Gee, Monica BadThanger... Goodling Quits Department of (In)Justice

Bet she already has a very, very, very sweet job lined up with some right wing think tank or legal firm. Meanwhile, Al Gonzales is spending his vacation practicing, "I don't recall" and "I serve at the pleasure of the president... and not in a gay kinda way either."

April 15-22: Join The Boycott to Impeach For Peace and Justice

More information here on the action against the Bush Administration.

America's Own Hostages: Conditions At Guantanamo Bay Worsening

So says the BBC of Gitmo where Bush has kept hundreds of detainees, almost all Muslims, with only 10 people ever charged. The same detainees the Supreme Court played coward to this week knowing they could not legally protect the Bush Administration's inhumane treatment of these prisoners if they took the case for consideration.

And yet how the U.S. and Great Britain howled at the "terrible" treatment of the Brit sailor hostages Iran gave new clothes and gift bags to upon release yesterday. Yeah, we've got standing to talk about "inhumane treatment" all right.

(MUCH) Bigger Than You Think: The Story Behind The Pet Food Recall

The San Francisco Chronicle offers you the skinny on what has killed thousands of beloved cats and dogs thanks to tainted pet food.

Newt Gingrich's Hefty Speaking Fees Bankrupts Young Republicans at University of Vermont (UVM)

Ah, sweet mystery of life... nothing spells greed like GOPeons named Newt Gingrich. From the Burlington Free Press:

There was a certain irony in the recent demise of the College Republicans at the University of Vermont. What ultimately proved to be the club's undoing was an appearance on campus by a national Republican heavyweight: Newt Gingrich.

When the club invited Gingrich to speak at Ira Allen Chapel on Oct. 6, 2005, he settled for an undisclosed honorarium that was apparently higher than the College Republicans could afford. They took out a $7,000 loan from the Student Government Association to help pay the bill, but more than a year later, when the loan still wasn't fully repaid after several ultimatums, the Student Government Association decertified them. In other words, the College Republicans were removed last month from UVM's long list of "recognized," or subsidized, student clubs.

That left the College Democrats and the International Socialist Organization as two of the more prominent political organizations for students, and it left political conservatives with virtually no formal organizational outlet on campus.

This raises the question of how diverse the political climate is at UVM, a school where liberal or left-of-center views are widely seen as predominant.

Yet More Brands Come Up Bad On Huge Pet Food (Dogs AND Cats) Recall List

CNN offers links to some of the major manufacturers whose lines, like the very popular Alpo Prime Cuts, are now on recall lists.

The Iranian-British Hostage Crisis And The "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You" Principle

Since yesterday, we've had a steady dose through the media of "How dare the Iranians treat the 15 British sailors as they did?" They were kept in isolation at times, not always fed the foods they would prefer, heard gunfire while they were blindfolded.

Mind you, what the Brit marines experienced sounds like a day in the fucking amusement park compared with what the Brits, and ESPECIALLY Bush's America does to people they call "enemy combatants" (yet few are ever charged with same) and hold in places like Guantanamo Bay/Gitmo and Abu Ghraib and countless secret prisons throughout the world, such as the one we operate in Syria where we "disappear" people off the streets and send them off for months or years of torture, terrible interrogation techniques, degradation, etc.

So before you cry extensively for these hostages who were released with gift bags and fresh clothes, think of what WE as American citizens, allow to happen in OUR names.


Time Magazine: Bush "Clearly Unable to Lead"

The excellent Editor & Publisher is beating Time Magazine in reporting that Time's column by Joe Klein will hint very much at presidential impeachment and declare that George W. Bush is "clearly unable to lead."

Now this fact was obvious to over half the country in November 2000; thank the Supreme Court for forcing Bush down our throats in 2000 and rigged elections in 2004 for keeping Bushy there.

The Surreality World of John McCain

Brought to us by Think Progress:

"That is utter rubbish. It’s electoral propaganda.”

CBS News Correspondent Allen Pizzey on McCain’s remarks about his trip to Baghdad: “It’s disgraceful for a man seeking highest office, I think, to talk utter rubbish. And that is utter rubbish. It’s electoral propaganda. It is simply not true. No one in his right mind who has been to Baghdad believes that story.

UPDATE: According to McCain adviser Max Boot, the U.S. embassy’s security coordinator “refused to sign off on McCain’s visit because he thought it was too risky.”

Another Bushies Rewards Loyalty Over Competence and Performance

Remember Paul Wolfowitz, formerly DoD Rumsfeld's second-in-demand, who moved on to head (with no qualifications for getting it) the World Bank (aka the way we keep poor countries indebted to and under our thumb)?

