Daily Archives: March 4, 2009

Probably More Succinctly Describes The Ethos of the Just-Passed Era Better Than Anything Else

This bit, from a Michael Lewis story about the collapse of the Icelandic economy in this month’s Vanity Fair:

The rocks beneath Reykjavík may be igneous, but the city feels sedimentary: on top of several thick strata of architecture that should be called Nordic Pragmatic lies a thin layer that will almost certainly one day be known as Asshole Capitalist. The hobbit-size buildings that house the Icelandic government are charming and scaled to the city. The half-built oceanfront glass towers meant to house newly rich financiers and, in the bargain, block everyone else’s view of the white bluffs across the harbor are not.

It’s not just Reykjavík  adorned with unfinished Asshole Capitalist style; what is Dubai except Asshole Capitalist? We’ll be able to enjoy those unfinished glories for a while, I suspect.

Not That I Was Planning to Send Him a Gift Basket Anyway

But in the light of these newly-released DOJ memoranda, John Yoo has firmly lodged himself in the upper echelons of my “People I Shouldn’t Be in the Same Room With, Because Then I Am Likely to Be Arrested For Spitting In Their Face, And You Should Know ‘Spitting In Their Face’ Is Actually a Euphemism For ‘Punching The Man In The Teeth'” list. And it’s a short list.

I hold no usefully informed opinion as to whether any of Yoo’s memoranda constitute something actionable (i.e., that the dude should be arrested/disbarred/etc) except to say I suspect that all things being equal, someone shouldn’t be disbarred or arrested for giving patently shitty, ass-kissing legal advice; the culpability rests with the people acting on the advice. People with actual knowledge of whether this constitutes actionable incompetence will have to weigh in to tell me if my suspicion is correct or not. That said, I sure as hell don’t want the man anywhere near an actual government job ever again; someone who can simultaneously tongue Alberto Gonzalez’s sphincter and crap all over the Constitution is someone whose judgment is clearly impaired both coming and going. The good news is Yoo himself seems uninterested in going back into government, which may be the first sensible opinion I’ve heard him have.

Really: Gaaaaaah. Glad to have that crew out of there.