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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Evening News Round-Up

Jonathon Alter takes on the Imperial (Vice) Presidency in Newsweek online.
The shooting could hardly be a better metaphor for Cheney. It neatly packages his faulty judgment, insularity and arrogance in a story that is not cataclysmic on its own terms but will prove hard to forget. That's too bad for Cheney, and certainly for Harry Whittington. But it is a blessing for anyone hoping to restore some accountability to a government that increasingly believes it is a law unto itself.
We're seeing an awful lot of smacks at Cheney lately -- blatant ones that would have been much more muted and subtle only two weeks ago. Should it be news now that the Washington cocktail party set is no longer fearful of Darth Cheney? Maybe they have all laid in a fresh supply of garlic...or maybe they are hearing a lot more chatter than we are that Peggy Noonan has an inside line.

ThinkProgress points out the fact that Crazy Mary wouldn't answer a simple question on beer math today. And whatever you do, don't miss Arianna's Russert Watch today. Mwahahaha.

Speaking of Trigger Happy Dick, hunters don't like it when the shooter tries to blame his victim. And they really don't like it when the shot endangers not only your hunting buddies but also your hunting dogs -- that's a big no-no.
I'll tell you, in real life, you get peppered with birdshot, anywhere, and you are in no mood to quip if you are lucky enough to be in any mood at all.

A review of the accident and incident report of the shooting filed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department indicates just how close this came to being a grave incident. Had Whittington taken the full brunt of the load a little more to the left and down, at his neck and upper torso -- a matter of just a few inches -- he could have been a goner....

But I must say, as a supposed ardent hunter and role model for hunting and a stellar light of the National Rifle Association, he has barely saved himself from being a major embarrassment and dismal failure....

As a postscript to the gravity of the Cheney shooting incident, consider this: I don't know of a single gentleman's hunting club up here in the effete Northeast, no matter how Republican, that would let Cheney in to shoot after this incident. He'd be confined to the bar and pool tables.

What we have here is the original zero-tolerance event as far as the hunting community is concerned. That's how seriously we take it.
I've received e-mails and links to other hunting blogs that echo these sentiments all week long. The NRA's silence on such a teachable moment for hunters nationwide speaks more to their current position of GOP shill than gun safety advocates, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Clarance Page shares his take on the Cheney penchent for secrecy and machinations, the NSA domestic spying, executive overreach, and Scooter Libby. Interesting stuff.

Speaking of machinations, in today's LATimes, there is a phenominal piece on the Bush Administration's efforts to limit exposure for industries by undercutting litigation and other safeguards. It's an eye-opener, in terms of how much of this has been done the last couple of years via administration regulations, as an effective end-run of Congress. That whole unitary executive theory isn't looking so out-there these days, is it?

Larry Johnson has a great article up today on the Administration's inability to be honest about terrorism stats because they are more interested in covering their own asses than protecting the nation. Again, eye-opening.

Over at Lawyers, Guns and Money, Scott Lemieux pulls a two-fer: great posts here and here.

TBogg is troubled by the President actually reading -- well, really it's his attempt at comprehension that causes some difficulties.

Steve Soto at LeftCoaster asks why the Administration is outsourcing our port security to a company from a nation that gave us two of the 9/11 hijackers and that provided a lot of back-door financing to Al Qaeda. Good question.

And gosh, doesn't it seem like things are going so much better in Iraq? No, not really. See here, here, and here, just for starters.

In case you were in a coma last week, scarecrow sums up the news that's fit to discuss: (WARNING: Beverage spew warning.)
1. Cheney shot a man in the face and heart, but he looks pretty good on the other side.

2. Pat Roberts found a copy of the Constitution and showed it to Bush. They are both studying it.

3. The Anti-Patriot Act will become law, because it doesn't matter what the law says anymore.

4. Cheney thinks he has the authority to declassify something that the President classifies. But the the number of conflicts this has created is still classified.

4. Libby wants Fitz to get Bush to disclose classified all the intelligence information Bush never read, to prove he (Libby) was also confused, but Cheney may not agree.

5. And Condi thinks she can promote democracy in Iran by buying dissidents, which will make them popular; Rumsy will keep them informed by spending more on DoD propaganda.

Everything's under control, because Dana Milbank has been sent to the woodshed by Ms. Howell for wearing an orange ski cap.

All of this is true.
PS -- Scarecrow, a little tea spew warning next time pal, okay?

And finally, Mark Kleiman helps to translate the latest in political truthiness.

(This photo was sent to me by a friend who visited here while travelling on vacation. This is Pointe au Pere in Quebec, Canada.)

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