Saturday, February 12, 2005

Clarke '08

As much as I like Wesley Clark, I think Richard Clarke would make an awesome presidential canididate. When he came out with his book and testified before the 9/11 commission, he blew everyone away with his story and the honesty of it all.

The Republican Noise Machine tried to drown him out and question his knowledge and motives, but they came off looking despirate and disjointed. Rice and Hadley (her deputy) had their hats handed to them on 60 minutes and in other forums where they were seriously questioned. The lies and incompetency of Rice and Hadley showed through, despite their denials.

It is too bad that Clarke foreswore working in another White House or running himself. Maybe we could draft him. Even though he is more like a old-fashioned George H.W. Bush-style Republican, I think those are the type of people Democrats need to win these days to recapture the presidency.

Remember his claim that he sent Condi a memo in January 2001 saying the terrorist are a real threat and this is what we need to do about them? And Condi claimed she got no such memo? Well the Times has the scoop on the now-declassified memo:

The 13-page proposal presented to Dr. Rice by her top counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, laid out ways to step up the fight against Al Qaeda, focusing on Osama bin Laden's headquarters in Afghanistan. The ideas included giving "massive support" to anti-Taliban groups "to keep Islamic extremist fighters tied down"; destroying terrorist training camps "while classes are in session" and then sending in teams to gather intelligence on terrorist cells; deploying armed drone aircraft against known terrorists; more aggressively tracking Qaeda money; and accelerating the F.B.I.'s translation and analysis of material from surveillance of terrorism suspects in American cities.

Exactly like told us in his book and testimony, and exactly opposite of Rice's claims, not even close:

"the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations." The article explained that the Federal Aviation Administration "received 52 intelligence reports" that mentioned Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001, and that the FAA warned airports that if "the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable."

Fifty-two? What was she doing when Clarke was banging down her door, Tenent's "hair was on fire" and the FAA had sent her 52 warnings, which included a method and other reports which said SOON in the summer of 2001...clearing brush with Dubya in Crawford? She did call him "my husband" once. Did she not want to hurt his feelings, interupt his runs, naps or solitare games? (he used to play the windows version as governor)

At least some of the blood from those 3,000 people who died on September 11 is on her hands (and Clarke's hands as he will admit). At the very least, GOPers have to admit that it is oftly coincidential that all these damaging things were blocked by the Bush administration until after the inauguration.

If only the American people had had all the facts in front of them, the entire senate intelligence committe report, the entire 9/11 report, all of Clarke's memos...I wonder if voters would have still felt that George W. Bush had/would keep them more safe than John Kerry.

Friday, February 11, 2005

glad to be in UT

Today I went to an ABA thing at the law school; they are having their convention here in SLC this weekend. Anyway, they were supposed to tell us tip on how to get our first job and we were supposed to schmooze with the panelists.

Instead, 90% were windbags reeling off their resume and how great thier firm is ("the first law office in France, the first law office in Russia...and that was in 1987, when we weren't even sure if it would [go capitalist]") Who cares? There is another reason not to go to NYC and deal with pompous blowhards who think they are God's gift to the law and to you.

There were some interesting people who told of their tale of cold calling and tiny salaries. The trouble is, I am not that extroverted and have trouble going donwtown to chat up a buttload of attorneys this weekend, or anyone for that matter. I prefer small groups, where I can find out what interests them and mention my one bit of knowledge on their area of expertise and ask smart sounding questions. But going up to people is the hardest thing to me. I am no Bill Clinton, I sweat just thinking about picking up a phone, let alone getting high on going into a room filled with people.

I got to talk to my hopefully supervising attorney this morning and am pumped to try to get a fellowship to reform our attrocious election laws. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Photo of the day

What happened to Al Franken? this morning I was so happy that he was running for Minn.'s senate seat and then he chickened out! Here's to you Al:

While you were sleeping...

Surprise! North Korea has nuclear weapons! Not surprised? Nor am I. They have been about a hairs breath from getting such weapons since 1994 at least, when Carter staved off a Clintonian military strike (AKA no ground troops) with an agreement that seemed to slow things down.

On Secretary of State Albright's exit in 2001, she warned the incoming Bush Administration that North Korea was probabbly the biggest threat to world peace and wanted nukes. So what did they do? Plotted to attack Iraq and ignored Korea until they jumped up and down in a meeting saying they had cheated on the 1994 agrement.

Did this sound the alarm bells? No, just a Condi Rice speech slamming the Clinton Administration for being soft on North Korea. Her solution? Just ignore them/refuse to talk with them until they give in to US demands and talk through China and with Japan and Russia (and the US and China). It also gave Bush the excuse to pump more money (at least 10 billion) down the toilet knows as Missle Defease.

The North Koreans starve their own people while building freeways for the Dear Leader's cars and nuclear weapons to threaten food support out of South Korea, Japan, and China. This guy is complete irrational, incompetant, and has built a cult around him filled with propaganda and lies...why does this sound familiar?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Real mature

This theory of mine that Republican elected officials and party operatives are fundamentally immature keeps getting backed up by events like this:

In Maryland, Governor Bob Ehrlich's longtime aide was caught spreading false rumors that (future Democratic gubinatorial candidate wannabe) Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley is having/had an extramarital affair. "I have always been faithful to my wife, from our first date to this date," O'Malley said.

Ehrlich, to his credit, fired that bum once it was obvious that his aide Joseph Steffen was the one doing the posting on conservative blogs and speading the rumors to TV stations, Annapolis lobbyists, etc. "Let me tell you, I don't put up with this, and I will not put up with this. Bottom line," Ehrlich said.

But was the whole thing sanctioned by Ehrlich anyway? "I began to suspect very strongly that it was something concerted and orchestrated and sustained," O'Malley said. "It became a drumbeat and then was relentless. And the common theme and language used to push it on Web sites and the like were some of the things about it that made me feel it was orchestrated." Steffen? "No Comment"

Steffen discussed the rumors on the conservative Web site during the summer of 2004. He posted them under the name NCPAC, a reference to one of his early employers, the National Conservative Political Action Committee...."They call me the Prince of Darkness," Steffen said in the interview... Several of Steffen's co-workers said in interviews that he parachuted into agencies, set up an office with a statue of the grim reaper on his desk and began assembling lists of people who should be fired.

"I had been advised by my boss that he had a hit list," said Tom Burgess, a former state Department of Human Resources administrator who was fired after Ehrlich took office. "We were all very concerned about him."

Until yesterday, the Post Steffen was the spokesman for the Insurance Administration and made $72,453.

During the GOP convention in NYC, a delegate sold purple band-aids to make fun of John Kerry's three purple hearts. Every state of the union shows GOPers either booing loudly, pouting, or cheering wildly, depending on who is president. And then of course when Democrats try to boo this year, Republicans throw a hissy fit.

They called Al Gore "Sore Loserman" in November/December 2000, but they were the ones whining on every corner with their "Brooks Brothers Riot" about how the votes shouldn't be counted and complaining all the way to the US Supreme Court. I could go on, but I need to go to class.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

that's why he said it

Remember back to the last SOTU? The one that nobody clapped at and even the GOP were wondering if they backed the wrong guy? George W. Bush talked about a fanatasy land he called "America" and some how manage to thrown in an attack on Major League Baseball and steriod use, which seemed like a cheap shot, equivant to saying "I am against these Catholic Priests who molest children."

Here's what Bush said last year: "The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports ... sends the wrong message: that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character." Takes one to know shortcuts to accomplishment, doesn't it?

But anyway back to the point. Today on Sportscenter, ESPN reported that ex-monster hitter Jose Canseco has a tell all book oh-so-subtley titled "Juiced" which recalls the days when he saw Mark McGuire shoot up, Jason Giambi shoot up, and the two shoot up each other (how cute), as well as Viarga spokesman and Texas Ranger Ralphio Palmero and MVP Ivan Rodregez. Then Canseco went on to say that Bush as the then-owner of the Texas Rangers knew or should have known this was happening.

Of course, they all deny it. But Steriod use was rampant in the MLB in the late 90s. Just like the stock market bubble and the resulting Enrons and WorldComs, everyone in the know could tell it was all too good to be true. But there was pressure to perform, and everyone with an interest looked the otherway.

There's no pretending anymore.

Monday, February 07, 2005

A note on spelling

Dear Brian Watkins (and other annoyed readers),

I am deeply sorry that I continuously have typos, misspellings, and improper diction in my posts. The causal style in which I write leaves much room for error. I would like to claim that is this is purposeful style and that, like e.e. cummings, I am rebelling in my own small way against grammar and spelling.

Unfortunately, I merely sloppy and unskilled. Please read in missing words, read out misplaced words, homonyms, and the like. I devout much thought to my posts as to their subject matter and general flow, but very little time actually typing them. True, this is deeply unprofessional but then again I have yet to see a penny from my Google Ads in the corner. Writing daily about my thoughts, "adventures" and frustrations is a joy that I am happy to share with all of you, but my spelling and grammar is not something I intend to inflict on anyone.

Please take this long rambling post as an apology for transgressions past and present. Hopefully, in the future I can devote more time to reading them over and correcting. But in the meantime, drop the red pencil and let me know more privately so I can fix the mistake(s) that bother you. Thanks again.