Sunday, October 30, 2005

Libby Indicted. More to Come?

It's late and I'll post more tomorrow, but as you all know "Scooter" Libby was indicted by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. So it seems that Libby went around telling reports (Novak, Miller, etc) about Valerie Plame being a CIA covert agent, and he learned it from an unnamed source (Karl Rove? Cheney?) Libby's been indicted on two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice. This is a big deal.

Fitzgerald says the investigation will remain open in order to gather more info (perhaps with a new grand jury), but as it stands now, Libby's the only one on the block (he's resigned). Fitzgerald has made it clear that he's not trying to go after the case for the war, and he's only dealing with the matters in this serious case. Consider this: hat tip: Daniel Drezner:

the whole notion that the Fitzgerald investigation was going to reveal how the Bush administration led us into Iraq now seems to have been completely wrong. Democrats wanted their own Ken Starr--a prosecutor who let his investigation metastasize and whose operation leaked like a sieve. Instead, they got Elliot Ness. As Fitzgerald himself put it at his press conference:

This indictment is not about the war. This indictment's not about the propriety of the war. And people who believe fervently in the war effort, people who oppose it, people who have mixed feelings about it should not look to this indictment for any resolution of how they feel or any vindication of how they feel.

This is simply an indictment that says, in a national security investigation about the compromise of a CIA officer's identity that may have taken place in the context of a very heated debate over the war, whether some person -- a person, Mr. Libby -- lied or not.
The indictment will not seek to prove that the war was justified or unjustified. This is stripped of that debate, and this is focused on a narrow transaction.

And I think anyone's who's concerned about the war and has feelings for or against shouldn't look to this criminal process for any answers or resolution of that.
Of course many on the Left won't be happy until Bush and the whole administration are dragged out in chains, but as it stands now, they won't get their wish from this indictment. For those who support the war, and/or Bush, be advised that this indictment is no small small matter. Those responsible for this leak, if it really was a deliberate act to smear Joe Wilson, which it looks like it was, committed serious crimes. That ought not be lost in the fog of politics, by either side.
Read the text of the indictment here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Miers Is History

Miers resigned today as Bush's SCOTUS choice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Most on the Right opposed her, as well as on the Left. For some reason, Harry Reid backed her. Anyway, this is good. The naked cronyism involved, as well as the fact that Miers just wasn't qualified made her a bad choice. Some would think that liberals ought to support Miers because the right-wingers were so up in arms over the nomination. That's absurd. She's a bad choice, period. I did feel that the right had no one to blame but themselves for the Miers pick, because that choice was only the logical result of the "loyalty at any cost/Bush should get whatever judges he wants" mindset that they tried to shove down our throats, whenever Dems criticized the President. One does have to respect their standing for principle-at last. Of course, the James Dobsons of the world actually supported Miers. After all, it was all about the vote for him, the integrity of the Court be damned (he's since changed his story).

Undoubtedly, my earlier prediction will come to pass, and the real court fight will commence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Exploiting the Dead?

I don't want this to turn into a debate about the war, or even about Plamegate/Fitzmas, but I have a question. How is honoring the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan exploitation? How is showing their names on TV exploitation? If you're against the war, and you feel that those soldiers died for the wrong war (that's not my view, but I'm just saying) then that's your opinion. I don't agree that they died in vain, but to say so isn't exploiting their deaths.
I know that more soldiers died in WWII and Vietnam. Since when do we judge tragedies that way? Did we say on 9/11, "Well, we lost 51,000 in WWII, why are we weeping over these 3,000?" Of course we didn't. Was it exploitation to weep for those lost in the tsunami, or Katrina?

I understand that those who view this war differently will see the sacrifices of our troops differently. There are those on the fringes who not only mock the dead, but call for more. There are those who exploit the dead for political gain (Karl Rove, I'm talking to ya).
I've always believed, and maybe I'm naive in this, that regardless of one's stance on OIF, that all of us ought to honor the sacrifices of our troops. I don't think bringing them home prematurely does them or the Iraqis a service, but acknowledging the 2,000 dead in this war is hardly exploitation, at least not in of itself.

Despite what the right-wingers would have us believe...

