Political Critic Archives - October 2005

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Bush Panders to Conservative Base, Nominates Alito

President Bush, who withdrew his Miers nomination last week due to pressure from the fringe, right-wing side of his party, has nominated Judge Samuel Alito Jr. for the Supreme Court. Alito is another white guy with an Ivy league education and is said to be more conservative than any member on the court.

Bush will rally the base of his party with this pick, but his base is a small group of bible-thumping, white people who are dissimilar from the rest of the country. Rather than going with a moderate conservative, Bush went with a extremist in order to pander to his base and tell the American people that the lunatics on the right (Buchanan, Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh) are running this country. It is pathetic that a few racist, conservative commentators have so much influence on this president.

It is very important for another woman to be on the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Alito will become the ninth member of an almost all male Supreme Court. Considering that this country is over 50% female, you would think that the highest court in the land would have more than one female out of nine positions. What you create with eight men out of nine is a very narrow view of the world. It is a shame that an entire branch of our government would not be in any way reflective of our society.

The question is whether or not the Democrats will put up a fight on this pick. If some fringe conservatives can get the Miers nomination withdrawn, you would think that an entire political party would be able to defeat this one. I, for one, am not holding my breath. The Democrats have done nothing in years to have any confidence that they can go toe to toe with Republicans. They need to filibuster this selection, if for no other reason than to prove that they can. They need to unite the left and start swinging. The Republicans are not dealing in a position of strength right now and the Democrats need to force Bush to go back and pick a moderate conservative.

Side Note: When Pat Robertson gets on television and says that this pick is a "home run", then you can be sure that it is a horrible selection. Pat Robertson is a vile and disgusting excuse for a human being and you would do well in life to oppose everything that he is in favor of. He is a racist piece of garbage.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Lewis Libby Indicted on Perjury, Obstruction, and Providing False Statements

Vice President Richard Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted by a grand jury this morning on five felony charges. Libby was charged with two counts of perjury, two counts of providing false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice. He faces the possibility of serving up to 30 years in prison. Libby resigned immediately from his position as Chief of Staff to Cheney.

Patrick Fitzgerald did not indict anyone else, in part because of the obstruction of Libby. Essentially, Fitzgerald could not get to the bottom of the CIA leak because of the lies and the lack of memory of many witnesses. If Libby decides to actually tell the truth, Fitzgerald will be able to further investigate the leak. As Fitzgerald said during his press conference, this is a very serious matter that involves national security. Anyone who is lying to a grand jury in order to impede his investigation will be prosecuted.

Senior Advisor to the President, Karl Rove (Dr. Evil) was not indicted today, but remains under investigation in the case.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

President Bush Withdraws Miers' Nomination

In what the media is calling "stunning", but everyone else knew was coming, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers asked George Bush to withdraw her nomination.  Conservatives absolutely hated this nomination and were fighting amongst themselves at a time when they need to come together.  This is perhaps the best move Bush can make at this point in time.  Senior officials in his administration are about to be indicted and he needs his base, as fringe as they are, to support him.  If he doesn't have his base behind him at a time when indictments are coming down, he would be in big trouble. 

As unqualified as Miers was, it is scary that the far right side of the party forced the leader of the free world to select someone else.  The far right, as loud as they are, represent a very small percentage of the overall country.  Most people in this country do not believe in many issues that the hard conservatives believe in.  From abortion to affirmative action to prayer in school to gay rights, the majority of the country stands on the other side of the neocons.

The part I don't understand is the current spin on this withdrawal.  Republicans are hitting the airwaves to say that Bush withdrew the nomination because he didn't want to grant access to confidential papers from Miers' work as his White House counsel.  We all know that is not the reason she withdrew.  She didn't have the votes to pass the confirmation.  Why not just say that?  Is it so damaging to admit the truth; that she wasn't going to pass the confirmation hearings?

Now we wonder who President Bush will now select.  I pray that he doesn't select Torture Boy, Alberto Gonzales.  Torture Boy, as is his nickname, wrote the legal argument which made it acceptable to torture prisoners of war.  He created a (BS) legal loophole around the Geneva Conventions, which allowed prisoners in Abu Ghraib, in Afghanistan, and in Guantanamo Bay to be abused and tortured.  President Bush would love to nominate him, but he may be asking for an even larger fight than before.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Indictments Are Coming, Indictments Are Coming!

Rumors abound on liberal bogs about indictments coming down today.  The Washington Note reports that 1-5 indictments will be handed down on Wednesday.  CBS News (liberal bias, so take it for what it's worth) is also claiming that the charges will come Wednesday.  It is unclear how many White House officials are being targeted, but it is clear that Karl Rove and Lewis Libby have received notice that they are in legal jeopardy.  This implies that Rove and Libby will likely be indicted. CBS is also claiming that Rove and Libby are secondary players and that the primary target is someone else.

However, the indictments may remain sealed to the public.  Fitzgerald may keep them sealed to the public in order to get people to flip for him. For example, he may indict Rove and not tell anyone except Rove and his attorney.  He could do this in order to extract information on Rove and then throw away the indictment.

Either way, somebody in the Bush Administration is going down this week.  We now know that Lewis Libby's testimony is in direct conflict with Vice President Dick Cheney.  If we are to believe the NY Times, which I concede isn't very credible these days, then Cheney was Libby's source all along, which means that Libby lied to the grand jury.  Whether Cheney lied or not when he was questioned by Fitzgerald is a mystery.  But we do know that when Cheney was on Meet the Press in September of 2003, he lied about knowing Joe Wilson.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Spinning Criminals

There has not been a single indictment of anyone in the White House as of yet, but Republicans and conservative commentators are out in full force to spin the potential charges against Rove, Libby, and others.  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, in what can only be described as moronic, was on Meet the Press this morning to say that perjury and obstruction of justice weren't real crimes and that they were just technicalities.

I wouldn't have believed it myself if I didn't see it come out of her mouth.  Shame on Tim Russert for not raking her over the coals for that one.  Russert made an offhand remark about how Republicans didn't feel that way when Bill Clinton (scum) was committing perjury, but he really let her off the hook.

Fox News has also been at full throttle coining the term 'criminalization of politics'.  From Sean Hannity (nutjob) to Bill Kristol (delusional), they seem to all be reading from the same talking points.  What they are trying to argue is that if everyone does it, then it's ok.  Great defense!  I have heard a lot of commentators and analysts claim this in the past few weeks and it is frankly pathetic.  But it's all about the spin and this particular administration beats the Democrats at every turn when it comes to spin.  They are actually so good at spinning, that the whole managing the country thing takes a distant backseat.  Why manage the war when you can spin it?

The other problem is that the braindead media loves when politicians leak classified information.  They wouldn't be able to develop a story otherwise.  The media relies on dirty, crooked politicians to write their stories.  So the mainstream press was very quick to jump to the defense of Judith Miller (traitor), but slow to admit that it is a crime to knowingly reveal classified info.

So as we prepare for what could be the final week of the Bush/Cheney administration as we know it, are we going to continue to hear spin as the indictments come down (and they will) or will we actually get action?  President Bush has been hesitant to say if members of his administration would resign if indicted.  Maybe he figures that there will be so many indictments, that there will be nobody left in the administration.

 

Democrats Painful to Watch

The Democrats, for their part, have been mostly silent thus far.  However, when they do speak, it is really painful.  Senator Charles Schumer (D) was also on Meet the Press this morning and stated that he still would have voted for the war because he supports the war on terror?!?!?  What?!?!?  Are you kidding me?  How dumb is this guy?  For the last time, the war on terror had nothing to do with Iraq!!! 

This is the version of spin that the Democrats put out.  You can see how bad they are at it.  They try to defend their vote for war, but they really don't have a clear message, so the public is left even more confused than before about where they stand.  I, for one, have no clue where they stand on the war.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

All Roads Lead Back to Dick

It seems more and more likely that Vice President Dick Cheney was involved in the leak of the undercover CIA agent.  The special prosecutor has brought many people from Cheney's office in to testify.  Among them are Lewis "Scooter" Libby (VP Chief of Staff), Mary Matalin (senior advisor), John Hannah (aide), Catherine Martin (Asst. to VP for Public Affairs), and Jennifer Millerwise (Spokesperson for VP). 

There are reports that John Hannah may have been 'flipped' by Fitzgerald in order to get him to name names.  Hannah was a major player in all of this and if they got him to spill his guts to avoid jail time, Fitzgerald may have everything he needs to indict a sitting Vice President.

The best case scenario (for liberals) would be for Rove, Libby, and the VP to get indicted and the President to be labeled as an unindicted co-conspirator.  Ok, that's the best case scenario for me too, except for the part where Bush doesn't get charged with a crime.  It is unclear as to whether or not you can indict a sitting President.  Declaring Bush an 'unindicted co-conspirator' may be as far as Fitzgerald can go.

U.S. News and World Report is stating that Condoleezza Rice would be nominated for Vice President if Cheney is forced to resign.  That sounds great, because Dick Cheney is pure evil and it would a beautiful thing if he is forced to resign.  However, getting Condoleezza Rice in return is no upgrade.  After her remarks Sunday on Meet the Press, I am convinced that she is as much of an idiot as her boss.  In case you missed it, Rice said that we had two choices after 9/11. We could go after Al Qaeda, the group responsible for the attack, or take a bolder approach and go after another target.  What?!?!?  So someone attacks us and it gives us the right to attack another country who had nothing at all to do with it?!?!?  What a moron!  Maybe she ought to brush up on international law so she realizes that she broke it.  And people want her to run for President in 2008?


Monday, October 17, 2005

Were Bush and Cheney Involved in the Leak?

Perhaps I didn't ask for enough when I wrote that I just wanted Karl Rove to be indicted.  Maybe there really are bigger fish to fry in this case, namely President Bush and Vice President Cheney.  There are numerous sources that are now questioning what role these two played.  Bloomberg reported this morning that the prosecutor is specifically looking at what involvement Cheney had.

On the site Think Progress, they list 23 officials in the Bush Administration who may be involved in the Plame leak.  They include George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, Colin Powell, and many more.  Could the special prosecutor be coming after all of these people?  What are the chances that the sitting President and/or Vice President are among the individuals that get indicted?  To determine this, let's analyze what their roles are.

Let's start with the Vice President Dick Cheney.  It is already known that his right hand man, Scooter Libby, was discussing Valerie Plame to Judith Miller (reporter) at least three times.  Three other members of Cheney's staff have also testified before the grand jury.  Cheney himself was questioned by special prosecutors sometime in mid-2004 about the case.  He was not, however, questioned under oath.  Cheney has always been a hands-on type and I find it hard to believe that members of his staff did this on their own.

As for the President, it is plausible that he is dumb enough not to know what was going on or what Rove was up to.  Nonetheless, in June of 2004, President Bush was questioned by Mr. Fitzgerald for over an hour about his role in the leak.  He also was not under oath and he had a high-powered, private lawyer (not White House counsel) at his side for the questioning.  Bush, along with other officials, also received the classified documents that revealed Plame's identity.  So Bush knew that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent who was married to Joe Wilson and that the information was classified.  He also was aware that Wilson was uncovering evidence that proved that Iraq wasn't after WMD's. 

I'm sure Bush was quite angry that Wilson had made him look the fool for invading a country on false information.  He was forced to answer question after question from the media about his reasoning for going to war.  Now that Wilson had uncovered the truth, Bush was left dodging questions and trying to come up with a different rationale for the invasion. 

He had to want to get back at Wilson.  Bush had the information at his fingertips that would exact revenge upon this man and his wife.  Did he and Cheney instruct their henchman, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, to take down Wilson?  Or did Rove and Libby get a chance to see the classified information, come up with their own master plan to seek retribution, and all the while keep the President and the Vice President in the dark?

Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.  Now let's see if Fitzgerald is good enough to nail them both.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

All I Want For Christmas is a Rove Indictment!

Ok, I know it's a little early to get a Christmas present, but the grand jury expires on October 28th and I, for one, would love to see Karl Rove behind bars.  Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is wrapping up his investigation in the next two weeks and many indictments could be handed down in the CIA leak case.  Rove may not receive the most indictments, but after spending four more hours testifying on Friday, it does not look good for Dr. Evil.

Despite the glee I will have when Rove gets indicted, it appears that Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby may be in even more trouble.  Libby seems to have obstructed justice by attempting to coerce a witness (Judith Miller) into not testifying.  He also may have provided conflicting testimony to the grand jury.  In addition, he discussed Valerie Plame on three separate occasions with Ms. Miller.

Mr. Fitzgerald seems to have an abundance of charges he could indict these corrupt men.  First, there is the disclosure of classified information.  This is a very serious crime.  Fitzgerald may be able to indict them under the Espionage Act for leaking the classified information.  Then there are the crimes Rove and Libby committed after the fact.  Perjury, obstruction of justice, making false statements, and criminal conspiracy are all on the table.  If these two thugs tried to cover up the crime, then they can also be charged for that.

However, the question I keep coming back to is what did Bush and Cheney know and did they direct their right-hand men to commit these crimes?  Did Vice President Dick Cheney know that his Chief of Staff was leaking classified information to the press?  Would Libby do something so bold without direction from his boss?  And what did the President know?  Karl Rove is his senior advisor and has been at Bush's side for decades.  Did Rove act on his own to leak information about the CIA agent or did his boss tell him too? 

Surely President Bush and Cheney wanted to get back at Joe Wilson for uncovering that the reason to go to war in Iraq was a sham.  They both must have been enraged when Wilson told the world that Iraq was not trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction.  Are we really to believe that the two most powerful men in the country did nothing about it and didn't know what their senior officials were up to?


Friday, October 14, 2005

Karl Rove Soon to be Indicted???

The evil Karl Rove testified today before the grand jury investigating his role in the leak of a CIA agent's identity.  It was his fourth such appearance and prosecutors warned him ahead of time that he may still be indicted for his crimes.  Rove, who is considered to have a brilliant mind, has already pleaded ignorance on questions that were posed to him in his prior testimonies.  He claimed to "not recall" if he had a meeting with reporter Mathew Cooper, which is code for "I do remember, but I'm not going to admit it."

Rove could very well be indicted as early as next week on a number of charges, including perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and the actual crime of leaking a covert agent's identity.  We could very easily see President Bush's right hand man go to jail.  However, Rove should have been thrown in jail a long time ago.

Rove has been investigated for a variety of crimes since the age of 22.  At the time, in 1972, Rove was traveling around the country and training young Republicans how to perform "dirty tricks".  The head of the RNC at the time was George H.W. Bush and he asked the FBI to investigate.  Since this took place during the Watergate scandal, the FBI had bigger fish to fry and could not devote the resources to fully come after Rove.

In 1986, Rove bugged his own office and claimed it was the Democrats who did it.  This was an attempt to get sympathy votes for the gubernatorial candidate he was working for.  The FBI was brought in and realized that the listening device was so small that the battery would have to be changed every few hours.  They dropped the case.

In 1992, Rove teamed up with Robert Novak to plant a negative story about Bush's campaign fundraising chief Robert Mosbacher Jr. in order to get rid of him.  Does this sound familiar?  Karl Rove leaking a story to Robert Novak.  Hmmm.

In the 2000 Presidential campaign, Rove was involved in a push poll in South Carolina that smeared Senator John McCain.  Rove's people called potential voters asking them if they would vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate black baby.  This was an incredible lie and Rove knew it, but it helped Bush win the primary in South Carolina and it was the turning point for his candidacy.

The point of me telling you the history of the evil Karl Rove is to demonstrate what a despicable human being he is.  Today, he is trying to talk his way out of getting indicted.  Let's hope for all our sakes that Patrick Fitzgerald puts him away for a long, long time.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Miers Needs to Withdraw Her Name

As much as I love seeing conservatives duke it out with each other, this fight has to end sometime, and it can end nice and quietly if Harriet Miers withdraws her name from consideration for the Supreme Court.  The fact is that there are hundreds of people that are far more qualified for the job, whether they are conservative or not.  Harriet Miers, although having a nice career, just doesn't have the background to warrant this nomination.

The other troubling aspect of this nomination is that she is a Bush loyalist.  A Supreme Court justice is supposed to be incredibly independent and Miers is known to be fiercely loyal to President Bush.  It is no mistake that a White House counsel has never been nominated for the Supreme Court.  Any President's lawyer would find it incredibly difficult to remain independent when ruling on important issues.

For Bush to nominate another one of his cronies to the highest bench in the land is a sign of complete arrogance and/or ineptitude.  Do we really want someone loyal to Bush sitting on the Supreme Court for the next 30 years?  Having Bush around for the next three years is painful enough.

The Republicans who are fighting this do not actually care if Miers is qualified or not.  They are simply concerned about her stances on conservative issues, like abortion.  If she had written any opinion paper in her career about being very pro-life, the far right wing of the party would accept her.  But the conservatives don't really know where she stands on that issue and on a whole host of other subjects.

The only solution is for George to withdraw her name or for Miers to do it herself.  He can go back and nominate a sitting judge with a solid background.  If it ends up being a pro-life, conservative justice, then so be it.


Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Conservatives are Fuming over Miers

Major conservative writers and talking heads have come out against Harriet Miers, the nominee for the Supreme Court.  Many neocons wanted a bible-thumping, pro-life extremist, but they don't think they have that in Miers.  Conservatives are already upset over Bush's liberal spending and budget deficits.  Many of them voted Bush into office for a second term on the basis that he would pick hard-right justices.

Unfortunately, the conservatives are right, but for the wrong reasons.  Miers has a mediocre resume to sit as a judge on the Supreme Court and she is yet another pick from Bush's inner circle.  Conservatives are upset because they just don't know how she will vote.  Pat Buchanan blasted George Bush for the pick and Bill Kristol was also very disappointed.  Nut-job Buchanan wanted the court to go back to "constitutionalism", which to Pat means overturning Roe v. Wade, ending affirmative action, putting prayer back in the classroom, and pretty much discriminating against anyone who doesn't share the same religious beliefs as him and his wacko friends.

The truth seems to be that Bush played the extreme right-wing side of his party into believing that he was as conservative as them.  So far, it appears that Bush is just a moderate conservative (although still an idiot).


Monday, October 2, 2005

Bush Nominates His Personal Lawyer to the Supreme Court

Is this a case of cronyism or is President Bush selecting the best possible candidate to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court?  Bush selected Harriet Miers, a woman he has known for a dozen years, to serve on the Supreme Court.  Ms. Miers has an exemplary record as an attorney, but has never been a judge.  I'm sure many distinguished judges all over the country are upset that someone who has never even been a judge gets a chance to become a judge on the highest court in the land.  So I guess it is a case of cronyism.  President Bush apparently didn't learn his lesson when he picked all his buddies to run FEMA.  Now he wants his close, personal friends to run the Supreme Court too. 

In terms of Harriet Miers' background, she has less of a paper trail than John Roberts, and Roberts had virtually no trail at all.  Miers has succeeded in never putting her opinions down in writing in her 60 years of existence.  So neither the left nor the right has any idea where she stands on pro-life, civil rights, etc.

However, if hard-right conservatives are rising up against the pick, she can't be all that bad.  Bush might succeed in upsetting both the left and the right on this one.


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