More on Intelligent Design
As I have said before, I have no dog in the "should we teach ID to kids" fight. My preference would be to simply insist that we teach what we know.
1. Darwin proposed micro and macro evolution
2. Micro evolution is considered proven scientific fact.
3. Darwin dismissed macro evolution before his death.
4. There is little to no evidence of macro evolution.
5. Scientists disagree about the likelihood of it's validity.
6. Those who doubt the validity have not offered likely scientific alternative theories. In other words, they don't think we know how it happened.
Done. Science. Good.
I think God did it, and probably did it through some scientific process that we may discover that is not macro evolution. Done. Not science, religion. Also good but not in the classroom.
Tammy Bruce points to an article by Uriah Kriegel at TCS where he asks: Is Intelligent Design a Bad Scientific Theory or a Non-Scientific Theory?
It is a good read and I agree with him for the most part, it is not a scientific theory. It is not a scientific theory if there is no reasonable experiment that could prove it false. This seems to be true for ID. I would ask an additional question. Is Intelligent Design a scientifically based observation or collection of observations? We do teach kids about observations that are not theories. I don't have an answer to the question, but I think it is a valid question. In my mind, from what I have read about ID, this comes down to how overwhelming is the math? And, mind you, we are not talking about arithmetic here but highly complex mathematics.
points to a story by some Aztlan crazy
claiming that all the signs are there for the minority community of LA to turn to riots that:
1. Will make the French riots look tame.
2. May spread throughout the nation.
The interesting part is his list of outrages over which they are considering suicide by cop. I looked at the original article and it did not reference source materials for the claim (big shock). I thought I would provide them for you, being the nice guy I am. I remembered the details of one of these incidents and vaguely remembered the second.
The first incident was the killing by the Los Angeles Police Department of 13 year old Devin Brown, a Black youth, out for an innocent "joy ride" at night.
Accepted facts: The kid was out DRIVING on the streets at 4 am (a crime). The car he was driving he had stolen (a felony). When cornered he threw the car in reverse and aimed it at a police officer who was out of the car attempting to approach (a felony). The officer fired into the BACK of the car, was not hit, but the police car was and there was significant damage.
The kids death is sad, but bad things happen to little kids who go out in the middle of the night, commit felonies and attempt to ram cars into cops.
The second was the shooting death by the LAPD SWAT Team of 19-month-old Suzie Pena, a baby of Salvadorean origins.
Money quote from the LA Voice article:
You'll recall that a SWAT rifle bullet killed Suzie Marie Pena at some point during the 2-1/2-hour gun battle that was started when her father, Jose Raul Pena, began roving around his car dealership clutching her to his side and shooting at people, and eventually barricaded the two of them inside.
Clearly they intentionally shot the little baby because they hate Salvadorean children. This is a tragedy, but it was caused by the father, not the LAPD. When you cradle your baby and then walk around shooting at people in a drunken, coke induced haze there is a real possibility that the baby will get hurt.
And, in another "Only in America" moment, the father is suing the city and the LAPD for wrongful death. Doesn't this fall under the "you cannot receive monetary gain as a result of your own criminal behavior" rule? I am pretty sure it falls under the "go away you annoying little worm" rule.
The third serious police brutality case was the savage beating of Black Muslim Minister Tony Mohammed while he was ministering to a family that had lost a son to gang violence.
I had not heard about this one. I did many Google searches. Nothing. I learned that this guy is a radical Nation of Islam leader. I learned that he has filed a class action suit over police brutality against others. I did not find any reference to him being beaten.
Is this an urban legend? Did it happen but NOBODY covered it?
Riot coverage excessive?
We all know that there is some either conscious or subconscious process that causes our media to cover some stories more than you would like and some less (or not at all). Many people, myself included, charge that many media outlets allow the political implications of a story to effect the coverage.
The French have people in their news media saying "we are limiting coverage of the riots, the international coverage is excessive", etc. That is interesting as far as it goes and we have seen the same thing here.
However, they have media bosses saying "we are limiting coverage of the riots because we don't want to encourage support for right-wing politicians
". And they think that is OK.
For instance, it is bad enough that we know that CBS had political motivations to run their discredited Bush-TANG story. Can you imagine the reaction if they had come out and said, "Look, we knew this story might turn out to be discredited but we were betting that wouldn't happen until after John Kerry was in the White House"? The state of things in this country is that we have to accept that at least some of the bias is subconscious and along with that acceptance on our part should be a noble attempt to limit it on theirs.
