Friday, February 15, 2008

Various and Sundry and a couple of predictions

First the various and sundry:

1) As I mentioned in the comments under yesterday's post, I intend to dissect Former Colorado Governor, Richard Lamm's infamous 2004 speech I have a Plan to Destroy America. This nonsense has been making the rounds on conservative and xenophobic websites for the last three years. It is wrong in almost every respect, and I'll justify that assessment in detail.

However, I don't have time this morning.

I want to be fair and accurate, and that means a certain level of research and analysis, which is going to take me some time. Which I don't have at the moment. So, I'll be working on that this evening. Expect the post tonight or tomorrow (Yes, I know you're excited and eager, go play outside for a while and settle down).

2) Part of the reason I don't have time this morning is that I promised earlier in the week that I'd have bowls available this weekend. As such, I need to finish them. And photograph them. And get them priced. And etc.

3) It snowed last night. A lot. Again. I have to go plow before I can do anything else. This will take a while.

4) After I plow I have to run some errands. The roads suck, because it snowed last night. A lot. Again. Therefor and undoubtedly the errands will take twice as long as I have time for.

5) I got a new shop toy yesterday, I want to play with it a bit. Yes, I'm selfish that way.

Now the predictions:

Situation: Congressional Democrats have stated publicly that Waterboarding is torture, along with several other 'enhanced interrogation' techniques. They have drafted a bill that would outlaw the practice, and direct that the CIA must adhere to the US Army Field Manual which forbids such techniques. The President has vowed to veto this bill.

Prediction: The Democrats will wail and shout and sing and dance. They will thump their fleshy chests and make impassioned speeches. They will send the bill to the White House, the President will veto it. Congressional Democrats will then fold like the limp noodles they are - and they'll give the President everything he wants.

Situation: Congressional Democrats are holding up renewal of the Protect America Act, which authorizes US intelligence agencies to, amongst other things, spy on Americans without a warrant. Democrats aren't particularly concerned about this, their beef revolves around a provision in the bill which grants immunity to communications companies who cooperate with the National Security Agency. They have removed this provision from the bill, and refuse to renew the law if it is included. The White House, of course, wants it left in - why, I'll leave as an exercise for the reader. If Congress sends the bill to the White House without the provision of immunity, the President claims he will veto it.

Prediction: The Democrats will wail and shout and sing and dance. They will thump their fleshy chests and make impassioned speeches. They will send the bill to the White House, the President will veto it. Congressional Democrats will then fold like the limp noodles they are - and they'll give the President everything he wants.

And there you have it. More later.


  1. I wish I could make a cogent argument with brilliant logic and irrefutable evidence that your predictions will prove to be wrong. Unfortunately, said logic and evidence instead argue in favor of your predictions

    If only it were otherwise.

  2. I think you must be psychic.

    The thing that is really making my head hurt is the Administration's arguments for the telecom immunity. "They haven't broken the law, so they should be immunized from liability for all of that non-lawbreaking they've been doing." It's a perverse argument even if you stretch yourself to entertain the only remaining premises for "unnecessary" immunity--that the telecoms shouldn't have to pay legal fees to defend themselves from "frivolous" lawsuits and that discovery could jeopardize national security.

    Of course, those arguments are ridiculous: as far as I can recall from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, there are already rules to cover both issues. (In all fairness, I haven't looked at the FRCP in something like 13 years--but assessing plaintiff for legal fees and in camera review of discovery are pretty standard and have always worked before.)

    (For those unfamiliar with the high-falutin' Latin phrase: in camera means materials are turned over to the judge in chambers, and he decides what needs to be turned over to the opposing party. Not to sound flip, but if in camera review is good enough for FISA and trade secrets cases, it's good enough for the telecom surveillance suits.)

    Y'know, sometimes I've actually felt bad for calling the President "stupid." Uncurious and narrow-minded and unable to change his mind, yes; but also a Harvard and Yale grad and successful politician who possesses a species of intelligence for sure. But now that I think about what I heard him saying on NPR this morning in the car, I'm not feeling as irresponsible--because it's obvious Bush reciprocates the feelings. Listen to what he says when he talks about telecom immunity and the need for renewing the Protect America act: he thinks we're stupid. He doesn't care whether what he says is sensible, credible, or even true, as long as it has some effect on the suckers.

    There's an old poker saying: if you don't know who the sucker in the room is, it's you. But it's not always true: sometimes, even when you think you know who the sucker in the room is, it's still you.

  3. Pffft. Neener neener yourself, Nathan. :p

    Incidentally there's no need to go through tinyurl if you're making a link, as that already keeps the url from destroying page formatting. And I like to see where I'm going before I click on stuff. ;)

  4. TinyURL is great, and one of these days, I'm still going to trick Jim into clicking through to tentacle porn. 'cause I said I would on Scalzi's blog, so I have to do it.

    The unfortunate first step is finding a link to tentacle porn, which I haven't stirred up the courage, or prerequisite amount of alcohol to do...

  5. MWT,

    I use tinyurl because when I paste in the whole "a href" thing and then paste in the url, it gets all out of whack in the comment window. I know it would show up fine in the published comment, but it makes it hard (for me) to get the comment...uh...commented.

    Also, I don't know if you're using FireFox, but if you are, you can download an add-on called Cooliris. It lets you hover the curser over a link for a preview without actually clicking the link.

  6. Nathan,

    You just became my new best friend. Cooliris rocks. Thanks, now my Fire Fox is even more gooder.

  7. ::Blush::

    I don't know if you caught
    this one on my blog (and shame on you if you didn't), but it is also a waaaay cool addon.

    There's a link on the page for the Windows version.

    Try it out on a Google Images search and you'll be instantly in love with it.

    Also, on the Cooliris thing, It took me a week to notice that there's a checkbox in the lower right corner that let's you turn it off for certain pages. (i.e. pages filled with links that you can't help but hover over, but don't care to see).

  8. That was not a friggin' Hijack! I was responding directly to a comment. Besides that, the title of the post is Various and Sundry and I challenge you to tell me how my comments aren't various and sundry.



  9. I love the raspberry. :)

    ["There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry.
    "Lone Star!")

  10. "I'm a mog: half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend!"

    What a great flick. God, I miss John Candy.

    and the hijack benefited me, so I'm like good with it and shit. Also, so far as I know there's no rule here against hijacking - and even if there was, you people probably wouldn't follow the rules anyway, so...

    I think I'm going back to bed for a while. It's very early here and I don't know why I'm awake. Coffee is not helping, probably because it's decaf...


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