“I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on supporting a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border to placate anti-immigrant hardliners.
AJ at AmericaBlog explains.
Right-wing radio host Hal Turner has posted a web statement warning members of Congress against voting for immigration reform:
“ANY MEMBER OF CONGRESS WHO INTRODUCES, CO-SPONSORS OR VOTES IN FAVOR OF ANY SUCH AMNESTY WILL BE DECLARED A DOMESTIC ENEMY AND WILL BE CONSIDERED A LEGITIMATE TARGET FOR ASSASSINATION,” Turner posted on his website.
“I know where all of my New Jersey Congressmen and Senators live. Do you know where yours live? If not, you better find out before January so you can scope out their neighborhoods and prepare yourselves,” Turner writes.
“National Intelligence Director John Negroponte will resign to become deputy secretary of state, a government official said Wednesday night,” the AP reports. “Negroponte took over in 2005 as the nation’s first intelligence chief, responsible for overseeing all 16 U.S. spy agencies. He will return to his roots as a career diplomat to become the No. 2 to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the official said.” The timing of the shift is unknown, and Negroponte must be confirmed to the State Dept. position.
I guess this is something liberals and libertarians are supposed to agree about, but I consistently find it bizarre that there are some people who seem to think it would be a good idea if you could just walk into your local convenience store and pick up some heroin or crack along with your Fritos and Diet Coke. At times, people taking this line seem to argue that drug prohibition couldn’t possibly be having any beneficial effects because, after all, you can still find heroin. Naturally enough, you don’t see anyone proposing that the “war on mugging” be ended simply because mugging-prohibition has failed to actually eliminate the proscribed activity. That said, like any reasonable person I think many aspects of current crime-control and drug-control policy in the United States don’t make sense. So I have a hard time knowing what to make of things like this from Jerry Taylor:
While it should be obvious to any fair-minded observer that our increasingly brutal war on drugs is a losing proposition on all counts, few of us seem to be fair minded observers. So allow me to pose a question to those of you still clinging to this benighted enterprise: Exactly what would it take to convince you that the drug war was causing more harm than good? Is there any bit of data, any hypothetical fact, or anything at all that would cause you to give up the policy ghost? Because if there is not, then we are in the realm of religious belief — and that’s about all that I can find to support this cruel, costly, and counterproductive jihad.
I mean, I’m not even clear on what question’s being asked here. Do I think the status quo is preferable to total deregulation of currently prohibited drugs? I would say so. But considering how heavily regulated the use of alcohol and tobacco is, one hardly imagines that a heroin free-for-all (ads after school cartoons, for sale out of ice cream trucks) is a likely alternative policy. So, I don’t know. What is the “war on drugs” exactly? Does it do more harm than good compared to what? That said, this Mike Males op-ed Taylor links to sure is interesting:
It’s time to end the obsession with hyping teenage drug use. The meaningless surveys that policy makers now rely on should be replaced with a comprehensive “drug abuse index” that pulls together largely ignored data on drug-related deaths, hospital emergencies, crime, diseases and similar practical measures. . . .
Few experts would have suspected that the biggest contributors to California’s drug abuse, death and injury toll are educated, middle-aged women living in the Central Valley and rural areas, while the fastest-declining, lowest-risk populations are urban black and Latino teenagers. Yet the index found exactly that. These are the sorts of trends we need to understand if we are to design effective policies.
I wouldn’t have guessed that.
Just weeks ago, President Bush insisted that the United States was “absolutely” winning in Iraq. Recently, as the casulties have mounted, he’s toned back his sunny rhetoric slightly, saying the United States was not “winning or losing.” Yet media reports indicate Bush believes the United States can win by sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq, a gambit that has been tried before and failed.
This prompted a reporter to ask White House Press Secretary Tony Snow if Bush was “fundamentally out of touch with what the reality is on the ground in Iraq?” Snow responded that “we may be out of touch with reality because we sit around and we look at fractional pictures on the screen.” Bush, on the other hand, “knows more than anybody in this room about what’s going on there.” Watch it:
it’s hard to imagine what we do after that.” — Frederick Kagan, the “intellectual architect” of the Iraq escalation.
A new film about three of the 25,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan” who fled Sudan’s civil war and traveled across the sub-Saharan desert. (Watch the trailer.) It won the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The Center for American Progress will host a screening tomorrow. If you’re in New York, RSVP here.
“Prime Minister Maliki’s staff have already expressed their disappointment in the filmings, so I guess we’ll leave it at that,” said deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel.
My first reaction upon hearing the news was “fuck Pat Riley,” but to offer a more measured take it seems mighty convenient for Pat Riley to be taking health-related leave now that his team is once again bad. Riley’s obviously got some skills as a coach, but he’s also a serious scumbag.