Bloggers discuss Sen. Dick Durbin's apology and Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election; they also dish about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
Hard for me to say I'm sorry: Yesterday, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois apologized for his remark comparing American interrogation methods at Guantanamo Bay to those of Nazis and other regimes.
Some bloggers say Durbin should have held his ground: Responding to complaints that Durbin drew comparisons between American and Nazi soldiers, the progressive Josh Rosenau of Thoughts From Kansas demands, "Find the sentence where he makes the comparison between people. … If you understand that the torture is condoned and encouraged at the highest levels, the comparison isn't between the soldiers and the SS, but between Bush and Pol Pot." At Radix Omnium Malorum Avaritia,commenter Axis of Evil adds: "If this cause is so righteous then why do the powers that be feel that any negative comment will shatter the will and morale of our troops? IF morale is low, it is because these young men and women now know they were sent to the WRONG country and that they are ill-equipped and improperly trained for the guerilla warfare they are now facing."
Other bloggers think Durbin owed the apology and more: Hugh Hewitt, a conservative writer and radio host, argues, "If Democrats want to be taken seriously as other than a desperate group of out-of-power ideologues … [they will] help shoulder the burden of explaining to the world that America is the most humane of all jailers, and rigorous in its prosecution of its representatives who violate the rules of detention." Hewitt also posts a transcript of his interview with a soldier who served at Gitmo. The conservative AJStrata agrees with Hewitt: "What I want is for the senate democrats to come out en masse and admit Durbin's comments were inappropriate and probably did more to recruit more terrorists than any faux story of Koran flushes and AC levels at GITMO."
A very special election: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will put up several of his policy priorities for a vote in November, including a measure to extend the time required for teachers to obtain tenure. Polls show that 52 percent of voters are against the special election, and Arnold's approval rating has reached a low of 37 percent.
Is Schwarzenegger being unfair to teachers? Max Liederman is convinced that the measure would "drive qualified people away from the profession." In response to claims that tenure "protects bad teachers," CD, a commenter at education blog Get Schooled, insists that "there is, and has always been, a process for removing such teachers. Tenure only ensures that a teacher have a fair hearing to be fired." Democrat Michael Randall of Mike's Daily Lockup concludes, "Thanks Arnold, for all of the ammo you provided to the people of California. A special election nobody wanted, cuts to our health care and education, and the inability to get anything done."
Other bloggers think the Governator has the right idea: Centrist college student Adam Reyes scoffs at a five-year tenure requirement: "Personally the tenure should be at 8 years. The teachers don't like it because they have to actually do a good job a lot longer. California Conservative justifies the measure by pointing to predictions of slow economic growth in California through 2006: "Putting the California economy back on track is going to require reforms of existing spending practices. Democrats don't want to accept that fact."
Read more about California's special election here.
Free Katie: Tom Cruise is freaking out the media here (and here and here) with his overly public courtship of Katie Holmes. All the couch-jumping in the world, though, couldn't distract from the big question: Which came first, the crazy or the Scientology?
The blogosphere is in turmoil: Swirly Shark'sMs. Carson wonders, "WHAT IS WITH THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY?? CAN WE SAY CULT??? ... FREE KATIE HOLMES!!!!" Robert of Get Your Head Out of Your Butt writes, "I think the press is going after Tom because of his turbo-zealot behavior. Have you ever seen video of Tom when he's talking about Scientology? It's truly unnerving." Regarding the reporter who squirted Tom Cruise with water, Sandy of FluffyButtDiva admits, "I never once felt remorse for getting pleasure out of the discomfort Mr. Cruise felt at being humiliated on camera." Brendan from Trapped in This Life adds, "Of course Tom Cruise's relationship with Katie Holmes is not a publicity stunt, it's also about his need to brainwash another celebrity into Scientology. Now that Katie Holmes needs a Scientology Buddy to go with her everywhere, I think it's working."
Read more about TomKat here.