McCain today: “Am I telling you we’re going to succeed? No. But I’m telling you I think we’ve got a good chance of succeeding.” McCain, also today, at the same event: “We’re going to win. We will. We will never surrender.” All aboard!
I went with Young Ezra Klein to the Wizards’ unfortunate finale versus Orlando last night. All-too-typically for the rising generation of political bloggers, he’s sadly unfamiliar with the NBA. Thus, at one point he queries about the constant jawboning with the officials — wondering if this ever works, does an official ever say “hey, you’re right, I’ll change the call?” Obviously, it never happens. But how to explain it? Then it hits me. “You know,” I ask him, “how they say conservative media critics are trying to ‘work the refs?’” And then he gets it.
Which goes to show that I don’t think we have enough basketball metaphors in our political discourse, which is so totally dominanted by football and bseball metaphors that people don’t even recognize a hoops reference when it’s sitting right there in front of them.
New Rasmussen poll finds that 50 percent of the American public believe that “in the long run, the U.S. mission in Iraq will be seen as a failure,” compared to just 33 percent who believe it will be a success.
A new CNN poll also finds that “69 percent of Americans say things are going badly for the United States in Iraq. That’s the most negative assessment yet recorded.”
In the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, many conservatives have suggested that the shooting spree highlights the need for more guns in schools. Specifically, there has been a call by some on the right for “an immediate end” to the Gun Free School Zones Act, which prohibits the possession of a firearm in a school zone.
Michelle Malkin: “Enough is enough, indeed. Enough of intellectual disarmament. Enough of physical disarmament. You want a safer campus? It begins with renewing a culture of self-defense — mind, spirit and body. It begins with two words: Fight back.“
Earlier this week, Fox News’ John Gibson and Andrew Napolitano suggested that Virginia had dropped the ball by not allowing students to carry guns on campus:
GIBSON: So, theoretically, in this lecture hall where all 31 were killed, there could have been someone with a carry permit carrying their gun to shoot the shooter?
NAPOLITANO: No, because the same people that just dropped the ball, as Bo just described, that allowed 32 additional people to die, also said: “Virginia lets you carry a gun at a gas station or a bank or a stadium, but not on a college campus, where you may protect kids.”
At today’s White House press briefing, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino temporarily quieted the critics, reminding them, “As governor [of Texas], he supported weapons-free school zones.” Watch it:
In the 2000 presidential debates, Bush said, “[Gore] says we ought to have gun-free schools. Everybody believes that. I’m sure every state in the union’s got them. You can’t carry a gun into a school.”
Transcript: Read more
Dan Froomkin on Bush’s new bubble:
President Bush’s public campaign to push back against Congressional demands for withdrawal from Iraq is becoming highly reminiscent of his failed effort two years ago to win support for a radical overhaul of Social Security.
The meticulously choreographed settings, the carefully controlled audiences, the mind-numbing repetition of hoary talking points (with a particular emphasis on stoking fears) — it’s like deja vu.
And so is the result: A public that is apparently more turned off to Bush’s ideas the more he talks about them.
More in today’s Progress Report.
I’m not sure I’m ready to go the full Derb but I think he’s closer to the reality of the situation than most. … Point one: They’re not “children.” The students at Virginia Tech were grown women and — if you’ll forgive the expression — men. [...]
We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision. [...]
Murderous misfit loners are mercifully rare. But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin joins the pack.
UPDATE II: Media Matters has a round-up.
Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from “[s]evere depression and loss of esteem.” Because of women’’s fragile emotional state and because of the “bond of love the mother has for her child,” the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.
This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution— ideas that have long since been discredited.
This on late-term abortions was the predictable consequence of Bush’s Supreme Court nominees getting confirmed since Justice Kennedy had already made it clear in Stenberg v. Carhart where he stood on this issue. What’s less clear is to what extent Kennedy’s Stenberg dissent prefigured a broader decision to step away from the Court’s earlier reproductive freedom jurisprudence. I’ll be looking forward to explanations from Jeffrey Rosen and Benjamin Wittes of why this turn of events is secretly good for reproductive rights.
UPDATE: Ann points out to me that this law bans all performances of the intact D&E procedure and has nothing to do with whether or not the abortion in question is late term.
On Nov. 27, 2006, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and at least five top Justice Department officials held a meeting to implement a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of several U.S. Attorneys.
Just three days later, on Nov. 30, Gonzales appeared on CNN and was asked if he could think of a single mistake he’s made during his service to President Bush during the last six years. He couldn’t do it.
“I think that you and I would — I’d have to spend some time thinking about that,” he said. Watch it:
Now that Gonzales is being held accountable by Congress, he’s changed his tune. Some excerpts from his opening statement he’ll read tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“I am sorry”
“could have — and should have — been handled differently”
“I made mistakes”
“I would have handled this differently”
“I should have done more”
“at times I have been less than precise”
“That statement was too broad”
“imprecise and overbroad”
“I regret that”
“should have been more rigorous”
“should have been completed in a much shorter period of time”
“owes them more respect than they were shown”
“should have worked with them”
“I should have communicated the concerns more effectively”
“I should have informed them of my decisions in a more dignified manner”
“could have been handled much better”
“I want to apologize publicly”
Full transcript: Read more
In a letter yesterday to the RNC, Emmet Flood, a special counsel to President Bush, “raised the possibility of an executive-privilege claim on e-mails and other documents from private e-mail accounts used by senior White House officials” but controlled by the RNC. The RNC has now agreed to turn the documents over to the White House rather than to congressional investigators:
“Recognizing the unique and significant nature of the potential privilege issue raised by the committee’s requests, the RNC has agreed to the White House’s reasonable request,” Robert K. Kelner, an RNC lawyer, wrote to Conyers. Conyers responded that the action was “a clear attempt on the administration’s part to delay this process.”
I’m constantly forgetting about Time‘s Middle East blog, but I really shouldn’t. Here’s Scott McLeod on the deteriorating situation in Kurdistan: “Anyone who bothered to notice understood that the Bush administration’s plan to re-make Iraq was destined, for better or worse, to put the explosive question of Kurdish political independence or autonomy high on the region’s agenda.” Yep. MacLeod has more, including a missive from Jon Randal, author of a book on the Kurds.