Saturday, February 24, 2007

This Is Why Bloggers Are So Vital

Especially if you have an ability to retain any information at all, because it is in blogs that you learn things that pass the American public by:
WASHINGTON -- Americans are keenly aware of how many U.S. forces have lost their lives in Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll. But they woefully underestimate the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed.

When the poll was conducted earlier this month, a little more than 3,100 U.S. troops had been killed. The midpoint estimate among those polled was right on target, at about 3,000.

[...]The number of Iraqis killed, however, is much harder to pin down, and that uncertainty is perhaps reflected in Americans' tendency to lowball the Iraqi death toll by tens of thousands.

Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.
34,000 a year is probably more accurate, given the 2004 Johns Hopkins study which showed that over 100,000 Iraqis had died in the first year and a half of war.

Which you read about only on the blogs.

Or the Lancet study of 2006 which showed upwards of 650,000 dead Iraqis. Again, you barely heard about this in the paper or on your nightly news, but you read about it on the blogs.

Here's the shocker:
Among those polled for the AP survey, however, the median estimate of Iraqi deaths was 9,890. The median is the point at which half the estimates were higher and half lower.
Amazing. Simply amazing.

I guess it has something to do with the low expectations of having the same story hammered into your head, day after day. You start to think they're all the same story being rehashed and retold.

But they're not.

We're committing genocide. Remember: you read that charge here first.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Music Blogging

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now

As featured in the movie "Love, Actually". I went out of my way to rip this scene (along with the set up) from my DVD copy because it is one of the finest examples of acting I've seen. Notice the performance that Emma Thompson gives in this scene, tearing your heart out without saying a word or moving a muscle.

Friday Kitten Blogging

Frikkin' water...

Activism In Action

Yesterday, to my unending shame, I heard about this little stunt:
A Republican student group in New York has sparked claims of racism by organising a game called "Find the Illegal Immigrant".

Students will act as immigration officers in Thursday's game and try to find a student in a crowd designated with a badge as the illegal immigrant.

The game has sparked protests from other students with hundreds planning to demonstrate against it.
(emphasis mine, for obvious reasons)

Now, when I attended NYU, the College Republicans got along pretty well with everyone else around them, even us liberal Democrats. Why? Because Republicans in New York tended to be more like Nelson Rockefeller than Strom Thurmond: tolerant, cooperative and willing to talk things out rather than be reactionary.

I see things have changed. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the spirit of the 60s and early 70s, NYU saw a genuine protest yesterday:
Protesters packed a park near New York University yesterday to rally against members of the student Republican club who were playing a game called Find the Illegal Immigrant.

Members of the club who present their NYU identification become "immigration agents" looking for someone wearing a sticker that says he or she is an illegal immigrant. The agent who finds the "illegal immigrant" wins a $50 gift certificate.

About 10 people signed up to play.
(again, emphasis added. Again, for obvious reasons) Hundreds. Versus ten. And I'd bet all ten were members of the "club" (pun intended). That might be enough of a smackdown for me to ignore this story, but somewhere deep inside me is a bubbling, boiling anger.

It did my heart good to read this, particularly in light of the University reaction to the game:"At universities, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas - even difficult and unpopular ideas - is a key mission," NYU spokesman John Beckham said in a statement.

Um, yea. Forum. Exchange of ideas. Not mockery. Not...well, let me have one of the students describe it: "It's a mock lynching," said 20-year-old junior Miranda Siegel, one of the demonstrators at the Greenwich Village campus.

When I attended, and I was pretty active in student politics, we had debates about issues. We asked intelligent, informed speakers to come address the student body. We spoke to both sides of an issue, and sometimes even came up with solutions.

And we'd get five, maybe six hundred people in the auditorium at Loeb. But then again, we weren't so obvious preening and primping our CVs for law school or to get attention. We wanted to deal with issues withOUT inflaming opinion.

Which meant nothing to the head of the College Republicans, Sarah RichWhiteGirlWith Chambers Maids:"This is a productive dialogue," said club President Sarah Chambers, a 21-year-old political science major from St. Louis. "I guarantee you, if we had a debate about the issue, all of these people would not be here."

Oh. Missouri. At least this bitch is from out of town. *whew*

Sarah, honey, let me clue you in. In the words of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, another out-of-towner: "We all spend too much time, I think, worrying about what college students do. Sometimes, and this is clearly a case, they do something that is not only distasteful but just downright stupid."

Get it, stupid? The only dialogue ANYONE should be having is whether your scholarship should be revoked! You tarnished the name of a fine academic institution, one that I was proud, until yesterday, to be an alumnus of.

I presume your real motivation was to land yourself a spot on Fox News, you fraudulent, self-aggrandizing twerp.

You're welcome to it. Just don't drag the rest of society down to your corrupt and inane level.

By the way, to the 10 or 11 people who participated (and to the winner, Fraser Dachille, 20, of Baltimore)?

I hope one day you are stuck in a foreign country without a passport and with no way to get to the American consulate. Shame on you. Shame on you all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

This Is Really Stupid

Hillary, you've already said your answer. Now say it the right way:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It is the vote that will not die, no matter how often Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton explains, defends or takes responsibility for her 2002 decision to back the use of military force in Iraq.

And whether it turns out to be a short footnote or a dead weight on Clinton's White House campaign could be the biggest question in the 2008 Democratic presidential race.

Despite pressure from anti-war Democrats, Clinton has refused to apologize for her U.S. Senate vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq or call it a mistake. The mistakes, she says, were committed by President George W. Bush.
Now, I'm an actor. I'm also a writer. I'm a better actor than I am a writer, something writers have told me every time I tell them how my character should react in a given situation :-)

But let me take a stab at writing your response from now on. Learn it. MEMORIZE IT!
We didn't have the luxury of foresight nor did we have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines. We had to make a choice and to take this weapon out of the President's hands when this nation was clearly under direct assault would have been treasonous. The President misused our trust. He lied to us.

When you give the car keys to your child, who promises not to drink behind the wheel and then crashes the car because he or she was drinking, you can't go back in time and have regrets, you can't say it was a mistake to trust your child. You have to fix the situation, and I will do that when I am President.
Simple. Elegant. Raises the issue of Bush's drunken and deabauching days. Smacks Obama and Edwards, too.

And ends the debate. Period. Even the most far-left moron can follow that logic.

Paging Jenna, NotJenna, And Neo-Con Spawn! Attention Death Cult Descendants!

In a move sure to brighten the hearts of feudalists everywhere...
LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Harry, who is third in line to the British throne, is being deployed to Iraq, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said on Thursday.

Harry could become the first member of the royal family to face combat since his uncle, Prince Andrew, flew helicopters in the 1982 Falklands War. Harry's great-grandfather, King George VI, saw action in World War One.

[....]He has trained to become troop commander and will be leading 12 men in four Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicles.
A codicil here: he will be posted near Basra which is one of the safest cities in Iraq, or so rumour has it.

You know, feudalism had some advantages over our current system, which is feudalist without the responsibilities: the vast number of us, even if we own our own businesses, take a knee to the lord of the manor, who may sign our paychecks, or be our biggest customer.

Corporate feudalism, I like to call it, but it also extends to politics.

In a true feudalist (more correctly in this example, manorialist) society, those who stood to gain the most from a war were at the front lines. They may not have been infantry or regular cavalry, but they stood there and saw the battle and helped direct the troops and yes, rushed into the fray. Why? Because they were forced to under contract to the monarch or local noble.

The vassals and serfs, of course, were the foot soldiers and archers that did the bulk of the fighting and dying, to be sure, but the thing is, if you knew the other side's king was on the field, he immediately became the target with the biggest bull's eye. Vassals in particular were eager to claim amongst coup the lords and royals of the other side, since their lord would grant them rewards of lands and serfs.

This arrangement is fractal, you'll notice: barons, dukes and counts were vassals to the king, the free peasants were vassals to the dukes and barons and counts, and the serfs, quasi-vassals to the peasants. If a king went to war, say in a Crusade, he dragged his knights with him as well as the various nobles as he could reasonably spare from overseeing his lands. Similarly, if a noble had to go join a war that he was contractually committed to (say an invasion of a neighboring shire), he dragged his knights and vassals with him.

