Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 19th, 2008

Conservatives sure do lie a lot

leave a comment »

Why is that? ThinkProgress has the latest round of lies—a whole buncha conservatives lying like a Turkish carpet.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 6:15 pm

Posted in GOP

Make a call and feel good that you spoke up

with 3 comments

From a really good post by Tim F. at Baloon Juice (and do read the post):

For no reason that I can fathom Steny Hoyer has decided to capitulate entirely on government eavesdropping and amnesty for the telecoms who assisted them. What was the overwhelming political pressure? Somebody spell this out for me.

It appears that the deal is done, the vote is tomorrow, and there is be absolutely no aspect to this “compromise” that does not simply give the White House everything it wants. Go read Glenn Greenwald if you have the stomach for it.

Then call Steny Hoyer and let him know how you feel. I don’t care what tone you use. (202) 225-4131

When you’re done, use the Capitol switchboard to contact your own representative and let him or her know that we’re paying attention. (202) 225-3121

I made the calls and I feel great. I also told Hoyer’s office that I was making donations to ensure his defeat. And I let them know I’m from California.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Congress, Democrats

Donna Edwards

leave a comment »

From Glenn Greenwald’s column:

Here’s the newly elected Rep. Donna Edwards, who defeated Bush-enabling Democratic incumbent Al Wynn, speaking on telecom immunity after she defeated Wynn in the primary:

Wynn was not only heavily supported by the entire telecom industry, but by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership as well, who tried to keep Donna Edwards out of Congress and keep the Bush-supporting Al Wynn in power. As Matt Stoller wrote today: “I don’t know what kind of game Obama is playing, but using his remarkable brand to protect conservative Democrats is a move reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi endorsing Al Wynn.”

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 2:55 pm

Two good TED talks

with one comment

Mind Hacks:

Anthropologist and explorer Wade Davis gave a couple of inspiring talks to the TED conference on how the beliefs and traditions of different cultures fundamentally alter not only views about the world, but the experience of reality itself.

Both are fantastic, not only because Davis is a gripping speaker, but also because he highlights the sheer beauty and diversity of the world’s peoples and cultural practices – from Voodoo rituals in Haiti to the Inuit of Northern Canada.

The first explores cultures in some of the world’s harder to reach areas, while the second focuses on the diversity of belief and ritual across the planet.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

Doctors not telling women about Plan B

leave a comment »

This is amazing:

Despite widespread misinformation about emergency contraception — the so-called morning-after pill — only 3% of women’s doctors discuss Plan B with them.

The finding comes from data collected during face-to-face interviews with 7,643 women aged 15 to 44. The interviews were conducted in 2002, when emergency contraception was available only by prescription. Yet only 3% of women said their doctors discussed the issue with them.

Even when women saw a gynecologist for a Pap test or pelvic exam, only 4% received emergency-contraception counseling, find University of Pittsburgh researchers Megan L. Kavanaugh, DrPH, and Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD.

“A lot of women, and the American public in general, are very misinformed about what emergency contraception is, how to use it, and how to access it,” Kavanaugh tells WebMD. “Yet counseling about emergency contraception really is missing from the clinical encounter, especially for young women, low-income women, and minority women.”

There was also good news from the survey. The researchers found that 73% of women who had used emergency contraception had used it only once. The finding shows that women are truly using the “morning-after pill” for emergencies, and not — as some had feared — for routine birth control.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Daily life, Medical

Excellent post by Andrew Sullivan

leave a comment »

Via Kevin Drum, this extremely good and cogent post by Sullivan.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Bush Administration, GOP

Tagged with ,

Uh-oh. Obama fails a first test

leave a comment »

Read Glenn Greenwald’s disheartening column on how quickly Obama is moving right. Obviously, I’m not voting for John McCain, but I hoped that for once I wouldn’t have to hold my nose and pull the lever for the Democratic candidate. I had hoped that Obama’s excellent rhetoric would be matched by excellent action. Not so. He will be a good match for the craven Congressional Democrats. (I shouldn’t call them “craven” — perhaps they were just bought out by campaign contributions from lobbyists.)

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Democrats, Election

The 22 most corrupt members of Congress

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Congress, Government

Watch Mora

leave a comment »

Via Scott Horton’s column:

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 1:36 pm

Torture from the top down

leave a comment »

The always insightful and readable Scott Horton of Harper’s magazine has an excellent post on what we learned from the hearings. It begins:

In a series of hearings, Congressional leaders are trying to get to the bottom of a few simple questions: Who initiated the use of torture techniques in the “war on terror”? What was the process by which it was done? On whose authority was it done? The use of torture techniques became a matter of public knowledge four years ago. In response to the initial disclosures, the Bush Administration first decided to spin the fable of a handful of “rotten apples” inside of a company of military police from Appalachia and scapegoated a handful of examples in carefully managed and staged show trials. When further disclosures out of Bagram and Guantánamo made this untenable, they spun a new myth, this time suggesting that the administration had responded to a plea from below for wider latitude.

In fact at this point the evidence is clear and convincing, and it points to a top-down process. Figures near the top of the administration decided that they wanted brutal techniques and they hammered them through, usually over strong opposition from the ranks of professionals.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 1:29 pm

Interesting point by Froomkin

leave a comment »

From his column today:

The questions at White House spokesman Tony Fratto’s press briefing yesterday were far more informative than the answers. Consider:

Q. “On the President’s offshore oil statement today, it didn’t seem like he really wanted to cooperate much with Congress. He’s calling them obstructionists, and blaming them for the high price of oil. Where do you come up with the idea earlier that he wanted to work closely with Congress on this?”

Q. “Tony, the Democrats have made it clear for a long time that they’re absolutely opposed to this. This appears to be going nowhere. Are there any other ideas that the White House is exploring that can actually do something about the high gas prices?”

Q. “If $4-a-gallon gasoline is enough to make people rethink drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, is it also enough to make people rethink perhaps raising the CAFE standard requirements for automakers?”

Q. “Why is he pushing Congress on this, and not pushing the oil companies that have 33 million acres of leased area that they aren’t developing . . . ?”

And Q. “Tomorrow President Bush is awarding the Medal of Freedom to General Pace. And in the past when he’s awarded that medal to other architects of the war — George Tenet, General Franks — there’s been some criticism from Democrats that they’re too controversial to give the award to and it’s really just kind of a concession to quiet their criticism, perhaps, of the war in their retirement years. Do you have any response to that kind of criticism?”

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 1:04 pm

Another tasty salad: lentil salad

with one comment

It must be summertime: salads sound so good right now. Miss Ginsu has a very nice-sounding lentil salad. One puzzle: she soaks the lentils before cooking, but lentils are one pulse that require no soaking. So you can skip that step. Note that it’s also a good take-to-work thing: no mayo worries because no mayo.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 12:34 pm

Pasta Salad Niçoise

leave a comment »

This recipe sounds terrific for a take-to-work lunch. Very clever way to avoid mayonnaise worries (to which The Wife is prone). We both love Salad Niçoise and this is a nice extension. Note that the recipe at the link includes a handy timeline:

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 12:21 pm

Friday cat-blogging (why wait till the last minute?)

with one comment

Miss Megs lounging in the sunshine that hits the entrance to the bedroom in late afternoon. What you see there is a happy kitty who desperately needs brushing but wants the brush nowhere near her butt.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 11:53 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

An honorable officer

leave a comment »

The military often forgets honor and is quick to embrace lies, cover-ups, and officer protection schemes. But some  hold fast to the tradition of Duty, Honor, and Country. Here’s one:

When he speaks publicly, Lt. Cmdr. William C. Kuebler, a military lawyer for a Guantánamo detainee, is careful to say his remarks do not reflect the views of the Pentagon.

As if anybody would make that mistake.

In his Navy blues, the youthful commander could pass for an eager cadet. But give him a minute on the subject of his client, a terrorism suspect named Omar Khadr, and he sounds like some 1960s radical lawyer, an apple-cheeked William Kunstler in uniform.

The Bush administration’s war crimes system “is designed to get criminal convictions” with “no real evidence,” Commander Kuebler says. Or he lets fly that military prosecutors “launder evidence derived from torture.”

