Fear Itself

August 1, 2007

The Republican Orchestration of Fear -- See Bushwatch
  • Journal Reporters 'Aghast' -- As the Bancroft family sells out to the slimey Murdoch, Wall Street Journal Reporters are left apprehensively awaiting their fate. LA Times. The Wall Street Journal's own article on the deal is strangely devoid of any of the negative sentiments and reservations expressed virtually everywhere else. The purchase of WSJ by Murdoch will probably make it "a more potent rival to business magazines, smaller business dailies like the Financial Times, and some general-interest papers in the U.S., such as the New York Times." Oh joy!
  • -- After two seizures in 14 years, Chief Justice Roberts is now by definition an "epileptic." Medical terms are almost as strange as legal ones. nytimes.com
  • California Votescam -- Put nothing past them in their quest for power. New Yorker
  • Bush's Polyps -- "The only part of him that's not malignant." (Truthout.org) Though Bush likes to compare himself to Churchill, historian Lynne Olson says he's really much more parallel to Churchill's predecessor Chamberlain. "Like Bush and unlike Churchill, Chamberlain came to office with almost no understanding of foreign affairs or experience in dealing with international leaders. Nonetheless, he was convinced that he alone could bring Hitler and Benito Mussolini to heel. He surrounded himself with like-minded advisers and refused to heed anyone who told him otherwise." Chamberlain claimed "unprecedented executive authority," scorned civil liberties, dissent, the media and Parliament. On the contrary, Churchill believed that, "As the world's two most prominent and powerful democracies, the United States and Britain had a responsibility to serve as exemplars of democracy for the rest of the world.... To be fitting role models, he argued, both countries had to do their best to ensure that the 'title deeds of freedom' were strongly safeguarded within their own boundaries."

    August 2, 2007

    Pathetic Democrats -- One might wonder how the Democrats could achieve a lower approval rating than the much despised Bush, but now and then the sad reality comes home, as in this article in the New York Times, titled "Democrats Scrambling to Expand Eavesdropping." The first line is "Under pressure from President Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are scrambling to pass legislation this week to expand the government’s electronic wiretapping powers." With what power is Bush pressuring them? His great political clout? His popularity? The one quarter of the population who "approve" of him? A growing part of the population wants Bush impeached! And the Democrats are "scrambling ... under pressure from Bush" to expand the governments power to wiretap!? (See how your senator voted at Check out the Houston Chronicle.

    What is going on? Meanwhile, in spite of all the grandstanding, all the bickering and drama, Congress has done virtually nothing to stop Bush or even swerve him off course a little. What has actually changed in all this time? Yes, the "tone". The investigations are welcome after years of no oversight whatsoever of these criminals. But what effectively has Bush given in on? Rove gave up the name of an undercover CIA agent. Bush said anyone caught in his administration would be fired. Rove is still there. Cheney was shown in the Libby trial to have orchestrated the smear against Joseph Wilson, for which the agent was uncovered. He's still in office. Congress asks for documents, subpoenas witnesses for investigation. The White House snubs them, taunts them, ignores their requests, does whatever it wants. The public obviously wants out of Iraq, so what do they give us? A "surge". And now that the allotted time for seeing if the surge was going to work is almost up, they are already telling us to forget about any change. The surge needs a few more years, maybe a few more surges before we can judge it. We have to give this project a chance. The false war has only been going on for four years or so, based on lies delivered with cocky, arrogant smirks.

    And Congress just sucks it all up, rolls over and says, Kick me again. Attorney General thug Gonzales lies and obfuscates to Congress and they yell and scream, but ultimately do nothing of consequence. Gonzales is there right where he was, no matter how many lies he's told them, and Bush will keep him there till Hell freezes over on principle, just to show that he never ever gives in. These guys abuse the Constitution and refuse to comply with the law, and the Democrats are scrambling, they can't wait to give them more power. Thanks a lot, guys! They're like the doormen at the killing ovens. Not the executioners themselves, just the doormen. Go ahead, legislate away more of our rights! Thanks so much! Those are great priorities! Who do you work for?

