Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ask A Republican

Q&A on diverse (*oops, dirty word*) many topix near & dear to the hearts of those in the One True Party:


Friday, May 18, 2007

Arrogant, Combative & In Denial To The Bitter End~ Who In BushCo Meets That Description?

Photo: AP

In the "They May All Look Alike, But Some Truly Are Uglier Than Others" Department

Wolfowitz finally resigns from the World Bank, where he made a huge mess of things by banging the help, transferring her to the State Department (on paper) but retained his say-so in the rate of her pay, which went from about $133,000 per year to about $190, 000.

Critics say his arrogance & petty refusal to excuse himself from influencing his lover's pay was just biz as usual for Wolfie at the World Bank, where he managed to be so offensive to everyone--even our European allies--that nothing really quite got accomplished. The scandal alone took up 2 years of his time there.

He & his attorney managed to bully the following official statement from the World Bank in exchange for his resignation:

"In a statement released last night, the [Bank's] board conceded that 'a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals in handling the matter under consideration,' and the bank would need to improve its ethical procedures.

"The board declared that Wolfowitz 'assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of the institution, and we accept that.'

"The statement added: 'We are grateful to Mr. Wolfowitz for his service at the bank. Much has been achieved in the last two years.'

"That language was agreed upon only after fractious debate among board members, with some, particularly European representatives, dismayed that it appeared to hand Wolfowitz a victory. In the end, however, they swallowed the language as the price of getting Wolfowitz to quit." (Title bar.)

Catch the full implications there? Wolfowitz created the scandal by himself strong-arming the Bank's ethics committee members (remember, he's the President at this point), & turns around & wants them to eat the blame for granting his wishes. He has it both ways--his!

Michael Hirsh, in a column for Newsweek, explains why the scandal matters in the power of balance on the world stage: Since WW II the World Bank has been headed by an American, with finance ministers from Europe. After Wolfie's disastrous reign, that may not be the case anymore. Hirsh also elucidates the power struggle between Wolfie's supporters in the White House & the relative newcomer Secretary of the Treasury Paulson, who apparently has the cajones to stand up to them.

"According to a source familiar with the White House strategy but who would comment on internal discussions only on the condition of anonymity, 'There was a disconnect between the Treasury and the White House about how hard to fight for Wolfowitz. Paulson didn’t really go to war for him, and that upset some senior people at the White House'—including strategist Karl Rove, Vice President Dick Cheney and possibly President Bush himself.

"The pro-Wolfowitz faction saw the dispute as a European power play to take control of the Bank. But Paulson, it is thought, divined early on that Wolfowitz was doomed by the scandal, which involved widespread outrage over a quiet pay-and-promotion package he arranged for his companion, Shaha Riza, even as he launched a zealous anticorruption campaign at the Bank.

"The source said that some officials in the White House believe Paulson did 'too little, too late' to call his counterparts in finance ministries in Europe and lobby them to restrain the Bank’s European executive directors, who were pushing for Wolfowitz’s ouster.

"The White House did not immediately respond to a phone call asking for comment. A Treasury Department spokeswoman referred all such questions to the White House, adding : 'Secretary Paulson feels strongly that Paul Wolfowitz is a dedicated and honorable public servant, and he made every effort to get him a fair process and a fair outcome.'

"At the time he was appointed a year ago, Paulson was seen as a great get for the Bush team—especially his former colleague at Goldman, White House chief of staff Josh Bolten. Paulson was, after all, a star of global finance who was succeeding two undistinguished Treasury secretaries, Paul O’Neill and John Snow. But reportedly one of the conditions that Paulson laid down for accepting the job was more independence and a more central role in policymaking than his predecessors had. He may have achieved just that."

In the aftermath, DP wonders if Wolfie's paramour is still in her position--if so, it may be the 1st time in history that the woman stayed & the man got ousted as a result of a torrid & steamy workplace affair. But, really, the question DP's just dying to ask the woman in question ~ was $60,000 really adequate compensation for sleeping with Paul Wolfowitz (the devil who had such an influential hand in starting a the Iraq war, among other really-bad-for-the-world ideas)?


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bush-Gonzo Mindmeld On Spying Program: We Did Nothing Wrong & We Won't Discuss It

Yesterday's testimony by James Comey, former #2 at the DOJ,that Gonzales (then Bush's counsel in the White House) & Andrew Card, formerly Bush's Chief of Staff, whom someone at the White House sent to badger & plague the very ill & heavily medicated Ashcroft in the hospital --after Ashcroft & the rest of the DOJ initially refused to sign off on the spying program they didn't think was legal --has prompted a sudden renewal of interest in the matter. It's to be hoped that, now that the program's illegitimate circumstances have come to light & the 911 hysteria has passed, someone sane will point out that there have always been means to monitor suspected terrorists, & *LEGAL*ones to boot.
The New York Times has a great account of it, done up with all the drama the encounter probably deserves. (Title bar.) Too bad nobody was paying much attention to such things at the time.
But hey, better late than never that the American public realizes how badly & consistently it's been lied to & mislead about anything & everything where this Administration is concerned. Oh, I shouldn't say that. The bare fact probably qualifies as a classified state secret. Not to mention that I will be perceived (justly) as advocating for the terrorists again.
At least, that's what I have to presume is going to be the rationale behind today's news that Gonzales, invited by letter to state if he wishes to recant his earlier testimony to Congress that nobody at the Department of Justice had a problem with the spying program when they very clearly did, as well as Bush's almost comical refusal to say anything about it when questioned by a reporter today:
"There's a lot of speculation about what happened and what didn't happen. I'm not going to talk about it."
Catch a video of the broadcast if you can. Bush visibly recoils from the reporter's audacity in asking such a direct question, & his facial expression is priceless. Clearly "the Decider" does not like having his authority to do anything he damned well pleases questioned, & particularly not by a press that was so docile & servile not so long ago.
I can hardly wait to see the movie ~ DP has a hunch that history is not going to regard this Presidency well.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The DOJ As BushWorld's Titanic

Ill: 1912 Postcard

Musical deck chair rearrangements ensue in the race to see whom, exactly, will leave Gonzales' Department of Justice with some shred of credibility & integrity intact. If anyone ~

~And more bad decisions from the mind of Bush ~

Today's scandalous bits coughed up from the swirling black hole that is the Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales:

1. Today the Department's #2 man, Deputy AG Paul McNulty, announced his resignation, per the WaPo (Title bar.)

"McNulty began work as Gonzales's deputy in November 2005. McNulty became a central figure in the furor after he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in February that the White House played only a marginal role in the dismissals -- a characterization that conflicted with documents later released by Justice and with subsequent testimony.

"He also said most of the prosecutors were fired for 'performance-related' reasons. That statement angered many of the former U.S. attorneys, most of whom had sterling evaluations and had remained largely silent about their departures."

McNulty says his decision to leave has nothing to do with it, of course.

Senator Leahy says he looks forward to McNulty's testimony. Time says McNulty's resignation is his way of saying, "hasta la vista, baby" (or something like it), and throwing "Gonzales under the bus." Gonzales was making preemptory noises today, claiming that if anyone knew that the prosecutors were being fired, it was McNulty. (McNulty has claimed that Monica Goodling kept him out of the loop).

2. Speaking of whom ~ Curiouser & curiouser as we watch a naiif as pure as Alice herself fall down the rabbit hole. If McNulty is to be believed (& I take no position on that), Monica Goodling & Kyle Sampson were off in their own little Baby Republicon constructa-world playset domain in communicating directly with the White House, & failed to keep McNulty briefed.

Now that Monica is going to testify before Congress, the DOJ is conducting its own (pre-emptory?) investigation of Monica, who, it now says, acted illegally in requiring GOP &/or even more extreme political party "cred" such as membership in law group the Federalist Society before she, a newly minted lawyer herself & with no experience with anything that suggested she should be in charge of hiring litigators, would consider hiring them.

(As to the latter "cred," as informative aside, when your DP was in law school, students in the Federalist Society were whispered about, it being roughly akin, in our minds, to membership in the Ku Klux Klan, some random satanic cult or Hitler Youth. Now even the Supreme Court is infected. My, how times have changed).

Purportedly, Little Ms. Goodling had a second hiring criteria: she is said to to have asked candidates in job interviews whether they had ever cheated on their wives, too. I almost feel sorry for her at this point. How touchingly naiive to think that a man inclined to philander would be honest about it! --but the real lesson, here, Monica, is that brass-knuckle politix, especially the way Rove plays them, is no place for an innocent, no matter how morally self-righteous.

3. Gonzales as ghoul, hovering in the nighttime hours over the hospital bed of then- Attorney General John Ashcroft in hopes of getting him to sign a presidential order to authorizing a domestic spying program that Ashcroft & James Comey, then #1 & # 2 at the DOJ, believed not-up-to-legal-snuff. (Yessir, the one we have now--er, the one we know about, thanks only to the "traitorous" New York Times ). James Comey testified today that he had to intercept Gonzales & Andrew Card at the hospital & insist that they leave Ashcroft alone.

If you need a refresher as to how Gonzales came to be AG now, this is a must-read.

4. And, another resignation (in protest) by the only Democrat on a panel of civilians set up to oversee protections of personal privacy. Seems that the White House absolutely cannot resist what seems to be an overarching Administration-wide compulsion to manipulate (originating where, we wonder):

"The Bush administration made more than 200 revisions to the first report of a civilian board that oversees government protection of personal privacy, including the deletion of a passage on anti-terrorism programs that intelligence officials deemed "potentially problematic" intrusions on civil liberties, according to a draft of the report obtained by The Washington Post.

"One of the panel's five members, Democrat Lanny J. Davis, resigned in protest Monday over deletions ordered by White House lawyers and aides. The changes came after the congressionally created Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board had unanimously approved the final draft of its first report to lawmakers, renewing an internal debate over the board's independence and investigative power."

5. Icing on the cake. Proving that even in the midst of a profound crisis, apparently Bush is incapable of learning ~

Even while his great friend Paul Wolfowitz, appointed by Bush to further the extremist neocon agenda at the World Bank (as Bolten did before him at the UN), Wolfie behaves very, very badly, engaging in an affair with a married woman at work & arranging for salary increases for her. (What is this ~ Peyton Place? I know we've regressed a lot under Bush, but this is something straight out of the '50's!) Wolfie continues to fight it, but he does not at all belong at the World Bank. Never mind messing up things even more by doing stupid & arrogant things like making everyone else at work deal with his sordid little affair. No class, no class at all.

Unperturbed, Bush wants to make yet another appointment of a man whose career history has been entirely antipathetic, not to say downright arrogant toward, the very agency Bush wants him to head. In other words, another major disaster waiting to happen.

Bush wants to appoint Michael Baroody to oversee the work of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, & already he starts with a handsome payment as "severance," $150,000, from the National Association of Manufacturers, for whom he was a Senior Lobbyist.

"Mr. Baroody said in the letter that the payment would NOT prevent him from considering matters involving individual companies that are members of the manufacturers’ association, many of whom are defendants in agency proceedings over defective products or have other business before the commission. Nor would it preclude him from involvement with smaller trade groups like those representing makers of home appliances and children’s products that have alliances with the association."


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Attention Comrades ~ The Republicon Neocon Nation Is Not In Danger

Ill: Internet Weekly Report

Superlative kingmaker & demigod to scores of Baby Republicons everywhere, Karl Rove, spoke from a concrete-reinforced undisclosed location hidden deep in the state of Denial, about his reaction to embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony before Congress today.

"We're not worried," he said. "'Berto stayed on message, which was, 'I don't know what happened because I was either not supervising anyone or too busy doing other things, but just because I claim not to know what was happening doesn't mean Congress shouldn't believe me when I reassure them nothing improper occurred."

"The unabashed Republicon campaign to turn every branch of the federal government into an arm of the One True Party is safe." Especially the police & law enforcement function at the Department of Justice ~ aren't you relieved, America?

"We've shouldered all the heavy lifting for you! You can either vote for the war or for the war. You can either vote for civil rights for white American Republican men & their duly married wives & concubines & businesses, or for civil rights for white American Republican men & their duly married wives & concubines & businesses. Now go back to your patriotic shopping duties until we need you to 'vote' Republicon again--hehe."

