Mukasey refuses probe of Bush aides

This is bullshit. (Excuse my plain English…)

via: Raw Story

Mukasey Refuses to Order Grand Jury Probe of Bush Chief of Staff, Ex-White House Counsel

Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused Friday to refer the House’s contempt citations against two of President Bush’s top aides to a federal grand jury. Mukasey said White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet Miers committed no crime.

As promised, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she has given the Judiciary Committee authority to file a lawsuit against Bolten and Miers in federal court.

“The House shall do so promptly,” she said in a statement.

Mukasey said Bolten and Miers were right in ignoring subpoenas to provide Congress with White House documents or testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.

“The department will not bring the congressional contempt citations before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers,” Mukasey wrote Pelosi.

Pelosi shot back that the aides can expect a lawsuit.

Read entire article…

Bush would never appoint ANYONE to US Attorney General that wasn’t going to cover his ass watch his back.

And, as far as George W. Bush, (and his entire Administration – yes, that means you too Mr. Cheney), having to answer to anyone – including ALL Americans and members of Congress – this is what Bush has to say:

“This one’s for you!”

Here’s two words for Speaker Pelosi: INHERENT CONTEMPT!!

Enough with all the pussy-footing around! Stop wasting precious time and money!

Inherent contempt

Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation.)

Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its “inherent contempt” authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who had allowed clients to rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.[5]

MacCracken filed a petition of Habeas Corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the US Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken.[6][7]

Presidential pardons appear not to apply to a civil contempt procedure like the above, since it is not an “offense against the United States” or against “the dignity of public authority.”[8]

You don’t need to go through the Attorney General or Justice. Please, just DO IT!!

Clinton the Feminist?

I think most of you, by now, know I dislike Hillary Clinton and her fake feminism. I am hoping her militants start deserting her after this wonderful nugget of political C-4 from MSNBC. I know it is music night but this article kind of ticked me off.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has declined to return $170,000 in campaign contributions from individuals at a company accused of widespread sexual harassment, and whose CEO is a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record, federal campaign records show.

The federal government has accused the Illinois management consulting firm, International Profit Associates, or IPA, of a brazen pattern of sexual harassment including “sexual assaults,” “degrading anti-female language” and “obscene suggestions.”

In a 2001 lawsuit full of lurid details, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims that 103 women employees at IPA were victimized for years. The civil case is ongoing, and IPA vigorously denies the allegations.

“This is by far, hands down, the worst case I’ve ever experienced,” said Diane Smason, one of the EEOC lawyers handling the lawsuit. “Every woman there experienced sex harassment, they were part of a hostile work environment of sex harassment. And this occurred from the top down.”

Read on

R.I.P. Buddy Miles

Truly one of the great rock drummers, Buddy Miles, died earlier this week, age 60. Although he probably gained the most recognition from his work in Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies, I wanted to acknowledge the music he created earlier when he co-founded The Electric Flag with the brilliant guitarist, Michael Bloomfield. This is a particularly fine video from one of the my favorite (short-lived) bands of the late 60s. The singer is Nick Gravenites, Harvey Brooks on bass and Barry Goldberg on keyboards. Buddy is not wearing his trademark American flag shirt but was still looking sharp. The band cooks.

It’s Friday Night!

Really, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Boy George, the former Culture Club singer, appeared in court today accused of chaining a Norwegian male escort to the wall of his Shoreditch home. The 46-year-old pop-star and DJ denied assaulting and imprisoning Audun Carlsen on April 28 last year when he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London. Dressed in black and wearing dark glasses, the 1980s icon stood outside the court and smoked a cigarette before entering the building.

Karma Chameleon 

McCain accepts endorsement from Pastor John Hagee..

I was wondering if this would happen…

JaneHamscher (of Firedoglake) covers it on Huffington Post (including video):
McCain “Proud” of Endorsement From John Hagee Who Calls Catholics “The Great Whore.” Where’s Tim Russert Now?

Tim Russert, in front of millions of Americans on Tuesday night, was quick to force Barack Obama to denounce Louis Farrakahn repeatedly until he worded it to Russert’s satisfaction (evidently “unacceptable and reprehensible” didn’t quite get the job done). Despite the fact that Obama never sought Farrakhan’s endorsement, Russert felt this line of questioning was appropriate given Farrakhan’s intolerant remarks about Jews in the past.

Okay, fair enough. But if that’s the case, then why isn’t he pressing John McCain about radical religious extremist uber-nut John Hagee?

Mr. McCain, who has been on a steady search for support among conservative and evangelical leaders who have long distrusted him, said he was “very honored” by Mr. Hagee’s endorsement. Asked about Mr. Hagee’s extensive writings on Armageddon and about what one questioner said was Mr. Hagee’s belief that the anti-Christ will be the head of the European Union, Mr. McCain responded that “all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee’s support.”

Hagee was, if you’ll remember, the guy who said that Hurricane Katrina was God’s revenge for a gay pride parade. He thinks war with Iran is essential so as to bring about Armageddon (when you can say bye-bye to the Jews).

Glenn Greenwald of Salon writes:
Some hateful, radical ministers — white evangelicals — are acceptable

Here is just a small sampling of the belief system of this welcomed McCain supporter:

* All Muslims are programmed to kill and we can thus never negotiate with any of them.
* God caused Hurricane Katrina to wipe out New Orleans because it had a gay pride parade the week before and was filled with sexual sin.
* The End Times — Rapture — is imminent and the U.S. Government must do what it can to hasten it, which at minimum requires: (a) a war with Iran and (b) undying, absolute support for a unified Israel, including all Occupied Territories.

This calls for a replay of Max Blumenthal’s video interviews from the annual Washington-Israel Summit of the Christians United for Israel Tour. Special shots of Tom Delay, Rick Santorum, and Joe Lieberman. Senator Lieberman gives a speech where he pays tribute to Pastor Hagee, likening him to how the Torah describes Moses.. “a man of God”. “Like Moses, he leads a mighty multitude, even greater than the multitude that Moses lead from Egypt to the promised land..”.

This is a LARGE group of people who are “rapture-ready”, who are praying for “Armaggedon”, and want the US to take out Iran. They hate the Muslims, which is what aligns them with Israel. They also believe that after the battle of Armeggedon, Jews will have to accept Christ and then they’ll be restored. If they don’t accept Christ, then…

This is some scary shit. It is totally insane. And, now McCain is embracing these people. This only makes me believe even more that there is no accident that Joe Lieberman has been attached at the elbow to McCain on the campaign trail. Do you suppose he will be the Republican choice for running mate?

These people do not have the best interests of Americans and the USA at heart. This is about something all together different..

Make no mistake. If McCain is elected, we will most certainly be ‘bomb bomb bomb’ing Iran.

“The Nexus of Politics and Terror” 2002 – 2008

via: Huffington Post

In case you missed it, on Thursday night’s “Countdown” Keith Olbermann presented an impressively detailed timeline he called “The Nexus of Politics and Terror,” in which he chronicled the Bush administration’s exploitation of terror threats for political gain. Olbermann’s exhaustive account weaves from each revelation of an intelligence failure or a Democratic political victory to an almost immediate orange alert or “new threat” from al Qaeda.

The clip is 17 minutes long and entirely worth it, and its conclusion — “what we were told about terror, and not told, for security reasons, has overlapped considerably with what we were told about terror, and not told, for political reasons” — is a dutiful summary of the past six years.

Huffington Post has the video. I don’t know how I missed this.. This was from a week ago. It is excellent and thorough. Its long, but a must-see. I tried to post the video but it wouldn’t work. VIDEO HERE.

Friday News, Views, and Blues

Happy Friday February 29th! Its Leap Year! Another end to the work week, and 5 days to go until yet another super Tuesday.

Report: 1 in every 100 Americans behind bars Total is far more than any other country in the world.

For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report tracking the surge in inmate population and urging states to rein in corrections costs with alternative sentencing programs.

The report, released today by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.

There’s an article on Raw Story that came out yesterday that talks about how documents from the FBI contradict the official 9/11 Commission Report.

John McCain slipped up a few times in a stump speech yesterday referring to himself as a “Liberal” Republican, and referring to future debate with the Dem nominee saying it would be “Disspirited”… Maybe he needs a break..

BradBlog continues to follow the story of Don Siegelman today by posting on last night’s segment on MSNBC “Bush League Justice” with Dan Abrams, where he went into even greater detail on the case, interviewing Siegelman’s attorney, Vince Kilborn, as well as Grant Woods, the former Republican Attorney General from Alabama who has been among the most outspoken of the 52 former Republican and Democratic Attorneys General who have called on Congress for an investigation and a special prosecutor to be named in the case. Here’s the video of the Abrams segment.

Former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay Col. Morris D. Davis will be testifying on behalf of one of the detainees, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a driver for Osama bin Laden.

From Truthout (and the Washington Post), USDA Rejects Downer Cow Ban. Well, that does it for me. I think I am finally ready to stop eating meat..

Obama has built a 6-point lead over Hillary Clinton in Texas, and Hillary has come out with a new “scare ya” ad of her own.. Video here.

“It’s 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep,” the announcer says. “But there’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing — something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.”

The mother looking in on her children, worried about their safety, is a clear play for the so-called “security mom” vote. Should Barack Obama ultimately win the Democratic nomination, it’s hard not to picture John McCain’s campaign running an ad very much like this one.

Do you suppose Rove is now working for Hillary?

Greg Palast posts on the Exxon Valdez fiasco – Exxon suxx. McCain duxx. He doesn’t mince words:

“Nineteen goddamn years is enough. I’m sorry if you don’t like my language, but when I think about what they did to Paul Kompkoff, I’m in no mood to nicey-nice words. “

Palast says it like no one else is willing to. He’s such a great writer/reporter. Its a must read.

Now for the blues..

I don’t know what this song is called, but performing are Willie Dixon, Memphis Slim, T-Bone Walker, Jump Jackson, Miss Helen Humes, and several others. The harmonica solo is awesome. So much talent on that stage..

Photo by Portland Ground. Used with permission.

Islam-The Religion of Violence? Not So Much.

Ok, this is going to be very amateurish as I have never done this. This is a study on Muslim attitudes toward terrorism, specifically 9/11.

Religion is an important part of life for the overwhelming majority of Muslims, and if it were indeed the driver for radicalisation, this would be a serious issue.”

But the study, which Gallup says surveyed a sample equivalent to 90 percent of the world’s Muslims, showed that widespread religiosity “does not translate into widespread support for terrorism,” said Mogahed, director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

About 93 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims are moderates and only seven percent are politically radical, according to the poll, based on more than 50,000 interviews.

In majority Muslim countries, overwhelming majorities said religion was a very important part of their lives — 99 percent in Indonesia, 98 percent in Egypt, 95 percent in Pakistan.

But only seven percent of the billion Muslims surveyed — the radicals — condoned the attacks on the United States in 2001, the poll showed.

Moderate Muslims interviewed for the poll condemned the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington because innocent lives were lost and civilians killed.

Read more

Obama’s Mercenary Position

by Jeremy Scahill
via: CommonDreams

A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has told The Nation that if elected Obama will not “rule out” using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said that Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009, when a new President will be sworn in. Obama’s campaign says that instead he will focus on bringing accountability to these forces while increasing funding for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the agency that employs Blackwater and other private security contractors. (Hillary Clinton’s staff did not respond to repeated requests for an interview or a statement on this issue.)

Continue reading

Rep. Holt Responds to President Bush on FISA

from The Gavel:

Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), Chair of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, released the following statement today in response to the President’s comments regarding the debate over electronic surveillance at this morning’s press conference:

“The President, at this morning’s press conference, said that the American people expect we will provide the intelligence community with the tools it needs to protect the country. It has those tools now through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and would have all the authority necessary to protect Americans into the future under the RESTORE Act, passed by the House in November. The RESTORE Act embodies the principle that officials must establish before a court that they have reason to intercept communications involving American citizens. What the President really wants is a permanent blank check to conduct indiscriminate collection and fishing expeditions without any judicial oversight. This does not lead to better intelligence.

“The President has had multiple opportunities to work with Congress to modernize FISA. Instead, he has chosen to demagogue this issue through a propaganda campaign, one dependent on fear-mongering and false accusations. If the President is serious about protecting the American people, he’ll drop the campaign-style rhetoric and work with us to pass a realistic and workable intelligence surveillance bill,” Holt said.

Amen. This is precisely what we need – and lots more of it!