    It's hard to think of a crime they haven't committed, I think, as my eye browses over a report about "a White House plot to illegally suppress votes" on PBS Now. The crimes are flying literally too fast to keep up with them. There's the little matter of the suppression of how football-star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman died in Iraq. In a Congressional hearing today, Dennis Kucinich, God bless him, put Don Rumsfeld under some pressure. According to an article by Matt Renner at truthout.org, Kucinich "accused Rumsfeld of being involved in a string of cover-ups." Kucinich told Rumsfeld, "... you actually covered up the Tillman case for awhile, you covered up the Jessica Lynch case, you covered up Abu Ghraib." According to Renner, "Rumsfeld asserted that he had not been involved in a cover-up or any attempt to create a false narrative. Kucinich then inquired about the involvement of the Rendon Group, a public relations firm that has previously contracted with the Department of Defense and the CIA in overseas propaganda efforts. Kucinich asked Rumsfeld if the Rendon Group was involved with creating a "press strategy," or media spin for the Tillman incident. Rumsfeld denied the involvement of the group in the Tillman case, but later said that 'entities within the DOD' have held contracts with the group. He did not specify whether the contracts were ongoing." Oh, entities within the Department of Defense! I love that one. That's like "mistakes were made," the Great Nixon Phrase, one of the many great legacies of that mega scoundrel. Who, by the way, was running the "DOD" when these coverups were carried out? These guys NEVER accept responsibility. Not because they do not really acknowledge that they are the powers running the show, but because they do not acknowledge a duty to the people to be accountable to them. They absolutely do not recognize such a responsibility. That's why nothing will stop them but impeachment, if even that. They do not honor any duty. Well, I guess it's not absolute, Rummy did come to the hearing. He could have just said, "Screw you wimps!" like Bush, Cheney, Rove, and meek little Harriet Meiers are doing. So we can't speak in absolutes. If they do in fact have any human weakness, we can count on the Democrats not to exploit it, not to even challenge it. They are too frozen in fear. They're quite jolly and sprightly when they are just acting out little demonstrations of objection. But they will rarely expose themselves to an ounce of danger, most of them have about two drops of daring and it runs out very quickly. But Kucinich, he is a good man. A real man, one of the few congressional people with a spine not made out of nylon fibers.

    I have a suspicion that the people like Kucinich, and Obama, who are willing to openly disagree with the prevailing conventional wisdom of Washington and the corporate media, will be the ones that people cleve to, because in defying the lethargic trend they offer some sense of hope. Hope of change from this dismal, suicidal track. When Hillary Clinton played political duelist with Obama and said he was naive for saying he would meet with people like Castro and Chavez, came back at her with a point that should have staggered her conventional campaign if people are even paying attention. It was quite a bit more naive to vote to give power to the president to start a war when he had no exit strategy. Well, yes, I guess it was, to put it kindly. And to repeat myself, what is all this "experience" Hillary Clinton is supposed to have over him? Let's see her resume for a minute? Did she ever hold political office before she became senator of New York? Come on! What kind of great experiential advantage are we talking about? Obama's statement puts all this crap in the right perspective. Hillary Clinton's politics of cautious continuation of the status quo, don't dare offend the vested interests, gives no one hope. It's John Kerry part 2. Those few brave souls who really stand up to the Bush Privateers will be the ones who the people will want to follow. It's months until even the first primary. People haven't tuned in to all that much yet.

    And speaking of hope: God bless Jon Stewart! ! He helps make the U.S. survivable on days like today when Democrats seem to be scrambling to roll over and beg for the Republicans to kick us all some more. Stuart makes it bearable because he shows how utterly ridiculous the official media are and the absurd stories that we are being fed. He nails these guys so beautifully and concisely! He showed Rumsfeld testifying for Congress and cut quickly through about 20 instances of Rumsfeld's absurd denials of knowledge of virtually anything that happened while he ran the Defense Department. Then he showed the mighty Cheney on the obsequious Larry King show. Larry was struggling to hang his head low enough to be lower than Cheney and to indicate utter subservience. He asked Cheney, Do you ever think you might be a little bit wrong? Cheney a quick, unequivocal NO. Flash back to Stuart, looking a little stunned, or skeptical, then aping Cheney. "No, that guy got in front of me and I shot him, sure I'd do it again. He deserved it. He was blocking my view." And that's why I love Jon Stuart. In one line he puts is all in perspective.

  • Ugly Stuff in Alabama -- Meanwhile, as Bush/Cheney etc. stonewall every attempt to get any information from them about anything, and particularly in regard to their well-known attempt to influence U.S. attorneys around the country in order to turn them into deadly political operatives working in the most high stakes realm, we have a grave miscarriage of justice with Karl Rove's filthy fingerprints all over it. The former governor of Alabama, Don Seigelman, was taken out of the game by a team of Republican hit people empowered as U.S. attorneys. A Republican member of the opposition campaign team (of Bob Riley) swore an affidavit saying that on a strategy conference call in which the Republicans tried to figure out how to apply pressure to Seigelman to get him to withdraw his call for a recount, GOP strategist William Canary "reassured others on the conference call — who also included Riley's son, Rob, and Terry Butts, another Riley lawyer and former justice of the Alabama supreme court — that he had the help of a powerful pal in Washington. Canary said "not to worry — that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice was already pursuing Don Siegelman." This was reported in Time magazine, not exactly a radical journal. Now Don Siegelman, who has held most the senior government elective offices in Alabama and in 25 years in politics has never had trouble with the law, has been sentenced to prison for seven years. It seems that Karl Rove sees no limit to how far he will carry his political dirty tricks. Here are some more links to this very very tragic story. Tragic for one man who's life is destroyed, but more tragic for all of us who live in a country where justice has been so effectively perverted.
  • Harpers
  • New York Times
  • LA Times
  • donsiegelman.org

    August 4, 2007

    Anti-Bush 41 -- Forty-one members of Congress have now publicly endorsed impeachment in one form or another. Count 'em at afterdowningstreet.org. Momentum is building toward an inevitable choice between the Constitution and laws of the United States on one hand, and the Bush administration's continuation on the other.
  • Prescott Bush and the Attempted Fascist Coup of 1934 -- A commentary at Commondreams.org on the coup attempt of 1933 engineered by a group of powerful American families who wanted America to adopt the policies of Mussolini, as recently reported by the BBC. One of the backers of the coup was George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott Bush, whose grisly history is worthy of his grandson's as a threat to the American system of democratic government. The backers, who included "some of the foremost members of the economic elite, many of them household names at the time, had indeed hatched a meticulously detailed and massively funded plot to effect a fascist coup in America." They were, according to Alan Nasser at Commondreams.org, "appalled at Roosevelt’s willingness after 1933 to initiate economic policies that economists and businessmen considered dangerously Leftist departures from economic orthodoxy. Only a fascist-style government, they thought, could enforce the kind of economic 'discipline' that would reverse the Great Depression and restore profits." The well-financed plan would be effected with the use of "a private army of half a million men, composed largely of unemployed veterans. These troops would both constitute the armed force behind the coup and defeat any resistance this in-house revolution might generate. The economic elite would provide the material resources required to sustain the new government." Looks like the family fought on for what it believed in and finally achieved the takeover they dreamed of.
  • Democrats Give In Again -- Incomprehensibly, while embroiled in this mad Gonzales scandal when Bush has shown no willingness to obey any law or authority, new revelations of his abuse of power coming out daily, the Democrats have rewarded him by granting him more unconstitutional power to spy on Americans without court approval. It's hard to imagine what drives these people. Is it Bush's whopping 26% approval ratings? His record of criminal abuse of power? The story of trying to get the spy program over on a hospitalized John Ashcroft? His lies to them about his reasons for invading Iraq? They have a clear mandate to stop Bush, not empower him more. This generation of Congress people can be proud to go down in history as the ones who finally gave up on the American dream and turned the country into a Stalinist-style state. They are a disgrace. washingtonpost.com

