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2009 May 18 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Another Announcement

As expected, Attorney General Bill McCollum announces run for Florida governor.

The State Republican Party is getting some backlash for its attempts to avoid primary fights.

The second article in the Miami Herald mentions that Cruella de Harris’s cousin, Adam “Howdy Doody” Putnam, is giving up his lucrative career as a joke in Congress to run for Agriculture Commissioner. Actually, he might know something about agriculture, and Tallahassee is more suited to his talents that Washington.

If Marco Rubio decides to take on Charlies Crist in a standard Florida Republican primary, Teddy the Wonder Lizard could beat the survivor. I can assure you, if you have never observed one of these spectacles, that both candidates will be shown to be criminals, sexual perverts, and atheists who support dropping pregnant women off of Interstate overpasses, 150% tax rates, and they will send stormtroopers to your house to seize your guns. Politics in Florida has a lot in common with professional wrestling. 😈

Reality check, the GOP and Dems are both short of money, and this isn’t a good environment in which to raise it. Both are trying to concentrate on the November election in 2010. This isn’t a matter of being undemocratic, it is the reality of being broke.

May 18, 2009   Comments Off on Another Announcement

Neocon Scorecard

Let’s see, Iran has no effective enemies on its borders. Iraq is going to have an Iran friendly government. Hamas is still the majority party in the Palestinian parliament.

What about Lebanon? According to CNN: Analysis: Hezbollah win could shake Obama Mideast policy.

After 8 years of the neocons, Israel is more isolated than ever, Iran has risen as the major power in the region, and the US is still bogged down in two wars.

That certainly worked out well… 😈

May 18, 2009   7 Comments

Obama Hanging Tough

The BBC reports on the White House meeting: Obama presses Netanyahu over two-state plan

Mr Netanyahu said he was ready to start peace talks “immediately” but refrained from endorsing a Palestinian state.

After their meeting in Washington, Mr Obama said he had suggested the Israeli prime minister had a “historic opportunity to get a serious movement” on Palestinian statehood.

Mr Netanyahu said Israel was ready to live “side by side” with Palestinians and he could resume talks immediately, but any agreement depended on Palestinian acceptance of Israel’s right to exist “as a Jewish state”, he added.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat reacted with derision to Mr Netanyahu’s remarks.

“How can I govern myself by myself as a Palestinian with his occupation going on on my neck on the hour every hour? With his roadblocks segregating our towns and villages and refugee camps?” he said.

The Palestinians have to recognize Israel “as a Jewish state” and renounce violence, but Israel doesn’t even have to recognize the existence of the Palestinian people.

The inclusion of “as a Jewish state” is recognition that sooner or later Jews will be a minority in Israel, so no one should get upset when non-Jews don’t get to vote in elections, have to wear colored badges, and can only live in specified areas. Before anyone decides to complain about my comments they should read the party platforms of the members of Netanyahu’s coalition.

At least Obama is holding firm on this issue, and the use of diplomacy with Iran.

May 18, 2009   Comments Off on Obama Hanging Tough

No Sale

I keep hearing people make this argument and it is done from ignorance of the legal system, especially the Federal system.

When the torture memoranda were written, Harriet Miers was Counsel to the President and David Addington was Counsel to the Vice President. They functioned as “defense attorneys” for the White House, and, as such, any opinions, no matter how off the wall, written in support of what their “clients” wanted to do was normal “lawyering”.

The memoranda were written in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice by Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, and John Yoo. Their “client” is essentially the people of the United States, not the Office of the President or the Office of the Vice President.

The Supreme Court of the United States, unlike the highest court in many states, does not issue advisory opinions. They don’t make a ruling unless a case progresses through the lower courts to them. Because of this, the Office of Legal Counsel provides the advisory opinions. The OLC is supposed to keep people out of trouble by telling them whether what they want to do is Constitutional and legal, based on the current laws and court rulings.

It isn’t the job of the OLC to find a way of doing something, it is to determine if it is legal and that’s why lawyers are calling for disbarment. Instead of doing their job, Bybee and Yoo were doing the job of the White House counsels. They were billing one “client” while working for another.

May 18, 2009   8 Comments

It’s A Matter Of Manners

CNN reports that Top Republicans want apology or proof from Pelosi regarding the CIA.

I feel certain that if the CIA establishes in court, beyond reasonable doubt, to a jury of their peers, you know as was done in the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, that Ms Pelosi is wrong, she will be every bit as gracious as the members of the Republican administration who were involved in the Plame case.

I think we can all agree that the Hedgemony set new standards for truth and politeness in government. 😈

May 18, 2009   Comments Off on It’s A Matter Of Manners

What A Miserable Excuse For Human

Steve Benen’s post, Katrina Revisited, explains something that was bugging the hell out of me at the time: why wouldn’t they allow the military to help with Katrina?

The USS Bataan followed the storm and had helicopters, personnel, medical facilities, landing craft – all kinds of things that were needed to help, but it was never allowed to do it.

The helicopters and resources of the military’s two rotary wing training bases at Whiting Field and Fort Rucker were never allowed to help.

NAS Pensacola helicopter pilots were reprimanded for helping the Coast Guard in New Orleans.

The combat engineers of the local AF Redhorse squadron were finally sent by road to Biloxi, but were kept bottled up for days.

The AF Special Ops were sleeping near their aircraft ready to go after returning to their local bases following the storm, waiting for word. They were finally allowed to reopen the New Orleans airport.

It made absolutely no sense with all of the military capabilities available on the coast that they weren’t being used, as they have been used following every other major hurricane, especially since the Louisiana Guard’s equipment, and a large segment of their personnel were in Iraq. They regularly get sent to Central America, but not to New Orleans – Whiskey Tango Fox, Over?

Now we know it was Rumsfeld.

Kryten supplied another piece on Rumsfeld, The Undertaker’s Tally (Part 1) in comments.

May 18, 2009   5 Comments

This & That

The mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope has been very successful, and if everything that was hoped for wasn’t achieved, much more than was actually expected has been accomplished. The final application of new thermal blankets is in progress, and the telescope will be released tomorrow.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009 is in full bloom in Britain, and even if you aren’t a dedicated gardener, it is a wondrous thing to behold. Although it has been decades since I was there, I still have memories of aroma and colors. Most Americans have no true appreciation of the multitude of colors available in plants because “garden centers” only stock the “top 40” varieties.

May 18, 2009   4 Comments