Derangement

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Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  

All the President’s Nazis (real and imagined): An Open Letter to Bush

Dear Mr. Bush,

Your speech on the Knesset floor today was not only a disgrace; it was nothing short of treachery. Worse still, your exploitation of the Holocaust in a country carved out of the wounds of that very crime, in order to strike a low blow at American citizens whose politics differs from your own is unforgivable and unpardonable.

Published in: on May 16, 2008 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Obama criticizes McCain, Bush on appeasement talk

“I’m a strong believer in civility and I’m a strong believer in a bipartisan foreign policy, but that cause is not served with dishonest, divisive attacks of the sort that we’ve seen out of George Bush and John McCain over the last couple days, ” Obama told about 2,000 voters at a town hall-style meeting in a livestock barn.

Obama said McCain had a “naive and irresponsible belief that tough talk from Washington will somehow cause Iran to give up its nuclear program and support for terrorism.”

Published in: on May 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Mr. President, the war isn’t about you — or golf

Olbermann: Bush’s claim he gave up game to honor dead GIs is ludicrous

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dems fire back at Bush’s ‘appeasement’ accusation

Democrats on Thursday condemned President Bush’s accusing them of appeasing terrorists, with one [Biden] going so far as to call his remarks “bullsh**t.”

The president, at Israel’s 60th anniversary celebration in Jerusalem, suggested some Democrats were acting in the same way some Western leaders did when they appeased Hitler in the run-up to World War II.

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Isn’t it romantic? Getting your legs blown off by an IED?

Afghanistan Envy

Bush’s romantic notions about serving on the front lines.

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 12:53 am  Comments (1)  

I Am NOT Amused

A video emerged this week of a dinner party that George Bush gave for some members of the press. During the course of this dinner, President Bush took stage with a cowboy hat on and through his merriment and laughter, sung this song:

Yes you’re all gonna miss me, The way you used to quiz me, But soon I’ll touch the brown, brown grass of home.

I spent my days clearing brush
I clear my head of all the fuss
But the fuss you made over harriet and brownie
Down the lane I look and here comes Scooter
Finally free of the prosecutor

Chorus

And then I wait and look around me
At the oval walls that surround me
I realize I was only dreaming
For there’s Condi and Dick, my old compadre,
Talking to me about some oil rich Saudi,
But soon I’ll touch the brown brown grass of home.”

Chorus

That old White house is behind me,
I am once again carefree,
Don’t have to worry ’bout a crisis in Pyongyang.
Down the lane I look, Dick Cheney is strolling
With documents he’d been withholding,
It’s good to touch the brown brown grass of home.”

Re-read the song he sang at this black tie dinner. Hear the laughter in his voice and the applause he received after this performance and then ask yourself, is this what America really stands for?

We should never forget.

[Thank you Kathy H.]

Published in: on March 13, 2008 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Center Documents 935 False Statements By Top Administration Officials To Justify Iraq War

The first-ever comprehensive analysis of top Bush administration officials’ war-related rhetoric

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2008 — Leading up to the five-year anniversary of the Iraq war, the Center for Public Integrity has released the first analysis of its kind, “Iraq – The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War.” This comprehensive examination of top Bush administration officials’ statements over a two-year period shows how top officials galvanized public opinion in the run-up to the March 18, 2003 invasion of Iraq. The project’s chronology provides a framework for examining how the administration’s false statements led the country into the war in Iraq. The results of this analysis question the repeated assertions of Bush administration officials that they were merely the unwitting victims of bad intelligence.

Published in: on January 24, 2008 at 10:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Bush: Pathological liar or idiot-in-chief?

Olbermann: Timeline for Iran’s nuclear ambitions was clear, but he kept on

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 1:33 pm  Comments (2)  

The Just-Nominated Second in Command at the DOJ Helped Bush Steal Florida in 2000 and Clerked Under Scalia.

All you had to know about the newly nominated second in command at the Justice Department, the Deputy Attorney General to AG Mukasey, is the final paragraph of a November 16 Chicago Tribune article: “After clerking for [Antonin] Scalia, [Mark] Filip returned to Chicago rather than stay in Washington and pursue the kind of career track that traditionally leads to a choice government appointment. He did, however, work as a volunteer Republican vote counter in Florida during the 2000 election recount.”

Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 10:24 am  Comments (4)  

Former aide blames Bush for leak deceit

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Author Naomi Klein: America is succumbing to fascism

Naomi Klein sits down with Bill Maher to discuss her new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

Calling it the “mission statement of the Bush administration,” Klein says that politicians are seeing themselves as facilitators between disasters and their friends in the private sector. Each time there’s a disaster, says Klein, politicians use the “shock” felt by the citizenry to “push through a further privatization agenda” with little opposition.

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Trivial Pursuit

Yesterday began with the gratifying news that Al Gore, derided by George H.W. Bush as the “Ozone Man,” had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

By BOB HERBERT

The first thing media types wanted to know was whether this would prompt Mr. Gore to elbow his way into the presidential campaign. That’s like asking someone who’s recovered from a heart attack if he plans to resume smoking.

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us

“BUSH lies” doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time to confront the darker reality that we are lying to ourselves.

By FRANK RICH

Ten days ago The Times unearthed yet another round of secret Department of Justice memos countenancing torture. President Bush gave his standard response: “This government does not torture people.” Of course, it all depends on what the meaning of “torture” is. The whole point of these memos is to repeatedly recalibrate the definition so Mr. Bush can keep pleading innocent.

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 1:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush reign empty of moral values

Democrats and Republicans and Washington media walk on eggshells when characterizing the reprehensible conduct and policies of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. They dodge using accurate, more descriptive words that’re commonplace among ordinary folks outside the nation’s capital.

Such as “liars.”

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

White House Chooses Propaganda Over Protecting Homeland Again

Holding onto Power still more important to White House than Preventing Terrorism

Leak severs link to al-Qaeda’s secrets

Firm says Bush administration’s handling of video ruined its spying efforts

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Same Old Party

By Paul Krugman

“There have been a number of articles recently that portray President Bush as someone who strayed from the path of true conservatism. Republicans, these articles say, need to return to their roots.

“Well, I don’t know what true conservatism is, but…Mr. Bush hasn’t strayed from the path at all. On the contrary, he’s the very model of a modern movement conservative.

[. . .]

“Now, as they survey the wreckage of their cause, conservatives may ask themselves: “Well, how did we get here?” They may tell themselves: “This is not my beautiful Right.” They may ask themselves: “My God, what have we done?”

“But their movement is the same as it ever was. And Mr. Bush is movement conservatism’s true, loyal heir.”

Published in: on October 8, 2007 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Kristol’s Dark Humor: Bush’s ‘Heartless Assault On Our Children’ Is ‘A Good Idea’

First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it’s a good idea. I’m happy that the President’s willing to do something bad for the kids.

Published in: on October 2, 2007 at 9:19 pm  Comments (2)  

The Day After We Bomb Iran

There’s a raging debate within the Bush administration, the punditocracy, and the blogosphere about whether or not it is time to bomb Iran. While this conversation scares small children (and other sane people), most of the focus has been on (1) whether President… oh, excuse me… Vice President Cheney truly is moonbat-crazy enough to do so, and (2) whether anyone else in America (including the military) would go along with the idea. But not enough attention is being paid to what happens after we rain death from the skies down on Iran. Which is a shame, because that’s what we ignored during the ramp-up to war with Iraq. And we all know how that turned out.

Published in: on October 2, 2007 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush’s Global ‘Dirty War’

For years, there have been whispers in the U.S. intelligence community that George W. Bush has been transforming his “global war on terror” into an international “dirty war.” But now two U.S. military investigations have revealed that the chain of command has approved rules of engagement that let elite American military units kill Iraqis and Afghanis on mere suspicion that they may be “enemy combatants.”

Published in: on October 1, 2007 at 7:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction

Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq.

By Sidney Blumenthal

Published in: on September 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm  Comments (3)  

The waning power of the War Myth

As Iraq dies, Bush is falling back on his old standby: Patriotic blackmail. But this time it won’t work.

By Gary Kamiya

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush League War Drums Beating Louder on Iran

It is as though I’m back as an analyst at the CIA, trying to estimate the chances of an attack on Iran. The putative attacker, though, happens to be our own president.

by Ray McGovern

Published in: on August 23, 2007 at 10:31 pm  Comments (2)  

Bush and his “Iraq as Vietnam” analogy

Courtesy of Larry M:

     

(A few quotations you won’t see on Fox News (especially the last two :)
*************************

“‘I couldn’t believe it. . .Far more Vietnamese died during the war than in the aftermath of the US withdrawal. . . [It] is not revisionist history. It is fantasy history,’
–Allen Lichtman (historian, American University)

******************

“‘I don’t think what happened in Cambodia after the war has anything to do with Iraq, . .Is he saying we should have invaded Cambodia? That’s what we would have had to do, and we would have never done that. I don’t see how he draws the parallel.’
–Melvin Laird (sec. of def. under President Nixon, 1969-1973)

*******************

“‘This was history written by speechwriters without regard to history. . ..And I think most military historians will find it painful. . . . because in basic historical terms the president misstated what happened in Vietnam. . . .One sits sort of in awe at the lack of historical comparability.’
–Anthony Cordesman (military analyst)

********************

“‘If we get into a Vietnam argument, the country is divided, but if you are going to try sell this concept that the blood is on the American people’s hands because we left and were weak-kneed in Asia, that is a very tenuous and inane historical argument”
–Douglas Brinkley (historian)

********************

“What is Mr. Bush suggesting?  We should have stayed there forever?  We should have invaded North Vietnam?  It just doesn’t make any historical sense to me.”
–Robert Dalleck (presidential historian)

********************

“The speech was an act of desperation to scare the American people into staying the course in Iraq. He’s distorted the facts, painting all of the people in Iraq as being on the same side which is simply not the case. Iraq is a religious civil war.”
— Lawrence Korb (assistant defense secretary under President Reagan)

*********************

“Bush is cherry-picking history to support his case for staying the course. What I learned in Vietnam is that U.S. forces could not conduct a counterinsurgency operation. The longer we stay there, the worse it’s going to get.”
— Ret. Army Brig. Gen. John Johns (counterinsurgency expert who served in Vietnam)

**********************

“The president emphasized the violence in the wake of American withdrawal from Vietnam. But this happened because the United States left too late, not too early. It was the expansion of the war that opened the door to Pol Pot and the genocide of the Khmer Rouge. The longer you stay the worse it gets.”
— Steven Simon (senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations)

***********************

“He’s [Bush] tried all along to say this is not Vietnam. By invoking Vietnam he raised the automatic question, well, if you’ve learned so much from history, Mr. President, how did you ever get us involved in another quagmire? Why didn’t you learn up front about the perils of Vietnam and what we faced there? . . .

“But here’s the other point, that if you look at Vietnam today, you have to say that Vietnam at the end, after 30 years, has actually become quite a driving country. It’s a very strong economy. So there are those who say, yes, when we pull back there were bloodbaths in the immediate aftermath, but after that the Vietnamese started putting their country together. Is that not what we want Iraq to do over the long term? . . .

“[And] the other issue and why it’s dangerous territory for him to go into Vietnam and the Vietnam analogy is reason we lost Vietnam in part was because we had no strategy. And the problem we’ve got now in Iraq, what is the strategy for victory? If the strategy for victory is let our troops give the Maliki government enough time to get everything solved, and the Maliki government is going nowhere, as everybody now admits, you know, what strategy are we facing? What strategy do we have to win in Iraq? It’s not clear we have a winning strategy in Iraq. And that’s what cost us Vietnam, and that’s why we eventually withdrew under humiliating circumstances.”
–David Gergen (presidential adviser)

*********************

“He’s [Bush] saying, essentially, that 58,000 dead in Vietnam weren’t quite enough, that maybe we should have twice as big a tragic memorial on the Mall.

“And who’s saying it? A man who chose not to serve, took steps, used family friends to get out of serving in Vietnam, didn’t even show up for his own Guard duty, so that better, braver men could fight that war. He stood before those better, braver men today a coward in the company of heroes.”
–Paul Begala (Democratic strategist)

*******************

“As in Vietnam, we engaged militarily in Iraq based on official deception.. As in Vietnam, more American soldiers are being sent to fight and die in a civil war we can’t stop and an insurgency we can’t bomb into submission. If the President wants to heed the lessons of Vietnam, he should change course and change course now.”
–Sen. John Kerry

*******************

“QUESTION: Mr. President…some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire.  [H]ow do you answer the Vietnam comparison?

“THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy.”
–George W. Bush (April 13, 2004 press conference)

**********************

QUESTION: Do you see. . .a parallel between what’s going on in Iraq now and Vietnam?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No.

QUESTION: Why?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Because there’s a duly-elected government; 12 million people voted. They said, we want something different from tyranny, we want to live in a free society. And not only did they vote for a government, they voted for a constitution. Obviously, there is sectarian violence, but this is, in many ways, religious in nature, and I don’t see the parallels.
–George W. Bush (June 14, 2006 press conference)
————
Sources: Dan Froomkin’s White House Watch blog in WashingtonPost.com; Media Matters for America; the Boston Globe; ABC News; NBC News

Published in: on August 23, 2007 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Administration Fights Dem Plan to Boost School Aid for Vets

“The Bush administration opposes a Democratic effort to restore full educational benefits for returning veterans, according to an official’s comments last week.”[. . .]

“The Democratic proposal would cost an additional $5.4 billion a year, the VA estimates — and that’s too much, it says.”


And how long does it take to spend 5.4 billion in Iraq?

Let’s ask my buddy, Larry M:

($5.4 billion/year…HELLO!…That’s what it’s costing us for two weeks–TWO WEEKS–in Iraq now!! (Not to mention 50 Americans and hundreds of Iraqis dead every two weeks.) This denial of supporting our troops for $5.4B is from the same Bush Administration that already has “lost” at least $8.8 billion in cash in Iraq, “lost” 190,000 weapons, and “lost” 135,000 body armor pieces. The inept Bushies have also “lost track” of 115,000 helmets, didn’t provide the proper vehicle armor protection, and, according to the Washington Post, several thousand anti-aircraft shoulder-fired missiles are missing. Also, billions in oil money has gone missing–100,000-300,00 barrels daily. And most tragically the Bush administration “forgot” about the wounded at Walter Reed Hospital. And now Bush and his toady VA says $5.4B is too much to give the returning vets for their deserved–and obligated– GI Bill. Disgusting…!)

Published in: on August 9, 2007 at 11:53 pm  Comments (1)  

The strong and tough Democrats

The capitulation on FISA is as politically self-destructive as it is unconscionable on the merits.

Glenn Greenwald (more…)

Published in: on August 7, 2007 at 1:57 am  Comments (1)  

A surge of phony spin on Iraq

Bush’s backers are peddling a sunny view of the president’s strategy — despite Iraq’s political chaos and soaring death counts. By Juan Cole (more…)

Published in: on August 7, 2007 at 1:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Democrats’ responsibility for Bush radicalism

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/08/04/democrats/print.html”>With each passing day, Congressional Democrats become increasingly responsible for the excesses and abuses which they choose to permit and enable.

Glenn Greenwald

Aug. 04, 2007 | [updated below – updated again (with Sen. Dodd interview) – Update III]

It is staggering, and truly disgusting, that even in August, 2007 — almost six years removed from the 9/11 attacks and with the Bush presidency cemented as one of the weakest and most despised in American history — that George W. Bush can “demand” that the Congress jump and re-write legislation at his will, vesting in him still greater surveillance power, by warning them, based solely on his say-so, that if they fail to comply with his demands, the next Terrorist attack will be their fault. And they jump and scamper and comply (Meteor Blades has the list of the 16 Senate Democrats voting in favor; the House will soon follow).

I just finished a discussion panel with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero which was originally planned to examine his new (superb) book about the work his organization has done for years in battling the endless expansion of executive power and presidential lawbreaking. But the only issue anyone in the room really wanted to discuss — including us — was the outrage unfolding on Capitol Hill. And the anger was almost universally directed where it belongs: at Congressional Democrats, who increasingly bear more and more responsibility for the assaults on our constitutional liberties and unparalleled abuses of government power — many (probably most) of which, it should always be emphasized, remain concealed rather than disclosed.

Examine virtually every Bush scandal and it increasingly bears the mark not merely of Democratic capitulation, but Democratic participation. In August of 2006, the Supreme Court finally asserted the first real limit on Bush’s radical executive power theories in Hamdan, only for Congress, months later, to completely eviscerate those minimal limits — and then go far beyond — by enacting the grotesque Military Commissions Act with the support of substantial numbers of Democrats. What began as a covert and illegal Bush interrogation and detention program became the officially sanctioned, bipartisan policy of the United States.

Grave dangers are posed to our basic constitutional safeguards by the replacement of Sandra Day O’Connor with Sam Alito, whose elevation to the Supreme Court Congressional Democrats chose to permit. Vast abuses and criminality in surveillance remain undisclosed, uninvestigated and unimpeded because Congressional Democrats have stood meekly by while the administration refuses to disclose what it has been doing in how it spies on us. And we remain in Iraq, in direct defiance of the will of the vast majority of the country, because the Democratic Beltway establishment lacks both the courage and the desire to compel an end to that war.

And now Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, with revealing symbolism, cancel their scheduled appearances this morning at Yearly Kos because George Bush ordered them to remain in Washington in order to re-write and expand FISA — a law which he has repeatedly refused to allow to be revised for years and which he has openly and proudly violated. Congressional Democrats know virtually nothing about how the Bush administration has been eavesdropping on our conversations because the administration refused to tell them and they passively accepted this state of affairs.

The intense rush to amend this legislation means that most of them have no idea what they are actually enacting — even less of an idea than they typically have. But what they know is that George Bush and Fox News and the Beltway establishment have told them that they would be irresponsible and weak and unserious if they failed to comply with George Bush’s instructions, and hence, they comply. In the American political landscape, there have been profound changes in public opinion since September of 2001. But in the Beltway, among our political and media establishment, virtually nothing has changed.

I don’t have time this morning to dissect the various excesses and dangers of the new FISA amendments, though Marty Lederman and Steve Benen both do a typically thorough job in that regard. Suffice to say, craven fear, as usual, is the author of this debacle.

There are many mythologies about what are the defining beliefs and motivations of bloggers and their readers and the attendees at Yearly Kos. One of the principal myths is that it is all driven by a familiar and easily defined ideological agenda and/or a partisan attachment to the Democratic Party. That is all false.

The common, defining political principle here — what resonates far more powerfully than any other idea — is a fervent and passionate belief in our country’s constitutional framework, the core liberties it secures, and the checks and balances it offers as a safeguard against tyrannical power. Those who fail to defend that framework, or worse, those who are passively or actively complicit in its further erosion, are all equally culpable. With each day that passes, the radicalism and extremism originally spawned in secret by the Bush presidency becomes less and less his fault and more and more the fault of those who — having discovered what they have been doing and having been given the power to stop it — instead acquiesce to it and, worse, enable and endorse it.

