Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 25, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PLAME UPDATE....The latest from the Valerie Plame case:

Vice President Cheney was personally angered by a former U.S. ambassador's newspaper column attacking a key rationale for the war in Iraq and repeatedly directed I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then his chief of staff, to "get all the facts out" related to the critique, according to excerpts from Libby's 2004 grand jury testimony released late yesterday by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

Libby also told the grand jury that Cheney raised as an issue that the former ambassador's wife worked at the CIA and that she allegedly played a role in sending him to investigate the Iraqi government's interest in acquiring nuclear weapons materials. That issue formed the basis of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's published critique.

In the court filing that included the formerly secret testimony, Fitzgerald did not assert that Cheney instructed Libby to tell reporters the name and role of Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife. But he said Cheney's interactions with Libby on that topic were a key part of the reason Libby allegedly made false statements to the FBI about his conversations with reporters around the time her name was disclosed in news accounts.

Everything always gets back to Cheney somehow, doesn't it?

Kevin Drum 2:14 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (114)

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Everything always gets back to Cheney somehow, doesn't it?

Apparently so.

Vice President Cheney was personally angered by a former U.S. ambassador's newspaper column attacking a key rationale for the war in Iraq and repeatedly directed I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then his chief of staff, to "get all the facts out" related to the critique, according to excerpts from Libby's 2004 grand jury testimony released late yesterday by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald.


The most damning part of the indictment is that CHeney asked his chief of staff to get all the facts out? Why is it that liberals want transparency, except when digging up the lies of a politically motivated attacker?

Posted by: American Hawk on May 25, 2006 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Wow - the GOP blog monitors are working late tonight.

Posted by: xyz on May 25, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see the point of having Cheney testify. He could be screwing Fitzgerald's french poodle, (probably is) and he'd just claim "executive privilege" or "national security" -

Then, at the end of the day, they've always got the "Bush declassified her" excuse. This is all a complete waste of time. It's just amusing to know that even with this arsenal of bulletproof legal loopholes, one of their own STILL got busted for lying. Well, glad to know Bush finally got to the bottom of this whole leak thing. I wonder how that swine "took care of the leaker". Most likely with some hand lotion and a pair of latex gloves.

What a bunch of amateurs.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on May 25, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK


The Vice-President would be remiss in his sworn duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic if he did not actively suppress the truth wherever it rears its ugly head.

As Stephen Colbert so eloquently put it, "the truth has a well-known liberal (i.e. Communist) bias".

Fortunately, truth is in its last throes, so soon we should all be able to rest easy.

Posted by: Michael Robinson on May 25, 2006 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

Would anyone like to take bets on the date that Bush pardons Libby? It'll obviously have to wait until after November. I say by the 2nd week of January.

Absolutely no way will they let Cheney testify in open court. His hand would probably set the bible on fire...

Posted by: YoYoPunch on May 25, 2006 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

but, here is what continues to be so weird...

any individual with any knowledge of the yellowcake trade would have known that the bushits were lying. it is not a situation that would have required joe plame to research it.

and any journalist with a brain, unowned by the state, could have told the public the truth about the bushit prevarications in this matter.

so, the salient questions are these...

1. are all the employees of the wapo, the nyt, et alia agents of the secret state?

2. alternatively,is it a requirement of employment that you receive a frontal lobotomy?

the issue is not joe wilson. the issue is the reality that the msm decided to ignore.

all along the route of the story, the press rolled over. why?

let's review what i have told you previously...

1. iraq could never obtain yellowcake from niger.

2. even if iraq could have acquired yellowcake from the franco-japo consortium how was it going to be shipped out of a land-locked country?

3. even if it could have reached a disembarkation port, how was that yellowcake going to reach iraq?

4. you have a globe[?], consider the routing of that freighting.

5. let's see, iraq has but one port of entry, basra. ever study on the geography of basra?

i think that no yellowcake could ever have been landed there after the imposition of sanctions.

6. better still, assuming that yellowcake could have been landed in basra, what then could have been done with it?

a. upgraded to weapons' grade? highly doubtful. if you know the facilities that the usa had to construct so as to produce weapons grade uranium, then you will know that iraq could not create weapons grade material.

b. never forget, iraq was under the aerial thumb of usa/brit airforces. and under the scrutiny of the nro.

even if yellowcake could have been acquired from the franco-japo consortium in niger, it could never be upgraded to weapons grade material.

why? because no upgrade facilities could have been consructed under the eyes of the no fly scrutiny.

these are realities.

think upon how the press ignored them.

Posted by: albertchampion on May 25, 2006 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Rove was indicted last week, and you missed it, because you fell asleep in front of the TV after that damn anchovy pizza!

It was great! Frog march, handcuffs, the hat over the face, the whole works. And you missed it!

Posted by: Leopold on May 25, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

Everything always gets back to Cheney somehow, doesn't it?

You liberals are all alike.

You expect the President of the United States to engage in a criminal conspiracy to violate the laws? No, that is why our founding fathers gave us a Vice-President. It's right there in the name.

Posted by: Ray on May 25, 2006 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

The most damning part of the indictment is that CHeney asked his chief of staff to get all the facts out? Why is it that liberals want transparency, except when digging up the lies of a politically motivated attacker?

Do you guys honestly still believe that? No wonder people like Hannitty and Rush are multi-millionaires. You guys aren't just as dumb as a box of rocks, you don't even have a box.

Posted by: Mike S on May 25, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

The most damning part of the indictment is that CHeney asked his chief of staff to get all the facts out? Why is it that liberals want transparency, except when digging up the lies of a politically motivated attacker?

Still defending criminals Hawkie?

I wish that Cheney gave one shit about transparency. I'm certain that you cannot name one case ever where Cheney argued for transparency as a principle. I can't even imagine that he has used the principle for partisan political reasons; I prettry sure that the concept is as foreign to him as decency or morality. These are things which just don't compute in the mind of Cheney.

It's like winning to the Democrats.

If I accept your premise that Wilson was "a politically motivated attacker," which I don't, since there is exactly zero evidence for it other than ceaseless repetition by you and yours, Cheney's actions in revealing the identity of a covert agent, and certainly Libby's actions in lying to the FBI, a Grand Jury, and a prosecutor are criminal actions, no matter what their motivation.

Libby and Cheney are both criminals and I hope the next President "decides" to send them all off to Gitmo for some transparency education.

Posted by: Ray on May 25, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney's actions in revealing the identity of a covert agent, and certainly Libby's actions in lying to the FBI, a Grand Jury, and a prosecutor are criminal actions, no matter what their motivation.

Necessity is a recognized defense in the federal court system. Cheney had the choice between staying silent, and allowing the American people to be misled into thinking that Wilson was objective, or revaling the common beltway knowledge that PLame pushed papers at the CIA, and let the American people make their own judgement. Under those circumstances, violating the letter of the law created lesser harm than following it, so he lacks the actus reus required for the crime.

You guys aren't just as dumb as a box of rocks, you don't even have a box.

Apparently, liberalism is the sure and certain knowledge that you never have to make an actual argument.

Posted by: American Hawk on May 25, 2006 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

None of you folks have any idea about this case

It is NOT about not outing/outing a C.I.A. agent (or non-agent, whatever...)

It IS about lying to federal authorities trying to see if there WAS a crime (remember the "throwing sand in the umpire`s eyes" line ?)

And Mr. Fitzgerald would most likely only call Cheney to testify if the hand writing on the copy of the NYTime editorial was his

Do your home work before ya open your pie hole dip sticks

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

Posted by: daCascadian on May 25, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

deCascadian --
IF they call him in, it won't be for one question.

Posted by: notthere on May 25, 2006 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

"If you put him on a stand, he'll call it a coup attempt and he'll be right."

Who can argue with logic, and syntax, like this? We all know that most regimes end with the head despot put on "a stand".

Posted by: Kenji on May 25, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

I think Mr. KENJI is on the correct track here. The parallels between Cheney and Nicolai Ceausescu deserve to be explored further. Same hubris.

Posted by: troglodyte on May 25, 2006 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

This looks much bigger than a ' CIA leaks case' or even ' Plamegate'. I join the NYTimes and Senator Spincte...Spector in calling for more disclosure.
For example the release of the presidents and vice-president's transcripts of their conversations with the Federal investigator and the long delayed, ' Phase 2' senate investigation of the political use of the available intelligence.
A good point was raised in a comment above about the actual Yellowcake - it is useless by itself and requires processing to be weaponized. This significant factoid means that ' Yellowgate' goes back to 2002 when Andy Card stated that, ' you don't roll out new product in August.'
In Sept 2002 with the drive to war stalling a news story by Judith Miller began a chain reaction. The deatils of this critical event well covered by James Moore at HuffPo in ' Judies little tubes of terror'. Eriposte also covers this material in detail and it reveals a Watergate and Iran/contra level cover-up that is ongoing. This is Yellowgate and tens of thousands have been maimed and murdered by this scandal.
The public was highly disturbed by the WMD debacle and wants to know what happened and why. What is a known liar doing running the state department? What did the president know about the BIG LIE and when did he know it?
When are Kevin Drum and Andrew Sullivan getting married?
Inquiring perverted minds want to know.

Posted by: professor rat on May 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM | PERMALINK

If Pat Fitzgerald happens to read this, could he please ask how much the GOP blog monitors get paid by Cheney? After all, someone has to foot the bill for those pagers hooked up to RSS feeds, refreshing every 10 seconds.

Posted by: ahem on May 25, 2006 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

Can? We? Impeach? Them? Now? - Please????

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on May 25, 2006 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

You know, you and your absurd strawman hypothetical just keep getting more and more goofy lately.

No, ijit boy -- the purpose of albertchampion's and professor rat's reference to U 301 yellowcake being unweaponizable is to underline the absurdity of there being a plan to buy the shit in the first place.

Iraq already *has* tons of yellowcake lying around in mounds. And ElBaradei's final report was pretty scathing on what little decrepit, rusty remains there were of Iraq's nuclear infrastructure.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 25, 2006 at 6:18 AM | PERMALINK

hypothetical = hypotheticals

Posted by: rmck1 on May 25, 2006 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39834-2004Jul9.html

"Wilson's reports to the CIA added to the evidence that Iraq may have tried to buy uranium in Niger, although officials at the State Department remained highly skeptical, the report said.

Wilson said that a former prime minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, was unaware of any sales contract with Iraq, but said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him, insisting that he meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq -- which Mayaki interpreted to mean they wanted to discuss yellowcake sales. A report CIA officials drafted after debriefing Wilson said that "although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to UN sanctions on Iraq."

According to the former Niger mining minister, Wilson told his CIA contacts, Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998. "

And what's more Wilson's CIA reports are the opposite of what he tells the press in a rush for anti-Bush points.

Posted by: McA on May 25, 2006 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

And the MSM don't tell you:
1) But British intelligence still thinks Nigeria was trying to sell yellowcake to Iraq

McA nails it. Niger was a ruse (never let your opponents know what you know). The real culprit? Nigeria. (Though the MSM may not tell you, the bloke in the local pub who says he's from MI5 swears it's true.) Oh and those photos of unguarded piles of yellowcake in Iraq? Counterintelligence fakes (I have it on good authority). The Bobs of the world fall for it all the time.

Posted by: McB on May 25, 2006 at 6:52 AM | PERMALINK

McB nails McA nailing it. Woo hoo!!

Posted by: McC on May 25, 2006 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well he never nailed Itt.

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Posted by: fgdfgd on May 25, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

So if the plan was absurb, why didn't someone just say so? Why send Ms. Plame' husband?
At last check, she was working in the WMD analysis area. And the MSM don't tell you:
1) But British intelligence still thinks Nigeria was trying to sell yellowcake to Iraq
[Uranium is in the ground ALL OVER IRAQ]

2) And Mr. Wilson under oath, seems to have reversed himslelf on most of his accusations.
[Accusation is only that. I accuse BUSH of SUCKING, does that mean he really does?]

http://www.slate.com/id/2103795
But truth is irrelevant in the quest for Bush-hate-material.
[I said Suck, not hate, but he certainly hates alot of countries and skin colors =]
Posted by: McAristotle on May 25, 2006 at 6:30 AM | PERMALINK

I see MacAssthrottle has nothing but nothing to stand on. Bush will keep lying and you will always be clinging to your precious MSM. While the people in the Know are laughing at you and your dismal attempts at understanding technology and war mongering 101.
WTFU Mcassthrottle.
Many Presidents have lied us into war, the real question is how many more times are you gonna listen to it?

Posted by: Hamster Brain on May 25, 2006 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

And to prove a point McAssthrottle;

Israel went out on a limb in the summer of 1954 when it instigated an operation against Egypt that, when finally exposed, became known as the ``Lavon Affair," after Israel's then minister of defense, Pinhas Lavon. Gamal Abdel Nasser was just coming to power in Egypt, and Israel wanted to discredit him and his government. So agents recruited by Israel set off bombs at the American libraries of Alexandria and Cairo, making it look as if the Egyptians were responsible. The fiasco caused a first-class scandal at the time.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
What did the US do in Retaliation for this Act MacAssthrottle?
huh? huh?

Posted by: Growhore Nortwit on May 25, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

mcA, we've got it under control, thanks. if we need foreign assistance in handling our internal problems, we know where to find you.

Posted by: cleek on May 25, 2006 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Everything always gets back to Cheney somehow, doesn't it?

the perfect circle.

Posted by: mestizo on May 25, 2006 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?

Posted by: ET on May 25, 2006 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

We've seen national security cited frequently by this administration in order to avoid dealing with possibly criminal issues. The courts seem amenable to Bush's use of this ploy. Various reasons exist for legally refusing to testify at a grand jury proceeding without suffering a contempt of court charge. Attorney/client privilege, marital confidentiality or the 5th Amendment protection against self incrimination can all be used in most cases. Can national security be asserted also? If so I don't see why Cheney or anyone else in this administration has anything to fear. Just mutter "national security concerns prevent me from answering any of your questions" and get up and leave. Is this possible?

Posted by: steve duncan on May 25, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Off topic, but important:

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Youll find contact info here:
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Posted by: Gray on May 25, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, checking in on this thread first thing this AM: talk about Night of the Living Dead!

And speaking of Cheney.

Yesterday I was in a full-blown conspiracy tinfoil headset (somewhat ameliorated by a good night's sleep, thank you.) That headset would predict that, regardless of the Plame investigation, Cheney will resign shortly after the 2006 midterms and Condi Rice will become VP. That way, Condi Rice is in position for her 2008 POTUS run.

The most interesting thing in this scenario is who would be VP. Condi Rice isn't part of the inner circle. She'd be a figurehead so They would need someone to keep an eye on her.

On the other hand, maybe by 2008 Their control of the US will be complete enough that it doesn't matter who is POTUS: Condi, Hillary.... All they need is a compliant Congress & SCOTUS, a military brass that still follows orders and a MSM that won't fuss. From all the evidence, they have these already.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 25, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Thanks, Gray, but there's a whole other thread for spam on that topic."

I know, Dick, and I think it's great that Kevin takes up the cudgels for net neutrality. This is just a reminder for others to take action. And now back to the regular program...

Posted by: Gray on May 25, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Ptate, another thought on the possible shift of power in DC: Should a Democrat actually seize the reins in '08 how long would he/she live? Smart money says were a Dem elected a long rifle with a good scope gets readied. The Right is not going to permit something as unfortunate as an election they (and Diebold) somehow failed to steal to get in the way of trillions in tax cuts, military spending and bribery payments they feel are their due. There's also those messy investigations and trials to avoid resulting from the last 8 years of shenanigans. Once the Prez goes down and the VP is taken aside and informed the same fate awaits for his/her impertinence the Right will be back in the saddle.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 25, 2006 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

According to the article, Cheney "wanted to get all the facts out" surrounding Joe Wilson's trip.

Good for Cheney. I think Americans are entitled to know (1) why the CIA sends husbands of staffers on 'fact-finding' missions, and, (2) why these staffers write op-eds in the New York Times bashing the administration.

Joe Wilson's is a nefarious character. He is a grandstander, and the 9/11 Commission Report documented a series of lies Wilson told.

The more we know about this guy, the better able we are to evaluate what he says.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on May 25, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

That way, Condi Rice is in position for her 2008 POTUS run.

you mean the single, black woman who's never been elected to any public office ? i kinda doubt they'd put their eggs in that basket.

Posted by: cleek on May 25, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Joe Wilson's is a nefarious character

hah. that's a good one. now tell us the one about his upcoming indicment. i always get a kick out of that one!

Posted by: cleek on May 25, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

cleek, who ever said Condi would be ELECTED to office? If she's put on the ballot the votes will be "tabulated" and ready for publication around October 20th. They'll just release the results after the formality of the election is endured.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 25, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney, don't be a fool.

i don't consider myself a racist, but there's obviously no shortage of that trait in the rest of the 300,000,000 Americans.

Posted by: cleek on May 25, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

cleek, who ever said Condi would be ELECTED to office? If she's put on the ballot the votes will be "tabulated" and ready for publication around October 20th.

sorry, it's too early in the AM for me to be tripping. but you have a good one.

Posted by: cleek on May 25, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Obscure legal precedent:

"Will no one rid me of this turbulent ambassador?"

Okay, maybe not that obscure.

Posted by: Matt on May 25, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

According to the former Niger mining minister, Wilson told his CIA contacts, Iraq tried to buy 400 tons of uranium in 1998

Why would Iraq buy 400 tons of yellowcake when they didn't have any facilities for processing the yellowcake ?

Posted by: Stephen on May 25, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

why the CIA sends husbands of staffers on 'fact-finding' missions

Who cares who sent him, he was right.

The administration knew he was right and then stood up in front of the entire country and said the opposite of what they knew to be true.

Posted by: Stephen on May 25, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

"But truth is irrelevant in the quest for Bush-hate-material."

Welcome to upside-down world, folks. Remember, don't eat the yellowcake!

Posted by: Kenji on May 25, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

He said, "get all the facts out". As if he believed that the facts alone were enough to discredit Wilson's story? He's thinks people are going to pay attention to all the facts?

My God, Cheney is evil.

Posted by: Strick on May 25, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney would have risen to the top of the Politiburo in the old USSR.

He is that good at being bad.

Which is also to say:
There is no place for him in a living democracy.

He is an enemy of American ideals.
And is far more dangerous than bin Laden.

Posted by: koreyel on May 25, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

"And is far more dangerous than bin Laden."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, if we treat Cheney with the same deference we do Bin Laden he'll never have to answer for his crimes either.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 25, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

why the CIA sends husbands of staffers on 'fact-finding' missions

People seem to forget that he was a former ambassador in both Africa AND Iraq, as well as worked on the National Security Council under Clinton. That he was married to someone in the CIA working on WMD was simply a bonus.

Posted by: xyz on May 25, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

People seem to forget that ...

more like : Because it hurts their talking point, people don't want you to know that...

Posted by: cleek on May 25, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Whether they are classified or not..

Didn't Bush say that he wanted to get to the bottom of the leak ? Kind of interesting that the VP may ne resposnsible for said leak..

Posted by: Stephen on May 25, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney is a shit sandwich...

Posted by: Mike S on May 25, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

For example the release of the presidents and vice-president's transcripts of their conversations with the Federal investigator and the long delayed, ' Phase 2' senate investigation of the political use of the available intelligence. Posted by: professor rat

Releasing anything Bush or Cheney said to either the 9/11 Commission or Fitzgerald is pointless. Neither one was deposed under oath. Therefore, it is a given they both lied. In both situations it would probably have been better to insist that they testify under oath. Both would have refused, which would have been tatamount to invoking 5th Amendment rights. This would at least have assured that whatever nonsense they spewed in their depositions did not further confuse issues with an additional layer or lies/misinformation.

Posted by: JeffII on May 25, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Paddy wack

Joe Wilson's is a nefarious character. He is a grandstander, and the 9/11 Commission Report documented a series of lies Wilson told.

Yhe 9/11 report does not mention Jow Wilson or Iraq trying to obtain uranium at all in 585 pages.

Posted by: Jay Perry on May 25, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yhe (sic) 9/11 report does not mention Jow (sic) Wilson or Iraq trying to obtain uranium at all in 585 pages. Posted by: Jay Perry

The 9/11 Commission's report is made of Swiss cheese. It got nowhere near the truth of what led up to that day and the White House's actions on it. It's a pretty much worthless document and was nothing be cheap political theater.

Posted by: JeffII on May 25, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

let's help poor mca out a little, shall we? that wapo cite about attempting to buy 400 tons? that was iran, you moron, not iraq: the wapo made an error, which it later corrected. too bad you're not well enough informed.

as for the 1999 contact, maybe out there in nutcase-land, a question about commercial relations from a country that is under UN sanctions means an attempt to purchase uranium, but here in the reality-based world, when i apply for a credit card, that's not the same as using the credit card to purchase something. since nothing came of that contact, which was - to repeat - in 1999, how it was evidence of anything other than the fact that the CIA analyst in question was either as stupid as our trolls or politcally pressured is beyond me.

Now, as for the moron who referenced the 9/11 commission, what he really meant was a minority attachment to the senate intel committee report - yes, that would be the same senate intel committee, headed by pat roberts, that has refused to do what it was charged with doing, namely investigate political handling of intel. the minority report was tendentiously dishonest in extremis.

as for our moron-in-chief, american hawk: i'd love to get all the facts out. take that up with cheney and pat roberts, why doncha? the "facts" that cheney wanted out were completely irrelevant: since wilson was not the only person who concluded that there was no attempt to purchase (our ambassador to Niger and a US general serving with NATO whose name escapes me had already concluded the same thing), we'd love to see all the facts. We'd like to know who handled the forged documents. We'd like to know why OSP and Cheney kept insisting there was a there there.

As for the Brits, they have been very cagey about what their "source" was but it hardly matters, because the Duelfur report has concluded that there was no attempt to purchase, meaning that Wilson was correct and the administration was wrong.

And whatever the brit source (it could have been the forged documents, or a report based on the forged documents), the bush administration has already conceded that the "16 words" didn't belong in the state of the union, so take your british source and shove it, you dolt.

Posted by: howard on May 25, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Linking to that Christopher Hitchens hatchet job is a waste of space. Valerie Plame was asked to prepare a memo detailing her husband's qualifications. She did so. That is nothing like "recommending" him for the job. And the bulk of the article is spent arguing that the law that protected Plame's identity (I'm shorthanding it here) was stupid. Talk about the last refuge of a scoundrel.

And the former PM of Niger telling Wilson that he had a meeting at which he expected to be asked about yellowcake, but the subject never came up, is hardly the same as saying the Iraqis wanted to meet with him to discuss buying yellowcake. That whole story rests on the PM's assumptions of what the meeting was about.

On a side note, I'm always amused by the conspiracy theorists who think Cheney is going to resign to make way for Condi. This theory ignores an obvious fact, which is that the VP's office has never been an advantage for running for President.

Posted by: Chris on May 25, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Breaking News on Plame

A lot things lead back to Rove...

Before the conversation, Waas notes, Novak's story was that White House officials had given him Plame's name and encouraged him to write about it. After news of the investigation was broken on Sept. 26, Novak's story flipped. "Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this," he said on Sept. 29.

http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0525nj1.htm
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000748.php

Posted by: Catch22 on May 25, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

howard >"...and a US general serving with NATO whose name escapes me..."

that would be General Carlton Fulford, Jr, U.S.M.C. at the time deputy commander of U.S. Armed Forces Europe (a 4 star)

"...you cannot save your face and your ass at the same time..." - vachon@shadrach.net

Posted by: daCascadian on May 25, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think that American Hawk gets paid to monitor this site? Actually wondering...

Posted by: Umm on May 25, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Chris: "I'm always amused by the conspiracy theorists who think Cheney is going to resign to make way for Condi. This theory ignores an obvious fact, which is that the VP's office has never been an advantage for running for President."

A moment comes, snap!, when suddenly you realize that you have gone beyond "jeez, Bush is bad. Cheney is bad. Are they incompetent or ignorant?" to "Whoa, these guys are doing this s**t deliberately!"

At this point one has become a "conspiracy theorist." Others still in the "Bush is bad, incompetent, ignorant" paradigm will discount our observations as extreme: "tinfoil," "drink the koolaid." And of course, Bush apologists will just drone "Bush-hater" until we turn down the volume.

The amazing thing is that I am probably the last person in the world to be a conspiracy theorist since I am, by disposition and habit, cheerful, generous, gentle and quick to seek the good in all people. And yet, because of Bushco, there I am.

One of the mysteries of our time is why so many Americans have cooperated with the dismantling of our Constitution and gutting of our economy. Part of the reason is that we can't believe what Bushco is doing: Are they incompetent or idiots?

As for Condi becoming VP, that would only happen after Cheney gets sucked into the vortex of scandal.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 25, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Perjury is a crime in America?

'I did not have sexual relations ...'"

Uh, I think THAT particular statement was on TV and not under oath. If you think that's a crime, how about things like,

"We know where the WMD are. They're around Tikrit, and in the north and south and east and west..."

or

"No one could have foreseen ...

[pick you're own favorite--flying planes into buildings, the insurgency, the levies getting toppled, and MORE]

or

"Saddam is developing nuclear weapons" (or programs, or program-related activity, or ...)

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 25, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Releasing anything Bush or Cheney said to either the 9/11 Commission or Fitzgerald is pointless. Neither one was deposed under oath."

Time to remind JeffII (and others) that you don't have to be under oath to be committing a crime if you lie to federal investigators.

Just ask Martha Stewart.

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 25, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Howard. I especially liked "tendentiously dishonest in extremis" and I plan to use it every day if I can just remember it.

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 25, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

One of the mysteries of our time is why so many Americans have cooperated with the dismantling of our Constitution and gutting of our economy.

So 5.3% GDP growth is a bad thing in the reality based community?

GWB is all over this economy. You had to especially like those export numbers. Up 14.7%. That's smoking!! And that's Asia!! It looks as though the frenzy of trade deals he's been signing for years is paying off. Is that where all of those union jobs are going? The blue states just can't win.

You had to really appreciate his speech yesterday touting nuclear power. We've got increased spending on ethanol, coal-gasification, natural gas development, etc. The last energy bill is working to find 5,000 different solutions to the energy prices and that's why we still have 5.3% growth. It's all clean stuff. We're letting Canada produce the dirty crap. How perfect. We import Canadian tar sands oil and export pollution. We're cleaner and the Kyoto signee is much, much dirtier.

Tell me the energy task force didn't do an exceptional job!

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, presuming that you fancy yourself a member of the reality-based community, you'll understand that q1, '06 gdp growth must be seen in conjunction with the very weak q4, '05 gdp growth (an artifact of the hurricanes). you put them together and we get more of the same: pretty decent gdp growth, but the fruit of the gdp growth going entirely to profits and the very top of the households-by-income ladder.

but we can't presume you are a member of the reality-based community, because your comments on energy are senseless.

as for the "gutting" of the economy, i wouldn't use that term myself, but i would note that the astonishing run-up in government debt under bush guarantees that we have borrowed future growth which someday we will have to pay back with interest.

dacascadian, thanks, i can never remember his name when i need it!

and calgal, just plain thanks.

Posted by: howard on May 25, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

So 5.3% GDP growth is a bad thing in the reality based community?

Its amazing what you can do when you max out the
credit card.

We've got increased spending on ethanol
Gov't subsidies for alternative energy ?
Who does he think he is, Al Gore ?

Tell me the energy task force didn't do an exceptional job!

Oils back up over $70 a barrel.


Posted by: Stephen on May 25, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Tell me the energy task force didn't do an exceptional job!"

Ok, the energy task force didn't do an exceptional job.

I think Bush's new emphasis on alternative energy sources is we used to call "a day late and a dollar short."

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 25, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

We've got increased spending on ethanol
Gov't subsidies for alternative energy ?
Who does he think he is, Al Gore ?

Ethanol has always been considered a rational alternative as long as the incentives aren't out of whack and they're not. Prince Albert wanted to eliminate the combustion engine remember? He didn't want ethanol to keep those pollution generating machines going.

Here's some of Al:

Quote Of The Day: Al Gore Says Its OK To Lie About Global Warming Because Darn It, It's Important!

"In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis." -- Al Gore

Hat tip to The Corner for the story.


Please Lord, Get Al to run for President. We miss him! Some people lie. Liberals over-represent. How can you not love Al?

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think Bush's new emphasis on alternative energy sources is we used to call "a day late and a dollar short."

Do ya?

U.S. ethanol production is reaching unprecedented levels. In 2004, 3.4 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the nation, up from 2.81 billion gallons the previous year. By the end of 2005, the ethanol industry reached a capacity of more than 4 billion gallons. This dramatic growth does not show signs of stopping.

Currently there are 97 ethanol production facilities in the U.S. and 34 more under construction. Dozens more are in various stages of planning.

Actually I think this data is a bit old. The number of plants under construciton is now over 40 and it will represent a 42% increase in gallons produced. Better yet there's a small army of investment bankers lining up business to keep the expansion going. This is a market driven expansion NOT govt directed expansion.

It's quite obvious the high prices have had little or no economic effect unlike during the Carter administration when we had a sharp recession, even higher prices, shortages and rationing.

With the adults in charge we have 5,000 different market driven solutions working on both the supply and demand side. There is no rationing. There are no shortages. Prices are still 30% below Carter era highs.

There's actually a reasonable chance with all of the investment in place OPEC is going to lose control of pricing again.

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

as i said at 5:16, rdw keeps showing us that he isn't a member of the reality-based community.

only in the fantasy world occupied by the corner and rdw is the phrase "an over-representation of factual presentations" converted into a justification for lying (we'll just note in passing that the corner never seemed to have a problem with the notion that "darn it, iraq is important so it's ok to lie about it").

and only in the fantasy world occupied by rdw did al gore want to "eliminate" the internal combustion engine. what al gore noted - just like the auto companies themselves - is that the future of cars is away from internal combustion engines.

what an amazing parallel universe the little haters of the right occupy; how small and pathetic they are.

Posted by: howard on May 25, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

over-representation of factual presentations

Doesn't this just mean to have a LOT of presentations to get the word out? And those presentations be factual.

English a second language there rdw?

Posted by: ckelly on May 25, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

sheesh, rdw, you are just a dimwit, aren't you? the relative jump in oil prices in the 1970s was much higher than the jump in oil prices we've had over the past 12 months. as a result, over a 30-year span, we've seen the role of oil in the us economy decline.

so amazingly enough: we don't see the same outcomes. praising the "adults" for lower prices is quite deranged (putting aside that there are no adults in the bush administration).

i'll also note that the recession that rdw seems to think occured under carter actually occurred under nixon and ford.

but my favorite is the continued invocation of 5,000 solutions! not 4,999, not 5,001, but 5,000: why you'd almost think that rdw knows what he's talking about....

equally amazing, though, is your notion that unique among all aspects of the american economy, the market for ethanol is simply a free market, unaffected by government actions.

Posted by: howard on May 25, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Everything always gets back to Cheney somehow, doesn't it?"

Yep, and a guy like Cheney hire wimpy yes men like Libby. Libby very much deserves the trouble he is in. I only regret that we can't see a Libby\Wilson cage fight followed by a Cheney\Wilson cage fight. Then we could see whose anger is backed up by the power of being morally in the right.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on May 25, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

howard >"...equally amazing, though, is your notion that unique among all aspects of the american economy, the market for ethanol is simply a free market, unaffected by government actions."

Yea, not like there are any tax code benefits involved or anything

And so they actually pay these lame trolls ?

Nitwits indeed

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

Posted by: daCascadian on May 25, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

daCascadian: awesome Twain quote. i've never seen it before: thanx for bringing to our attention.

Posted by: howard on May 25, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly,

Nope, it means exactly what it says. Albert is grossly exaggeratng to get our attention. It's OK though because it's a worthy cause.

Why I even mention that I don't know. We all know Albert's a lib. Obiously it's a worthy cause. What else could it be? Thank God Alberts on the job. We're all saved! What a waste he'd be as President. Running the country and saving the world is too much to ask of any one man. Even a man as brilliant as Albert Gore. We need him our there saving the world.

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

i'll also note that the recession that rdw seems to think occured under Carter actually occurred under nixon and ford.

The recession I said occured under Carter occured under Carter. It occured during the 2nd and 3rd Qtrs of 1980. Carter was a disaster as he himself admitted in his maliase speech.

This of course set up Reagans famous campaign line. "A recession is when your neighbor loses their job. A depression is when you lose your job. A recovery happens when Carter loses his job"!

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

what al gore noted - just like the auto companies themselves - is that the future of cars is away from internal combustion engines.


Well Duh! Beam me up scotty! Except Lord Fauntleroy wrote a book and he was more specific. Like in 2010.

Did you see his comment to Arianna Huffington about spending the summer in France studying existentialism? The man is a dick. It's one thing to actually do it. It's quite another to admit it. He just can't help himself. He's got so many liberal groupies blowing smoke up his ass he really thinks he's an intellectual.

Of course he also told us he spend his summers in the home state working on the farm. At least Clinton could keep track of his lies.

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

equally amazing, though, is your notion that unique among all aspects of the american economy, the market for ethanol is simply a free market, unaffected by government actions.

Howard, it's Ok to make it up as you go along but be a little less obvious. NOTHING is unaffected by govt actions and no one suggested ethanol or anything else was.

What we had in this energy bill, a mess as described by the libertarian CATO institute but the best energy bill ever BECAUSE there less govt intervention than in all previous bills. There's no Jimmy Carter shale oil debacle here.

There are a ton of govt incentives, which I don't care for but at least they're distributed and designed to favor private investment. A large portion of these plants under construction, quite possibly each of them, is getting some combination of state and federal grants.

If George Pataki wants to use NYS funds to incent ethanol production in NY to help farmers, help workers, help motorists and help clean the air that's all right by me. The key thing is there's a majority of private investment and it's managed privately. And that's what we have.

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yea, not like there are any tax code benefits involved or anything

Great insight! No one could have figured that out.

What would Twain say about the fact that since the supply side tax cuts of 2003 the economy has grown faster than in any other 11 Quarter period SINCE 1980?

Betcha Mark would be a supply-sider today.

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

congrats, rdw, on a round of stupidity! well done.

it's a tough call, but i think your single dumbest remark is your attempt to pretend that the sentence "It's quite obvious the high prices have had little or no economic effect unlike during the Carter administration when we had a sharp recession, even higher prices, shortages and rationing" referred to the 1980 recession. you were talking through your hat, you were exposed, and now you're pretending otherwise.

to rate the rest, your inability to understand the plain english of gore's remark runs a good second, your gobbledygook about energy is a solid third, your attempt to walk back your remarks about ethanol, which, since you seem to have forgotten, went like this "This is a market driven expansion NOT govt directed expansion," are a reputable fourth, and your fatuous remarks about gore's teenage years a limp fifth.

and then, of course, you don't understand supply-side economics, because if you did, you wouldn't call any of the bush tax cuts "supply side." for your benefit, my ill-informed little twit, supply-side tax cuts are based on two premises: increasing incentives for work by cutting marginal rates at the top accompanied by reducing the government's role in the economy by reducing spending commensurate with the reduction in tax revenue.

what we've had as a result of bush's tax cuts is good old-fashioned keynesian stimulus and nothing more.

you would think that you would know that the metric bush set for his own tax cuts was 5.5M new jobs between july 1, 2003 and december 31, 2004; here we are in may, 2006, and we've just about made it. whoop-de-damn-doo.

in short, my blithering fool, you know nothing other than the crap you fill your mind with in right-wing propaganda school, and you're not even a particularly good exponent of right-wing propaganda. and when you're called on your crap, you lie. quite pathetic really, especially for someone who would have us believe is reality-based.

why doncha go learn a few things before you post again? that way, you wouldn't have to embarass yourself so dramatically.

Posted by: howard on May 25, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Do you suppose Cheney causes El Nino?

Posted by: Paul Camp on May 25, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Howard,

Carter had a very sharp recession. In the 2nd Qtr of 1980 GDP dropped 7.8%.

The supply-side stimulus was provided by the so-called tax cuts for the rich the left has been bitching about forever. There had been kenysian stimulation primarly in the form of defense spending but GDP growth has been propelled by investments, consumer spending and more recently exports.

GDP is now 20% higher than 6/30/30. This is much better than the best 11 quarters under Clinton and obviously Carter. Most impressive is this period of stunning economic growth coincides with the surge in Oil prices.

I think it's fair to say the management of the economy in the fact of such a headwind is quite stellar don't you agree? Equally impressive have been the surge of investment in energy souces. All energy souces with more towards oil, natural gas, ethanol, coal and nuclear than lefty favorites wind and solar.

The recent surge in ethanol investment IS definitely market drive as I said with private companies investing their own money to build their own plants that will generate their own profits.

We also know it's market driven by how orderly it's been managed. We'll see a 40% expansion in 2006 after a nearly 25% expanion in 2005. The difference in higher oil prices driving higher profit margins and thus investor interest. It's also significant that MTBEs are being phased out and demand is sky high. The expansion in 2006 should replace about 1% to 1.5% of our oil imports. If prices remain this high we'll see continued invested guided by the market and could easily replace another 5% of imports by 2010.

At the same time our friends in Canada have agreed to help us improve our air pollution by adding approximately 350K barrels a day of Oil supply for export to the US market. The combination of ethanol and tar sands oil should allow the US to reduce 1M of OPEC imports by 2008.

Imports of crude are already running down almost 3% for the year and at these prices that rate should pick up and compound each of the next 3 years. Don't you think it's rather impressive that imports are down when GDP is up a stunning 5.3%?

Sounds to me like we have some smart people using the markets to manage supply and demand and allocate investment dollars and getting outstanding results. Be honest, if 5 years ago someone told you Bush made a speech pushing for a serious nuclear construction program and it was well received would you believe it? How about Tony Blair?

I may have missed it but has George donned a sweater for a press conference yet. Said anything about doing with less?

Posted by: rdw on May 25, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

howard,

Did you now USA per capital income is 40% higher than French amd German per capita income? Moreover, at current growth rates, we'll be 50% higher by the time Bush leaves office.

That's got to really piss them off.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Nah. Doesn't piss them off.
That freight train's been comin' since I don't know when but those bastards refuse to get off the tracks.

Posted by: Birkel on May 26, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

howard >"...what we've had as a result of bush's tax cuts is good old-fashioned keynesian stimulus and nothing more..."

How true & I think we can all remember that remark a few years back about us all being Keynesians now

the rest of the RightDumbWing & McAnus swill is just fear generated ass-leakage they have been fed from FascistCentral

Smarter Trolls please !!!

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." - John Maynard Keynes

Posted by: daCascadian on May 26, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

You quote Keynes about how economics actually works

Poor lost soul.

Posted by: dCascadian's interrogator on May 26, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

Everything always gets back to Cheney somehow, doesn't it?

Cheney's not running in '08, so he'd make the perfect fall-guy if necessary. He could resign and a new VP would be appointed who, so conveniently, could run in '08.

Posted by: Californians for Mark Warner on May 26, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

birkel,

No, it really does piss them off. They are not ignorant of their daunting problems. Their hatred of America, hardly new, is the outgrowth of soul-eating jeolousy. They are on a can't win treadmill. They understand this. The math is horrible.

With a 40% head start it's virtually impossible to catch-up. Even if we grew at the same rate the gap between us would continue to grow wider. They know this. They also know we'll never grow at the same rate. US GDP is running at double the pace and often higer. We're only a few years from exceeding them by 50% and then 60%, 70% etc.

If one looks out 20 or more years you can see the level of the disaster and it's hardly just the USA. Australia has zoomed past both France and Germany in per capita income and is now higher by 7%. France and Germany are ranked 24 and 26 respectively and will fall out of the top 30 by 2010 and top 50 by 2020.

It's no wonder they're so pessimistic about their future and they're birthrates are so low. The Dutch are leaving and going to Australia. In 2003 they started seeing net emigration for the 1st time in over 40 years. More Dutch are leaving than islamic immigrants are coming in and the trend can only accelerate. The demographic picture for the Netherlands is horrific. To be 20 today and living in one of their 4 largest cities and considering having kids is to know that by the time your child is school age a majority of their classmates will pray 5x's a day. Their child will grow up in a world vastly different than the Netherlands of their youth and not even recognizable for their parents.

They understand. They're miserable for good reason.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

How true & I think we can all remember that remark a few years back about us all being Keynesians now

That would have been your idol Dick Nixon. As you know, everything changed in 1981. Keynes is now a historical footnote. He is still much quoted but for his terrific wit. Not because his theories are used. Your quote is well timed. No doubt Maynard understood as he said it that he would be one of the defunct economists. I suspect he didn't think it would be this soon.

It's interesting that since 1980 the left has never attempted to argue we should increase govt spending to stimulate the economy. One would have to be nearly 50 to remember Tricky Dick's comment. The Democrats are now the party of spending discipline. How do you define defunct?

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney's not running in '08, so he'd make the perfect fall-guy if necessary.

Cheney is no one's fall guy. He won't be resigning and he can't be removed from office. He loves his job and his boss loves the job he's doing. Dick and Don are long term buddies and they see the world the same way. They've got almost 3 more years to change it to their liking and that's exactly what they'll do.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Moreover, at current growth rates, we'll be 50% higher by the time Bush leaves office.

I think you need to check your facts.

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B1779F64A%2DCB26%2D4C97%2DA7C2%2DCE3CB071CFB6%7D&siteid=myyahoo&dist=

From link:

"Personal incomes rose 0.5% in the month, but consumer prices also rose 0.5%. Real disposable incomes (inflation-adjusted and after-tax incomes) fell 0.1%.
Real per-capita incomes fell 0.2%."

Welcome to the real world.

Posted by: Stephen on May 26, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

I LOVE LIBERALS

Kyoto Talks Result in Agreement to Talk Further [Iain Murray]

The meeting of the UN in Bonn this week aimed at working out what to do about Kyoto Phase II, post-2012, (when only 1 or 2 countries are even close to being on track to meeting their Phase I commitments) has resulted infurther talks being scheduled (PDF link). The bureaucratese is classic:

We have set an ambitious agenda which focuses on a sound process leading towards science-based emission reduction targets on the part of industrialized countries within the next few years said Michael Zammit Cutajar, Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol. There is a strong sense of urgency and theres clear consensus that there should be no gap after 2012, when the first commitment period ends, he added

Industrialized countries have emphasised the importance of these negotiations being based on the latest scientific data and taking into account new technological solutions available today said Feng Gao, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary, Implementation. Negotiations on the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol and discussions in the Dialogue on long-term cooperative action are mutually reinforcing in shaping international action to combat climate change, he added.

Translated: the developed countries realize they arent going to be able to meet their Phase I commitments without fudging the issue, while the developing countries, currently commitment-free, want them to cut emissions deeply but do not want commit to any cuts themselves.

Another historic victory for Kyoto.

Posted at 9:12 AM

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

let's dispose of mcaristotle first: yes, i did respond to the wapo story. the entire basis of the notion that wilson furthered the bullshit is the assumption of the prime minister that a desire for talks about commercial relations meant that iraq wanted to buy uranium. even if that were true, it's not the same as buying uranium and it took place in 1999.

but it's not true, as the duelfur report makes clear. so give it frickin' up.

as for rdw: a.) the recession you referred to was the one with shortages and rationing provoked by an increase in oil prices, which is to say it was the nixon/ford recession, period. the carter recession did not have those characteristics, so it couldn't have been the one you were referencing; b.) you quite obviously still don't know what supply-side economics thinking is. it's quite pitiful. your notion that everything "changed" in 1981 is completely baseless and quite deranged. your understanding of keynes is quite juvenile and incomplete; c.) the irrelevancy of your remarks about european gdp couldn't be greater, but we're not going to divert this thread from your ignorance and conceptual errors into another track altogether. that said, you don't understand the numbers you're tossing around; d.) your comments about ethanol and imports are your usual mixture of right-wing talking points and ignorant piffle.

you may wow 'em in the dorm rooms, rdw, but really, you don't know jack.

Posted by: howard on May 26, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

STEPHEN,

Nice try. Nothing is more worthless than Govt data on income and spending. Spending has been higher than incomes for 3 decades.

Check out the CIA website for country data which provides real GDP and purchasing power GDP on aggragate and per capital basis. FRance is at $30K snd Germany $29.8K. THe US is at $42K. At the same time we are projected to grow at 4% while France will be lucky to hit 2%. The fact the USA is only growing 2x's as fast is a big improvement for France but alas for France, unlikely to last.

Thus per capita income is not just growing 2x's as quickly it's 2.8x's as quickly because we start with a 40% advantage. This of course doesn't even begin to address the long-lasting unemployment issues they were recently rioting over nor the lack of innovation, assimilation, reproduction, etc.

Wasn't it just last year Jacques decided he needed to lecture the USA on our debt levels? Yes it was. The clueless bastard didn't know France has a higher deficit and was pissing off his EU peers running well over the agreed Maastracht limits for the 3rd year. I use the term peer. Jacques would of course never entertain such a thought. They will of course have a higher budget deficit again this year as well.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

No one said Iraq bought uranium from Niger. They said they were trying. Joe Wilson confirmed this.

Joe Wilson is a great character. He's perfect for this age. Few can better demonstrate the intellectual rot on the left. He's not only a total fraud. He's obviously a fraud. He's played the left perfectly. The MSM has taken them seriously. Just as they did Dan Rather for so long. History will record they elevated a fraud, knowing all along he was a fraud.

Best of all is how Joe became such a wealthy man and the toast of the liberal town. The man is farce but he knows how to manage farce.

If I'm not mistaken Joe told a few other even more egregious lies including a claim he saw the famous 'letter' the Italians recovered that was a really bad fraud. Joe is on videotape claiming he saw it and knew immediately it was fraud. Joe is one smart guy. Except Joe made his claim 8 months before the letter was even written. And oh yeah, He never saw it anyway.

But hey, he sounded sincere so that has to count for something!

Joe Wilson, like Cindy Sheehan, Rep Murtha, Howard Dean, Dan Rather, John Kerry, Al Gore, Richard Clark, etc. perfectly represents liberalism in the 21st Century. If it feels true it is true!

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

You said Carter didn't experience a recession. I did. I am correct. There was a recession in 1980, the 4th year of Carters term. It was HIS recession. Not Ford's. Not Nixon's. And of yes, Since that's when Oil prices spiked and that fool tried to control the market, and screwed it up he gets the blame.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

EVERYTHING DID change in 1981. The very moment Reagan was sworn in the hostages left Iran. The students proved they were far from insane instead showing a sharp appreciation of the differences betweem Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter with great clarity.

We call that period, "Mornnig in America". If you want to get really impressed look at a hundred year logrithmic chart of the Dow Jones. The world most definitely changed in 1981.

If you still have doubts look up the Bio of Gorbachev, Michael. He seems to thing things changed.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Howard,

I know my econ quite well ad the fact you prefer to stay away from Europe shows you undersrtands your limitations.

But this is a political blog, not an economic blog. So lets' just consider how politicians deal with keynes and the ideal of using Govt spending to increase economic growth ands hiring.

I think we can find common ground here. The obvious answer is NEVER.

The tax and spend party hates being known as the tax and spend party. They now are the deficit reduction party. As a olitical matter Reagan killed Keynes. Any fame attributed to Manard these last 25 yearsis tied to his comedic skills and that's it. Nixon is famous for saying, "We all keynesians now" for the preverse reason that Keynsianism is died as a policy tool so soon aftr he said it.

When politicians discuss stimulating the economy it turns on, "how big the tax cuts?" You of course remember Prince Alberts campaign. Over the course of 6 months he went from no tax cuts to $50B to $100B to 150B to $200B. Alas, too little, too late.

We're all supply-siders now. Thank you Ronald Reagan.


Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

rdw - the more things change, the more they stay the same.
If you've ever wondered why the US hostages in Iran were released upon Reagan's swearing in ceremony, you should have a look at the reports from the Iran-Contra affair. If you've a shred of intellectual honesty, you'll wonder how the Reagan campaign was able to cut a deal with the Iranians to sell them weapons without being arrested for treason.

The Iranians students were in charge in the same way that the US Marines are in charge of the conflict in Iraq. That is to say, not at all.
They were serving the people calling the shots.
Marines -> do what DOD and President tell them to.
Iranian students -> did what Khomeini and his fellow travelers wanted.

Posted by: kenga on May 26, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Nice try. Nothing is more worthless than Govt data on income and spending.

The CIA factbook isn't "Govt data" ?

Posted by: Stephen on May 26, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Yes it was. The clueless bastard didn't know France has a higher deficit and was pissing off his EU peers running well over the agreed Maastracht limits for the 3rd year.

And what were the US deficits when Clinton left office as compared to the US deficits now ?

Posted by: Stephen on May 26, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

stephen,

It really isn't that hard. Read that sentence again. There are a lot of words there but try to concentrate on the last four.

Not all govt data is equally informative. Some is very hard to collect with any accruacy. Personal incomes is one of them.

This is why I never get into the weeds on economic data. It's not unlike reading the bible. Take a position and then find the data to support it. Generally the macros data is pretty good especially trend data on such measures as GDP, CPI, PPI, jobless claims, unemplopment rate, nonfarm adds, etc.

Even the CIA data, which might be from the World Bank, has limited use. However the GDP data, especially over time, is pretty good. In the case of historical GDP trends the relative performance of Western Europe versus the USA, Australia and Asia is obvious.

