March 2, 2007

Friday morning

Little break this morning and avoiding grading.

Talking Points Memo and their offshoot TPMmuckraker has done a great job of exposing the administration's unprecedented purge of US Attorneys simply to make room for political hacks. But evidently it is more than just that. One of the fired attorneys has essentially confirmed that last fall New Mexico Republicans pressured him to indict a state democrat before the election.

I am not naive. I know how politics works. But once the GOP wrapped themselves in the Bible, those pesky little "ethics" issues became more of an issue of credibility. I am well aware that Democrats are vulnerable to corruption, but after this administration and GOP run, I don't ever, ever want to hear a Republican lecture me on ethics or morality.

On a side note, it is nice to see that the "scorched earth" political method employed by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney has its limits. We know it is highly unethical and immoral, but it seemed to work during the first 4 years of this disaster, but the method requires that you torch some on your side of the fence to keep discipline. Kind of like the mob executing some of their own for disloyalty. At some point, one of those will fight back. Especially when the Pres is polling at 29%.


Yesterday Al Gore spoke at the University of Oklahoma to a packed house. Wapo says 7,000 attended, but I have heard from others that it might have been higher. Regardless this kind of interest in one of the Redder states is heartening:
"'This is not a political issue. It's a moral, ethical and spiritual issue,' he said."
Now if only we can get those most concerned with morals, ethics and spiritual issues to pay attention to our planet. We might get something done.


Phil Carter is furious about the Walter Reed issue:
"Today we learned just how far the dysfunction at Walter Reed extends. Not only did these problems happen on Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley's watch—they literally happened across the street from his quarters. When told that soldiers were complaining about bureaucratic obstacles to medical care and substandard housing, the surgeon general ignored them. His staff summarily dismissed members of Congress—and their spouses—when they tried to advocate for wounded troops. Despite the fact that 150,000 military personnel live in the Washington area, including hundreds of generals and sergeants major, no one paid any attention to what was going on there. Despite promising publicly to fix the problems at Walter Reed, Army leaders have decided instead to torment the wounded troops by waking them up at 6 a.m. and ordering them not to talk with the press. It's fast becoming clear that the entire military bureaucracy is rotten to the core—incapable of managing problems at Walter Reed, let alone fighting and winning a war.


Perhaps the most disturbing news about Walter Reed is that until today, the Army has pinned blame on "several low-ranking soldiers who managed outpatients." Accountability and command responsibility do not start at the bottom with a few sergeants who performed as their superiors told them to; rather, such responsibility starts at the top. Today's decision to sack Maj. Gen. George Weightman, Walter Reed's commanding officer, affirms the principle of command responsibility, thought to be a dead letter after the Abu Ghraib scandals. But this termination is only a first step. Every commander between Army Secretary Francis Harvey and the wounded soldiers being treated at Walter Reed bears some blame."

More from his website.


Melissa Rogers is keeping an eye on the Bush administration's "First Freedom Project." Perhaps I am too cynical, but anytime this administration says "freedom" I feel queasy. Melissa has more coming on this issue, but compares the process and choice of announcement here (shock, the Bush people announced it at the SBC annual meeting to one of their remaining strongholds of support--against all reason and morality, I must add), while the Clinton administration tried to clarify religous freedom by reaching out to diverse groups and appealing to common grounds. We need to keep an eye on this. When Al Gonzales speaks of freedom, I am reminded he wrote memos supporting our torture policy. I guess Richard Land didn't consider torture an issue when he presented a Religious Liberty Award to Bush
Richard Land of Nashville, who heads the lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, presented the 2006 John Leland Religious Liberty Award to Bush in the Oval Office on Monday.

The president was honored for "courageously defending the right of all people to exercise freely their religious faith."

The award called the president a "faithful witness to his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to both his countrymen and the world's leaders."

It cited him as an advocate for people to practice their faith without fear.
I guess that is why the President is so good at reaching out to people outside the fundys? Oh wait.


No comments: