February 10, 2006

Stealing Other People's Blog Posts Which Morphed Into A Long Rant

There's a lot in the news this past week. Bats Left Throws Right has a good summary:

In the space of twenty-four hours, we get:
Libby says Cheney made him do it.
Bush says we saved Los Angeles a while back, just sayin'.
FAUX illustrates that story with a clip from Armaggedon.
DeLay named to Judiciary appropriations subcommittee.
Bush sneaks Social Security program he couldn't sell into the budget.
Fox edits 2/3 of the applause out of its Rev. Lowery clip, leading Mort Kondracke to comment on how short the applause was.
Lieberman says he's sure McCain meant well. Oh, wait, he's a Democrat.
Michael Brown threatens blackmail.
Bush explains executive privilege by reading from My Pet Goat.
Scott McClellan responds to a question about NSA surveillance by saying, "Hey, waddya gonna do?"
Domestic black people flap overlaps international brown people flap.

Sheesh. I'm out of bullets.

I just stole the whole thing. I'm in a sort of "where do I start" endless cycle. My own list:

1. The White House knew the levies broke in New Orleans many hours before they admit to knowing they knew. They did nothing.

2. "Scooter" Libby had been given permission to discuss classified data with reporters by his "superiors", according to his sworn grand jury testimony. Somehow this helps his defense against perjury.

3. NASA hired, then recently fired, an idiot in their PR department who didn't have a college degree (though he claimed he did), and told scientists what they were allowed say and what they weren't. How did he get the job at NASA? He was a journalism major, and worked for Bush's re-election campaign. That's qualified!

4. The fallout from the Republican attempt to turn PBS into Fox News II (Return of Fox) continues, as some of the right-wingers who got jobs under Tomlinson scurry out from under the failed scheme.

5. The guy who ran the CIA's Middle East desk from 2000 to 2005 (and now newly retired) claims that the administration "cherry picked" intelligence in order to move the country towards war. We've heard this story before, but the claims are coming from more and more credible sources as time passes.

6. Earlier this week, Attorney General Gonzalez decided that the "separation of powers" doctrine in the Constitution was antiquated and ignorable. Thus (via Balkinization ) a recap of the Attorney General's testimony:

What we did was legal, or, in our opinion, could have been legal. Since there are arguments on both sides, we will rely on our opinion. However, we won't let a court decide the question, because then we wouldn't be able to rely on our own opinion. We won't answer hypothetical questions about what we can do legally or constitutionally. We also won't tell you what we've actually done or plan to do; hence every question you ask will about legality be in effect a hypothetical, and therefore we can refuse to answer it.

That sound you hear is the rumbling of the earth as the founding fathers collective are turning over in their graves.

7. Coretta Scott King died, and at her funeral some people decided to point out that social and racial justice in this country isn't as advanced as it could be. The wingnutosphere went wingnuttier, verging on racist, in decrying the politization of the funeral. Uh, she (and her husband) were clearly left-of-center politically, and worked most of their lives (some times more successfully, sometimes less) to reveal and fix problems of social and racial injustice. The fact that this was pointed out at her funeral isn't really cause for upset. It is, in fact, appropriate. If they had lied about her, or her efforts, (as they did about Reagan), then I could see getting upset. Since they didn't, I'd like to request that the entire right wing keep their pants on.

This list of events doesn't even include the interesting foreign news (Reuters is reporting that the Hamas leadership has been invited to Moscow for talks, and that France is in favor. WTF?), nor entertainment news (Grammy winners here, and all of them - every last one - useless. I think a Grammy should be a kiss of death. Go listen to the new Gossip or Black Mountain, or Pelican. Mariah Carey can eat my shorts. Oh, and the Rolling Stones can blow me too.).

In any event, there is too much going on for me to focus on any one thing. Hence this rather messy blow up. Maybe I should watch a bad movie or two and learn some focus.

You are now free to continue what you were doing.

Posted by baltar at February 10, 2006 12:46 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Natural Disasters | Petty Rants | Politics | The Ever Shrinking Constitution | You Can't Make This Stuff Up


That Balkinization summary of Gonzo's position as related to the judiciary committee is an instant classic. It's dead-on.

Posted by: Moon at February 10, 2006 03:39 PM | PERMALINK

This is the last paragraph in Neil Lewis's Libby story:

Mr. Libby's lawyers have already suggested they will mount a defense in which they will not challenge the charge that he made misstatements about how he learned of Ms. Wilson's identity and whether he shared that information with reporters. They have said that any statements he made to investigators that might have been untrue were the result of his preoccupation with many serious matters of national security at the time.

As Morris often says (in person, not here): du-what? And I'll add a "huh?" and "wtf?!?" Can someone explain to me how this is a defense - "I was too busy protecting the US of A to realize that disclosing the real identity of covert US intelligence asset (as part of a vindictive anti-whistle-blower operation - oh, whoopse I guess I was ONLY busy defending the US of A) might in fact be a violation of the law (and harm national security)"? He's got to be kidding - right?

Posted by: Armand at February 10, 2006 06:03 PM | PERMALINK

and of course as porter goss was kind enough to point out on the nyt op-ed page, libby's leak was _not_ whistleblowing, since it was not the leak of a concerned government employee who could only disclose egregious government misconduct by violating the law. rather, this was lawless, self-serving disclosure for political gain, the very paragon of petty vindictiveness, and hence a most profound breach of the public trust. libby doesn't deserve the term whistleblower.

treason is more like it.

Posted by: moon at February 11, 2006 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Wow - breaking out the big T. Careful Moon - people will start to call you shrill. And it seems to be a rule among the Broders etc of the world (who for god knows what reason have influence on who's taken seriously and who has legitimate opinions) that once you are shrill your views are illegitimate. Is there a more polite and balanced word for treason?

Posted by: Armand at February 11, 2006 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

alternatively, we could select from a whole host of words related to the fact that compromising a field agent is a good way to get human assets foreign and domestic garroted. perhaps that applies.

Posted by: moon at February 11, 2006 03:56 PM | PERMALINK
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