Wednesday, August 29

Katrina Year 2: Never Forget

It's been two long years since a massive Category 5 Hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast after sliding over Florida causing devastation in Alabama, Mississisppi and Lousiana that had not been seen in over 40 years.

We are now two years past that event, but we can never afford to get past it's ramifications and lingering impact.

Sometimes words are simply not enough.

From Crooks and Liars - President Bush being Warned that Katrina could "overtop" the Levee's: WMP Video-MOV Video





































































Tuesday, August 28

Sinking Ship Leaves Rat

Somewhere along that winding road between childhood and adultism we're supposed to learn that it's bad form to do a double-gaining jackknifed swandive onto the pigpile of someone elses sad misfortune. We're not supposed to get all gloaty and do the Snoopy Dance around the smouldering ruin of their charred and blackened career. We're not supposed to snicker as they slink off into the sunset.

Yeah, but sometimes when you're dealing with someone who's professional actions and public statments have been so mindnumbingly horrific you just have to say... "Fuck That Ms. Manners Shit"

Sinking Ship Leaves Rat by Michael Tomanski

We don't yet know whether Bush iced Gonzales, politically, or whether the disgraced attorney general realized on his own what the rest of Washington has known for months - that his credibility was completely shot and he couldn't continue in his job.

Indeed Gonzales' legacy is so resoundingly awful that one can't imagine which of his failures and transgressions his eventual obituary writers and future historians will highlight.

Oh, I can imagine, quite vividly...

But first let's let Tomansky have his turn in this episode of "A Lie Runs Through It!".

Lying to Congress, which is the clear implication made in testimony by his former aide Monica Goodling? Potential witness tampering, another charge Goodling made implicitly under oath? Helping Bush cover up his old drunk driving conviction?

Wait, there's more! Helping Bush, then governor of Texas, set a modern record for one governor in ordering 150 executions, reviewing in his capacity as Bush's counsel more than fifty clemency applications and never recommending clemency once? Later, declaring the Geneva Conventions "quaint"?

And of course, there's overseeing the firings of nine US attorneys because they would not participate in overtly political prosecutions.

Let me just add that Gonzales didn't just say that the Geneva Conventions were "Quaint" - he knew far better - like some mafioso Consigliare'. he specifically advised President Bush on how to knowingly commit War Crimes and get away with it. His advice, which was provided long before the dreaded Bybee Memo, set the stage for the standard of treatment that over 14,000 detainees would experience and precipitated the murder via abuse of nearly three dozen of those held in U.S. custody. There are few people, including Rumsfeld, who can be considered a greater accomplice before the fact to these War Crimes than Gonzo.

Of course Gonzo never killed anyone himself not even those on the Texan Death Row, but let me just point on by way of comparison that Charles Manson never killed anyone either - he simply told others when, who and how. Still, Charlie's bodycount pales in comparison to Fredo's. Chuck was a amatuer - Fredo's a Pro.

To me it's a toss-up whether Gonzo will be better remembered and vilified for the above or for overseaing the illegal warrantless spying of tens of millions of Americans and STILL. NOT. GETTING. BIN. LADEN!?

Hmm... decisions, decisions...is that the stench of burning paper, plastic or brimstone?

It seems now that even Gonzo's close Friends on The Fox apparently thought he was a punk-ass too. Whodathunkit?

Brit Hume on Gonzo.

Gonzales was a man almost without fans in Washington at the end, because he was never much appreciated or accepted by the conservative base of the Republican party and the conservative activists in Washington. And he certainly wasn’t popular among the Democrats. He was simply a crony. And I don’t mean that word to sound any worse than it is, but that was the case here.

And just where in this outpouring of simpathy and support for the out-going Attorney General do the 101st Fighting Keyboardists stand? Quite possibly on Gonzo's Neck.

Raw Story does a review of the conservative blogosphere’s reaction to the Gonzales resignation and finds "there is precious little love lost for the departing AG." RedState writes, "I am not sorry to see AGAG go." Andy McCarthy at the National Review writes the "resignation was overdue," and Captain’s Quarters adds that Gonzales’ attorney scandal "has been a royal embarrassment."

An "embarrisment"? No! You don't say?

And here I thought he was just a royal pain in the nation's ass.

That isn't to say that Fredo doesn't still have a fan club (of one).

President Bush: "It's sad that we live in a time that a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeding [sic] from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political purpose."

Or Two...

Ari Fliescher : Republicans were very hard on Janet Reno. Democrats were brutal to John Ashcroft and now Judge Gonzales. What’s happening is Congress is really politicizing the Justice Department, unfairly so and dangerously so, because there are so many important law important functions that go on there. It’s regrettable, both parties have done it.

Sniff

It's just all so unfair. I'm sorry Ari's right - the application of Justice and the laws of the land should be above politics.

I mean, "it's so sad", as John Cornyn has told us, that poor Fredo had to suffer the mean spirited slings and arrows of those Damn Dirty Democr... uh Republicans?

Sen. John Sununu (R-NH): "The president should fire the attorney general and replace him as soon as possible with someone who can provide strong, aggressive leadership."

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE): "The American people deserve an Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer of our country, whose honesty and capability are beyond question. Attorney General Gonzales can no longer meet this standard. He has failed this country. He has lost the moral authority to lead."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "I think that out of loyalty to the president that that [resignation] would probably be the best thing that he could do."

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR)- "For the Justice Department to be effective before the U.S. Senate, it would be helpful."

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): "I don’t believe that Gonzales has the type of leadership that the department needs."

Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO): "The president might decide that the current leadership remaining at DOJ is doing more harm than good."

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)- ""When you have to spend more time up here on Capitol Hill instead of running the Justice Department, maybe you ought to think about it."

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)- "There are some problems that he just hasn't handled well, and it might just be best if he came to a conclusion that the department is better served if he's not there.'"

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)- "Sometimes, it just came down to these were not the right people at the right time. If I applied that standard to you, what would you say?"

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)- "For you to have said this was an ‘overblown personnel matter,’ I think that can't be erased. And the clouds over a lot of the professionals can't be erased and the worry by those who haven’t been subjected to those clouds can't be erased.

Ok, fine - forget what I said about "Unfairness" and "Sadness" and "political purposes" - Fuck the little bastard, because he certainly did all he could to Butt-Fuck America.

Then again, leaving now just might be the best thing for ole' Fredo - since it appears that the Bush Administration Ship of State has been permenently grounded on the rocky shoals of Congress - why not get out while the gettings good and the Congress Critters are all out of town?

At least we didn't have to waste time and energy Impeaching His Ass, now we can focus on preparing to Impeach Cheney!

Vyan

Monday, August 27

From the Frying Pan to the Fireball : Chertoff the worst possible replacement for Gone-Zo

As had been rumored before the announcement by Alberto Gonzales of his resignation this morning, the front-runner for his slot as Attorney General is none other than Michael Chertoff.

The Tiny Sliver of a Man behind The Brownie!

Hard to believe, but apparently true since the latest news isn't who'll replace Gonzales, it's that Bush Crony Clay Johnson just might be replacing Chertoff at DHS.

As I've said before, everytime you could imagine the stupidest possible thing in the world - George Bush is mostly likely to do that very thing.

Before we get into why Chertoff is an abominably bad choice, let quickly refresh our memories on how many interesting resignations we've had in the Bush Administration since the November 2006 Elections. (Pardon me if I indulge in a little Shadenfreude!)

  • Albert Gonzales resigns amidst an intense Congressional Investigation on his multiple lies to Congress over the Politization of the DOJ, the Domestic Spying Program and Torture.
  • Karl Rove just ahead of subpoenas for his testimony on the DOJ firing scandal, followed very likely by Contempt of Congress citations two weeks ago.
  • DOJ executive Brad Schlozman resigned on Aug 20th while under investigation by the Inspector General for his involvment in politicizing and practicing employment discrimination at the Civil Rights Division of DOJ.
  • Press Secretary Tony Snow announced his resignation on August 17.
  • White House Counselor Dan Bartlett resigned in June.
  • Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace announced his retirement under direction of Rumsfeld replacment Robert Gates in order to avoid a tough re-confirmation fight with Congress in June.
  • Former Assistant Secratary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was forced out of his position at the World Bank after allegations of incompetence and nepotism in May. (Not connected to the New Congress - but still funny!)
  • White House Political Director and assistant to Karl Rove, Sara Taylor resigned abruptly in May just before testifying (kinda) to Congress over White House involvement in the DOJ Scandal.
  • Deputy NSC head J.D. Crouch retired in May to "Spend more time with his family"
  • Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty resigned in May just as he was scheduled to testify to Congress in May about the prosecutor purge.
  • USAID head Randy Tobias resigned after allegations of his use of a call girl service.
  • Karl Rove Protege and Patriot Act Replacment U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin resigned in May amid renewed allegations that he had been involved in an illegal voter caging scheme while working with the RNC in 2004.
  • DOJ/White House Liason Monica Goodling Resigned just prior to her testimony on the DOJ Scandal in April for which she was granted immunity after initially refusing to talk and where she admitted to violations of the Hatch Act.
  • DOJ Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson resigned in March - even though he was still on the payroll - as the DOJ Firing Scandal initially broke.
  • White House Counsel Harriet Miers left in January and is now looking at Contempt of Congress charges for her refusal to testify about her involvement in the DOJ firings.
  • After two turbulent recess appointments as UN Ambassador John Bolton resigned in late 2006.
  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, with numerous possible investigations from War Crimes to tampering with pre-war intelligence looming, resigned (for the third time) just one day before the November Elections.

As can be seen here, there is clearly a pattern among various levels of the Administration that When the Going Gets Tough, the Bushies Get Going!!

And just think, if we didn't have a Democratic Congress all of these people would very likely still be in their positions.

Now it looks like Chertoff will not be an back-door recess appointment since Gonzales will not be leaving until September 17th, right in the middle of Congress getting down and dirty with the Patreaus President's report on Iraq - are you thinking they might be a tad too distracted while making the next decision on contining the surge or implementing a bit of surge protection to really get into the nitty gritty with Chertoff? I am and I'm betting the White House is too.

But then again how could they forget this?

  • Harry Reid calling for Chertoff's resignation "after the government dropped Las Vegas from a list of cities considered potential high-risk targets eligible for special anti-terrorism grants.".
  • "An 11-member, all-Republican Congressional panel released a scathing report on the leadership failures before, during and after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. While there is no shortage of incompetent public officials involved in this tragedy, one stands out above the rest. That person is Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff."
  • Even Brownie thought Chertoff should go because "FEMA had been "marginalized" by Chertoff and his predecessor, Tom Ridge," and had been a significant factor in the agencies failure to perform during Katrina.
  • Michael Chertoff strongly supported the Dubai Ports Deal, despites warnings from the Coast Guard of possible terrorist infiltration.
  • And then or course, there's Chertoff's Gut.

Although the final resignation of Gonzo can only be seen as a good thing for America and Democracy in the long term, the apparent nominal replacement of Chertoff seems like the beginning of an even larger nightmare of cronyism and incompetence. The only window of hope for a return to sanity we might have is the possibiity that Chertoff's confirmation will fail leaving Solicitor General Paul Clement in charge as interim AG to continue investigations of the Gonzales regime at the DOJ and seriously consider an Independent Counsel to look at the various misdeeds of the Bush White House while Gonzales headed things at justice.

Update: But even that ray of light seems incredibly slim as there are indications that he too will support the stonewall since he has already signed on to the President's excessive use of Executive Priviledge and may be just as much of a Federalist Society Wack-Job as Gonzo.

If Clement doesn't want to play ball, Congress will have to continue on the path they've already set - Inherent Contempt - but at least we don't have to Impeach the Bastard anymore so we can already consider that a win. If this were a war of atrition, I'd say the Dems have already taken quite a few scalps without having to pull the Impeachment trigger - yet.

Vyan

Sunday, August 26

Tom Tomorrow : Plan 9 from Inside the Beltway



What a difference six years makes - or not!

Vyan

Fox : Ted Nugent Wants to Run for Office



Continuing our Nuge-Watch, it seems that Fox & Friends have noticed Ted's little homocidal rantings in Anaheim, and even they don't really think it was a good idea.

Really? Ya think?
Today it appears that Fox & Friends has noticed that this video exists, but they just can't quite make out what Terrible Ted actually said, which - for the record - was this:

Nugent: I was in Chicago last week I said, "Hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk?" Obama, he’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on one of my machine guns. Let’s hear it for them. I was in New York and I said, "Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch." Since I’m in California, I’m gonna find Barbara Boxer she might wanna suck on my machine guns. Hey, Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore.

Even the Fox Friends think that commentary like this just might get you a visit from the Secret Service, but lets also think about the fact that Ted, who is decidedly male and kinda pale just threatened a) A Black Man and b) Three Women - you think he might also receive a visit from the FBI for possible a Hate Crime violations? Hmm...

Accoring to the current FBI Uniform Crime Stats the vast majority of Hate Crimes reported in the country are Anti-Black. (37% of all Victims) while the greatest percentage of these incidents, contrary to popular thought, are not acts of actual violence - but of intimidation (28% of all incidents)

More Data.

In 2005, law enforcement agencies reported that 4,691 hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:

* 68.2 percent were triggered by anti-black bias.
* 19.9 percent were motivated by anti-white bias.



And on the homo-erotic bent of Ted's rant.

Sexual-Orientation Bias

In 2005, law enforcement agencies reported 1,171 hate crime offenses based on sexual- orientation bias.

* 60.9 percent were anti-male homosexual.
* 19.5 percent were anti-homosexual.
* 15.4 percent were anti-female homosexual.


This is not play the "race card" or to suggest that Obama is gay, more that the preferred method for a typical "Alpha Male" is to sexually subvert and dominant his victim ("Suck on That") whether they are male or female, white or black. I would have included more data on Male/Female incidents of Assault and Intimidatation (not to mention rape) but it seems the FBI only breaks down the Murder stats by the gender of the victim, and for that most part their is little difference between blacks and whites in this area. Most of the victims are male (6,466 in 2005) rather than female (712), but then so are most of the offenders.

The ultimately point - which even the Fox & Friends talking hair-pieces picked up on - is how likelyhood that Ted's ravings and the thunderous applause he received might help justify and excuse violence and intimidation tactics against these Democrats (or their supporters) in the future?

Vyan