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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm curious

In the new Texas curriculum,
The new standards say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated -- something most historians deny -- draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses, say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty, and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn.

So, elevating the Confederacy is one of the goals?

It is the new Republican Party.

Can Rand Paul take a neutral interview?

After his blowout on the Civil Rights Act, and dodging a thrice repeated question on the minimum wage, I wonder if Rand Paul can even take neutral interview anymore as every journalist worth his salt will try to load up a question sure to make headlines.

Heck, Paul has already done the unspeakable and bailed out of Meet the Press this week.

(Somehow, after touching the Civil Rights third rail, I don't think he's going to be allowed the Palin tactic of claiming the press are out to get him.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

Rand Paul on Good Morning America,
"When does my honeymoon period start? I had a big victory...."

Thought for the Day

In the wake of Rand Paul speaking for Republicans and tea partiers saying that the Civil Rights Act doesn't fall within their philosophy....

In the wake of Arizona passing that abhorrent, discriminatory, racial profiling immigration law....

In the wake of the GOP pillorying their top (and only visible) black figure for months and months and months....

How's that GOP outreach to minority voters going?

Taking Responsibility?

DNI Dennis Blair resigns over intelligence failures that that allowed the Christmas Day bomber to board a plane bound for the US.

It's kinda weird to see after the Bush administration where anybody could fail in any way and no one ever resigned in responsibility.

(The only one who ever resigned was Michael Brown, and that was primarily from incredible outside pressure after the Arabian Horse qualification was revealed. But no one ever resigned over 9/11, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, or anything else.)

When more isn't better

(USAToday) BP concedes oil spill is bigger than estimates.

And, (AP) The blowout that is fueling the spill has now been spewing for a month. (A month!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Talk about a momentum killer....

You gotta credit the campaign of Rand Paul's opponent for derailing him just one day after he won his primary and gained national acclaim for his election night speech.

They held back the attack on Rand Paul's position against the Civil Rights Act until they really needed to drop it to kill his momentum, and now, just a day after he shot up, he's stopped dead in his tracks defending a pretty ugly position.

That's good campaign management.

Later: Look at the Republican party figures run from Rand Paul. Wow.


The WaPo has a soft piece on Chuck Schumer which predicts he may replace Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader after the midterms.

Man! I couldn't be more excited. I've been hoping for this switch since the 2008 Majority Leader election. Schumer is a Democrat who fights.

(Related: Dana Milbank notes that Repub Minority Leader McConnell is swinging wildly to the right after Rand Paul defeated McConnell's hand picked prototype in that Senate primary.)

Floyd Landis cracks

After fighting vigorously for four years, dethroned Tour de France champ Floyd Landis admits his own drug use and tells authorities all, including naming other riders who doped.

There's only one name everyone is wondering about. and according to this story he does accuse Lance Armstrong of blood doping (extracting, storing, and reinserting red blood cells.)

North Korea did it.

An international report says a North Korean torpedo (very probably from a submarine) sank that South Korean naval vessel in March that killed 46.

This is going to be very tricky.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Picture of the Day

(Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), exits the polling booth after casting his ballot during his U.S. Senate Democratic primary re-election run in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 18, 2010.… (REUTERS/Bradley Bower))


Let's remember that Arlen Specter switched parties because he was likely to lose the Republican primary as well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My opinions must matter!

We should all go to great effort to figure out what a few local races might mean for the entire 2010 midterms.....

...because our ignorance about the local candidates, our ignorance about the relative quality of the campaigns, and our ignorance about the local media environment means those things don't really matter in local, lowish turnout elections, right?

It must be some kind of national message, not that Kentucky Republicans are a bit reactionary, or that Specter switched parties, or that Sestak apparently ran a great campaign, or had union support in a low turnout election....

It must be that my pre-conceived narrative made the difference, right?

(PS. It's funny how little relative coverage has been given to the Pa Congressional special election where the Dem won on a "level playing field." Certainly, it was a local, low turnout election like the others, but it's being largely ignored because it contradicts the preferred narrative.)

Thought for the Day

It's a primary day, so every result will be discussed as bad news for Democrats.

Preventative imprisonment?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court supported a provision of a law which allows "indefinite imprisonment" of sex offenders past any sentencing.

This seems like a hugely dangerous precedent, and in the article they note that North Carolina is already holding 77 inmates indefinitely under this provision.

Now, let me clearly say that I'm not pro-child molester, but I could easily see a law like this being expanded into other classes of crimes.

If you want life sentences for child molesting or any other crime, fine, pass a law putting life sentences on the crime. But this seems a very dangerous legal way to retroactively go about it.

Blogging housekeeping

I've got a busy 10 days or so ahead, so I'll probably be blogging light through next Wednesday. Looks like I'll still have most of the mornings, but the afternoons may be getting a little crowded.

It should be back to normal soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

An Iranian nuclear deal?

In a rather surprising move, Iran agrees to a nuclear deal that ships and stores its enriched uranium in Turkey. The whole thing feels very curious and may just be a negotiating tactic or attempt to dodge pressure, however. the early published details would appear to meet many of the US demands.

The deal was reportedly brokered by Brazil, although the "tick-tock" hasn't really been written yet, so we don't know if Brazil really set it all up or whether Iran just gave them the credit to keep such a deal away from association with the US. (Any way this breaks is a huge "world stage" coup for up and coming Brazil.)

So far, it appears to be set up without consultation with the IAEA and, at least officially, without the US, so I really think we'll have to wait to see the details before a full judgment. Here's two early versions: AP and the NYTimes.

Aaahh, here it is. The BBC notes that, thus far, such a deal doesn't seem to inhibit Iran's enrichment processes and research.


As a blogger, I'm ready for the mid term elections to begin in earnest.

As a blogger, elections are a whole lot of fun.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

As rare as an eclipse

Neither John McCain, Lindsey Graham, nor Joe Lieberman are scheduled on any of the Sunday shows.

Is there a secret cabal meeting somewhere?

"It's not La Paz...."

The NYTimes has a piece on World Cup teams preparing for the mile high altitudes in South Africa.