Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Dick and the Bush try to muzzle the press (cont.)

Last week the Dick said he was upset about the NYT publishing an article about the CIA tracking our bank accounts.

Yesterday the Bush seconded the Dick's attack on the NYT: "The disclosure of this program is disgraceful."
This all followed hard-on-the-heels of New York Rep. Peter King's utterly absured assertion that the Times had "committed treason" and should be criminally prosecuted.

This purely political circus is about to move from the rediculous into the realm of the fantastic:

According to The Hill:

"House Republican leaders are expected to introduce a resolution today condemning The New York Times for publishing a story last week that exposed government monitoring of banking records.

"The resolution is expected to condemn the leak and publication of classified documents, said one Republican aide with knowledge of the impending legislation.

"The resolution comes as Republicans from the president on down condemn media organizations for reporting on the secret government program that tracked financial records overseas through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), an international banking cooperative.

"Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), working independently from his leadership, began circulating a letterto House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) during a late series of votes yesterday asking his leaders to revoke the Times’s congressional press credentials."

Yesterday, in his NYP column, one of the administration's most reliable puppets Bill O'Reilly asked an interesting question: "Who do you trust to keep you safe - The New york Times or the Bush administration?"

Given the track record of the Dick and the Bush, the answer to Mr. O'Reilly's question should be obvious.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The evil Dick tries to muzzle the press

[Bonnie Trafelet/
Chicago Tribune, via
Associated Press]
According to the NYT:
"Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday vigorously defended a secret program that examines banking records of Americans and others in a vast international database, and harshly criticized the news media for disclosing an operation he said was legal and 'absolutely essential' to fighting terrorism.
"'What I find most disturbing about these stories is the fact that some of the news media take it upon themselves to disclose vital national security programs, thereby making it more difficult for us to prevent future attacks against the American people,' Mr. Cheney said, in impromptu remarks at a fund-raising luncheon for a Republican Congressional candidate in Chicago. 'That offends me.'"

Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped away from her pro-war position just long enough to say: The Dick, The Bush, The Rum-Dum-Dummy and their latest recruit,The CONdeSlezza,
"...may not have a war policy, but they do have an election policy and it is again to engender fear and insecurity and to try to prevent people from thinking about what works and what the real threats are."

It should not go unnoticed that The Dick chose to advocate press censorship at a Republican political event.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Roving hit-man pitches snake oil

From the New York Times:

"Just a few weeks ago, some Republicans were openly fretting about the war in Iraq and its effect on their re-election prospects, with particularly vulnerable lawmakers worried that its growing unpopularity was becoming a drag on their campaigns.

"But there was little sign of such nervousness on Wednesday as Republican after Republican took to the Senate floor to offer an unambiguous embrace of the Iraq war and to portray Democrats as advocates of an overly hasty withdrawal that would have grave consequences for the security of the United States. Like their counterparts in the House last week, they accused Democrats of espousing 'retreat and defeatism.'

"That emerging Republican approach reflects, at least for now, the success of a White House effort to bring a skittish party behind Mr. Bush on the war after months of political ambivalence in some vocal quarters. As President Bush offered another defense of his Iraq policy during a visit to Vienna on Wednesday, Republicans acknowledged that it was a strategy of necessity, an effort to turn what some party leaders had feared could become the party's greatest liability into an advantage in the midterm elections."

Does anyone outside the Oval Office and the columns of the N.Y.Post buy this snake oil? But the real question remains. how many more Iraqis and young U.S. men and women will have to die to rustle up Republican votes? - Dan

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Will Libby scoot away from his indictment

Although it's been obvious for a long time that The Dick would arrange for The Bush to pardon the Scootster, it's now moving to the trial-balloon stage.

Newsday's Tom Brune writes:

"Now that top White House aide Karl Rove is off the hook in the CIA leak probe, President George W. Bush must weigh whether to pardon former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the only one indicted in the three-year investigation.

"Speculation about a pardon began in late October, soon after Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald unsealed the perjury indictment of Libby, and it continued last week after Fitzgerald chose not to charge Rove.

"Scooter" Libby
"'I think ultimately, of course, there are going to be pardons,' said Joseph diGenova, a former prosecutor and an old Washington hand who shares that view with many pundits.

"'These are the kinds of cases in which historically presidents have given pardons,' said the veteran Republican attorney."

