There were a few groups of people strung out throughout the train car, who all ignored me completely. They looked like tired commuters on their way home, and this proved to be the case, as they all got off at the first dozen or so stops on the outskirts of the city. I thought I would be alone for the rest of the journey, but at the last suburban stop a very old woman got on and sat down across from me. She looked a little spooky, with an eyepatch over one eye, and a bandanna tied over her hair. A mystical perfume which hinted at far-off bazaars wafted its way over to me. Her wizened visage examined me critically, and I was surprised to see a small smirk develop on her face as she did so.
Archive of Articles for October, 2007
The time has come for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to hand in her resignation. The latest revelation that the Blackwater personnel involved in the recent Baghdad shooting were given immunity by the State Department for giving statements about the incident should be the final straw for America's patience with Rice to come to an abrupt end.
Of course, the real time for Condi to have handed in her resignation in an honorable administration should have been September 12, 2001. Remember, at this time Rice was National Security Advisor to the president. The NSA's job description is to "take all the intelligence from the various intelligence agencies in the U.S. government and put it all together for the president to act upon." Her spectacular failure to perform this job would have meant disgrace and a shameful resignation in virtually any other administration in history.
Six House members -- three Republicans and three Democrats -- have joined together to introduce legislation strengthening the 1973 War Powers Act which (if successful) could mean a showdown on the separation of powers before the Supreme Court. This showdown may determine once and for all the limits of the president to order American troops into battle.
Of course, I have no idea what chances this new legislation has for passing Congress as a whole, but the astonishing thing is that it is being ignored almost totally by the mainstream media, which is a shame. Because it deserves debating now, while the White House seemingly is preparing the American public for yet another war (this time against Iran).
I admit I was going to give this week's award to Henry Waxman, who (as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform) singlehandedly seems to be taking on the job of investigating Bush's numerous power grabs and fiascos, perhaps he'll qualify for a special "Most Impressive Democrat of the Year" award later.
This is monstrously unfair to the middle class, or working class, who are subsidizing the rich by having to pay more taxes than they do. There is absolutely no reason not to tax capital gains at exactly the same rate as all other income is taxed, other than "Wah! We're rich, and we don't want to pay taxes!" (which I don't consider a valid reason). Income is income, no matter how you make it. I would be willing to bet that most Americans would agree with that statement.
[Mayor "Diamond" Joe Quimby and tycoon C. Montgomery Burns]
You may well wonder why I, a (mostly) serious political analyst, begin my weekly Wednesday column with the images of two Simpsons characters. The answer is: these two images are the story. More on that in a bit.
Halloween has apparently come early in Republican-land. The Republican National Committee's website today unveiled a prominent link to their new "Scariest Democrat" page. You can go to the page and vote from among six of the Democratic presidential candidates (with sound effects!). Missing are Kucinich and Gravel, which seems odd as Kucinich should definitely be in the running for the candidate to scare Republicans the most.
Out of the other six, guess who is currently polling at 91% of the vote? No real surprise....
There is one thing that just about everybody in the Iraq debate agrees on, from President Bush to anti-war Democrats to Republicans to the generals on the ground: that the biggest thing we want to avoid in Iraq is a "wider regional war." No matter what your position on Iraq, from "leave troops there for 50 years like in South Korea" to "bring all troops home tomorrow," pretty much everybody agrees that a wider war which involves Iraq's neighbors is a thing to be avoided if at all possible.
We're now on the brink of that war starting, but we barely even realize it because it's happening from a direction we haven't been paying much attention to -- Turkey. Now, I personally have been warning for a long time that the situation with Turkey could put the United States in a very tough spot, both diplomatically and militarily. Last year (8/9/06) I wrote: