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Category: Politics

Guns and Butter

I’m not entirely sure what I think about the trend of carrying guns to political events. On the one hand, I don’t object to open carry. It’s the old security versus freedom debate, and I try hard to come down on the side of freedom. I’m also pretty sure the Secret Service knows what it’s doing around Obama.

I’m edgy because it is not the primary job of the Secret Service to protect, say, liberals. Or Congressmen, for that matter. Emotions are running high at the healthcare town halls, and I don’t trust everyone on either side of the issue to be stable.

There’s debate about this in the gun rights community too, for what that’s worth. I tend to agree that there’s something iffy about trying to fuse open carry activism with the health care issue. Are some of these guys getting off on scaring liberals? Well, duh, yeah.

My sincerely proposed solution: defuse the tensions by wearing ACORN shirts or Obama shirts while exercising your right to open carry at Republican town meetings. If you’re really not trying to scare people — if you really just want to bring open carry into the mainstream — flip your causes.

Idle note

Blah blah blah, Joe Lieberman’s web site went down. Lieberman said it was a DoS attack. Maybe it was something else. The quick Daily Kos response was that it was due to cheap hosting.

Now, that response makes no sense. On the one hand, Kos says the server was overcrowded. But, which Kos says was hosted on the same servers, was up. So OK, not an overcrowded server. The hosting provider’s own site is down. Obviously some kind of technical screw up, probably not a DoS attack, but the blithe snarky “this could be fixed in an hour by a competent sysadmin” crap… nah. Kos doesn’t know what’s going on and there’s no obvious explanation.

Meanwhile, Jamie at Firedoglake goes nuts with glee when he finds out Lieberman moved his site to GoDaddy. Which, OK, is kinda funny considering Lieberman’s got the whole anti-smut thing going, but…

“When I was hosted with GoDaddy, it cost me $3.99 a month and is still that price today.”

Dedicated servers starting at $87.18 a month and going up from there. I mean… do some research.

Wait, who?

I’m blithely reading Daily Kos, and there’s another post on a Congress race that’s looking like it might be competitive for the Dems. Not unusual this year. Huh, that name rings a bell for some reason. Wait. Darcy Burner?

That’d be the same Darcy who I knew at Harvard; who filled the co-chair spot at HRSFA after I stepped down; and who was one of my four roomates at the House on the Borderlands back in whatever year that was. (And then I bumped into her again while I was working at Alexa, which is not a very interesting company unless you know that the non-profit side of Alexa was the Internet Archive before Alexa was bought by Amazon.) Well, cool. She’s an awesome person and I have a huge amount of respect for her.

Tipsy turvy

Let’s turn it around. Let’s say a 78 year old lawyer shot Dick Cheney in the face while hunting.

Think it would have taken an entire day before the news was released?

Think the lawyer would have had at least made a statement within a couple days of the incident?

Think the lawyer would be able to skip being interviewed by the police until the morning after the incident?

It’s kind of an unfair comparison; you have to be a little more careful when someone shoots an elected official. Still and all, it’s not as if Vice Presidents shoot people that often. You can probably treat such incidents as serious — rather than “sure, we’ll come back tomorrow and talk about it” — without placing an undue burden on the institution of the Vice President.

Jingle of green

Rep. Boehner was elected House majority leader. This is kind of the most amusing outcome; it’s both a validation of the assertion that the Republican members of the House were too corrupt and a demonstration that the right-wing blogs aren’t much more effective than the left-wing blogs when it comes to Capitol Hill.

Intriguingly, Shadegg dropped out after the first ballot, throwing his support to Boehner. Thanks for campaigning for him, bloggers: looks like he was basically playing kingmaker rather than really running. You could view that as a win in that he’ll have a chunk of influence, I suppose.

Boehner is the guy who handed out campaign checks from the tobacco industry on the House floor in 1995. I’m sure he’s gotten a lot more serious about reform since then, of course. He’s only got… 14 former staffers working as lobbyists, which is almost three times as many as both Blunt and Shadegg combined.


Bush said we shouldn’t make man/animal hybrids; like a lot of people, I was wondering what he meant. I was pretty sure there was some kind of scientific research going on that involved gene therapy, possibly stem cells. It smelled like something prompted by the religious right.


Measuring stick

The liberal blog community just had the limits of its power defined. I expect the argument about whether the Alito cloture vote represents an improvement over the Scalia vote or an embarrassment will continue for some time. Either way, a lot of it was about the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the aisle, the conservative blog community has decided to set up their own power-defining moment. The Republican members of the House vote for their floor leader on Thursday; it’s a three way race between Roy Blunt, John Boehner, and John Shadegg. Shadegg is the reformer. RedState wants Shadegg, Glenn Reynolds is making non-endorsement endorsements, and so on.

It’s an interesting narrative, since endorsing Shadegg is a tacit admission that DeLay was corrupt and that he represented a corrupt culture. It’s going to be more interesting to see if Shadegg wins. I really don’t have any predictions; I don’t have any sense of how influential the conservative blogs are. (Or vice versa; RedState is run by professional Republican political operatives, and cannot be honestly characterized as a grassroots blog.)