Friday, October 28, 2005

Musings 76--Indictment Day!

Well by now, I guess, everyone knows that Irv Libby, aka the "Scooter," is going down for the count. I realize that in the United States of America that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. However, special prosecutor's don't bring obstruction of justice, false statement and perjury charges unless it is very provable. (See Link)

Old Irv is the right hand man to Big Dick Cheney. It is still possible that the vice-president can still be implicated somehow. The indictment says that Big Dick told Irv about Valerie Plame. You all remember Val. She's the secret-agent that married the Wilson fellow. Ah, the plot thickens!

Karl Rove was seen skipping through the Rose Garden with a shit-eating grin on his face. Maybe he has escaped--this week. (See Link) Even the Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in his press conference that the investigation will continue. It seems that some of Fitzgerald's helpers think that there may be a chance to get Rove on more serious charges. Thus, the dark cloud remains over the White House.

In the meantime, Mr. President is going to go to Camp David so that he can work on a candidate to replace Harriet Meirs for the Supreme Court seat. He kind of reminds me of the "Peanuts" character Pigpen. No matter how much you cleaned him up, he always got dirtier than before. Hang in there Mr. President. You only have three more years to go.

I think that we should have a new national holiday. We could call it Indictment Day, and kids could wear handcuffs and lie to their parents without fear of consequence--only on that day. It seems like each and every administration since Richard Nixon's has had its brushes with the law. Ain't democracy grand? Communists and socialist never have this much entertainment on a daily basis.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Musings 75--The second thousand...

There has now been over 2,000 U. S. troops killed in Iraq. (See Link)

We are losing soldiers nearly every day. Is the end in sight?

Some of us still remember Viet Nam. How many more, Mr. President?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Musings 74--The ripple effect...

I have read enough James Bond and Matt Helm to know that it takes a whole bunch of time and effort to set up fake identities. Spys can only be as good as their covers, and if their covers are compromised, then life can get interesting...or fatal.

Valerie Plame, the wife of Joe Wilson, has been a CIA agent for over 20 years. I would surmise that it took a lot of money and time to train her for her job. She was a specialist on WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction). I have not met too many folks who say that is their area of expertise.

Listening to the talking heads, I find myself attempting to cut through the chatter and the spin. Mr. President has his people saying it was no big deal that columnist Robert Novak outed Ms. Plame--now known as Mrs. Wilson. They say that everybody knew that she worked for the CIA anyway. Well, there is plenty of evidence that her neighbors did not know that she was a spy. They thought that she worked for a company called Brewster-Jennings & Associates.
This company, we now know thanks to Novak, is a CIA front company. (See Link)

When Karl Rove, "Scooter" Libby and "Big" Dick Cheney decided to leak her name to the press because they wanted to smear husband Joe, they did a whole lot more than "out" an agent. They wrecked her cover company along with any other agent who might have said that they too worked for Brewster-Jennings & Associates.

All the bad guys in the world have television sets, and most of them probably read the Washington Post or the New York Times. Is it not possible that somewhere, some place, in a remote corner of the world a bad anti-spy guy puts two and two together and decides that John Smith from America, who works for Brewster-Jennings & Associates, just might be a CIA spook? What do you think the outcome would be? Dead spys are like dead ducks--they both float face down.

The stupid outing of Valerie Plame-Wilson may very well have had a ripple effect that will go on forever. Who knows who Plame-Wilson had as sources in foreign countries. If there were any double agents that had told their bosses that they had dealings with a company called Brewster-Jennings & Associates, then they are lost sources. The ripple can continue for years.

So when you hear one of the head-spinners saying that it was no big deal, you can retort that treason is always a big deal. Treason for spite, however, is even worse.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Musings 73--Breathing on the moon...

The world is an extremely complicated place these days. In an effort to make everyone feel better, I have taken it upon myself to search for a "feel good" story. I think I found it.

There is oxygen on the moon!! That's right, the moon!

It seems that a certain type of rock can be blasted apart to get breathable oxygen, and such rocks exist on the moon. Now that is just a really neato thing. (See link) One of the big things about setting up housekeeping on the moon was the lack of breathable air--oxygen. We had to pack it with us. Now, it seems, we would just have to "distill" it.

When I was in high school, the hot topic was the space race. Who would get to the lunar surface first, us or the dastardly Russians. Well, as we all know, the Russians made it to space first, but the U. S. A. made it to the moon--not once but several times.

After we had wandered around the moon's surface for a bit, we decided to not go there again. Why we did this is anyone's best guess. I think it had something to do with money. If that was the case, we then came up with the space shuttle which proved to be cost effective---to the tune of billions upon billions of dollars unto this very day.

Suddenly, there is interest in space again. Thus, maybe another mission to the moon is in order. Maybe those pesky Chinese guys who launched their first manned orbital mission had something to do with it. Whatever the reason, space appears to be making a comeback, and it is long overdue.

The politics here at home gets wearisome. The mind turns to mush with lumps. Space, however, gets the mind to soar (no pun intended) again. I remember being exceedingly excited during those early days of space exploration. It is hard to believe that there is an entire generation of young adults (those under 30) who have not experienced this excitement. We need to fly to the moon again. The sooner the better.

Oxygen already on the moon. Who would have believed it?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Musings 72--Tick, tick, tick...

Disclaimer: The following is not an advertisement for "60 Minutes." I just like the sound of the clock bringing impending doom.

If you really listen, you can hear the clock ticking down for some big happenings with key government officials.

Take Tom Delay. Ronnie Earle is going to book him this week. I know that the guys at "Smoking Gun" are salivating at having that picture up on their website. (See Link) Tick, tick, tick...

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is digging around in Bill Frist's sale of stock for millions of dollars. It appears that Senator Frist's blind trust...well, it wasn't so blind--it had eyes. Tick, tick, tick...

And then, of course, there is Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby. Both of these guys are in big trouble and the special prosecutor is wrapping up his case about the outing of Valerie Pflame, secret agent. Tick, tick, tick...

It also looks like the office of the Vice President of the United States may get drawn into the Pflame case. Wouldn't it be something if Dick Cheney, big bad Dick himself, had to resign over this. Haliburton would, no doubt, get him one of the finest lawyers that our tax dollars could buy. Tick, tick, tick...

Tick, tick, you hear it. I do! Tick, tick, tick...judgment day is coming and it's going to be a bitch.

Of course, we all remember that this is the administration that was going to restore integrity and honor to a White House that had fallen from grace. They came to power with self-righteous smirks. They blamed everything bad in America on Bill Clinton and the democrats. They are having their turn at the trough, and their record is no better--it most likely will be worse.

Tick, tick, is time...tick, tick, is time to...stop!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Musings 71--Shock and awe!

Since I got home late last night, I decided to watch the repeat version of Keith Olbermann's Countdown. It comes on at midnight in the eastern time zone.

It has to be said up front that Mr. Olbermann doesn't think much of Mr. President. He makes no bones about it. Maybe this is the reason I like him. I think me and some guy in Maine are the only people who watch him on cable television. Olbermann's rating really aren't that good, but the content of his shows are far and above the competition. I guess that just proves that quality really does not play well across the "good ole" USA.

But anyway, I tuned in just in time to see the rerun of Mr. President having his "conversation" with the troops in Iraq. To say it was stunning would be an understatement. I think it was more "shock and awe" on my part.

I could not believe that Mr. President would attempt to have a scripted conversation with the "troops." Well, maybe not the troops but a bunch of officers and one lone Iraqi soldier who was a real conversationalist. "I like you," he said to Mr. President. Now that is an original line.

Does it not say something about a President of the United States that is afraid to face the guys he has sent to war--without a script! Also, the real guys doing all the heavy lifting are the enlisted folk. Where were they?

Mr. President fumbled and bumbled his questions. The officers grinned like cheshire cats and then Mr. President dropped his earpiece...not once, but twice. I was embarrassed for him, which is hard to do when there are only the wife and the cat in the room. It made me sick to my stomach to watch such a poor display by Mr. President. I just stared at the tv in, as previously stated, "shock and awe".

It goes without saying that Mr. President is not much of a public speaker. He does not handle adversity well. It was evidenced on NBC when Matt Lauer was questioning him about his supreme court pick--Harriet Meirs. He blinked and squirmed and shifted his weight. He looked like he wanted to hit someone. Maybe he should have clobbered Lauer. God knows it would have helped their ratings, and it probably would have helped Mr. President's base in all those "red states."

I suppose that with Karl Rove tap dancing for his life before the special prosecutor, there is no one left to keep Mr. President from himself. It is sad that we have given the office of president to a guy that is definitely in quicksand over his head. That look on his face when he was reading "My Pet Goat" is still a very telling moment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Musings 70--The looming recession...

I have never considered myself one of the greater thinkers in the world, but I may be about to change my mind. Maybe it is because most people can't see the forest for the trees. I, on the other hand, have always been able to see the forest...the miles and miles of forests.

My prattling in the above paragragh is about one thing and one thing only--oil prices. Can we as a nation not see that the two things which make our economy chug along are oil and oil products? Everything we eat, everything we drive, everything we wear, everything we heat, everything we buy...ah, just everything is tied to oil and gas. Hence, it does not take an Einstein to understand that there is a monster that is waiting to devour us.

I generally don't make predictions, but I am making one anyway. This year, right after Christmas, we will run headlong into the recession monster. It will not be just a little bump like after 9-11. I predict it will be a whopper...maybe, even, a big mac. And, I fear that the average American Joe will be the the special sauce that gets eaten up.

I am starting to see estimates that natural gas prices will be double the cost of last year. In plain English, if you paid $200 per month last year, you will pay $400 this year, $400 becomes $800, etc. Most Americans cannot put up with such an increase, because real wages have only gone up about 3.7% this year. Folks that live paycheck to paycheck will be wiped out. Others that have some savings will see those savings dwindle away. Depending on how long the recession lasts, most people in the middle class may find themselves dropped into the realm of the lower class. You can only dip into the savings so often.

Big oil continues to make record profits. During the last decade, big oil made about 33 cents per gallon of gas sold. Since the last quarter of 2004, big oil has make 95 cents per gallon sold. Record profits are being made while the rest of us suffer.

When Mr. President ran for election in 2000, he called himself the compassionate conservative. Since he has not shown that he is truly compassionate about anything, I guess he had to use his friends at the big oil companies to create a group of people that he can feel sorry for. His mother can then continue to wander around Texas and talk some more about the "under-priviledged." I just didn't think she would be talking about me. Being poor is gonna suck!

I sincerely hope that I am wrong with my predictions, but all of the indicators seem to point this way. The first major indicator will be retail sales from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The second indicator will be the continuing rise of gasoline prices. The third and final indicator will be the interest rates. If the housing bubble bursts throughout the United States, interest rates will rise and things will unravel rather rapidly. These are the signs to watch for, and it does not look like a bright future for most of us.

With 2006 fast approaching, my hope is that I am reading the tea leaves incorrectly. Maybe Mr. President will pull a rabbit out of his hat, and we will all be saved. However, my first name is Thomas...and I doubt...much like my namesake in the scriptures. I really, really doubt it. Let us all pray I am wrong.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Musings 69--Delaying Delay...

If you look back to my Musings 28, you will see that I said that Texas DA Ronnie Earle would take down Congressman Tom Delay if he found enough evidence. Well, apparently he has that evidence. (See link.)

Frankly, I am amazed that it has taken this long to bring Delay, the former pest control guy, up on charges. He has skirted around judgment by the House Ethics Committee on at least three occasions and has been warned numerous times about his shady dealings.

Delay is making his rounds saying that he is the victim of a witch hunt. He was on Wolf Blitzer's Sunday show on CNN throwing around loose talk about conspiracies. When asked by Wolf what proof he had he backpedaled into a wall. He said he would make that information known when it was "timely." He kind of reminded me of one the pests that he used to kill--you know the ones that hate going doing on sinking ships.

A second indictment was given out today by a different Texas grand jury. The charge is money laundering. Methinks that Delay should consider whipping out that "timely" information. If Delay delays much longer, he will be a gone goose for sure.

The House picks new leaders in January. If Delay can't make this go away, then he and Newt Gingrich can hold hands at the Has-Been's Club. That would only leave Dr. Frist and his stock deals to worry about. Yipee...get along little doggies!

The first lady, Laura Bush, once made the statement that "you don't mess with Texas." Well, I think she was right. Ronnie Earle looks like a distinguished Texas Ranger, and we know you don't mess with the Texas Rangers. Chuck Norris made sure of that.

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