Rantingprofs on the Times... still
We all realise that many "journalists" bias a lot of their stories. Everybody, that is except editors at the NYT
Hugh gives Arnold advice
It is a bit presumptuous
, but hey, we're bloggers. It also seems to be pretty good advice.
NYT winds up with more classified docs
Amazing. The CIA seems to be leaking like a sieve
. The only good news is that they have asked for an independent investigation from the AG's office.
What did he know, and why would he lie about it?
has written the most complete and comprehensive article I have seen on the "Bush lied about WMD" hysteria. (HT: Powerline
) It is long, but if you get all the way through it you will be hard pressed to come to any conclusion other than the obvious. Not only did Bush not "lie" in the the State of the Union address, but the British appear to have been correct and Hack Joseph Wilson's boondoggle further supported that conclusion.
Further, there is no evidence that any intelligence community disagreed with our own CIA director's opinion that the case against Saddam on WMD was a "slam dunk". More than that, the "rhetoric" from the Bush administration was almost exactly the same as that from the Clinton White House.
Well done Norman.
Reason #2,462 not to run Windows
Sony has decided that it is appropriate to install software on your computer to track the playing of their CDs, prevent you from copying their music, etc., without asking of course. And it gets better...
From a Boston Globe story
But Computer Associates said the antipirating software also secretly communicates with Sony over the Internet when listeners play the discs on computers that have an Internet connection. The software uses this connection to transmit the name of the CD being played to an office of Sony's music division in Cary, N.C. The software also transmits the IP address of the listener's computer, Computer Associates said, but not the name of the listener. But Sony can still use the data to create a profile of a listener's music collection, according to Computer Associates.
''If you choose to let people know what you're listening to, that's your business. If they do it without your permission, it's an invasion of privacy."
Sony and the British firm that wrote the antipirating code for the music company flatly denied the software snoops on listeners.
And it still gets better.
When he tried to remove it, Russinovich found that the program lacked the ''uninstall" feature found in most Windows software. Indeed, key components of the software hid themselves deep in his computer by applying the same techniques used by data thieves to conceal their activities. Even a skilled user who identifies the correct files can't safely remove them, said Russinovich.
''Most users that stumble across the cloaked files . . . will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files," he wrote on his technology website, SysInternals.
Computer Associates yesterday concurred with Russinovich's assessment. Curry said Sony has made it so difficult for listeners to uninstall its software that some could lose all their data in the process.
''It can damage the operating system and the operating system's integrity, so it can't reboot at all," Curry said. ''As an expert in security, I can say this is bad behavior."
Sony has now posted a program which will remove the software, while still denying that CA's description of it as spyware is accurate.
I have had many occasions to work with CA over the years. I have read many statements and documents they have produced that are in areas of technology I know very well. I have sometimes disagreed with their assessments. Rational and honest people do that sometimes. I have never known their technologists to blatantly lie about something like this. I have never known them to screw up so badly that they announce that software sends information over the network when it didn't.
I also find it interesting that the company that wrote the software is titled "First 4 Internet Ltd." It may not mean anything but you have to admit it is a little ironic. I not only have never worked with them, I had never heard of them.
I can't prove who is telling the lie here but I can tell you two things.
1. I don't believe the liar is CA. I can't prove it, just my opinion.
2. I will not be buying any Sony CDs for a while, and as you all know I don't run Windows.
Update: Not surprisingly, Richi learned of this outrage before I did and wrote about it at ComputerWorld
. Must win lottery so I can have the time to read more.
Eminent Domain or $$
As is usually the case, the congress is using it's budget powers to limit behavior it doesn't like. It just so happens that it is behavior I don't like either this time.
The new bill, which passed 376-38, automatically cuts off any economic development funding to any states or localities that use eminent domain to seize property and then turn it over to a private developer.Digger's Realm
has the list of the 38 Democrats that voted against as well as the 8 Democrats and 10 Republicans who didn't show up for the vote.
Here is the AP story
which also points out something I must have missed:
The House previously passed a measure to bar federal transportation money from going for improvements on land seized for private development. The Senate approved an amendment to a transportation spending bill applying similar restrictions.
Do the French believe in Karma?
