Guess what? Dick Cheney has found yet another law to evade or just completely ignore. I know, I know. You are completely shocked. This morning, there is much reaction to the man Joe Biden famously called "the most dangerous Vice President" in American history.
Also, some disappointing poll numbers regarding Guantanamo from the new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
And, are the Palin-Kennedy comparisons fair?
Should we be surprised that Cheney doesn't want to turn over all of his records to the National Archives?
In the case of the vice president's records, the White House has promised a different federal judge that it will comply with a Nixon-era law requiring the preservation and transfer of all documents related to the vice president's official duties, but the coalition has drafted a filing for the court on Monday that accuses Cheney of subtly seeking to circumscribe the legal definition of what those official duties encompass to such a degree that he will be able to take home or destroy countless documents related to policymaking that historians want to see.
I think in many ways, Cheney was considerably more dangerous than Bush and I'm beginning to think that he will never be held accountable. If you want to see even more of his vomit-inducing interviews, Cheney is a guest on FOX News Sunday this morning.
Dick Polman, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, urges us not to neglect Cheney when evaluating Bush's legacy:
It's impossible to critique the failures of the Bush era without targeting the de facto deputy president, a historically unique veep who did the policy work and the dirty work for his detail-averse boss. Not that Cheney would care what I think. Or what you think. His governing style was always predicated on the notion that he knew best and that public opinion was a mere irritant, as consequential as a fly buzzing a picnic basket. And it was always his basket, to restock as he pleased.
Rhonda Chriss Lokeman asks if the Bush and Cheney policies don't amount to impeachable offenses, what does? She also maintains that a "truth and reconciliation committee" won't come close to repairing the damage this pair caused. I so agree.
A new Washington Post/ABC News pollshows that nearly seven in ten Americans are optimistic about Obama's policies. But I was really disappointed to read this:
One item on Obama's agenda that few said he needs to pursue in the short term is the shuttering of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Only among Democrats do a majority want him to attempt to close the facility, and even among them, more said he should do so later in his presidency.
What is wrong with people? Only 18% of those polled said they think Obama should close Guantanamo right after taking office. Only 18%?!That is really disappointing...
Michael Rapkin, an attorney who has represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay, looks at why it is so important for Obama to declare an immediate ban on torture. Seriously, this can't wait:
However, recent statements by senior members of the Democratic Party on this issue foreshadow a possible early test for Obama, coming from those even inside his own party. It is critical that the President-elect stay true to his words and face down any dissenters on this issue: America must never torture.
Obama's commitment to end torture is supported by military and intelligence leaders, including several retired generals and admirals, who believe that all American interrogators must follow the military guidelines set out in the Army Field Manual on interrogation. Experienced interrogators lambaste its use, as do professional and academic experts, human rights organizations, religious groups and most Democratic lawmakers.
The traditional media must be suffering from "lack of news syndrome", because they continue to run around in circles like chickens with their heads cut off about this Blagojevich thing. Even though Obama has said repeatedly he will release the internal report when it is okay with Fitzgerald, Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff is demanding (!) Obama answer his five questions about the Blagojevich scandal:
1. Define "inappropriate," make good on your pledge of transparency and show us the internal report. All of it.
Mr. President-elect, you have said that nobody on your staff was "involved in inappropriate discussions" with the governor or his aides about his apparent plans for your Senate seat. Please define "inappropriate." And, in light of your pledge for greater transparency in government, will you also turn over a full, unedited copy of the internal report conducted by transition lawyers into this matter, including the notes of all interviews they conducted with your staff members, as well as all phone records and e-mails documenting the contacts between your staff, Blagojevich and his team?
Like I said, running around in circles. Patrick Fitzgerald has confirmed that he asked Obama not to release the report yet, so I don't see how it is helpful or illuminating to keep demanding he release it now. Gene Lyons looks at all the other stories the media could be covering if they spent a little less time on gossip and speculation.
In other news, the Boston Globe editorial board is not pleased with the Warren decision:
President-elect Barack Obama may be wise to keep a dialogue open with conservative evangelicals. Harder to understand is why he would give the Rev. Rick Warren the honor of delivering the invocation for his inauguration.
The Los Angeles Times also has a look at two families continuing the battle over Prop. 8 - one gay couple protesting the measure and one straight couple who "prayed, fasted and campaigned for the proposition." Reading profiles of people who are enthused about taking rights away from their fellow Americans makes me sick to my stomach. Also, it seems to me that when the media needs a "protesting Prop. 8" story, they automatically look for a gay person or couple. I think straight people - myself included - need to be more vocal about our support for full marriage equality for everyone and our voices should be heard more loudly. You don't have to be gay to be outraged by Proposition 8.
Oh, and Rick Warren wants you to know that he is not a homophobe because he is a "huge fan" of Melissa Ethridge.
Caroline Kennedy is beginning to articulate her political positions and has come out in support of gay marriage:
"Caroline supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples."
I've seen a number of people refer to Caroline Kennedy as a "Sarah Palin for the left," which I think is pretty unbelievable. Andrew Sullivan sums up the argument:
What are Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications exactly? A little less inspiring than even Sarah Palin’s. "I just hope everybody understands that it is not a campaign but that I have a lifelong devotion to public service," Kennedy said, leaving the office of the Monroe County Democratic Committee in Rochester last week. "I’ve written books on the constitution and the importance of individual participation. And I’ve raised my family."
So motherhood and DNA are her two platforms. Many millions of others could say the same. Yes, she is more educated than Palin and more articulate. But she is, like Palin, really an identity politics choice, someone who represents a core constituency rather than a set of ideas or long-time government experience. Upper East Side liberals deserve their place at the table, it seems, along with moose hunters in states with crystal meth problems.
Really? I would rather Kennedy be elected to her first public office, rather than appointed, but comparing her to Palin is pretty insulting. Palin has trouble articulating what books she reads, let alone offering coherent thoughts on domestic or foreign policy. Do you think this comparison is fair?
Well, it seems my internet is back to normal - I hope! What's on your mind this Sunday?