Monday, May 29, 2006

Barney On the House Raid

I had been supportive of the House leadership on the FBI raid of Congressman Jefferson's office. I saw it as another example of the Imperial presidency under George Bush. Given my fourteen years working in the House of Representatives, I am also very sensitive to the Constitutional perogatives of the Congress generally and the House specifically.

My old boss, Barney Frank has forced me to change my position. As usual, he gets to the core of the issue and his logic is unassailable.

TalkingPointsMemo reprints his remarks on the floor of the House. This now represents my position.

Here's Barney's money quote:

"What we now have is a Congressional leadership, the Republican part of which has said it is okay for law enforcement to engage in warrantless searches of the average citizen, now objecting when a search, pursuant to a validly issued warrant, is conducted of a Member of Congress."

And why or why did Nancy Pelosi not consult Barney before she signed on to the Hastert letter?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

White Man's Burden

There's a story in today's London Times about the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. It is stunning. Supposedly, we couldn't send a lot of troops into Iraq for post-war stablization because it would send a message of imperialism to the Iraqis. Yet, while the rest of Iraq suffers and $22 billion has been wasted on a reconstruction program that has not even brought electricity and water to pre-war conditions, we are building the biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad.

Read this and be shocked with the monumental hubris and folly.

In the chaos of Iraq, one project is on target: a giant US embassy - World - Times Online: "

Building work at the 104-acre complex, known locally as 'George W's palace', is supposed to be secret, but it is impossible to disguise the cranes dominating the Baghdad skyline

In the chaos of Iraq, one project is on target: a giant US embassy
From Daniel McGrory in Baghdad

THE question puzzles and enrages a city: how is it that the Americans cannot keep the electricity running in Baghdad for more than a couple of hours a day, yet still manage to build themselves the biggest embassy on Earth? "

Monday, May 22, 2006


Talk about making lemonade. Now the Republicans are claiming that the mid term elections will be the key to Bush's comeback. We certainly can't underestimate these people. After all, I was convinced that the Swift Boat thing would go away once the New York Times proved unequivocably that their whole case was a lie.

But isn't this like the Captain of the Titanic saying that the ice bergs are the key to his journey across the Atlantic?

Elections Are Crux Of GOP's Strategy: "Elections Are Crux Of GOP's Strategy
Bush Aides Look to Midterm Vote as Way to Reverse Slide
By Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, May 22, 2006; Page A01
Confronting the worst poll numbers seen in the West Wing since his father went down to defeat, President Bush and his team are focusing on the fall midterm elections as the best chance to salvage his presidency and are building a campaign strategy around tax cuts, immigration and national security."

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I'm watching the hearings on Michael Hayden to be CIA chief. He seems like a pretty decent guy and is probably well qualified for the job. And I'm sure he is a patriotic American who will do the right thing in the job.

Here's the problem. Our intelligence services rely on the trust of the American people that things done in their name that they can't know about are being done within the spirit and values of our country. This administration has betrayed that trust. This is a president who claims he does not have to follow the law when he believes he is protecting the national interest as he sees it. Why should we trust that he will feel any constraint whatsoever in how he conducts secret intelligence policies. And, even if we trusted Bush, there is no way in the world we can trust Cheney, who we know is the real president when it comes to intelligence matters.

These hearings are a charade that have no meaning because we cannot trust our own government. It's sickening...literally.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rove Indictment Less Certain

In the clip below, the Wall Street Journal reports that Karl Rove is going to speak to the American Enterprise Institute today. Not the kind of thing you would expect of someone who was informed of his own indictment on Friday.

Here's another post, offering a blow by blow on the situation. I'm leaning toward the view that the previous speculation is untrue. - Republicans Seek to Revive Their Activists: "The low poll numbers are also among reasons why votes in Congress are likely in coming months on social issues crucial to conservatives and why White House political adviser Karl Rove, in an address to the American Enterprise Institute Monday, is expected to lay the foundation for an attack on Democrats, perhaps by reminding his audience that liberal leaders and ideas would return if Republicans lose control of either house of Congress. "

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators

This is a fascinating blog. They guy writes like news stories, which makes them sound really credible. But it is a blog.

Here's a blockbuster bit of news. Hasn't been picked up by any of the other blogs, never mind the news media. It'll be interesting to watch this unfold. Won't it be something if this thing breaks here.

Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators: "Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t Report
Saturday 13 May 2006
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.
During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 business hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Name One Thing

As we survey the wreckage wrought by the Bush Administration, I would love to see some pollster ask the following open-ended question in a poll:

Name one thing the Bush Administration has done right in six years in office?

I am certain that the vast majority of respondents would be stumped.

We know Bush's view. He caught a 7.5 lb. perch in his private lake. Of course, as Daily Kos points out, the largest perch ever caught was 4.3 lbs. He must have had it weighed by the CIA.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui Gets Life

I was strangely relieved that Moussaoui got life in prison instead of death. I oppose the death penalty in all instances. I don't believe the government should have the power to take a life.

But it was more than that. I admired the jurors for not stampeding him to the gallows to vindicate the victims of 9/11. They clearly couldn't bring themselves to execute a man for a lie. They must have known that they will take a lot of heat for their decision. It was a courageous act.

Monday, May 01, 2006

They are doomed

I'd been hearing about this $100 gas rebate plan, vaguely out of the corner of my ear. I can't remember where. But I had assumed that this was some lame-brained scheme by one of the crazy lefties (who I love) in the Democratic Party. I only just found out that this was proposed by the Republican Senate leadership. Predictably, their right wing has erupted in opposition. As though more proof were needed, this demonstrates that they have no principles whatsoever....none.

Sharp Reaction to G.O.P. Plan on Gas Rebate - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, April 30 � The Senate Republican plan to mail $100 checks to voters to ease the burden of high gasoline prices is eliciting more scorn than gratitude from the very people it was intended to help. "