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Tilting at Windmills

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February 8, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE NSA AND THE GOP....I think the NSA's domestic spying program has a good chance of becoming a serious wedge issue in the Republican Party. There's a group of hardcore conservatives who find the program unsettling on ideological small government grounds, and another group who find it unsettling because it's exposed George Bush's apparent contempt for other branches of government ("we have all the legal authority we need," says Dick Cheney). Put 'em together and there's a significant minority within the party who really aren't very happy about this.

Here's the latest evidence.

Kevin Drum 1:24 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (241)

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Comments

let's see: bush has been in office for, oh, 5 years and a couple of weeks.

so for 5 years and a couple of weeks, i've been saying that bush and his supporters aren't honest conservatives. indeed, i've advocated that the dems try to pick off the honest conservatives as the likeliest piece of the bush coalition to desert.

so, like kevin, i wouldn't be surprised at this fissure continuing either: we've got a few senators, heather wilson, bruce fein, grover norquist, bob barr, and sundry others all aghast as presidential lawlessness.

which is also, pace kevin's previous posting, another reason why the dems should be standing strong on this matter (and should tell vlasick to stfu).

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

I think the NSA's domestic spying program has a good chance of becoming a serious wedge issue in the Republican Party.

I think the exact opposite. The Democratic party is becoming fractured because moderate Democrats like Joe Lieberman are supporting George Bush's position that he should be able to spy on the terrorists who are attacking and killing Americans.

Link

"Senator Joseph Lieberman, the former vice presidential candidate, declared on CBSs "Face the Nation," "I want my president to be reading e-mails of people talking to Al Qaeda." He added, "Congress needs to get together on a bipartisan basis and give the president the authority to do what he has done.""

Only liberal Democrats could be against this anti-terrorist position.

Posted by: Al on February 8, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Do Democrats really want to make national security a campaign issue??

I heard part of the Limbaugh show today. He was joking about 1994 being the year of the "Contract With America", and now, the Democrats are coming up with their own version: "Contract With Al Queda."

Dems will whine and cry foul! and get defensive. But when the dust settles, the GOP will be still be in power and the Dems will be fuming about Evil Karl Rove.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, there are some Republicans who are truly principled and aren't going to sacrifice those beliefs for a little power nookie and photo op with the controlling junta. Very few, actually. But the most vociferous opposition I have seen yet to Bush's NSA scandal came from my uncle, a lifelong Republican. There was even shouting and slamming of fists on wood tabletops. Of course, he's 84 years old and a member of Old School ways. These new Republicans... feh!

--
HRlaughed

Posted by: HRlaughed on February 8, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

A poll came out showing Heather Wilson 44-43 against her leading Dem. challenger, in a purple state (New Mexico). Independents are turning on Bush, so you can bet Ms. Wilson's going to try to put some distance between herself and the White House if she wants to keep her job.

Posted by: Joe Buck on February 8, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

Lieberman. A Democrat.

Al, you're priceless! I'm guessing you think Zell Miller is a Democrat too?

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on February 8, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

As long as the Democratic leaders are scared shitless of real or imagined Rovian spinmastery, none of this will matter.

Posted by: lib on February 8, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Finally, Bush is the uniter, not divider.

Posted by: Dons Blog on February 8, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

actually, Al is having a little reading comprehension problem, not that i have anything good to say about lieberman.

the point that dems and thoughtful republicans alike are making is that if bush has some legitimate basis to change FISA, then fine, come on over to capitol hill and we'll do this the right way: by ammending the existing law.

lieberman didn't say: i think it's just ducky that george bush is violating FISA.

gopgregory: yeah, i'd love to see the dems make national security an issue. let's tote up the record, shall we: the bush administration ignored the 8/6/01 PDB; failed to do the job at Tora Bora because they were distracted by Iraq; misled the country into Iraq; are failing in Iraq; botched the handling of both North Korea and Iran; lowered the standing of the US throughout the world; overstretched our army; stiffed our veterans; exposed the limits of US power; borrowed the money to fund its tax cuts from China, providing a strategic lever to a potential adversary; supported torture and thereby harmed our good name; failed to harden targets and improve the abilities of first responders; botched the dhs.

they have, of course, talked tough, and for people like rush, that's enough, but yes, as that wise and noble person in the executive office put it, bring it on.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Do Democrats really want to make national security a campaign issue??

Why yes, they do. Republicans have won on that issue. Democrats must kill the tough guy Republican image. It'd be quite easy if the Democrats would just wake up -- bedwetting Republicans and draft-dodging, non-serving Republicans who have completely fucked up the hunt for Bin Laden, and beyond completely fucked up in their war of choice in Iraq, are easy to destroy on this issue.

Dems are currently stuck in the past. But they will have to get past this to win in '06 and '08.

But that being said, you are of course completely full of shit to think that Bush's illegal and un-Constitution spying on American citizens and political opponents is in any way a national security issue.

Breaking the law is breaking the law. We didn't need to do it to fight a real threat like the Soviets. You bedwetting Republicans think it's necessary for a rag tag bunch of terrorists?

Grow up. Let some grown ups unafraid of their own shadow run the show.

We did not elect George King. Shame on you bastards that pretend we did, and carry water for him. You disgrace what the country stands (or stood) for.

Posted by: teece on February 8, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'll watch, though, to see if this fractures the Republican caucus at all.

I won't be holding my breath -- honest Republicans seem to be an extinct breed.

But it'd be nice to see, as this is an extremely serious issue. George is declaring himself King, and half of America is saying "OK George."

Posted by: teece on February 8, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Call me when the kabuki dance ends...

If they are still around then, we can then begin a discussion about wedge issues.

Posted by: justmy2 on February 8, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Do Democrats really want to make national security a campaign issue??

Do Republican really want to make Terry Schiavo a campaign issue? The present left his vacation to sign that bill, didn't he?

How did that work out? Boy genius was right about that one huh? Social Security?

Please spare the Democrats the advice. They are already getting enough ridiculous advice from the consultant they are actually paying.

Posted by: justmy2 on February 8, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

oops...

The President left his vacation as well...

Posted by: justmy2 on February 8, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

But do the offended Republicans outnumber the middle-class Dems who are watching small, largely well-liked European countries have their embassies set on fire for cartoons?

If they aren't offended by your actions, the violent arm of Islam finds a pretext.

Note that the mobs aren't storming those well-armed American embassies with marines who can shoot. Perhaps might for right is a strategy after all?

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps might for right is a strategy after all?
Posted by: McA

it takes someone with a pretty small penis to actually believe that.

Posted by: Nads on February 8, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

it takes someone with a pretty small penis to actually believe that.

Yes, McA has long shown signs of being a fully paid up member of the small-penis brigade.

And really, that would be true even if he were an American. But to act like him and be from another country indicates he's in micro-penis territory.

Posted by: grh on February 8, 2006 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

One wonders how many in the Republican leadership are compromised by the domestic spy apparatus. How many in the Congressional leadership are being blackmailed by the Administrations strong arm goons? Its an old tactic--get the dirt on your friends and allies, not just your enemies...because, really, you can't trust anyone, especially the People's representatives to behave rationally while you're riding rough-shod over the 4th Amendment and several others to be named later.

I mean, if you can't find Osama Bin Laden in the field, you have to make sure Osama Bin Ladens aren't popping up all over the place back at home, right? Right. Cuz incompetence breeds contempt...um, I mean, terrorists! Yeah, that's the ticket. My most humble apologies for the confusion! Oh, and take the 5th--that sometimes works.

Posted by: parrot on February 8, 2006 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

In their dreams, bedwetters are the guys with the big guns.

The problem with the Republican spin is that they claim that the only spying they're doing is exactly the sort that FISA permits, at the same time insisting that they don't need Congress to let them expedite the process. Anyone with normal intelligence who is paying attention has figured out they're lying.

They've admitted to doing more spying than they've admitted to before; they've admitted that they've lied, and they've admitted they've broken the law. Their rationale is purely Louis XIV: L'etat, c'est moi.

We Democrats now have a chance to connect with the American paranoid tradition, as we did with Nixon thirty years ago. They've gone too far. We don't know, yet, that they're spying on US, but they've given us no reason to trust them when they say they aren't.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Lieberman, as quoted by Al above:

Congress needs to get together on a bipartisan basis and give the president the authority to do what he has done

This of course confirms that Bush has been doing things that exceeded his authority.

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2006 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

Al here cracks me up, he's like your very own little Republican Baghdad Bob.

That comment about how only liberal Democrats could support this position is attached to an article that describes with quotes a number of prominent Republicans who are taking the very position so described. It's a pure exercise in reality-denial.

Posted by: matt on February 8, 2006 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

From the same Lieberman quotation: I want my president to be reading e-mails of people talking to Al Qaeda

Which what Bush also said in the SOTU. Nobody has a problem with this if it's done legally. "Legally" is not just a formality -- it means someone has to make a good case for a wiretap. In the absence of some evidence, the govt spooks will be casting a wide net and listening to a large number of people hoping to find something relevant. Which apparently is exactly what has been happening, according to recent articles.

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2006 at 4:05 AM | PERMALINK

But to act like him and be from another country indicates he's in micro-penis territory.

Posted by: grh on February 8, 2006 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Why? Assuming foreigners have to act a certain way is called a stereotype.

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that we don't know what's happening. We can't exclude the possibility that they're spying on everybody. They've declared themselves above the law.

Anyone defending the president is defending spying on everyone. The default assumption is that they welcome the advent of a totalitarian state, because they're afraid of a bunch of cultists hiding in a hovel on the border of Afghanistan.

Protect me, President Bush! they cry. Take our liberties, just keep us safe!

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone defending the president is defending spying on everyone.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK


Oooh! Histrionics. That's so convincing.

There will be somethings the public doesn't know in espionage. They are called secrets. Funny, how libs recognised secrecy when they were trying to score with Plamegate.

Its the inconsistency that kill you guys.

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 4:30 AM | PERMALINK

There will be somethings the public doesn't know in espionage. They are called secrets.

Good grief, do you people get up in the morning and pour mayonnaise on your breakfast cereal because of an incapacity to recognize the difference?

Anyways, reports of principled Republicans in Congress are much like reports of people who got their kidneys stolen. Everyone says they know someone who was related to someone who totally witnessed it, but no one has actually seen one with their own eyes.

Posted by: Kimmitt on February 8, 2006 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney said "we have all the legal authority we need" to do whatever we want, whenever we want.

We're at war, so there are no limits on their authority.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 5:10 AM | PERMALINK

This isn't to say that we live in a fascist society, just to note that the executive's declaration of unlimited authority is tantamount to fascism.

Perhaps the idea is to make our dear leader's incompetence an asset. "Sure, he's arrogating himself unlimited powers. But he's a helpless wimp! All he wants to do is go back to his ranch and pretend he's Reagan."

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

Good grief, do you people get up in the morning and pour mayonnaise on your breakfast cereal because of an incapacity to recognize the difference?

Posted by: Kimmitt on February 8, 2006 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

Nope.

What difference? After all, a secret NOC who I don't know is a NOC could do something horrible like interfere with domestic politics.
So why is accepting that risk, different from a foreign wiretap program in a time of war? Secrets are needed in a war, sometimes.

------------

no limits on their authority.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 5:10 AM | PERMALINK

Sure there are! If when informed the Congressional Committee opposed the wiretap, they could have resigned from the committee or asked for legislation. The Dem members keeping quiet to politicize it later is just the usual disingenous lefty crap!

--------------

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 5:21 AM | PERMALINK

Let the swiftboating begin! How long before the rumours of cannibalistic lesbianism start to circulate re Rep Wilson?

Posted by: Republic of palau on February 8, 2006 at 5:21 AM | PERMALINK

A few years ago, a friend of mine visited Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma). His host remarked that if you're going to have a military dictatorship, it's not so bad having Buddhists in charge.

Applying this to America, the defense is (well, of course the defense is that Bush would never lie about this, but who believes that anymore) that these guys are such klutzes that they won't break anything we can't fix in a few years.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 8, 2006 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK

Wilson is taking a real chance here with her career. Rove has said outright and Cheney has implied that any Rep who breaks with the Prez's message will be hung out to dry in November. Unless each states citizenry backs up their senator's "disloyalty" to the machine, in support of the Constitution, the backpedalling by those who are uncomfortable with the idea of unchecked executive power will become the next big political story. i expect to hear of some senators eventully stating that since the hearings, and upon further reflection, AG Gonzalez's explanation of the program has set their mind at ease as to the legality of the program

Posted by: synecdoche on February 8, 2006 at 6:06 AM | PERMALINK

We're at war, so there are no limits on their authority.

Someone oughta ask the AG if the Presidential wartime authority extends to being able to ignore the 22nd Amendment, and hell, while we're at it, Section 1 of Article II.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on February 8, 2006 at 6:16 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats: Defending the Constitution and the American way of life.

Posted by: g on February 8, 2006 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK


Democrats: Defending the Constitution and the American way of life.

Posted by: g on February 8, 2006 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

But only when their guy isn't in charge.

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

i'd love to see the dems make national security an issue. let's tote up the record, shall we:

Howard,

Everyting you mentioned happened before November 2004. Let's tote up the record shall we? GWB INCREASES his vote count 23% and defeats Kerry by 3.5M.

Kevin is in deep left field on this. Bush has problems with Congress on power issues. They want control of the Executive. The Executive doesn't want their control. This part is pure inside the beltway stuff. What damages the Democrats is Bush is fighting to connect the dots and they are viewed as trying to stop him for political purposes.

They've already lost here badly after a disasterous start. The impeachment talk was bonehead stupid. It was always about politics and nothing else. That's why Gonzales had such an easy time in hearings. Congress is begging for a deal. They're not getting it. With Justice Alito Bush has this won in the courts. The Dems have no good choices. The best is to let it die quietly and tha just reinforces their wimp image but it's eventually forgotten. The worst choice would be to listen to the moonbat left and take him to the courts. GWB would win the most significant expansion of Presidential powers in over 50 years. This historic achievement would be part of his legacy.

What's really cool here is GWB can control the pace of the story. Rove can time another leak to before this election and then time a court case for 2008. At a minimum expect a sense of the senate resolution before the 2006 elections. Senators will be asked to vote and register official positions on GWBs actions.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Every Republican that speaks ill of Bush or this eavesdropping program becomes a target of that very program. One day, as sure as Tweety tweets, we will find out domestic spying on political opponents was conducted by Bush via the intelligence services. The participation of career operatives, analyists and technicians is probably doubtful but certainly rogue elements within these organizations have been created, staffed with zealous and unquestioning loyalists doing Bush's bidding. Should discovery occur before his term ends any revealed targets will have to be painted as dangerous to the republic, deserving of their monitoring.

Posted by: steve duncan on February 8, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK


MCA: Sure there are! If when informed the Congressional Committee opposed the wiretap, they could have resigned from the committee or asked for legislation. The Dem members keeping quiet to politicize it later is just the usual disingenous lefty crap!

The Democrats were told that "keeping quiet" was their only option, save revealing classified information and being prosecuted for treason.


Posted by: jayarbee on February 8, 2006 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

GOP Gregory has Rush "the Pillpopper" Limbaugh and George "Sniff Sniff Glug Glug Bush" planning strategy. Go boys go! And lead the way on morality while you're at it.

Posted by: murmeister on February 8, 2006 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

""Senator Joseph Lieberman, the former vice presidential candidate, declared on CBSs "Face the Nation," "I want my president to be reading e-mails of people talking to Al Qaeda." He added, "Congress needs to get together on a bipartisan basis and give the president the authority to do what he has done."""

Hi, Al.

Does anyone know an email address for Al Qaeda?

They owe me for pool cleaning......

Posted by: Sky-Ho on February 8, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Finally, Bush is the uniter, not divider.

Good one!

From the same Lieberman quotation: I want my president to be reading e-mails of people talking to Al Qaeda.

Won't he need help with the big words?

Posted by: shortstop on February 8, 2006 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

As soon as these supposed libertarians figure out that they themselves will never be spied upon, only longhairs and swarthy people, what feeble objection they have raised will cease entirely.

Posted by: kth on February 8, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Whenever your opponent offers you free advice, take a close look at what the opponent is telling you not to do. You will probably be looking straight into the heart of your opponent's greatest weakness.

Karl Rove doesn't want the Democrats to take the Republicans to task on the NSA spying issue. He knows it is a sure fire winner for Democrats. How does he respond? Why, by shouting "bring it on."

Democrats should do what is right regardless of the polling and take their chances. There is a lot of unease out there on the NSA domestic spying issue. Traditionally the most successful Republican talking points have centered on a distrust of big secret government programs. There is a reason. Americans don't like big secret government programs. The NSA domestic spying program is the very definition of a big, secret government program.

The fact is Americans don't like the domestic spying program. They might tolerate it in the time of a real war, but they will never like it. The Republicans have so confused the war issue and have ask for so little sacrifice that most people are not really sure we are at war. They are also not sure about the notion of eternal war the President is pumping. The Republicans know their weakness is that the general public isn't sure we are really engaged in a real war so every time one of them or some clown in their media machine opens his mouth, he says "war time." Just watch. They use the phrase "war time" every time they open their mouths. Unfortunately a lot of Democrats reenforce the frame.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 8, 2006 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats were told that "keeping quiet" was their only option, save revealing classified information and being prosecuted for treason.

Posted by: jayarbee on February 8, 2006 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Then they could write a letter of protest*. Best we got was a letter saying "I am not in a position" to understand.

* Or introduce a bill clarifying FISA overrode wartime powers without mentioning the searches.

Do nothing then leak it later is politics at the expense of your own country.

Posted by: Mca on February 8, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

certainly rogue elements within these organizations have been created, staffed with zealous and unquestioning loyalists doing Bush's bidding.

Posted by: steve duncan on February 8, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Democrat linked professionals using leaks or disinformation to sabotage their own government for political points is more likely if the press has the anonymous sources it has.

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Democrat linked professionals using leaks or disinformation to sabotage their own government for political points is more likely if the press has the anonymous sources it has.

The potency of Malaysian crack must be pretty high. Imagine poor McAristotle, swinging from the balcony, ripped on Malaysian crack in his crisp white linen suit, yelling "ribberals, ribberals, ribberals!"

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

What's really cool here is GWB can control the pace of the story. Rove can time another leak to before this election and then time a court case for 2008.

The only thing Rove is going to be leaking is news of another jailhouse gangbang, you Drexel Hill Dummy.

Dementia has set in for you, too? Mike K has the pills you need.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

I believe Cheney's precise quote was, "Legal authority? We don't need no steenkin' legal authority!"

Posted by: Chris on February 8, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Democrat linked professionals using leaks or disinformation to sabotage their own government for political points is more likely if the press has the anonymous sources it has.

The potency of Malaysian crack must be pretty high.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

That was that lady who sent her husband on a secret mission without swearing him to secrecy ....Ms. Plame

Then whoever leaked the 'warrantless searches'

Is secrecy a law or not. Or is it only a law when it helps the Dems?


Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

*cascades of uncontrollable snickers*

What a politically incorrect image *that* one is ... oh jesus, I still can't stop laughing.

Ribberals, ribberals, ribberals!

And in Malaysia, I think the drug of choice is ice, not crack.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 8, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

That was that lady who sent her husband on a secret mission without swearing him to secrecy ....Ms. Plame

Uh huh. So, when you drink the KoolAid your master hands out, do you put 'ice' cubes in it?

*high five* Bob

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

The only thing Rove is going to be leaking is news of another jailhouse gangbang, you Drexel Hill Dummy

Another? I missed the 1st. Karl Rove is a young guy in the prime of life. He's 25 years younger than Bob Schrum and unlike Bob Karl wins elections. Not only was Fitzmas a dud but it's now Scoter's turn. Wouldn't you know Fitz didn't interview many reporters. Wouldn't you know Scooter has a boatload of cash in his defense fund. It seems many conservatives see this as a chance to go after the MSM. You do understand Libby can supoena every reporter in DC and force them to testfy under oath? You do understand that because the NY Times already lost all the way to the Supreme Court they will testify or they will sit in jail. You do realize that Scooter can sue them and their papers in civil court if they refuse? You do know Scooter is making lots more money working for a think tank correct? You do know there will be a book here right? You do know the trial doesn't start until after the election but that Scooter can keep us abreast as to the level of cooperaiton. For example how much Bob Woodward and others in the press knew BEFORE Fitz said they knew anything.

That really sucks. Here was Scooter Libby toiling as the chief of staff for the VP as a relative unknown and now he's got a big time job with a think tank, speaking engagements, book deals with unlimited defense funding to get the best legal talent in town. Many of whom would do it pro bono for the publicity and to take a piece out of the NY Times.

BTW: The more we find out about Fitz the worse he looks. He's in for a PR beating. He'll lose the case and look badly doing it.

BTW2: Rumor is Rove is running the NSA strategy. That's why the Senate is crying "Uncle" and the WH is saying, "Louder". They're begging for deal. GWB could tell them tomorrow how to revise FISA to make the program "fit". No way.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Please keep thinking that intercepting terorist phone calls is a wedge issue and please please send out Dean, Reid, Pelosi and Kennedy to talk about it. The implosion of the Democratic party is pure entertainment and watching Mother Sheehan lead the charge is nirvana. As bad as you all say the Republicans are, you still lost to them in '00,'04 and will lose again in '06 and '08. Lynn Swann for Governor!

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Or introduce a bill clarifying FISA overrode wartime powers without mentioning the searches.

FISA itself specifically states that it applies during war time, so what's the point of another bill? What'll it say, "we really meant it"?

Posted by: Kilgore Trout on February 8, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Al here cracks me up, he's like your very own little Republican Baghdad Bob

Nah, that's rdw, hands down.

Posted by: Gregory on February 8, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

"The Republicans have so confused the war issue and have ask for so little sacrifice that most people are not really sure we are at war."

This gets to the heart of the problem. The frame created by the GOP is that we are at "war," and that we are fighting a "war" in Iraq. Everyone repeats this language, giving it validity.

Look, there is not "war" in Iraq. There is a military occupation. The occupiers are fighting an insurgency.

There is no "war" on terrorism.

Let's start calling things like they really are. Iraq is an occupation. Terrorism (which didn't begin on 9/11 and which wasn't changed by 9/11) is a crime and al Qaeda is a criminal organization, but terrorism in general and al Qaeda terrorists in particular cannot be successfully confronted by the tactics nor the equipment of "war." Indeed, these merely play into their hands, because of the collatoral damage.

When we are honest about the nature of the problems we face, the American public will support us and will back the kinds of policies that will actually make Americans safe while restoring the respect we used to enjoy before we embarked on the deadly political sideshow that is Iraq.

Posted by: Joel on February 8, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama says: "We have been in a reactive posture for too long. I think we have been very good at saying no, but not good enough at saying yes."

Posted by: Sloppy Liberal on February 8, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

BTW2: Rumor is Rove is running the NSA strategy. That's why the Senate is crying "Uncle" and the WH is saying, "Louder". They're begging for deal. GWB could tell them tomorrow how to revise FISA to make the program "fit". No way.

Glad to see that you and Jay are on the same sheet of music:

The GOP has politicized the defense of America.

What a brilliant strategy. Of course, actually defending America would require strategy, governance and accountability, but instead we get a man, Karl Rove, who has never served the public interest, never served in the military and has never had a position of real responsibility and accountability in his life telling generals and senators and public officials how to conduct the defense of this country so that President Bush 'can look good on TV.'

It's all a show. The defense of America is just a part of the permanent campaign. Glad to see you two losers are finally admitting that.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Some Democrats Are Sensing Missed Opportunities

By ADAM NAGOURNEY
and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 Democrats are heading into this year's elections in a position weaker than they had hoped for, party leaders say, stirring concern that they are letting pass an opportunity to exploit what they see as widespread Republican vulnerabilities.

But Democrats described a growing sense that they had failed to take full advantage of the troubles that have plagued Mr. Bush and his party since the middle of last year, driving down the president's approval ratings, opening divisions among Republicans in Congress over policy and potentially putting control of the House and Senate into play in November.

Asked to describe the health of the Democratic Party, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said: "A lot worse than it should be. This has not been a very good two months."

"We seem to be losing our voice when it comes to the basic things people worry about," Mr. Dodd said.

Democrats said they had not yet figured out how to counter the White House's long assault on their national security credentials. And they said their opportunities to break through to voters with a coherent message on domestic and foreign policy should they settle on one were restricted by the lack of an established, nationally known leader to carry their message this fall.

Duh! Do ya think? GWB is wiretapping calls from Al Qaeda and you fools are calling for his impeachment. Rove has it made. He has a chaotic Democratic heirarchy dependended on the moonbat left for funding and primary votes. It's perfect symetry. The moonbats are well outside the national mainstream but inside the party mainstream. You are large enough to move the party but repulse the general electorate. Rove merely needs to sit back and wait for something this stupid.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

"GWB is wiretapping calls from Al Qaeda"

LOL! What "calls from al Qaeda?" Can you name even one call from al Qaeda that GWB has wiretapped?

Posted by: Joel on February 8, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

GWB is wiretapping calls from Al Qaeda and you fools are calling for his impeachment.

Another fallacy of this program is that it was directed against Al Qaeda.

Sorry--it was directed against peace groups and Democratic politicians. But that's what you get when you have Karl Rove calling the shots. That's what you get when you politicize the defense of America.

Smash mouth politics.

Well, I guess the desperation and the flop sweat from rdw and Jay Shaver indicates that there is some value in pushback, because your boys are getting enough pushback to last them a while.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP has politicized the defense of America.

That would explain why the moonbats started with 'Impeach Bush' before they knew a thing about the program. Stupid is as stupid does.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

What is it with funerals and the Democratic Party. What Clinton and Carter did yesterday at Coretta's funeral was Wellstonian and a complete embarassment. And has anyone ever told Teddy that his brother and Hoover were no big fans of Coretta or her great husband. He should not even have been invited.

Ironic how the Dems postured themselves at the funeral of a great lady that had the Dems had their way and squashed the civil rights movement, Coretta would have been just another soul from the south. She and her husband led great lives and will remembered as the great people they were because the Republican party saw to it that the civil rights movement passed.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, my litany of bush administration/republican national security failures (none of which you appear to dispute) didn't end with the 2004 election, or perhaps we won in iraq and i didn't notice.

and 2004 isn't 2006, bush won by 3M, not 3.5M (and to be more precise, won the states of the old confederacy by 5.5M and lost the other 37 states - the ones not descended from traitors - by 2.5M), and gonzalez did so supremely well in the hearings that heather wilson came out in support of presidential lawlessness as a result.

wait - no she didn't. and that's the point: the polls, in fact, suggest that the public doesn't like illegal behavior by the executive, and some republicans are starting to notice (kevin's whole point).

mca: it's not the job of the minority party to introduce legislation that the executive wants, and since neither the minority or the majority party has any clue as to what it would take to make bush's program legal, they can hardly write the bill, can they? meanwhile, be sure to tell bruce fein, conservative constitutional scholar and deputy AG under Reagan, how wrong it was to bring up "impmeachment," since he was, to the best of my knowledge, the first to do so.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

"That would explain why the moonbats started with 'Impeach Bush' before they knew a thing about the program."

As opposed to you, rdw, who doesn't know a thing about the program either, but started with your blind defense of the administration?

Posted by: Joel on February 8, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

jay, i can't tell if you're an idiot or an ironist.

rdw, what's your solution for a president violating the law, insistent that he need not change the law, and pugnaciously proud of same? the reason that conservative scholars bruce fein and norm orenstein both brought up "impeachment" very rapidly is because this is what the founders had in mind. (i'm not personally supporting impeachment: the republican politicization of impeachment has rendered it a useless tool for a generation, which was probably the point, but you really ought to get your facts straight)

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

I think the drug of choice is ice, not crack.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 8, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

i think the malay name is syabu though.
Mind you the proof is in the pudding.

What happened with your 9-11 commission?
What happened in mid-terms?
What happened with Kerry?
Wither Fitzmas?
Where Plamegate?
New Orleans?
Cindy Sheehan?
What happened with Roberts?
What happened with Scalito?
Aramoff which was the bigger threat is out of the media eye.
Instead u wnat to take him on wiretapping al-qaeda?

Go on, impeach. It takes 2/3 when you don't even have a majority, let alone the fact is the Supreme's are even more conservative than when Bush vs Gore happened.

I may be a foreigner. But I know who's on top ...and it ain't the moonbat kos kids , Kennedy and his dog 'splash- I drowned someone and m' proud of it' , 'Do over Kerry' or 'Frozen cobwebs between the legs' Hillary?

Posted by: McA on February 8, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

howard-

Don't forget George Will.

All of the Republicans protesting Bush's actions are actual conservatives or libertarians. The mystery is why it's taken them so long to realize how out of control Bush is.

Posted by: Nemo Ignotus on February 8, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Suggesting malfeasance on the part of the administration always results in kneejerk defenses by ardent supporters. What crime could they commit, what offense, that wouldn't result in such support? Already we read of advocates saying shooting down Americans on the streets if strongly suspected of terrorist activities is probably a right the President should and does have. Not actually committing an act of terrorism, just caught dead to rights firmly in the terrorist camp (whatever the hell defines that). If killing U.S citizens stateside (skipping arrest, indictment and trial) is OK then protesting almost anything else is really fruitless as far as trying to establish we've seriously run off the rails. Read much of the above from this thread's sycophants. In their opinion Bush is incapable of crime for he is not subject to any laws. Those willing to concede he is subject to the law just say whatever laws he's skirting or ignoring need ignored or should never have been enacted. Stalin probably enjoyed much the same latitude.

Posted by: steve duncan on February 8, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry--it was directed against peace groups and Democratic politicians

Still yearning for '68? The good old days when John and Bobby and J. Edgar were blackmailing everyone?

What peace groups? There are no peace groups. Cindy Sheehan isn't a peace group. She's a deranged fool.

What would anyone want to tap a democratic politician? None of them have any power. The only one who could possibly matter is Hillary and besides being pro-war is boring. There is no MLK and the NCAAP is done. GWB had ignored them since he was elected the 1st time and increase his percentage of the black vote by over 20%. Jessi Jackson and Al Sharpton are gifts from God.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

What Clinton and Carter did yesterday at Coretta's funeral was Wellstonian and a complete embarassment. And has anyone ever told Teddy that his brother and Hoover were no big fans of Coretta or her great husband. He should not even have been invited.

Thanks for bringing that up.

So when they went to Atlanta to honor Mrs. King, and talk about what she did with her life, racists like Jay Shaver howl with fear and indignation that that someone, anyone might point out how, nearly forty years later, the same racists who hated her husband are still leaving African Americans in the standing water to drown and to die in New Orleans. Jimmy Carter was a friend of Mrs. King, and when he spoke, I'm sure it bothered a lot of racists who like to see black people kept down. I'm sure it made poor Jay Shaver's hair on the back of his neck stand up and cause his testicles to retract up into his body cavity because he just can't stand the thought that someone might dare criticize the President that he worships as a false idol.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

But I know who's on top ...

Yes, you. That's what Gannon said the other day when he was posting here.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

mca: what a hateful little idiot you turn out to be.

the 9-11 commission made clear the manifest failures of the bush administration to anyone who read it.

Patrick Fitzgerald has already brought an indictment against Libby and is continuing to investigate, exposing the bush administration as liars and bush as a small man who didn't live up to his firing pledge. he also affirmed that valerie plame was covert, exposing another lie by the right-wing enablers.

Bush's manifest failures in New Orleans have led to a broader realization that the homeland security department is a fiasco.

Cindy Sheehan helped drive support for the iraq war down even further with a very simple question: what did her son die for.

Robert and Alito lied in their confirmation hearings and then, shock of shocks, the party with 55 seats approved them.

The abramoff affair is far from the public eye, unless, of course, your eyes are closed.

and yes, we want george bush to obey the law, since his constitutional duty is to see to it that the laws are faithfully executed. pretty shocking, huh?

but your remark about hillary clinton really demonstrates what a pathetic little creep you are.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

you really ought to get your facts straight

But, howard, rdw wouldn't be nearly as amusing if he did that!

Posted by: Gregory on February 8, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

The Democratic party is becoming fractured because moderate Democrats like Joe Lieberman are supporting George Bush's position that he should be able to spy on the terrorists who are attacking and killing Americans.

Al, so are liberal Democrats like Dick Durbin, on Fox News, nonetheless.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182488,00.html

The Prez just doesn't want *minor* things like legality in the way. Al, RCA, conservatives used to hate big government. Why don't you tell us what happened?

Posted by: chaos7023 on February 8, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

nemo, that's quite right: the handful of actual honest conservatives are opposed to bush on presidential lawlessness.

rdw, jack and bobby kennedy didn't blackmail anyone. learn a few facts, why doncha.

and we don't need a '60s-style peace movement: the public recognizes that it was misled into iraq and that iraq is a failing effort. it took longer to get that across about vietnam.

and you know, when your percentage of the black vote goes from something like 15 to 18, that's nothing to be proud of.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

gregory, excellent point!

i would bet that 100% of americans favor "spying" on AQ. what's a rather smaller number is the percentage who think that george bush is king and can break the law with impunity.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I heard part of the Limbaugh show today...
Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006

Why am I not surprised? You regurgitate the swill gobbled up from Rushie the addict at every post. (props to SecularAnimist) We're supposed to care what nonsense Rush bloviates?

Posted by: ckelly on February 8, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Still yearning for '68? The good old days when John and Bobby and J. Edgar were blackmailing everyone?

I do believe 'John' was dead by 1968, 'Bobby' was running for President (and killed halfway through the year) and neither were party to 'J. Edgar's' shenanigans.

Do you wear the dresses and go out dancing up there in Drexel Hill to honor J. Edgar?

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, perhaps, but not until someone asks the critical questions: http://hairytruth.blogspot.com/2006/02/domestic-spying-domestic-criminals.html

Posted by: truth4achange on February 8, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

From the same Lieberman quotation: I want my president to be reading e-mails of people talking to Al Qaeda.

Especially the ones with the subject heading "Re: We're Determined to Strike in US."

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

As opposed to you, rdw, who doesn't know a thing about the program either, but started with your blind defense of the administration?

No one knows anything about the program. Thus starting on impeachment was 100% partisan and 110% stupid. Nothing is more pleasing than watching moonbats protect Al Qaeda's civil rights.

My own interest outside the politics is the legal issue and as the whether or not FISA is constitutional. It's a very interesting separation of powers issue made more interesting by the addition of Alito. Clearly the Senate has no interest is taking this to the Supreme Court. They know they've already lost politically. To lose legally hands GWB a historic victory.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Don't sugar coat it pale, tell us what you think. And just keep talking, baseless indignation has become the trademark of the Democratic party and as I said before; pure entertainment.

Of course I noticed that you did not refute one point that I made, typical liberal. Here's another one for you wingnuts. Despite the fact that New Orleans was 67% African American, the Katrina death toll numbers show that only 48% were black. Now White's represented only 28% of the New Orleans population yet the Katrina death toll numbers for white's equalled 41%. Could I conclude that Bush hates white people, or is Carter lying?

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, as i say, you be sure to tell bruce fein, conservative scholar and reagan deputy AG, what a "moonbat" he was for bring up impeachment.

unless you can prove, btw, that you actively opposed the clinton impeachmnent, i suggest you stfu about it.

and we do know one very important thing about the program: it violates the law of the land, FISA. the president's job is to see to it that the laws are faithfully executed. he's so proud of breaking the law that he boasts about it. in your world view, what is the corrective? we live in a system where checks and balances are supposed to obtain.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

do believe 'John' was dead by 1968, 'Bobby' was running for President (and killed halfway through the year) and neither were party to 'J. Edgar's' shenanigans.

J Edgar didn't start wiretapping MLK and countless others in '68. He did so with the approval and cooperation of BOTH JFK and RFK. JFK died 11/63.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Despite the fact that New Orleans was 67% African American, the Katrina death toll numbers show that only 48% were black.

"Only???"

Wow, you couldn't have demonstrated your own pathetic, racist tendencies any better than that.

Still want us to "kill all Muslim cockroaches?"

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

"No one knows anything about the program."

Dang, rdw. Finally you posted something that is correct. Of course, your statement that GWB is listening to al Qaeda calls is so much bluff, since you know nothing about it.

Yet, by law, the FISA court is supposed to know something about the program. The fact that no one (outside the administration) knows anything about the program demonstrates that the law has been broken and the Constitution, which GWB swore to uphold, has been violated by him.

Posted by: Joel on February 8, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, learn your facts about kennedy, king, and hoover, why doncha? as for your notions about FISA, a.) bush hasn't won a political victory in the slightest - see heather wilson. no matter what kind of orgasm it gives you to hear rove threaten any republican who deviates from the party line; b.) FISA has been before the courts 10 times already (at least - i've looked at 10 opinions, let me put it that way) and been found constitutional each time. obviusly the supreme court could rule differently, but dems in congress don't have the standing to bring that suit. luckily, others do - even the excreable christopher hitchens is part of a suit; c.) in the keith case, justice powell, writing for the majority, invited the senate to set "statutory guidelines" for electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes, so while it's not inconceivable that FISA could be found unconstitutional in some fashion, the basic concept of FISA is not going to be found to be in violation of the separation of powers.

jay, ok, now we get it: you're a complete moron.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

No one knows anything about the program.

Sorry--those of us who venture beyond what appears in your alert mailbox from Foxnews.com do know a tad bit more about it than you.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

pale, did you not read any further? The white population of New Orleans was only 28% yet represented 41% of Katrina victims. Why do you hate white people?

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Is it really recessary for people to reply to Al? He's just a performance art piece, and he never replies. There's much more fun and amusement to be had with the genuinely unhinged Bush-followers like rdw and tbrosz.

Posted by: Constantine on February 8, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

pale, did you not read any further? The white population of New Orleans was only 28% yet represented 41% of Katrina victims. Why do you hate white people?

So I guess that makes it okay that 'only' 48 percent of the people left to drown by Michael Brown and George Bush were black.

Brilliant debating skills, Jay Shaver. I wonder what you're going to do when a Democratic administration starts sifting through the bile and spewage that you've been putting on the Internet.

I mean, it's all fair game, right? You and rdw will have a whole lot of fun when Hillary Clinton orders your corpses dumped in a salt mine in Nevada for speaking out against her administration. Perhaps you can be buried holding hands, so that you can walk off into oblivion and sing the praises of your Dear Leader.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

J Edgar didn't start wiretapping MLK and countless others in '68

It's too bad to see you approving of this then and approving of it today. Though it's worse, today, bcause it's actually against the law. We know how muchg you loathe Jimmy Carter, but the problem for you is that you have to face the fact that he has his moral priorities in order and you do not.

Posted by: Constantine on February 8, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Why does Jimmy Carter hate white people?

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Carter was a Christian when it still meant something in this country.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Of course I noticed that you did not refute one point that I made, typical liberal.

Well, no, since all of the "points" he made are mere baseless lies. The mere fact that no one bothers to point out that they're lies -- since such fact is blindingly obvious -- doesn't make them any more true. If he wrote "2+2+5" or "the moon is made of cheese" or "Rush Limbaugh isn't a pill-popping junkie" I wouldn't waste my time "refuting" his points, either.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

It's official, pale has become unhinged and joins the ranks of Pelosi, Dean, Kennedy, et al.
Well done. Next.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Especially the ones with the subject heading "Re: We're Determined to Strike in US."

Don't you want to know how many of the emails / phonecalls intercepted to date have been of this kind? Don't you want to know who decides whom to wiretap and on what evidence? Suddenly the conservatives are trusting the government to do the right thing, and without accountability. Isn't this against your very own principles?

It was recently reported that of 5,000 people that were wiretapped virtually no terrorist leads were found. Who supervises this? What is the price for incompetence? How are we different from the Soviets we used to ridicule for trying to listen to everybody?

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

to help rdw out, here's an account by nicholas katzenbach, bobby kennedy's deputy AG, about the Hoover wiretapping of King:

In October 1963, Hoover requested Atty. Gen. Kennedy to approve a wiretap on King's telephone. At that time, taps had to be approved by the attorney general and did not require court approval in the form of a warrant. The basis for the tap was King's close association with Stanley Levison, who Hoover said was a prominent member of the Communist Party with great influence over King in civil rights matters.

Bobby was furious. Hoover's charge that King was a pawn of the communists could potentially taint the whole movement and bring into question everything we were doing to vindicate the constitutional rights of black citizens. It was hard to think of an issue more explosive.

To understand just how explosive, one has to remember that Hoover was both popular and enormously powerful, with great support in Congress. Some of that support was based on admiration, some on fear that he had damaging personal information in his files. Much support came from conservative Southern Democrats, opposed to King, who chaired virtually every important congressional committee. Hoover was formally a subordinate of the attorney general who could, technically, fire and replace him. That's a big "technically." No attorney general, including RFK and myself when I succeeded him, could fully exercise control over him. And none did.

When Hoover asked for the wiretaps, Bobby consulted me (I was then his deputy) and Burke Marshall, head of the Civil Rights Division. Both of us agreed to the tap because we believed a refusal would lend credence to the allegation of communist influence, while permitting the tap, we hoped, would demonstrate the contrary. I think the decision was the right one, under the circumstances. But that doesn't mean that the tap was right. King was suspected of no crime, but the government invaded his privacy until I removed the tap two years later when I became attorney general. It also invaded the privacy of every person he talked to on that phone, not just Levinson.

But what we didn't know during this period was that Hoover was doing a lot more than tapping King's phones. As King's criticism of the FBI continued, and as Hoover became more and more convinced there must be communist influence even though no evidence ever materialized, he determined to discredit and destroy King. He went further, putting bugs in King's hotel bedrooms across the country. (He claimed that Atty. Gen. Herbert Brownell had authorized him to use such listening devices in cases involving "national security" back in the 1950s, and that he did not require further permission from the current attorney general, who in any case had no idea that the FBI was doing it.)

The FBI recorded tapes of King conducting extramarital affairs and later had the tapes mailed to King anonymously, in one case actually encouraging him to commit suicide. Tapes were played for journalists, and the FBI sought to discredit King with foreign leaders, religious leaders, White House personnel and members of Congress. The bureau tried to kill a favorable magazine profile and encouraged one university to withhold an honorary degree.

I knew none of this until late 1964, when two prominent journalists told me that a bureau official had approached them and offered to play one of the salacious hotel bedroom recordings. I confronted the official one of Hoover's senior deputies who categorically denied the allegation. I flew to President Johnson's Texas ranch and asked him to help put a stop to it. I think that he did, but such was Hoover's power I cannot be sure that even the president had the courage to do so.

It was only years later, at the Church Committee hearings held after Hoover's death, that the full scope of Hoover's anti-King activities became known. I was and am appalled. And sad. This man who was a national symbol of law and order ended up grossly violating the nation's trust and respect in the name, he said, of national security. And the man he attacked so viciously was a great leader who never violated the law and who helped this nation realize rights guaranteed by the very Constitution Hoover was sworn to uphold.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-katzenbach16jan16,0,2941426.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

so, let's sum up, shall we: a.) jack kennedy had nothing to do with it; b.) the wiretap was legal at the time; c.) hoover essentially blackmailed bobby into approving the wiretap, since he would have leaked to his friends in the media what a communist king was; and d.) bobby approved a legal wiretap, not a series of additional illegal actions by hoover.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

do believe 'John' was dead by 1968, 'Bobby' was running for President (and killed halfway through the year) and neither were party to 'J. Edgar's' shenanigans.

J Edgar didn't start wiretapping MLK and countless others in '68. He did so with the approval and cooperation of BOTH JFK and RFK. JFK died 11/63.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well done, Howard!

Posted by: Joel on February 8, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan: Especially the ones with the subject heading "Re: We're Determined to Strike in US"

JS: Don't you want to know how many of the emails / phonecalls intercepted to date have been of this kind? Don't you want to know who decides whom to wiretap and on what evidence? Suddenly the conservatives are trusting the government to do the right thing, and without accountability. Isn't this against your very own principles?

JS, my statment above was a joke. I was commenting on the fact that Bush is hardly likely to be reading any Al Qaeda emails when he can't even be bothered to read his own PDB memos (all helpfully boiled down to simple words he can understand) such as the infamous August 2001 memo he ignored.


Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

pale has become unhinged and joins the ranks of Pelosi, Dean, Kennedy, et al.

Thank you...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies. Hard to detect irony when you don't know the speaker.

But Bush & Co. have been saying essentially what you said, and no prominent Democrats have really challenged them on the specifics -- how they determine that one side of a communication is Al Qaeda, and how many phonecalls have been intercepted where this was not the case. I think what they should be asking for is a detailed audit of specific cases by a court or a congressional group. And let the govt redact actual names, and just report which calls turned out to be relevant and which not.

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

More relevant is why did Blanco and Nagin leave white people to drown?

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

Don't be so tough on the Drexel Hill Dimwit - In 68, he was just starting high school and the girls in the Catholic school system wouldn't give him the time of day. Tough going through puberty and trying to learn anything about current events at the same time. Remember, he lives in the Keystone State, where you have Philadelphia and Pittsburg on the ends with Alabama in the middle. He truly wants to live in the center of the state with the other Eastern Diamondbacks who slither and hiss as they all roll up into a giant ball of evil.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

I am somewhat amused by the premature and unjustified celebration of the Bush haters. But then again, they thought they had the Presidency in the bag in November 2004.

