This is quite correct:
Well, no. Look, Matt Yglesias leading a caucus of 51 Democratic Senators that includes Joe Lieberman, Bill Nelson, and Tim Johnson couldn’t get much done in these circumstances either. Nor could Matt Stoller. It’s not Reid’s fault that there aren’t 60 votes for a non-binding resolution on Iraq in the Senate (except in the sense that the “nuclear option” fight was mishandled way back in the day, and Democrats should have tried to abolish filibusters altogether). Blame Lieberman. Blame Jeff Sessions. And, again, ask yourself: If Reid’s resolution is so useless, why is the GOP so determined to defeat it? And if it’s so difficult to get 60 votes for this measure, what would the point be in proposing something more far-reaching that would only fail by a larger margin? The sad reality is that what Matt and I would like to see the Democrats accomplish is, under the circumstances, very difficult to achieve. Progressives should keep the pressure on for action, but we need to understand that objective circumstances matter. This is a slow boring of hard boards kind of situation, and it’s extremely frustrating, but it’s also George W. Bush’s fault, not Reid’s.
Right. As we proceed with congressional control, it’s important to remember that we don’t have a Parliamentary system; especially in the Senate, the leadership can’t just create votes that aren’t there. And whether this is optimal or not, de facto control of foreign policy has largely resided in the White House for many decades.
It’s now the Year of the Pig. In honor of the Chinese New Year, do yourselves a favor and stop by The Wonderful Pig of Knowledge! — probably the best pig-themed blog you’ll ever encounter.
The picture here is of Pigasus the Immortal, the boar hog nominated for president by the Youth International Party in 1968. Pigasus’ campaign slogan was simple: “They nominate a president and he eats the people. We nominate a president and the people eat him.”
Sadly for Pigasus, his slogan may have been only too accurate. Moments after his nomination in Chicago on August 23, 1968, Pigasus and his Yippee promoters were arrested. Although Jerry Rubin, Phil Ochs and the rest of the non-porcine rowdies were sprung later that afternoon, Pigasus the Immortal was never seen again. His mysterious disappearance was overshadowed, however, when the Chicago police began beating the holy shit out of long-hairs a few days later.
Another nonagenarian bastard is dead. As head of the French police, Maurice Papon was a Nazi collaborator under the Vichy regime, overseeing the transfer of at least 1500 French Jews to the camps in Eastern Europe. After the war, Papon furthered the cause of law and order by heading up the Parisian police — a position he acquired in March 1958 after several thousand police officers demonstrated on his behalf, led by the fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen. During the rally that immediately preceded Papon’s nomination as chief, his fellows — many of whom had also served the Vichy government — were heard chanting such inspiring slogans as “Sales Juifs! A la Seine! Mort aux fellaghas!” (“Filthy Jews! Into the Seine! Death to the rebels!”)
The “rebels” to which the policemen referred were of course the Algerians, who had the temerity to beg release from the abusive colonial situation they’d endured for more than a century. Papon, conveniently, had spent the previous two years supervising the detention and torture of those associated with the Algerian resistance. Less than six months after being named prefect of police, Papon oversaw the creation of an urban concentration camp in Paris, where 5000 Algerians were detained; two of the facilities used for the detentions had been similarly employed by the Petain government during World War II. When the FLN intensified its Parisian bombing campaign in August 1961, Papon instituted a racist curfew that confined French Algerians to their homes after 5:30 p.m. During a peaceful October demonstration that brought 30,000 people into the streets, Papon’s men opened fire without provocation and killed scores of protestors.
True to their March 1958 promises, some of Papon’s men tossed Algerian victims into the Seine.
Just as the addition of Steve Vai to Whitesnake produced the legendary 1989 album Slip of the Tongue, I expect that the unification of Matt Duss with Alterdestiny will lead to great things.
Honestly. If she would just stop making facially absurd observations about the world, I would stop pointing these things out.
Shorter Althouse, 7:17 a.m.:
“John McCain’s creepy, fascist music video doesn’t worry me nearly so much as the Left’s ignorance of art. Black and white is the new black and white, after all.”
Implicit Althouse, 7:59 a.m.:
“Anyone who would say something like ‘It feels acutely more sheltering to be in a tiny house rather than a big one’ is a condescending, sanctimonious fraud. I’ll bet he also has a ‘tiny’ prick rather than a ‘big one.’ Shorter sentences, please!”
Scroll to the bottom of this column and weep. Do prominent op-ed pages need more women? Absolutely. Law professors? Why not. Conservative, even? Might be OK at the Times, although overrepresented on most papers. But one MoDo is far too many. Maybe she will get that Salon gig when this is over.
Anyway, I wonder what the next columns will look like. I was going to suggest an op-ed asserting with no evidence that liberals should support Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court because he’s a Harry Blackmun-like moderate, but the Times has already published that for no obvious reason. Or maybe an op-ed about a crucial case that wastes time discussing whether Warren Burger is being referred to with the appropriate nomenclature. Oh, they published that one too. Hmm. Perhaps she will elaborate on her claim that liberals no longer believe that people have rights, and that William Brennan’s (sorry, Associate Justice William Brennan’s) passionate rights-based legacy would be apparently honored by supporting the notably robust conception of individual rights and commitment to grand theory so evident in the jurisprudence of Sam Alito. That would be even more convincing at greater length, I’m sure!
[Personal to Norbiz: I know, I know, but if the Times is publishing her it's an exception.]
Robert Adler, inventor of the modern remote control, has died.
Had he not invented it, I would be less fat and better read.
. . . Scottie Pippen is looking to come out of retirement, for some reason. I don’t think I’ve cared about the NBA since . . . well, forever . . . so I don’t really have anything profound to offer here, but this part of the article stood out:
Miami’s Dwyane Wade also liked the idea of a comeback with the Heat.
“I’m already playing with (Gary) Payton and Shaq, two guys I used to play with on video games,” Wade said. “To add Scottie Pippen to the mix, that would be crazy.”
I suppose it would be kind of odd to actually play with/against someone you’d virtually played with/against at some point.
That’s all fine and good, but Wade’s got nothing on me. When I was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, I “taught” the future professional wrestler Brock Lesnar. FERPA probably constrains me from writing in too much detail about the semester we spent together, but let’s just say I was less than impressed with Lesnar’s academic potential; his essay on Kant’s anthropology of race was likely not his finest work. Regardless, he won the NCAA heavyweight title that year, drawing (by the standards of college wrestling) enormous crowds to home meets, where he apparently had his way with all challengers. He was a massive human being.
Lesnar parlayed his amateur glory into a three-year run with World Wrestling Entertainment, during which time he evidently vaulted to the top of his profession, wrestling the likes of Hulk Hogan and The Rock on his way to becoming the youngest WWE champion in history. As I understand it, he was known for such moves as the “spinebuster,” the “scoop powerslam,” the “rear naked choke,” and something mysteriously known as “repeated turnbuckle thrusts.”
I, too, could have employed these moves had I only purchased a copy of WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain. The subtitle to this game evidently refers to Lesnar’s “catch phrase,” which I must admit I never heard him use when he was enrolled in my cultural studies course.
A commenter chez Henley explains a major problem with the Green Lantern Theory:
“Look, you go to jihad with the naval graffiti teams that you have, not the naval graffiti teams that you would like to have. Did we equip the Mahdi Army? Yes. Did we send them Austrian sniper rifles? No. Did we give them Chinese sniper rifles? I can’t comment on that.”
“Western democracy is in its last throes. Those throes may, of course, last for a few hundred years.”
“I have proof that the Americans have supplied plutonium to the Kurds. See, I have a copy of a memo by Porter Goss. Well, yes, the handwriting does look suspiciously like my own…”
“Actually counting the votes could do irreparable damage to Ahmadinejad.”
“I’m running on a platform of religion, nationalism, and massive government spending. And please don’t ask me what I was doing in the 1970’s.”
Oh, wait, that last one describes the guy who won the 2005 election in Iran. Shit!
And don’t get me started on the Iranian Don Young…
…oh, and for a twofer, JH on this article: “Kudos to Matt Welch and crew for making space for the piece, but it’s a bizarre inversion that Cockburn’s reality check ends up in the ‘opinion’ section while precis of the unsourced and ill-supported suppositions of government briefers and spokespeople somehow counted as ‘news.’”
Have I mentioned how much I hate morning radio lately?
Why does Michelle Malkin hate James Madison?
Of course, it must always be noted that James Madison — though he eventually advised in favor the Bill of Rights — was not the first to suggest that one be written, and his support for it was more or less intended as a sop to those who objected to its exclusion from the original draft of the Constitution. As Madison himself lukewarmly explained in June
1989 1789, “I will own that I never considered this provision so essential to the federal constitution, as to make it improper to ratify it, until such an amendment was added; at the same time, I always conceived, that in a certain form and to a certain extent, such a provision was neither improper nor altogether useless.”
To be fair, though, neither Madison nor anyone else could have imagined how crucial the Bill of Rights would eventually prove to be. I’m not sure what Malkin’s excuse is.