Saturday, January 31, 2009

Round Up For The Week, January 31, 2009

Obama signs first major piece of legislation: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act

The House Vote Was Not a Failure for Obama

Conservatism: Debt, Death, and Destruction By Way Of Tax Cuts

Conservatives Distort Research To Claim They’ll Create 6.2 Million Jobs

The Republican Abyss -- 10 Miles Down and Sinking Faster

A partial list of what republicans don't think Americans need

Clueless STILL!

Republicans' Bizarre Collective Response to Obama's Economic Recovery Plan: We're Out to Lunch

The Economic Recovery Plan’s Bold Move To Repower America

House Republicans "delighted" and "elated" and "celebrating" over their zero votes to save the economy

Heckuva Job, Boehny!

Senate Republicans Gearing Up To Filibuster Recovery Package Despite Promises To The Contrary

Senate Republicans May Filibuster Obama Stimulus Package

Conservatives' Profoundest Fear: What if Obama succeeds?

Democrats use Limbaugh to slam GOP on stimulus bill

Obama: big Wall Street bonuses 'outrageous'

Dodd Is Looking at ‘Every Means’ to Reclaim Bonuses

Sen McCaskill "A Bunch Of Idiots Up On Wall Street! Kicking Sand In The Faces Of Americans!"

The Rich Got MUCH Richer!

400 richest Americans’ incomes doubled under Bush

Bailed-Out Bank Uses Taxpayer Cash to Fight Employee Free Choice

Corporations use bailout money to organize against Employee Free Choice Act

Reich: Why We Need Stronger Unions

Obama launches task force on middle class

Obama seeks to reverse Bush labor policies

Biden to lead middle-class task force

Unlike Cheney’s energy task force, Biden’s middle-class task force will be transparent

A union-friendly White House

Transcript: The President's Remarks On The Middle Class Task Force

SCHIP passes the Senate

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Friday, January 30, 2009

President Obama signs the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Lilly Ledbetter worked for nearly twenty years at the Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Alabama. She became a supervisor at the plant and filed suit in 1998 after learning that she had been paid hundreds of dollars less per month than even the lowest paid man (a relatively new hire) who was doing her same job. This comes as no surprise to working women, who even after the 'seniority' argument that had been made during the 1970's and 1980's as to why men were typically paid more has played itself out, still see that women are paid only $.78 per hour for every dollar a man earns for doing the same job.

After a series of victories in the lower courts, the Eleventh Circuit court reversed the lower court verdicts, and when it went to the Supreme Court Ledbetter lost last year on a 5-4 vote. Though the Supreme Court agreed that she did have both identical job titles and duties to men who were being paid a lot more than she was, they argued that she was only entitled to additional back pay for 180 days prior to the date of her filing the suit and could not challenge decisions that had been made before that even though the discriminatory pay rates had been going on for years without her knowledge (and her fruitless attempt to get the problem fixed internally at Goodyear worked against her because it delayed her filing the suit.) The focus of the suit is what is known as 'paycheck accruel,' a longstanding precedent in which the clock on filing a discrimination case resets with every paycheck. The Supreme Court ruling upholding the eleventh circuit essentially voided that provision and therefore ruled that only the 180 day limit set under Title VII applied.

The pay difference that she experienced over years, and which many, many women still suffer from is exacerbated because it compounds into lower Social Security after retirement.

Last year after the Supreme Court decision, Congress tried to pass the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which stipulates that women who can prove that they were discriminated against at work are entitled to up to two years of back pay differential to make up the difference, and more importantly specifically writes 'paycheck accruel' into law. The bill was blocked by a Republican filibuster (and it became an issue that Barack Obama made some ground on during the campaign since John McCain had made a speech opposing it, and Obama aired a commercial featuring Lilly Ledbetter that may have helped him re-open the gender gap that McCain had closed a bit when he picked Sarah Palin.)

This year it passed, with unanimous support from Senate Democrats, plus five Republicans-- significantly including all four of the Republican women in the Senate (and two of them, Lisa Murkowski and Kay Bailey Hutchison, are considered conservative). House Republicans were House Republicans, with only three voting in favor.

President Obama has now signed the law, the first piece of legislation he has signed that was passed by the new Congress. Besides equal pay for women, it represents a direct and specific repudiation of the Supreme Court, essentially restoring the law back to what lower courts had held, but now spelled out and codified as Federal law.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama's first foreign interview sets new priorities.

The Obama administration is rapidly making it clear that the 'coalition of the willing,' or 'for us or against us' view of the Bush administration is the foreign policy of the past.

Today, President Obama (I like the way those words sound together) gave his first interview to a foreign source. And his choice-- el-Arabiyah, could not have been a better one. He discussed a range of issues-- including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, terrorism, mutual respect and the international political situation.

While what he said was important, the simple fact that he chose an Arabic news outlet for his first interview speaks volumes. It's hardly a secret that the majority of the foreign policy challenges facing the United States right now involve the muslim world, nor is it a secret that both because of longstanding history and the relatively recent actions taken by the Bush administration, relations between America and the muslim world are at historically low levels. So in granting the interview, President Obama has made it clear that he wants to change that, and develop a long term relationship in which the United States respects and works towards a peaceful future involving the muslim world.

Let's start with the Israeli-Palestinian situation since that is a constant irritant that underlies every other facet of relations between America and muslim countries. Long time readers of this blog know that I've always been a supporter of Israel and of the right of Israel to exist. However, the one-sided policy of the Bush administration, which failed to challenge Israel in anything they did while only blaming the Palestinians for anything that happened, and which further didn't bother to even try to achieve a peace deal until Bush was vainly searching for any kind of a legacy during his last year in office, did not do Israel any favors. It created an endless cycle of war, and one which Israel will continue to be mired in until there is a lasting peace that involves the creation of a Palestinian state. President Obama pretty much said as much in his interview today.

Let me repeat that-- if Israel wants peace there is only one way to achieve it, and that is to create a Palestinian state without any Israeli settlements on its territory. And the recent Israeli actions in Gaza, while their cause can be justified (to end Hamas rocket attacks) have resulted in huge numbers of civilian deaths and more and more reports that Israeli troops committed some truly disturbing actions (like the report on NPR this morning of soldiers shooting a homeowner with no ties to Hamas in the face in front of his children, and later an ambulance driver being pulled out of his ambulance and forced to lie face down with a gun stuck in his neck, and then being told to leave the area despite having been called to a home with wounded children inside.) Israel is a democracy, and in a democracy you have to be willing to air some rotten garbage, and there is some here that will need to be aired. And then investigated and corrective action taken. As a supporter of Israel, I am willing to say it is time for Israel to take that action.

Further, an unnoticed story of the recent war (as well as the one two years ago between Israel and Hezbollah) is one which went unnoticed precisely because nothing happened-- which is the story itself. During both the Israeli-Hezbollah and Israeli-Hamas conflicts there was little or no violence (beyond a few demonstrations) in the West Bank. Israel was often able to claim they could not create a Palestinian state under Yassir Arafat because he was either unable or unwilling to call off his own militants. And in fact history seems to suggest they had a point, since even during negotiations there were often attacks on settlers and soldiers in the West Bank as well as terrorist attacks inside Israel. But this time there were practically none (despite calls by Hamas for a third intifada in the West Bank), so clearly Mahmoud Abbas is able and willing to police his own territory. Which means that Israel has no good excuse now for not working with him to create an independent Palestine with open borders and no Israeli settlements. The trip by George Mitchell to the middle east, and statements by both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama indicate that they will push negotiations designed to hasten the creation of a Palestinian state (as well as create a lasting cease-fire in Gaza.)

President Obama also said that if our enemies in the region (and he specifically mentioned Iran) are willing to unclench their fist, they will find our hand extended in friendship. I believe that this is also long overdue. Ever since the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis of thirty years ago, relations between the U.S. and Iran have been frosted. Further, if Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, can one blame them after George Bush named them a member of the 'axis of evil,' and then invaded one of the other 'members?' Like a diplomat from North Korea (the third member) famously said after referring to President Bush's threats, "Of course we have a nuclear program." Only a Bush would have needed to be reminded of a basic fact-- if you threaten someone they will assume you may not be bluffing (as if Iraq didn't prove that in Bush's case) and will work to arm themselves accordingly. In a word: DUH! Maybe with the new approach President Obama can make some progress on getting Iran to quit working towards nuclear weapons. Maybe he can't. But given that they are already to the point where it would be all but impossible to take out their decentralized, deeply buried program, we are at least better off if we have a dialogue with Iran (after all, history shows that we can survive a nuclear-armed opponent, like the Soviet Union.)

Beyond that, Obama has shown that he will be a President whose foreign policy won't be focused on Europe first. That in itself is a huge change, and represents the fact that the world has changed. Europe is a fine place but it is at the end of the day only a peninsula on the end of the Asian continent. By speaking first to people from the part of the world where we have the biggest challenges right now, President Obama is making it clear from the outset that he will be engaged with the world, not just those who think like us.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

GOP Petulant Whiner Chorus

The Same Old Song

Bob Herbert:

What’s up with the Republicans? Have they no sense that their policies have sent the country hurtling down the road to ruin? Are they so divorced from reality that in their delusionary state they honestly believe we need more of their tax cuts for the rich and their other forms of plutocratic irresponsibility, the very things that got us to this deplorable state?

The G.O.P.’s latest campaign is aimed at undermining President Obama’s effort to cope with the national economic emergency by attacking the spending in his stimulus package and repeating ad nauseaum the Republican mantra for ever more tax cuts.

. . .

The truth, of course, is that the country is hemorrhaging jobs and Americans are heading to the poorhouse by the millions. The stock markets and the value of the family home have collapsed, and there is virtual across-the-board agreement that the country is caught up in the worst economic disaster since at least World War II.

The Republican answer to this turmoil?

Tax cuts.

They need to go into rehab.

. . .

When the G.O.P. talks, nobody should listen. Republicans have argued, with the collaboration of much of the media, that they could radically cut taxes while simultaneously balancing the federal budget, when, in fact, big income-tax cuts inevitably lead to big budget deficits. We listened to the G.O.P. and what do we have now? A trillion-dollar-plus deficit and an economy in shambles.

Hey Republicans ...YOU Did This... Remember?


Alternate title: Republicans Throwing Tantrums: Parenting 101

There are different theories on parenting. Especially when it comes to little children throwing tantrums. Especially when it comes to little children throwing tantrums... in the middle of a burning house.

That they lit on fire.

And then threw gasoline on.

And now are standing over the blaze with more buckets of (drill baby drill) gasoline.

A quiet little reminder for our esteemed Republican colleagues in the House and Senate....


And here is a hint, REAL PEOPLE are suffering... because of you.

Throwing more tax cut fuel on it won't put it out. Cutting funds for contraception won't put it out. And stamping your widdle feets and obstructing every move that the people who DIDN'T light the fire are making to put YOUR fire out... won't put it out.

. . .

NO ONE, but you, has forgotten how we got to this point... in two wars, our standing in the world damaged nearly beyond repair and standing in the flaming soon to be ruins of what used to be our economy. No one has forgotten that it was you who brought us to this point. Or that you have gotten us to this point while laughing at, mocking, denigrating and calling people traitors... the same people who now have to clean up the steaming pile of elephant poop that YOU deposited in the middle of the living room... of our burning house.

The time when you could blame all of your mistakes on the Dems and have the public and the pundits buy it is over. No one is buying it. Ok, I'm wrong, the stupidest factions of the Village and the punditocracy are still buying it... because they helped you light the fire.

But know this... Obama IS just giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And, thank you, you are gleefully jumping up on the horse and fitting the noose over your own head. You make demand after demand, and each demand is grudgingly granted, as a nice, kind liberal guiltified parent gives into a child's tantrum, over and over again.... until that parent finally realizes that that just doesn't work. And is FORCED to try something else, something less... nice.

Soon it will be apparent to all sane people that being nice to you just doesn't work, that every time we give in to you, your unquenchable three year old egos just take that as a signal of weakness and demand more. With every petulant demand, with every hold you put on a nominee, with every little nit you pick, with every foot stomp, with every BLATANT obstructionist tactic you use to keep us from cleaning up YOUR mess and putting out YOUR fire... you reveal yourself as the petulant, vengeful, idiotic spoiled little children you are.

. . .

You failed. Your ideology failed. Your economic theories failed, your foreign policy failed, your theocratic social policies failed and your theories of governing failed. Everyone knows this... except... apparently... you.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again... as you have with your trickle down bullshit... and expecting different results. Everything you are screaming for is EXACTLY what got us in to this mess. The fact that you think that doing MORE of the same will fix the mess YOU made just proves your true character and intelligence. You are exposing yourself, again, as insane ideologues living in a delusional land where things that have never, ever worked... suddenly start to work, because you held your breath long enough. You are proving to the entire nation and the world that you are insane. Insane little children, throwing a tantrum in the middle of a house on fire... a fire that, I remind you once again... YOU started.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Not OK Corral

Hell On Earth

Bush by the Numbers

Gitmo: Where's the evidence? Cases prove impossible to prosecute

Doug Feith, That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Cornyn delays Holder’s confirmation to make sure Bush administration isn’t prosecuted for torture

GOP Links Nomination to Torture Prosecutions

The GOP's Tortured Past

The GOP's Grand New Strategy: Kill time

John Yoo in the Crosshairs

Intelligence Investigations Should Target Top Deciders

From "Burrowing" to "Restoring": Righting the Wrongs of Bush's Adverse Employment Actions

Limbaugh: I Fear Obama’s Repeal Of Bush-Era Secrecy Rules ‘Make It Easier’ To Hold Bush To Account

Signs the Neocons are losing it


Old Mean Dogs that can't learn new tricks

Republicans step up criticism of Obama

McCain, Boehner and Bamboozlement

McCain Slams Broadband Expansion Idea After Campaigning For It

John McCain says he will vote against the stimulus package

Glenn Beck blames bad economy on existence of central banking system

Limbaugh against stimulus because its success could hurt GOP’s electoral chances

Bush Latest GOPer to Show Democrats Better for the Economy

"Bipartisanship" is not the Holy Grail

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adventures In Crazyland

You just can't make this stuff up. Really.

NRCC: “Economy is Robust and Job Creation is Strong”

Cantor’s Obsession/Lie: Stimulus Will Spend 4x More On ‘Grass’ Than On Small Businesses

Rep. King Fear-Mongers On Obama’s Plan To Close Gitmo: It Could Give 9/11 Mastermind A ‘Path To Citizenship’

McConnell: Employee Free Choice Act will ‘fundamentally harm America and Europeanize America.’

Blagojevich compares his arrest to attack on Pearl Harbor

Inhofe Declares Victory Over The U.N.-MoveOn-Soros Global Warming Conspiracy: I’ve Prevailed

Glenn Beck freaks out about the missing Bible at Obama’s do-over swearing in

Hardball: Kit Bond Defends Torture But Doesn't Want to Call It Torture

Boehner Complains About Obama's 'Wasteful Spending'

The Sordid Story of 19 Hypocrite Senators Who Trust Our Money With Bush, But Not Obama

Watch Out for John Cornyn: He's the New GOP Elephant in the China Shop

Fox News Fear Imbalance


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rush on Obama-- "I hope he fails"

This is what Rush Limbaugh had to say yesterday:

If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. I don't want --what he's talking about. What he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the U.S. Government as possible. From the banking business, the mortgage industry, to the automobile business, to the healthcare-- I don't want the Government in charge of these things. I DON'T WANT THIS TO WORK. So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, so, OK I'll send you a response, but I don't need four hundred words, I need four. I HOPE HE FAILS.

Now, leaving aside his gross distortions of what the Obama plan is (it is NOT the Government taking over any of the above industries), we now have Rush actually hoping that it fails. If it were to fail of course, it would result in more people losing their jobs, more businesses going bankrupt and likely the end of the United States as the premier economic and political power in the world.

As much as I never liked George W. Bush, I never once wished he would fail. I often believed that he would fail, predicted that he would fail, expected that he would fail, chronicled his failures and criticized his failures (for they were legion), but never once did I DESIRE that he would fail. Because if the President fails it harms our country. In fact in a number of cases I predicted he would fail but openly expressed hope that I was wrong.

But this is a guy who is willing to directly suffer harm to the United States so he will have something to pin on the President. Disgusting and appalling.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama

Our 44th President, Barack H. Obama

Barack, Blow on the Embers

Andrew Bard Schmookler:

Dear Barack,

I know that you understand that your leadership has an important spiritual component, and is not just political: that is why you have spoken so consistently of the need to replace fear with hope, and why -- during this transition period -- you've focused on the work of reconciliation. You understand the necessity for the spirit of America to be transformed in order to make possible all the other changes, in the political sphere, you will be striving to achieve. People recognize that your victory represents a victory of light over darkness.

That's why the night you won the election an extraordinary celebratory energy burst forth in this country and, indeed, around the world. In the hearts and minds of many millions of people, your victory went beyond the level of politics. Never before has the election of an American president been greeted with this kind of joy, and that's because never before has a presidential election had such important stakes at the spiritual level. [...]

It is because of the depth of spiritual darkness of your predecessor's leadership that so many people turned to you -- relatively inexperienced politically, but of such palpably exceptional spiritual qualities -- as a means to come back toward the light.

That joyful upsurgence in the hearts of so many millions of people represented a recognition of that spiritual victory the night you won the election, the release of a spiritual force, long pent up, the recognition that the hope you offer had dispelled the despair and dread brought over our spirits by your predecessor.

I hope you understand how important it can be, for your ultimate success, to tend to that spiritual force. I hope you will regularly blow on the embers of that fire that your victory ignited.

Please don't let it die out, or even die down.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - 2009

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."

"Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."

"No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"The time is always right to do what is right."

~Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929 - 1968)

The Legacy Of Bush: A Breathtaking Catastrophe

The Bushies Stole Us Blind ... So, How'd You Like Your Beer?

David Michael Green, AlterNet:

Go on. Admit it. You never thought this would end, did you? You never thought they'd actually leave, huh? With only days remaining, you still have nagging doubts, don't you?

Finally. Mercifully. Astonishingly. Incredibly. The insane adventure in national suicide known as the Bush administration is at last coming to an end.

This was a ride that beggars belief. Even after McCarthy and Nixon and Reagan and Gingrich, nothing prepared us for the last eight years, and I for one have difficulty finding the words that could begin to do justice to describing this historical folly of epic proportions.

The list of self-inflicted wounds is endless: running from the fiscal irresponsibility, the lies about war, the incompetent execution of every policy, the extreme recklessness of environmental catastrophe, the economic meltdown, and turning one of the most admired countries in the world into one of the most reviled.

It is a breathtaking record. It really is. Indeed, one might argue in complete seriousness that it would be far easier to list the one or two exceptions to a blanket rule of disaster than to catalogue the endless list of travesties. It would certainly take a lot less time to specify any successes than to climb the mountain of wholesale failures. In short, it literally involves almost no exaggeration to describe this adventure in catastrophic governance by means of a simple covering adage: If there was a way the Bush administration could have diminished America, it did.

Given this endless chronicle of national implosion, I won't try -- for the umpteenth time -- to catalogue the crimes and catastrophes here, despite the fact that this week offers a good opportunity for summing up our world of hurt. There are too many, and they are too well known. Except for those that are not, of course, of which I expect there is a huge quantity. [...]

Most people have completely failed to perceive the magnitude of the Bush crime, because they see it as limited to "merely" dumb policies, poorly implemented, by incompetent stewards of government. Would that that were so. We'd be so much better off as a country and as a world had it been only that. [...]

This president -- and indeed the entire movement of regressive politics these last three decades (which I refer to as Reaganism-Bushism) -- can only be properly understood as class warfare. Its purpose was never to make America a better place. Indeed, if we define America as a country belonging to its 300 million inhabitants, then the purpose was actually precisely the opposite. The mission of this ideology was in fact to diminish, if not impoverish, the vast bulk of these citizens so that the already massively wealthy among them could become obscenely wealthy. [...]

In short, if you merely hate the Bush administration for driving the country into penury, making us hated around the world, bringing on a global economic crisis, ignoring when not exacerbating a looming environmental catastrophe of planetary proportions, killing a million Iraqis on the basis of a host of lies, letting New Orleans drown, trying to wreck Social Security, sleeping through (at best) the worst terrorist attack on our shores, allowing -- when not assisting -- the Middle East in going up in flames, or dividing our country internally -- if that's "all" you've got against these guys, then you have no idea how bad it really is.

Because how bad it really is can be found in the same place where one sees the difference between first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. The latter is a crime of ineptitude, the former one of intent. If you are fooled into thinking -- as I suspect that most Americans have been -- that the Bush administration was just a bunch of bungling ideologues who governed like Keystone Kops, then you will have been duped by the crime of the century. For at bottom these were kleptocrats, pure and simple. They came to steal, not to serve, and -- with the chief exception of their foiled Social Security raid -- they accomplished their mission rather handily. This was class warfare, and we lost badly. [...]

This has been, indeed, the crime of the century, and my only hope at this point is that it will ultimately be recognized as such. Right now, we are far from that. Most Americans abhor the Bush administration to the point where quite a large percentage would probably be willing to call it the worst in American history. But that fails completely to do it justice, because it still misses the crucial question of intention. The difference between the perception of the Bush administration and the true reality of its mission accomplished is the difference between a well-intentioned bungler and a vicious, though friendly, predator. [...]

Maybe the one thing I got out of the horror of the last eight years was a lesson in political culture. I learned that he who goes looking for rational thought or dialogue among the ranks of the regressives will come home a confused, addled and empty-handed fellow. That's what I was half a decade ago when that revelation whacked me across the forehead. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. I couldn't believe that most of my fellow citizens could believe what we were witnessing.

h/t to Eli:

"The estimated final cost of the Bush era is 11 and a half trillion dollars. Oh, My God!"

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

WH Email And Unanswered Questions

White House Opposes Court Order in Email Case

Susie Madrak, C and L:

Well, of course they do! You didn't think they were going to start following the laws at this late date, did you?
The Bush administration is aggressively pushing back against a federal court order instructing the most important offices in the White House to preserve all of their e-mail.

In court papers late Friday, the administration argued that a federal court has no authority to impose such a requirement on the offices of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council.


There Are Still Many Unanswered Questions About GOP IT Guru's Tragic Plane Crash

Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story:
New information surrounding the December plane crash which killed GOP internet consultant Michael Connell casts doubt on some of the rumors and speculation surrounding his death but doesn't close the books on the circumstances surrounding the Republican technology star's tragic end. [...]

Connell’s case has drawn particular attention because he had recently testified in a case alleging that Ohio’s votes were tampered with during the 2004 presidential election. However, Connell – who was compelled to testify – denied the allegations in his Nov. 3, 2008 deposition.

Connell is also alleged to have been involved with the scrubbing of emails from White House staff which had been sent through an alternate system hosted on Republican National Committee servers. [...]

Connell’s lawyers fought the subpoena and refused to furnish the plaintiffs with IT network schematics relating to the 2004 and 2006 elections. [...]

In calling for the judge to compel Connell to testify, plaintiffs cited recent security breaches in the computer system at the office of Ohio's Secretary of State, which were preceded by a barrage of threatening phone and email messages and death threats and which led to the state website temporarily being taken down Oct. 20. The plaintiffs used these events to suggest the possibility of Trojan horses or back doors in the system, which Connell had designed.

In addition, the plaintiffs’ attorneys provided information of alleged threats against Connell. These alleged threats and the alleged threats against the Ohio Secretary of State, resulted in the court issuing another subpoena compelling Connell’s testimony.

Related post: Missing WH Emails Recovered?

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eight Year Recap

The Bush Legacy

Jan. 16: Countdown’s Keith Olbermann looks back at the highs and lows of the entire Bush presidency.



Friday, January 16, 2009

Bye Bye

Bye Bye to the Worst President Ever

Bernie Horn:

On January 15, George W. Bush presented his valedictory, desperately seeking thanks and congratulations. So here goes: Thanks and congratulations, W, for showing the world that today’s conservatism is an abject failure.

Thanks to Bush, we know that conservatives are not fiscally responsible, they are not for small government, they don’t stand up for moral values, and they won’t make Americans one bit safer. Conservatives aren’t even true defenders of “free markets” — having presided over the biggest market bailout in the history of the world.

After eight long years, Bush can no longer fool the public. Polls show that he is the most unpopular president in the history of survey research. When the 2006 and 2008 elections are considered together, Bush policies resulted in the landslide rejection of his party at both the federal and state levels. There are probably a hundred examples where Bush conservatism failed, but let’s stick with the top ten.

  1. The worst recession since the 1930s...

  2. The worst financial crisis since the 1930s...

  3. The worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country...

  4. Unprecedented rejection of human rights...

  5. Watergate-style abuses of power...

  6. Unprecedented increases in inequality...

  7. A culture of sleaze...

  8. Blind rejection of science...

  9. Utter refusal to protect the health, safety and legal rights of Americans...

  10. Presiding over our nation's worst natural disaster, and not caring...
- - -

So, congratulations for being the worst president in American history. That’s not just my personal opinion; that’s the opinion of 109 historians polled by the History News Network. Fully 61 percent ranked Bush as the “worst ever.” Ninety-eight percent labeled his presidency a “failure.” And this poll, taken in early 2008, predated the cataclysmic housing and banking crashes. Bye bye W — history will not be kind.

Bush Legacy

Meteor Blades:

Unfortunately, when he and Dick Cheney head out of Washington on Tuesday, their legacy will remain. The Smirk and the Snarl will fly away and take their audacious, minute-to-minute mendacity with them. No longer will a lickspittle media have to find fresh ways to rescue them from their latest betrayal, faux pas, stupidity, outrage. But the destruction they leave behind is deep and wide – a shredded Constitution, a wrecked economy, a worsened environment, a shattered multilateralism, a strengthened plutocracy, a partisan legal system, an undermined scientific community, crippled national security, trashed diplomacy, battered checks and balances. These will not – cannot - be fixed in a few months or even a few years.

Which made the aggressive treacle of Mister Bush’s farewell address all the more insufferable Thursday night. That it was his last speech as President was its only saving grace.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Missing WH Emails Recovered?

Missing White House E-Mails Traced, Justice Aide Says

A Justice Department lawyer told a federal judge yesterday that the Bush administration will meet its legal requirement to transfer e-mails to the National Archives after spending more than $10 million to locate 14 million e-mails reported missing four years ago from White House computer files.

Civil division trial lawyer Helen H. Hong made the disclosure at a court hearing provoked by a 2007 lawsuit filed by outside groups to ensure that politically significant records created by the White House are not destroyed or removed before President Bush leaves office at noon on Tuesday. She said the department plans to argue in a court filing this week that the administration's successful recent search renders the lawsuit moot.

Hong's statement came hours after U.S. District Court Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. ordered employees of the president's executive office -- with just days to go before their departure -- to undertake a comprehensive search of computer workstations, preserve portable hard drives and examine any e-mail archives created or retained from 2003 to 2005, the period in which e-mails appeared to be missing.

Hong said private contractors had helped find the e-mails by searching through an estimated 60,000 tapes that contain daily recordings of the entire contents of the White House computers as a precaution against an electronic disaster.

Her remarks prompted Anne Weisman, the counsel for one of two plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), to say, "I'll believe it when I see it."

Weisman said she hoped the administration's efforts to recover the e-mails can be verified by an independent expert, noting that officials have repeatedly declined to detail the procedures they used. She also said questions persist about whether backup tapes still existed for all of the days for which e-mails were reported missing.

Meredith Fuchs, counsel for the other plaintiff, a historical group known as the National Security Archive, said the Justice Department's statement was "striking" because the admission that 14 million e-mails had to be recovered showed "the level of mismanagement at the White House" of its historically significant records. She said, "For the past year and a half, they said, 'Don't worry, don't worry, leave us alone.' Now they say, at the last minute, they have solved it. I want to see the evidence."
Don't hold your breath on this one... either.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Bush Era: An Eight-Year-Long Ripoff

The Bush Era Has Been an Eight-Year-Long Madoff-Style Ripoff

It will be easier for us and Obama to push for a bold agenda if we demand accountability for the robbery and theft of the Bush years.

Frank Rich:
Three days after the world learned that $50 billion may have disappeared in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, The Times led its front page of Dec. 14 with the revelation of another $50 billion rip-off. This time the vanished loot belonged to American taxpayers. That was our collective contribution to the $117 billion spent (as of mid-2008) on Iraq reconstruction — a sinkhole of corruption, cronyism, incompetence and outright theft that epitomized Bush management at home and abroad.

The source for this news was a near-final draft of an as-yet-unpublished 513-page federal history of this nation-building fiasco. The document was assembled by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction — led by a Bush appointee, no less. It pinpoints, among other transgressions, a governmental Ponzi scheme concocted to bamboozle Americans into believing they were accruing steady dividends on their investment in a “new” Iraq. [...]

What’s most remarkable about the Times article, however, is how little stir it caused. When, in 1971, The Times got its hands on the Pentagon Papers, the internal federal history of the Vietnam disaster, the revelations caused a national uproar. But after eight years of battering by Bush, the nation has been rendered half-catatonic. The Iraq Pentagon Papers sank with barely a trace.

After all, next to big-ticket administration horrors like Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo and the politicized hiring and firing at Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department, the wreckage of Iraq reconstruction is what Ralph Kramden of “The Honeymooners” would dismiss as “a mere bag of shells.” The $50 billion also pales next to other sums that remain unaccounted for in the Bush era, from the $345 billion in lost tax revenue due to unpoliced offshore corporate tax havens to the far-from-transparent disposition of some $350 billion in Wall Street bailout money. In the old Pat Moynihan phrase, the Bush years have “defined deviancy down” in terms of how low a standard of ethical behavior we now tolerate as the norm from public officials.

Not even a good old-fashioned sex scandal could get our outrage going again. Indeed, a juicy one erupted last year in the Interior Department, where the inspector general found that officials “had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.” Two officials tasked with marketing oil on behalf of American taxpayers got so blotto at a daytime golf event sponsored by Shell that they became too incapacitated to drive and had to be put up by the oil company. [...]

It took 110 pages for the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan research organization, to compile the CliffsNotes inventory of the Bush wreckage last month. It found “125 systematic failures across the breadth of the federal government.” That accounting is conservative. There are still too many unanswered questions. [...]

Among those Americans still enraged about the Bush years, there are also calls for truth and reconciliation commissions, war crimes trials and, in a petition movement on Obama’s transition Web site, a special prosecutor in the Patrick Fitzgerald mode. One of the sharpest appointments yet made by the incoming president may support decisive action: Dawn Johnsen, a law professor and former Clinton administration official who last week was chosen to run the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice.

This is the same office where the Bush apparatchik John Yoo produced his infamous memos justifying torture. Johnsen is a fierce critic of such constitutional abuses. In articles for Slate last year, she wondered “where is the outrage, the public outcry” over a government that has acted lawlessly and that “does not respect the legal and moral bounds of human decency.” She asked, “How do we save our country’s honor, and our own?”

The last is not a rhetorical question. While our new president indeed must move on and address the urgent crises that cannot wait, Bush administration malfeasance can’t be merely forgotten or finessed. A new Justice Department must enforce the law; Congress must press outstanding subpoenas to smoke out potential criminal activity; every legal effort must be made to stop what seems like a wholesale effort by the outgoing White House to withhold, hide and possibly destroy huge chunks of its electronic and paper trail. As Johnsen wrote last March, we must also “resist Bush administration efforts to hide evidence of its wrongdoing through demands for retroactive immunity, assertions of state privilege, and implausible claims that openness will empower terrorists.”

As if to anticipate the current debate, she added that “we must avoid any temptation simply to move on,” because the national honor cannot be restored “without full disclosure.”

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bush throws a 'Hail Mary'

Most Presidents, ten days before the end of their administration, would be busy packing, signing letters of reference for their staff, soliciting donors for their Presidential libraries, figuring out who they want to pardon,...

That's what most outgoing Presidents would be doing.

But then George W. Bush is one of a kind (thank God for that.)

In just his last ten days in office, he's looking to spend another third of a trillion dollars.

Specifically, he's asking Congress for the other half of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund. Recall that when the bill was passed, it was carefully divided into two halves-- half for Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to pass around, and half that would be appropriated after the new administration took office. Bush and Paulson have exhausted their half.

Congressional Democrats were notified Friday afternoon by the White House that they could get a request soon for the second half of the allocated bailout funds. Once Congress receives the request for the money, both chambers can try to block the release of the money if they do so within an expedited time frame....

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed unhappiness with the way Treasury used the first $350 billion to capitalize banks. Specifically, they object to how Treasury made investments with few strings attached and no process for tracking how the banks are using the money.

They also are unhappy that none of the $350 billion allocated to date has been used to prevent foreclosures.

No, instead of using them to help ordinary Americans, banks and other corporations that received Federal bailout funds with no strings attached used them for, among other things, a posh party thrown for AIG executives at a resort in California and the swallowing up of smaller but solvent banks by larger ones, a taxpayer-funded orgy of a short and nostalgic return to the era of 'mergers and acquisitions.' That's what banks used to do when they had money, and nobody bothered to make sure they wouldn't spend Federal funds to do the same thing again.

In fact, virtually the only part of the first half that was given with any real strings attached was the final $14 billion, given as a loan to the auto industry.

So now, Bush is claiming that he needs the other $350 billion. But he's not saying anything about who he plans to give it to, or why they need it. If there is another imminent financial crisis about to happen, then I want to know what my $1,000 share of that debt is being spent on. Not so some bank can buy some other bank, or so insurance executives can go to a spa and get me to pay for their pedicure. If the roof is about to cave in, and it can't wait for ten days, then I want to know why and how much it is going to cost. If absolutely necessary then release exactly what is needed and send it directly to the recipient-- with a clearly stated itemization of how it will be spent. But that's all. Don't hand Bush another $350 billion. The way he spends money, it will all be gone even faster than he will be.

Who is he looking to pay off, anyway?

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Friday, January 09, 2009

A moment to give credit where it is due. To Howard Dean and the original 'Deaniacs.'

Barack Obama has announced that his choice for chair of the Democratic National Committee is Governor Tim Kaine of Virgnia.

I've seen Kaine on television, and he is good in front of the cameras. He certainly has showed his loyalty to the new President, endorsing Obama early and helping him win a key primary, the first big contest after Obama and Hillary Clinton fought to a draw on Super-Duper Tuesday. I believe that Kaine will continue to build on the work that outgoing chair Howard Dean did.

I'd like to take a moment though and thank any of you who were once "Deaniacs." I can't say that I was, having supported Wesley Clark in the primary election for President in 2004.

No matter. Let's go back to that year for a moment. As Democrats, we'd had it drilled into us by the right that 1) we were in a permanent and getting smaller minority, and that 2) the only way for Democrats to win was to adopt the Bill Clinton/DLC model: run more towards the right and turn our backs firmly on the notion that government could help people. Instead, let Republicans set the terms of debate, fight on their turf, using their language and accept as a premise that we were supposed to compete in terms of who could cut taxes, dismantle government programs and privatize services the fastest. And competing on 'their turf' was rhetorical only. Even Democrats who won (think Bill Clinton) did so by figuring out where they would compete and just writing off most of the rest of the country. A lot of people-- including Democrats, assumed after the GOP seized Congress 1994 that the only way a Democrat could win was to try and stitch together a 50% + 1 type majority (or a plurality) and not go for anything that might be considered bold. Too risky, they said. As a Democrat from a rural part of the West, I can tell you that there was both apathy and a certain sense of resentment that the national party had ignored areas like ours, just assuming we'd all vote for Republicans and hoping to perhaps outgun us once in a blue moon by turning out more urban Democrats.

Ronald Reagan was considered untouchable, and even Democratic politicians often referred to him as one who they looked to for ideas.

Howard Dean rejected all of that. Of course he had reason to. