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Tilting at Windmills

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January 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

FRIDAY ROUNDUP....Hmmm, it's Friday night. Things should be slow. Let's take a jog around the newspapers.

At the Washington Post we learn that the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says couched in suitably bureaucratic language, of course that President Bush is indeed wrong to assert that he can do anything he wants because we're at war. Illegal is illegal.

The New York Times reports that the administration has known for a couple of years that better body armor would have saved hundreds of American lives in Iraq but did nothing about it. Too expensive, I guess.

The Times also reports that Tom DeLay is toast. "Rightly or wrongly, Mr. DeLay is seen as the public face of Washington," says Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, though no explanation is forthcoming for Flake's peculiar assertion that "wrongly" is actually a reasonable option here.

Finally, Knight Ridder passes along the undoubtedly shocking news that the Bush administration "has been more lenient toward mining companies facing serious safety violations, issuing fewer and smaller major fines and collecting less than half of the money that violators owed." The going rate for killing a man is apparently now $440.

Not bad for a Friday evening.

Kevin Drum 12:46 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (81)

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Comments

Christiane Amanpours husband was a senior advisor to the Kerry campaign. Andrea Mitchell hinted in an interview that Amanpour had been wiretapped by the Bush administration. Since her husband is Alan Greenspan, people think she might know what shes talking about.

NBC got caught striking Andreas question from the transcript, and then said they are investigating whether Amanpour was tapped. (still never explained why they edited the transcript.)

There is a real possibility that Bush will be found to have wiretapped the Kerry Campaign.

Anyway, the issue has just been raised on Capitol Hill.
From an email sent by Congressman John Conyers.

The latest incidence of the Bush Administrations abuse of power underscores why we must unite to take strong action now. Late last night we learned that NBC is investigating reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) conducted wiretaps of CNN reporter, Christiane Amanpour. While it is very troubling that the NSA would be targeting journalists to uncover terrorist plots, what is especially disconcerting is that Ms. Amanpours husband served as a senior advisor to the John Kerry presidential campaign and would have been using the same phone that the Agency is alleged to have been wiretapping

Posted by: warbly on January 7, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

The going rate for killing a man is apparently now $440.

They could outsource that to the Mexican drug cartels for 250$ a pop.

ash
['Might as well.']

Posted by: ash on January 7, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Omigawd! Omigawd! Iran! Nukes! Suitcase! Something!

Alert the authoritieeeeees!!!!

Posted by: Phobos Deimos on January 7, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

"The going rate for killing a man is apparently now $440."

A man's life is worth less than the wages he could earn in a week. What's even sicker is that the owner of the company earns that much in about 15 minutes or about the same time it takes to take a crap in the executive toilet. My what a crushing inconvenence!

Posted by: joe on January 7, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Don't know why you think it's going to be slow. It's an election year. The media's 24/7 anti-Republican fusillade is going to be filling this board with material for months.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 7, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

You say that as if it was a bad thing :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 7, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

If you believe all that sydney blumenthal says ( I heard her on Air America today), dictatorship has already arrived.

that may well be, for in this day and age it is not necessary to have an informant on every corner in order to have a fully functioning authoritarian state.

Posted by: lib on January 7, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Which of these stories can be attributed to media bias tbrosz?

Posted by: nut on January 7, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Fake Tbrosz again...

OH NOOOOOES! TEH LIBRUL MEDIA!!!!

Posted by: Phobos Deimos on January 7, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

The good thing about tonight is that there will be no Al, there will be no conspiracy nut, there will be no McAristotle, there will be no Patton, there will be no rdw.

Gloatmeister trolls have nothing to do tonight. There's just no way to spin Abramoff making DeLay radioactive for the leadership. There's no way to spin the new polls which show that Americans would prefer a congress with a Dem leadership.

Now, you (one of the saner cons) want to call this an "anti-Republican fusillade," well you just go right ahead. Lords know, we *all* could use something to do on a Friday night.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 7, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

it's not so much an anti-Republican fussilade as and anti-Bush flussilade. and is it ever overdue. oh, it's been building steadily since he did his first dirty deeds, but mark my words...

you ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by: twoupfromtheright on January 7, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

If tbrosz is sane I am Rev. Bayes.

Posted by: lib on January 7, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: The media's 24/7 anti-Republican fusillade is going to be filling this board with material for months.

What tbrosz means to say is that the administration's various transcription services, in an effort to appear to being performing their former function of reporting the news, will occasionally let slip through their filters a few partially factual pieces, which they will later ignore or refute with a constant barrage of Republican propaganda.

Meanwhile, tbrosz will continue "filling this board" with his master's talking points and other amusingly noxious fables.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 7, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

If you believe all that sydney blumenthal says ( I heard her on Air America today), dictatorship has already arrived.

You know, for people living in an oppressive society, you, and tens of thousands like you, sure seem to get away with a lot of anti-government complaining.

A couple of questions:

When did Sydney get a sex change?

Is Air America still on?

Posted by: tbrosz on January 7, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

As I said the modern authoritarian state with so much technology at its disposal does not have to be oppressive in the same way as stalin or mao were.

Sydney did not get a sex change operation. I am sure he is happy to know. My inside information was incorrect.

Air America is thriving here in San Diego thank you.

Posted by: lib on January 7, 2006 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

Am I wrong to think that the Justice Dept. (including the Attorney General and Office of Legal Counsel) pull rank on legal opinions over the Congressional Research Service?

Posted by: John on January 7, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Even if just one member of Congress suggests that the NSA/Bush Administration illegally wiretapped the phone of a senior advisor to the Kerry campaign in an election year, shouldn't the press be covering the controversey like they did with the Swift Boat Veterans' accusations?

Posted by: pj_in_jesusland on January 7, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

if the republicans had any sense, they wouldn't just bar delay from a leadership position, they'd kick him out entirely. this is within the house's power, and god knows the republicans have the votes.

but this would conflict with their 'everybody does it' and 'what about bill clinton's blowjobs?' talking points.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on January 7, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Bukkake film of the whimpering Republican congressional majority? Where, oh where can I get images?

Posted by: bad Jim on January 7, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks warbly (1st comment) for connecting those dots. What's your source for the e-mail quote?

Posted by: otherpaul on January 7, 2006 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

" The media's 24/7 anti-Republican fusillade is going to be filling this board with material for months."

Goll-ee. Imagine what Mr. Bush could do if his guys had control of the newspapers and the TV!

Posted by: Kenji on January 7, 2006 at 4:21 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a pithy saying for a Democratic campaign:

--> It's the Law, stupid.

It kind of encapsulates Bush's: 1) unwillingness to enforce laws on the books, 2) his wanton breaking of treaties, 3) his staff's outing of plame, 4) the congressional scandals, 5) etc.

Posted by: gfw on January 7, 2006 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz writes:

"Don't know why you think it's going to be slow. It's an election year. The media's 24/7 anti-Republican fusillade is going to be filling this board with material for months."

T-twit has been making fewer posts of late, leaving the family business in the steady hands of T-fake and T-helicalrocket.

But the real T-twit's return has been pure disappointment. No fatuous comments conveyed with a pundit-mimicking sagacity; no bold opining based on non-facts and dubious sources; no insults to other participants' integrity or intelligence. In short, he seems stripped of the usual repertoire of T-twit tricks.

Tonight we get the stripped down, unvarnished Tbrosz. Tbrosz unplugged, as it were. And what do we get? A pathetic echo of the tired right-wing trope, fantasizing themselves as the poor, beleaguered, victims of a run-amuck MSM 24/7 anti-R fusillade.

No doubt T-twit is tongue-tiedness derives from the non-arrival of tonight's talking points from R-Party Central. Who had time to write 'em up and send 'em out, what with all the DC attack dogs running for cover and rushing to their campaign treasure chests to unload Abram-scam cash to their favorite "charity" (well, fourth favorite after themselves, the Capitol Athletic Foundation, and the US Family Network).

If this keeps up we might have to retire Tbrosz Watch!

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 7, 2006 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, stop wasting your time and just go straight to the DNC or your talking points.

Man this place has gotten lame. Is there any intellectual debate left on the left??

Posted by: Patton on January 7, 2006 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

I think the first post above says it best.

Warbly takes an off the wall question from a reporter and turns it into ""BUSH WIRETAPPED THE KERRY CAMPAIGN!!!!"".

You guys have gone completely certifiably insane. I guess it will take another election loss to help end your mental disease.

And can you imagine how boring it would have been to listen in to the Kerry campaign???

Posted by: Patton on January 7, 2006 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

IT APPEARS KEVIN DOESN'T EVEN BOTHER TO READ THE ARTICLES HE CITES ANYMORE:.

THE 440 DOLLAR FINEW AS BECAUSE:
"""Earnie Williams, 65, was killed when a chunk of frozen coal slurry rocketed out of a clogged pipe, ricocheted and hit him in the head. The company, ICG, was faulted for not having procedures on how to unclog frozen pipes and was fined $440. """""

SO THE COMPANY IS SUPPOSED TO WRITE A DOCUMENT SO ERNIE DOESN'T STICK HIS HEAD NEAR A PIPE AND THE COMPANY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR RICHOCEHTED FROZEN SLURRY.

Some how having a written procedure would have saved Ernie's life.

And by the way, the number of deaths and injuries is WAY DOWN under Bush then it was in the Clinton years. Bush has cut the number in HALF from Clintons sorry performance.

Posted by: Patton on January 7, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

"If you believe all that sydney blumenthal says ( I heard her on Air America today), dictatorship has already arrived"

who among 'Merikins would even know if they were living in a fascist state?

who among 'Merikins would care if they were living in a fascist state?

Posted by: justfred on January 7, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

a commentator on Huff post summarized the crimes of the Bushies into 20 large categories

1. Tax cuts leading to massive, unprecedented deficits
2. Preemptive wars against non-aggressive nations
3. Sanctioning of torture
4. De-regulation of environment protections
5. Weakening of the separation of church and state
6. Exempting the gun industry from lawsuits
7. Weakening of individual privacy protections
8. Rejection of international organizations - U.N., World Court, etc.
9. Increased hatred of the U.S.A. in Islamic countries
10. Increase in terrorist attacks since 9/11
11. Neglect of poverty in the U.S.A. and abroad
12. Shifting the tax burden from wealthy corporations and individuals to wage earners
13. Reducing (hoping to abolish) estate taxes thus creating "a permanent aristocracy" in America
14. Furthering anti-intellectualism - a president who admittedly does not read and is embarrassingly inarticulate
15. Increased military spending; hostility to spending for social services
16. Increased number of Americans without health care
17. Rejection of minimum wage increases - five consecutive years
18. Applying the principle of awarding lucrative contracts to crony companies without competitive bidding
19. Attempts to privatize Social Security
20. Four consecutive years of increases in the percentage of Americans living in poverty


this is Bush legacy

btw, on the job injuries are down under bush becaue jobs overall are down

you can't hurt on the job when you can't find a job

Posted by: JMaccabee on January 7, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Good work for a Friday, Kevin!

Four items and all are negative about Bush and the Repugs! That's 100%!

Congratulations! Keep it up! Maybe next time you can include something about Hitler...

Dario

Posted by: Dario Siteros on January 7, 2006 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

On the NYT body armor item: You've heard it all before, but I can't help again asking what would have been the media reaction if this kind of thing happened on Bill Clinton's watch?

There is no doubt that aWol is causing a general dumbing down of our national morals.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on January 7, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

"There is no doubt that aWol is causing a general dumbing down of our national morals."

As ably demonstrated above by Patton/Alice.

Posted by: Joel on January 7, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Patton shouts:

SO THE COMPANY IS SUPPOSED TO WRITE A DOCUMENT SO ERNIE DOESN'T STICK HIS HEAD NEAR A PIPE AND THE COMPANY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR RICHOCEHTED FROZEN SLURRY.

Keep standing up for the rich and powerful my man. Somebodies got to do it.

Posted by: Paul on January 7, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Hooray! the trolls are reduced to impotent sarcasm.

Now it would be nice to get news about Democrats fighting back, but hey, fighting back has been spun by the right-wing media as anti-patriotic wartime subversion.

But it is good to see wing-nut trolls so completely lacking *any* effective arguments.

Patton: the right wing trolls 'Hail Mary'

Posted by: Joey Giraud on January 7, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Dario,

Go back to sleep. Kevin listed 4 bad stories about the Republicans because he didn't have room for 5. This is a left center leaning blog, and the Republicans have done nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing positive recently.

Want to encourage people to support Republicans do something for the people.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 7, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

What were seeing here is the beginnings of an all-out mutiny of the bureaucracy against a corrupt and amoral administration that has hijacked it, systematically undermined the mission of good government across the board, and attempted to turn the entire executive branch into a partisan tool. Now the careerists are fighting back, with leak after leak, much like a body's immune system trying to rid itself of an invasive and destructive parasite or pathogen.

Five years ago I thought I was only half-serious when I said this is going to be like the Nixon administration. And I was half-right. Turns out the lesson they took away from Watergate was "same again, only twice as bad and this time we won't get caught."

Posted by: shortstop on January 7, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Hil-arious!! Patton, the guy who posts here in screaming caps every day about Clinton's blowjobs is chiding us for the lack of "intellectual debate." Keep it coming there, macho-man. You just can't make this shit up!

Posted by: Pat on January 7, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Of course the MSHA might be "issuing fewer and smaller major fines" because, in the last ten years, the mining death rate is down 50% and the injury rate is down by a third. And total fines assessed are up significantly in recent years.
Such facts apparently don't matter to the editorial writers at Knight-Ridder, content to base their opinion piece on unsubstantiated statements from former Naderites and Clinton appointees, union reps, and sympathetic jes' folks.

Posted by: scouser on January 7, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

The going rate for killing a man is apparently now $440.

How much would a mob contract be?

Posted by: Thinker on January 7, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

At the Washington Post we learn that the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says couched in suitably bureaucratic language, of course that President Bush is indeed wrong to assert that he can do anything he wants because we're at war. Illegal is illegal.

Yeah, the paper says this:
"It appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has expressly or impliedly authorized the NSA electronic surveillance operations here," the authors of the CRS report wrote. The administration's legal justification "does not seem to be . . . well-grounded," they said

It's an impeachable offense and IF we can't get Howard Dean to focus on taking back control of the Senate - we can then impeach Bush on this LIE the he just made up about spying on people.

I doubt seriously Bush was looking at any terrorist related issues because Bush would have used FISA for that - what Bush was doing NO court would have given Bush the okay for.

As for Alito - I see Kennedy has write a news worth column - Alito is nothing more that a partison yes man just like Gonzales - why would the Dems even think about confirming him?

Posted by: Cheryl on January 7, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Apparenty - because of pork barrel politics - Ney continues to enjoy some support in his home district.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

" Belmont County [OH]Commissioner Mark Thomas was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as well, and he noted that Ney helped secure more than $20 million for the local area in a recently passed highway bill.

"I think the people in this district are taking the position that until he has been accused of whatever he may be accused of and the facts come out and he has an opportunity to respond, we're going to be behind him as a congressman," Thomas said.

If you have an opinion on how Mr. Thomas is handling the public's money, you may email him at:

mthomas@belmontcountycommissioners.com

Posted by: Diogenes on January 7, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Brosz is thoroughly discredited. Neutral my ass. He is a balatant shill now eithout any of the nuance.

In the weird dynamic that is America in 2006, Anti-Republicanism is actually anti-anti-Republicanism. I miss the party of the 1970s, and will give the surviving moderate Republicans as much moral support as I can when this all plays out. Unfortunately, the pro-Rapture crowd is still playing fast and loose with the tools of Armageddon. Houston, we have a little Anti-christ problem.

Posted by: Sparko on January 7, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

And my first typing of the day is thoroughly discredited. In my defense, my baby daughter is reading a Garfield paperback to me. . .

Posted by: Sparko on January 7, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

who among 'Merikins would care if they were living in a fascist state?
Posted by: justfred
Like I said in another thread "JUST KILL ME!"

Posted by: mickeypigduck on January 7, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The entire point of the coal article is negated somewhat by this paragraph:

"For coal mining, 2005 and 2002 were record low years for fatalities. Only 22 people were killed last year in coal mining deaths - down from 47 in 1995. The number of workers killed in all mines hit consecutive record lows of 56 and 55 in 2003 and 2004, respectively, but increased slightly to 57 in 2005."

So fewer and fewer people are dying in coal mines each year (for the most part). So what's the problem here?

Posted by: Matt D on January 7, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks warbly (1st comment) for connecting those dots. What's your source for the e-mail quote?
----
http://www.conyersforcongress.com/mail/util.cfm?gpiv=1999990393.165241.194&gen=1

Posted by: warbly on January 7, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Matt D I agree. We can afford to lose a couple dozen coal miners each year.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 7, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I would highly recommend the renting the video of The Parallax View, made in 1974 by Allen Pakula, starring Warren Beatty. It is a story which combines the assasinations of Robert Kennedy, MLK, JFK and the Warren Report into one of senatorial assasinations and mysterious deaths of witnesses in the following years.

It is even more chilling today, if one is paranoid enough to believe that the Repugs will stop at nothing to control the world. And, yes, I am.

Pakula also directed All The President's Men.

Posted by: stupid git on January 7, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK
you sure seem to get away with a lot of anti-government complaining. Posted by: tbrosz
Actually, if you would bother to read the comments, it is you and your Republicontarian allies who are anti-government. The people posting here are for honest, law-abiding government, which is anathema to you and your ilk. I realize that you think Air American or any media outlet that doesn't spew Republicontarian propaganda 24/7 should be shut down; but, no doubt one day soon, your party will accomplish that last goal and we can all live happily with our Victory Gin and 10 minutes of hate for entertainment.

When the Republican media manages to publish one or two items that didn't come from Rove or the RNC talking points du jour, it is amusing to watch you scream and howl like one of the undead with a wooden stake in your brain that its that liberal media lying about your Precious leader.

Posted by: Mike on January 7, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

@Patton @ 7:42 AM:

Posted to Lindsay Beyerstein's site re: coal mine safety:

"Coal mining has shifted significantly from east to west. Wyoming, which produced about the same amount of coal as West Virginia in 1990, now more than doubles West Virginia's output.

This has by itself led to a lower rate of accidents. In Wyoming, most of the coal is subbitimous coal that is taken from pit and strip mines. Obviously, this is a lot safer than tunnelling for the coal. One of the hazards of citing statistics without having expertise in a field is that you risk missing factors that might impact your data.

The Bush administration has been consistently hostile to unions and to regulation. Key positions are used as rewards for cronies and political supporters, or go unfilled. For example, MSHA deputy assistant secretarty David Dye got a quick promotion to acting assistant secretary so Bushco could show that SOMEBODY was in charge of the agency when this happened--Lauriski resigned more than a year ago. MSHA refuses to release Dye's biographical information.

Does this sound like a regime that's likely to increase mine safety? Or does it sound like an attempt to make our mining industry more like China's?

Sago was cited 208 times last year for safety violations. Although these citations could have cost $60,000 each, no individual fine exceeded $900. Your source acknowledges that he is not an expert in this field, so you might want to click Lindsay's link to Jordan Barab, who IS a workplace safety expert. Barab seems to think that lax enforcement of regulations was a major factor in this disaster."

Posted by: Lewis Carroll on January 7, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK
So fewer and fewer people are dying in coal mines each year (for the most part). So what's the problem here? Posted by: Matt D o
Don't worry chum: soon there will be a lot more. It just takes a little time for the safety measures put in place during those terrible days of regulation to fall into desuetude. The company didn't bother to pay the $440 fine. All is well in Republicontarian land. Posted by: Mike on January 7, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

John -
"Am I wrong to think that the Justice Dept. (including the Attorney General and Office of Legal Counsel) pull rank on legal opinions over the Congressional Research Service?"

In a word:
Yup.

Congress makes the laws and delineates the intent thereof. SCOTUS resolves issues of constitutionality thereof, and interpretation where required. DOJ is Executive - they are supposed to carry the bucket.

Posted by: kenga on January 7, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

this is Bush legacy

JMaccabee, surely the knowledge that the White House is fellatio-free, or at least straight fellatio-free (Mr Guckert I think requires that qualification) offsets that list, does it not?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 7, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

If this keeps up we might have to retire Tbrosz Watch!

Hey, I've been frosting Christmas cookies (I know, I know. Sometimes we've finished them in February.) Also, working on a manned space capsule design idea for the work I AM getting paid for. I do happen to have a life, but I wonder about someone who has assigned themselves the name "TBrosz watch."

