The Watering Hole, Monday, November 17th, 2014: Mixed Bag

Just a few articles from last week that I found interesting, and in case you missed them:

From Daily Kos, a very succinct [but limited] summary of some of President Obama’s accomplishments, in the form of a “letter to the editor” from a frustrated Canadian, who wraps up with: “When you are done with Obama, could you send him our way?” The blogger who posted the LTE at Daily Kos, Leslie Salzillo, ends (in part) with:

“…half of America was blinded by the half-truths FOX ‘News’ and Conservative talking heads fed them, because you know, if you tell just enough truth mixed in with a bucket of lies, it causes confusion. And that can lead to a bad case of the FuckIts.”

[Hmm, is a “bad case of the FuckIts” related to “someone’s got a case of the Mondays” from Office Space?]

Ms. Salzillo then posted a line by Robin Williams (sigh), speaking to Canada:

“You are a big country.
You are the kindest country in the world.
You are like a really nice apartment
over a meth lab.”

Raw Story had a couple of items, including this story about how former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [spit] feels about possible executive action by President Obama on immigration. The President may “…defer the deportations of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants who have children who are in the U.S. legally”, according to the article by David Edwards. Gonzales, appearing on CNN,

“…argued that the president should be focused on securing the border because of a “nightmare scenario” where terrorists infiltrate into the country through Mexico…

“Now, 99 percent of the people that come across the border are not terrorists,” he admitted. “They are coming over primarily to seek a better life. But I do think that it is legitimate in today’s world to do what we can as a government to secure the border.”

Apparently Gonzales has not read up on President Obama’s work to secure the southern border. According to The White House:

“Today, the Border Patrol is better staffed than ever before, having doubled the number of agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 21,000 in 2011. More than 2,200 Border Patrol agents man the Northern border, a 700 percent increase since 9/11. More than 21,000 Customs and Border Protection Officers, including 3,800 along Northern Border, manage the flow of people and goods at our ports of entry and crossings.”

If I were Alberto Gonzales, and therefore needed something to fear, I’d be a whole lot more concerned about our porous northern border [no offense, dycker!]: twice the length of our border with Mexico, the U.S.-Canadian border only gets 2,200 Border Patrol Agents out of 21,000? And that piddly number is a 700% INCREASE since 9/11? Oy!

Sorta-kinda related – well, it reminded me of the Dubya days, appointing buddies whose former careers were in direct opposition to the purpose of the departments or Cabinets they were asked to head – but I digress:

Also from Raw Story, losing Oregon Republican Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby must have some set of “Thatchers” (Stephen Colbert’s name for ‘lady balls’) on her. After campaigning on the ‘repeal Obamacare’ platform, she allegedly called Oregon’s Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber to offer “…her expertise and interest in health care reform…”, according to the article by Tom Boggioni.

“According to multiple sources, Wehby asked about the job opening as director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) which administers the ACA…”

I liked this part:

“Prior to the election, Wehby’s campaign was rocked by allegations that many of the policy prescriptions posted on her campaign website were plagiarized, including one for reforming healthcare.
Wehby removed the alleged plagiarized portions, leaving the web pages blank.”

Heh, smooth move, “Doc.”

This story gets curiouser and curiouser, as the ‘fine hand’ of Karl Rove is in the background. Dr. Wehby “…was accused of taking wording from a survey conducted for Crossroads, a group run by Karl Rove, for her health care plan.”

I haven’t had time to read the Crossroads survey, but I think that it could be worth taking a look at, even just to see what Karl’s millions and minions have been up to.

This is our daily Open Thread…go ahead, talk amongst yourselves.

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 7th, 2013: All the Crazy That Fits

It’s been a while since I put on my hip waders and stepped into Newsmax, so here’s a few gems:

From “Rev. Billy Graham Prepares ‘Perhaps … My Last Message’” by David A. Patton:

“In an exclusive interview, the Rev. Billy Graham tells Newsmax that President Obama’s “hope and change” mantra is nothing more than a cliché and warns that the nation faces increasing threats to civil and religious liberties from its government.

Graham, who is preparing for possibly his last crusade, this time via video, said America is drenched in a “sea of immorality” and suggested that the second coming of Christ is “near.”

“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles,” Graham wrote in response. “‘Hope and change’ has become a cliché in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed,” he stated, an obvious reference to President Obama’s campaign motto.

“Our country is turning away from what has made it so great,” he continued, “but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought; he knows our hearts need transformation.” ~~~

Many believing Christians believe in a coming Armageddon, a final battle between good and evil prophesied in the book of Revelation.

Graham tells Newsmax it is not wise to “speculate” about the dates of such a battle, but he adds that the Bible says that there “will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord.”

“I believe all of these signs are evident today,” Graham wrote, adding that “the return of Christ is near.

“Regardless of what society says, we cannot go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming,” he says.”

Next, from “Rove: Obama Wants to ‘Break the Republicans'” by Amy Woods:

“Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday described President Barack Obama’s behavior throughout the budget showdown as “stubborn obstructionism” whose goal is to “get more money and break the Republicans.”

“The stubborn obstructionism of the president … has a purpose, which is to try and get the Congress to agree to the Senate Democrats’ spending number, which is $91 billion bigger than the House, and bust the sequester, and end the 2011 spending agreements,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He is attempting to put the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling and, in fact, naming the amount of the debt ceiling on the Congress and not on himself.”

Third, from “Rand Paul: Democrats’ Stubbornness Keeping Government Closed” by Sandy Fitzgerald:

“Paul denied that House Republicans led to the shutdown by refusing to fund the government.

“The House Republicans said they would fund all of government, and they did,” Paul said. “They funded all of government short of one program. So they really were never wanting to shut down government over this, they were wanting to fund government, and then have a debate.”

He further blamed Obama for his refusal to negotiate for the shutdown.

“When you say the president wants 100 percent of Obamacare or he will shut down the government, that’s exactly what happened,” said Paul. “If he [Obama] doesn’t get 100 percent of his way – his way or the highway – then they won’t do any spending bills that don’t include everything that he wants. That’s him unwilling to negotiate, that’s him being unwilling to compromise.”

Had enough? How about one more? From “Rep. Graves: Obama To Blame if Country Defaults” by Amy Woods:

“Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves said Sunday the party is “united” in its belief the government should re-open and negotiations with Democrats should continue to avoid a possible economic default over the debt ceiling.

“We have had a tremendous fight over keeping the government open and protecting Americans from Obamacare,” Graves said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s no reason to default. The president’s the only one demanding default right now.”

Sorry, but I have to throw this last link in, just for laughs: Another one by Bill Hoffman, “From Senate to Center Stage: Fred Thompson Makes Broadway Debut”. The author of the piece completely omits any mention of Thompson’s disastrous run for the Presidency, or the fact that Thompson’s most recent “acting” gig has been on ‘Reverse-Mortgage’ commercials.

This is our Open Thread. Have at it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 5th, 2012: Adelson’s “Newspaper”

In my post from Saturday, November 3rd, I promised (threatened?) forthcoming info regarding the view of our Presidential Election from overseas. So here’s a few recent articles – aka “newsletters” – from the Israel HaYom free daily newspaper**, owned by Mitt Romney’s biggest sugar-daddy, Sheldon Adelson:

November 2nd Newsletter: “Will Sandy save Obama?”
November 2nd Newsletter: “A stormy road to the White House – Uncle Sam’s Identity Crisis”
Another November 2nd Newsletter: “Where will the storm take voters?”
A third – and truly offensive – Newsletter/Opinion from November 2nd: “Obama’s ‘black power’ past and present”

Fourth: In this article from yesterday, it appears that there may not be any daylight between Bibi Netanyahu and President Obama, at least on one issue:

Two days after Abbas implied in a Channel 2 interview that he would be willing to abandon the demand for a Palestinian “right of return” in exchange for peace with Israel, Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting: “I saw the interview with Abbas over the weekend. I heard that he has since rescinded his remarks, but this proves how important it is to hold direct negotiations without preconditions.[Emphasis mine]

From the Fifth (and last) in the Israel HaYom’s election series: The following two (the only two) amusing excerpts from Boaz Bismuth’s “Two Days to Go”, reporting from Cambridge, Massachusetts, prefaced an article based mostly on the Obama “Messiah” myth:

“At least one thing is certain: The next American president will be a Harvard graduate. Out there, in the picturesque calm of the prestigious Ivy League institution…I watched the students passing in front of me and wondered whether any of them would choose to emulate the two famous alumni, Obama and Mitt Romney, and someday join the race to the White House.

“We’re not too excited by the fact that two of our alumni are running for president,” explains Sam, a business student. “Obama is a part of the ruling elite, just like Romney, and it is pretty clear that someone from the ruling elite will be sitting in the White House.”

I ask Sam to help me figure out the polls. “Look, it’s rather simple,” he says. “The people you see who are dressed up and wearing a tie, like me, will vote for Romney.”

“And what about the rest?” I ask.

“They’ll vote for Obama,” he replies.

“But I see very few ties,” I remark.

“It’s the weekend,” he explains.”

Bismuth’s next paragraph gave me a satisfying chuckle:

“Since Americans are unable to decipher the multitude of polls, Nate Silver has come to the rescue with his New York Times blog, FiveThirtyEight, named after the 538 electoral votes. Silver, 38, who accurately predicted the results in 48 states in the 2008 election, declares decisively: Obama is going to win on Tuesday. He projects that 300 electoral votes will go to Obama (30 more than he needs to win), and 50.5% of the popular vote. On the opposite side of the fence, senior Republican strategist Karl Rove predicts in the Wall Street Journal that Romney will win 279 electoral votes, making him the next president of the U.S.”

[Yeah, well we all know how Rovian Math worked out in 2008, right? It still brings me joy to remember the look on Karl’s face when, in the midst of his explanation of how, via Rovian Math, McCain could still win, Brit Hume next to him announced that Obama had won Ohio, and the election was over. Priceless.]

And just for fun (or at least a brief break from our election,) here’s a couple of IsraelHayom’s ‘newsletters’ regarding Iran:

From Friday, November 2nd: “Iran is near completing its nuclear activities in Fordo”; and today’s “Iran suspending uranium enrichment in effort to halt sanctions.”

**Check the ‘About Us‘ page’s claim that “… Israel Hayom has a 31.8 percent exposure rate, maintaining its position as the most read daily newspaper in Israel for the second year in a row.” I emailed a few of the above links to a Jewish co-worker, whose daughter has visited Israel several times and has close contacts there: her daughter had never heard of ‘Israel HaYom’, and was going to ask her Israeli friend about it. Haven’t heard anything yet, but IMO, this “newspaper” could be nothing more than one of those freebies you can grab on your way out of the grocery store. 🙂

This is our daily open thread–try to stay strong and sane!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, June 21st, 2012: $$$$

(R)Money

Newsmax.com emailed me the following opinion piece, summarizing much of the wrongness which is the result of the SCOTUS’ “Citizens United” decision. I don’t think I could add much to this:

The Best Government Money Can Buy

Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012 10:35 AM
By Susan Estrich

“My friend Kathleen and I have had a running debate for decades now about whether it is possible to bring reform to the marriage of money and politics.

I’ve been in favor of all kinds of regulations (including those that as a campaign manager I drove a truck through) limiting the role of money, and wealthy donors, in elections.

Kathleen has argued from the beginning that “my” limits wouldn’t work in practice and shouldn’t survive constitutional scrutiny in theory, and that the best and only workable system is one that allows unlimited contributions but requires immediate disclosure. [Personally, I think that Kathy is completely wrong: “immediate disclosure” is unworkable and probably unenforceable.]

And now we’ve both lost.

My failure is, of course, the most apparent. The regulations haven’t worked. You could blame the Supreme Court for making it impossible (You can’t have regulation if it isn’t comprehensive, and you can’t be comprehensive with all these Super PACs and independent committees operating outside the system.), or you could argue that with so much at stake, people will always find loopholes. In either event, it is clear that the so-called limits on campaign contributions only limit those who don’t want to contribute even more.

People are spending six and seven and now eight figures — eight figures! — to support their candidates.

This might be fine (or at least better than total failure) if we had full disclosure of who was spending what on whom. We don’t.

Today’s news accounts of record spending are based in part on the decision by Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson to contribute some $10 million to a Mitt Romney Super PAC, bringing their contributions to date to a total of $35 million in this presidential race. That’s a lot of money. But at least the Adelsons are upfront about what they are doing.

In fact, there are other groups collecting money out there, in just as large chunks, who are not revealing who is giving it to them. No disclosure. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the landmark Citizens United case (which turned on the spigot of unlimited corporate cash) went on and on about the value of disclosure — but guess what. This campaign season, you can give millions to an organization like American Crossroads (aka Karl Rove’s group) and remain anonymous.

No accountability. No disclosure. And therefore, no ability to find out exactly what anyone is getting for their money.

Make no mistake: Published or not, candidates know who’s helping them, particularly when it gets to seven or eight figures.

Forty years after the infamous 1972 election, the election in which cash changed hands in exchange for favorable treatment by regulators, the election that spurred reform of our campaign finance system, we have returned to where we were — but with many more zeros, greater sophistication and no guarantee of disclosure. And whoever wins this election probably won’t change a system that worked for him or her, either at the presidential or congressional level.

Decades ago, when I first thought about running for office, what turned me off was the amount of time my friends who were candidates had to spend raising money. Politics, I understood, is not for people who like policy, but for people who excel at selling: cars, encyclopedias, themselves.

In the years since, a bad system has gotten worse than I ever could have imagined. It’s not just that the numbers have sprouted zeros, but that we’ve lost all vestiges of post-Watergate shame. Nothing embarrasses anyone.

Back in the 1988, when I explained the rules (antiquated now) about raising soft money and creating a party-based Victory Fund that could accept unlimited contributions, Michael Dukakis looked at me aghast (could I possibly be right?) and said he simply wouldn’t be comfortable with someone donating more than $250,000. He understood, as any honest pol will admit, that when someone is giving you that kind of money, how could your judgment not be affected?

Today, $250,000 is kid stuff.

And here’s the worst part. From all I know, the Adelsons care deeply about public policy issues, including support for the state of Israel. They have so much money that they don’t really need anything in exchange. But for many of those giving, a six-, seven- or eight-figure contribution is peanuts compared to the benefits they stand to reap if their favored candidate is elected.

The best government money can buy. And we don’t even know who is doing the buying.”

Yup…what she said.

This is our daily open thread — I’m sure that all of you have something to say, so have at it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 16th, 2012: Mixed Bag-o-News

For today’s offering, I give you a selection of the stories whose headlines drew my attention from various sources.

First up, from ForeignPolicy.com: “Save the Cato Institute, Save the World?”, a piece by Justin Logan regarding the continuing saga of the Koch Brothers vs CATO’s President Ed Crane.

Still at ForeignPolicy.com: in the wake of Rick Santorum’s announcement that he was (finally) bowing out of the Presidential race, Joshua Keating reminisces about five of Santorum’s foreign policy gaffes in his post “Our Favorite Rick Santorum Moments.” (Keating and I agree that the ‘Dutch Euthanasia’ story was #1.)

On to Newsmax.com: here, the headline “Gillespie: Romney’s Social Stances Won’t Alienate Women” caught my eye. As I started reading the article, I was puzzled by the fact that Romney had hired Ed Gillespie, who, with Karl Rove, ran the American Crossroads Super-PAC and Crossroads GPS. This puzzlement led me to:

MotherJones.com: where their April 5th, 2012, headline read “Mitt Romney Hires GOP Super-PAC Guru and Ex-Corporate Lobbyist.” I was glad to see that Mother Jones questioned the co-mingling of SuperPAC and candidate. Shouldn’t that be against even the Citizens United ruling?

Another bright shiny object from Mother Jones: “Mitt Romney Courts Big Tin Foil” – who could resist a headline like that? I haven’t delved into this one myself yet, but it sounds promising.

And lastly, from TheWeek.com (under the category “World Opinion”): “5 Curious Titanic Stories You May Have Missed,” the first ‘curious’ story being the fact that too many younger “Titanic” moviegoers did not realize that the movie was based on an historical event. (facepalm)

Enjoy!

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

The Watering Hole, Thursday, March 1st, 2012: And Your Advice is Worth???

I like to check out Foreign Policy Magazine online now and again for different stories and viewpoints. You can imagine my surprise today when I saw an article titled “How to Beat Obama”, written by…wait for it…Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. Yes, Karl Rove, despite being wrong nearly as often as William Kristol, still thinks that his advice would be helpful to the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee. Check out some of the pearls of wisdom Karl and Ed are offering:

“In an American election focused on a lousy economy and high unemployment, conventional wisdom holds that foreign policy is one of Barack Obama’s few strong suits. But the president is strikingly vulnerable in this area. The Republican who leads the GOP ticket can attack him on what Obama mistakenly thinks is his major strength by translating the center-right critique of his foreign policy into campaign themes and action. Here’s how to beat him.

First, the Republican nominee should adopt a confident, nationalist tone emphasizing American exceptionalism, expressing pride in the United States as a force for good in the world, and advocating for an America that is once again respected (and, in some quarters, feared) as the preeminent global power. Obama acts as if he sees the United States as a flawed giant, a mistake that voters already perceive. After all, this is the president who said, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Voters also sense he is content to manage America’s decline to a status where the United States is just one country among many.”

Ah, yes, the “American Exceptionalism” cliche – Americans are somehow inherently better than the rest of the world, and we damn well don’t need to pay attention to any of those lesser people in all of those other crappy countries. America is a flawless giant, dammit, and just look at how perceptive American voters are, too!

“The Republican nominee should use the president’s own words and actions to portray him as naive and weak on foreign affairs. Obama’s failed promises, missed opportunities, and erratic shifts suggest he is out of touch and in over his head.”

Karl, do you remember anything of the presidency of George W. Bush, or have you simply blocked it all out?

“The Republican candidate must address at least four vital areas. The most important is the struggle that will define this century’s arc: radical Islamic terrorism. He should make the case that victory must be America’s national goal, not merely seeking to “delegitimize the use of terrorism and to isolate those who carry it out,” as Obama’s May 2010 National Security Strategy put it. As in the Cold War, victory will require sustained U.S. involvement and a willingness to deploy all tools of influence — from diplomacy to economic ties, from intelligence efforts to military action.”

I thought that this 2012 election was all about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS – oh, wait, that was the 2010 mid-terms, or…well some election was/is supposed to be about JOBS…I think.

“Second, the Republican candidate must condemn the president’s precipitous drawdown in Afghanistan and his deep, dangerous defense-budget cuts. Both are viewed skeptically by the military: The former emboldens America’s adversaries and discourages its allies; the latter is of deep concern to veterans and other Americans who doubt Obama’s commitment to the military.”

Jeebus knows that we don’t want to “precipitously” leave Afghanistan after, what, only eleven years or so? And didn’t I hear that President Obama has actually increased the defense budget?

“During the 2008 campaign, he also argued that Iran was a “tiny” country that didn’t “pose a serious threat.” How foolish that now seems.”

“In part because of how he has mishandled the Iranian threat, Obama has lost much political and financial support in the American Jewish community. His approach to Israel must be presented as similarly weak and untrustworthy. The Republican candidate must make clear the existential threat to Israel from a nuclear-armed Iran…”

We certainly wouldn’t want Israel to defend itself all alone, with only a few hundred nuclear weapons, against a possible/future/maybe-nuclear-armed Iran, now would we?

Obama recognizes that he’s seen as “cold and aloof,” and the Republican nominee should hammer this point home. The president has few real friends abroad (excepting, of course, Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as he told Time magazine’s Fareed Zakaria). The Republican nominee should criticize Obama for not understanding that the U.S. president’s personal engagement is essential for effective global leadership. Obama’s lack of regular close contact with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, which has destroyed relationships with America’s erstwhile allies, is simply the most jarring, inexplicable example of this president’s hands-off approach.

If the Republican candidate turns out to be Mitt Romney, our allies (and enemies, too!) will be SO overwhelmed by the “warm and fuzzies.” So, President Obama hasn’t been calling al-Maliki and Karzai as much as Rove and Gillespie think he should? What are they, Obama’s mother?

“Because the fall campaign must be devoted to promoting the Republican message on jobs and the economy, the GOP nominee must share his big foreign-policy vision no later than early summer.”

“The fourth line of attack must be about America’s fragile economy and how to restore it. Many voters think Obama’s stewardship of the economy has been inconsistent and even counterproductive.”

Of course, talking about jobs and the economy can wait until the fall – it gives the Republican nominee that much more time to think of something other than “cut taxes and regulations for corporations” and “make the Bush tax cuts permanent.”

“Undoubtedly, Obama will attempt to preempt criticism of his foreign policy by repeating endlessly that Osama bin Laden was killed on his watch. By campaign’s end, some voters will wonder whether the president personally delivered the kill shot.”

Yes, undoubtedly, ’cause that’s what Rove and Gillespie would do – it would definitely convince “some voters”, i.e., FuxNews-watchers.

“Absent a major international crisis, this election will be largely about jobs, spending, health care, and energy. Voters do, however, want a president who leads on the world stage and a commander in chief who projects strength, not weakness.”

What the…”absent a major international crisis”? Such as, Karl?

“A November 2011 survey conducted by Resurgent Republic showed that 50 percent of voters (as well as 54 percent of self-identified independents) think America’s standing in the world is worse under Obama, while only 21 percent believe it is better. This represents a sharp drop from April 2010, when 50 percent of voters (and 49 percent of independents) believed Obama had improved America’s standing.

That’s because Obama has failed to become a strong international leader, and the Republican nominee must reinforce this message — one most Americans already believe. Foreign policy is a weakness for this president, not a strength.”

Hey, guess who’s a Board Member at Resurgent Republic? Why, good old Ed Gillespie!

Hmmm, I don’t think that your advice is so hot, Karl (and Ed.) Maybe they should read another article at Foreign Policy magazine that refutes their arguments.

Regardless of whether or not Rove and Gillespie’s advice is useful, I don’t think that either of the current ‘leaders’ for the Republican nomination would be capable of following it.

This is our daily open thread – feel free to opine on this or any other topic.

Colbert Super PAC SHH! – Apology to Ham Rove

From Raw Story:

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert called out Raw Story Thursday for reporting that he had explained how money could be laundered to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads SuperPAC.

Unlike American Crossroads, Rove’s Crossroads GPS is a 501c4 organization that does not have to disclose its donors. Crossroads GPS can then transfer donations to the Americans Crossroads SuperPAC and the original donors remain secret.

Following Rove’s lead, Colbert created his own 501c4 organization called Colbert SuperPAC Shh! that would allow him to launder donations to the original Colbert SuperPAC.

So, on The Colbert Report last night, Stephen Colbert reads a letter sent to him from Karl Rove’s lawyer, and then offers a clarification regarding Karl Rove’s ‘money-laundering scheme’:

“So to undo the damage that I have unwittingly done to Karl’s otherwise spotless reputation, I will now issue a rare clarification. As his lawyer points out, Karl Rove has two pots of money: one that can take unlimited donations from anybody and has got to report who they are, and another way bigger pot of money that can take unlimited donations and they don’t have to report jack squat… There is no evidence of money laundering. And Karl’s lawyer specifically assures us that no money from Crossroads GPS will be laundered.”

Colbert then adds this:

“That is a promise from Karl Rove that if there is any dirty money, it will stay dirty.”

He then apologizes to ‘Ham Rove’..
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Limbaugh Gets Lambasted By Frum

There seems to be a growing consensus, amongst intellectual conservatives, that listening to an “overweight blabbermouth” is a “bad thing if Limbaugh is spokesman of the conservative movement.”   This sentiment was expressed, by their growing concern, from several conservative panelists who gathered at AEI to discuss the future of the Republican Party.  Their focus was the anti-intellectualism of today’s conservative movement.  A retired foreign service officer was asking “do we have to take our marching orders” from Limbaugh?

Case in point, Limbaugh on his May 14th radio broadcast said that David Frum and others like him want to “give Obama credit when he does the right thing,” he went on to further state, “That’s the pseudo-intellectual conservative view.  The truth is he’s incompetent.” What David Frum is taking issue with is this part of his commentary:

He is every bit the radical leftist he’s always been. This isn’t changing his mind about anything. What is happening, if anything, is that the import of his job, you know, he’s got a very fine line to walk. I was just talking about this. His base loves anything that inflames anti-American opinion. During the campaign he inflamed anti-American opinion. As a senator he voted to inflame anti-American opinion. In his early days as president he ran around the world apologizing, inflaming and encouraging anti-American opinion.

But now, I’m telling you, somebody got to him, because, look, he followed his instincts. His instincts were to release the pictures. His instincts were to let terrorists go in the United States on the street. Somebody somewhere said, “Wait a minute, for your own self-preservation, you can’t release these pictures. You’re in the Senate, you’re on the presidential campaign talking about how all this torture has ruined our image. Well, you’re America now, pal. If you release the pictures, it’s going to hurt you politically.” Don’t mistake a political calculation — Karl Rove said the other night that this bunch spends two hours a night in the White House going over the day’s polling results, to figure out what to do and where to be and what language to put on the teleprompter for The Messiah to repeat, two hours a night. So what has happened here, somebody said it’s going to harm you. Remember, everything’s about him. These pictures are gonna harm you. You want to harm America, you’re taking care of that domestically. If you want to harm America, just keep doing your domestic policy and save your butt with these pictures. And don’t release these prisoners. The Germans wouldn’t take ’em, the French, Spain. No, to answer your question, he’s not learning the truth. He’s having to set himself aside in one area, and it’s gotta be painful. I’m sure Michelle is giving him grief up there in the residence like you can’t believe.

Continue reading

Rove to be questioned by Prosecutors

The Washington Post

Former top White House official Karl Rove will be interviewed tomorrow as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the firing of U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration, according to two sources familiar with the appointment. (read more)

Keep the investigations coming and the guy busy!

Ari Melber: Rove & Cheney Betting On Another Attack

Ari Melber states, “What you have here is Bush’s aides attacking Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Security, and it is really disgusting.”  “What they have been doing is betting on another attack.” And “you have a Red Cross Report out this week saying that the Bush Administration tortured at Guantanamo.”

Bush Whore, I Mean Rove..But I repeat myself

Karl Rove wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal and that is what landed him on David Schuster’s Hypocrisy Watch.

Tuesday night’s news conference showed a fluid, self-assured president — but one who seems to think that repeating a false argument will make it true. The man who promised to end “finger-pointing” has developed the habit of blaming everyone who came before him. Invoking the language of fiscal responsibility, he is engineering prosperity-killing deficits and bankrupting spending. Mr. Obama has put front and center a set of issues — spending and taxation — that brought Republicans to power in the past and may bring them back again. It looks as if we may be heading back to the future.

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Siegelman: Rove ‘a two-headed rattlesnake’

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Don Siegelman was a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show last night on MSNBC. They discussed Karl Rove’s ‘imminent’ testimony before the House Judiciary Committee behind closed doors. Issues to be brought up before the committee will likely be the firing of U.S. Attorneys to what role Rove played in the case of Don Siegelman (and his political prosecution).

Maddow: “Are you optimistic that this particular form of testimony by Karl Rove is going to be an appropriate venue for learning the truth about your case?”

Siegelman: “Karl Rove is like a double-headed rattlesnake. You’re going to have to back him into a corner before you get anything out of him, and, just like an infected wound, the wound that has been created in this country by the subversion of our Constitutional rights, the abuse of power, the use of the Department of Justice as a political weapon, this wound also has to be cleaned before the American people can feel safe about their democracy again.

So getting at the truth is not going to be easy and it’s not going to be quick, and I think that rushing through this is not going to instill faith in the American people that we’ve done a good job.

So, I would encourage Congress to take their time and to look at other people who also can lay the foundation to put Karl Rove in check. There are other people—Karl Rove didn’t fire these U.S. Attorneys on his own. He didn’t plot the prosecution of Democrats by himself. He didn’t carry those acts out by himself….”

Siegelman believes Rove will never testify truthfully.

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Newsflash! Rove and Miers to testify!

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From MSNBC:

Former top aides to President George W. Bush agreed Wednesday to testify before Congress under oath about the firings of U.S. attorneys, a controversy involving allegations of political interference that became a major issue in Bush’s second term.

The Bush White House had fought attempts to force Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify, and the agreement — steered by aides to President Barack Obama — ended that constitutional standoff with Congress. Both the White House and lawmakers, especially now that Democrat Obama has replaced Republican Bush — were leery of having a judge settle the question about the limits of executive privilege, for fear of losing.

The agreement calls for Rove and Miers, Bush’s top political adviser and White House counsel, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in closed depositions “under the penalty for perjury,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich. The committee says it also might call the two for public testimony.

The arrangement ends a lawsuit over whether former White House aides could be forced to testify about matters on which they advised the president. Bush had ordered Rove and Miers not to testify in the U.S. attorneys investigation, and the Judiciary Committee sued a year ago.

So they stopped the lawsuit.. Will their testimony be made public? Will it even be challenged? They had better not offer them immunity…

It is time for truth, transparency, and above all, accountability. Especially when it comes to Karl Rove.

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Rove blows off ANOTHER subpoena!

Karl Rove was due to appear for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee today, and he was once again a no-show. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this, yet I hope THIS time the House Judiciary Committee will not stand by and just let him thumb his nose at them…

I wonder if they have any idea just how stupid and powerless he is making them look…

The rule of law still matters, or it doesn’t. If it still matters, then enforce it! Accountability is essential to moving this country forward.

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Rove.. Will he or won’t he?

MSNBC (AP):

The House Judiciary Committee chairman subpoenaed former White House adviser Karl Rove on Monday to testify about the Bush administration’s firing of U.S. attorneys and prosecution of a former Democratic governor.

The subpoena by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., continues a long-running legal battle with ex-President George W. Bush’s former White House political director. Rove previously refused to appear before the panel, contending that former presidential advisers cannot be compelled to testify before Congress.

The subpoena commanded Rove to appear for a deposition on Feb. 2 on the firings of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Conyers also demanded testimony on whether politics played a role in the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, a Democrat.  More..

Wow.. Music to my ears!! I smell change in the air..

“Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it’s time for him to talk,” Conyers said.

Bradblog has the statement from Congressman Conyer’s website, and a link to the PDF of the actual subpoena.

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Georgie (A Rock Opera Parody)

I originally published this back on 7/20/07, but I wanted to post it again as a final goodbye to George W. Bush. Here is the post as it appears on my blog. I hope you enjoy it one more time. Sorry there are no videos for this. May I suggest you put the CD in your computer and follow it along that way. 🙂
A friend of mine said to me one day, “You know what you should do? You should try to do a whole rock opera, like ‘Tommy’ or something.” “Yeah, right, I doubt I could do a whole album.” As it happened, some time later some ideas came to me that seem to fit “Tommy” the best. To the extent that it came out at all good, we can thank my friend “Tony” (not his real name). And if it doesn’t measure up, the fault lies entirely with me, and not at all with my wife, Jane, who, as she so often does and does well, gave me some tips, advice and corrections along the way. Thank you, Honey. “Tommy”, the Opera, was written by Pete Townshend except for: “Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)”, by Sonny Boy Williamson; “Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About”, by John Entwistle; and “Tommy’s Holiday Camp”, by Keith Moon. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to send your friends a link to this blog. Thank you.
No permission was granted by any of the authors for the original songs parodied, nor did I think it possible to even get it. Those authors retain full rights to their work (mostly Pete Townshend). All new lyrics here are copyright 2007, Wayne A. Schneider.
I also have a confession to make. I skipped one of the songs. It is, arguably, the worst song on the album, and I was going nuts trying to write something to it, especially since I didn’t want to have to listen to it while writing. I usually skip that track on the CD, anyway, as I’m sure many of you do. It bogs down the whole thing. That song is, of course, “Welcome.” (“Come to my house, be one of the comfortable people…”) But don’t worry, I picked it right back up from there with the rest of the album. And if I have in any way ruined “Tommy” for any of you by writing and posting this, I do sincerely apologize, and I ask forgiveness. I was only doing it to entertain. Thank you once again.
And we don’t have to take it, either. Write to your Representatives and Senators and demand that President George W. Bush be impeached and removed from office immediately. There is too much time between now and Jan ’09 for him to cause more death, destruction, and devastation, and to start another war with Iran. Remember that the AUMF that allowed him to launch the first attack against Afghanistan said he could attack anyone related to the people responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Lately, he’s been talking about al Qaeda in Iraq as being “the same people who attacked us on Sept 11th.” They are NOT! The group in Iraq claiming allegiance to al Qaeda didn’t form until 2004. Bush is trying to say that Iran is helping these people. By extension, since Iran is aiding “those who attacked us” before, he will claim he already has the authority to attack Iran. And he will not tell the Congress or the U.N. about it first. Remove him from office at once, before it’s too late.
NOTE: Frankly I’m surprised he didn’t do it, but then, he does have three more days, so who knows? And Israel is chomping at the bit to attack Iran because, some day, they might be able to harm Israel. But that’s a subject for another post. Enjoy.

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Plame, Wilson to take CIA leak lawsuit to Supreme Court

Raw Story

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, plan to take their civil lawsuit against Bush administration officials to the Supreme Court after a federal circuit court refused to rehear the case on Monday.

Wilson v. Cheney, filed in 2006, charges that Bush administration officials such as Vice President Cheney, and aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, violated Plame’s constitutional rights in allegedly engineering the outing Plame, who was undercover at the time, as retaliation against her husband, an Iraq war critic, who had been sent to Niger in 2002 to investigate the possible sale of yellowcake uranium to Iraq. While Wilson reported back that such sales were unlikely to have taken place, President Bush asserted to the contrary in his 2003 State of the Union address, prompting Wilson to speak out publicly in a July 6, 2003 New York Times piece entitled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”

Read on..

Their chances might be getting better now that Scott McClellan has started speaking out..

In this clip, Scott McClellan is speaking at the (November) 2008 Miami Book Fair on C-SPAN Book TV, and he SAYS that George Bush admitted authorizing the leaking of parts of the classified NIE which resulted in the  ‘outing’ of Valerie Plame. Outing a covert CIA operative in a time of war is treason. George Bush, while President of the United States, committed treason by authorizing leaking of classified intelligence in order to destroy his ‘political enemies’.

Will he and Dick Cheney ever be held to account?

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Amy Goodman interviews Mark Crispin Miller

The Raw Story

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman talked to Mark Crispin Miller about a Republican contractor who has been required to testify about his connection to possible fraud concerning the 2004 presidential election. Crispin Miller points to reporting by RAW STORY to help explain the details of why this Republican contractor, Mike Connell, could be so important.

The full transcript of Mark Crispin Miller’s interview is available here.

This testimony that Mark Crispin Miller refers to is connected to this previous post from earlier today.

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Protestor Tries To Handcuff Karl Rove

ABCLocal

There was major political theater involving President Bush’s former chief of staff Karl Rove. A protestor tried to arrest Rove for treason Tuesday morning while he was speaking at the Mortgage Bankers Association Convention, continuing in San Francisco.

There were three protests during a very lively back and forth between former senate majority leader George Mitchell and Karl Rove. Rove blamed the Democrats for everything wrong with the economy.

A protestor tried to smack handcuffs on Karl Rove, but Rove slapped back, and the woman was taken off stage.

McCain Leaves Michigan – “Reeks” Havoc on Ohio

McCain is pulling up stakes in Michigan and leaving. With only a month before Election Day; he has decided to pull all TV ads also. The McCain Campaign is having a difficult time trying to change voter’s minds in many blue states.

McCain had several large rallies there that didn’t do as well as they had hoped.McCain is to stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.

With the Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and skepticism among blue-collar voters about Barack Obama could make it competitive. But recent polls there have shown Obama extending what had been a small lead, with the economic crisis damaging an already sagging GOP brand in a state whose economy is in tatters.

Ohio has taken many steps to correct the problems they experienced in the last two elections. Election ’08 opened in Ohio with a surge of first-time voters and the subpoena of a electronic operative who may have helped steal the White House, a subpoena that may be followed by one for Karl Rove.

By our count, at least twelve Ohio counties have split the presidential contest over two columns on their paper ballots for this November’s election. This “column split” often confuses voters and results in double voting in the presidential race – and an uncounted vote. Today the Brennan Center urged election officials and advocates in Ohio to make sure that voters are aware of the split, and to make sure they vote only once for president.

The twelve Ohio counties whose ballots spilt the presidential race over two columns are: Ashtabula, Athens, Auglaize, Champaign, Delaware, Lawrence, Logan, Madison, Ottawa, Seneca, Shelby, and Wyandot.

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Who is Palin’s Real Soul Mate? Ask Karl Rove…

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As the storm-shrunk Republican National Convention winds to a close, pundits have commented on the eerie absence of the man who, until Thursday evening, remains the party’s nominal head: Other than his brief first-day message by satellite, our sitting president, George W. Bush, has been MIA from the St. Paul festivities, mentioned by few and eulogized by even fewer.

But Bush’s ghost-at-the-feast status is hardly a sign that the Republicans have abandoned the recipe that won them consecutive terms in the Oval Office. Indeed, last night’s official unveiling of Sarah Palin as their presumptive veep proved that the only change they’re offering is savvier packaging. In Gov. Palin, the GOP has its new Bush, same as the old Bush, but more polished, more presentable, more user-friendly than the original ever was — and, they hope, still fresh and unencumbered enough to run as a “maverick” against the legacy of Dubya 1.0’s failures.

Mirror, Mirror

On the face of it, the duo seems as different as two individuals could be — one, an Ivy-educated scion of a political dynasty, raised in wealth and privilege in the deep South, the other a defiantly blue-collar “hockey mom” born and bred in the Union’s northernmost state — but the deeper parallels are uncanny, in career arc, character and political positions, in strengths and flaws.

Both Bush and Palin hail from oil-rich Western expanses — the second-largest and largest states in the nation, respectively — whose size and rugged history encourage a particular kind of frontier sensibility: Stubborn, close-mouthed, self-deterministic and paradoxically capable of both hard-partying Saturdays and holy-roller Sundays. (And given that, it’s hardly a surprise that both were wild and experimental in their youth, only to embrace deeply fundamentalist Christian convictions later in life.)

Both became governor of their states while still political neophytes, triumphing over veteran opponents despite slender résumés (six years as a part-time small-town mayor for Palin; a failed congressional campaign for Bush) and staggering odds against them. In their gubernatorial campaigns, they emphasized bold ideas and reform, even touting their lack of experience as an asset rather than a liability; while in state office, they became extraordinarily popular, thanks to deft populist instincts and immense personal magnetism, as well as an unusual ability to project an aura of moderation and post-partisanship (“I reached across the aisle”; “I’m a uniter, not a divider”) even while engaged in viciously political behavior.

Part of what helps them preserve that firewall is the human cocoons with which they’ve surrounded themselves, tight circles of devoted long-term insiders whose primary virtue is unflagging loyalty, and who find themselves under furious attack should they, like Palin’s ex-brother-in-law Mark Wooten, and a litany of former officials for Bush, dare to break ranks or spill secrets.

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Alaska Politics: Open and transparent government?

ADN.COM (H/T: wordie from reddit)

Reporter Lisa Demer talked today to the Palin administration about the use of private e-mail accounts in the governor’s office. Palin’s new communciations director, Bill McAllister, gave a surprising answer when pressed about how the public could get access to those e-mails, when they concern state business and aren’t otherwise exempt from public disclosure.

Listen to what McAllister had to say about open and transparent government.

Gov. Palin’s communication director, Bill McAllister

https://tpzoo.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/082808-mcallister-demersourceprod_affiliate7.mp3

Just what Washington needs. Another mondo secretive politician. After the e-mail scandal of the current most secretive White House ever, this sounds like taken from a Rovian playbook. Are we sure it was not Karl Rove who killed Lieberman’s ambitions just in order to install another apt pupil of the Cheney doctrine of absolute non-disclosure?

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