Friday, June 29, 2007

"Strategic Culmination" And More Proof The President Doesn't Have A Clue About The Real World

The other day, Mr. Bush was busy spending hard earned Taxpayer Dollars on yet another PR junket, this time to the Naval War College in Rhode Island. Of course, the President was busy gallivanting about in Marine One
On the way toward the War College, the President will have an aerial tour of Tall Ships Rhode Island 2007; he'll fly over and take a peak.
But that's not the point of this particular post.

Really, I love W unscripted. It's then that he reveals himself and his new clothes. Of course, no one near him has the courage to say that he's naked in them, but one question from a rather smart individual in the audience gets an interesting reply.

Have a look:
Q Thank you very much. Our family was touched by 9/11, and I want to thank you very much for the support of the 9/11 families. Peter Dutton is my name. I'm from the Naval War College faculty. I wanted to ask you about your thoughts concerning strategic culmination. Are we --

THE PRESIDENT: Strategic --

Q Strategic culmination. In other words, are we getting to the point where we're unable to continue to affect world events in other areas other than the Middle East because of our huge commitment there to the Middle East?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I appreciate that. Obviously, we're constantly balancing -- the first mission is, succeed in Iraq; let me just put it to you that way. And -- yes, I think we are. I think we're capable of dealing with more than one event at a time; witness the fact that we've got a lot of troops in Afghanistan. Fortunately, we've got a lot of NATO allies with us in Afghanistan. One of the things that I don't think a lot of people have really figured out is how successful we've been about putting -- about our ability to put coalitions together. There are a lot of troops in Iraq other than our own, and there's a lot of troops in Afghanistan other than our own.

The other hot spots, of course, would be the Far East. We've got a significant military presence there. We hope and pray that diplomacy works -- I think it will -- in dealing with the North Korean issue. But we got -- we're amply suited to deal with a lot of different theaters. But we're constantly watching; that's the job of the Joint Chiefs. Their job is to constantly monitor threats, positioning of troops, capabilities; and they bring them to my attention.

And I think people recognize that obviously -- you know, our military is undergoing through a lot of hard work and pressure. But according to them, they feel pretty good about it. And if they feel good about it, so do I.
But Mr. President isn't talking to the GIs on extended tours and listening to those who are tooling around Baghdad with big targets for terrorist practice pasted on the sides of their unarmored trucks.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Seperate And Unequal

If you ask me, it seems like the Big Dick Cheney must have something really nasty to hide. Why else would he take such great pains to shield us from his work?

I thought that separate and unequal was the opposite of Justice, and the laws that drive her. When a group of people lead by faith over fact, it generates the chutzpah required to think that you are always right.

Fortunately, we can vote the bastards out and there are term limits for this particular batch. The people who voted them in the second go around aught be thoroughly embarrassed and appropriately shamed at this time.
Q So that -- he is exempt from reporting? You support --

MS. PERINO: If you look at the EO, the President, in the performance of executive duties, and the Vice President are treated separately from agencies. The President did not intend -- I went back and looked into this -- the President did not intend for the Vice President to be treated separately from how he would treat himself. Agencies are to report to ISOO, and they do. I don't think there's any suggestion that no one else is complying. The Vice President was not intended to be separate from the President in this regard.
The skeletons are racking up and piling high in the The Big Dick and the W's homes.

Why Withdrawl May Not Be A Defeat

Even the introductory paragraphs of Sun Tzu's The Art of War are educational for those who would wish to ignite such conflagrations as the Iraq Democracy Experiment. I found this interesting quote regarding the much heralded "troop surge:"
I think they were tipped off by us talking about the surge, the fact that we have a problem in Diyala Province."LT. GEN. RAYMOND T. ODIERNO, on top leaders of Al Qaeda who fled a U.S. offensive in Baquba, Iraq.
This is the trouble when you have politicians who need popular opinion on their side versus doing unpopular things in order to win wars. I've said this before, but the notion that pulling troops out of Iraq would signal defeat is really setting us up for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In actuality, if the "terrorists" will fill in the void left by our absence, might that not be indeed be desirous? If they concentrate their energies in one location, we could then zero in on them and snuff them out in one fell swoop instead of subjecting our troops to the long slow bleed that is Iraq.

Sun Tzu would suggest, that in fact, retreat may not be altogether foolish in this respect. Doing exactly the opposite of what the world expects may actually assist us in finishing of this elusive enemy that hides in the wormwood of the world's desolate spaces and are protected by the favor of evil men.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
Unfortunately, the politicians in charge are more interested in gaining popular favor than actually winning the war.

Friday, June 22, 2007

When Answering Questions, Do Whitehouse Spokespeople Speak For The President Or Themselves?

Whitehouse spokesmodels have, on occasion, claimed to speak for the President - that's their job after all.

They have also tried to speak for the American People (see any comment where a Tony or Scott or Dana said, "I think the American people...").

But when you look at the following answer to a really interesting question, it's not clear whom Dana's speaking for other than herself. And if so, is that appropriate?
Q Can I ask you a question about nuclear? If nuclear power is so great, why does it need the federal government to subsidize it?

MS. PERINO: Well, I think that -- there's lots of nuclear experts back on the ground that can help you more with that. But my basic understanding is the following, which is we made a decision in our country decades ago that we were not going to continue with nuclear power. And I think that was to our detriment. The President has aggressively tried to turn that around.

Now, back when that decision was made, people were very fearful of nuclear energy, and other nations decided to move past that and to look for technologies that would be able to help alleviate those fears. We did not progress that way in the States and we are having to play a little bit of catch up right now in order to get to a world where we could use nuclear power more.

We need to increase the amount of electricity generation in this country, I think it's by 50 percent in the next 25 years. In order to do that, you want to do it in a way that is respectful of the environment as well. And nuclear power is the best bet regarding that. And there are new technologies that can help you not only deal with the building of the plants but also the waste that's generated from the plant. It has no greenhouse gas emissions. It is a great and efficient way to be able to provide electricity.

The government in some cases needs to help kick start some things. One of the things the government can do as well is help on the siting issues. It's expensive to build a plant, it's expensive to invest in one. And in order to get through the process or the NEPA process, the National Environmental Policy Act process, it's cumbersome and it takes a lot of time. And if a company goes through that whole process and at the end of that doesn't get the approval in order to build the plant, there's huge disincentives then to try to invest. So if the government can help nudge that along the way, that's a good thing.

Another thing that Secretary Bodman is leading is working on a standardization of plant design on three or four different types of plants, so once those are approved, it would be easier and streamline the process to get them up and running.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Whistle Blowers

There is something topsy-turvy with our society where folks perpetrating all manner of unethical, illegal, and downright murderous behavior are prosecuted less than those who blow the whistle on them are persecuted for doing so. It all amounts to who your friends are and how much capital you have, regardless of how you earned said capital, it seems.

One such whistle blower is Enigma4ever. Apparently, she is writing a tell all book that is forthcoming that explains her situation.

Have a look at a slice from her most recent blog post:
And now it is indeed Time for the Truth.
Remember this always , I am a nurse and a mom, I have integrity and honor, I never "Run" away from anything, and I certainly never ever give up or bail on things or people that matter. Blogatopia matters to me, and so do my friendships. My friends are my family, but I never ever call you all "Sweeties".And due to my circumstances I never have or will use my name on this blog.....I have a son to protect.

Also please know this I investigated and was a Witness that involved a Large Multi- Billion Dollar Chemical Company that was an International Company ( and was sold in 2005), and ended up being investigated by more than Eight Federal Agencies. I even worked with certain US Attorney's Offices, yes, our Justice Department, and yes, I was even offered Marshall Protection for Federal Hearings. Why? Because I supplied Evidence, including records, film and audio and maps to the Feds, all neatly put on CD-ROMS and sent to multiple Federal Agencies. I investigated a Company that dumped Millions of Pounds of Toxins on one little County for over 40 years in the Drinking Water,Beaches, and in the Air on Homes and Farms. That Dumping has stopped now and the Stacks that incinerated and emitted illegal waste came down in June 2006.

