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Wednesday, June 09, 2004


The blogosphere is a great place for people to test ideas. Granted, a lot of blog entries merely link without comment to interesting news stories, but a fair number of posts come with analysis and critique, the bedrocks of political debate.

I decided to do a short run around the blogosphere -- pointing to interesting points bloggers have made, or ideas that merit more consideration. Some are more serious than others. At the moment, most bloggers I read regularly are focusing on either the so-called "torture memos" or the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

I haven't yet blogged about the most recent development in the prisoner scandal, the leaked memos, but others have. Mark A.R. Kleiman asks the key question about the Bush administration's latest position:
Let me be sure I have this straight: we're not torturing anyone, but revealing our legal position on what we can and can't do would weaken the fight against terror?
Phil Carter explains that a key torture memo's claim that "authority to set aside the laws is 'inherent in the president'" directly conflicts with the Constitution's "affirmative duty [on the President] to enforce the laws" (found in Article II, Section 3).

In passing, Gary Sauer-Thompson equates prison torture with terror. Given that hundreds of apparently innocent people were released from those prisons, this seems like a legitimate point.

Chris at Explananda fears that administration officials will not be held to account for their alleged misdeeds, and that this reflects the sad fact that a "separate law applies to people in power."

Because Bush's lawyers (no, not his private attorney consulted about the Plame affair) are talking about the so-called "Nuremberg defense" (just following orders), Digby has this perfect quip:
George W. Bush has been making comparisons between the "War On Terrorism" and WWII. I didn't realize that in this sequel we were the Germans.
Naturally, quite a lot of bloggers have been thinking about the Reagan legacy.

Dwight Meredith of Wampum has a long, but well-done, post on "Ranking the Reagan Economy." I don't want to spoil his conclusion, but let's just say some other (recently) re-elected presidents did better. Politus found a great quote that puts Bush's economy in perspective.

Actually, since Kevin Hayden of the American Street already did a nice run around the blogosphere about Reagan, I'll cut this short. Hayden has several of Reagan's less famous quotes:
In retaking People's Park from the Berkeley students, Reagan sent in the National Guard, proclaiming: "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with!"

"The state of California has no business subsidizing intellectual curiosity." was another thing he actually said as governor.

Another Reagan quote of note: "History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."
Tex at UnFairWitness had a short post on "The Reagan loonie?" that just might create a bipartisan consensus for a Reagan coin.

Happy reading.

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