It's unusual to find such rousing agreement between left and right, but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has gotten it. The Economist says "George Bush is a fool for keeping Donald Rumsfeld in his job" (though I can think of other reasons):
Getting rid of Mr Rumsfeld is no guarantee that things will get better. But keeping him ensures that they will get worse. Mr Bush made a huge mistake in not accepting Mr Rumsfeld's offer to resign in the wake of Abu Ghraib. Every day he keeps him in his job he compounds his mistake and weakens his presidency.
Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, on the other hand, finds a reason to keep him:
Should the president fire Donald Rumsfeld? That's like asking if Disney should retire Mickey Mouse. Why get rid of someone who represents everything important about an institution—particularly if doing so leaves those things unchanged? No, President Bush should keep Rumsfeld as a perennial symbol of the administration's essential characteristic: hubris.
Finally, Josh Marshall has a good explanation why Bush can't really fire him:
If Rumsfeld goes, you need to nominate someone else and get them through a senate confirmation. That means an open airing of the disaster of this administration's national security policy. Every particular; all about Iraq. Think how much they don't want that...
Two happy thoughts in conclusion: First, the general election is only 199 days away; and second, there remain fewer than 1,005 days and 1 hour in the Bush administration.
I thought of this lovely poem around 5:30 this morning.
I woke early one morning,
The earth lay cool and still
When suddenly a tiny bird
Perched on my window sill,
He sang a song so lovely
So carefree and so gay,
That slowly all my troubles
Began to slip away.
He sang of far off places
Of laughter and of fun,
It seemed his very trilling,
brought up the morning sun.
I stirred beneath the covers
Crept slowly out of bed,
Then gently shut the window
And crushed his fucking head.
A journalist assigned to the Jerusalem bureau takes an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. Every day when she looks out, she sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. So the journalist goes down and introduces herself to the old man.
She asks: "You come every day to the wall. How long have you done that and what are you praying for?"
The old man replies, "I have come here to pray every day for 25 years. In the morning I pray for world peace and then for the brotherhood of man. I go home have a cup of tea and I come back and pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth."
The journalist is amazed. "How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25 years and pray for these things?" she asks.
The old man looks at her sadly. "Like I'm talking to a wall."
Josh Marshall reports that newspapers are reluctant to say that convicted felon George Ryan is a Republican:
As we mentioned earlier, the AP really, really didn't seem to want to mention that George Ryan, the former Illinois governor convicted of corruption today, is a Republican. The AP waited until the very end of the article to note that Ryan is from the GOP.
Time never got around to mentioning it. ... While failing to mention the party affiliation of the guy who got indicted, they did manage to have this as the second sentence of the article ...
On Monday, former Governor George Ryan, 72, became the third of the state's last six governors to be convicted of political misdeeds, and the current administration of Democrat Rod Blagojevich is also being investigated.
It's almost a tour de force of party ID bamboozlement.
Our home-town paper, the Chicago Tribune, identified him as "the Kankakee Republican" in the sixth paragraph.
It's just like Rush says: liberal press bias.
So the leader of China is visiting Washington this week.
Who, you may ask?
Yup. That's the guy.
(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)
Republican former Illinois governor George Ryan was convicted on all counts of corruption in his Federal felony trial:
A federal jury convicted former Gov. George Ryan today on all charges that as secretary of state he steered state business to cronies in return for vacations, gifts and other benefits for himself and his family.
Lobbyist Lawrence Warner, a close Ryan friend, was also found guilty on all charges against him in the historic trial.
On their eleventh day of deliberations, the six-woman, six-man jury found Ryan, 72, guilty on 18 counts of racketeering, mail fraud, false statements and tax violations. Warner, 67, was convicted on 12 counts of racketeering, mail fraud, extortion, money laundering and evading cash-reporting requirements.
Economist Paul Krugman (sub.req.) in today's New York Times lays out exactly how Exxon-Mobil has tried to undermine climate research since the mid-1980s:
The people and institutions Exxon Mobil supports aren't actually engaged in climate research. They're the real-world equivalents of the Academy of Tobacco Studies in the movie "Thank You for Smoking," whose purpose is to fail to find evidence of harmful effects.
But the fake research works for its sponsors, partly because it gets picked up by right-wing pundits, but mainly because it plays perfectly into the he-said-she-said conventions of "balanced" journalism. A 2003 study, by Maxwell Boykoff and Jules Boykoff, of reporting on global warming in major newspapers found that a majority of reports gave the skeptics—a few dozen people, many if not most receiving direct or indirect financial support from Exxon Mobil—roughly the same amount of attention as the scientific consensus, supported by thousands of independent researchers.
I still haven't forgiven Exxon for the Exxon Valdez disaster (and neither have the sea otters, who are still affected). This is just one more nail.
More fooling around with the Canon 20D Anne got me. I love that I can finally do available-light photos in almost all conditions, since the sensor can go up to ISO 3200.
Anne got a new job (details to follow), and to celebrate, she showed up in New Hampshire yesterday with a Canon 20D, the camera I've wanted since...well, since before I met her. What a great wife.
Now I can take photos like this, with actual control over the exposure, aperture, and focus:
TPM Muckraker reported today that the Dept. of Homeland Security has a new warning about radical animal-rights groups:
Such radical extremist groups may use several tactics—each devastating in its own way—including:
- "organizing protests"
- "flyer distribution"
- "inundating computers with e-mails"
- "tying up phone lines to prevent legitimate calls"
- "sending continuous faxes in order to drain the ink supply from company fax machines"
I particularly like the fourth item, since several Republicans have been convicted recently of doing just that in New Hampshire during the 2002 election.