“Frustrated by the inability of Democrats in Congress to pass a resolution opposing President Bush’s policies in Iraq, state legislators across the country…are pushing forward with their own resolutions,” the New York Times reports. “Resolutions have passed in chambers of three legislatures, in California, Iowa and Vermont. The Maryland General Assembly sent a letter to its Congressional delegation, signed by a majority of the State Senate and close to a majority of the House, urging opposition to the increase in troops in Iraq. Letters or resolutions are being drafted in at least 19 other states.” Much more at the Progressive States Network.
During today’s Iraq debate, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) explained her support for sending tens of thousands of U.S. forces to Iraq by quoting that “wonderful saying” — “Get ‘er done.”
In the South, we have a wonderful saying and it goes like this: Get ‘er done. Our soldiers want to get it done and come home, and our President wants the same thing, and this Congress should demand the exact same thing. Let’s get out there and get ‘er done.
“Al Gore announced on Thursday a series of worldwide concerts to focus on the threat of climate change, with a powerhouse lineup from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Snoop Dogg to Bon Jovi.” The 24-hour event on 7/07/07 is part of a campaign called Save Our Selves (SOS) — The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis. “In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to reach billions of people,” Gore said today. “The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement.”
The number of investigations into lawmakers from the 109th Congress, which grew today by one with reports that newly-elected Gov. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) is facing an FBI investigation for “suspicions of criminal behavior while he was a member of Congress.”
Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) launched a new blog, The Gavel. Today, a group of conservative House members issued a release claiming Pelosi had “violated copyright and trademark law on the very first day” by “using pirated content” from C-SPAN. The group suggested “the Speaker bring the gavel down on ‘the Gavel Blog.’” Within hours, the conservatives learned that their legal analysis was wrong and embarrassingly retracted their complaint.
After a baffling interaction with Pizza Hut, which first insisted its website wasn’t working even though it clearly was, and then insisted that our house was outside its delivery radius even though it’s four blocks away, we turned out attention to Papa John’s whose website was advertising “Caron’s 3 Point Play: One Large Three Topping, Breadsticks and a 2-Liter” for $18.99 — what hungry Wizards fan could resist? Not me. It turns out, though, that you don’t really get three toppings. You get one topping on the whole pizza, one topping on one half of the pizza, and one topping on the other half. And it doesn’t really cost $18.99, either. Once you add in the delivery charge and taxes, it comes to $22.54. They also asserted that $1 was going to go to Butler’s charity 3D. After discovering what a liar Butler turned out to be, naturally I had to look into that alleged charity. It turns out ot be legit, but their website reveals Butler’s given name to be “James”. Basically, everything about the man and his pizza deals is a sham. Except, of course, for his game.
In other Wizards blog news, contrary to Dave Berri’s pre-emptive attack, I agree with him about Antawn Jamison. The Wizards stink without him less because he’s a great player than simply because he’s a good player with awful backup. I do, however, sort of disagree with the “overrated” characterization just because I don’t think there’s actually much disagreement about this. The Wages of Wins “overrated” list seems to me to be based not only on a debatable model of quality, but on a clearly flawed model of ratedness.
Today, President Bush delivered a speech on Afghanistan at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. AEI and the Bush administration are deeply entwined, something Bush admitted during his speech. “I admire AEI a lot,” Bush said. “After all, I have been consistently borrowing some of your best people. More than 20 AEI scholars have worked in my administration.”
Below are a few examples of the people and ideas that AEI has shared — or tried to share — with the Bush White House over recent years:
– Escalation. President Bush’s escalation plan is based on a report by AEI scholar Frederick Kagan. CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux said of AEI’s influence on Iraq policy: “One conservative policy group that has the president’s ear and is influencing his thinking is the American Enterprise Institute.”
– The Cheneys. Dick Cheney served as AEI Senior Fellow from 1993-1995, and his wife Lynn currently serves as Senior Fellow studying education and children. “Both Lynne and I have a long history with the American Enterprise Institute, and we value the association,” Vice President Cheney said in 2005.
– Bomb Iran. “We must bomb Iran,” AEI Resident Scholar Joshua Muravchik wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. Muravchik called for an “air campaign against Tehran’s nuclear facilities”
– Richard Perle. Perle has been at AEI since 1987, and currently serves as a Resident Fellow. A leading neoconservative, Perle was a fierce proponent of regime change in Iraq. He served as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board from 2001 to 2003.
– John Bolton. Served as Senior Vice President of AEI before coming to the Bush administration. Bolton currently serves as a Senior Fellow at AEI. “There is no such thing as the United Nations,” Bolton said. “If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
– Climate change inaction. AEI offered $10,000 to climate change deniers to speak out against the recent IPCC climate change study.
As if it were news, a report by Intellichoice.com found that over a five-year span, the owner of a Prius saves more than $13,000 compared to the owner of a similar non-hybrid.
In fact, the savings apply “across the board,” to all 22 hybrids evaluated. What’s more, the study was the most inclusive of any yet: It factored in insurance, fuel, taxes, maintenance, and the works.
Read it to believe it, but it just confirms what many of us have been saying for years.
Azar Nafisi: “In other words, the main beneficiary of an attack on Iran would be the most militaristic and reactionary elements in the Iranian ruling hierarchy.” I’m afraid I don’t entirely understand the counterproposal:
The most effective war against the tyrants in Iran is through giving voice to the workers asking for their rights, to women fighting for equality and to students, journalists, writers and intellectuals fighting for freedom of expression.
To miss this opportunity not only would be disastrous for the Iranian people, it would have dire consequences for the United States and the world.
I’m all for it, I think, but what would it mean in practice? It seems to me that America’s practical ability to impact this situation gets overstated.
According to the Pew Center’s typology test I’m . . . a liberal. You’re shocked, I know. Lets learn more about us:
This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999, Liberals now comprise the largest share of Democrats and is the single largest of the nine Typology groups. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration, issues which are more controversial among Conservative and Disadvantaged Democrats.
Strongest preference for diplomacy over use of military force. Pro-choice, supportive of gay marriage and strongly favor environmental protection. Low participation in religious activities. Most sympathetic of any group to immigrants as well as labor unions, and most opposed to the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.
Who They Are
Most (62%) identify themselves as liberal. Predominantly white (83%), most highly educated group (49% have a college degree or more), and youngest group after Bystanders. Least religious group in typology: 43% report they seldom or never attend religious services; nearly a quarter (22%) are seculars. More than one-third never married (36%). Largest group residing in urban areas (42%) and in the western half the country (34%). Wealthiest Democratic group (41% earn at least $75,000).
Over the long run, the growth in the number of liberals is, I think, a good thing. At the moment, however, it’s a bit of a problem as both l’affaire Marcotte and some of Atrios’ recent writings on religion indicate. As long as secular people were a profoundly small group of Americans divided fairly arbitrarily between the parties, seculars were happy to stay quiet and accept the very marginal role American politics assigns to the view that there is no God. Once you see us emerge as a large and politically coherent block, however, we want respect, damnit. Nevertheless, America’s Christian majority — including a vast swathe of Democrats — don’t want to hear about how you think their religion is silly.
This, I think, is a lot of the appeal of someone like Barack Obama. He has a lot of the personal and biographical attributes of your typical liberal (in the Pew sense) but he’s also black, religious, etc. — a combo-Democrat.