg, Illinois, on a Saturday; or maybe because Obama's speech didn't make news in the conventional sense--it contained no attacks on his adversaries, no announcements of new policy proposals, no slurs on entire segments of society.

All Obama did was make the best case for liberal politics in recent memory, with a panoramic view of American history that made public investment in job training and new technologies sound like the logical descendents of the Civil Rights movement, the New Deal, the Progressive Era, the abolitionists, and the American Revolution...


Thursday, June 23, 2005

DSM - and so much more...

Thanks to Shakespeare's Sister for keeping us all on message!!

Wednesday night on Hardball, guest host David Gregory asked Karl Rove about the Downing Street documents. ( The following is the relevant exchange:

GREGORY: As you well know, critics of this war have seized on what’s being called now the Downing Street Memo, based on meetings that Britain’s Chief of Intelligence had with American officials about the war. One issue that comes up in that memo and subsequent memos is British concerns about the fact that the White House in their view wasn’t adequately thinking about what happens after the regime falls.

ROVE: I'm glad you brought that up because I want to put that in context. First of all that is the British — a Brit making a comment about what he perceived to be U.S. policy. But remember the time frame, it is months and months and months before the balloon goes up in Iraq. And in those intervening months there was plenty of time planning for post-war efforts, vast amounts of planning. You never know exactly how a war is going to plan out. Napoleon once said, 'vast numbers of refugees enormous problems with food aid'- did not happen. Vast uprising- didn't happen. That we would see a vast uprising by hundreds of thousands of Iraqis- didn’t happen. War is ugly, but a lot went very well with this effort and in part it was because the United States government and our coalition partners used the months to plan for any eventuality.

GREGORY: But if you're talking about the number of troops necessary, the level of American casualties, the force and intensity of the insurgency…did the president mislead the American people about the cost of the war or was he just simply surprised by what happened?

ROVE: I would go back to the president’s statements over the last several years and I would defy you to find one speech which he talked about Iraq where he doesn’t say there would be difficult times ahead, that we had a long road to hope that a great deal of sacrifice was going to be called for by both the American people and by the Iraqis to achieve this goal. Look, we do not underestimate the ferocity and the anger and the viciousness of the people that we face. We are in a war. Some people may treat it as a law enforcement matter and be worried about indictments from the U.S. attorney from the southern district of New York. But we recognize this administration and the American people we are in a war and the only way you have a successful outcome in the war is to aim for a complete and total victory, which is exactly what we’re doing.

Clearly, he used questions about the Downing Street Documents to set himself up for his comments (;_ylt=AnIlXCWz8T6oXMw4m8ndAd2yFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl) made in a speech Wednesday night:

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said Wednesday night. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Today, the RNC issued talking points ( in support of Rove’s statement, in addition to an attack ad against Dick Durbin based on his Gitmo comments.

We need to get on this big time, because this is their defensive play—deflect all interest in the Downing Street Documents by some controversy and forcing the Dems (and liberals of all stripes) to defend themselves…again.

Call this out for the subterfuge that it is. Demand Rove’s resignation. Don’t let them detract from this major issue with their usual disingenuous B.S. Draw the clear link between trying to refocus away from the Downing Street Documents. This is their last line of defense. Don’t let it work.


Also, Cheney has responded to questions about the Downing Street Documents (

Cheney said he had not read the so-called "Downing Street memo," a document written by a British official in the fall of 2002 suggesting that President Bush had already decided to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and that U.S. officials were over hyping intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to build support for the policy.

However, the vice president said the premise of the memo -- that a decision to go to war had been made months before the March 2003 invasion -- was "wrong."

"Remember what happened after the supposed memo was written. We went to the United Nations. We got a unanimous vote out of the Security Council for a resolution calling on Saddam Hussein to come clean," he said.

This response is, of course, utter crap. Considering the Memos indicate that going to the UN and backing Saddam into a corner would help “sell” the war, this hardly passes as a defense. He's basically trying to discredit the memos by saying, "How could they be true? We did exactly what they said we were planning to do." Illogical garbage. Call him out on it.


