Thursday, August 30, 2007

Courts Rule Portions of GOP Scandals to Stay Hidden

As a regular reader of Laura Rosen's War and Piece, I don't often enough give a shout out to what she's got going on. Here's a couple excerpts that stood out today:Why all the secrecy surrounding Thomas Kontogiannis?

North County Times *: Judge to unseal transcripts from secret hearing for Cunningham co-conspirator, Kontogiannis. Portions of transcripts to remain sealed.

TPMmuckraker has more. I want to know what's the big secret surrounding Thomas Kontogiannis? I find it odd that someone they are now trying to portray as a "small-time crook" could warrant all the hush hush.

Nev Gov Jim Gibbons Lawyers Up Big-Time
Laura also dishes the latest scoop on Nev Gov. Jim Gibbons (R).

A Win for "State Secrets" Protects a Defense Contractor Benefactor of Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons -- and his Air Force Allies.

Reno Gazette-Journal:

In a ruling that could make it difficult for former eTreppid software designer Dennis Montgomery to argue his lawsuit against the company, a federal judge Wednesday granted a Department of Defense request for a protective order to ensure no material involving national security is released. ...
Some background here and here.
Late Update from TPMmuckraker: Tommy K: Intelligence Asset?

Heh, I KNEW it!

More from Laura Rozen here, and background here, here, here, here, and here.

Later Update: Apparently Kontogiannis, while on bail and "forbidden travel outside of federal custody" is currently staying at a "five-star hotel in Greece."


TPMtv's "The Muck Gap" between the Dems & the GOP

This is one of Josh's best yet:

TPMtv: ''The Muck Gap'' between Dems and the GOPJosh Marshall:

Okay, it's the unreported political story of the year: the GOP's ability to dominate scandal news even while in the minority. Usually, the majority party, with more power and money, takes the scandal cake. It's almost an iron law of politics. But whether it's lobby shop or the restroom, the GOP has so far been able to reverse the historical tide, maintaining a decisive muck advantage even in the political wilderness. ...
Late Update: The Muck Gap Demystified

KO Re-enacts Sen Craig's Restroom Sex Sting, Dragnet Style

Hillarious! LMAO!

Keith Olberman reads the arresting officer's report during this re-enactment. The short clip I added at the end is from Leno. LMAO!

Late update from TPM: Foot-tapping ritual common in sex sting
A foot-tapping ritual was a common thread in many of the 41 arrests reported during a four-month airport bathroom sting that snared Sen. Larry Craig. ...

Raw Story Roundup

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Years After Katrina ...

... and thousands are still without homes

This is from Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films:

When the Saints Go Marching In
Sign the petition

On that note I'm adding this video I posted this a week or so ago: Bill Moyers gives us a heartbreaking look at Katrina two years later and how so little has been done.

Raw Story Roundup

Sen Craig's (R-ID) Absurd Press Conference


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Breaking: Alberto Gonzales Resigns

It's true.

CNN is floating as possible replacements for Gonzales, Michael Chertoff, Ted Olson, Frances Townsend, and Larry Thompson (I'll have video up soon as YouTube comes back up). The AP is saying a temporary replacement for Gonzales likely will be Solicitor General Paul Clement.

Can Bush recess appt a replacement? I thought Reid had figured out a way to put a stop to Bush being able to do that. I hope so. If there's any chance of a recess appt to replace him Congress better end their Aug vacation and reconvene right now.

Whoever replaces Gonzo will have to be privy to all of the skeletons in Bushco’s closets, and that’s a whole lot of bones (wiretapping/domestic spy ops, renditions, torture, detainees, …). No way anyone outside of the bubble gets a nomination. The Dems will likely confirm Chertoff even though the GAO report placed the blame for the Katrina failure squarely on his shoulders.

If the following is true, I guess Chertoff getting the job is all but a done deal:

CNN: Bush Plans To Install Inexperienced, Bush Loyalist Clay Johnson At Homeland Security

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Stephen Hayes Still Linking al-Qaeda and Iraq

Robbins: You can lie a thousand times—it doesn’t make it true.
Tim Robbins asks him to apologize to the American people for helping to deceive us into this mess when he wrote "The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America". Hayes refused and continued to assert the claim and the audience wasn't having any of it.

C&L has the video.

Robbins: You can lie a thousand times—it doesn’t make it true.

For the record, Tim Robbins, Bill Maher and Stephen Hayes could all be considered 'technically' correct, but in Stephen's case it's a stretch to be kind. Keane did say Iraq and al Qaeda affiliated persons had several “contacts” with each other but he also said there was never any evidence that the contacts produced any sort of “collaborative relationship” on any level. Anyone calling that a “relationship” is spinning the wrong way for sure, and you have to ask, why?

Here's a MUCH better example of a "relationship" with Saddam:

Guardian: Rumsfeld ‘offered help to Saddam’ *
Declassified papers leave the White House hawk exposed over his role during the Iran-Iraq war

WaPo: U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup *
Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds
And from GWU's National Security Archive:

Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld

Bush's Potemkin Surge Denies Reality in Iraq

Bill Moyers takes a look at the vast differences between Bushco's Potemkin Iraq PR campaign and what is really going on in Iraq.

As the White house launches an "Iraq War Room" to desperately try to spin the coverage of the occupation in Iraq ahead of their long awaited faux Petraeus report to congress next month, reality isn't coooperating. Despite the escalation which has pushed our military to its breaking point, Iraqi deaths have doubled since the surge began and US military casualties are way up too. More and more soldiers are speaking out, calling the White House's claims "surreal", yet much of the media remains content to report just what Bushco wants them to.

Didn't the msm learn anything from their pathetic sycophantic shilling for the White House in the lead up to the war? Apparently not.

Historian Quoted by Bush Calls Analogy "Propaganda"

"They do not use not use history for illumination. They use it to support propaganda."

This is what MIT prof John Dower wrote in 2002:
John Dower on Iraq - Lessons From Japan About War's Aftermath

(NYT) Now, with the Bush administration itself promoting the virtue of pre-emptive strikes, Japan has emerged as possibly offering a very different sort of historical precedent. Does America's successful occupation of Japan after World War II provide a model for a constructive American role in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq?

The short answer is no. (...)

Contrary to what self-anointed "realists" seem to be suggesting today ... most of the factors that contributed to the success of nation-building in occupied Japan would be absent in an Iraq militarily defeated by the United States. ...

More from Thinkprogress: Historian quoted by Bush ‘angrily distances’ himself.
"MIT professor John Dower, called Bush’s use of his work “perverse“ "
Update: Jon Stewart has more about Bush's historical revisionism. LMAO!

Raw Story Roundup

Friday, August 24, 2007

Experts Say U.S. Losing the War on Terror

Iraq war puts U.S. in more danger, experts say
Terror fight going poorly, survey finds

A poll of 100 foreign policy heavyweights Monday showed most believe we're losing the war on terror, we're less safe because of Iraq, and that Islamic fanatics will mount another U.S. strike. ...

Nine out of 10 of the former top government, military and intelligence leaders surveyed warn that Americans now face greater danger and anticipate a new spectacular attack in the next decade, Foreign Policy magazine and the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress found. ...

Most of those surveyed – including prominent conservatives – blamed the Iraq war for increasing perils at home and its negative impact worldwide. ...

Despite GOP presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's belief the troop surge in Baghdad was a wise move by Bush, 64 percent of conservative experts disagree with him. Bush's handling of the war fared even worse, with 84 percent of conservatives decrying its "negative impact" and barely rating the effort a three on a 10-point scale.

Only 20 percent of conservatives in the survey believe the U.S. is winning the overall war on terror. Most agreed we're losing and the terror threat keeps increasing.

Half the experts said that al-Qaida had not staged another attack because their capabilities are overrated or U.S. intelligence has succeeded in thwarting it. Only 2 percent said Bush's counterterror strategy deserves credit for keeping America safe. ...

Raw Story Roundup

Family Loses Second Son in Iraq :(

Brothers in Iraq:( sad

Family loses second son in Iraq due to Blackhawk crash
The downing of a Blackhawk helicopter in Iraq this week that killed 14 U.S. soldiers was especially devastating for the Hubbard family. The death of Spc. Nathan Hubbard, 21, “was the second tragedy for his family, who lost another son to the war three years ago, family friends said.”

USA Today offers more details on some of the other soldiers.
While I do honor the sacrifice these men and their family I can't help but ask: Why? Which lies did they die for?
"The Iraq on the Record database (pdf) contains 237 misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq that were made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice. These statements were made in 125 separate appearances, consisting of 40 speeches, 26 press conferences and briefings, 53 interviews, 4 written statements, and 2 congressional testimonies....."
Iraq on the Record is searchable by the the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Dick Cheney
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell
Then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice

They're Baack! Republican Pervs Back in the News

In the post below we noted that former Rep Mark Foley is back in the news today due to his refusal to turn over his congressional computers to investigators. I'd be remiss in not also pointing out that former White House spiritual advisor, Rev Ted Haggard, "is back and asking for cash" (surreal),

And last but not least, remember this guy?GOP head of Christian Action League arrested for getting some Christian action with a hookerThe former NC Republican lawmaker, retired Baptist minister -- and now-former Christian Action League president -- Coy C. Privette has just been found guilty as charged.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Foley Refuses To Turn Over Computers To Investigators

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced today that its criminal investigation into alleged misconduct by Mark Foley is being hampered by the former Republican lawmaker's refusal to let investigators examine his congressional computers. ...

White House Manual For Silencing Protesters

Alison Stewart has Rachel Maddow on to discuss the Bush admin's aversion to the First Amendment:

White House Manual Details How to Deal With Protesters

A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of "deterring potential protestors" from President Bush's public appearances around the country.

Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by "rally squads" stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out. ...

Sleazy GOP Operative, Roger Stone, Threatens Spitzer's Dad

TPM has been all over this story. This guy Stone is a real piece of work. You just got to read this:
Stoned on Tape!

Here's the call.

And here's a recording of Stone from a recent TV appearance.

As we explained last night, Stone is claiming that unnamed Spitzer operatives broke into his New York City apartment, presumably with a voice impersonator, and placed the threatening message to Spitzer's father from Stone's phone.

As Benjamin also notes, this is an interesting defense as it appears to closely mimic the defense Stone proferred during his last scandal. Back in 1996 the National Enquirer claimed that Stone (then a Bob Dole spokesman) and his wife Nydia (whose phone it appears to have been that placed the offending phone call) were practitioners of what I guess as Republicans they would call the 'swinger' alternative lifestyle and routinely placed ads looking for "muscular, well hung, single men" to join them in expanding the bounds of traditional marriage.

Stone denied the reports and claimed that a disgruntled domestic employee had stolen photographs, sexual descriptions and checkbook information to mimic the Stones and set up impersonating them as a wife-swapping sock-puppet in Swinger publications up and down the East Coast.

Hastert Won't Even Stay Until End Of His Term

Fat Bastert fleeing the coup Thinkprogress:

Last week, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2008. In his e-mail newsletter today, Robert Novak reported that Hastert won’t be finishing out his term and will retire on Nov. 6:
An Illinois Republican source tells us former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) plans to resign November 6 this year instead of finishing out his term. This would create a vacancy and trigger a special election in the 14th District. ...
I'm guessing one of his many scandals may be chasing him out the door.

Raw Story Roundup

Romney and the Anti-Choice Movement to Outlaw Birth Control

Any way the wind blows. Romney the flip flopper.