(Also see TalkingPointsMemo on the pardon)

Will the Democrats - once again - snatch defeat from jaws of victory?

The Roving hit man
I realize that when you open a Democratic package, you never know what you will find inside; but even after all these years of the Democrats abandonment of any form of progressive politics, we still have to ask: Will the Democrats - once again - snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? -Dan

Frank Rich writes:

"While the Democrats dither about Iraq, you can bet that the White House will ambush them with its own election-year facsimile of an exit strategy, dangling nominal troop withdrawals as bait for voters. To sweeten the pot, it could push Donald Rumsfeld to join Mr.[Tom] DeLay in retirement. Since Republicans also vilify the defense secretary's incompetence, his only remaining value to the White House is as a political pawn that Mr.[Karl] Rove can pluck from the board at the most advantageous moment. October, perhaps? What's most impressive about Mr. Rove, however, is not his ruthlessness, it's his unshakable faith in the power of a story. The story he's stuck with, Iraq, is a loser, but he knows it won't lose at the polls if there's no story to counter it. And so he tells it over and over, confident that the Democrats won't tell their own. And they don't — whether about Iraq or much else. The question for the Democrats is less whether they tilt left, right or center, than whether they can find a stirring narrative that defines their views, not just the Republicans'.

Washington Post gives lie to myth of a "liberal press"

Rep. John Murtha

"Wash Post Smears War Critics, Again"
By Robert Parry
June 21, 2006

"One might think that a newspaper which helped fan a war frenzy that got more than 2,500 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis killed might show some remorse or at least some circumspection before attacking critics of that misadventure. But that is not the way of the Washington Post.

"One also might think that a newspaper would have some interest in holding dishonest politicians accountable, especially when the consequences of their deceptions have been as grievous as George W. Bush’s Iraq War lies. But that also is not the way of the Post.

"More than three years into the Iraq War, the Post’s editors remain steadfast defenders of Washington’s neocon- servatives who pushed the dangerous doctrine that military invasion was the way to “democratize” Muslim countries in the Middle East. In 2002-2003, the Post’s editors cast Iraq War skeptics out of the polite opinion-page society – and are still at it."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The GOP's "perpetual war" - What can we do?

From John Nichols in The nation

"The incendiary House debate over whether the time has come to establish an Iraq exit strategy ended Friday morning with a 256-153 vote to maintain an open-ended occupation of the country where 2,500 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in fighting since 2003.

"The nonbinding vote came after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who achieved her leadership position after voting in 2002 against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq, delivered one of her most ardent anti-war statements yet heard from a leader of the opposition party.

"'Stay the course? I don't think so Mr. President. It's time to face the facts,' Pelosi told the House."

Katrina vanden Heuval
adds: "So what are so many Democratic politicians so afraid of? And how do we translate this majority into a politics of change for the 2006 elections and beyond? How do we send a message from the grassroots – the people outside of the beltway – that ending this war matters, and that the time to show moxie and conviction is right now?

"VotersForPeace has initiated the Peace Voter Pledge along with 18 other antiwar organizations – including United for Peace and Justice, itself a coalition of 1,400 local groups.

"The pledge is focused on the Iraq war as well as potential armed conflicts such as that with Iran, and – using language crafted by The Nation in its cover editorial last November – it reads: 'I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign.'"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Republican duplicity: update

Rarely in U.S. history has there been an administration and Congressional leadership so totally committed to undermining democracy for their own self-serving ends. It is clear that they will do anything - anything - to hold onto power.
From: United for Peace and Justice

"Today we learned that the death toll of US. service- people in Iraq has now reached 2,500. And today the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives used their control of the rules to block an open debate on alternatives to U.S. policy in Iraq. With a majority of the people of this country wishing to change course, the Republicans will only permit a pro-Bush resolution to be considered."

"'The House leadership talks about democracy in Iraq, but won't allow it here,' commented Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of UFPJ. 'Our young people keep dying in a senseless war, but our elected representatives are denying the public a chance to debate and change policy. The abuse of power is a travesty.'

"Under rules imposed by the House leadership, only 10 hours of debate will be allowed and members will not be allowed to offer or vote on amendments. The ploy will only allow a rubber stamp of the Bush administration policy in Iraq."

