Thursday, June 28, 2007

The W. Years Go Apocalyptic?

In Washington, it feels as if we're approaching Endtimes. Not a moment of Biblical apocalypse, but one helluva constitutional clash between congressional Democrats and the Bush-Cheney bunker--I mean, White House. Yesterday, the Senate judiciary committee subpoenaed the White House for documents related to the legality--or illegality-of its warrantless domestic spying program. (The committee is not looking for operational details about the eavesdropping; it merely wants to scrutinize the legal review that presumably was conducted by the White House of this program.) Today, the White House announced it would not comply with earlier subpoenas from the House and Senate judiciary committees requesting information and testimony regarding the still-unexplained firings of U.S. attorneys. The White House claimed that its previous offer--to allow congressional investigators to question Karl Rove and other past and present White House officials but not transcribe the conversation--was good enough. (No notes? That seems suspiciously close to the desire for no evidence.) Certainly, Representative John Conyers and Senator Pat Leahy, the chairs of the judiciary committee, are not likely to accept the White House's refusal. Next stop: citations of contempt.

This point was bound to come. As they become more politically unpopular, George Bush and Dick Cheney are trying to preserve and expand their powers. (Cheney apparently is able to define his powers any way he fancies since his office has essentially argued he's not really part of the constitutional framework.) A key component of their power-grab entails not cooperating with other parts of the government that dare to ask Bush and Cheney to explain their actions. (A Justice Department official who questioned whether the department should okay the legality of the domestic wiretapping program was later denied a promotion, and Cheney's office sought to shut down an office of the National Archive that questioned his office's handling of classified material.)

With Democrats comparing Bush to Nixon--which is not Nixon (he was never as imaginative in his constitutional interpretations as Cheney)--these constitutional confrontations are probably heading toward the Supreme Court. Which means Bush could end his presidency much like he began it: being saved by justices appointed by him or his father.

BANNED IN CHINA. The book I cowrote with Michael Isikoff, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War , was sold to a Chinese publisher named Modern Education Press. I think we were supposed to get a grand total of $1500 for the Chinese rights--maybe less. (In dealing with China, you take whatever you're offered. Otherwise, your intellectual property will just be pirated and you'll see zippo in payments.) The explanation for the cancellation: the publisher worried that the book (and another American book it was to release, Licensed To Kill by Robert Young Pelton, a look at the world of private military contractors) might not be approved by government censors. At least someone is looking out for Bush: the Chinese government.

NOT SO MIGHTY. Over at AlterNet, I weighed in on the controversies involving A Mighty Heart , the new film in which Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, the widow of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Here's the start of my essay:

The recent blog-driven fuss kicked up by the movie A Mighty Heart-- whether casting pale-skinned Angelina Jolie as darker-skinned Afro-Cuban-Dutch Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered journalist Danny Pearl, was an act of racist dimensions -- seems irrelevant when you consider an important piece of evidence: the movie itself. The film is not about Pearl and his journalism (as Pearle's colleague Asra Nomani has complained). And it's not about Mariane Pearl (we learn little of her past, her work, her views). It is about glamorous actor/UN refugee activist Jolie playing Mariane Pearl.

The real-life Pearl story was a tragedy of immense sadness. A talented journalist who sought to understand the world and convey that understanding to readers of The Wall Street Journal was abducted and murdered by al Qaeda jihadists who cared not a whit for such bridge-building. Yet the story within the movie, unfortunately, is not much of a story. After Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi in January of 2002, Jolie-as-Mariane essentially waits two weeks for the bad news. She and the Asra Nomani character try to retrace Danny's pre-kidnapping steps to get a bead on the abductors, but they have little success. The Mariane of the movie confronts no dramatic choices. She takes no decisive action. She does keep her composure, she worries, and she reminisces (a lot). But her actions do not drive the narrative. This is not to suggest that the real Mariane Pearl insufficiently responded to the terrible situation at hand. She did all she could. But at the center of this movie is only tragedy, not plot.

Once you understand the movie was custom-built for Jolie to display her acting chops by portraying a woman on the verge of profound loss, the casting issue becomes moot. It was designed as a star vehicle for a particular star: Jolie.

Read the rest here.

Posted by David Corn at June 28, 2007 11:41 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Busheney will do everything that Nixon did not - they will not cooperate in anyway and will resist any effort to bring them to account all the while claiming that they are defending and preserving future executives (if that’s what we call them).

Bummer about the China boondoggle - you can cancel your retirement without that $1,500.

Angelina Jolie - Pale skinned? Not in my dreams buddy!


Gerald said...

Political and Other Potpourri

Dear Posters:

Where do I begin?

Let me start with the U.S. Supreme Court and their decisions. You know my feelings about the Supreme Court and the fact that this Court is no longer necessary. Each state has their own Supreme Court that is responsible to the people. The State Supreme Court justices are closer to the people and there is not any lifelong appointments. They must run for election and reelection. Plus, these state justices are closer to the people in each state.

