April 30, 2005

Minutemen Bring Their Message To Washington

Members of the Minuteman Project went to Washington recently to deliver their message to members of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. I think Chris Simcox made their point rather clearly:

“I'm here this week to bring a very simple, blue-collar message to our elected officials,” Simcox said. “... the people are going to pick up the slack from this point on. We must take care of our own property. We must secure our borders. We must protect our neighbors and our families and our way of life.”

“While our soldiers, men and women, are fighting for the cause on foreign soil, it's time we begin fighting for the cause here in America on our own soil,” he added. “My message is direct and is simple, and it's a challenge. We challenge the federal government to relieve us from duty.”

Simcox said the group will start in New Mexico, and then move to California and Texas, and also to northern border states.

“We're going to seal that border as citizens, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean,” he said. “There's no compromise. That's my message.”

Nothing like putting your cards on the table especially when at least some members of government are willing to back you up.
“I support utilizing troops on the border to supplement the U.S. Border Patrol,” said Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. “I think it would send a strong message that the United States means 'no' to illegal immigration.”

Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., agreed.

“National security dictates protection of our borders,” he said. “This is the irony. In this war on terror, we have put in place elements of our military on the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan. If we are willing to help protect those countries' borders, shouldn't we do the same in America?”

Of course the story would not be complete without someone to express “concern that rhetoric against illegal immigrants is dehumanizing those in the hispanic community.” That someone was Priscilla Monico, a Student at Georgetown University.
“It's a matter of feeding your family, and I think that Americans sometimes forget the humanistic aspect of this,” she said. “You have to understand that people are trying to live; they're just trying to survive. It's not like they're trying to scam the United States or anything like that.”
Here's a touch of reality for Priscilla. There are very few people who oppose immigrants coming here to work hard, support their families and have a better life. I do the same thing. I put in 50+ hours a week to feed and house and provide a good life for my family. But here's the difference. I do it legally. What people object to is putting out the welcome mat for criminals. And those who cross the border illegally are by definition not fine upstanding law-abiding citizens.

UPDATE:More on the Minutemen at Michelle Malkin.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:51 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


McCain/Feingiold II

When the regulatory arm of the congressionally established, presidentially signed and Supreme Court blessed abridgment of Freedom of Speech known as campaign finance reform was ordered by the courts to take a closer look at regulating political speech on the internet, I wrote to the bill's main sponsors, as well as my own senators.

Connecticut Senator Joseph Leiberman's office responded with a carefully crafted canned response outlining the senator's carefully nuanced position on the Patriot Act. The Leiberman response at least came via email. Making it easy to ridicule share with my readers. I have yet to hear back from the Senator's staff as to what the connection is between my letter on BCRA and the Patriot Act.

Today I head from the Senate's leading RINO John McCain. And while his people did manage to send a canned response dealing with the correct issue, they sent it on paper. So in order to ridicule share it with you, I am going to have to do the work. On a side note, the letter was produced using a monospaced typewriter style font with no signs of kerning. I would guess it was done on a letter printer of the kind I had many many years ago when I used to write using WordStar. (Are you getting that CBS?)

The letter starts:

Dear Mr. Macklin:

Thank you for contacting me regarding campaign finance reform and “527 Groups”. I appreciate you taking the time to share your wiews.

I actually expressed no view whatsoever on the topic of 527s so I am assuming this is the standard canned response to anyone writing to the senator complaning about campaign finance reform. That being the case I thought I would do my best to answer points the senator makes in his letter by contrasting them with my original. (The full text of which is in the extended entry.)

For example, I would contrast his trite opening line with this statement from my letter and wonder if this is the view he appreciated me sharing:

I will do whatever I can including blogging either independently or in coordination with anyone and everyone willing to work toward the goal of you being voted out of the Senate.

From the Senator:

As you know, after seven years of sometimes fierce and vigorous debate on the issue, President Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) into law on march 27, 2002. [Bush signed it so don't blame me. Notice also that the acronym drops the “F” because its not really about finance its about regulating speech.] On December 10, 2003, the Supreme Court, in McConnell v. FEC, upheld the constitutionality of key provisions of BCRA dealing with soft money and electioneering communications.
I'll answer that with the opening of my letter to the Senator
I am writing you as an exercise of my increasingly limited right to freedom of speech. A right that has been grievously abridged by the campaign finance legislation you authored. This appalling act of hubris is matched only by the act of the president signing the bill into law and the supreme court upholding it as Constitutional.
For more on my opinion of this SCOTUS opinion go here.

