Thursday, June 28, 2007


Fox news asks the most loaded, over-the-top question they can think of - and it STILL favors the Democrats.

Poor bastards.

If there is an all-out war between the United States and various radical Muslim groups worldwide, who would you rather have in charge — Democrats or Republicans?

Democrats 41%
Republicans 38%
Both the same
(not listed) 9%
Don't know
(not listed) 12%

On Tape: Cheney claims that the Vice-President is an "important part of the Executive Branch."

Look what atrios found

From the Inmate Locator. Prisoner #28301-016.


I love it when Democrats actually fight

Rahm Emmanuel is keeping his promise.

"Yesterday the vice president was forced to admit what even an eighth-grade student knew: there is no Cheney branch of government. While the vice president's excuses may change, his desire to ignore the rule remains just as strong as ever. The vice president is unwilling to risk that the documents detailing the flawed intelligence or faulty assumptions that led us into the war in Iraq [sic]. He has been held unaccountable for six years, and now he wants to be held unaccountable in the historical record as well...

If his office is not in the executive branch, then there is no executive branch office to fund. And perhaps more importantly, it underscores that the vice president is not above the law, and cannot ignore the rules. The law should follow him, whatever branch of government he chooses to hang his hat in.


Report: Wasteful Government Spending at All-Time High

The U.S. government has committed to spend a record-high $1.1 trillion with companies holding government contracts "plagued by waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement," according to a new report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The report blames the rise in bad spending on a sharp increase in noncompetitive contracting and a general increase in the use of private companies to perform government functions.

An increase in the use of private companies.

You know what's astounding? These guys have actually convinced people that private companies work better and cheaper. Of course, it's just a coincidence that private companies happen to be the politicians' cronies.

One difference between the government doing something and a private company doing something is that a private company has to make a profit, and the government just has to break even. It usually costs LESS, not more.

Another difference if that an action DOES bring in money, it goes to some poor person's healthcare instead of a rich person's pocket.

Impeach Cheney

Oooh, this is good. The following was written by Bruce Fein, Reagan's associate deputy Attorney General.

Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III.

The most recent invention we know of is the vice president's insistence that an executive order governing the handling of classified information in the executive branch does not reach his office because he also serves as president of the Senate. In other words, the vice president is a unique legislative-executive creature standing above and beyond the Constitution.

The House judiciary committee should commence an impeachment inquiry. As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney's multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Subpoenas for subhumans

Senate Panel Subpoenas White House Wiretapping Papers
By William Roberts

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- A Senate panel probing the National Security Agency's domestic wiretapping program issued subpoenas to the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney and the Justice Department for documents showing the Bush administration's legal justification for the secret surveillance.

``This committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program,'' Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote in letters accompanying the subpoenas.

Those requests were ``rebuffed'' by a ``pattern of evasion and misdirection'' from administration officials, Leahy said.

The panel authorized Leahy to issue subpoenas on the secret surveillance on June 21. The panel is reviewing whether the White House properly developed a legal basis for the classified eavesdropping on the international phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorist agents that was disclosed in December 2005.

Now watch Cheney claim Executive Privilege, even though he just claimed to not be part of the Executive Branch.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lugar jumps ship

Another Republican wakes up to sanity. This one must hurt, since he is very, very respected.

"Our course in Iraq has lost contact with our vital national security interests in the Middle East and beyond. Our continuing absorption with military activities in Iraq is limiting our diplomatic assertiveness there and elsewhere in the world."

"The window during which we can continue to employ American troops in Iraqi neighborhoods without damaging our military strength, or our ability to respond to other national security priorities, is closing. The United States military remains the strongest fighting force in the world, but we have to be mindful that it is not indestructible."

Monday, June 25, 2007

"Iraq? Is that supposed to be important or something?"

This just in...

Dick Cheney is now claiming that the Executive Branch itself is not part of the Executive Branch, his name is not Dick Cheney, and he is not the Vice-President, but the Lord Of All Humanity, and the Third Baseman for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.

Polls show that 28% of Americans believe him.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Maureen Dowd

A Vice President Without Borders, Bordering on Lunacy
Published: June 24, 2007

It’s hard to imagine how Dick Cheney could get more dastardly, unless J. K. Rowling has him knock off Harry Potter next month.

Harry’s cloak of invisibility would be no match for Vice’s culture of invisibility.

I’ve always thought Cheney was way out there — the most Voldemort-like official I’ve run across. But even in my harshest musings about the vice president, I never imagined that he would declare himself not only above the law, not only above the president, but actually his own dark planet — a separate entity from the White House.

I guess a man who can wait 14 hours before he lets it dribble out that he shot his friend in the face has no limit on what he thinks he can keep secret. Still, it’s quite a leap to go from hiding in a secure, undisclosed location in the capital to hiding in a secure, undisclosed location in the Constitution.

Dr. No used to just blow off the public and Congress as he cooked up his shady schemes. Now, in a breathtaking act of arrant arrogance, he’s blowing off his own administration.

Henry Waxman, the California congressman who looks like an accountant and bites like a pit bull, is making the most of Congress’s ability, at long last, to scrutinize Cheney’s chicanery.

On Thursday, Mr. Waxman revealed that after four years of refusing to cooperate with the government unit that oversees classified documents, the vice president tried to shut down the unit rather than comply with the law ensuring that sensitive data is protected. The National Archives appealed to the Justice Department, but who knows how much justice there is at Justice, now that the White House has so blatantly politicized it?

Cheney’s office denied doing anything wrong, but Cheney’s office is also denying it’s an office. Tricky Dick Deuce declared himself exempt from a rule that applies to everyone else in the executive branch, instructing the National Archives that the Office of the Vice President is not an “entity within the executive branch” and therefore is not subject to presidential executive orders.

“It’s absurd, reflecting his view from the first day he got into office that laws don’t apply to him,” Representative Waxman told me. “The irony is, he’s taking the position that he’s not part of the executive branch.”

Ah, if only that were true. Then maybe W. would be able to close Gitmo, which Vice has insisted he not do. And Condi wouldn’t have to worry every night that she’ll wake up to find crazy Dick bombing Iran, whispering to W. that they have to do it before that weak sister Hillary takes over.

“Your decision to exempt your office from the president’s order is problematic because it could place national security secrets at risk,” Mr. Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to Cheney.

Of course, it’s doubtful, now that Vice has done so much to put our national security at risk, that he’ll suddenly listen to reason.

Cheney and Cheney’s Cheney, David Addington, his equally belligerent, ideological and shadowy lawyer and chief of staff, have no shame. After claiming executive privilege to withhold the energy task force names and protect Scooter Libby, they now act outraged that Vice should be seen as part of the executive branch.

Cheney, they argue, is the president of the Senate, so he’s also part of the legislative branch. Vice is casting himself as a constitutional chimera, an extralegal creature with the body of a snake and the head of a sea monster. It’s a new level of gall, to avoid accountability by saying you’re part of a legislative branch that you’ve spent six years trying to weaken.

But gall is the specialty of Addington, who has done his best to give his boss the powers of a king. He was the main author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects, and he helped stonewall the 9/11 commission. He led the fights supporting holding terrorism suspects without access to courts and against giving Congress and environmentalists access to information about the energy industry big shots who secretly advised Cheney on energy policy.

Dana Perino, a White House press spokeswoman, had to go out on Friday and defend Cheney’s bizarre contention that he is his own government. “This is an interesting constitutional question that legal scholars can debate,” she said.

I love that Cheney was able to bully Colin Powell, Pentagon generals and George Tenet when drumming up his fake case for war, but when he tried to push around the little guys, the National Archive data collectors — I’m visualizing dedicated “We the People” wonky types with glasses and pocket protectors — they pushed back.

Archivists are the new macho heroes of Washington.

"Faith got hijacked"

Somebody finally said it.

And it was Obama.

HARTFORD, Conn. - Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right-wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.

"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a 30-minute speech before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

"Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us," the Illinois senator said.

"At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design," according to an advance copy of his speech.

"There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich," Obama said. "I don't know what Bible they're reading, but it doesn't jibe with my version."

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Rahm Emmanuel decided to take Cheney at his word, since Cheney claims to not be part of the executive branch.

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued the following statement regarding his amendment to cut funding for the Office of the Vice President from the bill that funds the executive branch. The legislation – the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill -- will be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives next week.

"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch. However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice President's funding is consistent with his legal arguments. I have worked closely with my colleagues on this amendment and will continue to pursue this measure in the coming days."


Thursday, June 21, 2007


It is ASTOUNDING what these people think they can do.

Cheney Power Grab: Says White House Rules Don’t Apply to Him
by Justin Rood

Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, and therefore not bound by a presidential order governing the protection of classified information by government agencies, according to a new letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to Cheney...

In pointed letters released today by Waxman, ISOO’s Leonard twice questioned Cheney’s office on its assertion it was exempt from the rules. He received no reply, but the vice president later tried to get rid of Leonard’s office entirely, according to Waxman.

Does Cheney actually think that the Vice-President's office is not part of the Executive Branch, but is some fourth branch of Government that isn't mentioned in the Constitution?

And how does that square with bizarre claim of executive privilege regarding his meetings with energy officials?


Attacks kill 14 American soldiers in Iraq


The illegal immigrant wife of Alex Jimenez (who appears to only be identified as "the wife of Alex Jimenez") will not be deported.

Why I hate the press

Number 439 in a series.

As you have no doubt heard, Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, quit the GOP and is now an independent. This has fueled massive speculation that he may run for President.

But what does BLOOMBERG say about running for President?

"I am not a candidate."

"I have said that my intention is to be mayor for the next 925 days ... and that is my intention. I've got the greatest job in the world and I'm going to keep doing it."

When told that they had already conducted a poll showing him third behind Hillary and Giuliani, he said, "I think they're wasting their time."

When asked if there was ANY CIRCUMSTANCE under which he might run for President, he said, "If everybody in the world was dead and I was the only one alive."

So the geniuses in the press corps say he's being just being cagey.

"See? He said 'intention'! Watch that word:'intention.' That leaves the door open! He said he has no INTENTION! He didn't say he WOULDN'T!"

They are actually repeating that codswallop.

Sheesh. How clear does he have to be?

The media try to create their own reality - the reality that will generate the highest ratings. They have a script, and they see their job as repeating the script instead of reporting the news. If Bloomberg ran, they could spill TONS of ink about it, so they are projecting their own ratings-driven wishes onto the rest of us.

And watch: when Bloomberg doesn't run, they'll accuse him of playing games with them by pretending he was going to.

How this for an explanation? Bloomberg left the GOP because he only joined the party to run for mayor in the first place. And now he's leaving because he doesn't need them, and they are a pack of ideologues, war-mongers and freaks, and he doesn't want to be associated with such people. And he has better and more pleasant things to do with his time than attend those stupid, boring political dinners and hang out with Guy Molinari.

Ya think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thank you, Digby

Yesterday at the Take Back America Conference, Digby won the Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award which she accepted on behalf of the progressive blogosphere.

I think firedoglake was the first up with the video, and Blast Off has both video and transcript.


As there has been a lot said recently about the netroots and our influence on the Democratic Party, this is especially rewarding. Let’s just say we’ve ruffled some feathers. We’ve been called everything from “some guy named Vinnie in a bathrobe in an efficiency apartment” to “blogofascists.” Some critics dismiss us as useless elites, the “Metropolitan Opera crowd,” or a noisy Upper West Side cocktail party for the college graduate class. Still others take us to task for our vitriolic, unhinged tone.

The other day, Tim Russert agreed absolutely with his gracious host, the concerned centrist Sean Hannity, that the Democratic Party was being unduly influenced by bloggers, who were dragging the Party kicking and screaming to the Left. Then there is the criticism that we are fascists or Stalinists, demanding that everyone march in lockstep to the edicts of our leadership – generally assumed to be Markos, of Daily Kos, who apparently directs us with secret signals deeply embedded in the code of the Daily Kos website, while we carry on an elaborate ruse of spirited political debate and disagreement in public. We are, in short, something of an enigma. I like to call this phenomenon “Irrational Fear of Hippies.” And this has, in my view, become irrational fear of political passion.

Of all the criticisms I just mentioned, that is one that we are all willing to accept. We are passionate about politics, and in this era of Republican corruption, excess, and failure, that passion sometimes manifests itself as anger. But how can you not be angry? So many institutions have failed us in the last decade that being vitriolic seems the only sane response....

But all of us who blog in the progressive blogosphere have a common goal. It’s the same goal of virtually everyone in this room tonight. We want to begin a new era of progressive politics and take back America. We may argue about tactics and strategy, or the extent to which we are partisans versus ideologues (and believe me, we do), but there is no disagreement among us that the modern conservative movement of Newt and Grover and Karl and Rush has proven to be a dangerous cultural and political cancer on the body politic. You will not find anyone amongst us who believes that the Bush Administration’s executive power grab and flagrant partisan use of the federal government is anything less than an assault on the Constitution. We stand together against the dissolution of habeas corpus and the atrocities of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and we all agree that Islamic terrorism is a threat, but one which we cannot meet with military power alone. And yes, a vast majority of us were against this mindless invasion of Iraq from the beginning, or at least saw the writing on the wall long before Peggy Noonan discovered that George W. Bush wasn’t the second coming of Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we also all agree that the mainstream media is part of the problem. Democracy suffers when not being held accountable by a vigorous press. During the last decade, there have been three catalyzing events that drove people like me to the Internet, to research, investigate, and write about assaults on democracy itself. In 1998, the political media lost all perspective, and aggressively helped the Republicans pursue a partisan witch-hunt against a democratically-elected president and against the will of the people. The coverage of the presidential election of 2000 was legendary for its bias and sophomoric personality journalism. The press actually joined the Republicans in telling the majority who had voted for Al Gore to get over it. I don’t know about you, but I never got over it. And the third event (I don’t need to tell anyone in this room) was the almost gleeful support of the invasion of Iraq, a journalistic failure of epic proportions. If you had not been sufficiently aroused from your complacency by this time, you never would be.....

And so here we are – the famously vituperative, angry bloggers, standing before you today politely accepting this award as proud, full-fledged inheritors of the great liberal and progressive political traditions of America. On behalf of all of them and netroots activists, and especially on behalf of our dear friend, Steve Gilliard, a fighting liberal of both the old the new schools, I thank you again for inviting us to your party. Our party rages on, 24/7, all over the blogosphere, and we’d love it if all of you would stop by frequently. Thank you.

Mitt Romney is worse than an asshole.

Mitt Romney's campaign is funded by people who beat children.

Thought you'd like to know.

These people are clowns

Via TPMmuckraker. Just one more demonstration of how thoroughly incompetent and clueless everything about this administration is. They do NOTHING with any sense, and they don't learn.

From a State Department Press Briefing:

Question: How may Arabic speakers with 3/3 levels of proficiency are currently serving at Embassy Baghdad?

Answer: We currently have ten Foreign Service Officers (including the Ambassador) at Embassy Baghdad at or above the 3 reading / 3 speaking level in Arabic. An additional five personnel at Embassy Baghdad have tested at or above the 3 level in speaking. A 3/3 indicates a general professional fluency level.

The Baghdad Embassy. Out of 1000 employees at the Bagdhad Embassy, TEN can read and speak Arabic fluently. Another 5 can speak it.

SIX YEARS after 9/11, and four years after starting a WAR there. Ten out of a THOUSAND.


Rudy, take two

You take Sally and I'll take Sue;
There ain't no difference between the two.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) -- South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, a former real estate developer who became a rising political star after his election last year, was indicted Tuesday on federal cocaine charges.

Ravenel is also the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.

Rudy is an asshole

Thought you'd like to know.

The problem in a nutshell

The wife of a soldier who is missing in Iraq is an illegal immigrant, and may get deported, unable to see her husband again if he comes back, or visit his grave if he doesn't.

And the only reason they know she's here is because her husband tried to do the right thing and get her a green card.

If you want an argument that our current immigration laws are insane, arbitrary and foolish, and that is one LARGE reason why they aren't enforced, this is it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The lawless President

You know, I have heard the apologia that Bush's signing statements were no big deal, because they just constituted free speech, and he didn't actually DO anything.

Well, yes he did.

US agencies disobey 6 laws that president challenged

WASHINGTON -- Federal officials have disobeyed at least six new laws that President Bush challenged in his signing statements, a government study disclosed yesterday. The report provides the first evidence that the government may have acted on claims by Bush that he can set aside laws under his executive powers.

Isn't it time for Congress to stop shrugging its collective shoulders and issue formal impeachment proceedings? With this, the destroyed emails and and Bush admitting to ignoring FISA, there is no doubt that it is warranted.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Destroyed emails

And Ted W is right: when are the Democrats going to do something about it?

War is Peace

Stabilizing Iraq could take as long as a decade, says the U.S. commander in Baghdad. "In fact, typically, I think historically, counterinsurgency operations have gone at least nine or 10 years," Gen. David Petraeus said Sunday." - AP

He's also going to say in September that the surge is working, no matter what the actual facts are.

We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Here's something you probably missed.

Back in 2001, George W. Bush, who believes that American citizens have no right to privacy, signed Executive Order 13233, which seals Presidential Records in perpetuity, so that HE could have privacy for ever and ever, and receive as little scrutiny from the gods of History as possible.

The Order was drafted by then-White-House-Counsel Alberto Gonzales. It was one of the first things Bush did upon taking office, and should have set off alarm bells back then and warned America what sort of lunatic had just taken office, but it didn't.

Most people probably thought that Bush was trying to protect Poppy, whose greasy hands were all over Iran-Contra; but at this point, it's pretty obvious that he was trying to protect himself, since he was planning to do all sort of slimy crap from the moment he took office.

Before Bush signed the order, Presidential Records became public after 12 years. But Bush decided that 12 years wasn't long enough, and FOREVER sounded about right. As things are now, in the United States of America, you can't know what a President did unless he or his heirs approves the release of the information. Forever.

And last week, with very little fanfare, the House overwhelmingly voted to rescind this Stalinist piece of legislation. They passed H.R. 1255 by 333 to 93. Veto proof. That bill says that Executive Order 13233 "shall have no force or effect," and puts the original Presidential Records Act back into effect.

It is now moving to the Senate where (I hope) it passes easily.

And, although it hasn't been given much play in the news, I think there are few things more likely to cause Bush to throw a temper tantrum than the House and Senate doing away with that idiotic Executive Order. Telling Bush that he doesn't get to make his own rules and that he will be held accountable for his own actions is tailor- made to make the spoiled little boy furious.

