Wednesday, August 29, 2007

An update on recent stuff

Last weekend was my birthday, so I took a few days off from the news and went to my Mom's where I ate comfort food for two days (pot roast, chicken and dumplings, pudding cake, blueberry pancakes). I feel much better now. Let's look at the world.

The big news of the last few days has been that Alberto Gonzales decided he wants to spend more time with his family. It's about damn time. I hope the congressional committees don't just let him ride off into the sunset. He has a stunning amount of damage during his time in Washington. We're just starting to get an idea of the magnitude of his destruction. Before we can repair the damage or make him pay for the damage, we need to know what he did. I want the congress to keep him under permanent subpoena until his annoying babyface finally looks his age.

Meanwhile, the professional media are chasing after every rumor regarding his possible successor. Most of us hope that the next Attorney General will be one to repair the damage and restore respect for the constitution, rule of law, and, at least, an appearance of nonpartisan evenhandedness in the judiciary. Then we have a good laugh and wonder what sort of hack Bush really intends to appoint.

Bush generally makes two types of appointments, and neither is good for the country. The first is the total Bush loyalist like Gonzales himself. These folks have never read the constitution or thought it was quaint if they did. Joe Lieberman loves these folks. The other is the thumb in your eye appointment where Bush appoints the single most offensive person possible and dares congress to oppose them. John Ashcroft at the Justice Department was the first in this line and Dr. Eric Keroack, an anti-contraceptive activist to oversee family planning, was one of the latest. Democrats usually back down on these saying one appointment isn't worth the fight. Then Bush sends another, and another, and another...

This time I think Bush will go for the third strategy, which is to send in a faceless placeholder. I think he'll go for someone who can get past a fairly uneventful confirmation and then change nothing for the remaining seventeen months of his term. Of course, he might try to slip a recess appointment by us.

In the state to the right of Washington, the senior senator, Larry Craig (R-ID), was revealed to have pled guilty last month to propositioning men in a public restroom. Craig, naturally says it was all a big misunderstanding. You see, he got dressed in a hurry that morning and when he got to the airport bathroom he noticed that his stockings didn't match, so he called to the guy in the next stall to ask if he could help and said he would pay him for sox. Well, the guy in the other stall was a hard of hearing vice cop and wackiness ensued. The folks at AmericaBlog have the blow by blow (so to speak) coverage of the latest developments on this story.

Somewhere, lost beyond all of this political blather, the humble British hedgehog has become an endangered species: "The new Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has identified 1,149 species and 65 habitats in the UK as being in need of conservation and greater protection." Among the eighteen land mammals mentioned in the plan is the hedgehog. This really is tragic. The hedgehog is one of the staples of British children's literature. Imagine if we woke up one day and found out that wabbits and little black ducks were endangered in America. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society suggests urbanization with tidier parks and gardens is to blame. I hope my British readers will take heed of this and let their gardens go to seed.

Finally, Clever Wife and I got up at three in the morning yesterday to look at the lunar eclipse. The moon was a smoky burgundy color when we got outside. We sat on the front step for a few minutes and talked about what caused it. It was a nice warm night and it was worth losing sleep for.

When we went to go back into the house, our littlest cat, Marlowe, made a break for freedom. I caught him and took him back to the safety of the house and he turned my left hand into hamburger for my troubles. I'm supposed to be painting the house this week and this has made handling tools and typing both a bit painful. I'll manage.

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