Thursday, November 30, 2006

An indictment of Bush


Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor, has a new book out, United States v. George W. Bush et al., in which she offers her case to indict Bush and his top advisers. She does it in exactly the same manner she would were she doing it before a live grand jury. The charge? Conspiracy to defraud the United States. Check it out, here, where excerpts are being posted. Here's an excerpt from her indictment:
16. Beginning on or about a date unknown, but no later than August of 2002, and continuing to the present, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants,

GEORGE W. BUSH,
RICHARD B. CHENEY,
CONDOLEEZZA RICE,
DONALD M. RUMSFELD, and
COLIN M. POWELL,

and others known and unknown, did knowingly and intentionally conspire to defraud the United States by using deceit, craft, trickery, dishonest means, false and fraudulent representations, including ones made without a reasonable basis and with reckless indifference to their truth or falsity, and omitting to state material facts necessary to make their representations truthful, fair and accurate, while knowing and intending that their false and fraudulent representations would influence the public and the deliberations of Congress with regard to authorization of a preventive war against Iraq, thereby defeating, obstructing, impairing, and interfering with Congress' lawful functions of overseeing foreign affairs and making appropriations.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Backwards Reform guy bearing down on Alberta Tory leadership

There's a real fight going on in Alberta's Conservative leadership race where Ted Morton is actually making a go of it and scaring the living daylights out of the moderate wing of the party. Sigh. Don't you just hate when stuff like this happens...:) But seriously, Morton would be a disastrous Premier to have on the Canadian federal scene at this moment where talk of recognizing "nations" is so cavalierly undertaken. Hopefully reasonable heads will prevail in this race...

Monday, November 27, 2006

"It's never been 'stay the course'"

Remember that gem from the week before the U.S. midterms? Now read this:
Mr. Bush spent 90 minutes with commission members in a closed session at the White House two weeks ago “essentially arguing why we should embrace what amounts to a ‘stay the course’ strategy,” said one commission official who was present.
That was Bush's argument to the Iraq Study Group, the body whose advice he apparently fears. Because it is looking like it will signal a departure from Bush's approach - whatever the heck that may be at this point in time - and that will look like failure to him. Because failure to him is having to take other people's advice. Even when he's f*#@ed it up so royally.

Of course he is

"Miller eyes parking lot tax."

Never met a tax increase he didn't like...David Miller is going to tax this city into oblivion...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Quebecois nation

More blowback from the nation thing:
Since Wednesday afternoon I find myself hankering for a hyphen. We used to talk about French-Canadians and English-Canadians in this country until John Diefenbaker railed against hyphenated Canadians. But hyphens surely are better than official separateness: the Quebecois and the Canadians. If we have separateness, why not separation? We were two nations, two heritages, "French" and "English," that came together to be one nation made up of two and then more peoples. Now it seems we are two nations again. Having two peoples attached by hyphens to the same nation was better, I think.
I agree.

From here on in, now that Duceppe's tweaked to the usefulness of Harper's move, what do you want to bet that the Bloc touts the Quebecois nation every chance he gets? Legally questionable yes. But very politically useful to the separatists:
Mr. Duceppe acknowledged Friday that his party's motion wouldn't be approved in the Commons, so the Bloc would opt for the next best thing.

“It won't be adopted,” Mr. Duceppe said.

And its important that Quebec is being recognized as a nation. So we won't oppose to the recognition of Quebec as a nation.” (emphasis added)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Discussion on Bush impeachment

Interesting one at Daily Kos today.

Mini Bush garnering U.S. attention for his blunder

NYTimes today:
Critics say that the concept of recognizing Quebec as a nation — in one sense, a separate people though not an independent state — may have short-term benefits for federalist politicians but that separatists in Quebec will use the distinction to push for increased recognition of Quebec as a state that is separate from the rest of Canada.

“Harper will rue the day he went down this road,” said Michael Behiels, a historian at the University of Ottawa. “The Bloc Québécois will exploit this to no end.”
Rue the day indeed...

100,000 Iraqis fleeing a month

Must read on Iraq today, "Civilian Death Toll Reaches New High in Iraq, U.N. Says."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Video of Bush screwing the U.S.



Courtesy of disco my eccentric contributor...:)

Happy Thanksgiving...:)

A return to normalcy

Why does it feel like the sun is shining after a long dark winter? Maybe because people can actually witness a return to reality, where problems are actually discussed in public in such congressional forums as that announced by Nancy Pelosi yesterday:
Ahead of taking control of the House in January, Congressional Democrats plan to hold a forum next month on Iraq's future featuring former administration and military officials.

"We know that 'stay the course' is not working, has not made our country safer, has not honored the commitment to our troops, and has not brought stability to the region," House Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement. "I look forward to hearing from our distinguished group of experts as House Democrats discuss the deteriorating situation in Iraq."

Former National Security Advisor State Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste will appear at the Dec. 5th forum.
What a sense of relief such news brings. Like the bizarro world has been righted.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Olbermann comment on Vietnam and Iraq



One of his best comments of late offering a reminder of the lessons of Vietnam, unknown to Bush judging by his recent remarks to the media while travelling in Vietnam.

Olbermann's doing his special comment at the bottom of the hour now, FYI.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More fun with Newt

I don't know how his body manages to support that giant swollen head of his.

Repealing the Military Commissions Act



Olbermann from Friday on the Democrats' burgeoning efforts to throttle the Military Commissions Act. Good for them, it's a disgrace.

How about "Go to Afghanistan" instead?

Hey! New labels for the talking heads! Go Big. Go Long. Or Go Home. Military presenting options for Bush according to Ricks in the Post today. Nice to see they made them so media-friendly.

So we can all figure out what "Go Big" means. More troops.

"Go Home" of course means what it says.

"Go Long"? Now that's a whole other story. Apparently it's get a little bigger. Then go home. The clusterf*#@ option, as I call it. And guess which one's gaining favour, kids? Yes, the clusterf*#@.

Me? I say "Go to Afghanistan" and get Osama.

Uh, what took you so long?

Gingrich, on Bush:
"People expect a level of performance they are not getting," former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in a speech.
Understatement of the decade, perhaps...

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??????? Sigh. And you want to be President, Newt?

Put aside your frustration and read the article. It's a highly entertaining view of the disintegration of the Bush administration as judged by all of his old friends.

Romney burnishing conservative credentials at gays expense

Another GOP homophobe revs up a personal political campaign at gay people's expense...there really oughta be a law against this kind of thing.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Rove departure?

Interesting item this, "REPORT: Karl Rove May Be Leaving The White House In ‘Weeks, Not Months.’" Suggests that Harriet Miers, yes, that's right, Harriet Miers, orchestrated the outster of Rove's aide, Susan Ralston in the summer to send Karl a message. That she wasn't too happy Karl didn't do more to support her Supreme Court nomination. And now that Karl so egregiously missed with his electoral confidence, well, the suggestion is that he's on his way out. The mouse that roared, indeed.

Also a suggestion in the report that Bushie now has to make nice nice with the Dems and with Uncle Karl around, not much chance that'll be happening. Or so the logic goes.

I'll believe it when I see it. They call him Bush's "Brain" for a reason. I don't think Bush can function without him.

Unless Bush has calculated he has nothing left to lose. Record lows in job approval, a stinging electoral thumping and a chaotic civil war in Iraq that was sold to you as a cakewalk might do that to a Pres.

Or it's possible there's something coming down the pike that's Abramoff related that would warrant Karl being jettisoned at this point.

Idle yet enjoyable speculation all.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq

Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud/Reuters)

It just seems to be getting worse every day...the horror stories from Baghdad are particularly random and violent. People gunned down in a bakery yesterday, the remainder of the scene is shown in the above photograph. Mass kidnappings, more talk of civil war...it's just spiralling out of control.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Silly Democrats

So they chose Hoyer after all when their leader didn't want him. At least they seem to be playing nice about it.

Clearly a different breed from the Republicans.

UCLA student tasered



LA Times article here on the incident. Excessive tasering to say the least of a UCLA student named Mostafa Tabatabainejad.

Thanks to disco for the link...disco says, "God bless America."

UPDATE: By the way, WTF are the UCLA campus police doing with tasers anyway?

The real reason Clooney won his prestigious award today...


He's got the Obama mojo working for him! Impolitical's faves are on a roll...:)

Best of Olbermann last night



Target: Faux "News."

Joe Lieberman, manchild

Read all about it, here.

Leaderless Liberals beating Mini Bush

"New poll put Liberals ahead of Tories for first time in a year."

That's a shame...:)

Calling all you crazy House Democrats

For the love of God, are you really going to stick your leader with a Majority Leader, Hoyer, that she clearly doesn't want?

Are you that dense? Why would you signal your weakness and disarray so publicly like this after such an historic victory?

Get your freaking act together, puh-leez. In fact, listen to this guy:
Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, a liberal Democrat from Ohio who disagrees with Mr. Murtha on major social issues like abortion and gun control, said in a letter distributed to his colleagues that Mr. Murtha’s leadership on the war outweighed other considerations.

“We need Jack Murtha for majority leader,” Mr. Kucinich wrote, “because at a critical moment on the major international policy issue facing America and the world, he showed an openness, a readiness to listen and a willingness to set a new direction, based on new information. This is the mark of someone who moves forward with courage.”

I read the news today, oh boy...



Strikingly grim lead stories in the Washington Post today reinforce the massive bungling of world affairs by the Bush administration...yet what do we see in the Guardian today? "US plans last big push in Iraq:"
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.
...
"You've got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it's Bush still calling the shots. He believes it's a matter of political will. That's what [Henry] Kissinger told him. And he's going to stick with it," a former senior administration official said. "He [Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he's got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall."

The "last push" strategy is also intended to give Mr Bush and the Republicans "political time and space" to recover from their election drubbing and prepare for the 2008 presidential campaign, the official said. "The Iraq Study Group buys time for the president to have one last go. If the Democrats are smart, they'll play along, and I think they will. But forget about bipartisanship. It's all about who's going to be in best shape to win the White House.
Can you say escalating commitment to a losing course of action for politics' sake? Gotta love those Republicans, putting their interests ahead of their nation's every time...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Faux News' Republican talking points exposed

An internal Faux memo from their own Vice President of news directing the slant of coverage for the day after the Dems won.

They really are the information wing of the Republican party...

Cable idiot

Tucker Carlson today seems to be revelling in replaying, over and over, twenty year old black and white footage of John Murtha in what his opponents are peddling as evidence of ethical wrongdoing on his part. Tucker, of course, protests that he likes John Murtha, thinks he's great.

Nice.

Bush linked to torture

This is a development that needs attention: "CIA Acknowledges 2 Interrogation Memos." What's in them?
After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public.
Note that description, "memos from President Bush." And further information:
The ACLU describes the first as a "directive" signed by Bush governing CIA interrogation methods or allowing the agency to set up detention facilities outside the United States. McPherson describes it as a "memorandum." In September, Bush confirmed the existence of secret CIA prisons and transferred 14 remaining terrorism suspects from them to Guantanamo Bay.

The second document is an August 2002 legal memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to the CIA general counsel. The ACLU describes it as "specifying interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top al-Qaeda members." (This document is separate from another widely publicized Justice memo, also issued in August 2002, that narrowed the definition of torture. The Justice Department has since rescinded the latter.)
Somebody's in big trouble...

Pelosi damned if she does, damned if she doesn't

You know, if Nancy Pelosi had remained neutral in the Majority leader race among Democrats, the media would be labelling her as indecisive. As in, what kind of Speaker would she be if she can't even weigh in on her own Majority Leader preference?

So she took a stand, said this is my guy, please vote for him. The backlash has been tremendous, so if her move pays off, it'll be huge. If it doesn't, she stood up in loyalty for the guy who played a huge role in winning the Dems the election and who has been a leading voice on Iraq. He's well-placed to be in the leadership because of it. That's what the American people likely perceive and all this ethics crap is just Washington backroom-itis. If he's such an ethically challenged guy, why does he have so much credibility to speak as a national voice on Iraq?

In my humble opinion...:)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Come on in, the water's warm

"S. Africa parliament OKs gay marriages:"
"When we attained our democracy, we sought to distinguish ourselves from an unjust painful past, by declaring that never again shall it be that any South African will be discriminated against on the basis of color, creed culture and sex," Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the National Assembly.
Equality.

Deal with it.

Pelosi's power play

More here, "Pelosi 'will ensure' Murtha win, Murtha ally says," in the Hill today. I have to agree with this...as I said the other day, she didn't do this to lose. It's a gambit that is going to solidify her power and get her the leadership team she wants. Democrats can hardly say no, we think you'll work better with the other guy, thank you very much. They'll look like amateurs.

Michael Steele the wannabe Democrat

Yes, I'm stuck on this story. The midterm elections were last week, I know. But Michael Steele, the Republican candidate in Maryland, really deserves some extra attention. Here at TPM you will find some links to pictures of Steele's campaign signs, and you'll get a full sense of the deception he tried to deploy to make people think he was a Democrat. And you definitely need to see a picture of this to get an even better sense of it:



Yes, that's the inspiration himself with his campaign sign. Really ingenious ploy, Mike. Next time, try running in the Democratic primary.

Karl Rove the misguided loser

You'll never see a headline like that anywhere...Rove f*%#ed up this election, bigtime. Yet the media willingly and gullibly spun his every fantasy about the Republican chances to hang on to the House and Senate, throughout the fall.

Why?

Phased redeployment?



Olbermann's always worth watching for clips you won't see much elsewhere, but this video's extra special for the Republican sound effects. Watch, you'll see what I mean...:)

Attention "Internet Addicts"

Otherwise known as bloggers? You're spending too much time on the internets.

Fuddle duddle.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Michael Steele's election day deception

More on what this guy is really made of, here. Yeah, he would have been a great choice to be head of the RNC. Wonder why they went with Mel Martinez instead?

Rove still spinning the loss

Says if only 77,000 votes or so had gone the other way, the Republicans would still have the House. Well here's a clever DailyKos diarist who looked at a number of the close races that Republicans won, and finds that if 70,000 votes had gone the Democrats way in those races, the Democrats would have picked up 48 seats instead of 28. The point? Rove's lucky it was only 28 seats the Democrats picked up. Could'a been much worse.

Don't mess with Olbermann

Anthrax coward arrested.

That's a shame

So sad:
President Bush’s job approval rating has fallen to just 31 percent, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll.
...
Worst of all, most Americans are writing off the rest of Bush’s presidency; two thirds (66 percent) believe he will be unable to get much done, up from 56 percent in a mid-October poll; only 32 percent believe he can be effective.
Worst president, ever...the Democrats have a real chance to shine in relation to this ineffectual, small man. The contrast could not be better.

YouTube meets copyright

Interesting piece here on the YouTube revolution and a hope that copyright infringement does not spell its death knell:
Maybe a little coercion is what's needed -- particularly when the balance between content owners' rights and the public good seems increasingly out of whack. Lawrence Lessig opens "Free Culture," his superb book on copyright and creative control in the Internet age (see more here), with the Supreme Court's 1945 decision ruling that aircraft weren't trespassing on the property of the Causbys, a North Carolina farm family, despite long-established law declaring that property rights extended to "an indefinite extent, upwards." Such a doctrine "has no place in the modern world," wrote Justice William Douglas, who imagined near-infinite trespass suits against airline operators and concluded that "common sense revolts at the idea."

So it is here. Digital technology has exploded the old paradigm of content being handed to us at a set time in a set format. We now increasingly repackage media to suit ourselves – time-shifting it with TiVo, clipping it with video-editing software or remixing it for other purposes, and posting it with YouTube. That transition is a wrenching one for content creators, and we shouldn't expect them to surrender how that content is used without compensation or discussion. But it certainly suggests that the old doctrines have less and less place in the modern world, and shouldn't be kept alive solely through the brute force of lobbying and litigation.

Pelosi endorses Murtha for House Majority Leader

Pelosi wants Murtha as the Democratic Majority Leader in the House:
But in her first real decision as the incoming speaker, Pelosi said she was swayed by Murtha's early stance for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Her letter of endorsement yesterday made clear that she sees Iraq as the central issue of the next Congress and that she believes a decorated Marine combat veteran at the helm of the House caucus would provide Democrats ammunition in their fight against congressional Republicans and President Bush on the issue.

"I salute your courageous leadership that changed the national debate and helped make Iraq the central issue of this historic election. It was surely a dark day for the Bush Administration when you spoke truth to power," she wrote. "Your strong voice for national security, the war on terror and Iraq provides genuine leadership for our party, and I count on you to lead on these vital issues."

Murtha responded, "I am deeply gratified to receive the support of Speaker Pelosi, a tireless advocate for change and a true leader for our Party and our country."
Payback for his leadership role on Iraq leading up to and throughout the election campaign. I don't see how Democrats would not follow this endorsement. If they don't, they undermine their Speaker-elect at the outset of their embarking upon majority status. That would be silly.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

File under, yes, Bush actually said this

Americans should be proud that they have elections during a time of war.

Yes, W, you sure have shown the world what American democracy is made of! Resilient enough to conduct an election, despite the warring in American streets...you've pulled it off despite wartime in America. Bravo, lead your country in celebrating the ridiculously low threshold of not being a banana republic...!

And here's another little victory lap...



This is fun...:)

Olbermann sums up the election



And it's funny...:)

Insight from Lincoln Chafee

Here in an op-ed in the NYTimes today. Chafee essentially validates the voters of Rhode Island who decided this past week to elect a Democratic senator instead of the moderate Republican Chafee. Chafee provides an excerpt from a letter he wrote to the Veep after a lunch in December 2000 among the moderate northeastern Republican senators and Cheney. Chafee writes of his shock at the partisan agenda Cheney laid out to these senators and Chafee's subsequent attempt to get the White House to listen. Guess what? They never did. So the voters of Rhode Island wised up and now, well, the White House has to listen.

War profiteers beware

Party's almost over:
Congressional Democrats say they will press new legislation next week to restore the power of a federal agency in charge of ferreting out waste and corruption in Iraq and greatly increase its investigative reach.

The bills, the first of what are likely to be dozens of Democratic efforts to resurrect investigations of war profiteering and financial fraud in government contracting, could be introduced as early as Monday morning.

The move would nullify a Republican-backed provision, slipped into a huge military authorization bill, that set a termination date for the agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The agency’s findings have consistently undermined Bush administration claims of widespread success in the reconstruction of Iraq.
The likes of Halliburton are about to be introduced to a concept they have been unfamiliar with to date...congressional oversight.

What a great week

Here's a nifty little recap. And there are pictures too.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Video footage of people voting in Nashville

You really need to see this video, it's unbelievable. People waiting hours upon hours in line to vote in Nashville. Here's the description of the video:
We found very long lines at the Cleveland Community Center, which was apparently due to having only 5 machines for what is a large, predominantly African-American residential community in East Nashville, just across the river from downtown. The news was there, probably covering the same story and there were official election observers affiliated with both parties. We were told that originally, there were only 3 machines and 2 were added later. We also heard 3rd person accounts of people being turned away or sent to other precincts for various reasons which are mentioned in the film. There may not be enough information, though, to determine whether or not circumstances for this were valid.



You know, I live in a bigger city than Nashville and I waltz in and out of my polling place within usually 5-10 minutes here in Toronto. For every election in the past 3 years, provincial or federal, that's the average time I've spent inside my polling place. It's amazing to see people having to wait like this.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rumsfeld to be prosecuted for war crimes?

My exclusive correspondent, disco, feels strongly this Friday afternoon that this story, "Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse," needs to be publicized. I heartily agree. The report:
Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called "20th hijacker" and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a "special interrogation plan," personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski — who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case — has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: "It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ."
Such cases are likely one of the rationales for the passage of the Military Commissions legislation passed just prior to the election that notably gave immunity to administration officials for acts of torture committed over the past number of years since 9/11. Not clear on how Rumsfeld's status changes given his resignation and whether the immunity in that Act would help him going forward in relation to this developing case.

McCain on Mehlman

Get a load of this:
"As chairman, he brought a badly needed civil tone to our political debate- one I hope our next chairman emulates," McCain said in a statement "Taking the GOP to new heights, Ken dramatically improved the 'get out the vote' machine and created the most efficient system we've seen for spreading a cohesive Republican message." (emphasis added)
Ken Mehlman being praised for bringing a "civil tone" to politics? It's like Ted Haggard being priased for bringing family values to the evangelical movement. McCain speaks as if he's been absent the past six years. Ken Mehlman and the RNC have done more to drag gutter politics into the mainstream than any political operation of recent memory. Let's just recall a few highlights of Mehlman's career, shall we? The RNC ad universally condemned as racist in Tennessee against Harold Ford which Mehlman claims he didn't view as racist? The millions spent on robo-calls defaming political opponents? The RNC footing the bill for a convicted New Hampshire phone jammer who suppressed the Democratic vote in a Senate race the Republicans won? The demonization of Democrats as anti-patriotic - ask Max Cleland and countless others. Yes, it's quite a record of civility that Mehlman has left in his wake.

Sounds like McCain is either wooing Mehlman for his 2008 campaign or....well, that's about all I can come up with to explain this wilful blindness to reality.

At last

(AFP/Tim Sloan)

Most excellent quote of the day

Indeed, could be one of the quotes of the year, from Tom Friedman today:
As I was saying, Mr. Rove, Americans aren’t as stupid as you think.
For anyone who missed last week's column, Friedman had challenged Americans to prove Karl Rove wrong and show that they weren't as stupid as Rove's divisive strategies assume- recall that he assumed he could overhype John Kerry's silly botched joke incident and make the 2006 midterms feel like 2004 all over again.

Proving Karl Rove wrong? Priceless!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

There are still a number of unpopular Republican Senators hanging around

If you check out these approval ratings for U.S. Senators, you'll notice that the majority of vulnerable incumbents appear to be red-state Republicans. Look at DeMint (SC), Cornyn (TX), Bunning (KY), Allard (CO), Inhofe (OK) for example. What gives? Some of these guys are approaching Santorum-DeWine numbers. There's something going on here, could be Iraq.

Something to think about in advance of the next election. Don't know how many of them are up for re-election in 2008, there's got to be a few. My point is that there very well could be Jim Webb-type candidates out there who could knock off these Republicans and make for a more substantial Democratic majority in the Senate...

The pit bull Mehlman exiting

Rumsfeld...now Ken Mehlman, subject of much rumour and more importantly, a prime source of much divisiveness in American politics. It just keeps getting better and better.

Gotta love Americablog's take:
CNN's John King just reported that Ken Mehlman will be leaving as chair of the Republican National Committee (i.e., head of the Republican party) by the end of the year. Apparently Kenny's just tuckered out. According to King, "He's been on the gerbil wheel, as one of his close friends put it, for well in excess of six years now and he's tired."

Uh, okay.

Nice

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi...

...is not so scary. Deal with it.

After all the demonization of the "San Francisco liberal" in the campaign - and for years - she didn't seem so scary yesterday, did she? In fact, she looked, and sounds, like a natural. The caricature-like portrayals of Pelosi as a raving liberal loony have set expectations ridiculously low for her. The new Speaker, instead, could be one of the most unexpected and pleasant success stories to emerge from the new congress.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bush throws Rove under the bus



Yeah, he was joking in his press conference, but why put it this way?
Q Thank you, sir. During this campaign season some religious conservatives expressed support and appreciation for the work you've done. But some also expressed that they felt like they expended a lot of effort on your behalf without a lot of results. I wonder if you could tell us what parts of their agenda are still on your radar screen, and if you think they're right to be frustrated? And also, Mr. President, may I ask you if you have any metrics you'd be willing to share about your reading contest with Mr. Rove.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm losing. I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: Oooooh!

THE PRESIDENT: He's a faster reader.
You know, Michael, I must confess I cannot catalogue for you in detail the different criticisms. In this line of work you get criticized from all sides. And that's okay, it's just part of the job. And so I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about, but I can tell you that I believe the faith-based and community-based -- the faith- and community-based initiative is a vital part of helping solve intractable problems here in America. And I would hope that I could work with Congress to make sure this program, which has been invigorated, remains invigorated.
Ouch...

Rumsfeld gone, Bush tone defiant

Rumsfeld characteristically defiant to the end:
Rumsfeld, quoting Winston Churchill, said, "I have benefited greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof." He called the war "little understood" and "complex for people to understand" but said that over time, Bush's contributions "will be recorded by history."
You're not Winston Churchill. You're a failed Secretary of Defense in a failed presidency. You've helped destabilize the Middle East and now your mess is going to have to be cleaned up. And the people understood, just fine.

Bush's tone in his press conference? Petulant, argumentative, condescending...hardly displays an understanding of the rebuke he's received. Expressing some surprise at the result given the strength of the economy? Hello? It wasn't about that.

He speaks as if no one else in the room gets it but him. Try adding "you f%#ing idiots" at the end of each sentence he utters and you'll get what I mean.

Montana, come on!

Results slow as molasses out there. Tester has a 1507 vote lead with 96% of the vote in. Is that enough to hold off Mr. Burns? "Smithers, I'm losing"...:)

That's it for me, congratulations to all the Dems and voters out there who made this change. Good for you and good for the world!

A bit of reflection

Billmon has a few great thoughts in the wake of the Democratic takeover that sum up a few thing very well. Here's a clever retort to one of Bush's most despicable applause lines over the last week or so:
Since it was Bush who said that if the Democrats win America loses, I suppose the only remaining question is whether he'll fly to Pakistan to offer our surrender to Bin Ladin or invite Bin Ladin to come to Washington.

Maybe they could do it on the deck of the battleship Missouri -- just for old time's sake.
And some choice words here on the Rethugs and what they have become that are well-deserved:
The modern GOP -- or, more specifically, the axis of '70s campus Republicans now running it -- really is just a criminal enterprise disguised as a political party.

Dirty tricks, large and small, are a sorry fact of life in American politics, but what the Republicans have done over the past few weeks -- the surrealist attack ads, the forged endorsements, the midnight robo calls, the arrest threats, the voter misinformation (did you know your polling station has been moved?) -- is sui generis, at least at the national level.
You'd like to think that people recognized this for what it was and that these shenanigans were indeed a factor.

As good as Edward R. Murrow

So says Chris Matthews of Keith Olbermann, at the end of their coverage tonight. Watches Keith's comments and appreciates his "provocation" in this media world in which they operate. I must say, Olbermann and Matthews together were a significant improvement from the regular coverage teams on the networks, an inspired pairing.

A new breed of Democrats

I like these people. Declaring victory, being aggressive. Isn't this what Republicans typically do?

It's looking like a Democratic Senate

Virginia, Missouri and Montana. The last 3 combined with the Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island pickups. That's the ticket.

Virginia - WTF?

I don't get it, I'm seeing MSNBC and now blogs calling Webb as leading in Virginia. Yet here's what's on the Virginia website:

G F Allen Republican 1,141,753 49.44%
J H Webb Jr Democratic 1,139,885 49.36%

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oversight, investigation

There are two big words for you that can now be said out loud, and proud! Good for you Democrats in America and voters who've supported change.

Congratulations!

MSNBC projecting Democratic House

What a great outcome. Can't wait to see Speaker Nancy Pelosi sitting behind W at the next State of the Union and next to Darth Cheney...:) Expectations have been set so ridiculously for her actions...that she's the uber-liberal, she can't help but beat those expectations.

By the way, this is a mark of how committed Republicans are to voting Republican:

Don Sherwood, the Pennsylvania Republican who had an extra-marital affair and has been sued by his ex-mistress for allegations of abuse against her...still gets 46% of the vote.

There you have it. There are people who would rather vote for a guy like this than vote Democrat.

And the Republicans are still winning by comfortable margins in the "deep red" parts of the U.S.

There's clearly a branding problem that Democrats have that needs significant work, despite their picking up the House.

Has good finally triumphed over evil?

Having a good night everyone? It's looking pretty good so far, I will not count any chickens before they're hatched, however.

Keith Olbermann is kicking ass tonight. Maybe it's the sports background but he's great at calling this stuff and is razor sharp. He's right there with Matthews. What a great decision to elevate this guy.

So what's going on in the Senate thus far?

Chafee's been knocked off. Nice guy, but he's been a Bush enabler. As for Ricky Santorum, it's been nice knowing you.

Michael Steele? Try running in the Democratic primary next time since that's where you appear to enjoy publicly promoting yourself. Then you can say you're a real "Steele Democrat."

Sherrod Brown's picked up Ohio for the Democrats...he's a guy who may have a national future.

Virginia's looking tough for Jim Webb right now, crossing my fingers.

Olbermann on the MSNBC desk tonight

Olbermann's paired up with Chris Matthews tonight so that's where I'm going to be for the most part...:) Later that is, can't take the early stuff which is way too eager to seek out trends.

Last look at polls

Electioncentral at TPM Cafe, the best. Looks good for the Dems in the Senate. A poll shows late life for Harold Ford in Tennessee.

Good luck!

Michael Steele masquerading as a Democrat

Sometimes there's so much bs running down the pike it's hard to know where to start. But here's a flyer containing a "Democratic Sample Ballot" that's being handed out to some Maryland voters today that clearly is trying to suggest that both Robert Ehrlich and Michael Steele - both Republicans - are Democrats.

Can't get elected as a Republican? Pretend you're a Democrat...

Candidate for quote of the day

From Jeanine Pirro:
Mr. Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Jeanine F. Pirro, cast her ballot this morning at her polling place in Harrison, N.Y. Her daughter accompanied her to the voting station at the Harrison Avenue School.

When asked where her husband was, Ms. Pirro said, “I just hope he votes.”

Ms. Pirro’s marriage came under scrutiny in the campaign when she held a news conference to acknowledge that she was under federal investigation because she had been heard on a wiretap inquiring about the possibility of secretly recording her husband. She believed her husband was carrying on an affair.
Yes, let's hope he votes and that's all he does...:)

Election 2006 - some humble predictions and observations


Final predictions from two non-partisan sources (ignore Novak's) say Dems take the House, still a shot at the Senate. And they're de-bunking the spin that Republicans are desperately peddling, that they've got the momentum. If the Republicans have momentum, then Ted Haggard is husband of the year.

Me, I have a hard time believing that New Jersey is going to vote Republican. Same goes for Maryland. While the two Democratic candidates there aren't stars by any stretch of the imagination, they're better than supporting a Bush candidate in a blue state. How Democratic states go for Bush candidates, in this political climate when faced with that choice in the voting booth, is beyond me.

Virginia and Missouri are now trending towards the Democrats. Apparently Webb's rally last night got in the neighbourhood of 5000 supporters out while Allen only managed 250. So those races will be fun to watch. If those two go Democrat, along with Montana, plus Ohio and Pennsylvania...that's five pick-ups. So how about it Rhode Island? Why are you sticking with that effete, polo-playing heir? Make a change!

Lots of coverage of the GOP's "robo-calling" efforts to suppress the vote. What an embarrassment. The Republican National Committee has spent $2 million on negative robo-calls in the past week. So the much vaunted Republican get out the vote program is, it iturns out, a suppress the vote program. It's just getting a little too much sunshine this time around.

And once again, it's likely too late to stop it now, it'll have to wait until the next election. Rather depressing that what is supposed to be the world's leading democracy permits such destructive practices to occur. Yet just maybe this tactic will backfire. From the Times story:
David Kaplan, a registered Republican in Connecticut who has received more than two dozen of the calls, said he was so annoyed that the Republicans might “have shot themselves in the leg” in terms of winning his vote.
Good for him, hope the sentiment is wide-spread.

Happy election day, American friends, and good luck to the Dems!

Today's "A" for effort

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A "grab fest"

Great column by Kristof today, "America's Laziest Man?" to highlight the issue of excessive CEO pay.
Last year, Barry Diller took home a pay package worth $469 million, making him the highest-paid chief executive in America.

His shareholders didn’t do so well. Stock in the main company he runs, IAC/Interactive, declined 7.7 percent last year. For the three years ending in December 2005, the stock was up just 11 percent — compared with 49 percent for the S. & P. 500.

Just think! If you’re capable of running a company only a little worse than the average C.E.O., then Mr. Diller thinks you’re worth almost half a billion dollars!
See if you can spot the priceless moment from this telephone exchange between Kristof and Diller:
IAC also said that the package was necessary to “motivate Mr. Diller for the future.” Goodness, this man needs a lot of motivation! He required about $150,000 every hour just to get motivated — suggesting that he may be the laziest man in America.

Mr. Diller spent 20 minutes trying to drum sense into me, but I’m not sure it was worth $50,000 worth of his time.

“It’s by any standard a great deal of money,” he said of his compensation, but he also advised that “it’s lazy and dumb” to focus on income from options that were issued years ago. His icy tone almost froze my telephone line.

As for the newly granted options, he noted that to be exercised the stock price must rise and he must stay with the company for five years. He initially insisted that they thus had no value, although he backed off when I cited Black-Scholes option pricing models that value his new options in the tens of millions of dollars.
Yes that's right, two points for anyone who chose Kristof citing the "Black-Scholes" options pricing model to Diller. Funny when you actually put the facts to people with the research to back it up, the reactions you'll get. Wonder who the comp consultant was on this one?

Olbermann's election eve special comment



On the ever-morphing rationales for going to war in Iraq. Bush's latest rationale inserted into his stump speeches tries to scare people about terrorists gaining control of oil resources in Iraq.

And on the unchecked and unbalanced Bush. Hopefully, that will be corrected tomorrow...:)

An alternative perspective on Saddam Hussein's death sentence

Perpetuates the endless cycle of violence, makes him a martyr. So says the father of Michael Berg, an American beheaded in Iraq.

Food for thought courtesy of my little friend, disco...:)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election eve video - Michael J. Fox



One of the most powerful ads of the season. And what amplified its power follows - the shameful Republican reaction led by the Dean of the Rethug noise machine:



Another friendly reminder that Republicans are willing to say and do anything to get elected, including vilifying a class act like Michael J. Fox.

Election eve video



An overview of the Bush presidency and tons of reasons to vote the Rethugs out...:) Very well done! Thanks to TalkingPoints Memo for publicizing this one - they are on the case of the Republican dirty tricks today, the Grand Old Party of robo-calling, harassing voters to the end.

An outrage - O'Reilly politicizing private patient medical records

Bill O'Reilly obtains confidential records about patients who've had abortions in Kansas. Can you f*#%ing believe this? How many privacy statutes does this violate? Not to mention the ethics involved and the rights of the women whose most private and sensitive records are being publicized on national television by a right wing blowhard seeking to use them for his bully political agenda.
Two abortion clinics asked the state's highest court Monday to investigate Attorney General Phill Kline and Fox television's Bill O'Reilly over O'Reilly's statements that he had information from Kansas abortion records.

A Kline spokeswoman called the move "a political ploy."

The clinics' attorneys want the Kansas Supreme Court to seize records that Kline, an outspoken abortion opponent, obtained on 90 of the clinics' patients.

Kline received edited versions of the records from a district judge on October 24 after arguing he wanted to review the records for evidence of possible crimes including rape and illegal abortions.

The attorneys asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor to determine if O'Reilly's information came from the records turned over to Kline.
And O'Reilly has the nerve to speak about the information on his show. He claims that there's a particular doctor - who he actually named on the air - who is performing abortions because patients are "depressed." Holy completely over the line, batman. This is an incident that cries out for investigation, big time.

Hey, Keith Olbermann, I think you need to get in on this one...

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq

Ed Stein

Republican robo-calling

This robo-calling harassment is what they do.

And for the most part, they get away with it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Straight talk from Bill Maher



Bill Maher with a brilliant closing argument to refute the ridiculous Republicans. Hilarious, as usual.

Bush admin posted nuke documents on line



Another friendly reminder of an issue of significant importance that gets lost in the Republican p.r. noise machine. Negligently posting nuclear specs on line? Bush gets away with it as usual.

A "textbook case of what happens when you politicize intelligence" says the nuclear weapons expert here...

It's all about Bush

NYTimes editorial today:
This election is indeed about George W. Bush — and the Congressional majority’s insistence on protecting him from the consequences of his mistakes and misdeeds. Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and proceeded to govern as if he had an enormous mandate. After he actually beat his opponent in 2004, he announced he now had real political capital and intended to spend it. We have seen the results. It is frightening to contemplate the new excesses he could concoct if he woke up next Wednesday and found that his party had maintained its hold on the House and Senate.

Cheney's "no-brainer"

Great point made in the New Yorker this week on Cheney's recent comment, lost in all of the White House's p.r. machinations over Kerry's relatively inocuous slip up by contrast:
But the most depraved pronouncement of the week came from the Vice-President of the United States, Dick Cheney. In an interview with one of three dozen right-wing radio hosts invited to spend a day broadcasting from the White House, Cheney was asked if he didn’t think it was “silly” even to debate about “dunking a terrorist in water.” “I do agree,” he replied. The interviewer pressed: “Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?” Cheney: “It’s a no-brainer for me.”

The “dunk in water” they were talking about is waterboarding. It has been used by the Gestapo, the North Koreans, and the Khmer Rouge. After the Second World War, a Japanese soldier was sentenced to twenty-five years’ hard labor for using it on American prisoners. It is torture, and torture is not a no-brainer. It is a no-souler. The no-brainer is the choice on Election Day.
What a long, tortuous trip it's been with these guys in power...(pardon the pun).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Have a laugh



Colbert, you kill me...:)

Today's "A" for effort

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

This just about says it all, don't you think?

The big question

Here it is:
Officials in both parties said that in the end, this election has become a test of whether the institutional protections that Republicans had built to carry them to victory, including redistricting and a powerful turnout machine, could protect them during the stormiest of election seasons.

“This is one of those major national elections, more powerful on its force than all of the gerrymandering,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois Democrat leading his party’s effort capture the House. “History says that every decade there is a major nationalized midterm election. And this is it.”
Just imagine, with the wave of polling indicating that two-thirds of voters believe the U.S. is on the wrong track, Bush at an approval rating of approximately 37-40%, the disastrous Iraq war management looming large...and Republicans keep control of both Houses of Congress. Imagine.

It's Iraq, stupid

Nice try by the head Rethug to divert attention away from Iraq to the economy. They used to mock Democrats for running on issues like the economy, health care, education...didn't the tag line go, you can't care about any of those things if you're dead? Or something nice along those lines.

Well, in any event, Cheney did not get the message. He's basically daring America to elect Democrats at this point:
As Mr. Bush was attempting to shift the election debate to the positive domestic news, however, Vice President Dick Cheney was addressing head-on what polls showed was the Republicans’ greatest political liability: the administration’s determination to follow through on the war regardless of public opinion or election outcomes.

“Full speed ahead,” Mr. Cheney said in an interview with ABC News that was taped for broadcast Sunday, two days before the election.

“It may not be popular with the public,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter in the sense that we have to continue the mission and do what we think is right. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re not running for office.”

Although battle plans always change in times of war, the vice president said, “I think, again, we’ve got the basic strategy right.”
Well, here are some guys who think you've got it wrong, Dick, that Rumsfeld should be canned and that you should be facing some severe congressional oversight:



Between this public shellacking of the Iraq policy by these generals and the earth-shaking forthcoming editorial calling for Rumsfeld's ouster by the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times that is to be published Monday, it is clear that an overwhelming consensus on Iraq has crystallized at a very crucial moment.

A propos of the news...

For some strange reason, this cartoon has come to mind of late:



(Yes, those are the voices of Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Early Bush admin supporters on Iraq jump ship

This is an unbelievable article. The blind faith that these "neocons," who jump ship here off the good ship Bush, placed in Bush and his team is maddening. I'm too irate to go on, let's just let them speak for themselves. Some quotes to illustrate follow, all taken from this article which is forthcoming.
Richard Perle: "In the administration that I served [Perle was an assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan], there was a one-sentence description of the decision-making process when consensus could not be reached among disputatious departments: 'The president makes the decision.' [Bush] did not make decisions, in part because the machinery of government that he nominally ran was actually running him. The National Security Council was not serving [Bush] properly. He regarded [then National-Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice] as part of the family."

Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute freedom scholar: "Ask yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in love with the president: Laura [Bush], Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes."

