Friday, August 29, 2008

Grand Slam- Obama Hit It Out Of the Park!

Admittedly, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry loaded the bases. But ultimately, it was Barack that smacked the ball over the fence and created a major score for our Republic. Kudos to Barack for defining what it is to be an American, not defined by ideology, but by commitment to fellow Americans. One of the things I have admired in Obama, is his ability to empathize and understand the issues Americans face. One shouldn't declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy because one develops an incurable disease, or houses a disabled child. One's devotion to our country isn't dependent upon our slavish willingness to declare war on anyone who we dislike.

I have my disagreements with Obama. But I sense that Obama atleast views those issues with a much similar lense with me, than they do with the amoral self-interested neo-cons that have dominated our Republic since 2001. Obama's interest, is in restoring American progress, rather than retrenching into an auro of fear. He understands that giving up freedoms to terrorists gives them a victory over us. He understands that giving tax breaks to the wealthy doesn't necessarily fuel our growth, but the growth of companies in other countries.

I was proud of Barack Obama tonight. He addressed the issues most important to Americans. He showed himself to be a formidable adversary to the authoritarian conservative quest for power over us insignificant little people. Barack Obama made it clear, that he is on our side, not the side of those who lay us off and ship our jobs overseas. He made it clear that he cares more for humans, than he does for ideologies. He made it clear that strength comes from our relationships, not from our reckless use of military force. Obama showed us that he is willing to take on the school-yard bully and defend American values, even if that defense ticks off the elites that would suppress us.

I came out of this convention with a renewed hope that had been lacking of late. My confidence in the intelligence and basic goodness of Americans has been temporarily restored. The hope that seemed so illogical only a week ago, has been renewed and invigorated. We as a Republic, may still overcome our serious obstacles. We still may be able to heal the rifts that demonize those we disagree with. Barack Obama showed tonight what our nation needs, and it isn't what we've had since 2001.

Tonight validated what so many of us had sensed for a long time, that our nation was adrift and lost. That reason had been replaced with fear and superstition. That those who were priviledged with access had found new and creative ways to rob us of our own dreams and aspirations. That a fundamental deep-seeded belief in the rule of law was being violated and subverted by those with the power to subvert it.

The choice at this juncture is about whether we will be influenced by power or principle. I believe that Obama stands as the principled candidate in this race, and that is why I endorse him. I used to admire McCain. Today, I see him as a toady to the authoritarian conservatives who would deprive us of our rights, demonize us for our differences, and create a nation of elites and serfs, eliminating the middle class that has characterized and emboldened our Republic.

McCain made a faustian bargain, where he gave up integrity, for power. Power has now become his end, not a means for a positive end. In some degrees I mourn for McCain, that he gave up so much, in the quest for power. But leaders don't bend to public opinion, they move it. McCain has bent to opinion, while Obama has moved public opinion. This election isn't about experience, it is about leadership. Obama has showed it, while McCain has abandoned it out of slavish devotion to political expediency. If we want a strong and effective leader, Obama is our man, and McCain, despite his many fine qualities, is not.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lunch at "The Club of Fools"

I ate lunch today at a private club I'm a member of. Since I was alone, I ate at the bar next to two knuckleheads whose combined IQ registered somewhere along the richter scale. First of all, they are talking about the porn sites they visit, then the football teams they hope win (big BYU fans :0) and then as the news turns to Obama's upcoming speech, I had to listen to these neanderthalic ditto-morphs dig into Barack Obama and hear what an "a-hole" he was, what a "god-damned communist" he was and how those greek columns (rather than evoking King's speech at the Lincoln Memorial) shows what an "arrogant elitist pussy" Barack Obama is.

So I did something very uncharacteristic, notwithstanding my calling out Cliff Lyon for his berating those he disagrees with. As I paid my bill and was leaving, I told these fat, middle-aged, uneducated baffoons, "this supporter of that arrogant elitist pussy would like to thank you- for I've now found people less intelligent than my houseplants, for they atleast know which direction the sun is shining. Have a nice day."

You can probably guess their intelligent response- "F*** U."

Atleast my food was good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jon Stewart Hit the Nail on the Head

Last night watching Jon Stewart, I just about sprayed my glass of water all over the room, as he lampooned our MSM and what they said Michelle Obama had to do in her speech, such as "show that she loves America." Of course, because she is a Democrat, she has to prove that, since everyone knows that Republicans love America. But then Stewart hit the ball out of the park when he said, "they just hate half the people in it" or something to that effect. Damn, that was good.

Arizona Hillbilly- My Musical Tribute to McCain

To the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies".

Now a listen to a story bout a guy named John McCain,
A maverick turned conservative he turned out rather lame,
He’s running now for President to be another Bush,
But I’m just hoping Jonny fails and lands upon his tush,
Dairy-airy that is,

Now election’s coming soon and Jon he hasn’t got a mate,
He’s hoping who he picks will somehow save him from his fate,
I hope he picks the guy who just like Jon he likes to flip,
You know of whom I’m talking bout that pretty boy named Mitt,
Black gold, texas tea, (or is that brylcream)


Now economics isn’t something Jonny likes to do,
And thinks that he is middle class with problems just like you,
He’s married to an heiress with whom he cheated on his wife,
Another moral Christian who is ardently pro-life,
Amen, brutha John

Now John he is a warrior and he wants to start some wars,
He’ll bomb Iran and Russia while diplomacy he ignores,
He’ll tap his buddy Lieberman to run the D. O. D.,
And all the foes of Israel we will fight to set them free,
Of their oil that is

Now John once was a gentleman with high-minded ideals,
He tried to curb corruption and those backroom shady deals,
But running now for President he’s had to plug his nose,
He needs the kind of people who employ the Karl Roves,
Swindlers that is,


So now it’s time to say goodbye to Jonny and his quest,
I hope these next four years that Jonny gets a lot of rest,
With four more years of Bush we’ll all be living in a tent,
And that is why Obama needs to be our President.

Ya’ll vote for Obama now, ya hear.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Famous last words from John McCain

From his interview with Jay Leno, "I respect Barack Obama" and "I want to run a respectful campaign". Good luck bucko. You've employed the most heinous and nasty team to further your campaign. The smear campaign that I predict from McCain's surrogates will be unprecedented. It will be interesting to see if this "public minded" McCain will refute his surrogates. Also, McCain was asked by Jay Leno,"how many houses he owned", and he deflected the answer with his desire to keep people in their homes. McCain has become a tragic stooge for those he used to oppose. His desire for power has overcome his instincts for basic goodness. There was John McCain who was willing to be a maverik and serve the public, but that maverik is long gone. He has sold his soul to the same corporate sponsors that bought the so-called moderate George W. Bush.

John McSame has sold his soul for the "ring of power". The "straight talk express" has become the "same talk express." He now represents a continuation of the worst legacy our nation ever experienced. If John McCain had remained the John McCain of 2000, I might actually support a Republican for President. As it stands eight years later, I question the sanity of anyone who would support such as a defector from reason and straight talk. McCain has sold his soul, and I mourn the loss of that soul. But anyone who votes for McCain must wonder, "what does he actually believe?" Personally, I can't tell you. But that uncertainty swamps any ideas that Barack Obama may have broken bread with, gasp, moslems.

McCain would be a disaster for this country. Do I agree with Obama on many key issues? The answer is no. But I fear our Republic cannot survive another authoritarian conservative President. And McCain is that President.

Michelle "freeking" Obama

All I can say is wow! What a great address from a future first lady. She seemed to talk from her heart about those things important to her. Michelle Obama is smart, and has opinions. Personally I like a first lady with opinions. Eleanor Roosevelt pushed Franklin to address issues he was uncomfortable dealing with for political reasons. And let's compare her to McCain's first lady. A woman who cheated with McCain with McCain's first wife, disfigured and disabled by a car accident. There is an intellectual depth about Michelle Obama that I respect, but more than that, she appears to have a soul and heart. To her credit, I think she touched alot of people. And ya know, admittedly, I am a sucker for kids. I have a 18 month old myself and keep in mind, that seeing those kids act as naturally as they did, was very effective.

A very nice night for the Obamas.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thoughts on Joe Biden

Admittedly, I endorsed Joe Biden for President before the Iowa Caucuses. Certainly, it wasn't because he voted in favor of allowing Bush to invade Iraq, it was despite that fact. On a broad range of issues, I have found Joe Biden to be a thoughtful and articulate U.S. Senator. He and Chris Dodd seemed to me to be the most experienced and well-grounded candidates and I picked Biden.

Geographically, Joe Biden doesn't add that much to the ticket, as I would expect for Obama to win, that Delaware should be considered a given. Perhaps Biden has some traction in western Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, but even that is mere speculation. What Biden does provide, is an intelligent and competent individual who could take over the Presidency if Obama should suffer a fate like JFK. At Biden's age, it would be ludicrous to assume that after eight years of an Obama administration that he would be the favorite for the Democratic nomination. Biden is selected on the basis of his ability to be an excellent Vice President. What this signifies, is that Obama wants competent individuals in his administration, and he's starting out with his V.P.

Biden, a nice choice.

So Who Am I?

There is still time to vote in my first and perhaps only poll. Am I truly a liberal, am I a moderate or conservative? Based upon the conversations so far, some liberals think I am Neville Chamberlain, an appeaser of the right, while the majority think I'm too liberal to invite to dinner. At this point, I am just interested in perception. Your opinion matters to me, because how one perceives oneself in usually far short of how others actually see you. I appreciate your feedback.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lessons Learned- The Bramble Pizza Incident

Admittedly, Sen. Curt Bramble is an outlier. He has an arrogance that few of us will ever acheive, even if we practice diligently. But let me speak from personal experience, that those who serve us, deserve our respect and courtesy. The people who serve us in the food service industry aren't doing it because they like it, but because they need to pay the same bills that afflict all of us. Some are paying for college, some for missions, some for their sons or daughters on missions.

Pizza delivery drivers do this for a wide variety of reasons, none of which deserve an ounce of scorn or belittlement. The same goes for waiters/waitresses, bartenders, shuttle drivers, etc. I paid my way through college as a waiter. I am not ashamed of that fact. I learned valuable lessons in how to deal with the public. I learned how to organize my actions in such a way that would maximize the level of service I was able to provide. I came away from that experience believing that anyone, who serves the public, should get their start waiting tables, and I learned to value a waiter/waittress who did their job well. When I do get exceptional service, I make it a point to ask the server to bring me the manager. I then, with the server present tell the manager that I received excellent service and just wanted them to know that. I encourage others to do the same.

The lesson from Sen. Bramble's experience is this. Rather than seeing himself as a public servant with a responsibility to behave as a statesman, Sen. Bramble acted as a man with entitlements based upon his titles. We should expect more from someone who serves in a position with this much authority, because it is clear, that his motives are internal to himself, rather than external to the benefit of his community. Power, as an end, has a great appeal to those who for whatever reason, need it to compensate for their own personal weaknesses. Being elected to a position of such prominence provides opportunities to serve, or be served. This one incident outlined graphically which opportunity Sen. Bramble is inclined to grasp.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My First Poll- On Me

By Utah standards, I've usually considered myself quite liberal. However, I have liberal friends who think I am way to conservative on some issues. For example, I opposed the Iraq War, but favored the surge. I disagree with Obama's middle class tax cut because of it's effects on the deficit. Even so, I welcome a little insight into how I am perceived. Am I a liberal? moderate? conservative? or undefinable? I would appreciate your vote one way or another.

Often Unrecognized Influence of Federal Income Tax Policy

Because the federal income tax is the largest and most costly tax in our country, it also influences economic behavior more than any other tax. Businesses take into account tax avoidance strategies into their decisions about what new investments to make in plant and equipment, how much inventory to hold, and even whether to show profits and declare dividends.

One of the most influential tax policies regards the deduction for mortgage interest. I can't remember where I read it, but I'm pretty sure that Americans spend more per capita on personal housing than any other nation. Wealth that could be used to invest in business is invested in housing that tends to be excessive relative to the rest of the world.

You want to see where the Reagan tax cut went, go drive along Bonneville shoreline into the various subdivisions where mansions exist that provide housing that is excessive for anyone's need. Americans with their houses live like Dukes and Earls, not the burgesses (bourgeoisie) that most capitalists pretend to descend from.

Go to places like Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs, and you see one case after another of people on fairly modest means occupying houses barely within or outside of what they could afford without the income tax considerations. For most people, the most valuable assets they have are their houses. Investments in the private sector tend to be retirement related if they exist at all for many Americans, and often, because of tax considerations, their houses have second mortgages on them to pay for everyday living expenses. This creates a dependence upon the value of one's house as the only asset one can exploit. And when the housing market goes down? Many are left with few options.

I believe our country would be better suited to pursue wise, and frugal residential land use. People don't need to live in a starter mansion, or have three or four mansions. I believe there should be a cap on the mortgage interest deduction of around $20,000 per year. This won't prevent people from getting into a home, but it will limit the incentive to overbuild and over-invest in real estate rather than in plant and equipment. Investments in plant and equipment increase American productivity. Investments in real estate, create short-term, and limited returns that ultimately do little for our economy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy V-J Day

It's hard to believe it has been 63 years since Emperor Hirohito relayed to the allies that he was willing to unconditionally surrender his empire in order to stop the bloodshed that was soon to come through invasion of the islands that make up Japan. Certainly, the bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have influenced that decision, though there are many who contend that before the bombs dropped, that the Emperor was consulting with his high command over the possibility of surrender.

It is easy to criticize Truman's decision to drop the bombs on civilian targets. I think it is clear that the new President really had no idea just what he was using to end the conflict. But I find it instructive, that this horrific weapon has not been used in a conflict since then. But the development of nuclear weapons has loomed like a shadow upon our civilization. Nuclear proliferation continues to be a major threat. And as the people of our nation, as well as the people of many other nations, have become more religious, and more prone to seeing the world through other-worldly eyes, one wonders at what point will a mushroom cloud signify our own Brunhilde's float down the Rhine.

Certainly, the Japanese learned an important lesson- it is cheaper to buy raw materials than to invade other countries to acquire them. As Germany imports oil from the caucuses region where Army Group South stalled in the summer of 1942, it's clear that Germans of the last 60 years learned a similar lesson. Japan, a nation with few raw materials, has bounced back to become a manufacturing mega-success and a nation that has not taken up the sword since the last kamikazees gave their all to their emperor.

There are lessons to be learned from World War II. One of those lessons, is how a nation can be galvanized when they are attacked without provocation. Japanese could certainly argue that our embargo of them left them few options, but few Americans would have seen it that way as they saw their fleet and their citizens attacked on the Island of Oahu. Americans rallied from the early set-backs in the Phillipines and in Algeria, and went on an offensive that ended along the Elbe and with two mushroom clouds over Japanese cities.

Americans seem to have lost a sense of who they are and what they are about. Hopefully, lessons of the past will illuminate where we need to go in the future.

Georgia- The Results of Losing the High Ground

Step back for a second, away from the neocon vision of American invincibility and unilateralism, and recognize for a second, why Russia can ignore Bush, Rice, Cheney and any other neocon stooge. Let's compare the situations. Russia invades Georgia over actual and verifiable aggression against South Ossessia. The U.S. invades Iraq over, ahem, what Iraq might implausibly do the United States at some future time.

So on what grounds should Putin think he is losing face by invading Georgia? The United States has already lost the moral high ground, is over-committed militarily, and now is a "super-power" in name only. The neocon vision is now complete. Unfortunately, Russia has it's own neocon, and his name is Putin. So neocons, fire away with all your rhetoric at Russia for it's invasion of Georgia. But know this, they learned all this from you. Aren't you proud?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Open Season on Dems and Liberals I Suppose

After a right-wing lunatic went on a rampage at a Unitarian church, I was hopeful that would be the last of the senseless violence. However, sad news today, as the Arkansas Democratic Chair has been shot and killed. I know people's passions can get pretty worked up over politics, but come on people. I'm sure it is too early to know why this lunatic did what he did, but it wouldn't surprise me if he felt he was doing his patriotic duty. Sigh....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From Tragedy to Triumph

When I was very young, I remember this little blond girl who lived about a block away. She was the oldest of several little girls. I also remember when her mother tragically died a few days after giving birth to her last little girl. I remember well, just how much this tragedy affected her, being the oldest, and really being the only one old enough to understand the gravity of the loss. Her father remarried a woman who also had girls of similar age to the girls he had from his late wife. Katie, as I'll call her then faced the new challenge of trying to get along with new sisters. It didn't help that her new sister, her age, was beauty queen pretty, and was very popular.

Knowing the family well, I watched from a distance the struggles Katie went through, the feelings of inadequacy that would sometimes come to the surface. I always felt a great deal of empathy for her and her situation. Katie went on to marry, and raise a wonderful family. I remember running into her years later at a community event. She had organized the whole thing, and after talking to her, it dawned on me that she had done this before, many times. And she does it quietly, often with little or no recognition. And as I got to talk to her son, it was also apparent to me what a wonderful parent and role model she was.