You have absolutely got to go read this
. I had to stop twice to wipe the tears from my eyes from laughing so hard. I know, I have a sick sense of humor and there is nothing funny about the riots that the modern day Keystone Cops are masterfully handling. But Haifa Professor Steven Plaut's proposed land for peace deal is funny. It is especially ironic that the first of what I fear may be many such problems in Europe is happening to our good friends the French, who have not recently (meaning since before WW2) fired a shot in anger but like to tell us and our true allies how to fight real bad guys. (HT: Powerline
A night of bizarre TV
I watched three programs back to back on TV last night that all struck me for different reasons.
First, my wife and I watched the two hour "Law and Order: Criminal Intent". There were a number of things that struck me but the one that is blog-worthy is that the blogs have now made it into mainstream TV. There were side issues, like what a nightmare it must be for a wife of an abusive judge to contemplate divorce. That said, the big issue in my mind was the central place, albeit negative in this case for one of the abhorrent defendants, was the new reality of the blogosphere.
After my wife went to bed I watched "The West Wing". This is the best West Wing ever, IMHO. I watched it after my wife went to bed because at the beginning of the season last year my wife complained that she did not want to watch it any more because of the leftist leanings of the show. I would have to agree that the show has had major lefty leanings from the start but I am a political junky so I cannot help myself. Tonight's show was special for a couple of reasons.
I will work backwards in priority. First, the show tonight was primarily about the fantasy of going back to an era of open debate. I, and I suspect my left of center friends, would love to return to an era of open debates. The 30-second sound bite politics is bad for everyone. I truly believe that a majority of the US electorate, that are not political junkies like me, are delegated to incomplete information when forming the opinions surrounding their votes. One can argue ad naseum about whether a truly open debate system, in the spirit of the Lincoln debates, favors one party or the other. I believe it would result in a more informed electorate. I may or may not wind up with a government that better reflects my views. I truly do not care. Our system was designed with a belief that the average citizen voted for his (women were not allowed to vote at the time which I believe was a great mistake) own best interest and beliefs.
The most basic weakness of our two party system is that people have a more natural inclination to vote for a candidate based on his affiliation with one party or another rather than the true positions of one candidate over another. A "lefty" Democrat in parts of the heartland is a "radical conservative" Republican in some major cities in the US. Approximately 70% of the US electorate votes a party line on both local and national elections. We don't vote for people or values any more, we as a country, vote based on a totally non-distinct distinction of party. I may be wrong here, but I believe at least part of that problem is that we do not put the distinctions of individual candidates foremost in the minds of the general public. We allow the "party structure" to define our candidates based on which party they belong to. I truly believe that the more we make the distinction about the individual views of politicians the better our government will be. The American people tend to like centrists for President. The center has shifted over time, but it is rare that, in terms of the true center of the overall views of the public, that a radical has been elected President. In some states it is a requirement to be out of center to be elected Senator and in many Congressional districts it is a requirement to be outside the center to be elected to the House of Representatives. This is the reality of "all politics is local". But wouldn't we have a better Republic if every politician had to stand up for his or her beliefs in an open debate?
Second, and perhaps more importantly to my wife (I will find out tomorrow), it was one of the least left leaning episodes of the show. There were only minor leanings in the "coverage" tonight. On some issues, they let the "left" position have the better argument, and on others, the "right" position was better supported. This is the reality for most of the inhabitants of "the greatest nation on God's green earth".
Lastly, I watched "Rome". I have greatly enjoyed this series and I am not sure why. My wife watched one episode and had enough. I really like it. I have no belief that this is a tremendously historically accurate portrayal of the political reality of the time. I have no intellectual background to challenge this series one way or the other. I admit that I am not nearly well read enough to have an opinion on the topic. I am intrigued by the social realities that I believe, by what little I know, are at least reasonably accurate. Tonight's episode leaves me saying "what the $#%@*"? As a "for instance", who was the guy who was hanged and what was the charge against him? It looked an awful lot like a freaky killing of Jesus. He was accused of being "king of the Galls" which is the same as "king of the Jews". I am also aware that the Romans had a different concept of "hanging" than we do. If you have ever been to Italy as an American you will be struck with a non-political reality. They have very few trees and a lot more marble compared to us. This leads to a reality that "hangings" were quite different in ancient Rome than less ancient early America where the practice was also quite popular. But who was the guy and why was he beaten and killed and what does it have to do with anything else in the show? I may have to bump in my "next to read" list non-political historical books on the realities of the Roman Empire. I suspect that will leave me more confused but better informed.
Strange differences between genders
I noticed a few weeks ago at a seminar a strange difference between a specific behaviour of men and women that I hadn't noticed before. I have been watching for it for a few weeks now and have come to the conclusion that the trend is real, at least in my little neck of the world.
Assume you have just walked into a room filled with chairs on a flat floor carrying something (a purse, a backpack, a briefcase or the sample bag they handed you at the door, doesn't matter). You find a seat not in the front or back row. You sit down. Do you put the thing you are carrying under the chair in front of you or the one you are sitting on?
My limited, totally unscientific, study indicates that men heavily tend to put it under the chair in front of them and women heavily tend to use the one they are sitting on.
What does this mean? I haven't got a clue. Is it a regional trend? I don't know, you guys tell me. I just thought it was interesting, and the tag line of the blog says I point to the crazy things in life.
BTW, the reason that I noticed was that at the seminar they handed out sample bags so EVERYBODY had something to put somewhere. There were some polite but interesting exchanges when women sat down in front of men and found "their" space occupied. There were equally interesting facial expressions when men sat down behind women and found their preferred space already taken.
Pet Peeve #241
Online Newspapers that split articles over multiple pages. It is annoying and pointless. Just because you think people enjoy flipping through newsprint 14 times to read the dead tree version doesn't mean that online readers like to "flip". That is one of the many reasons I don't read dead tree versions of any paper. As someone who travels it is even more annoying.
Scenario 1: I am in a hotel in the boonies (or worse yet, France) where dialup, and possibly poor dialup, is the only internet access. I look at the front page and middle click a few articles whose headlines look interesting to me. (For those of you stuck on Windoze and Internet Destroyer, that means that the link will open passively in a new tab.) A few minutes later I click on one of the tabs and start reading the article only to find that the bottom of the page isn't the bottom of the article. I click and wait, and wait and wait.
Scenario 2: I am about to head to the airport and want to gather up a bunch of news to read on the plane. I tab out a bunch of news. I put my laptop in sleep mode. I go get on the plane. I start to read.... and then I curse under my breath.
Please stop this practice.
Why the looney left hates the blogs?
Because normal, rational, educated people can do to them what I am about to do to Eleanor Clift. I don't ever look to MSNBC for anything and I don't regularly read Newsweek so I would have missed this article
if it weren't for Powerline
, another reason the looney's hate the blogs.
I am going to do something I rarely do, reprint an entire article. I don't want any claims that I took Ms. Clift out of context.
Nov. 4, 2005 - Democrats shouldn't filibuster Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court unless he really bungles the hearings.
The votes aren't there, and moderates don't have the stomach for an all-out war over spousal notification.
What she means by moderates here is people to the right of Chuck Schumer. The true moderates rarely want an all out war about anything and they not only didn't want to filibuster Roberts, they voted for him. But we get to the real reason that the "moderates" don't want a fight on this one:
By a margin of nearly 3-to-1 according to a Pew Research Center poll, the public sides with the position Alito took in 1991 when he upheld as constitutional a provision in a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their husbands before obtaining an abortion.
This must keep people like Ms. Clift up at night. Notice, she isn't dumb so much as misguided. She, unlike some of the looney left, realizes that it is not politically smart to fight over an issue that 75% of the public disagrees with you on. Even Reagan didn't beat Carter with that kind of overwhelming public support.
Alito is not a wild-eyed originalist who channels the Founding Fathers, but he is very conservative and will vote with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. This court has had a high percentage of 5-to-4 rulings, with the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor typically the fifth and deciding vote on reproductive rights, affirmative action and other hot-button social issues.
wow, two sentences in a row that I have to agree are accepted truths!
The loss of O'Connor coupled with the ascension of Alito will plunge the court deeper into the embrace of the religious right.
This is a laughable statement for two reasons.
1. If the court is 5-4 one way today on "these issues" and tomorrow it is 5-4 the other way, the court hasn't PLUNGED anywhere. The court will, presumably, SHIFT to the right when Judge Alito replaces Justice O'Connor. But even in a group as small as 9 people replacing one "moderate" with one "conservative" isn't a plunge. Replacing one "liberal" with one "conservative" isn't either. That would be a significant or maybe large shift. If Bush had managed to replace Justice Stevens and Justice Ginsberg with Justice Roberts and Judge Alito, that would be a plunge.
