Hiking in the Cascades


Over the next week, starting tomorrow, I’m going to be hiking with journalist Jim Lobe and some other pals in the Cascades mountains on a working, walking retreat.
I’m going to try to post some thoughts tomorrow and when I am finished next Friday or Saturday on what’s brewing on various national security and foreign policy fronts as we trip towards September. My blogger colleagues Sameer Lalwani and Scott Paul will keep the place humming while I’m doing some strategic planning near Mt. Rainier.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


18 comments on “Hiking in the Cascades

  1. Kathleen says:

    Never say “Die’ on Impeachment, guys. If Demz refuse to do it, that’s no reason to not DUNNNN them to FUCKING death about it, till the last GODDAMNED day. I thought livid was bad, but I’m off the Richter scale now.
    In fact, maybe we should start harrangingRepugs about it tooo. They need to know we see right through the Roverator’s machinations.
    If”FEAR” is our elected officials’ weapon of choice to use against us, then I say to them,
    “You asked for it, you got it, now”. You fucking flunk. No impeachment, no money, no volunteering. Call me when impeachment is on the table. You get my Giant Tin Ear Award.
    Meanwhile, outside the Beltway, IndependentVoices.org is holding a national conference call on August 12th at 4 p.m. PST. The number to call is 712-580-0308. The access code is 732282#. It is possible to have non-partisan politics and government. It’s the original way to gain access to the ballot and for the Electoral College to have its true role.
    Let’s get back to basics, pronto. By basics, I mean cut to the bottom line. A long time ago, I was waiting somewhere for an eternity, with nothing to read but Readers Digest, of all things.
    Oddly, Iread something I’ll never foregt and has stood me in good stead for many years. In a little readers story, a woman had purchased an iron that malfunctioned. Although she followed the instructions for getting a refund, the company kept pulling her through knotholes about it. In desperation, she packed the iron in a box with a note that read, ” Iron, she no work” and mailed it back to them. She got a new iron.
    Gov’t, she no work.


  2. erichwwk says:

    What is left to say about national security??????
    Is political amnesia so severe that we have forgotten the first purpose of spying is on your enemies? Not OUR enemies, but administration enemies, ie anyone who might thwart whatever is desired by this administration?
    Is it not crystal clear that the domestic spying on both Senators and Representatives has produced enough to make the Democrats as much of a rubber stamp as the Republicans?
    Does posting here serve any other purpose than to identify the poster as future inhabitants of the domestic containment camps which Haliburton has contracted to build?


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Perhaps another panel will fix it. We can debate the wisdom of calling exposing someone as a criminal and a perjurer while giving them expanded powers.
    Its a shame this comnedy isn’t playing out in Japan, for perhaps if it was, we could convince Steve to implore his considerable contacts, and use his considerable exposure, to attempt to reverse this insanity.


  4. Sandy says:

    “….when Pelosi was ready to act….”??? Refused to act on impeachment? You’re kidding, right?
    Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t take a big wooden mallet over my head to see …..to finally accept it….that impeachment is a dead issue. About like our hopes…..way back when…that Fitzgerald was going to indict Rove. Yeah, right!
    To borrow from The Soup — It’s REALITY time!
    How do you propose there would EVER be any remote chance of impeachment…..when the very Democrats that you hope might take the lead ….voted to allow the ILLEGAL (a couple of courts now, right?) ….wiretapping Bush DEMANDED ….to continue….only with more SECRET embellishments.
    I mean how DUMB is it for Democrats to vote to give Bush what he demands…..that they admit…..they don’t even know what it IS….what is being done?
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine: any …even remote….hopes of IMPEACHMENT….
    are now DEAD.
    I can even hear in my head Bush’s lawyers saying: well, if it was illegal, then why did the Democrats vote to let me continue?
    Hey, good point!
    We have a completely corrupt banana republic here.
    Wake up!


  5. FreeUs says:

    Jim Lobe is a superstar. Steve, please pick that man’s immense brain and knowledge, especially about the neo-cons.
    As for hiking — have any of you ever hiked Pariah Canyon in Arizona? Or Zion/ Canyonlands/ Escalante Cliffs in Utah? “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to address the experience.
    But the Bush administration, now with the Democrats help, are destroying all these national parks (and international treasures) which is the only reason I mention them by name — I don’t want them over-run, just saved.
    Even people who can’t go see their spectacular beauty should try to save the parks for their children, so please list “saving our national parks” on your list of complaints when you call Congress.
    In terms of Buzzflash, I doubt that they will ever truly see the light. I emailed them repeatedly a short while ago to tell them that Pelosi’s office was actively seeking comments about whether to impeach Bush and Cheney (after seeing it on the Washington Note — thanks to Steve’s readers) and Buzzflash never put it up.
    Buzzflash claims it wants impeachment but when Pelosi was ready to act they went back to their base in the Democratic party of wimps, and refused to act on impeachment, when it is more critical than at any time in U.S. history.


