This page shows all the posts for the "George W. Bush" Category from E Pluribus Unum
The most current posts are on the main page.

November 26, 2007

Shorter Bush White House:

OK, the dirty hippies were right about everything.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

November 14, 2007

Odds & Sods #44: Silence Of The Lambs Edition

  • Breaking News: "Musharraf Expects To Quit As Army Chief By End of Month." Riiiiiiight. And Larry Craig expects to leave the US Senate by the end of October.

  • When Brian Williams guest-hosted on SNL a couple of weeks ago, it went a long way in changing my opinion of him. But this softball interview with Rudy Giuliani reminds me again why I didn't like him in the first place.

  • Speaking of Williams, apparently his ratings are up post-SNL. Then again, so are Katie Couric's and she wasn't even on the show.

  • Judith Regan is suing News Corp. over her firing in the OJ book affair. She's claiming (among other things) that Murdoch tried to ruin her reputation to protect Rudy Giuliani's. You know -- she was boffing Bernie Kerik and they were afraid she'd blab about it. Sounds to me like they all -- Murdoch, Giuliani, Kerik, Regan -- deserve each other.

  • Bush's plan for the economy: prop it up with matchsticks and duct tape until January 20, 2009. Then blame the new president for ruining it.

  • James Carville compares Don Imus to Bill Clinton.

  • A Wiki site has leaked the Gitmo Camp Delta manual online. Or at least, ahem, that's what they tell me.

  • Silence of the Lambs: Baghdad, post-surge. [Note: for those of you who didn't read the novel, the reference is to the silence that was heard after the lambs had been slaughtered; it haunted the novel's protagonist.]

  • Chris Bowers: "If Obama wins Iowa and New Hampshire, he takes the nomination." Maybe yes, maybe no. One thing for sure -- of all the top tier Dems, he has shown the most upward momentum over the past 30 days or so. Even the prediction markets are starting to reflect that. I just wish he had more of Jack Kennedy in him and less of Adlai Stevenson.

  • Matt Stoller asks whether the negative attacks on Clinton are working. Short answer: maybe.

  • Got to know when to fold 'em: Apparently, Gov. Spitzer has decided to abandon a plan to issue New York driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

November 09, 2007

Effective Disorder

by shep

Eugene Robinson:

"It's official: Bush Derangement Syndrome is now a full-blown epidemic. George W. Bush apparently has reduced more of his fellow citizens to frustrated, sputtering rage than any president since opinion polling began, with the possible exception of Richard Nixon. . .”

Mitch McConnell:

"The war is winding down. Next year's election is going to be about this Congress and what it failed to do"

Michael Crowley:

"I wonder whether the Democrats have been preparing for that possibility -- and what their contingency plans are if the Iraq debate tacks substantially back the GOP's way."

Karl Rove:

"The Democratic victory in 2006 was narrow. They won the House by 85,961 votes out of over 80 million cast and the Senate by a mere 3,562 out of over 62 million cast. A party that wins control by that narrow margin can quickly see its fortunes reversed when it fails to act responsibly, fails to fulfill its promises, and fails to lead.”

"People in the past who have been on the nutty fringe of political life, who were more or less voiceless, have now been given an inexpensive and easily accessible soapbox, a blog.”

And that’s one reason you’re out of the White House and forced to peddle your delusions on the permanently deranged pages of the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed. That is, after helping to create a permanent Republican minority.

Lets’ all pray for a slow and painful recovery.

H/T Dan Froomkin

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

November 08, 2007

bin Laden’s Wet Dreams

by shep

They hate us for our Prada:

The FBI confirmed it has issued an "intelligence information report" warning of possible Al Qaeda attacks on Los Angeles and Chicago shopping malls over the holiday season.
The warning states Al Qaeda has been planning the attack for the past two years with the intension to disrupt the U.S. economy...


Let’s leave it to the Republicans and their corporate masters; the real experts at “creative destruction”:

NEW YORK ( -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, warning that higher inflation and weaker economic growth could be in store, told Congress Thursday that the central bank is keeping a close eye on the subprime mortgage crisis and recent spike in oil prices.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

You guys, yeah the islamofascistjihadicaliphatists in the high mountain caves of Pakistan, you can just relax – smoke it if you’ve got it. You are no match for our CEOs and our MBA president.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

November 07, 2007

Shorter (in every way) George Bush:

Please Mr. Musharraf, could you please get back to helping me spread my “freedom agenda”? Your check is in the mail.

(Oh, and Mr. Erdogan, I sure would appreciate it if you didn’t invade Iraq. Pretty please.

November 01, 2007

Bush, Mukasey: Torture is Illegal. Period.

BushBullhorn.jpgEvery time this guy opens his mouth, it sounds like fingernails on a blackboard:

President Bush, seeking to salvage the nomination of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, on Thursday defended the former judge’s refusal to say whether he considers waterboarding as illegal torture.

Bush said it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques on which he has not been briefed. “He doesn’t know whether we use that technique or not,” the president told a group of reporters invited into the Oval Office.

With all due respect, that wasn't the question. The question was, "Do you consider waterboarding to be torture?" Note to MSNBC: "Illegal torture" is a redundant term. Torture is illegal. Period.

Further, Bush said, “It doesn’t make any sense to tell the enemy whether we use those techniques or not.”

That also wasn't the question.

Repeat after me: torture is illegal. If waterboarding is torture, then waterboarding is illegal. Which means the President is a war criminal because the CIA has already admitted they've been using it all along. That's why everyone is on pins and needles.

It has nothing to do with what anyone "tells the enemy."

October 31, 2007

The real winner in last night's debate (Updated)

[cross posted at Daily Kos]

Notwithstanding Krugman, it looks like a narrative is forming for the general election, and trust me, you've heard this song before: firmness versus nuance. It's a Republican frame and that means the traditional media will be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And that means there was only one winner (see below).

But first, hear me out:

To the extent that Edwards (and Obama) attacked Clinton on being "for it and against it at the same time," it helps the Republicans as much as it helps any Democrat. Why? Because, for Republicans, right and wrong don't matter -- only firmness and resolve matter. [Note: did I miss something or did Edwards pass when it came to declaring his position on Spitzer's proposal?]

Granted, Edwards is showing he, too, has cojones. The problem for Edwards comes later -- during the general election. Far more people believe Giuliani and/or McCain have the stones than believe Edwards does. So, down the line, Edwards may only have himself to blame. That's what happens when candidates accept their opponents' frame -- it leaves your opponent with plenty of ammunition during the general.

Also: another Republican frame is going to be fear. So when the debate turns to drivers' licenses for immigrants (as it will for at least the next few days) I'll give you one guess as to who that helps. Hint: It ain't the Democrats. [UPDATE: Jonathan Singer addresses the pros and cons of the issue.]

Deal with it: fear is a Republican frame. Fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, free-floating fear of "colored people." In fact, racial fear will be the most potent theme that the Republican base responds to.

And Giuliani is all about racial fear. Clinton? Buddies with Charlie Rangel and everyone in Harlem (just ask O'Reilly). Edwards --helping those in poverty? Please. You know who that helps, right? Obama? Too black. Not black enough. Can't make up his mind about what his race is. Except we know he's soft. Soft on Islamofascists. And you know what color their skin is.

Bottom line: the real winner last night was George W. Bush. And, by extension, his rightful heir: Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani who (like Cheney and Bush) has made his career out of fear. Long before 9/11, he made a name for himself by appearing at -- and later, as mayor, ordering police riots. And that's not to mention the infamous killing of Amadou Diallo. In fact, before this is over, the 9/11 thing may very well have fallen by the wayside, having been exposed as his weak spot, not his strength. His strength? Giuliani is the one virulent, determined, resolute, angry white male who will stick it to em, once and for all, wink wink nudge nudge.

Will the Dems be ready for that? As I see it, the only way to be truly ready is to be prepared to hang Bush around Rudy's neck and let him sink to the bottom of the fetid ocean he swims in. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Who among the Dems is ready to do that?

Because you know Rudy's coming for you. Don't say you weren't warned.

October 28, 2007

Iran: Ever-Ready Trump Card

Cunning Realist:

Make no mistake: the administration is now in damn-the-torpedoes mode on the economy and financial markets. The housing market must not be in the headlines a year from now. The stock market must be at or near its highs when the administration leaves office so capital gains can be realized at good prices before a Democratic president raises taxes, and so apologists can point to the Dow and claim for the next few generations that Bush's fiscal policy "worked."
The solution? Blame it on Iran!
Do you think this particular administration will sit by idly if oil goes to $100, then $110, then $120 -- and a gallon of gas hits $4 in some areas during next summer's driving season, just a few months before the election? "Unrest in Nigeria" and "refinery problems in Texas" (and lately "Turkey-Kurd tensions") have limited shelf life as excuses. Statists hate pressure, but they fear consequences -- particularly when the culpability is both obvious and unavoidable.

This is why keeping Iran as an ever-ready trump card is so important. If those consequences get bad enough and no excuse will do, the use of force must be at least minimally plausible to the public and the rest of the world. In the meantime, the tension -- preferably continuous and drawn-out -- created by the mere possibility of a military strike is useful as an ongoing excuse for the spiraling price of oil...

Don't say we weren't warned. You know it's coming.

October 25, 2007

Cali Wildfires: Bush reassuring people by telling them he's there to reassure them

Today, Thursday, Bush will at the scene of the California wildfires. This is such a familiar scene that I thought I'd reprise Jon Stewart's observation about the meta-president:

Some leaders are men of words; others are men of action. President Bush is a man who uses words to describe actions...The President is not there to take action, apparently the reason he's there is to tell you why he's there...It is the classic President Bush move: reassuring people by informing them he was there to reassure them...He's the meta-president.

October 24, 2007

War Cost: Sticker Shock

Here it is -- we (you and I) are slated to spend $2.4 trillion (with a T) over the next 10 years on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The White House brushed off the estimate as too conditional. "It's just a ton of speculation," said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "We don't know how much the war is going to cost in the future."
Better not to think about the future. Same goes for how we got here -- that's the past and we certainly don't want to dwell on that either. All there is, is today. Live in the moment! That's the ticket.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said voters were suffering from "sticker shock...America's future is being held hostage by the cost of the war," he said.
His concern would be most admirable if it wasn't totally covered in crap. Why doesn't he just say "no" to more funding? Why doesn't he, you know, lead the way to ending the war?

It reminds me of something I saw while watching the trailer for that new Robert Redford movie, Lions for Lambs. In it, Reford's character said this:

"They bank on your apathy. They plan strategies around it...The problem is not with the people who started this. The problem is with us -- who do nothing."
Don't just sit there: call your Congressman. NOW.

Call Rahm Emanuel.

Call Nancy Pelosi.

Tell them -- again, as many times as it takes -- "no." Just "no."

"The problem is with us who do nothing."

October 15, 2007

A Distinction Without a Difference

by shep

Reading Daily Kos this morning, a came across this peculiar claim by DHinMI in a long essay about Blackwater and the GOP:

“But the main reason why it’s wrong to refer to Bush authoritarianism as fascist is, simply, that it’s not fascist. Fascism exalted the state as the most powerful force, more powerful than any other institutions, including business.”

My reply is: you’re making a distinction where there is no difference, in both fascism and the Republican model of government.

The most perfect illustration of that is the current purchase of immunity for cooperating in illegal domestic spying for telecom companies by former political officials (in both parties) now employed by the telecoms and lobbying by current government officials, such as intelligence director Mike McConnell, who were formerly (directly) employed by the telecoms.

I’ll let Glenn Greenwald describe another dimension to the lack of distinction between “the state” and business:

”The top telecom officials are devoting substantial amounts of their energy to working on highly classified telecom projects with the Bush administration, including projects to develop whole new joint networks and ensure unfettered governmental access to those networks. Before joining the administration as its Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell spearheaded the efforts on behalf of telecoms to massively increase the cooperation between the Federal Government and the telecom industry.

The private/public distinction here has eroded almost completely. There is no governmental oversight or regulation of these companies. Quite the contrary, they work in secret and in tandem -- as one consortium -- with no oversight at all.”

Strangely, DHinMI’s thesis is based in large measure on Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine which contains no such denial of Republican fascism:

“A more accurate term for a system that erases the boundaries between Big Government and Big Business is not liberal, conservative or capitalist but corporatist. Its main characteristics are huge transfers of public wealth to private hands, often accompanied by exploding debt, an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and the disposable poor and an aggressive nationalism that justifies bottomless spending on security. For those inside the bubble of extreme wealth created by such an arrangement, there can be no more profitable way to organize a society. But because of the obvious drawbacks for the vast majority of the population left outside the bubble, other features of the corporatist state tend to include aggressive surveillance (once again, with government and large corporations trading favors and contracts), mass incarceration, shrinking civil liberties and often, though not always, torture.”

From Wikipedia on “corporatism”:

“Political scientists may also use the term corporatism to describe a practice whereby an authoritarian state, through the process of licensing and regulating officially-incorporated social, religious, economic, or popular organizations, effectively co-opts their leadership or circumscribes their ability to challenge state authority by establishing the state as the source of their legitimacy, as well as sometimes running them, either directly or indirectly through shill corporations.”

From Wikipedia on fascism:

”Fascism also operated from a Social Darwinist view of human relations. Their aim was to promote "superior" individuals and weed out the weak. In terms of economic practice, this meant promoting the interests of successful businessmen while destroying trade unions and other organizations of the working class. Lawrence Britt suggests that protection of corporate power is an essential part of fascism. Historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because "the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise... Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social."

And from the self-proclaimed “founder” of fascism himself:

”The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State.” (p. 41).
—Benito Mussolini, 1935, The Doctrine of Fascism, Firenze: Vallecchi Editore.

Any way you slice it, fascism is about the alignment of all institutions of state power, especially corporate power, against the interests of democratic representation, populist policy and individual liberty, i.e., liberalism. It seeks not to enhance the state relative to business but to remove the barrier between corporate interests and the interests of state entirely. Meanwhile, fascism seeks to suppress or coerce any remaining conflicts with those interests as determined by its elites in both business and government, because they are the same people and the same interests.

From the corruption of the democratic process in the Supreme Court sanctioned Republican coup of 2000 and political prosecutions and voter suppression by Republican government officials, to restructuring the tax system to favor wealth rather than work, to outsourcing the writing of US law to corporations, to privatizing entire government functions like protecting US government officials overseas, to the militarization of society through fear mongering, to colluding between government and corporations to violate the law to spy on the lawful activities American citizens, this Republican government cannot be distinguished from US corporate interests and their combined interest in monopolizing the country’s wealth and power and undermining the liberty and self rule of average citizens. That is fascism by every meaning of the word.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

October 12, 2007

Odds & Sods #42: “Historic Mass Flowers” Edition

  • Congratulations to Al Gore. Wow -- an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Nobel all in one year. Not even Liza Minelli did that.

  • Why is everyone so upset with Ann Coulter? She's only said what any Christian learns from the time they start Sunday School. And another thing: if she's so heinous why does CNBC (or NBC, or CNN or FNC) put her on the air in the first place? Lastly, isn't it true that you can be a girl and still have a Y chromosome? IJS.

  • "Hunh. A resolution condemning genocide. I think you gotta go 'yes' with that one. [If not], what is the right response to historic mass killings? Historic mass flowers?"

  • And, speaking on behalf of the entire Armenian community, I would like to say we are thrilled that Aasif Mandvi has been named The Daily Show's Senior Armeniologist.

  • I read the Wall Street Journal and I know they loooooove to complain that the richest 10% of Americans already pay 2/3 of all taxes, as though that proves their taxes are too high. What you never hear is what percentage of their total income this tax load represents. When THAT number reaches 30-50% or more (as it does for middle-class families) then we can talk about taxes being too high. Not only that: I say they should be paying 90% or more of all taxes in this country. And if they want to become tax exiles, then good riddance. They weren't real Americans after all, were they?

  • George W. Bush can grow up a mean, nasty, coke-snorting drunk but once he accepted Jesus, it wiped the slate clean. Rudy Giuliani can rail against the gun lobby as Mayor of New York, but in a post-9/11world he's in bed with the NRA -- and they're on top. So what now for Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center -- now that he's accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior? Maybe he and Ann Coulter can go on a National Reconciliation Tour.

October 10, 2007

Bush: Changing Subtext into Text

Jon Stewart was on fire with this segment from Tuesday night:

Some leaders are men of words; others are men of action. President Bush is a man who uses words to describe actions...The President is not there to take action, apparently the reason he's there is to tell you why he's there...It is the classic President Bush move: reassuring people by informing them he was there to reassure them...He's the meta-president.

October 09, 2007

White House burns covert intel source -- again


A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

Like Valerie Plame, the founder of the company is a woman, Rita Katz.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

The precise source of the leak remains unknown.

Yes, well.

No doubt the White House will release a statement saying that if there had been a leak from this administration, they'll want to know who it is... and if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

October 04, 2007

Odds & Sods #41: “Fred Thompson vs. The Soviet Union” Edition

  • Judge to Sen. Craig: You're stuck with your plea: Are Republicans stuck with Craig? [Answer: Yes.]

  • Kudos to Obama: Blocks odious FEC Republican nominee Spakovsky...for now.

  • Conservative "pro-family" activists would rather vote for a third party candidate than they would vote for Rudy Giuliani. I'll believe it when that candidate hands Florida to the Democrats in 2008. IJS. That said, maybe it's time for Rudy to claim he's pro-life now. After all -- 9/11 changed everything!

  • Now that Pete Domenici has announced his retirement, will Bill Richardson quit his run for the White House and try for the Senate instead? His campaign says, no, they're in it to win it and they are "confident" of their chances. Right.

  • Speaking of losers, do you ever get the impression that Fred Thompson is just going through the motions? What ever could he have been thinking? (Answer below.)

  • Sleep-walking his way through Iowa, Thompson tries to out-Reagan the rest of the Republican field by slamming "the Soviet Union." Yes, you heard me. The Hunt For Red October is on again, baby!

  • Speaking of the USSR, today is the 50th anniversary of the launch into space of Sputnik. Did you know that what the Soviets were really trying to do was draw attention to the ICBM that launched the little-satellite-that-could?

  • Speaking of Sputnik, here's an interview with Arthur C. Clark (now nearing 90) wherein he remembers where he was that fateful day when his prediction finally came true.

  • Props to Sergey Korolyov, the genius behind the Soviet space effort. He was called "The Chief Designer" because his identity was deemed a state secret by the Politburo.

  • A new AP-Ipsos poll has Bush's approval ratings at 31 percent, the "lowest level" ever recorded in that poll's history. Not sure if they mean lowest for any president or just lowest for the Bush family.

  • Surprise! People still really, really like Bill Clinton.

And here it is, your moment of Zen:


September 21, 2007

Ever Seen Bush On A Horse?

Bush.JPGMe neither.

Now, former president of Mexico Vicente Fox tells why -- apparently Bush (a "Texan") is afraid of horses. Fox also calls Bush a "windshield cowboy," i.e., he likes to drive and not ride.

For perspective, here are some past presidents that could, at least on occasion, put themselves on a horse.


September 12, 2007

General Lies

by shep

General Petraeus, just like his civilian rulers in the Bush Administration (I'm shocked), continues to tout progress from The Surge:

"The tribes and the sheiks decided to say no more to Al Qaeda. They were tired of the indiscriminate violence, tired of the Taliban-like ideology and the other practices," he said. "They are Sunni Arabs rising up against a largely Sunni Arab Al Qaeda in Iraq."

I'm not sure what our extra 30,000 troops spread across Iraq has to do with that but, meanwhile, there are good reasons why we should keep 130,000 American soldiers, indefinitely, in a hated occupation in Iraq where 70% of the population says that The Surge has made life more violent and dangerous:

"A rapid withdrawal would result in disintegration of the Iraqi security forces, rapid deterioration of local security initiatives. . . . Al Qaeda in Iraq regaining lost ground. . ."

Obviously, no one has any idea what will happen in Iraq, with or without an American troop withdrawal. So why would anyone state as fact that Al Qaeda, who’s “indiscriminate violence” and “Taliban-like ideology and the other practices," has already been rejected and attacked by much more secular Iraqi Sunnis and which didn’t even exist in Iraq until we invaded and occupied the country, will regain lost ground if we were to withdraw occupying troops?

Your answer can be found here:

"The reason to emphasize al-Qaeda, aides said, is simple. 'People know what that means,' said one senior official who spoke about internal strategy on the condition of anonymity. 'The average person doesn't understand why the Sunnis and Shia don't like each other. They don't know where the Kurds live. . . . And al-Qaeda is something they know. They're the enemy of the United States.'"

Just as Bush and Cheney lied when they said that ”there’s no doubt” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, anyone telling the American public that they know what will happen if we begin to withdraw troops from Iraq is lying, plain and simple. To lay claim to knowledge of future events which don’t even make sense relative to your own characterizations of what’s happening at the moment can be taken for what it is: pure agenda-driven propaganda.

It’s a damned shame that Bush and the Republicans have so corrupted the relative non-partisanship and credibility of the US military but not really surprising. They’ve done the same with every single element of the US government from the Supreme Court to the Department of Justice when they thought it served their interests. There isn’t an honest bone among them and “fixing the facts around the policy” is all they know.

September 04, 2007

Was Bush Aware Of Disbanding Iraqi Army?

by Mark Adams

The President and his former Iraq Viceroy are at odds about a trifling detail.  Did Paul Bremer have White House approval to include disbanding the entire Iraqi Army as part of his plan for wide-spread de-Baathification -- the one institution that might have been relied upon to provide employment and enforce stability throughout the war-torn country?  This decision is without a doubt one of the most controversial of the entire war, a true turning point..

The NY Times recounts the back and forth between Bremer and Bush, via Rumsfeld, where Bremer drafted a letter on May 20, 2003, sends it on the 22nd and heard back from Bush himself on the 23rd with a "heckuvajob" letter that did not mention the plan.

One get's the impression that the "C" student CEO PrezNitWit really didn't read Bremer's letter, or at least appreciate it's import.  That's more than understandable.  There was a lot on his plate right then, less than three weeks after his infamous "Mission Accomplished" declaration -- he probably believed his own press clippings, that the hard part was over. 

President Photo-Op certainly had another kind of awareness pressing in on him at that time. For instance, we're still going 'round and 'round about the White House's ability to spy on us, so in an Orwellian turn of phrase ...

DARPA's Congressional report announces that the controversial Total Information Awareness program will be known as the Terrorist Information Awareness program from now on, to emphasize that its purpose is to compile data on terrorists, and not to compile dossiers on US citizens. -- May 20, 2003
The very day Bremer gave the order dissolving what had been the world's third largest land army was a uniquely busy day for His PrezNitNess:

Dept SecDef Paul Wolfowitz was getting "grilled" on Capital Hill about the situation in Iraq ...

Wolfowitz tells Congress, “One of the keys to getting Iraq up and running as a country is to restore its primary source of revenue: its oil infrastructure.
That was also same day that the UN officially turned the country over to Bremer's CPA and Bush signs Executive Order No. 13303, granting immunity to oil companies working in Iraq to protect the UN's Iraq Development Fund's ability to pay for all of this so -- you don't have to.

General Tommy Franks evidently thought this whirlwind of a day would be a convenient time to announce his retirement as well.

BUT, what was really on the minds of the media, and public at large the third week of May, 2003?  What do you think the President was doing May 21, 2003, and talking about on the 22nd when all this went down? Free Image Hosting at

What was really important, taking precedence over supervising the future of the Middle East and the legacy we will be leaving our grandchildren?  Was George Bush burning the midnight oil, preparing for this monumental day in history?

In a very, very close vote, Ruben Studdard beat out Clay Aiken to become the next American Idol.

Probably not. The Bushes are "Idol's First Fans," after all

September 01, 2007

Bush: “Dead Certain”

Robert Draper's new book about George W. Bush, Dead Certain, is set to be released next week. Draper's family is friendly with the Bushes (his grandfather, Leon Jaworski, was buddies with George H.W. Bush). So I guess you shouldn't expect any surprises. One thing for sure -- the title says it all. Jim Rutenberg of the Post has it:

Mr. Bush said he believed that Mr. Hussein did not take his threats of war seriously, suggesting that the United Nations emboldened him by failing to follow up on an initial resolution demanding that Iraq disarm. He had sought a second measure containing an ultimatum that failure to comply would result in war.

“One interesting question historians are going to have to answer is: Would Saddam have behaved differently if he hadn’t gotten mixed signals between the first resolution and the failure of the second resolution?” Mr. Bush said. “I can’t answer that question. I was hopeful that diplomacy would work.

That's a bizarre view of what happened. The second resolution failed because the our allies were not convinced that Saddam had WMD; so, in short, Bush's diplomacy convince our allies to back us. Bush was "dead certain" and could not -- still can't -- understand why they wouldn't.

So, how does Bush feel about, you know, how it all turned out?

“I can’t let my own worries — I try not to wear my worries on my sleeve; I don’t want to burden them with that.”

“Self-pity is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency,” Mr. Bush told Mr. Draper, by way of saying he sought to avoid it. “This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity.”
In response to Mr. Draper’s observance that Mr. Bush had nobody’s “shoulder to cry on,” the president said: “Of course I do, I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot.” In what Mr. Draper interpreted as a reference to war casualties, Mr. Bush added, “I’ll bet I’ve shed more tears than you can count as president.”

More self-pity.
Mr. Bush conveyed a level of sanguinity with his unpopularity. Mr. Draper recalled that in their last meeting, in May, Mr. Bush pointed outside to his dog, Barney, and said, “That guy who said if you want a friend in Washington get a dog, knew what he was talking about.”
"That guy" was Harry S. Truman. Hey -- I thought Bush was just like him? How come he can't mention his name?
He otherwise addressed his unpopularity as a tactical issue. For instance, in May he said that this fall it would be up to General Petraeus to convince the public that the Iraq strategy is working.

“I’ve been here too long,” Mr. Bush said, according to Mr. Draper. “Every time I start painting a rosy picture, it gets criticized and then it doesn’t make it on the news.”

There he goes again with the self-pity.
But he said he saw his unpopularity as a natural result of his decision to pursue a strategy in which he believed. “I made a decision to lead,” he said, “One, it makes you unpopular; two, it makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance, and that may be true. But the fundamental question is, is the world better off as a result of your leadership?”
Um, no.

Seriously folks, Bush thinks he's unpopular simply because he "made a decision to lead?" Wow -- no discussion about right and wrong? He lead us all right -- off the cliff.

But he was dead certain the whole way down.

August 27, 2007

Report: Gonzalez to Resign Today

If this is true, how long will it be before he receives his pardon?

P.S. Is Chertoff on deck?

August 26, 2007

Hitchens: 13 Reasons Why Bush Is Wrong About Vietnam/Iraq

Christopher Hitchens, accustomed to striking out so often with men on base, does sometimes manage to hit one out of the park:

How do I dislike President George Bush? Let me count the ways. Most of them have to do with his contented assumption that 'faith' is, in and of itself, a virtue. This self-satisfied mentality helps explain almost everything, from the smug expression on his face to the way in which, as governor of Texas, he signed all those death warrants without losing a second's composure.

It explains the way in which he embraced ex-KGB goon Vladimir Putin, citing as the basis of a beautiful relationship the fact that Putin was wearing a crucifix. (Has Putin been seen wearing that crucifix before or since? Did his advisers tell him that the President of the United States was that easy a pushover?)

However that may be, I always agreed with him on one secular question, that the regime of Saddam Hussein was long overdue for removal. I know some critics of the Iraq intervention attribute this policy, too, to religious motives (ranging from messianic, born-again Christian piety to the activity of a surreptitious Jewish/Zionist cabal: take your pick).

In this real-world argument, there is a very strong temptation for opponents of the war to invoke the lessons of Vietnam. I must have written thousands of words attempting to show that there is absolutely no analogy between the two conflicts.

Then, addressing the convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars last week, the President came thundering down the pike to announce that a defeat in Iraq would be - guess what? - another Vietnam. As my hand smacks my brow, and as I ask myself not for the first time if Mr Bush suffers from some sort of political death wish, I quickly restate the reasons why he is wrong to join with his most venomous and ignorant critics in making this case.

Read the whole thing.

Meta on Shrub's Vietnam Metaphor

by Mark Adams

Could it really be that Shrubby finally jumped the shark, even in the eyes of the 28%ers; and that he went one metaphor too many? Did he state something so backward, so profound in it's ignorance than not even the most adroit culture warrior can spin it back on itself?

There is an amazing amount of real and digital ink that instantly hurled it's outrage at the cockamaymee idea the Draft Dodger in Chief had any handle whatsoever on the real lesson of our Indo-China excursion. The one he managed to drink and snort his way through in the late 60's and early 70's.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.comEven Academia as well as the Punditocracy (with one or two notable exceptions), could not stomach the sheer wrongheadedness of the idea that pulling out of South East Asia a mere ten years and 58,000 dead soldiers later was evidence of American's capricious approach to causes requiring a more committed dedication than we are willing to pay -- especially us dirty hippies on the left.

Yes Virginia, some lies cannot stand up to the truth, no matter how strongly stated nor oft repeated.

I was first confused when Powerline only managed to pick the slightest nit with the critics and then entered the quagmire of analogies that Bush missed -- which highlight all the mistakes he repeated but should have learned from Vietnam.

Then I noticed that Sadly No! did not entertain us with the usual litany of nutjobbyness on "how we so so so so SO woulda won in Vietnam if only we’d stayed another 20 years," from the usual Kool-Aide drinking suspects. Now the Pajama Hadeen and LGF are linking up with Chris Hitch's 13 reasons Bush's analogy is moronic.

Hitchenson has indeed penned a piece of prose that will warm your heart:

How do I dislike President George Bush? Let me count the ways.
As my hand smacks my brow, and as I ask myself not for the first time if Mr Bush suffers from some sort of political death wish, ...
If one question is rightly settled in the American and, indeed, the international memory, it is that the Vietnam War was at best a titanic blunder and at worst a campaign of atrocity and aggression.

The logic of history is pitiless and Bush is not the only one who will find this out.
Could it be now that Rove is busy plotting the removal of some other politician's brain, Bush is left on his own and no talking points are being faxed to the rest of the Right Wing Noise Machine? Are the GOP too, simply marking time until they can get rid of Boy Wonder, the Super Chimpleton? Or is this the way they pave the road for their next rabbit out of the hat -- the improbable election of another Republican goof-ball to the Oval Office?

As the Rude One opines, when it comes to the continued glory that is the conservative movement, the GOP frontrunner, Mayor Rudy is "George W. Bush without the nuance." Scary thought, but sure to be born out as the talking heads convene this morning, having come to the stark realization that all could be (deservedly) lost, 30 years of bamboozlement flushed down the drain. Unlike the post Vietnam era, the conservatives don't want to lose the argument that now will prevail until the next war -- Who Lost Iraq?

Seeing that of all the administration officials who talked the nation into this mess are now in the private sector save Bush, Cheney and Condi Rice, yet the stupidity grows ever deeper; I've got a pretty good hunch exactly who should be singled out for special consideration when the blame gets handed out.

August 21, 2007

Say Cheese

by Mark Adams

Sometimes I sit in awe of the breathtaking turns our theoretical republic has taken under the Bush regime. I recognize that conditioned responses may contribute to the perception that a sinister oligarchy is promoting a fascist ideology through Stalinistic tactics aimed at domination of the world for a commercial imperium secured through the U.S. military in coordination with the Republican Party Apparachik. They've screwed with us from the day FloriDUH went from red to blue and consistently ever since. It is indeed possible that we look for the evidence that confirms our preconceived notions.

Nyahhh. I'm not paranoid. This is the most outrageous U.S. Presidency of all time.

It's almost too much. I'm just a guy writing into the ether. One person can't make all that much of a difference, can he? The power at the disposal of the Federal Government cannot be thwarted simply by standing up to it, can it?

Continue reading "Say Cheese" »

July 23, 2007

Klein’s Coup

by shep

Watching Joe Klein’s reluctantly awakening political consciousness is like watching a scene from Jackass in slow motion; you know from the outset that it will be stupid, it takes far too long to get to the chase (yet you can’t look away) and, in the end, you just wind up thinking, “what a…,” well, you get the idea.

Klein has finally caught up with the majority of Americans who have long known that they were suckered into the worst foreign policy debacle in American history but Klein still thinks that Congressional Democrats are all wrong to be holding votes on war funding, including trying to specify when we should start bringing our troops home:

“1. The chances of changing Bush's Iraq policy are minimal, to nonexistant, under any circumstances.

2. The Congressional Democratic strategy only makes Bush more stubborn.

3. If there is any chance for a change in policy, it resides with the uniformed military in the Pentagon--who want to save their all-volunteer Army--plus the voices of realpolitik in the Administration, possibly Secs. Gates and Rice...Plus Petraeus who has become Bush's Voodoo Icon and has a big, big choice to make about his own legacy.”

So, to recap, Klein thinks that George Bush will use the US military as he (and Deadeye Dick) damned-well please regardless of public opinion or the law and he likes the idea of a military revolt against the Commander-in-Chief to end the current Iraq policy, rather than Congress performing its constitutionally assigned duty to make war policy. You see, that just pisses off the boy king and makes him hold his breath until Iraq turns red(der).

You really have to wonder why these people have jobs telling the public what’s what when they seem to have not the slightest understanding or concern with how the American political system is supposed to work. One can only assume that in Kleine’s shrunken worldview, the mommy Democrats are always ineffectual against the mighty authority of daddy Republicans so they shouldn’t even try. It’s just humiliating. I suppose that if Democrats were to succeed and actually, you know, make policy, it would shake Joe’s Republican-centric world to its knobby white legs.

And, as usual, he completely fails to grasp his own ongoing complicity in preventing Democrats from doing what the public demands. What a jackass.

[Cross posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

Timing is Everything

by shep

It’s almost here. For everyone other than the 25% of authoritarian (Bush) followers who are just fine with a Republican criminal enterprise running out of the Oval Office and the beltway elites who can’t stomach looking at the blood on their own hands, the argument is over. There is only one question remaining:

"Where are the real confrontations needed to vindicate the rule of law and restore constitutional order? No reasonable person can dispute that in the absence of genuine compulsion (and perhaps even then), the administration will continue to treat "the law" as something optional, and their power as absolute. Their wrongdoing is extreme, and only equally extreme corrective measures will suffice."
--Glenn Greenwald

Or, really, when will enough true patriots rise up and insist upon it?

July 22, 2007

Please Stop What You're Doing And Watch This Video Right Now

I read this morning that John Conyers is close to initiating impeachment hearings from the House Judiciary Committee. Not sure this is accurate, but this video sums up just some of the reasons why he should get started right now.

P.S. Double-extra movie geek bonus points if you recognized the voice of Charlie Chaplin at the very end, taken from The Great Dictator.

July 14, 2007

Tough Talk On Impeachment

Bill Moyers' Journal explores the talk of impeachment with Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and The Nation's John Nichols, author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure For Royalism.

July 13, 2007

Big Republican Lies On Iraq

by shep

No, I don’t mean Dick Cheney prostrate on the sand in Ramadi – however appealing the idea – I mean the monumentally deceitful propaganda being hurled at the American public by Republican leaders in both the White House and the Congress:

1) It’s about al Qaeda

This lie has been going on (and been debunked) since before the war. The truth is, Osama bin Laden was a foe of Saddam Hussein and his secular Baathist state. While the US invasion and occupation of Iraq opened a window for al Qaeda affiliates, they represent a small percentage of those fighting US troops and are currently despised by their erstwhile Iraqi Sunni partners. They are being killed and otherwise expelled from Anbar province to much public celebration by US officials. If the US leaves Iraq, neither Sunni nor Shiite nor Kurdish Iraqis will tolerate al Qaeda’s presence there.

2) If we leave Iraq, the terrorists will follow us here.

The truth is, if any of the Islamist terrorists (and not just al Qaeda) could strike us here, they would already have done so. Leaving Iraq won’t change their capacity to do that one bit, except that it would take away the radicals best recruiting tool and best excuse to attack us.

3) If we leave Iraq before we “win” the cost will be too great.

The truth is, no one has any idea what will happen if we leave Iraq except that we will no longer be bleeding troops by the hundreds and money by the tens of $billions per month. And Republicans have been consistently and insanely inaccurate on the cost-benefit calculation for Iraq policy from the beginning so there is absolutely no reason to assume that their guess is right this time.

4) Congress should let the generals decide how to run the war.

The truth is, as much as the President desires, the generals have run and will continue to run whatever policy is set forth by the civilian leadership of the government, just as the Founders intended and wrote into the US Constitution. Congress gets to write and fund war policy and the President, as Commander-in-Chief gets to execute that war policy, period.

In short, you can’t trust a word Republicans or the Bush Administration, including the Pentagon and the generals, tell you about Iraq or Iran.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

July 07, 2007

Clinton's Strength Is Also Her Weakness

Bill Clinton's record is Hillary's greatest strength -- and also her greatest weakness. She can rightfully claim his legacy -- and/but she'll always be called upon to defend it as well. The good news is she's very well suited for this fight. The bad news is she'll be fighting it all the time. Al Gore had to deal with it in 2000; but that was nothing compared to what it'll be like this time around if Hillary gets the nomination.

This alone might be the best argument for nominating Barack Obama. But I digress...

The fallout from the Scooter Libby fiasco is a good case study of what we're all in for if Hillary gets the nomination:

Whatever you may think about the merits of the Rich pardon versus the Libby pardon, the debate is one the Bush team wants. The White House would rather have everyone debating the relative merits of the two than debating the inconsistencies in the Libby decision alone...

If Hillary Clinton is elected president, how often will this phenomenon be repeated? With each piece of legislation Hillary Clinton proposes or each assertion she makes, Republicans will offer an analog from the Clinton years. They'd do the same with any Democratic president, of course, but another Democratic president would have an easier time walking away from such attacks.

If you are a faithful Democrat, this should come as no surprise, nor should it angry up your blood because a key part of any Democratic nominee's strategy to defeat the eventual Republican nominee will be to hang George W. Bush around their (the GOP nominee's) neck.

July 06, 2007

Poll: Majority Support For Impeachment Of Cheney

...and the public is that close to being in favor of the impeachment of George W. Bush.

A new American Research Group national survey of 1,100 adults (conducted 7/3 through 7/5) finds:

In a related matter:
  • 31% of approve of "President George W. Bush commuting the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby while leaving intact Mr. Libby's conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case;" 64% disapprove.

  • 11% favor a complete presidential pardon for Libby; 84% oppose.
Please call the office of the Speaker of the House today and firmly insist that impeachment be put back on the table; at the very least, all outstanding investigations of this presidential administration should be put under the umbrella of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. If enough evidence is found of high crimes and misdemeanors, impeachment should be recommended to the committee and to the House of Representatives itself.

Don't wait; there's too much at stake. Think of future generations who may be living under a president far worse than this one. They'll look back at us and wonder what we were waiting for while Bush and Cheney ransacked the Constitution.

Call today: Speaker of the House of Representatives - 202-225-0100.

What The Founders Felt About Abuse Of Pardon Power

Dan Froomkin:

The Framers, ever sensitive to the need for checks and balances, recognized the potential for abuse of the pardon power.

According to a Judiciary Committee report drafted in the aftermath of the Watergate crisis: "In the [Constitutional] convention George Mason argued that the President might use his pardoning power to 'pardon crimes which were advised by himself' or, before indictment or conviction, 'to stop inquiry and prevent detection.' James Madison responded:

"[I]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty. . . .

"Madison went on to [say] contrary to his position in the Philadelphia convention, that the President could be suspended when suspected, and his powers would devolve on the Vice President, who could likewise be suspended until impeached and convicted, if he were also suspected."

We are at just such a moment in history.

Please call the office of the Speaker of the House today and firmly insist that impeachment be put back on the table; at the very least, all outstanding investigations of this presidential administration should be put under the umbrella of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. If enough evidence is found of high crimes and misdemeanors, impeachment should be recommended to the committee and to the House of Representatives itself.

Don't wait; there's too much at stake. Think of future generations who may be living under a president far worse than this one. They'll look back at us and wonder what we were waiting for while Bush and Cheney ransacked the Constitution.

Call today: Speaker of the House of Representatives - 202-225-0100.

July 05, 2007

Oblivious to Obstruction

by shep

Dear Norman Ornstein,

I’m writing you as the e-mailer Diane Rehm referred to this morning when she asked whether you thought that the motive and timing of President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby's jail sentence might revolve around the threat he could pose to the Vice President (and, perhaps, the President himself) as his avenues for avoiding prison had just been exhausted. You dismissed the idea out-of-hand, without offering the slightest reason for why that couldn't be the case.

I may be no resident political scholar but my take is, the politics of satisfying the base aside, there is no other reasonable explanation for the timing of the commutation since it would have been weeks before Mr. Libby likely would have had to start serving his sentence. In the interim, however, Mr. Libby would have had significant motivation to offer testimony against the Vice President and, possibly, Mr. Bush himself.

Don’t take my word for it, here is what other commentators have had to say as reported by The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin:

The New York Times: "Presidents have the power to grant clemency and pardons. But in this case, Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell."

Los Angeles Times: "The larger problem in commuting Libby's sentence is the message it sends to his unfortunately unindicted co-conspirator, Cheney.

Sidney Blumenthal writes in Salon: "Bush's commutation of Libby's 30-month prison sentence for four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice was as politically necessary to hold his remaining hardcore base for the rest of his 18 months in office as it was politically damaging to his legacy and to the possibility of a Republican succession. It was also essential in order to sustain Libby's cover-up protecting Cheney and perhaps Bush himself."

Norman Pearlstine writes on "Bush's rationale might have had some merit had Libby been convicted solely of perjury. If that were the case, one might argue that he was convicted of a 'process crime'. . .

"But that isn't what happened. In addition to perjury, Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice. That was the most important charge against him. Patrick Fitzgerald's summation to the jury and his sentencing recommendation made it clear that Libby's obstruction precluded him from ever determining whether his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney had broken the law and what role the White House had played in outing Plame. . . .

"[T]he commutation of Libby's sentence is a cover-up, pure and simple."

Marcy Wheeler blogs for the Guardian: "[T]he real effect of Bush's actions is to prevent Libby from revealing the truth about Bush's -- and vice president Cheney's -- own actions in the leak. By commuting Libby's sentence, Bush protected himself and his vice president from potential criminal exposure for their actions in the CIA Leak. As such, Libby's commutation is nothing short of another obstruction of justice.

Josh Marshall blogs: "The real offense here is not so much or not simply that the president has spared Scooter Libby the punishment that anyone else would have gotten for this crime (for what it's worth, I actually find the commutation more outrageous than a full pardon). The deeper offense is that the president has used his pardon power to shortcircuit the investigation of a crime to which he himself was quite likely a party, and to which, his vice president, who controls him, certainly was.

Joe Wilson on NPR: "Congress ought to conduct an investigation of whether or not the president himself is a participant in the obstruction of justice."

With all due respect, considering what Charles O. Jones wrote in your recent book about Mr. Bush’s governing style, the use of executive authority to cover-up and obstruct finding of wrongdoing is such a consistent and predictable facet of the modern CEO, it seems incredibly naïve to dismiss it without argument. Especially when considering the timing and the political danger of exposing everyone involved in the underlying crime – a White House conspiracy that exposed and destroyed an entire covert counter-proliferation operation in the CIA.


July 04, 2007

On Impeaching the President and Vice President of the United States

The Founders created impeachment as a check on the unbridled power of a despotic executive. Impeachment was on the same spectrum as the other legislative checks: setting the legislative agenda, power of the purse, and investigative oversight. When those checks fail to rein in the president, impeachment is the only option. It is a powerful tool and should not be used lightly. But when the chief executive flouts the laws set by the Congress, when the president usurps the power of the judiciary in order to save members of his own cabal, then impeachment is required.

Impeachment is analogous to indictment and only needs a simple majority to proceed to a trial in the US Senate, where a super-majority would be required for conviction. The Founders meant for the Congress to be able to act without threat of a veto or review by the Supreme Court.

I believe that we are at a point now where a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee must consolidate all the many, many investigations of the Executive branch under the umbrella of impeachment hearings. And if the investigations find evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, then it should report that to the Judiciary Committee for resolution before the House as a whole.

Lane Hudson at HuffPo:

There are so many things that this Administration has done to betray the confidence of the American people. Rather than provide a long list of them here, I’ll give you some links to peruse:(the above are all books which make detailed legal arguments for impeachment)

Tell Speaker Pelosi to put Impeachment BACK ON THE TABLE. Her phone number is 202-225-0100.

Don't put it off -- call first thing tomorrow, after the holiday is over.

Future generations of Americans, perhaps living under a presidential regime far worse than this one, will look back at us and wonder why we did nothing while Bush and Cheney ransacked the Constitution.

On Independence Day, 2007

"He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers ...For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments."

--- Declaration of Independence, 1776


Peter Miller, A Day Of Rebellion:

I propose celebrating those latter-day American revolutionaries who have tried to help America live up to its revolutionary promise: the labor activists, left-wingers, human rights advocates, and other troublemakers who have, like the revolutionaries of 1776, struggled against extraordinary odds to wrest power away from the entrenched and powerful.

Let's honor the 4th by remembering people like Emma Goldman and Mother Jones, Frederick Douglas and John Brown, Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Big Bill Haywood, Margaret Sanger, and Eugene V. Debs, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Abbie Hoffman, Cindy Sheehan. and thousands of other courageous heroes who have tried to keep America true to its democratic purpose. (And please forgive such a short list -- feel free to chime in with more names!)

July 03, 2007

Scooter And Fred

Here's something I pounded out last night and this morning...

Scooter Libby lied to the grand jury and got caught and got convicted. Scooter Libby was convicted of obstructing an investigation of a crime, a crime that may have involved his bosses Vice President Dick Cheney and President George Bush.

Then his boss, George Bush, stepped in and set him free.

And Fred Thompson? He raised the money that made it possible.

Fred Thompson. We don't need another one like him in the White House.

July 02, 2007

Never Trust a Republican – Part IV

by shep

Remember when Republicans had to impeach the popular Democratic President over prevarications about a consensual illicit blowjob because no one should be above the rule of law?



Dear Gwen Ifill,

by shep

I want to tell you how much I enjoyed Washington Week this past Friday, June 29.

I especially enjoyed the closing segment on the subpoenas of the President's and Vice President’s offices for records related to Congressional oversight hearings. It was good to hear the panel agree that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were going to refuse to turn over the requested records because they believe firmly in the principle of executive privilege.

To be honest, I had become worried that perhaps the sought-after records might expose wrongdoing, such as the manipulation of the Justice Department to affect elections or surveillance of American citizens in violation of federal law, and the president and vice president were stonewalling and running out the clock before damning evidence was uncovered. But then I am not wise in the ways of Washington or paid to tell people outside the halls of power what their leaders are doing.

I’m relieved to know that the likelihood of an actual cover-up of wrongdoing by the President and Vice President is so remote that it didn’t even warrant mention and, also, that they are simply men of honest and noble principle.

In fact, I am now so confident in the integrity with which our government is run, I no longer feel the need to check on executive actions by watching your program.

Keep up the good work!


June 18, 2007

Odds & Sods #36: The Renegade Edition

June 05, 2007

Libby Sentenced to 30 Months In Prison

(Cross posted to Daily Kos)

Most observers seemed to agree that sentencing guidelines would have allowed the judge to put Libby in jail for as little as 12-15 months, or less, citing damage done to his career, his long term service to the nation, yadda yadda yadda. So this comes as quite a shock to the long list of Libby's friends (Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Kissinger, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, and James Carville to name but a few), who wrote to Judge Walton asking for leniency, citing what a great guy Libby was.

Mary Matalin's plea was particularly putrid:

My lifelong view, which has only been validated in adulthood, is that kids are the most honest and true evaluators of people. Watching my children with Scooter, and all children with him, you'd think he hung the moon. He is gentle and caring. He is genuinely interested in others well being and still inspires me to this day. He is a compelling teacher and extraordinary role model for integrity and humility.
How screwed up is Matalin's value system that she looks up to scum like Libby?

But wait, there's more:

I have seen what this trail has done to my own kids, just their reading about it. I cannot imagine the toll on Scooter and Harriet's young ones. Setting aside the pain of the Libby family, my girls just don't understand. They are old enough to intellectually comprehend the facts of the case but associating these "facts" with "Mr. Scooter" remains a complete disconnect to them.
What. An. Outrage.

What about the toll on Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson's young ones? I understand their kids are the around the same age as Matalin's and Libby's. Aren't they also "honest and true evaluators of people?"

What do you think they believe about the man who did this to their mother and father?

Mary Matalin (and James Carville!) might want to read their kids the words of President George H.W. Bush, someone that Matalin actually worked for once upon a time:

I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.
...unless, of course, your son George W. Bush, someday soon, pardons them. Then it's OK.

Judge Walton, today:

People who occupy these types of positions, where they have the welfare and security of nation in their hands, have a special obligation to not do anything that might create a problem
I give Walton of credit for being relatively mild in his remarks.

Libby will also be on probation for two years after coming out of prison. No word on whether he'll be immediately remanded to the country club federal prison or whether he can remain free on appeal.

May 30, 2007

Why Do Conservatives Hate America?

by shep

Welcome to the fold, traitors.

How does it feel?

May 29, 2007

How I Set Scandinavia Buzzing

Over 30 months ago, on the eve of the 2004 election, I wrote a blog post about Bush's heart problem. Or what I speculated was the possibility that Bush might be hiding a heart problem from the public. The post got some notice. I even re-published it a couple of times.

Then I forgot about it.

Scandinavia buzz copy.jpgThen, this past weekend (and over 30 months after I originally posted it) it went viral in Scandinavia.

A website called linked to it and my traffic quadrupled. Drilling down through the log files I found that the biggest chunk of traffic was coming from Stockholm but other cities like Malmo, Umea, and Uppsala were abuzz as well. It was even noticed in Finland ... and at least two guys from the fjords of Norway.

It's an interesting snapshot of how stuff goes viral in unexpected ways.

May 21, 2007

No Confidence In Gonzalez: Does It Matter?

Feinstein, Schumer and now Specter are calling for a vote of no-confidence in Alberto Gonzalez. Is this meaningful, or is this, like the White House says, "nothing more than a meaningless political act?"

Well that depends on how many votes go against him. Right now there are supposedly 6 Republicans calling for his resignation. If all of them vote against Gonzalez and all 50 Democrats (minus the recuperating Tim Johnson) do the same, you are still short of the two-thirds majority you'd need to convict the guy -- assuming the House were to vote to impeach him.

Is this what this no-confidence vote is all about -- sending a message about the eventual outcome of the DoJ scandals? If so, anything shy of 67 votes is not going to cause this White House -- translation: Bush and Gonzalez -- to give it a second thought.

May 20, 2007

Gonzalez: Hit By A Cruise Missile And Still Standing?

Emptywheel nails it:

So let me get this straight. On Monday, McNulty resigns from San Antonio. At first, Gonzales issues a really sweet statement celebrating McNulty. But by the following morning at the National Press Club, Gonzales blames McNulty for everything. Only to have his actions in the "hospital meeting" finally exposed by Comey, that same morning. The day after Comey's testimony, Gonzales gets an earful from the USAs he has put through this mess. On Thursday, the WaPo reports that 26 USAs were targeted for firing and then McClatchy says the number was really 30. And on Friday, Gonzales' closest ally on the Democratic side calls for his resignation (possibly after meeting him face to face).

You get the feeling a few people want Gonzales gone? And yet, Gonzales is still the Attorney General.

A legend is born.

May 17, 2007

A story that might have been written by Mario Puzo


Sid Blumenthal recalls an iconic scene from The Godfather that epitomizes the thuggery that is the Bush administration. It's the scene when Michael Corleone realizes that his father lies helpless and unprotected in a hospital bed -- while Bruno Tattaglia's killers are on the way to assassinate him. He rushes, alone, to the hospital and convinces a frightened nurse to help him wheel his father's bed into another room to hide him from the approaching hitmen. Then he, and the mild-mannered baker Enzo, stand shivering on the front steps, trying to look menacing. The thugs arrive, tires screeching. An awkward moment passes as they size up the two figures above them. Deciding against further action, the gangsters peel off into the night, cursing.

Continue reading "A story that might have been written by Mario Puzo" »

May 08, 2007

Odds & Sods #34: Detroit Edition

  • Barack Obama criticizes (Detroit) automakers on fuel economy. I would have liked to have seen him knock the unions, too, because they bellyache as much as anyone when the topic of fuel economy comes up. Bottom line: Detroit is reaping what it sowed.

  • Hey -- is everything seen through the prism of Detroit vs. Chicago? If so, the Pistons scored a big one for the Motor City, kicking the Bulls' ass again -- by over 20 points -- to go up 2-0 in the second round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. Hey Obama -- can you play point guard?

  • Certain Europen governments have floated the idea that they'll let the US pick the next World Bank president -- but only if Wolfie leaves right now. Congrats, Bushies: another loss of world prestige on your watch.

  • $3.23: That's the highest-ever price per gallon of gas, corrected for inflation. It dates back to the oil-embargo years, the energy-shock, gas lines around the block, Carter years of the 70's. I mention it now because gas prices are higher than ever. And (coincidentally?) Bush's approval ratings are in Carter territory.

  • Does Romney believe in evolution or not? Inquiring religious fundamentalist zealots want to know. The rest of us? We just want to know...

  • ...Is Romney really just a science fiction fanboy with a great haircut and $2500 suit? Recently, Mitt claimed that the French engage in 7-year marriages with an option to renew or move on at the end of the contract. Turns out he read that in a science fiction novel. By a fellow Mormon. About Mormonism in space. And this, after saying his favorite book was Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. Wonder what Ann Coulter is thinking now?

  • Has the Republican caucus really given Bush a do-or-die deadline of September -- or else they walk away from Bush on Iraq? Color me skeptical.

May 07, 2007

Odds & Sods #33: Freedom's Just Another Word Edition

  • Bush at 28%. Old School: invoke Truman's name. New School: freedom's just another word...for nothing left to lose.

  • Sarkozy wins, vowing to out-poodle The Poodle. And why not? After all...he's French!

  • An Iraqi blogger visits New Orleans and is shocked at how much it reminds him of home...but not in a good way. Adding insult to injury, he observes that, after the 1991 Gulf War, the despised Saddam rebuilt the infrastructure of Iraq within months.

  • Speaking of rebuilding, the reconstruction of Greensburg, Kansas, destroyed by tornados last week, likely will be delayed because a lot of the needed equipment is in...(wait for it)... Iraq.

  • Religious fundamentalist murderer Ayman al Zawahri releases a tape...and the White House (and Brit Hume) agrees with what he says. Gosh, in the good old days, they at least made a show of disagreeing with him.

  • John Aravosis meets John Kasich. Interesting on so many different levels.

  • The reaction to Tenet's book has been interesting. So far, Douglas Feith and Bob Woodward have reviewed it in the WSJ and the Washington Post, respectively. Not surprisingly, they've been pretty critical of Tenet's account as well as his performance in office. But then, they have an agenda, no? Feith wants to deflect blame and Woodward wants to sell his own account of what really happened -- including the now infamous "slam dunk" quote from Tenet.

  • Attention gamers: you are now officially middle class and you suck like the rest of us. Why? Because you can now earn World of Warcraft gametime when you use your World of Warcraft Rewards Visa card.

May 03, 2007

Why Bush Lost The Iraq War

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

Recently, while browsing another blog's comment thread I was brought up short when I came upon this statement:

It’s still unclear where the main source of our problem in Iraq lies.
Gosh, where do we start?

But let's cut the snark and try to answer the man's question. Because until we can do that, not only will we have lost the Iraq war, we will have embarked on a path that will lead to one disastrous war after another, being bled dry by "leaders" who want one thing only: ultimate power.

Continue reading "Why Bush Lost The Iraq War" »

May 02, 2007

Veto's In: What The Dems Should Do Next

(cross posted at Daily Kos -- with poll)

OK, first things first: I was wrong.

Moving on...Chris Weigant wrote an open letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi detailing what the Dems should do now that Bush has vetoed the bill. In brief, here's what he says:

  1. Lose the pork.
    Any Dem who bolts will be known to have only been for the pork in the first place -- not a great position to take right now.

  2. Leave in the money for veterans' benefits.
    Let Bush complain about that all he wants -- this is our way of respecting the troops.

  3. Lose the timetable.
    Sorry -- if he didn't OK it this time (when he could have easily issued a signing statement taking the money and ignoring the deadlines), he'll never go for it. Besides, the American people will be the final judge of when it's time to come out (see below). I don't think they'll blame the Dems for not trying.

  4. Leave in the benchmarks -- but take out the consequences.
    You don't need any consequences written into the bill -- because the American people will provide all the consequences the Dems want or need.

    Check it out: Bush said, "When the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down." Well, it's clear now (and the American people know it too) that the Iraqis aren't going to stand up anytime soon; they're too busy killing each other (or letting the government go on a two-month vacation). So leave in the benchmarks and let the electorate provide the only consequence that matters -- a massive electoral defeat for the Republican party in '08. By this time next year, the Republicans will be facing an exile from power that will last for a generation or more. What better consequence could the Dems ask for?

  5. Leave in the standards for troop-readiness.
    Again: this is how we respect the troops. And the Republicans? I'll leave it to sell the idea that, "you go with the Army you have, not the Army you'd like to have."
I'm sure this will infuriate those Dems who want to withhold all funding immediately -- after all, that is strongest position they can take. But here's the thing: it isn't the position that will get the most votes. In fact, it isn't even the position favored by the American electorate. So Dems have to look at what is possible. Remember, they passed the vetoed bill with 10 votes to spare in the House and 5 in the Senate. A stronger bill isn't going to pass.

Nor is a weaker one.

The scenario Weigant talks about is the most realistic one I've seen yet that stands a chance of passage -- while putting the Dems on the right side of the issue morally and politically.

You have to move the ball forward, even if it is just by inches at a time.

April 26, 2007

General Petraeus Is A Tool -- And He Knows It

Admit it -- you've heard it time and again: "General Petraeus literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency." Problem is, the Bushies haven't read it.


[Petraeus'] newly-minted counterinsurgency approach calls for a ratio of 25 soldiers per 1,000 residents -- which would require 120,000 soldiers to provide the proper security for Baghdad, and roughly three times that amount for all of Iraq.

But let's just focus on the 120,000 soldiers that, according to the manual written by Petraeus -- "the expert on counterinsurgency," remember? -- are needed to secure Baghdad.

Simply put: we're not even close to that number. And never will be. Even after all of the planned 21,500 additional troops are sent to the embattled capitol, there will still only be 85,000 security forces there -- and that includes significant numbers of Iraqi security forces, whose readiness and loyalty have repeatedly proven to be unreliable at best...

Petraeus' manual also says that a muscular military presence is just 20 percent of what is needed for a counterinsurgency effort to succeed -- the other 80 consists of establishing political and economic reform, two areas in which the United States is also failing miserably.

This is a pretty devastating analysis -- and one that almost anyone should be able to deduce from the available facts. That we're not hearing it from the traditional media nor from the administration, the fact that the same old gasbag pundits are telling us to wait and see until September -- well, no matter. The American people aren't being fooled. They agree with Harry Reid: victory is not an option and our continued occupation of Iraq is simply bleeding us dry.

Gen. Petraeus can't change that -- and he should be ashamed of himself for selling out to an administration that is using him to prop itself up.

April 25, 2007

Rudy Pulls A "Dick" (Updated)


MANCHESTER, N.H. —- Rudy Giuliani said if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001.

But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped.

This is the worst kind of fear-mongering and Giuliani should be ashamed of himself.
cheney.jpgBut if he really wants that kind of debate then let the record show that America has already sustained nearly 50 thousand casualties in the various wars and terrorist attacks that have occured on Republican President Bush's watch.

Update: John Edwards nails it:

"Rudy Giuliani's suggestion that there is some superior 'Republican' way to fight terrorism is both divisive and plain wrong. He knows better. That's not the kind of leadership he offered in the days immediately after 9/11, and it's not the kind of leadership any American should be offering now.

"As far as the facts are concerned, the current Republican administration led us into a war in Iraq that has made us less safe and undermined the fight against al Qaeda. If that's the 'Republican' way to fight terror, Giuliani should know that the American people are looking for a better plan. That's just one more reason why this election is so important; we need to elect a Democratic president who will end the disastrous diversion of the war in Iraq."

Bravo, Mr. Edwards.

April 21, 2007

Dear Mark Shields:

by shep

I enjoyed what you had to say on last Friday’s (April 20th) Inside Washington.

I was disappointed, however when the US Attorney scandal discussion never led to a mention of the possibility that a parallel, secret communications system (the RNC e-mails) was intentionally set-up to leave no actual “paper-trail,” therefore no discoverable evidence of wrongful conduct, should such a thing occur (hard to believe, I know)?

But then my heart leapt when you and Ms. Tottenburg declared that, “there was no there there,” on the excuse of “failure to pursue ‘voter fraud’” for the firings (even though it took Charles Krauthammer to bring up the issue).

But, alas, my heart broke when no one said why that fiction was created. Is intentionally using the power of the Executive Branch to disenfranchise minorities of their voting rights not noteworthy? Should that abuse of the public trust for wholly undemocratic partisan purposes be kept secret, regardless of its importance?

Otherwise, you sound better. I’m glad.

Warm Regards,

Maybe Gonzales was brilliant -- and everybody missed it

(Cross posted on Daily Kos)

Count me among that small group of people who thinks AG Gonzalez is not leaving office any time soon. Yes, I saw the same hearings you did. But despite all their "calling for Gonzalez to resign," I certainly don't see Congress removing him from office.

Of course this is just my opinion and I might be proven wrong this weekend, but I think come Monday morning Gonzalez will show up for work at the Justice Department. After all, only two people have anything to say about whether he stays or goes -- Bush and Gonzalez himself.

Now Dahlia Lithwick comes right out and says it: Gonzalez' testimony this week was a home run for the Bushies:

[HIs testimony] reflects either a Harvard-trained lawyer—and former state Supreme Court judge—with absolutely no command of the facts or the law, or it reveals a proponent of the unitary executive theory with absolutely nothing to prove. Gonzales' failure to even mount a defense; his posture of barely tolerating congressional inquiries; his refusal to concede that he owed the Senate any explanation or any evidence; his refusal to even accept that he bore some burden of proof—all of it tots up to a masterful display of the perfect contempt felt by the Bush executive branch for this Congress and its pretensions of oversight. In the plainest sense, Gonzales elevated the Bush legal doctrine of "Because I said so" into a public spectacle.
In other words, Gonzalez (and Bush) believe nothing untoward occurred because, well, like Nixon said: "When the president does it that means that it is not illegal."

From that perspective, Rove, Bush, Gonzalez -- they're all bulletproof. From that perspective, Gonzalez did Congress a favor just by showing up!

Gonzales did exactly what he needed to do yesterday. He took a high, inside pitch to the head for the team (nobody wants to look like a dolt on national television) but hit a massive home run for the notion that at the end of the day, congressional oversight over the executive branch is little more than empty theatre.
How do you fix this mess? Well, I'm not sure you can impeach the AG. And even if you could, this scandal shouldn't end with his removal. You need to investigate (and, if necessary) prosecute the whole corrupt lot of them: Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, Assistant Attorney General William Moschella and former chief of staff Kyle Sampson, for starters. Joe Conason is calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor and I think he's got that right.

April 20, 2007

Iraq War Funding Bill: With or Without Deadlines?

Looks like the House will compromise with the Senate by making the deadlines non-binding:

Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, a freshman Democrat who represents a district strongly opposed to the war, said lending his support to a bill that funds the war without setting a firm end date will be difficult. On the other hand, he added, Democrats might be in a tougher spot if they can't pull the caucus together long enough to act against Bush.

"We have to look at the political realities of being the party that's in control, and prove to the American people we can govern," he said.

Forward movement toward a worthy goal. That's what I would call success, albeit modest.
With Senate leaders nervous the final bill would fail if it included a firm deadline, aides said Democrats were leaning toward accepting the Senate's nonbinding goal. The compromise bill also is expected to retain House provisions preventing military units from being worn out by excessive combat deployments; however, the president could waive these standards if he states so publicly.

On Thursday, Pelosi, D-Calif., summoned Woolsey, Lee, Waters and several other of the party's more liberals members to her office to discuss the issue. According to aides and members, concerns were expressed but there were no loud objections to a conference bill that would adopt the Senate's nonbinding goal.

Watson said she would personally oppose the final bill, as she did last month, but would not stand in Pelosi's way if the speaker agrees to the Senate version.

"It's still a timeline," she said. "We're not backing down from that."

I'm sticking with my original assessment that (regardless of what he says now) Bush will sign the bill that Congress puts on his desk. I had said that he'd take the money and ignore the deadlines (via a signing statement). Now that the deadlines look more and more like they'll be non-binding...well, you do the math.

April 18, 2007

Never Trust A Republican

by shep

Because, even their best, brightest, men of integrity are little more than mendacious, double-dealing hacks. If Bush v. Gore, authored by state’s rights stalwart Antonin Scalia, didn’t teach you that there isn’t an honest principle to be found among them, I hope this helps you pull your heads out of your asses and take a look around (you might want to wipe that off your face first).

“Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent, shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath. And judges have to have the modesty to be open in the decisional process to the considered views of their colleagues on the bench.”

“If I am confirmed, I will be vigilant to protect the independence and integrity of the Supreme Court, and I will work to ensure that it upholds the rule of law and safeguards those liberties that make this land one of endless possibilities for all Americans."

“I think people’s personal views on this issue [abortion] derive from a number of sources, and there’s nothing in my personal views based on faith or other sources that would prevent me from applying the precedents of the Court faithfully under principles of stare decisis.”

--Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

So the next time some Republican, Federalist f*ck even utters the phrase Stare Decisis – and I mean you, Russ Feingold, Herb Kohl and Pat Leahy - you tell him to go Cheney himself. He’s lying to your face, you idiot. They have no integrity and no shame.

Speaking of shame, here’s the rest of the wall:

Max Baucus, Jeff Bingaman, Robert Byrd, Kent Conrad, Tom Carper, Christopher Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Tim Johnson, Mary Landrieu, Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Patty Murray Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar, Roy Wyden, Jeff Jeffords.

You were had by a Republican lawyer in a cheap suit. Morons.

April 17, 2007

Bush marks ‘day of sadness’ for the nation; Iraq war families still waiting for similar tribute

So here's the thing: Bush traveled to Virginia to comfort the families of the victims killed in yesterday's shooting. But in the 4+ years of the Iraq war, has he attended one single funeral or similar tribute to our fallen fighting men and women? Nope.

Ever wonder why?

April 16, 2007


by Mark Adams

I cannot be said more bluntly. Thank you Mr. Uhler:

Your stupidity and incompetence, Mr. Bush, are becoming the stuff of legend. Like Willy Loman's, your sales pitches no longer persuade and are now viewed to be acts of desperation. And, as a self-proclaimed "born again" Christian, who supposedly receives guidance from God; you possess all the "moral clarity" of a guttersnipe.

Granted, you've yet to be removed from office, so attention must still be paid. But, mainly to record your crimes for posterity and more definitively demonstrate that you and your irredeemable Vice President were always lying, warmongering frauds.

April 13, 2007

Empty Heads

by shep

Most Friday mornings, if I’m near a radio, I listen to the Dianne Rehm show’s News Roundup. I don’t expect to learn anything new (about a week ago, they spent an entire hour discussing the merits of the science behind the theory of global warming) except what the centrist-establishment political wisdom (it’s just an expression) has to tell the “liberal” NPR audience about what’s going on in the world.

This morning, the esteemed panelists, including Jim Angle (Fox), Eleanor Clift (Newsweek) and Anne Kornblut (WaPo), eventually worked their way to the subject of possibly thousands millions [yup] of missing White House e-mails sent by as many as 22 50 political aids (featuring Karl Rove) over non-approved, unsecured outside email servers at the Republican National Committee.

I don’t transcribe (Mom told me to take typing in HS but, as usual, I ignored her wisdom) and I won’t waste the time and money on a transcript (feel free to check my take) but I swear to you that the universal opinion was that the problem was that there had been poor guidance from the White House on how those aids should manage their e-mail. That’s it, nothing to see here folks, move along.

This was the WaPo article on the “lost” White House e-mails yesterday:

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel declined to discuss whether the political aids were driven by a desire to conduct business outside of potential review.

This was from the Post’s Dan Froomkin, also yesterday:

But when I asked Stanzel to read out loud the White House e-mail policy, it seemed clear enough to me: "Federal law requires the preservation of electronic communications sent or received by White House staff," says the handbook that all staffers are given and expected to read and comply with.

And this is from the NY Times today:

It also exposed the dual electronic lives led by Mr. Rove and 21 other White House officials who maintain separate e-mail accounts for government business and work on political campaigns — and raised serious questions, in the eyes of Democrats, about whether political accounts were used to conduct official work without leaving a paper trail.

Now I know that these are just editors and far-too-highly-paid bobbleheads but, I have to ask, shouldn’t they at least know what their own newspapers are writing before they are all called around a microphone and paid to tell other people what’s new?

Late breaking: Karl Rove gets a lawyer.


April 12, 2007

WWACD (What Would A Criminal Do)?

by shep

"No evidence of wrongdoing."

"Damn it, it was not supposed to go in the White House system. . ."
--Jack Abramoff writing to (Karl Rove Aid) Susan Ralston

“I now have an RNC blackberry which you can use to e-mail me at any time. No security issues like my WH email.”
--(Karl Rove Aid) Susan Ralston writing to Jack Abramoff

God, I love the smell of criminal conspiracy in the morning.

April 11, 2007


by shep

"Congress should not tell generals how to run the war."
--George Bush, April 3, 2007

"The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation."
-- The Washington Post, April 11, 2007

Now see, I thought Bush was saying that no one should "micromanage our military commanders" in the field but, apparently, IOKIYAR.

Um, no, it’s definitely not OK.

April 10, 2007

Good Point

by shep
Shorter Richard Cohen: How can you prosecute official lying in an administration where everyone is a liar?

April 09, 2007

Social Science for Dummies

by shep

Shankar Vedantam does a regular drive-by social science column for the WaPo, called “Department of Human Behavior.” In this week’s episode, as in many past columns, Mr. Vedantum shows us some interesting facet of human behavior and psychology that, in the end, manages to absolve the Bush Administration for its inhuman behavior and psychology.

Vedantum tells us that, “[t]he political scientist [Columbia University’s Richard Jervis], who counts himself as a critic of the Bush administration [bitchin' bona fides, eh?] said a focus on this historical analogy [Iraq’s successful concealment of its pre-Gulf war WMD program] – not political pressures from the White House (emphasis added) – played the central role in the intelligence failure.”

Gosh, I’m no “scholar” at Columbia but I’ve been awake for the last four years and I can google:

cheney pressured CIA intelligence iraq

Low and behold, the first two links are from Vedantum’s own WaPo:

Government sources said CIA analysts were not the only ones who felt pressure from their superiors to support public statements by Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and others about the threat posed by Hussein.

Former and current intelligence officials said they felt a continual drumbeat, not only from Cheney and Libby, but also from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, Feith, and less so from CIA Director George J. Tenet, to find information or write reports in a way that would help the administration make the case that going into Iraq was urgent.

About a week later, the Post’s Walter Pincus (a profile in journalism whom his colleagues would do well to emulate), again documents Cheney administration treason:

Senior intelligence analysts say they feel caught between the demands from the White House, Pentagon and other government policymakers for intelligence that would make the administration's case and what they say is 'a lack of hard facts.'

And I believe that the Post and a few others did a little reporting on some sort of dust-up around something called “the sixteen words”:

Beginning in October, the CIA warned the administration not to use the Niger claim in public. CIA Director George J. Tenet personally persuaded deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley to omit it from President Bush's Oct. 7 speech in Cincinnati about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

But on the eve of Bush's Jan. 28 State of the Union address, Robert Joseph, an assistant to the president in charge of nonproliferation at the National Security Council (NSC), initially asked the CIA if the allegation that Iraq sought to purchase 500 pounds of uranium from Niger could be included in the presidential speech.

Well, just as long as incessant White House pressure in the form of repeated visits and calls from the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, setting up a parallel, fake intelligence office to compete with the CIA, and White House push-back against CIA warnings about discredited “mushroom cloud” claims, didn’t play the central role in taking the country into a disastrous war, based on a pack of lies.

April 07, 2007

Dear Mark Shields...

by shep

Regarding your recent appearance on the News Hour, opposite Rich Lowry, I have a few suggestions:

When Mr. Lowry claims that Senator Reid’s Iraq appropriations legislation is being driven by the “left-wing,” the correct response is as follows:

“It is the president’s position that is the extreme one; only around 30% of Americans favor Bush’s approach in Iraq.”

(or the reverse):

“Nearly 60% of Americans favor a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, so it’s hardly the left-wing position.”

When Mr. Lowry complains that Bush didn’t expand the military after 9/11, it would be useful to point out that we didn’t need a bigger army to go after al Qaeda. The only reason the Army and National Guard are nearly broken is because the president chose to invade and occupy Iraq instead.

One more thing, Speaker Pelosi’s trip to the Middle East will only be widely seen as a political mistake if pundits ostensibly representing the more liberal viewpoint say it is.

I know that practically no mainstream news source puts an actual Democratic partisan opposite the rabid Republican ones but please do try to at least point out the obvious and not give undue cover to White House talking points.

Perhaps it was because you have a cold. Get well soon.


April 05, 2007

Why Bush Won't Veto The Iraq War Supplemental

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

MSNBC asks: Are vetoes the key to a Bush recovery? The simple answer is "no" because I don't think he'll veto the Iraq spending bill.

Before I tell you why, let's look at some background...

A defining moment of Clinton’s presidency was Oct. 19, 1995 when he threw down the gauntlet to House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. “I will not let you destroy Medicare and I will veto this bill,” Clinton said referring to GOP legislation curbing the future growth of Medicare spending.

The standoff between Republican leaders and Clinton led to the government shutdown at the end of 1995. Clinton won the perception battle on Medicare and it helped him win a second term.

Looking back on it, the differences are stark: Medicare was hugely popular. The Iraq war? Uh...not so much.

“You guys took extraordinary advantage, very correctly so, of demonizing us,” Dole’s advisor Sheila Burke told Clinton strategist George Stephanopoulos during a 1996 campaign post-mortem at Harvard University. “We essentially lost the public relations war early in December (1995).”
The time for demonizing is over. My hunch is that Bush has gone to the well one time too many to be able to convince the public that the Democrats are dangerously crazy. As Bill Clinton would have said: "That dog don't hunt."

Speaking of the Clintons, Bush might be able to prevail -- by being a divider and not a uniter:

Bush’s veto threat may pay some dividends in that he’s splitting the Democratic ranks. While Obama sounds resigned to Bush winning on the veto, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton said Tuesday, “This is vetoing the will of the American people.” She added that “I’m not ready to concede” that Bush will ultimately make his veto stick.
I think Obama made a rookie mistake in saying what he said (whether or not it's what he meant). Hillary was much more on point.

As for other threatened vetoes (stem cells, discounted pharmaceuticals, labor unions) -- at this point, who cares? We're into the primary season already and these are all political theater. The Democrats will nationalize these issues on the way to the general election.

One lesson some members of Congress drew from last November’s election was that that the public was fed up with partisan discord. If that’s true, would a veto antagonize a public tired of confrontation?
In a word: no.

The public is already onboard with Congress. Everyone is tired of this endless occupation and they'll see Congress as being more than generous in giving Bush his war funding -- but with a redefinition of the mission.

So here's what happens next:

If Bush is smart, he'll sign the bill and then ignore the part about withdrawal timelines -- you know, with one of his infamous (and ubiquitous) signing statements. By the time it winds through the courts, Bush will be nearly at the end of his term. His legacy "secure," Bush will leave office -- but not before screwing the Republican candidate for president.

End result: Democrats add to their lead in Congress and also take the White House. But Bush will have accomplished one thing that he wanted: it'll be someone else who has to end the war, not him.

April 04, 2007

Grover Gets It:

by shep

“The base isn't interested in Iraq. The base is for Bush. If Bush said tomorrow, we're leaving in two months, there would be no revolt.”

No great moral imperative. No existential threat from the islamofascistterroristassholes. No moral commitment to the country and peoples we set aflame. Just more innocent souls on the pyre for the pure sake of fealty to The Leader.

And here’s another terrific peek into the mind of the authoritarian follower:

“In retrospect, some of his comments and interaction – that at the time seemed edgy but innocent enough – now seem questionable.”

You see, when Ted Haggard was the authority figure of the New Life Church, and said, “evangelicals have the best sex life of any other group,” and “pulled aside two men from his congregation and asked how often their wives had orgasms,” he seemed “innocent enough.” Once he was demoted and disgraced those same comments “seem questionable,” to those same (now former) followers who previously thought they seemed "innocent."

The need for the authority dictates the positive perception of everything from correct professional conduct to appropriate personal behavior, regardless of what one sees with one’s own eyes. In this case, the exact same behavior is judged differently on different days, only Haggard’s authority had changed.

Think of all of the former Bush supporters, from Paul O’Neill to Matthew Dowd, who were unassailable the day before they turned against the Bush administration’s conduct and savaged the day after. Those people were not unimpeachable originally because the supporters judged that they merited it due to their character and integrity. They were respected or reviled, based soley upon their loyalty to the authority figure.

Different authority; different righteousness. When it comes to their leaders, Republicans are simply incapable of judging ethical behavior.

Bush Doesn't Understand His Own Job Description

Things from Bush's Tuesday Rose Garden presser that you can brush off as just so much baloney:

"My main job is to protect the people..."
That's Bush Baloney #1.

Bush's main job is to protect the Constitution, not the people. That job description is so fundamentally important that he is required to swear an oath to fulfill it upon taking office. It's right there in...the Constitution!

Gosh, what could the framers have been thinking?

They were thinking that we needed to live in a Constitutionally limited republic where the people have certain inalienable rights. They were thinking that those rights must be protected against encroachment by any single individual seeking to gain absolute power. You know -- like the King against whom the colonists were rebelling.

As such, in Article I, they laid out the blueprint for the Legislative branch which was to be a co-equal branch to the Executive branch whose blueprint came in Article II. The co-equality was implemented through an intricate (but easy to understand) system of checks and balances.

Harry Reid:

[Bush] is president of the United States, not king of the United States. He has another branch of government, a legislative branch of government, he has to deal with.

Which brings us to Bush Baloney #2:

Congress shouldn't tell generals how to run the war.
Of course not -- who wants that?

But the fact remains: The military answers to a higher civilian authority, namely the President and his various delegates (e.g., the Secretary of Defense). In addition Congress has the authority to declare war and control the allocation of war funding. But above and beyond all that, these civilian authorities are nothing more than public servants who serve at the pleasure of the people. If the people want an end to a war, they have the final say so via the ballot box. True, the results of an election are not alwas easy to interpret, especially when it comes to foreign policy. But if ever there was a time when it was, this is it.

But why am I telling you that? You get it. It's Bush who doesn't understand his own job description.

March 15, 2007

Surprise! All Roads Lead To Rove (Updated)

First there was this...:

A database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power [shows that], of the 375 cases... identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.
...and now there's this, from Sid Blumenthal:
From the earliest Republican campaigns that Rove ran ... the FBI was involved in investigating every one of his candidates' Democratic opponents. Rove happened to have a close and mysterious relationship with the chief of the FBI office in Austin. Investigations were announced as elections grew close, but there were rarely indictments, just tainted Democrats and victorious Republicans. On one occasion, Rove himself proclaimed that the FBI had a prominent Democrat under investigation -- an investigation that led to Rove's client's win.
Blumenthal goes on to detail how many of the Gonzalez Eight resisted pressure to harass Democrats -- and then were kicked out of their jobs.

It's been said that the right-wing spin cycle processes scandals like this one in the following way:

  1. Ignore it.
  2. Belittle it.
  3. Blame the media.
  4. Blame Clinton.
  5. Yawn.

So, yeah, I'm going to be a broken record and say what I've been saying: Future generations will look back at us and wonder what the hell we were thinking. "Why didn't they just throw these crooks in jail?"

UPDATE: The Senate Judiciary Committee agrees to subpoena key DOJ officials. But not Rove. Not yet.

Separation Of Powers: Down The Memory Hole

You know that part of the Patriot Act which allows the Attorney General to appoint US attorneys without Senate confirmation? Turns out it was "designed by a mid-level department lawyer without the knowledge of his superiors or anyone at the White House."

Josh Marshall:

It's like some pulsing gyre of Anglomania -- George Orwell meets Monty Python, with Benny Hill along for the ride. The separation of powers issue is just down the memory hole. Now it was just some Justice Department lawyer freelancing.

Reminds me of that episode from The West Wing where the president's chief of staff, Leo, discovers (to his horror) that his executive secretary, Margaret, has taken on a bit too much responsibility...

MARGARET: "I can sign the president's name. I have his signature down pretty good." LEO: "You can sign the president's name?" MARGARET: "Yeah." LEO: "On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?" MARGARET: "A bad idea?" LEO: "I think the White house counsel would say that's a coup d'etat." MARGARET: "I'd probably end up doing some time for that." LEO: "I would think!"
Future generations will look back at us and wonder, "What the hell were they thinking? Why didn't anyone stop these guys?"

March 13, 2007

White House Implicated Again In Revenge Killing

First, VPOTUS chief of staff Scooter Libby killed Valerie Plame's career (under orders from his boss) to stop Joe Wilson. After his indictment, he resigned. Then, taking a page out of the Jack Ruby manual on law enforcement, WH deputy chief of staff Karl Rove stabbed Scooter in the back to protect the president.

Now it turns out that AG Alberto Gonzalez' newly-resigned chief of staff Kyle Sampson (under orders from his boss?) killed the careers of 8 Federal prosecutors who wouldn't play dirty and supress Democratic votes before the last election. And, in a giddy coincidence, it turns out that WH counsel Harriet Miers' fingerprints were all over this fiasco as well. She, at least, had the good sense get out of the WH 6 weeks ago (shinnying down a bed-sheet ladder in the dead of night), long enough before this latest firestorm to prompt her boss to soon ask the question, "Harriet who? Never heard of her."

Thomas Nast couldn't have come up with a more vile bunch of thugs and bandits (left, click to view larger image).

[Note: This classic Nast political cartoon is entitled “A Group of Vultures Waiting for the Storm to ‘Blow Over’—‘Let Us Prey”]

February 02, 2007

Impeach Bush before he starts a war with Iran (updated)

Cenk Uygur pleads with the Republican party to come to their senses and stop Bush before he starts a war with Iran:

Gas prices at ten dollars a gallon, bombings all over the world, our troops trapped in the Middle East, trillions wasted. How on God's green earth do you think you're going to recover from that?
It's the Republicans who have to realize that this administration threatens their very existence...[I]n 2008 when the Republicans are run out of town en masse and the party is nearly finished historically, people will say, "Why didn't someone warn us?" Well, I'm warning you now. Please, either for your own political advantage or for the antiquated idea of actually helping the country, remove these guys from power before they do more damage. Otherwise, we will all live to regret it.
Uygur, a progressive Democrat, doesn't bother pleading with them: Why not?

[The Dems] stand to gain nearly universal power if this administration actually starts a disastrous war with Iran. Nobody will vote for a Republican on the national level for another twenty years.
This is, of course, why the Democrats are diddling around with non-binding resolutions. They believe that this is Bush's war and they want none of the blame that will be assigned when, someday soon, we all see those helicopters lifting our people off the roof of some building in the Green Zone.

It's smart politics...except our troops will continue to die for a mistake. And, oh yeah, that part about the looming Iran war.

The only Democrat so far who has spoken out is Russ Feingold (and maybe Chris Dodd) who, rumor has it, is going to join the Republicans in filibustering the Warner-Levin non-binding resolution. His reasoning?

Some have argued that any legislative vehicle that could be spun as a rejection of the President’s policies would be worth supporting. I understand that strategy, and it may sound good to some. But when all the spinning is done, what we are left with is the actual text of the legislation, which is an endorsement of the open-ended commitment of the U.S. military in Iraq.

It’s time for Congress to end our military involvement in this war. We must redeploy our troops from Iraq so that we can focus on the global threats that face us.
I understand how important it is to send a clear message to the White House. But we shouldn’t make the compromises made in this resolution just to beat a filibuster. Instead of trying to pass something that everyone can get behind, we should be taking a strong stand. If others want to block it, go right ahead. We have the support of a majority of Americans behind us. We should recognize that and act on it.

Good for him. His voice must be heard.

UPDATE: Breaking news: U.S. not planning for war with Iran, Gates says

SusanG responds:

Leave aside for the minute any analysis of whether Gates is speaking the truth here, or whether recent actions fall into line with his statement. Just consider how frog-boiled this nation has become in the piping hot water provided by the Bush administration since 9/11. Reporting that we’re not going to war – in effect, declarations of non-events – now make up one of the main news stories of the day. We don’t even blink an eye. In fact, we breathe a sigh of relief that at least in official statements, the country has not gone to war between the time when we laid our heads upon our pillows last night and when we staggered to the coffeemaker this morning.

Pity a once-proud country that now rises each day to take comfort in the fact that it hasn’t attacked, or officially planned to attack, another country overnight. And that this is considered headline news.

The Daily Show: “How twisted is your adminstration when Cheney is your Pollyanna?”

STEWART: This weekend, the president of the United States went on NPR to explain that he knows Cheney and Cheney is NOT delusional -- just optimistic.
    (tape) BUSH: I think that the Vice President is a person reflecting a "half-glass-full" mentality.

STEWART: How twisted is your administration when [Cheney] is your Pollyanna? He's your optimist! He's your little ray of sunshine!

February 01, 2007

Iran: “The final destination on this downhill track...”

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski:

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large.

A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Thanks and have a nice day.

January 31, 2007

Iran: If it didn't exist, you'd have to invent it.

Josh Marshall asks, "When the bogus 'Iran incident' happens that becomes the predicate for a military attack on Iran, what will it look like? Let's try to sketch it out in advance."

Read the whole thing.

P.S. Let's be clear -- whether or not the incident is "bogus" or "real" doesn't matter. THAT'S how badly Bush has damaged this country.

P.P.S. Sen. Webb (D-VA) asks the relevant question:"Is it the position of this administration that it possesses the authority to take unilateral action against Iran, in the absence of a direct threat, without congressional approval?”

January 25, 2007

Go Viral, Baby: Take the “Bite Me” Pledge and End The War

(Click to see larger image)

Glenn Greenwald:

Yesterday, Party loyalist Hugh Hewitt unveiled what he and his comrades are calling "The Pledge" -- a creepy, Soviet-sounding declaration of loyalty, all based on Gen. Petraeus' decree, that vows to repudiate any Republican who opposes the "surge"...Bush followers across the Internet are now huddled in strategizing conference calls, and leading right-wing luminaries such as Glenn Reynolds have endorsed The Pledge.
So, come on people, take the "Bite Me" Pledge! Sign the damn petition with the name "Bite Me," or any name you prefer. You can watch this hilarious SNL video if you need some ideas.

Forward this to your friends. Go viral baby! End the War.

Yeah, you have to provide an email address to verify the signature, but if enough people do this, it'll be worth it.

January 17, 2007

How you can tell Bush is blowing you off

He does that slouch-n-smirk thing. I hate that.


Sit up straight dammit! Didn't your mother teach you anything?


Some peoples' kids...

January 10, 2007

Bush Speaks

Not sure I'm going to watch Bush tonight. I mean, I'm mildly curious in the same way you might be if you're surfing channels and you come upon a scene of a chimpanzee from Animal Planet jumping up and down and flinging feces around his cage. You might stop for a moment. But other than that? Enh.

Hunter put it best:

And so here's the problem with blogging, in '07. It's going to take a superhuman effort to even take any of this nonsense seriously. It's not a question of "rebutting", or "disagreeing", or God forbid "contradicting". It's not a matter of "pointing out inconsistencies of" or "offering contrary evidence to". It's not mere disagreement, anymore.

It's more of a question of even being able to take any of these political voices seriously at all -- even seriously enough to mock.

Only 741 days to go.

P.S. Speaking of 2007: This month marks the beginning of my sixth year of blogging. I've kept at it this long because I've never been at a loss for words and I have a pretty high opinion of my, well, opinions. The fact that I've attracted a small audience along the way is amazing. But more than that: the fact that I've made friends with many of you is really pretty gratifying.

So if you've come this far with me, I want to say this: I hope you get one-tenth the satisfaction reading this as I do in writing it. Thanks again and I hope to talk to you soon.

January 08, 2007

Early transcript of Bush's Iraq speech

Wait for it:

"Good evening my fellow Americans. Iraq, 9/11, terrorists, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, terrorists, terrorists, terrorists, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, terrorists, terrorists, terrorists, terrorists, terrorists, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. God bless America."
Whatever you do, don't make this into a drinking game.

P.S. Seriously, Bush will never end this war because then he'd have to relinquish his "wartime powers."

Powell on Iraq escalation: “The colonels will always say they need more troops”

Bush got it wrong in the beginning when he didn't send more troops to Iraq; now he's about to get it wrong again.

Robert Novak:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has gone public with criticism of President Bush's Iraq policy, is caustic in private about the proposed ''surge'' of 30,000 additional U.S. troops.

Powell noted that the recent congressional delegation to Iraq headed by Sen. John McCain heard from combat officers that they wanted more troops.

''The colonels will always say they need more troops,'' the retired general says. ''That's why we have generals.''

A footnote: Senior Republican senators are trying to get word to the president that any troop surge would be dead on arrival in Congress.

Yeah, I know: we're not big fans of Novak nor Powell (but for different reasons). That said, other sources have detailed Powell's disdain for Bush's war planning and execution.

P.S. For the record, here's the Powell Doctrine, one more time

  • Military force should only be used if there is a clear risk to national security
  • The force used should be overwhelming
  • Get, and hold, the support of the American people
  • The operation must have a clear exit strategy.
Additional points here.

December 30, 2006

Top Ten Articles Cross-Posted at Daily Kos

(This article was, of course, cross posted at Daily Kos)

Yesterday I listed the ten most read posts at E Pluribus Unum.

Today I'm listing my Top Ten "high-impact" diaries cross-posted at Daily Kos.

First, a word of explanation:

As you may know, there are thousands of diaries (posts) per day at Daily Kos. A tiny percentage become "recommended diaries" and are highlighted on a side-bar panel. An even tinier percentage are placed on the front page of the site. The vast majority of diaries come and go like waves lapping on the beach -- coming and going and being constantly replaced by new waves that also come and go. A "high-impact" diary represents the middle ground between a recommended diary and one of those waves on the beach. It is one of those diaries that gets the "optimum" combination of recommendations, comments and commenters. The system is somewhat arbitrary. Nonetheless, once a day, the high-impact diaries are recognized and share a brief moment of recognition.

These, then, are the diaries I posted at Daily Kos that recieved this recognition in 2006:

10. Connect dots:Cheney,Whittington=Bush lied under oath? (2/13)

8. (tie) Do the Democrats Have A Ground Game Like THIS One? (9/24)

8. (tie) (POLL) Dem Response To al-Maliki (7/25)

7. Fourth Generation Warfare: "You have to hunt like a network to defeat a network." (8/15)

6. NJ-04: Crum-believable! Colbert disses my ad for Carol Gay! (10/23)

5. Screw The Polls: Watch Prediction Markets (8/25)

4. Bush: Hiding a Serious Heart Condition? (8/23)

3. When Bush Taunts, Don't Defend: Attack Him Back HARD (6/29)

2. I'm an anti-war, yellow-dog Democrat -- and a Zionist, too (7/14)

And the highest impact diary I posted to Daily Kos in 2006 was...

1. Suskind: CIA knew "Osama backed Bush re-election" (6/21)

December 29, 2006

Top Posts of 2006

Without further ado (or waiting til Dec. 31), here are E Pluribus Unum's most-read posts of 2006:

10. Dad Gave Me The Keys (Mark Adams)

Wow, a real blog. How cool is this.
Mark's debut at EPU! Dude -- how cool are you?

9. Ohio Republicans, Offers That Can't Be Refused (Mark Adams)

In France, you can't even get away with taking a Viagra before a silly bike race. If they could prove that the Browns and the Cavaliers were "fixing" point spreads, or the Indians were throwing games, there'd be riots on Euclid Avenue. Push some inconvenient voters in the wrong direction, undermine our very democracy, and it's just business as usual.

8. Movie trailer mash-ups
Where else are you going to see the movie trailer for Brokeback To Future? OK, besides and every other blog and website on the Internets. All I can say is: God bless Google.

7. Marbury vs. Madison
I posted this in April, 2005 and it is still one of the most widely-read things I've ever written. It has bounced around in the top 50 sites (out of 175 thousand) at Google for the eponymous keyword phrase -- and it made a star out of our buddy Wince from Kansas:

Some would say God's Law is most high. Perhaps it is, as defined (for example) in the Bible. But we are not a nation that is governed by the church or the temple. Even if we were, all you have to do is look at the Talmud to understand that there is always more than one opinion about everything.

No, we are not a government ruled by the church. We are a government of the people, for the people and by the people. We follow a document that WE wrote.

Some would hope that God guided us in that ongoing endeavor. But if that is the case, it is also certainly true that God helps those who helps themselves.

It's hard to make your way through the difficult questions Wince, I know. But we all agreed, long ago, that this was a job for the people to do. We don't wait for God to judge these difficult cases for us.

6. What does leadership mean?

I think it was Chris Matthews who said voters respond most favorably to the candidate who can best articulate the following simple message: "Follow me!"
Bush did it better than Kerry and he won. The End.

5. Intelligent Design: “The sky is blue because God wants it that way.”
The title (and the post) is borrowed from Nobel Prize winner Eric Cornell. What more is there to add?

4. Commerce Committee to Vote on Net Neutrality Wednesday
This post contained the names and numbers of the everyone on the Senate Commerce Committee and I urged you to call them and tell them to support the Snowe/Dorgan amendment. Net Neutrality survived -- for now. Stay tuned.

3. Top Ten Chuck Norris Facts
Jeez, I didn't even write it. And/But this post ranks #9 out of 480 thousand sites listed on Google. I'm baffled...but endlessly amused (along with, apparently, the rest of the Internets):

A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly, the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw was a fatal roundhouse kick delivered by Chuck Norris.

2. Foley Scandal: What's up with Rep. Rodney Alexander?
Major hat tip to Miss Julie, who asked the title question thereby inspiring this post, early in the Foley scandal.

And the #1 most widely-read post of the year...

1. Bush-Cheney Escape War Crimes Prosecution
Go ahead, click the link -- you'll notice that this post was "dugg" 854 times so far (and viewed nearly 4 thousand times at Google Video -- with a strange spike in traffic on the day after Christmas). It's Jack Cafferty breathing fire:

Under the War Crimes Act, violations of the Geneva Conventions are felonies, in some cases punishable by death. When the Supreme Court ruled that the Geneva Convention applied to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, President Bush and his boys were suddenly in big trouble.
I'll say. Senator Bill Frist, Congressman Dennis Hastert and their Republican stooges passed the Military Commission Act of 2006, destroying habeas corpus -- and allowing Bush-Cheney to get away without a scratch. This is a story that historians will be telling for decades to come.

P.S. Sometime soon, I promise to post E Pluribus Unum's Top 10 most widely viewed videos -- including the one of Stephen Colbert showing (and dissing) my ad for congressional candidate, Carol Gay.

December 20, 2006

Bush: “We're not winning OR losing.” Translation: We're losing.

So Bush wants to increase the size of the armed services.

Just a quick thought: How are we supposed to do this? Isn't this the same armed services that was having so much trouble meeting its recruiting goals just a short time ago? Didn't they lower the targets AS WELL AS the, um, standards?

And another thing: I noticed today that Bush himself is now saying that we're not winning" but also adding "we're not losing."

Say what?

By now, it should be clear: insurgents win by not losing and we lose by not winning.

P.S. Who believes anything Bush says any more, anyway? He has zero credibility.

December 15, 2006

Advice Squad: The president's listening tour continues

Bush: "One fellow with an opinion suggested makin Osama bin Laden president of the world. I disagreed. Heard an interesting opinion from another fellow who wanted to blow up the moon with a rocket. I believe he's wrong."

December 06, 2006

Odds & Sods #25: The Cut-and-Stay Edition

  • By the time you read this, the Iraq Survey Group will have released their report. But, really, is there any incentive for their recommendations to be taken seriously? Matt Taibbi:
    [W]ith the midterm elections over, and George Bush already a lame duck, the Iraq war is no longer an urgent problem to anyone on the Hill who matters...The Baker-Hamilton report is being praised for its cautious, sensible, bipartisan approach to the Iraq problem (Time magazine even called it "genius") but actually all it is is a tacit recognition of this pass-the-buck dynamic in Washington.

  • Al Gore has some advice for Bush: "[T]ry to separate out the personal issues of being blamed in history for [the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States] and instead recognize it’s not about [you]." Ouch.

  • Speaking of waking up to reality, the Wall Street Journal editorial page recently ran a short paean to John Bolton. [Sorry no link -- I got this out of the newspaper.] What a bunch of wankers:
    The announcement that Mr. Bolton will resign as US Ambassador to the UN...was no doubt cheered in Tehran, Damscus, Caracas, Pyongyang, and Christopher Dodd's Senate office.
    Right. Because it really is us against the rest of the world and if you're against John Bolton, you're a terrorist sympathiser. Whatever. Actually, what caught my eye and made me laugh was this statement about Bolton: "He has understood that the essence of realism is, or ought to be, to see the world as it is." Well then, this might come as a rude surprise to, say, George W. Bush. After all, the world changes all the time whereas we know that Bush's opinion of the world is as constant as the Northern star.

  • Holy crap -- Mary Cheney is pregnant. And, just to make things more interesting, she and her partner live in Virginia:
    The [newly enacted anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution] ensures that Mary's partner has no legal rights whatsoever in their child, or in what happens to Mary (or vice versa), such as if one partner has to go the hospital, the other can't visit. The law may even nullify any wills that Mary and Heather write regarding each other...

December 04, 2006

Odds & Sods #23: The Octopus-Thru-A-Tiny-Hole Edition

  • The Washington Examiner editorial board thinks the 6 imams who got yanked off a US Airways flight in handcuffs (and no offer for a replacement flight home) got what they deserved. Unfortunately for the airline, the Examiner won't be the judge and jury in this case.

  • Frank Rich believes that Bush isn't in a State of Denial but rather in The Final Days.

  • I am not a rabid Michigan Wolverines football fan. I am, in fact, notorious for being a fair-weather fan of any of native state's home teams. That said, I think the Woverines got screwed in the BCS standings when Florida was chosen over Michigan to play Ohio State for the national title. Mitch Albom speaks for me:
    You can spin this thing any way you want. It was strictly about fresh versus familiar. In the end, Ohio State will play Florida on Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz., because people with votes want to see that game more than they want to see a rematch of Michigan-Ohio State. This was all about the line of thinking that says: "Give someone else a chance."

    But if the system were about giving everyone a chance, they wouldn't call it a poll, they'd call it a donkey ride

    And speaking of beasts of burden, I hope OSU beats Florida like a rented mule.

  • John Bolton resigns! No, he didn't! Well, whatever you call it, he's gone. It all reminds me of that joke from "Bobcat" Goldthwaite: "I didn't lose my job. I know exactly where it is. I went back to work the other day and found it right where I left it -- except someone else is doing it now." [P.S. Remember when "pugnacious arrogance" was considered sexy? Yeah, well, neither do I.]

  • And remind me again...what exactly did we do for amusement in the days before we could watch as a big octopus squeezes itself through a little hole?

  • If you were in charge of creating the 2007 Official RNC Calendar, what would you put on every single month's page? That's right -- pictures of George W. Bush! Now there's the perfect holiday stocking stuffer from a party that just got socked in the jaw by an angry electorate. [Note: Actually Bush is only on 11 of the pages -- "Dick" Cheney is Mr. August. In a white cowboy hat. I kid you not.]

  • I knew it, I knew it, I knew it: deep down, Ken Starr knows that Jesus hates Democrats.

  • Never mind all the junior high school crap about who gets to chair a committee: Robert Reich says (and I agree) that the first real test of Democratic seriousness is over the fight between Big Pharma vs. Medicare.

November 27, 2006

Odds & Sods #19: Dems Get Their Republican Lame Ducks In A Row

  • The Post has a piece about how Bush can still escape being useless for the next two years. His staff is studying the Clinton (1994) and Reagan (1986) examples. But Leon Panetta gets his two cents in as well:
    "He really has to make a fundamental decision, and if he hasn't made it by now, it may be too late," said Leon E. Panetta, who was Clinton's chief of staff in 1994 and now serves on a bipartisan commission on Iraq. "He has to decide whether he's going to be willing to sit down with the Democratic leadership and cut deals and get things done. And he has to decide whether Iraq is going to be his whole legacy, good or bad, or whether he wants to get other things done."
    He also has to decide (if such a thing is possible) what role "Dick" Cheney will have in these last two years. It's Cheney who wants to go "full speed ahead" on Iraq; it's Cheney who wants to play X-treme hardball with judicial nominees and so forth.

    Lastly, while we're studying history, let's not forget to study Lyndon Johnson and the midterms of 1966 when the Vietnam war was falling out of favor and the Dems lost 47 seats making it impossible for Johnson to pass any additional Great Society legislation. Two years later, Johnson essentially resigned his office.

  • The quote from Leon Panetta reminds me that the Baker/Hamilton Commission will be coming out with their recommendations soon. And it looks like the fix is in:
    By the time the commission publishes a report it will have worked eight months coming up with a verbose, “centrist” way to say “Stay the course.”

  • Taking bets: Bush's first veto of legislation from the Dem-controlled Congress will be on: (a) Spending, (b) Foreign policy, (c) A social issue, (d) Intelligence.

  • Getting their ducks in a row: On Tuesday, December 5, House Democrats hear a presentation on Iraq from Dr. Z. Brzezinski, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Major General John Batiste, among others. The next day, they'll hear a presentation on the economy by former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin.

  • Out of the Running? Rep. Alcee Hastings is losing hope that he'll be named chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. But that doesn't mean that Rep. Jane Harman gets the nod; Pelosi is leaning toward a compromise candidate: Rep. Silvestre Reyes, "a quiet Texas lawmaker and former Border Patrol official who opposed the Iraq war from the outset." He gets bonus points for being a member of the so-far-chairless Hispanic Caucus.

November 22, 2006

Abu Dhabi spanks Bush 41

And, trust me, Abu Dhabi is one of the friendly Arab nations:

"We do honor Americans, and I believe that they are highly respected in our country. However, we do not respect your son, and we do not respect what you are doing all over the world," college student Nevine Al Rumeisi told the former President at a leadership conference in the United Arab Emirates.

Her comment was roundly cheered by the business and political leaders gathered in once pro-American Abu Dhabi.

The elder Bush just looked stunned.

It gets worse:
"It takes a lot of guts to tell a father what you said about his son when I just told you that the thing that matters to my heart is my family," he said.

"My son is an honest man, he is working hard for peace, and how come everybody wants to go to the United States if the United States is so bad?"

That prompted another audience member, an American ex-pat, to tell Bush, "I think the remarks that you made about why people need to go to America to be very hostile and make the country look even worse."

But wait there's more:
When another audience member said he thought American wars are designed to open markets for U.S. companies - drawing more cheers and whoops - Bush grew testy.
Testy? Testy?? Good thing Barbara Bush wasn't there -- she would have gone ballistic.
"To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money - I think that's crazy. I think you need to go back to school."

His voice quivering, the 82-year-old Bush said, "This son is not going to back away. He's not going to change his view because some poll says this, or some poll says that, or some heartfelt comments from the lady who feels deeply in her heart about something."

Translation: screw the polls and screw Cindy Sheehan.

Like "Dick" Cheney said: "Full speed ahead."

Bush is reinvigorated abroad?

The headline is weird because the piece itself offers scant support. Mostly, the article says the foreign leaders didn't talk to Bush about his recent failures: the "failure of confidence" vote, the sacking of Rumsfeld, the catastrophe the war has become, and so forth. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore gave Bush an "attaboy" and John Howard of Austrailia (always a big fan) renewed his support for the war. Other than that -- bupkes.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Foreign leaders (and their people) often cannot understand the actions of the American people in relation to their leaders. For example, many years ago when I was in Lebanon, the people there could not fathom why Americans were about to impeach Nixon. The Israelis today probably have a similar view of Bush.

Bottom line: Bush is our public servant and answers to us. He is sworn to protect our constitution. If he doesn't do that, well, he has to answer to us. After he retires, he can and wear his ao dai and play the saron all he likes.

November 21, 2006

Odds & Sods #17

Bush 43 now even less popular than his pop, an Iraqi comedian is among the latest casualties, a cartoon that will make you wince, Robert Reich takes a flyer at deciphering McCain, and a plea for better blog headlines.

  • Poll: "More Americans prefer Bush's father." Jaysus -- how bad do you have to be to rank below Bush 41? And, in a related note, what on earth was Jeb Bush thinking?

  • Walid Hassan was a rare individual. He was an Iraqi comedian and broadcaster in a country where speaking out can get you in trouble. He made fun of the fallout from the war -- the lack of safety and security, the blackouts, the gas lines, the corrupt politicians. People would stop him on the street and tell him their stories; Walid would then work them into his act. He was beloved. Now he's dead, his bullet-riddled body found on the street.

  • You might have to be "of a certain age" to get this cartoon, but here it is anyway. Click to see a larger version.

  • Robert Reich thinks he's figured out John McCain's real plan for Iraq. In brief: stand for something that NO ONE wants or thinks can happen, e.g., more troops, then when Iraq collapses simply say, "if you'd listened to me we wouldn't be in this fix." Then he (and he alone -- no Dems, please) can remain clean in 2008. Does this mean the Dems have to be for more troops? No. But it does mean that they should be careful not to buy into the Baker Commission's solution -- simply because then THEY'LL be left holding the bag. They'll own it going into 2008.

  • I wish more bloggers (starting with me) would take the time to learn how to write great headlines. It would make reading blogs more rewarding because you could zero in on the articles that had information in them that was of interest to you and leave the rest unread.

November 19, 2006

Odds & Sods #15

  • gerrySpence.jpgSome of you may have a hard time remembering who Gerry Spence is. He was a CNN legal analyst during the O.J. trial -- you remember, he wore the buckskin jacket. Kind of a gentle, folksy guy with a deep voice and friendly, laid-back manner. I think he lived in Montana or Wyoming. Anyway, he has a new book out: Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risk of the New Conservative Hate Culture. Not such a folksy title, eh?
    Generalized hate often has a narrow base. It’s easy to hate gays if one can’t find a job that pays more than the minimum starvation wage. It’s easy to jump on the patriotic band wagon to blow the hell out of half the innocent people in Iraq if one has, in effect, been blown to some sort of economic hell and is equally innocent. When people feel hurt they hurt back.
    Um, wow. [P.S. He'll be making the rounds and I'm sure he'll have something to say about the O.J. book as well.]

  • From the Dept. of Unfortunate Metaphors: The Boeing 747 used by the president as Air Force One was grounded in Ho Chi Minh City Sunday because of a mechanical problem.

  • Lieberman's "Party of One" -- and it isn't Lieberman. Jaysus! Whatever happened to party unity?

  • Fox News is preparing a right-wing Daily Show. Gosh, I thought The Colbert Report already covered that territory. What? Oh.
    It would take aim at what [executive producer Joel Surnow] calls "the sacred cows of the left" that don't get made as much fun of by other comedy shows. "It's a satirical news format that would play more to the Fox News audience than the Michael Moore channel," Surnow said. "It would tip more right as 'The Daily Show' tips left."
    The Fox News audience demographic is older than dirt. And since when did Michael Moore get a channel? Bottom line: it sounds deadly....boring.

Odds & Sods #14

O.J. and Kissinger speak, the president ditches his turban, and TomKat may not realllllllly be married after all -- not that there's anything wrong with that. And the game of the century lived up to the hype.

  • Could O.J. Go to Court Again? If he did it, here's what might happen.

  • It used to be a truism that the president must never -- ever! -- be allowed to pose for pictures in any kind of funny hat. That said, look for Bush and the other world leaders to play dress-up for the cameras at the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference wearing traditional Vietnamese outfits called ao dai ("ow zai") complete with turbans -- please God! (click for larger picture, umbrella optional)

  • ...and, right on cue but sans the turbans, here they are!

  • Speaking of Vietnam, Kissinger speaks: "No Military Victory in Iraq"

  • Hollywood's non-wedding of the century: Cruise and Holmes are joined in make-believe holy matrimony? That reminds me: privatize marriage!

  • Ohio State beats Michigan, 42-39 in what we used to call "a barn-burner." If you turned it off at half-time, you missed a whole lot of football! Woody and Bo would have hated the game plan, but not the effort.

November 17, 2006

Odds & Sods, Friday afternoon

  • From the NY Daily News:
    For all the focus on the Democrats, a former Bush official who predicts a coming bloodbath between the White House and disgruntled conservative Republicans brushed off the Pelosi-Hoyer tussle as much ado about process. "The Democrats are the sideshow," he said. "Bush self-destructing is the big story in town."
    Bring it on.

  • Speaking of Bush, he finally made it to Vietnam after 35 years of dodging that trip. While he was there, he suddenly felt that he understood what the lesson of that war was and how it related to Iraq: "We'll succeed unless we quit," the president said.

  • General Abizaid tells Sen. McCain that more troops into Iraq isn't going to help the situation. Watch the video.

  • On Election Day, Nov. 7, right-wing talk-show personality Laura Ingraham urged listeners to jam the phone lines of 1-888-DEM-VOTE, a voter assistance hotline sponsored by the Democratic Party. She thought is was funny. Now, Sen. Pat Leahy, incoming Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants the Justice Department to investigate the incident.

  • Rep. "Dollar" Bill Jefferson of New Orleans is in a runoff election against Karen Carter to see who gets to represent the 2nd CD of LA. It seems that "many of the endorsements for Jefferson from former candidates are because they expect to see him indicted and removed from office (voluntarily or involuntarily) before the 2008 elections. If Carter is elected, many would be kissing goodbye their shot at a congressional seat for many years to come. If Jefferson is re-elected, well, that leaves the door open for their own personal political ambitions," according to Tim Tagaris.

November 08, 2006

Bush spanks Rove

Heard at today's White House press conference:

REPORTER: ...[M]ay I ask you if you have any metrics you'd be willing to share about your reading contest with Mr. Rove.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm losing. I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: [As Bush turns slowly to stare at Rove]. Oooooh!

THE PRESIDENT: He's a faster reader...

November 01, 2006

It's about Iraq, stupid (part deux)

Iraq is the central issue in this election and the choice is simple: if you think Iraq is going fine, if you want to stay the course, then vote for the Republicans. But if you think we need to change direction, then vote for the Democrats.

This election is your last chance to speak up and be heard -- until 2008.

Do you want to let things ride until then? Or do you think it is time to make a course correction?

Fact is, there are no easy solutions left. But the Democrats will (at least) ask the hard questions and try to find the best solution. On the other hand, the Republicans will just continue to be a rubber stamp for the the Bush administration's failed policies.

It's about Iraq, stupid

At this point, Kerry should get off the stage as quickly and as gracefully as possible. The longer he's in the news-cycle, the more this becomes about him. And this is NOT about him.

It's about Iraq, stupid.

So Kerry should cede the spotlight to the one man who can guarantee victory for the Democrats on November 7.

That man is George W. Bush.

For some unknown reason (and to the great frustration of his own party's candidates), the president continues to talk about victory in Iraq at this late date in the campaign. And/But instead of going back to his office and at least look like he's trying to win that war, he insists on stumping before crowds of Bush loyalists in places like Georgia. And/But in doing so, he keeps alive the one issue that hurts his party and helps the Democrats. He is either unable or unwilling to accept what this election is all about. Democrats, to their credit, HAVE figured it out:

It's about Iraq, stupid.

Democrats know that the closing argument for this campaign is simple: if you like the way things are going in Iraq, vote for the Republicans. But if you feel that we need a change of direction, vote for the Democrats.

Now, like most things in life, it isn't that simple. But, for once, the Democrats understand that when it comes to politics, most voters will only take the time to glance at a snapshot, not the whole movie.

cheerleader.jpgNow maybe Bush is reverting to his former role as a high school cheerleader. Maybe he sees his role as Morale-Builder-In-Chief. But even if Osama is captured -- or delivers another jihad-video -- on November 3, it won't change what this election is about:

It's about Iraq, stupid.

Bush is missing what everyone else sees: that every day we stay in Iraq, two outcomes will become more and more likely. Both outcomes are mutually reinforcing. Both outcomes are bad for Iraq. Both outcomes are bad for the US. Both outcomes lead to defeat in the Iraq war for the US.

It's about Iraq, stupid and Iraq is all about this, now:

  1. Life is going from bad to worse for the Iraqis.
  2. An anti-US Iraqi government is gaining in strength and momentum.
Over twenty thousand US casualties for that?

And/But still, Bush doesn't get it. Or maybe he does and he thinks that being a cheerleader will turn it around. I don't know anymore what he thinks and, really, I don't care. It doesn't matter what he says -- it only matters what he does.

And by staying the course in Iraq, by insisting that victory is around the corner, saying that the insurgency is in its last throes, and/or by bashing Kerry, by saying that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the terrorists, he hurts the Republicans and he helps the Democrats.

He doesn't get it. He doesn't get that it really IS about Iraq, stupid.

October 31, 2006

Kerry won't take any crap from the White House

Where was this John Kerry two years ago?
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq."
Now you can argue all you want about whether this is disrespectful to volunteer servicemen; I don't happen to think it was.

What you can't deny is that, for many (if not most) successful college graduates, the armed services are not going to be the first choice. How could it be, if they look around and see what's happening in Iraq?

That didn't stop that preening poodle, Tony Snow, from yapping:

"Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who’ve given their lives in this...This is an absolute insult."
An insult? Compared to what -- sending our fighting men into battle (and keeping them there) based on a lie?

Kerry's response:

"This is the classic GOP playbook...I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium."
No kidding. This White House only cares about servicemen and veterans if they agree with Bush-Cheney. If not, they'll be attacked and smeared at every turn.

Good for John Kerry.

Honestly, now: Is there a more clueless wanker than Mark Steyn?

"We're in this grand ideological struggle," said the President two days later. "I am in disbelief that people don't take these people seriously." He was sitting in the Oval Office with a handful of columnists including yours truly. At the risk of making that C-SPAN caller's head explode, it was a great honor. I wasn't the only foreigner in the room: there was a bust of Winston Churchill, along with those of Lincoln and Eisenhower. A war president, a war prime minister, a war general.

First of all, I stand corrected: Bush is more clueless than Steyn. "I am in disbelief that people don't take these people seriously."

Really? Could it be because you have NO CREDIBILITY left? Not a shred? And you don't know that? And here's the real tragedy: "these people" really do want to do us harm. But because Bush completely screwed up the fight against them, it will now be harder to beat them back.

And then there's Steyn.

"I wasn't the only foreigner in the room: there was a bust of Winston Churchill..."

My god he has a high opinion of himself.

P.S. Churchill would have cut him (and Bush) to pieces.

October 25, 2006

Iraq: Stay The Course?

If you think our country is on the wrong track, if you think things are going fine in Iraq, then vote Republican because they'll stay the course.

But if you think we need a change of direction, then vote for the Democrats on Nov. 7.

October Surprise: War Turns Even Deadlier in Iraq

Could it be that the worsening situation in Iraq becomes the main story -- the October Surprise -- between now and November 7?:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The significant surge of violence in Iraq sweeping U.S. personnel, Iraqi armed forces and civilians has made October the deadliest for Americans in Iraq.

The U.S. army announced Wednesday the death of four U.S. Marines, bringing to at least 87 the number of American personnel killed in Iraq this month.

It seems predictable that the Republicans will try to use this news to scare people (including Democratic Congressional candidates) into "staying the course," saying that if we turn things over to the Democrats, things will get EVEN WORSE in Iraq. As if.

Problem is, the president has abandoned "stay the course," pretending like he was never for it all along.

And Democrats? Our message should be the same: if you are happy with the way things are going in Iraq, then vote for the Republicans -- they'll stay the course and you'll get more of the same. But if you've had enough, if you think we need to change course, then vote for the Democrats on Nov. 7.

October 24, 2006

Bush Iran War Plans: 4 Strike Groups in the Persian Gulf

London Yank has the update.

October 23, 2006

If I were Bush, I wouldn't be bragging about the economy

DarkSyde debunks the myth of the bull market.

Continue reading "If I were Bush, I wouldn't be bragging about the economy" »

October 22, 2006

Bush, Flip-flopper tells a whopper: Stay the course ... or not? Here's proof

Here's Bush saying he's never been "stay the course" and then a video compilation of all the times he (and other Republicans) have trumpeted that lame "policy."

October 20, 2006

Today, we're one small step closer to Soviet-style tyranny

Future historians will marvel at the power and ruthlessness of the Bush administration. Despite being weak in support and approval from voters, Bush and the rubber-stamp Republican congress (helped along by willing Democrats) were able to gut key provisions in the Constitution, destroying protections to our individual liberties that the Founders risked their lives to enshrine into our way of life:

Continue reading "Today, we're one small step closer to Soviet-style tyranny" »

October 19, 2006

Bush on the "Jihadist equivalent" of the Tet Offensive

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times this morning that what we might be seeing now is the Iraqi equivalent of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968. Tony Snow this morning said, "He may be right." Do you agree?

BUSH: He could be right. There's certainly a stepped up level of violence, and we're heading into an election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what's your gut tell you?

BUSH: George, my gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we'd leave. And the leaders of al Qaeda have made that very clear. Look, here's how I view it. First of all, al Qaeda is still very active in Iraq. They are dangerous. They are lethal. They are trying to not only kill American troops, but they're trying to foment sectarian violence. They believe that if they can create enough chaos, the American people will grow sick and tired of the Iraqi effort and will cause government to withdraw

Unbelievable. Where do I start?

Continue reading "Bush on the "Jihadist equivalent" of the Tet Offensive" »

Bush and Truman

With yet another downturn in Bush's poll numbers, we're hearing again how history will inevitably view this president less harshly in the fullness of time. The most commonly offered proof of this truism is the legacy of Harry S. Truman. By the time he left office, Truman's approval ratings were historically and dismally low. Already viewed by many as the product of corrupt Kansas City machine politics, he had gotten the US bogged down in Korea, seemed willfully obtuse on the issue of Communist infiltration in the US government, and had been in charge when various scandals rocked his administration. It took nearly 30 years (and the even more dismal presidency of Richard Nixon) for Truman's reputation to rebound.

Now comes George W. Bush.

Continue reading "Bush and Truman" »

Olbermann: "Beginning of the end of America"

Olbermann addresses the Military Commissions Act in a special comment...

Full transcript follows:

Continue reading "Olbermann: "Beginning of the end of America"" »

October 18, 2006

Habeas Corpus, 1789-2006

Habeas corpus is your principle defense against imprisonment without charge and trial without defense, now thrown away for no good reason, with the president's signature yesterday on the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Furthermore, the president is empowered to decide who is an "unlawful enemy combatant." That category can now include citizens and non-citizens alike -- and if you are deemed an enemy of the state, you can be arrested and jailed, no questions asked (or answered).

The president can also pick and choose which parts of the Geneva Convention he will obey, i.e., torture is now "legal," so God help you if you are one of the detainees.

As Senator Feingold said, "We will look back on this day as a stain on American history."

Keith Olbermann discusses the details with George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.

Continue reading "Habeas Corpus, 1789-2006" »

October 12, 2006

Olbermann: Bush is "Solid As Iraq"

Keith Olbermann interviews Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent for Newsweek magazine, about Bush's press conference on Wednesday...

Wolffe: The idea that Democrats are going out there, as he put it today and he's put it before, that they are waiting for America to be attacked before they seek to protect America it's just nonsense. It sounds great but there is a core problem at the heart of this for the administration.

Continue reading "Olbermann: Bush is "Solid As Iraq"" »

October 11, 2006

Odds & Sods

October 09, 2006

We'll Die In A Torrent Of Hell's Fire Unless You Vote Republican

So much for Mark Foley.

Continue reading "We'll Die In A Torrent Of Hell's Fire Unless You Vote Republican" »

October 08, 2006

Pick a punchline for this photo

bushhastert.jpgThe Republicans are clinging to power in Congress. And now I understand that they're going to cling to each other (and to Bush, too), hoping they can gut it out one more time. Too bad for the Democrats that the election isn't today. Because they could beat these guys in a heartbeat right now.

Leave your caption suggestions in the comments.

October 06, 2006

Bush 41 Warns of "Ghastly" Future...if Democrats win majority

Bush 41:

"I would hate to think what Arlen [Spector's] life would be like, what Rick [Santorum's] life would be like, and what my son's life would be like if we lose control of the Congress," said former President George Bush in a reference to Pennsylvania's two Republican Senators. "If we have some of these wild Democrats in charge of these committees, it will be a ghastly thing for our country."
Really. Ghastly?

Here's what Nancy Pelosi has said she would try to get done in the first 100 hours of a Democratic House of Representatives:

Continue reading "Bush 41 Warns of "Ghastly" Future...if Democrats win majority" »

October 04, 2006

By 58-41, Poll Says Bush “Mislead” Us Into Iraq

(Click image to see complete poll results)

In another America, in another time, deliberately misleading the country into war would be an impeachable offense. But with a rubber-stamp Republican Congress, Bush-Cheney are immune from accountability.

This is why you must vote for change. You must vote Democratic. You must do this for no other reason than simply to restore accountability to the system.

It's not going to be easy to overturn the Republican majority. Let's get real: Bush's approval rating in the same poll is 39% (down three points in a week). So, in other words, the guy lies us into a war (resulting in nearly 25 thousand American casualties) and over a third of the public still approves of his performance as president.


But we can take some small measure of encouragement from this: a solid majority (54-37) say that, if the Congressional elections were held today, they would vote for the Democrat over the Republican in their own district. And this poll was done just as the Foley Sex Scandal Coverup started gathering steam.

Vote for Change. Vote Democratic on November 7.

October 02, 2006

Bush exempt from torture prosecution--as of 11/26/97. Why that date?

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

As you all know, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 exempts Bush-Cheney from prosecution for war crimes against any detainee being held at Gitmo or elsewhere.

But did you know that that exemption is retroactive -- and reaches back to November 26, 1997?

What is the significance of that date?

The answer will send a chill up your spine and turn your blood ice-cold, I promise.

Continue reading "Bush exempt from torture prosecution--as of 11/26/97. Why that date?" »

October 01, 2006

October Surprise? Here's what the Republicans are up against (so far)

(Video included below)
(Cross posted to Daily Kos)

If I were a Democratic challenger for Congress, I'd use any (or all) of the following issues to beat my Republican opponent like a rented mule.

In no particular order:

The formula is simple:
  1. Bush is atrocious
  2. The Republican incumbent IS Bush
  3. So the Republican incumbent is atrocious.
  4. Had enough? Then vote for change, vote Democratic.

September 30, 2006

Bush-Cheney Escape War Crimes Prosecution

Continue reading "Bush-Cheney Escape War Crimes Prosecution" »

September 29, 2006

Bombshell Book: “Has Bush Lost Control Of Iraq?”

The video is short -- just 5 minutes. Watch the whole thing, then share it with your friends. Just click the SHARE button (lower right corner of video screen) and insert the appropriate email addresses.

Don't wait -- the election is less than 40 days off. If Bush and the Republicans hold onto their majority, God only knows what's in store for this country over the next two years.

This is what people will be discussing for the next 7 days, at least...

Watch it now and then share it with your friends. Time is tight -- the election is almost on top of us. Get the word out: Vote Democratic and stop Bush before it is too late.

NBC News:

Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, accuses US officials of deliberately trying to mislead the public about the worsening state of the war in Iraq.

Bob Woodward: There is public and then there is private. But what did they do with the private? They stamped it secret. No one is supposed to know. Why is that secret?

The book, to be released Monday, also claims senior US officials in Iraq urgently called for more troops as early as September, 2003 to contain the growing insurgency. But they were ignored -- the assessments considered too pessimistic.

Woodward: The insurgents know what they're doing, the level of violence and how effective they are.

Who doesn't know? The American public.

Continue reading "Bombshell Book: “Has Bush Lost Control Of Iraq?”" »

September 27, 2006

Um, Bush is not an idiot?

my-pet-goat.jpgI think that's what Bush loyalists are thinking as evidenced by their "non-partisan" analysis and discussion of the PDB of August, 2001 and Bush's reaction (translation: "none") to it.

It would be more entertaining (and insightful perhaps) to read their take on Bush's "The Pet Goat" moment, less than 5 weeks later, when the venue was different but the reaction was the same: nothing.


September 26, 2006

Olbermann blasts Bush and Fox News

Keith Olbermann:

The nation's freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as Al-Qaeda; the nation's "marketplace of ideas" is being poisoned, by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would've quit.


...the headline is this: Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done, in five years. He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.

Continue reading "Olbermann blasts Bush and Fox News" »

September 25, 2006

Who Will Win the Battle of the News Cycles?

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

In the closing weeks of the campaign season, the White House has begun its final battle to control the daily news cycle and gain the high ground in the traditional media. The stakes are high -- he who controls the news cycle controls the perception of millions of members of his own base. And he who control perception, controls reality. The same thing works on the Democratic base: if our morale goes down because we think the Republicans are turning the tide, it could affect turnout in November.

Last week, the White House promoted the stories of crazy Chavez and evil Ahmadinejad battling gallant Bush at the UN. That was followed by the rumor that Osama had eaten some bad spinach and was no more. Lastly, the White House touted the "torture compromise" and how they "relented" to the Republican "rebels" in the Senate. His base takes heart, while some in our base are discouraged, if even for just a moment or two.

This week opens with Bush grieving in private for the tens of thousands of war casualties that he caused. Oh, noble, sensitive, Dear Leader! No doubt we'll also get some more warnings about TNT -- terror and taxes -- and how the Democrats will destroy our security and prosperity if they gain the majority in November.

Unfortunately, the Democrats do not have the advantage in the news cycle wars because they literally do not have a single spokesman. But stories do get out: there is is toxic report that the NIE is saying that terrorism has gotten worse because of the war in Iraq. And don't underestimate the effect of Clinton's CGI followed by his pushback on Fox News. There are other stories, but you get the picture. Our base gets fired up by those stories.

Obviously, there's a lot at stake: Bush's numbers have risen whenever the White House pushes its narrative; and that alone becomes a story that can control a news cycle. So think of Bush as a parrot with a ball and chain attached to his leg. He can flap his wings for a while and get airborne. But eventually the ball brings him back to earth, exhausted, until the next try.

But there is a more important analogy, one that the White House would surely acknowledge: Bush is on a see-saw along with the Democrats. Sometimes he's up and the Democrats are down; and vice-versa. The only thing that matters is this -- who will get off the see-saw first?

September 23, 2006

Torture "compromise" violates the US Constitution

I surely must not be the first (nor the last) person to point this out, but the McCain/Bush "compromise" on torture is illegal because it goes against Article VI of the US Constitution.

First, some background.

Continue reading "Torture "compromise" violates the US Constitution" »

McCain rubber-stamps Bush plan to commit torture

McCain won't authorize torture, but he won't prevent it, either:

Mr. Bush wanted Congress to formally approve these practices and to declare them consistent with the Geneva Conventions. It will not. But it will not stop him either, if the legislation is passed in the form agreed on yesterday. Mr. Bush will go down in history for his embrace of torture and bear responsibility for the enormous damage that has caused.

September 18, 2006

Why We Must Not Change The Geneva Convention

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC):

The Geneva Convention is just not some concept; it has saved lives. We adhere to it, and we expect others to do it.

Continue reading "Why We Must Not Change The Geneva Convention" »

September 13, 2006

What Bush needs to do for every one of his speeches

Good golly, Miss Molly!

September 12, 2006

The decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century? NOT.

Question: Do you agree with the president that the US is fighting the decisive ideological struggle of the twenty-first century?

Brzezinski: I think it's an absolutely absurd formulation...We're dealing with a bunch of fanatics. We're dealing with some foolish fundamentalist haters of the west. We're dealing with some outraged ethnic and nationalist feelings. But to elevate this into a global ideological collision, and directly somehow reminiscent of the twentieth-century struggle with Nazis and communism, is an absurdity which either reflects profound ignorance, or a totally manipulative desire to use public anxiety for political purposes.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Raise Or Fold

by Mark Adams

Via Hotline:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "We passed up an opportunity after September 11th. I think we should have said, we're going to double the size of the Peace Corps, triple the size of Americorps, we're going to set up volunteer organizations all over America to ensure our security. ... The country was united. We should have called them to serve, not just tell them to take a trip or go shopping" ("Hardball," MSNBC, 9/11). 

Got to hand it to two-faced John.  He knows exactly what useless F#$%^s Bush and his gang of theives are.

Political Wire, in reaction to the same speech on the fifth anniversary of what has become a wholly owned GOP day of symbolic empty gestures: 

If the war on terror is really a "struggle for civilization" itself, as President Bush claimed last night, why do we have just 130,000 troops in Iraq?

You would think that if America were really engaged in such an epic battle -- "for all the marbles," as one friend paraphrased it -- we would put up a bigger fight.

Writing off Iraq


The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.
So much for Anbar Province.

Keith Olbermann on Bush and 9/11

(Click to watch video)


History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government, by its critics.

It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation's wounds, but to take political advantage.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President -- and those around him -- did that.

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused; as appeasers; as those who, in the Vice President's words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."

They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken... a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had "something to do" with 9/11, is "lying by implication."

The impolite phrase, is "impeachable offense."

September 09, 2006

ABC's The Path to 9/11 Isn't a Documentary. It's Not a Docu-Drama. It's a Swift-Boat Hit Job.

BuzzFlash sketches out the scenario.

September 08, 2006

Third consecutive judge hands Bush major NSA legal defeat

Glenn Greenwald has the scoop.

September 07, 2006

Bush + Bin Laden: Helping Each Other

It is widely understood that every time Bush mentions Bin Laden's name, Bush's numbers go up. So the Gang of 500 is all a-twitter that Dear Leader's ballsy move, the transfer of several terror suspects from the CIA-secret-prisons-that-don't-really-exist over to Gitmo, will cause a bump in Bush's approval ratings. Some are even predicting that this development will be the beginning of a turn-around that will allow the Republicans to hang on to their majority in both houses of Congress. That remains to be seen. After all, Bush's numbers showed only a temporary rise after the Brits busted up the London terror plot, whereas the Dick Morris' of the pundit-world had predicted a 10-point rise.


Track it for yourself: Bush is at 41% in Rasmussen's daily poll -- where he's been since March. And other polling is indicating that the Dems will take the House and maybe the Senate. So let's look at the numbers in a week and see where we're headed. My hunch is that you don't reverse a year's worth of dissatisfaction with a week's worth of posturing, but I've been wrong before.

P.S. Today -- as if by coincidence! -- Al Jazeera is airing video of Bin Laden meeting with some of the 9/11 hijackers. Could it be that Al Jazeera (who Bush wanted to bomb during the early stages of the Iraq war) is in cahoots with Bush? Or is it more likely that Al Jazeera is in cahoots with al-Qaeda?

Or, even more likely, is it true that what's good for the goose is good for the gander? You know, as far as Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are concerned, Bush has been very, very, very good for business. So maybe the release of the video helps both sides; Bush gets to scare people some more while Bin Laden gets to burnish his reputation.

Bush is right (for the wrong reason)


Bin Laden and his allies are absolutely convinced they can succeed in forcing America to retreat and causing our economic collapse. They believe our nation is weak and decadent and lacking in patience and resolve, and they're wrong.
They are wrong -- our nation is strong.
It is Bush who showed that he is weak and lacking in patience and resolve when he gave up fighting bin Laden. It is Bush that has shown that he is decadent through his continued addiction to foreign oil.

Bush: Don't watch what he says, watch what he does

Bruce Schneier keeps a scorecard from the war on terror, compiling DoJ stats on actual prosecutions.

From these stats, one might conclude that "there is no there there," i.e., the threat of terrorism may be inaccurate and/or exaggerated.

(HT to Xeni)

Jersey Girl strikes back

Karen Breitweiser responds to Ann Coulter.

(HT to John Amato)

September 05, 2006

Hijacking 9/11

ABC's docudrama, 'The Path to 9/11,' is a mix of fact, fantasy and deliberate distortion adding up to blatant pro-Bush propaganda. Sheldon Rampton shares details.

UPDATE: Richard Clarke Blasts Key Scene In ABC's 9/11 Docudrama:

ThinkProgress has obtained a rebuttal of key scenes from Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar for Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, and now counterterrorism adviser to ABC:
  1. Contrary to the movie, no US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden.

  2. Contrary to the movie, the head of the Northern Alliance, Masood, was no where near the alleged bin Laden camp and did not see UBL.

  3. Contrary to the movie, the CIA Director actually said that he could not recommend a strike on the camp because the information was single sourced and we would have no way to know if bin Laden was in the target area by the time a cruise missile hit it.
In short, this scene -- which makes the incendiary claim that the Clinton administration passed on a surefire chance to kill or catch bin Laden -- never happened. It was completely made up by [the show's writer].

The actual history is quite different. According to the 9/11 Commission Report (pg. 199), then-CIA Director George Tenet had the authority from President Clinton to kill Bin Laden. Roger Cressy, former NSC director for counterterrorism, has written, "Mr. Clinton approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda."

Tell ABC to tell the truth about 9/11.

September 04, 2006

Sack Rumsfeld Now

rumsfeld-chamberlain.jpgHonestly -- did he think we wouldn't remember?

Frank Rich:

Mr. Rumsfeld didn't go to Baghdad in 1983 to tour the museum. Then a private citizen, he had been dispatched as an emissary by the Reagan administration, which sought to align itself with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was already a notorious thug. Well before Mr. Rumsfeld's trip, Amnesty International had reported the dictator's use of torture -- "beating, burning, sexual abuse and the infliction of electric shocks" -- on hundreds of political prisoners. Dozens more had been summarily executed or had "disappeared." American intelligence agencies knew that Saddam had used chemical weapons to gas both Iraqi Kurds and Iranians.

According to declassified State Department memos detailing Mr. Rumsfeld's Baghdad meetings, the American visitor never raised the subject of these crimes with his host. (Mr. Rumsfeld has since claimed otherwise, but that is not supported by the documents, which can be viewed online at George Washington University's National Security Archive.) Within a year of his visit, the American mission was accomplished: Iraq and the United States resumed diplomatic relations for the first time since Iraq had severed them in 1967 in protest of American backing of Israel in the Six-Day War.

Five years ago, the world was with us. Not anymore.

August 30, 2006

Olbermann blasts Rumsfeld

Keith Olbermann responds with eloquence and passion to Rumsfeld's recent ghastly speech:

From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelope this nation - Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have - inadvertently or intentionally - profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer's New Clothes.

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight?

With what country has he confused... the United States of America?

Contact MSNBC management and express your support and thanks for Mr. Olbermann.
The email addresses: and .

For Countdown in particular, the contact address is

Anyone wishing to express their thanks directly to Keith can write to him at

Another useful thing to do: Go to Keith's blog, scroll down to the bottom, and rate up the importance of the story.

Last, and most important of all, watch Countdown tonight (8pm EDT, 7pm CDT). Network executives do, after all, pay attention to ratings.

America eats its young

Garrison Keillor says we're sticking the next generation with debt and an unjust war. Solution: Cut healthcare for people with "Bush/Cheney" bumper stickers.

August 28, 2006

Battle Lines Are Drawn: Nobody's Right If Everyone Is Wrong

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

These are troubling times for those who believe in government of the people, for the people and by the people. Around the world, those who believe that God's word is law are in control of the crucial mechanisms that control war and peace.

But it's discouraging to hear those Democrats, liberals and progressives  who reflexively frame this struggle as "David versus Goliath," who back the "underdog." By doing so, we progressives further muddy the intellectual waters and sow the seeds of our own defeat in election after election.

Continue reading "Battle Lines Are Drawn: Nobody's Right If Everyone Is Wrong" »

August 24, 2006

Ever get the feeling that the terrorists are laughing at us?

Click to see full cartoon...

Continue reading "Ever get the feeling that the terrorists are laughing at us?" »

August 23, 2006

Osama wants us to "stay the course"


What Bush's Foreign Policy Will Be Remembered For

Historians will note that Bush was a uniter and a divider. Simply put, Bush united our enemies and divided our friends.

Josh Marshall:

[Bush has concluded] we're in a war and that the enemy in this war ["Islamofascists"] is Muslims who subscribe to bad ideologies. This has the consequence of taking a set of institutionally and ideologically distinct actors -- Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Iraq, Iran, Syria, al-Qaeda, the Mahdi Army, Iraqi insurgents, etc. -- and treating them as a single phenomenon. To do so would be a serious mistake...

[T]hey are different things. And the essence of sound strategy has long been to look at potentially hostile actors and try to divide them...The "Islamofascism" rhetoric is part of a continuing campaign to do the reverse.

P.S. Ever notice how Bush's motto ("I'm a uniter not a divider") was, by definition, self-negating?

Warrantless Wiretapping: An Issue Of Trust

Over at Daily Kos, diarist 'thereisnospoon' makes a crucial point: Democrats musn't argue points of law when opposing the warrantless wiretaps. They must say that, by avoiding the required warrants, Bush raises the suspicion that he is NOT surveilling terrorists -- he is surveilling his political enemies.

The technicalities of Constitutional Law are the realm of reason. Voters actually VOTE based on emotion. They don't really care if Bush is breaking the law; they care if he's doing something morally wrong.

The truth is that if Bush wiretaps a terrorist and doesn't bother with a warrant first, the public admires him [for being] a no-bullshit, Dirty Harry kind of guy.

But if he's hiding political Mafia tactics under the cloak of National Security, then they see him as the worst kind of villain you can imagine.

The key is getting them to entertain the unthinkable notion of what we all know is undoubtedly true: that Bush isn't Dirty Harry; he's the corrupt cop Dirty Harry has to bring to justice.

Bush is essentially saying, "trust me" and, fact is, many DO trust him. But Democrats must show that this trust is misplaced. Bush is hiding something by avoiding the warrants. What is he hiding? He is hiding the fact that terrorists are NOT the only ones he is spying on.

And another thing...

We know that a government based on "trusting" Dear Leader is not what the Founders had in mind:

The founding fathers didn't set up a government based on trust. They could've designed a government based on trust and our ability to govern fairly but they knew that power corrupts. So they invented checks and balances. That was genius. The founding fathers did not want me to trust you and they did not want you to trust me. Every White House forgets about checks and balances, you guys are no different.
As Daniel Webster warned: "Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."

Is Bush hiding a serious heart condition from the public?

Whether it is from prior cocaine abuse or from a hereditary heart condition, is it possible that Bush has suffered a series of mini-strokes in the recent past? Is it possible that Bush is so at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) that he has now (or in the recent past) donned a wearable defibrillator?

Every president ages in office. Sometimes the effects are more pronounced than others. Some presidents look older, developing grey hair, lots of wrinkles, bags under the eyes, and so forth. Others show alternate symptoms.

Which brings us to a topic I've addressed before -- Bush's cardiovascular health.

I'm bringing it up again because there is renewed talk about the marked change in Bush's demeanor since the days when he was governor of Texas. Joe Scarborough is just the latest person to observe that Bush's mental acuity has gone into a sharp decline since the early 90's.

Shouldn't the American people be fully informed about their President's health? This issue surfaced very briefly during the 2004 campaign when some observers noticed that strange bulge under Bush's suit jacket during all three debates (and other times as well). Many thought it was a portable radio receiver, but I (and many others) thought otherwise -- that the evidence was clear that he was wearing a wearable defibrillator.

And now, because talk of Bush's mental deterioration is not subsiding but growing louder (think of his performance at the G8 conference), it might be time to raise the issue again.

Don't click away until you've looked at the photos...

Continue reading "Is Bush hiding a serious heart condition from the public?" »

August 22, 2006

“We Won't Go To Heaven Because Of You.”


We'll complete the mission in Iraq...I can't tell you exactly when it's going to be done, but I do know that it's important for us to support the Iraqi people, who have shown incredible courage in their desire to live in a free society. And if we ever give up the desire to help people who live in freedom, we will have lost our soul as a nation, as far as I'm concerned.
Don't laugh: It's talk like this that keeps his approval ratings above 35%.

But wait there's more:

While acknowledging that raging sectarian violence and mounting U.S. casualties in Iraq are "straining the psyche of our country," Bush said that withdrawing U.S. troops before the nation is stabilized would be disastrous.
Straining our psyche? That's psychobabble. The American people are strong than that.

Simply put: the majority of Americans now realize that our work in Iraq is done. Our soldiers have done all that they could be asked to do:

  • Disarm Saddam? Check.
  • Topple him from power? Check.
  • Killed al-Zarqawi? Check.
  • Set up democracy? Check.
It's time to bring em home.

But nooooo:

[T]he president...was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd.
I don't know what's worse: that Bush didn't see this coming, or his actual reaction to it -- puzzlement.


Think about that for a moment and tell me that doesn't speak volumes about how weak this man really is.

(HT to Bill in Portland Maine)

August 21, 2006

October Surprise: War With Iran?

Contrary to what I've urged previously, it now looks more likely that the Israel-Lebanon war really might be the undercard to the main bout: US-Iran. Meteor Blades tells it.

August 17, 2006

Federal court finds warrantless eavesdropping unconstitutional

This is big news:

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it. The White House said it "couldn't disagree" more with the ruling.
I bet they do.

Glenn Greenwald has the particulars:

Continue reading "Federal court finds warrantless eavesdropping unconstitutional" »

August 14, 2006

Today's Republicans: Bedwetting crybabies


One second Reagan is up there standing toe-to-toe with the Rooskis, negotiating cool as a cucumber with 20,000 nukes pointed at him, and the next thing I know, the likes of Limbaugh or the crew at Powerwhine and Freeperland, are all shrieking like a class full of tweaked-out, neurotic fifth-graders having a panic attack every time OBL pops up in a grainy video with a rusty AK in the background.

What the hell happened to the GOP I once knew?

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

August 11, 2006

Olbermann on bomb plot: “None of this is new.”

Keith Olbermann:

countdown-airline-insecurity_0001.jpgIf today's events make you wonder whether we might again be accused of being too focused on yesterday's threats rather than anticipating tomorrow's, you would not be alone.

Five months ago, our senior investigative correspondent Lisa Meyers, wanted to find out how the government was dealing with the then-anticipated threat of explosive components smuggled on board. And, more than a decade ago, Ramsey Yousef concocted a plot of mixing his own liquid explosives in mid-flight and blowing up or crippling a series of airliners over an ocean.

None of this is new...

Watch the video.

Future historians will marvel that Bush's words, not his deeds, were the only thing that gave him the reputation of being "tough on terrorism."

Thank You, Great Britain

Thank you for keeping America safe so our president doesn't have to.


Bush rides his mountain bike at his ranch in Crawford, TX.

(HT to Bill in Portland Maine)

August 10, 2006

Shorter George W. Bush

"Failed terror plot a reminder that everybody should stop complaining about how bad I screwed up Iraq."

Seriously, I heard Dick Morris tell Bill O'Reilly tonight that Bush's numbers will "go up 10 points" to the mid-40's and the Democrats chances will go down the tubes. "I'm tearing up my predictions for the November elections because of this," says Morris.

O'Reilly:"If this had happened on Monday, Lieberman would have won the election because he is tough on terror."

Well, sure. Next, we'll hear that Bush and Lieberman busted the terrorists' door down with a fireman's axe and handcuffed the bad guys themselves.

And in a related story, Republicans are talking up Joe Lieberman's candidacy, all the way from "Dick" Cheney and Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman on down to struggling GOP candidates for the Senate:

Minnesota Republican senate candidate Mark Kennedy, a dozen points behind Democrat Amy Klobuchar in latest poll (Rasmussen, 8/1), endorses Lieberman. So does McGavick in Washington state. He's down 11 points (Rasmussen, 7/17).
That's how bad it's gotten for the Republicans: they're lining up behind a guy who promised to caucus with the Democrats if he wins re-election.

(HT to Josh Marshall)

August 05, 2006

Ending the neoconservative nightmare -- for Israel

I've said right from the start that Israel's war should not be confused with America's war. Unfortunately that boat has left the dock.

But that doesn't mean that we can't explore the relationship between Israel and America -- and how America's war may be damaging Israel.

Daniel Levy:

Disentangling Israeli interests from the rubble of neocon "creative destruction" in the Middle East has become an urgent challenge for Israeli policy-makers. An America that seeks to reshape the region through an unsophisticated mixture of bombs and ballots, devoid of local contextual understanding, alliance-building or redressing of grievances, ultimately undermines both itself and Israel. The sight this week of Secretary of State Rice homeward bound, unable to touch down in any Arab capital, should have a sobering effect in Washington and Jerusalem.
The calculus is simple: with friends like the neocons, Israel doesn't need any enemies.
Israel and its friends in the United States should seriously reconsider their alliances not only with the neocons, but also with the Christian Right. The largest "pro-Israel" lobby day during this crisis was mobilized by Pastor John Hagee and his Christians United For Israel, a believer in Armageddon with all its implications for a rather particular end to the Jewish story. This is just asking to become the mother of all dumb, self-defeating and morally abhorrent alliances.

It's The Stupid President's Stupid War, Stupid

by Mark Adams

There are many good arguments that the best Democratic election strategy this Fall is to wrap Iraq around every GOP candidate's neck and incessantly repeat, "It's the War, Stupid."  It's a similar suggestion to hanging the rubber-stamp label on the "Do Nothing" Congress, or just coming out and identifying the entire GOP as completely void of intellect as their leader, because "It's the Stupiidity, Stupid."  all variations on the "Had Enough" theme.

I cringe when I think of the arrogance it took for Bush to start the Iraq war.  The sheer naiveté it took for a man whose formal business degrees qualified him only to fail at every enterprise he undertook, whose life experience in no way prepared him to even suspect he was in any way capable of transforming the Middle East into a peaceful bastion of democracy -- settling decades of direct conflict and centuries of unrest with a simple promise of "one person, one vote."

Of course, as was always suspected, Bush had absolutely no understanding of what he was doing, how to do it right, or an appreciation of the consequences of the his actions.  The quote you're going to be seeing a lot of from former Ambassador Peter Galbraith's new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, comes to the internetz via Raw Story (HT: SusanUnPC at No Quarter)

Galbraith reports that the three of them [Iraqi-Americans briefing Bush about the likely post-invasion political situation] spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded,“I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”
I guess "G-Dubz" must have thought that the two oil-rich muslim combatants in the Iran/Iraq war were duking it out over dress-codes.  It does explain his fixation on the idea that Saddam gassed his own people.  What Bush apparently never appreciated was that, to the dictator Kurds and Shia weren't "his" people -- if he considered them human at all.

Continue reading "It's The Stupid President's Stupid War, Stupid" »

July 29, 2006

Family Traditions

by Mark Adams

Senator John McCain's young son, Jimmy, (18) has just joined the Marines.

So, where's Jenna, and "Not Jenna" for that matter?  No doubt upholding the family tradition.
"If this war is so God damn important, why aren't the Bush twins over there in Iraq helping to fight it?"

Separation of church and state wasn't intended to protect the state, it was intended to protect the church

Laurie Goodstein (via Kevin Drum):

"There is a lot of discontent brewing," said Brian D. McLaren, the founding pastor at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Gaithersburg, Md., and a leader in the evangelical movement known as the "emerging church," which is at the forefront of challenging the more politicized evangelical establishment.

"More and more people are saying this has gone too far — the dominance of the evangelical identity by the religious right," Mr. McLaren said. "You cannot say the word 'Jesus' in 2006 without having an awful lot of baggage going along with it. You can't say the word 'Christian,' and you certainly can't say the word 'evangelical' without it now raising connotations and a certain cringe factor in people.

"Because people think, 'Oh no, what is going to come next is homosexual bashing, or pro-war rhetoric, or complaining about 'activist judges.' "

The Founding Fathers understood that government and religion were immeasurably stronger when they ran on parallel tracks. Today...not so much.

All you have to do is look around -- at Iraq, at Hamas, at Hezollah, at Iran, at al-Qaeda, to understand how bad things can become when you mix the two together.

July 24, 2006

POTUS Receives Disturbing Memo, Cuts August Vacation

by Mark Adams

The memo said:  "Democrats Determined To Take Congress."

"As for himself, he is curtailing his traditional August working vacation at the ranch so that he can barnstorm before the midterm elections," writes Allen for Time.

"Their outlook thus far seems so ominous for the G.O.P. that one presidential adviser wants Bush to beef up his counsel's office for the tangle of investigations that a Democrat-controlled House might pursue," Allen continues.

As has been observed time and time again, their real enemy is liberalism.  They will fight terrorists as convenient targets of opportunity.

July 23, 2006

Bolten: Iraqi Speaker, Who Called U.S. 'Butchers,' Appreciates 'the Sacrifice Americans Have Made'

Which is it?

Yesterday, the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, said "We know there was a corrupt regime in Saddam, but a regime should be removed by surgery, not by butchering. The U.S. occupation is butcher's work under the slogan of democracy and human rights and justice."

Today on Meet the Press, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten said he has been in meetings with al-Mashhadani and the speaker has an "appreciation for the sacrifice so many Americans have made."

I can't believe these people have any credibility whatsoever.

July 20, 2006

Flag Desecretion


Link, Time Magazine: You Can't Bury The Truth.

The Bush Economy

The economy is humming along, is it? Baloney.

The facts are simple and straightforward:

  1. The Bush Economy has the worst rate of job creation in 40 years.

  2. Bush's new jobs pay $9,000 less per year.

  3. Working people haven't had a raise in 5 years.
Details on The Bush Economy.

July 19, 2006

This Is Not Kerryism, This Is Bushism

Ken Adelman, erstwhile Bush/Cheney loyalist:

What they are doing on North Korea or Iran is what [Sen. John F.] Kerry would do, what a normal middle-of-the-road president would do...This administration prided itself on molding history, not just reacting to events. Its a normal foreign policy right now. It's the triumph of Kerryism.
Once, they used to say, "thank God Gore/Kerry is not in charge." Now, all is revealed: Kerry won the last election after all, so pass HIM the buck, quick!

Still crazy after all these years -- and can't accept responsibility for anything.

July 18, 2006

High Crime

by Mark Adams

Otherwise known as a felony, an impeachable offense if ever there was one. 

Obstruction of Justice is obviously such an offense.

Interference with a federal investigation is felonious behavior.  No argument, no weaseling, no justification. 

From Think Progress:
Earlier this year, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which is charged with investigating attorney misconduct, announced that it could not pursue an investigation into the role of Justice lawyers in crafting the NSA warrantless wiretapping program because it was denied security clearance.

Previously, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would not explain why the security clearances had been denied, saying he did not want to ‘get into internal discussions.’ But in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning,

Gonzales said President Bush personally blocked Justice Department lawyers from pursuing an investigation of the warrantless eavesdropping program.

Watch it.


SPECTER: Now when you had the first line of review, Mr. Attorney General, by OPR, why wasn’t OPR given clearance as so many other lawyers in the Department of Justice were given clearance?

GONZALES: Mr. Chairman, you and I had lunch several weeks ago, and we had a discussion about this. And during this lunch, I did inform you that the terrorist surveillance program is a highly-classified program. It’s a very important program for the national security of this country –

SPECTER: Highly-classified, very important, many other lawyers in the Justice Department had clearance. Why not OPR?

GONZALES: And the President of the United States ultimately makes decisions about who ultimately is given access –

SPECTER: Did the President make the decision not to clear OPR?

GONZALES: As with all decisions that are non-operational in terms of who has access to the program, the President of the United States makes the decision because this is such an important program –

SPECTER: I want to move on to another subject. The President makes the decision and that’s that."

This is Exhibit One.

July 17, 2006

The Senate Takes Up Stem Cells: Something for Everyone -- A Comedy Tonight!

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

The Senate is debating a group of stem cell bills this week. In a nutshell those bills can be described like this:

  1. Real stem cell research ("Lift Bush's Restrictions And Get Down To Work")
  2. Fake stem cell research ("Lots of Loud Talking And Hand-Waving")
  3. Anti-stem cell research ("Prohibit Fetus Farming")
Oddly enough, all three bills are expected to pass with more than enough of a majority; Bush is slated to issue his first-ever veto of the only real one in the bunch, #1.

The other bills are primarily designed to provide political cover and lots of campaign fodder for Senators who might be worried about satisfying the constituents back home, most of whom favor a fully funded program of research. For example, most Senators will vote for #1 because people want it -- yet the Senate knows it will be vetoed by Bush. Most of those same Senators will also vote for #2 because they know it won't make a difference anyway if it passes. And, lastly, most Senators will vote for #3 because it prohibits something that wasn't ever going to have a snowball's chance in hell of happening in the first place.

Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Something appealing,
Something appalling,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Nothing with gods, nothing with fate;
Weighty affairs will just have to wait!

Nothing that's formal,
Nothing that's normal,
No recitations to recite;
Open up the curtain:
Comedy Tonight!

Something erratic,
Something dramatic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Frenzy and frolic,
Strictly symbolic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

July 16, 2006

Generic “Had Enough?” Video Ready

This is a new, "universal" version of the "Had Enough?" videos I did to promote various Congressional candidates.

This one is new and somewhat different. It's something I came up with after reading Kevin Phillips' excellent book, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century.

I'm sure there are things that you'd change. So would I. But I'm throwing this out now, rather than wait until later when it might be more perfect.

Share it with your friends, etc. Click the "Share" button in YouTube.

Stop Specter's NSA Surveillance Bill

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The White House and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) have reportedly come to a sham compromise that would sweep the illegal NSA warrantless wiretapping activity and any further government surveillance under the rug, shuffling legal challenges out of the traditional court system and into the shadowy FISA courts. Tell Congress to reject this proposal and let cases like EFF's have a fair hearing in court.
Please take a moment right now and lend your support to this crucial effort. It's easy:
  1. Visit this site
  2. Add your name and address to the form.
  3. Click to submit the letter -- EFF will route it to your Congressmen, based on your address.
It's important that you do it right now -- don't read another blog post, don't get another cup of coffee, don't make another phone call. Specter's bill will move quickly to the floor for a vote and it is vital that you act NOW before it is too late to make a difference.

Please do it now -- it'll only take a moment of your time. Thanks.

Here's the text of the letter I sent:

Continue reading "Stop Specter's NSA Surveillance Bill" »

July 15, 2006

Why Bush is still “popular”

Rasmussen says that Bush's uptick in their poll (into the low 40's) "is the result of his base coming home."

Translation: his base loves it that we're mortified at the thought of 2+ more years of this:

They like to call it "Bush Derangement Syndrome," (a term coined by the self-important and ghastly pundit-psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer). But honestly, what does it say about "his base" that they look at Bush and feel pride?

P.S. Speaking of polls, Fox News has Bush's approval rating dropping 5 points (into the mid 30's again) over the last two weeks.

"It is important to remember that the president got his bounce after the killing of al-Zarqawi in Iraq," comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "While administration officials were careful not to overplay the significance of this, it naturally created hope that things would get better. Several weeks of bloody footage from Iraq have pretty much dashed those hopes."
Except for the base -- who loves it that we're depressed about another 2+ years with this guy at the wheel.

Stay the course!

July 12, 2006

Another day, another signing statement

The President, with the sweep of a pen, has gotten rid of the Legislature's requirement for oversight of Coast Guard contractors.

Just another one of hundreds of similar "signing statements," wherein the President chooses which laws he will follow...and which he will ignore.

White House Director of Irony

Did you know that the White House employs someone in a position called the White House Director of Lessons Learned? Yeah. And it also has people in following positions: one Director of Fact Checking and two Ethics Advisors. US taxpayers pay these people nearly $370 thousand per year to do hold these job titles. Bwhahaha!

And (like Rahm Emmanuel said): "They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President. Maybe the White House could consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony."

Continue reading "White House Director of Irony" »

John Dean's “Conservatives Without Conscience“

(Click below the fold to read the Keith Olbermann interview of John Dean.)


...Dean takes a sincere, well-considered look at how conservative politics in the U.S. is veering dangerously close to authoritarianism, offering a penetrating and highly disturbing portrait of many of the major players in Republican politics and power.

Continue reading "John Dean's “Conservatives Without Conscience“" »

July 11, 2006

The most important thing to remember when terrorists attack

Terrorists hit Bombay, hundreds are killed and injured -- yet all the right-wing apologists are thinking is, "Will this hurt George W. Bush?"


Congratulations! You owe the US Government $1,000

The deficit will for budget year ending Sept. 30 will register $296 billion, under a new White House estimate released Tuesday.

That works out to $1,000 for every man, woman and child in the USA. This year.

So...all you adults -- pay up right now and include the money your kids owe. Or, if you prefer, you can just have your kids pay the whole thing.

It's the American way!

P.S. You also have the option of selling that debt to unspecified Chinese bankers.

P.P.S. What's that you say? You want another tax cut? Bwahahahahaha! You're kidding right? Well, all right then. Why don't we just cut taxes to zero and borrow the entire cost of running the government from those Chinese bankers?

UPDATE: Here's the top five largest budget deficits in American history:

  1. 2004 (George W. Bush) $413 billion
  2. 2003 (George W. Bush) $378 billion
  3. 2005 (George W. Bush) $318 billion
  4. 2006 (George W. Bush) $296 billion (projected)
  5. 1992 (George H. W. Bush) $290 billion
...and when President Bush came into office, he inherited a surplus of $284 Billion.

Go ahead -- make my day. Tell me that $1.4 trillion in accumlated deficits is better than it looks. You know what I'm talking about: Republican knuckleheads who point out that "the economy is humming along." Hell, you'd hum along too if you had a credit card with no spending limit and no due date for paying it back. Woo hoo! We're humming along, baby!

Urgent Call To Action On Stem Cell Research Bill

Please take a moment today and contact your Senators about HR 810, the single most important piece of stem cell legislation before Congress.

From StemPAC:

This is the one that would rescind President Bush's draconian restrictions on stem cell research. This is the one that has (miraculously) already passed the House. If it is passed in the Senate, it either will become law -- or force President Bush to issue his first veto.
The Senate is slated to vote on this bill this week -- perhaps even as early as tomorrow. So you must take action on this today.

Here's a StemPAC video about the bill (The transcript of the video is below, as well as links to call your Senator to urge their support...)

Please continue below...

Continue reading "Urgent Call To Action On Stem Cell Research Bill" »

July 08, 2006

The state secrets that weren't secret

Joe Conason:

Right-wingers desperate to intimidate the press have accused the New York Times of treason for publishing details of a terror investigation -- ignoring the fact that everything significant about that operation has been known for years.
They'll do anything to change the subject away from a discussion of Bush's disastrous war in Iraq.

UPDATE: John Amato and Glenn Greenwald want to know why all the Bush loyalists are celebrating the unauthorized leak to the Daily News of the FBI's arrests of alleged terrorists who were talking in Internet chat rooms about blowing up the Holland Tunnel.

June 30, 2006

The significance of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

Shorter Glenn Greenwald: Opponents of monarchical power should celebrate this decision.

June 29, 2006

Republicans: A party of cultists (Part Deux)

Tim Grieve posts the items on the House Republican Cultist "American Values Agenda:"

  • The Pledge Protection Act.
  • The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act.
  • The Public Expression of Religion Act.
  • The Marriage Amendment.
  • The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.
  • The Human Cloning Prohibition Act.
  • Reform of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  • A ban on Internet gambling.
  • Permanent tax relief for families.
  • And the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act.
That last one sounds pretty reasonable, but you want to know what it really is? According to the Library of Congress, the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act is a bill that would "amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to prohibit the confiscation of firearms during certain national emergencies."
A cult can be defined as a group of people devoted to beliefs and goals which may be contradictory to those held by the majority of society. Alternately, a cult can be defined as an interest followed with exaggerated zeal.

Either way you define it, it's clear that the Republican formula for success has devolved into appealing to a small cult of very dedicated followers. If those followers come out and vote in great enough numbers, it can be enough to sway an election.


Supreme Court: Bush overstepped bounds on Guantánamo

Tim Grieve:

The Supreme Court just ruled 5-3 that George W. Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military trials for detainees at Guantánamo Bay -- and that procedures the Bush administration had intended to use violate both U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions. While the court said that the Bush administration may hold detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan "for the duration of active hostilities," it said that the president must "comply with the rule of law" if he wishes to have Hamdan or other detainees tried and subjected to criminal punishment.

Justice Anthony Kennedy joined John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and David Souter in the majority. Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. Chief Justice John G. Roberts did not participate in the decision.

People for the American Way, which filed an amicus brief in the case, is already hailing the decision as a "major defeat" for the Bush administration and a "victory for the rule of law." The White House had no immediate comment.

Continue reading "Supreme Court: Bush overstepped bounds on Guantánamo" »

When Bush taunts, don't defend: Attack him back HARD

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)


President Bush attacked congressional Democrats and the news media at a Republican fundraiser Wednesday night, accusing the opposition of "waving the white flag of surrender" in Iraq...
Ignore the taunts -- don't bother responding to this. And, for sure, don't repeat the words "white flag of surrender."

Instead, relentlessly repeat the Republicans' dismal record of performance and call for a change in direction:

Under the Republican war plan, we have seen over $300 billion wasted, over 20 thousand American casualties lost and still there is no end in sight.
You can extend this approach to every district where there is a Republican incumbent:

Bush = bad
Republican candidate = Bush
Republican candidate = bad.

Remember: do NOT respond to the taunts -- go on the attack and never let up.

So if you still think Iraq is going well, vote for the Republicans because they'll give you more of the same.

But if you've had enough, if you want a change in direction, vote for the Democrats.

Attack, attack, attack. Never let up.