I came away with a great deal of respect for Katie. She overcame alot of heart-ache as a child from the various tramas she endured, but came away strong, resourceful and committed to her family and community. As I temporarily part from politics, it is my memories of people like Katie that recharge my batteries. Thanks Katie.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chardonnay Drinking Catholic

One person I have drawn inspiration from is a guy who will never be well-known for what he does on a daily basis. Lenny, is a guy who hangs out at a couple of watering holes. He loves to drink chilled chardonnay and hangs out with people he calls friends. What I admire about Lenny, is how unjudgmental he is, and how willing he is to put is arm around someone who has hit rock bottom. I've talked to people who were just short of sticking a gun in their throat, who came to Lenny's watering hole to garner the courage, who were intercepted by Lenny, and were reminded of their value as a human being by Lenny.

Lenny, has many faults, but he has an uncanny ability to understand where people are relative to their morale. When people are at their lowest, he lifts them up with encouraging words. The gal whose husband has left her, can count on Lenny hugging her and telling her how great it is to see such a wonderful looking young lady here at his watering hole.

People, when they've made serious mistakes in their lives and have faced public humiliation and legal problems, can count on Lenny to stand by them in their hour of need. This is a trait I deeply admire, though in IRL I would never admit it because he's a Cowboys fan. But he through his actions, reminds me of my responsibility to treat people as people, despite their faults.

Guys like Lenny are the kinds of people I need to remind me of who I am and what I'm about. The heartless and cold-hearted quest for political power you see from the McCain campaign is stark in it's relation to my bar-hopping, unjudmental friend. People, even those who have suffered mistakes or misfortune matter to Lenny. You read the comments of conservatives who willingly castigate everyone who may have fallen on or, and you understand the soul of a conservative. I applaud my friend Lenny, who takes imperfect people and seeks to inspire in them hope, that they still might live honorable lives.

Lenny despite his many flaws is the kind of guy who inspires me to move on and fight the good fight against authoritarianism. Lenny sees value in the least of people. I just hope to be strong enough to follow his example.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Recharging My Personal Battery

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have tired of the highly charged, partisan political debates as of late. Though some would say, that I have contributed to the partisan debate, what I've seen during the last month and a half, is the descent of the Republican party into their typical Rovian smear campaigns that brought us eight years of a disasterous Bush legacy. What has disappointed me in the past, and continues to disappoint me today, is how effective such gross manipulations and dishonest propagandizing is to a seemingly cerebrum deficient electorate.

So, atleast till the Olympics is over, I'm going to focus on the positive. I'm drawing back from my memories of people who I knew at a local level who made a real difference and continue to do so. It is a reminder that there are good-hearted people out there who make a difference every day. People who overcome obstacles yet make a difference in ways that usually go unnoticed. The individuals I will highlight will be given an alias, so don't try to look these people up. But trust me, they are as real as the star that heats our planet.

But recognize, that in the end, this is selfish on my part. The purpose of this analysis is to be able to stand back, and regain some of the trust I have in the basic goodness of many Americans. I need to remind myself of the role models out there that go beyond rhetoric and follow their consciense and their hearts.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Resetting Assumptions on Energy Use/Mass Transit

The rising price of energy has caused me to rethink many of the assumptions I have about how I should live my life. Like many Utahns, I love to drive my car. I get to listen to the music I want to listen to, or the radio show I want. I can multi-task down the street with and egg mcmuffin in one hand, and a diet coke in my cupholder. However, that freedom has become rather costly.

So, I have decided to make a concerted effort to use mass transit. Through my employment, I already get a free bus pass, and that makes the opportunity cost of commuting in my vehicle doubly high. So what is the cost of a daily commute? My commute is 60 mile a day roundtrip. My car gets about 25 mpg on these commutes. So it takes 2.4 gallons of gasoline every day to go to work and back. 2.4 times $4 per gallon equates to $9.60 a day. For five days, that equates to $48/week or nearly $200/month.

If you take into account all factors such as vehicle wear and tear, you could use a basic mileage rate to estimate the costs of commuting via personal vehicle. Let's say you use $.50 per mile as the reimbursement rate, and you multiply that by the 1,200 miles I use in that commute, that is $600/month that can be saved by using mass transit.

Where I have to reset my assumptions the most is whether to use mass transit on my days off. I must confess, that I have never, no not once, used mass transit in Utah for anything other than commuting. However, tomorrow, I'm taking a day off work to see my doctor. I visited UTA's website and they have a trip planner at that allows you to put in your beginning and destination points and you are given options on how to get there. A trip that would've taken 45 minutes, now will take me two hours using mass transit. However, I would save $25.60 in gas and a total cost of $80 for all things considered. For a four hour roundtrip, I would save $80 or $20/hour. Though that isn't what I make in my day job, I haven't made that kind of money before in any of my part-time jobs.

