Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, April 13, 2007

Abundance of Caution

TPM Muckraker had something yesterday from a morning White House press "gaggle" with spokesman Scott Stanzel to which I posted this comment:
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Several comments have mentioned a key element in the White House defense of their use of RNC email rather than official White House email. Scott Stanzel at the White House press briefing suggested that some White House employees used RNC email when they "communicated about official business" in order to avoid "inadvertent violations" of the Hatch Act.
Note that he wasn't claiming that they communicated official business but rather that they communicated "about" official business. They only needed to concern themselves with the Hatch Act if their business was political. Official White House email couldn't be used for political purposes.
In other words, White House officials pretty much knew, had good reason to believe, that their business was political so they exercised caution by making sure they weren't conducting political business on government email accounts.
So even if officials at the Justice Department didn't know this attorney firing business was political, Stanzel has confessed that the White House officials involved had pretty significant reason to believe it was.
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The "abundance of caution" talking point also came up in yesterday's White House Press Briefing with Dana Perino. Isn't it interesting how the White House is using this term seemingly as a way of explaining why Karl Rove and others were conducting official business under the radar? And isn't it stretching our imagination just a little too far to think that the RNC had no intention of providing this alternative communication system as a means of conducting shady politically motivated government business outside of the reach of congressional snoops and FOIA requests? Are we to believe that Republicans are really that pure?
But even if all is as these press briefings portray it to be, then how can anyone imagine that the White House didn't know that their involvement in the attorney firings was for political gain? Any way you look at it, the credibility of the White House and of the Republican Party is harmed by this.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Abandoned Republican

I think I may have said before that I tend to think of myself more as a Republican than as a Democrat, probably in large part because my parents were loyal Republicans. I can even remember as a child going with my dad to see Margaret Chase Smith give a talk. My dad was a strong supporter of hers. For those too young to recall, Margaret Chase Smith was a Senator from Skowhegan, Maine who had the courage even as a Republican to take a stand against McCarthy politics back in the early 50s. I'm guessing that she has had occasions to roll over in her grave when Maine's two current female senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, rally voters to think of them as following in the footsteps of Margaret Chase Smith. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think Republican Senator Smith from Maine, if she were in today's Congress, would be rubber stamping the Bush agenda and then playing clever politics to appear to be standing up for the interests of the Democrat voters in Maine the way Collins and Snowe are doing.
I've been thinking for quite awhile that the Republican Party was hijacked when Bush came to power especially after 9/11. I withdrew my membership when Bush was pimping his upcoming war in Iraq back in late 2002 and early 2003. For some reason it was clear to me that Bush was going to war no matter what. The media kept playing along with Bush's little charade about needing UN approval and letting the weapons inspectors do their job, blah blah blah. But it was clear to me that this was only a cheap charade to cover up the real Bush plan. Even the "coalition of the willing" was a cheap charade.
Now we have this Justice Department thing which is just getting nastier and nastier every week. It's happening under the radar screen of mainstream media but for anyone paying attention, this has to do with the Republican Party taking over America's federal law enforcement agencies and using them to win elections. This is extremely serious business, the stuff that real impeachment is made of.
So now there's this other Monica, the one that belonged to Alberto Gonzales until just recently. A few weeks ago it came out that if she were questioned by Congress about this scandal she would be pleading the 5th Amendment. What the f***! But then I realized that this woman is a true-blue red-state Christian. She knew what she had been up to in the DOJ and she knew that her political loyalty required, demanded that she lie to cover up what the DOJ has been up to in recent years. But she's a Christian. She can't be lying under oath! But she can't betray her masters either. So, plead the 5th.
I wonder if maybe she's on the verge of realizing that she's been abandoned too. Get a clue, Monica.
But here's an even more telling testimony. Former Chrysler Corporation and committed Republican supporter Lee Iacocca has a new book just coming out, Where Have All the Leaders Gone? An article dated April 11, 2007 in The Carpetbagger Report gives a few quotes from the book that support my feelings of having been abandoned by Bush Republicans. Make a point to read this article.
One quote that really strikes a cord with me is this: "You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged."
The Bush administration is the Titanic and there is every reason now to believe that virtually the entire Republican Party is on board. The iceberg has already been struck and the ship is on its way down. The lifeboats are for the women and children. Is it wrong to hope that once the ship is gone, the next generation of Republicans will realize........ No, that's pointless. The Republican Party has sold out to Satan. There won't be a revival.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Failure

For the past week or so I have been annoyed at something I thought I heard President Bush say to the American people, something to the effect that if Congress doesn't give Bush the war funding that he is demanding, the terrorists will attack America again.
I must have imagined it. I couldn't possibly have heard that.
But in Bush's April 3 Rose Garden appearance, this dialog took place:
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Q You've talked about the consequences of failure in Iraq, and you've said that enemies would follow us home. I wonder, given that, it seems like that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of people who are charged with the responsibility of keeping America safe. So what --
THE PRESIDENT: What was that again, Ed?
Q Well, you say that the enemies would follow us home --
THE PRESIDENT: I will -- that's what they'll do, just like September the 11th. They plotted, planned, and attacked.
Q So I wonder, in your own mind, how does that vision play out? How do they follow us home? Because we've spent so much money and put so much resources into making this country safer.
THE PRESIDENT: Ed, I'm not going to predict to you the methodology they'll use. Just you need to know they want to hit us again.
***
Bush went on to explain how America has tightened security at home to protect against a terrorist attack, but am I imagining it or was there certainty in Bush's statement that if we end the war in Iraq there is no doubt that we will be hit with another attack?
Here's the thing, and I think the questioner Ed in the dialog above was pointing to this situation. If, over five years into this War on Terror, if we will certainly be attacked again simply because we stop the Iraq phase of the war, then isn't it true that in the war we have made no progress at all against terrorists in the past five years? Bush is saying that if we stop fighting in Iraq, the terrorists will immediately find "safe haven" from which to launch attacks against the United States.
Many find it ironic that this safe haven essentially didn't exist in Iraq until after the US invasion in 2003. Republican propagandists try to insinuate that it did, but it really didn't exist. Saddam and bin Laden were no allies. It has been well documented that bin Laden detested secular Iraq. Saddam and bin Laden were enemies. But now, after the US overthrew Saddam and saw to it that he was executed, now Iraq is open to bin Laden's army. Or at least that's how the White House is painting the picture.
To call that progress is stretching the powers of my imagination, but somehow the powers down in Washington all seem to be able to embrace this logic. The funding will continue one way or the other.
But there is another side to this coin. We do pride ourselves on our national amnesia, but back in 2001 after the September 11 attack, and actually for a few years leading up to the attack, there was a common thread of thought that kept reminding us that the reason why terrorists kept attacking us was because they knew we wouldn't hit back. The terrorists saw the West as weak so they could hit us and we would back off, find other ways to meet our energy needs besides meddling in Middle East politics.
Arguments like that never go away. Some still claim that the world is flat or that Creation happened 6,000 years ago. But the argument that Americans wouldn't strike back if hit again doesn't hold much water anymore. We don't generally think that way now, not since 9/11. Now we understand that a terrorist attack would be a provocation. Who can doubt that now? Another terrorist attack in the US would provoke the American people to focus again on attacking the terrorist networks.
There can be no doubt that Americans aren't the only ones who understand this. The "terrorists" know it too. So the message that would be delivered by any terrorist attack now would be "Come out and fight!"
Ironically, that is precisely the message that President Bush is giving us too!