March 9, 2007

Friday blog and news round up

I have been tired this week from the lack of sleep. Just one of those weeks, I guess. Yesterday, I felt like I was fighting off a depression and could not really figure out the source. My yoga friends suggested that I might be reading too much news which, as everyone can figure out, tends to annoy me. I don't doubt that, but also know that I have simply been out of sync--not enough music, not enough water, too much coffee and not enough sleep.

I am still tired today, but feeling better.

Anyway, lets do oddball... :) Er, or that is just one of the stories that Nathan finds contradictory. Turns out that our good friend Newt Gingrich admitted to having an extra-marital affair during the impeachment crisis. I thought we already knew that, but maybe it is my general sense of him being a lying sack. Funny part is his response:
"According to Newt, he is not a hypocrite because he was leading the charge of impeachment for alleged perjury, not for the extra-marital affair. However, we probably should forget all the times he attacked Clinton for his behavior in efforts to build support against the President…"
Right, Newty, you aren't hypocritical at all, just as your Party isn't when it suggests now that "perjury isn't that big of a deal when there is no underlying crime." Sigh.


Nathan is on a roll, because he also had this little gem:
"Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, advocates support for changing the sexual orientation in the womb from homosexual to heterosexual."
Interesting for two reasons. First, Mohler actually attacked Ann Coulter for her anti-gay slur against John Edwards. Second, aren't conservatives always concerned about science playing God when it comes to genetic testing? Aren't they the ones who don't want us to invade the womb?



In this breaking news story, we find that the sky is blue and the earth revolves around the sun. Yep, that's right, under Bush's administration the FBI misused Patriot Act powers:
"The FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA Patriot Act to secretly obtain personal information about people in the United States, a Justice Department audit concluded Friday. And for three years the FBI underreported to Congress how often it forced businesses to turn over the customer data, the audit found."

I don't want to belabor the obvious, but one of the concerns raised by liberals and many conservatives was that oversight is essential to ensure that the power of the state is not overused. Critics of the Patriot Act were denounced as "soft on terror" even when we raised these very concerns. And does anyone really think that we would even find out about this had the Republicans maintained its hold on congress?
The audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found that FBI agents sometimes demanded personal data on individuals without proper authorization. The 126-page audit also found the FBI improperly obtained telephone records in non-emergency circumstances.

The audit blames agent error and shoddy record-keeping for the bulk of the problems and did not find any indication of criminal misconduct.

Still, "we believe the improper or illegal uses we found involve serious misuses of national security letter authorities," the audit concludes.


Fine's annual review is required by Congress, over the objections of the Bush administration.
See, you can trust us, can't you?


I still think the US Attorney issue is incredibly important. Discussing this with a golf colleague of mine, he noted that this really looks like the Bush administration normal play, but now that the Dems are in charge, they don't recieve a blank check from Congress. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why so many conservatives that I know and respect were not more scared of the Bush administration when Congress virtually refused to even bother to investigate.

Anyway, TPM Muckraker keeps up on this story and suggests today that the pressure is working. Even Al "an overblown personnel matter" Gonzales is playing nicer. Perhaps he sat up when Arlen Specter said this: ""One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later."

Oversight, checks and balances. Perhaps they are not the work of the devil after all.


It might be possible that Karl Rove is not a completely useless excuse for a human being. Well, actually, I suspect he is, but this is one of those examples where his lack of a soul might help us. Watching one of the evening shows the other night, someone said that Cheney has lost stature after giving the Bush Whitehouse the Scooter trial and conviction. All of that is bad for the White House. The explanation was that early in the admin, Cheney and his neo-con thugs had almost a free rein, but now all of their efforts--invading Iran or escalating against Syria, for example--had to be filtered through Rove's concerns about '08 and the party.

Interesting. Maybe it is just a question of which evil bastard wins out.


Ok, back to my struggling psyche. I know I need to listen to more music. I almost always feel better when I am listening to more music. SOF knows that it keeps me sane (or at least more so). I sometimes lose the time to listen to the ipod, or find myself watching tv at home instead of listening.

This week, we bought the new Arcade Fire. I won't say I love it yet, but I like it. I also am very fond of the new Shins album.

But now the food is here and it is time to eat. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

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