Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weekend Video Theatre: The iRack!

Well, this weekend marks the fourth anniversary of our invasion of a certain country in the Middle East. I haven't been following the news much since then, so I'll assume everything went well. On a related note, Mad TV recently did a great sketch (who knew?) imagining said war as an Apple product. Enjoy the product launch.

[Related: Happy Fourth Birthday, Iraq War! (Wonkette)

And a classic Slate piece: Where Have All the Flower Children Gone?-
Why you're not demonstrating against the Iraq war.

John McCain, Condoms, and State Fair Pigs

This is going to be a really long and excruciating campaign season.

[PS- Al, I know you're busy, but please reconsider so I'll have something to look forward to.]

Erin Go Boycott

My Governor and City Council speaker will be boycotting the St. Patrick's Day Parade, because of its ban on allowing gay groups to march in the parade. Said the parade's long-time chairman John Dunleavy last year, "If an Israeli group wants to march in New York, do you allow neo-Nazis into their parade? If African-Americans are marching in Harlem, do they have to let the Ku Klux Klan into their parade?... If we let the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization in, is it the Irish Prostitute Assocation next?". Really fills me with pride.

So good on you, Eliot and Christine. Ideally, this won't be necessary in the near future.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Odds and Ends

It's St. Patrick's Day weekend... go really green!! Meanwhile, here's the news-

The Democrats' Iraq war withdrawal bill gets cockblocked in the Senate again.

Valerie Plame testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, stating "In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified." She discussed the impact of her outing.

Iran gets a lot of new sanctions thrown on it over its nuclear program...

...And it looks like the Sudan is next!

The home mortgage business is a temperamental mistress causing trouble everywhere.

Army Corps of Engineers still working on New Orleans pumps; will get it right this time.

Finally, Howard Dean to the rest of the world: Bush'll be gone soon. Then we can make up.

'Purgegate': What The Fuck Is Happening Now?

I'll give this to the Republicans... they make their scandals and crimes as complicated as possible, so they stay under the radar as long as possible. No simple blowjobs here.

So let's review, shall we?

U.S. Attorneys are appointed by the President, with Senate confirmation, with large turnover at the start of a new President's term. Except something unusual happened last Fall, when President Bush sacked a limited, specific group of U.S. Attorneys near the midterm elections and tried to replace them with political cronies without consulting Congress in any way. The latter was made possible by a provision of the Patriot Act (which wait, I'm sorry, I thought was supposed to be about terrorism?), snuck into that bill's renewal last year by Senator Specter's office. At first, the White House said it was due to poor performance issues (including that they failed to investigate 'voter fraud', a scandalous sideshow in its own right). But all the sacked Attorneys had exemplary records. Soon, information came forward that indicated that they had been purged because they were either going after Republicans too hard or going after Democrats too soft. Reports of intimidation by GOP members of the House and Senate soon followed. White House went into spin mode and blamed bad communication, as calls for Attorney General Gonzales to resign began. Then Gonzales' chief of staff Kyle Sampson resigned, amidst emails revealing that his office had been developing lists of who to purge with key players in the White House, including Karl Rove and Harriet Miers.

New emails further reveal how closely these parties worked together on this.

You know things're bad when even National Review writers won't rush to Alberto's rescue.

In retrospect, I'm willing to bet heavily that this is why Harriet Miers hastily resigned in January. She saw this about to leak out and she got the hell out of Dodge. As for Rove, who even knows why he still works for the White House. His underhanded election-winning services were discredited and unsuccessful last November. He is also the President's domestic policy advisor. But, umm, what domestic policy? Tax cuts? Don't need Rove to sell that. Methinks maybe ol' Leaky McGee also needs to go, at long last.

But he and Harriet might be okay... for now. From the AP-
The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday cleared the way for subpoenas compelling five Justice Department officials and six of the U.S. attorneys they fired to tell the story of the purge that has prompted demands for the ouster of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The voice vote to authorize the panel to issue subpoenas amounts to insurance against the possibility that Gonzales could retract his permission to let the aides testify voluntarily, or impose strict conditions.

