Friday, July 06, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Edwards!

Elizabeth Edwards is a beautiful person inside and out. By her actions and inspiration, she reminds us every day of Jonathan Swift's sage advice:

"May you live all the days of your life."

She shows us how it's done!

May you have the sweetest day, Mrs. Edwards.
Enjoy your birthday!


P.S. Duncan Hunter says that "Ann Coulter is a very articulate spokeswoman for the conservative view". This means he thinks that making anti-gay slurs, comparing Muslims to members of the Ku Klux Klan, advocating an assassination of President Clinton, taunting you about a lost family member, and expressing the hope that your husband Senator Edwards would be killed by terorists is an articulate way of expressing the conservative view. I hope those conservatives are all proud of Ann and Duncan Hunter.

Scooter Libby:Let Freedom Ring for Liars Who Lie for George

Knowing fairly well, because we've come to understand our President, that Scooter Libby would be pardoned before long, I'm certain that I'd have little to say that would shock you.

Do you remember my post from a couple weeks ago?

Libby: Pardon or Not, Lose-Lose For Bush
June 18, 2007

If Bush pardons Scooter Libby, it will be as if to say, "Thank you, Scooter, for doing my administration's bidding in covering up the circumstances of our outing of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent who was working out there on America's side. I am not on America's side by pardoning you for participating in outright lies about the CIA agent outing. Instead I'm showing that I'm on the extreme partisans' side."

If Bush fails to pardon Libby, it will anger and alienate the 20-something percent of that new brand of Republicans who prize loyalty and protection of a President who embraces their divisive and extreme ideology over punishing those who participate in what what looks like treason or something dangerously bordering upon treason.

To a typical American, whether Republican or Democrat, who believes that intelligent patriotism still fosters a spirit that supports a healthy democracy, truth, and respect and reasonable protection for all Americans who do dangerous and important work on behalf of our national security while under cover, it looks like Bush loses.

- "I think that is true, Jude, but we liberals will see it that way in a stark and clear way. How will it be spun to the people in the middle? [Or has rove-run politics evacuated the middle?]"

- "Bush doesn't care about public opinion and he doesn't care about the affects of anything he does, as long as oil is in his pocket."

- "I think the politics of a Libby pardon, have less to do with winning elections than for certain higher-level White House officials to avoid conviction and prosecution themselves. It was George senior who pardoned the principals in Iran-Contra, when he himself was one of the principals in the adventure."

How is this being spun by middle-of-the-road media?

Last March, a very sympathetic (and stragely compassionate) Michael Kinsley at TIME had this to say about Scooter's choices and opinions about his expected pardon:

[Libby] had good reason to fear that if he told the truth, he might go to prison. There is a law against "outing" a covert CIA agent. That law might or might not have applied in this case. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald ultimately decided he couldn't make the charge stick, but Libby didn't know that when the FBI came calling. He gambled that lying was safer, and he lost...

....start piling up all the lies told by this Administration in advancing its war in Iraq. Rank them in importance. Where would you put Scooter Libby's unconvincing faulty memory about who told what to whom about Valerie Plame Wilson? Not very high, I think. If President Bush has a shred of humanity in him — if he has suffered even a tiny moment of doubt about this huge and tragic mess he has gotten our country into — how can he let the clock tick him out of office without pardoning a very small player in this tragedy, but the one who happened to get caught?

Kinsley has already framed Bush as a man of compassion for letting this crook off the hook.

But the biggest crooks got away with what they did to Valerie Plame without so much as one public accusation of treason from mainstream media.

I repeat, they got away with it. Libby was the tiny fish...the virtual tadpole. The big picture is the picture that counts, but because of the way mainstream media handles the issue, most people may never really make the big-picture connection.

While some understandably angry bloggers are screaming for impeachment today, the elite mainstream media, afraid for their own positions of "royalty" within the White House press corps, have, for too long, skirted the issues that would have caused the public to understand the serious nature of offense when many people within a President's administration are complicit, in any way, shape or form, in revealing the covert identity of a CIA agent. See William Rivers Pitt's "The Most Insidious of Traitors" from September 2003

So they'll cover their negligent and timid tails by making the pardon of Scooter Libby look inevitable.

