Author's posts

I’d rather be with you

The last few months have been very emotional personally.  Waiting to see if I’m going to lose my home, get a day gig, lose the UI, maybe having the music career start back up, and watching my dog get old enough to have to make that final decision, it’s been a roller coaster.

Add to that emotional baggage is the final straw for me with democrats, Obama, and last but not least, the GOS,all coming together last week in a craptastic display of hypocrisy, skullduggery, tomfoolery, and plain stupidity.  

I’ve decided I’d rather be with you.


(Crossposted at GOS)

With the recent SCOTUS ruling, our system of representative government is as we know it is over.  This is not hyperbole.  

The court, in effect, decided that corporations will be able to determine policy in all matters of government without any meaningful restriction.  And before you jump right in and tell me that unions and the Sierra Club will have expanded rights, money talks, and big money talks loudest.  It’s the return of feudalism, engineered by the SC appointment of Roberts and Alito during GW Bush’s term.  

The SCOTUS, after installing a president via judicial coup, have now installed a corporatocracy, also via judicial coup.   So much for judicial restraint from the Federalist Society.

See you after the jump for an idea whose time has come.  

Obama DOJ: Civil and Human Rights now #4 priority

The Justice Department’s OIG released its semiannual report recently. Curiously, only Raw Story had anything much to say about it.  Their story is here:…

Their story focused on Bush era wrongs being why the DOJ’s image is tarnished.  That WAS true, but if you want to reverse counrse on something, you should first on the brakes.  

Top Management and Performance Challenges

The OIG has created a list of top management and performance challenges in the Department annually since 1998, initially in response to congressional requests but in recent years as part of the Department’s annual Performance and Accountability Report.

The OIG’s top challenges for this year are listed below. Many of the challenges from last year’s list remain and are long-standing, difficult challenges that will not be solved quickly or easily. However, we removed the challenges of “Violent Crime” and “Cyber Crime” from the 2008 list, and added the new challenges of “Recovery Act Funding and Oversight” and “Financial Crimes.”

Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department of Justice – 2009

  1. Counterterrorism

  2. Restoring Confidence in the Department of Justice

  3. Recovery Act Funding and Oversight

  4. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

  5. Financial Crimes

  6. Sharing of Intelligence and Law Enforcement Information

  7. Grant Management

  8. Detention and Incarceration

  9. Information Technology Systems Planning, Implementation, and Security

 10. Financial Management

Raw Story noted that the DOJ rocketed “restoring confidence in the DOJ” to #2 over all, and its multiple problems with Bush era holdovers and corruption.  

But all I saw was the irony between challenge # 2 and challenge #4.  

The Updated Tinkerbell Strategy

Update:  I have re-written this essay almost in its entirety in light of events since I published here yesterday.  It’s full-on mockery now.    

There has been a lot written lately a bout the acceptability of criticizing President Obama.  What way is best, what kind of criticism is effective, whether it should be done at all.  These are important questions, and I am proud of how this community has tackled this with such maturity.  

What I’ve found is, some think criticism is fine, as long as it doesn’t attack the president personally.  I wasn’t sure how to do that without using his name or without referring to his behavior.  So I was starting to get a bit puzzled and headachy.   And some people were angry with me.  

Some think, as I did until today, that the best way to hold a politician accountable, is to, like, call, write letters, and post diaries asserting what the actual beef is, in the hopes that the politician will respond to mass pressure.  What I found out is, if that politician is THIS president, this is a no-no.  Of course, criticism of the LAST president for the same behavior is A-OK.  That got me even more headachy.  I HATE headaches.  

Then I came to an epiphany.  

Update II: Music video: Shameless Promotion of my son’s project

At some personal risk to my anonymity, I am proud to promote a project from my eldest son, Joe.  (No, his last name is not Lemming).  He is a drummer in the Minneapolis area, and plays in several bands and in the studio with several other projects.  In other words, he’s “in demand”.  He is the eldest of my two drummer sons.  Imagine what dinner table conversations were like in my home!  Joe, please stop tapping and pass the butter.  Ryan, please stop smacking that glass with your pen.  

In my head it was always “Oh gawd please make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!.”  Of course, the payoff is when you get to see them come in to their own, and not on your dining room table.  My wife is a vocalist and I am a sax player, so I guess we’re at fault anyway.  

The current band Joe’s promoting is called Kill to Kill, and it’s so unusual I thought you people would get a kick out of it. It’s a punk trio, with bass, baritone guitar and drums only.  The singer reminds me of no one – I think this act is completely unique.  Follow me below the fold for video.  

To the Mattresses, People!

I don’t know about you, but the President’s speech last night filled me with a sense of pride.  It really did.  Obama is a great motivational speaker, and after watching it I just wanted to get on the phone and and help him get this thing done.  

Update: And he told us on the left not to fixate on the public option.  I’m nothing if not subservient, so I took some notes, and started to write my script for the phone bank……


So Yeah, I’m Employed Now, Thanks!

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

After over a year, nearly losing my house, cars and other possessions, I have obtained gainful employment.  It came after applying for hundreds of jobs, not just in my area, but across the country, for anything I am qualified for.

I didn’t do it myself.  It came with help from friends, my network, my family, this community, and from the government.  

Follow me over the fold to tell you about how I see us all as interdependent and what a truly great this country is, if you choose to see it.  

Obama Administration Continues to Cover Up Cheney’s Crimes

From the Washington Post :

federal judge yesterday sharply questioned an assertion by the Obama administration that former Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s statements to a special prosecutor about the Valerie Plame case must be kept secret, partly so they do not become fodder for Cheney’s political enemies or late-night commentary on “The Daily Show.”

Ugh.  But it gets even better.  

But career civil division lawyer Jeffrey M. Smith, responding to Sullivan’s questions, said Bradbury’s arguments against the disclosure were supported by the department’s current leadership. He told the judge that if Cheney’s remarks were published, then a future vice president asked to provide candid information during a criminal probe might refuse to do so out of concern “that it’s going to get on ‘The Daily Show’ ” or somehow be used as a political weapon.


Fitzgerald, in a 2008 letter to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) cited by CREW, drew a distinction between interviews that he conducted under standard investigative secrecy rules and the meetings he held with Bush and Cheney. Fitzgerald said “there were no ‘agreements, conditions, and understandings between the Office of Special Counsel or the Federal Bureau of Investigation’ and either the President or Vice President ‘regarding the conduct and use of the interview or interviews.’ ”

So the Change You Can Believe In administration is arguing, with an apparent straight face that this isn’t a cover up of treason by Richard Bruce Cheney, that’s a 1st amendment issue.  Let me calm down and try to suss this out.  

The claim made originally by war criminal Bradbury, that the Vice President may not participate in a criminal probe in which he is himself the prime suspect, because Jon Stewart might make fun of him.  Not because he may incriminate himself.  And we can’t know about this, not because it might provide proof that Cheney is a criminal, but because in the future, when a Vice President breaks the law, he may, out of a fear of embarrassment, not cooperate with criminal investigations against him.  

How long before Obama is on the hook?

Whew.  Can't believe I just wrote that headline. 

 For all this time, we have been told to keep our powder dry.  That he's on our side, got our best interests at heart.   For all this time, the focus and outrage has been directed to Bush/Cheney. There is plenty of evidence he's doing the bidding of the military industrial complex, and not the bidding of his constituents. 

Obama has been in office for just over 4 months.   In that time, he has had the time to:

1) Extend warrantless wiretapping, and even extend his claim to that power

2) Defend government secrecy – even exceeding Bush's claims of executive power.

3)  Publish evidence of Bush era war crimes

4) Declare theintention not to prosecute said war crimes

5) Close, then not close GTMO

-calling the detainees 'too dangerous to let go'

6) Reinstall military commissions for 'dangerous terrorists we CAn prosecute'

 7) Continue unabated the TARP program, while doing little to save people's homes from foreclosure.

8) Bail out giant carmakers without requiring the money be used to support jobs at home.

9) Kept key Bushies like Gates on – keeping the previous military structure in place so propaganda can leak out just like before. 

10) Asserted the intent to keep Don Seigelman in jail.


How on earth does this look different, other than the party label, than the last 8 years?