Friday, January 27, 2006

The greatest existential threat our country has ever known

The president has sworn to protect the people and the HoneyBaked Ham stores of this country from the threats of the Veganofascists, and their dark dreams of a world of split pea soup made without ham.

It is clear, then, that the president needs to have all of the tools available to him, regardless of the law.

(Via memeorandum)
So. Predictable.

Who? Both Howie and Power Tools.


I've always seen the Congressional Research Service as nonpartisan, as do most journalists. But Power Line's Scott Johnson digs up this nugget:

"The Congressional Research Service followed up with yet another report on January 18, this one by Alfred Cumming on the statutory procedures under which Congress is to be informed of intelligence activities. According to the Washington Post story on the report, Cumming found that the administration 'appears to have violated the National Security Act by limiting its briefings about a warrantless domestic eavesdropping program to congressional leaders...

"The 'nonpartisan' Mr. Cumming contributed $1,250 to Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, according to the Web site PoliticalMoneyLine."

In this formulation, Mr. Cumming can now never say a true, objective thing. His $1,250 has bought him a one-way ticket to Partisantown. And all residents of Partisantown are, depending on your perspective, slightly biased, or heavily biased, or loony. (Depending on how nice your lawn is.)

Message: I think we can safely dismiss anything that this Cumming fellow has to say ever again, don't you?

And, really, if you expect such leading lights as Howie and Power Tools to hear your position, you should just put that checkbook away. That's need to write that check to the Dems...that's right, just put down the pen. See how much better that is for everyone?
I am not an Abramoff expert, a lobbying expert, or any such expert. I am simply an avid reader of the news, and more recently of blogs related to news and politics.

Given all of that, I am not going to comment on the specifics of this post. I will leave that to those who are more knowledgeable.

I will comment on the tone of the post. It pretty much says: Fuck you, rabble.

In a story of a massive scandal involving the GOP House leadership and this lobbyist Abramoff and various other notables like Reed and Norquist, the Post is insisting, to the point of distraction, of including suggestions of Democratic wrongdoing as well.

Trees, forest, forest, trees. So hard to see which is which.

The politics of breaking the law

New Poll Finds Mixed Support for Wiretaps

Americans are willing to tolerate eavesdropping without warrants to fight terrorism

I suppose, since the law and the Constitution are a bunch of words on paper, they could not be polled. And truthfully, they would probably make an excuse and hang up the phone anyway.

Perhaps, and I know this is crazy talk, the NYT could put together an article, or a roundtable discussion, or a panel on blogger ethics(TM Atrios), that reflected the opinions of actual law-talking people. Lawyers, professors, judges, that kind of thing. Perhaps, and forgive my fevered, partisan, uncivil language, that might be more useful than a public opinion poll.

The poll, conducted as President Bush defended his surveillance program in the face of criticism from Democrats and some Republicans that it is illegal, found that Americans were willing to give the administration some latitude for its surveillance program if they believed it was intended to protect them.

(Emphasis added.) Again, the law and the Constitution were not available for comment. So, again, perhaps it would be useful to ask the law-talking people who know stuff about this stuff what they think.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Headline: Bubble Boy admits he is full of shit

President Bush Holds a White House Press Conference


BUSH: You said that I have to "circumvent" it. Wait a minute, that's a -- it's like saying, "You know, you're breaking the law." I'm not.

See, that's what you got to understand: I am upholding my duty and at the same time doing so under the law and with the Constitution behind me. That's just very important for you to understand.

Secondly, the FISA law was written in 1978. We're having the discussion in 2006. It's a different world.

And FISA's still an important tool. It's an important tool, and we still use that tool.

But, also -- and I looked. I said, "Look, is it possible to conduct this program under the old law?" And people said, "It doesn't work in order to be able do the job we expect to us do."

BUSH: And so, that's why I made the decision I made.

And, you know, "circumventing" is a loaded word. And I refuse to accept it, because I believe what I'm doing is legally right.


BUSH: No American will be allowed to torture another human being anywhere in the world.

And I signed the appropriations bill with the McCain amendment attached on it because that's the way it is.

I know some have said, "Well, why did he put a qualifier in there?" And one reason why presidents puts qualifiers in is to protect the prerogative of the executive branch. You see, what we're always doing is making sure that we make it clear that the executive branch has got certain responsibilities.


QUESTION: Do you meet with lobbyists?

BUSH: I try not to.


You know, have I ever met with one? Never having met with one -- if I ever said that, sure enough, you'll go find somebody, you know.

But, no, I don't have them come in.

Now, when, for example, people are helping on issues, like on promoting trade, you bet. We bring them in and I say, "Thank you for promoting CAFTA," or, "Thanks for working on the vote," or, "Thanks for helping on tax relief."

That may be -- if you consider that a meeting, the answer is yes, I'm sure I have, in a room full of people, as we either thank people for success in policy or thank people for going out of their way to help get a piece of legislation passed on the Hill.

Emphasis added.

Bubble Boy speaks

President Bush Holds a White House Press Conference

We're going to stay on the offense in the war against terror. We'll hunt down the enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere. We'll continue our terrorist surveillance program against Al Qaida.

And we'll continue our propaganda program against the American people.

QUESTION: Mr. President, is Mideast peacemaking dead with Hamas' big election victory? And do you rule out dealing with the Palestinians if Hamas is the majority party?

Imagine, if you will, an American president. A president presiding at the time of an historic election of the Palestinian people. An election in which the lives of Palestinians, Israelis, and people around the world could, and probably will, be affected. And that president in your head responded to the question above. Would it sound anything like this? Be honest.

Peace is never dead, because people want peace. I believe -- and that's why I articulated a two-state solution early in my administration so that -- as a vision for people to work toward, a solution that recognized that democracy yields peace and the best hope for peace in the Middle East is two democracies living side by side.

BUSH: So the Palestinians had an election yesterday, the results of which remind me about the power of democracy.

You see, when you give people the vote, you give people a chance to express themselves at the polls, they -- and if they're unhappy with the status quo, they'll let you know.

That's the great thing about democracy: It provides a look into society.

And yesterday, the turnout was significant, as I understand it. And there was a peaceful process as people went to the polls. And that's positive.

What was also positive is that it's a wakeup call to the leadership.

BUSH: Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo.

The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find health care.

And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories.

I like the competition of ideas. I like people that have to go out and say, "Vote for me and here's what I'm going to do." There's something healthy about a system that does that.

And so the elections yesterday were very interesting.

On the other hand, I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform.

And I know you can't be a partner in peace if you have a -- if your party has got an armed wing.

BUSH: And so the elections just took place. We will watch very carefully about the formation of the government.

But I will continue to remind people about what I just said: that if your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you're not a partner in peace. And we're interested in peace.

I've talked to Condi twice this morning. She called President Abbas. She also is going to have a conference call today with the quartet about how to keep the process on the road to peace.

There is nothing in that answer that suggests that Bubble Boy even knows where Israel is on a map. A senior in high school could have slung the same bullshit.


Secondly, I said, "Before we do anything, I want to make sure it's legal."

Damn good of you, Bubble Boy.

Continuing directly:

And so we had our lawyers look at it. And as part of the debate, the discussion with the American people as to the legality of the program, there's no doubt in my mind it is legal.

How often do you have these debates with the American people in your own mind, Mr. President?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

NSA clowning by Scottie Spokesweasel:

we talked with congressional leaders, bipartisan congressional leaders, about this very issue: Should we go and get legislation that would reflect the authority the President already has? And those leaders felt that it could compromise our national security interest and this program if we were to go and get legislation passed.

That must have been some conversation. If only it had taken place here in the real world.

I wonder if Bubble Boy is writing Scottie's responses now? Because this is far less sensible than the mind-numbing noises that Scottie normally makes.

And if Bubble Boy is writing his own stuff, then Lord hallejulah, the end times are near! Lordy lordy.

UPDATE: Hmmm. Was I right? From Thursday's press conference:

Now, my concern has always been that, in an attempt to try to pass a law on something that's already legal, we'll show the enemy what we're doing.

Thank you

Members of the audience, some wearing black hoods, stand up and turn their backs on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, rear center, as he speaks at Georgetown University Law School

Photo link

"fraud, incompetence and confusion"

Audit Describes Misuse of Funds in Iraq Projects

The audit, released yesterday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, expands on its previous findings of fraud, incompetence and confusion as the American occupation poured money into training and rebuilding programs in 2003 and 2004.

"fraud, incompetence and confusion"

I nominate those words as the tagline for the entire Bubble Boy presidency.

Yes, I know that "mendacity" and "malice" could be in there too, but they will just have to appear in the synopsis. The tagline needs to be short, punchy, and ideally, pulled from an indirectly related text such as this article.

Read the whole thing. It's got stuff like this:

One official kept $2 million in a bathroom safe, another more than half a million dollars in an unlocked footlocker. One contractor received more than $100,000 to completely refurbish an Olympic pool but only polished the pumps; even so, local American officials certified the work as completed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A horse is a horse, of course of course

Why oh why do I look at memeorandum?


Conservative writes a book, Amazon sells book.

Lefties go to Amazon, mock the book.

"Little love for free speech"? Nope, lefties are expressing their love of free speech by mocking the book.

"Deface websites"? Nope, Amazon solicits comments about the books.

"Bookburners"? That's a big nope. Lefties are the pointy-headed, four-eyed book readers, remember?

"Illegally interfering with [Amazon's] business"? Wha? I'm not a lawyer, but what law is being broken? Do I need to repeat that Amazon solicits comments about the books?

"The Left doesn't want people to hear what conservatives have to say, perhaps knowing that they have been intellectually outclassed and proven disastrously wrong by history and current events." Blogs sure are cool, aren't they? You write something like that, and you don't even have to back it up! Cool!

"In short, the Left consists of ill-educated, ill-mannered children. That they keep going to such lengths to prove it shows that they don't have anything else to offer." Well, he's got a point there. It is ill-mannered to use sarcasm and to point and mock and laugh at. But, hey, we've gotta have our fun somehow!