aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The Gay Husband Check-list
I’m not endorsing, merely quoting. From ABCNews, The McGreevey Effect: Is Your Husband Gay? a list of ways for women to detect whether or not their husband is gay by Bonnie Kaye, the author of “Is He Gay? A Checklist of Women Who Wonder:”
If your husband thinks you are a nymphomaniac or “pushy and aggressive” because you want sex twice a week.
If sexual activity steeply declines within the first few years of marriage.
You’re always more sexually aggressive than your husband.
If your husband is turned off by the thought of touching your vaginal area or performing oral sex on you.
If his best friend is gay.
If he hangs out in gay bars.
If he enjoys watching gay porn movies and surfing gay porn Web sites.
If he is excessively homophobic, mocking and imitating other gay men.
If he brags about gay men complimenting him on his looks.
In my experience of friends who have gone through this, it’s much simpler: if you suspect it, he is. The hard part is what to do about it. There I can safely say, get help!
Amity Pierce Buxton, the founder of the support group Straight Spouse Network:
“The first reaction is shock and disbelief and some relief, because it explains some unspoken problems that seem to be lurking there,” she said. “The biggest shock is not the revelation but the fact that they’ve been betrayed and deceived for so many years.”
Another way that societal acceptance of gay people would help us all, it would end this hurtful charade.
I’ve been meaning to post this since I heard it last fall in a podcast of the 5-part Food, Ethics and the Environment Conference at Princeton. Events this week make it more timely than ever. I will be quoting it often.
In his keynote speech, “The True Cost of Cheapness,” journalist and Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser articulates the limits of personal responsibility and how it plays into the interests of our corporate food system:
[from the podcast at 01:02:13] For the last 25 years we have been preached a gospel of personal responsibility and personal freedom. That is what has been drummed into our head for the past twenty-five years. Personal responsibility. And I believe in that. I believe in personal responsibility and personal freedom.
But I’m now worried that my own work has stressed that element too much. And this whole idea that every purchase that you make is a vote, and that every purchase that you make has a ripple effect, and that we all must be responsible and ethical consumers. Well, I agree with that, but at the same time there is a pressure on all of us to be pure, to be morally pure, to think that we’re really going to change the world by what we buy and...it gets really hard to be pure. It’s complicated. Well, should I be buying organic or local or should IÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ What should I do?
The pressure is on us and I think that what we buy can make a difference and that we are responsible and that we do have an obligation. But I think that changing the world by what you buy is only going to go so far. And it only works to a point. And after that point I think it is delusion that as consumers we are going to change that system fundamentally or we are going to change the world.
Missing from the discourse, missing from the dialog over the last twenty-five years have been a couple of other phrases. One of them is “corporate responsibility” and the other one is “collective responsibility.” And I stand here honestly saying that I’m not pure, my purchases are not ideal, and maybe some of you in this room are pure but it’s hard to be pure in this country in the year 2006. But ultimately the problems that...I’ve tried to outline are not due to individual faults. They’re really not. They have been caused by big systems. Systems of belief, systems of production, systems of making a profit. And without looking at them from a systemic approach there is no possibility of meaningful change...what we do as consumers isn’t going to make a profound difference. And I think we cannot allow this movement surrounding ethical eating to focus only on our personal responsibility and on consumer power.
Last night Katie Couric reported on a congressional hearing held yesterday:
COURIC: Congress is getting serious about investigating the safety of our food supply. Families victimized by tainted spinach and peanut butter testified today, among them Michael and Elizabeth Armstrong; their daughters...got very sick last fall after eating spinach contaminated with e. coli bacteria. Mr. Armstrong said, “I can’t protect them from spinach, only you guys can.”
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Real American Heroes
Amero sentencing delayed yet again
Says e-computer security:
I determined the rescheduling to May 18th by calling the GA-21 Criminal Clerks office in Norwich Superior Court this morning at about 11:30PM EDST. I was told by the media it was not official yet and I suspect that is why none of the media seem to have picked this up yet. None-the-less, I was told the following, “The Julie Amero sentencing hearing has been rescheduled for May 18th in Norwich Superior Court.” Thus, I have no reason to doubt its accuracy.
