This morning, the Veterans Affairs Chief Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation,
following the release of an independent review
detailing corruption in the reporting of wait times
and scheduling practices
, along with alleged patient deaths
in the Phoenix Health Care system. [more inside]
was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.”
Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War
, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
"Why Obama Is Giving Up on Right-Leaning Whites
: For decades, Democrats shaped their policies around fears of the culturally conservative white voters to the GOP. But Obama’s winning coalition has altered that calculus."
: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people"
"The Future Of The Republican Party Is By The Pool At The Biltmore
: The talk at the Miami hotel where Jeb Bush works, and Marco Rubio works out, is of the next president. But can the young senator get out from under Jeb’s shadow?"
The New York Times examines
how American taxes have changed since 1980
In 2008, the National Journal
released The Hidden History of the American Electorate
, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections
. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
Walt Harrington's profile of the 43rd POTUS, Dubya and Me
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cartoonist Tim Kreider
) of The Pain
talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1
In his unedited, fifty-minute interview with Rachel Maddow,
Jon Stewart explains what's wrong with MSNBC, why you shouldn't say Bush is a war criminal even if it's "technically true," why the real political fight in the U.S. is not Republican vs. Democrat or left vs. right but corruption vs. non-corruption, and how the real point of the Rally to Restore Sanity
) was to show that he has no actual influence, credibility, or power.
September 18, 2008 - Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy four days earlier and the Federal Reserve had authorized the New York Fed to lend up to $85 billion to insurance giant AIG. That afternoon, Nancy Pelosi called Henry Paulson to ask for a full briefing the next morning. "They said, 'That will be too late. That will be too late. Tomorrow morning, 9 o'clock will be too late.' ... 'We were not allowed to tell Congress, but since you called, we're going to answer your questions.'"
The Bush administration prohibited its own top officials from briefing Congress on the financial crisis.
"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent."
In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees
and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
Inside the financial crisis, from a speechwriter's point of view. And from a different vantage
US News reports that in a new tell-all book, Tom Ridge admits manipulating terror threat levels for political motives.
In the forthcoming book, Ridge reportedly acknowledges for the first time that he was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he "saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over." But as The Atlantic
points out, Ridge apparently gave in to the White House demands anyway, resigning only after the election. Huffington Post
also provides additional discussion on this developing story.
Ensuring that at least someone
gets his legacy right, Ex-President Bush has on his final day in office commissioned a series of Official Legacy Booklets
with such unlikely titles as 100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record
. These weighty tomes inform us, for example, that "the Afghan economy has doubled since 2001"-- an accomplishment perhaps assisted by the arrival of American forces spending some $3 billion per month there. [more inside]
Special 3-page edition of Harper’s Index: A retrospective of the Bush era
America has come a long way
. There is the official version
of history or the peoples' version
. There are artifacts
. They had some quirks
and were occasionally men of their time
. If you prefer audio
references those are available as well. Common knowledge
has it that one GW was our first President but the title of first is under dispute
. 230 years later another GW is making a run for worst
. That is also under dispute
by the nations best brains
. For better and worse, the story of the Presidency is the story of America
U.S. Presidents have had an uneven relationship
with technology. The Clinton Presidential Library
has more than 40 million White House emails on record (but only two
are from the man himself). The Bush Administration, on the other hand, junked the Clinton archival process and replaced it with a comically inept alternative
that has lost more than five million messages, many concerning official government business
. (President Bush, for his part, gave up his longtime address -- G94b@aol.com
-- just before his inauguration). Even the Reagan White House had its share of problems
with the digital age. Now, as tech-savvy
Barack Obama prepares to implement his technology plans
, does he have a shot at dragging the Oval Office into the 21st century
? Or will he have to surrender his laptop
, his email account, and his beloved Blackberry?
Dems eye midnight regulations reversal.
Congressional Democrats are eyeing a little-known, Clinton-era law as a way to reverse Bush administration midnight regulations — even ones that have already taken effect. “Fortunately, [the White House] made a mistake,” said a top Senate Democratic aide. [more inside]
John Cleese talks Election 08 with Seesmic
) and discusses his views on American Politics, and americans in general. (via
Presidential Crimes: Moving on is not an option.
"In deciding about legal redress, we need to be clear about the large stakes in our decision. The very multiplicity of the apparent crimes, the sheer array of arguably broken laws, is dizzying. But that multiplicity must be faced, for in it we will see that what got in President Bush’s way was not any one law but the rule of law itself. It is the rule of law that has been put in jeopardy by a project of executive domination; it is the rule of law that will continue to be in peril; and it is only, therefore, by addressing the crimes through legal instruments—through a formal, legal arena, and not simply through the electoral repudiation of bad policy—that the grave and widespread damage stands a chance of being repaired."
