Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bushies to America: Do as I say!

This past week, the Senate passed a $122 billion Iraq War spending bill. In most years, a multi billion war appropriation would have republicans wetting their pants with joy. However, this bill contains a provision requiring the withdrawal of most U.S. forces by March of 2008. This has our fearless leader incensed. We expect there to be no strings on our on-the-ground personnel he says. The basic gist of the argument is that people in the field have a better understanding of problems and a greater appreciation for how best to solve them. While this logic overlooks the fact that Congress does have Constitutional oversight authority over the executive branch, it does have some validity. People closer to the problems, often know best how to solve them.

However, the no strings requirement doesn't seem to apply to state side civil servants. Nor does the bar on meddling in local decisions pertain to Bush administration politicos. In fact, Bush lackeys not only second guess the professional judgement of "on-the-ground" federal personnel, they appear empowered to overturn decisions that conflict with the Bush admin's questionable world view. Case in point, Julie A. MacDonald, a political hack in the Interior department repeatedly altered the scientific field reports of professional land managers to the detriment of endangered species. Ms. MacDonald made these changes despite the fact that she has no, repeat that NO formal education in natural sciences. In other words, she lacks any qualification to second guess the judgement of wildlife managers. But according to the administration this is totally hunky dory.

In a nutshell, Bushies think Congress' Constitutional oversight of local managers is bad, while meddling by political appointees in the work of stateside local managers is good. Go figure.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

HAF Wits: Hating Americans since at least the McCarthy Era

Well the "Hate Americans First" (HAF) crowd is at it again. No its not the people Fox News and other neocons would have you believe. Rather the HAF Wits include the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell both of whom blamed American citizens for the September 11th attacks. It also includes CNN's Glen Beck who on national television questioned the allegiance of Keith Ellison, a democratically elected member of Congress. Now, Michael Savage a extreme right radio blowhard, solidified his place among the wits by claiming that terrorists are justified in attacking the United States because some Americans such as homosexuals and a female Senator dare exercise their God given right to participate in the democratic process.

Right wing nut jobs like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh fall all over themselves to trash the likes of Sean Penn, Martin Shean or Susan Sarandon who rightfully question our government's course! Don't hold your breath about hearing similar condemnation of the HAF wits for blaming Americans for the nation's troubles.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Under New Scandal Management

Previous Presidents used various methods to deal with political scandals. Public relations blitzes, legal maneuvers, stonewalling, cover-up and/or ultimately time have all been employed by the executive office.

The Bush administration appears to have developed a new tactic for dealing with its scandals, even more scandal. In the past few days the Walter Reed disaster, the US Attorney firings, the Valerie Plame outing have all come to light, any of which would have politically devastated previous administrations.

Yet, the above have pushed other troubling revelations off the public's radar screen. We hear little about the Pentagon's assessment of Iraq sectarian violence, the FBI's patriot act violations, General Pace's homophobia, Scooter Libby's conviction, the Halliburton Dubai move, and the disarray in the Vice President's office which were part of the collective consciousness just days ago.

Given all we've seen the past several months, its anybody's guess what new scandal is in the wings to push this week's news out of the headlines. God help the United States!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

General Pace, better vote Democrat!

Yesterday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace told the Chicago Tribune that homosexuality and adultery are equivalent immoral acts. Pace went on to say that the Pentagon should not condone immoral behavior. One wonders if General Pace would serve under republican presidential pretenders John McCain, Rudolph Giuliani or Newt Gingrich. All three have admitted marital infidelity.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ann's Tough Week

Ann Coulter, right wing hack, had a bad week. First, she drops the f-bomb during the CPAC convention, then a number of newspapers drop her. She tops off the past seven days with this editorial pile.

Ann's thesis is that with the Scooter Libby conviction it's now illegal to be a republican. The conviction, according to Ann, is a travesty of justice against all republicans and as such, Scooter should be pardoned. Curious the piece doesn't mention her own legal troubles. Ann might want to take a little advice. Instead of wasting time on her irrelevant ramblings, perhaps she should work on her own pardon petition.

Monday, March 5, 2007

No Pressure

Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) has really stepped into it. Specifically, Senator Domenici has admitted that he contacted U.S. Attorney David Iglesias last year about an ongoing corruption investigation that included at least one Democratic lawmaker. Domenici now regrets making the call, but categorically denies he pressured or threatened Iglesias on the course of action the investigation should take. Sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately, there is the little matter that in 2006 Senator Domenici called upon the Department of Justice to fire Mr. Iglesias. Oops, that doesn't look too good.

Senator Domenici alleges he made the call for removal long before he contacted the U.S. Attorney about his ongoing corruption investigation. Okay, this makes everything hunky dory again, right?

Unless . . . one considers that Senator Domenici now was in a position to significantly shape the investigation. How so? Well, it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine the Senator dropping his call for removal if say, the investigation went in a particular way. Gasp! Unfortunately for Mr. Iglesias he didn't change the investigation and ultimately was fired.

Congress has now gotten involved and hearings will begin Tuesday. Mr. Iglesias has been called to testify. Congress should ask the former U.S. Attorney if he felt Senator Domenici was asking him to alter his investigation in trade for his job. Unfortunately, it's unlikely the good Senator from New Mexico will be required to attend. Shame, it would be nice to see Mr. Domenici give his side of the story under a little pressure.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Katrina Take Two?

President Bush recently toured the tornado torn South exuding compassion for those who have had their lives turned upside down. The White House's new found compassion is an obvious response to its incompetent handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. While the President's walk among the people is touching, actual on-the-ground assistance is what is truly needed. People shouldn't hold their breath on fast action. More than a year after the Katrina disaster several areas of New Orleans including its 9th Ward still need debris and wreckage removed. Further, vital service such as gas and electricity have yet to be fully restored.

During his remarks to tornado survivors, President Bush stated "Out of this rubble will emerge a better tomorrow." Given the President's disastrous Iraq war, his response to Katrina and approach to issues such as climate change, many Americans are hoping the country will see a "better tomorrow" out of the rubble of this administration.