Saturday, June 07, 2008


This and that

Here’re a few brief items for a steamy New York summer Saturday.

Carly Fiorina has signed on to the McCain campaign in a big way. It’s no surprise that the former HP CEO — and architect of the company’s dubious purchase of Compaq — bats for the conservative side, though I wonder how much the Bush years have done for her. I also wonder whether she’s aiming to set herself up for a cabinet position, should Senator McCain win.

About three years ago, a judge in western New York threw 46 people in jail for part of a day because one of them had a mobile phone that rang, and no one would admit to it. Despite his expressing regret for acting like a third-grade teacher, Judge Restaino was removed from his job last November (two and a half years after the fact) by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Yesterday, the New York State Court of Appeals upheld that decision, and Judge Restaino has lost his job.

Yet another reason not to vote for John McCain: Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps:

A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.


Mr. McCain believes that “neither the administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the A.C.L.U. and trial lawyers, understand were constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001,” Mr. Holtz-Eakin wrote.

Most people, of course, except for the ACLU and trial lawyers, are not particularly qualified to judge constitutional issues. But, hey, what does that matter?

The president of West Virginia University (of no apparent relation to Dick Cheney) has announced his resignation in the wake of a scandal about the conferring of an unearned degree to the governor’s daughter. What’s not entirely clear to me is what the difference is between, say, giving an honorary degree to the governor because he’s the governor, and giving one to his daughter because she’s his daughter.[1]

Speaking of soon-to-be-former presidents, George Bush has, it seems, been spending a lot of time doing what we might wish he’d been doing for the last 7-ish years: attending events, shaking hands, and getting his picture taken with folks. I see no problem with that, and it’s a damn sight better than screwing up the country.

It failed in Florida, but now South Carolina has passed legislation approving the “I Believe” Christian license plate. We now have only to wait for the lawsuits....

[1] No, no, I do get the difference between a “real” degree and an honorary one....

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