Rosa Parks: 1913-2005

America, and the world has lost a giant this week, as Rosa Parks has passed away at age 92. You all know the story, of how she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on the segregated buses of Alabama, and thus took a principled stand against Jim Crow, and for the civil rights, and basic dignity of all Americans. Parks' stand half a century ago gives us in this generation an example of the triumph of the individual-- it reminds us that one person, armed with truth, really can make a difference. Her stand set the stage for the leaders to come, including of course, Dr. King.

The legacy of Rosa Parks, in her stand against the ruling powers and popular opinion of her day, in her overcoming of fear and doubt, gives us a lesson, that for the continued survival of this republic, must march unimpeded throughout the long trail of history: That principled people of all kinds, must often make trouble, and challenge those in power, in order to see that justice is done when and where it ought to be done. Even at the cost of one's life and livelihood.

Especially in times like these...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Butcher of Baghdad Goes to Trial

The trial of Saddam Hussein began today. At last, that mass murdering war criminal will face the justice that he denied his own people. Reports are that Saddam was defiant as usual, questioning the legitimacy of the Court, as well as the Iraqi government. Nice try, pal, it's not going to work. The fact is, Saddam's thirty-years of brutality and tyranny cost him the right to govern. The man committed numerous war crimes, invaded his neighbors, and violated numerous international laws and U.N resolutions. Saddam and his lackeys will try to stall and pontificate, but in the end, he'll be found guilty, and face the death penalty.

And justice will have been served.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

It All Happened on Saturday

Marking the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March, scores of black Americans return to the Mall to kick off the "Millions More Movement." All things considered, I say it's a good thing. Much like the last march, there was bound to be some controversial things said (obviously I have a problem with the anti-war themes), Farrakhan's not known for his timidity--but at the end of the day, it was a positive event for black America.

The Iraqis took to the streets and voted on a Constitution today. Even the Sunnis decided to join in. Purple fingers forever.

I've finally got into the groove of consistent blogging. Huzzah!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Blogging at Centerfield, and My Other New Blog

I just put up my first post over at the cool centrist blog Centerfield. I won't kill the buzz all of you undoubtedly have by sppoiling it, but I'll just say check it out, and check out the site in general. It's a great blog, and another notch in the centrist blogosphere.

Also, my amateur theology blog is up. It's still in development, but if you have even a passing interest in theology or philosophy, you ought to check it out.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Infinite Crisis Is Here!!

At last, after all the months of speculation, waiting, and salivating, the biggest comics event since Crisis on Infinite Earths and Watchmen has come to pass. As much as I sound like a DC propaganda man right now, I really have been impressed by the stories leading up to, and the first issue of the series. I loooved Identitiy Crisis, and although Marvel's certainly no slouch either with House of M, Astonishing X-Men, and the kick-ass Black Panther book, among others, Crisis will also continue to burn a cosmic hole through my wallet.

photo: from Infinite Crisis #1 (c) 2005 DC Comics

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Is Bush a Real Conservative?

With the recent discord amongst the right over Harriet Miers, and his profligate spending habits, a question has popped into my mind. Is Bush really a conservative? He's no liberal, that's for sure, but is he a real conservative? Is he a right-winger who loves Big Government? Who knows.

I'm no conservative, so it's less of a concern to me than those who call themselves conservatives, and those who voted for him.

A Vile Left-Wing Conspiracy?

ABC's hit new show Commander-in-Chief is a critical success, garnering acclaim from critics and TV-watchers alike. It stars Geena Davis as Mackenzie "Mac" Allen, the former Veep who has become the first female President after the previous President dies. She's a mother, and a registered Independent. Sounds like the stuff of good TV, right? Not according to some. It seems that some conservatives see the show as a vast Hollywood left-wing conspiracy to promote a Hillary Presidency in '08. Ridiculous, you say? Of course it is. But consider this statement:

"Keeping with the modern liberal tradition of subliminal socialist indoctrination (through U.S. television), `Commander in Chief' seeks to accomplish more than prime-time entertainment," warned a writer named J.B. Williams on the National Ledger Web site, while the blogger Colossus pronounced the show "a nefarious plot to advance the notion of a Hillary Clinton presidency."

Really? Do you think so? Look, I'm no Hillary fan, and I pray to God the Democratic Party has enough sense not to tap her for the nomination, but you know what...I'd vote for her just to spite these lunatics. I mean, come on. There comes a point when this mad obsession must come to a halt. Yes, I get that she's a woman President. I get that one of Hillary's former staffers writes for the show. I get that Hillary is supposedly this evil, socialist monster who will ban Bibles, sanction public orgies, raise taxes to 400%, and mandate forced abortions and all people really believe this stuff?

Consider this:

Mac's road to the White House began as a vice presidential candidate chosen to boost the women's vote for her Republican running mate, who then, after just two years in office, obligingly expired. Hillary can't count on that measure of support.

Mac is 6 feet tall and isn't married to former President Clinton. Hillary isn't, and is.

Mac, lest we forget, is make-believe, and idealized - maybe to a fault, from Hillary's perspective. Noting that President Allen is "smart, beautiful, dressed to the nines, completely competent," Boston Herald columnist Virginia Buckingham wrote: "If I were Hillary Clinton, I'd be running scared. Perfect is not the bar she ought to want set for her."

Still not convinced? Consider this:

"This is not a You-Go-Hillary show, this is a You-Go-Girl show," Lurie said last week. "I just want to see women in the process, whether they be Democrats or Republicans or Independents. If there's any social agenda to the show, it's to be enthusiastic about the idea of a woman president - and an Independent president. She's an Independent, which is sort of a big deal."

But conservatives retort:

Some conservatives are in a lather over Mackenzie Allen's nemesis, the Republican speaker of the House (Donald Sutherland). The RedState Web site complained that this underhanded power broker was designed to bash all Republicans as "manipulative, back-stabbing, power-hungry politicians."

Interesting, but what about this?

But Lurie pointed out that President Allen's own chief of staff - a man of solid character - is a Republican.

He added that "Commander in Chief" has its roots not in Hillary's campaign strategy but in "The Contender," a film he wrote and directed in 2000 about a vice presidential aspirant. (It starred Joan Allen ... for whom he named Mackenzie Allen.)

and this:

I promise that if there was no Hillary Clinton, there would still be a `Commander in Chief' - I want to have a hit show that people enjoy, and really, that's it," explained Lurie, whose surprising exit from his top 10-ranked series was announced a couple of days later.

Hmm, another clue? No, not really:

Now, what will conspiracy theorists read into that turn of events? The official explanation: Under a two-year deal with Touchstone Television, Lurie has given up his job running "Commander in Chief" to concentrate on developing new series, while TV veteran Steven Bochco ("NYPD Blue" and "L.A. Law") takes the production reins of a show that had fallen dangerously behind schedule.

Just another shakeup in the TV biz? Or is there (hmmmm) more to the story? Try and stop suspicious minds from hashing over what it might be.

Right, because that would be impossible. They've already made up their minds about this. Hillary is evil, and the network minions at ABC (and the rest of the SCLM) are her lackeys. No amount of sense or logic can dissuade them.

Read the whole story here

Source: AP

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harriet Miers: Enemy of the..Right?

There's a lot of support for Miers' nomination to the SCOTUS, and its coming from an unlikely source. Apparently, high-profile Dems like Harry Reid love her, while conservatives are up in arms. It was no secret that a lot of conservatives weren't completely behind Roberts (he was too moderate for them), and it looks like Miers is no different. She's pro-life (and that will piss off the pro-choicers), but perhaps not as hardcore as some fear, or hope. She's not a judge, and her legal experience is vague. Many are bothered (as am I) by the cronyism involved here. The more he talked about her today at his news conference confirmed this.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of her yet. It's interesting to note that her opposition will most likely come from the far-right on this one. Blogging around today, I came across an interesting concept. Tammy Bruce has come to a conclusion about Bush that's worth noting:

While I love that he chose a woman, I've noted before GWB is not an authentic conservative, but a liberal who happens to be a man of faith. There were many other srong conservatives for him to pick. Keep in mind, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) urged him to pick Miers. IMHO, both Roberts and Miers could easily tip to the left of the court.

I can think of a lot of words to describe George Bush, but "liberal" is not one of them. She's right that he's no conservative. He's a right-winger, but not conservative. I've always respected Tammy Bruce, but one has to wonder whether she has forgotten the meaning of the word "liberal," or has moved so far to the right, that Bush is liberal by comparison. I fear the latter may be the case. Nevertheless....

Tom DeLay's Been Indicted Again!!

Still, it speaks for itself.