    August 5, 2007

    A Vote for Stalinism -- The bill to give Bush more power to wiretap Americans at a time when he has shown clearly he respects no law he doesn't like was passed by a 60-28 roll call. A lot of Democrats voted for it. John Kerry and John McCain didn't vote. No Republicans voted against it, but several didn't vote. Check out the Roll Call here. Read it and weep for the politicians that are wiping away the Constitution. A New York Times article quoted Reid as though he was party to the crime, but actually Reid voted against the bill. Glenn Greenwald on Salon , writes, "Examine virtually every Bush scandal and it increasingly bears the mark not merely of Democratic capitulation, but Democratic participation. In August of 2006, the Supreme Court finally asserted the first real limit on Bush's radical executive power theories in Hamdan, only for Congress, months later, to completely eviscerate those minimal limits -- and then go far beyond -- by enacting the grotesque Military Commissions Act with the support of substantial numbers of Democrats. What began as a covert and illegal Bush interrogation and detention program became the officially sanctioned, bipartisan policy of the United States."
  • Lies on Tape -- Here is a well done video montage that documents clearly many of the lies and the lies on lies of the Bush administration liars that deceived the U.S. into war in Iraq.

    August 7, 2007

    Stooges -- Instead of being patriotic Americans and impeaching Bush, Cheney and Gonzales for crimes against the United States and the Constitution, Congress decided to legalize Bush's criminal eavesdropping and wiretapping. It's extremely demoralizing, practically incomprehensible that Congress would give Bush more unconstitutional power when he is right now embroiled in numerous scandals over his abuse of power and his unwillingness to honor or obey any law. It's hard to see them as anything but stooges for the major corporations of the war machine. To sign a petition expressing outrage, go to moveon.org. These orwellian branding masters call this latest outrage the "Protect America Act". It's hard to tell what they are protecting us from as they unleash Bush and Cheney on the defenseless population.

    August 9, 2007

    Death on the Rise -- After a short lapse, troop deaths in Iraq are back up: 19 soldiers killed in August so far. AP
  • Returning Soldiers Cast Aside -- Many returning vets of Iraq and Afghanistan wars are winding up in homeless shelters. Boston Globe
  • Time Is Up -- With climate change catastrophe at the doorstep, the time for politics as usual is over. This is serious. Are we going to march like lemmings to our extinction because the levers of power are in the hands of knee-jerk neanderthals who cannot adapt to new realities? Ted Glick at Truthout
  • Giuliani's 9/11 Lies -- Village Voice

    August 11, 2007

    Scary -- According to Princeton economist Paul Krugman, "What’s been happening in financial markets over the past few days is something that truly scares monetary economists: liquidity has dried up. That is, markets in stuff that is normally traded all the time — in particular, financial instruments backed by home mortgages — have shut down because there are no buyers. This could turn out to be nothing more than a brief scare. At worst, however, it could cause a chain reaction of debt defaults." "
  • Film Impact -- An interview with Charles Ferguson, maker of the film No End In Sight on the disastrous, incompetently managed war against Iraq. The film is making the Bushies nervous. C-Net News
  • AT&T: Big and Dumb -- AT&T cut out 10 seconds of Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza performance because they changed the Pink Floyd lyric from "Another Brick in the Wall" to "George Bush leave this world alone." As a result the monster AT&T attracted much more attention to the line than if they hadn't bothered. At least AT&T showed Bush they are on the right side of things, the far right as a matter of fact. The big corporations are all right wing, i.e. corporatists, by definition and the fact that they control the channels of communication means they control popular culture, are in a position to police it, and do. (hecklerspray.com, ars technica) AT&T was forced to apologize as a result of the uproar, the fact that it's a test case of the things advocates of net neutrality have been talking about and gave the issue a boost. AT&T claimed it was "against our policy" and "a mistake", but e-mailers to Wired News said it has happened before, it is the policy, contrary to AT&T's claims.
  • One Hope -- Al Gore says he may enter politics again. See ostroyreport and Draft Al Gore for president.
  • Liberty or Death -- Brent Budowsky: "In recent days Congress passed and the president signed a new law that significantly increases the scope of domestic eavesdropping without any serious debate considering the magnitude of the issue. It was done, yet again, in an atmosphere of fear, which in my view is unworthy of the people and Congress of our nation. I am reposting the op-ed here and if others are interested, hope we can begin a serious discussion, and I would be glad to respond to comments, questions and thoughts. Personally, living and working near the World Bank and White House, I would rather risk the dangers of a terrorist attack than surrender any freedoms. I do not feel one drop of fear and even if I did, it would not matter one whit."
  • Worse Than Nixon -- Nixon, American's Prince of Darkness, has been surpassed. Carl Bernstein, the less smarmy side of the Woodward-Bernstein team that broke much of the Watergate case, now says that Bush’s presidency has produced far more “disastrous consequences” for the country than did Nixon’s. See John Nichols in commondreams.org. According to Nichols, "Unlike the often crude and conniving but unquestionably intelligent and highly-engaged 37th president, Bernstein says of Bush: 'He’s lazy, arrogant and has little curiosity. He’s a catastrophe…'”

    August 12, 2007

    Gore for President -- Brent Budowsky: "The true choice in 2008 is Bushism versus Goreism. Bushism is the complex of policies that promote massive profiteering and tax avoidance by the oil sector, destruction of the environment that follows from an economy addicted to oil, unwise wars inexorably tied to the oil fields of Arabia, massive campaign donations from oil profiteers to Republican candidates, and an infrastructure of secrecy, fear and deceit necessary to support policies that would be rejected in open and honest debate. Goreism is a pro-American energy policy that promotes safer and renewable sources; the protection of the planet that inevitably follows from those safer energy sources; avoidance of unwise wars and the use of diplomacy to avoid them when possible; integrity and truth in public debate; a reduction of the corrupting influence of money in politics, and respect for the rule of law and constitutional Americanism."
  • The War Czar Wants a Draft -- It's still unbelievable to me that a president of the United States could get away with calling an official a "war czar", but there it is. why do these people have such affection those old royalist trappings of autocratic power. I guess I've answered my own question. The word comes from "Caesar". Anyway Bush's War Czar, who bears a striking resemblance to Hitler's pal Hermann Goehring, told National Public Radio that he thinks a draft, to conscript Americans into the armed services to fight the war machine's never ending enterprises, has "always been an option on the table" and that it "makes sense to certainly consider it." dallasnews.com. Obviously these guys are in trouble in terms of their manpower needs. Their aspirations much exceed their resources. What they want is a draft and then a big terrorism crisis so they can lock down martial law and start funneling all this young manpower into their enterprises. Most of the people they have been using so far were people who enlisted before the Bushies unleashed their policies of neverending war. Naturally the appeal of voluntary enlistment has dropped, fallen off to very little now that the reality of the commitment has become clear. It's not to defend one's country, family, community, etc., but to be a tool for the Bush machine to conduct its evil conquests. The regime is constantly floating trial baloons of despicable policies to gauge how much it can get away with at any given point. But often what looks relatively benign in isolation looks much worse when seen in context with other possible policies. If a draft is instated and a major crisis creates a pretext for declaring martial law and re-establishing the environment of maximum fear and hysteria, then the draft could be a powerful tool indeed for these maniacs, and could greatly empower them to expand their projects. Often these things look
  • Needed: A New Democratic Party -- More from Brent Budowsky: "Howard Dean in the 2004 campaign; Al Gore as the effective leader of the Loyal Opposition; and now Barack Obama challenging the tired and decadent national security establishment — these are the first true voices of 21st century politics. If you believe supporting the Iraq war for five years was right; that America is safer under George Bush; and that special-interest lobbyists are the heart of America who do not buy laws with money, Hillary Clinton, the leader of the old establishment, is your girl (as she said). The old establishment is composed of the Democratic pollsters and consultants who told Democrats to support the Iraq war and, only days ago, to let Republicans gut the American Constitution. The old establishment parades to the cable networks and editorial boards on behalf of their candidate, telling the world that the Democratic nomination is over and decided."

    August 13, 2007

  • Cheney Pushed Rove -- According to Jackson Thoreau, "Cheney and Rove have engaged in a mostly behind-the-scenes feud since the indictment of Cheney's top aide, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, in 2005. Rove was included as 'Official A' in the indictment who also leaked information to key media members to try to discredit Iraqi war critic Joseph Wilson. Rove did not get indicted after giving depositions five times in the investigation and changing some of his statements. Cheney, who reportedly masterminded the vendetta campaign against Wilson himself, thought that Rove blamed the scandal on Libby, who he considered a scapegoat. Rove and Cheney have been at each other's throats since."
  • Rove to 'Resign' August 31 -- The warm-hearted Rove says it's to spend more time with his family. washingtonpost.com. See Bush and Rove announce Rove's departure, allegedly because he suddenly needs to spend more time with his wife and college-age son. MSNBC. Now Rove plans his exit from the public role in the administration, it hardly seems possible that he will be out of the covert politics that really run the Bush White House. Bush now plans his August vacation, and while many of his right wing colleagues are saying that the U.S. "needs" another 9/11-style attack to make Americans more compliant to the right wing agenda, it's always a little unnerving to see Bush disappear into the Crawford compound knowing what happened after he did the same thing in 2001. (See also Simi Valley Sophist for more right wing advocacy of more terrorist attacks on America.) The idea that Rove, the ultimate machiavellian machine politician, would just leave the scene of battle as it rages to spend tender moments with his college age son (who probably has even less time for Rove than most college kids have for their parents) is laughable. What he will really be doing is open for speculation. See Rick Perlstein for a historical precedent in the Nixon administration of an official "leaving" with great fanfare only to take a more secretive role.
  • Long Lost Cheney -- Ancient history Cheney as a (relatively) sane man, certainly representing a more sane policy pre-W. In an earlier role, arguing against going into Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein, see YouTube.
  • Wars Within Wars -- The "private contractors" of Bush's privatized Iraq bounty hunt are even shooting at Americans. According to Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press, "There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers - and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks. They operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. And as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war, this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys."
  • The Fear Factor -- How the White House won the war for more spying powers again.
  • Helen Thomas on The Big Stick -- Helen Thomas on how Bush can roll over the Democrats almost any time using fear. Seattle PI
  • Stirring the Bloodbath -- Italian anti-mafia investigators have uncovered a huge secret arms deal in which government officials use secret channels a la Iran Contra to send 100,000 Russian automatic weapons into the bloodbath of Iraq. Forbes
  • Bernard Weiner Channels Rove's Diary -- crisispapers.org

    August 14, 2007

    Big Time Crime -- According to bradblog.com, "Resignation of Former Rove Aide, Arkansas US Attorney Griffin, Came After Conyers Requested 'Vote Caging' Evidence from BBC." The story goes on to say, "Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television 'Newsnight' reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network's evidence on Griffin's involvement in 'caging voters.' Greg Palast, reporting for both BBC Newsnight and Democracy Now, obtained a series of confidential emails dating from the 2004 presidential election in which the GOP operative transmitted so-called 'caging lists' of voters to state party leaders. Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge voters right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including African-American homeless men, students and soldiers sent overseas. Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key documents, Conyers stated that, despite Griffin's resignation, 'we're not through with him by any means.' Conyers indicated that he thought it unlikely that Griffin could carry out this massive 'caging' operation without the knowledge of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rove. Griffin, who was chosen as US Attorney at Rove's request, has not responded to requests by BBC to explain the 'caging' memos."
  • Rove Needs to 'Come Clean' -- Rep. John Conyers released a statement: "The need for Karl Rove to explain his role in the firing of the U.S. Attorneys does not diminish when he leaves the White House. Our investigation to date has revealed the White House’s contempt for the rule of law and its interest in the politicization of the Department of Justice. While resignations at DoJ and the White House continue to mount, questions raised by this investigation remain. We will continue to seek answers to these questions and expect full cooperation from Mr. Rove and other officials regardless of whether they are employed by the White House." thinkprogress.org
  • U.S. Life Deteriorating -- In the last 20 years, representing America under the influence of Reagan, the Bushes and the New Right, life expectancy in America has dropped from 11th to 42nd place. Corporations, however, are thriving. Their profits have never been higher. The Guardian
  • Crawford Here I Come -- Frank Rich on Bush "Shuffling Off to Crawford".
  • The Real Giuliani -- Vanity Fair on "Giuliani's Princess Bride".

    August 15, 2007

  • Twisted Rove -- Joe Conason on "The Twisted Legacy of Karl Rove" in the NY Observer. "If Mr. Rove’s pursuit of his objectives was finally frustrated, he certainly exercised enormous influence on decisions and events at a fateful time in our history. His petty nastiness came to matter a great deal, not because of elections won or lost but because of the polarization he sought to exaggerate and exploit. His bad advice to George W. Bush weakened the nation in the name of patriotism.... It is Mr. Rove’s disfiguring impact on our political culture that will encapsulate his career. By overreaching for permanent power, he inflicted lasting damage on the nation he swore to serve. He likes to describe himself as a student of history—so he must also know he cannot escape that dismal legacy by resigning."
  • Priests Against Torture -- Two priests want to put the military on trial for torture. Sierra Vista Herald
  • Down and Dirty, Now Down and Out -- The word "genius" has been used often in reference to Karl Rove, but Rove's only genius is the audacity and lack of restraint to do things few would stoop so low to do. He's sly and cagey, he's achieved spectacular results with his lowlife dirty tricks, but that doesn't make him a genius. See Marc Ash: "Karl Rove, By What Measure Genius?" at Truthout.
  • Message to Karl Rove, Without Gloves -- "Fess Up Karl, Learn Redemption from Your Hero, Lee Atwater" by Don Williams "'Run on the war,' you urged Republican congressmen and would-be congressmen in 2004, advising them on how to demonize those speaking out for peace. Was it your idea to compare them to bin-Laden? To call them cowards and traitors? Even then you must've known your war was based on lies, torture, sins against the Constitution and more. And yet you helped turn our once-thoughtful intelligentsia into jingoistic sloganeers, afraid to report the simple and God-awful truth. Likely a million people have died in your war, 3 million have been made homeless, 10 million emotionally damaged. And for what? You've been singled out as one of those who betrayed an acting CIA operative in order to promote the war. Ironically, Valerie Plame was working on maybe the most important issue of our times--controlling WMDs. Somehow you escaped prison in your smear campaign against Joseph Wilson, who was right about that yellowcake uranium. Somehow that's gone mostly unmentioned recently by our so-called 'liberal' media."
  • Back to the Medieval World -- In Matthew Rothschild's book, You Have No Rights, he explains how Bush became a Medieval King and how civil liberties are more endangered than ever. truthdig.com. " If you are—in the mind of the secretary of the Treasury—posing a significant risk of committing an act of violence—you don’t have to have committed an act of violence. If he thinks you are at risk of committing an act of violence in order to protest the policies of the Iraqi government or the Bush administration’s policies to promote what it calls 'economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq,' then the secretary of the Treasury can put a freeze on all your assets. This is unbelievable. What Bush is trying to achieve here, by executive order, are things that he can’t achieve legislatively. Someone’s got to put a stop to this. Congress has got to put a stop to it because he is seizing all sorts of authoritarian powers right now by executive decree.... What needs to happen, in my mind, is impeachment proceedings of the House Judiciary Committee against Bush and against Cheney, to make them know that they are going to be held accountable or at least there’s going to be a process to try to hold them accountable, that they can’t get away scot-free with all this stuff, and to tell the next president or the one after that that they can’t get away with this stuff... I’ve been very careful not to use the f-word here for about 27 years in public because I don’t think we’re a fascist state right now. Otherwise, you and I would not be having this conversation and I wouldn’t be able to publish this book, I wouldn’t be able to publish The Progressive magazine or go out and speak in public. But I do think there are clouds of neofascism in the sky and they’re not on the horizon; they’re getting closer to being overhead. And the problem is, if we don’t fight for our rights now, by the time a kind of neofascist government fully took over, it would be too late. And let’s be clear here: There are plans for martial law in this country. Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Iraq, said that if we’re attacked again by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction this time, we will have to set aside the Constitution. Then a guy who just died two days ago, Wayne Downing, who was Condoleezza Rice’s deputy at the National Security Council, he said the exact same thing, essentially: If we’re attacked again by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, we’re going to have to impose martial law. That was a quote he had in the Washington Post. And so we need to be alert to that."

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