Saturday, March 24, 2007

classified secrets revealed

I am not surprised but disagree with Rep. Matheson's vote against the Iraq supplemental.
Matheson objected to language in the bill that he said would "compromise the safety of our troops on the ground." He has said previously he would not support any bill containing a date-certain withdrawal, and he took issue with how the debate came down to Republican vs. Democrat.
"I am saddened that this important issue devolved into a partisan debate," Matheson said in a statement. "It's immoral to play politics with the needs of the men and women who protect the ideals we hold so dear."
Matheson had proposed an amendment to allow President Bush to decide the withdrawal date and for him to ensure the date was "classified." The amendment, though, didn't get included into the debate.

If Matheson's version were to become law, I can let you in on a little secret. Bush's classified withdrawal date would be the same his public date: "not on my watch." Bush doesn't want the fall of Saigon images to happen while he is still in the White House. He dreams that this alone will save his legacy. But people don't blame Ford for ending the Vietnam war, they blame LBJ for starting it for real, and Nixon for bombing Cambodia illegally, and then suing for peace. Or they blame the liberals in Congress in the 1970s for defunding the war. But not Ford.

And Bush's presidency has been done since he got reelected. That was his only real accomplishment.

when image trumps substance

many times in politics, people become powerful or weak based on perception...this conception of a person comes from media coverage, how they carry themselves and how they react to the situation around them.

The Iraq war has been one of those things from the beginning, which is why those in favor of the war keep home alive that if only they could show enough newly painted schools, all those mass executions and suicide bombings would fade into the background. We went to war with Iraq because we felt scared, afraid after the first major foreign attack on US soil since 1812. During this period of fear, anthrax was mailed to Senate Democrats and prominant news anchors. [The targets to me have always seemed very right-wing: Daschle, Lehey, and one but a right-winger obsessed with judges and the "liberal media" would have picked those folks] In the end, only a few people with weak immune systems died (like elderly women).

During this period of trembling, the President, the VP, the president's chief of staff, the president's national security advisor, the secretary of defense, and other prominant officials gave the impression that Iraq was on the verge of getting nuclear weapons and still had biological weapons like anthrax. they warned that these weapons could be delivered to US troops stationed in the region and to our allies like Israel.

Afriad of seeming weak on National Security, Senate Democrats listened to Joe Lieberman, half of them voting for the war...including Biden, Dodd, Kerry, Edwards, and Clinton.

Finally, in 2006, Democrats stopped being afriad. They are no longer in fear of a president whose ratings hover between the high 20s and low 30s. They no longer fear a GOP smear machine after the American people have come out overwhelmingly against the war and started to self-identify themselves as Democrats.

Sure, the supplimental is far from perfect. I thought Murtha's proposal sounded reasonable, and I don't understand why the no attacking Iran portion of the bill was omitted, but in the end, it doesn't matter. The AP version of the story that I read in the Richmond Times-Dispatch focused on the message that Democrats want: Democrats wish to end this war, and Republicans want to stay beside their disaster of a president. Sure it barely passed, and sure 2 Republicans voted for it so 2 more liberal democrats could vote their conscience, but the message was won by Pelosi. Paragraph one was the spin they wanted, paragraph two was her quote, paragraph three talked about the 2 GOPers and the dissent within the party, but then the next graphs talked about Bush's opposition. It wasn't until the fold that the details of the bill were laid out.

And for a lot of people, the details are boring. Kerry's "I voted for it, before I voted against it" became the impression of him, not what he ment by that and why he decided to vote for the war but against an appropriations. Hillary's nuanced position on the war is coming across as pro-war, and Obama's position is coming across as anti-war, much to Bill's chagrin.

The image of president Bush these days is of an angry man who has lost touch with reality rattling around the White House as his presidency collapses around him. His Attorney General is a dead man walking, with no credibility with Congress (Republicans don't like being lied to that much either). His secretary of state suffers from the same disbelief abroad. VP Cheney is only welcome on Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and BYU...and even there he might face the music.

Sorry for the sporatic posting of late, I am visiting with the In-laws in Richmond...I am off to see Jamestown, the 400th year of its existance.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

where I was this week

Sorry for the long gaps in writing...a big blogger no-no. There is a summary (semi-accurate) of our time in DC via Aron Ralston.

I also went to DC to talk to attorneys there I know and get a sense of what I should do with myself. The original title of this post was "the fine art of self-deception" because I was thinking about what kind of person am I? Am I warrior? Am I a person who likes to win above all else? How much am I willing to put up with to win? Thoughts to ponder.

Meanwhile, Lord Vader VP Cheney will speak to BYU graduates. Please let one of them grow some balls and protest this horrible person.

In order to get our Utah leaders to do the public's will, we have to sign petitions to force them to change their ways. On the RSL stadium and Vouchers. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs seems to have actually looked at the same numbers as Corroon did, and divested itself from RSL's stadium.

Finally, I noticed that as predicted, Republicans care more about preventing an overwhelmingly democratic, urban, and african-american-empowered area from having a vote in the House than allowing Utah to have another rightful seat that would almost certainly go Republican. Stop voting Republican, Utah. They clearly don't care about you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

doing something about it

a couple things to note tonight. Thanks to the Wasatch Watcher for linking to one of my many typo-ridden posts (Gonzales and his "purse scandal"). I would go to bed at this hour but two hilarious articles from the local papers caught my eye.

The title of the Trib's DC reporter's article says it all: "What Cannon would ask Plame - if he'd been there." Who the heck cares what he would have asked? If he has other priorities than showing up to hearings of the plumb committee he is on a big national issue, then his opinion matters even less than mine. At least I would have gone had I been Rep. Cannon. Residents of Summit County and Happy Valley, your congressman is a joke, literally.

If he or anyone in a similar situation wants to complain about something, they should at least try doing something about it, rather than just whining to the press.

Which brings me to another (unintentionally) funny article. Here's the lede [no that's not a typo]: "The minority House Democrats in the Utah Legislature were three times less effective in passing their bills this year than all other state lawmakers, an analysis by the Deseret Morning News shows." I really hope they didn't spend too much time, money, or effort on that 'analysis' because anyone with half a brain could have told you that a Democrat in the Utah legislature has about as much chance passing a bill as Kucinich has of winning the nomination...OK it's not that bad, but pretty close. Why did they waste the space in the newspaper to do this article? Oh that's right, the backup argument of Utah's GOP leadership (one of whom is now the editor-in-chief of the Des News and is idiot Rep. Cannon's brother) is that you can't vote Democratic because your Rep will have no power.

Well if voters take a defeatist approach like that, they will never have a remotely close close to a democracy in Utah. Right now, it is getting closer and closer to China with it's one party rule and it's corresponding corruption and waste.

I am tired of just complaining about stuff, so I am actually in DC this week to lobby Congress about Utah's wilderness. Maybe this year we can finally get SUWA's nearly 10 million acres bill passed by at least the House. Even if it doesn't, at least I am doing something about it.

PS I will be pretty busy because of this so please be patient with posts this week.