Rummy on Trial

From Mario:
WASHINGTON -- A lawsuit that seeks to hold Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others directly responsible for the abuse and torture of detainees in U.S. military custody will be heard in a federal court in the District of Columbia, a seven-judge panel ruled yesterday. The lawsuit, which was the first to name Secretary Rumsfeld in the ongoing torture scandal in Afghanistan and Iraq, was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First on behalf of eight Afghan and Iraqi men who were tortured while they were held in U.S. detention facilities.

The groups are joined as co-counsel in the lawsuit by Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN), former Judge Advocate General of the Navy; Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA), former Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals; and Bill Lann Lee, Chair of the Human Rights Practice Group at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. Admiral Hutson and General Cullen are "of counsel" to Human Rights First.

Full text:

"I was told that they had people ready to tackle me if I tried to get close to [President Bush] ... Republicans can party almost as much as porn stars … I was getting propositions to have threesomes with wives or mistresses, I was offered money from oil tycoons … I am a fully converted Republican now." -- Porn star Mary Carey, on attending a Republican fundraiser hosted by President Bush




Congress Will Not Cut Public Broadcasting Funds
Published: June 23, 2005, Filed at 5:11 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Big Bird and National Public Radio won a reprieve Thursday as the House restored $100 million that had been proposed as a budget cut for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting…


Reform Judaism Questions So-Called "Faith Based Initiatives"

A Reform [Jewish] movement leader told Congress that a bill to establish a
permanent White House office for faith-based initiatives would violate
the Constitution.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for
Reform Judaism, blasted the Tools for Community Initiatives Act on
Tuesday, at a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee's
subcommittee on criminal justice, drug policy and human resources. "We
believe that direct government funding of houses of worship is
unconstitutional, bad public policy and bad for religion," Saperstein
said of the bill, according to prepared remarks.



Conservative Judaism Weighs in on Judges

Ori Nir in The Forward, June 24, 2005

WASHINGTON * America's second-largest synagogue movement has jumped into the debate over the Supreme Court, with letters to President Bush and members of Congress stating its criteria for an appropriate judicial candidate.

Breaking with a long tradition of neutrality on judicial nominations, leaders of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism called in their letters for nominees who are not ideologically driven and are not extremists. Liberals, who interpreted them as a plea for Bush to avoid appointing right-wing ideologues, hailed the letters.


With the United Synagogue's decision to enter the judicial fray, and the Reform movement already gearing up to fight any right-wing nominee, the White House could find itself opposed by the country's two largest synagogue movements.


The movement leaders listed three criteria for an appropriate federal judge, which were the result of an attempt by the policy committee to identify what the Jewish legal tradition and the American legal tradition have in common, and therefore what both legal systems require from a successful jurist. They argue that nominees should enjoy "wide respect among diverse segments of the society," eschew "an ideologically defined approach to judicial interpretation," and demonstrate balanced "respect for foundational documents, reasonable interpretation and societal realities."

Though relatively mild by the standards of ideological politics of Washington, the United Synagogue letters were enthusiastically endorsed by Jewish organizations that previously opposed several of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench.


C. 2005 the Forward


Just What We Needed - Evangelicals Building a Base in Iraq

Newcomers Raise Worry Among Traditional Church Leaders
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 23, 2005; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- With arms outstretched, the congregation at National Evangelical Baptist Church belted out a praise hymn backed up by drums, electric guitar and keyboard. In the corner, slide images of Jesus filled a large screen. A simple white cross of wood adorned the stage, and worshipers sprinkled the pastor's Bible-based sermon with approving shouts of "Ameen!"

National is Iraq's first Baptist congregation and one of at least seven new Christian evangelical churches established in Baghdad in the past two years. Its Sunday afternoon service, in a building behind a house on a quiet street, draws a couple of hundred worshipers who like the lively music and focus on the Bible…


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Degrading Holocaust Meaning

An Editorial in The (NY) Jewish Week

Why is it that so many politicians who should know better resort to Holocaust and Nazi imagery when trying to make a point? The latest flap came when Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, compared the treatment of detainees at the U.S. navel base at Guantanamo to actions by the Nazis and other historic mass murderers.


