Around The Sphere Blog Roundup
Our linkfest taking you to weblogs of varying opinions where diverse writers give you their best takes on issues and events.
If You Think Sarah Palin Is Considering Leaving Politics then think again. For more on the “mystery of Sarah Palin” go HERE. Meanwhile, some GOPers don’t want her help in their campaigns. Some suggest she might be trying to build an independent conservative movement.
A Policy Review Or Not Of Afghanistan? And is America creeping towards a Vietnam style disaster there? Some must-read thoughts from Steve Hynd.
Dick Cheney’s Role In Getting The CIA To Hide A Secret Program From Congress continues to raise eyebrows and draw outrage. A must read on these issues is always law prof Jonthan Turley. Here is part of his post:
While covert operations can be limited to disclosures to the Gang of Eight, the National Security Act of 1947 requires such disclosure.
It was previously known that Cheney’s legal adviser, David S. Addington, (another dark character in these scandals) was involved in this matter as well.
Once again, it is astonishing that Attorney General Eric Holder continues to refuse to appoint a special prosecutor to deal with the mounting allegations of criminal acts by the Bush Administration. The blocking of such investigations by the Obama Administration reaffirms the view that our intelligence services live beyond the reach of the law and that our leaders are unaccountable under the criminal laws that they apply to average citizens. While Obama insists that no one is above the law, he has ensured that we have two separate systems of justice for the powerful and the plebes.
But Attorney General Eric Holder Is Reportedly Considering Probing Bush/Cheney administration torture, even if some think it will put him at odds with the guy now in the Oval office. John Amato looks at the Newsweek piece reporting this and adds:
It’s the way it should be. The AG should be doing what’s right for the country regardless the administration occupying the White House. I hope this wasn’t leaked so either it’ll get squashed or other important legislation like health care will get dumped on, but we need these atrocities investigated. I’ve been calling for this for along time now and so has many readers and bloggers on the left as well.
Glenn Greenwald looks at this issue as does Balloon Juice’s Tim. And some think that Republicans owe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an apology. Some more links and thoughts here. But is this a case of Democrats manipulating the news cycle? And James Joyner on the CIA/Cheney/Congress story:
Now, if there’s anything we know about the CIA during the Bush years, they only kept secrets when they felt like it. Senior CIA officials routinely leaked to the press to cover their own backsides or when they disapproved of administration policy. Do we really think were going to break the law by lying to Congress on the orders of the vice president?
For that matter, it’s not entirely clear why they would consider Cheney part of their chain of command. Until early 2005, the CIA Director was dual hatted as Director of Central Intelligence, reporting directly to the president. Subsequently, the roles were split and the CIA Director reported to the Director of National Intelligence. The vice president has only referent power based on the strength of his relationship with the president. Indeed, some would argue that Dick Cheney wasn’t even a member of the executive branch!
Post-Obama Russia Gets Back to Basics: RCW’s Kevin Sullivan writes:
Russian political establishment is musing over what has and has not been accomplished at past week’s summit. Colonel-General (Ret.) Leonid Ivashov, Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, spoke to daily “Vglyad,” insisting that interpretations of what the parties called “breakthroughs” and “steps to compromise” will vary greatly for the Americans and Russians.
Ivashov stated that the signing of a Framework Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms agreement “… was better than we expected. We feared that in the framework agreement each side would be allowed only 1,000 warheads, which would not be beneficial for us. The accepted bilateral communiqué demonstrates that a compromise was found between the administration of the Russian President, government and military community, with all sides is realizing that we must not achieve rock-bottom in numbers of armaments when it comes to these agreements.”
Read the entire analysis..
An Israeli Official’s View Of U.S. Foreign Policy: It’s collapsing and in chaos…
Another View via Washington Note: Obama is now baby stepping towards a nuclear free world.
And Are Some (New and Old Media) Pundits Missing The Point On Obama? Is he really a pragmatist — and how is that pragmatism scoring with the American people? Or has Obama been successful playing a mind trick?
Lots of people are beginning to question the cost of President Barack Obama’s healthcare “reform” plans, and with good reason. (Just compare the original projections for Medicare with what it wound up costing in reality).
But there’s another cost that isn’t getting enough attention. That’s the degree to which a bureaucratized healthcare system will squash medical innovation just as we reach a point where dramatic progress is possible. To see how important that is, I don’t have to look any farther than my own family.
Perhaps our medical history is more involved than most, but probably not by a lot. And yet many members of my family are living better, happier lives — or, heck, just living — because of medical innovations made in recent decades, innovations that probably wouldn’t have been made under a government-run health system. And as medical technology progresses by leaps and bounds, the next few decades are likely to see much greater progress, unless it’s throttled by bureaucrats.
President Obama talks about the importance of prevention in a way that suggests that when people have heart attacks it’s their own fault. But my wife, a longtime vegetarian and marathon runner, had a freak heart attack at the age of 37.
Read it in its entirety.
Speaking of Healtcare: There is a huge need for living kidney donors.
Vietnam Era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara Died but was he actually forgotten before he even died? Will Bunch suggests that, in a sense, he was:
The life of Robert McNamara was a personal tragedy, but it was also an American tragedy, our tragedy — because even after McNamara spelled out everything that went so horribly wrong in Vietnam, he lived long enough to see a new generation of the self-appointed “best and brightest” in Washington pay absolutely no mind to the lessons of our recent past.
Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court Nomination Hearings Will Begin and at least one liberal group is on the attack against some who oppose her. And Obsidian Wing’s Hilzoy has this message — a blunt one. The issue is also under discussion at Red State.
Democratic and White House Shift? Are the Dems moving away from Zelaya?
Obama Met The Pope — but what was his gift? Hint: it was not an iPod.
The NAACP Is Now 100 Years Old and debating its role..
Senator Ensign’s Family’s Big Payout and The Mistress’ Big Pay is an eyebrow raising story…
The Cycle of Cities: The evolution of tenements…