Monday, November 28, 2005

Rove's assistant the key?

This story,"Testimony from Rove's former assistant may solidify case that he misled leak inquiry, lawyers say,"is the only one out there with this particular information that I've seen. Whether it comes to pass or not is another question. Other reports this outlet has had on this story have been way out in front.

Essentially, it suggests that Rove's assistant has provided testimony that would support perhaps perjury and obstruction of justice charges against our man . The telephone conversation Rove had with Matthew Cooper of Time is the event from which these charges would flow. Here's the nub of it:
The attorneys say that Rove’s former personal assistant, Susan B. Ralston -- who was also a special assistant to President Bush -- testified in August about why Cooper’s call to Rove was not logged. Ralston said it occurred because Cooper had phoned in through the White House switchboard and was then transferred to Rove’s office as opposed to calling Rove’s office directly. As Rove’s assistant, Ralston screened Rove’s calls.

But those close to the probe tell RAW STORY that Fitzgerald obtained documentary evidence showing that other unrelated calls transferred to Rove’s office by the switchboard were logged. He then called Ralston back to testify.

Earlier this month, attorneys say Fitzgerald received additional testimony from Ralston -- who said that Rove instructed her not to log a phone call Rove had with Cooper about Plame in July 2003.


Ralston also provided Fitzgerald with more information and “clarification” about several telephone calls Rove allegedly made to a few reporters, including syndicated columnist Robert Novak, the lawyers said.
So it appears that Fitzgerald is turning the screws tighter on Ralston on this issue. If there's been lying to investigators over this point, you can bet there'll be charges. Whatever smokescreen Luskin, Rove's attorney, tried to throw in Fitzgerald's direction last month over the innocent nature of forgotten conversations and routinely "unlogged" calls may be falling apart. Maybe.

Friday, November 25, 2005

One more quote from Brownie

He can't be serious. Ousted FEMA chief to sell his expertise in disaster planning :
Critics seized on his appearance on ABC News' "Nightline" program, when he implied that he was unaware of hundreds of people suffering without federal help at an overcrowded New Orleans convention center.
"Don't you guys watch television?" host Ted Koppel asked pointedly.
Brown said he had misspoken, but he never was able to recover public confidence.
"That was a mistake. That was a real tipping point for me because I hadn't slept. I misspoke," Brown said. "People were seeing pictures of these people in the convention center that FEMA had learned about 24 hours before that. When I said, 'We just learned about that,' people misinterpreted that as, 'You mean this has been going on for 24 hours and you don't know about it?'"
The lesson, he said, is that sometimes leaders need to "take inventory" of everything that's going on, "so that you give the absolute correct message to the media, because the media can't be trusted to, one, always get the message correct, and then when you yourself give the incorrect message, that just exacerbates the whole communications problem."
Yeah, that latter part will get you every time...teach them well, , teach them well....

The incorrigible Brownie

Brownie, denial is not a river in Egypt. CNN.com - Brown to start emergency planning consulting business - Nov 24, 2005. Best of luck with this one guy, at least you're getting off the federal payroll. What's next from the Republican cast of characters? Tom DeLay starting a business ethics consulting firm?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mulroney suing Newman

Good. I'd like to see their contract agreement and the Statement of Claim. In fact, how about providing a link to the Statement of Claim, Globe and Mail?

John McCain making the rounds

As he travels in support of his "Kennedyesque" version of Profiles in Courage, in advance of a likely Presidential run, let's remember that this guy has been one of Bush's strongest public supporters through the entire mess of the Bush years. His appearance on the Daily Show last night, where they showed a clip of Steve Carrell on the "Straight Talk Express" in the 2000 primaries, appeared to be an attempt to evoke the grand old days of that campaign when the "Straight Talker" captivated the media. How he thinks, after the past five years, that he can turn back time, untainted from the stink of his enthusiastic support for Bush is really remarkable. For more discussion, see this thread: The John McCain Scam.

and his gang destroyed McCain in the 2000 primaries in the most slimy manner possible yet he apparently made a deal with the devil (read, Rove) to provide cover for Bush and be the good soldier. One of the most irritating qualities about these former military politicians is their choice of loyalty above all other considerations. Chris Matthews was almost apopleptic on Hardball yesterday saying Colin Powell should have resigned if he had such disagreements with Bush over Iraq rather than play the good soldier role to the detriment of the U.S. His point was that it does no good to have Lawrence Wilkerson, whose recent comments were raised by one of his guests, to be speaking out now about the "cabal" that is running the war policy. It's just too late. Interesting, but too late. And John McCain has been just as bad as Colin Powell in this regard.

McCain's new book is entitled, "Character and Destiny." Too bad the character has been so sorely lacking in him for the past five years. Straight talker? Seems more like a "smooth operator" to me...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Here it is in black & white

No wonder the Bush administration has ratcheted up its attacks on critics in the past few weeks. Look at what they've got to hide. Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel (11/22/05):
Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The information was provided to Bush on September 21, 2001 during the "President's Daily Brief," a 30- to 45-minute early-morning national security briefing. Information for PDBs has routinely been derived from electronic intercepts, human agents, and reports from foreign intelligence services, as well as more mundane sources such as news reports and public statements by foreign leaders.
The Bush administration is refusing to provide this document and others to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Bravo to Murray Waas for pursuing these scoops.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Scary Canadian birds...

U.S. Bans Imports of Some Canadian Poultry - New York Times.
Flu viruses commonly infect birds the world over, and the action by the United States did bring some criticism. Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said, "I personally don't understand the science behind the government's decision."

The strain of flu identified in the Canadian duck is common in North America, Dr. Osterholm said. Since it has little to do with the virulent Asian strain causing such concern worldwide and does not seem to be deadly among birds, finding a bird afflicted with such a virus should not cause alarm, Dr. Osterholm said.

Besides, if the Asian flu virus does appear in North America, he said, migratory birds will almost certainly be the source. "And there's no stopping the movement of migratory birds between Canada and the U.S.," Dr. Osterholm said.

"Why do we care about this?" he said. "I just don't understand."
We understand. Close the border first, think rationally later. Beef, softwood lumber, we're used to it. Our reaction to this closure is really, what took you so long?

Note to Dr. Osterholm: science is frequently not the basis for the Bush administration's decisions. Try ideology, jingoism or perhaps religion as alternative explanations, you might have better luck with those rationales.

Just keep telling yourself your birds don't have it, "American agriculture officials". Birds magically halt themselves at the border. Yeah, just like Ben was the only one on steroids in '84. Blame Canada, blame Canada....!

Koppel's last Nightline


Koppel's last night tonight. One more respected network journalist says goodbye. An era has certainly ended this past year...Rather, Jennings, Brokaw and now Koppel...

The Bush Administration: discrediting one reporter at a time

Woodward Expresses Regrets in CIA Leak Case - New York Times. Didn't catch all of Woodward's performance on Larry King last night. What I did see was painful. He's sorry for not telling his editor sooner, he's sorry for the things he said that slagged Fitzgerald. Yada, yada, yada.

Gotta hand it to et al., they certainly have had some success in tarnishing the media over the past five years. Rathergate took down Dan, and the CIA leak thus far has ensnared a handful of journalists, two of whom - Judy Miller and Bob Woodward - have been, in differing degrees, icons of their respective papers. For an administration that openly disdains the so called liberal media, they must find solace in these developments. Shaking the foundations of democracy, one pillar at a time...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Woodward's "aggressive reporting"

Just saw a clip excerpt of Bob Woodward on Blitzer's show, apparently he's on Larry King tonight.

He said that when he heard Fitzgerald's press conference statement that Libby was the first government official to contact a reporter about Plame's identity, that this gave him a "whooaa" kind of moment. So he says he then went into "aggressive reporting" mode on the story. Fitzgerald's press conference was on a Friday. Woodward only contacted his source on the Monday, so he says. Doesn't sound too "aggressive" to me. I take it he may have done some other things over the weekend, got his facts straight, thought about things, contacted others, prior to re-connecting with his source. Perhaps this is what "aggressive" reporting means? For him to be using this phrase is bizarre considering he sat on his information for two years.

He then says that the source, when contacted, told Woodward, "I have to go to the prosecutor." And Woodward says the source kept repeating this. This suggests that his source was only prompted to remember the discussion with Woodward at Woodward's prompting of him. So I sense another "I was so busy, I forgot" defence to come down the pipeline from another official if charged, in the Libby vein.

Kinsmen


Genghis, meet W...W, meet Genghis...

Bush promotes free speech in China

Bush puts an end to a news conference in a most embarrassing way:
The final reporter he called on critiqued Bush's performance earlier in the day when he stood next to Hu in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square to deliver a statement.

"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.

"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded. "Well, good. That answers your question."

The president then recited a list of things of that he viewed as positive developments from his Beijing meetings, including cooperation on North Korean nuclear disarmament and the ability to have "frank discussions" with his Chinese counterpart.

When the reporter asked for "a very quick follow-up," Bush cut him off by thanking the press corps and telling the reporter "No you may not," as he strode toward a set of double doors leading out of the room.

The only problem was that they were locked.
Isn't it supposed to be the Chinese who pull this kind of thing? Not the U.S. President who is a symbol, after all, of American values such as free speech and who should be especially conscious of this in a country like China where students were killed in Tianamen Square fighting for the right to free speech, among others? A thinking President might be aware of the horrible optics of pulling such a childish and intemperate stunt...

(Unfortunately for you, , you can't control your guy at moments like these...)

This is just not on Mr. Boisclair

CBC News: Boisclair says PQ won't be bound by law governing referendums:
"It belongs to Quebecers to decide their future," Boisclair said.

"And it's for them to decide what kind of country and what kind of relations they want to have with the rest of Canada."
Excuse me? It's for us too Mr. Boisclair. You want to rip a hole in the center of the one of the best countries in the world in which to live? I think we'll have some say in that, thank you very much. We have the right to say what kinds of standards you should meet if you're going to try to dismantle our country.

And it's not just little old Impolitical who thinks so. The Supreme Court of Canada thinks so too. As grounded in the Constitution of Canada which, unfortunately for you, applies to Quebec. So dream a little dream in your lawless utopia where the will of the majority tramples over people's rights. For the rest of us, we'll take the Constitution, thank you, and the rule of law.

And by the way, there is no foreign country on earth that will recognize a supposed "yes" vote if the Supreme Court of Canada and the Government of Canada refuse to recognize the process you choose. Think about it - you flagrantly flout the law which the federal government has passed on secession process yet seek international recognition of such illegal behaviour? Good luck with that one. I'm sure other nations in the world will be extremely hesitant to grant any kind of recognition to a province which blatantly ignores the Clarity Act. Think of what the Government of Canada might tell them if they tried.

Is this a trend with you, Mr. Boisclair? The law does not apply to you, if it's inconvenient?

I think Impolitical has a new Rovian entity to watch, stay tuned.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Jean Schmidt vs. the Scream




bears a remarkable resemblance, don't you think?

The dogged Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is getting a new grand jury on the CIA case:Prosecutor in Leak Case Calls for New Grand Jury - New York Times. Conflicting opinions about what this means and whether new indictments are likely. Some quoted in the story suggest it's not good news for the Bush administration, if they had any illusions that the damage would be limited to Libby. I am inclined to agree with those who say he would not be taking the trouble to get a new grand jury involved if he was just tying up loose ends, as some have wanted to believe. The Woodward involvement raises new questions about his source's possible susceptibility to charges:
"Woodward, who was questioned by Fitzgerald on Monday, has refused to reveal the source's name publicly, but a person familiar with the investigation said the source had testified earlier in the case. The source came forward to the prosecutor again after Woodward started asking questions for an article on the CIA leak late last month and reminded the person of their 2003 conversation, Woodward said yesterday. That raises the possibility that the source faces legal problems if he or she provided false or incomplete information during previous testimony, according to legal experts."
So it's possible that Woodward's source is potentially liable for perjury or obstruction of justice if they failed to tell Fitzgerald the first time around about their telling Woodward of Plame's identity. And we know that remains under scrutiny. The simple fact that the "junkyard dog" remains on the case is heartening for anyone who wants to ensure that the many administration officials who have played fast and loose with the truth, on so many issues, are held to account wherever appropriate.

Yesterday's indictment of Conrad Black, under Fitzgerald's leadership, should have the White House and its players paying perhaps a bit more attention to today's word of a new grand jury in the leak case.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Vice President for torture"

Former head of CIA speaks out:
Speaking on ITV news Admiral Turner said: "We have crossed the line into dangerous territory.

"I am embarrassed that the USA has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible."

He added: "He (Mr Cheney) advocates torture, what else is it? I just don't understand how a man in that position can take such a stance."

Turning point

Rapid Pullout From Iraq Urged by Key Democrat - New York Times. I am going to provide an extended excerpt here, as it really says it all:
But the talk of Washington was Jack Murtha, 73, a blunt former Marine drill instructor who served a combat tour in Vietnam and retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve after 37 years of service.

The ranking Democrat on the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Mr. Murtha has earned bipartisan respect for his work on military issues over three decades in Congress. "When he talks, I listen," said Representative John M. McHugh, a New York Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.

In recent months, though, Mr. Murtha has voiced concerns raised by constituents and from his own conversations with troops and commanders about problems like shortages of body armor and other equipment. His district in southwestern Pennsylvania has lost 13 service members in Iraq. Aides said Mr. Murtha had mulled over his proposal for weeks and decided to announce it before lawmakers left this weekend for the Thanksgiving Day recess. He presented his proposal to a closed meeting of House Democrats, who gave him a standing ovation. Mr. Murtha then held a news conference, where, fighting back tears, he said it was Congress's moral duty to intervene on behalf of the troops.

"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency," said Mr. Murtha, who visited Iraq in late August. "We have become a catalyst for the violence."

If approved by the House and Senate, Mr. Murtha's resolution would force the president to withdraw United States troops "at the earliest practicable date," which he said could be six months. Under his plan, the Pentagon would retain a quick-reaction force in the region, as well as marines within a few sailing days.

When asked about Mr. Cheney's remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Murtha replied sarcastically: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

In the Vietnam era, Mr. Cheney had five deferments and did not serve in the military.
is an esteemed member of Congress, deeply respected for his experience as a veteran. Yet predictably, and desperately, the Bushites respond not by addressing any substantive issues, but by trying to marginalize Murtha in a petty, partisan way:
His press secretary issued an unusually blistering statement responding to Mr. Murtha's call for a pullout, declaring that the Democrat was "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."
That is just plain absurd. There is just no moral authority behind any of these petty labels or campaign phrases they're using: "cut and run", "surrender to terrorists"...it's just shameful. When held up in a head to head contrast with Murtha's speech yesterday, these attacks are just plain embarrassing.

And listen to the babble W spewed out yesterday:
"I think people ought to be allowed to ask questions," he said. Then, leaning forward and emphasizing his words, he said, "Listen, it's patriotic as heck to disagree with the president. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions and playing politics."
No sense of leadership, no ability to rise above the name-calling. Just right down there in the mud with his confreres. The Wall Street Journal is citing a Harris Institute poll approval rating of 34% today for Bush. I would expect it to go lower if he keeps uttering such incommunicative inanities. "Playing politics" may be an easy label for him to understand. But in this atmosphere, and with his approval rating tanking, the only one who looks like he's "playing politics" is him. He and his . And look at the mess they've made. He got his war and he has no idea what to do now. Other than to whine about people disagreeing with him. The folly of electing someone without a clue is pretty clearly coming home to roost.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

This just in: money buys influence in Washington

Lawmakers Acted on Heels of Abramoff Gifts - New York Times.

Dan Bartlett goes to war

Apparently these people think this is all a game,Bush, Cheney Denounce Democratic Senators Critical of Iraq War. Get a load of this:
Senior Bush adviser Dan Bartlett said Thursday that the White House had made a strategic decision to launch a "sustained" campaign to vigorously combat the notion that the administration misled the nation rather than let the assertion go uncontested.

"The political axiom in Washington is the charge, whether true or false, can have currency," said Bartlett, who is traveling with Bush. "There's a point where it reaches critical mass." He said the White House would keep up the criticism of Democrats as long as they keep up their assertions that Bush manipulated intelligence. And, he said, "we will win."
Yes, he actually said that. "We will win." Who's that, Dan? Who's going to win after your scorched earth war with Democrats on manipulated intelligence? The Bush administration wins by launching a no-holds-barred, "you Democrats have no backbone" partisan slugfest? Just what a nation looking for leadership wants, right Dan? You have a heck of a record to defend, guy, good luck with that one. The media and the Democrats are not going to roll over this time. So the school yard bullies are actually going to be stood up to this time around. That means these are uncharted waters you're sailing in Dan, let's not be so sure of "winning," as you put it.

You know I've noticed that when the going gets tough, Bartlett tends to have foot-in-mouth disease. Recall at the height of the hurricane Katrina aftermath when Bartlett thought it would be a good idea to whine about the incredible challenges that this particular President has had to face. As if we should feel sorry for the guy? Yeah, keep it up Bartlett, you seem to know just what to say at times like these...

Rove plays "Survivor Washington"

Woodward Could Be a Boon to Libby:
Rove's defense team also believes he could benefit tangentially from the Woodward disclosure because it shows other officials were discussing Plame in casual ways and that others have foggy recollections of the period as well, according to a Republican close to Rove.

"It definitely raises the plausibility of Karl Rove's simple and honest lapses of memory, because it shows that there were other people discussing the matter in what Mr. Woodward described as very offhanded, casual way," a source close to Rove said. "Let's face it, we don't all remember every conversation we have about significant issues, much less those about those that are less significant."

Rove is under scrutiny for not initially disclosing his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper. Rove's defense is he simply forgot the conversation took place. Sources close to Rove said they expect a decision on whether he will be charged soon.
Isn't it intriguing how involvement becomes public at this time. And that it seems to bolster argument that others were talking about Plame's identity in a "casual" way and so, like many other casual items of conversation, he innocently forgot his discussion with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine about Valerie Plame.

This is just far too convenient for me. It is as if a trump card, in the form of Woodward, has been held back, an immunity idol if you will, to be disclosed only when necessary to save someone, perhaps as Fitzgerald wrestles with whether Rove will be charged. It is just too uncanny. A little too machiavellian. Has the master tactician once again outwitted and outlasted his opponent? I will not be surprised if that is exactly what unfolds. For Karl Rove is the ultimate Survivor.

Wonder how Fitzgerald enjoys being played like a fiddle lo these years by so many Bush administration officials...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A "casual" leak is still a leak, isn't it?

Bob , in his statement about his testimony in the CIA leak case, characterizes the mentioning of Valerie Plame's identity to him as a casual disclosure, an "offhand" piece of information. As in, oh by the way, Wilson's wife works as an analyst at the CIA.

Bay Buchanan stated on the Situation Room this afternoon that this type of disclosure is not, in her view, harmful. Excuse me? Doesn't the same basic principle apply here? That a CIA undercover operative was outed in this conversation, despite all the protestations of its casual nature. And despite Woodward sitting on it for over two years. The effect is the same. It is irrelevant to say that the tone of the person when they disclosed the information was "casual." The perception of the person receiving the information is beside the point. A casual leak is equally insidious to an intentional outing of an operative.

Am I missing something here? Is it OK to reveal nuclear secrets if it's done in a casual and offhand manner?

He gets hecklers

Cheney is heckled at Baker event - The Boston Globe. That's a shame.

WTF? Another twist in the CIA leak case

Big news today in the Plame matter:Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago.
Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive, according to a statement Woodward released yesterday.

Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously undisclosed conversation after the official alerted the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the investigation.
Emphasis added there, as I believe that's the newsworthy aspect of this story. Whoever it was who revealed Plame's status to Woodward apparently has now decided that this is something Fitzgerald should know. One week after Libby was indicted. Why now, is the big question. And who is this source?

, apparently, is denying he is the official, through a spokesman. It could well be someone who has just reached a plea bargain with Fitzgerald and therefore it is only now that he can provide the information that he, the official, told Woodward of Plame. There is a lot of speculation (see TalkLeft, RawStory) that this "official" is David Wurmser, who was allegedly instructed to leak Plame's identity by Libby, possibly Cheney.

Libby's lawyers are taking the opportunity to use the Woodward revelation to cast doubt on Fitzgerald's capability as a prosecutor. Their argument is that the revelation of Plame's identity to Woodward apparently took place in advance of anything Libby did, so for Fitzgerald to have said in his news conference that Libby was the first was incorrect...it doesn't however, change the fact that Libby is still alleged to have disclosed Plame's identity, albeit now at perhaps a slightly different stage of the whole timeline.

What is also clear from this article is the barely restrained contempt that leaps from the Post pages about Woodward's concealing this knowledge for over two years, his public pooh-poohing of the leak investigation and his claim to have told Walter Pincus about Plame's CIA status. Pincus practically blows Woodward out of the water on this:"Are you kidding?" Pincus said. "I certainly would have remembered that." Following, a few lines later, is this statement:"Pincus and fellow Post reporter Glenn Kessler have been questioned in the investigation." So if Pincus has been questioned already, yet Fitzgerald only gained knowledge of Woodward's role in the past few weeks...that tells you that Pincus never mentioned anything to Fitzgerald about Woodward when questioned before the grand jury because he didn't know anything about Woodward's knowledge of Plame's identity. Essentially, Woodward is lying or has faulty recollection here...

Not too sure what else to make of this. Certainly a surprise to see someone like Woodward just now being brought into this. Could make for an interesting day...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rovian efforts defeated at Corp for Public Broadcasting

This story has Rove's pawprints all over it:Report Says Ex-Chief of Public TV Violated Federal Law - New York Times. If you haven't heard about this minor scandal, the synopsis is this:
Investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting concluded today that its former chairman repeatedly broke federal law and its own regulations in a campaign to combat what he saw as liberal bias.

The scathing report by the corporation's inspector general described a dysfunctional organization that violated the Public Broadcasting Act, which created the corporation and was written to insulate programming decisions from politics.
The article references a number of efforts to staff positions at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with partisan Republicans, in an effort by the White House to breach the boundaries set up by the Act. An "unidentified official at the White House" promoted the former co-chairwoman of the RNC to become the new president of the Corporation. And, "Another official was given a position at the corporation, according to the report, at the request of the White House."

Anyone want to take bets on who the unidentified official is? After all, who is it at the White House who is responsible for selecting Senate and House candidates and is the go to guy on partisan matters? Could it be ""? Once again, flying under the radar, crossing boundaries and pushing the limits of the law. And once again, unidentified, leaving no finger prints on his actions. Any enterprising journalists out there who would care to nail this down more specifically? Don't you think people deserve to know who exactly it is at the White House who was attempting this partisan manipulation and causing the breach of the Public Broadcasting Act?

Looks like a rare defeat for Karl, the efforts to morph the Public Broadcaster into a wing of the Republican message machine failed. The identities of those at the White House responsible for this should be revealed.

Quote of the day

Column worth reading, simply for the following quotation from December 19, 1941 by Robert Taft, the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, virtually on the heels of the Pearl Harbour attack:
As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government ... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism. If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy, and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.
Makes W look pretty small for his Veteran's Day attack on Democrats for asking questions about intelligence manipulation, doesn't it?

What, no humour in Kazakhstan?

Ali G in beeg trouble:
Cohen appears to have drawn official Kazakh ire after he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle.

You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone

CNN.com - Poll: Bush approval mark at all-time low. New poll and the numbers just don't seem to be getting any better. This one in particular has to hurt:
When asked if they trust Bush more than they had Clinton, 48 percent of respondents said they trusted Bush less, while 36 percent said they trusted him more and 15 percent said they trusted Bush the same as Clinton.
This was the Bush hallmark, the raison d'etre of his candidacy. Such a shame. And to be viewed by so many as less trustworthy than Bubba. That has to just kill these high and mighties.

And get a load of these numbers:
The country appears to be split on whether Bush is a strong president and whether or not Americans personally like him.

When asked about his abilities, 49 percent of those surveyed said he was a strong president and 49 percent said he was a weak leader.

About 50 percent of people polled said they disliked Bush, with 6 percent claiming to hate the president.

Bush's overall approval mark matched the 37 percent rating of newly elected President Clinton in June 1993.
What took you so long people? Hello? Election a year ago and you couldn't have figured this out before then?

Monday, November 14, 2005

The curse of the Bushes

A name long to be in Presidential politics, alas: Jeb Bush leaves open White House bid. The good news, we will be spared in '08.

Well said


This Talking Points Memo post is right on. I am frequently frustrated when I see the RNC Chairman Mehlman speaking in any forum. He's a brilliant lawyer and is frequently able to get away with a "hurricane of lies," as Josh Marshall notes Mehlman did on MTP on Sunday. Exactly. The interviewer journalists don't have a chance with this guy. He snows them under with so many twists on the truth and coupled with the sheer volume of the content he brings, it's not surprising he gets away with it. The leap from spinning to lying is a natural one, at least it appears so for the Ken Mehlmans of the world.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Is Jeanine Pirro finished?

Pirro cries out from the political wilderness, once again seeking attention by attacking Bill Clinton, likely one of the most popular political figures in her state,here:
Jeanine F. Pirro, who is seeking to unseat Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, has opened a harsh attack on Bill Clinton, saying that the senator has learned "a thing or two from her husband on the art of political manipulation."
And this:
"Pulling a page out of Bill's political playbook, Hillary is trying to rebrand herself as a moderate 'New Democrat' to position herself to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2008."
Yeah? How's that for stating the obvious. That should get the donors fired up. The tone deaf Pirro apparently doesn't know the politics of the state in which she's living. Why would someone running for electoral office attack one of the most popular political figures who resides in the state and who, for all present purposes, is beloved when compared to the current President? The strategy has been off here, and apparently the lack of resonance is showing up in the funding efforts:
Ms. Pirro's $20 million fund-raising goal is in keeping with what Mrs. Clinton's first rival in the 2000 Senate race, Rudolph W. Giuliani, raised before he dropped out. But it is little compared with what his replacement, Rick A. Lazio, raised: $40 million.

Given the difficulty Ms. Pirro has had raising money, it is unclear whether she will meet her goal. Ms. Pirro, who announced her candidacy on Aug. 8, had slightly more than $400,000 in her campaign treasury as of Sept. 30, according to the most recent campaign-finance statements.
$400,000 doesn't buy diddly squat in the New York media market.

The vaunted matchup seems destined for the dust bin at this point. Likely not all Pirro's fault either. She does have an excessive amount of baggage (read: husband) but the more likely verdict is that Hillary is a formidable candidate and Republican donors are probably saving their cash for the '08 Presidential election. It looks like they have decided it's not Pirro or another state Republican who will defeat Hillary in the Senate race...it's McCain, Giuliani or some other choice who will get their backing for '08.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shameless

The disconnect is startling...what exactly is the "Strategy for Victory?" And "Victory"? How could that word ever, ever come to mind when talking about Iraq?

Veterans write letters

Rant of the day.

Same old same old from Bush

Apparently the Rovians think that some tried-and-true rhetoric, on Veteran's Day to boot, is going to boost Bush's fortunes. Think again. It is the same old "be quiet" and "you're un-American" kind of simplistic bombast, here:Bush Forcefully Attacks Critics of His Strategy in Iraq - New York Times. One example:
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decisions or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said in a Veterans Day speech in Pennsylvania.
Leader says it's not OK to ask any questions about how this war began. How dare you look back and investigate such decisions. In fact it's "deeply irresponsible"...in other words, be quiet, let's not have any legitimate democratic debate, we can't have that kind of thing going on in AMERICA after all. Yes, I took you to war with rhetoric of "mushroom clouds" and "smoking guns" but it's irresponsible for you to now probe whether I was telling the truth or not. Who do you think you are? You see, I know that the historical record is about to be written on this episode, and I'm going to do my damnedest to ensure that I bully the Democrats back into submission and not let them get any traction on the facts that show I misled the nation. The stakes are too high. This is a fight for my Presidential legacy.

And there's more. We can't question the President, it will send a poor signal to the enemy:
"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges," he said. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will."
So there you have the "un-American" charge for this day. And nicely done on Veteran's Day, W.

A little tone deaf, don't you think, ? We all know in the wake of your Federalist's Society appearance that you may be a little ramped up and dying to bring it with your revitalized mojo, but this "don't question me" lecture is really long past its prime. And the "un-American" polemic, well, it's just not on anymore. A President with a 36% approval rating, and falling, doesn't get to play any of these cards. The investigation of the manipulation of intelligence is just beginning. That horse is out of the barn and there's no corralling it back in...

Rove back out from under his rock


Pretty bold for who remains under investigation for perjury and possibly other charges to be addressing, practically speaking, the nation on "judicial imperialism" and taking aim at judges who "legislate from the bench": Rove Addresses Federalist Society. A tad disrespectful to the circumstances in which he finds himself, don't you think? Apparently Karl has decided he's going to be "out there and loving every minute of it" unless the Special Counsel comes knocking on his door. That's what I take from tonight's speech. No more cancellations or shying away from his usual slash and burn politicking. He's back, baby, he's back. Revelling in the ovation from his "fellow Federalists," attacking the judiciary, mocking their decisions (Massachusetts on same-sex marriage)...the personification of everything wrong with American politics, back on full display for all the world to see.

Birth control patch

Any women out there on this patch should be seeing their Dr., and soon. Read this article:"Warning issued about birth-control patch". Don't know if this warranted the "Breaking News" on CNN last night but it definitely warrants attention.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Funny op-ed on the ethics classes

Spoof of the "Remedial Ethics" with a rich cast of characters.

The cowboy

Check out the horse's eye in the painting...

Abramoff's stench

Lobbyist Sought $9 Million to Set Bush Meeting - New York Times:
The lobbyist Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.

The African leader, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, met with President Bush in the Oval Office on May 26, 2004, 10 months after Mr. Abramoff made the offer. There has been no evidence in the public record that Mr. Abramoff had any role in organizing the meeting or that he received any money or had a signed contract with Gabon.

White House and State Department officials described Mr. Bush's meeting with President Bongo, whose government is regularly accused by the United States of human rights abuses, as routine. The officials said they knew of no involvement by Mr. Abramoff in the arrangements. Officials at Gabon's embassy in Washington did not respond to written questions.

"This went through normal staffing channels," said Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, who said the meeting was "part of the president's outreach to the continent of Africa."
Yeah, it was "normal" and part of his "outreach" to Africa...and Abramoff asking for $9 million to arrange it had nothing to do with it. Can anyone believe anything the White House says anymore? Is this in the vein of a "Libby and Rove were not involved" kind of denial?

Yes, it is an investigation and we want to presume everyone innocent...but the more you hear stories like this emanating out of the Abramoff investigation, the greater the likelihood that our man makes way for the exits.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Questions over White House Briefing Transcript

Daily Kos: White House Falsifies Briefing Transcript:
Quite simply, the White House has tampered with the transcript of the Oct. 31 press briefing conducted by l'il Scott McClellan. David Gregory of MSNBC argued to McClellan that notwithstanding McClellan's assurances two years ago that Rove and Libby had not been involved in the leak, both Rove and Libby have admitted to taking part in conversations with journalists regarding Valerie Plame. In response, Scottie said "That's accurate." But the official White House transcript of the briefing available at whitehouse.gov has Scottie saying "I don't think that's accurate."
Video can be seen here.

Intelligent design crackpots dealt a setback

Evolution Slate Outpolls Rivals - New York Times:
All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.
An encouraging example of people taking back the agenda from the loonies who have been empowered to think they can actually get away with these antics by the Bush administration's rhetoric and pandering to the religious right for years. Another heartening result from last night's elections.

Sad times in Detroit

This article is a sad reminder of the terrible situation that is festering in Detroit. I had to look twice when I saw the number of votes cast...in what is viewed as a major midwest U.S. city, the Mayor won with 117,354 votes to 103,446 of his opponent. The last sentence of the article explains these low figures:
In addition to budget problems, Detroit faces a continuing population decline that started a half-century ago. It has just over 900,000 residents, compared with 1.8 million in 1950, and was listed this year as the nation's most impoverished big city.
A major American city that has lost half its population in fifty years. The vulnerability of this city is striking. The insensitive spending abuses by its now re-elected Mayor display an inordinate stupidity and do not help its image. Detroit is the New Orleans of the north yet they're on their own to dig themselves out of their impoverishment.

Rove to address Federalist Society on Thursday night

An item I noticed in Froomkin's column yesterday. See the schedule and pictures of a virtual rogues gallery-who's who of America's scariest legal minds. Be forewarned Washingtonians, these people are descending upon you this weekend...

A White House under investigation for perjury and possibly other charges, but hey, let's keep him as a keynoter to set the tone for the conference. Nice.

Best bet for subject matter likely to be joked about by Rove in his address: "What I learned during my Ethics primer."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Trent Lott's revenge

He really seems to have taken to the idea of a scorched earth policy:Daily Kos: Trent Lott says GOP Senator guilty of leaking story re: secret torture prisons.

Rove to attend ethics class Wednesday

Oh to be a fly on the wall:"Bush Aides Sent to Ethics Classes." I maintain that a picture of our man sitting through an ethics class would be priceless. Any cell phone users who have camera capabilities in that class? Hint, hint...

But lets remind ourselves of the absolute absurdity of this. Rove, as Bush's chief politcal adviser, has shepherded Bush through some of the dirtiest politics of the past decade: the defeat of Ann Richards - where there were whisper campaigns launched about her personal life - through the absolute decimation of John McCain's character in South Carolina - where there were whisper campaigns launched about his adopted daughter and about his wife - through the defeat of Al Gore - where Gore was repeatedly assailed as a liar for what are in the rear view mirror laughably trifling matters - through the defeat of John Kerry - where the "Swiftboating" assassination of Kerry's character was undertaken - and now Rove is attending an ethics class.

What a complete and utterly laughable exercise. It's like trying to plug the flooding of Lake Pontchartrain with one's thumb in a levee...

Monday, November 07, 2005

A remarkable telling of Bush's trip

Some of the details provided in Elisabeth Bumiller's account of the Bush trip to the Summit of the Americas are frank indicators of how badly the Bush team and Bush himself continue to mangle any issue at hand. Take a gander at this item:
Not least, the always-on-time, early-rising Mr. Bush found himself so much at the mercy of Argentina's late, leisurely scheduling that on Friday he sat down to a dinner with Western Hemisphere leaders at 10:15 p.m., already past his bedtime, and did not get back to his hotel room until nearly 12:40 a.m.

The next day, an administration official said Mr. Bush would skip a two-hour lunch with the leaders because of "time served" at dinner the night before. But the president's planned escape was soon moot because the contentious summit talks ran so late, three hours over schedule at that point, that Argentina canceled the lunch.

So by 3:30 p.m., evidently on an empty stomach, Mr. Bush said he was sticking to his itinerary - a 4:05 p.m. Air Force One departure from Argentina to go to Brazil - and he did, leaving an assistant secretary of state behind to sweat out the trade talks. They ended hours later in failure.
So he has to have a late dinner on the Friday, which lasts two hours, and it causes him to think he can skip a two-hour lunch with leaders the next day due to "time served" at the previous night's dinner? "Time served?" Are you kidding me? At an international summit, the largest nation effectively says it will snub the rest of the attendees at that day's lunch. When he's trying to get a free trade deal done, to boot. And when the lunch gets cancelled since talks are continuing, he decides he's still leaving, just to stick to an itinerary. The talks fail. But it's more important for Bush to keep to his schedule.

So did they decide that the talks were doomed and gave up? Or did Bush leave the fate of his trade agreement to the above mentioned assistant secretary of state to handle as he's not capable of making the arguments himself? I know people get tired of hearing this, but I'll ask it anyway. Can you picture Clinton doing this? No, you can't. Clinton would have stayed until "the last dog died" (or some other southern phraseology) to achieve some success at an international summit like this. And there wouldn't be disrespect to other nations by leaving when the work remained to be done.

But this President of the United States continuously appears to have little regard for the views of other nations. He possesses little in the ways of powers of persuasion himself and the credibility of his nation has been squandered by the Iraq war. Combine these two factors and it is a recipe for futility. The isolation and resulting powerlessness that it brings are rebounding back to the U.S. on issues like these, and Bush is getting a taste of it, up close and personal:
On Friday in Mar del Plata, an Atlantic City-like vacation spot of high-rises, brown sand beaches and a big casino, Mr. Bush could be seen walking alone, while other leaders moved in noisy knots, toward the spot on a seaside plaza where participants in the Summit of the Americas posed for a group picture.

Allen suggests a Roveless Bush

Two items of note in Mike Allen's column this week, including this opening:
He's weary. His wife and only child, who is approaching college, miss him. He has monstrous legal bills. His unique bond with the President is under stress. His most important work is done.
Reaction to the first four sentences of this paragraph: cry me a freakin' river. As to the last, yes, done his damnedest to obliterate the political fabric of American politics with his politics of personal destruction, fabrication, obstruction and distraction. The Rove legacy is something that deserves serious analysis and is too massive to entertain in this post.

Secondly, Allen is writing about Rove's departure from the White House as if it's a certainty, even if he's not indicted:
Despite Rove's flashes of ebullience in recent days and the insistence of friends that he is out of legal jeopardy, several of the most important lawyers who deal with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said they saw more clues last week that Fitzgerald is continuing to look into the possibility of charging Rove with lying to investigators or the grand jury or both. If that happens, Rove almost certainly would resign immediately, as did I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, when Libby was indicted two weeks ago. Otherwise, Rove is likely to wait for a chance to minimize the perception that he is being hounded out or leaving under a cloud.
Allen also expresses that Rove won't be the only one:
If he leaves, he will not be alone. Several well-wired Administration officials predict that within a year, the President will have a new chief of staff and press secretary, probably a new Treasury Secretary and maybe a new Defense Secretary.
Good riddance, scoundrels all. I'm sure the speaking circuit and Regnery publishing will be kind to some of you.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fun political theater

I recall bloggers in the past year saying if Americans are going to vote for movie stars, i.e., if we must concede that the U.S. electoral system is susceptible to the culture of celebrity and name recognition, then let's fight fire with fire. So to see Beatty now pursuing Schwarzenegger is just a hoot. Governor Beatty? I think it's in the cards...

Hagel joins Lott in the dump Rove camp

No Evidence of Pressure on Iraq Data, Senator Says - New York Times:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said on "Meet the Press" on NBC that Karl Rove, the senior presidential adviser, "should leave" the White House because he was found to have had discussions with reporters about the C.I.A. operative, Valerie Wilson. And even some Republicans suggested that a housecleaning was in order.

"The president should be, in my opinion, reviewing and analyzing and putting some deep perspective into who's around him at the White House," said Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, on "This Week" on ABC. "And if I was the president, I think I'd want to enlarge and widen that group, and start making some serious review and inventory of what has happened in the last five years that's gotten him into so much trouble."
First impression: certainly won't be working for Hagel during the 2008 presidential campaign. So Hagel is betting it's good politics to get on the anti-Rove and anti-Bush train. Hardly a surprise, coming from him.

Second impression: this contributes to a narrative that has developed on Rove's needing to leave the White House and it's continuing to gain traction, bit by bit. A think tank opinion leader, throw in Trent Lott, now here comes Hagel. And there's nothing that can be done to change the facts of Rove speaking to reporters about Valerie Wilson's CIA operative status. Those facts can't be changed or spun. So how do you change this narrative?

And further evidence of the vitriol that has attached to Rove's name, here:
At a televised forum here last week, with audience members picked to represent a cross-section of voters, several questioners interrupted Mr. Schwarzenegger and accused him of distorting facts to sell the four ballot measures, which are among eight up for a vote in an election ordered specially by the governor.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was explaining Proposition 75, a measure he favors that would require public-employee unions to receive the written permission of members before their dues could be used for political campaigns.

Democrats and union leaders who oppose the proposition have called it a naked attempt to silence the unions' political voice. The governor says the proposition is about protecting workers' paychecks.

An audience member who gave his name as Chris Robeson and said he was a health care worker from Camarillo angrily cut the governor off. "That's just Rovian spin," Mr. Robeson said, referring to Karl Rove, the White House political guru. "That's fraudulent."
Our man Karl is only effective when he's invisible. He's a significant part of the CIA leak story and any Republican who practics sharp partisan politics is immediately tagged with the "Rovian" epithet these days. His name has become the strongest political poison one can administer right now. For that reason, I wish him well in his continued role in the White House.

Sometimes you don't need a caption

Ethics are like kryptonite to this crowd

Only saw this now, it was in the Washington Post Saturday: "Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings." Almost fell off my chair. A "mandatory ethics primer" that all White House staff will have to attend, given by the White House counsel's office. Is that Harriet Miers' office? The one who conducted a search for a Supreme Court justice and ended up being the nominee herself?

Please someone - get a picture of Karl Rove in the ethics class. Can't you just picture our man Karl sitting there with that sly, half-open mouthed smile pasted on his face, thinking: I got away with outing a CIA operative and all I had to do was attend Ethics 101...

It's like a is running the White House these days. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Interesting polling questions these days

Nice catch by AMERICAblog on a recent Zogby poll. Respondents were asked for their views on this statement:"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment." 53% agreed.

Can you read the body language?



Methinks our guy is not too happy to be seated next to the other guy. And one is engaged, the other doesn't give a rat's ass...

Hello? Bush Sr.? Tell W. to lose Rove

New Washington Post-ABC poll out today, Bush's Popularity Reaches New Low:
The indictment Friday of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, in the CIA leak case added to the burden of an administration already reeling from a failed Supreme Court nomination, public dissatisfaction with the economy and continued bloodshed in Iraq. According to the survey, 52 percent say the charges against Libby signal the presence of deeper ethical wrongdoing in the administration. Half believe White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, the president's top political hand, also did something wrong in the case -- about 6 in 10 say Rove should resign.
It's hard to believe W. will be able to withstand the growing cacaphony of voices and polls telling him that is a liability. If Rove escapes indictment, which is a continuing unknown, W may try to hang on to his guy but it appears there will be quite a price in terms of public support for doing so. What do you think Papa Bush's advice is on this? If this were his administration, Rove would have been jettisoned long, long ago...

An albatross named Karl

Forrester's Ad Cites Corzine's Ex-Wife - New York Times:
New Jersey's bitter governor's race turned more acerbic on Thursday as Republicans released a television ad featuring harsh words about the Democrat, Jon S. Corzine, from his ex-wife.
Republican candidate Forrester has "flip-flopped" on using her remarks for political purposes:
When Mr. Forrester was asked about her remarks on Wednesday, he called it a "private matter" and said he would not use it as fodder for a campaign ad. But by Thursday morning, the Forrester campaign had released a 15-second commercial, titled "Quote." It had no spoken words, just a black screen that scrolls through a quotation attributed to Ms. Corzine in The New York Times on Wednesday in which she said her ex-husband had "let his family down, and he'll probably let New Jersey down, too."
Of course, such rank hypocrisy can't go untouched and the Corzine campaign rightfully blasted back. And look at , all of a sudden, has become a prominent feature of a campaign ad:
By nightfall, Mr. Corzine's campaign released a response ad, accusing Mr. Forrester of bringing the "smear tactics" of President Bush and his political adviser, Karl Rove, to the state.
Yes, our man Karl is becoming the subject of political debate not just in the CIA leak investigation of late, but his tactics have become synonymous with sleaze. Wonder how many campaign commercials will be featuring Karl in the run up to the '06 elections? Yet he remains ensconced in the White House, at least for now...can you say albatross?

That's a shame

Zogby has Bush approval rating at 39%. Nixon territory on the horizon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ouch

CNN Ousts Aaron Brown and Gives Slot to Anderson Cooper. A tough outcome for Aaron Brown who has always struck me as a fundamentally decent person...

Interesting suggestion from Dowd today

In "Chain, Chain, Chain of Cheney Fools" , Maureen Dowd denounces the frustrating choices to replace Scooter Libby and sarcastically longs for the good old days:
Where is a meddling, power-intoxicated first lady when we need one? Maybe the clever Nancy Reagan should have a little talk with Laura Bush tonight at the dinner for Prince Charles and Camilla, and explain to her how to step in and fire overweening officials who are hurting your man.

Stephane Dion column

An issue we should be paying more attention to as BQ leader Gilles Deceit and his crowd are trying to fan separatist flames, once again, after the Gomery report of yesterday. I hope to see more of Stephane Dion speaking out, as he does here, in "Nothing can justify secession in Canada" eventhough he is the Environment Minister:
In fact, it would be so simple to stop showing such disrespect to Canada. We just have to say that nothing justifies secession in Canada. Nothing in Quebec. Nothing in any other province. And to hold to that, despite the inevitable disagreements that will arise in our lively democracy.

Reid rolled the Republicans yesterday


Harry Reid deserves a big round of kudos for standing up to the Republicans yesterday. Whenever he takes on Bill Frist he seems to do quite well. Frist appears to have a bit of a "glass jaw" syndrome. (Read Milbank's account in the Post today for a comical rendering of the events.) Every time Frist's sound bite was repeated throughout the day, speaking of how he had been "slapped in the face," it sounded worse each time and incredibly whiny. And nothing more. No response to the substantive charge that the Senate Intelligence Committee had stalled on its promised investigation of the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence. Just whining. And Trent Lott in the wings saying he'd never had such a problem with Tom Daschle when they were the Senate Leaders must have twisted the knife a little bit more. Here's to you, Harry, keep telling them the truth and they'll just feel like it's hell...!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Lott suggests Rove shouldn't be deputy chief of staff

Daily Kos: Lott goes wobbly on Rove. Lott questions Rove's position in the White House on Hardball. That can't help. Payback's a bitch, ain't it ?

What's the matter with Kansas?

Immediately after returning to public session, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says Republicans have "agreed to do what we agreed to do."
What took you so long, Pat? It takes a closed session extraordinary manoeuver to get you to do your oversight job?

Change the Subject? F*#k you say the Democrats

Democrats Force Senate Into Closed Session Over Iraq Data - New York Times. Pardon my language but it's about f*&#ng time the Democrats stand up and say enough of this whitewashing of the prewar intelligence hijinks and enough of the failed oversight that has been committed by this Congress. Sen. Pat Roberts (R), your negligent behaviour has caught up with you.
Senator Reid caught the Republicans by surprise when he invoked Rule 21 - a move that Republicans said had not been taken in more than 20 years.

Senator Reid said that while the Republican chairman of the intelligence committee, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, had promised a thorough inquiry into prewar intelligence, including the way the White House had used or misused it, he had not followed through.

"I demand on behalf of the American people that we understand why these investigations aren't being conducted," Senator Reid said from the Senate floor, "and in accordance with Rule 21, I now move that the Senate go into closed session."

Senator Frist appeared furious over the maneuver.
You know, this was worth it, just to see Frist blow his gasket in his righteously indignant kind of way. Every time he has to react to a provocation, he shows his thin skin. And he somehow thinks he's Presidential material? Feigning about being "slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution." Isn't this the guy who campaigned, as Senate Majority leader, against former Majority Leader Tom Daschle in Daschle's state, a tactic that had never before been done? You can't pretend you're a high road kind of guy when you've taken the low road. People see your hypocrisy, Mr. Frist. I think your SEC investigation is what you ought to be paying attention to...isn't that an affront to the ethics of the institution you so pompously invoke?

It's about time that the Democrats cut through the agenda domination smokescreen that has emanated from the White House whenever things get a bit too hot. Fight with his own tactics and keep the spotlight on the fabrication of intelligence.

Operation Change the Subject


Bush To Reveal Bird Flu Strategy. Day 2 of the Bushites efforts to change the subject. Pile on...Alito, Bird Flu...wouldn't be surprised to have a terrorist alert any day now...