Turning over another rock

Judge Orders FBI to Turn Over Thousands of Patriot Act Abuse Document

Just one day after a news that an internal audit found that FBI agents abused a Patriot Act power more than 1000 times, a federal judge ordered the agency Friday to begin turning over thousands of pages of documents related to the agency's use of a powerful, but extremely secretive investigative tool that can pry into telephone and internet records.

Bush the frugal.

So - we all know that Bush has spent like a drunken sailor, vetoed NO spending, and exploded the Federal Budget like no other President in the history of the United States.

So - WHAT spending might he finally veto?


The Homeland Security Bill contains budget boosts to hire 3,000 new border security agents and double the amount of air cargo that is screened before being loaded onto passenger planes. It also roughly doubles grants given to localities for mass transit and port security.

Border security, screening cargo, mass transit and ports.

In other words, measures against terrorism that actually make SENSE, as opposed to spending our tax money to start an Iraqi Civil War.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Et tu, Texas?

Hillary Clinton is competitive in Texas.

I think the Republicans may be in big trouble.

"Texas hasn't gone Democratic in a presidential race in more than three decades. But the survey shows Republican contender Sen. John McCain essentially tied with Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton among registered voters, with McCain at 36% and Clinton at 35% in a head-to-head contest. Republican Rudy Giuliani and Clinton also are essentially tied, at 32%-31%.

In the poll, nearly two-thirds of Texans said the country was on the wrong track. Four in 10 called the Iraq war the nation's most important problem. One in 10 cited immigration."

Thursday, June 14, 2007


A judge just ordered Libby to go to jail while his case is appealed. Heh.

That give Bush a bit of a problem - he was was probably hoping to drag things out till the end of his term, and issue the pardon on the way out the door.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Democrats subpoena Miers and Taylor

“Let me be clear: this subpoena is not a request, it is a demand on behalf of the American people for the White House to make available the documents and individuals we are requesting to help us answer the questions that remain,” Conyers said in a press release Wednesday announcing the subpoenas.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Demonstrating a lack of awareness that even I would not have believed, George W. Bush, while shaking hands in Albania (apparently the only country in the whole wide world that actually likes him) got his watch stolen right off his wrist.


Another document dump. It proves that Rove's top aides were involved in the attorney scandal.

What we really need now is a Democrat with the balls to use the word "lie" when talking about Bush, Rove and Gonzales.

Government by tantrum

Wouldn't it be nice to have a grownup in the White House, instead of a petulant, spoiled brat?

“They can have their votes of no confidence,” Mr. Bush said, “but it’s not going to make the determination about who serves in my government. This process has been drug out a long time. It’s political.”

"MY" government again.

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was among the few Republicans to vote to allow the resolution to proceed to a vote. “There is no confidence in the attorney general on this side of the aisle,” said Mr. Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Even so, he predicted that the push to take the no confidence vote would just increase President Bush’s resolve to stand by the attorney general.

And if the Congress doesn't stop trying to hold him accountable, he is threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue.

All they care about is politics

Baghdad, Iraq — The top American military commander for the Middle East has warned Iraq's prime minister in a closed-door conversation that the Iraqi government needs to make tangible political progress by next month to counter the growing tide of opposition to the war in Congress.

And would the Bushies STILL need to make progress if there WASN'T growing political opposition? Or would the lack of progress be just hunkydory if it wasn't causing political problems?

Monday, June 11, 2007

The man's true thoughts

"They can have their votes of no confidence, but it's not going to make the determination about who serves in my government," Bush said in Sofia, Bulgaria, the last stop on a weeklong visit to Europe.

It's OUR Government, George. Didn't you know that?

I think we should ask every Republican Presidential Candidate if they agree that the Government is George Bush's.

That would be fun.

The anonymous commenter in the "Draw Down" post below pointed this little nugget out.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Draw down?

Looks to me like the military is admitting that we've failed and have to actually change course:

BAGHDAD -- U.S. military officials here are increasingly envisioning a "post-occupation" troop presence in Iraq that neither maintains current levels nor leads to a complete pullout, but aims for a smaller, longer-term force that would remain in the country for years.

This goal, drawn from recent interviews with more than 20 U.S. military officers and other officials here, including senior commanders, strategists and analysts, remains in the early planning stages. It is based on officials' assessment that a sharp drawdown of troops is likely to begin by the middle of next year, with roughly two-thirds of the current force of 150,000 moving out by late 2008 or early 2009. The questions officials are grappling with are not whether the U.S. presence will be cut, but how quickly, to what level and to what purpose.

I love this part:

One of the guiding principles, according to two officials here, is that the United States should leave Iraq more intelligently than it entered.

Gee, ya think?

I guess that means we're going to start fighting them here, if we aren't fighting them over there.

Actually, this article scares me: it sounds like the military is talking about being realistic as though it was a new idea that just occurred to them.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


The following two very widely seen photos were taken by the same photographer, Nick Ut of the AP:


Phan Thi Kim Phuc:
From (amazingly) Chris Matthews, in a rare moment of lucidity:

"But I‘ll tell you one thing...terrorism isn‘t explosions and death, terrorism is when you change your society because of those explosions and you become fearful to the point where you shut out immigration, you shut out student exchanges, you shut people out of buildings, you begin to act in an almost fascist manner because you‘re afraid of what might happen to you. That‘s when terrorism becomes real and frighteningly successful. That‘s what I believe, and that‘s why I question the way Giuliani has raised this issue. He raises it as a specter. In a weird way, he helps the bad guys."

Regime change

Here is Joe Biden (of all people) summing up the problem with it:

I would do away with the policy of regime change, because what we're saying to everybody in Iran is, "Look, by the way, give up the one thing that keeps us from attacking you, and after that we're going to attack you."
It's now 1500 days since George W. Bush said "Mission Accomplished."

"A felony"

"The President admits that he granted on 45 different occasions authorization for wiretapping without a FISA court warrant - what I call warrantless wiretapping outside the law. This is a felony. This is punishable by five years in jail. There is a prima facie case that they have engaged in a criminal conspiracy." - Congressmen Gerrold Nadler

John Marshall has a video of an interview with the Congressman.

These hearings should be fun. The mainstream media seems oblivious to them, however. Maybe they'll wake up if the shit starts hitting the fan.

No shit

NY Times Analysis: "With low approval ratings and the race to succeed him well under way, his ability to push his agenda has faded to the point where he can fairly be judged to have entered his lame duck period."

Thank you, Times. We would never have known otherwise.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I want to see impeachment and jail. But I'm greedy:

Schumer: Gonzales no-confidence vote Monday

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has led the investigation into the firing of several U.S. attorneys, announced Friday that a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be taken in the Senate Monday.

“If all senators who have actually lost confidence in Attorney General Gonzales voted their conscience, this vote would be unanimous,” the senator said.

However, Schumer added that he expects the president to pressure members of his party to vote against the measure.

“We will soon see where people’s loyalties lie,” he said.

Paris Hilton

The title will get me some search engine hits, fer sher.

"It is simply no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know I'm not alone in feeling that something has gone fundamentally wrong. In 2001, I had hopes it was an aberration when polls showed that three-quarters of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11. More than five years later, however, nearly half the American people still believes that Saddam was connected to the attack.

"At first I thought the exhaustive, nonstop coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial was just unfortunate excess --- an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our news media. Now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsession that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time.

"Late in the summer of 2006, American news coverage was saturated with the bizarre false confession of a man who claimed to have been present at the death of JonBenet Ramsey --- the six-year-old beauty queen whose unsolved murder eleven years before was responsible for another long-running obsession. A few months prior to John Mark Karr's arrest in Bangkok, the disappearance of a high school senior in Aruba and the intensive search for her body and her presumed murderer consumed thousands of hours of television coverage. Both cases remain unsolved as of this writing, and neither had any appreciable impact on the fate of the Republic.

"Like JonBenet Ramsey, O.J. has recently been back at the center of another fit of obsessive-compulsive news, when his hypothetical confession wasn't published and his interviews on television wasn't aired. This particular explosion of "news" was truncated only when a former television sitcom star used racist insults in a night club. And before that we focus on the "Runaway Bride" in Georgia. And before that there was the Michael Jackson trial and the Robert Blake trial, the Laci Peterson tragedy and the Chandra Levy tragedy. And of course we can't forget Britney and KFed, and Lindsay and Paris and Nicole, Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch and married Katie Holmes, who gave birth to Suri. And Russell Crowe apparently threw a phone at a hotel concierge.

"In early 2007, the wall-to-wall coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death, embalming, and funeral plans and the legal wrangling over the paternity and custody of her child and disposition of her estate, served as yet another particularly bizarre example of the new priorities in America's news coverage.

"And while American television watchers were collectively devoting a hundred million hours of their lives each week to these and other similar stories, our nation was in the process of more quietly making what future historians will certainly describe as a series of catastrophically mistaken decisions on issues of war and peace, the global climate and human survival, freedom and barbarity, justice and fairness."

Al Gore.

It's Subpoena Time

My God, even the New York Times gets it.

"If Congress is going to get to the bottom of the scandal, it has to get the testimony of Mr. Rove, his aides Scott Jennings and Sara Taylor, Ms. Miers and her deputy, William Kelley.