In any case, any patriotic American will cringe over the thought of an elected representative wanting to limit the options at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief who is so successfully waging the war against our would-be killers.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 8, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure where the discussion is going, but so far nobody seems to have noticed some interesting aspects of the dissenting Rep. Wilson's background. From the NY Times article:

"a National Security Council aide in the administration of President Bush's father"

"a former Air Force officer who is the only female veteran currently in Congress"

Pretty strong credentials, if you ask me. Not exactly the kind of politician looking for hugs and stage time with Cindy Sheehan.

Of course, in current Republican parlance, all that makes her a likely traitor and bin Ladenite dupe.

Posted by: sglover on February 8, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, totalitarian states from Nazi Germany to the USSR to Saddam's Iraq have always justified their actions using the fact that they had enemies. Nothing in the Constitution says that liberties are predicated on the absence of enemies.

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: In any case, any patriotic American will cringe over the thought of an elected representative wanting to limit the options at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief who is so successfully waging the war against our would-be killers.

Is it just me, or does this wiretapping business seem about as effective as the TSA strip searching 80 year old grandmas' at the airport?

Posted by: tripoley on February 8, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

All I can say is, if the Dems really want to make an election issue of the NSA wiretap program, Karl Rove will be the happiest man in America.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove will be the happiest man in America.

Exactly. Gangbang night in Federal Prison should bring a smile to his reptilian face.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

All I can say is, if the Dems really want to make an election issue of the NSA wiretap program, Karl Rove will be the happiest man in America.

You may be right. That's how Hitler's Germany gradually transformed itself from a democracy to what it became.

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

unless you can prove, btw, that you actively opposed the clinton impeachmnent, i suggest you stfu about it.

I was all for Clinton's impeachment. It was perfect politics. Plus the simple ass lied to a judge under oath. How many Presidents lose their law license?

Best of all is we got a great look at the man. It's a truly repulsive think that at age 55 the leader of the free world, empath-in-chief, would hit on an unemployed, underage, underacheiving fat girl. I believe Monica as a year older than his own daughter. It was a series of repulsive acts. He used his secretary as a friggin pimp.

Bill Clinton the man will always be defined by Monica Lewinsky. For anyone who values justice that is as it should be.

The boarder long-term political result was positive as well. Kevin was also lamenting in another post that Betty Freidan dies and it's not news. That's because feminism is dead. Clinton killed feminism I don't know what perverse deamons drove Bill Clinton to Monica but I do know NOW and other so-called womans groups went to his defense in an act of incredible absurdity and cowardice. Whatever standing they once had they're now an absurdity.

I have 4 daughters. The oldest is a year younger than Chelsea. I don't think you appreciate the revulsion they felt at the President hitting on such a pathetic figure and doing so repeatedly. To someone 22 a man aged 55 is Grandpop. Let's not even cover the 'power' differential. For them, to watch the faithful defend the indefensible, was a defining episode.

I believe this remains so today. I don't fear talk of impeach Bush even a little bit. It immediately brings us back to Clinton and the relative seriouness of the two men. Your talk of wiretapping citizens also brings back memories of RFK and his partner J. Edgar. The salad days of the 60's are gone. Get over it.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

In any case, any patriotic American will cringe over the thought of an elected representative wanting to limit the options at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief who is so successfully waging the war against our would-be killers.

FISA is available.

I have enough faith in the US constitution to believe that it can stand up during national emergencies without circumventing or suspending any of the rights detailed within.

Posted by: Stephen on February 8, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies. Hard to detect irony when you don't know the speaker.

Man, you take a break for a few weeks and everyone forgets you....

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Wilson needs to do something to give the impression that she is independent of Bush. That's her whole campaign spiel. In the '04 election she had to campaign as "independent" even though she votes quite regularly with the GOP leadership.

She won in '04 by about 9 points, but Bush lost by about as much. The district doesn't like Bush republicans. I'm not suprised about this since there is a strong Dem candidate running against her who is broadly popular.

I hate to be cynical, but the current GOP isn't really that principled if it means losing an election. It's absurd to give these people credit when they have had several years to show at least some sort of principles.

Posted by: gq on February 8, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Plus the simple ass lied to a judge under oath.

So you have no problem with breaking the FISA law, letting lobbyists run wild with our government, leaking classified information to the press, revealing the identity of a covert agent and manipulating the intelligence to take this country in a war where thousands of Americans are killed and wounded?

Good luck twisting yourself out of that one.

Have you no shame or decency?

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: To someone 22 a man aged 55 is Grandpop.

Do people in your family routinely have children at age 16?

Posted by: tripoley on February 8, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or does this wiretapping business seem about as effective as the TSA strip searching 80 year old grandmas' at the airport?

Have any 80 year old grandmas hijacked a plane and crashed it into a national landmark since they began searching them? I think not, and hence the effectiveness of the program is proven.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

It immediately brings us back to Clinton and the relative seriouness of the two men.

The bottom line is, two consenting adults had oral sex and you just can't bear to think of a world where that's okay and where it's wrong to take a country to war based on lies.

A blowjob is a bigger thing in the universe inhabited by rdw than thousands of dead Americans and over 16,000 Americans wounded and maimed.

I think we see where your hangup is. Thank you for finally admitting it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

a.) jack kennedy had nothing to do with it; b.) the wiretap was legal at the time; c.) hoover essentially blackmailed bobby into approving the wiretap, since he would have leaked to his friends in the media what a communist king was; and d.) bobby approved a legal wiretap, not a series of additional illegal actions by hoover.

Howard,

good work digging this up but it's clearly partisan nonsense. Katzenback is heardly an unbiased observer. He's in up to his neck as well. I don't wish to get into the weeds on this one. It's not interesting or important. The fact is everyone knows and agrees the Kennedy's are as far from choirboys as it gets. It's also common knowledge that they used J. Edgar just as J. Edgar used them.

The fact is the general public accepts Bobby was deeply involved in wiretapping MLK as well as other political figures and worked closedly with J Edgar. We all know he was dirty. We don't know how dirty. I saw a report a few weeks ago on the death of Marilyn Monroe. It's now accepted history that she had affairs with both JFK and RFK. It's further speculated that they may have had something to do with her death. I don't believe that for a second but this was an hour special on the History Channel. This wasn't a partisan attack. It has seeped into the conventional wisdom that JFK, RFK and J. Edgar played hardball with the best of them and were a team.

Few people care or even consider if the hardball was legal. The better question is, "Was it right?" Of Course MLK is a martyr and it can only be viewed as a despicable act.

From a political perspective everything here works against you. I don't accept any of your points are true but I don't argue them either becasue they are pointless. Wiretapping MLK and then blackmailing him was/is repulsive, legal or not and Bobby's hands are filthy.

It even hurts you more this as all so long ago. The manufactured outrage is lost on those 50 and younger. They know 2 things about JFK. He was assissinated and he was banging MM. Both deaths are shrouded in conspiracy theories. Of those 50 and over at least 50% remember who was in power when MLK was spied on and blackmailed. You just can't win.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I think we see where your hangup is. Thank you for finally admitting it.


I don't have any hangups. I understood Gennifer Flowers completely. Adultry is everywhere and always wrong but at least she made some sense. If the choice is Hillary and Gennifer I can see the 'weakness'. Wrong but comprehensible.

Sorry, Monica wasn't about sex. It was pure perversion. Think of his choices. A mere snap of the fingers and 1M liberal babes would have dropped to their knees. Hell, 2M liberal men. He chose Monica.

And as a political issue, pure gold. Or should I say 'diamond'. Meaning diamonds last forever.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Oh please, let the Republicans continue to show their disdain for Democracy. The Bush bootlickers in congress and on the internet may have no use for the idea, but no doubt the vast Republican base still loves Democracy and won't give it up even to their own guy.

Someone up thread mentioned Germany and the end of Democracy. Hitler came to power at the head of a right wing that had never cared for Democracy, and with a strong communist minority in parliament that was all too happy to help tear it asunder, signing their own death warrants in the process. We're far from that condition here.

Posted by: Boronx on February 8, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Do people in your family routinely have children at age 16?

You don't know anything about kids do you? To a 22-yr old anyone 5 days older than your parents is grandpa. Not that it matters. Having Sex with someone your fathers age is bad enough.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Monica wasn't about sex. It was pure perversion. Think of his choices. A mere snap of the fingers and 1M liberal babes would have dropped to their knees. Hell, 2M liberal men. He chose Monica.

Jesus, you are one twisted fuck.

Posted by: Boronx on February 8, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Have you no shame or decency?

I've been saying for months that he doesn't. Or a sense of irony.

From a political perspective everything here works against you.

For your sake, you'd better hope that it doesn't. You yourself admit thyat the act is repulsive, and yet you rejoice in it, because you think it helps you politically. Did it ever occur to you that this might be indicative of something wrong with you?

Posted by: Constantine on February 8, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Having Sex with someone your fathers age is bad enough."

Heh. You mean like Andrea Mitchell (59) and Alan Greenspan (79)?

Posted by: Joel on February 8, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Why are the Dem leaders so afraid to speak out against a group whose hero and savior is Karl Rove?

Posted by: lib on February 8, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Senator Joseph Lieberman, the former vice presidential candidate, declared on CBSs "Face the Nation," "I want my president to be reading e-mails of people talking to Al Qaeda." He added, "Congress needs to get together on a bipartisan basis and give the president the authority to do what he has done.""

Which ignores the fact that the FISA program already has given him that power. LIEberman's statement ignores that.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 8, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

IS this one of the giys who gets to listen to our phone calls without oversight ?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/07/AR2006020700922.html

Or is it one of those guys who said we'd find WMD in Iraq ?

Posted by: Stephen on February 8, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK
There's a group of hardcore conservatives who find the program unsettling on ideological small government grounds

No, Kevin, those people that see small government as a end unto itself are "libertarians"; "conservatives", if the term means anything other than simply "whatever ideology the Republican Party currently rhetorically embraces", see it only as an instrumental good for protecting the interest of the proper ruling class, and aren't real concerned by Bush's program, since, despite not being small government, it still serves that primary end.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,

There's a publication called Barely Legal. It probably has just what you're looking for.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Monthly Staff,

Nice of you to join the consensus. About 2 hours after everyone else, but hey glad to see you made it. Witness the power of collective intelligence as good ideas float to the top. Unlike the echo chambers on the right that serve only to stifle and confuse making all who participate that much less effective.

Note To the Monthly troll team:
Al, man, you guys are a dieing breed. Look at the Go game you are playing, your pieces are encircled and all you can do is lash out innefectively. You're losing. You guys can't fight the network effect and the beauty of it is that it will continue to compound against you until you are drowned by the mobs of the self informed. Wise up and join the winning side, its not like you're fighting for principles here, as the shallowness and mimicry of your posts continue to demonstrate.
Unlike TV and radio, the internet gives its users a memory, collectively they don't forget. The one-trick ponies of the right wing echo chamber are yesterday's news.

Go watch the Sundance clip Ha Ha Ha America and tell me how the hundreds millions of dollars that went into the current spin machine can so easily be flushed down the toilet by one low budget production.

http://festival.sundance.org/2006/watch/film.aspx?which=402&category=DOC

For the troll teams viewing pleasure, here.

Watch and learn guys. Watch and learn.

Posted by: patience on February 8, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

rdw is all in favor of giving Bush unlimited power. rdw assumes that Republicans will be in power forever. History proves otherwise. Personally, I don't want a President of either party to have the power to ignore any law they choose.

Posted by: cq on February 8, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

This has the makings of a disaster to it--you do NOT put Navy personnel in Iraq to take the place of Army and Marines personnel. This is the latest example of how badly managed and how frighteningly incompetent this administration is.

No, I'm not belittling the Navy. Many have died in Iraq doing their job. But to put 12,000 sailors in harms way--the people making this decision have lost their minds. As Stefan noted before he took a break, these people have eaten the seed corn and now they're eating the bark off the trees.

What say you, rdw? You trawled the Atlantic on a garbage scow, didn't you? More good things to say about putting sailors in Iraq? Proof that Bush and Rumsfeld are the wise elders and excellent stewards of American military power that you voted for?

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Navy will try to lift some of the burden off U.S. Army troops in Iraq this year by increasing the number of sailors inside that country and taking on duties soldiers have been doing, according to the Navy's top sailor.

The move is designed to ease the pressure on the stressed and stretched Army in Iraq, which has soldiers doing everything from combat, medical and security duties to countless support operations.

In a briefing to Pentagon reporters Tuesday, Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the Chief of Naval Operations, said the Navy will start playing a bigger role in Iraq by adding to the 4,000 sailors already operating in the country.

About 138,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq; the Army makes up about 99,000.

Mullen would not say how many sailors he is expecting to put into Iraq or when they will start filling the various duties. He did say the number of sailors would be less than 12,000.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Trouble with Bush is that he doesn't understand the American concept of freedom and the Bill of Rights. Bush thinks freedom is using aggression to install puppet governments in the Middle East for the security of Israel.

Bush, the King of Spenders, is the most liberal president we have ever had on spending, illegal immigration, education, etc., but of course the Jesus freaks and Catholics have managed to redefine "conservatism" to mean "radical Judeo-Christianity and anti-abortion fervor" in a stealth campaign to combine church and state.

Posted by: Myron on February 8, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Have any 80 year old grandmas hijacked a plane and crashed it into a national landmark since they began searching them? I think not, and hence the effectiveness of the program is proven.

Ahhhhh.

I'd just been thinking to myself, "Man, Stefan hasn't posted in a while, it'd be nice to have some posts from him and, lo --

-- you appear bearing much-appreciated clever sarcasm.

What a tribute to the awesome power of the mind.

My next trick: making Kate Beckinsale materialize at will.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 8, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Do people in your family routinely have children at age 16?

Well, ya know, their Daddy likes to break 'em in young...

Posted by: No Longer Loves It on February 8, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Team Al,

Just to update you on the progress of the good idea through the American Mind. In less than 24 hours your guy Gonzalez has been nailed to the wall, guess the one-trick echo chamber play book isn't working so well these days. Flail! Flail! Flail! Flail!

Gonzalez just gave grounds for an independent council appoint. In only the first day of testamony, and the even gave him a take back, by not sweating him in. Read all about it.

http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2006/02/not_telling_the.html#more
(Hat tip Laura Rozen)
Kudos to her laser like accuracy and details oriented internet gumshoe-journalism. YOU GO GIRL!!!

here it is for those who don't like cut and paste

Posted by: patience on February 8, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: You don't know anything about kids do you? To a 22-yr old anyone 5 days older than your parents is grandpa. Not that it matters. Having Sex with someone your fathers age is bad enough.

Terribly funny rdw. I've known plenty of women dating or married to someone the age of their father.

Posted by: tripoley on February 8, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Patience,

Monthly Staff,
Nice of you to join the consensus. About 2 hours after everyone else, but hey glad to see you made it.

How do you figure we're 'late?'

From the WM archives:

Steve White posted:
The NSA is authorized to intecept international communications, even if one end is in the U.S. Again, there's nothing illegal or criminal in any of this. Except the leak, of course. And we have the Plame affair as an example of how to handle leaks, right?

Pale Rider said:
Here is where you get the typical half-wit argument from people who have never had to deal with FISA or with the regulations regarding what is known as USSID 18.

The administration believed that it had the legal authority to tell NSA to go out and conduct this collection without having to go through the process of getting a court order and without having to acknowledge or answer for their actions.

It isn't really about anything more than a corrupt administration placing itself above the law. I don't care whether these were Democrats or Republicans--the President went out there this morning and admitted his guilt to an impeachable offense.

Case closed. When do the hearings start? Who are the House managers going to be?

No amount of spin can change what we were telling the trolls on Friday afternoon--this is serious, this is a critical matter and the "corner has been turned."

It just wasn't the corner the administration was expecting.

Hey--what the heck just happened in Iraq anyway?

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 17, 2005 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

But hey--if that's not soon enough for you, too bad. I had a lot of work at the bottle washing factory that weekend.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, all this has to do with the present misbehavior of W. how? Regardless of what people did or didn't do re wiretapping MLK, why should I tolerate Bush's activities which violate the law and the Constitution now?

By the way, your suggestion that Clinton's behavior was somhow more heinous than purposely violating the Constitution reveals you to be, like most trolls who come here, morally bankrupt and radically unamerican.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 8, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

but of course the Jesus freaks and Catholics have managed to redefine "conservatism" to mean "radical Judeo-Christianity and anti-abortion fervor" in a stealth campaign to combine church and state.

Er, no.

Authoritarianism cloaked in religiosity (e.g., "divine right") has been a feature of conservatism since it was associated more directly with monarchism.

The recent rhetorical appeal to the "small government" ideals of libertarianism is the "redefinition" of conservatism, if anything is, and even then, it mostly has, in practice, been a cover for using the power of the state to vest most practical power in the propertied class, to recreate, thereby, an essentially feudal structure.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, your suggestion that Clinton's behavior was somhow more heinous than purposely violating the Constitution reveals you to be, like most trolls who come here, morally bankrupt and radically unamerican

I didn't call Clinton's act heinous although I'm not sure which act you are talking about. The blowjob is merely the sad, predatory act of a sick individual and only about Bill. The lying to the judge is the serious act but I'd not call it heinous either. I'd use pitiful.

GWB did not defy the Constitution. It's this hyper-ventalating that's killing you politically. We can reasonably disagree whcih side is correct regarding the constitutionality but the Justice dept as well as many Constitutional scholars say it is. I have no intention of debating the legalese. I'm not a lawyer. But many credible blogs such as powerline and analyzed the legal argument and are convinced the White House wins this argument. The timidiy of the Senate all but confirms this.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Logic in support of Republicanism is no necessity, and idiocy in defense of Bushism is no vice.

Posted by: lib on February 8, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Terribly funny rdw. I've known plenty of women dating or married to someone the age of their father.

I don't know one. It happens but it's unusual. We're not talking 10 - 15 years age difference. Bill Clinton was 33 when Monica was born. To most 22-yr olds she might as well have been going down on Moses.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

To Pale Rider and Monthly Staff:

Yes you guys were in the first wave of signaling the crime. Kudos. Love it when you are out in front with details.

But whether this crime was the one that lives or not was an open question for the Monthly, at least in your public presentations, since those excellent Pre-Christmas bursts.

The NYT article is the general public's first mover signal, and I believe if you check you will find that Atrios picked it out first at 10:38PM last night. By 11:47PM last night there was a consensus on the value of the signal, similarly to how the street coallesces an opinion about the Fed Open Market announcements. You can spade through the usual suspects to see how this worked if you like.

Your post on the signal at 1:24AM (assuming EST) was 2 hours after this consensus had been reached.

And actually I like how quickly you came out to challenge me. For a while I wasn't sure if you guys were really committed to this blogging thing.
Kudos.

Posted by: patience on February 8, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

How dare you impugn the Drexel Hill Dimwit - Why, did you know that in all his vast sailing experiences on the oceans blue, not one Jolly Green Giant can ever fell from a rack? He would reup for commissary duty in a heart beat, but he is needed by Twiggie to obfuscate and provide hilarious mis-information at this site.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is indeed defying the Constitution and the law. First of all, any argument that he isn't ignores the fact that he has not ever been serious (your inappropriate chacterization of him) about the chief terrorist, Osama, or about rashly attacking unrelated countries in the name of a "war on terrorism" (a concept basically chacterized by its incoherence.)

I personally have no idea what the basis of the Clinton/Monica relationship was, and you don't either. The difference between us is that I am not eager to find predators in every unorthodox coupling.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 8, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, have you ever gotten a decent blowjob in your life? Really, why are you losers so obsessed with someone else's sex life? It only mirrors your own desires, and failings, in your boring middle amurican sex life. So sad.

But don't worry, rdw, I'm sure daddy's little girls know how to please a man, don't they?

Posted by: realdumbwhitey on February 8, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

What say you, rdw? You trawled the Atlantic on a garbage scow, didn't you? More good things to say about putting sailors in Iraq? Proof that Bush and Rumsfeld are the wise elders and excellent stewards of American military power that you voted for?

I crossed the Atlantic 11 times in that scow to the Med to keep those brave sailors well fed. I'm the reason you slept so well in the 70's. That would obviously be before Jimmy took over.

I don't know what to think to be honest. I'd bet it's more of a case of Navy people wanting to get in on the action. If one is ambitious in the services war duty is a big time advantage. One of the reaons Kerry was on a swift boat was because Elmo Zumalt wanted a bigger role for the Navy. He wanted in on the action.

I'd need to hear more about what they have in mind. Many do not realize a fairly large segment of the military is non-combat. I was a quartermaster on a supply-ship. A QT is a navigtor. I would have had zero relevent training or experience for Iraq but we also had a lot of high-tech types, supply types, machinists, electricians, gunnery, etc. 12,000 is not a huge commitment. On a long term operation it would seem to make sense.

Unlike most libs I have complete confidence in the rofessiojnalism of our military. We have always had the finest military and they've made quantum leaps in their competence since going all volunteer. If the Joint chiefs say it's a good idea that's good enough for me.

BTW: I was assigned to a supply ship. I didn't ask for it and at the time didn't want it. In 1972 Nam was effectively over so in a time of peace there wasn't a sense that being on a supply-ship meant we were missing the action. I was 19 and would have preferred a 'warship'. It wasn't for more than a year later I learned I had pulled very good duty. We had huge freezers and never ran out of good food. I never drank powered milk in my life and had access to fresh eggs every day. Except for the occasional drill we didn't play at war games much at all. Periodically in NATO exercises we'd be the decoy carrier and thus a target. Being straffed by incredibly fast jets was a joy to behold. Point being my service would not have made me qualified to serve in Iraq but this is a much, much different Navy.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

The difference between us is that I am not eager to find predators in every unorthodox coupling.

Let's not be stupid. The smartest, most powerful man in the world and Monica? Are you kidding me.

This wasn't unorthodox. This was perverse.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ace Franze:

Actually, Ace, the relationship *was* kind of predatory -- if you look at Monica as the predator. After all, by her own admission she was going to DC to "earn her presidential kneepads."

And Bill was a sucker for it. Ordinarily I think most people would say a relationship with that much power and age differential is inherently exploitative, and perhaps it is.

But in this case I think it was more a case of two co-dependents enabling each other. Monica was surely no sexual innocent, and Clinton *was* the President of the United States.

Heh, the saddest aftermath in that scandal for me was a float in a German parade, which featured Clinton giving a reacharound feelup to a squinting Lady Liberty, her arm too encumbered by the Torch of Liberty to bat him off.

Sigh ... it did kind of make us a laughingstock in most of the civilized world -- regardless of sophisticated European sexual morality.

But hey ... Brazil gave Clinton its Macho of the Year Award.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 8, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is indeed defying the Constitution and the law.

Simply not true. He has the constitution on his side. Alito will prove it at a time of GWBs choosing. That assumes the libs are dumb enough to push it and I believe they are.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh ... it did kind of make us a laughingstock in most of the civilized world -- regardless of sophisticated European sexual morality.

It's got to suck being liberal and so invested in France's opinion of oneself. Woe is me. I want to be sophisticated too. Grow a spine.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

rdw never heard about a blowjob he didn't get that he did like. Do all republican women not know how to go down? I'm so sorry to learn of this for you, rdw, and I can assume your posts reflect that bitterness and anger at not ever being satisfied that way.

Posted by: wdr on February 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: "good work digging this up but it's clearly partisan nonsense. Katzenback is heardly an unbiased observer."

Yes, we all know what a straight shooter you are... no patience for bias or partisan nonsense.

"I don't wish to get into the weeds on this one. It's not interesting or important. The fact is everyone knows and agrees the Kennedy's are as far from choirboys as it gets."

Just so we're clear, contradictory facts aren't interesting or important. They are biased & partisan. And you don't want to actually have to do the work of, you know, presenting an actual argument here, because "everyone knows & agrees" with your assertions.

You are priceless. How long did take you to abandon the subject at hand in favor of discussions about blowjobs & 22-year-old girls?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on February 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Yeah, well I don't find high culture contemptuous the way you do.

I can actually, like, tell the difference between Beethoven and Meyerbeer in a blindfold test. Most people posting here who love classical music probably could as well. It's not rocket science.

You couldn't, however. And what's more -- you consider the knowledge trivial and have contempt for people who don't.

Euroweenie composers. What kind of spineless nonsense *is* that, anyway.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 8, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Brazil gave Clinton its Macho of the Year Award

We did? I don't recall that. Or this award, for that matter.

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 8, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Brazil Connection:

Shoot, I *thought* it was Brazil ... I followed the Lewinsky scandal pretty closely, but it's been close to a decade now.

It definitely was a major Latin American country, though.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 8, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, you don't like the facts regarding bobby kennedy and mlk, so they must be wrong. i admire such fortitude.

it's what enables you to claim, with a straight face, that clinton "hit on" monica lewinsky, rather than the factually correct monica lewinsky "hit on" clinton.

PS. the kennedys weren't choir boys. what of it? you brought up the wiretapping of mlk in a shoddy, transparent attempt to justify bush violating FISA. As i noted to you, at the time, what bobby kennedy did was legal - wrong, but legal.

What Bush is doing may be right - who knows? - but it's illegal.

that's a rather critical difference, and it's a factual one. try to keep the acquaintance of facts - you'll find it helpful as you go through the rest of your life....

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

btw, rdw, i didn't "dig it up." it's a recent article and, because i happen to spend a lot of time in Los Angeles, i read it when it first appeared in the la times. all i had to do was to find it.

see, i like facts, so i try and keep informed.

it's really a good way to live.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

"The difference between us is that I am not eager to find predators in every unorthodox coupling.~Ace

Let's not be stupid.~rdw"

OK, in our effort not to be stupid, let's admit our ignorance about Bill/Monica, and our ignorance of why Bush didn't go after Osama until he caught him, and of why he thought the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel escapade of going after Saddam had anything thing to do with a (still incoherent idea of) a "war on terrorism."

Kay?

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 8, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton! Blowjob! I never got one from a 21 yr old! Wahhhhhhhh!

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

howard-

I'd be careful about taking Katzenbach's word for this. It sounds an awful lot to me like retroactive behind-covering. Of course, there is no documentation from Katzenbach at the time, just his word, and both RFK and Hoover are dead (and, to the best of my knowledge, did not leave any documentation about this behind.)

One of the dirty little secrets about Hoover is that every President he worked under was quite aware of his shenanigans, but afraid that Hoover would reveal the goods on them if he was dismissed. LBJ came close to stating it openly when he was asked why he didn't fire Hoover.

JFK and RFK were no friends to civil liberties. In tape number 4 ,a href="http://www.whitehousetapes.org/clips/jfk_1_3/index.htm">here, for instance, JFK and his advisors are discussing the creation of a group that sounds awfully similar to Richard Nixon's plumbers, and using the CIA to do so. (You can also, in tape 8, hear JFK fulminating because a Harvard economist, in a speech in Germany, said that the US dollar was overvalued..and then going on to suggest, apparently seriously, that the man's passport be yanked for saying that.)

We'll be better off as a country when we face facts: all of the abuses that the Church commission exposed were done with bipartisan approval at a very high level, and Nixon was just the President who got caught in the act.

None of this, of course, means a darn thing when the topic is what George Bush has done. If George Bush is breaking the law, it's not much of a defense to point out that other Presidents have done the same thing (especially when there is some argument about whether it was legal in the pre-FISA era..an idea I find sketchy, but which seems to be popular.)

After all, if the cops catch me breaking into a car, I can't present a defense of "Joe Blow breaks into cars, too."

What JFK, or RFK, or LBJ, or FDR, or Nixon did is irrelevant to whether what Bush did was legal or not. (And yes, for those keeping track, I thought a lot of the precedents dragged out in that Justice Department apologia were utterly specious.)

Posted by: Nemo Ignotus on February 8, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Nemo, i'm not trying to pretend that the kennedys hands are clean or that the dems are pure and the republicans are not.

however, i've looked into the mlk wiretapping somewhat extensively (it's related to the work i get paid for) and yes, katzenbach's account is perfectly fine. who knows - maybe bobby wasn't really livid about the idea of wiretapping. maybe katzenbach and marshall hated mlk as much as hoover did. etc.

but basically, the story is as he outlined it, and i grabbed for it because it was convenient in my memory.

otherwise, absolutely, yes, i agree: it wouldn't matter had john f. kennedy personally agreed to an illegal wiretap.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

see, i like facts, so i try and keep informed.

Allow me to repeat because you didn't understand it the 1st time. Your 'facts' are a matter of much dispute but not by me. As a practical matter in 2006 those 'facts' are not relevent. You need to see the world as it is not what you want it to be. For many under the age of 60 JFK and RFK are the brothers who were banging Marylin Monroe and possibly had a role in her death.

I make no assertion either is true. That each nailed MM seems plausable. I can't believe they had anything to do with her death. Neither is the point. The point is that it's accepted wisdom the brothers were in up to their nose in nefarious activity, legal or not. The point is accusing GWB of spying on peace activist and democrats is stupid beyond belief.

There is a legit discusion over the constitutionality of GWBs task force. The people calling for impeachment and accusing him of spying on peace activists are crazies who color the entire group as whack jobs. Suggesting GWB was wiretapping democrats and peace freaks can only remind people of the out of control 60's when Dems owned DC. It's stupid squared.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

What Bush is doing may/ be right - who knows? - but it's illegal

It might be illegal Howard but you are not going to decide that. I know you are a great legal mind but you will not have a say. Samuel Alito might have some say. I'd suggest it's less than 50-50 it gets that far but just the same if it does get that far the odds, as I read them, are very high Sam is not going to make you happy. Neither will Antonin, Clarence, John or Justice Kennedy.

We can at least agree from the docile hearings the Senate is anxious to make a deal. If the WH were to propose a bill tomorrow. "let me do exactly as I am doing" he'll get 60 votes. At a minimum he'll get Leiberman and both Nelsons

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well I don't find high culture contemptuous the way you do.


1) I'm conservative. We despise elitism. I'd never use the term high culture.

2) I'm neither contemptuous of nor seek the approval of what/who you define as high culture.

3) I am contemptuous of those who do sek this approval. I am not religious but just the same I thank God I am not so weak and shallow.

4) I have had some exposure to classical musical including several Philadephia Orchestra concerts. I've seen Muti among others. I'll take the Allman Brothers thank you.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, first of all, you brought the kennedys up, not me. if you don't think they're relevant (i don't), why bring them up?

second of all, no, justice alito will determine whether bush's actions are unconstitutional or whether FISA is unconstitutional. they won't determine whether bush is breaking FISA: they frickin' concede it. it's not a matter of dispute.

and third of all, frankly, if bush proposed a piece of legislation tomorrow that modifies FISA to do what he is doing, and it passes, i may not like it, but at least it would be legal. There's lots of bad bills that Bush has proposed and congress passed, and i'm happy to oppose them on the merits.

the special problem with this program is that it violates FISA quite clearly (General Hayden told us so) and Bush and his retainers are hackishly attempting to gin up some plausible explanation for why it's legal nonetheless. The claim of all Dems isn't don't wiretap: it's "get a frickin' warrant like the 4th ammendment tells you you should or modify the law in such a way as you don't need to get a warrant. you don't have the right to pick a third path, called violating the law."

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

btw, rdw, it's conservatives who invented the notion of "high culture." it's rightwingers who think that such a term is elitest.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

1) I'm conservative. We despise elitism. I'd never use the term high culture.

You mean you never got invited to the parties in high school or college. What a pity. I see this often with boring, stiff aging baby boomers. They missed out on a wild youth, and of course now they know they have fewer days ahead, they are bitter and they want everyone else to be as gloomy and as miserable as they are.

Posted by: wdr on February 8, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Shoot, I *thought* it was Brazil

Well, I'm not saying it wasn't - but this looks like an award that would be given by one of our comedy shows (we have few of them though).

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 8, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

And let's face it: this is the country that produced Gisele Bundchen. Monica Lewinsky wouldn't get anyone a 'macho of the year' award in my 3-year old kindergarten, let alone the whole country.

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 8, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Also, bringing a thread from party unity to blowjobs is what you would call to come off topic? :)

Posted by: Brazil Connection on February 8, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

btw, rdw, i wasn't really thinking. the allman brothers?

sheesh, i saw them in 1971, and they were already past their prime (i mean, how could any band that once had duane allman be better without him?).

you want to impress us about your pop culture cred? tell us you'd take kanye west over schoenberg, not the allman brothers!

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

rdw is far from gloomy and miserable, for those two adjectives look no further than the current leadership of the Wingnut (democratic) party. The democratic party prides themselves on being there for the poor and disenfranchised, correct? Well here are some stats;
Before the passing of civil rights legislation unemployment among African Americans - 6%
Today's unemployment among African Americans - 10%.
Out of wedlock children among African Americans prior to civil rights legislation - 14%.
Today - over 70%.
These stats are despite the fact that there has been over 40 years of a democratically controlled Senate and House prior to 1994. Also, despite Democratic Senators, Governors and Mayors, New Orleans is a disaster, which really should be the model society considering the leadership, right?
Good Job. Also, please encourage Dean, Pelosi, Kennedy and Sheehan to speak as often and as loudly as they can, it should really help your cause.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

The people calling for impeachment and accusing him of spying on peace activists are crazies who color the entire group as whack jobs. Suggesting GWB was wiretapping democrats and peace freaks can only remind people of the out of control 60's when Dems owned DC. It's stupid squared.

Pentagon Spies on Quaker meetings

NSA Used Local Police to Spy on Peace Activists


Department of Defense Admits Collecting Inappropriate Info on Americans

You're wrong on the facts rdw, and there are the documents and even the admissions to prove it.

I guess that makes you stupid squared.

Buddy, you need to see the world how it is, not how you want it to be.


Posted by: Windhorse on February 8, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

you know, Jay, i have to say: you're coming on strong for the stupidest poster alive competition! keep it up, brother, keep it up!

i'm not even going to bother to check your data (for which you obligingly cite no source), because, after all, you've already given the game away: you think that the civil rights and voting rights acts were wrong.

in that, you join many notable racists. congratulations.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

How comical, rdw, you're not elitist because you're conservative! You're not even very conservative if you want an American president to do whatever he likes under cover of commander-in-chief in the "war on terror." And conservatism is all about elitism: living in gated communities, going to private schools, etc. "Elitism" is a canard that the Republicans saw in the mirror and have tried to hang on Democrats.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 8, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

howie, I will remind you that it was your party that stood in the way of civil rights legislation, it was the Rep party that saw to the passing of that legislation. Also, Lincoln ended slavery; so what was it again the Dems have done for African American community? Besides spying on MLK.
Re: the stats, are you aware of google?
BTW, would Nagin be one of the notable racists?

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, you're not from down South, are you? You don't know dick about race and pubs and dems in 2006.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 8, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently neither do the Dems. The Southern states could not have been more red.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

jay, mon cheri, we all know that the racists used to belong to the democratic party, then lbj pushed through civil rights and voting rights legistlation, then the racists left the democratic party for the republican party, encouraged by the "southern strategy."

the "southern strategy" worked so well that bush won the states of the old confederacy by 5.5M votes in 2004 and lost the rest of america (that would be the 37 non-traitorous states) by 2.5M.

So what is was that the Dems did was pass the civil rights and voting rights acts. what have the republicans done to maintain the mantle of Lincoln?

here's the only fact i know about Nagin's biography: he was a republican until he ran for mayor.

here's the fact that i know about the civil rights and voting rights bills, the ones you don't think were worth anything: they were opposed by racists. congratulations on your company.

and no, i don't feel like wandering around google to find the unemployment stats for blacks in 1960, 1950, 1940, 1930, 1920, 1910, 1900, 1890, 1880, and 1870. nor do i want to spend the time looking for an analysis of education levels and job availabilities and all the other factors that would speak to unemployment rate.

same goes for out-of-wedlock births, which would require me, as well, to look for all the data about other racial groupings and out-of-wedlock births, and also require me to spend some time hunting around for data about rape.

so do you have appropraite suporting documentation?

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

howie, you're a typical liberal, not willing to put in the time to make a difference. Just react and over react. And the racists moving to the Rep. Party? Does that include KKK Byrd, who spoke for 14 hours in opposition to the CRA? I believe he is in your company howie.
Good Job.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

I would think that if Jay Shaver wasn't so racist, he wouldn't have all that information so readily available to him.

Boy, you and Steve Sailer and TangoMan ought to have a little party...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 8, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

one other thing, I did not know that Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Utah, etc. were all part of the old confederacy that Bush won (and apparently lost the rest of America). Not to much of America left to lose huh?

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, you're not from down South, are you? You don't know dick about race and pubs and dems in 2006.

(Repeated for the slow)

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 8, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

oh Ace, no need to do that for yourself, you'll be alright.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

And conservatism is all about elitism: living in gated communities, going to private schools, etc. "Elitism" is a canard that the Republicans saw in the mirror and have tried to hang on Democrats.

And mighty effectively you should add. You do make is easy. I never said conservatives could not be elitists. I said you'll never hear a conservative say, "Oh my God, what will the French think? Our polls! What will we do?"

Kevin just posted polling data on what the rest of the world thinks of the USA. This matters deeply to liberals. Conservatives are of the exact opposite mind. If our numbers in France are above 30% that means we've gone soft. We've screwed up. Even at 25% it's a little on the high side. I suspect the recent run of car-b-ques and the fact they are no longer protected by the US defense umbrella has sobered them up a wee bit. Seeing Schroeder and Martin bite the dust can't help and with the cartoon brouhaha, Iranian mess and Palestinian elections they're even further marginalized. Does anyone talk to Jacques anymore?

So much for sophistication

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Right on the money, rdw. You might also cite the resounding victory of Howard in Australia.

Posted by: Jay on February 8, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

You're wrong on the facts rdw, and there are the documents and even the admissions to prove it.

I am dead-on, as always. Not one of the stories you listed cited any illegal activities by the govt and none are related to the warrantless wiretap program authorized by GWB which is the subject under discussion.

Does the govt collect data on whacky fringe groups? Absolutely, that's how they just got arrests for a dozen eco-terrorists. We've got nuclear reactors, chemical plants and military bases to protect and need to keep an eye on those freaks. Once they decide if they're evil or just simple they cut off review.

The morons are using the comparison of the Kennedy Brothers abuse of J Edgar and the FBI a an example of what GWB is doing and it's just stupid on every level.

The 1st and most obvious is GWB is supposed to be too stupid and too 'incurious' to conduct such survaliance. But the real damage is just the simple comparison. The Kennedy's and J Edgar were totally out of control. DC under the Dems was lawless.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

rdw at 1:53 PM: 1) I'm conservative. We despise elitism. I'd never use the term high culture.

rdw at 3:09 PM: I never said conservatives could not be elitists.

So at 1:53 he says that he cannot possibly be an elitist based solely on his status as a conservative, and then little over an hour lately he flatly contradicts himself....

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

you want to impress us about your pop culture cred? tell us you'd take kanye west over schoenberg, not the allman brothers

If I was trying to impress the last band I'd mention would be the Allman Brothers. How could any true blue elitist ever be impressed by a Southern Band? They're all racist don't you know? Even Jaimoe.

I quite agree regarding the loss of Duane. My taste is music is very much defined by when I grew up and when I was 18 Duane was at the top of his game with the Allman Brothers and as a session guy at Muscle Schoals studios. His work on Boz Scaggs, 'Loan me a Dime' is as good as it gets.

It's always bee a crime that Duane and Berry died so young and the equally talented Greg allowed drugs to take over.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm conservative. We despise elitism. I'd never use the term high culture.

rdw, unlike Joe Schmoe, is nowhere near high enough on the economic/class ladder to be able to have the base tastes and preferences that Schmoe does. A disdain for high culture is, itself, an elitist endeavor, while it is the middle class that has traditionally aspired to appreciation of more sophisticated tastes.

rdw's ideology, however, is essentially nihilistic; his only concern is for the greater glory of Bush, and he is devoid of any greater moral concerns.

Posted by: Constantine on February 8, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

So at 1:53 he says that he cannot possibly be an elitist based solely on his status as a conservative, and then little over an hour lately he flatly contradicts himself....

You are babbling. My exact phrase: I'd never use the term high culture. It's a pitiful term spoken by pitiful snobs. I could never use such a term. This has nothing to do with conservativism. Most independents I know would never say such a thing unless it was sarcasm. It just so happens most Americans despise elitist just none more than Conservatives.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

while it is the middle class that has traditionally aspired to appreciation of more sophisticated tastes.

Couldn't have said it better myself you snob.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, when you're a little higher on the class totem pole, then you won't be so laughable when you try to claim how down-to-earth your tastes are. Middle class families used to send their children to schools where they learned Latin and Greek and regularly read--gasp!--books and went to see plays and classical music concerts. They might have even known something about art. It was an elitist endeavor to claim that one was high enough on the totem pole that one could afford to have a disdain for such things. Your attempt to play "I'm just a simple man" is just an elitist aspiration of yours in an effort to imitate Bush, whom you have an unnaturally strong affection for.

Posted by: Constantine on February 8, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Many of whom would do it pro bono for the publicity and to take a piece out of the NY Times."
Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK


Please do take a big chunk out of the Times. We Liberals have realized for some time now that it's just a mouthpiece for Conservatives. So, yeah, take it down. It's one of yours anyway. There is no big time Liberal press to speak of.

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, when you're a little higher on the class totem pole,

Cram your class totem pole. It's nonsense. I am no high brow or low brow and I don't have a distain for art. I have a distain for snobs. You can have all your pretensions. You are a fraud.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Do nothing then leak it later is politics at the expense of your own country."
Posted by: Mca on February 8, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK


Are you accusing one of the Dems of treason for having leaked secret information? Whom are you accusing?

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

There is no big time Liberal press to speak of.

My, we are having a difficult time. The MSM is still very strong. Your misfortune is it used it's monopoly days to grow stupid. We know this from Katrina. The images were powerful and the reporting breathless. What a hell hole they had in the dome. My heart bled. Of course we found out fairly quickly they got absolutely everything wrong so while the political damage was significant it was not lasting.

Classic MSM uber-hype. They simply cannot be trusted. Today the Democratic leadership is somewhat demoralized the polls are showing the President won't be losing his job but the Governor and Mayor will lose theirs. What looked like a real opportunity to regain the Congress isn't. Don't feel too bad. Dan Rather feels much worse.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"All of the Republicans protesting Bush's actions are actual conservatives or libertarians. The mystery is why it's taken them so long to realize how out of control Bush is."
Posted by: Nemo Ignotus on February 8, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK


They're Republicans first and foremost.

They didn't want to give up the power. They waited until his re-election (if you believe in that fairy tale) so he'd be secure and then they complain to try and reel him back in a little bit.

That's why the other Congressional Republicans who are in close races will maybe distance themselves from him come election time.

Mostly however they'll stick to him and each other like glue. Their idea of solidarity has won them great power so far, so why should they walk away from that kind of unity.

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Are you accusing one of the Dems of treason for having leaked secret information? Whom are you accusing?


We are likely to find out. The educated guess among pundits following the story closely is that Jay Rockerfeller is the most likely leaker. There is a serious investigation going on and if it follows a logical path there will be supoena's issued to the NYT's reporters who printed the story. Given the NTY's already lost press protections these two could sit in jail for an extended time if they do not cooperate.

At the same time the press will be under a far more thorough investigation for the Plame leak. The well financed and well staffed Libby legal team will have supoena authority they intend to use far more aggressively than Fitzpatrick. Not only is it to Libby's advantage but to the GOP's. What would be more fund than to put the much of the MSM in jail and force them to pay hige legal expenses. Politically speaking this is a no brainer.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

jay, my sweet, you're the one spewing out decontextualized numbers: i notice you still don't provide a link for us to evaluate your sources.

now, if you will read me carefully, what i said was that bush carried the states of the old confederacy, all 13 of them, by 5.5M votes and lost the rest of the country by 2.5M votes. do you have an empirical basis to disagree with that? i didn't say that the "southern strategy" meant that all bush voters were racists, nor did the "southern" strategy have anything to do with states that aren't in the frickin' south.

and boy, what an excellent argument: robert byrd, as a young man, was in the KKK. that sure proves that there was no southern strategy intended to move whites into the republican party. you really got me there sport. excellent argument. sheesh.

as i say, you've defined yourself as a racist by making it clear that the civil rights act and the voting rights act mean nothing to you. you further define yourself as a racist by assuming that blacks vote democratic because...well, because they don't know who their true friends are.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, c'mon man: just because you like duane allman is no excuse for piffle.

the times has already told you that some 10-12 people were part of the NSA story (you can look at Risen's book to get some further indication).

there have been no "lost press protections." it was never a "press protection" to claim that protection of sources trumped a criminal investigation. whoever is "investigating" the NSA story will simply need to prove that there is no other way to get the necessary information than from the reporters in question: the Plame affair made zippo difference. there was no new case law established.

and you really don't seem to understand the difference between "defense" and "prosecution." The defense can subpoena witnesses. Why would you think they won't testify? and if they testify, they can't be held in contempt and thrown in jail. wherever do you get the idea that there is some other outcome?

(this puts aside whether, in fact, whistleblower protections will be invoked here. my money is they will, and they will stand.)

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have a distain for snobs. You can have all your pretensions. You are a fraud.

