Saturday, December 30, 2006

Judge of Judges Has Ethics Problems

The new chairman of the Judiciary Committee admits he has possible ethics violations, per the Hill:

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) has "accepted responsibility" for possibly violating House rules by requiring his official staff to perform campaign-related work, according to a statement quietly released by the House ethics committee late Friday evening...................The Hill reported last March that two former Conyers’ aides alleged that he repeatedly violated House ethics rules by requiring aides to work on local and state campaigns, and babysit and chauffeur his children. Deanna Maher, a former deputy chief of staff in the Detroit office, and Sydney Rooks, a former legal counsel in his district office, shared numerous letters, memos, e-mails, handwritten notes and expense reports with The Hill............

House Speaker Pelosi is standing by Conyers:

A spokesman for Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Conyers will remain chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Conyers is the "Impeach Bush Whip" and this should become interesting over the next few days:

Conyers had alarmed Democrats, poised to recapture the House after 12 years in the minority, by indicating that he would begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush. In May, a spokesman for Pelosi, said that she told her Democratic colleagues in a closed meeting, "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it."

Should someone who holds such an important position in government and who steers the qualification of federal judges have such issues of integrity, regardless of their party affiliation or yours? Conyers has no stone throwing latitude in my opinion...........

Video of Saddam Hanging

The cell phone video of Saddam Hussein hanging from the gallows, via Google:


------------------> Update <----------------------(10:52PMCST)

The left & right bloggers are hammering away on the merits of the "hanging". Gateway Pundit (right of center blogger) highlighted several (left of center blogger's) reactions:

Gateway Pundit post

Crooks and Liars, Unqualified Offerings, American Street, and The Huffington Post, and the comments are flying after the post on whether Saddam's hanging is good, bad, or of no impact.......................................Strange to me how the hanging of Saddam by Iraqis and their legitimate government could be divisive, strange perspective indeed..............

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Forget the NSA, Clinton Was Spying on Diana

Revelations that the US was spying on Princess Diana and had her wired for sound the night she died, per The Guardian:

The American secret service was bugging Princess Diana's telephone conversations without the approval of the British security services on the night she died, according to the most comprehensive report on her death, to be published this week...............

I wonder if we win see half the outrage from the MSM over this matter that we saw over the NSA? Considering the MSM's reaction and public opinion campaign when it was discovered that we were wire-tapping calls from terrorists into the states, one would think that when it's reveled that a world icon such as Diana was being "monitored" by the Clinton regime, the obvious reaction should be "that is nuts".............................Don't hold your breath for that logical and appropriate reaction however............

Friday, December 01, 2006

Next Iraq Play: Bolster Maliki to Challenge Sadr, Sistani Willing.......

An interesting and informative article via the NYT's on Iraq and who is the power broker in Iraq. It's the Ayatollah (Ayatollah Sistani):

A wild card in any power struggle among the Shiites would be Ayatollah Sistani. The elderly cleric has generally remained silent in recent months, apparently reluctant to involve himself too deeply in the political quagmire of Iraq. But if it looked like a severe Shiite split might take place, the ayatollah could step in and force the parties to make peace.

This week, though, Ayatollah Sistani said nothing when Mr. Sadr withdrew officials loyal to him — 30 parliamentarians and six ministers — from Mr. Maliki’s government. Baha al-Aaraji, a leader of the parliamentarians, said the Sadr officials would not return until Mr. Maliki had wrested more control of Iraqi forces from the Americans and improved basic services. In a news conference after his meeting with Mr. Bush, Mr. Maliki urged the Sadr followers to rejoin the government.

In the article you get the play by play on the current power struggle. The American play appears now to be to reach out to Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the powerful Shiite PM with strong ties to Iran (his Iraqi party members actually fought for Iran in the Iran-Iraq war). He also is a religious conservative (seems that most Iraqis are) and an arch rival of fellow religious clerk Montana al-Sadr, the number one threat in Iraq per American advisors given his militia. Looks like a prop-up of Sadr's rival Hakim to erode Sadr's influence.

This part of the story makes the most sense to me:

A senior Pentagon official said Friday that the Bush administration was also weighing whether to back away from efforts to reach out to Sunni extremists because the approach had not worked, and was alienating moderate Shiite groups...............

Reaching out to Sunni's has not worked it seems to me, and I'm all for reaching out to "moderates" even if moderate is a relative term. That sounds logical.......