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Monday, October 31, 2005
the nominee formerly known as Harriet Miers

Taking in the morning news the other day I heard that Harriet Meirs has turned in her letter of resignation Harriet Miers Withdraws Nomination Washington Post -- Miers Withdraws Nomination for Supreme Court - New York Times. By then it wasn't really a surprise. At the time of the middle weekend (15-16 Oct) I thought the nomination was going through. That apparently was just the moment when her opponents were pausing to take a collective breath.

Then it came on again. More columns by Krauthammer, Kristal, Frum, Will and others Conservatives Escalate Opposition to Miers . Negative tv ad campaigns and web sites dedicated to ending her nomination George Who? - It's starting to be cool to defy Bush. By Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and Dahlia Lithwick. Last weekend Sen. Schumer looked across the aisle and decided the republicans had put themselves in such disagreement that they no longer had the votes to issue a positive recommendation out of committee or out on the floor Schumer: Few Senators Now Favor Miers For Court - New York Times. This, weeks away from her even coming before the committee. Speeches from her days in Texas fatally indicated that she might think that discretion lay on the side of privacy of the individual In Speeches From 1990s, Clues About Miers Views .

Leaving aside the question of how much of this nomination was a good idea Why did it fail? I still feel that her primary failing was that she was simply too close to the president. The other objections that she lacked gravitas, is not a 'constitutionalist', didn't go to an A-list law school, was not a judge already, well, name your own category. All of these come to the table with preconceptions - some subtler than others, that beg their question. Only these people can read their own souls and tell what their questions really was. I will allow it to be subsumed by: 'this person was not on our list and what we want is someone from our list' The important determinants of who might make a good justice relate primarily to temperament. I never got the sense that Miers was not intelligent, or could not discus things well, even if she wasn't a constitutional scholar. And I categorically reject the idea that I must prostrate myself before the likes of Justice Scalia to learn what the constitution means. If it requires a delphic priesthood, then it is not worth the paper it is printed on.

If someone with more astute political sensibilities had been watching over this, either this nomination would not have gone forward publicly (not come up at all), or it would have been handled more adroitly and met with successes. Certainly someone should have stepped in to prevent the spectacle of the right Borking their own candidate (Borking Miers), and not because she wasn't conservative but because she wasn't conservative enough. Now they can do little more than lamely and transparently spin; attempting deny that the painfully obvious never happened.

One commentator, Thursday, one of the ones un-containably ecstatic that the nominee had withdrawn, spoke of the President as being [freed from being] "Trapped by Gender." By this he seems to have meant that having got that McGuffin of a nomination out of the way the president could dispense with the the notion that it might be best if a woman went on the court as Justice O'Conner came off. Or that it is even possible that the court in its activities could be improved by having women on it at all. That anything other that pure non-gendered reason ever enters into the courts decisions. Yet those who fight what they call identity politics the hardest, are so identifiable by it that they confirm in their ardor that which they deny. They seek to preserve a status quo that identifies in all its processes at every turn.

Slate had a mini beat on the nomination. One of the things Emily Bazelon and others tried to examine is why conservatives were not taking the message the White House was desperately trying to pass to them Stand Down - Miers signals to the right, uselessly. By Emily Bazelon. Not taking it because they no longer cared to be put off with coded affirmations that were not as clear to their foes as to themselves Code Blue - What the Miers withdrawal means for abortion code-speak. By Dahlia Lithwick. This eulogy to political litmous language may be a little premature. The social conservatives may feel that their day has arrived, together with other conservatives they might feel scorned by past nominations. The President must retain sensitivity; however, to his role as the party leader and to the hundreds of regional political fights of his fellow legislators.

In the end, as things went, she simply did too little to help herself. It seems unlikely that this nomination was genuinely part of her own ambition, which for an effective justice it needs to be.

In stalling and crashing Harriet Miers' nomination the right possibly does not even understand what it has done. I doubt they can answer with one voice whether it was conservative elites or their rank and file, social conservatives or the fiscal/property rights crowd that forced the change on the administration. Whether, in either event, it was driven more by their hopes or their fears. The problem for the White House is that no one person can satisfy a base that is more fractured than it admits Danforth Criticizes Christian Sway in GOP - Yahoo! News.

The question now is whether to try a more skillful and procedural version of the previous strategy With Miers Out, Focus Shifts to Next Nominee. Which had the goals of consolidating conservative voting patterns on the court, while not provoking a divisive confirmation battle. For this the candidate, while not needing to be the burning star of admiration to the myriad persuasions, must still exhibit particular qualities in careful measure. He or she must inspire confidence. Whether by ideological reliability or judicious potential is no matter. The candidate must match this without obvious negatives or burrs to their candidacy, by either positive evidence of winning personality and good works, or by the complete absence of information of any kind.

The other direction is to deliberately set the stage for a political Ragnarok. A test of the balancing point in American politics. This may reflect a desire for a show of force and for polarization of society, irrespective of whether they prevail on this day. The president will try to parse this closely but he will come down on the side of the conservatives With Miers out, what's Plan B? |, Krauthammer, Will and others have made it clear that when they turn the handle - the monkey must dance.

These figures of the right justify their actions by pretending to principle. Claiming they want more than the promise of a vote result. They claim to want a philosophical turn in their justice, and coherence. These thing are not necessarily synonymous and not necessarily what they really want. A truly philosophical - questioning and open mind - will produce results that more than occasionally depart from partisanship. With 'coherence' they indicate rather that they desire an axiomatic approach. This is not philosophy. It is not part of the highest jurisprudence. It marks rather a desire for consistent and predictable result.

The fact is, that this is the choice of a conservative republican president. For the left; nitpicking, filibustering , and kvetching about nominees seems weak and negative. Because it is. If the democratic party wants a choice that will make them happy they ought elect a democratic president. Much of the the left insists on going off and supporting green or Naderite candidates to preserve their 'purity' and to supposedly accomplish the critical task of signaling that the two party system is dysfunctional, and that there are no real differences between the parties.

Here is your difference, a court of reactionaries.

I see we have a new nominee now: Samuel A. Alito Jr. Judge on the 3rd circuit court of appeals. Already the choice just seems distressingly traditional. Wheres the surprise, wheres the drama?

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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Natural Gas, Unnatural price.

I keep seeing articles that warn darkly about natural gas prices being steep this winter - Business News: Natural-gas users brace for winter fuel woes. Fine for all you sun belt types. But for people in the north and north east this is not good news. I read somewhere, unfortunately I can't remember where at the moment, that this sort of cost impinges on medium temperate states the most - like the mid atlantic region. The reason being that there is a lot of older housing stock that is not very well winterized. I can believe this. I lived in or encountered several places around the DC area over the years fitted out with casement windows. A single thickness of glass panes set in to a metal frame closed by a crank loosely onto a metal fitting: Bizarre. You don't come across windows like that often in Massachussetts. The clocks are set back now, it's time to put up the storm windows and weather stripping people. Storms windows: they should be in your basement, out in the garage maybe, over in the barn perhaps. Hey, I don't know where you left them.

One winter with steep gas prices or low temperatures and everyone will develop the ability to determine the approximate cost of slight draft.

  Fortunately it seems according to the National Weather service that it is shaping up to be a mild winter NOAA News Online NOAA ANNOUNCES 2005-2006 U.S. WINTER OUTLOOK (Story 2520). If that holds the main effects of steep natural gas prices will be reflected primarily in higher food prices according to this reuters article Natural gas prices take toll on U.S. agriculture.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Shark Week

When you've got nothing better to do than to pick fights with the Onion: White House asks spoof Web site to stop using seal, its time to look down, because you're over water jumping the shark. [this post requires some home assembly]

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Second term issues

I'd love to say something about the whole Rove-Libby-Cheney-WilsonPlame thing, but it seems to be pretty well covered The Judy Chronicles -- The Judy War -- The Prosecutor Zeroes In. One thing that deserves mention a forest for the trees sort of consideration. How many different dimensions this has taken on now The Miller Mess: Lingering Issues Among the Answers - New York Times. How many different individuals have become revealed this Many Players Emerging in CIA Leak Drama - Yahoo! News.

Who outed Valarie Plame is the main question, one that at end has an answer Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report - New York Times -- Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Cheney cited as source in CIA leak investigation. There are other questions. Why did the administration react so strongly to Joe Wilson's Op ed in the NY Times? Why did that yellowcake uranium assertion keep coming back, forged documents and all, like some bad penny. The reason doesn't lie far away it is the centrality of this issue to the WMD rational, the centrality of that to the war in Iraq.

 Speaking to this Robert Kagan has a column in todays Washington Post It Wasn't Just Miller's Story  (and really just the pure spectacle of Kagan editorializing on this in the Post is enough to bury the wanton concept of main stream media bias - and for ever). He starts by saying: "The Judith Miller-Valerie Plame-Scooter Libby imbroglio is being reduced to a simple narrative about the origins of the Iraq war."  Simple narrative? reduced? The story emerging is anything but simple. If, by reduced, he means the gradual revelation of the dimensions of this story the degree by which it absorbed portions of the White House in a feverish heat two years ago. If he means by reduced  that as the connections fall into place and the mendacity What's a Little Lying Between Friends? of the participants is pulled out into the light some sense of the intent involved comes out. Yes, then by all means 'reduced'.

 Kagan goes on to say: "It was based on reporting by a large of number of journalists who in turn based their stories on the judgments of international intelligence analysts, Clinton officials and weapons inspectors." That's just it; though, they weren't - everyone was repeateing a circle-jerk group of assertions and rumours being put into play a half-handful of Iraqi expatriates and their American handlers. People now in the administration, and also, you Robert Kagan. It seems too disingenuous to claim everyone, but everyone believed this during a discussion of someone who was hounded and punished for saying something different. If many weren't challenging these claims or the policies you  choose to draw out from them, it is because you all were doing your damnedest not to let anyone, anyone at all.  I should like to pick up on this point again someday soon.

 This affair does magnify the role of Miller as lap dog of the administration in the WMD sale campaign. Saddam Hussien was a stupid cruel man surrounded by stupid cruel men. He was easy to back into a corner and this administration knew that. He thought rumours of weapons programs and semi-funded weapons programs would serve his purposes better and cheaper than real ones. Prefering ones aimed at practical tangible matters like improved ballistic missiles. Instead these served the purpose of those who desired his kingdom because they allowed him to be portrayed as a dangerous and unstable man with access to too too deadly toys. It allowed them to take what couldn't be disproven, as equivalent to proven. More so for being able to equate perverse deviousness to absence of fact.  They just needed to get that established as a general impression - and they needed establishment institutions to accomplish that. That is where Miller and the New York Times come in - America's paper of record and display case of American Journalism. If now some would disemble  WHouse backs Cheney but sidesteps CIA leak question and try to rub their fingerprints off that display case what does it mean to the rest of us.

 It is a direct indictment of the state of American journalism that an actor such a Judy Miller could operate in the name of journalism under the banner of the New York Times which had already notice of certain structural weaknesses, with no supervision, control, or accountability and towards, even yet, indistinct ends.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005
Box Mart big

I don't know how long its been out, but I just got around to viewing the internet flash marketing duo the Jib Jab Bros. latest cineste feast: Big Box Mart . I laughed I cried. I thought it succinctly carried the main points raised by last springs Frontline fairly well: frontline: is wal-mart good for america? | PBS. It also fits well this recent piece AlterNet: Wal-Mart Coverage: Billionaires R Us

The Washington Post is down on flash animation, too often too violent, and viral, they say.

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Friday, October 21, 2005
Of Avian Influenza

There has been a flurry of activity suddenly on the threat of a flu epidemic Danger of Flu Pandemic Is Clear, if Not Present - New York Times. Just what were the events that set official Washington buzzing two weeks ago? The New York Times in a 05 Oct 05 article refers to a closed door briefing led by Michael O. Leavitt (Sec HHS) Fear of Flu Outbreak Rattles Washington - New York Times last week , which would be the last week of September. The briefing "scared the hell out of me," they quote Senator Reid as saying.

Senate democrats responded to this briefing by introducing a bill calling for an executive branch flu pandemic coordinator (Wed 05 Oct 05). Dana Milbank in an article in the Post on the 13th Capitol Hill Flu Briefing Was No Trick, and No Treat seems to reference a similar briefing that occurred over the Columbus-day break. He terms this a congressional briefing, he puts this in quotes.

My own sources within the federal government (which would be my sister) between these two events mentioned that Avian flu had suddenly become a topic of intense discussion among her coworkers. People were reviewing their telecommuting options. Stocking their desks with those hospital masks. Attempting to determine the maximum worker absentee rate that would still allow them not to interfere with phone and cable company mergers.

A Presidential press conference (Tue. 03 Oct 05) dwelt on this topic and included a speculative recommendation by the President that the military be authorized to enforce quarantines in the event of an severe outbreak Bush suddenly wakes up to threat of avian flu - The Boston Globe.

What is this H5N1 Virus that has provoked all this attention? H5N1 has killed 60 or so people across the world and has required the destruction of million of chickens throughout southern asia. Worse it may be related to the virus that killed 50 million or more people in 1918 Bird Flu and the 1918 Pandemic - New York Times. This prompted a group of researchers to rebuild the gene sequence of that virus in order to identify the mutating sections that facilitated that influenza virus' the jump to humans Experts Unlock Clues to Spread of 1918 Flu Virus - New York Times.

President Bush this week asked the leaders of the world's top vaccine manufacturers - Chiron, Sanofi-Aventis, Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck - to come to the White House on Friday U.S. Taking Steps to Meet Demand for Flu Vaccine - New York Times. Probably not to talk baseball but you never know. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche have had pressure put on them from many Roche is pressed to ease curbs on its bird flu drug - Business - International Herald Tribune fronts to either step up manufacture of their product Tamaflu. Or license it to additional manufacture. Tamiflu is not a vaccine for H5N1, but an anti-viral agent. An influenza ameliorator. Some companies already plan or desire Marketplace: A generic Tamiflu to produce Tamiflu, but without license agreements would not be able to sell it in some countries. A Boston Globe article Flu drug sales soar; specialists fear overuse - The Boston Globe notes that there is some question, beyond the slender stockpiles of Tamiflu, whether it can be effective against an influenza that can kill within a few days of initial infection.

A close eye is being kept on what can't be easily controlled - wild bird migrations which could easily spread the disease across continents and into many different bird species Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | British medics on bird flu mission --  The Observer UK News GPs told: prepare for 14 million flu victims . Much of the current effort is being directed at containing the disease regionally and destroying bird populations it is found in The Globe and Mail: Turkish cases of avian flu spark EU ban. A while back my friend Tran who grew up in Vietnam pointed out the considerable hardship this places on ordinary families directed by the government to destroy their household livestock. All this is to the end at keeping the virus out of the human or other animal populations to limit the opportunity it would have to mutate within a human host into a strain that would allow it to spread by human transmittal alone.

The human biosphere has been creating potential vectors at a logarithmic rate for years. Globalism - Its all about flows. Neither theTimes article and none of the others precisely indicate how long H5N1 has been around, but long enough so that there are two minds as to whether it lacks the ability to mutate in a way that would critical affect the human population. Or whether it needs time to get into a linking host such as pigs before developing that ability.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005
the varieties of Massachussett experience.

I came across a web log the other day mantained by Gerard Cosloy  Can't Stop The Bleeding. It seems entirely dedicated to sports; baseball football soccer etc. I'm nonplussed. Gerard who?  you are saying, and, why should I care? Cosloy is Alt-Indie rock, Conflict punk rock fanzine, Homestead records, and for the last 15 years Matador records. I guess one must follow their bliss wherever it leads. For me the Man of Metropolis on Asthmatic Kitty records.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Wood chipping

 Sometimes when writing, even writing things like  posts here, a  feeling will come over me, everything will just fall away and I will just type, type think type, run spell-check, and so on until the thing is done. This never happens fast - I neither think nor write fast, but as long as nothing intrudes I can accomplish what I intend.

 That last post was not an an example of this. I had a string of sentences, some even approximating paragraphs, Thursday, when I naively tossed it into the little composer window for this weblog. I had mulling  this over for days I knew what I wanted to write. I can straighten this out and post it tonight, I thought. Before long an image began to form in the back of my mind. The image was one of me trying to jam a fair-sized greenwood sapling into a wood chipper, bushy end first. The chipper, which seemed somewhat small and underpowered, was making a dreadful noise. One that suggested it needed more torque, or more something. I didn't actually finish that piece until sometime on Sunday.

 This set of images and impressions came to me as I was lying on the couch next to the desk my laptop sits on, not typing. It was so much more comfortable there, things appeared clearer brighter. If you're trying to run a sapling through a chipper you're going to need a 35+ hp shredder, or chop it up a bit first before trying to push it through a 15 hp home and brush chipper. It takes, in fact, roughly 7 hp of chipper for every 1" diameter of wood you try to run through it.

 There are few facts that are more with me when I try to write, than that one.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005
Miers Nomination thing

Getting over Harriet or getting Harriet over? Let-Down Lady - Harriet Miers isn't just no John Roberts. She's no Sandra Day O'Connor. By Emily Bazelon

Going into last weekend I figured if she got through the Sunday Talk shows and the post-holiday news cycle her nomination would probably last and go on through confirmation. Seven days later things don't seem much different but each day like that makes it more definite. If she continued to be resisted in strongly worded fashion - particularly by people putting themselves on record, the nomination would be finished. Either by direct withdrawal by the President, or by the nominee bowing out on her own. The former is unlikely its not the way this administration does business. When the administration's spokesman goes out and appears to rule out the latter, they are trying to send a signal that no one should try to push the candidate to that path White House Deflects Any Talk That Miers May Drop Out - New York Times.

Against the presidents institutional power, momentum's rules require a countervailing force to be sharp and unrelenting. Any break or pause, and the presidents conceit gains the day. I suppose you could add all sorts of caveats to a statement like that : arguing the merits of sharp and brittle resistance vs. slow and building. This is a president who has run a popular and tight presidency and who's party controls both houses of congress. Unless that boat hits a perfect storm, it's coming into dock.

In many ways this nomination was a smart play all around - given this administrations meta-normative desire for control and personal loyalty above all else. Harriet Miers gives them a stealth candidate with no paper trail and near certain dependable views. This penchant A Bid for Confirmation, Rather Than Convictions reveals a weakness, though. The cronyism which seems protective and uncomplex becomes a problem when the individuals involved are either revealed, or come to be thought of, as not of sufficient caliber for their assigned jobs. It also looks weak that the administration has become so cloistered that they do not trust or do not want to use existing processes for finding and vetting candidates for critical positions. They do not trust the suggestions coming from sectors of their own ranks, less ideological alignment concerns than the amount of political capital these more intensive fights might involve, and the inability to please everyone in the republican big tent with any one candidate in any account.The president himself and the more Bush centric parts of the administration may feel that the Bush Legacy may primarily rest on different fronts and the part that rests with court nominations, is adequately dispensed with a personal choice.

A person being named for the Supreme Court is different from choices of people who are going to work for the president. The Court does not work for the president, it is a third entire branch of government with its own responsibilities, and people named there will still be there when those who named them belong to political history. The president seems to have realized belatedly the standard is different. Andrew Card seems unclear on the difference entirely drumming up her obseqious views on a strong executive as a selling point (Froomkin [scroll] quoting Meyerson notetaking on Card. Another reporter looking at this same argument line commented he didn't know exactly who this was supposed to reassure

The administration didn't have its ducks lined up for this. Less clear is why. A preoccupation of the administration's various grey eminencies, autocrats, and hammer boys. A lazy habit of seeing the base reflexively bow to the pater familiar. As well there are several armed camps on the right currently bivouacking under an accident of fate. There is  in the republican grand coalition  as much that is  happenstance amalgamation as it is a fortress of unified conviction.  Social Conservatives - the religious right were at short ends. This is a crowd that likes its assurances obvious. If not obvious at least mysterious, which is where Dobsons' I've got a got a secret - that Karl Rove told me enters in. The fiscal and property conservatives are a different breed. Laura Bush's raising of the sexism issue seemed a little hollow, but the point is valid. There is an inherent sexism of the oligarch conservatives. Gender is a subtext to assertions of "heavyweight" judges. There were few women among the several candidate stables of the right. This last bit of coding which occurs in both George Will's Can This Nomination Be Justified? and Krauthammer's Withdraw This Nominee  bilious op eds:  the claim that what they want is an "Intellectual" on the court, which is why they are disappointed in the presidents choice Conservatives Confront Bush Aides . They admit Miers will probably align with the right wing of the court and vote reliably. What they mean by "Intellectual" is bully. A demeanor beyond insightful, keen, nuanced and reasoned. A personality leaning towards intimidating, dismissive, arrogant and combative. This is what they feel deprived of The Right's Dissed Intellectuals. The University of Chicago Law School Faculty have a typepad web log and have been wieghing in on this The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog.

The significant difference is the lack of deference being shown to the White House across the board on this nomination. At first face this seems to be evidence on a building exasperation with the administration, over five long years of ill reasoned and indifferently managed policies. Few seem inclined to soft the terms of their disagreement, the contest seems to be who can voice their outrage loudest. Any way you choose to look at this, it is a weather change when republican Senators set staffers to work looking for a way out of having to confirm Harriet Miers G.O.P. Aides Add Voices to Resistance to Miers - New York Times .

The most disturbing thing about Harriet Miers, I take her routine conservative bona fides "on faith", is the sickly deferential admiration in which she holds George W. Bush, "one of the most intelligent men she has ever known. Unworthy even questionable in someone taking lifetime tenure as a judge, a Justice. Best if taken as sycophantic and unreasoned. Worse if believed and taken as sincere.

- - -
19Oct05  I added a sentence after "bivoucking under an accident of fate" in an attempt to make that thought clearer.

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Monday, October 10, 2005
Grand Juries don't indict me, I indict them

Maybe it's just me and the way I look at things, but to me it's telling that Delay has responded to this by instructing his lawyer to subpeona Ronnie Earle the DA that brought the indictment against him - and even members of that grand jury DeLay Lawyers Subpoena District Attorney. He seems particularly incensed that after the first (or middle)  GJ didn't indict by the end of its term, Earle brought the charges to another and did get an indictment. It almost leaves me with the impression that Delay thought he had assurances that the Grand Jury wouldn't indict.

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Thursday, October 6, 2005
On a personnell note

 Got a comment on my  03 aug 05 post Translated Geographies I wrote after my friend [Nancy] Micaela's vist this summer. We had been talking about other friends from our U. Maryland days. This included Derrick Hsu, a good friend from those days. I had written about him before in a post titled Steak and Eggs Kitchen -- after the diner that used to be on university blvd  - wonderful place for certain hours.

Quoting briefly from [selected points of] the comment; which was from some one who knew Derrick growing up:
 I visit my mom almost every Sunday at my old house. A few Sundays back, I went on a power walk and walked by Derrick's old house. So, I was curious as to where he was, what he was up to... last time I saw him was at Maryland U, and he looked like he was some type of punk rocker or something... By the way, Derrick went to Green Acres School. Yes, like the song. Then, I think he went to Landon High School. -- Tripp
 On this last -- the mystery deepens, the shadows lengthen, but Durbin rd. endures.

