Good Riddance to Decade That Began With Theft of the Presidency

I am a big fan of John Nichols. This is an important post. I think it’s important to remember how this nightmare of a decade started..

Good Riddance to Decade That Began With Theft of the Presidency by John Nichols

The British press has taken to referring to the passing decade as “the Noughties” has made quite a big deal of trying to identify the political, economic and cultural trends of period from 2000 to 2009.

It is an amusing pastime that has some value, but only if we’re focused on identifying the root cause of what made the Noughties such a miserable decade.

If we are serious about the task, there is not much mystery.

The original sin of the good-riddance decade came in December of 2000, when the United States Supreme Court intervened to stop a complete recount of the votes in Florida and then declared George Bush to be the president.

This extreme judicial activism was not merely a devastating assault on American democracy. It set in motion the Bush presidency, and with it the pathologies that the Bush-Cheney administration imposed on the country in the form of unnecessary wars, failed economic policies, assaults on civil liberties and crudely divisive and hyper-partisan governance.

Bush, Dick Cheney and aides are surely to blame for much of what ailed America during the 2000s, and for what will ail America for decades to come.

But it was the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented meddling in the presidential election process – an intervention that would have horrified the founders of a republic that was supposed to enjoy a separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers – made the Bush-Cheney interregnum possible.

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War Criminals, Including Their Lawyers, Must Be Prosecuted

by Marjorie Cohn (Posted at TheZoo by permission)

Since he took office, President Obama has instituted many changes that break with the policies of the Bush administration. The new president has ordered that no government agency will be allowed to torture, that the U.S. prison at Guantánamo will be shuttered, and that the CIA’s secret black sites will be closed down. But Obama is non-committal when asked whether he will seek investigation and prosecution of Bush officials who broke the law. “My view is also that nobody’s above the law and, if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen,” Obama said. “But,” he added, “generally speaking, I’m more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards.” Obama fears that holding Team Bush to account will risk alienating Republicans whom he still seeks to win over.

Obama may be off the hook, at least with respect to investigating the lawyers who advised the White House on how to torture and get away with it. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has written a draft report that apparently excoriates former Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee, authors of the infamous torture memos, according to Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff. OPR can report these lawyers to their state bar associations for possible discipline, or even refer them for criminal investigation. Obama doesn’t have to initiate investigations; the OPR has already launched them, on Bush’s watch.

The smoking gun that may incriminate George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, et al., is the email traffic that passed between the lawyers and the White House. Isikoff revealed the existence of these emails on The Rachel Maddow Show. Some maintain that Bush officials are innocent because they relied in good faith on legal advice from their lawyers. But if the president and vice president told the lawyers to manipulate the law to allow them to commit torture, then that defense won’t fly.
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Party Hearty Marty!

Andina:

Peru has successfully promoted its national drink “Pisco Sour” during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, Peru’s Environment Minister Antonio Brack said Sunday.He noted that the flagship drink of Peru was well acepted by international guests, including Japan’s Prime Minister, Taro Aso.
“Pisco Sour has been the “star” of the APEC Summit, the drink was served in several meetings at the Government Palace and the APEC Summit venue,” he told CPN Radio.
 
“We have achieved to place our products including pisco on international markets, but also kiwicha, sweet potatoes and traditional Peruvian potatoes”, said Brack.
U.S. President George W. Bush, who quit drinking at 40, was apparently drinking a Peruvian cocktail during a meeting on Saturday.

What is a “Pisco Sour” you ask?

The ingredients:

2 oz pisco brandy
1 oz lime juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 egg white
1 dash Angostura® bitters

The results? The sure seem to be enjoying themselves..

On Bush and his alcoholism: Bush: “I doubt I’d be standing here if I hadn’t quit drinking whiskey”

Or read this by Dr. Justin Frank (author of “Bush on the Couch”): Belive and Blame

I guess this no longer applies… Unless of course brandy is okay to drink when you’re an alcoholic…

For this “dry drunk” president, he doesn’t appear to be so “dry” any more..
What will this mean for the last two months of his presidency? Surely nothing good..

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Cafferty – How Long Will You Wait In Line To Vote?

Dawn from Florida on Cafferty’s blog answered:  My husband and I waited 2 1/2 hours to vote early.  About one hour into the wait, my husband started getting antsy and wanted me to remind him why we were wasting our time.  I just looked at him and said “George W. Bush.”  That did the trick.  Many great responses!

Cheney Endorses John McCain – Obama Sends Congratulations

HuffingtonPost

The Obama campaign gleefully sends over an announcement of a major endorsement…. for John McCain… by Dick Cheney.

“In three days we’ll choose a new steward for the presidency and begin a new chapter in our history,” the Vice President said Saturday morning. “It’s the biggest decision that we make together as Americans. A lot turns on the outcome. I believe the right leader for this moment in history is Senator John McCain.”

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Blinded By The Right

Painful as it is to admit, we got duped.

Blinded By The Right
Original Words and Music “Blinded by The Light” by Bruce Springsteen, 1973
Additional Lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2008

Madman Georgie-Porgy and contractors in an orgy, well he ain’t no diplomat
On the outs with his bouts as the alcoholic doubts his way is where it’s at
With the story of his glory feelin’ kinda gory I skipped the Sunday-go-round
With this very unnerving curving and swerving the calamity crashed to the ground.
Some half-hot all-snot was talkin’ up the hot spot, pointin’ his fingers, joinin’ his man
And some Bush-bot mascot was tied into a legal knot with his what-not in his hand
And then poor Scott, put on the spot, falsely told a bunch of rot and boned our soldiers in the sand
And some bloodshot drunken sot whispers Pappy’s within earshot, save the buckshot, don’t play your hand

Yes, we were blinded by the right,
Oh, got juiced by a ruse, another rumor in the night
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Undecided Voters: McCain’s “That One” Remark – Their Verdict How “Childish”

McCain Refers To Obama “That One”

MCCAIN:
I know you grow a little weary with this back-and-forth. It was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies, and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney.

You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one. You know who voted against it? Me. I have fought time after time against these pork barrel — these bills that come to the floor…

 

Undecided Voters: McCain’s ‘That One’ Remark Was “Over The Top”

The undecided voters thought it was very “childish” of McCain to make that remark. Their thoughts were it was over the top and they have put up with this for eight years, that’s enough.   What a jerk.

Cafferty File on Privatizing Social Security

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H/T: Crooks and Liars

Jack Cafferty is the only person I’ve seen on TV so far to make this incredibly important point: If George Bush and John McCain had their way with privatizing Social Security, millions of seniors would be totally screwed right now.

From The Cafferty File:

“Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The crisis on Wall Street is enough to rattle any investor Let alone one who is about to retire or whos already living on a fixed income.

401(k)s and pension plans — many of which have exposure to these troubled companies — are taking huge hits as a result of this mess.

Luckily we have the safety net of Social Security to fall back on. For now.

You may remember just four years ago President Bush made a big push to partially privatize Social Security You know so we could individually invest our future with the great minds on Wall Street. It failed back then, but that concept could still become a reality. See John McCain also supports supplementing Social Security with private investment accounts. His opponent Barack Obama does not.

Heres my question to you: In light of the failures of large financial institutions, is privatizing Social Security a good idea?”

Army Suicide Rate Soars In Bush’s Quest for Oil

CNN

All of the widespread use of improvised explosive devises, multiple deployments, and the ambiguity of fighting combatants dressed as civilians is causing:

The rate of suicides among-active duty soldiers is on pace to surpass both last year’s numbers and the rate of suicide in the general U.S. population for the first time since the Vietnam war, according to U.S. Army officials.

As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.

Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.

Another factor in the rise can be attributed to the increased pace of combat operations and financial and family troubles connected with deployments.

“Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increased distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families,” Secretary of the Army Pete Geren said. “This stress on the force is validated by recent studies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.”

The statistics were released Tuesday at a news conference announcing the completion of a study by mental health experts who the Veterans Administration asked to review its suicide prevention work and track numbers.

On Tuesday, the VA also announced findings from a study showing that suicides hit an all-time high in 2006 among younger U.S. military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The numbers show record levels for men, but the statistics are lower for women.

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Ten Ways the McCain/Palin GOP is Now Stealing the Ohio Vote

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TruthOut

The McCain/Palin GOP is already in the process of stealing the Ohio vote, as was done in 2004. Among those at the center of the GOP strategy is Bush Family computer operative Michael Connell, who programmed the key vote counting mechanisms that were used to give George W. Bush his second term.

Much has now changed in Ohio, including the transition from a Republican governor (Robert Taft) and secretary of state (J. Kenneth Blackwell) to Democrats Ted Strickland and Jennifer Brunner. Brunner has made strong public commitments to conducting a fair registration process, an orderly election and a reliable vote count this fall. She is being pushed by the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal civil rights lawsuit, filed originally against Blackwell.

To help guarantee an election that truly reflects the will of the voters, Freepress.org will convene a conference on election protection procedures webcast from Columbus this September 26-28. It will reinforce the positive steps Brunner has taken, and will help train poll workers and judges to safeguard the vote in Ohio and around the nation.

But much of the electoral apparatus remains beyond public control. Serious questions remain about how reliable the final vote count will be, and how much of it the Republican party will cage, confuse and steal in its crusade to put John McCain and Sarah Palin into the White House.

Here are some of the key factors that still endanger the vote in Ohio and around the nation:

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Palin Gets Crash Course in Foreign Policy 101

The McCain team has hastily assembled a team of former Bush White House aides to tutor the vice-presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, on foreign-policy issues, to write her speeches and to begin preparing her for her all-important Oct. 2 debate against Sen. Joe Biden.

Steve Biegun, who once served as the No. 3 National Security Council official under Condoleezza Rice at the White House, has been hired as chief foreign-policy adviser to the Alaska governor.  After taking leave from his job as vice president for international affairs at Ford Motor Co. last Friday, Biegun flew to St. Paul and, together with McCain’s foreign-policy guru Randy Schuenemann, began briefings for Palin on national-security issues—an area where her resume is conspicuously thin.  (That is just their nice way of stating that she has absolutely no experience in foreign policy or national-security issues.)

Biegun is hardly the only Bushie to be tapped for Palin duty. Among others:

Matt Scully, a former Bush White House speechwriter, is working on Palin’s acceptance speech to the convention Wednesday night.

Mark Wallace, a former lawyer for the Bush 2000 campaign who served in a variety of administration jobs including chief counsel, has been put in charge of “prep” for the debate against Biden.

Wallace’s wife, Nicolle Wallace, the former White House communications director, has taken over the same job for Palin.

Tucker Eskew, another senior Bush White House communications aide, is serving as senior counselor to Palin’s operation.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former chief economist at the Council of Economic Advisers who has been serving as top economics guru for the McCain campaign, has moved over to serve as Palin’s chief domestic-policy adviser.

The proliferation of former Bush White House aides in the Palin team may strike some as ironic-and could even provide some fodder for the Democrats-given the McCain camp’s efforts to distance itself from the unpopular president. (It has been widely noted, for example, that while the president is addressing the convention tonight by satellite, neither the president nor Vice President Cheney will be coming anywhere near St. Paul. And when Palin’s selection was announced last week, McCain aides touted it as an example of the senator returning to his “reformer roots” and rebelling against the GOP establishment.)

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GWB to Divorce over Drunkenness and Infidelity

The Russian news agency Pravda reports that George W. and Laura Bush will divorce after the upcoming 2008 elections. Mrs. Bush will reportedly be paid $20 million for her silence should she divorce her husband.

Condoleezza Rice has been noted to be at the center of the dispute between the President and the First Lady.

Wayne Madsen, a national security expert, wrote in 2006 that George W. Bush confessed during a session with his psychologist that he was attracted to other women. Bush reportedly named Condoleezza Rice as an object of his fantasies.

This was not the first time that Ms. Rice has been noted as a problem between the President and his wife. In June, 2006, NewsHounds reported that Mrs. Bush had checked into the Mayflower Hotel, several blocks from the White House, after a confrontation with her husband over his affair with Secretary of State Rice.

But that may not be the only problem between the President and his wife.

In April, 2007, it was reported that the First Lady checked into the Hay-Adams Hotel due to Mr. Bush’s inability to stop drinking, a problem he has had throughout much of his life. On top of drunkenness and infidelity, Jeff Rense stated that Mr. Bush joined his compatriot Senator McCain in publicly calling his wife a c*nt. The president was apparently inebriated at the time.

Our sources have witnessed a clearly inebriated Bush approaching members of the press corps and making rude comments, including one particularly crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush.

In that case, Bush, nodding toward Laura, called her a “c**t.”

Such a class act these Republicans are. Family Values first and foremost. Just ask David Vitter, Robert Allen, or Larry Craig. Mmm, mmm, mmm! I loves me some good old Republican Family Values!

Personally, I think Laura Bush has little desire to spend the rest of her days in Paraguay.

You read it on the Internet so it must be true.

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TDS replays ‘awesome’ comments from Bush

Raw Story

Jon Stewart took a quick look at Bush’s use of the word “awesome.” Stewart notes the term “awesome” was previously “used primarily to describe skateboarding or pizza or dog on a skateboard eating a pizza.” President Bush has found new interesting ways to use the word.

Awesome.. I am pretty sure that I will never use that word again..

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Lame excuse: Olbermann slams Bush recession speech

Raw Story

After President George W. Bush’s press conference on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that he had “offered no new ideas for a range of economic worries now facing the country, from record gas prices and soaring food costs to rising inflation, layoffs and home foreclosures.”

Instead, Bush blamed the Democrats in Congress for not acting on his earlier proposals.

“These are difficult times. And the American people know it and they want to know whether or not Congress knows it,” Bush said. “I believe that they’re letting the American people down, is what I believe.”

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann took on the task of fact-checking Bush’s statements, beginning with his claim that “last year I called on Congress to pass legislation that would help address problems in the housing market.”

“In fact,” Olbermann commented, “his administration turned a blind eye when investment banks began buying risky mortgages and began trading them in ways intended to disguise their risk. Even today, Mr. Bush opposes … more regulation. … And those bills Congress did not pass — they have been held up in the Senate by Republicans.”

However, Bush’s strongest focus was on the rising cost of energy. “Mostly today it was oil that the world’s most powerful failed oilman had in mind,” Olbermann reported, “again blaming Congress, again lusting after Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

Bush asserted that drilling in ANWR would produce “a million additional barrels of oil every day,” which “would likely mean lower gas prices.”

“A few years ago,” noted Olbermann, “the Energy Information Adminstration considered the impact of drilling in ANWR and said that gasoline prices would go down — by one cent per gallon, by the year 2025.”

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