Saturday, August 19, 2006

polarized politics

* wsj-ed:
"In our current era of polarized politics, it was probably inevitable that some judge somewhere would strike down the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretaps as unconstitutional. The temptations to be hailed as Civil Libertarian of the Year are just too great."
hysterical. the rest of it is just as funny.

* the RudePundit is in nola.

* ted rall:
"The citizens of New Orleans desperately need Hezbollah's can-do terrorist spirit. Outside the French Quarter tourist zone, writes Jed Horne in The New Republic, what was until 2005 our nation's most charming city and cultural center remains "a disaster zone, an area five times the size of Manhattan."

One year after the routine matter of a Gulf Coast hurricane, half the city's population remains refugees--screwed over by a government that hasn't lifted a finger to pretend that it cares. Horne describes "Vast swaths of a city emptied as if by a neutron bomb, with only the fecal brown floodline up under the eaves to suggest what went so very wrong--that, and the ghostly dried brine still coating the dead lawns and landscaping."

New Orleans is a dead city. Incredibly, the politicians don't give a damn. "Now most of the water has gone," the British Daily Mirror newspaper informed readers on the storm's anniversary, "but little else has changed. Driving through the streets, it is shocking to see how much devastation remains and how little rebuilding has taken place."
You know the U.S. has gone Third World when bombed-out Lebanese get a better deal than we do. Remember how hurricane victims couldn't get through to FEMA's perpetually busy hotline? Promising that Hezbollah personnel "in the towns and villages will turn to those whose homes are badly damaged and help rebuild them," Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah ordered Hezbollah militants to canvass damaged neighborhoods and begin repairs at once. Hezbollah gives out "decent and suitable furniture" and a year's free rent to all Lebanese who lost their homes. Unlike the racist government officials who managed the botched response along the Gulf Coast last year, where whites were rescued while blacks were shot, the Shiite terrorist group's offer also applies to Sunnis, Christians and even Jews.
Maybe we can commission Hezbollah to rebuild the World Trade Center."

* nyt-ed:
"No sooner had this ruling been issued than Mr. Bush’s loyalists in Congress, who have been searching for ways to give legal cover to an illegal spying program, began calling for new laws to overcome Judge Taylor’s objections. Republicans quickly pointed out that Judge Taylor was appointed by President Jimmy Carter and that some of the many precedents she cited were written by liberal judges. These efforts to undermine Judge Taylor’s arguments will undoubtedly continue while the White House appeals the decision, and the outcome in the conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is uncertain.

But for now, with a careful, thoroughly grounded opinion, one judge in Michigan has done what 535 members of Congress have so abysmally failed to do. She has reasserted the rule of law over a lawless administration and shown why issues of this kind belong within the constitutional process created more than two centuries ago to handle them."
* warroom:
"Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch once said that terrorists would do everything they could to "try and elect" John Kerry. That terrorist plot didn't work, it seems, but Hatch says the terrorists are still jonesing for the donkeys. As the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting, Hatch said earlier this week that terrorists are "waiting for the Democrats here to take control, let things cool off and then strike again."

* clemons:
"The real question about the libertarian movement is why so much of the libertarian crowd has been silent about the massive expansion of the state, of presidential authority, and the diminishment of "liberty" at home and abroad."

* juancole:
"A majority of Israelis in one poll wanted Defense Minister Amir Peretz to resign as a result of the inconclusive war on Lebanon. Some 41 percent wanted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gone. I saw on cable television that Olmert's approval rating is only 40 percent now, and Peretz stands at 28 percent. The danger is that hardliner Bibi Netanyahu of the Likud Party (who recently openly celebrated the anniversary of the terrorist attack by Zionists in the 40s on civilians in the King David Hotel) has risen in popularity as a result of the debacle. The war could leave us with a strengthened Likud and a politically strengthened Hizbullah-Syria-Iran bloc, a recipe for further disaster."
* juancole:
"The UNSC resolution was vague because US ambassador to the UN John Bolton wanted it vague or wanted the language about disarming Hizbullah in there. The Bush administration still has not learned the rule that you can throw your weight around at the UN and can do as you please, but if the results don't suit other countries, they take revenge on you by simply refusing to save your bacon. It happened in Iraq. Now it is being repeated in Lebanon."

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

JuanCole is exactly right about what happens at the UN when Uncle Slam gets too big for his britches.

On behalf of Hopi, I was the recipient of that phenomena. In 1987, when the UN was on the brink of closing up shop due to the US'failure to pay its dues, under Bush One, they were enthusiastically empathetic, shall we say, to the appeals of elders from a nearly extinct human group.

In the US gov't, Senator Alan Cranston and Speaker Jim Wright were the two most helpful elected officials, but that's a whole other story.

Yearly Lukery-UN Geneva, Switzerland, anyone?