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2006 January 19 — Why Now?
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Yes, I’m Picking On Kevin Drum

Kevin thinks that bloggers should discuss the Pakistan attack. Having not thought it through he has decided that he doesn’t have a problem with the loss of 18 innocent people if we killed 4 members of al Qaeda.

So, if the innocent to guilty death ratio is less than 5:1, Kevin thinks it’s okay. If 10 terrorists were holed up in Disneyland, Kevin wouldn’t be disturbed if less than 50 bystanders were killed when the Anaheim PD called in an air strike on Cinderella’s castle?

Unfair, you say? Not the same thing at all? No, if you aren’t willing to kill your own people, then you have no right to visit a death sentence on people in other countries. Even if they look different, have a different religion, or a different language, all innocent people are equal and should be valued equally. There are people who view a bombing attack that kills citizens of a friendly country as a causa belli. I don’t remember a declaration of war against Pakistan.

In case people have forgotten, Pakistan has nuclear weapons. If the current government is replaced, it will probably be with allies of al Qaeda and the Taliban. This attack has put the current government in Pakistan at risk.

As for the stories of the dead al Qaeda leaders, consider the source. There is no proof yet offered that anyone other than innocent villagers were killed. Statements from the Pakistani government should be given the same respect as statements from Scott McClellan.

January 19, 2006   Comments Off on Yes, I’m Picking On Kevin Drum

Out, Out Damn Cash

Jack K. in a cross-posted item at Ruminate This and The Grumpy Forester tells the sad tale of Montana Senator Conrad Burns’ attempts to cleanse himself of filthy lucre directed to his coffers by Jack Abramoff.

Just a suggestion, but I believe that the Treasury accepts voluntary contributions to pay down the national debt, if you don’t want to give it to any of several Katrina relief funds, or to fund some of the people you harmed with your votes on the budget.

January 19, 2006   Comments Off on Out, Out Damn Cash

Republican Rules

I first read Karen’s post at Peripetia and then ReddHedd’s at Firedoglake. Two lady lawyers both come to the same conclusion about the Republican plan to “reform” the lobbying rules: you can’t take gifts, trips, and other “considerations” from lobbyists, unless they also include a campaign contribution.

This is the “Legalize Extortion of Lobbyists” bill. They can’t invite you to dinner unless they give you a campaign contribution? They can’t invite you to their skybox unless they kick in a campaign contribution? They can’t give you a golfing trip to Hawaii in the winter, unless there’s a campaign contribution on your pillow with the chocolate?

The most important thing to remember about this situation is that Jack Abramoff pled guilty to violating the law. There are already laws and rules against what was going on, but they weren’t enforced. What is the point of creating new rules, when the old rules were ignored? The Republican leaders of the House made a point of changing the rules governing the Ethics Committee and changed the leadership of that committee to ensure it wouldn’t do anything.

The whole point of the Republican “reforms” is to extort more money from lobbyists.

January 19, 2006   Comments Off on Republican Rules