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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Midweek Miscellany

  • I have parent-teacher conferences tonight, so I won't make it to Drinking Liberally. But don't let that stop you!

  • WisPolitics is having a contest!

  • Some light reading on the Menard's flap: Seth and Cory tell us that just knowing Menard's is building in Iowa and Ohio doesn't tell you the whole story.

  • If indeed Democrats do take control of the House of Representatives after this November's elections, according to Chris Bowers, it will be the first time since 1955 that the South has not controlled the House:
    The gains Democrats are making in this election are not the result of becoming more moderate. The gains Democrats are making in this election are not the result of doing a better job of talking to "values voters." The gains Democrats are making in this election are not coming from rebuking the party's liberal wing. The gains Democrats are making in this election are not coming from moving to the right on national security, immigration, or taxes. The gains Democrats are making in this election are not the result of recapturing "the Bubba vote." It is easy to tell that the Democratic gains in this election are not the result of any of those things, because Democrats have not done any of those things. We have, instead, built significantly improved political infrastructure, moved to the left, and rallied a broad, people-powered coalition against Republican extremism. [. . .] This will be the first post-Dixiecrat, post-Blue Dog, post-DLC, post-triangulation, post-moderation victory for Democrats in a long, long time.

  • Some more reading on North Korea: Josh Marshall provides a timeline and remids of us the salient fact: This is not Bill Clinton's fault:
    So Clinton strikes a deal to keep plutonium out of the North Koreans' hands. The deal keeps the plutonium out of reach for the last six years of Clinton's term and the first two of Bush's. Bush pulls out of the deal. Four years later a plutonium bomb explodes.
    Mixter asks, "Who was president in 2002?" I ask, at what point--2009? 2010?--does stuff start being the fault of the guy under whose watch this happened?

  • Among the scariest parts of the "Detainee Trials" bill passed a couple weeks back (and then buried under the Foleylanche) is the notion that, at his discretion, the president can declare anyone, even citizens of the United States, "ublawful combatants." You can be arrested for something as innocuous as donating to a non-profit, thrown in jail, and tortured. If it happened to Jose Padilla, it could happen to you:
    He stayed in a black hole, kept by his own government, for the next three-and-a-half-years with no charges of any kind ever asserted against him and with the administration insisting on the right to detain him (and any other American citizen) indefinitely--all based solely on the secret, unchallengeable say-so of the President.
    Even if you like George W. Bush, consider what President Hillary would do with that kind of power, the decide if you want that in the unsupervised and unchallengeable hands of one person.

  • A note about Blogads: I'm generally happy to take anoyone's money, of any stripe, if you want to support what I do or promote yourself. However, I did reject an ad this week--the first time I've done so--for JB Van Hollen. The ad was "Dems for JB," and I felt that anyone seeing the ad might mistake me as a Dem for JB. I am not; I support Kathleen Falk and, even though my influence is undoubtedly very small in the matter, will not do anything to give the impression that I think we should elect Van Hollen. I'm sure his money spends just like anyone else's, but I had to say no.

  • Yesterday, I wrote about how abusive and hostile the other side of the Cheddarsphere can be (my great sin, to be clear, was linking to someone else; that alone was enough to prompt a profane and childish explosion). One of the good guys, to me, has always been Rick Esenberg, who I don't think has a hostile or profane bone in his body. However, Fair Wisconsin's Joshua Freker Ferrets out something about Rick:
    The picture becomes clearer when we note that Esenberg has begun working with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been at the forefront in pushing bans across the country. He contributes to their blog, Constitutionally Correct. [. . .] Esenberg works with an organization passionately opposed to providing gay families with any measure of fair treatment. So when he says that the Wisconsin ban wouldn't touch gay families' health care--when he offers an interpretation counter to the one put forth by ADF attorneys across the country--count me as deeply skeptical.

    If our ban passes, is Esenberg saying that ADF won't sue here? Or that he won't take part in such a suit? Somehow, I doubt it.
    Now, to be fair to Rick the connections I found Googling ADF's website for Rick's name are a little slim, but he is indeed attached to ADF in some ways. I think it is incumbent upon Rick to explain why ADF's history of pursuing cases based on the kind of weasel language our proposed amendment contains shouldn't make us wary of a "yes" vote. (Reminder: Vote no.)

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