The House Judiciary Committee voted this morning to hold Karl Rove in contempt of congress. Big deal. The entire Bush administration has held congress in contempt for the past seven years. And there is no intent on the part of the House to actually, you know, enforce the citation. So what's the point?
The Bush administration has held congress in extreme contempt for the past seven-plus years. For five of those years, it didn't much matter. The past two years haven't made much of a difference either.
So, Conyer's committee cites Karl Rove for contempt of congress because he wouldn't comply with a subpoena, claiming "executive privilege". And now, the full House must vote on the citation, at least if that isn't off of Speaker Pelosi's table, too.
It's not a long trip down the road to drive me absolutely insane, but these kind of reports are simply too prevalent in 21st century America:
The mother of an 11-year-old rural Weston girl who died of untreated diabetes says she didn't know her daughter was terminally ill as she prayed for her to get better instead of taking her to the doctor.
Madeline Neumann died Sunday from an undiagnosed and treatable form of diabetes.
Her mother, Leilani Neumann, tells The Associated Press her daughter's condition worsened suddenly, and the parents stayed in prayer, believing she would recover...I have no problem with the parents of this young lady being religious, or even bringing up their child as such. That's a personal decision that people make when they're raising their kids. In fact, it's quite possible that Madeline was cognizant of her own illness, and due to her faith, thought that her parents were doing the right thing.
However, when a child's medical condition worsens, it is incumbent on the parents to seek appropriate care for the child. Failure to do so is nothing short of child abuse, and in this particular case, the authorities should be investigating such an angle.
The Supreme Court has taken up the issue of a restrictive gun control ordinance in Washington, D.C., and is hearing the case today. It goes without saying that uncontrolled handgun proliferation, particularly in urban areas, has become anathema to law enforcement agencies across the country, but don’t look for SCOTUS to uphold the D.C. ordinance.
Perhaps there are other ways, more voluntary in nature, to control the permitting, licensing, and distribution of handguns? Hmmmmmm….
A bandit-infested region of India is trying to persuade men to undergo sterilization by offering to fast-track their gun licence applications, an official said on Tuesday.
Officials in central Madhya Pradesh state’s Shivpuri district decided to adopt the policy — already tried out by some neighboring states — to increase the low vascectomy rate.
“I came to know that it had to do with their perceived notion of manliness,” said Manish Shrivastav, administrative chief of Shivpuri district, part of the Indian Chambal region, which is famed for its lawlessness and bandits.
“I then decided to match it with a bigger symbol of manliness — a gun licence,” he said. “And the ploy worked.” …
They were both treated (or not, as the case may be) at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Nataline Sarkisyan was the young woman who, just before Christmas last year, was denied a liver transplant by her insurance company until it was too late. She died at UCLA Medical Center on the day that the transplant was approved.
And Britney Spears? Just to refresh everyone’s memory…oh…never mind. But she’s also been treated at UCLA Medical Center on various occasions. Britney gave birth there, and has also had a few encounters with staff in the psychiatric wing of the hospital.
The reason I bring up Nataline is that right after she died, I asked a simple question: why in the hell didn’t the hospital just do the transplant, and figure out the financials at a later time? I don’t believe that anyone at UCLA Medical Center was ever held to account for this lack of decision making that led, directly or indirectly, to the young woman’s death.
However, apparently some staff members at UCLA Medical Center were caught peeping in Britney Spears’ medical files - and have been fired for the offense:
UCLA Medical Center is taking steps to fire at least 13 employees and has suspended at least six others for snooping in the confidential medical records of pop star Britney Spears during her recent hospitalization in its psychiatric unit, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.
In addition, six physicians face discipline for peeking at her computerized records, the person said…
Listen, I’m the last person in the world who would make excuses for any medical personnel violating the privacy of any patient, celebrity or not, by snooping in patient records for prurient information. Anyone at UCLA Medical Center who wasn’t directly involved in treating Britney had no business prying into her personal records, and should have been fired when the discovery was made. That was the correct call. (Interestingly enough, it appears as if staff were fired, but not doctors. Go figure.)
It's looking increasingly like the proposed do-over of the Democratic Party presidential primary is DOA. There have been several proposals batted around, the latest of which is a mail in ballot type of affair. The Dem chairperson in Florida appears to be concerned about the sheer logistics of conducting such a vote:
The head of Florida's Democratic Party said Thursday the proposed vote-by-mail presidential primary is unlikely to go forward because of strong opposition and concerns about conducting the vote...
...[Karen] Thurman will review comments from Democratic leaders and make a decision by Monday on whether to proceed with the re-vote. But she acknowledged that Obama has had concerns and the Democratic National Committee won't support a proposal unless both candidates also back it. She said there's a serious question over whether the state could legally verify the signatures of a privately run election.
"If this becomes something that we can't do, then we can't do it," Thurman said...When I first heard of the proposal, my thoughts were: ripe for fraud and ballot box stuffing. After all, it would be exceedingly difficult to verify and validate every single one of more than a million-plus ballots.