"The White House has offered to make them available only if they do not take an oath and there is no transcript. Those conditions are a formula for condoning perjury, and they are unacceptable. As for documents, the White House has released piles of useless e-mail messages. But it has reported that key e-mails to and from Mr. Rove were inexplicably destroyed. At the same time, it has argued that e-mails of Mr. Rove’s that were kept on a Republican Party computer system, which may contain critical information, should not be released.

"This noncooperation has gone on long enough. Mr. Leahy should deliver the subpoenas for the five White House officials and make clear that if the administration resists, Congress will use all available means to get the information it needs.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Now that Scooter Libby has been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, the logical next step is for FOX news to give him his own TV show.

The GOP has gone totally insane

"I believe the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on 9-11 and the naysayers will come around...."
--Arkansas GOP chief Dennis Milligan

Apparently, being a Republican means that you can openly wish for an attack on the United States, and the press won't bat an eye, and the rest of the party will still defend you.

Several GOP officials expressed support for Milligan Wednesday.

"Dennis is a new chairman and inexperienced at this point," said Reta Hamilton of Bella Vista, the state party's national committeewoman. "I'm sure he had good intentions with his comment, nothing derogatory either for the veterans or for the country or for President Bush or for anyone else."

Awwww. He's just inexperienced. You need experience to know when not to say what you actually mean in public, I guess. If he was more experienced, he would have known better than to admit that he wants an attack for political reasons.

From the same article, I think the vets sum it up:

"Those of us who fought to defend America won't even dignify Milligan's sick suggestion that Americans should die to justify the political argument for George W. Bush's failed policy in Iraq, other than to say he is a sick man and should step down," Iraq War veteran Jon Soltz, chairman and co-founder of, said in a news release Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


But these people would NEVER exaggerate. Right?

When U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf described the alleged terror plot to blow up Kennedy Airport as "one of the most chilling plots imaginable," which might have caused "unthinkable" devastation, one law enforcement official said he cringed.

The plot, he knew, was never operational. The public had never been at risk. And the notion of blowing up the airport, let alone the borough of Queens, by exploding a fuel tank was in all likelihood a technical impossibility.

nd now, with a portrait emerging of alleged mastermind Russell Defreitas as hapless and episodically homeless, and of co-conspirator Abdel Nur as a drug addict, Mauskopf's initial characterizations seem more questionable -- some go so far as to say hyped.

"I think her comments were over the top," said Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland. "It was a totally overstated characterization that doesn't comport with the facts."

Greenberger said he has no argument with police pursuing and stopping the alleged plotters.

"I think they were correct to take this seriously," he said. "... But there's a pattern here of Justice Department attorneys overstating what they have. I think they feel under tremendous pressure to vindicate the elaborate counterterrorism structure they've created since 9/11, including the Patriot Act."

Sad, isn't it? They feel the need to overstate the facts (and in the process, scare the crap out of Americans) in order to try vindicating Bush's failure.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Libby: 2 1/2 years

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation — the probe that showed a White House obsessed with criticism of its decision to go to war.

If Bush pardons him, the calls for his impeachment won't just come from Democrats.

And will the press realize that Bush can now no longer refuse to answer questions about it on the grounds that it's "still under investigation"?

Most irresponsible headline. Ever.

Putin's Missiles Blow Up G8

They're using "blow up" metaphorically, of course.

What idiots.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Poor Fox News

They just can't keep their black people straight.

Here's Josh Marshall:

Guantamo charges dropped

Does ANY sane person not recognize that Guantanamo is inimical to everything America is supposed to stand for?

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Judges in the U.S. war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo dropped all charges against the only two captives facing trial, rulings that could preclude trying any of the 380 prisoners any time soon.

And why do courts keep having to FORCE Bush to do things legally? Why can't he just do things legally without that?

Is there a pattern here?

I've said that immigration is one of the few things I agree with Bush about. But Mickey Kaus just nailed him as making deicision the same damned way he made them for Iraq.


Looks like the Cold War may be coming back.

MOSCOW — In a threat not uttered since the Cold War, Vladimir Putin said that Russia intends to aim its missile systems - potentially nuclear weapons - at targets in Europe in retaliation for the U.S. decision to establish antimissile bases there.

Apparently, Georgie did get a glimpse of this back when he looked into his eyes and got a sense of the man's soul:

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country." - George W. Bush, 6/1/01

Is there a list of things somewhere that Bush HASN'T fucked up by touching them? If so, it's must be a damned short list.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ashcroft may testify

Josh Marshall has it.

The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about a March 2004 hospital-room confrontation during which he refused to sign off on a continuation of President Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program, according to congressional and administration sources.

The sources, who asked not to identified talking about sensitive matters, said the Senate Intelligence Committee has tentatively scheduled a closed-door hearing for later this month. The panel plans to question Ashcroft, his former chief of staff David Ayres and former deputy attorney general James Comey about a heated dispute with the White House that roiled the Justice Department three years ago. The House committee is also planning a separate closed-door hearing with Ashcroft, according to a spokeswoman for Ashcroft.

The requests for Ashcroft's testimony reflect the mounting frustration on the part of committee leaders in both chambers who feel they have been denied vital information about the wiretapping issue by the Bush administration. Despite having received numerous private briefings from senior administration officials over the last year, members were stunned to learn just how deeply troubled the Justice Department was about aspects of the program -- a glimpse they got only when Comey publicly testified about the program at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month.

Good news for once

Faced with significantly declining contributions from grassroots donors, the Republican National Committee has fired its entire team of telephone solicitors, according to a report in Friday's Washington Times. - Raw Story

Is it my imagination, or is The Republican Party in now made up entirely of corporate robber barons, and the insane?

British Army General says we lost


What's sad is that it doesn't matter if everyone in the WORLD says it. Bush is obviously delusional at this point, and will keep it up even if NO ONE agrees with him. That's what people who belong in the asylum do.

A former British army commander has said there was "no way" the war in Iraq could be won and that allied forces should withdraw.

General Sir Michael Rose, a former commander of the UN peace force in Bosnia during the 1990s, said the American and British forces in Iraq were in an impossible situation.

"There is no way we are going to win the war and (we should) withdraw and accept defeat because we are going to lose on a more important level if we don't," he said.

While accepting the allied forces couldn't just "cut and run", Sir Michael said announcing a date for withdrawal would quell the widespread fighting between the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.

"Give them a date and it is amazing how people and political parties will stop fighting each other and start working towards a peaceful transfer of power," he said.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Donald Trump

Hey, when he's right, he's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have a single issue that make the most difference to you when you vote next time around?



TRUMP: Get out of Iraq.


TRUMP: How about yesterday? We shouldn't have been there. We shouldn't have been there. It's ridiculous. We're overseeing a revolution. There's nothing we can do. Our soldiers were incredible. They won the war in one day. That was their job. Win the war. They're not policemen and they're acting as policemen, and they're getting killed acting as policemen. Get out of Iraq, and get out of it now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were you one of those who thought we never should never gone in or after we went in, at some point you thought, we need to get out.

TRUMP: We never should have gone in.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you thought that from the beginning?

TRUMP: From the beginning.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do we get out? Just walk out at this point?

TRUMP: Just get out. Just get out. Our soldiers won the war. Get out.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think the president won't get out?

TRUMP: He's stubborn -- very stubborn guy.

VAN SUSTEREN: You ever met him?

TRUMP: No, not really. I mean, I've seen him, I've been in rooms -- but not really.

VAN SUSTEREN: So his stubbornness is why.

TRUMP: He's a very stubborn guy and he's got people around him who I think are very poor, whether it's Rumsfeld and whoever. I mean, I could tell you lots of things about the people, but he's got some people around him that are very, very poor. Rumsfeld did a terrible disservice to this country by leading us in. Cheney, I don't know, it's just a very sad situation. But we should be out of Iraq, and be out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Jerrold Nadler

Have I ever mentioned that he makes me proud to have voted for him?

Chairman Nadler Announces Hearings Series: “The Constitution in Crisis: The State of Civil Liberties in America”

Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee to Explore Administration Programs Threatening Americans’ Liberties;

Kicks Off with June 7 Hearing on NSA Wiretapping Program

...“Most importantly, we will carefully examine this White House’s seeming disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law,” added Rep. Nadler. “Secret, warrantless spying, the erosion of habeas corpus, the sanction of torture, and this Administration’s contempt for the other two branches of government - these issues demand close scrutiny and congressional action.”

Supporting the troops

This is how the Weasel in the White House supports the troops:

"Q Tony, the Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, has written a couple of letters to President Bush, I don't know if you're aware of them, but he's asking for personal assurances from the President that the National Guard troops, before they get deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, the equipment be there and that the training be adequate before they're sent off.

"MR. SNOW: Okay. I'm not aware of the Governor's letter, but we have always made it clear that nobody goes into combat without sufficient training and equipment, period. Now, a lot of that can be done in theater. It quite often is. But the most important reassurance, not only the forces, but their families need to know, is that if and when they go into combat, they will have the equipment they need, and they will have the training they need."

"A lot of that can be done in the theatre." They won't bother to train them BEFORE they send them. They'll send them into Iraq UNTRAINED and "train" them UNDER FIRE.

The same way they're "training" the Iraqi soldiers, and we see how well THAT'S working.

"Nobody goes into combat without training, but the training can be done in "theatre" - in other words, in combat.

God, these people are such total disgusting weasels that it's hard to imagine how they sleep at night. If they had twelve sides to their mouths, they'd talk out of all twelve.