The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Saturday, March 31, 2007


 
"If the president vetoes this bill because he doesn't want to formally demonstrate progress in Iraq, never in the history of war would there be a more blatant example of a commander in chief undermining the troops. There is absolutely no excuse for the president to withhold funding for the troops, and if he does exercise a veto, Congress must side with the troops and override it." - retired Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne

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"He can swagger all he wants but we have 3,241 dead Americans." - Harry Reid

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What?
 
David Hicks has been sentenced to nine months after pleading guilty to aiding Al Qaeda.

Nine months. Aiding Al Qaeada.

Part of the plea agreement was that he not talk about his treatment at Guantanamo.

This was a U.S. military tribunal and a U.S. military judge.

They gave a slap on the wrist to a guy who aided terrorists as long as he agreed to not blow the whistle on them?

Does the Bush administration plan to cut deals with all of the OTHER terrorists?

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Friday, March 30, 2007


 
“We were a little surprised to see those remarks.” - Secretary of State Nicholas Burns.

“It is not accurate to say that the United States is occupying Iraq.” - White House spokesman Dana Perino


Reaction to Prince Abdullah calling our occupation of Iraq "illegal."

These are Bush's best friends in the world - and then some. Abdullah is THIS guy:





Does this mean that he doesn't get a kiss next time he visits the White House?

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Thursday, March 29, 2007


 
"So, this was a project that you were in charge of...this was a project that lasted for 2 years....this was a project that would end the careers of 8 United States Attorneys and neither you nor anybody reporting to you kept a specific file in your office about it?" - Sheldon Whitehouse, nailing Kyle Sampson to a wall.

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Think Progress has a great video of Schumer making Sampson admit that Gonzales gave false testimony.

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Gonzales lied.
 
But you knew that.


Specter asked about Attorney General Gonzales' "candor" in saying earlier this month that he was not a part of any discussions on the firings. He asked about the November 27, 2006 meeting "where there were discussions" and Gonzales allegedly attended. Was Gonzales' statement about taking part in no discussions accurate?

"I don't think it's accurate," Sampson said. "He recently clarified it. But he was present at the November 27 meeting."

"So he was involved in discussions in contrast to his statement" this month? Specter asked.

"Yes." Sampson replied.

Sen. Charles Schumer then asked about Gonzales also claiming that he saw no documents on this matter.

Sampson replied: "I don't think it's entirely accurate."

Schumer: "There was repeated discussions?"

Sampson : "Yes."

Schumer: "As many as, say, five."

Sampson: "Yes."

Schumer then asked if Gonzales was truthful in saying Sampson's information on the firings was not shared within the department.

Sampson: "I shared information with whoever asked....I was very open and collaborative in the process."

Schumer: "So the Attorney General's statement is false?"

Sampson: "I don't think it is accurate."


Ok - so the highest law enforcement officer in the country lied to Congress during a Congressional investigation. There's perjury and obstruction of justice. Apparently, we have a lawless President who regards that as just fine.

A question: How is this NOT an impeachable offense?

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Kyle Sampson is testifying before congress.
 
C-Span has the live hearings.

Firedoglake is liveblogging.

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Bush explained
 
Kyle Sampson (Gonzales ex-aide) unwittingly explains and reveals just how dysfunctional, screwed-up, and harmful to America these clowns are:

"The distinction between 'political' and 'performance-related' reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial" - Kyle Sampson


There it is: everything is politics. What they mean by "good job" has nothing to do with what your job is supposed to be. It has to do with whether or not you are a political toady.

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Huzzah
 
NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., embattled by failed attempts to open stores in Queens and Staten Island, might be giving up on New York, or at the very least Manhattan.

Chairman and Chief Executive H. Lee Scott said trying to conduct business in New York was so expensive that "I don't think it is worth the effort. I don't care if we are ever here." His comments were in a story published Wednesday by The New York Times.


I wonder if the moronic clowns think that New Yorkers will be UPSET over this news? "Oh, us poor, poor pitiful Manhattanites won't get a WAL-MART! Whereever will we SHOP"?

Heh.

Good frigging riddance.

Here's Dave Lippmann doing I Hate Wal-Mart

And here's why.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oooops.
 
March 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Justice Department said it provided inaccurate information to members of Congress in a February letter about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

Writing today to lawmakers investigating the terminations, the agency's acting head of legislative affairs, Richard Hertling, said that ``certain statements'' in the Feb. 23 letter were contradicted by documents that the department provided to Congress this month. Hertling didn't specify what the misstatements were.


You would figure that the question, "Why were they fired?" wouldn't be all THAT hard to answer, now, wouldn't you?

I guess that the REAL answer is so slimy that these guys will publicly disgrace themselves rather than say it.

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I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but this Passover, you're just going to have to lay off the dope.

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Ooooops. Heh.
 
"White House personnel appear to have been systematically avoiding using their government emails on the job because they knew they might some day be subpoenaed.

But as we noted earlier with Karl Rove, this may have been too clever by half. If the president's aides were using RNC emails or emails from other Republican political committees, they can't have even the vaguest claim to shielding those communications behind executive privilege." - Josh Marshall

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


 


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John McCain is a pathetic ass
 
BLITZER: Here's what you told Bill Bennett on his radio show on Monday.

MCCAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: "There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today."

MCCAIN: Yes.


BLITZER: "The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq."

You know, everything we hear, that if you leave the so-called green zone, the international zone, and you go outside of that secure area, relatively speaking, you're in trouble if you're an American.

MCCAIN: You know, that's why you ought to catch up on things, Wolf.....

BLITZER: Let's go live to Baghdad right now.

CNN's Michael Ware is standing by -- Michael, you've been there, what, for four years. You're walking around Baghdad on a daily basis.

Has there been this improvement that Senator McCain is speaking about?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'd certainly like to bring Senator McCain up to speed, if he ever gives me the opportunity. And if I have any difficulty hearing you right now, Wolf, that's because of the helicopter circling overhead and the gun battle that is blazing just a few blocks down the road....

I mean, Senator McCain's credibility now on Iraq, which has been so solid to this point, has now been left out hanging to dry.

To suggest that there's any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. I'd love Senator McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is and he and I can go for a stroll.

And to think that General David Petraeus travels this city in an unarmed Humvee. I mean in the hour since Senator McCain has said this, I've spoken to some military sources and there was laughter down the line....

So, no, Senator McCain is way off base on this one....I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad.


Crooks and Liars has the video.

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Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt
 
Remember the 140,000 smackers that Cheney's office paid Wade? Josh Marshall has found out what the money was for.

Why would a guy with no history, and no experience be hired to screen the mail of the President of the United States for anthrax?

Whose palm did he grease?

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So you've been lying for two years, Joe?
 
"It is clear that for the first time in a long time, there is reason for cautious optimism about Iraq." - Joe Lieberman, March 27, 2007


Joe gets exposed for the smarmy, lying shitsack that he is right here.

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"...He bravely, bravely ran away, Alberto ran away...."

"Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales today cut short a press conference about Internet safety, leaving the room at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago when reporters questioned him about the firings of U.S. attorneys.

The questioning was to have lasted about 15 minutes, but it ended after less than three."

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White and Nerdy
 
Weird Al. For the Eviscerator.


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Ooops
 
Remember, last week Gonzales assured us all that the attorney firings were politically motivated. Now, he seems to be saying that they MIGHT be:

“Can you be certain that none of these U.S. Attorneys were put on that list [to be fired] for improper reasons?” - NBC News’ Pete Williams

“If I find out that, in fact, any of these decisions were motivated, the recommendations to me were motivated for improper reasons to interfere with the public corruption case, there will be swift and — there will be swift and decisive action. I can assure you that.” - Gonzales


Looks like somebody pointed out to the poor clown that "I have no involvement in the firings" and "I can assure you that they weren't fired for political reasons" are contradictory statements.

And everybody knows that the whole thing was done at Bush's orders.

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Everytime you turn over a rock....
 
there's more slime.

WASHINGTON - A Senate panel wants to know if the Patriot Act needs to be revised to keep the FBI from illegally or improperly gathering telephone, e-mail and financial records of Americans and foreigners while pursuing terrorists.

“Last year the administration sought new powers in the Patriot Act to appoint U.S. Attorneys without Senate confirmation and to more freely use National Security Letters,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in remarks prepared for Tuesday’s hearing. “The administration got these powers, and they have badly bungled both.

In a review of headquarters files and a sampling of four of the FBI’s 56 field offices, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found 48 violations of law or presidential directives during 2003-2005. He estimates there may be as many as 3,000 violations throughout the FBI that have not been identified or reported.


The head of the FBI says that thousands of potential violations is no reason that they shouldn't be allowed to do it.

Seriously. He actually said that.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Does Henry Waxman read blogs?
 
Probably. Good.


Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, released a letter to the White House on Monday asking for details on a $140,000 contract awarded to MZM in July 2002 by the Executive Office of the President, reportedly to provide computers and furniture for the vice president's office.

MZM was run by Cunningham co-conspirator Mitchell Wade, who is cooperating with prosecutors after pleading guilty in February 2006 to bribing Cunningham in exchange for more than $150 million in government contracts for MZM. The value of some of those contracts has subsequently been questioned.


As for why this is important, check the post below.

If Waxman keeps investigating, watch for the right-wingers to demonstrate their brilliance and depth by attacking his looks, and talking about how really, really big his nostrils are.

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Circle the Wagons
 
The senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will refuse to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the unfolding U.S. attorneys scandal, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, her attorneys said today.


Remember: it is unethical and slimy for Bush to have fired those attorneys. It is NOT illegal.

Which mean that something else IS illegal.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Really?
 
Rice Urges Egypt to Reform Its Democracy

Reportedly, Egypt resisted the temptation to say, "You first."

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bill Maher
 

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House OKs troop exit by August '08
Bush says legislation has "no chance of becoming law"; Senate to debate its version of bill Monday


It's very simple. Democrats want our troops out of Iraq. Bush and the Republicans want them to stay indefinitely. The American people overwhelmingly agree with the Democrats. And the Democrats shouldn't be afraid to say so, and to use precisely those terms.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


 
Congressman David Obey (D-WI) smacks the Washington Post upside the head for whining about Democratic attempts to end the war/

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Chicken Police
 
What the hell.


