Saturday, October 29, 2005

...and counting

As of this morning's weekly peace march, I'm amending my sign to read 2016 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, up from two thousand just a few days ago. Here's a report about the ongoing violence in Iraq, with figures and analysis. It's not a pretty picture, and it's getting uglier.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Does it occur to anybody that the first person indicted in PlameGate is named I. Scooter Libby, and among the first men indicted in Watergate was E. Gordon Liddy? I mean, is that eerie, or what?

Chapter One

Okay, my previous post-prediction that Libby, Rove and others would be indicted was premature. Only Libby--for now. But if you read paragraph 21 of the indictment, and you realize that "official A" is Karl Rove (and that Fitzgerald has the option to present more charges to other grand juries), you gotta believe Rove's still a target of the investigation and that somewhere in his four trips to the grand jury he's been nailed. Especially when you watch that bulldog, Fitzgerald, as he explains the charges. I wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of his prosecutorial effort, and as of today, Rove still is.

Libby's toast

Readers of this blog may hear/read various coverages of the indictment of Libby, but as a former lawyer, I'm here to tell ya that the best source of information about the charges is the language of the indictment itself, which may be found here. (Pdf file).


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ping pong

Ping. Bush stole our Christmas: he took away the prospect of watching Harriet field questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, questions like "What do think of Marbury vs. Madison? (Her answer, of course, would have been, "You mean Madison Avenue?")

Pong. Tomorrow's indictment day. Rove, Libby, probably three others, plus an extended grand jury term to allow Fitzgerald some leeway to offer deals to those who decide to turn, Watergate -style, on their elders.

Ya gotta say this about the Bush administration. Never a dull moment.


No, I don't mean the rednecks gathered at our borders to "assist" the US Immigration Service to round up illegal aliens, I mean those thousands of us, at hundreds of gatherings around the US to memorialize the death of the two thousandth soldier in Iraq. We (a rough count: 150) assembled at the Sunken Garden behind the courthouse in downtown SB, held candles, stood in silence, spoke softly and departed into the night. I felt uplifted--and deflated.

Such demonstrations, as good as they are for a temporary lift to the psyche of each participant, won't change the course of American politics. We peaceniks are expected to act in such a way. What would worry the other side is if we didn't gather in parks, but in well-shielded buildings and attics; if we didn't sing softly, but planned and devised and schemed; if we didn't disperse after meeting, but worked on assigned tasks into the night and the next day and the next.

It's not enough to attend a vigil, not enough to watch and hope. We've got to act. We've got to.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Here's a quote from an item in an Iraqi Newspaper published in the Kurdish part of the nation and excerpted here, a website that monitors Iraqi news items. A question: This is the democracy we're dying for?

Sulaimaniyah Administration Minister of Culture (to be) dismissed(Aso)

"Sulaimaniyah administration minister of culture Fattah Zakhoyee (will be)
dismissed from his job because he did not vote in the referendum, according to a
source in the Kurdistan Workers' Party. The source told Aso that the regional
government has yet to officially fire Zakhoyee, a member of the party, and the
issue will be settled on October 25 or October 26. The source said the Patriotic
Union of Kurdistan politburo wanted to dismiss Zakhoyee."

Sinking ship of state

According to Rasmussen Reports (a conservative daily pollster) the percentage of those polled who "strongly disapprove" of Bush's presidency has risen to 42% (another 15% "somewhat disapprove"), which is the same percentage as the total of those who "strongly approve" (22%) and who "somewhat approve" (20%).

Two questions: (1) At what point does impeachment become more than a constitutional concept? (2) Who on Earth (or in any event, among those polled) could feel "somewhat" either pro or con about this president? Under what rock or rug have they been living these last five years?

Update: I wrote too soon (that's what comes from creating posts at four a.m.): As of today, 10/26, according to Rasmussen, Bush's total approval number (adding "strongly approve" and "somewhat approve" figures) dropped another point (to 41%, his lowest ever) while his "strongly disapprove" number increased by two (to 44%). Is this a new version of the "silent majority"?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Johnnies come latelies

Now, with the death of the 2000th soldier in Iraq, we're finally hearing it: The Congressional catcalls and criticisms of Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rummie/Wolfie's cabal that twisted the intelligence to persuade the Congress and the citizens of the US to go to war against a nation that hadn't attacked us, hadn't threatened us, hadn't the capacity to do either.

My question: With some notable exceptions (Byrd, Kucinich and outsiders Snowcroft, Ritter, a few others) where the fuck were you before, and during, the 2000 deaths?

As one who's been marching, writing, protesting this monstrous war since well before it began, I gotta tell ya, you politicians had better not just make a sound-byte out of this. If you want my votes in 2006 or 2008, you better damned well get on the long-ago-departed bandwagon and take the reins, bigtime. Only if you do, will you get my vote (and the votes of millions of my fellow protesters) because unlike the Bud-swilling millions who voted for Bush, we have reason, and long memories.

Which means, Hillary and Kerry, it's time--long overdue--for a flipflop. You too, Feinstein.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry

at stories like this. Actually, neither. I'm too busy pounding the walls.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A confession

A few years ago a good buddy of mine, whose politics and spirit I admired, confessed to me that he was a Nascar fan, watched the races on TV, even drove east to watch a few of them in person. Nascar? When he asked me whether I thought less of him on account of his penchant for the sport I told him, as softly as I could, that indeed I did. Still do, actually.

But here's something I'm not crazy about admitting: I like to watch boxing on TV. Not every bout, but occasionally, and certainly the classics. That's why I'm confessing now. I just watched, on ESPN Classics, the 1952 heavyweight championship bout between Jersey Joe Walcott, the champion, and an undefeated contender, Rocky Marciano. I recall listening to it on radio when I was eleven years old, as a matter of fact.

Those two powerful boxers, toe to toe, fought for three-minutes times twelve (imagine!), until 50 seconds into the thirteenth round when Marciano hit Walcott with a devastating right hand to the chest or chin (no replays in those days), and Walcott hit the deck for the count.

The fight was so fierce that you wanted neither of the boxers to come out for the next round, you felt every heavy blow, and there were hundreds of them, back and forth. I cannot imagine the courage it took for those two men--in fabulous condition, of incredible strength--to come out for round after round.

Anyway--there you have it. My confession. So am I a hypocrite for calling myself a peacenik? Probably.


For those of you who follow the story compulsively, here's the website recently created by Fitzgerald's office. Just the underlying document, so far. But this week, could it set forth an indictment or two, or twenty?


Some weeks ago, I pointed out that UPI (years ago, United Press International was a head-to-head competitor to AP, but it has since shriveled into a secondary wire service), was owned by the same company that owned the Washington Times, namely a company owned by the Rev. Moon, a right-oriented "Christian." Well, that's still true, I suppose, but from the tenor of this article about Bush's present problems with the Plame-outing scandal, you wouldn't know it.

Could it be, could it really be true, that we might actually get to the bottom of this cabal in D.C. Could it be that Americans will take back America?