Saturday, March 31, 2007

More Presidential Malpractice and Malfeasance

If you listen to the president and suspend your disbeliefs like you are watching some blockbuster movie on the big screen, you may actually be tricked into thinking that it was only the Dems that were against the W, Rove Co. at this point in the game. Even though the Dems have a majority in both the house and senate, they need republicans to help pass bills for the president to sign.

In today's radio address, the president gets busy blaming Dems for all the ills caused by his administration, as if the "emergency" spending package is a genuine source of evil. Trouble is, the President exposes the hypocrisy directly. Really, think about it. When the president says this:
Our Nation cannot afford such reckless taxing and spending. Under my Administration, we have kept your taxes low and restrained government spending in Washington.
Ask yourself how much the Iraq war has cost us, and why is he still asking for more money in an "emergency" funding appropriation to begin with? Is that really restrained spending in Washington? The lies are planned, purposeful, and deceitful; which makes the W, Rove and Co all the more malicious and malfeasant.

Moxiegrrl said this long ago, but I echo her sentiment - I sure wish we could sue this administration for presidential malpractice, for it sure looks like we would have a solid case here.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Gonzales Going The Way Of Rummy?

Dana Perino gets slamed upside the head with Victoria's Helen Thomas Special Cast Iron Skillet today at the Whitehouse press briefing. I love these kinds of questions that point out the W, Rove and Co. hypocrisy very obviously:

Q How can we have confidence in the President's 100 percent support for Secretary Gonzales, the Attorney General, when he also had support for Mr. Rumsfeld, 100 percent, right up to the time that he was fired or resigned?

MS. PERINO: What I can tell you is I spoke to the President this morning and he has -- the Attorney General has the President's full confidence.
So, judging by what we know happened in the past with Rummy, we all aught to be assuming the W, Rove and Co is fully lying about the situation with the AG or does the President really have his head that far up Rove's....oh, you get the drift...such that he can't tell what's really happening with the Dept. of Justice?

P.S. Where's Rummy, anyway? ...Can any one confirm that Rummy is still getting paid and holds down an office in the Pentagon to this day? Last I heard, we was still getting paid in US Taxpayer dollars. Inquiring minds want to know...

Shallow Presidential Apologies

W was busy trying to divert media attention from his falling house of cards by "apologizing" for the situation at Walter Reed Hospital. Trouble is, this apology seems to be ringing a bit shallow. Have a look and see what you think:
I met some of the soldiers who had been housed in Building 18. I was disturbed by their accounts of what went wrong. It is not right to have someone volunteer to wear our uniform and not get the best possible care. I apologize for what they went through, and we're going to fix the problem.
"I apologize for what they went through," is not enough of an apology if you ask me. Where's the mea culpa? Where's the admonition of staff? Where does the buck stop?

This leads me to to...drum roll please...

Windspike's Weekend Presidential Apology Apothecary
  • If you were to prescribe a particular apology as a speech writer for Mr. GW Bush, what would your Rx be?

MC Rove

I don't know about you, but this clip from the Whitehouse Correspondence dinner this past week makes me ill. I can't quite figure out why. I know folks that suggest that "if you are not laughing, you don't get it."

Have a look and let me know what you think:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

W The Court Jester

The funny thing about humor is that it's not funny if it doesn't have a thread of truth laced through it.

Does your Commander-in-Chief make a good Court Jester? A friend has said time and again, "what is said in jest is often meant in leisure." You be the judge.

Iraq: The "Fool's Errand"

Sometimes a comment to a post percolates up as better than the original post. Here's something from an anon. poster that is really challenging for those who support the Iraq conflagration in its current incarnation:
To make a mistake and not to correct it is to make another mistake. - Chinese proverb

On the link:

MS. PERINO: I think the President has been very clear that they don't want to pull out if it means losing. And the President has said that -- [Emphasis added]

Q How does losing -- losing what?

MS. PERINO: The President has made it clear that the goal is to make sure that we can stabilize Baghdad, especially, so that the politicians in Baghdad can do the work that they need to do in order to reconcile politically and get the economic engine going, so that the security situation can not only stabilize in Baghdad, but then spread throughout the country.

By larding on more stringent criteria, 'A chicken in every pot,' the Administration defines every pull-out option a loser.

We went to Iraq to eliminate Iraq's WMDs. That done, everything else is an Administration construct to save face over there not being WMDs. Bush sent the US Army on a fool's errand.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why Are The Republicans Not Complaining About "Playing Politics" Now?

How many times have you heard republicans lament every time the Dems present a proposal contrary to their beliefs by suggesting the Dems are playing politics, or politicizing an issue? If I had a hundred bucks for every time that happened, I could own a share of Berkshire Hathaway Common stock by now.

But let's have a look at the republican "plan" to politicize the issue regarding "supporting" our troops. Really, when they trumpet their accusations and point the wagging finger of blame at the Dems, perhaps the finger aught be turned about and pointed inward.

As to politicizing the issue, one would get the sense that playing politics was something to be avoided. But nay, Helen Thomas get's this admission and confession from Tony Snow's replacement, Dana Perino:
Q How does the President feel about his Republicans on the Hill tossing the ball back to him and letting him hold the bag, basically, on a veto on pullout, which is against the will of the American people?

MS. PERINO: Yes, I read reporting this morning that indicated that somehow the Senate Republicans were defying the President. Actually, that's not the case. In fact, last week, when the President met with the Senate Republican leadership, they talked about needing to go ahead and get this vote over with, and get the bill to the President's desk so he could veto it, so that they could go on and get to the business of presenting the President a clean bill.

Q So it was a plan, really?

MS. PERINO: Yes, and if you look at the President's remarks on Friday, he indicated that.

Q Doesn't this go against the will of the American people who want to pull out?
So, who is really playing politics with our troops in harms way? You be the judge.

