Archive

  • Cheney in 08? Nah...

    I'm going to have to go all downer on Matt and Jon Chait -- Cheney isn't going to find himself being pushed into the Oval Office. Chait thinks it'll happen because the Party doesn't want an ideologically soft successor to Bush and they know Cheney sacrifices virgins in Ronald Reagan's name. Matt thinks it's because the absence of an obvious successor and the proliferation of credible candidates will make Bush a lame duck well, now. But all that's presupposing an enormous lack of cynicism onto the Republican party. As Matt argued to Chait, to term Bush's agenda an ideology is an affront to ideologies everywhere, there's nothing recognizable to push into the future save maybe tax cuts and a willingness to take credit for positive developments abroad. But Matt's wrong as well -- no one's uniting around Cheney. Even if Bush were to publicly anoint him, pouring oil atop his bald VP on the floor of Congress (I hear John Ashcroft recommends Crisco fir impromptu anointing), Bush's lame...
  • Somehow, Not Surprising

    The hypocrisy speaks for itself: Today, as House Majority Leader, DeLay has teamed with his Senate counterpart, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), to champion political intervention in the Schiavo case. They pushed emergency legislation through Congress to shift the legal case from Florida state courts to the federal judiciary. And DeLay is among the strongest advocates of keeping the woman, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube. In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die. "There was no point to even really talking about it," Maxine DeLay, the congressman's 81-year-old widowed mother, recalled in an interview last week. "There was no way [Charles] wanted to live like that. Tom knew — we all knew — his father wouldn't...
  • Easter! Munz!

    So uh, Happy Easter! Resurrections are for lovers! I'm not sure where you folks got the bunny from, but considering that it resulted in my girlfriend getting a basket with enough chocolate to send me into insulin shock, I'm all for these magical, delicious rabbits that hand out sweets and restore life. So word to the Easter! Also, I think I forgot to mention it, but Daniel Munz is posting relief this weekend. You know him, curly hair, brown eyes, posts that change your life. Yeah, him. He da man.
  • Liar! Charlatan! (How'm I Doing, PZ?)

    PZ Myers sez : I know what some people are thinking: just don't call them "stupid" or a "moron", it distracts from the scientific argument. Of course it does; but one thing I've learned over the years is that this is not a scientific debate. The scientific part was settled a century ago, and evolution won, hands down. There is absolutely no legitimate, intelligent argument against evolutionary theory right now. This is not to say that we know everything or that the theory is complete or that we expect no major revisions; it means that evolution in a broad sense is an inarguable fact, and what we need to know now are details and mechanisms. The earth is billions of years old, species are all related to one another, and there has been a complex and ongoing pattern of change over the course of all of that time. All of that has been supported by multiple interlocking lines of evidence uncovered by the work of thousands of people, rechecked and verified by thousands more. That's just not...
  • France Souring on EU?

    If you believe the polls , anyway: More bad news from France for the European Union: A new opinion poll coming out Monday suggests that most French voters would reject the EU constitution if a referendum were held today. The French will not be called on to vote until May 29, but the poll is the second in less than a week indicating that France could strike down the EU’ s historic attempt to adopt a constitution. As a fan of the EU, I find this worrisome, to say the least. The EU constitution, as written, imposes a lot of new, federal-style institutions on member nations and EU citizens. Among others, it provides for a more powerful EU judiciary, a unified legal personality, and a single EU diplomatic representative. Additionally, being an EU member increasingly means supporting poorer countries; some of the most recent admittees to the EU also have the lowest GDP in the EU. Slate has chronicled what seem to be the dwindling priveleges of EU membership. The European Parliament,...
  • Death and Taxes

    I know, I know: No more about Terri Schiavo. But I just have to flag this astonishing statement from NRO’ s Jack Dunphy: If Terri Schiavo were able, she would go to the nearest telephone, dial 9-1-1, and tell the operator that people are trying to kill her. “If Terri Schiavo were able”? Why, pray tell, is she not able? Could it be, perhaps, because she no longer has the ability to think? The one useful thing about this mess is that it’s invited us to figure out what conservatives mean by “culture of life.” I think Dunphy’s statement just about explains it all. They see being alive much the same way that liberals see paying taxes: Not something one just happens to be doing, but something one must do out of an obligation to the rest of humanity. To people like Dunphy, the notion that death is a natural part of life, or that continuing to live could be a net negative, is simply unacceptible. This isn’t a culture of life. It’s a culture of publicly-owned life. It’s a culture of forced...
  • Pillow Fight!

    Later today, I'll be attending, and kicking ass in, the "world's largest pillow fight". You think I'm kidding, but no, the Kiwanis are hosting the largest pillow fight ever at the Anaheim Convention Center. I'll try and get pictures. After I kick ass.
  • Annan to Constructivism: "Drop Dead!"

    Ever since I posted this longish quote from Dick Holbrooke about the U.N., I’ve been thinking about it. Particularly, the part where he says: The large number of disputes and wars that the U.N. has been unable to prevent or solve since 1945 are a clear demonstration of the limits of the organization. But this is a result of the actions of the member states themselves, not something called “the U.N. ” What happens in the U.N. is simply a reflection of the positions of its 191 members, whose ambassadors take positions under instructions from their capitals. Every time I read that paragraph, it kind of got caught in my mental throat (ew!), and I think I only just now realized why. Holbrooke is right. The reason he’s right is the reason the U.N. isn’t working now, and the reason that I’m highly optimistic about Kofi Annan’s planned reforms . The problem with the U.N. is that, although it was conceived in the sweet afterglow of democracy’s triumph on the European continent, it’s a...
  • Me Again

    Well, it happened again. Ezra's off for the weekend (it's 67 in L.A.!) [Ezra's note -- not off, I'll be around too] , and he's graciously asked me to fill in. So, here I am. I have a few things I plan to post about, but if there's anything you'd specifically like me to publicly meditate on, please do feel free to drop it in the comments. I blog to please. Thanks for having me again. - Daniel A. Munz
  • Why No Wide-Angle?

    James Wolcott wants a wide-angle shot of the protesters outside Schiavo's hospice. I don't blame him. But though the cameramen seem unwilling to comply, NPR's nameless voice-on-the-scene did better as I drove to lunch this morning. The Christian Right, he said, had sent out an alert to its faithful, imploring them to come stand vigil and warning the media that the grounds would soon be flooded with hundreds, even thousands of jobless white folks hellbent on inserting themselves into a private matter. So how many showed up? A few dozen.

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