Ahmed wasn’t at work today as I had hoped. Turns out, part of the deal to get him out of detention was that they pulled his ‘public trust position’ approval. No trust, no job in a federal building, let alone in an agency.
Gil is still OK camped out on the Mall. The DC cops, Park Rangers, et. al. have informed them that they are trespassing or camping on federal land without a permit or some such. The PTB have set up a perimeter to ensure that nobody else goes in (including anybody who leaves). They’re still letting folks pass over food and water for now. Some of the protesters responded by closing off the corridor they had left open to the Washington Monument itself. They have a live web-cam at the top of the Monument watching the White House, complete with a countdown to Inauguration Day. The PTB threatened to cut power, but the FAA told them they need to keep the navigational beacons flashing. It’s all very kabuki for now.
Speaking of kabuki, could Hillary have twisted the English language any more during her press conference this afternoon? I still can’t tell if she thinks delaying the elections was justified or not. She regrets, she understands, she mourns, she calls for action, she supports, she feels our pain. She looks way too comfortable perched on that fence waiting to see which way history will go before she jumps.
Fred at least is straight forward; support the president’s decisions in a time of war. I don’t agree with him, but at least he is consistent.
This post was edited on 11/11 to clarify my grammar and the placement of the webcam. I apologize for being unclear before.
New parents shouldn’t try and stay up for presidential debates. I zonked out and missed most of it. From Slate‘s summary, I didn’t miss much. More of the same…Hillary showing that she can be tough, Fred saying that he can be trusted by the common man.
I’d preferred Steven Colbert‘s debate with himself (because he’s the only one who could put up a good enough fight) in the hours before.
I started talking with Will and John at work and we were trying to remember the best debates we’ve seen. There’s the debate where Dukakis put the last nail in his campaign’s coffin by saying he wouldn’t seek the death penalty if someone raped and killed his wife. There was Perot’s “huge sucking sound” and his Veep-candidate’s question “What am I doing here?” But the best debate moment of my life has to be Lloyd Bentsen’s famous “You’re no Jack Kennedy” line.
Can anyone think of any others?
This post was edited on October 23, 2008 to correct an incorrect link. The proper link to Slate.com has been inserted.
This is Genevra, Paul’s wife. Paul is out for a walk with April — that’s our daughter, she’s not quite two — so I thought I’d take him up on his offer to chime in on his blog.
While I agree with everything Paul’s said about Hillary first 100 days, there are some big items I think that he missed.
First, I’m not as optimistic about Hillary’s assured victory. Fred’s been making some really vicious attack ads lately and I think there’s still a deep-seated dis-ease about the idea of a woman and a black man in the two top spots in the White House. I’m worried that the supposedly “locked in” lead will lead some lazy Dems to stay home on Tuesday, and that those who are most disaffected at the idea of a woman at top will turn out to vote against her, rather than for Fred.
Plus, I’d like to see more talk about the environment. Gore made global warming a bi-partisan issue and thrust it into the main stream last year — even Time magazine got in on the act! — but there hasn’t been a lot of green talk since the primaries. (I’m still bummed Gore isn’t the Dem’s nominee.)
Now, I’ll admit, I’m a pretty extreme environmentalist. We live in a green condo with passive solar heating. We take the subway to work and drive an fuel-efficient car. When I read “Omnivore’s Dilemma” in 2006, I changed the way our family eats from the ground up. Everything we eat is local, organic, and sustainable. Thank God Paul’s a lawyer — otherwise we couldn’t afford it, especially the beef and the lamb. But it’s still a lot of hard work — I can and pickle and preserve all summer and fall so that we can eat local food even in the middle of a New England winter. For example, today I’m pressure canning butternut squash and freezing big batches of fall chard.
I’d like to see some really firm legislation on emissions from cars and coal plants. I’d like to see the definition of “organic” returned to the pre-2007 purity. I’d like to see the Clean Water Act returned to some real power — along with the Clean Air Act.
(Paul, naturally, thinks these things are important. But he works for the EPA and he’s soaking in it so thoroughly that he didn’t even think it was necessary to say it out loud.)
Finally, I’d like to see the perpetrators of the atrocities at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib turned over to the Hague for prosecution as war criminals. No one has mentioned that. Paul keeps trying to explain why the U.S. won’t do that — I accept that in the world of real politik it’s not probable. But I’d like to see the men (and women) who wiped their asses with the U.S. Constitution be slapped in chains and kept there for a long time.
What should Hillary address in her first hundred days? (Yes I know people might think I’m jumping the gun, but I’m saving all my superstition for the Sox playoff games)
The man-on-the street Dems are of course focused on the war. The Bush/Petraeus draw-down is done and things in Iraq don’t look too much different than at the height of the “surge”. The summer’s Turkish incursions in the north have basically put a stake through the heart of the idea of a ‘hard’ partition since it’s clear that Turkey is willing to destroy an independent Kurdistan by force.
The only option I see is for Hill to go before NATO and the UN and the EU and ask for a big do-over. We probably can’t get combat troops, but we may be able to get engineers and money. We may even be able to free up some troops by handing Afghanistan off to NATO full-time.
The next issue is the whole war-on-terror and PATRIOT Act mess. Personally, I’d like to see Gitmo shut down on January 20th, but I’m not betting on it. A Clinton Administration is almost certain to (quietly) tone-down the domestic surveillance and intelligence-gathering debacles of the post 9/11 Bush era.
The big opportunity is probably domestic. Hillary Care II from the campaign looked a lot like the command-and-control insurance reform Romney put in place here in MA. With a clearer mandate, I think our Madame President (that still sounds weird) may be able to sneak in something a bit stronger. Toss in reforming the crony-laden DoJ, FDA, Interior, and several other cabinet-level departments, and maybe we can actually get some work done!
After talking with friends and colleagues about the upcoming elections, I’ve finally decided to open up a long-delayed blog. Yes, I know everybody has a blog, fictional characters have blogs, but at least this way I’ll be able to see if I’ve been repeating myself.
I’m a bit of a political junkie, so politics are going to be front-and-center here. There doesn’t seem to be as much to say about the elections… we’ve got just over a month left in this slug-fest, and I’m really not sure that the candidates are going to say anything now that they haven’t said at least once in the past two years of campaigning. Hillary and Thompson have been bashing away at each other since Super Tuesday back in February. We now know all about Hillary’s shady deals at the Rose Law firm and Fred’s shotgun marriage in High School. Everybody’s feeling a little dyspeptic about the candidates we’ve got. I just pray that my life never undergoes that level of scrutiny and fiction-creation.
No, at this point, it’s hard to see how Thompson can make-up the 15-point gap by November. It’ll be Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton, for better or worse.
To my mind, I’m more interested to see if the Senate can finally break the filibuster-line with 60 Democrats. With their current advantage, the Dems just need to pick-up 7 or 8 of the 10 up-for-grabs seats. Then maybe we can see something get done in DC.
Next time: So what’s on the agenda?