Monday, October 31, 2005



In today's AOL poll, users are asked to rate far right extremist Sam Alito, BushCo's nominee to replace mainstream conservative Sandra Day O'Connor. 45% call the choice poor, 30% excellent, 16% fair and 9% good.
When asked about Bush's overall appointments 59% called them poor, 19% excellent, 14% good and 8% fair. Although the poll didn't ask people to consider the questions of Bush's resignation or impeachment, it did ask if Bush should jetison Cheney (65% said YES) and Rove (75% said YES). Things didn't look any brighter for Chimpie when people were asked to rate specific policies.

How would you rate Bush's choices on energy policy?

Poor 74%
Excellent 12%
Good 8%
Fair 7%

How would you rate Bush's choices on the war on terror?

Poor 68%
Excellent 18%
Fair 7%
Good 6%

How would you rate Bush's choices on Social Security?

Poor 73%
Excellent 13%
Good 8%
Fair 6%

How would you rate Bush's choices on the economy?

Poor 65%
Excellent 17%
Good 11%
Fair 8%

Could a duck be any lamer than this one?



If anyone thought Bush planned on naming a moderate, consensus-type judge to replace Harriet Miers after he was lambasted and beaten to a bloody pulp by the extreme right of his own fascist-lead coalition, they need to have their head examined. BushCo's idea of "consensus" doesn't involve the majority of Americans who favor a woman's right to choice or who have the separation of church and state or who think individual rights are more important than corporate rights. BushCo's idea of consensus involves reconciling the interests of the KKK and Aryan Nations with the interests of the folks who run multibillion dollar companies with a PO Boxes in the Bahamas so as not to pay any American taxes.

I was awake early enough to hear Bush reading the resume someone gave him for the extreme right wing loon he just nominated to the Supreme Court. He chose someone of the Far Right's list of 10 pre-approved maniac neo-fascists, someone committed to overturning Roe v Wade, someone committed to ending the meaningful separation of church and state. Bush's last speech to the nation (on Friday) was to laud the "sacrifices" and "service" of a traitorous scumbag in his Regime named Irving Libby (aka- "Scooter," a name Bush uses to make this vicious neo-Nazi sound less sinister and threatening) as he resigned in disgrace after being indicted for 5 serious criminal offenses committed in the heart of the White House. This morning the part of Bush's partisan little introduction that riled me the most was when he had the nerve to bring up the word "ethical" in referring to this crooked right-wing hack he's trying to install on the Supreme Court.

"Scalito," as he is derisively known, shorthand for Scalia-lite (connoting his extreme right-wing philosophy with a smile), is a typical Bush Regime crook. Perhaps you saw the profiles of the list of extremists that the religionist Right pre-approved for Bush to choose from which the WASHINGTON POST ran last week. The most memorable part of Alito's resume wasn't that he was known for a high standard in ethics but that he's a dangerous crook. "Three years ago Alito drew conflict-of-interest accusations after he upheld a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit against the Vanguard Group. Alito had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested with the mutual fund company at the time. He denied doing anything improper but recused himself from further involvement in the case."

In a discussion with Katie Couric this morning, distinguished George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley stated flatly that "There will be no one to the right of Sam Alito on this Court. This is a pretty hardcore fellow on abortion issues." In the case that Alito is best-known for-- perhaps tied with his Christmas tree defense-- he issued a dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The fanatic judge concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980’s but he dissented because he didn't feel the majority had gone far enough. He claimed his fellow conservative justices were wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently rejected Alito’s lunatic opinion. Other highlights of Alito's judicial cases show clearly that he would oppose protecting victims of race-based discrimination (Bray v Marriott Hotels) or disability-based discrimination (Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania), and that he would always be there for the wealthy and powerful corporations who have financed his party's rise to political dominance.

People For the American Way has already announced that it do all it can to defeat Alito and Bush's attempt to violently shift the balance on the Supreme Court. According to PFAW President Ralph Neas, "Right-wing leaders vetoed Miers because she failed their ideological litmus test. With Judge Alito, President Bush has obediently picked a nominee who passes that test with flying colors. We had hoped President Bush would nominate someone with a commitment to protecting Americans’ rights and freedoms. That’s what the American people want, and it’s what they deserve. Unfortunately, with Judge Alito, that’s not what President Bush has given us. He has chosen to divide Americans with a nominee guaranteed to cause a bitter fight. Replacing a mainstream conservative like Justice O’Connor with a far-right activist like Samuel Alito would threaten Americans’ rights and legal protections for decades. Justice O’Connor had a pivotal role at the center of the Court, often providing a crucial vote to protect privacy, civil rights, and so much more. All that would be at risk if she were replaced with Judge Alito, who has a record of ideological activism against privacy rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, and more. President Bush wasn’t willing to stand up to the far right, so Americans must count on senators to stand up for the Constitution. Americans will have to live with the next justice long after President Bush has left office." The best place to get all the details of Bush's horrible new nominee is on the People For the American Way web site.


Of course, given Bush's lack of concern for the long-term effects of anything on the welfare of our nation, it's entirely possible that his main motivation for quickly nominating a hard-right radical judge sure to provoke tons of controversy and lots of headlines and TV debate, was simply to get Irving Libby (aka- Scooter) off the front pages. And, at this Bush has been somewhat successful. I noticed CNN this morning was all about Scalito and nary a mention of Irving or any of the other Republican felons or indictees or probably indictees (Rove, DeLay, Abramoff, Frist, Cheney, Pombo, Cunningham, Noe, Ney, Taft, Bolton, et al).


Oh, and speak of being a typical Bush Regime thug, it now turns out this creep is also, like Bush and Cheney and the rest of these pigs, a filthy chickhawk. The picture gets nicer by the minute.

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Sunday, October 30, 2005



There are many ways to measure the cost of Bush's war against-- and occupation of-- Iraq. The most obvious would be in lives, lives of American military personnel, lives of our allies' military personnel, lives of Iraqi civilians, lives of others caught up in the war. Then there are the tens of thousands of men, mostly men, who will spend the rest of their lives with serious handicaps (minus limbs, eyes, hearing... things like that). And, of course there are the young-- mostly young-- people whose lives have now entered into a downward spiral, impaired beyond repair from a psychological travesty inflicted on them for no good reason and with no amelioration.

Then there's what Bush and Cheney's little adventure is costing us in terms of our national zeitgeist and how the rest of the world views us. I travel a lot. It ain't what it used to be. Since the Rehnquist Supreme Court installed Bush in the White House, the world has become a chillier and chillier place for Americans. We went from being everyone's favorite visitors, in the 90's to being... suspect. (Wherever I go people wonder, "Is he a Bush fascist?") Most of the rest of the world is not brainwashed by Fox and Limbaugh and the Amen Chorus. They fear us and hate us; they're not rooting for us anymore either. At first they were sympathetic and knew we were Bush's victims. But when we let him steal 2004, I feel we lost our dignity as a people and any respect anyone might have still had for us. And in a part of the world where people have generational memories, we'll be coping with Bush's blunders and incompetence and stupidity for decades.

But what I really wanted to do today is to show you what this has cost us-- and is costing us-- in terms of cold, hard cash. Helen mentioned to me this afternoon that she read how BushCo is cutting billions from social welfare programs (not from bridges to uninhabited islands off the coast of Alaska but from Medicare and food stamps and things like that). Well, take a look at this meter and try to grok what it means for our country and your community and your family. Keep it in mind when you're in the voting booth.



To: General Richard Bruce 'Dick' Cheney,,

Dearest Vice President Dick Cheney,

My name is Philbert Suggs and I am a patriotic suppressor of a women's right to choose and an angry right-wing Christian warrior outdoorsman just like you sir. And like you, I'm also a big fan of treason and lying, especially if it means upholding the integrity of our American way of life.

But Dick, it seems to me that things are very different for you now. I mean you used to be able to get away with everything and anything! However now, I hear people calling you names like "War Profiter" "Crony Capitalist," "Greedy Dick," "Liar Liar" and "Outrageously Loathsome Maladjusted Evil Man Scourge of Ooze and Bile"! And those Dick, are out of the mouths of your republican supporters who attend my very right leaning church!

But Dick, I want you to know that I've figured it all out! Ever since I attended the Republican Wise Eyes Forum-Seminar at BIG SIR in beautiful Bishop, CA. I have been able to "see clearly" what is really secretly going on in the fellowship of the GOP. For instance, I now realize that you are going to resign from your post in a calculated move to… One: avoid going to Federal prison for your part in outing a CIA agent. And two: to quickly get the heck out of the "serving the public" crap with your new and vastly improved huge Haliburton booty.

But what your resignation also means to me and the millions of other Christian hunting devotees who you are fraternally bonded to, is you will be able to make available to the industry of killing animals for sport, the valuable experience of turning lies and failures into great accomplishments. This is why I am writing to you today.

As a fellow rural Republican supremacist you know the tragic, heartbreaking reality of the rapid declining numbers of men who go out hunting and killing animals for recreation every year. And as a ruthless self serving business executive you must notice the industry of hunting animals is now in dire straights just like the GOP, and desperately needs a man like you. Yes, we American hunters need you, Dick.

Because you sir, better than anyone else since Mcarthy, Hoover or Lee Atwater created a right-wing syllabus for America that truly reflects the mean spirit that is our GOP. That fraternal, ulterior motive Mafia thing that you had going on is truly what we American hunters are needing now to discredit the opposition against our war on the animals.

Lying about the reasons why the US invaded the Mesopotamia regions of Iraq is identical, in its complete dishonesty, to the lies we hunters make up when explaining the need to go into the woods and shoot animals. We hunters badly need the kind of triumphant success with lying that you and Bush have had so that when we explain to the public why we must invade the mountains, the grasslands, the tree filled areas with dirt and even the game ranches to kill animals, these lies will be totally accepted as necessary in the war to protect the American way of life.

Heck Dick, if you can keep the U.S. citizens from wanting to stone you after they have all seen how you helped award numerous no-bid no-compete contracts for the War in Iraq to your own former company Haliburton and that your stock options have risen 3,281% since 2004, then you could realistically even help brave Ted Nugent, myself and Fenced In Hunting International with our plan to import those penguin birds from the Antarctic for disabled children and a few of the lucky event organizers to shoot up inside enclosed game parks. And with you guiding the campaign, the public will remain passively silent.

Think of how simple it's been for a mean spirited man like you to turn scandals and selfishness into great accomplishments in the eyes of U.S. citizens!

Dick, with you as the Corporate CEO-Commanding General of the American Hunting Industry we would still be able to champion the old fraudulent reason that hunting animals actually saves animals from certain death when they are killed for recreation. With your help Dick it may even be possible to bring the numbers of American men who hunt and kill critters for fun, back up to the pre Viagra levels.

Oh Dick, don't panic. I'm not going to request that you become involved with the hunting industry's huge boycott against Viagra, (which as you know is the main reason the sale of hunting licenses has plummeted in the last 4 years)! No, we hunters understand how companies like Pfizer actually own you and that it's all part of the reality of our profit driven political system.

Can't you just picture yourself in a motorized wheel chair traveling around the nation like a modern day, but really angry and cranky, Roosevelt type?
Well? What do you think?
I look forward to hearing from you soon or at the very least seeing you again at the annual Rawlins,Wyoming Coyote Kill.

God Bless,

Philbert Suggs

Saturday, October 29, 2005



You might not be a follower of the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER. If you've been with me since July you'll remember my run-in with the paper back then. First the good news: I just sold the house in Pennsylvania. Next the really great news: Yesterday's STAR-LEDGER is reporting such utter chaos in Doug Forrester's now doomed campaign for governor of New Jersey that Democrats will be studying Corzine's brilliant campaign for months to come-- as they should.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how Missouri was the first state with a great strategy for helping Democratic candidates use stem cell proposals in a manner akin to the Republican strategy of the last few electoral cycles where they strategically placed anti-gay marriage amendments on the ballot to bring out their base and distract voters from Iraq and bread and butter issues, turning serious elections into red-meat circuses.

Well, last week Senator Corzine unleashed an ad that just about ended any chance Forrester had to win. Forrester's disastrous and disingenuous responses have now dug him a hole he'll never climb out of. And today most New Jersey voters see him as the flip-flop man, chasing after pubic opinion for a position.

The headline in yesterday's STAR-LEDGER, the state's biggest paper, was "Forrester reverses field, backs stem-cell research." Josh Margolin paints a picture of a campaign thrown into confusion and disarray. A few days after Forrester told the STAR-LEDGER "What I have found is that -- I think it's more clear today than it was two months ago -- that the embryonic stem-cell research isn't going anywhere," he was forced to face the fact that despite George Bush's support from the fringe religionist radicals in WingNutia, the overwhelming majority of New Jersey residents adamantly favor stem cell research. Forrester started dancing-- fast, but with no grace whatsoever. During a debate last week, he completely shifted his stand by lauding the latest stem-cell research. The next day, one of his campaign flacks said his remarks represented "an evolution of his position." And yesterday, according to the STAR-LEDGER, "he strongly endorsed the science and did not rule out spending public money if the state could afford it. 'I've made my position very clear, [which of course is exactly what he has never done and what Republicans CANNOT ever do for fear of alienating either the crazies who make up their base or normal people who still believe in science and medicine] that, full-speed ahead with embryonic and adult stem-cell research," Forrester said during a news conference on the front lawn of the home of a Republican committeeman in Paramus. 'The ethical reservations have been surpassed by science. God bless the medical scientists.' Pressed on whether he is sticking to his earlier stance opposing public funding for the research, Forrester said he has 'not committed' to investing state money. He said he remains opposed to having the state borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for stem-cell research, as proposed by Democratic candidate Jon Corzine and acting Gov. Richard Codey... Forrester previously endorsed President Bush's 2001 position barring federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells except those extracted before the ban."

Meanwhile, smelling blood, Corzine stepped up his attacks on Forrester's stem-cell position in campaign speeches, and released the television commercial in the link above featuring paralyzed wrestler Carl Riccio of Warren, who supports Corzine because of his advocacy of research funding. Forrester really stepped in shit when he attacked Carl and said he was being used and didn't understand what was going on. This caused the feisty wrestler and his family to get into it with Forrester and make him look like a brute and thug. The STAR-LEDGER reports that Corzine was joined on the campaign trail yesterday by "Tricia Riccio of Warren, the mother of the wrestler featured in Corzine's commercial. She said her son, a registered independent, was glad to endorse Corzine and made his decision after researching the issue. 'He supports Jon Corzine 100 percent because of his stand on stem-cell research. Forrester does not have the same stand. He's changing his mind now, which is too late,' she said."

Corzine is significantly ahead of Forrester, and gaining momentum, in all polls for the November 8 election. Only 30% of Americans oppose stem-cell research and the number in New Jersey is even smaller. I doubt the lunatic fringe of the state GOP is happy about Forrester buckling on an issue that is important to them. Many will sit on their hands on election day.



If you've been reading DWT at all, you already know what I think of the Inside-the-Beltway universe and how fond I am (NOT) of political consultants. But I always make an exception for Jim Carville. My company once hired him-- before we were swallowed by a big right-wing corporation called AOL-- to make a speech at one of our annual conventions. He was great and before he spoke I got to spend some time with him. I've been an admirer ever since.

Today he and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg issued an extensive survey of the electorate for Democracy Corps, "THE CHANGE ELECTORATE ON THE EVE OF MORE CHANGE, A report on the shattered standing of the Republicans ." It's an incredibly heartening document that goes way beyond BushCo's sinking poll ratings. I think it's worth reading if you take electoral politics seriously. So, here it is:

Even before the announcement of any criminal indictments at the heart of the Bush White House, Republicans and the president himself were already facing their own shattered standing with the country. We send this memo as an important benchmark, as events perhaps worsen for the Republicans. About 60 percent of the country has settled into dark conclusions about the direction of the country, the economy, and the war. On all measures, they have hit their low point. That the Democrats have a 9-point lead in the congressional contest overall – and nearly as great a lead when we ask using the actual names of incumbent members – is actually the least interesting measure of these times.

Most interesting is the collapse of confidence in the Republicans on some critical attributes related to public service – on being trustworthy and in-touch, having the right priorities and new ideas, on caring for people and putting the public interest first. On many of these key measures of public support, not even 40 percent believe they apply to the Republicans.

The other interesting development, before the new phase in the White House, is the new signs of life among the Democrats. As you know, we have been quite critical of the Democrats for not being more expressive about their beliefs and plans and bold enough in their thinking, but this poll shows some reduced negativity about the Democrats and some greater respect on change, new ideas, putting the public interest first, and being for families. While Democrats remain at 48 percent in this poll-– as in virtually every poll since the beginning of the year-– they are poised to make gains over the Republicans, who have fallen below 40 percent of the vote.

The emerging images of the party are setting up the 2006 election as a big choice – with the Democrats for change and cleaning house in Washington, electing people who will put the American people first and work for everyone, not just the few.

Deepening Demand for Change

There is no measure where we do not find a rising demand for change, reflecting a deepening discontent with the economy, Iraq, the direction of the country, the Bush administration and the Congress.
• By 65 to 32 percent, voters say the economy is off on the wrong track – rising significantly this month. Over half the country strongly believes the economy is off on the wrong track.
• By 59 to 37 percent, voters say the Iraq war was not worth the cost in lives and dollars – the highest level since we began asking the question. By 56 to 41 percent, voters think the war has made us less, not more secure – matching the worst moments of the war.
• The public has lost confidence in how the Bush administration ensures the country’s security: by 55 to 39 percent, voters now say America’s security depends more on our ties with other countries than on our military strength-– again, the high point on the desire for a new approach.
• We are approaching 60 percent of the voters who want to go in a “significantly different direction” than Bush, with only 37 percent wanting to continue his direction for the country-– the low point in confidence. It is even worse for Congress, with 64 percent wanting that kind of change.

As a result, the pull back and disengagement from Bush continues. There are few loyalists left. Only 24 percent of voters now give Bush a “strong” approval rating, continuing downward to its lowest point-– 12 points below where it was at the election.

While the Democrats have only a 5-point lead with independents, these voters are almost as intent on change as partisan Democrats: two thirds want to go in a significantly different direction than Bush and almost three-quarters want to go in a significantly different direction than the current Congress.

The Changing Character of the Republican Party

The changes we are witnessing are not just falling indicators, like stock prices, that have ups and downs. The Republicans have lost hold of some fundamental things that will not be easily recouped. There is a broken bond here that leaves the party in a very different place.

Looking at the party on its own, just 38 percent describe the Republican Party now as “trustworthy” and “in touch;” 39 percent say they have “new ideas for addressing the country’s problems” and 40 percent say they have “the right priorities.” Critically, each of these has crashed 12 points from March, with the exception of priorities, which dropped 9 points. The muted excitement about the new administration clear in its direction and willing to take on tough issues has given way to judgments about an untrustworthy lot who are out of touch, with bad ideas and misplaced priorities. Only 42 percent say the Republicans are “on your side” (down 6 points). The voters reaffirm their judgment from earlier in the year that Republicans are part of the Washington mess (58 percent) and devoted to big corporate interests, not the middle class (68 percent).

