Saturday, September 6, 2008

The US Attorney Scandal

While the story has all but disappeared from most media outlets, the investigation into the potentially politically motivated firing of nine U.S. Attorneys continues.

Before the court of public opinion, White House spokespeople have long maintained President Bush had no involvement in the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys, the central decision that mushroomed into one of the biggest scandals in eight years of the Bush administration.

"[T]here is no indication that the President knew about any of the ongoing discussions [about firing U.S. attorneys] over the two years, nor did he see a list or a plan before it was carried out," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters in March 2007.

In federal court, however, the administration's lawyers have been more ambiguous.

"The record does reflect at this stage that the president was not involved in decisions about who would be asked to resign from the department," Justice Department lawyer Carl Nichols carefully argued before a federal judge in June. But "the record does not reflect that the President had no future involvement" in the scandal, he noted.

Just how much of a role the president played in the firings and its aftermath remains unclear. But in trying to prevent top White House officials from testifying or turning over documents to Congress, the Bush administration "is very consciously trying to walk a very fine tightrope," explained Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

On the one hand, experts say, the White House finds it politically necessary to make clear statements insulating Bush from the scandal. But in court, "If they said [Bush] wasn't involved at all they would undermine their case for executive privilege," Vladeck said.

The resulting argument, he said, is "a lawyer who's trying to be very obtuse."

Still, the administration lawyers' fancy footwork hints that the president's involvement could be broader than widely known. "They are not expressly saying it but it is an implicaton because you can't mislead the court," said Charles Tiefer, former House general counsel now a law professor at the University of Baltimore.

The sad thing is that by the time anyone figures out what happened, the people who need to be punished will all be out of office, sitting around at home, drinking beer, and laughing at what they got away with. I wish the Democrats were pursuing things like this a little more seriously instead of being more concerned with winning their next election (not the Presidential contest, but their own individual reelection). That's politics, though, I suppose.

John McCain's Hollow Call for Bipartisianship

McCain's acceptance speech, other than leaving me rolling my eyes at the repeating of the POW story (who knew?), actually shocked me a little with his call for bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle. Really? After the previous night's speeches? The abrasive, condescending rhetoric from Guiliani, Romney, and Palin was disgusting. There was no policy proposals, no discussion of the Republican brand (other than "cut taxes" and "attack terrorists"), instead it was a lot of bashing of the Democrats and Obama. I mean, come on. Mocking him for being a community organizer. Really? Thrice-married, friend-of-gays Guiliani making the crack about Sarah Palin's town, Wasila, not being "cosmopolitan" enough for Obama. Of course, perhaps the most ridiculous comment if one can be chosen amongst the many was Guiliani saying Obama's story could only happen in America, but saying it as if that was a bad thing.

After all that, it defied comprehension for McCain to take the stage and say he wanted to work with Independents and Democrats. Yeah, sure you do, buddy. Most of us are seeing through your very transparent, say and do anything for power routine. Of course most politicians want power; that's why they are in the business they are. They at least try to put on modest airs, though. McCain is not as his very pick of Sarah Palin shows.

Isn't Racism Grand?

Need one more reason to loath the PUMA crowd? How about them putting together a mocking the Obamas which includes people in black face. I wonder if they honestly think that garbage like this will help their cause.

"Hey, Bob, didja catch that new PUMA vid?"
"Naw, not yet. Any good?"
"Hell, yeah! I was actually considerin' ta vote for that uppity Obama. Those actors in blackface learned me just how ridiculous the whole notion of a black President is, you know what I'm sayin'?"
"I hear ya man. I'm gonna have ta check it out."
"Do it. It's eye-openin'."

Sadly, it probably will have that affect on some people.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Enought About Being a POW!

I can't be the only one sick of hearing about the fact that John McCain was a POW. By making it a political tool, McCain has cheapened his experience instead of treating it with the quiet dignity a true hero would.

Obama Wants to Help the Terrorists

Palin may be a Washington outsider, but she's sure picked up quickly on the culture of fear. She tells us that Obama wants to talk to foreign leaders pursuing nuclear weapons and give terrorists rights. Somehow this is going to make us less safe, so we better vote for McCain. He'll get us into lots of fights to keep us safe.

Personally, I am sick of politicians trying to scare me into voting for them.

That Bridge to Nowhere

How many times is Sarah Palin going to tell us that she was against the Bridge to Nowhere before someone calls her on the fact that she used to be for it?


Listening to Guiliani's speech, I'm really struck by the irony of Republicans trying to attack the Democrats for wanting to increase the size of government. Because Bush has been, you know, so fiscally responsible.


Jack Cafferty has some harsh words for the Republicans.

This week the Republicans gather for their convention. For four days, they will labor under the illusion their party is still relevant. It's not.


Vote For Him Because He's a Vet

I should be doing homework, but I found myself tuning into the Republican Convention in time to watch Mike Huckabee's speech. Very underwhelming. It boiled down to "McCain is a veteran so he deserves your vote." I'm not sure of the logic behind that, but what the hell do I know?

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Third Party

Commenter Kyle said:

my prediction is that we'll see a split something like this:
48% dems
42% rep
10% 3rd party
i know that is unusual, but thats where i'm putting my money.
the republicans lost a heck of a lot of votes that wont go over to the dems, while the dems havent lost much of their base. part of my prediction is wishful thinking in that i would love to see the 3rd party draw 10% or more and have that be the start of a massive shift in the the way the american public and the media handle future elections. wishful thinking.

I agree that a viable third party would be of enormous benefit to American politics. As it stands now, it is too easy to say, "We're the good guys. They're the bad guys." A third party, especially one that was somewhat in the middle of the Democrats and Republicans not in a wishy-washy way, but in a way that took some of the ideologies of both parties, would be able to blunt some of that. It would also allow interesting coalitions to develop on issues instead of the usual, "That legislation came from the Bad Party so I oppose it on principle no matter what it might say."

I don't see it happening, though. The Democrats and the GOP are just so big and so entrenched that it would nearly take an act of God to bring one of them down. Just look at how many people still support the Republicans after the last eight years.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Is She the Mother?

Tabloid stuff maybe, but the question of whether or not Sarah Palin is the mother or grandmother of her most recent child has come up. Of course, she could easily clear this up by releasing her medical records.

But Alaska is Close to Russia

According to Cindy McCain, Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is close to Russia.


Sullivan and Yglesias both comment. You'd think that this line of reasoning would lead to acknowledging Obama's foreign policy experience since he lived in Indonesia for four years when he was a child, but of course it has not. Perhaps you can't live in foreign countries to get experience, you can only live near foreign countries to garner such valuable insight. If only Obama had known, he could have gone to Alaska after law school instead of Chicago.

Weekly Music Video

I am a huge fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Their album, Beethoven's Last Night, is one of my favorites. Here they are playing a piece from that album.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - "Requiem the Fifth"

Weekly Secret


He Picked Who?

Of course anyone near a media outlet of any kind now knows that John McCain has chosen his running mate, Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska. No doubt like nearly everyone else, you also went, "Who?"

My very fist thought on hearing McCain's choice was that he was courting the female vote, especially disaffected Hillary voters (the ridiculous PUMAs.) After the Hillary ads he ran, this was blatantly obvious. It also seems ludicrous to believe that this would work. The Hillary voters who have shown reluctance to support Obama are not doing so merely because Obama is not a woman; it is because Obama is not their woman. They wanted Hillary in the White House, not any random female running for office. Polls are also bearing this out, showing that women are more skeptical of men in Palin.

As I read more about Palin, the second reason for McCain's choice shined through. She is supposed to shore up his support amongst evangelicals. Palin believes intelligent design should be taught in schools and is staunchly pro-life.

The reaction to Palin has been interesting and often amusing to read, running the full gamut of thought. Andrew Sullivan wrote, "McCain has just told us how seriously he takes the war we are in. Not seriously at all." Rod Dreher was giddy over the fact that she home schools her kids. I didn't realize that was a sign of a good VP, but I guess when you're playing the identity politics game it must be. *shrug*

I think this is going to be a disaster for McCain in the end. His blatant pandering is going to turn off a lot of voters and seal his defeat.