Archive for June, 2009

Meet the Dems’ 60th vote

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

“The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that Democrat Al Franken won the U.S. Senate election and said he was entitled to an election certificate that would lead to him being seated in the Senate.

“Affirmed,” wrote the Supreme Court, unanimously rejecting Republican Norm Coleman’s claims that inconsistent practices by local elections officials and wrong decisions by a lower court had denied him victory.


“Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled [under Minnesota law] to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota,” the court wrote.

But the court did not grant Franken’s bid to make its ruling effective immediately, possibly leaving a window for an appeal by Coleman before Gov. Tim Pawlenty is required to issue an election certificate.

“The bottom line is that the Court says that Franken is entitled to an election certificate, but there is no direct order to the …

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Another far-left greenie group speaks up

That hotbed of liberal activism, that effete bastion of tea-sipping, tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, New York Times-reading left-wingers, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (known to the knowing as NASCAR), has joined the fight against global warming.

According to NASCAR’s website:

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing announced “NASCAR Green Clean Air” — a program to help capture the carbon emissions produced by racing. Under a pilot program that will expand significantly next year, NASCAR will plant 10 new trees for each green flag that drops during Cup Series events.

The tracks participating in the tree-planting program — 11 this year and every venue visited by the Cup Series in 2010 — will mitigate 100 percent of the carbon emissions produced by the race cars competing in their Cup Series events.

nascar“This is a first, important step in an ambitious five-year plan to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of NASCAR, while raising …

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The sad sick tale of John Edwards continues

Gomer PyleAndrew Young, the once-loyal aide to John Edwards who preposterously claimed to have fathered the child of Edwards’ mistress, now admits that it wasn’t true, that he told the story at Edwards’ request.

Well, as that great American and Edwards’ fellow North Carolinian, Gomer Pyle, would say at such a moment:

“Surprise, surprise surprise.”

Because really? Who knew?

In a book proposal floated to St. Martin’s Press, Young claims Edwards promised to take care of him for life if he would take responsibility for fathering the child of Rielle Hunter. Young agreed, despite the fact that he had a wife and children of his own, which tells you something about his own moral compass and priorities.

The New York Times has acquired a copy of the book proposal, and reports:

“ ‘You know how much I love you,’ Edwards said. ‘You know I’d walk off a cliff for you, and I know you’d walk off a cliff for me,’ ” Mr. Young wrote in the book proposal. “ ‘I will never forget this. And …

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In Iraq, Americans pull back and Iraqis celebrate

Yesterday, four U.S. troops were killed in an attack in Baghdad; their names have not yet been released.

Today, however, their comrades have all but withdrawn from Iraqi cities, leaving them to be patrolled by Iraqi forces under an agreement signed months ago by American and Iraqi officials. This has been proclaimed “National Sovereignty Day,” a holiday to celebrate the great Iraqi victory. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, acknowledged in a speech that the day could not have happened without the help of the United States.

“While we celebrate this day, we express our thanks and gratitude to our friends in the coalition forces who faced risks and responsibilities and sustained casualties and damage while helping Iraq to get rid from the ugliest dictatorship and during the joint effort to impose security and stability,” Talabani said.

But Iraqi President Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a speech at a military parade deep inside the secure Green Zone, claimed that “the …

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A little hint at life in the other Georgia

Christina Davidson, on the road writing for The Atlantic, has a somber piece on the effects of the recession on the people of Millen, Ga., a little town between Augusta and Savannah.

Jobs are disappearing, people are disappearing. The town is drying up. Vera Williams, owner of Vera’s Cafe, faces the prospect of having to close her business.

“Vera feels that God is not only testing her, but testing the whole world. “Love of money–that’s what got us in the state we’re in.” From her perspective, the world has earned the trials and tribulations unleashed by the global economy, but will learn valuable lessons through the experience. “Even though this is a bad time, this is a good time too. Now you learn what you really need.”

It’s worth a read.

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High court rules in favor of white firefighters

From the AP:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide, potentially limiting the circumstances in which employers can be held liable for decisions when there is no evidence of intentional discrimination against minorities.

“Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was …

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The F-22 fighter has outlived its mission

President Obama, with the support of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, has threatened to veto the 2011 defense spending bill if it contains money for the F-22 fighter, which is assembled in Marietta. Obama, Gates and most defense experts without a monetary interest in the issue believe that the F-22 was conceived during the Cold War as a counter to the Soviet Union and a next-generation fighter it was projected to build. The Soviet Union no longer exists; that fighter never came close to being built.

In the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the F-22s already on the flight line have never flown a single mission. It is an extremely expensive weapon without an obvious mission.

Nonetheless, committees in both the House and Senate have decided to court a veto by putting money into the appropriations bill to build more F-22s. (Sen. John McCain, a former fighter pilot himself and ranking minority member of the Armed Services Committee, voted against additional money for the F-22 …

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The GOP’s Basiji target ‘Cap and Tr-8-tors’

After eight Republican congressmen voted in favor of the climate change bill (it passed by seven votes), the GOP’s ideological militia — its own rhetorical Basiji, you might say — took after them with a vengeance. The eight defectors were denounced as “quisling Republicans,” as the “Cap and Tr-8-tors,” as “backstabbing, turncoat Rinos.” They’re even peddling bumper stickers denouncing the turncoats by name.

At Politico, Bruce Bartlett, the former Reagan official and longtime conservative think tanker, explores what that kind of reaction by his conservative friends might mean to the future of their party.

“If any of my friends had bothered to try and understand why these Republicans voted contrary to gods of talk radio who now control the Republican Party they would see that they were simply reacting to the demands of their constituents. Since when did it become unacceptable to do what one’s constituents want a member of Congress to do?

The fact is that Obama carried the …

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Passage of climate-change bill a landmark achievement

Yesterday’s House passage of cap-and-trade legislation designed to confront climate change is a landmark achievement, the first tangible step taken by the country that emits more greenhouse gas per capita than anyone in the world.

The bill itself still faces a tough test in the Senate. Passage is far from assured, and without similar actions by other major emitting countries, it won’t mean much. But it does finally demonstrate to the rest of the world that the United States is prepared to do its part, which puts the pressure on them to follow suit.

The bill itself, the product of a thousand political compromises, also isn’t perfect. But it also isn’t what its hysterical opponents claim it is. As Bryan Walsh acknowledges in Time:

… critics have vastly overstated the likely cost. In fact, they’re all but lying. During the House debate, Republican whip Eric Cantor, using numbers from an American Petroleum Institute study, said that the bill would eventually cost more than $3,000 …

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There’s just one choice this week, and you know it

You knew it had to be him.


The parallels with Elvis continue. Says the Washington Post:

The county coroner began an autopsy on the singer’s body, which an official there said would take several hours. A cause of death is not likely today, said Lt. Brian Elias of the LA County Coroner’s Office Investigations division, and might not be made public for a week or more, pending the results of toxicology and other tests.

Police interviewed a doctor who had been at Jackson’s posh rented Holmby Hills home when the singer went into cardiac arrest and towed the man’s car. “His car was impounded because it may contain medications or other evidence that may assist the coroner in determining the cause of death,” police spokeswoman Karen Rayner said. Detectives interviewed the physician briefly and were seeking to question him again, but police did not identify him.

A Los Angeles Fire Department source told the Los Angeles Times that Jackson was in full cardiac arrest Thursday …

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