Cheney's Cheney and the Unitary Executive Theory. An excellent article from the New Yorker on the mysterious forces at work behind the Bush administration's expansion of executive powers.
Spin, exposed live and wriggling. In 1995, Brian Springer released an hour-long documentary film comprised of incredibly revealing moments caught from raw satellite feeds. Not only do we get to hear the spin-doctor coaching candidates received during various commercial breaks, there are also some amazing moments such as Larry King suggesting to Clinton that Ted Turner could "serve him," an anchor suggesting to her expert that during the L.A. riots his frank diagnosis of inner-city hope is "too obtuse," and the exclusion and exclusion of Larry Agran from the 1992 Democratic primaries — and, really, there's much more.
Newsfilter: North Korea tests at least two smaller missiles, and one long-range which was unsuccessful, failing in flight. Bush says last week: "Should they launch a missile, that will cause various -- we would apply various pressures. ... I believe it is best that I do not discuss what specific pressures we were talking about."
Mexico's election: now being recounted, but some are saying it was stolen with our help. Many countries in Latin and South America have been moving to the left lately, following in the footsteps of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile. Argentina actually caught us messing with things during their election, too. Exit polls in Mexico (as in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004) showed a lead for the more leftist (relatively) candidate, and for those who scoff at using exit polls as evidence--in 2004, US Republican Senator Richard Lugar, in Kiev, cited the divergence of exit polls and official polls as solid evidence of “blatant fraud” in the vote count in Ukraine. As a result, the Bush Administration refused to recognize the Ukraine government’s official vote tally. So, honest election, or what?
Is George Bush to Stalin as Irving Kristol is to Trotsky? When will we start hearing these sorts of claims from the right?
Ava Lowery is a 15 year old master of flash-based propaganda, and burgeoning media sensation. Lowery's clips (especially this one but also ones like this and this (more here)), have been described as mere facile emotionalism. Others however regard her work as courageous and truthful. She was enlisted to express the soul of the movement for the recent Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas. One thing's for sure: Lowery's method of story telling leaves traditional media confused and bewildered.
The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled President Bush overstepped his authority in creating military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The 5-3 vote (Roberts recused himself) found the "military commissions" illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. More from SCOTUSblog.
Bush Incompetent? Think again. I know this is a one link post, I'm afraid that I still haven't mastered the art of adding extra links, and I apologise because it is also from a partisan source. However it raises some points that I think are worth discussing, such as, is calling Bush incompetent not playing right into the hands of all those who kind of like his folksy, laidback ways, and who kind of identify with his fumbling style? Anyway, read this and see the results of this incompetence you might want to think again.
WMDs? Sorry if this is double post or newsfilter, but fox news is claiming that WMDs were found in Iraq. Is it ethical to state as truth that which was been unconfirmed by anyone but one person? Depending on how this pans out, this could continue the shift of approval that started last week.
"Shortly before Father’s Day, TAP spoke with Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, about his congressional campaign and the recent death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi." [Via Disinformation.]
Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars [...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
News Filter - In 2003 the Bush administration rejected an Iranian offer to recognize Israel, end support of Palestinian terror organizations, help out in Iraq, and talk about their nuclear program.
The return of astronauts to the moon by 2020? Yeah! Hurricane predictions, long-term monitoring of weather and climate change? Not so much. (related here and here)
The New Yorker suggests that Bush is being pushed by his advisors to fight against gay marriage when he really has no strong feelings either way. According to Bush's close unnamed friend, "I don't think he gives a shit about it." An inspired take on strategic political distraction.
Majority Leader Boehner’s Confidential Strategy Memo For Thursday’s Iraq Debate On Thursday, the House of Representatives will hold a debate on the Iraq war. Media reports say Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “hopes to match the serious, dignified tone of deliberation that preceded the Gulf war, in 1991.” ThinkProgress has obtained a “Confidential Messaging Memo” from Boehner instructing his caucus to conduct a very different kind of deliberation. Here’s a quick summary:
Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?
Maybe just impeachment then
Maybe just impeachment then
The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed. "The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House." (Via Sic Semper Tyrannis.)
The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Conventions that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
The new lies about women's health (image slightly NSFW) according to Glamour. More on why every egg is sacred to the Bush administration. [via Wired's Sex Drive Daily]
Curious GWB lays it down for us, gangsta rap-style. [Yes, it's Youtube]
Every two years, like clockwork, the extreme right need a boost. aka "Best misleading headline ever." He's actually promoting his anti-equal marriage amendment. This FOX News headline is more accurate: Marriage Amendment Could Soothe Angry Right.
Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.
President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations. Notice of the development came in a brief entry in the Federal Register, dated May 5, 2006, that was opaque to the untrained eye.
I'm a huge fan of clever unintended uses for things, and loloroy's favorites reuses a page/interface I've seen hundreds of times before in a cute way. It may take a second to figure out, but should be worth it [via tmn].