Latest Republican duplicity on Iraq

John Boehner
(Photo By Melina Mara --
The Washington Post)

If you were wondering why The Bush chose this week to make a hurried trip to the Green Zone in Baghdad, check out this latest example of Republican duplicity from Think Progress:

"EXCLUSIVE: Majority Leader Boehner’s Confidential Strategy Memo For Thursday’s Iraq Debate
On Thursday, the House of Representatives will hold a debate on the Iraq war. Media reports say Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) 'hopes to match the serious, dignified tone of deliberation that preceded the Gulf war, in 1991.'

"ThinkProgress has obtained a “Confidential Messaging Memo” from Boehner instructing his caucus to conduct a very different kind of deliberation."

Read the memo

Monday, June 05, 2006

Defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment

First, a brief personal note.
Ann and I have been together nearly 30 years and it is utterly impossible for me to imagine how anyone else getting married could possibly have any adverse effect on our marriage.
If, as the right contends, the marital unit is the basic building block of society, then we should encourage anyone who wants to get married to do so.
In truth, however, the campaign against gay men and lesbians marrying is based on nothing other than a deep and abiding homophobia.
And if you believe there is a depth to which The Bush and his Roving hit man won't stoop to buy votes, you haven't been paying attention.

I just took action with DefCon America to tell my senators that they must vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment, and stop pandering to the religious right. I hope you will too.

In a clear ploy to pander to the religious right and save his sinking ship, President Bush today called on the Senate to hold an immediate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment -- rallying our leaders to attack freedom, and write bigotry into our constitution.

If passed, the amendment would deny marriage rights to gay and lesbian Americans. It doesn't stop there. The aggressive amendment would add language to our constitution that could even strip such Americans of the right to civil unions, domestic partnerships and other legal protections. This is bigotry, plain and simple. Please take action today:

Friday, June 02, 2006

The politics of Homeland [In]security

Well, the current brouhaha over the bizarre mis-appropriation of Homeland [In]security funding, which replaced last week's brouhaha over the Dick and the Bush's invasion of Congress, seems quite easily explained. The only security that Michael Chertoff and The Bush are concerned about is the security of Republican control of Congress. And they are willing-with the collaboration of their Roving hitman-to buy the necessary votes with Homeland Insecurity funds.

Here's what the New York Daily News reports:

"He [Chertoff] insisted that pressure from GOP leaders and the entire New York delegation won't sway him to restore $80 million cut from the high-threat urban area security grants awarded to the city this year.

"'I'd be a pretty bad secretary if I said, 'Wow, I got attacked, I'm going to change the grants formula,'" Chertoff said after huddling with President Bush and White House political adviser Karl Rove."

Why, you might ask, would the head of the Homeland [In]security Dept. find it necessary to meet with the "White House political adviser," unless it was a political decision? Well, the answer seems obvious to this writer.

Since, essentially, the only concern these people have is "how do we get enough votes to keep ourselves and our friends in power?", they're not going to find those votes either in New York or in the other big loser in the Homeland [In]security lottery Washington DC. So it's not surprising that they would try to buy votes in the so-called "Red" states, which may not be as "red" any longer.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Condosleeza fronts for the Bush on Iran

Watching Condosleeza Rice on Nightline Wed. night I realized Condosleeza is exactly the kind of person who smiles at you, puts their arm around your shoulder and at the end of that arm is a hand holding a knife which is about to be plunged into your back - but the smile never leaves her face. I actually think it's been permanently painted on.

I also realized that she's the perfect frontperson for the Dick and the Bush's "new" Iran policy. Can anyone say Iraq?

It's also interesting that this "new" policy is being enunciated a week after The Bush met with Israel's Ehud Olmert.

Is there anyone outside the West Wing and the N.Y. Post columns that truly believes that the Iranian leadership is dumb enough to fall for this "negotiation" ploy. Or is it designed to provide the Dick and the Bush with the excuse they've been looking for to invade Iran. Can anyone say Iraq?

It's also interesting that it came a week after the Bush tried to soften his teen-age boy image for purely political purposes. The new "softer" Bush "negotiates" before he invades. And the Republicans snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Does anyone else smell the stench of the Roving hit man behind this image change?

Check out Matthew Rotschild's "Rice's Iranian Ruse."