Slick Willie to the Rescue?

Earlier this week the U.S. walked out of the meeting in Montreal of the world’s leading nations to discuss climate change and the Kyoto accord.

But on Friday, former President Bill Clinton paid a visit and called the United States’ approach “flat wrong.”

The BBC reports Saturday morning:

After Mr Clinton’s remarks – which were warmly received – the official US team appeared to shift its position…. They appeared ready to accept that new talks should begin on cutting greenhouse gases beyond Kyoto targets – provided they were non-binding.

Not taking Kyoto seriously has turned the U.S. into a model of laughable carelessness to humanity and society in the eyes of the world.

Outgoing Canadian PM Paul Martin infuriated the White House this scathing, albeit rational speech, leading to the walk out:

“To the reticent nations, including the U.S., I’d say this: There is such a thing as a global conscience and now is the time to listen to it.”

Potentially, this could mark the beginning of a return to compassion in American politics. Assuming I wake up and this isn’t all just a dream, tomorrow may be the day that suddenly, there is help for the long-neglected (forgotten)? victims of the gulf coast hurricanes, and – who knows – abolition of the unheard-of-in-modern-democracies death penalty?

A note on numbers

Among the things that are especially pissing me off in regards to general media laziness and subordinance these days (not that I’m doing squat to counteract it) is the obsession with numbers. The number of casualties as a result of Katrina were irrelevant to the media in relation to the principle that the government wasn’t prepared and didn’t do enough to reduce that number – which the government admits (sorta).

But, the gov’t does not admit that it does not serve the greater good for thousands to die in Iraq, in fact, Torture Veep Cheney said again that the best way to honor them is to keep at it. What’s wrong with this principle?

Numbers do not represent right and/or wrong. Therefore – there are multiple sides in which any statistic can be framed.

As difficult as it may be to find a reason for certain facts, it is at the very least worth a try. Limbaugh et al may as well continue labelling everybody else the “liberal media” until people slap themselves and realize that its pointless to tell both sides of a story. Report the truth, and expect to criticize and hold the government to task NO MATTER WHO is in charge… or is it really true what DoD press releases say?

So, 2,000 dead in Iraq. The government and right wing pundits can easily point out that its a small price to pay for “democracy” in the Middle East and that its far less than in Vietnam.

Well, how many soldiers are severely if not permanently injured from this war? The ratio of injured to dead compared to Vietnam is astounding. How about the families that are being broken – children, parents lost… divorces painful and inexplicable extended stays in Iraq?

U.S. military casualties aside, if the gov’t gets a pass on that, how can the number of Iraqi civilian casualties be plainly ignored? Besides, the Iraqi referendum only “passed,” – and barely at that – because 2/3 of each Sunni province didn’t REJECT it. In other words, democracy is apparently defined by a thumbs up from only 1/3 of voters.

A final note, I am sick and tired of hearing about intelligent design. And, if the numbers don’t lie – regardless of whether or not they are WRONG – here they are from CBS News.


Oct. 23, 2005
God created humans in present form
Humans evolved, God guided the process
Humans evolved, God did not guide process

DeLay, Frist, Plame, Myers, Katrina, Iraq: is this the Denouement of the Republican Party?

The October 10 issue of The Weekly Standard is titled “Scandal Season.” It promises to be a remorseful introspection of the current state of the republican administration its bottomless pit of scandals.

William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard – a pointedly Conservative rag – is quoted in The Australian: “Even though DeLay has nothing to do with Frist and Frist has nothing to do with Abramoff, how does it look? Not good.”

Weekly Standard staff editor Matthew Continetti notes with pride that the Republican’s have once again bested the Dems, although as a young conservative, he admits: “looking at your party’s troubles, you see perverse confirmation of conservatism’s animating idea: that as the sphere of public decision-making expands, so do the opportunities for graft and wrongdoing.” Daily Kos has great insight on this.
Patrick J. Buchanan, in the National Conservative Weekly, evoked the words of Claudius in getting a handle on the disintegration within the Republican Party: “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”

Frank Rich contends that conservative chronies have been flipping on their party for months now and many are tired of sleazy scandals. He points to conservative columnist Andrew Ferguson of The Weekly Standard, who announced the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as we know it in an article he wrote on Jack Abramoff nearly a year ago.

there is MUCH MORE to this story… click to read on.
Down with Tommy D

FEMA: may they have management and not money!

Brownie did a heck of a job lying under oath today at a Congressional hearing. Tomorrow, the front page of the Washington Post will feature a story that slipped to everyone’s unconsiousness and SHOULD have been mentioned at the hearing.

Gulf CoastBrown seemed to be the only person convinced that FEMA was completely prepared for this, and it was only because of the lack of communication on the state and local levels that the rescue mission didn’t go smoothly.

Remember the Carnival cruise ships? Yes, thats right, in a panic on September 1, with the over 10,000 needing a destination upon the mandatory evacuation of the Superdome, FEMA demanded 10,000 berths on a full service cruise line.

From what kind of appendix could this sort of emergency plan have emerged…. Brownie??? The ships are now on 6-month lease to FEMA, who should just be voted off the island for incompetence and insulting waste of public, not to mention EMERGENCY funds.

The cruise ships are less than half full, but according to Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) aides, if they were at capacity for the entire six months, the price per evacuee would total $1,275 a week based on the frantic 11th hour $236 million deal made between FEMA and Carnival Cruise Lines.

In freeing up cash for Katrina, the government has also slipped in additional measures to allow them to freely spend government money on their own interests, in the name of national security (46 states continue operating in a FEMA-designated state of emergency; perhaps this is where Brown comes up with his “150 disasters overseen”).

Sens. Coburn and Barack Obama (D-IL) are calling for a chief financial officer to oversee the spending of the Katrina funds…. Does there plea sound necessary enough to be answered?:

“When the federal government would actually save millions of dollars by forgoing the status quo and actually sending evacuees on a luxurious six-month cruise it is time to rethink how we are conducting oversight….”

Oh yeah, and please have mercy in these times of great tragedy and disaster, and lets all turn our heads to the $475 million Carnival already owes in delinquent back taxes…(thanks Perry Goldstein for your letter to the So. Florida Sun-Sentinel…. there will be time for FEMA to conduct its own investigation later. I’m sure they’ll find that they did a darn good heck of a job.