Friday, June 29, 2007

Froomkin on Confidence

Dan Froomkin has a great post today on the collapse of Bush,immigration, and his support in general. But the key part of the post is his take on Bu$hCo and their absurd, unwarranted over-confidence in their own judgment and infallibility. They've been wrong on everything they've expounded on, and Froomkin weighs in:

Their Confidence is Meaningless


Bush and Vice President Cheney's optimistic predictions about the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular have proved to be almost completely and consistently wrong for years now. ("Last throes," anyone?)

Before the 2006 election, White House political guru Karl Rove was supremely self-assured in his public predictions of Republican victory.

White House spokesman Tony Snow recently assured the press corps that Bush had enough votes in the Senate on the immigration bill. "I'll see you at the bill signing," Bush himself told a skeptical journalist on June 11.

Bush and his staff's credibility regarding statements of "fact" is a frequent subject of debate. But their track record on predictions is something else entirely. The evidence is pretty overwhelming that those predictions are unreliable.

I mention this because Bush's core argument against a troop drawdown in Iraq -- something supported by a large majority of Americans -- is basically a prediction. As he put it again yesterday: "If we withdraw before the Iraqi government can defend itself, we would yield the future of Iraq to terrorists like al Qaeda -- and we would give a green light to extremists all throughout a troubled region. The consequences for America and the Middle East would be disastrous."


I really think the only place 'confidence' has any application to Bu$hCo is when you use it in the sentence: 'They're all a bunch of confidence men!'

When I first started the blog, the banner had my motto of 'Not always right, but never uncertain' in the masthead. I think they've gone me one better since they're always wrong, but never uncertain.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why We Have to Win the WH

Three words.... supreme court justices (I' ve been saying this since Nov 00, but 6.5 years later, it's becoming critical....)

More here

Like Israel?

How freaking dumb are these guys?

President Bush held up Israel as a model for defining success in Iraq, saying Thursday the U.S. goal there is not to eliminate attacks but to enable a democracy that can function despite violence.


Josh sums it up pretty well:

Where do they come up with these guys? Which speech writer wrote that? Sometimes stupidity rises to the level of a high crime.


Ignore the fact that it's just a stupid thing to say; even if it were brilliant strategy, how well do you think a comparison to Israel is gonna sell in mullah-land?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fish Nor Fowl

Froomkin tackles Cheney's absurdist arguments that he's not answerable to pretty much anybody cuz he's neither really executive or truly legislative, but unique (I'll grant the unique part and murmur 'thank ya, Jesus!') He gives us the money quote from Waxman:

Henry Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the Oversight Committee, begs to differ, and wrote a letter to Cheney this morning saying so.

"Your office may have the worst record in the executive branch for safeguarding classified information," Waxman wrote, noting the recent conviction of former vice presidential chief of staff I Lewis "Scooter" Libby for obstructing justice by lying about his role in disclosing the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.

"Given this record, serious questions can be raised about both the legality and the advisability of exempting your office from the rules that apply to all other executive branch officials."

See Ralph Run

Kos sums up Nader's contemplation of an 08 run:

Yup, he's still an idiot.

Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election that offers little real choice to voters.

"You know the two parties are still converging -- they don't even debate the military budget anymore," Nader said in a 30-minute interview. "I really think there needs to be more competition from outside the two parties."

Anyone who clings to the fiction that President Al Gore would've been no different than President George W. Bush is beyond redemption.

A Silly Rumor....

... put to rest, and Matt Drudge headbutted at the same time... priceless!

More Popcorn

Before the election, I wanted the Dems to get at least one house of Congress so we could have us some fine ol' investigations. Well, I got my wish in spades: Gonzo, the entire DOJ, Libbygate, Abramoff and friends, and on and on. And now, a new, and potential truly entertaining(in the way that car wrecks and the Hindenburg are entertaining) one in the form of Halliburton. Time to pop that corn and line up the cold beverages!!

Morons

Are Repugs born stupid or does it take repeated dropping on their heads.

Right On

Digby gave a great speech yesterday about bloggers, who we are, what we believe, etc (liberal bloggers anyway) Glenn Greenwald expands and expounds on this quite well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Casual Lawbreaking

Froomkin focuses on the recent revelations out of the WH/Executive Branch today. Good stuff.

New evidence unearthed by House Democrats establishes that White House political adviser Karl Rove and many of his colleagues used Republican National Committee e-mail accounts for official business -- even though White House policy is clear that doing so is a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

How did such casual lawbreaking come to be so widespread? And why was it tolerated? Those are among the questions the White House has yet to answer satisfactorily.

Line of the Day

From Josh's great discussion of the brouhaha over Reid calling Pace incompetent (and the 'similar' non-brouhaha over McCain saying much the same to/of Casey):

Some principles are clear and worth repeating: You can't have a war for democracy fought by people whose principles are authoritarian and anti-democratic. It's not a throwaway line or a barb. It's the only pivot around which to understand the Bush years.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

VA At It Again

Hot on the heels of their expose of Walter Reed, Dana Priest and Anne Hull of the Washington Post take on the VA and their (mis)treatment of PTSD sufferers. It's damning, particularly from the 'support the troops' faction that runs our government. Gentlemen, have you no sense of decency?

Update: Josh weighs in

Coveriing Up the Cover Up?

Is Abu Ghraib about to rear its ugly, hooded head again? Maybe so. Sy Hersh has an article in the new New Yorker about Gen. Tacuba, the man who headed the investigation (apparently, aborted) into Abu Ghraib, and some of the facts are explosive (if not unexpected.) Check out Josh's coverage and follow the links, but not if you've eaten recently.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How Disorganized are the Repugs?

From devilstower at dkos:

We may worry on this site about the bickering and support of one candidate over the other. Republicans can be reassured that they don't have that problem. They're not passionate about anyone.

Of those 304 [Republican] voters surveyed, a grand total of 18 say they've "definitely decided" to vote for their candidate. That's 6 percent. Given the +/- 5.3 percent margin of error, it's possible that nobody in New Hampshire has made up their minds.

Friday, June 15, 2007

No, Not Billy Crystal......

His father is loathesome enough, but Bill Kristol is perhaps even more dangerous, because of his omnipresence (at least on Fox), and his smoother charm. Kevin summarizes the putz.

Way to Go, Hometown!

I was born and raised in Dallas, so it's with GREAT surprise that I read this article on msnbc.com. Apparently, one of the two candidates for mayor (in Sat's runoff) is gay AND the race is too close to call. Whodathunkit? In Dallas?!?!? Kewl!

Too Funny

Two of the top officials of the CA Repug party operation are... wait for it.... an Australian and a Canadian, at least one of them working on an H-1B visa. The irony is too rich during these anti-immigrant days.

Scooter Changes Name to Pokey

Cuz that's where he's heading! Judge Walton says off you go!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Free Paris!

Kevin does the heavy lifting to show us that Paris is being singled out for harsh treatment. Call me when I truly care!

Outing

The other day, a campaign aide in the Tancredo campaign was outed rather nastily. I'm not a big fan of outing, generally, but this kid is so patently loathesome, that stopping this way MAY be acceptable. Check out Americablog for comment and links...

Fool Me Once.....

CNN is reporting that the US is announcing that it has 'irrefutable' proof that Iran (as in the Revolutionary Guard) is arming terrorist groups throughout the Middle East (the report used the term 'all', which strikes me as absurd, or at least VERY ambitious). Didn't we have irrefutable, unimpeachable, god's-honest-truth evidence that Saddam had really bad, scary WMDs?

The thing that worries me is a) that we'll all swallow this lie and bomb-bomb-bomb Iran and b) that it might be true, but this will be the time the little dumbfuck boy cries wolf and no one believes him. It's gotten to the point that if these people told me the sun is coming up in the east tomorrow, I'd want independent verification. CNN is reporting as 'fact', so apparently the MSM is still willing to believe anything they say, without any verification. I don't know which worries more: the MSM's willing to follow these guys unquestioningly off cliff after cliff or that we might stop believing them altogether at just the wrong time (even a stopped clock, etc......)

UPDATE: Josh points out the idiocy

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too True

Dan Froomkin has a nugget from Glenn Greenwald in today's post, in re the support for Libby:

"It is difficult to recall a single episode which has been more revealing of our political culture than the collective Beltway horror over the plight of the poor, maltreated and persecuted (and convicted felon) Lewis Libby. It is hardly surprising that the right-wing movement of which he is a part operates from the premise that their comrades ought to be exempt from political prosecution even when they commit felonies. . . .

"But what the Libby case demonstrates is that so many establishment journalists believe this just as religiously. . . .

"There is no class of people more defensive of the prerogatives of political power than our 'journalist' class, even though, in a healthy and functioning democracy, the exact opposite would be true."


My disgust with most of the MSM is boundless these days. In the 'good old days', reporters and particularly political reporters, were the ultimate outsiders. They were, almost without exception, revolted by most politicians' venality and greed (and in the 'good old days', they were pikers compared to today's lot), and if they didn't always 'speak truth to power', they were at least willing to cy 'BULLSHIT!' These days, they mostly shout 'where's my invitation to the cocktail party?'

I know we aren't going to see the MoDos and Broders replace en masse with hard working, skeptical journalists, but could we at least get every pundit who wrote a letter supporting Libby to Judge Walton fired?

Monday, June 11, 2007

YAY

Genarlow Wilson, the Georgia teen convicted of being a sexual predator for having oral sex with his 15 yo girlfriend when he was 17, has had his conviction voided and his release from incarceration ordered today. In an attack of idiocy (sadly, common in the GA government), the state has decided to appeal, even tho the underlying law has been repealed.

Repugs Save Useless Hunk of Meat

Senate Repugs blocked the no-confidence vote against Abu Gonzales.

No to Indefinite Detention

It may a little soon to start celebrating the return of the rule of law, but there are encouraging signs from the courts.

A federal appeals court today ruled that the U.S. government cannot indefinitely imprison a U.S. resident on suspicion alone, and ordered the military to either charge Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri with his alleged terrorist crimes in a civilian court or release him.

The opinion is a major blow to the Bush administration's assertion that as the president seeks to combat terrorism, he has exceptionally broad powers to detain without charges both foreign citizens abroad and those living legally in the United States. The government is expected to appeal the 2-1 decision handed down by a three-judge panel of the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which is in Richmond, Va.

...

"The President cannot eliminate constitutional protections with the stroke of a pen by proclaiming a civilian, even a criminal civilian, an enemy combatant subject to indefinite military detention," the panel found. "Put simply, the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants.' "

...

"This is an important victory for the rights of all individuals in this country to be free from unchecked executive detention power," said Jonathan Hafetz, al-Marri's lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University law school. "If the government seeks to detain someone, it has the burden of producing its evidence in a court of law."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

No-Con to the NeoCon

Tomorrow, the Senate will consider a no-confidence vote on Atty Gen Gonzales. Let your Senators know that YOU have no confidence in him, and ask them to reflect that in their vote.

Colin Goes Off

As reported at TPM (via Politcal Animal & ThinkProgess, from msnbc), Colin Powell does NOT like Gitmo:

As Kevin Drum noted, Colin Powell's description of what should be the U.S. policy towards Guantanamo Bay was clear, concise, and right.

"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it," he said.

"And I would not let any of those people go," he said. "I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, well then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?"

He added, “[E]very morning I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds,” Powell said. “[W]e have shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open… We don’t need it, and it’s causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.”

Now, was that so hard?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Oh My God! Not YOURS, MINE!

One of my hot buttons is the separation of church and state (and yes, it's been a bad six years, thanks for asking!) This post just makes me wanna make an unjoyful noise!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pace Out

Gen Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is resigning (?). Will Bush find another malleable mouthpiece? Is the Pope an ex-Nazi?

Paris Back in Jail

Okay, now I'm confusing myself.... I'm starting to side with Paris. Haven't seen a summary or transcript online yet (maybe LAT later?), but Sheriff Baca gave an interview earlier and explained the position of the Sheriff's Dept. Basically.... due to the overcrowding in the LA Jail, and the Federal Court decree, 'excess' prisoners are dealt with by holding them for a portion of their sentences and then letting them go. There were several levels, of which Paris falls into the lowest category, and as such was due to be released after spending 10% of her sentence in jail; she probably shouldn't even have had to be monitored, if she'd been anyone else. Plus, there's the medical thing (psych), but no one can give details, due to privacy.

Anyway, I'm now starting to wonder if she's not a recipient of 'special/celebrity' justice, but in reverse. She's not getting off light, she's being made an example? I don't know, but if anyone knows more, let me know

UPDATE: Wow! I feel validated! James Wolcott agrees with me! :)

Bandar's Billions

I don't know what to make of this, but it sure is interesting.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I Prefer the Crillon, Actually

Paris Hilton got out today. According to the local news, the non-sheriff portions of law enforcement are OUTRAGED and working diligently to put her scrawny ass back in jail. I'm pretty much anti-Paris, so this strikes me as a good thing, particularly in the interest of equal justice for all.

Immigration Bill

According to Politico, it's dead.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Restore Habeas

Sign Sen. Leahy's petition.

Congrats!

A couple of miles down the freeway, the Anaheim (no longer Mighty) Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators to win the Stanley Cup. I don't really give a rat's patoot about hockey, but hey! it's local, so I say congrats, neighbors!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Schlozman Appears and Lies

Bradley Schlozman, the DOJ voter fraud flunky, appeared in front of the Senate today and from the sounds of it, lied his ass off. TPM has extensive coverage/analysis.

Sound of 10 Dogs Yapping

For your viewing pleasure, the Republican Preznit Primary Debate from NH is on the tube tonight. If you're strong of stomach, or weak of mind, feel free to watch and weep.

Libby Gets 30 Months

Scooter Libby was sentenced today to 30 months in the federal pokey for his lying ways in l'affaire Plame. When he will begin serving is up in the air, but the judge doesn't appear to be leaning towards any leniency.

The federal judge who presided over the case indicated that he may not be sympathetic to allowing Libby to remain free pending appeal, but scheduled a hearing on the matter for next week.

"Evidence in this case overwhelmingly indicated Mr. Libby's culpability," U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said moments before he handed out the sentence. The judge said he was sentencing Libby "with a sense of sadness. I have the highest respect for people who take positions in our government and appreciate tremendously efforts they bring to bear to protect this country."


An appeal is expected, but:

Walton instructed both sides to submit arguments about whether Libby should remain free pending appeal and said he would rule after a hearing June 14. Walton's remarks were a surprise to several legal experts who had expected that Walton would follow frequent court practice of releasing white collar criminals pending appeal.

Walton said he saw no significant issues on which he believed Libby would prevail on appeal. If the defense does not persuade Walton that Libby should remain free week, Libby probably would report to federal prison authorities in 45 to 60 days.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Debate

Now that I've had a day to think about it and let it sort of stew, I'll address (aren't you thrilled?!?!?!) the Dem Debate last night. It basically boils down to 1) Hillary looked really good 2) Edwards didn't look great (not bad, just not up with HRC and Obama) 3) the rest of the field (those 'behind' HRC, Edwards, and Obama) should just quit now- they're not ready for prime time and no amount of pub is going to fix that.

best overall roundup (point by point) is at TPM's Election Central

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What It Means....

Paul Hodes gave a humdinger of a speech at yesterday's NH Dem convention. misslaura is kind enough to transcribe it at dKos:

To be a Democrat in this modern age means to inherit a fearful nation and give it new confidence and new strength. It means creating policies that transform our nation into something stronger and more compassionate than it was before. Our great opportunity is to build on the legacy of the Democratic Party, adapt it to modern times and lead with strength and clarity. To paraphrase John Fitzgerald Kennedy, we look forward and not behind. We welcome new ideas without rigid reaction. We care about people, their health, their housing, their jobs, their schools, their civil rights, and their civil liberties. And we believe that we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad.


There's a lot more... read it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sad News

Ueber-blogger Steve Gilliard died today after a long illness.

One More Time

The Feebs have arrested four (well, three down and one to go) 'mastermind terrorists' who planned to blow up JFK and yadda yadda yadda. I'm glad the police system worked and the let's torture the info out of them wasn't involved, but even the DHS has announced this whole plan was unworkable. If this is the best of the terrorists, then let's just declare victory in the GWOT and let the police/intel community get on with their work.

Friday, June 01, 2007

EEP!

From TPM Election Central:

Cato Institute: The Voters Are Ignorant And Proud Of It
Bryan Caplan at the Cato Institute has a fascinating new essay out, arguing what many of us have suspected for quite some time: The voters are stupid. "I offer an alternative story of how and why democracy fails," Caplan writes. "The central idea is that voters are worse than ignorant; they are, in a word, irrational — and they vote accordingly. Despite their lack of knowledge, voters are not humble agnostics; instead, they confidently embrace a long list of misconceptions."

Read the linked article... it's scary. Note: it's a pdf and fairly long, but not too dense (unlike the electorate, apparently!)

Yawn

Slow day, slow week..... not much happening overall that sparks the old politicometer. Most of what was news was just rehashing of old stories (or mildly different takes on them) or the MSM realizing that what the blogosphere has been saying for years is true (50 years in Iraq is for oil and regional dominance, not for establishing democracy, etc.)

Congress is back next week so maybe some new news!

Google+ Badge