Saturday, November 05, 2005

Economic McCarthyism

File Under 'Class Warfare'
Don't miss this bit of good old McCarthyism over at Media Matters. Ah, Fox news... there just isn't any line you won't cross is there?

Finally! Support for My Thesis!

Now regular HPI folk will recognize this as my working thesis (which I glossed over here) and it i my hope that, although this commentator by John Dean is an a legal journal, brave commentators point ou the obvious to the American people. And what is the 'obvious'?

It has been reported that Libby's attorney tried to work out a plea deal. But Fitzgerald insisted on jail time, so Libby refused to make a deal. It appears that only Libby, in addition to Cheney, knows what Cheney knew, and when he knew, and why he knew, and what he did with his knowledge.

Fitzgerald has clearly thrown a stacked indictment at Libby, laying it on him as heavy as the law and propriety permits. He has taken one continuous false statement, out of several hours of interrogation, and made it into a five-count indictment. It appears he is trying to flip Libby - that is, to get him to testify against Cheney -- and not without good reason. Cheney is the big fish in this case.

Will Libby flip? Unlikely. Neither Cheney nor Libby (I believe) will be so foolish as to crack a deal. And Libby probably (and no doubt correctly) assumes that Cheney - a former boss with whom he has a close relationship -- will (at the right time and place) help Libby out, either with a pardon or financially, if necessary. Libby's goal, meanwhile, will be to stall going to trial as long as possible, so as not to hurt Republicans' showing in the 2006 elections.

So if Libby can take the heat for a time, he and his former boss (and friend) may get through this.
And in my head the lyrics are now "I know all there is to know abou the stalling game"... folks are saying it'll take month just to get Libby's new legal team the security clearances they need to even start to view the evidence in the case. Throw in the usual legal wranglings, a holiday or 3 or 4 or 5, a surprise or 2, and... well you can see where this is going: the 2006 elections will be over, the Bush admin will be winding down and a pardon will be doable. But we'll see... I hope I'm wrong.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Used & The Users

File Under: the 'religious' Right
Ha Ha Hilarious: we now have the emails where Jack Abramoff's business partner and former aide to Tom Delay, details how the Republicans use the 'religious' right. Ha ha ha ha:
one memo highlighted in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Tx., sent the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to describe his strategy for protecting the tribe's gambling business. In plain terms, Scanlon confessed the source code of recent Republican electoral victories: target religious conservatives, distract everyone else, and then railroad through complex initiatives.

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

This is just too good to be true. I have been saying this for years: the establishment Republicans know that they can use the religious folk as their shock troops... and now it is coming back to haunt them becuase they want things the establishment doesn't.

FBI says "financial gain" drove forgery

Okay, so the FBI does an investigation into the forged Italian uranium document, and...
The investigation "confirmed the documents to be fraudulent and concluded they were more likely part of a criminal scheme for financial gain," FBI spokesman John Miller said Friday, describing the contents of the letter.
Really? Then, who did it? For what gain?
Miller did not say what led the FBI to its conclusion or identify the perpetrators of the hoax.
WHAT?! Wait a minute, how is that possible? It's like a detective saying, "We know it was a crime of passion, but we don't know who did it or why." I mean, if you've concluded it's for financial gain, then you MUST have some idea who benefited financially, right?

Somebody explain this to me. Brando! Investigate!

How To Become A Republican!

Flash fun for all! This FLASH movie would be funnier if it wasn't so damn dead on.

Worst URL Ever Ok, so with a URL this bad they may actually just be trying to scare folks.

The public DOES care and IS listening

From Editor & Publisher:
Some 51% said it is already of "great importance," with 35% choosing "some importance" and 12% "little or not importance." Here are comparable numbers for other notable scandals in recent years, along with the month and year the poll was taken:

--Clinton-Lewinsky (1/98)

Great importance - 41%
Some importance - 21%
Little/no importance - 37%

--Whitewater (3/94)

Great importance - 20%
Some importance - 29%
Little/no importance - 45%

--Iran-Contra (2/87)

Great importance - 48%
Some importance - 33%
Little/no importance - 19%

--Watergate (5/73; Gallup Poll)

Great importance - 53%
Some importance - 25%
Little/no importance - 22%

The Oz Man Cometh

Just when you've written Ozzy off and are convinced he's finally gone:
OZZY OSBOURNE was far from impressed with British Prime Minister TONY BLAIR during a recent meeting - because the politician seemed more interested in picking up music tips than solving the world's problems.

The rocker was left speechless when Blair turned to him during a high-powered Downing Street party and wanted to talk about BLACK SABBATH classic IRON MAN.

Ozzy says, "He told me he used to be in a band and I felt like saying, 'You should have stayed.'

"All this Iraq thing's going on and I was amazed that he turned round to me and said, 'I could never quite understand how to get the riff to Iron Man.'

"I'm going, 'Kids are dying, people are getting blown up and you're talking to me about f**king Iron Man.'"
Well come on Oz, to be fair Iron Man is a really f**king great song.

Get Carter

Really great interview with a really great man over @ NPR.

Listen to the one with Steve Inskeep for the short & oh-so-sweet version. The man tells it like it is and where the 'religious' right has gone wrong. Can we re-elect this man? Sure he's 'born-again' but I he's the only one that says that kind of think I remotely trust.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stupid Questions

Normally I enjoy (though I think some of the editors are... odd), but this story I don't get: "Is Maureen Dowd Necessary?"

Like the air that I breathe baby, like the air that I breathe.

Their Dream Isn't Over Yet... And It Is My Nightmare

Some interesting analysis on the Death of Karl Rove's 'Dream,' much of which I agree with, but... I am a tad more uneasy with the analysis. To me, Bush succeeds by simply barreling through but doing so with a smile on his face and a folksy way.

Anyways, this article (like many others recently), point out that Karl Rove modeled Bush's rise on what Mark Hannah did for William McKinley @ the end of the 19th century. the salient points:
Karl Rove's dream is dying. This is happening for reasons that have nothing to do with Valerie Plame.

Rove's dream was to reshape American politics by creating a durable Republican majority. [snip]

McKinley was an affable, none-too-bright former congressman when Hanna helped elect him governor of Ohio. In 1896, Hanna raised an unprecedented amount of money and ran a sophisticated, hardball campaign that got McKinley to the White House. One could go on with the analogy: McKinley governed negligently in the interests of big business and went to war on flimsy evidence that Spain had blown up the USS Maine.
Oh, that sounds familiar doesn't it?
The key to McKinley's political success was the alliance Hanna forged between industrialists like himself, who provided the cash, and workers, who provided the votes. In Rove's alliance, the rich provide the cash, and religious conservatives provide the votes. Refuting the conventional wisdom that successful presidential candidates must lay claim to the political center, Bush has governed from the right and won re-election in 2004 with a "base-in," rather than a "center-out," strategy.
I prefer to say that Bush has 'governed' by being a bully and a thug. But that's just me. And Helen Thomas. And Maureen Dowd. (read between the lines people!!!)
Many things have gone wrong for Bush, but the underlying problem is his relationship to the constituency that elected him. Bush's debt to his big donors and to religious conservatives has boxed him in and pitted him against the national consensus on various issues. His extremism is undermining Rove's realignment.
Yes, 'many things'... but 'many things' have also gone very right for him.
Bush aims to be the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan. But he has never understood the genius of Reagan's method, which was to placate the religious right without giving in where it mattered. Reagan could proclaim his undying support for a constitutional amendment to ban abortion without doing anything to endanger Roe v. Wade. (He was the one who nominated O'Connor, remember?)... [snip] But whether because he is less adroit or because he truly believes, Bush seems able to appease his base only by surrendering to its wishes. He has caved to conservatives on Terri Schiavo, on stem-cell research, on Social Security privatization, and on "intelligent design." Now, most important, he is caving by at least creating the appearance that he is trying to get enough votes on the Supreme Court to reverse Roe.

Bush's failure at base-pacification is not entirely his fault. The evangelicals, who were pragmatically willing to settle for half a loaf during the Reagan and Bush 41 years, now feel empowered, emboldened, and owed. James Dobson and Pat Robertson don't understand that they would do their cause the most good by keeping their mouths shut and not scaring everyone witless. Conservatives of all kinds are in a militant mood heightened by their success in muscling Bush on Miers. They do not realize how their militancy alienates not just the left, but the swingers in the center whom Republicans need to win.
See I disagree: they do undestand that they scare people, but they don't care because 'those people' (ooh, they're talking but us dear reader!) aren't really people at all: we're sinners and when the vengeful god of the Old Testament returns, we're gonna get it. They don't care about us because their kind of fanatic never does.
Rove is actually the second Republican realigner to stumble in this way in recent years. After the 1994 election, Newt Gingrich had his own visions of political sugarplums. Gingrich's unsuccessful revolution was more libertarian and less moralistic. He thought the new Republican majority would coalesce around shrinking government (a theme Bush has soft-pedaled, preferring to undermine government through neglect and incompetence). Gingrich was also, frankly, a little nuts. But he failed because he made the same basic mistake that Rove did. Gingrich thought he'd won a mandate for radical change and enshrined a new governing majority. He forgot about the country's nonideological majority, which likes Medicare, Social Security, national parks, and student loans. Republicans have retained control of Congress since Gingrich's downfall, but only by reversing his austerity program and spending like a bunch of drunks.
Ha Ha! Spending like a bunch of drunks! And more of a few of them probably are (based on their driving records).

