Shades of Jeff Gannon

Salon's Joe Conason speculates that male macho escort and formerly the Bushies' favorte "journalist" may be planted right in the middle of the special prosecutor's sights in the Plamegate investigation.

The Religion Card and the Supremes

EJ Dionne asks a question I've been asking: why, when during the John Roberts leadup to confirmation, we were told repeatedly that his religion could and should not be a factor, are we supposed to get all excited that Harriet Miers chose to become an evangelical well into her adulthood? Listen to Bush, and her religion coupled with her relationship to him are her only qualifications for the position.

The Press Always Worries for Bush, But Not for America or the World

Just an observation.

But this is interesting: Bush's core erodes big time:

Evangelicals, Republican women, Southerners and other critical groups in President Bush's political coalition are worried about the direction the nation is headed and disappointed with his performance, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

That unease could be a troubling sign for a White House already struggling to keep the Republican Party base from slipping over Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, Gulf Coast spending projects, immigration and other issues.

"Politically, this is very serious for the president," said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University. "If the base of his party has lost faith, that could spell trouble for his policy agenda and for the party generally."

Sentiment about the nation's direction has sunk to new depths at a time people are anxious about Iraq, the economy, gas prices and the management of billions of dollars being spent for recovery from the nation's worst natural disaster.

New York's Convenient Subway System Scare

The Times has it here.

All I know is that it's damned convenient that the less and less popular Bush gets, the more terror is bandied about, and then suddenly, NY's under threat from someone with an address of N Main Street, Baghdad. Gotta keep subtly reminding us Iraq and US attacks are synonymous, even though they aren't.

Vermont to Leahy: Mess with Texas

From the Vermont Guardian:

Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans who can still be swayed by facts must come to their senses and recognize that this administration, hell bent on remaking the courts in its conservative, anti-states’ rights, anti-civil liberties image, will try all manner of Machiavellian ploys.

Send Miers’ nomination back to the president’s desk and demand that he nominate the real candidate first.

In the days after Sen. Jim Jeffords left the Republican party, Leahy, who became chairman of the Judiciary Committee as Democrats took control of the Senate and helped to thwart some of Bush’s most conservative nominees from reaching the federal bench, said proudly: “All those bumper stickers that say ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ should be replaced with ones that say ‘Don’t Mess with Vermont.’”

Sen. Leahy, it’s time to mess with Texas.

Conservatives: Joining the Rest of Us in the Cheap Seats

One thing I do sort of enjoy about the latest Bush trashing of our country - about two steps up from putting Rupert Murdoch or the Reverend Moon on the Supreme Court - is that for the first time, conservatives and Bush-pushers are getting a taste of what it's been for the rest of us.

Now, they're treated to, "Just trust me" from Bush. We heard it through years of him killing public education and the military and real homeland security as opposed to what his folks are doing at max bucks.

And man, are these folks every complaining now that they have to hear, "just trust me."

But you know what? It really doesn't make me feel any better.


Judy Miller: Still Serving in the Prison of Her Own Perceived Greatness

If I hear Judith Miller of the New York Times one more time herald herself as a great martyr of a free press, I will vomit.

Judy's 68 days in jail pale miserably when compared to the number of men and women and children on both sides of the conflict that her lies put in harm's way. It's like she is a Bushie. I mean, where else do you see this total reality disconnect?


Bush's War Against the Elderly

And no, it's not about the very expensive train to nowhere but about basic housing.

From Alaska Daily http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/anchorage/story/7045690p-6949631c.html>

The same day 64-year-old Barbara May came home from the hospital last week, she got a letter saying her share of subsidized rent would be jumping from $189 to $426 a month. She lives on Social Security with a bit of state assistance. So she'll have to move to a small apartment across town.

About 600 low-income individuals and families around Alaska have been sent similar edicts from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation: Pay more or move.
The cutbacks are due to a drop in federal housing funds this year, said Wes Weir, public housing director of AHFC.

Alaska took a bigger hit than other states because the federal government did not take into account additional expenses due to distances and other factors here, Weir said. The percentages and formulas are "based on a model not accurate for Alaska," he said.

AHFC quit adding new clients for five months this year to save money, leaving thousands on a waiting list. They include mainly low-income people, who may be in substandard housing or staying with relatives.

Beginning Oct. 1, the agency also tightened rules on what size unit each person or family receiving the help qualifies for. AHFC has dipped into its own reserves to partially make up for the rental-assistance funding shortfall, Weir said.

"It is unfair. It's unfair to all of our clients. And It's unfair to clients on the wait list, too," he said.
The agency received about $626,000 less for rental assistance this year over last year from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, Weir said.

"We appealed. We lost the appeals," he said. U.S. Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski, both Alaska Republicans, have also asked for a meeting with top federal officials to discuss the situation, Weir said.

The agency could get permission from the Alaska Legislature to spend more state money on low-income renters, but that doesn't seem likely, said AHFC public relations director Bryan Butcher.


All the Whining from the Right About Miers

I'm not even sure if I begin to understand why the tidy righties are whining so indignantly, so self righteously about Miers nomination.

Think Progress: Bush Directly Involved in Plame Spy Leak


Near the end of a round table discussion on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos dropped this bomb:
    Definitely a political problem but I wonder, George Will, do you think it’s a manageable one for the White House especially if we don’t know whether Fitzgerald is going to write a report or have indictments but if he is able to show as a source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions.
This would explain why Bush spent more than an hour answering questions from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It would also fundamentally change the dynamics of the scandal. President Bush could no longer claim he was merely a bystander who wants to “get to the bottom of it.” As Stephanopoulos notes, if Bush played a direct role it could make this scandal completely unmanageable.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.

