I have been very critical of Sen. John McCain in the past (see, for example, Why John McCain Does Not Deserve to be President. Ever.), so it’s only right that I should note McCain’s (belated) very good deeds on the torture front. Sen. McCain not only sponsored and got overwhelming Senate support for an amendment to ban torture by the United States, but he is also holding fast against numerous administration end-runs to try to water down his amendment in the secretive conference committee [a conference committee reconciles differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill, prior to presenting the revised version to both houses for re-passage]. The administration, headed by VP Cheney, wants the bill changed so that it only applies to the military; the result would be to allow (or, perhaps, to continue to allow) the CIA to torture people; McCain is pushing back. (See, e.g. Truth About Torture).
It remains unclear what will emerge from the conference. A majority of the House and a large majority of the Senate support McCain’s amendment, but the conferees are stacked with people who are keen to support the administration’s position. We’ll see if they dare. The insiders I hear from are sounding very pessimistic.
Kevin Hayden of The American Street offers up some quotes and links on the subject of $9 billion dollars. More than one set of $9 billion at that.
Yes, Sen. Dirksen, it’s real money.
And it used to be ours, too.
1. Did Sen. Dirksen ever say, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money”?
Marty Schwimmer is not a happy camper: The government has been lying to him. (It’s not about the Plame affair despite the title)
A New Moment of Truth For a White House in Crisis:
John D. Podesta, who was chief of staff to Clinton, said Bush may be more constrained by his troubles than Clinton was by his. Noting that Clinton’s approval ratings remained above 60 percent throughout the impeachment battle, while Bush’s are in the low 40s, Podesta said, “When Clinton said, ‘I’m going back to do my work,’ people cheered,” Podesta said. “When Bush says, ‘I’m going to do the job I’ve been doing,’ people say, ‘Oh, no.'”
It’s the gang that can’t shoot (or even lie) straight. People are fairly mad at FEMA down here, although the screwups being reported are just upsetting not life-threatening.
This should try the kids’ patience: UM will be up and running on Monday…but the local schools will not be. [UPDATE (10/29): the publc schools may be closed, but we've been informed that the kids' schools will be open. Could be an interesting driving day.]
STORM ALERT – HURRICANE WILMA
6:10 p.m., Friday, October 28
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI TO OPEN ON NORMAL SCHEDULES ON MONDAY
All classes, clinical activities, and events on all campuses will resume normal schedules on Monday, October 31.
All members of the faculty and staff are expected to report to work as scheduled on Monday. If you are unable to be at your work site as scheduled, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible and explain your situation.
The University understands that Miami-Dade public schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Therefore, employees are encouraged to arrange for school-age children to be supervised by family or friends. A second and acceptable choice is to bring your child to work, if that would be a practical solution.
Due to University closures for hurricanes this semester, a revised academic calendar has been developed for fall 2005.
I suppose if we still don’t have power, watching a DVD in my office will seem fun….
I am one of the 450 law professors who signed a statement calling on the Supreme Court to grant review of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (No. 05-184), a case challenging the President’s creation of military commissions to try “unlawful combatants”:
We, the undersigned law professors at many law schools, urge that lawyers, jurists, and the public take every opportunity to reassert the rule of law, to reiterate America’s constitutional commitments, and to insist on humane treatment that gives each person a fair opportunity to be heard before impartial tribunals, not ones controlled by the executive.
Thanks are due to to Bruce Ackerman (Yale), David Cole (Georgetown), Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks (Virginia), Deena Hurwitz (Virginia), and Judith Resnik (Yale) for organizing the letter.
Although I completely agree with the text of the statement, I do feel ever so slightly odd about this project because letters like this shouldn’t actually influence what the Supreme Court does. And, I suspect, they don’t actually influence it either. So the project is arguably in poor taste, and probably futile. But I do believe that the issue is of enormous importance … and what else can we do?
No, no, not the indictment (full text). It’s never good news that our government is run by liars and crooks.
FP&L have advanced their estimate of when I get my power back from Nov. 22 to Nov. 15.
I feel like I should feel more grateful.