The Random Ruminations and Observations of a Curmudgeon

27 January 2006

Just Rewards?

Aside from Patrick Fitzgerald (let’s all await his neutering) I see no one in the Justice Department who will aggressively prosecute any Republicans.  This latest news reinforces that.  We have a Justice Department filled with competent, ethical staff, who believe in rule of law and yet, they are routinely overruled by political hacks (see GA poll ID law and TX redistricting).  The Congress refuses to police its members; the administration continually obstructs justice (no Katrina memos or Abramoff-Bush photos for you) and breaks the law.  The judiciary is largely Bush I or Bush II appointed (due to Clinton’s inability to get judges up for confirmation votes as a result of Republican hi-jinks).

As the rubes sit and await the fall of the hammer of law, I’ll just look for signs of how they will twist the system to spring their friends.

Curmudgeonly is too neutral a term for how I feel about this business.

24 January 2006

Question from a Legal Rube

It seems to me, unsophisticated bubba that I am, that no matter how many Congressmen Bush tells he is breaking the law; he is still breaking the law.  Individual members of Congress can’t give approval, only a change of the law by the entire Congress can render it legal.  The Congress members told are complicit.  

23 January 2006

Kleiman's Korner Komment

The key word is honor.
No, I don't suppose that Jonah Goldberg speaks for all conservatives. But it's striking that he could publish, on the widely-read National Review Online, this item (quoted in full)

OSAMA'S TRUCE [Jonah Goldberg]
What if Bush offered/accepted one and then, under the flag of truce, had Osama killed and his minions rounded up?
It's amusing to imagine what some of Bush's biggest critics might say.

and get no critical reply from any of his Corner colleagues or any other right-of-center blogger. A Google Blog search yields only one comment from the right on Goldberg's proposal, and that one is supportive. (I'm happy to update as new material comes in.)
It's a damned strange brand of patriotism that doesn't mind dragging the flag through the mud.
This is worthy of the worst Mafioso or coward.  The flag of truce ambush.  And yet, as sad as anything, is my belief that Bush might just approve something like this.  

Alterman Answers a Question


Speaking of which, my buddy Al Gore would not budge an inch on '08, though we were at a crowded party and I did not have a chance to make my case in earnest.  He told me he's been writing those terrific speeches of his of late by himself. 

Big Boy and Little Boy

Ah the twists.  Iraq under Saddam Hussein was two things, 1)  a nation that could never have developed nuclear weapons while under sanction and 2) a nation that would have vigorously fought the possibility that Iran would acquire such weapons.  

Contrast that with circumstances now .  As horrifying as the superficial problems in Iraq may be, the long term U.S. policy and Middle East political ramifications are potentially far worse.  

21 January 2006

Q of the D

For Jane Hamsher:

Are female media personalities more thin skinned than males?


20 January 2006

End the War...Nah

Cheney has rejected a truce.  Wants to kill them all.  A truce would perhaps end the war on terror.

Can’t have that.  

The U.S. of A.

What a country.  Outrage over gay marriage and yawns about political corruption.

A nation of values.  

19 January 2006

He's Taken It Back

Morganstown?  *sigh*

17 January 2006

The Cake

Discussion abounds across the blogosphere about the impotence of the Democrats.  The problem with Democrats is precisely that they are democratic.  The party has tolerated, maybe even encouraged, diversity of views since I can remember.  Go to the years of the Dixiecrats; the party consistently juggled differences of opinion to maintain itself.  The party even now has differences of opinion on abortion.  If Harry Reid were evaluated only on his abortion stance, he would not be Senate Minority Leader.  

Today, in the wake of the Alito hearings, we bemoan the fact that Republicans are not voting their conscience.  Not acting like Democrats.  Yet we excoriate Joe Lieberman for straying from the party line.  We cannot have it both ways.  

The Republicans have been successful in getting their message to the confused public.    They have found a means through character assassination and simplification to provide talking points that the party can rally around.  Democrats occasionally find a useful point.  The current one on fear (mentioned by Gore and previously alluded to by many in terms of bladder evacuation) is one that needs to be packaged and pounded.  

The Democratic Party needs to drive home the consensus issues.  Choose them carefully and choose the right spokesperson.

John Murtha and leaving Iraq has been a consistent message from the right spokesman and it has hurt the Republicans.  Howard Dean and his concise statement that no Democrat took money from Abramoff has them reeling as well.  Al Gore should be encouraged to take his message of the bravery of the Founding Fathers far and wide.  The truth, packaged properly, can work.  

It does not mean, however, that Democrats need to start acting like Republicans.  Heaven forbid.  

16 January 2006

Extending Terror by Design

I made a comment to Steve M. regarding Bush’s response to impeachment and it struck me (in a rare conspiracy mode), that if bin Laden is captured it can be argued that the war on terror, as envisioned in the original congressional directive, is over.  

That would be inconvenient.

14 January 2006

Further Alienation

Apparently the chimperator and his flying monkeys have once again demonstrated their intelligence acumen, humanitarian instincts and diplomacy skills.  They have used a missile to destroy a few houses in Pakistan even though they are not allowed to conduct military actions in Pakistan.  The missiles apparently killed from 18 to 30 people and missed the prime target, Al Queda’s #2, Al Zawahiri.  So, we have killed up to 30 innocent people in a raid we should not have conducted (and will harm relations with Pakistan) in order to kill a man who was not there.

The incident is stunningly tragic, arrogant and incompetent.  It joins a long list.  

This murder comes on the heels of our totally inadequate response, as a nation, to the Pakistani earthquake.  We continue to win their hearts and minds.

12 January 2006

A Rude Pundit Moment

George Bush and domestic spying.

Let’s imagine you are an ordinary average guy (My friend's got a Chrysler, I've got a Dodge) and you discover a well known lothario having a discussion with your nude wife.  You barge in and confront him and he assures you that although he fucks the wives of other men, men who deserve their fate, he won’t fuck yours because, well, she’s your wife and you are righteous.  Your wife is a very attractive woman and you fully understand that he will be tempted, but since he said he wouldn’t, you leave them to their conversation.

You trust him to resist the temptation.  Sure you do.   You do not deserve it, you are righteous.  Yep and that matters to him.  Sure it does.

The Rubes

From the Charleston Gazette :

During West Virginia’s mine tragedy last week, national news anchors seemed to hawk it like barkers, constantly telling viewers to stay tuned for more sensational details.
When the national press behaves like baying hounds, it’s a glaring contrast to the quiet daily work of local news reporters. The latter unobtrusively search for facts, cover events, delve through records, and frequently unearth scandals that bring prosecutions or reforms. That’s the press image I prefer.
This concerns the Sago disaster, but his comment brings to mind the Toledo Blade and their inspired work on the coin scandal and Bob Ney.

The A month

Here we sit in January and the largest issues are Abramoff and Alito, the A-boys.  So let’s see.  The Republicans are totally corrupt, the government declares they may spy on us because of executive powers associated with a non-war they decree is a war and the Supreme Court may soon be the Yes Massa Court.

Excuse me. I’m going to get that optimism I was given on Christmas from under the tree.  I’m going to need it.