Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon Morning

It’s been a few weeks, so I think it’s safe to say this is a Random Political Thoughts for a Wednesday Afternoon Morning: The Return.

Hera ya go…

Scoot Away Scooter. A lot of stuff has been going on in the trial of “Scooter” Libby. Firedoglake has an excellent play-by-play going on, and Daily Kos has some good stuff about it as well. Check them both out. If you’re one of those that can’t click on a link, here’s a short rundown. Libby is oh so screwed. That pretty much sums it all up…

Numbers game. that the Army Corps of Engineers say that 146 levees across the nation “pose an unacceptable risk of failing in a major flood.” (Nice. So it’s not just New Orleans that has crappy levees, it’s other parts of the country as well. Maybe, just maybe, the government should do something about that? What ya think?)

Not so fast Dubya. Despite his assurances that he’s the sole “decision-maker” when it comes to escalating the war in Iraq, Congress does have the power to end the war in Iraq,. At least that’s what a group of Constitutional experts told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Bradford Berenson, a Washington lawyer who was a White House associate counsel under Bush for a few years: “I think the constitutional scheme does give Congress broad authority to terminate a war.” (Wouldn’t you just love to see the escalation rug get pulled right out from under Dubya’s feet? Now that would be funny… and oh-so enjoyable)

Aim higher. Aggressive new tactics aimed at detering Iranian assistance to Iraqi militants is one of a few more tactics being discussed in having the Air Force expand thier role in Iraq. (And if the fighters “accidentally” cross over into Iran and “accidentally” destroy a nuclear lab, it wouldn’t be the beginning of a war with Iran now would it?? Yes, that was sarcasm.)

Only a matter of time? The Brookings Institution ran a few simulations of civil war in Iraq. The findings found (imagine that) that as the country further descends into civil war, confrontation between the US and Iran will intensify and DC’s leverage with Tehran would severely diminish. Said the report; “Civil war in Iraq would turn Iran into ‘the unambiguous adversary’ of the US.” (Only a matter of time boys… only a matter of time. I have got to get back to work on that bomb shelter…)

Strongarming the Scientists. Two private advocacy groups are saying that they have gathered new evidence of “suppression and manipulation” of climate scientists in “seven federal agencies.” Why are they strongarming the scientists you ask? So they can “downplay the threat of global warming.” (Makes you proud to be an American… doesn’t it. If you believe in global warming, you’re letting the scientists win…

Same old, same old. Even as the FBI lookis into some of his land deals, Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) has been chosen to be the ranking member of a panel that is responsible for investigating financial institutions. This, even after The Hill reports that in the last two months, FBI officials have contacted local officials about Miller’s land deals. (Unfortunately, this does not surprise me one bit…)

NOT the way to treat our service men and women. The Army and Marine Corps are “thousands of vehicles, armor kits and other equipment” short of supplying the surge troops. A senior Army official stated: “It’s inevitable that that has to happen, unless five brigades of up-armored Humvees fall out of the sky,” (Nice way to take care of our brave men and women, isn’t it? The next time Dubya has the audacity to say he cares about the troops, everyone listening should stand up and walk out. How can you escalate the troops without having the neccesary equiopment. Shouldn’t that have been the first thing to do?? Make sure we have the equipment readily available and then call for a surge?? Everything this president does is backwards.)

More Loss of Party Unity. Another republican is jumping sides as a group of congressman led by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is pushing a resolution that calls for Bush to come to Congress before using military force against Iran. Said Rep. Jones: “Concerned about the way the Bush administration moved against Iraq, the Congress should say to the President that ‘we believe you should come to the Congress before you initiate any kind of attack.’” (Nice job guys… too bad none of you found your balls before we went to war with Iraq. Think of all the needless suffering that could have been prevented. I guess late is better than never… but not by much.)

And then there were 324. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) has now joined the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. (Okay… eventually every single Democrat in the US – save for Al Gore and John Kerry – are going to throw their hat into the ring. This could get ridiculous before it gets better…)

Discourse in Homeland Security. Scary. The Department of Homeland Security has scored last (or almost last) in job satisfaction, leadership and workplace performance in ratings that came from the 2006 Federal Human Capital Survey. (Should we be worried that the employees of the department that are supposed to be protecting our lives don’t like their jobs?? It scares me. As I said above, I really do need to get back to work on that bomb shelter)

So that’s what a timetable looks like. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has proposed setting a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq that would remove all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008. (Granted, this is being done to bolster his foreign policy credentials, but it’s nice to see someone give a timeline of getting our troops the hell out of there…)

All I have… take ‘em as you will.

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