This was one of those mornings when, for a liberal-minded crank, checking the news was something like having my G-spot hit by a truckload of bathing beauties.
Alberto Gonzales, Carl Rove ,
you’re both in deep doo-doo!
First there was the little matter of the White House evil twins, Alberto Gonzales and Carl Rove. Says the news report:
Senate Democrats called for a perjury investigation against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Thursday and subpoenaed top presidential aide Karl Rove in a deepening political and legal clash with the Bush administration.
It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements," four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Solicitor General Paul Clement.
This investigation has to do with perjury, folks.
Now, the White House is claiming “executive privilege” and many Republicans are tut-tutting that the White House can’t do its business if the public knows what business they’re really doing. These are the same dudes who were outraged when Bill Clinton resisted testifying before Congress about his sex life.
Cranky Prediction: This one could go all the way to the Supreme Court, where a 5-4 majority will decide that the public’s business is none of the public’s business and rule for the White House. But before you despair, scroll way down and read today’s final item.
Lying general gets his face smacked
The next piece of news that caught my attention was this:
Army Secretary Peter Geren is expected to recommend that a retired three-star general be demoted for his role in providing misleading information about the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, military officials say, in what would be a stinging and rare rebuke.
Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who headed Army special operations, is one of six high-ranking Army officers expected to get official reprimands for making critical errors in reporting the circumstances of Tillman's friendly-fire shooting in Afghanistan in April 2004.
And for good reason. Some of those guys with stars and birds on their shoulders make it look like you can’t get ahead in today’s army unless you’ve got a spine made of jelly.
Hey, General! I thought they made a big deal about integrity up at West Point. How much lack of integrity does it take to lie to a fallen hero’s family and the nation about the circumstances of his death by “friendly fire” in combat?
These days, generals seem lacking the integrity to tell the commander in chief that when it comes to Iraq he’s living in a fantasy world worthy of the Tales of the Arabian Nights, and that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes – to mix some metaphorical fairy tales.
Well, not completely. Some generals have told the truth – and have been removed from command as a consequence. They – the ones who told it like it is – deserve a Golden Spine award, if anyone ever invents one.
Cranky prediction: This’ll blow over pretty quickly, and a good many military careerists will go back to building their careers on hot air or worse. Reminds me of a tale that a Viet Nam vet once told me. His company found an abandoned Viet Cong tunnel containing a table, a chair, and an empty penicillin bottle. His captain dropped a grenade down the hole, then got on the radio and announced, “I have just captured and blown an underground enemy field hospital, including a fully equipped operating theater and drug dispensary.”
Don’t look now, George,
but the “strong” economy you
boasted about is collapsing
If you keep borrowing and borrowing and borrowing…and make hardly anything that’s exportable…and disguise the problem by keeping interest rates lower than they ought to be…sooner or later the whole thing comes crashing down around your ears.
An economy can’t survive on nothing but constantly rising house prices fueled by artificially cheap mortgages. Sooner or later, people won’t be able to afford housing prices at any interest rate. And then there’s the matter of our trying to live by taking in each others’ laundry. Where are we when farmers start to grow housing developments on their land because China’s growing (and poisoning) our food?
So first it was the dollar – which is rapidly turning into toilet paper against the Euro. And now this:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of new homes fell in June by the largest amount in five months as the housing industry continued to struggle with its worst downturn in 16 years. The median home price also fell.
The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes dropped by 6.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 834,000 units. The decline was more than triple what had been expected and was the largest percentage drop since sales fell by 12.7 percent in January. Sales are now 22.3 percent below the level of a year ago.
Cranky Prediction: With a little arm-twisting, the White House will convince the Fed to drop interest rates. This will eventually result in rampant inflation, but by then Boy George will be out of the White House hotseat and it all will become some Democrat’s problem. Watch for Republicans to start blaming the next President for economic ills that were hatched under Bush.
At long last, a Presidential
candidate starts talking straight
This in today from the AP:
DES MOINES, Iowa - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards on Thursday unveiled a plan that would increase taxes for the wealthy and create tax breaks for the middle class.
"It's time for us to put America's economy back in line with our values. It's time for us to put an end to George Bush's war on work," he told a packed theater at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa. "It's time to restore fairness to a tax code that has been driven completely out of whack by the lobbyists in Washington, by the powerful interests in Washington and by those who value the few above the interests of many."
He added that, "It should not be in America that the middle class carries the tax burden, and that's exactly what's happening."
Edwards' plan would fix what he called a "rigged" system by ending tax breaks to Washington insiders with wealth and corporate power. Those are the same people, he said, who keep politicians in power.
"We have crony capitalism. We have lobbyists who are there every single day working to rig the system, and it is rigged," he said, referring to insurance, oil and drug companies.
Cranky Prediction: Unless Hillary and Barak managed to knock each other out of the running, Edwards, whom I personally prefer, will get nowhere as a presidential candidate. But Obama might adopt some of his ideas, if elected. Don’t count on Hillary for much of the same.
Will the next President
Pack the Supreme Court?
Our last item. The New York Times Op-Ed page this morning included a think piece by Jean Edward Smith suggesting that the next President could thwart the Roberts Righties by packing the court with liberals.
If the current five-man majority persists in thumbing its nose at popular values, the election of a Democratic president and Congress could provide a corrective. It requires only a majority vote in both houses to add a justice or two. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues might do well to bear in mind that the roll call of presidents who have used this option includes not just Roosevelt but also Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant.
Of course, an attempt at impeaching justices Roberts and Alito might also work, and to greater effect. Both swore to Congress they’d respect the doctrine of stare decicis and then immediately began undoing centuries of settled Supreme Court decisions. Smells to me like the impeachable offense of perjury.
Cranky Prediction: The entire court will continue sitting, until rigor mortis sets in. But Roberts and Alito will be a little more cautious, given the backlash they’ve already begun generating after less than a year on the big bench.
Just cut and paste ‘em in your browser for more details:
The Perjury Story:
The smacked generals story:
George Bush’s economy starts falling apart:
John Edward’s comes out swinging on taxes:
Precedents for packing the court like sardines: