Saturday, November 05, 2005

New Smoking Gun Of Pre-War Manipulation?

Let's hope this 'smoking gun' gets more media respect than the Downing Street one.

Smoking Gun on Manipulation of Iraq Intelligence? 'NY Times' Cites New Document

Ever since the Democrats briefly closed the U.S. Senate from view earlier this week, to protest alleged Republican foot-dragging in probing Bush administration pre-war manipulation of intelligence, the press has been asking: So what new evidence do the Democrats have in this matter?

Tomorrow, in its print edition, The New York Times starts to answer the question, with reporter Douglas Jehl disclosing the contents of a newly declassified memo apparently passed to him by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It shows that an al-Qaeda official held by the Americans was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the basis for its claims that Iraq trained al-Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to this Defense Intelligence Agency document from February 2002.

It declared that it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for al-Qaeda's work with illicit weapons, Jehl reports...

al-Libi? Scooter Libby? Coincidence??!... Possibly.

Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings

You can't make this shit up.

In the latest attempt to save face with the American public, President "Restoring Honor and Integrity" Bush has ordered all his staff members to attend mandatory 'refresher courses' on ethical behavior. This will include "refresher lectures on general ethics rules, including the rules of governing the protection of classified information".

That's.... encouraging?

But isn't this just 5 years too late, guys? You see, you fellows were supposed to know this stuff before you came into office. In fact, if you recall, being the ethical administration was Mr. Bush's big selling points in his 2000 campaign! But I suppose you just forgot the rules of ethics (you know- not outing covert agents, stuff like that). It's easy to forget the basics of ethics when you're violating them on a daily basis. So good luck on the refresher courses. I'm sure this was all another genius idea from Karl Rove, who of course should be given a front row seat for the lectures.

Restoring honor and integrity... TAKE TWO!

Washington Post report-
Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings:
White House Counsel to Give 'Refresher' Course

Read also one blogger's take on this.

Where's Dick Cheney? (Pt. II)

Earlier this week, I wondered where the Vice President was.

Surely we would expect the Vice President, as a publically elected official who answers to the American people, to publicly comment on the indictment of his closest advisor? Surely we would expect to actually ever see him? Surely he is allowed out of the bunker here and there.

But fear not, Americans! Mr. Cheney has still been quite busy this week... trying to get the CIA exempt from any anti-torture bans (well, of course, the CIA has all those secret prisons to run and that's no fun without some American-style torture. Geneva What?). So nice of the White House to stick it to our old fuddy duddy traditions of treating prisoners of war with respect.

God bless Mr. Cheney, you truly are a patriot.

Cheney urges exception to torture ban for CIA:
Vice president makes closed-door appeal to GOP senators

Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.

Cheney told his audience the United States doesn’t engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack...

...Arizona Sen. John McCain dissented, officials said.

McCain, who was tortured while held as a prisoner during the Vietnam War, is the chief Senate sponsor of an anti-torture provision that has twice cleared the Senate and triggered veto threats from the White House.

[*bold added by me as a reminder to who has the moral high ground here]

Ethics Watch With Tom Delay

More great news about Republican hero Tom Delay:

Ethics Watch With Tom Delay

Representative Tom DeLay asked the lobbyist Jack Abramoff to raise money for him through a private charity controlled by Mr. Abramoff, an unusual request that led the lobbyist to try to gather at least $150,000 from his Indian tribe clients and their gambling operations, according to newly disclosed e-mail from the lobbyist's files.

The electronic messages from 2002, which refer to "Tom" and "Tom's requests," appear to be the clearest evidence to date of an effort by Mr. DeLay, a Texas Republican, to pressure Mr. Abramoff and his lobbying partners to raise money for him. The e-mail messages do not specify why Mr. DeLay wanted the money, how it was to be used or why he would want money raised through the auspices of a private charity.

And more on Mr. Abramoff's close connections...
E-Mails Show Ex-Interior Official's Links to Lobbyist


Does anyone out there know of any available comatose, braindead women who can be exploited for cheap, crass political gain?? The Republican party needs your help and fast!!! They need such a poor, suffering woman who can help pay dividends for them in next year's elections. If you can help, please call Tom Delay or Dr. Bill Frist at the United States Capitol Building or you can reach them via their lawyers.

For your service to your country, you will be rewarded with one free flight anywhere in the country, courtesy of Fox News.

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science

Hey, someone forward this article to the President.

Have Laura finish reading it to him if he starts to get cranky.

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science

A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason...

Fundamentalists??!! In this country??!! NAH.


Dean: Fitzgerald's after Cheney

Former Nixon counsel (and "Worse Than Watergate" author) John Dean takes a look at the Libby indictment...

A Cheney-Libby Conspiracy, Or Worse? Reading Between the Lines of the Libby Indictment

Good read.

Bill Maher's 5-Day Shitstorm Forecast

More from this week's 'Real Time'...

Weatherman Sonny Daye delivers your DC area shitstorm forecast:

Link to Video (courtesy OneGoodMove)


When listening to Fox News reporters or conservative commentators or writers blow off Bush scandals, I have a question I ask myself- WWHICWP?

What Would Happen If Clinton Was President?

What would happen to Clinton if he sent the country to war based on a rationale that proved to be false? (hint: these quotes would just be the beginning) What would happen to Clinton if it was revealed the CIA was running a secret system of prisons used for torture? And what would happen to Clinton if his administration facilitated the outing of an undercover CIA operative?

Joe Scarborough speculated on that last one on this week's "Real Time w/ Bill Maher".

He hit the nail directly on the head.

Bill Maher: "When I hear these people on the right poo-poo Valerie Plame's role as an American spy, I think that that is an example of Republicans always being loyal to people instead of principles. That the people who wear the flags on their lapels and piss red-white-and-blue would take this woman who was a spy, they'd try to make it sound like she was a housewife... No, she was an American spy and what it takes for someone to do that job, she was undercover for all these years. Her family didn't know who she was, her neighbors didn't know who she was. She had fake business cards, a fake business to go to, to lead this double-life is one of the greatest sacrifices an American can make. And to hear these people, and I don't know what your [Joe Scarborough] take is on this, but to hear these people go after her, the very people who are always the ones who are so on the side of national defense, I think it's just disgusting."

Joe Scarborough: "Ya know, the question is how would Republicans respond, and this is what I've been saying from the very beginning, how would the Republicans have responded had in 1997, James Carville and Al Gore's chief-of-staff outed a CIA agent, covert agent, at a time of war? They would've all been lynched. The fact that they're coming forward and saying, again, Republicans also said 'put us in charge cause you can't trust Democrats with national security'. The fact that you've got Republicans now in charge of national security and they are outing a covert agent at a time of war, it's just inexcusable. And those Republicans that support that, they're the Republicans that, quite frankly, are just interested in power and not interested in the things they said they were going to do when they came to power."

Friday, November 04, 2005

It Speaks!

President Bush speaks on...

...Whether or not Karl Rove will remain at the White House:
"[T]he investigation on Karl as you know is not complete and therefore I will not comment on him and/or the investigation. I understand the anxiety and angst by the press corps to talk about this. On the other hand, It’s a serious investigation, and we take it seriously."

Looks like the threat of Fitzgerald still looms over the White House.

...And on whether or not the recent polls worry him:
"The way you earn credibility with the American people is to set a clear agenda that everybody can understand, an agenda that relates to their lives, and get the job done. And the agenda that I'm working on now is one that is important to the American people."

Unlike all his previous agendas.

By the way- the new agenda? To quote the BeeGees, stayin' alive.

Bleeding Heart Conservatives

Pandemic Flu- Now On The Internets.

The federal government has set up a website to help us prepare for the apocalypse bird flu.

Much like the FEMA/Homeland Security websites (and their section on natural disasters), it contains a lot of great resources, information, and plans that the government has prepared to deal with a developing crisis but will totally ignore and fuck up should an actual crisis occur.

Good stuff.

Sadly, the website doesn't have any updates on how the crisis has helped Rumsfeld's stock portfolio.

Senate Backs Oil Drilling in Alaskan Refuge

The Senate voted this week to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Senate Backs Oil Drilling in Alaskan Refuge

Yes, that should solve all of our problems.

I mean, does anyone really care about Alaska anyway?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fernando Ferrer: He's Running For Mayor, Ya Know

Fernando Ferrer, Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, isn't doing so hot. Mayor Bloomberg has a solid lead in the polls (we're talking like double Ferrer's numbers), but ol' Freddy Ferrer isn't going down without a fight. He came out swinging in some recent debates with the mayor. He's also launched two new ads in the final week, highlighting what I assume he thinks are his strongest points: That 1) he's a minority; and 2) he'll never jerk off the President.

Well, I'm sold.

Ad #1: Al Sharpton dances the salsa

Ad #2: Mike/George: Friends With Benefits?

Brownie, You're Doing A Heck Of Etc...

The fun never ends with Michael Brown. New emails released paint an ever more disturbing picture of the FEMA leadership. And the picture was already fucking scary. Keep in mind as you read these that Mr. Brown is still on the FEMA payroll, being paid by your tax dollars to explain to FEMA the details of how he screwed up, resulting in the loss of countless lives.

Before we begin, let us resist the urge to paint Brown as the scapegoat for the Katrina disaster. He is absolutely the poster boy for the post-Katrina failures and deserves everything the system will throw at him (which will likely not be enough)... But let us not forget who was this guy's boss- George W. Bush.

Yes, it was President Bush (the man whose entire reelection pitch was national security) who appointed Mr. Brown to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency after his failed stint at the Arabian Horse Association. It was President Bush who (still on vacation) failed to properly coordinate a federal response to the Gulf Coast situation. And it was President Bush who (once he got down to the region) told Brownie that he was "doing a heck of a job" and told reporters that "The FEMA Director is... working 24 hours a day". And it was President Bush who refused to fire Brown, leaving him to take the fall and resign in disgrace.

The President is now so bogged down in his other scandals (Libby, Rove, Supreme Court troubles, etc) that people have, for the most part, forgotten how badly he botched the post-Katrina efforts.

On September 13, President Bush took "responsibility" for the Katrina failures. As if it wasn't obvious then, we know now it was a hollow and empty gesture. What does taking responsibility mean for the President? Is merely saying it (which was likely tough for Bush) enough? Or are we crazy to have expected it meant a serious rethinking of the disastrous way that the President has governed since he took office? Turns out we were crazy. The media moved on to other stories. Bush is off the hook.

With that said, here are excerpts from Brown's emails:

-Regarding the emails sent by FEMA official Marty Bahamonde (in which he pleaded for help, stating 'the situation is past critical'), Brown responded only with:
"Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"

"Can I quit now? Can I come home?" (the morning of the hurricane)

"I'm trapped now, please rescue me." (a few days after the storm)

-Emails on August 29 about his fashion:
"If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god"

"Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?"

"I got it at Nordstroms. ... Are you proud of me?"

-In response to an email that available was '42-foot trailer full of beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, etc':
"Can we use these people?"

This is how government operates in George W. Bush's America.

Republicans were right- Government IS the problem, not the solution. 'Can I quit now?' FEMA chief wrote as Katrina raged-
E-mails give insight into Brown's leadership, attitude

Ya Know, G. Gordon Liddy Pleaded Not-Guilty Too

Scooter Libby this morning: "With respect, your honor, I plead not guilty".

Libby Pleads Not Guilty in CIA Leak Case

Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff pleaded not guilty Thursday in the CIA leak scandal, marking the start of what could be a long road to a trial in which Cheney and other top Bush administration officials could be summoned to testify...

Have a fun trial, Scootie!!! :-D

The Politics of Truth

Joseph Wilson was on Keith Olbermann's show recently.

He smacked down the right-wing talking points about him and the CIA leak case: That his wife couldn't be covert if she posed in Vanity Fair, that his Niger report was debunked, and that he claimed the Vice President sent him on the trip. Wilson sets the record straight.


Bottom line: Do you take Wilson's word or the 'honor-and-integrity' Bush White House's?

Yea, that's what I thought.


Speaking of Rosa Parks...

Here's what Condoleeza 'I shopped for shoes while New Orleans drowned' Rice said this weekend:

"I can honestly say that without Mrs. Parks, I probably would not be standing here today as Secretary of State."

But according to what she said exactly one month before that:
Most people who were alive at the time would tell you they had a lot of feelings during the civil rights era. But not Condoleezza Rice.

The secretary of state said she was too young and too busy to feel much of an effect from the massive social changes during the 1960s. Rice said she was only 12 or 13 and that all she did "was play the piano and ice skate."

Rice said because of that, she didn't focus much on what she now calls "the counterculture."

How nice that now Rice has faux Republican respect for the "counterculture" hero.


Honoring Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks's funeral, like her life, was one for the ages...

AP article: Thousands Honor Parks With Songs, Thanks

This site has video clips:
Video clips from Rosa Parks' funeral

C-SPAN's website has the full video.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Democrats Take The Gloves Off

Barbara Boxer was on the Daily Show last night and she discussed Alito, the Democrats shutting down the Senate to have a closed session discussion on the buildup to war in Iraq, and more. OneGoodMove has video of the interview:

Barbara Boxer / Daily Show

CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

The CIA is running a secret network of terror prisons.

Is this really anything new, though? Seems like business as usual at the CIA.

See the Washington Post article the info came from:
CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price

As some of you may heard, there is a new documentary film about Walmart. It is called "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price". It exposes the horrible business practices of the retail giant. Its goal is to 'take you behind the glitz and into the real lives of workers and their families, business owners and their communities, in an extraordinary journey that will challenge the way you think, feel... and shop'.

The film debuted in Manhattan last night. The locally-based NY1 cable news channel did a story this morning on the premiere. The director, Robert Greenwald, spoke about the film. He said there there is a systemic policy of low wages, cheating employees out of overtime pay, poor working conditions, no benefits, and encouraging employees to seek government aid so that taxpayers pay the burden of their healthcare instead of the uber-rich Walmart. Next, NY1 showed a Walmart executive defending (if it could be called that) her company. She said that the film was a work of 'fiction' and said (and read this carefully, folks) that:
"The truth is Walmart does provide jobs. Walmart does provide goods and services that people can afford, the things people need, so they can buy things they want."

Yes, that was her entire defense. No mention of overtime pay, working conditions, healthcare, or the communities that Walmart inhabits and looms over like a dark retail shadow. Her defense was that a) it provides jobs and that b) people like to buy things there. Well ma'am, technically illegal aliens who are hired to mow lawns for $3 an hour have "jobs". So the mere fact that your business employees people is hardly a defense. Until robots can run everything, we all assume you'd have to employ human beings. As for people liking to shop there... well duh. Their prices are low. That's a big benefit of using sweatshop labor and undercutting competitors. And Walmart's customers do appreciate the everyday low prices, because on their salaries, they can't afford to shop elsewhere. They work at Walmart.

Tom Delay Is The Drunk Idiot Who Doesn't Know The Party's Over

Notes to Tom Delay:
1) Dude, you were indicted. TWICE.
2) The Republican party... not doing so hot right now. You're kinda making it worse.
3) You really should get over yourself and disappear. Cheney's doing it!

DeLay Loath to Doff His Leadership Hat-
Active Role Divides House Republicans

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay's efforts to retain power despite his indictment have angered some rank-and-file Republicans, many of whom say his ethical problems and uncertain status are staining them and destabilizing GOP unity.

Although he was forced to relinquish his leadership post Sept. 28, after the first of two indictments for alleged involvement in money laundering related to the 2002 Texas election, DeLay continues to use an office in the leadership suite, occasionally presides over private meetings with committee chairmen and lobbies members during key floor votes...

..."Tom DeLay should not be in a position of authority," said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who called for DeLay's resignation from the House leadership even before he was indicted. "He should not be calling the shots or driving the agenda, and if he is, that would be unfortunate."

Ohh, Representative Shays, you crazy liberal, you.

Where's Dick Cheney?

I guess it's okay for a Vice President to hide and not comment when his Chief of Staff is indicted. Yea, that doesn't look bad at all. Who needs a Vice President, anyway? Hope you're keeping that bunker well stocked, Richard. It's gonna be a looonnnggg winter.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How The News Works Now

Democrats Force Senate Into Iraq Meeting

Now THIS is how to be an effective opposition party.

Senate Emerges From Closed Session on Iraq

Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that President Bush used in the run-up to the war in Iraq and accusing Republicans of ignoring the issue.

"They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why," Democratic leader Harry Reid said...

...In mid-afternoon Tuesday, Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. The public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances.

Reid's move shone a spotlight on the continuing controversy over prewar intelligence. Despite administration claims, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and some Democrats have accused the White House of manipulating the information.

Let's hope that this is all going somewhere...

Libby knew Plame was covert?

Time reporter Matt Cooper confirms that it was Karl Rove who told him about Valerie Plame. He also stated yesterday in an interview with "Good Morning America", that in a later conversation with Scooter Libby, ol' Scooty told him that Plame was a covert CIA operative. Oooopps.

And the saga continues... [*]

Time Reporter Says He Learned Agent's Identity From Rove-
Matthew Cooper Says I. Lewis Libby Confirmed Information

[*Except for the news media, who have found funner stories to cover]

Milwaukee Paper Apologizes for Accepting 'Cooked' WMD Evidence

A Milwaukee paper has apologized for buying the administration's lies on WMD.

Now that's a step in the right direction.

If only the press had done their job 2.5 years ago.

Milwaukee Paper Apologizes for Accepting 'Cooked' WMD Evidence

The most important newspaper in its region finally apologized to readers for accepting "cooked" evidence about WMD in Iraq that helped lead to war in 2003. No, it was not The New York Times.

In a column on Sunday, O. Ricardo Pimentel, editorial page editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote that, “Yes, regrettably on the matter of WMD, count us as among the many who were duped. We should have been more skeptical. For that lack of skepticism and the failure to include the proper caveats to the WMD claim, we apologize, though I would note that, ultimately, we didn't believe that the president's central WMD argument warranted war. Not then and especially not now.”...

Scalito's Freudian Slip

Huffington Post blogger Steve Cobble posts on the irony of nominating a 'strict constructionist' like Samuel Alito on the same day that we are honoring civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

Scalito's Freudian Slip

Frist & Alito made a Freudian slip today. They went by to view Rosa Parks' body as it lay in state at the Capitol, a day after Bush did the same...

...Bush, Rove, Frist, DeLay, the Rehnquist/Roberts Court -- none of them would be where they are except for the switch of White Southerners to the Republican Party, in the wake of civil rights.

But for today, focus on the Freudian slip. By recognizing the power and dignity of Rosa Parks and her movement, Bush & Frist & Alito put the lie to their whole "strict constructionist" rap. Why?...

...The U.S. Constitution and the strict constructionists gave us Plessy v. Ferguson, and "separate but equal." It was the Warren Court, those justices who believed in justice over ideology, who believed in a living Constitution rather than a false "strict construction" -- these so-called "activist judges" broke the back of segregation with Brown v. Board of Education. Dr. King, Rosa Parks, SCLC & SNCC built from there, and changed the world...

And if anyone doubts that cases like Brown v. Board of Education are looked back on as out-of-control activism, well you should talk to Lou Dobbs on CNN. Last month, after Rehnquist died, Dobbs and a legal expert discussed how before Rehnquist came and cleaned up the Court, it was a "tool" of "liberal activism". The two pre-Rehnquist cases the CNN analyst used as examples of out-of-control liberal activism were: 1) Miranda v. Arizona and 2) Brown v. Board of Education.

Yes, this is where our country is now. And you thought Halloween was yesterday.

Monday, October 31, 2005


"A new poll shows that 66% of Americans think that President Bush is doing a poor job of handling the war in Iraq. And the remaining 34% think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church."
-Tina Fey on 'Weekend Update' (Oct. 29, 2005)

Alito = Sloppy Seconds?

From today's White House press 'gaggle':

Q: "So, Scott, you said that -- or the President said, repeatedly, that Harriet Miers was the best person for the job. So does that mean that Alito is sloppy seconds, or what?"

McClellan: "Not at all, John."

Now that's how to frame a question.

Cheney Names Two to Fill Libby's Positions

As expected, Vice President has replaced Libby with his counsel, David Addington. He also gave Libby's national security advisor position to the former deputy of that position, John Hannah. Both are involved in the Plame debacle. Moving forward by going around in circles.

Cheney Names Two to Fill Libby's Positions

Vice President Dick Cheney, moving swiftly to replace an indicted aide, on Monday named attorney David Addington as his chief of staff and John Hannah as his national security adviser.

Both positions had been filled by I. Lewis Libby, who resigned Friday when he was indicted on perjury and other charges in a 22-month investigation of the unmasking of an undercover CIA officer...

It's Evolution, Baby.

To the over 3/4ths of Americans who (apparently) don't believe in evolution:

Even crazy conservative State of the Union thinks you're insane!

I weep for the future.

[Click thumbnail for larger image]

Report: Iraq reconstruction “insufficient in both scope and implementation”

Following up on that post from Andrew on the civilian deaths...

A new government report rips apart the Iraq reconstruction plans:

US ‘had no policy’ in place to rebuild Iraq

The US government had “no comprehensive policy or regulatory guidelines” in place for staffing the management of postwar Iraq, according to the top government watchdog overseeing the country’s reconstruction.

The lack of planning had plagued reconstruction since the US-led invasion, and been exacerbated by a “general lack of co-ordination” between US government agencies charged with the rebuilding of Iraq, said Stuart Bowen, the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, in a report released on Sunday.

His 110-page quarterly report, delivered to Congress at the weekend, has underscored how a “reconstruction gap” is emerging that threatens to leave many projects planned by the US on the drawing board...

Something else to think about.

One 9/11 A Week.

Andrew Sullivan on the Iraqi civilian deaths:

CIVILIANS IN IRAQ: We now have the U.S. military's own data. I don't think we'll ever reach consensus on the actual numbers, but every measure agrees on the trend. What is beyond dispute is that the insurgency is now stronger today than it has ever been - if measured by its ability to launch attacks and kill civilians and Iraqi security forces. Money quote:

Iraqi civilians and security forces were killed and wounded by insurgents at a rate of about 26 a day early in 2004, and at a rate of about 40 a day later that year. The rate increased in 2005 to about 51 a day, and by the end of August had jumped to about 63 a day.

It's easy to dismiss these numbers from a distance, or to say they are a function of the insurgents' failure to kill U.S. troops. You could even argue that this kind of widespread slaughter will help undermine the insurgency - as it murders more and more Muslims, and reveals the nihilism of the enemy. You could argue that the critical indicator is whether the political process is continuing and if the infrastructure can be better protected and rebuilt. At least, those are the more plausible arguments I'm hearing these days, as evidence of progress in Iraq. They're not insane arguments. But imagine if the United States endured such a terrorist casualty rate. If you callibrate for population, imagine an America where 700 civilians or cops are murdered each day by insurgents able to operate at will. One 9/11 a week. And each week, the number grows. How likely is it that a successful transition to constitutional government can be maintained in such a climate?

Something to think about.

Analyzing Alito

The blogs take a look at Samuel Alito...

President names Alito

Think Progress:
Samuel Alito’s America

Here we go again...

President Bush has nominated longtime judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court.

Congratulations Republicans, you picked a fight with Bush and got your ideologue.

Now here's where it gets fun. Certainly Alito is immensely more qualified for the Court than Harriet Miers was (and I don't believe he's ever written any love letters to the President either). However, he is known as a very conservative judge, similar in mold to Antonin Scalia. This is, of course, right up the conservatives' alley, as they will embrace a far-right judge (separation of church and state? women's rights? LAME!) under the transparent guise of 'strict constructionism'. This nomination was completely for the far-right faction of Bush's base, something to make them happy and buy their forgiveness for Miers and his current messes (Libby, etc... not that it bothers them anyway). Certainly he will need the support of his base in the rough days ahead and he would do anything to pacify them. This will likely do the trick.

Of course, given Alito's views, it is likely that many Democrats will oppose him. His nomination process will be a tough one, as the Democrats try to find out what kind of judge Alito is. As Harry Reid said this morning, "The Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people". This is the fun part. This is the part where the hypocrisy of Republicans (recently seen in their 'perjury technicality' ploys with the Plame investigation) will come into play. If the Democrats do openly oppose this nomination (and I believe they should), the Republicans will once again, without even noting the irony, cry out in anger and blast the "obstructionist" tactics of Democrats... ignoring, of course, the way Republicans torpedoed the Miers nomination like a well-oiled attack machine. For the last few weeks, you couldn't open a newspaper without seeing an editorial piece by a conservative columnist demanding the immediate withdrawal of Miers' nomination. And the Republicans were absolutely right to oppose her nomination, though for the wrong reason (their real reason was fear of another 'liberal' like O'Connor, rather than caring about the cronyism and not being qualified). I will certainly not be forgetting the anti-Miers brigade (Kristol, etc- I'm looking at you guys) when the Democrats begin the process of evaluating Samuel Alito.

This isn't to say that Alito won't be confirmed. I hope he isn't, but he probably will be. But the Democrats will be doing this country a serious disfavor if they don't at least put up a fight. The Republicans did with Miers. And look how well that turned out for them.

The AP article:
Bush Picks Alito for Supreme Court

I end with a quote from former Justice Thurgood Marshall on the danger of strict constructionism:
“Moral philosophers may debate whether certain inequalities are absolute wrongs, but history makes clear that constitutional principles of equality, like constitutional principles of liberty, property and due process, evolve over time; what once was a ‘natural’ and ‘self-evident’ ordering later comes to be seen as an artificial and invidious constraint on human potential and freedom.”

Bushboard Top 10 Hits

Here this week's GOP Top 10 hits:

Newsmax: Fitzgerald Hates Republicans

The Republican smearing of Fitzgerald has begun.

Nice try, guys. You guys chose him and your precious President has called his investigation "dignified".

Patrick Fitzgerald Indicted 60 Republicans

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is said to be "non-partisan" and "apolitical" - but as U.S. attorney in Chicago, a job he continues to hold as he heads up the Leakgate probe, the targets of his investigations into political corruption have been overwhelmingly Republican...

And do you guys really want to brag that 60 Republicans were indicted?

Ohh Great Pumpkin, Where Are You?!!

In honor of this blog's namesake...

Welcome, Great Pumpkin!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Change? Bush? Better off waiting for Godot.

Politicians from both parties are urging Bush to shake things up in the White House.

President Bush stop being stubborn? If Katrina and Miers didn't do that, nothing will.

Lawmakers From Both Parties Call for White House Shakeup

Senior lawmakers from both major political parties called today for a White House shakeup in the wake of the C.I.A. leak case, and some urged an internal investigation into any involvement by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Democrats called on both President Bush and Mr. Cheney to apologize to the American people for the affair
that led to the indictment on Friday of Mr. Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr. Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, remains under investigation by the special federal prosecutor.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney "should come clean with the American public," the Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said. "The president, I guess, is still being driven by Karl Rove," he said on ABC's "This Week." Later, on CNN, he added, "He should be let go."

Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, a former Senate majority leader, urged Mr. Bush to bring "new blood" into the White House. Asked whether he expected Mr. Bush to forcefully address his problems, Mr. Lott replied: "I think he is a man that knows when there's a time to make moves and take actions. He will do that."

He will? Okay, great Trent, I'll just hold my breath then.

Meet The New Boss. Same As The Old Boss.

David Addington is the Vice President's counsel (read: He's Dick Cheney's Harriet Miers). He is considered to be the top candidate to replace Scooter Libby as Cheney's chief of staff. Don't know anything about him? The National Journal takes a look:

Addington's Role In Cheney's Office Draws Fresh Attention

...When Libby returned to the White House [after speaking with Judith Miller], he immediately sought out David Addington, the vice president's counsel, according to court records and interviews. During their breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel, Libby had promised Miller he would try to find out more about Wilson, and Wilson's wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame. As the former general counsel to the CIA and counsel to the House Intelligence Committee, Addington was the right man for Libby to see.

Libby's and Addington's fates have dramatically changed as a result of the events of that day. Libby, long Cheney's most trusted aide, resigned as the vice president's chief of staff on Friday following his felony indictment on five counts of making false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. A federal grand jury accused Libby of trying to cover up that he had disclosed the identity of Plame, a covert CIA operative, in an effort to discredit Wilson and his criticism of the administration.

Addington is currently considered the leading candidate to succeed Libby as the chief of staff to a weakened but still powerful Cheney. But Addington's own role in the Plame matter is emerging just as the vice president considers whether to name him as his next chief of staff....

Plamegate: Protecting the lies the lead to war

An example article detailing exactly what this scandal is really about...

The war, the lies that began it, and the desperation to hide them.

A Leak, Then a Deluge:
Did a Bush loyalist, trying to protect the case for war in Iraq, obstruct an investigation into who blew the cover of a covert CIA operative?

Americans Pay Tribute to Rosa Parks

Ms. Parks' body is lying in state in the Capital through tomorrow.

The President has also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in her honor.

Americans Pay Tribute to Rosa Parks

President Bush, members of Congress and ordinary Americans paid tribute to Rosa Parks under the soaring dome of the Capitol Rotunda on Sunday, honoring the woman whose defiant act on a city bus challenged segregation in the South and inspired the civil rights movement.

Parks, a former seamstress, became the first woman to lie in honor in the Rotunda, sharing an honor bestowed upon Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and other national leaders. Bush and congressional leaders paused to lay wreaths by her casket, while members of a university choir greeted her with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."...

...Senate chaplain Barry Black, bowing his head in prayer, said Parks' courage "ignited a movement that aroused our national conscience" and served as an example of the "power of fateful, small acts."

Bush, who did not speak during the brief ceremony, issued a proclamation Sunday ordering the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff over all public buildings on Wednesday, the day of Parks' funeral and burial in Detroit...

Sutton Impact

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