Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Morning Blog

Good morning. You should still be worried about Egypt.

Greece too for that matter. Between the troubles in Greece and Egypt, I feel like a Roman.

Interesting piece here about the mathematics involved in Bernie Madoff's sentencing. Personally, I think the man got what he deserves. There's no reason whatsoever for him to see the light of day ever again. That said, there's something unsettling to me about the idea that the majority of his sentence (he'll be long dead), is part of a "symbolic" punishment. Though I think he deserves every second of his 150 year stint, it's just weird to me when government imposes imaginary punishments.

Good news for the President: His expensive adventurism in Libya has now almost attained the very faintest veneer of legality according to 14 people. Actually, I take it back. It's still blatantly illegal. Even if both houses of Congress did opt to sign off on this excursion, everything that's occurred between the end of the 60 day deadline and that improbable day is still in complete defiance of the War Powers Act. Sen. Jim Webb responds to the administrations assertion that we're not involved in hostilities quite nicely:

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, a Democrat, said, “When you have an operation that goes on for months, costs billions of dollars, where the United States is providing two-thirds of the troops, even under the NATO fig leaf, where they’re dropping bombs that are killing people, where you’re paying your troops offshore combat pay and there are areas of prospective escalation — something I’ve been trying to get a clear answer from with this administration for several weeks now, and that is the possibility of a ground presence in some form or another, once the Qaddafi regime expires — I would say that’s hostilities.”

Given his involvement in protests against the Vietnam war which led to the War Powers Act in the first place, Jim Kerry should hang his head in shame for supporting this conflict. I'm sure many would argue that that war had a compelling rationale as well.

More on the cost of war here. Even if no American involved in Libya gets so much as a paper cut, Congress MUST determine whether or not we can afford another debacle.



Dad Bait: Enjoy your fishing while you can. It may not survive the vagaries of fashion.

Sigh. Yet another criminal mastermind attempts a daring and well though out scheme.

2012 Watch: Tom Petty is not amused. Perhaps Bachmann could go with this ditty?

In regards to the Supreme Court overturning California's ban on violent video games, I'm going to be fair. That said, the argument that scientists in favor of the ban are more established misses a crucial point: In what way are video games less deserving of First Amendment protections than films or books? Nice piece from the New York Times on how this will force games to get better here:

Now that the industry has finally gotten what it’s asked for, it can no longer play the aggrieved, misunderstood victim. It is time to grow up and show the world what you can do with your newfound respectability. Will you use it as cover to pump out schlock or will you rise to the opportunity and respectability that has been afforded you?

Probably not the best way to become a "a great, prosperous and powerful nation".

While we're on the subject...

This article started out as a pretty profound WTF moment for me. However, as I read it it began to make sense. If you're going to teach a group how to deal with people with whom they have nothing but contempt, why not expose them to the Westboro Baptist Church?

In other religious news, Pope Benedict is a follower of no one.

Here's one way to deal with walls and barricades: Palestinians make lemons into lemonade.

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