Monday, April 17, 2006

Taking a break

If you visit here with any regularity, you may have noticed some sporadic absences of late. I've been traveling a lot to my folks' to be with them as much as I could.

My mother passed away March 31. She was an incredible woman and I owe so much of who I am and what I believe to both her and my father.

My father is in a nursing home and not doing so well. I was away visiting him and other family members this past Easter weekend, and will likely go back up there again soon.

In the meantime, I'm planning to take a pretty major vacation, for nearly two weeks to Thailand, starting in a week or so. This is my third try for this vacation trip; the first two planned trips had to be canceled at the last minute due to family concerns. Here's hoping third time is the charm. If it is, I'll try to give a report here later.

When I get back in May, I'll do my best to pick this blog back up. It's cathartic for me, a way to deal with the incredible world in which we live. So I don't think I can stop. We'll see.

I wish you all the best, and I hope to see you back here in a few weeks. Take care.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

NYT Editorial: It's a BAD Leak

A Bad Leak - New York Times: "President Bush says he declassified portions of the prewar intelligence assessment on Iraq because he 'wanted people to see the truth' about Iraq's weapons programs and to understand why he kept accusing Saddam Hussein of stockpiling weapons that turned out not to exist. This would be a noble sentiment if it actually bore any relationship to Mr. Bush's actions in this case, or his overall record.

Mr. Bush did not declassify the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq — in any accepted sense of that word — when he authorized I. Lewis Libby Jr., through Vice President Dick Cheney, to talk about it with reporters. He permitted a leak of cherry-picked portions of the report. The declassification came later.

And this president has never shown the slightest interest in disclosure, except when it suits his political purposes. He has run one of the most secretive administrations in American history, consistently withholding information and vital documents not just from the public, but also from Congress. Just the other day, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the House Judiciary Committee that the names of the lawyers who reviewed Mr. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program were a state secret."

Check out the whole thing.

Friday, April 14, 2006

BBC: Rumsfeld resignation calls grow

BBC NEWS | Americas | Rumsfeld resignation calls grow: "Pressure is growing on US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, with more retired generals calling for him to resign over the Iraq war.

The White House has said it is happy with the way Mr Rumsfeld is handling his job and the situation in Iraq.

But the backing comes as the number of retired generals calling for him to be replaced has risen to six.

It is being described as a rebellion led by those who know Mr Rumsfeld's handling of the war from the inside."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

William Sloane Coffin Jr. RIP

William Sloane Coffin Jr.; Chaplain Was Lifelong 'Disturber of the Peace': "Mr. Coffin called himself a 'Christian revolutionary' and believed that his outspoken activism sprang from the principles of his faith."

Would that thousands would rise up to take his place.

AMERICAblog: The reality in Iran

AMERICAblog: John in DC has a terrific presentation on what's going on in Iran and why Bush is using it: "George Bush has decided to use Iran as a foil to help his sagging poll numbers and to help Republicans in the fall congressional elections. I'm going to discuss why this is true, and what the Dems should do about it.

Iran is ten years away from developing nukes.

I'll say it again, TEN YEARS away. That would be TEN YEARS at the earliest, according to the best estimate we have. And that's not according to some peacenik liberal, it's according to the best estimate of US intelligence.

From the US State Department's own Web site:

Iran is likely years away from producing weapons-grade plutonium or highly enriched uranium. Vice Adm. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2005 that Iran is expected to be able to produce a weapon early next decade. According to one report, the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran assesses that it will be ten years before Iran has a bomb.

And I'm sure you'll find this to be a big shock, but the State Department didn't bother mentioning that the five year 'sometime early next decade' estimate has now been overruled by this ten year estimate. Yes, the 'according to one report' reference State makes in its document, that would be THE definitive federal government report on this issue, not just 'one' report. State conveniently mentions the now-debunked five-year estimate by the DIA director to, one might suspect, confuse the issue and shorten the time span."

Go read the whole post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

AMERICAblog: WaPo spins Cheney's boos

AMERICAblog compares the WaPo report with the pool report (and see link to video below): "The Washington Post is reporting that Cheney was booed today at a baseball game for throwing out a bad first pitch.

The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider. For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon.

Uh, no.

According to the pool report from the game, Cheney wasn't booed for throwig a bad pitch, Cheney was booed from the moment he stepped out onto the field. He was booed because the fans don't like him, not because they simply didn't like his pitch."

WaPo: Another Bush bald-faced war-pimping lie revealed

Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War: "On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile 'biological laboratories.' He declared, 'We have found the weapons of mass destruction.'

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped 'secret' and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Think Progress: Cheney Loudly Booed During First Pitch

Think Progress has the VIDEO: Cheney Loudly Booed During First Pitch

Think Progress: Cheney Loudly Booed During First Pitch

Think Progress has the VIDEO: Cheney Loudly Booed During First Pitch

Think Progress: Experts Speak: No Good Military Options in Iran

Think Progress-- Experts Speak: No Good Military Options in Iran. Here's a good summary of expert opinion on what we should do militarily in Iran (nothing).

LATimes: Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

Los Angeles Times: This is what's wrong with right wing religious groups--God help us. Have they even read the Gospels?: "Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.

The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. 'Christians,' he said, 'are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian.'

In that spirit, the Christian Legal Society, an association of judges and lawyers, has formed a national group to challenge tolerance policies in federal court. Several nonprofit law firms — backed by major ministries such as Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ — already take on such cases for free.

The legal argument is straightforward: Policies intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination end up discriminating against conservative Christians. Evangelicals have been suspended for wearing anti-gay T-shirts to high school, fired for denouncing Gay Pride Month at work, reprimanded for refusing to attend diversity training. When they protest tolerance codes, they're labeled intolerant."

AP: White House tied to N.H. vote tampering case

AP: Records in N.H. Case Show White House Ties...this could be huge: "Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.

The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 — as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.

The national Republican Party, which paid millions in legal bills to defend Tobin, says the contacts involved routine election business and that it was 'preposterous' to suggest the calls involved phone jamming.

The Justice Department has secured three convictions in the case but hasn't accused any White House or national Republican officials of wrongdoing, nor made any allegations suggesting party officials outside of New Hampshire were involved. The phone records of calls to the White House were exhibits in Tobin's trial but prosecutors did not make them part of their case.

Democrats plan to ask a federal judge Tuesday to order GOP and White House officials to answer questions about the phone jamming in a civil lawsuit alleging voter fraud."

AMERICAblog: Die-Hard GOPer disgusted with Bush

AMERICAblog: John has snippets from a blog on the conservative National Review site by George Conway, a rock-ribbed Rep... and he can no longer stomach the administration. John's conclusion: "In one fell swoop, George Bush isn't just turning independents off of the Republican party, he's turning die-hard Republicans away."

AMERICAblog: Bush spreads lies, AP buys his spin

AMERICAblog: John corrects the AP account: "Okay, and do you think it might be relevant to include in the AP story the fact that the information that Bush leaked in order to supposedly 'spread the truth' was in fact information that had already been proven wrong months BEFORE Bush authorized it to be leaked?

In other words, Bush wasn't spreading the truth, he was intentionally spreading lies. Do you think you'd find that relevant?"

This is what galled me about Bush's response to a question about the leak in the first place. He says he "just wanted to get the truth out." Only problem, it ain't true.

Monday, April 10, 2006

C&L: Shuster's video report on the Leak

Crooks and Liars has it from MSNBC. Why Iraq Was a Mistake Why Iraq Was a Mistake (hat tip Americablog): "Two senior military officers are known to have challenged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the planning of the Iraq war. Army General Eric Shinseki publicly dissented and found himself marginalized. Marine Lieut. General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's top operations officer, voiced his objections internally and then retired, in part out of opposition to the war. Here, for the first time, Newbold goes public with a full-throated critique."


E&P's Mitchell: 'The Washington Post': At War With Itself

'The Washington Post': At War With Itself: "The newspaper's editorial page on Sunday declared Scooter Libby's notorious 2003 gift to reporters 'The Good Leak.' On the same paper's front page two reporters thoroughly debunked the notion."

The blogosphere is singing this morning with a plethora of posts refuting the Post's Sunday editorial, many of them refuting point after point. Mitchell at Editor & Publisher is just one in the chorus.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Firedoglake: Tearing apart the WaPo's pro-Bush-leak editorial

Firedoglake - Does Fred Hiatt Even Read the Washington Post? I read the post editorial and couldn't believe how butt-kissy it was. Jane tears 'em a new one.

WaPo: A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic

A 'Concerted Effort' to Discredit Bush Critic: "As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a 'concerted action' by 'multiple people in the White House' -- using classified information -- to 'discredit, punish or seek revenge against' a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

Bluntly and repeatedly, Fitzgerald placed Cheney at the center of that campaign. Citing grand jury testimony from the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Fitzgerald fingered Cheney as the first to voice a line of attack that at least three White House officials would soon deploy against former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV."

NYT: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord

U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord - New York Times: "An internal staff report by the United States Embassy and the military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces 'serious' and one 'critical.' The report is a counterpoint to some recent upbeat public statements by top American politicians and military officials."

Daily Kos: Pentagon Palace Coup Against Bush/Cheney

Daily Kos has a diary by Valtin with a fascinating take: "Why are the big media finally now frontpaging the Plame scandal and the machinations of Bush and Cheney in the run-up to the Iraq War? In part, the authority of special prosecutor Fitzgerald, with the Justice Department apparatus behind him, has emboldened them. But I will argue briefly here that it is the Pentagon, or a significant faction within it, that is strenuously pushing this story to wound or bring down Bush.

This is the conclusion I draw from reading Seymour Hersh's must read New Yorker article, 'The Iran Plans: Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?'"

Saturday, April 08, 2006

WaPo: U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran

WaPo reports on Bush's plans for he really this crazy? : "The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.

No attack appears likely in the short term, and many specialists inside and outside the U.S. government harbor serious doubts about whether an armed response would be effective. But administration officials are preparing for it as a possible option and using the threat 'to convince them this is more and more serious,' as a senior official put it.

According to current and former officials, Pentagon and CIA planners have been exploring possible targets, such as the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although a land invasion is not contemplated, military officers are weighing alternatives ranging from a limited airstrike aimed at key nuclear sites, to a more extensive bombing campaign designed to destroy an array of military and political targets.

Preparations for confrontation with Iran underscore how the issue has vaulted to the front of President Bush's agenda even as he struggles with a relentless war in next-door Iraq. Bush views Tehran as a serious menace that must be dealt with before his presidency ends, aides said, and the White House, in its new National Security Strategy, last month labeled Iran the most serious challenge to the United States posed by any country.

Many military officers and specialists, however, view the saber rattling with alarm. A strike at Iran, they warn, would at best just delay its nuclear program by a few years but could inflame international opinion against the United States, particularly in the Muslim world and especially within Iran, while making U.S. troops in Iraq targets for retaliation.


AP: Bush Left Leak Details to Cheney

Lawyer: Bush Left Leak Details to Cheney on Yahoo! News: "President Bush declassified sensitive intelligence in 2003 and authorized its public disclosure to rebut Iraq war critics, but he did not specifically direct that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, be the one to disseminate the information, an attorney knowledgeable about the case said Saturday.

Bush merely instructed Cheney to 'get it out' and left the details to him, said the lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case for the White House. The vice president chose Libby and communicated the president's wishes to his then-top aide, the lawyer said.

It is not known when the conversation between Bush and Cheney took place. The White House has declined to provide the date when the president used his authority to declassify the portions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, a classified document that detailed the intelligence community's conclusions about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The new information about Bush and Cheney's roles came as the president's aides have scrambled to defuse the political fallout from a court filing Wednesday by the prosecutors in the complex, ongoing investigation into whether the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame was disclosed to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an Iraq war critic."

Wired News: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room

Wired News: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room: "AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.

Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit in support of the EFF's lawsuit this week. That class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco last January, alleges that AT&T violated federal and state laws by surreptitiously allowing the government to monitor phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants."

The Raw Story: White House 'declassified' argument at odds with event timeline

The Raw Story | White House 'declassified' argument at odds with event timeline: "White House spokesman Scott McClellan today attempted to justify, rather than deny, allegations that President Bush authorized a leak of classified information to reporters in summer 2003.

'There is a difference between providing declassified information to the public when it's in the public interest and leaking classified information that involved sensitive national intelligence regarding our security,' McClellan told reporters at a White House press briefing.

The White House, it seems, is attempting to argue that if Libby's allegations are true, the information was not leaked by definition. Rather, it was declassified by the President because it was in the public's interest.

McClellan stated that while the information Bush may have ordered disclosed was in the interest of national security, the revelation of the warrantless NSA domestic wiretap program was an example of a leak that was not.

On July 18, 2003, McClellan told the White House Press Corps that the 'information was just, as of today, officially declassified.' However, Libby spoke to reporters ten days earlier, according to the indictment, on July 8 of that year."

AP: US considers use of nuclear weapons against Iran

AP on Seymour Hersch's New Yorker story-- US considers use of nuclear weapons against Iran: "The administration of President George W. Bush is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a key Iranian suspected nuclear weapons facility, The New Yorker magazine has reported in its April 17 issue.

The article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said that Bush and others in the White House have come to view Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a potential Adolf Hitler.

'That's the name they're using,' the report quoted a former senior intelligence official as saying.

A senior unnamed Pentagon adviser is quoted in the article as saying that 'this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war.'

The former intelligence officials depicts planning as 'enormous,' 'hectic' and 'operational,' Hersh writes.

One former defense official said the military planning was premised on a belief that 'a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government,' The New Yorker pointed out.

In recent weeks, the president has quietly initiated a series of talks on plans for Iran with a few key senators and members of the House of Representatives, including at least one Democrat, the report said.

One of the options under consideration involves the possible use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, to insure the destruction of Iran's main centrifuge plant at Natanz, Hersh writes.

But the former senior intelligence official said the attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the military, and some officers have talked about resigning after an attempt to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans in Iran failed, according to the report."

TAPPED: Greg Sargent on Waas's big, and nearly ignored scoop

TAPPED: April 2006 Archives: "Before this point gets lost in the din of the latest leak disclosures, it needs to be said, as loudly as possible, that the big story has yet to be told, and in that regard, Murray Waas's previous scoop about Karl Rove is even more important -- and more deserving of mainstream media attention -- in light of the new revelations.

In that piece, Waas reported that a classified one-page summary of the now-notorious National Intelligence Estimate was given to Bush, which says that some intelligence officials had serious doubts about the claim that Saddam wanted aluminum tubes for nukes -- and that Bush was given this summary before repeating the tubes claim in his speech.

Let's state this as clearly as we can: Wass says there is a piece of paper out there which constitutes hard evidence that Bush withheld critical info from the American public as he made the most critical decision a president can make -- the decision whether to go to war. Jaded DC hands will say, 'Old news -- everyone knew there was dissent within the bureaucracy.' Fine. But Wass's story says more than that -- he says there's proof of the extent to which Bush knew of that dissent, that he deliberately concealed it from the public, and that Rove thought this fact could 'severely damage' Bush's reelection prospects if it surfaced.

The latest Libby revelations suggest, yet again, just how spooked Bush and his advisers were about the possibility that the truth about the runup to the war would come out. They suggest, yet again, that there's a great deal we don't know about the biggest story of this presidency. Waas's piece gives us a key chapter in that story. His piece finally did get attention from a big news org today: The Times cited it in an editorial, demanding a 'thorough accounting' of the selling of the war. But it hasn't yet been mentioned in The Times's news pages -- or, for that matter, by the Washington Post, L.A. Times, Boston Globe or many others.

Memo to the nation's premiere investigative reporters: When are you going to get your hands on that piece of paper?"

AMERICAblog: Ohio GOP gube candidate Blackwell--greedy hypocrite

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "This guy is a real treat. Recently we found out that he owned stock in Diebold at the time he was negotiating a deal with that company for voting machines. Yesterday the Columbus Dispatch reported that Blackwell owns stock in a gambling company despite claiming to be against gambling. He also owns stock in the company that makes the 'morning after pill' despite his anti-choice claims. So which is it going to be for Blackwell? The Ohio GOP is a classic example of the arrogance of power and after so many years of absolute rule in Ohio, November might finally bring some well needed changes to the Buckeye state."

BATCOTE: Was the Bush "declassification" a leak coverup?

Born at the Crest of the Empire has a link to John Dean's retro view of the Bush leak story (Mike posted this link in the comments but it's too good to miss): "John Dean does not push this reverse sequence as the absolute truth, and there's nothing giving this anymore validity that the current mainstream interpretation, but it does offer an interesting alternative sequence of events.

In this version, Libby REALLY leaked classified information to Miller on the 8th, and then, afterward, the Vice President realizing the mistake, got the president to declassify the previously leaked materials to fudge the illegality of Libby's leak. Now, if this is true, this would mean that the retroactive declassification by the President was, in many senses, a knowing effort by Cheney or Bush(or both) to cover up Scooter Libby's illegal leaks to Judy Miller.

And, suddenly, we're looking at a previously unknown conspiracy, involving posthumously declassifying classified materials, designed to protect Scooter Libby. That may explain why Libby has been so loyal to Cheney in refusing a plea deal and facing trial and significant jail time. Libby is just paying back loyalty to the man who tried to save him."

Friday, April 07, 2006


Trying to blog from my new Mac at work.

NYT: Gonzales allows domestic spying without warrant, upsetting even Sensenbrenner

Gonzales Suggests Legal Basis for Domestic Eavesdropping - New York Times: "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales suggested on Thursday for the first time that the president might have the legal authority to order wiretapping without a warrant on communications between Americans that occur exclusively within the United States.

'I'm not going to rule it out,' Mr. Gonzales said when asked about that possibility at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

The attorney general made his comments, which critics said reflected a broadened view of the president's authority, as President Bush offered another strong defense of his decision to authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without warrants on international calls and e-mail messages to or from the United States.

Mr. Bush, in an appearance in North Carolina, told a questioner who attacked the program that he would 'absolutely not' apologize for authorizing it.

'You can come to whatever conclusion you want' about the merits of the program,' Mr. Bush said. 'The conclusion is I'm not going to apologize for what I did on the terrorist surveillance program.'

At the House hearing, Mr. Gonzales faced tough questioning from Democrats and Republicans but declined to discuss many operational details.

Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the Wisconsin Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of the administration's staunchest allies, accused the administration of 'stonewalling.'

'Mr. Attorney General, how can we discharge our oversight responsibilities if every time we ask a pointed question, we're told that the answer is classified?' Mr. Sensenbrenner asked. 'Congress has an inherent constitutional responsibility to do oversight. We are attempting to discharge those responsibilities.'"

E&P: Bush: Do as I say, not as I do

President Bush, 2003: 'Leaks of Classified Information Are a Bad Thing': "With the revelations Thursday that former Vice President Cheney aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby had testified before a grand jury that President Bush had authorized him to leak classified information to reporter Judith Miller in July 2003, it seems appropriate to recall the president's response to questions on this subject a little more than two months later. It took place in Chicago on Sept. 30, 2003, at a meeting with business leaders."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Daily Kos: "Liberal" Church Ad attacked by Rightwing Agency

Daily Kos: "Liberal" Church Ad attacked by Rightwing Agency. It's another great diary by Fred Clarkson.

Crooks and Liars: More links on the Bush leak story

Crooks and Liars has a bunch.

C&L: Who let this guy in to the Bush event???

Crooks and Liars has the video: "Harry Taylor: Okay, I don't have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate...And I would hope -- I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself..."

AMERICAblog: The Leader in Chief

AMERICAblog: The AP is reporting that Libby has said Bush authorized the leaks to help gin up the case for the Iraq war: "While it's not clear whether Bush did or didn't authorize Libby to leak Valerie Plame's name, we now know that Bush himself is a leaker - Bush thinks leaks of classified information are a-okay and a worthwhile and acceptable tool of politics.

And Bush himself is directly responsible for leaking classified informationt to - whom? - why REPORTERS! The very people who Bush now has the Justice Department investigating for receiving leaks of classified information regarding secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.

So, Bush authorized leaks of classified information to reporters, yet he's investigating people in his administration for leaking classified information to reporters. It's good to be king.

You'll recall that Bush leaked classified information to Bob Woodward for one of Woodward's book. The issue was raised at the time, but no one in the media or the Hill wanted to seriously go after it because Bush was still Big Brother back then. Hopefully they'll start going after the leaker-in-chief now."

Open Warfare On Frist From Fellow Republicans

Open Warfare On Frist From Fellow Republicans... | The Huffington Post: "Republicans are declaring open warfare on Senator Frist. The Majority Leader's fellow republicans are so frustrated with his handling of immigration and other issues that they are now slamming him publicly in newspapers across the country. Below is a sampling of the growing GOP revolt against Frist."

Daily Kos: Darksyde on GOP's Family Values

Daily Kos: Republican Family Values?: "With all the speculation, rumors, accusations and criticism in the media and blogosphere, investigations, arrests, indictments, and guilty pleas of Republicans these days, every now and then it's good to consult an updated program. Programs, get yer programs, can't tell your hearsay from your alleged Republican perps from your alleged Republican pervs without a program. Note: All persons are presumed innocent until such time as they may be proven guilty in a court of law. Or until they cop a plea."

NYT: Condi's Iraq visit backfires

Iraqi Says Visit by Two Diplomats Backfired - New York Times: "A top adviser to Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Wednesday that the visit this week by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain had backfired, prolonging a deadlock over a new government and strengthening Mr. Jaafari's resolve to keep his post.

'Pressure from outside is not helping to speed up any solution,' said the adviser, Haider al-Abadi. 'All it's doing is hardening the position of people who are supporting Jaafari.'

He added, 'They shouldn't have come to Baghdad.'

His comments were echoed by several political leaders on Wednesday, including Kurds and Sunni Arabs."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Blog | Harry Shearer: Chris Matthews kisses Delay's butt

The Blog | Harry Shearer: Found Object: DeLay on Hardball | The Huffington Post

Daily Kos: Right-wing radio racists

Daily Kos: I've Had It With Racist Radio Hosts: "It was just, like, a day or two ago that I had read that nationally syndicated radio talk show host Neil Boortz had described the appearance of African-American Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as like a 'ghetto slut,' 'ghetto trash,' and 'a welfare drag queen.' The mindboggling viciousness and racism exploding from those comments knocked even a jaded racism watcher like me back on my heels.

And now just today I am reading that the nation's most famous blowhard, Rush Limbaugh, just referred to the black alleged rape victims at Duke University as 'ho's' on his nationally syndicated radio program."

We should be surprised?

Media Matters - If It's Sunday, It's Still Conservative

Media Matters - If It's Sunday, It's Still Conservative: "Following up on Media Matters' in-depth study showing that Republican and conservative guests outnumbered Democratic and progressive guests on ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and NBC's Meet the Press over a nine-year period, an examination of the guest lists for those programs during the first three months of 2006 showed that Republican and conservative dominance continued unabated." Are Dems getting their act together? Turning the Tables: "The conventional wisdom in Washington in recent years has been that Republicans are more unified and disciplined and have better-articulated ideas than Democrats, who are often at war with one another and questioning their leadership. But lately the Democrats, looking to create a campaign platform for 2006, have put out some ideas that their famously fractured party largely agrees on. Earlier this year, they released a plan to reform lobbying following the scandals of Jack Abramoff. Last week's security ideas were hardly earth-shattering: increasing inspection of goods coming through U.S. ports, doubling the number of Special Forces troops, pushing Iraq toward full sovereignty by the end of this year, and increasing efforts to make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil. Some Democrats, like Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha, have called for more aggressive steps, like the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. But Democrats seem to broadly agree on the security issues that hurt them in 2002 and 2004.

And Democrats can't be accused of lacking ideas: many of the party's most prominent leaders are putting out long tomes detailing their views. ...

By contrast, on many key issues, Republicans can't find much agreement. Moderates and conservatives in House will spend this week battling over proposed spending cuts in the budget, while Republicans in the Senate fight about immigration reform. President Bush's domestic agenda, from health savings accounts to a commission to reform Social Security and other entitlement plans, has drawn little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill."

Kerry in NYT: Deadlines and diplomacy

Sen. John Kerry pens an op-ed, Two Deadlines and an Exit - New York Times: "Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion. We want democracy in Iraq, but Iraqis must want it as much as we do. Our valiant soldiers can't bring democracy to Iraq if Iraq's leaders are unwilling themselves to make the compromises that democracy requires.

As our generals have said, the war cannot be won militarily. It must be won politically. No American soldier should be sacrificed because Iraqi politicians refuse to resolve their ethnic and political differences.

So far, Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines — a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, and a deadline to hold three elections.

Now we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet.

Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave.

If Iraq's leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year's end. Doing so will empower the new Iraqi leadership, put Iraqis in the position of running their own country and undermine support for the insurgency, which is fueled in large measure by the majority of Iraqis who want us to leave their country. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain."