Archive for the ‘George W. Bush’ Category

The president will yet again show his devotion to diversity today by nominating a non-Texan to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.

Michael Mukasey isn’t the typical Bush nominee. Unlike the last Attorney General, he appears to actually believe in the rule of law.

But in a way, you have to admire the persistence of the Bush White House. After all, one of the names they tossed around as a possible replacement for the attorney general that purged prosecutors for not proving they were “sufficiently loyal Bushies” by issuing baseless indictments to Democrats at election time was one of the engineers of “The Arkansas Project“, a multi-million dollar rumor mill funded by Richard Mellon Scaife. Had it not been for a stronger Republican Senate presence, emboldened by a Democratic Majority that had not been on the receiving end of of six years of screwjobs from the White House, he would have had to face the questions about it under oath in 2001.

And we all know how much “sufficiently loyal Bushies” love answering questions under oath.

Others worried about the prospect of Olsen being approved by the Senate. I did not. Confirming Ted Olsen as the supreme arbiter of justice in the United States would have been about as easy as confirming Khallid Sheikh Mohammed as Homeland Security Secretary— Something George W. Bush would surely be willing to do if only Mohammed would go on TV and say “the surge is working” at every available opportunity.

Mukasey is about as far right a nominee as Dubya could get confirmed these days, considering that he wields slightly less political influence than Larry Craig.

Among his more notable rulings:

  • He ruled that Jose Padilla could be held as an enemy combatant, but that he could not be denied the right to legal counsel. Fair enough.
  • He issued an injunction preventing the MPAA from enforcing its ban on the distribution of screener movies to Academy voters, stating that it was an unlawful restraint of trade unfair to independent filmmakers. Agreed.
  • He sentenced “The Blind Sheik” to life in prison. Works for me.

If you listen very closely during George W. Bush’s announcement today, you will hear his heart breaking as he announces a nominee that Democrats might actually approve. Chuck Schumer actually suggested Mukasey as a decent nominee back in 2003 when Gonzales was nominated.


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There are very few “it moments” in life. The moments where you view your life in terms of before “it” and after “it”. “Before I got married”. “After Dad died”.

Six years ago today was one of those days on a global scale. For people around the world now view their lives through the prism of “before 9/11” and “after 9/11”.

Save for nineteen, neither the passengers nor crew on those four planes that cool Tuesday morning had any idea that as they walked towards their planes, death walked among them, elbowing its way through the crowd like some obnoxious tourist.

Nor did any of us have any idea that six years later, their murders and the murders of the thousands inside the World Trade Center and Pentagon would be largely unavenged, their president using their lives and deaths as leverage to bargain for the war he wanted rather than the war that began that day.

Freedom is but a flickering candle in the gale force wind created by an administration that saw 9/11 as opportunity rather than tragedy. As the flaming remains of the World Trade Center leapt into the New York skies, spreading the residue of burning jet fuel and the ashes of the fallen into the lungs of the brave souls who dug through the rubble searching in vain for survivors, the White House planned an assault on two fronts.

One seemed a logical counter response to the administration’s claims that “they hate us for our freedom” by eliminating that which it claimed they hated. A set of laws that only Stalin could have loved wound its way through the corridors of Washington DC, voted on by a Congress full of enablers and “opposition” that were too timid to risk being seen as “un-American” by the very people that did their level best to destroy all that America was supposed to stand for. The USA PATRIOT Act, Orwellian in both name and scope, ushered in the era of “sneak and peek” warrantless searches and national security letters, closely followed by a warrantless wiretapping program that the founders of this nation would have horsewhipped anyone for suggesting.

The second front was a war not against those who attacked us, but against those that this administration prioritized out of sheer dislike. Certainly, our armed forces made a brief pit stop in Afghanistan— But there was never any doubt that all roads led to Baghdad. Before he even addressed the nation over the World Trade Center attacks, George W. Bush was bellowing “Saddam! Iraq! Iraq! Saddam!” to his cabinet.

The administration used strategy in Iraq that would have to be improved upon before it could even be called “dismal”. It waged a proxy war against those who attacked us and the government who harbored them not because it was strategically sound, but because doing it right would have meant that the American people were weary of war long before George W. Bush got the conflict he wanted. Al Qaeda pumped millions of dollars per year into a nation where the average annual income for a family of four was under $25. The militias that fought on our side in Afghanistan cared nothing for the murders of our people in Washington DC, New York City, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania— They cared about taking their country back from another violent militia that left them out of the loop. We liberated the Afghan people from a government of murderers and delivered them into the hands of people that think murdering a former president and dragging him through the street is an honorable means of transferring power.

And for what? So we could spend our “six days, six weeks, I doubt six months” taking down Saddam Hussein, he of the terrible Weapons of Mass Destruction Program, he who cavorts with Osama bin Laden, dancing on the graves of New Yorkers in drag in the pale moonlight.

Of course, all that we were told in the buildup to the war with Iraq that had any resemblance to reality is that yes, there is a nation called Iraq, and its capital is Baghdad.

Saddam was scum. Whether you opposed the war or thought of it as a nifty idea (Presumably while sending someone else’s kids off to bleed the desert red), he was indeed scum.

But “He’s scum” isn’t a proper justification for warfare. So the American people were fed a steady diet of fiction with a thick layer of “9/11” spread across the top like icing.

2,998 people were murdered by a madman that twisted and distorted the Koran into a justification for murder. And the legacy of those 2,998 people has in turn been twisted by a madman into a war which, while it might wear noble trappings, feels just as murderous to the innocents caught in its crossfire.

Just as the people in the Towers and the Pentagon needed rescue while the president impotently read a children’s book for seven long minutes, the legacy of all those murdered on September 11, 2001 must be rescued. For every injustice committed by our government in the days since has been committed in their name.

We “need” to let the federal government listen in on phone calls— It’s the only way to prevent another 9/11. We “need” to go to Iraq because Big Bad Saddam with his “nookyaler” missiles might bring down another 9/11 on us. And now, we “need” to stay there because fighting them over there means we don’t have to fight them over here.

Our government shows just how much they believe in that notion every day of our lives— If fighting them over here was what it took, why would we need to dispense with civil liberties here?

The soldier that dies in Iraq today does not do so because the White House wants to avenge two-year-old Christine Hanson, whose trip on United Flight 175 was her first and last, or its own Solicitor General’s wife, conservative pundit Susan Olsen, or Todd Beemer, the man that uttered the “Let’s roll!” sentiment that has been misappropriated by men far less courageous than he was, or even Betty Ong, the flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11 who was the first to alert anyone that there was even a problem. The soldier on the battlefield may well have had any and all of the four or the 2,994 other souls that perished with them when he agreed to trust the commander-in-chief to expend his life wisely rather than recklessly. But this White House has no such concerns.

It now invokes 9/11 only as a shield to deflect criticism of its disregard for the basic liberties guaranteed by the Constitution or in telling us why we have to fight a nation that had nothing to do with the attack.

Today, we will all take a moment today and pause, thinking of the horrors of that day, saying a prayer either silent or aloud that their souls have found peace.

And then pray that we become better at guarding their legacy so that the dimming, flickering candle of freedom is not extinguished by this or any other administration.

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… can we please shut down the federal government’s attempts to profile and find terrorists and let the NYPD train them on how to do it right?

The NYPD’s intelligence unit is headed up by a CIA analyst with 35 years of experience. The federal government’s current DCIA is a former military man who has years of experience listening to war protesters order pizza.

But even besides that— The NYPD gets it.

The NYPD just issued a report called “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat“. And rather than send out a press release about how terrorists are planning to boobytrap beer coolers, they actually issued a sober report on the profiling of terrorists.

— There is no useful profile to predict who will become radicalized. Most would-be terrorists are “unremarkable men” living “unremarkable lives.” They don’t have criminal histories, and they don’t always gather at mosques.

— They do, however, follow remarkably similar behavior patterns. Participants in 11 anti-Western terrorism plots analyzed in the report all went through four stages on the path from unremarkable to violent: Pre-radicalization, Self-identification, Indoctrination and Jihadization.

“Too much of the message to the American people has been a message of fear, without explanation. In order to really get this, we have to educate, engage and enlist the citizens,” said an NYPD spokesman.

Amen. Educate the people. Crying wolf is getting old.

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The Democrats in Congress just got a lecture from George W. Bush— On priorities.

It seems those evil old Democrats, in light of the catastrophic collapse last week of an Interstate bridge in Minnesota, have actually talked about the possibility of raising the gas tax enough to cover  repairs and upgrades to the infrastructure that has been neglected for the last few years.

Higher prices from OPEC- Okay.  Higher prices to keep up the roads those cars are on – bad.

So let’s look at priorities, shall we?

The president who chose Saddam over Osama, Mark Wills over New Orleans, and bass fishing over Osama is simply upset that La Cosa Dubya’s consigliere, Alberto Gonzales is under attack for trying to use the judicial system to produce better election results for Republicans.

Let it be duly noted that a lecture from George W. Bush on priorities is like being called ugly by a toad.

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 (This is a response to Autoegocrat at the Flypaper Theory, Bob at 55-40, and Jim Maynard (No relation) of Queer Notes, all of whom have taken issue with me for arguing against impeaching George W. Bush)

Think about a fire.

You’re not just standing there looking at a burning building, but there are people inside.  People that you are uniquely in a position to save. 

You can pull them out of the fire and keep it from spreading through the rest of the neighborhood.  Or you can drop what you’re doing and run through the streets chasing down the guy that smells like gasoline.

What do you do?

Personally, I’m much more concerned with saving lives that are already in peril than I am in launching what would be a lengthy and ultimately fruitless legal proceeding against the vaguely human current occupant of the Oval Office.

Over the forty months we’ve been in Iraq, we’ve suffered, on average, 90 casualties a month.  Now, we can prioritize and end to the war, thereby saving lives, or we can launch an investigation into the president that, if they complied with every single subpoena (And they absolutely will not), never claimed executive privilege (And they absolutely will), and every single decision from the Supreme Court regarding said privilege went our way (You’re kidding, right?  We still can’t find out who was in the pre-9/11 Cheney Energy Task Force meetings thanks to his hunting buddy Scalia), and every single piece of the case broke our way, might lead to an Articles of Impeachment vote on the floor of the House of Representatives a year from now.  We might even pull off a major miracle by keeping the Blue Dog Coalition from voting against the Articles of Impeachment, which would allow it to pass with a slim margin.

What happens when all that breaks our way?  Not a damn thing.  Because those charges are then recommended to the Senate for trial.  We could uncover video of George W. Bush and Mark Foley tag teaming a little boy on top of a Satanic altar with “Property of Saddam Hussein” tattooed on his ass cheek while confessing to Foley that 9/11 was an inside job, and we are not getting a 2/3 vote in the Senate.

But hey— Let’s pretend for a moment that all of this breaks our way.  The investigation by the House Judiciary Committee is a fast one (The last impeachment vote was preceded by a four year Ken Starr investigation), clocking in at a year.  The House votes our way.  The Senate votes our way.  The votes sail through both chambers within three months of ending the investigation.

Congratulations.  You have now ended the president’s term three months early.

In the meantime, soldiers are still dying in Iraq and will be for quite some time if satisfying bloodlust is more important than bringing them home. 

17.8% of America’s children are living below the poverty line today.  At the rate that it’s rising, you can expect that number to be closer to 18.5% by the time this would be finished.  Congratulations.

Our government is failing the people that are getting maimed needlessly in Iraq by failing to provide them with adequate care once what’s left of their bodies arrives home.  But that’s okay— We’ve got bigger fish to fry.

We’re moving backwards in the drive for energy independence which not only creates a security risk (Giving buckets of money to the guys that fund extremists) but breaks the back of the working class that actually drives our economy (A gallon of gas has gone up over 300% since the last minimum wage hike), but that’s okay— Because our government had more important things to do.

If you cannot find a better use of the MINIMUM fifteen months that would be required to make impeachment happen, then you’re just not thinking very hard.

Make no mistake.  This president is a criminal.  He and the rest of La Cosa Dubya deserve to be run out of town on rails.  If we had gained Capitol Hill back two years earlier, I would not only be saying “Impeach the scum”, but I would be recommending that we try the Bush White House under RICO statutes.

But we didn’t.  If the Democratic Party deserves any derision for not trying to impeach the president, it should be for not breaking away from the DLC assclowns before the 2004 cycle.

There could be no more fruitless endeavor than trying to impeach the president.  They could be sitting in their offices throwing pencils into the ceiling tile of the Hart Building and that would still not be a more substantial circle jerk than launching an effort to impeach.

This is an empty gesture.  A threat is not worth making if you cannot back it up, and we simply cannot.

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I’m not in favor of impeachment as a solution for what ails this country.  And make no mistake, the officials being removed would be a large part of what ails this country.  It would be like removing the most troublesome tumors in a cancer patient— A pain reliever, and a step towards the cure.

 That being said, there’s a limit to how many man hours and financial resources we should sink into ending his presidency a couple of months early, and that’s what would happen if this impeachment ball started rolling today.  Had we gained a majority back in 2004, yes— Impeach away.  This national nightmare could have been over by mid-2005, and we could have cleared the deck and made Speaker Pelosi into President Pelosi.

 But we didn’t.  And we still don’t have the kind of discontent required to nail down a 2/3 vote in either chamber of Congress. 

So I think impeachment belongs on the priority list somewhere below appointing Borat as Ambassador to Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.  Same with censure— All it does is encourage the GOP to dig in their heels (Not that they need much encouragement) as we go about reversing several years of unchecked misrule.

Ultimately, that should be our priority.  We need a national debate on universal health care.  We need a national debate on how to end Operation Enduring Clusterfuck. 

The last time Congress devoted 100% of its time and resources to impeaching a president, a whole lot slid by in the meantime.  It gridlocked DC so severely that Clinton couldn’t launch a missile strike against al Qaeda interests without a “wag the dog” comparison.

Learn from the mistakes made by the biggest idiots ever to stink up Capitol Hill.

On Election Day 2006, voters shoved an enema hose into the halls of Congress, and the GOP went blasting out.  Why would we be in such a hurry to emulate them?  Why let bloodlust overcome our common sense?

(Hat tip to ACK at VV)

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