There are many genuine reasons for concern about Guantanamo, where hundreds of prisoners being held without charges and without even the limited protections afforded prisoners of war. But comparisons to genuinely genocidal regimes are inaccurate and reckless in the extreme.

Sadly, such allusions have become commonplace in today’s bitterly polarized political climate. Politicians of both parties, unwilling to grant their opponents even a measure of legitimacy, throw rhetorical restraint to the winds. And what better way to slam your adversaries than to liken them to the symbols of ultimate evil in our world?

But that just deepens the divisions in our society, and along the way devalues what should stand out as clear moral markers, untainted by politics, of what can happen when extremism and hatred are not challenged. When politicians use such analogies, the Holocaust and the Nazi perpetrators are reduced to just a few more weapons useful to bash political opponents; like the rest of the language of our partisan squabbles, the terms are stripped of their real meaning and become mere epithets.

Equally guilty are the party leaders — and we mean in both major parties — who profess such outrage when their opponents use Holocaust analogies, but do nothing to educate their own members about the inappropriateness of such language.
The Holocaust should be an ever-present moral guidepost for a troubled world. Using it for shock value in the political wars degrades its meaning, dishonors the victims and contributes greatly to our paralyzing political polarization.


You Know What? This is a bit of a piss-me-off thought...

From AmericaBlog:


Bipartisan Bill Would Ensure Gay Bi-National Couples Equal Treatment

Could this EVER come to pass??? Dare I/we get our hopes up on this one?? It sure as HELL would save Alix and me tens of thousands of dollars...

From (bolding by Julien's List):

(Washington) Legislation was introduced in Congress Tuesday that would treat same-sex couples the same as opposite sex-couples for the purposes of immigration.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt) in the Senate, has a large number of bipartisan cosponsors in both chambers.

The Uniting American Families Act was previously named the Permanent Partners Immigration Act which died when the last session of Congress ended.

Nadler said he expected the new measure to fare better because it has broader support.

The move was hailed by LGBT civil rights groups.

"Our nation should bring families together, not tear them apart," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"Same-sex bi-national couples are often forced to separate because the government views them as strangers under the law."

Adam Francoeur, Program Coordinator of Immigration Equality said that the 2000 Census reports nearly 36,000 couples living in same-sex bi-national relationships in the U.S.

"The Uniting American Families Act upholds the stated principle within U.S. immigration policy to promote family unification," said Francoeur.

At least 16 countries recognize same-sex couples for the purposes of immigration including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

© 2005


A Letter - and a Call-to-Action from NYC Liberalism

Julien's List reader (and a blogger himself) Kevin sent me the following letter:

I think that you have been following the controversy over the gay Tennessee kid being forced to go to a "re-education" camp for gays. (note from Ms. Julien: yes we have). It has disgusted me, and I've finally decided to take action. I'm working with a Texas-based GSA and GLSEN to formulate a letter to be endorsed by GSAs around the nation. I have posted a letter that people can send to voice their outrage at groups such as Love in Action, that treat homosexuals as if they would be better off dead than being gay. I hope you can help me by telling people about this letter, and getting them to mail it to as many people as they can (such as local media outlets, I have a list of different places they can send it to on my blog). Thanks for your time.

Please visit Kevin's Blog and...

Read, think, ACT!!!

Ms. Julien


So this F*cker Can Bash Gays on a Church Pulpit, but...

...calling someone a "mo-fo" on camera is absolutely Christian and good...GOD(ess) I am SOOOOO tired of these hypocritical assholes.

Texas governor caught on camera calling reporter 'mo-fo'


Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) apologized Tuesday for using a vulgar expression that was captured on camera after a Houston TV interview, the registration-restricted KTRK-TV reports, syndicating an article from the Dallas Morning News (Watch the video; Full story).

Perry had just completed a series of interviews with local TV stations, and had repeated declined to give KTRK-TV reporter Ted Oberg details of his education proposal. Excerpts from the article follow:


After the interview was over and Mr. Perry had said you're welcome and so long, Mr. Oberg acknowledged that Mr. Perry had successfully maintained the secrecy of his plan for another day: "Try as I may, Governor, I guess I can't win this one."

