Getting it wrong

That would be the GOP controlled Congress, that pissed all over the Constitution.

Joe Gandelman has a good roundup of the latest torture approval bill.


Another Republican’t paragon of virtue


He’s resigned, from what is a safe GOP district.  Is it still safe?  Time will tell.

This is just creepy:

A 16-year-old male congressional page concerned about the appropriateness of an e-mail exchange with a congressman alerted Capitol Hill staffers to the communication.

Congressman Mark Foley’s office says the e-mails were entirely appropriate and that their release is part of a smear campaign by his opponent.

Americablog observes:

Up for even more creepy? Foley’s congressional home page is all about child sex offenders. Why, because Foley is the Co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus. Yes, this is the guy the Republicans put in charge of taking care of child sex offenders. Seriously, this is sick. From Brownie, to Bernie Kerik, to Harriet Miers, to Mark Foley, can the Republicans ever EVER appoint someone to a position who is not totally incompetent? 

Pam Spaulding has some good comments too:

A couple of notes here — the age of consent in DC is 16, and there’s nothing overtly sexual in these emails, it’s just pretty darn dumb for any elected official to be doing this sort of thing and expect it not to surface in an election campaign. Particularly when your reputation is that of a “protector of children from sexual predation.”

Another take on torture

An astute reader of Andrew Sullivan observes:

When Americans think of torture they think of Dirty Harry standing over a serial killer whose next victim is running out of air at a remote location. Americans think of Harry as a hero for doing everything he can to save the victim. But what most people fail to realize is the thing that makes Harry the hero is not the act of torture. It is the choice to torture given he will face consequences for his action. If the consequences are removed then Harry becomes a meter maid.

Once the torture bill passes it won’t take long before many, many more terror suspects will be tortured. A time will inevitably come when a detainee is found to contain some information that could have stopped a loss of life or property.  At that time interrogators will have to account for not getting the information.  Torture will become a cover-your-ass technique.

This is a sad time for morality and accountability.

Read the whole thing.

Entering the heartland

Devouring everything in their path, sweeping across the landscape like a plague of locusts, the Republican’ts have announced St. Paul, Minnesota as the locale for their 2008 nominating convention.

The AP reports:

By choosing the Twin Cities for 2008, the GOP will ensure plenty of news converge in media markets in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa _ all battleground states in the 2004 election and ones expected to be competitive in the next presidential race.

Minnesota had been seen by some as an unlikely host, with just 10 electoral votes and the nation’s longest streak of voting for Democratic presidential candidates.

In 2004, Democrat John Kerry won the state 51 percent to 48 percent. The last Republican to win a presidential race in the state was Richard Nixon in 1972 and the last national convention happened in when the GOP backed President Benjamin Harrison in an unsuccessful re-election bid.

But Minnesota’s national image as a traditional Democratic bastion has become outdated and the state was a hard-fought battleground in 2004 and 2000. Republicans hope to court voters in a region Republican and Democratic strategists alike say will play a critical role in winning the White House in 2008.  

The Xcel Center is like 10 minutes from my home, so forgive me if I’m less than impressed.  While the resulting chaos won’t affect my surburb like it will the downtown areas, I remember well the logistical issues that arose every time Bush slipped into town campaigning during 2004.  I can do without a repeat on a larger scale.

The GOP convention is first of September, and the suggested Democratic convention would be a week earlier.  While the Democrats were more focused a week earlier and on Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities is a large area, it’s too much to put two large conventions back to back.  So maybe it’s Minneapolis in 2012?

Other voices:

Captain’s Quarters thinks it’s a smart move:

Norm Coleman will run for re-election in 2008, and he’s expected to square off against Al Franken for the Democrats. Regardless of his opponent, though, the Democrats will work hard to take the seat from the GOP, especially if Mark Kennedy can beat Amy Klobuchar this November. It will also spotlight Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has built a solid approval rating and demonstrated an ability to work across party lines to get things done — even if it has irritated Republicans here. Having the GOP at the Xcel Center will also remind people that Norm Coleman got that facility built and helped energize the economy of Saint Paul.

He’s awful optomistic that Pawlenty will still be there.  There’s even money right now that he’ll get the boot come November.

At Cold Hearted Truth:

Very cool for me as a suburban Twin City Republican leaning dude. The main site is supposed to be the Xcel – just blocks from where I work. Gotta start figuring out how to get in early. Who do I know, who do I know??

This should give the Tim Pawlenty for V.P. rumor some serious legs.

It would behoove them to focus on Pawlenty’s reelection before starting unfounded rumors of a possible vice presidency.

Left Word:

I’m not sure if I should say Minneapolis/St. Paul “wins” or “loses”. 

The Hedgehog Report:

This would have been a really interesting choice if Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was still considered a viable presidential contender. He may still be, but Pawlenty needs to win his own re-election for Governor before that can even become a possibility. Of course, John Kerry having the Democratic convention in his hometown didn’t do much for him….

Ah, a smart person.


So, if you live anywhere near a great big hideous sports arena in the Twin Cities, you might want to sell now and move someplace nice, like California.

Presidential conventions aren’t just vulgar displays of the corporate world buying its next White House administration — they’re also horrible city-wrecking events that turn nice cities into police-state hellholes. Plus, hippies. Thousands and thousands of hippies protesting everything.

Understanding the Taliban’s Perspective

You’ve probably heard of the murder of Safia Ama Jan, a women’s advocate in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban.

Suspected Taliban gunmen shot dead a leading women’s rights campaigner in Kandahar yesterday in the latest assassination of a government official in the restive southern provinces.Women’s Affairs director, Safia Ama Jan, was killed on the city outskirts as she left for work yesterday morning. The assailants shot her four times in the head, through a burka, before fleeing.

Ms Ama Jan, 56, has been an advocate for women’s rights in Kandahar, the former Taliban headquarters, since the fundamentalists were ousted five years ago. Her murder appeared to mark a return to a strategy of intimidation and assassination after the defeat of Taliban fighters at the hands of a Nato force in western Kandahar this month.

Relatives described Ms Ama Jan as religious and a champion of women’s education for more than three decades. She stayed in Afghanistan under the Taliban to give secret classes to local girls at home.

CQ gives a concise observation:

Jan reveals the Taliban and their Islamist ilk for the cowards and oppressors they are. She did not enter beauty contests or convert to Christianity, two of the myriad reasons why the Taliban might choose to kill a woman. Jan even wore the burqa even after the Taliban fled from power. She modeled Muslim modesty and lived her life in a devout manner — but she refused to allow her fellow Afghani women to live in the darkness of ignorance. She dared to educate girls instead of leaving them as chattel to be bartered by Islamist men for their own purposes.