Condi's missile defense system not only Still. Doesn't. Work.
It's almost laughable (if it didn't cost so darn much).
Condi's missile defense system not only Still. Doesn't. Work.
Atrios ... Twice.
Duncan is taking a riff from this:
Republican support is contracting to a base of about 25 per cent of the population whose views are getting more extreme, not merely because moderate conservatives are peeling off to become Independents, but also because of the party’s success in constructing a parallel universe of news sources, thinktanks, blogs, pseudo-scientists and so on, which has led to the core becoming more tightly committed to an extremist ideology.The increasing extremism (think: cornered animal) is reflected in rank and file GOP lawmakers seeing no upside in continuing Bush's free ride against a tide of public opinion:
"We have toed the line enough for the president, and we have gotten no thanks or gratitude. By and large, Republicans are sick of defending an ungrateful president"Due in no small part because the legal eagles doing such a heckuvajob advising White House policy are graduates of Pat Robertson's law school:
"they are shocking, because they are unprofessional, they are sophomoric, they are snide, they're sarcastic.Which has naturally has resulted in Bush becoming Kryptonite to his own party:
"In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated ..."As the 2006 wave becomes a 2008 tsuanami, you could conclude that not only do elections have consequences, but consequences have consequences.
Democrats looking to extend their narrow majority in the United States Senate, races in states previously assumed to be not even possibly competitive continue to crop up -- a bad sign, no doubt, for the Republicans, who already sound quite bearish on their chances in 2008.So I have to ask, why all the White Whale references this morning?
You silly, silly people. Haven't you had enough embarrassment?
First, you get openly mocked by the the Decider, and when the Smirking Chimp himself decides that yer kinda funny, you've pretty much jumped the shark. Not even Jeff Gannon rated "a little blurb" by POTUS.
Think Progress documents your atrocities:
- calling the 2nd most important issue to voters (health care) too boring to bother with;
- predicting Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty would resign (he didn't);
- spectacularly scooping everybody with the news that John Edwards would be suspending his campaign (wrong again);
- announcing that citizens will be able -- for the first time -- to submit questions to candidates during their upcoming debate using the internet (except that we could use the Toobz to ask candidates questions at that oh, so boring health-care debate Politico.com thought unworthy of anyone's time).
So now what are these amazing political analysts up to?
Sampson Testimony May Be Key To Gonzales Flap: "Friends say D. Kyle Sampson believes that bureaucratic bungling is at the root of controversy over U.S. attorney firings."Ah, now that's some hot-shot reporting. The
Nothing to see here. Just some goofy civil servants mucking up. Invoking Executive Privilege doesn't mean anybody has anything to hide, right Trent? Nobody should be afraid of any criminal jeopardy when they testify before Congress on the U.S. Attorney purges, so ... um, pay no attention to the, er ... nice lady pleading the fifth or anything. No deals needed or alibis offered.
Yes, indeed. The Politico.com has put our minds at ease once and for all. Nobody did anything wrong at the Justice Department, ever. Now go back to your previously scheduled Anna Nicole ghoul fest.
Besides, don't you know that the Democrats will only hurt themselves by doing exactly what the people want them to do -- by a 3 to 1 margin.
Where exactly is Oceania again? I could have sworn it was on the same map as Eastasia.
However, this Politico.com sourced info on a young, hawkish Hillary trying to get into the Marines, is weird enough to be spot on.
Please, James? It's great sport.
Wadda ya mean, "Tosh!?"
I'm open to any Democratic candidate, though I lean more towards Edwards than anyone else, but I don't think Hillary's merits and qualities should be minimized."Tosh" yourself. We were just starting to have fun.
It doesn't have to be a pointed stick.
You might have Ohio's worst Congress Critter representing you, but mine, Marcy Kaptur, is one of the best. Just look what she's doing for us.
Wind power plan for lake gains speed;
efforts totaling over $1M seek to win new industry:
Last time I saw Congresswoman Kaptur, she was introducing John Edwards at the Seagate Tower in Toledo. Definitely two people on the same page.
By TOM HENRYMarcie: headed into the wind! We sit in the path of migratory birds (who have more sense than us and go on vacation when the snow flies up here).
BLADE STAFF WRITER
More than $1 million could be spent in the coming months pursuing offshore wind power in Lake Erie, even though the region just lost out on a bid to have East Toledo host the nation’s first testing laboratory for offshore wind turbine blades.
A $250,000 wildlife study, funded by a grant the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority obtained from U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), recently began along the western Lake Erie shoreline.
The goal of that study is to get the region’s clean energy and wildlife proponents on the same page over the risks posed to birds and bats.
The next phase would involve putting two or three wind turbines along the western Lake Erie shoreline as early as the summer of 2008 to see just how lethal the devices might be.
Sites have not been selected, but they likely would be between Toledo and Lorain, Ohio.
The turbines themselves would cost several more million dollars, said Steve Watts, wind programs manager for Green Energy Ohio, a nonprofit group coordinating the study.
Called the Northwest Ohio Coastal Wind Initiative, the study looms big for a region looking toward renewable energy for jobs.
The study Representative Kaptur is funding will coordinate our renewable energy folks with the wildlife conservationists who would prefer our wind turbines don't create diced squab.
One word: Outstanding!
Miss Kaptur, who was in Washington, said during a telephone interview that northwest Ohio’s wildlife issue will be researched adequately by the port authority study.For some true inside baseball stuff, read Today's OpEd by Marci Kaptur herself.
The region is “absolutely headed into the wind,” she said.
“We have a massive industry to give birth to here,” she said. “God gave us the resource. We just have to capture it.”
The Toledo Zoo is one of several new sites under negotiation for installation of tower gauges to help measure the region’s wind velocity, Mr. Watts said.
The upcoming research is in addition to a $1 million grant Miss Kaptur secured last year for the wind-wildlife issue to be studied at Bowling Green State University’s Firelands campus in Huron, Ohio, via the construction of one or two wind turbines.
She's right in the middle of the Walter Reed investigation and when the Republicans chide us about the "pork" in the defense bill, note what kind of pork Kaptur included:
Just in this defense bill, I was successful in arguing for over $800 million dollars in support of serious brain injury, PTSD, and neuro-psychiatric care for our returning veterans.This state could really use some more Kapturs and less Jean Schmits and John Boehners. Don't you agree?
When the going gets tough, I want John and Elizabeth Edwards in my corner:
The Rude One, VIA My Left Wing: "John Edwards Will Fuck Your Shit UP"
Phil from Michigan for Edwards, live blogged the press conference, has already typed up a transcript, and has some pretty good conversation going in the comments at this recommended KOS diary.
I'm more inspired than ever by such courage.
Steve Young pens an exceptionally snarky primer on how one actually can survive on the "fact-like" material spewed forth from Fox New -- which to the casual observer lacks any nutritional (let alone informational) value whatsoever.
Digesting Fox News, Bill O'Reilly and Dick Morris:Young provides a needed a bit of mental reinforcement to combat the constant barrage of noise and subterfuge coming from the wingnut wankers, explaining just how their crap can be ingested, sifted for rare factoids, and excreted with little or no harm to your sensibilities.
"One day during the last presidential campaign Bill O'Reilly said that he would not bring partisans on to The Factor to discuss the election because they would only be spinning the same ol' same ol' and just rehashing their side's nothing-new and biased talking points.
'We learn nothing new and that's not what we're about,' reminded the always blunt, looking-out-for-you host. That same night on O'Reilly Factor on Fox, not grasping the screaming comic irony, Bill brought on Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris to discuss John Kerry.
In that, um ... spirit, Matt Stoller removes the curtain from Sean Hannity's feeble spin (actually, outright lie) that he is just too awesome for any real liberal to debate, and that we all cower before his manliness.
The Faux Noise mavens will never lack for an audience of frothing cult members willing to plunge the whole damn planet into the abyss rather than listen to reason or believe or an instant that they don't possess exclusive rights to the real truth. Without doubt, the Limbaughs and Coulters have sole proprietorship of the most paranoid and conspiracy minded mental cases in the country.
Maha wrote over the weekend about the the noise machine's unending ability to Say Anything and their capacity to exert influence over people with "the critical thinking skills of moth larvae." Isn't it interesting that it's Keith Olberman, Jon Stewart, John Edwareds and others on the left are the recipients of white powder mailings, and not the O'Reilly and Malkins of the world -- or have we forgotten that there have indeed been terror attacks on our soil since 9/11.
For some reason the U.S. has always had a disproportionate number of whackjobs among its citizens; that ain’t new. And the whackjobs have had political influence at various times in the past, also. What’s different is that mass media and the Internet are allowing them to live in their own self-made Crazy World on a mass scale. And the Republicans are heavily invested in keeping them crazy.When you see this poll, you understand the critical importance of these propaganda outlets to the GOP.
"Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88% to 7%. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers." [Political Wire]Shrinking this allegiance is certainly desired, but even more important (because it is doable) is denying this beast any legitimacy
Barack Obama freezing out Fox, and John Edwards leading the way to cancel Fox's Nevada Democratic Debates were outstanding first strikes at the heart of their Orwellian manipulation of the body politic. The beast must be starved, weakened, hunted down and finally slain once and for all.
That's why it is so disturbing to see Democrats adopting Republican frames, whether it's Obama admitting that Edwards is "kinda cute," or Harry Reid's initial willingness to have Fox host the debates because the can reach out to a whole new demographic.
88% to 7% are unheard of odds, even in Vegas, Harry. What WERE you thinking? You don't win over such people. They are lost and prefer their dementia to facing the responsibility for the problems they cause. Ignoring them is a start, marginalizing and silencing them is better. You certainly don't cater to them, give them ammunition or a platform. They are spoiled children and you do not give spoiled children attention. You punish them and ignore them until they stop or go away.
Progressive Blogtopia has been keeping track of the Congressional Black Caucus courting Fox News as a debate sponsor as well. As risky as this might seem, I think it would show real leadership and backbone for Barack Obama to denounce this as even a remote possibility and declare, well in advance of the event even being put on the schedule, that he will not attend no matter how much they suck up to him.
Shame on Harold Ford Jr., too. I really, really like that guy. I can't believe he can't find a better place to keep his face in the public eye (where it should be, because he does indeed deserve a platform) than becoming a Fox News Regular. I would hold out hope that Ford going on Fox might mark some kind of transformation at the unofficial propaganda wing of the republican party -- except that the very reasonable and frighteningly smart Ford is paired with Rick Santorum -- a victim of hypnosis gone bad if ever there was one.
Stop it Harold! Please. You won't see any changes at Fox until Hannity, O'Reilly and Roger Ailes are gone. Putting a random centrist Democrat on that channel to be vilified as a true liberal is bad enough, but it also moves the center further and further to the right no matter how well Ford comports himself.
And Harold, for future reference, when your principle talking point is that we should get all the facts on the table -- as it was when you were discussing the U.S. Attorney Purge -- it will help if you get a firmer grasp on the facts that are available yourself.
You could have blown Little Ricky away when he gave the example of U.S. Attorneys should be fired if they for instance, don't follow an anti-child-pornography initiative the President orders. For one of the fired attorneys, Charlton, the opposite was the reality -- and I wish Ford had known that. Charlton was fired for being more, not less inclined to use his finite resources to go after child obscenity cases instead of being unwilling to take good cases like porn suppliers sending smut across state lines that did NOT contain any underage victims.
Update: Chris Bowers hit's the nail right on the head.
Screw this megalomaniac. And screw the Democrats if they don't take the President up on his dare.
I'm still keeping a bit of my powder dry. Let's do the DoJ testimony, and even the secret interviews of Rove and Meirs behind the water tower at dawn, or whatever undisclosed location they do it.
But if I don't see Gonzo's head rolling down Pennsylvania Ave., or a battery of subpoenas within the next ten days (and that is more than enough time). I'm going rogue and demanding the heads of the Democratic Party too. If Reid and Pelosi don't have enough balls to stand up to this feeble-minded bully living in the White House, they have no business pulling a pay check.
Schumer said it right, and he better not change his tune.
(And that's right, there are no links in this post. Use Google, that's what it's there for. Boy am I pissed.)
UPDATE: Okay, here's your stupid link. Bush is going the Nixon route and made a preemptive accusation of partisanship by the Dems if they have the temerity to issue subpoenas. Please, Mr. Conyers and Mr. Leahy, go for the jugular. Call this pugnatious little man on his bluff.
This has been the most partisan, politically motivated administration in living memory, and that little bully has the stones to tell the representatives of the American People to Bring It On??
Hey George, this ain't some dirtwater banana republic you're talking to or some madman in an Afghan cave. You just called out the United States Congress. It's on baby!
UPDATE 2: Richard Blair at All Spin Zone nails how I feel:
Still, my biggest concern is that there’s not enough time left in the Bush regime’s tenure to track this through the courts for years. And I think Bush is counting on that mindset within congress. So, perhaps a deal will be made between the regime and Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi.I'm furious at even the thought that Congress, the United By F'ing God States Congress would back down on this.
And if so, Democratic activists everywhere will head for the exits. Count on it.
THIS IS WHY YOU WERE ELECTED, DEMOCRATS!!!!!
The orchestra is certaily tuning up in anticipation of Alberto Gonzales' resignation with names being floated for his replacement according to McClatchy Newspapers. I wouldn't bet against Jeb being tapped, absurd as that might sound. It's really just a matter of days or hours now since MSNBC just said that Bush gave Gonzo a Heckuvajob phone call this morning.
McClatchy has been all over this, and the article that notes replacements being vetted (Hat Tip Ara) says both abu Gitmo AND Deputy A.G. Paul McNulty are all but out. Interestingly, the by-line is not the two reporters who were originally covering this, Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor. Now there's a two man team on it as well.
I do agree with Rose that Paul McNulty is history. He pissed off Gonzo so either way he's gone. Kyle Sampson (who already resigned but is itching to spill his guts) may have been the one who suborned perjury, but McNulty made Gonzo look bad by contradicting what he told Congress, AND for this kind of fun:
The American Spectator has learned that members of McNulty's staff are supporting the possible nomination to one of the vacant U.S. Attorney slots of a former government lawyer who had an affair with a colleague and now resides with not one, but two women in what some in the DAG's office have termed a "tri-sexual" relationship.Don't forget (how could we ever forget) that it becomes a serious matter if blow jobs are involved. Bad prosecuting means not going after enough adult book stores at the expense of child obscenity cases...at least according to the Department's Porn Czar, the man who would shut down all theose girls going wild videos.
"That residential situation would be adjusted if the name was put forward," says someone familiar with the thinking in McNulty's office.
The DoJ has come to a complete halt because they have completely stopped communicating, fearing anything they say (or especially write) will be used against them as it gets turned over to Congress. This has crippled the entire department simply because (as usual) the Rovavellian politicalization of absolutely everything in this administration puts power, politics and ideology above serving the people.
But there was much that I really, really enjoyed at Henry Waxman's Hearing last Friday which featured the testimony of Valerie Plame. There was no mention of what Brewster-Jennings had been doing, and why that particular outfit might have been the actual target of Plame's exposure.
Key info on the Right Wing Talking Point about "covert" status -- Val said she has been on foreign assignment during the last 5 years, which is what Vicky Toestink hung her red wig on.
File that one under debunked**. (See below the fold if you run into a delusional dunderhead who still refuses to understand that Libby obstructed the investigation of a very real, very dangerous crime -- or would rather take the word of the second most outrageously dressed woman at the hearing.)
Not to mention the fact that you only look at what the legislators intended when a statute is ambiguous (the IIPA isn't) and you look at the intent of the lawmakers themselves, not their staff's fantasies.
She's a stupid hack trying to stretch out her 15 minutes of fame.
Valerie Plame, wow! Is she the female version of Chuck Norris -- women want to be her, men want to be with her?
I actually pittied Knodell, the guy who should have been investigating this right along, but apparently didn't do much except fill space and collect a paycheck while in charge of making sure nobody in the White House leaks classified information.
But the REAL disclosure is the the one all the remaining Bush apologists (both of them) can point to as granting them absolution -- the Wilson's are (gasp) Democrats. Off With Their Heads!
Lynn Westmoreland bitched twice that he didn't have enough time to interview the witness, stuck around only for Plame, and with the little time he had only wanted to know which party she belonged to. Wanker of the week at least. What a tool. But when your a brazen hack, party affiliation of the people who risk their lives for this nation is all you need to know.
BTW -- the Code Pink Impeachment Queen in the background was hilareous. She actually got a bigger segment on CNN's Headline News than Plame. Gotta give cudoes for that stunt.
The following is from an exchange at the Queen's joint:
Tim, I don't want to reason with the unreasonable. Far from it.
I much prefer to single them out for abuse and ridicule and hold them up as an example for others who needlessly parrot other people's partisan talking points geared towards the low information/easily influenced lurkers. Sadly, Brian lacks the requisite expertise to understand that he has no clue what he is talking about -- let alone his complete failure to know the actual testimony well enough for himself in either the Libby case or Plame's SWORN statements before Waxman's committee -- from which he and others can form their own opinions.
I watched every minute of the hearing and have read much of the live-blogged testimony from the Libby trial and come to very different conclusions than Brian. I'd like to know exactly what testimony in the Libby case he's referring to because I confess I haven't got through it all.
Brian must have missed Plame's testimony that there is a memo, a paper trail Waxman said he would be requesting which backs up Plame's testimony and that contemporaneously debunks the nepotism charge inserted into the Senate's report by three GOP partisans -- whose version of events have been denied by Plame's CIA superiors as well.
At least I figured Brian read NRO. If a good conservative can't trust Buckley's outfit, who can they trust:
At the hearing, Waxman said that he had spoken with CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, who approved a statement Waxman read to the committee. “During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover,” Waxman said. “Her employment status with the CIA was classified information…At the time of the publication of Robert Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.” A CIA spokesman later told National Review Online that Waxman’s characterization of the matter was “entirely correct.” [my emphasis]There's only part of her email which was sent to the Senate, which was explained as something she was directed to compose to document the decision to send her husband, her account of being asked, but not initiating the question of whether he would be a good choice to send, a memo documenting this which was withheld from the Senate by the CIA, AND the fact that the Senate intel committee STILL hasn't finished their job and finalized Phase II of the 9/11 report dealing with who screwed up, how and why. There's some silence you can make suppositions about here too.
Brian fails to appreciate that unlike many of the "Bushie" U.S. Attorneys who might have ignored blatant perjury by a high government official, he also refused to go on an endless Ken Starr-like witch-hunt. Fitzgerald has never once backed off his insistence that Plame was indeed, "covert." But unfortunately, when some members of a conspiracy sit pat and refuse to name names and point fingers -- willing instead to take the rap (especially those with intricate knowledge of the pardon process like Libby does) -- it is difficult if not impossible to sucessfully prosecute the people thus protected.
Brian also fails to understand the differences of the basic English definitions of "couldn't" and "didn't," or "any" and "enough;" as in Fitz "didn't" offer "enough" evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that someone violated IIPA -- in a trial where he was under so obligation to do so.
One of the "revelations" that Brian and any pundit relying on Vicky Toesing's legal opinions fails to take into account was that during the 5 years prior to her exposure, Plame TESTIFIED that she did have some foreign assignments. That fact alone (easily verifiable or debunkable for those who believe Plame committed perjury) qualifies her for protection under IIPA, and that her exposure (if intent can be proved) is a crime.
Get this Brian my friend. IIPA requires proof of intent to violate the statute. Recklessness isn't enough and proof of intent is the most difficult thing one can do in a court of law -- especially when those in a position to testify as to intent choose instead to lie to grand jury and the FBI. (And if you are going to try and defend Libby and say he didn't lie, just remember he had a very expensive attorney who couldn't get that job done -- so don't even go there. Get over it. He lied.)
Can you imagine what a drunken first year law student could do in defense of Rove or Cheney for IIPA violations when your prime witness as to their intent is Libby? One look at his GJ testimony flip-flops, and just the hint to a jury that he cut a deal for a lighter sentence in order to finger the other guys, and whomever would have been charged would walk in a heart-beat. Libby's prevarications made him useless as a witness for the prosecution in any other matter.
It's not whether someone committed a crime -- they did -- it's whether the prosecutor can prove the case that matters when asking for an indictment. More than likely, Libby is practically an essential witness against anyone else in this caper, and he's useless because he's a perjurer.
Moreover, since it would seem much of the exposure seems to have been at the direction of the Vice President, he would have to be impeached prior to being subject to a criminal indictment since he enjoys sovereign immunity while still in office. That is a challenge above Fitz's pay grade at present.
To borrow some "wisdom" from Rumsfeld, there is much unknown and unknowable about Plame's status and Wilson's findings since there is grand jury testimony that has not been released, information at CIA that has not been disclosed, and only 14 pages of the "insta-declassified" 93 page NIE report are in the public domain regarding Wilson's trip.
What we DO know is that executive order 12958 regarding classified information abuse was violated, yet never even investigated -- which by operation of that order's inclusion of a statutory referral to the criminal code made the disclosure criminal in nature regardless of the IIPA requirements.
Now, one last thing Brian, regarding your presumption that "silence tends to argue the other way." Since by your logic, we are free to ignore the spirit of the 5th Amendment -- Libby's failure to testify on his own behalf, as well as his failure to put Cheney on the stand as promised, is more damning than any of the silent spooks you must be talking about. Or didn't you understand that the reason Toesing was called -- as the minority's witness -- was to make (badly) your points for you.
I don't recall hearing Congressman Davis whining that he was denied the opportunity to subpoena those witnesses you seem convinced could "prove" Plame wasn't covert, thus no underlying crime. That is the essence of your delusion, right? That there was no underlying crime so Libby should never have been made to endure that kangaroo court, right?
That's really pathetic Brian, but thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight for the lurkers out there who might have been the least bit influenced by your ignorance of the law and facts of the affair.
The fact, according to CIA Director Hayden, is that she was, "covert." It's not like this expert with an AK47 earned her paycheck fetching coffee and answering phones.
Ms. Wilson served at various times overseas for the CIA. Without discussing the specifics of Ms. W'ilson's classified work, it is accurate to say that she worked on the prevention of the development and use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States.Pretty important stuff, don't ya think? Seems to me that anyone who blew her cover is on the wrong side of the war on terror. Personally, I have another theory as to why she, and more importantly her cover operation, Brewster-Jennings, was outed. They were too good at their job. I was disappointed that this didn't come up in the hearing. I'd like to know a lot more about the anti-proliferation operations that stopped WMD's from getting into Iraq, just in time to prevent their later "discovery" by the folks Judy Miller was embedded with.
But anyway, under the statute, Plame likewise qualified as "covert." This wasn't necessary to convince a jury that Libby obstructed justice, lied to investigators and committed perjury. But evidently it is necessary to satisfy Brian that justice was served:
(4) The term “covert agent” means:Too much legaleese for you? How about this, in plain English:
(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and
(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; or
(B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information, and—
(i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency, or
(ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an agent of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; or
(C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose past or present intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information and who is a present or former agent of, or a present or former informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency.
After the hearing, Mr Waxman sent a letter to Joshua Bolten, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, which said that the evidence presented at the hearing had “described breach after breach of national security requirements at the White House”. In the letter, Mr Waxman asked for a complete account of action taken by the White House “to investigate how the leak occurred, to review the security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak, to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials involved in the leak, and to review and revise existing White House security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security.”Ahhhh. the sweet smell of oversight in the morning. How refreshing, like the coming of a long awaited spring.
There are serious criminal offences attending the disclosure of Ms Wilson’s identity; they relate to Executive Order 12958, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the Espionage Act, Title 18 Section 641, conspiracy to impede or injure officers and the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement.
I suspect the following will, in the next year or so, be boiled down to four words: "Not Guilty, Your Honor."
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse: "We have stated numerous times that no U.S. attorney was removed to retaliate against or inappropriately interfere with any public corruption investigation or prosecution," he wrote. "This remains the case and there is no evidence that indicates otherwise."It's subtle, so I can forgive Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers for missing it. Their coverage of the U.S. Attorneys scandal is beyond compare -- much like what the Washington Post used to be.
Notice the interesting, truthful yet misleading verbs. Yes, they "stated numerous times..." and indeed it still "remains the case" that statements were made (just like mistakes were made I'll assume). The fact that there is no evidence (yet) doesn't mean the administration didn't do what they hope to God nobody breaks ranks and busts them for.
And just WTF is Roehrkasse not really denying but hopes you don't believe they did?
Why the accusation that the U.S. attorney's firing may be connected to CIA corruption probe, of course.
Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.Now this could have serious criminal implications -- if provable, and provable beyond a reasonable doubt that justice was obstructed or that Gitmo Gonzales committed (I hope, I hope) perjury.
Feinstein, D-Calif., said the timing of the e-mail suggested that Lam’s dismissal may have been connected to the corruption probe.
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse denied in an e-mail that there was any link.
[Senator Patrick] Leahy also addressed the right-wing talking point that the U.S. Attorney firings are meaningless because there “was no crime." Leahy said that while President Bush has the authority to fire attorneys at will, "if it is done to stop an ongoing investigation, then you do get into the criminal area."Intentional retaliation is going to be horribly hard to prove, as will be exposing admissible evidence that the U.S. (Bushie) Attorneys the administration didn't fire intentionally retaliated against political enemies.
But one thing is certain, there is an appearance of impropriety here, something a certain Attorney General should at least be disbarred for (notwithstanding the fact that he never showed up for his Constitutional Law classes).
Rep. John Conyers looks like he's going forward with subpoenas for stonewalling Karl Rove and Scary Harriet Meirs and will probably vote Tuesday to issue them. Patrick Leahy is planning to do likewise in the Senate on Thursday.
John Cole @ Balloon Juice has another idea.
Personally, I say we subject them to strict interrogation methods. After all, those methods aren’t torture.I'd like to get a second opinion on that from the guy who wrote that decision, Abu Gonzales himself -- after we've perfected the technique on the first two miscreants first of course.
While we're at it, can we do some practice on that piece of shit, Tom DeLay, please? God I hate it when he does this.
In my previous post I noted that the focus of scrutiny -- for those of us convinced that somewhere there exists impeachment worthy evidence not even the most stubborn Bush apologist can ignore -- should be the actions of U.S. Attorneys found sufficiently loyal to the partisan whims of Karl Rove's mission to destroy liberal Democrats, that they would never have been considered a target for dismissal. (ie. watch what the "Bushie" US Attorneys did.)
Unlike AT&T, SBC and a few others I can't recall, Qwest Communications refused to comply with NSA requests that they turn over their customers data. I do recall some grumbling, a high profile ruling by a certain Judge Walker that was ignored by the Noise Machine (yes, one of those Walkers -- the George "W" Walkers), who ruled against the government but was not vilified by Fox and Friends as much as the federal judge in Michigan who found the NSA wiretapping equally unconstitutional, and a call to change phone carriers to Qwest in support by many bloggers.
What I learned yesterday and documented below was that Qwest and it's CEO soon found itself involved in an investigation by the SEC and accused of accounting fraud.
Already the plot thickens. Not only was the Qwest case taken from the acting U.S. Attorney who began the case and given to a couple of DoJ lawyers whose involvement we are yet to fully appreciate, BUT, HuffPost alerts us another interesting tidbit to the story from the Washington Post:
FBI Lawyers Raised Phone Record Privacy Concerns Two Years Before Agency Began Probe: "
FBI lawyers raised the concerns beginning in late October 2004 but did not closely scrutinize the practice until last year, FBI officials acknowledged. They also did not understand the scope of the problem until the Justice Department launched an investigation, FBI officials said.
Under pressure to provide a stronger legal footing, counterterrorism agents last year wrote new letters to phone companies demanding the information the bureau already possessed. At least one senior FBI headquarters official -- whom the bureau declined to name -- signed these 'national security letters' without including the required proof that the letters were linked to FBI counterterrorism or espionage investigations, an FBI official said.
What we've accomplished with this revelation is to make a positive link between A.G. Gonzales firing U.S. Attorneys for unethical partisan reasons, and Director Muller's FBI abusing those National Security Letters. At the time of this picture, they were both being called on the carpet for what seemed like separate irregularities. However, they were just two sides of the same coin.
When they wrote the Patriot Act, is was all too predictable that giving the FBI the authority to write their own warrants was an abuse waiting to happen -- a farce really. Why even bother with that silly bit of unnecessary paper pushing. But now, knowing that there is a connection (however tenuous at this point) with the elimination of any judicial oversight restraining the abuse of the judicial system by unscrupulous prosecutors and investigators and a concerted effort by the administration to put or keep in place U.S. Attorneys ready, willing and able to exploit this mockery of justice.
No administration should ever have been given this kind of authority, especially this on. Such power is almost dictatorial in nature. It was certain to run afoul of the maxim that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now we know that is does so quickly as well.
UPDATE: Did I mention, the Insider Trading Trial of Qwest's Joseph Nacchio Begins Monday. Keep an eye on Jeralyn's Live Blogging at 5280.com.
One of the most frustrating aspects of investigating anything, it that you have to know what you're looking for. While is it ridiculous to advance the idea that anyone with a chip on his shoulder or an axe to grind can go on some kind of fishing expedition. It's invasive in the extreme to allow someone to turn your life inside out merely because they flash a piece of paper -- hence the probable cause requirement for warrants and the relevance threshold for civil discovery.
This logic also applies to Freedom of Information Act inquiries. You have to know something exists before you can request it or it's simply overly burdensome to the legitimate functions of the government. Congress's investigatory powers have the same kind of restrictions -- not from operation of the law, but from a credibility and political perspective.
Well, now we know what we're looking for.
We know that a handful of the 90 odd U.S. Attorneys were removed by the administration because they were not partisan enough. It's logical to assume that there are, therefore, a handful or more U.S. Attorneys (Bushies) who met Karl Rove's loyalty test and sold their integrity to the Republican Reich.
Who else did the Bush DoJ target?:
Consider the theory laid out in this diary by pacified, written nearly a year ago: The NSA at some point after 9/11 "requests" the cooperation of all major telecommunications carriers in "voluntarily" turning over access to all their call data but Qwest Communications -- at the direction of its CEO, Joseph Nacchio, and alone among major carriers -- refuses to comply.Sharpen your pencils boys and girls, and get some metal polish for your aluminum hats. There isn't enough popcorn in the world to last through this show, cuz you know there's so much more to this.
Not long afterward, Qwest and Nacchio found themselves embroiled in... a federal investigation, of all things. The SEC hit Nacchio, Qwest, and several top officers of the company with allegations of insider trading and accounting fraud.
Gee whiz! Whaddya know?
- Why I'm done giving Kucinich any more slack.
- He's trying to out bid Lieberman as FOX News' favorite Democrat.
- He's telling Democrats to stay off the Colbert Report (Hat Tip: Spoons)
- Cute? CUTE!?! The guy is flipping gorgeous! Obama simply has no taste in men.
- It's not too late to VOTE!!!
- No worries, it looks like a hoax.
- Funny how Bush Cheerleaders conveniently forget about Anthrax when boasting how we haven't got hit since 9/11.
- Even More Videos -- plus another one from yesterday's event at Howard University.
You can catch Edwards on CSPAN at 3:45. Hurry! Watch it before Drudge fingers Hillary for being on the Grassy Knoll!!!
**He's also giving a "major policy speech" today in Manchester, New Hampshire, on not just changing America, but transforming the whole world.
Senator John Edwards
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Manchester, New Hampshire
March 15, 2007
A little more than three years ago, I gave a speech here in New Hampshire I called “In Defense of Optimism.” Some of you probably wonder if I could give a similar speech today. After all, a lot has happened since then – and a lot of it hasn’t been good – the escalation of the war in Iraq, the aftermath of Katrina, health care costs rising, incomes staying flat, mounting evidence of global warming. I could go on.
But as a matter of fact, I am still optimistic – maybe even more so than I was then. I am still optimistic that America can be a country where anyone who works hard is able to get ahead and create a good life for their family. I am optimistic that we can restore America’s moral authority. The challenges may be larger, and we may have even more work to do to build a country that lives up to our ideals and our potential. But we can do it.
I am optimistic we can do these things because my own life says it is possible. I am optimistic we can do these things because everything I love about America and our entrepreneurial spirit and sense of decency says it’s possible. But most of all, I am optimistic because of you and the millions of people like you. You don’t have to look very far or dig very deep to find people determined to make the changes we need. Millions of people are impatient to take control of their own lives and to take the responsibility to get our country back on track. Millions of people who know we can’t just wait for the next president to come in and fix all of our problems or for government to do what needs to be done.
Millions of people who know that America is so much more than just a place – America is an idea. And the idea of America – real, fundamental equality – equality of opportunity, equality of culture, equality of respect – equality for all – matters more than ever. Our job is to make the idea of America real for all Americans, and to rekindle that idea around the world.
So I want to take a few minutes today to talk about some of the challenges we face. But I want to spend most of my time talking about the opportunities before us if we have the courage to do what it takes.
Because we have not yet realized the promise of America; we still struggle to live up to the idea. There are still two Americas here at home, one for the powerful and another one for everyone else. And there are two Americas in the world, the America that we aspire to be and has been a light to the world, and the one you’ve seen too often on the news lately.
Here at home, the country with the most advanced health care in the world, we have more Americans without health care – 47 million – not fewer.
In the richest country in the history of the globe, we have more millionaires and more billionaires that ever – but we also have more Americans living in poverty – 37 million people unable to fulfill their basic needs of food and shelter, no matter how many jobs they work – not less.
As someone who grew up in the segregated South it hurts me to say that more than 50 years after the Brown decision, we still have two school systems – one for people who live in the right neighborhoods and one for everyone else. And the truth is that opportunity is too often denied to people because of the color of their skin, their ethnic background, their gender, or their sexual orientation.
And you all know that we are not leading the world in a way that lives up to the idea of America – or is good for us here at home.
Everything we do at home affects the world. Everything we do around the world affects us here at home. There is no such thing as just foreign policy anymore. Trade policies affect jobs and wages here and throughout the world. Energy policy affects climate change here and all over the world, and it impacts domestic and foreign security. Poverty is an issue for us here – I could talk about that all day long – but poverty is also an issue directly related to the rise of terrorism and our place in the world economy. A well-known politician from a neighboring state used to say that all politics is local. Today, all policy is local.
We are not going to solve these problems with the usual approaches. These challenges are too big, too connected, and too complicated to be answered with the same old politics of incrementalism. Meeting them requires more than just a new president —it requires an entirely new approach.
To build the America we believe in requires fundamental, transformational change. Not change for the sake of change, but change for the sake of getting to where we know the country and the world can be, should be, and needs to be. Not incremental, baby-step changes, but invigorating, uplifting, daring, boundary-pushing changes that address the root causes and understand the complexity of our challenges.
So if we are going to lead from this point in the 21st century, we must lead with a bold and confident step – confident in the greatness of the American idea, and bold in our plans to make it real.
To lead the world in addressing the challenges of our century, America must restore our moral authority.
Restoring our moral authority isn’t just about feeling good about ourselves. When the world looks to America for leadership, we are stronger and safer, and so is the rest of the world.
Restoring our moral authority means leading by example, and making clear that hard challenges don't frighten us, but call us to action.
To me, there is no better opportunity to make this clear than the enormous challenge of helping the 37 million Americans who live in poverty.
Maybe you've heard the phrase "it's expensive to be poor." Well, it's also expensive for America to have so many poor.
We all pay a price when young people who could someday find the cure for AIDS or make a fuel cell work are sitting on a stoop because they didn't get the education they need.
And don’t think for a second that addressing poverty is charity – addressing poverty makes our workforce stronger and our economy stronger.
That is why I’ve set a national goal of eliminating poverty in the next 30 years – and laid out a detailed plan to do it by creating what I call a "Working Society," building on what we’ve learned to create solutions for the future.
In a Working Society, we will reward work with a higher minimum wage, stronger labor laws, and tax credits for working families. We will offer affordable housing near good jobs and good schools, and create a million stepping-stone jobs for people who cannot find work on their own. We will help workers save for the future with new work bonds and homeownership tax credits. And we will all take responsibility for the problem of poverty and not just leave it to government.
By building a Working Society, we won’t just try the old solutions and the old politics. Instead, we will work, as a nation, to change fundamentally the culture of poverty itself and create the conditions that allow people to lift themselves up into the middle class.
Rebuilding our middle class for the 21st century also means getting at the root of one of the main obstacles to middle class prosperity -- the cost of health care.
Americans spend more than $2 trillion per year on heath care –- more than any other country on earth.
Despite this incredible expenditure, more than 47 million Americans don’t have any health insurance at all.
That’s not just morally wrong. It undercuts our personal security and our competitiveness in the global marketplace.
That’s why I’ve introduced a true universal health care plan to cover every man, woman and child in America – by the end of my first term as president. I’m proud to be the first and only candidate to do so.
We cannot wait to transform our health care system. My plan sets up health care markets around the country to give people a choice of good health care plans, including a choice between private and government plans. It provides access to preventive care. It creates efficiencies that don’t exist today by dramatically lowering administrative costs. Under my plan, if you don’t have health care, you will. If you have health care, your costs will go down.
I see health care as a simple matter of right and wrong. I believe every single one of us has equal worth, and we should not treat anybody as better than anybody else. Every American – rich or poor, no matter which America we live in – has the right to health care. My plan delivers it.
Our domestic problems are intertwined with our global challenges, and nowhere is this truer than at the nexus of global warming and energy independence.
Global warming is a problem that is here, now, and not going away. The United States must lead – lead smart, lead courageously, and lead by example.
It is time to ask the American people to be patriotic about something other than war. We need investments in renewable energy – more efficient cars and trucks – and a national cap on carbon emissions.
By taking personal responsibility for our energy use, we can all reduce our impact on the environment in big ways and small. This week, I announced that we’re going to do exactly that in our campaign – our campaign is going to be carbon neutral.
Tackling global warming through responsibility and conservation helps reduce our reliance on foreign oil. And reducing our reliance on foreign oil strengthens our national security. But we won’t stop there.
By creating a new energy economy – by transforming our energy infrastructure and investing in research, development and deployment of alternative energy technologies – we can not only address global warming and energy independence, we can create more than a million new jobs in America, and lay the foundation for a secure middle class and a manufacturing base for America in the 21st century.
Our education system, too, needs fundamental change. As I said a few minutes ago, more than 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education, our education system remains shockingly unequal. There are nearly 1,000 high schools where more than half of the students won’t graduate. Minority 12th-graders read at the same level as white 9th-graders.
Our education system shortchanges the skills our children need for the future – math and science, creativity and critical thinking. Every day you can read reports about how we’re falling behind in math and science – our 9th-graders are 18th in the world in science education. We need to fundamentally change the discussion about education in our country, to move beyond a focus on testing and get to the issue of educating our children for the challenges of the 21st century.
We need a serious, sustained effort to turn around failing schools. We should invest in our teachers – the most important part of any school. We need to do more to recruit them, train them, and pay them, particularly in math and science and other places where there are teacher shortages.
Finally, it has been more than a century since we made high school universal, but high school graduates from well-off families are five times more likely to enroll in college. Those who do go to college pick up larger and larger debts. I have a plan called College for Everyone that will pay for the first year of college for anyone willing to work part-time. And this is one of the hallmarks of the fundamental changes we need, we as Democrats. Work and personal responsibility are good things – and we should be encouraging both.
When we’re serious about moral leadership at home, we have the standing to assert moral leadership in the world.
And I believe we can begin by leading in areas that – at first glance – might not seem directly related to our self-interest. I’m talking about global poverty, primary education. But I believe if you look closely, it’s clear that these areas are in fact directly related to our present and future national security.
We know that terrorists thrive in failed states, and in states torn apart by internal conflict and poverty.
And we know that in many African and Muslim countries today, extreme poverty and civil wars have gutted government educational systems.
So what’s taking their place? The answer is troubling – but filled with opportunity if we have the courage to seize it.
A great portion of a generation is being educated in madrassas run by militant extremists rather than in public schools. And as a result, thousands and thousands of young people who might once have aspired to be educated in America are being taught to hate America.
When you understand that, it suddenly becomes clear: global poverty is not just a moral issue for the United States – it is a national security issue for the United States. If we tackle it, we will be doing a good and moral thing by helping to improve the lives of billions of people around the world who live on less than $2 per day – but we will also begin to create a world in which the ideologies of radical terrorism are overwhelmed by the ideologies of education, democracy, and opportunity. If we tackle it, we have the chance to change a generation of potential enemies into a generation of friends. Now that would be transformational. I also want to say that this is personal for me, in part because of what I saw and heard during the time I spent in Africa.
But the challenge is great – generational struggles require generational solutions – so we must meet the challenge with an audacious plan.
As president I would implement a four-point plan to tackle global poverty – and improve the national security of the United States:
First, we would launch a sweeping effort to support primary education in the developing world.
More than 100 million young children have no school at all, denied even a primary education to learn how to read and write. Education is particularly important for young girls; as just one example of the ripple effects, educated mothers have lower rates of infant mortality and are 50 percent more likely to have their children immunized.
As president, I will lead a worldwide effort to extend primary education to millions of children in the developing world by fully funding the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. The U.S. will do its part by bringing education to 23 million children in poor countries, and we will ask our allies to step up and do the rest. It’s not just good for our security; it’s good for theirs.
Second, we will support preventive health care in the developing world.
Women and children bear the burden of poverty and disease in the developing world. Women in our poorest countries have a 10% chance of dying during childbirth. More than 10 million children die each year from preventable diseases. Many of these diseases are preventable with clean water and basic sanitation or affordable immunizations.
As president, I will convene a worldwide summit on low-cost investments in clean drinking water and sanitation. Under my plan, the U.S. will increase its investment in clean water six-fold.
Third, we can get to the root of global poverty by increasing opportunity, political opportunity and economic opportunity. Democratic rights allow poor citizens to force their countries to create more progressive laws, fight oppression and demand economic stability. Economic initiatives like microfinance and micro-insurance can spark entrepreneurship, allowing people to transform their own lives.
And fourth, I would appoint an individual in the White House, reporting directly to me, with the rank of a Cabinet member, to oversee all of our efforts to fight global poverty. Despite its importance to our national security, the United States still lacks a comprehensive strategy to fight global poverty. We need to embrace the vision of John F. Kennedy, who recognized that “the Nation’s interest and the cause of political freedom require” American efforts to lift up the world’s poor.
Our current effort has plenty of bureaucracy – over 50 separate U.S agencies are involved in the delivery of foreign assistance. What it lacks is efficiency and accountability. As president, I’ll change that.
Accomplishing these goals – ending poverty in America and transforming our approach to poverty around the world, creating a new energy economy, bringing health care to every American, and building an educational system that helps to build and support the middle class of the 21st century– will not be easy.
And attempting them will require a change in our politics.
We can no longer accept having the course of our country dictated by a relatively few people who push onto the rest of us policies that suit their particular interests. We need leaders who insist that all voices are heard, leaders who will take the role Harry Truman defined so clearly: a president who is the lobbyist for all the people who don’t have, don’t want, and can’t afford one.
But this is not just about the leaders. It is also about you taking responsibility for your own country, for your own government, for your own community, for your own family.
We are at one of those rare moments in history – a time when two paths are clear before us.
On one side is the path we have been on.
It is a path in which we argue over fuel standards while global warming gets worse; where the Senate passes non binding resolutions on the war in Iraq while the war escalates; where the middle class shrinks and disappears while tax cuts for the wealthiest set in; a path where the two Americas is still there and still wrong.
On the other side is that future which we have all long imagined - a future in which America's moral leadership once again makes us strong and secure.
A future in which the gulf between the haves and have-nots is fading because we are actively working to lift our fellow human beings up from poverty. Where every American has health care. Where America leads the world in creating a new global economy powered by clean energy. Where women around the world enjoy the same opportunities as men. A future in which we recognize that our security is not just measured by our military might, but by our ability and determination to build a more peaceful, more prosperous, more stable world.
I believe that future is ours for the taking. We can make it real. We know that. We – the American people – have changed the world before.
Nearly 70 years ago, another generation of Americans faced a world darkened by insecurity.
The storm clouds of fascism and totalitarianism were gathering over Europe and Asia. We were struggling to emerge from the depths of the Great Depression. And it was easy to think then that our problems at home were too big for us to try to tackle the problems mounting abroad.
Yet that generation of Americans saw in the challenges of their day not a cause for despair, but a call to greatness.
And they answered it. Not meekly, not uncertainly. But proudly, confidently, and with conviction. Because they had what we have – the idea of America. It’s right here.
And in answering that call, they not only secured freedom for the people of Europe and Asia – they laid the foundation for a new American economy that produced the greatest expansion of the middle class and the sharpest reduction of poverty in the history of the world.
They turned the 20th century into the American century.
Now it is our turn – to see the challenges we face with an unblinking eye and once again to answer the call.
Proudly, confidently, and with conviction.
It is our responsibility. As Abraham Lincoln once called us, we are still the “last best hope of earth.” If America does not lead, who will?
I believe we are up to the task. I am certain of it.
After all, I am an optimist.
John Dean: Refocusing the Impeachment Movement on Administration Officials Below the President and Vice-President: "The House Judiciary Committee Should Undertake Appropriate ProceedingsExhibit "A" -- Elliot Abrams, despite his pardon, could have been disqualified from holding office through the impeachment process.
Given the number of officials within the Bush Administration who may have been engaged in Constitutional high crimes or misdemeanors, and the nature of the impeachment process, there is no shortage of civil officers worthy of consideration. Where there is clear prima facie evidence of such constitutional misconduct, impeachment action should be commenced."
Currently Alberto Gonzales is the focus of much of the left's wrath with a growing chorus calling for his resignation, and some intra-party partisans will point out that many of the current Democratic presidential contenders voted against his nomination, notably Clinton, Obama and Biden. John Edwards came out against the nomination as well even though he wasn't in the Senate at the time.
My question is, (since so much has been made about Edwards' vote for the Iraq war lately, suggesting that he should have done something then and not just speak out now) is why Gonzales wasn't given the same treatment as John Bolton or even a closely fought battle like we saw with Alito?
The President is not the Attorney General's client - the people are. And so the true test of an Attorney General nominee is whether that person is ready to put the Constitution of the people before the political agenda of the President. As such, I cannot approach this nomination the same way I approached that of Secretary of State Rice or VA Secretary Nicholson or any other Cabinet position. The standard is simply higher.Where was the filibuster threat? If this position was so important, so substantively different than other administration officials, where was the "hold" of the nomination from Joe, Hillary and Barack?
This isn't sour grapes, this is outrage that the man who gave cover to an administration engaged in kidnapping, torture, murder and wholesale spying on you and me was given the job in the first place -- without a fight.
NOW we're suprised, shocked! Shocked that there was some shenanigans going on?
Well, at least they didn't vote for Gonzo.
(UPDATED with improved linkage.)
Just a sample:
There's a whole lot more...
IMAO: Frank Facts About Fred Thompson: "AWESOME FACTS ABOUT FRED THOMPSON
He's Fred Thompson. You're nothing.
* Fred Thompson has on multiple occasions pronounced 'nuclear' correctly.
* Fred Thompson has blasted more people in the face with a shotgun than even Dick Cheney."
* Every night before going to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson.
* Fred Thompson took over what was Al Gore's Senate seat, thereby dramatically reducing the Senate's carbon footprint. Fred Thompson then created carbon offset offsets by wastefully burning hippies.
* The Fremen consider "Fred Thompson" a killing word.
* Only two things can kill Superman: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson.
Feel free to add your own in the comments, like:
- Fred Thompson is so macho he doesn't need to ask ... he can tell.
- Fred Thompson only drinks Tennessee Sour Mash, either Jack Daniel's or George Dickel, straight, no ice. And he can drink more than you.
- Fred Thompson will never violate the law ... he IS the Law (and Order).
- Fred Thompson has no fear of Muslims, he thinks they're funny.
- Fred Thompson won't doesn't need body guards or secret service protection. Bullets bounce off his chest.
- Fred Thompson can kick Chuck Norris' ass.
- Men and women both want to be him -- and be with him.
- Good children love him and bad children fear him, (and it is rumored that Fred Thompson gets final approval of Santa Clause's list).
- Fred Thompson will end global warming with mind control alone.
The pretense is over. We cannot continue to be led by a man who's disdain for the law and complete politicization of absolutely every single decision he makes.
White House Said to Prompt Firing of Prosecutors - New York Times: "Last October, President Bush spoke with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to pass along concerns by Republicans that some prosecutors were not aggressively addressing voter fraud, the White House said Monday. Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, was among the politicians who complained directly to the president, according to an administration official."I want my country back, a country I loved and was worthy of the respect of the entire planet.
We used to set the example for respecting human dignity and civil liberties, our prosperity proving what could happen when no one, not even the President, could put themselves above the law.
In our system, there is no single law enforcement officer with more discretion than a prosecutor except for the cop on the beat. When you interfere with that discretion, you unravel the very fabric of our system.
When you pressure a U.S. Attorney to bring down more of your political rivals, you are engaging in a conspiracy more fitting of a tyrant, a move reminiscent of the worst dictators.
Gonzales, Domenici, Rove, and now, President Bush himself, are unworthy to walk the halls of government -- a government of all the people, not just Republicans. This is no better, indeed worse than the charge of obstruction of justice, because when individual U.S. Attorneys are fired for pure partisan spite, it not only interferes with that specific office, but sends a message to all the other U.S. Attorneys that they better get in line.
Yes, they are indeed political appointees serving at the pleasure of the President -- and wholesale changes in their ranks are standard operating procedure when an administration changes.
This is different.
Clearly there was an attempt to influence elections through the abuse of prosecutorial power. Clearly there was an interference with the judicial system by the executive at the request of a friendly member of the legislative branch. This is a slap at all three branches of government plus the people who they represent -- all at once. Voting, the courts, Congress and the President -- all have been cheapened by this horrible episode.
If this precedent is allowed to stand, our system will become a joke. To sweep this under the rug, to minimize its import will codify a corrupt and diseased power structure into the foreseeable future -- where no citizen is safe from retaliation for politically unapproved acts.
We cannot defend the liberties inscribed in the Constitution knowing that those who are not members of the party in power are subject to politically motivated abuse of prosecutorial power. When those who would shout the loudest against Constitutional abominations like the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act live under a cloud of "legal" retaliation, there is no limit to the subjugation of our rights as citizens of this country by unscrupulous, power-mad despots.
Bush might as well just go through the voter rolls of the last election and jail everyone who didn't vote for him. Only then will he be able to create the nation his dementia wants to create.
A politically motivated prosecution is a text book case of abuse of process, a crime in and of itself. That is what Domenici was requesting and Bush, by all apparent evidence, was willing to grant. This undermines every court in the land. Every defense attorney in America with a client who was the least bit political, now has a built-in argument that he or she is merely a victim of a corrupt system.
It didn't take long for three of the most influential liberal blogs to call for the impeachment of Alberto Gonzales after the New York Times advised President Bush to (finally) dismiss the worst Attorney General since Ed Meese. (And to be fair, Gonzo is way worse than Meese ever was.)
The Times article lays out the case against the Attorney General in no uncertain terms. Gonzales is a disgrace. The politically motivated US Attorney firings, the FBI illegally spying on Americans, giving the administration legal cover to engage in "kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture," trashing the authority of the courts and the clearly worded meaning of laws, and undermining the electoral process itself. He is indeed,"consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency."
MyDD's Jonathan Singer actually beat the Times to the punch, hoping impeachment hearings will force Gonzales' resignation while noting that the Senate Judiciary Committee's Ranking Member, Arlen Spector (R-PA) has had enough of the nation's top law enforcement official acting like he got his law degree out of a box of Cracker Jack.
"One day, there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later"
Well before the we lost an hour to Daylight Saving Time, The Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft joined MyDD in the quest for the AG's impeachment. McJoan at that Orange Blog also called for Alberto's impeachment not 20 minutes later.
This of course proves that there is a vast left-wing conspiracy -- if you're a Fox News commentator that is. The Times, by merely calling for Gonzales' dismissal, just set the talking points for this morning's Sunday Bobbleheads. Brit Hume's eyes will bug out of his pointy head as he tells us how Shocked! ... Shocked he is that anyone would listen to such an obvious liberal hit-job.
The Times doesn't go far enough for us real liberals.
Another thing became clear this evening. Once again, Karl Rove is at the center of a White House scandal. It really should be no surprise that Rove's name should come up in the context of the fired U.S. Attorneys scandal -- affectionately known as the "Overblown Personnel Matter."
Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Newspapers: Presidential advisor Karl Rove and at least one other member of the White House political team were urged by the New Mexico Republican party chairman to fire the state's U.S. attorney because of dissatisfaction in part with his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation in the battleground election state.[snip]
In an interview Saturday with McClatchy Newspapers, Allen Weh, the party chairman, said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House liaison who worked for Rove and asked that he be removed. Weh said he followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House.
"Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?" Weh said he asked Rove at a White House holiday event that month.
"He's gone," Rove said, according to Weh.
"Anyone with any experience within the Justice Department is completely shocked and appalled by what has been described," said Stanley Hunterton, a former federal prosecutor of 12 years who investigated organized crime in Detroit and Las Vegas. "One of the things the Department has stood for was being apolitical. Sure, politics does gets involved in the appointment process, but this is just nuts."It's really this simple. The Attorney General committed perjury when he told Congress: "We have never asked a U.S. attorney to resign in an effort to retaliate against him or her or to inappropriately interfere with a public corruption case." This was a lie, because Karl Rove, known CIA cover blower, knew that someone in the White House "inappropriately interfered" in a public corruption case and fired what looks like more than a few U.S. Attorneys in retaliation.
The fact is, the real liberal conspiracy belongs to those of us who not only know better (that Bush will never fire Gonzo, let alone Turd Blossom) and are not afraid to stake out a controversial position even though we we know there are many who will disagree with us. The conspiracy can better be summed up with an old maxim that was played out in the 10:00 hour -- Great Minds Thinks Alike.
Moderate Left must be another term for Dispassionate Liberal.
I mean…my God, at what point do we start the impeachment proceedings?My "moderate" friend is so excitable. A "dispassionate" examination of the situation would inform him that Gonzales himself is a Civil Officer of the United States, subject to impeachment pursuant to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution. Rove, as Deputy Chief of Staff likewise is impeachable -- after all, he's not getting paid out of the spare change found in the cushions of the Oval Office couches.
The closest adviser to President Bush was actively involved in using the Justice Department to score political points against Democrats, and took steps to fire U.S. Attorneys who were insufficiently partisan.
That’s the opposite of everything that the Justice Department is supposed to stand for.
Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove should be fired immediately. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast, immediately. If that does not happen, Congress should immediately begin hearings into whether the President’s use of the Justice Department to harass political enemies is an impeachable offense. It certainly is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.
What's fun is that if the pattern we saw in the Libby case holds, Rove will sing like a canary when it looks like his own hide is being hung out to dry once he's sworn in. Who's going to lay odds that the approval process of the list of which U.S. Attorneys to fire went through the Office of Vice President?
Anybody? Any takers on my bet? Anybody?
I guess the secret's out. Gonzales, Rove and Dick Cheney abuse more power before breakfast than Nixon could have dreamed up if he'd been given a third term.
MyDD :: New Nevada Poll:
The results, courtesy of KRNV in Reno:
Where do you begin, Gore? The fact that they polled more Republicans than Democrats?
That there's no indication if any of the Democrats polled are likely to go to the caucuses?
How about the idea that since only about 5% of Democrats actually go to the Nevada Caucus, and only 40% of the 600 people sampled in the poll are actually Democrats, maybe, just maybe they got ahold of 12 people in the entire State of Nevada whose opinion really matters in this thing.
And yes, more women than men like John Edwards -- because he's a freaking stud! Not cuz he's "cute."
We've got to come up with a new term, because "astroturf" doesn't begin to describe this outright fraud -- not that the Associated Press didn't perform the usual stenography service for a transparant Republican lie.
The Washington Monthly:
"RUDY-MANIA....If New York City's actual firefighters don't like you -- and they don't -- but you're running for president as the hero of 9/11, what do you do? Answer: tell one of your campaign aides to invent your own group called "Firefighters for Rudy" and then tout it to the media.
Will they fall for it? Is the Pope Catholic? Greg Sargent has the scoop.
UPDATE: Just to give you an idea of how real this group is, check out www.firefightersforrudy.com. They, um, don't seem to have made much progress.
Oddly, though, if you just type "firefightersforrudy" into your browser's address bar, it redirects you to this fine liberal blog. At least, it does in Firefox."
Not since Fawn Hall have I awaited Congressional Testimony with quite the same emotional reaction. There's nothing quite like a blond bombshell with movie star good-looks telling a panel of boring old men all the sorted details of an administration bent on waging a war that neither the American people or a majority of Congress support.
But if that isn't enough to get your attention, maybe this will:
Brewster Jennings CIA counter-proliferation network prevented a WMD "salting" operation by Bush White House in Iraq.I'm going to wear out my popcorn maker. Giving us all a full week to hype the event will guarantee a lot of interest -- genius.
The effect on the Non-Proliferation division, and particularly Brewster Jennings is one particular area of questioning I plan on paying particular attention to. There are bound to be questions about the personal effects of Plame's outing by Robert "The Douchebag" Novakula gossiping with Armitage, and the concerted effort of Rove, and of course Dick Cheney's hatchet man, Scooter, to expose her.
But America needs to understand not just what this did to her life and career, but also the company used as her non-official cover. Were the chickenhawks surrounding the office of Vice President so bungleheaded, so callously ignorant to put the lives of anyone ever connected to Brewster Jenning at risk -- or was that the plan all along? (A feature, not a bug.)
"According to U.S. intelligence sources, the White House exposure of Valerie Plame and her Brewster Jennings & Associates was intended to retaliate against the CIA's work in limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.Anyone who has paid more than a passing interest in the Plame case knows that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company "employing" Ms. Plame and untold others who relied on it to explain their interest in activities relating to their mission: to track and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the world. What we know little about was just how successful they were.
WMR has reported in the past on this aspect of the scandal. In addition to identifying the involvement of individuals in the White House who were close to key players in nuclear proliferation, the CIA Counter-Proliferation Division prevented the shipment of binary VX nerve gas from Turkey into Iraq in November 2002.
The Brewster Jennings network in Turkey was able to intercept this shipment which was intended to be hidden in Iraq and later used as evidence that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. U.S. intelligence sources revealed that this was a major reason the Bush White House targeted Plame and her network."
Brewster Jennings seems just a casualty of the war -- the war the neo-cons have been waging against liberalism since the Nixon administration. However, there's some very suspicious facts making it around the Toobz, some of which has been buried in plain sight for a while. True Plameologists probably think this is old news, but not all of us have committed the After Downing Street revelations to memory -- or are even done reading the comprehensive coverage of the Libby trial by FireDogLake (who are the best evidence that the Pulizer Prize needs to be opened up to blogs.)
In fact, U.S. intelligence sources report that the first shipment of VX nerve gas to Saddam Hussein was carried out between 1988 and 1989. The gas was shipped to Iraq by a U.S. company that was established in 1987 -- The Carlyle Group.At the risk of running out of aluminum foil head-gear, if questions of Brewster Jennings' being deliberately shut down are conspicuous by their absence next week, enjoy the show, because that's all it will be -- puppet theater.
U.S. intelligence sources have also confirmed that Israeli military officers served unofficially with the U.S. Central Command headquarters in Baghdad. The Israelis were attached to the J2X (Joint Intelligence Liaison) in Baghdad. Their presence in Baghdad, according to the sources, was kept secret." Wayne Madsen Report