Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Musings 57--They look at my tax returns

I was all ready to accept John G. Roberts Jr. as the new supreme court justice when I read the headline about the Bush administration not wanting to turn over Roberts' tax returns to the senate judiciary committee.

I had come to the conclusion that Mr. Roberts would be an ok justice. He did not seem to be a raving right wing lap dog like some others are. But...then I read the headline on Drudge. (See Link) To say I went ballistic would be putting it mildly--just ask my wife.

Every time I apply for a loan at a bank I must give the bank my tax returns. Every page of my last three years are examined. I know because I have done this quite recently. I also know that they want to look at deductions on every page. I attempted to just give a 2-page copy of my 1040 to the bank and they laughed at me. I made a copy of every page, both state and federal, and handed it over. It came to about 16 pages. So much for privacy. In the words of the bank manager, "If you want the loan, give us the tax records."

Now I had nothing to hide, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. There was ample information about my finances on the 2-page 1040 form without them seeing every piece of paper that I filed. The bank manager smiled and said, again, "If you want the loan, give us the entire tax records." So I did, and I got the loan.

John Roberts wants to be a Supreme Court Justice. I figure that he is no better than me when it comes to taxes. If I had to pony up, so should he. I think it comes with the territory. To paraphrase my bank manager, "If you want the job, give up the tax records."

If I have to lay my life open to borrow 50 cents, then a guy looking for a lifetime appointment should have to at least do the same. If he doesn't want to, then he can get the hell out and go back to where ever he came from.

It is real simple. Tax returns and I am for him. No tax returns, and I hope the dems eat him up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Musings 56--Short, sad statistics!

I don't have much to say today about the Supreme Court nomination. I'm adopting a wait and see policy on that. However, I was surfing the web and found the following stats on the war in Iraq. (See link).

--1,758 American troops dead in Iraq

--93 UK troops dead in Iraq

--101 "Other" coalition troops dead in Iraq

--1,963 Coalition dead in Iraq (as of July 12th)

--13,438 Coalition wounded

--25,000 Iraqi civilian dead

--42,500 Iraqi civilian wounded

Plus, 9/11 murderer Mohamed Atta's daddy is predicting a 50 year war that his hero son started. The apple did not fall far from that crazy tree. (See Link).

I'm depressed. I think I'll go outside and scream.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Musings 55--Rain and Rove

After nearly six weeks without hardly a sprinkle, the skies have opened up and given forth its bounty. Starting last Thursday it has rained off and on every day since. The world is green again and mother nature is spinning her blooms.

And speaking of spinning, how about Mr. President and that Rove fellow. Don't you just love it when the President of the United States keeps changing the bar as to what it takes to get rid of an intelligence leaker. Earlier it was "if anyone leaked" they were out. Now it is "if anyone is convicted" of a crime. That is a big change in standards, even for this president. I guess the next change will be "he's out if convicted and given twenty years--but five years is all right."

Oh well, it is Joe Wilson's fault anyway. Bad Joe, bad Joe for looking into the yellow cake story. These guy never make mistakes at this White House. Only democrats and Clintons make mistakes in the oval office. Spin, attack, spin, attack! No wonder Mr. President kind of staggers when he walks...he is just dizzy from all the spin.

It is kind of unique that Rove is now saying he got his information from journalist. Wow. Now that is a circle to follow. It will probably be enough to get him off, but it shouldn't be. Being the number one advisor to Mr. President, he should have known better. He should pay the price, but he won't. People like Karl Rove get away with evil every day of their lives.

You may or may not know that Rove has a reputation for being one of the all time dirty trick guys. He is so sneaky that he even had surveillance devices placed in his own office in Texas, years ago, so that he could say that people were spying on him. The FBI kind of undone him on that, but he still got Bush elected governor of Texas--twice. I really think he is Satan on hindlegs. If you squint you can sort of see the horns and tail.

I said once that Mr. President was the Anti-Christ that all the religious right worries about. I also thought that VP Cheney was the Dark Lord of the Sith. Mostly, I was kidding...I think. But Karl Rove is an evil person who will do anything to keep his position of power. Stay tuned this is going to get interesting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Musings 54--Stiff upper lips and all.

Leave it to the British to show us how to muddle through the hedgerows of terrorism and look good doing it. They soldiered on, hardly missed a day of work and followed the lead of their Queen. Of course, it is in their blood--and it is about the blood, oceans of it.

During WWII, the folks on the isle got slammed nightly by the German air corps. Each day when the sun rose, they dusted themselves off and went about their business. Tuff stuff those Brits. During the last century, the Irish Republican Army would blow the hell out of strategic targets, usually killing one or two. Fearlessly, the English continued onward and upward--just like the progressive midget. Thus, our English brothers and sisters have a history of dealing with such tragedy. Since we are cousins, it is probably where we got our grit to cope with the aftermath when the two towers fell.

What I find amazing is the fact that all of the suicide bombers--three in the subway and one on the bus--were young British citizens. They were not transplanted extremists. I dare say that none of these human bombs even knew Osama Bin Laden, or even had any indirect dealings with him. So why do they do it. Good question. The answer has to be in their particular outlook on the Muslim religion. It can not be anything else.

I keep hearing that Islam is a religion of peace not war. Well, the fanatics are getting it from somewhere. Thomas Friedman in his piece in the New York Times makes the case that it is up to the Muslim communities in the world to put a stop to terrorism. There are few, if any, Muslims who vocally express outrage at terrorists acts. I wonder, as does Mr. Friedman, why that is? Could it be because down deep in their heart or hearts they feel that the terrorists are getting even with us for our actions in the Middle East over the last 100 years? If this is not the case, then there should be an outcry when such things as the London bombing happens. I hear no outcry. Do you?

Maybe there are other reasons that the "peaceful" Muslims have not spoken out. If there are such reasons, I have not heard them, and I have been listening.

So I guess that we just journey on keeping a "stiff upper lip," as our British cousins say. We have had plenty of practice, and we shall have much more--it is inevitable.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Musings 53--It's only money!

While the world goes on nicely spinning, the debacle in Iraq continues. The UK Guardian has a nice bit of investigative reporting that is scary reading. If you are an American taxpayer, you should read the article word by word. (See the Link.)

As I have written about before and linked before, there are billions of dollars that is unaccounted for in Iraq. Apparently, the former administrator, Mr. Brimer, handed out truck loads of money to about anyone brave enough show up and get some. There is also evidence that corruption might exist in the U. S. Military. Rumor has it--again see the above link-- that some American military personnel have padded their retirement accounts. When you hand out money with no accounting, it is easy for it to get funneled into private accounts. Large sums of money can corrupt even the best of folks.

Being a taxpayer and footing my share of the bill in Iraq, I want an investigation into where all of this money went. I want to know why no accounting was done. I want to know where the 8.8 billion dollars of missing money went. Just because there is a war going on does not mean that there shouldn't be accounting of funds.

There is also evidence that some of the new Iraqi government officials have tried to sneak out millions of American dollars to private accounts abroad. I guess there is no reason having power if you don't have some lucre hidden somewhere.

If there are individuals--government or military--who are padding their bank accounts while participating in this war, they should be charged with the maximum crimes possible and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you get rich while the every day soldier is bleeding, you should be in for a short rope and a long drop.

"The love of money is the root of all evil." That is the biblical quote that we all learned in Sunday school. If there are companies and individuals stealing in Iraq, we need to "root" them out.

I don't want to hear the lame excuse that we can't investigate these things because they hurt the troops. Gee, but that is getting old. If we have officers and officials that are feathering their nests--that is what is really hurting the troops.

The wild west was a place of immense corruption in the late 1800's. Many compare Iraq to those wild and wooly days. Well, if that is the case; then, we need someone to act the role of the U. S. Marshall in Iraq. It has to happen.

Unfortunately, there are those among us who will say that it is only money. Yeah, right. It is always about the money.


The Karl Rove story about the outing of an American CIA agent has not exactly caught on with the mainstream media. Since I was aware of him being the leak on Friday, it took nearly three days for the TV media to work up much of a response. I suppose, if the O'Rielly's and Hannity's of the world aren't outraged; then, the print media just takes its good old time. No wonder folks don't read newspaper anymore.

This is the story that won't go away. It will build and build until it boils over. Some things just take a little time.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Musings 52--Rove, Rove, Rove, yer boat!

Journalist Lawrence O'Donnell has outed Karl Rove as the guy who fingered CIA Agent Valerie Plame to conservative columnist Robert Novak. O'Donnell said that Newsweek is working on a big story about it. (See Link.)

Well, now, how about that. Now we see if Mr. President is the law-abiding guy that he says he is. If this is true then Rove is history. The boy wonder is gone, and it is by his own hand. But, then that is too easy. I am sure that Mr. President has an excuse up his sleeve. It will be interesting to see.

Leaking the name of a CIA agent is a federal crime. Old Karl could do some time. This should be great drama for a week or two. If Rove were on my staff and he did such a thing, I would furnish the rope to hang him. Let's just see what Mr. President does. Yippee, for some good old fashion Texas justice.

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff has a piece about this too. (See Link.) I have always felt that the bunch in the White House would do anything to their enemies. Ambassador Joe Wilson found this out when Novak ratted on his wife, Ms. Plame. Wilson said all along that it was from the White House. Apparently he knew what he was talking about.

So now I guess that Karl Rove is up the creek without a paddle, or will he pull another rabbit out of his hat. I mean he got junior Bush elected twice. With miracles like that, anything is possible.

In this time of patriotism, being the 4th of July and all, I am sure that Mr. President will set the right example and hang Mr. Rove out to dry. Think about it, Rove compromised an agent of the CIA. Doing such a thing in war time could get you locked away forever. Oh wait! we are at war! Well then, I guess the punishment will fall on Mr. Rove like a ton of bricks. Of course, I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure there is someone else that this can all be blamed on.

Rove, Rove, Rove, your boat gently down the stream--I sing. It sounds like a big water fall is dead ahead. Stay tuned.

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