Monday, July 31, 2006

Global Warming Wrapped In A FEMA Blanket - A Nice Hors D'oeuvre For Climate Concern Nay Sayers

There is no correlation to bad responses by FEMA and global warming, now is there? Certainly, one could type the sentence and hope it is so. But with one briefing, a FEMA director can dismiss global warming as an issue to ease the conscience of the W, Rove and Co, can't he?
Q And also can you explain the scientist -- who said he had studied the relationship between hurricane patterns, and he was looking to see if there was a link to global warming. Was he suggesting that there was no consensus that there's a link?

DIRECTOR PAULISON: Right, he was -- that's what he was saying. That's what I heard anyway, is that there was not a consensus that global warming has anything to do with the size of the hurricanes because we didn't know back years ago -- we may not have been able to predict the number of -- or even seen them. If a hurricane came up and went up through the Atlantic, we may not even have known there was a hurricane --

Q -- he was saying that that's doubling over the past decade is maybe due to just better reporting?

DIRECTOR PAULISON: It could -- that's what he was suggesting, yes. That was my understanding of it.

Anything else, folks? Good question, by the way. Anything else? All right, thank you very much. I appreciate it, and try to stay cool.
Well, isn't that convenient...Of course, you can't appease a conscience if one doesn't exist in the first place...but, don't you enjoy some good innuendo in briefings from the presidential podium staffed with a wonderfully armed propaganda catapult?

BTW, don't you just love the borrowed witticism (last line of the briefing) from the presidential comedic playbook?

"Mourning The Loss Of Innocent Life"

Toss this quote to the long list of horse pucky that the W, Rove and Co expects the rest of the world to buy:
America mourns the loss of innocent life. It's a tragic occasion when innocent people are killed, and so our sympathies go out to those who lost their lives today, and lost their lives throughout this crisis.
Is this man for real, or does he really think that lie bundled with a giant load of hypocrisy gets food to the hungry in America?

Why Is There War?

This AM, my four year old got a hold of the front page of the local paper before me. Usually, that is not so troubling. But these days, you never know what is going to be the cover picture. This AM, there was a picture of a rescue worker holding a dead child amidst some bombed out rubble in Lebanon. My son asks, "What's that?" I explain. He says, "Daddy, why is there war?" I reply, it's when people can't find a way to live together peacefully. Unsatisfied, he asks the same question several times. How would you explain this to a four year old?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Ease With Which One Finds Hypocricy Is Astounding

I have oft pointed to the hypocritical statments and actions perpetrated by the "right,"and in particular their favorite players in the W, Rove and Co. But, again, we find at least three examples where the president commits such rhetorical suicide in almost as many short paragraph. Have a look and let's see if you come up with the same ones as me:
PRESIDENT BUSH: -- a lot of time talking about security, and I can understand why. Because there's -- there are people who are willing to destroy innocent life to achieve a political objective. And the Prime Minister is deeply concerned about the lives of his fellow citizens. And I appreciate that concern. I would be very worried if a Prime Minister came to talk about his country and did not mention, first and foremost, protecting people's lives. That's, after all, the most important responsibility of government.

And he believes, and I believe, that the -- there needs to be more forces inside Baghdad who are willing to hold people to account. In other words, if you find somebody who's kidnapping and murdering, the murderer ought to be held to account. It ought to be clear in society that that kind of behavior is not tolerated.

And that's the attitude of the Prime Minister. My attitude is, we shouldn't try to gauge whether or not someone is justified, or not; we ought to be saying that if you murder, you're responsible for your actions. And I think the Iraqi people appreciate that type of attitude.

And so we -- so we're not only talking about adjusting a Baghdad plan at the Prime Minister's request, to make it more effective, we're also talking about how to make the Iraqi army more effective. But the truth of the matter is, the Iraqi army is becoming a highly professional force that will help bring confidence to the people inside Iraq that the government has got the capacity to protect them.
I'll post my examples in a bit as a comment to this post, but I am curious to see what you come up with first...have at it.

When Commandars On The Ground Cause Confusion In Our Capital The American People Pay

When "commanders on the ground" cause confusion for the W, Rove and Co, we, the Amreican people, pay. Based on what the President was saying today, it looks like we will get more, not less troops in Iraq. Go figure. What happened to "they stand up so we stand down?"

Note the following paragraph that led me to the title for this post. I sure hope that W unscripted is not as confused as his speechifying leads us to conclude:
PRESIDENT BUSH: One of the things that's important is for -- and one of the reasons why you trust the commanders on the ground is because there needs to be flexibility. And I explained to the Prime Minister that I'll be making my decisions based upon the recommendations of General Casey. And, obviously, the violence in Baghdad is still terrible, and, therefore, there needs to be more troops. In other words, the commanders said, what more can we do; how best to address the conditions on the ground. And they have recommended, as a result of working with the Prime Minister, based upon his recommendation, that we increase the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad, alongside of Iraqi troops. And we're going to do that.

The second request that the Prime Minister made was that he needs more equipment for his troops. And General Dempsey, along with General Casey have reviewed his requests and his ideas. And I told the Prime Minister if this is what these generals recommend, it's what I support.

Conditions change inside a country, Tom. And the question is, are we going to be facile enough to change with -- will we be nimble enough; will we be able to deal with the circumstances on the ground? And the answer is, yes, we will.
I know I am not the only one who would wish that conditions would change in some countries....not the least of which, ours. What was it that Einstein said long ago? Some thing like, "we can't expect to solve the problems we created with the same thinking used to cause them?" Looks like we have some substantial work in front of us come November elections. Time to vote the bastards out and get some new thinking in place to solve the probems created the W, Rove and Co. The time for impeachment is long since nigh.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Came across a wonderful quote in a lovely book that resonates for me, and left me wondering about what we have spent for "freedom" in this whole conflagration called the "War on Terror." Points to the blogger who can tell us who said this to whom and in what story:
An hour of freedom is worth a barrel of slops
Given the amount of outlay (tax dollars in hock to the Chinese, dead GIs, innocent civilians KIA, etc...) have we gotten a fair return with regards to our freedom?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Now Enlisting Christians In The War On Terror

Here's an intersting idea for defeating those zany muslim fundamentalists that a friend of mine suggested at a gathering I was at the other day. How about we sign up some fundamental christians to strap on some bomb vestiments and send them over to known terrorist locations to blow up some folks. It'd be like taking a page out of the "terrorist play book" and handing it back to them in spades. Any takers out there in the good christian world?

Attention America: Can You See Through The Emperor's Clothes Yet?

In case you haven't noticed, the push to keep Congress in the hands of the "Right" (although it seems to me that more and more the GOP is wrong) is ramping up complete with a new batch of "Swift Boat" types to keep the Presidential (and thusly, reichwing) Propaganda Catapult greased and well supplied:
With voters threatening a mutiny over Republican military misadventures, what looks to be a 2006 version of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has formed. The putatively grassroots organization called Vets for Freedom has been offering up decorated, interview-ready soldiers to, as its Website puts it, “promote the unbiased, nonpartisan truth of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to educate the public and mobilize public support for the Global War on Terror.” Their offensive started in April, when former Bush press secretary Taylor Gross, who worked under Scott McClellan until last year, tempted newspaper editors at the New York Post, the Daily News, the Richmond Times Dispatch, and the Buffalo News with inexpensive war coverage—“unbiased perspectives” that “would not be at any significant cost.” Gross had no takers.

Then, over Memorial Day, Owen West, a Goldman Sachs commodities trader, Marine reservist, and adventure-book author (Sharkman Six and Four Days to Veracruz), published an op-ed in the Times in which he lashed out against war opponents, including the “sliver of malcontents” in the battle-zone ranks. (West served four months in Iraq in 2003.) “We are clashing with an enemy who has been at war with us in one form or another for two decades,” West wrote. “Our military response may take decades more.” He then evoked Lincoln: “ ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all . . . let us strive on to finish the work we are in.’ ” West was identified as a “founder” of the Vets.

John Stauber, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, thought the Vets’ Website looked suspiciously un-grassroots. Then he saw the privacy notice: “We may from time to time share the information our visitors provide with other Republican candidates and other like-minded organizations.” After Stauber blogged about it last month, the Vets removed that notice. The group’s Website is hosted by Campaign Solutions, a high-profile political consultancy that does Republican-campaign Web work. Clients have included Bush-Cheney ’04 and the Swift Boat Vets. “Vets for Freedom are the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” of the ’06 cycle, says Stauber.

Speaking from his office in Manhattan, West says he’s no Swift-y and that linking his group to the GOP distorts its message and is unfair. “Guilt only by association,” he says. “How could we be a front group for the GOP when we are supporting Democratic candidates? It doesn’t make any sense. We’re not Republican. We’re not Democrat. We’re pro-mission.”
LOL: "We're Pro-Mission!" The rhetoric is no disquise for a person's actions, now is it? Can you see through the W's new clothes yet? And if not, why the bleep not? The W, Rove and Co have been flashing the American people the full monty and the moon for years.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"A Victory of Conscience"

In order to have a "victory of conscience," you first must have one. What is most disturbing about the first veto every signed by W is that he claims to have signed it based on moral grounds, not on scientific fact. Again, we witness the wheels of hypocrisy actively spinning in the whitehouse.

Leadership of faith over fact gets you nothing but a slap in the face by the president. By vetoing the bill, W says he would rather have embryos flushed down the drain. Is that pro-life or pro-death?
Bush said the veto was not a setback for science but rather a victory of conscience, as taxpayers should not pay for research that destroys human embryos — even in the service of obtaining stem cells to develop potential cures for disease.

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush told a crowd of supporters, including children born of the type of fertility clinic embryos that would have been used for research under the bill. "It crosses a moral boundary that our society needs to respect, so I vetoed it."
W essentially flips off the American people again by telling them their opinions and desires don't matter - remember, that a bill has to secure a majority of votes in Congress before it gets to the president's desk.

My bet is that we can come up with a fair number of moral boundaries that the W, Rove and Co have crossed that we wish they hadn't. But we don't have the ability to veto this president and his administration. Believe me, if I could, I would.

How To Tell When The President Is Full Of It (of the SH-variety)

Have a look at what the Pesident and his speech writers thought the African-Americans want to hear:
We'll work together, and as we do so, you must understand I understand that racism still lingers in America. (Applause.) It's a lot easier to change a law than to change a human heart. And I understand that many African Americans distrust my political party.

AUDIENCE: Yes! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party. (Applause.)

That history has prevented us from working together when we agree on great goals. That's not good for our country. That's what I've come to share with you. We've put the interests of the country above political party. I want to change the relationship. (Applause.) The America we seek should be bigger than politics. And today I'm going to talk about some areas where I believe we can work together to reduce the obstacles for opportunity for all our citizens. And that starts, by the way with education. (Applause.)
First of all, history does not prevent people from communicating with each other. The people involved make that choice. Second, education is not only for the "children." Moreover, education has to be applied in both directions. Third, the relaionship that today's GOP has with the Party of Abraham Lincoln is only chronological. They are ideologically different in both a fundamental and wholesale way.

To use a ploy deployed by the W, Rove and Co. I reject the connections W makes today. I reject them roundly and whole heartedly.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Toss 'Em Down The Toilet Or Save Some Lives With Research: Being "Pro-life" Means What?

Hot debate on the floor of Congress, if you dare slap on CSPAN for any duration is the whole controversy surrounding stem cell research. Correct me if I am wrong, but the reason why I would rather read the text of these speeches is that I can skim versus being bored silly watching the proverbial paint dry.

Furthermore, waching congressional (and any, for that matter) politicos in action exacerbates the feeling for me, that I am so getting screwed by paying these people to do what they do with my hard earned tax dollars.  But that is a whole other post.

Windspike's Questions du jour are thus:
  • First, should we toss the unused stem cell sources down the toilet or use them in future research that could possibly save lives or make some bad lives better?

  • Secondly, which of the above options proves that you are pro-life?

  • Explain/discuss

Friday, July 14, 2006

WW3 About To Ramp Up Out Of Lebanon and Meanwhile...

So, is anyone predicting that WWIII is about to escalate out of the Israel/Lebanon situation? And if we continue to back Israel, how many steps removed are we from duking it out with China?

Meanwhile, let's see if this week's billion or so taxpayer dollars were spent well in Iraq?
Not much new out of Iraq -- I asked specifically, and not much new out of there today to report.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Killing Innocent People And The Slim Difference Of Presidential Thinking

Those of you who have not heard what the president has said about the Israel/Lebanon conflict (which may well lead us to WWIII) may be interested in reading the president's thoughts on the matter. Notice the slim differentiation made between killing people in the name of what (peace or stopping peace)? Which is worse - our killing innocent Iraqis - which has brought very little peace to Iraq? Or the actions of Isreal and Hezbollah that result in innocent civilian deaths?
PRESIDENT BUSH: -- to help calm the situation, we've got diplomats in the region. Secretary of State Rice, who is here, is on the phone talking to herf counterparts. I'll be making calls.

I gave you my initial impression earlier, and that is that it's a sad situation where -- when there is a very good chance for there to be a two-state solution enacted -- that is two states living side-by-side in peace -- it's really sad where people are willing to take innocent life in order to stop that progress. As a matter of fact, it's pathetic.

Plugging The Leaks

Looks like the Plame/Wilson family have hired themselves a very fancy set of lawyers and are setting about to plug the Whitehouse leaks themselves. Eventually, let's hope this doesn't end up costing us more taxpayer dollars, but I'm afraid it's more down the toilet to the cespool built by the W, Rove and Co:
The civil lawsuit by Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, said the couple suffered violations of their constitutional and legal rights.

The CIA leak case flared after Wilson accused the administration of outing his wife to punish him for questioning use of intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war launched by Washington in 2003.

An investigation led to the indictment of a top Cheney aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, last year on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury. He is the only person charged so far in the case.

The civil lawsuit cited "a conspiracy among current and former high-level officials in the White House" to "discredit, punish and seek revenge against" Wilson for publicly disputing statements made by Bush justifying the war in Iraq.

While no specific dollar amount is requested, the lawsuit sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys' fees and costs.

The suit also named Libby, who was Cheney's former chief of staff, and 10 unnamed senior government officials and aides.
Of course, the W, Rove and Co is going to try and spin this as another "frivolous lawsuit," which it is anytying but Let's hope the Wilson/Plame team find "activist" judges of their brand rather than the kind that favor sitting dignitaries.

Hunting, Putin, The Free Press & Common Values: The Twisted Logic Of George W. Bush

I've said this before, but I love W unscripted in front of the press. It shows us how he thinks and what he really is thinking. Have a gander as he exposes his twisted logic. The real question is, should we trust this man to have discussions with other world leaders in an unscripted fashion?
Q Madam Chancellor, Mr. President. Terry Hunt with the AP. Looking ahead to St. Petersburg, I'd like to ask you, do you think that Russia is honoring human rights and democratic freedoms and has a responsible approach to energy security?

And, Mr. President, were you surprised by President Putin replying to Vice President Cheney's criticism, saying that it was an "unsuccessful hunting shot?"

PRESIDENT BUSH: Did I think it was a clever response? It was pretty clever. Actually, quite humorous -- not to dis my friend, the Vice President. I don't know, do you want to start with this? I'd be glad to -- (laughter.) No, I think our job is to continually remind Russia that if he wants to do -- have good relations, that she ought to share common values with us. We share common values -- free press is a common value we share. And I've expressed my opinion to President Putin. You might remember my visit with him in Slovakia where I was quite pointed in my concerns about whether or not there is a free and vibrant press in Russia. We share concerns about the ability for people to go to the town square and express their opinions, and whether or not dissent is tolerated, whether or not there's active political opposition.

And so I will continue to carry that message. My own view of dealing with President Putin, though, is that nobody really likes to be lectured a lot, and if you want to be an effective person, what you don't go is scold the person publicly all the time; that you remind him where we may have a difference of opinion, but you do so in a respectful way, so you can then sit down and have a constructive dialogue.

And that's exactly how I'm going to continue my relations with President Putin. I'll be firm about my belief in certain democratic institutions; I'll be firm in my belief about the need for there to be an active civil society and NGOs should be allowed to function in Russia without intimidation. But I'm also going to be respectful of the leader of an important country. And I may not tell you exactly what I talked to him about in private. And I would hope that he wouldn't tell you what he talks to me about in private.

But, yes, we've got issues. Listen, we've got common problems that we need to work together to solve -- North Korea and Iran are two. And we've also got -- I hope he continues to understand that it's in his country's interest to implement the values that Germany and Russia -- Germany and the United States share.

Using Parents as Political Pawns

Looks like the W, Rove and Co is not above using a proclamation about "Parent's Day" to leverage a political agenda and support for their Iraq conflagration:
On this special day, we express our deep gratitude to parents for their dedication to a bright and hopeful future for their children. We also pray for parents in the military who stand up for America, and we resolve that their sacrifice will always be honored by a grateful Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States and consistent with Public Law 103-362, as amended, do hereby proclaim Sunday, July 23, 2006, as Parents' Day. I call upon citizens, private organizations, and governmental bodies at all levels to engage in activities and educational efforts that recognize, support, and honor parents, and I encourage American sons and daughters to convey their love, respect, and appreciation to their parents.
How about we bring our nation's parents home from the front, and the sons and daughters serving for that matter, home to help celebrate the day instead?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Frustration, Presidential Style

I had a good laugh over this fun paragraph coming out of Tony the Snow-job as he was aboard AFOne on the junket to the G8 (more taxpayer dollars out the window on W's behalf, btw):
Q Was the President frustrated, too?

MR. SNOW: No, the President doesn't give into frustration. To be frustrated is to waste your time stomping and fuming, and when you're President of the United States your chief objective is to get things done. So as the facts on the ground change, you try to figure out proper ways to get people working in concert to get the result you desire.
I don't know why I found this so humerous, but I'm still laughing. Should I be in tears instead?

Oh, and I found another fun and humorous set of sentences also from the same press gaggle:
Q Speaking of Russia, 14 months ago the President visited with President Putin in Russia. What's changed from then? Should President Bush still trust President Putin? We haven't had reforms that we'd like to see, some things haven't been done. What's changed in 14 months?

MR. SNOW: That's a gigantic question and it also happens to be unanswerable, but let me try to reshape it a little bit.

President Bush and President Putin still maintain a friendship. They also have made it clear that they have their own interests and that their chief obligation is to their publics. And so President Bush and President Putin I think have a very clear understanding of the ways in which they operate and how they can work together. And I think they're going to work very hard to get constructive results. I think it's important to President Putin to have a successful summit. We would like to help him have a successful summit.

But to try to encapsulate, oh, I don't know, in a gaggle what's gone on in the last 14 months is beyond my powers.
"Beyond his powers?" That's a good one. I love it. New and improved tools for dodging questions.

By the way, what are the poor folks having for dinner this eve?
Q Has the President ever had wild boar, as far as you know? Apparently that's going to be part of the barbecue in Germany.

MR. SNOW: No, nor do I know if he's going to be called upon to catch it. (Laughter.)

The Doctor Crosses Social Boundaries

In case you didn't notice, I have started another blog called, "The Doctor Is In." It appears that there is only a small amount of interest in my opinion. That's okay, I'm not offended. Here's my second opinion:

Shea, over at Constantly Amazed asks a perennial favorite:
"Do these pants make me look fat?"
One Dollar's Worth of Windspike's opinion:
This and similar questions, usually posed by a significant other of some variety, are a trap. The real and truthful answer to this question is rarely what the asker seeks. In truth, the pants only make you look fat if you think they do.

Befuddled spouses and friends realize very quickly that they are ethically caught between lying or being truthful as they work their brains around a suitable reply. Really, the individual who poses the query should invert the direction and seek an inner solution.

Only you have the power to remedy the answer to your own question. Moreover, the only answer to your question that matters is your own.
If you have an idea, tricky situation, concern, or troubling dilemma that you need a second brain to cogitate for a bit, pop on over to The Doctor Is In and rent my brain.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Imagine If Your Child Was Kidnapped By A Foreign Country

The president's handlers put in front of the foreign press today. They were very easy on the man and sidetracked by the W's favorite topic (himeself, turning 60) on a number of occasions. But, imagine this: The Shrubmeister trys to portray himself as a grand humanitarian but fails to look in the Gitmo mirror:
You know, one of the most moving moments of my presidency came when the young -- when the mother of -- young daughter was kidnapped by the North Koreans. Imagine. Anybody got children here? Imagine if some foreign nation ordered your child to be kidnapped, just removed. And never -- they never heard from the girl again. They went -- she was telling me, she was wondering whether she was murdered, and they searched everywhere. It's unbelievable, isn't it? It turns out that they believe that she was in North Korea, a regime that just felt like there was no accountability and no regard for human rights, and just took this young child.

So the mother was sitting there in the Oval Office with me. It was incredibly emotional. After all these years, she still felt this pain in her heart. And my point is, is that there's a better way forward than that, to live in a society like that. And the choice is his to make, in North Korea's case. I hope he makes the right choice. It's important for all of us to continue to make that very clear. If he chooses the other way, he'll be isolated and his people won't benefit.

Okay. Thank you all. I enjoyed it.
Sure, the folks are grown individuals, but some are innocent and certainly, they have parents (if they were not already killed in Iraq) that care about them.

Let's Have A Look At What The President Is Smoking Today

A little of this:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thanks for coming. The White House is the people's house, and I'm here to talk about the people's money. We're glad you're here. As you know, every year my administration produces a budget that lays out our priorities and our goals. And every summer the Office of Management and Budget releases a report called the Mid-Session Review that tells the American people how much progress we're making towards meeting our fiscal goals.
And, A little bit of that:
We also said, let's just be patient about solving this federal deficit; we're not going to take money out of your pocket; let's grow our way out of it; let's keep -- let's set priorities when it comes to spending, and keep the people's taxes low, and these revenues will catch up into our Treasury, and they have. And we're reducing that federal deficit, through the people's hard work and the wise policies in Washington, D.C.
And, some more of that:
Today is a good day for the American taxpayer. Tax relief is working, the economy is growing, revenues are up, the deficit is down, and all across this great land, Americans are realizing their dreams and building better futures for their families.

