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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, May 13, 2005

CBS Is At It Again

You'd think they had learned their lesson.

Rush Limbaugh is reporting on his website that CBS News (either interviewer Gloria Borger or a producer working for CBS Evening News) took a Ken Starr quote provided in an interview that pertained to the practice of "invoking judicial philosophy as a grounds for voting against a qualified nominee of integrity and experience" and portrayed it on Monday evening's broadcast as a criticism of the Senate Republicans' effort to "invoke the nuclear option" as it pertains to ending filibusters of judicial nominees. The two have nothing to do with one another.

First the Starr quote used by CBS:

STARR: This is a radical, radical departure from our history and from our traditions, and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government. It may prove to have the kind of long-term boomerang effect, damage on the institution of the Senate that thoughtful senators may come to regret. (link)

Then Rush's (and Starr's) explanation of the alleged deceit:

RUSH: Starr said, "I didn't say that about the nuclear option. I was talking about something else." This is an excerpt of the Starr e-mail: "I have now seen the CBS report. Attached is an exchange with Steve Engle, who alerted me earlier today to the other dimensions of the wild misconstruction of what I said in the Gloria Borger interview. Here's a brief background. I sat on Saturday with Gloria Borger for 20 minutes approximately, had a wide ranging, on-camera discussion. In the piece that I have now seen, and which I gather has been lavishly quoted, CBS employed two snippets. The 'radical departure from our history' snippet was specifically addressed to the practice of invoking judicial philosophy as a grounds for voting against a qualified nominee of integrity and experience. I said in sharp language that that practice was wrong."

Anyway our folks here at Pepperdine's public information office are scrambling to get the full transcript of the entire interview but our friends are way off base in assuming that the CBS snippets as used represent, A, my views, or B, what I in fact said. Kindly feel free to share this message with anybody you deem appropriate." Well, the message has been shared with me. So we have something on the order, not quite to the full extent, but we have something on the order of the Dan Rather forged documents.

Rush went on to say that CBS has - so far - refused to provide Ken Starr with a copy of his interview with Borger.

How pathetic - and brazen - is this?

***

Update: Mickey Kaus has a different take on the matter.
Limbaugh says "CBS is refusing to give Ken Starr the full transcript." I can't think of any reason why CBS shouldn't just release the complete video of the Starr-Borger interview--immediately, if they're smart, whether they are guilty or not. If they don't release the "full" interview at least they should release the portion of the transcript surrounding the Starr "boomerang" quote. But it sure looks as if Starr, Burkean that he is, did indeed say that a rules change--which is what the "nuclear option" would involve-- might "boomerang" and do long-term harm, which is what Borger said he said.

Of course, it's possible the video will show Starr urging senators to (cautiously and prudently) adopt the anti-filibuster rule change even though it might "boomerang" and "damage the institution."** In that case Borger was deceptive--and Scheiffer was wrong when he said, later in Borger's report, that Starr was "coming out on what looks like the opposite side of many [in] the conservative wing of the Republican party." It seems much more likely, though, that Starr is now trying to wriggle out of the anti-GOP implications of his sincere on-camera utterance.
The only problem with this interpretation of the Limbaugh article is that Ken Starr himself disputes the language used by CBS News. That's why he submitted the email in the first place. No word yet from Gloria Borger.

Let's Just Skip The Whole Democracy Thing

Why don't we save ourselves a lot of time, money, and aggravation and disband Congress, void the election process, and let the judiciary write all our laws from now on. In essence, that's what's going on anyway.

Today's example:
U.S. Judge Rejects Neb. Gay-Marriage Ban
BY KEVIN O'HANLON, Associated Press Writer


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska's ban on gay marriage was struck down by a federal judge who ruled the measure interferes with the rights of gay couples and people in a host of other living arrangements, including foster parents and adopted children. The constitutional amendment, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, was passed overwhelmingly by the voters in November 2000.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled Thursday the ban "imposes significant burdens on both the expressive and intimate associational rights" of gays "and creates a significant barrier to the plaintiffs' right to petition or to participate in the political process." (link)
The law is whatever they want it to be. Don't ever forget it. Don't fight it. Get used to it. Learn to love it. Big Brother knows what's best for you.

To Each His Own

I've never gotten all that excited about lichens. In fact I'm not sure I'd know what one was even if I found it growing on my backside. But to some, including a renowned scientist at Virginia Tech, lichens are creatures to be studied, nurtured, celebrated, CHAMPIONED.
Fossils' discovery has Va. Tech connection
Ancient lichens may shed light upon fungi, partnerships in nature
BY A.J. HOSTETLER, TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

The discovery of rare symbiotic marine fossils some 600 million years old has a Virginia Tech geobiologist pondering the marital behavior of ancient lichens and how it evolved in their modern-day counterparts.

Lichens should be thought of as a "consortium," the marriage of two organisms wrapped up in each other: A fungus provides protection against the elements in exchange for food from a cyanobacterium, or green alga, said Virginia Tech geobiologist Shuhai Xiao.

Xiao and college buddy Xunlai Yuan of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in Nanjing, China, discovered the ancient remains of lichens, the oldest known, in the Doushantuo Formation in southern China, where they have been studying the rich fossil deposits for the past 10 years.

The work is "really exciting, if it's true," and sheds light on the evolution of fungus, said biologist James Lawrey of George Mason University and president of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society. (
link)
I'm inclined to say, "Take a cold shower and calm down, fellas. We're talking about green crap growing on rocks." But these guys are really into their work. And they seem to be quite excited.

The marital relationships of modern-day lichens differs. Some may be strictly monogamous, with the fungi totally dependent on its partner for survival. Other lichen relationships resemble serial monogamy the partners' marriage may be followed by divorce and remarriage to others.

Xiao said the new discovery raises the question of how the modern symbiotic relationship developed. Was it carried over to land and altered as it was handed
down?

Or did the later lichens ditch their watery, ancestral ways when they hit land and forge their own symbiotic relationships independently?
Ah yes. The burning questions of our time. And then there is the whole protected sex issue ...

Socialism On Display

For those of you (studying at Virginia Tech in particular) who toy with the notion that socialism is a swell idea because it holds those evil corporations in check, controls the flow of wealth to that class of citizens that doesn't need it, and provides for greater egalitarianism than does capitalism, I invite you to go to Cuba (I'll not be snide and say something like, "and stay there...") and see how your whimsy plays out in the real world.

The rice cooker saga referenced below is the perfect microcosm of the problem with the whole attempt at government control of economic activity.

Read and learn.

Cooking Fidel
By THERESA BOND, Wall Street Journal

On March 8, Fidel Castro received a standing ovation after announcing that rice cookers will now be included in the Cuban rationing system. It's hard to imagine a better illustration of this island dystopia's bizarre ways, more telling than any list of political prisoners or of human rights violations -- which, after all, are typical of any dictatorship, totalitarian or not.

First consider the surrealistic aspect of announcing the distribution at subsidized prices of an appliance that, in order to function properly, needs two things: rice and electricity. Yet rice is rationed at less then three kilos per person each month, hardly enough, considering that it's a staple for two meals a day with often hardly anything else to cook. As for electricity, planned blackouts were recently six hours a day. It is almost like subsidizing the distribution of forks for foie gras and champagne glasses among the homeless.

... the Comandante's gesture becomes genuinely magnanimous even if there isn't much to cook. The Communist Party daily, Granma, urged readers to "look at the faces of the Cuban women: joyful and smiling, happy, grateful and perhaps, yes, in a little hurry to reach home and prepare the first lunch or dinner with the recently acquired rice cooker." (
link)

Cuban women are joyous because they are able to obtain - at great expense even though the price of the product is "subsidized by the government" - a common household appliance. Jesus.

For those of you who are unable to control your envy/hatred/resentment of the rich and want to recreate a worker's paradise here in the USA, try to look realistically at the alternative to the system we've created.

With all it's faults, capitalism has benefitted all Americans to a far greater degree than any Cuban will be able to experience under socialism.

Who's Side Are They On?

Our government has been accused in the past of being so inept as to not be able to stop the mass migration of poor Mexicans into our country illegally. The criticism was, in more recent years, ratcheted up to one of our government's intentionally looking the other way while 12 million illegals crossed our southern border.

Now it seems the problem has worsened to the point where our government, in an attempt to keep American citizens from acting on their own to stop this lawlessness, is willfully opening up border crossing areas in order to make a political point.

Who's side are they on?
Border Patrol Told To Stand Down In Arizona
By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration.

"It was clear to everyone here what was being said and why," said one veteran agent. "The apprehensions were not to increase after the Minuteman volunteers left. It was as simple as that."

Another agent said the Naco supervisors "were clear in their intention" to keep new arrests to an "absolute minimum" to offset the effect of the Minuteman vigil, adding that patrols along the border have been severely limited. (link)
There are two politicians in Washington who are out front on the issue of illegal immigration, demanding that we secure our borders and send illegals back to their countries of origin. One is Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado and the other is Senator Hillary Clinton of Whitewater.

By God, I may vote for her after all in 2008 if George W Bush and the Republican leadership have decided to take the other side on this issue.

Well, actually that'll never happen, but what has possessed these our elected representatives?