But when you Blow the Whistle on Such a Large Wealthy Criminal that has friends in High Places, life becomes Precarious and Precious, and at times treacherous. I constantly worry about my friends and family, and the members of my NonProfit, and I am more than protective of those I care about. This is partly because I have Good Reason. Good reason is tampered brakes, Unfriendly Encounters with Logging Trucks, Dead pets,Friends and colleagues dying or being injured in Mysterious Accidents, and even Encounters with Snipers. And yes, I lived in the Northwest many years, and after threats left in my house after it was ransacked in Fall 2003, I finally left the Northwest. I moved down the West Coast, living quietly with my son and praying that the Federal Authorities I had worked so hard to help would bring Justice to the Right People. And yes, when Silent Fallout comes out, there will be Revelations that will jolt many. But the Book needs to come out during the Election year......and It will. I am giving some shreds of it here....

And yes, in Fall 2004 I was very badly hurt and I moved to the Great Lakes Region in 2005 to get attempt get well and raise my son.I had to leave the wonderful West Coast, and it was the hardest thing to leave friends, family and "Home". That fall in California while living in a Rooming House with my son our little room was ransacked and the kitchen rooted through. At the time I thought perhaps some poor migrants were hungry. Within days Of this breakin I became very sick, with chest pain, muscle weakness, vomiting, and loss of coordination and falls continued for monthes. In California Doctors initially thought that I had ALS. But one retired Doctor was convinced that I had been poisoned. So we tested my spice containers and found that he was right. So I came to the Midwest to see Specialists and get better.It took many many monthes to get better and remove the poisons. When I was tested it was revealed that I had indeed been poisoned , with industrial professional grade poison, enough to kill a petite cow. I am ever thankful that my son hates spices. I do no know Who would do such an awful thing to a mom but I know I am truly fortunate to be alive.
She is very, very brave. Can't wait to see the book in print. Spread the story.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's A "No-Brainer"

Well, we always knew that NYC aspired to "San Francisco Values," but methinks that switching out of the GOP is a no brainer for folk inclined to want to win elections in 2008.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday switched his party status from Republican to unaffiliated, a stunning move certain to be seen as a prelude to an independent presidential bid that would upend the 2008 race.
The wolves are going to come at us in many different stripes, it seems.

When A President Starts Believing His Wishes, The People Are In Deep Trouble

One has to wonder what the president has for breakfast on days that he is going to let the press ask him questions. Obviously, he thinks that our brand of "democracy" is the cure all for the ails of the globe.

Skeptically, much of the globe's people find W operating with marginal integrity, questionable ethics, and bestows upon him the trustworthiness they would have given a snake oil salesman. And they are justified in doing so, if you ask me.

Because a President wishes something to be true doesn't make it so. A wish for democracy may be admirable. However, democracy is a system of governance, not a tool of diplomacy.

Have a look at this unscripted moment where you can see that the President is heavily invested in misleading even himself.
The Prime Minister has spoken to me, and I have spoken to him about our desire to help suffering Palestinians. Nobody likes suffering on their border, nobody likes to see suffering in the world. So we'll talk about that. We'll also talk about the broader war against extremists and radicals.

It's interesting that extremists attack democracies around the Middle East, whether it be the Iraq democracy, the Lebanese democracy, or a potential Palestinian democracy. And what that should say clearly to people all around the world is that we are involved with an ideological conflict that is a monumental conflict. And those of us that believe in liberty and human rights and human decency need to be bound together in common cause to fight off these extremists, and to defeat them.

You can only defeat them so much militarily. We have to also defeat them with a better idea. It's a better idea that's being practiced by our friend, Israel. It's called democracy. And that's the fundamental challenge facing this century: Will we have the courage and the resolve necessary to help democracy defeat this ideology. And I will tell the Prime Minister, once again, I'm deeply committed to this cause, whether it be in Iraq, or Lebanon, or the Palestinian Territory, or anywhere else in the Middle East, and around the world.
Sure, democracy is one of the elements that makes our society great. But there are many other factors that made us ripe for such a system of governance. Simply because it is the best system for us, doesn't mean it will work to improve the geopolitical climate in the Middle East. Certainly, Iraq seemed a lot more peaceful before we inflicted our brand of democracy upon it.

Even so, Tony the Snow job went to bat one more time to defend his Emperor's new clothes in grand hyperbole fashion. Have a look:
Q How do you respond to critics who say that the United States should have done a lot more for Abbas a lot sooner? And do you think the administration feels any responsibility at all for the split, Palestinian split?

MR. SNOW: I think what you really need to be thinking about is the President of the United States did not bind people's hands behind their back and throw them from rooftops. The President of the United States did not mascarade around with masks pulled over the face and slay people who disagreed with Hamas.

It's important to realize the terrorists represent a force of radicalism and extremism that continually tries to bring down democracies. And the President certainly has made note of that. What we have tried to do constantly is to provide real support for those who have democratic aspirations and are moving in the direction of democracy. And we will continue to do that.

The one thing that is clear in conversations both with the Prime Minister of Israel and also with the President of the Palestinian Authority is that they understand not only the dedication and commitment of this President, but also the importance of bringing in people throughout the region. It is not as if the United States is the hegemon. What we are trying to do both in Iraq and also within the Middle East is to figure out ways to empower those who are pursuing democracy. And we certainly have come to their aid when we can and when is necessary. You saw very swift action in terms of supporting President Abbas in just the last couple of days. The Secretary of State laid that out yesterday.
It occurs to me that the major difference between us and them is that democracy emerged from within our borders. I don't think we will have much success inflicting democracy upon a people who don't want it. Moreover, it's people that make change happen, not ideologies or systems of government.

Really, Tony has a point:
MR. SNOW: Well, I don't think you isolate them when you devote -- when you dedicate $40 million to humanitarian aid. Again, I think -- Martha, also you have to ask yourself, here in Gaza -- and you have seen people who pretend to be "liberators and governors" slaughtering people in the streets -- it's probably going to change your view of them. The real point here is that there is an effort on our part, and there are parallel efforts with our allies, to provide humanitarian aid and to try to deal with this crisis.
In the eyes of the people of Iraq, are we seen as "liberators and governors," or viewed as "slaughtering people" in their streets?

Truly, the hearts and minds have been lost as the evidence to mistrust this administration is left in the wake and consequences of the W, Rove and Co's actions. Thus the W, Rove and Co agenda has been speared through the heart with the grave reality of their own making.

The faith-driven over fact-based leadership that has permeated the W, Rove and Co has greatly harmed our Nation. It's time to revert back to the glory days when sweeping geopolitical decisions were based on something other than a president's wish that democracy will defeat a hateful ideology.

What say you blogisphere?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Which Is Worse: "Tax-And-Spend" Or No-Tax-And-Spend?

The President would have us believe the Dems are bad for America. Have a look at this latest political saber rattling from his weekend radio "address" (psst, admit it, you listen to these, don't you?):
For months, I've warned the Democrats in Congress that I will not accept an irresponsible tax-and-spend budget. I put Democratic leaders on notice that I will veto bills with excessive levels of spending. And I am not alone in my opposition. In the House, 147 Republicans have pledged to support fiscal discipline by opposing excessive spending. These 147 members are more than one-third needed to sustain my veto of any bills that spend too much.
Do you think the W is really about responsible government spending? His actions tell us otherwise. I wonder what this means in real fiscal terms when we know that the Iraq war is just deferred payments.

Private security companies, funded by billions of dollars in U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives.

While the military has built up troops in an ongoing campaign to secure Baghdad, the security companies, out of public view, have been engaged in a parallel surge, boosting manpower, adding expensive armor and stepping up evasive action as attacks increase, the officials and company representatives said.
Does this look like restricted and responsible government spending? As we type, the amount accrued owed to our debtors goes from astronomical to out of the galaxy. I would hate to be the president in charge at the time our W, Rove and Co markers are called?

Friday, June 15, 2007

To Pardon Or Not To Pardon: That Is The Question

Q Will the President wait until Libby goes to prison before he thinks about a pardon or considers a pardon?

MR. STANZEL: I'm going to decline to weigh in to that. As Tony indicated yesterday, there's a process that's ongoing, so I'm not going to speculate about that.
Oh, Mr. Stanzel, you can't but we can!

Thus, I'm rolling out...drum roll please....

Windspike's Weekend Wonderment
  • Given that Libby is headed to jail sooner than later, do you think the President will pardon or not pardon the convicted felon? Explain.

Short Speeches Full Of Hot Air

Some times I wonder who writes GW's speeches. In cased you missed this short one, it looks like he wrote it himself. For some reason, I'm offended by the whole nature of it, but I can't put my finger on to the specific reason why. What do you make of it?
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming out to say hello. Thank you for making this a really comfortable airplane. I can't tell you what an honor it is to fly overseas in Air Force One and have that big bird park, have people around the world see the great majesty of our country reflected in this airplane.

And I know many of you are working hard to outfit its companion. I appreciate your hard work. I will assure you one thing -- I will ride that airplane with great pride. I mean, there's nothing better than representing the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.

I appreciate your hard work. Thanks for coming out to say hello. I'd like to kind of work along here and make sure I don't lose my touch and shake a few hands. I'm honored to be here with Senator Pat Roberts and Vicki Tiahrt. They're strong supporters of the programs here, strong supporters of Boeing. I appreciate you coming out to say hello. And I ask for God's blessings on your families and on our country. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 11:31 A.M. EDT
You may be wondering why the President is in Kansas...justifiably because it's another PR junket at great Taxpayer Expense to kick off his next vacation in Crawford:
10:39 A.M. EDT

MR. STANZEL: Good morning, everyone. We are on our way to Wichita, Kansas, where the President will visit the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas. He will also attend a Roberts Victory Committee reception. And then we'll be on our way to Crawford and to the ranch.
Nice to know he will be kicking around in the Texas heat for a bit.

Endurance Racing Fans: Prepare To Fire Up Your Modems

Those of us who like to watch the Endurance race sadists beat themselves up should be keen to point out that the 2007 version of the Western States 100 race is about to fire up near the tail end of June - the 23rd to be exact. I've virtually followed some of the other endurance races that I had friends competing in (e.g. the Primalquest when it was in Tahoe), but on the internet is perhaps the only way to "watch" one of these things.

By their web location, you can see some slides of the beast, and I spend about 15 minutes scrolling through some fun, albeit the quality fluctuates, pictures from one man's journey to win the silver belt buckle. Have a look for yourself.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oh, What A Tangled Political Web Was Woven Around AG Gonzales

This is an interesting exchange from Wednesday's press briefing delivered by Tony the Snow job. I've got but one question.
  • If the Whitehouse Political Director is involved, might it not be true that "politics was involved" in the firing of the US attorneys?
Watch Tony tap dance around this one:

Q But, Tony, on March 14th, the President was in Mexico, he was at a press conference and said, "I've heard those allegations about political decision-making in this matter. It's just not true." How can that be true when now there are emails showing that the White House Political Director was involved in the firings? Wouldn't that suggests politics --

MR. SNOW: No, the White House Political Director -- I think if you take a look at the White House Political Director, these most recent emails I believe took place after the personnel action had taken place. And furthermore, look, you can assume that when you have political appointees, the Political Office is certainly going to have some conversations. And I believe that the emails you're talking about involve Tim Griffin.

Q Okay. But you're saying you would assume that politics would be involved because there's a political -- but at the beginning of this story --

MR. SNOW: No, no, no, I said the Political Office would have some knowledge of it.

Q Okay, but at the beginning of this story, the President, you, Dan Bartlett, others said on camera that politics was not involved, this was performance-based.

MR. SNOW: That is something -- we have never said that. I think you'll have to take a look at comments that have been made by the Justice Department. What we've said is that people serve at the pleasure of the President. That's the operative principle here.

Q The President said, I've heard those allegations about political decision-making and it's just not true. I mean, he clearly said politics was not involved, right?

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q So now politics was because the Political Director --

MR. SNOW: No. Just because the Political Director is weighing in on something does not mean that this is politics involved. These are political appointees. Also, if you took a look at the emails that have come out, there was -- at least from the White House side, a very strong effort to say we do not, in fact, want to be impugning the character of these people who have served. And the principle is the same, it's the one that I've been saying from the very beginning, Ed, which is that the President has the authority to remove those who serve at his pleasure. And these were all individuals who had completed their terms as U.S. attorneys.
Just who is the Whitehouse Political Director you ask? I did too. My search didn't yield good results, but it sure seems like that would be Uncle Karl, no?

Meanwhile....All Is Not Well With Bush's Iraq Freedom Spreading Experiement

Found this headline and thought it not good:
BAGHDAD, June 12 — Iraq’s political leaders have failed to reach agreements on nearly every law that the Americans have demanded as benchmarks, despite heavy pressure from Congress, the White House and top military commanders. With only three months until progress reports are due in Washington, the deadlock has reached a point where many Iraqi and American officials now question whether any substantive laws will pass before the end of the year.
When this deadline slips past, what's next? Whose country is it?

W Is Like FDR Is Like Lincoln Is Like...

The other day, I presented a post suggesting that W may constitute a Constitutional Disaster. The comments over there were very interesting. As things go, some times a thread can be extracted and elevated to it's own position on the front page. As such, some of us got into comparing Mr. Bush to some past Presidents - including FDR and Lincoln. Thus, I thought I would begin a discussion here to see what others thought. Let's call this....drum roll please...

Windspike's Wednesday Presidential Comparative

  • If you can, pick your favorite President and draw a comparative analysis that identifies the similarities and differences between that man and W.

  • Which one is a better president?
To get you started, here's some of the dialog that has already occurred:

I said:
FDR? good question. that’s a difficult one. First, I’d give him the label president. Quite arguably, we could give him a label as terrorist for having given the green light to cream Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Having been to both locations to see for myself, i think what we did there was atrocious.

We might call him an “anti-constitutionalist,” as he interred 100K Japanese here in the USA based on irrational fears and without due process - and this has widely been condemned.

Others might call him hero - for pulling the country out of the depression.

Still others might call him Patriot as all the sons he sired fought in the military against Hitler, and he engineered much of the success we experienced in defeating him.

Well, you can’t lump him into one word is my answer to his question. He is the sum total of all his actions. Which puts him light years above W in stature as a president, in my book, but equally shameful in other categories.
SteveIL said:
I would call FDR more of a leader, and Bush more of a manager, although both had tendencies of both leaders and managers. In my opinion, I would want a president to be more of a leader, leaving the hands-on stuff to the rest of those who work in the Executive Branch, but retaining the responsibility of the actions of those under him.

As far as the two as President? I’m not at all impressed by the domestic agendas of either one as it relates to growing the government. FDR’s New Deal created the Social Security boondoggle we have today, along with other programs that were part of it. Along with my own complaints with his immigration agenda, Bush did nothing to curb the spending in Congress, as well as expanded the Medicare boondoggle with that unnecessary drug bill. Add in the NCLB fiasco, and his unwillingness to unload Gonzales, yeah I got some problems with Bush.

FDR, with seven years experience in office, saw that the U.S. was going to get involved in WWII. At that point, he started getting the country going on a war footing, which in fact helped the economy of the time, something his New Deal failed to do. He was wrong to put 180,000 Japanese into those camps, and while it could be considered a tyrannical act, it wasn’t made by a President who was in any way a tyrant. There were no (or little) calls for impeachment when Korematsu forced the end of the camps, because there was the bigger object going on, the war. And I will disagree with your assessment on the dropping of the A-bombs on Japan, and leave that there.

Bush, on the other hand, was in office nine months and was given an incomplete assessment of the state of the world (I don’t believe for one minute that any of the Clintonista holdovers he kept on gave him the whole picture, especially George Tenet and Richard Clarke), especially since the end of the Clinton regime didn’t stress these factors enough. If anything, Bush is to be blamed for trying to be a uniter in keeping these hacks around, when a Reagan would have made sure these hacks were left out to pasture where they belonged. Bush, along with Congress (who are equally to blame since they are a co-equal branch of the government), really failed to get the American people involved with the war effort right off the bat, something FDR did very, very well.

But Bush did see the bigger picture of Islamist terrorism and the Islamofascist governments that feed them, and that there is a war on. His wartime Patriot Act has helped keep this country from being attacked since 9/11, yet no credit is given by the jerks in the American media, who seem to long for the days of Clinton whoring around with their constant drumbeat of reporting on Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, and the latest American Idol episode. The confirmed Justices and judges he nominated have been top notch compared to the crap Clinton put on (the aforementioned Breyer and Ginsburg), although I hated the Harriet Miers nomination (she wasn’t qualified). The tax rate cuts have raised federal revenues through the roof (the amount of the deficit for the next year was lowered from the original speculation).

