Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Had a Dream

Two nights ago I had a dream in which I was arguing with my mother -- again! -- that "the media," insofar as it is a single entity, is not liberal.

I wasn't even paying attention to the news except to notice the deaths of several people all at once (Ingmar Bergman, Tom Snyder and the coach of my mom's favorite football team, the 49ers of the '80s, Bill Walsh) and the seizure of Chief Justice Roberts. I am, after all, a Level 15 Night Elf Huntress who has to feed her bear on a regular basis (neep!).

But today's Glenn Greenwald is about how two Bush and Iraq War Supporters who supported the Surge, Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon, announced that they were actually war opponents who have been forced by the brilliant strategy of the Surge to admit that it's really working after all.

And "the media" sopped it up, playing it just as the propagandists wanted them to.
I spent yesterday and today reading through virtually all of the writings and interviews of these two Brookings geniuses over the past four years concerning Iraq. There is no coherence or consistency to anything they say. It shifts constantly. They say whatever they need to say at the moment to justify the war for which they bear responsibility. It is exactly like reading through the writings of Bill Kristol, Tom Friedman and every other individual who flamboyantly supported this disaster and -- motivated solely by salvaging their own reputations -- are desperate to find some method to argue that they were right.

Even though I write frequently about how broken and corrupt our establishment media is, witnessing these two war lovers -- supporters of the invasion, advocates of the Surge, comrades of Fred Kagan -- mindlessly depicted all day yesterday by media mouthpieces as the opposite of what they are was really quite startling. After all, there is a record as long as it is clear demonstrating what they really are.

And lest we get distracted by this propaganda nonsense into thinking that the Surge is actually working because "these Howard-Dean-like War Opponents say it," the Surge is, in point of fact, not working at all (Matthew Yglesias).
[Michael O'Hanlon] totally backed down. Said the progress has only been against aqi [Al Qaeda in Iraq - Ed.], that sectarian violence and the civil war is as bad as ever, and that the current strategy will probably fail. He thinks we should partition the country. Why the turnabout from the optimistic op-ed? He didn't say.

Please please please stop listening to these liars.

Both links via Eschaton

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

/dance

I've installed the graphics card. I've spent half a day downloading the game and all its patches.

I'm playing WoW.

Let's celebrate.


See you in a few days when my obsession ebbs.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lord Chodemort

About a third of the way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it's become frighteningly clear that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters have taken over our government.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

I Have Contempt for Your Contempt of My Contempt

Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten will likely be charged with contempt by Congress on Wednesday, reports The Raw Story (via Fark).

Tony Snow poo-pooed the contempt charges.
He repeated the White House's offer for off-the-record interviews for officials like Miers on the US Attorneys firings, and suggested that the Justice Department was unlikely to proceed with contempt charges, "if precedent is any guide."

Take your thoroughly corrupted DOJ and stick it somewhere unsavory.

Congress doesn't need the DOJ to arrest, try and imprison Miers and Bolten because of Inherent Contempt.
Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited for contempt is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subject to punishment that the House may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation.)

Mwaha, mwahaha, mwahahaha!

For a little bonus, here's Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Turley on the subject (Crooks & Liars).

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For Pither

Because he seemed a little grumpy today.

Thank you, Sleestak of Lady, That's My Skull.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sen. Kerry Gets the Joke Right This Time

John Kerry recited a limerick about Sen. Vitter at a DSCC fundraiser over the weekend (The Hill):
There once was a man named Vitter
Who vowed that he wasn’t a quitter
But with stories of women
And all of his sinnin’
He knows his career’s in the — oh, never mind.

Hahaha, but...

Just like a Democrat to crap out at the last second. :-/

Via WTF Is It Now?

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Friday, July 20, 2007

This Calls for True Bipartisanship, 'Cause the Dems are Gonna Screw Us Over

It's amazing what two minutes in a kiddie pool can do. I got too cold.

But the shock made me think a little deeper into this Glenn Greenwald post in which he says:
We know the administration breaks laws with impunity and believes it can. That is no longer in question. The only real question is what, if anything, we are willing to do about that.

More specifically, Greenwald lays the blame on the Democratic leadership in Congress.
It has been six months since the Democrats took over Congress. Yes, they have commenced some investigations and highlighted some wrongdoing. But that is but the first step, not the ultimate step, which we desperately need. Where are the real confrontations needed to vindicate the rule of law and restore constitutional order?

The other day, Maha wrote in Frogs in a Pickle (about the Executive Order of July 19):
The cabal commits some outrage, which knocks some of us off balance, creating rage and uncertainty, we try to sort it out, and then we adjust and life goes on. We regain our balance. The net effect, to use a parable, is the familiar story of the frogs who were slowly boiled to death by ever so slowly increasing the temperature.

The ease at which this happens is captured in the title of a DailyKos diary on the same topic, Bush Declares Martial Law. Country Yawns, Changes Channel.

But has anyone considered that the Democratic leadership in Congress is letting it all happen because they know they will own the White House in '08 and they want those powers for themselves?

They're letting Bush do the dirty work, take the public hatred and create an insulated and all-powerful Executive. They're not going to significantly reverse Bush's encroachments once the Unitary Executive lies in their hands and the public has moved on, distracted by the last season of Lost.

We have seriously got to lay the public pressure on now before it's all water under the bridge.

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It's Hot

I can't think straight. And I'm sleepy.

So I got nuthin'.

Have a nice day.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Obscenity, Arrogance, Impeachment

I heard Ed Schultz talking about his appearances lately in which he threw the impeachment word out there. He's been helping to push the cause, having been turned towards impeachment by the Libby commutation.

He talked to Pelosi, who now says impeachment has always been on the table. He talked before a crowd, mentioned the "I" word and got a lot of applause, which appeared on C-SPAN. And he appeared on Hardball, Mike Barnicle subbing for Chris Matthews (via Crooks & Liars):
Ed Schultz: There's polls out there that say that 46% of registered voters want this man impeached. The Democrats are behind the curve, they need to get with the American people and get aggressive.
And that led to the subject of how out of touch Washington in general is, and a very appropriate word was used to describe The Beltway:
Mike Barnicle: There's also something going on, you mentioned the Beltway having, no matter how you feel about this war, there's something that verges on the obscene about the politics of the war being played out in Washington while all these funerals are being conducted across the country.
Karen Hanretty, The Gropenator's former spokeswoman, chimed in:
But then I'll tell you what also is, I think, obscene to people, is the idea that you would conduct a war based on polls based, versus principle. ... Now, you might not agree with, you might not agree with the President's principles, but the idea of running a war based on polls ...
Karen Hanretty might be right if they were talking about some other war that had been fought on principle. She'd be even closer to right if they were talking about a war at all rather than an occupation.

However, what would she call invading a country based on a desire to do so for matters other than national security and using marketing techniques and fearmongering to convince a large majority of the populace (reflected through polls!) that it's a good idea? I'd call it freakingly, outrageously, humongously obscene.

Anyway, what does this "running a war based on polls" really mean? Does it mean, "we asked 1000 Americans which direction Able Company ought to go: 10% said North; 12% said South; 7% said Other Direction; and a whopping 81% said WTF kind of stupid poll is this?!? or its near equivalent."

Of course it doesn't mean that. Polling against a war means that the war is obviously FUBAR in some way. I happen to be a member of that subset which thinks this particular war was FUBAR from the outset because it was unprincipled and false; but there is a larger segment who previously supported the President and have now come to the realization that not only is the Iraq Occupation FUBAR, but our own Bush Occupation is skirting too closely to the shoals of FUBAR Island.

What Karen Hanretty was doing was further laying the groundwork that some are working on: blaming the American public for when we are forced to leave Iraq to the uncontrolled chaos that we started. After all, our cowardly Congressmen will have bowed to the polls.

Nevermind the fact that the President had majority support of the populace; nearly unanimous support from Congress and the So Called Liberal Media; carpal tunnel syndrome from all the blank checks he had to endorse; complete autonomy and no Congressional oversight in the conduct of the war and occupation. It will still be someone else's fault that we didn't entirely tame that beast, bending it to our will.

Apparently, there is something unprincipled about finally seeing the huge, growing stack of human bodies and getting angry and queasy about contributing blindly to the piss-poor strategery that refuses to even attempt to adapt.

And that's truly what the polls are all about. It's not an attempt by the public to run an occupation by popular opinion, it's a reflection of the opinion of the populace that no one is really running anything (at least nothing that would lead to a somewhat successful occupation rather than huge wads of cash for war profiteers).

The public swallowed the President's line about Iraq, and he would have gotten away with it if it had worked (the meddling kids and their dog only got attention when they were being marginalized and ridiculed). He was given every tool to make it work, and he didn't do it. And in the face of glaring facts that everyone can plainly see, he refuses to acknowledge his mistakes or try to change. Except to throw more bodies at it and demand more carte blanche unaccountability.

All he had to do was make it work. Since it was unworkable to begin with, all he needs to do now is admit the colossal mistake he made and change. That's also unworkable given a particular attribute of our President.

Above in the ellipses of Karen Hanretty's little speech on obscenity, and then again at the end of what she had to say, Ed Scultz said this about the American people, their opinions, and the President's relationship with them:
The American people have to matter ... The American people have to matter. And he has been totally arrogant to their feelings.

I think that just about sums it up.

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Impeach Them Postcard

I received my postcards in the mail, addressed three to my U.S. Senators and Representative and two of them to The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

I included in the postcards to the newspapers this message:
I would like to see an editorial advocating the commencement of a Congressional committee which will investigate potential impeachable offenses committed by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
On all the cards I included my contact info, so they know it comes from one individual and is not astroturf.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Missed My Own Blogiversary

It's been two years as of June 23.

That means I have staying power.

Hope you're as excited as I.

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U.S. v. Bush

Randi Rhodes just read the beginning of a book by career prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega. It's a hypothetical indictment on fraud charges of the senior players of the Bush Administration who lead us into war: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell.

TomDispatch has more.

And here's the book through Amazon.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Spread the Word: Impeachment














I made a graphic and put it on postcards, t-shirts, magnets and stickers ... everything for advertising and an easy way to build a movement that requires nothing more than spending a few bucks and walking around.

Get them while they're hot!


... I'm just following the suggestion of Avedon Carol from The Sideshow who suggested sending a simple "Impeach Them" postcard to your member of Congress. Heck, send them to everyone.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Crystallization

From Olbermann's Special Comment (from Crooks & Liars):
When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20th, 1973, Mr. Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously:
“Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people.”

President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party’s headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.

But in one night, Nixon transformed it. Watergate — instantaneously — became a
simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law. Of
insisting — in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not
previously understood — that he was the law.

Not the Constitution.

Not the Congress.

Not the Courts.

Just him.

Just - Mr. Bush - as you did, yesterday.

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Clinton Didn't Do It!!! Part II

Clinton Didn't Do It!!! was a draft I started before I took Ben to see Transformers (which is good summer fare for big kids and adults). I woke up Pither to watch Andy because, as I told Pither when he asked why he needed to get up, "Andy will get into shit."

Obviously, Andy got into shit and published my post.

The point I was going to make about Clinton's Grand Jury testimony was that I didn't see anything that was an obvious lie. I thought he was pretty candid about his attempts to mislead the court in the Paula Jones deposition, and he hinted at a very good defense to any contradictions between him and those who would be witnesses against him; people can have different recollections and understandings about things that were said, such as in his example of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. Plus, he admitted that he could have said things he was accused of saying though he didn't specifically remember.

That case would have had to have been tried by a jury. As the Special Prosecutor who took over after Starr said, no jury would have convicted Clinton. That's because not only was Clinton still popular, but because there would have been quite enough reason to believe Clinton's version to amount to reasonable doubt.

Not so with Libby.

So anyone who says Clinton committed (or especially admits to committing) perjury either doesn't know what the hell they're talking about or are deliberately lying.

By the way, I found this Village Voice article by jagoff Nat Hentoff (who is a jagoff for many more reasons than this article) from the week of February 14, 2001.
In Clinton's case, said [Richard] Posner, [chief judge of the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals], if justice had been done—and considering the skills of his defense team—the likely sentence would have been 30 to 37 months.

[Emphasis added]

The concern, said Hentoff, was to spare Bush from having to pardon Clinton. That's Hentoff's opinion, since I don't think it would have even come to that. But the sentence Libby received was obviously not considered a far departure from normal justice in 2001.


... Make sure you check out my Clinton Did It! bumper sticker in TGL Cafe Press Stuff.

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Clinton Didn't Do It!!!

Let's get something straight here. Clinton and Libby didn't do the same things.

Clinton didn't commit perjury, and, contrary to Kate O'Beirne's and Chris Matthews' fantasies, never admitted to having committed perjury.

Perjury has a specific and technical definition which differentiates it from misleading the court or lying under oath. The lie has to be material to the case at hand.

The judge in the Paula Jones case declared Clinton guilty of lying under oath, for which he was fined and disbarred. It wasn't perjury because he attempted to mislead the court in a matter that had nothing to do with Paula Jones' lawsuit.

In the Grand Jury that took up investigating his Jones deposition (which I read in its entirety the other night), had he deliberately lied about m,mnbvcxz123465


... See completed post in Clinton Didn't Do It!!! Part II

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

I've heard the word "impeachment" a lot since yesterday.

After last year's election, I wrote about impeachment. I made the following erroneous prediction:


Bush just got his ass checked by the populace which gave us a Congress that will further check Bush's ass. And being the lap dogs to power that they are, the press will finally do a better job of helping to check Bush. What happened Tuesday was just as much a political solution to an un-Constitutional situation as impeachment, and one that is a lot less divisive and time consuming than investigations and impeachment.

What I failed to appreciate at the time was just how deep and how far the corruption had spread, just how far out of touch with Americans and our values and principles the powerful elite had gotten. And also how twisted all our public institutions had become, particularly the press.

Our system needs an overhauling, from top to bottom. But as fucked up as healthcare, labor, economic, environmental, energy, public health and safety issues are, the biggest fuck up has been the press, which is why, when I think of it, I say a silent "Thank you" to Al Gore for helping to bring us the Information Superhighway.

Smart dictators know that he who controls the information controls the world. That's why five corporations own nearly all of the major media outlets; why the Fairness Doctrine was done away with; why the 1996 Telecommunications Act was passed (forget all the phony scandals, this one and NAFTA are the scandals Clinton should be pilloried for). That's why, despite market demands, 91% of radio programming in the U.S. is conservative. And not just conservative, but ultra-conservative. And not just ultra-conservative, but virulent, lying, and horrible. Our nation's systems are so fucked up because a twisted media helped convince people that black = white, up = down and that private healthcare works well for everyone.

Much is made of a poll that showed many newsrooms are filled with people who donate to Democrats or consider themselves liberal. Besides being not true, those people don't get to air or write just whatever strikes their fancy in the manner that they choose. They have to please editors who have to please managers who have to please owners who have historically been overwhelmingly conservative. And the media has been so worked-over to believe it is liberally biased that they bend over backwards to make themselves appear balanced to people who skew hard-Right; which means they have to help propagate (or at least not challenge) Rightwing lies, since that is what Rightwingers think is the truth.

And yet ...

Despite all the crowing and false Clinton analogies by the conservative radio hate-talkers and the Beltway Pundits and "reporters" who owe their million-dollar careers to their corporate, Bush-worshipping overlords and want to continue sipping cocktails with the people they're supposed to be covering; despite the imbalance between someone telling an outright lie from the Right to someone missing the point from the center-Right that passes for balanced debate on television, more than 2/3 of those polled said Bush was wrong to let Libby off the hook.

Despite a public penchant for stupid TV shows, we're apparently still not dummies.

The American public knew it was bullshit when Clinton was impeached for lying about a private matter after all the other scandals he'd been accused of had been shown to be lies; the American public knew it was bullshit when a spoiled heiress got to go home from jail because her tummy ached; and the American public knows it's bullshit that a man convicted in Federal Court for lying to cover up potential treason was commuted by the very people he helped to cover for.

My prediction about the impeachment of Bush was false because I had faith still that, with all the checks and balances and separation of powers we've got that Something would have to intervene to stop the flagrant abuses we've been subjected to, and that Something was the overwhelming might of public opinion and the electorate working its will in the Halls of Power.

But this arrogant bunch thinks it's got everything locked up. From elections (various methods of disenfranchisement including vote caging, computerized voting with no paper trails which are monitored by conservatives) to the courts (which they ignore when it's convenient) to the wimpy Congress (whose laws are ignored when they're inconvenient) to the novel interpretations of what the Executive Branch is. They act as if there are no checks, balances or separation of powers, as if public opinion is nothing.

And the sad thing is, after everything we've been subjected to -- renditioning, suspension of Habeas Corpus, illegal wiretapping, torture, illegal wars, breaches of national security, pillaging and raping of the Commons, disenfranchisement of voters, abuse of the military -- if nothing is done about any of the Bush Administration's flagrant abuses, then they're fucking right.

Anyone can do anything they're allowed to get away with.

It's fine and good to talk about Rule of Law, American Principles, the Constitution. But it's all pixie dust, a great big pile of nothing without the people with the will to enforce it.

"A Republic, if you can keep it," Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying when asked whether the United States is a Republic or a Monarchy.

Well, our Republic, with all the associated freedoms and equalities that entails and that we've worked hard to create, is under attack by the very people we've charged with safeguarding it. That Little Rebellion is long overdue.

Like I said, we're still not dummies, and I've heard the "I" word a lot more, even from people who were hesitant before.

In other words, everybody hop on board the impeachment train, 'cause it's about to leave the station.


... And don't forget to watch "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" tonight. His Special Comment will be a call for the President and VP to resign. As if!




Image swiped in good piratical
fashion from Cap'n Dyke, who
got it from Blue Gal

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Do You Hear Me!? No Comeuppance!

It's much better to be a Neocon RINO than a Hollywood star these days.

Learn your lesson, celebrities; a three-day crying jag may get you out of jail for a day, but committing multiple felonies covering up the outing of a NOC for crass political purposes will get you a Presidential hand job.

Seeking the silver lining, at least we're getting more government transparency. It certainly is nice seeing the pay off just right out in the open like that for a change. Restores my faith in a government of the cronies, by the cronies and for the cronies.

Sadly, No! has the contact numbers for the White House.


...As usual, the Satirical Political Report tells it the way it should be (and with a cool graphic). Forget Impeachment; Let's "Commute" Bush's Term.

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