“You put the whole package together and it stinks,” he said in an interview.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 10:35 am

Excellent question for Pelosi

leave a comment »

From Laura Rozen at War and Piece:

Here’s a question for Pelosi at her press conference today:

Reports of the newest FISA compromise indicate that, on telecom immunity, a federal court would be compelled to grant the telecoms immunity if there was substantial evidence that the Bush administration assured them that the warrantless surveillance program was legal. Doesn’t that actually endorse and extend to private actors the Nixonian view that if the president says it’s legal, it’s legal, regardless of what the law says and the Constitution says? Wouldn’t that set an awful precedent that an administration could get private actors to do whatever they wanted including breaking the law?

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 10:29 am

Finish the McClatchy series

leave a comment »

It’s simply overwhelming. And remember, McClatchy (as Knight-Ridder) was the only news organization that got the facts right about the proposed invasion of Iraq. If only all news organizations were this good…

An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad.


Browse an archive of documents obtained by McClatchy in the course of this investigation.




Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 10:22 am

The anti-telecom-amnesty coalition

leave a comment »

An excellent post on the coalition that has formed to fight telecom amnest and the extension of domestic spying. It begins:

The saying goes that “politics makes strange bedfellows,” and this axiom is especially appropriate to describe the new coalition that has formed to fight “telecom amnesty” legislation. So appropriate, in fact, that the group has adopted the phrase into its title.

Several left-of-center bloggers, Ron Paul activists, and the ACLU joined forces recently to wage a multi-phase offense against so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats, several of whom are accused of acquiescing to the Bush Administration’s demands for telecom immunity. At the center of this war lies a new FISA bill reportedly being drafted by Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer — a bill that news reports say will include retroactive immunity to telecom companies that have participated in illegal wiretapping.

Rick Williams is a trial lawyer and was at the forefront of the online activism that formed around presidential candidate Ron Paul; he was part of the driving force behind the multi-million dollar campaign fundraisers that helped propel Paul into the national spotlight. He and his business partner, Trevor Lyman (who engineered the “money bomb” that raised $6 million for the presidential candidate in a 24-hour period), launched Break the Matrix, a social networking site aimed at harnessing the momentum of the massive online Paul movement. In a phone interview yesterday I asked Williams how this coalition formed. …

Read the entire post. Very interesting.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 10:11 am

Idea for Obama

leave a comment »

I think Obama would surge ahead in the polls if he would actually accomplish something in the course of the campaign. In fact, I wrote this note to his campaign (using the Web site):

Obama can certainly talk the talk. Now I (and millions of others) want to see if he can walk the talk: Can he really in fact lead and accomplish action?

A great opportunity: head off the Democrat’s caving in totally to George Bush on extending domestic spying and on granting immunity to telecoms for the laws they broke.

Obama says that he’s on the right side of the issue—he talks the talk—but I want to see some WALK on this: I want to see him take action, and show that he can prevent this travesty of justice from playing out.

Making the powerful and wealthy obey the law is what millions of Americans want, and if he would deliver on this, he would be recognized as an effective leader, not just a speechmaker.

It really would be a great thing to seem him start effective action even before he’s elected, and this is an issue that the great majority of the public would find appealing—and it would also demonstrate a new course for the Democrats.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 10:05 am

Posted in Election


leave a comment »

I of course had to have leeks again, so I went back to Safeway, and they did indeed have more of those exceptionally fresh and long-stemmed leeks. I bought quite a few, and the woman who was checking me out looked at them and said, “Making soup?”

“No. I cut them in quarters lengthwise, rinse, and cut across in one-inch pieces, then cook them in a little butter until they wilt, add some dry vermouth, cover, and steam.” More than she perhaps she wanted to know, but she made appreciative sounds. “And in fact,” I said, “I lay a salmon fillet on top just before I cover them, and cook that with them.”

“Oh my God,” she said.

“And then,” I said, “I pour some pistachio oil on the salmon when I serve it.”

She turned to the cashier in the next lane and said, “Take over my station. I’m going home with this guy and he’s going to cook me dinner.” 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2008 at 10:01 am

Posted in Daily life

%d bloggers like this: