Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our Unserious Government

Despite staggeringly high oil prices, and the fact that we import nearly 70 percent of our oil from less than stable parts of the world, there is still no move by Congress to approve opening more of the continental shelf to oil drilling. Meanwhile, Fiscal Year 2009's US government budget deficit is going to break records at $482 billion dollars. That's not counting costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don't worry, you, your kids, grandkids and their grandchildren's children will be paying.
Strategic thinking in Washington is on holiday. With the cancellation of most of the Zumwalt-class destroyer project (DDG-1000), the Navy's shipbuilding program is in disarray. Perhaps some disarray is justified: the Navy never seemed to know exactly what it wanted in these 14,000-ton "destroyers" that were as big as cruisers and as expensive as battleships. While this is going on, Congress is funding VIP "comfort pallets" in USAF aircraft so that flag officers and (more importantly) Congress-persons can travel around the world the cushy way. Hey, they need to be able to travel, since President-Faith Healer Obama, now on his victory tour, is a citizen of the world.
Oh, and there's a war on.
But don't worry, citizens. True, we're broke; our kids are going to be strapped to the eyes; regular unleaded is about $4.00 a gallon; and the vegetables, bread and milk you can buy will just about fit in the same space in your wallet formerly occupied by the worthless dollars you bought them with.
Still, there are glad tidings -- your Congress is on the case: yesterday the House of Representatives apologized for slavery (dead 140 years) and Jim Crow. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee, its 20 Democrats anyway (voting along party lines of course) wants to cite Karl Rove for contempt of Congress.
Dolts. Fools. Useless nincompoops. Incompetents. (Add expletives here). Contempt of Congress is a badge of honor.

4 comments:

louielouie said...

i was considering asking if EJM I was starting to agree with my assesment (previously from george wallace circa '68) of "not an ounce worth of difference between a dem & rep"........but i thought better of it. i'll just keep on thinking what i do about them.
EJM I use of the term "dolt" caused me to think of mainstream media, to wit, i wished i could succinctly phrase as EJM I does, a comparison of societies where a press does not practice "freedom of the press" due to gov't control and a press that does not practice said freedom by choice. that would be an essay i would like to be able to write. maybe i am practicing self censorship. but for good reason.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Dear Readers,

I tried to make a blog post this morning, and got a message that the blog had been locked due to possible "terms of service" violations. When I clicked on the suggested link to find out what to do, I found this message:

"YOUR BLOG IS LOCKED

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

We received your unlock request on August 1, 2008. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam."

They're apologizing on behalf of the robots !

I do wonder if the blog will be unlocked. I'll do whatever I can do to get back on line, but the Kingdom of Chaos appears to have become another statistic among a number of anti-Obama blogs having this issue. (see http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/256789) (Sorry to give you the link that way, but it doesn't appear to allow me to link either).

Rant to somebody about it, please, if (unlike moi) you have a clue who to rant to. No telling when, or if, this will be fixed.

Cwyatt said...

Yes, god forbid that the judiciary committee would actually do its duty and try to defend the Constitution against this lawless regime. The subpoenas that Rove and Meiers have ignored go to the heart of the Rule of Law, which BushCo has trampled with wild abandon. I personally can't think of ANYTHING more important for Congress to be doing than bringing these criminals to justice, and returning our country to adherance to our founding principles of truth, openness, and the law.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Cwyatt,

The stand of the House Judiciary Committee would be more persuasive were the votes to hold Mr. Rove and others in contempt not made strictly along party lines.

As you may recall from the Watergate era, Congress and its committees have in the past demanded testimony and documents from the Executive on bipartisan lines, and such requests are perhaps deserving of much more respect than requests made (in an election year) by the representatives of a party different than that presently controlling the Executive.

The status of the Judiciary Committee's subpoenas and demands, and those of the Congress generally, will be determined in time by the Courts, including most probably the Supreme Court, or they will be settled, politically, before such a determination is made.

Pending that time, there are legal doctrines, including that of Executive Privilege, governing what Congress or its committees can legitimately demand of the Executive. Whatever you may think of President Bush, his policies, or the personalities and policies of his administration -- that same administration would be doing a disservice to the Presidency, and to the country, did it not defend the powers that the White House legally has to the full extent that the law permits it to do so. Soon enough, members of the the other party will need the use of those powers, presumably for the benefit of the country.

If Senator Obama (may God forbid) winds up sitting in the Oval Office come November; to carry on the State business, he will have dire need of candid advice given without fear of consequence in the form of subponeas by Congress or similar harassment. His advisors and appointees will need a similar ability to privately deliberate and consider what they are to do. Would you deny them that possibility ?

The "Rule of Law" has not, as you put it, been "trampled" by the Administration. See the books. President Bush has not claimed rights not used or claimed by his predecessors in both parties, including Nixon, Kennedy, both Roosevelts, Wilson, and Lincoln. Your right to criticise the administration's foreign or domestic policies (in print, on the Internet, on television or in any other way) -- has not been trammeled; the press still reports; elections are still held; the courts are still open. If such is your desire, you may appear in downtown Washington this very afternoon, and scream "I hate Bush and this government!" The Rule of Law operates today, although you or I may not like its operations or its policies.

If the administration does indeed shelter criminals, they will be brought to book as Nixon was, should Congress choose to do so. But this will, and should, require more than the will of the Democratic party.

As a matter of historical record,you should examine your premises concerning our "... founding principles of truth, openness, and the law." These have always been aspirational values in the American system, but the real world is imperfect, and often the values have been aspirational only.

In the first place, the Constitution establishes a government, not a temple, and governments are run by people. Quite aside from the tendency of people to conceal what is unpleasant, often, governments and the people running them find that perfect truth in all dealings an inpediment to the protection of the citizens, and to the carrying out of their otherwise legitimate purposes.

As to "openness" -- openness in government has always been an American aspiration, but it has historically been permitted only in degrees, and innovations such as the Freedom of Information Act are relatively novel. Secrecy for military, diplomatic and nakedly political purposes has always existed, and always will exist.

Finally, as to the "law" -- what the law is has always a subject of contention, particularly when it is applied in a political context. If President Bush or his servants have crossed the law, there is a procedure for accounting for that and punishing it. But (particularly when parties attempt to use the law to punish policy differences) the targets may expected to use every legal weapon at their disposal to see that matters are determined favorably to them. Would anyone expect otherwise ?