I've tried to approach energy use rationally and implement a conservation approach on the basis fiscal responsibility and self-interest. I already miss the freedom to take off during my lunch break and go to the restaurant of my choice. However, packing a lunch is also saving me money as well. I also dislike the extra hour I take every day to commute using mass transit. But on top of saving money, I recognize that I am doing my part to reduce our dependence on oil that seems to flow most freely from one of our planet's most unstable regions. Oh, and there is that greenhouse gas thing as well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tiring of Politics- I Need a Second Wind

As I've observed the blogosphere and the ramping up of the rhetoric, mostly from the Republican side, but also from the Democrats, my basic faith in humanity is on the wane. Conservative pundits and bloggers have their talking points, which they mindlessly and robotically shout in unison, and liberals get their talking points, which they post and in similar fashion.

Basically, this election is about whether the basic values of our Republic, and the rule of law, will be restored to some measure. The reckless lawlessness of the Bush administration has deeply undermined what generations of Americans fought for with their guns and with their words. Wrapping the evidence around a policy for war, perhaps the most egregious act of corruption, is added to torture, illegal eavesdropping, illegal signing statements, and a callous unwillingness to have open government, hiding behind "executive priviledge" like a criminal taking the fifth.

This election isn't about inflated tires, but about deflated values. And though I don't agree with Obama on everything (see my post on Obama's middles class tax cut), an additional four years of Bush/Cheney/McCain is not an acceptable alternative if we are to preserve the basic decent values our Republic stands for. Americans as a people need to be reminded of just how far we have sunk as a society in only 7.5 years of Bushian misrule. And McCain and his neo-Rovian strategies to gain power by any means shows that the Republican party has not changed and responded to the public they wish to govern. Power as an end, rather than a means to an end, and the misuse of that power to line the pockets of friends and donors is the legacy of the Bush administration. McCain's lack of criticism of this corruption shows just how much he has put away the maverik and replaced him with a lackey to the rich and powerful.

And so, if I recharge my jets during the coming weeks, I'll re-enter the fray with the same vitality I have as before. But I need a break. I need to go observe some people doing the right things for the right reasons to restore my confidence, not necessarily in the government, but in the people who vote in November. It is the people I'm concerned about and their preponderance for being easily led and manipulated by appeals to their worst instincts that concerns me. So if you don't see me post every day, it doesn't mean I don't care, it means I need to restore my confidence in those I care about.

Friday, August 1, 2008

ABC News and the Drumbeats for War

Glenn Greenwald has a priceless post today at outlining the culpability of ABC News in providing false information that helped along the drumbeats of war against Iraq. The story deals with the suicide of the lead suspect in the anthrax case, an individual who worked for the federal government at Ft. Detrick in Maryland where he had access to anthrax. Going back to the time of the anthrax attacks, ABC News Brian Ross had as his big news story, that the anthrax had traces of bentonite in it which was consistent with anthrax used in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. This was one of the first linkages of Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 series of attacks. This information turned out to be false. The only persons who would have known whether bentonite had been found in the anthrax, would have been the very same set of experts who worked at Ft. Detrick, the source of the anthrax.

Brian Ross said he heard it from 3-4 sources and it was a big scoop at the time. However, in the interests of hindsight, Brian Ross of ABC News either manufactured the bentonite idea, or he was duped by one or more individuals who wanted to create a link between the anthrax attacks and Saddam Hussein. I can't think of a third plausible explanation. So Greenwald, to his credit begs the question, "why protect your sources now?" They clearly lied to Brian Ross and since the anthrax attack was a criminal violation, doesn't Brian Ross have a responsibility to release what information he knows. If the individual(s) responsible used him as a member of the press to acheive political objectives out of this criminal act, is not Brian Ross an accessory?

I asked that question of Brian Ross from ABC News's website and am not anticipating a response. This is a unique case, The very individual who through a terrorist attack on the United States, and tried to implicate islamic extremists in the attack, may have also contacted the press in order to implicate Iraq itself. That a federal government employee could foment war through a terrorist attack on the United States with the goal of implicating a country that had nothing to do with it, is hard to fathom, but it appears to be the most plausible explanation to what happened. And ABC News and Brian Ross need to come clean on this thing fast, or they should not be trusted as a reliable news source.