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January 17, 2009 04:41 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

–George Washington


82 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. at the exploits of a fellow Academy graduate on the Hudson this past Thursday.  Further proof that the money our Country puts into the Academy education and follow-on military training can have long lasting benefits.

    1. In fact, I’d say much more pertinent than the military experience. More years, more recent, more simulator hours on that particular plane.  

      I’ve read two figures, 20 and 29 years at US Air.

      The bottom line is that experience counts.  I like boarding a plane and seeing white hair in the cockpit.  That horrible crash at Sioux City years ago would have been much worse with a green pilot, the experts say.  

  2. Having lunch yesterday I overhead this guy at the next table: “Have you noticed that everything started going to hell with the election of Obama?”


    Wasn’t already everything going to hell and that’s why Obama won, primarily?  This moron has the right to vote?  “I’m sorry sir, we are yanking your right to vote because, in a word, you’re fucking dolt.”  OK, two words.

    I gave him the biggest evil eye scowl I could muster, he shut up.

    Yes, I’m joking about the right to vote.  

        1. The article is rife with selective memory and glossing over of facts and historical realities. This phrase, for instance:

          With his characteristic openness and at times almost self-defeating honesty, Mr Bush has been the first to acknowledge his mistakes

          says it all.

          1. (since we’re talking Brit reaction).

            “If you’re waiting for an apology, this is as close it gets.”

            Then the clip of Bush saying he’s made some mistakes.

            That wasn’t an opinion guy, that was the anchor, angry.

    1. Given Obama’s age…or any future President who has the ability, vigor, leadership, and problem solving capabilities to lead the U.S. to a greater prosperity, greater standing in the world, etc., should be able to serve more than eight years.

          1. .

            if they singled out one of the worst of the bunch,


            Feith or Addington or Cheney,

            prosecuted and incarcerated that one, and let the others be ?

            Maybe focus on the one most egregious crime against humanity, and single out the one person most culpable for it ?  

            I suspect the worst of their crimes was the false intel, without which the War wouldn’t have happened.  Or, if we can get hard evidence, maybe go after one of those who planned the 9/11 attacks ?  

            What would you say was the worst of their crimes ?

            I don’t think Bush is blameless, but I don’t think he was any more aware of the damage he was doing than Reagan was.


            1. in traffic court. Yes, I was ignorant and reckless, but I wasn’t any more aware than Reagan or any less reckless than Bush.

              As you point out, some of the largest crimes (falsifying intel and lying our way into war) are probably not something we can prosecute. Other crimes are matters of prosecutorial discretion.

              We’ll see some prosecution surrounding turning the Department of Justice into an arm of the Republican Party, if only for perjury and civil service violations.

              But the biggest stain on the administration — torture — isn’t something we can just decide not to prosecute. We’re party to treaties, with the full weight of law, that require us to prosecute torture.  

              1. .

                In my opinion, it is important to officially repudiate it as US policy, and maybe a trial (and, I hope, a conviction) will be needed to restore our reputation with others, but …

                The problems with torture are behind us, trial or no trial.  

                That’s a crime that requires people down at the front lines to implement, and the Bush/Cheney torture fetish

                (I think it came from watching too much TeeVee)

                (coupled with a need to prove they weren’t cowards, despite their personal track records 40 years ago)

                does not infect real patriots who actually joined the military.  

                Bush has been exposed as a liar on this issue, despite his good intentions, and as a result every last soldier and Marine now fully understands that they are not to do this.  

                2 years ago, people ordered to torture by those higher up the chain of command thought that, gee, if my boss thinks its OK, it must be OK.  That’s no longer the case.

                But Jeffrey Miller might be a good candidate, if there are only limited prosecutions.  Good suggestion.  


            2. that rise to the level of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”….I especially feel Bush and others are guilty of invading a sovereign country, occupying it, and causing tens of thousands of innocents to be killed.

              According to Jonothan Turley, there’s little question Bush committed a federal crime by violating the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

              The act authorizes a secret court to issue warrants to eavesdrop on potential suspects, or anyone even remotely connected to them, inside the United States. The bar to obtain a FISA warrant is low; more than 15,000 have been granted, with only four requests denied since 1979. In emergency situations, the government can even apply for FISA warrants retroactively.

              Nevertheless, Bush chose not to comply with FISA’s minimal requirements.

              “The fact is, the federal law is perfectly clear,” Turley says. “At the heart of this operation was a federal crime. The president has already conceded that he personally ordered that crime and renewed that order at least 30 times. This would clearly satisfy the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors for the purpose of an impeachment.”

              To the issue of torture, I am of the opinion that it also is a crime that should be investigated and prosecuted. Torture is a crime under eight treaties and statutes.

              1. what does it matter what “impeachable offenses” there are?  The threshold for “high crimes and misdemeanors” doesn’t seem to have much relevance if there’s no one to impeach.

                1. AND, I got in trouble for it. So should government officials.

                  Any Bush administration officials who lied to Congress, namely Alberto Gonzales and a slew of DOJ sycophants, should immediately face prosecution. How many Agency and Defense officials lied to the Intelligence and Armed Services Committees about Abu Ghraib, rendition, domestic surveillance, and torture?

                  1. I’m a utilitarian humanist at heart, and the question is: What best serves humanity’s interests? I don’t know the answer in this (or any) case. It’s the kind of messy issue that argues in favor of reducing things to absolute rules (eg. Prosecute!) and against trying to figure it out as you go. But my gut tells me that prosecuting these guys would do more harm than good.

                    1) The world is riding a wave of euphoria regarding the election of Obama. The distraction of going after the Bushies would only detract from that.

                    2) I don’t think there’s much deterence value to prosecuting (I agree that impeachment is irrelevant: It would have to be criminal prosecution). Sixty years after the Nuremburg Trials, and their seems to be no decline in genocidal maniacs the world over.

                    3) Probably the best, and most appropriate punishment, is universal disdain. These people are reviled the world over, as they should be. The nation has chosen a better path. The world is supportive of our changes in direction. Life is good.

                    Well, you know, except for that whole crumbling economy thing….

  3. about Bush’s “moral clarity”. Give me a break. The guy and his cronies piled lie on lie for 8 years. His “moral clarity” has provided no benefit to Americans and very little to very few outside our country.

    He is a war criminal and must be prosecuted.  

      1. RSB is right, I think, Sankore is a fake.  Either a regular poster screwing with us, or someone with too much time on their hands and little imagination.  The honky comments in Alan’s ProgressNow diary convinced me.

        If Sankore really does think like this all the time, you should laugh until poor Sankore gets some help.

        1. Sankore is RockySnark, the guy who freaked out over my jokes about white men driving.

          That was the last time he posted, and Sankore registered the day after. Hmmm…

              1. I have a year and a half under my belt, and a year and a half to go. I’m currently enjoying both the relief and anxiety of having definitively decided not to go the route of a trial attorney, but rather to get involved in state and local government: It’s much more aligned to my passions, but severely limits the job opportunities!

                How’s Florida treating you?

                1. Hate the place, that’s why I trundled off to CO 36 years ago.

                  Hate the situation, I live in a geriatric insane asylum; i.e., with my two old parents.

                  Dad is approaching death, maybe a few months out.  His cancers came back.  I’m fine with that, after all he is 91.  But my mother drives me nuts.  

                  “Other than that, how’d you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

                  1. but fortunately live in Colorado while my sweet, darling 87 year old Mom lives in Chicago. She’s at the point where a half hour conversation is comprised of a single two-minute long conversation repeated 15 times (she forgets what she said as soon as she says it, and simply repeats one or two questions over and over again). The blessing is that she doesn’t realize how far gone her short-term memory is.

                1. just doesn’t have the same “umph!”

                  If my wife and I have a son, I want to name him “Yevrah Neven Harvey,” so that at some point in his childhood he accidentally discovers that his name is a palindrome. I haven’t yet won my wife’s complete support for this idea. (Some people have no sense of humor!)

        1. It’s nice to be back, but I doubt I’ll be able to post as prolifically as I once did, at least during the academic year. My degree of distraction during the presidential campaign cost me enough as it is!

        1. Note: This is not a scientific poll and does not test a representative population sample. The poll continuously recalculates its response percentages as the number of participants increases.

          Did you see the one where 74% of respondents totally think Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan should be BFF’s?

  4. Just to be clear…I’m more Jewish than most. I dated a Jewess for 7 years and love the people, am sympathetic to their historical plight, have studied the Kabbalah, and want them to thrive and prosper…

  5. Crackers to the right of me,

    Honkies to the left of me,

    Whitey in front of me

    Volleyed and thunder’d;

    Storm’d at with shot and shell,

    God damned honkies everywhere,

    Holdin’ me down.

      1. There’s a Rainbow Unity World of Dangerous Drivers, out there. People singing “Kumbaya” into their cell phones, instead of paying attention to what’s in front of them, to the sides of them, and behind them, on all manners of byways.

      2. .

        People who encounter me on the byways,

        those I don’t hit with my car,

        think first:

        …..”What a bad driver,”

        and then

        …..”He looks white to me.”

        Actually, a lot of people think I look white.  I’m actually more Caucasian.  


  6. I mean Christ, this is the first time I’ve pretended to be a football fan since 2005. And they’re getting clobbered out there. I even bought Philadelphia beer and vegan steak sandwiches. Damn it.

    1. ..This was his 2nd year in contention for MilBlog. He started blogging from Iraq before he even got back tot “The World.”

      Unlike the other two, Mr. Horton has an amazing narrative style, and can write about his experiences and bigger political issues with ease.

      And, he’s and infantryman..that automatically makes him the better blogger.

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