 Derrick was sort of a punker in his college years- that's what all that Fountain of Youth record-label-thing was about. But you have to account for his transmogrification into Leonard Cohen at the end this period. Same thing happen to Nick Cave, though.  When I first knew Derrick  he was working for a local DC bookstore called Second Story books which is run by a guy named Allan Stypeck, who, I am told, tends to leave very definite impressions on those who know him. After Derrick graduated he opened his own book store called the Old Forrest. The last time I saw Derrick is when I visited him at the Georgetown store sometime in the mid nineties. He had the Ovation guitar he had bought in college with him at the store, but was too sensitive to his shopkeeper neighbors' desire for oppressive sedateness to play it. Ironically that location, which no longer seems to exist as a book store, is just up the street from where my brother-in-law Doug works as chef at the Four Seasons. I bought a used copy of the Chicago Manual of Style there that day (receipt is still in the book, I can see it was a while ago).  The Chicago Manual of Style and all it stands for, is this web log's mortal enemy.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2005
N.O. revisits

For those who have been following the walk back of some of the the more hysteric sensationalism of the situation in New Orleans a month ago. What didn't happen in New Orleans and why we think it did (Accounts of N.Orleans violence questioned  Reuters, and Fear Exceeded Crime's Reality in New Orleans - New York Times are two good articles on this). I found this recent commentary: Cultural myths behind Katrina whispers | to be very helpfull in pulling that issue into perspective.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2005
The Effective Tom Delay

Everybody keeps saying the left hates Tom Delay because he's so 'Effective' Statements Regarding Tom Delay Indictment. By which I imagine they assign a jealousy, and chagrin of the vanquished to the left's feelings. Their own feelings; an unalloyed triumphalism, bathed in the honeyed waters of victory, are entirely another affair. This is pure grace, faultless, describable by Pindar alone. Any questioning of Representor Tom is churlish and vindictive The War Against Tom DeLay - New York Times. Except that's not it exactly village voice - What's the Deal With the Tom DeLay Indictment? by Laura Rozen.

The indictment of Delay News Flash (washington Post) goes to the heart of what he does. It contains its own pause. The indictments are not incidental, are not tangental. They are not "incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial!" (line of the character Hamilton Burger ) they go to the center of Delay's way. His process of governence and finance Campaign finance in age of DeLay |

The web of regulation surrounding modern political fundraising is to some extent artificial and its boundaries at some points arbeitrary. It also under the banner McCain-Feingold is relatively recent. It exists nontheless for real reasons. to guard against the corrosive corruption of big money in campaign finance. It may be a minor and misdememor issue for the occasional transgression. The law was intended to regulate not criminalize campaign behavior With Indictment, a Fund-Raising Machine Will Slow - New York Times. However, A comprehensive across the board attempt to bypass or flagrently circumvent the laws must be read as active advocacy for the dark walls powerful wealthy special interests seek to place between government and the people Center for Public Integrity. It breeds a politics of personal ambition, and chains of obligation seeking to replace our more evolved institutions. It fosters a disciplinless legislature addicted to massive accountless overspending, it will do this assuredly for either side of the aisle. The republicans gain a temporary magority from Tom Delay, but also the loss of their political integrity. To be sure I see this as nothing more than a mere symptom of the potemkin hollowness of modern American conservatism in general.

A description of Tom Delays progress through American politics lends itself to the language of winner take all sporting competition - What goes around: Rep. Tom DeLay is on the receiving end of hardball tactics he has used for partisan gain.. An artifical rule bound metaphor. As though someone came to a game, dedicated to pleasing an audience and enduring. Then proceded to re-write its formal and informal rules. Winning merely was no longer enough - all games must be shutouts. Victory must be total. Everything is faction. Basemen who attempt to throw the right teams runners out are to be spiked. Any of then who get on base are to be beaned at their next plate appearence. Anyone in the stands who dares dares cheer a play by the opposition is to be ridiculed and thrown out of the stadium. It wouldn't take long before the audience for such a thing melted away. Gone to to look for something more human. I don't count myself among those who would encourage Delay for his boogeyman-of-the-left qualities. Men like Tom Delay are not good for American politics, period.

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