What structure does that remind you of? Anyone? A multinational corporation, perhaps? I don't think that's a coincidence, and certainly explains recent corporate developments that ensure protection of the centralized authority of the "kings" of a company (and by extension, the "kings" of the United States, our elected Presidents, who are really more duke than king, but that's a different post. We'll talk about plutarchies some other time).

The difference is, rather than go and get hands dirty and doublets bloody, our current vassals and nobles and royals would prefer to get manicures while those who are least among us fight and die for their hege-money (Oooooh, someone go post that in Wikitionary!). Or as Michael Moore put in in Fahrenheit 9/11:
Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq. And who could blame them? Who would want to give up their child? Would you? Would [Bush]? I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest are always the first to step up, to defend us. They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is remarkably their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?
And, they're under no contractual obligation to do so. After all, this is a "free" society. Until you sign your life away for the $20,000 bonus and $50,000 in college tuition assistance.

Or, again from F9/11, as Orwell puts it in 1984:
In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia but to keep the very structure of society intact.
Heven forfend that society be defined to include all of its citizens.

Draft Jenna and NotJenna now!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hump Day Comedy Blogging

Why They Hate Us

Left Alone At The Altar

Well, looks like it might be a bit tougher to support this surge:
LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to announce a timetable for withdrawal of British troops from Iraq today, with around 1,500 set to return home in the coming weeks.

In a move the Bush administration greeted as "a sign of success," Blair will tell the House of Commons a total of about 3,000 British soldiers will leave southern Iraq by year end if security there is sufficient, British media reported, quoting unnamed government officials. The plan could alter if the situation worsened on the ground
Clearly, however, there's been some arm twisting:
LONDON -- Britain said Monday (26.11.2006) it expects to withdraw thousands of its 7,000 military personnel from Iraq by the end of next year, while Poland and Italy announced the impending withdrawal of their remaining troops.
Yah huh. Let's take a quick recap of the Coaltion, shall we?

Italy? Gone.
Australia? Going. Obama is right. Howard should shut his yap about timetables.
Slovaks? Gone.
South Korea? Going.
Denmark? Plucky little country stuck it out longer than expected, especially in the face of the massive Muslim demonstrations over the cartoon furor, but going.
Romania? Going.
Latvia? Going.
Lithuania? Well, they set a timetable for withdrawal for next year, so going.
Poland? Going.

Czech Republic (100 policemen)
Armenia (46 peacekeepers)
Estonia (40 soldiers)
Japan (600 humanitarian aid workers)
Palau. I think they're one American-born soldier is sticking it out.

So there you have it. We're the only country in the world dumb enough to send MORE troops to this powderkeg...and now even Tony Blair is getting out while he can.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Court Rewards Corporate Murder

Lest anyone hold out hope that the current Supreme Court of the United States, headed by Justice John "Pretty Lips" Roberts is going to be a patrician avuncular court, let him or her read this verdict:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A closely divided Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a $79.5 million punitive damages award won by the widow of a longtime smoker against Philip Morris.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled the huge damages award was unconstitutional because it was intended to punish the tobacco company for harming not just the plaintiff but other smokers as well.

The court ruled that the company, a unit of Altria Group Inc., could not be punished for harm to other smokers in a case involving Mayola Williams, an Oregon woman whose husband died of lung cancer in 1997 after smoking for more than 40 years.
For more than 40 years, it's also been uncovered that cigarettes are the only product that, when used as directed, will kill you.

Not "can". Not "might". "Will".

So if there was ever a case that cried out for punitive damages, it was this one.

You may recall this was the case where the victim smoked for forty years because the cigarette companies fraudulently and knowingly misled people about the health risks of cigarettes. This was the first case that was successful after the Congress of the United States grilled tobacco executives and uncovered numerous internal documents revealing that, in fact, cigarette companies knowingly and willfully published misleading and even illegal information regarding the dangers of smoking.

Ergo, it seems clear to me that, given a reprehensible and illicit pattern of behavior bordering on the criminal, a criminally punitive damage award is in order.

Not according to a very bizarre coalition of moderates and conservatives on the Court, however, who pointed out that the Oregon award was made in large part to punish a defendant for harming those who are not parties to the lawsuit, e.g. other Oregonians who smoke.

The dissent is where the truth really lies:
Ginsburg in her dissent cited "abundant evidence" of the potential harm the company's conduct caused. Stevens said he saw no reason why a wrongdoer should not be punished for harming persons who are not parties before the court.
Which I believe it true. If, say, General Electric pollutes nearly an entire county of upstate New York, say, Love Canal, then everyone in that county PLUS the surrounding counties, suffers.

Likewise, when a tobacco company puts out a deadly product then lies about its effects, those lies don't just harm that smoker: his family, friends, co-workers, fellow commuters, all have inhaled his second-hand smoke, but not enough to warrant a class action suit. There are other costs to the community that cannot possibly be accurately measaured, and yet are part of the ultimate cost of the lies and deceptions of the product in question, it's manufacturer and distributor.

This is a shameful example of how corporations in America have the government in their back pockets.

For the full year 2005, cigarette shipment volume for Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI), Altria Group, Inc.'s international tobacco business, increased 5.7% to 804.5 billion units. Widespread volume gains in many markets, particularly Egypt, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine, coupled with acquisitions in Indonesia and Colombia, were partially offset by lower shipments in the EU. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, PMI's cigarette shipment volume increased 0.7% versus 2004. PMI's total tobacco volume, which included 7.1 billion cigarette equivalent units of other tobacco products (OTPs), grew 6.1% versus the prior year, and 1.2% excluding acquisitions.

Operating companies income rose 19.2% to $7.8 billion due primarily to higher pricing, as well as the impact of acquisitions of $341 million, positive currency of $331 million, higher income from the return of the Marlboro license in Japan, the impact of a one-time inventory sale in Italy and a favorable comparison with 2004 when PMI recorded a $250 million charge for the E.C. agreement. These were partially offset by unfavorable volume/mix, higher R&D, manufacturing, distribution, trade and selling expenses and higher asset impairment and exit costs.

Senator Big Dog

First, let me say that, for sure, if Bill Clinton were guaranteed the Senate seat held by to-be-elected Hillary Clinton, I would vote for Hillary in a heartbeat and full-throated endorse her right now:
WASHINGTON - It's the year 2009 and William Jefferson Clinton, the newest member of the Senate Fisheries subcommittee, is waiting, tray in hand, for the Senate cafeteria cashier to ring up his turkey burger, banana and Diet Coke.

The scenario may seem far-fetched (the Secret Service would probably be holding his tray), but Clinton would find himself in the Senate if some former aides have their druthers.

Two events would have to happen first: Hillary Rodham Clinton would have to be elected president and Gov. Eliot Spitzer would have to appoint the first husband as New York's junior senator.

"There was a period of time in Bill Clinton's life, during his Georgetown and Rhodes Scholar years, when he wanted to be the senator from Arkansas," said DePauw University journalism professor Ken Bode, a former national political correspondent for NBC.

"This wouldn't be the first time that the thought crossed Bill Clinton's mind - if it's really crossed his mind" recently.
Senator Bill Clinton...has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

This would accomplish a myriad of good things for Democrats and the middle class. First, it would give Hillary a presence in the Senate chamber that no other President has ever had, and therefore an outsize influence to work with a Hillary Clinton administration.

Second, it would put Bill Clinton, the Big Dog, back in the game, something America sorely needs after two administrations of, well, complete and utter miserable failure. We need a diplomat and coalition builder, particularly as Hillary is seen as such a polarizing figure.

Third, well, let's just say that the deeply neo-conservative right has taken a fresh look at the Clinton presidency and realized they may have been a little hasty in judging it so harshly...I mean, when the co-publisher of (funded by vile anti-liberal Richard Mellon Scaife) calls the Clinton years "not bad", you have to assume there's a motive behind it all.

