Saturday, May 20, 2006

Senatorial Scorecard

Let's see: on the one hand, the Senate Intelligence Committee is upset at being frozen out by the government. On the other hand, they're busily trying to freeze out others.

Yesterday, during CIA director-nominee General Michael V. Hayden's confirmation hearings, Senators, Republican and Democrat alike, were outraged that the White House withheld details of the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program. And that's understandable. Nobody, especially Senators, appreciates it when important conversations are taking place and they haven't a clue what's going on.

Indicative of the mood at the hearing were the comments of Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine who "complained that the small number of lawmakers who were briefed before Wednesday were 'handcuffed' because they were not permitted to share information with colleagues."

It's a legitimate complaint, one that was echoed by her colleagues, but one that rings a bit hollow in light of what the Senate did on Thursday. The day before the Hayden Hearings, the Senate voted 63-to-34 to attach an amendment to proposed immigration legislation that would make English the "national language" of the United States.

In addition to providing that "The Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States of America," the amendment also contains this little nugget of inclusiveness:

Unless otherwise authorized or provided by law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English. If exceptions are made, that does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language or any language other than English.

So much for keeping people informed and in the loop. 63 members of the Senate, including Senator Snowe, have apparently never heard of the golden rule: do not freeze out others unless you would like to be frozen yourselves.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Designer Baby: On the Way,,2-2178178,00.html, according to The Times, is on its way.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Farr Farr Away, Nearly Returned

My apologies, to those who care, for dropping off the face of the blogosphere without warning roughly two weeks ago. A death in the family and the end of the semester conspired to eliminate my excess time. I'm currently in transit to find a new home for the summer. When I settle in, hopefully within the week, the postings will start to resume.

In the meantime, the more things change (and the longer I'm away from the world), the more things stay the same: Hwang Woo Suk was indicted in South Korea today.

The Nukak