8.31.2007

Bush E-Mail Mystery Deepens: He Won't Name Tech Contractor

From ABC News:

The White House will not identify a private company which appears to be involved in the disappearance of millions of White House e-mails.

The company was responsible for reviewing and archiving White House e-mails, a White House official told congressional staff in May, according to a letter yesterday from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Congressional investigators asked then for the name of the company and "have repeatedly requested" the information since then, according to Waxman.

According to the White House, at least five million e-mails were not properly archived and may be lost forever, in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act. The post-Watergate law states that communications relating to official activity in the offices of the president and vice president are owned by the American public and cannot be destroyed.

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U.S. Military Censors ThinkProgress

From ThinkProgress:

ThinkProgress is now banned from the U.S. military network in Baghdad.

Recently, an avid ThinkProgress reader — a U.S. soldier serving his second tour in Iraq — wrote to us and said that he can no longer access ThinkProgress.org. The error message he received:


The ban began sometime shortly after Aug. 22, when Ret. Maj. Gen. John Batiste was our guest blogger on ThinkProgress. He posted an op-ed that was strongly critical of the President’s policies and advocated a “responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq.” Previously, both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times had rejected the piece.
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Come out. Come out. Wherever you are. The GOP's crowded closet

The list compiled by Joe Conason goes on and on. It's amazing! Here's the condensed version...

From Sen. Larry Craig, the late Roy Cohn (Joe McCarthy's right-hand hit man and an intimate friend of the Reagans'), Terry Dolan (head of the National Conservative Political Action Committee) died of AIDS, Arthur Finkelstein, (Republican political consultant who worked for the NCPAC and dozens of Republican senators) and Rep. Ed Schrock (Republican from Pat Robertson's home district) to Jim West (Anti-gay mayor of Spokane, Wash.), Mark Foley, (Florida representative who pursued teenage male pages), Ted Haggard (Evangelical Preacher) and Glenn Murphy (president of Young Republican National Federation who was accused of sexually molesting another man while the man slept).

It's startling to see it all under "one roof" so to speak.

From Salon.com:

The party's culture of concealment has led to embarrassment and personal destruction. Isn't it about time for the right to cure its homophobia?

That was the cry of the lovelorn schoolteacher in the classic 1997 film "In and Out," after her diffident fiancé reveals his true orientation (and dumps her for Tom Selleck). Ten years later, more than a few discombobulated Republicans must be muttering the same question, despite the fervent denial of Sen. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig that he is, indeed, gay. As one embarrassing episode follows another, with almost predictable regularity, perhaps it is time for Republicans and conservatives to ask themselves an obvious question: What makes the Republican Party -- and the conservative movement more generally -- so attractive to closeted homosexual men?
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U.S. Troops Given Misleading, Inaccurate Bios Of Lawmakers Visiting Iraq

Imagine what the Idiot in Chief is doing with his domestic spying program if they can be as blatant as this. These fuckers should be in jail, not in the Oval Office.

From Think Progress:

This morning, the Washington Post has a story on how lawmakers are being “slimed in the Green Zone” when they travel to Iraq for congressional delegation trips. Reps. James Moran (D-VA), Jon Porter (R-NV), and Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) recently returned from such a trip. While there, Tauscher and Moran noticed sheets of paper that “seemed to be everywhere” in the Green Zone, “distributed to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials and uniformed military of no particular rank.”

The sheets of papers were short, thumbnail biographies of the two lawmakers. ThinkProgress has obtained copies of the bios for Moran and Tauscher. Instead of receiving the official bios readily available on the congressional websites, the U.S. troops were given new ones that cherry-pick the representatives’ “most incendiary” statements:

The bios also either ignore or completely misrepresent the lawmakers’ records. The Washington Post notes:

Under “latest Iraq vote,” Tauscher’s bio noted that she had voted in favor of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill’s enactment.

She did vote that way — in May. On Aug. 2, Tauscher voted in favor of her own bill, which mandates that troops be granted a leave from combat at least as long as their last combat deployment before being shipped back to Iraq. That vote might have been a little too popular with the soldiers she was meeting, Tauscher said.

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Warrantless surveillance and the new Coretta Scott King disclosures

From Glenn Greenwald:

The severe dangers from allowing the government to engage in surveillance of Americans' communications with no oversight ought to be self-evident. That government leaders will abuse unchecked powers is the most basic premise of our country since its founding, and independently, the dangers are obvious.

But reasoning of that sort is not even required to appreciate and convey to Americans why oversight-less spying powers of the type the Congress just vested in the Bush administration are so pernicious. There is a long and recent record demonstrating that surveillance powers, when exercised against Americans without oversight, will be abused. And that record just got longer and more disturbing, thanks to a superb investigative report from a local television news station in Houston, which obtained the previously secret FBI surveillance file on Coretta Scott King.

Here is what happens when we allow our political leaders to spy on Americans with no oversight:

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8.30.2007

TPMtv: Democrats in power, but it's the GOP in scandal

From TMPtv via Brave New films comes a new video diary about the scandal-plagues Rethugs called The Muck Gap:

Okay, it's the unreported political story of the year: the GOP's ability to dominate scandal news even while in the minority. Usually, the majority party, with more power and money, takes the scandal cake. It's almost an iron law of politics. But whether it's lobby shop or the restroom, the GOP has so far been able to reverse the historical tide, maintaining a decisive muck advantage even in the political wilderness.

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Countdown: “Strikingly Negative” GAO Iraq Report Leaked To Keep Bush From Watering It Down

From Crooks & Liar:

On Countdown, Keith Olbermann reveals that the latest, damning GAO report on Iraq was leaked by government officials who were afraid that much like previous negative reports, would be watered down by the Bush administration. As usual, chaos rules the day as Olbermann talks with retired Gen. Wesley Clark about President Bush’s impending $50 billion request for continued operations in Iraq and reports that the Pentagon wants to re-write parts of the GAO report to fit their view of conditions on the ground in Iraq.
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Why is David Vitter's buying hookers not "icky" but Sen. Craig's actions are?