Or perhaps they just see the handwriting on the wall that Hillary is unstoppable. This is an interesting news day for the Clintons, to be sure.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Eight Little Words

Winning Back The Middle Class Majority
One Family At A Time

by Senator Chuck Schumer
© 2007
Rodale Press, 274 pages

The 2006 election was about correcting past mistakes. The electorate, realizing what a boondoggle they had gotten themselves into with Bush's invasion of Iraq and the Republican's moral turpitudes, took it upon themselves to strike back.

You might think, then, that Senator Chuck Schumer, a moderate-to-liberal Democrat ( I joke that he's two strokes away from being the next Ed Koch) who was in charge of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, would be proud and happy of that fact.

Not so much. In fact, he sees it as nothing more than an opening. An opening to wrest twenty five years of agenda-making from the Republican party and to re-open a dialogue with the middle class in America. An opening to gain back control of the nation's agenda and to move forward with the world.

The book has two parts: the obligatory semi-biographical information, creating a context for the second part, the actual solutions he proposes to put the Democrats back consistently into the win column. This being Chuck Schumer, a man who is not averse to talking about himself, the first part of the book is more about him and his career than any relevance to what is to come. Some of the vignettes and stories are fascinating to be sure, some "inside baseball" politics from a man who's spent 25 years in Washington, but if he had stayed relevant to the discussion, I suppose he would not have gotten a book advance so much as an advance to write a large pamphlet.

Schumer has spent his political career looking out for "The Baileys," a mythical average American middle class family with two kids, two jobs, a big mortgage and a nice life. He charts how the Baileys were Democrats, then became Republicans and are now at the cusp of choosing their political party for the next generation.

See, the 2006 elections, according to Schumer, were an endorsement of negatives: no more war, no more tax cuts, no more unethical behavior. Prior to 2006, the Republicans had been very successful for a very long time with eight little words: War in Iraq. Cut taxes. No gay marriage.

While the issues themselves have shifted over the years, these eight words summed up people's perceptions (incorrect though they were) of the Republican party: strong on security, wanting government out of people's lives, strong moral backgrounds.

One could write a book about those lies, but that's a digression. Combine these values with the overpowering GOP media machine and their willingness to create an atmosphere of fear (think "terror alerts" or "welfare queens" or "gay marriage") and cohesiveness, and you had an unbeatable combination.

One can see his point. Up until the 2006 election, these stances kept people assured and happy. The thing is, those stances eroded over time. People realized that the tax cuts benefitted the wealthy ahead of the middle class, that strength to the GOP meant unwise and foolish choices, and that morality was a double-edged sword.

Too, the Bailey's concerns shifted in tandem with this erosion. Where once they aspired to fewer taxes and smaller government, in this day and age of fast-moving changes and global competition and instantaneous upheavals of outsourcing and job cuts and targeting by terrorists, they actually want government protection and they are willing to pay for it to ensure their futures and their children's futures.

Schumer's solution to these troubles as well as the fears of overtaxation and over-regulation can be summed up as "The Fifty Percent Solution".
- Increase reading scores by 50% while reducing the property taxes that pay
for education by 50%. Increase the number of college graduates who can compete
in this economy by 50%.

- Reduce illegal immigration and increase legal immigration by 50%.

- Reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 50%.

- Reduce cancer mortality, childhood obesity, and abortions by
...and so on.

No, this is not a wholly progressive agenda and Schumer addresses that. He believes that by ignoring middle class concerns, by not listening to the Baileys of the country, the Democrats put themselves in danger of not just marginalization, but of extinction. After all, it was only two years ago that they lost seats in the Senate and nearly created a filibuster-proof majority for the Republicans.

Which makes his accomplishments as DSCC chairman that much more impressive.

He gets very specific in his proposals, wonky to an almost-Clintonian level, but always frames the issues and solutions so that the Bailey family can comprehend them. It's a verey interesting read and makes a great companion to Take It Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future by James Carville and Paul Begala.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Another Rift In The Wall

A few days ago, someone handed me a story about a legislator in Georgia who wanted the teaching of evolution as science banned in schools, because he had incontrovertible proof that evolution was made up in some grand Jewish conspiracy.

