Saturday, September 3, 2011

Less White Flag, More Pit Bull

A regular reader of this blog, Nowhere Man, and I had a conversation about ScheduleGate way, way back, long ago when it was fresh in our memories a whole 48 hours ago. He made a cogent argument for the frustration we were feeling at the time, at the news of the White House switching the date of the anticipated job's speech. I asked Nowhere Man to email me in the form of a post and I'd include it in the blog.

I know this will stir up controversy, especially with my co-blogger Jennifer and others, who believe we should keep our sights focused on John Boehner and the obstructionist GOP instead of "blaming" President Obama, and rightly so. But in my opinion, the continuing pattern when it comes to the perception, the perception of the White House and Congressional Democrats backing down from a fight on a seemingly consistent basis can be a very damaging thing.

Whether the perception is true or not, we know that the combination of a right-wing echo chamber and a complicit mainstream media terrified at the thought of being labeled "liberal," can hurt. I've said it before: optics matter. All you have to do is think of John Kerry on a sailboard, Michael Dukakis wearing a helmet while riding in a tank, or the infamous Howard Dean yowl to know that optics matter. The general population likes the image of a strong leader. Whether they agree with him or not, they can at least say he's a person of convictions. But the constant backtrack is a turn off. Two words: Mitt Romney.

So yes, while he have to keep our eyes peeled and call out Republican hypocrisy at every turn, it would help tremendously if the President and the administration did as well.


Let's go back in time and try to remember when the brand new President of the Unites States tried to pass the stimulus to a Democratically controlled Congress to stave off a hemorrhaging economy. Republican leadership led by John Boehner and Eric Cantor wanted tax cuts in the bill. President Obama, trying to show he can work with the Republicans, allowed them to fill it with tax cuts. The largest tax cuts in US history, $282 billion worth over two years. The result: not a single Republican voted for the stimulus.

Right then and there the new President, barely a month into his term, should've sent the Republicans a profound message: DON'T TAKE ME FOR A SUCKER. He should have told then Speaker Nancy Pelosi to write a new bill minus the tax cuts the Republicans wanted. But he decided not to fight and instead left the Recovery Act as it was. By doing so, he made his first big mistake and sent a very different message to the Republicans: I CAN BE ROLLED.

What the President has needed from the very beginning is an advisor with a pit bull attitude, the way former President Clinton had James Carville to call out what phonies and hypocrites the Republicans were, and to say President Obama was trying to be conciliatory but got stabbed in the back by the opposition instead.

In the battle over the Bush tax cuts, Obama gave speeches to his base renewing his campaign pledge to let them expire. The Republicans held unemployment insurance hostage. He caved again and explained, incredibly telling and stupid in my opinion, that the hostage was going to be injured. The hostage was ultimately us. But it reaffirmed to the GOP he can be rolled, and all you have to do is grab a hostage.

It's too bad he didn't have a pit bull standing in front of the DC, inside the beltway, media elite cameras, ripping the Republicans and saying they didn't have a soul for using the middle class and unemployed like so much used toilet paper so the rich could keep getting richer, especially at such a difficult time for so many people during the holiday season, questioning, "What kind of country are we?" or "What kind of country have we become?"

At the press conference announcing the continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he was so against, he was asked by a reporter if he was worried that the Republicans would now use the debt ceiling as the next hostage. Obama explained despite prior evidence to the contrary, that he thought Boehner was an HONORABLE man! I'm sure there were plenty of eye rolls by the White House Press Corp when he said that.

In the debt ceiling debates he repeatedly vowed that there would be no budget cuts without new revenues. He again gave speeches to his base telling them to contact their representatives to support his debt ceiling plan, and that there would be no cuts without new revenues. There was so much email traffic from his supporters that several Congressional websites crashed. I actually thought, "Finally! He's drawing a line in the sand!" Well we all know that turned out to be just another rerun: spending cuts with no new revenue.

There was no pit bull going around saying the Republicans love their party more than their country and proving it by willing to let the country go bankrupt. There was no thought of explaining how the elderly, the disabled, our combat soldiers engaged in two wars, were all being held hostage yet again. And President Obama, refusing to challenge the Republicans and see if they had the balls to let the country go under, as usual raised the white flag.

And now ScheduleGate. When I first heard that they scheduled the speech on the same day as the Republican debate, I said, "Wow! He's starting the campaign with a bang! What a politically brilliant and bold in your face move declaring 'I'm ready to fight and no more Mr. Nice Guy!'" I was listening to liberal radio that afternoon when the news broke on Boehner's rejection and suggestion that the speech be moved to the following night, opposite the first game of the year for the NFL.

In response, the White House should have explained the timeline. They should have said Boehner had no problem with it until Rush Limbaugh had a problem with it. They should have explained that Boehner's excuses were faulty at best because they were using a parliamentary tactic to prevent the President from making any recess appointments, therefore they were technically in session. They should have release a statement like this:
"While Congress was enjoying its five week layoff, there were and still are millions of Americans who have been on permanent unpaid vacations struggling to get by. They've been waiting for this current session of Congress to start who, under the leadership of John Boehner, have yet to introduce a single jobs bill in the nine months since he's been Speaker. They continue to demonstrate their benign neglect of the unemployed by the unprecedented rejection of the President's request for a joint session of Congress to deliver his speech for a jobs plan. 
The President has decided instead to give the speech to those its aimed at - the unemployed. Therefore, President Obama will be addressing an auditorium full of unemployed Americans at the University of Maryland as scheduled, on September 7th. We are making our case directly to the American people while the Republican controlled House passes all the anti-Planned Parenthood bills it wants."
But who am I kidding? That would be a pit bull talking!

Must Reads

Milt Shook: The Professional Left Is Killing Us; Example #1

Hrafnkell Haraldsson: Bachmann Says Earthquake and Hurricane Are Messages From Her God

Roger Simon: White House Furious Over Speech Delay

NY Times Editorial: Oh, Grow Up

Richard Dawkins: Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact

Magic Love Hose: Why I Don't Care What Day Obama Gives His Speech (NSFW)

President Obama's Weekly Address - September 3, 2011

Time to Act on the Transportation Bill

Friday, September 2, 2011

August Job Numbers: Zero

This is bad.

The US economy created no jobs and the unemployment rate held steadily higher at 9.1 percent in August, fueling concerns that the US is heading for another recession. It was the first time since World War II that the economy had precisely net zero jobs created for a month.
But hey, that jobs speech could wait another day, right?

Seriously though, let's see what the President has to say, and how the Republican Party will react. Are they going to work with the President for the sake of the country, or are they going to obstruct anything that may help dig the economy out of the recession hole?

I know. Stupid question.

The Blaze's Mike Opelka - A Day Late and A Whine Short

The Blaze's political blogger Mike Opelka took umbrage with President Obama's "Frustrated" campaign email I referred to yesterday. But it wasn't for the same reasons. No, he takes the usual right wing hacky talking points that don't hold water. He complains about President Obama waiting until next week to lay out his jobs plan speech, the "failed" stimulus and the Martha's Vineyard vacation.

So I felt the need to post a response:

Very interesting, Mr. Opelka, that you would criticize the President for waiting until next week to make his speech.
1- The White House chose the date to coincide with first day that Congress was back in session.
2- I see no criticism of Boehner refusing the request and making the country wait yet another day. After grousing for months with the "Where are the jobs?" playground taunt, it seems Mr. Boehner and the GOP didn't think it was important enough and could actually let it go another day.
3- Bemoaning the President a vacation is petty considering the entire Congress has been out for the ENTIRE month of August. Five weeks. And the previous President spent a full 3 years out of his 8 year term on vacation.
4- If you're dealing with reality, you should note that just recently, a study came out citing the recession that started in 2007 (that would be before Obama took office) was much worse than previously thought. If you're going to criticize the stimulus, the correct criticism was that it wasn't nearly large enough to push back against the recession. Oh, and one third of that Recovery Act was tax cuts.
I'd forgive Mr. Opelka his talking points had it not been for his omission of point number two. If he'd written this post with no knowledge of the sequence of events regarding the joint session request, then okay. But it's posted with today's date. A good day and a half after Schedulegate. You can't complain about the timing of the speech and why we have to wait until next week, when John Boehner didn't think it important enough and delayed it yet another day. Opelka is a day late and a bitch session short.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Okay, I had to sleep on this one - I purposely avoided any news on my television machine this morning and averted my eyes from any headlines online and in print as to not cloud my judgment or contaminate my thoughts. I wanted to take a step back after a pseudo-rant in a post outlining yesterday's events, venting on Twitter and debating with Twitter friends, and try to explain how I feel about them.

Last night I received an e-mail from Obama for America titled, "Frustrated."

Today I asked for a joint session of Congress where I will lay out a clear plan to get Americans back to work. Next week, I will deliver the details of the plan and call on lawmakers to pass it.
Whether they will do the job they were elected to do is ultimately up to them...
...It's been a long time since Congress was focused on what the American people need them to be focused on.
I know that you're frustrated by that. I am, too.
He then asked me to stand with him, which I did, and asked for a donation, which I didn't give.

You see, the President is right. I am frustrated. But this time there's more than a little frustration to go around on both sides. And I'm not normally a "both sides" guy.

Earlier in the day, the White House announced that they were finally making a highly anticipated speech to lay out a jobs plan for the struggling economy. For months, the petulant Boehner and the rest of the spoiled brats in the GOP cried, "Where are the jobs?" like a playground taunt. They swept into office in November of 2010 on the issue of "jobs, jobs, jobs" and have done absolutely nothing on that front, pivoting on a dime and making deficit reduction during a horrific recession their primary goal and doing anything and everything, including holding the debt ceiling hostage and causing a downgrade of the American economy by S & P in the process.

So here was the announcement. And the White House chose the first day that Congress is back in session. It's also the same date as the scheduled GOP Primary Debate at the Reagan Library. Now don't misunderstand. This wasn't a decision made willy-nilly. This wasn't some random "idiot staffer" throwing a dart at a calendar, as one tweeter tried to suggest. These things are known well in advance and coordination with 535 members of Congress, with major news outlets and networks are all planned. And I thought it was a brilliant strategy politically. Put the GOP between a rock and a hard place - make them choose. Do you care more about one of your many upcoming GOP debates, or are you being a serious party and really care about jobs for America despite your actions to the contrary? Perfect plan.

And then the unbelievable happened. Boehner refused the President of the United States his request for a joint session. He showed his hand - a jobs plan that he has been wailing about for months could wait another day.

FUCK YOU, BOEHNER! I thought. If you don't think this is of the utmost importance, fine. Let the President take his address to the American people from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Show the dichotomy, plain for all of America to see. A president who cares about the unemployed against the GOP whose primary stated goal is making Obama a one-term president. Except the president wasn't so resolute.

The Obama email was time stamped at 10:38pm, about an hour after another "compromise" in which the President chose a specific date, September 7th, for an important joint session of Congress to address the nation's job issue, and Speaker of the House John Boehner refused the date, an unprecedented move and one that was most likely motivated more by a GOP primary debate conflict that same night rather than the House schedule, along with some Rush Limbaugh advice. Boehner suggested one night later, September 8th. So the two men talked. And the "compromise?" Or what passes for "compromise" nowadays? President Obama will give his address to a joint session of Congress on September 8th. All within a couple of hours, President Obama acquiesced yet again to Boehner and the GOP. And then he asked me for money.

And within minutes, there was the spin. On one side: "Obama caved again." On the other: "Obama is the only adult in the room." My initial reaction was the former, not the latter. Every once in a while when you're the only adult in the room, the spoiled brat needs a spanking. I'm still waiting for that spanking. And. It's. Fucking. Frustrating.

Now logically, sure, it makes sense that people would come to the defense of the President with the "adult" angle. The Party of No proves their moniker once again. The rancorous GOP shows they refuse to agree with the President about anything to show their extremist base they won't budge. John Boehner is at fault for putting party and politics ahead of the country. I get it. But I'm sorry, I can't turn on a dime that quickly. I can't call the choosing of the initial date great political strategy and within hours dismiss it as, eh, it's just a date. And I'm not going to let other people use that excuse either. Because it wasn't just a date. It was chosen specifically by the White House as a shot across the bow and before the battle began, there was a retreat.

And let's not pretend that it's insignificant. In the grand scheme of things, a specific date isn't the issue. It's about a continuing, troubling pattern of capitulation. There is no such thing as compromise anymore. There is no 50/50 meeting of the minds. From the public option, to the threat of government shutdown in the budget deal, to the threat of government default in the debt ceiling hostage negotiations, there has been no meeting in the middle. How many times will the President draw a line in the sand and then walk away from it? Unfortunately, optics matter. Spin matters. And to me, this just looks bad. That is why I'm frustrated. And I'm allowed to be frustrated.

I'll vote for President Obama. I'll contribute to his campaign. I'll work at the local campaign office when I can. I'll proudly wear my Obama t-shirt and display my lawn sign. But I'm allowed to be pissed off every once in a while.

So now the date is set for Thursday, September 8th, coinciding with the NFL season opener. I don't have to remind readers here that the majority of the country doesn't follow politics like we do. They're not wonks or cable news junkies and probably couldn't name the Secretary of State if asked. But they loves them some football. How many potential viewers will be lost by this move? I have a feeling it will be a significant number. Yes, we'll watch it because that's what we do. But on Friday, ask the average Joe Six Pack if he watched President Obama's joint session of Congress. See what answer you get.

My good friend and co-blogger Jennifer wrote a post last night using a "ball in the dirt" baseball analogy and comparing the President to a catcher controlling a ball thrown in the dirt to induce the batter to swing at a bad pitch and miss or ground out weakly. And that's a good analogy. But the problem is that in this situation, President Obama wasn't the catcher. He was the pitcher. He pitched a plan, a date for the speech. But batter Boehner didn't swing at it. He took the pitch for a ball. He then beared down at the plate and it was the perfect opportunity for Obama to throw one in high and tight; give him a little chin music. Instead, Obama didn't even challenge him.

Boehner walked.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Balls in the Dirt


I am NOT a baseball fan AT ALL. But one day I was listening to NPR and had no other choice than to listen. Normally, I like to listen to NPR but this day, they were playing an interview with a baseball player. Ugh. B.O.R.I.N.G. But as I listened, it was anything but boring. It was fascinating and I learned a lot. I like strategy. I enjoy analysis. And this interview was a former catcher, Brad Ausmus, explaining his job from an analytical perspective. In that moment I felt I could like baseball as long as I didn't have to watch it.

And as the interview went on, the catcher said something about balls in the dirt that gave me what Oprah would call, "An a-ha moment". This discussion of balls in the dirt became THE analogy for how I view President Obama. So, I never thought I'd ever make a baseball/politics analogy, but read this, think about it and understand that with all the cries for Obama to "grow a pair", he has a big ol' pair and he knows how to control them.

DAVIES: Now, you mentioned balls in the dirt. They're a terrific weapon for your pitcher, I mean to get a batter lunging at a ball that's dropping out of the strike zone. And so you get a lot of ground balls and a lot of strikes that way, and that's good for your team. But there's also the risk that that ball can get past you, the catcher, and a base runner can advance.

You were known for being good at stopping balls in the dirt. Any particular tricks you used?

Mr. AUSMUS: There's nothing - no trick to it. And really the important thing about keeping balls in front of you - this is how I often explain it. If I was a basketball player, and somebody took a jump shot, and I swatted the ball into the stands, blocking a shot, everyone might ooh and ahh, but the truth of the matter is, is that team gets the ball back because it went out of bounds. So it doesn't do us any good.

That is very similar to catching. You can't just block the ball, you have to control the ball, because if you block it and it ricochets more than five feet away from you, the runner's going to advance anyway, and it hasn't done you any good.

So my whole theory on blocking was controlling the ball, kind of catching the ball with my chest protector and keeping it close to me, because if it went too far, we're in a worse predicament.

Now, did you see the analogy within the analogy? The catcher made a reference to basketball. He said:

If I was a basketball player, and somebody took a jump shot, and I swatted the ball into the stands, blocking a shot, everyone might ooh and ahh, but the truth of the matter is, is that team gets the ball back because it went out of bounds. So it doesn't do us any good.

President Obama is a smart player. But because he doesn't perform the dramatic, spectacular, ahhh-inducing, crowd-to-their-feet plays on a regular basis, he's called weak and naive.

On the contrary. This President controls the ball to save the play. And THAT is why I support this President and humble myself (which is a hard thing to do) by reminding myself that this stay-at-home mom who likes to blog and Tweet about politics, doesn't know shit about baseball, basketball or politics when compared to the great Barack Obama.

It's All In The Timing - UPDATED

For months now, all we've been hearing from the Republican Party is a mocking tone led by Speaker of the House, John "Big Gavel" Boehner. "Where are the jobs?" Boehner would ask/mock/yell any time he took a podium within earshot of network microphones. All you need to do is take a look at Boehner's tweets to see that his constant harping about any Obama plan and the damage that it would do, adding the modifying "job killing" phrase to every other sentence and even a couple of bills, and the transparency is obvious. Nevermind that the GOP ran on "jobs, jobs, jobs" in 2010 and as of this writing, the Republican led House of Representatives has not passed one single jobs bill.

And for weeks now, there's been nothing but whining and moaning from the GOP on wanting an economic and jobs plan from President Obama, regardless of the fact that it's the House that ultimately controls the pursestrings and creates and passes economic legislation.

Well, they wanted a jobs plan and now President Obama is going to give it to them. So it happens that they requested a joint session of Congress to reveal said plan on the same night as a Republican primary debate at the Reagan Library on September 7th. ...Oops.

While it may be a thumb in the eye to the GOP, the fact of the matter is that September 7th is also the first day that Congress is back in session after a five week recess. Yes, they were off for the entire month of August while some whined about the President's 10 day vacation. So it makes absolute sense to make the address on the first day of school. Is it also a 'fuck you' to Republicans who've been badgering him about a jobs plan for months? Probably, although they'd never admit to it. But now the White House has put the GOP in a tough spot. If they're so eager to hear the President's plan, they'll have to decide to agree to the joint session and prioritize what's important. They'll have to deal with the optics of a real President giving an important address regarding the nation's most pressing issue while the wannabes squawk about their one idea yet again: deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy as job creation.

But so far, all we've heard is more whining.

ADDING... Gawker has called this move "the most gratuitously -- and joyously! -- dickish move of his presidency." Well, when in Rome...

UPDATE I (6:55pm): Well, now we know where John Boehner and the GOP's priorities lie.

House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday that he would reject a request from President Obama for a national address before a joint-session of Congress.
So much for the jobs crisis, huh?

UPDATE II (9:35pm): I'm disgusted.
President Barack Obama agreed late Wednesday to delay a planned jobs speech to a joint session of Congress by one day after House Speaker John Boehner objected to the date the White House originally sought.
That one day delay, September 8th, is opening night of the NFL. As a regular reader of this blog just said to me, "Fucking clueless. Even I will be watching the game. If he loses the election, it won't be because of the economy. The base will just see him as a capitulator. I hear it every fucking day."

I have to admit I'm feeling the frustration as well. It's obvious this particular Congress doesn't give a shit about even the appearance of giving this particular president a modicum of respect. And if I'm being honest, if Obama doesn't demand it, why should the GOP bother when they know they can roll him?

I'm fucking disgusted.

ADDING... Look, overall I think I'm just venting my increasing frustration with the lack of respect shown to the President from the other side. I'm tired of Boehner and Cantor and the GOP thinking they are on equal footing with the President of the United States. Never in the history of this country has such hubris been displayed by the opposition party against the Commander in Chief. Refusing a joint session of Congress to a sitting president has never happened. But what I'm projecting is what I think most of the country is projecting; the majority of the country that aren't political junkies and view this peripherally.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope the general population looks at this scenario and will see and realize that the GOP will say no to everything the President suggests, even a date for a jobs speech the GOP have been badgering for, for months. I hope they realize that the GOP is unreasonable and can't even acquiesce to a date requested by their President. I hope this is more Obama ju-jitsu and hope that the polls reflect that. I pray to the FSM that I'm wrong.

But I still can't shake my original point: why did the White House pick this particular date if they weren't going to stick to it? It looks wishy-washy and politically it'll be spun as such. There would be no controversy had they chosen Tuesday night (most if not all of Congress would be back in DC by then) or Thursday night even though they'd be fighting for ratings against opening night of the football season. So again, why did they choose the same night as the GOP debate?

Quote of the Day

“Instead of doing everything he can to help Virginians and people on the East Coast recover from the loss of life and property that Irene dealt over the weekend, Cantor is parading around on Fox News talking about how he will hold federal aid hostage unless he gets to slash the budget. Anyone willing to play political games while people are suffering is unfit to be a congressman.”
~David Mills, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Pat Buchanan's White Oppression!

This must stop. For far too long, the white race as been at a disadvantage. Just take a look at affirmative action and see the result; qualified white males being passed over for a job that an equally qualified minority can do. Don't believe me? Just ask Pat Buchanan. Here he is on the Laura Ingraham Radio Show.

Buchanan: "Now, these folks [meaning minorities], these appear to be inordinately overrepresented of one group. And I've gone through for my new book and you find out that the federal civil service has affirmative action basically for women, for Hispanics, and for African-Americans, but none for white males who are diminishing dramatically. So what you're going, is you're going back to pre-Chester Arthur as I wrote in my column, going back to the federal service as a huge patronage thing that the party in power rewards its friends, rewards the voters that put it into office, and the problem is that Republicans do zero about it."
Yes! That's the problem! Republicans do nothing about repealing affirmative action. They're too busy defunding Medicaid, restricting Planned Parenthood family planning services, and railroading organizations like ACORN. How much time can they possibly have left for asserting the rights of white males?

Of course, Pat Buchanan is completely full of shit. Here's a handy little chart of the "dramatic diminishment" of white males in civil service employment:

See? White males hold 56.1% of the federal civilian workforce and whites overall (including women) hold 67.7% of the jobs. Shouldn't they have more? That 17.6% for blacks is just too much, don't you think? But if Pat Buchanan is so dependent on the numbers, perhaps he should explain why with a current unemployment rate of 9.1%, unemployment among Whites is 8.1% while it is 15.9% for African-Americans. Maybe he thinks it's laziness? Or maybe as he believes that the federal civil employment ratio is disproportionate in favor of blacks as he infers in his column, he should explain why the US prison population of non-Hispanic blacks is 39.4% when the total population of blacks in America is 12.6%. Are they just born criminals?

Yeah, those white males really have it hard to not be included in affirmative action.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Music Break! MVPleez

A good friend of the Mrs. and mine has been writing and co-creating music videos, the first of which just officially launched.


Energy Sec Steven Chu Explains Climate Change So Well, Even a Republican Can Understand It

So simple a six-year old... or a Republican, can understand it.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he was "saddened" by the political debate over climate change, and that political leaders didn't understand it. I'm guessing the saddness comes from knowing that they really do understand, at least the smart ones, but aren't willing to lose an ideological wedge issue.

(Via Think Progress)

Voice from Vermont


My friend in Vermont posted this Facebook status today and it's important that we realize what Irene has done and help Vermont recover:

This is really bad. Farmers' whose fields were flooded have to destroy the crops due to possible contamination, and are forbidden from planting anything intended for human consumption for 60 days. After the flooding and lingering cold weather this spring, this should just about finish them off. When farmers are screwed, we're all screwed. I'm scared.

Wilkerson's Scathing Cheney Review on Democracy Now

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now about Dick Cheney's new memoir (video to follow). Wilkerson proceeds to give a scathing review not so much of Cheney's book, but Cheney himself. He calls the release of Cheney's book in the wake of Hurricane Irene, the devastation in Vermont from the storm, and the most recent soldier deaths in Afghanistan "singularly insignificant," described Cheney's 'exploding heads all over Washington' line as akin to "grocery store tabloid" and says "I simply don't recognize Dick Cheney anymore" not as a descriptive measure of how he's changed, but that he doesn't recognize him as a person (my take).

Wilkerson: "...The Vice-President seems to find fault with... Condi Rice, ...with Powell, with [Richard] Armitige, with the president himself. The only person Cheney does not seem to find fault with is Cheney. I think we have a word for that kind of person; I won't use it here on television, but I think Mr. Cheney's view is totally, utterly, completely Mr. Cheney's view. I doubt there are very many people in America, other than the cheerleading squad for people like Cheney, who like torture and the like, who'll even read his book, or if they do read it, they'll read it in order to increase their revulsion of him rather than their respect for him. And that's a pity because he is a former vice-president...
...This is a book written out of fear; fear that one day someone will 'Pinochet' Dick Cheney."
After a quick call from Glenn Greenwald charaterizing some of Cheney's actions during his administration as criminal, Wilkerson agreed wholeheartedly, said that he would be willing to testify against Cheney should it ever come to trial, and would also take any punishment he is due as part of that administration.