For all the others who have not gotten our attention, this is the plea I’ve appended to all of my Amero posts:
WE NEED A COMPUTER FORENSICS INNOCENCE PROJECT; a Barry Sheck and Peter Neufeld of the computer forensics world. We need experts who believe in the presumption of innocence and are willing to spend the time it takes to dig through logs, registry entries and hard drives to find exculpatory material when present. This is not really the first case of its kind and, unfortunately, it’s not likely be the last. Prosecutors who look for - and presume - guilt do selective searches for data supporting guilt; those accused rarely have the resources to pay computer forensics experts to counter that selective evidence.
LATER: It’s official, and apparently comes at the prosecutor’s request, “Tuesday’s motion came at the request of assistant state’s attorney David J. Smith, who prosecuted the case. His request was signed by Judge Hillary B. Strackbein.”
NASCAR Gets First Openly Gay Driver
I’m working on editing the video of the time I drove a car in an enduro-car race in the wilds of central Pennsylvania. Talk about a mid-life crisis! I flipped the car on the 16th lap (and have distrusted the number 16 ever since).
I mention it because among its challenges was the fact that I was a gay man from New York City, an odd duck to find in an enduro racer. The memory is occasioned by word of the first out Nascar driver:
“I’m going to be the first gay pro racecar driver,” Evan Darling said in no uncertain terms in February on the Internet radio show “Lady and the Tramp.” Though, when pressed, he told host Lady Chablis that he considers himself more of “a racecar driver who happens to be gay” than “a gay racecar driver.”
However one wants to define the socially correct parameters, Darling, 39, finally got to live out his dream earlier this month. After slumming in the amateur division for about 13 years, he competed in his first pro race, the Grand-Am Koni Challenge in Miami on April 13.
...in plain English from Common Craft:
Click To Play
No gay Heroes
It absolutely was a path that we were going to take. In the first meetings when we were sitting down and talking about the show, one of the things about the show that Tim said that he wanted all these characters to represent different people in the world and we had an Asian guy and an Indian guy andÃ‚â€¦ a whole bunch of white people. He just wanted it to be a united Benetton cast. I said that’s fantastic, but if we have this many people, then we need to have a gay character. If you want to represent the world, that’s certainly a demographic that we need to hit. [Tim completely agreed and] was thinking Claire’s best friend might be a good person Ã‚â€“ and I couldn’t agree more. So we were definitely going down a route of making [Zach] the gay character and having him have a big role in her life and sort of teaching her to come out about her ability and embrace herself and actually using the coming out metaphor and the gay metaphor in that instance as a fun piece of storytelling.
There was an unfortunate miscommunication and when the script arrived that had the line in it, ‘I would take you to homecoming but you have to know that I don’t like girls that way.’ The actor [Thomas Dekker]’s, manager threatened to pull him from the show because he was up for the John Carter role in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and she didn’t want him playing a gay character because it might affect FOX’s interest in hiring him. It got really ugly.
Considering Heroes is a show about people embracing what’s special about themselves, it would have been great for gay teens see themselves reflected on TV by Zach.
It’s unfortunate and really Ã‚â€“ we only took one line out of the script. In really, in all of our minds, the character was still gay but we couldn’t say it explicitly.
I was very upset by it Ã‚â€“ I was not happy about it at all. There were times I had to avoid talking about it because we didn’t want to have a negative reflection on the show. The show’s been such a positive experience for so many people, we didn’t want to get hung up on the fact that one actor’s management felt that it was a career killer for him to play a homosexual which, as a gay man, I found incredibly insulting.
We had episodes planned for him to be in, and she pulled him from the show altogether. So that’s why he sort of disappeared.
Via Gay Orbit, “It’s a shame that some people think ‘playing gay’ is the impediment it used to be.”
Not your father’s manufactured home
Building a foundation for green living photo gallery. CNet story here.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Maybe pet lovers can get some action at the FDA
We saw a friend who works at PetSmart yesterday and asked about pet food recalls. He says they just keep coming. Apparently pet food manufacturers were trying to spike the products to make claims of higher nutritional value. The FDA is “investigating.” The state health department took action:
In California, state agriculture officials placed a hog farm under quarantine after melamine was found in pig urine there. Additional testing was under way to determine whether the chemical was present in the meat produced by American Hog Farm in Ceres since April 3, the state Department of Food and Agriculture said.
So far, melamine’s been found in both wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China. Media reports from South Africa, where 30 dogs died, suggest a third pet food ingredient, corn gluten, used in that country also was contaminated with melamine. That tainted ingredient has not been found in the United States, the FDA said.
FDA investigators were awaiting visas that would allow them to visit the Chinese plants where the vegetable protein ingredients were produced.
Chocolate: how the FDA worksnew paradigm. Perhaps this suggests what they have in mind:
A little over 100 years ago, Milton Hershey created the nickel bar, the first American chocolate bar for the masses. Today, these small purchases of chocolate products add up to an $18-billion business. Like all foods in the United States, chocolate is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that consumers get a safe and consistent product.
But perhaps no longer. The FDA is entertaining a “citizen’s petition” to allow manufacturers to substitute vegetable fats and oils for cocoa butter.
The “citizens” who created this petition represent groups that would benefit most from this degradation of the current standards. They are the Chocolate Manufacturers Assn., the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., the Snack Food Assn. and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. (OK, I’m not sure what’s in it for them), along with seven other food producing associations.
The FDA makes me (& you) sick!
They are a tool of the food industry to offer you and me the illusion of oversight:
The Food and Drug Administration has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history, documents and interviews show.
Overwhelmed by huge growth in the number of food processors and imports, however, the agency took only limited steps to address the problems and relied on producers to police themselves, according to agency documents. [...]
“We have 60,000 to 80,000 facilities that we’re responsible for in any given year,” [Robert E. Brackett, director of the food-safety arm of the FDA] says. Explosive growth in the number of processors and the amount of imported foods means that manufacturers “have to build safety into their products rather than us chasing after them,” Brackett said. “We have to get out of the 1950s paradigm.”
I’m fine with a new paradigm, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. “Food” should be considered food that you and me eat. Let’s treat it as such rather than as some corporate “product” they can “build safety into!” Let’s all take a good hard look at the paradigm Brackett’s been using:
In the peanut butter case, an agency report shows that FDA inspectors checked into complaints about salmonella contamination in a ConAgra Foods factory in Georgia in 2005. But when company managers refused to provide documents the inspectors requested, the inspectors left and did not follow up. [...]
The FDA has known even longer about illnesses among people who ate spinach and other greens from California’s Salinas Valley, the source of outbreaks over the past six months that have killed three people and sickened more than 200 in 26 states. The subsequent recall was the largest ever for leafy vegetables.
In a letter sent to California growers in late 2005, Brackett wrote, “FDA is aware of 18 outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1995 caused by [E. coli bacteria] for which fresh or fresh-cut lettuce was implicated. . . . In one additional case, fresh-cut spinach was implicated. These 19 outbreaks account for approximately 409 reported cases of illness and two deaths.”
“We know that there are still problems out in those fields,” Brackett said in an interview last week. “We knew there had been a problem, but we never and probably still could not pinpoint where the problem was. We could have that capability, but not at this point.”
Meanwhile, they’re recalling ground beef in five states after “children who ate at Little League baseball snack shacks were sickened by E. coli.” (Reminder, that recall comes from “state health officials” not the FDA.) I’m glad I know where my hamburger comes from.
Code 2.0 is here
From the Preface: “This is a translation of an old book-indeed, in Internet time, it is a translation of an ancient text.” That text is Lessig’s “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace.” The second version of that book is “Code v2.” The aim of Code v2 is to update the earlier work, making its argument more relevant to the current internet.
Towery: “the Wilson case result was not our intent”
On the AJC opinion page today, Matt Towery tells the tale of The Child Protection Act of 1995. That’s the law he introduced under which Genarlow Wilson was convicted for consensual sex with a 15 year-old girl when he was just 17:
In the Senate the bill hit a snag. The chairperson of the committee to which the bill was assigned wanted a bill to raise Georgia’s age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age. Although I am not assigning blame, the bill became victim of the ultimate legislative “Catch 22,” in which one bill couldn’t pass without the other.
When the bill came to the House floor for final approval, many bright minds such as then-state Rep. Roy Barnes and former Speaker Tom Murphy expressed concerns that young people, much like in the current case of Genarlow Wison, might be sentenced to the harsh 10-year prison term originally intended for blatant and extreme cruelty and abuse of children. Ultimately, most members came to believe that the language was vague enough to give leeway and that no prosecutor would ever so abuse the statute and its true legislative intent.
Years after I left the legislature, I learned certain prosecutors were using the bill as a “catchall” to win cases in which an older teen had consensual sex with an underaged teen. The legislature addressed that problem a few years ago, but the bill was not retroactive for cases like Wilson’s.
Towery reminds us that Wilson was found not guilty by a jury; and that legislators showed the “distasteful and sickening” though “irrelevant” tape of the party to achieve their repeated defeat of bills intended to give Genarlow another shot at the legal system.
Apparently there remains some opportunity to review Wilson’s case through the judicial process. I want to make it clear that this column is not designed to place unfair pressure on officials who might be involved. I trust they will do what is right in the end.
But for years now, I have tried every way in the world to point out that the ultimate determining factor in applying legislation is the legislative intent. And the Wilson case result was not our intent.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Know your food - why I bought the cow
Yesterday we had a party to celebrate, honor, and eat some of cow #9: 68 burgers and 6 Boca burgers (nearly 10%, we had a vegetarian station set up).
I’ve been meaning to write the definitive post on why I bought cow #9, but as I put it off and put it off the task grew larger and larger and I realized that there are so many reasons (a click on my Food link will give a good sampling) that there can be no definitive post. What I can simply and honestly say is that the most important among all those reasons was that I could know that this cow, #9, had a good life. And I could know that this cow, #9, had a humane death.
For the party we had pictures of cow #9, and pictures of the abattoir (slaughterhouse) in which he was killed, hung all around the grill and food areas so that people could see and better know what they were eating. As people reacted to those pictures I kept saying, again and again, “know your food.” In that phrase I tried to consciously echo Michael Pollan’s call for glass walls in slaughterhouses.
I reminded my friends that we want to see into the kitchens of restaurants and behind the meat counters of supermarkets at least in part so that we can see for ourselves the condition of the places our food comes from. And so, I said, let’s also look our meat in the eye and dare to see inside our slaughterhouses.
I’m convinced that if we all knew where McDonald’s cheeseburgers come from we would make some different decisions. I know where my cheeseburgers came from because I sat with the man who killed our cow. I know, too, that there are no easy answers about the food we eat, but what I’ve come to believe is that not asking the questions is the worst answer of all.
So now I’ve got to go make some burgers for lunch… The photo above is of our dogs, Baci and Jake, jumping up to see inside the trunk of the car on the day I brought #9 home from the abattoir.
MORE FROM MY COW CHRONICLES: Cow update: The T-Bones!
You are what you grow
Michael Pollan in today’s NYTimes Magazine argues, persuasively, that the Farm Bill should more rightly be called a Food Bill. Here he writes of its impact on immigration:
To speak of the farm bill’s influence on the American food system does not begin to describe its full impact - on the environment, on global poverty, even on immigration. By making it possible for American farmers to sell their crops abroad for considerably less than it costs to grow them, the farm bill helps determine the price of corn in Mexico and the price of cotton in Nigeria and therefore whether farmers in those places will survive or be forced off the land, to migrate to the cities - or to the United States. The flow of immigrants north from Mexico since Nafta is inextricably linked to the flow of American corn in the opposite direction, a flood of subsidized grain that the Mexican government estimates has thrown two million Mexican farmers and other agricultural workers off the land since the mid-90s. (More recently, the ethanol boom has led to a spike in corn prices that has left that country reeling from soaring tortilla prices; linking its corn economy to ours has been an unalloyed disaster for Mexico’s eaters as well as its farmers.) You can’t fully comprehend the pressures driving immigration without comprehending what U.S. agricultural policy is doing to rural agriculture in Mexico.
Are historically Black colleges good for Black students?
Steven D. Levitt summarizes research by Roland Fryer - “his life’s mission to understand every aspect of the economic life of Blacks in America” - and Michael Greenstone on the issues of who attends historically Black colleges and whether it helps:
Here are their key conclusions:
1) In the 1970s going to a historically Black institution was associated with higher wages and higher graduation rates than going to a traditionally White institution.
2) By the 1990s, however, the return to graduating from a historically Black institution fell by 20% relative to a traditionally White school, so that in the 1990s there was a premium associated with going to the traditionally White school.
3) The answer to that reversal does not appear to be due to a change in the mix of students attending the two types of schools, or to differences in expenditure per student.
4) Rather, it appears that the traditionally White institutions have evolved to better serve the needs of Black students.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Three Hillary supporters who carry much wait with me: Christine Quinn, speaker of the New York City Council; Deborah Glick, New York state Assembly member; and Tom Duane, New York state Senator. I’ve been a Duane supporter since he entered politics; the same for Quinn.
Friday, April 20, 2007
XM & Sirus: a merger that fosters competition
I hadn’t thought it through, but James Surowiecki has convinced me:
The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents commercial radio stations, has lobbied hard against the deal, arguing that XM and Sirius compete only with each other. But the very fact that broadcasters are fighting the merger demonstrates that they view Sirius and XM as a threat. Similarly, for fifteen years AM/FM stations have done everything they could to cripple satellite radio, lobbying the F.C.C. to stop its roll-out in the nineteen-nineties and persistently trying to limit the types of programming XM and Sirius can carry. Just last month, a bill was introduced in Congress-for the third time in as many years-that would bar satellite stations from providing local traffic and weather.
Broadcasters understand that a merger between Sirius and XM would help extend satellite radio’s reach, making it a more formidable competitor. Many consumers have hesitated to subscribe to satellite because they didn’t know which company would survive. And desirable content is split between the companies: if you want major-league baseball and Bob Edwards, you need XM, but if you want N.F.L. games and Howard Stern, you need Sirius. Allowing Sirius and XM to merge would eliminate this problem in one stroke. And that would significantly increase the competitive pressure on traditional radio stations, perhaps forcing them to abandon their cookie-cutter model. Paradoxically, by reducing choice you could stimulate more diversity. Sometimes, it seems, you can have fewer competitors but more competition.
Judges battle over lesbian adoption, child suffers for it
I would have posted about this story last week, but I misread details. Elizabeth Hadaway, the lesbian guardian of a now 7 year old girl, tried to adopt her in rural Wilkinson Country, GA. The judge denied the adoption citing the lesbian relationship.
Hadaway left her partner of seven years to move to Macon and file for custody again. There it was granted, but the Wilkinson judge refuses to recognize the new order. The child remains in foster care, the “worst possible scenario” for her according to court documents.
Sunstein on Ginsburg on abortion
In the long run, the most important part of the Supreme Court’s ruling on “partial-birth” abortions may not be Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s opinion for the majority. It might well be Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent, which attempts, for the first time in the court’s history, to justify the right to abortion squarely in terms of women’s equality rather than privacy. [...]
In 1985, Justice Ginsburg, then a federal appeals court judge, argued in the North Carolina Law Review that the Supreme Court might have done better to emphasize “a woman’s autonomous charge of her full life’s course.” Citing a series of decisions on sex equality, she contended that Roe vs. Wade was “weakened Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ by the opinion’s concentration on a medically approved autonomy idea, to the exclusion of a constitutionally based sex-equality perspective.” That perspective received sporadic attention in judicial opinions, but the attention was not sustained, and the privacy rationale has continued to dominate constitutional law.
In this week’s case, Ginsburg, now the only woman on the court, attempted to reconceive the foundations of the abortion right, basing it on principles of equality. Borrowing directly from her 1985 argument, she said that legal challenges to restrictions on abortion procedures “do not seek to vindicate some generalized notion of privacy; rather, they center on a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.”
For Ginsburg, this alternative understanding of the right to choose has concrete implications. It means that any restrictions on the abortion right must, at a minimum, protect a woman’s health. It also means that no such restriction can be justified on the paternalistic ground that women might turn out to regret their choices or are too fragile to receive all relevant information about medical possibilities. In her view, such paternalistic arguments run afoul of the guarantee of sex equality because they reflect “ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution - ideas that have long since been discredited.” [...]
Justice Ginsburg has now sketched an improved understanding of the foundations of the right to choose - and it is important to remember that today’s dissenting opinion often becomes tomorrow’s majority. The equality argument has the firm support of four members of the court (Justice Ginsburg and Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Stephen G. Breyer). It will be interesting to see if, in the fullness of time, Justice Ginsburg’s view attracts a decisive fifth.
I’m convinced it will. And sooner than we might think.