Plame Indictments Right Around the Proverbial Corner?

Here's what Radar Magazine's The Wire has to say:

The D.C. Rumor mill is thrumming with whispers that 22 indictments are about to be handed down on the outed-CIA agent Valerie Plame case. The last time the wires buzzed this loud — that Tom DeLay would be indicted and would step down from his leadership post in the House — the scuttlebutters got it right.

Can it be a coincidence that the White House appears to be distancing President Bush from embattled aide Karl Rove? “He’s been missing in action at more than one major presidential event,” a member of the White House press corps tells us.

If the word on the street is right a second time, we have a bit of advice for Rove: Go with vertical stripes, they’re way more slimming.

Update: Ooh, look: a very convenient distraction!

Who Is Harriet Miers?

The Left Coaster is on the case.

Eh? What's That Smell of Rotting Wildebeast?

Oh wait. Maybe this is it, from the Mercury News.

Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.

When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.

The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates.

Blunt last week temporarily replaced DeLay as House majority leader, and Blunt's son, Matt, has now risen to Missouri's governor.

The government's former chief election enforcement lawyer said the Blunt and DeLay transactions are similar to the Texas case and raise questions that should be investigated regarding whether donors were deceived or the true destination of their money was concealed.

"These people clearly like using middlemen for their transactions," said Lawrence Noble. "It seems to be a pattern with DeLay funneling money to different groups, at least to obscure, if not cover, the original source," said Noble, who was the Federal Election Commission's chief lawyer for 13 years, including in 2000 when the transactions occurred.

None of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations DeLay collected for the 2000 convention were ever disclosed to federal regulators because the type of group DeLay used wasn't governed by federal law at the time.

I Make a Very Poor Media Consumer


I'd explain this but Blogger just sucked my message away.


MissM, we've got to schedule some time together because I need to expand my foul name vocabulary. I was deprived as a child, not knowing what fuck meant until I was about 21 or 22.

Say Hello to

Three Wise Men (the blog).

Readers Share

Readers share some good links in comments. CK posted some good ones but they won't open for me.

But here's one from Begonia Buzzkill (love the name) about Tommy boy DeLay's stink extending to Brit's Maggie Thatcher. Snippet here:

A DOCUMENT linking Margaret Thatcher to a US corruption probe is so explosive civil servants have been asked to ensure it remains "sealed".

The 79-year-old former Premier is said to have met Congressman Tom DeLay in Britain while he was on a suspected favours-for-freebies scam.

In return for his free holiday, DeLay - who resigned as Republican leader of Congress last week after being accused of laundering political funds - allegedly backed legislation favourable to lobby groups.

Disclosing that US authorities were seeking aid from UK counterparts, a secret Home Office briefing says: "One visit to the UK involved a meeting with Mrs Margaret Thatcher.

"Evidence is sought from her about that meeting and her involvement in the alleged deception and violation of US criminal laws."

Police will "sensitively" investigate the meeting, which took place in May 2000.

Bird Brain Wants to Tap Army for Bird Flu

He wants to quarantine us?


New Orleans?

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Tuesday that the possibility of an avian flu pandemic is among the reasons he wants Congress to give him the power to use the nation's military in law enforcement roles in the United States.

"I'm concerned about what an avian flu outbreak could mean for the United States and the world," he told reporters during a Rose Garden news conference.

Such an deadly event would raise difficult questions, such as how a quarantine might be enforced, he said.

"One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move," he said. "So that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have."


Stan, Another Killer 'Cane

From CNN:

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) -- Hurricane Stan slammed into Mexico's Gulf coast Tuesday, forcing authorities to close one of the nation's busiest ports and spawning related storms across the region that left at least 66 people dead, most from landslides in El Salvador.

The storm, which included winds of 80 miles an hour (128 kph) before being downgraded to a tropical storm, came ashore along a sparsely populated stretch of coastline south of Veracruz, a busy port 185 miles (296 kilometers) east of Mexico City.

The storm's outer bands swiped the city, knocking down trees, flooding low-lying neighborhoods and closing some highways, authorities said. State officials said seven people, including two children, were hurt. Most injuries were from falling trees or roofs that collapsed in the communities of Alvarado and Montepio, south of Veracruz and closer to where Stan came ashore.

All three of Mexico's Gulf coast crude-oil loading ports were closed Tuesday as a precaution. The shutdowns weren't expected to affect oil prices.

Forecasters said the hurricane spawned separate storms across Central America and southern Mexico, provoking flooding and landslides.

Some 49 people had been killed during two days of flooding in El Salvador, Interior Secretary Rene Figueroa said Tuesday night. More than 16,700 people had been evacuated to 167 shelters set up all over the country, he said.

Posse Comitatus

OK, is anyone else getting scared by how easily the American public is buying (running 50:50 in votes) that we must have military for law enforcement during an emergency. That's a blur that is frightening.

A Note from Our "Steemed" President

Dear American public:

This is all you need to know about Harriet Miers:

I looked into her heart and she thinks I'm like the smartest man she's ever met. That says a lot.

Oh, yeah. And she'll never change her mind. Don't listen to anybody tell ya that the hallmark of a thinking person is the ability to consider and reconsider and sometimes evolve in their thinking. I promise you, anybody who thinks I'm smart won't be changing her mind.