In these troubled economic times, it's nice to know that someone's doing well. High prices at the gas pump may mean none of us can afford a vacation, but at least American oil companies are benefiting...up to a point, of course. It's not as if they can spend their profits on dinner and a movie, or a European vacation, what with dwindling reserves, and the need to refine crude as well as produce it.
Posted by Damozel | On May 17, 2005, the White House sent a letter to agencies throughout the executive branch instructing them to find jobs for certain 'Bush loyalists.' The passage shows that even if Goodling and Sampson weren't working under direct orders from the White House, they were acting in line with its policies. (NYT) And Larissa Alexandrovna asks the question that is troubling inquiring minds everywhere.
The White House is a building. Who actually sent the memos instructing these activities?
Alexandrovna argues that the trail seems to lead back to Karl Rove...i.e.,the Political Affairs Office.
by Damozel | Deb Cupples can follow up on this, but this article from Open Secrets makes it clear that the Obama campaign is holding back on providing full information about donors---though McCain has been more cooperative than Obama.
by Teh Nutroots | The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold him in contempt. (NYT) I find it extraordinary that everyone, including all Republicans, doesn't hold him in contempt. Why do Republicans insist on shielding wrongdoers within the Bush administration?(NYT) Lying to Congress got Bill Clinton impeached in the House.
But defying Congress? That's apparently fine, even for people who aren't the president. 'The White House has invoked executive privilege in asserting that
current and former top officials cannot be forced to testify before
Congress, because the president’s right to confidential advice from his
trusted aides would then be compromised.' (NYT)
by Damozel | The Corner has posted the sort of inane self-congratulatory post on flag pins that I thought we'd seen the last of. It is founded on the smug belief that love of country can only express itself by unquestioning acceptance of whatever the government does (plus a lapel pin) and that criticism of those who would tear down the principles on which this nation stand is something other than loving. Furthermore it argues that the lapel pin the writer wears is a more sincere lapel pin than Barack Obama's.
by Adam | There's loads of speculation about the VP. The mostcommonlyfloatedchoices are Kathleen Sebelius, Tim Kaine, Joe Biden, and Evan Bayh. Of those four, I'd be happy with the first two, and worried about the other two (Biden because of his mouth, age, and the skeletons in his closet, and Bayh because he would cost the Democrats a spot in the Senate, barring a miracle turnaround in the Indiana governor's race). I'd also be quite happy with Bill Richardson or Brian Schweitzer, but the former seems to have dropped out of the running (presumaby, like Jim Webb, he was a bit too controversial and knew he would fail the vetting process) and the latter, unfortunately, has never really picked up steam. (Don't be shocked if Schweitzer gets the pick, though - the Obama campaign is not very leaky and has their cards close to their chest on this one.
by Damozel | Via Digby, yet another tragic tale of death-by-tasering in circumstances in which the death penalty wouldn't have been an option if the offense were prosecuted.
Why aren't people up in arms about this? You don't have to believe that a tasering is torture to see that there is something wrong with the way they're being used---i.e., in situations where the police would not have been justified in using a weapon of any kind to subdue or control a person.
In fact, that seems to be the crux of the problem: they're being encouraged, or allowed, to use tasers to control suspects.
by Teh Nutroots | First off, I don't think Fox News caused Jim Adkisson to shoot those Unitarians. If Fox News didn't exist, I'm sure he'd have found other crazy rhetoric to justify the yowling demon inside him. I don't agree that Fox 'pushed him over the edge'---based on a certain amount of experience, I suspect he jumped. Hatred of others is the disease; Fox is just the symptom.
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By Damozel | First Pelosi on The Daily Show. I want to be fair, so let's let her speak for herself. Man, only Nancy Pelosi could be so banal when chatting with Jon Stewart. Sorry...guh...LET HER SPEAK FOR HERSELF.
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Today Sen Stevens was indicted by an Alaska Grand Jury (CNN). The indictment is here. Stevens, 84, is the man who once memorably described the internet as 'a series of tubes,' poor thing. Almost one year ago today, Deb Cupples wrote:
In 2000, Sen. Stevens' house underwent major remodeling, turning the
one-story structure into a two-story structure and roughly doubling its
size. The building contractor reportedly was paid by a Veco executive (Anchorage Daily News). Perhaps coincidentally, Veco has received $30 million in federal contracts since 2000 (WaPociting FedSpending.org).
In May, two Veco executives pled guilty to bribery and other charges (Justice Dept.). One Veco exec admitted to laundering campaign donations by illegally reimbursing the employees who actually gave them (WaPo). (BN-Politics)
The White House's silence on the Justice Department report should
indicate, perhaps, at least a tacit endorsement of Goodling's tactics,
"The question really is why isn't the president coming forward and
saying there's a shame factor here at what occurred at the Justice
Department," he said. "Alberto Gonzales picked this person, not because
of the merits -- she lacked anything on the merits. She was picked
because she was an extremist, and this is the result." ( The Raw Story discusses the segment in depth.)
Michelle Malkin is, as usual, wrong, at least as regards the nutroots I know" 'There will, of course, be gloating and death wishes on the nutroots side of the Internet aisle. Ignore it all.' Malkin always projects her rage, cowardice, and bile onto everyone else. The Chicago Sun-Times has the story:
by Damozel | Joe Windish has provided some background, some blogger reactions, and some other useful links.
JI spent a couple of hours this afternoon browsing the report (h/t to Sadly No! where I found the link to the report (actually entitled 'Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General') (pdf.file) I've set out relevant quotes below. I felt angry while I was reading it---which probably shows in my commentary; I don't know---but now that I'm done I just feel sad. I certainly don't feel disposed to rejoice, but I do want to see these people held accountable.
Mr. William (Bill) Kristol is at it again (in an op-ed disturbingly entitled 'Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid'). He is striking fear into my guileless British heart by his claim to have been frightened into an attack of moroseness. As the world now knows, nothing is more dangerous then a frightened, morose neocon. Think of Dick Cheney and you'll see what I mean. They're even scarier than the cheery, clueless types (George Bush) who spout neocon policy---getting every other word wrong---as if it's been drilled into them, or the jeering, strutting types like Karl Rove.
by Damozel | It seems that Petraeus doesn’t accept the idea of a timeline. You can read his reasons here.
Right-wingers, who have nothing else but the war to pin their hopes on,
will tell you that this ‘proves’ that McCain knows more about war than
Obama. I don’t think it proves anything at all.
My question remains: what specific conditions, according to the candidates,
must be met in order for us to start to withdraw? In sober reality,
both McCain and Obama are disputing about semantics (timelines,
horizons, etc.) and will be subject to the same ‘conditions’ of which
Petraeus speaks.At least, unlike McCain (and recently, the media), he’s
not framing his statements in terms of ‘winning.’ It isn’t the sort of
engagement that will have a clear end and a settled outcome. And in
playing it, we’ve gambled away more than we’ve yet had the chance to