Think Progress - Samuel Alito's America
Turley: “There Will Be No One to the Right of Sam Alito on This Court”
No defense of record - Charge Anti-Italian Racism
"You can't say, 'Please don't be mean to me. Please let me win sometimes.' Give me a break here," Clinton said. "If you don't want to fight for the future and you can't figure out how to beat these people, then find something else to do."
"Meanwhile they will have undermined social programs and diminished democracy---which of course they hate---by transferring decisions out of the public arena into private hands. Internally, the legacy they leave will be painful and hard, but only for a majority of the population. The people they're concerned about are going to be making out like bandits, very much like during the Reagan years. Many of the same people are in power now, after all."
The posthumous purple heart rested near the folded American flag on the modest dining-room table of his parents' home in Cleveland. Edward (Augie) Schroeder, a Boy Scout turned Marine, was killed along with 13 other soldiers on their fifth trip into Al Hadithah, Iraq, to clean out insurgents. Their fifth trip. "When you do something over and over again expecting a different result," Augie's grieving father, Paul, told me, "that is the definition of insanity." As the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq reached 2,000 last week, Paul Schroeder concluded that the military had not sent enough troops to Iraq to do the job properly and that the president was incompetent: "My son's life was thrown away, his death was a waste."
Davis plays the equivalency game: for every Republican sin, he has to offer up a counterweight Democratic one. But Republicans have owned the government for five years now; there is no equivalency. There are no powerhouse Democratic lobbyists under indictment, if only because Tom DeLay has been so successful in purging Democratic lobbyists from K Street. There are no powerful Democratic Congressional leaders under indictment, if only because there are no powerful Democratic Congressional leaders. Democrats didn’t out a covert CIA agent; Democrats didn’t drag the nation into an illegal war based on bogus intelligence (although more than a few are complicit in the effort); Democrats didn’t institutionalize torture or strip US citizens of basic constitutional protections.
There is a national security issue here. Republicans are demonstrably more corrupt than Democrats. Hell, this isn’t even the only occasion on which the administration have blown the cover of a secret intelligence asset from purely political motives: in August of last year, the administration infuriated British and Pakistani intelligence services by leaking the name of a highly placed al Qaeda informant in order to justify an increase in the terror alert level, and in the process ruining counterterrorism operations in Britain and Pakistan.
For going on 40 years now, Democrats have gotten their asses kicked when it comes to hardball politics. Lanny Davis and Libby/Rove are emblematic of why. If Davis wants to wish a pox on both parties’ houses, he should probably wait until Democrats get a house.
"The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built up. They regard Christianity as the foundation of our national morality and the family as the basis of national life."Cue the flag waving.
On Larry King Thursday he put in a fiercely partisan performance on behalf of the Administration that's provided content for his last two best-sellers, taking on any panelist who deviated from GOP spin (transcript).
Woodward also emphasized that the effort to discredit Wilson took place after the war had started – as if somehow that meant it wasn't politically motivated, or a crime. After a few more feints, including a continued (if half-hearted) defense of Judith Miller (!), he made a remarkable assertion: that he had knew the contents of the CIA's damage assessment on the Plame outing, and that it wasn't all that bad.
Go to page 5 of the indictment. Top of the page, item #9.
On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Divison. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.
At all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.
“This investigation is not yet over,” one of the lawyers in the case said. “You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation. Rather than securing an indictment on perjury charges against Mr. Rove Mr. Fitzgerald strongly believes he can convince the grand jury that he broke other laws.”Hoping to contain the damage, Republicans turned against Libby. Several welcomed his resignation. Others said the legal system should run its course.
Attorney Cris Feldman, whose successful litigation on behalf of defeated candidates against DeLay aide Ellis, et al., has been put on hold pending resolution of the criminal charges, points out that "the effort to funnel corporate funding into the election campaign was massive yet secretive, and it was undertaken by many well-placed and powerful Republican officials in Austin." That's not to say Earle has the (actionable) goods on all of them, but the post-election boasting by GOP hearties (like Bill Hammond's "we blew the doors off!") make it clear that the effort was intentional, conscious, and an integral part of the overall Republican campaign.
It is by now perfectly clear that the neo-conservatives on the outside were aided by like-minded journalists, particularly the Times' Miller - then the only "straight" reporter on the client list of neoconservative heavyweights and columnists represented by Benador Associates - and media outlets, especially the Wall Street Journal's editorial page and Fox News. Working hand-in-glove with the war hawks on the inside, they created a powerful and persuasive machine to convince the public that Saddam Hussein's Iraq represented an imminent and potentially cataclysmic threat to the United States that had to be eliminated once and for all. The failure to investigate and demonstrate precisely how seamlessly this web of intra- and extra-administration connections worked in the run-up to the war - including perhaps in the concoction of the Niger yellowcake documents, as some former intelligence officials have recently suggested - has been perhaps the most shocking example of the mainstream media's failure to connect the dots (the reporters from Knight-Ridder excepted.)
... My real sorrow and ire is reserved for those who question, nay disparage, the patriotism and devotion to country of those Americans, like me, who were raised on civics classes that taught Constitutional ideals and still cling to those. I am an American. I am the scion of a proud military family. I am a BAPTIST, for goodness' sake, my husband and I moved to Texas so he could attend the most conservative Baptist theological SEMINARY in the country! Two of my nephews have served in this misbegotten war in Iraq, and my own daughter enlisted in the Air Force post-9/11 so SHE could go (only to be discharged medically before she could finish basic training). Don't tell ME I wish for more American deaths so I can blame George W. Bush.
The irrational right-wing hatred of moderate Democrat Bill Clinton should have informed us long ago that wingnuts were the logical inheritors of the Ku Klux Klan, no matter how they attempt to disguise it. The "Southern strategy" that has been so successful for the Republican Party is clear evidence that there is a large population segment that resembles too closely for comfort the German American Bund. The tragedy is that, just as pre-WWII, there are also a great many reasonable and non-racist Americans who believe that BushCo and the Republican Party represent some kind of tradition of fiscal responsibility and conservative values that, though accompanied by questionable foreign adventurism, can be trusted more than the propaganda they have swallowed regarding the Democratic "soak-the-rich-tax-and-spend-liberal" agenda. It's bewildering to me that otherwise intelligent people can disregard the evidence that the economy prospers better under Democratic leadership, despite the fact (or perhaps because????) that we support a living wage for working people, a shared tax burden, a prosperous middle class and initiatives that enable all those who are ambitious enough to move into it, and shared sacrifice in times of national crisis.
... Which, I ask, is the party that aligns itself with that which the Bible tells us is paramount with God, and which is not?
The shocking thing about the trellis of revelations showing Dick Cheney, the self-styled Mr. Strong America, as the central figure in dark conspiracies to juice up a case for war and demonize those who tried to tell the public the truth is how unshocking it all is.
It's exactly what we thought was going on, but we never thought we'd actually hear the lurid details: Cheney and Rummy, the two old compadres from the Nixon and Ford days, in a cabal running the country and the world into the ground, driven by their poisonous obsession with Iraq, while Junior is out of the loop, playing in the gym or on his mountain bike.
1. Newsbusters is going after a "Liberal media bias," while Media Matters goes after "Conservative misinformation in the media." The difference between bias and misinformation is huge, with the former being a caddy conversation while the latter is fact based.
2. Apparently, comedians and actors are going to be held to the coals in this revue of bias.
After all, how can we know what’s in their heart of hearts? Let’s not play psychic friends network.
But what if, instead of their “character”, we evaluate people based on their actions, and the consequences of their actions?
I’m going to bring in my homeboy Jeebus for this one:Matthew 7:15-20
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Maybe interpreting Bible quotes isn’t as easy as interpreting Big Lebowski quotes. But fear of inaccuracy or of jumping to conclusions never stopped me before.
The passage seems to say that you can tell evil people by what they do. They might appear to be OK on the surface, but they produce evil outcomes.
Evil people are people who do evil things and cause evil things to happen. They may have the best intentions, may be the most devout people out there and may have a great fitness regimen, but it doesn’t matter. They must be recognized for what they are and they must be stopped. Bad trees are useless to the community and must be cut down.
"These documents present irrefutable evidence that U.S. operatives tortured detainees to death during interrogations," said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU. "The public has a right to know who authorized the use of torture techniques and why these deaths have been covered up." The documents marked the latest in a drumbeat of reports that have been highly critical of the U.S. military's handling of prisoners since a spate of abuse cases at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were revealed graphically in a series of photographs of often-naked prisoners forced into humiliating poses.
After 46 years and 33 graphic novels Asterix, the pint-sized Gallic warrior and his porcine sidekick Obelix have finally taken a determined political slant in Asterix and the Falling Sky, the new Asterix adventure, which is filled with satirical flourishes aimed at cultural and political domination from the U.S. (and Japan). Over eight million copies of the new Asterix volume were released in 13 languages and 27 countries -- a clear indication that this Gallic creation is indeed the world's most popular comic book.
New York Times columnist David Brooks — the writer who best understands the dynamics of the contemporary Democratic Party, according to the smart boys at ABC's The Note — began a recent screed with the proclamation: "After a while, you get sick of the DeLays of the right and the Deans of the left." Note the implied equivalence between the corrupt and extreme Tom DeLay — who regularly compares the Environmental Protection Agency to the Nazis — and Howard Dean, a balanced-budget fiscal conservative and ally of the NRA whose "radical" position on Iraq now puts him to the right of most Americans.
Or how about the treatment meted out by smarty-pants pundits to Al Gore, one of the few politicians who have given voice to majority American positions on the war, the environment and the dishonesty and ideological obsessions of the Bush Administration. Brooks termed him "unhinged." Fred Barnes said he was "nutty." Charles Krauthammer, speaking, he said, in his capacity as a psychiatrist, called him on "the edge of looniness."
Think Progress - Many on the right claim that the Bush administration launched a smear campaign against Joe Wilson because his claims were false and they needed to set the record straight. The opposite is true. Wilson’s core conclusion – that intelligence “was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat” – was correct.
The truth is Joe Wilson was smeared for a reason much larger than himself. Wilson was smeared because the administration knew if whistle-blowers were able to speak freely, their justification for war would fall apart.
Republicans Testing Ways to Blunt Leak Charges - New York Times
On Sunday, Republicans appeared to be preparing to blunt the impact of any charges. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, speaking on the NBC news program "Meet the Press," compared the leak investigation with the case of Martha Stewart and her stock sale, "where they couldn't find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime."
Ms. Hutchison said she hoped "that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."
President Bush said several weeks ago that Mr. Fitzgerald had handled the case in "a very dignified way," making it more difficult for Republicans to portray him negatively.
On February 2, 1999, Hutchison stood with a bipartisan group of senators at a press conference announcing a resolution to open the Senate trial on the impeachment of President Clinton. At the time, Hutchison said it was vitally important to prosecute on perjury charges because telling the truth is the lynch pin of our criminal justice system:[S]omething needs to be said that is a clear message that our rule of law is intact and the standards for perjury and obstruction of justice are not gray. And I think it is most important that we make that statement and that it be on the record for history.Sen. Hutchison, what kind of message is it sending to grand juries to say that an indictment of perjury is not a crime, just a technicality? And what does that do to our criminal justice system?
I very much worry that with the evidence that we have seen that grand juries across America are going to start asking questions about what is obstruction of justice, what is perjury. And I don’t want there to be any lessening of the standard. Because our system of criminal justice depends on people telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That is the lynch pin of our criminal justice system and I don’t want it to be faded in any way.
The Bush White House is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history since President Warren G. Harding's, said Howard Dean
Dean said that if Democrats don't stand up for themselves, voters won't have any reason to believe they would be well-represented.
"We have to stand up and say who we are and why we believe what we believe," he said.
Dean said if the Democrats were to regain power, the party would be strong on national defense. He said the party never would send troops abroad without telling them the truth about why they were going, and without adequately arming them.
Dean said that Democrats also would make sure every American has access to health insurance.
"If 40 industrial nations can do it and balance the budget at the same time, it's time to have somebody in the White House who can chew gum and think at the same time," he said.
Dean said Republicans should not have interfered in the Terri Schiavo right-to-life case.
"I'm tired of the ayatollahs of the right wing," Dean said. "We're fighting for freedom in Iraq. We're going to fight for freedom in America."
Yesterday’s court proceeding in Austin, while a mere formality in what should prove to be a lengthy process, was nonetheless tremendously satisfying. After watching Tom DeLay act for the past 20 years as if the law is something that applies to other, lesser mortals, the Hammer is beginning to learn that karma can be a real bitch. Of course, DeLay, being the egomaniacal despot that he is, is hardly a man capable of admitting that he may in fact have stepped over the line. Accountability is, again, for other, lesser mortals.
DeLay’s tactics seem typical of someone used to getting his way without being held accountable. Despite the fact that 12 of the 15 indictments brought by Travis County DA Ronnie Earle have been against Democrats, DeLay has decided to attack his indictment as a political “witch hunt”. In addition, he’s now accusing the judge assigned to hear his case of being a partisan Democrat. Apparently, Judge Bob Perkins has donated to MoveOn.org, and that alone makes him, to DeLay’s twisted way of thinking, unfit to preside over his trial. Right; so unless the judge is a highly partisan, Red Meat Conservative, then DeLay feels he cannot get a fair trial? God, I cannot WAIT until DeLay becomes someone’s girlfriend.
As frightening as it is to contemplate a government that believes it can reframe reality to suit its own ends, we now have confirmation of the degree to which its supporters have swallowed (and thereby encouraged) this propaganda. A new study by the nonpartisan Program on International Policy Attitudes (affiliated with the University of Maryland) demonstrates what many of us have intuited for some time: support for George W. Bush is dependent upon a constellation of perceptions about the world that are all demonstrably false.
The statistics PIPA reports are not merely frightening; they are the stuff of nightmares:“Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.The PIPA study confirms what has been anecdotally obvious for some time. Attempts to remove the scales from the eyes of the Bush supporters generally fail because the conversation breaks down so quickly into fact vs. fantasy. We point to failure after failure, error upon error, lie after lie, yet reason gains no purchase on minds closed to all such evidence. In the other America, facts and logic simply don’t count.
Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff has offered a remarkably blunt criticism of the administration he served, saying that foreign policy had been usurped by a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal," and that President Bush has made the country more vulnerable, not less, to future crises.