Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Liberal Victory: Home Depot Dumps Bill O'Reilly


And we have yet more success in the progressive liberal campaign against Fox News. Home Depot has joined Lowe's by withdrawing ads from Bill O'Reilly's hate factor show. But the company is sending some confused messages; see Americablog for the details. The Brave New Films video below provides an outstanding summary of the latest Fox News attacks on the lefty blogosphere.

"Fox is not a legitimate news channel. They consistently misrepresent facts, manufacture terror, and slander progressives."

Chris Dodd will appear on the O'Reilly Factor show tomorrow night to defend the lefty blogosphere.

Join the campaign: "This is not a boycott. We are simply calling advertisers and informing them about FOX. And making Bill O'Reilly's life a living hell."

Kenneth Starr's Law Firm Gives More Money to Hillary


Conservative Lawyers for Democrats!

File this one under pigs can too fly:

"Lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm that's home to Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr and Bush administration official Jay Lefkowitz, have given more to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign than to all of the top Republican candidates combined." . . .

"Kirkland, based in Chicago, is one of several corporate law firms that traditionally backed Republicans where lawyers are turning to Democratic candidates. Lawyers say the change is largely due to disenchantment with the Republican Party's social policies and the war in Iraq." . . .

Floyd Abrams, who represented Judith Miller and the New York Times in the Washington grand jury investigation of the leak of a CIA agent Valerie Plame's name, said lawyers are using their wallets to express anger at the Bush administration.

``The illegal warrantless wiretapping of American citizens'' and the ``self-aggrandizing claims of executive power'' are influencing donations, said Abrams, a partner at New York's Cahill Gordon & Reindel. ``These are not the centrist views that used to attract the middle-of-the-road, often conservative lawyers.''

I'm No Big Fan of Hillary, But . . .


Thousands of women wrote angry letters to the Washington Post in response to the neocon paper's now infamous column discussing the fact that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton does indeed have breasts.

The Clinton campaign expressed its own outrage and then made use of the column in an "eyebrow-raising" fundraising email with the subject header, cleavage:

“Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting,” Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Clinton, wrote in the e-mail. “It’s insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting. It’s insulting to our daughters — and our sons — who are constantly pressured by the media to grow up too fast.”

As the now famous phrase goes, "I'm no big fan of Hillary, but" . . . the more the attacks on her sound like attacks on all women, the more I find myself rallying to the side of would-be President Hillary Clinton.

Graphic via the Hillary Clinton campaign & Wonkette & Swampland

Monday, July 30, 2007

How Much Jail Time for Women Who Have Abortions?

In the following video, Libertyville Anti-Choice Protesters are asked if abortion should be illegal, and then if women obtaining them should be prosecuted.


Anna Quindlen at Newsweek asks: How Much Jail Time?

You have to hand it to the questioner; he struggles manfully. "Usually when things are illegal there's a penalty attached," he explains patiently. But he can't get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.

A new public-policy group called the National Institute for Reproductive Health wants to take this contradiction and make it the centerpiece of a national conversation, along with a slogan that stops people in their tracks: how much time should she do? If the Supreme Court decides abortion is not protected by a constitutional guarantee of privacy, the issue will revert to the states. If it goes to the states, some, perhaps many, will ban abortion. If abortion is made a crime, then surely the woman who has one is a criminal. But, boy, do the doctrinaire suddenly turn squirrelly at the prospect of throwing women in jail.

Thanks to autoegocrat!

Gov. Bredesen Whines 'Where are the Dems?' at DLC Meeting


Tennessee's DINO Governor Bredesen said he "was a little surprised this year that no one was coming" to the Nashville meeting of the Lieberman/Ford wing of the Democratic Party, aka the DLC.

Actually, there were some 350 Dems in attendance. Bredesen's complaint was that every one of the Democratic presidential candidates skipped the Democratic Leadership Council's 2007 conference.

Bredesen suggested that the Democratic candidates were "run[ning] from centrists."

Yet, on a host of issues -- from the Iraq War to health care -- Bredesen and the DLC are more in line with the Republican Party than they are with the American public. But the delusional DINOs continue to call themselves centrists.

How telling that the Democratic Governor who stripped poor and disabled Tennesseans of life saving health care -- in the most drastic cuts to Medicaid this country has seen -- was actually permitted to speak on the subject of health care at the DLC. In Bredesen's view, Medicaid is scary socialism.

Yet another pro Iraq War DINO from Tennessee, U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis, demonstrated that he too does not get that the country has moved to the left, leaving the DLC lost somewhere to the right of the new center:

“The right has proven to us that they can’t govern from the right, and the left has to learn that you can’t govern from the left,” Davis said. “The new ideas are going to be coming from those in the center aisle in America.”

And if you want to hear all about those lovely "new ideas" from the "center," just tune in to Fox News where you can hear Fox News contributor DLC Chair Harold Ford broadcasting the latest Lieberman talking points.

Again, the DLC is not just out of touch with Democrats, it is out of touch with the American public.

As Noam Scheiber writes in the New York Times:

Today, the council has almost no constituency within the Democratic Party. About every five years, the Pew Research Center conducts a public opinion survey to sort out the country’s major ideological groupings. In 1999, Pew found that liberals and New Democrats each accounted for nearly one-quarter of the Democratic base. By the next survey in 2005, New Democrats had completely disappeared as a group and the liberals had doubled their share of the party. Many moderates, radicalized by President Bush, now define themselves as liberals.

On a variety of issues the council, and not the party’s liberal base, is out of touch with the popular mood. A recent Washington Post poll found that 60 percent of independents, along with 70 percent of Democrats, favor withdrawing from Iraq by next spring.


Karl Rove's 2008 Campaign Strategy


GOP candidates to voters: We are not perverts and crooks! Yes, this is the 'winning' message that Karl Rove urges Republican candidates to convey to voters in 2008, reports Bob Novak.

Gosh, how ever will Democratic candidates compete?

Rove might want to consider amending his winning strategy to: We are not perverts and crooks and we are not incompetent fools either!

According to Robert Novak:

"Karl Rove, President Bush's political lieutenant told a closed-door meeting of 2008 Republican House candidates and their aides Tuesday that it was less the war in Iraq than corruption in Congress that caused their party's defeat in the 2006 elections,"

"Rove's clear advice to the candidates is to distance themselves from the culture of Washington. Specifically, Republican candidates are urged to make clear they have no connection with disgraced congressmen such as Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley. In effect, Rove was rebutting the complaint inside the party that Bush is responsible for Republican miseries by invading Iraq."


Hat tip to Political Wire

John Edwards Addresses Overflow Crowds in NH (video)

John Edwards: Take Them On

Dems, You Gotta Have Heart . . .

To understand why Democrats have had such a hard time winning the White House, consider two scenes from last week's CNN/YouTube debate. First, Sen. Chris Dodd offered a highly precise response to a question about energy: "The 50-mile-per-gallon standard is something I've advocated by 2017." Then former senator John Edwards told a moving story about a man who couldn't speak for 50 years because of a severe cleft palate: "For five decades, James Lowe lived in the richest nation on the planet not able to talk because he couldn't afford the procedure that would've allowed him to talk."

Which appeal was more compelling? Which one grabbed you in the gut?


An Immoral Philosophy


Health Care
By PAUL KRUGMAN

When a child is enrolled in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Schip), the positive results can be dramatic. For example, after asthmatic children are enrolled in Schip, the frequency of their attacks declines on average by 60 percent, and their likelihood of being hospitalized for the condition declines more than 70 percent.

Regular care, in other words, makes a big difference. That’s why Congressional Democrats, with support from many Republicans, are trying to expand Schip, which already provides essential medical care to millions of children, to cover millions of additional children who would otherwise lack health insurance.

But President Bush says that access to care is no problem — “After all, you just go to an emergency room” — and, with the support of the Republican Congressional leadership, he’s declared that he’ll veto any Schip expansion on “philosophical” grounds. . .

So what kind of philosophy says that it’s O.K. to subsidize insurance companies, but not to provide health care to children?

Read more . .


Gonzales' Legacy: A Decade of Lies


Gonzales helped Bush hide drunken driving conviction

Today's Washington Post provides the details on some of the many lies Gonzales has told for Bush over the last decade. Lying is how Gonzales shows his gratitude for a career that never would have happened if not for Bush's penchant for hiring incompetents.

So, is this penchant Bush has for hiring incompetents the Decider's way of feeling good about his own pathetic intellect?

Gonzales told senators earlier this year that allegations that he had been untruthful "have been personally very painful to me." But Gonzales's critics on and off Capitol Hill say he has had trouble with the truth for more than a decade, pointing to a controversy over Gonzales's account of why Bush was excused from jury duty in 1996 while serving as the governor of Texas.