2. The left is making the claim that this is about the religious right. I honestly don't know if this through ignorance or just partisan rhetoric. The religious right was perfectly happy with Harriet Miers. They are probably less happy with Judge Alito. They want somebody who will absolutely, positively, regardless of circumstances, vote to overturn Roe at every opportunity. That was, frankly, far more likely with Miers than Alito. The mainstream conservative movement, a much larger voting block than the religious right, fought against Miers. I know it is confusing for lefties, but I am both religious and conservative. I am not a member of the religious right. The same can be said for Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved and Dennis Prager. If you are confused about the distinction compare these people with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson. If you compare these two groups and still can't tell the difference between a movement conservative and the religious right you should probably stop reading and go here
. You are either an idiot or you are blinded by your socialism.
Democrats should mount a tough fight and expose Alito and his conservative cheerleaders so the voters know what they're getting.
Fair enough as far as it goes, but does that mean ask tough questions or vote no?
Highlight the ruling where Alito said Congress has no power to regulate machine guns under the commerce clause of the Constitution.
I really, really promise to go over this case and blog on it. My quick reading is that it shows nothing about how Judge Alito would vote on SCOTUS. I believe it is another case of him showing deference to SCOTUS rulings, more specifically, a then recent ruling overturning as unconstitutional a federal law banning guns near schools. I believe the left may have a nice sound-bite on this but the substance is probably lacking.
Play the abortion card--but stop short of a filibuster.
Am I the only one who remembers that not long ago the Democrats were complaining about conservatives having a litmus test on this issue?
With President George W. Bush's approval rating at 35 percent in the latest CBS poll, Democrats have finally sprung to life. That's a good thing, but a bruising battle over cultural issues is better for Bush than for the Democrats.
Again, two sentences in a row that are reasonable, and again it is worth noting that the woman, however misguided is not stupid. What she says in the second sentence is VERY telling. Why is it better for Bush to have a fight over cultural issues? Why is it better for any conservative than any liberal to fight over cultural issues on a national stage? Because a significant majority of the American public and an even larger percentage of the voting public are conservative on these cultural issues. Being reflexively pro-abortion or anti-gun or anti-religion will help you politically in San Francisco and maybe even Cleveland but it will not help you win Ohio or Florida as a state in a national election. The left hates this because they think that San Francisco and New York are the only kinds of places that votes should count. But on a national stage, it still has to play in the heartland. And the heartland is very socially conservative.
Rather than risk the filibuster in an unwinnable fight over Alito, Democrats should save it for when and if that awful day arrives when the most liberal member of the court, John Paul Stevens, 85, steps down while Bush is still president.
Here, Ms. Clift has somewhat of an argument. I don't agree with it but it is an argument. Judge Alito is poised to replace Justice O'Connor. She sees a conservative replacing a moderate. But it is also a conservative being picked to replace a Justice picked by a Republican. Further, everyone on both sides of the aisle thought they were getting a judicial conservative in O'Connor and she was approved overwhelmingly (99-0).
She is being polite when she says "steps down". What she really means is dies. I do not see any of the court ideological lefties "stepping down" under a Republican presidency and certainly not one that, Miers aside, has consistently picked judges in the constitutionalist style. If Condi Rice runs for president in 2008 and she is as wise as she clearly is smart Justice Stevens will be either 96 and still on the court or will be dead by 2016. He will not be retired and planning his 100th birthday party. There is an argument that replacing one of the liberal Justices appointed by a Democrat with a hard line constitutionalist might be impolite. I don't know what standing the hard left has to argue about someone being impolite, but it is an argument.
Bush's lasting domestic legacy will be a Supreme Court radically restructured to the right, and Alito likely will be confirmed just like John Roberts.
It will be a lasting decision. His legacy is still very much unknown, both domestically and otherwise. And just to beat a dead horse, replacing one moderate with one conservative (especially one that was thought a conservative when she was picked) is not radically anything. It is, hopefully, a shift in the court, but it is not "radically restructuring" anything. Roe isn't even in danger. The court is currently 6-3 on that topic.
That's why Democrats shouldn't get sidetracked. There are better battles to be fought.
Again, code from one of their own who is not being stupid. There are battles that we have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, and you don't pick a fight with a guy you know will kick your butt just for fun.
This week was a turning point when Democratic leader Harry Reid plunged the Senate into closed session and shamed the Republicans into speeding up a report on how the administration used prewar intelligence to boost its case for invading Iraq.
It may have been a turning point and many of us movement conservatives certainly hope that it was. If it was, it isn't the turning point that she thinks it is. Bill Frist was madder than a wet hen when he came out of that room. Shortly thereafter all the filibuster talk among Democrats got very quiet. I think, with no proof, that the ever polite and fair-play-ad-naseum Republican Senators took that little stunt as a declaration of war. I believe the Dems could have gotten this report with a couple of phone calls and no stunts but that is beside the point. The Republicans can now, with no shame, publish their findings on the 50 statements made by the administration. Right beside that publication they can offer their own 50 very similar statements made by the Clinton administration and/or Dem Senators during the Clinton administration. Senator Frist can walk out to the Hill steps and read all 100, in any particular order, and say "Here it is. We still don't know what all the fuss was about. We all agreed that the CIA was broken. These kinds of inaccurate statements are what happens when the CIA is broken, to both parties." Remember, the Republicans didn't need to agree to do part 2 at all. Once part 1 was over, finding there was no manipulation of the data, the majority party had no NEED to do another investigation of what parts of the data led to particular statements by THEIR administration. They were being polite. I hope they have finally learned their lesson.
The Republicans reacted like stuck pigs, squealing that they hadn't been consulted. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist came across as especially witless, whining about the breach of trust, proving once again he has no instinct for the job he holds.
As a total aside, I wonder if Ms. Clift knows what a stuck pig is? In this particular case she happens to have the right metaphor but not for the reason she thinks she does. For the benefit of those of you who didn't grow up in the country, I will explain. A stuck pig is a pig that is being bled. Most city folk, as we call them, think it has to do with giving them shots. It doesn't. In some cultures (and we do want to respect all cultures, don't we) farmers will "stick" adult pigs in one of their neck veins and catch the blood in a bucket. Then, before the amount of blood loss gets dangerous, they plug the hole. The pig lives to be stuck again another day. If you want to know what they use the blood for, email me. At any rate, the pigs aren't into this as you might imagine. Because of this, the way you go about sticking a pig is to lead it into a skinny pen with food on the far end. When the pig sticks its head through the hole to eat, you trap it and stick it. And yes, they do squeal, in part from the pain, but mostly they are complaining about being double crossed. The expression "squealed like a stuck pig" has to do with sitting down in a friends kitchen and being stuck in the neck with a knife by said friend. Pigs squeal about all kinds of things, stuck pigs are special!
Anyway, Senator Frist came across to me as extremely pissed off and disappointed. I thought his eyes were going to explode out of his head. I commented to my wife that the judicial filibuster was officially over as of that moment. What he had no instinct for was just how low his Democratic colleagues would go. He knows now.
Democrats feel emboldened, and they're dropping the euphemisms. They're saying straight out that the president and his administration lied and manufactured evidence to take the country to war.
I think she is right here, the only problem being that we all know that the lie is that there is any evidence that the President lied. We know Joe Wilson lied. We know Saddam lied. We now know that Kofi lied. We know that Chirac lied. We have every reason to believe that Scooter Libby lied to a prosecutor but NO EVIDENCE that anybody in the administration, let alone the President himself, lied to anybody about WMD. In fact, we don't even know that there weren't many more WMD in Iraq when those statements were made than we have found. We still haven't searched the whole country and we certainly gave Saddam a great deal of time to destroy things, move things (to say, Syria) or bury things. Remember, the "stockpile" we are talking about would fit on a football field or two. Iraq is the size of Texas. There are a lot of football fields in Texas. More likely, we now know, Saddam was intentionally bluffing the world into believing he had things he didn't have. While it is sad that one crazy man can successfully bluff the intelligence agency of every country in the world, this is likely what happened. We know that during the cold war the Soviets made serious bluffs about both their military strength and their nuclear program. When did we find out how badly the CIA had been bluffed? After the Soviet Union fell. Did Carter and Reagan lie? Did anybody (meaning anybody we would take seriously) accuse them of telling lies when we found out? I don't remember it if they did.
Further, it is the charge of the "stuck on stupid" crowd. As has been pointed out by people smarter than me, given all the reasons to finish the war with Iraq, why in the world would anybody base his claim for war on something that he knew full well would be found to not be true once the war got going? You would have to believe that Bush is not only a liar but an idiot and that Rove had exactly zero political savvy.