Mr. Romney's code, deciphered, meant, "I, like you, hope to reclassify the most commonly used forms of contraceptives as abortions." In fact, he told the crowd, he already had some practice redefining contraception: "I vetoed a so-called emergency contraception bill that gave young girls abortive drugs without prescription or parental consent." ...
Let's review Romney's pro/anti-choice record, shall we?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bill Maher Counter-Spins O'Reilly

video: Maher's pics of ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani in dragBillO starts off by trying to slam Maher's show (and Arianna Huffington in the process, calling her a "loon") and Bill Maher set him straight. O'Reilly had to admit he just blurted it out without knowing WTF he was talking about.

And you got to love the end of the interview, LMAO! unless you're part of the Giuliani campaign. They probably soiled themselves when Maher pointed that out to the largest conservative base teevee audience there is.

Raw Story Roundup

The Raw Story rawstory.comDaily Show's 'fake' correspondent reports from real Iraq
Blogger: FEC should treat Fred Thompson like Sharpton
CIA didn’t do enough to stop 9/11, declassified report says
Ex-CIA officer: US 'will hit' Iran soon
In Montana, Top Bush forestry official faces contempt, jail
Pentagon to stop monitoring anti-war protester activities
Bush to draw Vietnam parallel in warning over Iraq withdrawal
On Fox, Catholic priest suggests 'Allah' is god of terrorism
US: Iran timetable 'not sufficient'
US will 'continue to pursue a third resolution' with five key countries.
YouTube videos to have 'overlay' ads
Semitransparent ads to feature at the bottom of selected video clips.
Bush support for Iraqi PM wavers
Bush: Replacing Maliki up to Iraqis; Iraq progress 'disappointing'.
EU urges Texas to end executions
Warning comes as state prepares to carry out its 400th death penalty.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cafferty Blasts Dodd for Ruling Out Bush Impeachment

Cafferty lambastes Dodd for saying it would be a mistake for democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush, and could jeapordize their control of Congress. ... Dodd also said this "If we become preocccupied with an impeachment process I think we could turn off an awful lot of people who might otherwise be willing to support Democrats."

Cafferty let him have it:
"So Senator Dodd is putting the election prospects of the Democratic Party next year ahead of whether or not President Bush might be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors of the kind that would mandate his removal from office. Congress' job is oversight of the Executive Branch, unless of course that oversight interferes with getting elected."
Here's the article Cafferty is referring to.
Dodd: Impeachment effort would be mistake

Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd, a U.S. senator from Connecticut, said today it would be a mistake for Democrats in Congress to launch impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

Dodd said Democrats could lose control of Congress in the 2008 elections if they pursued that course because many Americans would object to Congress spending 14 months on impeachment proceedings rather than focusing on other problems facing the
nation. ...

I understand what Dodd is saying, and I even think he might be right about it, but I also have to agree with Jack Cafferty. It's not just Dodd that thinks this though. It's apparently what the majority of Democrats on the hill think by their actions (or perhaps inactions). Save for Dodd now, and to some extent Nancy Pelosi's taking 'impeachment off the table' before the election, they're just not saying it.

I'm really not sure if Dodd''s right or not or what positive could come from letting Bush hand over the rest of his Presidency to Cheney or someone else of his choosing, like Nixon did with Ford, which is all that impeachment will do. So I guess I'm agnostic on the practicality of impeachment proceedings as far as the long & short run net effect politically but I agree with it based on principle with just what we already know. There seems to be ample reason both necessary and sufficient that Bush and Cheney along with half of the cabinet ought to have been removed from office already.

Insider Trading at Diebold?

Insider Trading at Diebold

It sure sounds like it.

BradBlog: Mass Sell-Off by Company Officers Occurs Simultaneously Just Days Prior to Stock Price Plunge, Announcement of Jettisoning of Election Division

On a recent Tuesday in August, several days after California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen's pronouncement of decertification and then new, restrictive recertification of Diebold Inc.'s voting systems, ten officers of the company simultaneously sold off some 10,379 shares of stock at a near 52-week high for the troubled company.

The ten Diebold insiders sold at $53.05 per share, netting more than half a million dollars in the transactions. The stock would begin to plummet nearly 15% a week later, just before it was disclosed that Diebold would spin off their elections division into a new company called "Premier Elections Solutions" after which the stock began a modest recovery.

Two days after the mass August 7th sale, two more Diebold officers would sell another 2,166 shares at the same $53.05 price.
video: E-Voting Hacked
And in other electronic voting machine news:

And here's related video news from 2 weeks ago about the tests that led to CA's SOS to decertify Dieblod, ES&S and Sequoia e-voting systems.

"Holy Incrementalism, Batman!"

Milbank calls out a powerful Dem for being all bark and no bite.

Raw Story Roundup

Trying something new.

Several times lately I've found myself trying to find an article that I know I had read at Raw Story, only to realize that Raw Story doesn't have a search tool anymore and their archive is, well, ... Anywho, I've decided to snag just the headlines there about once each day into a post here so I can more easily go back to them and to keep up here with events I might not otherwise do a post about.

Iraq Surge at Breaking Point: Soldiers Speak Out

7 Soldiers in Iraq: The War as We Saw It
Countdown brings us an update to the earlier post:
Soldiers Speak Out About Iraq, Contradict O'Hanlon & Pollack

support the troops, not the chickenhawks
AP Survey: Army is strained to limits *

The Army’s 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that President Bush sent to Baghdad this year, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by the AP.

That presents the Pentagon with several painful choices if the Untied States wants to maintain higher troop levels beyond the spring of 2008:
Using National Guard units on an accelerated schedule.

Breaking the military’s pledge to keep soldiers in Iraq for no longer than 15 months.

Breaching a commitment to give soldiers a full year at home before sending them back to war.
For a war-fatigued nation and a Congress bent on bringing troops home, none of those is desirable. ...
Heartbraking report about Iraq's deadliest attack
Clearly anyone who still supports this war and this President's surge needs to be actively serving in the military. Replacements needed.

Update via Atrios:
Meanwhile ...
The governor, Mohammed Ali al-Hasani, was killed when the bomb exploded next to his convoy as it drove through the provincial capital, Samawa, police say. ...

He is the second Shia governor killed this month.
Iraq has 18 provinces....
Which lie is the reason we are there?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Giuliani: Ground Zero, Yankee Stadium, What's the Difference?


After 9/11, Rudy wasn't a rescue worker -- he was a Yankee
Giuliani said he spent as much time at ground zero as many rescue workers. Where was he really? Much of the time, at baseball games.
On Friday, a New York Times story examined Rudy Giuliani's schedule in the months after 9/11 to verify his controversial claim that, like rescue workers, he'd spent long hours at ground zero, and so was "in that sense ... one of them." In fact, the Times found, he only spent 29 hours at the terror site between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16.

What was he doing instead? Giuliani's beloved New York Yankees made it to the World Series in 2001. We decided to compare the time he spent on baseball to the time he spent at the ruins of the World Trade Center.

The results were, considering the mayor's long-standing devotion to the Bronx Bombers, unsurprising. By our count, Giuliani spent about 58 hours at Yankees games or flying to them in the 40 days between Sept. 25 and Nov. 4, roughly twice as long as he spent at ground zero in the 90 days between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16. By his own standard, Giuliani was one of the Yankees more than he was one of the rescue workers. ...
As I posted last week, Olbermann took Giuliani to task over this same issue:

FEC Complaint filed against Fred Thompson


Progressive blogger Lane Hudson filed a complaint against Fred Thompson (R-TN) on Monday, accusing the former Senator of violating the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) “testing the waters” clause. The complaint argues that Thompson is running a full-blown campaign and should be held to the same regulations as the other candidates. ABC’s Jake Tapper writes, “The rule is pretty simple. If you spend more than $5,000 on campaign activities, you’re a candidate, whether or not you’ve officially declared.
FYI: It was Lane Hudson who broke the Foley scandal with his blog at the time: Stop Sex Predators. His current internet digs is News For The Left.

C&L has more:
Jake Tapper does a good job on his post at the Political Punch giving more background on why the complaint is valid.

Help out and call the FEC and demand an investigation: FEC Phone Number: (800) 424-9530 In Washington (202) 694-1100
Update C&L: Newsweek agrees with Hudson’s FEC complaint against Fred Thompson (video)

"Gays For Giuliani" Plays Hardball

It was nowhere near as nice of coverage as CNN gave it, but it was nice to see it still generating national media attention.

For the original "Gays For Giuliani" ad by Ryan Davis, go here:

The satirical faux-ad is actually supposed to run soon in South Carolina. LOL!

Other YouTube videos are taking a toll on the Giuliani campaign too.

Bogus Voter Fraud 'Loyal Bushie' US Atty Schlozman Out

This is the guy at the heart of the US atty scandal who filed bogus election fraud charges in Kansas City just before the '06 election, and who politicized the hiring process at DOJ "clearing out career lawyers in order to replace them with "good Americans"" (ie: loyal bushies) among other things.''Bradley Schlozman, GOP/DoJ 'Vote Fraud' Scammer, ...''


Schlozman Leaves Justice Department
By Paul Kiel - August 20, 2007, 5:02 PM

Bradley Schlozman, a former Justice Department official who was at the center of the U.S. attorneys scandal and is under investigation by the Departments inspector general for his alleged efforts to politicize the Civil Rights Division, has finally left his post at the Department. (...)

Schlozman has further been accused of politicizing the hiring at the Civil Rights Division, famously commenting that he was replacing Democratic hires with "good Americans." It's this activity which the Department's joint internal investigation, led by the inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility, is probing. ...

*correction. I had mistakenly said Schlozman had filed the bogus election fraud charges in St Louis instead of Kansas City. oops

ABC News Iowa Democratic Debate 8-19-07

Here's just a few of the applause getting moments:

I also posted the complete ABC News Iowa Democratic Debate here (55 min).

TPM's Election Central:

Election Central Debate Roundup

This morning's ABC News Democratic debate in Des Moines was very good in a lot of ways, with some of the most substantive discussions of policy that we've seen at any televised debate up until now. (...)

Chris Dodd '08 BlogChris Dodd's campaign released this chart comparing how much time each candidate got to talk — showing their man second only to Mike Gravel in being given the least time to say anything:
Update: TPMtv has video from the debate too: TPM's Iowa Dem Debate Round-Up

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Moyers: "Rove is riding out of Dodge City as the posse rides in."

C&L with a partial transcript:
“Karl Rove figured out a long time ago that the way to take an intellectually incurious draft-averse naughty playboy in a flight jacket with chewing tobacco inhis back pocket and make him governor of Texas, was to sell him as God’s anointed in a state where preachers andtelevangelists outnumber even oil derricks and jack rabbits. Using church pews as precincts Rove turned religion into a weapon of political combat — a batteringram, aimed at the devil’s minions, especially at gay people.

It’s so easy, as Karl knew, to scapegoat people you outnumber, and if God is love, as rumor has it, Rove knew that, in politics, you better bet on fear and loathing. Never mind that in stroking the basest bigotry of true believers you coarsen both politics and religion.“

How Rove Funneled Fed Tax Dollars to the GOP

The extreme 'Hatch Act be damned' politicization of our govt at every level. That's what Rove will be forever remembered for.

M C RoveWaPo:

How Rove Directed Federal Assets for GOP Gains *

Bush Adviser's Effort to Promote the President and His Allies Was Unprecedented in Its Reach
Thirteen months before President Bush was reelected, chief strategist Karl Rove summoned political appointees from around the government to the Old Executive Office Building. The subject of the Oct. 1, 2003, meeting was "asset deployment," and the message was clear:

The staging of official announcements, high-visibility trips and declarations of federal grants had to be carefully coordinated with the White House political affairs office to ensure the maximum promotion of Bush's reelection agenda and the Republicans in Congress who supported him, according to documents and some of those involved in the effort.

"The White House determines which members need visits," said an internal e-mail about the previously undisclosed Rove "deployment" team, "and where we need to be strategically placing our assets." ...

... Rove, who announced last week that he is resigning from the White House at the end of August, pursued the goal far more systematically than his predecessors, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Washington Post, enlisting political appointees at every level of government in a permanent campaign that was an integral part of his strategy to establish Republican electoral dominance. ...

Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns *
Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy.

Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the election years of 2002, 2004 and 2006.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether the White House's political briefings to at least 15 agencies, including to the Justice Department, the General Services Administration and the State Department, violated a ban on the use of government resources for campaign activities.

Under the Hatch Act, Cabinet members are permitted to attend political briefings and appear with members of Congress. But Cabinet members and other political appointees aren't permitted to spend taxpayer money with the aim of benefiting candidates.

Late Update Thinkprogress: Waxman Confirms Existence Of Rove’s Politicization ‘Teams’

Soldiers Speak Out About Iraq, Contradict O'Hanlon & Pollack

After weeks of how great the surge is going in Iraq thanks to a couple of Brookings analysts/propagandists posing as war critics turned hawkish doing the full msm circuit following their dog and pony show in Baghdad, then it was reported that not everyone on that same trip agreed with what they were saying, which left us at a sort of two proud fools vs one sane voice in medialand. Well now, this group of 7 soldiers have put their names to a NYT Op-Ed that really ought to be read in full. Here's a few key passages:

support the troops, not the chickenhawksNYT:

The War as We Saw It *

... The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers’ expense. ....

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.

We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.

Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.
Hopefully this Op-Ed will generate the attention it deserves.

Katrina Two Years Later

As the 2 yr anniversary of hurricane Katrina nears, Bill Moyers gives us a heartbreaking look at how so little has been done. Some neighborhoods look untouched still today. Still.

Heck of a job, Bushie. Shame. Heck of a job, Bushie

Late Update from Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films & "When the Saints Go Marching In":
Two years after Katrina and thousands are still without homes

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Myth-Busting Giuliani's Despicable Lies

video: Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani in drag

NYT: For Giuliani, Ground Zero as Linchpin and Thorn *

On at least three occasions, in responding to accusations that the city failed to adequately protect the health of workers in the wreckage, he has boasted that he faced comparable risks himself. In one appearance he declared that he had been in the ruins “as often, if not more” than the cleanup workers who logged hundreds of hours in the smoldering pile.

Another time he brushed aside safety claims by asserting that his long hours at the site had left him susceptible to “every health consequence that people have suffered.”

So, how much time did Mayor Giuliani spend at ground zero?

A complete record of Mr. Giuliani’s exposure to the site is not available for the chaotic six days after the attack, when he was a frequent visitor. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble. In that same period, many rescue and recovery workers put in daily 12-hour shifts.

Also, please do read about Rudy Giuliani and the "five big lies" and how Rudy Giuliani "set up his pre-9/11 counter-terrorism HQ as a love nest" -- "which, if read, should effectively end Giuliani's presidential ambitions."

"Damning" Evidence Alberto Gonzales Lied Under Oath


TPMmuckraker: Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie: Gonzales' Top Six Fibs

WaPo: FBI Director's Notes Contradict Gonzales's Version Of Ashcroft Visit

Mine Safety Undermined By Bush

KO takes a look at Richard Stickler, the mine industry exec with a poor safety record Bush had to recess appoint to become the Fed Mine Safety Chief last year. He was so bad he couldn't get past the then Republican-controlled Senate.

Bush overruled Congress to put the lives of miners in this guy's hands, and now this is who will be responsible for investigating this latest mine disaster.

Huffington Post:
Mine Safety Czar Richard Stickler: Another Bush Fox Guarding the Henhouse
The man who will oversee the federal government's investigation into the disaster that has trapped six workers in a Utah coal mine for over a week was twice rejected for his current job by senators concerned about his own safety record when he managed mines in the private sector.

President George W. Bush resorted to a recess appointment in October 2006 to anoint Richard Stickler as the nation's mine safety czar after it became clear he could not receive enough support even in a GOP-controlled Senate.

Cheney vs Cheney: From Viral to MSM Frenzy

The now famous 1994 Cheney interview posted on the web generated quite a bit of media attention. Here C-Span, where the video first originated, recaps the origin and path the video has followed through the past week in the media. It's a 'from C-Span to YouTube to CNN back to YouTube to print and online journalists around the world and now back to C-Span' video.

There's more:
Cheney vs Cheney: From Viral to MSM Frenzy II
cuzimjustabill on C-Span
BTW, that's one of my videos they show a little more than 3 min into part 1.

And the original YouTube video from Grand Theft Country is here:

Friday, August 17, 2007

The American Taliban on CNN

This is a preview of Christiane Amanpour's upcoming series "God's Warriors" that takes a look at the group 'Battle Cry' breeding hate and intolerance under the guise of religion right here in the US. "Armed with faith and prepared for battle" ... "against the evils of secular society and pop culture," Battle Cry's members are taught by their leader Ron Luce, that they must retake America from those he ironically refers to as the "virtue terrorists that are destroying our kids" ... "raping virgin teenage America on the sidewalk."
Watch it:

Pam Spaulding:

God’s Warriors and the homegrown ‘Battle Cry’

Rolling Stone did a piece on Luce and his movement back in April, “Teenage Holy War.” *
They rise, heartened; the crowd, en masse, swears off “harlots and adultery”; the twenty-one-year-old MC twitches taut a chain across the ass of her skintight red jeans and summons the followers to show off their best dance moves for God. ...

“When you enlist in the military, there’s a code of honor,” Luce preaches, “same as being a follower of Christ.” His Christian code requires a “wartime mentality”: a “survival orientation” and a readiness to face “real enemies.” The queers and communists, feminists and Muslims, to be sure, but also the entire American cultural apparatus of marketing and merchandising, the “techno-terrorists” of mass media, doing to the morality of a generation what Osama bin Laden did to the Twin Towers. “Just as the events of September 11th, 2001, permanently changed our perspective on the world,” Luce writes, “so we ought to be awakened to the alarming influence of today’s culture terrorists. They are wealthy, they are smart, and they are real.
”Even as he tells kids to swear off pop culture, Luce doesn’t swear off capitalism, cashing in for Jesus by making money selling Battle Cry books, t-shirts, and videos.

When you have cult of personality BS going at this level, you know the power over these kids has likely gone to Luce’s head. At this rate, how long will it be before he’s caught with a hooker, or at a rest stop blowing some guy, or, heaven forbid, molesting an underage kid? It’s only a matter of time with folks like this if the current trend holds.

"Gays For Giuliani" Goes Primetime

CNN's Jeanne Moos covering the brilliant YouTube ad "Gays For Giuliani: "A Gay Leader""

The ad is actually going to run soon in South Carolina.

New Cold War Over the North Pole's Oil

International dispute over the North Pole between Canada and Russia (and Denmark and the US) who "want the oil and natural resources under the pole especially if global warming makes the arctic more accessible."

Giuliani Hypocrisy Hits YouTube

CNN's internet Reporter Abbi Tatton gives some attention to old video of Giuliani that contrasts with his professed stance on immigration today.

Abbi gives some nice publicity to TPM for being one of the sites that posted the video.

Abbi Tatton
Abbi Tatton

Too bad she didn't also point out the "Gays for Giuliani" ad that will soon hit the airwaves in South Carolina.

Heil Markos

How tall is a horse?The f├╝hrer Kos was on Colbert. They helped to show what a fraud O'Lielly is in criticizing DailyKos for a few anonymous comments. Oh, and it looks like Stephen really did post that. lol.