I feel slightly better, but not much: this isn't over and there is a lot that can still go wrong... an animal is never more dangerous than when cornered and realizes it has nothing left to lose.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fidel Castro

Real quick: the 'Environmental Republican' blog has a charged that we love Fidel Castro... even though we've never mentioned Fidel. Or Che. Hell, I don't own a Che tshirt (I think they're silly and folks don't understand what they're wearing)... does anyone @ the HPI own one? I tend to wear Pixies tshirts. But back to Fidel... uh, his human rights record is not so good, he's kind of a dick, and I am not sure I agree with him on anything other than Bush is a bad president. So that charge is kinda weird... but, uh, nice try?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Trial Could Pit Libby's Interests Against Bush's"

Yes, hypothetically it could... but it won't: Bush will pardon Libby or promise to pardon him before Scooter even gets remotely near a jail cell. No one should think otherwise.

This article has something interesting though:
"Everyone thinks it is over for Karl and they are wrong," a source close to Rove said. The strategist's legal and political advisers "by no means think the part of the investigation concerning Karl is closed."
And thoughts like that keep me warm at night.

"Let's screw them blue-staters"

And that is how captioned this photo. I personally believe that sentiment is part of the political calculus of all decisions that Bush Co. makes, and Slate's analysis of the upcoming recommendations by the "Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform"... and, like everything else Bush has done while in office, it doesn't promise to be pretty.

Read more of "Tax 'em Till They Turn Red" here and samlpe such 'red-state myopia' as this bit of understanding from Advisory Panel chairmain Connie Mack;
When asked by the New York Times Magazine whether limiting the deduction could "hurt the middle class and discourage people from buying, say, a $500,000 house?" he (Connie Mack) responded: "It depends on how you define middle class. I don't think that there would be a large percentage of middle-income families that would have a $500,000 house."
And I don't know many dudes outside of West Hollywood that go by the name 'Connie' but what are you going to do? Yes folks, people like this are making important decisions about your financial life.

Good luck out there kids... you're gonna need it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito Points

Here's the primer on Samuel Alito for our next meeting thanks to Think Progress.

The scariest bit? University law professor Jonathan Turley stating:
"There will be no one to the right of Sam Alito on this Court. This is a pretty hardcore fellow on abortion issues...


No one on the conservative base can be unhappy with Sam Alito.
Again, Bush: Divider, not a uniter.

'Hose Down' Video

The Indespensible Crooks & Liars has the video of Brit Hume revealing how he wants to deal with dissent and Juan Williams. Weeee!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

You Mean Like This Brit?

The stuff Brit Hume's dreams are made of?
Brit Hume reveals what a total jackass he is, yet again, during this exchange with Juan Williams:
JUAN WILLIAMS: You can try to minimize it, but the fact that you have Scooter Libby, so involved in justifying going to war, and in the posture of trying to smear a critic of that justification. I think is pretty revealing and pretty damaging to the Bush White House. I think they’re going to have to rebuild a sense of trust with the American People. And that’s why when Brit asked this question, why did he have to lie, he felt the need to lie if he did lie, but by all indications he’s going to say I didn’t remember it quite the way this person remembered and all the like. That’s not very strong in my book, and I think Fitzgerald did a terrific job on Friday. But the reason he felt the need was to make it clear that he was not involved in what really was a conspiracy to defame Joe Wilson.

BRIT HUME: Juan, somebody needs to hose you down.
He continued: "Because now you're just talking that liberal commie crazy talk that connecting Scooter with lies about going to war and Valerie Plame? CONSPIRACY THEORIST! We all know that this is about Joe Wilson and his lies about the Yellowcake and how he needed to depend on his wife for work! Really, what kind of man could he be? And how could anyone with such an adorable nickname be involved with anything as bad as lying to the American people about going to war?"

Okay, Brit didn't say that last part, but he clearly likes hosing people down. I wonder if Juan got the sexy hose down like those girls I used to watch on Japanese TV? (I love Japanese TV!)