Sunday, January 14, 2007

the defining aspects of conservatism.

* digby:
"I think this is one of the defining aspects of conservatism. They have a stunted sense of empathy and an undeveloped ability to understand abstract concepts. It makes them unable to fashion any solutions to common problems, which they blame on "poor character" because they cannot visualize themselves ever being in a vulnerable or unlucky position through no fault of their own. Until it happens to them or someone they know, in which case they never question their philosophy as a whole but merely apply a special exemption to whichever particular problem or risk to which they have personally been exposed."
* tpmm:
"The epic Duke Cunningham scandal gets weirder: Carole Lam, the San Diego U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the corrupt former lawmaker, is being quietly pushed out by the Bush administration. Lam's office has recently been troubling the CIA and Capitol Hill by pushing for documents related to the Cunningham investigation.

According to this morning's San Deigo Union-Tribune, the White House's reason for giving her the axe is that she "failed to make smuggling and gun cases a top priority." But most folks the paper talked to -- supporters and detractors -- said that sounded like a load of hooey."
calipendence has more

* bloomberg:
"Defense lawyers say they'll call Cheney as a witness to bolster claims Libby was too busy with security matters to accurately remember events. His testifying is risky for both men. What Cheney recalls may undermine Libby's too-busy defense while exposing the vice president to probes by Congress of how the Bush administration promoted the war, legal experts said.

``Litigation begets litigation,'' said Stanley Brand, a former U.S. House counsel who specializes in representing public officials accused of wrongdoing. ``Every time you haul someone to court, it makes it more likely someone else is going to haul him to court. It's the Martha Stewart problem. Once you're under oath, people can take pot shots at you about what you said.''"

* murray waas has a new plame piece out:
"In his interviews by the FBI and testimony before the federal grand jury, Libby testified that it was the reporters who told him, and not the other way around, that Plame was a CIA officer. Prosecutors are expected to argue during the trial next week that Libby lied because to tell the truth Libby would have to admit that he leaked classified information and might politically embarrass the White House. But the prosecution may very well subtly make the case that another motive was for Libby to protect his then-boss, Cheney. In private, some federal investigators have asserted that Libby might have lied from the beginning to protect Cheney."

* Pipa poll via drifty:
"• Bipartisan majorities believe government spending on defense should either be kept at present levels or scaled back (Republicans 61%, Democrats 83%)

• Given the opportunity to balance the foreign affairs budget, members of both parties favor non-military over military programs. On average, Republicans cut defense spending $110 billion and Democrats slash it by $264 billion."

* via mizgin is the Kurdish Regional Govt's response to the iranian diplomat kidnappings in Irbil. They aren't happy:
"Unlike other parts of Iraq, the Kurdistan Region enjoys safety, security, stability and the rule of law. The US action does not conform to the policy of attempting to spread security and stability throughout all of Iraq. No military action should be taken in the Kurdistan Region without consultations with security authorities here.

The people of the Kurdistan Region protest against and reject this action which violates our internal sovereignty. We do not accept that disputes with our neighbouring countries should be brought onto our soil. We call for the immediate release of those arrested."

* salon:
'But overlooked in the disgust over the primitive, vengeful nature of Saddam's execution is the fact that Bush's entire Iraq war, like most wars, was ultimately an act of revenge. There is no such thing as a clean war: As Goya said in the title of one of his horrific etchings of war, "This always happens." When you set out to kill people, you cannot control what happens afterward; as in revenge tragedy, death inspires more death. Saddam's ugly end is no unfortunate anomaly, it is a hideous microcosm of the entire war -- one started by Bush, but supported by a large percentage of the American people, who were driven by the same primitive passions that led Muqtada al-Sadr's men to curse a man about to die. Before we throw stones at the Iraqis for their tribal vengefulness, we would do well to contemplate the degree to which we share it, and think again before we launch a vengeful war."

* jonathon:
"David Swanson tells me he was just at an event featuring George McGovern. And in a conversation afterwards with several people, McGovern said that he’s been trying to get on television to talk about Iraq. But producers and hosts are telling him that they “already have too many anti-war people on.”"

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