Questions about Gonzales's willingness to shade the truth on Bush's behalf came to prominence in the 1996 episode in which Bush was excused from Texas jury duty in a drunken-driving case. Bush was then the state's governor, and Gonzales was his general counsel. If Bush had served, he probably would have had to disclose his own drunken-driving conviction in Maine two decades earlier.

The judge, prosecutor and defense attorney involved in the case have said that Gonzales met with the judge and argued that jury service would pose a potential conflict of interest for Bush, who could be asked to pardon the defendant. Gonzales has disputed that account. He made no mention of meeting with the judge in a written statement submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On the important question of impeaching Gonzales, Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) gets an "F" in high school civics. (Do they even teach civics in high school?) [via]

Sunday, July 29, 2007

NY Times: Impeach Gonzales


Finally, the New York Times editorial board has joined the cry for the jokester's impeachment:

President Bush often insists he has to be the decider — ignoring Congress and the public when it comes to the tough matters on war, terrorism and torture, even deciding whether an ordinary man in Florida should be allowed to let his wife die with dignity. Apparently that burden does not apply to the functioning of one of the most vital government agencies, the Justice Department.

Americans have been waiting months for Mr. Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who long ago proved that he was incompetent and more recently has proved that he can’t tell the truth....

Democratic lawmakers are asking for a special prosecutor to look into Mr. Gonzales’s words and deeds. Solicitor General Paul Clement has a last chance to show that the Justice Department is still minimally functional by fulfilling that request.

If that does not happen, Congress should impeach Mr. Gonzales.


ImpeachGonzales.Org
ImpeachGonzales.Com

Rightwingers Refuse to Defend Gonzales


Earlier today, Chris Wallace of Fox News revealed that he could not find a conservative willing to come on his show and defend Attorney General Alberto Gonzales from the charge that he perjured himself before Congress.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) called Gonzales a "liability" for the country:

Both the president and country are better served if the attorney general is a figure of competence. Sadly, the current attorney general is not seen as any of those things. I think it’s a liability for the president. More importantly, it’s a liability for the United States of America.

President Petraeus


Who Really Took Over During That Colonoscopy
By Frank Rich

THERE was, of course, gallows humor galore when Dick Cheney briefly grabbed the wheel of our listing ship of state during the presidential colonoscopy last weekend. Enjoy it while it lasts. A once-durable staple of 21st-century American humor is in its last throes. We have a new surrogate president now. Sic transit Cheney. Long live David Petraeus!

It was The Washington Post that first quantified General Petraeus’s remarkable ascension. President Bush, who mentioned his new Iraq commander’s name only six times as the surge rolled out in January, has cited him more than 150 times in public utterances since, including 53 in May alone.

As always with this White House’s propaganda offensives, the message in Mr. Bush’s relentless repetitions never varies. General Petraeus is the “main man.” He is the man who gives “candid advice.” Come September, he will be the man who will give the president and the country their orders about the war.

And so another constitutional principle can be added to the long list of those junked by this administration: the quaint notion that our uniformed officers are supposed to report to civilian leadership. In a de facto military coup, the commander in chief is now reporting to the commander in Iraq. We must “wait to see what David has to say,” Mr. Bush says.

Actually, we don’t have to wait. We already know what David will say. He gave it away to The Times of London last month, when he said that September “is a deadline for a report, not a deadline for a change in policy.” In other words: Damn the report (and that irrelevant Congress that will read it) — full speed ahead. There will be no change in policy. As Michael Gordon reported in The New York Times last week, General Petraeus has collaborated on a classified strategy document that will keep American troops in Iraq well into 2009 as we wait for the miracles that will somehow bring that country security and a functioning government. . .

Read more . . .

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Young People Are Hostile to Republicans


Speaking of that coming new Progressive Era, liberal days are indeed on the horizon. This will surprise only the GOP Bubble Boys.

Young people loathe and despise the Republican Party of intolerant old conservative white strict daddies, according to a new Democracy Corps/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey [pdf].

And it appears that young people are going to continue to loathe and despise all that the dead white men's party stands for even when young people become not so young.

"Young people react with hostility to the Republicans on almost every measure and Republicans and younger voters disagree on almost every major issue of the day."

". . [T]he disconnect we see between the Republicans and our nation’s youth runs so deep, that it likely will not only outlive the Bush administration, but potentially haunt the Republicans for many years to come."

