Monday, March 26, 2007

Change, I want Change

I've been away for a week, visiting the kids. I return, check my usual blog pals and what's going on, and yes, they got the troop withdrawal deadline into war appropriations bill. I'm not sure how much of a victory that is, the more we learn of profiteering - Time Magazine, Cheney on cover - about the Blackstone security company and how much money they get for services. Much more legitimate than Halliburton to be sure, but - again - due to bad planning this Administration has to pay top dollar for security services.

Gonzales is still not out. It's bound to happen but as scandals unfold so rapidly it's also possible he'll dig in his heels and slip back under the radar. I'm not sure what he did was so far out of line, it's the general incompetence he should be removed for. Firing attorneys because you disaagree with them, even when you appointed them, is bad form and needs to be handled better. Also in Time this week - yes, I get my news from many places but as I said I was traveling and take the latest issue with me - is the Texas Connection in this White House and how long time buddies and supporters were hired, not competent people. Does the name Harriet Miers ring a bell?

The War is, if anything, worse. And still this President rages on about it. True, if he lets go of "terrorism", he has nada, nothing, zip, bupkus, zero to sustain his presidency. History will point to him as a major setback in foreign relations. So he charges on, like a desperate gambler, telling himself he's just one hand away from a big score and salvation, when everything points to the contrary. Does the name John Bolton ring a bell?

The big news, though, in our house is Al Gore running for president. Oh yes, we are hot for that. He's seasoned, no longer stiff, certainly experienced and wise, and frankly won the election 8 years ago. It was the Bush Machine - brother in FL, father's Supremes - that maneuvered us almost to a constitutional crisis. At this moment in time I lean to Bill Richardson. Hillary has lots to favor but completely blew it on the War, and years ago on health care, too secret. So while she's politically bright she can also go tone deaf. Obama is a joy out there and I could happily vote for him, but I've followed too many bright stars over the years who can't sustain the full exposure of a national campaign. Richardson, though, isn't quite lighting up the horizon; still, he's got what it takes. Edwards, too, a great person I'm confident would do a great job but seems to still be on a high learning curve on the national scene. But Gore, he's got it all and more. What he lacked the last time he's got now in triplicate - Star Power.

My daughter made me promise that Al Gore would run. She worries for her children's future. So I told her he's doing everything correct for a run and that yes, he would.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Valerie Rocks

With her movie star good looks and a career most people only dream about, a handsome husband and twins at home, I'm betting this woman will be the final nail in George W. Bush's presidential coffin. Scandal after scandal has weakened him, to be sure, but she will be the one to remove the curtain that reveals the fakery of Oz.

Her testimony was succinct and clear. Until her appearance before Congress, she kept silent. The bottom line is that whether or not she is determined to be covert according to the statute at the time of her outing, her career in intelligence was ruined by her own government, a gang of thugs determined to have their own way, damn the consequences. In order to start a war they were determined to have, she was, as Rep. Waxman said, collateral damage. On the heels of the horror at Walter Reed, Alberto Gonzales inept fumbling of his department - maybe Karl Rove has been too busy to coach him - she is a very bright light shining into their very dark corners.

She also has a book coming out, and the resultant book tour. She will be everywhere, telling everyone that this Administration had only one goal, to rush into war. And they were willing to expose an fearless and dedicated American intelligence agent to do it. She did nothing at all to deserve what happened to her; she was merely a bystander as her husband exposured their lies. Discredit him by discrediting her.

The Wilson's are photogenic. That should not be an issue but it tends to make people more credible. They are also rational, intellingent and charming. Just looking at her, you feel she got real secrets for us, a credit to the CIA. How many men would resist? And now it's over, she's done. Sure, she'll be a celebrity for a while, the book, then a movie, all the while Bushies will be twisting in the wind.

I'm sure if the Wilsons had a choice they would return to anonymity. They had a good life. But Rove or Cheney, or both, decided not to honor years of service to our country. Their arrogance at making that decision will ultimately be their undoing. Cheney looks more like the devil each time he appears, Rove keeps smiling like some wooden dummy as everything he thought he built derails, and Bush, well Bush looks as if he's the class loser in the dodge-ball circle, twisting and turning while he gets pounded.

The Wilson's may not come out of this better for the experience - she chose as she said, a "below the radar" career. He was an ambassador and appears to have an easier time talking about it. And they have small children, that tends to overrule all else in a family. They will be fine and they will likely be the final push that brings down this president as people grasp the enormity of what was done to them. But I don't think they will ever say it was a good thing. But they will be able to say they survived, and most of all, that they did the right thing. Who can ask for more?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

History is a Tough Taskmaster

The Bush Administration is wasting a huge amount of energy dodging left wing bullets. And it's entirely their own fault. First, the recent election was a referendum not just on Iraq but the Iraq that sprung from secrecy, bully pulpit and arrogance. I am against this War. I want us out. That was my position from the beginning. A preemptive attack is wrong. It lessens us.

However, I happen to agree with some of the principles laid out to go into war. Terrorists are a threat to the world and after 9-11 specficially to our homeland. We have a right to protect against future attacks. Also, peace in the Middle East is an honorable goal. The fact that it goes back generations and the causes are convoluted beyond comprehension, even by the participants, doesn't mean we should just give up.

The Bush Administration failed on every single effort to achieve any kind of positive result. First, they rushed. They knew better than the UN, our allies, common sense, their own military leaders. They bullied our allies into a watery support, only Tony Blair jumped in with any enthusiasm. (And is now forced to leave office because of it.)

Due to the rush, and minimal military preparation, relying on National Guard members who train on weekends for local emergencies, great people all but rushed into full-time service. They rose to the challenge but were given minimal support in the field, without effective body armor, vehicles to withstand bombs, military leaders afraid to speak out - the ones who did were put out to pasture. Still, their patriotism heroically persevered.

Then non-bid contracts went to Halliburton. If your bathroom suddenly springs a leak you don't worry about getting the cheapest plumber but the one who can come immediately. This mega-corporation, VP Dick Cheney's prior job was as CEO, sucked up money like Hoover's best windtunnel vac. Talk about giving your friends the combination to the vault. No one actually looked at the receipts, too many too fast. Question anything such as Joseph Wilson did and the Bush Admin came at you stronger than they did the enemy. Because if you so much as said, "Maybe there's a better way," you WERE the enemy.

A country founded on free speech was in danger of losing it. Anything was okay as long as the world terrorist was used as justification. This wasn't leadership, this was a schoolyard bully.

Incompetence was covered up, ignored, spun into a bizarre web of lies and verbal attacks. It was all spin. The emperor had no clothes and everyone became afraid to say so. Until Howard Dean dared and it turned out plenty wanted to say so. Bit by bit the fraud and negligence and incompetence, the power-hungry, the crooked, the morally bankrupt were exposed.

The Walter Reed scandal stands at the top of this toxic heap. When you send soldiers to war and then don't prepare for their return you are soulless. Wounded, they are of no use, either return them or ignore them. Those who gave the most now receive the least. Yet this Admin does not know shame. They repeat, almost daily, "Mistakes were made..." as if that absolves them. Sure, we botched the war, they seem to be saying, and care for the wounded and put us into debt doing it and ignored everything else that still matters but let's do it again.

It always comes down to what Lincoln said, "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Maybe had Bush read history books instead of drinking his way through college, or actually done his duty in the National Guard rather than drinking his way through Alabama, he wouldn't be dodging so many bullets now. His bullets are metaphorical but for our soldiers they are real. And he is not protecting them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mistakes were made....

I'm getting really tired of that phrase even as I wish I'd had it to use as a teenager. Because it's beginning to seem a lot like confession. Sin like crazy all week, spend a few minutes doing penance with your priest, without any real remorse.

Face it, if you don't do anything wrong, you don't need to confess. And doing the right thing is not that hard. Unless that's your purpose.

And it's been said many times - it's not the crime it's the coverup. You will get caught. But now it appears there's another step. Get caught and say, "Mistakes were made, but...." meaning all will now continue as usual.

It's not mistakes, it corrupting power and/or incompetence. If taxpayers acted like shareholders these "penitents" would be gone. That's the price of mistakes.

Let's start using the phrase, "You're outta here...."

Monday, March 12, 2007


I listen to C-Span a lot, which I suppose makes me a Wonkette, and my favorite is Washington Journal. Although it's on from one a.m. HST, and I prefer sleep since I get up at 6am for work, it started when I couldn't sleep and turned on the TV to keep from replaying how tired I would be. Now when I wake up it's the first place I go.

I mention this because at first I listened to the call-ins because I couldn't figure out how George Bush had any support. It was so clear to me that he was leading us down a really awful path. He was tromping on Democracy at home in order - he said - to bring it to the Middle East. Okay, sure that was an easy lie, it was oil, and Halliburton, and UAR buddies and all the rest of the war machine corporations. Plus, he's just a wannabe cowboy. Raised with money, hell-raiser at Yale, alcoholic they cleaned up to enter politics. Who supported him, and why?

Those who now call in and say, "Yes, mistakes were made, but...." Ya think? Mistakes that cost our servicemen and women their lives, a divided country, trillions of dollars spent to destroy a country and our reputation. Katrina is almost a bigger shame. Because that's within our border. Our citizens. The waste and fraud and stupidity and incompetence can all fall at his doorstep. They keep calling him the commander-in-chief. Had the national guard been on standby in Louisiana instead of in Iraq, lives would have been saved.

Of course the dam failed because of years of neglect from pretty much everyone, but the cleanup is all this Admin. FEMA was a throwaway, of no interest, so they put in a low level supporter with zero experience. A good fall guy. Lots of good fall guys for this Administration. And still they support him.

Have people gone stupid? Just to protect themselves from gay rights? That right wing group, afraid of what a few gays can do are willing to support a man who probably has zero interest in gays one way or another, but panders to them to get elected. That was the swing vote. Sure, his swagger looked tough after 9-11, we were scared, easier to believe he knew what he was doing. But what's the excuse now?

His approval rating is at 30%. And still he serves. He cost Tony Blair his job. He put us into so much debt it will be a decisive factors for years.

I still wonder why anyone at all supports him.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

onward and upward

I'm feeling really good right now. It's not that I wish all the evils that have befallen the Bush Admin - and now the Justice Report says FBI overstepped, the same month they fired attorneys because they could. This group is just a gang of thugs. Libby found guilty. So what if he was a scapegoat, doesn't make him innocent. Sure he tried to use his a puppy dog expression to win sympathy but he's really the runt of the litter. In other words, the country is paying attention. What looked like strength was really bullying. Karl Rove is not a political genius, he's simply a mathematician who counted electoral votes and then picked the state for the showdown. Another Bush state. And Daddy's supreme court. Then start a War because that's the fastest way to get you rich and pay back those who helped put you in office.

Whoops, some cynicism crept into that. Hard to avoid. I feel we as a country are now listening and debating and righting our ship of state. But it's also one reason I don't like Hillary. The Clinton juggernaut has all the makings of left wing thugs. The win at all cost mentality may work but the cost keeps mounting, the dike begins to spring holes faster than can be repaired.

But for now, this beautiful Saturday morning in Hawaii, I'm listening to the score of Gladiator, it's amazing music, and did my yoga and am feeling as good physically as I have in a long time. I've been careful about diet, as much organic as I can find, fresh not processed, cutting portions - more later if I must but not all at once. Vitamins, sleep, diet, exercise - hey, it works. Not a quick fix, I've been slogging along to varying degrees of success for quite a while now but as I age, and bits of creaky creep into joints, I had to clean up my act.

I savor the moment. As an added bonus I got a chunk of change back from taxes on my Prius I got last year, my political statement on wheels. Life is good. I wish you all the same. Make a decision to go forward, one step at a time.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald: GUILTY..!

