Later On

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

Archive for April 2009

Interesting tale of the West

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In a way, the Old West. Read it here.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Daily life

Movies that seem alike to me

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Not only do I like them all and enjoy rewatching them, but they seem to be a genre of sorts:

  • Blow Dry
  • That’s The Way I Like It
  • Kinky Boots
  • Greenfingers
  • Calendar Girls

Give me time and I could find more examples of this genre. What to call it?

Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

Another Democrat to dump

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Though this one lurks in the House, not the Senate. Mike Lillis reports:

Toward the end of Thursday’s House debate on credit card reform — legislation that passed with broad bipartisan support — Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) took to the floor to attack a Republican attempt to delay the vote until a drawn-out study could be performed.

“We should not delay one day more the suffering of the American consumers at the hands of deceptive practices of the credit card industry,” Gutierrez said.

This is a weird thing for Gutierrez to say because the original bill would have put the new consumer protections into place 90 days after the bill passed — and then Gutierrez, as chairman of the House Financial Services subpanel on consumer credit, pushed that timeline from three months to 12. Good of him to draw the line of what constitutes an acceptable delay at 275 days and not 276.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 4:29 pm

Church-going support for torture

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Interesting post by Spencer Ackerman:

Via Adam Serwer, the Atlantic’s Chris Good notes a correlation between church attendance and support for torture in a new Pew study:

A combined 54 percent of at-least-weekly church-goers say torture is either often or sometimes justifiable; for those who attend monthly or a few times a year, that figure is 51 percent; for those who do not attend, it is 42 percent.

Evangelicals, according to the survey, are more prone to saying torture is justifiable than members of the nation’s other two main Christian groups: so-called “mainline” Protestants and white, non-Hispanic Catholics. Unaffiliateds–a conglomerated group of atheists, agnostics, and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular–support torture the least: 40 percent say it’s justifiable often or sometimes.

An emailer notes to Good, “I’m hoping they aren’t approving of torture for the sake of causing pain, but rather find it necessary in order to protect the country from attack.” Uh, that’s more Christlike? You can torture people when you think you have good reason? Like Adam says, remember this the next time the right talks about the collapse of moral values in America heralded by two people of the same gender who seek to spend the rest of their lives together in matrimony.

Of course, it’s well known that much torture is due to fervent religionists: the Spanish Inquisition (didn’t expect that, did you? No one ever does.), the burning at the stake of witches and heretics (technically execution, but I think it also deserves a check under "torture").

Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 4:27 pm

Dick Cheney’s Torture Hypocrisy

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Joe Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame):

The disinformation campaign to manipulate public opinion in favor of the invasion, the torture program, and the illegal exposure of a clandestine CIA agent—my wife, Valerie Plame Wilson—were linked events. In their desperate effort to gather material to whip up public support, Cheney and others resorted to torture, well known in the intelligence craft to elicit inherently unreliable information. Cheney & Co. then pressured the CIA to put its stamp of approval on a series of falsehoods—26 of which were inserted into Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech before the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, Cheney was furiously attempting to suppress the true information that Saddam Hussein was not seeking yellowcake uranium in Niger. After I published the facts in an article in The New York Times in July 2003, Cheney tried to punish me and discredit the truth by directing the outing of a CIA operative who happened to be my wife.

Among other documents Cheney should release is his testimony to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald about the role he played in the treasonous leak of the identity of a covert CIA officer. His chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury for his efforts to ensure that the “cloud over the vice president,” as Fitzgerald noted, was not penetrated.

As a witness in the Libby case, Cheney has the legal grounds to …

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Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 3:15 pm

Good evaluation of Obama and foreign policy

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This evaluation is by Daniel Larison (Ph.D., History), a contributing editor at The American Conservative:

Critics have been belittling President Obama’s recent visit with Latin American leaders as a “contrition” and "apology" tour. But a more accurate tag would be “accountability” tour, and it’s long overdue.

During the Summit of the Americas last week, Obama avoided the hectoring condescension that all too often marked American foreign policy during the Bush years. Instead, he demonstrated that the American case can be made with a combination of humility and accountability. This shift in tone happens to be the best path for improving America’s reputation abroad, and for increasing U.S. influence. In fact, it has already had the effect of reducing tensions with Russia, opening doors for collaboration with alienated allies such as Turkey, and isolating inveterate critics of the United States to the margins of international discourse.

Most controversially, Obama last week met and shook hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who continues to consolidate his power and tighten control over Venezuelan civil society. Obama also chose not to answer Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s long tirade against U.S. policy. This has led to accusations that Obama has encouraged authoritarian and left-wing leaders in Latin America while discouraging their political opposition. But such complaints fail to grasp that these leaders have always thrived on demonization by Washington.

What is interesting about Obama’s non-confrontational approach to both leaders is that it suggests Obama has learned not to feed the proverbial trolls. On the one hand, Obama has shown a willingness to engage hostile or critical foreign leaders in discussion. But he has also shown no desire to participate in international polemics, perhaps because he has come to see that the U.S. gains nothing from such confrontations. Better still, by largely ignoring the rantings of anti-American zealots, Obama may be able to split persuadable critics of America from those who are reflexively and genuinely anti-American. In an amusing irony, Obama, who is often accused of being an insubstantial rhetorician, has refrained from the long-winded, idealistic bluster on the international stage that his predecessor frequently indulged in. And it may already be paying dividends.

For instance, …

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Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 3:13 pm

Jay Bybee, Federal judge

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Written by LeisureGuy

30 April 2009 at 2:40 pm

Posted in GOP, Government, Law

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