I took the story seriously enough, but didn't write it then, because I was waiting for this:
ATLANTA -- A Jewish organization is demanding an apology from a Georgia legislator for a memo that says the teaching of evolution should be banned because it is a myth propagated by an ancient Jewish sect.

State Rep. Ben Bridges denies writing the memo, which attributes the Big Bang theory to Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.[...]

Marshall Hall, president of the Fair Education Foundation, says the Republican lawmaker gave him approval to write the memo, which has been distributed to legislators in several states, including California and Texas.
Uh huh. Mind you, the memo came out on the letterhead of a member of the Texas State Legislature specifically citing Bridges' and over his signature. But I'll be the font doesn't exist on any typewriter he's even owned. *snark*

The memo itself is worth a read if only to get your blood flowing faster. Not that it will make you angry, no no! It's too ridiculous for that, like reading a Mad Magazine parody, but the breathless pace at which this memo was clearly dictated infuses the entire screed with this sort of "The Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg planted bobms in the World Trade Cent...WE'RE FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES HERE!" urgency, like a kid with a load in the bomb bay, and five miles to the nearest bathroom.

The Anti-Defamation League's response was fairly measured, and I'll explain why on the other side:
"Your memo conjures up repugnant images of Judaism used for thousands of years to smear the Jewish people as cult-like and manipulative," wrote Bill Nigut, the league's Southeast regional director.
Now, you might recall the Anti-Defamation League as the organization that came up with this doozy:
The Quigleys and the Aronsons had been engaged in an escalating series of petty disputes prior to this incident. The ADL advised the Aronsons to tape the Quigleys (a tactic which had recently been made illegal). The ADL also labelled the Quigleys as violent anti-Semites in a press conference which led to felony federal charges being filed against them.

The Quigleys successfully sued the ADL for falsely portraying them as anti-Semites.

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham wrote "it is not unreasonable to infer that public charges of anti-Semitism leveled by the ADL will be taken seriously and assumed by many to be true without question. In that respect, the ADL is in a unique position of being able to cause substantial harm to individuals when it lends its backing to allegations of anti-Semitism." The judge concluded that the ADL supported the Aronsons' accusations without investigating the case, or weighing of the consequences.
Or perhaps this little gem:
In 1974, ADL national leaders Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein published a book called The New Anti-Semitism (New York, 1974), arguing that a new kind of anti-Semitism is on the rise. In 1982, ADL national leader Nathan Perlmutter and his wife, Ruth Ann Perlmutter, released a book entitled The Real Anti-Semitism in America (New York, 1982). In 2003, ADL's national director Abraham Foxman published Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (San Francisco, 2003), where on page 4 he states: "We currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s—if not a greater one."
Really? I don't see anyone building ovens...

OK, so why is this getting interesting to me?

Two words: Abraham Foxman. Foxman, a Roman Catholic (yes, you read that correctly), is head of the ADL. He was also one of the few public religious figures during Watergate to voice unvarnished support of Richard Nixon, as well as faith in his honesty.


Foxman has been in the pocket of the neo-fascist neo-conservative movement since that time, supporting Reagan and both Bushes for President, despite his half-hearted support for gay rights (specifically, he protested the Boy Scouts efforts to remove gays from their ranks, but more because many of the temples and synagogues he's worked with offer the ir facilities for Scouts to meet in). He was also instrumental in setting Bill Clinton up one last time on his way out the door, by urging Clinton pardon felon Marc Rich. Who just happened to donate $250,000 to the ADL in the run-up to the pardon.

We remember what happened next.

So to say Foxman's reaction in the Bridges' uproar was measured is...well, let Jude Wanniski say it:
"I think you have to offer Abe Foxman an early retirement or flat out fire him...Abe has become drunk with power, swinging his weight around knowing he can label anyone who challenges him an anti-Semitic bigot."
Indeed. And note in particular that the response says nothing about evolution or creationism or education. Foxman's just pissed because someone picked on the Jews.

What's interesting is to see how this plays out in the future for neo-conservatives, many of whom are Jewish and what Chuck Schumer likes to call "economic royalists", and the theocracy wing of the Republican party.

Could be Armageddon...