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Hey! I've got an idea!
 
Let's invade a country claiming that we are looking for weapons, and then leave whatever weapons they have unguarded!

"Failure to guard the sites "has been costly," the Government Accountability Office report said, noting looted munitions are being used to make roadside bombs, the No. 1 killer of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

"Quoting from previous Defense Department reports, the GAO study says widespread looting occurred after the fall of Baghdad in early 2003 because war planners didn't put enough troops into the country to secure weapons depots and because officials incorrectly assumed, among other things, that Iraqi soldiers would surrender and help with security."

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I was born on the wrong planet.
 
Marvel Comics is opening a theme park in Dubai.

Maybe it's me, but I don't see a traditional Muslim culture reacting positively to a big-boobed, half-naked, green-skinned woman.

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They were wrong
 
And so was I. Edwards' campaign continues.

But Elizabeth Edwards' cancer is incurable, but "manageable," whatever that means. So prayers and good thoughts. But I am so glad that Edwards is still in the race, and I suspect that his wife is, too. I have come to really like him.

“The campaign goes on, the campaign goes on strongly...We know from our previous experience that when this happens you have a choice, you can go cower in the corner and hide, or you can be tough and go out there and stand up for what you believe in. Both of us are committed to the cause and we’re committed to changing this country that we love so much and we have no intention of cowering in the corner." - Edwards

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Elizabeth Edwards has had a recurrence of breast cancer, and John Edwards is suspending his campaign. See above.

Prayers, good thoughts, and all that.

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Clinton Tapes
 
They are coming out with a book of taped conversations with Clinton. Might be nice to see how a real President operates.

[Editor Taylor] Branch, a longtime friend who met periodically with the president throughout his two terms, says Clinton also discussed his marriage, the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, the controversial pardon of financier Marc Rich and a great deal about a foreign foe who had yet to capture headlines: Osama bin Laden.

"I was surprised, going back through my notes, how much he talked about Osama bin Laden," he said.


As opposed to his successor, who completely ignored Osama Bin Laden until September 11, 2001.

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Democrats: Are you?
 

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Fair and Balanced
 
"Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers." - Mark
Mellman

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Amnesty International: Don't cooperate with U.S.
 
Remember when Amnesty International was mostly concerned about OTHER countries?

MIAMI (Reuters) - Amnesty International urged the United States on Thursday to abandon plans to try Guantanamo prisoners before military tribunals and asked other nations not to contribute any evidence for use at the trials.

"These trials threaten to cut corners in pursuit of a few convictions and add to the injustice that the Guantanamo detention facility has come to symbolize," said Susan Lee, Amnesty's Americas Program Director.


A United States detention facility has come to symbolize injustice - internationally.

How will we explain this period of American History to our grandchildren?

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Is this it?
 
Remember when I said that the Bushies reaction to the prosecutor scandal was so extreme that it seemed to make no sense, unless they were hiding something BIG?

Look at what Think Progress found out.

Dick Cheney's office paid a contractor (Mitchell Wade) $140,000, even though he never held a federal contract before. Wade then paid exactly $140,000 in a Cashier's Check to buy a boat for Duke Cunningham. (Remember him? The Republican Congressman who was nailed for accepting bribes from Wade in exchange for defense contracts?) One of the fired attorneys, Carol Lam, was the one who put both Cunningham and Wade in jail.

Could that be why she was fired? Was she also investigating Cheney's role in the Cunningham scandal?

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Subpoenas issued.

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Even the Right-wingers
 
Bob Barr, uber-right-winger who hounded Clinton over a blowjob, and former attorney under Reagan, had THIS to say:

“The integrity of the Department of Justice is being used as a political football by the administration to prove who’s the toughest hombre in all this.” Rather than fighting accountability, Barr said, “the administration really ought to be going out of its way to do what prior administrations have done, such as the Bush 1 administration and Reagan administrations, and that is take whatever steps are necessary to assure the American people that the integrity of our justice system has not been compromised.”

Barr added that members of Congress “have a pretty clear right to demand information” related to the U.S. Attorney purge. “These, after all, are all people, whether Karl Rove or a U.S. Attorney or an attorney general, who are paid by the taxpayers with funds appropriated by the Congress. And Congress has a right to assure itself that these funds are being used properly.”


Think Progress has the video.

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Tony Snow on the 18-day gap
 
From Atrios:


Tells the reporter to ask Justice, and only provides:

I've been led to believe that there's a good response for it, and I'm going to let you ask them because they're going to have an answer.


He looked really really uncomfortable.

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Ooops
 
It looks like the emails released by the White House have an 18-day gap. No emails from mid-November to early December. The period in question

Nixon was only missing 18 minutes.

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Dueling Quotes
 
"You know, the president could solve a lot of this problem if he wouldn’t hide behind executive privilege, if he’d just come out and tell the American people the truth." — Tony Snow on Bill Clinton, 1998

"Well, as you know, Ed, it has been traditional in all White Houses not to have staffers testify on Capitol Hill." - Tony Snow, 3/13/07

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Bush wants to be able to lie
 
Obviously. What OTHER reason could he possibly have for saying that his aides will testify, but NOT under oath?

And what on EARTH makes him think that "executive privilege" extends to anyone who WORKS for him? When did THAT start, exactly?

Bush is saying that the White House is constitutionally ALLOWED to cover up. They can commit crimes, and they don't have to answer any of Congress's questions. Remember when they claimed to be "the grown ups"? Well, it's pretty damned infantile to think you have no accountability for your own actions.

Poor bastard - he seems to think he still has juice and political capital. Whereas if Congress impeached him tomorrow, America would cheer.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Document dump.
 
"Hundreds of email documents released by the US Department of Justice [official website] late Monday show that, contrary to its earlier claims, the White House was deeply involved in discussions to fire eight US Attorneys last year, according to ABC News."

There are no emails FROM Gonzales because (ready?) he doesn't use email. Gee, HE must not have anything to hide, eh?

Here's the docs.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007


 
You MUST check out this Bill Maher clip from last night, courtesy of Crooks and Liars.

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Ooops.
 
"There is a process that the administration has in place to address the leak of classified information. Make no mistake about it, the President has always held the view that the leaking of classified information is a very serious matter. And the process was followed." - Scott McKlellan, October 2003, regarding Plame


Ooooops.

WAXMAN: Are you aware if there has been any investigation that ever took place in the White House about the release of this classified information?

KNODELL: I am not. [...]

CUMMINGS: Let me ask you a few questions, because in answering some of the Chairman's questions, you left me shocked. And I want to make sure I heard you right. Are you saying with regard to this case that is, the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, there is no report?

KNODELL: Not in my office there is not.

CUMMINGS: And are you also saying there was no investigation?

KNODELL: Not by my office. [...]

WAXMAN: Do you know whether there was an investigation at the White House after the leaks came out?

KNODELL: I don't have any knowledge of an investigation within my office.

WAXMAN: Ever?

KNODELL: I do not.

WAXMAN: Because the President said he was investigating this matter, was going to get to the bottom of it. You're not familiar that any, you're not aware that any investigation took place?

KNODELL: Not within my office, sir.

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Scandal overload
 
THIS could be fun:
Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 50, has said she planned to sell the list of up to 15,000 client phone numbers and other records to a news organization to help raise money for her defense. The alleged "D.C. Madam" ran Pamela Martin and Associates, an upscale escort service in the Washington area, for 13 years before it closed in August.


I doubt anything will come of it: somebody will give her a LOT of money NOT to make that list public. But one can always hope.

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Meanwhile...
 
Chlorine truck bombs sicken hundreds of Iraqis
Toxic gas reportedly kills 8, makes 350 Iraqis and 6 U.S. troops ill

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Hallelujah
 
It's a top story, no less.

Thousands of Christians prayed for peace at an anti-war service at the Washington National Cathedral, kicking off a weekend of protests around the United States to mark the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. - AP


The good thing isn't that Christians protested the war - Christian groups have been protesting this war since it started. But you never heard about it before, because the press just hasn't cared, because it didn't conform to their script.

The Mavens of the Media think in VERY simplistic terms, and, as you know, they don't actually report. They stereotype and repeat scripts. So, when right-wing Christian groups rally in opposition to abortion, the press treats it as a religious rally. BUT, when left-wing Christian groups rally for the environment, or in opposition to poverty and war, the press (if it mentions it at all) treats it as a purely political movement, and may not even mention that the protesters are all part of a religious group. Right-wing=religious. Left-wing=secular. That's the script. And the fact that there are many very religious people on the left and many on the right whose only god is Mammon does not change that script.

Maybe the script is changing.

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Stonewall
 
There is something VERY damning that the White House is trying to keep hidden.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats in Congress said they were losing patience, especially as the release of a batch of documents from the Department of Justice, expected yesterday, was postponed until Monday. "The White House is playing a dangerous game of chicken," said Rep. Linda Sanchez, a California Democrat who chairs the House subcommittee leading the probe.


They aren't going to release those documents Monday. They are going to release SOME of them, and probably claim "National Security" for keeping others back. They are in full panic mode. Obviously. The question is: why? Firing attorneys for political reasons is really slimy, but no worse than things these guys have already done, openly and brazenly. So, what WERE the reasons for the firings? What it JUST politics. Or something more specific?

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat of Michigan, said he would schedule votes on subpoenas Thursday for two key players in the scandal, political adviser Karl Rove and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers.


That vote had BETTER pass overwhelmingly. There is NO excuse not to subpoena Rove. He has WAY too much power for an unelected clown whom nobody likes.

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Screw the troops - support the fat cats.
 
John Tierney, D-Mass., chairman of the House National Security Subcommittee, has asked the Army to detail its funding for Walter Reed's Ward 72 — well known for its antique furniture, carpeted floors, gleaming china, flat-screen TVs and hospital workers who escort members of Congress, Cabinet members, foreign dignitaries and their families to their medical appointments


Hey, who CARES if some wounded soldier has to sleep with rats? It isn't MY kid. And I have a flat-screen TV!

"I cannot but conclude the Bulk of your Natives to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth." - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travel

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Get your hot videos here.
 
Valerie Plame's opening statement.


Highlights 1:


Highlights 2:


From Politics TV, who now have a link in the sidebar.

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"My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior officials in the White House and State Department."


So why aren't they going to jail?

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It's her turn
 


Valerie Plame is going to testify today.

She is going to say, that yes, you jackasses, of COURSE I was undercover. She was, in fact, a NOC ("no official cover"). That means that if she was caught, she was screwed - the CIA would deny knowing anything about her. That's the highest level of cover.

Don't expect the testimony to change the mind of the right-wing morons, though. They have been lying to each other for so long ("she was just a desk jockey!") that they actually believe their own lies, and they will be simply befuddled over the fact that no Republican on the hill was stupid enough to stand there and publicly repeat them.

But think about it: the President of the United States blew an American Spy's Cover - exposing her and everyone she had contact with to danger - for POLITICS.

And he's still in office? How, exactly, does such an action NOT warrant jail?

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How high IS that mudpile?
 
Oh, dear.

E-mails released this week, including a set issued Thursday night by the Justice Department, appear to contradict the administration's assertion that Mr. Bush's staff had only limited involvement in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, which Democrats have suggested were a politically motivated purge.

"Every time new information comes out, it proves that the White House was not telling the truth." - Schumer
We already knew that Rove was involved, but it's nice to have email confirmation.

But who leaked the emails?

The ORIGINAL document dump was no doubt done by Rove and company in an attempt to stick the whole thing on Gonzales' chief of staff and deflect attention from THEM.

But somebody ELSE leaked this stuff to make sure that Rove (and by extension Bush) were implicated. "You think I'M taking the fall? You're nuts!"

That means that there is a PILE of mud yet uncovered.

Keep in mind that what they are now known to have done is unethical, tawdry and rotten - but not actually illegal.

And you don't start trying to blame your comrades unless you have something REALLY serious to hide. Unless you're trying to stay out of jail.

The White House fired attorneys for NOT behaving in a partisan fashion. For having the temerity to investigate Republicans. And Gonzales lied to Congress about the reasons and the White house involvement.

But what were they investigating, specifically, that caused them to be fired?

Were they getting too close to something VERY damning - so damning that the White House did something unprecedented to stop it?

Looks that way.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Maybe Bush should occasionally READ that Bible he claims to believe in.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


 
"We can soft-pedal it a lot of ways, but Congress was lied to." - Darrell Issa, R-Vista.
Why did it take a Republican to say this?

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Chapter XLIV
Concerning one of sundry reasons that Democrats really piss me off.

"I’ve had concerns about the qualifications of Gonzalez since before he took the job, when we learned that he was one of the Administration’s architects of the infamous detention and interrogation policies." - John Kerry, in an email.
So why did you vote to confirm him, John? If you had concerns about him since before he took the job, why the hell didn't you ask him any hard questions, John?

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Surprise, surprise
 
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration on Wednesday rejected key recommendations from a citizens' group asked by Congress to find out people's health care wishes....

Sens. Ron Wyden , D-Ore., and Orrin Hatch , R-Utah, came up with the idea for the group. Wyden said he believes that lawmakers are more willing to work together on health care than they have been in many years.

"We're seeing real signs that members of Congress want to fix health care," he said.

But he said he was disappointed with the administration's response to the report.


Well, of course. When has the Bush administration approved of ANYTHING that would LESSEN death?

Go ahead, name one.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"I cannot tell a lie - HE did it!"
 
"Kyle Sampson, Gonzales's chief of staff who was responsible for carrying out the firings, quit last night. The attorney general said today that Sampson failed to keep officials at the department properly informed about the process, leading Gonzales and other officials to provide inaccurate information to Congress." - Bloomberg

Do you BELIEVE the sheer brazenness of these clowns? "I didn't REALLY lie under oath, the guy who just quit didn't tell me."

THAT'S what he says in the SAME SPEECH where he claims to accept responsibility.

Holy crap. Does Gonzales actually expect any sane person to believe that his Chief of Staff was making plans with the White House, and didn't tell him? How about the White House? Do they ALSO agree that they were making plans with Gonzales' COS, and kept him unaware of it?

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department laid out an elaborate, five-step plan for firing seven U.S. attorneys on Dec. 7.

Entitled, "Plan for Replacing Certain United States Attorneys," the step-by-step instructions were sent by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff, Kyle Sampson...to Associate Attorney General William Mercer and White House officials William K. Kelley and Harriet Miers.


I think it's time Congress hauled Gonzales, Sampson, Kelley and Myers in to testify under oath.

Followed by Bush.

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Gonzales is having a press conference.
 
Will he resign, or be stupid?

UPDATE: He'll be stupid. He isn't resigning, he's just "accepting all responsibility" for "mistakes that were made." And then making excuses. It's a big place, see. He can't know everything that's going on.

That's how Bushites "accept all responsibility."

When asked how it was possible for him not to know that his Chief of Staff was consulting with the President, he blathered out some total babble.

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Bush did it.
 
WASHINGTON, March 12 — The White House was deeply involved in the decision late last year to dismiss federal prosecutors, including some who had been criticized by Republican lawmakers, administration officials said Monday.


You mean they lied? That can't be? When has anyone in the Bush administration EVER lied?

Josh Marshall (read the whole thing):

We now know that Gonzales, McNulty and Moschella each lied to Congress. We know that the purge was a plan that began at the White House -- and it was overseen by two of President Bush's closest lieutenants in Washington -- Miers and Gonzales. Sampson is the second resignation. There will certainly be more.

And remember this key point: The 'document dump' is meant to get bad news out of the way fast. But it's always a hedge. It never includes the really bad stuff. And if you're not in deep crisis mode, ya' never do it on a Monday.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

White House admits that Rove was involved in the attorney firings.
 
They're melting.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Halliburton moves to Dubai
 
March 11, 2007 — The much-maligned defense contractor Halliburton is moving its corporate headquarters from Houston to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.


Well, I guess the maligners were right, eh?

Today's Republican Party: "Who CARES about America when we can make a few extra dollars?"

Sickening, isn't it? They expect OTHER people to sacrifice arms and legs and eyes and lungs and lives for the insanity that THEY dreamed up. But THEY aren't willing to sacrifice a TAX CUT.

THEY fatten their wallets; soldiers lose thier lives.

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Fire Gonzales
 
Today's New York Times Editorial

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Saturday, March 10, 2007


 
"Chris Matthews just asked a Libby juror whether she thought Patrick Fitzgerald was "very virginal...like he never had a date." She looked at him as though he were completely, totally, stark-raving insane." - John Podhoretz.

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Heh.
 
GUATEMALA CITY - Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday....

Tiney said the "spirit guides of the Mayan community" decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of "bad spirits" after Bush's visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace.


Maybe we can get him to do it to Bush himself. See if he'll melt/

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Edwards Responds
 
I've got to tell you, the media attention is all on Hillary and Obama, but so far, I'm liking Edwards more and more. It's WAY past time that the Democrats stop being afraid of every shadow, and said what they were actually thinking (and yes, it includes a pitch for money, but so what?):


Fox Attacks

Deputy Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince sent the following email to supporters this evening.

You may have heard by now that John Edwards was the first candidate to officially say no to the Fox News debate in Nevada -- and because of the hard work of so many grassroots and netroots Democrats, news is breaking tonight that Fox is out.

Fox has already started striking backat John for saying no. (There's a surprise - Fox attacking a Democrat.) Last night, Roger Ailes - the life-long Republican operative who is now Chairman of Fox News Channel - said that any candidate "who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake" and "is impeding freedom of speech and free press."

And John's not their only target. Tonight Fox News Vice President David Rhodes is telling news organizations not to get involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus because of "radical fringe" groups - meaning grassroots Democrats (that would be you) - who objected to Fox's long history of spreading Republican propaganda at the expense of Democratic leaders.

The whole right-wing is getting in on the attack; the Drudge Report is blaring the headline: "War! Dems Pull Out of Fox News Debate."

Enough is enough. It's time to send a clear message to Fox News and their allies that their right-wing talking points and temper tantrums won't go unchallenged anymore - when it comes to what Democrats should do in the Democratic primary, we'll decide - no matter what they report:

https://johnedwards.com/action/contribute/fox

Fox News has already proven they have no intention of providing "fair and balanced" coverage of any Democrat in this election.

In recent weeks they have run blatant lies about Senator Obama's background. And Fox was only too happy to give Ann Coulter a platform to spew more hate a few days after her bigoted attack on Senator Edwards and the gay community.

Now it's time for Democrats to stand together and send a clear message to Roger Ailes, Fox News and all the rest of them: bias isn't balance, but turning tables is fair.

The truth is, Fox News can "report" whatever they want. And when it works for us, we'll deal with them on our terms. But this campaign is about responsibility and accountability, and we need to send the message to Fox that if they want to be the corporate mouthpiece of the Republican Party more than they want to be an impartial news outlet, they shouldn't expect Democrats to play along.

You can send that message by contributing today, and remind Fox News that in this election, Democrats won't take their spin lying down:

https://johnedwards.com/action/contribute/fox

Thank you for standing up for what we believe in.

Jonathan Prince
Deputy Campaign Manager
Edwards for President

P.S. If the folks at Fox wonder why nobody thinks they play it straight, they should take a look at what Roger Ailes said about debates in 1988 when he was a top Republican spinmaster for then Vice President Bush: He told the Washington Post, "I don't know that we need to do more than one [debate]. There's no reason to think we'd need more than one." And he told the New York Times, "I don't think you learn anything about the issues" from debates. So please send Roger Ailes a message: Hypocrisy isn't fair and it isn't balanced; it's just hypocrisy - and we've had enough of it from you.


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Fair and balanced
 
FOX NEWS OFFICIAL STATEMENT 9:15PM EST: 'News organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, Moveon.org has said they ‘own’ the Democratic party — while most Democrats don’t agree with that, it’s clearly the case in Nevada' -- David Rhodes, VP.


That's the OFFICIAL STATEMENT.

From a supposed NEWS ORGANIZATION.

When Clinton was President, it wasn't so obvious. They were attacking the guy in power, and muckraking news organization do that, after all. And when Bush was actually popular, it wasn't so obvious. But now the guy in power is EXTREMELY unpopular, on the grounds that he screws everything up - and FOX does nothing but desperately try and prop him up.

Pure propaganda. And it has become more and more obvious. FOX is 21st Century America's Pravda.