Okay, so DP goes over top of the snarkometer today, because Alberto Gonzales just lied to Congress for (at least the second time with respect to this little scandal, anyway)!

Am I the only one who sees it? The Republicans set out to systematically overthrow democratic government & install themselves in power permanently, & everybody in Congress is just sitting there like lumps on a log, oh-so-tenuously making noises about subpoenaing Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, & George Bush (which George thinks he has a right to refuse -hey--the Constitution isn't set up to support a monarchy, folks, & attempts to make it into same must violate some constitutional legal principle somewhere!) Nor does George have the right to destroy inconvenient evidence linking his beloved "Turdblossom" & chief architect of dirty trix in politix Karl Rove to the entire scheme!

Why are these assholes still in office? Because the docile populace says "oh well" & turns the page of the newspaper while simultaneously changing the channel?

DP's reading list for the day, most entertaining 1st, but don't cheat:

1. Dahlia Lithwick of Slate on 'Berto's magic pixies in the desk drawers of Justice Department offices says, "His only role in this scandal is as decoy: He's the guy who runs out in front of the hunters and draws their fire so nobody pays any attention to what's happening at the White House."

2. A great video overview by Keith Olbermann that also explains why DP has been ranting nonstop about the entire scandal.

3. Former US Attorneys John McKay & David Iglesias, speaking at a public forum here in Seattle Monday say that they expect that criminal charges will be brought:

"Two former U.S. attorneys said today they believe ongoing investigations into the dismissals last year of eight federal prosecutors could result in criminal charges against senior Justice Department officials.

"John McKay, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, and David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico, also said they believe White House political operative Karl Rove and his aides instigated the dismissals and ultimately decided who among the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys should be fired. But the White House on Wednesday flatly denied the firings were instigated by the White House.

"McKay and Iglesias, who were among those fired, made their assertions during a meeting this morning with Seattle Times editors and reporters. The two appeared this afternoon along with Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney for Arizona, during a public-policy forum on the dismissals at Seattle University's School of Law.

"I think there will be a criminal case that will come out of this," McKay said during his meeting with Times journalists. "This is going to get worse, not better."

"McKay cited ongoing investigations into the dismissals by the Senate and House Judiciary committees, and inquiries now under way by the Justice Department's inspector general and its Office of Professional Responsibility.

"McKay said he believes obstruction-of-justice charges will be filed if investigators conclude that the dismissal of any of the eight prosecutors was motivated by an attempt to influence ongoing public-corruption or voter-fraud investigations.
McKay said he believes the strongest evidence of obstruction is related to the dismissals of Iglesias and Carol Lam, the former U.S. Attorney in San Diego.

"Last fall, Iglesias received calls from U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., inquiring whether public-corruption charges would be filed against prominent Democrats in the state prior to the November elections. Former New Mexico state Senate President Manny Aragon, a Democrat, and three others were eventually charged in April in what prosecutors say was a kickback scheme during construction of a new courthouse in Albuquerque.

"Lam was investigating former U.S. Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, R-Calif., and Kyle 'Dusty' Foggo, the former third-highest-ranking CIA official, when senior Justice Department officials targeted her for dismissal. Bribery charges were ultimately filed against both men.

"Additionally, McKay and Iglesias said they believe Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty lied under oath when they testified before Congress that the eight prosecutors were fired for performance-related reasons and because of policy disputes with Justice Department headquarters."

4. And, oh, the mysterious missing e-mails: The National Journal has a scoop today from a leaker inside the Administration who says that 'Berto is more than probably lying when he says he doesn't know who at the White House was involved in personally de-selecting US attorneys & selecting their replacements.

"The Bush administration has withheld a series of e-mails from Congress showing that senior White House and Justice Department officials worked together to conceal the role of Karl Rove in installing Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Rove's, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas."
"The senior official said that Gonzales, in preparing for testimony before Congress, has personally reviewed the withheld records and has a responsibility to make public any information he has about efforts by his former chief of staff, other department aides, and White House officials to conceal Rove's role.