Well, read this from Think Progress:

Wolfowitz’ gal pal shown favoritism at World Bank.

Murray Waas reports on an internal World Bank memo alleging that Shaha Riza, Paul Wolfowitz’s romantic interest, “was given a ‘promotion [that] clearly does not conform’ to bank procedures,” and that “she was then given a raise ‘more than double the amount allowed’ by the bank’s rules.” Also, “Wolfowitz reportedly attempted to circumvent the rules so he would be able to continue to work with Riza,” shifting her to work at the State Department’s public diplomacy office “even though her salary was still to be paid by the World Bank.”


Nation's Highest Court Shows Themselves To Be Supreme Cowards

Where it comes to the Bush Administration's wholly illegal detainment of people who have never been charged with any crime whatsoever, the U.S. Supreme Court shows themselves to be cowards of epic proportions and unworthy of their jobs!

Perhaps Bush's Monica Has No Right To Invoke The Fifth Amendment

For the past two weeks, there has been much talk that Monica Goodling, the holier-than-thou Department of (In)Justice lawyer who thinks she sits at the right hand of God and Bush, can/cannot invoke her 5th amendment right against self-incrimination AND keep her job. But Democrats now question whether she has any right to invoke the 5th at all.

From TPM Muckraker:

But in the letter today from committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and subcommittee Chair Linda Sanchez (D-CA), they wrote that Democrats weren't convinced that Goodling was invoking the Fifth for valid reasons. Goodling's lawyer John Dowd had cited earlier comments by Democrats to show that they had "reached conclusions" about the matter under investigation.

Conyers and Sanchez aren't buying it. "The fact that a few Senators and Members of the House have expressed publicly their doubts about the credibility of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in their representations to Congress about the U.S. Attorneys' termination does not in any way excuse your client from answering questions honestly and to the best of her ability," they wrote.
I'm with the Dems. Monica gets no "get out of jail free" card by invoking protection for herself she would grant to no one else.

Let this Monica "go down", but in a less pleasant way than Lewinsky.

Karl Rove's Protege Got Federal Prosecutor's Job But With NO Qualifications

Here's this that just arrived from Democracy in Action:

White House defenders now acknowledge that politics may have played some role in the firing of eight federal prosecutors, but they still insist that the first replacement -- J. Timothy Griffin -- measures up as a talented and experienced prosecutor.

New evidence, however, suggests that Griffin's courtroom experience is less impressive than his official biography and top Republicans assert.

For the full story on the legal credentials of Karl Rove's protege, go to Consortiumnews.com at http://www.consortiumnews.com.

Once More, The Bushies Shat All Over the U.S. Constitution

Americans detained and interrogated by a secret FBI unit because they exercised their rights, granted by the U.S. Constitution, to assemble and speak out freely. Peace activists, no less.

"Senator McCain needlessly endangered the lives of over 100 US Troops for a Photo Opp"

From Ron Sheridan posted at Seeing The Forest:

Last week Senator John McCain attempted to sell a rosy picture of the situation in Iraq on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. He failed of course. He got smacked down in grand fashion. It was actually quite embarrassing to watch a man of his former stature demonstrate such a large degree of disconnectedness.

It got worse, much worse. Over the weekend I saw pictures on the major networks of the Senator in Iraq wearing a bullet proof vest, walking in an area outside the green zone, in a market I believe.

This was clearly another stunt in a series of stunts all designed to pull the wool over the American people's eyes. On this matter Senator McCain has clearly "jumped the shark". This was nothing more than a PR stunt which was part of his political agenda to sell an unsubstantiated rosy scenario to the American people.

But the important issue is not his false and failed message, so much as his careless disregard for the troops. The news coverage said there were over 100 soldiers and 5 helicopters on hand for this media spectacle. How dare he endanger the lives of US servicemen and women, and Iraqi civilians so he can have his self serving political photo opp!

Try to imagine the extent of the GOP outrage if Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator Obama or for that matter any other Democratic Candidate had done this.

My question is will the Democrats and the MSM media call him to task for this blatant PR stunt and the more serious danger it posed to US troops?

You can bet your as the GOP machine would lay to waste any Democrat who would dare to pull off such a disgusting pr move, and rightfully so. Hell I'd join them!
McCain is a political whore of epic proportions!

