Another Plamegate Already?

In the senate briefing, where Cheney was attempting to encourage senators to support President Bush and his initiative to torture captured soldiers - and I quote - not being able to torture them would "tie the hands of the president" - close quote.  Guess what.

Cheney leaked information to the senators who in turn leaked it to the press. The putative reason would be that the Senators are helping their party, by describing a series of places where torture already exists. Cheney is riding on loyalty there.

Of course, McCain stood up and said, thanks. but no thanks. The anti-torture amendment, the one that CEO Cheney was opposing - was an amendment that takes procedure verbatim from the Army Field Manual on how to treat prisoners and offers clear, decisive ways to treat prisoners - no more Abu Graib.

So Cheney apparently revealed to the group that Abu Graib is not the only horse in the stable.  And that was supposed to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

His people in the party, his loyals, immediately and apparently with intent to weaken the support for an anti-torture amendment - leaked to the press the information given in a classified closed doors meeting.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/08/prison.probe/index.html

Why do they do it?

My Private Ohio

I've been thinking about how the reform initiative in Ohio failed and I've come to the conclusion that, like the vote for George Bush in 2004, its more a measure of the strength of the American people than a measure of which is in fact the right way to go.

Let me explain: George W Bush was voted into office by Ohio Voters, after a contentious debate in which most of the positions of Bush were found to be wrong and he resorted to swift boating and dissolving boundaries long held between church and state. But apart from the fact that he played dirty, as Rove will always have him do - Bush was also truly a president that was leading a country during wartime. Granted, it may have been a war that Rove planned in advance for the purpose of the election, or to pay off big texas oil companies for their first vote. But it was a war, nevertheless and one that we must fight.

So the people of America voted to keep Bush in office. This said, to me, really - that the whole mess that Bush started, is something he's going to have to own. The democrats might have all been a little bit angry in the candidates that year, and given a stronger candidate they could have won..

But Democrats are Patriotic Americans too... and guess what... the albatross that has been Bush's term is now firmly affixed to the Party that would've replaced our Government with direct ties to corporate lobbyists and boosted our cost of living up so high we'd all be floating like Katrina survivors..  In other words, the Democrats and Republicans are responsible for Bush staying in Power in 2004. And if we're ever in another war, I think we can expect the People of the USA to keep the president they've got to a second term  and let him fight it out. That makes me, in some measure, proud - despite the fact that an old furry dog could've done better in 2005 than bush.

So lets moveon back to ohio. Here's the thing - yesterday the voters of Ohio said NO to electoral reform.

But really, in my mind, what they're saying is YES to all those senior citizens that would so much as be corrupted at the polling places as they would eat their own grandkids.

Seriously. Think about it. We know that there have been some really disturbing trends in the polling and collection of votes. But in the end, Diebold is an American company. Comprised of Democrats, and republicans.  If they would knowingly participate in vote fraud, the American people are saying hey - look, we trust the pollsters and the commission to try to do their job.

One of the great things about America is a fairly incorruptible, and surprisingly effecient bureaucracy. As much as you complain, as a businessman, about how long the fed. takes to pay you - in the end, you will get a check that won't bounce. You might die in the process, and your progeny have to cash it.. but it will be good at the bank. And the gears will turn.

So maybe what Ohio is saying is, if you want to play games with the districts, and you think its part of your job, then do it. But no matter how much you redraw the lines, it will still be Ohio.

In some ways, California voted to reject a similiar measure primarily because they felt that they didn't want to have the same thing happen. And the vote resulted in a cost effective situation where the American people really aren't putting their trust in these so called big leaders. They're putting their trust in god.

The next time you go to the polls, and you see those old people sitting their with coffee and donuts guess what: those people are the real winners of any election. They do their job tirelessly, for 20 bucks a day (or something) and America has just voted to keep them in office.

Am I on drugs?

John Roberts off to a Good Start

John Roberts wasted no time in getting to work and the tradition and scope of the Supreme Court immediately began to work again.

The first two decisions of the US supreme court now point to a judiciary that is balanced, and thoughtful. Roberts is showing himself to be non partisan, and very hardworking.

Today's decision is a common sense ruling that says that if a company requires you to wear a special article of clothing to do your job, the company must pay for it. This ruling stops short of asking to pay for uniforms, but if you have to wear protective clothing, its covered. This is a win for any american who has to wear one of those dumb paper suits - >:)

All Saint's Day

CNN ran an article this morning on a church in los angeles with a devoutly liberal political focus. The story was centered on that organizations tax exempt status.

Here's the link to the church -
http://www.allsaints-pas.org/all_saints_church.htm

What struck me about all of this as a christian, and in fact, a christian whose journey currently traverses this side of the anglican world (those of you who call themselves episcopalians know that this is a code phrase that means - apolitical episcopal) - I find it strange. On the one hand, the positions here line up with those of Christian charity and forebearance.  So unlike the warmongering republicans, its refreshing to see a church that speaks for action in the world in the tradition of christ himself.

