Archive for April 29, 2006
Noteworthy because of the guest anchor: Brian Unger. Yes, the same Brian Unger who used to be a correspondent on The Daily Show.
Yes, TDS correspondents are now moving into more traditional news broadcasts. (Hey, Mike Wallace used to be a game show host, so why not?)
Amazing what you find if you read the rules. This hasn’t gotten a lot of play in the media yet, but I suspect it will.
It turns out there are various methods of setting a federal impeachment in motion: 1) By charges made on the floor by a member of the House; 2) By charges preferred by a memorial filed by a House member; 3) By charges contained in a Resolution introduced by a House member; 4) By a message from the President; 5) By charges transmitted by a State legislature, or a grand jury; 6) By facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House. (You can find the rules in question, here, it’s on page three of the PDF.)
In other words, it’s not just members of the house than can introduce motions of impeachment. So various state legislators have introduced impeachment proceedings against Bush in their own state legislatures. Illinois has, California has, Vermont’s going to, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Louisiana just might want to. Call it a hunch.
Now, here’s the part that’s interesting, and that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else: There is one other landmine that Bush has no control over, one other avenue to impeachment– Patrick Fitzgerald and his federal grand jury, currently investigating the Plame/CIA leak case.
Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that either Cheney or Bush lied under oath, or worked to conceal or hide facts of the case. That’s perjury and/or obstruction of justice. If Fitzgerald can make the case, he can not only indict them for perjury, he can start impeachment proceedings against them immediately. He even has precedent to point to with the Clinton impeachment, which was brought for perjury and obstruction of justice in a civil suit. Perjury in a criminal case could be much worse.
As always, I’m not a lawyer– but this seems pretty solid to me. I defer to Christy Hardin Smith to tell me if I’m wrong. But I think Fitz could get Bush and Cheney impeached, if the facts lean that way. And if that’s true, the Administration could be in for a world of hurt.
Oh, and while we’re at it, you don’t automatically get $500 if you land on Free Parking, either.
Am I the only person who finds themselves reading fewer weblogs that don’t give full RSS feeds? Have you found yourself dropping blogs from your reading habits that only give the first 50 words or so? Leave a comment, I’m real curious.
…is that since I don’t visit the regular web page as often, it takes me much longer to notice that I made someone else’s blogroll.
Such as Alex Epstein’s Complications Ensue, a weblog that gives unique insight into the art of writing for the screen. I find myself in the odd place of not having seen any of his work, as most of it hasn’t made it into the States (and downloading it from the net would be wrong, and that’s a shame, because Charlie Jade looks really interesting) but it’s been highly recommended and all of his writing about the biz meshes with everything I’ve come across.
And like every other screenwriter I’ve encountered recently, he wants to work in comics. Which says something about both Hollywood and having “screw you” money.
One of these days, I’m going to update MY blogroll… right after I fix a few other things. Sigh. Shoemaker’s kids go barefoot, webmaster’s blog goes untweaked.
Via Stephen Carson at the LewRockwell.com Blog:
If you are going to be in the Empire business then treason is inevitable.
It’s so good, I’m tempted to add it to the Evil Overlord list.
I think the main reason that the MDs disagree with Rogers’ paraphrase is that they also disagree with Jefferson’s original statement, “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
In the terms of the First Amendment, the MDs seem to believe that their own free exercise of their religion requires a minimal establishment of that religion and its “family values.” Without such a protective canopy, enforced by the state, they believe their own religion, their own way of life, is threatened. This protective canopy is eroded when other citizens with other religious perspectives — those neighbors who may believe in “20 gods or no God” — are allowed to freely exercise their religion.
We see a similar, if more extreme, dynamic playing out in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. Certain devout, fundamentalist Muslims believe that their religion requires that women wear a head-to-toe burkha while in public. It does them little good if this practice is left as a matter of the free exercise of religion, because allowing pluralism would mean allowing those women who do not share their beliefs to appear in public without the burkha. This would be perceived by the fundamentalists as an assault on their own religious freedom — which they believe requires a public square devoid of temptresses flashing their sultry ankles and wrists. They thus see their own right to the free exercise of religion as requiring the legal establishment of their own religious values.
This argument for the religious hegemony of Sharia law has a certain logic. It almost certainly would be easier for fundamentalist believers to practice their religion freely in a homogenous society in which everyone believed — or was forced to act as though they believed — the same thing. But this logic is anathema to the whole idea of religious freedom.
It also presumes that the faith of the fundamentalist hegemonists is extremely fragile. Worse than that, it nurtures and reinforces this fragility — ensuring that their faith is a flimsy hothouse flower that cannot survive in the outdoor climate of a pluralist society.
This same logic is at work here in America. The more overtly religious “defenders of marriage” argue this explicitly, but it is also implicit in the supposedly secular “sociological” argument against same-sex marriage.
The real motive at work here, I suspect, has far less to do with any actual or perceived threat to the “institution of marriage” than it does with the terrifying suspicion that their own fundamentalist faith is too flimsy to survive in a pluralist public square. Their faith is so weak, so fragile, that the mere existence of other viewpoints — and the public acknowledgment of them — is as frightening as the idea of “gay people paratrooping in to occupy the vestry.” Such timid faith can only be exercised freely under the canopy of legally established religion.
Must not be very good revealed truth if it can’t stand up to a little scientific inquiry, mockery, or dissent, now is it?
Want to strike a blow against scam agents? Link to the 20 Worst Agents list. While youre at it, link to Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors. You could even link to Everything you wanted to know about literary agents and On the getting of agents. But the 20 Worst Agents listthats the important one.
1) If a media outlet cares about its reputation for accuracy, it will be reluctant to report anything that counters the audiences’ existing beliefs because such stories will tend to erode the company’s standing. Newspapers and news programs have a visible incentive to “distort information to make it conform with consumers’ prior beliefs.”
2) The media can’t satisfy their audiences by merely reporting what their audience wants to hear. If alternative sources of information prove that a news organization has distorted the news, the organization will suffer a loss of reputation, and hence of profit. The authors predict more bias in stories where the outcomes aren’t realized for some time (foreign war reporting, for example) and less bias where the outcomes are immediately apparent (a weather forecast or a sports score). Indeed, almost nobody accuses the New York Times or Fox News Channel of slanting their weather reports.
3) Less bias occurs when competition produces a healthy tension between a news organization’s desire to conform to audience expectations and maintaining its reputation.
And speaking of perverse economic incentives: A History of US/Iranian Relations Since 9/11. (Economic as in game-theory.)
Advice on government, business and life.
BY DONALD RUMSFELD
Monday, January 29, 2001 12:01 a.m. EST
Many of these rules, reflections and quotations came from my role as chairman of the “transition team” for President Ford and my service as White House chief of staff. Others came from experiences as a U.S. naval aviator, a member of Congress, ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, secretary of defense, presidential Middle East envoy, business executive, chairman of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Threat Commission, and other experiences.
How many of his own rules has he broken in his current job?
* Don’t accept the post or stay unless you have an understanding with the president that you’re free to tell him what you think “with the bark off” and you have the courage to do it.
* It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.
* The price of being close to the president is delivering bad news. You fail him if you don’t tell him the truth. Others won’t do it.
* Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the president and do wonders for your performance.
* Beware when any idea is promoted primarily because it is “bold, exciting, innovative and new.” There are many ideas that are “bold, exciting, innovative and new,” but also foolish.
I’m sure you can find more.
Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.
Last month, the Global Frequency happened.
As John Rogers, executive producer of the unaired GF pilot pointed out, a bunch of unconnected strangers were able to get together and debunk a photo on Howard Kaloogian’s web page for his congressional run in under three hours, thereby helping doom the bastard to a fourth place finish in the recent election.
Well, I’d like to do the same thing.
My mother, for a variety of odd reasons, is trying to figure out where this photo comes from:
Click on it for a zoom.
Does anybody have any ideas where this could be? I suspect it’s not in the continental 48 states, but beyond that, I have very few ideas.