Friday, March 30, 2007

Love Ya, Murph!!!

Murphy: January 25, 2000-March 30, 2007.

Today, our hearts are heavy. There never was a better, more loving dog. We were blessed to have the time we had with Murphy. As my son says, Murphy is now an angel who will come and play with us in our dreams. We love you, Murphy.

Rest in peace.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Disconnect (Or The Weird Fucking People Who Inhabit Elite Washington)

We were told by Andrea Mitchell (among others) that the American public wanted Scooter Libby pardoned ... then we saw the polls in which Americans overwhelmingly say Scooter should NOT be pardoned.

We were told the American public would not support a timetable for American withdrawal from Iraq ... then the polls show Americans overwhelmingly support the timetable legislation passed by the Democrats.

Now we are being told by Time magazine editor Rick Stengel that Democrats are erring by pursuing the purge scandal and Karl Rove's involvement ... while the latest poll shows 60% of Americans feel that Democrats are spending the right amount of time or not enough time pursuing investigations of the Bush administration.

If you want a gut-wrenching visual of how disconnected from regular Americans these people are, just watch the video of MC Rove from the Washington press correspondents' dinner. Yes, these people are laughing at what is painfully unfunny.

Republicans Against Funding the Troops

Remember when Democratic votes against past funding bills were hailed by Republicans (and echoed loudly by the media) as being a position against the troops. Remember how they hung Kerry as "voting against the troops" with his vote in 2003 against a funding bill wholly lacking in accountability.

Well today 46 Republicans and 1 Lie-berman voted against the latest funding bill for the troops.

Will these folks be skewered as "against the troops"? Will Bush be so skewered when he vetoes this bill?

Don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

McCain Supports Gay Marriage Particularly "Between Passionate Females"

The following statement appeared on John McCain's MySpace website:

Today I announce that I reverse my position and come out in full support of gay marriage ... particularly marriage between passionate females.

Here's the screenshot.

O.K. ... some guy pranked McCain. But apparently it was all done legally. Here's the full story.

Monday, March 26, 2007


... coalition troops have now died in Bush's vanity war. (via the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count).

We need to stop him from reaching 4,000.

Tom Delay Equates Liberals With Hitler

Tom Delay, former Congressman, Cable TV darling and friend of Washington elites, says:

"By charging this big lie, liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler." (via Johnny America).

Atrios remarks:

Move On is a left wing extremist organization because it once held an open contest in which someone submitted an ad which compared Bush to Hitler which they promptly removed after it came to their attention.

Adolf Hitler, of course, is the singularly, most evil person in modern history. You can't help but think of the Holocaust whenever you think of Hitler. Thus, drawing comparisons to him for what, even if true, would amount to a much lesser wrong, minimizes Hitler's evil and is insulting to his victims. Though I'm not against trash talking in general, I believe there is an art to it (try to make it humorous) and there is a line where name calling crosses into hate speech. Racial epithets is one example. Hitler comparisons - such as BushHitler, Hitlery Clinton - is another.

On the other hand, I don't have a "hate speech" problem with calling people Nazis. The Nazi insult has a long history in this country that is not strictly associated with the Holocaust but with generally oppressive behavior. In school, we heard of particularly harsh teachers or principals called Nazis. Seinfeld had the Soup Nazi. Even with the right's long use of the term feminazi, I wasn't offended and understood the point they were trying to make. I would debate the substance of the charge but would not argue the righty trash talkers should never use the phrase because it equals hate speech.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Possible Crimes in the Purge

Adam Cohe, writing in the New York Times, breaks down the possible crimes that may have been committed in the Purge Scandal here.

The 18 Day Gap

Funny that ... not only has the DOJ highly redacted the documents dumped in the purge scandal ... not only has the White House refused to release its internal communications on the issue ... but there is an 18 day gap in the e-mails the DOJ did release.

The gap is between November 15, 2006, and December 4, 2006. Remember that 7 of the ousted USAs were fired on December 7th.

Talk about helping to fan the flames.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wingnuts On Parade

McClatchy has this snippet on possible replacements for A-Gone:

Possible replacements for Gonzales include Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Security and Exchange Commission chairman Chris Cox, White House anti-terrorism adviser Fran Townsend, former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson.

So the choices are:

1. The King of the Hurricane Katrina Failure (Chertoff);

2. The Orange County, Corporate Bagholder Extraordinaire (Cox);

3. The Bush Loyalista Extrema (Townsend);

4. The Man Who Rendered Innocent Canadian Mahar Arar to Syria to be Tortured (Thompson); or

5. The King of the Nineties Clinton Smearers & the Man Who Helped Bush Steal the 2000 Election (Olson).

Well, what should a liberal expect? That Bush would nominate a principled person to be America's Attorney General. Not a chance. He needs someone to tamp investigations about the corrupt practices of the Republicans not one who will follow the evidence of corruption to whomever it leads.

The Document Dump Follies

CNN's reporting a 2,000 page document dump to be made tonight by the White House on PurgeGate. Though there may be some nuggets, don't expect the White House to turn over everything.

Despite some phony document dumps by Bush regarding his military service, Bush never signed a release to allow independent verification of his full records.

This is the game they play. The Democrats need to issue subpoenas to insure full disclosure.

Today's Wingnut Primer

Courtesy of Atrios:

For the trolls, what's not okay is to fire US Attorneys because they are investigating members of your own party, or because they aren't investigating enough people of the other party. That is, to fire them to obstruct or distort justice, especially with regard to public corruption cases. It's a rather simple concept.

... and lying to Congress about it is also a bad thing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

McCain Unscripted ... Ouch!!!

Dude doesn't even have the courage to admit condoms help stop the spread of HIV. That may be a maverick in the sense that someone arguing the world is flat is a maverick.

Here's the whole embarassing discussion:

Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?”

Mr. McCain: “Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote– that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it.”

(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)

Mr. McCain: “I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it.”

Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”

Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”

Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”

Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”

Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”

Check it out here.

I also got a chuckle out of how the "reporter" tried to bail McCain's sorry ass out.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Khalid Sheik Mohammad: "I Fathered Anna Nicole's Baby!"

While the media has oddly focused on all the things Khalid confessed to that we already knew about - being the mastermind of 9/11, participating in the guesome murder of Daniel Pearl - they have over looked all the truly amazing things this guy said.

I've picked out some of the choice ones for you:

"Glub glub glub ... gurgle gurgle."

"Waterboarding isn't isn't a violation of the Geneva convention or even 'torture.'"

"Why oh why can't we get the Democrat party into the White House?"

"David Iglesias is our man in New Mexico."

"Argghhh .... Ughh .... yearrrghhh."

"It was the Gangsta Rap made me do it."

"We love Air America!"

The Justice Department's Plan of Deceit

In a must-read, The Washington Post details the efforts of the Justice Department - specifically Gonzales, McNulty and Sampson - to deceive Congress.

Here's the opening 'graphs:

In testimony on Jan. 18, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department had no intention of avoiding Senate input on the hiring of U.S. attorneys.

Just a month earlier, D. Kyle Sampson, who was then Gonzales's chief of staff, laid out a plan to do just that. In an e-mail, he detailed a strategy for evading Arkansas Democrats in installing Tim Griffin, a former GOP operative and protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove, as the U.S. attorney in Little Rock.

"We should gum this to death," Sampson wrote to a White House aide on Dec. 19. "[A]sk the senators to give Tim a chance . . . then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in 'good faith,' of course."

At a minimum, resignations should be coming; more appropriately, a Special Prosecutor should be appointed.

UPDATE: While I was typing this post, a report broke that the Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas of White House personnel involved in the purge. Remember last week when their voluntary participation - as part of a grand resolution of the problem by Arlen Specter - was being heralded in the media. Apparently that was just another White House tactic to "gum" the issue, as Kyle Sampson would say.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Talk Left has the latest on the plea deal Bernie Kerik purportedly turned down and the likelihood of his coming indictment.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Purge The Purgers

The scandal involve the Justice Department's political, quid-pro-quo purge of select U.S. Attorneys is on full boil with front-page coverage in both the New York Times and Washington Post. The conservatives are trying to mmuddy the narrative but Josh Marshall is busting ass 24/7 keeping this issue clear. Here's a simple one paragraph narrative from Josh that should make it easy enough for even the traditional media to follow:

[W]e now know -- or at least the White House is trying to tell us -- that they considered firing all the US Attorneys at the beginning of Bush's second term. That would have been unprecedented but not an abuse of power in itself. The issue here is why these US Attorneys were fired and the fact that the White House intended to replace them with US Attorneys not confirmed by the senate. We now have abundant evidence that they were fired for not sufficiently politicizing their offices, for not indicting enough Democrats on bogus charges or for too aggressively going after Republicans. (Remember, Carol Lam is still the big story here.) We also now know that the top leadership of the Justice Department lied both to the public and to Congress about why the firing took place. As an added bonus we know the whole plan was hatched at the White House with the direct involvement of the president.

Here's the latest from some of the venues involved:

Seattle: The quote of the day is from sacked Seattle USA John McKay who states he was "stunned" to hear that President Bush directly complained to A-Gone about US Attorneys not more aggressively pursuing voter fraud allegations. McKay states:

"Had anyone at the Justice Department or the White House ordered me to pursue any matter criminally in the 2004 governor's election, I would have resigned," McKay said. "There was no evidence, and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury."

The Seattle Tribune has the full story here.

Despite the Republicans' embarrassing loss on the Washington Governor's election count in front of their forum shopped court in Chelan County, Washington, rightwing nutters have continued to espouse conspiracy theories of widescale Democrtic voter fraud in Washington's 2004 Governor's election has been a staple of righty wingnuts. We now have further evidence that Bush squarely falls within the evidence-free wingnut camp.

Guam: In the latest fron of the scandal, The Boston Globe has this tidbit:

A US grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor, and the probe ended soon after.

New Mexico: Last week, we learned of Senator Pete Domenici's horsehead-in-the-bed phone call to USA David Iglesias at his home and weeks before Heather Wilson's tight election. Today, we get evidence of the "quo" from The Washington Post:

One e-mail from Miers's deputy, William Kelley, on the day of the Dec. 7 firings said Domenici's chief of staff "is happy as a clam" about Iglesias. Sampson wrote in an e-mail a week later: "Domenici is going to send over names tomorrow (not even waiting for Iglesias's body to cool)."

Arkansas: Apparently, getting Bud Cummins out and former Rove aide Tim Griffin in as the USA in without consent or consultation from Arkansas' two Democratic Senators was a big part of the White House's plan that involved sneaking-in the language into the Patriot Act reauthorization that allowed a Congressional bypass on USA appointments (courtesy of White House enabler Arlen Specter). Kevin Drum has a post up with quotes showing that the White House clearly understood that it had subverted democracy and snookered Congress on the passage of this power-grab legislation. Kevin quotes the Wagshinton Post piece as follows:

The documents also provide new details about the case of [Tim] Griffin, a former Rove aide and Republican National Committee researcher who was named interim U.S. attorney in Little Rock in December.

E-mails show that Justice officials discussed bypassing the two Democratic senators in Arkansas, who normally would have had input into the appointment, as early as last August. By mid-December, Sampson was suggesting that Gonzales exercise his newfound appointment authority to put Griffin in place until the end of Bush's term.

"There is some risk that we'll lose the authority, but if we don't ever exercise it then what's the point of having it?" Sampson wrote to a White House aide. "(I'm not 100 percent sure that Tim was the guy on which to test drive this authority, but know that getting him appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, etc.)."

San Diego: BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER --- it all leads back to San Diego, where US Attorney Carol Lam flipped Mitchel Wade and bagged the conviction of big-time Congressman Duke Cunningham. She indicted CIA No. 3 Dusty Foggo and Californiia fat cat Brent Wilkes. Numerous other California Comngressmen were - like the Dukey Stick - up to their eyeballs in earmarks to campaign contributors. Think Jerry Lewis, John Dolittle and Duncan Hunter. The obvious implication was that Lam was sacked to end any further corruption investigations against California Republicans as well as their friends in the CIA, Pentagon, White House, etc.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bush Keeps Screwing The Troops

The New York Times has today's must read story about the treatment of American soldiers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury while in Iraq. Here's one snippet:

“The hospital continually told me that Jarod was not making adequate progress and that the next step was a nursing home,” Ms. Behee said. “I just felt that it was unfair for them to throw in the towel on him. I said, ‘We’re out of here.’ ”

Because Ms. Behee had successfully resisted the Army’s efforts to retire her husband into the V.A. health care system, his military insurance policy, it turned out, covered private care. So she moved him to a community rehabilitation center, Casa Colina, near her parents’ home in Southern California in late 2005.

Three months later, Sergeant Behee was walking unassisted and abandoned his government-provided wheelchair. Now 28, he works as a volunteer in the center’s outpatient gym, wiping down equipment and handing out towels. It is not the police job that he aspired to; his cognitive impairments are serious. But it is not a nursing home, either.

The whole piece deserves reading. We cannot leave these soldiers to the insufficient care they are receiving from a VA system unprepared to deal with this level of TBIs. We, as a country, must do more to help their families who - as the article shows - are making heroic efforts caring for their loved ones.

The Bushies, of course, failed to foresee this strain on the VA system. Whats next with these incompetents? Deploying injured soldiers?

Wait a minute! They are fucking deploying the injured. Salon has this:

"This is not right," said Master Sgt. Ronald Jenkins, who has been ordered to Iraq even though he has a spine problem that doctors say would be damaged further by heavy Army protective gear. "This whole thing is about taking care of soldiers," he said angrily. "If you are fit to fight you are fit to fight. If you are not fit to fight, then you are not fit to fight."

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

A Gone

There seems to be some building momentum for chasing out Bush Consigliere and nominal US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He's caught up in the purge of not-rightwing-rabid-enough US Attorneys and has been further slimed in the FBI's Patriot Act abuse scandal.

Get gone! Some other winger needs a couple of years experience so as to build a resume for damaging this country in another decade or so.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gun Nut Judicial Activism

Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision authored by ultra-righty Laurence Silberman, took the Second Amendment to a place it has never been before. It extended an unfettered right to bear modern weapons to individuals. In doing so, the Court struck down a democratically-enacted, Washington D.C. law prohibiting DC residents from keeping handguns in their homes.

With their minds on a national preparedness to repel attacks from foreign powers, like Britain, the founding fathers included a Second Amendment stating: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” To date, courts have limited the Second Amendment to state militias (modern day National Guard units) and have not extended an unfettered right to bear arms to individuals. If it was otherwise intended, the Founding Fathers need not to have placed the qualifier contained in the first part of the sentence and would have simply stated: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Further, sane and rational jurists recognized there could have been no original intent as to the Second Amendment's application to the much more dangerous modern weaponry available today because - duh - such weapons didn't exist then and there is no evidence such firepower was contemplated at the time. Their world was muskets and flintlocks, not hollow point firing Glocks, 50 caliber machine guns and RPGs.

Two wingnuts on the DC court decided to trump democracy and engage in activism of the most egregious sort. They did so by fantasizing that the Founding Fathers intended something they certainly could not have even contemplated.

Don't expect the right to notice the inconsistency between this decision and their claimed ideology of judicial restraint. Being a righty means never having to apologize for a lack of consistent principles.

CINOs: Capitalists In Name Only

Nicole Bell at Crooks & Liars has a short post up highlighting a broadcast tonight on NOW examining the disastorous global consequences of our farm subsidy policies, particularly with regard to the cotton industry.

We preach free market economies and then we crush Africa's cotton industry (& other agricultural industries) through massive subsidies to their American competitors.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Did Libby's Lawyers Suck Or ...?

In opening statements, Libby's lawyer intimated that Libby would take the stand and that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney would be called as witnesses. Of course, none of that happened leaving the jury with a big "WTF?" on their minds.

Defense lawyers generally don't go out on a limb in opening without being able to deliver. Are we really to believe that Libby's lawyers were this bad - making promises upon which they could not deliver?

Or did something happen during the trial upon which they decided it was more beneficial to Scooter to keep his yap shut and to not call (& expose to massive embarassment) Rove and Cheney?

Was Libby promised a pardon if he bit the bullet?

I find that easier to believe than an assertion by some that Lbby's lawyers were incompetent in making the opening they made.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why Hasn't William Jefferson Been Charged?

In review the culture of corruption roster, it struck me that the only prominent Democrat on the list sure has been under investigation for a long time.

Jeebus, it was in August of 2005 that Jefferson was discovered hiding the $90,000 in marked bills in his freezer.

In the purge scandal, we have learned how the Bush administration was pressuring US Attorneys around the country to place politics above integrity and justice. You were punished if you prosecuted corrupt Republicans or if you failed to pursue any nit involving a Democrat for full political gain. The ones that didn't go along got fired.

With these relevations, I feel its safe to speculate that Jefferson isn't being charged because he is the only albatross the Republicans can hang around the Democrats' neck. Without him around, they have nothing to support their argument of a phony equivalence in corruption between the Republican throng of unethical Congressmen and the Democrats' corruption as represented by Jefferson.

The Political Culture of Corruption Roster

With Scooter's conviction, it's now time to update our Culture of Corruption Roster.


Scooter Libby (White House) - GUILTY
Rep. Bob Ney - GUILTY
Gov. Ernie Fletcher
Rep. Tom Delay
Rep. Duke Cunningham - GUILTY
Gov. John Rowland - GUILTY
Gov. George Ryan - GUILTY
James Tobin - GUILTY
David Safavian (White House) - GUILTY
Jack Abramoff - GUILTY
Ken Lay - GUILTY
Jeff Skilling - GUILTY
Tommy Noe - GUILTY
Michael Scanlon - GUILTY
Neil Volz - GUILTY
Claude Allen (White House) - GUILTY
John Colyandro
Jim Ellis
Shaun Hansen
Adam Kidan - GUILTY
Chuck McGee - GUILTY
Allen Raymond - GUILTY
Tony Rudy - GUILTY
Warren RoBold
Mitchell Wade - GUILTY
Dusty Foggo
Brent Wilkes

Rep. Jerry Lewis
Sen. Conrad Burns
Gov. Bob Taft
Karl Rove (White House)
Nine Fingers
Ed Buckham


Brent Pfeffer - GUILTY

William Jefferson

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Only On Fox News!

(Courtesy of KingOneEye at DK).

Libby Guilty!

Scooter goes down ... big time! Guilty on 4 of 5 counts.

LESSON: It takes a jury to bring accountability to the Bush administration. Bush knew the details long ago and did NOTHING!!! He put politics before national security.

Time to set our sights on Cheney.


Of course, FireDogLake has all your "Libby Jury Watch" news. Everyone seems to think we are cose to a verdict.

Then we have the hearings that have just begun on the Bushistas political purge of US Attorneys; those who didn't completely throw away their integrity to be part of the rightwing patronage machine. TPM has lead coverage on this issue.

However, the day got off to a crap start with reports of 9 American soldiers killed in Iraq and additional reports of a suicide bomber in Hilla that, CNN says, killed 93 and wounded 147.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Compounding Mistakes In Afghanistan?

On the tail of reports from Afghanistan of American soldiers shooting civilians after a suicide bomb attempt against the soldiers, we now have a report in the New York Times that American soldiers forced media cameramen to delete footage shot in the aftermath.

The soldiers claim the civilians were inadvertently shot in a crossfire while some Afghanis are claiming the civilians were deliberately targeted. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle, i.e. soldiers scarred because of a bomber attack mistakenly shoot others out of fear of who may be carrying a second bomb. Unfortunately, suicide bombers create these scary and ambiguous situations that by design can lead to mistakes or overreactions by troops defending themselves.

That said ... if the military did, in fact, censor the journalists covering the incident, they, unfortunately and inadvertently, will have assisted the terrorist message. People will naturally ask, "Why a coverup if there was no wrongdoing?"

To add to the tense situation, reports are now coming out of an errant airstrike today that killed a number of civilians, including 5 women and three children.

We are on a precipe in Afghanistan and it will slip away if we don't refocus on securing and rebuilding that country immediately.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Those Whacky Wingers

Today, I've got a couple of links to some video clips of some whacky wingnuts.

The first is a clip from the Daily Show (h/t Oliver Willis) in which its correspondent investigates the response of some white residents of Katy, Texas to the news that a Muslim man has purchased a plot of land in their town upon which he hopes to construct a Mosque and community center.

The second video (h/t Crooks & Liars) is of uber wingnut Glen Beck making an inappropriate remark to a female guest. I guess the best way to describe it is ... as ... uhm ... uncomfortable.