Friday, October 08, 2004

New Book. I should have a new book coming out: How to Lose Weight like a Porn Star by Leonardo DaVinci as told to Michael Moore (who refused to listen).

Speaking of books, I loved Danny Dunn, mentioned by the Professor today.

Last, in the weighty book category, read this review of the Nobel's Lit Prize by Charlotte Allen

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Knight for a Rook? The release of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) report looks to the WaPo to be substantially undermining Bush: "U.S. 'Almost All Wrong' on Weapons" subhead: "Report on Iraq Contradicts Bush Administration Claims." Also reported on the front page, albeit minimized is Hussein Used Oil to Dilute Sanctions, subhead: Report Says He Gave Valuable Vouchers to Those Who Helped Iraq.

Does this hurt Bush? Yes, without question.

However, the better question is Whether this hurts Kerry more than it does Bush? The answer to that is also yes.

Both Bush and Kerry have admitted to relying on intelligence related to the weapons in question in authorizing war. Was this intel wrong? Possibly -- we do know that he had had those weapons and had used them against his own people. There was not a full scale review after the first Gulf War -- if you want to blame anyone, you can blame Bush41, Powell, and Cheney.

Nevertheless, don't forget that what the UN resolutions did was to put the burden on Hussein to account for his WMD, and the equipment used to make them, and to destroy them in a verifiable manner. Hussein refused to do so.

What separates Kerry from Bush is the issue of appeasing Old Europe. Bush tried diplomacy and tried to build a coalition involving France and Germany. We now know for certain that this was impossible because France and Germany were part of the Battalion of the Bribed. Bribed by Hussein.

By continuing to embrace the Battalion of the Bribed, Kerry loses more than Bush does.

Bush is hurt -- in the chess game, he loses a knight; however, Kerry loses a rook.
Ex-Raiders in the news:
  • Todd Marinovich is serving 90 days in the pokey for possession of a controlled substance (meth), resisting arrest and the unauthorized possession of hypodermic needles. It is not known whether he will be serving time in the Warren Wells wing of the jail.
  • Former Oakland Raiders kicker Cole Ford is being sought in a drive-by shooting last month at the home of entertainers Siegfried & Roy, police said Wednesday. For the record, he missed -- sounds like Ford alright.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Following up on my note yesterday regarding John Edwards' claim: "Under the law of this country for the last 200 years, no state has been required to recognize another state's marriage." John Edwards is so wrong on this it would be laughable, if not so serious.

Let's lay aside all the "little" cases such as Franzen v E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 146 F.2d 837 (3d Cir. 1944) (a non-commonlaw marriage state recognizing a common-law marriage), In re May's Estate, 114 N.E.2d 4 (N.Y.1953) (validating uncle-niece marriage), and McDonald v. McDonald, 58 P.2d 163 (Cal. 1936) (recognizing an "underage" marriage performed outside the state), and go straight to the biggie. In Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court dealt with a Virginia couple who were married in D.C., in violation of a Virginia state statute forbidding inter-racial marriages, and then returned to Virginia. The Lovings were convicted of violating Virginia's antimiscegenation statutes and received a suspended sentence (see the case for details -- in esscence they were exiled from Virginia for 25 years).

One of the provisions of the antimiscegenation statutes was section 20-57, which automatically voided all marriages between "a white person and a colored person" without any judicial proceeding.

The unanimous court overturned the conviction holding that these antimiscegenation statutes violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In short, the Commonwealth of Virginia, which had by law declared the Lovings marriage void was forced to recognize their marriage. (Quite properly, I might add -- the Commonwealth was wrong, wrong, wrong.)

I believe John Edwards, who "earned a law degree with honors in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill" knows better.

Must Reading. For me, a daily stop at GetReligion is required -- I strongly recommend it. Especially noteworthy is this piece by Douglas LeBlanc on the torn friendship of Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria and ECUSA Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.

More here. (from Titusonenine, which is also must reading.)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Unfinished business. I forgot -- Truro's rector is a candidate for the bishopric of the Rio Grande Diocese in Texas/NM.
Most Overrated. Andrew Sullivan continues to be the most overrated blogger around.
Cheney crushes Eddie. In marked contrast to the first Bush-Kerry debate, I thought VP Dick Cheney crushed John Edwards. I listened to the debate on the radio, for the most part, while driving back from Lowe's. Here are a few random thoughts and comments:

  • While Lehrer was the clear loser of the first debate, Gwen Ifell was excellent as moderator in this one -- yes, there were a couple of lapses, such as giving Edwards and extra 15 seconds one time -- nevertheless, her questions were equally good at putting each man on the spot and her follow-up questions ("... but I don't want to let go of the global test question ...") were superb.
  • I tuned in after the debate had started -- about 10 - 15 minutes into it, when Eddie was mentioning jfk's Vietnam service.
  • Eddie brings up his bogus figures: "...we've taken 90 percent of the coalition casualties...We're at $200 billion and counting..." and Cheney destroys him, noting first that Eddie neglects the Iraqi casualties and can't add (perhaps he should've spent more time with Dad in front of the TV): "With respect to the cost, it wasn't $200 billion. You probably weren't there to vote for that. But $120 billion is, in fact, what has been allocated to Iraq. The rest of it's for Afghanistan and the global war on terror."
  • Eddie refuses to take the hint, which leads to the best exchange:
EDWARDS: . . . Not only that, 90 percent of the coalition casualties, Mr.
Vice President, the coalition casualties, are American casualties. Ninety
percent of the cost of this effort are being borne by American taxpayers. It
is the direct result of the failures of this administration.

IFILL: Mr. Vice President?

CHENEY: Classic example. He won't count the sacrifice and the contribution of
Iraqi allies. It's their country. They're in the fight. They're increasingly the
ones out there putting their necks on the line to take back their country from
the terrorists and the old regime elements that are still left. They're doing a
superb job. And for you to demean their sacrifices strikes me as...

EDWARDS: Oh, I'm not...

CHENEY: ... as beyond...

EDWARDS: I'm not demeaning...

CHENEY: It is indeed. You suggested...

EDWARDS: No, sir, I did not...

CHENEY: ... somehow they shouldn't count, because you want to be able to say
that the Americans are taking 90 percent of the sacrifice. You cannot succeed in
this effort if you're not willing to recognize the enormous contribution the
Iraqis are increasingly making to their own future.

    • Another great line from Cheney: "Now if they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to al Qaeda?" To which Eddie puts his fingers in his ears and repeats "Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton."
    • Okay, I was unloading the van from the time they started talking about Iraq until I get in front of the TV to hear Eddie saying : "...vice president and his wife love their daughter." Hmmm -- must be a gay marriage question...I'm not sure what Cheney's response was, but Eddie sure seems to be fumbling... especially when Ifill follows up. Cheney's response (thanks and "That's it") seems classy...
    • Edwards says: "For example, a gay couple now has a very difficult time, one, visiting the other when they're in the hospital..." and I think, could that because of oh, TRIAL LAWYERS suing the pants off of doctors and hospitals...?
    • Edwards then says: "Under the law of this country for the last 200 years, no state has been required to recognize another state's marriage." This is not true and Eddie knows it (or should know it).
    • Next up, the trial lawyer question (one for which, let's face it, Eddie's spent his life preparing to answer). As an aside, I'm thinking whoever drew the word "plan" in the debate drinking game must be smashed by now.
    • Cheney hits Eddies tax avoidance: "While you were in private practice in law and as a senator, you had the advantage of a special tax loophole, Subchapter S corporation, which you set up so you could avoid paying $600,000 in Medicare taxes that would have gone into the fund. . . .
      EDWARDS: Well, first of all, I have paid all the taxes that I owe. " Nice lawyerly avoidance of the issue there, Eddie.
    • Ifill has an interesting fact: " women between the ages of 25 and 44 are 13 times more likely to die of the disease than their counterparts...." Neither are able to answer her question, however Cheney comes across as forthright: "I have not heard those numbers with respect to African- American women. I was not aware that it was -- that they're in epidemic there, because we have made progress in terms of the overall rate of AIDS infection..." whereas Eddie is disengenous, implying that Bush is failing to innoculate people against AIDS: "If kids and adults don't have access to preventative care, if they're not getting the health care that they need day after day after day, the possibility of not only developing AIDS and having a problem . . ." etc.

I'm looking forward to Friday...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Throwing Stones. President Bush was correct to denounce Sen. Kerry's attacks on our allies, the Iraqis who are fighting for freedom, and those in the administration who are taking a stand against terrorism. Yet, perhaps it is time that Mr. Bush put his own house in order. Consider this item from the WaTimes' Inside the Ring (fourth item down):
We've known for some time that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and certain Pentagon policy-makers don't see eye-to-eye on all war issues. Now, Mr. Armitage has raised the ire of the top commander in the Persian Gulf, Army Gen. John Abizaid.
During congressional testimony last week, Mr. Armitage described newly minted Iraqi police officers as "shake-and-bake."
Asked about this term Sunday by Tim Russert on "Meet the Press," Gen. Abizaid's blood pressure rose. "'Shake and bake' gives some sort of an idea that the Iraqi police and the Iraqi armed forces that are out there standing on the line fighting for their country right now are somehow or another unserious, unqualified and unprofessional people, and that's just not true," the general said. "They are serious enough to be fighting and dying for their own country, and we need to give them a little respect and help."

General Abizaid is right and I believe it is necessary for the Secretary of State, if not the President, to take corrective action.

The return of Crazy Eddie. John Edwards says that Bush voters are crazy? Is he insane?