A fraud? I've never claimed to be anything other than who I am. You, on the other hand, attempt to claim that you are somehow successful and a reflection of the "American Dream" and that you have some appreciation for education. However, you disdain you have for the education that previous generations pursued belies that, along with your rabid political nihilism. All of your actions scream "poseur."

Posted by: Constantine on February 8, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

"But many credible blogs such as powerline..."
Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK


Funny.

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

You claimed the government is not spying on peace activists and that we were ridiculous to think so. When I proved the NSA was spying on peace activists you said:

a) what you really meant was the signals intelligence division of the NSA, and:

b) of course the government is spying on peace activists, it's necessary to spy on freaks and whackos.

So when proved wrong, you simply shifted the terms of argument -- then shifted it partly back to have it both ways.

If the NSA is already going through all the trouble to use agents to physically spy on peace activists, you don't think they're not wiretapping their communications too? Even you aren't that naive, although you may pretend to be for the purposes of this argument.

Let's lay aside for a moment the issues 1) whether people who have different beliefs than you are actually freaks and whackos and 2) that freaks and whackos are constitutionally entitled to the same constitutional protections as "normal" Americans, whoever those are in your estimation.

Let's address whether or not normal Americans have been spied on.

You say no.

Alberto Gonzales says "yes."

Why is the Attorney General contradicting your carefully crafted spiel on this blog and making you look like an idiot?

His explanation: it was "inadvertent."

I wonder where in the criminal code that it says it's OK to break a law as long as it is "inadvertent"?

Unfortunately, I just don't think we can take his word on it, particularly because both he and Bush publicly lied about warrantless wiretaps until the story broke. The constitution provides many remedies for situations like this: trust isn't one of them.

Anyway, that Gonzalez really made you look like an idiot, not that you need any help. Remember when your propaganda about the Asia Pacific Partnership was revealed to be nothing more than the breath of fishes and fairy's wings? I have an Asia Pacific partnership too, wanna see it? Japan is in there, and Pulau, and the Solomon Islands. We're all committed to the belief that it would be a good thing if other energy sources existed -- oh, and that Kyoto sucks balls! Woo hoo, look at us go! Eat our dust, Kyoto!

Summing up: contrary to your assertions, elitists in the government have been spying on Quakers, college kids, priests, nuns, and ordinary Americans who oppose the war in Iraq, following their movements and putting them on no-fly lists. The Pentagon has admitted to collecting illegal information on ordinary Americans, and Alberto Gonazalez admitted that the illegal warrantless wiretap program "inadvertently" (yeah, whatever) spied on ordinary Americans.

I know you'll keep putting your false propaganda out there because that's what you do, and apparently part of the reason you do it is because you have some kind of complex that compels you to attack people who have different tastes or politics than you and label them "elitist."

Don't look at me, I can listen to Sugarland and enjoy barbecue with the best of 'em. I even have a riding mower, clean the algae from my pond every week, and spend a lot of time camping.

And Quakers are freaks? I wouldn't have expected such crass bigotry from someone who's been able to partake so fully in the legacy of William Penn.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 8, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

But, I thought Dems were supposed to avoid this issue because it feeds into the perception that we're "weak" on national security? What's a Dem supposed to do when there are no unified talking points??

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on February 8, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

But many credible blogs such as powerline..."

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Funny.

Dan Rather doesn't think it's funny.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

there was no new case law established

Too bad the New Yirk Times didn't know that. You could have saved them a ton of money. They were under the opposite impression as you and they spent a ton of money taking this case to the Supreme Court and getting hammered. The lost at every level so badly the Supremes even refused to hear the case.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

you know, the right-wing zealots are going to go to their graves proclaiming the mighty powerline as the source of dan rather's downfall.


too bad it's not true, but then again, so many old battle stories aren't.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, i don't even know what your 7:19 means. the times - meaning pinch sulzberger - behaved very foolishly based on their first attorney's advice (whose name is escaping me).

then they got a real attorney on board (bennet), and all of a sudden, they realized that they had a losing hand and folded.

so yes, it is too bad that they didn't realize from the start how they had no leg to stand on, but that's life: people make mistakes.

nonetheless, as i said, no new case law was established here. it was always clear that miller had two choices: testify or rot in jail.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK
I wonder where in the criminal code that it says it's OK to break a law as long as it is "inadvertent"?

Um, lots of places. Every criminal law that uses the term "knowingly" necessarily excludes from its prohibition acts where whatever the "knowingly" applies to was instead "inadvertent".

That being said, "knowingly" terms are often interpreted fairly narrowly; I'd not be surprised, for instance, if the use in FISA was construed so that only the act of carrying out the surveillance required knowledge, not the fact of the surveillance being outside the positive permissions of FISA.

That being said, you are right to distrust that any prohibited aspect of this was inadvertent.


Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Why would you think they won't testify? and if they testify, they can't be held in contempt and thrown in jail. wherever do you get the idea that there is some other outcome?

Libby is going to ask them what they knew, when they learned it and who told them. The entire NYTs case was about giving up sources. They lost. Every reporter lost. If Libby asks any reporter for their source and they refuse to testify they can be held in contempt of court.
If they lie they risk perjury. This is lose/lose for every reporter called to testify.

(this puts aside whether, in fact, whistleblower protections will be invoked here. my money is they will, and they will stand.)

There is no whistleblower case here. There was no outing or any crime associated with divulging Plames identity. Fitzpatrick made no such case nor had he offered any evidence of such a case. My money is that we find out the original leaker was Joe Wilson. I'd further speculate the 1st witness supoened is David Corn of the Nation. The 2nd witness might be Andrea Mitchell who told Chris Mathews early on it was common knowledge Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.

Fitzpatrick has a surprisingly weak case.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

nonetheless, as i said, no new case law was established here. it was always clear that miller had two choices: testify or rot in jail.

I disagree although we may be arguing semantics. The perception in the press was that Miller s/b protected from testifying due either to 1st amendment protections or some case law. It may be this was an implied protection that had been observed but not yet tested in the courts. Of this I am not sure. I do know the NYTs spend a ton of money and resources, Bob Bennet is very expensive, to keep Miller from testifying including going thru the appelate level and then to the Supreme Court where the case was turned down. There is no way they paid Bennett if they didn't think they had a solid case. This result added clarity in a negative way forthe press in a way that was not clear before.

This was a major loss and the entire Press corps lost. It wasn't until AFTER the Supremes ruled that Matt Cooper of Time Magazine agreed to testify. It's clear this made the Justice Dept decision to go after the NSA leakers much easier.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, to take your comments in order: yes, that's right. Libby's defense lawyers will (shock, gasp) put on a defense. that means (shock, gasp) cross-examining witnesses. that means that anyone whom fitzgerald has already taken grand jury testimony from (and conceivably others) will be expected to testify.

and they will either testify or they will be held in contempt until they do.

but the odds of any of them choosing the latter are somewhere between slim and none, so we aren't going to end up with loads of reporters in jail running up legal fees or any of your other fantasies.

your second point is a misreading, although i realize, on reflection, that it's partly my fault for not being crystal clear: you began by talking about the NSA investigation, so when i was referencing "whistleblower" protections, that's what i was talking about.

your third point is quite simply wrong: did you read the now unredacted 8 pages from fitzgerald? did you pay attention to the indictment. over here, we have libby, claiming that he was just ever so busy that he couldn't remember what he told people.

over here, we have a long list of people - cabinet officers, ari fleischer, reporters - all of whom remember events consistently and differently than libby does.

it's a very strong case.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, we aren't debating semantics, we're debating facts.

the entire press corps lost nothing in the miller testimony, because the decision did not break any new legal ground.

in a better world, pinch sulzberger would have lost his job for foolishly hoping against hope that there was some principle bigger than the law to defend, but too many family members on the board make that impossible.

the entire press corps did not believe that miller (and to a lesser degree, cooper) were defending some basic principle of a free press, because they weren't.

and the times brought bennett as things heated up, and his first conclusion, roughly paraphrased, was "do you morons want judy miller to rot in jail for the rest of her life? because that's where she's going to stay unless she testifies."

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

you know, the right-wing zealots are going to go to their graves proclaiming the mighty powerline as the source of dan rather's downfall.

too bad it's not true, but then again, so many old battle stories aren't.

Who said Powerline was the source? You've created a strawman.

No one I know. In fact I think it was a blog called Little Green Footballs but I would not swear to that even. The relevent point is this was a bloggers story and Powerline was one of the key links in a chain. For my money they were the most effective in following the story, pulling together the links and in building the most articulate case.

None of the networks played ANY role NOR did any of the major newspapers. In fact they tried to ignore it. Fox gets a ton of credit and they certainly helped but I'd bet they got every relative fact they used from blogs, as they do with frequency. Talk radio was more important than Fox and they got their information from the blogs.

This is a historic story. Powerline helped destroy Dan Rather and rewrite all of the rules of news coverage. The credibility of the blogs is now well estbalished while that of the MSM is at all time lows. The concept of media objectivity is a joke. No one believes the MSM is objective.

My understanding of the actual source is that LGF (I'm not a regular but I think he's charles johnson) saw the report and right away it smelled bad. Johnson might be ex-military and knew the format wasn't correct. before the show was even over he went into Rathers website and the 'evidence' was actually posted. He down loaded it and quickly came to the conclusion it might be a fraud. He called a document expert he knew, told him the story and within a few minutes he suspected it was a word processing document and that it was very unlikely it could have been drafted in 1972 on a typewriter. From there the story spread and within 18 hours, by the evening news cycle, the bloggers had an impressive array of experts who were all but certain they had not just a fraud but a comically inept effort.

It's probably fair to say Powerline gets too much credit but so do QBs. That's how it goes.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Don't feel too bad. Dan Rather feels much worse."
Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK


What on earth are you blathering about? Haven't taken your meds today?

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

MarkH wrote:
"Are you accusing one of the Dems of treason for having leaked secret information? Whom are you accusing?"

rdw replied:
"We are likely to find out. The educated guess among pundits following the story closely is that Jay Rockerfeller is the most likely leaker."
Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK


My, but you are clearly out of your mind. Jay is a multi-millionaire many times over and has no need for your small-time political games. He wouldn't endanger himself by leaking any more than he'd set himself on fire. You're insane.

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

actually, rdw, you're living in a fantasy land now.

just to hit the high points: a.) no one has ever proven the CBS documents were forgeries (see the thornburgh report). the only thing that could be said with certainty was that they couldn't be verified as true, and therefore didn't belong in a news broadcast; b.) it is simply not true that news media credibility is at an alltime low (there's plenty of polling data to show that this is not so); c.) is it simply not true that l'affaire rather rewrote the rules of news coverage (there is no evidence of any change in the rules of news coverage; indeed, the problem with the 60 minutes report is that it violated the rules of news coverage by putting out a supporting document without verifying it); d.) it is simply not true that the "credibility" of "blogs" is now established (in a world of millions of blogs, there is no blanket statement to be made about them, period, and certainly about their "credibility." indeed, for many public figures, "some blogger" is a term to express a lack of credibilty; e.) it is completely untrue that the major networks or newspapers ignored the story. in fact, the single most important piece of factual evidence in the story was discovered by the Dallas Morning News who talked to what's his name's secretary, who said that there were some acronyms and suchlike that demonstrated to her that the memo wasn't real but that she had typed memos very much like it.

Which is to say, the idea that someone typed up a version of a real memo and tried to pass it off as real remains the likeliest explanation for the whole story, which powerline, little green footballs, and all the rest of the nutcases had nothing to do with determining.

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

"But many credible blogs such as powerline..."
Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

MarkH wrote:
"Funny."

"Dan Rather doesn't think it's funny."
Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK


So freakin' what? I don't care what Dan "What's the frequency Kenneth?" Rather thinks. He's a rich Republican anyway.

Posted by: MarkH on February 8, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

the entire press corps did not believe that miller (and to a lesser degree, cooper) were defending some basic principle of a free press, because they weren't.

I didn't say the entire press agreed with the NYT's. I didn't suggest there was a clear, basic
principle here but rather some protections implied by either the 1st amendment that have not yet been specificlaly been ruled on. (much like the NSA warrantless wiretapping)

and the times brought bennett as things heated up, and his first conclusion, roughly paraphrased, was "do you morons want judy miller to rot in jail for the rest of her life? because that's where she's going to stay unless she testifies."

I never heard this quote but I'll take your word for it. I didn't think I took a backseat to anyone in my contempt for the pisspoor management of the NYT's. You apparently have a lower opinion. What you are saying here is that they brought in Bennett, reportedly the most expensive lawyer in DC, and paid him to appeal a case even he did not believe in. I realize any good lawyer can do that but it still boggles the mind.

Here I thought the NYTs had some clue. Silly me.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

So freakin' what? I don't care what Dan "What's the frequency Kenneth?" Rather thinks. He's a rich Republican anyway

Well you're half right.

I don't care what Dan thinks either. I just love the story.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

and they will either testify or they will be held in contempt until they do.

One of the weak aspects of Fitz's case is he didn't talk to many reporters. if I remember correctly it was less than 6. Libby might supoena 40.

One of the 1st will be David Corn who 1st printed the news Val was covert and that almost definitely came from Joe Wilson himself.

the govt is going to have to make the case Libby could only have gotten the information from legit govt cases, knew what he was doing is 'outting'plame and then lied to cover it up to protect himself. We already know Bob Woodard knew about Valerie, called Libby BEFORE Fitz said Libby found out from govt sources (cheney I think) and although Bob doesn't remember the actual conversation with Libby he had it in his notes to mention Plame and probably did.

I am no lawyer but several good lawyers, powerline among them, are of the opinion Woodward by himself helps Libby's case significantly. It even helps the defense establish Fitz didn't do much of an investigation. Libby will prove what Mitchell has stated publically. Wilson and Plame were babbling all over town. It was common knowledge. Scooter could have picked this info up from 30 different reporters.

There are also holes in the testimony of Cooper and Russert. Scooter only needs to get a few jurorers on his side. Fitz has a hard case.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

actually, rdw, the government doesn't have to prove anything of the sort. you've got to stop living in a right-wing bubble because the misinformation is poisoning your mind.

you've got confused the actual charges - perjury and obstruction of justice through the perjury - and other potential charges (like the intelligence protection act, whose precise name is now escaping me).

so the government only has to prove that Libby lied in his grand jury testimony to get a partial conviction; they then have to prove the obstruction as well, which is that his lying is preventing a complete investigation.

so fitzgerald isn't obligated to talk to dozens of reporters, and it doesn't really matter from the standpoint of the charges fitzgerald brought whether everyone in america other than you and me knew that plame was covert.

he merely has to put a group of witnesses on the stand to tell their version of the conversation they had with libby, and ask the jury to compare that to what libby told the grand jury. period.

all this other stuff is merest piffle, when it isn't outright wrong: that is, if you read what david corn wrote, he speculated that plame was covert, based on a number of other factors. if you look at the woodward matter, what we know is that it wasn't fitzgerald's job to go fishing and talk to every reporter in town; it was his job to investigate how did valerie plame's name go public. woodward eventually came forward because he knew that another witness had fingered him. the testimony of cooper and russert is still sealed, so how can you (or the morons at powerline) know what they said? based on what they've told us, there are no holes in their testimony.

in short, fitzgerald doesn't have a hard case, although he has a well-funded defendant who knows that bush will pardon him. in that sense, his tough road isn't nailing libby; his tough road is getting beyond libby, given libby's obstruction.

the futher notion that "everyone" knew about wilson and plame because they were blabbing it all over town is, quite frankly, deranged and based on absolutely nothing other than an extraneous remark by andrea mitchell.

now, if you'd like to learn something about the actual matter itself - the actual matter being a plan by the white house to discredit wilson because he challenged their false story about saddam and iraq - you might look here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2135554/

it's the account of former time magazine correspondent john dickerson of how administration officials planted the discredit wilson cause his trip was a nepotistic boondoggle initiated by his bitch wife, a desk jockey at the hated cia. it's a sad but telling account.

but whatever you do, stop relying on the stoops at powerline about this case. i'm reminded of an old peanuts cartoon: charlie brown sees lucy tell linus as a leaf falls off the tree that the leaf was "flying south for the winter." he thinks to himself "poor linus - he's going to have to go to school for twice as long as everyone else, the first 12 years to unlearn everything lucy is telling him."

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

now, if you'd like to learn something about the actual matter itself - the actual matter being a plan by the white house to discredit wilson because he challenged their false story about saddam and iraq - you might look here:

Actually I know quite a bit about Joe Wilson. Like so many other liberal icons he's a total fraud. He got caught in several lies to the Senate intelligence committee for example saying he saw the famous fake letters the Italians had with an order for yellow cake. Joe said he was confused. NO chance. The con man was lying thru his teeth. The best part is he said he disabused the CIA of the notion Saddam was looking to buy yellowcake. He did the exact opposite. They didn't think there was anything there until they talked to him. He said his report went right to Cheney. He's full of crap. 1st off he never filed a report. He had a conversation with a couple agents. He never got within miles of Cheney nor did Cheney, or anyone close to him, ever hear of Joe Wilson.

The man is the definition of a putz. He is the quintessential 21st century liberal hero. He's even worse than Cindy Sheehan. He is one reason why John Kerry lost to that idiot. He is all the proof anyoine needs to see liberals cannot be trusted with national security.

I'll give him this much. He played the liberals like a violin. He was a disaster for you but you made him a famous and wealthy disaster.

The beautiful think about Joe is he is the proverbial bad penny. He won't go away. If John Conyers wants to have another impeachment hearing for the moonbats Joe will be there. Joe Wilson makes Bill Clinton seem like an honest guy. He's all yours.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

honest to frickin' god, you really don't know anything beyond what you read in the right-wing bubble, rdw. it's really quite sad. you quite obviously haven't troubled yourself to learn the facts in the slightest: basically, everything you say about wilson is either a massive exaggeration or flat-out wrong.

sadly, i'm a little out of time now, or i'd go into a detailed demonstration, but really, this is the kind of crap that bloviators like powerline like to feed empty-headed readers.

bottom line: wilson went to niger because, like he said, the ovp had some questions about past reporting on niger, uranium, and saddam. when he was there, he determined that there was no attempt to purchase uranium. he did note that the former prime minister of niger noted that a trade delegation from iraq had wanted to have a conversation about establishing commercial relations that he, the niger prime minister, assumed was a prelude to wanting to buy uranium. however, the conversation never went further.

this little episode apparently convinced some either initimidated or stupid analyst at the cia that the case for saddam seeking "uranium" was strengthened, a laughable assertion at best.

wilson, not being as stupid as the unnamed cia analyst, maintained that if the administration was basing the 16 words on niger, they were crap.

and, indeed, the duelfur report confirmed that wilson was 100% accurate.

got that, rdw? 100% accurate (the duelfur report also debunked the stupid or initimidated cia analyst).

one could go on, endlessly, but your version of wilson convinces me that it's not worth the time.

here's what we can sum up after a long day, rdw: every time you rely on your so-called credible right-wing blogs, they fill your head with untrue nonsense.

by repeating it, you demonstrate that you are an easily swayed, ill-informed individual.

i'd recommend that instead of throwing hissy fits at high culture you learn something about the issues before you embarass yourself again. i mean, i'd like to think that someone who can appreciate duane allman has some degree of intelligence....

Posted by: howard on February 8, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

he merely has to put a group of witnesses on the stand to tell their version of the conversation they had with libby, and ask the jury to compare that to what libby told the grand jury. period.

It's far more complicated than that. Scooter will see to it. This will be about Fitz, the Wilsons, the DC reporting establishment, etc. Fitz will have no say in how Libby approaches his case.

Libby said he 1st heard about Plame from a reporter. Woodward had already come forward to substantiate that fact and it's likely there are several more ready to do so. Fitzgerald has to prove Libby intentionally lied and there's simply no reason for him to have done so.
The reporters have a series of conflicts including keeping their own asses out of jail. In addition, each has an incentive to see to it that Libby gets off. What reporter wants to be known as the guy who ratted on a source and sent them to jail?

Would Russert lie? No! Might he give shaded answers such as to plant some doubt and protect Libby? Absolutely. We know there's no case for the original charge of exposing an operative. Thus there's no longer any jeopardy for the reporters.

Libby only needs one confused or doubtful juror and he's home. The fact that Libby and Cooper had different recollections of a conversation that occured almost two years before questioning is not exceptional in any way.

Libby only needs one juror to think Fitz conducted a witch hunt and/or a very sloppy investigation he's home.

Libby only needs one juror to think Wilson is a loathesome character who outted his own wife and manufactured the entire controversy to sell books. Scooter will salivate when he gets this chronic liar on the stand.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

he did note that the former prime minister of niger noted that a trade delegation from iraq had wanted to have a conversation about establishing commercial relations that he, the niger prime minister, assumed was a prelude to wanting to buy uranium. however, the conversation never went further.

Easy assumption wasn't it? Since Niger had nothing else to sell Iraq it was obviously their only interest. The conversation never went any further with this actor. What about others?

Wilson told the CIA the Iraqi's were sniffing around. That's all they were interested in knowing. There was absolutely no way that clown could ever prove a transaction did or did not take place. He's not an intelligence agent anyway and by his own admission he never left his hotel. His claim he proved there was no transaction is even more pathetic that Rathers TANG evidence. Wilson is an absolute, certified fraud. That's why they never paid him, contracted with him or took a written report from him.

this little episode apparently convinced some either initimidated or stupid analyst at the cia that the case for saddam seeking "uranium" was strengthened, a laughable assertion at best.

It's the only possible assertion. Wilson is the fool.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

how administration officials planted the discredit wilson cause his trip was a nepotistic boondoggle initiated by his bitch wife, a desk jockey at the hated cia. it's a sad but telling account

The story is much better than that. 1st off the boondoggle part is stupid. Niger is hardly a boondoggle. The nepotism is spot on. The simple bastard tried to pretend his wife had nothing to do with his unpaid 'assignment'. Who the hell ever heard of Joe Wilson. His wife. That's it. The moron made this claim KNOWING his wife wrote a friggin letter recommending him. There's documentation with her signature!

The only reason his wife ever entered the story is they needed to explain why anyone would hire Joe Wilson. Why hire an obvious putz with zero intelligence experience? Who recommended him? The answer is rather obvious isn't it?

BTW: I know you're proud of Joe and consider him a big time success but I've got to tell you. Bush won. You see, at the end of the day the entire point of these smear campaigns is to win elections. I know the 16 words still has the moonbat left agog but it was a classic moveon.org operation. That is, a total failure. Joe Wilson is a moonbat. He's a huckster and a camera whore. It's one thing to be a lair but he was/is a bad liar. And he is your liar. More power to Joe. We need a well staffed team of moonbats. Truth be told, GWB isn't the best speaker in the world and he needs to run against to look good. He looked mighty good in 2004.

Posted by: rdw on February 8, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, in a nutshell, you don't know anything about the matter. you clearly aren't familiar with the relevant documents and information. it's pointless to try and educate you, living as you apparently do in a right-wing bubble, but sadly, you are simply wrong. you see, we don't have to guess about what happened in iraq: the duelfur reoprt tells us. that you don't know that is an indication of your ignorance, not of wilson's failure. from your absurd notion that wilson never left his hotel to your equally absurd notion that "no one" knew who wilson was (for your information, among his many accomplishments as a diplomat, wilson protected a number of american citizens in the us embassy in baghdad when the first gulf war began, for which he was saluted by bob novak in the original article that outed valerie plame, and for which george bush the elder - the one with intelligence and class - admired him greatly), from your ignorance as to how he was sent on the trip to your inability to grasp the english language (see, if you want to claim that someone was "seeking" to purchase uranium "recently," you need two things: an actual attempt to purchase and recently. sadly, the event in question took pace in 1998, and there was no attempt to purchase, only a guess by the former prime minister), reading your last two postings is like reading a collection of right-wing nutville's greatest hits on joe wilson. it is tiresome looking at such foolishness.

however, let us address one point in a touch more detail. This was not an intel mission, you moron. the question was whether the iraqis were trying to "buy" uranium, not sneak it out of the mines in the middle of the night. uranium mines aren't run like some chop shop with no questions asked: there is loads of paperwork and systems in place precisely in order to keep people like the iraqis from buying uranium.

a US general from NATO whose name escapes me looked into this and told the cia there was no attempt to buy uranium.

the US ambassador to Niger looked into this and told the cia there was no attempt to purchase uranium.

the french, who run the frickin' mines, told the US there was no attempt to purchase uranium.

joe wilson went and looked and discoverd, just as the others had, that THERE WAS NO ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE URANIUM.

and the Duelfur report, in the fullness of time, looked into this and noted that not only was there no attempt to purchase uranium in Niger, there had been no attempt by the iraqis to obtain uranium anywhere in more than a decade.

got that? no attempt to obtain uranium anywhere.

the idea that an iraqi trade delegation (most likely, in fact, looking to violate sanctions and not to purchase uranium, since, just to repeat, the duelfur report makes clear that there was NO ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE URANIUM) asked for a meeting on commercial relations does not even consitute "sniffing around" for uranium.

that you would claim it does marks you as stupid as the cia analyst who thought the same thing.

in short, even by the weak standards you have displayed all day - not even understanding the charges in the libby case, for example - this is absurd.

i'll say it again: get your head out of powerline and little green footballs and the other moron hangouts and try to learn some facts. you don't have any at your command.

and repeating "george bush" won like it's some talisman that wards off the need for facts is pathetic, just pathetic. accept it: george bush and his administration ginned up a series of phony claims about iraq and wmds. Joe Wilson called them on it. they set out to smear him, and small-minded little jokers like you fell for it.

Posted by: howard on February 9, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

btw, rdw, i missed your piffle at 11:20 at first. i don't know how else to put this: you're an idiot.

this case isn't going to be heard before judge ito. it isn't about wilson. it isn't about plame. it isn't about reporters keeping their asses out of jail. it isn't about where libby first heard about plame.

it's about whether libby lied in front of a grand jury and in so doing, obstruced justice.

that's all it's about, and all the morons in freeperville and buffoons at powerline and jerks at little green footballs can't change that.

and neither can you, no matter how pathetically you try to argue otherwise.

learn something, why doncha, and set an example for your kids.

Posted by: howard on February 9, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

The iraq's actually were looking into buying yellowcake. Their approach of the PM, discovered by Joe Wilson, is proof. That's not the only proof but it confirms the 16 words.

You've seen too many James Bond flicks. An intelligence mission is by definition an attempt to gain intelligence about something. Joe Wilson went to Niger to find out if the Iraqi's has been there asking about yellowcake. He confirmed that to be true.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

this case isn't going to be heard before judge ito. it isn't about wilson. it isn't about plame. it isn't about reporters keeping their asses out of jail. it isn't about where libby first heard about plame.

No but if Scooter is lucky he'll get a jury just as stupid. The defense will present whatever case they want to present. The obvious starting point will be to prove Scooter could easily have picked up Plames name from a number of different non-official sources. His claim was he 1st heard it from a reporter. Obviously Woodward will be one of the star witnesses for the defense used to support Scooter's claim AND show the weakness of the Fitzpatrick investigation.

This was always going to be a hard case to prove because of it's he said/she said nature and the long gap between the time the converations occured and the questions were asked. It's perfectly reasonable to expect two honest people to have different recollections of a conversation two years earlier. It's even more understandable when you realize how many people Scooter talks to in a 12-hour+ day.

It's even more understandable when you realize what a quality guy and dedicated public servant Scooter has been. We know he passed up huge dollars to serve his country because he's getting huge dollars now. The comparison between the patriotism of Scooter Libby and the self-serving sleeze of camera whore Joe Wilson and the DC press corp is especially sharp.

We also know Scooter had no reason to lie. It was an investigation for which no crime had been committed. Fitz will of course try to prevent the trial being about this but the defense will be able to bring motivation into it and then Fitz opened his press conference stating some 'facts' about the importance of the case that have not yet been supported by the evidence he's shared. The defense has the right and responsibility to attack every aspect of Fitz case and he made a point of covering this in his press conference.

We also know Scooters legal team has every motivation to create a circus atmosphere. If only for the pure sport of it. But more because it's a great way to hunt down the MSM. In a he said/she said case they need to destroy the credibility of the reporters and in the case of Cooper it won't be hard. Russert also has issues and will not find this a pleasant experience. We know from the nature of the questions Fitz asked him That Fitz had made up his mind to go after libby. He should have asked Russert a lot more than he did because he testimony was inconsistent and illogical.

It's a shame what happened to Scooter but this is a clear case of a cat landing on his feet. He's making far more money in the private sector and his legal expenses have already been funded. He has a highly qualified team especially well motivated. He not has name recognition that'll only grow more pervasive after the November elections. The book to come will be a best seller.

From my own perspective I prefer more turnover anyway. These high staff positions are critical for building a strong bench and one can never have too deep a bench. Consider that both Cheney and Rummy were Ford staffers. I'd actually like to see Card move on even though he's doing a good job. Develop the bench.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

THERE WAS NO ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE URANIUM.

I think you've built a bit of a strawman.

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

We know for a fact Iraqi was sniffing around Niger as Joe Wilson confirmed. No one said there was a sales contract or even serious negotiations. The statement, which British intelligence stands by, is that Saddam wanted yellowcake. He was looking for some. Not that he found it or conducted negotiations. This is EXACTLY as Joe Wilson described.

That simple ass at one point claimed to have seen the letter italian intelligence came across which was quickly proven to be a fraud and a rather bad one. Neither the USA nor the Brits ever used it. Joe tried to claim he saw it and knew fri his own reasoning it was a fraud. He said the dates and names were wrong. The man is a putz. He never saw the letter and even if he did he would not have known it was a fraud.

BTW: I loved Joe's picture in Time. No doubt you shed a tear. The con man is laughing at saps like you all the way to the bank. He's a rock star in moonbatville. The GOP couldn't ask for two better stars than Joe and Hugo's best friend Cindy Sheehan. Your team can really pick them.

does it ever occur to you that you could have beaten GWB in 2004 if you just stayed away from the flakes. These are two obviously repulsive people. IN 2004 the economy was still dragging, job growth had been rotten, we're bogged down in Iraq and we've got the French really, really mad at us. And you still could not defeat GWB.

What do you think is going to happen this Novemnber when unemployment is 4.0% and your best fundraiser, Tom Delay is silent?

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 343 on February 9, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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