TAE has been fairly pre-occupied lately, hence the sparse output in the last couple of weeks. I have, however, taking note of a few things worth pointing out.
Last week Judge Alito finally and happily became Justice Alito, much to the chagrin of raving loons like Ted Kennedy. The Guardian
, demonstrating again its fundamental lack of understanding of American politics, recapped Alito's rise
to the Supreme Court by claiming that Aliot got the nomination only because Bush's first choice, Harriet Miers, was too "moderate". According to Simon Jeffery:
Mr Alito, a US court of appeals judge since 1990, was put up for the court when Harriet Miers, Mr Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, withdrew herself from consideration. Social conservatives looking for a justice who shared their values had harshly criticised the president for nominating an apparent moderate.
Just what made it "apparent" to Jeffery that Miers was indeed a "moderate", much less that this was the reason for her being forced to withdraw, is a mystery. Certainly, to whatever extent that social conservatives were concerned about her political leanings, what bothered them was not what was known about them, but rather what wasn't known. Given her total lack of any experience in constitutional law, it was nearly impossible to determine independently whether she was a judicial conservative, liberal, or something else. But regardless, anyone who followed the Miers debacle with any attention (ie not, apparently, The Guardian
) knows that the primary focus of conservative attacks upon her
was that utter absence of judicial experience and distinction, not any evidence that she was an "apparent moderate."
Matt Frei's latest diary entry
on the BBC focused on the the President's latest State of the Union address, and the decreasing interest Americans seem to be showing in it. In what was otherwise a fairly inoffensive and mildly interesting piece, Frei demonstrated quite well that characteristic BBC tic (recently and surprisingly pointed out by none other than Justin Webb
) of assuming that all would be well with the rest of the world if only America would behave properly. According to Frei, the current crisis of Iranian pursuit of nukes led by a man who denies the holocaust and psuhes for the destruction of Israel can be firmly traced back to, and blamed on, a previous SOTU in which Bush decried Iran as a part of the "axis of evil", a claim which Frie describes as a "self-fulfilling prophecy."
In 2002, Iran still had a strong impulse for secular, democratic reform. But since it was already declared a basket case by Potus, the extremists have been doing their level best to prove him right.
Right. Iran, firmly on the path to freedom, peace and democracy, took a drastic turn towards authoritarianism and nuclear armament simply to spite Bush. It's a theory, I guess.
And finally, from today's top story in the Times
, a clear sign
that the death of reason has arrived and the apocalypse is nearly upon us.
NURSES want patients who are intent on harming themselves to be provided
with clean blades so that they can cut themselves more safely.
Just think about that for a while.