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Tilting at Windmills

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March 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE REPUBLICAN CRACKUP CONTINUES.....In Newsweek, Michael Hirsh reports that former USAID Director Andrew Natsios is the latest long-suffering Republican loyalist to finally crack. The CPA, under the authority of Paul Bremer, "didn't hire the best people," he now says. "We were just watching it unfold. They [the CPA] were constantly hitting at our people, screaming at them. They were abusive."

But perhaps this paragraph is more interesting:

There is much more to come, especially on the little-noticed issue of contracting in Iraq, which the watchdog group Transparency International last year warned could become the biggest corruption scandal in history." The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction is expected to issue a harshly critical report in May concluding that the CPA did not have disciplined contracting procedures in place, according to several people involved in drafting the report. If the Democrats manage to get control of the House later this year, it's all going to come in an avalanche of subpoenas and new investigations.

It's not censure or impeachment that Republicans are really worried about if they lose control of Congress. It's subpoenas. If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it.

Kevin Drum 5:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (121)

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Yup.

Posted by: Jimm on March 23, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK
It's not censure or impeachment that Republicans are really worried about if they lose control of Congress. It's subpoenas. If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it.
Posted by: Jimm on March 23, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, they're not cracking up. They're just splitting up the treasure

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I've decided that my definition of atheism is that I don't believe in the existence of the Republican pary.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

I've always suspected that the kids hired because they had resumes posted at the Heritage Foundation website came home with backpacks full of $100.OO
bills. Did they have to go through customs when they came home?

Posted by: jimbo on March 23, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

I am shocked, shocked to find corruption among the Republicans!

Posted by: Stefan on March 23, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, but who could forget the same Andrew Natsios telling the American taxpayer that the war would cost a mere $1.7 billion?

Posted by: Jon on March 23, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

warned could become the biggest corruption scandal in history."

Well, Bush said he doesn't want to play "small ball"

Will this be "the mother of all corruption scandals"?

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

A looted $9 billion here, a stolen $9 billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money....

And these are the same people who go purple in the face screaming about the oil-for-food program. Saddam was a piker when it came to thieving compared to the Republicans.

Posted by: Stefan on March 23, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Did they have to go through customs when they came home?

Yes. The Columba Bush line.

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just wait until this administration is out of power. Ghastly stories of incompetence and greed will fill the bookshelves from all those too timid or dependent to talk now.

Posted by: jb on March 23, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

"It's not censure or impeachment that Republicans are really worried about if they lose control of Congress. It's subpoenas. If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it."

Damn straight. And that's we need to not only take back the Congress but clean house of the pussies who don't want to make a stink, who always want to be seen as the good guys, as the loyal and gentlemenly opposition. If the vote comes down to a part line 51-49, we need every last vote. No whiners.

Pussies, you know who you are.

Posted by: Libby Sosume on March 23, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it.

Golly, that means they might fight dirty or even, I don't know, cheat, in order to not lose Congress in November.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Just wait until this administration is out of power. Ghastly stories of incompetence and greed will fill the bookshelves from all those too timid or dependent to talk now.

They'll still be timid because they'll still be dependent--on private-sector rewards for fealty.

In 20 or 30 years, we may begin to get part of the real story.

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Right on Kevin:

"It's not censure or impeachment that Republicans are really worried about if they lose control of Congress. It's subpoenas. If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it."

And that's what the Democrats really need. Do you want to know the truth? is a much better tag than "censure the President.

But the Democrats should also realize that the Republicans know how huge the stakes are - and that they will fight with everything they have NOT to let investigations start. This is going to be a rough, mean campaign - and this time they might want to consider fighting.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 23, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, that means they might fight dirty or even, I don't know, cheat, in order to not lose Congress in November.

And still no safeguards on electronic voting machines, after all these years.

Does kinda make a body nervous, doesn't it?

Posted by: RT on March 23, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

If Dems don't win both houses in November they'll never win anything again. Fasten your seatbelts. The next 3 years are going to be quite a ride.

Posted by: ExBrit on March 23, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Harry S Truman clocked 26,000 miles in his Dodge personally visiting defense contractors and worksites during the Second World War in search of corruption and profiteering.

It seems to me that if you're going to support the war, as many Democrats in Congress (let alone Republicans) did, you have a special obligation to investigate how the hard-earned dollars of the American people are being spent (that includes you Mrs. Clinton).

This is a generation of bums, delinquents, and malcontents in charge of our government. With a couple or three notable exceptions, they should all be thrown out on their patards. Some of them probably deserve worse.

Posted by: The Blue Nomad on March 23, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

If Dems don't win both houses in November they'll never win anything again.

Well, we're still making the naive assumption that Bush will agree to actually leave in 2008. Given what's happened so far, that's probably only a 50-50 proposition.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

craigie: Well, we're still making the naive assumption that Bush will agree to actually leave in 2008. Given what's happened so far, that's probably only a 50-50 proposition.

Do you really think so?

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

But, but, but, they said "Clinton's [was] the most corrupt administration in history". . .

Posted by: Onomasticator on March 23, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

craigie: Well, we're still making the naive assumption that Bush will agree to actually leave in 2008. Given what's happened so far, that's probably only a 50-50 proposition.

I was more worried about that earlier, but with his polls in the dumper, any talk of suspending the Constitution in wartime from him and there'd be fighting in the streets. Hey!

Posted by: ExBrit on March 23, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Do you really think so?

I admit it's hard to imagine. But then so much of the past 6 years should have been a plot from a bad airport novel, not actual history. So maybe not 50/50, maybe more like 80/20 that we have an election.

But ask yourself this: if Bush called a press conference and said something like "We are at war. And I cannot leave until the American people are safe. So I am postponing elections until the American people are free from terrorism. I don't want to do this, but I have to. That is all."

what percentage of Congresional and Senate Republicans (who don't, by the way, actually exist) would complain? 25? 50? Nixon was brought down by his own party - can we imagine that happening now? Hint: no.

And then what? We go to the Supreme Court, the same group of people who appointed him president in the first place, only now shifted even more into the "Bush is King" camp?

When W conflates being the Commander in Chief of the armed forces with being the commander in chief of all of us, as he and his syncophants do, then how farfetched is all this really?

And since the End Times are coming, what difference does it make if we have elections anyway...?

I'd love to believe that I am a cynical crackpot, but it's not all that loony. Just because we've been free for 200 years doesn't mean we'll always be free.

Wow. I need to lie down.

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

THE REPUBLICAN CRACKUP CONTINUES
But look at what I was reading earlier today.

liberals love to pretend public opinion is always in the process of shifting in their direction. They can't win elections [...] But they're always experiencing an upswing in the polls. [source]

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 23, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Recommended reading:

"Iraq Was Awash in Cash. We Played Football With Bricks of $100 Bills"
By Callum Macrae and Ali Fadhil
The Guardian UK
Monday 20 March 2006

Excerpt:

At the start of the Iraq war, around $23 billion-worth of Iraqi money was placed in the trusteeship of the US-led coalition by the UN. The money, known as the Development Fund for Iraq and consisting of the proceeds of oil sales, frozen Iraqi bank accounts and seized Iraqi assets, was to be used in a "transparent manner", specified the UN, for "purposes benefiting the people of Iraq".

For the past few months we have been working on a Guardian Films investigation into what happened to that money. What we discovered was that a great deal of it has been wasted, stolen or frittered away. For the coalition, it has been a catastrophe of its own making. For the Iraqi people, it has been a tragedy. But it is also a financial and political scandal that runs right to the heart of the nightmare that is engulfing Iraq today.

[...]

"Iraq was awash in cash - in dollar bills. Piles and piles of money," says Frank Willis, a former senior official with the governing Coalition Provisional Authority. "We played football with some of the bricks of $100 bills before delivery. It was a wild-west crazy atmosphere, the likes of which none of us had ever experienced."

The environment created by the coalition positively encouraged corruption. "American law was suspended, Iraqi law was suspended, and Iraq basically became a free fraud zone," says Alan Grayson, a Florida-based attorney who represents whistleblowers now trying to expose the corruption. "In a free fire zone you can shoot at anybody you want. In a free fraud zone you can steal anything you like. And that was what they did."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 23, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Eww!!

Nut Job made me link to Ann Coulter! Now I have to wash off my browser!

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: But look at what I was reading earlier today.

It's long been obvious that all you are capable of doing is regurgitating the bullshit that fake, phony, bought-and-paid-for Republican Party shills like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News spoon feed you.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 23, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

I wasn't challenging you, C, honest. It was a serious question.

And your answer reminds me that more and more, this country is like one of those nightmares where there's no one to run, no one to protect you, no one to stand up for you.

Ever feel like a rational German right about 1938?

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

It was some while back that I read about the biggest cash transaction of the federal reserve. Two billion dollars in cash shipped to Iraq in a large military jet. No one knows where it went.

Posted by: mojo on March 23, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum - After reading your bold headline - THE REPUBLICAN CRACK-UP CONTINUES - I expected to read about some Bush administration official who resigned or who had gone public with criticism of Bush.

Imagine my puzzlement when your entire post involved critcism by some unknown person from some obscure agency.

That was awfully lame evidence to support your hysterical title!

Posted by: FrequencyKenneth on March 23, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

nowhere to run, no no one

Posted by: shortstop on March 23, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Nut Job made me link to Ann Coulter! Now I have to wash off my browser!
Sorry craigie, they've told me to warn when link to PDFs to save weak systems. Should I also warn when I link to Coulter to save weak constitutions?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 23, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

craigie wrote: I admit it's hard to imagine.

It's hard to imagine that two presidential elections in a row would be blatantly stolen, but it happened.

I think the Republicans would much rather steal another election than cancel the elections. They want to preserve the facade of "normalcy".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 23, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

So how many does that make? I'm losing count...

Among WH former loyalists: O'Neill, Wilkerson/Powell

Among conservative believers: Sullivan, Bartlett

Is there a special category for people who were just abused for speaking the truth? Shinseki, Clarke.

I know there are more. It is getting hard to keep track of them all.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 23, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Heads up...
Crank-up those shredders.

Posted by: ksk on March 23, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ever feel like a rational German right about 1938?

Try feeling like a rational German in 2006.

Posted by: Stefan on March 23, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum's post should have been titled "I WISH THE REPUBLICAN CRACKUP WAS HAPPENING BUT ALL I HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT IS A COMPLAINT FROM A BUREAUCRAT".

Posted by: Bark At The Moon on March 23, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

but it happened
Quick, Animist, get that evidence out in public instead of hiding it! All your moonbat buddies are counting on you! And hey, the rest of us would be interested, too.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 23, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Should I also warn when I link to Coulter to save weak constitutions?

Well, yes, but I could also have checked the link first, so it's partly my fault. Personal responsibility and all.

shortstop:
No challenge inferred. I took it as a serious question, and was surprised myself at how paranoid I have become. But that's what 6 years of this crappy government has done.

Frequency:
is this better?

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ever feel like a rational German right about 1938?

All the time.

Posted by: Harpo on March 23, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Those who profit from violence and the tools that are used to deliver violence unto others are a despicable lot.

I don't care if you're Repugnacans or Democrats, if you thrive on making bullets, bombs, security devices to snoop on innocent peace-minding folks, you suck.

The excess in Iraq was a given.

I've seen first hand what a defense worker does with more money than they know what to do with; beyond belief.

I don't care if building bombs are good for the economy, because the benefits only pertain to a small percentage of the workforce.

Look at what our country does to export weapons of all sorts.

Look at the stocks of leading defense contractors.

We have become a society that thrives on the larceny of weapons.

Being "soft" on defense spending means questioning the greed that is rampant.

Peace is more than the absence of war.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 23, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Personal responsibility and all.
Even at that, I'd hate to be the one providing a link that caused someone's head to explode. I'll be more prudent in the future.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 23, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ha ha haha haa ahaas C-Nut reads Ann Coultier I knew he was from the Ann Coultier Wing of the Neo Nut Party. Ha ha ha Ann Coultier now thats funny ahh C-Nut your killing us.

Posted by: Right minded on March 23, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't John McCain, Mr. Clean, teller of truth to somebody, just hire one of these fine, upstanding honorable guys?

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 23, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Live from the Green Zone,

http://neurotic-iraqi-wife.blogspot.com/2006/02/light-of-hope.html

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on March 23, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

C-Nut how about the size of Ann's Adams Apple.You like them cross-overs you little perv you.

Posted by: Right minded on March 23, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Is Ann Coulter a woman? Does any straight man actually find that stick with a mop on her head attractive? If so, how long has it been since you got laid?

Posted by: ManKind on March 23, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Kinda funny how Andie Coltier vanished the same time Ann Coultier appeared.I'm just saying.

Posted by: Right minded on March 23, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ever feel like a rational German right about 1938?

Only every day for the past five years or so.

As for Coulter: there are a lot of moronic pundits out there who demonstrate on a daily basis that it's possible to be more than 100% full of crap, even though you'd think that would be mathematically impossible. With Coulter, the percentage is so high that it actually creates a singularity capable of warping time and space.

Posted by: DH Walker on March 23, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

As the 20 anniversary of Chernobyl approaches, our own troops have been dusting the planet with DU.

God Bless our death machines.

http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtml

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 23, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's perfectly accurate to refer to non-administration sources as "the Republicans". The whole point of the Republican Theft, Power & Lie machine is that it extends far outside the actual White House administration, outside the House of Representatives and the Senate, and far out into the civil service and into the private sector. It's like the tunnel out of the Prisoner of War camp: it may start from a secret chamber under the wood stove, but it leads out beneath the fence and into the woods. And from there in all directions to freedom.

Except this tunnel wasn't funnelling PoWs. It was funnelling taxpayer dollars, billions and billions of them, and it all only worked as long as everyone stuck loyally to the code. And now they're turning, one after another, like aspens.

Posted by: derek on March 23, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

With Coulter, the percentage is so high that it actually creates a singularity capable of warping time and space.

I believe the technical term for this is "craptacular!"

Posted by: craigie on March 23, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Another sign of Republican crack up?

A vocal Republican critic of the Bush administration's eavesdropping program will preside over Senate efforts to write the program into law, but he was pessimistic Wednesday that the White House wanted to listen.

"They want to do just as they please, for as long as they can get away with it," Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I think what is going on now without congressional intervention or judicial intervention is just plain wrong."

Specter was one of the first Republicans to publicly question the National Security Agency's authority to monitor international calls - when one party is inside the United States - without first getting court approval. Under the program first disclosed last year, the NSA has been conducting the surveillance when calls and e-mails are thought to involve al-Qaida.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060323/D8GH011O0.html

Posted by: Catch22 on March 23, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK
It's not censure or impeachment that Republicans are really worried about if they lose control of Congress. It's subpoenas.

The two things are intimately tied up in the same process of accountability. Its insane to set them up as opposed concepts. Their afraid of accountability, and all that it implies. Investigations, subpoenas, testimony, impeachment, pressure for independent prosecutors, criminal investigations, losing the 2008 Presidential election, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 23, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the technical term for this is "craptacular!"

You know, I still haven't decided if Coulter is a pathetic attention whore, saying the most ridiculous and inflamatory things just so the boys will like her; or, if she's actually an undercover liberal performance artist whose life's work is to make hardcore conservatives look like even bigger drooling jackasses than they would without her help.

But one thing's clear, though. Every time I hear an otherwise virulently homophobic conservative guy gush about how "hawt" that transsexual is, it makes me laugh my ass off. And that's happened to me a bunch of times. Good times. :)

Posted by: DH Walker on March 23, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

C-nut has a screen saver of Ann on his puter.HA ah ha.

Posted by: Right minded on March 23, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: Quick, Animist, get that evidence out in public instead of hiding it! All your moonbat buddies are counting on you! And hey, the rest of us would be interested, too.

You are a stupid, ignorant liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 23, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq War with its missing money, illegal contracts, enormous increase in 'intelligence' funding is just a means to flood Republican operatives and friendly companies with cash. It is all part of Rove's plan to create a century of political dominance. We are witnessing the single greatest transfer of wealth in the history of this country.

Posted by: gravy train on March 23, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut, You are a stupid, ignorant liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist

So GO AWAY.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 23, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

That's the idiot who predicted to Ted Koppel that the whole Iraq adventure would cost 1.7 billion dollars. He's one of those bad hires.

Posted by: JoshA on March 23, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Call me an optimist, or call me naive, but I think we've been here before, and I believe we survived it. It was called the 19th century then: graft, greed, corruption ran rampant. The administration of U.S. Grant comes to mind. Warren G. Harding, anyone? Well that was the 20th century, but you get my drift.

Then there was that unpleasant business in the 1950s, with a commie behind every tree.

Sooner or later the American public stirred from its slumber and realized that they'd been played.

Americans are really fairly moderate, pragmatic people. I'm not talking about the screaming crazies -- but the broad swath of middle America, the working people who are far removed from Washington.

The real problem we're faced with is a mindset that defines morality only in terms of sexual conduct. Morality is so much more than the ability to remain faithful to one's spouse, but millions of Americans think otherwise. It's that narrow view of morality that prompts so much of middle America to fall for the manipulations of the Republican party. Rove is a player who figured out how to yank on the right chains and so score political points. He will be undone by his own excesses.

The party of Bush might win elections, but it's mighty poor at governance, and when America gets good and fed up with corruption, graft, lack of leadership and downright scary ideas about the civil liberties, the tide will shift.

The mistake the Republicans make is the same mistake anyone makes who is in power too long. They think they're invincible. They are wrong.

Their day of reckoning will come ... and all the screaming opportunists like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the small-brained hatemongers will have to crawl back under their rocks, at least for a while. And we will be able to breathe again and figure out what to do about the mess we're in.


Posted by: Harpo on March 23, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

As usual the Bush haters look at the GOP problems with a magnifying lense to assure themselves that their irrational hatred for the Commander-in-Chief is justified even during the time of an ongoing war whose result may determine our very existence as a democracy.

Perhaps they would do well to focus on their own rejection of the patriots like Joe Lieberman and where their self-inflicted wounds will lead them.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 23, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Didja notice how long it took for the first troll to appear?

I think Kevin struck a nerve.

Posted by: serial catowner on March 23, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

What? The CPA was made up of unqualified, hacks? Young Republican little shits from the Heritage Foundation? I'm shocked.

Posted by: ckelly on March 23, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats manage to get control of the House later this year, it's all going to come in an avalanche of subpoenas and new investigations.

I'd like to read thatsentence in the broadest possible terms -- not just about Iraqi reconstruction. :)

Posted by: Gregory on March 23, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Didja notice how long it took for the first troll to appear?

And when they did, it was only cnut linking to Ann Coulter. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: ckelly on March 23, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

This has been obvious to anyone who's been paying attention.

Note the trolls saying "he's just a bureaucrat!", completely unable to deal with the concept of the Bush admin pilfering the treasury.

Posted by: Librul on March 23, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Didja notice how long it took for the first troll to appear?

I think Kevin struck a nerve.

I agree.

Posted by: Gregory on March 23, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ace Franze, Another Ann Coultier Crony.

Posted by: Right minded on March 23, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are absolutely right. If the Dems used the power of subpoena like the Repugs did in the 1990s, there arent enough lawyers in the world to respond to them all. When is someone going to bring up this, ahem, little theft that occurred on Bushs watch? Once again, can you imagine the outrage if this had happened when Clinton was president? Good God is this Administration corrupt and incompetent!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 23, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

the fake tbrosz is simply brilliant

Posted by: Doubtin' Man on March 23, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

They (CPA) hired conscienceless dork YRs right off college campuses, guys with NO business experience, to be managers. Why? So that they could pillage CPA funds. It's the Enron business model. Create chaos. Then scoop it up while the law's busy elsewhere. Something like 3/4 of Enron's managers got hired by the Bush Admin in 2001. The CPA's missing $9Billion?! Lawks! I wonder where it could be? Oh, look. The CPA no longer exists. Oh, too bad.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 23, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever I start to feel bad about how the Republican Congress has gone awry (e.g., by passing ridiculous spending bills), I remember that at least they aren't using subpoenas to sabotage the Administration, and I am relieved.

Posted by: DBL on March 23, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Coulter, on liberals, via C-nut:

They can't win elections

Er, right. 100% of the elected politicians in the United States -- in the federal government and all lower governments -- are conservatives.

Sure.

Whatever.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 23, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to agree with those above that think we'll see the biggest gush of sleaze in history, starting about 20 January 2009. This level of corruption is gonna keep lawyers employed until 2030.

It's gonna be interesting having subpoena power, if we win control. Just one or two ambitious Chairmen or Chairwomen will do the job. Doesn't have to be every Chair on every committee. Just one or two will do it.

The future looks bright.

Even if we don't win outright control of one or both houses, we're sure to narrow the margins, and a 219/217 house, or thereabouts, would do the trick.

This is gonna be fun.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on March 23, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to reserve judgement until we've heard from Ann Coulter's Twelve-Speed Dildo.

Mr. Dildo?

Posted by: Charlie's Auntie on March 23, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Investigations into Iraq will yeild many many republican heads. The republican base needs to become aware of just how corrupt their elected officials and their staffs really are.

Posted by: patience on March 23, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Diebold.

Posted by: ferd on March 23, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Because of this risk to Republicans, the probability that the elections will be rigged is very high.

Posted by: Jay Goldfarb on March 23, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, the horror, the horror.
She's a man, baby.

Thanks for asking.

Posted by: Ann Coulter's 12 Speed Dildo on March 23, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

DAMN! I can't pray for this to come out because I'm a Atheist!

Posted by: R.L. on March 23, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

"If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it."

Exactly. And that's why they will do whatever they have to to prevent it. Including rigging the outcome.

We don't really have a democracy in this country anymore. It's mainly now a subject for patriotic songs and 4th of July cards. The reality is much different.

Posted by: -asx- on March 23, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Look, nothing ever comes of this scapegoating and retribution-mongering. Both parties abuse power. All politicians are on a slippery ethical slope. It's the reality of it. Let it go. So the Repubs didn't put contracts out to bid. Big deal. NOBODY CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the left is meaningless right now, and although they care, they've known all along, and they voted against Bush to begin with. The Right is happy. Fat and Happy. And since they own America, the Flag, Christianity (or the perverted version of American Protestant Christianity), the Flag, Apple Pie, did I mention the Flag, they are happy. Get used to it. THEY WON THE FUCKING ELECTION. Get over it all...geeesh (and I'm a Democratic Party Supporter, for fucking chris' sake)

Posted by: Chris on March 23, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Bush not leaving in 2008.

Remember in 2001, Mayor Giuliani sought to extend his term by 3 months. Sadly, all of canidates for mayor agreed except for Fernando Ferrer.

Ferrer said Giulianis original proposal was to do away with term limits, allowing him to be mayor four more years.

I couldnt stand four more minutes, he said.

Nevertheless, Ferrer agreed to hear out Giuliani.

In an hour he managed to threaten a couple of times, Ferrer recalled. He said, I have to persuade the people that want me for four more years that 90 days is reasonable.

Giuliani argued for the extension on the grounds it would provide continuity of government at a critical moment. But, Ferrer said, the former mayor explained it would only apply to him, not other city officials who were being term-limited out of office. Ferrer said hed think it over for a day and give his answer.

The next day, he said, he got a call from Richard Grasso, then-C.E.O. of the New York Stock Exchange, telling him the city desperately needed Giuliani as mayor. But Ferrer with the chance of becoming the citys first Latino mayor said no.

Fortunately, New Yorkers got over that period of what I would call temporary insanity, he recalled of the post-9/11 panic that led some to support keeping Giuliani in office and the unprecedented idea of postponing the general election."
[The Villager]

Posted by: Patrick on March 23, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

i AGREE

Three Years Later, Violence in Iraq Continues

Posted by: HANS on March 23, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

WhhhhHHHhHHHhhhHHHhhhrhhhHHHhhhhHHHhhh .... *zzzit*

Posted by: Ann Coulter's twelve-speed dildo on March 23, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

This is bullshit.

It is WAY too late to warn us that Iraq contracting "could be the biggest scandal in history".

Anybody who is at ALL suprised by the rampant corruption going on there is just plain stupid. We told you 3 years ago that it was all about War Profiteering. We told you that the situation called for oversight. We've been bitching for two years now about the $9 Billion missing in Iraq. Nobody did one fucking thing about it.

It's too late. Crime of the century, and we're only 6 years into it.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on March 24, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, well, you all KNOW I'm not really a reporter.

But I'm actually not a male prostitute either.

Nor am I gay.

The web site was set up as an entrapment device, to dig up blackmail material on politicians, so we could manipulate them.

We were really hoping to get some Democrats. Lieberman was very coy about it, but very worthwhile when we finally got him. Wellstone, well, we had to find other ways to deal with him.

George W Bush turned out to be a fucking gold mine.

Posted by: Jeff Gannon on March 24, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

I was re-watching The Godfather last night and something struck me: The part where Tom Hagan was removed because (as Michael Corleone says to him) "You're not a wartime consigliere, Tom."

It took me until just now to realize what was nagging me about this scene. It applies to Democrats and bloggers today.

Now matter how distateful the analogy, we are literally at war. The enemy is a party and a regime that threatens - no, is destroying - the American fabric. They are doing it, day after day, by lying, cheating, and stealing.

The problem is that too many in our own party want to play by peacetime rules. They want to maintain the decorum. They want to be good sports, even in the face of relentless fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct. In other words, they are not wartime politicians.

Likewise: There are some bloggers who thrive in a wartime environment (without being dishonest). They fight like soldiers. Wolcott, Atrios, Digby, and many others. But there are other bloggers who can't bring themselves to be tough. They are still giving Mulligans to the opposition, still playing fair, and still being the good sport.

You know who they are.

In war, you give nothing to the enemy, because he gives nothing to you.

"We're at war now. You are just not a wartime consigliere, Kevin. You're out."

Posted by: Libby Sosume on March 24, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry craigie, they've told me to warn when link to PDFs to save weak systems. Should I also warn when I link to Coulter to save weak constitutions?
-conspiracy nut at 6:07

Yes, I can see how for Coulter and her supporters, a Constitution that places limits on presidential power might be construed as "weak"...

Posted by: moderleft on March 24, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

"The CPA, under the authority of Paul Bremer, 'didn't hire the best people,' he now says"

Why is this part of the Administration different from any other part of the Administration?

Posted by: The apostrophe in Republican't on March 24, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

When Bill Clinton was elected all 3 branches were controlled by the Democaratic Party. Shortly there after the Democratic party lost controal of congress and then the senate and then the white house. Bill did more to "crack up" the Democratic party than any Republican had ever been able to do before. With Hillary waiting on the sidelines, the Republican party is eagerly awaiting in anticipation of what she might be able to do to put the final cracks in the party that once controlled the congress for 60 years.

Posted by: daveyo on March 24, 2006 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

"...the party that once controlled the congress for 60 years."

Neither party has controlled either or both house for sixty years. An intelligent, educated, and honest person could look this up.

Of course that leaves out the person who wrote
"Democaratic", and who thinks the three branches of government are the "congress", "senate" and "white house". I think it's clear that, come election day, the Republican Party picks up its voters with the short bus.

Posted by: solar on March 24, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut, You are a stupid, ignorant liar.
So GO AWAY

Aw come on, you guys love me, I know you do.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 24, 2006 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Aw come on, you guys love me, I know you do.

Mmmmm, funny how often this line is uttered by stalkers and assorted other psychos. No doubt you also think you have a "relationship" with Julia Roberts, cn, and that George Bush sends secret telepathic messages only to you.

Posted by: shortstop on March 24, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Aw come on, you guys love me, I know you do.
Posted by: conspiracy nut

Just another example demonstrating that everything you 'know' is wrong.

Posted by: CFShep on March 24, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

What a surprise, Newsweek unveils a story critical of the spending in Iraq and the liberals fall to their knees and worship the purveyor of all non-partisan truth.

"They didn't hire the best people", that means there were no Democrat Senators on the payroll. Oh excuse me, "Democratic Senators", remember Kevin it's all in the name, right?

It's also ironic how the left belittled the statements of former director Natsios while still active in his role yet now is convinced he speaks nothing but truth, because of course it fits in with their agenda. How transparent, but hey fun to watch.

The left is just hoping that Bush does not achieve victory before they are able to demonstrate how foolish it is to try and help the oppressed. Afterall, they have been trying to help the oppressed in this country for fifty years and haven't achieved anything so they should know.

Posted by: Jay on March 24, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

"As usual the Bush haters look at the GOP problems with a magnifying lense to assure themselves that their irrational hatred for the Commander-in-Chief is justified even during the time of an ongoing war whose result may determine our very existence as a democracy."

Yeah, like the republicans spending $30 million to investigate a $200,000 real estate deal. And screaming about us bombing Kosovo.

Posted by: lou on March 24, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Can hardly wait to hear the "I refuse to answer on the grounds, etc" when asked, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Bushite Party?"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 24, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

"Mr Chairman, I object to the question of 'Where, oh where, has little Duke gone' as irrelevant to this investigation.

Posted by: stupid git on March 24, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

So, there's nothing to be done because the Republicans are blocking investigations? How curious that we, the people, have no control over our government or our finances. May the biggest dog win, in that case.

Posted by: tourist on March 24, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

All is lost tourist. There is no hope left, for the big bad republicans have stolen your dreams. We, the people, have no control over our government or our finances.........oh wait, I guess the public outcry over the Dubai ports deal kind of completely 100% refutes your argument. Sorry. And you know what, if Congress would let us take 3% of our own money out of the mandated 6% that goes to SS and put it in private accounts for our future, then maybe we could have some control over our own finances. Is that what you're talking about? Because I am really glad to hear a liberal actually bring that up.

Posted by: Jay on March 24, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Jay,

You want SS restructured? Convince enough people and then elect enough politicians to make it happy.

Otherwise I think people do control their money - they want to pay SS to keep granny off the street, and what you really mean is you want to be able to tell people what to do with their money.

Posted by: Tripp on March 24, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK
When Bill Clinton was elected all 3 branches were controlled by the Democaratic Party.

No, they weren't. Thanks for playing.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 24, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

When Clinton was elected in 1992, the Senate and the House had Democratic majorities. In 1994 the balance of congress shifted. Now the House and Senate only comprise one branch out of the three, completed by the executive and judicial branches. So technically you are right cm but isn't that a lot like what you blame the republicans of doing; "cherry picking the facts? Are you a republican?

Posted by: Jay on March 24, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

moonbats..lefties...socialism...here's a link to Ann Coulter...duuurrhhh...DUUUUUUURRRRRHHHHH..

Be thankful you have me. Every site needs one token rightwing retard. It helps everyone else with their self esteem.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 24, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Hush, cn! I'm trying to shave my cj.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 24, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

So technically you are right cm but isn't that a lot like what you blame the republicans of doing; "cherry picking the facts?

LOL. No, dipshit, it's not a technicality, it's a rather clear and very basic fact. The federal government is comprised of three(3) branches. The House and Senate make up only one(1) branch.

Now hurry along, the short bus is waiting to pick you up. You're going to learn addition today!

Posted by: haha on March 24, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, a tragedy of the 90s was when the Repugs cut daveyo's Head Start program - spelling was going to be taught next. Then history, then logic.......

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 24, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to watch something really funny(aside from the usual idiocy of the trolls), check out this message from George W. Bush on global warming.

Bush on Global Warming

Posted by: haha on March 24, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

When I possed the subject that all 3 branches, i did so purposely to expose what your side already knows that the judicial branch was certainly controlled by the far left. I note with great interest how easily you went right past the fact tat because of Clinton you now have no white house, house or rep, or senate. Somehow you view that as a good thing. So for you brave ones, in 2006 election what is your prediction? As for spelling Democrat, there are so few I hardly see it in print anymore.

Posted by: daveyo on March 24, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Today, Bush has said that signing statements made at the time the President signs a bill can change the express language of the bill.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Quote

Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "

The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law.

/Quote
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/03/24/bush_shuns_patriot_act_requirement/

All you so-called "strict constructionists" can just go f*** yourselves if you don't immediately go to the phones and demand an impeachment.

Let me repeat: the president has asserted that his signing statment has the effect of law.

All you so-called "strict constructionists" can just go f*** yourselves if you don't immediately go to the phones and demand an impeachment.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 24, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK
When Clinton was elected in 1992, the Senate and the House had Democratic majorities.

Yes, they did.

So?

Now the House and Senate only comprise one branch out of the three, completed by the executive and judicial branches.

Yes, so when Clinton was elected the Democrats had one branch. When Clinton took office they had two. At no point in his administration did they control 3 branches.

The Supreme Court members (and the Presidents that appointed them) when Clinton took office were:
Rehnquist (Nixon)
Kennedy (Reagan)
Blackmun (Nixon)
Souter (Bush)
Stevens (Ford)
Thomas (Bush)
White (Kennedy)
O'Connor (Reagan)
Scalia (Reagan)

The maximum number of Justices appointed by Democrats reached in Clinton's term was two out of nine. Same as now -- same two even.

So technically you are right cm but isn't that a lot like what you blame the republicans of doing; "cherry picking the facts?

I don't think its "cherry picking" to point out that there was no time from Clinton's election to the present day that Democrats controlled all three branches of the federal government, contrary to your claim that they controlled all 3 when Clinton was elected.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 24, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the input and information. I was really trying to respond to the topic "The Republican Crackup Continues". My point was that during the Bush Presidency we kept both the congress and the senate and at this time have govenors of the 5 largest states, etc. So what I was trying to convey was that Bill Clinton did for the Republican party what we were not able to do before. If there is a "crack up in the republican party" then it would be reflected in loosing the house and senate as what did happen under the previous president. As for judges, Stevens(not a conservative judge) has always stated that he would retire under a republican president, and with his age, won't that be interesting to see what happens in the next 3 years, then trully all 3 branches will be with the same idealogy.

Posted by: daveyo on March 24, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

In general, my policy is to despise and hate anyone and everyone affiliated with this administration, simply as a matter of principle. I have to make an exception in Natsios' case.

I served in Army Civil Affairs with then-Lieutenant Colonel Natsios. Though a Republican loyalist -- he was once a Massachussetts state senator or representative -- he is no Bush lackey. He is an absolute expert on complex humanitarian emergencies, which he has managed very successfully for both the U.S. government and the private NGO community.

I suspect his $1.7 billion estimate was based on two factors, though its hard for me to disentangle which carried more weight: first, the talking points of the administration that low-balled the war costs and second, a reasonable expectation that (a) experts would be in charge of reconstruction and (b) it would be turned over quickly to the professional NGO community.

Why do I think the second factor is reasonable to infer? Two reasons. First, that's the way these things are typically done worldwide; second, that's the way Natsios himself had always done them.

Moreover, that conclusion would have followed from then-candidate Bush's own statements, viz the U.S. would not "do" nation-building. One of Natsios' most frequent refrains -- in the Army and in private life -- was that there is an NGO community out there that specializes in, and cares about, state-building, and the smart government official ought to get out of their way.

All that being said, I do think Kevin overstates the "Republican crack-up" meme. USAID was never a priority for this Bush administration (whereas Natsios had Oval Office meetings with the father Bush). Natsios, though a conservative and a Republican, probably would be a reasonable poster-boy for "compassionate conservatism" -- he does sincerely care about people in distress (see his book on the North Korean famine). He has always quoted Reagan's point about using humanitarian relief as a diplomatic tool ("A hungry child has no ideology") and has always resisted holding out humanitarian aid as a "carrot" in combination with some "stick."

So you can take issue with his conservatism, but his commitment to reconstruction was real.

And no, I'm not him or a Republican loyalist. Just an otherwise liberal guy who was very impressed by an officer with whom he served in the armed forces.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on March 24, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Just the thought of the Democrats gaining control of the House and Senate gives me a warm tingly feeling! I can't help but smile.

Posted by: Rudy on March 24, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

"As for spelling Democrat, there are so few I hardly see it in print anymore."

How would you know? As your posts prove, you are a blithering illiterate- in short, a perfect Republican voter.

Posted by: solar on March 24, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Before we get all happy, happy, let's ask ourselves a serious question...will the party that let the Iran-Contra money laundering in this country slide be up to the challenge of cleaning house this time. I hope so. Beef-point.

Posted by: parrot on March 24, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

I see the moonbat wingnuts are resorting to extreme sarcasm and cynical ridicule.

Running out of steam, eh guys?

Deep down you know you're losing! ha ha!

Posted by: Joey Giraud on March 25, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK


"This is what the tyranny of a one-party state is like, people!" - Rush Limbaugh 1993

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 26, 2006 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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