Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Values party", was it?

I do hope that illusion is fully burst, oh fellow voters?

[GOP] Political consultant and ad producer Carey Lee Cramer is expected to testify today defending himself against charges he sexually molested two young girls.

Defendant expected to take stand in sexual harassment case

And don't forget, there's Hookergate, and more Hookergate. And don't forget the just general perviness of the Republican administration.

And bribery, always the act of high-moral-road Christian Coalition types.

And spying! Let's not forget spying! Got to have that. And, of course, it's OK, because the President approves it. Presidental approval of an act automatically confers high moral and legal standing, dontchaknow.

And then there's that never-vindictive nature so many advocates of true tolerance show, such as in the case of Joe Wilson's wife, also known as Valerie Plame, whose husband had the astounding hubris to try to do a good job, and wound up going to Africa and then -- gasp! -- agreeing with the Nigerian embassy "that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on."

And all along, through and around, there's the lying. Let's never forget that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Carabell/Rapanos Decision

I haven't read the decision announced yesterday yet, but these are critical questions in environmental law: for the purposes of the Clean Water Act, when is a water a "navigable water", and thus subject to the act?

Justice Kennedy writes:

[W]etlands possess the requisite nexus, and thus come within the statutory phrase 'navigable waters,' if the wetlands either alone or in combination with similarly situated lands in the region, significantly affect the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of other covered waters more readily understood as 'navigable.' When, in contrast, wetlands’ effects on water quality are speculative or insubstantial, they fall outside the zone fairly encompassed by the statutory term 'navigable waters.'

[NB: I pulled this quote from SCOTUSBlog The blog's first note on the decision is here, and others follow the one from which I quoted.]

This is a very interesting, result-oriented approach to the definition. Rather than tackling a more positive definition of width or length or seasonality (does it dry up for part of the year), the Justice seems to be trying to avoid all that and instead ask, "what is the effect of this water?"

Monday, June 19, 2006


It is not an act of patriotism to postpone making a decision about how to handle the growing crisis over there [in Iraq].

Republicans Don't Support the Troops, Only Themselves