Court Throws Out Fine For Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl Nipple Slip

Janet jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl’s half time show has become the most well known case of the FCC fining a broadcaster outrageous amounts for upsetting overly conservative people who need to get a life. AP reports that a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out the $550,000 fine against CBS, ruling that the FCC “acted arbitrarily and capriciously.”

The New York Times Tries to Help McCain But Drudge Intervenes To Help Obama

Maybe those Bar-B-Q’s for the press really do work. It looks like the media really is trying to help McCain out, but Matt Drudge seems to really like Obama and isn’t going to let McCain get off easy. After Obama had a thoughtful op-ed in The New York Times on his Iraq position, John McCain has put out an attempt at a rebuttal. The New York Times was extraordinarily kind to McCain in  sending it back suggesting improvements as opposed to allowing McCain to further demonstrate how weak he is in on foreign policy by publishing the op-ed as submitted. This also demonstrates that McCain’s smaller staff could really use some improvement in both the foreign policy and ghost writing departments.

McCain repeats his fantasy views of Iraq and he criticizes Obama’s views without presenting a coherent alternative of his own. He sounds like Richard Nixon in 1968, campaigning with promises of a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. Yes, we all know that there are risks in leaving Iraq. The problem is that Bush left us in a situation where there are no perfect choices. It certainly makes no sense to just stay there for one-hundred years, and the Iraqis don’t even want that. Should McCain try, the analogy would not be like South Korea or Germany as he intended, but instead it would be a case of the United States being an occupying country, which would only continue to inflame anti-American sentiment.

Apparently the McCain campaign refuses to take the advice of The New York Times and write a more coherent piece. The New York Post is also considering running the piece. I wonder what their motivation is for trying to sabotage McCain’s campaign in this manner. Thanks to Drudge the harm is already done as the original op-ed has been spread around the web (copy under the fold).

Naturally some observers have other takes with regards to the motivations of the parties involved.


John McCain’s Bad Weekend

First Read sums up what a bad weekend it was for McCain:

You know you had a problematic weekend when: 1) one of your top economic advisers/surrogates finally steps down from the campaign after his “nation of whiners” remark; 2) you get panned for breaking CODEL protocol/etiquette by announcing (incorrectly) at a fundraiser that your opponent is headed to Iraq on Friday or Saturday; 3) the prime minister of Iraq tells a German magazine that he backs your opponent’s plan for withdrawing troops from that country; and 4) when the Iraqi government tries to walk back that support, it does so unconvincingly.

The first item shouldn’t matter. I don’t think many people are going to vote based upon a statement from an advisor as opposed to the candidate. The election is over what McCain and Obama think, not what Phil Gramm says. The second item by itself won’t be enough to matter, but it does add to a growing list of examples which will cause voters to question McCain’s competence. He’s showing himself to be the mirror image of Obama. While Obama has demonstrated a strong grasp of the issues his lack of experience remains a concern for some voters. McCain has years of experience, but the more he talks the more it becomes apparent that he is remarkably ignorant about government policy and the issues, especially for someone with as much experience as he has. Just being there for a long time is not enough.

It is clearly the third and fourth items which really matter. McCain was wrong about the most important question in supporting Bush’s decision to go to war. His distractions of claiming success for the surge only highlight his lack of understanding of a need for a political settlement. The decrease in violence during the surge was  predicted by many opponenets of the surge and has yet to be demonsrated to be of any long term signficance. Now that Iraq has made it clear that they want us out in 2010, not one hundred years from now, McCain has lost on the major issue of his campaign.

Drug Law Insanity

Ed Brayton provides an example of why we need to end the drug war:

We all need to support Charles Lynch, whose trial on drug charges is scheduled to begin July 22nd. Lynch ran a licensed marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, CA, perfectly legal under that state’s medical marijuana law. He was arrested last year on Federal drug charges and faces – get this – 100 years in prison. Why? Because he dispensed medical marijuana to a 17 year old, with his parents’ permission (they went with him to get it, again as required by California law) for treating the symptoms of his bone cancer.

Brayton blames this insanity on Justices Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter, Kennedy and Stevens for as they “voted with the majority in Raich and upheld the primacy of the federal Controlled Substances Act over state medical marijuana laws. These are the justices who perversely decided that a constitutional provision giving congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce also gives them the power to regulate an activity that is neither interstate nor commerce.” He also blames the Bush administration “which has zealously enforced the CSA against those following their own state law.”