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October 08, 2005


Stevens wants to kil the pandemic flu preparedness bill passed by unanimous consent. offered by harkin, Obama, reid, et al, it was blessed by Frist, who introduced it in a joint Nightline appearance with Reid.

I don't get Stevens. He's making his party look bad.

btw, Stevens' holdup would mean this would not get addressed.

Anyone know if Stevens has always been this thick? I had thought of him as a resonable Republican, but this stuff is just making him look like he's a petty moron.

And Bush's excuse? "I was only *giving* the orders."

And Americans' excuse for not holding its leaders responsible? "Asleep at the wheel of democracy."

I've never been persuaded by anything I've heard or read that Stevens was a decent guy "as Republican Senators go," although the standard, as we are all too aware, has been lowered somewhat over the past 30 years.

Two others who voted against the amendment were the ethical simpletons Kit Bond of Missouri and Pat Roberts of Kansas. If I were a Democrat thinking of running against either of them, I'd be right now drafting some "Senator Torquemada" ads for the campaign.

The Eichmann reference is particularly apt. I just watched a terrific German movie about Hitler's final days. Before every reader says, oh gawd not another of those, I'd just like to say that this was quite special because it showed the "human" side of Hitler in extremis, the final days in fuehrer-bunker as the Russians closed in. Moments of intense poignancy and intense banality as well. Not the least of which was watching how Magda Goebbels (wife of Josef) casually poisoned each of her six children with cyanide capsules rather than allow them to grow up in a world without National Socialism.

Damn! I rented that movie last week. The Hitler one. Looked very good. But, par for the course, didn't watch it.

Maybe on vacation, when I'm internetless.

Could it be the reason Stevens has turned into a royal fuck is because the WH managed to redact his name from all the reports on the Boeing scandal. We know Stevens is the one who slipped the provision in at the last minute, even though McCain I believe had kicked it out already. So he should have been mentioned and wasn't. There are criminal charges coming down related to that and Stevens is avoiding them at the grace of the White House.

Which probably is a very very good explanation for why he's pro-torture.

The movie's called Downfall, and it is quite good.

Whether Stevens ever had a reputation of being a decent Republican is almost irrelevant at this point. Every seemingly reasonable one has gone along with at least some measure of Bush-backed insanity. Did anyone read Norm Ornstein's piece during the nuclear option fight, where he talked about how he'd known Pete Domenici from his early days, and how Domenici's stance on the nuclear thing was utterly unreconcilable with anything he'd believed back then? Whether it's the corruption of power itself, or only the extreme stances taken by this administration, something has turned the Republican party into, essentially, a cult, devoted to victory at absolutely any cost.

Interesting that you mention Domenici. I didn't see the Ornstein piece, but Domenici was one of the "old bulls" who I thought might strike against the Nuclear Option out of fealty to the Senate and the powers of the legislative branch. But so many of those Repubs who had been there forever just sold out their branch of government in supporting the N.O. Thank God Warner took such a lead role; it was getting difficult for me to fathom how every single Repub who had been in the Senate for a long time could just march in lockstep with the WH.

It's also interesting to note that the three main leaders of the Repub caucus in the Group of 14 were the three leaders on this amendment. They may not be great, and McCain is very overrated as a maverick anymore, but at least him, Warner and Graham are capable of thought independent of what they're told to think by the WH.

I read the proposed anti-torture amendment. I would be pleased to see an anti-torture amendment.

But this one is ill drafted garbage. It simply doesn not make sense. I dare anyone to read it and what it incorporates by reference and tell me what it means.

It ought go back to the drafting shop.

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