an understanding of the past is not simply an aesthetic exercise but a path to the understanding of our own time

Contrast and compare, Group skeptical of global warming notes his home is big energy user

Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home.

Not Shown: World’s Dopest Slot Car Layout

Do you suppose that they are equally up in arms by the fact that taxpayers are paying Dick Cheney’s electric bill at the Vice President’s mansion? You know, the one that had an $186,000 electric bill in 2001?

I don’t know enough about carbon off-sets to say whether Al Gore is absolutely at the zero emissions level, but that as always is not the fringe right’s problem with Gore. Unless the former Vice President lived in a grass hut, and consumed nothing but dandelion tea and tree bark the Right would call him a hypocrite. The borrow and spend Big Big Government anti-constitution Righties have as usual a terrible flair-up of their cognitive dissonance disorder for calling anyone a hypocrite.

Fired U.S. Attorney Says Lawmakers Pressured Him

Iglesias was among seven U.S. attorneys notified by phone on Dec. 7 that they were being fired without explanation. An eighth prosecutor, in Little Rock, also was removed in December, to make room for a former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove.


In addition to Iglesias’s probe of Democrats, fired prosecutors in Arizona, Nevada and California were conducting corruption probes involving Republicans at the time of their dismissals.

Positions as federal prosecutors have been used as political rewards for years. This seems to be yet another instance where Rovian style politics pushes partisanship to new extremes. As Laura Rozen points out much of this will play out as he said she said. In the short term she’s right. BushCo and his Congressional lackies has less then two years to stone wall and claim that since he lied us into Iraq and we’re at war – the usual parrot like reframe – that somehow gives Bush emperor like powers. We all see that the wheels of justice roll about as fast as frozen jam under Republican presidents so sometime in 2010 we’ll get the final findings of a Senate investigation buried on page ten. It is episodes like this and a president that thinks he’s Napoleon which turns people into political cynics. It is easy to imagine the damage that Bush and conservatives have done to the Constitution and the rule of law lasting well into mid-century.

The supposed “war on terror” continues to take a seat way in back of the bus while political considerations take front row, Labor language threatens antiterror bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush and his Senate allies will kill a Sept. 11 antiterror bill if Congress sends it to the White House with a provision to let airport screeners unionize, the White House and 36 Republicans said Tuesday.

“As the legislation currently stands, the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill,” said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

Senate Republicans swiftly backed up the threat with a pledge by more than enough senators to block any veto override attempt.

“If the final bill contains such a provision, forcing you to veto it, we pledge to sustain your veto,” they wrote to the president. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., planned to offer an amendment to strip the provision from the bill.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that allowing screeners to unionize would impede the department’s quick response to possible threats. Fast redeployment of screeners, such as in response to Hurricane Rita and the failed London plot to blow up airliners, cannot wait for negotiations, he said.

Sure competence and the ability to respond has always been Bush and Republicans top consideration. That would explain why they put a horse lawyer in charge of FEMA and the Katrina response and Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq. Conservatives main concern is that working Americans know their place and don’t get all uppity and ask for a living wage and decent heath care.

Arthur Schlesinger, historian of U.S. power, dies

“He is willing to argue that the search for an understanding of the past is not simply an aesthetic exercise but a path to the understanding of our own time,” Alan Brinkley, the historian, wrote.

Schlesinger wore a trademark dotted bowtie, showed an acid wit and had a magnificent bounce to his step. Between marathons of writing as much as 5,000 words a day, he was a fixture at Georgetown salons when Washington was clubbier and more elitist, a lifelong aficionado of perfectly-blended martinis and a man about New York, whether at Truman Capote’s famous parties or escorting Jacqueline Kennedy to the movies.

In the McCarthy era and beyond, he was a leader of anti-Communist liberals and a fierce partisan who called for the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, which never happened, and just as passionately denounced that of President Bill Clinton, when it did.

In his last book, “War and the American Presidency,” published in 2004, Schlesinger challenged the foundations of the foreign policy of President Bush, calling the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath “a ghastly mess.” He said the president’s curbs on civil liberties would have the same result as similar actions throughout American history.

“We hate ourselves in the morning,” he wrote.

Back in junior high and high school there was a semi-popular view that history was dry and about dead people that didn’t matter anymore. While I didn’t take that view I also didn’t realize quite how important history was until I became an adult. Maybe it would help if we sold history as a cross generational version of learning from your mistakes.

“…an understanding of the past is not simply an aesthetic exercise but a path to the understanding of our own time,” – Alan Brinkley