I was awful at arithmetic in school, and so I'm no stranger to that hopeless feeling of doing the operation only to find that the answer in the back of the book has nothing to do with the one I came up with.
I still get that feeling when things don't add up. Here are a few I've been frustrated by just the past few days:
1. According to 100% of the Democratic Party and 95% of the mainstream media, America's reputation in the world is at an all-time low because of the Hated One (GWB). The community of nations, or those who still allow prayer, are on their collective knees begging for new leadership in November that will allow the rest of the world to bestow on us the love they so desperately want to give us--but which we haven't deserved lo these past 7 years. (Barack Obama: "We all know that these are not the best of times for America’s reputation in the world. "; Hillary Clinton: "I propose a new American strategy to restore our moral authority, end the war in Iraq, and defend and protect our nation."
Now we see that NATO, whose principal European are members are demonstrably more diplomatic, wiser, more just, more peace-loving, greener, and just more fashionable than we are, has unanimously accepted President Bush's proposal of a missile defense shield in eastern Europe. As Charles Krauthammer pointed out on Special Report Thursday:
This is a remarkable success. The Democratic mantra is that the president has destroyed our alliances. Well, what's happened here in the summit is remarkable.
First of all, as you said, NATO has unanimously accepted a missile defense in the face of great Russian pressure against the NATO alliance, against Poland and the Czechs, in particular, and decided it would go ahead with this. And this is an issue that even the American left and a lot of Democrats oppose, so to get unanimity in NATO is remarkable.
Secondly, you have the French announcing that for the first tie since 1966 they will rejoin the structure of the NATO military command, which is, again, a huge step. It has not happened in 40 years. And also, adding additional troops in Afghanistan.
And, you know, another story that is sort of unsaid but is very important is that, for the first time in history, NATO is engaged in combat outside of the theater -- in Afghanistan -- another achievement of this administration.
I think it is remarkable what's happened, and this summit can only be called a success, despite the disagreement on Georgia and Ukraine, which I think is a minor issue. It was an issue that the Europeans would not accept. Ukraine and Georgia are too unstable right now, and you don't want to have a frontier with Russia, which is unstable and in part, almost at wars in Georgia.
So that I would have expected. But everything else is unexpected and extremely good news.
Another example, I suppose, of the Great Moron bamboozling world leaders. Hmmm?
2. Senator Carl Levin, (who received many an honorable mention for treachery in Kenneth Timmerman's "Shadow Warriors" for his efforts to undermine the Iraq operation and other national security measures), is redoubling his attacks on the al-Maliki government. ("Levin attacks Iraqi leadership"). He's unhappy that al-Maliki didn't consult with Congress for military advice first before lauching raids in Basra against the Mahdi Army. He also thinks al-Maliki has "shown himself to be a political leader who is excessively sectarian, who's incompetent and who runs a corrupt administration"--or, in other words, he's no worse than Ray Nagin without the benefit of Baghdad being a chocolate city.
But Levin's real beef is that
"The Iraqi government is awash in revenues from rising oil prices, Levin said, arguing it makes no sense for U.S. taxpayers who have to pay high gas prices to also pay for projects the Iraqi government can afford."
Which is what isn't quite adding up for me. It may be true that oil profits are not being turned into reconstruction costs fast enough, I'm hardly an expert on that. But even if they're not, as I said above, that makes al-Maliki's government no worse than, say, the all-Democratic Detroit School Board people have had to put up with for going on forty years.
What doesn't make sense is that there shouldn't be any Iraq oil profits, considering that Bush, Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz went into Iraq for the express purpose of stealing all that. Isn't that what Greenspan himself said? ("Alan Greenspan claims Iraq war was really for oil"). Isn't that what all that chanting of "No Blood for Oil" from supporters of Levin's side of the aisle signifies?
Or didn't they mean it after all? Doesn't add up, you see.
3. It doesn't make sense that a Muslim group linked to terrorism, and an unidicted co-conspirator in a federal criminal cterrorism ase, is giving the FBI training in Islam.
There's really not much more to say on that one.
4. Nothing about the national adoration of Barack Obama adds up, and I know we're all sick of Jeremiah Wright, but here's something else that just doesn't make sense: Last June, before he got into all this hot water over Rev. Wright, Obama gave a sermon to the 50th anniversary convention of his denomination, the United Church of Christ("Faith Has Role in Politics, Obama Tells Church"), in which he blasted the religious right for having "'hijacked' faith and divided the country by exploiting issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and school prayer."
Obama admitted that American churches indeed had a
proud history of involvement in the American Revolution and the abolition and civil rights movements [no, really]...
"But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together,” Mr. Obama said. “Faith started being used to drive us apart. Faith got hijacked.”
So preachers dragging up non-spiritual issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and school prayer are hijackers, but abolition, the civil rights movement, and, as is preached in Obama's own church, race politics and wild conspiracies about how AIDS was invented by the government has obviously been bringing us all together, are safely within the "proud history" of religious involvement. And as we all know, Jeremiah Wright's edifying religious viewpoints have done nothing if not brought the nation together.
Which makes no sense at all.
5. Then I see where Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's one-time chief of staff and mistress, Christine Beatty, has just been forced by Chief Magistrate Steve Lockhart to wear an electronic tether on her ankle, and reportedly scolded her for failing to provide proper notice to the court about travel plans. To make it even harsher, Lockhart banned Ms. Beatty from traveling out of state at all. ("Beatty ordered to wear tether"). The fact that Ms. Beatty, who says her small children are in Chicago, wanted or needed to travel out of state was laid out for this same court at her arraignment last Wednesday, so this was no news to the court.
(Meanwhile Kwame and his outspoken supporters are allowed to roam around untethered, in more ways than one).
Ms. Beatty is a black woman, and this punitive decision by the magistrate to force her to wear the electronic version of an ankle chain, especially on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, is something even a typical white person like me thinks may be going too far.
True enough, Ms. Beatty didn't strike a sympathetic figure for most of us, me included, back when she was high-horsing two traffic cops who stopped her for speeding, demanding, reportedly “Do you know who the (expletive) I am?” (DU is unable to confirm that the police report was inaccurate, and that she actually asked the officers, "Do you know who the (expletive) I am (expletiv)ing?")
Still, her association with the one of the country's worst mayors has already cost her dearly. Now that she's out of office, and while the Kingpin is still in, the power differential is completely transformed, i.e., she hasn't got any. And maybe she really does love the big lug. Which doesn't justify her destroying the careers of policemen, but it tends to cloud one's judgment.
Plus, something else smells about what happened in 36th District Court yesterday. Chief Magistrate Steve Lockhart insisted on closing the courtroom off to the public and the press while he berated Ms. Beatty, which is both unlawful and a sign he knew he was up to something he didn't want the public to witness.
But here's what really smells.
According to the Detroit News account, Ms. Beatty is now wearing a global positioning shackle because "she made plans to travel without giving proper notification." She's not being punished now because she snuck out of state without reporting it, but only that she made plans--after, as I said--putting the court on notice just last week that she was trying to get to Chicago.
According to her attorney, Mayer Morganroth, (whom I wouldn't trust any farther than I could throw his real client, Kwame Kilpatrick),
Beatty had been required under her bond conditions to seek court permission before traveling but had been told permission to travel for business purposes would be granted liberally, Morganroth said. She wanted to travel to Atlanta and to Alabama to look for work, Morganroth said. She gave the court's pretrial services notice of her planned eight-day trip and the names and phone numbers of attorneys in the two states who were going to help her make contacts in her job search, Morganroth said.
If the magistrate did not want her to take the trip, he could have sent Beatty word that he had denied permission, Morganroth said.
Instead, "the next thing we know we get a call to come down there, to get there at one o'clock," Morganroth said of the summons to the courthouse. "When we get there, we get this tirade.
"I would say he was a little harsh."
So would I, actually. Ms. Beatty said she didn't know the process, and may in fact have violated some jot or tittle of the court's notice rules. But that's why people have lawyers, to tell them those kinds of things, which is what else stinks. Her lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, should have been watching out for her interests in this matter. Still, if he chose to be negligent, this could easily have been the result: "Don't worry, Christine. The court's OK with you traveling. Trust me."
As to both the criminal charges, and the Tamara Green case, Beatty is clearly a key potential witness against Kilpatrick and the city. If she decides to make her own deal with Kym Worthy and stop protecting God's man for the city, she probably knows just about everything. It's unimaginable that Morganroth can look out for her and Kilpatrick, considering that Morganroth has such a gigantic conflict of interest. He was already one of Kilpatrick's attorneys, and is also representing Kilpatrick in the wrongful-death lawsuit over the murder of Tamara Green. But it took the court to make Morganroth step down from representing the city.
The tether on her leg is how good a job he's doing for Ms. Beatty, and that she's being shafted by her lawyer is not so far-fetched. Maybe while she's stuck at home with no place to go she'll figure out that sharing Kwame's attorney won't be quite as fun as sharing his hotel bed. (It's also a possibility that Magistrate Lockhart lies somewhere on that continuum of corrupt officials and friends-of-Kwame that compelled Kym Worthy to ask for a recusal of all 36th District judges: I don't know, I'm just asking. But locking his courtroom while he punished Beatty seemed less like how a legitimate court conducts business and an awful like like how Kilpatrick's city hall does business).
In the meantime, it doesn't add up that while Kilpatrick is getting handed around in mosh pits at the Black Madonna, his former chief of staff/comfort worker ends up tethered and banned from going to see her kids as a result of her own very experienced criminal lawyer failing to instruct her exactly what was required vis-a-vis notice to the court if she wanted to travel.
This kind of prank-with-a-message was how former Police Chief Jerry Oliver got notice it was time for him to quit and leave town--when he was "caught" with a loaded handgun in his luggage, resulting in his being publicly busted for it by airport screeners.
Or that's how some of this adds up to me.