The logical extension of such an explosive charge would be impeachment, says Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council, though Wittman doesn't personally advocate this strategy. It's the highest crime and misdemeanor one can think of, the case that they maliciously did this, and it obliges Democrats [who backed the war] to say they cast the wrong vote. Wittmann is sharply critical of the administration's performance in Iraq, but he supported the invasion and thinks Democrats would be ill-advised to drag the country into impeachment proceedings.
I am amazed that I have to agree with a Senior Fellow at the DLC on this one. IF AND ONLY IF there were any evidence that Bush actually knew what nobody else in the world outside of Saddam's administration knew, that there were very few WMD in Iraq (and remember, we found some, just not the stockpiles we expected) I would suggest that the President had committed an impeachable offense. Even though it was only one of the reasons given, it was an important one and lying about the justification for going to war is clearly impeachable. I don't know because she, conveniently, doesn't give the full context of the quote, but I suspect Mr. Wittmann doesn't support impeachment precisely because he doesn't think there is any proof and even though umpty-ump hearings and investigations and reports (all bipartisan) have come to the conclusion that Bush didn't lie an impeachment trial would solidify for the American people who lied and who didn't.
Impeachment seems a bridge too far, but when the question was posed to a former senior member of the law-enforcement community, he didn't dismiss it out of hand. Not at this stage, he told NEWSWEEK, but there are three more years left to this administration, and I can see it unraveling.
"A senior member of the law-enforcement community" could include my uncle, a very senior deputy sheriff in Clark County, IN. He is also a registered Democrat, so maybe it was my uncle she talked to. Note to self: ask Mom if Uncle retired. At any rate, I am sure there are hopefuls out there praying that evidence that Bush knew what nobody else did will come out. That is what he clearly means by "unraveling". So is Bush an idiot or a genius? I always get confused.
Someone passed along the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to administration officials, setting the stage for what her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, calls a 'tawdry political hit job' that has metastasized into a crisis of government.
Again, I think Ms. Clift is confused. Writing a NYT editorial saying that you were the guy sent at the request of the VP to investigate the claim and found it baseless when in fact you were the guy your wife sent and you found evidence to support it is a "tawdry political hit job". And have you seen any crisis of government? I must have missed it.
Asked if Bush should be impeached, Wilson sounded remarkably measured considering his personal involvement. "One of the reasons I played an active role in the last campaign [working for John Kerry] is because I believe these are issues we settle at the ballot box," he told the National Press Club.
OK, so let me get this straight. She is supporting impeachment by quoting the guy who was "smeared" by the administration saying we shouldn't impeach? Strange. Very Strange. Not strange is that Joe Wilson wouldn't want impeachment hearings on this topic. People actually watch those things.
Wilson said we all bear responsibility--those in Washington who didn't try hard enough to win the debate; journalists who, in his words, were swept up in the post-9/11 vote of confidence for the administration, and a complacent Congress, which stood by when Bush turned his back on the United Nations.
Blah, blah, blah, back to Ms. Clift.
The more we learn about the secretive White House Iraq Group (WHIG) and the role of Vice President Dick Cheney in pressing his dark views on the country, the likelier it is that the administration will be found culpable for exaggerating the threat Saddam Hussein posed in its zeal to go to war.
Huh? Where is the evidence that supports this? At best there is evidence that an administration official put the word out on a guy who was lying about the evidence surrounding WMD. This may have been impolite, unwise, and possibly illegal. This revelation has absolutely no link to "exaggerating" evidence. The guy being outed was the only one we know was lying about evidence.
If the Democrats win back the House in the '06 election, Michigan Democrat John Conyers will chair the House Judiciary committee. On the day the Scooter Libby indictments were handed down, Conyers invoked the language of Watergate: "What did the president and the vice president know, and when did they know it?" If the political tables turn, impeachment may not be so far-fetched after all.
The only reason this isn't funny is that she is actually saying this straight faced. There are currently 228 Republicans, 205 Democrats, 1 Independent, and one vacancy in the House. They need 218. So, assuming they pick up the vacancy and the "Independent" votes with them they need to pick up another net 11. This is technically possible. Newt managed to pick up 54 seats a decade ago. That being said, either side getting more than a 5 seat net gain in the gerrymandered and divided world we live in today is highly unlikely outside of redistricting. Where was big redistricting done? Texas. Which party is that likely to favor? Sorry Ms. Clift.