Chris's Rants

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm the Decider

It is a magnificent day here in New England. However, after reading this this article in the Boston Globe, I feel like it's raining fascism (emphasis mine):
Throughout the past two decades, for example, each president -- including the current one -- has objected to provisions requiring him to get permission from a congressional committee before taking action. The Supreme Court made clear in 1983 that only the full Congress can direct the executive branch to do things, but lawmakers have continued writing laws giving congressional committees such a role.

Still, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton used the presidential veto instead of the signing statement if they had a serious problem with a bill, giving Congress a chance to override their decisions.

But the current President Bush has abandoned the veto entirely, as well as any semblance of the political caution that Alito counseled back in 1986. In just five years, Bush has challenged more than 750 new laws, by far a record for any president, while becoming the first president since Thomas Jefferson to stay so long in office without issuing a veto.

''What we haven't seen until this administration is the sheer number of objections that are being raised on every bill passed through the White House,' said Kelley, who has studied presidential signing statements through history. ''That is what is staggering. The numbers are well out of the norm from any previous administration.'
I hadn't really connected the dots until reading this article. Bush hasn't vetoed any legislation because he thinks that he can just ignore it as he pleases, and has been telling us so for 5 frickin' years. He's basically been saying to the congress and to the American public, "screw you, I'm the Decider, and I'll decide what the laws are". He hasn't vetoed any legislation because he has decided that he will have the last word (his signing statements) and not the congress, the elected representatives of we the people.
Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said the American system of government relies upon the leaders of each branch ''to exercise some self-restraint." But Bush has declared himself the sole judge of his own powers, he said, and then ruled for himself every time.

"This is an attempt by the president to have the final word on his own constitutional powers, which eliminates the checks and balances that keep the country a democracy," Fein said. "There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn't doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power."
I think that they call that a dictator.

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Colbert takes on Helen Thomas

Crooks and Liars has the Colbert segment up from last night's WH Correspondent's Dinner. Brilliant!

Something tells me he may not be invited back during this administration.

Update: Ann Althouse had this to say about Colbert's performance:
Wasn't it awful to perform without laughs? Maybe he should have filed the edges off a couple of jokes, but, basically, he did what he had to do to maintain his credibility with his real audience, those who watch "The Colbert Report." And we'll remember the horrible laughlessness of that night and marvel at the steely nerve of Stephen Colbert.
Sometimes, I can't figure her out.

Just as Jon Stewart performed a public service by calling bullsh*t on CNN's Crossfire:
JON STEWART: ... And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.

[LAUGHTER]

PAUL BEGALA: We have noticed.

STEWART: And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.
This was not done for the sake of his Daily Show audience. This was, the act of a true patriot, as was Colbert's performance last night. Colbert had an opportunity to call bullsh*t on both the administration and on the fawning, incurious press corps that serve as mere stenographers for the administrations propaganda. Rather than taking the coward's way out by "fil[ing] the edge off a couple of jokes", he stood his ground. The true act of a patriot.

Colbert certainly demonstrated a steely nerve last night. However, I think not for the sake of his show, but for the sake of a nation at risk. His performance last night will hopefully have served its purpose of kicking the media where it hurts. IMO, this was Colbert's "you're hurting America" moment. Hopefully, many of those not laughing last night will have gotten the message.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Oh when the frogs, come marching home

Jason Leopold reports that Fitzgerald to Seek Indictment of Rove:
Luskin was informed via a target letter that Fitzgerald is prepared to charge Rove for perjury and lying to investigators during Rove’s appearances before the grand jury in 2004 and in interviews with investigators in 2003 when he was asked how and when he discovered that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA, and whether he shared that information with the media.

If the grand jury returns an indictment Rove would become the second White House official - and one of the most powerful political operatives in the country - charged in the case since the leak investigation began in the fall of 2003.

In the event that an indictment is handed up by the grand jury it would be filed under seal. A press release would then be issued by Fitzgerald’s press office indicating that the special prosecutor will hold a news conference, likely on a Friday afternoon, sources close to the case said. The media would be given more than 24 hours notice of a press conference, sources added.

Luskin was at his office when called for comment but his assistant said he would not take the call or comment on this story.
Luskin is usually more than willing to spin for the press. His silence on this matter speaks volumes.

I'm actually hoping that this drags out 3 weeks so that the indictment is handed down the day before my birthday. Now that would be a birthday present to remember!

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

MSNBC reports Rove believes he is in legal jeopardy

The Raw Story | MSNBC reports Rove believes he is in legal jeopardy:
Karl Rove has described his three and a half hour meeting with a grand jury as grueling, and is more worried about being prosecuted than ever, MSNBC is reporting.

RAW STORY has also learned that an MSNBC report tonight will reveal that one of Rove's lawyers said the presidential adviser described his fifth grand jury appearance as 'hell.'
Boo hoo!

So much for the positive spin that Luskin and his cronies put on yesterday's appearance.

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5th time's a charm?

The sub-title says it all:
Bush Aide Is Said To Be Unsure if He Will Be Indicted


Rove Testifies 5th Time On Leak:
Luskin said in a statement that the top Bush strategist testified 'voluntarily and unconditionally' at Fitzgerald's behest.
be·hest Audio pronunciation of "behest" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b-hst)
n.

1. An authoritative command.
2. An urgent request: I called the office at the behest of my assistant.

Uhmmm... how does one reconcile "voluntarily" with behest? The next graph in the article provides a clue:
"In connection with this appearance, the special counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he is not a target of the investigation," Luskin said in a statement. "Mr. Fitzgerald has affirmed that he has made no decision concerning charges."
Again, we get the spin only from the Rove camp, because Fitzgerald has so doggedly kept his mouth shut. However, it seems rather odd to be saying that "in connection with his appearance" that Rove is "not a target of the investigation".

Recall that just before "Scooter" was indicted, Rove made his fourth appearance before the grand jury "voluntarily", of course. One wonders just what motivated that appearance.

Jason Leopold's latest provides additional clues:
Karl Rove's appearance before a grand jury in the CIA leak case Wednesday comes on the heels of a "target letter" sent to his attorney recently by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, signaling that the Deputy White House Chief of Staff may face imminent indictment, sources that are knowledgeable about the probe said Wednesday.
Ah, that would explain "behest", and why Rove "voluntarily" chose to appear for the fifth time. He only did so, as he did back in October, to try once again to avoid indictment. Maybe one more morsel for Fitzgerald to chew on would delay the grim reaper's call.

I suppose that now we have to wait a few more weeks for Fitz to mull over whatever additional evidence that Rove has provided the grand jury before he makes up his mind for the last time. I cannot imagine that he will allow this slime-bag another last-minute appearance. Three strikes and you're out.

Fitzgerald is not an idiot. He must know he is being played. One only wonders when his patience will run out.

Soon, I hope.

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Buy this house

Buy this house!

Yeah, we're movin' on up, to the east side... to a de-lux condo in the hills.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bush's "base"

Discourse.net: This is Amazing:
The multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to repeal the federal estate tax has been aggressively led by 18 super-wealthy families, according to a report released today by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy at a press conference in Washington, D.C. The report details for the first time the vast money, influence and deceptive marketing techniques behind the rhetoric in the campaign to repeal the tax.
Indeed. As Michael put it:
sometimes there really is a conspiracy.

1 Comments:

  • Haven't had the guttz to call or comment, but have greatly enjoyed your blog. Nonetheless, hope you and loved ones are well. Keep on keepin' on.
    Suzanne Butler Perlmutter
    Mount Vernon, WA

    By Anonymous perldesign, at April 26, 2006 11:58 AM  

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Slip slidin' away

CNN.com - Bush's approval ratings slide to new low - Apr 24, 2006:
Poll: Only one-third say he's handling his job well
Only one third?
In the telephone poll of 1,012 adult Americans carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN, 32 percent of respondents said they approve of Bush's performance, 60 percent said they disapprove and 8 percent said they do not know.
last time I checked, 32% is less than one third.

Loser.

W.P.E.

1 Comments:

  • but what about the margin for error....it could be greater than 1/3 . There are more idiots than you think. D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2006 9:04 AM  

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm The Decider

I'm The Decider Brilliant!

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

We don't get fooled again

So, we have an ever growing list of retired generals calling for Rummy's head. At last count, we now have seven, including Gen. Wesley Clark. Bubbleboy, the guy who "listens to the generals on the ground" (who really doesn't) says that Rummy is doing a heckovajob.

Report: Rumsfeld May Be Liable for Torture - TalkLeft:
A new report by Human Rights Watch finds that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may be criminially liable for torture of a Guantanamo detainee in late 2002 and early 2003. HRW says Rumsfeld could be prosecuted for his actions.
Yes, he is "exactly what is needed", an irresponsible, incompetent war criminal.

Aside from the speculation that the reason Bush hasn't fired Rummy is because doing so would be an admission of failure and would possibly open the flood-gates to other cabinet-level blood-letting, there is truth in Bush's endorsement. Rummy is exactly what Bush needs; an insane war criminal running the department of defense. With his poll numbers plumeting, and the prospects for the GOPers in November diminishing with each passing day, the administration that places politics over everything, including national security, has only one option remaining to preserve its stranglehold on power. Start another war. Who else but Rummy would be party to such folly?

Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice... we don't get fooled again.
I returned disillusioned by what I saw. I participated in the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004. We crushed the insurgents in the city, but we only ended up scattering them throughout the province. The dumb ones stayed and died. The smart ones left town before the battle, to garner more recruits and fight another day. We were simply the little Dutch boy with our finger in the dike. In retrospect, we never had enough troops to firmly control the region; we had just enough to maintain a tenuous equilibrium.

I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability. It planned a war based on false intelligence and unrealistic assumptions. It has strategically surrendered the condition of victory in Iraq to people who do not share our vision, values or interests. The Bush administration has proven successful at only one thing in Iraq — painting us into a corner with no feasible exit.

I will never trust any of them again.

Christopher H. Sheppard is a former Marine captain who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a combat engineer. He currently is finishing his master's degree in mass communication and lives in Marysville.
Thank god for guys like Chris Shepard having the guts to call bullshit on the administration.

We also have the NYT finally awakening from its coma, in an editorial that takes a direct swipe at the Washington Times Post, calling for investigation into the administration's misuse of intelligence in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
This messy episode leaves more questions than answers, so it is imperative that two things happen soon. First, the federal prosecutor in the Libby case should release the transcripts of what Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney said when he questioned them. And the Senate Intelligence Committee must report publicly on how Mr. Bush and his team used the flawed intelligence on Iraq. Senator Pat Roberts, the committee chairman, says the panel will meet this month to discuss three of the report's five sections. That's a step. And it has taken only two years to get this far.
Fortunately, some members of congress are also seeing the déjà vu all over again and are preemptively speaking out.
No one concerned about U.S. national security wants Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability. It would be a destabilizing force in the Middle East and throughout the world. That's exactly why we need strong American leadership, working toward a verifiable diplomatic solution.

Instead, the administration reportedly is intent upon relying on the failed doctrine of preemption and new Pentagon planning that stokes the prospect of military conflict. If this is true, Americans ought to be deeply concerned.
Indeed. We should all be deeply concerned.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Rep. John Murtha: Time to Change Direction

Rep. John Murtha: Time to Change Direction:
There are only two plans: mine and the President’s. On second thought, there is only one plan: mine. 'Stay the course' is not a plan.

It is time to change direction. We should fear only our failure to change.

Here is what we can buy with the money we are currently spending on the war:

At the Administration’s current average rate of spending, it will take 47 years to implement the security requirements needed to secure our ports. Yet we can accomplish this with just one month of war spending.

Our local police, fire and emergency responders are dangerously underfunded. About $19.6 billion is needed over the next five years to meet these needs. We can accomplish this with about 3 � months of war spending.
This guy rocks!

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Mandarin

Are You a Talent, a Lifer, or a Mandarin?

I'm a Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 56%
Lifer: 31%
Mandarin: 59%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Oh, my god

The New Yorker: Fact:
These politicians don’t have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it out”—remove the nuclear option—“they’re shouted down.”

The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning. Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran—without success, the former intelligence official said. “The White House said, ‘Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.’ ”

The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the Administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles. He called it “a juggernaut that has to be stopped.” He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue. “There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,” the adviser told me. “This goes to high levels.” The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran. “The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks,” the adviser said. “And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.”

The adviser added, however, that the idea of using tactical nuclear weapons in such situations has gained support from the Defense Science Board, an advisory panel whose members are selected by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “They’re telling the Pentagon that we can build the B61 with more blast and less radiation,” he said.

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Vermont Democrats call for Bush impeachment - Yahoo! News

Vermont Democrats call for Bush impeachment:
RANDOLPH, Vermont (Reuters) - Democratic Party leaders in Vermont on Saturday passed a motion asking Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.
Is that a drum-beat I hear?
Democratic state committees in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina have taken similar steps.

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File this under: No, dUH!

Larry Johnson concludes:
Today's revelation is simple and riveting--the effort to smear Joe Wilson went to the very top of the White House. This was not an operation of rogue political operators. Instead, we have a rogue President. If we can impeach a President for lying about a blow job from an intern, the time has come to impeach a President from giving the American people a line of bullshit about Iraq used to justify a war that has left almost 2400 American soldiers dead. George Bush did not leak to protect America. He leaked to cover his ass. That, my friends, is the definition of a coward.


Here is the WaPo article to which he refers. Game over.

Bush lied, people died.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

I've got the mike

How did this guy get past the Bu$hCo gestapo?

President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror:
Q I've got the mike.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, yes, very good. (Laughter and applause.) Good move.

Q You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you'd like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are --

THE PRESIDENT: I'm not your favorite guy. Go ahead. (Laughter and applause.) Go on, what's your question?

Q Okay, I don't have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that I -- in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and --

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: No, wait a sec -- let him speak.

Q And I would hope -- I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I'm saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about.

THE PRESIDENT: It is, yes. (Applause.)

Q And I know that this doesn't come welcome to most of the people in this room, but I do appreciate that.

THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate --

Q I don't have a question, but I just wanted to make that comment to you.

THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate it, thank you. Let me --

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I've Been Moved

My developerWorks blog has moved as a result of a transition to Roller-based blog infrastructure. As a result, so has my RSS feed URI changed. I noticed that SharpReader barfed on the redirect. So, you might want to update your feed link.

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BREAKING: Bu$hCo tax cuts benefit the rich

Big Gain for Rich Seen in Tax Cuts for Investments - New York Times:
The first data to document the effect of President Bush's tax cuts for investment income show that they have significantly lowered the tax burden on the richest Americans, reducing taxes on incomes of more than $10 million by an average of about $500,000.
Who would-a thunk it?!

Next headline: Dog Bites Man

Film at 11

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Grand Old Police Blotter

News Stories - Tampa Bay's 10 News - WTSP:
Brian J. Doyle, DOB 4/7/50, the Deputy Press Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., was arrested this evening at his residence in Silver Springs, Maryland, on 23 Polk County charges related to the use of a computer to seduce a child and transmitting harmful materials to a minor. Doyle's arrest is the result of a joint investigation by the Polk County Sheriff s Office, working with Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jerry Hill s office, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General s Office.
Yep, that's restoring honor and dignity to the White House alright.

I wonder when the religious right are going to awaken from their religious ecstacy and their speaking in tongues long enough to realize that they are responsible for installing the human feculence that is the Bush administration.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

There is a god

DeLay Will Not Seek Re-election to Congress:
The news of Mr. DeLay's decision broke on television stations about 10 p.m. Monday night. An article on the Time magazine Web site, based on an interview with Mr. DeLay, earlier in the day, said that Mr. DeLay 'vowed to pursue an aggressive speaking and organizing campaign aimed at promoting foster care, Republican candidates and a closer connection between religion and government.'
He'll have a captive audience as well, I suspect.

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Gen. Zinni's zingers

Crooks and Liars:
Gen. Zinni was the second guest on "Meet the Press," today and was very powerful in his observations in the run up to the war, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush's loyalty to his people rather than to their performance which has been appalling by his standards. Russert let him give uninterrupted answers to his questions.
Watch it. Powerful stuff.

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A sad, cautionary tale

Cenk Uygur: John McCain: The Sell-Out Express:
Politics has corrupted the last good man. It is complete. The Vietnamese couldn't break him, but eventually his own ambition did. It is a sad, cautionary tale
Yep. That about sums it up, nicely.

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