"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on
in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," writes former CIA official Paul Pillar, coordinator of U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until 2005, in an article soon to appear in Foreign Affairs
, hardly a radical rag. More confirmation that Seymour Hersh was right about the administration "cherry-picking" intelligence
to justify a foregone conclusion to go to war in Iraq.
posted by digaman
on Feb 10, 2006 -
Evidence of a slippery slope continued: Newsweek
reports that White House counsel Steve Bradbury believes President Bush can order killings on US soil
as part of the Terrorist-Surveillance ProgramTM
. Meanwhile, while Attorney General Gonzales "lashes out" at the media and insists
that the TSPTM
is "not a dragnet that sucks in all conversation and uses computer searches to pick out calls of interest," the Washington Post reports
it's precisely that -- "computer-controlled systems collect and sift basic information about hundreds of thousands of faxes, e-mails and telephone calls into and out of the United States before selecting the ones for scrutiny by human eyes and ears" -- and has led to very few leads. (See also discussion of Arlen Specter and the legality of the TSPTM here
posted by digaman
on Feb 6, 2006 -
Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?
Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.
The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars
, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money
? Also see here
posted by digaman
on Feb 3, 2006 -
The (Broken) Triangle: Progressive Bloggers in the Wilderness.
The Huffington Post's
Peter Daou, whose dour forecast
of how Bush and lazy media would spin away the NSA scandal
proved prescient, on why "netroots activists" can't get traction: "It's slow-motion-car-wreck painful, and most certainly NOT where the left's triangle should be a half decade into the new millennium, as the Bush-propping machine hums and whirrs, poll numbers rise and fall, Iraq bleeds, scandal dissolves into scandal, terror speech blends into terror speech. The landscape is there for everyone to see, to analyze. Enough time has elapsed to make the system transparent. It is dismaying for netroots activists to see the same mistakes repeated..."
posted by digaman
on Jan 13, 2006 -
"I learned this week
that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story
..." President Bush really
did not want journalists to reveal his NSA spying program against Americans [discussed here
.] And in yesterday's rare press conference
, the President said: "An open debate about law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts... Any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, 'Here's what they do. Adjust.' This is a war." Neocon guru William Kristol argues
that talk of Bush being an "imperial" president" is "demagogic" and "irresponsible" since "Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly." What is the role of "open debate" in a war against terror that may last for decades?
posted by digaman
on Dec 20, 2005 -
A memo from the Department of Justice in Texas'
voting division reveals that, back in 2003 during the Texas GOP's redistricting push, the division unanimously agreed that the redistricting plan sponsored by the state GOP and Rep. Tom DeLay was illegal under the Voting Rights Act. The plan was pushed through anyway, being the most effective in securing additional House seats for the GOP.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Dec 2, 2005 -
Is the modern GOP a repackaging of the old Whig party? (archive link) The blend of businessmen's aversion to government regulation, down-home cultural populism and Christian moralism that sustains today's Republican Party is a venerable if loosely knit philosophy of government dating back to long before the right-wing upsurge that prepared the way for Reagan's presidency. A few pundits and political insiders have likened the current Republicans to the formidable, corporate-financed political machine behind President William McKinley at the end of the 19th century. The admiration Karl Rove has expressed for the machine strengthens the historical connection.
Of course, the Whigs couldn't hold their disparate coalition together in the face of the slavery issue. What might undo the current disparate coalition in the GOP?
posted by caddis
on Oct 16, 2005 -
You know that ranger job in the National Park Service that you're gonna apply for as soon as you get through school or quit waiting tables? Fuhgeddaboutit
, unless you've pledged your loyalty to the
Ba'ath party President's Management Agenda
and its roster of "faith-based and community initiatives," "competitive sourcing," etcetera, and Interior Secretary Gale Norton's "4C's," which seem to have to do with communication, consultation, cooperation, conservation, and Clinton-bashing. (Oh, sorry, that's 5 C's. It's just that Norton can't seem to stop denigrating "the previous administration" -- while advocating drilling in ANWR -- for such absurd ideas as banning snowmobiles from Yellowstone.)
posted by digaman
on Oct 13, 2005 -
Gary Skoien terminated for putting a bounty on Da Mayor's head
Skoien was fired from his high powered day job at Prime Group by his boss - a Daley democrat apparently - for putting a $10K bounty on Mayor Daley for information leading to his arrest.
Doug Ibendahl, founder and coordinator of the Republican Young Professionals, said the bounty is unprofessional and Skoien should be removed as heaqd of the GOP in Cook County.
Yeah, but fired?
Prime Group CEO Michael Reschke said Friday that Skoien fatally blunted his effectiveness in the company and that the Daley administration did not influence his firing.
"Gary positioned himself where he can no longer be an effective executive officer of our company," said Reschke, who has made political contributions mostly to Democrats, including at least $2,000 to Daley, but also to a few Republicans, including at least $250 to Skoien.
Truly, Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt
posted by Smedleyman
on Aug 1, 2005 -
Conservatism of faith v. conservatism of doubt-
take on how "fundamentalism is splitting the GOP." An interesting article that is, I think, worth reading for how it characterizes recent changes in the Republican party. He doesn't exaclty see a schism, but he isn't exactly sanguine about the future of the GOP either.
posted by OmieWise
on Apr 29, 2005 -
The Nexus of Evil
So it seems as though the Chairman of the Colorado College Republicans (Jay Bob Klinkerman
, no really, no kidding, that's his name) seems to be the one responsible for the removal of three Democrats from a Bush Social Security Sideshow.
For some reason, and possibly it was always the case, all roads in this administration frequently lead to back to the same places, with the same names. What do all of the high profile actors in the current GOP have in common? Some sort of activity or affiliation with either the College Republicans
or Young Republicans
If you are wondering about the names - how about Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist, Lee Atwater, and the central organizer, Morton Blackwell.
College Republicans have been the footsoldiers for the right since the Draft Goldwater campaign, and have been rewarded for their service throughout the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush#41 and#43 . You can also find their fingerprints all over the various thinktanks, the direct-mail industry, and fundraising. I strongly recommend taking some time to read up on the history of the College Republicans
posted by rzklkng
on Apr 28, 2005 -
Monsignor Moose informs all G-d fearing Americans that Wednesday, April 13th is the most sacred day in the Republican moral calendar.
Brothers and Sisters and all ye of faith, fall to your knees and genuflect at the altar of the almighty dollar! This is a time for deep and reflective prayer. For tomorrow, the Godly Republican Cardinals will gather in the House to provide eternal life for the blessed sacrament of the GOP - the permanent elimination of the estate tax for the ultra-wealthy.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 12, 2005 -
The Wedding of Roy Cohn's spiritual heir
(or one of them anyway) was celebrated in Massachusetts in December, and revealed yesterday. The groom, an influential political consultant who has made a practice of defeating Democrats by trying to demonize them as liberal
did not invite any of the people he helped bring to power, often on an anti-gay platform. In fact, he didn't even tell any of them (the list includes Jesse Helms and many many more). The happy couple, together for 40 years (since the groom was 19), live in Ipswich, MA with their 2 children. No information on the other groom was provided, nor on honeymoon arrangements.
(More on Finkelstein, "The Godfather of dirty politics", here.)
posted by amberglow
on Apr 9, 2005 -
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 19 million acres comprise one of the last places on earth where an intact expanse of arctic and sub arctic lands remains protected. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge can't make even a small dent in meeting America's energy needs. U.S. Geological Survey scientists estimate that there is very likely only enough oil to supply America's needs for six months. And oil companies admit that, even that, won't be available for at least 10 years.
An irreplaceable natural treasure, the Arctic Refuge is home to caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, golden eagles, snow geese and more. Millions of other birds use the Arctic Refuge to nest and as a critical staging area on their migratory journeys.
The Arctic Refuge supports more than wildlife. For a thousand generations, the Gwich'in people of Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada have depended on it and lived in harmony with it. To them, the Arctic Coastal Plain is sacred ground.
Yet where God sees life
see black profit
by adding Alaskan drilling
to upcoming legislation
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket
on Mar 15, 2005 -
Frank Luntz GOP Playbook Now Online: No Downloads, Searchable Text
I can't stress enough the importance of reading this document. It is absolutely amazing how politicos co-opted so much of our language and led us down the path to THEIR agenda.
Unfortunately, the monstrous PDF file previously available for download made that a 'challenging' endeavor. Thus, I thought it was very important to bring to everybody's attention the existence of an online, readable, searchable, text version of Frank Luntz’s Playbook. It is a masterpiece of manipulation and an historic political document.
posted by jb_thms
on Mar 3, 2005 -
"The president was cautious the president was prudent the president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?" Rudy Giuliani blames the troops
for the current missing explosives scandal. (340K wmv file
). Can we finally stop talking about this hack as a viable candidate for national office?
posted by jpoulos
on Oct 28, 2004 -
Illegal RNC trashing Democratic registrations in Vegas -- Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.
The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.
The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate.
posted by amberglow
on Oct 12, 2004 -
Dissent is patriotic.
"I'm a pro-choice, antiwar, antideficit Republican," says Senator Linc Chafee (R-RI).
But his party affiliation is not stronger than the deep ideological gulf between the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP. Today, Sen. Chafee announced
that he will not support George Bush's bid for re-election nor vote for him in November. Already there are rumbles of a party defection that might quash hopes for a GOP hold on the U.S. Senate.
Remember this guy?
"I understand the feelings that he has," Mr. Jeffords said. "I'm going to be talking to him, so I'm not going to say any more. I probably shouldn't have even told you that."
posted by PrinceValium
on Oct 4, 2004 -
“If You Harbor Terrorists, You Are a Terrorist”
While delegates to the GOP convention were congratulating themselves for their candidate’s tough stand against terrorism, the Bush administration was creating an international incident—little publicized in the United States—by harboring a notorious group of international terrorists on U.S. soil.
posted by Postroad
on Sep 22, 2004 -
Is the GOP tampering with Florida elections?
The New York Times reports that State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.
Also, see here
Why do we even put up with this?
posted by black8
on Aug 16, 2004 -
"Look at just a few of those who supported Nader in 2000, but see that this year is crucially different: Noam Chomsky, Ben Cohen, Peter Coyote, Phil Donahue, Ronnie Dugger, Jim Hightower, Robert McChesney, Michael Moore, and Bonnie Raitt. In fact, can you think of a prominent supporter from 2000 who supports him in 2004? Are we all members of Nader’s “liberal inteligentsia”? Or is the Bush presidency simply such a disaster that we realize there is only one responsible action for real progressives? Despite Mr. Nader’s inevitable disagreement, we don’t think everyone is out of step but Ralph." | So who is supporting Nader? Some think its the GOP.
posted by skallas
on Jun 23, 2004 -
God loves Republicans...
Governor Huckabee of Arkansas, while speaking to the Republican Governors Association meeting pretended
to get a phone call from God, who seemed really friendly to the Republicans.
Isn't this blasphemous? And why can't I find any other reporting of this amazing display of religious fanaticism in any other outlet of the "liberal media?" [more inside]
posted by jpburns
on Feb 26, 2004 -