Saturday, March 31, 2007

What Kind of Fool Am I?

Under questioning, Sampson admits that he "did have that idea" about using the Patriot Act to circumvent Congressional approval of US Attorney appointments, but states "it was not adopted by the AG".

Hey, wait just a darn minute- IT WAS ADOPTED BY THE AG! Does Sampson think I've forgotten entirely that using the Patriot Act to circumvent Congressional approval was exactly what they did?

If Sampson "can't remember" that the rest of us can remember, he should carry a little card to remind himself of that fact.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our Story To Date

Back in 2005, fresh off the electoral 'win' of 2004, the Bushies considered firing all 93 US Attorneys. In retrospect, we can see that they intended to say "Every president fires all the US Attorneys at the beginning of every term". This, of course, is false, but you know how they are.

Then they realized that some of their replacement choices would never make it past the Senate. So the project was put on the back burner while a low-profile staffer inserted a clause in the Patriot Act allowing the president to appoint replacements without the consent of the Senate.

By this time (2006) they obviously couldn't claim to be firing all 93 "just like every president does at the beginning of a term", so they whittled their list down to about 10. They were also increasingly concerned about how this would look, and increasingly anxious to get rid of Carol Lam, the US Attorney in San Diego who was getting close to Dick Cheney's office with her investigation of the Duke Cunningham bribery.

In fact, at the bottom line, it may be that seven other US Attorneys were fired to reduce the visibility of the Carol Lam firing.

That all remains to be seen, but what is perfectly clear now is that the Bushies attempted a power grab with the clear intent of obstructing justice- and came close to getting away with it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Libby and Ek

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Baghdad Crackdown Seems To Be Working

That's the AP headline and WYSIWYG. You can be cheered that the 'liberal media' is finally reporting the 'good news'- see, all it needed was a little firmness and we'll soon have this situation in hand. Or you can be aware that the word 'seems' is often the antecedent to a conclusion like 'but isn't really'.

You won't know unless you read the article. It may be a legitimate lead to a realistic analysis, or it may be a simple lure to gull the unwary. It's 'news' as a game that anyone can play, with the actual transmission of information as a small part of a bigger picture.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007



After secretly consulting with staffers over several years about firing US Attorneys, producing hundreds of pages of notes and e-mails, President Bush told reporters today he is unhappy that the process resulted in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other staffers committing perjury by testifying falsely before Congress.

Bush went on to say that he stands by Gonzales, and expects him to make reforms.

"Reporters" took notes and reported this verbatim, as though it made any sense at all.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Let's Review

In an eerie replay of the McCarthyite 50s, Republicans are again telling us we need to surrender our liberties to survive a worldwide attack against us. "Fortunately", over the past four years we've tried that. How well has it worked?

Thousands of Islamic men have been taken prisoner and held for years, tortured at length in the hopes of obtaining some "confession" that would justify this treatment. What we've learned is that almost all of them had no connection at all with terrorists.

The Bush invasion of Iraq created a training ground for terrorists, and terrorism has steadily risen with each succeeding year. OBL is again training terrorists in camps protected by the Pakistani dictatorship, a Muslim state with nuclear weapons.

At home, the Bushies have blocked protection of chemical plants from terrorists (it might cost industry money) and, in order to prevent unions from forming, resisted attempts to improve airline security. Combined with the increasing amounts of bad intelligence, now used mainly to justify what the WH wants to do, the probability of another successful terrorist attack in the US seems very high, if not certain.

But, you say, that is because Bush is incompetent- surely if we put unlimited power in the hands of a wise man things would turn out well.

Don't bet on it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Heads we win, tails you lose

According to Michael Leavitt, appointed by Bush as Secretary of Health and Human Services, if the bird flu pandemic comes to America "every community will have to take care of its own".

That's your federal government- when it's time to spread the contagion, all local authorities must bow to Washington DC, and yield their powers. When it's time to pick up the pieces, you're on your own.

To the extent that Democrats are co-conspirators, opening our markets to "free trade" while sanctimoniously "balancing the budget" at home on the backs of laid-off workers, they deserve to lose votes to Nader.

So hard to choose...

The warmongers among us are warning that the Muslims seek to establish a "caliphate" stretching across 14 timezones and exceeding in world-conquering ability the old Soviet Union or the new hegemonic US.

On the odd-numbered days, they tell us the bad guys want to set ethnic groups and religious sects against one another, plunging the mid-east into a cauldron of warfare, and just plain ruining our summer motoring.

Well, which is it?

Their answer: "Why can't it be both?"