Activism means doing something about what’s bothering you. For me that involves writing about current events in the political realm. But I am very much aware of how indebted I remain to other writers for my inspiration and ideas. Rarely do I have an entirely formed opinion about the big news story of the day. More often it is a gut reaction.
Yesterday’s news about the guilty verdict in the Libby trial prompted me to heave a sigh of relief. My thoughts then turned immediately to what this might mean for Vice President Cheney. And I found a writer who shares my view, Professor Juan Cole who posted, “Libby’s Lies, Cheney’s Lies.” Cole’s Informed Comment (3/7/07) post first calls for the Vice-President’s impeachment (my sentiments, exactly), and then finishes with a reprint of his excellent earlier post – rich with great images – detailing the facts of the case. It is very much worth a look. To quote,
On this great occasion in which justice has at last been done, I thought readers might enjoy a reprint edition from February 10, 2006, of my explanation of the Niger yellowcake uranium story and the way it led to Libby’s downfall.
I began to wonder how much I was in step or out of step with the current buzz in the blogosphere. So I did a bit of comparison research on the issues that I blogged about this last week. The following bullet points include my “leads” (issues in italics), followed by a link to a post by a blogger, or resource upon which I regularly draw. It reflects two possible things, either new and useful information or a reinforcement of my own views.
- Kiley needs to go – the Walter Reed Hospital dust-up (3/6/07) & “Lt. General “Coverup” Kiley: From Abused Detainees to Neglected Soldiers,” by Art Levine in The Huffington Post (3/4/07). This post explains for me why I instinctively mistrusted this general’s testimony. In all likelihood, he will be forced into retirement in Secretary Gates’ second round of housecleaning moves. To quote,
The only question on Kiley’s future is this: will he be fired before the week’s out, after he testifies before Congress, or will he keep his job until assorted independent reviews and panels finish their work investigating outpatient care and issue their scathing criqiques?
. . . The bureaucratic coverups and flat-out lying by Kiley have been emblematic of the U.S government’s response to those victimized by the Bush administration’s so-called War on Terror. That includes our wounded, brave soldiers, suffering with traumatic brain injury, mental illness and amputations, who come home to be neglected as outpatients at Walter Reed and the VA — and the detainees swept up to be tortured at Gitmo.
- Veep’s out of line – internal competition between Rice and Cheney (3/5/07) & Walter Mondale’s “The Vice Precedent” (3/6/07) in The Politico/Ideas. I am optimistic that we will see the influence of Vice President Cheney going down during the remainder of the current administration. That will be a good thing. To quote former vice president Mondale,
But now we face another problem. Under the Bush-Cheney administration, the vice president has stepped over the line. Vice President Cheney, I believe, has gone beyond what should be permitted. I believe that Cheney has reached out to influence and pressure the legitimate and essential leadership of government and the agencies upon which the president and our government must depend.
. . . A vice president’s status in an administration is almost entirely the president’s decision. I hope our next president’s relationship with the vice president will be carefully shaped to avoid the dangers of the Cheney precedent.
- No free speech at justice – creativity and Internet news and opinion (3/4/07) & “Vonnegut on the dangers of reading,” by maud newton (3/5/07), who cleverly links the U.S. attorney firings to author Kurt Vonnegut’s ideas on censorship. This episode of unjustified firings is absolutely not over yet, thank goodness. It will be investigated thoroughly by Congress. To quote,
A stealth addition to the reauthorized Patriot Act allows the Justice Department to boot U.S. Attorneys and appoint new ones without seeking confirmation from the Senate or the courts. The DOJ hasn’t wasted any time. Eight attorneys got the axe recently. . . . Now seems like a good time for an excerpt from Vonnegut’s “Fates Worse Than Death.”
- You’ve got to be kidding! Friedman’s “flat world” and stock market fluctuations (3/3/07) & “Rep. Gohmert: Murtha Caused Market Plunge” by Nico at Think Progress (3/28/07). I am surprised that a Republican would admit a Democrat has this much power. Just look at this story as comic relief. To quote,
Today on the House floor, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) blamed yesterday’s market drop — the largest since the September 11 terrorist attacks — on members of Congress supposedly “talking about…more regulation” and “undermin[ing] the President’s national security policy.”
Gohmert said, “In two months of talking about raising taxes and more regulation and [referring to Murtha] one committee chairman talking about how he’s going to undermine the President’s national security policy — two months! — we have this terrible damage to the stock market, to the economy. Unbelievable.” He added: “I just encourage my friends across the aisle, be careful. We built a great economy. Don’t blow it quite so quickly.”
- Act against big oil – energy and oil in U.S. foreign policy (3/2/07) & “environmental mondays,” by betmo (3/5/07), who switched her monday posts away from celebration of our constitution, to this wonderfully activist stance. Her post has a number of ideas for action that we all can take. To quote,
i will no longer post constitution mondays. unless and until the patriot act, the military commissions act, and the insurrection act are overturned- we no longer have a constitution. we certainly do not enjoy the freedoms we used to have. but- i have said this many times- and i am turning to something that we can control- our own contributions to the co2 emissions on this planet.
- OCP has not a clue – U.S. failed Middle East policy (3/1/07) & “A tale of two headlines,” by “creature” at The Reaction, (3/7/07), who refers to GWB, our current incredibly inept president, as “clueless.”
- Democrats must unite around Iraq – observing the congressional legislative process (2/28/07) & “Democrats weigh timetable vote as Iraq compromise,” by Josephine Hearn and John Bresnahan at The Politico. The article is the best I’ve seen on this incredibly complex legislative and political dilemma. To quote,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her leaders face an uprising from liberal Democrats opposed to the wartime supplemental. If they allow a House floor vote to set a withdrawal date, it would be the first such vote in either the House or the Senate since the Democrats took control of Congress in January. And it would mark a new phase in the political struggle over the conflict.
Each of us enjoys having our biases reinforced by others, particularly those whom we see as smart and incisive. We can say to ourselves, “ahaa, I was right all along.” That is part of the fun of being a blogger, who is never short on opinion.