Archive for September, 2007

Question of the day: Will the Bush crowd ever face justice?

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Impeachment, while much deserved, seems unlikely.  There is also the possibility of criminal investigations and prosecutions after Bush leaves office.  While this would do nothing to end the administration’s current reign of terror, it would at least provide some small vindication for the rule of law.  Another possibility, though unlikely under American tradition, would be some sort of truth and reconciliation process: exposing the crimes of the Bush years to public scrutiny and censure, but demanding no legal penalty.

So what do you think?  Will Bush and/or his cronies ever face justice in any form for their many crimes? 

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Today’s daydream: Anita Hill sues the bastard

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Justice Clarence Thomas has a new autobiography out: My Grandfather’s Son.  It’s on my reading list right below The Wit and Wisdom of Bill Bennett (yeah I made that up). 

Anyway, according to news reports, Justice Thomas attacks Anita Hill harshly in the book, describing her as a mediocre but ambitious lawyer and as “my most traitorous adversary.”  I assume from all this that Thomas accuses Hill of lying in her testimony and acting as a willing player in the “high-tech lynching” he has long claimed to have been victimized by.

Those are fighting words.  They are also, if untrue, defamatory.  And, yes, that means a lawsuit with full discovery including the right to take depositions.

I think it’s extremely unlikely that Anita Hill will sue (if I were advising her personally, I’d probably suggest that life’s too short and she should let it go).  Still, when you look back over Thomas’s embarrassingly undistinguished (but consistently right-wing) Supreme Court career, and then remember that it was made possible in large part by an anti-Hill smear campaign, it’s hard not to dream.

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Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Every now and then, it’s good to have a reminder of just how revolting these people can be.

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The daily doom, tipping point edition

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

To repeat myself, yet again: Does a day ever go by anymore without another terrifying revelation about global warming?

(Reuters) Arctic thaw may be at “tipping point”

OSLO (Reuters) - A record melt of Arctic summer sea ice this month may be a sign that global warming is reaching a critical trigger point that could accelerate the northern thaw, some scientists say.

“The reason so much (of the Arctic ice) went suddenly is that it is hitting a tipping point that we have been warning about for the past few years,” James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters.

The Arctic summer sea ice shrank by more than 20 percent below the previous 2005 record low in mid-September to 4.13 million sq km (1.6 million sq miles), according to a 30-year satellite record. It has now frozen out to 4.2 million sq km.

So, we, in this generation, continue to party hardy, refusing to make any meaningful sacrifices to fight global warming.  Future generations, suffering from the fallout of our neglect, will, of course, see things differently: but by then it may be too late.

Three cheers for us! 

Throwing heroes away

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

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Does Congress ever do any actual work?

Friday, September 28th, 2007

The bad guys push through a meaningless resolution against

The good guys begin to push through a meaningless (but much deserved) resolution against Rush Limbaugh.

A lot of the good guys join a lot of the bad guys in adopting a nonbinding resolution calling for the division of Iraq into three semi-autonomous regions.

It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a good nonbinding resolution as much as the next guy, but maybe they could try passing a real law once in awhile: you know, maybe something to help get us out of Iraq, fight global warming or reduce economic inequality.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

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Episode 70: The Wages of Betrayal

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

With today’s episode, our Last Chance Democracy Café road trip comes to an end at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  As Horace confronts demons of his own involving the death of his only son, Lester, in Vietnam, the rest of us are left to ponder the broader betrayal of two generations of American soldiers, including the one unfolding now in Iraq.  And I find myself wondering: is it possible that in some crazy way, having nothing to do with the neoconservatives’ war goals, that some small element of good might still grow from this debacle. 

The Last Chance Democracy Cafe
Episode 70: The Wages of Betrayal
by Steven C. Day


Wouldn’t it be ironic, if the neoconservative betrayal of this nation over Iraq turned out to be the very thing that revitalizes both progressive politics and our democracy as a whole?

And, no, even if that turns out to be true, it won’t begin to be worth the price.

Haynes Johnson wrote a book years ago about Ronald Reagan titled, Sleepwalking Through History.   It seems to me that in recent years Americans have been sleepwalking through democracy.

Whatever fire for liberty once burned in the belly of the American soul, seems long ago to have grown cooler, if not cold.  And, yes, I suppose a lot of why I feel this way goes back to the 2000 presidential election.  Anyone looking at what happened objectively — from the suppression of minority votes all the way through the Bush v. Gore travesty — couldn’t help but conclude that the losing candidate succeeded in strong-arming his way into the White House.

And we let it happen.  Oh, sure, rank and file Democrats were outraged, but what’s outrage without action?  Look around the world at what happens in young struggling democracies where similar abuses are suspected: people take to the streets.  Look at the courage of the Myanmar Monks in a very different situation involving human liberty, and the price they were willing to pay for it.  But the only people who took to the streets of the United States in 2000 were a carefully orchestrated gang of well-connected Republican thugs whose goal — far from defending democracy — was to pervert it by preventing the counting of lawful votes in Dade County, Florida.

We the people just sat there and watched the pretender take office.  I guess we didn’t care enough to do anything else. 

Let’s be honest.  For much of America, democracy lost its charm long ago: to many people it seems no more relevant today than a box of old 8-track tapes stored away in some long forgotten box in the basement.  Less and less people vote; we don’t even bother teaching civics in many schools anymore.  After all, what’s that got to do with giving kids the skills they’ll need to qualify for a job that will soon be sent to China anyway.

And what of growing citizens of a republic capable of informed democratic judgments?  Please — that’s just so 1776.


Note to my friends

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Sorry for how long it took to get comments up today: I was traveling and LAX (of all places) had no wireless I could bring up (even for money!).

 As always, thanks for participating at the cafe!  Without you folks Winston would get downright depressed!

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The FCC lets us know what’s important

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

According to the Bush appointed FCC:

A “wardrobe malfunction” resulting in fleeting exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast is worth a fine of $550,000.

Deliberately airing a fake news story, on the other hand, merits a fine of $4,000.

I sure am glad we have our priorities right.

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Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

America, of course.  Without us, his ever useful and faithful foil, he’d be in big trouble back home.

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