The Education President

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

Republicans just shouldn’t be in the education business.  Not since Quayle instructed a student to spell the word potato incorrectly, have we seen a boner like this: It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of—and the allegations—by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in … Read More

Worse Than Appeasement

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, IraqLeave a Comment

Not long ago, the right-wing blogosphere was chastizing the left because (supposedly) we all wanted to “appease” Saddam.  Of course, “appeasement” in our view meant inspections, fly-overs, sanctions and a whole host of other active efforts which—let’s be honest—are just the opposite of appeasement. Today’s LA Times has a piece by former NSC director Steve Andreasen which takes Bush to … Read More

NASCAR – The Sport of Pussies?

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

I don’t get the appeal of NASCAR.  I really don’t.  It’s as exciting to watch as butter melting, except when they crash, and I don’t find human mutilation to be entertaining. I’ve always assumed that there is some technical prowess involved for the drivers, but as a spectator, I can’t appreciate it because I can’t see what they are doing.  … Read More

New Rule on Amnesty International

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Foreign AffairsLeave a Comment

NEW RULE: Amnesty International is a legitimate source for human rights violations of other countries, but is an unreliable and irresponsible source for reporting on the U.S. On March 27, 2003, Rumsfeld said: We know that it’s a repressive regime…Anyone who has read Amnesty International or any of the human rights organizations about how the regime of Saddam Hussein treats … Read More

War Snapshot

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

The insurgents are on the run, says the blind man. BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 28 – The surge of violence that has swept Iraq since its first elected government took office nearly a month ago continued Saturday, with at least 30 new deaths reported across the country, some of them in what appeared to be sectarian killings. The latest attacks raised … Read More

Too Little, Too Late

Ken AshfordRepublicansLeave a Comment

The headline says it all: Republican Party to require ethics training for candidates. COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Saying he’s “mad as hell” over recent ethical missteps by Republicans, state GOP Chairman Robert Bennett is planning to require all candidates seeking party support to undergo ethics training. This pertains to Ohio only (Bennett is the Ohio State GOP Chairman), but one … Read More

The New Postmodernism (or A Short and Hypocritical History of Media-Bashing)

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

E.J. Dionne has a must-read about conservative media-bashing, using the Newsweek-Koran outrage as a launching-off point.  The key graf (for me) is this: Conservative academics have long attacked “postmodernist” philosophies for questioning whether “truth” exists at all and claiming that what we take as “truths” are merely “narratives” woven around some ideological predisposition. Today’s conservative activists have become the new … Read More

On Presidential Dynasties

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

USA Today reports that, according to a recent USAToday/CNN/Gallop poll, 53% of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008 (Link). I’m frankly surprised that 53% of Americans have an opinion at all about who they would vote for in 2008, and it leads me to wonder if “I don’t … Read More

Qu’ran Mishandling Confirmed

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Developing story, but here’s what is known so far: WASHINGTON – U.S. officials have substantiated five cases in which military guards or interrogators mishandled the Quran of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but found “no credible evidence” to confirm a prisoner’s report that a holy book was flushed in a toilet, the prison’s commander said Thursday. [Source] Of course, the … Read More

North Carolina Update

Ken AshfordGodstuff, IraqLeave a Comment

What a backwater state this can be sometimes.  First, we had the Baptist preacher who kicked members of his parish out because they voted for Kerry (but, fortunately, there was a happy ending).  And then we had another Baptist preacher who posted a sign in front of the church saying “The Koran should be flushed.” (Afghani deaths: Unknown). And then, … Read More

Juan Cole Lays It Out

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Do yourself a favor and read it.  These are the closing paragraphs, but the support for his argument preceeds it: Therefore, I conclude that the United States is stuck in Iraq for the medium term, and perhaps for the long term. The guerrilla war is likely to go on a decade to 15 years. Given the basic facts, of capable, … Read More

Judicial Activism

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, GodstuffLeave a Comment

It’s one thing (a constitutional thing) for a private citizen to criticize another citizen’s religion, but this is entirely different . . . and unconstitutional: An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge’s unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to “non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals.” The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion … Read More

Quotes That Make You Go “Hmmmmmm”

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." — President Bush, 5/24/05 Oh yes, George.  We know, we know. TOO-GOOD-TO-LEAVE-IN-THE-COMMENTS-SECTION UPDATE:  Lizard Queen completes the circle, by comparing the Bush quote to FDR’s: "Repetition does not transform a … Read More