Today’s opining on the public discourse.
ZOMG, Steve Benen’s taking a few days off. Publius is justifiably amazed. I’m already feeling withdrawal symptoms.
Thankfully, he has a full cast of guest bloggers keeping up with the stupid in Steve’s absence. It takes a World Wide Web to manage that task.
And the second Steve steps away, look what news breaks:
A Spanish court “has agreed to consider opening a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials…over allegations they gave legal cover for torture at Guantanamo Bay.” The officials include former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, former undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith, former Cheney chief of staff David Addington, Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, and Pentagon lawyer William Haynes. The AP has more details on the case:
Spanish law allows courts to reach beyond national borders in cases of torture or war crimes under a doctrine of universal justice, though the government has recently said it hopes to limit the scope of the legal process. […]
A little lukewarm for my taste, but excellent news nonetheless. My dream of seeing Bush et al dragged in disgrace to face judgement for their actions may yet come true.
Now if only there were prosecutions for stupidity as well as prosecutions for war crimes. Then again, there’s probably no court large enough:
Today is the second annual Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness on the issue of climate change. At 8:30pm local time, major businesses, local and national points of interest, and individual homes will dim their lights for one hour. Already today, sites ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Egyptian Pyramids have lowered their lights in recognition, and 4,000 cities in 88 countries will participate in the event. Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour will provide, in the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message: They want action on climate change.”
It will also provide a new way for conservatives to show what hardcore rebels they are.
Tomorrow is something called Earth Hour. Take the official RedState Pledge:
I do solemnly swear that I will honor Earth Hour by turning on every light in my residence at 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2009, for one hour. God said, “Let there be light.” Who are we to argue?
Yeah, they want you to turn your lights off, but everybody knows darkness leads to crime.
It’s amusing to see Erick Erickson so terrified of possible boogeymen infiltrating his house from 8:30 to 9:30, as well as the wingnut tendency to go after all the most important targets, like symbolic light-dimming actions. But this has now become a cliche. My local wingnut radio hosts were making the same “jokes” last night: “I’ll turn on every light in the house!… I’ll keep my car running for an hour!” And of course, Glenn Beck devoted an entire show to running his car in the parking lot a couple months ago.
I know they think they’re clever, but they come across more like brain-damaged frat boys. It’s not even irritating, it’s just pathetic.
Only one person could make these dumbfucks look like intellectual giants. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Rep. John Shimkus:
Progress Illinois notes that earlier this week at a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) tried to argue that the United States doesn’t need a cap-and-trade system to limit CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. (In the past, he has called cap and trade “a shell game to hide the cost from the ultimate person who is going to pay.”) Here is Shimkus’s newest theory:
SHIMKUS: It’s plant food. … So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? … So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.
Apparently, this man has never heard of overeating. It’s nice he’s so concerned for the environment, but with friends like these, the trees don’t need enemies.
The Cons seem to have misapplied the lesson of the D.A.R.E. program, and are “just saying no” to – well, everything in sight, especially nominees who may not ignore the abuses of the previous administration (h/t):
(ChattahBox)—Republican obstructionism is becoming so rampant; President Obama is temporarily handcuffed from staffing his administration, especially in Treasury and the Department of Justice. At a time when our country faces a perilous economic crisis and two wars, the Republicans obstruct and subvert Obama’s nominations at every turn. The recent threat to filibuster the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, to the White House Office of Legal Counsel is drawing ire from all sides.
The threat of “just say no” republicans to filibu
ster the nomination of Indiana University law professor, Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel or OLC, is their most egregious act to date, when it comes to obstructing Obama’s nominees to his administration. Johnsen comes with impeccable credentials. She served for five years in the OLC in the Clinton administration, was a US Deputy Assistant Attorney General, graduated summa cum laude from Yale Law School and was an editor of the Law Review.
So, what is the Republican’s problem with Johnsen’s nomination? Well, two things. First, Republicans are outraged over Johnsen’s previous stint as Legal Director, for the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League or NARAL. Antiabortion groups have turned up the heat in recent weeks, painting Johnsen as a radical activist.
Perhaps though, the real reason for the threatened Republican filibuster is even more insidious. Scott Horton, a law professor, posted an intriguing piece today at the Daily Beast, about the obstruction of Johnsen’s nomination, entitled, “The Woman Who Could Nail Bush.” Horton believes the Republicans are terrified that Johnsen will seek to release additional Justice Department memos, detailing the Bush administration’s illegal behavior.
Kinda like cockraoches, aren’t they? Shine a light, and they freak out. Of course, they have plenty of reasons for keeping the lights off. Too bad for them there’s so many folk with their fingers on the light switch.
One begins to see why Steve decided it was time to step away from the egregious stupidity for a few days. One’s brain starts to go numb after such relentless onslaughts of dumbfuckery.