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October 05, 2005

Comments

Hell yeah. Second the props for John Warner, although opposing Bill Frist must be like playing the Atlanta Hawks with the 1992 Dream team.

Woohoo!! Best news I've heard for a long time.

It's too bad that we have to remind our military that they are subject to laws, but it appears that comments from Bush and others may have misled them. I'm glad to see that the overwhelming majority of Republican Senators are on the side of virtue, and I cannot imagine why the President would be opposed.

A fanatical belief in preservation of executive prerogative. That, or its baser cousin, to which Bush is also subject: "you can't tell me what to do."

I note well that all nine of the pro-torture Senators in this have (R)s beside their names. I can only hope that they are held accountable for their betrayal of civilized humanity in their next election.

Good news: very good news.

I share cogently-expressed doubts that this will actually stop the torture, so long as the Bush administration is in power, but it's a start.

I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm happy to see that there are very Congressmen willing to openly stand up for torture. I had feared that there might be many.

Huh. 5 years, and the first veto may be to prevent anti-torture legislation from being passed.

Is this what you conservatives voted for?

I wish he had vetoed the campaign finance law. But McCain can't always be wrong--I'm glad he is pushing this.

Oh and unless the votes change dramatically, a veto override would be rather easy.

That's no answer. There has been no discontent expressed by the White House for any legislation passed in the last 5 years.

When it comes to anti-torture legislation, it's a different story.

Is that what you conservatives voted for? Come on. Are you really unwilling to take responsibility for your vote? Are you really perfectly happy to give this buffoon 3 more years to screw crap up?

Don't borrow trouble before it comes.

Borrow some coherency.

"Don't borrow trouble before it comes."

What's the interest rate on trouble?

I like "The evil of the day is sufficient unto the day thereof".

Yeah we can play reference tag all night. That's great.

But what I want to know is, is this what conservatives voted for? An objectively pro-torture presidency?

Sebastian, did you vote for an objectively pro-torture presidency?

If we consider the legacy of this administration, what else is there?

Avoiding the discussion is a great tactic, but at the end of the day, people that voted for Bush need to ask themselves what they have done.

This is very good news, the best on a while in this subject. But this was the easy part--the hard part is keeping it from getting stripped out in conference, and overriding a veto if it comes to that.

I'm afraid that a lot of the "yea" votes show an unwillingness to openly vote for torture than any real readiness to stand up to the President. Bill Frist voted yes; he was trying to kill this a few months ago. Do you think he's had a change of heart? Maybe. I doubt it. There have been other anti-torture amendments he voted for, which the administration was not threatening a veto over, that he let get stripped out.

And, of course, a veto override would require 2/3 of the House as well as the Senate. Dennis Hastert's record on this issue is not confidence inspiring, to say the least.

I always thought we ought to be able to get something through the Senate. But this was the easy part.

I'm also cautiously optimistic. Bush's threat to veto this bill if passed in the House just pisses me off. It's not often that I agree with felixrayman on anything at all, but I'm dangerously close right now.

I'm under no illusion that a law of this sort would completely eradicate torture, but it would begin to turn the tables on the notion of torture as a sort of open policy.

I still think this bill, if it becomes law, will:

(a) give the administration free reign to argue that it must have done nothing wrong before because Congress had to pass a new law to stop it;

(b) will give Congress an excuse to ignore the issue and past abuses by pointing to the law (not that their going gangbusters on it now); and

(c) will be ignored by the administration in any event (or people will suddenly become CIA employees while torturing, thus getting around it).

That being said, I certainly hope none of that happens and that this bill will spur further action by Congress to fully investigate the entire tragedy.

And let me note McClellan's ridiculous arguments for rejecting it. Supposedly it is "unnecessary and duplicative" and yet "would limit the president's ability as commander-in-chief to effectively carry out the war on terrorism" but yet (in a paraphrase) "existing law already prohibits the mistreatment of prisoners in American custody."

Note to Scotty: If it's unnecessary and duplicative, how can it limit the president's ability to carryout the WoT? Isn't that ability already limited by current law, if the new one is duplicative? Don't tell me you've been ignoring the laws currently on the books, Scotty? Hello? Scotty?

And can't anyone in the press call him on this obvious BS? I mean, I think I just saw a pig fly by my window so now's the time.

And I might add that it's rather pathetic (or scary) that Congress has to pass a law that essentially tells the administration "Hey! You know all those other laws we passed outlawing torture and mistreatment of prisoners in military custody? Well we really really meant it (except for the CIA). See, we just passed another one. So please, follow this one, okay?"

Of course this will be followed up by Congress saying "You mean you won't follow it? Well shucks."

Um, odd: Section 1073 doesn't say anything like hilzoy's excerpt. Where is the part we're interested in?

Is there a house-senate conference where this amendment can be watered down before the bill is sent to the president? Or is the next stop Bush's desk?

Is there a house-senate conference where this amendment can be watered down before the bill is sent to the president?

Yes and that's the plan


If I'm not mistaken, don't all those pro-torture-voting Senators claim to be on Team Jesus?

To go on record as pro-torture by voting against a bill that passed easily anyway I'd classify them as Team Nutball.

Dunno, Jon, haven't seen the Jesus team roster.

But there is a problem with bills of this kind: there's lots of other things in the bill that might be objectionable. That's one of many reasons why I HATE bundling a lot of loosely-related crap together like this: it might be a brilliant amendment stapled to a pile of crap.

Not saying that none of these guys aren't voting for torture, just that this sort of bill offers a number of weasel routes.

"That's one of many reasons why I HATE bundling a lot of loosely-related crap together like this: it might be a brilliant amendment stapled to a pile of crap."

Oh, agreed. I hate riders and all that.

But realistically, of late the House and Senate have rarely seen anything they wouldn't happily pass that didn't come from the Democrats.

Actually, I'm thinking that this would have passed unanimously as a rider on the Highway Bill. And probably would have been rejected unanimously if a rider on a resolution to reject the Kyoto Protocol. But these are just variations on my aversion to the Big Bill.

Mmmmm. Bacon.

Actually, I'm thinking that this would have passed unanimously as a rider on the Highway Bill. And probably would have been rejected unanimously if a rider on a resolution to reject the Kyoto Protocol. But these are just variations on my aversion to the Big Bill.

I agree on the principle of riders, but it doesn't apply to this particular vote. The 90-9 tally refers to the vote on whether the McCain Amendment would be a part of the appropriations bill, not for passing the bill itself. Those nine that voted nay were not objecting to some other part of a huge bill; they specifically voted in favor of torture.

Veto override? It won't even get fifty percent of the House.

Ok, thanks for that. So do I interpret this comment as: the appropriations bill has not yet passed the Senate?

Not that I think it won't.

I'm happy the amendment passed; I'm not a big fan of too many other of McCain's policy views, but he does have the capacity to step up when the crunch comes.

I wouldn't be too sure about the idea that Team Jesus is contradicting anything by voting for torture. After all, we know that God was and is objectively pro-torture and this is confirmed from time to time throughout history by those who talk to him Mel Gibson, George W. Bush, and Osama Bin Laden being the latest celebrity examples.

Plus, even if Club Jesus is guilty of mere hypocrisy, they are in, baby, regardless of their deeds. Which is why I refuse to be governed by these people. I can't touch them, and even if I do they are headed directly for paradise, happily. On the other hand, most of the good people here and those who voted for the McCain amendment face an eternity of, you've got it, torture even if they balanced the stinking budget.

Besides, Nikos Kazantzakis not withstanding, a case could be made that Jesus himself was complicit in his punishment.

Of course, there is this thing called doubt which I wrap myself in like a warm, comforting blanket and which oddly gives me hope that Jesus is wrong on the torture vote and McCain, Hilzoy, Slart and Sebastian and company are right.

Can anyone explain to me why the DIA needs to spy on U.S. citizens in the U.S.?

Hey, look over there, quick!

Avian flu everywhere! We must veto this torture amendment because of the very small print prohibiting the torture of chickens.

Please, God, send us a diversionary plague!

I may have the "in the U.S." part wrong.

"Can anyone explain to me why the DIA needs to spy on U.S. citizens in the U.S.?

I could try, but Bob McManus will be along in a minute, I hope, to do his much better job of it.

"I may have the "in the U.S." part wrong."

Ha! See, Ugh, they got to you already. ;)

Hold on John, someone's at the door, I'll be right back.

Could Bush really veto this? I mean, wouldn't people notice if he used his first veto to smack down anti-torture legislation? The threat was bad enough, but that could be explained away as part of those inscrrrutable Congressional tactics. Coming out publicly pro-tortute? I'll wait and see.

Good on the sponsors of this bill. Many of them piss me off on domestic issues (McCain, Graham), but they were dead-to-rights on this one.

"Mmmmm. Bacon."

