Monday, July 9, 2007

Bush to Senate: None of your business

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I did, and one of the reasons why is deeper in this post.

But first, our president is at it again, although this one was expected.

This morning (July 9, 2007), W announced he is invoking executive privilege. It's to keep former counsel and failed Supreme Court pick Harriet Miers and political hack and former political adviser Sara Taylor from having to testify in front of the Senate committee investigating his attorney general fiasco.

Of course, they can speak to the committee off the record and not under oath, Bush said. Yeah, right. Like they'd tell the truth if not facing perjury sanctions.

This is all part of the dance meant to keep Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in office and screwing up until Bush's term is up next year. That's when Bush will leave the mess he created in the USA and around the world to his lucky successor.

It'll also be the time he pardons I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the fall guy in the spy-outing scandal. And, by the way, note this in your future files: Will Scooter Libby ask for the return of the $250,400 he paid or someone else paid for him in fines for his federal conviction?

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One of the reasons I had a great weekend was that I celebrated a significant birthday for a wonderful guy.

Martin Glassner, Ph.D., turned 75 over the weekend and his family and friends gave him a significant bash at his Hamden home.

Marty has led a remarkable life. Born in New Jersey, he was an early ecologist, hiking in the woods, agitating for the environment and meeting and marrying Renee, a Holocaust survivor to whom he's been wed for 52 years.

After graduating from Syracuse, Marty served in the Army, then went to graduate school and because a Foreign Service officer for the State Department, serving in spots all over the globe.

After government service, Marty taught geography at Southern Connecticut State University, rising to department head. He has also served as a consultant to the United Nations on such things as water rights and the law of the sea and had a lot to do with the nitty-gritty on agreements between Israel and Jordan.

Marty and Renee have three children and close to a dozen grandchildren, as well as a great-grandchild. They still travel all over the world, from Nepal to South America to the Middle East. Marty has written many, many books, including recently editing "And Life Has Changed Forever: Holocaust Childhoods Remembered."

On top of all that, he's a great guy, serving on all kinds of board and committees and being an affable friend. Happy birthday, Marty.

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Paul Bass took some heat for his latest edition of From the Compost Heap, his weekly videoblog.
Some viewers took exception with his off-handish comments on the proliferation of flags on July 4, set against a mention of a New Haven soldier who was killed in Iraq.

Permit me to pile on.

I had a bit of a problem with that, too, but I know Paul and know he really is a true patriot.

My problem was with his off-handed comment about a person who was surrounded by youths on bicycles while driving on a major New Haven street. This person was beaten and robbed by the circling youths, who knew he wouldn't use the car as a battering ram to escape because he didn't want to kill anyone.

Bass said he tried to get an answer from the police chief, who left the meeting where the question came up, and the underling whom Bass asked about this said each incident is different.

Then Bass tossed it off, saying he didn't know the answer.

He then talked about a kid who was shot while sitting and watching television at home.

I'm not trying to equate the two. It's 20 kinds of wrong that a kid shouldn't be safe in her home. Thankfully, the kid's OK.

But it's also wrong that a person shouldn't be able to drive on a street without being accosted by kids on bikes. Neither should be tossed off with a shrug.

The taxpayers and other citizens of New Haven deserve the full-time attention of our police and top office-holders to our safety. That should be the top priority, above all else. If there isn't enough time and aren't enough people to keep the citizens safe and do identity cards or downtown development as well, then maybe the cards and the development need to wait. If we need help from the State Police, then we need to get it.

Until next time...

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