June 26, 2006

Why amnesty for Iraqi insurgents is a deal-breaker

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

First of all, let's look at some Civil War history:

During the American Civil War, political prisoners and prisoners of war were often released upon taking an "oath of allegiance". Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction featured an oath to "faithfully support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder" as a condition for a Presidential pardon. During Reconstruction, retroactive loyalty oaths were required, so that no one could hold federal office who hadn't been loyal in the past.
Is this the basis for any kind of amnesty for Iraqi insurgents who have killed American military? No. And here's why:
  1. Lincoln's Proclamation was issued by (wait for it) Lincoln. In order for Iraqi amnesty to work the same way, Bush would have to grant it. Not Republican Senator Cornyn, not Republican Senator Alexander, not Republican Senator McConnell, not Republican Senator Chambliss, not Republican Senator Stevens. Amnesty would have to be granted by Republican President Bush.
  2. Lincoln's olive branch was granted to the side that was soundly defeated in the war. Needless to say, nothing of that sort has happened yet in Iraq.
  3. The fundamental issues of the Civil War -- slavery and states' rights -- had been resolved. Lincoln was inviting the defeated side to rejoin the Union. In Iraq the Sunni, Shia and Kurds are still at each other's throats. What issues have been resolved by this war?
  4. Lincoln himself said this at Gettysburg:
    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    It is now painfully obvious that Iraq will be a theocracy, with the mullahs on the Supreme Court, sitting in final judgement of the Iraqi Constitution. That is not "government of the people, by the people, for the people." It's bad enough that our fighting forces died for that -- now we have to stand by while the insurgents are granted amnesty as well? No way.
The Maliki plan offers a timetable and benchmarks for the withdrawal of American troops. That's good. If amnesty is taken off the table, I could get behind the rest of the plan.

But amnesty is a deal-breaker.

June 21, 2006

Suskind: CIA knew "Osama backed Bush re-election"

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

From Ron Suskind's book, The One-Percent Doctrine:

What the CIA had learned over nearly a decade is that bin Laden speaks only for strategic reasons -- and those reasons are debated with often startling depths inside the organization's leadership...Today's conclusion [on the Friday before the 2004 election]: bin Laden's message was clearly designed to assist the President's election.
You can view the video of Suskind's interview on Blitzer's show. There's lots of other good stuff in it.

Now Suskind's book has generated a lot of buzz, most of which centered around the tale of the aborted attempt to gas the NYC subways in 2003.

But this revelation has received next to no notice, even at Daily Kos. Granted, a lot of us have have long since intuited what Suskind is only now writing about. But still...

Let's be blunt: Osama has always known that George W. Bush is good for business.

Think about it: during the Bush years, the world army of terrorists has grown enormously. Not only that -- they are significantly more inspired to commit mayhem against the US and her allies.

But perhaps most frighteningly is this realization: if your goal is destroy what the US stands for, you have no greater ally than this President.

After all, Bush has wrecked the one thing that is the very foundation of our success: the US Constitution.

Without it, we are nothing. And Osama knows that.

June 12, 2006

Get ready: ACLU v. NSA, round one

Great overview of the ACLU challenge that begins on Monday in Detroit.

June 10, 2006

Bush avoided attacking Zarqawi; felt it would undercut case for war

Something just dawned on me.

You know how I always say don't watch what they say, watch what they do? There's another thing.

Watch who they are -- because character counts.

MSNBC from April 2004:

Three times the the Pentagon drew up an attack plan [to Zarqawi], and three times, the National Security Council killed it.

Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi's operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.

Yeah, I can hear the loyalists: don't look back, don't play the blame game, look to the future.

That's valid. But you know what? Character counts too. And if this is the kind of character Bush has...

People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president's policy of pre-emption against terrorists.
...then, no matter what Bush says, we can expect him to do more of the same in the future.

Because character counts.

P.S. I'm telling you: if I'm a Democratic candidate for Congress, the formula is simple. Bush = bad, Republican candidate = Bush, Republican candidate = bad.

P.P.S. More about Bush's refusal to pull the trigger on Zarqawi.

June 08, 2006

Khomeni's grandson calls on Bush to occupy Iran


Every picture tells a story, eh?

George Bush Sr. asked retired general to replace Rumsfeld

Sidney Blumenthal has the story, without mentioning any names.

P.S. Last week, Peter Beinart suggested in an interview that Bush 43 should fire Rumsfeld and bring in Brent Scowcroft. I wonder if he was tapped into the same story as Blumenthal.

May 24, 2006

The Bravest President?

Michael Novak makes the case that Dear Leader is, well...let him tell it:

...after Washington and Lincoln, Bush is the bravest of our presidents.
But wait...

Continue reading "The Bravest President?" »

Greenwald: “...the role of the judiciary and the Congress in our system of government has never been smaller...”

Glenn Greenwald:

Increasingly, there is simply no role for courts to review the President's actions, nor for citizens to challenge the legality and constitutionality of those actions...[For example] Henry Lanman details in Slate today:
Never heard of the "state secrets" privilege? You're not alone. But the Bush administration sure has. Before Sept. 11, this obscure privilege was invoked only rarely. Since then, the administration has dramatically increased its use. According to the Washington Post, the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press reported that while the government asserted the privilege approximately 55 times in total between 1954 (the privilege was first recognized in 1953) and 2001, it's asserted it 23 times in the four years after Sept. 11. For an administration as obsessed with secrecy as this one is, the privilege is simply proving to be too powerful a tool to pass up.
The Bush administration has now invoked this doctrine in virtually every pending legal proceeding devoted to challenging the legality of the warrantless NSA eavesdropping program - all but assuring, yet again, that no court can rule on the legality of that program.
George W. Bush started a war that apparently will have permanent duration. And by invoking "war powers" during that war, George W. Bush has accumulated something the founders worked hard to prevent: maximum power in the hands of one individual.

The only way to stop him is for the other two branches to assert their constitutional checks and balances against the Executive branch.

And it would help if the traditional media would investigate and report honestly and freely about what is happening in our government.

May 23, 2006

Here's what you can expect from the Republicans in the fall

Karl Rove's strategy has always been to spot a weakness in his own candidate and then accuse his opponent of that same weakness -- first. Once he's "exposed" that weakness, he hammers the opponent relentlessly.

This time around, we know that Rove himself has been suspected of (if not indicted for) lying about his role in outing Valerie Plame. So...

...look for Rove to accuse his opponent(s) of endangering national security by leaking classified information about warrantless wiretaps and CIA prisons in Europe.

Mark my words -- the formula is simple and it goes like this: leakers are bad. Democrats love leakers. Therefore, Democrats are bad.

Never mind that the "enemy leakers" were reporting on government misconduct and illegal behavior -- that's nuance and this White House, baby, doesn't do nuance.

Hope the Dems are ready.

May 22, 2006

George W. Bush and his war against a free press


Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security.
Glenn Greenwald:
If the President has the power to keep secret any information he wants simply by classifying it -- including information regarding illegal or otherwise improper actions he has taken -- then the President, by definition, has complete control over the flow of information which Americans receive about their Government.
Thomas Jefferson:
"If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the latter."
Greenwald again:
Virtually every issue of political controversy during the Bush administration has been the result of the disclosure to a journalist by a concerned Government source that the administration is engaging in illegal, improper and/or highly controversial conduct.

May 19, 2006

David Frum: Guard proposal is “spectacular, expensive, unsustainable, ineffective”


[Bush's] plan won't work, and it is not seriously meant to work. It's supposed to look dramatic and buy the president some respite from negative polls - and then it is supposed to fail, strengthening the administration's case for its truly preferred approach: amnesty + guestworkers.
I'd agree except I'd take it even further: this plan fits the profile of most of Bush's presidency -- do such a bad job of governing so as to prove that government itself is bad.

May 18, 2006

Bush's bounce-back in the polls

Look for Bush to bounce back up in the polls right about now.

  • The immigration thing will cut in his favor -- the most motivated voters are the ones who want stuff like that fence.

  • Remembering that it's 70% how you look, 20% how you sound and 10% what you say, he'll look good flying down to Arizona wearing jeans and a work shirt.

  • Signing a tax cut (any tax cut) is always good news for Republicans.

  • Iraq has disappeared from the news, having been replaced by the Duke rape scandal and the latest results from American Idol.

  • Gen. Hayden will be approved as DCI and the NSA scandal (already receding) will quiet down a result.

  • Lastly, you didn't really believe Bush's numbers could go any lower now, did you? UPDATE: Well, maybe they could...

May 17, 2006

Sick Of It?

by Mark Adams

What has eaten away most at the support for this administration, I believe, has been the fact that time and time again, it has put politics and ideology ahead of the interests of the United States, and I think a lot of people are just sick of it. I know I sure am.

Ya don't say?

History will make the final judgment on Jorge "W." Arbusto's performance as our president, and it won't matter because we'll all be dead.  That begs the question, of course, what exactly does matter?

Naturally, what matters is what we decide now, and the history writers will take their cue from us.  I'm usually not impressed with "Flat-Earther" Friedman, but this time he articulates plainly that the verdict is in on the Bush Administration.

Trying to take the pulse of the nation, Friedman doesn't have to go as far as his colleague Frank Rich, who (quite accurately, yet not as politely) judges the the sycophants who lied us into war and are now trying to cover their tracks to be traitors.

Friedman simply states:  We're done with this guy.  Sick of the crap.  Next...!

We, the People of the United States, after methodically waiting to pronounce final judgment, bearing with the steep learning curve such an inexperienced "regular guy" would naturally face entering the Oval Office, supporting the leadership in time of crisis and war, and giving the man himself if not his entire administration the benefit of the doubt, have made our decision.

George Bush will never regain the trust and confidence of the American public. His popularity may continue it's inexorable slide to the record depths of Nixonian irrelevancy, or may hover between a quarter to a third of the remaining sympathizers who can't bring themselves to kick the man while he's down -- yet when pressed will make a point to express their independence from the radical rightist agenda he and his cabal have hoisted upon the world.  However, he will never, ever regain anything close to popular support for anything he attempts.

The curtain has been drawn back, the audience knows the secrets to the magician's tricks. In this life, and the next, we know our President is a utter failure.

May 16, 2006

Recall President Bush?

Kevin Phillips:

Which bring me to the remedy sought a few years back when Californians got tired of their governor, Gray Davis. Under state law, they were able to mount a recall effort that took away his job.

To set up a simular federal mechanism, a constitutional amendment would seem necessary, and that could not happen overnight. Still, with impeachment losing credibility as a constitutional remedy, the possibility of having an "incompetent" president with a 35% job approval rating in office for almost three more years represents enough of a threat to an unhappy and beleaguered United States that a wide-ranging debate is in order.

May 15, 2006

Bush hoping, tonight, to pacify his base

Bush addresses the nation tonight on the need for sending the National Guard to stop illegal aliens from entering the US.

Glenn Greenwald:

This is a major, major political problem for the White House. The measures which Bush's base demands, the ones necessary to really satisfy them -- a huge wall and active deportation -- are far too extreme for Bush to embrace. And yet they aren't going to be satisfied without extreme measures.

The media loves to talk about how Democrats are being harmed because "the Left" of the party is dragging it towards policies which are too extreme, but the reality is that dynamic is taking place within, and is threatening to drown, the Republican Party.

Bush has very few supporters left. The few he has left are demanding that he adopt immigration positions which he clearly opposes and which would alienate most people in the country. And he is far too weak to satisfy them with symbolic measures.

They are actually debating his impeachment over this issue. What is a 29% President to do?

May 13, 2006


by Mark Adams


Huge breaking news from Jason Leopold just now at Truthout -- Karl Rove has been indicted.

Read more on (I assume) Jeralyn's "non-conversation" with Rove's lawyer, Luskin, as well as an exhibit that Prosecutor Fitzgerald filed that includes VP Dick Cheney's handwritten notes -- written right on a copy Ambassador Wilson's NY Times OpEd of July 6, 2003.
Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?
Bush is about to have a lobotomy. 

Monday is going to be epic.  Congress will be holding hearings in the latest NSA domestic spying revelation, Rove's indictment will be read, and Tony Snow takes to the podium for the first time.

Oh yeah, and His Prez-Nit-Witness will be on "Teh TeeVee" in prime time.  Does it really get any better than this?
As TruthOut reported Friday evening, Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him, according to sources.
The next question is whether Rove and Libby rat out Cheney, who btw, left his  gunpowder stained fingerprints all over the NSA marching orders to spy on Americans.

May 12, 2006

29 percent

Bush Finger.jpgIt was just Wednesday that I was wondering when Bush would dip into to the 20's. Harris Interactive has the results.

P.S. What's the scoop on Cheney -- is he in the single digits yet? And do you think the pollsters will go all "NBA" on him and measure his ratings in tenths of a point?

May 11, 2006

Talk of impeachment is way out of line -- but not for the reason you think

LaShawn Barber was attempting to draft hypothetical Articles of Impeachment against Bush. Predictably, people in her audience popped a collective blood vessel.

Rosemary wants to help and has asked her audience to pitch in.

As for me, I think talk of impeachment is (to say the least) premature. Not only that: this kind of talk only serves to rile up the Republican base (as evidenced by LBC's audience going off the deep end). Rove and Mehlman are behind it. From their perspective, what's not to like? It is a proven money-maker for the party. Money follows fear.

But I digress.

It's premature to talk about articles of impeachment because we haven't even seen a proper investigation of the Executive branch yet. And apparently we never will as long as the rubber stamp Republican Congress is in the majority.

So cool your jets, people -- Republican and Democrat alike.

P.S. "Investigation" is not the same thing as "impeachment," nor is it the same as "conviction." All of you who are outraged that we might even consider "investigating" the president during wartime are waaaaaaaaaay out of line. You should be aware that It is well within Congress' constitutional authority to engage in oversight and that includes investigating the executive branch.

C'mon -- wouldn't you like to know what happened to all those missing billions of dollars in Iraq?

May 08, 2006

The “I” and the “O” words


The same Republicans who probably have a dog-eared copy of the Starr report on their bookshelves now react to the word "impeachment" like vampires stepping out into the midday sun. The Republican National Committee has been whipping up fear among its base (and consequently raising money) by claiming that if Democrats are elected, they will...gasp!....impeach George W. Bush.
Shorthand for this is the invocation of John Conyers' name. Conyers, the second-longest serving member of the House, will become the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. And, as we know, Conyers wants an investigation into whether or not impeachment might be warranted.

For this shocking breach of protocol, Conyers has been called on the carpet by the likes of Tim Russert.

Conyers responds:

Perhaps Mr. Russert has forgotten, but I have been a Chairman before. For five years, from 1989 to 1994, I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, now called the Government Reform Committee. I have a record of trying to expose government waste, fraud and abuse.

That was back when Congress did something called "oversight." You know, in our tri-partite system of government, when Congress actually acted like a co-equal branch. The Republican Congress decided to be a rubber stamp for President Bush instead.

Perhaps, if we had a little oversight, we wouldn't be mired in a war based on false pretenses in which we have lost thousands of our brave men and women in uniform and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Perhaps we would not have had an energy policy drawn up in secret with oil company executives that has led to gas prices of more than three dollars per gallon.

Perhaps, if we had a little oversight, we wouldn't have a prescription drug plan written by the pharmaceutical companies, that prohibits the government from negotiating for lower prices with the same drug companies, and that no one really understands.

Perhaps, if we had a little oversight, we would know the extent to which our own government is spying on our phone calls, emails and other communications, contrary to the law of the land.

Impeachment is one of the checks that is given to the House in the Constitution. It is a pretty drastic one. Other checks include:
  1. Sidetracking the President's agenda
  2. Controlling the purse-strings
  3. Conducting oversight hearings
  4. Impeaching the President
None of that can happen with the current rubber-stamp Republican Congress in place.

So it's clear: if you like the way things are going, vote for the Republican candidate for Congress. But if you think things must change, then vote for the Democratic candidate.

Does that mean impeachment? No. The Democrats will have their hands full taking care of pressing issues like lobbying reform, health care reform, a minimum wage increase, and pay as you go budgeting.

Of course, come to think of it, the Republicans don't want any of THAT either.

May 05, 2006

Bush at 2004 Correspondents' Assoc. Dinner

For those of you who think Stephen Colbert was rude and unfunny at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Assoc. Dinner last weekend, watch the video of Bush's appearance there in 2004. He was really funny -- in fact, he killed 'em!

"Those weapons of mass destruction have gotta be somewhere."

May 04, 2006

Andrew Sullivan: $4 a gallon gas proves the war was not about oil

The mast-head on Andrew Sullivan's blog quotes George Orwell: "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

Well, he's struggling with the obvious all right -- and losing:

One thing that today's high gas prices strongly suggest is that, whatever else it was, the Iraq war was surely not about oil. If you care about cheap oil above everything else, you'd have found some deal with Saddam, kept the oil fields pumping, and maintained the same realist policy toward Arab and Muslim autocracies we had for decades.
Here's Cunning Realist:
This is like a lawyer arguing that because his client used the wrong combination on a safe, surely he didn't mean to steal anything.


[A]scribing competence and intellectual rigor to the Bush administration---the assumption that it thought the war though carefully beforehand, weighing the risks and possible consequences, instead of using its patented faith-based approach. Based on what we know now about the prewar planning, and in light of Katrina, Miers, Kerik, Plamegate and everything else, exactly how is that assumption justified?

A couple of years ago, Sullivan's train of thought might have carried the day. But not any more. It's like Bush said:
"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

Nice try, First Lady.

JR Hand:

Just now in an interview with CNN's John King, First Lady Laura Bush answered a question about her husband's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech of May 1, 2003, by saying that (paraphrasing) "the fact is that the mission had been accomplished for those aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Their job was complete, and they were coming home."
So with that in mind, JR Hand re-writes Bush's famous "Mission Accomplished" speech:
["Newly understood" text in italics, Exclusivity-inferring emphasis added in bold to pre-existing text.]

"Thank you. Thank you all on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln very much.

Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, major combat operations in Iraq have ended for you only. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed, if we assume that everyone in the United States and all of our allies are on board this vessel right now, as I say these words.

And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country. THEY still have shit to do. But you're done.

In this battle, we who are present here right now have fought for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world outside the confines of this ship. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment, at least your part of it, which as I said, is now completed, yet it is you, the members of the United States military on this boat, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln made this day possible.

Because of you, and you only, our nation is more secure. Because of exclusively you the tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free.

Read the whole thing.

A rock-and-roll Public Service Announcement for perilous times

The Unclassified Media Project publishes meaningful messages in various media including audio, video, and print.

[Note: Click the play button, then click the Pause button and wait a minute or two for the entire video to load -- then click Play again. It's a pretty big file and might not stream from the get-go.]

May 02, 2006

“...when I go off on the liberals my readership numbers explode.”

Our favorite Bush Republican apologist reminds us of something we all knew to be true: that when the facts are against your side and the law is against your side and the polls are against your side, when your side's gang of true believers is dwindling fast, then you have to rile up your side by launching a stale attack on "chicken liberals." You know -- femininazis, wetback-sympathizers, queers, queer-lovers, married queers, married queers adopting children, Jane-Fonda-loving-cheese-eating-white-wine-swilling-NASCAR-hating-liberals-from-Massachusetts -- whatever it takes. My god! The next election is Armageddon and you need all the Christian soldiers you can muster.

And if the irony is too much -- that you're apparently wasting that astronomical IQ that God gave you -- blast 'em all for being jealous of your good looks.

In short, become the sort of Republican caricature that Stephen Colbert loves to mock:

Anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist for constantly telling us what is or isn't true, what did or didn't happen...

I don't trust books. They're all fact and no heart. And that's exactly what's pulling our country apart today. Because face it, folks, we are a divided nation... We are divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.

...[For example, take] Iraq... If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing...right here in the gut? Because that's where the truth comes from, ladies and gentlemen...the gut.

Did you know that you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your head? Look it up. Now, somebody's gonna say `I did look that up and its wrong'. Well, Mister, that's because you looked it up in a book. Next time, try looking it up in your gut. I did. And my gut tells me that's how our nervous system works.

May 01, 2006

Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Assoc. Dinner (at C-Span's request) has taken down the videos linked below. But Crooks and Liars still has their link up.

C-Span also has the show on their site. Google Video also has it.

1. Click the "play" button to view the first part of Colbert's presentation:

"Democracy is our greatest export. At least until China finds a way to stamp it out of plastic for 3 cents a unit."

2. Here's the second part of Colbert's presentation:

"This President has a very forward thinking energy policy. Why do think this President is down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He's trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite-powered car."
3. Here's the third and final part of Colbert's presentation:
(Colbert as WH Press Secretary): "I have a brief statement. The press is destroying America."

Monday Morning: Odds 'n' Sods

The Decider blames the Generals
Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recounts that he counseled Bush, the Commander in Chief, to send more troops to Iraq. We know the result. Condi Rice, the current Secretary of State, explains it away with this comment:

"When it came down to it, the president listens to his military advisers who were to execute the plan."
Why does Condi hate the military?

Iran: Double or nothing
Josh Marshall:

The only crisis with Iran is the crisis with the president's public approval ratings. Period. End of story. The Iranians are years, probably as long as a decade away, and possibly even longer from creating even a limited yield nuclear weapon. Ergo, the only reason to ramp up a confrontation now is to help the president's poll numbers....It turns on how far a desperate president will go to avoid losing control of Congress.
Lawbreaker in Chief
Boston Globe:
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution....

Bush has cast a cloud over ''the whole idea that there is a rule of law," because no one can be certain of which laws Bush thinks are valid and which he thinks he can ignore...

[H]e also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional...

Most people think this is normal behavior for the Chief Executive. It is not. The framers would be appalled. Fact is, the only way for things to go back into balance is for the Legislative branch to re-assert its Constitutional powers by exercising any or all of its proper authority:
  1. Sidetrack his agenda
  2. Cut off his funding
  3. Conduct proper oversight of his actions
  4. Impeach and and convict.
None of this will happen until the rubber-stamp Republican majority is overturned at the ballot box. In short -- if you're happy with the way things are, vote for the Republicans. If you believe things have got to change, vote for the Democrats.

May 1, 2003: “Mission Accomplished”


(HT to John)

April 30, 2006

National Anthem: English Only, Please

So Bush thinks you should only sing the national anthem in English.

Would he also object to reading the Declaration of Independence in Spanish?

April 28, 2006

Colbert scorches Kristol into speechlessness


Click the image to watch the video.

Here's the transcript, but honestly, it doesn't do it justice. You have to see Kristol go beet red and stammer after Colbert opens up on him. Colbert is on fire!

Anatomy of the “thought” process of Bush defenders

Have you ever noticed how it is that the very people who tell you that God is the grantor or our rights, those very people tell you its OK for Bush to suspend them?

This is typical of the thought processes of Bush apologists.

Glenn Greenwald:

As much as anything else, Bush defenders are characterized by an increasingly absolutist refusal to recognize any facts which conflict with their political desires, and conversely, by a borderline-religious embrace of any assertions which bolster those desires.

It's a world-view which conflates desire with reality, disregards all facts and evidence that conflict with the decreed beliefs, and faithfully embraces any assertions and fantasies, no matter how baseless and flagrantly false, provided that they bolster the mythology.

Thus, things are going really great in Iraq - just as we predicted they would. When we invaded, Saddam had WMD's and he was funding Al Qaeda. Oil revenues will pay for the whole thing, we will be welcomed as liberators, the whole war will be won quickly and easily. A large military presence is unnecessary because there is no insurgency. Bush is a popular and beloved President. All but a handful of radical fringe subversives in America support the war and believe terrorism is the overarching problem. Americans want to militarily confront Iran, want illegal warrantless eavesdropping, and are happy with how the country is being governed.

Of course, fewer and fewer people even admit to being Bush defenders any more.