The Democrats have emerged with huge advantages over the Republicans on a broad range of values and attributes – produced first by a pull back from the Republicans but also by not insignificant gains for the Democrats on some key measures. As we see below, the Republicans biggest declines in comparison with the Democrats have come on reform and change, cares about people, new ideas and thinking about the future, convictions, improving America and putting the public interest first. Barely 30 percent opt for the Republicans on advancing the public interest, trust, reform and change, for the middle class or for new ideas. Those are all well below the Republicans’ current vote for Congress.

Democratic Gains

It is important to underscore that important Democratic gains have come on putting the public interest first, knowing what they stand for, reform and change, and cares about people and families. In the comparison of the parties, the percent choosing the Democrat on each of these went up about 5 points from January. That is an important sign of progress, though we should note that on the majority of attribute comparisons, the percentage choosing the Democrats went up only two points or less.

Democrats looked at on their own (not in comparison to the Republicans) fare better with the voters now. In the aftermath of the presidential election, they were particularly weakened on clarity of beliefs and ideas and on values. Today, Democrats have improved 14 points on new ideas, which is a little surprising, though likely artificially suppressed last February. More typical of the best results are the 7 or 8 point gains on putting the public interest first, being for families, change, on your side and sharing your values.

Democrats have not made noticeable gains on thinking long term, standing up to the special interests, knowing what they stand for, or being trusted to keep America safe. These are not insignificant areas and they are relevant to the judgment people will make in November.

The Changed Partisan Landscape

In the end, 2006 will be a zero sum game, with the Republican crash reflected in the choice people make. The 9-point Democratic lead in the generic contest is reflected in even bigger advantages on the big themes, values and convictions that structure the choice in the election.

The biggest Democratic advantages all relate to putting people and the public interest ahead of the big special interests. The Democrats enjoy advantages of 25 points or more on standing up for people (not big special interests), being for the middle class and caring about people, and standing up for the public’s interests. On this terrain, almost 58 percent say these terms describe the Democrats, but barely 30 percent opt for the Republicans. The Democratic margin is three times the Democrats’ advantage in the actual race for Congress. That is why one of the strongest definitions of the election focuses on making the country work for everyone, not just the few.

The Democrats at this point enjoy an 18-point advantage on “reform and change” – reflecting the simple conclusion, for many that they may be the change. Their advantage is double their vote margin for Congress, re-enforcing the determination of Democrats to turn 2006 into a change election.

On a whole series of other comparisons, Democrats are doing respectably well, though mostly reflecting their vote margin. This includes being on your side, improving America, and new ideas. Here, the Democrats are chosen by less than half the electorate, helping explain why Democrats keep bumping up against the 48-percent ceiling. Raising the Democrats as a party battling for people and advancing new ideas to improve the country promises a yet stronger vote.

The Democrats’ margin on trust and shares your values, thinking long term, and creating prosperity are only modest and below their vote. Shares your values is the most important one of these to shift upwards, given the regression modeling. Right now, the Democrats have a 5-point advantage, half their congressional margin, and are chosen by just 46 percent of the voters.

The two strongest areas for the Republicans are “security and keeping the country safe” and “know what they stand for.” Their 15-point advantage here is what keeps Republicans in the game, though for now, these are not driving the congressional vote. In any case, the Republican margin has been cut in half since January on this key choice for the election.

First Clues of 1994

Despite the Democrats’ gains relative to the Republicans on key attributes and values, the party’s overall image has barely moved upward. In this survey, the negative assessments have dropped a few points, allowing the Democrats to emerge with a marginally positive image (39 percent warm and 35 percent cool). But with declining positives (39 percent warm) and hardening negatives (41 percent cool over the last four months), the Republicans have emerged with a net negative image. That is allowing the Democrats to approach where the Republicans were in 1993 when they were challenging from the outside, though Democrats are not yet as strong.

It is worth remembering that both parties are at historic lows and this is a very alienated electorate, unhappy with Washington, the direction of the country and its political leaders. This is still a moment for the Democrats to emerge much more decisively as a bold change agent, ready to change Washington, ready to battle for people and advance new ideas for the country. There is evidence that the electorate is starting to pay attention.

Friday, October 28, 2005



I just got home from a somewhat rousing patriotic get-together in Cheviot Hills, a part of L.A. I had never heard of until Mark Kleiman invited me to join him and 3 or 4 other L.A. bloggers at a meeting with Wes Clark. Mark's one of the smartest guys I've met from Blogostan so I was happy to join him. And because it turned out he was so enthusiastic about Clark, I really tried to get into Clark's message with no preconceptions. (And without Dean in the race, I'd like to find someone worth supporting.)

When I tell my pal Jimmy that someone is a "good guy," he heads for the hills. I don't really mean it as a negative and I'm not sure if he even thinks I do. But he sure takes it as one! I'm not trying to say anything bad about Clark when I tell you he really seemed like a good guy. And I totally dug his wife Gert. But the private little session with "the bloggers" was kind of quasi-pointless and his speech to about 150-200 supporters afterwards just depressed me. His ideas about Iraq (except that he opposed it before it started) were almost identical-- sickeningly so-- to BushCo's (or Hillary's). The more this good guy spoke, the more depressed I got. He definitely made some points about Democrats and I'm glad he has seen the light since the days when he thought people with names like Nixon, Reagan and Bush were worthy of support. (My pal Casey, an Edwards loyalist-- see, and I bet you figured I didn't even know anyone who wasn't a Howard Dean supporter-- asked me to ask Clark if he is actually a Democrat. I didn't have to. He is. It's a big tent. And it should be.)

Clark is probably more a Democrat Party man than I am at this point. He defines his adherence very articulately but in a way that equates military service with patriotism (although he's probably been criticized on this enough so that he mumbles something about the Peace Corp and volunteering at hospitals and stuff). He talks about the importance of abandoning support for "gun control." And he downplays almost all the specific reasons I see the Democratic Party as a progressive alternative to corporate Republicans. I'm sure I'd vote for him over a Giuliani or McCain or Hegel, let alone over someone from the neanderthal wing of the GOP. He seems way too much the militarist for my comfort but at least he seems genuine and refreshingly honest (unlike Biden, Lieberman or Hillary). Mark thinks they'll love him in rural Ohio. Yeah, why not?



CNN is reporting this evening that the right-wing fanatics who are crowing about having forced him to withdraw the nomination of Harriet Miers are now demanding-- not requesting-- that he hew to their party line and not think outside of the narrowest of (neo-fascist) boxes. According to CNN, WingNutia is "vowing to oppose President Bush's next nominee unless the candidate has solid conservative credentials," code for opposes women's right to choice and opposes separation of church and state. One long-time loon, with solid Nazi cred is psycho-case Phyllis Schafly of the fringe hate group Eagle Forum. "I think [conservative groups] will swing into action again" [if he doesn't pick someone certifiably insane]. "The judicial issue was a major issue in the 2004 elections, and it was a reason why many people voted for Bush even though they might have been unhappy [with him] for other reasons." (Although with Adolph dead, she doesn't say what they would have done if not vote for Bush.) Schlafly said the extreme Right has given Bush a choice of a dozen acceptable fellow-loons they will allow him to pick from (specifically ruling out Bush's close friend, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is not considered radical enough for the fascists, even though he approved torture, something they love).

One senior White House operative, admitting they were beaten by their own radical Right, told CNN that Bush's next pick will be predicated on the "lessons learned" from disastrous Miers' nomination.

As bizarre as it sounds, CNN reports that Wingnutia spokesmen graciously say they will refrain from endorsing a particular candidate before Bush chooses someone. (Yes, they really and truly are insane.)
Tony Perkins, head of the nut group Family Research Council, and every bit as wigged out and psychotic as Schlafly, said leaders within the neo-Nazi Right "would not remain silent on what type of person they want on the bench. 'Very clearly, there is going to be a call for a nominee that can have the enthusiastic support from the people that supported the president,'" he said, using code for a die-hard opponent of womens' rights to choice and against any semblance of separation of Church and State.

"Dollar" Bill Frist, who is laboring under some kind of weird delusion that the religionist kooks support him and that he isn't going to prison for insider stock trading, called for "a highly qualified nominee who is committed to upholding the Constitution and who believes in the limited role of a judge to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench," code for "will vote against Choice and will legislate from the bench in favor of Right wing schemes."

CNN also reports on the controversy about whether or not "Bush's" next nominee should be a woman-- an option supported by retiring Sandra Day O'Connor and Laura Bush. Thus far unindicted fake-preacher/Abramoff whore/Traditional Values Coalition Chairman "Lucky Louie" Sheldon said he favors replacing O'Connor with another woman and gave Bush a choice of 3 lunatic judges as possible choices: Edith Hollan Jones, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown. "I think we should have a woman this time," Sheldon said. "Isn't the [justice] retiring a woman?" (Hopefully he's asking that rhetorically.)

But the men who run Concerned Women for America said gender shouldn't come into play. "For us it is not about sex, race or creed," said Lanier Swann, the conservative group's director of government relations. "It is really about their ability to fairly interpret the Constitution," code for denying women the right to choice or privacy and to opposing separation of church and state.

Democrats are hoping Bush will pick a mainstream jurist who will unite the country but Wingnutia is hoping Bush will bring together a Republican Party in "disarray" by nominating an off-the-wall out-and-out fascist that Democrats would vehemently oppose. "A fight I think would be helpful," said a neo-Nazi leader, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity. "What will bring people together is to have a common goal, and that would be the nomination of a conservative nominee," code for someone willing to deny women a right to choice and abolish separation of church and state.



My friend Suzi is on the road, back in the wet, frigid East. She sent me an e-mail today that I thought she wouldn't mind me sharing. She, or someone, saw a sign in the DC area reading:

"Would someone please give him a blowjob so we can impeach him!"



I woke up early-- even by my standards-- today: 3:30AM. I didn't open my eyes after a brief glance at the clock but I did switch on CNN. I dosed on and off, never opening my eyes but hearing snippet's of (mostly inane) convo. Somewhere in there they had Ann Coulter as a guest. Although I didn't get to see the big masculine bobbing Adam's apple, I did hear the vitriolic voice of a vicious psychopath babbling on about her plans for a Nazi take-over of America. (We beat them in the 40's and-- with people like Ann Coulter leading their charge-- we'll beat them in '06 and '08.) Anyway, Coulter inadvertently croaked out one piece of Truth: that the worst thing that could happen to Nutlandia would be for this whole RoveGate mess to drag on unresolved. No one knows who the hell Scooter Libby is, she boasted. Getting it over with is what Coulter and the rest of the wrong-wing want.

As long as Dick Cheney or Bush aren't indicted, BushCo can claim it's a minor matter and many people-- too busy with keeping their fraying lives together-- won't pay much attention. Today Karl Rove won't be indicted nor will a dozen other treasonous, conspiratorial BushCo operatives. OK, Scooter Libby has been, but Coulter's got a point (as well as a gross Adam's apple): does anyone other than those who already know about this treason and who did it and why, even know or care who he is? Maybe a few. But, back to Coulter's worry, the problem still lingers... threateningly. People like her and O'Liely and DeLay and Hannity and Limbaugh have already tried-- and dismally failed-- to smear Fitzgerald and make it look like a partisan witch hunt. That ain't stickin' and Fitzgerald is far from finished. He's barely started.

Now there is a CRIMINAL prosecution on the front burner (Scooter's), which means people will be called to testify under oath, even, perhaps, Bush and Darth. Scooter resigned which will probably encourage Mr and Mrs Smith in Iowa to scratch their heads and figure something about smoke and fire. The bad news for the Bush Regime isn't the loss of Scooter but that RoveGate lives and it lives when they need desperately for it to go away.

The only good thing for them today is that Rove wasn't forced into resigning... today. Death by a thousand cuts, on the other hand, is not good news for BushCo (not that they deserve any).



Yesterday's NY TIMES had an article about FEMA giving a $66,000,000 grant to The United Methodist Committee on Relief, to provide counseling services for hurricane victims in the New Orleans area.  Wow. Am I surprised? Not really. Bush has been whittling away at separation of church and state every chance he gets. The fact that this organization claims it does not proselytize does not, in my humble opinion,  make it kosher for our government to give such large sums to a religious organization and subject victims of a tragedy to a Christian point of view in order to get assistance.  The article states that our government received this money in cash from several dozen countries, with carte blanche how to use it. This is not FEMA's first attempt to offer a windfall to a religious organization. If I recall, when FEMA listed charities for hurricane victims on its website, Pat Robertson's lovely group was listed second to the Red Cross. Complaints about this finally resulted in removal of his charity from this list. I wonder if this current attempt will pass under the radar.  At least there are still still some voices out there protesting. I think I'll write a letter of protest to the Times right now. 

Thursday, October 27, 2005



AOL runs these simplistic, ultra-unscientific polls every now and then. I don't know why. But I can never resist voting in them. I just love to vote. Today's poll posed the interesting questions: "Did you vote for President Bush in the 2004 election?" and "If a new election were held today, who would you vote for?"

The first question, with nearly half a million AOL members participating, confirms what most serious examiners of the 2004 election have concluded-- Bush didn't win. Only 41% of the voters admit they voted for him. There are a lot of reasons for such a low number-- some of these people didn't vote in 2004 at all, some are too embarrassed to admit they voted for such a loser (even to themselves) and are lying, and, of course, the #1 reason: without the help of tampered-with electronic voting machines and other shenanigans, Bush couldn't win anything. I'll stick with that last reason.

Oh and for who would you vote for today, Bush slips from 41% admitting they voted for him in 2004 to only 33% who would vote for him today. What rocks do these die-hard imbeciles live under. Does he have to personally send Darth Cheney over to their homes to cut their children into little pieces and eat them before they wake up and smell the... well, it ain't roses! Are there that many people in Utah?



With all the excitement over BushCo making poor Harriet walk the plank to placate the most extremist and fascistic elements of its Far Right coalition, people are missing the biggest story of the day: Murray Waas' piece in the NATIONAL JOURNAL about Cheney and Libby, (not about them not getting indicted today) but about them blocking crucial papers from getting to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Thoroughly believing they could do no wrong-- or at least never have to pay for doing wrong-- they utterly ignored the advice of White House lawyers who told them their actions were... unwise?... illegal?... treason?

Cheney, Libby and the rest of the neo-Con traitors surrounding Bush and making up the treacherous WHIG cabal inside the heart of our government, were determined to attack Iraq at any cost and Cheney and Libby felt they had to keep the documents away from the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was investigating the use of the pre-war intelligence that blatantly deceived the American public about weapons of mass destruction.

According to Waas, "had the withheld information been turned over, according to administration and congressional sources, it likely would have shifted a portion of the blame away from the intelligence agencies to the Bush administration as to who was responsible for the erroneous information being presented to the American public, Congress, and the international community... Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee say that their investigation was hampered by the refusal of the White House to turn over key documents."



One of the really important precepts of English Common Law that is embedded in our own legal traditions is that no man is above the law-- particularly not the powerful and mighty and not those who write, pass and enforce the laws. I don't have much expectation that a lowlife bug exterminator like Tom DeLay, who managed to strong-arm his way to the top of the GOP, would have any appreciation-- or even knowledge-- of English Common Law, but DeLay's partisan ravings will probably ring alarm bells even among Republicans (a few Republicans).

As more and more Republican crooks are unmasked, like himself and his own cosigliere Jack Abramoff (both of whom await trials for serious financial violations), DeLay is attempting to shift the blame to Democrats for one of his own trademark modes of operation: "the politics of personal destruction."

After polls this week showed that his own political support in his Texas district has eroded and that he is now in serious jeopardy of losing his seat (even if he doesn't wind up in prison), DeLay sent a letter to constituents and contributors, connecting his case with probable indictments of Karl Rove and "Dollar" Bill Frist. He doesn't draw the conclusion, however, that arrogant powermad neo-fascists who believe the ends justify the means are dangerous and bound to be up to no good. Instead he is whining that they are being brought low by "the criminalization of conservative politics."

DeLay likes the idea of passing laws-- primarily laws that will benefit his wealthy and "generous" supporters at the expense of ordinary American working men and women-- but it never seems to have dawned on him that even he-- who once said, smoking a Cuban cigar in a No Smoking Zone, that "I am the government"-- must also obey the same laws that everyone is subject to.

If anyone has "criminalized" conservative politics, it is the people who have felt so empowered that they could disregard laws they considered, in the words of Leona Helmsley, "for the little people." Luckily for the little people, there are still straight-arrow law enforcement officials untainted by DeLay's big money politics who are willing to put themselves in the crosshairs of these vicious and corrupt pols and their allies, not for wealth or for power but for the good of our beloved nation.



When I started Down With Tyranny, people kept asking me if I lived in Ohio. I don't. But I was writing all the time about the Republican scandal epidemic there. And at the center-- surrounded by Governor Bob Taft, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, arch crook and DeLay/Abramoff henchman Congressman Bob Ney, Attorney General Jim Petro, both U.S. Senators, half a dozen other Ohio congressmen, half the state legislature, and a gaggle of other GOP offcials, is Republican kingpin Thomas Noe. Today's Toledo Blade, the crusading newspaper that uncovered this scandal while the one party state of Ohio fought furiously and viciously to cover it up, has announced that Noe has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for laundering money into Bush's re-election campaign, allowing Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell to steal the state's electoral votes for Bush (and hence handing him "re-election").

A few months ago a local California magazine asked me to write a summary of the Ohio scandal-- with an L.A. point of view-- but the editor resigned and the article never got published-- until now:

Outside of Ohio not too many people have heard about "Coingate," although it could turn out to be the biggest political/financial scandal since Teapot Dome! Even though it's been headlines for weeks in Ohio, the national mass media doesn't seem to want to talk about it. Maybe it's a little too complicated. Financial shenanigans involving political figures are always FAR MORE complicated than celebrities accused of molesting young boys or a runaway bride or a man who kills his wife. But since Arnold Schwarzenegger has now been implicated in the whole mess, maybe it's time for Californians to start paying some serious attention. Briefly, here's the story so far:

An Ohio Republican Party kingmaker (and former GOP Lucas County Chairman), Thomas Noe, is at the center because he was able to convince the state of Ohio to make a couple of extraordinarily risky, highly unorthodox-- some would say "bizarre"-- investments with the State Workmen's Compensation Fund. Noe, a Bush-Cheney Pioneer (which means he was able to raise at least $100,000 for the presidential campaign), has been very-- make that very, very-- active in financing Republican candidates in his home state, at least a couple of governors, a couple U.S. senators, the state auditor, state attorney general, the secretary of state, a gaggle of congressmen and state legislators... 5 of the 7 Supreme Court judges. What a generous guy! Civic minded? Well, turns out that Ohio state government is pretty much an experiment in one-party rule-- no checks, no balances. Every non-judicial statewide official is a Republican. So it wasn't all that difficult for Noe to get his hands on millions of dollars of Workmen's Compensation Money and put it into (what was termed "invest in") his highly speculative rare coin (and collectible baseball cards!!) fund.

Aside from making hefty commissions on the "investments," the Republican Party high-roller seems to have lost (literally) MILLIONS of dollars in coins. This isn't just a case of coins decreasing in value, but a case of tangible, physical items... just gone. And "strangely"-- according to an anonymous law enforcement source quoted in the Toledo Blade, records show, for example, Noe bought one coin for $100,000 but then claimed to have sold it for $1. (What happened to the other $99,999.00 from that "sale?") Meanwhile the generous contributions continued to flow unabated into GOP coffers. In fact, Noe was illegally reimbursing anyone he could coral into donating to the 2004 Bush Cheney campaign. Noe (currently extremely incommunicado) is under investigation-- in fact almost half a dozen of them. Many of his Republican-best-buddies-in-high-places have been returning some, though by no means all, of the money they got from him, including President Bush (a paltry $4,000 of the over $100,000 Noe gave BushCheney), Governor Taft, and the man many Democrats claim corrupted the Ohio presidential election results in 2004, Secretary of State/current GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell. Did what looks very much like stolen money wind up unduly influencing the presidential election? Perhaps a nonpartisan Special Prosecutor will be appointed? Not likely; like Zimbabwe, Ohio is functioning as a one-party state. Meanwhile, the first non-Ohio politician other than Bush, to have been a known recipient of Mr. Noe's largesse has been identified: the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Ohio coin dealer gave the money last year to a Schwarzenegger fund that supports the California governor’s legislative priorities. In other words, the tainted $10,000 Noe gave him, very likely stolen from Ohio State Workmen's Compensation funds, and which Ohio newspapers are reporting Schwarzenegger won't return, is being used along with other contributions from multinational corporations to push Arnold's highly dubious agenda in the "special election" he's foisting on California in November. The irony of using working people's money to push viciously anti-working people laws is seen as the height of irony by many Democrats.

Schwarzenegger, who campaigned in the state of Ohio for Bush-Cheney in the closing days of the 2004 election, has business interests including the Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition in Columbus. "Allegations about Mr. Noe became public a year after we accepted his contribution," Marty Wilson, executive director of Schwarzenegger’s fund, said Friday. "As he was an active Ohio Republican party fund-raiser and donor, we had no reason at the time to question his contribution."
Under California law, the California Recovery Team organization (the front for Schwarzzenegger's special interest/corporate money collection operation he plans to use to blanket the state of California with TV and radio advertising to push his reactionary agenda before the Special Election) can accept unlimited corporate or individual contributions. Schwarzenegger and his team have gone back and forth on whether or not they plan to return the $10,000 to the Ohio Workmen's Compensation Fund, saying yes one day and no the next day.

It sounds pretty bad-- around $55 million in Workmen's Comp money "invested" and something like $12 million missing. But it gets worse! As the investigation-- driven almost entirely by pressure from readers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Toledo Blade-- expanded it suddenly turns out that the poor Workmen's Compensation Fund was being looked on by Republican office holders charged with the fiduciary responsibility for protecting it as a honeypot for political donors even beyond Noe. Last week it was publicly announced, although the Governor Taft and Attorney General Petro have been aware of this-- and denying it-- since just before the election, that another $225 million have been lost. This time it was a different firm, one in Pennsylvania which runs hedge funds, and which is also a major donor to Ohio Republican politics.

Meanwhile Ohio officials responded to the unfolding scandal by attacking the newspapers pressing the investigations, claiming, at first, the whole thing was a vendetta and that the so-called "investments" were profitable. The Governor (of Ohio) who has not been indicted yet, was quoted on April 8 as screaming at a reporter from the Blade that "[Noe] was making money for the state; what's the problem?" Noe and his wife Bernadette (who was GOP chairman of Lucas County during the presidental election) have personally donated over $200,000 to Ohio Republican candidates and PACs in the last 15 years-- and those are just the above-board contributions, not the illegal ones like the reimbursements to Bush-Cheney donors. The Pittsburgh hedge fund managers have shovelled hundreds of thousands more into the Ohio state GOP-- but it turns out to have been money well-spent for them-- and for the Ohio GOP, if not for the state tax-payers. Youngstown Democratic State Senator Marc Dann is calling the mess "a culture of corruption... It's more than a guess that some of the money could have made its way to the campaign committees of Republican officeholders, starting at Toledo city council and going up to Arnold Schwarzenegger and the president. I can now go into any bowling alley or barber shop and mention Tom Noe's name and have everyone understand what corruption in our state means," continued Dann. "People understand when money is stolen, and they understand the connections to the Republican Party. The GOP might try to give back the money, but they're still tainted."

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Scott Goodstein is a passionate progressive comrade and a friend of mine. Along with Fat Mike he has done incredible work running Punk Voter and is the co-founder of Military Free Zone! Last night Scott was arrested and this morning he wrote this and sent it to DWT.

Last night, in memory of the 2000th soldier killed in Iraq and the thousands of innocent people dying, I decided to go to the White House and stand with Cindy Sheehan to support the dozens of other Antiwar activists. As a result, I got arrested and charged with a basic civil disobedience violation.
It was not the fun experience one sees on TV. It’s real. My shoulders are still sore from being cuffed and I still have the marks on my wrists from the zip tie restraints. I have a court date scheduled and I may have additional problems if I get arrested again at another protest.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew what I was doing and was honored to be a part of it, especially as I was stuffed into the police wagon next to Juan Torres. Mr. Torres told me about his 25-year-old son that was killed in Afghanistan with only a few days left in his eight year commitment to our Reserves. He then thanked me for standing with him, told me how he flew in from Chicago and spent over $400 on this protest alone. Mr. Torres attends as many protests as he can because he wants answers from our government as to why he had to lose his son. Visit his website if you can at Uncover The Truth.
"I spent the next several hours in a holding cell learning the ropes from activists who had gone through this routine before. Code Pink DC made sure I had a few bucks toward bail and even a ride home when it was all done. The political director from Peace Action was arrested with us and talked to me about how the movement needs more members of Congress proposing real legislation in support of bringing the troops home.  I spoke with a George Washington University student about getting more students interested and involved.  Even Ann Wright, a former State Department Diplomat and 25-year military veteran, gave me a thumbs up through the fencing of the women’s holding cell.
After starting the protest around 5:30pm and not getting out of jail until around midnight, some of us were hungry and met at a nearby diner. It was there that I met Cindy Sheehan. I learned that she is a real human being from watching her both laugh and cry. She is simply a mother who lost her son and wants this war to stop so other parents don't have to lose their children too. While I may not agree with everything she says, I do believe her conviction is real and learned that she is not trying to be anything more than a concerned citizen taking action. She was refreshing to listen to and even asked others for advice and ideas on what measures are needed to end this war.
Meeting people with this level of passion for an ending the war humbled my discomfort and made this experience rewarding. Surely I can give a few hours for those who lost their children at war and cannot find out why from our own government. I realize we are a very long way away from the 55,000 U.S. soldier deaths in Vietnam and I pray that we do not let this war escalate in the same fashion.
My own mother worries about me at these activities because she fears this arrest will harm my career. She raised me as an honest, law abiding citizen and hopes that I will fight for these values and not lose my principles. All we did to get arrested was stand in front of the White House while holding a candle up to mark the sad anniversary of the 2000th soldier passing in Iraq." 

Scott should be proud of what he did last night. I'm proud of him. And, of course, his mom is worried but I bet she's proud too. I may have mentioned this before but the last time Elizabeth Edwards asked me for some money for her husband's campaign I suggested he go down to the White House with Cindy and get arrested too. It would probably guarantee that he'd be the next President of the United States (unless Bush gets impeached in 2006).  



Even if you're not addicted to SOUTH PARK the way I am, here is one cartoon that will have you rolling. I LOVE this new Schwarzenegger ad!



Former Senator John Danforth (R-MO) is an ordained Episcopal minister (who officiated at the Reagan funeral services), the heir to the Ralston Purina fortune, George Bush's former Ambassador to the UN, and a conservative Republican who served 18 years in the U.S. Senate. He is considered the man whose clout got his former aide and protégé, Clarence Thomas, through a controversial Supreme Court confirmation process. Yesterday Daniel Connolly reported for the Associated Press that Danforth said the political influence of evangelical Christians is hurting the Republican Party and dividing the country. "I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right," he said in an interview at the University of Arkansas. "I don't think that this is a permanent condition, but I think this has happened, and that it's divisive for the country." He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run.

Although the Far Right Noise Machine is notorious for blackening the name of anyone who criticizes Bush or his fanatic base, perhaps because so many of the key players are spending all their energy trying to stay out of jail, there has been no smear of Danforth yet. One right-wing goon usually fast out of the shoot when the smear campaigns begin, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracy Schmitt, declined to comment on Danforth's remarks.



As predicted here for the last couple of days, poor old Harriet Miers "withdrew" her nomination so poor old Bush wouldn't have to turn over "classified" documents to untrustworthy yentas on the Senate Judiciary Committee who were demanding them, like Kansas neo-Nazi Senator Sam Brownback.

I woke up a little late this morning (double episode of SOUTH PARK last night) so when I turned on CNN "Dollar" Bill Frist was just finishing reading Miers' withdrawal letter, making it all look very neat and graceful and setting the stage for a Medal of Honor for her great service. I can't imagine anyone is falling for this charade, but, hey, I can't imagine anyone with less than $100 million is assets voting for Bush either. (And even I know they didn't steal that many votes!)

Even before "Dollar" Bill had finished his role in the farce People For the American Way had sent out this statement-- which is a lot more truthful than anything that came out of Frist's mouth: "Harriet Miers’ withdrawal from her Supreme Court nomination demonstrates that ultraconservatives are so determined to swing the Supreme Court sharply to the right that they pounded their own president’s nominee into submission, and now demand a nominee with unquestioned far-right credentials. It’s an astonishing spectacle. The unelected power-brokers of the far right have forced the withdrawal of  President Bush’s own Supreme Court nominee, before a confirmation hearing has even been held.  President Bush’s complete capitulation to the far-right interest groups is astounding. The ultra-right wing dominance of Republican Party politics is complete, and they have dealt a terrible blow to an already weakened President and his administration,” said PFAW President Ralph Neas. “Right-wingers are openly saying they elected Bush to put a battle-ready ultraconservative on the court to replace the moderate Sandra Day O’Connor, and they’re demanding a new choice – bipartisanship, moderation and mainstream Americans be damned.”

Neas and PFAW-- like most progressive groups-- had concerns over Miers, as did I, but they were willing to see the confirmation process through and give the lady an opportunity to explain herself and to have the Right's much-vaunted "up or down vote." However the hysteria from religionist-right and sexists within the GOP (according to George AND Laura Bush) doomed the nomination (which was a very personal one for the president).

The first day of this nomination I said that it wouldn't fly on the extreme right because Harriet Miers had donated money to anti-choice groups but NOT to the kinds of anti-choice groups which advocate blowing up women's health clinics and killing doctors.

Bush has been beset by catastrophes of every kind-- from his ill-starred, downward-spiralling occupation of Iraq, to Mother Nature's (or "God's," take your choice) revenge on him in the form of devastating hurricanes and floods for his abysmal policies, to the legal system snaring dozens of key Regime operatives (DeLay, Frist, Abramoff, Cunningham, Ney, Cheney, Hadley, Libby, Wormy, Rove, et al) to the embarrassing shutout of the Astros last night. He just didn't have the strength to stay the course for Harriet any longer.

Neas, of course, urged Bush to resist calls for the kind of ultraconservative maniac committed to overturning Roe v Wade, who would satisfy the extreme right. “After this sorry episode, the best way for the President to demonstrate leadership and recover strength would be to choose a nominee with a great legal mind and mainstream legal philosophy who could draw bipartisan support. The President must not let the extreme right dictate his next choice, but instead choose a nominee who can bring us together and maintain a fair and independent balance on the Supreme Court,” he said. I wonder if such an idea has ever crossed Bush's mind.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005



I was driving home, feelin' good after running into my old Wire Train pal Kevin, when some really boring crap came on KCRW. Knowing the local Air America affiliate runs anti-Dean loudmouth/ego-maniac Ed Schultz I was a little reluctant to change the channel but the boring KCRW program just got worse and worse so I switched to AM. One of "Big Ed's" listeners was referring to an earlier interview he had done with NY Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (who is also head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and, like me, an alumnus of James Madison High School in Brooklyn). Schultz posed the right question to Schumer, one we should all be asking our Democratic elected leaders to face: "Knowing what you know now, would you still have supported Bush's proposal to go to war in Iraq." Schumer hemmed and hawed and played footsie almost as badly as the other New York Senator. Schultz' callers were as pissed off as I am with this waffling. Before I got home one progressive gentleman said he was done holding his nose at the ballot box and he would not vote for Democrats supporting Bush's illegal wars and occupations.

So when I got home I was pleasantly surprised, for 30 seconds, to read a headline that seemed to say that Kerry was complaining of Bush having mislead "the public into going to war." Alas, that was about as far as the once-- many decades ago-- courageous Kerry was willing to go. He them suggested Bush should bring home 20,000 troops (out of the 160,000 + only-God-(and-Rumsfeld)-know-how-many mercenaries) before the end of the year. What a loser! He's so lost touch with the world outside the Beltway that he thinks leading is moderating Bush's catastrophic policies. He couched his timid proposal as an alternative to the full-scale withdrawal advocated by some Democrats. Screw that. We don't need an alternative to some Democrats; we need an alternative to BushCo's proven record of utter failure. AMERICANS DO NOT SUPPORT THIS WAR. WE WANT IT OVER. WHY CAN'T PEOPLE LIKE SCHUMER AND CLINTON AND KERRY UNDERSTAND THAT?

Maybe I was a little harsh on Kerry. I just read his full statement and I like that he-- though neither Clinton nor Schumer-- is willing to say his vote to support Bush's war was wrong. Here's what he said:

"The country and the Congress were misled into war. I regret that we were not given the truth; as I said more than a year ago, knowing what we know now, I would not have gone to war in Iraq. And knowing now the full measure of the Bush Administration's duplicity and incompetence, I doubt there are many members of Congress who would give them the authority they abused so badly. I know I would not. The truth is, if the Bush Administration had come to the United States Senate and acknowledged there was no "slam dunk case" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, acknowledged that Iraq was not connected to 9/11, there never would have even been a vote to authorize the use of force -- just as there's no vote today to invade North Korea, Iran, Cuba, or a host of regimes we rightfully despise."



Ever since Thomas Frank's book became one of the biggest political best-sellers of our time, everyone has been looking for something good about Kansas. Well, yesterday's KANSAS CITY STAR found something. In the unlikely event that you missed your STAR yesterday, Jim Sullinger's article announces what will surely be the beginning of a national trend, a Republican politician jumping from the sinking, stinking SS GOP.

Yesterday morning Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison announced he's challenging political hack/incumbent Attorney General Phill Kline for Kansas attorney general next year. And Morrison switched parties to do so. He said it is time to put the office of attorney general in the hands of a prosecutor and not a politician. Explaining that there isn't a Democratic or Republican way to prosecute a case, Morrison said he believes the focus of the Democratic Party in Kansas is better on the issue of public safety.

He had hardly made his announcement before Kline's GOP smear machine was out doing its thing, laughably calling 17 year D.A. Morrison-- who has a 98% conviction rate-- "soft on crime." Morrison's switch was not something anyone was expecting but many Republican politicians are reading the writing on the wall as they watch Bush's and the GOP congress' approval ratings heading for uncharted territory.



Do you ever wonder how someone as obviously unqualified to hold an office higher than church deacon can be elected president (of the United States)? Clinton made it look so easy that voters thought they could trust just anyone-- so they did. It isn't merely that Bush can't communicate or even that he's intellectually lazy or uncurious or uneducated or unintelligent. He's basically failed at everything he's ever attempted in his entire life and there was never any reason to believe that he was about to turn things around. Even if both the 2000 and 2004 voting results were compromised and he lost both elections, as most people who have looked into it seriously are now certain, many millions or people did vote for him. Are they all stupid? All unable to discern between reality and propaganda?

Sometimes I blame it on the rise of the electronic media. People are bombarded by paid propagandists like Limbaugh and Hannity and O'Liely and Boortz and Savage 24/7, all singing from the same daily talking points memo. Eventually they think there must be something to all that crap if everyone is saying it. And then there's TV, the laziest medium ever, geared for people with low, and rapidly dropping, attention spans. If only people read more...

And then today I saw this: “This book is one of the worst books I have ever read. I got to about page 3-4.” It's an Amazon review (not ironic) of Henry Miller's 1934 masterpiece TROPIC OF CANCER. Do you think the writer of this review might fall prey to the not so subtle blandishments of a later-day Josef Goebbels like Karl Rove? Take a look at a collection of Amazon reviews of some of the greatest books ever written and then think about how Schwarzenegger, Bush and the GOP are working furiously to undermine public education. An educated public would never vote for them. People who write reviews like this, who think about literature like this... that is the real base of the Republican Party.



This week's L.A. WEEKLY has an excellent story by Christine Pelisek about why the monopolistic corporations that control the medical policies in this country (thank you "Dollar" Bill Frist) are fighting tooth and nail to pass stealth right-wing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's horrible Proposition 78 while working to sink the really good pharmaceutical proposition (#79).

Reading it, I thought back to my first call and then my first IM this morning. Both were from M., my stock broker. I had just climbed out of the pool at around 7AM, after a couple dozen laps, when he called. He was quick to jump on the fact that I sounded out of breath. An hour later he was chastising me for mentioning what I had for breakfast today when I posted the story about BushCo trying to censor THE ONION.

Pelisek's introduction to her story brought me right back to M. "Los Angeles resident Margaret Sowma is in her mid-70s and trying to survive on a fixed income," she writes. "It’s not easy juggling her prescription drug bills. 'I have no benefits at all,' says the former seamstress, who spent 15 years making ladies’ suits and coats for a downtown factory that offered no health plan. 'Anytime I need a prescription it comes out of my pocket.' Seniors make up 14 percent of the population of California and receive 45 percent of all drug prescriptions. Prescription drug costs are their second largest monthly expense after housing. 'Pharmaceutical companies are making money hand over fist,' says Sowma, who spends close to $300 a month on medication for osteoporosis and high blood pressure. 'How much can small pills cost?' Just one osteoporosis pill costs $20. That is relatively cheap compared to some medications. According to California Public Interest Research Group, an uninsured person taking Zocor for high cholesterol is likely to pay at least $1,672 for a year’s supply."

I was taking Zocor for years for my "genetic" high cholesterol. (My mom had astronomically high cholesterol as do both my sisters.) I hated taking Zocor but eventually it brought my cholesterol levels way down. And, eventually I asked my doctor if I could stop taking it. He informed me that I'd be taking it for the rest of my life. Ugghhhhhhh... but I kept up the routine.

By and by something much more serious than high cholesterol struck and, having enough sense to know I couldn't be fooling around with Big Pharma priorities, I went to get a 5th opinion from a holistic doctor who came highly recommended as someone with a 100% rate of solving deadly little problems like mine. Holistic doctors, of course, treat the whole person, not just the alarm bell that happens to be ringing. Let me make a long story short. The following year, after a routine check-up, the regular pill-pusher who had condemned me to a lifetime of Zocor mentioned that I should stop taking Zocor. "Huh?" I asked in shock. "I thought I had to take that crap for life." He explained that my cholesterol level was now so low that even if it rose by a third-- which is normally what happens when someone stops using Zocor-- I would still be inside a normal cholesterol range.

I was delighted to comply. And after the next check-up he was surprised that the cholesterol level hadn't risen by a third... or at all. Big Pharma is NOT about your health. It is about maximizing profits regardless of anything. Check that link, above, again. That's one delicious breakfast-- a lot better than $1,672 worth of Zocor a year. And remember, Big Pharma is part of the deceitful, totalitarian state fronted by Bush and Schwarzenegger. If you live in California you have an opportunity to strike a blow for freedom next month: you can vote NO on Proposition 78 and YES on Proposition 79, NO on BushCo, no on Schwarzenegger and no to Big Pharma's overweening greed and avarice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005



I just know in my bones that in 2008 I'm going to be confronted by some hideous choice between Hillary Clinton, dishonest, corporatist, finger-to-the-wind pol vs some neo-Nazi greed-obsessed potential mass-murderer. Will I have the balls to do what I've never done before? I mean I once trekked down from the mountains to vote at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. I always vote. In 2000 I even wound up voting for one of the people I most detest in the Democratic Party, self-righteous prig and mega-bribe-taker Joe Lieberman, just because it looked like Bush/Cheney was closing in on Gore/Lieberman in California. But Clinton... she supported Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq and supports Bush's catastrophic occupation of Iraq. Is that a leader for the Democratic Party? Today, the day the 2,000th American soldier was killed in Iraq (not counting hundreds of other American deaths, like when someone is wounded there and then rushed to a hospital in Kuwait or Germany in time to die there and not counting the thousands and thousands of shattered young lives of men and women who will be learning to live with less limbs and less senses than they started life with), Cindy Sheehan was out in front of Bush's lair protesting. What was Clinton doing? Counting all the millions and millions of dollars she's amassing for her 2008 campaign, money that is needed by progressive Democrats to take back at least one House of Congress from the fascists?
Cindy did something else today. She wrote an article about why Hillary doesn't deserve to be the Democratic nominee for president.

I'm republishing it:

I would love to support Hillary for President if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it.
I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again, as I won't support a pro-war Republican.
This country wants this occupation to end. The world wants the occupation to end. People in Iraq want this occupation to end.
Senator Clinton: taking the peace road would not prove you are weak. Instead, it would prove that you are the strongest and wisest candidate. As a mom, as an American, as a patriot: I implore you to have the strength and courage to lead the fight for peace.
I want to support you, I want to work for you, but like many American moms, I will resist your candidacy with every bit of my power and strength unless you show us the wisdom it takes to be a truly great leader.
Prove that you are "passionate" and reflect our nation's values and refusal to support imperialism, greed and torture.
Senator Clinton: come out against this occupation of Iraq. Not because it is the politically expedient thing to do but because it is the humane thing to do. If you want to make Casey's sacrifice count, bring the rest of his buddies home alive.
I did meet with Sen. Clinton, along with Sen. Harry Reid, on Sept. 22, 2005. No one has asked me how it went with Sen. Reid, but I've been asked about my meeting with Sen. Clinton many times. A few days earlier in Brooklyn, I had referred to her as waiting for a politically "expedient" moment to speak out against the war in Iraq. I, of course, think that this tactic is wrong, because politics has nothing to do with the slaughter going on in Iraq. No one asked the almost 2000 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis who have been killed what political party they were rooting for. When a mother receives the news that her son or daughter has been killed for lies she never thinks "Oh no, how could this have happened? I am a Democrat (Republican)!!!"
Playing politics with our soldiers' lives is despicable.
I thought the meeting with Sen. Clinton went well. I thought she listened and heard what we had to say. I went with another Gold Star Mother, Lynn Braddach, and my sister, Dede Miller. After Sen. Reid left, Mrs. Clinton stayed for a few more moments and she told us that she had met with the other Gold Star Mothers who had a different view from ours. I said it didn't really matter, because our view is right. Lynn, Dede and I don't want our loved ones to be used as political pawns to justify the killing spree in Iraq. I can't believe any mother who has had her heart and soul torn out would wish that on another mother. How often do the lies have to be exposed before every American (elected official, media representative, average citizen) wakes up and says, "enough killing is enough!"
I thought Mrs. Clinton listened, but apparently she didn't because immediately afterwards she said the following to Sarah Ferguson of the Village Voice:
"My bottom line is that I don't want their sons to die in vain ... I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal ... I don't think it's the right time to withdraw."
That quote sounds exactly like what the few Republicans I talked to that week said. Making sure that our children did not die in "vain" sounds exactly like something George Bush says. A "date" for withdrawal? That sounds like Rush Limbaugh to me. That doesn't sound like an opposition party leader speaking to me. What Sen. Clinton said after our meeting sounds exactly like the Republican Party talking points I heard from Senators Dole and McCain.
Sen. Clinton is in California today to raise money for her political campaigns. An invitation to one star-studded gala reads:
"We must stand with Senator Clinton as she stands up for what we believe in. Hillary is and always has been our champion in the White House and the Senate." And she's one of the "strongest, most passionate and intelligent Democrats."
I didn't get an invitation to any of the events, but maybe it's because she doesn't stand up for what I believe in. I don't believe in continuing this occupation of Iraq and I don't believe in killing more of our soldiers because my son has already been needlessly and tragically killed. I don't believe she is passionate. I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys. She is intelligent, there's no doubt about that. However, I believe that the intelligent thing for Democrats to do for 2006 and 2008 would be to come out strongly and correctly against the botched, bungled, illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.
Sixty-two percent of Americans now believe that this war is based on lies and betrayals and want our troops to start coming home. Fifty-three percent of Americans want our troops to come home immediately. The last time I looked, Democrats did not comprise 62 percent of our population. Americans oppose this war in overwhelming numbers and it crosses party lines. Because America can see that the war in Iraq has fueled terrorism and has made the world and our country less secure. America can see that the murder of innocents is not a "right and left" issue, it is a "right and wrong" issue.
Sixty-nine of our best and brightest have been sent meaninglessly and unnecessarily to their premature deaths since I met with Mrs. Clinton on September 22nd. Sixty-nine mothers and fathers, and who knows how many spouses, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, cousins, and friends, have been meaninglessly and unnecessarily sent into tailspins of grief and emptiness since that meeting.
We all know that Sen. Clinton, along with many other Representatives and Senators voted to give George Bush the authority to invade a sovereign nation that was no threat to the U.S.A. We know that they spinelessly abrogated their constitutional responsibility and duty to declare war. We (and most of them) know that voting to give an irresponsible person authority to wage war was a devastating mistake. But I know that knowing all of that will not bring my son or almost 2000 other Americans back, and it won't bring back that nation's war dead, either.



One could almost feel sorry for the pathetic under-equipped would-be tyrant. Well, maybe not "almost;" maybe two or three steps before almost. Timothy Noah has a funny little story in SLATE today about more Repugs kicking Bushie when he's down. This time it's another of his father's old cronies, ex-White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, joining former George I National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in helping Americans understand that we have the absolutely worst-run government in the history of our country.


My good friend Harry is always urging me to read the L.A. TIMES. I don't always but I did today. If you missed it, you missed a follow-up by former Colin Powell Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson on why he put the word "cabal" stage center in current political discourse and why he sums up Bush's foreign policy as "ruinous." He claims the secretive cabal (WHIG), lead by Cheney and Rumsfeld, made virtually all the decisions regarding the country's national security, including everything that involved Iraq. In a catty slap at Bush himself, Wilkerson obliquely referred to Bush's... um... lazy mind and lower-than-average IQ, writing "I believe that the decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less." Gee, these Republicans really go after each other when they get mad. He adds that "more often than not, then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice was simply steamrolled by this cabal."

He adds that right at the heart of our government this little-known cabal's "insular and secret workings were efficient and swift — not unlike the decision-making one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy. This furtive process was camouflaged neatly by the dysfunction and inefficiency of the formal decision-making process, where decisions, if they were reached at all, had to wend their way through the bureaucracy, with its dissenters, obstructionists and 'guardians of the turf.' But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series of disastrous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged with implementing them would not or could not execute them well."

He doesn't let up. You wanna read it?



Last night I got into a brief spat with another leftie blogger because he was kind enough to invite me to eatin' and drinkin' festivities with Southern California bloggers... of all stripes. He mentioned right-wingers. With my irrepressible, but sometimes not clearly decipherable sense of humor, I shot back with a wise-ass answer about the only good right-wingers were... well you know the rest. Oh he was pissed-- especially when I threw in that I don't drink alcohol and that I only eat health food. (We patched it up later). But the irony is that that very night (last), I had a dinner date with an actual real life right-winger!

Yes, my seriously unlikely pal, J from rural Georgia came along for dinner to The Jade Cafe in Silverlake, where all is safely vegan, organic and uncooked. Healthy, healthy, healthy-- and yum, yum, yum. And the right-winger just babbled on about the merits of Sean Hannity, Neil Boortz and Michael Savage (all of whom he volunteered were his favorites). J also volunteered that he had eaten a steak before we met, since he knew what was in store for him (although he also professed to have loved Jade Cafe's food, especially the sugar-free dessert and said he plans to go back.)

But as we were driving away-- I had something special lined up for him in an African-American ghetto-- an odd thing happened. I don't remember what the stimulus was, probably something that came out of my car radio from NPR or Air America, but J started pontificating about his theories on undocumented labor and illegal immigration. "Oh, so you're a Democrat on this one," I offered. He was momentarily stunned; then wary.

But, he was actually offering up many of Labor's arguments against BushCo doctrine on Immigration, one of the (many) soft white underbellies of Greed and Selfishness Republicanism's hold on non-multimillionaire white voters. Need I mention that J is a hopeless xenophobe (although later that night he mentioned to a houseful of my African-American friends that he exclusively goes for "ethnic" chicks and offered to introduce anyone interested to all the white girls he always rejects)? But, nonetheless, somewhere deep down in his rural Georgian roots he senses that there's something wrong with policies that drive American wages and buying power down. And, as much as I'm sure he wants to try, he can't quite blame Bush's immigration policies on either Bill or Hillary Clinton (not that either of those too-corporatist-for-my-taste almost-Republican-Democrats has a position all that different from Bush's). But Bush and the Republicans are in charge now-- and not the Know-Nothing/Tancredo wing of the GOP-- and they are the ones who are primarily concerned with one thing that impacts immigration: CHEAP LABOR.

Ever since progressives routed them and made them give up their slaves (the ultimate in cheap labor), the right-wingers, who are currently led by BushCo, have been fighting, sometimes literally, a battle-to-the-death with working men and women struggling to achieve the American dream through their labor. Right-wingers define this quest for fair wages and a safe working environment as "communism" and do whatever they can, often very successfully, to confuse people like J from rural Georgia.

I'm sure many people like J were confused today when they read in USA TODAY this morning that undocumented immigrants are working on hurricane reconstruction for below minimum wage rates. I mean first the hideous Bush decides the way to "help" New Orleans recovery is by making it legal for companies (particularly his campaign contributors' companies outside of Louisiana) to pay substandard wages and then we find out that on a U.S. Naval base Halliburton has a crew of undocumented illegal immigrants working away. I saw a report on this on CNN last week on which the manager of the project just lied and lied and lied about it all, doing his best to cover up BushCo/Halliburton policies of illegally exploiting desperate third world workers for their own profits and much to the detriment of American workers-- AND U.S. SECURITY CONCERNS.

According to the USA TODAY report, "Robert 'Tiger' Hammond, president of the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, said about 75 union electricians lost their jobs after the Bush administration temporarily suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which guarantees the prevailing local wage for workers hired under federal contracts." Halliburton hired them through Alabama and Texas-based slave-labor companies. Imagine that! Where the hell is Lou Dobbs when we need him?



With all the focus on BushCo mendacity and corruption lately, please let's not forget that George "I'll get bin-Laden dead or alive" Bush is also the least competent leader, if one can somehow use that term to describe this worm, America has ever known. My good friend Danny reminded me of that in chilling terms when he turned me on to a website about the potential effects of the kind of nuclear terrorism Bush's wrong-headed policies are making more and more likely.

"The threat of nuclear terrorism is not limited to New York City or Washington, DC. While New York is widely seen as the most likely target, it is clear that Al Qaeda is not only capable but also interested in mounting attacks on other American cities, where people may be less prepared. Imagine the consequences of a 10-kiloton weapon exploding in San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, or any other city Americans call home. From the epicenter of the blast to a distance of approximately one-third mile, every structure will be destroyed and no one would be left alive. A second circle of destruction extending three-quarters of a mile from ground zero would leave buildings looking like the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. A third circle reaching out 1 mile would be ravaged by fires and radiation."

Click on the link above and see how you would do if you were in your office or in your home if, God forbid, Bush's monstrous policies come home to roost.



My new favorite White House reporter, Tom DeFrank of the NY DAILY NEWS-- I still can't believe I'm quoting the NEWS-- reports this morning that BushCo is "bracing for possible indictments in the CIA leak probe." He also points out that the aggressively and highly vicious Bush Regime smear machine has "launched a not-so-subtle campaign against the prosecutor handling the case." This, of course, has been the over-rising hallmark of George W. Bush's entire "leadership" style. When someone brings up some inconvenient facts, attack him and destroy him. (They don't seem to have learned their lesson, since this is how they got in this whole mess to begin with.)

Fitzgerald was first recruited to investigate the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the media by John Ashcroft's Deputy Attorney General, Republican James Comey. As the vilification of Pat Fitzgerald heats up-- with predictable GOP hacks like Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Liely, Carlson, the Amen Choir of fake right-wing preachers and radical right pols screeching their lies and vitriol-- it is important to remember what fellow-Republicans have said about the straight-arrow prosecutor 'til now. Armando over at Daily Kos has the whole story of how Pat Fitzgerald is a man of ultimate integrity and this is one you should read so you're ready for the ditto-heads' assault around the water-cooler.

And if you doubt there will be an assault, keep in mind that one BushCo hack already told DeFrank that Fitzgerald is "a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he's been tapped by God to do very important things" (and no, he wasn't projecting what most people think of George Bush; he was describing the new White House/Far Right spin on Fitzgerald). Bush is trying to not sound like a neo-Nazi maniac personally, going on NBC to tell TODAY viewers, in his condescending way, that "The special prosecutor is conducting a very serious investigation. He's doing it in a very dignified way, by the way, and we'll see what he says." But, according to DeFrank White House allies have started their anti-Fitzgerald whispering campaign and propaganda assault. He points to pathetic Republican hack Kay Bailey Hutchison, an ethically-challenged light-weight from Texas who BushCo "armed with comments that sources said were 'shaped' by the White House, suggested Fitzgerald might nail someone on a 'technicality' because they forgot something or misspoke." (Very different from what Hutchison had to say about Clinton's technicality-- but of course that was about a crucial and earth-shattering blow-job case not a mere, piddling treason conspiracy at the heart of the U.S. government.)

Last night right-wing cypher Tucker Carlson, on his underwhelming MSNBC GOP-propaganda show, was whining about how disappointed he was about how BushCo is handling the whole Rove-Gate scandal. His point boiled down to: why the hell didn't these guys attack Fitzgerald from the git-go instead of waiting til the very end when no one will believe them? What the bow-tied little Nazi said exactly was that he thinks the Bush Regime screwed up by "saying nice (true) things about Patrick Fitzgerald some months ago-- 'he's a man of integrity,' 'he's a good guy, 'we have complete confidence he's going to do the right thing,' etc, etc-- making it now almost impossible for the White Hose, even on background, to attack the guy." Good thing they have shills all over the TV and radio, though, to do it for them.

One shill they can usually count on to attack whoever they identify as an American patriot and who therefore needs to be destroyed, has dug in his heals and refused to play ball with the Bush thugs on this one. Andy McCarthy of the far right NATIONAL REVIEW has drawn the line on wrecking the reputation of a good and descent man to cover-up the Bush Regimes lies and crimes. "I'm too busy today to be monitoring the media," says the conservative McCarthy, "but I've gotten a lot of questions about this from people who say some conservatives are hitting the airwaves with preemptive suggestions that my friend Pat Fitzgerald may not be as apolitical as his press clippings indicate. Let me just say this. Pat is at least as apolitical as his press clippings suggest. Pat Fitzgerald is the best prosecutor I have ever seen. By a mile. He is also the straightest shooter I have ever seen - by at least that much. And most importantly, he is a good man. This investigation has gone on for 22 months. Most of the evidence was collected before autumn 2004 - the last year of delay has mainly been caused by reporters challenging subpoenas in the federal courts. If Pat were political-- or, worse, if he somehow had it in for the Bush administration-- it was fully within his power to return indictments in the weeks before the November elections, which would almost certainly have cinched things for Senator Kerry. It is something, I am quite certain, it would never even have occurred to him to do. The only thing the guy I know would do is bring charges or close the case without charges when the facts of the investigation warranted doing so."

If you think this outrage against fascist solidarity isn't going to hurt McCarthy's bona fides with the lockstep fascist crowd, please go back to a piece from last week about how BushCo turns on its own when they stray from the Party Line.


Jason Leopold and John Byrne over at RAW STORY say sources close to Fitzgerald report that he has decided to seek indictments. Ladies and gentleman, prepare for FITZMAS.


CBS News says they have the inside scoop that tomorrow (Wednesday) is FITZMAS. And, some drama-queen at the network
has introduced a new element: MR. X (or possibly MS. X). The rumor is that Rove and Libby are going down but there's someone else (someone bigger?), dubbed MR. X, who is also in for some unpleasantness. Liberal Blogostan is buzzing that it's Cheney and the right-wing loons insist it's Ambassador Wilson! That's how out-of-touch with reality these Freepers and assorted neo-Nazis are!