Friday, October 26, 2007

Big difference

"It makes a big difference when you have someone in the statehouse willing to take the lead."
PRESIDENT BUSH, referring to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s response to wildfires in California.

Ah yes - the problems with Katrina were not at all the fault of G.W. or the Federal Government.
The problem was the statehouse in Louisiana.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mr. Mukasey

A few lines from an article written by Jed Rubenfeld, a professor of constitutional law at Yale Law School, about the (maybe) new Attorney General:

At his confirmation hearings last week, Michael B. Mukasey, President Bush’s nominee for attorney general, was asked whether the president is required to obey federal statutes. Judge Mukasey replied, “That would have to depend on whether what goes outside the statute nonetheless lies within the authority of the president to defend the country.”

....Before voting to confirm him as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Senate should demand that he retract this statement. It is a dangerous confusion and distortion of the single most fundamental principle of the Constitution — that everyone, including the president, is subject to the rule of law.

According to Judge Mukasey’s statement, as well as other parts of his testimony, the president’s authority “to defend the nation” trumps his obligation to obey the law.

Under the American Constitution, federal statutes, not executive decisions in the name of national security, are “the supreme law of the land.” It’s that simple. So long as a statute is constitutional, it is binding on everyone, including the president.

If Judge Mukasey cannot say plainly that the president must obey a valid statute, he ought not to be the nation’s next attorney general.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mrs. Cheney

Mrs. Cheney was interviewed by Jon Stewart.
I'll quote a bit of the interview and then place the clip.
The relevant sections beginswith about 2'44" left.

Cheney: "On 9/11 we thought we would be attacked again within six months, maybe even within six weeks. It's been more than six years. That is not an accident. I think the Administration deserves a lot of credit for that."
Stewart: "Well it was eight years between the first bombing of the WTC and 2001, so maybe....."
Cheney: "Well, in the periode between the first bombing of the WTC and 2001 the terrorists were not reluctant to attack American interests. There were worldwide bombings going on....."
Stewart: "You know they have been doing that all these past six years. England, Spain...."
Cheney (leans forward with intensity): "We're talking about American interests!........."
Stewart (can't believe he's hearing this): "Aren't we interested in.......? I'd assumed they are our allies, but alright......."

Here's the clip:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Genocide 2

Last Wednesday, George Bush made comments about genocide in another part of the world.
Congress passed a resolution condeming de killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Young Turk leadership in 1915-17 as "genocide".
Here is our President's - remember, the one who knows so much about what genocide is and can articulate it clearly - said about that:

On another issue before Congress, I urge members to oppose the Armenian genocide resolution now being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915. This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror. Thank you.

What is the right response, Mr. President?
Can't you say one word about that?
I realize that this is not much more than a political ploy by the Congress.
But the President's response is no less a political game.
Defense Secretary Gates stated that 70% of the supplies going to the war in Iraq go through Turkey.
OOOOhhhhhhhhh.
For Jon Stewart's take:

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Genocide

Today Wolf Blitzer interviewed the Foreign Minister of Sudan, Lam Akol, on Late Edition.
Mr. Akol has an earned Ph.D in Engineering from a British university.
Mr. Blitzer wanted to make him uncomfortable about the role of the Sudanese government in the devastating events in Darfur. And rightly so.

Mr. Blitzer mentioned that the term “genocide” has a very precise legal definition and meaning. It is not used lightly or without care. Click here for the Wikipedia discussion. Or google genocide if you want more.
Only the United States, of all the countries of the world, have called the destruction in Darfur “ genocide”.

Mr. Blitzer then showed a clip of President Bush speaking in a Security Council Meeting on Africa at the United Nations last week. Mr. Bush said this (for the whole thing, click here):

And I want to thank Chairperson Konar for the leadership of the African Union. After all, you deployed 7,000 troops. But 7,000 troops is not enough, if you believe what's taking place on the ground is genocide. Maybe some don't think it's genocide, but if you've been raped, you think it's -- your human rights have been violated. If you're mercilessly killed by roaming bands, you know it's genocide.

The response of Mr. Akol was immediate and devastating. I can’t quote him exactly, but his remarks were to the effect that, as horrible as rape is, that is not genocide. Nor is someone being killed by roaming bands genocide. Mr. Blitzer and Mr. Bush had handed him his point.

In other words, he beat the leader of the free world hands down in clarity and being able to explain his point.
The Foreign Minister of Sudan! Check out their website here!
It seems to me the leader of the free world, committed to world peace and security, should be able to speak clearly and coherently about what genocide is.
It is terribly important that he be able to do so, especially to those being killed and raped.
Let's get someone in there who can.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Childrens do learn

As Jon says, this one is even funnier when you leave it in context.