Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What a Week!

JennySlash having the flu and pretty much missing the run-up to Christmas has really sucked. But on the other hand, the following headlines have helped create a little cheer around here:

Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A quarter-century long fight over the nation's most divisive environmental issue rages on after the Senate on Wednesday rejected opening an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling — even though that provision was included in a must-pass bill that funds U.S. troops overseas and hurricane victims.

It was a stinging defeat for Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, one of the Senate's most powerful members, who had hoped to garner more votes by forcing senators to choose between supporting the drilling measure, or risking the political fallout from voting against money for the troops and hurricane victims.

Instead, Stevens found himself a few votes shy of getting his wish. Republican leaders could not break a Democratic filibuster threat over the drilling issue, falling three votes short of the 60 votes need to advance the defense spending bill to a final vote.

Judge Rules Against 'Intelligent Design'

By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A01

A federal judge barred a Pennsylvania school district yesterday from mentioning "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolutionary theory in a scathing opinion that criticized local school board members for lying under oath and for their "breathtaking inanity" in trying to inject religion into science classes.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointed by President Bush, did not confine his opinion to the missteps of a local school board. Instead he explicitly sought to vanquish intelligent design, the argument that aspects of life are so complex as to require the hand, subtle or not, of a supernatural creator. This theory, he said, relies on the unprovable existence of a Christian God and therefore is not science.

Spy Court Judge Quits in Protest

By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A01

A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.
Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.

Add to all of that the defeat of the worst provisions of the Patriot Act, the likelihood that Abramoff is likely to plead guilty to fraud next week, the resounding defeat of the execrable Rick Barnes' Tejas basketball team to the lowly Volunteers of Tennessee, the play that DeLay's lavish lobbyist-funded lifestyle is getting and it almost feels like people are starting to wake up.



At 11:49 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

Okay, the Texas loss didn't fit in there at all. It was just fun.


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