On the other hand, even if it took days (or weeks) to validate and count, this type of a primary might just be the ultimate in voter enfranchisement. Florida Dems would be able to take some time in casting their votes, and it's probable that doing it this way would result in a huge turnout.
As those who follow this kind of stuff are well aware, the DNC stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates to the Democratic Party convention as a penalty for moving up the state primaries. Hillary Clinton won both primaries decisively, in what was essentially a "straw vote", since neither state can seat its delegates (as things stand now).
Interesting enough, with the nomination hanging in the balance, and the talking heads chattering that if Clinton can't win both Ohio and Texas tomorrow she should quit the race, Florida governor Charlie Crist has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into the works. He says he's willing to give the Dems a do-over vote in the Sunshine State:
Florida Governor Charlie Crist said he'd support a repeat of the Democratic presidential primary so the state's delegates can be counted at the party's national convention.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said he's open to the possibility. Primary elections are paid for by a state's taxpayers, so the offer from Crist, a Republican, is "very helpful" because money is an issue, Dean said.
"We're very willing to listen to the people of Florida," Dean said on CNN's "Late Edition" ...It's curious that DNC Chairman Dean would make such a comment, and not dismiss the offer outright.
A motivational coaching company in Utah is being sued by a former employee for using waterboarding as a performance improvement technique. No word yet on whether snarling dogs, loud music, or pictures of Dick Cheney were also being used to properly inspire the employees.
So, you think you have a crappy job?
This is what happens when torture becomes acceptable in the mainstream. It's also quite a stark commentary on the state of corporate employee / employer relationships:
A supervisor at a motivational coaching business in Provo is accused of waterboarding an employee in front of his sales team to demonstrate that they should work as hard on sales as the employee had worked to breathe. In a lawsuit filed last month, former Prosper, Inc. salesman Chad Hudgens alleges his managers also allowed the supervisor to draw mustaches on employees' faces, take away their chairs and beat on their desks with a wooden paddle "because it resulted in increased revenues for the company." ...I've heard of some extreme motivational techniques in the workplace, but this just seems a bit over the top to me. No word yet whether or not the company endorses electrodes clamped to employee's genitalia as an additional incentive not to slack off on the job.
Is this how Prosper, Inc. won the E&Y Utah Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2005?
There's a Dick Cheney joke in here someplace, but I'm too tired from traveling today to develop it right now.
The question is: will a Democratic Party controlled congress do anything about it?
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey went before the Senate Armed Services Committee today, and told them:
"The cumulative effects of the last six-plus years at war have left our Army out of balance, consumed by the current fight and unable to do the things we know we need to do to properly sustain our all-volunteer force and restore our flexibility for an uncertain future."This isn't news to anyone who has actually been paying attention. Nearly a year ago, I wrote a long article titled, The Hollow Army. Nothing has changed since then in terms of military readiness to address emerging issues around the world. The bottom line is that the U.S. is so hamstrung in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the military is stretched so thin, that nearly any tinpot dictator can get away with nearly anything around the globe that might otherwise require a military response from the U.S.
It's more than just personnel, too. The Bush administration led America into its Iraq folly nearly five years ago. And the troops that are there still aren't receiving the proper equipment to protect themselves and carry out their mission. FIVE YEARS.
Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton was doing some campaigning in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At a Q&A session, a question was raised on what she would do to prevent tragedies such as occurred last week at Northern Illinois University, in which 5 students were killed and 22 more wounded by a former NIU student who had gone off his meds.
Her answer was troubling to me - not her stock political answer (background checks, no gun permits for terrorists or the mentally ill) - but that she felt the need to impress Wisconsin voters with her own killing credentials:
"You know, you may not believe it but I've actually gone hunting," Clinton, 60, said at a question-and-answer session with voters at a crammed bratwurst restaurant in Kenosha.
"My father taught me to shoot 100 years ago," she said jokingly...Wait a second. Didn't Mitt Romney say basically the same thing earlier in his own campaign, in an attempt to boost his own machoness / killing cred with New Hampshire voters? Why, yes, yes he did.
And Huck? Boom, boom, and a pheasant sacrifices itself for the greater good of a Huckabee photo op.
What is it about politicians in 2008 that they feel they have to pander to a crowd by proudly proclaiming their ability (past or present) to kill something...a defenseless animal - and by extension, a terrorist; an inner city bad guy robbing a liquor story; a Mexican crossing the border under the cover of darkness? It almost feels sociopathic.
Why is it that the Catholic Church would rather have a single mother become unemployed and/or on welfare than either have an abortion or a job to provide for her child? When a diocese fires a single woman for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, that's the message they're sending.
This is one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations.
An unmarried 5th grade teacher at St. Felix school in Wabasha, Mn. found herself in an unfortunate position when she became pregnant. True to her faith, she decided against having an abortion - but then found herself on the short end of the employment stick. She was given the choice by school administrators to resign or be fired:
...after learning she was pregnant out of wedlock, she felt the right decision was to be honest with the school's principal.
"She told me that she was glad I made the right choice in telling her," Emily says.
She says after being asked by administration to write a letter to the school explaining what she had done, she was then asked by the principal and the school's priest to resign...