On the other hand, not being able to separate religion and politics truly strikes at my sense of being american.

Is the city of angels, the city I live in, lonely as I am ..?

Q: Whats the difference between Los Angeles, and a petri dish?

A: In a petri dish, you have a +live+ culture.

Thoughts on Kaine

If I were voting in VA today I'd vote for the Democrat, Kaine. I saw a report on PBS and I just had this insight about any candidate like kilgore - he's smiling.. and he's kicking these talking points back..

I thought about how kilgore attacked kaine for defending this murder case, when kaine was an attorney. That was the moment I really understood why I'd vote for kaine.

Kilgore was saying Kaine was defending this guy, when in fact Kaine had only spent 40 minutes on the guy's case and suddenly it became clear to me how all this pork got around in the govt. in the first place.

See, Kilgore was banking that voters wouldn't "read the bill" as it were  - and so he began piling on the bull.  He was hoping no-one could think enough to be able to understand the difference.

its like that when a bill hits the floor of the house,  and no-one has ever read it. like the patriot act.

anyone who tries to do that, I know thats how they will be. So for me, its kaine.

Postcards from Buster

I just got a "postcard from buster" today , that
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board of Directors has pressured Ken Tomlinson to resign.

There's a broader message here. Partisanship in the media is a dead end street. People are gravitating towards the feel of reality - anywhere they can find it. They want the cutting edge, truthful story. The one that even if it hurts your advertisers - gets the word out.

The incursion into PBS that the neocons made stopped with the help of Moveon.org, but in general, also because the profitability of PBS is wrested from work like the Lehrer news hour that often paints both sides of the picture, is almost always objective - and if a bit unsettling, at least, trustworthy. Anything that puts partisan spin in that environment is anathema to their viewership which is still growing.

Fox news, on the other hand, is on the decline.

Plamegate Poll Results

There's a story by Lakshmi Choudhury that quotes the following stats:

 A CBS poll shows that 51 percent of Americans think the Plame case is of "great importance;" 35 percent think it's of "some importance;" and 12 percent "little or not importance."

The numbers are even more striking when you compare them with views of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal: Great importance - 41 percent; Some importance - 21 percent; Little/no importance - 37percent.

In fact the only other presidential scandal in recent history that's scored this high -- even Iran-Contra was considered of great importance by only 48 percent -- is Watergate: Great importance - 53 percent; Some importance - 25 percent; Little/no importance - 22 percent. And note that even here the number of those who placed little importance on the matter is higher than Plame-gate

-=-

I think she's posting the full story over at eschaton. My view of those numbers above is that again if you're watching polls, you're probably missing the whole story. Americans really think that anyone who would attack a CIA operative that was fighting Al Qaeda should be treated as if they were Al Qaeda. It is a dark day indeed when we now know that the senior levels of the white house were in fact those types of people..

Senate Shutdown

The Reid maneuver to push the manipulation of intel investigation worked. Lets hope the investigation strays into the fact that the British Intelligence service was reporting that "facts were being fixed" to make the case to go to war, and exhumes their findings and traces them down -

http://www.downingstreetmemo.com

Also, it speaks to the highest ideals of American sense to know that Bush planned an invasion to line the pockets of oil company campaign contributors, just as Cornyn is trying to get Hurricane Katrina relief bills passed that let Pennsylvania coal-fired plants pump mercury in the air.. its common sense - there WERE NO WMD IN IRAQ

Ever since Bush was found out he's tried to blame someone else - even though it's public knowledge that Al Qaeda hit us on 911, and he was asking his staff to come up with ways to hit Iraq. And Rumsfeld is also on Public record stating that we should hit Iraq because there are better targets in Iraq. They were doing this while Bin Laden was escaping with the help of the Taliban (who, by the way, visited Bush in Texas in 2000 as red carpet dignitaries..)

An Op/Ed piece in the WSJ today writes of how silly it is for Reid to have called the focus onto the investigation. The GOP is into a huge coverup that is costing us 200 billion dollars.
'
The WSJ purports to be a conservative paper and yet at 200 billion dollars a year in spending, with Bush being the biggest evangelical liberal ever to take office, they're giving him a blank check? Not this indie voter..

Reid is my Hero

Have you considered the absolute absurdity of the GOP position on the Senate Closure. The moment we ask ourselves = why are we doing something? What is all of this for?

If you have seen the young kids who won't be recruited - asking the same question - would it not benefit the country, and recruitment - to know exactly why we're fighting a war in Iraq?

The GOP is saying introspection, that bedrock of all faith -  is nothing more than a stunt.

