“We’ve seen the hubris. And now we’re seeing the scandals”

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) referred to Senate colleagues who have begun to favor a change in course in Iraq as “wimps.”…

This would be the same scoundrel that breaks down in tears and stumps his feet when he doesn’t get his way, John Boehner Breaks Down Again, Weeps Openly On House Floor During Iraq Debate. Another reason that John Boy should not be allowed on the floor of the House until he can pass a mental competency test. As is usually the case Boehner is among many Republicans who talk about supporting the troops, but when it actually comes down to doing something he’s AWOL. Ohio is traditionally a moderate state how this Bush boot licker got elected is a mystery.

In case you haven’t stopped by and read Kagro X (DailyKos) series of posts on Congress’s options in regards to the Whitehouse hiding behind claims of executive privilege here’s one that you shouldn’t miss, Is inherent contempt pardonable?

If you draw a parallel between the two types of judicially ordered contempt of court and the two different reasons and sentences that can be passed under inherent contempt of Congress, it becomes pretty easy to argue that someone sentenced under inherent contempt and imprisoned in order to coerce compliance is being held on charges analogous to a civil charge — and therefore arguably not subject to pardon.

This puts Harriet Miers between a rock and the possibility of jail time since Bush has ordered her not to testify. As Marty Lederman notes Senator Leahy seems determined to proceed even if it involves contempt of Congress. He doesn’t think that statutory contempt is going to work because that would mean the DOJ and Alberto Gonzales would have to bring charges and we all know at this juncture that Gonazales executes his duties as a political extension of George and Dick, not as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, What Would Happen if the Administration Continues to Defy the Subpoenas?

Whatever options Congress chooses the Whitehouse is likely to come to some agreement, but in a way it might benefit Democrats and the country he Bush decides to dig in and and not comply. Leaving the dead ender hard Right aside the vast majority of Americans do not think the office of the president regardless of occupant is above the law and do not their presidents acting like Kings that feel they are not accountable to the people’s representatives. Bush may succeed in running out the clock, but that will only save his neck in the interim. Meanwhile Republicans will inherit a Bush legacy of hubris and ineptitude that will take years to undo. Either way Bush goes America will win in the long run. We find out what he’s hiding which anyone over the age of eight knows is the only reason he’s bunkered down behind claims of executive privledge or he succeeds in delaying the whole truth coming out for 18 months. Its checkmate now or later for Republicans and dead enders like Boehner.

The Christian Republican sex scandals just keep rolling along. There was the recent Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and his penchant for prostitutes and now State Rep. Bob Allen (R-Merritt Island) – Rep. Bob Allen arrested on sex charge

TITUSVILLE – State Rep. Bob Allen was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a local park after offering to perform a sex act on an undercover officer in exchange for $20, police said.

Allen did turn the tables a bit by playing prostitute. Allen is married and a father. Republicans don’t have a monopoly on sex scandals obviously and I’m even a little shocked that at least so far no Dems have turned up in the D.C. Madam scandal. Flynt is tracking 20 congressional sex scandal leads

“Republicans are more fun because they get caught so easily,” Flynt said. “They’ve been living a repressed life all their life. Democrats are liberal — they wear it on their sleeve. Their sex life is what it is. They don’t spend their whole life trying to cover it up.”

“We’ve seen the hubris. And now we’re seeing the scandals.” – David R. Gergen

Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady, Dies at 94

She softened hurts, mediated quarrels and won over many political opponents. Johnson often said his political ascent would have been inconceivable without his wife’s devotion and forbearance. Others shared that belief.

I would agree from what I know about Lyndon Johnson. There was the fairly admirable legacy of his domestic policy and then there was his horrible foreign policy. You can see Lady Bird’s influence on the domestic side. Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake has more, Lady Bird Johnson, 1912 to 2007

Hy Speed Retro wallpaper

Hy- Speed Retro wallpaper

What Our Grandparents Can Teach Us About Saving the World 

The typical new U.S. home, for instance, is 40 percent larger than that of 25 years ago, even though the average household has fewer people. In that same period, dinosaur-like SUVs (now 50 percent of all private vehicles) have taken over the freeways, while the amount of retail space per capita (an indirect but reliable measure of consumption) has quadrupled.

Too many of us, in other words, talk green but lead supersized lifestyles — giving fodder to the conservative cynics who write columns about Al Gore’s electricity bills. Our culture appears hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels, shopping sprees, suburban sprawl, and beef-centered diets. Would Americans ever voluntarily give up their SUVs, McMansions, McDonald’s, and lawns?

The surprisingly hopeful answer lies in living memory. In the 1940s, Americans simultaneously battled fascism overseas and waste at home. My parents, their neighbors, and millions of others left cars at home to ride bikes to work, tore up their front yards to plant cabbage, recycled toothpaste tubes and cooking grease, volunteered at daycare centers and USOs, shared their houses and dinners with strangers, and conscientiously attempted to reduce unnecessary consumption and waste.

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

Digby writes about this drivel from conservative Cal Thomas. One among many of our fellow humans who thinks he has a direct pipeline to God,

The Christian right has actually been at war with mainline churches (like Clinton’s) for a long time, under the radar, and this argument isn’t new. They have tried to defund and decertify them by saying they aren’t legitimately Christian. Their effort continues apace. In their own sector of society they are just as ruthless, bullying and intolerant as they are in the political sphere.

Cal and the Right are entitled to keep moving the religious ball around – Kerry was pro-choice so he couldn’t be a real Catholic, but its fine that Guiliani is pro-choice. Cal belongs to the political party that has made it clear that they reject the Beatitudes

How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. …

And so on.

Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney stuff.

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

Digby also linked to this story, Vatican reiterates hardline on primacy of Catholic Church

The Vatican set itself on a collision course with other Christian faiths Tuesday, reaffirming the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church in a corrective document which it said was designed to clear up recent “erroneous” doctrine.

The document’s central claim, that only the Catholic Church is “the one true Church of Christ”, is likely to revive a debate which has dogged the Vatican’s relationship with rival Christian denominations for decades.

On every corner there’s someone claiming to be the only source or path or possess the one and only true dogma that will get us into heaven, from Cal Thomas to the Pope to James Dobson to Osama Bin Laden. Its like a cheesy franchise that most people quietly hope doesn’t open a store front in their neighborhood. People should in light of the history of the self appointed-self-righteous find Hillary Clinton’s or anyone’s humility about their faith reassuring. It means at the very least they’re a little more rational.

The Bushies claim to be religious, but that hasn’t stopped them from making politics a priority over the rule of law, Bush Justice Is A National Disgrace

The public record now plainly demonstrates that both the DOJ and the government as a whole have been thoroughly politicized in a manner that is inappropriate, unethical and indeed unlawful. The unconscionable commutation of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s sentence, the misuse of warrantless investigative powers under the Patriot Act and the deplorable treatment of U.S. attorneys all point to an unmistakable pattern of abuse.

In the course of its tenure since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has turned the entire government (and the DOJ in particular) into a veritable Augean stable on issues such as civil rights, civil liberties, international law and basic human rights, as well as criminal prosecution and federal employment and contracting practices. It has systematically undermined the rule of law in the name of fighting terrorism, and it has sought to insulate its actions from legislative or judicial scrutiny and accountability by invoking national security at every turn, engaging in persistent fearmongering, routinely impugning the integrity and/or patriotism of its critics, and protecting its own lawbreakers. This is neither normal government conduct nor “politics as usual,” but a national disgrace of a magnitude unseen since the days of Watergate – which, in fact, I believe it eclipses.

These are dark days. Dark days for a president that makes a lame duck look like an Olympic sprinter. What can we do they ask themselves. Well ya know that boy who cried wolf stuff has worked before, Al Qaeda Cell in the U.S. Or On Its Way, According to New Intel

Charles Gibson: The obvious question, Brian, is how hard and how specific is the intelligence?

Brian Ross: Not hard, but good. It’s being taken very seriously, in connection with increased chatter, e-mail traffic back and forth, the attacks in London, and a general concern, as Secretary Chertoff said today, that summer seems to be a time that al Qaeda likes to attack.

Low Approval Ratings = Another Terror Warning

Things are dark for the Bu$h malAdministration right now. Congress is talking about standing up on its two hind feet. Iraq hasn’t made its 18 benchmarks. Newspapers are actually talking about the phoniness, fraud, and illegal activities, WaPo even openly mentioned Abu Gonzalez broke the law when he lied to Congress – multiple times. More than 2/3rds of America wants us out of Iraq and Mr Bu$h out of our White House.

Maybe something really is going on and we’re all being too cynical. Since we’re being Biblical today, its a matter of reaping what you sow. At one point I remember one blogger was tracking terror alerts like this and I think he gave up because there have been so many. Bush is creating a dangerous situation by creating a certain level of terror alert burn out.

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. – Galatians VI (King James Version)

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital

To the cult of conservatism the truth remains elusive. Perhaps they are mentally incapable of differentiating reality from make-believe, who knows – Taranto repeated stale falsehood that there’s “no evidence” Plame was a “covert agent”

On the July 6 edition of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, while discussing President Bush’s commutation of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s 30-month prison sentence, Wall Street Journal Opinionjournal.com editor James Taranto falsely claimed that “[t]here’s still no evidence that [former CIA operative] Valerie Plame [Wilson] was a covert agent.” In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, in a May 25 sentencing memorandum, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald wrote that “[a]t the time of the leaks, Ms. Wilson in fact qualified as a ‘covert agent’ within the meaning of the IIPA” (Intelligence Identities Protection Act). To support this claim, Fitzgerald included an “unclassified summary” of Plame’s employment at the CIA — which had been given to Libby’s defense team in June 2006 — stating that the CIA “declassified and now publicly acknowledges the previously classified fact that Ms. Wilson was a CIA employee from 1 January 2002 forward and the previously classified fact that she was a covert CIA employee during this period.” The “unclassified summary” established that she had headed a counterproliferation operation focused on Iraq and had traveled overseas in an undercover capacity in the five years prior to the disclosure of her identity.

The glaringly obvious observation that Scooter’s defense team didn’t try to make the case that the trial couldn’t proceed because M’s Plame was not covert doesn’t seem to matter to the Conservative Cultists like Taranto. Even given the historically rough and tumble world of politics the modern Right’s sense of what constitutes values doesn’t seem to include the basics of what values consist of; attributes like character and honor are thrown over board without the slightest regret. What seems to be most important to the Taranto’s and The WSJ’s editorial page in general is to create some plausible fissure in the truth to assure the rest of the cult that they are Right. Thus in Right World there is no absolutes, every truth is negotiable and ultimately disposable.

The Right does always seem to have time to fit in some sleazy sexual adventures, GOP Senator and Values Merchant Vitter on DC Madam List

Louisiana Senator and family values merchant David Vitter is apparently the latest Republican stalwart to run afoul of his own libido. The AP reported Monday night that Vitter’s name turned up on the client list of the DC Madam. And as Salon reported back in 2004, this episode is not Vitter’s first prostitution imbroglio.

Iraq is like? Choose one WW II, The Korean War, The American Revolutionary War, Vietnam, and Algeria. I’ve probably missed a couple. Like sand through an hour glass so is the quest to find the perfect analogy for MesO’Potamia – Troubles

Gen Petraeus was keen to emphasise that the ongoing unrest in Iraq is not something he expects to be resolved overnight.

“Northern Ireland, I think, taught you that very well. My counterparts in your [British] forces really understand this kind of operation… It took a long time, decades,” he said.

First Draft points to this link from Crooks and Liars,

“The Troubles” started one hell of a lot longer ago than the ’60s. Try about 400 years of strife. Plus, what ended the N. Ireland strife was the point at which the British stopped letting their knee jerk with every violent act of some fringe group and began to focus on diplomacy, insisting that violence was not going to stop the peace.

Let’s say that the General’s “decades” is what we’re looking at. Today the Congressional Research Service reported that we’re spending $10 billion a month on Iraq alone, while 3,596 have died in Iraq since the March 2003. The right-wing Gateway Pundit uses a statistical lie to to minimize the costs in lives so far and that I posted about previously, Monday, July 09, 2007, Jihadists Celebrate Awesome Win in Iraq

(Note: the US lost more soldiers during the first 4 years of the Clinton Administration than the US has lost in the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq combined over the last 5 and 1/2 years.)

Does that blogger not know how to read a chart. Slightly more military deaths under President Clinton from all causes from heart attacks to diabetes to traffic accidents, Figures don’t lie, liars figure

George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)

G. Pundit like Glenn Reynolds, Murdoc, and Redstate have a history of ignoring the data that matters, deaths from hostile action

from 1980 to 1984 there were 19, from 1985 to 1991 there were 199, from 1992 to 2000 there was 1, from 2001 until 2004 ( the last year on the chart that Murdoc links to) there were 1102 military fatalities due to hostile action, more then the previous 20 years combined. Military deaths due to terrorist attacks, according to this chart had a one year peak of 263 under Reagan in 1983. The next highest year for terrorist caused military fatalities was 55 in 2001 under Bush.

Bill Clinton, 1 military death from hostile action. One, according to the statistics that the Right themselves have provided and even those let Dubya off the hook for the period 2004 until today. Figures don’t lie, but the liars continue ignore the inconvenient truth and spin the numbers. I wish I could say it was funny how the Right defines the truth and what winning or losing is, but its not funny. Their insistence on treating death like an inconvenience or in some cases like a martyrdom that they share in by blog proxy in some great quest to show how brave they are from the safety of their desks borders on the sociopathic. It is always “we” that needs to keep the strife in Iraq going, when the most that “we” has done is shake their pom poms during Bush’s tortured speeches.

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -Aaron Levenstein

Empty Passages wallpaper

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, the Image and the World: A Retrospective

A renowned photojournalist, he began his career in 1931 and purchased his first Leica in 1932. He was one of the first to shoot in the 35 mm format, and was an innovator of the “street photography” which was to influence generations of photographers.

Empty Passages 1600×1200

The wallpaper is from a stock photo, but the style suggests a little Cartier-Bresson.

Some of the most successful relationships are based on lies and deceit

Cheney’s Claims Could Expose Him to Suit

Vice President Richard Cheney reversed his position last week when he asserted that he is not a member of our Executive Branch of Government. The Vice President, however, clearly took the position that he was a member of the Executive Branch in Cheney v. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367 (2004) (involving disclosure of documents related to the Chaney led energy task force), and he benefited from that position when the Supreme Court decided to “give recognition to the paramount necessity of protecting the Executive Branch from vexatious litigation.” Id. at 382. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(3) offers a unique opportunity to test the Vice President’s conflicting (and possibly fraudulent) contentions in a court room.

The short version is that since Cheney won that suit based on his claim to executive privilege because, well he was part of the executive. His current and expedient claim that he is part of the legislature rather then the executive means that he will have committed fraud in the first case by maliciously misrepresenting his legal status to claim privilege. Check and mate Mr. Cheney, you are either fish or foul, but not both. Inside Bush’s decision to give Scooter Libby a pass.

He (Bush) was especially keen to know if there was compelling evidence that might contradict the jury’s verdict that Libby had lied to a federal grand jury about when—and from whom—he learned the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, wife of Iraq War critic Joe Wilson. But Fielding, one of the advisers tells NEWSWEEK, reluctantly concluded that the jury had reached a reasonable verdict: the evidence was strong that Libby testified falsely about his role in the leak.
(emphasis mine)

As many will no doubt note. Bush and one of the most devious Republican lawyers in Washington could not find a single legal flaw in Libby’s conviction. In other words commuting Libby’s sentence was exactly what it appeared to be, a purely political end run around justice.

Whistle-Blower’s Fight For Pension Drags On

From a cramped motor home in a Montana campground where Internet access is as spotty as the trout, Richard Barlow wakes each morning to battle Washington.

Once a top intelligence officer at the Pentagon who helped uncover Pakistan’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, Barlow insisted on telling the truth, and it led to his undoing.

Another whistle-blower that not all Republicans, but certainly the far Right that dominates the Republican party hates just on general principle, but the story is unique. Remember that like the constantly repeated urban myths, America is supposed to believe that the Right are the highly adept swift minded tough acting professionals of national security. Manipulating America into MesO’potamia was supposed to make the world and especially the Middle-East more stable and safer. The reality based community is well aware how that turned out.

At the time, the government was poised to sell $1.4 billion worth of new F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan to help the mujaheddin fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. But Congress, through two laws passed in 1985, had forbidden the sale of any equipment that could be used to deliver nuclear bombs.

Barlow wrote an analysis for then-Secretary Dick Cheney that concluded the planned F-16 sale violated this law. Drawing on detailed, classified studies, Barlow wrote about Pakistan’s ability, intentions and activities to deliver nuclear bombs using F-16s it had acquired before the law was passed.

Barlow discovered later that someone rewrote his analysis so that it endorsed the sale of the F-16s.

Barlow intelligence states that selling aircraft to an unpredictable military dictatorship capable of delivering a nuclear payload is probably unwise and against the law. Coincidently  four deferments Richard Cheney the supposed Conservative expert on all things military is in charge while a report is mysteriously rewritten and the writer of the original report career is is suddenly in ruins. As Eric Alterman once said there is no secret right-wing conspiracy most of their vile and more often then not, unamerican behavior is out there to see for anyone that wants to make a slight effort to see it. ( Hat-tip to Buzzflash for that story)

Military killed ‘key al Qaeda leader’ twice. This is not the Pentagon’s fault. They work for a Decider-in-Chief that governs according to little supernatural voices he hears in his head so the possibility that you can kill someone twice fits in with a mindset that the Bushies have cultivated.

Yuri Orlov: Some of the most successful relationships are based on lies and deceit. Since that’s where they usually end up anyway, it’s a logical place to start.

Lord of War (2005)

it’s important to think beyond the old days of when we had the concept that if we blew each other up, the world would be safe

“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy….I was able to get a sense of his soul.” —George W. Bush, after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, June 16, 2001

 Putin Strikes Again

Russian journalists have suffered crippling attacks in recent years, as Vladimir Putin pursues his policy of strengthening the “vertical” dimension of his administration’s “power pyramid.” The Kremlin’s geometrical terminology means enforcing, from the top down, an ideology intended to align all sectors of Russia’s “managed democracy” (another key phrase of the Putin era) into tidy, clearly demarcated, easily controlled zones of activity and influence. No strong minority views, no awkward revelations in the press are to mar the sleek façades of the state. The messy disarray normally associated with functioning democracy—the irritating criticism, noisy opposition, and inconvenient news uncovered by investigative reporters(what Russians proudly called glasnost a mere seventeen years ago)—has been summarily and sometimes harshly dealt with.

The techniques range from mild bureaucratic harassment of news organizations to physical attacks on individual journalists. The body count among Russian reporters is now thirteen murders in the line of duty since Putin has been in power. In each case the reporter was investigating or had published stories critical of government or business officials.

When Bush looked into Putin’s eyes what he most likely saw was a reflection of himself. White House To Block Testimony Of Former Rove Aide

U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05

A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

I would hesitate to use this as a gotcha. It does add a little more to the general evidence that the Bushies despite all their chest thumping have been in over their heads from day one. What does the Right do with this story. Captain Ed uses it as a chance to bring up that old urban myth that President Clinton had Bin Laden in his sights and blew it. Actually a variation on the Clinton did it too defense. Sure Bush and Rummy may have gotten it wrong, but so did Bill in this mythical episode that never happened, July 7, 2007- We Did What? – Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 7, 2007 5:25 PM

Republicans have long criticized the Clinton administration for its refusal to pull the trigger on a mission to kill Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. The Times reports that the reasons this time were more complicated than just concern over collateral damage.

That stellar reporting by Cap has no basis in fact, Conservative Author Richard Miniter: ‘There’s Zero Factual Basis’ For Key Scene In Path To 9/11

BLITZER: You’ve heard other 9/11 commission members saying it wasn’t Sandy Berger who pulled the trigger, it was George Tenet the CIA director. Based on what you know, is that accurate?

MINITER: Even that’s not accurate. We just never had eyes on bin Laden in the pre-9/11 situation. The 9/11 commission investigated this. The House and Senate joint committee investigated this and published a 1,000-page report. I looked into it extensively. Most of the sources for my book are Clinton administration officials. There’s just no basis for this at all, none.

Miniter is a full throttle rightie so for him to admit the truth about The Big Dog blowing a chance to take down Osama is astounding. The score, Captain – 0. The Truth – 1. Sadly No! takes down Confederate Yankee – CY is a true cultist, he is not the least bothered by eyewitness accounts or official records he can see all the way to Iraq from mom’s basement and he only he has had the real truth revealed to him through the special antenna on his tin foil hat. The AP probably thinks he’s an obsessive stalker at this point. If it quacks like a duck. Bomb Levels Section of Iraqi Village, Killing 105

A suicide truck bomber killed at least 105 people in a single blast north of Baghdad on Saturday, police officials said, leading to further fears that insurgents who fled intense military operations in Baghdad and Diyala are turning to targets away from the American troop buildup.

In a few days the Right will explain this away as part of a worldwide conspiracy to make their Connecticut frat boy look bad.

“But I also made it clear to (Vladimir Putin) that it’s important to think beyond the old days of when we had the concept that if we blew each other up, the world would be safe.” -George W. Bush, May 1, 2001

“The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible”

Media still repeating false claim that Armitage role in Plame leak exonerates Libby

…media figures have continued to repeat the false claim that former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s role as columnist Robert D. Novak’s original source for Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA operative proves Libby was not involved in the leak of her identity. However, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, the fact that Armitage was the original source for Novak’s column revealing Plame’s identity is not inconsistent with Libby’s disclosure of Plame’s identity — specifically, to then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller — before the publication of Novak’s column.

On the July 3 edition of NBC’s Today, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol claimed: “Scooter Libby does not deserve to go to jail. I would remind Joe Wilson that Scooter Libby did not leak Valerie Plame’s name. Richard Armitage told Robert Novak, we now know, about Valerie Plame’s name, so this was an investigation that should never have happened. There was no underlying crime.” Kristol was referring to former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, Plame’s husband, who reportedly issued a statement saying that “the president’s actions send the message that leaking classified information for political purposes is acceptable” and that “Mr. Libby not only endangered Valerie and our family, but also our country’s national security.”

As Media Matters has previously documented, journalist Murray Waas noted in his book The United States v. I. Lewis Libby (Union Square Press, June 2007), Miller testified on January 30 that Libby had disclosed Plame’s CIA employment to her at a July 8, 2003, breakfast meeting at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., well before Novak publicly revealed it in his July 14, 2003, column.

After every Bush scandal we have the President Clinton did it too defense. I enjoy it to some degree because it marks the start of the right-wing flop sweat as they disparately try to obscure the facts with smoke and mirrors to dig themselves out of responsibility for yet another treacherous act against America and our values. Some may remember that the Right tried to sell some garbage about President Clinton violating FISA so Bush doing so was OK. The fact that President Clinton didn’t violate FISA ( the National Review editor Rich Lowry doesn’t seem to have much in the way of a conscience – he became the semi-official front man for the ever so intellectual Right’s lies about The Big Dog and FISA). The Right was so frantic to defend Bush’s emperorish behavior they went all the way back to President Carter, Intellectual Integrity Watch: Clinton And Carter Did It Too! Edition

The problem with what Bush did is not that he ordered warrantless searches, period. The point is that he ordered them on US citizens, in cases in which the law forbids it. Both the Clinton and Carter orders, like the order by Reagan that I discussed earlier, require that any warrantless surveillance be carried out in accordance with the law. That’s not a trifling detail; that’s the rule of law.

How many times have we heard the Right, once backed into a corner defend their and their leaders unethical and often illegal behavior by using the President Clinton did it too defense. They’ve never been right, Presidents Clinton and Carter both followed the law in accordance with FISA and working with Congress on any point of contention. Let’s suppose for a moment that in every instance in which Bush broke the law, President Clinton had previously broken the same law. Wouldn’t that mean that Bush is governing just like President Clinton. Then they have to explain why if Bush governs just like President Clinton why they hated The Big Dog then and still do. Conversely, why do they defend Bush if he’s just Bill Clinton redux. Could the answer be that at least since 1992 the Right has been both deeply dishonest and disingenuous when it comes to any public debate about politics. Did Clinton really do it too?

Slate’s Tim Noah has already gotten the coveted “Wanker of the Day” award — and a long excoriation from Digby — for his latest column, which defends President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence. So while we don’t want to pile on, we do think it’s worth pointing out that Noah makes at least two errors of fact in the piece.

Again another case where in defending Bush’s actions and in this case Scooter Libby, the Right’s defense leave out some inconvenient details. This is from the Digby post Alex Koppelman referred to, Bully For Him

The Libby matter, on the other hand, was a national security investigation in the wake of the worst terrorist attack in history. Libby lied repeatedly and blatantly to the FBI and Federal prosecutors when the stakes were very high and the entire Department of Justice was on high alert. Telling the truth about spilling the names of CIA agents could have real consequences.

Nothing much has changed in the Right’s priorities, Bill Clinton’s personal indiscretions are worse then outing the identity of a covert CIA agent for petty political revenge. Yet day after day the Right claims they have better values and is THE party to trust when it comes to national security. The history of the last six years doesn’t just prove they have strained credulity, they’ve shattered it. The wacky comparisons game of the Right also continues, David Shuster dismantles Fouad Ajami’s comparison of Libby to our fallen soldiers

Libby commits treacherous act. Right thinks LIbby’s lies are to protect his superiors is the same as dying in a fire fight in Afghanistan. The Right also claims puppies can fly.

Have you looked under your bed, in the closet or behind the curtain. You might want to because Al Qaeda is now everywhere, NBC, LA Times quoted Bush claiming Al Qaeda is our “major enemy in Iraq,” ignored experts’ rebuttal

On the July 5 edition of NBC’s Today, NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell said that President Bush’s response to calls for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is “Remember Al Qaeda,” and then showed a video clip of Bush’s statement during a July 4 speech that “a major enemy in Iraq is the same enemy that dared attack the United States” on September 11, 2001. O’Donnell did not report that, according to a June 28 McClatchy Newspapers article, “U.S. military and intelligence officials” dispute Bush’s repeated assertion that Al Qaeda is the source of much of the violence perpetrated in Iraq. McClatchy reported that these officials’ “say that Iraqis with ties to al Qaida are only a small fraction of the threat to American troops,” and that “[t]he group known as al Qaida in Iraq didn’t exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn’t pledge its loyalty to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden until October 2004 and isn’t controlled by bin Laden or his top aides.”

There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before Bush decided let them in. Now if we invade Iran or whatever country is next on the neocon hit list at least a few of them will start calling themselves Al Qaeda. Then we have the perfect circle of justification for invading everybody. For some reason people don’t like having their countries invaded and they will have a tendency to join up with any group that will fight against the invaders regardless of how much the invaders claim to have the best intentions.

September 27, 2006 – CNN) — Seventy-one percent of Iraqis responding to a new survey favor a commitment by U.S.-led forces in Iraq to withdraw in a year.

The majority of respondents to the University of Maryland poll said that “they would like the Iraqi government to ask for U.S.-led forces to be withdrawn from Iraq within a year or less,” according to the survey’s summary.

“Given four options, 37 percent take the position that they would like U.S.-led forces withdrawn ‘within six months,’ while another 34 percent opt for ‘gradually withdraw(ing) U.S.-led forces according to a one-year timeline.’

The Rightie blogs have swarmed on this story like flies on cow dung, Al-Qaeda linked to operations from Iran

It is not clear how much the al-Qaeda operation, described by one official as a money and communications hub, is being tolerated or encouraged by the Iranian government, they said.

To the Right it adds up, but at this point if one knows anything about who is fighting who in the Middle-East and why it doesn’t,

In the past, Tehran has also been a target of al-Qaeda attacks. A militant Sunni group based in Pakistan and possibly linked to al-Qaeda was suspected of the 1994 bombing of the shrine of the seventh Shia Imam, Reza, in Mashhad, killing 26 people.

Iran has also shown growing concern over Jundullah, a radical Sunni group from the restive south-east area of Balucestan that has carried out violent attacks in recent years.

Is it possible that Iran is looking the other way. Sure it is. It is also possible that much like the U.S. Iran has unwanted immigrants and the government cannot control every square inch of land. Iran had offered to help Bush get Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but Bush declined.

“The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible” – Hannah Moore

Deny. Deny. Deny.

Bush’s commuting of Scooter Libby’s sentence has put us back to square one with the Cult of Bush. The still made argument that Libby should not have been convicted because Valerie Plame wasn’t covert, General Hayden, the current Director of the CIA confirmed that Plame’s identity was classified. Plame confirmed that her identity was covert in her testimony before Congress.If her testimony was false and Republicans had the slightest evidence to the contrary then where is the investigation and charges of contempt of Congress for lying under oath. Echoing other conservative commentators, Mike Rosen of Newsradio 850 KOA has falsely asserted on numerous occasions that CIA agent Valerie Plame was not covert when her identity was leaked to the media in July 2003.

The unclassified summary of Plame’s employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, “Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.”

Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Old news that has been well covered before. I’m not angry that the Bush Cult continues to lie about Plame’s covert status and claim that no crime has been committed. I’m disturbed by their capacity for the denial of reality. Sure some of the dead enders are just throwing up dust to obscure the facts – all for the good of the cult of course, but many actually believe what they are saying and writing. At that point we’re not talking about political differences of opinion, we’re talking about reality versus a dangerous physiological mindset. You can’t engage in debate with someone who is getting a sunburn and denies the sun exists. In a better world, much less a perfect one debaters put all the facts on the table and sought things out. Rational thoughtful Americans cannot do that with the cultish modern Right. Then there is the Armitage angle that keeps popping up, sorry for quoting myself,

Regardless of what Armitage said or when he said it, that in no way made it legal or justifiable for Libby to lie to the grand jury.

If Armitage’s revelations mattered Libby’s defense team would have used them. They didn’t matter, Libby lied under oath and his only motive for lying was to cover-up a crime, to protect Cheney and probably Bush and Rove. It’s a little dated because of the cultural frames of reference, but the late Walter Matthau was in a movie called A Guide for the Married Man (1967). Walter Matthau’s character asks his friend and adviser Edward L. ‘Ed’ Stander (Robert Morse) on cheating what to do if you’re caught, Ed replies ” Deny. Deny. Deny.” The episode in the movie is a little surreal with a woman catching her husband red handed with another woman. The husband just denies everything anyway, gets dress, the other woman leaves and he sits down to read the newspaper and smoke his pipe. The wife stands there dumbfounded. Part of the Bush Cult is dumbfounded, the other part are just malicious liars intent on denying their complicity. There is something of the Holocaust denial psychology at work – the unholy Right can do no wrong. Even if they did it was for the good of the cause – see Iran-Contra, Reagan, North and Poindexter

The Iran arms-for-hostage-deal was also illegal–or so Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger thought. At a December 7, 1985 White House meeting, Weinberger argued the Iran missile deal was wrong and criminal, according to his notes of the session. Weinberger pointed out to Reagan that selling missiles to Iran would violate a U.S. embargo on arms sales to Iran and that even the president of the United States could not break this law. Nor, Weinberger added, would it be legal to use Israel as a cutout, as was under consideration. Both Secretary of State George Shultz and White House chief of staff Donald Regan, who were each present, agreed that a secret weapons deal with Iran would be against the law. Reagan, though, insisted on proceeding, noting he could answer a charge of illegality but not the charge that he had “passed up a chance to free hostages.”

With Bush and his supporters the same mentality is at work only magnified.

This guy has done more or at least been more constructive in the fight against actual terrorism then the Bush Whitehouse, I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON

A HERO cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.

This a British tabloid report so the facts might be stretched a bit.

A Declaration The President Ignores

Today, of course, much of the world thinks that the United States has traded places with George III’s British Empire. We are the global hegemon, and since Sept. 11, 2001, we have become infamous the world over for eschewing the law of war in the name of patriotic self-defense. At Guantanamo, in shadowy secret CIA prisons, at Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere, leaders in the White House, the Justice Department, and the intelligence agencies have disowned the laws of war as unacceptable constraints on the pursuit of national security.

The tragedy of the post-Sept. 11 American assault on the laws of war is that it seems to have been not only shameful but self-defeating. Disrespect for what the declaration called “the Opinions of Mankind” has fueled anti-American sentiment and spurred terrorist recruitment in North Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Illegal interrogation tactics seem to have produced disappointingly little intelligence. And extraordinary renditions to secret prisons have disrupted the cooperation of many of our most important allies in the war on terrorism, producing arrest warrants against U.S. intelligence agents in Germany and Italy. Patriotism at the expense of the laws of war seems to have gone badly awry.

Good article that includes examples from our early history, ideals, and laws all of which the modern right-wing movement has done their best to destroy. Sure the Bin Ladens has cause some damage and hardship, but the lasting damage to the institution of American democracy can only be done by the fringe ideologues that have co-opted the traditions of real Republicanism.