The letter continues:

This legislation ended the practice of the President, party leaders, and members of Congress from soliciting huge donations from corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals. BRCA's overriding goal was top reduce the corrupting influence of unlimited soft money contributions to political parties, usually solicited by federal candidates and office holders.
My take:
Sirs you are elected enact legislation and to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not to write legislation eroding the Constitutionally protected rights of American citizens. You claim that the purpose of your attack on free speech is to counter the corrupting effects of money in the political process. I submit to you that money is not the source of political corruption but merely a perk of ethically corrupt politicians. Instead of attacking the right to free speech and limiting the rights of citizens to participate in the political process you should be enacting laws providing harsh penalties for political corruption.
More McCain:
There can be little doubt that this new law has improved they system. Despite predictions to the contrary, the parties have thrived, raising as much in limited donations from individuals in this cycle as they did in hard and soft money combined in 2000.
My original statement:
You will never succeed in removing money from politics and you will never succeed in silencing citizens who wish to be heard. If you want to eliminate corruption in politics, focus your efforts on eliminating corrupt politicians.
Unfortunately, I've now used up all of my letter and only one paragraph of the Senator's. So now not only do I have to retype his letter I have to pick it apart with new material. Damn he is really making work at this. So you might be wondering what Senator McCain considers the weakness of BRCA. Basically that the FEC was too lax in restricting the rights of citizens to associate and speak as part of the political process.
While BRCA has proven successful, the recent growth of political committees commonly known as “527” groups, referring to their-exempt status under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, have emerged as a new vehicle for raising and spending illegal soft money.

{snip: we all know the 527 story}

Because the FEC had failed to properly enforce federal law and require the 527 groups to register as political committees, I have introduced legislation along with Senator Feingold that would require all 527s to register as political committees unless they raise and spend money solely in connection with non-Federal candidate elections. It is unfortunate that Congress must take legislative action requireing the FEC to properly enforce the law, but we cannot allow the obstinate acts of non-elected commissioners to obstruct the law and to dilute the influence that average American's have in determining who will lead their country.

Those irascible commissioners went and allowed all sorts of people to speak freely about federal elections. We cannot have that. It's a federal election after all. If too many citizens participate in the process well that would be a bad thing.

It is clear that the Senator is not done in his efforts to limit debate as part of federal campaigns. It is clear the he is not done with his efforts to erode our First Amendment protected right to free speech. It is clear that all average Americans have an interest in the good people of Arizona electing someone else to the Senate next time.

Update: Tuning Spork requested the text of the McCain letter to do his own fisking. He did a superb job. If you would like to do a little RINO hunting of your own, drop me line and I'll send you the letter.

more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:01 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


April 28, 2005

I Think I'll Continue Missing The Reunions

My high school is in the news today. Unfortunately the news was added to the growing list of teachers having sexual contact with students recorded at Interested Participant.

BATH, Maine (AP) -- Brunswick Police Detective Mark Waltaz said the 44-year-old teacher from Brunswick was arrested Monday on a charge that addresses inappropriate conduct between a teacher and a student.

Bath school officials say Lepkowski has been on paid administrative leave since mid-January, shortly after the alleged incident.

According to court documents, the student and teacher embraced and licked each other's ears while at the teacher's home in January.

Lepkowski has been a science teacher at Morse for several years and has also served as the head field hockey and track coach.

I was a student at Morse a long - long time ago, but I do have nieces and nephews currently attending the school.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:19 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


April 27, 2005

What Will Teddy Say?

We are about two weeks away from the anniversary of the murder of Nicholas Berg. I wonder what Teddy Kennedy will have to say about that.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:14 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


April 26, 2005

Yes Virginia, The iPod is Good Design

Virginia Postrel, who is actually the first link in the chain of events that lead to me starting a blog of my own, is questioning the quality of design in the Apple iPod and coming up with the wrong answer. From what she has written, it seems she likes a lot about the iPod. In fact she seems to like everything about it except then battery.

I no longer think the iPod qualifies as good design. It's gorgeous and tactile, and the software interface is excellent--aesthetic and functional qualities lacking in most electronic products--but Apple has never been much good at the physical side of design. If only they didn't have to actually make things. In this case, the batteries are the problem. They're beyond terrible, and Apple won't replace them. My original iPod lasted about a year before the battery died and I had to throw it out. Worse, my iPod Mini has never really held a charge, except for the day it spent in the Apple Store.
While I agree that batteries have been an issue in iPods, particularly in early generations, Apple pretty early on changed its policy of not replacing batteries. They would do it for a price - but a price that was better than buying a new iPod.

And Apple is not the only option for battery replacement. The first source I would go to is Other World Computing. They have batteries for every generation and configuration if iPod. The most expensive replacement battery they sell is $39.95. It is pretty easy to find detailed instructions for how to open any iPod and change the battery yourself. I've opened and iPod or two from different generations and it is not that difficult.

I know, if you open the case you have voided the warranty. Here's a couple of thoughts on that. First if your battery is dead, chance are your past or pretty close to past your warranty anyway. Virginias died after about a year - coincidentally so did her warranty. Second, if you have a warranty but Apple is unwilling to do anything for your battery problem - what have you got to loose?

Yeah, a perfect design would include a perpetual power source that never needed charging or replacement, but perfect isn't real. Throwing away your iPod because the battery failed is the epitome of that old saying “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” For everything Virginia seems to love about the iPod one would think she would be willing to put a little effort into keeping it going.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


April 24, 2005

Yet Another Reason to Want Him Gone

Just when you thought McCain/Feingold and voting with the Democrats on the filibuster rules change were enough reasons to want John McCain out of the Senate you stumble across yet another.

It has occurred to me that if I did not spend so much time reading about politics and politicians I probably wouldn't despise so many of them so thoroughly. It would probably add years to my life too. But I can't help myself. Its an addiction.

Today's fit of pique at the Arizona RINO comes courtesy of a Nick Gillespie rant in Reason Magazine. (In the May 2005 issue - not yet online.)

If Republlicans ever wonder why libertarians are suspicious of them, they need look no further than the U.S. Senate. For all their yammering about being the party of limited government, individual responsibility, and traditional American lilberty, the Republicans there sure have a funny way of showing it.
The column is titled “Straight Talking Prudes” and addresses efforts by senate republicans to apply broadcast decency regulation to cable and satellite TV. The effort is being lead by Ted Stevens of Alaska with the support of First Amendment foe John McCain.

Someday someone is going to have to explain this man's apparent hatred of free speech. It always seems that when there is something afoot in congress that could result in limiting speech under some pretext, McCain is involved. Is it some unresolved anger that while he was a POW there were hippies back home protesting the war under the protection of the First Amendment?

“McNasty” - as he was known in his fighter pilot days - dubbed his old presidential campaign bus the “Straight Talk Express” and was known to tell off-color jokes to an adoring press corps. But he told Hardball's Chris Mathews that the salty language and sociopathic behavior of HBO's massively popular The Sopranos trouble him and hence are worthy of Senate hearings. “What I really wish is that the people who make these programs would show some restraint,” grumbled McCain, who also confessed “I love The Sopranos.
I'm confused, did he oppose the salty language and sociopathic behavior before he loved them or did he love them before he opposed them?

I have a favor to ask of the good people of Arizona. Vote for Someone else. Anyone Else.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:46 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


The Other Other White Meat

I thought I should give a brief outline of my Spam Policy. When I get comment spam or trackback spam in an old post I delete it as soon as possible. While I am editing the post I also close comments and trackbacks for that post.

Actually that's the long version, since that's all there is. I can have this policy because of the work of Pixy Misa who runs mu.nu and has put lots of systems in place to fight spam. I estimate that I have closed comments and trackbacks on about a quarter of the archives. I hate to do it but I hate having to clean spam out of the same post twice even more.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:07 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


April 23, 2005

You've Been Linked

Little Miss Attila refuses to write anything “worth reading” until someone links her. Since I always enjoy it when she does I'll take up the challenge.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


When Lefties Attack lefties

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I love my MACs. There are currently four in my home. (Full disclosure one is the company's PowerBook, and another is not currently in use.) But I have never been in agreement with Steve Jobs' politics. Or for that matter with Apple's. I mean they just re-elected Al Gore to the board of directors.

I have the same sort of love hate relationship with Ben and Jerry's. Love the ice cream, despise the socialism.

So I found it interesting that at the stockholders meeting, Steve Jobs took on the people who were protesting at the gate. And who were these protesters? Environmentalists angered over what they see as Apple's irresponsible approach to waste and the environment.

The demonstration included people dressed as iPods in front of a big sign that read, “From iPod to iWaste.''
Let me be perfectly clear that when my iPod recently suffered damage, I repaired and recycled it in almost the most environmentally benign way possible.

