Saturday, March 31, 2007
TAKE ON ME AND FIND ME!
Can you ?
The Rovian Era
KARL ROVE'S FINGERPRINTS ALL OVER PROSECUTOR SCANDAL
NY Times editorial
Published: April 1, 2007
Turn over a scandal in Washington these days and the chances are you’ll find Karl Rove. His tracks are everywhere: whether it’s helping to purge United States attorneys, coaching bureaucrats on how to spend taxpayers’ money to promote Republican candidates, hijacking the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for partisan politics, or helping to organize a hit on the character of one of the first people to publicly reveal the twisting of intelligence reports on Iraq.
Whatever the immediate objective, Mr. Rove seems focused on one overarching goal: creating a permanent Republican majority, even if that means politicizing every aspect of the White House and subverting the governmental functions of the executive branch. This is not the Clinton administration’s permanent campaign. The Clinton people had difficulty distinguishing between the spin cycle of a campaign and the tone of governing. That seems quaint compared with the Bush administration’s far more menacing failure to distinguish the Republican Party from the government, or the state itself.
Hey, remember that local corruption case that Heather Wilson and Pete Domenici wanted the New Mexico U.S. Attorney to file before the November midterms? It would have been sweet. After all, there's nothing like a juicy corruption probe against the opposition party to help the good guys in a close election.
Well, indictments have finally been returned. Bud Cummins, one of the other fired U.S. Attorneys, writes about it in Salon today:
On Friday, a New Mexico federal grand jury returned an indictment against New Mexico Senate President Pro Tem Manny Aragon and others of conspiring to skim $4.2 million in public funds. This happens to be the culmination of an investigation supervised by my colleague David Iglesias, before he was forced to resign. It is also the same case that stimulated improper telephone calls to Mr. Iglesias from a U.S. senator and a congresswoman.
Note: Photo is © 2007 Stephen Pitt
CUTTING-EDGE DIGITAL ANIMATION MOVES EDITORIAL CARTOONING INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
New developments are a collaboration between of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Imaging Research Center, political cartoonist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher and the Walters Art Museum
A dramatic new development in the art of editorial cartooning was unveiled today at The Walters Art Museum in conjunction with Mightier Than the Sword: The Satirical Pen of KAL on view June 18–Sept. 3. The debut showcased a three-dimensional virtual caricature bust of George W. Bush. The digital bust was the brain child of Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher—the international award winning editorial cartoonist for The Economist of London and former editorial cartoonist for The Baltimore Sun .
Tony Blair’s decision to split the Home Office into separate security and justice departments has provoked a storm of protest from judges and MPs in all parties.
The Prime Minister was accused of a “botched job” after rushing through the sweeping changes before he stands down this summer. Although Mr Blair argued that the shake-up would strengthen the fight against terrorism, critics warned they would undermine the battle against crime.
GONZALES HAS RESIGNED! READ THE STORY ON MY NEW BLOG:
Gonzales Has Resigned
by Global Evildoer Fighter @ 1:00 PM EDT
Mar 31, 2007 12:56 PM
By JENNIFER TALHELM, AP
WASHINGTON (Map, News) - A Republican congressman on Saturday urged Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, citing what he said were Gonzales' contradictory statements about his role in the firing of eight federal prosecutors.
"I trusted him before, but I can't now," said five-term Rep. Lee Terry, whose district includes metropolitan Omaha.
Gonzales' credibility took a blow this past week during testimony by his former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sampson, who resigned March 12, said the attorney general was regularly briefed about plans to fire the prosecutors and was involved with discussions about "this process of asking certain U.S. attorneys to resign."
New York Times
By CARL HULSE and THOM SHANKER
Published: March 31, 2007
WASHINGTON, March 30 — The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has estimated that the Army has enough budget flexibility to pay for its military operations through July in the event that a standoff between the White House and Congress over Iraq holds up the money the administration says it needs for the war effort.
The service’s report, made public Friday by Senate Democrats, said the Pentagon may have to shift money between accounts and curtail some nonessential activities, but said Congress has provided the military with new ability to do so, lessening the potential for disruptions until additional money is approved.
Friday, March 30, 2007
The Joseph and Valerie Wilson Legal Support Trust
On May 17, 2007, Judge John D. Bates will hear oral argument on the defendants' motions to dismiss Joe and Valerie Wilson's complaint against Bush administration officials, as well as the motion to dismiss filed by the United States.
Defendants Cheney, Libby, Rove and Armitage have all claimed that they are entitled to immunity from suit, because when they put into place their scheme to deliberately retaliate against Joe Wilson by revealing Valerie Wilson's status as a covert CIA operative, the law was not clearly established that doing so violated the Wilsons' constitutional rights. They have also argued that each of the constitutional claims, brought under the First and Fifth Amendments, does not state a cognizable claim.
The United States has argued that it should be substituted for the common law tort claims against the individual defendants for publicly disclosing private facts, because each of the defendants was acting within the scope of his employment when he revealed, or caused to be revealed, Valerie Wilson's status as a covert CIA operative.
The court has given each side 60 minutes in which to present argument.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today requested that former Special Assistant to the President, Susan Ralston, appear at a deposition on Apr. 5th, as part of the committee's ongoing investigation into the connection between the White House and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Ralston, who was a deputy to White House Adviser Karl Rove between 2001 and 2006, appeared frequently in emails collected in the case.
The Committee found that Ralston had 69 contacts with Abramoff or his associates during that time, according to a letter sent by Committee Chair Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).
Another One Bites the Dust...
The House Government Committee today formally requested Secretary Rice to testify before the Oversight Committee on Apr. 18th regarding the Bush administration's claims that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, White House treatment of classified information, the appointment of Ambassador Jones as "special coordinator" for Iraq, and other subjects.
Claims that Iraq were seeking uranium from Niger were based on documents that were later proved to be forgeries, and caused ire among Democrats and others who felt the Administration had provided false information to Congress about Iraq in the lead-up to war.
Steve Jobs who recently introduced the iPhone now proudly presents the iRack
Steve Jobs introduces the iRack. The skit is a hilarious and clever political commentary on the Iraq war.
Thanks to Geezerpower for the Link
Multiple sources reported today that a top aide to President George W. Bush's key adviser Karl Rove will soon step down from her job in the White House. The aide, Sara M. Taylor, was identified in yesterday's hearing with a former top Justice Department official as seeking the resignation of a US Attorney in Arkansas. She could still face a subpoena, RAW STORY learned.
Last week, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees authorized subpoenas of Scott Jennings, a deputy to Taylor, who is a top aide to Karl Rove. A House Judiciary Committee aide told RAW STORY she could still face a subpoena today.
Published: Friday March 30, 2007
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) is seeking information about slides targeting 20 Democratic-controlled Congressional districts for the 2008 Election. In January, the White House sent J. Scott Jennings, an aide to Karl Rove, to present a slide show to a group of employees of the General Services Administration.
Waxman believes the presentation, and subsequent remarks made by GSA Director Lurita Alexis Doan may have violated the 'Hatch Act,' which prohibits federal employees from using their positions for political purposes. Doan is alleged to have suggested that she could use GSA contracts to help Republican Members of Congress hold their seats in the House.
An afternoon song for all of my friends and fellow bloggers! Enjoy!
From the DVD "Willie Nelson and Friends - Live & Kickin", it was Willie Nelson's 70th birthday party at New York City's famed Beacon Theatre on April 9, 2003. Leon and Willie take a verse, of this Leon Russell original, and let Ray finish it up, as only Ray (one-take) could. He died not long after this. Thanks Ray.
By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 30, 2007; Page A01
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales was more deeply involved in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys than he has sometimes acknowledged, and Gonzales and his aides have made a series of inaccurate claims about the issue in recent weeks, the attorney general's former chief of staff testified yesterday.
In dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, D. Kyle Sampson also revealed that New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias was not added to the dismissal list until just before the Nov. 7 elections, after presidential adviser Karl Rove complained that Iglesias had not been aggressive enough in pursuing cases of voter fraud. Previously, Rove had not been tied so directly to the removal of the prosecutors.
PoliticsTV's Mar. 29 interview with Sen. Harry Reid.
“So I say to President Bush: Understand that this Congress has done what the American people asked us to do. You listen to the American people for a change.” - March 29, 2007
"The American people spoke on November 7th saying the direction of the war was wrong, and that we as a Democratic Congress should do something about it and we have. The ball is now in the President's court. We need to redeploy those troops, and we need, by the year 2008, the 1st of April to have our troops home."
Read the full Transcript:
Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, is certainly starting to vocalize and make waves. Two days ago, it was revealed that since replacing Donald Rumsfield (heckuva job Rummy), he (and Condisleezy) have made continued efforts to CLOSE Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Since Cheney et al cannot bear to have the inmates come to the US where they would have actual "rights" (human and otherwise), and Bushie has backed Cheney (duh), it never happened. Robert Gates has again repeated his wish to close that prison.
Now Mr. Gates has taken on Mr. McCain (sleezy also) (From Think Progress):
Gates Contradicts McCain, Says Iraq Debate Has Been ‘Helpful’
Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain appeared on NBC’s Today Show and said that the Senate debate over an Iraq phased withdrawal plan is aiding the enemy:
Look, the only guarantee of failure is to tell the enemy, “Hey, hang on; we’re leaving.” That’s what this message, this vote yesterday, tells them. I mean, a second-year cadet at West Point will tell you you don’t win wars by telling the enemy when you’re leaving."
McCain’s view is not shared by Bush’s Defense Secretary. Testifying before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Robert Gates said that the Iraq debate in Congress has been “helpful in bringing pressure to bear on the Maliki government.”
Gates added that the congressional debate informs Iraqis that “there is a very real limit to American patience in this entire enterprise.” That’s a not a message McCain is interested in sending; he prefers signaling an open-ended commitment in Iraq.
C & L
TPMmuckraker has all the relevant footage from Thursday's hearing. Each link will bring you to a page with a descriptive context of the clip in question:
Sampson: We Didn't Consider Corruption Investigations
Sampson Admits Lam Was Never Confronted on Immigration
Specter Questions Sampson on Avoiding the Senate
Sampson Testifies about Conversation with Gonzales about Iglesias
Sampson Suggested Removing Fitzgerald
Sampson Explains Rove's Role in U.S. Attorney Nomination
Whitehouse Questions Sampson about His Experience
Schumer Questions Sampson about Gonzales Remarks
Sampson Didn't Think of "Perception Problem"
Feinstein Questions Sampson on Lam Firing
Sampson Defines "Loyalty"
Sampson on the Patiot Act Provision
Specter Asks Sampson about What "The Problem" with Carol Lam Was
Note: TPM is constantly updating the video list so you can check back for others.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
STRATFORD, Conn. — A man was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after he led authorities on a high-speed chase and then claimed to be Vice President Dick Cheney, police said.
John Spernak, 42, later admitted he wasn't Cheney but said he was actually "Charlie's Angels" star Jaclyn Smith, police said. He also claimed to be the husband of Paris Hilton's sister.
Police said Spernak, driving at more than 90 mph Monday night, hit a patrol car and was shocked with a stun gun before they could arrest him. He was charged with attempted first-degree assault, engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving, criminal mischief, interfering with police and being in a town park after dark.
Note: No one answered the phone Wednesday afternoon at a number listed for Cheney's... errr.. I mean Spernak's address.
There have been numerous articles, discussions and analyses of the announcement that the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, was ranked as "undistinguished" on a Department of Justice chart sent to the White House in March 2005. Some have also described his evaluation as one which rated him as being merely "mediocre."
If this wasn't so critically important to the future of prosecutorial activity in Chicago, it would almost be comical. Some have portrayed the story in a humorous light, but it is much too serious to pass off as a joke at this time. However, none of the information available appears to fully explain the criteria utilized to reach the evaluation of Mr. Fitzgerald.
Today was "one of Iraq's deadliest days in years"
by Joe Sudbay (DC) ·
3/29/2007 07:31:00 PM ET
John had a post earlier about the rampant violence in Iraq today. It was bad. It got worse. Much worse:
Five suicide bombers struck Shiite marketplaces in northeast Baghdad and a town north of the capital at nightfall Thursday, killing at least 122 people and wounding more than 150 in one of Iraq's deadliest days in years.
The savage attacks came as a new American ambassador began his first day on the job, and Senate Democrats ignored a veto threat and approved a bill to require President Bush to start withdrawing troops.
At least 178 people were killed or found dead Thursday, which marked the end of the seventh week of the latest U.S.-Iraqi military drive to curtail violence in Baghdad and surrounding regions.
The horrors continue unabated.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) today sent a letter to White House Adviser Karl Rove regarding allegations of misconduct at the General Services Administration (GSA).
In a hearing Thursday, the House Oversight Committee heard details of a political briefing Rove's deputy, J. Scott Jennings, made to the GSA Administrator, Lurita A. Doan, and approximately 40 GSA political appointees last January.
"The basic facts of this event are not in dispute," Waxman wrote. "The GSA White House liaison scheduled Mr. Jennings to speak at a meeting that took place on January 26, 2007, at the GSA headquarters building, although some appointees participated by videoconference. After a brief introduction, Mr. Jennings presented a 28-page slide briefing that reviewed the 2006 election results and outlined the Republican Party’s top electoral targets in upcoming federal and state elections."
Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It may be the first state to be afflicted with a fully operational death squad – unless a civil lawsuit filed on Friday against the murders of Derek J. Hale results in criminal charges and a complete lustration (in the Eastern European sense of the term) of Delaware's law enforcement establishment.
Hale, a retired Marine Sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and was decorated before his combat-related medical discharge in January 2006, was murdered by a heavily armed 8-12-member undercover police team in Wilmington, Delaware last November 6. He had come to Wilmington from his home in Manassas, Virginia to participate in a Toys for Tots event.
Someone please pinch me and tell me I'm only dreaming this..
Although I don't think Jeb Bush is a complete dolt, the fact is, the American people will not tolerate the name "Bush" on another Presidential Ballot. Just my humble opinion, but the country I love is very weary of the name of Bush. What IS Romney thinking?
From Americablog (John Aravosis) today:
The contempt with which media outlets sometimes treat the American public is simply astonishing. Time Magazine, to its credit, put together an extremely readable article on the Talibanization of western Pakistan, a nation of critical importance in the region. Pakistan also happens to be floundering, with widespread dissatisfaction towards leadership and increasing extremism in the population. I don't expect people to always be interested in the machinations of central Asian political development, but hey, Time decided to run with an important and fascinating issue. They even put the article on the cover . . .
. . . for every edition except the U.S. version! The cover story here? "Why we should teach the Bible in public schools." I kid you not. It's just like when Newsweek's cover article was "Losing Afghanistan" for every edition except the U.S. Ours? Annie Leibovitz.
Registan really has the best treatment (and the actual covers) of this:
In other words, while it might be nice to learn about how American policy is failing in the country that actually attacked us on September 11, the mainstream glossies seem to think we’re more interested in lesbians who photograph celebrities and the Kansas Board of Education . . . Why do these publications hate America? I can’t really say. But seeing how they treat us with such contempt is deeply illuminating, and probably good insight into why our leaders seem to make such puzzlingly bad decisions in "the broader Middle East."
This kind of stuff makes me insane.
Senate Vote on Spending Bill Sets Up Clash With Bush (Update2)
By Nicholas Johnston and Laura LitvanMarch 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Senate approved a spending measure with a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, setting up a showdown with President George W. Bush, who has vowed to veto any congressional demands to end the war.
The $122 billion emergency spending legislation funds military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and provides money for domestic needs such as relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The proposal calls for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq to begin 120 days after final passage of the measure, with a goal of having most forces withdrawn by March 31, 2008. The Senate, during debate on the war-funding measure March 27, voted 50-48 to retain the withdrawal timeline. The entire measure was passed today 51-47.
Following Bush's quote from 2 bloggers on the "internets", to back up his theory that things are going just ducky in Baghdad, it was determined that the blog he was quoting is run by 2 Dentists in Iraq, aka "tools" for the Americans. McClatchy News Bureau has recently launched their own blog (Inside Iraq) being conducted by McClatchyDC's Iraqi Staffers. Bookmark it, and if you have time, check it daily to see what is REALLY going on in Iraq daily.
It is an eye opener!
Editor & Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: March 29, 2007 11:30 AM ET updated
NEW YORK- We will keep an eye all day on the testimony, and grilling, of former Justice Department official Kyle Sampson at a U.S. Senate hearing today.
He offered his written testimony this morning (it was leaked last night) and then the questiong began by Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Arlen Specter, and others.
Specter asked about Attorney General Gonzales' "candor" in saying earlier this month that he was not a part of any discussions on the firings. He asked about the November 27, 2006 meeting "where there were discussions" and Gonzales allegedly attended. Was Gonzales' statement about taking part in no discussions accurate?
"I don't think it's accurate," Sampson said. "He recently clarified it. But he was present at the November 27 meeting."
"So he was involved in discussions in contrast to his statement" this month? Specter asked.
"Yes." Sampson replied.
"United States Attorneys may serve at the pleasure of the president, but justice does not serve at the pleasure of the president, or any president," Senator Patrick Leahy said.
Leahy was followed by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who assailed the Bush administration for downplaying the significance of the events.
"Just 7 weeks ago, the Department of Justice insisted we were making a big deal out of nothing," he said, and then noted the resignations of Sampson, other officials, as well as the decision by another Justice official, Monica Goodling, to plead her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
He then noted that White House aide Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had been directly implicated in the firing of the attorneys, and charged the Bush administration with dissembling.
"The list of contradictions, contortions, and distortions grows longer everyday," he warned.
Schumer insisted that today's hearing was not a partisan exercise.
"The purpose is not gotcha. The purpose is, as they said in Dragnet, 'just the facts ma'am.'"
COUNTDOWN: With Keith Olbermann
March 28, 2007
Keith talks with Guest John Dean about the DOJ, Gonzales, Rove and the White House.
Keith said today's testimony by Sampson could be like "Riverdance"...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
March 28, 2007
By The Editors
What little credibility Gonzales had is gone. All that now keeps him in office, save the friendship of the president, is the conviction of many Republicans that removing him would embolden the Democrats. It is an overblown fear. The Democrats will pursue scandals, real or invented, whether or not Gonzales stays. But they have an especially inviting target in Gonzales. He cannot defend the administration and its policies even when they deserve defense. Alberto Gonzales should resign. The Justice Department needs a fresh start.
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 48 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers prodded the White House Wednesday for a new answer on whether President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, will testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.
"We have not heard from you," Patrick Leahy of Vermont and John Conyers of Michigan, the Senate and House Judiciary committees' chairmen, wrote to President Bush's counsel, Fred Fielding.
The White House has indicated no willingness to move beyond Bush's initial offer to let Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and their deputies to speak to committee members, but only in private, without being sworn and off the record.
Those terms — particularly Fielding's insistence on there being no transcript — have been dismissed by lawmakers.
"We hope that you will reconsider your 'all or nothing' approach," Leahy and Conyers said.
"My Oh my...Look who woke up from his Kool-aid Trance!"
King Abdullah decides against Cheney to coddle Terrorists and Undermine our Troops!
Talking Heads Memo
(March 27, 2007 -- 06:48 PM EDT)
Mitchell Wade paid the bribes to former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) that eventually led to both men pleading guilty to multiple felonies. Almost two years ago we noted the odd news that the first federal contract Wade ever received was with none other than the White House, the White House itself, which is officially called the Executive Office of the President in federal contracting-speak.
The contract was signed on July 15th, 2002 and it was supposedly for "office furniture."
On December 5th, 2005, the LA Times reported that the contract was "to provide office furniture and computers for Vice President Cheney."
Now, a lot of people have wondered for a long time just what that contract was really for. Remember, this was the maiden contract for a company specializing in defense and intelligence services. (The company was approved for federal contracting two months earlier.) And they bag a contract to deliver a bunch of desks and chairs to Vice President Cheney's office? Add to the mix that, as we and others have long reported, Wade has long bragged that he had pull with the Vice President and those in his office and the whole thing starts to sound a bit fishy.
Indeed, just yesterday, Rep. Waxman (D-CA) sent the White House a letter asking for details about this mystery contract.
(Thanks Teak for this article!)
For those who can't wait or want the full version, here's Gonzo's COS Kyle Sampson under oath ready to spill all. He has dutifully fallen on his sword in hopes someone in the Republican empire needing to protect their ill-gotten gains will reward him with a lucrative job.
Sneak peek at Kyle's testimony
This Song is Dedicated to America's Air Force & Navy Pilots who Protect us from Globalist Airborne Evildoers!
HONOR, DEDICATION, INTEGRITY IN THE AIR!
EAGLES IN FLIGHT!
REAL HEROES IN THE SKY JUST LIKE FIREMEN AND POLICE OFFICERS WERE AT GROUND ZERO!
In Contrast to His Previous Views, Retired General Writes of 'Strategic Peril'
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 28, 2007; Page A11
An influential retired Army general released a dire assessment of the situation in Iraq, based on a recent round of meetings there with Gen. David H. Petraeus and 16 other senior U.S. commanders.
"The population is in despair," retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey wrote in an eight-page document compiled in his capacity as a professor at West Point. "Life in many of the urban areas is now desperate."
McCaffrey is widely respected in the military, having fought in the Vietnam War, commanded a division in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and later served as the commander for U.S. military operations in Central America and South America. After retiring, he became President Bill Clinton's director of drug policy.
Sympathy For The Devil- Stones
By Michael Isikoff
Updated: 1 hour, 12 minutes ago
Did Karl Rove have a hand in replacing the fired U.S. attorney in New Mexico? An overlooked e-mail may provide a clue.
March 28, 2007 - New Mexico Republican Sen. Pete Domenici’s chief of staff sent a cryptic thank-you note to Karl Rove just as the senator was recommending replacements for David Iglesias, the fired U.S. attorney in New Mexico, according to internal White House and Justice Department documents.
“Thanks for everything,” Domenici chief of staff Steve Bell wrote Rove and two other White House officials, including Rove’s political deputy, Scott Jennings, in a Jan. 8, 2007 e-mail that forwarded the name of a candidate to replace Iglesias.
Buried in Justice Department documents released two weeks ago, the Bell e-mail was not initially noticed by congressional investigators because it was sent to Rove’s political e-mail account—not his more clearly recognizable White House e-mail address.
The GSA oversight hearings are continuing in Henry Waxman's government oversight committee. The GSA Administrator is still testifying before the committee.
Christy Smith at FDL is covering it!
Partisan Games and Misdemeanors...
In a letter sent to the White House this afternoon, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees respectively, urged greater cooperation on the part of the White House in the investigation of the firing US Attorneys.
"Political influence in federal law enforcement is a serious matter," the two Democrats wrote to White House counsel Fred Fielding. "We need to get to the bottom of what happened, why, how, and who was involved in the mass firings of United States attorneys."
Conyers and Leahy noted that it had been almost a week since the last letter to the White House was issued, and called on the White House to abandon its 'all or nothing' approach to document production.
At a press conference today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to President Bush's threat to veto legislation that included a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq in 2008. Pelosi urged the President to "Calm down with the threats, there's a new Congress in town." She went on to say, "we respect your constitutional role, we want you to respect ours."
Huffpo has the Video
Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows paintin' our faces
Traces of romance in our heads
Heaven's holdin' a half-moon
Shinin' just for us
By Wafa Amr and Andrew Hammond
28 Mar 2007 15:00:18 GMT
RIYADH, March 28 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah called on Wednesday for an end to the international blockade on the Palestinian people and told a summit of Arab leaders that sectarian violence was driving Iraq towards civil war.
In his speech to Arab heads of state at a two-day meeting in his capital, the king called on Arabs to overcome their disputes and unify to face dangers threatening them in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
"It has become necessary to end the unjust blockade imposed on the Palestinian people as soon as possible so that the peace process can move in an atmosphere far from oppression and force," the king said.
(Allow me to insert in here the fact that Mr. McCain HATES, DETESTS and ABHORS ALL BLOGS - Ideally he would shut them all down. With that in mind, read on and enjoy!)
Courtesy of Americablog:
Demand that John McCain name that "safe" neighborhood in Baghdad
by John Aravosis (DC) · 3/28/2007 10:55:00 AM ET
UPDATE: Now McCain is denying he ever said any of this, even though he said it on camera only yesterday AND in his denial today he repeats the claim that there are several "safe neighborhoods" in Baghdad, though he qualifies his statement by saying that they are very dangerous safe neighborhoods (I'm not kidding). So name those very dangerous safe neighborhoods. Not to mention, it's not very straight-talking to deny something you said on camera 24 hours earlier, and something you repeated on Bill Bennett's radio show. This is a man who wants to be president, and he is basing his justification for the Iraq war on a lie. Sound familiar?
(NOTE TO MEDIA: When presidential candidate John Kerry made a similar unsubstantiated claim - that several world leaders opposed Bush's re-election - you dogged Kerry relentlessly to name those leaders. Well fair is fair. If you're not all a bunch of conservative suck-ups, then do your job and demand the same answer from John McCain. Name those neighborhoods.)
GOP Senator John McCain, who is running for president, said yesterday that it's an absolute lie to suggest that Baghdad is unsafe. In fact, McCain says that there are several neighborhoods - more than one - in Baghdad (outside of the Green Zone, of course), that are totally safe for an American to travel alone with no security. Here's what McCain said:
“There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today."
CNN's Baghdad correspondent, Michael Ware, who is actually IN BAGHDAD, says that McCain is flat-out wrong:
"Honestly, Wolf, you'll barely last twenty minutes out there. I dont know what part of 'Neverland' Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad."
But John McCain was quite emphatic about it. There are "some neighborhoods" in Baghdad that you can travel around by yourself with no security and be perfectly safe. The only reason you don't know this, McCain told CNN yesterday, is because the media is lying to you.
Wow. Hell of a charge. McCain must know something that we don't. If McCain is right, if the media is lying to me, I want to know what the media is hiding. Won't you join me in asking Senator McCain to reveal to us the names of these non-Green-Zone Baghdad neighborhoods that are so darn safe that an American can travel alone with no security whatsoever.
Call John McCain now, and ask him to name that neighborhood.
This gets richer every day.
On Fox and Friends this morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) noted that he allows “jerks from the media” to come on board his bus, the “Straight Talk Express.”
MCCAIN: Sure. We are going to do just fine. We are going to have fun. That’s the important thing in these campaigns. We are back to the town hall meetings and I love them more than anything else.
FOX: You will take a question from anybody about anything.
MCCAIN: And I also have these jerks come on the bus, too.
FOX: You have who come on the bus?
MCCAIN: These jerks from the media.
FOX: Ok. Of course that couldn’t be me, I hope. I haven’t been on a bus in a while without paying a fare.
MCCAIN: Come on. You are welcome on.
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform holds a hearing: "Allegations of Misconduct at the General Services Administration." The hearing inquires about allegations that GSA Administrator Lurita Doan failed to follow proper procedures for awarding federal contracts, attempted to intervene in contract negotiations, and engaged in partisan political activities on federal property.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The noose tightened Tuesday around beleaguered US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, after a top aide, fearing criminal prosecution, refused to testify in a scandal over the dismissals of eight federal prosecutors.
Questions about what role Gonzales might have played in the affair intensified, after senior aide Monica Goodling invoked her Fifth Amendment rights to avoid potential self-incrimination and declined to answer lawmakers' questions about the firings.
"The hostile and questionable environment in the present congressional proceedings is at best ambiguous," her lawyer John Dowd said in a statement.
"More accurately, the environment can be described as legally perilous."
Goodling, 33, is on a leave from her post as counsel to the attorney general and as the Justice Department's White House liaison.
She is refusing to appear at a US Senate hearing Thursday at which another former senior aide who played a key role in the firings is to testify.
Hagel Joins Democrats On War Funding Bill
By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 28, 2007; Page A01
Senate Democrats scored a surprise victory yesterday in their bid to force President Bush to end the Iraq war, turning back a Republican amendment that would have struck a troop withdrawal plan from emergency military funding legislation.
The defection of a prominent Republican war critic, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, sealed the Democrats' win. Hagel, who opposed identical withdrawal language two weeks ago, walked onto the Senate floor an hour before the late-afternoon vote and announced that he would "not support sustaining a flawed and failing policy," adding: "It's now time for the Congress to step forward and establish responsible boundaries and conditions for our continued military involvement in Iraq."
Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales today cut short a press conference about Internet safety, leaving the room at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago when reporters questioned him about the firings of U.S. attorneys.The questioning was to have lasted about 15 minutes, but it ended after less than three.
SPEEDY GONZALES; HE'S THE FASTEST MOUSE IN ALL OF MEXICO! :)
Just to fling this out and see if anyone can answer this for me. Within those thousands of pages of emails, it was shown that many involved were utilizing outside email addresses at the domain site owned by the RNC. Is email using outside web servers protected by Executive Privilege? If you utilize an external email address, can you claim Privilege once it leaves a secure server?
I genuinely would like an opinion on this issue, from someone who might actually know how this might work.
I understand that Yahoo and Hotmail were also used as external email servers. How can that information be privileged if it is held on a server that is not internally controlled and the information could be available to their IT people?
Michael Ware is a very well respected, extremely knowledgable reporter who has been in Iraq for the entire U.S. occupation. His reports on CNN are fascinating and well detailed. He knows what he is talking about, and conveys his skepticism on the current "surge" and "war path" we are on in very strong reporting. He appropriately nails John McCain for his usual lying comments. Good on ya Michael!!!
Published: Tuesday March 27, 2007
"Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald are scheduled to appear together Tuesday for the first time since information surfaced that Fitzgerald received a mediocre rating in a Justice Department review," according to Tuesday editions of the Chicago Tribune.
"Gonzales is scheduled to appear at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago to discuss the "Project Safe Childhood" campaign -- designed to protect kids from online predators -- with Fitzgerald and Ernie Allen, chief executive of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children," the Tibune says. "But he's likely to face reporters' questions about Fitzgerald being ranked as undistinguished on a chart sent from his department to the White House in 2005, as well as the controversial fall firings of a group of U.S. attorneys.
According to the paper, Fitzgerald's mediocre rating "has been the subject of much joking among prosecutors, federal agents, defense lawyers and the media in the city, especially at the building where Fitzgerald has earned accolades for sweeping public corruption investigations."
The Nation: Growing Scandals And Abuses Force Impeachment Into Discussion
(The Nation) This column was written by John Nichols.
Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough had me on his MSNBC show Monday night to talk about impeachment.
It was smart, civil discussion that treated the prospect of impeaching the president as a serious matter.
Scarborough took the lead in suggesting that Bush's biggest problem might be that Republicans in the House and Senate who — fearful of the threat Bush poses to their political survival — do not appear to be rallying 'round the president. The host's sentiments were echoed by two other guests, columnist Mike Barnicle and Salon's Joan Walsh.
The impetus for the show was Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's ongoing discussion of the impeachment prospect — Hagel's not quite a supporter of sanctioning Bush, more a speculator about the prospect — and a new column by Robert Novak that suggests Bush has dwindling support within the congressional wing of the GOP.
A new study shows that unless the Democrats self-destruct, they could walk into the White House in '08 -- and might hold it for years.
By Gary Kamiya
March 27, 2007 | Democrats should give two cheers for George W. Bush. He and his political mastermind, Karl Rove, dreamed of achieving a permanent Republican majority. Instead, his disastrous presidency has dealt a devastating blow to the GOP, one from which it may not recover for many years.
That's the inescapable import of a major study of American voters' values and attitudes by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, released March 22. The study finds that voters have turned dramatically away from the GOP since Bush took office. Iraq, of course, is the single biggest reason for this. (A separate Pew poll, released on March 26, shows that 59 percent of Americans want their congressional representatives to support a bill calling for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by August 2008, with only 33 percent opposed.) But even more troubling for Republican strategists is the fact that underlying attitudes and beliefs are trending against them. The study's implication is that the GOP, especially in its current far-right incarnation, was facing serious structural, long-term problems anyway, and that Bush delivered the coup de grâce.
Published: Tuesday March 27, 2007
In a 329-78 vote last night, the House of Representatives followed the Senate and stripped President George W. Bush of the authority to appoint United States Attorneys on an interim basis, ending the ability of the Bush administration to do an end run around the Senate in putting controversial US Attorneys in office.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) places a 120-day limit to the term of a United States Attorney appointed on an interim basis. Democrats allege that the previous authority to appoint interim US Attorneys on an unlimited basis, inserted stealthily into the 2006 reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, was used as a 'loophole' to insert Bush administration political loyalists into office.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the 'awesome powers' of the US Attorneys required Senate confirmation of their appointments.
Teen sex scandal ignored by AG, others for 2 years
Probe widened, involving hundreds of complaints of sexual abuse in system
Posted: March 27, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Sgt. Brian Burzynski
The Texas Youth Commission scandal went unnoticed, says Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski, despite his numerous attempts, beginning in early 2005, to get local, state and federal prosecutors to investigate allegations teachers, administrators and guards had sex with minor male inmates.
Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown delivers a Special Comment about Tom DeLay's book, in which DeLay compares Liberals to Nazis. (3/26/07)
Monday, March 26, 2007
By Robert D. Novak
Monday, March 26, 2007; Page A15
Two weeks earlier on Capitol Hill, there was a groundswell of Republican demands -- public and private -- that President Bush pardon Scooter Libby. Last week, as Alberto Gonzales came under withering Democratic fire, there were no public GOP declarations of support amid private predictions of the attorney general's demise.
Republican leaders in Congress, who asked not to be quoted by name, predicted early last week that Gonzales would fall because the Justice Department botched the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. By week's end, they stipulated that the president would not sack his longtime aide and that Gonzales would leave only on his own initiative. But there was still an ominous lack of congressional support for the attorney general.
Mar 26, 8:23 PM EDT
Gonzales aide to invoke Fifth Amendment
By LAURIE KELLMAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' liaison with the White House will refuse to answer questions at upcoming Senate hearings about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, citing her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, her lawyer said Monday.
"I have decided to follow my lawyer's advice and respectfully invoke my constitutional right," Monica Goodling, Gonzales' counsel and White House liaison, said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The revelation complicated the outlook for Gonzales, who is traveling out of town this week even as he fights to keep his job.
The GOP were seeking to destroy one of their own who refused to prosecute Dems when evidence was lacking. First they forced him to resign, then they bad-mouthed him in public saying his performance was subpar even though it wasn't, and finally they tried to derail his attempt to obtain a Judgeship. The politicization of the Judiciary Branch is the underlying story here, subverting the Rule of Law to obtain political advantages.
Former US Attorney John McKay on Meet The Press 3/25/07.
Waxman advises RNC not to destroy any e-mails
Published: Monday March 26, 2007
Pointing to e-mails between Bush administration officials and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff that used private e-mail addresses, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ordered the Republican National Committee and the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign to preserve all e-mail records and to ensure that they aren't purged or destroyed.
"White House officials have used nongovernmental e-mail accounts, including those maintained by the RNC, to conduct official white House business," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote in letters delivered today, copies of which were sent to RAW STORY. "The Committee has questions about who has access to these e-mail records and how the RNC protects them from destruction and tampering."Raw Story
Wax On....Wax Off!
BREAKING: Embattled AG now accused in sex scandal 'cover-up'
Attorney General Gonzales among officials who allegedly ignored abuse of minor boys
Posted: March 25, 2007
9:49 p.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
AG Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's minor boy inmates.
Among the charges in the Texas Ranger report were that administrators would rouse boys from their sleep for the purpose of conducting all-night sex parties.