Friday, October 21, 2005

JMill Doin' The Perp Walk, Journo-Style

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Tom Stall Scores Again!

(October 15, 2005) Indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay today released a video entitled “Earle’s Gone Wild” in what he described as the first phase of the “Mother of all smear campaigns” launched against Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle, who brought conspiracy and money laundering charges against him.
(omigod, this is like so funny)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Life Update

For those of you who know me and/or actually read my tripe, it's time to update you on my life situation. I will be flying up to Washington this Sunday evening to look at the Poulsbo lab for my company and meet the staff there. My bosses have decided (quite wisely, I might add) that they can't afford to let me work for another company (the usual story: skeletons, mob hits and all that). So, they are paying for the flight, hotel room, rental car and food. I'll return Monday night late. What's going on is that I posted my resume on and suddenly different companies were very interested in my talents. And I made it known that I wouldn't mind relocating to Washington (love the weather, seasons, culture, produce, snow, real fires in real fireplaces, the fact that spring is announced not by birds but by comely young women peeling off their clothes to show lots of leg and arm and neck and collarbone in public...makes a guy appreciate females anew each and every year). I lived in Seattle for 9 years, so I know.
Anyway, my company is ready to offer me management of the lab up there. I really like working where I'm at, but there is no room for growth. I am a technician who has reached most of my limits as such. And a very good friend is my manager at present, so I would never do anything to get his job. Hence, the only way to stretch my wings is to move to another lab or company.
Also, I got the weirdest email about my car. I have been told to consider the BMW sold and to pull my ad. Further, a check will be sent to me and I will deduct my price plus $100, then transfer the balance to the representative who will pick up the car. I'm down with that. There is one ethical dilemma, though. When this gentleman emailed me previously expressing interest, he asked me my final price. I had decided to drop it by $1000 and told him so. This was two or three days ago. Today he sent me three emails. The middle one asked me what my final price was (even though he had decided to buy it already). I'm thinking of sticking to the original price, because that is what is still showing on the car ad website AND I have received two other emails expressing interest at that price. I have not responded to that particular email. I feel that if he is wheeling and dealing and not reading his emails, then perhaps it's my call and reverting to the original asking price is ethically okay. Help me out on that one, would you folks? Especially since his first email of the day said he was going to send me a check for $5,500, but the third email said he was going to send me one for $7,500. Plus, I can tell this car is not for him. I can tell he is a reseller and most likely will be selling it in Europe (he's an English bloke who will be over there on business while his rep picks it up and I think the oversize of the check is for shipping to Europe). Either way, whoohoo for me. Thinking of moving has me all atizzy about what to keep, what not to keep, how to move it, where to move it (if I don't a place rented before I get there) and what to do with a second car I don't drive. He has one week to send me the check.
What a day. Hope yours was as weird as mine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So much for Pain Management

When did the party of small government become its evil twin? quite a long time ago, actually. the evil twin, however, is still very much a growth industry.

And Dick Seemed Like Such A Nice Guy

(from the U.S. News)
Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Cheney clips right-wing objections (10/5/05)
Press fumes over Bush timing (10/4/05)
Standing by DeLay, somewhat (9/29/05)
DeLay indicted in Texas probe (9/28/05)
More from Washington Whispers
More from Nation & World
"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."
Said another Bush associate of the rumor, "Yes. This is not good." The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn't get the job or run for president in 2008.
"Isn't she pro-choice?" asked a key Senate Republican aide. Many White House insiders, however, said the Post story and reports that the investigation was coming to a close had officials instead more focused on who would be dragged into the affair and if top aides would be indicted and forced to resign.
"Folks on the inside and near inside are holding their breath and wondering what's next," said a Bush adviser. But, he added, they aren't focused on the future of the vice president. "Not that, at least not seriously," he said.

John Nichols Tue Oct 18, 1:08 PM ET
The Nation -- Well, of course, the investigation of who leaked
CIA agent Valerie Plame's name -- violating the federal law that bars the "outing" of intelligence operatives -- has come around to Vice President
Dick Cheney' name. While it may be news to the Washington Post -- which headlined a breathless report on Tuesday: "Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case" -- the fact is that Cheney and his aides have been likely suspects from day one.
No prominent member of the administration had more to lose as a result of the 2003 revelation by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, that the White House's pre-war claims regarding
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been inflated than did Cheney -- who, to a far greater extent than
George Bush, had a hand in shaping the arguments for going to war, plugged them in media appearances and defended them after all evidence suggested his pronouncements had been wrong. It is important to recall that, while Bush may have deliberately fuzzed the facts in his 2003 State of the Union address, it was Cheney who leapt off the cliff of speculation with the pre-war declaration that, "We know
Saddam Hussein's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
No key player in the administration was more at odds with the
Central Intelligence Agency than Cheney. Indeed, Cheney's badgering of the agency to come up with "evidence" of Iraqi WMDs and al-Qaeda connections was so aggressive -- he regularly stormed into the CIA headquarters to demand a briefing and then, when the information did not fit his biases, demanded that someone else brief him -- that members of the House Intelligence Committee complained in a reprimanding letter, "These visits are unprecedented. Normally, vice presidents, including yourself, receive regular briefings from (the) CIA in your office and have a CIA officer on permanent detail. There is no reason to make personal visits to the CIA."
No top office within the administration was better positioned than Cheney's to gather the information that was used to attack Wilson and his wife and to peddle that information to the press. In fact, as Joe Wilson told me in an interview about the leaking of his wife's name that we did early in 2004, "With respect to who actually leaked the information, there are really only a few people -- far fewer than the president let on when he said there are a lot of senior administration officials -- who could have done it. At the end of the day, you have to have the means, the keys to the conversations at which somebody might drop my wife's name -- deliberately or not -- a national security clearance, and a reason to be talking about this. When you look at all that, there are really very few people who exist at that nexis between national security and foreign policy and politics. You can count them, literally, on two hands."
Wilson added that, without a doubt, "the vice president is one of those people."
And no one, repeat no one, in Washington is known to be more vindictive than Dick Cheney. So the notion that Cheney would not only have been aware of but in fact delighted in punishing Wilson by ruining the career of the ambassador's wife is entirely plausible. By all accounts, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is investigating that prospect as his long examination of crimes that may have been committed in relation to the Plame leak draws to a close.
Does this mean that the vice president will be indicted by the federal grand jury that is currently examining the actions of White House political czar Karl Rove and, more importantly, Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby?
Don't bet on it.
Libby is blood-oath, fall-on-the-sword loyal to Cheney. A Reagan-era State Department hand and Congressional staffer who came to know his future boss when Cheney was serving in Congress during the 1980s, Libby went with Cheney to George H. W. Bush's Defense Department -- serving Secretary of Defense Cheney as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Strategy and Resources and Deputy Under Secretary for Policy. Libby was then a founder of the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century, which promoted the vision of American Empire that Cheney and his staff had cooked up in their controversial draft Defense Policy Guidance statement during their final days at the
Pentagon. And when Cheney returned to the corridors of power, as vice president, Libby was at his side.
But the Cheney-Libby partnership is not merely a power and policy connection. Their relationship is more father-son than boss-surrogate. Libby vacations with Cheney at the vice president's $2.9 million villa in Wyoming, and Libby's access is such that he is welcome to invite friends and compatriots along to enjoy the skiing near Jackson Hole.
The likelihood that Libby would give up a relationship that has buttered his bread for the better part of a quarter century is even more remote than the likelihood that Rove would turn on Bush.
Yet, no one who knows about how Cheney and Libby operate will doubt that the two men had no secrets from one another during the period when the attacks on the CIA, in general, and Wilson and Plame, in particular, were taking place.
The vice president is a famously hands-on player. He personally requested information about claims that the Iraqis were attempting to obtain uranium from African countries -- the issue that Wilson examined in 2002, when he was dispatched to Africa and found that the claims were not credible. And while Cheney now says that he knew nothing of the report that Wilson produced before the war, the former ambassador has never believed him.
"If you are senior enough to ask the question, you are senior enough to get a very specific response," said Wilson. "In addition to the circular report that was sent around as a consequence of my trip, I have every confidence that one way or another the vice president was briefed as well." Yet, it was the vice president who continued to claim, long after Bush had dropped the line, that Saddam Hussein was a nuclear threat. And Cheney always went much further than Bush or others in the administration when making that claim. Indeed, it was Cheney who specifically stated prior to the Congressional votes on authorizing the use of force in Iraq that, Hussein had "resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons." Cheney claimed in the same speech that, "Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror, and seated atop 10 percent of the world's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of the world's energy supplies, directly threaten American friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail."
It is certainly reasonable to argue that Cheney had more reason to strike out at Wilson than anyone else in the administration when the former ambassador revealed the truth in a New York Times opinion piece that appeared in the summer of 2003. And, while Cheney may not have done the deed directly, it is comic to suggest that the vice president -- who was in constant contact with both Libby and Rove around the time of the leak -- could have been unaware of any serious effort to discredit Wilson by "outing" his wife as a CIA agent.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Normally, I'd say my life is so-so. Not much movement anywhere, just hanging tough and wondering where the next punch is coming from. You know, weathering the storm or the lulls between. But something exciting has happened. I put my resume on the internet and I got hits (not punches). Two outfits contacted me. One was a recruiter for a San Jose firm that's looking to pay someone $45,000-50,000 a year to do what I do. The other was a regional heavyweight. I turned down the San Jose gig, would mean moving to San Jose. The second I submitted my real resume to and am hoping they would like to talk. I don't know that I would accept that offer either ( I do like my current employer). However, my current employer has an automatic printout anytime an applicant puts a resume on and it matches up with their search words. So, they saw it. And they freaked. It's now possible that I will be offered a promotion and transfer to Poulsbo, Washington. I want to go back to WA if possible and financially feasible. So, stirring the pot has been good. I found out that it's a major seller's market for someone like me. There are no qualified technicians out there to handle all aspects of an engineering lab. Makes me feel good finally for sticking this out for over 5 years and getting as many certifications as I can.
Also, that bad BMW I own finally got a hit on Who knows? If someone wants to buy it they'll find it to be a sweet, sweet ride.
So, I'm happy as a restless soul can be. Which is what I think I now have figured myself to be. I guess I always was, but thought I was just unhappy or hard to satisfy. Perhaps, I just refuse to settle when I think something on the horizon is calling to me. perhaps i simply refuse to commit. whatever it is and whatever happens, I now that change is the only constant. And, once again, I rush to embrace it.