“Ah, best of worlds, what’s become of you now?”

A little film-noir courtesy of YouTube video, a young Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in a film adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep – “I like to play them myself. But I like to see them work out a little first, see if they’re front-runners or come from behind, find out what their hole-card is.” She was talking about race horses wasn’t she?

Bush’s Director for U.S. Attorneys Mysteriously Resigns

“The Administration’s explanation of Mr. Battle’s apparent resignation is as murky as everything else they have told us about this case,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez. “I look forward to hearing the testimony of the fired federal prosecutors so we can get closer to the truth of what happened.”

Sanchez chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee hearing testimony tomorrow from fired attorneys. Four have already been subpoenaed, and Sanchez announced Monday morning that two additional attorneys might also receive subpoenas.

News of Battle’s resignation comes just days after the resignations of two top military officials following the Walter Reed Hospital scandal. Battle has long been a loyal member of the Bush Administration, having been appointed a U.S. Attorney in 2002 before his current position. In an online Q&A for WhiteHouse.gov in 2005, Battle parroted Bush rhetoric, going so far as to claim that “Far from compromising our civil liberties, the PATRIOT Act expressly protects them.”

Battle is just another body thrown under the bus to make it appear as though President Bunnypants was being tough. Look for Battle to reappear as a partner in some high profile right-wing law firm in the near future. Used up conservatives are never really held to account they just get new jobs with law firms or think tanks, while veterans end up in squalid hospitals.

This blogger used to write for Bill Mahr, Caravaggio, If You Can

President Bush toured parts of Alabama and Georgia that were devastated by tornadoes. After surveying the damage in this small town, the president remained upbeat, saying that the rubble and twisted metal reminded him of “the progress we continue to make in Iraq.”

My favorite name for historian and kool-aid drinker Victor David Hansen is Pangloss, but there is something about Bush and all the neocons that is Panglossian in their ability to look reality square in the face and deny it exists.

The terrorists hate us because we have too much freedom. So the Right is trying to limit our freedom so the terrorists hate at less or in other words appeasement takes many forms. Seriously though the similarities between Republicans and jihadists and Stalinism is uncanny – Top Secret: We’re Wiretapping You

It could be a scene from Kafka or Brazil. Imagine a government agency, in a bureaucratic foul-up, accidentally gives you a copy of a document marked “top secret.” And it contains a log of some of your private phone calls.

You read it and ponder it and wonder what it all means. Then, two months later, the FBI shows up at your door, demands the document back and orders you to forget you ever saw it.

By all accounts, that’s what happened to Washington D.C. attorney Wendell Belew in August 2004. And it happened at a time when no one outside a small group of high-ranking officials and workaday spooks knew the National Security Agency was listening in on Americans’ phone calls without warrants. Belew didn’t know what to make of the episode. But now, thanks to that government gaffe, he and a colleague have the distinction of being the only Americans who can prove they were specifically eavesdropped upon by the NSA’s surveillance program.

The pair are seeking $1 million each in a closely watched lawsuit against the government, which experts say represents the greatest chance, among over 50 different lawsuits, of convincing a key judge to declare the program illegal.

Two FBI Whistleblowers Confirm Illegal Wiretapping of Government Officials and Misuse of FISA

The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC) has obtained a copy of an official complaint filed by a veteran FBI Special Agent, Gilbert Graham, with the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG). SA Graham’s protected disclosures report the violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in conducting electronic surveillance of high-profile U.S. public officials.

Before his retirement in 2002, SA Gilbert Graham worked for the FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) Squad NS-24. One of the main areas of Mr. Graham’s counterintelligence investigations involved espionage activities by Turkish officials and agents in the United States. On April 2, 2002, Graham filed with the DOJ-OIG a classified protected disclosure, which provided a detailed account of FISA violations involving misuse of FISA warrants to engage in domestic surveillance.

Hey at least they had warrants. Though these warrants are now easier to get then a cold in an elementary school.

I hope that everyone knows that Miss Coulter is laughing all the way to the bank after she regurgitates this stuff, Edwards’ Campaign Manager ‘Fronting for Arab Terrorists’

Soon after, Bonior announced he was sending out a fund-raising letter seeking “Coulter Cash” to “show every would-be Republican mouthpiece that their bigoted attacks will not intimidate this campaign.”

A copy of Bonior’s letter was posted on Coulter’s Web site, with this note underneath: “It’s always good to divert Bonior from his principal pastime which is fronting for Arab terrorists.”

Bonior was elected to Congress 13 times in Michigan, and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 to 1972.

Since Edwards is behind Obama and Clinton in most polls I wonder if this isn’t Coulter’s way of draining off support from the front runners as people gravitate to Edwards because of all the free publicity.

More on the trends in the housing market from Daniel Gross, Bubble, Bubble, Toil, and TroubleUh-oh. The housing bust is just beginning.

When Pangloss explains that Cunégonde has been killed, Candide passes out. When he wakes up he says, “Ah, best of worlds, what’s become of you now?” Pangloss is a character in Voltaire’s novel Candide.