Monday, April 30, 2007

Contempt of Congress is a High Crime

Article II, Section 3: "(The Executive) ... shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed..."

Article I, Section 2: "The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole power of impeachment."

Article I, Section 3: "The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments."
Sometimes it's worth stating the obvious, because the simple, basic civics class level statement is what the average citizen will understand.

The Executive is required to "faithfully execute" the laws. Failure to do so is a High Crime.

The Legislative branches have the "sole power" to remove Executive branch officers when they commit High Crimes.

There is no role for the Judiciary in this matter (save the Chief Justice presiding over a Presidential impeachment trial).

Congress has the constitutional obligation to investigate allegations that the Executive has not 'faithfully executed the law.' Failure to provide Congress the information necessary to ascertain whether the Executive has failed to comply with the constitution -- which is a High Crime -- is Contempt of Congress, and itself constitutes a High Crime.

Congress should not rely on the Executive to enforce its request for information, nor should they ask/allow the Judiciary to adjudicate it. There is no reason for the Legislative branch to defer to the Judiciary, nor should it allow the Judiciary to bind or limit its Article I power w/r/t impeachment, which includes oversight of issues that could be impeachable.

There is no role for the Judiciary -- Contempt of Congress is a High Crime. Congress must be responsible for enforcing their Legislative rights under the constitution; It should not rely on, or defer to, the other branches.

It's a simple, basic civics framing of the issue and we should start stating it as acceptable discourse on this issue. Let those who disagree explain why it isn't.

Contempt of Congress is a High Crime. Perhaps it's time to just say it...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

How about Crawford, TX?

Or perhaps they can be put in a wing of the George W. Bush Library...

82 Inmates Cleared but Still Held at Guantanamo:
LONDON -- More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them, according to Bush administration officials and defense lawyers.

Since February, the Pentagon has notified about 85 inmates or their attorneys that they are eligible to leave after being cleared by military review panels. But only a handful have gone home, including a Moroccan and an Afghan who were released Tuesday. Eighty-two remain at Guantanamo and face indefinite waits as U.S. officials struggle to figure out when and where to deport them, and under what conditions.
Unfortunately, this may eliminate Crawford from consideration...
Another major obstacle: U.S. laws that prevent the deportation of people to countries where they could face torture or other human rights abuses...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I'm thinking "M1 Abrams"

Josh Romney, of the proudly serving Romney boys, shows
off their new armoured personnel carrier recreational vehicle.

In preparing for my trip across all 99 counties in Iowa I picked up a Winnebago this past weekend. It's the least expensive RV in working order that I could find, but it meant that I had to fly to Phoenix to pick it up. I'm working on getting it wrapped in some Romney 2008 images and am trying to come up with a good name for it. I'm thinking the "Five Brothers' Bus", but am open to any of your suggestions. Also, let me know if you have any recommendations on places we should visit as we hit the trail in the RV.

Shorter John McCain

My BFF Bush is totally cockblockin' my action...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ugg!

Why is Bob Shrum on my TV? The man should be ashamed to ever show his face in public again...

Brit Hume Edits the Constitution

On yesterday's Special GOP Report, Brit Hume offered this selective reading of Article II (the Executive) to smack down Congressman John Murtha:
In a paragraph of the United States constitution that makes no mention of Congress — the founding fathers decreed that "the president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States."

But in a CNN interview today — Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman and leading war critic John Murtha was asked about complaints from President Bush that Congress was trying to micromanage the war in Iraq. Murtha's response: "That's our job."

The Republican take from Florida Congressman Adam Putnam: "We strongly disagree. It is never appropriate for politicians in the gilded committee rooms of Washington to be dictating targets and tactics on the ground."

Of course, Brit deliberately neglected to inform is his viewer of the Constitutional powers granted Congressman Murtha in Article I, Section 8:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Your modern GOP: Selectively rewriting the Constitution to suit its needs of the moment.

Twisting in the Wind

Mort "Larry" Kondrake of the Three Stooges roundtable on Brit Hume's Special GOP Report yesterday on the fate of Brownie Gonzalez...
"...If you hand his head to the Democrats they'll move on try to whack somebody else. They're already trying to get Karl Rove and they're subpoenaing one of his assistants at the White House, Sarah Taylor, and so they're really after him, but in the meantime they've still got Alberto Gonzalez to beat up on and the can't move on to some other cabinet officer."

Supporting the Troops

Airmen placed in jobs they're not trained for, general says
WASHINGTON — The Air Force's top general expressed frustration on Tuesday with the reassignment of troops under his command to ground jobs for which they were not trained, including guarding prisoners, driving trucks and typing.

Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, said that more than 20,000 airmen had been assigned to roles outside their specialties.

In a breakfast session with reporters, Moseley said he was trying to be realistic. "We live in a military that's at war. And we live in a situation where, if we can contribute, then sign me up for it," he said.

Still, the Air Force general added, "I'm less supportive of things outside our competency."

Rush, Obama and Corker

Digby has a piece about Rush's tasteless parody "Obama, the Magic Negro" and his (and others like him) usual pattern of racist commentary followed by obtuse denials projecting his racism back at his accusers. It's an interesting read and, as usual, well worth the time.

There's another angle worth looking at, however -- how the GOP defeated another young, personable African American: Harold Ford. A key theme the GOP and Bob Corker used against Ford, the tag line just before the infamous "Harold, Call me" line in Corker's racist ad, was "He's just not right," which to the ear sounds like "He's just not white."



For all of the hullabaloo about the more overt racism of the blonde whispering "Harold, Call me," Corker ultimately prevailed by convincing swing white voters (and perhaps the small number of conservative black voters) that Ford was "just not white right." He wasn't white and he wasn't an authentic African American either.

All of this "concern" over Obama's authenticity as an African American, notably coming mostly from white conservatives, is in my view an ongoing attempt create the impression that there's something 'just not white right' about Obama. They're going to attempt to "Corker" Obama too...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Oy...

Moments ago on teevee, CNN's Dana Bash informed America that a Senate no confidence vote on Brownie Gonzalez could "backfire" on Democrats because they might appear "political"....

Jonah Icon

Shorter Jonah Goldberg:
America is me!

Mitt!: Bribe and Coddle Will Win the War

Mitt! (second from left) leads another
round of "Kumbaya Allah, Kumbaya"


Multiple Choice Mitt! down in Florida to fluff Governor Crist for endorsement, reiterates his call for increasing troop levels by 100,000 (excluding his sons), reminds the faithful that he, too, has flip-flopped on abortion, but in the good way, just like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, issues a bold new call to fight Islamofascism with ..... group hugs:

(Romney) said he supported Bush's "troop surge" strategy in Iraq, but said the answer to "radical jihadist" terrorism warranted a "second Marshall plan" to modernize the Islamic culture.

"We're going to have to change hearts and minds, as the saying goes, and I think one of the first things I'd want to do is to call a summit of nations, led not just by us, but by moderate Islamic states, and other leading nations of the world, to say: How can we help move Islam towards modernity?" he said.

This should play very well with the LGF crowd...

Monday, April 23, 2007

This is sad news...

Writer Halberstam killed in crash
SAN FRANCISCO -- David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who chronicled the Washington press corps, the Vietnam War generation and baseball, was killed in a car crash early Monday, a coroner said. He was 73.

Halberstam, of New York, was a passenger in a car that was broadsided by another vehicle in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said.

Supporting the Troops...

Pentagon may be shorting troop benefits

"Democrats by and large"

David Broder projects...

...Adding, I'm not privy to Broder's background reporting but there's little public evidence to support his assertion that most Democrats are "embarrassed" by Harry Reid.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Who Will Hold Them Accoutable?


Arrested for Hackery

Joe Klein caught dead to rights
mischaracterizing Markos and deliberately misleading the readers of Time magazine. Will Time print a correction? Will there be any discipine of Klein? His editor? Anyone?

Update: Klein defends his chronologically incorrect quotes as accurate anyway because ... Markos is clairvoyant? Says the only thing he did wrong was his failure to note that the quotes were chronologically incorrect. I wonder if his editor fell for it?

Blogger Ethics Panel (Really!)

Roger Ailes sinks and quarters Plagiarizin' Ed...

K-Lo "Links Up" with Fred Thompson


"He Does It Every Time"

Sadly, Fred's not fooled by her use of this avatar...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Pork Mirage

Don't know why this isn't obvious, but... Anyone insisting on inclusion of extraneous funding and/or pet projects in a war funding bill that Bush is going to veto is awfully damn stupid. If the bill is not going to become law, what's the point? You get all the downside of having to defend the inclusion of things that have zero chance of enacting. It's sheer stupidity...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Incompetent?

