"And that is the tragedy of the modern political discourse. There is nothing to gain from listening to any of the so-called conservative voices, be they Kristol, or Perle, or Wolfowitz, or Rumsfeld, or Cheney or O'Reilly...well, you can list them as well as I. There is no there there, intellectually or morally. There is only the will to power and the willingness to say anything, do anything, to seize power and wield it beyond oversight or question. There are no real ideas, despite their pretensions otherwise, and there are no fine minds"i couldn't agree with Tristero more. one of the great tragedies that i don't repeat very often is the amazing fact that 'our leaders' never, ever exhibit 'smarts' - it's astounding - and it goes beyond, i think, talking point discipline. Very rarely do I think 'Person X just said something smart' - it just doesn't happen. That's perhaps the most disheartening thing of all.
* Boston Globe:
" The Pentagon has placed unprecedented restrictions on who can testify before Congress, reserving the right to bar lower-ranking officers, enlisted soldiers, and career bureaucrats from appearing before oversight committees or having their remarks transcribed, according to Defense Department documents.* Fred Barnes: it's the Leftists and atheists and liberals who have the most problem with Mitt Romney's Mormonism - other folks don't care too much.
Robert L. Wilkie , a former Bush administration national security official who left the White House to become assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs last year, has outlined a half-dozen guidelines that prohibit most officers below the rank of colonel from appearing in hearings, restricting testimony to high-ranking officers and civilians appointed by President Bush.
The guidelines, described in an April 19 memo to the staff director of the House Armed Services Committee, adds that all field-level officers and enlisted personnel must be "deemed appropriate" by the Department of Defense before they can participate in personal briefings for members of Congress or their staffs; in addition, according to the memo, the proceedings must not be recorded.
Wilkie's memo also stipulated that any officers who are allowed to testify must be accompanied by an official from the administration, such as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and his top-level aides.
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress see the move as a blatant attempt to bog down investigations of the war. But veterans of the legislative process -- who say they have never heard of such guidelines before -- maintain that the Pentagon has no authority to set such ground rules.
The guidelines would not affect congressional subpoenas, which can compel anyone to appear before lawmakers. As a result, several lawmakers have pledged privately to use that power if the Pentagon's guidelines stymie their efforts to get information from specific sectors of the military.
The special House oversight panel, according to aides, has written at least 10 letters to the Pentagon since February seeking information and has received only one official reply. Nor has the Pentagon fully complied with repeated requests for all the monthly assessments of Iraqi security forces, reports compiled by US military advisers embedded with Iraqi units."
"Goodling was Comstock's protege at the RNC oppo unit in the 2000 election, her first job out of law school. She was groomed and trained by the most partisan, black operators in the Republican party and then planted in the most politically senstive department in the entire US Government when Comstock herself became the DOJ spokeswoman. Goodling's job seems to have been to populate the department, (most suspiciously the civil service) with Republican loyalists. I continue to wonder why nobody in Washington noticed this -- or if they did, why they didn't say anything? The fear (or sympathy for the cause) in that town must have been extreme. This has been going on for years.
And, perhaps more pertinently, how many more Goodlings are out there?"
* I used to occasionally note some odd google results that I rank highly in - or are otherwise just curious to note that someone is actually googling. Today's entry: "speaking arabic when having sex" - I'm second on the list!