In The "So Much For Privacy" Department

A new bill would identify AND list ALL HIV-infected patients in all 50 states, something I find abhorrent despite all the more positive reasons (I suspect it's the negative ones, however, that made this "win") for doing so:

The names of people infected with HIV will be tracked in all 50 states by the end of 2007, marking a victory for federal health officials and a quiet defeat for AIDS advocates who wanted to keep patients' names out of state databases.
And this at a time, more than 20 years after President Ronald Reagan's complete ignorance of this led to this disease spreading much more rapidly than it should have, when patients with HIV - or its earlier cousin - invariably means these people lose jobs, housing, medical care, and so much more.

New Bill Cuts Off Almost All War Spending

From the excellent folks at Make Them Accountable (by way of USA Today):

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will co-sponsor legislation that would cut off almost all Iraq war spending within a year, the bill’s other sponsor announced today, potentially ratcheting up Democratic pressure on President Bush to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Reid of Nevada and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said this morning in a news release that they will introduce the legislation. It comes on the heels of Senate passage last week of an emergency war spending bill that would require President Bush to begin withdrawing American troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill’s enactment. Bush has threatened to veto that bill and a similar House measure.
Good for you, Dems! This is exactly how you fight bullies. The more they resist the will of the people, the more you up the ante. Bob Geiger has more.


Afghanistan: Taliban Deploy Thousands of Suicide Bombers?


Paul Krugman: "Distract and Disenfranchise"

Rozius brings us Monday's missive from Professor Krugman; read it all here or accept my big snip-snip-snip:

I have a theory about the Bush administration abuses of power that are now, finally, coming to light. Ultimately, I believe, they were driven by rising income inequality.

Let me explain.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan won the White House, conservative ideas appealed to many, even most, Americans. At the time, we were truly a middle-class nation. To white voters, at least, the vast inequalities and social injustices of the past, which were what originally gave liberalism its appeal, seemed like ancient history. It was easy, in that nation, to convince many voters that Big Government was their enemy, that they were being taxed to provide social programs for other people.

Since then, however, we have once again become a deeply unequal society. Median income has risen only 17 percent since 1980, while the income of the richest 0.1 percent of the population has quadrupled. The gap between the rich and the middle class is as wide now as it was in the 1920s, when the political coalition that would eventually become the New Deal was taking shape.

And voters realize that society has changed. They may not pore over income distribution tables, but they do know that today’s rich are building themselves mansions bigger than those of the robber barons. They may not read labor statistics, but they know that wages aren’t going anywhere: according to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of workers believe that it’s harder to earn a decent living today than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

You know that perceptions of rising inequality have become a political issue when even President Bush admits, as he did in January, that “some of our citizens worry about the fact that our dynamic economy is leaving working people behind.”

But today’s Republicans can’t respond in any meaningful way to rising inequality, because their activists won’t let them. You could see the dilemma just this past Friday and Saturday, when almost all the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls traveled to Palm Beach to make obeisance to the Club for Growth, a supply-side pressure group dedicated to tax cuts and privatization.

The Republican Party’s adherence to an outdated ideology leaves it with big problems. It can’t offer domestic policies that respond to the public’s real needs. So how can it win elections?

The answer, for a while, was a combination of distraction and disenfranchisement.

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 were themselves a massive, providential distraction; until then the public, realizing that Mr. Bush wasn’t the moderate he played in the 2000 election, was growing increasingly unhappy with his administration. And they offered many opportunities for further distractions. Rather than debating Democrats on the issues, the G.O.P. could denounce them as soft on terror. And do you remember the terror alert, based on old and questionable information, that was declared right after the 2004 Democratic National Convention?

But distraction can only go so far. So the other tool was disenfranchisement: finding ways to keep poor people, who tend to vote for the party that might actually do something about inequality, out of the voting booth.

Remember that disenfranchisement in the form of the 2000 Florida “felon purge,” which struck many legitimate voters from the rolls, put Mr. Bush in the White House in the first place. And disenfranchisement seems to be what much of the politicization of the Justice Department was about.

Several of the fired U.S. attorneys were under pressure to pursue allegations of voter fraud — a phrase that has become almost synonymous with “voting while black.” Former staff members of the Justice Department’s civil rights division say that they were repeatedly overruled when they objected to Republican actions, ranging from Georgia’s voter ID law to Tom DeLay’s Texas redistricting, that they believed would effectively disenfranchise African-American voters.
The rest is here.

Will We Be At War With Iran This Time Next Week?

Read it and creep.

Was Bush Trying To Kidnap Iranian Intel Bigwigs When Iran Took 15 Sailors?

Story here.

While McCain Claims Iraq Is Getting Better Every Day, 4 More GIs Die There

Looks like John McCain suffers from the same dysfunction with reality syndrome that afflicts our president, Georgy Bush.

Supreme Court Rules Against Bush Spewings

From The New York Times:

In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court found today that the Clean Air Act expressly authorizes the E.P.A. to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, contrary to the E.P.A.’s contention.
However, the Mediocres among the Supremes also voted against an appeal by Guantanamo detainees:
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from Guantanamo detainees who want to challenge their five-year-long confinement in court, a victory for the Bush administration's legal strategy in its fight against terrorism.

The victory may be only temporary, however. The high court twice previously has extended legal protections to prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. These individuals were seized as potential terrorists following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and only 10 have been charged with a crime.

Despite the earlier rulings, none of the roughly 385 detainees has yet had a hearing in a civilian court challenging his detention because the administration has moved aggressively to limit the legal rights of prisoners it has labeled as enemy combatants.

A federal appeals court in Washington in February upheld a key provision of a law enacted last year that strips federal courts of their ability to hear such challenges.

At issue is whether prisoners held at Guantanamo have a right to habeas corpus review, a basic tenet of the Constitution that protects people from unlawful imprisonment.

The detainees' core argument is that no matter where they are held by American authorities, they are entitled to access to U.S. courts. They want the court to strike down the new law as unconstitutional.
Explain to me how these detainees can be faulted for WHERE they are held when it's the Bushies, rather than the detainees, who decide where they will be held. This is fucked up behond any possible sense.

Rudy's Kerik Fiasco

Considering that 2008 GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani admits that he KNEW of Bernard Kerik's purported ties to mafia/organized crime back SEVERAL years ago, when Kerik was in the running for New York City's top cop appointment (which he got), it also means Giuliani knew of these and other substantiated allegations about Kerik's lack of character, lack of honesty, and many other lacks WHEN Rudy told President Bush to appoint the credibility-challenged Kerik as Tom Ridge's replacement as Director of Homeland (In)Security. [Mind you, Giuliani has some very questionable aspects, too, including some substantiated claims of his own ties to the mob.

From the Political Wire:

"Federal prosecutors have told Bernard B. Kerik, whose nomination as homeland security secretary in 2004 ended in scandal, that he is likely to be charged with several felonies, including tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wiretapping," the Washington Post reports."

Kerik's indictment could set the stage for a courtroom battle that would draw attention to Kerik's extensive business and political dealings with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who personally recommended him to President Bush for the Cabinet. Giuliani, the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination according to most polls, later called the recommendation a mistake."

WINS-AM reports Kerik rejected a possible plea bargain.
Indictment for Kerik currently looks like a most distinct possibility.


Karl Rove And The "666" Tattooed Atop His Bald Head

Every large stone seems to have a snake hiding beneath it. And strangely, all too often, it's the same snake and its name is perpetually Karl Rove (that smell of something vile and dead is a good hint that Rove is Bush's beneath-rock-brain, too).

From Sunday's New York Times Op/ed:

Mr. Rove’s efforts to maintain one-party rule go deep into the government. Last week, we learned about a meeting set up by Mr. Rove’s staff with officials of the General Services Administration that was wildly inappropriate and perhaps illegal. The aim, as outlined by Mr. Rove’s deputy, Scott Jennings, seems to have been to take advantage of the billions of dollars in contracts put out by the agency every year to return Republicans to the majority in Congress in 2008. It included PowerPoint slides on vulnerable House and Senate seats.

This sort of behavior should not be all that surprising. It was not that long ago that the Bush
White House embraced the priorities of the Republican governor of Mississippi and virtually ignored the far greater needs of Louisiana’s Democratic governor after Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Rove retreated a bit from the public eye in the heat of the Lewis Libby trial, but after avoiding indictment, he seems to have regained his confidence. Take a look at YouTube to see his bizarre, humor-challenged gyrations as “MC Rove” at an annual media dinner in Washington the other night.

The investigation of the firings of the United States attorneys seems to be closing in on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who should have been fired weeks ago. But Congress should bring equal scrutiny to the more powerful Mr. Rove. If it does, especially by forcing him to testify in public, it will find that he has been at the vortex of many of the biggest issues they are now investigating.

Breaking News! George Bush Admits He's The Bastard Love Child of Barbara and Moe Of Three Stooges Fame

Finally! The truth is out: George W. Bush is NOT the legitimate heir to the Bush (missing a few dozen important chromosomes) Dynasty but is, instead, the bastard love chair of Barbara Bush's long, impestuous affair with Moe of the Three Stooges.

She (known as Babs with Crabs in her lustier days) says she does NOT, however, have an explanation for the fact that Georgy managed to make president when he can neither spell "Stooge" or "Bastard" (although Barbara frankly acknowledged that her Georgy is both along with an imbecile, a crank, and a sadist).