UPDATE: Much of this was undoubtedly the by-product of the Democratic Beltway consultant geniuses who insist that Democrats not resist the President’s instructions on terrorism lest they look “weak.” They need to look “strong,” and they achieve that by giving the President what he wants and thereby generating articles like this one in The Washington Post, the first paragraph of which reports (accurately):

The Senate bowed to White House pressure last night and passed a Republican plan for overhauling the federal government’s terrorist surveillance laws, approving changes that would temporarily give U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order.

In the mind of the moderate Democratic Beltway centrist consultant, that is how Democrats look Strong — by “bowing to pressure” exerted by one of the weakest and most disliked presidents in modern history. There is nothing like being described as “bowing” and “capitulating” to give an appearance of strength.

And can we please be spared the condescending assurances about how great it is that the law has a six-month sunset provision, since — in 6 months — it will be exactly the same Democrats voting on whether to renew these powers and they will be intimidated by exactly the same threats that if they do not renew it and give the President all of the powers he wants, the Terrorists will kill us and it will be all the fault of the Democrats for disobeying President Bush. The cycle is just going to repeat itself 180 days from now. Why would it be different?

UPDATE II: This afternoon I interviewed Sen. Chris Dodd, who more than any other presidential candidate is attempting to make issues of executive power and constitutional encroachments the centerpiece of his campaign. I’ll post the entire transcript and some commentary in a few days, but for now here is part of the discussion we had concerning last night’s FISA vote in the Senate (Dodd, along with Obama and Clinton, voted against the FISA bill):

GG: Can you describe what you think it is that motivated 16 of your colleagues in the Democratic caucus to vote in favor of this bill?

CD: No, I really can’t . . . We had caucuses during the day, so everyone knew what was there. You had a vote at 10:00 at night, people say I didn’t know what was there, then normally I can understand, but we had a caucus during the day. There was a lot of conversation about it.

GG: So this wasn’t a Patriot Act case where people can claim ignorance because there was a rushed vote? There was a careful assessment of what the terms in this statute were?

CD: Absolutely. In fact, even during the vote, Carl Levin was sitting there, and Carl said: “look, I want everyone to read this” . . . . Most people know about the Gonzales references and the 180 days — there is also a section, as Carl pointed out, that basically says that if they can prove reasonably that you’re out of the country — not that you’re not a citizen, just out of the country [then they can eavesdrop on you] . . . .

But I wish I had a better explanation. Normally after that, we would be in session Monday or Tuesday, around today, people would be talking about it. So I’m a little stunned, and grasping for some answer here. So I really don’t know. . . .

GG: There is this gap in FISA, which everyone, even Russ Feingold, says needs to be filled, which is that if there is a foreign-to-foreign conversation which happens to be routed through the U.S., it requires a warrant — so why not just say “OK, we fixed this gap and here’s our bill and if you veto it, and there’s a terrorist attack, then it’s your responsibility”?

CD: Hello? Sounds pretty reasonable to me. But part of what this comes down to is that too many people in public life are not secure enough in their own beliefs — feel vulnerable to attacks by people who will attack you — and feel unwilling or unable to respond to them with clarity and conviction. And if you lack that clarity and conviction, and if you haven’t been through this in the past, then you’re likely to be a little weaker in the legs.

I also asked Dodd why Democrats repeatedly engage in the same self-destructive behavior — refusing to take a hard-core principled stance against the administration, and instead capitulating just enough to look like losers, but — despite the capitulation — still allowing the vote to be used against them. As always (see e.g., Iraq War Authorization, warrantless eavesdropping, Military Commissions Act), they capitulate in order to prevent the vote from being used against them, even though it ends up being used against them anyway because so many of them vote (with futility) against it, but do so without ever fighting for, explaining or defending their position.

I also asked him why, when they were in the minority, the Democrats were so afraid to filibuster anything, even something as drastic as the Military Commissions Act or the Alito nomination, whereas the Republicans run around filibustering everything they can find and don’t care at all about being called “obstructionist.” Why are the Republicans so aggressive with using their minority tools to block all Democratic initiatives whereas Democrats failed to filibuster for years?

Dodd, by his own candid admission, has no good explanation for the Democrats’ behavior, which repeats itself endlessly. He has no good explanation as to why so many of his Democratic colleagues are so deeply afraid of being attacked by one of the weakest presidents in modern American history.

Although Dodd’s convictions about the constitutional issues are impressively authentic and come from a place of real passion, and although he agreed with most of the criticisms voiced regarding the timidity of Congressional Democrats, I found the interview rather dispiriting, to put it mildly. That was not due to Dodd per se, but because it is clear that Beltway Democrats have no real strategy for doing anything differently or even any real awareness that something different is necessary.

UPDATE III: The House has now also voted in favor of the FISA amendments by a vote of 227-183 (h/t EJ). A total of 41 Democrats voted in favor.

— Glenn Greenwald

Published in: on August 5, 2007 at 4:24 pm  Comments (1)  

Bush’s non-exit exit strategy

Not only is the “surge” not working, it’s destabilizing Iraq. Yet military leaders say troops should stay for the long term.

By Joe Conason (more…)

Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush’s Secret Spying on Americans

The dispute over whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales committed perjury when he parsed words about George W. Bush’s warrantless surveillance program misses a larger point: the extraordinary secrecy surrounding these spying operations is not aimed at al-Qaeda, but at the American people.

By Robert Parry

Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ruling Limited Spying Efforts

Move to Amend FISA Sparked by Judge’s Decision

A federal intelligence court judge earlier this year secretly declared a key element of the Bush administration’s wiretapping efforts illegal, according to a lawmaker and government sources, providing a previously unstated rationale for fevered efforts by congressional lawmakers this week to expand the president’s spying powers.

Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why Bush Won’t Ax Gonzales

If cabinet members were perishable goods, Alberto Gonzales would have passed his “sell by” date sometime last spring. Since January, when he first faced sharp questioning over the firing of U.S. Attorneys, the Attorney General has earned disastrous reviews for his inconsistent testimony, poor judgment and for appearing to place loyalty to the White House above service to the public. By June it was hard to find a Republican willing to defend him. Now Gonzales’ dissembling testimony about a controversial domestic-spying program has raised suspicions about what he is hiding and fueled new calls for him to go. Senate Democrats have called for a special prosecutor to investigate his activities as Attorney General, and a group of moderate House Democrats has called for the House to weigh impeachment proceedings against him.

Published in: on August 2, 2007 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush won’t let aide Rove testify to Congress

Citing executive privilege, President George W. Bush on Wednesday rejected a subpoena for his close adviser Karl Rove to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a probe over fired federal prosecutors.

The committee had subpoenaed Rove to testify at a hearing on Thursday morning in its investigation of the firing last year of nine federal prosecutors, which critics said was prompted by partisan politics.

Published in: on August 2, 2007 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush Keeps Israel Close, Saudi Arabia Closer

By Robert Scheer —

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is busy shopping a recently unveiled arms package, totaling a staggering $63 billion in aid and first-rate weaponry, to America’s Mideast “allies” like Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia—but, as Scheer notes, there’s a discrepancy between the Bush administration’s official reasons for this show of goodwill and the real motives behind the deal.

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Will Bush cancel the 2008 election?

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
It is time to think about the “unthinkable.”

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Troops Are Not So Different Than You

“In a poll detailed today of those who served in Iraq or have a close friend or relative who served in Iraq, just 38 percent approve of the president’s handling of the war. That’s just slightly higher than the public at large.

[. . .]

“There’s a real paradigm shift that’s happening within the military, because of the president’s irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous policy.”

Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dangers of a Cornered George Bush

Recent events have put a great deal more pressure on President George W. Bush, who has shown little regard for the constitutional system bequeathed to us by the Founders. Having bragged about being commander in chief of the “first war of the 21st century,” one he began under false pretenses, success in Iraq is now a pipedream.

By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank

Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Who Really Took Over During That Colonoscopy

By FRANK RICH

Published: July 29, 2007

THERE was, of course, gallows humor galore when Dick Cheney briefly grabbed the wheel of our listing ship of state during the presidential colonoscopy last weekend. Enjoy it while it lasts. A once-durable staple of 21st-century American humor is in its last throes. We have a new surrogate president now. Sic transit Cheney. Long live David Petraeus!

[need access?]

Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 11:06 am  Comments (1)  

Al Qaeda’s Best Publicist

Could al-Qaeda possibly have found a better publicist than President Bush?

By Dan Froomkin

At a South Carolina Air Force base[], Bush mentioned al-Qaeda and bin Laden 118 times in 29 minutes, arguing that the violence unleashed by the U.S. invasion in Iraq would somehow come to America’s shores if U.S. troops were to withdraw.

Published in: on July 28, 2007 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Impeachment?

As regular readers of this site know, I’ve always been against the movement to impeach President Bush.

by Josh Marshall

But in recent days, for the first time I think, I’ve seen new facts that make me wonder whether the calculus has changed. Or to put it another way, to question whether my position is still justifiable in the face of what’s happening in front of our eyes.

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

As Bad As Bush

The Iraq fiasco provides few opportunities for mirth. But one is watching Fred Hiatt, czar of the Washington Post editorial page, try to kick up enough dust to wriggle out of his own position on the war.

By Josh Marshall

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:36 am  Comments (1)  

The Senate on Iraq: No ‘Phony Debate’

On reading the July 21 editorial “The Phony Debate,” it became clear why The Post’s editorial writers have been such eager cheerleaders for the Bush administration’s flawed Iraq policies — the two share the same disregard for the facts en route to drawing dubious conclusions.

by Harry Reid

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Analyst counters Bush on Al Qaeda

Says biggest threat is in S. Asia, not Iraq

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  

House Panel Backs Citing Bush Aides for Contempt

By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane

The House Judiciary Committee voted yesterday to issue contempt citations for two of President Bush’s closest aides, moving nearer to a constitutional confrontation with the White House over access to information about the Justice Department’s dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys.

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brothers and Sisters

By MAUREEN DOWD

Published: July 25, 2007

Washington

W.’s odyssey is one of the oddest in history, a black sheep who leapt above expectations and then crashed back down. It must be a crushing burden for President Bush to have wrought the opposite of what he intended in so many profound ways.

[need access?]

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 9:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Bush Sinks To Record Low Of 25%

A new ARG poll finds that President Bush’s approval number has officially hit the mid-twenties mark — 25% — for what appears to be the first time ever.

His disapproval number has soared to 71%, the highest yet in ARG polling.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War

The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans

By JEFF KOSSEFF

WASHINGTON — Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure “bubbleroom” in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents. On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

This is a unique way of looking at things

This morning, John Yoo, a Berkeley law school professor and former lawyer for the Bush administration, writes* on the WSJ op-ed page that the Democrats’ attack on Bush’s assertion of executive privilege shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution. And he says that President Clinton’s “personal recklessness” — he asserted the privilege during the Monica Lewinsky scandal — “undermined executive privilege for all future presidents. (via WSJ blog)

(more…)

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Sell an Endless War

Buy Hard

By DAVID KEEN

The current Bush administration has sometimes been very frank about the need to sell the ‘war on terror’, and many of the elements used to sell that attack on Iraq–the intelligence dossiers, the unsourced revelations, the denigration of hard evidence, the cosying-up to prominent exiles–are now being used to sell an attack on Iran.

Published in: on July 22, 2007 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment