Copyright © 2006 Frank Lynch.
Me: Frank Lynch
These are my mundane daily ramblings.
Bush still toxic? It stands to reason that Bush wouldn't be popular with many who were once his boosters. Honestly, we saw the beginnings in Andrew Sullivan, who ended 2001 as a staunch supporter but fell away over Bush's fiscal "policies," torture, and his pandering to the right over issues like the Marriage Protection Act. Let's just say that Sullivan was a sign of times to come, in many people's views. Some Republicans are calling for a revival of conservative principles, while others are just shaking their heads in disbelief that Bush waited until the day after the election to let Rumsfeld go. That cockamamie story Bush gave in his day after press conference about not wanting to have an impact on the election was just plain malarkey: yeah, as if...
Even the GOP politicians who held their seats (in the House,
at least) must be thinking about the value of keeping a safe
distance from Bush, even though they've survived: they have to
think about 2008, and who wants to go before their voters and say
they stuck with the President now?
Think hard. (Hmmm, seems like a great name for a column, if it weren't so susceptible to being twisted in a different direction, which we unfortunately have to guard against...) What do you think are the ten best live rock recordings over the years 1969 - 1979? (Think hard... Make your list...)
Here are mine, in no specific order, except first is very clear...
These are just mine. And I look forward to seeing yours in the comments.
UPDATE: Oops. "The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield
and Al Kooper" is from 1968, and thus doesn't fall in the date
parameters. Sooo, I'll replace that with Jimi Hendrix's
"Hendrix In The West."
Fancy name for a simple concept. Boulder, Colorado is adopting what it calls a " Carbon Tax," designed to encourage energy efficiency and minimize the resulting carbon emissions. Hey, I'm all for increasing energy efficiency, but basically underneath the marketing this works out to a simple tax for consumption: it's not like they do an audit of your home and inventory the incandescent bulbs which might be flourescents and your failure to weather strip.
Like any usage tax (like sales taxes), they hit the poor differentially. But I don't know diddly about Boulder, maybe there aren't poor people in Boulder. Seems to me that maybe a better way to do this would be to keep the tax as being based on usage, but make it a progressive tax related to consumption, and provide subsidies for flourescent bulbs, weather stripping, and so on.
Damn George Bush to Hell. He has gotten us into an incredible mess with his infantile, irresponsible invasion of Iraq. No less an organization than the Roman Catholic Church tried to warn him off his war-mongering; the assembled representatives of the free world, in the U.N., disagreed with the trumped-up case which Powell presented and Bush's decision to war; its weapons inspectors found no justification. But still he insisted on invading and putting America's soul on a precipice. Tomes will be written trying to understand all the reasons he took us to war, but doubtless most of them will agree that it was unnecessary. They'll also see he put an incredible burden on the region with his idea of changing the equations through disruption, and that he's been the catalyst for tens of thousands of deaths which wouldn't have happened otherwise.
And here we are: the collective brains of the U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that we are on a tightwire (One side's ice and one is fire, sang Leon): the invasion has made it easier to recruit terrorists to fight against us, but if we leave, we'll encourage them further. The sentiment of potential disaster was echoed yesterday when General Abizaid testified before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. Unlike so many others from the military who have spoken to Congress, Abizaid has much less (nothing?) to hide: he wasn't there for Abu Ghraib, he's not Tommy Franks or Richard Myers. A relative newcomer to the arena, he deserves the benefit of the doubt we might grant to a relative outsider. On top of that, Abizaid has better credentials than his predecessors, thanks to his familiarity with Arab cultures and speaking the language. Yes, I know, these don't constitute omnipotence, but it's better than we've seen heretofore.
I think it's unreasonable to talk about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and not talk about the lives which will be lost as a consequence. Those lives, naturally, will be our moral responsibility, even though they are George Bush's moral responsibility for putting our nation in a situation where this was a foreseeable outcome. As much as we would like to use Bush's irresponsibility as some kind of moral cover for the lives which will certainly be lost, we can't: even though he put us in this hideous, horrible dilemma, the choosing at this point is up to us, not the child. We cannot blame the child for the choice which confronts us all now.
As much as I'd like to be narrow-minded and look out solely
for short term U.S. interests, I think that we have a broader,
longer term responsibility: I think we need to stay and do
everything we can to make it work in Iraq. It will cost us more
lives, sure, but I think that leaving means even more lives will
be lost. And Iraqi blood is no less precious than U.S. blood. Oh,
how very much I think there are positive aspects to putting an
eternal hex on the Bush dynasty and all their progeny; but we're
the United States, and even when somebody as reprehensibly stupid
as George Bush screws up, even as royally as he does, we are
bigger than that cretin. We should not let him obscure our sense
of responsibility. We must clean up the mess, as unpleasant as it
clearly is. Somebody has to be the daddy here.
It really wasn't cataclysmic when Pelosi spoke up for Murtha for majority leader in the House, but I think it's good that Murtha was rebuffed, even if Hoyer is no altar boy. I really don't think Pelosi had much of a dog in that fight, and choosing between the two of them wasn't much of a "win" situation.
I still can't get it to make sense...
Apparently the wise souls at Fox were discussing the possibility
that Rudy Giuliani might — might, conceivably
— win the GOP nomination for President
in 2008. The whole idea makes no sense whatsoever: memories
must be incredibly short to forget how abortion became an issue
for John Kerry in 2004, and how his position was played up by
some Catholic bishops. Wasn't there a suggestion that it would be
sin in order to vote for Kerry? Does anyone seriously think the
Catholic Church would suddenly sit on its hands for Giuliani if
he were nominated?
The sweet smell (not) of the Moral High Ground. So presumed Speaker-of-the-House-to-be Nancy Pelosi has thrown her weight in favor of Jack Murtha for House leadership. I can understand Murtha's appeal: as an ex-Marine, it meant a lot when he spurred Democratic discussion in the House on the President's failed Iraq policy. But still, if there are ethical clouds around him, as this article suggests, I think there's good reason to look elsewhere. You don't have to be brilliant to understand that while much of the midterm elections' outcome hinged on Iraq, the GOP's over-tolerance towards corruption (and corruption itself) disgusted a lot of people. I think America is truly concerned about the Iraq war and how we've gone astray, but I can't help but wonder if it isn't emblematic of all that has gone wrong with the Republicans. Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, "Coin-gate," Mark Foley — if anyone wants to tell me it was all about Iraq, fine, but if it weren't for Iraq it would still have been close given the context of everything else.
Maybe Murtha is clean enough to do okay, and still be the kind of dealer that Pelosi needs on her side. But aren't there others who might do just as well?
The article also cites difficulties between Pelosi and
Murtha's leading competitor, Steny Hoyer, and how her
relationship with Murtha is better. But I'm sorry, isn't it part
of her new job to forge new alliances and play well with others?
Hardball here and there, sure, and sometimes steamroll. But is
the relationship between her and Hoyer so poison that Murtha's a
better choice? Or Hoyer's ability to perform so inferior? And if,
as the article says, there are also questions about Hoyer, isn't
the bench deep enough to turn elsewhere?
Cass Gilbert's architecture has
become more prominent on my radar screen recently, thanks to my
recent visit to the Brooklyn Army Terminal during Open House New York last month.
Odd that that structure would be the tipping point, seeing as how
he also designed the Woolworth
Building and the U.S.
Supreme Court building. I've been trying to figure out the
best way to capture the New York Life building here in NYC, and
it takes the right season: there's a nearby park, and when winter
has advanced and more leaves are off the trees it'll be great.
But on the way home tonight I realized another important element:
in the dark, with its golden pyramid lit up, it was absolutely
splendid. So now I know I'll also need my tripod. Be patient,
that's the byword.
Flee! the President is coming! No
wonder that Florida's GOP gubernatorial candidate had better
things to do than appear with Bush at a campaign rally in the
probably hurt candidates ($): pollster Andrew Kohut points
out that more voted against Bush in 2006 than voted against
Clinton in 1998, his impeachment year. Talk about the stench of
death: pardon me if I move away.
Now we know why PowerLine is so balanced
and bipartisan in between elections. Check this out: Scott
complains about a CBS report as being biased under the headline
CBS: The election is over." Yup, that's right, as soon as
Bush beat Kerry in 2004, PowerLine was evenhanded. Like Rush, they're relieved to no longer have to
carry water for the GOP.
Caspar Weinberger is apparently unavailable, being dead. But isn't it amazing how much President Bush loves the 80's? I mean, he picked Dick Cheney for his veep, he called on James Baker to help out with that thing in Florida back in 2000, and he put 80's holdover Donald Rumsfeld in his cabinet. And then there was that list of what was on his iPod, including the Knack's "My Sharona" (yes, released in 1979, but late enough that its appeal lasted well into the 80's) and John Fogerty's "Centerfield." And of course, his appointment of John Negroponte to Uber Intelligence Guy, putting Lawrence Eagleburger on the Iraq Study Group, and turning to that CIA dude from the 80's, Robert Gates, to take Rumsfeld's place.
And why shouldn't he feel nostalgic for those times? It
was in the eighties, after all, that he was able to be completely
unsuccessful and yet still be highly compensated through
sweetheart deals. Ah, the eighties... I'm sure there is no
other reason why all these movers and shakers from that era have
come to sudden prominence in his administration. Will John
Mellencamp be next? Or maybe that "Livin' On A Prayer" group?
I'm presuming it's wishful thinking on my part, but wouldn't it be nice if Horsefeathers has decided, following Tuesday's election, that there is nothing else to write about? I mean, their last post, from the day before the elections, proclaimed that the race that counted "the most" was "Lieberman vs. the Anti-Semites." I certainly disagree with the way Horsefeathers characterizes Lieberman's opponents, and have said so in the past, but since he got his way with respect to Lieberman's reelection, and it was the most important race...
Nah, I'm dreaming.
(It is of course wonderful to read his introductory remarks,
mocking polling as a "pseudo-science." It's actually a legitimate
social science, but far be it from him to acknowledge anything he
might disagree with as legitimate.)