Monday, December 26, 2005

Blogging the Blogs

The complete final text of the McCain legislation is at Balkinization.

Kieran Healy passes along some Christmas wishes that are well worth taking to heart.

Via Atrios, Steve Chapman has a scathing critique of the Bush presidency:

President Bush is a bundle of paradoxes. He thinks the scope of the federal government should be limited but the powers of the president should not. He wants judges to interpret the Constitution as the framers did, but doesn't think he should be constrained by their intentions.

He attacked Al Gore for trusting government instead of the people, but he insists anyone who wants to defeat terrorism must put absolute faith in the man at the helm of government.

His conservative allies say Bush is acting to uphold the essential prerogatives of his office. Vice President Cheney says the administration's secret eavesdropping program is justified because "I believe in a strong, robust executive authority, and I think that the world we live in demands it."

But the theory boils down to a consistent and self-serving formula: What's good for George W. Bush is good for America, and anything that weakens his power weakens the nation. To call this an imperial presidency is unfair to emperors.

Even people who should be on Bush's side are getting queasy. David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says in his efforts to enlarge executive authority, Bush "has gone too far."
What we have now is not a robust executive but a reckless one. At times like this, it's apparent that Cheney and Bush want more power not because they need it to protect the nation, but because they want more power. Another paradox: In their conduct of the war on terror, they expect our trust, but they can't be bothered to earn it.

Over at Just a Bump in the Beltway, Charles Roten puts the "UMass Student Visited by Homeland Security Over Little Red Book" hoax in perspective:

Long story short: the UMass Dartmouth student who was the original complainant was lying his ass off. And later 'fessed up, when confronted by the spectacle of the elephant in his living room.

Although he is an authentic scumbag, this does put the kid a couple of cuts above W and his buddies, who have yet to 'fess up to the lies which have buried more than 2000 Americans, uncounted thousands of Iraqis, and the nation-state of Iraq, soon to be either de-facto partitioned or else slide into outright civil war.

Also at Just a Bump, Matt Zemek has a reflection on Christmas that you will never hear from Bill "Christmas Must Be Protected" O'Reilly:
One of the enduringly poignant elements of the Christmas story is that Jesus and his parents weren't allowed a room at an inn. If we're to honor the spirit and meaning of Christmas, we must see the Baby Jesus in the guise of all the others who lack room at the inns and homes of America. Then, having made this connection, we must make room in our hearts and our lives for these same folks. Our hearts must become the inns and shelters where Jesus--the incarnate God who endures within every one of us--can be revealed, acknowledged and celebrated.

For the poor to have an inn in which to sleep and rest, they must first find an inn within the hearts of people like you and me. Remember "the inn within yourself" this Christmas, and encourage others to make room for Jesus in the most sacred dwelling place of all: your own very large heart.

"A great miracle happened there." May miracles continue to happen, even in our own time.

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