Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Was Craig entrapped?

In case you missed it, there's been a debate bubbling up -- and one bound to bubble over -- about whether or not Sen. Larry Craig was the victim of entrapment by the Finest of Minneapolis when he was arrested there in a men's room after allegedly having signaled his desire to have sex with an undercover police officer. First to pose that question -- and bravely so, considering his credentials as a bona fide liberal -- was Matthew Yglesias, who, noting the foot-tapping, do-you-wanna-do-it signal Craig copped to making, wrote on his eponymous blog at The Atlantic:

Now, common sense indicates that the officer in question is correct and Craig's foot-tapping was a cruising signal, but surely tapping one's foot isn't a crime in Minnesota. Whatever Craig intended to do here, he doesn't seem, in fact, to have done anything lewd.
Last Sunday, in the New York Times's Week in Review section, writer Laura M. MacDonald weighed in with a similar sentiment:
WHAT is shocking about Senator Larry Craig’s bathroom arrest is not what he may have been doing tapping his shoe in that stall, but that Minnesotans are still paying policemen to tap back.
Before I proceed, your blogstress must make some full disclosure here herself: When the news of Craig's arrest broke last year, your Webwench poked some well-meaning offline fun at Yglesias, inferring that we women are always being accused of luring men to their moral undoing, so one critical bit of information was to know whether or not the cop was wearing stilettos. Okay, so it is a disappointing bit of full disclosure.

Alors, allow your cybertrix to proceed with a bit of pretzel logic. Your écrivaine does indeed concur that the "sting" for which the good people of Minnesota were paying is probably a waste of taxpayer dollars, and says more about society's fear of gay men than anything else. However, this does not obstruct her belief that Larry Craig should resign his Senate seat. Why? Because he's a sanctimonious, apparently queer hypocryte who makes laws against queers. It's just a morality thing.

To be on the safe side, your blogstress sadly notes that she will no longer be rehearsing Ann Miller routines in public restrooms.

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Don't forget the people who survived Katrina

I know the anniversary of the storm's landfall has passed, but that doesn't mean your blogstress intends to forget about the lives ruined by the government's failure to protect and care for the million-plus people whose lives have been upended by Hurricane Katrina, the storm that devestated the Gulf Coast two years ago. Your ecrivaine had hoped to be in New Orleans for this year's anniversary, as she had for last year's but, alas, other work got in the way of her getting that far south.

On a joyful note, your Webwench did enjoy hearing, once again, the sound of New Orleans jazz as played by the Treme Brass Band (pronounced "tre-MAY"), only this time in Arlington, Virginia, as part of the wonderful "Planet Arlington" concert headlined by South African trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela. The last time your net-tete heard the Treme players was during the jazz funeral in New Orleans last year that marked the one-year anniversary of the storm. The funeral was a symbolic proper New Orleans ceremony for all who had perished after the breach of the levees. Katrina is often called our nation's worst natural disaster when, in fact, it was a disaster wrought by humans. The storm would have been survivable if the levees had held, as they were supposed to, at the category 3 level to which Katrina had diminished upon making landfall in New Orleans.

Over at the blog, Comment is Free, that is part of the UK's Guardian newspaper site, your blogstress's former American Prospect bossman, Michael Tomasky, ran a stinging piece that recounts the timeline of devestation and disregard endured by the people of the Gulf Coast, thanks to the disengagement of the president of the United States.

Meanwhile, at The Big Con, the blog of the Campaign for America's Future, Rick Perlstein lifts up the rug to examine the post-Katrina contracting boom being enjoyed by the friends and family of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

Does shame even exist in the experience of these people?

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