Tom Price’s petty shenanigans
You’ll recall that Republican Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, GA threw a hissy fit on the House floor last month when Mississippi Democrat Gene Taylor questioned his decency for offering an amendment to the Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007 that would have created a substantial hardship for Katrina victims in southern Mississippi.
Price’s amendment failed and in the video of that exchange you’ll see that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) successfully undid much of the retaliatory action Price aimed at Taylor.
In the WaPo today we learn that Price - once “a mannered backbencher” but now “a Republican guerrilla warrior, a near-constant presence on the House floor, gumming up the works with parliamentary objections, verbal volleys and partisan maneuvering” - apparently got back at Frank:
On March 23, as the House was preparing to close down for the weekend, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) went to the floor to ask for consent to correct a clerical error in a House bill. Republican and Democratic staff had already signed off on it, but under congressional rules, such changes need unanimous consent, something routinely granted. Price objected.
“It is an innocent question. And the clerical error was?” Price demanded.
“I don’t know what the clerical error is. I wasn’t particularly concerned. We thought it was routine,” an exasperated Frank said on the floor.
“Would the gentleman be willing to withdraw the unanimous consent request?” Price persisted.
Whatever the error was in the bill, it went uncorrected.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
She told CBS News it was busy and she did not remember him as much as she remembered his package, but not due to its contents, just the address. She had to look up the zip code for Rockefeller Plaza.
The package had been intended to arrive in one day, but the address was wrong. Instead of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, it was “30 Rockefeller Ave.,” and the ZIP code was wrong.
NBC & the video
Siva’s right, material from the killer should not have aired, releasing the video was disrespectful to the victims and their families. And… from the moment I heard there was a video there was no question it would be shown. There’s no stopping it these days - I’m not sure I want to; time, place and manner is another question - but I was shocked to see it the very next day. On another network.
Which puts the lie to NBC’s claim of agonized sensitivity: the NBC News logo, in color, was on every frame. If there was even the slightest notion of some serving of the public interest by showing that video, it was undone by that logo’s branding of the video. It underscored the craven nature of the showing.
In an ideal world I’d hand the material over to officials. Wait for the story to cool. Release without logos (and not with the intention of keeping the story going). Maybe put it on the web, but then every other network would put it on the air anyway.
RELATED LISTENING: Radio Open Source, “what, exactly, is new here? Besides the zeros and the ones, and the ease of dissemination and reconfiguration, is there a difference between a 19th-century suicide note and a 21st-century QuickTime movie?”
Gonzales still standing
Everyone in the world seems to know Alberto Gonzales is a stone around the president’s neck except for Gonzales & Bush. I’m happy for him to stay; more fodder for the press:
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., busts out a big, big chart. Which happens after almost everyone has gone home. The chart compares the Clinton protocol for appropriate contacts between the White House and the DoJ on pending criminal cases with the Bush protocol. According to Whitehouse, the Clinton protocol authorized just four folks at the White House to chat with three folks at Justice. The chart had four boxes talking to three boxes. Out comes the Bush protocol, and now 417 different people at the White House have contacts about pending criminal cases with 30-some people at Justice. You can just see zillions of small boxes nattering back and forth. It seems that just about everyone in the White House, including the guys in the mailroom, had a vote on ongoing criminal matters.
Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., calls this “the most astounding thing” he’s seen in 32 years.
At bottom, the worst ickiness is that while Gonzales thinks he should retain his position despite all he has to apologize for (after all, he has learned from his mistakes), he’s more than willing to point to the single mistake made by his subordinates that doomed their careers, one by one. (Daniel Bogden = low “energy.” Paul Charlton = “poor judgment.” Kevin Ryan = “bad manager.” John McKay = bad “information sharing.” Carol Lam = Carol Lame.) He is willing to detail everything Paul McNulty should have done differently and everything Kyle Sampson did wrong. Time and again Gonzales wants to claim the benefit of the doubt for all the “great things” he’s achieved as attorney general, but he’s the only one who gets it. Second chances only run one way at Justice.
Which leaves Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to ask why the attorney general should not be “judged by the same standards you’ve used to judge the U.S. attorneys.” The senator calls Gonzales’ handling of the situation “incompetent” and “atrocious” and says that it’s generous to call his false claims “misstatements.’” Coburn suggests that “the best way to put this behind us is for you to resign.” Did I mention that he is a rock-solid Republican?