Biden

I kind of like Joe Biden. I think Biden would make a perfectly good VP. I think he would be an amazing Secretary of State. His problem is that sometimes his mouth runs out of words so his ass has to finish his thought for him.

Suspended Spitzer Aide Is Expected Back at Work

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s communications director, who was a central figure in an attempt to use the State Police to embarrass the governor’s main rival, is expected to return to state government as early as this week, people briefed on the matter said yesterday.

From: Suspended Spitzer Aide Is Expected Back at Work – New York Times

Really not cool. This is going to hurt Gov. Spitzer’s reputation and it should. To my admittedly cynical eyes; it looks as if Mr. Dopp was acting on Gov. Spitzer’s behalf, was caught, slapped on the wrist and allowed to keep his job.

The use of state law enforcement to carry out political goals is serious. It is not somthing that can be tolerated in any administration, Republican or Democratic. Its the reason why AG Alberto Gonzales was dragged in front of the Senate.

Eliot Spitzer News

Though two independent investigations proved that no illegal activity occurred on my watch, it is crystal clear that what members of my administration did was wrong — no ifs, ands or buts.
I have apologized to Joe Bruno, the Senate majority leader, and now I want to apologize to all New Yorkers.

From
An Apology From Albany – New York Times

More here Eliot Spitzer News – The New York Times

I hate to say this, but I don’t buy the governor’s story. Maybe I am a too much of a cynic; but I have a lot of trouble believing that anyone with Governor Spitzer’s reputation for detail and micromanagement would be unaware of actions against Majority Leader Bruno taken by his aides. I’ve seen what happens when then AG Spitzer investigated wrong doing at a bond desk I had worked on. This guy is not W. If someone in his circle switched to a Windsor Knot, he would know. I know people who work in government. I’ve met more than a few staffers. I’ve seen the way things work (or don’t work). And I don’t buy the story.

One thought in closing for my friends on the right. Would you trust Mr. Spitzer with W’s justice department? Would you be happy to grant his staff the same level of executive privilege? Would you want him to have the same wire tapping powers? Or have as little oversight as been granted W?

Antiterrorism Bill Passes House by Wide Margin

A crucial provision in the bill will change the way antiterrorism grants from the Department of Homeland Security are distributed to the states. It will cut in half the guaranteed minimum grant to each state, which was $3.8 million this year, and allow department officials to distribute money in discretionary grants where the threat and consequences of a terrorist attack are judged to be highest.

From
Antiterrorism Bill Passes House by Wide Margin – New York Times

Minor victory for those of us that wanted to see the recommendations of the 9/11 commission enacted. Having to wait for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack before the majority of air and sea cargo is not what I hoped for. At least it puts it on the budget. Now lets see if W signs it.

House Democrats pass contempt citation

The House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt of Congress citation Wednesday against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and one-time Counsel Harriet Miers, setting up a constitutional confrontation over the firings of federal prosecutors.

From House Democrats pass contempt citation – Yahoo! News

As much as I appreciate the shot across the bow, the show of force that the dems mean business, one thing comes to my cynical mind. Can W pardon them? Or commute the sentences?

Pelosi’s Delegation Presses Syrian Leader on Militants

Delegation members said that they sought to persuade Mr. Assad to distance himself from Iran, and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has become Syria’s ally in the growing confrontation with the so-called quartet of moderate Arab states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

From NYT

This is one of those moments where I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that loyalty to principles and intellectual honesty must come before any other loyalty. And with that in mind, I think it is a really terrible idea to have congress involved in foreign policy. That has always been the job of the executive. Why? Article 2, Sec 2 says so.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

Even if the executive is doing a bad job, it is still the job of the executive and not the job of the House. No matter how much I might dislike W’s handling of foreign policy, I respect the principles of separation of powers as described in the constitution far more.

So what they should the dems do? Bring Rice in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and ask her what she is doing about Syria. Appropriate money earmarked specially for diplomacy with Syria. Pass resolutions. And all the other things that congress is empowered by the constitution to do.

Democrats Seek Votes for Bill on Iraq

House Democrats were scrambling today to find the 218 votes needed to pass a war spending bill that would set a timetable to bring American troops home from Iraq, as the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans worked aggressively to foil their effort.

From Democrats Seek Votes for Bill on Iraq – New York Times

The inability to find the 218 votes is really disappointing. The war is unpopular. The president is unpopular. And Congress is unpopular because it hasn’t forced a change in Iraq strategy. The second complaint is over the volume of pork in that bill. Weren’t we promised a change in earmarking? What happened to that?