Media Matters reports, “From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on August 27, Fox News devoted only 3 minutes and 47 seconds to segments discussing Sen. Larry Craig’s lewd-conduct arrest. By contrast, MSNBC aired 8 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage on the story, while CNN aired 20 minutes and 38 seconds.”
A “Take A Stand Day” event this evening in Ohio got particularly heated. A group of anti-war demonstrators gathered outside the office of Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), the congresswoman who infamously attacked John Murtha in a House floor speech in late 2005. While Schmidt supports Bush’s escalation, a poll of constituents in her district indicate “70 percent want a responsible and speedy withdrawal from Iraq.” According to a press report of tonight’s event:
Witnesses said the exchange became heated between the peace activists and Schmidt, who was joined by a group of war-supporting counter-protesters. The pro-war demonstrators said they would not leave until the peace activists did, and witnesses said the groups shouted at one another as passersby honked their horns and yelled.
GFR brings you everything you wanted to know about cruising in Minnesota men’s rooms, reaching the conclusion that it seems to be perfectly legal.
UPDATE: Weisberg & Plotz are also making sense here. The idea that the real crime was the peering into the cop’s stall doesn’t make sense. The cop was in the bathroom specifically to try to arrest cruisers. He arrested Craig not after the alleged peeping, but after this foot-tap-signal business.
I’m not sure I quite understand where Josef Joffe comes from. Or, rather, why it is that a certain number of editors seem to feel that North America can’t supply a sufficient supply of wingnutty commentary on foreign policy without importing additional labor from Germany. But for whatever reason, Joffe has firmly established himself on the post-9/11 scene as Europe’s premiere purveyor of ludicrous neoconservative arguments. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal he offered a forecast of the things that would happen if the US were to withdraw from Iraq:
- “Iran advances to No. 1, completing its nuclear-arms program undeterred and unhindered.”
- The Sunni Arab states “are drawn into the Khomeinist orbit.”
- “[E]mboldened jihadi forces shift to Afghanistan and turn it again into a bastion of Terror International”
- “Syria reclaims Lebanon”
- “Hezbollah and Hamas . . . resume their war against Israel”
- “Russia . . . rebuilds its anti-Western alliances”
One might note that Joffe’s thinking about this essentially parallels the paranoid fantasies of the domino theorists, but Joffe actually acknowledges as much but just insists that this time things are different. But this is crazy. Iran may or may not build a nuclear bomb, but our ability to prevent this won’t be seriously impacted by our presence or absence in Iraq. Similarly, anti-Israel violence from Hamas and Hezbollah wax and wane according to those groups’ own imperatives, it has nothing to do with Iraq. And, again, anti-Syrian forces in Lebanon either can or can’t resist Syrian efforts to impose its will. Outside powers like the United States and France may or may not be able to help sympathetic groups in Lebanon. Having tens of thousands of American countries engaged, at great expense, in an unpopular occupation of a nearby country is neither here nor there.
Why would the Sunni Arab states be drawn into the Khomeinist orbit? What would this even mean? Will Hosni Mubarak convert to Shiism? Will the UAE just hand its oil over to Teheran? It’s very hard to imagine any of our friends in the region deciding that Russia would be a more useful ally than the United States, and if Iran already dominates the whole region then it’s hard to believe Russia will be able to dominate it too. By the end, Joffe has the whole world collapsing into anarchy as American hegemony collapses:
For all the damage to Washington’s reputation, nothing of great import can be achieved without, let alone against, the U.S. Can Moscow and Beijing bring peace to Palestine? Or mend a global financial system battered by the subprime crisis? Where are the central banks of Russia and China?
These are good questions, but the answer is, of course, that the United States will still be the world’s primary economic and military power no matter what happens in Iraq. The United States is, simply put, not nearly so fragile as Joffe imagines. We’ll still have our 300 million people and our $13 trillion GDP and our aircraft carriers, universities, etc. All that stuff that made us an important and powerful country in the first place is still here. We’ve been seeing in Iraq that it doesn’t make us omnipotent. Joffe is acting like facing up to that reality in Mesopotamia would somehow reveal all the rest as just a mirage, but it’s all real. America and the world will survive.