People here have set themselves up as my Nemesis. Others assume I'm actually paid to do this by the government. You wonder what the level of debate is here if I can wander in at random off-hours, make a few comments, and stir the pot to that extent. ;)

Posted by: tbrosz on January 7, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

As far as coal mine fatalities go, this blog entry has a nice graph, and enough links throughout to answer some of the questions that have come up.

More detailed numbers here. You can project the 2005 fatalities forward (assume approximately the same number of miners as 2004) and do the numbers.

Of course, you can always go with Mike's theory and just claim that the regulations haven't "worn off" yet.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 7, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

The going rate for killing a man is apparently now $440.

Wow -- that's quite a bargain! Especially if you consider that OJ Simpson had to shell out six million to kill two people. Hell, if he'd just waited ten years, for that kinda money he could have taken out an entire town!

Oh well. Live and learn...

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on January 7, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

The going rate for killing a man is apparently now $440.

Can I just beat a guy half to death for $220.00?

Posted by: Jeremy on January 7, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

No doubt the 65 year old dead guy, whose life would have been saved if there was a phamplet in the office on how to clear a frozen pipe so you don't stick your head in front of a block of falling ice...WAS CLEARLY A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT.

I would think Kevin would cheer natures NATURAL SELECTION in having the stupid perish.

NOW IF TOM DELAY STUCK HIS HEAD IN FRON OF A PIPE CARRYING FROZEN CHUNKS OF SLURRY AND GOT KILLED...ME THINKS KEVIN WOULD NOT BLAME THE MINE COMPANY BUT WOULD QUICKLY POINT OUT HOW DUMB TOM DELAY WAS AND HOW HE DESERVED IT ANYHOW.

Posted by: Patton on January 7, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

I am horrified and disgusted by the body armor story. It seems to be the same sort of thing as the failure to provide adequate armoring on humvees and other vehicles. It seems like some people, preferably very high in the Bush administration, should be hauled into court, found guilty, and dragged before a firing squad over this.

But heck, I'm a nice guy, I'm willing to provide them with standard body army for the event.

Posted by: N.Wells on January 7, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Lets hope - for the sake of the unfortunate eventually assigned to go up in Tbrosz' "manned space capsule design" - that his ability as an engineer exceeds his capacity as a political analyst. And that as an engineer he pays closer attention to his assumptions and his use of evidence than he has displayed so far on this site.

The issue was blaming Abram-scam on some 24/7 anti-Republican fusillade. Tbrosz' response to the substance of the criticism on this thread: zero.

Guess those talking points still haven't come through from DC.


Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 7, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP Scandal Resource Center has all the latest news, legal documents, timelines and other key materials for:

Posted by: AvengingAngel on January 7, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

People here have set themselves up as my Nemesis. Others assume I'm actually paid to do this by the government. You wonder what the level of debate is here if I can wander in at random off-hours, make a few comments, and stir the pot to that extent. ;)

Then, there are quite a few of us who don't even bother with you anymore.

Happy New Year! Still deranged?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 7, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz wrote: "The media's 24/7 anti-Republican fusillade is going to be filling this board with material for months."

The really pathetic, not to mention hilarious, thing is that dear little tbrosz actually believes this. When challenged on this, he simply hems and haws and replies that it's obvious and that all you have to do is read the major newspapers.

"People here have set themselves up as my Nemesis."

Not really, dear. We're just making fun of you for the really moronic and blindly partisan things you continue to write here. You may have once spared some intelligent thought to what you wrote here. Alas, those days appear to be long gone and you are now just another knee-jerk partisan, incapable of providing any real debate. Your posts on this thread are classic examples.

"You wonder what the level of debate is here if I can wander in at random off-hours, make a few comments, and stir the pot to that extent."

Dear, you've been trolling. A troll, writing really stupid remarks, always gets responses. It has nothing to do with the quality of their arguments.

Posted by: PaulB on January 7, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Post story represents an astonishing misrepresenation of a quote from the report.

The post truncated a quote from the report as follows:

"The administration's legal justification "does not seem to be . . . well-grounded," they said."

The report actually stated as follows:

"Given such uncertainty, the Administration's legal justification, as presented in the summary analysis from the Office of Legislative Affairs, does not seem to be as well-grounded as the tenor of that letter suggests."

There is, of course, a huge difference between a conclusion that "a justification is not well founded" and a conclusion that "a justification is not as well founded" as the advocate suggests.

The more we learn about the press, the more doubtful we should be about the accuracy of what they report. Whether it be incompetance or bias, or a comination of both, this action by the Post is remarkably bad and undermines the credibility of everything in the article.

On the underlying legality issue, there really is no definitive answer unless and until the Supreme Court rules on the issue. I suspect the administration will and should prevail, but like most cases where there are credible arguments on both sides, one cannot predict the court result with certainty.

Posted by: brian on January 7, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Brian: when you are attacking the Washington Post for misrepresenting the Congressional Research Service, you should take pains not to misquote the Washington Post's purported misquotation.

The more we learn about [you Brian], the more doubtful we should be about the accuracy of what [you] report. Whether it be incompetance or bias, or a comination of both, this action by [you] is remarkably bad and undermines the credibility of everything in [your contribution].

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 7, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz,

Don't understand. I just rechecked the Post on the web and it says exactly what I quoted:

"The administration's legal justification "does not seem to be . . . well-grounded," they said."

What are you talking about?

Posted by: brian on January 7, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: danny kim on January 7, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Patton: "...don't stick your head in front of a block of falling ice..."

Reality: (from the MSHA fatality report):

"Williams was crouched behind the large metal cover of the No. 102 belt head approximately 85 feet from the open end of the pipe, and out of the direct line of the open pipe".


Posted by: Dave on January 7, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Bean counters didn't think a soldier's life was worth 300 grand" - Lucius Fox, Batman Begins

Posted by: Justin Faulkner on January 7, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

What's a bean counter's life worth? Think they could carry a rifle in Baghdad?

Posted by: MarkH on January 8, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

NOW IF TOM DELAY STUCK HIS HEAD IN FRON OF A PIPE CARRYING FROZEN CHUNKS OF SLURRY AND GOT KILLED...ME THINKS KEVIN WOULD NOT BLAME THE MINE COMPANY BUT WOULD QUICKLY POINT OUT HOW DUMB TOM DELAY WAS AND HOW HE DESERVED IT ANYHOW. - Patton

Pretty soon Delay will WISH he would be hit in the head and killed by a chunk of frozen slurry. As for how dumb he is I'd wager 100 IQ points more than Dubya and 20 less than Terri Schaivo.

If Tom Delay was in a mine I would just assume he was coming back from hell after getting new orders from his lord and master, Satan.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 8, 2006 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

Plus, that would be kinda stupid, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Kenji on January 8, 2006 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

Brian: If you get bent out of shape by the excision of the word "as" - into which your feverish mind reads all kinds of sinister meanings - you might focus on your substitution of "well-founded" for "well-grounded." Were you guilty of an "astonishing misrepresentation," "incompetence or bias or a combination of both" or did you simply make a mistake?

But your take is this alleged mistake in a Post account somehow gives supports to a sweeping indictment of THE PRESS.

Not content to leave it at that, you then claim the Post's supposed mistake undermines the credibilty of everything in the article.

Astonishing: the excision of a single word undermines the credibilty of the CRS's knock-down of Bush's legal arguments? Are you suggesting the CRS DIDN'T kick Bush's ass? The Post was making it all up?

Dear Tbrosz: Tbrosz watch is an equal-opportunity critic. Poor Brian, and even our good friend Kevin Drum have been subject of previous contributions.

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 8, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, kenga, the Office of Legal Counsel ("OLC") assists the Attorney General in his function as legal advisor to the President and all the executive branch agencies. The Office drafts legal opinions of the Attorney General and also provides its own written opinions and oral advice in response to requests from the Counsel to the President, the various agencies of the executive branch, and offices within the Department of Justice. Such requests typically deal with legal issues of particular complexity and importance or about which two or more agencies are in disagreement. The Office also is responsible for providing legal advice to the executive branch on all constitutional questions and reviewing pending legislation for constitutionality.

All executive orders and proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by OLC for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President's formal approval.

In addition to serving as, in effect, outside counsel for the other agencies of the executive branch, the OLC also functions as general counsel for the Department of Justice itself. It reviews all proposed orders of the Attorney General and all regulations requiring the Attorney General's approval.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Legal_Counsel

OLC, along with the Solicitor General (not the Congressional Research Service) would make the legal arguments in any such case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Solicitor_General

The Congressional Research Service ("CRS") is the public policy research arm of the United States Congress. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis . . . CRS reports are not made directly available to members of the public. Instead, the public must request individual reports from their Senators and Representatives in Congress, or purchase them from private vendors such as Penny Hill Press. A limited number of reports have been made freely available on the web by federal agencies, Members of Congress, educational institutions, and nongovernmental organizations .. . . the sole mission of CRS is to serve the United States Congress. CRS has been carrying out this mission since 1914, when it was first established as the Legislative Reference Service. Renamed the Congressional Research Service by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, CRS is committed to providing the Congress, throughout the legislative process, comprehensive and reliable analysis, research and information services that are timely, objective, nonpartisan, and confidential, thereby contributing to an informed national legislature.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Research_Service

CRS has never filed a legal brief in it's existence. Try again.

Posted by: John on January 8, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Actually the OLC has sometimes been converted into a consigliere for the nefarious criminal enterprise in the White House. It is then charged with giving specious (at best) legal cover to executive orders which are driven by the POLITICAL desires of the executive. In that sense, it then functions like many whorish lawyers do: it's paid to tell the client what he wants to hear, and give a patina of legality to actions which clearly are not deserving of such.

Ask John Dean.

Posted by: The Central Scrutinizer on January 8, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I made a mistake caused by my incompetence, but Tbrosz and everyone else understood what I was saying when I inadvertantly changed "well grounded" to "well founded." Tbrosz' concern about my mistake is an attempt to divert attention from my valid point about the incompetance or bias of the Post article.

It is one thing for me to type the wrong word. It is another thing altogether for the Post (with its vaunted editors) to change a conclusion that the justification "does not seem to as well grounded" as the administration says to a conclusion that the justification "does not seem to be . . . well-grounded."

Any honest person would agree that the Post's description is a significant mischaracterization.

Posted by: brian on January 8, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, so perhaps the Post's copyeditor was as incompetent as yourself?

And if not incompetence, what difference does it make? I'm an honest person and I don't see it as a "significant mischaracterization." And since when do conservatives like yourself get bogged down in hairsplitting about "what the definition of 'as' is"? I thought that was for Clintonistas!

A pretty slender reed on which to balance an indictment of "the press" and, by implication in your post, the CRS report itself.

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 8, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz,

You and I are probably the only ones still interested in this, but come on.

If you say a justification is not well grounded that is far different than saying, as the report stated, a justification is not as well grounded as the administration says. The later implicitly agrees the justification is well grounded, just not as much as the "tenor" of the administration's letter.

The subject of my post was the WA Post account. It mischaracterized the report in the only paragraph where it even quoted the report.

Posted by: brian on January 8, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Brian:

1) The passage could easily be a mistake. You've admitted to making mistakes.
2) Even if it is not a mistake, I honestly don't see it as a big deal.
3) You hung two claims on this passage: one about "the press" and a second two that it undermines the credibility of everything in the article.
4) I think in both instances you are overreacting and loading too much on too little. My hunch is you are starting out with your conclusion about the Post, the press, and probably the CRS report and working backwards from there to the passage in question to find an excuse to say what you wanted to say anyway.
5) Ultimately it doesn't matter what the Post writes; the key thing is the CRS tore Bush a new one. Keep your eye on the ball.

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 8, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz,

Thanks for the respectful reply. I still see it as a significant mischaracterization of what the report actually said. And it is either bias or incompetence on a very important story.

I think my overall point also remains true -- the more we learn about the press, the more doubtful (at least skeptical) we should be about the accuracy of what they report. I also think that since the report mischaracterized the report in the one paragraph where they quoted the report, it undermines the credibility of everything in the article.

As to the report itself, I have not studied it, but what I saw seemed to be pretty qualified, although generally expressing a skeptical opinion about the strength of the administration's argument. It is not near as significant or as contrary to the administration's position as you and the Post make it out to be.

Posted by: brian on January 8, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Brian:

Thanks.

Peace.

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 9, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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