Monday, July 10, 2006

"A Topic, A Cancer, A Fetid Miasma"

I can't believe I missed this commentary from Friday's SFGate location. A friend sent along the whole article cut and pasted into an email. Have a slice or a two and let me know what you think:
It is like some sort of virus. It is like some sort of weird and painful rash on your face that makes you embarrassed to walk out the door and so you sit there day after day, waiting for it to go away, slathering on ointment and Bactine and scotch. And yet still it lingers.

Some days the pain is so searing and hot you want to cut off your own head with a nail file. Other days it is numb and pain-free and seemingly OK, to the point where you think it might finally be all gone and you allow yourself a hint of a whisper of a positive feeling, right up until you look in the mirror, and scream.

George W. Bush is just like that...

...I was having cocktails recently with a group of people, among whom were two lifetime Republicans, each in his 60s, corporate businessmen, one admittedly slightly more moderate than the other (to the point where, after once hearing a senator read off a long list of Bush's hideous environmental atrocities, actually let his conscience lead his choice and ended up voting for Kerry) but nevertheless both devoted members of the party.

Bush came up, as a topic, as a cancer, as a fetid miasma in the air...

...What a difference a handful of years makes. Now, overseas, we are a joke. A threat. A toxin. We are considered reckless and arrogant and ignorant, dangerous not just to the rest of the world but to the overall health of the planet. No one anywhere understands how a man like Bush can be the leader of the Free World, stolen election or no...

...Which is just another way of saying we are currently stuck. We are swirling around the bottom of the drain, clinging on to anything that might hold us from going under for just a little while longer. We have to let the neocon disease run its course, and just pray that at the end of it all the scarring and the pain and damage will not be so permanent, and so hideous, that we can't be seen in public for a decade.

This is where it stands: Bush can in no way risk alienating the ultra-right-wing bonk-job contingent that put him in office (they are, considering Bush's 32-percent approval rating, the only ones left even remotely supporting him -- even though, according to many estimates, they're starting to abandon him, too), and hence all policy and all agenda items from here on out will be even more vicious and desperate in an attempt to shore up the base. Hence trying to mutilate the Constitution to ban
gay marriage. Hence attacking the New York Times and claiming newspapers are endangering American lives.

In other words, Bush's latest nasty, Rove-designed salvos and upcoming attacks to save a sliver of power and pride and sneering GOP control are just the beginning.

However -- praise Jesus and pass the scotch -- they are the beginning of the end.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My First Opinion

For those who regularly read this blog, you may not have noticed that I have started another. Maybe I have fallen into blog abyss. On the other hand, maybe I have found a new way to do it. Here's the first opinion I posted there: Thanks to Jim Joiner at the An Average American Patriot for tossing this one into the hopper.

Setting the stage:

Jim said...
Opinions are like assholes, every body has got one. The trouble is when you are both an asshole and opinionated.
One dollar's worth of Windspike's Opinion:
Indeed, it is problematical if you have or some one you know has a proclivity to open two sphincters simultaneously. One should really practice and try to use only one orifice at a time. Exercising both ends at the same time may shroud an otherwise decent opinion in some serious stink. Moreover, the receivers of said opinion most likely will remember only the shit you stirred up and left behind. The opinion is almost always overpowered (and not in an olfactory way) by the asshole.

"What Good's Religion, When It's Each Other We Despise"

I've been listening to Placebo a good deal as of late. Perhaps it is because their lyrics are very poignant and powerful. Maybe it’s the melodic underpinnings of the tunes, but here's a sample of the lyrics from one of their 2003 tunes off the Sleeping With Ghosts album and the eponymous song from that album. In particular, it says a whole lot about our current geopolitical situation:
This one world vision
Turns us in to compromise
What good's religion
When it’s each other we despise
Damn the government
Damn the killing
Damn the lies

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The President Contradicts Himself Again: Predicting the Future Is Like...

Americans are living in times of great hope and great opportunity. By keeping our taxes low, keeping our country competitive, and keeping this a welcoming nation, we will add to our prosperity, and we will create a better America for future generations.
Again, simply because the president says it's so doesn't turn a correlation a causal relationship:
No one can predict every turn in the months ahead, and I certainly don't expect the process to be trouble-free
This leads me to...drum roll please...

Windspike's Weekend Sentence Completion Contest:

  • Finish this sentence:
  • "Predicting the future with the president is like..."

Winners recieve honor and recognition from the entire blogisphere.

Blog on all.

America: In A Precarious Legal Position

So, when the American people get sued because of the actions of the W, Rove and Co. and that law suit results in more and greater expense because some people have legitimate claims on the US of A, who will the reichwingers blame? No doubt: "activist judges." But here's the point:
"I don't think the Constitution has to be gutted to achieve our objectives" in the war on terrorism. "I felt it was my duty as an American to take a stand for the constitutional rights guaranteed to all Americans."
"Human rights monitors note that the vast majority of the over 15,000 detainees in U.S. military custody in Iraq have never been charged, tried, provided counsel, or allowed to challenge their detention in court, and over one-fifth of them have been detained for over a year in this manner," according to the suit.

In addition, the suit cites a 2004 Red Cross report that said military intelligence officers of coalition forces acknowledged "between 70% and 90% of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake."
So, the bigger question, is how do we hold the real culprits responsible for the mess we are in? I say, it's never too late for the beginning of impeachment proceedings. Now, if we only had some Democrats with a spine to get the proceedings off the ground.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Doctor Is In

Well, after listening to my spouse tell me that I squander too much time blogging, I decided to see if I can make a buck doing it. I have opened a little side blog and have already proven that I can (one dollar earned so far, thanks to Jim Joiner over at An Average American Patriot). If you are looking for an opinion on a particular situation or scenareo or problem, I would be happy to review your story and give you an opinion. I figure a buck is about all it's worth, but you can feel free to contribute more if you believe my opinion is worth a bit more. Here's how I set it up on the first post to this location:
Here's what I'm thinking. First, my spouse has been yammering on at me for spending way too much time blogging. Moreover, she has always told me that I have an opinion about everything. I thought, hey, what better way to make a dollar than by selling my opinion.

So, here's how "The Doctor Is In works. You send me an email for which you describe whatever it is that you would like my opinion on. You send me a buck, via pay pal - see right column and click the paypal button to do so. I review your case and give you my opinion via a post at this location. The rest of the world can view both your situation/dilemma/problem/curiosity and my opinion and then chime in.

I don't claim to be giving out psychiatric advice, direction, or even a good solution to very practical problems. But what I will do is give you my opinion; naked and honest. What you choose to do with my opinion is your own responsibility.

Is Our Hero Fitzy Going To Get His Ass Canned For Doing His Job?

This was an interesting question at the President's "press availability today. What do you think it means for our man Fitzgerald doing the scouring of the lurking leakers in the W, Rove and Co ranks?
Q Thank you very much. Mr. President, the work of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in prosecuting alleged corruption is well-known here in Chicago, as well as nationally. It's my understanding that technically, he hasn't been reappointed to his position, and serves at your pleasure. Do you have any plans to formally reappoint him to the post, or any position at Department of Justice?

THE PRESIDENT: As a special prosecutor?

Q And would you give us your assessment of the job that he's doing?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't have any plans to reappoint him because I haven't thought about it. I will now think about it, now that you brought it up.

The only -- I can give you an assessment of how I thought he handled the case in Washington. I haven't been following the cases here. I thought in Washington he handled the case with professionalism, he was very professional about it. You didn't see a lot leaks, you didn't see a lot of speculation, you didn't see a lot of people kind of dropping a little crumb here for the press to chew on. And I really thought he handled himself well.

