Whiner: Wolfowitz

There’™s no other analysis possible. He’™s whining that there’™s some partisan witch hunt going after him, rather than an examination of his actual record. What a delusional guy he is.

Appearing before the board today and going on the attack after weeks of public silence, Mr. Wolfowitz also charged today that he had been [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

There’™s no other analysis possible. He’™s whining that there’™s some partisan witch hunt going after him, rather than an examination of his actual record. What a delusional guy he is.

Appearing before the board today and going on the attack after weeks of public silence, Mr. Wolfowitz also charged today that he had been the victim of ‘œorchestrated leaks of false, misleading, incomplete and personal information’ that were ‘œpart of a conscious campaign to undermine my effectiveness as president.’

‘œThe goal of this smear campaign, I believe, is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that I am an ineffective leader and must step down for that reason alone, even if the ethics charges are unwarranted,’ he said, adding that his resignation under such circumstances would send a ‘œterrible message,’ making an impossible situation for any successor..’

Paul, you gave your girlfriend a peachy job. You did so outside the normal parameters of personel decisions. Duh! You, my man, are simply stupid to think you are being singled out. What a complete idiot you must be. But then, you have been a supporter of the Bush policy in Iraq. That places you in a special realm of stupid, doesn’™t it?

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |
Category: Bush Arrogance

Rasmussen: Obama 32% Clinton 30%

OK, I’™m really happy to see the competition narrowing for the Democratic nomination for 2008, but the numbers also show that Edwards will be the best candidate against the Republicans. I don’™t quite know how a trial lawyer ends up as the best candidate nationally, but there it is. Perhaps it’™s Edwards’™ southern [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

OK, I’™m really happy to see the competition narrowing for the Democratic nomination for 2008, but the numbers also show that Edwards will be the best candidate against the Republicans. I don’™t quite know how a trial lawyer ends up as the best candidate nationally, but there it is. Perhaps it’™s Edwards’™ southern accent?

It should be noted that all the candidates fare well against the potential Republican nominees, all of whom are carrying the weight of failed Iraq policy on their shoulders. As far as favorables are concerned, Obama leads Edwards by a teensy bit, and Hillary’™s unfavorables are far higher than anyone elses.

It’™s still early. I want several healthy and viable candidates here, and it appears we have three who are very strong. Good news, then.

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Murtha: “I” Word Back on the Table?

Over the past couple of years, former war-hawk and 30 year Marine Corps veteran Jack Murtha (D-Pa) has been a pit bull latching onto the legs of the Bush regime’™s ‘œSupport the Troops’ mantra. Murtha has undressed the emperor so many times, it’™s hard to keep count. Whether it’™s regarding lack of up-armoring [...]

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Over the past couple of years, former war-hawk and 30 year Marine Corps veteran Jack Murtha (D-Pa) has been a pit bull latching onto the legs of the Bush regime’™s ‘œSupport the Troops’ mantra. Murtha has undressed the emperor so many times, it’™s hard to keep count. Whether it’™s regarding lack of up-armoring on Humvees, troops having to buy their own body armor, compressed (and inadequate) training, or the impact of extended deployments on troops and their families, Jack Murtha has been leading the congressional charge to expose the Pentagon and the regime’™s hollow words of support.

In comments yesterday on CBS’™s Face the Nation, he once again lit into the regime for stalling on the Iraq funding bill,and proposed a solution to influence George Bush that, while not unique, is starting to gain some momentum:

‘œWhat I’™m saying, there’™s four ways to influence a president. And one of them’™s impeachment.’

Jack Murtha has never struck me as the kind of guy to use the ‘œI’ word lightly. Given the fact that the Progressive Democrats of America successfully lobbied the California Democratic Party to pass an impeachment resolution at last weekend’™s state convention, in addition to various state legislatures demanding the same, and Murtha’™s words on a national political talk show’¦well, you do the calculus.

Movements take time to build momentum. The Bush regime seems to be doing everything it can to quicken the impeachment momentum.

Update: As noted in this DKos diary, it’™s most probable that Murtha’™s words were cleared with Speaker Pelosi in advance of his Face the Nation appearance. So, would that mean that impeachment is indeed back on the table?

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

DHS Can’t Meet Port Security Deadlines

It’™s been more than 5-1/2 years since the events of 9/11/2001 forever changed our notions of what national security looks like. For most of us, the false illusion of ‘œsecurity’ that the Bush regime has provided looks more Orwellian than perhaps even George Orwell could have predicted. Certainly, Osama bin-Laden (where is he, [...]

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It’™s been more than 5-1/2 years since the events of 9/11/2001 forever changed our notions of what national security looks like. For most of us, the false illusion of ‘œsecurity’ that the Bush regime has provided looks more Orwellian than perhaps even George Orwell could have predicted. Certainly, Osama bin-Laden (where is he, by the way?) couldn’™t have predicted that he’™d still be operating out of wherever it is he’™s operating in 2007.

The Dubai Ports World fiasco of 2006 opened a lot of people’™s eyes in terms of how real national security issues are treated – in fact, it’™s been said that the DPW purchase of U.S. port operations, fully endorsed by the Bush regime, was a big chink in the breastplate of national security that the GOP has been self-thumping on for the past six years. Today we find that the humongous bureaucracy created in the wake of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security, is falling down again on the issue of port security:

House lawmakers were skeptical Thursday that the Homeland Security Department will meet key congressional mandates to improve the nation’™s maritime security, especially after one official was unable to name the 10 ports where a new worker identification card system would be tested’¦

‘¦ Fanguy said testing would begin first at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware, but did not specify a date when that testing would begin.

Lawmakers pressed Fanguy to disclose the other ports where testing will be done. To their dissatisfaction, Fanguy could not give an answer.

‘œWhy is it hard to say the 10 that you’™re going to do?’ Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., asked in frustration.

Fanguy said the department plans to test the TWIC program at a mix of larger and smaller ports, and is still working with its contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., to ensure the program does not disrupt port operations’¦

Without getting into the Lockheed Martin contracting angle for a moment (and the company’™s apparent inability to do anything other than bilk taxpayers), let’™s just consider this: by the sixth anniversary of 9/11, there will still not be a worker identification program in place at the weakest link of national security – U.S. ports.

Six long years.

We put a man on the moon in ten.

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

“April is the Cruelest Month”

As most everyone knows, that’™s from Eliot’™s The Wasteland. It also more than aptly describes the US death toll in Iraq this last 30 days. Though maybe a later quote from the poem is more apt: ‘œ’I will show you fear in a handful of dust.’

Eliot’™s work is often thought [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

As most everyone knows, that’™s from Eliot’™s The Wasteland. It also more than aptly describes the US death toll in Iraq this last 30 days. Though maybe a later quote from the poem is more apt: ‘œ’I will show you fear in a handful of dust.’

Eliot’™s work is often thought to aspire to be prophetic. Hmm.

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq,Permalink

Reports of Republican Demise Premature?

There’™s two reports this morning that begin the writing of the epitaph for the Republican Party, and they seem awfully credible. First, there is the LA Times report about the fundraising and candidate recruitment problems the Republican Party is having across the nation.

Some of the GOP’™s top choices to run for the House [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

There’™s two reports this morning that begin the writing of the epitaph for the Republican Party, and they seem awfully credible. First, there is the LA Times report about the fundraising and candidate recruitment problems the Republican Party is having across the nation.

Some of the GOP’™s top choices to run for the House next year have declined, citing what Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) called a ‘œpoisonous’ environment. And Republicans’™ fundraising edge, an important advantage over the last five years, has dwindled.

With GOP clout diminished after November’™s election losses, the Republicans’™ national committee and their House and Senate campaign committees together raised the same amount as the Democrats in the first quarter of the year ‘” and Democrats ended the period with more cash in the bank. At this point four years ago, Republicans had more than twice the money Democrats did.

‘œThe reality is the Republican brand right now is just not a good brand,’ said Tim Hibbitts, an independent Oregon pollster. ‘œFor Republicans, the only way things really get better ‘¦ is if somehow, some way, Iraq turns around.’

Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report said the party was ‘œdesperately in need of some Prozac.’

‘œPoisonous,’ ‘œProzac.’ Those are tough words. Perhaps worse is the notion of just how much the Republican brand has suffered. They’™ve put all their bets down on Bush and Iraq and found the horses to come up lame. And that may be a nice synoipsis of the Republican predicament as described by longtime conservative William F. Buckley, writing in his National Review:

How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can’™t see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, ‘œI want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort.’

The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma.

Me, I’™m not buying a thing about the demise of the Republican Party. I go to the movies, and though it has been a long time, I remember Zombie flicks. I remember when the Zombies looked to be toast and then rose from nowhere to attack again. It’™s the 28%ers who play the role of Jason and Freddie. And while it is pleasant to hear news about the Republican Brand being tarnished, or from Bill Buckley that the Republicans can’™t recover, I fear the 28%ers. Zombies can’™t think, and neither can the 28%ers.

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Burying the Real News on A-19

Sometimes, I don’™t know if editors simply don’™t understand the importance of particular stories, and that’™s why some of the important stuff gets buried, or if it’™s intentional. Today’™s Washington Post buries what is arguably the most important story of today on page A-19: in a middle eastern diplomatic snub of epic proportions, King [...]

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Sometimes, I don’™t know if editors simply don’™t understand the importance of particular stories, and that’™s why some of the important stuff gets buried, or if it’™s intentional. Today’™s Washington Post buries what is arguably the most important story of today on page A-19: in a middle eastern diplomatic snub of epic proportions, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will not receive Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss common issues between the Saudis and Iraqis.

Unsaid in this diplomatic dustup is that Saudi Arabia has been using backchannels to finance the Sunni side of the insurgency in Iraq since, well, the war started. Abdullah also recently declared the U.S. invasion as ‘œillegal’.

So why isn’™t this story getting more play in the press? Is it too difficult for most ‘murkins to understand, or what? This is a big deal on a whole lot of levels. But to Joe Heartland, it’™s Saudis, Iraqis, Iranians, Shiites, Sunnis’¦hell, they’™re all just a bunch of dark skinned guys running around with turbans on their head anyway. (OK, so I’™ve gotta quit channeling Joe Heartland.)

In any case, watch this story as the summer progresses, and oil prices rise – remember – George Bush and the GOP have made us less safe. America is no longer viewed as an honest broker in the middle east. And we’™re going to be paying for this crap for years and years to come.

Sunday, April 29th, 2007 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq,Middle East

Bush Receives Purple Heart

Did you know that George W. Bush was a war hero? I know that this development comes as a shock and surprise to many progressives who are familiar with Bush’™s military career, but he received a Vietnam-era Purple Heart award a few weeks ago in the Oval Office. Seriously.

28%-er Bill Thomas [...]

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Purple HeartDid you know that George W. Bush was a war hero? I know that this development comes as a shock and surprise to many progressives who are familiar with Bush’™s military career, but he received a Vietnam-era Purple Heart award a few weeks ago in the Oval Office. Seriously.

28%-er Bill Thomas of Copperas Cove, Texas, decided recently to give George Bush one of the three purple heart awards that Thomas had been awarded in Vietnam. Bush was so blown over by this gesture that he invited Thomas and his wife, Georgia, to the Oval Office for the presentation. The medal was presented to Bush, and Thomas said:

‘¦he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chielf has withstood during his time in office.

‘œWe feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds.’

Soak that all in for a moment.

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If you factor in Laura Bush’™s lament last week that ‘œ‘¦no one suffers more than the president and I do’¦‘ because of the conflict in Iraq ‘¦’¦.. ‘¦.. ‘¦’¦’¦ oh, fark it. I can’™t even snark this up anymore. Sometimes, true life irony is its own sarcasm. I guess Laura forgot that George isn’™t losing any sleep over it.

It’™s hard to believe that someone on Bush’™s staff didn’™t tell him that this might not be a good idea. It’™s hard not to be at a total loss for words. Don’™t forget – this is what Republicans think of Purple Heart recipients:

2004 GOP Convention

Sunday, April 29th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Must See Tee Vee or Big Distraction?

Piggy-backing on SpinDentist’™s prior post, before we get too wrapped up in (or excited by the prospects of) the DC Madam scandal, let’™s consider a couple of angles.

My biggest concern is that it turns into a sideshow circus. There are enough transgressions that have taken place inside of the Bush regime to get too [...]

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Piggy-backing on SpinDentist’™s prior post, before we get too wrapped up in (or excited by the prospects of) the DC Madam scandal, let’™s consider a couple of angles.

My biggest concern is that it turns into a sideshow circus. There are enough transgressions that have taken place inside of the Bush regime to get too caught up in sex. That being said: it sure didn’™t take the regime long to deep-six Randy Tobias when his connection to Deborah Palfrey’™s hooker ring became clear. So what can we infer from that? Well, according to Tobias, ordering hookers from Palfrey’™s service was like ordering pizza:

On Friday, Ross broke the news that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias had frequented the escort service. Ross added new details to that story tonight, recounting how he asked Tobias in a telephone interview ‘œif he knew any of the young women, their names. He said he didn’™t remember them at all. He said it was like ordering pizza.’

Think about this for a minute. If Abu Al had made some phone calls to Palfrey’™s pizza delivery outcall service, he would have been gone long ago. As it is, he can lie to congress with impunity, gin up torture justifications, and play politics with the US Attorney positions, and still hold his job – all for the lack of blowjob documentation’¦

This is what I’™m talking about when I express my concern about the whole DC Madam scandal being a big distraction.

Anyway, just from a standpoint of titillation factor (no pun intended), here’™s more from ABC on the developing scandal. This is what causes me to be hesitant about making too big of a deal over this ‘œscandal’ between consenting adults:

ROSS: There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers, and there are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers ‘” a long, long list, and as well, the women who work for the service, David, include university professors, legal secretaries, scientists, military officers’¦

I promise you that there are Democratic names involved in this also – so I’™m even more reluctant to get too stoked about indiscriminate massages and blowjobs taking down more pieces of the Bush regime. We already know that the regime is nothing but a cabal of hypocrites, liars, and charlatans. There’™s no news in that. But when the name of a Democrat finally comes out (and it will happen), the DC Madam scandal becomes an equal opportunity, non-partisan ‘œhey-everyone-does-it’ career destroyer. I know I’™m in the minority among progressives, but be afraid of this scandal, and tread lightly around it.

Oh, and 9 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq over the past 24 hours.

See what I mean?

Sunday, April 29th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Palfrey’s Strategy: I want to be in on the Deposition

Evidently Randy Tobias resigned yesterday because he knew he was going to get the truly rotten publicity of showing up on a list of call girl clients. That’™s old news. As it is old news that Ms. Palfrey has threatened to expose the contents of her entire client list. I suppose I [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Evidently Randy Tobias resigned yesterday because he knew he was going to get the truly rotten publicity of showing up on a list of call girl clients. That’™s old news. As it is old news that Ms. Palfrey has threatened to expose the contents of her entire client list. I suppose I knew she might want to depose those clients, then have them testify at her trial. Somehow the image of those depositions and later trial testimony hadn’™t sunk in until this morning.

It is Ms. Palfrey’™s defense strategy that is now causing the biggest stir.

She not only intends to identify more of her high-profile clients, but has also threatened to call them as witnesses at trial to back up her claim that the services provided never crossed the line to prostitution.

I just have this image in my head that George Bush’™s stupid nicknames for his staffers relate to their activities with those prostitutes. Of course, ‘œturd blossom’ describes no sex act I’™d like to contemplate. But the whole thing makes me giggle. There’™s a funny idea here, like a George Bush nickname generator based on slangy sex trade terms, or something like that.

The guarantee here? Tobias is not the last one to resign in disgrace.

Sunday, April 29th, 2007 by Richard Blair |
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