In preparation for a Supreme Court appointment and to further tilt the scales of justice, Bush has re-nominated 12 of the same candidates for federal appeals court seats whose confirmations were blocked during the first term. Bush Tries Luck Again With Judicial Nominees (washingtonpost.com): “Among the most controversial nominees are Terrence W. Boyle, a federal district judge in North Carolina and nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, whom Democrats have criticized for his stances in civil rights cases; Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Richman Owen, a nominee for the 5th Circuit, whose jurisprudence in abortion, civil rights and environmental cases has been criticized; California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, nominated to a seat on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who Democrats say has referred to the New Deal as a ‘socialist revolution’; and William J. Haynes II, who served as Pentagon general counsel when controversial detainee policies were set that allowed enemy combatants to be held indefinitely without charges and access to counsel. He was again nominated for the 4th Circuit.”
In other news, John D. Negroponte was pulled out of his brandy-new ambassador position in Iraq and nominated for the new post of national intelligence chief, to oversee 15 intelligence agencies. You remember him, don’t you? He was the Iran-Contra guy carrying out the Reagan administration’s smash of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Human rights groups alleged that Negroponte acquiesced in rights abuses by Honduran death squads funded and partly trained by the CIA – sounds perfect for this administration. Check out his footprints: Ambassador to Honduras (1981-85); Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (1985-87); Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (1987-89); Ambassador to Mexico (1989-93); and Ambassador to the Philippines (1993-96). And he’s a Yale man.
The new budget (not to mention yet another demand for $82 billion for war, and whatever it will cost to buy off Wall Street not to fix social security) intends to cut money from programs most needed, including proposed $60 billion cut for the Medicaid program – which would cut off some of the most vulnerable Americans from basic health care.
The new emergency request for new Iraq funds is in addition to the $2.5 trillion budget request Bush made to Congress last week, which proposed to slash critical social programs and increase military spending. According to Code Pink: “While Bush is claiming that this money is needed to “support the troops”, his budget would slash veterans’ access to healthcare by increasing fees for prescription drugs and access to VA facilities, even as thousands of injured soldiers are streaming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The amount of money that’s being spent on endless war could easily pay for the community programs – from public libraries to hospitals to train service – that are about to be eliminated because of state and local budget shortfalls. For concrete examples of what these war funds could pay for in your state or city, see www.nationalpriorities.org. There seems to be no accountability whatsoever for the $153 billion already appropriated for the Iraq war. That money didn’t go toward purchasing sufficient body armor and equipment for the U.S. troops, but it did go to line the pockets of Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR. The U.S. also can’t account for how it spent Iraq’s money – the Coalition Provisional Authority (the occupation authority in Iraq) “lost” $9 billion during its tenure.”
Dish network has added the Pentagon propoganda channel. North Dakota wants to make abortion a felony crime. Just out – more on torture – one Iraqi hung by the wrists died under CIA interrogation. Just a coincidence he was one of those photographed with a grinning female US soldier at Abu Ghraib.
Haven’t heard that word “compassionate” lately. Isn’t it time to admit that there isn’t anything conservative about it ? At this point, I would welcome some old-time republicans almost as much as I would some democrats with spine.
The country I love is fading, disintegrating. Everything I love about it, everything that makes it special to be is falling down before my eyes. I thought maybe we had another century or two before we became this corrupt. It seems to be happening so very fast, in little bits just like in Germany. You’ll wake up one morning, and it will be too late to stop. And all those people who fought for your freedom and who died and who lived to make your life better – what would you say to them? This is not Americanism – this is not the sound of freedom ringing. And still I see the SUVs and the bimbo-boxes and the trucks with the huge tires – and they have the little flag stickers and the little fish stickers and the little sideways support our troops stickers and I want to scream – “You think you’re an American??? You think that’s what it’s all about?” But I get hold of myself, breath deeply, remember that this is all the classroom of the gods, and try to attune myself to love and peace. Oh, it isn’t easy to do anymore – but I suppose I’ve been spoiled all my life. Most of humanity has been in worse times than we’ve had. This too shall pass – and this generation will learn anew the lessons learned before. Perhaps it will be a cure to our incredible self-centeredness and idiocy. Where is the outpouring of love to Fallujah? When Johnny comes marching home, listen, listen.