Dear Corporate Media:

Why is married Republican Congressman, David Vitter’s buying hookers not "icky" like what seems to be the word being bandied about by news hosts and hostesses all over cable regarding Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest?

Why is married Republican Congressman, David Vitter, not being asked to reign for regularly buying hookers?

Isn’t paying for sex worse than soliciting for free? Which is more illegal? It might be “indecent” to solicit sex in a bathroom stall, but isn’t buying a prostitute the greater “crime”?

Vitter has admitted to it, while not in court and legally, he has confirmed it’s true. He’s admitted, in public, that he violated a much more serious law than Senator Craig has. So what if it wasn’t in court? Why the double standard?

I find it odd how no one is calling for Vitter’s resignation. Could it be because too many members of Congress and the media use hookers – so it’s sort of an inside wink wink situation?

Or, could it be that Vitter’s seat, if lost, isn’t as important as losing a Senate seat, so they’re all jumping on Sen. Craig to resign rather risk losing another seat in ’08 to the Democrats?

Don’t you guys in the media think it’s time to ask the more relevant questions here?

Come on!

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Cross posted at Dailykos

Hundreds descend on Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's home to END THIS WAR

From Iraq Summer:

"More than 300 anti-war constituents descended upon Sen. McConnell's home -- calling on him to "End This WAR." Folks rallied outside of McConnell's home after he failed to show at the Take A Stand Town Hall meeting on Iraq that took place just prior."

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What a failed Bush Administration policy looks like

From Crooks & Liars:

In July, the White House, after fudging its facts a bit, concluded it was on track on eight of the 18 benchmarks, none of them dealing with political progress, which is the point of the “surge” policy. Today, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office will offer a far more discouraging, far more accurate, and a “strikingly negative” assessment.

Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration. […]

“Overall,” the report concludes, “key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds,” as promised. While it makes no policy recommendations, the draft suggests that future administration assessments “would be more useful” if they backed up their judgments with more details and “provided data on broader measures of violence from all relevant U.S. agencies.”

That last point is particularly noteworthy — the GAO is effectively conceding in a government report that the White House intends to deceive the Congress and the public. We may have come to expect stunning dishonesty from the Bush administration, but for the GAO to call the White House out like reflects just how reckless and mendacious the Bush gang has become.

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'Leaked' Red Cross report catalogs Bush Admin war-crimes.

We, and by "we" I mean All Americans, are going to be paying for the crimes of this administration for decades to come. That's not hyperbole, that's our new reality. What the fuckers have done to this country, within it's own legal system and out in the civilized world, has given rise to a hatred that will survive long after the Idiot in Chief (and his minions/masters) are long gone.

Russia, who was slowing heading towards the true democracy this administration so desperately claimed it wanted for the mid-east, has now reversed course. The years after the Soviet Union's collapse should have been met with an open, if not stern arms. Instead, it got bluster, dick measuring and a road map for how to behave like the new "motherland" it's proudly and dangerously becoming. This is just one fallout.

There are many other "fallouts' that stem from what xxdr zombiexx soberly reports:

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. - Voltaire.
Consider this the natural follow-up to the recent release of The Black Sites, the detailed report about CIA "interrogation" (torture).

Nat Hentoff at Village Voice has an article based on an allegedly leaked report from the Red Cross which implicates Team Bush in war crimes.

"While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn't let them in."

The Dems will be returning from vacations soon and their plate is already overloaded with tasks. Fortunately, launching the necessary investigations into Dick Cheney and following up on Alberto and Karl's attempts to skate away will also be the investigations into torture.

...

To the extent the Dems continue to drag their feet on investigating criminality the rest of the world already sees is pretty much the extent to which our elected Democratic leadership is complicit with these war crimes and Team Bush's other assaults on Humanity.

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Conservative ‘Homophobic Hypocrisy’ In Craig Scandal

From ThinkProgress:

Earlier this month, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) pleaded guilty to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” for “lewd” sexual conduct in a men’s public restroom. In July, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) also admitted to the “sin” of a sexual crime — frequenting an escort service run by the DC Madam.
...
Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force explains the hypocrisy:

Let’s see - one Republican senator is involved in soliciting sex from a man and the Republican leadership calls for a Senate investigation and yanks the rug from underneath him. Another Republican senator admits to soliciting the services of a female prostitute and there’s not only no investigation but the senator is greeted with a standing ovation by his Republican peers. What explains the starkly different responses? I’d say rank and homophobic hypocrisy.

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Re-airing Abrams/Carlson segment, MSNBC left out part where Carlson admitte

I'd expect this crap from FOX Noise, but MSNBC? Come one guys!

From Media Matters:

On August 29, MSNBC twice re-aired a segment from the August 28 edition of Live with Dan Abrams, in which MSNBC host Tucker Carlson asserted, "Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous. It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms." Carlson continued, "I got bothered in Georgetown Park," in Washington, D.C., "when I was in high school." As Media Matters for America noted, when Abrams asked how Carlson responded to being "bothered," Carlson said: "I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and ... hit him against the stall with his head, actually." However, while both August 29 re-airings did include Carlson's claim that he had been "bothered in men's rooms," neither broadcast aired the portion in which Carlson claimed that he "went back with someone" and "hit him against the stall with his head." Both re-airings did include a portion of the segment in which Carlson asserted, "I'm not anti-gay in the slightest."
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Sec. Gates Marginalized By White House, Not Informed Of New $50 Billion

Typical.

Via ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that President Bush will soon request an additional $50 billion from Congress for the war in Iraq. The request, which is expected to be made after Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify to Congress about Iraq, “appears to reflect the view in the administration” that Bush’s escalation strategy “will last into the spring of 2008 and will not be shortened by Congress.”

On Fox News’ Special Report last night, host Brit Hume revealed that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was unaware of the White House’s plans. “A Pentagon spokesman said Defense Secretary Gates saw the published report this morning and said, quote, ‘this is news to me,’” reported Hume. Watch it:

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Forcing Larry Craig's resignation while embracing David Vitter

Glenn Greenwald hits it on the head, again:

Cost-free moralism is the only type the right-wing "traditional marriage" movement believes in.

When Hugh Hewitt admitted that he wants Larry Craig to resign but does not want the adulterous, serial-prostitute-hiring David Vitter to do so, he was subjected to ridicule and scorn from many different corners -- on the ground that this inconsistency is obviously attributable both to anti-gay animus and rank political self-interest (Vitter's replacement would be chosen by a Democratic Governor, whereas Craig's would be chosen by a right-wing GOP Governor). Even some right-wing blogs noted the absurdity of that position: "Hugh Hewitt wants Craig to resign immediately but David Vitter to stay on. Huh?"

Yet that contradictory and nakedly unprincipled posture has now become the official position of the GOP leadership, led by its pious "moral values" wing. A whole slew of very upstanding Family Values Senators are parading around making a flamboyant showing of pressuring Larry Craig to resign (knowing that it will entail no political cost), all while remaining completely silent about David Vitter's at least equally "undignified" and confessed adultery and lawbreaking (acts which, just like Craig, he concealed from his family and colleagues in the Senate until he had no choice).
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8.29.2007

Money changes everything

From Eric Boehlert over at Media Matters on Rethuglican's saying 'no' to CNN's YouTube Debate, initially:

Was I the only one amazed that the Republican presidential candidates who initially refused to appear at the CNN-sponsored YouTube debate first scheduled for next month actually stated as a reason for ducking the debate that they would rather be attending fundraisers that day instead of appearing at an interactive public event where questions would be posed exclusively by voters?

And was I the only one surprised when the press failed to see the significance of the Republicans' priorities?

...

That Republican campaigns were so open about discussing such a losing political equation regarding the YouTube debate (money trumps voters) suggested to me that Republicans were (and are) keenly aware that the press will give them a completely free and unfettered ride whenever the issue of money comes up. Republican candidates simply do not have to concern themselves, the way their Democratic rivals do, with appearing hypocritical or ostentatious and just plain money-grubbing.

That's why the GOP campaigns were also amazingly blunt in stating their priorities:

  • "Every day you're debating is a day you're not raising money," one "GOP operative" told Time magazine.
  • "Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has turned down the invitation because of a heavy fund-raising schedule, Kevin Madden, his spokesman, said yesterday," The New York Times reported.
  • "During September, we are all scrambling around to raise money we need to run our campaigns," Romney told C-SPAN's Steve Scully.
  • "We have serious scheduling issues. That's prime fund-raising time," a Giuliani source told the New York Post.
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Is Bush Dog Democrat Brian Baird the Next Lieberman?

More from OpenLeft on the Bush Dog Democrat Campaign:

To be a part of the Bush Dog Democrat campaign, sign up here.

"First let me say that I live in Brian's district and am active in my county's Democratic Party chapter. Secondly, let me say that I have commented previously on this matter to the effect that we will have a primary opponent for Mr. Baird next August."

local activist Paul Spencer, commenting on Open Left

A week and a half ago, the term 'Bush Dog Democrat' did not exist. Today, there are just under nine hundred results when you search for "Bush Dog Democrats". Left in Alabama, Calitics, Booman, Howie Klein, MN Campaign Report, Archpundit, and the Side Track have all profiled or helped to profile members. We've had positive profiles of Tim Walz, aggressive criticisms of Collin Peterson, and an analysis of the geographical distribution of the Bush Dogs from noted political scientist Tom Schaller.
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VIDEO: 2 years after Katrina & thousands are still without homes

Brave New Films' new Video - A Must see:

Tomorrow marks the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and still there are tens of thousands of families without homes. 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt.

To share some of these people’s stories, we have put together a short film, "When the Saints Go Marching In."


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FOXNews Isn't Sure What Party Senator Larry Craig Belongs Too

From Crooks & Liars:

We all know that FOXNews is famous for switching R’s to D’s when Republicans get into trouble or they don’t like what they hear from one, but they changed up their tactics in the case of Senator Lavvy Craig’s potty scandal. Instead of assigning him to the bad, naughty, nasty Democratic party, in the below article from their website FOX chose to completely leave out his political affiliation altogether. That’s right, nowhere in the article will you see the word REPUBLICAN attached to Senator Larry Craig’s name. The article also quotes numerous Republicans stating their disdain for the Senator’s actions — attempting to give the impression they weren’t talking about a fellow Republican. Brilliant!

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GOP Corruption: '07 is the New '06

From TPMmuckraker comes a list so simple even our corp. controlled media can follow (and hopefully report):

Jack Abramoff is in prison. Ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) is in prison. Ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is in prison. Ex-Reps. Mark Foley (R-FL), Katherine Harris (R-FL), Tom DeLay (R-TX), Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Ex-Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), all either lost or did not seek reelection. Gone, away, to be forgotten. This year was supposed to be different for the Republicans. But...

As The New York Times notes this morning, scandal has pursued them into 2007. “The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” says one Republican strategist.

So what's the tally this year so far? Well, there is, of course, 1) Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and 2) Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) with their sex scandals (the attempted restroom tryst and numerous successful hotel room trysts, respectively).

But then there's the much greater toll of just plain ol' corruption. 3) Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and 4) Rep. Don Young (R-AK) are under investigation for their ties to the oil company Veco (though that's just the tip of the iceberg for Young). 5) Reps. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and 6) John Doolittle (R-CA) have found themselves the focus of a reinvigorated Abramoff investigation (though Abramoff is in prison, he's still busily cooperating). 7) Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) had his house raided. 8) The FBI is investigating Rep. Gary Miller's (R-CA) land deals.

And then there's 9) Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) whose land deal with a businessman and campaign contributor became such a scandal that she finally just sold back the plot of land.

(Update: Thanks to a TPM Reader for pointing out that I omitted 12) Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and 13) Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) in my original round-up. Both are facing ethics committee investigations for their calls last October to former U.S. attorney David Iglesias about his office's investigation of a state Democrat.)

A kind of bonus field of scandal has been campaign officials for the various Republican candidates and their various scandals.

And there are a couple holdovers from 2006, of course; scandal figures who've stuck around and managed to keep a relatively low profile. 10) Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is still apparently under federal investigation. And 11) Rep. Ken Calvert's (R-CA) land deals are still winning scrutiny.

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The Way Out Of Iraq: How To Safely And Orderly Redeploy In A Year

From ThinkProgress:

A new report by the Center for American Progress, entitled “How To Redeploy,” states that “deciding between a swift or extended redeployment is a false dilemma.” An orderly and safe withdrawal is best achieved over a 10- to 12-month period:

A phased military redeployment from Iraq over the next 10 to 12 months would begin extracting U.S. troops from Iraq’s internal conflicts immediately and would be completed by the end of 2008. During this timeframe, the military will not replace outgoing troops as they rotate home at the end of their tours and will draw down force and equipment levels gradually, at a pace similar to previous rotations conducted by our military over the past four years.

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Bible Says: Craig Lied

From Talking points Memo:

The Idaho Values Alliance--whose fortuitous juxtaposition on its website of articles praising Sen. Larry Craig's pro-life voting record and warning of the dangers of homosexuality and airport restrooms I highlighted the other day--is now calling for Craig to resign his Senate seat (via Kornacki):

The Judeo-Christian tradition says that the standard for identifying the truth is that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact is confirmed.” The senator’s guilty plea, when added to the officer’s testimony, satisfies the biblical standard for confirming the essential truth of what happened, and unless the senator can provide a compelling and convincing explanation for his plea, we will need to regretfully accept that the fact of his behavior has been established. It seems unlikely that he can “unring the bell” his guilty plea has sounded.
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8.28.2007

On Sen. (bathroom stall) Craig: "It's like 'NAMBLA' meets 'The Freemasons!'"

From The Termite comes a gem of a blog post:

"A TV preacher gets nailed buying crack from a male prostitute. A gay prostitute is found wandering around asking questions in the West Wing. A Congressman in charge of a committee to protect kids from predators gets caught sending emails to 17-year old boys asking if they want to see his tooter. A Florida lawmaker gets caught smoking pole in a park and tells the cops he was doing it because he was afraid of the scary black guys. Shit, Jerry, even the Young Republicans are getting in on the act!

"At this point, Jerry, things are so bad for Earl that the news about a Louisiana Senator who got caught soliciting female prostitutes is welcome news!
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SHOCKER: Sean Hannity (Fox too) Ignores Stories On Gonzales’ Resignation, Sen. Craig's Lewd Conduct

Nothing this pig does (or doesn't do in this case) ever shocks me anymore.

From ThinkProgress:

The resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) dominated yesterday’s news cycle. All three network evening news shows — ABC, CBS, and NBC — covered the stories. Both The New York Times and Washington Post put the Gonzales resignation on the front page, and covered the Craig story.
...

The show’s silence contrasts with the eight segments (on 3/31, 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, 4/7, 4/10, 4/19) it did in a one-month period in 2006 on the arrest of former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who punched a Capitol police officer when he “mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal detector.” In the March 31 segment, Hannity called her a “little self-important congresswoman.”

Fox News likes to pretend it’s “fair and balanced,” but as Hannity proved last night, it’s really opinion media with a partisan agenda.

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Hannity refused to disavow Ted Nugent's slurs against Obama and Clinton.

Sociopaths must stick together, you know.

From Media Matters:

Hannity believes it's OK for has-been, draft-dodgin' mediocre rock star to advocate the murder of US Senators running for President of the United States of America.

On the August 24 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity aired video footage of musician and right-wing activist Ted Nugent at an August 21 concert calling Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) a "piece of shit" and referring to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as a "worthless bitch." In the video clip, Nugent holds up what appear to be two assault rifles and says he told Obama "to suck on my machine gun" and says he told Clinton "you might want to ride one of these into the sunset." After airing the clip, Hannity referred to Nugent as a "friend and frequent guest on the program," and then compared Nugent's comments to recent statements by Obama, which Hannity again distorted by claiming Obama "accus[ed] our troops of killing civilians." Hannity then asked Democratic strategist Bob Beckel: "What's more offensive to you? Is it Barack Obama's statement about our troops or Ted Nugent?" Beckel responded by asking Hannity if he was "prepared to disavow this lowlife," to which Hannity responded: "No, I like Ted Nugent. He's a friend of mine." When Beckel said that Nugent "ought to never come on your show again, and if you have him on, you ought to be ashamed of yourself," Hannity responded: "Not at all. We have you on."
...

Notwithstanding his defense of Nugent, Hannity has decried "hate speech" in the past -- particularly comments directed at President Bush and other conservatives. For example, as Media Matters for America previously noted, on the March 13 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity denounced Clinton's claims of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" as "hate speech." On the March 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, Hannity devoted an entire segment to a "list of the worst examples of liberal hate speech," during which he attacked Clinton, National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), comedian and Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken, actor Alec Baldwin, and others.

As Media Matters documented, Hannity has repeatedly mischaracterized Obama's August 13 statement that "[w]e've got to get the job done there [in Afghanistan], and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." Obama did not "accus[e]" American troops of anything, but instead expressed support for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan so the U.S. military is not so reliant on airstrikes in the region.

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BREAKING: Rep. Sen. Larry Craig's Mugshot Released


Thanks to Detroit Mark overt at Dailykos for the find.

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Rep. Baird Gets An Earful: “You are here to represent us…"

From The Oregonian:

For more than three hours Monday night, Rep. Brian Baird was verbally flogged by hundreds of his constituents for no longer supporting the quick withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

More than 500 people packed a high school auditorium in Vancouver while another 175 or so were unable to get inside. And virtually everyone who got a chance to address the Vancouver Democrat were harshly critical - including several who said they had been long-time supporters and friends.

“You have just broken my heart,” said Phil Massey, a Vancouver ship’s pilot who wasn’t swayed by Baird’s explanation that the U.S. was finally starting to make some progress in bringing peace to Iraq. “You have screwed up, my friend. You have screwed up and you have to change course.”

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Give it up for Joshua Marshall at TPMmuckraker for bring down Gonzales

by seesdifferent over at Daily Kos:

Were it not for his pathetic appearances before Congress over the firing of US Attorneys, Alberto Gonzales would still be Attorney General of the United States. He would be happily presiding over what would become the Press Office of the Republican Party, churning out indictments of every leading Democrat in the country, refusing to enforce the laws and treaties of the US, and bringing civil rights back to the 1940's. Gonzales' role was the enforcer of Karl Rove's dirty vision of America, and the blind eye to the paranoic machinations of Dick Cheney.

Gonzales' Congressional testimony appearances resulted from the work of a blogger, Joshua Micah Marshall, and his small staff at TPM Memo and TPM Muckraker:

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CNN: Bush Plans To Install High School Friend Clay Johnson At DHS

From ThinkProgress:

This morning, CNNreported that “very senior level sources” inside the White House say that Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff will replace Alberto Gonzales. Additionally, these sources say Chertoff will be replaced at Homeland Security by Clay Johnson III, the Deputy Director for OMB. Johnson went to both prep school and college with Bush.
...

Johnson, who has no homeland security experience, is a professional Bush loyalist. While Johnson may have familiarity with some aspects of DHS’s budget, he appears to have no experience in the many responsibilities of the department, including immigration, air travel security, disaster response, and other aspects of our nation’s homeland defense.

He is one of Bush’s oldest friends, having attended both prep school and college with the President. Johnson served as Bush’s gubernatorial chief of staff in Texas before heading up the Bush-Cheney transition team.

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Petraeus ‘Softened’ Intelligence Community’s Judgments About State Of Iraq

From ThinkProgress:

The Washington Post reports that Gen. David Petraeus, after reviewing an early draft of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, succeeded in altering the document’s judgments about the violence in Iraq:

The NIE, requested by the White House Iraq coordinator, Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, in preparation for the testimony, met with resistance from U.S. military officials in Baghdad, according to a senior U.S. military intelligence officer there. Presented with a draft of the conclusions, Petraeus succeeded in having the security judgments softened to reflect improvements in recent months, the official said.

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Fleischer blames Dems for Gonzales' mistakes

From Crooks & Liars:

Ex White House press secretary Ari Fleischer thinks that the rotten Democrats are to blame for Alberto Gonzales' fall from grace. His comments are comical.

Faiz sets the record straight.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who fired attorneys for political reasons.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who gave the White House political team unprecedented power to intercede in the affairs of the Justice Department.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who allowed his department to illegally hire attorneys based in part on their loyalty to the Republican Party and the Bush administration.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who dissembled and misled about the administration’s spying activities.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who lied in stating that all Bush appointees would be Senate-confirmed.

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8.27.2007

Did Chertoff lie to Congress about Guantánamo?

Via Salon.com:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will leave office Sept. 17 with a reputation for being untruthful. During his repeated appearances before Congress earlier this year to explain the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, Gonzales answered "I don't recall" or some variation as many as 70 times at a sitting. When his replacement comes to Capitol Hill for confirmation, lawmakers hope they will hear nothing but the truth.
...

"If Mr. Chertoff is nominated, the Senate needs to ask him some very tough questions about what he knew about the abuses at Guantánamo," said Hina Shamsi from Human Rights First.

When Chertoff appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Feb. 2, 2005, the subject was not interrogations. The panel was weighing Chertoff's nomination to his current post as secretary of homeland security. He was promptly confronted on the topic, however, by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Levin's staff had dug up copies of curious FBI e-mail traffic about interrogations at the Guantánamo prison in 2002 and 2003, when Chertoff was head of the criminal division at the Department of Justice.

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Video: Cruising Republican Sen. Larry Craig Endorses

The video the Romney campaign doesn't want you to see! He deleted this from his Youtube page.



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1982 Larry Craig denial, 1982

From PageOneQ:

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NY Times Editorial on Gonzales: The House Lawyer Departs

From The NY Times, Editorial:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice. He has resigned.
...

In many ways, Mr. Gonzales turned out to be the ultimate “loyal Bushie,” a term his Justice Department chief-of-staff used so incredibly inappropriately to describe what his department was looking for in its top prosecutors.
...

Mr. Gonzales will hardly be a tough act to follow, but the standard for the next attorney general should not be set that low.
...

Congress — in particular, Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont; Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York; and Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan — deserve credit for keeping the pressure on, even when critics were saying there was nothing to the scandals. But many questions remain to be answered. High on the list: what role politics played in dubious prosecutions, like those of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin civil servant.
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Closeted Idaho GOP Sen. Larry Craig Arrested Over Lewd Incident In Male Public Restroom

Another hypocrite Rethuglican bites the dust.

From The Huffington Post:

Sen. Larry Craig, the senior Republican from Idaho, pleaded guilty this month to charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct after a police officer witnessed him engaging in lewd behavior in an airport restroom, reports Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper. Craig's arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a "he said/he said misunderstanding," and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.
Via Salon.com:

The damning and detailed report of the crime in June at a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has significant ramifications for the 2008 election, when Craig faces reelection. Craig, who is married, has long denied claims by an online activist that he has engaged in homosexual liaisons in public places, including the restrooms at Washington's Union Station. First elected in 1990, Craig has not yet announced whether he will run for reelection.

The Roll Call report of the incident also suggests that Craig may have improperly invoked his position as a U.S. senator during the booking process. According to the police report, Craig handed his Senate business card to a police officer and said, "What do you think about that?"

According to the police report, Craig entered the airport restroom and lingered outside a stall occupied by a plainclothes police officer. Craig then entered an adjacent toilet stall, tapped his foot against the officer's foot and put his hand under the divider separating the two men.

The officer then showed Craig his police identification under the stall divider, and pointed Craig toward the restroom's exit. According to the report, Craig responded by saying, "No!"

During booking, Craig denied any wrongdoing, saying "that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom," according to the police report. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct on Aug. 8.

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Facing a draft, Nugent bravely wet his pants.

"Rocker is all talk as he calls Obama, Hillary vile names", that's according to Richard Roeper at The Chicago Sun-Times:

So Ted Nugent roams a concert stage while toting automatic weapons, calls Barack Obama "a piece of -----" and says he told Obama to suck on one of his machine-guns. He also calls Hillary Clinton a "worthless bitch" and Dianne Feinstein a "worthless whore."

That Nugent, he's a man's man. He talks the talk and walks the walk, right?

Except when it was time to register for the draft during the Vietnam era. By his own admission, Nugent stopped all forms of personal hygiene for a month and showed up for his draft board physical in pants caked with his own urine and feces, winning a deferment. Creative!

Ah, but that was a long time ago. Nugent isn't just a washed-up rocker -- he's a right-wing madman who's not afraid to call out some of the leading Democrats in language so vile it makes the Dixie Chick Natalie Maines' comments about President Bush sound like a love poem.

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John Amato over at Crooks & Liars has more.

Proof: Ted Nugent Is A Draft Dodger. Will Hannity Keep Defending Him?

From, the people who watch FOX so you don't have too (News Hounds):

One of our readers sent me a copy of an extract of Nugent’s Selective Service records, obtained via a FOIA request (copy below). As you can see, Nugent received student deferments in 1967 (1-S) and 1968 (2-S). But according to the Internet Movie Data Base website, Nugent has been “performing professionally since 1958, non-stop yearly touring since 1967, averaging more than 300 shows per year '67-73.” Hmm, that would include the two years he was supposedly too wrapped up in his studies to be serving his country.
...

Sean Hannity went to ridiculous lengths Friday night (8/24/07) to defend Nugent's threatening rants against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. FOX & Friends whitewashed Nugent's comments the next day. Apparently, this "patriot" can do no wrong on the "We like America" network.
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Flashback: Chertoff’s Incompetence At DHS Prompted Calls For Resignation

This morning, CNN’s legal analyst Jeff Toobin speculated that there are already “very good sign[s]” for Chertoff’s nomination. But in the past, Chertoff’s incompetence as DHS head has prompted bipartisan calls for his resignation:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called for the resignation of Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday, one day after the government dropped Las Vegas from a list of cities considered potential high-risk targets eligible for special anti-terrorism grants. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/5/06]

Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY): Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, warned that if the funding isn’t fixed, “Chertoff should consider resigning.” [New York Daily News, 6/2/06]

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown: Asked whether Chertoff should be dismissed, Brown said, “Well, I think so.” He said FEMA had been “marginalized” by Chertoff and his predecessor, Tom Ridge, and that he had expected the agency’s performance to suffer. [CNN, 3/3/06]

New York Times: “On Wednesday, an 11-member, all-Republican Congressional panel released a scathing report on the leadership failures before, during and after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. While there is no shortage of incompetent public officials involved in this tragedy, one stands out above the rest. That person is Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. … It would be nice for the administration to finally send a message that if important people do a bad job, they go away.” [2/17/06]

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX): “Do you believe you should be fired because I believe you should.” [House Homeland Security Committee hearing, 2/16/06]

Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) and Charlie Melancon (D-LA): “What the majority report does not do, however, is draw the logical conclusion to its own findings and recommend Secretary Chertoff’s removal from office. Our judgment, based on a careful review of the record, is that the Department of Homeland Security needs new and more experienced leadership.” [Minority report by the House Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate Katrina, 2/15/06]

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More on Alberto Gonzales' Resignation from ThinkProgress

From ThinkProgress:

The AP reports, “A senior Justice Department official said that a likely temporary replacement for Gonzales is Solicitor General Paul Clement, who would take over until a permanent replacement is found.” FDL has some background on Clement.

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Criminal Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns

Ding Dong the Douche bag's Dead.

From the NY Times:

Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.
...

Mr. Bush repeatedly stood by Mr. Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as Mr. Gonzales faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department over issues including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.
...

Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who sits on the committee and has been calling for Mr. Gonzales’s resignation for months, said this morning: “It has been a long and difficult struggle, but at last the attorney general has done the right thing and stepped down. For the previous six months, the Justice Department has been virtually nonfunctional, and desperately needs new leadership.”

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Additionally, here are some other reactions... From Nancy Pelosi:

The resignation of Attorney General Gonzales is long overdue. The rampant politicization of federal law enforcement that occurred under his tenure seriously eroded public confidence in our justice system.

The President must now restore credibility to the office of the Attorney General. Given the serious loss of public trust and the disarray at the Department of Justice, the American people must have absolute confidence in the integrity of the next Attorney General as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and as defender of our constitution independent of political influence. The President’s nominee must have the character and stature to command that confidence.

The nominee must also pledge to cooperate with ongoing congressional oversight into the conduct of the White House in the politicization of federal law enforcement. Hearings on the nominee will provide Congress with another opportunity to examine the new, flawed FISA law and will aid in our efforts to improve it.
From Harry Reid:

"Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove.

This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House."

From ABC News:
Republicans and Democrats alike had demanded his resignation over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, but President Bush had defiantly stood by his Texas friend until accepting his resignation Friday.
...

Reacting to Monday's developments, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said that Gonzales' department had "suffered a severe crisis of leadership that allowed our justice system to be corrupted by political influence."
From CBS News:
Gonzales's undoing really began as the Bush Administration began the war on terror. As White House Counsel to President Bush, Gonzales was responsible for the so-called torture memo and many of the policies that led to enemy combatants, Guantanamo bay, and calling the Geneva convention protections quaint. Democrats and Civil Libertarians were outraged when he became attorney general, but it wasn't until the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, did the unraveling of Gonzales's tenure really begin.
...

And when former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified to the Senate about a late night hospital room visit in 2004, that then-White House Counsel Gonzales made to the bed of an ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft, the wheels finally began to come off. Gonzales's testimony about the secret NSA surveillance program that the Administration had started in secret, was contradicted by not only Comey, but also by FBI Director Robert Mueller -- saying that, in effect, what Gonzales told the congress simply was not true.
From Bloomberg News:

Critics said Gonzales's Justice Department wasn't independent enough from Bush, the attorney general's longtime friend and political benefactor who brought him to Washington.

``The job of the attorney general is to enforce the law, not to be the lawyer for the president of the United States,'' said George Washington University law professor Stephen Saltzburg, who served in the Justice Department under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

...

At the heart of Gonzales's troubles were allegations he committed perjury on several occasions. Gonzales maintains he told the truth to Congress, though he acknowledged his testimony on the eavesdropping program was confusing.

...

Gonzales won little support from his own party. The senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, in August called him ``a wily witness'' and said Congress should ``find a way to end the tenure of Attorney General Gonzales.''

From Sen. John Edwards:
``Better late than never,'' Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said in a statement. Illinois Senator Barack Obama, another Democratic presidential contender, said in a statement, ``I have long believed that Alberto Gonzales subverted justice to promote a political agenda.''
From Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy:
The Justice Department under Gonzales "suffered a severe crisis of leadership that allowed our justice system to be corrupted by political influence."
From Sen. Edward Kennedy:
"He has exhibited a lack of candor with Congress and the American people and a disdain for the rule of law and our constitutional system. I strongly urge President Bush to nominate a new attorney general who will respect our laws and restore the integrity of the office."
From Sen. Hillary Clinton:
"He demonstrated that his loyalties lie with the president and his political agenda, not the American people or the evenhanded and impartial enforcement of our laws. ... My hope is that the president will select a new attorney general who will respect the rule of law and abandon partisanship, who will serve the American people and not the president's political ideology, and who will answer to the Constitution and not political operatives."

8.26.2007

Cliff Schecter: JFK On How To Export Values And Freedom

Cliff Schecter resurrects JFK:

"Wow, a man with a brain as president. How did that happen? Listen as he understands what every neo-con numbnuts can't, that people have to want liberty for freedom to exist."


"So that "democracy at the barrel of a gun stuff," yeah, it's as stupid as it sounds. For it's not only important to "have a national defense second to none," as JFK points out (and we would still have right now if we cut our defense budget in half, most likely), but also according to Kennedy, the creation of a FREE society here at home is essential, something that people abroad would want to emulate."

"So, The Patriot Act, FISA Bill allowing warrantless wiretapping, 10 gazillion signing statements, the Fox government propaganda channel, unitary executive, corporations treated like mini-fiefdoms, etc.--yeah, he probably wasn't thinking of that."

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Blowing the search for Bin Laden

From John Amato:

When John Kerry talked about Tora Bora heavily, I wondered why the press just kinda shrugged it off. I always felt that the White House wanted Osama alive (at least until after the ‘04 election) so he could be the big bad evil that would keep Americans frightened and confused like the bed-wetters of the right wing blogosphere. Newsweek wrote an article on Bin Laden:

"Into Thin Air, He’s still out there. The hunt for bin Laden".

Atrios has more…
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Number of Iraqis fleeing Iraq doubles in just a year. 1/2 million alone fled after "The Surge" began.

From the AP, 500,000 more Iraqis have fled sine the so-called "surge" began:

The number of displaced Iraqis has shot upward from 447,337 in January to 1.14 million in July. In addition to those who fled their homes but stayed in Iraq, some 2 million left the country. 63% report threats to their life, a quarter had been forcibly displaced. 90% said they'd been targeted because of their religion.

``Does this surge have anything to do with it? We don't know,'' said Saeed Haqi, head of the Iraqi Red Crescent - the local partner organization of the International Committee of the Red Cross. ``But they're leaving because of the security situation in general.''

In addition to those who have fled their homes but have stayed within the country, some 2 million Iraqis have fled, with many now living as refugees in neighboring Syria and Jordan.
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GOP Sen. John Warner may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President Bush refuses to set a timetable

Wow, this is a big change from just three days ago. The White House and their pit bulls in the conservative fringe media must have really pissed him off with their reactions to his original statement.

Here's Sen. John Warner of Virginia (ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee) just three days ago:

"Let the president set the timetable; let's not have the Congress set any timetable.... [T]he Congress has repeatedly tried to set timetables and a total plan by certain dates to have a withdrawal. I have voted against that, and I will continue to vote against that type of proposition."

Here's Sen. John Warner this morning, on Meet The Press:

GOP Sen. John Warner, who wants U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq by Christmas, said Sunday he may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President Bush refuses to set a return timetable soon.

"I'm going to have to evaluate it," Warner said. "I don't say that as a threat. I say that as an option we'll all have to consider."

It's a start.

Daily Kos: U.S. Coverage Of The British Pull-Out in Basra in non-existent.

From DemFromCT:

The British press has had stories about this, but the American press has been relatively quiet about this story. From the AP via IHT:
BASRA, Iraq: Shiite militiamen from the Mahdi Army took over the police joint command center in Basra on Sunday after British soldiers withdrew from the facility and handed control to the Iraqi police, witnesses said.
There's, of course, more to the story, as the Brit press notes. From the Independent:

British troops will withdraw to the last military stronghold in Iraq imminently, and will not be "swayed by domestic political considerations" – including relations with the US – senior government sources said yesterday.

British troops will withdraw to the last military stronghold in Iraq imminently, and will not be "swayed by domestic political considerations" – including relations with the US – senior government sources said yesterday.
From The Sunday Herald:

GENERALS RARELY make off-the-cuff comments. Everything they say is measuredandcarefully controlled; after all, lives could depend oneverywordand nuance. That's why senior commanders and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic sat up and took notice when General Jack Keane, formerly of the US army, accused his opposite numbers in the British Army of "general disengagement from the key issues around Basra".

More from The Guardian, BBC, and Reuters UK...

Hmmm. Interesting story, perhaps with implications for Magical September. If our closest allies are pulling back despite criticism from Keane, who speaks for the WH, I wonder how that would be perceived by the American public in terms of a progress report? Does that require more troops sent south ? The Brits say no, but the US says maybe. I wonder when we'll read more about it here?

Update [by DemFromCT]: more background from 8/19/07:

Military commanders tell Brown to withdraw from Iraq without delay

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Sen. Webb: Vietnam And Iraq ‘Simply Are Not Comparable’

VIDEO: Last week, Bush argued that the lessons of Vietnam show that the U.S. can't withdraw too soon from Iraq. Today on ABC's This Week, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), a Vietnam veteran who supported the Vietnam war, said that Bush’s conclusion is inaccurate:

In Iraq, we’re having a reverse situation. We have an overall strategic objective that was not directly related to what we were attempting to do in the war against international terrorism. We have good people implementing a bad strategy. It’s just not the same situation. … We’re not going to have stability in that region until the American troops are out of Iraq.

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Daily Kos: How about a bill called "Restoring our Constitution"?

From clammyc:

A bill, put out by the Democratic Congress called Restoring our Constitution Act of 2007 would codify (for those "strict constructionist" hypocrites) some of the most basic things that have been chipped away over the past few years.

Since there are so many things that have been done over the past few years, I am sure that many are missing from this brief summary below, but this is certainly a good start (again, keeping it to a "top 10" for ease of discussion, while many more could come under these subheadings.
  1. No more "free speech cages zones".
  2. Reaffirm habeas corpus.
  3. No torture. Ever. Or Extraordinary Rendition and secret CIA prisons for that matter.
  4. Rejoining the ICC and abiding by international treaties.
  5. Eliminate the validity of signing statements.
  6. Clarify when "Executive Privilege" can be invoked.
  7. No spying on Americans without a warrant. Period.
  8. Anti-voter intimidation, suppression and dirty tricks.
  9. Requirement that people in government positions, especially high level ones, are actually qualified for the positions they are appointed to.
  10. Reaffirm "co-equal branches" of Government.

And so on.

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Daily Kos: Just what exactly is "the new war", Senator Clinton?

clammyc:

Comments like this one that she made the other day about "things working in Iraq but only years too late in changing our tactics" and "we can’t be fighting the last war, we have to be preparing to fight the new war" are two of the most recent and most egregious examples of why Senator Clinton doesn’t "get it" on so many levels and is increasingly showing why she is not nearly the best candidate to lead this country through the next few, very difficult and trying years.

So, Senator – what exactly did you mean by "the new war"? I think We the People have a right to know just what war you have in store for this nation if you are to be trusted as our leader. Does the "new war" call for meddling and sticking your nose into another country’s political process and call for the removal of that leader, as you have recently (and so wrongfully done) about al-Maliki? If you are so interested in removing a country’s leader – especially one that has repeatedly failed to do right by that country, why not start right here in the US? Or is that not "politically feasible" for you?

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Daily Kos: 4,000 Guardsmen give standing ovation to call for withdrawal

by quaoar:

Apparently, there is no truth to the rumor that calls for withdrawing troops from Iraq is demoralizing the troops.

In fact, calls for withdrawal have the troops standing and cheering, as this story demonstrates:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A call by Puerto Rico’s governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation Saturday from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.

Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila said the U.S. administration has "no new strategy and no signs of success" and that prolonging the war would needlessly put guardsmen in harm’s way.

Here's the thing, though -- this story was moved by the Associated Press and it has gotten almost zero coverage. Try to find it in your local paper. It's even difficult finding it with a Google search.

On the other hand, if 4,000 Guardsmen stood and cheered for a call to stay the course you can bet it would be 24/7 on cable TV news.

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8.25.2007

Don't Believe Bush's Surge Lies! - Iraq Deaths Double What They Were A Year Ago!

These fuckers should be in Leavenworth, not The White House.

From John Ehrenfeld at Brave New Films blogged this:

Yes, I know it's a tough picture to look at. It makes you wince and think about that father's pain and grief and also about what that child's life might have been like in happier times. You wonder what his name is and then you look at your children and you want to give them a hug and hold them close. It's heart-wrenching yet it's important to not sanitize what death is really like in Iraq and not to let that child dissapear into anonymity forever. That's what they want to you to do, de-humanize people who suffer and wrap it all up in a neat, jingoistic anti-terror package. Don't fall for it; remember this child.

This is the Iraqi people's reality every day and despite what the despots and liars in the White House are telling you . . . it's getting worse not better.

According to a new report from the Associated Press seen in newsvine.com:

"The death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago. The figures are considered a minimum, the actual numbers are likely higher, as many killings go unreported or uncounted."

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The Great Iraq Swindle: How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury

From Rolling Stone:

How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini? Ask Earnest O. Robbins -- he knows all about being a successful contractor in Iraq.

You start off as a well-connected bureaucrat: in this case, as an Air Force civil engineer, a post from which Robbins was responsible for overseeing 70,000 servicemen and contractors, with an annual budget of $8 billion. You serve with distinction for thirty-four years, becoming such a military all-star that the Air Force frequently sends you to the Hill to testify before Congress -- until one day in the summer of 2003, when you retire to take a job as an executive for Parsons, a private construction company looking to do work in Iraq.

Now you can finally move out of your dull government housing on Bolling Air Force Base and get your wife that dream home you've been promising her all these years. The place on Park Street in Dunn Loring, Virginia, looks pretty good -- four bedrooms, fireplace, garage, 2,900 square feet, a nice starter home in a high-end neighborhood full of spooks, think-tankers and ex-apparatchiks moved on to the nest-egg phase of their faceless careers. On October 20th, 2003, you close the deal for $775,000 and start living that private-sector good life.
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For Plane That Won't Fly, $63 Mil Is Enough

Republican Duncan Hunter has earmarked millions for a plane that won't fly:

Millions of dollars later, Congress has effectively killed a military plane program the Pentagon repeatedly rejected, and which never had a successful flight.

The $63 million Congress poured into the DP2 program over 20 years was not requested by the Department of Defense. Instead, it was mandated through obscure provisions in bills known as "earmarks." Most of those earmarks for the DP2 were inserted by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., in whose district the plane was designed and built, in prototype.
...

The plane's creator, Anthony DuPont, has donated $36,000 to Hunter's congressional campaigns. Hunter has denied the contributions had any connection with his continued support of the aircraft.
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Can you say bribery?