The U.S. Supreme Court has voted in favor of corporations and institutions and against individual citizens. Our citizens can no longer pursue any relief for injustices by going to the U.S. Supreme Court. They have also made American citizenship irrelevant in favor of corporate and institutional interests.

With regard to the immigration bill it went down to defeat because the politicians who voted no for the bill were finally willing to listen to the people. Our people have many of the answers for the immigration mess but our politicians must continue to listen to the people. Our citizens have said that our government must enforce the 1986 immigration law; our government must secure our borders; employers must pay heavy fines and possible prison time; a fence would not prevent illegal immigration but it could slow the open floodgates that let in the illegal immigrants; and the new citizens must speak English. There are towns in the southwest where city government only speaks Spanish at the meetings and in the city hall.

I believe that when I call for information, I do not want some taped voice say, “Press one for English and press two for Spanish.” People who want to become citizens must speak English.

What amazes me with regard to this immigration bill is the fact that a neoconservative think tank, like the American Heritage Foundation, parted ways with Hitler Bush. I was listening to the American Heritage Foundation and their spokesperson on public radio gave several facts, information, and reasons why they could not favor this bill. I generally do not listen to neoconservative think tanks but the American Heritage Foundation presented excellent points.

I believe that no American is above the law. Hitler Cheney wants to convince Nazi Americans that he is above the law. Hitler Bush is currently on record stating that he is above the law. Both Hitler’s clones must be thoroughly investigated and impeached and removed from office. Both Hitler’s clones represent evil forces in Nazi America.



Gerald said...

Here is some additional political and other potpourri.

I also believe that universal health care is needed for every American citizen. Cuba has universal health care and you can believe it or not has made significant strides in providing good health care for each citizen, especially with the fact that Nazi America boycotts and has sanctions against the Cuba government. The Florida Cubans have held our Nazi American government hostage for too long.

I have recently heard that Cubans live longer than Nazi Americans and their infant mortality rate is lower than Nazi America’s infant mortality rate.

The answer for a better world is SHALOM! All human beings on our planet must share in God’s gifts that He is given to our peoples and our planet. We must be willing to love all of God’s children in this world.

Gerald said...

Yhe Virtue of Humility

Gerald said...

Fiddling While America Burns

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: June 28

Gerald said...

How Psychologists Aid Torture

I listen and watch Father Groeschel on Sunday nights on Catholic television. I enjoy listening to him because he will be critical of the Catholic Church when she needs criticism.

He also shared with the viewers that he completed his doctorate degree in psychology from Columbia University. One of the instructors, a Jewish instructor, said to the class that there would be less problems in people and the world if each religion had confession.

Have psychologists working for the Nazi American government lost their moral compasses?

capt said...

"Integrity has no need of rules." - Albert Camus (1913-1960) -

"From none but self expect applause:
He noblest lives and noblest dies
Who makes and keeps his self-made laws."
-- Sir Richard Francis Burton - (1821-1890) English explorer, linguist, author, and soldier

"[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve it's high purpose when it indices a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with things as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for understanding.": -- Justice Potter Stewart - (1915-1985), U. S. Supreme Court Justice
Source: in Free Speech and Political Protest [Marvin Summers], 1967

"The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun." --- R. Buckminster Fuller


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Gerald said...

American Heritage Foundation

Dear Posters:

I would like to share with you some information on the American Heritage Foundation. Most people know the foundation is a Nazi think tank. The foundation is very pro Hitler Bush and steadfastly backed up the repukes.

What amazed me was the fact that this Nazi organization parted with Hitler Bush on the immigration bill. I was totally in shock. They offered facts, information, and reasons for their departure from Hitler Bush in this one area.

The foundation stated that the 1986 immigration law is better than the current proposed bill. The reason why the 1986 law has failed is because no president from Hitler Reagan through Hitler Bush has enforced the 1986 law. The foundation felt that the new bill if it was made law would also not be enforced. The foundation also believed that if the 1986 law was enforced that we would not have the current problems that we have now.

The foundation also said that the current bill is terribly flawed and it should not be made law. The taxpayers would have to pick up the tab in the law.

The bill would be opened ended for all immigrants entering our country both legal and illegal.

Here are some of the problems with this bill, especially for illegal immigrants or non-citizens. They could be granted Z Visas. These Z Visas would not require an immigrant to become a legal citizen; the Z Visas had no expiration date; and the immigrant would not have to learn English.

All immigrants, legal, illegal, and non-citizens would be entitled to free legal counseling at the taxpayers’ expense. A ceiling on the legal consultation was set at $200 per hour. Each immigrant would have about 10 to 20 hours of counseling and processing of papers and explanation of their rights. This legal counseling would be available for every immigrant entering our country from 2007 until the end time and the rapture.

Each non-citizen would have free medical care for the person and family. Fringe benefits would range between $30,000 and $50,000 to the non-citizen and their family members. The workers' parents could qualify for supplemental social security benefits and medicare.

A end result would destroy our social security system and our medicare system.

The foundation shared excellent information and enlightened many people on the proposed immigration bill and all its flaws. The foundation parted with Hitler Bush and the Nazis on the immigration bill and for very good reasons.

Personally, I am tired of endless B.O.H.I.C.A. days in our so-called country that prides itself on American democracy. Our American democracy is a myth.



capt said...

I hope everybody has clicked on the picture of Bunnypants - one must see it full sized to really appreciate the pictures that make up the picture.


PS - B.O.H.I.C.A. - Please sir may I have another?

capt said...

Legal expert: White House stonewalling may force Congress to charge president with criminal offenses

Keith Olbermann announced on Wednesday's Countdown, that the White House is refusing on grounds of executive privilege to honor Senate subpoenas and release documents relating to its warrantless wiretapping. In addition, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, has sent a letter to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) saying Cheney's office will not comply with oversight by the National Archives because it is not "an agency."

Olbermann then turned to law professor Joanathan Turley, who agreed tentatively that the administration might move slowly enough to "run out the clock" on its time in office. "But there is one thing that might concern them about the court," Turley said, "and that is, you know, for many years, since we first found out about this program, some of us have said that this was a clearly criminal act that the president called for. ... If we're right, not only did he order that crime, but it would be, in fact, an impeachable offense."

"Both sides, both Democrats and Republicans, have avoided this sort of pig in the parlor," Turley continued. "They don't want to recognize that this president may have ordered criminal offenses. But they may now be on the road to do that, because the way Congress can get around the executive privilege in court is to say, we're investigating a potential crime."

Olbermann went on to joke that the attempt to pin down Cheney's real nature is starting to sound like a game of 20 Questions. Turley laughed and said, "The position adopted by Mr. Addington and Mr. Cheney, to put it bluntly, was absurd. ... In past administrations, if someone like Mr. Addington made such a moronic argument as this one, they would be out of a job the next week. ... I think that what it really shows is the lack of sort of adult supervision within the administration."

Olbermann probed further into why Cheney has given up claiming he is not part of the executive branch but is still not complying with the order. "Is this an attempt to stop what Congressman Emanuel talked about yesterday, cutting off the funding? Is it just more smokescreen?"

"This administration, I have to say, has a certain contempt for the law," said Turley. "They treat it like some of my criminal defendents used to treat it. ... They come up with any argument that might work. ... It's a sort of shocking development. ... But at the end of the day, they will lose, and they're making the situation worse."

The following video is from MSNBC's Countdown , broadcast on June 27.


*****end of clip*****

Running out the clock is a possibility? , REALLY? Who would think these criminals would just deny, delay, deceive and distract. Running out the clock is what they have been doing for many years. Too bad nobody gets serious about our country and what it stands for in deference to a person in an office that demands the highest responsibility and so the highest standards and most consideration. I guess that is the old school stuff we just never do these days.

These criminals lied to start a war of aggression to line their and their cronies pockets. Their intentional actions have resulted in thousands of deaths.

The rule of law is just an obsolete notion to them and doesn't matter enough to the rest of us to impeach their sorry butts.

We get what we deserve.


capt said...

First black mayor for Ireland

PORTLAOISE, Ireland, June 29 (UPI) -- A Nigerian immigrant who fled religious persecution in his homeland has become the first black mayor in Ireland.

Rotimi Adebari was elected mayor of the town of Portlaoise, Ireland, Thursday under a system in which the job rotates among Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and independent Town Council members, the Irish Times reported.

Adebari told the Times he wanted to show that Ireland is a "land of opportunities and it is a country that is described as a place of a thousand welcomes."

Adebari works for an immigrant integration project and consults with companies and schools on cross-cultural awareness, the Irish newspaper reported.


*****end of clip*****

All over the planet we are moving forward. It is a slow and endless fight for equality for all humans. Mixed marriage has been legal since 1967 here in the US.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

That should be a dream for all humans on the planet. We are a world community.


capt said...

Bomb Defused in London

As I write, London police are using a robot to investigate a parked car near Buckingham Palace. The operation comes hours after a car was discovered packed with explosives and ready to detonate outside a nightclub in Picadilly Circus.

The proper response of Americans to these events? Book a vacation in London immediately and make sure to visit Picadilly Circus.

Whoever planned this operation at the height of the tourist season is trying to hurt the UK economy.

Britain is perfectly safe, in fact the murder rate there, including political violence, is one-fourth that of the US. A ticket to the UK can be found inexpensively and there are reasonable places to stay, and as urban historians have pointed out, London is a giant toy that is endless fun to play with.

In solidarity.

Juan Cole


capt said...

New Thread