I still have faith, somehow, that most people who pay attention will understand what happened here - even if MSM has nearly completely failed to tell the hardest part of the stories. A live poll at MSNBC is currently showing that 73% of repondents do not agree with Bush's decision to commute Libby's sentence. When asked by an LA Times poll, "Do you agree with Pres. Bush that 30 months in federal prison is excessive for telling a lie?", a whopping 92% of respondents currently say "NO".

Where Does Gordon Brown Land On Iraq War?

Ian Davidson, adviser to the European Policy Centre in Brussels, [source: SF Gate] asks who Gordon Brown is - and wonders, as many of us do, where he will land on the controversial issue of the Iraq war. Will Brown continue on Blair's path and be a limpet-redux or will he be his own man and face the bitter reality to which Tony Blair would never admit - that Blair's decision to stand too close to a very naive and manipulative, hyperfocused Washington DC administration resulted in a disaster for not only Great Britain, but also for the Middle East? Blair may feel self-satisfaction in making up for his great mistake in his new task as envoy to the Middle East, but he's left Gordon Brown with a dilemma. Brown must be grateful in a public way for Blair handing him this leadership opportunity, but at the same time, he must decide what that means in terms of the future of his own leadership and the value of his own nation's trust. The eyes of the British people - and the world - are on Gordon Brown. Personally, I pray for him to make the wisest decisions for his nation's future and international reputation.

The worst part of Blair's legacy, of course, is the war in Iraq. Many people predicted, and everyone can now see, that the decision to invade was a disastrous error; that it is having catastrophic consequences, not just for Iraq but also for the Middle East generally; and that it has seriously damaged the moral standing of the United States and Britain. The most critical issue facing Brown is whether he chooses to distance himself from Blair's self-satisfied and delusional claim that the invasion of Iraq was "the right thing to do."

Britain has already reduced its forces in southern Iraq and is on course to reduce them still further as it hands over "security" to the Iraqi police and military. In reality, of course, the civil and guerrilla war under way in the rest of Iraq means that any security in the south can only be a temporary illusion. The choice facing Brown is whether to cling silently to the existing policy, in the futile hope that the problem will go away, or explicitly recognize Britain's share in the disaster.

This is partly a question of what to do now in Iraq, but it is also a question of Britain's relationship with the United States. With hindsight, it is clear that Britain's participation in the Iraq war was driven solely by Blair's determination to stick, limpet-like, to Washington.

Brown believes, and has said, that Britain must always be close friends with America, and obviously that is the right thing to believe and say. But is he prepared to make clear that there is a difference between being close friends and going into an illegal and disastrous war just to please George W. Bush?

So far, there is no indication that he will. While he has publicly regretted the errors in British intelligence about Saddam Hussein, that is merely a way of shifting the blame from the government to the intelligence services. But it was not the intelligence services that decided to go to war. It was Tony Blair, with the support of Gordon Brown.


In a recent Guardian article we see a plea for Brown to set his nation on a clearer path regarding the Iraq War:

Gordon Brown's new government has to find a form of words that acknowledges Britain's role in creating - unintentionally - the conditions for instability, civil war and mayhem. It has to find not just the will to disengage over time (such a will already exists) but the language to convince listeners that this is now the government's settled purpose. Such an approach would not extirpate the terrorist cause in Britain, but it would be a start in altering the conditions in which terrorists recruit. It would also be morally and historically right.


Brown told Parliament today Britain will set up a new National Security Council to send out "a clear message" of vigilance. Brown said the new group would regularly publish a national security strategy, setting out potential threats. The group would guarantee "at all times we will be vigilant and we will never yield," he said. [see AP report, Baltimore Sun]

Monday, July 02, 2007

Gordon Brown - Somebody You Should Know

"I believe that Gordon Brown has more passion (and knowledge) about the issues of global poverty and social justice than any other Western leader today. And I believe his leadership could make a great difference. He is somebody you should know and follow closely."

- Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners