battleofthesexes, quicklink, US Politics, USA

Estrogene Overload.

The NYT’s Maureen Dowd comes up with a rather counter-intuitive explanation for Obama’s recent success in the Democratic primaries: voters aren’t tired of feminity or scared of estrogene in their commander in chief, they seem to want more. But they just don’t believe they can’t get enough of it from Hillary…

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US Politics, USA

Bill Clinton’s libido is responsible for Iraq.

Well, at least in the sense that he caused the Presidency of George W. Bush. And it’s his fault, too, if his wife won’t be nominated or elected president. Sounds farfetched? Well, not to Bob Herbert. NY Times columnist, who argues, apparently seriously, that Bill Clinton’s famous touch has always been poisenous for other Democrats and that

„[w]hen Mr. Clinton left office in 2001, … , … the Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment had opened the door to the era of George W. Bush.“

A little too reminiscent of the tale of Sex, Lies, and Dossiers which a young Texan student called Amber told me in June 2003 on the train to Prague, the myth that Bill’s unsatiable libido can be blamed for just about everything from global warming to Abu Ghraib. Maybe that’s some kind of conservative Godwin’s law equivalent, but I just wouldn’t have thought this kind of thinking has made it into the NY Times. Well, maybe the Times are a changing.

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US Politics

America’s Enabling Act? Catastrophic events and the suspension of the division of power in the USA.

Telepolis (in German) reports about the US „National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive“ that was apparently ‚taken out with the trash‘ by the White House Communications department on May 9, 2007, and, accordingly, apparently deemed too sensitve to explain even to US Congressmen, has not been approrpriately covered by the media. The directive is intended to ensure US governmental functionality in the case of „catastrophic events“, yet raises concerns for being weak on the definitions as well as giving only the Presidency the apaprently legally unchallengable power to invoke as well as recind this state of emergency.

An article published in the Boston Globe a month after the directive had been published details that even Conservatives who were involved in the campaign against former Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry are deeply critical of the directive. According to to the Boston Globe –

„[t]he unanswered questions have provoked anxiety across ideological lines. The conservative commentator Jerome Corsi , for example, wrote in a much-linked online column that the directive looked like a recipe for allowing the office of the presidency to seize „dictatorial powers“ because the policy does not discuss consulting Congress about when to invoke emergency powers — or when to turn them off.“

Interestingly, the Congressman, Peter DeFazio, who is apparently a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee and as such entitled to review classified material, asking to review details of the policy on behalf of some of his constituents who worried about „a conspiracy“ being buried in the classified documents, told The Oregonian after his request was denied that

„[m]aybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right.“

Coming from a Congressman, that’s at least somewhat scary.

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US Politics, USA

McCain fries Barbara Ann.

And he not only owes an apology to the Beach Boys for his musical stunt – „Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran“ (video on youtube). Did John McCain suddenly decide that American Idol is the more promising competition? Although I suppose most contenders there have understood that doing electoral math usually has a very early victim in the US: one’s very own self respect. American Presidential campaigns are just no fun anymore. Now candidates are making jokes so they can decide after the public reaction if they were serious or not.

Looking forward to John Stewart’s take on this.

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media, oddly enough, US Politics

Patterns.

The Economist thinks there may be a pattern…

„HISTORY can be kinder to presidents than journalists and voters are. Like Truman, Johnson and Nixon before him, George Bush has seen his approval ratings wither under the burden of an unpopular war. But all three of those presidents look better now than they did when they were in power.…“ (American politics | Saving the Bush presidency | Economist.com, behind subscription wall)

I think The Economist has far too many „natural Republican“ readers in the US to maintain any kind of journalistic credibility in this respect. They should simply stop reporting the issue, but instead they keep writing and wet themselves whenever they put the name George W. Bush on the cover… that’s also quite some pattern.

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media, US Politics, web 2.0

GQ? Why GQ?

Just found this via the truly amazing DIGG Labs flash visualisations of the Diggosphere. The Raw Story reports that –

„In the March issue of GQ, Wil S. Hylton argues that Vice President Richard Cheney should be impeached for committing „high crimes and misdemeanors.“

Now I suppse there was a small chance for this to appear in Hustler magazine, although Larry Flynt is better known for being sued that for suing. But GQ? I’m confused. Maybe they just want to give everyone an good alibi, you know… I’m just reading Playboy for the interviews…. and I’m just reading GQ for the impeachment proceeedings…

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Bürgerrechte, Political Theory, US Politics

Osama BinLaden wins.

We lose. America certainly no longer is the Land Of The Free. It may be telling that the German term „Rechtsstaat“ doesn’t really have a useful translation in English, but, alas, at least in the US, there may no longer be the need for one. President Bush now ordered the special tribunals, or military commissions, to be created in which so-called „enemy combattants“ will be tried. Most of the defendants are currently inmates in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Last year, the US supreme court had stopped their creation based primarily on institutional concerns – after some political haggling, a bill was passed, and the tribunals will now be established.

Even Bush’s last friend among the German newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, seems appalled about the seemingly totalitarian legal practices applied by these „courts“. As the newspaper reports (in German), defendants may be punished with the death penalty based on indirect witness accounts and forced testimonies.

Let’s hope Ben Franklin did not hear about it.

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media, US Politics

Try to say it fast: Iranian Uranium…

Update

(27/01/2007) Of course, Jon Stewart did not let this go through without commenting. Check the videos on thedailyshow.com.

Supposedly, CNN stands for cable NEWS network. That of course is not just a slight euphemism in the case of the video linked to below, which Edward Hugh just sent to the afoe mailing list: Wolf Blitzer manages to spend almost 9 minutes with US vice president Dick Cheney without getting *any* answer. I think by now we can all agree that Cheney is a phenomenon – he may have stopped just doing the Rove thing, you know, creating a reality for everyone else to believe in. He may have actually started to live in his own world. On the other hand, he may just know very well that he can shoot a man in the face without any consequence, so shooting down a lonely Wolf doesn’t seem too big a deal.

But the Wold tried to bite back: Mary, Cheney’s lesbian daughter is apparently pregnant, and I think that Cheney managed to largely keep her out of politics and the „family values“ faction of his constituency off his back throughout Bush’s presidency, throughout all the „gay marriage“ shebang, is remarkable from a communications point of view, and likely one of the few things he could be congratulated for. So when Wolf Blitzer called Cheney on his „don’t ask, don’t tell“ policy by asking him to comment on a „familiy values“ group’s statement regarding the upbringing of children out of heterosexual wedlock, he lost his cool – but only a little.

It’s an interesting document to watch though, not least because we learn that Iranian Uranium isn’t just a complicated foreign policy issue: Try to say it fast, it’s not that easy – „Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium…“

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US Politics

Body Of Secrets.

Given the amount of cognitive dissonance Americans are apparenly willing to tolerate with respect to the actions of the administration they put in office, well, almost twice, I’m not going to bet on it: But the latest revelations in the NSA wiretapping affair might break Bush’s back. This, more than anything before, is bringing impeachment into the realm of possibility.

People are finally waking up – let’s hope it’s not too late. From the NYT

„The concept of the N.S.A. having near-real-time access to information about every call made in the country is chilling,“ said Mr. Bass, former counsel for intelligence policy at the Justice Department. He said the phone records program resembled Total Information Awareness, a Pentagon data-mining program shut down by Congress in 2003 after a public outcry.

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