Slart, have you seen the new Burger King commercial? A lumberjack fells a tree, revealing King Burger (or whatever he's called now that he exists), who presents him an egg sandwich, with meat. On top of meat. On top of meat. ("With the Meat'Normous, customers will get three full slices of bacon, two slices of ham and a sausage patty between two omelets, two slices of American cheese and a toasted bun...")

I may never go into a forest again. Or eat bacon.

We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and then soak it in rich creamery butter. Then we top it off with bacon, ham and a fried egg. We call it . . . the Good Morning Burger.

At least Bush is willing to sexually molest and sodomize Evil Doers. Unlike the Godless, Jesus hating Senate.

The Burger King is now in the forest, too?

I am completely creeped out by the Burger King, especially when I wake up in bed and there he sits, staring at me with that smile fixed on his face or when I pull up a window blind and he stands there, perfectly still, again with that smile.

It's like Chuckie the murderous little doll meets King Richard III meets Wink Martindale.

If we dug up his back yard, would we find the remains of Ronald McDonald, dear, sweet Wendy, and the threadbare cape of Colonel Sanders?

"If we dug up his backyard, would we find the ramains of Ronald McDonald, dear, sweet Wendy, and the threadbare cape of Colonel Sanders?"

Ellafitzgerald Watson, notice the common element in this case. A buildup of arterial plaque and probable coronary artery disease.

The game is afoot. Apace, my dear Whopper!

See, now I'm bouncing off my own comments and talking to myself through the medium of Obsidian Wings. O.K. I'll go do something real.

FRM: This is hardly the first veto that Bush has threatened, so picking a fight (here) seems... silly.

If he actually vetos, however, all bets (and gloves) are off.

[Note: this comment apparently didn't post last night, so it may be a tad out of date now...]

Ah, I see that none other than the great Instapundit in the sky has endorsed my argument that the new law will give the administration free reign to argue that it must have done nothing wrong before because Congress had to pass a new law to stop it.

Insty:

Congress is entitled, and in fact obligated, to set standards of this sort. It's probably also better politically for the White House, since once the legislation is in place complaints about what happened before look a bit ex post facto.

Could Bush really veto this?

Yes. Don't you think Karl Rove sees this as a winning political issue - if demagogued mercilessly? The reason why we all consider such demagoguing to be unthinkable is not so much because of our rational analysis of the political landscape as it is because our consciences make it unthinkable. But Rove has no conscience. He will do anything that works. And think about it: of course it would work, if once the torture issue really hit the mainstream headlines, the entire GOP apparatus were to angrily and violently denounce torture opponents as weak and unpatriotic, and in fact issue calls for greater executive branch authority. It would catch their opponents utterly flat-footed right when they drop their guards thinking they have the unquestionable moral high ground.

Attack your enemy's strongest point, at the very place where he feels invulnerable.

...two slices of American cheese...

Um, as a foreigner, what's "American Cheese?" Cheddar?

DPU, American cheese.

Oh, wait, Wikipedia to the rescue.

Processed cheese (or process cheese) is a food product made from regular cheese and other unfermented dairy ingredients, plus emulsifiers, extra salt and food colourings. The best known processed cheese is orange in color and mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency; it is commonly known in the U.S. as American cheese and in Australia as Tasty Cheese.
That seems unfair. Processed cheese was invented by a Canadian. In Canada.

American Cheese is not cheese. It's a pasteurized processed cheese food. It melts very nicely and tastes nothing like any real cheese that I have ever eaten or would like to eat. Some people say it is cheddar style, but I don't see it or taste it.

It is often sold in presliced packs with individual plastic wrappings around each slice.

++U,

Are you under the impression that the Canadians are proud of the fact that they invented American cheese? If you really want to up the stakes, Velveeta is even more so.

American cheese can be a real cheese. It's just a very mild cheddar, really. Though the most common form of it is the plastic processed stuff.

"And think about it: of course it would work, if once the torture issue really hit the mainstream headlines, the entire GOP apparatus were to angrily and violently denounce torture opponents as weak and unpatriotic, and in fact issue calls for greater executive branch authority."

How are they going to do that when much of the "GOP apparatus" just voted for the bill?

Are you under the impression that the Canadians are proud of the fact that they invented American cheese?

Processed Cheese, please. And what the hell is Velveeta? Wait, I'll go check Wikipedia.

I really need to get out more...

If you really want to up the stakes, Velveeta is even more so.

Also, as it turns out, an invention of the Canadian James Lewis Kraft.

America, we apologize.

Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

Hopefully Canadians can avoid claiming "credit" for Cheese Whiz. Otherwise, we may need to increase the number of ungoods in our commentator's attitude.

And remember, I'm from Philly, where putting Whiz on cheesesteaks is considered de rigeur.

Hopefully Canadians can avoid claiming "credit" for Cheese Whiz.

That too was a Kraft product. It's unclear as to whether it was invented in the US or Canada.

But, people, people, we gave you the telephone, basketball, the zipper, the modern propellor, and Superman. Surely that makes up for it.

Re: Cheese Whiz.

While I suppose it would disqualify me from ever being elected President, I'm very glad that I had my first "Philly Cheesesteak" from the local Yemenese bodega (named, I kind you not, USA #1 Deli), where they put lettuce, tomato, and Swiss cheese on it as a matter of course. Simply witnessing someone eat an authentic version almost made me gag.

But, people, people, we gave you the telephone, basketball, the zipper, the modern propellor, and Superman. Surely that makes up for it.

That may make up for Mr. Kraft, now you only owe us for Ms. Celine Dion.

now you only owe us for Ms. Celine Dion.

Sadly, that's impossible.

... now you only owe us for Ms. Celine Dion.

Not enough zippers and telephones in the world for that.

(re: the GOP using a vote against torture against the Democrats)

"How are they going to do that when much of the "GOP apparatus" just voted for the bill? "

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw


Sebastian, we recently saw a Vietnam War Hero portrayed as a lying coward, GOP delegates mocking the Purple Heart, all to make a draft-dodging AWOL TANG boy look good in comparison. While a war waged, to pursure non-existant WMD's. And 51% of the American voters ate it up.

Never underestimate the willingness of a dishonest man to lie in your face, if he feels the need. And never underestimate the willingness of emotionally-committed followers to lap up those lies like ambrosia.

Thank God I don't live in Oklahoma.

++Ungood, just for you, the true legacy of American cheese:

. . . Homer snaps on the light and wanders over to the fridge in his underwear.

Homer: Mmm...sixty four slices of American cheese.
[Takes the stack to the table and sits down]
Sixty four...[eats it]
Sixty three...[eats it]
[Next morning]
Two...[eats it really slowly]
One...[eats it]
[Marge walks in]
Marge: [incredulous] Have you been up all night eating cheese?
Homer: [slurred] I think I'm blind...

Barry nails it. The Bush Admin's record of Orwellspeak rivals that of the USSR.

And the Senate vote is irrelevant. The anti-torture amendment won't be in the final bill. It was a rhetorical flourish, and will have zero effect on Administration policy.

Never underestimate the willingness of a dishonest man to lie in your face, if he feels the need. And never underestimate the willingness of emotionally-committed followers to lap up those lies like ambrosia.

Posted by: Barry | October 06, 2005 at 06:36 PM

Lord have mercy! Ain't that the truth.

(pssst...Bush is a born-again Cowboy Rebel, that's why the Liberals hate him, pass it on)

Jackmormon,

I agree with you on the Whiz, and prefer either provolone or mozzarella on my steak. However, adding lettuce and tomato to it creates a different sandwich, called a cheesesteak hoagie.

A cheese thread, definitely what this place needs. Check out this NYTimes piece for some sobering details.

I grew up in California, where machismo was measured by salsa-strength. Willingness to eat appalling cheese is an entirely new measure for me. I am more than willing to admit that the USA #1 deli is not, in fact, delivering typical offerings, but perhaps I prefer their version of tradition...

As this is apparently the newest inadvertent open thread, I shall simply express my admiration for the hosts of this site. Hilzoy, your posts both inform and impress by the high-minded values they express far better than I ever could. Edward, you bring a viewpoint which I am otherwise denied living in central kentucky. Your posts continue to inspire as a rather lonely liberal voice in the boonies. Slartibartifast, you interject the sometime s acerbic wit of the conservative voice into the conversation. Although I may not agree with you at times, your posts often make me think of the attitudes which caused me to favor Bush sr. in 1992. Sebastian, you have caused me to radically re-evaluate any type of stereotype about conservatives I have. Thank you for that, as I have found that stereotypes tend to dumb down the conversation rather than continue it. Mainly in that I tend to agree with the conservatives quite a bit on this site. I tend to admire integrity no matter what side of the fence upon which it is found. Therefore I have tended to avoid the flamethrowers on either side. Thanks for not letting this haven descend into that.


Also, the comments number was inapropriate and I felt it needed to be fixed.

This message brought to you by way too much good bourbon and a lurker's keyboard.

I grew up in California, where machismo was measured by salsa-strength.

Which is kinda funny, 'cause I've never found salsa in the Bay Area that comes anywhere close to the stuff you get in Austin as far as spiciness. Even the habanero salsa at one of my regular taquerias in Berkeley would rate as mild in comparison.

"Which is kinda funny, 'cause I've never found salsa in the Bay Area that comes anywhere close to the stuff you get in Austin as far as spiciness. Even the habanero salsa at one of my regular taquerias in Berkeley would rate as mild in comparison."

I've found that Texas salsa is flaming hot yet not very tasty--it seems like merely a test of your endurance. Mexican salsa can burn your mouth but it always tastes like something interesting too.

lj, check your link.

Sorry about that. Like repeating a punchline, screwing up a link indicates that the comedy gods don't favor you.

The worldwide glut of wine has become so huge that for the first time in history, France is distilling some of its higher-rated wines into fuel. It is a painful proposition in a land where winemaking is a labor of love and the fruit of that labor is celebrated as much as any art.

as for hot sauces, this is my choice. Any other recommendations?

I seem to get by on Tabasco, Frank's Red Hot, and yummy Sriracha.

In college we would play "Burger of Death." We would barbeque several hamburgers, only one would be drenched in "Dave's Insanity Sauce." By the time they were cooked, they all looked the same. And since heavy drinking was involved the grillman had no idea either. Everyone grabs a burger, hilarity ensues.

Mmmmmm, Sriracha. One of my favorite universal spices.

I've also become very fond of cooking with wasabi powder. It does wonders for steaks and quiches.

Mmmmmm, Sriracha. One of my favorite universal spices.

I've also become very fond of cooking with wasabi powder. It does wonders for steaks and quiches.

Weird, I only clicked once. No idea how that double-posted.

Weird, I only clicked once. No idea how that double-posted.

Weird, I only clicked once. No idea how that double-posted.

heh heh
;)

heh heh
;)

heh heh
;)

Since this has become somewhat of a food-related open thread:

As impoverished college students, my apartment-mates and I cooked/ate according to the following culinary axiom:

"If you can stand it, you can eat it,"

and its first corrolary:

"If you can eat it, you can mix it."

Applying these rules, over time was born a delightful epicurean staple du maisson which we affectionately dubbed "Butt Cakes." Recipe: some flour, some water, some salt, anything left in the cupboard, fridge or freezer. Mix, cook, eat. Following periods of (very) infrequent grocery shopping, we'd be reduced to Lima Bean Butt Cakes, Peanut Butter Butt Cakes and the occasional Tuna Fish Butt Cakes (when we all missed the last can of tuna hiding behind the month-old eggplant wilted and sporing on the shelf.)

Ah, the good old days. College students: feel free to use this recipe, no royalties necessary. By way of recommendation: We All Survived.

Somehow.

xanax: you were making a version of Monjayaki, a corner of Japanese cuisine -- po' peoples' food -- that they really don't want to spotlight.

for a funny treatment about this from a guy living in Tokyo.

Troy, are you in Japan as well?

Here's a recipe for Monjayaki, though I think lot of Japanese food has that 'gee, why don't we put this on it' quality, especially when it partakes of western food. Though I will eat a spaghetti sandwich (generally made on a hot dog bun) without blinking, I still have problems with the corn and tuna fish pizza and curry udon.

But the funniest thing is that somehow, someone convinced the japanese that pizza isn't pizza unless you have some tabasco sauce to pour on it. So whenever you go to a place that serves pizza, you get a bottle of tabasco sauce. Either the McIlhenny Company had one smart salesman, or they were incredibly lucky.

"pizza isn't pizza unless you have some tabasco sauce to pour on it."

Umm, that's true (though Sriracha is better for veggie pizza).

Re: Monjayaki

I'm certainly **THRILLED** to know the Japanese translation for Butt Cakes. Except, from the link provided, monjayaki is apparently cooked on the stove-top whereas (to do them "correctly" #[email protected] yeah right! @$#) Butt Cakes were baked at "some" reasonably hot temperature (between 8 degrees - we forgot to turn the oven on - and about 500 - as high as the oven went) for "some" reasonable amount of time (which would generally be long enough for the gruel to get warm or 'til we all got hungry enough to eat our socks).

Any other recommendations?

Well, Scorned Woman goes rather well with meats; not saying it's no good for other things. For gumbo, chili, etc. I prefer Cholula, although you have to use a lot. There was a habanero sauce I used to like for chili, but I'm out.

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