Europe is in trouble. They know it. We know it. Even you know it.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

And what were the US deficits when Clinton left office as compared to the US deficits now ?

There were no deficits. That's why Slick Willie left a recession. The boy knew if he has any shot at something positive to talk about after leaving office it was the economy and especially total debt. Thus Slick Willie didn't give a rats ass what he was doing to the economy the day after he left office. His restrictive fiscal policy is correctly attributed to causing both the recession and the collapse of his asset bubble. The MSM ignores all this but unfortunately for Bill they don't get to write history.

Historians have to deal with fact. The collapse of the asset bubble started under slick willie. The accounting scandals occured under slick willie the economy started its descent inot recession 9 months before Slick Willie left office.

GWB meanwhile will be credited for inheriting the asset bubble, accounting scandal, a recession and 9/11 and STILL managing to drive the highest periored of GDP growth in over 2 decades. These last 11 quarters GDP is up 20%. The best Clinton could do in ANY 11 Quarter period is 17% and slick willie inherited a growing economy.

I love the entire focus by liberals on budget deficits. I love the fact they are trying to be the party of low spending. Nothing here but good news for conservatives. The bragging over Slick Willies deficit has been terrific for Slick Willie. We know from the last 3 elections it's done NOTHING for the party. As far as History goes the budget deficit is meaningless. Monica will still be the definitive story. Presidents simply are not rated on economic factors, unless it's Hoover, and never have been.

I bring up the Chirac story because it's so representative of modern day liberalism. The dumb bastard really had no clue the US deficit was lowr than his. Moreover, all he did was rub the fact France and Germany had ignored their agreed to limits in the faces of other EU countries like poland and other who were forced to cut their deficits. Jacques is the quintesswential liberal. He's more like Al than Al. Truth! What's Truth? The truth is whatever you want it to be. Like Al does so often he had to give the MSM something for applause lines. Anything. When in Europe that means bashing America.

That's why they'll be defending themselves from now on.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of economists and the fantastic American economy, Brad deLong's blog includes some less optimistic outlooks under the heading, "Ben Bernacke may have an interesting time"

"Kashyap Mansouri and David Wessel both fear that this is the Year of Living Dangerously:"

"Angry Bear: David Wessel of the Wall Street Journal is feeling bearish this morning:

"Every so often, economic forces and financial markets collide in ways that make for a tumultuous year -- the stock market crash in 1987, the Asian financial crisis and bond-market paralysis in 1998, the bursting stock bubble in 2000."

"Suddenly, this year has all the ingredients of a Big One. The dollar is sinking. Global stock markets are volatile. Bond-market interest rates are climbing. Oil prices are up. Gold is at a quarter-century high. Housing prices are softening. Protectionist pressures are intensifying. General Motors Corp. is a candidate for bankruptcy court. Iran may be on the verge of going nuclear. A nasty, partisan congressional election looms. And a new Federal Reserve chairman's inflation-fighting resolve is being tested."

"Alan Greenspan certainly picked a good time to retire."

"Wessel neglected to mention the fuel that the US's enormous current account balance adds to this unignited fire, but even so, he seems to have reasons enough for concern. It's not clear what the spark will be, or even whether there will be a spark at all. There may not be. But I think that Wessel is right to suggest that there is enough dry wood and kindling piled together to give 2006 the potential to generate more than a comfortable amount of heat and flames.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 26, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, you really are an empty wagon making the most noise, but i have a few minutes to kill.

i didn't say there were no recessions under Cartere; i said that your characterization of a recession marked by shortages and rationing of oil was the nixon/ford-era recession. get your basic facts straight.

wilson did not report an attempt to purchase uranium because there wasn't an attempt to purchase uranium: the prime minister of Niger thinking that an approach from an iraqi about commercial relations was a cover for a future desire to obtain uranium isn't the same thing. do you really, truly not understand this? if so, you're even dumber than you appear, which, admittedly, takes some doing. (your other comments about joe wilson are the standard right-wing slime job, unfounded in reality and/or exaggerated and distorted beyond recognition, but apparently right-wingers have a psychological need to do this kind of thing.)

and to note one more time: the duelfur report examined this entire matter. there was no attempt to purchase uranium in niger in 1999 or anywhere else.

you obviously don't know shit about economics, although you are well armed with official talking points. Apparently you don't realize, for instance, that reagan raised taxes six times after the '81 tax cuts; apparently you don't realize what supply-side thinking is; apparently you don't understand keynes; and apparently you think that talking about european gdp per capita is meaningful to any of this discussion. (as a side note, i'm not going down the debate trick road of getting into european gdp per capita, because it requires us to deal with too many other topics: limitations of gdp; gdp per working age populatin; how to value the fact that no one goes bankrupt over health emergencies in europe; how to value the additional vacation time europeans have; how to assess the different distributions of income between america and europe; and a host of other factors. when it's a relevant topic to discuss, we can have it: this is not that time).

and no, everything didn't change in 1981: what a complete load of crap. your comments wouldn't even pass muster on a high school history exam.

nor, for that matter, was there anything wrong with clinton's fiscal policy. recessions happen in market systems: it wasn't fiscal tightness that produced the recession. to repeat, no actual supply sider would argue that permanent deficits are a good idea.

and i know your proud of your little statistical artifact about gdp growth, but wake me up when we start seeing median income rise and a job market that matches bush's own metric. gdp growth is good, but it is not the only measure of an economy, as the american public recognizes when asked by pollsters how they feel about the economy.

i'm sure you had some other dumb remarks, but i'm tried of scrolling up to check. like i say, stop repeating right-wing piffle and learn something, because right now you're spouting nothing but moronic fantasy and flat-out untruths.

Posted by: howard on May 26, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

These last 11 quarters GDP is up 20%.

Try looking at real per capita GDP. The growth under Bush is no record breaker.

Posted by: Stephen on May 26, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Not all govt data is equally informative. Some is very hard to collect with any accruacy. Personal incomes is one of them

Personal income is the subject I was addressing when I posted my link in response to your original comment (read again and focus real hard) . Pesrsonal income is trending backward when adjusted for inflation.

Typical Repub, if the data deosn't say what he wants, he assume it must be wrong.

I love the entire focus by liberals on budget deficits.

You are the one who brought up budget deficits.

And I've also mentioned personal income figures and real GDP. We can talk about the stock market next.

Posted by: Stephen on May 26, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

stephen,

Growth under GWB IS a record breaker. Better yet has been the expansion of trade. Libs hate globalization. They have a lot ti hate when it comes to Bush. Trade is not only exploding but it's exploding in the correct places. Asia. Not Europe. with Asia.

Bye, Bye NATO!

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Growth under GWB IS a record breaker.
Not when measure in constant dollars.

Trade is not only exploding but it's exploding in the correct places. Asia. Not Europe. with Asia.
Suddenly Bush is responsible for the growth of China ? Well, I guess someone has to finance the Bush deficits.

Posted by: Stephen on May 26, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Stephan,

George is not responsible for the trade anywhere. He gets credit for recognizing reality. That is it makes sense to embrace globalization rather than try to stop the unstopable.

The move out of Europe into Asia should have started 10 years ago. Gwb has been terrific in developing strong relations with those natoins with the same concerns over China as the USA.

Posted by: rdw on May 26, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

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