It’s the time of year when everybody is full of holiday spirits, or just using the holiday as an excuse to be full of spirits. With the holiday spirit in mind, I recieved a couple of recent emails that I thought were worthy of comment. They were both humorous, but I thought that each could also provide a more serious message.
I was congratulating the New York Times for breaking the story about Bush’s illegal spying on citizens just in time to help the Senate shoot down the Patriot Act renewal. Then I read
Ariana Huffington’s view of the story, which is far from congratulatory. She reams them for sitting on the story as long as they did, and suggests that by not publishing it before the 2004 election, they helped Bush win the election. She’s got a point. After the whole Judy Miller fiasco, and now this, it looks like the NY Times is trying to compete with Fox News to be Bush’s biggest booster.
It was no great surprise to see that Kentucky’s two Senators, who are two of the worst Republicans in the Senate, had voted to renew the Patriot Act. It was a little disappointing to see that our 6th District Representative, who calls himself a Democrat, had also voted in favor of it. Here’s a copy of my recent letter to him on the subject.
“A goddamned piece of paper”. According to a Capitol Hill Blue report, that’s what George W. Bush called the Constitution in a recent White House meeting. Capitol Hill Blue frequently publishes reports that aren’t repeated anywhere else, which could mean they either have really good sources or really worthless sources. Considering the circumstances, I’m going to believe they’re right on this one.
In the ongoing debate over the United States’ use of torture in the ongoing war on terror, some of the bleeding-heart anti-torture wusses criticize our own use of a practice which we condemn when others do it, which defies the basic American principle that basic human rights are only principles that we expect our enemies to follow. Others even go so far as to claim that torture has no value, since any information gained through torture may be unreliable as victims will frequently say whatever they think the torturers want to hear in an attempt to make them stop. A recent news story shows how wrong that argument is.
If you thought Quips from Katrina was going to be a bunch of hurricane jokes, you haven’t been paying attention lately. I received email today, from somebody who doesn’t even know about my crush on The Nation editor/publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel, containing a copy of one of her recent articles, defining Republican doublespeak. I considered copying a few of my favorites here, but I decided that instead of following a link to a longer story here, you might as well go to the original source. That turned out to be a good idea, because when I went to the website to find the article, I discovered that there’s already a sequel.
It’s probably already old news to the few regular readers here, but the World Equestrian Games are coming to Lexington. The FEI announced today that the Horse Park had won its bid to host the 2010 Games. It will be the first time the Games have ever been held outside of Europe. This is big news. People are throwing around numbers like an expected attendance of 300,000, but I’m not sure anybody really knows what kind of crowd they can draw on this continent.