Monday, November 07, 2005

things I missed these last days

I'm getting ready for yet another busy week at work, complete with long hours and short sleep. Before all that though, I've got a bit of time to "relax", and so I'll catch up a bit on a few things I wasnt priviledged to comment on while they were still fresh...

Harriet Miers withdraws : I started something on this once, but didnt have time to finish. The only point I had to make that felt original to me was that the Right Wing feared Harriet Miers for the same reason the Left Wing had a secret hope for her. That is, she was such a toadying little suck-up to Dubya (or had a crush on him, which doesnt bear thinking about) that once she was in her own position of relatively untouchable power, she would suddenly discover that she had her own opinions on things, opinions not tied to those who (formerly) had power over her. From there, who knows where she might go, perhaps she might even start thinking.

Scooter Libby indicted (and Karl Rove not)(yet) : Did anyone really think that Karl Rove would go down? Sacrifices had to be made, but Rove wont be one of them. When he goes, he'll be kicking and screaming and calling in favors from every quarter. But most of all, imagine all the dirt he's got to have on all sorts of Personages. No, Karl wont go down unless they all go down.

2000 dead soldiers in Iraq : I've asked this question before, but havent kept my own vow to ask it every day, so here it is again: Do You Feel Safer Today Than You Did Four Years Ago? No? Well, neither do I. You couldnt pay me to live in New York or Los Angeles. Meanwhile, we have a Tragedy that might have been farcical if it didnt involve the death of over 100,000 Iraqis. As for U.S. dead, the number 2000 only counts soldiers, not other personnel, such as security and contractors, nor does it take into account the 8:1 ratio of wounded to dead. Neo-Cons, who stand to loose the most power in this fiasco, tried to dismiss the number 2000 as arbitrary, and of no more significance than any other number (Michelle Malkin sez: "Why 2,000? Was the 2nd or 555th or 1,678th death not as worth mourning as any other death with nice round numbers?") . Well, I'll admit that attributing import to nice, round numbers does seem silly. Let's pick another number to get riled up about. How about 2987*? Bet me, when we hit that number, somebody will say "it's not even 3000".

Senate closed session : My wife called me at work, "Did you hear the news?" Alas, once again I was either busy or asleep in bed as significant things occurred in Washington. My real interest here is to wonder what kind of deals are going down in the backrooms of the Senate these days. Was this all an elaborate ploy to allow Senate Republicans to distance themselves from the BushCorp administration ("sorry Karl, They maaade us investigate you!"), or is it really just good old-fashioned parliamentary gamesmanship.

The Administration and torture : If you ever wanted any proof that BushCo wants to turn the U.S. into just another Banana Republic (that is, proof beyond strong-arm tactics, slander of your rivals, Soviet-style propaganda, and tightly control "public" appearances, and election-rigging), look no further than the Administrations insistance on the use of torture. Joseph Mengeles might have been proud, but I am appalled. It will take decades for America to regain its international reputation after this Administration's damage (unless maybe we hand them over for some War Crimes Trials, and I think a convincing arguement could be made for that). Meanwhile, write to your Congressman, especially if he is a Republican, and tell him in no uncertain terms that the only person who deserves torture is him if he doesnt vote in favor of the Anti-Torture Bill sent to the House from the Senate. Then read Johnny Rawhide's take on torture, which is much better than mine. Then read Riverbend's (Nov.6, 2005) unfiltered description of Iraqi opinion, and bear in mind the unspoken spectre of Abu Ghraib.

Food For Oil Corruption : When I first heard talk of this on the radio, the reports kept saying that "30% of the firms involved were Russian Oil Companies", but no mention was made of how many of the companies were American, just that some were"involved".

Pakistani Earthquake : Like so many of us in the Blogosphere, I've said nothing about the disaster in Pakistan. To be fair, much of what was said by everyone had little to do with the actual disaster and much to do with the inept response to it. But with a death toll of over 70,000 (having originally thought to be around 10,000), this seems a Tragedy worth a few lines, especially after Katrina, where the death Toll turned out to be less than the estimate (around 1300, versus the feared 10,000).

BushCorp's numbers : Dubya's polling numbers are down, and staying down. This isnt really all that significant, everyone has been down at his level at some point, often at that lame duck stage. Still, considering the uncompromisingness of this Administration, things arent as likely to get much better for BushCo. New Orleans is still largely a ghost town, and it's refugees will be popping up in the public awareness for years. Soldiers still die in Iraq. The deficit keeps climbing, as do interest rates and the cost of nearly everything. Randi Rhodes on Air America spoke of a Zogby poll which showed 51% of Americans thought the President should face impeachment, though sadly I could find no evidence of this (I dont think I dreamed it) Still, you can check out the latest numbers from Zogby, and remember: It's only a Red State 'cause it voted for Bush.

*the number of dead from 9/11

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