Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 18, 2006
By: Zachary Roth

GETTING OVERSIGHT RIGHT...It's probably smart for John Conyers to be trying to put to rest Republican claims that a Democratic House would impeach Bush (although you can still imagine a GOP attack ad that uses a few well-placed ellipses to make hay out of the phrase: "At the end of the process, if -- and only if -- the select committee, acting on a bipartisan basis, finds evidence of potentially impeachable offenses, it would forward that information to the Judiciary Committee." But whatever.)

More important, it's good to see that Conyers doesn't seem to be listening to the sizable subgroup of Democrats arguing that essentially any attempts to investigate Bush administration transgressions will be seen as partisan witch-hunts, and will backfire politically. When I asked some prominent Democrats how the party should conduct oversight if it wins in November, I was surpised by the number who took this view. Lanny Davis told me I don't care about digging up whether Bush lied or not, or whether they manipulated evidence or not. That's just playing gotcha. And one committe staffer cautioned "when you do oversight, ultimately, the press is the judge of your credibility." I'm glad that Conyers seems to be more concerned with providing a full accounting of what's happened during the Bush years, and less concerned with what David Broder might say.

Zachary Roth 10:41 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (94)

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Conyers' is a measured response, but I don't think it is necessary to address Republicans' idiotic talking points.

Dems always seem to be in the reactive mode. This, of course, allows the Republicans to set the terms of the debates, and puts the Democrats in a weaker position even before the start of the games.

Posted by: lib on May 18, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

An dhere is exactly why many angry Democrats feel they have no representation in congress. I didn't vote for you to be pleasant godammit I voted for you because there is no other way to oppose the Bush/Republican juggernaught.

Clueless dweebs.

Posted by: Alan on May 18, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

More important, it's good to see that Conyers doesn't seem to be listening to the sizable subgroup of Democrats arguing that essentially any attempts to investigate Bush administration transgressions will be seen as partisan witch-hunts, and will backfire politically.

The sizable subgroup is right. Members of the Democrat Party have been seeking out any excuse to play "gotchya!" with Bush since he took office. If he shows up to a press conference in a red tie, people loudly wonder why he didn't wear a blue tie, and what it might mean. If he shows up to a press conference in a blue tie, they wonder why he's not wearing a red tie. And so on and so forth. One of their main criticisms since 9/11 has been that on the morning of 9/11, Bush didn't leave a classroom, don a superhero cape, and magically stop the other three planes; Americans see right through that nonsense. Similarly, Americans understand that there were Iraq intelligence failures and that the CIA needs to be reformed. They also reject liberal claims that Bush should have the ability to magically stop hurricanes.

If the democrat party wins the house, I wouldn't be at all surprisef if it tried to impeach Bush for not preventing Hurricane Katrina because he didn't sign Kyoto, or something equally inane.

Posted by: American Hawk on May 18, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

they don't have to investigate every thing a few targeted investigations handled properly would not seem at all witch-hunty. I know that Democrats will be judged by a much lower standard (witch-hunt wise) than the republicans had in the 90's but that is no reason to roll over.

Posted by: jozef on May 18, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Just playing "gotcha"? Isn't that what the law enforcement concept is? Catching them?

Posted by: Ace Franze on May 18, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

1. The people decide what's credible or not. Staffers who think the press is their aduience are part of the problem and need to go.

2. If you're not interested in the President's past law breaking, resign your seat in Congress. You swore to uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. If you aren't willing to ddo that, go be a lobbiest or something.

3. A wide swath of the Democratice party (the non-Conyers Wing of the far center) needs to just shut the f* up. If they're happy with being republican-lite and settling into cushy private sector jobs at the end of an undistinguished tenure on Capital Hill, fine. But shut the hell up and let the people who care about getting it right do what needs to be done: let the American people know there are Dems who care about the truth and will pesue it.

Posted by: fromer on May 18, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

You know, if my mother was murdered by a biker on meth I don't think I'd want any kind of investigation, or trial, or punishment. Because that's just playing "gotcha" and I just don't think that's right.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on May 18, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

If they won't investigate, then what's the point of voting for Democrats in November? What the fuck is wrong with these people? Don't they want to win?

Posted by: commie atheist on May 18, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

So they are saying they will do nothing about the lies and corruption? And the others are worried that they will be caught in lies and corruption, so they must accuse the democrats of trying to go after crime and corruption??

Ethics?? WTF ETHICS? You cover my ass and I'll cover yours?
Isn't this the same kind of Cronyistic thunk that got us into such a mess in the First Place?

THIS IS SERIOUSLY FECKED UP THINKING.
IT NEED TO COME TO A STOP AND QUICK.

Posted by: This is Crap on May 18, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

And one committe staffer cautioned "when you do oversight, ultimately, the press is the judge of your credibility."

Jesus wept.

Posted by: Gregory on May 18, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

kill the rich!!!

Posted by: w on May 18, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Are they Saying to hell with the Laws?

Are they saying it's OK to be corrupt?

WTF is wrong with these KAZAR A-Holes?
They do the Crime, but want to do no time?

Screw this.
Screw The Spineless Creeps.
SCREW THE MORONIC SELF SERVING BLOOD SUCKING MORONS IN CONGRESS, WHAT A PATHETIC GROUP OF SUB-HUMANS

Posted by: Screw This on May 18, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: American ChickenHawk "If he shows up to a press conference in a red tie, people loudly wonder why he didn't wear a blue tie, and what it might mean. If he shows up to a press conference in a blue tie, they wonder why he's not wearing a red tie."

That's Blackwell. Not Ken, Mr.

Are you lost? The fashion blogs are some place else.

Posted by: flags to rags on May 18, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

The amazing American Hawk professes to know how every Democrat and every American thinks. How superhuman of him!

Too bad he knows absolutely nothing about history or politics. Google "Team B" and "Power of Nightmares" and have your eyes opened, fool.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on May 18, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

"If the democrat party wins the house, I wouldn't be at all surprisef if it tried to impeach Bush for not preventing Hurricane Katrina because he didn't sign Kyoto, or something equally inane.

Posted by: American Hawk"

No, no. For lying. About the size of that perch.

Posted by: Monica Blewinsky on May 18, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

"""if my mother was murdered by a biker on meth I don't think I'd want any kind of investigation, or trial, or punishment. Because that's just playing "gotcha"""

All bikers on meth would agree...

Posted by: Richard on May 18, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

"when you do oversight, ultimately, the press is the judge of your credibility."

Excuse me? And here I thought it was The People who were supposed to be the ultimate judge of your credibility.

Posted by: Chris Andersen on May 18, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"If he shows up to a press conference in a red tie, people loudly wonder why he didn't wear a blue tie, and what it might mean. If he shows up to a press conference in a blue tie, they wonder why he's not wearing a red tie."

Red Tie or Blue tie, I'm liable to us it on idiots like you After a minute when stars start twinkling in your eyes, I promise you won't give a crap what COLOR the damn tie is.

Posted by: Buffoons on May 18, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Conyers going soft? Right.

Posted by: kalaallit on May 18, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

American Hawk,

Democrat is a noun. Democratic is an adjective. Hence, the correct term is democratic party.

I can't take anyone seriously who buys into GOP spin to the pointo of changing nouns into adjectives.

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on May 18, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

American Hawk! I'm an American Hawk! I fly around and eat birds, and mice, and lizards! I live in a rookery! My hatchlings eat vomit! I'm an endangered species! I crap on your Hummer!

Posted by: American Pigeon on May 18, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

[[The sizable subgroup is right. Members of the Democrat Party have been seeking out any excuse to play "gotchya!" with Bush since he took office.]]

Yo, Kevin: Smarter trolls, please.

Or is this just a case of having to go to blog with the trolls you've got? ;-)

Posted by: Lex on May 18, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Really they are just too stupid to breathe.

If the Democrats were able to start investigating the billions of dollars that have gone missing or lined contractors's pockets in Iraq, would the American people really see that as a witch hunt? Karl Rove certainly wants you to think so.

Posted by: April Dancer on May 18, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

"If he shows up to a press conference in a red tie, people loudly wonder why he didn't wear a blue tie, and what it might mean. If he shows up to a press conference in a blue tie, they wonder why he's not wearing a red tie."

American Fairy. AMERICA DOES NOT CARE ABOUT WHAT DAMN COLOR TIE SOME LYING ASS POLITICIAN WEARS.

GET A FECKING LIFE, READ, DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH THAT HALF OF A BRAIN YOU USE.

Posted by: Buffoons on May 18, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

What about the Constitution? What about Bush's arrogating both the power of the legislative branch and of the judicial branch?

Just a few years ago, Rethuglicans didn't give a shit how the press felt about their attempted coup d'etat. (Although much of the press was complicit in that anyway.)

Impeachment? Bush richly deserves it for his multiple abuses of power. If this president doesn't deserve it then we should just strike it from the Constitution because apparently nothing but Democrats lying about sex merits impeachment.

Bush should be impeached, convicted and then handed over to The Hague along with Cheney and Rumsfeld for crimes against humanity.

Posted by: renato on May 18, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

We as Democrats just do not seem to understand just how much the other side hates us and wants to do us in.

Time to stop extending the olive brnach, turning the other cheek, and trying for statesmanship.

The right wing has so coarsened and degraded the debate that nothing short of a total old-fashiioned whuppin' and buutt-kicking wikk convince them that Democrats are not weak and will not cave in.

Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, FOX and the rest of the right-wing Wurlitzer have been playing this song forever: Democrats are pussies who will back down, appease, and offer a weak smile and all their goodies to whoever is strong and ruthless and powerful enough to demand it.

As a Democrat who has won a fair share of my fights, I learned a long time ago a sharp punch in the nose has to be followed up with a few solid body shots to really get your point across.

You do not stop until the other guy cries Uncle.

Conyers, of all people, should know this: The right wing has been chewing on his ass for years now, and they will not be appeased and stop just because he offers "bipartisanship".

Posted by: dembluestates on May 18, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Jeebus fucking christ on a crutch! The vast bulk of the country now hates Bush, a clear majority thinks he lied to get us into Iraq, and he has publicly boasted about breaking and ignoring the law on numerous occassions. Yet, Democrats are absolutely terrified of doing anything about our out-of-control president.

Way to go, guys! Set the precedent that the president is above the law! Make certain that America will, sooner rather than later, collapse into dictatorship. Obviously, the most important thing for Democrats to do is not to fulfill their obligations as citizens, or to adhere to their oaths of office. Rather, the most important thing for Democrats is that they don't piss off the 25% of people who still slavishly worship Bush.

Moderation? Fuck you!

Posted by: Derelict on May 18, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

The bank's broken open. All that's left is an IOU in your name, but you didn't sign it.

You and all your friends are broke, but a few folks who live on the hill have had a mysterious run of good fortune.

Everywhere you look, there's somebody peeking in your window and going through your drawers.

A few of your neighbors have disappeared.

Your town is quiet, but in other towns bodies lie in the streets.

Some of your neighbors suggest that they could do a better job than the folks who are currently in charge.

Are you really going to ask them to go ahead and try, but don't look at the bank, don't find out how your name got on the IOU, don't look anywhere up on the hill, don't find out who's doing the sneaking and peeking, don't find out what happened to your missing neighbors, and don't worry about what's going on out of town?

Posted by: clem on May 18, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

"The sizable subgroup is right. Members of the Democrat Party have been seeking out any excuse to play "gotchya!" with Bush since he took office. If he shows up to a press conference in a red tie, people loudly wonder why he didn't wear a blue tie, and what it might mean. If he shows up to a press conference in a blue tie, they wonder why he's not wearing a red tie. And so on and so forth. One of their main criticisms since 9/11 has been that on the morning of 9/11, Bush didn't leave a classroom, don a superhero cape, and magically stop the other three planes; Americans see right through that nonsense. Similarly, Americans understand that there were Iraq intelligence failures and that the CIA needs to be reformed. They also reject liberal claims that Bush should have the ability to magically stop hurricanes."

Hey Amer. Hawk...The American people see the way things are to a sub 30% approval rating. Your comments show signs of a delusional and disappointed bushie with his head in the sand or elsewhere

Posted by: neil on May 18, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Man, I find this kind of stuff bizarre.

Certainly, if the evidence doesn't exist to support an investigation (or punishment therafter), and Congress proceeds anyway, then we have a witch hunt on our hands, which would be wrong.

However, the following should be obvious:

Any President should be investigated if there is evidence of significant wrongdoing.

Any President should be censured or impeached if investigations reveal he or she has committed significant crimes.

Both of the above are true, regardless of the party of the President or the controlling party in Congress.

Any Congress that promises they won't investigate, censure, or impeach the President, regardless of the evidence, is violating the oath of their office.

So, regarless of political party affiliation, question #1 must always be: Is the evidence of significant wrongdoing compelling enough to investigate?

You CANNOT answer the question of whether or not this is a "witch hunt" without first answering question #1.

Right?

Posted by: sean on May 18, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Zach, you on crack?

Posted by: American Pigeon on May 18, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Like the repigs didn't offer up a failed $70,000,000 witch-hunt to embarrass and hobble the most successful president of the late 20th century. And Clinton still maintained, and maintains to this day, a fqar higher approval rating by every measure than the loser bush. Not only should the Dems threaten impeachment, they should carry it through, because once the evidence is in, not even a partisan anti-American zealot like chickenhawk could ignore it. No, not even the godlike W could have stopped Katrina, but under Gore's watch NOLA would have been properly evacuated, then cleaned up and repatriated. Not to mention that the simple competence of the Dems would have prevented 9/11. so W didn't don a superman cape on 9/11; of course not. he was scared to death, sat there frozen like the coward that he is and represents. Anybody who is proud of those actions belongs in North Korea.

Posted by: ronjazz on May 18, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I am so glad Conyers got in front of this. The Republicans have tried to control the terms of this discussion as "revenge" or "get back" from the Democratic Party. It isn't.

I, as an US citizen, want transparency in my government - there is no excuse not to have it. I am OWED the truth. Even if I didn't vote for these guys they represent me. They live in a house that I, as a tax payer, paid for so to speak. Just because Congress has completely failed in its responsibility to the American prople, doesn't make it "revenge" when Conyers investigates.

Kudos to Conyers for standing up for America.

Posted by: Zed on May 18, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

If I were a Dem running for Congress this fall. I'd put text in my stump speech that went something like this. "My opponent claims that if I am elected, my colleagues and I will hamstring the President with investigations. That the President won't then be free to carry out every idea that he, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney cook up. To the few of you that don't think that this would be a good thing I point out that if we just investigated the prostitutes (male or female take your pick) that have been roaming through Congress, the White House, and other parts of the Executive Branch it'll keep us pretty busy for a couple of years. But the mess that has been made of the budget and the military will require our full attention. We have to prepare for 2009 when these guys are gone and we can begin to clean this mess up in earnest. We will have investigations and some people are going to go to jail, but the mess they've left us will require a lot more work than simply investigating them."

Posted by: rk on May 18, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

I like shiny objects... hmmmmmm.... brightly colored ties....

Posted by: American Hawk on May 18, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

American Hawk has to be a spoofer. Nobody on earth, not even a diehard Republican, could be that out-of-touch with reality.

Democrats don't have to "seek out excuses" to play gotcha; Bush has been lobbing them up like softballs for years now.

Posted by: Doug on May 18, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

This administration is full of corrupt war criminals who regularly lie to the American people and have trashed the Constitution and the Democratic leadership doesn't want to investigate them because they are afraid what the press will say? Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Gonzales, Stephen Cambone (my favorite candidate for the poster boy for the banality of evil) need to be in cells in the Colorado supermax next to Moussaui. Rumsfeld has already admitted on camera to a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions (hiding Iraqi detainees from the ICRC) after the president said Geneva is fully applicable in Iraq.

And you agree with them? Kevin finally has come around, but now he is giving room to milquetoasts who are just as passive as he used to be.

Posted by: Freder Frederson on May 18, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Lanny Who?

We fired him and hired Kos and Sirota. Someone tell Mr. Davis.

Posted by: Flamethrower on May 18, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Why would I even bother voting if the Dems aren't going to clean up this mess?

And I mean that very seriously. I've done more than my fair share of voting. I'm not voting any more if there's no reason.

If the only clean-up to be done here is by Republican prosecutors, then I guess there might as well be some Republicans in office to appoint them.

Sheesh. You might think the Dems would have learned something from the Bush years, but maybe not. It makes you want to puke.

Posted by: serial catowner on May 18, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK
It's probably smart for John Conyers to be trying to put to rest Republican claims that a Democratic House would impeach Bush

Its smart for Conyers to do what he is doing, but that's not putting to rest the claims that a Democratic House would impeach Bush. That's what No-Accountability Pelosi is doing.

What Conyers is doing is saying that a Democratic Congress will do its job and provide oversight and enforce accountability, and, if that means impeachment, so be it; making the issue about accountability vs. unaccountable authority rather than about impeachment vs. not-impeachment.

He's trying to redefine the field rather than stupidly (like Pelosi) agreeing to play the rigged game the Republicans are trying to set up, which is a lose-lose proposition for Democrats.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 18, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hold him to his word and promises:

They had their chance. They have not led. We will. And now they come asking for another chance, another shot. Our answer? Not this time. Not this year.... We heard it in the civil rights movement, when brave men and women did not say ... "We shall cope," or "We shall see." They said ... "We shall overcome." An American president must call upon that character. Tonight, in this hall, we resolve to be, not the party of repose, but the party of reform.... And those who spend your tax dollars must be held accountable.... He seemed to be asking, like many Americans who struggle ... "Is there hope for me? Do I have a chance?" And, frankly ... "Do you, a white man in a suit, really care what happens to me?"

A small voice, but it speaks for so many. Single moms struggling to feed the kids and pay the rent. Immigrants starting a hard life in a new world. Children without fathers in neighborhoods where gangs seem like friendship, where drugs promise peace, and where sex, sadly, seems like the closest thing to belonging. We are their country, too.

And each of us must share in its promise, or that promise is diminished for all.

If that boy in Marlin believes he is trapped and worthless and hopeless -- if he believes his life has no value, then other lives have no value to him -- and we are ALL diminished.

When these problems aren't confronted, it builds a wall within our nation. On one side are wealth and technology, education and ambition.

On the other side of the wall are poverty and prison, addiction and despair.

And, my fellow Americans, we must tear down that wall.
....
A hundred years from now, this must not be remembered as an age rich in possessions and poor in ideals.

Instead, we must usher in an era of responsibility.

Corporations are responsible ... to treat their workers fairly, and leave the air and waters clean.

Our nation's leaders are responsible ... to confront problems, not pass them on to others.

And to lead this nation to a responsibility era, a president himself must be responsible.....
Our country is ready for high standards and new leaders ... and it won't be long now.

An era of tarnished ideals is giving way to a responsibility era ... and it won't be long now.

Gov. George W. Bush
Acceptance Speech
First Union Center
Philadelphia, PA
August 3, 2000
http://www.gwu.edu/~action/bush080300.html

Our nation's elected leaders promised to usher in a new era of accountabilty, instead they have ushered in a new era of stonewalling and secrecy. They have failed to lead and keep their promises, and its time we truly started a new era of accountabiliy and responsibilty and that requires starting from the top down, instead of how its been for the last 6 years of blaming those on the bottom for the leadership failures at the top. We must reverse the GOP policy of passing the buck by not only squandering the surplus we had in 2000 but adding record breaking additions to the nation's deficit. They had their chance, they failed to lead, we will.

Posted by: Catch22 on May 18, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Seems like all the weaklings who were beaten up by bullies in the grade school are now members of staff on the hill.

Posted by: nut on May 18, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

If Congressional Democrats are unwilling to stand up for the institution and are afraid to demand that the President obey the law, then they are just as bad as the Republicans. Vote their asses out, Republicans and panty waist Democrats alike.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 18, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

John Conyers is the worst possible guy for the Dems to install as chairman of any House committee - much less the important House Judiciary committee.

This guy is a nut - what are the Democrats thinking???

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on May 18, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Dimocrats...

'nuf said.

Posted by: koreyel on May 18, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Do they think that 71% of the electorate disapproves of Bush because Americans aren't pissed at what's been happening the past five years?

Posted by: shortstop on May 18, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Wow - that quote about the press being the judge. WTF? Which press, the Post lapdogs? Omigod.

But more seriously, a lot of senior Democratic leaders just don't seem to care about doing their jobs as an opposition party. They don't seem to want to oppose stupid ideas. They didn't want to oppose a dumb war, or a dumb bankruptcy bill, or, well you know. And accountability? Just shrug that off? Why not play gotcha when your opponent has done stupid and / or illegal things?

Conyers' article was brilliant - simply we must hold them acountable, but no impeachment first.

But gee thanks we're so happy to have leaders like Lieberman, Biden, Hoyer, and such who just don't seem to care about what most of the base wants. But let's remember that the party does have guys like Conyers. There is a massive split in the Democratic leadership - but at least they're not absolute crazies.

And there are huge parts of the press that would love to be fed big fat juicy scandal stories in the next few years. Just don't expect it to be the Post of Times reporter.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on May 18, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK


Those inside the beltway are unfortunately thinking like they usually do--wrong. The adminstration under the lead of Rumsfeld has a theory about how the military should be composed which involves smaller forces and more contracting out. That hypothesis has been tested in the lab of Iraq; we need a hearing to see how well it worked. Ask the appropriate generals under oath what they really think about force structure; bring in some heavy duty forensic accountants and see how contracting out worked in Iraq. This is important and hearing are an appropriate venue.

Posted by: john sherman on May 18, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats in Congress are a big bunch of whiny pussies.

Posted by: The Fool on May 18, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

*yawn* another post highlighting the dying wing of the democratic party that wants to play to the middle and another predictable bunch of bandwagon jumping Dem bashing...

Look, the roots of the Democratic party are changing.. it may not happen like we all want it in 2006, or even 2008, but by the next decade the dinosaurs of the DLC will be long gone, and no one will care about Lanny Davis or his whiny "can't we all just get along" approach to the daily mugging the nation by Republicans.

People are angry at the direction the country is headed.. Republicans have built a gated community around their precious standards of tax cuts, wars without end, gay-bashing and their warped version Chrisitianity forced on everyone, and the sign says "No Democrats allowed". I don't think these DLC guys will ever get that they won't ever be allowed to play in the rich guy's yard.

It's time for a new Democratic party.. and we are it.

Posted by: markinnc on May 18, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans actually paid an astonishingly small price for their four year siege upon the Clinton presidency. They lost seats in 1998, but 2 years later they won the presidency. Soon after, they controlled all the branches of the federal government.

Moreover, what was outrageous then wasn't that there were a bunch of investigations, but the content of them: not a single one of them related to Clinton's duties as President.

If the Democrats make it clear that Bush's personal behavior isn't at issue here, only the legality of his actions as President, the distinction will not be lost on Americans.

Posted by: kth on May 18, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Why oh why are liberals so slow to point out that "gotcha" served the Republicans extremely well for about 4 years or so and led to the ascendency of GWB? They play "gotcha" every chance they get. Lanny Davis can bite me. I need me some "gotcha" to regain my social, psychological, and emotional equilibrium. By Lanny Davis' reckoning, Ramsi Yusef should be let go, since holding him accountable for the first WTC bombing is simply playing "gotcha." Holding Saddam and Milosevic in little rooms with nothing but CNN is playing "gotcha." Hey Lanny, what if crimes were actually committed? In that case it's not called "gotcha," it's called aprehending criminals.

Posted by: Mr Blifil on May 18, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

This guy is a nut - what are the Democrats thinking???

Somebody just pissed themselves.

Posted by: ckelly on May 18, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Where's the red meat? Is thess politicians or pussycats? Does shame and prison mean anything? Do we want to motivate voters or not?

Posted by: mr.ed on May 18, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

We are in this position today because no one was held accountable during Iran-Contra in the 1980s, Chile in the 1970s, Iran and Guatemala in 1950s, etc.

The scum that were involved in lying to congress and usurping our Constitution during Iran-Contra (Reich, Negroponte, Noriega, Poindexter, etc.) are involved in our current situation. Why? Because they all got away with it during Reagan-Bush! And this Bush will pardon the ones that happen to get caught this time too.

The American people arent ever going to get any justice from this corrupt administration especially when a corrupt and spineless congress is in charge of oversight.

Posted by: chris on May 18, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I would, as a rule, never take impeachment off the table anymore than Bush would take the military defense measure off the table in it's talks with Iran.

If Bush lied and if Bush mislead the nation than those are impeachable offenses and should be taken as serious as the drive to impeach Nixon. Bush is hardly a popular president anymore but it just goes to show you how badly Al From's comment of "that's just not how everybody feels" is still causing the Dems great self-harm.

Karl Rove's recent suggestion that people like Bush and it's just the Iraq war issue leaves a large host of other reasons for Bush declining poll numbers including Bush's habit of spending like there is no tomorrow. Most people DO NOT like Bush anymore and most Americans Do NOT trust Bush anymore - that hardly makes Bush a likable guy - so Dems need to STOP focusing on their fears and start focus on why Bush is not really a conservative and how he betray conservative voters and why the GOP is show such an unChristian bunch of unethical congress members - Go on the defense and make the Republicans answer some sticky question. WHY doesn't the GOP provide any oversight.

Why didn't Republicans strengthen the border instead of relying on Bush's bait and switch with National Guards while the Republican decided not to require securing the border? Conservitives want to know why? I would ask conservative voters if they know the reason why Bush never vetos anthing? It's the same reason why Republicans don't provide any oversight of the Bush administration - because Bush is using bribery with the GOP and the ever unethical GOP has no problem withsoever being a bought congress - go on the defense for the same reasons negative commericals work. Swiftboat the Republicans because they aren't ever going play nice with Dems.

Let the Republicans do some explaining of their own. If all those so-called centrist Dems want to reach out to Republicans - then simply remind the conservative voter of how Bush really isn't conserviative, because of his so called liberal policy for lying, for spending and unChristian ruining of Ms. Plame's name and career.

Bush isn't a conservitive, but a criminal - time to show the public the truth about George and then the impeachment issue will take care of itself

Posted by: Cheryl on May 18, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

If the political theme this year should be "the common good," the moral theme should be "it is time for a little adult supervision in Washington." It is not about over-investigating. It is about the grown-ups cleaning and fixing the mess that the children made.

Posted by: Paul R. on May 18, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Why is anybody still listening to Lanny Davis?

He belongs on the same junk pile as Donna Brazile and Bob Shrum.

Posted by: HoneyBearKelly on May 18, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Compile the evidence and buy Bush a one way ticket to the Hague, and maybe a jumpsuit and hood with POTUS on it.

The only way americans can be safe at home or abroad is if Bush is behind bars, is one man, regardless of his temprorary office, more important than the safety of 300 million?

Posted by: feckless on May 18, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP, as headed by Bush/Cheney, is a criminal enterprise that has broken laws that were passed because a past GOP president and a past head of the FBI abused their powers and used them against their political enemies. To allow the much more egregious of this administration to go unexamined, much less unpunished will be the death of what's left of our democracy.

Screw the press. They've abdicated their duty, and have lost credibility with the public. And the slack from their shrinking influence is being picked up here in the blogoshpere. Unless there is a major shift in the way the MSM operates, by 2008 it will be headed the way of dial telephones and analog tape.

Let's take our country back.

Posted by: Slideguy on May 18, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I can't take anyone seriously who buys into GOP spin to the point of changing nouns into adjectives.

Out of fairness the GOP happily turns adjectives into nouns, too. Note all the immigration talk about "illegals."

I mean who in their right mind would ever support illegals? They aren't even people.

Posted by: Tripp on May 18, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

So when would it be appropriate to play "gotcha". Isn't that what, ya know, laws are for? And how much "digging up" would it take to determine whether Bush lied us into war? It's not like the damn thing is over already. Sheesh. Canada, anyone?

Posted by: Kenji on May 18, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK
Compile the evidence and buy Bush a one way ticket to the Hague, and maybe a jumpsuit and hood with POTUS on it.

Why? International courts exist to deal with cases where national systems are unwilling or unable to function. The US President is not above US law, the offenses that Bush is widely accused of are, in many cases, criminal under US law (including those involving grave violations of the Geneva Conventions).

If there is to be a criminal trial and punishment, it should be done by the US. Anything less is compounds the failure in letting Bush do what he has done with a failure to do our job and hold him accountable ourselves.

An international trial might be better than nothing, but it should not be the preferred course of action.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 18, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

If there is one thing wingnuts do know is, whitch hunts and strawmen.They admitt Bush is guilty,There line is The Dems will impeach Bush if they take control.That line has I'm Guilty written all over it.

Posted by: Booo on May 18, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

The largest majority of the american public has come to the conclusion that BUSH & CO will not give up on the idea that they can make chicken soup out of chicken shit.

Posted by: OLD TIME VOTER on May 18, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

There is already the beginnings of a liberal revolt within the Democratic party. Not unlike the conservative disgust with Rockefeller Republicans back in the 1960s. As many folks have observed if the Democrats were in power with this laundry list of scandals the Republicans would not be interested in healing the country nor would they worry about a backlash. They would be confident they could gain from tearing down their enemy- not so for the Democrats.

Cheryl I have begun to think that Rove is a bit like Dr. Frankenstein in love with his creation which is a representation of himself. Bushs policies and governance of the American people are not even part of Roves mindset, just his Andrew Jackson/Teddy Roosevelt persona.

Posted by: bellumregio on May 18, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Earlier this year, the Canadian Conservatives ended 12 years of Liberal party rule mainly because of a scandal involving government-sponsored advertising contracts. The scandal was perpetrated between 1997 and 2001 by a few Liberals, and the result five years later was a minority Conservative government.

So Frank Luntz comes to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago to advise new Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other influential Tories as to how to turn this minority into a majority. Here's how he was quoted in my hometown Montreal Gazette:

"I want you to leave here committed to insisting that the Conservative government hold that previous Liberal government accountable, that you do oversight, that you do investigation, that you continue doing it for the next year so that every Canadian knows and will never forget."

Just thought you'd like to know.

Posted by: mgoldsmith on May 18, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just curious, as 67 comments and no one's touched on this:

Does Mr. Conyers expect all of us to forget the previous demands he's made for impeachment? And the mock 'impeachment' inquiry he had about a year ago? It's all out there on the public record.

So when Mr. Conyers says that "So, rather than seeking impeachment, I have chosen to propose comprehensive oversight of these alleged abuses.", does anyone doubt where he wants that to go?

Mr. Conyers wants the President impeached, he's wanted it all along, and his op-ed piece is (at best) disingenous in this regard. Voters should have no doubt where Mr. Conyers wants to go if he becomes the chair of the Judiciary Committee.

Posted by: Steve White on May 18, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Just keep repeating--accountability & oversight. If it leads to impeachment, so be it. This crew (both parties) needs to remember their approval ratings are even lower than the chimp's. They have abdicated their responsibilties under the constitution. If the Democrats refuse to take it up, then they deserve to go too. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out.

The joke that someone needs to bring democracy to the USA is less funny everyday.

Posted by: sherij on May 18, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush farted, I get the feeling that a majority of Dems would be falling all over themselves to say that it smells like roses.

Posted by: jrm78 on May 18, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I will definately vote Democratic if their #1 Item on their platform agenda is:

Investigate, Impeach, and execute for Treason.
Tighten Campaign finance laws so that abominations like K-Street will never happen again.

Anything less, and I have to wonder why a Democrat would be any different (and thus worth voting for) than a Republican.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on May 18, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Dammit, people! We are at war! Everyone is the enemy! Even us!

Posted by: Nutcase on May 18, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Playing "gotcha"? That like arresting a bank robber after robbing a bank, and the robber screaming: "You cops are just playing gotcha! WAA WAA WAA!"

When you're a criminal, you deserve only justice.

And Bush is obviously a criminal.

Posted by: johnnyr on May 18, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I like how the press labels any inquiry into the the bush admin crimes like torture, theft (9 bil missing), lies, manipulation and deception, secrecy, spying, to be "partisan" "witch hunt" "payback", yet they never questioned the Republican motives investigating Clinton's personal life including every little thing he did years before the presidency. Somehow though, Bush's sordid past - both business-wise and personally is off limits. Instead, when it comes up they turn on the person who raises the issue. Tim Russert continued to grill John Kerry even after the election was over regarding the lies told by the swift boat people. But in 6 years you've never heard him raise the issue of bush's cowardice.

When are the Dems going to get it? The press will always come up with a narrative against them no matter what action or inaction they decide on. If only Dems would confront the press instead of being intimidated and cowed.

Posted by: Chrissy on May 18, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Any Bush Apologist, like "American Hawk", who can't call the Democratic Party by its proper name doesn't deserve an iota of respect for two reasons: (1) they have put their party above their country and (2) they are rude and disrespectful.

As to whether Bush should be investigated, well, if Bush hasn't done anything wrong and has nothing to hide, then he has nothing to worry about, right? He should re-assume his cowboy role and say "bring it on" to Conyers.

Posted by: X on May 18, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Can we start kicking people like Lanny Davis out of the party for being such fucking cowards?

I mean, who in politics thinks that the trigger for charges of "partisan witch-hunts" ("PWH" for short) will be whether there are investigations, much less whether they're conducted in a partisan manner? The trigger will be whether Republicans want to accuse Democrats of conducting PWH. This does not require PWH. This does not require Democrats to do anything. This does not require there to be *DEMOCRATS*. This merely requires Republicans to decide to accuse Democrats of conducting PWH.

Democrats need to realize (a whole fucking lot of prominent ones especially, apparently) that they CANNOT CONTROL WHAT REPUBLICANS DO. Nor can they control what the press does, but that's the second part of the lesson, and until they learn the first part, it's probably overkill to expect them to adapt on multiple levels at once.

Posted by: Chris on May 18, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus. The Rethuglican investigations, and impeachment, of Clinton backfired because they were phony scandals ginned up by the Rethuglicans to cripple a presidency. What Conyers is talking about investigating are things like torture, massive corruption, destruction of the 4th Amendment, lying the country into war. These investigations aren't going to backfire because they are a bit more substantive than a 50,000 dollar real estate investment and a few blowjobs. I don't know which is worse, if Lanny Davis can't see the difference or if he's so contemptuous of the American people that he thinks they can't. But either way, one thing is certain: It is time for him to get the hell out of politics.

Posted by: expatjourno on May 18, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think American Hawk (who probably votes Republic) has every right to call parties by any name he wants! There's also that party that Pat Buchanan destroyed, the Preforms, and the In Depends Party, and the Greed Party--which hates carbon dioxide, which we all need to live! (Hawk probably votes Republic because the Libertares aren't very strong.)

Posted by: W Action on May 18, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh! This is playing out exactly as I expected. However, even if the Democrats decide not to "investigate" the Bush administration, all they would need to do is to start demanding that Congress start to play its OVERSIGHT role and that could reveal plenty. For example, what if a Democrat-controled Congress started demanding accountability for the money we keep turning over to Haliburton and all in Iraq. What if all they did is not be a subservient rubber stamp to the Bush White House agenda? Even that may be too much to ask of this lot, but it's a few shreds of hope to hold on to.

Posted by: GLS on May 18, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White, I think I can clear this up for you a bit.
Conyers seems, based on previous statements and actions, to want an impeachment of Bush.
What he has done is realize that he doesn't need to say so to get it.
All he has to do is support Congressional oversight, which will lead to investigations, which will in turn lead to impeachment proceedings.
Those can go either way, much like a grand jury. Either the evidence supports an indictment, whch would be an impeachment in impeachment proceedings, or it doesn't. I have a feeling Conyers is pretty sure the issue(s) will go to the Senate, if it makes it to the House.

Feel better now that you understand?

Posted by: kenga on May 18, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Lanny Davis: I don't care about digging up whether Bush lied or not, or whether they manipulated evidence or not. That's just playing gotcha.

Gee, that should have been Johnny Cochran's defense strategy for O.J.: "You shouldn't care whether O.J. committed murder or not. That's just playing gotcha.

Posted by: nemo on May 18, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

When I started reading that the GOP might be sending letters out to the faithful saying, don't defect, or the Democrats will investigate and maybe impeach, I thought, how lame! If Bush and crew had done more good than harm (no human does everything right), then there would be no talk of investigation, much less impeachment, in the first place. If investigation and maybe impeachment are on the table, then maybe the Republicans aren't doing the job right. It's a loser as a reason to vote FOR someone.

I'm not saying this very well. Can someone come up with a pithy response pointing out how this platform plank would be a reason to vote AGAINST, not FOR, the candidate in question?

Then I also realized, Republicans went after Clinton tooth and nail, for pissant reasons, so they assume that Democrats would go after them for equally pissant reasons. To be fair, some probably would. You wouldn't want to vote a Democrat in who would go after a Republican for pissant reasons. But they overlook the fact that investigations are most certainly warranted, and possibly impeachment, although just impeaching Bush possibly worsens the situation, assuming Cheney would take over.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on May 18, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Lanny Davis told me I don't care about digging up whether Bush lied or not, or whether they manipulated evidence or not. That's just playing gotcha.

It's time for Lanny to join FAUX News.

Posted by: Steve J. on May 18, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

BLAST FROM THE PAST:

5:16 PM 3/23/1998
http://www.chron.com/cgi-bin/auth/story.mpl/content/chronicle/editorial/98/03/24/safire-2728731.0-2.html

Rule of law comes before rule of Clinton
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
BY defiantly asserting that he and his aides are above the criminal law -- the essence of his claim last Friday of "executive privilege" -- Bill Clinton has increased the likelihood of their indictment and his impeachment.

Pitting his soaring poll ratings against bedrock judicial principle, he offers the other two branches of government the choice of the rule of Clinton or the rule of law.

Posted by: Steve J. on May 18, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems are worried about "Gotcha" when McCain and Geuliana (sp?) are having to mob out with with the Religous Right and are clearly holding their noses. Someone like Feingold, who has some actual principles, must get tired of being around so many midgets. I wish someone would catch Hillary, put her in a necklock and make her state why she is for the war.

Posted by: darby1936 on May 18, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm totally confounded by the Republican strategy on this.

They really think they can win in November on a platform of, "Don't vote for Democrats or we'll be impeached for our crimes!!!!!"

It sort of puts the emphasis on Republican character problems rather than Democratic problems, does it not?

I imagine many people may go to the polls next November asking, "Jeez, the Dems might impeach the Prez... Those Republicans really must be a bunch of crooks if that's their biggest worry."

Posted by: Dumbo on May 18, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Impeachment is only Plan B. Maybe it's straight to the Hague for these criminals as Option #1. The Repugs are just feeding the Dems their worst GOP nightmares as a hook to talk about what's going to happen. They are really running scared. I figure the Dems will recapture at least 22 seats in the House and they know it, so they don't need to tip their hand just yet. I can wait until November for the happy dance.

Posted by: bboop on May 18, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Is Lanny Davis a moron or does he just play one on TV?

If he is your (or the media's) idea of a Democrat it's no wonder the Dems are not taken seriously.

Posted by: mjshep on May 18, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

We need Democrats in Congress controlling one or both chambers. Oversight in our democracy is essential. The Republicans controlling both chambers have abrogated their responsibility. And the result has been a runaway executive branch and a Republican Party train wreck which will take years to clean up, just like it will take years to clean up the damage from Hurricane Katrina, the Bush war in Iraq, the bleeding of our nation's safety net, and the ransacking of our nation's treasury by the Republicans and their fat-cat corporate thieving pals.

This is what is at stake in our democracy in November. Either the "culture of corruption" Republican Party anti-democracy disaster continues or the Republicans responsible are held accountable. It reminds me of the statement by Jason Robards (playing Ben Bradlee) in "All the President's Men" about Woodward and Bernstein getting their facts right about the runaway corruption in the Nixon administration. You know, nothing really being at stake, to paraphrase, besides the U.S. Constitution and our democracy.

So, any Democrat who believes it's a bad idea to run a campaign on a candidate's promise that after being elected in November the Democratic candidate will first conduct some housecleaning in Congress and then open investigations into all the anti-democracy corruption in the Bush administration should be put on a Democratic Party watch list. Because this type of Democrat can only weaken the Democratic Party at a time when our nation needs a very strong and unified Democratic Party stance against the "culture of corruption" Republican Party and the outright egotistical evil that currently resides in the White House.

The children of our nation need the undivided attention of the leaders of the Democratic Party if we are to save our democracy from the worst administration our nation has ever seen, along with their Republican Party enablers in Congress.

Posted by: The Oracle on May 18, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care about digging up whether Bush lied or not, or whether they manipulated evidence or not. That's just playing gotcha

As usual, guttless Democrats. So Clinton gets impeached for lying to God, I mean congress about a private indiscretion which had no impact on the country, but Bush can literally get away with murder thousands of times over. He can lie to congress about a made up reason for a pet war. He can run up the national debt and deficit into the trillions which will impact generations to come, and on and on and on. But he gets a free ride.

What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: ahem on May 18, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

My advice to democrats is do the opposite of anything Conyers does.

Posted by: aaron on May 19, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

I would like to side with those who are prudently warning against making this completely a personal fight against George W. Bush. Beware, because the Right is already wise to the fact that their former Beloved Leader is failing, and they are ready to cut him loose. Already the right-wing pundits abound with charges that the President's problem is that he's not really a conservative at all, but a liberal in disguse.

This fight is about more than one man. Certainly there needs to be a reckoning, and people should rightly be held accountable for any wrongdoing in terms of public deception, abuse of constitutional authority, and so forth. However, it is important that those charges are made to stick to the whole rotten lot of them. By making this a personal vendetta against Bush (who is already desperately fighting "lame duck" status), Democrats could risk the war for the sake of a single battle.

Posted by: Cicero Hood on May 19, 2006 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

it's amazing how people forget that a number of the members of the shrub's maladministration were convicted felons; remember eliot abrams (a shonda fur de goyim) or the immortal admiral (total information awareness) poindexter? the rethuglicans do not believe in democracy, they believe in power, not to mention greed. if we let them get away with their crimes again they will do this shit again and again. first investigate, then talk about impeachment. Conyers is spot on!

Posted by: nathan on May 19, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: best resource on May 20, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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