Thursday, September 15, 2005

Damn Right I've Got The Blues

Easy to see now, but I think the most fruitful line of questioning for Justice Roberts, would be for Senator Schumer to ask

"Justice Roberts -- What do you think that Advise and Consent means? Can I vote against your nomination because I disagree with your politics? Because I don't like your tie? I mean, I know the voters would never stand for it, but as a Constitutional matter, can't I vote against you simply because I don't like your tie?"

"You keep refusing to answer questions on the grounds that judicial nominees do not "traditionally" have to answer these questions, or on some concept of "judicial independence" that appears nowhere in the Constitution. Does that mean that you are so committed to the traditional way of doing things that you would never overturn a former ruling of the Supreme Court."

"No? Then why aren't we allowed to set up new standards for asking judges questions?"


"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Mr. Bush said in an appearance in the East Room with President Jalal Talabani of Iraq. "I want to know what went right and what went wrong."

W- must have read my previous post, where I pointed out that according to the movement conservatives, the Federal government had no job to do in the Mississippi Delta, and is not responsible for anything that might happen in any of the states. Therefore, Bush's "apology" --- as he well knows --- is a nullity. Bush's record of it never ever ever having been his fault stands at 100%.

This is sort of like when Bush promised that at the point where Karl Rove is convicted and sent to Federal prison, Bush won't allow him to work at the White House anymore.

Nice thing about that conservative theory. Not the Federal government's responsibility to protect the levee or save the people, but it does get to control the contracts to Halliburton to rebuild.


Just so you don't think I have nothing to do all day but criticize conservatives, I want to congratulate the paper of record for finally printing an editorial on Monday pointing out that Judith Miller has been in prison for almost two months for (I can only assume) refusing to rat out Karl Rove.

Actually, I think the Times published an editorial on the subject last month as well.

If I'm Judith Miller, I'd find a publicist.

If I'm the New York Times, I'd find a tree and hang myself. You have a reporter in jail defending the New York Times right to lie in order to defend the Bush administration.

IN JAIL for the First Amendment right of your reporters to make 6 figures for tale bearing and gossip mongering on behalf of the Administration, summarizing press releases and calling it hard investigative journalism, and then refusing to assist the government in ferreting out (putting cement shoes on) possible obstruction of justice and perjury.


It only needs to be two sentences long. It only has to say JUDITH MILLER HAS BEEN IN JAIL FOR ___ DAYS. FREE JUDITH MILLER.

Unless of course, the good old liberal New York Times is happier with the current state of affairs.


Tuesday was Mayoral Primary Day in New York City. The second Tuesday in September. The last time there was a mayoral primary, I voted, then hopped on the "F" Train. At 8:48 a.m., the train stalled in the tunnel for quite a few minutes, for no apparent reason, and then completed the trip from Queens to Manhattan. I got off the train, and the day seemed unusually clear, and the street seemed unusually quiet. I got into the office, and heard about the plane and the first tower. I couldn't get my mind around it.

One of the office messengers then told me that on one of his video games, when the plane hits the building, the game starts a count-down clock, because eventually the central core of the building will heat up until the building in the video game implodes into rubble. The messenger saw no reason that this could not happen to a real building as well. He thought that they ought to be getting all the people out.

Meanwhile, on the 87th floor of the second tower (forgive me, I can never remember if the North Tower was hit first, or the South Tower), there is a company that I do business with every single day. Apparently, after the first tower was hit, there were announcements telling people to stay in place. The President of the Company on the 87th Floor either did not hear the announcement or did not comprehend it, or did not agree with it. He made the entire company leave the building. The elevators to the 65th floor were still operational, and so they only had to walk down 65 flights. They all got out safely.

Meanwhile, we were told to evacuate our midtown building at 10:00 a.m. I was pretty ambivalent about it. I thought we were better off together in one place, better than scattering off to the four winds. But it was fine. I walked over the 59th Street Bridge. I saw two towers of smoke. I thought the buildings were on fire, and they were being surrounded by a haze. Even though someone had told me that the messenger was right, down to the last detail, I couldn't get my mind around that either. I believed I was watching the buildings burning. But by then the buildings were gone.

I think it is a little over 10 miles from where I work in Manhattan to where I live in Queens. About 2/3 of the way, the Long Island Expressway goes over Queens Boulevard. When I passed that point, I said to the person I was walking with that I thought that the gravitational pull had shifted somehow, that I had left the scene of the accident (I didn't know the details then), and that even though I was still within New York City, I had left it, right there at that intersection, and had entered the rest of America. I still feel its true, and that it is true for a lot of people, and it explains a lot of what happened since.

My mother knew one person who was on the airplane coming in from Boston. He was a fellow who had married my mother's friend's daughter, a woman I had known pretty casually, but had known all my life. I hadn't spoken to her, I guess since 1982. I regret to report that I still haven't called her, and I wouldn't do it at this late date.


Anyway, I took a pretty broad view about the people who bombed the building. They weren't Osama, they weren't Mohammed Atta, they weren't the 19. They are an entire way of thinking, and an entire way of life. And that way of thinking is not Islam, and therefore it is not Afghanistan. It is Wahhabi, it is the Middle East, and we have to be there to clean it out. Iraq is a poor substitute for Saudi Arabia -- but the conversation never turned that way.

It was never about WMDs to me, and I have written about it in other blog entries , but those of us who feel that way dropped the ball.

Seen a lot of bleating from places like the Nation, and the American Prospect, and the New Republic, trying to get us "liberal hawks" to admit that we were wrong.

The notion that we should have seen all along that Bush would expletive everything he touches doesn't change my support for the war. You can't wait 8-12 years for the Republicans to get kicked out, and probably even longer for a War Democrat, to fight a war, which, contrary to public opinion, we did not start.

Democrats are going to have to live with the scenario -- not talked about, and obscure then -- not talked about, but obvious now -- that we should have taken greater action after the first WTC bombing in 1993, we should have retaliated when they bombed the Khobar Towers, we should have bombed anything when they bombed the U.S.S. Cole during the Presidential election campaign. If we had, then Al Gore would have been President, and they probably would have never bombed our building in the first place.

But Clinton did not go in. By the way, do you really think the Republicans would have let us go in? My heavens, the contracts weren't even lined up properly yet. Would Halliburton get the oil profits? Oh ... Wag the dog. Lots of people will be spending extra time in Hell because people thought, and people still think, that the Clintons are more evil than Osama and Saddam.

To paraphrase, you go to war with the President you have. But you still have to go to war.

And when Boy George pulls out of Iraq next summer, because the Republicans don't want a draft, and don't want to face the voters in 2006 for an election campaign, it will be too soon.

Or when Boy George pulls out of Iraq in 2008, because Cheney has taken all the money out of Iraq he can, and his Vice-Presidential immunity from prosecution is expiring, and they don't want Jeb saddled with Iraq in the Presidential election campaign, it will be too soon.

And if we wait until the earliest possible date we can leave, which is not when Iraq is a democracy, but the much longer time when Iraq is in a position to defend itself against Iran (whether or not Iran throws off the mullahs), it will still be too soon to leave.

Once you are in, you are in until you win, which is further out into the future then any of us can predict. That is why Bush 41 stayed out. But Bush 41 had a choice, and Bush 43, he really didn't.

[See further, Lawrence of Arabia. It blows my mind every single day, that none of the Bushies saw Lawrence of Arabia. They would greet us with flowers? In the desert?
Did any Republican in the history of this country ever see Lawrence of Arabia?]

Tragically, Bush 43 thought and behaves as if he still thinks, just like Michael Moore, that this was a war of choice.

That's why Bush thought -- Bush still thinks -- he could fight this war on the cheap, with one hand tied behind America's back -- putting domestic political considerations and profiteering first. Putting short term victories in front of both the military war aims and the more important cultural/ moral war aims (like the information you gleaned from the terrorists at Abu Gharib and Gitmo is not worth the hit we take to our self esteem. Like what if the terrorists bomb the levee?)

We are still fighting with one hand behind our back. On top of all that, our city is gone. So I don't know what a President with a strong moral compass would do in this situation. Much less this set of money makers in Washington.

Since we are planning to leave in the forseeable future (don't listen to the politicians, look at the generals), we must be ok with losing.

Maybe we should have known that the Republicans (c.f. -- Bob "there are only Democrat Wars" Dole) would lack the fortitude to see the war through. But even then, you had to go in, and hope that the Republicans would find the courage somewhere along the line to stay the course, and expand the war to where it ought to be fought and won -- both on the battlefield of the Middle East, and in the creation of the more perfect union here in the United States. It is still possible they will stay the course. Can't hedge a bet on this one. You've already put down the "all-in."