The short version of the story is I dropped my 20Gb ipod and severely damaged the disc inside. I bought a compatible 10Gb drive on eBay. This left me with the question of what to do with the bad drive.

It had some little screws on the case so opened it up. The scratches on the platter were clearly visible at the right angle. The insides of the thing were quite remarkable and actually quite beautiful. I tossed the top half of the aluminum case in the trash. (and yes I know it was probably recyclable.) The I put a piece of velcro tape on the back of the case and hung it on the fabric of my cubicle partition. It's a little piece of high-tech abstract sculpture.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:56 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


American Men Deemed Sponge-Worthy

The FDA has approved the reintroduction of the contraceptive sponge to the U.S. market. The company behind the effort, Allendale Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to sell the Today Sponge from the original manufacturer who had removed the product from the market rather than make costly upgrades to is manufacturing process. It is worth noting that the manufacturing deficiencies found by the FDA had no effect on the quality or safety of the product.

Though not as effective as other birth control methods, the sponge was very popular in its day because it was easy to get and to use. It's re-introduction to the U.S. market should be interesting if only for its comedic value.

Allow me to be first:

“I'm Ready. I'm Ready. I'm Ready.”

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:32 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


Parade Of The Waffle King - 2005

I have been watching this clock at Synthstuff that is tracking the number of days since John Kerry Promised to sign form SF-180 and release his full military record. The script can be found here at PoliPundit. And just so you know that no one is making this up, here's the transcript and the relevant portions (also from PoliPundit).

MR. RUSSERT: Many people who’ve been criticizing you have said: Senator, if you would just do one thing and that is sign Form 180, which would allow historians and journalists complete access to all your military records. Thus far, you have gotten the records, released them through your campaign. They say you should not be the filter. Sign Form 180 and let the historians…

SEN. KERRY: I’d be happy to put the records out. We put all the records out that I had been sent by the military. Then at the last moment, they sent some more stuff, which had some things that weren’t even relevant to the record. So when we get–I’m going to sit down with them and make sure that they are clear and I am clear as to what is in the record and what isn’t in the record and we’ll put it out. I have no problem with that.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: But everything, Tim…

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will.

And if you don't believe the transcript PoliPundit has a link to the video.

The election may be over, but the Parade goes on.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:30 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


Was Dick Pre-Mature

I cannot decide if Vice President Dick Cheney spoke too soon when he said on Friday that if came down to a tie, he would vote to stop the filibusters of judicial nominees. Of course Harry Reid, the only politician who can make me miss the days of Tom Daschel, was beside himself.

Reid was so upset he went so far as to accuse the president of lying

“Last week, I met with the president and was encouraged when he told me he would not become involved in Republican efforts to break the Senate rules,” Reid said. “Now, it appears he was not being honest, and that the White House is encouraging this raw abuse of power.”
From what I have seen, President Bush has stayed out of the issue of Senate Republicans changing the rules of debate. Vice President Cheney, an actually separate individual human being, spoke about the issue in the context of his role as President of the Senate.
Let me emphasize, the decision about how to proceed will be made by the Republican leadership in the Senate,” Cheney said in a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association at the National Press Club. “But if the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as president of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up-or-down vote.”(emphasis mine)
That anyone can see this as anything other than a fairly clear statement of the obvious requires a politician's willingness to twist and distort reality to suit their agenda. I am sure that there was very little shock and awe on the left when they were told that if it came to tie the Vice President would vote to support the President. I mean its not as if the Vice President is John McCain.

The question remaining is was the timing right for Cheney's statement. Does his reminder that the Democrats have to secure 51 votes to defeat the rule change give cover to some of the fence sitters that their wavering may not prevent the measure's passage? Does it send a message that the executive is very interested in seeing this rule pass in hopes that some of the wavering Republicans might think twice before following the lead of the RINO party leader from Arizona?

All of this of course is meaningless speculation if Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist continues to dither and let Harry Reid run the Senate. But then again maybe Frist was the target of Cheney's message all along.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:04 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


April 21, 2005

Me Thinks He Doth Protest Too Much

Michelle Malkin linked to a Boing Boing about a biology professor who's laptop was stolen. The professor apparently ended his lecture with a very scary rundown of the fate awaiting the student who thought he could get over by getting the next exam off the computer. Apparently the professors laptop also contained some confidential material related to an NIH study, some confidential corporate information from a large biotech company, and some info related to another company's upcoming IPO. Apparently, the FBI, the Federal Marshals, and The SEC are very interested in whoever took the laptop.

I've done a little searching and I can't find a whole lot on the story. I have read a number of people cheering the professor's speech and pointing out that stealing your prof's laptop is not necessarily a good idea. I haven't found anyone questioning the professor who left his laptop full of sensitive data lying around for a student to grab.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:00 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


April 20, 2005

What Took So Long

Either everyone I know, knows better or they have developed a higher tolerance for increased gas prices. The latest spike in gas prices is a couple of weeks old and I just got the “Lets boycott gas made form Saudi oil” email. This one, and I'm sure you've all seen it by now (just in case it's in the extended entry) has a handy list of gas companies that do and don't by Saudi crude. I have not bothered to research the veracity of the import figures

Of course this has nothing to do with how much the Saudi's charge for a barrel of crude. Because if you go to any of the “good” gas stations you're going to pay pretty much the same price for gas. This is about the fact that Saudi Arabia is boycotting U.S. goods.

And yes there are some minor grassroots grumblings among some elements in Saudi Arabia, current annual US exports to Saudi Arabia are at close to $5 billion annually.

As for punishing gas companies that buy crude form the Saudis, ask first how many choices do they have? Due to environmental obstructionism there is little or no possibility of exploiting any domestic reserves.

Before you drive out of your way to buy gas from a station on the good list, remember that the Saudi Government, i.e. the people with the oil, are ostensibly pro U.S. and are not the ones calling for a boycott. They are in fact making sure that their state controlled media downplay the boycott if they mention it at all.

There are many reasons to want to inflict a little financial suffering on the Saudi princes. Their oppressive government for one, and their habit of financing terrorists for another. That some of their citizens are exercising what little freedom they have to express their opinion of U.S. policy is not a reason I consider valid. more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:09 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


April 17, 2005

Hold The Mayo - The Original

I have made mention of this in the past, but this is not the first edition of Hold the Mayo. If you count the original Blogspot home of this site, this is actually the Third Edition. The first edition was a weekly column written for my college newspaper, the Daily Maine Campus. The Maine Campus was the student newspaper of the University of Maine at Orono and was put out by the school's journalism department. Yes my fellow pajama clad members of the Vast Right Wing Blogging Conspiracy, I have a degree in journalism In fact I found it today in a box in the garage. Which is about all I need to say about that.

I also found the clipping folders. Some editorials, some op-ed commentaries and some of the original Hold The Mayo columns. I thought since I went so far as to post really old really bad fiction I found in a box in the garage I have to post an old column as well. In doing so, I am going to partially break one of my most important blogging new year's resolutions. The original column carried a photo of the author, and I have vowed to never put my picture on the site. But since I all I have is low res digital image of a yellowed clipping of a picture that looks nothing like me, I'll let it pass. So enjoy the rough and ready young journalist with the neck tie, open collar and cheesy mustache. It's far from current reality but as close as you will get.

Today's further embarrassment is in the extended entry. more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:32 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment


April 16, 2005

I Am Not Alone

I am not alone in my frustration with the lack of leadership from the Republican party on the issue of judicial filibusters. There is a growing storm of people who supported the GOP who are dissatisfied with the results. Start with Not. One. Dime. from Captain's Quarters. Read the comments. Then start on the long list of trackbacks.

The Republican leadership needs to understand that the people who elected them and gave them a larger majority in both houses, in large part sue to their promises of action on judicial nominees, are unhappy with their performance.

Here's a partial list of blogs expressing similar thoughts. I started from the Captain's Quarters trackbacks. If you know of more email or comment and I'll ad them.

Threshold Negative 55
Deep Down in Texas
Blue State Conservatives
Combs Spouts Off
Doug TenNapel
Balance Sheet
The Nose On Your Face
Wilson Fu Weblog
Nixguy
Slublog
Hooda Thunk
Am I A Pundit Now?
New England Republican
Thinking Right
New England Republican
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Don Singleton
The Key Monk
GOP Bloggers
Hard Starboard
The House of Wheels
Prince Pundit
Blogotional
Yippee-Ki-Yay!
Drumwaster's Rants
Confirm Them
C-Pol: Constitutionalist Conservative Politics
Angel Dressed in Black
The Asylum
Young Conservative
The Discerning Texan
Prying1
Another from Threshold Negative-55

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:42 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Oh The Things You Find When You Clean

I am on vacation. Yesterday and all of next week. One of my missions is to clean out the garage. We have a 3 car garage that since we moved in almost three years ago we have been unable to get a car into. So I'm going through boxes. Sorting out what we're keeping from what we're donating from what's just going into the dumpster we rented for the occasion.

In one box of books, I found a few folders that promise to be utterly embarrassing. Three short stories, the start of a novel, and a folder labeled “Miscellaneous Drafts and Abandoned Ideas.” I read them.

Ouch.

Somewhere there is still folder full of the original Hold the Mayo , the weekly column I wrote for my college newspaper. After reading some of the fiction from the same era I'm not sure I want to find them. I've picked one to share because I wish to humiliate myself publicly. This doesn't exist electronically, so I am retyping it from the hard copy. I am going to do my best to resist re-writing. I'll do a bit of editing for spelling and typing problems, but leave the bad syntax, punctuation and grammar.

I put it in the extended entry so that no one has to read it who is not very very brave. Click on it if you must but you have been warned. more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:52 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


April 15, 2005

GM and the L.A. Times

Gary Grates, Vice President, Communications, of GM North America has posted on their decision to pull advertising from the L.A. Times.

When we disagree, we prefer to take it up privately with the publication, as we did with the Times. We are not so naïve to expect that the media should only write positive things about GM or any other company, as some have opined.

We were one of the first companies to establish a blog where our executives could express their opinions in their own words, unfiltered by anyone else, and hear back directly from enthusiasts and others interested in what we do. Bob Lutz has stated repeatedly in this forum that criticism is welcome, and we’ve published a good amount of it, along with the praise.

But neither do we think that any business should remain mute when it sincerely believes it has been treated unfairly or attacked by reporting that is unsupported by facts and unrelated to reality. It is extremely rare that we take the kind of action we did with the Times, but it is fully within our right to spend our advertising dollars where we see fit.

G.M has not acted capriciously and they are waiting for the Times to respond before making any further comment.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:39 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


April 14, 2005

No Rush To Resolution

We can all rest a little easier tonight knowing that the United Nations has our backs. After a mere seven years of debate and negotiation the United Nations General Assembly has approved a treaty against nuclear terrorism. There are no words to express the infinitesimal depth of my relief and gratitude.

U.S. deputy ambassador Stuart Holliday demonstrated why he should be one of the first to go once John Bolton becomes our ambassador to Turtle Bay with this statement:

By its action today, the General Assembly has shown that it can, when it has the political will, play an important role in the global fight against terrorism.
What a load of diplomatic crap.

This, like so much of what the U.N. does is toothless and meaningless. Another useless exercise adding to the mountain of useless paper that is the history of the U.N. When Bolton speculated on the effect of taking ten floors of the top of the U.N. headquarters I think he might been aiming low.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:46 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


Frist V McCain

I wrote the other day that if Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was up to the challenge of finally putting a stop to Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees that he would first have to deal with some of the weak links in his own party.

Frist needs to have a sit down with these folks and let then know that they need to get on board if they ever want to see another piece of their legislation on the Senate floor. Some people should be losing some choice committee appointments too. It's time to play hardball.
Well first up for a little chin music is Republican In Name Only and First Amendment enemy Arizona Senator John McCain.

I almost fell out of my chair when I read this at Captain's Quarters. (From Hardball)

MATTHEWS: But bottom line, would you vote for what’s called the “nuclear option,” to get rid of the filibuster rule on judgeships?

MCCAIN: No I will not.

MATTHEWS: You will stick with the party?

MCCAIN: No, I will vote against the nuclear option.

MATTHEWS: You will vote—

MCCAIN: Against the nuclear option.

MATTHEWS: Oh, you will?

MCCAIN: Yes.

McCain currently serves on the following committees: Armed Services; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Indian Affairs. If Frist has any spine at all, those committee appointments would be gone by the end of Senate Business tomorrow. If that doesn't get the attention of McCain and the other party members weak on the filibuster issue Frist should be on the phone to Elizabeth Dole, in her capacity as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. McCain should not be counting on a lot of committee funds and support for his next campaign.

I have written before, in the context of campaign finance reform, that McCain needs to go. Not only does he need to go, but Republican leaders should slap him around a bit on the way.

(Yes, I mean that figuratively.)

(Mostly.)

UPDATE:Hugh Hewitt has a letter from an Arizona Republican who says he will go so far as to support a Democrat to get McCain out of the senate.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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