ebonlock: (Monarch)


Bush had just finished his prepared remarks in which he said the security agreement was made possible by the U.S. surge of troops earlier this year, when the journalist, Muthathar al Zaidi pulled his shoes off and hurled them at the president. "This is a goodbye kiss, you dog," Zaidi shouted.

Bush dodged the shoes and was not struck. Bodyguards quickly wrestled Zaidi to the floor and hauled him, kicking and screaming, from the room. Two other Iraqi journalists were briefly detained after one of them called Zaidi's actions "courageous."


My only question is when do we in the American public get to do the same thing? Although I'm not sure I'd choose shoes given this opportunity. Oh for the days of public stocks and rotten fruit easily at hand...
ebonlock: (wtf kara)
The madness of King George, the Lesser:

Then, pounding his lectern, the president said, “I heard somebody say, ‘Where’s Mandela?’ Well, Mandela’s dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas.” The actual former South African president, of course, is still very much alive.

I...

Um...

Ok.

Just a quick reminder regarding Big Time's opinion of Mandela:

Cheney has done his part to put colored people in their place worldwide as well. Cheney consistently voted against sanctions on South Africa for its policy of apartheid (which, translated in English, means “God’s chosen few”). Cheney even had the courage to vote against every House resolution calling for the release from prison of Nelson Mandela. Cheney’s Christian conviction that apartheid was right for South Africa (and Mandela belongs behind bars) has proven correct. While liberal Democrats were falling all over themselves to pander to the votes of penniless coloreds, whom our Godly forefathers brought to this blessed country just so those lazy creatures would have work, Cheney had the moral backbone to stand up and say, “Nelson Mandela is no different than most black men – he is a criminal.”


Yeah.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
This is the greatest summary of the past 6 years of foreign policy I have ever read:

Putting aside the theatrics, of course, Bush’s plan, such as it was, consisted pretty much of chest thumping and poop flinging... What’s really fucked up is that every Republican candidate for President has for all intents and purposes tied themselves to the Chest Thump & Poop school of foreign policy. Even as Bush implodes across the board, the Republican need for hierarchy and control (not to mention rigid authoritarianism in the face of perceived threat, (however ludicrously overblown that threat may be) asserts itself. This phenomenon is the greatest threat to American democracy in my lifetime, if not ever.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
Full of Awesome:

For sane people, Bush’s destruction of the known world has put some dents in this mindless narrative, in which we’re asked to select our president based on who was dumber in high school—based on who we think would be fun to drink beer with. But the world is full of people like Garrigan, people who live to recommend presidents because they were “underachievers” and “clowns.” And at its upper end, the press corps is full of people like Susan Glasser, the appalling Gore-trasher—and now, Outlook editor—who keeps putting this absolute nonsense in print even after the downfall of Bush.

Even now, after Bush has destroyed the known world, the Washington Post still likes to tell readers: You should pick the hopeful who seems to be fun. Readers, please: Just vote for Stupid!


Preach it, brother!
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
If you haven't been reading all about the James Comey revelations on the NSA wiretapping you're missing a helluva show. I mean seriously, he's even made me kind of admire Ashcroft for being not quite so completely fucking evil as the rest of the Bush administration. Never thought that would happen!

How's this for a summer action-thriller plot:

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey detailed the desperate late night efforts by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andrew Card to get the Justice Department to approve a secret program -- the warrantless wiretapping program.

According to Comey's testimony this morning, only when faced with resignations by a number of Justice Department officials including Comey, his chief of staff, Ashcroft's chief of staff, Ashcroft himself and possibly Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, did the White House agree to make changes to the program that would satisfy the requirements of the Justice Department to sign off on it. . .

The events took place in March of 2004, when the program was in need of renewal by the Justice Department. When then-Attorney General John Ashcroft fell ill and was hospitalized, Comey became the acting-Attorney General.

The deadline for the Justice Department's providing its sign-off of the program was March 11th (the program required reauthorization every 45 days). On that day, Comey, then the acting AG, informed the White House that he "would not certify the legality" of the program.


But wait, it gets better:

The transcript of part of Comey's testimony is here. In particular, Comey detailed the attempt by Andy Card and Gonzales to manipulate Ashcroft's approval while Ashcroft was in the hospital so sick from a gall bladder condition that he named Comey Acting Attorney General pending his recovery. Comey's recollection is that the hospital visit by Gonzales and Card was arranged as a result of a telephone call from the President himself to Ashcroft's wife.

Comey testified that upon learning of this intended visit, he literally ran up the stairs to Ashcroft's hospital room, and his reason for the rush tells you all you need to know about this administration: "I was worried about him, frankly. I was concerned that this was an effort to do an end-run around the acting attorney general and to get a very sick man to approve something that the Department of Justice had already concluded -- the department as a whole -- was unable to be certified as to its legality." According to Comey, once he arrived in Ashcroft's hospital room, this is what occurred:

"And it was only a matter of minutes that the door opened and in walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed. They greeted the attorney general very briefly. And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there -- to seek his approval for a matter, and explained what the matter was -- which I will not do.

And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, which stunned me -- drawn from the hour-long meeting we'd had a week earlier -- and in very strong terms expressed himself, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general.

SCHUMER: But he expressed his reluctance or he would not sign the statement that they -- give the authorization that they had asked, is that right?

COMEY: Yes."


Hey, let's read the latest reviews on this particular action-thriller: "an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source."

And:

Why is it only now that the disturbing story of the Bush administration's willingness to override the legal advice of its own Justice Department is emerging? The chief reason is that the administration, in the person of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, stonewalled congressional inquiries and did its best to ensure that the shameful episode never came to light.


Juicy stuff!
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)


KungFu Monkey declares a caption contest on the infamous shot of Cheney lurking in the bushes while his manbot performs for him, favorites below:

KF Monkey...

Spell Name: Mind Control
Range: Line of Sight
Saving Throw: Will

***

Wil Wheaton said...

Summon Cheney

Target President gains +5/+5 (+20/+50 against Media) until end of turn. Country must sacrifice all Civil Liberties and send Constitution to the graveyard on next upkeep.

***

Cala said...

That could easily be the cover of some '80s German techno band.

***

Merry said...

See Dick.
See Dick lurk.
Lurk, Dick, LURK.

***

And this video spliced with Radiohead's "Creep" is almost too brilliant for words:

ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
All your agencies are belong to me

Via Raw Story:

President George W. Bush has given his administration a boost in how the government regulates key issues such as civil rights and the environment, RAW STORY has learned The New York Times will report on its Tuesday front page.

The President "signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules that the federal government develops to regulate public health, safety," privacy and other issues, writes Robert Pear for the Times.

Pear reports that "in an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Bush said that each federal agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee" who will monitor the creation of process and procedures and the associated documentation.

"The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency," Pear writes, "to analyze the costs and benefits of new rules and to make sure they carry out the president's priorities."


Now I've got that damn Falco song stuck in my head...
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Why we don't like him is the most beautifully worded response to the often heard "Bush Derrangemeng Syndrome!" accusation I've ever read. I highly recommend it.

I would just like to point out, as if it hasn't been pointed out a thousand times and won't need to be pointed out a thousand more, that the reason Liberals don't like George W. Bush's plans is that they are bad plans that he makes worse by managing them incompetently and corruptly---in fact, incompetence and corruption are usually built into them as selling points to Republicans.

And the reason we don't like him is that he has a long history of pushing bad plans that he makes worse by managing them incompetently and corruptly.

We don't like people who kick dogs.

We don't like corporate executives who abuse employees and hurt their own companies.

We don't like dishonest electricians who do substandard work.

We don't like incompetence and corruption.

And we don't like Presidents who start unnecessary wars and lose them, who let cities drown, who bankrupt the Treasury and give away the store to their rich pals and cronies, who write legislation specifically designed to undermine existing government services, make things worse for the poor and the middle class, and give away the store to their rich pals and cronies.

Too bad for us.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
So how long before he creeps into the low 20's? A month? Two?

President George W. Bush’s approval ratings are now the lowest for any president the day before a State of the Union speech since Richard Nixon in 1974, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as president while 33 percent approve. The rating matches Bush’s career low in a May 2006 poll.

Seventy-one percent of Americans said the country is on the wrong track, up from 46 percent in an April 2003 poll, the month after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. A majority of those polled this month don’t approve of how Bush is handling the Iraq war, terrorism or the economy.


But it gets better!

President Bush will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night to a nation that’s strongly opposed to his plan for increasing troops in Iraq and deeply unhappy with his performance as president, according to a CBS News poll.

Mr. Bush’s overall approval rating has fallen to just 28 percent, a new low, while more than twice as many (64 percent) disapprove of the way he’s handling his job.


via Sadly, No!

While Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog reminds us:

Bush is going to end up the most unpopular president in history. Remember, I said that here first.

--Gore Vidal in the April 18, 2002, San Francisco Chronicle, when Bush was at 76% in the CBS poll

*sigh*

Jan. 22nd, 2007 01:10 pm
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
Frank Rich:

The president’s pretense that Mr. Maliki and his inept, ill-equipped, militia-infiltrated security forces can advance American interests in this war is Neville Chamberlain-like in its naiveté and disingenuousness. An American military official in Baghdad read the writing on the wall to The Times last week: “We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem. We are being played like a pawn.” That’s why the most destructive lie of all may be the White House’s constant refrain that its doomed strategy is the only one anyone has proposed. Administration critics, Mr. Cheney said last Sunday, “have absolutely nothing to offer in its place,” as if the Iraq Study Group, John Murtha and Joseph Biden-Leslie Gelb plans, among others, didn’t predate the White House’s own.

In reality we’re learning piece by piece that it is the White House that has no plan. Ms. Rice has now downsized the surge/escalation into an “augmentation,” inadvertently divulging how the Pentagon is improvising, juggling small deployments in fits and starts. No one can plausibly explain how a parallel chain of command sending American and Iraqi troops into urban street combat side by side will work with Iraqis in the lead (it will report to a “committee” led by Mr. Maliki!). Or how $1 billion in new American reconstruction spending will accomplish what the $30 billion thrown down the drain in previous reconstruction spending did not.

All of this replays 2003, when the White House refused to consider any plan, including existing ones in the Pentagon and State Department bureaucracies, for coping with a broken post-Saddam Iraq. Then, as at every stage of the war since, the only administration plan was for a propaganda campaign to bamboozle American voters into believing “victory” was just around the corner.


Yep...
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
George Bush Has No Soul:
When you watch the absolutely bone-chilling 60 Minutes interview with President George Bush, there is only one conclusion you can come to: the man has no soul. No, it's not that he sold his soul to the devil (the children of the wealthy can laugh when Beelzebub shows up at their doorways). It's that he was actually lives without a soul, without anything that would denote his humanity more than flesh. Things like that happen sometimes in this crazy universe. Probably it was the result of dry, desperate sperm from H.W. heaving and wheezing its way up Bar's desert-like fallopian tubes to her shrunken, bitter egg. Or, if he was born with it, it more than likely said, "Oh, fuck, I'm so outta here" after a toddler W. killed his first baby bird.

For what person that actually feels things for human beings can say some of the shit Bush tried to con Scott Pelley with. Things like, "Our economy's good and people are, you know, helping their neighbors. And so I'm not saying that the danger the country felt after September 11th has slipped." You see that? It's a cuddle, then a slap. (It's not to mention the stupid factor of people "helping their neighbors," like the United States is one happy goddamned block in Mayberry.)

Things like the much-quoted, "I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that," which makes one wonder if he still thinks this is like the liberation of Paris, 'cause the Rude Pundit's pretty fuckin' sure that the French women would not have been throwin' their perfumed pussies at American troops if the Nazi collaborators were blowin' shit up every day. Things like, "Everybody was wrong on weapons of mass destruction," a lie that Bush used to answer a question on whether or not the administration lied.

Things like, in response to Pelley's question about whether or not Iranians supplying the insurgency is an act of war, "I'm not a lawyer. So act of war is kind of a . . . I'm not exactly sure how you define that," when he had earlier spent part of the interview madly emphasizing his Commander-in-Chief/decider status when it comes to anything to do with the war. Toss in his insistence that we should only worry about the now "rather than debating the past," and you've got insight into a man without a soul to worry his little heart.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
Attaturk points to this story and titles it Bush raises cash for "American Museum of Irony":

He may be a certified lame duck now, but President Bush and his truest believers are about to launch their final campaign - an eye-popping, half-billion-dollar drive for the Bush presidential library.

Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush lived in Dallas until he was elected governor of Texas in 1995...

...The half-billion target is double what Bush raised for his 2004 reelection and dwarfs the funding of other presidential libraries. But Bush partisans are determined to have a massive pile of endowment cash to spread the gospel of a presidency that for now gets poor marks from many scholars and a majority of Americans.


I suspect their collection of picture, comic, and coloring books will be second only to the Dan Quayle Memorial Library...
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
I think my favorite bit in this particular video is the Cheney look-a-like on the Segway with the sneer. That may need to be turned into an icon...


[Error: unknown template video]
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
I know I link to him a lot, but Glenn Greenwald is just so damn good and he's got some terrific things to say about the latest Bush administration spin:

Only Bush followers could point to a successful law enforcement operation which, by all appearances, complied with the law, and try to use it to argue how necessary it is that the law be broken. That is the central myth at the heart of the Bush desire for increased authoritarian measures -- that there is a forced choice between protection from terrorist threats and the rule of law.

That is a false choice. We can be a country which lives under the rule of law and which effectively battles terrorism -- just as we were a country which lived under the rule of law (including FISA) as we battled communism and a whole array of other external threats. Despite the bizarre effort by Bush followers to use this U.K. plot to argue for the need for the President to break the law, it actually demonstrates precisely the opposite.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
The Frito Pundito realizes why Iraq's Civil War is so much less glamorous than ours was, a lack of stirring war songs!

I-I wish I wuz in the land of petrol
Where the damage is co-lateral
Fire away, fire away, fire away
Syraqiran*!
There's IRE's and SAMs abounding
Oh to see a Blackhawk grounding
Fire away, fire away fire away
Syraqiran


And for those who haven't seen V: for Vendetta yet, our government gives you a preview of what a dystopian fascist nation would look like played out here in the good old US of A:

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.
[...]
Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.


Honestly, why don't they just start weighing the defendents against a duck and have done with it? If they weigh the same they've obviously made of wood and therefore wi- er terrorists. There. Done.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Matthews then:

"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits."
- Chris Matthews, 5/1/03


Matthews now:

It’s all ideology with this crowd. All they care about is ideology. The President bought it, hook, line and sinker. He had– but you know, it was just put into his head, some time after 9-11, and his philosophy is what he has given it. He didn’t have to have any philosophy when he went in, and they handed it to him. These guys– the guys–you know, the guys that you used to make fun of at school–pencil necks, the intellectuals, the guys you never trusted. All of the sudden, he trusts the intellectuals, the guys you knew at school, yeah, they’re a bunch of pencil necks and now he buys–completely–their ideology, because he didn’t have one of his own coming in. That was his problem. I don’t know what Bush stood for, except I’m a cool guy and Gore isn’t, and that was our problem. We elected the guy because he was a little cooler than the other guy, and, I hope the next election, it isn’t a problem of who goes to bed with their wife at 9:30 at night, or who knows how to tell a joke on a stage. But it’s who had the sense of strength that comes from having read books, most of their life, tried to understand history.
-Chris Matthews, 7/25/06
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
It's nice, if somewhat late, that the American Bar Association has begun to take notice of the naked power grab on the part of the president and this administration. Imagine the impact if this had come out in 2004:

Among those unanimous recommendations, the Task Force voted to:

- oppose, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, a President's issuance of signing statements to claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law he has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress;

- urge the President, if he believes that any provision of a bill pending before Congress would be unconstitutional if enacted, to communicate such concerns to Congress prior to passage;

- urge the President to confine any signing statements to his views regarding the meaning, purpose, and significance of bills, and to use his veto power if he believes that all or part of a bill is unconstitutional;

- urge Congress to enact legislation requiring the President promptly to submit to Congress an official copy of all signing statements, and to report to Congress the reasons and legal basis for any instance in which he claims the authority, or states the intention, to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law he has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress, and to make all such submissions be available in a publicly accessible database.


It really is nice that people are starting to figure this shit out two damn years too late...

And continuing the better late than never theme, Glenn Greenwald points to this:

Andrew Sullivan today publishes an e-mail from an American solider in Iraq, reporting that "Baghdad has descended into complete anarchy" and that Iraqi police officers are afraid even to drive to Baghdad. Sullivan calls our invasion of Iraq, which he vocally supported, "one of the the biggest military fiascoes in American history." I realize there is always controversy generated when supporters of the war end up acknowledging that it was a mistake, but between someone who acknowledges error and those who continue to insist in the face of undeniable reality that things are going well in Iraq and that our invasion was the right thing to do, I will take the former over the latter every time.


You know it really didn't take a new Nostradamus to figure out way back in '03 that this was how things were going to turn out. In fact, many of us did, and were told in not so polite terms to STFU. I wish I could be as open and prepared to forgive the very people who referred to myself and like-minded folks as "terrorist lovers", "Saddam supporters" and lest we forget, "traitors"; sadly I find myself unable to. I kind of feel like I've spent the past 5 years watching a clusterfuck of a film and screaming at the tv, "What the fuck are you thinking? Are you even capable of higher thought? What the matter is wrong with you people?!"

The only downside is I can't switch the channel and watch something else.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Garrison Keillor:

You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math. To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz. So here we are at an uneasy point in our history, mired in a costly war and getting nowhere, a supine Congress granting absolute power to a president who seems to get smaller and dimmer, and the best the Republicans can offer is San Franciscophobia? This is beyond pitiful. This is violently stupid.

It is painful to look at your father and realize the old man should not be allowed to manage his own money anymore. This is the discovery the country has made about the party in power. They are inept. The checkbook needs to be taken away. They will rant, they will screech, they will wave their canes at you and call you all sorts of names, but you have to do what you have to do.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
[livejournal.com profile] ebongreen pointed me to a Rolling Stone article by Robert Kennedy, Jr. that would seem to present a great deal of evidence that the Ohio vote in 2004 actually was rigged. It has always bothered me that the exit polls could be that wrong, and it would seem that they weren't. Kenneth Blackwell promised Bush the election and damned if he didn't come through on that promise, will of the American people be damned.

And the Right wonders why the modern Left is so "angry".

If you need something to lift your spirits a little and reassure you that democracy isn't quite dead yet, I point you to this piece:

DETROIT --A federal judge will go ahead with hearings in a legal challenge to a warrantless domestic surveillance program run by the National Security Agency.
Article Tools

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor also criticized the Justice Department for failing to respond to the legal challenge, The Detroit News reported Friday.


via Eschaton

FYI

Jun. 1st, 2006 09:07 am
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
I found this via Pandagon, but it seems a cool enough resource to share with folks:

Mapping Our Rights: Navigating Discrimination Against Women, Men and Families

Leila Hessini, Ipas senior policy advisor, said: “Historically, the United States has represented ideals of liberty and equality for much of the world. But, as this project demonstrates, that freedom often depends on the state you call home.”

The clickable, online map uses more than 20 indicators to rank the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including:

* Public funding for family planning and abortion
* Whether health-care providers can deny medical services because of their beliefs
* Whether same-sex couples can adopt
* The use of abstinence-only curricula in schools
* Whether states have anti-discrimination clauses that explicitly protect gays

…Jason Cianciotto, research director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, said: “With the launching of Mapping Our Rights, the relationship between reproductive rights and the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is clear. From the right to control our own bodies, to access to fertility technology, to the application of scientifically based approaches to HIV/AIDS, people of every sexual orientation and gender identity share the most basic human concerns and goals.”


And here's a little something to brighten your day:

President Bush is the worst president in the last 61 years, according to a new national Quinnipiac poll. Bush is named by 34%, followed by Richard Nixon at 17% and Bill Clinton at 16%.

Meanwhile, Bush's approval rate remains unchanged from last month at 38%, with 62% disapproving of his job performance. Said pollster Maurice Carroll: "Bush's job approval numbers remain in the cellar. But he might finally have hit bottom."


It sounds to me like Mr. Carroll is really misunderestimating Captain Codpiece, I'm sure that the next two + years will offer all kinds of opportunities for him and his administration to fuck up far more eggregiously. At this point I'm just not convinced that the bottom is even within site yet.

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