Political MoJo

Ill Wind

| Thu Jul. 13, 2006 3:02 AM EDT

Should people be entitled not to see windmills on the horizon? Just when you thought it was just the Kennedys & Co. vs. turbines off the Cape, here goes Long Island Power getting locals all worked up with a proposal to put 40 big whirlygigs in the Atlantic. And it's not hard to get bent out of shape about people who get bent out of shape about how horrible this looks. A more complicated, and perhaps more interesting conversation might have to do with why it is that wind, in particular, is catching on so fast with the energy industry--because, of course, it plugs right into the existing energy economy, based on big plants and big power lines and big money. But just maybe we should have that conversation even as we put up every wind mill we can get our hands on. If the feng shui doesn't work, we can always take them down once we've got this climate thing sorted out...

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Join a Conversation With Mother Jones Radio Host Angie Coiro

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 9:53 PM EDT

Angie Coiro, the peerless host of Mother Jones Radio, is being interviewed online for the next two weeks at The Well. If you're unfamiliar with our radio show, it's a smart, lively, hour-long romp through the culture and politics of our time that airs on Air America and affiliates each Sunday. And Angie, who spent 15 years in public radio--picking up multiple awards along the way, including one for the best public radio interview in the country in 2003--is quite simply one of the smartest, most talented, likable radio hosts in the business. Go join the conversation with Angie at the Well.

And don't forget to check out Mother Jones Radio.

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More Fun With Kim: The Glorious Failure Who Just Can't Lose

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 9:19 PM EDT

More Kim comedy, this time of the acerbic variety. Mark Fiore's new cartoon, hot off the Internets, shows that for a guy who's constantly failing, the Dear Leader does a pretty good job at staying in power and giving the rest of the world heartburn. Click on the dictator to watch. (Flash required.)

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Colorado legislator declares state is helping create terrorists

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 8:42 PM EDT

America is known as a melting pot. If that's the case, then Debbie Stafford, a Colorado state legislator, has decided to stir it. Colorado just passed passed an immigration bill that denies public assitance to anyone who is not in the state legally, but which makes exceptions for children to get food and healthcare. Stafford's response?

"We're helping create the next generation of terrorists."

In the meantime, many of Stafford's Republican colleagues were upset because they were unable to get on the ballot a constitutional amendment that would have required all workers in Colorado to have a state I.D. The bill's sponsor, Al White, attacked Governor Bill Owens, who he said was actively lobbied by Colorado homebuilders and Republican donors who did not want to see the state's labor pool decreased.

Colorado's Hispanic population was up to 19% in 2004 and is growing. Stafford apparently has some kind of inside track on the terrorist intentions of illegal immigrants from Mexico and other South American nations.

Supposed Change in Detention Policy Too Late For Some Prisoners

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 8:25 PM EDT

The Bush administration's late embrace of the Geneva Conventions may or may not be sincere. Either way, it comes too late for hundreds of prisoners, most of them innocent, who've spent years of their lives in U.S. detention—men like Muhibullo Abdulkarim Umaro, a 24-year-old Tajik swept up in the U.S. war on terror who spent two years in four prisons in three countries. Read his story at MotherJones.com.

Plus: "Why Am I in Cuba?: Excerpts from military tribunal transcripts.

Plus Plus: Mother Jones' coverage of the moral and legal disgrace that has been U.S. detention policy since 9/11--with pieces by Emily Bazelon, Anthony Lewis, and Mark Danner, among others, all in one handy place.

Escalation in the Middle East

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 6:49 PM EDT

So Israel invades southern Lebanon after two of its soldiers are seized by Hezbollah. The Bush administration, no doubt with lots of proof in tow, immediately blames Syria and Iran for the kidnappings. And now Yossi Klein Halavi in the New Republic says that Israel is about to start a wider, multiyear war against Syria and Iran, and that the United States should help by bombing the latter's nuclear facilities. Is there anyone out there with any interest in trying to de-escalate this conflict?

MORE: Jonathan Edelstein sheds a lot of light on the situation.

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The Easy Comedy of Kim Jong-Il

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 5:57 PM EDT

The Economist's covers are often very funny (though not quite as often as the editors of The Economist think they are) -- and never more so than when they feature Kim Jong-Il.

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With all the chuckling it's easy to forget he's actually much more dangerous than Saddam ever was--his recent bout of projectile dysfunction notwithstanding.

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Indian Bloggers Help Out

Wed Jul. 12, 2006 5:56 PM EDT

The response of Indian bloggers to the train bombing yesterday in Mumbai was truly touching. One site, Mumbai Help, offered to try to reach residents of the city on behalf of their relatives abroad, who could not get through the clogged phone system. Eventually, the site's 30-odd contributors were able to lay the fears of dozens of people to rest. A recent report in the Times of India said that nearly 86 percent of India's internet users regularly check blogs, creating an impressive potential for bloggers to help in times of crisis (although obviously no one hopes there will be more crises like this one).

Zidane Not a Victim of Racism

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 4:07 PM EDT

Appearing on French TV, Zinedine Zidane said Marco Materazzi insulted his mother and sister, and he denied speculation—fueled by international lip readers—that the Italian defender had called him a "terrorist." Good lesson in reserving judgment till the facts are in, eh Dave?

This, of course, makes Zidane's behavior even less explicable—insults against mothers being fairly standard, regrettably, wherever men gather to compete—and therefore even sadder. There's talk, now, of having him stripped of the Golden Ball Award, which is probably fair enough—though on the merits he certainly earned it. (Worth noting, too, that the guy is a genius and deserves to be remembered primarily as such.)

The Imperial Presidency, Part 587

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 4:01 PM EDT

I'm trying to figure out what's scarier: The news that the Bush administration will likely disregard the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld and carry on with a domestic spying program that's now very clearly illegal, or… the fact that the Justice Department is apparently of the view that "The president is always right."