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is wrapping up its Iraq summer campaign today with Take A Stand Day. From coast to coast, thousands of concerned citizens will turn out to attend “Take a Stand” events and vigils organized by MoveOn.org, including one in Connecticut that will send a message to Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Chris Shays. Iraq war vet John Bruhns writes, “Since the kick-off, ‘Iraq Summer’ organizers have held 362 press events, planted 30,452 lawn signs (often in the member’s immediate neighborhood), created 265 YouTube videos, and directly confronted members of Congress on their war votes 125 times.” Join tens of thousands of your fellow Americans who are taking part in over 680 events nationwide to Take A Stand against Bush’s disastrous course in Iraq.
In his speech about Iraq to the American Legion today, President Bush warned that allowing Iran to pursue “technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.” Watch it:
As Steve Benen points out, Bush’s hyperbolic rhetoric about a “nuclear holocaust” in the Middle East is reminiscent of his pre-war claims that “we couldn’t wait for actual proof to justify an invasion, because the ‘smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud.’”
This week is the one-year anniversary of Climate Progress, so I’ve been looking at CP’s place in the blogosphere. I wanted an objective ranking, so I decided to use Technorati, which ranks all blogs by “authority” (the number of blogs linking to it). The lower the rank the better.
I have listed only blogs whose primary focus is climate, which excluded favorites like The Intersection. But if I included that one, I’d have to include general environmental blogs like Gristmill and lots of energy-centric blogs, resulting in a not-very-useful list for global warming junkies. I have also omitted the (very few) top-ranked Denyer blogs (sorry Steve McIntrye) — the Denyers get far more attention than they deserve already.
Here goes (recent Technorati rank in parentheses):
10. Accuweather Climate Blog (39,249) — “Global warming news, science, myths, articles.” A good general interest climate blog.
9. Climate Feedback (34,124) — “An informal forum for debate and commentary on climate science.” A useful new blog, sponsored by Nature magazine. On the downside, you’ll have to endure posts by Roger Pielke, Jr.
8. Climate of Our Future (24,327) — “A discussion on climate change.” Another good general interest climate blog.
7. It’s Getting Hot In Here (20,428) — “Dispatches from the youth climate movement.” There is hope for the next generation after all!
6. Climate Progress (16,087) — “An insider’s view of climate science, politics, and solutions.” A fast-rising (relative) newbie.
Repeatedly claiming “I am not gay,” Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) blamed the media for his guilty plea of disorderly conduct. I have been “relentlessly and viciously harassed by the Idaho Statesman,” Craig complained. “The Statesman has engaged in this witchhunt. In pleading guilty, I overreacted in Minneapolis because of the stress the Idaho Statesman investigation and the rumors it has fueled all around Idaho.” Watch it:
Senate Republican leaders called for an ethics committee review Tuesday into Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea in a police sting operation this summer in an airport men’s room.
Republican leaders also are ”examining other aspects of the case to see if additional action is required,” Sen. Mitch McConnell and other top GOP lawmakers said in a written statement.
They released the statement shortly before Craig’s scheduled appearance before television cameras in Boise, his first public comments since confirming his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
Craig is set to make a statement in Idaho at 4:30 pm EST.
UPDATE: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Senate ethics committee earlier today.
A correspondent makes the same point as Mark Kleiman here. One way in which Larry Craig’s behavior was worse than Vitter’s is that Craig “handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, ‘What do you think about that?’”
You have here a pretty clear-cut case of Craig trying to use his official position to intimidate the officer and get special treatment. That’s true, and it’s certainly inappropriate. On the other hand, I do regard this as somewhat mitigated by the fact that I continue to regard Craig’s arrest as fundamentally unjustified. The problem, as Josh Marshall points out, is that there was no way Craig could beat the rap without publicly admitting to being gay, which would have been politically (and perhaps personally) untenable. So first he tried to weasel out of the charge, and then he figured maybe he could plead guilty and keep it hushed up. Now he’s in an absurd denial pattern.
Fundamentally, though, for me this seems like a sad story about a bad Senator who’s going to go down for no particularly good reason only to be replaced by another conservative Republican who’s just as bad.