OK, I'm Going...

back to work on the encyclopedia I am writing (and no, it's not the encyclopedia of cuss words, of lunatic fringe extremists, or on the many scientific terms Mr. Bush has mangled and jangled).

You all have a good night and a wondrous Sunday morning.

I Agree with Denver Post: Mr James Dobson Needs an Education on (Padded) Cells

Since Dobson's doctorate is clearly in hate, fear, and ignorance, I do not happen to recognize it.

From the Denver Post on the issue of Dobson's most recent foolish remarks about stem cell research being like Nazi torture experiments:

Dr. Jack Kessler is chief of neurology at Northwestern University's medical school. He has devoted his professional life to easing suffering by trying to regenerate nerve cells.

Dr. Josef Mengele was Hitler's "Angel of Death." He killed concentration-camp prisoners in painful medical experiments designed to create a master race.

James Dobson's recent attempt to link the two physicians by comparing Nazi torture tests to embryonic stem-cell research places the Focus on the Family founder exactly where he deserves to be:

On the lunatic fringe.

In a radio broadcast Wednesday from Colorado Springs, Dobson set a new standard for wackiness for a guy who already squeezed SpongeBob SquarePants for being soft on homosexuals.

"The thing that means so much to me here on this issue (embryonic stem-cell research) is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes," Dobson said. "There's no indication yet that they're gonna do that, but people say that, or spinal-cord injuries or such things.
Thanks again to Buzzflash for the link.

CNN: Russian Sub Surfaces, Crew Alive

If true, terrific!

Some of these fellows make about $20-$30 a month working on these damned subs.

Say hello to

Boots in Baghdad, written by a 22-year-old National Guard infantryman currently serving in Iraq, so the profile says.

I hope the best for him, as I do for the others that serve, and for the others who must live there, the civilians, trying to survive this war and occupation as well as the insurgency who has claimed far more Iraqis' lives than they have sadly taken from Bush's boys.

Bob Novak's Illustrious 20-Year Career as Karl Rove's Bitch and Rumor Mongerer

From The Times.

Whatever a federal grand jury investigating the case decides, a small political subgroup is experiencing the odd sensation that this leak has sprung before. In 1992 in an incident well known in Texas, Mr. Rove was fired from the state campaign to re-elect the first President Bush on suspicions that Mr. Rove had leaked damaging information to Mr. Novak about Robert Mosbacher Jr., the campaign manager and the son of a former commerce secretary.

Since then, Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source, even as Mr. Mosbacher, who no longer talks on the record about the incident, has never changed his original assertion that Mr. Rove was the culprit.

"It's history," Mr. Mosbacher said last week in a brief telephone interview. "I commented on it at the time, and I have nothing to add."

But the episode, part of the bad-boy lore of Mr. Rove, is a telling chapter in the 20-year friendship between the presidential adviser and the columnist. The story of that relationship, a bond of mutual self-interest of a kind that is long familiar in Washington, does not answer the question of who might have leaked the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to reporters, potentially a crime.

But it does give a clue to Mr. Rove's frequent and complimentary mentions over the years in Mr. Novak's column, and to the importance of Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak to each other's ambitions.
Bob, Karl, you must be so proud... two such well-matched turds swimming around the 24K gold Bush White House commode.

Matt Drudge, who like Rush Limbaugh and Bobby Bob Novak, shares the stage as people who NEVER, EVER, EVER get the facts right in favor of Karl-spin, is also a rumor and Evian water carrier for 3-chin Karl.

Raw Story: How Bush Shaped the CIA in His Image

You know... inarticulate, inefficient, bullying, aggressive, unable to ride a bike, chew gum, choke on a pretzel, appoint someone, or walk on his own two feet without falling over and breaking someone.

Frightening, isn't it?

Oh Those Whacky North Carolina White Supremacist Freedom Loving Democratic Office Seekers

From the Guardian and, while they didn't mention this mighty righty's political affiliation, I'll bet you a waffle breakfast in the morning that he's from the party of George Bush, Tom DeLay and yes, Court Jester Justice-to-be John Roberts (that's right, GOPeedonU):

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A city council candidate dropped out of the race Friday after it was disclosed that he posted comments to a white supremacist Internet bulletin board more than 4,000 times.

Doug Hanks said the postings were fictional and designed to win white supremacists' trust as he researched a novel he was writing. He said the book was also meant to appeal to white supremacists.

``I needed information for the book and some other writings I was doing,'' Hanks told The Associated Press on Friday. ``I did what I thought I needed to do to establish myself as a credible white nationalist.''

Hanks had filed papers seeking the Republican nomination for one of four at-large council seats, but formally withdrew Friday, said county elections director Michael Dickerson.

Hanks' postings over the past three years were first reported by The Rhinoceros Times, a weekly newspaper. In one June 1 posting, he said blacks should be treated like ``rabid beasts.''
Hanks said his self-published novel, called ``Patriot Act,'' takes themes from ``The Turner Diaries'' - the racist novel believed to have inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Murdoch-Owned NY Post Invites Mr. Bush to Attend Soldiers' Funerals

The president has attended several funerals during his five just wonderfully productive and life-enriching (his, NOT ours) years in office but, strangely enough, none of them have been for a single of soldiers - or civilians - who have died in the service of his cooked wars.

Online Doctor: Please Open Your Internet Connection and Say "Ahhhh (Shit)!"

Also from the Huffington Post:

If your high speed Internet provider is not your phone company, you may be unplugged very soon. On Friday the Federal Communications Commission reversed course and deregulated high speed Internet service. The FCC gave telephone companies the right to stop other Internet service providers, like Earthlink, from using their lines. The FCC's reasoning is that DSL is an information service not a telecommunication service subject to regulation. Tell that to millions of Americans who could be booted off line if they don't want to pay their telephone company's price.
"I fought the law and the law won..."

Matt Taibbi: Ohio Election to Haunt GOP

From Taibbi at the NY Press:

It had always seemed to me that I understood the psychology of the Ohio story without having to examine the facts involved. I thought the story appealed most directly to a group of people who were still reeling after 2000, an election which George W. Bush not only lost according to the popular vote, but plainly stole in the electoral college. The evidence for this theft has been there for everyone to see for five years now; few serious thinkers even dispute the matter anymore, just as few Democrats would even bother denying now that John Kennedy stole the 1960 election.
Yet, Bush remains president. And not only has he remained president, he hasn't even had the decency to act embarrassed about it. He's remained president right out in the open, in front of our faces, like he's proud of that shit.

[snip snip]

Even when they had a completely plausible excuse to at least investigate the Ohio charges on their own—after Michigan congressman John Conyers issued a lengthy report detailing the Ohio indiscretions—the big dailies still blew off the case. The New York Times mentioned the Conyers report only in the context of a 381-word page A16 item in January about John Kerry endorsing the election results ("Election Results to Be Certified, With Little Fuss From Kerry," 1/16/05). That piece ended with a quote by Dennis Hastert, who dismissed the Conyers report as the work of the "loony left."

I can only speak for myself, but I think that as a result of all of this, I was inclined to dismiss as a waste of time any discussion of what happened in Ohio. The story wasn't going anywhere. Even if there was evidence of wrongdoing, how could it possibly be more incontrovertible than the evidence in Florida? And given that nothing happened when Bush stole the election in front of the entire world in Florida, why bother making a fuss now in Ohio—especially since John Kerry was clearly many millions of votes less of a victim than Al Gore?

Well, I don't think that way anymore. After attending this panel, and speaking to the congressmen involved in the preparation of the Conyers report (in particular Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a former Ohio secretary of state) I'm convinced that Ohio was a far more brazen and frightening subversion of democracy than Florida.
Another stolen election? Many of us have believed this - with some appreciable evidence - SINCE election night 2004.

This isn't about Dems vs Reps, Bush vs. Kerry. This is about democracy and fair elections being stolen again and again.

Color Me Appalled

According to Editor and Publisher, 57% of Americans think the US bombing of Hiroshima was the "right thing to do".

The problem isn't that Americans don't deserve some of the bad treatment they get from others. Instead, the problem is that not enough of the pompous, bloodthirsty, "might is right" Americans get what they deserve while the better ones get hammered.

Anyone who feels that those bombings were appropriate deserves whatever al Qaeda might want to do to them. They deserve Rush Limbaugh, George Bush, and James Dobson.

More Bob Novak Soiled Undies

Jay Rosen at Huffington Post provides more information on Novak's (increasingly) bizarre behavior (and please, go read it all):

Novak, in order to counter the suggestion that he had been properly warned but went ahead anyway -- which he said would be "inexcusable for any journalist and particularly a veteran of 48 years in Washington" -- decided to take up his pen. Ladies and gentlemen, he said, people have got to know whether their columnist is a crook. Or a jerk. Or a tool. Did I go ahead with the name of a
CIA covert operative despite being warned? No, I did not.

Old Novak rules: sorry fellas, can't talk. New rules: Novak chooses when. When to take the Fifth on advice of counsel, when to ignore counsel and respond to the news with his own explanations of what happened to reveal Plame's name.

This, I believe, is the real cause of Thursday's break down of professional discipline on air. The legitimacy of Novak's exemption from questioning had collapsed earlier in the week. Ed Henry knew it and was ready with that news. Novak was not ready to receive it. So he invented an out.
Brian Montopoli at CJR Daily was properly acidic: "A man who has spent years getting paid to spout his side's rhetoric on television storms off the set when someone implies he's pandering to his ideological base?"

It is beyond imagination that Ed Henry and his producers would notify Novak of their intentions without huddling with the CNN brass first. Thus there's a corporate ballet embedded in the show itself, even before it became comic opera with the cry of "bullshit!" and the big walkout. Novak was about to be faced with a gigantic contradiction in his public stance, and the Network wanted it.
Let me say however that as aghast as I am that so many, including Pat Buchanan and Tucker Carlson have rushed to Novak's defense ("He should have smashed Carville in the jaw instead!"), I want to see CNN suspended as a so-called "news" channel.

When did CNN get sanctimonious (not to be confused with Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum)? Certainly not when Novak outed a CIA operative. And not during his many different versions of the story Novak told conflicting with all the other versions he told on the same station.

Nah, they wait until he utters a small epithet and walks off a show. Big fucking deal.

Anyone who employs Novak deserves what they get.

Kentucky Iraq War Supporter Kills War Opponent

Buzzflash points us to this terrible story on Wirecan:

A Kentucky man defended freedom on the homefront:
A quarrel between two firearms vendors at a Floyd County flea market on Thursday allegedly led both men -- described as "good friends" -- to draw guns. Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, who supports the [Iraq] war, shot and killed Harold Wayne Smith, 56, of Manchester, who opposed it, investigators said.

Two American Soldiers Drown in Afghanistan

I'm left with the feeling there is a LOT more to the story than the military is stating.. and of course, the press cannot be bothered.

College Republicans: Happy to Enlist in Big Drinking Parties, But Not in God Bush's War

From Max Blumenthal at The Huffington Post (and let me refer you to the General and Operation Yellow Elephant):
The killing of 19 Ohio servicemen in two days has shattered the morale of Brook Park, Ohio. On Wednesday, residents were told that 14 members of the Marine battalion headquartered in an old schoolhouse in town had been slain in Iraq. That was only five hours after they were told five other Marines in the battalion were killed in an insurgent ambush.

While the people of Brook Park were searching for a glint of meaning in the fact that so many of their sons lost their lives in some insane desert slum at the hands of a nebulous, nihilistic enemy, some of the war on Iraq's most ardent supporters saw no reason for doubt.

Indeed, back at the College Republican headquarters of Fort Chickenhawk, every day is Saturday. Here are two College Republicans doing their best impersonation of Christopher Hitchens, whose support for the war was recently rewarded with a Richard Mellon-Scaife-financed Hoover Institute fellowship:You can see more photos of Generation Chickenhawk in action here. They were taken at Washington's Old Ebbitt Grille, where the guest of honor was College Republican National Chairman Paul Gourley. Gourley controls what is now a $21 million 527 organization after defeating Mike Davidson in the closest CRNC election since Karl Rove was elected CRNC president in 1973.

Now there was a war worth the fighting for.

Here, chick...chick...chick... chick... CHICKENSHIT CHICKENHAWK!

Speaking of Ohio, Coingate and Stolen Election(s)

From The Free Press:

The Republican Party has -- barely -- snatched another election in Ohio. And once again there are telltale symptoms of the kind of vote theft that put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and then kept him there in 2004.

This time an outspoken Iraqi War vet named Paul Hackett led the charge for a Cincinnati-area Congressional seat, earning 48% of the vote. The spot was open because Bush appointed his pal Rep. Rob Portman to be a trade representative.

Hackett is a rarity among today's Democrats---a blunt, hard-driving truth talker who blasted Bush's attack on Iraq. Hackett labeled W. "a chicken hawk." He's the first Iraqi war vet to run for Congress. He made no bones about the incompetence and cynicism that define the GOP strategy there. In particular Hackett attacked Bush's attacks on veterans benefits while claiming patriotic support of the war.

In return, GOP candidate Jean Schmidt lied about Hackett's war record. Unlike John Kerry, Hackett fought back immediately.

The Ohio GOP is now being thoroughly roasted by a Coingate scandal in which Republican high roller Tom Noe seems to have walked off with at least $4 million in state funds, and possibly $16.5 million in theft and unauthorized administrative charges from a $50 million rare coin investment fund. Noe is a Bush Pioneer/Ranger level donor, and a supporter of Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the point man in Bush's theft of Ohio's 20 electoral votes and thus the presidency last November.

As his friends and supporters flee him, Noe's role as long-time chair of the Lucas County (Toledo) Board of Elections has come under intense scrutiny. Noe turned the seat over to his wife, Bernadette, in time for a 2004 election rife with disenfranchisement and fraud. Long lines, computer breakdowns, intimidation, harassment and hacked vote counts were the defining characteristics of the election the Noe's administered in the Toledo area last November.
There's more. You know what to do (and it's not whistling).

Toledo Blade Brings Us More on Much-Not-Covered Ohio Coingate Scandal

If not for the Toledo Blade, we would know nothing about a scandal that apparently helped cook the November 2004 election for Mr. Bush.

From the most recent installment of Democracy Akron style:

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday denied Gov. Bob Taft's motion to throw out a lawsuit by a state senator who is seeking correspondence between the governor's office and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

Shortly after Sen. Marc Dann, a Democrat from suburban Youngstown, unveiled two bills designed to bulk up state ethics laws, the feisty legislator received news that the Supreme Court would hear his suit challenging the Taft administration's claims of executive privilege.

The court also will rule on competing motions about whether the senator can depose Governor Taft and members of his staff.

"It makes it more likely that the depositions are going to go forward so that we can get to the truth of the executive privilege claims," Mr. Dann said.

Although the governor has released many of the bureau's weekly reports to his office, he has declined to produce several requested records and erased details from some of the reports.

"The governor strongly believes that communications between his cabinet and senior staff are protected by executive privilege," said Taft spokesman Mark Rickel. "And the governor is prepared to defend it in court."

Mr. Dann has sued to determine when and what Mr. Taft knew about the bureau's failed investments in $50 million rare-coin funds run by GOP fund-raiser Tom Noe and Pittsburgh-based MDL Capital Management's offshore hedge fund that lost $215 million.

With the court's denial, Mr. Dann and the governor must bide their time as the justices weigh how much protection the governor's staff has from public records requests.

While I Write About Flash MX, Windows XP, and Oil Changes

Karlo at SwerveLeft has been busy:

a) appreciating cat blogging and the people who give their kitties keyboards
b) writing about (cough) Intelligent Design, and
c) sorting out the bullshit behind Rumsfeld's Stop-Loss extravanza

Go read. And don't forget to offer Karlo a kitty.

Halliburton Selling Nuclear Equipment to Iran?

Wouldn't be at all surprised if this Raw Story piece turns out to be completely accurate. Less than a year before 9/11, Mr. Cheney, former (and probably really the current) CEO of Halliburton argued on Capitol Hill than Iraq was a good friend to America and Mr. Hussein really wasn't a big problem.

And while Halliburton is alleged to be selling parts, Cheney's keeping up the drumbeat that sounds suspiciously like we'll be bombing downtown Teheran any day now.

Energy Bill and Peak Oil Commentary

Say hello to The Oil Drum.

Gee, I Don't Even OWN a Copy of Photoshop

And yet....

No, this image was NOT edited. If so, I would have put a witch's hat on her... although I respect Wiccans TOO much to do that.

Bush Refuses to Even Acknowledge Mother of Fallen Soldier

From CNN:

The angry mother of a fallen U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch Saturday, demanding an accounting from Bush of how he has conducted the war in Iraq.

Supported by more than 50 demonstrators who chanted, "W. killed her son!" Cindy Sheehan told reporters: "I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?"'

Sheehan, 48, didn't get to see Bush, but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went out to hear her concerns.

Appreciative of their attention, yet undaunted, Sheehan said she planned to continue her roadside vigil, except for a few breaks, until she gets to talk to Bush. Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic.

"They (the advisers) said we are in Iraq because they believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the world's a better place with Saddam gone and that we're making the world a safer place with what we're doing over there," Sheehan said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

"They were very respectful. They were nice men. I told them Iraq was not a threat to the United States and that now people are dead for nothing. I told them I wouldn't leave until I talked to George Bush."

She said Hagin told her, "I want to assure you that he (Bush) really does care."
"And I said if he does care, why doesn't he come out and talk to me."
Of course, Mr. Bush couldn't meet with her. He didn't want to spoil his 5-week nap after Condi read him his favorite, "My Pet Goat" story.

Still Marching to Protect Voters' Rights

From the AP and yes, there is good reason to fear considering what Mr. Bush and his f(r)iends have done to democracy here and abroad:

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Thousands of demonstrators streamed down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive chanting, singing and marching Saturday in support of extending the 40-year-old Voting Rights Act.

Organizers said they hope the "Keep the Vote Alive" march will pressure Congress and President Bush to extend key provisions of the landmark law, which expires in 2007.
"Forty years later, we're still marching for the right to vote," said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who participated in the civil rights struggles that helped secure passage of the law in 1965. "Don't give up, don't give in. Keep the faith, keep your eyes on the prize."

Activists from across the country joined Lewis, NAACP President Bruce Gordon and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who heads the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, at Saturday's demonstration.

"The right to vote does not endanger, but we must protect it against discrimination," Jackson said at a rally at the end of the march.

Civil rights groups fear conservatives will try to modify two key provisions of the law. One requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal approval before changing voting rules. The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language of immigrant voters who don't speak English.

Activists also used the rally to protest Georgia's recently passed voter identification law, which critics call the most restrictive in the country.

If that bill is approved by the U.S. Justice Department, Jackson warned on Friday, it could "spread like a virus" to other states.

While Bush Says Economy is Great in Today's Radio Address

There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary everwhere else besides Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Limbaugh's wallet.

Is That a Finger Up Mr. Bush's Tush or Is He Just Happy to See You:?

From Recovering Liberal:

Help Wanted:

Person with limited intellectual skills to act as figurehead puppet in an evil unelected regime. Must be willing to take orders from Fascist puppet masters while pretending he’s in charge.

Lying with a straight face is a plus. Must be prepared to hire all of his puppet master’s buddies in positions for which they are unsuited. A belligerent attitude toward other countries and those with differing political views is a must. The successful applicant will receive a salary $400,000 per year plus all the graft that can be put into hidden trusts on his behalf. Free gas and oil for life. One week’s paid vacation will be provided for every five weeks worked.

Contact: Uber Fuhrers Karl and Dick at 1-800- ILUVHLABRTN.

Well, Mel's an Expert at Staging His Own Crucifixion

Usually at the hands of fictional enemies Gibson concocts himself, the raving loon.

SYDNEY, Australia - Hollywood actor-director Mel Gibson has been asked to recreate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is selected to host a major Catholic gathering in 2008, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Is there something in Australia's waters that turns not terribly bright men like Gibson and Russell Crowe into those with staggering egos and God complexes?

The Federalist Society: Judicial Think Tank or Plot Against America?

That's the question posed by the Christian Science Monitor:

Suspicion that hidden groups sway the powerful and subvert democracy routinely surfaces in American life, especially at times when the country is deeply divided. In early decades of the Republic, the whispers were about Freemasons. Later, they ranged from bankers and communists to the Trilateral Commission.

Now, it's the Federalist Society. In the run-up to the first Supreme Court confirmation in more than a decade, the group is drawing fire, especially as Democrats sharpen their line of questioning about court nominee John Roberts and his links to the society.

On its face, the Federalist Society is just another think tank in a town awash with them. But critics see something more - a well-oiled juggernaut out to remake the courts in the image of Robert Bork, the Supreme Court nominee rejected by the Senate in 1987, who predicted that a new generation, "often associated with the Federalist Society," would transform the legal profession:

"It may take 10 years, it may take 20 years for the second wave to crest, but crest it will, and it will sweep the elegant, erudite, pretentious and toxic detritus of nonoriginalism out to sea," he said in a 1987 speech. Judge Bork now cochairs the society's Board of Visitors with Sen. Orrin Hatch (news, bio, voting record) (R) of Nevada, a member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Twenty years later, the organization designed to carry forward Bork's jurisprudence is trying to get access to the top courts in the country," says Alfred Ross, president and founder of the Institute for Democracy Studies (IDS) in New York. "It's extremely dangerous."

More than a third of the judges President Bush has sent to appeals courts are members of the Federalist Society, say Democratic staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (That compares with zero for his predecessor, President Clinton.) It's a talking point the Bush White House takes so seriously that it asked news organizations to retract reports that Judge Roberts has ever been a member.

Most Americans Now Believe Democracy is Impossible in Iraq

Polls also show they increasingly question whether a democracy is what Mr. Bush actually wanted to achieve there, also with growing doubts that he tried to have a fair election after disclosures that he tried to "cook" the January vote there (as he's done here at LEAST twice - 2000 and 2004).

Bombs Away


Bombs like the titanic roadside blast that killed 14 Marines last week are becoming the biggest killers of U.S. troops in Iraq, surpassing bullets, rockets and mortars, as insurgents wage an unconventional war that has boosted the American death toll beyond 1,820.

This isn't a conflict like the World Wars or Vietnam, where waves of enemy ground troops backed by artillery attacked American firebases. Gone too are the intense street battles waged last year in cities like Najaf, Karbala and Fallujah, or in Nasiriyah during the 2003 invasion.

Americans still die in mortar strikes and gunfights, like the six Marine snipers killed Aug. 1 in a rebel ambush. But surprise blasts — when the road erupts without warning or an explosives-packed car disintegrates into a fireball — have become the hallmarks of the Iraq war.

Since the end of May, more than 65 percent of U.S. military deaths in Iraq have resulted from insurgent bombings, compared to nearly 23 percent in conventional combat and 12 percent in accidents, according to figures complied by The Associated Press.

In recent weeks, rebel bombs have been responsible for 70 percent to 80 percent of American soldiers killed or wounded, command spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan said this week.
Well, Mr. Bush should be able to appreciate this because - God knows - he loves bombs. Can't have enough of them, he says.

White House Makes Sure No One Will See John Roberts' Paper Trail

From the NY Times:

The Bush administration on Friday formally rejected a Democratic request for documents from the years Judge John G. Roberts Jr. served as deputy solicitor general, setting up a potential confrontation over material Democrats say is essential to a thorough examination of Mr. Roberts's Supreme Court nomination.

In a letter to Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said it would withhold information sought by Democrats related to the legal advice Mr. Roberts gave under the first President Bush, as he helped develop the government's legal position on a variety of cases from 1989 to 1993.

"It is simply contrary to the public interest for these documents to be released," said the letter signed by Rebecca Seidel, a deputy assistant attorney general, on behalf of William E. Moschella, assistant attorney general for legislative affairs.

The Justice Department letter said that such material had been protected in the past under attorney-client privilege and that releasing it would set a dangerous precedent and inhibit the agency's lawyers from frank discussions of pending cases.

"The office simply could not function effectively if its lawyers were asked to provide full and candid advice in spite of the expectation that their work product would be fair game in any subsequent Senate confirmation process," the letter said.

Halliburton Former Employees: The Company Defrauded the Goverment (Time and Time Again), Served Spoiled, Contaminated Food to Troops

Thanks to Buzzflash for this link:

Others besides Bunnatine Greenhouse have testified that Halliburton, the biggest holder of American rebuilding contracts in Iraq, has deceived the government and cheated taxpayers.
The company denies the claims.

Rory Mayberry, who worked for Halliburton subsidiary KBR from February through April 2004, testified from Iraq, via videotape, to the Democratic Policy Committee in June.

As a food manager at a U.S. military camp, Mayberry said he witnessed KBR employees serving spoiled food to American troops, including items whose expiration date was more than a year old, and food from trucks that had been bombed and shot at. "We were told to go into the trucks and remove the food items and use them after removing the bullets and any shrapnel," Mayberry said.

Halliburton also charged the U.S. government for hundreds of specialty meals prepared for foreign workers from Turkey and the Philippines, Mayberry said. The foreign workers were actually given leftovers from troop meals, Mayberry said.

KBR managers told employees not to speak with government auditors who arrived at the camp, Mayberry said, saying he ignored those orders. As punishment, he said, he was sent to Fallujah for three weeks, where there was heavy fighting. "The employees that talked to the auditors were moved to other bases that were under fire," Mayberry told the committee.

Katherine Harris and GOP Lies

Related to that last post, let me say something about Harris' current lie that she was demonized by journalists adding "blue eyeshadow I never even owned!" to her photos during the 2000 election.

This is how far the GOP takes lies these days. They take the most obvious facts and ignore them. Instead, they spin lies that are so absurd, so ridiculous and, without even blinking, present them as facts over and over and over again, sure that each repetition wipes the actual truth away.

As you may recall, Harris had MANY televised press conferences during the 2000 election debacle. These events were carried live by a NUMBER of different news mediums. In them, you see again and again Harris wearing more makeup on her face at one time than I have EVER OWNED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. How could someone possibly have PhotoShop-ed her from a live TV feed?

Since then, she's been similarly ridiculously made up. Is it ALL Photoshop?

Can she really - even to herself - believe that her problems are due to Photoshop and not her lack of ethics, her whoredom to the Bushies, her lies?

Novak's Other Bizarre Outburst

The Carpetbagger Report bring us this:

Clearly, Bob Novak's temper-tantrum was one of the more bizarre spectacles we've seen on CNN in a while, but as my friend Phil noted this morning, it wasn't the only odd thing Novak said yesterday.
    Host Ed Henry: [Rep. Katherine] Harris is blaming unnamed newspapers for tarnishing her image by doctoring her makeup with Photoshop. — that computer program. Bob Novak, have you been investigating this make-up story?

    Novak: No, but I've had the same experience that she did. A lot of my trouble in the world is that they've doctored my make-up and colorized me in a lot of newspapers on my picture. So, I sympathize with her.

    Henry: This is breaking news. I've haven't heard this.

    James Carville: Breaking news. Who did it? What paper?

    Novak: Well, I don't. I can't tell you.
There was no indication he was kidding. Novak wasn't smiling.

So, here we have a veteran political journalist, who's been in DC for decades, telling a national television audience that other journalists have conspired against him to manipulate photographs to make him look unattractive. Indeed, as far as Novak is concerned, this alleged history of photo manipulation accounts for "a lot of [his] trouble in the world."

While the Rest of the World Mourned the 60th Anniversary of the Drop of the Bombs... Bush Partied and the US Ignored

Yesterday's 60th anniversary of the American bombings in Japan was met with prayer, solemnity, and sorrow in much of the rest of the world. Here? Little mention of it.

I don't think this country has ever been able to properly understand its own role in committing one of the worst atrocities ever seen on this planet. Ironic how we whine and cry about other countries even thinking about possessing nuclear weapons even as we ignore that we used them to incinerate and poison and damage tens of thousands of innocent Japanese.

I've written of my dad, a quiet WWII War hero of sorts. He spoke little of the war although I remember him talking a bit about going into either Nagasaki or Hiroshima within 48 hours of the bombs dropping. My father before his death at age 39 - and one can't help but wonder if entering the city so soon after the bombs dropped was a factor in his early death - probably never could have imagined how his war experiences would result in a daughter, born fairly long after the end of WWII, who learned from what he said and has become so outspoken against war and its human consequences.

I only myself saw my dad cry once, and it was for memory of a child's image - a child climbing a ladder - that was burned onto the side of a building as the bomb flashed.

"The sons of bitches," he said as he cried. He told me the child looked to be about four or five, and I was not quite four when he told me this story.

Although it did no good, I spent a good deal of yesterday crying, praying, thinking... about that four year old who was born and died well before I was born, and of the politicians who sent my father, then a man in his early 20s, to a war that would do something like drop those bombs.

Bush's Blind Loyalty: Anything Any of His Friends Does is Just Fine by Him

Knight Ridder has an interesting piece comparing the Palmeiro steroid issue with baseball and Bush's defense of the player with many of the other seemingly untenable positions Bush has taken:

But the president's quick and unequivocal defense of Palmeiro - who's now the subject of a congressional investigation - has raised questions about whether Bush's loyalty undercuts his political judgment.

"It seems that President Bush is falling into the Nixon trap - his administration can do no wrong. His allies and people who support him can do no wrong," said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. "Palmeiro is above suspicion, Rove is not to be questioned, John Bolton is a stand-up guy.

"The danger is he divorces himself from public reality, political reality, and it erodes his ability to lead the country," Dallek said.

Several analysts said the Palmeiro situation illustrates that point. Bush took a strong stand against steroids in his 2004 State of the Union address, demanding that major league sports take tougher action to eliminate steroid use by athletes.

"The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football and other sports is dangerous and it sends the wrong message - that there are shortcuts to accomplishment and that performance is more important than character," Bush said.

But when news of Palmeiro's positive drug test and 10-day suspension by Major League Baseball became public, Bush almost instantly backed the ballplayer, saying Palmeiro spoke truthfully on March 17 when he wagged his finger at the House Government Reform Committee and emphatically denied ever using steroids.
Likewise, Bush's daughters have rather publicly smoked, consumed illegal drugs, and regularly get wasted drunk. Yet Bush, while calling for his daughters to be protected, is happy to see anyone else who displays this behavior imprisoned.

Different rules for the Bushies, you know.

Go read the entire thing.

Russian Sub

Although I'm very busy, I find myself checking the news every hour or so for word of the stuck Russian sub, worried that this crew will meet the same fate as another Russian crew a few years ago.

My hope goes out to them and their families. Can you imagine anything worse?

Well, unfortunately, in George Bush's world, tragedy and death for unclear purpose seem never in short supply.

Good Night and Thank You, Robin Cook

I was saddened to learn today of the death of Robin Cook - the Brit politician, not the American schlock medical drama writer - at the age of just 59.

Cook opposed the Iraq War and Britain's support of it, and he did so most passionately and eloquently. In my humble opinion, especially after the tragic bombings there one month ago, Great Britain needs more and not less Robin Cooks, able to see through the bullshit and propaganda.

Shades of Novak and Rove in Israel


Two former officials of a pro-Israel lobbying group were charged in an indictment filed Thursday with illegally conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to journalists and an unnamed foreign power that government officials identified as Israel.

The indictment accused Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, formerly senior staff members at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, with improperly disclosing national security information beginning in April 1999. The group dismissed the two men last April.

As the committee's director of foreign policy issues, Mr. Rosen was a highly visible figure in Washington who helped the organization define its lobbying agenda on the Middle East and forged important relationships with powerful conservatives in the Bush administration. Mr. Weissman was a senior Middle East analyst.

The charges in the long-running inquiry were expected, but nevertheless unusual. Neither Mr. Rosen nor Mr. Weissman, who have denied any wrongdoing, held security clearances.

They were not government employees and they operated in a foreign policy world in which private lobbyists, public officials and journalists often trade delicate information about executive branch decision-making that is related to other countries.

The indictment did not accuse any journalist of wrongdoing, but cited several conversations that Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman had with unidentified journalists as "overt acts" that furthered the conspiracy. Government officials have said investigators want to interview reporters who talked with either of the two men. It is not clear who the journalists are or whether any them have been interviewed.

The indictment said the two men had disclosed classified information about a number of subjects, including American policy in Iran, terrorism in central Asia, Al Qaeda and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment in Saudi Arabia, which killed 23 Americans, mainly military personnel.

Bush Administration Has Record of "Outing Secret Operatives"

From the Village Voice.

Bush: "The Situation in Iraq is Improving... I Will Stay the Course..."

from my Crawford ranch, of course.

Oh yeah, and while Mr. Bush naps, nearly 30 US soldiers alone have died in Iraq. Well, apparently the young and the poor in the Army and Marines - as well as the Iraqi civilians - will stay Mr. Bush's course.

Note to Dear Traitorous Douchebag Bob Novak

Please, keep your lies straight from one second to the next. It becomes very confusing to the rest of us.

And please, sir, stop whining about being treated badly and unfairly when you're always saying terrible things to others and even outing CIA operatives as a favor to Karl Rove. The only one mistreated here is the American public when someone like you is considered a "fair voice of the press".


When the Cure is Worse than the Underlying Disease

I'm in nearly full agreement with this Brit editorial, which basically says that the global War on Terrorism on general is far worse than what it purports to "root out and kill".

In the wake of the bombings that caused death and disruption in London last month, there was a danger that the government would rush out ill-considered measures in response. At first sight - and the details remain obscure - that appears to be exactly what has happened. Tony Blair announced 12 proposals that he promised would "set a comprehensive framework for action in dealing with the terrorist threat in Britain". Yet Mr Blair's willingness to tamper with the Human Rights Act in order to send deportees to countries known to practice torture is alarming and could even jeopardise Britain's adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Blair is now recasting London in the same image as Bush did America afer 9/11. One would think that the Brits, having watched us suffer pointless "chicken-minus-head syndrome" would put a cork in Blair.

Blair Joins Bush's Hateful Rhetoric and "Rare" Idea of Freedom

I'm aghast at Blair. I truly am. If he thinks this will do anything except further polarize the world even more than our King George has already done, he's been eating too many mad cows recently.

From the UK Guardian:

Muslim organisations across the political and theological spectrum were almost united yesterday in condemning the prime minister's proposed measures, calling them "draconian" and warning that they would further radicalise and alienate the community.

Muslim leaders also reacted cautiously to Mr Blair's invocation of the issue of multiculturalism, saying that the language of yesterday morning did not necessarily help.

The main themes of condemnation were Mr Blair's refusal to acknowledge a connection between the Iraq war and militancy among British Muslims; and criticism of what groups feared to be the potential illegality of supporting "oppressed people" overseas, notably Iraqis and Palestinians.

Mr Bush Should be Glad

that a) he doesn't read and b) refuses to listen to "focus groups".

If he did, he might see that his polls are getting worse with each passing week, when the big "bounce" the boy king "should rightfully receive" after the London bombs and subsequent scares, failed to appear.

Every poll shows more and more Americans believing he has no adequate plan for Iraq - or our economy. Worse, more see him as liar.

Now the facts from the last paragraph are hardly a surprise. Yet for years, Bush could declare war on sweet puppies and everyone stood in line to call him a "brilliant stategerist" (the latter, his word).


Mr. Bush's Neighborhood is Nothing Like Mr. Rogers'

Fourteen Marines (the really tough guys) dead yesterday, at least one more soldier killed on Thursday), a freelance journalist who broke the story of Iraq police going out in death squads after hours to kill those targeted by so-called extremists is himself kidnapped by men in police uniform and car and later executed, plus many more civilians dead and what is Mr. Bush's reaction (from Crawford at the start of his five-plus week vacation?

Essentially, another version of "Bring 'em on." They hate us for the freedom (we no longer have and no matter how bad it gets, Mr. Bush is not going to pull out the troops or do anything else. And then he went out to find a bike or scooter to fall off.

Are the Lies Even Getting to the Soulless, Bloodless, Truthless Novak?

Oliver Willis points us to this at Media Matters, with video:

CNN contributor and syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak stormed off CNN's set after using vulgar language during a live discussion with CNN contributor James Carville on the "Strategy Session" segment of the August 4 edition of CNN's Inside Politics.

While discussing Rep. Katherine Harris's (R-FL) plan to run for a Senate seat against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Novak told Carville, "Just let me finish what I'm going to say, James, please. I know you hate to hear me." Carville said to host Ed Henry, describing Novak: "He's gotta show these right-wingers that he's got backbone, you know. The Wall Street Journal editorial page is watching you. Show 'em you're tough."

Novak responded: "Well, I think that's bullshit, and I hate that." He then said to Henry, "Just let it go." As Henry asked Carville a question, Novak walked off the set.

After the segment ended, Henry apologized to viewers for Novak's leaving the set "a little early," adding: "I had told him in advance that we were going to ask him about the CIA leak case. He was not here for me to be able to ask him about that. Hopefully, we'll be able to ask him about that in the future."

Bush's Upcoming Vacation Only Rivals Nixon's Last Vacation in Length

Five weeks. Even longer than he was on vacation the summer of all the warnings before 9/11 occurred a few days after Bush finally came back.

In presidential history, the only single prez vacation almost that long was Nixon's last vacation before he ran from office before he was impeached. I'd love to see that precedent in effect here, of course.

Some statistic I read awhile back - and by a fairly Bush friendly publication - said that if you add up all of Bush's 4 day weekends and vacation times and don't count all the rest of the time he's unavailable, Bush works an average 2.2 workday week. He also keeps fewer hours per workday of any president.

Gee, how much vacation time do you get? My last one was in 1995.

White House: Great News, John Bolton Hasn't Started WWIII Yet

The White House actually put out a press release - according to a guest on Democray Now today - saying that "Mr. Bolton started his second day as UN ambassador displaying the utmost of decorum."

His second day? Ever hear of anything so lame?

What will Friday's press release say? "The White House is pleased to report that Mr. Bolton has only bitten two people - but that was understandable considering they were a) non-white and b) below his social status - and has not yet once soiled his suit pants during his entire first week on the job."

As Darth Vader once said, "Impressive. Moooossst (huff huff huff) impressive."

To Mr. Borden

... my faithful reader and old friend.

A word of warning: your daughter Lizzie may suggest you nap today but you could wind up with a splitting headache afterwards and btw, your wife, Abby, is hatched to death up in the guest room. What a mess!

(For those of you who don't recall the lore, on this day in 1892, someone bludgeoned the elderly Andrew J and Abby Durfee Gray Borden to death in their 92 Second Street in Fall River, Mass home. You know the rhyme... "Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her father forty whacks; when she saw what she had done, she gave her mother forty-one." Lizzie was a Sunday School teacher and Andrew's 32-year-old daughter.)

Gotta love repressed New Englanders.

I Love Vermont and the DMV

Since when do you hear anyone pronounce their love for the DMV.

At 10 this morning, I gritted my teeth as I headed down State Street in Montpelier. State Street is a traffic nightmare, because it's where all the state and federal offices are located and yes, the State House is actually literally directly across the street from the DMV. Mind you, I'd already nearly given myself a heart attack because when I went to check my bank balance this morning, I was told my account had been closed. So I'd been sweating in the bank for twenty minutes until it was determined to be a computer error.

So I was in no shape for the DMV. But, heading down State, the traffic wasn't bad. Then, there's a parking space directly across from the DMV. As I get out, I realize that I'm standing right at the steps of the State House. There's no one around. Then, a fellow comes out of a building as I'm going to the parking meter, stops to pick up something, and walks over to me and before I can put in my quarter, he sinks a quarter in - what he'd just picked up from the ground - into the meter for me.

Then I go upstairs to the DMV, prepared for a long line at the Info counter. Nope, I was the first on line. Got my papers, went to fill them out, only to discover I'd left the house without my existing license for renewal. Walk back over to the woman, prepared to beg, and she just says, "No problem!" She looks up my last license, checks me against the picture, she tells me I've lost weight, and hands me a number to be called for help. I walk into the sitting area and just as I'm lowering my ass in a chair, my number flashes on the monitor. Say what?

I walk down to the clerk, and three minutes and $35 later, I walk away with a license good for four years. The entire time at the DMV - and mind you, I updated the registration on a car, too - was 9 minutes, three of that spent looking for the old license.


Newsweek: Rumsfeld Plans Drastic Troop Cuts

That makes sense considering we're threatening Iran, N Korea, and China (ack!) and Iraq necomes more dangerous each and every day.

This, from Newsweek:

Aug. 8, 2005 issue - Donald Rumsfeld doesn't like long-term occupations. He's always made that clear. After U.S. forces took Baghdad, the Defense secretary had plans to reduce the U.S. presence in Iraq to 40,000 troops by the fall of 2003. Then the insurgency struck.

Now Rumsfeld is quietly moving toward his original goal—three years late. The Pentagon has developed a detailed plan in recent months to scale down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq to about 80,000 by mid-2006 and down to 40,000 to 60,000 troops by the end of that year, according to two Pentagon officials involved in the planning who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of their work. Their account squares with a British memo leaked in mid-July. "Emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006, allowing a reduction in overall [U.S. and Coalition forces] from 176,000 down to 66,000," says the Ministry of Defense memo.

Gen. George Casey, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, hinted at those numbers last week. Casey told reporters that the United States will be "still able to take some fairly substantial reductions" if Iraq can keep to the timeline set out in the U.S.-sponsored interim constitution, which calls for elections for a permanent Iraqi government by Dec. 15, 2005. After that, U.S. officials believe, the main task of the U.S. occupation will have been completed.

U.S. officials denied that Casey's remarks represented any change in policy. But earlier this year the Pentagon had been mum on a withdrawal timetable, in part so as not to encourage the insurgents. Now the conditions for U.S. withdrawal no longer include a defeated insurgency, Pentagon sources say. The new administration mantra is that the insurgency can be beaten only politically, by the success of Iraq's new government.

Indeed, Washington is now less concerned about the insurgents than the unwillingness of Iraq's politicians to make compromises for the sake of national unity. Pentagon planners want to send a spine-stiffening message: the Americans won't be there forever. U.S. domestic factors are also forcing President Bush's hand. The Bush administration wants to pre-empt growing public pressure for withdrawal, which could give the insurgents a Vietnam-like strategic goal. Military planners, meanwhile, are deeply concerned about driving away Army careerists and recruits if current deployments are forced into 2007. If the U.S. Army has to do another rotation into Iraq in the fall of 2006 to keep force levels up to their current 138,000, it "goes off a cliff," says retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey.

Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts: Crusader Against Civil Rights and Reproductive Freedom

From Newsweek:

Aug. 8, 2005 issue - The memos were not exactly smoking guns, but they were sure to add fire to Judge John Roberts's confirmation hearings. When Roberts was nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President George W. Bush two weeks ago, he was initially described as a model of calm restraint. But then came the release of several thousand pages of memos and documents from Roberts's time as a lawyer in the Reagan White House and Justice Department in the 1980s. As portrayed in press accounts, Roberts seemed cocksure and to the right of even his conservative bosses. "With every passing day, it is becoming clearer that John Roberts is one of the key lieutenants in the right-wing assault on civil-rights laws and precedents," said Ralph Neas, president of the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way.

Bodies of 22 Slaying Victims - Some Shot, Some Beheaded - Found in Iraq

From the LA Times (oh yes, it's getting better in Iraq each and every day, just ask the president):

BAGHDAD — Twenty-two bodies were discovered Monday in the southeast Baghdad neighborhood of Um Maalif, including one identified as that of a police colonel from the southern city of Karbala, a hospital official said.

All had been shot and most were believed to be Shiite Muslims. Two were beheaded.

The night before the bodies were discovered, men dressed in Iraqi national guard uniforms raided the neighborhood, a police official said today.

When a local resident tried to stop the men, he was shot, the official said.

The raiders then led away several other residents, including two members of the Iraqi security forces assigned to guard electric plants. The men are believed to be among the dead discovered Monday.

Is Rumsfeld Usurping the Peace Corps? This is Nuts!

From WaPo:

The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is offering to allow recruits to meet part of their military obligations by serving in the Peace Corps, which has resisted any ties to the Defense Department or U.S. intelligence agencies since its founding in 1961.

The recruitment program has sparked debate and rising opposition among current and former Peace Corps officials. Some welcome it as a way to expand the cadre of idealistic volunteers created by President John F. Kennedy. But many say it could lead to suspicions abroad that the Peace Corps, which has 7,733 workers in 73 countries, is working together with the U.S. armed forces.

"Does this raise red flags for the Peace Corps community? I'd say yes -- emphatically so," said Kevin Quigley, president of the National Peace Corps Association, an organization of returned volunteers, staff and supporters. "We think a real or perceived linkage between the Peace Corps and military service could damage the Peace Corps and potentially put the safety of Peace Corps volunteers at risk."


Fitzgerald: Zeroing in on Rove?

From Kos:

He's like the Terminator, and the target is clearly Rove.

    Staking out a grand jury is no easy business, and only a few (broadcast) entities chose to do that last Friday with the grand jury empanelled to hear evidence in the Wilson/Fitzgerald investigation.

    Amazingly, given all the focus on the story, no one seems to have reported the identity of those who appeared.

    Until now.

    Based on ABC News sources (and our own video camera) it appears that at least two witnesses testified before the grand jury last Friday, both close associates of Karl Rove.

    ABC News has learned that one was Susan Ralston, Rove's long-time right hand. The other, per ABC News' Jake Tapper, was Israel "Izzy" Hernandez, Rove's former left hand (and now a top Commerce Department official). It isn't clear if either had been asked to testify before last week [...]

    The biggest two questions in this case now involve just what prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has in mind.

    First, what makes him interested in Judith Miller? And, second, who is on the list of people he thinks might have committed a crime? The appearances of Ralston and Hernandez suggests at least part of the focus remains on Rove, although his attorney tells ABC News that he still believes Rove is not a target of the investigation.

    At press time, The Note was not able to satisfactorily source our reporting on the topics that Ralston and Hernandez were asked about, so that must wait for another day.

"Now Get Back to Work"

Those were the words uttered by the president after speaking with the shuttle crew today. Humorous? Didn't come off that way, even if he did mean it in that vein.

Ironic, too, for a man who takes 2-3 hours off in the middle of most days, retires VERY early, and is on his way to a 5 week vacation at Crawford, his 50th such trip - JUST TO CRAWFORD - in his 4.5 years in office. Mind you, he vacations at far more places than his pretend ranch, such as Kennebunkport, on friends' yachts, at Camp David. Last estimate was that this president - at a time of such national insecurity, when most Americans are working more and more and getting less and less benefits like health care and paid vacations - has spent nearly 50% of his presidency on vacation.

I'm not particularly amused. The VP also takes a month or more off just in one section each year; usually in Wyoming during the month of July (or more).

No Surprise: Bush's Gonzales Balks at Releasing Supreme Court Nominee's Paper Trail

Nope, no surprise here:

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Monday he would have "very serious concerns" about sharing internal documents requested by Senate Democrats in the debate over John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court.

In an interview with Reuters, Gonzales also said the Justice Department does not routinely respond to such requests unless they come from the full Senate Judiciary Committee, which will begin confirmation hearings on Roberts on Sept. 6.

"There's been no formal request by the committee. We normally respond to a formal request by the committee and not by one senator or a group of senators," Gonzales said in the interview as headed to New Orleans to give a speech.

The documents in question, requested Friday by eight Democrats on the panel in a letter to Gonzales, related to 16 cases Roberts was involved in while deputy solicitor general in the early 1990s in the first Bush administration.

They touch on a host of divisive issues including school desegregation, the death penalty, civil rights and a case in which Roberts echoed the administration position that the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion should be overturned.

No One Fucks with Karl Rove, Not Even a Special Prosecutor

Look who's getting his balls handed to him, pickled and shrunken: Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor also investigating the Rove-Plame CIA leak case:

After the limp response House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) gave to the idea of keeping the corruption-busting Patrick Fitzgerald on as the U.S. attorney here, the immortal words of White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson come to mind:

"He gone!"

As Fitzgerald's noose tightens around Mayor Richard M. Daley's City Hall and the trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is coming into view, a historical political battle looms. Will Fitzgerald be allowed to continue his brilliant legal campaign to weed out the grafters of both parties, or will Chicago and Illinois continue to be most corrupt?

The smart money already is on the powerful dealmakers of both parties who want Fitzgerald vised. He's a hunter of big game, and the pursued on the top rungs of the power structure are fed up and fearful. Last week, rumors again surfaced that Fitzgerald would be gone when his term expires in October. So, it's understandable that Hastert--the second in line of succession to the presidency, one of Capitol Hill's most powerful lawmakers and Illinois' top Republican--would be asked Thursday, "how do you feel" about reappointing Fitzgerald.

His non-response betrayed no feeling one way or another: It's not my job; the president appoints the U.S. attorneys. No one has asked for Fitzgerald's resignation.

Question--"Do you think he should continue?"

Hastert--"Well, you know that's a decision that is going to have to be made by the president."

Hastert could have said that he'll try to use his supposedly meager influence at the White House to protect Fitzgerald from the circling buzzards. That he thinks Fitzgerald is doing a hell of a job, that he shouldn't be run out of town by the boodlers.

But he didn't, and in this game, failure to back Fitzgerald puts you on the dark side. Fitzgerald has devoted a lifetime to fighting such bad guys as John Gambino, of the Gambino mob family. And Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who led the 1993 terrorist attack against the World Trade Center. And Osama bin Laden and the terrorists in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

In addition to his duties here, he's also serving as special prosecutor in the CIA-leak investigation.

One of the presumed targets of that investigation, top White House adviser Karl Rove, is a friend to Illinois' Robert Kjellander, a Republican national committeeman, who received an $800,000 consulting fee as part of a bond deal engineered from across the political aisle, by Democrats. Considering such interwoven interests, the public will be left to draw its own conclusions if the White House ousts Fitzgerald.

Illinois voters also would have cause to wonder about the integrity of the Republican Party here, if Fitzgerald is dispensed with. Illinois Republicans often speak about how they must come together in the fight against the common foe, Gov. Rod Blagojevich. So, here's something that can unite them: Fitzgerald must stay and Kjellander, symbol of what's wrong with the party, must go.

The corruption and shenanigans are so bad that they continue as if they were addictions, even with Fitzgerald's presence looming. Last week, for example, a secret list of witnesses gathered by Fitzgerald's people in a case against a patronage supervisor was faxed to City Hall, where it was put into public play, in violation of a court order. Oops, it was an accident, said the supervisor's attorney, a former prosecutor himself. Whatever. The effect still is the same on real and potential witnesses: An intimidating "We know who you are."

Sometimes it all seems like a fantasy.

John Bolton, Slightly Less Popular than Karl Rove?

Editor and Publisher provides a wrap-up of many strong editorials across the nation regarding Mr. Bush's sleazy interim appointment of John Bolton to the UN, such as:

San Francisco Chronicle: "On the long list of questionable appointments President Bush has made during his tenure, [Mr. Bolton] may be the worst of all."

San Jose Mercury-News: "Bush's choice of ambassador is one indicator of how much interest he has in working within international organizations. Not overly much, is the message. If Bolton must be the ambassador -- and Bush will have it no other way -- then the manner of his acquiring the job is fitting."


Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.): “There's something sadly fitting about President Bush naming John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations through a tactic known as a 'recess' appointment. Bolton, after all, is the diplomatic world's equivalent of a playground bully.”

How is Ralph Reed Getting Away with a Run for Public Office With His Record?

Here's the scoop from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:

Over his site, Ed Kilgore's got a partial answer to the Ralph Reed mystery. That is, how Reed is still managing to run for state-wide office in Georgia even though he's been centrally implicated in the Abramoff Indian gambling shakedown scandal. Ed says, just be patient. Lots of people in the state seem to realize Reed's goose is cooked. The question, says Ed, is just when between now and election day it all catches up with him.

Well, Perhaps the Jury Still Is Out for Bush on Evolution

I mean, what evidence do we have that he has evolved at all? But "intelligent design" hardly describes Bush, Frist, and the twins, either.

In Exchange for Passage of CAFTA, We Get a Non-Stop Diet of Greasy, Spiked Pork

Think Progress also reports that in exchange for votes on CAFTA - a great idea when, since the passage of NAFTA, the hourly wage in Mexico has actually dropped- they get their favorite vain dreams answered in the transportion bill, like these:

    - $200,000 for a deer avoidance system in Weedsport, N.Y.

    - $330 million for a highway in Bakersfield., Calif.

    - $480,000 to rehabilitate a historic warehouse on the Erie Canal

    - $3 million for dust control mitigation on Arkansas rural roads.

    - $2.3 million for landscaping on the Ronald Reagan Freeway in California (Truly ironic is the fact that Pres. Reagan once vetoed a highway bill because of its exorbitant spending expenses)

    - Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK) set aside $231 million for a bridge near Anchorage to be named “Don Young’s Way”

    - Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) “used his seniority” to “secure $16 million for the eponymous Nick J. Rahall II Appalachian Transportation Institute at Marshall University”

First Emergency Food Shipments Arrive in Niger Today

Just eight short months after urgent aid was begged for the famine-hit area.

Culture of life? So long as the babies are white.

Just Call Karl Mr. Popularity

According to Think Progress, the American public has a slightly more possoble reaction to Bush's brain, Karl Rove, than they have toward gay marriage. But, alas, Karl rates lower in approval than the Iraq War.

Talk about being between Iraq and a hard place!

Forgive Me, But I Enjoyed the Boos at Bolton Yesterday...

and the really pissy attitude by Bush that his "anointed one" isn't being loved. Bush really despises us and he makes that inordinately clear.

Also thought appropriate a quote I heard on Democracy Now this morning re: John Bolton: ""John Bolton is to diplomacy what Jack the Ripper was to surgery." Pretty accurate.

Forgive Me, But I Enjoyed the Boos at Bolton Yesterday...

and the really pissy attitude by Bush that his "anointed one" isn't being loved. Bush really despises us and he makes that inordinately clear.

Also thought appropriate a quite I heard on Democracy Now this morning re: John Bolton: ""John Bolton is to diplomacy what Jack the Ripper was to surgery." Pretty accurate.

While Cheney and Bushies Talk Tough about Iran

The Washington Post today, I hear, offers a report stating Iran is quite FAR from having a nuclear bomb.

Of course, we won't discuss the hypocrisy of a country with the most nuclear weapons (us) - with more in development all the freaking time - constantly threatening other countries for even thinking about them.

Senate Pat Roberts (GOP) Not Happy with Bolton Appointment Either

He says it will weaken Bolton individually and the US as a whole.

But what did we hear all day Monday? That only those mean Dems kept Bolton from his 'rightful" position.

Reuters Chief Pissed at Idea More "Good News" Should be Reported from Iraq

From Editor and Publisher here.

Bush Moons Family and Faked News

You have to see what DailyRead shares with us here.

First, Apologies

Between several power outages, bad connections, and a grueling writing backlog, I'm woefully behind on posting, responding to email and comments and yes, even sleeping. But hopefully, I'll get more time mid week.


Bolton Appointed

This is just dreadful. If you mistook the smirk on Condi's and George's face, understand that they were basically saying, "We don't care what the majority of American voters think, how the rest of the UN or the world thinks - everything gets done our way."

That Bolton could not be confirmed in a Senate that is RUN by the GOP is a powerful thing.