Archive: July, 2010
This is too ironic not to note. The failure to take any substantive action on climate change is spearheaded, here in the United States anyway by the Gang of 41 in the Senate and their assorted right-wing allies in the Tea Party and elsewhere. And one of the consequences of their global warming denialism?
I'm glad to see that someone has finally taken on the burden of assembling "Everything Incorrect That You Didn't Need to Know About the Constitution You Learned from the Tea Party." That would be the Constitutional Accountability Project, which has begun an effort called "Strange Brew: The Constitution According to the Tea Party."
In today's version, you'll learn that the Founders -- once the U.S. of A. was up and running -- weren't as big on "2nd Amendment remedies" as Sharron "90-Degree Right" Angle is today. They thought that armed rebellions and overthrowing the government and what not were generally bad things, as long as the new nation continued to hold democratic elections and there was nothing on the order of a military coup. Notes the project's Doug Kendell:
Yahoo! is trying to be a little more edgy these days (you can't party like it's 1999 forever) but still I was surprised when I went to their homepage for main thing I still go there for -- the baseball scores -- and saw this was the main headline:
Somehow, and this is just an informed guess, I suspect you're going to hear a lot more hue and cry over the course of the coming week about the decision by the New York Times and the UK Guardian and Der Spiegel to release and write about 92,000 pages of leaked log entries from the Afghanistan war than you'll hear about what the papers actually say about a military engagement gone terribly wrong.
We really are reliving the 1960s here, aren't we? Last week was civil rights week, and this week we'll be reenacting the Pentagon Papers. I think the goal for the Times and the Guardian and any other outfit that received such information is clear (as the Times stated this afternoon in a letter to its readers) -- which is to publish leaked material that is in the public interest, and withhold information that could harm ongoing military operations or endanger troops. Time will tell if they succeeded.
As you may have noticed, I am fascinated by the 1960s and '70s. (Hey, I was there...although I was a little kid for most of the good stuff.) My friend and former Daily News colleague Shaun Mullen lived it, and frankly I don't know anyone in this region who has written more -- or better -- about that unique moment in American history. In the years before I came to the paper, Shaun assembled some remarkable packages about Vietnam and the disproportionate toll the war took from the streets of Philadelphia. It's been a decade since Shaun left the Daily News and established base camp in his home state of Delaware, where he writes an excellent blog called Kiko's House and works on other projects.
Like his new book, The Bottom of the Fox, which is arguably the book that Shaun Mullen was born to write. Set mainly in the 1970s and dawn of the 1980s, his tome packs a remarkable amount into its 125 pages. Ostensibly, it's an investigation into the unsolved 1981 murder of bar owner Eddie Joubert, a local gadfly who was hacked to death by an ax murderer in the cellar of the ramshackle bar he owned near the Delaware Water Gap in upstate Pennsylvania, a joint called the Bottom of the Fox. But what writer Mullen really accomplishes (at a lightning pace) is both to capture a special place and a unique time, the 1970s, a time of hippies and squatters and rampant drugs and small towns with dark secrets. The book takes a surprising turn near the end and really hits its stride when he turns his righteous wrath onto the powerful -- the callous cops and corrupt prosecutors -- how allowed a string of murders of everyday folks to stay on the books.
Since there was a lot of interest in my piece last night on the 1965 killing of Shirley Sherrod's father, Hosie Miller, I wanted to call attention to two excellent pieces that add more layers of context to what was going on back on Baker County, Ga., in those days -- not really that long ago (within my lifetime, certainly).
The first is by Elizabeth Holtzman, the former Watergate-era New York congresswoman, who as a young lawyer worked on a race-related case there:
I've said it here literally -- OK, figuratively -- a million times: Support your ideals, not people, because too many people will eventually let you down. Right now, is there any Republican causing more damage to the goal of a more just and a better America than Democrat Charlie Rangel. I think not:
A House investigative committee on Thursday charged New York Rep. Charles Rangel with multiple ethics violations, a blow to the former Ways and Means chairman and an election-year headache for Democrats.
This was probably about the 11th-most inane thing that Rush Limbaugh said...today, but I heard it when I was in the car earlier and it stuck with me. He started talking about how many quadrillion gallons of water there are in the Gulf of Mexico and thus he claimed that if the Gulf were the size of the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (actually, nothing is the size of Cowboys Stadium, but I digress....), the entire BP oil spill would be the size of a 24-ounce soda.