The committee also postponed for a week a vote on whether to authorize subpoenas of top aides to President Bush who were involved in the eight firings, including political adviser Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and deputy White House Counsel William K. Kelley...

As for Alberto Gonzales, betting odds says his days are numbered, but we'll see.

What may ultimately due him is that he lied under oath (that's a crime, kiddies) about this matter in recent testimony to the Senate. If enough of the Senate rallies around impeaching him, the White House will definitely cut him loose. Of course, Gonzales has gotten away with lying to the Senate before. The AG perjured himself in 2005 during his confirmation hearing, when asked about warrantless wiretapping. Will he be so lucky again?

Speaking of the wiretapping scandal, Murray Waas asks some interesting questions. I won't wait for answers.

Liberal America?

If polls consistently show that the majority of Americans hold liberal/progressive views on political issues (healthcare, social programs and issues, economy, etc), why is the number of Americans who identify themselves as politically liberal so low?

Kevin Drum explores this topic in Washington Monthly.

Money quote: "What's more, the fact that this supposedly conservative country continues to favor operational liberalism hasn't changed much either. Apparently we just don't like to admit it."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Khalid Sheik Mohammed: Still Terrorist, Still Guilty, Still Evil, But...

In what is no doubt a super big coincidence following the worst back-to-back two weeks of news the Bush administration has dealt with in some time, terrorist bigwig Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (or KSM, as the kids call him)-- basically bin Laden's Vice President-- has confessed (again?) to being the mastermind of the 9/11 plot... and a number of other plots, seemingly everything short of being the Zodiac killer.

What happens from here is anyone's guess.

Of course, it must be noted that KSM's confession came as part of a secret hearing (natch) in Guantanamo Bay, where he was transferred to last Fall after spending years being waterboarded and tortured gently interrogated in the CIA's overseas secret prisons (which were then swept back under the rug). The White House, of course, is a bag of contradictions on this matter, standing by their torture policies, while refusing to admit that the prisoners they tortured were ever tortured at all! What courage! It's a helluva policy, no?

(Think Progress has more on that aspect of the story)

There's no question that this guy is the real deal, but once again the administration has sabotaged what should've been a unifyingly slam-dunk case with their own incompetence and immoral policies. These policies have been undertaken not out of necessity, but out of hubris. And, as President Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said last night on the Daily Show, "The real problem is that we have had a policy lately that has been dividing our friends and uniting our enemies, and should be the other way around."

Furthermore, the torture, the secret prisons, etc... this all makes it easier for anyone to dismiss the veracity of KSM's confession, such as it was, and to dispute the information he provided under these circumstances. Take, for instance, the tale of the so-called 5th Beatle '20th hijacker' Zacarias Moussaoui. During his trial one year ago, Moussaoui 'confessed' that a) there was to be a fifth hijacking on 9/11, and b) failed shoe-bomber Richard Reid was part out of the plot. Except that it didn't take long before we found out (what was obvious at the time) that this was all bullshit. How much of what KSM said is bullshit and how much is true?

But that's the 'war on terror' for you. One step forward, two steps back.

[PS- On a related note, our new Democratic majority continues to give us bold and decisive leadership. From Raw Story: "House Democrats have dropped plans to use the coming Defense Supplemental Appropriations legislation to permanently close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay" (but they promise to come back to it later... maybe). And yes, that was sarcasm before.

UPDATE: As if on cue, new AP headline just in: Officials: Mohammed exaggerated claims]


Back in the olden days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, journalists used to be independent, deep-thinking folk who actively searched out important stories, understand that cynicism was a job requirement, and spent more time doing research than attending cocktail parties. Today, with admittedly a number of notable exceptions, they are incurious spectators who prefer to pass along the news rather than find it for themselves.

There are several reasons for this, as I see them. Firstly, media consolidation and corporatization has turned TV news into more of an entertainment field than a journalistic one (yes, even including our beloved Keith Olbermann, who will be sad to know that he is not Edward R. Murrow).

Secondly, they have became lazy and complacent... unlike the Murrows and Cronkites of yesteryear, the events that shaped their career aren't exactly of the WWII/Cold War/civil rights/Vietnam caliber.

Last, by not least, years of browbeating by the reactionary right amidst cries of "bias!" have left them too frightened and confused to remember what their jobs are/were. As the non-stop scandalmania (real and imagined) of the Clinton years attests, they find it almost fun to go after Democrats, but remain reluctant to take on Republicans unless absolutely necessary (ie. stories like the Abramoff scandal remained low-key and ill-explained until the shit really hit the fan. Stories like Foley and Abu Ghraib only got play because there's a sexy angle there. The Plame scandal affected the media personally, so that was important to them. Don't even get me started on non-story they treated the Downing Street memos as...). The Reagan-era undid many pillars of American political society, and journalism is at the top of that list.

This isn't to say that there's a conservative bias in the media; that's just an absurd idea as the right-wing 'liberal media' obsession. I have no doubt that a majority of the people who work in the news business are liberal people in their personal political views. I think that has to due more with the nature of the news business than with the desire of anyone in it to bring any agenda to it. The right-wing worldview/mindset regards the media as suspicious and treasonous in nature, so conservatives are unlikely to seek out a career in news journalism (a career also requiring a healthy skepticism of American government, which conservatives also lack... except toward Democrats). Yet, despite this, the actual application of journalism has grown steadily more conservative over the years, for the reasons stated above.

I was thinking about this today, as I came across this post by Digby, in which he writes about how Time magazine's Jay Carney gives credit to Josh Marshall (who runs Talking Point Memo) for doing the dirty work on the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, when most major news outlets originally ignored it. Digby notes that Carney said one reason he originally dismissed the story is that it wasn't creating much noise yet in Washington. He then notes that what Carney's statement so alarming is that journalists shouldn't decide what's newsworthy based on who's yelling the loudest about what, but based on the merits and importance of the actual story itself, which is it their job to be looking into. The Republican noise machine can outscream the barely-existent Democratic one every time, which he remarks is one other likely reason so many silly Democratic scandal get play. Digby states-
It comes at least partially from the fact that journalists think that by simply telling the public what the politicians are saying (much of it on double super-secret backround) they are doing their jobs. They allow both sides to play out their political games in the mainstream media and then provide running color commentary on who's "winning." In their minds, if the Democrats aren't as good at stoking scandals or creating an atmosphere of political terrorism, then it's not their job to uncover what the Republicans are doing. Democrats need to "play better" if they want to "win." (You often see a kind of admiration for the bold machismo of the Republican character assassins in the press -- they are winners.)

Bingo; I think he's nailed it.

And as if desperate to prove Digby's point, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza confirms the statement made recently by the political director of ABC News and the national politics editor of the Washington Post that "Matt Drudge rules our world". Cillizza lovingly boosts Drudge's ego by stating-
Major media outlets -- especially television networks -- use Drudge as a launching pad for their coverage, a fact that any first-tier presidential campaign is well aware of. Therefore, if a rival campaign (perish the thought!) wanted to step on Giuliani's announcement by raising questions about his conservative bona fides via a well-timed leak, Drudge was (and is) the medium of choice.

Watch how Drudge is used as a news driver by the various Republican (and Democratic) campaigns as they seek to disseminate negative information about their opponents throughout the primary process.

Yes, the same Matt Drudge who... attempts to 'debunk' global warming with silly jokes, tried to portray John Kerry and John Edwards as gay lovers in 2004, tried to peddle a fake story about Kerry having an affair, did George Allen's dirty work by posting erotic experts of Jim Webb's novel before the midterm elections, tried to smear those who outed Mark Foley, and regularly posts sensationalistic headlines about Iran. Etc etc.

(Ohh, and Drudge says the surge is going well... except, umm, little less black and white.)

This is modern journamalism at work, folks. Join me in weeping.

Lessons on Morality From Gen. Peter Pace

Tom Toles, Washington Post editorial cartoonist, writes a letter to Gen. Pace-

(To get the reference he makes in the bottom right there, read this.)

Oh, by the way, Gen. Pace says he's real sorry... that he didn't keep it to himself.

Rahm Emanuel Is A Real Fuddy-Duddy

Rahm Emanuel, Democratic Caucus chairman, is very concerned about healthcare the war the plunging real estate market low job creation civil liberties... Stephen Colbert.

From The Hill-
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the Democratic Caucus chairman, has told new Democratic members of Congress to steer clear of Stephen Colbert, or at least his satirical Comedy Central program, “The Colbert Report.”

“He said don’t do it … it’s a risk and it’s probably safer not to do it,” said Rep. Steve Cohen. But the freshman lawmaker from Tennessee taped a segment that last week was featured in the 32nd installment of the “Better Know a District” series. Colbert asked Cohen whether he was a black woman. He isn’t.

Eyes (but thankfully, not heads) roll in Emanuel’s office when other freshmen stumble, such as the time Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) got into a debate about the merits of throwing kittens into a wood-chipper, or when Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) explained that he is not his predecessor, convicted felon Bob Ney (R).

The freshmen respect Emanuel, but they don’t always follow his orders...

Rahm, relax, it's just a TV show. Here, have some Americone Dream. On me.

Deal With The Devil

Gary Kamiya gets it exactly right on what the CPAC incident says of the state of the right...

Salon: The Coulterization of the American right--

The "faggot" episode isn't about Ann Coulter. It's about the deal conservatism made with the devil -- a deal that has cost it its soul.

Preaching to choir here, I know. Maybe it will take further losses in 2008 to wake the right.

[PS- On a related note, for the other side, Time magazine's Joe Klein is using their blog to really have a fascinating discussion to take on NYT columnist David Brooks' strawman obituary for "neoliberalism" (whatever that means). He begins here and followups later here. I don't agree with everything he says, but like I said, it's an interesting discussion.]

Why We Went To War

In late 2005 (has it been that long already?), I did a brief post about an Iraqi defector code-named 'Curveball', whose information provided much of the basis for the administration's WMD claims. Apparently, according to the report at that time, German officials told the Bush administration that this man's claims were 'not proven' and that the administration not only used them anyway, but went on to exaggerate and distort them in speeches.

There are some updates on this story today... ABC's Brian Ross has uncovered a picture of 'Curveball' for the first time. More on this from the Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum and from blogger Andrew Sullivan. The latter states, "They did have it nailed. In the sense of: rigged. And Cheney must have taken particular pleasure in setting up his arch-rival, Powell, this way." And says the former, "They knew Saddam didn't have a nuclear program. They knew he didn't have mobile bio labs. They knew he didn't have drones. They knew."

Of course. But what is going to be done about that? Nothing, as usual.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

[PS- This article in Rolling Stone-- Leaving Iraq: The Grim Truth-- is a must read.]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mid-Week Video Theatre: Our Children's Children's War

It's a beautiful day today (take that "winter"!) and I ain't wasting it in front of the computer. I'm taking a personal day and I'm going to wander about in search of Ben & Jerry's 'Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream some fun and entertainment. Best to enjoy the global warming before it kills us all.

In the meantime, enjoy a fascinating discussion between Ted Koppel and Stephen Colbert-

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Headline of the Day

Reuters: Senate Republicans to allow debate on Iraq rebuke

How nice of them.

Alberto Gonzales Tries Out The Scooter Libby Defense...

...That being that he is too busy and confused to remember anything he does or says.

Attorney General Gonzales gave a press conference this afternoon to try and save his job discuss the ongoing scandal surrounding the firing of several U.S. Attorneys last Fall. This after his chief of staff quietly resigned yesterday and after the administration quietly released emails, which helped critics' arguments that the Attorneys were fired for political reasons near the midterm elections. Oh, and after calls for his resignation.

I watched most of this press conference; it was brief. After last weekend's 'this is just an overblown personnel matter' defense was destroyed by these new revelations, AG Gonzales started things off by admitting that, yea, okay, something not cool happened here. But he did so in the detached, depersonalized way all Bush administration officials admit error... blandly admit that "mistakes were made", but never really attribute it to anyone or anything, as if the mistakes are just hovering around in the atmosphere somewhere.

He then said the Justice Department is a very big organization and he can't possibly be aware of everything happening there (including, apparently, the issues/matters he and the President's office are directly involved in). I don't see how this helps his case, because either a) he's lying (<-- spoiler alert: it's probably that), or b) he's a complete moron. Neither makes him qualified to remain on as Attorney General.

Then, of course, he took some questions. His answers just repeated the talking points from his earlier statement and he stuttered and stammered alot. Then, in my favorite moment, he insisted that he "stands by" their decision to replace the U.S. Attorneys... as he rushs off the stage quickly.

Video from TPMmuckraker- here.

(Josh Marshall also looks at the right-wing 'But but Clinton did it!' talking point.)

Finally, this post by Andrew Sullivan sums it up for those confused by all this-
We now know that a political purge of U.S. attorneys was directed by the president through the attorney-general, and was enabled by the Patriot Act. The alleged reason for removing the U.S. attorneys - which the administration took a while to come up with - is that the U.S. attorneys were insufficiently devoted to rooting out Democratic voters' alleged voter fraud. (For a guide to this scam, see Josh Marshall's long obsession, which now seems a little more justified and a lot less boring than it once did. For TPM's full backfill on the U.S. Attorneys story, click here.)

It seems to me pretty obvious that they've been caught trying to rig the justice system to perpetuate Republican control of the House and Senate. It seems to me that this originates with the president and Karl Rove. And it seems more than obvious to me that Alberto Gonzales should resign. No attorney-general with this kind of cloud over him can faintly summon public confidence as a neutral enforcer of justice.

Gonzales also crafted the legal case for Bush's torture policies. Just in case we've forgotten.

Pentagon: 'Yea, Maybe We Need A Plan B'

Last week, I plugged a Washington Post article which stated that the administration had no backup plan for what to do if/when the President's brilliant surge fails. "Plan B was to make Plan A work," Gen. Peter Pace is recalled as stating.

Well, turns out the Pentagon is saying 'Hey, maybe we need a Plan B!". Details from Reuters-
U.S. military planners have begun work on a fallback strategy in case the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq fails, including a gradual pullout of U.S. forces and more emphasis on training and advising Iraqi forces, the Los Angeles Times reported in Monday's editions.

The strategy, based partly on the U.S. experience in El Salvador in the 1980s, is in the early planning stages, the newspaper said, citing U.S. military officials and Pentagon consultants who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It is a fallback if the Bush administration's plan to send about 26,000 more U.S. troops fails to stabilize Iraq, or if the Democratic-led Congress limits that move, it said.

The newspaper quoted a Pentagon official as saying "This part of the world has an allergy against foreign presence. You have a window of opportunity that is relatively short. Your ability to influence this with a large U.S. force eventually gets to a point that is self-defeating."

'Self-defeating'? Why do you hate America, anonymous Pentagon official?

More on what the El Salvador model means from Salon's Tim Grieve and Daily Kos' mcjoan.

Speaking of Salon, they have this bombshell as well-
...As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records...

...The 3,900-strong 3rd Brigade is now leaving for Iraq for a third time in a steady stream. In fact, some of the troops with medical conditions interviewed by Salon last week are already gone. Others are slated to fly out within a week, but are fighting against their chain of command, holding out hope that because of their ills they will ultimately not be forced to go. Jenkins, who is still in Georgia, thinks doctors are helping to send hurt soldiers like him to Iraq to make units going there appear to be at full strength. "This is about the numbers," he said flatly...

The 'surge' in a nutshell.

Odds and Ends

Lots of news as usual. Here's some big stuff you might have missed...

From the AP, another victim of the scandal that proved that the much-heralded troops don't get the real support they need: "The Army forced its surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, to retire, officials said Monday, the third high-level official to lose his job over poor outpatient treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center."

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls homosexuality 'immoral' in defending the don't-ask-don't-tell policy. Said Gen. Pace, "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in anyway." Two men in love? Immoral. But preemptive war, torture, spying, etc... they're all okay.

Enemies of Russian president Putin keep mysteriously dying. How odd.

Karl Rove is implicated as the White House link in the firing of several U.S. Attorneys last Fall. But more importantly, the NY Times reveals that President Bush and his counsel Harriet Miers were also personally involved in this. Oh, and Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff? Yea, he quietly resigned yesterday. Keep an eye on this one.

Hearings (finally) began at Guantanamo Bay prison for some of the masterminds of the 9/11 plot, who were transferred to Guantanamo last year after being held at the CIA's secret prisons overseas. The hearings were held, of course, in secret.

The liberal media? Yep, still not liberal. But Fox News, they're way fair and balanced.

Finally, the U.N. confronts the Sudanese government about the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

Recommended Reading

Here are things I read, and I enjoyed, so I am passing them on...

Norman Lear (HuffPost): It Will Take the Left to Right This Ship

Slate: Four Ways To Stop the War: What Congress could do—if it dared.


Newsweek: The New Science of Human Evolution

Monday, March 12, 2007

Democrats Confront The President On War Power Kinda Give Up

That's some real bold leadership there, Madame Speaker...

AP: Dems abandon war authority provision
Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush's authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war.

Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran.

Conservative Democrats as well as lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel had argued for the change in strategy.

The developments occurred as Democrats pointed toward an initial test vote in the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday on the overall bill, which would require the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by Sept. 1, 2008, if not earlier...

C'mon our friendly neighborhood Democrats, you guys are the majority now, act like it. Yes, yes, you have the Republicans waiting to sabotage every breath you take and the odds that the President will veto most of what you pass, but that doesn't mean that you fold. Sometimes real leadership is fighting for the right cause, even when you know you're destined to lose in the short term... because in the long-term, you may just win.

And frankly it's intellectual laziness to cave on this provision under the myth that it would be a sign of weakness against Iran, or whatever the self-believed tough guys in your ranks said. The point was that the White House has hinted it believes it can attack Iran without congressional approval and you needed to assure him that he cannot start a third war by his own decree. If (and hopefully not when) the President would ever expand the war in Iran, at least you could say you tried to stop him. But now, you just said 'whatever' in hopes that it won't come down to that. But it may.

Maybe the GOP keeps watering down your work because you let them. Food for thought.

(And, yes, Israel may have cause for concern, but last time I checked, they are a nuclear power with their own well-trained military. We saw it in action just this past summer. Remember all that fun? If they feel threatened, I think they are big boys, quite capable of handling things themselves. And, I'm sorry, but if we really cared for security in that area, we'd actually snap out of our stupor and try and solve that Israel-Palestine situation, which is, you know, at the heart of all this. Some additional food/dessert for thought.)

Halliburton To Cut and Run...

...To Dubai.

"Thanks for the money, tax breaks, and war profiteering opportunities, America! But I'm afraid we've decided to outsource ourselves to the land of milk and oil honey. Toodles!"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend Video Theatre: "O Captain! My Captain!"

Stephen Colbert shows no sympathy over the shocking death of Captain America...

Odds and Ends

Here's another round of news saved from the cracks on this very busy weekend-

Surprise, surprise... the escalation keeps getting more escalated. An AP military reporter writes that it "will be bigger and more costly and perhaps last longer" than originally advertised.

Jacob Weisberg writes about 'The Four Unspeakable Truths' of the war in Slate.

New research renews hope for an AIDS vaccine within a few years.

The NY Times editorial page calls for the removal of Attorney General Gonzales. The editorial is a good roundup of some of the administration's worst constitutional abuses. And despite this week's insane scandal overload, I won't hold my breath for Alberto's comeupance in the immediate future.

Finally, the more we learn about climate change, the more dangerous a threat it appears.