But as far as reappointing him as a special prosecutor, I don't know whether the Attorney General is going to do that, or not. That's his choice to make.

Georgie Says, "See, Here's The Problem" But He Is Not Seeing Too Clearly

Looks like the President is looking for a way to wiggle out of the fact that he broke the law and the Geniva Convention all in one wack. What's to stop one of the newly released innocent folk from Gitmo to sue the pants of W and the American people for doing so?
Q Hello, Mr. President.


Q I'd like to ask you to speak on the broad implications of that recent Supreme Court case -- not the specifics of the case. But the justices said that you overreached your authority. And your critics have been saying that, too. Given your support and respect for the Court, are you willing to rethink how you use your presidential authority?

THE PRESIDENT: I am willing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court said that in this particular case when it comes to dealing with illegal combatants, who were picked up off a battlefield and put in Guantanamo for the sake of our security, that we should work with the United States Congress to develop a way forward. They didn't we couldn't have done -- made that decision, see. They were silent on whether or not Guantanamo -- whether or not we should have used Guantanamo. In other words, they accepted the use of Guantanamo, the decision I made. What they did say was, in terms of going forward, what should the court system look like? How can we use a military commission or tribunal?

And we'll work with the United States Congress. They have said, work with the Congress. I have been waiting for this decision in order to figure out how to go forward. I want to move forward. First of all, I stand by the decision I made in removing these people from the battlefield. See, here's the problem: These are the types of combatants we have never faced before. They don't wear uniforms and they don't represent a nation state. They're bound by an ideology. They swore allegiance to individuals, but not to a nation. The Geneva conventions were set up to deal with armies of nation states. You've got standard rules of war.

So this is new ground. This is different than any President has been through before, in terms of how to deal with these kind of people that you're picking up off a battlefield and trying to protect the American people from.

So we have about 600 or so there, and 200 have been sent back home. We'd like to send more back to their countries of origin. Some need to be tried, and the fundamental question is, how do we try them? And so, in working with the Supreme -- in listening to the Supreme Court, we'll work with Congress to achieve that objective.

And so your question is slightly loaded, which is okay, I'm used to it. But the idea of making the decision about creating Guantanamo in the first place was upheld by the courts. Or let's say, the courts were silent on it.
I am sure he is thinking, aw shucks, its too bad we can't affix some kind of signing statement on a SCOTUS ruling.

"We Want To Solve All Problems Diplomatically"

Q Thank you, sir. Some experts say North Korea may be launching missiles to attract more concessions. Are you prepared to offer any more concessions beyond that already offered in the six-party format? And have you ruled out the possible military option in responding to them?

THE PRESIDENT: As you know, we want to solve all problems diplomatically. That's our first choice.
But not when you are trying to generate a "central front in the war on terror." I'm not buying this shit any more, are you folks?

Sure you can say you are going to complete the mission, but can you and is it worth the cost? What, by the way, is "the mission" in the "war on terror?" Any one have a guess?
I spend a lot of time worrying about the war on terror. I think about it every single day. My biggest job, frankly, is to protect the American people, and this is a dangerous world and there are people out there lurking who are trying to figure out ways to hurt us. I know some dismiss that as empty rhetoric; I'm just telling you it's the truth. And therefore, we're doing a lot of stuff in Washington. We're reforming our intelligence services to be able to react better. The FBI is now focusing on counter-terrorist activities. The CIA is developing more human intelligence, which will make it easier to be able to do our duty.

We're also on the offense against the terrorists. We'll keep the pressure on them. We'll bring them to justice before they hurt our people.

The central front in the war on terror is Iraq. And I know Iraq is on the minds of a lot of people here in Chicago. It's hard work. It's hard work because we face an enemy that will keep innocent people in order to achieve an objective, and their objective is to drive us out of Iraq so they can have safe haven from which to launch attacks against modern Muslim nations, so they can spread their ideology of hate. They want us to -- they believe capitalist societies and democracies are inherently weak. They do not believe that we've got the capacity to do the hard work necessary to help the Iraqis succeed.

And they're mistaken. They're just wrong. Success in Iraq is vital for the security of the United States, and success in Iraq is vital for long-term peace. And so, therefore, we'll complete the mission.
Later on in the press conference another reporter tries to nail W down and he squirms out of it again:
Q Mr. President, a lot of people here in Chicago tell us that they see an incongruity in your foreign policy. We're involved in a shooting war in Iraq; yet we have a leader in North Korea who has announced his affection for nuclear weapons and no hesitation to use them against the United States. Is your policy consistent between the way you have dealt with Iraq and the way you have dealt with North Korea? And if so, are we headed toward a military action in North Korea? And if so, can this nation sustain military action on three fronts -- Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea?

THE PRESIDENT: I have always said that it's important for an American President to exhaust all diplomatic avenues before the use of force. Committing our troops into harm's way is a difficult decision. It's the toughest decision a President will ever make. And I fully understand the consequences of doing so.

All diplomatic options were exhausted, as far as I was concerned, with Saddam Hussein. Remember that the U.N. Security Council resolution that we passed when I was the President was one of 16, I think -- 16, 17? Give me a hand here. More than 15. (Laughter.) Resolution after resolution after resolution saying the same thing, and he ignored them. And we tried diplomacy. We went to the U.N. Security Council -- 15-to-nothing vote that said, disarm, disclose or face serious consequences.

I happen to believe that when you say something you better mean it. And so when we signed on to that resolution that said, disclose, disarm or face serious consequences, I meant what we said. That's one way you keep the peace: You speak clearly and you mean what you say.

And so the choice was Saddam Hussein's choice. He could have not fooled the inspectors. He could have welcomed the world in. He could have told us what was going on. But he didn't. And so we moved.

And we're in the diplomatic process now with North Korea; that's what you're seeing happening. Remember, remember, we put a coalition together at the United Nations that said, disclose, disarm, or face serious consequences. It was 15 to nothing. It wasn't a U.S., 1 to 14. It was 15 to nothing; other nations stood up and said the same thing we said.

So we're now working the diplomacy, and you're watching the diplomacy work, not only in North Korea, but in Iran. It's kind of painful in a way for some to watch because it takes a while to get people on the same page. Everybody -- not everybody thinks the exact same way we think. There are different -- words mean different things to different people, and the diplomatic process can be slow and cumbersome. This is why this is probably the fourth day in a row I've been asked about North Korea -- it's slow and cumbersome. Things just don't happen overnight.

But what you're watching is a diplomatic response to a person who, since 1994, has said they're not going to -- he's not going to have a weapon.

Q Do you believe the United States --

THE PRESIDENT: I don't accept that hypothetical question. You're asking me a hypothetical. What I believe is we can solve the problem diplomatically.
But really, if it takes time to do things diplomatically, what has the W, Rove and Co accomplished in four years since W proclaimed North Korea as a member of the Axis of Evil? Watch W get all tangled up here:
Q Mr. President, if I could follow up, you say diplomacy takes time --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it does.

Q -- but it was four years ago that you labeled North Korea a member of the "axis of evil." And since then it's increased its nuclear arsenal, it's abandoned six-party talks and now these missile launches --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you a question. It's increased it's -- that's an interesting statement: "North Korea has increased its nuclear arsenal." Can you verify that?

Q Well, intelligence sources say -- if you can -- if you'd like to dispute that, that's fine.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I'm not going to dispute, I'm just curious.

Q Our intelligence sources say that it's increased the number -- its nuclear capability --

THE PRESIDENT: -- dangerous -- it has potential danger.

