Friday, October 07, 2005

Imagine, Indeed

Richard Clarke writes:

"Imagine if, in advance of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of trucks had been waiting with water and ice and medicine and other supplies. Imagine if 4,000 National Guardsmen and an equal number of emergency aid workers from around the country had been moved into place, and five million meals had been ready to serve. Imagine if scores of mobile satellite-communications stations had been prepared to move in instantly, ensuring that rescuers could talk to one another. Imagine if all this had been managed by a federal-and-state task force that not only directed the government response but also helped coordinate the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other outside groups.

Actually, this requires no imagination: it is exactly what the Bush administration did a year ago when Florida braced for Hurricane Frances. Of course the circumstances then were very special: it was two months before the presidential election, and Florida's twenty-seven electoral votes were hanging in the balance. It is hardly surprising that Washington ensured the success of "the largest response to a natural disaster we've ever had in this country." The president himself passed out water bottles to Floridians driven from their homes."

Prophetic Words

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

- George W. Bush, 5 Aug 2004

Hackocracy

From TNR:

"What, then, about Miers's qualifications? This is where she left the competition in the dust. Take, for example, her two-year stint on the Dallas City Council. Although she may not have been guided by any awe-inspiring understanding of constitutional law, she is credited with calming down a crowd of protesters after a county commissioner punched a police officer.

In announcing his choice, Bush pointed to her storied career as chairman of the Texas Lottery Commission. Although the Commission has historically not produced many Supreme Court justices, Bush has reason to be pleased with her lottery service. Miers may not have dealt with issues like civil rights or the death penalty, but she dealt with bingo. As chairman, she opined that she wanted all bingo-related games "to look and feel and smell like the game of bingo," which seems like a reasonable position.

***

This is a quite a resumé, even before getting to some of Miers's legal writings. A search of the Nexis news database returns three articles by Miers. One is an opinion piece urging legislative calm in the wake of a string of deadly shootings. The second reveals Miers, who ran the corporate law firm of Locke Liddell & Sapp, to be an expert on a legal issue of great importance to the American people: managing the merger of two firms. The final article is a 1996 ABA Journal piece advertising the American Bar Association's new telephone seminars. "If you have heard any of the buzzwords of product promotions lately," she writes cheerfully, "we hope you will spot 'ABA Connection.'"

In hindsight, Harriet Miers was always the obvious choice for the Supreme Court. She is the logical conclusion of the unchecked Bush administration hackocracy. Bush's case for Miers actually rests on her being a crony. "Because of our closeness," he said Tuesday, "I know the character of the person."

In Federalist No. 76, Alexander Hamilton warned that, in presenting nominations to the Senate, a president "would be both ashamed and afraid" to nominate cronies--or, as Hamilton called them, "obsequious instruments of his pleasure." Maybe politics was different back in the 1780s, but we have watched Bush appoint many obsequious instruments of his pleasure. It may be his legacy: George W. Bush--he took the shame and fear out of cronyism."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rove Going Back to Grand Jury in 11th Hour Ploy

The AP reports.

Bush Withdraws Miers' Nomination

Read it here.

Roll-Call of Shame

The senators who voted against the McCain amendment, prohibiting "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody:

Wayne Allard, Colorado

Christopher S. Bond, Missouri

Tom Coburn, Oklahoma

Thad Cochran, Mississippi

John Cornyn, Texas

James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma

Pat Roberts, Kansas

Jeff Sessions, Alabama

Ted Stevens, Alaska

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Carter-Baker Election Report

Calling for a paper trail.

Al Gore: The Decline of the Media

And the threat to democracy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Another Delay Indictment

Money Laundering carries a maximum sentence of life in jail.

A Precis on Miers

She opposed abortion rights in 1989.

The same year she opposed repeal of the Texas sodomy law--a law subsequently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

And this from the Burnt Orange Report on her law firm days.

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