Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pentagon, Dems, the interview from yesterday

Good evening. We'll kick things off with Democracy Now!

More Dems Come Out Against Roberts
The battle continues over the confirmation of President Bush's nominee for chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, as more prominent Democrats have made their voting intentions public ahead of today's vote. Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy say they will vote against Roberts, while Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy says he will support Roberts. Earlier this week, Minority Leader Harry Reid said he would vote no. Meanwhile, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, is calling on President Bush to delay nominating a replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Specter said he talked to Justice O'Connor about staying on the high court and that "She's prepared to do that'' through the court's term ending in June. But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he urged Bush to submit a name to the Senate right away.

I don't know what to think on that. I was excited but Elaine said that you're looking at people realizing that funding could diminish, the contributions to their campaigns. And that goes with something C.I. wrote about how there's not going to be a filibuster so it's not like the Dems are sticking together.

GAO: Pentagon Has No Idea How Much War Costs
A new report from the Government Accountability Office has found that the Pentagon has no accurate knowledge of the cost of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or the so-called war on terror. The GAO says this limits Congress's ability to oversee the war spending. The Defense Department has reported spending $191 billion since the September 11th attacks. The report says , "Neither DOD nor Congress can reliably know how much the war is costing and details of how appropriated funds are being spent."

No idea of how much it costs in dollars or lives.

Yesterday, I did a interview with Rebecca. I got a lot of feedback on that. A lot was positive but there were some who felt that portions should have been edited out due to the fact that if C.I. wanted to discuss something, it should come from C.I. The fact that this was an issue in the past, that was noted at The Third Estate Sunday Review, was also raised.

I'm not sure on whether it was right to include it or not. I haven't been able to get a hold of C.I. I did talk to Elaine and bring it up with her. Her feelings were that Rebecca was speaking as a friend and the call on to post it as I did could have gone either way. She said C.I. will not comment on it because if C.I. comments on one thing, then it becomes, "Okay you said this about this, so why not also answer this?" Elaine said those are Rebecca's impressions and while they are Rebecca speaking truthfully of her own impressions, they may or may not be someone else's impressions. She suggested I include this at the site and said that by doing so, there is no damage done. (C.I. has pointed this out in other terms at The Common Ills when members have e-mailed. C.I. has said those are Rebecca's impressions and she's entitled to them. Which echoes a point Rebecca made when I phoned her this afternoon. She says it should be pretty clear that those are her opinions but if it's not to note that. (And she said that before I had spoken to Elaine.)

I don't think I've hurt C.I.'s feelings. (And obviously, Elaine can't speak for that.) But if I have, I'll apologize face to face when I get to DC tomorrow. One Common Ills member is very upset with me and I told Elaine about that and offered that I could take the post down but she said if it was taken down, it would turn it into an issue.

To those of you who were upset by it, I am sorry. I certainly don't intend to upset my friends and fellow community members. The one who is most upset said that the interview would be fine in the gina & krista round-robin but not the sort of thing that should be up at a site where anyone could visit. Two people wondered if Betty was okay with what was posted. From Rebecca, Betty's okay with it and thought Rebecca said some really nice stuff about her. Betty will be in D.C. too and I'll check with her as well.

I thought it was just sharing some nice recollections and some views on people. I understand though that some people may be offended. If I've offended anybody who comes here, I'm sorry.

The one most upset asked what I could have left out since I basically put everything in. I edited out some remarks about Ava that were kind to Ava but that I knew were not remarks that she would want up here. (She's shared them at the gina & krista round-robin.) I also edited out comments on Dona and Jess just because I was tired of typing.

I'm kind of down because even with Rebecca and Elaine both saying C.I.'s not going to be hurt or mad, I do worry about that because C.I.'s done a lot for the community and a lot for me. But regardless of C.I., I realize that a few members are upset with me and I'll say I'm sorry to those who are mad.

As soon as I posted this, my cell phone went off. It was C.I. so I'm coming back in here and adding this. C.I. says there's no hurt or anger and that Rebecca didn't do anything wrong and I didn't do anything wrong. I'm glad that C.I. feels that way but in the future I will remember how some readers feel and I'll try to watch out for doing anything that upsets them. (Because a few of them are upset.)