If my client’s a twit; you must acquit*

Blago’s attorney knows things are so bad for his client, that calling him “silly” and “broke” seems like an excellent idea.

Finally, a little reality in this saga…

I can’t wait for Blago’s news conference after the verdict.  **popping popcorn**

*Chris Hayes

We’ve got a war to lose!

The Wall Street Journal

KABUL—More than $3 billion in cash has been openly flown out of Kabul International Airport in the past three years, a sum so large that U.S. investigators believe top Afghan officials and their associates are sending billions of diverted U.S. aid and logistics dollars and drug money to financial safe havens abroad.

The cash—packed into suitcases, piled onto pallets and loaded into airplanes—is declared and legal to move. But U.S. and Afghan officials say they are targeting the flows in major anticorruption and drug trafficking investigations because of their size relative to Afghanistan’s small economy and the murkiness of their origins.(read more)

This war is getting ever more absurd.

Blago indicted on charges he conspired to sell IL Senate seat — and more

Yahoo

Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and five others were indicted Thursday on charges of scheming to auction off President Barack Obama‘s vacant U.S. Senate seat, pressuring a congressman for campaign money and lying to FBI agents. The 19-count indictment alleges Blagojevich and his aides discussed the possibility he could get a Cabinet post in the new president’s administration, substantial fundraising assistance or a high-paying job in exchange for the Senate seat.

Mr Blagojevich, will you have a news conference to discuss these charges….?  Please?  Pretty please…?  :D

UPDATE:

Rod Blagojevich, you’re about to be indicted on federal corruption charges, what are you gonna do?  He’s gone to Disney World!!

Seriously….not kidding at all.  ;)

HT: freedomrebel

DOJ drops charges against former Senator Ted Stevens R-AK

This is not an April Fool’s story, though I initially thought so.

Eric Holder has dropped all charges against former Alaskan Senator Stevens because the case was marred by allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Holder also wanted to send a message early in his tenure at the department that misconduct by prosecutors would not be tolerated.

If it means that prosecutors are held to higher standards in the future, fine. But Republicans will spin that one against the Democrats in a hurry. Politico, CNN and more have confirmed the story.

There go the judges…

To put this cartoon in context, from cartoonist John Cole:

87 months in federal prison probably isn’t long enough for Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. The two former Luzerne County judges pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in federal court to fraud and kickback charges relating to a privately owned juvenile detention center.

The two admitted to receiving $2.6 million in kickbacks from the center’s owners, but Ciavarella maintains there was no quid-pro-quo in the scheme. However, given the rate at which he shipped juveniles off to detention (roughly one in four, or about 2.5 times higher than the state average), it sure looks like some form of back-scratching was going on.

The feds didn’t include this quid-pro-quo in their case yesterday. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod says he and his team still firmly believe one occurred and will present that to a federal judge when Ciavarella and Conahan are sentenced later this year.

Jailing Kids for Cash – by Amy Goodman (also posted at TruthDig)

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States…

In the article by Amy Goodman, she writes about two young people and their experiences under these judges.. This is unbelievable. So, is this the ‘free market’ at work?

On those “Wall Street idiots”..

Here’s the video to go with gummitch’s open thread..

An angry Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, introduced legislation on Friday that would cap compensation for employees of any company that receives federal bailout funds.The bill introduced by McCaskill — the Cap Executive Officer Pay Act of 2009 — would limit employees to no more than the president of the United States earns annually, which is $400,000.

“We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer,” an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. “They don’t get it. These people are idiots. You can’t use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses.”

The Problem with America

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Since President Barack Obama has taken office, we have seen eradication of several of the worst inflictions that we endured through the Bush years.  Excessive secrecy and virtually no accountability for the most egregious of offenses. In just two days, Obama issued an Executive Order to revoke Executive Order 13233 signed by Bush limiting the release of presidential records (which goes against the Presidential Records Act, but that never bothered the Bushies).

Executive Order 13233 not only allowed the president to withhold his own records from public scrutiny, but required future presidents to get prior president’s authorization to release records.  Worse yet, it allowed designee’s of former presidents to withhold documents.  And, it also applied to Vice Presidential records.

Sec. 4. Concurrence by Incumbent President.
Absent compelling circumstances, the incumbent President will concur in the privilege decision of the former President in response to a request for access under section 2204(c)(1). When the incumbent President concurs in the decision of the former President to request withholding of records within the scope of a constitutionally based privilege, the incumbent President will support that privilege claim in any forum in which the privilege claim is challenged.

Sec. 10. Designation of Representative.
The former President may designate a representative (or series or group of alternative representatives, as the former President in his discretion may determine) to act on his behalf for purposes of the Presidential Records Act and this order. Upon the death or disability of a former President, the former President’s designated representative shall act on his behalf for purposes of the Act and this order, including with respect to the assertion of constitutionally based privileges. In the absence of any designated representative after the former President’s death or disability, the family of the former President may designate a representative (or series or group of alternative representatives, as they in their discretion may determine) to act on the former President’s behalf for purposes of the Act and this order, including with respect to the assertion of constitutionally based privileges.

Sec. 11. Vice Presidential Records.
(a) Pursuant to section 2207 of title 44 of the United States Code, the Presidential Records Act applies to the executive records of the Vice President. Subject to subsections (b) and (c), this order shall also apply with respect to any such records that are subject to any constitutionally based privilege that the former Vice President may be entitled to invoke, but in the administration of this order with respect to such records, references in this order to a former President shall be deemed also to be references to the relevant former Vice President.

To quote Obama on this (via Mother Jones):

“Going forward, anytime the American people want to know something that I or a former President wants to withhold, we will have to consult with the Attorney General and the White House Counsel, whose business it is to ensure compliance with the rule of law. Information will not be withheld just because I say so.

Also reversed were Bush’s policy of war crimes torture, indefinite intention, and removal of the great writ of habeas corpus.  Today, Obama is poised to reverse the global gag rule on performing, or even mentioning, abortion at womens clinics which the US funds. (This is called the Mexico City policy which was originally put into place by Reagan, rescinded by Clinton, and reinstituted by Bush 43.  This is fantastic news as many of the services that are offered to women have nothing to do with abortion and many women depend upon these clinics for basic healthcare.

Well, all these things sound great, MsJ.  So, what is the problem with America right now?

Continue reading

Give Me My Money Back, You Bitch

Hey, you big shot executives at AIG! Who the fuck do you think you are? You go whining and crying to the federal government that if you don’t get in on some of that free money that Hank Paulson is handing it (without getting receipts, it seems), the world will collapse and you’ll go out of business. So we pony up some money to aid your “flailing” company, and what do you do? You go on a “junket” to a luxury resort where you lived in the style to which you erroneously think you are entitled. You were wrong. Continue reading

Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In

Will we FINALLY learn the full extent of the damage done by this Bush/Cheney presidency (cabal)?

From Wired:

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, Americans won’t just get a new president; they might finally learn the full extent of George W. Bush’s warrantless domestic wiretapping.

Since The New York Times first revealed in 2005 that the NSA was eavesdropping on citizens’ overseas phone calls and e-mail, few additional details about the massive “Terrorist Surveillance Program” have emerged. That’s because the Bush administration has stonewalled, misled and denied documents to Congress, and subpoenaed the phone records of the investigative reporters.

Now privacy advocates are hopeful that President Obama will be more forthcoming with information. But for the quickest and most honest account of Bush’s illegal policies, they say don’t look to the incoming president. Watch instead for the hidden army of would-be whistle-blowers who’ve been waiting for Inauguration Day to open the spigot on the truth.

“I’d bet there are a lot of career employees in the intelligence agencies who’ll be glad to see Obama take the oath so they can finally speak out against all this illegal spying and get back to their real mission,” says Caroline Fredrickson, the ACLU’s Washington D.C. legislative director.

New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh already has a slew of sources waiting to spill the Bush administration’s darkest secrets, he said in an interview last month. “You cannot believe how many people have told me to call them on January 20. [They say,] ‘You wanna know about abuses and violations? Call me then.’”

Read this entire article..

I can’t wait..

McCain’s lobbyist-infested campaign: Put it in a bathtub and drown it..

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Can it get any better?

“The Maverick” said:

“At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” he said. “Using money and influence, they prevented reforms that would have curbed their power and limited their ability to damage our economy. And now, as ever, the American taxpayers are left to pay the price for Washington’s failure.” (emphasis added by me)

The New York Times:

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The guy must have been reaping it just until you taxpayers had to bail out Fannie and Freddie. Plus/Minus a couple of days, maybe.

Of course, “the Maverick” lied about that, too. Again, The NYT, same article:

The disclosure undercuts a remark by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Davis needs to resign. Now. And McCain has a lot of splainin’ to do. Please go and vote them out of their misery in November!

Connecting the Dots on the Bailout Bonanza

Over the weekend, Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) said that congress needs to present a clean bill to bail out Wall Street – money only for Wall Street and nothing for Main Street:

Boehner suggested giving Treasury Secretary Paulson the “powers as quickly as possible.” “There are a lot of well-meaning, well-intentioned ideas out there, but they don’t need to be part of this package,” he said, referring to assistance for average working families.

Wall Street, which created this problem, along with Phil Gramm, who championed deregulation and sponsored the Gramm (R-TX)-Leach (R-IA)-Bliley (R-VA) act, also known as the Financial Modernization Act, which removed all of the safegards which were put in place after the Great Depression. These safegards were created to prevent another financial collapse, allowing banks to get into high-risk markets. These banks then bought up “securitized” mortgage instruments as investments. Unfortunately, because of the deregulation, nobody was paying attention to the quality of these mortgages which were banded together and sold in varying grades based on the risk of the mortgages (homeowners) in these instruments.

Often, sub-prime mortgages were included in what was supposed to be A grade instruments. People were given mortgages without proof of income. People without jobs obtained mortgages. People were pushed into taking low-introductory rate mortgages with very low rates (some at 3% or less) which then reset to higher annual percentage rates, some into double digits. The result? People lost their homes, neighbors of those homes foreclosed upon lost upwards of 20% of the value of their homes which then made those homes harder to sell, sometimes resulting in additional foreclosures not related to the problems listed above, and the financial markets were flooded with junk investment instruments. The end result; financial meltdown.

Wall Street says this bailout will shore up their bank accounts the financial markets.

As of right now, there is nothing in the current bailout bill on Capital Hill to help people who might be losing their houses or who have lost their jobs. We are unimportant. It is Wall Street that needs help. You know, those same people who walked away with millions and billions in bonuses over the last two years while they continued to allow this financial disaster to happen.

This clean bill which Boehner demanded has over the weekend, with the help of intense lobbying, been loaded up with additional bailout protection for FOREIGN financial institutions (Barclay -UK, and UBS – Switzerland). The New York Times reports:

Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.

On Sunday, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., indicated in a series of appearances on morning talk shows that an original proposal introduced on Saturday had been widened. “It’s a distinction without a difference whether it’s a foreign or a U.S. one,” he said in an interview with Fox News.

Good to know. I am sure that the people thoughout this country will appreciate that the mega giant banking firms in other countries will be getting our taxpayer dollars.

But let’s make some connections here.

Phil Gramm, one of the primary masters of the financial deregulation act worked to deregulate the financial markets, then went to work for UBS as Vice Chairman and Washington lobbyist – a foreign financial firm, and earned between $1 and $2 million dollars from that firm, is now was instrumental in getting that same firm included in this taxpayer funded bailout.

Let’s run this down again for anyone who may have missed it:

  • Boehner (Republican – OH)
  • Gramm (Republican – TX), now lobbyist and Vice Chairman for UBS a Swiss firm. Also a McCain advisor and possibly the next Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Leach (Republican – IA)
  • Bliley (Republican – VA)
  • UBS is now being included in a bailout with American worker tax dollars.

Not too much of an organization chart is needed here. I am sure it is all coincidental, though.

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Bailing on the Bailout

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The following is a comment by John Smith in response to this article on Bush’s Give Us $700 Billion Dollars Unfettered By Any Oversight Whatsoever Wall Street bailout.

Dear Member of Congress:

You are being asked to assign unprecedented powers to an unelected, and unaccountable former Wall Street banker, under the guise of bringing stability to the markets and solvency to our banking system. With one hastily thrown together vote, you are going to create the most powerful human being in world history – Henry Paulson.

This is being done for the purposes of fixing a “crisis” that has suddenly, in the last hour, been presented to Congressional leaders. This act would remove the constitutionally mandated powers of regulation of the money supply, and the value thereof, from Congress and give it to an unelected member of the President’s cabinet. According to the act, this person would be above judicial review, and be allowed a $700,000,000,000 revolving line of credit to print money on behalf of the United States government. That is more power than anyone has ever had – anyone. Caesar did not have this power.

This should sound eerily familiar.

In March of 1933, after the “crisis” of the Reichstag Fire, newly named Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, petitioned the German Reichstag to give him plenary powers over the affairs of German government. The Reichstag transferred its power, on an emergency basis, to the Cabinet of Germany for a period of four years, and this was called “The Enabling Act”. This was to deal with the perceived “crisis” of Communists within the German government, when the “crisis” was never fully substantiated. It is believed by most historians that the Reichstag Fire was a deliberate act to coax the Reichstag into giving up its power.

That history did not end well.

You are being goaded into giving Henry Paulson plenary powers over the economy and government spending, money supply, and value of that money. Those powers belong to you, held in trust for the citizens of the United States. Our Founders gave you those powers TO PREVENT THE VERY SCENARIO THAT SECRETARY PAULSON HAS PRESENTED TO YOU.

You are being manipulated.

Continue reading

Been foreclosed on? Sorry, your vote doesn’t count!

In one of the most appalling stories of GOP voter theft, the Republican party in Michigan is planning on using lists of foreclosed houses as a means to challenge voter eligibility on election day. The Michigan Messenger reports:

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

Of course, this upwards of almost 60% of those affected by foreclosure in MI are African-Americans.

From Crooks and Liars:

GOP officials elsewhere in Michigan, as well as Ohio, have said they are looking to challenge voter registration based on foreclosure lists – which points to an orchestrated attempt by the McCain campaign to steal the votes of victims of the credit crunch, especially black American victims. This while banks are offered corporate-socialist bailout after bailout and John McCain the 5 Million Dollar Man suggests that common people should miss a holiday or get an extra job to ensure they keep up their payments on a sub-prime loan.

Welcome to the New America. You are allowed to vote if you’re well off. If, however, your government failed you by allowing unscrupulous mortgage bankers to take advantage of you, then, well, you’re not only on your own, but you no longer count. (And I am, in no way, saying that every single person who lost a house was at the hand of the unscrupulous lenders, but a fair amount were). If you lost your job and cannot find another, especially in the hard-hit states of Michigan and Ohio, too bad, you’re on your own and your vote does not count. If your company off-shored your job, tough luck. You have no say in your government.

For more on how the Republican’s are trying to steal your vote, read this, and this.

Are you sure YOU can vote? To confirm your voter eligibility, click here and step through entering your name, email address, and then click Not Sure when the page comes up asking about your registration status. You do not have to be an Obama supporter to confirm your registration.

UPDATE: After mass outrage and the threat of demonstrations, the GOP has backed down from this specific type of voter caging.

When asked whether Michigan Republicans plan to create a challenge list based on returned direct mail, a practice known as “vote caging,” Doster replied, “I think so. I know this has been done in years past … both parties may be doing this.”

Doster said that the party’s deputy political director, Kelly Harrigan, would have more information about the challenge lists. Harrigan did not respond to a call from Michigan Messenger.

(snip)

Last week Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner acknowledged that the use of mail for vote caging has disproportionately affected poor and minority communities and she instructed that returned mail should not be considered reasonable evidence that someone has moved.

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Republicans Fiddle as MN and LA Burn

While protesters are tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed outside their convention, while one of the top independent journalists is arrested by riot police, while Gustav invades the Louisiana coast, the Republicans party with their lobbyists.

And to ensure that they remain classy, they are dancing the night away to a band called Hookers and Blow.

Honestly, you cannot make this stuff up!

Waxman Calls for Cancellation of Blackwater’s Contract

Congress member Henry Waxman, chair of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform committee, has called on Senator Barack Obama to cancel the private military firm Blackwater’s Iraq contract if Obama is elected president. Waxman’s committee is the top investigative body in the Congress and has been leading multiple investigations into the firm’s activities. In recent months, Obama has indicated he intends to continue using private military companies as part of his foreign policy and specifically in Iraq.

Waxman’s call comes as newly revealed federal documents obtained by USA Today show US spending on armed private contractors like Blackwater is on the rise. This year alone, the US State Department will spend more than a billon dollars on armed contractors. That’s a 13 percent increase from 2007. A State Department official revealed contractors “will increasingly take over…former military roles and missions, increasing [the] numbers of private security.”

As Barack Obama prepares to make the war in Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign against John McCain, serious questions remain about what Obama will do with this massive private shadow army in Iraq. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill filed this report.

Continue reading

Senate Republicans Block Oil Speculation Bill

Today, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on legislation to rein in speculation in the oil markets. Instead, they are calling for votes to expand oil drilling at home as well as expansion of nuclear energy.

In a 50-43 vote, Democrats failed to gain enough support to bring the bill forward for consideration on the Senate floor and now face another week of energy debate as Republicans threatened to hold up the measure to hammer home their “drill more, use less” policy.

(snip)

“There’s clearly nothing more important in the country for Congress to deal with…than the price of gas at the pump,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The Minority Leader said his party would continue to hold up business on the Senate floor until Democrats allowed them to offer a series of amendments on expanded offshore drilling, oil shale development, nuclear power and other energy solutions.

“We’re not getting off this bill very quickly,” said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Read the full report here.

This comes on the heels of the Republicans obstructing oil companies drilling on the 68 million acres of public land they already have leases on instead of obtaining new lease rights – at dirt cheap prices.

If you are expecting any relief at the pump, don’t look to the Republicans to help you.

It sounds as if we need to contact our elected officials and tell them what we think. Click here and then on your state for all your elected official’s contact information. Remember, letters and faxes are more effective than calls.

h/t: Liam at TPM.

UPDATE: FireDogLake and DailyKos have more on this.

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Kudos to Rep. Ellison

TPMM reported this yesterday but I just had to repost these two exchanges between Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Hans von Spakovsky – Bush’s butt boy and Bishop of election disenfranchisement (Rove being the King of slime, of course). These exchanges took place during a hearing on the 2004 elections by the House Judiciary Subcommittee panel discussion. TPMM is promising a link to the video and I will update this post when it is available. In the meantime, enjoy these two exchanges:

ELLISON: Now here’s something that happened on the May 7th Indiana election. A dozen nuns and another unknown number of students were turned away from the polls Tuesday in the first use of Indiana’s stringent voter ID law since it was upheld last week by the United State Supreme Court. Mr. von Spakovsky, you wanna stop nuns from voting?

VON SPAKOVSKY: [silence]

ELLISON: Why don’t you want nuns to vote, Mr. von Spakovsky?

VON SPAKOVSKY: Congressman Ellison, uh-

ELLISON: I’m just curious to know.

VON SPAKOVSKY: Those individuals, uh, were told, were- knew that they had to get an ID, they could have easily done so. They could have voted, uh, by absentee ballot- uh, nursing homes under the law are able to get-

ELLISON: . . . Mr. von Spakovsky, are you aware that a 98-year old nun was turned away from the polls by a-

VON SPAKOVSKY: They all had passports-

ELLISON: Excuse me.

VON SPAKOVSKY: They had expired passports which meant that they could have gotten-

ELLISON: Mr. von Spakovsky, do you know a 98-year old nun was turned away from the polls by a sister who’s in her order and who knew her, but had to turn her away because she didn’t have a government-issued ID? That’s okay with you?

VON SPAKOVSKY: Yes. . .

And this:

ELLISON: Were you part of the discussion that U.S. Attorney Heffelfinger of Minnesota should be fired because he expressed deep concern that a directive that could have discouraged Indians from voting in Minnesota?

VON SPAKOVSKY: I don’t recall being part of any such conversation.

ELLISON: Did you ever discuss U.S. Attorney Heffelfinger in regards to any voter fraud cases?

VON SPAKOVSKY: No.

ELLISON: What involvement did you have in the voting prosecution brought by Brad Schlozman in Missouri?

VON SPAKOVSKY: I had none, I was at the Federal Elections Commission. Why would I have anything to do with what the Department of Justice was doing when I wasn’t even working there?

ELLISON: Maybe because you have an obsessive fear that people might vote who you don’t want to, so you try to contact the U.S. Attorney’s office to try to stop people from voting.

VON SPAKOVSKY: That’s a fantasy that you’re making up. I had nothing to do with federal prosecutions going on at the Department of Justice when I was at the Federal Elections Commission. That’s ridiculous.

ELLISON: Well, I’m asking you, you’re on record now. And we’ll see if it matches up with the facts.

VON SPAKOVSKY: Are you accusing me of lying Congressman?

ELLISON: I’m asking you questions sir, haven’t you been here?

VON SPAKOVSKY: And I’m telling you that’s a ridiculous question.

ELLISON: And you put yourself on record, and we’ll check it out.

VON SPAKOVSKY: You go ahead and do that.

ELLISON: We will. You can plan on it.

Priceless! Nothing gives me the warm and fuzzies as to see a Bushbot squirm at the thought of punishment for their wrong-doings.

Do drop a dime to Rep. Ellison and say Thanks! His DC line is 202-225-4755.

Pelosi: Let Rove slide

Pam Miles of AfterDowningStreet reports that she has firm confirmation that Nancy Pelosi is urging the Judiciary committee to not hold Rove in Contempt of Congress for his blatant contempt in not showing up to evoke executive privilege. Just a glorious F.U. to any oversight. And, to the American people.

First, we have masses of I don’t recall and I don’t remember’s. Then we have David Addington testifying with the attitude of a 14 year old who has been told it wouldn’t be wise to follow her friends over the cliff (But, everyone does it!). And I won’t go into Professor Yoo, of University of California Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, whose torture memos are now infamous.

I pondered the other day how this administration has managed to keep Congress on such a short leash. It’s not surprising that it will be forthcoming the level which this administration has spied on Congress. There is little in the way of explanations for what has taken place in the last seven years.

In the 2006 midterm elections, Congress was given a mandate (with 22 of the 33 seats going to the Democrats). Additionally, three red strongholds were lost to Democrats in recent special elections, further showing that the American public is tired of Republican rule. Yet, the Democrats continue to fold like cheap chairs.

So, with this, I ask you two things:

1) Call your elected officials and tell them not to let Rove off that easily. Pam has an extensive list of contact telephone numbers and you can also get all of your elected official contact information here.

And,

2) Tell me, why do YOU think the our elected officials are rolling over on all of us?

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White House destroyed computer hard drives

ThinkProgress

The AP reports that yesterday in federal court, the White House disclosed that older “computer hard drives have been destroyed,” the latest revelation in the controversy surrounding missing White House e-mails from 2003-2005.

This news should hardly surprise any of us, since this administration does exactly what it pleases, when it pleases — law be damned — but this really makes me angry.

From the AP article on Yahoo:

The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.

“When workstations are at the end of their lifecycle and retired … the hard drives are generally sent offsite to another government entity for physical destruction,” the White House said in a sworn declaration filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

Oh yeah, just your everyday disposal of computer hard drives — except it’s the WHITE HOUSE, and they know they’re supposed to keep frickin’ EVERYTHING. But they don’t want to keep everything, because this administration is more crooked than any we’ve ever had before, so they simply do not.

[U.S. Magistrate Judge] Facciola proposed the drastic approach of going to individual workstations of White House computer users after the White House disclosed in January that it recycled its computer backup tapes before October 2003. Recycling — taping over existing data — raises the possibility that any missing e-mails may not be recoverable.

But the Bush administration didn’t simply tape over existing data — OOPS!! — they sent the hard drives outside the White House to be DESTROYED. This behavior is an acknowledgment of guilt, and it’s covering up crimes we probably don’t even have a clue about yet.

At a House committee hearing last month, a computer expert who previously worked at the White House called the e-mail system “primitive” and said it was set up in a way that created a high risk that data would be lost from White House servers where it was being archived.

Under pressure to provide details about its computer system, the White House told the congressional committee that it never completed work that began in 2003 on a planned records management and e-mail archiving system. The White House canceled the project in late 2006 and says it is still working on a new version.

Of course Bush’s email and archiving systems are “primitive” and at high risk of losing data! It’s their stated intention (see the Bush Presidential Lie-berry) to be secretive about EVERYTHING. Bush has been in office for over seven years, and they’re still “working” on an email archiving system? Give me a break!

Wake up, America!!

It would be costly and time-consuming for the White House to institute an e-mail retrieval program that entails pulling data off each individual workstation, the court papers filed Friday state.

Damn right, it would be expensive — and worth every single penny. Get started. Now.

IMPEACH NOW.