Kenneth Adelman: "The most dispiriting and awful moment of the whole administration was the day that Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to [former C.I.A. director] George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and [Coalition Provisional Authority chief] Jerry [Paul] Bremer—three of the most incompetent people who've ever served in such key spots. And they get the highest civilian honor a president can bestow on anyone! That was the day I checked out of this administration. It was then I thought, There's no seriousness here, these are not serious people. If he had been serious, the president would have realized that those three are each directly responsible for the disaster of Iraq."

David Frum: "I always believed as a speechwriter that if you could persuade the president to commit himself to certain words, he would feel himself committed to the ideas that underlay those words. And the big shock to me has been that although the president said the words, he just did not absorb the ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything."

Richard Perle: "Huge mistakes were made, and I want to be very clear on this: They were not made by neoconservatives, who had almost no voice in what happened, and certainly almost no voice in what happened after the downfall of the regime in Baghdad. I'm getting damn tired of being described as an architect of the war. I was in favor of bringing down Saddam. Nobody said, 'Go design the campaign to do that.' I had no responsibility for that."

Kenneth Adelman: "The problem here is not a selling job. The problem is a performance job.… Rumsfeld has said that the war could never be lost in Iraq, it could only be lost in Washington. I don't think that's true at all. We're losing in Iraq.… I've worked with [Rumsfeld] three times in my life. I've been to each of his houses, in Chicago, Taos, Santa Fe, Santo Domingo, and Las Vegas. I'm very, very fond of him, but I'm crushed by his performance. Did he change, or were we wrong in the past? Or is it that he was never really challenged before? I don't know. He certainly fooled me."

Eliot Cohen, director of the strategic-studies program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and member of the Defense Policy Board: "I wouldn't be surprised if what we end up drifting toward is some sort of withdrawal on some sort of timetable and leaving the place in a pretty ghastly mess.… I do think it's going to end up encouraging various strands of Islamism, both Shia and Sunni, and probably will bring de-stabilization of some regimes of a more traditional kind, which already have their problems.… The best news is that the United States remains a healthy, vibrant, vigorous society. So in a real pinch, we can still pull ourselves together. Unfortunately, it will probably take another big hit. And a very different quality of leadership. Maybe we'll get it."
It just baffles me that very elementary considerations have never been made by those, such as those above, who have supported Bush from the start. Why would David Frum, a bright individual, highly educated, fall under the spell of an ignorant man like Bush? What would lead Frum to believe that Bush would make the connection between the words he was reading and the ideas that they represented? Why would Frum and others place confidence in a man who had repeatedly failed throughout his life and who had little of a track record that actually prepared him to be President? He had hardly been outside the United States. He is not a thinker, by any stretch. He suffered addiction problems. He had a trail of failed businesses. Yet all of these highly educated people fell under the sway of the Bush presidency. They express disappointment that the Bush team, led by Bush, has failed.

It's just a continual source of amazement.

Bush unhinged

This is one of the best discussions I saw this week on Iraq, Bush's pledged support for Rumsfeld, etc.



Not a big fan of Christopher Hitchens or Andrew Sullivan, but they're right on here.

A must read today

Tom Friedman, "Insulting Our Troops, and Our Intelligence," cuts through the nonsense of the week - the shameless exploitation of Kerry's mangled joke by Bush, Cheney and the entire right wing noise machine. Friedman lists the poor decisions made by Bush and his gang over the last three years that have been "injurious and insulting" to the troops that the Republicans would like you to forget all about right now and instead, focus on the pathetic Kerry distraction. I'll let you read that part yourself.

But to me, this is the best expression of the truth about Karl Rove that I've seen in a long time:
Everyone says that Karl Rove is a genius. Yeah, right. So are cigarette companies. They get you to buy cigarettes even though we know they cause cancer. That is the kind of genius Karl Rove is. He is not a man who has designed a strategy to reunite our country around an agenda of renewal for the 21st century — to bring out the best in us. His “genius” is taking some irrelevant aside by John Kerry and twisting it to bring out the worst in us, so you will ignore the mess that the Bush team has visited on this country.

And Karl Rove has succeeded at that in the past because he was sure that he could sell just enough Bush cigarettes, even though people knew they caused cancer. Please, please, for our country’s health, prove him wrong this time.

Let Karl know that you’re not stupid. Let him know that you know that the most patriotic thing to do in this election is to vote against an administration that has — through sheer incompetence — brought us to a point in Iraq that was not inevitable but is now unwinnable.

Let Karl know that you think this is a critical election, because you know as a citizen that if the Bush team can behave with the level of deadly incompetence it has exhibited in Iraq — and then get away with it by holding on to the House and the Senate — it means our country has become a banana republic. It means our democracy is in tatters because it is so gerrymandered, so polluted by money, and so divided by professional political hacks that we can no longer hold the ruling party to account.

It means we’re as stupid as Karl thinks we are.

I, for one, don’t think we’re that stupid. Next Tuesday we’ll see.
Now that packs a timely punch, doesn't it?

Echoes of Ari Fleischer

You remember, Ari of "people should watch what they say" fame. The First Lady gets in on the act:
First lady Laura Bush cautioned Wednesday that Americans discussing the war in Iraq - especially politicians - should be careful what they say because other countries are paying attention.

"The right to have these conversations is part of what makes our country great and our democracy strong. We must be mindful that people around the world are listening to these discussions," Laura Bush said at a suburban Columbus recreation center during a campaign appearance with Rep. Deborah Pryce.

"Responsible candidates understand that the men and women of our military are risking their lives for us, and that we must conduct our debate here at home in a way that does not jeopardize our troops in harm's way," she said, calling for "conversations conducted with civility and respect."
What is in her cereal these days...sliming Michael J. Fox, now on speech patrol...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Quote(s) of the day

Froomkin has one, on the grotesque orgy over Kerry's botched joke:
"'The media is easily duped,' said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, who credited -- or perhaps blamed -- Republicans for being 'very good at translating misstatements into news.'"
A NYTimes reader puts it in perspective:
John Kerry botched a joke. George W. Bush botched a war.

Bandar Bush kicks in for the team

Op-ed today suggesting collusion between the Saudis and the Bush administration to bring the price of gas down for the election:
Enjoy the price of gasoline now, because when the Saudis lower production, we could go right back to the $3 nightmare of three months ago. Washington state is especially affected -- regularly in the top 10 highest, 20 cents a gallon more than the national average ($2.42/gallon vs. national average $2.22 last week).

The gas prices crushing consumers dropped 80 cents a gallon since August. President Bush said, "That's good news for the American consumer." But there is more to the price changes than meets the eye.

Something Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward said two years ago while prices were going higher sends chills: "They could go down very quickly. That's the Saudis' pledge." According to Woodward, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, "told President Bush that the Saudis would cut oil prices to ensure a strong economy for Election Day." This prediction has come to fruition.

Olbermann sets it straight



Olbermann's special comment from last night on the apologies owed by Bush to the troops. For, among other things cited by Olbermann, getting the U.S. into the Iraq war "without a clue."

This is classic. Olbermann paints a dire picture of Bush's America that he has enabled his henchmen to create.

A few highlights to mention...Keith appropriately reminds people of the First Lady just this week "sticking the knife in Michael J. Fox's back." Reminds viewers that critics in the media in Bush's America receive anthrax threats in the mail - as has Keith - and right wing papers run by Bush allies mock it, and dare to undermine the FBI's case by releasing information they're asked not to release. Reminds people of the shameful spectacle witnessed this week where one Vietnam veteran turns on another for political windfall - McCain on Kerry.

A great segway into the last weekend of this campaign.

Powerful story from a medic in Iraq

(NYTimes)

He's holding the armour-piercing bullet he retrieved from his roommate's helmet. The bullet struck his friend's temple. He was hit by an Iraqi sniper who took one shot, out of the blue. This is the stunning photograph that appears on the front page of the paper today.

This is a powerful episode recounted here, starkly demonstrating the grim reality faced by troops in Iraq.

Great editorial today

"The Great Divider," on the sad spectacle of a desperate President running around his country - where they still can stand him - and fearmongering and lying. Some excerpts:
As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos.
...
In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.

Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to “get stuck in Iraq.” In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero.
...
But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading. (emphasis added)
And Bush just doesn't give a fuck. He really doesn't, about what he has to say at this point to keep control or how he has to do it. His actions demonstrate this. All these people care about at this point is saving their own skins from accountability.

About that abandoned soldier in Iraq...



Here's another issue few are discussing as the Republican sideshows continue...

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq



W wants to talk about Iraq and the troops? Here you go...

Who should be apologizing?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Good news for Ontario homeowners

A judge puts a stop to the mortgage fraud nonsense:
A Toronto court ruling that has freed a couple from a bogus mortgage is "unprecedented" and a "breakthrough," the victims' lawyer said Wednesday.

Superior Court Justice Randall Echlin ruled Tuesday that Seyed Rabi and his wife, Shohreh Shafiei, were the innocent victims of identity thieves who placed a $247,860 mortgage on the couple's property.
...
In Tuesday's decision, the judge said that if the Toronto-Dominion Bank had exercised "due diligence," it would have detected the scam that left the couple without their home.

"I cannot help observe that there ought to have been more care taken in advancing a sum in excess of one quarter of a million dollars," Echlin said in his decision.

Echlin invalidated the mortgage and said the bank was not an "innocent victim" of the crime.
Right f*%#ing on...these banks who put these mortgages on without proper diligence have been put on notice. And Ontario law is about to change in any event. A good day for homeowners who have watched this horror show for months now.

More details here.

Get out the vote effort circulating on YouTube

Check it out, here. Good for them.

Cafferty on Rumsfeld



Just a reminder of the sentiment out there...

Time for Bush to be held accountable for Iraq

A fine response to Bush's nonsense this week, that if you vote for Democrats, the terrorists win:
So there you have it. After botching the Iraq War about as thoroughly as possible, and refusing to admit errors, change strategies or hold anyone responsible for their incompetence, the Bush administration is now arguing that the American people don't have the right to hold them responsible, either, since a Democratic victory would cheer terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. In effect, Bush and Cheney are trying to hold America hostage to their own mistakes.

This breathtaking line of "reasoning" is all the more deplorable because it expresses a sense of complete U.S. helplessness in the struggle against jihadist terrorists. We can't change direction because that would be a victory for our enemies. So they effectively control us. Given the administration's obsession with denying there are any practical restraints on U.S. freedom of action in Iraq or anywhere else, that's an especially ironic point of view.
And by the way, a great line on the Kerry thing: "I bungled a joke, Bush bungled a war. Let the voters decide what's more important?"

Good question

Tony Auth

Gotta love it...:)

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq

Two more U.S. soldier deaths today. And terror for the people of Iraq continues unabated as Shiites and Sunnis trade in kidnappings and death. Details of today's Iraq horrors, here:
Gunmen seized two Sunni coaches from a youth club Wednesday in Baghdad, while authorities searched for dozens of Shiites abducted along a dangerous highway north of the capital in another outbreak of Iraq's relentless tit-for-tat sectarian violence.

The U.S. military also reported the deaths of a soldier in fighting Tuesday in volatile Anbar province west of Baghdad, and a Marine killed in a non-combat related incident, raising to 105 the number of American service members killed in October -- the fourth deadliest month since the war began.
But one line in a John Kerry political appearance is the issue, right? Yeah, right. Reinforces that Bush and his crew are all about slogans, divisiveness and anything-but-Iraq talk. They're clearly afraid to talk about what's really going on in Iraq. Little wonder. Read this article, what the troops are facing there is burgeoning civil war. Bush has created a disaster in the Middle East. They've destabilized it.

Do they think people are so stupid as to fall for their bait and switch this time?

Bush hearts Cheney & Rumsfeld

Marvellous electoral strategy:
President Bush reaffirmed his support for two of the most polarizing figures in his administration today, saying he wanted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld as well as Vice President Dick Cheney to remain until the end of his presidency.

The president’s verbal embrace of Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney, offered during an interview with The Associated Press, seemed to be another reflection of Mr. Bush’s belief in the basic wisdom of the Iraq war and his determination not to back away from it as the Congressional elections approach.
Keep it up...

More Iraq slideshows, fewer Republican sideshows please


It's so not about John Kerry today.

Here's a slide leaked to the NYTimes that appears today, in connection with this article, "U.S. Central Command Charts Sharp Movement of the Civil Conflict in Iraq Toward Chaos," clearly showing the military's own assessment of the situation as sliding into chaos:
A classified briefing prepared two weeks ago by the United States Central Command portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos, in a chart that the military is using as a barometer of civil conflict.

A one-page slide shown at the Oct. 18 briefing provides a rare glimpse into how the military command that oversees the war is trying to track its trajectory, particularly in terms of sectarian fighting.

The slide includes a color-coded bar chart that is used to illustrate an “Index of Civil Conflict.” It shows a sharp escalation in sectarian violence since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, and tracks a further worsening this month despite a concerted American push to tamp down the violence in Baghdad.
This is what should be discussed about Iraq today, not another Republican sideshow.

The after effects of Hurricane Katrina

High school kids living alone in New Orleans...

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq

(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

A little boy crushed by madness and chaos, growing up in the midst of this war.

American troops forced to give up their checkpoints around Sadr City Tuesday in their search for a kidnapped U.S. soldier.
Violence continued to torment the country on Tuesday, including the mass kidnapping of at least 50 civilians by gunmen on a road north of Baghdad, and the announcement that 2 more American troops had been killed, raising the toll of American deaths this month to at least 103.
American troops being forced to give up their search positions by the Iraqis? Hmmm....that doesn't sound right does it?

But, hey, Bush wants to talk about the troops this week, apparently, so let's talk about Iraq, what's going on there and with the troops...

The Stepford wife roars

Laura Bush goes nasty on Michael J. Fox.

Really.