Monday, August 29, 2005

Catching Up

Some non-weather-related headlines that caught my eye:

  • From the Toledo Blade:

    Taft claims he can still govern, but not all agree

    With his criminal conviction behind him, Gov. Bob Taft has pledged to buckle down and conduct the business of the state for his final 16 months in office.

    But lingering concerns about what he knew about Ohio’s failed $50 million rare-coin investment with Tom Noe and continuing revelations in the state investment scandal have put Mr. Taft’s ability to effectively govern in peril, according to some Democrats and Republicans.

    As a result, members of the state legislature from both political parties and grassroots organizations from the left and the right have called on the governor to step aside to allow the state to recover from the embarrassment that is swirling through his administration and state government.

    He’s only got a year to go, and the longer he’s in office, the more the Democrats can beat the crap out of the Republicans with him.

  • From Reuters:

    Venezuela to seek legal action against Robertson

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his government would take legal action against Pat Robertson and potentially seek his extradition after the U.S. evangelist called for Washington to assassinate the South American leader.

    Robertson, who later apologized for the remark, said he was expressing his frustration with Chavez’s constant accusations against the administration of President George W. Bush.

    “I announce that my government is going to take legal action in the United States … to call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism.” Chavez said in a televised speech.

    The fiery left-wing critic of Bush’s foreign policy who frequently charges the U.S. government is plotting to kill him, called Robertson “crazy” and a “public menace.”

    He said Venezuela could seek Robertson’s extradition under international treaties and take its claim to the United Nations if the Bush administration did not act.

    Shall we start a collection to buy Pat a plane ticket to Caracas?

  • From the New York Times:

    For Bush, Smaller Goals in Iraq

    As Iraq’s draft constitution was presented to its National Assembly and honored at a brief ceremony largely boycotted by Sunnis, President Bush joined with others in his administration on Sunday in praising the charter as a milestone in the transition to democracy and the battle against insurgents.

    But in the disarray in Baghdad that was becoming evident, with Sunnis and some Shiites vowing to defeat the constitution and others angrily predicting a surge in anti-government violence, statements by the president and others in his administration had the air of making a case that the situation was not as bad as it looked.

    Several administration officials acknowledged deep regret and frustration that all their efforts had failed to produce a document that could not only establish human rights but also bring a huge disaffected element into the political process, as the Americans had hoped and predicted.

    “We’re disappointed that we don’t have a document that has a complete consensus,” said a weary senior State Department official, speaking anonymously because he did not want to be seen as criticizing the Iraqis publicly. “We think it’s a good document in terms of basic rights and philosophy. How to proceed now is an issue for Iraqis to decide.”

    Lowering their sights, administration officials said Sunday that their task now was to keep the political process alive, even if the constitution was rejected in October, and thereby keep the disaffected Sunnis from helping to stoke more violence.

    “It’s a legitimate position for some Iraqis to decide that they don’t like this document,” the State Department official said. “That is still within the democratic process. I don’t buy the idea that thousands of people will flock to the colors of the insurgency because their just demands in a constitution were turned down.”

    We invaded a sovereign nation, killed a whole lot of people, lost over 1,800 of our own soldiers, and end up with the Middle East version of post-Tito Yugoslavia? No wonder the president won’t talk to Cindy Sheehan.