Rudy Giuliani Clarifies His Promises If Elected As President

While some Americans were appalled at the news tendered up this week from GOP Presidential hopeful in 2008, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, where he announced his wife would be allowed to sit in on all major policy meetings, Prudy Rudy expanded on his post election win plans:

  • Giuliani's third wife, Judy Nathan, will not ONLY sit in on policy meetings, she will lead an effort to turn all women into submissive spouses willing to do anything for their men in power (Rudy states this is most necessary because he needs Nathan to be busy so she won't notice when he starts letting his new mistress follow him around to all public appearances as she did when Ms. Nathan was the floozy following him about Manhattan like an ardent cocker spaniel while he was still married to Donna Hanover)
  • Giuliani will appoint his former top cop, Bernard Kerik, to be the Minister of Truth; instead of feeling like Kerik, in light of many lies and corruption and kickbacks and evidence that Kerik like Rudy himself has strong ties to organized crime (what we used to call "the mob" or "mafia", Rudy thinks this actually makes Kerik a stronger candidate
  • Any attempts by the Vatican to punish Rudy for his multiple marriages and menages a trois will be met by Rudy sending the Pope to Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) as an enemy combatant
  • If his children continue to refuse to campaign for Rudy, Giuliani will simply draft them and send one to Afghanistan and the other to Iraq

Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake

Wire services report than a magnitude 7.8 quake - which amounts to even worse rocking and rolling than when Bush and Cheney toss a really bitchy joint temper tantrum - has hit the South Pacific.

Damning DoJ-Federal Prosecutor Purge Emails

Truthout has some of the scathing emails from participants in GonzalesGate, a/k/a AttorneyGate starring Bush, our U.S. Attorney Gonzales, Karl Rove, and a cast of thousands of partisan-playing incompetents.

Frank Rich: "Elizabeth Edwards For President"

Frank Rich, in his Sunday April 1st column, tackles a subject I hit upon earlier today on All Things Democrat. Rozius Unbound offers the full richness of Frank, but here's a fat sniplet:

Elizabeth Edwards' choice to stay in the political arena despite a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about Elizabeth Edwards. People admired her before she was ill for the same reasons they admire her now. She comes across as honest, smart and unpretentious — as well as both devoted to and independent of her husband. But we have learned a great deal about the political arena from the hubbub that greeted her decision. For all the lip service Washington pays to valuing political players who are authentic and truthful, it turns out that real, honest-to-God straight talk about matters of life, death and, yes, political ambition, drives “some people” (to use Katie Couric’s locution) nuts.

If you caught Elizabeth and John Edwards in the Couric interview on “60 Minutes” or at their joint news conference in Chapel Hill, you saw a couple speaking as couples chasing the presidency rarely do. When Ms. Couric gratuitously reminded Mrs. Edwards that she was “staring at possible death,” Mrs. Edwards countered: “Aren’t we all, though?” It’s been a steady refrain of her public comments that “we’re all going to die” and that she has the right to make her own choice to fight for her husband’s candidacy even as she fights for her life. There are no euphemisms or equivocations in her language. There’s no apologizing by either Edwards for the raw political calculus of their campaign plans. There’s no sentimental public hand-wringing about the possible effect her choice might have on her children. The unpatronizing Mrs. Edwards sounds like an adult speaking to adults.

Americans understood. A CBS News poll found that by more than two to one, both women and men support the decision to move forward. So do prominent cancer survivors in the media establishment, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum: Tony Snow (before his own rehospitalization), Laura Ingraham, Cokie Roberts and Barbara Ehrenreich all cheered on Mrs. Edwards. But others who muse on politics for a living responded with bafflement and implicit moral condemnation — and I don’t mean just Rush Limbaugh, who ridiculed the Edwardses for dedicating themselves to their campaign instead of, as he would have it, “to God.”

No less ludicrous were those pundits who presumed to bestow their own wisdom upon the Edwards household as it confronted terminal illness. A Washington correspondent for Time (a man) fretted that “Edwards’s supporters, and surely many average Americans” will be wondering when his “duties as a husband and a father” will “trump his duty to his country and the cause of winning the White House.” (Oh those benighted “average” Americans!) A former Los Angeles Times reporter (a woman) who covered the 2004 Edwards campaign suggested to USA Today that “this is a time when they would want to be home together savoring every moment that they’ve got.” A Washington Post columnist, identifying herself as a fellow mother, faulted Mrs. Edwards for not being sufficiently protective of her children.

Get the rest here.