Thursday, March 15, 2007

Don’t Mind The Flames, They’ll Keep The Bed Warm

I’ve been having a hard time blogging lately because, well, quite honestly, I’m suffering from outrage fatigue. The big story on the Bush administration right now is the highly politicized firing of 8 US Attorneys across the country. It’s clear that Karl Rove (and likely President Bush) was intimately involved in choosing the Prosecutors to be fired and also in choosing who would replace them. It’s also clear, at least to me, why this was done.

Karl Rove took a lot of shit for Republican losses in the ’06 election and he’s doing everything he can to ensure a win in ‘08. While I’m glad that this story seems to have legs and I’m happy to be hearing calls for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales, I just can’t get worked up over this scandal, especially when the Bush administration has done so many things over the past six years that have been far, far worse.

I mean, come on. When you’ve watched your country go down the drain, lost your constitutional right to privacy, right to vote, right of habeas corpus and seen your government condone torture, extraordinary rendition and preemptive war, all in violation of international law, and watched the President of the United States repeatedly break the law, lie to Congress and the American people, it’s hard to get worked up over a few lawyers getting the boot.

The only thing different with this scandal is that the Democrats now control Congress and that gives them the opportunity to exercise their oversight authority and conduct investigations and hearings into the whole sordid mess. Well, that and the pack mentality of a corporate news culture that has decided the blush has finally worn off of the Bush rose.

Back to the why. With the newly released emails between the Justice Department and the White House, the “no governance, all politics” culture of the Bush administration is finally being inspected by the media, but I still have little faith that they will actually delve into the purpose of these firings. In this administration, political appointees are just that, hand picked loyalists installed in important public offices for the sole purpose of furthering their political agenda. These US attorneys were not meant to dispense justice in their districts, they were meant to investigate Democrats, warranted or not, and cover up for Republican crimes, and the ones who refused to play ball, were canned and replaced with ones who would. Does anyone really think otherwise? Can anyone ignore the electoral significance of the Prosecutors who found themselves on the Bush administration enemies list?

The outrage I can seem to muster up at this point has to do with the way the Bush administration has changed our country for the worst. Loyalty, a good thing when invested properly, has been turned on its ear. No longer are public officials to be loyal to this country, to its laws or its people. Instead, they are only to be loyal to the Bush administration. When the highest ranking enforcers of federal law are no longer loyal to the people they serve or the laws and the constitution they swore to uphold, and instead act merely as conduits for political retribution, we can no longer consider this a free and democratic country.

But that reality was exposed with the 2000 selection of this President by the Supreme Court, AND with the thwarting of international law in invading Iraq, AND with the fraudulent case for war peddled to the American people, AND with corporate control of our media, AND with a fraudulent election in 2004 that was dutifully ignored by said corporate controlled media, AND with the “detention” of Jose Padilla (an American citizen held for three and a half years as an enemy combatant and denied access to our judicial system), AND the elimination of habeas corpus, AND….AND…AND…

I’ve reached the point where I fear enough will never be enough. We’ve put up with so much and yet show no signs that we’re not going to take it anymore. Impeachment, though warranted, seems to be a non-starter for the Democrats that are still afraid of their own shadow, and the American people seem content to just wait it out and hope that things don’t get much worse. We’ve made our bed and we’re apparently content to lie in it, even though it’s on fire.


Anonymous Dale H said...


I will take your tone of despair, together with your burning bed metaphor, as a leading indicator that we are about to experience a 'bull market" in oversight and subpoenas that will lift the political 'dow' to new highs of disgust and repudiation for this demonstrably incompetent
and mendacious Republican party.

Conversely I don't take the picture of a tearful Ronald Regan on this week's Time to indicate the bottoming of the Repug fortunes anymore than the similarly tearful TV Ad Native American, actually
a second-generation Italian-American(,
marked the immediate or uninterrupted 'greening' of America.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Unbeliever said...

I understand your feelings -- how could we POSSIBLY, as a country, have allowed these guys to destroy EVERYTHING we stand for so QUICKLY?

But we know the answer to that. We rely on the little man in the glowing box every night to tell us, not only the facts, but how to put them in context. And when the news media is dominated by right-wingers and "entertainment" programming, most Americans have no means to even understand that there IS a problem, much less appreciate its size and scope...

In any case, take heart. The Dems have Congress, the Libby trial and the Waxman hearings are finally pouring needed sunlight into the mechanations of the Bushies, and the media has FINALLY given itself permission to report Bush's failings.

Bush may still be trying to drag us over a cliff, but at least he can no longer run at full speed. Now he has to fight for every additional step...

1:11 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I think frustration comes from America's "can do" attitude. And from the unrealistic expectations brought by TV and consumer culture. Americans what it ALL and they want it NOW. And that's simply not how the world works.

I was thinking of this earlier today while listening to the CBC playing clips of Bush making the false claims that lead America to war in the fall of 2002. There was that great line "we can't wait for proof" if it might come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

So the threat of attack trumps the Constitution. Shoot first and ask questions later. Kill all the insurgents and let God sort out the innocent from the guilty.

Of course, America has forgotten what it means to be defenseless. (9/11 technically counts as a 'sucker punch' and is unlikely to repeated. And probably would never have happened if Gore had been president.) One has to go back and reread the Declaration of Independence to remember what it was like to be an "insurgent" and an "unlawful enemy combatant" under the reign of George III.

Even the impeachment of a scumbag like George Bush will take time. He has his rights --even if he doesn't recognize the rights he swore to uphold. Due process must be observed.

It's important to recall what happened during Watergate. The Senate Committee spent over a year investigating. During that time there were resignations, indictments, revelations, and endless litigation.

The Senate Watergate committee began hearings in mid-May 1973. Congress did not begin to consider impeachment formally until almost a year later. The charges were "obstruction of justice", "abuse of power", and "contempt of Congress".

Nixon was sunk when an Oval Office tape revealed he had suggested two years earlier that the CIA lie to the FBI that the Watergate 'plumbers' involved "national security". Nixon was a crook after all.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bush should be impeached. However, it will require a necessary number of Republicans to make that move necessary. And, just as Nixon fired a string of Attorney Generals and prosecutors to avoid justice, so will Bush. It's already happening. Only Bush is pretending this is normal and invokes Clinton --but avoids any mention of the Saturday Night Massacre.

Watergate was a national nightmare. And so is this Bush presidency. Nixon's folly was pathetic --he'd probably have won reelection without all the dirty tricks. This Bush White House combines white collar crooks and neo-con Machiavellis --it is the most vile combination of corruption and megolomania since 1933.

And yet we must cling to the Constitution and due process or we become the Enemy.

8:20 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Dale--As always, I hope you're right.

Unbeliever--It is staggering isn't it?

David--I think my frustration comes from, not the slow movement of the system, but rather the national mood that seems sufficiently depressed to be seriously entertaining the idea of a Giuliani presidency. That is proof that things can get much worse.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

I can still muster up enough outrage to be upset over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being held in Guantanamo instead of being in a jail in New York City awaiting trial for the murder of 3,000 Americans.
I don't know how that will play out but shouldn't the planner of the attacks face the same criminal justice system that put away Timothy McVeigh?
I was suspicious when KSM was brought to Gitmo in October. I thought that maybe some deal (between DOD and DOJ) was cut for a military detention hearing in Gitmo instead of a criminal trial in NYC. The reasoning would be that torture had tainted the 'confession' ergo a criminal trial would be thrown out. However, I am not clear that this would be true. It certainly would be true if the police tortured him. But I am less clear that military torture, under congressionally authorized conflict, would negate a conviction for a non-American caught in Pakistan.
I would be repulsed by the military retaining KSM in jail or executing him. I would favor criminal charges in NYC or Washington. What are your thoughts?

3:56 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear LGND,
First, I want to apologize for all my typos in that previous comment. I was half asleep at the time.
Second, I doubt very much anyone is seriously considering Rudy Giuliani for Prez. He has too much baggage and his personal life is just so messy.
We are still ten months away from the first primary and so anything can happen. Including a President Pelosi.
So don't despair. The wheels have fallen off the GOP Bus and the bandits are running off in all directions. (Just google "rudy giuliani" to see that he isn't getting the best press.)

On the other hand, Obama just makes me giddy with excitement. He actually thinks and is committed to ideas about life, faith, and work. And the best Fox can come up with is 17 year old unpaid parking tickets. Sheesh! And I loved Obama's keynote address to the "Call to Renewal" convention: Politics & Religion. It was genuine and heartfelt and respectful.

kindlingman, I must respectfully disagree about Khalid Sheik Mohammed. The Pentagon transcript --what we've been allowed to see-- is a mess. What does KSM understand the word "responsible" to mean? He has confessed to too many crimes; it's not credible. And the so-called evidence found on the computer hard-drives sounds suspiciously like NYTimes and CNN reports.

If Khalid is a terrorist, put him on trial in NYC. (And confessions made under torture are inadmissible in both civilian and military courts.) If he's a PoW, treat him according to the Geneva Conventions. If he's a war criminal, send him to The Hague. But this Kangaroo court is a farce.

Consider: He objected that his name was misspelled. He was not allowed to call witnesses. His English was not very good and it was not clear what he understood "responsible" to mean. His objections to his treatment (that is, torture) was redacted. Why would that be classified? Why were the names of all the military persons present classified? Where are his two small children now? Were they tortured?

What I find so Bush White House about this whole thing is that there are several legitimate and internationally accepted ways of proceeding, but Bush has rejected them all and prefers a kind of impromptu kangaroo court. And much of this has to do with covering up the lies about what the White House knew and when did it know it.

It's a three act farce of Noble Lies and Coerced Confessions ending with the Pot calling the Kettle Black.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi LGND ... The pharmacutical industry must be doing a thriving business from the sale of anti-depressants based on the latest news out of Washington.

It's not just the bungling of Walter Reed, DA firings or spying on Americans but a lack of leadership which trickles down from the top which advocates deregulating both business and the civil rights of ordinary Americans.

We now live in a plutocracy rather than a democracy and our Constitution has been transformed into a business contract rather than document assuring social equality.

Sadly, the Washington bureaucrats seem more interested in covering each others a#$'s instead of prosecuting them.

Its starting to look like a Watergate coverup. The only difference is the Democratic Congress of that era asserted themselves and stood up for the Constitution by demanding a special prosecutor who turned out to be Archibald Cox.

Now we have a Democratic majority which only expresses outrage. Gonzales won't resign or be fired by Bush because the President needs him to cover-up the impeachable offenses committed by his Administration since 2001. Nixon was ready to appoint Elliot Richardson to cover his ass until Cox arrived on the scene.

The change now is everyone on the Hill is bought and paid for by corporate money which dictates their actions.

For more insight on the issues you've raised here I invite your audience to read my latest column SCENT OF A CRIME in which I describe why things have gone wrong and what must be done to save our democracy.


3:37 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

david wrote:"If Khalid is a terrorist, put him on trial in NYC. (And confessions made under torture are inadmissible in both civilian and military courts.) If he's a PoW, treat him according to the Geneva Conventions. If he's a war criminal, send him to The Hague. But this Kangaroo court is a farce."
We agree that a Gitmo detention hearing is silly for this guy. And we agree that trial in NYC s the right way to go. I am less focused on whether he is tried as a terrorist or, like McVeigh, was responsible for the deaths of Americans. I think that a trial will give many people a pathway to overcome grief, absolve themselves of misdirected guilt, or provide the vengeance that many may seek.

Where do you stand on KSM? Do you believe he is the mastermind of 9/11 or do you believe it was somebody else? It's a straight up question. (I cannot discern your opinion because you say "if".)
Is there a reason why you provide choices for others to make instead of advocating one yourself?

5:42 PM  
Anonymous david said...

kindlingman said: I think that a trial will give many people a pathway to overcome grief, absolve themselves of misdirected guilt, or provide the vengeance that many may seek.

Well, why not just bring back public hangings? Overcoming grief, absolving guilt, or seeking vengeance should have nothing to do with JUSTICE. That's why the Goddess of Justice has both scales and a blindfold.

Gitmo is Victor's Justice. And that's no justice at all. It doesn't involve deterrence, retribution, or rehabilitation. And the injustice of it is obvious from the horror Americans feel when their citizens are subjected to rough justice and the unwillingness of America to submit its own citizens to laws of other countries or the UN. Victor's Justice is pure hypocrisy.

Where do you stand on KSM? Do you believe he is the mastermind of 9/11 or do you believe it was somebody else? It's a straight up question. (I cannot discern your opinion because you say "if".)
Is there a reason why you provide choices for others to make instead of advocating one yourself?

What's "straight up" about this question? Have I ever met KSM? No. Do I have any first hand information about the workings of the alQaeda terrorist organisation? No. Have I examined any of the primary documents or heard the testimony of any eyewitnesses? No. Anyone who has already presumed KSM's guilt without these conditions would be unfit to sit as either judge or jury.

You want my opinion? The USA should stop being the cry baby and join the international community. It needs to obey the Geneva Conventions and join the ICC. The Taleban, although not recognized by most governments, did function as the government of Afghanistan and so its members need to be treated as POWs. alQaeda is a terrorist organisation. Terrorism should be treated as a crime. Of course, then one has to be willing to allow Kissinger to be extradicted to Chile if one does that. Or one might actually have to allow the Iraqi and Afghani authorities to try and punish the crimes committed by those "few rotten apples" America has sent over there.

If America wants to pretend to be a Christian nation, it needs to recall: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and Love thy neighbour as thyself.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Sorry, I didn't notice your post, cosmic messenger. It slipped past me because a quick scan made me think it was mere cynicism on prozac.

I really haven't much patient for the attitude that all politicians are crooks. It's like saying all athletes are on steroids or all citizens cheat on their taxes. It's not true. And I fear it often reflects poorly on the judgement of the author.

The reason for my double post is that I did read through your post and found some rather mixed up and erroneous statements about Watergate.

AG John Mitchell had resigned and Nixon appointed Elliot Richardson to the office. It was AG Richardson, under Nixon's authority, who appointed Archibald Cox. When Cox wanted to hear the Oval Office tapes, Nixon ordered Richardson to fire Cox. He refused and resigned. His deputy resigned as well. Finally, the stooge Bork did the dirty deed --which is why Bork never would get to sit on the SCOTUS. The Saturday Night Massacre was so shocking that another special prosecutor had to be appointed, Leon Jaworski.

Of course, the Democrats held the majority in both Houses of Congress after 1972. The Democrats today have only had control of Congress for 60 days. And look what's happened! The GOP is on the run and the Bush Administration is falling apart. Gonzales won't survive to the end of March. Beware the Ides.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was nothing erronous about my about my Elliot Richardson statement. I stand by my assertion he was set to fire Cox, David.

I will qualify it for you since apparently you require a more comprehensive explaination.

Richardson was approved by Congress for U.S. Attorney General based on a condition set forth by the Democrat Senate he not impede Cox's investigation. This requirement was the only thing that kept Richardon from dismissing Cox when ordered to do so by Nixon.

Furthermore, nowhere in my column
SCENT OF A CRIME or here did I state "all politicians are crooks." Those are your words used to falsely misrepresent my thoughts.

Anything else you care to quibble over ? Perhaps you'd be more proficient as the White House Press spokesman rather than spending your time raising irrelevant objections to the comments of those who post at Mollie's blog. Tony Snow apparently needs help spinning the daily news.

Despite this, you're always welcome to express an opinion about one of my columns either here or at my Blog. Since you abhor cynicism you probably won't like my next Commentary scheduled for publication, April 1. Add me to your Feedreader though so you'll be notified when it comes out.

Until your next mundane reaction to one of my posts ... touche !


2:16 PM  
Anonymous david said...

cosmic messenger: nowhere in my column SCENT OF A CRIME or here did I state "all politicians are crooks." Those are your words used to falsely misrepresent my thoughts.

So how do you interpret: [E]veryone on the Hill is bought and paid for by corporate money which dictates their actions.

If that doesn't translate "All Politicians are Crooks", what does it mean?

Richardson picked Cox --not Congress. Congress held up approving Richardson's appointment until he had named a prosecutor to handle the Watergate investigation. Cox was never an independent counsel as this position did not exist at the time. Nixon created the office of special prosecuter and later abolished it. He asked Richardson to fire Cox on Oct 20, 1973. Richardson refused and resign. Nixon order deputy AG Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, but he too refused and resign.

How you get the idea that Richardson was "set" to fire Cox I don't know. If you weren't so bent on tarring people with the charge of corruption or toadyism you might find some honorable people working in government --in both parties.

I have no problem with cynicism. I just don't like people who get high on it. They whine, but they don't really want to fix anything because they're having too good a time sitting in their big armchair.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous drm said...


You cannot be that ignorant

"It’s clear that Karl Rove (and likely President Bush) was intimately involved in choosing the Prosecutors to be fired and also in choosing who would replace them. It’s also clear, at least to me, why this was done. "

US Attorneys are appointed by the President, OF COURSE PATTRONAGE comes into play. I am shocked that politics is involved in Presidential hirings.

Seems like sacking 96 of 97 US Attorneys appointed by 41 is quite alright but sacking 8 is HORRIBLE.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, do not call LGND ignorant if you yourself haven't got a clue as to how US attorneys are appointed.

US attorneys are appointed by the President for a four year term. The US Senate must confirm these appointments.

Should an attorney be removed by the President or resign, an interim attorney may be appointed so long as the appointment is confirmed by the Senate within 120 days.

Well, that last bit was the way it was until the Republican Congress deleted that 120 day proviso when it put through the US Patriot Reauthorization Act. That was almost a year ago today.

It is rare for a president to replace attorneys in midterm. And highly suspicious to do it when it seems to involve trying to intimidate them. And even creepier when inexperienced people are appointed to replace them.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...


"Seems like sacking 96 of 97 US Attorneys appointed by 41 is quite alright but sacking 8 is HORRIBLE."

Thanks for reminding us all again that you're only capable of counting trees and that the forest ALWAYS eludes you.

I realize the events are outrunning/outgunning your posts, but jeez at least make an attempt to keep up. Looking forward to the 'email dump' scheduled for this Monday? Ever see an email that vindicated the emailer?

It is now abundantly clear that the 'G' in GOP stands for gutless. Perhaps poor Harriet Miers will confirm that if she testifies under oath as to who suggested firing who. Though we can't rule out her resorting to what the Repugs are best at, perjury.

By the way, any more comments on 'supporting the troops', Walter Reed style? How about the lack of urgency/money to deploy the 'V' shaped Humvees that save lives by deflecting explosive force?

IF there were ANY justice you self-righteous Repugs would be forced to drive around in Iraq for one week....or less.
Which is also the projected half-life for the feckless Alberto.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

david wrote:"Well, why not just bring back public hangings? Overcoming grief, absolving guilt, or seeking vengeance should have nothing to do with JUSTICE. That's why the Goddess of Justice has both scales and a blindfold."

Goodness, david, you are wise enough to know that a 'trial' is entirely different from how it can be conducted. The point of blind Justice is to conduct the trial without regard for feelings/assumptions of guilt or innocence but for demonstrable proof of guilt. The point of the 'State' conducting a trial is to mitigate the problems associated with mob rule and vigilante justice. Which in my opinion is why a trial is so important.

david also wrote:"Have I ever met KSM? No. Do I have any first hand information about the workings of the alQaeda terrorist organisation? No. Have I examined any of the primary documents or heard the testimony of any eyewitnesses? No. Anyone who has already presumed KSM's guilt without these conditions would be unfit to sit as either judge or jury."

david, you have so many opinions on other things yet you avoid answering this? You can casually denounce America (and its current miscreant government) but not comment on your thoughts of KSM's innocence or guilt? I am surprised. KSM is either what he says he is OR he is what the US government says he is OR he is something different. One does not need 'first hand information' nor have met KSM to have an opinion. You regularly declare your opinion on American officials you have not met and do not know first hand.
I think you are very bright and very well read and very discerning yet your reply in this instance does you no credit. I have a high regard for you, could you kindly comment on KSM?

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never said Congress picked Cox, David.

Congress approved Nixon's nomination of Richardson as Attorney General but made it conditional that he not impede any investigation of the President and Watergate breakin.

When Nixon ordered Richardson to fire Cox, he realized he couldn't because of the Congressional mandate so he resigned. His successor William Ruckelshaus did as well until Nixon finally got Bork to carry out his illegal order.

Who specifically did I charge with being corrupt ? Everyone on the Hill is bought and paid for by corporations which does dictate their actions.

You would make Tony Snow proud with your revisionist BS, David.


9:17 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear kindlingman,
Thanks for the kind words. I've been very kranky today.

I do not see that trials should exist to appease the Mob or to curtail vigilante justice. Demagoguery of the Media, the Church, and the Establishment often whip up public passion to be assuaged by a Show Trial. Sadly, I find most Show Trials only expose the mendacity of the prosecution.

I assure you I do tend to express my opinion based on having read commentary, listened to speeches, and watched 'news' happen. I avoid making the mistake that some do that all members of Team Red are cheaters while Team Blue is loyal and true. I prefer to be moderately skeptical.

On KSM. I only know Khalid from the rather sorry looking photo where he looks like a minor mafia figure who has been pulled out of a barn. And I read the transcript of the Gitmo hearing. I also know that this fellow has been held in a secret prison for the last three years. And that his two pre-teen children have been "interrogated" by the CIA and are held somewhere in America. (Well, I'm not really sure if they are still in America. It's very sad that so little interest has been taken in these innocents.)

From what I have read outside of this it would seem there is probably cause to charge KSM with murder and perhaps conspiracy. But there are certain problems. KSM has been tortured. That's been admitted. Oh, the administration prefers to call it aggressive interrogation, but the rest of the world calls it torture.

And that is why I cannot join the Lynch Mob screaming for Strange Fruit. And as a non-American I cannot accept the idea that America can simply go and grab people whereever they live and bring them to a limbo prison and try them in a kangaroo court.

His name has been linked to a number of terrorist acts around the world. And that is why it is best to send him to the ICC to stand trial. Unfortunately, the US government has not joined the ICC. And now wonder! If KSM has been tortured, then his captors could also face charges.

And that's my opinion. He's a prime suspect and, if there is sufficient evidence to try him, he should be tried in the ICC. But I don't think there should be one law for those who attack the USA and another law for Americans who attack other nations. It's the failure of Americans to see that that prompts the baffled question "Why do they hate us?"

P.S. cosmic messenger, so you're slowly coming around to my "revisionist BS" version of Watergate. However, it is still unkind of you to not allow that Richardson behaved decently.

Who specifically did I charge with being corrupt ? Everyone on the Hill is bought and paid for by corporations which does dictate their actions.

Don't you read your own words? Specifically you charged EVERYONE with being corrupt. And then you deny you meant All Politicians Are Crooks. Dear me! You'd better put your tin foil hat on tight.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming around to your revisionist BS about Watergate, David ?

Just another example of how you twist and misrepresent my words to excuse your inability to get the facts right.

When are you going to come out of the closet and admit you're an apologist for Nixon and Richardson ?

The only satisfaction people like you get is by attacking the messenger of opinions you don't care for rather than debate the facts of an issue.

"Everyone on the Hill is bought and paid for by corporations which dictates their actions." You threw in the description corrupt in an attempt at manipulating my thoughts for your own satisfaction.

Being "kranky" isn't a legitimate excuse for making a deceitful pretense. How Kindlingman can admire your dishonesty is beyond me.


12:07 AM  
Anonymous david said...

cosmic messenger, I am not an apologist for Nixon AND Richardson. I am objecting to the Lynch Mob Mentality that pervades the blogsphere on both the Left and the Right.

When AG Richard Kleindienst resigned Nixon had to appoint an AG who would be respected by the Democratic Senate. Richardson was and always has been seen as a decent and honest public servant. Even liberals have refered to him as "squeaky clean".

I find your rather sorry Stalinist tactics pathetic. If you had read any of my comments you would know I'm neither an apologist for Nixon nor for Bush. By taking on the role of the Ann Coulter of the "progressives" you sow seeds of disharmony and invite contempt.

Your rants resemble that of the rebels in Shakespeare's Henry VI, urging us to "Kill all the lawyers!" But Republicans aren't all Devils and Democrats aren't all Saints. And you should not find honest men guilty by association; it's a logical fallacy.

Of course, you are very fond of legalese when it suits you. What did you mean by "bought & paid for" if not corrupted by bribery? Are you like Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty, able to change the meaning of a word at will? If your thoughts cannot stand to be paraphrased then they are unintelligible. (Which is my opinion after visiting your website.) I'm sure I'm causing you distress when I read back to you what I think you've said; I'm making you think and see how silly your platitudes are.

Grow up! Mao and Moses are two sides of the same coin. The Communist rebel and the Christian fundamentalist are both bad for secular democracy. They both damn the heretic and seek to reward the faithful. But beware: both Far Left and Far Right gain during rebellion. What they fear most is Rule of Law and Civil Rights.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...


A glimpse at the 'forest', from this week's Newsweek.

Within the space of one week we have quotes from two career professionals that encapsulate what most thinking Americans..
.....NOT 'loyal Bushies'..have continually felt about our President and his Administration's 'performance'.
Plame: "Felt like a 'hit in the gut'.

William Moschella, a top aide to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty: "..I felt sick"

drm, no matter what you think you're supporting/defending you're actually turning a blind ideologue eye toward a combination of incompetence and moral imbecility of unprecedented proportions.

Disorder in King George's Court

"a pair of senior Justice officials gave accounts to lawmakers that were, at best, incomplete. At a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, William Moschella, a top aide to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, vigorously defended the firings of the U.S. attorneys as a purely managerial move that had originated within the Justice Department. He said nothing about any nudging from the White House. McNulty had earlier given similar testimony, saying the attorneys had been let go for "job performance" reasons, an assertion that infuriated the fired prosecutors. But the two Justice officials have told colleagues that when they saw the e-mail accounts showing the attorney-purge idea had originated in the White House, they were surprised and appalled. "I felt sick," Moschella told NEWSWEEK. "I basically saw my professional life flash before my eyes." Moschella and McNulty blamed Sampson."

"The impression was that Gonzales was merely responding to the ill-considered scheme of his successor as White House counsel (Harriet Miers); that he, personally, had not been in the loop for a series of controversial decisions that have set off a congressional brouhaha over the dismissal of one U.S. attorney in the summer of 2006 and seven more in December.

Last week Gonzales's bland, what-me-worry? smile seemed to fade. He appeared slightly forlorn as he answered hostile questions from reporters at a hastily called press conference. He was asked about the role of the White House in firing a group of U.S. attorneys. "As we can all imagine," he began, "in an organization of 110,000 people, I am not aware of every bit of information that passes through the halls of the Department of Justice ..." He was aware, he said, that there was "a request from the White House as to the possibility of replacing all the U.S. attorneys. That was immediately rejected by me." The impression was that Gonzales was merely responding to the ill-considered scheme of his successor as White House counsel (Harriet Miers); that he, personally, had not been in the loop for a series of controversial decisions that have set off a congressional brouhaha over the dismissal of one U.S. attorney in the summer of 2006 and seven more in December.

Two days after that presser, however, the White House turned over newly discovered e-mails showing that Gonzales, while he was still on the job at the White House in January 2005, had "briefly" discussed the idea of firing U.S. attorneys. (A Justice Department spokeswoman said Gonzales had "no recollection" of that.) The e-mails showed that Kyle Sampson, then a top aide to Attorney General John Ashcroft and later Gonzales's chief of staff, talked about the possible purge of "15-20 percent" of the U.S. attorney corps deemed not to be "loyal Bushies." The e-mails also showed that Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, had "stopped by" to ask a White House lawyer "how we planned to proceed regarding US Attorneys, whether we are going to allow all to stay, request resignations from all and accept only some of them, or selectively replace them, etc." Sampson warned that firing all the U.S. attorneys could cause political problems. "That said," Sampson wrote, "if Karl thinks there would be political will to do it, then so do I."

"But in two or three cases, the Bush administration may have gone over the line. In New Mexico the administration canned David Iglesias, a clean-cut former Navy lawyer who had been the model for the Tom Cruise character in the movie "A Few Good Men." Iglesias has told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was getting political pressure from lawmakers to indict Democrats in a local corruption case before the November elections. In Washington state, the ousted U.S. attorney, John McKay, has said that he took heat from local Republicans for failing to bring voter-fraud charges in a deadlocked gubernatorial race."

"The man chosen by the president to handle this delicate task—Fred Fielding, who replaced Miers as White House counsel last month—has plenty of experience. He was a young White House lawyer during Watergate in the Nixon administration and counsel to President Reagan during the Iran-contra scandal. Fielding, 67, is regarded as a savvy lawyer who believes in getting out ahead of a scandal. Fielding is also seen as a Washington establishment figure brought in to rescue Bush from the mistakes of his old Texas cronies, Rove, Miers and Gonzales."

Nice that the venerable Fred Fielding is reprising his role as the 'sweeper' following behind the parade of circus elephants.

I know, I know, my comparison of Repugs to circus elephants is VERY circus elephants.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh ... now you've reverted back to character assasination by mislabeling me a Stalinist when you can't win a disagreement legitimately. You've used that rightwing tactic in the past, David.

Others would disagree with your assessment of me but you'd never know since you don't stop by my Blog to comment.

Here's a sample of what people have said about my latest column:

This post is a joy to read and not only for its content, but also for its organization. The chaos all around us can inhibit development of clear thought on any particular subject in the news. Good writing like this lends clarity ... Mirth --- March 18

Cosmic, you are so right in saying, "Change will only come about when citizens restore the original intent of our Founding Fathers." ... Cee Jay --- March 15

We're almost all we've got, us with quieter voices and varying degrees of ability to express our opinions. The Big Boys & Girls are great for wider coverage of news and I go to their blogs for that, but when I want deeper analysis and to either get fired up or smoothed out I prefer the smaller blogs. It's my good luck to discover yours. .... Mirth --- March 18

Read them and weep. You're good for a few chuckles but little else, David.


3:38 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

A side note. In case you haven't seen it yet, this is by far the best internet campaign ad. Give it up to whoever made this Barack Obama advertisement

4:23 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

"AND the elimination of habeas corpus, AND….AND"

Simple thing, enemy combatants captured on the battlefield ARE NOT ENTITLED TO HABEAS CORPUS. Plain and simple. Please state any court case that claims otherwise. What the dems want to do is for the first time in history grant this right to foreign terrorists. How bizzzzzaaaarrrreee

4:40 PM  
Anonymous drm said...


my mistake, Clinton sacked 92 of 93, not 96 of 97. Who the hell cares when they are sacked, the President can do it at any time he feels like it. As I said, what Clinton did had never been done before but everyone knew that he was cleaning house of all the Republicans, the spoils goes to the winner. It was purely political but Oh My God, there is actually politics in politics.

Your glossing over what Clinton did just shows how deep your hatred runs and how widespread BDS has overtaken you.

Bus blew it from the beginning by trying to follow a "new tone". He won, he should have cleaned house of all the Clinton holdovers and started fresh. He actually believed the Dems would be interested in working with him.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous drm said...


I don't know how to make this more clear. Of course the US Attorneys were fired for political reasons and I support it 100%. The President has every right to appoint anyone he wants and if the Justice dept felt these 8 weren't on board then they should can them.

The problem with Team Bush is they are afraid to admint that they play politics. God forbid there is politicing going on in politics.

I don't see any thing wrong with acting based on politics.

I am also not ignorant enough to think that Valarie and Joe are just 2 little innocent sheep that were slaughtered by Team Rove. Why would you think that politics doesn't come into play in the State Dept, the CIA or the FBI? Valarie Plame's explanation of some unkown junior agent passed her in the hall and was the real source suggesting hubby Joe be sent to Nigeria is totally LAUGHABLE. I also like, "the email suggesting my hubby for Nigeria does not mean I had anything to do suggesting my hubby for Nigeria". Or even better, "Why would little old me want to send my hubby over seas when I have little twins at home, oh my gosh, little old me needs my hubby and I can't be left alone with my little twins". How pathetic.

Joe Wilson's editorial was full of lies and he was exposed as nothing more than a political hit man. Once again Team Bush is afraid to play politics out in the open. They had every right to come out and expose Mr Wilson's lies and were right to ask, why the hell did this dude get sent to Nigeria?

4:58 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, the Democratic Congress this month introduced two bills to restore Habeas Corpus and the Geneva Conventions. The clause in the Constitution allowing the suspension of Habeas Corpus restrict it to a moment of crisis. But consider that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was captured over 3 years ago. That's not a battlefield situation.

Again, your talking points are so yesterday. Valerie Plame was "outed" and she was covert. All that blarney from the White House and Fox about it being a "non-crime" is so deceiptive.

Oh, and the yellowcake forgery was in Niger, not Nigeria. But I wouldn't expect you to fact check your story before posting.

cosmic messenger, I'm not sure why you should think I'm engaging in character assassination. You are the one calling me a spinner for Tony Snow and suggesting I'm a supporter of this White House. You don't seem at all concerned that you are making statements that are untrue.

It was a standard Stalinist trick to label others shamelessly as Trotskyites, counter-revolutionaries, and traitors. If you are unable to follow the chain of world events, you should perhaps hang up your blogging hat.

Of course, I'm still waiting to hear what you meant by "bought & paid for". If it doesn't mean corruption by bribery, what does it mean? Or is it just some leftist cant.

And what exactly did the Founding Fathers intend with the Constitution? That white men of property might might deny rights to women and African slaves? That they might push back the aboriginal tribes accross the Mississippi and confiscate their treaty lands?

The Founding Fathers were not unlike the men of today. The Constitution provides for more Freedom today than it did even 50 years ago. And that's why it's so important to be politically active.

The Bill of Rights is just a bunch of fine words. What matters is the character of the people holding office. Tyranny is but a few signing statements away. Which is why I said that tyrannts fear the Rule of Law and Civil Rights.

And I still think you owe the memory of Elliot Richardson an apology.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...


Aren't you beginning to feel like the cowpoke in the Sprint TV AD who can't get his gun out of his holster all the while getting slapped silly?

Seems to me that you are like the guy showing up for a gun fight with a knife, or like one
repeatedly showing up for a battle of wits....unarmed!

You MIGHT make things clearer if you could get past your
blind ideological constraints and, I don't know, tried Googling up some facts?

As you will learn, if you turn off that nightlight you know as Fox News, the US Attorney dismissals were materially different as to timing, degree and ethical considerations. Everyone now knows that EVERY incoming Administration
of one party changes the US attorneys appointed by the other Party. THAT'S
what Clinton did. What the chimp and his handler have done is punish the ones who weren't "good Bushies" can read can't you. I'm also
thinking that these guys future careers are golden in the reality based community
that you clearly shun!

Like I said, good luck with your bout with cognitive dissonance after tomorrow's
250 email 'dump'!

As for Joe Wilson, as David pointed out you're apparently too damned lazy to check your
facts. Chew on this:
"Wilson, whose distinguished diplomatic career included stints as U.S. ambassador to Niger and acting ambassador to Iraq, traveled to Niger in 2002 at the behest of the CIA, which was looking into White House claims — included in President Bush's State of the Union address — that Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy so-called yellowcake uranium from Niger for the purpose of advancing his nuclear weapons program. That "fact" was central to the Bush administration's insistence that Iraq might soon possess a nuclear arsenal, and thus posed an imminent threat not just to its Middle Eastern neighbors but to the United States. Wilson, however, concluded there had been no such attempt."

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...


Funny video! Now try and stay with me on this. I realize that like nuance, subtlety, objectivity, critical thinking and respect for facts, irony is yet another quality that you wingnuts are as benighted as benighted can be when it comes to recognizing or exhibiting it!

When you viewed those mouth breathing cretins marching in lockstep didn't it occur to you that it might have been a Fox News focus group?
A Republican convention?
ALL of the remaining Bushies?

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...


Go ahead, like the little girl in "The Exorcist", spin your head and spew. After that try reading, without moving your lips, U-N-P-R-E-C-E-D-E-N-T-E-D.

Try a new 'identity' as well:
nfn....Notes From Wingnutistan.

Fired US Atty Cummins: "What They Have Done Here Is Unprecedented"
PBS | March 19, 2007 at 12:44 PM

CUMMINS: Well, I want your audience to understand, like you said, I am a—very Rep—Republican person. I agreed to put that aside when I became a U.S. Attorney. And I did very successfully. But I—I have a very deep political background. And I'm very familiar with what a talking point is. And I think you are, too. And probably most of your li—listeners are.

He's reading from the talking points. And—and somebody has decided that if they try to continually talk about Bill Clinton firing 93 U.S. Attorneys, that will somehow you know, muddy this water up to where people can't see anything. The truth is, what they have done here is unprecedented. Presidents are entitled to—to appoint their own U.S. Attorneys. In modern history, Presidents have come into (UNINTEL) office, wiped the slate of 93 U.S. Attorneys clean, appointed their own people.

I can make a good argument why that's—that's the right thing to do. I think it's important to have their own people that are on the same page with their priorities and initiatives. But no President that I'm aware of has ever then reached out later in his term and tried to remove one of his United States Attorneys that he appointed, absent malfeasance. There have been a handful of cases where people have made serious mistakes of some—one kind or another. And they've been asked to leave.

But—and that was my biggest concern. People have asked me you know, "What was your reaction when you got the call?" Well number one, I was surprised, 'cause I didn't think that was really one of the possibilities. Technically, obviously, when you serve at the pleasure of the President, they can call you at any time and ask you to leave. But I—I was unaware of them ever doing that unless you made a mistake.

So my second concern—reaction was concern. Have I made a mistake? And they assured me that I had not. And then my third reaction was, a little bit of personal disappointment because I felt like I had served the President very well, and I was a little disappointed that they would start with me to—you know, an unprecedented move like that. But all those things aside, I knew all—we all knew we served at the pleasure of the President.

I accepted the decision. And I moved on without any complaint, as did all my seven colleagues. And no one spoke out. And you would not have me on the phone here today if they had not gone to Congress later and tried to avoid discussing very embarrassing—apparently very embarrassing things that went into these decisions, by trying to justify them by saying they were performance issues.

Because you're dealing with a group of people with my seven colleagues, that—everybody that knew them, that watched them, that worked with them—knew that they were particularly good United States Attorneys. And they were serving the President loyally, if for no other reason because they were making him look good for putting them there. And they don't deserve to be slandered in this way.

They should be commended for their service. And if the President wants to go in a different direction for any reason, that's his legal right. Now he can defend those decisions to Congress however he wants, but he can't make things up. And that's what's happened here.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Dale h said...


Don't ya hate it when your blind ideology backs you into indefensible stances? Gonna be a lotta that goin' around this week, unless you tip over your Kool-aid stand!

Republicans and U.S. Attorneys — then and now:

Nonetheless, Republicans sought in 1993 to depict the routine and standard replacement of U.S. attorneys by the Clinton administration as some sort of grave scandal which threatened prosecutorial independence and was deeply corrupt.

The idea that Presidents have an unfettered right to fire U.S. attorneys at any time and for any reason is the precise opposite of what Republicans were arguing in 1993 — when Bill Clinton simply replaced all U.S. attorneys at the start of his administration, rather than singling out prosecutors for termination in the middle of his term..

Washington Times, March 26, 1993

Senate and House Republicans yesterday blasted the White House and the Justice Department for giving pink slips to virtually all 93 U.S. attorneys, a move Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole called the "March massacre"…. Read more…

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