Saturday, July 28, 2007
Karl Rove is having meetings with 2008 Republican candidates. His advice?
Karl Rove, President Bush's political lieutenant, told a closed-door meeting of 2008 Republican House candidates and their aides Tuesday that it was less the war in Iraq than corruption in Congress that caused their party's defeat in the 2006 elections.This is originally from Novakula so who knows exactly how accurate it is. But it wouldn't surprise me. And I hope the Republicans listen to him.
Rove's clear advice to the candidates is to distance themselves from the culture of Washington. Specifically, Republican candidates are urged to make clear they have no connection with disgraced congressmen such as Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley.
In effect, Rove was rebutting the complaint inside the party that George W. Bush is responsible for Republican miseries by invading Iraq.
Posted by Greyhair at 4:00 PM
Have you ever wondered where all the weaponry comes from for the middle easterners to fight these ongoing wars?
The New York Times leads with news that the Bush Administration is negotiating a $20 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, as part of a major effort to counter Iran by arming its regional rivals.So let's review the bidding. We're going to further arm Saudi Arabia, the country from which the 911 attackers originated and the country that is currently arming and funding insurgents to fight Americans in Iraq. We're also going to further arm Israel, who is hated by everyone in the middle east including the Saudi's.
At the request of Saudi officials, who hope to avoid a repeat of the controversy that surrounded its efforts to buy fighter jets during the Reagan administration, Pentagon and State Department officials have been briefing Congress on the as-yet uncompleted deal for sophisticated weaponry, including satellite guided bombs. Now, as in the 1980s, the main opposition is expected to come from Israel's supporters in Congress. To mollify them, the administration is proposing $30 billion in additional military aid to Israel. Egypt would also receive $13 billion in similar assistance. If consummated, the arms deals would be the "largest negotiated by this administration," the WP says.
Just what is to gain in all this?
Answer: A lot of defense contractors making boatloads of money and a whole bunch of more fighting in the middle east
Posted by Greyhair at 8:48 AM
Friday, July 27, 2007
I don't normally give Bob "Novakula" Novak the time of day. But in this case, he 0ffers a quote of which I completely agree:
“I’m 76 years old, and pretty soon I’m going to a place where there are no blogs.”That's correct Boborino. There are no blogs in hell. Of course that's all assuming someone actually is able to get a stake through all that adipose tissue, and assuming he has a heart to put it through. And that's a whole lot of if's. It may be that Novakula just stays in some kind of purgatory.
Posted by Greyhair at 11:38 AM
I wrote awhile back about the private equity firm, Blackstone, going public. At the time, Blackstone was a high flying equity that everyone wanted to own. Well, just how has that turned out?
At the time of the public offering, many financial pundits were suggesting that if the partners of Blackstone were selling, it was a good time not to be buying. Seems as though the credit bubble is leaking a lot of air these days, and the Blackstone boyz were right.
Posted by Greyhair at 11:27 AM
I don't hold out hope that inspector general Paul Clement will actually appoint a special prosecutor. But it will be worth watching him twist as he makes his decision whether to incite an investigation of his boss, abu gonzales (I hereby refuse to ever capitalize the assholes name).
Posted by Greyhair at 11:20 AM
I think David Corn sums up the situation quite nicely on why Gonzo outstays his welcome.
You don't see this actually said much on the teevee. It would be bad manners to actually say it. But isn't it obvious?
KEEPING GONZO ALIVE. Besieged Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is the Terri Schiavo of the Bush administration: he must be kept alive at all costs. No matter how miserably he performs during congressional appearances and no matter how many times he's caught in a contradiction (or a lie), George W. Bush stand by his man. It's that famous Bush loyalty, some observers say. But Bush has readily bounced people when they became liabilities. It's that famous Bush stubbornness, others opine. But Bush has changed course when political reality dictated a shift. My one-liner on this (suitable for use on TV and radio shows) has been: Gonzales has fixed too many parking tickets for Bush over the years. In other words, he knows too much. And that may partly explain Bush's continuing embrace of Gonzales. But there might be yet another explanation: Bush and Cheney do not want to lose control of the Justice Department.
Posted by Greyhair at 9:55 AM
Your librul media:
Number of times the term "Clinton fatigue" appeared, according to a Nexis search, in major papers during July of 1999: 27.
Clinton Gallup poll approval rating in July of 1999: 64
Number of times the term "Bush fatigue" has appeared, so far, in July of 2007: 1, courtesy of Byron York's hair.
Bush Gallup poll approval rating in July of 2007: 31.
Posted by Greyhair at 9:42 AM
Arlen "I have zero backbone" Specter really showed Bush who's boss yesterday:
Guests of President Bush aboard Air Force One are not supposed to “mingle” with the press corps or criticize the President and his team. But yesterday, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) “violated both points of decorum“At this rate, Specter might actually vote for impeachment/conviction by the year 2125.
Posted by Greyhair at 9:39 AM
I've heard it floated around that Pat Tillman may have been murdered. I've written it off for the most part. But it's now getting more difficult all the time to turn your head .....
SAN FRANCISCO Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.That, my friends, is the opening grafs of an AP story, not an email newsletter for the Tinfoil Hat Society. Some additional circumstancial evidence:
"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.
The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.
-- In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."It's not hard to understand the angry by Mary Tillman. Not only did the Administration gin up her son's death for support of the war, but the evidence seems to point to him being killed by his "buddies". Kind of symbolic of the entire GWOT, eh?
-- Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.
-- The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.
-- No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
Posted by Greyhair at 9:31 AM
I've got to agree with this .....
Why not meet with "enemies"? It's that ego driven muscular fear of being taken advantage of that makes diplomacy contipated and stupid. If you meet with an adversary and they try to use it for propoganda purposes, you merely dispute the spin, tell the truth, and know that you look stronger for being at least willing to try. What's wrong with that?
Posted by Greyhair at 9:25 AM
Thursday, July 26, 2007
There's much being said about Abu Gonzales and his lying to Congress. There's calls for special prosecutors, perjury inquiries, even impeachment.
One of the important tools of Congress, public opinion, has been taken away from them yet they don't seem to understand it's loss. "Calling" for anything is meaningless to the Bush Mafia Family as are the opinion polls. They get fat eating accusations. They could care less what people think, particularly Congresspersons of any stripe with whom they have zero respect.
So why am I frustrated? Because, while the mood shift and the calls for action are all fine, nothing will change until Congress or the courts actually do something tangible to hold these idiots accountable. And frankly, I still don't see anything beyond posturing going on. As I said, we're certainly better off than when Republicans had Congress. The change has essentially helped to slow the Constitutional bleeding. But until some action is taken, i.e. an accountability action such as impeachment, contempt charges (enforced) or prosecution for perjury, we're just plain stuck.
And stuck = victory for the Bush crime family.
Posted by Greyhair at 1:26 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Really, take your time ....
In a 22-17 vote, the House Judiciary Committee approved “a Resolution and Report Recommending to the House of Representatives that Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten be cited for Contempt of Congress.” The AP reports, “a vote by the full House would most likely happen after Congress’ August recess.”
Posted by Greyhair at 10:26 AM
I've been really busy of late, not much time for blogging. Things will be back to normal next week.
In the meantime, watch out for this little development via Juan Cole:
If the US is allying with Iran against the Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda, this is a very major development and much more important than some carping over Shiite militias. (My guess is that 98% of American troops killed in Iraq have been killed by Sunni Arab guerrillas). If the report is true and has legs, it will send Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal ballistic. The Sunni Arab states do not like "al-Qaeda" in Iraq, but they are much more afraid of Iran than of the Iraqi Sunni Arabs who are fighting against US military occupation.Having the Saudi's more angry than they already are will have consequences. But so will not talking to Iran.
It's the whole Iraq mess in a nutshell.
Posted by Greyhair at 10:16 AM
Monday, July 23, 2007
Perspectives has a good comparison of U.S. healthcare with other countries. I'm bookmarking it.
First we're training them to "stand up so we can stand down" then we're not. Then we were, now were not. I'm so confused:
USA Today leads with the top U.S. official in charge of training Iraqi security forces saying that the priority has shifted away from training local troops. Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard said that this is because of an increased focus on providing security for Iraqis as well as the operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq.That little "two year stay" nugget is interesting. I'd have to say this announcement by this guy, who's likely gone off the reservation in terms of announcements, is likely closer to the real intentions of the Pentagon and White House. I suspect that those on the ground know it's futile to build an Iraqi central government army that is rife with waring civil factions.
Pittard told USAT that although training Iraqi security forces so they can take over is "still a priority," at the moment it "is not a main priority." This could go a long way to explaining why the Pentagon had reported a "slight reduction" in combat-ready Iraqi troops. Pittard also said that the extra troops that were sent to Iraq as part of the "surge" will probably have to stay until the spring and Iraqis will still need support from the U.S. military for at least another two years.
Posted by Greyhair at 9:26 AM
Sunday, July 22, 2007
This is a quote of the day via Steve Benen:
Aside from the cool snark, I have to agree with Barnes. The proof is in the putting, and the fact is true that there are more troops in Iraq now than before. That's a pathetic statement on the passion of American voters. It's one thing to answer a poll, it's another to actively go after your Congress-critter to end the war .... particularly when you're a Republican.
"Bush and the Republicans aren't dominant. They're a minority, but an unusually effective one. One measure of this: At the end of 2007, there will be more American troops in Iraq than when Democrats took over Congress in January." -- Fred Barnes in the new issue of the Weekly Standard.
Given that Barnes generally can't speak while Karl Rove is drinking water, one should probably assume this reflects the White House's thinking on troop deployments in Iraq.
Posted by Greyhair at 9:33 AM
So how is that abstinence education push by Bush going?
The WP fronts a story that suggests that after years of decline, the rate of sexual activity among teenagers has leveled off. (The story uses the verb "plateau," which is a little confusing, since that particular word suggests a rising, not declining, trend.) Experts say that better sex education and the fear of AIDS began to drive down the rates of teen sexual activity in 1991, just in time to frustrate this TPer's adolescence. The decline seems to have ended around 10 years later—right when the Bush Administration started its push for abstinence promotion in schools, critics note.Just say no seems to be resulting in a lot of saying yes.
Posted by Greyhair at 8:55 AM
Ryan Crocker, the very same one who just testified about how wonderful things are going in Iraq, has a little employment problem ....
The Washington Post leads with the request by the U.S. ambassador to Iraq that all Iraqi employees of his mission be issued visas that would allow them to emigrate to this country in the event of an American withdrawal.But but but .... I thought it was improving in Iraq? Why would they worry if progress is on the march?
Ambassador Ryan Crocker proposed issuing the visas in a two-page cable to State Department higher-ups, which was apparently leaked to the Post. In it, the ambassador describes the grim state of existence of Iraqis who help the U.S., including constant death threats. (The plight of these people was the subject of a heartbreaking New Yorker story by George Packer in March.) Though the Bush administration has previously promised to speed up the visa approval process for endangered Iraqis, only 133 have been admitted to the United States since October because of bureaucratic lethargy and terrorism concerns. Crocker is arguing that he won't be able to retain his local employees if he can't offer them the promise of safe passage.
Posted by Greyhair at 8:48 AM