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The Republicans support the troops by breaking the Army.
 
Military leaders are struggling to choose Army units to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan longer or go there earlier than planned, but five years of war have made fresh troops harder to find.

Faced with a military buildup in Iraq that could drag into next year, Pentagon officials are trying to identify enough units to keep up to 20 brigade combat teams in Iraq. A brigade usually has about 3,500 troops.


Luke 14:28-31, y'all.

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Friday, March 09, 2007


 
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Firefighters dis Rudy because of how he handled 9/11
 
Seen on kos.

The Firefighter's union is hosting a bi-partisan Presidential forum and inviting all the candidates.

Except Rudy.

This has the potential to kill his candidacy.

Early on, the IAFF made a decision to invite all serious candidates from both political parties — except one: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

We made this decision after considerable soul-searching and close consultation with our two New York City affiliates, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94 and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, as well as our former Local 94 President and current IAFF 1st District Vice President covering New York.

The IAFF recognizes that Mayor Giuliani generally enjoys a favorable reputation as a result of his actions immediately after the tragedy of 9/11. As such, we want our affiliates and every one of our members to clearly understand the reason and rationale behind this very serious and sober decision.

Many people consider Rudy Giuliani "America's Mayor," and many of our members who don't yet know the real story, may also have a positive view of him. This letter is intended to make all of our members aware of the egregious acts Mayor Giuliani committed against our members, our fallen on 9/11, and our New York City union officers following that horrific day.

Rest assured, our exclusion of Mayor Giuliani is not about any particular contractual or policy issue or disagreement, nor is it based on his unfriendly relationship with our New York City affiliates prior to 9/11 — which we will document and explain in additional correspondence later on during the campaign. In fact, we invited several candidates with whom we have had substantial disagreement on policy issues because we feel very strongly that our members have the right to hear from all candidates, not just those who tow the IAFF line.

Regrettably, the situation with former Mayor Giuliani is very different. His actions post 9/11 rise to such an offensive and personal attack on our brother and sisterhood — and directly on our union — that the IAFF does not feel Rudy Giuliani deserves an audience of IAFF leaders and members at our own Presidential Forum.

The disrespect that he exhibited to our 343 fallen FDNY brothers, their families and our New York City IAFF leadership in the wake of that tragic day has not been forgiven or forgotten.

In November 2001, our members were continuing the painful, but necessary, task of searching Ground Zero for the remains of our fallen brothers and the thousands of innocent citizens that were killed, because precious few of those who died in the terrorist attacks had been recovered at that point.

Prior to November 2001, 101 bodies or remains of fire fighters had been recovered. And those on the horrible pile at Ground Zero believed they had just found a spot in the rubble where they would find countless more that could be given proper burial.

Nevertheless, Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time. There had been as many as 300 fire fighters at a time involved in search and recovery, but Giuliani cut that number to no more than 25 who could be there at once.

In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giuliani also made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.

Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill.

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Binding resolution
 
The Democrats are proposing a binding resolution to direct Bush to begin phased redeployment out of Iraq in 120 day.

FINALLY.

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The Gonzales Eight
 
Glorioski, Zero, someone in the mainstrean press actually recognizes the seriously of the attorney firings.

From the New York Times:

David Iglesias, who was removed as the United States attorney in Albuquerque, said that he was first contacted before last fall’s election by Representative Heather Wilson, Republican of New Mexico. Ms. Wilson, who was in a tough re-election fight, asked about sealed indictments — criminal charges that are not public.

Two weeks later, he said, he got a call from Senator Pete Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, asking whether he intended to indict Democrats before the election in a high-profile corruption case. When Mr. Iglesias said no, he said, Mr. Domenici replied that he was very sorry to hear it, and the line went dead. Mr. Iglesias said he’d felt “sick.” Within six weeks, he was fired. Ms. Wilson and Mr. Domenici both deny that they had tried to exert pressure.

John McKay of Seattle testified that the chief of staff for Representative Doc Hastings, Republican of Washington, called to ask whether he intended to investigate the 2004 governor’s race, which a Democrat won after two recounts. Mr. McKay says that when he went to the White House later to discuss a possible judicial nomination (which he did not get), he was told of concerns about how he’d handled the election. H. E. Cummins, a fired prosecutor from Arkansas, said that a Justice Department official, in what appeared to be a warning, said that if he kept talking about his firing, the department would release negative information about him.

Congress must keep demanding answers. It must find out who decided to fire these prosecutors and why, and who may have authorized putting pressure on Mr. Cummins. And it must look into whether Senator Domenici and Representatives Wilson and Hastings violated ethics rules that forbid this sort of interference. We hope the House committee will not be deterred by the fact that Mr. Hastings is its ranking Republican. The Justice Department also needs to open its own investigation. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s claim that these prosecutors were fired for poor performance was always difficult to believe. Now it’s impossible.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fox News does it again
 


It's called being "fair and balanced." After all, everybody ELSE says he's guilty. Saying that he isn't is just balance.

First seen here.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Iglesias says that the Republicans pressured him.
 
Both a Congressperson and a Senator leaned on him to make decisions on the basis of politics instead of the law.

What can you tell me about sealed indictments?" [Heather] Wilson [R-N.M.] asked, according to Iglesias' sworn testimony before the committee today.

Iglesias said "red flags" immediately went up in his mind about the conversation because it was unethical for him to talk about an ongoing criminal investigation, particularly on matters as sensitive as the timing of indictments...

Less than two weeks later, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) called Iglesias at his home in New Mexico, the only time a lawmaker had ever called him at his residence in more than five years as a federal prosecutor, he said.

Domenici...began asking about the local corruption case, which involves Democrats and a courthouse construction project, specifically inquiring about indictments.

"Are these going to be filed before November," Domenici asked, according to Iglesias' testimony. Unnerved by the call, Iglesias said he responded no.

"I'm sorry to hear that," Domenici replied,
according to Iglesias, who added that the senator then hung up on him. "I felt sick afterward. . . . I felt leaned on, I felt pressured to get these matters moving," Iglesias told the committee.


Their whole thing is crumbling.

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Never trust a 57-year-old man who's still called "Scooter."
 


Don't get too excited - the bastard will appeal.

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And the hits just keep on comin'
 
The Bush Administration's firing of attorneys who were overseeing corruption probes appears to finally be boiling over into ANOTHER scandal.

The only thing protecting these bastards for the last six years was the Republican Congress. Without the stone wall, this stuff would have been revealed long ago.

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Monday, March 05, 2007


 

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William Jefferson Clinton is the Smoothest MoFo in the World.
 
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Four days after criticizing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, New York's highest ranking black lawmaker flew to Alabama with Bill Clinton at the former president's request.

"He invited me to fly down with him to Selma, Ala., for his induction into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame," state Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith said Monday.

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Keeping up Appearances
 
According to the Fox News talking heads, you know the REAL problem is with the scandals at Walter Reed?

It makes Bush LOOK bad.


Somebody saw that wounded soldier sleeping in his own urine. Doesn't that you make you feel sorry for Bush?

It does if your a wingnut.

"This is unfortunate. It looks terrible, which is the problem. The problem is that it looks as if this administration, which has sent troops into harm’s way, is now neglecting them when they’re injured and need care and help." - Brit Hume

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Walter Reed isn't the only one
 
The neglect and the destructive bureaucracy infests the whole system, thanks to the phonies in charge, to whom "support the troops" is just a useful slogan.

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Meanwhile, back at the war...
 
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Whitewash
 
Sometimes, I wish I was making it up.

In Sunday's Washington Post, Dana Priest and Anne Hull described the woeful conditions of Room 205 in Walter Reed's Building 18: "Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole."

The Army mobilized. Painters were deployed to cover the offending wall with a fresh coat of white semigloss. And television crews were invited in to inspect the result.

"Some of the paint is still wet against that wall, so be careful," Walter Reed public affairs officer Donald Vandrey, standing on the bed in his socks, advised the film crews. "They just finished repainting it about 10 minutes ago."

Mission accomplished?

Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley thought so. After the media tour of Building 18, the Army's surgeon general gave a news conference. "I do not consider Building 18 to be substandard," he said of a facility Priest and Hull found full of "mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses" and other delights. "We needed to do a better job on some of those rooms, and those of you that got in today saw that we frankly have fixed all of those problems. They weren't serious, and there weren't a lot of them."

Kiley might have had a stronger case if men wearing Tyvek hazmat suits and gas masks hadn't walked through the lobby while the camera crews waited for the tour to start, or if he hadn't acknowledged, moments later, that the entire building would have to be closed for a complete renovation. The general also seemed to miss a larger point identified by other officials: Walter Reed's problem isn't of mice and mold but a bureaucracy that has impeded the recovery of wounded soldiers.

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"The global war on terrorism and Iraq are being used as lame rationales for enlarging the military." - retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Hoffman.

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Hearings
 
The House is holding hearings this morning in the auditorium of Walter Reed, and they plan to call several employees and ex-employees. Good.

Last year, this would have been ignored by Congress.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

They knew about Walter Reed since 2003
 
I guess "support the troops" means "sit on your ass and yell 'rah-rah' at the television set. And let them sleep in their own urine."

Top officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, including the Army's surgeon general, have heard complaints about outpatient neglect from family members, veterans groups and members of Congress for more than three years.

Steve Robinson, director of veterans affairs at Veterans for America, said he ran into Kiley in the foyer of the command headquarters at Walter Reed shortly after the Iraq war began and told him that "there are people in the barracks who are drinking themselves to death and people who are sharing drugs and people not getting the care they need."

"I met guys who weren't going to appointments because the hospital didn't even know they were there," Robinson said. Kiley told him to speak to a sergeant major, a top enlisted officer.

In 2004, Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustration. Young said he voiced concerns to commanders over troubling incidents he witnessed but was rebuffed or ignored. "When Bev or I would bring problems to the attention of authorities of Walter Reed, we were made to feel very uncomfortable," said Young, who began visiting the wounded recuperating at other facilities.

Beverly Young said she complained to Kiley several times. She once visited a soldier who was lying in urine on his mattress pad in the hospital. When a nurse ignored her, Young said, "I went flying down to Kevin Kiley's office again, and got nowhere. He has skirted this stuff for five years and blamed everyone else."

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