Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) “resigned tonight as Senate co-chairman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, within hours after news broke of Craig’s guilty plea to disorderly conduct after an incident in a men’s bathroom.” Conservative blogger and radio host Hugh Hewitt called on Craig to resign from the Senate. “Craig’s behavior is so reckless and repulsive that an immediate exit is required,” Hewitt wrote.
Hopefully that means they will upload the video later.
It seems that a Frank Gaffney front organization published an article calling on President Bush to engineer a coup to make himself president for life, while Martin Lewis at the Huffington Post put out the call for General Pace and the Joint Chiefs to engineer a coup against the Bush administration.
I’m gonna go way out on a limb and say that neither of these are very good ideas. Meanwhile, Jamie Malanowki’s new novel The Coup, involves a more clever (and funnier) method of toppling the incumbent. I do wonder sometimes what would happen if Bush did something really crazy like just call up the Joint Chiefs one day and order a preventive nuclear first strike (all the GOP contenders say it should be considered) on Iran without congressional authorization. Does the military follow that order?
Should they? My best understanding is that it’s completely within the president’s legal authority to order a nuclear attack on a whim, but that’s a pretty disturbing idea.
Raw Story does a review of the conservative blogosphere’s reaction to the Gonzales resignation and finds “there is precious little love lost for the departing AG.” RedState writes, “I am not sorry to see AGAG go.” Andy McCarthy at the National Review writes the “resignation was overdue,” and Captain’s Quarters adds that Gonzales’ attorney scandal “has been a royal embarrassment.”
Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) on his distaste for blogs:
Asked if he supports a federal shield law for the press, he said he did. However, the problem is how to protect legitimate reporters when there are web logs, “blogs,” whose authors can defame and lie with impunity because they can be anonymous and don’t have to worry about the facts.
“I would like to strengthen the legitimate news sources. I’m very concerned about blogs and even some radio. They can hide behind a shield law but they are not legitimate news sources,” the congressman said.
During his first of eight stops in town he spoke to the Laughlin Rotary Club and pointed out the danger of blogs.
Porter said during the course of a day he reads an average of four newspapers.
As summer winds down, it becomes time to shift away from the commercial theater at Gallery Place and start spending more time at the Landmark Theater a few blocks away. First up was Interview based on a Dutch movie by the late Theo Van Gogh and man-oh-man is it bad. The film serves primarily as a reminder of why nobody likes actors, since the whole thing is obviously a couple of actors’ notion of what a really good movie would be like — totally contrived, meandering uninteresting story full of pointless twists and turns in the plot designed to let the performers show off. Nothing anyone does in this film makes any sense, at any point, on any level.
Rocket Science, written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz who made the popular documentary Spellbound, is much better. Still, it’s pretty disappointing. There’s a lot of good material here, certainly enough that I hope he writes and directs another movie down the road, but the story totally runs out of gas near the end.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, on the other hand, is really great. This is a documentary about Steve Wiebe’s efforts to beat the Donkey Kong world record — a quest wherein his greatest foe turns out to be not an animated gorilla, but the corrupt competitive classic video gaming establishment. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, etc., and the film is surprisingly effective at moving beyond just mocking its protagonists. The title, however, is a little unfortunate. Either joke would be pretty fun, but making both simultaneously is tacky. But when a tacky title is the worst thing about your movie, you’re in pretty solid shape.
Climate Progress is happy to introduce Bracken Hendricks. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP). He has a forthcoming book on climate solutions with Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) — Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. You can read his full bio here. I first met Bracken when I was at DOE, and he was a Special Assistant to Al Gore. Then we were both on the Energy Efficiency panel of the Energy Future Coalition. Now we are both Senior Fellows at CAP. He brings a unique perspective to the energy/climate debate. Welcome, Bracken!
As we approach the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it is time to begin the work of ensuring that there will be no more climate refugees. “Forecast: Storm Warning,” a report released today by the Center for American Progress, does just that.
Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the first line of defense against fiercer hurricanes from global warming, but as the real-world impacts of climate change begin to materialize, it’s time to prepare our communities to be more disaster resilient — to reduce future damages and costs of severe storms from global warming. This will take strong federal leadership and public support.
Readers of this blog know that there is an emerging consensus among climate scientists that global warming is increasing the ferocity of hurricanes, as shown in the work of Michael Mann and Kerry Emanuel, linking increased sea surface temperatures to more severe storms. A 2006 study in Science goes even further, strongly indicating that warming may even be increasing the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms. Many more studies are here.
Important followup quasi-reporting on the Larry Craig story below: According to Travelocity, you can’t fly direct from DC to Boise. Connections are available via Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, or Denver, but the Minneapolis connections are faster than the alternatives. So it’s not like Senator Craig was going to the Minneapolis airport just for the purpose of “lewd conduct.”
Hilarious as it is to learn that Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) got arrested in June in Minneapolis for “lewd conduct,” I’m actually pretty puzzled by the legal issues in play here:
“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.
Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could … see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”
Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.
Now, common sense indicates that the officer in question is correct and Craig’s foot-tapping was a cruising signal, but surely tapping one’s foot isn’t a crime in Minnesota. Whatever Craig intended to do here, he doesn’t seem, in fact, to have done anything lewd. I suppose that Craig, wanting to keep this whole thing hushed up, wouldn’t have wanted to fight the charges, but it’s still hard to see how he could have imagined that it wouldn’t come out sooner or later.
Here’s a history of gay life in Idaho.
Roll Call reports today that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport for “lewd conduct” in a men’s public restroom. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He “paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation.” The arresting officer’s report explains:
My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall. From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me. [...]
At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area.
UPDATE: Larry Craig called Bill Clinton “a bad boy, a naughty boy” in 1999.