Thursday, November 08, 2007

Numb to it all

I read about this in the WSJ this morning and was shocked dumbfounded apalled, OK I guess I’m just numb to it by now. Anyway, here it is:

The Committee had invited Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor, to testify about his experiences. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Asked last week to appear before the panel, Col. Couch says he informed his superiors and that none had any objection.” But Counch’s appearance was blocked by Cheney-backed Pentagon counsel William Haynes:

Yesterday, however, [Couch] was advised by email that the Pentagon general counsel, William J. Haynes II, “has determined that as a sitting judge and former prosecutor, it is improper for you to testify about matters still pending in the military court system, and you are not to appear before the Committee to testify tomorrow.“

Haynes has been a forceful advocate and key architect for the administration’s harsh interrogation techniques. Couch’s potential testimony posed a serious danger to Haynes’ work.

$9 trillion debt

Wow! US debt tops $9 trillion for first time

Congratulations George “Worst President Ever” Bush and all the “fiscally conservative” Republicans out there. Heck uv a job!
I’m sure we will reach the $10 trillion mark before Bush leaves office the way we are gushing funds for the Iraq boondoggle.

I think President Bush has made our country worse off in just about every conceivable way during his tenure. Militarily we are weaker, with an Army that is overstretched and in desperate need of about two or three years downtime to recover. On the foreign affairs front, more people hate us today than ever before.

And now with the stock market plunging and the economy on the brink of yet another Bush recession, we are saddled with $9 trillion in public debt that will make it very hard to dig ourselves out of our current predicament.

Fortunately, the electorate seems to have finally regained its senses beginning in 2006 and has been pitching out Republicans and electing Democrats at every opportunity. Nevertheless, we will still have to suffer through another whole year of the Bush nightmare before we can begin to see very much relief.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Veto override

It looks like Bush will have a veto overriden for the first time.
Unfortunately, it is not for the SCHIP bill. Republicans can’t be bothered to fight for children’s health care. But a nice pork bill for their home districts?? No problem!
Actually, it was stupid and hypocritical that Bush chose to veto this $23 billion water infrastructure bill that had passed the House and Senate by overwhelming margins. Especially when at the same time he is demanding that we spend an additional $200 billion on the boondoggle in Iraq.
The veto override in the House wasn’t even close at 361-54 and unless the Republican’s in the Senate can be forced to bite the bullet this one is almost certain to be overriden later this week.
I imagine there will be more to follow provided that Bush continues to veto bills such as this one.

A sample of things to come

The Democratic tidal wave that began in 2006 has not slowed down if yesterday’s elections are any indication.
The very red state of Kentucky overwhelmingly elected a Democratic governor, while the very red state of Virginia gave Democrats control of the state Senate for the first time in 12 years. Democrats also held strong in state elections in New Jersey. The only bright spot for Republicans seems to be an upset victory in the Indianapolis mayors race and the re-election of Haley Barbour as governor of Mississippi.
In Texas, the constitutional amendment funding cancer research that had been opposed by wingnuts passed overwhelmingly, as did all of the amendments as I expected.

In other news, there was an odd scuffle in the U.S. House yesterday that I got to see in part on C-SPAN when far-left Rep. Dennis Kucinich brazenly put forward a resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. The Democratic leadership attempted to table the measure only to have Republicans put the House through a long drawn out vote in which each GOP member took turns one at a time switching their vote from Yes to No so that the measure would remain alive. Apparently, they thought by doing so they could embarrass Democrats by forcing a debate on Cheney’s impeachment.
Well, I have news for the clearly out-of-touch GOP leadership. If that measure had been put up for a straight up or down vote by the people, it would have passed overwhelmingly. Cheney is a deeply unpopular figure today and I have no doubt that a majority of people would say “Sure, let’s impeach the SOB.” Fortunately, for him, it doesn’t work that way, and the Democratic leadersip did not want to waste more time on the matter so they had it sent to committee where it will be buried.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bush passes Nixon

Good news for fans of former President Richard Nixon!
No longer will he bear the historical ignominy of being the most unpopular president of modern times. That ill distinction is now where it rightly belongs, with George W. Bush.
I think it is only right that the worst president ever should also have the distinction of being the most unpopular president. Nixon was pretty bad, but at least he did not combine his malfeasance with gross stupidity and boneheaded incompetence.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I agree with Robert Novak!

Robert Novak wrote a column today that I never expected to read... a glowing tribute to former President Jimmy Carter. At least with respect to his efforts to bring peace in the long-running struggle between Israel and the Palestinians.
It is partly a review of the new Jonathan Demme documentary “Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains.” But it also makes some stinging points about the current administration that I would not have expected to come from the pen of Mr. Novak. This line in particular stands out:

“...the former president's clarity on the Palestinian question contrasts sharply with George W. Bush's refusal to face reality...”

Bush’s “refusal to face reality” is the key to why his entire presidency has been an unending disaster. The refusal to face reality about WMDs (or lack thereof) in Iraq. The refusal to face reality about the war in Iraq. The refusal to face reality that his massive tax cuts for the rich have left us with an enormous deficit in a time of war. The refusal to face reality with respect to global warming and many other scientific issues that fail to mesh with his fundamentalist warped view of the world.

Novak goes on to make some very reality-based observations about the Israeli-Palestinian situation including this one:

”...Carter repeatedly and unequivocally states what Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates view as undeniable: to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, with all its benefits for the world, Israel must end its illegal and oppressive occupation of the West Bank. That is a prerequisite that neither President Bush nor congressional leaders of both parties can approach for fear of being labeled anti-Israeli or even anti-Semitic (as Carter has been).”