From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald: GUILTY..!

All Things Must End

No, not me. I learned to blog From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald and while he may move on to other things I hope to keep my voice up. Blogs are a great thing. Everyone who wants to gets a say. What is more important to democracy.

Today the person who kept up the PJF blog announced his retirement. It's understandable. It was so well done, so comprehensive that it sucked up whatever air he (or she) had. I find it hard to imagine anything more interesting out there but probably there's plenty. Life doesn't end because one foolish and corrupt member of the current Admin is found guilty on 4 of 5 counts. (Or as Stephen Colbert, my other idol put it, "Innocent of One Charge!")

So to any of you who wander in from the PJF blog, maybe wanting to be a PJFlygirl, welcome. Come back. I posted my email. We're all still out there, there is plenty more to do, keeping an eye on government never stops because the players all think they can get away with it. Power corrupts, and no one ever learns it's actually the cover-up that brings them down.

Onward and upward, to all of us. A Merry Fitzmas toast to us all, whoever we are.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Handicapping is fun

Everyone else seems to be weighing in on the 2008 election and who's hot and who's not. So here goes.....
Hillary Clinton - I'm just tired of her. Too many incarnations. Something. Standing by her pig of a husband - mind you I thought he was a pretty good president, but the moral fiber of rope. She said she wasn't just standing by her man like Tammy Wynette and then she stood by her man, but even Tammy Wynette got out of that one to her cheatin' George Jones. But more than that, the secret health care initiative that busted because it came out like a burst dam scaring everybody. Bad. Aren't we all furious at George W. for his secrecy vis a vis Iraq? I think she's a good Senator, but when you get too ambitious you get too programmed and forget why you're running in the first place. She's reached that level, she's got a plan - the good news - but it's whatever the polls show - the bad news. Plus she rammed Obama because of what David Geffen said. Hey, he's a gay billionaire, beholden to no one, he can say what he wants.

Barack Obama - I live in Hawaii, and grew up - age 7 to 15 - in Kansas. I feel like we're practically related. Then again, most people after listening to him, feel that way. He touches everyone. Sure, not so many specifics - but the Bush Admin is nothing if not specific and look where that got us - and maybe not so much experience - I repeat, the Bush Admin.... you know the rest. But he's bound to make some blunders along the way, being a newbie and honest, and I've watched - and worked for - many shining stars that flamed out. But I wish him well, for all our sakes.

Bill Richardson - a personal fave. Experienced in the good way, but having actually done the work. Solid, steady, hard-working, what the real America is, or thinks she is anyway. He's even Hispanic, should be that growing - and growing - group into the polls for him. We can do far worse than another Bill, President Richardson. Let the movement start here! (okay, he started it, but I can be a groundswell.)

John Edwards - he's just not connecting. He has all the right moves, a perfect family story, a good guy, wonderful wife, and maybe that's the problem, he's too good, thinks running for president is like student council. If it were a Richardson/Edwards ticket, the winner would be America. Except for the far right. They're only happy if no one has any fun or common sense.

John McCain- sold his soul to the Devil Bush. Or more accurately Karl Rove, who told him he'd be in his corner if he lockstepped the prez on Iraq. Because McCain's change over was just that fast, deal made. Perception if not reality. But I don't see Rove in his corner, already reneged and barely started. What, he's holding back until Giuliani trounces him?

Rudy Giuliani - loved him as prosecutor, a good figurehead after 9-11, tough, in charge, but his personal life makes Bill Clinton look chaste. That baggage will need a freight car to haul. Plus, they jumped on Howard Dean for one excitable whoop. Rudy's temper is lengendary, he won't be able to stop it.

The others? They're just there for the fun of it. Oh sure, they dream big, and some are decent beings, especially Joe Biden, but mostly it's an open field and they figure why not, get some name recognition, try again or earn big bucks on speaking trail, or lobbying. Besides, you get all those secret service people, and advance people, you get driven and fussed over, hey we should all get to run for prez, it's exhausting but great fun.