Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bush Seemingly Implicated in Effort to Discredit Joseph Wilson Say Internet Writers

In case you have not heard the news, there is a new charge from two Internet analysts that G. W. Bush may be implicated in efforts to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the man who reported that the African country of Niger had no role in selling so-called yellow cake to Iraq. (For details on this, see other on-line articles readily available.) Part of the effort to undercut Mr. Wilson was an alleged campaign to "out" Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent.

If the allegations are true, Bush, at a minimum, knew of the efforts to discredit Wilson. This would put the lie to all past Bush public statements to the contrary. While explosive, I must say this would not surprise me. The American public and the world are still awaiting confirmation, of course. But the allegations are reasonable, and very likely credible. You can read more from Jason Leopold and Marc Ash here:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/013107Z.shtml

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Kind of People Are We?

That question is not meant so much as a remonstrance but more as a reminder. The American people as a body want nothing to do with torture; that has been made clear. Now comes the question of whether we will oppose the Bush adminstration's bluster toward Iran. While Congress and various groups are focused on various non-binding resolutions regarding Iraq, the Bush administration has been engaged in the same kind of rhetoric and actions toward the sovereign nation of Iran which were employed four years ago toward Iraq.

There is so much to be said about the Iraq matter. We must remember that not only was the Bush invasion against international law, it was also against the Congressional law which required, as I recall, a United Nations resolution -- a resolution which never came. Thus, the Iraq invasion was not only against our treaty obligations it was against U.S. law, and the U.S. Constitution as well.

In a marvelous article, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter makes clear what is driving the Bush administration actions toward Iran. And more details can be given. The most important thing to remember is that one of the major factors leading to preparations for an attack on Iran is the same one which led to the attack on Iraq: the desire of U.S. and British corporations to control the flow of oil.

Thus, once again the build-up to war is taking place. And once again there is deception and again there is lack of true evidence of an actual nuclear weapons program. We who are American citizens must contact our Congressional representatives on an urgent basis and demand that there be no attack on Iran (barring the almost negligible possibility of some sort of strike by Iran against the U.S.). Mr. Ritter suggests wording to that effect. Others are asked to contact representatives of their own government. The full article can be read at the link below.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/012907B.shtml

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Purging of U.S. Attorneys

The New York Times and other outlets are revealing a recent purge of U.S. Attorneys and their replacement by persons not confirmed by the Senate. This has all the hallmarks of what Hitler did in Nazi Germany to gain control of the judicial system there.

This action by the Bush Justice Department is cause for grave concern. You will find more at the following link. (You will have to scroll down to find the article on the U.S. Attorney firings.)

http://www.democrats.com/impeach-gonzales-now#comment-69522

The Impeachment of Federal Officers

As Bill Moyers and others have pointed out, American political life operates in a kind of bubble with the limits of the bubble defined by a corporate media, that is a for-profit media. Thus, after the egregious Supreme Court decision of December 12, 2000, which effectively put the fascists in the White House and another in Admiral's House, true opposition to Bush became extremely difficult, especially with the leadership of one or two branches of Congress in Republican hands.

Then came the pseudo-election of 2004 with more Republican dirty tricks and a tainted result with George W. Bush once again taking the oath of office.

Even before the election of 2004 there was an organized effort to impeach George W. Bush. I have supported that idea but impeachment only after or at the same time as a Cheney impeachment as the country would never be able to stand for a President Cheney. Thus, I have never been actively involved in any particular campaign to impeach Bush.

Now comes a common-sense article by the renowned John Dean which advocates the impeachment of lower-level officers of the Bush Administration, the impeachment of Bush and Cheney being impractical in Dean's eyes. I believe this is a viewpoint well worth considering.

As I sit at home today, researching various news sources, it is clear there is quite a hubbub surrounding Alberto Gonzales, a man who is essentially nothing more than a lackey of Bush. The latest outrage is a series of politically-motivated "firings" of U.S. Attorneys General and their replacement with persons not confirmed by the U.S. Senate in violation of the Constitution but in keeping with a little-known provision of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. As Attorney General, Gonzales continues to act more like the President's personal attorney and less like the people's attorney, which he is sworn to be. There is now a campaign to impeach Gonzales. Details of any high crimes and misdemeanors which he may have committed will have to be left to others to supply.

There are said to be many within the Bush administration who potentially meet the requirements for impeachment. (And let it be remembered that impeachment is only a bringing of charges, not a "conviction.")

Before concluding, I find it important to add that the hubbub in Washington is over much more than Gonzales, of course. What we are witnessing is the political implosion of the Bush administration. It is a sad thing to watch. But absent a much-needed shake-up which would be bigger than the Reagan White House shake-up of 1986, this implosion will continue. It should be obvious to any sensible person that things cannot continue on the present track. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see events unfold over the next weeks.

May God save this beautiful republic -- with malice toward none.

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20061215.html#continue

Election 2004 Revisited

As you will see from the news article at Salon noted below, issues relating to the 2004 election are still unresolved. It is good to see something finally being brought to court.

If not for a corporate media, the truth would have come out long ago. And let us be clear: it is impossible to verify that G. W. Bush was the winner of the 2004 election. Some forty-five hours of research made that clear to me. The court action described below is but one small step in what will very likely be a long process of uncovering the truth. On the other hand, an industrious media operating on the basis of good will could produce the truth in relatively short order.

But for now, we have the present article:


http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/01/18/ohio/index.html

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bush on the Couch Once Again

In the weeks following Christmas, this reporter has suffered the winter epizootic which has gripped much of this part of the country. With the doctor's help (belatedly sought and received), I am making progress and expect to be able to post more regularly again soon.

In the meantime, there is a new piece out detailing the psyche of G. W. Bush. It is written by two psychologists. They are Briggs and Briggs, evidently related. While I do not agree that their analysis is complete, they do have valuable and interesting things to say. Below I will place the conclusion of their article as it appears on < truthout.org > and will place the link to the full article.

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From "Bush and the Psychology of Incompetent Decisions":

Psychologically, President Bush has received support for so long because many have thought of him as "one of us." Most of us feel inadequate in some way, and watching him we can feel his inadequacies and sense his uncertainties, so we admire him for "pulling it off." His model tells us, "If you act like you're confident and competent, then you are." We are the culture that values the power of positive thinking and seeks assertiveness training. We believe that the right attitude can sometimes be more important than brains or hard work. He's bullied us, too. We don't dare to really confront the scale of his incompetent behavior, because then we would have to face what it means to have such an incompetent and psychologically disabled decision-maker as our president. It raises everyone's uncertainty. And that is, in fact, happening now.

-- Briggs and Briggs

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011807J.shtml

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Friday, January 05, 2007

The Financialization of Life

More about the title of this post in a moment.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented herself well yesterday and set a beautiful tone for the new Congress. We may hope that all concerned will heed the call to a productive session. One point of concern must be pointed out, however. Reaching across the aisle, as they say, must not involve abandoning one's principles.

Another point of concern is that the current Democratic agenda is not broad enough. What is needed is a new FDR-style economic recovery plan that is, first and foremost, a jobs plan. Otherwise, the Democrats are on the right track and their mere ascension to power has caused Bush to change his tune in several ways. If he wishes to be a Johnny-come-lately on issues such as a balanced budget, that is up to him. However, he and Cheney must still be held accountable through the impeachment process.


***************


I have been reading a book called The Financialization of Daily Life by Randy Martin, Professor of Art and Public Policy and an associate dean at New York University. Although an academic, Martin writes clearly and simply enough for the average educated reader.

Martin explains the process, begun around 1980, which has turned daily life into something lived less for joy and satisfaction and more into a game of financial calculation. People have been led to believe in a chimerical American dream whose ultimate realization justifies the degrading and even ruination of one's present life. It is fascinating reading and I plan to share more about this important work in the future.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Nancy Pelosi is escorted to the rostrum by a huge delegation.

Rep. J. Boehner speaks and then introduces Ms. Pelosi.

(And it is good to see children on the House floor.)

Soundbites from Nancy Pelosi's speech:

support and prayers for our men and women in uniform

"...in trust and dialogue across the aisle."

"But women weren't just waiting; they were working and waiting."

"For our daughters and granddaughters now anything is possible. The sky's the limit for women."

"Nowhere were the American people more clear than in the need for a new direction in Iraq." (Thunderous applause)

"The American people rejected an open-ended commitment to Iraq."

expressions of support for affordable health care and a secure retirement.

"...our first order of business is passing the toughest Congressional ethics reform in history."

"Let us join together in the first 100 hours to make this the most open and honest Congress in history."

"This honesty requires respect for every opinion in Congress."

"We have an obligation to work beyond partisanship to work for all Americans."

"Let us stand together to move our country forward."

"...may God bless America."


Ms. Pelosi finishes then invites the children forward to come touch the gavel. What a memory in the making.

"For these children and all American's children the House will come to order!" says Ms. Pelosi. Smiles and cheers.

The oath is read. Ms. Pelosi responds with a smile, and says simply, "I do."

A moment of drama. A member rises to speak and is recognized by Speaker Pelosi. A contest has been filed over a seat in Florida. Boos are heard in the chamber. The new Madame Speaker declares the matter will be referred to committee. (This relates to the certification of a Republican for a seat from Florida after a contested election. The Democratic challenger is pursuing redress. The Speaker's ruling means the challenge of the Democrat will be heard.)

Subsequently, Speaker Pelosi swears in all members of Congress who promise to uphold the Constitution. God help, save, and protect the Republic!

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi elected Speaker of the House

By a vote of 233 to 202 The Honorable Nancy Pelosi of California was this afternoon elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the first woman to hold the post.

Even before the roll caller finishes her announcement, loud applause begins, followed by cheering and whistling. Nancy Pelosi greets well-wishers on all sides.

Election of Speaker -- a moment of humor

Name of Boehner is called. The response is "Boehner". Laughter breaks out.

Roll caller: Boehner. Bonner

Bonner: Boehner

Roll caller: Boehner

110th Congress -- Voting for Speaker

Members are now casting their votes for Speaker the old-fashioned way, individually by voice after their names are called. The first two votes were for Pelosi, then several for Boehner, now going back and forth between the two.

110th Congress -- Election of Speaker begins

Karen Haas, the new clerk of the United States House of Representatives has just announced the beginning of election procedings for the new Speaker. At the announcement the House breaks into cheers and the Honorable Nancy Pelosi accepts greetings in light of a foregone conclusion that she will be elected.

Following this, the Honorable Rahm Emmanuel, member of Congress officially nominates Ms. Pelosi, and there are more greetings and hugs, and sustained, loud applause accompanied by some cheering.

Then, the Honorable Adam Putnam, member of Congress from Florida nominates John A Boehner. Following this is much less applause and a much shorter period of greeting.

The tellers are called forward.

Although dignified and exciting everything appears done according to a script. That should not come as a surprise to anyone. This is a feature of two-party control of Congress.

Congress members now have the ballots -- large paper ballots which they are perusing at their desks.

To be continued.

110th Congress -- Opening

Live blogging: After the invocations (including one by the new Chaplain of the Senate, Father Coughlin, the first Roman Catholic chaplain of the Senate), the new House members are being certified and are signing in electronically as being present.

The 110th Congress -- Live Blogging

Today, it is my honor and privilege to create post entries to this blog as the new Congress is sworn in. At the moment the gavel is sounding!

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