Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm not worried about Dean. Yet. (and more assorted bloggerhea)

It's too early. Maybe by this time next week.

But the SciGuy defintely has the best information in order for me to decide whether to worry about him, or not.

Looking around elsewhere:

-- Lots in the blogosphere over the pending execution of Kenneth Foster, an essentially innocent man. I have wanted to write more about this, but the futility of being able to influence this miscarriage of justice is just too depressing. The Texas Moratorium Network has everything you need to know about this case. Here's an excerpt from Reuters on the phenomenon of the death penalty in Texas:

Texas will almost certainly hit the grim total of 400 executions this month, far ahead of any other state, testament to the influence of the state's conservative evangelical Christians and its cultural mix of Old South and Wild West.

"In Texas you have all the elements lined up. Public support, a governor that supports it and supportive courts," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

"If any of those things are hesitant then the process slows down," said Dieter. "With all cylinders working as in Texas it produces a lot of executions."

-- John Cornyn loves box turtles but hates poor children, and in a reality-based Texas that alone ought to be enough to cost him re-election.

-- More and louder chatter about Hillary being a drag on the Democratic down-ballot. To be clear: I think, like nearly everybody else at this point, that absent some uncharacteristic meltdown Hillary Clinton will be both the Democratic nominee and the next President of the United States. To the sneering chagrin of every Republican from sea to shining sea, and to my own not-insignificant queasiness.

But I still also believe she kills us down the ballot in Texas and across the South, threatening our legislative majorities in Washington, and snuffing out a fledgling uprising in the Texas Lege.

I want to be wrong about this.

-- The goddamned Blue Dogs are Bush's best friends in Congress. We knew what we had with Chet Edwards and Henry Cuellar, and mostly with Nick Lampson, but I have to say that the biggest letdown is Ciro Rodriguez. He was a progressive when he was first elected, then he was defeated by the odious Cuellar, and now has turned to the Dark Side, apparently for political expediency.

I can't believe I fought so hard to get him re-elected. Besides blogging, I attended his fundraisers and gave him too much money myself. No more.

-- Lastly, this rather fascinating story in the Atlantic entitled The Rove Presidency contains an anecdote that speaks for itself:

Dick Armey, the House Republican majority leader when Bush took office (and no more a shrinking violet than DeLay), told me a story that captures the exquisite pettiness of most members of Congress and the arrogance that made Bush and Rove so inept at handling them. “For all the years he was president,” Armey told me, “Bill Clinton and I had a little thing we’d do where every time I went to the White House, I would take the little name tag they give you and pass it to the president, who, without saying a word, would sign and date it. Bill Clinton and I didn’t like each other. He said I was his least-favorite member of Congress. But he knew that when I left his office, the first schoolkid I came across would be given that card, and some kid who had come to Washington with his mama would go home with the president’s autograph. I think Clinton thought it was a nice thing to do for some kid, and he was happy to do it.” Armey said that when he went to his first meeting in the White House with President Bush, he explained the tradition with Clinton and asked the president if he would care to continue it. “Bush refused to sign the card. Rove, who was sitting across the table, said, ‘It would probably wind up on eBay,’” Armey continued. “Do I give a damn? No. But can you imagine refusing a simple request like that with an insult? It’s stupid. From the point of view of your own self-interest, it’s stupid. I was from Texas, and I was the majority leader. If my expectations of civility and collegiality were disappointed, what do you think it was like for the rest of the congressmen they dealt with? The Bush White House was tone-deaf to the normal courtesies of the office.”

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