Friday, December 22, 2006

don't miss hersh & ritter

* don't miss hersh & ritter on democracy now - 50 mins - talking about iran et al.

* whateveritisimagainstit has the year in pics.

* athenae:
"How can I give to one worthy cause if not to all of them? How much will what I give really help? And most of all, why should I give now?

After all, people need food and shelter in June, advocates in July and rescue in August, as well. There is famine and war and pestilence and death year-round; the horsemen don't wait for winter to ride.

Charities capitalize (literally) on the feelings of generosity and abundance inspired by the season, but that doesn't mean the need goes away when the tree comes down.

You could help in June, in July, in August, when your credit card bills, fat with Christmas spending, are paid off and your kids are on vacation. You could put off your giving until then, or even later.

You could wait until next year, even, save up a little (or so you'd surely plan). You could put it off and put it off, not even out of malice, but out of sheer desire to simply think about this some other time.

Or you could help now, when the opportunity is in front of you."

* profmarcus thinks that you should read Jay Rosen's latest. Laura too. I concur. Prof Marcus:
"if you haven't already, go read jay rosen's piece re-posted in his blog on the huffpo... imho, he does an excellent job of analyzing not only the bush administration but also the media's laughably ineffective response to it... "

* reuters:
"A statement by President George W. Bush issued in connection with the just-signed U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation law has raised concerns that Bush may try to circumvent some of Congress' intentions, lawmakers and analysts say.

The statement, clarifying Bush's views on law and policy, was issued after he signed new legislation on Monday permitting U.S. sales of nuclear fuel and reactors to India for the first time in 30 years.

In the statement, Bush said his signature "does not constitute my adoption of the statements of policy (in the law) as U.S. foreign policy." Also in responding to reports mandated by Congress, he would consider how releasing data requested by lawmakers might "impair foreign relations."

In one of its most controversial directives, Congress stipulated in the law that presidents should report annually on India's cooperation in restraining Iran's nuclear program, which Bush has condemned as a major international threat.
It was "outrageous that the president has repeatedly stated the greatest threat to U.S. national security is a nuclear Iran, yet explicitly rejects Congress' declaration that it shall be the official policy of the United States that India will not use its nuclear technology to help develop Iran's nuclear weapons arsenal," Harkin said in a press release.
The president is "turning decades of U.S. international policy on its head -- and thumbing his nose at Congress at the same time," added Markey, co-chair of the House of Representatives task force on non-proliferation."


Don said...

Hey, Dean! Yo, Pelosi! Why impeach?

Two words: signing statements.

It's one thing to thumb your nose at the law and the process by which it's made, but to do it OVER 700 FUCKING TIMES in 6 years is beyond criminal. It's undeniable evidence of intent to consistently defy the law.

Oh, btw, the whole defence of being able to pull all of this 'cause he's a "wartime president"? Kinda requires being at war. Y'know, as in "declaration of-", which can be enacted by, yes, you guessed it, congress. "The Global War on Terror" is a tagline, not a policy or a strategy or, for that matter, A WAR. Throw that bullshit line on the pile of evidence that he doesn't give a fuck what congress, the people or anyone else thinks.

He will not listen. He will not play nice. He'll say he will and then, when you're not looking, he will fuck you. You might not know it right away (though Cheney's smirk'll be a tip off; get him too) or exactly how, but you will have been fucked. Don't expect dinner and flowers before or after.

He will not willingly step down, he will not go on his own, and he might not go quietly (gods, I hope not...), but he (and his team) have to go. He still has 2 years left in his term and if you believe he gives two choleric shits what Congress and the people think, you're almost as far removed from reality as he is.

noise said...

Same issue with Iran (as with Iraq)...secrecy. WMD is the pretext...Risen's book, the recent recap of Cheney's refusal to engage in diplomacy in '03 and the Khan black market network all suggest WMD is a public marketing campaign. You can throw in the strange nuke deal with India, the weird double standards in the WoT (Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia are allies) to further call into question the motives for attacking Iran.

Will the Democratic Congress finally put and end to this bullshit?

lukery said...

Noise: "Will the Democratic Congress finally put and end to this bullshit?"

i'm so not confident.

you make lots of good points - but from my conversations with Barlow this week, WMD is actually a *real* problem - 'a public marketing campaign' too - but not just a public marketing campaign - that's why this whole thing is so fucked up.

steven andresen said...

This was quoted in Rosen's article from a piece found in Pat Buchanan's magazine,

"How did realism become a submerged, almost dissident philosophy amongst American elites, and how did its opposite triumph so completely? Unless one chalks it up simply to the historical caprice of the Bush presidency combined with 9/11, one must consider the motivations of major donors and the myriad factors that determine the acceptable limits of what people in think tanks think. If powerful Americans think differently about the world than they did in the late 1940s and 1950s, an explanation should be sought."

Then, Rosen tries to suggest his own answer, saying,

"Action vs. behavior

Mine would begin this way: The alternative to facts on the ground is to act, regardless of the facts on the ground. When you act you make new facts. You clear new ground. And when you roll over or roll back the people who have a duty to report the situation as it is—people in the press, the military, the bureaucracy, your own cabinet, or right down the hall—then right there you have demonstrated your might."

I too think this article is important. I was struck by the central quote introducing the "reality based" terminology.

I have my own answer: The President is of the same mind as the "Intelligent Designers." Imagine how an "Intelligent Design" advocate would run a government, and foreign affairs. The debate between the scientists and the Intelligent Design advocates involves the question whether empiricism actually tells us anything worth knowing. The scientists think so. The Intelligent designers have questions. They think that you need to open your eyes to find your way to the bathroom, but you cannot rely on what your eyes tell you when you are trying to answer more important questions. The ID'ers, for short, rely on their own sense of the way things should be, given them by a study of Biblical sources. So, the country of Iraq needs to be invaded, not because they pose any threat to us, that our eyes might have shown us, or not, but because such an invasion is called for by the Biblical study.

The President can get away with this kind of "rejection of empiricism" because, apparently, large sections of the elite agree with the ID'ers.

I think some such account of Bush is true because it explains the business about their disdain of the "reality-based community." It might explain the policies gutting democracy, which has become an enemy to the ID'ers, I believe. It explains the vicious attacks on dissent from the ID'ers' politics. Secular dissent isn't just a rejection of a Republican political policy, but amounts to a rejection of God's plan for us. I think they believe people are too wedded to reality to see what Bush and the United States needs to be doing in the world, i.e., God's plan.

lukery said...

thnx steve A.

alarming, no?

lukery said...

SteveA - just a quick counter-point - how about global warming, and the denial thereof? God's plan? Or Mammon calling?