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The Tally Ho

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A brilliant Daily Show Clip

Once again, the writers working on Jon Stewart's Daily Show nail it. Check out the link from One Good Move: Daily Show 03/21/05 Terry Schiavo.

"...so if you wondering just how sick you have to before Congress acted to improve your health care... that whole diabetes and asthma thing your kid has, fuck'em."

I also really enjoy the pieces involving Sen. Bill Frist. What a hack. The thought of him in the White House is, well... frightening. Aren't these the same Frist's that paid Medicare fraud fines? (isn't this true?) "I'd cry but I would have to put a condom on my face." ~ Jon Stewart 21 March 2005.

Monday, March 21, 2005

From TPM

Ed Kilgore is guest blogging for Talking Points Memo today. The post is about the attempted smear campaign of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley who may be running against Governor Bob Erlich. You can read it yourself here. But the part I found interesting was this observation
For anyone who has been through a partisan (or in some cases, intra-partisan) transition in a federal, state or local government agency, Steffen is a very familiar and unsavory type: The Commissar. That's the hatchet man sent in to root out heresy, find expendable members of the opposition party, and create the maximum number of fat jobs for the Party Faithful who are rolling off the winning campaign. The Commissar's tenure is invariably short, since he or she is not there to improve public policy, and there are many agencies to purge.

There are Democratic and Republican Commissars, but in my experience, the GOPers are the most numerous and vicious. Why? For the same reason that you tend to have more corruption in Republican administrations: when you don't much care about the positive uses of government, and you don't have the political guts to cut it back as much as you would like, then government becomes little more than a vast patronage operation. And if chaos in services ensues, hey, it's just more proof that government's bad to begin with, right?

In other words, this is an ideological more than a moral matter. The Post profile of Steffen includes a variety of testimonials that he wasn't that bad a guy, despite his nicknames, his undertaker's wardrobe, and his habit of never turning on the lights in his office. But that misses the point: Freepers like Steffen think it's good to disable government and harrass "bureaucrats," just as they probably think saving Maryland from an O'Malley administration justifies trying to wreck his marriage.

-- Ed Kilgore

Stiglitz: Wolfowitz a Problem for World Bank

Joseph Stiglitz is perhaps one of the most influential, if not visible, economists in the world today. His comment on the Wolfowitz nomination was that it is "either an act of provocation or an act so insensitive as to look like provocation". He continued on Wolfowitz
"He has no training or experience in economic development or financial markets," Stiglitz said. The Bank was the most important institution addressing poverty, he said. "We need someone in charge who knows. . . development."

He continues by saying the World Bank would
"become an explicit instrument of US foreign policy". He added: "It will presumably take a lead role in Iraqi reconstruction, for instance. That would jeopardise its role as a multilateral development body."

Sadly, the Daily Show once again nails it. Another highly controversial figure in the American government's Iraq policy being promoted to a highly visible position of domestic or international influence. Dr. Rice to head the State Department. Turture advocate Judge Gonzalez to head the Justice Department. Negroponte to Homeland Security Director. Now Wolfowitz to the World Bank. But Professor Stilglitz is not alone in his concerns. Apparently this poses a problem for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as Robert Preston of the Telegraph writes
The choice of Wolfowitz has also created a dilemma for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. They fear he would stand in the way of their high-profile initiative to alleviate African debt and poverty. However, they are reluctant to spark a dispute with the White House by going public with their concerns. "This is a big problem for us," said an official close to the chancellor. "We are still working out what to do."

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Barney Frank on Bill Maher

This is how behind I am, the following quote from Representative Barney Frank on Bill Maher, 11 March 2005
I've tried to keep count of how many marriages I've destroyed and I couldn't find any.

-Barney Frank

Yesterday they had on Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski, the topic obviously oil drilling. If Gov. Murkowski is any indication of the mindset that the pro-ANWRers have, the idea of alternative fuels for automobiles is a goal or idea that will never be a serious conversation. Mr. Maher did make a decent point about ANWR not belonging to Alaska, but all of the United States citizenry, otherwise the word "national" would not be used. The thing with ANWR is that the vote last week was really to give it a line in the budget. Therefore, it is not something that cannot be filibustered. Please, someone correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe that is how it works. Seeing that the vote was 51-49, we lost. I wish there was a way to have come to a compromise regarding ANWR. If we are going to lose on drilling we need to be pushing/attaching efficiency issues, alternative fuels, pollution standards, etc. As Sen. Kerry said on the floor debate and during the campaign, we can't drill our way out of the looming energy problem. ANWR doesn't solve a damn thing - short term or long term. What is needed is a real energy policy, not the policy to keep oil companies in business - and like it or not at this point, with lack of real alternatives, big oil is part of any policy. So shouldn't there be an opposition energy policy instead of just saying "this is bad"?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

On Propaganda/On Bullshit

On Propaganda: This Washington Post editorial Viewer Beware
WHAT DOES Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" have in common with the Bush administration? They're both unabashed about putting out fake news. The Bush administration's version consists of video news releases -- government-produced, government-funded spots packaged to look and sound like regular television reports, complete with fake news reporters signing off from Washington. These are intended to be, and often are, aired by local television stations without any indication that the government is behind them. The Government Accountability Office found this kind of phony news to be impermissible "covert propaganda." It warned the government last month that such prepackaged news stories must be accompanied by a "clear disclosure to the television viewing audience" of the government's involvement. The Bush administration is now instructing its officials to ignore the GAO -- which is where (in addition to the question of comedic content) the administration and Mr. Stewart diverge. He wants you to know his news is phony

Although this administration apparently isn't the first to use video news releases, it seems more enamored of them than its predecessors. For example: A spot commissioned by the Transportation Security Administration lauds "another success" in the Bush administration's "drive to strengthen aviation security," which the "reporter" describes as "one of the most remarkable campaigns in aviation history."

It's humiliating that local news stations, however short-staffed and desperate for footage, would allow themselves to be used this way. Indeed, as the New York Times reported Sunday, some have even lopped off government attribution when it was included or pretended the government reporter was one of their own. Even so, it's disingenuous for administration officials to blame the stations, given that many releases are crafted precisely to disguise their government origin.

This technique is both illegal and unwise. As a legal matter, the prepackaged news releases run afoul of the prohibition on the use of government funds for domestic "propaganda." The administration's interpretation -- it's okay to hide the source as long as the spot is "purely informational" -- is untenable: Highlighting some "facts" and leaving out others can be even more persuasive than outright advocacy, which is why the administration chose this device. More important, this kind of propaganda masquerading as news is a deceitful way for a democratic government to do business; fake journalists paid by the government to deliver its version of news are as disturbing as real commentators paid by the government to tout its views. White House press secretary Scott McClellan defended the video news releases on Monday as "an informational tool to provide factual information to the American people." Nice sentiment, but why, exactly, wouldn't the administration want to let the people in on one of the most salient facts: who, really, is doing the talking?

Speaking of Jon Stewart and bullshit, he recently had on Princeton philosophy professor emeritus Harry Frankfurt on his show. His book, On Bullshit. Here is the Daily Show segment with Prof. Frankfurt. Thanks to One Good Move. They also have last nights piece on Paul Wolfowitz.

Appropriate St. Patrick’s Day Story

During my undergraduate studies I once took a basic communication/speech course. If I remember correctly we had to give three speeches over the sixteen week semester. I’m sure one was a lame introductory, one on how to do something like bake brownies, and the last one would be informative. I specifically remember a few. I, of course, babbled about The Prisoner as the greatest show ever – but that was before reading a lot of critical theory, now I know it’s the best ever. Anyway, another was about how Jesus was a black man and the European representations and subsequent religious politics involved. Lastly, which is a story if you hang around me long enough you would have heard, was a student discussing tattoos. This student gave a very informative talk regarding tattoos as art work and the many factors that influence an individual’s decision when choosing a tattoo. This student concluded the speech by using herself as an example. The student decided to get a tattoo of a four leaf clover, as she explained, was to celebrate Irish heritage and how much it meant to her. The professor winced for a minute and then sat back until she concluded her speech. It was customary for the professor to offer the critique in front of the class. He concluded his feedback by informing this young woman that there are no four leaf clovers in Ireland and that the shamrock was Irish and had three cloves. I couldn’t tell is she thought he was joking or if she was just horrified. Seeing this, the professor tried to convince her to not hack off a clove and that it was a good speech. Lesson: before getting a tattoo, go to the library. Ever wonder how many people that chose Asian characters or tribal symbols for tattoos know exactly what it means?

Check out The Onion’s Irish History Timeline

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Strange bedfellows, "behavioral sin," and a little tinkering in the evangelical agenda

From today's NYTimes.com article, Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence Behind Effort to Combat Global Warming:


The Rev. Rich Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals and a significant voice in the debate, said, "I don't think God is going to ask us how he created the earth, but he will ask us what we did with what he created."


So some folks over at the Evangelical Christian scene are, uh, warming up to this global warming issue. Why should we care?


  • First, because it provides an excellent opportunity to both measure and use the "moral values" variable that everyone has been talking about since the last election. If the nation's faith communities do wield significant power, this is their chance to show how much clout they have on an issue that has been relatively stagnant in the last few years.
  • The language used by these environmentalists brings the concept of "sin" back into a broader context, away (momentarily) from sexual issues. Of course, Mr. Cizik says, "We're not adverse to government-mandated prohibitions on behavioral sin such as abortion ... We try to restrict it. So why, if we're social tinkering to protect the sanctity of human life, ought we not be for a little tinkering to protect the environment?" Okay, so perhaps they're not really moving away from sexual issues. But if you follow the belief that every fertilized egg has a place in the world, doesn't it make sense to maintain a world for them to live in?
  • This initiative changes the calculus of individual vs. governmental control for a group that has always believed itself to be Republican. As much as they claim to be "pro-business environmentalists," many are realizing that businesses just aren't going to self-regulate on pollution unless it's directly profitable to them. These folks aren't really fiscal conservatives, they're just following the conservative social agenda that has been co-opted by the Republican party. If we can force a split between "small government" folks and "traditional values" folks, the political system in this country would make a lot more sense, and we would have fewer social moderates who get duped into voting rightwards because they believe this time maybe the budget really will get balanced.
  • The groups cited in this article are focussing specifically on global warming and climate change. No one is trying to save whales or promote low-flow toilets. Saving God's creatures might be popular in the pews, but it smacks a little too much of liberalism. Global warming, on the other hand, presents a clear and present danger within an Old Testament lifetime. It's a smart battle to pick.
  • They may just have a point. Four hurricanes along the East Coast this season, the Boxing Day tsunami, earthquakes in Iran and all along the Pacific Rim. It may be anecdotal evidence, but it sure feels like something's not right. And if that intuition gets some decent environmental laws passed, more's the better.

Edit: the NYTimes.com archives their articles alarmingly quickly these days. If you'd like to read the full text, leave a message in the comments with your email.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Never Fly in the North East Corridor Lesson Twelve

So a relative is visiting me for 48 hours and coming from Washington, DC. When discussing travel plans I said, "do not fly from DC. I know it sounds convenient and the travel agent will get you a great deal as an addition to you business trip, but just take Amtrak and be done with it. Amtrak is 2 hours and 45 minutes and won't be delayed by snow." Sure enough my advise was not considered and this person is currently sitting at National Airport with their flight delayed an hour and a half. The flight isn't an hour in the air, so short in fact you aren't suppose to leave your seat (and rather cool if they fly you up the coast!). So between the early check in, the sitting around, the flight itself, and the damn hassle of LGA baggage and cab or bus, I guarantee it will be at least two hours longer and a hell of a lot more stressful than just sitting back on Amtrak, cracking open a beer or swiggin from a flask and reading a book in a seat 50% larger than that of an airline. Heck, plug in your laptop and blog. When you visit people from a different part of the country, always take their advice on travel, restaurants, hotels, etc. After all, who would know better?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

MBA or Cinema?

Elizabeth Van Ness asks this questions in her piece Is a Cinema Studies Degree the New M.B.A.?
RICK HERBST, now attending Yale Law School, may yet turn out to be the current decade's archetypal film major. Twenty-three years old, he graduated last year from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied filmmaking with no intention of becoming a filmmaker. Rather, he saw his major as a way to learn about power structures and how individuals influence each other.

"People endowed with social power and prestige are able to use film and media images to reinforce their power - we need to look to film to grant power to those who are marginalized or currently not represented," said Mr. Herbst, who envisions a future in the public policy arena. The communal nature of film, he said, has a distinct power to affect large groups, and he expects to use his cinematic skills to do exactly that.

At a time when street gangs warn informers with DVD productions about the fate of "snitches" and both terrorists and their adversaries routinely communicate in elaborately staged videos, it is not altogether surprising that film school - promoted as a shot at an entertainment industry job - is beginning to attract those who believe that cinema isn't so much a profession as the professional language of the future...

...In fact, even some who first enrolled in U.S.C.'s film school to take advantage of its widely acknowledged position as a prime portal to Hollywood have begun to view their cinematic skills as a new form of literacy. One such is David Hendrie, who came to U.S.C. in 1996 after a stint in the military intending to become a filmmaker, but - even after having had the producer/director Robert Zemeckis as a mentor - found himself drawn to the school's Institute for Creative Technologies, where he creates military training applications in a variety of virtual reality, gaming and filmic formats. One film he developed was privately screened for the directors John Milius and Steven Spielberg, who wanted to understand the military's vision of the future.

"That was like a film student's dream," said Mr. Hendrie, who nonetheless believes he has already outgrown anything he was likely to accomplish on the studio circuit. "I found myself increasingly demoralized by my experiences trying to pitch myself as a director for films like 'Dude, Where's My Car?' " Mr. Hendrie said. "What I'm doing here at I.C.T. speaks to the other interests I've always had, and in the end excited my passion more."

I haven't blogged much recently, and this probably will continue as Monday between day job and outside for interest only job I worked 15 hours. But I found this article interesting, especially the bit about studying power. It just made the think about how many undergraduate and graduate programs study power from different perspectives, from cultural studies to org physc to international and transcultural programs... blah, blah. But a refreshing article in a time when we seem to be applying a trade school mentality to higher education (yes, a debatable comment I'm too busy to respond to). In any case this blog may be on its way out. Something will probably replace it, but it will be different - just not before summer. Other than that, the idea of creating a program or taking one over with friends and colleagues at a university in Northern California is a penultimate plan. NoCal is what will get me to leave the Northeast one day.

Has anyone else noticed a shift in the mass media coverage of late regarding Iraq? Now Iraq is Bush's triumphant policy decision and according to even the New York Times editorial page, partly responsible for changes in Lebanon, etc. While my housemate who travels through Beirut on a regular basis points out the desires of the previous ten years of Lebanese, the mixed feeling of military involvement due to the stabilization after the civil war - and other socio/political happenings - mostly the dialog has been "the puppet government of Syria" vs. "the Syrian sympathizing government" - aka Fox style. Back to my point, it seems that the talking points right now portrays Bush as a success in the Middle East and a probable failure on Social Security... which btw, the head of the GAO said today that private/personal accounts will weaken it unless benefit cuts were enacted. Therefore, to save it you have to kill it. This seems to be a common idea.

I have the new Stars record, Set Yourself on Fire, and its good. I can't decide if it is as good as the Nightsongs, but I really like it. Recently I have also enjoyed Aracade Fire, Bright Eyes, and the new Sam Prekop... I could go on, but won't.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

International Women's Day

There's much to say, but I can't seem to form a coherent post today. Instead, I leave you with a few links about women:

Maureen Dowd explains "blondenfreude".

Women in combat.

Women in the classroom. (by the very fabulous Bitch. Ph.D., one of my new favorite bloggers)

and, some of my favorite public women:

Molly Ivins.

Misia.

Heather Corinna.

More later.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Reid on Greenspan and other random stuff.

First off, let me again say how much I like Sen. Reid as majority leader. In todays Washington Post Dan Balz reports that Mr. Reid referred to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as "one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington," and considers Mr. Greenspan "arrogant." It continues
"I'm not a big Greenspan fan -- Alan Greenspan fan," Reid said when asked about the Fed chairman's testimony this week urging Congress to deal quickly with the financial problems facing Social Security and Medicare. "I voted against him the last two times. I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington."

Reid said that when Bill Clinton was president, Democrats had confronted the deficit problem by enacting a tax increase in 1993, which helped bring about a balanced budget and strong economic growth later in the decade.

"Why doesn't he respond to the Republicans and tell them the big problem here is the debt that this administration [has] created?" he said. "We had a $7 trillion-dollar surplus when Bush took office. Now we have a $3 or $4 trillion-dollar deficit. That's, in fact, what Greenspan should be telling people."

Peter Wallsten of the LA Times writes about how the newly elected Democratic Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, is vocal about not drinking BushCo cool-aid on Social Security reform
A no-nonsense rancher and wheat farmer who took office six weeks ago in a Republican state, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer likened the president's pitch to a magic show trick featuring a rabbit in a hat.

He also compared it to a bull auction hawking lousy studs.

"I was watching the governors around the room," said Schweitzer, comparing the group to potential livestock buyers who assess the wares and express their intentions with head-nods or nose-crinkles.

"I was seeing more of this," he said, crinkling his nose as if detecting a foul odor, "than I was of this," he said, nodding his head. "I didn't see a lot of buyers in the room."

Such harsh words were surprising coming from Schweitzer, who was elected after building a public image as a non-ideological problem-solver; he even chose a Republican running mate.

His comments were another sign of the growing frustration with the White House among state chief executives of both parties as they enter the last day of the National Governors Assn.'s winter meeting today.

The governors are hoping to persuade Bush to roll back at least a portion of his proposed Medicaid cuts, which would total $60 billion over 10 years. Many states are struggling with the soaring costs of giving healthcare to the poor, and they told Bush during a private session Monday that their Medicaid budgets were surpassing those for education and other needs.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Bush losing Social Security Battle

As Speaker Hastert said last year, controlling all the branches of government is hard work. Mike Allen and Charles Babington of The Washington Post write in their piece Social Security Vote May Be Delayed
The Senate's top Republican said yesterday that President Bush's bid to restructure Social Security may have to wait until next year and might not involve the individual accounts the White House has been pushing hard.

The comments of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), made as GOP lawmakers returned from a week of trying to sell the plan to voters, underscored the challenge facing the White House, especially in light of unbroken Democratic opposition...

...Frist is reluctant to put off a vote until 2006, when lawmakers will be focused on midterm congressional elections and the atmosphere will be more politically charged, aides said. But with polls showing widespread skepticism of Bush's proposal and some Republicans opposed to the approach, GOP leaders signaled yesterday that they may have no choice but to put off action.

That a politician as closely allied to the White House as Frist would even raise the possibility of putting off the proposal until next year -- possibly dooming it -- was an unexpected blow to the administration.

Putting off the vote until next year means that Mr. Bush's private accounts will be dead. There may be a funding bills to help "secure" social security, but Democrats should not play along with any tax increases with an election year as the GOP media machine will turn it into "Democrats increased your taxes and obstructed the President's agenda." Joe Biden made the Sunday morning talk shows and correctly announced that Medicare-Medicaid needed to be dealt with first. John Warner echoes this as written in the article.
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) said that at a meeting he conducted, "People [were] saying, 'Hey, wait a minute. Let's deal with this Medicare-Medicaid situation first. That's where my greatest pain is.' "

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said he supports the president's efforts, but added, "It's going to be a difficult thing to do at best."

Frist supports the president's proposal for creating personal investment accounts but acknowledged to reporters that the plan is in trouble. "I wouldn't take that off the table yet," Frist said.

In another sign of the difficulty in selling the package Bush has outlined, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a radio interview that he thinks workers should be able to divert only about half as much in payroll taxes to new personal investment accounts as the White House has suggested. Under Bush's proposal, workers younger than 55 who opt to participate in the program would be able to divert as much as 4 percent of income subject to Social Security taxation into individual investment accounts, beginning in 2009.

Grassley said on "The Diane Rehm Show" on WAMU-FM that under a restructured Social Security, young people are "going to be able to take maybe 2 percent, in my estimation . . . and start saving for retirement."

Bush and the Republican leadership have yet to agree on the specifics of remaking Social Security, but a detailed bill will be introduced Monday by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), a maverick in his party who may run for president in 2008. Hagel has been developing a comprehensive plan largely in secret that includes the centerpiece of Bush's idea -- personal accounts that come from payroll taxes. Hagel's bill also addresses the future solvency of the system.

While the Democrats, especially the Senate are determined to let the GOP hang themselves on this issue, one Senate Democrat apparently didn't get the memo. Exhibit #1,468 on why Joe Lieberman needs a primary challenge. Too bad Connecticut doesn't have a big name on the bench because any Democrat from a "blue" state should be defeated for any deal making with Republicans on Social Security at this point. It is a bad plan, don't rescue it for them. As James Carvell once said, when your opponent is drowning don't throw him a life vest, throw him in anvil. Josh Marshall, Atrois, and the rest have been following this. By the way, this CNN Money article says that Mr. Bush's support for private accounts(they use fixing) and his reform ideas in general are at 38%.
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters that the past week of public forums "has proven that the president's message is not selling."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New Blog

There is a new blog to keep your eyes on, The Next Hurrah.

WNYC Plug

Two good pieces on WNYC this morning. The Leonard Lopate Show has a segment on today that you should check out
Raney Aronson, producer of the Frontline documentary “The Soldier’s Heart” looks into how soldiers adjust to life after war. She’s joined by Michael Tucker, producer/director of “Gunner Palace,” who filmed the daily realities of a troupe of soldiers for two months in Baghdad. And soldier Jon Powers shares his firsthand account.

The Soldier's Heart is on tonight and if you are in New York City, Gunner Palace starts at the Angelic, Friday. Check the archives to listen later in the day.

Also today on the Brian Lehrer Show was a call in just for Lebanese Americans in regards to what has been taking place in Beruit.

Rumsfeld Sued

You probably already saw this, but the ACLU and Human Rights First on behalf of ex-detainees plan to sue Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Will Durham writes in the Washington Post
Human rights lawyers will file a lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of eight men who say they were tortured by U.S. forces in custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, sources familiar with the case said.

The lawsuit charges that officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government shoulder ultimate responsibility for the physical and psychological injuries sustained by the men while in American custody...

...The men represented in the lawsuit were incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions, death threats, and restraint in contorted and excruciating positions," the two groups said in a statement.

None of the eight men was charged with a crime, the groups said.

Bill Lann Lee, an assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights during the Clinton administration, and retired Rear Adm. John Hutson, former judge advocate general of the U.S. Navy, were due to participate in the news conference.

More information at Human Rights First and the American Civil Liberties Union.

About time

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Constitution forbids the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes, ending a practice used in 19 states.

The 5-4 decision throws out the death sentences of about 70 juvenile murderers and bars states from seeking to execute minors for future crimes.

The executions, the court said, were unconstitutionally cruel.

It was the second major defeat at the high court in three years for supporters of the death penalty. Justices in 2002 banned the execution of the mentally retarded, also citing the Constitution's Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments.

The court had already outlawed executions for those who were 15 and younger when they committed their crimes.

Tuesday's ruling prevents states from making 16- and 17-year-olds eligible for execution.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, noted that most states don't allow the execution of juvenile killers and those that do use the penalty infrequently. The trend, he noted, was to abolish the practice.

"Our society views juveniles ... as categorically less culpable than the average criminal," Kennedy wrote.

The above from the AP found in the NYT, Supreme Court Bars Death Penalty for Juvenile Killers. Justice O'Connor joined the Rehnquist/Scalia's, err Thomas, cabal.
In a dissent, Scalia decried the decision, arguing that there has been no clear trend of declining juvenile executions to justify a growing consensus against the practice.

"The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: 'In the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty,' he wrote in a 24-page dissent.

"The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards," Scalia wrote.

I was real happy after hearing this - this feeling was followed with the hopes that Justice Stevens can holdout until 2008.