Cancer Doesn't Care If You Are Democrat or Republican

Tony Snow has undergone surgery for cancer of the liver. It can't be good.

No matter the political stripe, I wouldn't wish cancer on any one.

Here's the skinny from Tuesday's whitehouse press briefing:
I spoke to Tony briefly this morning, around 9:30 a.m. He told me he was up, walking around and comfortable. He will remain in the hospital for several days. That was already part of the plan because it was major surgery that he had. He did not have a lot more detail. I will try to answer your questions as best I can, but the ones that I can't answer I will endeavor to get you the answer, or I'll just have to tell you that we're not going to be able to answer those questions. Some of them are privacy concerns and health related...

...Q Dana, our thoughts really are with Tony, so if you would pass that on, we'd appreciate it.

MS. PERINO: Absolutely.

Q Just one quick question, if you're able to answer. During the surgery, do you know if they were able to take the area out of the liver that was cancerous? And you mentioned that it had spread to areas, including the liver. Does that mean it's gone beyond to other areas, as well?

MS. PERINO: I can -- I don't know the answer to the first question, in regards to if they did any further surgery or -- on the liver at the time. Again, if I can find that out, I'll let you know, if I can get back in touch with him today. What he told me is that the small growth that they had found was in the general area of where the first cancer had originated those years ago, and that when they went back in, even though the blood tests have been negative and the PET scans had been negative for cancer, that they discovered it was cancer, and then he said, and it had spread to the liver, and there has been some metastases -- plural. So that's as far as I can go on that.


Q Dana, do you have a sense of how his treatment might differ this time, versus the first occurrence of cancer?

MS. PERINO: I don't. I know that he's working with the same doctors, at least a core of the same doctors that he worked with before. And, so, obviously, they were successful in their first attempts to beat it back those couple years ago. I think it was just last month that he had reached the two-year mark of being cancer free.

So he just said that he's in consultations with his doctors, and I think that they'll -- it will take some time, I think, for them to figure out what's the best course of treatment. But as soon as I can tell you, and to the extent that he's comfortable with me being able to share that with you, I will do so.

Q Dana, where other than the liver? You said metastases, plural.

MS. PERINO: I don't know, he didn't say.

Pleading The Fifth

Forget Innocent Until Proven Guilty. When some one pleads the fifth in an investigation, it certainly suggests that at least one person thinks there has been some wrongdoing perpetrated that might very well be illegal. What say you?
Ms. Goodling’s decision to exercise her Fifth Amendment rights suggests that she, at least, believes crimes may have been committed.
Meanwhile, the President is still sucking up to the AG:
Q How does the President think that the Attorney General can be effective when the erosion of support among Republicans is growing?

MS. PERINO: I think that -- I don't know if any of you are on the Department of Justice press release distribution list, but I certainly get lots of press releases from them on all the issues that they are managing, including immigration cases and the child exploitation cases that the Attorney General has placed a priority on, corruption cases -- we saw one just last week, a member of our own administration, so -- a former member of our own administration. And so I think that the Justice Department absolutely continues on, as we all do in government. Sometimes when you're under the spotlight like that, it might be uncomfortable, and you have to have a lot of -- you have to do a lot of work on that issue in order to keep going, but absolutely, the other issues of the Department have to continue on. And from all I know, they certainly are.

Q And he's still effective?

MS. PERINO: Absolutely.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What's The Difference Between The Truth and "Making The Facts Available?"

When Tony the Snow job makes the argument that Karl Rove needn't testify under oath, he has continuously stipulated that the Whitehouse has bent over to be accommodating and compromising. Moreover, he says things like this:
You want all the facts, and we're going to make the facts available.
Now, if that doesn't sound like a slogan generated by Rove himself, I don't know what is. Listen very carefully to the rhetoric, because it is very important and reveals what you will get if you take the W, Rove and Co up on their "generous" offer.

Trouble is, there is a distinct difference between "making the facts available" and telling the truth. In the former, you may make the "facts" available, but you don't reveal the whole truth. I've said this before - it seems like they have something to hide and the whole charade is designed to cloak rather than expose the truth.

Let's unpack the W, Rove and Co argument for a bit.
Q We spoke with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. Senate says there is no precedent for having an official of this nature come and speak to the Committee without a transcript. The House also says they can't find any precedent. Why should this case set a precedent?

MR. SNOW: Well, the fact is what they're trying to do is to establish their own set of precedents. What we're trying to do is to set a precedent for adult behavior in a way that is going to reflect well on a situation and offer an opportunity -- I don't think you're going to find any case where there has been no allegation of impropriety, no specific --
So, there is no precedent for what the Whitehouse requests, so we should swallow the pill anyway? I don't think so. You are already tapping our phones without our knowledge. I don't like it when the W, Rove and Co gets to set precedent, do you?

Q The point is --

MR. SNOW: No, here's the point, is we've set up a situation in which we think members of Congress and staffers -- this is open to members and staff, who are able to take notes, and we also believe that writing goes back to the inception of Western civilization, and the ability -- I'm not sure that they had recordings or transcripts, but they did have writing. There was writing.

Q So you want everyone to come out with their own notes -- you know how often you challenge what we've said and what we've written down, that's how you want it to be recorded?
Without the transcripts, the question mark flag gets raised every time he said what she said.

MR. SNOW: Look, first --

Q Would that be different --

MR. SNOW: Let's please put this in perspective. Here's a decision made at the Department of Justice. Any documents, any deliberations, any key players, they're available. Now, if there are additional questions about White House involvement, as people say, any communication is going to be available, any. So as a consequence --

Q You just don't want a record of what they said.

MR. SNOW: No, no, no. The record, in fact, is going to be available. So then if there are follow-on questions of a factual nature, they are going to be able to be answered.

Q Available, but without a transcript?

MR. SNOW: Yes.
And you see, the question remains...why are they deeply fearful of going on record? It has to be because they fear the truth. And that, my friends, is the difference between telling the truth and "making the facts available." In the latter, you are relieved of the burden to share the "truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cosing Gitmo? No!

Q So, realistically, are you saying that Guantanamo Bay will not be shut down before the end of his presidency?

MR. SNOW: I doubt it, no. I don't think it will.

Just one small question: Does the failure to see the end of Guantanamo's prison spell failure of triumph for the W, Rove and Co?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bombs Away

Found this youtube vid on another blog:


Finally, A Real Question From The Whitehouse Press Pool

Have a look at this question:
Q I'd like to ask a question about the war spending bill. Part of this debate is the assertion by you and others, and including the President, that a date certain for withdrawal of troops would lead to chaos, accelerated violence, regional conflict in Iraq. Why should Americans trust your assumptions about the outcome of troop withdrawal, based on this administration's record of assumptions and the way things played out in Iraq?
Finally, some one has the balls to ask this.

Really, if we couldn't trust the Administration in their initial run up to the Iraq war, why should we believe their pure speculation about the future should we pull the troops?

Do you buy Tony the Snow Job's answer?
MR. SNOW: Okay, don't trust our assumptions, take a look at the record itself. What you have found is that there's been a determination on the part of the terror network to try to make a couple of cases: Number one, you can't rely on the Americans. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, as well as Abu Musab al Zarqawi, have tried to make the point that the Americans, they really can't take the heat, they're going to get out, and when they get out, you go in and you take over. And that is a case they make in recruiting, and it is a case they also make in trying to wage acts of terror against neighboring states and to try to weaken the will of those who have been supporting us in the war on terror. So don't take our word for it, take their word for it. And the President read out some of those back in September.

Secondly, if you try to think strategically about what this says, if you have a date certain regardless, succeed or fail, what it says to those who want to commit acts of terror is, put your feet up, go ahead and try to build up arms strength and go try to do this, that or the other, try to get yourself organized, wait it out, and when the Americans leave, you hit and you hit hard. That would make common sense. And I think you're going to find most military folks agree with it.

What you pointed out, David, is that in a time of war, nobody is a perfect predictor. But on the other hand, what you have to do is to make sure that you're not weakening your hand by doing something that almost immediately could be construed as a rhetorical victory for the enemy, and ultimately as a strategic victory for the enemy, because you get -- take a look at what happened as the new Baghdad plan came out. You saw many terror figures getting out of Baghdad. You saw that there was a change in the attitude and behavior of a number of people, including perhaps Muqtada al Sadr.

What you have seen, is, in fact, there -- people take seriously the focused application of American force. And as a result, they behave differently. And even though it is -- certainly, as Helen was just pointing out, not perfect in Iraq, there has been some improvement, and we hope it continues to improve. So those are the kind of considerations that go into that.

The Real Reason They Doth Protest So Much

Here's the truth behind the matter of the AG judicial firing scandal:

Q The cameras weren't on this morning. You came and said one of the big stumbling blocks is you don't want to see Karl Rove with his hand up in front of a bunch of cameras flashing.

MR. SNOW: You bet.
Doh! Did he just admit that? But wait, there's more. Is the W, Rove and Co...

Q -- ...dodging the oath because of the legal consequences?

MR. SNOW: We're dodging the oath because -- well, I'm not going to say we're dodging the oath, because that -- (laughter.) Yes, I know, kaboom, steel trap closes. No, it's -- this is not a notion of dodging. It's simply, we don't think it's appropriate.

Really, it's not up to you to decide what is appropriate, now is it Mr. Snow?
Q Appropriate doesn't set the scene.

MR. SNOW: The scene?

Q People are seeking the truth.
And, you tend to get better answers when people have to swear to their testimony, no?

MR. SNOW: That's right, and we're making the truth available. And that's why we're kind of confused, because it seems that people are more interested in sort of seeing White House officials with their hands up being hectored, and I don't think members of Congress --

Q Why do you say that? Why don't you think they really want to know --

MR. SNOW: Why don't you -- okay, I'll tell you why, because there is so much speculation about this. I opened up the newspapers today, and there are pictures of Karl Rove, many people saying, we need to -- the purpose here is to find out what happened, what the truth is.
"Making the truth available," sounds very different to me than actually answering questions under oath. Stepping up to make the truth available doesn't mean that you need speak the truth. In fact there is more than one way to lie, now isn't there? You can make misstatements, intentionally. And you could simply not say the truth, even though it may be "available."

Here's the problem:

Q So Tony, this President for years has used the Constitution as his backdrop. He said, look, this is my right under the Constitution.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q This government was founded on a series of checks and balances. Why not, if you're going to say you're using the Constitution, just apply what she's using there to what this government was founded upon: checks and balances --

But really, why don't you want them to tell the truth under oath, Tony?

MR. SNOW: Well, yes, look, again, there's a legitimate oversight of the Justice Department and the decisions that went into this, and what we've said is since there were conversations and communications between the White House and the Justice Department, you ought to be able to see them all -- every one, every single -- every single communication available to the American public.

Therefore, that -- you're talking about transparency. That's the kind of transparency that you don't normally get. So we have made an offer not only to do that, but to say to members of Congress, you want to talk to our guys, you can. And they are going to be compelled legally to tell the truth. But furthermore, the President is going to tell them to tell the truth because it's in our interest to make sure that the whole truth gets out.

Q But do you agree that transparency is something that this administration shuns?

MR. SNOW: No, I don't agree.

Q Okay, when it was time for the Vice President to give up the list of names of his energy council --

MR. SNOW: Well, as you recall, April, that was, in fact, a separation of powers case that the Vice President --

Q I understand --

MR. SNOW: -- won precisely because of the checks and balances you've talked about.

Q But secrecy, secrecy --...

...Q I'm saying how this White House seems to run from transparency.
When Tony the Snow job leans on "transparency as modus operandi of the W, Rove and Co, you know the hypocrisy abounds like molasses pours down the Whitehouse hallways; thick and slow. See the top of the post for the real reasons they don't want the oath taken.

Reflecting the Priorities of the American People?

Friday witnessed yet another attempt by the W, Rove and Co to paint Dems as foolish. That's not news, but what's in the bill the President has sworn to veto is rather interesting (and would only be the second bill he would veto if he does).

The question I have for the blogisphere is thus: Does this bill reflect the will of the people, or is it politics as usual as I am almost certain that pork is laden in any bill such as this?

Have a look:

Having noted that, this supplemental appropriations bill actually cuts funding for these very people. For democracy- building efforts, it cuts that by $40 million. It cuts $100 million out of efforts to build local governing capacity. It builds -- it cuts jobs programs by $30 million, and I just mentioned the PRTs -- provisional reconstruction teams -- cuts $33 million out of that, and another $20 million out of programs for the rule of law.

Now, while cutting this funding for peace and prosperity, here's what this bill -- and this is a emergency supplemental military bill -- here are some of the items in there: $60.4 million for salmon fisheries; $74 million for peanut storage; $100 million for citrus assistance; $120 million for shrimp and menhaden fishing; $400 million for rural schools; and $500 million for a firefighting fund that already has an available balance of $831 million. These may be priorities, but they are not part of an emergency supplemental for the military.

By the way, if "day after day, the money is running out like sands through an hour glass," whose fault is that? If we weren't in Iraq in the first place, we wouldn't have this tick tock problem. But really, Tony the Snow job is laying it on thick. These are suggested budget cuts. We are already hemoraging cash to Iraq like dope evaporates in the opium den. These aren't real cuts, are they Tony?
Q Can I just ask on that, before we go to other things? When you said the cuts that it makes, is that cuts from existing spending --

MR. SNOW: That's cuts from our request.

Q Oh, from your request.

MR. SNOW: No, these are requests that we had made.
So, really Tony. You are playing politics, a game you suggest that when others do it, it's dastardly, no?

Don't Ask

Here's another fun Mark Fiore Vid: Enjoy.

The Difference Between Interviews and Testimony

It looks like the Whitehouse is spending a great deal of political capital to avoid the checks and balances established by our Constitution. Whenever a set of politicians suggest that the other side is simply playing politics, I think we have to request that they point the giant wagging finger of blame inward.

In the case of the AG and the firings of relatively qualified judges as the Whitehouse struggles to defend itself, we have to ask ourselves to what end? If you ask me, it sounds rather suspicious; like they are trying to hide something. If they had nothing to fear they wouldn't fear testifying.

Is there a difference between being interviewed and testifying? You betchya! And that's the very reason why the Whitehouse is fearful of being brought in front of congress and have to swear on their beloved bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Q But I'm pressing on a point that these are not actually interviews -- that's your word. The senators, like Senator Leahy, say they want testimony. Testimony, there is a transcript. This is not an interview. You want it to be an interview, but it's up to the Congress. They're the ones investigating, and they say they want testimony, not interviews.

MR. SNOW: Ed, what we're doing is we're trying to be accommodating to Congress by offering them extraordinary insight into a deliberative process. You also know that everybody who goes -- the President expects everybody who talks to Congress to tell the truth, and so does the law. And they know that it would be illegal not to tell them truth.

So the question you've got to ask yourself is, is this pressure on transcripts and everything, is this really something where somebody thinks that there's going to be a fact that they're not going to receive? The answer is, no. The question is whether you are trying to create a political spectacle, rather than simply the basis of getting at the truth. This, I think, is an important and crucial distinction, because, again, I'm not sure -- well, I think we can say with confidence that they're going to get every fact they need to find out what's going on.

Q Are you afraid that they'll be able to go through and find inconsistencies in testimony if there's a transcript?

MR. SNOW: No, they'll be able to do it.
Really, Tony? If your pals in the W, Rove and Co are planning on delivering the facts, and just the facts; then why the hesitation to do it under oath? Suspicious, no? Really, what is their past history in being forthcoming with facts (see refusal of the Veep to testify in Libby's hearing)?

But what is it that the President and his staff are really trying to do?
Q Tony, the President said yesterday, "We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants."

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q Does the President feel as though Karl and his other top aides are being unfairly targeted in some way, singled out? Is he feeling sort of like he needs, in a way, to protect them from a --

MR. SNOW: I think what the President is really trying to do is to protect the integrity of the institution.

Q But he seems to be particularly concerned about honorable public servants.

MR. SNOW: I think that people probably who are -- seem to be most concerned are people on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
If you ask me, the W, Rove and Co has sold their integrity a long time ago...about six years to be exact. There is nothing left there to protect as they have sullied the institution over and again with their actions.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Everybody's A Musician: Happy St. Pat's Day.

From the sublime to the professional:

A Dark Malaise Metastasizes About The Soul Of America

President Bush still thinks his war in Iraq is the right thing to do in it's current incarnation:
Congress needs to approve emergency funding for our troops, without strings and without delay. If they send me a bill that does otherwise, I will veto it.
It's his way, or the highway and the subtext: "How about another giant helping of deferred taxes on Americans,” after all, what else is incurred debt? And, if you are not loyal, you get fired, regardless how competent you are:
Q Tony, real quick, back to the loyalty question. In that Kyle Sampson memo, he says, "The vast majority of U.S. attorneys, 80 to 85 percent, I would guess, are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies," et cetera. Does the President believe that a U.S. attorney is successful if he's a "loyal Bushie"?

MR. SNOW: Again, you're going to have to -- what you're trying to do is to get the President to respond to a characterization by Kyle Sampson. I've already told you what the definition of loyalty is in this White House, which is to do your job -- to understand that it is an honor to be in the White House, and an honor to serve the American people, and you treat that as a trust. Loyalty to the President means doing your job and faithfully carrying out the priorities of the administration.

I think I laid it out, when you're talking about U.S. attorneys, that means following the priorities within the Department of Justice; it means doing your job -- doing it faithfully, all.

Q How about the oath to office?

MR. SNOW: We believe in that, too. Chow time. (Laughter.)
But the avoidance of responsibility and improper treatment of people who are doing their jobs while rewarding incompetence (e.g. "you're doin' a heckuva job Brownie") is symptomatic of the larger, dark malaise that has metastasized about the soul of America. That is, Iraq and the Global War On Terror.

From the outset, the thing was bankrupt as an idea. As we progress further and further down the rabbit hole we find that Iraq may very well be the Albatross that sinks our dear country.
The war in Iraq isn't over yet, but -- surge or no surge -- the United States has already lost. That's the grim consensus of a panel of experts assembled by Rolling Stone to assess the future of Iraq. "Even if we had a million men to go in, it's too late now," says retired four-star Gen. Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War. "Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together again."

Those on the panel -- including diplomats, counter-terror analysts and a former top military commander -- agree that President Bush's attempt to secure Baghdad will only succeed in dragging out the conflict, creating something far beyond any Vietnam-style "quagmire." The surge won't bring an end to the sectarian cleansing that has ravaged Iraq, as the newly empowered Shiite majority seeks to settle scores built up during centuries of oppressive rule by the Sunni minority. It will do nothing to defuse the powder keg that an independence-minded Kurdistan, in Iraq's northern provinces, poses to the governments of Turkey, Syria and Iran, which have long brutalized their own Kurdish separatists. And it will only worsen the global war on terror.
Indeed, many of us in the blogisphere have been saying this for a great long while. Why the W, Rove and Co insists that their way is the "right" way is that they have no other choice. Otherwise, they would have no other thing to do than turn themselves in for crimes against humanity and America. Really,
This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country's international standing has been frittered away by people who don't have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works. America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment [laughs]. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference.

Ronald Reagan: American Hero?

Those who would suggest that Reagan was a great president would do well to remember a one woman from small town in El Salvador and check their consciences:
Rufina Amaya, the woman who was often identified as the last, or only, survivor of the massacre at the village of El Mozote, died last week. She was not, strictly speaking, the only survivor of that monstrous event, but she appears to have been the only one who emerged with her wits about her, a clear memory of what took place, and the will to describe how hundreds of people, including her husband and four of her children, were systematically butchered on Dec. 11, 1981, in an impoverished corner of El Salvador.

The massacre took place in the early days of the United States' involvement in El Salvador. In that conflict, radical leftist guerrillas tried to overthrow a ruling establishment utterly loathed by the population at large for its corruption and human rights atrocities. The Reagan administration intervened to train and equip the Salvadoran army, and to shore up the government against what it feared would become a red tide of communism lapping at the very borders of the Rio Grande...

...The troops arrived the following day and, after an initial brutal search, told the villagers that they could return to their homes. "We were happy then," Señora Amaya recalled. " 'The repression is over,' we said."

But the troops returned. Acting on orders, they separated the villagers into groups of men, young girls, and women and children. Rufina Amaya managed to slip behind some trees as her group was being herded to the killing ground, and from there she witnessed the murders, which went on until late at night. An army officer, told by an underling that a soldier was refusing to kill children, said, "Where is the sonofabitch who said that? I am going to kill him," and bayoneted a child on the spot. She heard her own children crying out for her as they met their deaths. The troops herded people into the church and houses facing a patch of grass that served as the village plaza. They shot the villagers or dismembered them with machetes, then set the structures on fire. At last, believing they had killed all the citizens of El Mozote and the surrounding hamlets, the troops withdrew.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Do First, Ask For Forgiveness Later?

You might think that the W, Rove and Co motto is: "Do first, ask for forgiveness later." However, they don't do a lot of the latter at all, now do they? In fact, they don't apologize, nor do they motion their hats in any direction other than a small nod that some small error may had been made.

Mainly, they make promises to get to the bottom of issues. But ask yourselves this? How long have we been waiting for the promised follow up with "leakers?"
"I acknowledge that mistakes were made here. I accept that responsibility," Gonzales told a brief news conference at the Justice Department.

"My pledge to the American people is to find out what went wrong here, to assess accountability and to make improvements so the mistakes that occurred in this instance do not occur again in the future," he said.
That doesn't do anything to repair the reputation of those who were fired in the first place. Whamo! Pure Rovian politics as usual! Float the lies and let them deal with the aftermath; the very foundation of "swiftboat" activism.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Clear Definition Of Leadership

A friend forwared an interesting link. In it, there's one letter that sets it out plainly:
When confronting an enemy, leadership seeks not to make its people fearful but rather to make its people fearless.
Sometimes all it takes is one sentence to clearly delineate the difference between charletons and the genuine article.

Showing Support For The Troops Or Support For Themselves?

Just one small question today, if Halliburton believed so greatly in the almighty cause that the W, Rove and Co suggests is the Iraq Conflagration, why did they move it's CEO to Dubai rather than Baghdad? Seems like the latter would show more support for the troops, no?
HOUSTON, March 11 — Halliburton, the big energy services company, said on Sunday that it would open a corporate headquarters in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai and move its chairman and chief executive, David J. Lesar, there.
No doubt, Lesar isn't going to be living in some sustainable, green and solar powered home. In fact, there isn't much green about living in Dubai, or is there? No doubt, the choice of office and home environs when one can afford whatever one wants says a great deal about the character of the men making such decisions.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Gonzales Gone?

I've said this long ago:
Mr. Gonzales seems to forget that it isn't his job to protect the president any more, but to protect the American people - proving once again, the W, Rove and Co is missusing American Taxpayer dollars.

Looks like the Mainstreem Media is finally catching on to the fact that Alberto Gonzales is really just another pawn playing for the W, Rove and Co.
During the hearing on his nomination as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said he understood the difference between the job he held — President Bush’s in-house lawyer — and the job he wanted, which was to represent all Americans as their chief law enforcement officer and a key defender of the Constitution. Two years later, it is obvious Mr. Gonzales does not have a clue about the difference.

He has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them.

First, there was Mr. Gonzales’s lame op-ed article in USA Today trying to defend the obviously politically motivated firing of eight United States attorneys, which he dismissed as an “overblown personnel matter.” Then his inspector general exposed the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been abusing yet another unnecessary new power that Mr. Gonzales helped wring out of the Republican-dominated Congress in the name of fighting terrorism.

The F.B.I. has been using powers it obtained under the Patriot Act to get financial, business and telephone records of Americans by issuing tens of thousands of “national security letters,” a euphemism for warrants that are issued without any judicial review or avenue of appeal. The administration said that, as with many powers it has arrogated since the 9/11 attacks, this radical change was essential to fast and nimble antiterrorism efforts, and it promised to police the use of the letters carefully.

But like so many of the administration’s promises, this one evaporated before the ink on those letters could dry. The F.B.I. director, Robert Mueller, admitted Friday that his agency had used the new powers improperly.

Mr. Gonzales does not directly run the F.B.I., but it is part of his department and has clearly gotten the message that promises (and civil rights) are meant to be broken.

It was Mr. Gonzales, after all, who repeatedly defended Mr. Bush’s decision to authorize warrantless eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and e-mail. He was an eager public champion of the absurd notion that as commander in chief during a time of war, Mr. Bush can ignore laws that he thinks get in his way. Mr. Gonzales was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it.

The attorney general helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture. He has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.

His Justice Department has abandoned its duties as guardian of election integrity and voting rights. It approved a Georgia photo-ID law that a federal judge later likened to a poll tax, a case in which Mr. Gonzales’s political team overrode the objections of the department’s professional staff.

The Justice Department has been shamefully indifferent to complaints of voter suppression aimed at minority voters. But it has managed to find the time to sue a group of black political leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters.

We opposed Mr. Gonzales’s nomination as attorney general. His résumé was weak, centered around producing legal briefs for Mr. Bush that assured him that the law said what he wanted it to say. More than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush’s disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.

On Thursday, Senator Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, hinted very obliquely that perhaps Mr. Gonzales’s time was up. We’re not going to be oblique. Mr. Bush should dismiss Mr. Gonzales and finally appoint an attorney general who will use the job to enforce the law and defend the Constitution.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Does The President "Respect The Conviction," As He Suggests We Should?

One has to wonder what side of the mouth the President is talking today. Really, he suggests that we should respect the decision the jury made in Libby's case. But he follows that up by buttoning up his mouth. This suggests to me that he does not respect the decision. What say you blogisphere?
Q Mr. President, I want to ask you about he conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Your critics are saying that his conviction makes the promise that you made to bring honor and dignity back to the White House, that this promise will go unmet.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, first of all, this was a lengthy trial on a serious matter, and a jury of his peers convicted him. And we've got to respect that conviction.

Secondly, this is an ongoing legal matter. In other words, there's more legal procedures to take place, and at this time, it's inappropriate for me, or the administration, to be issuing comments about this serious matter.

On a personal note, I was sad. I was sad for a man who had worked in my administration, and particularly sad for his family.
What exactly does he mean respect that conviction?

Meanwhile, What's Jena Up To? Busy Concerning Herself With "Alienationists?"

Well, of course, she's enlisting as one of the 20K surge to help her Daddy win the GWoT? Not!

She's going to write a nice tome based on her experiences in Central America. Whoopee:
Q Your daughter, Jenna, is writing a book about her experiences in Central America. She will be focusing on a single mother with HIV. Has she been part of your eyes and ears in the region now that she's been there for quite a while?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, she is -- first of all, I'm very proud of her. She is an accomplished woman. She came back -- I haven't seen a lot of her because she's been spending a lot of time in Central America as a UNICEF volunteer -- but she came back and talked to me about this young girl that she has befriended. And she's deeply concerned about alienationists in our world, and is going to try to raise some money to help the education programs there.

To me, her book and her example is what America is all about. We've got compassionate people, and when we find suffering and see income disparity, or see poverty, we'd like to help people lift themselves up.
Excuse me, “Alienationist?” With W being the divider not the “uniter,” does he qualify as an “Alienationist,” whatever the fuck that is?

Oh, and I don't think you need to look to far outside of the Beltway to find people in dire need of compassion, not the least of which are the GIs wounded in GW's GWoT housed in Building 18. Come on, there are some real issues caused by her pappy, why doesn't she do something about that?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Feeling Sorry For Libby?

Vice President's Statement on Libby Verdict

I am very disappointed with the verdict. I am saddened for Scooter and his family. As I have said before, Scooter has served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction through many years of public service.

Since his legal team has announced that he is seeking a new trial and, if necessary, pursuing an appeal, I plan to have no further comment on the merits of this matter until these proceedings are concluded.
What? BNo more machinations on how Libby is innocent until proven guilty? What's more, no admission that justice has been served?

Of course, we get more of the same - "not saying anytying in an ongoing legal matter." Why do I get the sense that The Big Dick isn't feeling sorry for Libby, but is feeling sorry for himself?

For some reason, this old folk song is twisting in my brain...
Hang down your head Tom Dooley,
hang down your head and cry....

Incidentially, if you go to the Whitehouse web location, Dana Parino does all she can to not answer very pointed questions. Don't hold your breath if you want the Whitehouse to come clean. But if you are a betting person, it would be a pretty safe bet that the President will issue some kind of pardon for Libby, very soon. After which, don't expect any more answers to any similar questions:
Q Dana, you said the President is saddened by this. Is he saddened by the fact that a former top advisor in this building is facing this personal problem? Or is he saddened by the fact that a former advisor is convicted of lying in a federal investigation?

MS. PERINO: He was saddened for Scooter himself, personally, and for Scooter's family.

Q He's not saddened that his top advisor lied to -- was found guilty of lying to investigators?

MS. PERINO: He's saddened for Scooter. We're not going to comment on the trial.

Q I have one on this, I have one on another issue.

MS. PERINO: Maybe we can do this, and then I can finish up and come back.

Q You said that nobody has reached out to Scooter from the White House?

MS. PERINO: Not that I'm aware of, no.

Q Is he being cut loose after being a loyal soldier?

MS. PERINO: I don't know -- Victoria, I'm not -- I don't know anybody who has been contact with him. It's possible that people have. I have not.

In the odd event you wonder what exactly Harry Reid has said about this, here you go:
I welcome the jury's verdict. It's about time someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics. Lewis Libby has been convicted of perjury, but his trial revealed deeper truths about Vice President Cheney's role in this sordid affair. Now President Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Two Zany Windsurfing Videos To Warm Your Souls

This is a bit of a diversion. File this under the "you thought you were cold" category. Enjoy:

Politics As Usual: The W, Rove And Co. Deflate Their Own Argument And Use Dead GIs to Fan the Flames Of Thier Cause

I love it when members of the W, Rove and co suggest that any reduction in troop levels in Iraq would lead to victory terrorists in Iraq when they go ahead and qualify things thusly:
We don't know and we cannot predict every turn that lies ahead. As General Petraeus has put it, "the way ahead will be neither quick nor easy, and there will undoubtedly be some tough days. We face a determined, adaptable, barbaric enemy. He will try to wait us out. In fact, any such endeavor is a test of wills, and there are no guarantees."
Come on, you can't have your cake and eat it two, Dick. If the future is unpredictable for us, it should be unpredictable for you. What makes you so sure your way is the right way? How can the W, Rove and Co be so certain that the outcome of a strategic withdrawal would produce malignant results, particularly if we re-deploy these troops to more effectively go after the very terrorists we say we are after rather than have them come at us like we have pasted broad targets on the backs of our GIs?

Oh, and sure this war on terror a test of wills, but also sheer lunacy as we are fighting in a place we should not have entered (see comments from Bush Sr.'s book of the same subject). I've said this before, but might it not be that we are on the wrong offensive and we could certainly realign to a more strategic and profitable offensive?

But there is more - the Right clamors all over themselves when the left uses crosses or boots to reflect the real tragedy of those KIA for the Iraq Conflagration. So, why is it that the Big Dick Cheney gets to foist these stories on us to support his agenda? Why isn't the right aghast at the use of dead GIs for political gain?
The general has it exactly right. And I know he would agree that the single most reliable fact of this war is the skill and courage of the men and women fighting it. Two months ago at the White House, President Bush awarded the Medal of Honor to Corporal Jason Dunham of the United States Marines. While leading his rifle squad during an attack near the Syrian border, Corporal Dunham found himself in hand-to-hand combat with an insurgent. After being wrestled to the ground, the man rolled out a grenade that he'd been concealing. Without hesitation, Corporal Dunham threw himself on the grenade and used his helmet and body to absorb the blast. He did not survive his wounds. But by his actions, Jason Dunham saved the lives of his men. And he now ranks among the bravest citizens this nation has ever produced. (Applause.)
Applause for one of the men that sent this GI to his demise? Irony is not lost here, now is it?

Have one more look at the rhetorical coffin the W, Rove and Co is nailing shut on America as we type:
The cause we serve is freedom. That cause is right. And by the valor of those who serve it, that cause will prevail.
Now, if you ask me, this violates quote number one above, predicting the future when you suggest one cannot. Alas, what's a bloggers to do, but point out the hypocrisy...something the W, Rove and Co is not short on.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

W's Head Firmly Planted In The Sand

Q Tony, thank you. Two questions. Since the President's one-time election opponent is the only Vice President ever to win the Academy Award's Oscar, did the President send him congratulations?

MR. SNOW: I'm not aware that he did. But I will send mine.

Q Is this because -- the fact that you don't know that he sent him congratulations due to the fact that the President believes the award should have been for science fiction?

MR. SNOW: No, I don't. But that was very clever. That was a good one.

Q Thank you very much.

Q No, it wasn't.

MR. SNOW: Front row disagrees.

Q Did the President watch the movie?

MR. SNOW: I doubt it.

Who Is Leading Al Queda and One Other Troubling Bit Of Imformation From The Whitehouse

If I were to ask you the question, "Who is leading Al Queda," what answer would you come up with?

Let me guess: Would it be "I don't know?"

Well, it is for Tony the Snow job. Have a look:
Q Tony, yesterday the President's new Director of National Intelligence testified on Capitol Hill for the first time, and said, U.S. intelligence believes that Osama bin Laden and his number two are alive in Pakistan and reestablishing training camps. If you really have bin Laden on the run, how is he reestablishing training camps?

MR. SNOW: Well, that's a question -- that's an intelligence matter that I'm not going to be able to go into.

Q But how can you continually say the leadership is on the run and --

MR. SNOW: Well, you take a look also at statements that have been made by generals in recent days -- General Schoomaker the other day had a comment that I was asked about, which is he thought bin Laden had been marginalized. The question is whether al Qaeda -- I think the bin Laden question may be separable from the al Qaeda question. It's clear that al Qaeda is trying to gain strength --

Q But isn't he the leader of al Qaeda?

MR. SNOW: Well, I don't know. It's a real question about who assumes operational command. One of the things we've found is that the command structure has been degraded significantly and that remains the case. But in terms of trying to characterize precisely how the command structure looks or how it operates, it would be inappropriate to comment from the podium. But certainly, if you take a look, over and over you've had key members taken out, and also reports in the press that the leadership had become much more decentralized, as had the activities of al Qaeda. Indeed, you had the correspondence between Ayman al Zawahiri and Abu Musab al Zarqawi where you had Zawahiri basically asking for money from Zarqawi, when he was head, and also begging him -- it looked as it al Qaeda in Iraq in some cases at least had some leverage over al Qaeda leadership, wherever it was hiding.
I'm not on the ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq, so I don't have the intel to figure this one out, but this line of query is disturbing for two reasons: 1) I thought the President had a warrant out for OBL - Dead or Alive, and 2) Al Queda is getting stronger not weaker in Pakistan, who is supposed to be one primary member of the W, Rove and Co.'s coalition of the willing.

But wait, there's another distrubing report, particularly in light of the push to surge new troops into harms way in Iraq:

Q There was also a report this morning that two Army combat brigades are being sent to Iraq without desert training -- the Associated Press has a story out today -- and that it's because they're being rushed to Iraq to help get the surge in place.

MR. SNOW: Again, let me stress, what happens is, a lot of times you will also do training in theaters, as well as equipping in theater. The generals have made it very clear, and military commanders have made it clear, nobody is going to go into combat activity without proper equipment and training. Period. So if things --

Q But the story flatly says that two brigades are going in without desert training in California. So that doesn't sound like --

MR. SNOW: All right, I understand.

Q -- they're getting the training.

MR. SNOW: Well, but they can get desert training elsewhere, like in Iraq.
Oh, and not to mention, there are troops still in need of armour to support their opperations in Iraq. So, does this sound like a solid military strategy to you?

Are We Are Or Are We Not Talking to Iran and Syria? Subtitle: Going To The Tony Snow School Of Subterfuge and Obfuscation

Just the other day or so, the MSM picked up on a story line suggesting that the US was ready to actually sit down with Iran and Syria and hash things out. Some peace mongers may have jumped for joy prematurely.

Have a look at the following exchange and tell me what you think the US is really going to be doing in relation to a diplomatic solution to the Iran and Syria concerns.

I can't figure out what we are doing, have done or will do, can you?

Q I don't understand what the problem is, why you're going so far out of your way to say, what we're doing now shouldn't be interpreted as reaching out diplomatically to Iran and Syria.

MR. SNOW: Because we don't want it to be seen as a --

Q Why?

MR. SNOW: Because this is an Iraqi initiative, and the one thing -- you do not -- you know, Jim, one of the things they want is diplomatic recognition. They need to deliver. They need to deliver. You do not strengthen your hand by showing "flexibility" in the absence of activity on the part of those parties, especially when you have taken a public negotiating position on it.

It is -- what is going on is of a piece with what has been going on for years. You and I had a conversation about this and you, to your credit, had a readout of a number of these occasions in the past where there had been the presence of Iranians and U.S. negotiators at multilateral forums. This is no different in principle than those.

On the other hand, what you're defining as flexibility is -- I think what you're saying is, if the U.S. gives up on the precondition that has been agreed upon in an international forum -- then, yes, absolutely --

Q That's not what I'm saying.

MR. SNOW: Well, I'm telling you what the real effect is. Because if you're saying that you want to throw away the conditions that were laid down by the P5-plus-one in dealing with the Iranians, and also the conditions that were negotiated with members of the Security Council in putting together a Chapter 7 resolution against Iran --

Q He didn't say that.

MR. SNOW: Yes, he did, because that would be the practical effect of it. The practical effect --

Q I'm not smart enough to come up with all that, Tony.

MR. SNOW: Well, then I'm trying to school you. I'm just trying to school you because -- see, what you're saying, Jim, what you're saying, "Why can't you be flexible?" -- because to meet your test of flexibility --

Q No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, why are you so invested in being -- in talking about --

MR. SNOW: -- in principle?

Q No. No. Let me finish the question. Why are you so dug in on talking tough while you're going to do something in the next month or two that you have clearly stayed away from embracing up to this point?

MR. SNOW: Wait a minute. This is where you've got it completely -- what do you mean we've stayed away? I have just read for you a whole list of occasions on which the United States --

Q The Secretary of State is going to sit down --

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q -- and I know that some of those --

MR. SNOW: And she sat down --

Q -- and didn't even shake a hand or acknowledge in some of those situations.

MR. SNOW: She was in the meetings with them in September. Colin Powell was with them in Sharm el-Sheikh and through the Bonn process. So you --

Q Apparently, they didn't talk to each other and didn't shake hands hello. There was no -- this sounds like -- the tenor of what's about to happen sounds entirely different. And I'm just wondering --

MR. SNOW: I don't think it is. The Iraqis are putting together a meeting and it's going to be a businesslike meeting. If you're expecting suddenly new chummy relations, you've created a scenario that is not justified by the facts on the ground or the precedence.

Q One more follow on this. Could it be that you're concerned -- if you are seen as embarking on a new policy, is the concern that the old policy was wrong?

MR. SNOW: No, the concern is you guys are getting it wrong and I don't know how to get you to get it through your heads that it's not new. I mean, it's not new. What's going on here is something that has a long-seated precedence. There are multilateral forums where, if the Iranians are there, we're not going to walk out. The Iraqis -- we have always said if they invite us to this regional forum, we will be there. They invited us; we're going to be there.

There's going to be a follow-up at the ministerial level, which likely will include key diplomats from those countries, as well as from G8 countries, and Secretary of State Rice and Mr. Larajani and others will probably be in attendance. But this does not mean that there are going to be sidebars where we're having one-on-one talks with the Iranians. It doesn't mean that there's going to be any departure from past practice. It does mean that if issues come up that are going to be of interest, like EFPs or so on, then, yes, we'll certainly discuss them in the open forum.

Q You're not saying we didn't put a stamp of approval on this with the Iraqis --

MR. SNOW: Of course, we did. We're very happy that this is going on.

Q We pushed it, didn't we?

MR. SNOW: We have encouraged it.
Will this turn out well for America?