Q It's increased is nuclear capabilities. It's abandoned six-party talks, and it's launched these missiles.


Q Why shouldn't Americans see the U.S. policy regarding North Korea as a failed one?

THE PRESIDENT: Because it takes time to get things done.

Q What objective has the U.S. government achieved when it comes to North Korea? And why does the administration continue to go back to the same platform process if it's not effective in changing North Korea's behavior? Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Suzanne, these problems didn't arise overnight, and they don't get solved overnight. It takes a while. Again, I think if you look at the history of the North Korean weapons program, it started probably in the '80s. We don't know -- maybe you know more than I do -- about increasing the number of nuclear weapons. My view is we ought to treat North Korea as a danger, take them seriously. No question that he has signed agreements and didn't stick by them. But that was done during -- when we had bilateral negotiations with him, and it's done during the six-party talks.

You've asked what we've done. We've created a framework that will be successful. I don't -- my judgment is, you can't be successful if the United States is sitting at the table alone with North Korea. You run out of options very quickly if that's the case. In order to be successful diplomatically, it's best to have other partners at the table. You ask what we've done. We got the six-party talks started. And that's a positive development. It's a way to solve this problem diplomatically.

Q Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: I just thought for a minute you might have known more than I do about -- when you say, definitively say he's increased the number of weapons. I don't think we know that.

Q Maybe you know, but you're not telling.

THE PRESIDENT: That's an option. (Laughter.)

Q Mr. President, you said some time ago that --

THE PRESIDENT: Maybe I don't know and don't want to tell you I don't know. Anyway. (Laughter.)
Ah Ha, the truth slips out. I love W unscripted. It's when he tends to be more honest, if that's possible for a man who is living a perpetual lie (re: Y2K elections that he stole rather than won).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Civil Rights Lost: "The Debris That Stands Between Us And A Better Future"

Try not to get your underwear in a twist if you can when you read this statement from the President's spokesmodel...It's a doosy:
Q I want to ask a question that I asked yesterday. How is civil rights the cornerstone of this administration?

MR. SNOW: The President has always talked about civil rights as a cornerstone in a number of ways. It is clear that in this nation, there have been people who have been left behind, that there was long history of discrimination in this nation that has been a stain, that American people have to work together to figure out not merely how to blot the stain, but how to heal the wounds. And the President has tried to reach out with faith-based initiatives. He's tried to do it by talking about not only No Child Left Behind, but also initiatives to allow people the choice to go to the best available schools.

And I think the way you try to deal with civil rights is to try to create an atmosphere in which people can lay aside old prejudices and also try to remove that debris, because that is debris that stands between us and a better future. And you do that in a number of ways. You do that by building a stronger economy that can offer jobs to more. You do it by trying to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to be educated and trained in such a way as to take full advantage of it. You try to do that by doing family initiatives, because in many poor neighborhoods in this country there is one feature that stands out, and that is single-parent households where people toil heroically, but there is a difference -- and to try to rebuild families safe and whole.

It's important, when you talk about crime, that somebody can walk the streets without having to worry about random acts of violence and shooting. In other words, civil rights is an extension of common sense, which is, in common sense, what you want to do is to build a society where young men and women have the opportunity to grow up in safe neighborhoods, attend good schools, be embraced by parents who love them and whose love they can count upon, and to do it in a way to know that they are not going to be victimized because of their race, because of their skin color, and because of their background.

Civil rights is built around a whole series of programs, and they extend those same benefits to everybody. But for those who have never had them before, it is the hope that that is going to help transform their lives. If you talk about -- there are job training programs. There are reconstruction programs. There are business grant programs. There are attempts to do targeted grants. We're going to be seeing some of this, as well. And that's how you build civil rights.

In many ways, the infrastructure that says bigotry is illegal has been constructed. But now comes the business of removing the barriers that still remain in the way, so the American Dream can be accessible to all.

Q Did Hurricane Katrina divert the laying of that cornerstone of civil rights?

MR. SNOW: No, I think what Hurricane Katrina did was to expose some ways -- to wake everybody up to the difficulty, not only of dealing with natural disasters, but their aftermath.

Got to go, guys. Thank you very much.
Wow! Thoughts?

What Happens To Ken Lay's Victims Now That Kenny Boy Is Pushing Up Daisies?

Holy Shit - I thought the government was supposed to be "for" the people:
Q And this one, I don't know if anyone could answer this, but it seems outrageous -- I mean, I'm sorry Ken Lay died, sorry for his family, but I don't understand why the creditors can't somehow sue the estate, just because he died. There's nothing the White House can do to help those poor people out?

MR. SNOW: As I said yesterday also, when it comes to legal matters, the White House, we give duly constituted legal authorities who do their work, and we will allow the court system to process in whatever way, to probate the estate as it sees fit. I am not going to just --

Q The slate is wiped clean because he died.

MR. SNOW: Well, I can't help you with that.

Preposterous Questions?

Was this question preposterous? I don't know...perhaps Tony the Snow-job is practicing his hyperbole for fun.
Q Before North Korea launched its missiles on July 4th, the President said the U.S. would attempt to shoot down any missiles headed towards U.S. territory, but it was civil -- but it was Cold War policy of launch on warning that kept the uneasy peace between the Soviet Union and U.S. for 40 years. And my question, has the U.S. abandoned its launch on warning policy?

MR. SNOW: I'm not going to get into the vagaries of --

Q -- if I could finish. Is it not a signal of weakness to our enemies, many of them stateless terrorists, to suggest the U.S. will absorb a first strike before retaliating with their own nuclear weapons?

MR. SNOW: That's one of the all time great preposterous questions. (Laughter.)

Q Coming from the network. And I don't think it's preposterous.

MR. SNOW: Well, memo to boss is, send the weak stuff back. No, look, I do think it's preposterous. And it's one of these things where this is something that has not come into play, and I'm not going to -- the United States reserves all options to defend itself. And I am going to go no further than that.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stopping WMD

You all know about North Korea, but I have a question - What does it say about an Administration when they select to invade a country that has no WMD, but they can not stop an "evil" dictator for test firing six missiles that may very well have carried nuclear warheads, all the while a press briefing about the subject is being conducted?
MR. SNOW: Steve, did all five fall in the Sea of Japan?

MR. HADLEY: I have one piece of news. There has been a sixth.* The fifth missile was a Nodong, it hit the Sea of Japan. It was launched at 6:31 p.m., eastern daylight time, impact at 6:36 p.m. There has been a sixth launch. This is also from a Nodong, also from the Kittaeryong facility. We don't have an impact location or time at this point.
Of course, I can see Kim Jung Il taking the Whitehouse's statment very seriously, no?
On the afternoon of July 4 (Washington, DC time), the U.S. detected multiple missile launches from North Korea, including the Taepo Dong 2. The United States strongly condemns these missile launches and North Korea's unwillingness to heed calls for restraint from the international community. We are consulting with international partners on next steps. This provocative act violates a standing moratorium on missile tests to which the North had previously committed. Regardless of whether the series of launches occurred as North Korea planned, they nevertheless demonstrate North Korea's intent to intimidate other states by developing missiles of increasingly longer ranges. We urge the North to refrain from further provocative acts, including further ballistic missile launches.

The September 2005 Joint Statement at the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks offered the North Korean government and the North Korean people a better path. North Korea's actions only serve to further isolate North Korea and harm its people. While the United States remains committed to a peaceful diplomatic solution and to implementation of the agreed upon Joint Statement, the North Korean regime's actions and unwillingness to return to the talks appears to indicate that the North has not yet made the strategic decision to give up their nuclear programs as pledged to the other five parties. Accordingly, we will continue to take all necessary measures to protect ourselves and our allies.

We will be seeking to address this matter in discussions in New York and with our allies and regional partners.

To Whom Does The "Decider" Go For Permission To Make A Decision?

I was finishing up my coffee this AM and heard an interesting interview of Jane Mayer (New Yorker Magazine) conducted by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. They were talking about a man who's name I had not heard before - one David Addington. In an article that is in print as of yesterday, but not on line just yet (at least not those who haven't paid for a subscription like myself),Mayer exposes the "Hidden Power" that drives all decisions directly through the Vice President's office. In particular, she fingers Addington as the brains and yes man that has liberally deployed the stamp of legal approval of all things illicitly executed by the W, Rove and Co.

Yes, indeed, David Addington - a lawyer who was never elected by any person to serve us - was appointed by the Big Dick Cheney (and their relationship goes way back to the days when they actively supported the Vietnam War) to assuage the W, Rove and Co.'s collective conscience (if they have one)because David has a propensity to think through, design,circumvent the legalities and rationalize things like Gitmo.

My bet is that the American people have no knowledge of who this man is and what damage he has done to our Constitutionally chartered system of government. I suggest that we in the blogisphere rectify this problem and do as much as possible to expose this man (apparently no picture has been published of this man, nor has he ever been interviewed for the record). Much like Uncle Karl, Addinton has his tentacles in many a problem, but his fingerprints are hard to find on anything. Slippery beasts.

Kenny Boy Slips Through The Mighty Fingers Of Justice

In case you haven't already heard, Ken Lay died. Heart attack. Slipping through the fingers of justice, no doubt, Lay skates swiftly across the river Styx to the gates of hell for an extended stay anxiously awaiting the arrival of his pals in the W, Rove and Co.

Any conspiracy theorists care to wager if Kenny Boy was offed to stop people from making a stronger connection between Enron and the Whitehouse? Remember, the State of California asked the W, Rove and Co to step in and stop the price gouging, and W said he couldn't do it....hmmmmm...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's All Quiet In A Coffin: The Hypocritical Difference Between Rhetorical And Action

Glenda, over at the Land Of Oz has a little Independence Day thing she is calling "Post for Peace." I popped on over to Pissed Off Patricia's Morning Martini for a double and came up with this comment that should suffice as my "post for peace."
It's all quiet in the coffin. For some, death is the only way to achieve peace. But in the days rich with the rhetoric spawned by the "culture of lifer" types, can't we think of a better pathway to peace that doesn't involve killing? In many ways, the W, Rove and Co's "war on terror" is the antithesis of their espoused pro-life ideology?

Certainly, Ghandi was right and smarter than all the politicos in charge these days, wasn't he?

"The rishis who discovered the law of nonviolence in the midst of violence were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves known the use of arms, they realized their uselessness, and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through nonviolence."

I Declare! Windspike's Independence Day Query

I was re-reading the Declaration of Independence and found it to be perfectly salient for today's situation. In fact, there are times when I feel like a colonist being persecuted by some far off government to which I have no fair representation. This leads me to today's set of questions for the blogisphere. Let's call these...drum roll please:

Windspike's Independency Day Query
  • Might it be time for a new declaration of independence?

  • And if so, what would you write in it?

  • Or, should we simply print copies of the 1776 version and sign our names with a letter to the president stipulating that we insist he abide by it?

Both are Turning Sixty Years Old, But Which One Has Done More To Better America?

I already know the answer to this question, but thought I would pose it anyway. Given that this month marks the 60th birthday for both the bikini and George W. Bush, I thought folks would have fun telling us which one has done more to better America and why.

Blog on folks.

Happy Birthday Mr. President
Image grabbed from SFGate

Monday, July 03, 2006

P.S. Pakistan Loves Our F-16s

In case you missed this, it looks like we need to chalk up another victory for the war-time profiteers:
On June 28 the Administration notified the U.S. Congress of its intent to sell F-16 aircraft to Pakistan. The proposed sale includes 18 new F-16 aircraft with an option to purchase another 18 new aircraft, a support package for up to 26 used F-16s, a munitions package, an upgrade package for Pakistan's current fleet of 34 F-16s, and logistical support.

Pakistan is a Major Non-NATO Ally, which has cooperated closely with us in the Global War on Terror. This proposed sale demonstrates our commitment to a long-term relationship with Pakistan. The proposed package is valued at approximately $5 billion. The Administration has been consulting with Congress on this sale since the spring of 2005.
Hmmm, any quess how much of that 5 billion will trickle down to US Taxpayers? What about the moral and ethical issues of selling superior war fighting machines to folks whom we can question as to whether they are doing all they can in the fight against terrorists, not to mention their antagonistic relationship with India?

Presidential Birthdays and the "Great Unwashed Masses"

I just had to chuckle over this comment/question from a Whitehouse pool reporter:
Q Tony, on the birthday events of the 4th, will those of us in the great unwashed masses get to hear the President speak or visit with him at all during the evening events?

MR. SNOW: Probably not. I don't think we have -- we don't have any scheduled public events, no. This -- it's no Madison Square Garden. It's going to be family and friends up in the Residence.

Q Marilyn Monroe won't be here singing? (Laughter.)

Q Elvis?

Q Elvis. (Laughter.)

MR. SNOW: Ouch.

Q Is the President going to come out on the balcony and speak?

MR. SNOW: If he does, it is a -- if he will, it will be a surprise to me. There's certainly nothing --

Q Any photo release?

MR. SNOW: Good question, we'll find out. My guess is that -- huh?

Q How many guests?

MR. SNOW: I don't know.
No doubt, they are busting out a keg and will be singing loud choruses of "roll out the barrel..." Certainly, they wouldn't want to expose any of the great unwashed masses to that kind of salubriousness.

Meanwhile, The Whitehouse Admits To More Leaks: The Difference Between Options and Recomendations

Here's an interesting exchange between some Whitehouse beat reporters and Mr. Tony the Snow-job. You should notice two things - 1) another leak of high level secrets, and 2) whether Tony arives at a conclusive distinction between "options," and recomendations:
Q Have you ever explained why Casey's recommendation for a draw-down on troops was not announced, or not even revealed until after the debate on the Hill?

MR. SNOW: Because General Casey provides lots of different scenarios, and we never announce them. I mean, in a time of war --

Q This is one scenario that he'd given quite before the debate, maybe a week or so.

MR. SNOW: Well, this is a scenario that was leaked. Somebody had leaked it. But we don't leak each and every piece of advice or every scenario the General --

Q You're saying it should have come out, though, at that time? It should have been a part of the debate?

MR. SNOW: No, no. When you're talking about the debate, which debate are you talking about?

Q I'm talking about the debate on the Hill, and so forth, where you accuse everybody of cutting and running if they want to pull out of the --

MR. SNOW: Wait a minute. I don't believe that phrase has ever been used from this podium. People have -- no, I mean --

THE PRESS: Hmmm. (Laughter.)

MR. SNOW: You better go back and check your notes. (Laughter.) Okay, by the present -- by the present occupant of this podium.

Q It was being mulled around, certainly this -- you keep talking about recommendation from the ground, and the military.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q You had a recommendation and it didn't come up on the Hill.

MR. SNOW: No, no, no. The important -- we did not have a recommendation. We had an option. And that's -- that's a very important and critical -- if General Casey says, got to pull them out, got to do this, then the President has made it clear.

Q He is never going to say that to the President.

MR. SNOW: Sure he is. If he gives military advice and he says, Mr. President, we need to do this --

Q He will never say, "got to" to his Commander-in-Chief.

MR. SNOW: Okay, "Sir, I strongly recommend that we do this." The President has said that he will -- he has to have trust in the person who is running the operation in Iraq, and that is General Casey. And he has made it very clear that when General Casey makes a specific recommendation, especially something like that, he will be inclined to follow it.

Q Was that a recommendation?

MR. SNOW: No, it was an option. It was a scenario. It was not a recommendation.

Q What were the other options?

MR. SNOW: I'm not going to tell you. Again, it gets to the point

Q What's the difference?

MR. SNOW: The difference is, the President -- I think this helps answer Helen's question. We've talked all along about conditions on the ground, what happens if these various sets of conditions apply. And we've also made it very clear that at some point, American forces are going to be leaving and Iraqis will have sole responsibility for safety and security within Iraq. That has always also been a goal. It involves not merely military forces, but police forces. So all of those things in play, if General Casey were to say, okay, sir, the time is right now, based on the conditions on the ground to start moving brigades, or whatever, then the President has been pretty clear that he very likely would follow that advice. It has not risen yet to the point of advice, it's a scenario. There's an option.

Q Why wasn't it in the mix on the debate.

MR. SNOW: Because it is inappropriate for a Commander-in-Chief to start saying, here are the scenarios my General has laid out before me. It is highly unusual in a time of war --

Q Why not?

MR. SNOW: Because you do not have perfect transparency in terms of your tactics or your options because to do so is to signal to the people who are fighting you ways in which they may adjust their tactics, as well, in order to make life more difficult not only on the ground for you, but for the people for whom you are fighting.

Q It's very crucial debate on the Hill what was going on.

MR. SNOW: No, no -- there's -- I'm sorry you missed it last week, but there are some very significant differences between what General Casey had been describing and what was being laid out in some of the resolutions on the Hill.

What we saw, and some of the things being debated in the House and Senate, were timetables. Whether you call it a phased withdrawal or whatever, it is, you move troops out according to a schedule. That has never been this administration's position. The goal of many of those being debated in the United States Senate and the United States House was not victory, but withdrawal. What we have said is, victory is the goal. You do withdrawals only consistent with conditions on the ground. There is no discussion of conditionality, in some of those resolutions. Instead, they're simply based on timetables. One set of -- one debate was based on a calendar, the other was based on conditions on the ground. And I dare say there's a very significant difference between the two.

What Ever Happened To Advanced Planning?

Just a small question: Given the President's stated desire to "close" Gitmo, why didn't the W, Rove and Co do any advance planning to anticipate the ruling from the SCOTUS? Certainly, the decision is complex and complicates the matter, but you could have anticipated that there would be two or so options - and given the dualistic modus operandi for thinking in the Rove and Co, fairly easy to predict. A) Proceed as planned (preferably within the law), B) stop all proceedings and do something different. But, no, we must continue to wait for them to figure out their ass from their elbow:
Q What has the President decided to do about the Supreme Court rulings on military commissions?

MR. SNOW: The military commissions -- really, we're still trying to explore all the options. As we mentioned last week, there are two basic sets of options. One is to proceed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Also, members of Congress are acting to respond to what amounted to the invitation of the Supreme Court to proceed with some way of finding and authorizing legislation for military commissions. Continuing to examine all options. There is no final decision at this point about which way to proceed, but, obviously, having to figure out some way to move ahead toward getting justice for those in Guantanamo in a manner in keeping with the Supreme Court's decision.

Q Why doesn't he just stick, then, with the Courts Martial?

MR. SNOW: As I said, he may, but they're examining all options to figure out the best and most appropriate ways to do it.

Q Who has he been talking to on the Hill about this?

MR. SNOW: I don't know about specific conversations. I know that members of the administration -- and I talked about this yesterday -- Steve Hadley talked at the end of last week with Senator McCain. I know Senators McCain, Graham, many others, have been in conversations with members of the President's team. I don't know about any specific conversations the President has had.

Q Is this something you'd want to try to do this year, or can it be --

MR. SNOW: Yes, I mean, what's going to -- I think you want to get this moving as rapidly as possible, otherwise you have, essentially, a detentions policy. And the most important thing is to try to bring people to justice. Having said that, it's a detentions policy, there is still the continuous and ongoing effort to repatriate many of those who are at Guantanamo. One of the problems is the reluctance of some of the host governments to take back some of those. So we're looking at ways to try to repatriate a number of those who are still at Guantanamo.

Q Do you think that proceeding under the Uniform Code of Military Justice would handicap the government in a --

MR. SNOW: You know, that's -- again, rather than trying to play through all the considerations from here, why don't we just wait and see what decision they come up with. I think at that point, we can game out what the decisions were or what the considerations were. But able legal minds at this point are still doing their very best to try to figure out what is the best way to conduct operations that are consistent with national security imperatives, and at the same time, also proceed with rendering justice for those at Guantanamo.

Q Has the President expressed a preference?

I may be going out on a limb here, and call me crazy, but it looks a lot like these folks are trying to line up the ducks to usurp the decision by the SCOTUS. It will be fun to see how they engineer it, and whether or not the spineless Democrats actually stop them.

Computer Troubles

Just emerging from three days of computer troubles. Sorry for being out of the loop, but I am sure you all understand the agony. Files are backed up now, new version of virus software uploaded and downloaded. Drives scanned, and let's hope she's fixed for good.

Blog on all.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Something To Hide

I occurs to me this morning that perhaps, if a person doth protest too much, that there is something spurious about his or her behavior. Certainly, the NSA spying initiative, the Gitmo situation, the absconding with telephone records, and the new revelation that our government, yes our supposedly freedom loving government, tracking of private banking data sans credible legal authority is just the tip of a very slippery iceberg.

Me? I'm thankful there is a press brave enough to expose these treacherous and deceitful individuals. In fact, the freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution for that very reason - to ferret out those who would use a position of authority to gain illegal and illicit advantage over the American people:
But the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists, judging by their literature, is directed not just against our people and our buildings. It is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate. If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy, it is anathema to the ideologists of terror.

Thirty-five years ago yesterday, in the Supreme Court ruling that stopped the government from suppressing the secret Vietnam War history called the Pentagon Papers, Justice Hugo Black wrote: "The government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people."
Perhaps, the W, Rove and Co is lamenting the free expression of the press so strongly not because they fear the knowledge will give advantage to the terrorist, but really, it is because they know the deeply amoral and unethical depths to which they have sunk to achieve their aims. And making deals with the devil is never a palatable means to propagate the illusion of security on the home front.

Certainly, the W, Rove and Co. protestations are misdirected. Shouldn't the big, bold wagging finger of blame be more appropriately placed at some one with in their own administration for leaking the information? I say, stop the leaks before they start. Which reminds me, what ever happened to the promised retribution for any and all folk involved with the leaks in the Valarie Plame affair?

Apparently the W, Rove and Co is not nearly as dedicated to the security of the country as they would have you believe. Because if they were, they would be able to stop such nasty leaking of top-secret information from their own ranks in the first place. Which, in the end, leads me to the following conclusion: The leaking of this information will not do the kind of damage they suggest it will. There is no proof in their conclusions, and nary a correlation coefficient to back up their claims. Moreover, the very existence of our troops in Iraq do more harm to the American people. Just ask yourself the following question: How many new terrorists have been made because of our invasion of Iraq?