And, we haven’t lost any allies or trading partners, and have added some and strengthened others, even though the leftist American media doesn’t report that either. Like it or not, we are trading with Vietnam. And, most importantly, the two largest democracies in the world have a new defense arrangement, thanks to Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh.

I agree that FDR probably was a better overall President than Bush, but not by nearly as much as you might think. But, you have to admit that Bush has actually worked for the benefit of the country, something too many minimize or ignore.
Craig Harmon said:
I think that’s the best way to look at FDR, or any president, for that matter. We love Lincoln but, as Wikipedia puts it:
Civil liberties suspended

During the Civil War, Lincoln appropriated powers no previous President had wielded: he used his war powers to proclaim a blockade, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money without congressional authorization, and imprisoned 18,000 suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial.

Bush, to my knowledge, has only detained, what, two US citizens and one or two alien residents for being suspected Al Qaeda members whereas FDR detained 110,000 and forced the relocation of many others who were never even suspected of collusion with the enemy. Congress and the Supreme Court upheld the actions of both but both were severely criticized at the time. Maybe in 150 years, Bush will join Lincoln and FDR as one of the most admired US Presidents in spite of having, like them, been criticized in his time for exercising expanded Presidential powers.
What say you?

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Bush Administration Quite Well May Constitute A Constitutional Disaster

Constitutionally, my personal feeling is that the W, Rove and Co has been a disaster as it completely disregards protecting our protected rights in the name of shielding us from terrorists. You can't execute that as a fair trade, and I would prefer my Presidents to go down protecting our liberties over protecting us from an unpredictable, invisible, and downright impossible to identify enemy (if we can not sort them out in Iraq, how can we sort them out at home?).

But of course, what's the W doing today? Dedicating a memorial to the "victims of communism?" You bet. Here we see W, trumpet some interesting things:
The 20th century will be remembered as the deadliest century in human history. And the record of this brutal era is commemorated in memorials across this city.
Well, this one is getting started on to eclipsing that record. I wonder how many memorials will be erected to commemorate those KIA for W's GWoT?
The sheer numbers of those killed in Communism's name are staggering, so large that a precise count is impossible.
Much like the number of innocent Iraqi's killed in the name of "spreading freedom?" Indeed...
We dedicate this memorial because we have an obligation to future generations to record the crimes of the 20th century and ensure they're never repeated.
I'm sure that some would feel that the West has ignored that message.
We can have confidence in the power of freedom because we've seen freedom overcome tyranny and terror before.
But what about those whom we jail without charging?

I posted about this concern yesterday, and finally the MSM has chimed in. They always seem to be a day late, if you ask me...some times a dollar short even. But here's an editorial that I think sums up the concern quite well.

For years, President Bush has made the grandiose claim that the Congressional authorization to attack Afghanistan after 9/11 was a declaration of a “war on terror” that gave him the power to decide who the combatants are and throw them into military prisons forever.

Yesterday, in a powerful 2-to-1 decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit utterly rejected the president’s claims. The majority made clear how threatening the administration’s policies are to the Constitution and the rule of law — and how far the administration has already gone down that treacherous road.

Mr. Bush, the majority said, does not claim these powers for dire emergencies but “maintains that the authority to order the military to seize and detain certain civilians is an inherent power of the presidency, which he and his successors may exercise as they please.”

The prisoner in this case, a citizen of Qatar named Ali al-Marri, was living in the United States legally when he was arrested and charged with being an Al Qaeda terrorist. In 2003, Mr. Bush declared Mr. Marri an enemy combatant, took him from civilian authorities and threw him into a military brig where he remains today without charges being filed.

The court did not say Mr. Marri was innocent, nor that he must be set free. It said that the law does not give Mr. Bush the power to seize a civilian living in the United States and declare him to be an enemy combatant based on whatever definition he chooses to apply. If Mr. Marri is to be kept in prison, it said, he must be tried and convicted in a civilian court.

The ruling said the Constitution and numerous precedents made it clear that foreigners living legally in this country have the same right to due process as any American citizen. It found no merit in the president’s claim that the Congressional approval of the use of military force in Afghanistan gave him authority to change that or that he has “the inherent authority” to do it on his own. Sanctioning that kind of authority “would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and for the country,” the judges said.

The judges said their ruling applied only to people living legally in the United States and not to the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. But the court’s powerful arguments may be relevant to a large number of those men. Steven Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the ruling would not help those prisoners who were captured on a battlefield and properly imprisoned as combatants. But there are hundreds of prisoners who were not taken on a battlefield but instead were picked up by the military or intelligence agents around the world and classified as combatants because of their association with Al Qaeda. The ruling said that was not an adequate definition of combatant.

This ruling is another strong argument for bringing Mr. Bush’s detention camps under the rule of law. Congress can do that by repealing the odious Military Commissions Act of 2006, which endorsed Mr. Bush’s twisted system of indefinite detentions, by closing Guantánamo Bay and by allowing the courts to sort out the prisoners — not according to the whims of one president with an obvious disdain for the balance of powers but by the rules of justice that have guided this nation for more than 200 years.
Ending tyranny should start at home, no?

Late add to this post: Tony the Snow Job had his hands full trying to explain the President's actions regarding this situation at the Press conference today. Have a look. I suggest that the best question is at the tail. Any of you supporters of this Iraq conflagration or the whole of the GWoT have an answer that you can clarify as Tony does not, I would much appreciate it:
Q Tony, who is harmed if Ali al-Mari is either deported, held as a material witness, or charged with a crime?

MR. SNOW: That is not the issue that was before the court. The issue is whether, in fact, you have the ability to detain enemy combatants. The United States Supreme Court said, yes, in the Hamdi case. A federal -- U.S. district court of appeals said, yes, in the Padilla case. And we have asked for an en banc hearing before the 4th U.S. Circuit in the al-Mari case because we think that court precedent supports the position that we have had when it comes to detainees.

Furthermore, that has been a longstanding practice within the United States, over decades, and, therefore, it's not a question of harm; the question is, do you, in fact, have reason to hold somebody, detain somebody as an enemy combatant. Well, let's see -- what was not challenged during the court proceedings was the fact that he had been dealing with Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in 2001. So he's dealing in 2001 with a man who masterminded the September 11th attacks. Apparently, he was part of a cell designed to try to wreak havoc on U.S. financial institutions, somebody who clearly is an enemy combatant.

Some of the issues that were before the court -- this particular panel, this three-judge panel decided that you could not hold him as an enemy combatant because al Qaeda, itself, was not a nation state. We don't think that that is going to withstand further scrutiny, but we'll have to see. Again, we hope that it would be heard en banc, but the court will have to decide.

Q What about just getting him a lawyer and putting him on trial?

MR. SNOW: Because, once again, there are procedures and precedents that we think are appropriate for this situation.

Q But how does that hurt anybody, to just put him on trial? If he has done these things, just put him on trial.

MR. SNOW: Well, again, I'm not going to try to gainsay what has been the security decision of this administration.

Q Just to follow on that, I mean, the President has taken a few legal hits recently on the treatment of prisoners taken in the war on terrorism. How is the President continuing to justify these policies, plus the continued existence of the Guantanamo prison in the face of this almost unanimous criticism abroad, and increasing at home?

MR. SNOW: Well, I would say -- not unanimous -- let's go to Guantanamo. You have had a number of congressional delegations that go down there, they take a look at it, and say, these guys are being treated fairly. You have the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is there constantly and that is constantly monitoring. You have guys who have three square meals a day in keeping with religious traditions, their religious traditions are honored, they are supplied with Korans, prayer mats and other things if they so desire.

In point of fact, it is unpopular -- a lot of people have criticized it because they don't like the idea of having a detention facility for those who are plucked off the battlefields and trying to kill Americans. Nevertheless --

Q Why haven't they been charged?

MR. SNOW: Nevertheless, what we have tried to do is to repatriate as many as possible. Their home countries think that these guys are so dangerous that they don't want them back.

So what I would suggest is, rather than trying to lump in criticisms that come in, take a look at the factual record, and also take a look at what members of Congress have seen and said and reported, or journalists. I don't know if anybody in this room has been there, but a number of -- certainly more than a hundred journalists have been down to Guantanamo to see it.

Having said that, the President doesn't want Guantanamo open any longer than it has to be. He's said many times that he'd like to have it closed. But on the other hand, you have extraordinarily dangerous killers that he does not feel -- that it's not appropriate to put on American shores. There is a legal process for dealing with them that is being pursued, and it is pursued in a way that respects their rights, and at the same time, respects the President's obligations of keeping this country safe.

Q But doesn't the indefinite holding of this many prisoners under these circumstances really undercut the President's arguments in favor of democracy worldwide, as he just spoke about in his speech --

MR. SNOW: How does it do that?

Q That's what I'm asking you.

MR. SNOW: No, the question doesn't make sense to me. How does that happen?

Q By not having due process for every --

MR. SNOW: Are you saying that detaining people who are plucked off the battlefields is an assault on democracy? Are you kidding me? You're talking about the people who were responsible for supporting the Taliban, somehow detaining them is an assault on democracy?

Q And not charging them --

Q Yes. You're getting quite a bit of criticism internationally, as well as domestically on the issue of holding people indefinitely without charge. Are you denying that's the case?

MR. SNOW: No, many have been held, but many also are now being processed through the system. What I just thought was peculiar is that you have people who waged active warfare against democracy and you think detaining them somehow is an assault on democracy.

Q I asked you about the procedures and situation in which they're held --

MR. SNOW: The procedures are those that have -- again, if you take a look at the civil liberty protections in there, they're extensive, and they've been debated before Congress. If you want to give -- if you want to give a platform to folks who belong to organizations that either are not housed in the United States or feel perfectly free to criticize, without having taken a careful look at the precautions, or, in many cases, for instance, in Guantanamo, refuse to come, refuse the invitation to do a full investigation -- well, fine, you may give them that platform. But the question I would ask is, will you not also, then, when you are evaluating these, number one, figure out who was there; number two, take a look at the history of warfare and how these situations have been handled, you will find great consistency over the years; and number three, take a look at the actual record in terms of how these folks are treated, then get back to us on it.

Q Can I follow on that, Tony? Guantanamo, so far only three people have been charged, and the military commission has thrown out two of those charges.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q They're on appeal, as you know.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q Everybody else is an enemy combatant down there, whether he's described ultimately as unlawful, or not. According to the folks down at Guantanamo -- and you said it yourself that this is a question of warfare -- they're being held until the end, presumably, of the war on terror. How on earth do you get to the end of the war on terror and ultimately release these people?

MR. SNOW: Number one, you're assuming that nobody gets released, and as you know, in fact, the number of people being detained at Guantanamo has been slowly going down; more than 100 have been returned. So you have a significant reduction, and we continue to try as best we can to repatriate folks. So don't make the assumption that it is a totally static situation.

Number two, it has been the case, in the role of warfare, that, in fact, you can hold enemy combatants during the course of hostilities. Having said that, we'd be perfectly happy to return all those that we can.

Now, keep in mind, one of the conditions is, when you return them, they have to be returned to a nation that will, in fact, respect their human rights and their civil rights in the disposition of these cases. So that is also one of the conditions, and sometimes those conditions are not met.

Q But can I just follow on that? How do you declare an end to the war on terror?

MR. SNOW: I don't know.
Good question.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Letting Terrorists Go Because Of Legal Technicalities?

I've been saying this for a long while, but now it seems as though my prediction will be born out albeit more slow in coming than I had thought. That is, there will be a day when, because of the egregious transgressions of the Constitution by members of the W, Rove and Co, we may actually see the courts forced to release dangerous people.

I'm not saying the man being held uncharged is dangerous, but the fact of the matter is that there is a reason why the W, Rove and Co is not allowed to detain people without charges in America.
The Bush administration cannot legally detain a U.S. resident it believes is an al-Qaida sleeper agent without charging him, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday. The court said sanctioning the indefinite detention of civilians would have "disastrous consequences for the constitution — and the country."
Sleeper agent or not, it is not right to hold people without charging them - and if we have to let this man go because the W, Rove and Co is trampling over the constitution without regard, then he blows himself up in a crowded Starbuck's, who's to blame (aside from the would be suicide bomber himself)?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Pyschosis of Fear And Why America Is Well Past the Precipice With No Where To Turn

While, King George gallivants about the globe at great taxpayer expense, we here at home continue to wrestle with the fear he leaves in his wake. Ever since Nine Eleven, the whole of the W, Rove and Co has been slapping that monkey beyond recognition to pervert the political process for leverage and personal gain. But to what end?

My argument today is borderline philosophic. I am no expert on fear, nor the ramifications of the peddling of fear. No. But what I do find is that the malaise of fear initiated at the hands of a gruesome, immoral, but small set of otherwise unpowerful terrorists and propagated by the W, Rove and Co in reciprocity to get buy in to their agenda proffers only a windfall for a very small minority of those in the war industry. Indeed, the malaise of fear has metastasized about the soul of America. In the end, the W, Rove and Co reaction to these terrorists only serves to inflate the terrorist agenda and legitimize their existence more than reduce the suggested threat.

What does this mean? No doubt, the W faithful are going to paint me as another one of them "fiburals" bandying about "fancy words" (as W would have you believe is a derogatory adjective) to bend your opinions. No, I don't mean to sway you with mere tapings on the keyboard. I'm suggesting that what we are witnessing as W claims to be sprinting through his last several months as President of our great nation is the wreckage wrought by his reckless propagation and inflation of fear.

In that regard, the current Administration has damaged our fine country, and they must be held accountable for their actions. Fear in other words, is not good and healthy for America. And Roosevelt was right when he suggested there is nothing else to fear but fear itself.

There will be no twelve step program to help us recover from going over the precipice as there is no means to retreat from our history. We, unfortunately, must travel to the bottom of the abyss and only then can we recover from this incarnation of a so called government. Why any one would run for President at this point in time escapes reason beyond the desire for the pursuit of power and sustaining the status quo - remember, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

When speaking to the republican faithful, who would suggest that we fight them there or else we fight them there, I say you have abandoned the greatest strength of America: that is of her courage. Remember, it used to be "land of the free, and the home of the brave."

It's not brave to bomb innocent people because you believe their leaders have weapons of mass destruction. Nor is it brave to occupy a nation under a changing premise. The W, Rove and Co bait and switch, notwithstanding, has become a universal expectation for making decisions based on faith over fact, belief over reason. Simply because you claim something to be true does not make it so. And this goes double for a president.

The umbrella of fear within which those in the W, Rove and Co base many judgments has to be a great burden. I don’t envy them those preoccupations. Terrorists don’t come at us like the usual demons. They attack us where we sleep, not necessarily when we sleep. Insidious, they’ve hit you over the head each time you reverberate that threat, and in that way, you choose to play the victim each and every time you mention their message and amplify their credence.

Me, I don’t legitimize their existence by playing that game. Moreover, I’m not afraid of terrorists I can’t control. They can’t control me, but it seems like they’ve got some of us by the proverbial nuts. I die when I die by the hands of terrorists or not. I could just as well get hit by a bus on my AM bike commute.

I can’t help that many in America have bought that bucket of fear sold at huge mark ups by the W, Rove and Co and continue to pay out on the loan used to purchase it. Unfortunately, I’m laden with their debt for it, as well as my children and my children's children…

My fear rests in a government gone haywire and usurping my liberties for political and personal gain. Again, I remember Ben Franklin, who said something like those who would trade liberty for a false sense of security are deserving of neither. You and I, my friends, have been sold us up the river without a paddle by the W, Rove and Co long ago, continuously, and often, and are proof positive of that fact.

In that end, it's only when we deny the legitimization of the "terrorist threat" that we become ultimately free of that threat. Certainly, this is not to argue that we abandon our mission to exterminate those who would perpetrate such evil. No, my argument is by sacrificing just one innocent life to extinguish the "threat" and then to turn around and only amplify that threat is to nullify that investment. Indeed, there are no heroics or bravery laced in it, and the wizard requiring such a quest in exchange for such "security" has no magic.

There is no courage that can be stapled to the chest of America for her sacrifices. And our only hope is to reclaim our country, eliminate the fear mongers as no good for America, and live our lives. No, this is not to say we bury our heads in the sand, but to give into the fear really means that you have abdicated your position to the fear the terrorists are selling. And if you are helping them laden out huge portions of fear on the American people, you have done more damage than good.

And as Forest Gump would say, that's about all I've got to say about that. Stupid is as stupid does...Oh, and I should say, the impetus behind this post was a comment left by SteveIl a regular commentator at and a recent book I've skimmed which I will quote here (Shaw, 2006, The Four Vs of Leadership, pp 77-79):

Fear is an undermine of values

If a particular situation creates a sense of fear in us we will not be as effective as we want. Our values can go out the window if we feel a sense of panic. Understanding our fears and working with in them is a crucial part of being able to live our values effectively in the workplace. The character of an organization is personified by its senior leaders; if they generate a culture of fear the organization will soon die. Fear of the unknown or fear of uncertainty can result because of the limits of our experience. The wider our experience of different situations and people, the less is the likelihood of fear being the dominant influence.

Often we are dishonest with ourselves about what we fear and how best we might cope...Learning from our fears is a crucial part of embedding our values. Sometimes our fears are irrational: when we look at the objective facts our fears dissipate. On other occasions our fears are based on strong intuitive sense that all is not well. When we feel that sense of apprehension, it is right to begin to test weather something is awry in both the direction and values of the organization...

...The greatest damage to values comes through deceit and manipulation. Trust, either explicit or implicit, is crucial to effective relations at both personal and corporate levels. If there is any suspicion of deceit or manipulation, trust can rapidly evaporate...

...Sometimes values are a strong power for good. Sometimes they can be undermining. For example, unblinkered loyalty can mean that an individual is blind to changing circumstances. Many people know of situations where they have set a great store by loyalty, but this loyalty has then not been returned by others. Loyalty can be a very powerful motivating force that keeps you focused through difficult situations. but if you are blind to others abusing that loyalty the end result will be resentment...

P.S. In reality, the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. It's not that we have no where to turn, but that we have no where to turn but ourselves. And fortunately, for the most part, there are courageous Americans out there that will, once the malaise has been surgically removed by our next election cycle, step up and reclaim and work to restore out Great Nation.

Rhetoric, Beliefs and Actions: When What We Need Is Not What The Republicans Want

Even when Clinton was foisting "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" on us, I didn't like it. Discrimination for what a person does in their bedroom really has no place in a tolerant and accepting, open and free society.

Of course, that's not what we have here in America. Even so, when the W, Rove and Co suggest we are locking horns with wide swaths of people in the "decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century," might not we like to utilize all experts to our advantage, no matter their sexual orientation.

Nay, is clearly the answer if you view the actions of the military.
Consider: more than 58 Arabic linguists have been kicked out since “don’t ask, don’t tell” was instituted. How much valuable intelligence could those men and women be providing today to troops in harm’s way?

In addition to those translators, 11,000 other service members have been ousted since the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was passed by Congress in 1993. Many held critical jobs in intelligence, medicine and counterterrorism. An untold number of closeted gay military members don’t re-enlist because of the pressure the law puts on them. This is the real cost of the ban — and, with our military so overcommitted and undermanned, it’s too high to pay.

In response to difficult recruiting prospects, the Army has already taken a number of steps, lengthening soldiers’ deployments to 15 months from 12, enlisting felons and extending the age limit to 42. Why then won’t Congress pass a bill like the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”? The bipartisan bill, by some analysts’ estimates, could add more than 41,000 soldiers — all gay, of course.

As the friends I once served with head off to 15-month deployments, I regret I’m not there to lessen their burden and to serve my country. I’m trained to fight, I speak Arabic and I’m willing to serve. No recruiter needs to make a persuasive argument to sign me up. I’m ready, and I’m waiting.
A modest proposal may seem unreasonable, but could put a wrench in the hate & fear driven policy that is "don't ask - don't tell" was presented by my friend who sent me the link to this article:
A nation that would rather a straight soldier die than accept help from an untouchable? As a first step, like with the Tuskegee Airmen, the Army should create an all gay all the time Arabic Translation Unit. While this solution would satisfy no one, it gets the problem out in the open. Let them refuse its translations who will.
Unfortunately, the rhetoric, beliefs and actions of the W, Rove and Co and the Military are not harmonious. In fact, the fear and hatred for gays in the military, prevent people who want to serve from serving, and in the ultimate irony by their very service may have provided timely translations that save straight troops in the mix of battle who would have them persecuted. So, this is what happens when what we need is what the republicans don't want.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Iraq Victory, Long Since Past

Even Abraham Lincoln was mistaken when he penned his optimistic missive oh so long ago:
On July 7, 1863, three days after Vicksburg's surrender and four days after Gettysburg, Lincoln took out a sheet of blue-lined paper and wrote to his general in chief, urging that the fleeing rebels be destroyed. If they were, Lincoln wrote, "the rebellion will be over."

But the Confederates escaped over the flooded river seven days later, the war went on for almost two more blood-soaked years, and Lincoln's six-line, handwritten note of optimism vanished into the crumbling files of history.
I'm not saying W is like Lincoln, but any one who would suggest that it is possible to be victorious in Iraq hasn't paid any attention to the grim realities on the ground:
President Bush, on the other hand, has escalated the American military involvement here on the assumption that the Iraqi factions have tired of armed conflict and are ready to reach a grand accord. Certainly there are Iraqis who have grown weary. But they are not the ones at the country’s helm; many are among some two million who have fled, helping leave the way open for extremists to take control of their homeland.

“We’ve changed nothing,” said Fakhri al-Qaisi, a Sunni Arab dentist turned hard-line politician who has three bullets lodged in his torso from a recent assassination attempt. “It’s dark. There will be more blood.
Perhaps we were wrong to remove Saddam:
“In the history of Iraq, more than 7,000 years, there have always been strong leaders,” he said. “We need strong rulers or dictators like Franco, Hitler, even Mubarak. We need a strong dictator, and a fair one at the same time, to kill all extremists, Sunni and Shiite.”
To those who would argue that it was good to decapitate the Iraqi government, the facts are not bearing out in favor of that position.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mr. Bush: Master Of The Obvious

George Bush reveals himself in unscripted moments. I like this slice from Thursday's Whitehouse web location "current news" post:
Q My question is for both Presidents. In your today's dialogue what was more, constructive things, or rather differences? What prevailed?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you just heard, that the desire to work together to allay people's fears. There's a lot of people who don't like it when Russia and the United States argue, and it creates tensions. Russia is a great country, and so is the United States. It's much better to work together than it is to create tensions.
Really? Why doesn't this principle apply to all countries then?

Who Is Really "Toying With The Idea of American Defeat?"

The NYTimes, liberal rag that it is, gives voice to the other side. Have a look:
SOME opponents of the Iraq war are toying with the idea of American defeat. A number of them are simply predicting it, while others advocate measures that would make it more likely.
For me, it's not a matter of advocating defeat more than it is not taking kindly to being lead to the slaughter. As my friend who sent me this link said:
It's amazing how two smart people can be so silly. If you decide to optionally go to the casino that is war, you should have thought about the consequences. Hitler *had* to win WWII. That was not a helpful notion for Germany.
And again, we see that those on the "right" lead by faith over fact, and chose to selectively abide by history's lessons.
When government officials argued that American credibility was at stake in Indochina, critics ridiculed the notion. But when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, he and his colleagues invoked Vietnam as a reason not to take American warnings seriously. The United States cannot be strong against Iran — or anywhere — if we accept defeat in Iraq.
Trumpeting the words of a man we had executed is hardly a credible warning, or is it? Were we weakened by the outcome in Vietnam? I don't think so.

The bigger question is why is it that those on the "right" have such little faith in the people of America that they have to paint those who would disagree with being led to the slaughter as those would also applaud defeat? It's not productive, nor representative of the people I know.

The position of these two authors, who are not entirely objective here, is not tenable, and much like their idols in charge, set up false debates to bolster their own position. If I argue with them, I'm already labeled as defeat lover. I don't love defeat, but I also don't like being led to the slaughter. Do you?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Crushing Workloads?" F*#K Me! Why Did The Republicans Vote In This Collection Of Whiny Wuss Bags?

Get a load of this:
Like Kissinger, other letter writers sought to buttress a major line of Libby's defense, that he innocently forgot some of his conversations in the Valerie Plame case because of his crushing workload. John R. Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador, wrote of how "information flowed across his desk on a daily basis like water coming out of a high-pressure fire hydrant, with more demands for action than could humanly be met."

"In the face of all these demands, keeping every detail straight is impossible," Bolton wrote.
If I started whining about my "crushing workload," I'd get walking papers. If I further lamented that I didn't remember certain facts, because of a "crushing workload," I'd be tossed out on my ear with no pension.

Can it be that the Republicans are such a bunch of hypocrites to suggest some one is the "among the most gifted and valuable public servants of his generation," and then go further to suggest that minor details are beneath him? This makes AG Gonzales' testimony a few weeks ago even more atrocious, doesn't it? I can't f#@cking recall? Bull bleep.

I call bull bleep on the whole of the W, Rove and Co! You can't have your cake and eat it too. That's the way it works in the real world. Paris Hilton just found that out. No exceptions should be made simply because you work for a Vice President, and in particular, you should not be let off the hook when a President has said in the past the heads will roll because of the pissing leaks perforating the W, Rove and Co operation. In fact, you should be held to a higher standard given the lethal nature of decisions made by such people (see civilians killed in Iraq for the lasted statistic on how deadly their operation is).

Certainly, we will all have a field day when the President pops his cherry and pardons Libby. But the real test of character will be if the President actually doesn't pardon him. If you ask me, if the President had any shred of integrity left, he wouldn't do it. Any one taking odds? No doubt there's an on line location booking that line and standing to make a bundle on it.

I thought "innocent until proven guilty" is the mantra of the right...not innocent based on belief. Again we see why there is a crisis in our country because the W, Rove and Co. leads by faith over fact, where belief trumps reality.
I find it inconceivable that a man of his sterling character, who is also famous for his lawyerly scrupulousness, could deliberately have told lies to a grand jury, or for that matter to anyone else.
Really, if he was that "lawyerly scrupulous and deliberate, how could have forgotten such details? Unfortunately for Mr. Libby, the facts outweigh the belief and simply because some one finds it hard to believe doesn't provide him a get out of jail free card.

Sadly, this doesn't mean that they won't exhaust the system that they haven't allowed everyone equal access too(see innocents incarcerated in Guantanamo, or disenfranchised voters in Florida during Y2K elections for examples) because they believe they are right, now does it?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Desperately Seaking: Activist Judges With Republican Stripes

Of course, if your Scooter Libby, you get grumpy when they sentence you to 2 or so years in the federal pen when you hoped you would have gotten an assignment next door to Paris. But of course, the innocent until proven guilty thing is only for those of us without the backing of the Big Dick Cheney and financing from the best of republican resources.

The Veep, of course, is still hoping for a reprieve for his pal Scooter, and desperately seeking the same brand of justice that landed Dick and his party in the Whitehosue in the first place: those with Republican stripes.
Scooter has dedicated much of his life to public service at the State Department, the Department of Defense and the White House. In each of these assignments he has served the nation tirelessly and with great distinction. I relied on him heavily in my capacity as Secretary of Defense and as Vice President. I have always considered him to be a man of the highest intellect, judgment and personal integrity-a man fully committed to protecting the vital security interests of the United States and its citizens. Scooter is also a friend, and on a personal level Lynne and I remain deeply saddened by this tragedy and its effect on his wife, Harriet, and their young children. The defense has indicated it plans to appeal the conviction in the case. Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man.
In my view, justice has been delivered, but Mr. Libby got off cleaner than he should have. Moreover, the full weight of this matter does not fall solely on the shoulders of Mr. Libby.

All the Big Dick's Statement proves is the age old theory that if you have enough cash, justice is just a matter of what you can pay for. And if at first you don't succeed, try and try and try again.

Mark my words, when all else fails, there will be a pardon for Mr. Libby. But of course, the President's lovely spokesmodel is not going to be forthcoming on this detail, now is she?
Q Any reaction to the sentencing for Scooter Libby?

MS. PERINO: Yes, Dan Bartlett and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten informed the President right after take off -- as you know, that news came in just as we were taxiing -- so they informed the President. The President said that he felt terrible for the family, especially his wife and his kids, and that he wanted to wait until we heard more about the judge's decision.

I don't know if you know that when we took off he had initially announced his decision on the sentencing issue, but then he said the court would break, and then came back. When the court came back, according to reports from the ground, the judge has set up a process for which Scooter Libby and his attorneys can appeal both the judge's decision today, as well as the jury verdict. And given that and in keeping with what we have said in the past, the President has not intervened so far in this or any other criminal matter, and so he is going to decline to do so now, as well.

Q Is Scooter Libby going to get a pardon?

MS. PERINO: As I said, we're not going to comment, the criminal justice system is still continuing and the judge has set up a process -- I think it's to be announced, the exact schedule later. It would start next week, when they start pursuing those appeals.

Q When do you consider the process over?

MS. PERINO: Well, I think when those appeals are exhausted is when it would be over.

Q And if Scooter Libby says, "I'm not going to appeal"?

MS. PERINO: Well, then we'd have to take that into consideration and I'd have to come back with more reaction.

Q Does the President think at some point it would be appropriate just to speak out about this? The guy has been sentenced. I mean, is he going to run out the clock and wait for all the appeals to be done before the President of the United States speaks about a pretty important matter that was perpetrated by a member of his staff?

MS. PERINO: What I can tell you is how the President reacted today, which is to say that he does feel terrible for them, he thinks they're going through a lot right now, they've been through a lot. But given the fact that the judge has set up a process for appeal and given the way that the President has handled this for the past year or so, he's not going to intervene.

Q Does he feel sympathy for Scooter Libby?

MS. PERION: Yes, he says he feels terrible for them; he's sorry for the way that -- for all that they're going through and he can --

Q Did he include Scooter Libby in that?


Q Has justice been served in this case?

MS. PERINO: Brendan, I think that as regards to anyone, any American who has the right to see out a criminal justice procedure, I think that we have to afford him the same rights, just as we would give to anybody else and allow them to exhaust those appeals.

Q Dana, if the appeals process is still going on, on January 20, 2009, will the President continue to not get involved?

MS. PERINO: That's very speculative and hypothetical and I think let's just let that process start next week.
"I think that we have to afford him the same rights, just as we would give to anybody else and allow them to exhaust those appeals." Really? But that's only for folks not sent to Gitmo, right?

But what about the pain this leak has caused Wilson and his spouse? What about the break of national security? What about the complete disregard for the security of our CIA agents in the field?

A better question would by why is this concern causing the W, Rove and Co so much grief? It's because they got caught with their hands in the political huckster cookie jar and they don't want to be spanked for their naughty behavior.

More Signs Iraq Is Lost

This quote is telling:
“I used to dream about getting a Ph.D., participating in international conferences, belonging to a team that discovered cures for diseases like AIDS, leaving my fingerprint on medicine,” said Hasan Tariq Khaldoon, 24, a pharmacy student in Mosul, in the north. “Now all these dreams have evaporated.”

Karar Alaa, 25, a medical student at Babil University, south of Baghdad, said, “Staying here is like committing suicide.”
It would appear that those folks who stay in Iraq come in two stripes: 1) those who don't have the wherewithal to leave, or 2) those leaches who are making a living off of those in category number 1.

I have but one question for those who support the Iraq "war." If you were born in Iraq, what would be the number one compelling reason to stay?

Tuesday's Distraction

Well, this was going to start as political post as a friend forwarded this video clip of the Coasties doing what Coasties do...But I got sidetracked and thought I'd pass on a few other clips for fun. Enjoy.

Clip 1 - Who's the hero? What did you do at your job today? Have a look at our Coasties ripping it up:

Clip 2 - Now, I don't live in Hawaii, but I do windsurf...and no, I don't loop. My motto is "sail safe so I can sail tomorrow."

Clip 3 - But then, there's real Chutzpah:

Clip 4 - Oh, and one more for fun. Here's what a hard day at the office looks like for Jason Polakow. Take a look and ask yourself, "who's the boss here?"

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Kingpin List - Is This A Sign The President Is Doing "Everything Possible?"

I found this in the barrage of "news" proffered at the Whitehouse web location....lest we forget there is a "drug war"
The additional foreign individuals and entities the President has designated this year as appropriate for sanctions under the Kingpin Act are:

Victor Emilio Cazarez Salazar (Mexico)

Gulf Cartel (Mexico)

Jorge Mario Paredes Cordova (Guatemala)

Haj Azizullah Alizai (Afghanistan)

Shahbaz Khan (Pakistan)

Frederik Heinz Barth (Germany)

The initial list of drug kingpins was released in June 2000; the above names will be added to that list.
Well, why do you suppose there is a list of Kingpins?
This action underscores the President's determination to do everything possible to pursue drug traffickers, undermine their operations, and end the suffering that trade in illicit drugs inflicts on Americans and other people around the world, as well as preventing drug traffickers from supporting terrorists.
Oh, I see. Putting them on a list accomplishes such wonderful things.

Is The Big Dick Lying To The Boys?

In case you didn't notice, the Big Dick Cheney was busy speechifying to the good boys at "Boys State" in WY yesterday. The one question I have is thus: Is the Big Dick lying to the boys?

Have a look:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The question is, given that 40 years experience, what kind of values or philosophy did I develop and operate by that I might share with you?

I basically developed a great respect for American history. I still read a lot of it. I'm reading a brand new history, coming out on the plane this morning, written by Bill Bennett, the Secretary of Education. You can never read enough American history, I think, in terms of understanding where we came from and how we got here. And I don't think we teach enough history in our schools. I wished I'd taken more of it when I was in school, myself. But you start with that basic fundamental foundation in terms of how we got here, how the country got its start, who the founding fathers were, the Constitution and writing the Constitution, how the West was settled. There's fantastic stories about Wyoming. I would guess if you look back at your family, you can find places where they participated in the major events that have shaped 250 years of American history. All of us have got those kinds of stories someplace in our background.

I also, from a political standpoint, became a Republican because much is -- I think government is very important; I also think it needed to be limited. One of the secrets of our success is to continually -- we have a constant debate about what the government's role is going to be in the society, and to what extent we're going to allow people to make decisions for themselves, the extent to which we have other areas where we decide government needs to be involved, some kind of collective responsibility that can't be addressed as individuals.

One of the things I do as Vice President is to cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate. Under the Constitution, when there's a tie vote in the Senate, then the Vice President, and only then, does he cast the tie-breaking vote, decide who wins. I've done that about seven times now in the six years -- six-plus years as Vice President. One of those times was four years ago, in 2003, on the tax bill. We had a major tax bill up, and the President had advocated and worked to get passed a bill that cut taxes for everybody. And it came to a tie vote in the Senate, and I got to cast the tie-breaking vote to cut those taxes.

The reason I felt strongly about that was I believe deeply we have to be very careful not to let government get too big. And to the extent we can keep money in the hands of the taxpayers, the folks who earned it, they'll expand their businesses, create more jobs, expand the economy. And I think that's one of the keys to our success. So there are certain things like that I guess I've learned over the years in terms of what I believe.

I've got a lot of friends who are liberal Democrats, we disagree on an awful lot of issues. But it is important to know what you believe. If you're going to have an impact on events, if you're going to persuade others that your point of view is the correct one, you've got to know what you believe. You can't persuade anybody to do anything if you don't believe yourself in a particular point.

Yes, over here. How is my relationship with Harry Reid? Well, it's better than my relationship with Pat Leahy. (Laughter.) But I won't go into that. I like Harry. But -- of course, he's the leader of the opposition in the Senate. And we get along from a personal standpoint in terms of talking with each other, we get along fine. I have some fundamental difference of opinion with him, and so, occasionally, we get involved in public debate, which is basically healthy. We've got major differences over Iraq, for example, we fundamentally disagree. But I think on a personal basis, it's a friendly relationship -- no bad blood.
It's the highlighted areas that are up for contention. I know what I think, but what do you think?

But here's the biggest whopper:
Q I was wondering -- I'm not trying to start a debate, or anything, but do you still think that the Iraq war can be won? And do you think we need to institute a draft to get the job done?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, and no. Yes, I think it can be won. And, no, I don't think we need a draft.
The fact of the matter is that extended troop deployments are a defacto draft, and he knows it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Why Is Leading By Faith Is So Compelling?

A friend of mine pointed me to this article written by one of the GOP faithful:
While no stone should be left unturned in seeking to discover the nature of man’s origins, we can say with conviction that we know with certainty at least part of the outcome. Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.
I see, generations of scientists who have worked to preserve the objective, empirical research based discovery of facts are now turning over in their graves. You see, for folks like this republican Senator are willing to forgo truths that are contrary to what they believe. Fundamentally, this is the trouble with faith based leadership as truth is often discarded because it proves their beliefs to be false.

But, even more irksome and troubling for America are those who would choose to believe what they like, and ignore the facts that prove other wise. For example, this whole idea that Korea is like Iraq. People who suggest long term bases in Iraq are a good idea forget that North Korea invaded South Korea with an Army. Insurgents, who look much like the natives, were not the modus operandi there. To make this Korea/Iraq parallel is a red herring:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and a senior U.S. commander said yesterday that they favor a protracted U.S. troop presence in Iraq along the lines of the military stabilization force in South Korea.
What is the compelling argument that we ignore the facts that prove things like surges are really not working:
The bombs are known as improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, and the Pentagon has formed a “Joint I.E.D. Defeat Organization” to combat the users. But in an interview on Friday, the director of that group said he recognized that the threat could not truly be defeated.

“It can be mitigated, minimized, made into a nuisance,” said the director, Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, a retired Army officer who took over the project in December 2005. “This is a very tough problem.”

The total of American deaths in April and May was the highest of any two-month period since the war began, and the 80 percent ratio caused by makeshift explosives is higher than it has ever been, up from 50 percent in January.
Now shut up people, go back to your television sets and anticipate the next voting sessions of American Idol...effectively anesthetized, we are a sorry lot when we conveniently ignore the facts.

Friday, June 01, 2007

No Pity For Cindy But They Continue To Wrap The Red, White And Blue Bandana Over Their Eyes

By now, we all know that the matriarch for the Gold Star Mothers for Peace,Cindy Sheehan, stepped down and has ungraciously stepped out of the "movement." I can't say I blamer her.

I do think that the replies to her letter, and her protests over the past year, are more telling about the people than they want to let on. The vitriol and hatred is apparent, and if you ask me, Cindy deserves some credit rather than rage-based finger wagging and death threats. Moreover, when she challenges democrats as well as republicans on their slothful and willful disregard for what is being perpetrated in Iraq, I think she deserves some applause.
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the left started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left," but of "right and wrong."
That she had the courage to stand while others preferred to vote for their American Idol favorites says a great deal about her character. She may not have been the most tactful or unused by the left, but she did stand for something, which is much more than most. Those who would toss verbal barbs and threats of all manner at her are the one's who don't deserve the freedom supposedly being protected and defended by our troops. For example:
Goodbye, Cindy Sheehan'

Editor -- Goodbye, Cindy Sheehan. We all know you hate America. You are not a Gold Star mom, but an embarrassment and a traitor. You'll hug a thug such as Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and put down your own president, calling him "worse than Osama bin Laden.''

I have no pity for you. Your brave son and other soldiers, who gave all for their country, are rolling over in their graves for giving you the freedom you enjoy today in this great country. You should be ashamed of yourself.


San Francisco
Steve would do well to turn his own shame inward and conduct an honest self-assessment. Cindy, on the other hand, by speaking her mind and message of peace was exercising her liberties in a fair and just way. That some don't like the message says to me that perhaps she hit just a little too close to the truth for the comfort of and American people that continue to wrap the tight red, white and blue bandana over their own eyes.

Fitting Squarely In The "It-Takes-One-To-Know-One" Category

I love this quote:
A top Russia expert at the State Department issued an unusually sharp public criticism on Thursday of Moscow’s behavior under President Vladimir V. Putin, describing the Kremlin as bullying its neighbors while silencing political opponents and suppressing individual rights at home.
This is supposed to be a bad thing, right? If so, might we not be justified in pointing the wagging middle finger of blame on the existing politicians in the Whitehouse?

Really, if this isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. The hypocrisy of the W, Rove and Co. knows no bounds.