There's a move afoot to censure Jimmy Carter instead of, say, anyone actually responsible for making the world a more dangerous place. I call "attacking the messenger by proxy," or at least, some serious Rove-ian misdirection.
Promoted Above Accountability Two years after news of torture at Abu Ghraib broke, the Bush Administration still will not hold decision makers accountable. Investigations into the incidents have focused almost exclusively on enlisted personnel.
updated red state/blue state map of America with recent poll results in place. Bush still (alarmingly) holding down Utah, Idaho & Wyoming, otherwise, not so great...
1 DEPLOY GUNS AND BADGES. Josh Bolten's Five Point Plan is in full effect. "It'll be more guys with guns and badges," said a proponent of the plan. "Think of the visuals. The President can go down and meet with the new recruits. He can go down to the border and meet with a bunch of guys and go ride around on an ATV."
NewsFilter: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the chapel, teh gay menace strikes again. The GOP-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee backs the Constitutional amendment to prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages. In a fractious hearing, Republican chairman Arlen Specter shouted "Good riddance!" when Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) walked out. Laura Bush recently advised her party's candidates not to campaign on this issue and to handle it with "great sensitivity." Maybe next time.
Bush out of favor in 47 out of 50 states. The SurveyUSA 50-state-poll shows some interesting details on Bush's approval rating, which has fallen to just 35% in North (and South) Carolina, 29% in Missouri, and 42% in Texas. He remains popular in only three states: Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Could the Democrats have a shot even in Utah in the not-too-distant future? A lot of Utahns think so.
"The right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation's history." (youtube) A nice catch by The Daily Show.
Cheney Pushed U.S. to Widen Eavesdropping In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for terrorists, according to two senior intelligence officials.
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told an audience that he'd cancelled a loan because "a minority businessman" didn't like the President. He later claimed to have been joking. [via]
CIA Secret Prisons Exposed The disappeared: Are they dead? Are they alive? Ask Congress. Ask the president.
Hungry like the wolf. In his state-of-the-nation address, Vladamir Putin took a swipe at the Bush administration, saying that Russia should build "a strong, reliable home because we do see what's going on in the world. . . Comrade Wolf knows whom to eat. It's eating without listening to anyone. And by all appearances, it's not going to listen . . . Where is all this pathos about the need to fight for human rights and democracy when it comes to the need to pursue their own interests? Here everything is possible. There are no limits."
Luttig Resigns. Judge J. Michael Luttig, long considered a front-runner for a Supreme Court nomination, at least until he was passed over by President Bush, has resigned his position on the Fourth circuit. Luttig will take over as general counsel to Boeing. Read Boeing's press release and Luttig's resignation letter [pdf].
Yesterday, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wrote a letter to the President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. Here it is. (Courtesy Le Monde, 8 page PDF, English.) The letter has been "dismissed by its recipients as a rambling philosophical treatise." (Times) Further coverage at NYT and Le Monde (French). The letter ends 27 years of diplomatic silence.
Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush In this excerpt from his book, Eric Boehlert writes about how "[c]owardly and clueless, the U.S. media abandoned its post as Bush led the country into a disastrous war. A look inside one of the great journalistic collapses of our time."
First it was called The War on Terror. Then it was called the Global War on Terror. It was even, at one stage, called The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. Basically, it has had many names. But now President Bush is simply calling it World War III.
Newsfilter: CIA director Porter Goss resigns. After taking some of the
fall heat for bad intelligence in the months before 9/11, Cheney's "cat's paw" finally gets out of the kitchen.
Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush Not much of this report from the Cato institute will be surprising to MeFites, but it is a great document [31 page PDF] that summarizes Bush's consistent disregard for the Constitution and drive for greater executive power.
Forty men and one woman went to prison for sedition in Montana Seems that we make faulty assumptions about how we have protection and rights in our democracy, and that things used to be much better than they now are...not so. A big difference, though, is that now our Big Brothers have technology to help snare misbehaving citizens.
Bush administration signals intent to invoke the obscure state secrets privilege in order to stop the EFF lawsuit against AT&T, (previously discussed here) for providing the NSA direct access all 312 terabytes of its customers' telephone and internet traffic since 2001, (including those Good Vibrations charges you racked up). In a nutshell, according to legal experts, invoking the privilege kills the judicial process dead: the courthouse doors are closed, and there's nothing but grownup stuff to see here; move along, kids.
...Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone ... President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. ... Long, eyeopening article laying out what laws have been ignored and why. ...Bush has cast a cloud over 'the whole idea that there is a rule of law," because no one can be certain of which laws Bush thinks are valid and which he thinks he can ignore. 'Where you have a president who is willing to declare vast quantities of the legislation that is passed during his term unconstitutional, it implies that he also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional," ...
Steven Colbert (TruthyMan!) headlines the White House Correspondents Dinner -- and Bush is not amused. Will there be fallout? C-Span focused on Bush expression (lack of) during the slamming ... (link to story with video).