18 July 2005

The Turd Baron of the Bushwaffe gets fitted for his parachute

AP has the dance:
Bush said in June 2004 that he would fire anyone in his administration shown to have leaked information that exposed the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame. On Monday, however, he added the qualifier that it would have be shown that a crime was committed.
Asked at a June 10, 2004, news conference if he stood by his pledge to fire anyone found to have leaked Plame's name, Bush answered, "Yes. And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts."
"...It's best people wait until the investigation is complete before you jump to conclusions. I don't know all the facts. I want to know all the facts," Bush said Monday. "I would like this to end as quickly as possible. If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."
I'd say "unbelieveable," but was there really any doubt we'd soon see the groundwork for giving the Blossom an out? Hopefully the press corps still has some spine left over from last week, but it certainly wasn't apparent judging by the way they gave Dubs a pass on his equivocating. At least the AP was on the stick and pointed out the backpedaling. The "straight shooter" rep, so carefully cultivated during the '04 con-game campaign, takes yet another hit.


A full week, and what else is there to say? (other than that Scooter Libby needs to be taken out to the woodshed, too.  Any doubts on which of those jokers gets thrown under the bus?)
You said it, Turd Blossom.
If you said it and knew what you were doing, you're a spiteful, nigh-traitorous ass.
If you said it and didn't think to ask, you're an utterly dull-witted, incompetant ass.
Either way, you shouldn't be trusted to run a hot dog cart.

07 July 2005

Isn't it ironic...don'tcha think?

Why'd we go into Iraq?

They had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

To reduce the threat of terrorism.

To free the Iraqi people, facilitating stability in the region through the spread of democracy in the face of despotic regimes.

Having not only failed to find WMD, but succeeded in turning the country into a summer camp for urban terrorists-in training, we were left with the third rationale...until this morning.
Iraq signs military pact with Iran

BAGHDAD - Iraq signed a military pact with Iran on Wednesday in a breakthrough with a former foe, but al Qaeda said it would kill Egypt's kidnapped envoy and attack more diplomats to stop the government winning international support.

Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi signed a pact in Tehran agreeing to accept Iranian military training and other cooperation with the country Iraq fought for a decade under ousted leader Saddam Hussein.

Responding to the suggestion that the thaw in ties with Iran would anger Washington, Dulaimi said: "Nobody can dictate to Iraq its relations with other countries." (Courtesy of Reuters)

Un. Real.

Evidently, this is what happens when strategy emerges from the Bizarro-world that is the Bush White House. Is it really possible, with even the most cursory of planning, to have a situation stray so fantastically far from its stated aims? Someone must've tripped over a black cat, fallen underneath a ladder, and broken the mirrors he was carrying, all while trying to open his umbrella indoors to garner that kind of luck.

First, "last throes" were steadily spiking violence and body counts. Then, "fighting terrorism" resulted in the creation of a training ground for new converts. Now "combatting oppression with Democracy" has managed to heal the rift between Iraq and a decades-old adversary and charter member of the Axis of Evil. A right, bang-up job, here, gentlemen.

Exactly how much pressure is the blooming Iraqi democracy going to put on the government of a neighbor that's helping it get its military back on its feet? How supportive is it going to be of the U.S. hardline stance against its new ally? No thinktank necessary on this one.

Falling short in achieving a stated objective is acceptable. Things happen; unpredictable variables can arise. But to have your efforts not only fail, but achieve results that are the polar opposite of what was desired? It's like Sherman salting the fields and Johnny Reb ending up with bumper crops...of Popeye-grade spinach.

At this rate, we're better off pretending North Korea doesn't even exist for the next four years. Christ knows what will happen if we turn our energies towards them.

Dozens dead...hundreds great opportunity to stay 'on message' (or, "Yet another reason FOX blows")

Thanks to Media Matters for spotting it (and none to FOX "News" for voicing it):
KILMEADE: And he [British PM Tony Blair] made the statement, clearly shaken, but clearly determined. This is his second address in the last hour. First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.

VARNEY: It puts the Number 1 issue right back on the front burner right at the point where all these world leaders are meeting. It takes global warming off the front burner. It takes African aid off the front burner. It sticks terrorism and the fight on the war on terror, right up front all over again.


Whew. For a minute there, it looked like this administration was going to have to address (on the world stage, at that) issues on which the vast majority of our citizens know it to be completely full of shit. Thankfully, for the sake of the entire Western World (apparently), it's able to return focus to a stronger topic--one where only about half our citizens know it to be full of shit.

That was a close one, wasn't it, Brian?

Just when I think FOX's bootlicking can't get any more despicable (following their oh-so-obedient regurgitation of the continued Bush/Rove rhetorical rape of the 9/11 dead) they come out with something like this while bodies are still being pulled from the Underground. People are dead, a nation is in mourning, and all Brian Kilmeade sees is a soapbox for making withering comments about how utterly foolish it is to devote time to addressing the environment or crises in developing nations. His air of condescention is positively staggering.

"Believe it or not, they were going to address such-and-such."

As if to say, "Now, hopefully you silly people understand what we knew all along."

What everyone should understand is what sort of crass, opportunistic shilling is being passed off as jounalism by the FOXagandists.

06 July 2005

O'Connor, my Connor...

We miss you already, Sandra D.

From the NYT:
For her part, Justice O'Connor voted in each case with the group that found the (Ten Commandments) displays unconstitutional, a surprising development given her past voting record. She explained herself in a concurring opinion in the Kentucky case, McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union, No. 03-1693, which was decided with a majority opinion by Justice David H. Souter.

"It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs," Justice O'Connor said in her concurring opinion. "But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment."

Justice O'Connor said the country had worked well, when compared with nations gripped by religious violence, by keeping religion "a matter for the individual conscience, not for the prosecutor or bureaucrat." She added: "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"
Imagine that: respect for both sides while focusing on the law. If the absence of that isn't an "extraordinary circumstance," I don't know what is.

05 July 2005

Sandy, Sandy, Sandy, I can't let you go. Life is crazy, Sandy, baby

Last November, whenever I talked to someone who was undecided on the election (few as there were) and he/she asked me what crucial difference had me voting for John Kerry, I consistently answed with two words: Supreme Court. Positions on terrorism, Iraq, the economy, and the environment, aside, the SCOTUS vacancies expected in the next four years would shape this country for decades to come, and in ways that would directly affect the daily life of its citizens. High court appointees not being the most intuitive of x-factors, my suddenly gravely serious insistances were most often met with, "You really think so?"
Now, nine months later, like some jurisprudential Rosemary's Baby, what should emerge from the womb of our constitutional legal system? Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement in advance of the (even more) expected departures of William Rehnquist (b. 1924) and John Paul Stevens (b. 1920).
This could make the John Bolton nomination look like a garden party.
Said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) while making the rounds of the morning shows, "The president is going to choose a conservative," but added, "I don't think he's going to choose a right-wing conservative."
And you don't think that...why, Senator?
"Moderation" and "compromise" have hardly been hallmarks of this administration. The axiom of "My way or the highway," on the other hand, has. One need only look so far as the aforementioned Bolton debacle, where, rather than risk the impression of "giving in" to his opponents' requests, the president steadfastly refuses to provide information even though to do so would, in all likelihood, get him the up-or-down vote he demands. Beyond that, we saw our Uniter-Not-Divider-in Chief use his re-election, not to broaden the cooperation that got 95% of his judicial nominees approved, but to drive the Senate to the brink of implosion by ramming through the handful that lacked that support.
For all of our sakes, I hope Sen. Hatch is right is his assessment of the situation, but there's definitely an ill-wind blowing when we're already seeing things like this emanating from the radical Christians who make up the president's base:
"Although we applaud her decision to step down and care for her ailing husband, her 'swing-vote' status on the Supreme Court over the issues of abortion and homosexual rights wrought more havoc upon our nation than our foreign enemies ever have." --Rev. Benham of Operation Save America
Yep, another fundy calling judges a greater danger than terrorists.

Belated but still beloved

Independence, n. Freedom from control or influence of another or others.

Surrounded as we are by the now-constant exploitation of certain images, not to mention words, like "patriot," and "freedom," on (or just after) this day of legitimate flag-waving, it's good to remember what we're really celebrating, and how simple an idea it is.

To be sure, taking "independence" to an extreme would mean total lawlessness, something which, I have no doubts, many conservative ideologues believe to be their opponents' goal and driving force. So let's preclude any accusations of advocating anarchy with just one more word: "undue."

Freedom from undue control or influence of another or others.

Now what is or isn't "due," is, undoubtedly, a source for more debate, but it's a step in the right direction, and at the very least, something to think about when the public discourse turns to rights, freedoms, and what constitutes American/Unamerican.

When labels like that are being thrown about, from one end of the political spectrum to the other, ask yourself this: who is working to guarantee what people can do and who is working to dictate what people can't?

With their bodies.

With their loved ones.

With their ideas.

Who among us is standing up for real independence?

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