Plame: Did Bush Know?

Since the time that Valerie Wilson Plame was outted as a CIA operative, it’™s been clear to anyone paying attention that the Bush regime was digging hard and deep to cover up their involvement. Whether it was Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, or whoever committed the original leaking sin, the question is and remains, who [...]

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Since the time that Valerie Wilson Plame was outted as a CIA operative, it’™s been clear to anyone paying attention that the Bush regime was digging hard and deep to cover up their involvement. Whether it was Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, or whoever committed the original leaking sin, the question is and remains, who knew and who put Plame’™s name into play?

These questions have been receiving new scrutiny as Libby’™s defense lawyer tries to get his client off the hook. The old saying goes, ‘œthere’™s no honor among thieves’, and it’™s looking more and more like there were a lot of thieves involved in the retribution against former ambassador Joe Wilson’™s debunking of the regime’™s Iraq nuclear nightmare scenario.

Dick Cheney kept some notes – or at least, his staff missed shredding some of them when federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald started the investigation into who blew Plame’™s cover and endangered or stopped some important work in progress. One of the notes has emerged in Libby’™s trial, and on the face of it, the note seems to implicate knowledge on the part of the White House, if not George Bush himself.

TruthOut breaks down Cheney’™s note (and implications of the note) in an article published this afternoon:

‘¦But Cheney’™s notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby’™s perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush’™s vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame’™s undercover role with the CIA?

Further, the highly explicit nature of Cheney’™s comments not only hints at a rift between Cheney and Bush over what Cheney felt was the scapegoating of Libby, but also raises serious questions about potentially criminal actions by Bush. If Bush did indeed play an active role in encouraging Libby to take the fall to protect Karl Rove, as Libby’™s lawyers articulated in their opening statements, then that could be viewed as criminal involvement by Bush’¦

Many moons ago, I opined that Watergate started from a much smaller incident than the Plame affair. A seemingly insignificant scribble on the (for all intents and purposes) back of a napkin could have major implications down the road for the regime. I have little doubt that much more will be revealed in the coming days regarding the Bush regime’™s involvement in a federal crime and coverup of the crime.

I’™m starting to get the feeling that Patrick Fitzgerald hasn’™t yet dropped the last shoe in this case. This could get really good.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

ASZ Upgrade – WordPress 2.1

Earlier today, I pushed a button to upgrade All Spin Zone to the newest major release of WordPress, version 2.1. For those of you who use WordPress as your own blog platform, I’™m pleased to report that the upgrade seems to have worked seamlessly.

Our host (bluehost.com) uses a software manager called Fantastico [...]

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Earlier today, I pushed a button to upgrade All Spin Zone to the newest major release of WordPress, version 2.1. For those of you who use WordPress as your own blog platform, I’™m pleased to report that the upgrade seems to have worked seamlessly.

Our host (bluehost.com) uses a software manager called Fantastico to install and upgrade software on our server platform, and it truly is fanstatic. Nearly every upgrade I’™ve done to the various pieces that run behind the scene in the nearly two years that we’™ve been with Bluehost has been easy. The transition to WP 2.1 was no exception.

If you’™ve encountered any site errors since I performed the upgrade, I’™d appreciate some feedback.

Lastly, I’™ve been informed that live-linking blogads are now available. If you’™re a potential advertiser who has rapidly changing content on your site (say, a political campaign website or news aggregator), what a neat way to get your message out! Early reports on clickthrough rates are phenomenal. Here’™s a link to a demo of live-linking blogads, and here’™s a link to ASZ’™s order page.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |
Category: Admin

The Preznit has a Flintstone Moment

As Baghdad burns, the Buffoon in Chief has himself some fun:

At ‘œThe Gaggle,’ Newsweek reporter Holly Bailey writes that the president clambered into the driver’™s seat of Caterpillar’™s giant D10 tractor. ‘œI would suggest moving back’¦I’™m about to crank this sucker up,’ she reports him saying.

But as White House staff started to move the press [...]

Commentary By: somegirl

flintsoneAs Baghdad burns, the Buffoon in Chief has himself some fun:

At ‘œThe Gaggle,’ Newsweek reporter Holly Bailey writes that the president clambered into the driver’™s seat of Caterpillar’™s giant D10 tractor. ‘œI would suggest moving back’¦I’™m about to crank this sucker up,’ she reports him saying.

But as White House staff started to move the press corps back, the situation became more chaotic. Bailey writes that ‘œthe tractor lurched forward’ and White House staff ‘œtoo were forced to scramble for safety. ‘œGet out of the way!’ a news photographer yelled. ‘œI think he might run us over!’”

Bush chuckled about the incident, and referenced driving the tractor during his speech, saying ‘œI’™m impressed by a culture of excellence and accomplishment that is the spirit of Caterpillar. I also appreciate the chance to drive a D10. If you’™ve never driven a D10 ‘” (laughter) ‘” it’™s a cool experience. (Laughter),’ according to the White House website.

Bailey looked less fondly upon Bush’™s test drive of the D-10. ‘œYeah, almost as much fun as seeing your life flash before your eyes,’ she wrote in response to the president’™s remark about his ‘œcool experience.’

If he did in fact run someone over, could we finally impeach him for manslaughter?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

More Republican Culture of Corruption

From the muckrakers at TPM:

Following reports and complaints of fishy land deals, the Feds have been investigating Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), making him the 20th member of the 109th Congress to fall under federal scrutiny.

Let’™s hope Gonzales hasn’™t replaced the US Attorney in that jursdiction yet.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

From the muckrakers at TPM:

Following reports and complaints of fishy land deals, the Feds have been investigating Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), making him the 20th member of the 109th Congress to fall under federal scrutiny.

Let’™s hope Gonzales hasn’™t replaced the US Attorney in that jursdiction yet.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

“Outrage” “Roils” “Tumult” in Evesham, NJ

There’™s a bit of controversy in Evesham, NJ. Seems they showed the third graders a video about the diversity of families in the state, and there has been a modicum of fuss. Of course the controversy is because gay families were included in the bill. Mind you, they were likely just families [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

There’™s a bit of controversy in Evesham, NJ. Seems they showed the third graders a video about the diversity of families in the state, and there has been a modicum of fuss. Of course the controversy is because gay families were included in the bill. Mind you, they were likely just families with same sex parents, and I’™m sure they left the gay porn on the cutting room floor, but . . . according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’™s first report(headline in bold). . .

Same-sex diversity video roils Evesham district

. . .

Smith said she received four e-mails and phone calls from parents yesterday, questioning whether third graders were old enough for the material in the video. Evesham’™s superintendent received a handful of complaints as well, Smith said.

Yeah, whole lotta roiling going on. Here’™s a week later in the Inquirer, after the TV stations got hold of the story (CBS-3′™s headlines it with ‘œoutraged,’ and NBC-10 with ‘œupset’). Just in the one week the ‘œroiling’ controversy that generated four calls and emails is now an ‘œoutrage.’ Of course, the media sparked the outrage, as the Inquireer’™s report noted, and especially conservative talk show hosts Michael Smerconsih and Laura Ingraham.

Yeah, we’™ve got another manufactured controversy here. One parent who likely claims to be a Christian evidently didn’™t get the diversity message of inclusion, stating that instead of the video which shows families of all types being respected he’™d rather see the teaching of the ‘œgolden rule.’

‘œThey don’™t need to see stuff like this in school. We would rather have them learning reading, writing, math, art, history,’ said Mike Ricchini, who has a daughter at Van Zant. ‘œTreat everyone with respect’¦ . I’™d rather see a video on teaching the Golden Rule.’

Nobody said these folks had brains.

Who comes in for the shame here? It seems the parents who are complaining are complaining about nothing, and their handle on reality seems a bit skewed. The right-wing talk show hosts certainly blew this thing out of proportion, but in a sense that’™s how they see their jobs. I can guarantee neither Michael Smerconish nor Laura Ingraham watched the video ‘” they merely made money off of starting a fight in a school gymnasium.

Perhaps most at fault here is the Inquirer for their sensationalist headlines. This was no roiling controversy when they reported it as such. It was no more that a simmer. The headline exaggerrated the story and that’™s likely why the bloodsuckers, Michael Smerconish and Laura Ingraham, picked up the story. (‘Bloodsuckers?’ Well, is there a name for someone who incites a riot for financial gain? I suppose con men do something similar on occasion.)

Meanwhile, neighbors are at each others throats over a video about treating all families nicely. There’™s some irony there I suspect Smerconsish and Ingraham will not understand.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Marijuana Medicine

Damn, what can’™t that plant do? Lookee here, there’™s trials for a cannabis based drug for neuropathy and get this, one for obesity!

When oh when will they catch on in the USA? I don’™t want big pharm taking over the supply, but if good medicine is what it takes for that [...]

Commentary By: somegirl

Damn, what can’™t that plant do? Lookee here, there’™s trials for a cannabis based drug for neuropathy and get this, one for obesity!

When oh when will they catch on in the USA? I don’™t want big pharm taking over the supply, but if good medicine is what it takes for that ol’™ weed to get some respect, it’™s gotta be a step forward.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Specter: McFlightsuit Not Lone Decider

Given Arlen Specter’™s capitulation to the regime in the past, I wouldn’™t read too much into this – at least I don’™t think we can consider his words as a GOP defection or warning. Still’¦

‘œI would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider,’ Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting [...]

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Given Arlen Specter’™s capitulation to the regime in the past, I wouldn’™t read too much into this – at least I don’™t think we can consider his words as a GOP defection or warning. Still’¦

‘œI would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider,’ Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., said during a hearing on Congress’™ war powers amid an increasingly harsh debate over Iraq war policy. ‘œThe decider is a shared and joint responsibility,’ Specter said.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

More Madness from King George

Our lunatic in chief has taken his most egregious step toward dictatorship yet – last week Chimpy signed an executive order requiring every federal agency to have a political appointee as gatekeeper to make sure that the agency is doing what he wants instead of well, their job of protecting the American people. Of [...]

Commentary By: somegirl

Our lunatic in chief has taken his most egregious step toward dictatorship yet – last week Chimpy signed an executive order requiring every federal agency to have a political appointee as gatekeeper to make sure that the agency is doing what he wants instead of well, their job of protecting the American people. Of course a cost/benefit analysis is the centerpiece of this ingeniously diabolical plan to gut federal regulations, and nothing gets out without his express approval, got it?

President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’™s priorities.

In addition, agencies will be required to show ‘œmarket failure’ for any policy they propose, adding a huge layer of bureaucracy using your taxdollars to ‘œprove’ that benevolent big business can do it better without your stinkin’™ rules, thank you very much. And of course it’™s a big fuck you to Congress.

Typically, agencies issue regulations under authority granted to them in laws enacted by Congress. In many cases, the statute does not say precisely what agencies should do, giving them considerable latitude in interpreting the law and developing regulations.

The directive issued by Mr. Bush says that, in deciding whether to issue regulations, federal agencies must identify ‘œthe specific market failure’ or problem that justifies government intervention.

I am sure the preznit will also fail to see the irony in needing to protect the poor poor big businesses at this time, when so many are making record profits – how dare that big bad government make them spend some of it following tiresome safety and environmental regulations. And what better way to make the conservative’™s beloved smaller government than by adding an additional layer of bureaucracy, beholden to dear leader.

BTW, this is a big story in the NYT this morning, but I haven’™t seen any other news outlet covering it yet. It doesn’™t even show up on the business pages of Google, CNN, Yahoo’¦guess we should just move along, and go shopping. I say this is madness – IMPEACH ALREADY!!!

Oy, An UPDATE already: Via Kevin Drum, it looks like this is one of Bushco’™s first initiatives under his new groundbreaking approach to dictatorship:

Bush is insisting that Congress get out of the CAFE business. Instead, the Bush administration itself will set future standards ‘œbased on cost/benefit analysis, using sound science, and without impacting safety.’ Pardon my cynicism, but this doesn’™t sound like a way of increasing CAFE standards. It sounds like a way of preempting a newly Democratic Congress from setting strict standards and instead allowing the administration to create toothless, industry-friendly rules with lots of loopholes. ‘œCost/benefit’ and ‘œsound science’ are movement conservative buzzwords that are usually pretty reliable indicators that the con is on.

Bush’™s plan is to switch from average fuel economy standards to ‘œattribute-based’ standards. That is, instead of a firm overall target, car manufacturers will have flexible targets for different vehicle classes, along with the ability to trade ‘œCAFE credits’ if they don’™t feel like meeting even those.

Yeah baby, the con is on!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

If it Smells Like a Demon. . .

If the Republicans in Virginia want to whine about the Democrats using facts to describe their actions, they may be well advised not to use the ‘œD’ word. The word may be too close to factual itself.

But Virginia Republicans said the video recordings of legislative proceedings have nothing to do with open [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

If the Republicans in Virginia want to whine about the Democrats using facts to describe their actions, they may be well advised not to use the ‘œD’ word. The word may be too close to factual itself.

But Virginia Republicans said the video recordings of legislative proceedings have nothing to do with open government, instead accusing the Democrats of playing ‘œgotcha’ politics.

‘œIt’™s an effort to demonize Republicans,’ said Shaun Kenney, communications director for the Virginia Republican Party. ‘œIt’™s about targeting and embarrassing Republican delegates,’ he said.

These folks should be embarrassed looking in the mirror. Hat tip to SusanG at DKos.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

McCain Being Hurt by Iraq

More properly, I suppose it is McCain’™s eagerness to spend American lives in Iraq that is hurting his political aspirations. From DKos and the Rasmussen poll. (Richardson did better than I thought, too.)

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

More properly, I suppose it is McCain’™s eagerness to spend American lives in Iraq that is hurting his political aspirations. From DKos and the Rasmussen poll. (Richardson did better than I thought, too.)

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |
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