Sunday, October 30, 2005

Evildoers? Wrongdoers? Or Politics-As-Usualdoers?

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Sunday that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should apologize for the actions of their aides in the CIA leak case, while defenders of the Bush administration insist there was no wrongdoing, since no one has thus far been indicted for anything other than interfering with the investigation.

Leaving aside for the time being the question of possible motives for interfering with the investigation, what we now know is that Rove and Libby both testified to the grand jury that they were speaking to reporters about the fact that Joe Wilson's wife was a CIA "operative" — to use Robert Novak's terminology — when they should have (from both ethical and strategic standpoints) been telling reporters "Joe Wilson is right about the Niger uranium; we don't know how those sixteen words were cleared for the President's speech, and the Niger uranium deal isn't and has never been part of the justification of the use of military force against Iraq."

Mission Inarticulable

U.S. president George Bush, in his weekly radio address:
"The best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission and win the war on terror."

Probably inspirational words to someone, but it bears repeating that the mission — separating Saddam Hussein from his weapons of mass destruction (if any) — was complete before Bush so much as ordered troops onto Iraqi soil.

As for the "war on terror", whatever it is, can it be won by stubbornly maintaining U.S. occupation of Iraq, fueling anti-western sentiment in the process?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Convenient Political Football"

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, October 26, on Democrats' criticism of the Iraq war following the 2000th U.S. military death in the conflict: "To use Iraq as a convenient political football only undercuts the brave men and women fighting there."

Oh, those unscrupulous Democrats - using the 2000th U.S. death in Iraq as an excuse to comment on the 2000th U.S. death in Iraq.

Friday, October 28, 2005

One Down, How Many More To Go..............?

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination consideration amid growing discontent amongst many Conservatives, and senators from both parties concerns over her qualifications of judicial prowess. But, was there more than meets the eye about this withdrawal? Of course there is, many senators were concerned over the White House refusal to turn over certain documents pertaining to Miers, claiming not just attorney-client privilege but executive privilege as well. There is a much more convenient reason for her withdrawal, one day before special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is going to hand down indictments in the CIA Leak Case. Miers, afterall is the Chief White House Counsel and her office is extraordinarily obsessed with what Fitzgerald is going to do about the leaking of a CIA agent's identity that is knocking right at the back door of the White House.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Scott McClellan, Stand-Up Comedian

"Asked if Cheney always tells the truth to the American people, McClellan said: 'Yes.' He dismissed as 'ridiculous' a question about whether Bush stood by Cheney's account of his role in the matter. 'The vice president, like the president, is a straightforward, plain-spoken person,' McClellan said."

Monday, October 24, 2005

His Personal CPA?

Bush believed ready to name Greenspan successor
President George W. Bush was believed poised on Monday to announce who he wants to replace Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Condoleeza Rice Has Chat-Session with Senate Foreign Relations Committee

If anyone was optomistic that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would make clear the United States policy on Iraq, hope for that was quickly dashed. Not only were Democrats on the committee not getting their questions answered but the Republicans as well, when the Secretary appeared at a hearing yesterday. Sen. Hagel, a Republican and times at odds with his own party and the administration wanted to know from Rice about an article that appeared in the New York Times, in which the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister was quoted as saying, "Instability and occupation in Iraq will lead to full-scale war in the region," and if she agreed with that statement? Secretary Rice could not answer that question, and chose to move to the next question by assuring the Senator that she had talked to the Saudi Foreign Minister and he assured her that the comment was taken out of context....
The Secretary was asked a smorgasbord of questions, from voting in Iraq over the weekend, to the new montra "Freedom Deficit". At one point Rice was even heckled by a woman spectator in the audience who was screaming, "How many more will die for this policy!! How many more will die for you?! Is Syria next?!" Of course Sen. George Allen Republican of VA had to put his usual optomistic "talking points" into the mix, with that smiley smirk most GOP seem to have, stating that,"Just the idea of people going out and voting in Iraq is a good thing...." That just knocked."Schools are being opened and children are going to school in the midst of all the insurgency." right out the door.
One of the Senators that got directly to the point was none other that Sen. John Kerry, the former 2004 Democrat candidate for President. he questioned, if the administration was really in touch with the American public in their growing discontent about the war in Iraq, as Nixon finally was during the Vietnam War? Rice could not answer that question either, but she did try to put a positive "spin" on the events happening in Iraq. She totally "dissed" the entire premiss of Sen. Kerry's questioning. He wanted a timetable for US troop withdrawal, "You make timetables for voting on a new government, you make timetables for ratification of a Constitution, why no timetable for the withdrawing of US troops?" One could have thought this was a sequel to one of Kerry's campaign speeches, but he did speak for a growing number of Americans. Now, there is no doubt that Secretary Rice is an intelligent well educated woman, but she needs to understand that this adminstration works for the people, and she is part of the administration. She owes the people answers to the questions asked of the people's elected officials in the Senate, when the spotlight is on her, not "political spin", arrogance, and evasiveness.

Monday, October 17, 2005

It All Depends On What the Definition Of "Terrorist" Is?

U.S. warplanes and helicopters bombed two western villages, killing an estimated 70 militants near a site where five American soldiers died in a weekend roadside blast, the military said Monday. Residents said at least 39 of the dead were civilians.

Iraqis are killed daily in insurgent attacks, yet retaliatory airstrikes by American forces closely follow attacks in which Americans are killed. Is this intended to make it appear more likely that the Iraq government is "calling the shots" in beating back the resistance, or less likely?

The U.S. military said Monday that coalition forces launched airstrikes Sunday in and around Ramadi, west of Baghdad, killing "an estimated 70 terrorists." But an Iraqi doctor who reported 20 people killed -- including six children -- and 25 wounded said all those were civilians. An Iraqi Ministry of Health official also said one child was killed and two women wounded in the airstrikes. Military officials said they had no reports of civilians killed.

We'll leave it to readers, based on those contradictory statements, to judge for themselves how closely Iraqi and American authorities are working.

Friday, October 14, 2005

"CAREFUL CHOREOGRAPHY, BUT NOT SO CAREFULLY SCRIPTED"

"Carefully Choreographed" says the AP, Like a kindergarten play was Bush's early morning question and answer session with 11 pre-selected US soldiers and one Iraqi soldier. The rehearsal for this long distance "love fest" with these soldiers went off without a hitch, and was released to all the news programs, but when the actual event occurred it was very apparent that mote rehearsal was warranted. Mr.Bush stumbled over his words more than usual, kept fidgeting with his earpiece, and difficulty standing still as if he needed a bathroom break really bad. He is either under alot of stress, which wouldn't be surprising considering his approval rating is at a whopping 37%. Oh, yeah., this is the guy who doesn't care about poll ratings........... so why all the "carefully choreographed" photo-ops? Not since the unforgettably lame excercise of landing on the deck of the USS Lincoln back in May 2003 and the "Mission Accomplished"speech, has this White House's attempt at media manipulation been so fractured

Have we all overestimated the secretiveness in the daily workings of this White House? Honestly, allowing us to see the rehearsals of a session to thank the men and women serving in Iraq, 48 hrs. before the Iraqi people vote to ratify the 'Constitution"! No, but it was clearly choreographed nonsense. This White House does not misstep, nor does it admit it does when it occurs, hense the heated exchange betwen the W.H. press corps and Pres Sec. Scott McClellan later in the day. This administration and its "fearless leader" is coming unglued. It seems the names have changed, but the song remains the same. Bush is loosing focus and a grip, tries all manner of "carefully choregraphed" photo-ops, rustles through the Oval Office trash can for old speech drafts for speeches that supposedly held the American people's attention for at least a minute, and if that didn't work have a terror alert somewhere in the country to somehow remind us that this administrstion is on message.

The "song"does remain the same, and is being played by violins accompanying an "Emperor"who has no clothes.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

What's A Little More Sacrifice?

"Wars are not won without sacrifice, and this war will require more sacrifice, more time, and more resolve. The terrorists are as brutal an enemy as we have ever faced," George Bush said today in a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy.

Can he really not believe that the sacrifice of 1,945 American lives is not sufficient, given the stated objective of taking weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of Saddam Hussein? (An objective which, by the way, Bush well knew had already been achieved before even the first American serviceman gave his life to the cause.)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush Names Supreme Court Pick

"She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice" George Bush said in announcing Harriet Miers (White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy) as his choice to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's slot on the Supreme Court. Nice words, but wouldn't they apply to pretty much anyone who was at all qualified for the position? I'm sure, just as with the John Roberts nomination, we'll be beaten over the head with how well-qualified she is to serve on the Supreme Court (a criterion that I would guess should make thousands eligible for the gig), and nothing about why she is the best choice, other than that she's Bush's choice. Among her other achievements, she's a past chair of the Texas Lottery Commission.