Mr. Perry looked off camera and appeared to mock Mr. Oberg, saying: "Try as I may, governor, I'm just not going to wait that long. ... "

Then the governor added as a sign-off: "Adios, mo-fo."

On Tuesday morning, the station aired the end of the interview. Mr. Oberg said during his report that the governor had called him back and apologized, saying that he had spoken without malice.

It is the second time Mr. Perry, who is running for re-election, has been captured on tape in a less than flattering light. The first time he was caught on a police camera getting out of a speeding ticket while he was lieutenant governor.


Under-Handed Attempt to Sneak Christian Scripture into Public Schools

This morning, while I was listening to one of our local NPR stations, I heard this report about legislators who want to post "In God We Trust [US Motto]" and "With God All Things Are Possible [NT Matthew 19:26, also Ohio Motto]" in every Ohio public school classroom:

Ohio Public Radio: Federal and state mottos referring to God get state lawmakers' blessing

Public school students may soon be seeing references to God in their classrooms, if a bill that's passed the House is okayed by the Senate. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.


WP: The Comparison That Ends the Conversation

Senator [Durbin] Is Latest to Regret Nazi Analogy
By Mark Leibovich, Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 22, 2005; Page C01

Someone should post a sign in the Senate cloakroom or wherever Important People Who Should Know Better will see it. The sign would warn politicians against comparing anything to the Nazis or Hitler or the Holocaust. These comparisons are not a good idea. Repeat : Not a good idea. It will only bring a massive headache, as Sen. Richard Durbin has learned (he'll take that Tylenol IV drip now, thanks).

Durbin, the Democratic whip, became the latest politician who couldn't make his point without comparing the matter at hand -- the alleged mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- with the methods of the Nazis (and those of Pol Pot and the Soviet gulags, too).


All of this is consistent with the escalation of political rhetoric in general, says Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown and an expert on political discourse. She mentions the Senate debate over filibusters, in which the "nuclear option" loomed. And conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, who rails against "feminazis." "It's all part of the same verbal inflation," Tannen says, adding that feminists generally refrain from torturing people.

There is a dictum in Internet culture called Godwin's Law (after Mike Godwin, a lawyer who coined the maxim), which posits that the longer an online discussion persists, the more likely it is that someone will compare something to the Nazis or Hitler.

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, "There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress."


Ohio Gov. Taft hires criminal lawyer

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Taft hires criminal lawyer
Gov. discloses golf outings
By Jon Craig
Enquirer Columbus Bureau
and The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Gov. Bob Taft has hired one of Columbus' leading criminal lawyers, his spokesman said Tuesday - the same day Taft disclosed that he had failed to report golf outings in which he had participated.


The admission comes during a growing scandal at his administration's Bureau of Workers Compensation.

"On my own initiative, I have determined that financial disclosure forms filed annually with the Ohio Ethics Commission failed to include golf outings in which I participated," Taft said in the statement.

"I take full responsibility for any errors and omissions and will continue to cooperate with the (Ethics) Commission in this matter."



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tuesday Update on the DSM

As always, thanks to Shakespeare's Sister:

DSM Stats care of PSoTD:

FAIR Addresses Post’s Response to Dan Milbank’s Referring to Those Pushing the DSM Story as “Wingnuts”

The Daily Howler (starts midway down the page)

RJ Eskow’s open letter to the BBA:

The Boston Globe: Deception's damning documents

Empire Burlesque: The Known Knowns of the Bush/Blair War Crime

Crooks and Liars: Video of DSM on Hardball

Molly Ivins: Dismissing Downing Street

Media Matters: Limbaugh baselessly suggested DSM “may be a fake”

The Simon: Why the US Press Won’t Visit Downing Street

News Hounds: Alan Colmes Show on DSM

Minneapolis Star Tribune: E.J. Dionne with a different perspective

Also in the Fort Wayne, IN Journal Gazette

San Francisco Chronicle: Also E.J. Dionne—War needs no protection from critics

Also, if you haven’t heard what Bush said in his weekend radio address, check this out:

Personally, I think we ought to be reporting that all over the place. This guy has gone cuckoo. How he’s getting away with STILL SAYING that shit is beyond me.