We've discussed what Bush and Batman have in common
, but when presented with a list of quotes, can you tell which is by Bush, and which is by Batman (as played by Adam West)? It's Bush or Batman
"What kind of lawbreaking has happened on President Bush's watch, among his top and mid-level advisers? What hasn't? Who is implicated and who is not? Despite the lack of oral sex with an intern, the past seven years have yielded an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potentially prosecutable crimes. We have tried to sketch out a map
of who did what and when, with links to the evidence that is public and notes about what we may learn from investigations that are still pending." Via Slate
Former White House spokesman Tony Snow
developed colon cancer
in February 2005 thanks to having suffered from ulcerative colitis
for much of his life; he died today from that ailment. Snow was a "Fox News Sunday" anchor, a Fox News Channel political analyst, a guest host for Rush Limbaugh's radio program, the host of Fox News Radio's "The Tony Snow Show", and a NPR commentator. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten told staffers that unless they could commit to staying the full remainder of Bush's term, they should leave by Labor Day 2007, prompting Snow's resignation (due to what he said were financial reasons), where he was succeeded by Dana Perino
. He played the guitar, saxophone and flute
and was in a band called Beats Workin'. "Bush's wavering conservatism has become an active concern among Republicans, who wish he would stop cowering under the bed and start fighting back against the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Wilson," said Snow in a column. "The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."
What if Al Gore really had won?
J. M. Kearns crafts a new, imaginative Bush conspiracy in his new short story, "The Eagle Has Landed."
Bush had Karl Rove
. But the original wiretapping President needed brains too. Introducing Kevin Phillips
. He predicted the prolonged Republican dominance of Washington 1970-present
and advised the Ford and Reagan presidencies. He predicted a more liberal 1990s
and when the Bushies killed his party he became uttery disgusted
Recently he spoke
about the influence of the christian right, our addiction to oil, and America's debt (public and private) at the University of California Santa Barbara. [more inside]
"Only Nixon could go to China," and only ex-Republican ex-Senator Lincoln Chafee can explain
how George W. Bush set out "to preempt the Congress... on every issue", "turned his back on (his) bedrock campaign pledges", and become simultaneously America's most powerful and least popular President (and why there could never be a "surely this..." moment). NOT just another OMGBUSH commentary, this should be required reading for anybody who honestly
wants to know what went wrong.
A very special 'This American Life
' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war.
Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush go before SCOTUS Streaming on C-Span today.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (great podcast
) will argue before the Supreme Court today:
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush.
"The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy. A Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz
, sees a generation-long struggle to recoup." [Via Firedoglake.]
Gallup: Bush 'strongly disapprove' 50% > Nixon 48%
Gallup notes that the two ratings are statistically equivalent. A newspaper industry
site noted it, and Raw Story
(which is not unbiased) felt the story was under-reported.
Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion--
Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar.
("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here
, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
Garret Keizer has an idea. It's really not so outlandish
. But of course it won't do any good.
Lessons from Past Western Incursions in the Middle East.
A speech by Juan Cole
at the New America Foundation
in which he discusses his new book, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East
, and the relevance and lessons of Napoleon's expedition in Egypt to the current American occupation of Iraq. A shorter version, covering many of the same points, is in this article: Pitching the Imperial Republic
Why Does AT&T Hate Pearl Jam’s Freedom?
Well, of course, they’re all apologies now
… But this latest corporate misadventure seems to touch on all the hot buttons: Media consolidation, net neutrality
and the future of political speech in America. (Newsfilter)
"Bill Maher: The Decider"
[Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
, YouTube]. Maher at the top of his game.
Do the Coup D'etat.
The White House has made the Constitutional Crisis official: the Justice Department will never
be allowed to pursue contempt charges against an official invoking executive privilege -- even if it's blatantly illegal
Tough talk about impeachment.
A public opinion poll from the American Research Group
recently reported that more than four in ten Americans — 45% — favor impeachment hearings for President Bush and more than half — 54% — favored impeachment for Vice President Cheney.
, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION's John Nichols
, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT. Transcript is available here
The UK media is like a "Feral Beast"
, and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds
. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press
Learning From Ike: What a Republican realist could teach George Bush.
"If we hope to succeed, we manage evil. We minimize, mitigate, and manipulate evil. But efforts to pre-emptively eliminate evil are prone to end in overreaction and destabilization, with consequences that are often worse than the original problem."
has a few thoughts on President Bush.
NYPD Intelligence Op Targets Dot-Matrix Graffiti Bike.
More details on the premeditated arrest of Joshua Kinberg
by the NYPD just before the 2004 Republican National Convention. Kinberg, now the CEO of FireAnt
, was targeted by the "R.N.C. Intelligence Squad"
for his Bikes Against Bush
project. The police lost his Xtracycle
. [Via BB.]
The Purgegate Primer
is a helpful document from The Morning News to assist all us armchair pundits in making sense of the U.S. Attorney scandal. Brought to us by the letter Q and recently-mentioned
defective yeti, who it seems is about more than just laughs. (Also see his Plamegate Cheatsheet