Is Edwards actually going to kick the haircut story into next week...?

Malignant Minds

Felled just like his mentor, Lee Atwater. Karma, baby...

Greg Stevens, a Republican political and media strategist who might be best known for taking presidential candidate Michael Dukakis' 1988 publicity appearance in a tank and using the image against him, died of brain cancer Monday at his home in Yarmouth, Maine. He was 58.

Before starting his Alexandria, Va.-based firm in 1993, Stevens had a long career as a political operative and GOP strategist who learned under Charles Black, Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes. He spoke of Ailes, now chairman of Fox News, as his closest mentor in developing clear visual strategies.

~~~

Stevens and his associates attracted strong criticism at times for his methods. He was fired from Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner's reelection campaign in 1996 for doctoring an image of his Democratic opponent. The firm also came under fire for a 2006 television commercial made for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) that digitally added billowing smoke to an image of the Twin Towers taken before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

His firm also made ads during the 2004 presidential race for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advocacy group.

The group, whose members included many financial supporters of President George W. Bush, raised doubts about Democratic challenger John Kerry's valor as a Navy lieutenant patrolling the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War. Stevens said he had little to do with the Swift Boat ads because they were handled by a partner.

More Like This

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from his questioning of Brownie G yesterday:

WHITEHOUSE: The two areas where you ask us to agree with you, in your testimony: The first is that U.S. attorneys can be fired at will by the president. That's undeniably true, but I think its use as a rhetorical point in this discussion is highly misleading, deeply misleading.

Because I think you and I both know that, for years, for decades, there has been a tradition of independence on the part of United States attorneys.

Once they're appointed, unless there is misconduct, they're left to do their jobs. And that rule, that practice, has existed for good and meaningful reason. And it can't be overlooked by just blithely saying, well, the president has the power to remove these people.

That misses the point. These people make tough decisions. They're out there on their own very different. Very often, the Department of Justice and the political environment that surrounds it is one that you want to protect them from.

And the idea that, willy-nilly, senior staff people can come out and have the heads of U.S. attorneys -- I think it's highly damaging to that piece of structure.

~~~

If I may make my second point, because I'm running out of time here. It's the second thing that you suggest, which is we should further agree on a definition of what an improper reason for the removal of a U.S. attorney would be. And over and over again you've used the word "improper" as sort of your target word as to where the boundary is, to where you should and shouldn't go.

But your definition of improper is almost exactly the same as Kyle Sampson's. He came in here and testified, he said, without consulting with anybody, and said that the improper reasons include an effort, and I quote, "to interfere with or influence the investigation or prosecution of a particular case for political or partisan advantage."

And your testimony is, "...to interfere with or influence a particular prosecution for partisan political gain."

You've loaded up those words. You've used them repeatedly. And I think that the definition of where impropriety lies, clearly that would be improper. That would be grotesquely improper.

But I think you've set the bar way low for yourself, if that's your standard of where impropriety is, because -- and I'd like to hear you comment on this -- I think any effort to add any partisan or political dimension into a U.S. attorney's conduct of his office, irrespective of whether it's intended to affect a particular case or not, is something that we need to react to firmly, strongly, resolutely, and without any tolerance for it.

And yet you've set the bar so that it's not impropriety until it affects a particular case.

Why did you do that?

GONZALES: Senator, because the accusations that have been made primarily, certainly as an initial matter, was that there was something improper; we were trying to interfere with particular cases.

And that's why certainly the focus in my mind was to focus on: OK, well, what is the legal standard?

And I think it's important for us to understand, as an initial matter: What is the legal standard; what would be inappropriate or improper?

WHITEHOUSE: But something a lot less than that would be improper, would it not? I mean, when Admiral Byng got hanged there was the famous comment: Every once in a while you got to hang an admiral just to encourage all the others.

You know, if you hang a U.S. attorney every once in a while just to discourage all the others, even if your intention is not to affect a particular case, you have to agree that would be highly improper.

GONZALES: Senator -- well, it may be improper as a matter of management. Some would have to wonder: Is that really an appropriate way to manage the department?

But, again, Senator, you have to understand that...

WHITEHOUSE: Well, otherwise it would be obstruction of justice, correct?

GONZALES: ... that these individuals have served their four years, they're holding over. There's no expectation of a job here. There shouldn't be, because of the fact that they are presidential appointees.

Now, clearly, as a management issue, there is value added to a person who has served as a United States attorney in terms of experience, expertise. And so, those things are very important.

WHITEHOUSE: It's more than just a management issue. It's an issue about the structure through which justice is administered in this country.

And when it's broken and when it's damaged and when the attorney general of the United States says the only place where impropriety exists is when political and partisan influence has risen to the point that it's intended to affect a particular case, but otherwise it's fine, I have a real problem. And I think everybody in America should have a real problem with that.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Do it to me 'Sheldon', you're an animal 'Sheldon', ride me big 'Sheldon'."

"If you need a root canal Sheldon's your man..."


Dear Senate Judiciary Democrats,

Please yield your time to and allow Senator Whitehouse to do all future questioning.

Love,

Steve

Chuck K's a Tool

Shorter America's Worst Psychologist Journalist, Charles Krauthammer, yesterday on the Virginia Tech gunman's package sent to NBC:

"He had Islamic jihad envy."

Shorter Abu G at the Senate hearing

"Ok, so we screwed up. So what?"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Biggest Broken Promise

Like Viagra for Hacks
Digby quotes Suzanne Malveaux of CNN, in an ever more desperate and illusive attempt to achieve Bush media arousal in a sea of impotence, comparing Bush's remarks at Virginia Tech today with his Big Swinging Dick moment on the pile at the World Trade Center:

John, you may recall that what was called the "bull horn moment" when the president shortly after 9/11 stood on that pile of rubble and called out and really united the country at that moment, firefighters and others who recognized that that was a very significant moment for the country. This is again one of those moments Don, where a lot of people are looking at this wondering, you know this could have been my son or daughter...

While Digby correctly notes that the "bull horn moment" was not so much a healing moment as it was a "war cry," it's worth noting that the war cry itself contained the biggest broken promise of the Bush Administration:

"I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"

The people who knocked down those buildings are still alive, still at large, today. Right now.

Look, I understand the need to romanticize historical "national moments," but if you're going to re-live the BSD moment, it's worth pointing out that the BSD went limp before achieving the promised climax...

"Viewpoint-based Exclusionary Determinations"

Bush Volunteers Argue Gov't Can Eject Dissenters

Weise and Young argue they were ejected for their political views. They had arrived in a car bearing a "No blood for oil" bumper sticker. They were also wearing T-shirts saying "Stop the lies" under their clothes but did not show them.

They have said they had no plans to disrupt the event, but Young hoped to ask Bush a question if given the opportunity.

Casper and Klinkerman's lawyers said the government has the same rights as a private corporation when its officials speak.

"The president may constitutionally make viewpoint-based exclusionary determinations in conveying his own message," the attorneys said in the filing. "So in following the instructions of the White House and carrying out its viewpoint-based exclusions, Casper and Klinkerman did not violate any of plaintiffs' constitutional rights."

Life in a bubble - constitutionally protected everwhere for America's top public official. We are governed by paranoid lunitics...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spy vs. Spy


DIA vs. CIA
Shiite vs. Sunni


Remaking Iraq in our own Feith-based image...

Divided Iraq has two spy agencies

WASHINGTON BAGHDAD — Suspicious of Tenet's CIA Iraq's CIA-funded national intelligence agency, members of the Vice President's office and the Defense Dept. the Iraqi government have erected the Defence Intelligence Agency a "shadow" secret service that critics say is driven by Cheney's a Shiite Muslim agenda and has left the country with dueling spy agencies.

The Undersecretary of Defense minister of state for national security, a(n) idiot Shiite named Douglas Feith Sherwan Waili, has built a spy service boasting an estimated 1,200 intelligence agents out of a second-tier ministry with a minimal staff and meager budget, Western officials say.

"He has representatives in every province," a Western diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "At the moment, it's a slightly shady parallel organization."

Cheney and Rumsfeld Shiite officials say the minister is providing information on Al Qaeda and former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party that isn't being supplied by the CIA Iraqi National Intelligence Service, or INIS, Iraq's primary spy service.

~~~

"The general feeling is that the intelligence service is not functioning or conducting its work in the proper way," said deputy parliament speaker Khalid Attiya, a Shiite.

The two spy agencies risk becoming open partisans in Iraq's civil war if vying political parties do not reach an agreement on how to rule the country, one analyst warned.

"If no critical compromise is reached, the security services are going to fall apart on ethnic, sectarian and party lines," said Joost Hiltermann, Middle East director of the International Crisis Group. "It will be a failed state situation like Somalia."

Like Bad Acid

Caution: Reading Joe Klein
may cause brain atrophy

Joe Klein's bile chums the Swamp...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Case of Multiple Mitt's Hall of Holograms

"I don't know," Joe said. He sat up and began to pull on his black canvas boots. "But right now I want to forget about untangling all those suspects and continue searching for Dad."

Frank shook his head. "No way, Joe. You're supposed to be resting, remember?"

"I'm rested," Joe said impatiently. "I feel fine now. So let's pick one of the buildings Dad circled on the map and get over there, okay?" He pulled the map out of his pocket and studied it intently. "How about the Hall of Holograms?"

"Okay," Frank said reluctantly as he stood up from the bed. "But if you start feeling dizzy, we're coming right back here. Agreed?"

Joe glared at him. "I really hate it when you play big brother, you know that?"

"Hey," Frank said with a grin as they left the room, "it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it."

Multiple choice Mitt's boy Matt, of the bloggin' Romney Boys, Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig, who are chronicling all the excitement of Mitt! '08, tries to explain that three dimensional Mitt! is not the product of three positions on every topic Mitt! and does his father proud:
On my introduction post, Mike asks "What do you think about the flip-flop charge?"

Honestly, it doesn't bother me when the press tries labeling him as something that is untrue. You can't be too sensitive to stuff like this. I greatly respect my Dad for changing his position on the issue of choice. He readily admits that he was wrong before. I think it takes courage to admit that you were wrong so publicly. Some have tried to twist earlier statements to make it seem that he has shifted his views on other topics as well, but the reality is that he has been remarkably consistent. His core values and principles have always and will always be strong and unchanging.
Got that? It's "untrue" that Mitt! changes positions while having great respect for "Dad...changing his position" while concluding that "his core values ... will always be strong and unchanging." Like father, like son, a triple flipperoo...

It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it...

How high?

BoBo Brooks bobs him some John McCain...
You know, I had lunch with a Republican consultant who is unaffiliated in this campaign, and we were talking about McCain's financial troubles, which are severe, his slide in the polls, which is troubling. And the guy said, you know, at the end of the day, David, you've got to remember, he is a great man.

And I have to say, I agree with that. I spent eight hours with him on Wednesday, and he is a damn impressive man ... We flew down to VMI together and rode in a van and then back. He is just an impressive man. I think he's doing this for the highest of reasons, because he understands the suffering of the troops, he believes there's still a chance of success. How high, I don't know. I don't think he knows.

Fighting Truth

Gonzo today in his Washington Post op-ed:
While I have never sought to deceive Congress or the American people, I also know that I created confusion with some of my recent statements about my role in this matter. To be clear: I directed my then-deputy chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, to initiate this process; fully knew that it was occurring; and approved the final recommendations. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his updates were brief, relatively few in number and focused primarily on the review process.

During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.
Gonzo on March 30:
"I believe in truth and accountability and every step that I've taken is consistent with that principle," Gonzales said when asked why he is not heeding calls to resign. "I am fighting for the truth as well."

Gonzales said he had his former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, coordinated performance evaluations for the 93 U.S. attorneys "to see where changes might be appropriate."

"I signed off on the recommendations and signed off on the implementation plan, and that's the extent of my involvement," he told reporters....

Tall Like a Man, She Took All Four Inches

Stone Butch and Joe

WorldNutDaily's Ellis Robinson writes pining, homofacist erotica for wingnutia...
Is there no man, no conservative, no Republican during this upcoming 2008 presidential election who has pledged to continue McCarthy's magnificent legacy of combating radical liberalism, Country Club Republicanism, Communism, totalitarianism and civilization's newest enemy, Islamic terrorism? From way in the back of the room, Ann Coulter stood tall like a man and didn't ask for it, but took McCarthy's mantle. (emphasis original)

And that is why I praise Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

War on Christmas

Wolfowitz loses O'Reilly...
He even chopped back the bank's traditionally lavish Christmas party.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Is this thing on?

It's all down hill from here...