Friday, May 18, 2007

"Attorneys for Cheney and the other officials said any conversations they had about Plame with each other and reporters were part of their normal job duties because they were discussing foreign policy and engaging in an appropriate "policy dispute." Cheney's attorney went farther, arguing that Cheney is legally akin to the president because of his unique government role, and has absolute immunity from any lawsuit.

"So you're arguing there is nothing -- absolutely nothing - these officials could have said to reporters that would have been beyond the scope of their employment [whether it was] true or false?," U.S. District Judge John D. Bates asked.

"That's true, your honor."


Whoa, back up there a minute bucko! Cheney's lawyer states he should be immune from all prosecution for anything he says. I had no idea he was the head of a church! or was a king!

As an administrator, he has every right to brainstorm in private meetings with other members of the administration any damn thing they want. But stating these things in public? No way. There is a huge difference between thinking things up, discussing them in private and then consulting with the proper legal and other levels of authority before mentioning anything in public. I would expect the war department to have thought about 40 scenarios (at least) to invade anyone, and also ways to defend ourselves. That does not bother me. Just like I hope members of the judicial branch worry about ways to protect civil rights. Or health and human services worry about ways to protect us from the West Nile virus or stockpile anthrax vaccine or flu vaccine. Just like my job as a wastewater treatment operator is discharge clean water within a budget, plan for future, more stringent regulations and then work with political and budgetary entities to make sure the money and the infrastructure are there so we meet any problems before they arise. and have emergency response plans ready in case we have a blocked sewer line or whatever. You take into consideration the proximity of any surface water impoundments and streams and rivers.

But, what we plan about and what we discuss to the public are very, very different. There is a level of security that people should not know. In a egalitarian society that may not be popular, but it is true. I would not want anyone to know security details of a large metropolitan water system and its weak points, but they need to be discussed. And if you give out too much information or act vindictively or unprofessional, "you're fired!" This is not hard to understand. There is no divine right of kings or kings in the U.S. You want to be the CEO administration, then act accordingly. Unprofessional, incompetent, lose job. Duh.

As an aside, this does bring up the myth of a CEO as a "rock star." I read business pages and see what the size of a golden parachute is for running a company into the ground. Rather amazing. Hire me to run a company into the ground. Why not? But how many of us get proxy voting shares with our 401ks? and how many of us actually know who does what with our investments? Our lack of knowledge and activism allow business to run amok. and I am not blaming--I do it too. It probably is not common knowledge who serves on the Boards of the companies we invest in or that many, many people are on the Boards of many companies. And these companies deal with each other. A very closed good old boys club. An exploration for another day.

But to say anyone, POTUS, Veep or anyone can say what they want PUBLICALLY (to reporters, not in private with peers) and are immune from prosecution shows how privileged and disconnected from reality and responsibility Cheney really is. And he needs to be ripped for it.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

WTF, Thursday edition @ 04:19 am

I am a relative youngster, compared to some I know, AARP card excluded. But I sit here this morning looking at the news that Detroit has now asked for impeachment. The State of Vermont has asked for impeachment. Oberlin, Berkeley, San Diego and others have this on their upcoming ballots. For Chrissakes, when will Mainstream Media get a clue the populace is unhappy and we could care less about insider arguments and stories and the same old talking heads. Do we really need to see John McCain again on a Sunday morning? PEOPLE ARE PISSED! The same old, same old is getting people disinterested in that status quo. Record profits for multi-national corporations while the middle class disappears is not helping the demeanor of everyone.

I don't know if I have ever seen the country so polarized since the Vietnam era. If there is not significant change now, I feel that there will be major change in the next election, but this unrest foments splinter groups and wackadoos to take matters into their own hands. What strikes me is that the progressives will probably work within the system of the country they hold dear. I am more worried about backlash right wing or libertarian extremists taking matters into their own hands when they lose voice in the upcoming elections and are still listening to the vehemence and hate being sold by Rush or Glen Beck or Michael Savage.

and all this precludes people in power not trying to foment Armagedon to fulfill Biblical prophecy (in their opinion) so they can speed up the coming rapture.

Happy Thursday! but do something nice and compassionate today for someone.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Every time I say I am done with politics and do not want to read anymore something draws me back. I started reading blogs a few years ago by daily reading and his blog entitlled Informed Comment. It is by far and away the best commentary on Iraq going and I started reading because of the shallow coverage of what I know now as MSM. He had more insights about that geographical area and politics than anyone I heard on TV as I knew we were being sold a war we did not need. So today from Juan Cole:

"In case you missed it, I posted some passages showing what the Jordanian newspapers really thought of Cheney's visit here.

For a trip down memory lane, see my posting on Cheney's similar Middle East trip of April, 2002.

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt warned Cheney against an Iraq War and said that it would produce a hundred Bin Ladens! Abdullah II spoke of the "apocalyptic" consequences and worried that the region would go up in flames. So were these leaders of the region right in 2002, or was smarty pants CIA-operative-betrayer Cheney? He'll be hunting quail in Texas in a year and a half, and Abdullah II will have to deal with a million extra residents in his country-- displaced Iraqis. Jordan only has 5.2 million citizens. And, Cheney won't be helping Jordan deal with the burden on services or with feeding the Iraqi refugees he helped create. It will just be Abdullah II and a volatile situation that could explode, just as did the Palestinian refugee problem created by Israeli expulsions and land expropriation in 1948 and 1967."

So far Mulbarek seems correct but what is troubling is that there may be millions of Iraqi-expatriates that I never thought of. and mostly in the Middle East, overcrowding marginal infrastructure.

So let's keep adding fuel to the flame instead of finding aid and diplomatic solutions. And then blame the cultural milieu for causing the problems. "Damned Arabs anyhow. Why can't they be like our Jewish friends?" Why in America is creating a situation and then blaming those involved considered acceptable leadership. Please keep that in mind with upcoming elections. Where do want our vision to go?

I am often surprised that more people have not accepted the Kucinich stance of a cabinet Peace Minister. We spend BILLIONS on war machines and much less on diplomacy and training young adults to be diplomats and visonaries.

Thought for a day.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho,
I fear and in lockstep we go.


"Dobson went on to enumerate a series of meetings convened by Christian right leaders in Washington to discuss the supposedly existential threat to the United States from a nuclear Iran.

“I heard about this danger [from Iran] not only at the White House but from other pro-family leaders that I met during that week in Washington," he said. “Many people in a position to know are talking about the possibility of losing a city to nuclear or biological or chemical attack. And if we can lose one we can lose ten.

"If we can lose ten we can lose a hundred," he added, “especially if North Korea and Russia and China pile on.” "

Hold on a minute there, bucko. I feel like I am listening to the bastardized lyrics of Junko Partner.

Am I to believe a group of crazed fear-mongers in a room together talking about the implicit dangers of Iran nuking the crap out of us. and then being piled on by Russia, China and North Korea. How afraid are these people in their lives? They believe in their God and his Son has already saved them.

1) There are loose nukes out there.
2) One will go off in the U.S. because people hate us. The reasons,and many are false, are too numerous to mention. We are targets!
3) I refuse to live my life afraid of this, and believe covert intelligence and enforcement are better than trying to be the biggest swinging dick in town via military force. I believe Britain tried that here once.
4) Maybe Fishbone is right.

I hope that if this is true that more than the Christian Right is informed. After all, they will end up ascending in the rapture and we get their Volvos.

Or is this another delusion that the world is ending and all is going on according to the Divine Plan of Revelation? These folks are seriously twisted. Sadly, they run our government and really believe that they are doing God's will bringing the end times.

In case you missed this little tidbit...


Thursday, May 10, 2007

On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition.

It's a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to the occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short of the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi parliament, but many have fled the country's civil conflict, and at times it's been difficult to arrive at a quorum)....

What is clear is that while the U.S. Congress dickers over timelines and benchmarks, Baghdad faces a major political showdown of its own. The major schism in Iraqi politics is not between Sunni and Shia or supporters of the Iraqi government and "anti-government forces," nor is it a clash of "moderates" against "radicals"; the defining battle for Iraq at the political level today is between nationalists trying to hold the Iraqi state together and separatists backed, so far, by the United States and Britain.

from Think Progress

Okay, Iraq wants us to leave. The majority of Americans want out. How bull-headed is this administration.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Take the time to read this and see that there is much on the table this week and until the end of May in Iraq. Yes, we are in the middle of a civil war we helped start. What happens if the Kurds secede over oil revenues? What role would Turkey play? The Sunni countries? the Shiites?
Just thinking aloud and I really don't know any answers.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

After a week off and a clear head--okay, my head cannot hold all the stupidity and scandals it can see anymore--I have a few comments.

First is Obama's comments on Detroit automobile industry. Gas prices are at almost all time highs adjusted for inflation. I think 1983 was actually higher. I drive through Colorado and see all the damn big diesel pickups. Or Excursions. Or the Bellaraphons. Or whatever. Who the hell needs to play urban cowboy that much?? Or are our kids so fat we need that big of an SUV to carry them all. I was listening to my favorite local talk radio host yesterday (give him a web listen, he is good) and he had a caller say he had a pickup that got him 18 mpg and he was happy with that. I had a '63 VW that got 42 mpg. Granted it had few extras, but it worked. Now we brag over 18 mpg. D'oh! Is it any wonder we voted for Bush? It will take decades for the American auto industry to get up to speed. There is the need for long-lasting, well-built cars that get good mileage. The ONLY reason they sell big vehicles is because they can load them with extras and options, raising the profit margins. and the public is so stupid, they demand them.

Chevy even touted the new electric car they were going to market, but then said "oh, we may not be able to find batteries. Sorry" What!!!! This hasn't stopped the Prius and Insight. And I wonder how honest they are after watching "Who killed the electric car." They just keep diggin deeper.

And maybe Congress can grow testicles (no, I really do want to see Nancy Pelosi with testicles, just a euphemism. I am hoping to see her as President after the impeachments. She would make a good President and would be my first choice for the first female President over Hillary, but I digress) and get the energy policy meeting records for this administration. I do fear that even if they did press oil companies (remember they are not Standard Oil of Ohio, but BP; or Texaco, but Shell), they will take their product to China or elsewhere.