Friday, July 25, 2003
HiatiiThat's what everyone puts when they're too busy to keep up with the ol' weblog. Hiatus. Hiatuses. Moving, drinking, and getting tattoed is going to keep me busy until Tuesday. You're off the hook until then. G.p might be a little sporadic for a while: I'm in DC on the 31st and it'll be a while 'til I'm in the routine, but next week in Dallas will mean lots of free time.
Is it weird that time spent with the family for the most part turns into time spent alone until it's time to eat a meal, or see a movie, or watch TV or something? Is this just my family? We do play pretty legendary games of Hearts from time to time.
posted by kriston at 4:10 PM........
Friday, Friday, FridayConsidering what happened to me on Thursday, Thursday, Thursday, I guess I'll suggest an open thread about spontaneity. Tell us a story about when you were a crazy wilde-childe. For mine, I'd have to sumbit last night--at a bar, the same old story, a line of conversation emerges and within seven minutes, my bluff's been called and I'm lying on the tattoo parlor. "That's a tatt," I thought this morning. "Yep." Eh, so it goes.
That is, in fact, how it went with my first tattoo.
posted by kriston at 4:09 PM........
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
House Blocks FCC Rule; I Get Sweet Pumpkin GoodnessI'd say that a 400-21 vote implies broad, bipartisan support, but maybe that's just me. Now the spending bill will go to Senate/House joint committee, and proponents of the FCC regulations say they're aiming at language at that level. If it passes and Bush were to veto the bill, the House would need to put up 145 votes to uphold it.
More good news that I missed earlier:
On Tuesday, the House by 309-118 included another amendment blocking the government from performing ``sneak and peek'' searches under the USA Patriot Act. That law, enacted after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, allowed such searches without the property owner's or resident's knowledge with warrants that are delivered afterward.But maybe the best news of all is that my local convenience store has started Autumn a little early. Pumpkin Ale, arguably my favorite beer--at least the beer I get most excited about--is back on the shelves.
Pumpkin Ale and I met back in, I don't know, probably '00 or somewhere in there. We've been seeing each other in the fall season now for about three years. People ask, "Kriston - is this really your favorite beer? Would you drink this at the bar? After mowing the yard? At the Big Game? While the short answer to all those is 'Yes,' the long answer is more complicated. Think back to the episode of Cheers when Sam Malone has to drive up to Vermont to meet his Valentine's Day date in that cabin. He's been doing this for years, but this time--before he leaves the bar--he throws out his back. Oh Sam! You're no Mayday Malone anymore, don't you realize? Well, Woody drives him up to Vermont, and Sam, trying to play it cool, acts like he doesn't want to make love--and who'd believe that? Anyway, I don't know how that relates, but I like Cheers and Pumpkin Ale. So, cheers.
My good fortune has it that the weather right now in Austin, Texas is actually quite cool and comfortable. It actually feels like late September.
posted by kriston at 7:46 PM........
The Gangrene GangI direct quite a lot of vitriole at the Green Party, but compared to Michael Tomasky, I might as well be wearing a kango and playing hack. The soon-to-be editor of The American Prospect has something to say:
As if the last two and a half years have been some sort of game show with no real consequences for America and the world, the Greens signaled at their national committee meeting this weekend that they have every intention of running a presidential candidate in 2004.And that's all you get here. Click away. Tomasky goes on to explain how a Democratic candidate, and especially Dean, could benefit by calling out the Green on their backwards existence.
And backwards is how it is. I sometimes forget that the Green is not a branch of the Democratic party, whereas the Christian Coalition is a part of the Republican Party. Like it or not, the CC has managed to transform the GOP. The Green doesn't intend to reform the Democratic Party, but--apparently--to destroy it. Where I applaud Kucinich for being a Democrat working for change within the "electable left," the Green Party is an alien institution. In the stances they take on issues--national security, minimum wage, class warfare--their ideas are as foreign to me as Republicans' are.
Meanwhile I'm becoming a huge fan of Michael Tomasky. TAP is first in line for new subscriptions.
posted by kriston at 5:44 PM........
Regulators... mount up.Some encouraging news:
The House began debate today on a spending measure that contains a provision that would overturn the new network ownership rule. Both supporters and critics of the rule say that the measure has broad bipartisan support and is likely to be approved this week.And that's not all: The tenor of the article seems to indicate that there exists fairly broad, bipartisan support for reversing the other two major rules changes as well, but that it didn't happen today because Reps want to make sure that any amendment to do such has veto-proof support first. A solid first step in correcting a grave mistake.
MORE: DIY Media has the scoop on the FCC's nasty raids of free-radio stations, and a rumor about Michael "Son of Colin" Powell leaving the FCC. Is the chair for such a commission awarded by seniority, or by administrative appointment?
Make way for Capps, er, Michael Copps.
posted by kriston at 3:48 AM........
That Is The QuestionCertain moral questions have haunted our history, and each of us in his own way decides on how best to confront them. So, godspeed to the young scholar who found his way to G.p while searching the annals of the interent for guidance with "Rocking vs. Not Rocking."
To those about to investigate rocking, I solute you.
posted by kriston at 2:42 AM........
Just Biden His TimeGet a whif of this thorough Not Geniuses post about how Joseph Biden (D-DE) may toss his hat into the presidential ring. It appears that John Kerry (D-MA) is none too happy about it, and it's pretty clear why. Kerry and Biden occupy many of the same spheres: They're both East Coast liberals, they're both establishment Democrats, they're both experienced. Both Kerry and Biden cover a pretty wide spectrum: Neither of them is so far left as Dean or so far center as Lieberman, so it's reasonable to assume that both can expect the traditional Democratic base of support.
The problem, of course, is that both can't expect it, and that's why Kerry's pissed. Even if Kerry's somehow heavily publicly favored over JB, Kerry won't make it out of New Hampshire with the way the vote will be split. They're simply not so differentiable that one could draw all the "electable wing" sympathetic to himself. The question is, why is Biden playing the spoiler? I don't agree with Not Geniuses about this reasoning (and I do suggest you read their analysis). It's a good run-down of what happens if Biden runs, and they acknolwedge that a careerist like Biden will understand what would happen in the primaries. (Ahem... unlike the Greens.) My best hypothesis is that the Party's sweating over Dean's success--and rightly so, because if we were to follow the trajectory we're on now, Dean would be the clear shoe-in for the primary. And I think there are a lot of people in the party who don't want to rally around Dean.
I like Kerry; I like Biden just a little bit more than Kerry for three reasons. One, Biden is considered a bit tougher on national security--he's basically a hawk; two, like I said earlier, there's not that much differentiating the two, and since I like Kerry, I like Biden; and three, though this is an argument I hear a lot from friends and it's one I typically despise, Biden is more attractive/telegenic than Kerry.
That said, I hope Biden doesn't run, and also for three reasons: One, along with Dick Lugar (R-IN), those two drafted a hefty AIDS bill, and put the full-court press on environmental defense (way back when that mattered), and I don't like strife between Democrats that work well together; two, the field's a little too crowded for many more candidates (and it's too late to start trying to put together the money now after the center supporters have given all their money to Kerry or Edwards); and three, I don't want Biden to steal the media attention that'll be given to the late-entering candidate--that should be saved for Wesley Clark.
And savvy as he is, Biden doesn't Kerry himself the way Clark does.
posted by kriston at 2:34 AM........
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
A Little Bird...tells me that Sidney Blumenthal may be named editor of the Guardian US mag. A provisional congratulations, Sid.
The same little bird also tells me that I am awesome.
posted by kriston at 11:59 AM........
TreasonThere's little doubt in my mind that a couple of nefarious senior administration officials are guilty of treason with the Valerie Plame affair: capital-T Treason, not Green-Party-the-whole-administration's-committed-treason treason. From Bush Wars comes a concise review of the issue and the evolving media coverage. There are now three big American outlets covering this piece: Time Online, Newsday, and (if you count PK's column) The New York Times.
Question: How big must a shitstorm get for someone to actually go down?
Seriously, this is quite enough shit!
posted by kriston at 11:52 AM........
What a Patriot Wants, What a Patriot NeedsPaul Krugman is the first columnist I've seen to pick up on the sub-scandal scandal regarding Valerie Plame:
And while we're on the subject of patriotism, let's talk about the affair of Joseph Wilson's wife. Mr. Wilson is the former ambassador who was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to investigate reports of attempted Iraqi uranium purchases and who recently went public with his findings. Since then administration allies have sought to discredit him — it's unpleasant stuff. But here's the kicker: both the columnist Robert Novak and Time magazine say that administration officials told them that they believed that Mr. Wilson had been chosen through the influence of his wife, whom they identified as a C.I.A. operative.Joseph Wilson is not hesitating to say that the US government sold his wife up the river; how long should we expect to wait until significant action is taken? This particular issue, about the White House outing a covert CIA operative, cannot and absolutely should not be ignored. The media needs to feast on this, we need to know which Bush administration officials tipped off the papers, and what Bush intends to do with them. This minor point of the larger tribulation may have more legs than has been acknowledged, because that kind of activity--unlike misleading America--is explicitly illegal.
And moreover, will it be Dean or Kerry who seizes on this?
posted by kriston at 2:58 AM........
Monday, July 21, 2003
Flight Plans Changed Due to Utter DestructionJake Rosenthal, who shares a page with Amy Sullivan at Political Aims, reports that he shared a flight with Tucker Carlson, Al Sharpton, Cornel West, and Alan Dershowitz to Liberia. I'm wondering if this odd bunch can get anywhere near Monrovia after today's carnage. I would imagine the need for intervention was illustrated quite clearly today when Liberians dragged bloody bodies to the steps of the US Embassy. What else needs to happen? Waiting for Charles Taylor to peacefully step down at this point is not a realistic approach.
Perhaps if Liberians could quickly strike oil....
posted by kriston at 6:40 PM........
Great. GREAT.Strolling through Repentant Nader Voter, looking for a few chuckles, I find an item from the Washington Post. The Green Party did not learn their lesson: They want to run a candidate for '04. The party cites the regular nonsense and a more likely reasoning:
There are also more practical concerns: Without a presidential candidate, the party could lose its place on some states' ballots. It would probably be largely ignored by the news media without someone at the top of the ticket -- and the public might assume the party is on the decline.Well, good. The Green Party ought to be on the decline. Only the most irrational and uninformed college students truly believe that the state of the nation and the world would be such as it is today were Gore elected president, so I don't buy the spoiler argument--it was never true, as made quite evident now, that Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same evil coin.
Come on, liberals, we don't have time for this garbage. Is it too late to register Unrepentant Nader Hater?
G.p is no friend to the GP.
posted by kriston at 6:17 PM........
Krull.Some sense will come to me by morning, and maybe even sobriety by then, and so it'll be back to business. But right now it's past 3a, I have no work to look forward to, I'm happy to be in Austin with friends for a while longer--and most importantly, I'm watching Krull. This is the most important movie to have ever been made. What I wouldn't do for a glaive. Or a humongous spider to guard my lair, or a red-headed cosmic princess to be in my lair. Or, another beer.
What I wouldn't do to have not have written this tomorrow, what?
posted by kriston at 3:51 AM........
Sunday, July 20, 2003
HardballHoward Dean asks sixteen questions in response to Bush's sixteen words. All serious and worth serious investigation, but I'm really wondering where the media is concerning question 4:
Mr. President, we urgently need an explanation about the very serious charge that senior officials in your Administration may have retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson by illegally disclosing that his wife is an undercover CIA officer. (The Nation, Corn, David, 7/16/2003)That allegation is serious. If Valerie Plame was a CIA operative on WMD, and she's been outed by senior administration officials, then 1 her career is over, 2 those senior officials committed a grave crime against the state, 3 the war against terrorism has suffered a blow. This outing ought to have already warranted a thorough and public investigation, or promise of such investigation, from the Bush administration; an upstart shouldn't have to call for it. The only two reason I can think of why such hasn't happened is that 1 Bush doesn't have to, and 2 the Bush adminstration seems all-too-willing to sell the CIA down the river as it suits them.
The real question is when we should expect to see a full backlash from the CIA. Or are they too professional for that?
posted by kriston at 8:18 PM........