Make no mistake. Iraq did not attack the United States in any way shape or form. America was 100 percent safe from Iraq, not one American hair on one American head was harmed by Iraq before the war. We were told the smoking gun would turn into a mushroom cloud.  Ads were being circulate dthat said "support President Bush's Pre-emptive Action"
(actually there was a name for it, and I can't remember what it was - I assumed it was BS until the day we actually invaded Iraq, which was a great surprise to me.. does anyone remember the name of that policy?)

As a country we have a score to settle with Osama Bin Laden and not some god damned second lieutenant or first lieutenant or "head of Al Qaeda in Iraq".  Bush made sure the Bin Laden family was flown out of Texas, Does this country need to know?

If the GOP can answer that they are connected, locally, to their constituencies - can they be so disconnected as to not even consider that there may be yet another traitor in the white house, other than the one we caught last week? Partisan loyalty, for any American, must stop at the boundary of our country. Ask yourself if your support of anyone, or anything - helps Al Qaeda. In the case of fudged intel, and hitting the wrong targets - just picture a young american soldier nicknamed "superman" bashing in the door of an innocent young man in Iraq - the wrong door. And then ask yourself if that 2M bradley built by defense industries out there,  the 4,000.00 worth of body armor - the expensive GPS, the orbiting sky-spies, the video game controls - all of that. Ask if what he did just then, either helped Al qaeda. or hurt it.

Theres your answer as to what to do with someone who would destroy an American secret soldier inthe Fight against Al Qaeda.  And if Superman gets capped on his way back to his bradley by some woman in a burka - just find out what you really want to do with "suspected terrorists" who are trying to repel stormtroopers kicking down doors and speaking in a language they can't understand. Ask yourself how many more should die. Its up to 30,000 right now, and rising.

The Vogon Quotation

Sen. Majority leader Bill Frist had a quotation today in the papers -

"[This] is an affront to the United States of America, and it is wrong"

What a quote. I am, as many know, an avid collector of film and for good reason - I have a tendency to remember each and every one that I have ever seen. The only way to keep my sanity is if I pay for each one, keep it somewhere nice, and be able to discuss it on its own right. For each film, I always apply the test - can I see it again,and enjoy it?  Gladly I am working through 'the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy right now'.

Sen. Majority leader Bill Frist, who conducted insider trading and is currently under investigation by the SEC - thinks that investigating a war that 80% of America thinks was started for a lie, is wrong. He also thinks, perhaps coincidentally, that investigating his own insider trading stock schemes is wrong. He's also stated that he did not do the trade. Then he did. Etc.

Now, I am reminded of that odious race called the Vogons. As the guide says, this is one of the most unpleasant races in the universe. They are are oficious, bureaucratic and callous. It is said that a Vogon would not rescue his own grandmother if it were being eaten by a vicious sand blatter of Traal  unless the appropriate form were filled out, in triplicate, queried, requeried, signed for proper authorization and then buried outside in the front yard and dug up again for firelighter.

The one thing you should never do is let a Vogon read poetry to you..  and so noted, I must refer to the Hon. Sen. Frist's comment..

" It is wrong "

Wow. It just strikes my heart. When I read this I was immediately reminded of a Vogon detachment to rescue the president. Of course, the president was kidnapped by himself, but the Vogons were sent of course, to kill the kidnapper. So they naturally took direct aim at the president and fired.  Being the worst shot in the universe, none of them hit the target.  For all 20 vogons.

"It is wrong"

Immediately I recall a vision of a Vogon bureaucrat who, seeing a ship 'the heart of gold' evade them , asks - do they have proper authorization to escape?

"It is wrong"

Doesn't this just strike your heart - seriously. If you think about it. It has all the wonder and beauty of a man who would have denied Stem Cell Research to nearly everyone dying of a horrible disease because a group of religious evangelists told him he'd go to hay-ul if he didn't oppose it.. A man with so much integrity he'd get rich by insider trading, like Martha Stewart, and Ken Lay of Enron - a man who was close personal friends with Tom Delay and who worked with Scooter Libby every day. A man, who would be king.

" It is wrong "

Unfortunately, Mr. Frist should have filled out the presidential form when he made that statement. That's the BLUE one.

-=-

In short, this quotation is as empty as the man who made it. It sounds so weak I almost laughed when I saw it. Tell me what is wrong.. to walk away from justice? To laugh at the founding fathers who would never have taken us to war. How about a state religion, like the Ancient Romans? How gentle he reminds us, that to be christian - we must first be able to drop everything and follow Christ.  

Lazarus rose from the dead. Too bad he had to die. He could have simply walked away from his wealth..  Lets compare and contrast..

"It is wrong"

With a statement from someone else. Lets see.. who takes my heart? Hm... No, won't find it in the Hitchhikers guide - what other book. Ah, I see this big black one here that Reagan used to hold... the one he said... had all the answers:

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to see the kingdom of god."

Diaries

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