Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
If you could have a miracle what would you want? Expect it Believe it Don't leave without it!
Couldn't resist this Benny Hinn parody (followed by a real and tragic news story of the reality) And people wonder why the left gets trumped by the religious right...
tip: sinners guide
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The above came from a recent episode of Bill Moyers Journal on the nature of impeachment. I recommend watching the episode or reading the entire transcript.
"The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch... They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check." — Bruce Fein"On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools." — John Nichols
Unlike Nancy Pelosi I think impeachment should be on the table and should be on the way to the executive branch. To suggest otherwise is not only a flagrant denial of high crimes but in fact goes against the very oath that a Congress person takes. The number one job of a representative is to uphold and protect the Constitution so that all generations to follow will have a living document to guide a just society based on law and a government beholden to the wisdom of checks and balances. The impeachment process is designed not as a punishment to an executive, but is intended to be a cure for something diseased and compromised. It is meant to correct a constitutional crisis without having to raise an army and shed blood.
We all know that we have an over reaching executive branch, and we also seem to have a Congress that doesn't appear to actually understand the Constitution and fails to grasp its role within the document. They are supposed to do much more than simply establish budgets, set up earmarks for the home state and pass legislation. They are under order to protect the union, the very republic itself from individuals that seek to undermine the general rule of law. This seems to be lost on them, why else does Abu Gonzales get to keep his job as public servant? Why is Harriet Meyers answering to the President and not the Congress - even under subpoena? They have the power in each of these instances -not the executive branch. In short they are not holding the executive branch in check and failing the republic by doing so.
Unless Congress re-asserts itself, all White House administrations moving forward will have the same powers as Bush and very possibly more. Royalism is unacceptable. Only impeachment can correct our current course.
Here is a small refresher of the abuses in case you have overlooked them:
- According to Fein, Cheney has:
- Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
- Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President's say-so alone.
- Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
- Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
- Engineered the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
- Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
- Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
- Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Not sure how many people have read the Josh Marshall piece but I think he's on to a valid observation. As the deaths and mutilations go on and on and the constant destruction mutates into further levels of chaos, hate and criminality our perennial teenage president will still be pining for his ever elusive heroic status. In the end he'll never get to wear the white cowboy hat and he will never save the innocents - only destroy them through hubris, ignorance, incompetence and the cruelty of his very soul.
According to Secretary Chertoff, we're entering a new period of lurking terrorist danger this summer. In other words, a period of danger similar to every other summer since 2001 and like most periods of low popularity for the president and before elections as well. But perhaps it is a period of increased danger. It really well might be. We've known for some time a mix of sagging tide of the war in Afghanistan and the mounting impotence of the Musharraf regime in Pakistan has allowed jihadist groups a relative safe-haven in the lawless Pakistani borderlands like they have not had since prior to 9/11. And if they can train they can act.
People ask what we're doing in Iraq. And you can answer in a hundred ways and in a thousand shades of literalism to metaphor. But at some level we're in Iraq because President Bush wanted a parade. It's not hard to imagine how he must have imagined it. A withdrawal of most American troops from a staunchly allied pro-American Iraq. Waving flags. Heartfelt thanks and vindication for the president who had the guts and character to see it through.
And that's why we stay. Because somehow if he just keeps at it someday he might get his parade. Or rather if he just keeps us there forever he doesn't have to really deal wtih what a disaster he's created and fundamentally what a failure he is.
image: a real hero's welcome - Apollo11 crew
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison." -W
uh no asshole, that means you don't actually respect the decision - get it?
Neo Rauch interview on ArtInfo. Here's a review by Schjeldahl on the show at the MET.
You've called your earliest paintings (from 1993) in the Wolfsburg show your first "valid" pictures. How do you judge a painting's "validity?"
Let's go back to that image of the internal compass that I just spoke of: Before 1993 the magnetic needle was swinging all over the place. Discovering my position was complicated, because there were so many artistic points of reference. I was overwhelmed by all of the possibilities coming into my studio from thousands of different directions. My work displayed violent mood swings from abstraction to figuration, and this was just one of the many internal conflicts I faced at the time...."Validity" comes down to the extent to which the uniqueness of the artist's psyche can establish a permanence of form and meaning in the actual work. Since 1993, I have been able to focus better on sorting out what is most significant for me.