Thursday, December 20, 2007

This 'n' that

A major news outlet has indicated some preliminary interest in the steroids-in-baseball paper I have worked up; let's see what happens. It should be ready for real release by--I hope--the start of the coming week.

Meanwhile, Joan Walsh at Salon reports on the clash at The New York Times between sports columnists who can't agree on whether the long singling-out of Barry Bonds was unfair. Walsh sides with black writer William C. Rhoden, who--like many others--clearly implies that there is a racial component to the fanatic and savage attacks on Bonds. I concur.

Elsewhere . . .

Unsurprisingly, California and the other 16 or more states whom the EPA yesterday denied the right to set their own auto-emissions standards above and beyond the EPA's own will be seeing the EPA in court.

Also perhaps unsurprising, considering the current administration, experts say that the EPA's decision was remarkable, and not in a positive way. "This decision baffles me – it makes no legal sense at all," says Bruce Buckheit, a lawyer and former director of the air-enforcement division of the EPA until he retired in 2003. In a detailed legal analysis of California's waiver request for a private client, he says he found no conflict under the Clean Air Act between the EPA and California regulatory authority.

Some suspect that a key factor in the EPA's new position is the Bush administration's concern--echoed by industry groups--that granting California a waiver to regulate auto emissions could quickly lead to greenhouse-gas regulations for other industries. Deary me, that might even lead to--gasp!--clean air! Can't be havin' with that: it might cost some energy multi-billionaires a few bucks.

U.S. News and World Report's Marianne Lavelle points out that while the Bush administration's decision on California's climate change program wasn't made on a Friday (always the day for burying unpleasant news), it was made after business hours the week before Christmas, and about eight hours after President Bush signed into law an energy bill that the administration obviously thinks will give it perfect cover for what it has done.

Is there anything whatever, any least, teeniest, tiniest thing whatever, that this administration has done that is not nauseating? And we thought Nixon had nailed Worst President Ever to the mast so firmly that no one would ever after be able to dislodge it. Ha!

If Rudy Giuliani's brief illness on the campaign trail was nothing of consequence, why is his staff so very reluctant to let out any information on it? if it was just a dose of the flu, as they are implying, why the secretiveness? Is it just Giuliani's notorious and chronic fetish for secrecy?

As just about everyone is noticing Giuliani's campaign, whose strategy has puzzled observers from the start, is now faltering (to put it mildly). Of course, Huckabee's surge is still consider by most his 15 minutes of fame, but it is at the least indicative of neither Giuliani nor any of the other front-runners being exactly to their party's taste.

Here's an intriguing stat: The 49-member Senate Republican minority has done something no Senate minority in American history has ever done: they’ve filibustered more bills than any Congress ever has — and they broke the record with a full year to spare. Moreover, as Glenn Greenwald at Salon notes, "this extraordinary obstructionist behavior has hardly been highlighted at all by most journalists covering Congress. Part of the reason for that is the fault of Senate Democrats, who have, in essence, allowed Republicans to filibuster without forcing them actually to filibuster, thus removing the theatrical display of the obstructionism." Thank you yet again, Broken Reid.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed this: