Thursday, May 31, 2007

Does this surprise anyone?

Gallup has taken an interesting approach to questioning the public about “President” Bush with their latest Gallup poll.

The poll gave respondents the open-ended question:

“If you could talk with President Bush for fifteen minutes about the situation in Iraq, what would you, personally, advise him to do?”
The responses were, as anyone with a brain would expect, not pro-Bush.
  • The largest category of responses from the public -- offered by a stark 54% -- would advise Bush to focus on removing the troops from Iraq and exiting the country, leaving the situation in the control of the Iraqis.
  • 39% of those say they would advise Bush to simply get U.S. troops out of Iraq now.
  • Another group, representing one-fourth of Americans, would advise the president to “stay the course” or get more aggressive in Iraq’s military actions.
  • A smaller category would advise the president to work with others in finding the best solution, including an advisory board or the United Nations (Yeah, like that’ll happen)
  • 6% would advise the president to admit his past mistakes and apologize (Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. More chance of )

Granted, these numbers are nice… but they also make you wonder who the hell is more delusional; the one in four who think everything is hunky-dory in Iraq and we should stay the course or the gaggle of republicans (and republican-in-waiting Joe Lieberman) who think Bush’s current strategy is working.

And who in their right mind would think that Bush would ever admit his mistakes? In his world, he doesn't make mistakes, other people do.

Must be nice to live in such a delusional state...

Thursday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • Candidate for gop Tool of the Week. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has decided to place blame for U.S. troop deaths on Congress’ Iraq debate. Said DeMint:
    “Al-Qaida knows that we’ve got a lot of wimps in Congress. I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.”
    (Besides being incredibly callous to the troops and their families, this has to be one of the absolutly dumbest things I have heard said recently about the war. Attacks increased because of debate? Has DeMint been taking simplicity lessons from Bush??)
  • Senator Joe “republican” Lieberman (I-CT) made a surprise visit to Iraq yesterday. And while he was strolling around saying things like “what I see here today is progress, significant progress,” troops that met with him were saying things 190 degrees different. Spc. David Williams collected questions for Lieberman from 30 other troops and the questions and statements included things like; “We don’t feel like we’re making any progress” and “When are we going to get out of here?” When Lieberman went to talk to the soliders again, he said we’re gonna do everything we can to get you guys out of here… yes, I’m lying… he actually said that leaving Iraq would be a
    victory for al-Qaida and a victory for Iran.
    (IRAN??? WTF)
  • AttornyGate is getting bigger and wider. Just how much longer can Gonzales hold on??
  • The Department of the Interior has been working hard on a vital issue for the last few months. No, not conservationsim…no, not the preservation of our National Parks… and no, not the monitoring of our wildlife… they’ve been coming up with a motto. (That’s a good use of their time and resources… hopefuly not everyone in the department was working on that one thing. But since it’s a part of this administration, they probably were…)
  • Are you among the hundreds dozen people wondering what former Head of Arabian Horse Association FEMA Michael "Heckuva Job" Brown has been up to? (I know you weren’t wondering… no one has). He was on Hardball with Chris “Bill O’Reilly Lite” Matthews last night to talk about… are you ready for this… Homeland Security… insert your own snark here.
  • And have we mentioned? That the next Democratic presidential debate is this Sunday night from 7 to 9 at Saint Anselm College. (Meh)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Administration that cares more about big business

You are not going to believe this… oh wait, it’s from the Bush(whacked) Administration, so of course you will.

The administration said earlier this week that they will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.

I typed that correctly… and you read that right…they will fight to keep meatpackers from testing their animals for mad cow disease.

What? The? Hell?

How did all of this start you ask, well, it seems that Creekstone Farms Premium Beef in Kansas, wants to test all of its cows for the disease.

Personally, I think that’s a fabulous idea… not only will it guarantee the meat is safe, it will be free enterprise at it’s finest because EVERYONE will want their meat from them because they’ll know it’s safe.

This administration has other ideas.. and one can look no further than their history of helping big business and screwing the average consumer to find the reason why.

Ya see… large meat companies worry that if Creekstone began testing all of its meat and advertised them as safe, they might have to perform the expensive tests on their larger herds as well, so the the Agriculture Department decided to start regulating the tests by arguing that widespread testing could lead to false positives that would thus harm the meat industry.

Are you kidding me??

Rick Perlstein at Common Sense explains it perfectly:

“First, observe the contempt for liberty. When E. coli conservatives say self-regulation is preferable to government, they're even lying about that. Second, observe the contempt for small business. When a small company want to - voluntarily! - hold its product to a higher standard, the government blocks it, in part because bigger companies have to be protected from the competition, in part because a theoretical threat to the bottom line (false positives) trumps protection against a deadly disease. There's your conservatism, America: not extremism in defense of liberty. State socialism in defense of Mad Cow.”

How the hell do the people in this administration sleep at night??

No one person can be this stupid, can they?

It’s well-documented that “President” Bush is, to be polite, an absolute fucking idiot… but at times I am still amazed at the absolute stupidity of this man.

Sometimes I am so amazed at the incredible stupidity of this man that I stare watching him in wide eyed wonder, shaking my head in the fact that he is the leader of the free world.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

He’s being confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies from both sides of the aisle… he’s getting grief from the Iraqi government, and yet…

And yet, he says that people actually agree with him, to which I must ask him; what color is the sky in your world George?

Liberals viewed last November’s elections as a harbinger and a mandate to bring our troops home. And we had support, with election exit polling showing that 55% thought the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

The president, in his indefinite “wisdom” (a term I use very, very loosely) says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want our troops pulled out -- they want to give the military more support in its mission.

Uh… ok… I’ll ask again; what color is the sky in your world George?

Said Bush;

“I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, 'Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave.' I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well.”
Ooooookayyyyy… last time I looked, "most Americans" overwhelmingly wanted a withdrawal from Iraq or, at the least, a timeline for withdrawal. In fact, a poll released by CBS and the New York Times last week showed that 63% of those polled supported a troop withdrawal timetable of sometime next year.

Has he finally lost it? Has he finally gone round the bend?

I realize that it’s entirely possible that he just doesn’t give a crap anymore. His “final chapter” so to speak is essentially written and he could very well ride out the last year and a half of his term not giving two shits about what anyone but himself thinks.

Bush has been living in an alternate reality for some time now, and that’s exactly where I would hide if I was responsible for a needless war, a failed attempt at reforms and approval ratings so low they’re approaching Nixonian levels.

It would be easy to count down the days until January 20, 2009 (especially with our handy-dandy countdown clock to the right), but right now, I'm not even sure that the Democrats are capable of listening to their constituency either regarding the war.

Wednesday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • “President” Bush is scolding the children opponents of the immigration reform legislation and said they “haven’t read the bill” and are offering “empty political rhetoric.” (Hello kettle, this is the pot; you’re black). And rather than have his conservative bretheren come to his aid, they instead seethed at his remarks. (George, you’re losing the support of other conservatives – shouldn’t that be a clue that you’re ineffective?)
  • Just when you think Tom DeLay (R-TX) couldn’t sound any more foolish, he opens his mouth and removes all doubt. In an article in the latest edition of the New Yorker, DeLay says that in the coming years, when he isn’t fighting the indictment in Texas he will build a conservative grass-roots equivalent of Said DeLay;
    “God has spoken to me,” he said. “I listen to God, and what I’ve heard is that I’m supposed to devote myself to rebuilding the conservative base of the Republican Party, and I think we shouldn’t be underestimated.”
    (Well good for you. Hey Tom, next time God talks to you, ask him if he believes that you’re innocent… I doubt that he’s fooled…)
  • “President” Bush is set to name the new head of the World Bank within the next day or two, and it’s someone qualified and not a Bushcrony… I’m kidding, it’s former Bush cabinet member and eternal-crony Robert Zoellick. (What? You were expecting him to name someone that HASN’T been kissing his ass for a millennium?)
  • There’s more intraparty strife happening in the republican party. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), now thought to be mulling over a presidential run, has taken a shot at Bush strategist Karl “President” Rove.
    “Let me be clear: twenty-eight-per-cent approval of the President, losing every closely contested Senate seat except one…that’s a collapse.”
    Gingrich went on to blame “not only Iraq and Hurricane Katrina but also Karl Rove’s ‘maniacally dumb’ strategy in 2004, which left Bush with no political capital.” (Gotta love it when members of th same party snipe at each other. Though I’m sure Rove will keep his mouth shut and won’t say anything at all… uh-huh… and Lindsay Lohan’s latest trip to rehab will work…)
  • And have we mentioned? That it was 2 years ago today that Vice President Dick “President” Cheney made his infamous statement that the insurgency in Iraq was in it’s “last throes.” ThinkProgress has a nice post up (complete with video satisfaction) about the anniversary, go check it out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • Paul Wolfowitz participated in an interview with the BBC this past weekend. In the interview, he took full responsibility for his forced resignation and said he would never again use his political clout to get things for others… I’m kidding, he blamed the media for his downfall and claimed he had been vindicated over ethics accusations… to that I ask him; what color is the sky in your world Paul??
  • Besides taxing the nerves of voters, the incrediblly-early presidential campaign is also putting a burden on the US Secret Service as they are expecting to “borrow” more than 2,000 immigration officers and federal airport screeners next year to help guard the ever-growing presidential fields. Because of the additional security, the department has had to cut back on efforts to combat counterfeiting and cyber-crime. This is definitely not good news. The Secret Service needs to be fully-staffed and refreshed in order to do their jobs most effectively)
  • AG Alberto Gonzales is still hanging on to his job, but now he’s starting to lose his Hispanic support.
  • And another Bush aide bolts the White House. No, not that one… no, not that one… sigh, no, not even THAT one. It’s Sara Taylor, the White House political director. Rumors are that she’s heavily involved with AttorneyGate but the “official” reason is she wants to explore new opportunities. The fact that she doesn’t have a new job or any plans lined-up already speaks volumes in my opinion… but what do I know?
  • This Washington Post article by Andrew Bacevich is stirring and emotional, I definitely suggest everyone gives it a read.
  • A recent Gallup poll shows that “despite the remarkably early start on this year's presidential campaign and the high-visibility presence of the major candidates on television news shows and in televised debates, the name identification of the leading candidates or potential candidates has not changed much so far this year.” (Well duh… did we really need a Gallup poll to show us this? The obscenely early start of the campaign has already made people tune out what the candidates are saying, and it’s likely to only get worse as we get closer. Perhaps if we stopped the campaigning, the asinine-early debates and all, people might care a little more… or not)
  • And have we mentioned? That former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has withdrawn his name from consideration for World Bank president to take a break from political work. (To that I say; ‘whew!’)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

Friday… Memorial Day is coming… three-day weekend… the non-official start of Summer… time to go play outside… but not before you check out this week’s Rewind:

Applaud: to record lows. According to a new American Research Group poll. “President” Bush’s approval rating sits at 31%, a record low in this poll. And to make it better, his approval is 33% in a new Rasmussen poll, which is another record low… (I was always taught to not kick a man when he’s down… so I’ll save the snark for later)

Heckle: to the fact that 72% of Americans think that things in the U.S. are “seriously off on the wrong track,” which is the highest number since the Times/CBS News poll began asking the question in 1983. (While it’s good to see that 72% of Americans see this administration’s work for what it is, it’s still extremely dissapointing to see that. Things need to be changed… and quick…)

Applaud: to going against your party because you know it’s the right thing to do. Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Jodi Rell (R-CT) wrote an Op-Ed piece that said it “borders on malfeasance” (because the EPA has refused to sign off on their states plans to enact tailpipe emissions standards) for the Bush administration to block the efforts of their respective states to reduce global warming pollution. (More proof that not all republicans/conservatives are lemmings when it comes to Global Warming. Nice job guys…)

Heckle: to this disturbing and troubling bit of news. The system for delivering badly needed gear to Marines in Iraq has failed to meet over 90% of the “urgent requests for equipment from troops in the field.” Among the items held up were insignificant little things such as “mine resistant vehicles and a hand-held laser system.” (This… this is unacceptable. Our troops are the ones risking their lives for an unjust war…the least… the ABSOLUTE LEAST… we can do is to make sure they have the proper equipment and, when it’s needed STAT... to get it to them STAT…no fucking excuses allowed… NONE!)

Applaud: to political watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. They’re suing the White House and allege that the administration “refuses to comply” with a public records request related to the more than 5 million missing e-mails from administration officials. (Niiiiiiice… about time someone calls this administration to the floor for doing things their way and not caring about ‘silly little things’ like, the law… the Constitution… habeas corpus. Keep pounding them!)

Heckle: to 19. (No… not the song by Paul Hardcastle) but 19 as in the number of times “President” Bush referenced al Qaeda during his hour-long press conference Thursday. From Think Progress;
“There was no evidence that Osama bin Laden was responsible” for the bird droppings that landed on Bush, but “just about everything else that came up during the hour-long news conference was traced to bin Laden’s terrorist network.”
(The fact that this administration is STILL trying to tie the war in Iraq to al Qaeda and 9/11 is preposterous. Does anyone still buy that argument? And if so I’d like to meet them so I can hit them upside the head with a reality stick.. and by that I mean a 2 X 4)

Applaud: to Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Joe Biden (D-DE). They decided that they wanted their own questions about Iran answered so they wrote a letter to “President” Bush;
“Congress needs to have greater confidence that the Administration is not mismanaging Iran policy as it has mismanaged its Iraq policy.”
(Speaks for itself… doesn’t it?)

Heckle: to wasting time. Rather than implement anything the Iraq Study Group orignally suggested, the White House did what it always does… did it their way. Now, after countless lives lost, a strategy that has no strategy to it, the the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group are getting a second look from the White House as they attempt to find any sort of solutions to salvage the situation in Iraq. (Brilliant… think of everything – including lives – if even a few of these recommendations were made. Although, it probably took that long for the pretty pictures to reach Bush’s brain…)

Applaud: to Fox “News.” (Yes… you read that right… now before you kick me out of the Liberal Bloggers Society, hear me out) According to a new Fox “News” poll, the largest issue that people will take into account in their choice for President in 2008 will be…drumroll please… the war/situation in Iraq. (This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.. nor should the fact that Bush’s approval rating stands at 34% in the poll… what should surprise is that Fox “News” reported it and didn’t run it through their conservative filter)

Heckle: to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Usully we can just say on general principles alone… but we have to throw out a technical this week. The putz is, once again, talking about the possibility of switching parties because, as he said, “I feel so separated.” (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… thank your lucky stars we didn’t get him as a VP. Oh, and here's a private shout-out to the Senator...'Leave! We don't want you, and it's not like you've been a big help to us anyway)

Applaud: to former VP and our true President?, Al Gore. I know I mentioned it already once this past week, but it’s such a kicker quote, I have to give it a mention in the Rewind. After Tony “Job” Snow said of Al Gore’s new book: “I don’t know if they’re going to do a reprinting of the book to try to get the facts straight. The fact-checkers may have to take a look at it.” Gore responded on a blogger conference call with: “This book, unlike the President’s State of the Union Address, has been fact-checked.” (I love it… I absolutely love it… Pundit/blogger Taylor Marsh has full audio of the call if you want to hear it)

Heckle: to just not getting it. During Thursday’s press conference, a White House correspondent asked “President” Bush, point blank, why the American people should trust him in light of the major mistakes he has made since first invading Iraq;
REPORTER:“The majority in the public, a growing number of Republicans, appear not to trust you any longer to be able to carry out this policy successfully. Can you explain why you believe you’re still a credible messenger on the war?” BUSH: “I’m credible because I read the intelligence, David.”
Hmmmm… on Friday, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released pre-war intelligence that, in early 2003, warned the Bush administration that invading Iraq could create massive internal strife, giving extremist groups like al Qaeda new opportunities to expand their influence… (But he reads the intelligence… he doesn’t understand it, but he reads it. And his lips barely move… this is just further proof that the man just doesn’t have a clue)

Applaud: to the House for doing what we elect them to do…pass bills & legislation. This past week they passed, among other things, ethics legislation “that would penalize lawmakers who receive a wide range of favors from special interests” and, among other things, “require lobbyists to disclose the campaign contributions they collect and deliver to lawmakers.” They also approved legislation that would upgrade and expand the nation’s network of health care and benefit outreach centers for military veterans, which is one of seven veteran-related bills that the House approved this past week to provide millions more dollars in benefits. They also passed legislation that would “curb President Bush’s power to appoint prosecutors indefinitely,” and would place a 120 term limit on interim U.S. attorneys. (While they may have failed with a proper Iraq funding bill that should have included withdrawal timelines, this is a good week’s work. Especially considering last years ‘do-nothing’ Congress. Let’s just hope they keep this pace up…)


Applaud: to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who said Friday that former White House aide “Scooter” Libby betrayed the public’s trust and deserves to spend 2 1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation. (He probably won’t get it… but it’s refreshing to see somone speak honestly for once…)


Applaud: to Center for American Progress Senior Fellow, and former Reagan Pentagon official, Lawrence Korb. He wrote an Op-Ed piece in Friday’s Philadelphia Inquirer that the commanding general in Iraq, General David Petraeus, cannot be trusted to deliver an unbiased report. (I think most people already knew that… but for it to come from a republican is always a shot at this administration… which I enjoy a lot…)

Friday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • The House and Senate passed an Iraq War funding bill that is sans timelines. (What else can be said? We needed to fund our troops… but the Dems backed down. The measure of how they do now lies with this question; Will they bring the fight back or will they disappear? Stay tuned…)
  • The House also passed an Ethics reform bill that would penalize lawmakers who receive a wide range of favors from special interests, would require lobbyists to disclose the campaign contributions they collect and deliver to lawmakers and allow for more-frequent reporting of what lobbyists had paid. (This is a good bill… not a great bill, but a good one – and it should be interesting to see what happens next…)
  • In what can only be described as the pot calling the kettle black; “President” Bush argued that Congress’ investigation into AttorneyGate is being done for “political reasons.” (Well duh… welcome to planet Earth George, of course it’s being done for political reasons… much like the firings of the attorneys to begin with…)
  • The Immigration debate is still raging

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Now what?

Monica Goodling’s testimony yesterday, while not earth-shattering, did contain some revelations that the Dems will be able to use as talking poins.

What exactly did we learn?

That Ms. Goodling thinks Paul McNulty, the Deputy Attorney General, misled the Senate in his testimony about how the White House played a limited role in the firings because she knew that he personally knew otherwise.

Fighting point number 1.

That Mr. McNulty withheld information from the Senate of concealing Senator Domenici’s role in the termination of Attorney Iglesias.

Fighting point number 2.

That, as mentioned in this morning’s ‘BushWhack’ing; Ms. Goodling has admitted to taking inappropriate political considerations into account when hiring DOJ employees.

Fighting point number 3.

That Ms. Goodling believed that Gonzales made public statements that were inaccurate and that he appeared to be engaged in "coaching" witnesses, even though he said in his testimony that he had gone out of his way to not talk to any of the witnesses and that he had coached her, coaching that made her feel “uncomfortable.”

Fighting point number 4.

That the White House was far-more involved in the process than has ever been suspected… and that Ms. Goodling believes that Karl “Emperor” Rove was directly involved in the process.

Fighting point number 5.

That, contradicting Gonzales’ testimony, there was indeed another U.S. Attorney, number 9, on the list to be fired.

Fighting point number 6.

We got ammo… now it’s time for the Judiciary Committee to investigate this matter with a fine-tooth comb.

They need to get McNulty, Sampson, Rove and Gonzales’ asses in front of them and rip up a new one…


Thursday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), along with Senators. Carl Levin (D-MI), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Joe Biden (D-DE) have written a letter to “President” about Iran:
    “Congress needs to have greater confidence that the Administration is not mismanaging Iran policy as it has mismanaged its Iraq policy.”
    (No chance of that happening as I’m sure this administration has learned their less— … hahahahahahahahahahaha… I knew I wouldn’t be able to write that line without laughing my ass off…)
  • Monica M. Goodling, the former DOJ White House liaison who resigned last month told the House Judiciary Committee yesterday that she “crossed the line” by using political criteria in the hiring of career professionals at Justice. (I am shocked… shocked to find gambling in this establishment…)
  • About those boastings by the Democratic majority in the House that their first bit of legislation as majority contained no money earmarked for lawmakers' pet projects… they’d like to politely ask you that you forget about those boastings as the pork is back… (Hmmmm, I just envisioned a Terminator take-off with Porky Pig. Same old, same old… nothing’s changed)
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency is saying that Iran has again defied U.N. demands to suspend its nuclear enrichment programs… (And I’m just about done with that bomb shelter of mine…)
  • Remember how that bipartisan immigration bill that was supposed to rescue the republican party? Well… it’s doing the exact opposite and is fracturing rather than “saving” the national party. (Hate to be one who says I told you so to someone already lying on the ground… but anyone who thought that this plan would appease the republican base were kidding themselves and are getting their comeuppance…)
  • And have we mentioned? That House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing a dilemma in the coming weeks. No, not the Iraq spending bill… nor lobbying reform… but whether or not to support San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds’ and his chase of catching homerun king Hank Aaron… (I am SO loathsome of the mainstream media. This is as bad as reporting on “President” Bush not wearing his seatbelt. Do we care??)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • Reason #22 why people love Al Gore. Earlier this week Tony Snow said of Al Gore’s new book:
    “I don’t know if they’re going to do a reprinting of the book to try to get the facts straight. The fact-checkers may have to take a look at it.
    Gore’s response?
    “This book, unlike the President’s State of the Union Address, has been fact-checked.”
    (Score one for Mr. Gore…)
  • House Democrats have given-up on demanding a troop-withdrawal deadline being included in the Iraq war spending package, thus seemingly abandoning their top goal of bringing U.S. troops home… and in the process giving “President” Bush a political victory. (This is unsettling… I’m all for funding the war as I don’t want our soldiers being put in harms way, but no timeline for withdrawal is against what a majority of the country wants… and what a majority of Iraqis want… yet the House is ignoring that… sad and pathetic that “the people’s voice” is giving us much voice…)
  • Mouths are watering in DC with former Alberto Gonzales aide Monica Goodling, given immunity, getting ready to sing like a canary testify about AttorneyGate. (Get your tickets now everyone, this should make for some interesting theater…)
  • Immigration reform has cleared it’s first major hurdle
  • The Bush(whacked) Administration is crafting a new Iraq strategy that will shift focus to more political goals and the removing of “hardened sectarian actors” … (Yeah… this should end well…)
  • And have we mentioned? The mainstream media has caught Bush breaking the law… unfortunately it doesn’t involve lying to the American people about getting us into an unjust war… or ignoring the US Constitution… or hiring people staggeringly unqualified for high-level positions… but rather for not wearing his seatbelt while driving… (You’re kidding me, right? Of all the things the man has done… we’re going to give this much attention to THIS??? Way to go MSM… way to go… where’s Edward R. Murrow when you need him??)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Surge: Part Two

I seem to remember people in the Bush(whacked) Administration saying the troop “surge” was a short-term solution.

They lied…

I know, you’ll contain your shock at that statement…

As if we needed more proof that “President” Bush’s escalation is hardly a short-term surge, Hearst Newspapers is reporting today that the White House is quietly implementing a second Iraq troop surge that would “nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year” and would bring the total number of brigades in Iraq to 28 by this winter.

This is not only ominous, it’s troubling… this war is being escalated again, and it looksa as though no one is capable of stopping the Bush/Cheney juggernaut from making the same mistakes the U.S. made in Vietnam…

In the current escalation, Bush ordered five brigades to accompany the 15 already stationed in Iraq.

This “second surge” of troops is being carried out in a shrewd way to avoid any unneccesary publicty by extending tours for brigades already there and by deploying more units, this could boost the number of combat troops to as many as 98,000 (from 52,500).

When you throw in support troops the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 (where it currently stands) to more than 200,000.

Strange isn’t it… that when Bush trumpeted the first escalation back in January he did it with horns a-blazin’ and a nationally televised address.

This time he’s keeping it quiet and under wraps so to avoid the backlash that would almost definitely result in yet another troop esclation in a war that a majority of Americans have already written-off as a failure.

While an Army spokesman denies that there is a second surge, Hearst Newspapers maintains that their story is accurate.

What if Hearst is correct and there is another surge coming, what does it mean?

For one thing it means that the administration has no plans to curtail this war at all.

It also means that the White House doesn’t see the Democratic majority in congress as an obstacle, something that the Dems need to alter very, very quickly.

And where exactly will Bush be getting these troops from anyway?? He’s having a hard time finding troops for the current escalation, where the hell is he going to find more??

In my humble opinion, conservatives will do anything within their power to both escalate and expand this war before January 20, 2009 when the world will once again be a happy place Bush's term is up.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday 'BushWhack'ing

  • This should come as a surprise to absolutely NO ONE. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has been discussing (Again!?) the possibility that he might turn to the dark side switch parties. Said the Idiotndependent; “I hope the moment doesn’t come that I feel so separated.” (Joe is seperated… from reality. The amount of money the republicans fed his campaign is pathetic, and for anyone to actually consider him a Democrat or even an Independent, shows their stupidity. He is a de facto republican and has been for some time. When we moan what could have been with Gore, we should also thank God for not saddling us with Lieberman as VP…)
  • New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson made his presidential bid official… wait… it wasn’t already??
  • Despite an ever-growing number of his own party asking for his resignation, “President” Bush is standing by AG Alberto Gonzales and is blaming Democrats for his being embattled. (Apparently Bush hasn’t seen that a few of his fellow-republicans think Gonzales should leave as well. As I’ve said here many, many times; Gonzales has become nothing more than an albatross around the neck of Bush, and the longer he stays around, the more harm it will have on his administration… though that’s a good thing in my eyes…)
  • Speaking of Gonzales, Democrats are still pressing forward on plans to call for a no-confidence vote on him. (This story is becoming more and more like a movie, which leads me to ask; what could possibly happen next?)
  • After weeks of refusing to back down to “President” Bush on setting an Iraq timetable, House Democratic leaders are… well… backing down. And the rank and file Democrats ain’t happy about it. (Yes, they backed down. But we have to look at the larger picture here… if the Dems went ahead, the media war would be easily won by the republicans by saying we don’t support the troops – an argument used many times before. We need to take it slow… we need to take it properly. Have some faith that we will get it done sooner, I think, rather than later… at least that’s what I keep telling myself)
  • The immigration bill isn’t gaining much speed yet, and is gathering more opposition by the hour. This should end well…
  • And have we mentioned? The future of dismissed U.S. Attorney David Iglesias (whose firing started the whole AttorneyGate fiasco) is bright. Check out this article in the Washington Post and tell me if you don’t see a bright Liberal political future for him… I certainly do.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday 'BushWhack'ing

  • The widow of the last republican president to matter to all republicans has publicly opined about the current state of the U.S. In an interview with Good Morning America, Nancy Reagan said that President Reagan would have been "worried" about the current state of the country and the Iraq war. (Papa Bush can NOT be happy that his son has tarnished the sterling image his mentor crafted… and with Ms. Reagan now coming out and saying what many are thinking, republicans have got to be worried about the future of their party)
  • The number of Americans who say “things in the U.S. are going in the right direction” currently sits at 25%,the lowest level of satisfaction since the survey started in December 2003. (Color me NOT surprised. There are a scant few people in this country who still believe that, and more than half of the quarter live/work in the White House. As we’ve said before, January 20, 2009 can NOT come soon enough…)
  • There is a war brewing within each party on the immigration issue… watch for it.
  • Not surprisingly the Democrats have outpaced the republican party on the world wide web, and now, lagging far behind, the republicans have finally acknowledged the internet it seems, and are racing to play catch-up. (This should not come as a surprise to anyone as the Democrats have embraced the internet and the grassroots faster and sooner than the gop. If the gop wants to catch-up, they’re going to have a long and difficult journey… and there’s still no guarantee that they will… so stay tuned)
  • The no-confidence vote that Senate Democrats have brewing would make AG Alberto Gonzales resign immediately. At least that’s what Sen. Phil Arlen Specter (R-PA) wants you to think. (Gonzales has already made it clear that he won’t resign unless he’s asked by “President” Bush… and that’s highly unlikely, no matter how much of an albatross he is around the administration’s neck. So for Specter to suggest that is laughable. Gonzales doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and he’s not going to implicitly confess by resigning… of course I could be totally wrong about all of that, so we’ll just have to wait and see…)
  • And have we mentioned? That the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations are getting a second look from both Congress and the White House. It seems that both entities are, how do I say this… desperate… to salvage something… anything from the war and that benchmarks, which the Bush(whacked) Administration has vehemently showed their lack of interest in, are one of the primary tools under consideration. (I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this; About. Fucking. Time.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Week That Was: Decision 20078

Sorry… it just feels like the election is this year.

Another week has been finished in the 2008 presidential race… so let’s get to our quick rundown of the week that was in the 2008 presidential race.

The Democrats

The Democratic candidates tried to bolster their union cred this past week with a few of them making speeches to thousands of union members on the National Mall at a rally sponsored by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. They all said different things but had the same general premise; a promise to reverse what they called a long-standing anti-labor stance by “President” Bush.

Biden discovered that he had something in common with one of his rivals, it’s just too bad that it’s republican rival Mike Huckabee.

Clinton she saw her big lead in Iowa shrink as a new poll in that state shows her running neck and neck with Obama and Edwards… too bad the election is still more than 14 months away… she also saw Bill stumping for her online (No, that is not a euphemism…)

Dodd came out swinging with his first ad in Iowa where he attacks his opponents on Iraq.

Edwards didn’t let a slip of the tongue interfere with his stumping and saw himself defending himself that some of his investments are with companies that do business with the Sudanese government.

Gravel Nothing to see here… move along…Gore the man who isn’t running gave another clue that he might be re-considering (yet another) change of mind. In an interview with Time Magazine published Thursday he said he has not “ruled out” a possible run. Having said that, he also stated that he has "fallen out of love with politics" and believes that he can advance his causes via avenues other than the presidency. (Al, I think I speak for everyone when I say this; Make. A. Decision)

Kucinich is he still in the race even???

Obama in an attempt to overtake Hillary’s seemingly ever-growing lead, he “flashed his fangs” this week by tearing into her flip-flopping position on the Iraq war ( in her defense, she’s just trying to be like everyone else…). When asked if he will take the Black vote for granted he responded with an intelligent; "I expect to have to earn it.” (that’s a great answer as it shows people that he’s not expecting to just get the Black vote because he is Black, but that he will have to earn it. Very smart answer) Richardson keynoted the Young Democrats of America convention and well… that’s it really…

the republicans

Brownback, Giuliani, Gilmore, Huckabee, Hunter, McCain, Paul, Romney, Tancredo, and Tommy Thompson all appeared at the second republican debate in Columbia, S.C on Tuesday. Two of them came out in favor of torture… while another blamed 9/11 on U.S. attacks on Iraq.

All in all it was your typical republican forum with tying everything into terrorism or 9/11… perhaps they should get some new material like… I don’t know…issues??

Bloomberg said and did nothing to strengthen or dispel any rumors about him running for President… so stay tuned. Although Chuck Hagel (R-NE) did hint at a possible Independent run and said he might seek to do it in conjunction with Bloomberg… so just when you think it couldn’t get any stranger… along comes Hagel…

Brownback didn’t do much but piss off abortion rights advocates by saying he wants abortion outlawed even in cases of rape or incest. (Lovely… while that will play to the republican base, every moderate slammed the door on his face after hearing that…)

Gingrich Even though he hasn’t declared his candidacy, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is certainly talking like someone running for President. This past week alone he’s given his opinions about how the ‘08 field is “demeaning the presidency,” that the field looks like “game show contestants” during the debates and that there is a “great possibility” that he might jump into the ring. (Newt would not bring anything new to the gop field as he’s another republican panderer)

Giuliani got slammed by James Dobson for not being conservative enough… despite clarifying his stance on abortion (which still didn’t sit well with the gop base) while also trying to justify the fact that his wife Judith is being paid close to $125,000 a year for “speechwriting help” (Is that what the kids are calling to today?)

Huckabee generated a lot of buzz, positive & negative, after making fun of John Edwards’ expensive haircuts in the debate earlier this week… and found himself defending the tax hikes he’s promised if he wins.

Hunter is even in the race still??? When he doesn’t even make news after a debate, you have to wonder why he’s still running…

McCain drew the ire of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) because he is the only presidential candidate in Congress this year that has missed a major vote on the Iraq war… and the age question is starting to catch-up to him (as slow as he walks, it certainly moves slow as well). The Los Angeles Times wrote an Op-Ed this past week asking if McCain is physically fit to serve as president. It should be noted that, at the age of 70, if he got elected he would be the oldest person in history to enter the White House… yes, even older than The Gipper. (While I don’t necessarily think age should be a factor in choosing a president, medical history should be a slight consideration. McCain has had a couple of bouts of cancer and still suffers from effects of years of torture. Can his health and his body handle a 24/7 life?) And released an ad that slams McCain and his support of “President” Bush and his Iraq policies… (Now he feels how John Kerry did when he was attacked by Swiftboat ads… actually, since he IS a republican, McCain may not feel a damn thing)

Paul You’re probably doing like I did when I saw his name earlier this week… who the hell is this??? He’s a Texas Congressman who got into it with Rudy during this week’s presidential debate and also conjured up imagery of Ronald Reagan by saying the republicans need to have the “courage of Ronald Reagan”… (Uh-huh… anyway, we haven’t heard much from him in the past, but he came out swinging this week. While I wouldn’t consider him a second tier candidate yet, he deserves paying attention to as he can incite pretty damn well…)

Romney Most experts thing he won the debate, but he also picked up the telephone this past week and joined some of his volunteers in an effort to recruit 24,000 new supporters for his presidential campaign. He also saw his son, Tagg, defend his stance on abortion. And at the debate, he mentioned those words that are spoken so often by republicans on the stump and then taken back so often by republicans in office: “no new taxes” (and we know how well that always works out for them)

Tancredo is “looking for Jack Bauer” (I assume it for torture techniques and NOT something else… ew, ew, ew bad image just popped into my head…)
F. Thompson Law and Order got picked up for another season… and that’s about all the news linked with him for the week…
T. Thompson What? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.. my hearing aid battery died and I have to go to the bathroom. This is what his campaign has been reduced to… constant verbal barrages about this poor showing in the first debate… at least he didn’t embarrass himself further in the second debate… oh, wait…

And finally…

Most of the candidates reported their finances this past week with Biden, Dodd, Edwards, Giuliani, Gravel, Huckabee, Hunter, Obama, Paul, Richardson and Tancredo reporting theirs. Clinton, Gilmore, Romney, McCain and Tommy Thompson requested and got extensions (Hmmmmm… nothing to see here… move along….)

The Washington Post has some highlights; such as
“Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) wrote his way to millionaire status with a best-selling memoir. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) raked in $11 million by trotting the globe giving speeches last year. [..]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) married money -- his wife is the millionaire daughter of an Arizona beer magnate. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) became the richest of the 2008 candidates for the White House by dealing in private equity funds that have bought and sold significant interests in more than 180 companies. […]

And John Edwards, a trial lawyer who earned his initial fortune by defending the ill and injured in the courtroom, made $479,000 last year in salary and held than $7.5 million in investments with Fortress Investment Group, a New York hedge fund.”

(Mmmmmmmmm, beeeeeeeer… maybe McCain should promise free beer for everyone, that would rocket him to victory. Does this really mean anything???

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Weekly Rewind

In this corner, weighing in at a staggering debt load of over $8 trillion, and bloated with two-faced beaurocrats, in the black trunks, the Bush Administration. And in this corner, in the White Trunks, two guys who are not quite so much in debt, and are out to open the eyes of the willing everywhere, the “Bush”-Whacked Administration. Now let’s get ready to Rewinnnnnnnnnnnnnnd!!

Sorry folks just felt a little bit of an attitude coming on.

Heckle: We’ll send you there, but once you’re there, you’re on your own. U.S. Embassy employees in Iraq are growing increasingly angry over what they say are inadequate security precautions in the heavily fortified Green Zone. Most staff members still sleep in trailers that one described as ‘tin cans’ that offer virtually no protection from rocket and mortar fire. The government has “refused to harden the roofs because of the cost”, one employee said. When will the various agencies in our government get treatment for their Cranial-Rectal Inversion and start to take care of our people serving overseas?

Heckle: to opening mouth and inserting foot….or, just another day in the life of a conservative. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday defended the decision to place scandal-plagued Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) on the Appropriations Committee. “Where do you draw the line?” Boehner asked. “We do not want a blanket allegation to rise to the level of credibility where we are basing our decisions on it. It’s unfair.” Hmmmm, I think we draw the line at appointing corrupt or possibly corrupt officials in positions of authority…..just a thought….

Heckle: to President Bush on principles alone.

Heckle: to once again proving that this administration acts before it thinks, and then has to back track and look stupid. The White House confirmed yesterday that the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad is likely to meet in the next several weeks with Iranian officials about stabilizing Iraq, as the administration embraces a tactic outsiders have long recommended as essential to reducing sectarian violence in Iraq. Ok, we didn’t do the job right to begin with, we know you are causing trouble for us and are a main supporter of violence against us and we should do something about it, but we have lost face in the world, other countries laugh at our sabre rattling, but we want to talk and make nice…. we still hate you, but we acknowledge the power that you have in the region… I need to continue?

Heckle: to the sheer stupidity of a statement. Afghanistan now produces 92 percent of the worlds opium. Bush administration officials acknowledge that until recently, “fighting drugs was considered a distraction from fighting terrorists.” The problem has become so severe that American officials now “hope that Afghanistan’s drug problem will someday be only as bad as that of Colombia.” And remind me again how our ‘War on Drugs’ against Columbia is oh so succesfull ……

Heckle: to diverting funds from our deserving troops. Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments. Remember all those stories about how well things are at Walter Reed, and how the VA is on the cutting edge of Technology and taking care of our troops…..I’ll continue while you keep thinking…

Heckle: to Alberto Gonzales, on principles alone, and this week also due to the allegations of former Deputy AG James Comey.

Applaud: to Bill Maher. As we’ve said before on this site, it’s not often we applaud him, but sometimes he nails it. Case in point:

New Rule: You can’t send the National Guard to Iraq and then claim it’s still here. The helicopters, the Humvees, the men…Like Dorothy and Toto, they’re not in Kansas anymore. Sorry Mr. President, but the last documented case of a National Guardsman able to be in two place at one time…was you.”
Well said Bill….

Heckle: to the continued raping and pillaging of the average American. “Households are spending about $1,000 more per year for gasoline than they were just five years ago, an 85 percent increase” according to consumer groups’ analysis prepared for the House Judiciary Committee. “In the past five years the oil industry has picked consumers pockets for 200 billion in excess profits,” said the Consumer Federation of America. Next time you fill up remember that it’s too expensive to build a new refinery, or that many Oil Company CEO’s are taking home $100 million + a year….remember that as the pump passes $50 or $75 while you are filling up….

Applaud: to not quietly taking what bones the administration is willing to throw. The Justice Department on Wednesday told an angry Senate Judiciary Committee chairman it does not have documents described in a subpoena that demands all materials relating to Karl Rove’s possible involvement in the U.S. attorney firings. Instead, it said, “ Rove’s lawyer must have them.” And if there is nothing to hide, why haven’t they been turned over….??

Applaud: to more from Gore…. Al Gore will release his new book The Assault on Reason next week. Gore tells Time that he began questioning why “our democracy hasn’t responded” to both the climate crisis and the Iraq war. “So I started thinking, What’s going on here? … Our democracy was pushed around by false impressions and wasn’t able to hold its focus,” he says. “That’s the common denominator. Once I’d thought through all of that, I couldn’t not write this book.” Does anyone else think that the contry may be better served with Mr. Gore in a Whistle Blower, serving the public interest kind of way? In that capacity he is beholden to no one….

Heckle: to more of the same old stuff. Several senators have urged President Bush to withdraw his nomination of Michael Baroody — a corporate lobbyist picked to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission — saying the candidate was “unqualified and the appointment posed insurmountable conflicts of interest.” Am I the only one that sees this as the Fox guarding the Hen House?

This one does not qualify for either an Applaud or a Heckle. Earlier this week the Senate passed a bi-partisan bill that would make the estimated 12 million plus illegal immigrants currently in the United States eligible for legal status. Some of the main provisions are that they would have to pay a fine, wait a certain period of time, and return first to their country of origin, to then enter the country legally. The bill also contained a provision to allow ‘new’ U.S. citizens to sponsor relatives for immigration using a complicated point system that rewards points based on certain competencies. Among these are if someone is a skilled/educated worker, as well as the ability to speak English. The better you are the more points you get. Right away people on both sides of this issue are crying foul. Liberals are complaining about the fines, Conservatives are complaining about this bill granting ‘amnesty’ to illegals. This story is far from over….

Well there you have it. Not too many applauds (of course), but enough heckles to go around. Don’t worry we will have more heckles next week. Until then…

Be good, stay informed…..later.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The story, and the cover-up, continues...

Considering that neither ABC nor CBS have, according to Media Matters, aired one single story about the testimony of James Comey, I refuse to let this story die on this blog.

It’s a given that Card and Gonzales broke any and all bounds of decency, civility and decorum in their sick-bed confrontation with John Ashcroft… but now there’s more and more talk about if their nighttime hospital raid broke the law.

Neil Katyal, the Georgetown law professor who served as a national security advisor in Bill Clinton's Justice Department told Time magazine, “Executive branch rules require sensitive classified information to be discussed in specialized facilities that are designed to guard against the possibility that officials are being targeted for surveillance outside of the workplace.”

Katyal went on to say that “The hospital room of a cabinet official is exactly the type of target ripe for surveillance by a foreign power.”

According to Time magazine, the law controlling the unwarranted disclosure of classified information gained through electronic surveillance is very, very strict. In the past everyone from low-level officers in the armed forces to sitting Senators have been investigated by the DOJ for the intentional disclosure of such information, and the penalty for “knowingly and willfully” disclosing information “concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States” carries a penalty up to 10 years in prison under U.S. law.

Will Gonzales and/or Card be charged with anything?

I doubt it… a spokesman for the National Security Division of the Justice Department was asked about the legality of the hospital conversation and if either of them could be charged with a crime, he declined to “speculate on discussions that may or may not have taken place.”

Translation: No, he won’t be charged with anything as long as George Bush is in the White House.

So even as gop support for Gonzales wavers and more republicans join in the chorus to have him ousted… the cover-up continues.

Friday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • In a 220 to 208 vote, the House yesterday ignored a veto threat from President Bush and “demanded that the administration develop a plan to transfer detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” (Bush really likes his veto crayone, doesn't he?)
  • What was the reaction of World Bank employees upon hearing the news that Paul Wolfowitz was resigning? According to one employee who declined to be named:
    “Everyone ran into the hallways and were clapping and hugging each other.”
    (Nice… he was loved, wasn’t he?)
  • And then there were six. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) became the fifth Senate Republican to call for AG Alberto Gonzales to resign. That news was followed by number six, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) who told AP
    “The president might decide that the current leadership remaining at DOJ is doing more harm than good.”
    (I’ve said it before but now it’s becoming more clear – Gonzales is becoming an albatross around the neck of Bush and his administration and needs to be cut loose ASAP)
  • In what can best be described as the last chance for “President” Bush to actually do something and achieve a legislative accomplishment for his second term, the Bush(whacked) administration and a bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement on Thursday on a vast overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. The legislation would essentially bring illegal immigrants out of “society's shadows” while simultaneously stiffen the borders and crack down on employers of undocumented workers. (This seems likely to pass… and could bring Bush his first victory in a very long time. The problem is, according to most polls immigration is the LEAST of American’s worries well behind Iraq, the economy and education, so it could still be a very tough sell…)
  • The fallout from James Comey’s testimony continues
  • And have we mentioned? “President” Bush had his BFF over to the White House yesterday as outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair made his last official visit to the White House (though I’m sure he stay over after he’s done so they can chat all night and do each other’s hair) As expected it was a Love Fest as each one took turns fellating praising each other. It was all pretty disgusting actually… like a massive public display of affection that made everyone watching uncomfortable. Too bad we can’t get Bush to leave office now…

Thursday, May 17, 2007

We need to be told the truth

The more I read about James Comey’s testimony earlier this week, the more questions I have…

Such as; when one considers that John Ashcroft is one of the staunchest republicans to ever walk this earth, and he was against this program being renewed… you have to ask yourself what the hell the program was doing that it turned a tried and trued republican to go against the wishes of a republican president?

Secondly, what exactly is “President” Bush’s role in this distasteful little tale?

The New York Times wrote today that “Americans need to know” who dispatched Gonzales and Card to Ashcroft’s hospital bed, but the “President” is eluding the question.

At a White House press conference this morning, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked Bush about his role;

“Sir, did you send your then Chief of Staff and White House Counsel to the bedside of John Ashcroft while he was ill to get him to approve that program, and do you believe that kind of conduct from White House officials is appropriate?”
“Kelly, there's a lot of speculation about what happened and what didn't happen, and I'm not going to talk about it.”
Ok… then I’ll take that as a yes until I hear a better answer.

If Bush indeed ordered Card and Gonzales to visit Ashcroft in the hospital and make him sign something that he wasn’t legally able to sign, then Bush is complicit in any possible wrongdoings and needs to be held accountable… and it certainly seems that “President” Bush was engaged in a prolonged and willful effort to violate the law, and would have continued if senior members of his own administration forced him to stop by threatening resignation.

Regardless of Bush’s involvement in this pathetic drama though, the long and short of it is that it is high time that the Democrats in Congress blow the fucking lid off of the NSA’s surveillance program (They also need to force Gonzales out the door as well, and Senator’s Chuck Schumer (D-NY) & Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) plan to seek a no-confidence vote on Gonzales is definitely a step in the right direction – but that’s an entirely separate post)

Whatever form the domestic spying program took over those past years was so blatantly illegal and so egregious that by 2004 not even the administration’s most republican members could stomach it any more.

We have a right to know what went on… and we deserve to know.

Thursday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • Outed CIA agent Valerie Plame’s civil lawsuit will be under attack this morning. Attorneys for Vice President Dick “Dick” Cheney, Scooter Libby and others will urge Judge John Bates, who is a Bush appointee and a former aide to Ken “Couldn’t hold Patrick Fitzgerald’s jockstrap” Starr, that “the case be thrown out.” (Wow… isn’t that convienent???)
  • Not surprisingly, the Feingold-Reid bill was defeated in the Senate and serves as a perfect example of how deep the chasm is AMONG DEMOCRATS of how far to take their opposition to the Iraq quagmire.
  • Like a hemorrhoid, we just can’t get rid of Paul Wolfowitz
  • The White House national security adviser under President Clinton, Samuel Berger, has agreed to forfeit his license to practice law after he pleaded guilty to taking highly classified documents from the National Archives. (Berger definitely got what he deserved and should be ashamed of himself for doing something so blatantly wrong)
  • Regarding my post yesterday about the disturbing actions of Alberto Gonzales, and how there was “dissent” about the domestic surveillance program at the DOJ, the Justice Department has stated they will not retract a sworn statement given by Gonzales in 2006 that the Terrorist Surveillance Program had aroused no controversy inside the Bush administration, despite James Comey’s Senate testimony earlier this week that says otherwise. (And the cover-up continues…)
  • And speaking of Gonzales and AttorneyGate…directly undermining testimony given by Gonzales last week, the Washington Post is reporting that the Justice Department considered dismissing a lot more U.S. attorneys than officials previously acknowledged, with, at the least, 26 more prosecutors being suggested for termination. (This is just getting comical now... and Gonzales continues to maintain that he won't resign. Fine, if he won't resign, maybe those on Capitol Hill need to take that matter into their own hands...)
  • And have we mentioned? That two more republican Senator’s have come out in favor of Gonzales resigning? Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) have both suggested that Gonzales should consider stepping down … sooner rather than later…

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Disturbing Saga

The story that came out of James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday is, if nothing else, disturbing.

To summarize a long story, Comey was acting Attorney General in early 2004 after John Ashcroft was hospitalized. Long story short, Comey was hesitant to reauthorize the NSA domestic spying program. Then-White House COS Andy Card and then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales literally went to Ashcroft’s hospital room, shortly after he had had surgery, in order to get him to approve the program and override Comey’s decision.

Ashcroft, naturally groggy after surgery, balked… and led the White House to approve its own domestic surveillance program despite DOJ objections.

The scene unfolded like a movie:

Comey learned, Ashcroft's wife who was at his bedside, that Gonzales and Card were on their way to the hospital. He immediately ordered his driver to turn around and head to the hospital with sirens blazing. He calls the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, who promised to meet him at the scene. Comey gets out of the car and literally runs up the stairs to Ashcroft's room. The head of the FBI orders the agents outside Ashcroft's door to not allow Comey to be removed from the room under any circumstances. Comey tries to explain the situation to a clearly groggy and disoriented Ashcroft, but mnutes later, Gonzales and Card arrive entering the room with papers in hand, without acknowledging Comey's presence. After hearing Gonzales' spiel, Ashcroft finds the strength and temporary focus to sit up and coherently explain to Gonzales why the program is illegal. He then says that it doesn't matter what he thinks anyway because he, at the time, was not the Attorney General and he points to Comey and said; “he's the Attorney General.” Card and Gonzales storm out of the room and soon thereafter Comey gets a call from an irate Card who demands that he come to the White House. Comey tells him: “After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness, and I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States," with which Card replied; “What conduct? We were merely there to wish him well.”
You can read the whole transcript HERE.

But the story didn’t end there as the “sickbed visit” was only the beginning of a tense and dramatic showdown between the White House and the Justice Department. According to Comey, the issue was only resolved after Bush overruled Gonzales and Card, and that didn’t happen until Ashcroft, Comey, Mueller and their aides prepared a mass resignation.

Which also suggests that the NSA’s domestic spying program went of for several weeks without DOJ approval.

That’s disturbing and stressing enough, but also consider how John Ashcroft was eventually replaced by one of the men that tried to convince him to sign an important legal document that contradicted the reasoned legal opinion of the Justice Department and whom had neither the official authority nor the legal capacity, due to his heavily-medicated state, to sign.

Think about that for a second. This man essentially took advantage of a man who had just had surgery… and that “man” is now our Attorney General.

What an absolute fucking disgrace…

So what can we take from this example of a pathetic and desperate man?

For starters, that Alberto Gonzales acted in a manner that is, at the very least, ethically questionable. Not only was Gonzales trying to circumvent James Comey's lawful authority as the acting AG, but he was also looking to have a person who had just had major surgery the day before and was heavily-medicated, execute a legal document… a very important legal document at that. Sounds to me that that is something that can get attorney disbarred.

Another? The implication that Robert Mueller didn’t trust Card nor Gonzales as he gave instruction to the agents outside Ashcroft's room to not allow Comey to be removed, implying that he was worried about what could happen in the room if there weren’t ant witnesses. Good to know that someone who didn’t have the trust of the FBI director would become the U.S. Attorney General, which I think speaks volumes about Gonzales and the way he does things and the person he is.

And finally, that the White House was willing to authorize a program that the Justice Department, including the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the head of the OLC, and the FBI Director, had determined to be illegal.

But as startling as it was to hear this story, there’s something else we shouldn't forget…

We shouldn’t forget that we, the American people, should have known about this story a long, long time ago…

Wednesday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • Our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family of Yolanda King, the eldest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, who passed away suddenly late last night.
  • The Feingold-Reid bill will probably be voted on today in the Senate. We’ll keep you posted.
  • Also on the Senate’s agenda for the day, a measure sponsored by Sen. John Warner (R-VA), that would force "President" Bush to report to Congress how he “intends to revise U.S. strategy if the Iraqi government fails to meet certain benchmarks.” (That’s a pretty ballsy measure there, especially coming from a republican. This president has been given a blank check for far too long with Iraq, and it’s about time someone started putting some benchmarks under him. Unfortuantely, as this administration has proved far too often, they’ll ignore them and do whatever the hell they want anyway…)
  • The White House’s unwavering support for Paul Wolfowitz is starting to, uh, waver as they signaled a willingness to replace him if the bank's executive board resolves an ethics controversy yet doesn’t fire him. (Personally, I think it’s a rouse. The White House knows that the executive board will fire him, it’s almost a given, so they’ve decided to curry some favor from Wolfowitz’ opponents by, all of a sudden, declaring they might fire him if they don’t. pretty shrewd move by the administration, but if I was the World Bank executive board, I wouldn’t fire Wolfowitz and force the White House to fire him. That would make for some very interesting theater…)
  • The republican candidates for president staged their second debate last night and rather than attack the Democratic candidates, they attacked each other. (Good times… good times…). For more on the debate, click HERE, HERE & HERE.
  • “President” Bush named Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute as a new White House “war czar” who will oversee the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the White House, they chose Mr. Lute because he is low-key and privately expressed skepticism about the escalation of troops. Lute’s selection ended a difficult () recruitment process as all of their initial candidates rejected the job and refused to be considered. (This was a hard job to place, primarily because everyone knows that the job will evolve (devolve?) into yet another Iraq war cheerleader position. Let’s make a bet, since General Lute didn’t support escalation originally, how long until he suddenly does and says it’s working? I give him 2 months, tops…)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Two more out the door

Coming from an administration that cares so little about personal privacy, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who isn’t a lemming.

The first report by a civilian board created to oversee government protection of personal privacy has… well… has seen its privacy violated.

The Bush(whacked) administration had made more than 200 revisions to the first report by the civilian board, including deleting a passage on anti-terrorism programs that intelligence officials deemed "potentially problematic" intrusions on civil liberties, according to a draft of the report obtained by The Washington Post.

One of the panel's five members, Democrat Lanny Davis, resigned in protest Monday and cited those deletions by White House lawyers and aides as the primary reason.

Davis is, at best, a fleeting Democrat who has, in the past, been overly apologetic for gop transgressions and had become a gop ass-kisser & a BushCrony.

But in recent months Davis’ Democratic conscience has seemingly re-taken his brain as he’s had clashes with other board members and White House officials over what he saw as attempts by the administration to control the panel’s agenda and edit its public statements.

The very idea that a Bush(whacked) administration “Privacy and Civil Liberties Board” would function as any kind of an independent watchdog is as derisory as thinking that lobbying reform would ever happen. It’s as preposterous as thinking that the administration’s “Clean Skies Initiative” and “Healthy Forests Initiative” were anything more than kick-backs for the energy and timber industries respectively.

When Davis protested over the editing of the report, the board was told that White House lawyers feared, because U.S. attorneys used the material witness law, that a new probe of that issue would become a part of the larger AttorneyGate controversy.

So Davis resigned and he did it the same day that Assistant AG McNulty did.

We’ll ignore the fact for a moment that he thought that this administration would ever do anything NOT like that and concentrate on what this means to the administration… especially coming on the heels of McNulty’s resignation.

It means plenty.

For one thing his resignation shows the panel for what is really is and was, another White House mouthpiece; a concept strengthened back in March when they announced that Bush's warrantless surveillance program was no cause for concern.

And another thing, with Davis leaving the same day McNulty did, the White House is now faced with a daunting task of filling two positions at once while simultaneously protecting Alberto Gonzales, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove and the President himself.

Something that seems to get harder and harder each day.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • More proof that they, republicans AND Democrats, just don’t get it. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is defending the decision to name scandal-plagued Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) to the Appropriations Committee. Said Boehner;“Where do you draw the line? We do not want a blanket allegation to rise to the level of credibility where we are basing our decisions on it. It’s unfair.” (Couple this with the news that lobbying reform is being forgotten, and you have evidence that things will soon be reverting back to the good ol’ days of smoke-filled rooms and lobbyists gettting whatever the hell they want for the right price. It’s just sad…)
  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales just can’t catch a break (hahahahaha). Several dozen of his classmates at Harvard Law School wrote in a letter today: “As lawyers, and as a matter of principle, we can no longer be silent about this administration’s consistent disdain for the liberties we hold dear. Your failure to stand for the rule of law, particularly when faced with a president who makes the aggrandized claim of being a unitary executive, takes this country down a dangerous path.”(Ouch, that’s gotta hoit…)
  • And while Gonzales enjoys his never-ending job security, another DOJ employee is resigning in cover-up disgrace. Deputy AG Paul McNulty announced his resignation yesterday after a short 18-months on the job. While McNulty has officially said he did not resign due to the fallout of AttorneyGate, he cited the “financial realities” brought on by “college-age children and two decades of public service.” (Uh… yeah… sure… and if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you…)
  • Thinking that time is short and the environment is in even more peril, the Pew Charitable Trusts environmental program and the National Environmental Trust are joining forces to form the Pew Environment Group. (Green Peace is said to be inconsolable about being left out…)
  • And speaking of eternal job security. Paul Wolfowitz is still president of the World Bank… the World Bank is still mad at him… but they’re still not doing a damn thing.. ok, that’s not true, they’ve “rebuked him”. (Here’s an idea; grow some balls World Bank and don’t wait for him to resign; fire his ass!)
  • And last but not least, the gop field of pretenders contenders, all ten of them, head to South Carolina this evening for their second debate.(Odds that Thompson embarrasses himself again are running high. As are the odds that Giuliani will mention 9/11 at least 10 times, McCain will tie-in the Iraq war with the war on terror, and Romney will avoid any questions about his polygamy religion)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday ‘BushWhack’ing

  • The Senate is ready to get a “major debate on immigration”underway this week, though the prospects for a comprehensive overhaul are “shaky” at best. Senate republicans want tougher rules than last year’s bill had, including “longer waits, bigger fines and a trip home to the country of origin.” (This seems to be the conservative’s aim for this session, but in think it’s more of a republican attempt to divert focus from the Iraq war to something “positive” that the party can use for campaigning. Confidential note to republicans; ain’t gonna work)
  • In an attempt to quell the violence in Iraq, “President” Bush has given his okay for the U.S. to have direct talks with Iran. (But ’m confused, are they still part of the Axis of Evil?)
  • There’s at least one republican who is hoping that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg won’t run for President, and that’s the man that Bloomberg replaced, Rudy Giuliani. A New York Daily News poll released Monday showed that 46% of New Yorkers chose Bloomberg while only 29% chose Giuliani in a head-to-head Presidential matchup of the two mayors. Adding to Giuliani’s ulcer is the knowledge that 56% say Bloomberg is a more effective mayor than Rudy ever was. (I’m gonna say ‘ouch’ for Rudy there. Is the luster of his campaign really coming off that quickly??)
  • The republicans are at it again. With public memory of the Jack Abramoff scandal waning, quite a few republican members of Congress are questioning whether lobbying reform is a necessity. (This is just sad… just because the public’s interest in something is waning doesn’t mean you have to drop reforms altogether. Something needs to be done or the republicans, and to a much lesser extent some Democrats, will revert back to “culture of correuption” that helped oust the gop last November. Don’t let up Dems, keep at it, even if the general public has forgotten it!)
  • Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) got into it during an appearance on CNN Sunday Graham said that Bush’s Iraq critics are calling the troops losers: “Let’s don’t undercut [Bush’s escalation plan]. Let’s don’t declare this war lost because you’re telling all these soldiers and Petraeus that they’re losers.” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) immediately ripped into Graham’s characterization, stating, “I don’t know anyone who opposes this war that ever said our troops are losers. Our troops are winners…. Lindsey, just be careful what you say. The bottom line here is that the losers are the ones who have engineered this war, made a huge mistake — Dick Cheney we’re in the last throes, the war will last six months — and all of you who have supported this escalation and have turned us away from fighting al Qaeda into putting us in the middle of a civil war.” Ms. Boxer concluded her portion of the interview with; “The loser is the Commander-in-Chief who has not led our country well.” (Game. Point. Match to Ms. Boxer, who, like Speaker Pelosi, seems to have bigger balls than some of her male counterparts. Keep it up Senator!)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The week that was: Decision 2008

Welcome to our newest feature here at TBWA: The Week That Was: Decision 2008. AKA, The Weekly Presidential Rewind.

This week has been, for lack of a better word, a quiet one on the 2008 Presidential Race circuit, so let’s get to it.

The Democrats

Biden heard crickets chirping… saw tumbleweeds tumbling along… in other words; he was quiet.

Clinton had a very good week. Not only did she pick up a handful of endorsements this past week as Maryland Gov. O'Malley endorsed her candidacy along with New York Governor Spitzer, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and NY Controller Tom DiNapoli backed her candidacy, she also enjoyed news on Monday that she has increased her lead over the rest of the field. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Monday, her support rose to 38% from 30%, while Obama dropped by two percentage points to 24%. Edwards has 12% (along with Gore?), Richardson has 5%, Biden & Dod 2%, Kucinich 1% and Gravel had nothing. (This is definitely good news for the Clinton camp.. but the question remains; can they maintain this pace and the lead? Only time will tell…)

Dodd is walking a fine line between regulation and donation.

Edwards is offering more public policy proposals than any of the other candidates, and while they are winning applause from Democratic audiences, the question remains if they will still be cheering them when they see the price tag attached with each proposal - more than $125 billion a year. He also discussed his time at hedge fund and defended it by saying it was a learning experience (Uh-huh… is it just me, or does it seem as though Edwards is panicking a little? He’s trying to get every iota of information about his plans and proposals out to the public ASAP. The problem with that is that with such a long time to go until the primaries, people might forget them. And if he continually repeats them, people will start to tune his messages out. I think it might be time for his campaign to re-do itself before it’s too late)

Gravel… his campaign seems to be as dead as a kipper on a cracker…

Gore has not, and probably WILL NOT, announced his candidacy, but that hasn’t stopped his supporters from holding on to their cash and NOT giving it to the current slate of candidates. (This is troubling. Gore has said he’s not going to run, yet people are still holding out hope that he does. My thought; the only thing that could possibly get Gore to run would be if a republican candidate so heinous in Democrat eyes but Reagan-esque in republican eyes would jump into the ring… say Jeb Bush – ugh… now I’m gonna have nightmares about another Bush presidency…)

Obama had the direct opposite of Clinton and had a very bad week. Besides dropping 2 points from his previous 24%, Ms. Clinton’s lead over him jumped from four points to 14 points (ouch) He also gave his staff a public spanking scolding for not booking a personal appearance with the New Hampshire firefighters union, even though every other Democratic candidate WILL. (Oops…). He also drastically overstated the Kansas tornadoes death toll, saying 10,000 had died when the actual number was 12. Monday he chastised U.S. automakers and said the time has run out for making excuses about building more fuel-efficient cars. (Since it was announced last week that he was being given Secret Service protection, his campaign has looked stalled and in desperate need of a kick start. But, since it’s still incredibly early in the process, they should be able to do just that in plenty of time)

Richardson had a somewhat quiet week but it’s that one thing that has everyone talking. Richardson had his first two ads air in Iowa this past week. In the new ads, the governor is in a mock job interview complete with a nervous expression on his face. In the first ad, the man interviewing Richardson doesn't ask too many questions, instead ticking off the list of his qualifications. “Fourteen years in Congress, U.N. ambassador, secretary of energy, governor of New Mexico, negotiated with dictators in Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, Zaire, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Kenya, got a cease-fire in Darfur, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times." (Richardson is still a dark-horse candidate for me. Despite only earning 5% in the above mentioned poll, his campaign is still trying to get the word out about who he is… this ad should help. Keep an eye on him AND his campaign…)

The republicans

Is Bloomberg even running? He’s says no, some friends say yes, but his website has been re-designed and re-launched, so stay tuned.

Giuliani, during a campaign stop in Houston, explained his views on abortion, saying that while he is morally against them, he still believes that a woman should have the right to choose to end her pregnancy… (Wow… a well thought-out opinion using his own brain… are you sure he’s a republican?) Unfortunately, he also got condemned this week by Pope Benedict for supporting abortion rights, who also said that people who support abortion should be excommunicated from the church… (but sleeping with young boys is apparently still OK by them…)

McCain, in the middle of what can best be described as a fundraising binge, he said that it’s unlikely that a pro-choice Republican could win the party's presidential nomination, an in-direct, yet direct, swing at Rudy. He also hired a new Political Director for his campaign with Rob Jesmer, a former chief-of-staff to Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, coming in to replace Mike Dennehy.

Romney is having a busy week. While currently watching a debate about his religion unfold and answering questions about his wife donating money to Planned Parenthood, he publicly admonished polygamy as being “awful” while simultaneously, according to the New York Sun, surging in some polls. (Ok, the religion question is silly. Unless he claims that God told him to become President as Bush did, it shouldn’t matter. Nor should the fact that his wife gave money to Planned Parenthood) He’s also been touting his proposal to expand the size and funding of the U.S. military… hopefully keeping attention away from a “60 Minutes” interview this Sunday that reveals his Grandfather was, oddly enough, a polygamist (That’s gonna go over REALLY well with the republican base. While it may hurt his campaign, I disagree with some that it will bury his campaign. At this point, with the dearth of gop candidates out there, I think they may be a little more open-minded… at least until “Saint Thompson” enters the race… then Romney’s screwed…)

F. Thompson has been busy in the blogosphere and… well, that’s it really. Oh, and by the way, he STILL has not announced his candidacy yet…

T. Thompson was trying to cover his ass this week and did little else. During the republican debate, he said that he supports employers’ right to fire people for being gay… apparently forgetting that firing people over their sexual orientation is actually a crime in quite a few states. This week he maintains that what he really meant to say was (coincidentally) the exact opposite of what he clearly said that night. Oh, and he blames the “incorrect” answer on the fact that his hearing aid suddenly broke during that question… so even though he didn’t hear the question at all, he specifically answered the question, just not in the way meant to answer it. (Tommy Thompson ladies and gentlemen… the republicans version of Admiral Stockdale Mike Gravel…)

And finally....

Never one to back away from the tough question, the AP is asking each candidates a series of questions. This week’s was What car or cars do you drive?

Sen. Biden drives a 1967 Corvette, Sen. Dodd drives a Ford Escape hybrid, something he shares with Sen. Edwards, Rep. Kucinich drives a Ford Focus, Sen. Obama a Chrysler 300C, Gov. Richardson a Jeep Wrangler and Sen. Clinton a Ford Hybrid – though she usually rides in a Secret Service vehicle.

The republicans also answered the question, with Sen.Brownback driving a Ford Taurus while in Washington and a Honda Civic hybrid in Kansas, Gov.Huckabee a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, Rep. Hunter a “Suburban with 274,000 miles on it”, Sen. McCain a Cadillac CTS, Gov. Romney a 2005 Ford Mustang convertible, Rep. Tancredo a Toyota Prius hybrid along with a Cadillac, a Mercedes & a Buick while Giuliani arrogantly answered: “I don't drive, I navigate.”

Yes sirree… it was a sloooooooow news week on the presidential campaign trail…