Daily Archives: April 17, 2007

Charlie Savage, Boston Globe, wins Pulitzer Prize

Take a look at his body of work here.

Savage’s work was, for most people, the first indication that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, along with Karl Rove, have been working hard to radically change our American form of government.  Paul Krugman  (see The Great Unraveling) and others have also pointed this out.

A truly great reporter, Charley Savage richly deserves the award and our thanks. I look forward to his forthcoming book.

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Filed under Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, media, Politics

The lemon flower is sweet: my recipe for lemonade

The lemon tree is in bloom and of course still bearing fruit.

Now, recipes for lemonade classically call for equal parts sugar, water, and lemon juice. Yecch.

Try this:

Equal parts water and lemon juice (fresh squeezed, of course; about three lemons per serving).  Toss in a packet of splenda and some ice.   A bracing alternative to the sugar-loaded old style.

Another idea:  add a squirt of lemon into your water bottle.

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“High crimes” and impeachment

from Altercation:

Name: Darrel Plant
Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Much as I hate to disagree with the estimable Mr. Charles Pierce — particularly when he’s disputing the words of the odious Joe Klein — I believe he may be incorrect when he states categorically that “You can’t impeach a president because he’s a self-evident f**k-up.”

The conventional wisdom on impeachment does, indeed, seem to indicate that the grounds of impeachment derive only from criminal misconduct. But that was not the conclusion of the last sober, reasoned evaluation of what the Constitution had to say about the matter.

In early 1974, when the House Judiciary Committee took up the issue of whether or not President Nixon had performed an impeachable offense, they wrote a report about the history of impeachment in the English and American systems, which The Washington Post helpfully reproduced for the Clinton impeachment.

They address the “maladministration” language and its intent, as well as the assumption that criminal conduct is necessary in section III, “The Criminality Issue”:

“Impeachable conduct, on the other hand, may include the serious failure to discharge the affirmative duties imposed on the President by the Constitution. Unlike a criminal case, the cause for the removal of a President may be based on his entire course of conduct in office. In particular situations, it may be a course of conduct more than individual acts that has a tendency to subvert constitutional government. …

“In sum, to limit impeachable conduct to criminal offenses would be incompatible with the evidence concerning the constitutional meaning of the phrase ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ and would frustrate the purpose that the framers intended for impeachment. State and federal criminal laws are not written in order to preserve the nation against serious abuse of the presidential office. But this is the purpose of the consitutional provision for the impeachment of a President and that purpose gives meaning to ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ ”

At least, that’s what the people thinking about impeaching Richard Nixon thought.

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Filed under Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Politics

Soriano watch: the bad news and the good news

Back to baseball.

Poor Alfonso Soriano; he gets hurt trying to catch a fly ball, and instead of sympathy, he gets hammered. The Chicago Sun-Times, which (unlike the Chicago Tribune) doesn’t own the Cubs, ran this story:

You figured Monday night that [Chicago Cubs manager Lou] Piniella is starting to understand the weirdness of this job, something skippers never get until they sink their chops into it. With a touch of brilliance, he shook up his light-hitting lineup with unorthodox moves, most of which worked beautifully in a 12-4 ripping of the San Diego Padres. Yet his best idea of all — suggesting to slumping Alfonso Soriano that he abandon his circus-like experiment in center field so he can produce a few runs for his $136 million — fell upon deaf ears before the game. Crazily enough, the same superstar who pitched a fit when he was moved from second base to left field in Washington told Piniella that he likes center. ..

”What we want Soriano to do is hit and generate offense for us,” Piniella said of the 40-40 force, who has been picked off base more times [three] than his combined home-run [zero], RBI [one] and stolen-base totals [one]. ”I brought him in, and we had a nice conversation. I said, ‘Look, we’ll move you. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to feel comfortable at home plate and take that load off.’ But he said he feels comfortable in center field, so I left him there.”

Consider it Lou’s first lesson in bad Cubbie karma. For there was Soriano in the fifth inning, racing for a low liner off the bat of pitcher Clay Hensley. Soriano charged hard and tried to make a shoestring catch, but it was ruled he trapped the ball. When he came to his feet and threw, he slipped in the grass. As Piniella trotted to the infield to debate the call — no dirt kicked, no bases thrown, just a chorus of ”Louuuuu” — the all-too-familiar trainer, Mark O’Neal, rushed out to see why Soriano was limping.

Your answer: a strained left hamstring, which prompted the $136 million man to leave the field on his own power but shift to a more pronounced limp upon walking down the dugout stairs and into the tunnel.

I’m shocked by this development, of course, just shocked. Only two weeks into his Wrigley career, the most expensive player in franchise history is injured playing a position he shouldn’t be playing. Lou knew, but Alfonso didn’t listen. Will the Cubs be, um, Sorry-iano? The trainer says he is ”day to day,” but fans are excused for thinking the curse has bitten again. Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are long gone, perhaps never to return with arm injuries. So the damned goat needed another target. Why wouldn’t it be Soriano?

And just remember, he’s under contract for eight years.

Ouch.

Lou Pinella gets zero sympathy from me; see this post and comments. Soriano belongs in left field, batting 5th or sixth. And you don’t ask AS to make a position change. You tell him. The Rangers and the Nationals could have told Pinella that.

This injury will certainly accomplish the outfield switch. And I expect that the hamstring would be a good excuse to drop him down in the order. If so, this could be a fortunate thing for the Cubs. Soriano is certainly not helping where he is. And it will be a good thing for AS; his numbers were going to be miserable anyway, but now he has an excuse.  Good for him.

Meanwhile, the Cubs fans should be gathering their torches and pitchforks and heading for the Cubs’ office suite.  But they won’t.  Cause they’re used to it…they think it’s ‘The Curse.”  Ha.

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Tuesdays at the Rapture: questionable call by the Rapture Index Guy?

The Rapture Index Guy gets a little jumpy this week, stepping on the Rapture Accelerator for what I, as a Senior Rapture Correspondent, feel is insufficient evidence to warrant an increase of 1 point.

26 Nuclear Nations

Several of Iran neighbors are making plans to build their own
nuclear power plants.

I think this must be in response to this story, which does not suggest that these countries are seeking nuclear weapons. According to the category description, its the weapons that matter:

26. Nuclear Nations

(Rev.9:18) The use of nuclear armament during the tribulation will kill over 1/3 of the human population. Only in our time –with the nuclear arsenals– does it seem possible this could happen.

I may have to write a letter to the Rapture Index Guy. I don’t think this warranted an increase of 1 in the Rapture Index. We have to have some standards here, after all. We can’t lose the precision which gives the RI its considerable credibility on the internet and around the world.

Am I wrong? Am I wrong?

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Filed under Humor, Iran, religion, Satanic attacks on farm animals

The US and Iran: Elliot Abrams’ sandbox: Gates’ tour doesn’t include Saudis

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is on his way to the Middle East to try and whip up some support for Bush’s flailings. In the typical fashion of Bush’s minions, a meaningless nod is given toward the Palestinian question:

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process was also to figure high on the agenda, a senior Defence Department official said on condition of anonymity ahead of the meeting.

Jordan is not exactly thrilled:

King Abdullah said in an interview with AFP that Israel must end its occupation of Arab land if it wants to “co-exist” with the world’s Muslims.

There seems to be a hole in the itinerary:

Gates, who held talks with Jordan’s armed forces chief, General Khalid Al Sarayreh, is expected to travel on to Egypt and Israel, reinforcing US support for its allies in the region.

Obviously, the Saudis have refused to meet with him. King Abdullah has always been opposed to the Iraq adventure. Having given Cheney an earful, and snubbed Bush (not to mention their obvious disdain for the US Secretary of State), it is not surprising that the Saudis would not deign to meet with war-maker Gates, who is not on the policy-making level.

What are the Saudis upset about? It is strange to the nth power that the American public has no clue about this. George W. Bush has from day one engaged in a Middle East policy which is destroying the region. His policy towards Israel and the Palestinian question has been totally one-sided, and the problem is now much worse than before. The plight of the Palestinian people verges on apartheid and starvation. The Iraq adventure is appalling; the Sunni middle class there is evaporating. And Bush refuses to engage Iran in any sort of meaningful dialog.

The Saudis are the only people on earth, that I know of, outside of bloggers, who have the guts to stand up to Bush’s pack of mouthbreathing fools. There is nothing else admirable about the Saudi royal family, other than the fact that they don’t attack others, being content to keep their degenerate behaviors within their own borders.

Well, I’ll take what I can get; but t’s a sorry state of affairs when the King of Saudi Arabia is the only sane voice.

I hope there is at least one reporter with enough of a brain to press Gates on why he isn’t visiting Riyadh.

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Filed under Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Personal, Politics

Wolfowitz saga MUCH bigger than sweetheart deal.

The Wall St. Journal editorial staff today tried to whitewash Wolfie’s issues at the World Bank.

If you would like the whole story, go here. You won’t be surprised at the operation Wolfowitz installed. Not that different from Bush’s Department of Justice, or EPA, or any other agency: force out the career people, bring in a bunch of assholes who don’t know anything but are fiercely partisan, pay them too much, impose radical rightwing ideas that don’t work, and act like the office is your little kingdom.

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Politics