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well Steve, its like being a kid living in a household headed by an alcoholic father. No matter what he says he’s going to do with this week’s paycheck, after he leaves the house, all bets are off.
    A debate about foreign policy, when our leaders are non-representative, dishonest, and unaccountable, is an exercise in futility. There is simply no way to gauge their motives for policy, the veracity of the intelligence that policy is founded upon, or the actual results or effectiveness of that policy.
    Like the alcoholic father, every foray onto the streets, justified by stated grand intentions and promises to do better, only result in an ever worsening series of disastrous binges, eventually requiring hospitalization and rehabilitation. Or death for the father, and ruin for the family.


  7. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — thanks for your encouragement on the hike. 😉 I just want to be clear that the readers of this blog are very diverse — and I get quite a few more daily emails about blog matters than what is up on the Comments Section. Some are pulling the way you suggest, and others are very focused on my key areas of interest — national security and foreign policy questions. I’ll try to focus more on the domestic agenda in coming months, but hopefully not at the expense of international issues.
    All the best,
    Steve Clemons


  8. Steve Clemons says:

    Donallin — hope you enjoyed “Sicko.”
    Best, Steve Clemons


  9. donailin says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but the only reason I lurk here is to read PissedOffAmerican illuminate the utter disconnect Clemmons suffers from. Tonight I was lucky enough to have an extra $20 to go see a movie — Sicko. Haven’t been able to afford a vacation in five years. Clemmons is simply removed from the reality of working Americans.


  10. Sandy says:

    Oh, my heart leapt on seeing the photograph! I’ve spent some very sacred time on Upper Panther Meadow on Mount Shasta; I’m longing to go back.
    Enjoy your time there!


  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here are the Democratic Senators that voted to give Bush and Gonzales more room to spy on us. Perhaps we can take up a collection, and send them all a pair of kneepads….
    Evan Bayh (Indiana); Tom Carper (Delaware); Bob Casey (Pennsylvania); Kent Conrad (North Dakota); Dianne Feinstein (California); Daniel Inouye (Hawai‘i); Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota); Nancy Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas); Claire McCaskill (Missouri); Barbara Mikulski (Maryland); Bill Nelson (Florida); Ben Nelson (Nebraska); Mark Pryor (Arkansas); Ken Salazar (Colorado); Jim Webb (Virginia).
    And do I really need to tell you how that prick Lieberman voted? He won’t be needing knee pads, he’s already built up a healthy set of callouses.


  12. JohnH says:

    Don’t miss Steve’s link to Jim Lobe. http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=54#more-54)
    Tensions are brewing at the AEI between neocons and major corporate supporters. Neocons are gung-ho on unilateral sanctions against Iran, while businesses fear that lucrative deals might go elsewhere.
    Maybe we’re finally starting to see cracks in the ironclad coalition of monied interests that Bush/Cheney forged. Yes!


  13. sab says:

    I’m being shallow again while everyone else is serious, but what a waste that you are hiking in the Cascades while your dogs are stuck at home.


  14. RonK, Seattle says:

    Think big out there!


  15. daCascadian says:

    Enjoy your visit to the neighborhood !
    “Seattle is the only major city in the world that people move to in order to get closer to nature.” – Jonathan Raban


  16. sean says:

    Oh, you lucky bastard! There’s nothing like bagging a few peaks to take your mind off of politics, and the Cascades are some of the most spectacular mountains in North America. Hopefully you’ll post a few pictures along with the national security thoughts…


  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I am no fan of Buzzflash, because, like this blog here, they refuse to address the huge influence Israel and AIPAC has had in bringing the United States to its knees.
    But this editorial is right on. Perhaps Steve and Lobe, (whom I have the utmost respect for), will reflect on it while enjoying their foray into God’s country. And while they are at it, they might reflect on the fact that many of us, who once enjoyed the same kinds of recreational pursuits, are no longer able to take time out from our very real NEED to work over forty hour weeks just to keep our heads above water, our children well, and our insurance and mortgages paid. Everyday, more and more Americans are losing the ability to take time out, hike in the Sierras, or just enjoy a day off on the couch. Theres a whole nation of real people out here Steve, a fact that Washington seems to have forgotten. We drive across these bridges daily, we eat the Chinese poison, we pay the enormous fuel and energy costs, the taxes, and we send our sons and daughters off to die for lies. And we are held to the letter of the law.
    Dems in Senate Once Again Enable Bush and Cheney to Spy on Us: The GOP Three-Pronged Effort to Permanently Control America
    Submitted by mark karlin on Sat, 08/04/2007 – 2:08pm. Editorials
    It’s a roller-coaster ride that we all can’t seem to get off of.
    Just when the Dems at least are talking tough (even if they aren’t acting tough), they let Bush and Cheney intimidate them into giving them more spying powers. This appears incomprehensible for a number of reasons, including the repeated illegal use of spying powers by the Bush Administration, perjury concerning that activity, and the generally accepted knowledge that the enhanced spying powers are meant for partisan purposes, not for fighting terrorism.
    Can’t the Democrats just say “no,” as in “Sorry, you have proven that you can’t be trusted with increased spying powers, in fact you are still failing to fully inform Congress and the American people about the illegal spying you have conducted in the past and are still, apparently, conducting”?
    Now, wouldn’t that articulate a little bit of basic truth about the Bush-Cheney betrayal of America by using terrorism as a faux cudgel? Haven’t we seen the Democrats chased around the block by this political scare tactic countless times before?
    Can we get off the roller coaster of Democratic leaders teasing us with the expectation of enforcing accountability followed by craven submission to the demagogic threats of the White House?
    Apparently not.
    While the Republicans march lockstep under authoritarian marching orders to control the steering wheel of government indefinitely into the future, the Democrats in Congress appear unable to proceed beyond skirmishes into battling the overall GOP game plan of one-party rule.
    Congressional hearings have exposed the basic Republican three-pronged long-term plan for seizing the ship of state and turning it into something akin to a Brezhnev, Mussolini or Franco style of government.
    What we knew – and now have confirmed is this: the GOP is using three basic techniques, and the Democrats are doing little – even now – to stop their nefarious implementation.
    The Republicans are proceeding on a broad array of fronts to expand their institutionalized suppression of minority and other Democratic votes. This was a key component of the ongoing scandal known as ProsecutorGate, but it is also being implemented through a number of other vehicles, including: state voter suppression laws, partisan judicial verdicts on voting rights, a decrease in voting rights prosecutions by the DOJ, the privatizing of vote counting software, misleading robo-calls, etc. This is a fundamental usurpation of the basic process of democracy and allows the GOP to steal elections.
    It has been a highest priority for the Republicans to ensure a partisan federal court system, loaded with GOP hacks, which will generally rule in favor of Republican administrations and issues that will benefit the Republican agenda. As recently as this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was demanding an “up or down” vote on a racist Bush nominee to the appellate court, Leslie Southwick, even as McConnell continued to obstruct the passage of Democratic bills in the senate by invoking cloture to prohibit “up or down” votes. This travesty was not denounced by the Dems. In fact Dianne Feinstein aided the ongoing right-wing silent coup of the federal courts by helping the Republicans to vote Southwick’s nomination out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    The third prong relates to the immediate occasion for this BuzzFlash editorial. The continued pressure to expand Bush Administration spying powers, despite past illegal spying conducted by the Bush Administration and the opposition of the FISA court (which now consists primarily of Republican appointees), should be among the top priorities of Congressional Democrats to stop dead in its tracks. We recall in one Gonzales appearance before Congress when the illegal spying story first broke that he could not provide assurance that the spying was not being used for political purposes. Does anyone think that given past experience the Bush White House would NOT use domestic spying powers to gain political advantage?
    The continued full court press on all three of these fronts by the White House indicates that they have not in any way given up on the goal of controlling the Executive Branch by – as in 2000 – seizing the presidency, whatever the will of the voters.
    Would the Bush Administration be so concerned about expanding unitary authority powers at a time when a Democrat could assume the presidency in about a year and a half?
    We highly doubt it, don’t you?
    Why the Democrats continue to enable the Bush Administration to vigorously pursue this three-pronged approach to subvert democracy is mind boggling. It’s kind of like handing over to the White House the noose to hang yourself.
    The Democrats in Congress should be impeaching Gonzales, Cheney and Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors, not enabling their continued efforts to establish a de facto dictatorship for radical extremists.
    Bush is as low in the polls as a president has historically gone. He and Cheney are one door away from being nailed with multiple counts of illegal activity – and that’s just from what is visible to us at this time. God knows what is still hidden below the tip of the iceberg.
    Amidst this sordid unraveling of a corrupt administration that is intent on destroying democracy and the Constitution, the Democrats in the Senate give Bush more legal power to spy on us!
    This is democracy committing suicide.


  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Enjoy your hike. I sincerely hope you and Lobe reflect on your priorities, and come to realize that for us middle America folk, “foreign policy” doesn’t mean a tinker’s damn if our government has ceased to represent us. You both enjoy considerable readership, and have thus far managed to maintain some credibility. However, I sense a shift in the attitude of your readers. Perhaps its time to get on the domestic wagon, and use your resources and considerable contacts to help save our nation, instead of fantacizing about the foreign policy designs of a leadership, (of both parties), that ceased been honest, and accountable to the people, long ago.


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