"'If [Gonzales] didn't know everything that was going on when it went down, that is one thing,' this official said. 'But he knows and understands chapter and verse. If there was an effort within Justice and the White House to mislead Congress, it is his duty to disclose that to Congress. As the country's chief law enforcement official, he has a higher duty to disclose than to protect himself or the administration.'"

While you're there, refresh yourself on SOP with The National Journal's handy-dandy sidebar concerning the ways 'Berto & the Justice Department have arranged to derail other investigations of their internal (spying, shredding the Geneva Conventions) shenanigans by having them covered up & blocked.

I hope you won't be absolutely devastated to learn its 'Berto's patron in the WH, & his brain, from whom we "heard" in DP's facetious introduction here. No wonder 'Berto can afford to seem so zen about the whole thing. He knows who's got his back, &, in turn, whose side he's on.

Still confused? It's NOT the American peoples'! DP just wants to know how much longer we have to continue to pretend they're not fucking an entire country over ~


Monday, May 07, 2007

That Does It ~ I'm Probably Voting For Obama

Where in the pantheon of evil neocon progaganda & stinking rotten pig guts does Rush Limbaugh fall, anyway?

There are some monsters & assholes even DP finds too awful to countenance--like Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter & now Rush Limbaugh. She never watches Fox, she never reads Ann Coulter's books, & she never listens to hate-spew radio a la Limbaugh.

As a result, she missed this vile piece of crap ridiculing Barack Obama as "The Magic Negro," sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon." To view, title bar.

Bad prose & worse acts always provoke the irresistible yearning to hit back, and so I hereby present, in Rush's honor, a song (sung to the same tune), an equally-awkwardly composed ditty in homage to the great big bombastic piece of offal we all know as Rush Limbaugh, with apologies to his 3 ex-wives (poor dears).

Rush the evil pundit
lives in denial
popping pills & spewing hate
finer men he would defile

Rush the pile of blubber
inflated with hot air
He can't really get it up
so regales us all with nitwit tripe
too juvenile to bear

What is it with grown men
who can't control their mouths
Rush a piece of senseless shit
vitriol beyond the foul

Rush the evil pundit
wethinks your time has come
bel-l-i-gerence & bombast,
Rush the evil pundit, we'll see that you are done.

Contact Rush's employer & drive him off the air:

Addendum: Here's what Rush Limbaugh (sensitive soul that he is, & greatly attuned to issues of race), said just after he played the parody pitting "real" blacks against the "clean, articulate" Obama. Rush argues that Democratic liberals are the ones who are racist:
"So your attempt to assuage all of your white guilt by supporting Obama is worthless because you're just -- you're just exhibiting racism because you know he's not a real black.

"As [Sen. Joseph R.] Biden [D-DE] said, he's clean and articulate. What else did he say? Clean -- yeah, clean, good looking, articulate, one of the first. But he's not real. This is -- this is more of the drivel and the bilge that we get from the drive-by media. In order to be a real black, you've got to be a [Rev. Al] Sharpton, you've got to be a Snoop Dogg, you've got to be a [rapper] Ludacris or something like that. Obama can't possibly fill this role because nobody knows anything about him, and we don't want to know anything about him.

"The only thing that matters is that he's black and he sounds good and it allows you white racists to assuage your guilt. Well, there is white racism out there. Much of it is on the left where the plantation mentality still resides.
"The term 'Magic Negro' has been thrown into the political presidential race in the mix for 2008. And the term 'Magic Negro,' as applied to Barack Obama, has been done by an L.A. Times columnist, David Ehrenstein. What do you think? If I keep referring to Obama as the 'Magic Negro' from this day on, I will eventually get the credit and/or heat for this 'Magic Negro.'

"It is a term, and it's exactly as described here. Its purpose is to allow whites the guilt-free support. But in Barack's case, it's only 'cause he isn't a real black. And the L.A. Times, by the way, this is the not the first of these types of columns. The L.A. Times has been two or three columns like this, 'is Barack Obama black enough?' and so forth. So there's a racist component out there on the editorial page of the L.A. Times that's obsessed with the race of Barack Obama and is with all leftists. While they are obsessed with race, accusing everybody else of being racist. We'll be right back.