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Tilting at Windmills

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April 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MARK KLEIMAN WATCH....Since I was busy with Easter festivities tonight, I'm outsourcing this post to Mark Kleiman. Check this stuff out:

  • A Guantanamo interrogator told a prisoner that his mother would be brought to Gitmo — with her being raped as an obvious threat hanging in the background — if he didn't start talking.

  • Apparently both George Bush and the State Department were told about Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria beforehand and neither one raised any objections. See also Josh Marshall on the same subject.

  • Rachel Paulose, the 33-year-old U.S. Attorney in Minnesota who was "coronated" recently and has since suffered mass resignations from her senior managers, may have asked one of those managers to lie to high-ranking DOJ officials. Seems like an allegation worth following up on, no?

  • Rudy Giuliani is unaware of whether North Korea or Iran is further along on its nuclear program.

  • A distinguished constitutional scholar (and former Marine colonel) says that he was put on TSA's no-fly list, and when he asked why was told that it was probably because he had delivered an anti-Bush speech. Participating in a peace march would have done it too.

Click on all the links. Then bang yourself on the forehead with a hammer a few times to make the pain go away.

Kevin Drum 1:41 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (56)

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Comments

And they let Gen Peter Pace (a disgrace to the uniform he wears) run the military. I have no words to express my very strong negative feelings about these a**jockeys.

Had enough yet ?

"Stop quoting the laws to us. We carry swords." - Pompey

Posted by: daCascadian on April 9, 2007 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Mark's done a bang up job of posting some pretty good stuff lately.

Posted by: SteveAudio on April 9, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

I yawn at this stuff because it's so predictable and otherwise my blood pressure goes sky high.

One correction. I know we are all the same out here in the middle but I believe Rachel Paulose was appointed to MN, and it is here that I hope the specific nastiness and inherent weakness of the DoJ appointments and the involvement of the White House will be pulled out of the shadows.

We don't need a silver bullet, just pure sunlight.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

You quote a blogger on the TSA incident, who quotes another blogger, who quotes an otherwise unsubstantiated letter from the supposedly offended party. Exactly how many levels of hearsay is that?

From the "She turned me into a newt!" school of journalism.

Posted by: clark on April 9, 2007 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

I posted an early link in the "Gonzalez Death Watch" before I read here. You might want to follow that and take the Atlantic link from the Col.

Like most trolls, what you don't like you don't research, and dismiss the messenger with a (Dummy) bullet.

Like the other points, there all out there now. Your boy's deeper in this shit than flies on a Texas ranch pancake.

Suck it up and get real.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

There all = they're all

Sorry.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

I just wanted to agree with notthere that Minneapolis is in Minnesota, *not* Wisconsin as Kevin seems to believe.

AFAIAC, confusing MN and WI is a bigger crime for a USAmerican than confusing Iran and NKor, though I imagine that Rude-EE doesn't know the diff between either pair.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like we should be reading Mark Kleinman's blog, not Kevin Drum's.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 9, 2007 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

Right after Dems took control of congress, Bush was told to clean up the NO fly list - which also includes Al Gore and Ted Kennedy. It was barely a blimp on the news -- Why was that? Why is Bush's practices of hate an unworth news issue?

Why did the press ignore this story and what it really means about the ruthlessness of the Bush administration?

Loyal Bushies do indeed practice ugly things against people they don't like - it certain wasn't just Joe Wilson and his wife. When Joseph McCarthy did it, he was ruined - why is Bush allowed to do this stuff and press just look other way time and again? Or like Judith Miller - even allowed to help out the ugliness of this administrtion?


Posted by: Cheryl on April 9, 2007 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

That the liberals feel the need to bang their head with a hammer is proof enough that the surge is working. Bush o Akbar.

Posted by: gregor on April 9, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'll try to be charitable. The resigned U.S. attorneys were in Minnesota, which (news flash to you on the coasts) is not Wisconsin. On the other hand, Wisconsin is now experiencing its own U.S.-attorney scandal, with -- as usual -- Kreepy Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it. It's the subject of an editorial in today's New York Times.

Maybe that, not geographical provincialism, is the source of your confusion.

Posted by: Jerome Clark on April 9, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

What I'm wondering is: What are "Easter Festivities" for an atheist with no children?

I'm not trying to be snide, I'm just curious. In my family (and my wife's), Easter revolves around (1) church and (2) children.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy Giuliani is unaware of whether North Korea or Iran is further along on its nuclear program.

Why don't they throw him a softball -- like how many yards of fabric are required to redo the curtains in the oval office?

Posted by: toast on April 9, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Daryl,

Strange as it might sound, most atheists spend time with family and friends on holidays. They may even boil eggs and eat chocolate in spite of the fact that they don't really believe in the easter bunny. Sometimes I even go to church and sing songs if I'm with my family and want to see a few friends who I know will be there.

Christians probably need better screening techniques to keep ham and chocolate out of the hands of atheists and eggs away from the childless. Maybe you could deputize grocery clerks or something.

Posted by: toast on April 9, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Clark,

I am on the "no-fly" list, allegedly for attending a peace rally - per a friend who is a top level TSA dude.

Yet, I continue to fly, unimpeded, as an international air carrier crewmember.

Civilian clothes = harassment
Uniform = no harassment

BTW, the dude is working to eliminate the no-fly list, mainly because it has only been used for political "solutions".

Posted by: one-level of heresay on April 9, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

toast,

That's why I added in "with no children". I know you don't have to believe in God to have an Easter egg hunt, but typically you do need children.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

And toast, I wasn't trying in any way to suggest that I don't approve of atheists celebrating Easter. I was just wondering why they would want to. Other than activities for small children, it's not a fun holiday (such as Halloween or Christmas). It's more comparable to Yom Kippur, which typically isn't celebrated by non-Jews. (In contrast, I think everyone should celebrate Purim, which is a lot of fun.)

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

"The tried to kill us. They failed. Let's eat!!!"

Purim is absolutely the most raucous on the Hebrew calendar. The party was a failure if the neighbors don't call the cops.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I know it's all flyover country to you Left Coasters, but Minneapolis is in Minnesota. I recommend you visit some time - we're hosting the 2008 Republican Convention with our neighbor and friend, St. Paul. We also feature such amenities as electricity and roads. You might even find that you like it here - we're the hardest city to get people to visit and the hardest city to get people to leave.

Posted by: Minneapolitan on April 9, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Georgia Thompson was politically prosecuted in Wisconsin and an appeals court threw it out and reversed the original verdict and ordered her immediately freed last Thursday. It was a day in court like only happens on teevee.

If not for the fact that both states are under the microscope, I would be raising hell about that error myself, but under these extraordinary circumstances, and posting after midnight? I'll be charitable. I know that Kevin knows the difference.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

If I got my knickers in a twist every time someone put my entire city in the wrong god-damned state - which happens all the flippin' time, by the way - I would never accomplish anything. My life would be consumed by a flurry of letters to the editor.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Easter isn't nearly as somber as Yom Kippur, of course, but I get your point. And toast, you should indeed ease your finger off the hair trigger--better to aim at more obvious calumnies than Daryl's.

Posted by: John on April 9, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State writes: If I got my knickers in a twist every time someone put my entire city in the wrong god-damned state...

I'll bet that happens a lot to people who live in Kansas City.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Yep.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

We're all atheists when it comes to the Easter Bunny.

Imagine our surprise on Judgment Day when finally we encounter His Bunnyness, and are condemned to an eternity immersed to our necks in boiling chocolate without even a serving spoon.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0,

Actually, even though I don't believe in a personal Easter Bunny who directly intervenes in the distribution of chocolate in the world, I do believe in Spinoza's Easter Bunny, who set the chocolate-making apparatus of the universe into motion in the first place.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Had they left it Westport, there would be no confusion about KC - Taking a name from the (beloved) state and river immediately to the west of Westport, was not the brightest choice in the land. And the Chiefs and Royals, until the ninth inning, do play in Missouri, not over in Wyandotte County.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 9, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

And some Christians? let their troops go Easter IED egg hunting on Easter.

Posted by: stupid git on April 9, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

The Kansa Indian tribe is the source of the name.

But yeah, having grown up at 43rd and Bell, my husband rarely calls it KC - he calls it Westport.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 9, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

There's no geographical confusion at work but I"m personally in favor of Gainesville Fl reverting to its original name Hog Town.

Tales from the ranks of childless atheists. Used to always go to the library on Sundays. It was downtown and there severe parking issues. Showed up one Sunday as usual and found the library closed. Was puzzled until I passed a Baptist Church with 'He is Risen' on their sign board.

"Ah. Damn, it's Easter Sunday.'

*Forehead slap with palm of hand*

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 9, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, BGRS, yes, the band Kansa - Wyandotte and Shawnee were other bands living in the area as well.

Still call it the Kaw River, though.

And the Oregon Trail did begin in Westport - Had only Kelly's been there to provide them with a fine sendoff.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 9, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

and Iran is apparently planning more attacks in the Shatt al Arab:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/08/wiran08.xml

Or at least boasting of its ability to do so with impunity. For a few days at least they can smuggle all they want.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 9, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

the following is a good article on Iraq:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tish-durkin/iraq-a-place-of-ambivale_b_45145.html

At least it's good if you like living without certainty.

Today is the anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox, and it is the anniversary of the toppling of the giant statue of Saddam Hussein. It is an interesting coincidence.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 9, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

You might even find that you like it [in Minneapolis] - we're the hardest city to get people to visit and the hardest city to get people to leave.

Amen to that.

To BCRS, let us know when someone places KC in Nebraska.

Posted by: Disputo on April 9, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Who is maintaining the BushCo Daily Outrage wiki? That thing must have billions of pages by now.

Posted by: craigie on April 9, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

>A distinguished constitutional scholar (and former Marine colonel) says that he was put on TSA's no-fly list, and when he asked why was told that it was probably because he had delivered an anti-Bush speech. Participating in a peace march would have done it too.

And there are poeple who think a country like that needs to be defended?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Posted by: James on April 9, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Daryl --

And only people with children get to have holidays? WTF? My husband and I, who are (against our wishes) childless, prepare an Easter meal for extended family & friends. Easter is more of an ethnic holiday for us. We make traditional neapolitan dishes -- pastiera, escarole pie, pizza rustica...

Please -- try to think beyond your little world.

Posted by: lyofbrooklyn on April 9, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

lyofbrooklyn wrote: "And only people with children get to have holidays?"

I didn't say that. I was specifically talking about Easter, which (for adults, as opposed to children) seems a very religious holiday. It's different from Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, which may have some religious significance to some, but are mostly just times for fun, family and friends to most people.

Please -- try to think beyond your little world.

You mean, the Earth? Do people celebrate Easter on other planets, as well?

Seriously, that was the point of my asking "What are 'Easter Festivities' for an atheist with no children?". I wanted to know how (and why) an atheist with no children celebrated Easter. Presumably, the answers to such a question will help me "think beyond my little world".

I was hoping to get an answer like "Easter is more of an ethnic holiday for us. We make traditional neapolitan dishes -- pastiera, escarole pie, pizza rustica..."

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Then bang yourself on the forehead with a hammer a few times to make the pain go away.

Actually I can think of quite a few people in the administration and the corporate media who I'd like to hit on the forehead with a hammer -- many times, and not to make the pain go away.

Posted by: Peter Principle on April 9, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK
You might even find that you like it here …Minneapolitan at 11:39 AM
I can agree: I spent an week in Minneapolis one day in January.
For a few days at least they can smuggle all they want. MatthewRMarler at 1:48 PM
Yes, Bush hates to see all that smuggled Iraq oil escape his purse.
surrender at Appomattox, and it is the anniversary of the toppling of the giant statue of Saddam Hussein… MatthewRMarler at 2:08 PM
Confederate sympathizers will seize on anything to honor rebellion and slavery. Posted by: Mike on April 9, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

The story posted on Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo regarding the former Marine Colonel, Constitutional scolar, and outspoken Bush critic getting put on the Terrorist Watchlist is the biggest and most important story you've got up there. The blogoshere ought to have its hair on fire over this one and so should the mainstream media. First, we should find out if its true that exercising one's First Amendment right to dissent effectively enough results in this atrocious miscarriage of government, and if it does, Congress ought to be investigating it and putting a stop to it. It is a slippery slope to dictatorship and this is halfway down the grade . . . . Take some time out from blogs on volinists to look into this more deeply please!

Posted by: Alan Lewis on April 9, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Re #2 - of course BushCo wanted to seem to approve in advance, so they could get after Nancy P. later for political theater - it was planned that way.

Posted by: Neil B. on April 9, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Daryl,

I'm just wondering, but what does your Christ rising from a grave have to do with bunnies and colored eggs? And what does Eostre, the Goddess of Spring, have to do with your Christ rising from a grave?

My celebration of the Spring Equinox is all about the balance of nature's creative and destructive halves--much more in keeping with the Goddess of Spring than your religion's co-option of yet another "pagan" holiday.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 9, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Daryl, just because you have polluted a beautiful celebration of Spring by focusing on how your God defeated death, it doesn't mean it is a somber time of year for the rest of us.

We celebrate spring by taking a motorcycle ride to the top of a local hill to watch the sunrise, along with 20 or so of our friends, followed by a breakfast consisting of eggs (those symbols of birth as opposed to death) along with other goodies like croissants (effete California folk, after all) and mimosas.

It is YOU who make your celebration about your religion, and if it's somber for you, fine, but why you project that on the rest of us? That's the question.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

and Iran is apparently planning more attacks in the Shatt al Arab

Iran didn't "attack" the British in the Shatt al Arab nor is there anything in the article you linked to that shows any "apparent" attacks in the planning.

Reading comprehension is a prerequisite for opining on articles you've read.

As for the statue of Saddam, a million Shia that we "liberated" marched today against the American occupation, and a huge number of Sunnis and Chaldeans would just as soon see the statue put back up, including the guy with the sledgehammer who helped bring it down.

It's pretty clear from that you've misunderstood the significance of that statue's fall, at least to the people for whom it matters most. Appomattox it's not. An imperfect but more apt comparison might be the battle of Adrianople, where an authoritarian state began its ultimate disintegration into chaos.

Posted by: trex on April 9, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal writes: I'm just wondering, but what does your Christ rising from a grave have to do with bunnies and colored eggs?

Nothing. The bunnies and colored eggs are just fun for children, and are pretty much divorced from any Christian significance.

We celebrate spring by taking a motorcycle ride to the top of a local hill to watch the sunrise, along with 20 or so of our friends, followed by a breakfast consisting of eggs (those symbols of birth as opposed to death) along with other goodies like croissants (effete California folk, after all) and mimosas.

Thanks. That's what I wanted to know.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

trex: a million Shia that we "liberated" marched today against the American occupation,

either that or some 5,000 to 7,000 did so. It is an irony since even the lower number would not have been allowed to congregate peacefully and petition the government for redress of grievances under Saddam Hussein.

Mike: Confederate sympathizers will seize on anything to honor rebellion and slavery.

I don't get it. Have I become a Confederate sympathizer?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 9, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

from Fareed Zakaria: This is a nation that is now devastated, where 2 million people have fled, another 2 million are internal refugees, militias run large parts of the country and the government sanctions religious repression, ethnic cleansing and vigilante violence

Posted by: consider wisely on April 9, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Daryl,

As a childless atheist I have to say I like Easter quite a bit. I spend some time with my extended family, eat good food, and sometimes even dress up as the easter bunny for my nephews and neices. The childless don't have the same sort of restraining orders that pedophiles do.

Posted by: amerlcan buzrd on April 9, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Rollingstone Magazine just came in the mail with an article "Cheney's Nemesis"---a wide-ranging interview and scoop with Seymour Hersh by Matt Taibbi. It's truly worthwhile.
"Hersh is still the biggest pain in his(Cheney's) ass, publishing accounts of conversations that seemingly only a person hiding in the veep's desk drawer would be privy to."
"The access I have--I'm inside," Hersh says proudly. "I'm there, even when he's talking to people in confidence."
He says the president is "very dangerous, because he is an unguided missle; he's a rocket with no ability to be educated...."..."Bush is a Trotsky. That's frightening when somebody is as much a radical as he is."

Posted by: consider wisely on April 9, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew R. Marler says: It is an irony since even the lower number would not have been allowed to congregate peacefully and petition the government for redress of grievances under Saddam Hussein.

Yes, once upon a time, it was possible in Iraq to avoid violent death by keeping your opinions to yourself. Now that there seems to be no way to avoid violent death, you might as well say what's on your mind...

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

american buzrd writes: The childless don't have the same sort of restraining orders that pedophiles do.

Once people worried about the childless converting impressionable young people to their childless lifestyle, but now most experts have concluded the childlessness is genetic: If you're parents had no children, chances are that you won't, either.

badum-bum-CHING!

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 9, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Daryl McCullough: Yes, once upon a time, it was possible in Iraq to avoid violent death by keeping your opinions to yourself. Now that there seems to be no way to avoid violent death, you might as well say what's on your mind...

That's an interesting take on it, but I don't think that is what has been happening. for one thing, they could not actually avoid death by keeping their opinions to themselves.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 9, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK
….It is an irony since even the lower number would not have been allowed to congregate….MatthewRMarler at 6:26 PM
That is a particularly silly bit of spin that the Bush regime is also trying to put out there. When thousands of Iraqis are shouting Death to America and marching in favor or Iran, that is not an American success story, especially when one realizes the cost: tens of thousands of American casualties, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties, and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted.
… they could not actually avoid death by keeping their opinions to themselves….MatthewRMarler at 10:46 PM
So life under Bush is no different than life under Saddam? Actually, many Iraqis, including former American supporters, now say it was better under Saddam. Had you but been there.... Posted by: Mike on April 9, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jokes aside family size is a fairly "heritable" trait. Probably mostly a social construct, but there ought to be some relation to our genes and our jeans just to complicate statistical trends.

Being childless also has something to do with which population cohort you belong to.

Posted by: amerlcan buzrd on April 9, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Let me see - ski'ing in Tahoe, casino breakfast in Reno, gambling, billiards/darts in irish bar, ladies of negotiable affection. I remember that Easter weekend!

The trouble with Easter is that it's basically been co-opted into a national holiday, so almost everyone gets the day off, whether they observe it religiously or not. As is common these days, if no one else is there, it's difficult getting work done - no one returns your calls/email, so you take the day off too.

Posted by: royalblue_tom on April 10, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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