Liberals Pressure Fox News Advertisers - Lowes Pulls Ads from O'Reilly


Woohoo! The liberal campaign against Fox News, aka the Republican Party Broadcasting Corp., is succeeding already. Now there's someplace to shop besides Home Depot!

Email from Lowe's:

The O'Reilly Factor does not meet Lowe's advertising guidelines, and the company's advertising will no longer appear during the program.

We appreciate your contacting us, and hope this information addresses your concerns.

Thank you,
Lowe's Customer Care


Reportedly, "callers to Home Depot who had signed the Sierra Club/MoveOn/Brave New Films petition were told, 'where are you going to shop instead of us - Lowe's? They advertise on Fox too.'"

Meanwhile, Home Depot continues to promote itself as an environmentally friendly company while advertising on the famously anti science network.

You can easily join the campaign against the Bush/Cheney Talking Points Channel by contacting Home Depot and/or by monitoring the station in your area and making a list of the local advertisers:

AP: MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos. .

At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who is running commercials on Fox, Gilliam said. The groups want to first concentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to national commercials.

"It's a lot more effective for Sam's Diner to get calls from 10 people in his town than going to the consumer complaint department of some pharmaceutical company," Gilliam said. . .

Interestingly, Fox News has this AP story hidden away in their Entertainment section.

TELL HOME DEPOT TO STOP ADVERTISING ON FOX!


The Cleavage Conundrum


Cleavage
By JUDITH WARNER

The Washington Post’s penetrating exposé of Hillary Clinton’s “surreptitious” show of cleavage on the Senate floor last week (“To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres is a provocation”) sent me trawling on the Internet, digging through sites like eBay and Hijabs-R-Us, desperate to buy a burqa.

I’d come upon the article on a very bad day, one in which I’d made the fatal error of wearing a sundress that had shrunk at the dry cleaners. Zipping up the top required a fair amount of exhaling and spousal assistance and a certain compression of body parts. All of which meant that, when I dropped my eyes down from the computer screen where I was reading the piece and turned them in the direction of my ever-contemplatable navel, I was confronted by an unmistakable bit of, well, “provocative” décolleté. . .

I did not want to run the risk, as Clinton had, according to The Post’s Robin Givhan, of giving passers-by the impression that they were “catching a man with his fly unzipped.” . . .

And so, I spent the rest of the 90-degree day buttoned up in a warm jacket. Grumbling and muttering all the way. . .

After all, isn’t every woman past a certain age, at a certain weight and after a certain amount of breast-feeding, a “person of cleavage?” And aren’t you allowed, at a certain time of life, to escape from the world of at least my youth, where you couldn’t walk down the street licking an ice cream cone without inviting a stream of leering commentary?

Read more . .

Background story: Cleavage 2008 -- Washington Post Election Coverage Special

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rightwing White House Holds Rightwing Blogger Conference


If you need more proof that the Maniac in the Oval Office is fully aware that he is merely the pResident of the 26 percent of the people in this country who are batshit crazy, here it is.

Think Progress:

"Seeking “to promote its message on the subject of executive privilege,” the White House held a conference call with conservative bloggers this morning where they sought to “familiarize the blogosphere with the legal and political arguments on which the administration will rely” to respond to contempt citations from Congress in the U.S. attorneys probe."

Righwing blogger Ed Morrissey, of Captains Quarters, has the power-greedy White House talking points.

We think President Hillary Clinton is going to find these talking points very useful.

Graphic: Help Kucinich Impeach Bush and Cheney

You Have No Rights -- in Bush's America


Lest anyone think for a moment that you have to be Michael Moore, or Muslim, before 'Bush's Government' will crack down on your own personal freedom march, here's news of a book that strongly suggests otherwise.

You Have No Rights
Stories of America in an Age of Repression

I’m very liberal and sometimes my friends say I’m giving them some kind of paranoid, nutty stuff, and I agree, but then the FBI show up. — MARC SCHULTZ, REPORTED TO THE FBI FOR READING AN ARTICLE CALLED "WEAPONS OF MASS STUPIDITY: FOX NEWS HITS A NEW LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR"

In West Virginia, Renee Jensen put up a yard sign saying “Mr. Bush: You’re Fired.” She’s questioned by the Secret Service. In Alabama, Lynne Gobbell put a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker on her car. She’s fired from her job. In Vermont, Tom Treece had his high school students write essays and make posters either defending or criticizing the Iraq War. After midnight, the police entered his classroom and took photos of the student artwork.

In this hard-to-put-down book, Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, shows that post–9/11 America has entered a repressive age. Through dozens of engrossing and disturbing individual stories, You Have No Rights makes clear that America is now a country that is both less safe and less free.


Bushies Hit Michael Moore with Subpoena


Living in the USSR - Or - Why Does Bush Hate 9/11 Rescue Workers?

Taking 9/11 heroes outside the country -- to Cuba -- for desperately needed health care can be dangerous to your own health. While he was backstage at the Jay Leno show last night, Michael Moore got hit with a subpoena from the Bushies.

This is just like living in the USSR. Leave the country without permission from your government and you can go to prison. Maybe I should rephrase that: leave the country without permission from your government while being a liberal . . .

Cross the Decider at your own peril:

Filmmaker Michael Moore revealed on Thursday's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno that the Bush Administration had served him with a subpoena regarding his recent trip to Cuba made as part of his new film, Sicko.

Moore told the audience that he was notified of the subpoena backstage.

"I haven't even told my own family yet," Moore remarked. "I was just informed when I was back there with Jay that the Bush administration has now issued a subpoena for me."

Background story here.

What you can do to help the 9/11 Rescue Workers . . .


More at MichaelMoore.com

GOP Fears Liberal Bias of YouTube-ing Americans


YouTube Debate Too Scary for GOP

Only days after the Democratic YouTube debate in South Carolina, and there are already more than 400 questions uploaded to Youtube for the GOP debate.

But apparently, Guiliani is not going to show, and Romney says he's just not a fan of the people-centered CNN/YouTube debate format.

According to GOP party "functionary" Hugh Hewitt, the conservative white men are chickening out because YouTube and CNN have that famous liberal bias.

Over at TPM, a couple of other possibilities have been suggested:

"You realize why Rudy doesn't like the YouTube debate format, right? He doesn't want the NY fire fighter's to get a clean shot at him on national TV."

"The differences between the GOP base and the political mainstream can seem less extreme when asked by someone like Wolf Blitzer, but if presented from the standard GOP rank-and-file member of the base, it seemed like a great way to show how unhinged the GOP has become on some of these issues."

It's also true that some conservative white men are running scared about the certainty that they would find themselves on the receiving end of some hard questions from gays, immigrants, blacks, women, children, as well as folks from all the other groups the GOP so loves to hate.

According to Republican spokeswoman Erin VanSickle, the Florida debate is just too important to miss. "It’s an important debate in an important battleground state that just moved its primary to Jan. 29th. In other words, we have every confidence that they will attend. They can’t afford not to."

"They can't afford not to," unless all of the Republican candidates are already losers. So far, only losers John McCain and Ron Paul are signed on for the oooh scary people-centered debate.

DOJ Scandal and Impeachment Back-Talk #2 Video

Wake up America . . . before it's too late


Clinton's Success


The Uphill Struggle
By David Brooks

The biggest story of this presidential campaign is the success of Hillary Clinton. Six months ago many people thought she was too brittle and calculating and that voters would never really bond with her. But now she seems to offer the perfect combination of experience and change.

She’s demonstrating that it really helps to have lived in the White House. She can draw on a range of experiences unmatched by her rivals. She’s dominated most of the debates. She’s transformed her position on Iraq without a ripple. Her measured, statistic-filled speeches rarely inspire passion, but always confidence. . .

The one thing Republicans had going for them was the head-to-heads. Bush, the war and the party could all be unpopular, but individual G.O.P. candidates beat Clinton because her negatives were so high. But she is changing that. People who’ve said they would never vote for her will take a second look once they see her campaign. . .

So as I travel around watching the Republican candidates, I’m looking for signs that they’re willing to try something unorthodox. Eighty percent of the time, what I see is the Dole campaign: Republican candidates uttering their normal principles — small government, military strength, strong families — and heading inexorably toward defeat.

Read more. .

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stacking the Supreme Court with Liberal Women (We Can Do It!)



In today's NY Times, Jean Edward Smith tells us how to 'fix' the problems that currently sit on the Supreme Court. All we need is a Democratic President and a solidly Democratic Congress, and we can "correct" our Conservatives-Gone-Wild Supreme Court.

It seems that there is an American tradition of changing the number of justices on the High Court, in order to achieve important goals. Both Democratic and Republican Administrations have followed this great American tradition.

I say, come 2008, we add at least two more seats to the High Court. It's crystal clear that Ruth Bader Ginsberg is sick and tired of being the token woman.


And while we're 'fixing' the High Court, something really needs to be done about the dismally conservative outfits Justice Ginsberg and her colleagues are forced to wear. See the cheery outfit worn by the Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court in the photo above.

Yeah, the Chief Justice of Canada's Supreme Court is a woman. And there are three (!) more women on the Canadian High Court. I'll say it again: something stinks in the US of A. But when we get a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, we can fix that.

Stacking the Court:

{T]here is nothing sacrosanct about having nine justices on the Supreme Court. Roosevelt’s 1937 chicanery has given court-packing a bad name, but it is a hallowed American political tradition participated in by Republicans and Democrats alike.

If the current five-man majority persists in thumbing its nose at popular values, the election of a Democratic president and Congress could provide a corrective. It requires only a majority vote in both houses to add a justice or two. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues might do well to bear in mind that the roll call of presidents who have used this option includes not just Roosevelt but also Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant. [via]


Gonzales Caught Lying to Congress - Perjury Charges May Follow


If you haven't seen Lord Alberto Gonzales' latest doublespeaking performance before Congress, you can view some of the shameful highlights via Keith Olbermann's coverage.

People are required by law to answer questions when testifying before Congress just like in a Court of Law?

But Lord Aberto is too important to trouble himself with minor constitutional details. He is also too important to trouble himself with the nuisance of weaving lies into even a halfway credible narrative.

But if you are protected by the pResident, why not just tell your lies bold-faced and shamelessly?

My only question is: How much longer are Democrats going to sit back and watch the Bush Administration trample all over the Constitution before, finally, they get outraged enough to stand up and defend the Constitution???

Charging Gonzales with perjury and impeaching his ass would be a start.

USA Today:

Documents show that eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, come as senators consider whether a perjury investigation should be opened into conflicting accounts about the program and a dramatic March 2004 confrontation leading up to its potentially illegal reauthorization. . A Gonzales spokesman maintained Wednesday that the attorney general stands by his testimony.

At a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Gonzales repeatedly testified that the issue at hand was not about the terrorist surveillance program, which allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on suspects in the United States without receiving court approval. . . Instead, Gonzales said, the emergency meetings on March 10, 2004, focused on an intelligence program that he would not describe.



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fred Thompson's Wife Blamed for Campaign Woes


CNN reports that at least some of Fred Thompson's campaign woes are due to Thompson's controlling wife:

Top Adviser Resigns After Butting Heads with Thompson’s Wife (video)

Jeri Kehn is said to have "her hand in every part of the campaign, from hiring to salaries to scheduling, and even down to the color of bumper stickers they make."

According to First Read:

Some sources describe the role of the presumed candidate's wife, Jeri, as vast and powerful. Sources say "she's integrally involved in every decision" and that Fred Thompson has "set it up so everything goes through her." Critically, that was cast as "running it like a congressional campaign" and from the "kitchen table."

Given Fred's reputation for laying back and letting other folks do the work, you have to wonder if Thompson would even have a campaign if not for his wife. Jeri Kehn should probably get credit for any and all successes too. Assuming there are any.

The campaign has also suffered yet another resignation:

J.T. Mastranadi was hired just a week and a half ago to be the campaign's director of research. He resigned this morning, a friend of his said. The friend said that Mastranadi was "fed up" with the "lack of structure" and was unclear about his role in the coming campaign.

And there's more bad news: Thompson's fundraising is said to be down "markedly" or "big time."

The new announcement date is said to be Sept. 4, but don't count on it.

How the Gays Destroy Hetero Marriage (video)

It's cause the gays, their evil ways . . .

Contempt Charges Against Miers and Bolton Go to Full House


It is the official view of the House Judiciary Committee that Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton should be charged with criminal contempt for thumbing their elite noses at the rule of law.

If the resolution should pass the full House, Miers and Bolton would face criminal proceedings, under normal circumstances.

But since Bush owns the Department of Justice, forget that.

"The Justice Department on Tuesday informed the committee that it would not pursue criminal contempt charges against White House officials when executive privilege is invoked."


Gender and the Democratic YouTube Debate

Rachel over at Real Women, Real Voices provides the gender breakdown of the YouTube questions chosen by CNN for the Democratic debate.

Prepare not to be surprised.

Even with a woman as the leading candidate, only 12 of the 39 videoes featured women questioners. Here's one of the questions that CNN did not chooose:

Jennifer Pozner of WMIN's Voices has more thoughts on the under-representation, as usual, of women's voices:

"The fact that YouTube and CNN would bill their debate as a bold new step for participatory democracy yet would so significantly underrepresent women’s participation is another indication that media accountability is needed even in this brave new world of online communication, despite the much-ballyhooed gender equity it was supposed to bring."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Democratic YouTube Debate Tonight


Don't miss the two hour Democratic YouTube debate, hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper, tonight.

You can browse some of the submitted questions over at YouTube.


Why Fred Thompson Won't Run


Fred Thompson was going to announce his candidancy in early July.

Then the abortion rights lobbyist said he'd announce in late July instead.

Now the indecisive actor guy is thinking September.

The parady blog Newsgroper puts some impressively appropriate words into slow movin' Freddy's mouth:

"I am here today to say I am not running for President. I may walk for President, or even stroll, but Big Freddie does not run unless there is an angry boar’s horn six inches from his butt."

Fred Thompson, The Actor - In New York Magazine


New York Magazine has an interesting eight page feature about Fred Thompson, The Actor. It's not exactly what I would call a flattering portrait.

Author Stephen Rodrick notes that Thompson's "significant liabilities" are his "work ethic and authenticity."

The excerpt below suggests that the challenge of playing presidential to a national audience of grown-ups is far beyond the small time actor's ability:

On July 10, Thompson made a last-minute trip to suburban Atlanta for the omnipresent Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concert. . . Hannity opened the show with a Hillary imitator getting off gems like “My husband moved from the White House to Harlem. Of course, he read the map wrong and thought it said ‘Harem.’” The party faithful pounded their hands in approval but quieted for the pledge of allegiance.

After the Christian rock band Avalon performed, Thompson was introduced. He read a patriotic poem about the war, took his bows, then sat down in the audience and watched with rapt excitement as the comedian Larry the Cable Guy glided through a set. “My doctor told me I had to give up eggs,” said Larry, tugging at his trucker cap. “I said, ‘Why, because of my cholesterol?’ He said, ‘No, your farts are killing us.’”

The arena echoed with laughter. Over in his seat, Thompson slapped his thigh and gave an “It’s funny ’cause it’s true” full-body shake. He seemed to be having the time of his life. It is hard to imagine Rudy or Romney, Hillary or Barack, sitting through the set, much less soaking it all in.

The French Connections


U.S. Web Lag
by Paul Krugman

There was a time when everyone thought that the Europeans and the Japanese were better at business than we were. In the early 1990s airport bookstores were full of volumes with samurai warriors on their covers, promising to teach you the secrets of Japanese business success. Lester Thurow’s 1992 book, “Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle Among Japan, Europe and America,” which spent more than six months on the Times best-seller list, predicted that Europe would win.

Then it all changed, and American despondency turned into triumphalism. Partly this was because the Clinton boom contrasted so sharply with Europe’s slow growth and Japan’s decade-long slump. Above all, however, our new confidence reflected the rise of the Internet. Jacques Chirac complained that the Internet was an “Anglo-Saxon network,” and he had a point — France, like most of Europe except Scandinavia, lagged far behind the U.S. when it came to getting online.

What most Americans probably don’t know is that over the last few years the situation has totally reversed. As the Internet has evolved — in particular, as dial-up has given way to broadband connections using DSL, cable and other high-speed links — it’s the United States that has fallen behind. . .

Even more striking is the fact that our “high speed” connections are painfully slow by other countries’ standards. . . [H]ealth care isn’t the only area in which the French, who can take a pragmatic approach because they aren’t prisoners of free-market ideology, simply do things better.

Read more. .

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Real Mitt Romney


Here's wannabe president Mitt Romney grinning like a fool and holding up a sign comparing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden. How presidential is that? Will the MSM cover Romney's dirty politics?

via TMZ

A Woman Who’s Man Enough


Gender Anomalies
By MAUREEN DOWD

Things are getting confusing out there in Genderville.

We have the ordinarily poker-faced secretary of defense crying over young Americans killed in Iraq. We have The Washington Post reporting that Hillary Clinton came to the floor of the Senate in a top that put “cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2.”

We have Mitt Romney spending $300 for makeup appointments at Hidden Beauty, a mobile men’s grooming spa, before the California debate, even though NBC would surely have powdered his nose for free.

We have Elizabeth Edwards on a tear of being more assertive than her husband. She argued that John Edwards is a better advocate for women than Hillary, explaining that her own experience as a lawyer taught her that “sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women’s issues.”

We have Bill Clinton, who says he’d want to be known as First Laddie, defending his woman by saying, “I don’t think she’s trying to be a man.”

Read more . .

I Did Have Sexual Relations With That Woman

Summer of Love
By FRANK RICH

IT’S not just the resurgence of Al Qaeda that is taking us back full circle to the fateful first summer of the Bush presidency. It’s the hot sweat emanating from Washington. Once again the capital is titillated by a scandal featuring a member of Congress, a woman who is not his wife and a rumor of crime. Gary Condit, the former Democratic congressman from California, has passed the torch of below-the-Beltway sleaziness to David Vitter, an incumbent (as of Friday) Republican senator from Louisiana.

Mr. Vitter briefly faced the press to explain his “very serious sin,” accompanied by a wife who might double for the former Mrs. Jim McGreevey. He had no choice once snoops hired by the avenging pornographer Larry Flynt unearthed his number in the voluminous phone records of the so-called D.C. Madam, now the subject of a still-young criminal investigation. Newspapers back home also linked the senator to a defunct New Orleans brothel, a charge Mr. Vitter denies. That brothel’s former madam, while insisting he had been a client, was one of his few defenders last week. “Just because people visit a whorehouse doesn’t make them a bad person,” she helpfully told the Baton Rouge paper, The Advocate.

Mr. Vitter is not known for being so forgiving a soul when it comes to others’ transgressions. . .

Read more . .

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Vitter Limerick of the Day


There once was a man named Vitter

Who vowed that he wasn’t a quitter

But with stories of women

And all of his sinnin’

He knows his career’s in the -- oh, never mind.

-- Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), quoted by The Hill, on Republican Sen. David Vitter’s sex scandal.

via Political Wire

Hillary Clinton vs. the Pentagon


Kos has a nice summary of Hillary Clinton's astonishingly good week. She not only took on the Pentagon (with the cable news channels rooting for her), but also found time to defend Daily Kos from Bill O'Reilly!

When it comes to being able to deal effectively with the Dark Side, no one has more experience than Hillary Clinton. This woman is not going to make Kerry's mistakes.

Her letter to Robert Gates is at TPM, and over at Hillary Is 44, you'll find more about Hillary's continuing smackdown of the Pentagon.

Lilly Ledbetter on Fair Pay and the Unfair Roberts Court (Video)

Lilly Ledbetter describes what the arrogant Roberts Supreme Court did to her and women and minorities everywhere in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire:

Support the Fair Pay Restoration Act
“The Roberts Court made it more difficult for Americans to recover wages unfairly denied them and much easier for employers to engage in pay discrimination with impunity. Congress must act now to undo the Court’s unjust assault on the individual rights of American workers and the laws passed by Congress to protect them.” -- Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way

The Cheney Doomsday


AXcess News - Washington - A shudder could be felt across Capitol Hill Friday after news came out that President Bush would be having his butt checked out which meant that while Bush was going through the colonoscopy, Vice President Dick Cheney would be in charge of the nation.

A Crack in Team Bush


Emotion on Iraq
By JUDITH WARNER

It was a shock to see Defense Secretary Robert Gates battling tears Wednesday evening as he spoke about Maj. Douglas Zembiec, a Marine and father of a 1-year-old daughter, who was killed in May after requesting a second tour of duty in Iraq. . . Gates seemed, for a moment, to tap into national sentiment in a way that the Bush team has never before done. . .

We’d never seen anything like it in the “Henny Penny” brush-offs of Gates’s predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld. We probably never will discern any inkling of it in Condoleezza Rice’s robotic equanimity. President Bush is known to meet privately with wounded soldiers and families of the fallen and is said, at those times, to become emotional, but little of that softness seeps into his often cocky — and defensive — public demeanor.

It’s hard to imagine much sympathy emanating from a man who admits to no soul-searching on Iraq, who vacationed through the panic and devastation of Hurricane Katrina and who recently shrugged off the issue of health care reform with the line, “I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.”

Rice, I read in the recent biography, “Twice as Good,” is so incapable of empathy that . .

Read more . .