Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Rudy McRomney is not a conservative."

The hyenas are starting to attack each other. Not that I've devoted my life to politics to consider myself an historian, but I can't remember in recent history the Republicans going at each other like this. I had a feeling that Romney, McCain and Giuliani was a strange group for the GOP to be touting as their front-runners, and now my suspicions seem to be coming to fruition.

At a Republican dinner in Iowa this month, [former Virginia Gov. Jim] Gilmore took on his party's front-runners collectively, saying, "Rudy McRomney is not a conservative."

The top-tier Republican candidates are all suspect to solid conservatives, who fear they are losing their hard-won influence in the Republican Party.

"[We are] very concerned as to whether or not as a conservative movement we will be, in fact, the driving political force in the '08 election cycle," said another GOP presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

When it comes to Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment -- "Thou shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republicans" -- GOP presidential candidates seem to be losing their religion.

The Latest Polls

From Bob Geiger's Blog:

For people who spend so much time lately talking about how unpatriotic Harry Reid and Senate Democrats are for their drive to end the Iraq war, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their Republican rubber-stampers in Congress seem blind to the fact that, for a long time, the vast majority of the American people have sided with Democrats and the troops on this and against them.

Latest CBS Presidential Poll on Iraq Showdown

...This poll, like all the others, shows that when Bush vetoes the Congressional mandate to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, the script is already being written for how to run against every Republican in the House and Senate who votes to uphold that veto.

You know the old saying, you lie with dogs, you're gonna get

Friday, April 27, 2007

John Kerry: Fight Against Disinformation

From Kerry's Huffington Post Blog:

There's a very strange dynamic at play right now. ... I see an America that is sick and tired of politicians in Washington who refuse to change course in Iraq; an America that doesn't believe the words that comes out of Dick Cheney's mouth about everything from escalation in Iraq to global climate change; an America that wants our troops taken care of and knows that George Bush's policy has not just been a failure, but an unmitigated disaster of arrogance and isolation from day one.

We all need to speak up and protect our leaders when they speak their mind. Minutes after [Cheney] let loose with a steady stream of pejoratives about Harry Reid, I hit back at Dick Cheney. And I will continue to do so. It's important ... because if we don't stand up for our leaders no one will. This isn't about policy intricacies or a Democrat's syntax, it's about character - the character of a good man, Harry Reid, and the character of our Party which needs to stand up when one of our own is unfairly attacked.

And the worst part is, the whole attack is based on a completely out-of-context quote. This is what Harry Reid
really said, "And as long as we follow the President's path in Iraq, the war is lost. But there is still a chance to change course - and we must change course." Any questions?...

I ask you to join me in hitting back. ...I set up a
page on my site defending Harry Reid, and calling attention to Dick Cheney's long run of, yes, misleading and uninformed comments on Iraq. And, most of all, calling out the failure of this administration to make us safe.

Because that's what they're really trying to hide. ...We can't let them get away with it. We need to take the fight to them, and we can start by letting the media know that when it comes to Harry Reid speaking from his heart or Dick Cheney speaking from both sides of his mouth, we'll take Harry Reid's heart any day. Write letters to your local paper, call in to radio shows, write emails to the national media centers. These things make an enormous difference. I'll continue to speak out at every opportunity, and I ask you to join me.

Tenet "Slam Dunks" Cheney

NEW YORK TIMES: WASHINGTON, April 26 — George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debate” about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.

“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,” Mr. Tenet writes in a devastating judgment that is likely to be debated for many years. Nor, he adds, “was there ever a significant discussion” about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.

... He also makes clear his bitter view that the administration made him a scapegoat for the Iraq war.

... Mr. Tenet described with sarcasm watching an episode of “Meet the Press” last September in which Mr. Cheney twice referred to Mr. Tenet’s “slam dunk” remark as the basis for the decision to go to war.

“I remember watching and thinking, ‘As if you needed me to say ‘slam dunk’ to convince you to go to war with Iraq,’ ” Mr. Tenet writes.

The book entitled "At the Center of the Storm" is to be published by Harper Collins on Monday, April 30th, 2007 and can be purchased at

Thursday, April 26, 2007

McCain On Daily Show

John McCain was a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on April 24th and I must say that in my opinion, he got his ass handed to him by Stewart. McCain was no more than a talking point robot spewing the usual rhetoric, and at one point early on, was apparently channeling Donald Rumsfeld when he started asking and answering his own questions.

Here's the interview. A must see.

The Politics of Fear

The Trouble with Rudy Giuliani

Haven't we had enough of fear tactics used as political tactics? Haven't we suffered though enough of the deception and lies and fear mongering? Apparently not enough for Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Here are some of
Mr. Giuliani's lastest comments from his appearance at the Lincoln Day Dinner in New Hampshire on April 24th, 2007:

"We're going to win that war whether there's a Republican president or a Democratic president or any other president," he said. "The question is going to be: How long does it take and how many losses will we have along the way? And I truly believe that if we go back on defense for a period of time, we're going to ultimately have more losses and it's going to go on much longer."

"If [a Democrat] gets elected, it sounds to me like we're going on the defense," he said."We've got a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. We're going to wave the white flag there. We're going to try to cut back on the Patriot Act. We're going to cut back on electronic surveillance. We're going to cut back on interrogation. We're going to cut back, cut back, cut back, and we'll be back in our pre-September 11 mentality of being on defense."

Do any of these hacks really believe the puke that comes out of their mouths? Hasn't the Republican Party beaten this dead horse to the bone? The thought that Giuliani would have the audacity to play the fear card after New York City was attacked on his watch the first time in 1993, for which he did next to nothing to improve the communications of emergency personnel, and then insisted on having the NYC's emergency control center moved to that very World Trade Center building after the 1993 attack is beyond me. Of course, after 9/11 the building came down along with our communications.

I'd continue on a rant because I'm so livid about this, but Keith Olbermann did it for me on April 25th's edition of Countdown.
Here is part of the transcript:

OLBERMANN: This is not the mere politicizing of the war in Iraq, nor the vague mumbled epithets about Democratic 'softness' from a delusional vice president. This is casualties on a partisan basis, of the naked assertion that Mr. Giuliani's party knows all and will save those who have voted for it, and to hell with everybody else. And that he, with no foreign policy experience whatsoever, is somehow the messiah-of-the-moment.

Even to grant that that formula, whether posed by Republican or Democrat, is somehow not the most base, the most indefensible, the most un-American electioneering in our history, even if it is somehow acceptable to assign 'casualties' to one party and 'safety' to the other, even if we have become so profane in our thinking that it is part of our political vocabulary to view counter-terror as one party's property and the other's liability, on what imaginary track record does Mr. Giuliani base his boast?

Which party held the presidency on September 11, 2001, Mr. Giuliani? Which party held the mayoralty of New York on that date, Mr. Giuliani? Which party assured New Yorkers that the air was safe and the remains of the dead recovered and not being used to fill potholes, Mr. Giuliani? Which party wanted what the terrorists wanted, the postponement of our elections, and to whose personal advantage would that have redounded, Mr. Giuliani? Which mayor of New York was elected eight months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, yet did not emphasize counter-terror in that same city for the next eight years, Mr. Giuliani? Which party had proposed to turn over the Department of Homeland Security to Bernard Kerik, Mr. Giuliani? Who wanted to ignore and hide Kerik's organized crime allegations, Mr. Giuliani? Who personally argued to the White House that Kerik need not be vetted, Mr. Giuliani? Which party rode roughshod over Americans' rights while braying that it was actually protecting them, Mr. Giuliani? Which party took this country into the most utterly backwards, utterly counterproductive, utterly ruinous war in our history, Mr. Giuliani? Which party has been in office as more Americans were killed in the pointless fields of Iraq than were killed in the consuming nightmare of 9/11, Mr. Giuliani? Drop this argument, sir! You will lose it!

If this is where Giuliani is headed, it is only because he cannot speak on any other issue. As a Republican who is pro choice (unless he flip flops), pro gun control (unless he flip flops) , pro gay rights (unless he flip flops) and on his third marriage (the second of which fell apart while he had his mistress staying in the mayor's residence under the same roof as his wife!), he doesn't have a conservative leg to stand on. And because of this he resorts to fear mongering as a smoke screen.

Shame on you, you filthy, lying, egotistical, son-of-a-bitch.


The Bush Boogie

... There are no words... except perhaps, "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Time To Leave Barbara Bush At The Dog Track

Wow! Babs really can't open her mouth without sticking her foot in it. Asked whether voters should be wary or Mitt Romney, the Mormon Republican presidential primary candidate, Crazy Babs responded "not at all," noting there are "wild people" in many religions.

"I mean it was in 1897 that bigamy was outlawed in that church," she said. "You know we have a lot of Christian wild people too, and a lot of Jewish wild people and a lot of Muslim wild people. The Mormon religion takes care of its own, they don't have people on welfare."

She must be thinking of all those wild welfare people at the Superdome again. Oh that Babs! What a nut! Maybe she was auditioning for Don Imus' old job.

At least she's a straight shooter unlike the primate she bore who is currently stinking up the White House. I'm waiting for the day he'll get so mad at an increasingly irritating press corps that he'll start throwing feces during a press conference.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Chimpy's Increased Confidence In Gonzo

Welcome to Backwardsland, where people think the exact opposite of the general consensus of the rest of the world.

Chimpy had a brief press conference in the Oval Office today with General David Petraeus at his side. Of course Petraeus sat there looking like a frightened dog and said nothing, just like all the other military personnel Curious George has used as props for other conferences. He expressed concern about the progress in Iraq but stood in his foxhole against the notion of setting timetables to get out. "I believe strongly that politicians in Washington shouldn't be telling Generals how to do their job." Smug bastard.

He was then asked about Gonzales:

Q: "The Attorney General is still getting a lot of criticism over the US attorney situation. Was his explanation sufficient, or is there more he needs to do in order to turn things around?"

BUSH: "The Attorney General went up and, uh... gave a very candid assessment and answered every question he could possibly answer - honestly answer - in a way that, uh, increased my confidence in his ability to do the job.
One of the things that's very important for the American people to understand is that the Attorney General has a right, uh to recommend to me to replace US attorneys. US attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President... in other words, we have named them, and uh, I have the right to replace them with somebody else. And uh, as the investigations - the hearings went forward, uh it was clear that the Attorney General broke no law, did no wrongdoing. Uh... and, some Senators didn't like his explanation but he answered as honestly as he could. This is an honest, honorable man in whom I have confidence."

Increased confidence after the hearing?! A pretty far cry from everyone else in the world who is demanding Gonzo's resignation in light of his abyssmal performance; a hearing which prompted the clearing of his calendar to begin preparations. Why does someone need weeks of preparation for something if all he has to do is tell the truth?

In other news, Boris Yeltsin is dead.

UPDATE (4/24/07 9am): NY TIMES - At Least the Boss Was Satisfied by Gonzales's Answers

“If the attorney general’s hearing performance increased the president’s confidence in his ability to lead the Justice Department, then he’s setting the bar fairly low,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in a statement on Monday.

One senior Republican Congressional aide at work in Washington on Monday, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, called Mr. Bush’s statement that his confidence in Mr. Gonzales had grown after his testimony “curious”; another senior Republican aide asked, “Was he watching the same hearing as everyone else?”

Paul Krugman: A Hostage Situation

Paul Krugman's Op Ed in Sunday's New Tork Times:

There are two ways to describe the confrontation between Congress and the Bush administration over funding for the Iraq surge. You can pretend that it’s a normal political dispute. Or you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders — the troops — if his demands aren’t met.

If this were a normal political dispute, Democrats in Congress would clearly hold the upper hand: by a huge margin, Americans say they want a timetable for withdrawal, and by a large margin they also say they trust Congress, not Mr. Bush, to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq.

But this isn’t a normal political dispute. Mr. Bush isn’t really trying to win the argument on the merits. He’s just betting that the people outside the barricade care more than he does about the fate of those innocent bystanders.

What’s at stake right now is the latest Iraq “supplemental.” Since the beginning, the administration has refused to put funding for the war in its regular budgets. Instead, it keeps saying, in effect: “Whoops! Whaddya know, we’re running out of money. Give us another $87 billion.”

At one level, this is like the behavior of an irresponsible adolescent who repeatedly runs through his allowance, each time calling his parents to tell them he’s broke and needs extra cash.

What I haven’t seen sufficiently emphasized, however, is the disdain this practice shows for the welfare of the troops, whom the administration puts in harm’s way without first ensuring that they’ll have the necessary resources.

As long as a G.O.P.-controlled Congress could be counted on to rubber-stamp the administration’s requests, you could say that this wasn’t a real problem, that the administration’s refusal to put Iraq funding in the regular budget was just part of its usual reliance on fiscal smoke and mirrors. But this time Mr. Bush decided to surge additional troops into Iraq after an election in which the public overwhelmingly rejected his war — and then dared Congress to deny him the necessary funds. As I said, it’s an act of hostage-taking.

Actually, it’s even worse than that. According to reports, the final version of the funding bill Congress will send won’t even set a hard deadline for withdrawal. It will include only an “advisory,” nonbinding date. Yet Mr. Bush plans to veto the bill all the same — and will then accuse Congress of failing to support the troops.

The whole situation brings to mind what Abraham Lincoln said, in his great Cooper Union speech in 1860, about secessionists who blamed the critics of slavery for the looming civil war: “A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, ‘Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!’ ”

So how should Congress respond to Mr. Bush’s threats?

Everyone talks about the political risks of confrontation, recalling the backlash when Newt Gingrich shut down the federal government in 1995. But there’s a big difference between trying to force a fairly popular president to accept deep cuts in Medicare — which is what the 1995 confrontation was about — and trying to get a deeply unpopular, distrusted president to set some limits on an immensely unpopular war.

Meanwhile, there are big political risks on the other side. If Congress responds to a presidential veto by offering an even weaker bill, voters may well react with disgust, concluding that the whole debate over the war was nothing but political theater.

Anyway, never mind the political calculations. Confronting Mr. Bush on Iraq has become a patriotic duty.

The fact is that Mr. Bush’s refusal to face up to the failure of his Iraq adventure, his apparent determination to spend the rest of his term in denial, has become a clear and present danger to national security. Thanks to the demands of the Iraq war, we’re already a superpower without a strategic reserve, unable to respond to crises that might erupt elsewhere in the world. And more and more military experts warn that repeated deployments in Iraq — now extended to 15 months — are breaking the back of our volunteer military.

If nothing is done to wind down this war during the 21 months — 21 months! — Mr. Bush has left, the damage may be irreparable.

Edwards Against South Korea Trade Deal

This is directly from David Sirota's blog.

On Saturday, April 21st, 2007, Senator John Edwards will deliver the keynote address at the Michigan Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner and will announce his opposition to the South Korea trade deal. The Bush administration is finalizing details of the agreement and is expected to submit it to Congress for approval later this spring...[Edwards said trade deals] "must include strong labor and environmental standards and lift up workers in both countries...Congress should make it clear to the President that it will override any agreement that does not protect American jobs and American interests."

Big question: Will the other Democratic candidates join Edwards' call, or will they stay silent in deference to K Street and Wall Street?

Definitely a wedge issue for Democratic candidates who are receiving campaign contributions from K Street. It'll be interesting to see how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will react.