As Bush administration incompetence allows yet another hurricane to bear down on the U.S. territory, I was reminded of George Will's recent endorsement of Simon Winchester's enduring fascination with "humankind's insistent folly in living in places where they shouldn't." Earlier in the same column Will warned that "we should have quite precise worries about the incurably unstable ground on which scores of millions of Americans live." As if Al Gore were whispering in his ear, he then added, "This almost certainly will result in a huge calamity, probably in the lifetime of most people now living." He was writing about California and earthquakes, but it's the sort of doomsday logic that could be applied to any populated areas exposed to hurricanes, floods, drought, cold, heat, fire, rockslides, mudslides, avalanches, not to mention mosquitoes. George, isn't there some erupting volcano we should be fleeing?
The Spectacle Blog
President Bush renewed his guest worker program efforts yesterday, and even tossed some immigration bones to the base:
Seeking to mollify balky Republicans, Bush emphasized border-control measures, saying the bill he signed would help the deportation of illegal immigrants and would provide more border patrol agents, new technologies, and expanded detention centers.
Agitating conservatives get results, right? Sort of. If Bush were really serious about immigration reform and placating conservatives, he would begin by ordering the Border Patrol to enforce existing laws to the best of their ability.
But in some ways, Iraq also will be on trial, with the world watching to see whether its new Shiite and Kurd-dominated ruling class can rise above politics and prejudice and give the former dictator a fair hearing.What do you suppose an unfair hearing for Saddam Hussein would look like?
Newsweek's Christopher Dickey weighs in on the Judith Miller story, at once running her down and rebuking her critics (focus on other media ills, he tells his colleagues, such as "persistent intimidation from right-wing ideologues"). He says she's great at getting "access" to powerful figures and taking copious notes; she just can't process them or label them properly. Once when he was traveling with her abroad he compared notes with her after they had both interviewed the same subject. He discovered that in her notes she had confused his questions for the subject of the interview's answers. But while Dickey basically says Miller can't think, he does credit her with a certain craftiness. She bragged to him on their travels that she never "breaks a sweat."
You think Houston doesn't have enough problems? It's not clear it will ever recover from Albert Pujols' missile launch last night. Its NFL team may go winless this year. Then there's its NBA team's star basketball import, Yao Ming, all 7'6" of him, who it turns out is the son of a once gung-ho member of Mao's Red Guard during the murderous Cultural Revolution. It was all reported in Sports Illustrated's September 26 issue and confirmed by a letter to the editor in the October 17 SI. "Having spent part of her youth abusing others for perceived crimes involving Western 'decadence,' she quickly took control of her son's career and his millions of dollars. She now lives in America enjoying the fruits of her son's success," John J. Montone of Hoboken, N.J., wrote in.
According to the Sports Illustrated, Yao Ming himself isn't all too thrilled with this arrangment. "My mother is like a mosquito constantly buzzing around my ears," he once told a friend.
Says the Times: "The statement [from the National Center for Policy Analysis] said that the manuscript he showed Mr. Goodman was 'an evaluation of the motivations and competencies of politicians rather than an analysis of public policy.' The statement said the organization did not want to be associated with that kind of work."
But that makes no sense: NCPA had no problem with being associated with Bartlett's syndicated column. And since the book is just an expansion on what Bartlett has been writing for a while now, it can't be the content of his book that's the problem. Bartlett's fireable offense, then: a provocative title.
It's completely unsubstantiated, but here it is: "Cheney resignation rumors fly." All that we know about possible indictments is rumors and speculation. There's nothing to substantiate any of this, and the headline overplays the actual content of the story. From all appearances, this is Washington parlor game, a "what if."
I'm subbing for Hugh all week. We'll be talking today about the Miers answers to the Judiciary Committee questionnaire, D'OHS Secretary Chertoff's statement that he's gonna expel all illegals (no word on Vicente Fox's reax) and lotsa other stuff including more on the Plame Name Blame Game. Tune in 6-9 EDT on the Salem Radio Network. See ya on the radio.
Our friends at Red State blog have posted the 63-page response of Harriett Miers to the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing questionnaire. Of greatest interest is her answer to the question about the nomination process.
Miers says she was asked, on the day O'Conner announced her retirement, if she wished her name to be put forward, and she said no. After Chief Justice Rehnquist passed away, she discovered that her name was being considered without her knowledge. She then met with her deputy, William Kelley, and with Andy Card and the president. She subsequently had four meetings with the president before her nomination was announced.
This appears to confirm, at least circumstantially, the Prowler's reports that White House chief of staff Card was the moving force behind the nomination.