Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8/28/07

*Upon resigning Alberto Gonzales said that, “Public service is honorable and noble," I question whether Mr. Gonzales can make this statement. We have seen overwhelming evidence of “Bush service” but that is not the role of the Attorney General of the United States of America. Gonzales never understood the concept of “public” service.

*Man the lifeboats, lawyers first - Listening to Alberto Gonzales and his White House-affiliated enablers, everything done at the Dept. of Justice was above board, legal and in the best interest of the American people. Perhaps coincidentally, 2007 saw the following resignations from the DOJ: AG Gonzales, Deputy AG Paul McNulty, Acting Associate AG William Mercer, Gonzales’ chief of staff Kyle Sampson, DOJ White House liaison Monica Goodling, NcNulty’s chief of staff Michael Elston, Exec. Dir. Of the Exec. Office of U.S. Attorneys Michael Battle, attorney in the Counsel to the Director of the previous noted office Brad Scholzman. One wonders why this senior leadership suddenly jumped ship. Could it be that damn congressional oversight - which did not exist during the first 6 years of the Bush administration?

*Thin-skinned me - Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) recently shared this viewpoint - “blogs, whose authors can defame and lie with impunity because they can be anonymous and don’t have to worry about the facts”. It made me wonder if our government is a blog?

*Iraqus interruptus, whatever happened to Ari Fleisher – Former White House spokesman and pawn in the Valery Plame leak case Fleisher is now the spokesman for a new right-wing front group for the White House promoting the surge in Iraq. Known as “Freedom Watch”, the group is funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of Bush. The group will spend $15 million on a TV and radio ad campaign over the next month to pressure congress to support Bush’s Iraq policy. The essence of the ads is fear-mongering about an Iraq pullout.

*Safety in numbers – A report just released by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies titled Small Arms Survey 2007 offers the following statistics:
- The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world
- U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms
- About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States
The next time that your neighbor’s dog uses your lawn for a litter box I suggest you ignore it.

*The game of Clue, don’t have one – Newsweek reports that in 2005 the CIA reported on its efforts to capture bin Laden. It was resource-strapped by the Iraq war and limited in the number of experienced agents dedicated to capturing the mastermind of 9/11. “The president was taken aback by the small number of CIA case officers posted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. ‘Is that all there are?’ the president asked?”

*I finally have a clue as to Bush’s Iraq strategy – Two million Iraqis have been displaced. Another 2 million have fled Iraq to other Middle East countries and beyond (except the U.S. where I noted in an earlier post that under 500 Iraqis have been accepted into the U.S.). The U.N. reports that 50,000 Iraqis are now fleeing each month, 600,000 annually at the current rate. In a few years the country will be devoid of population and Exxon/Mobil, Shell, BP… can move in, take over the oil, control the world and install Bush and Cheney as co-Emperors of the universe. Ming the Magnificent would be proud.

*The Terrible Trinity - I had to smile that both the LA Times and NY Times discussed, that with Rove and Gonzales gone, Pres. Bush has a “fresh chance” to turn things around. I admire their optimism and share the hope. However, we have seen no evidence over the past 6 years that this man knows what to do or can make appointments other than to individuals whose competence is implementing an agenda favorable to neocon philosophy, the religious right and mega corporations. Sixteen months and counting, slowly

*Shades of 1929? – CNN/money reports that the Federal Reserve is bending key banking regulations to help out Bank of America and Citigroup. The regulation in question effectively limits a bank’s funding exposure to an affiliate to 10% of the bank’s capital. The two institutions can now reach a 30% level. The central tenet of banking regulation is that banks with federally insured deposits should never be over-exposed to brokerage subsidiaries. I have little understanding of high finance but I can see that the Fed has tripled the allowable exposure of two mega financial institutions. This leaves me somewhat uneasy. Reference The Terrible Trinity.

*This smell of special interest - I naively believe it is the mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect our environment. The EPA has recently proposed air quality standards for ozone (smog) pollution that are weaker than what their own scientists are recommending to protect public health. It seems that electric utilities, the chemical industry, Big Oil, and automakers are pushing the EPA to issue weak standards. The EPA is not as naïve as me. There is a website where you can express your concern/outrage at the federal government’s sell-out to industry. It is located at SaveOurEnvironment.org and the petition to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is: http://ga3.org/campaign/ozone_alert/inuse3d4h8ww6b3? Reference The Terrible Trinity.

* Blue book surprise quiz – A Commentary by Andy Myer in today’s Phila. Inquirer posed the following question: Can you name one instance in history where a leader initiates a discretionary war that introduces new levels of chaos into the most politically and economically sensitive area in the world, increases the influence of important foes in the region, alienates his allies, energizes his enemies, exhausts his country’s military, and squanders the goodwill and moral capital his country had built since its founding? About 72% of the class will ace the answer.

*Gentlemen, why don't you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die. Abraham Lincoln

2 comments:

Ruth Deming said...

Another good blog, Stevarino. And which members of the American public did Gonzales have in mind when he said "everything done was legal?" The pity is that they get away with murder & no one stops them. Happy Labor Day.

Anonymous said...

"Quoting Lincoln is always a good idea." -- Don