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Finding Excuses

One might say that Whiskey Fire started this by saying that there was no reason to have Jose Padilla wear black-out goggles when he was removed from his cell for a dental appointment.

The response by Ann Althouse led to a post by Ann Altmouse, and then NTodd and Watertiger joined in the silliness.

Glenn Greenwald, who has been trying to be an adult about the “Ann Althouse enigma,” finally realized the futility in Today’s tour around the world of the Bush follower:

(2) Ann Althouse yesterday: “calling your opponent stupid is incredibly lame… an admission that you have no substance.”

Ann Althouse last week: “Glenn Greenwald is such an idiot. Am I supposed to respond to this foolishness? Glenn, you moron . . . , you disreputable slimeball? (And your writing is putrid.)”

Obviously, the interesting point here is not Ann Althouse. By itself, her observation yesterday that the treatment of Jose Padilla may have been justified by a fear that he would use his eyes to blink “coded messages” to The Terrorists says all that needs to be said about her, ever.

Let’s see, Padilla was being held in solitary confinement in a military brig with no outside contact and was being taken to a military dentist, so the obvious question to the suggestion of blinking to send a message would be: How would “terrorists” be in a position to see any message?

December 6, 2006   2 Comments

New Hurricane Honcho

In an amazing break with the policy of the Shrubbery, the new man slated to take over the National Hurricane Center actually appears to be qualified for the job.

The Miami Herald reports: New director of hurricane center urges public readiness

It’s official: Veteran weather service administrator Bill Proenza will become director of the National Hurricane Center when Max Mayfield retires next month.

[snip]

In the past, most center directors were selected from within the ranks of hurricane forecasters or researchers. The choice of Proenza indicates that officials at NOAA headquarters in Washington sought someone from within their management comfort zone, but he also has extensive forecasting experience.

Proenza served during the early 1960s as an intern at the hurricane center and flew aboard hurricane hunter missions, though he spent much of his recent career as a NOAA administrator.

In his current position, Proenza manages nearly 1,000 forecasters and other employees in 32 offices in Florida and nine other states.

He actually has education and experience in the field, and work experience in the geographic areas most affected by the 2004 & 2005 hurricane seasons. Perhaps the fact that he is currently based in Texas was enough.

December 6, 2006   2 Comments

Happy Saint Nicholas Day

And what did the new Democratic leadership get for the members of the House to celebrate?

According to Lyndsey Layton of The Washington Post: 5-day work week is a Capitol Hill culture shock – “Democrats seek a businesslike image; many in GOP decry effect on families”

Forget the minimum wage. Or outsourcing jobs overseas. The labor issue most on the minds of members of Congress yesterday was their own: They will have to work five days a week starting in January.

The horror.

[Snip]

“Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families — that’s what this says.”

These clowns will have only worked a total 103 days in 2006. They didn’t pass the spending bills that were due on October 1st. They will receive $165,200 in salary and more in expenses and benefits, including their “commuting costs” back to their districts.

I wonder if Rep. Kingston has spent any time “caring” about the families affected by the multiple disasters that he and other members of Congress have allowed the executive to involve the country in without any significant oversight? What does he think the effect of the Iraq War is on the families of the National Guard, Reserves, and regular soldiers who have been deployed multiple times? What about the families affected by hurricane Katrina?

Congress in located in Washington, DC. Someone should have told the Congressman before he ran for office. If working a five-day is too tough for him, unlike the members of the military, he can quit.

We have a huge budget deficit, so it is time for the government to “tighten its belt”, and these “commuting costs” is a good place to start. Two round-trips a year is good enough for soldiers deployed to Iraq, so that should be sufficient for Congressmen.

December 6, 2006   2 Comments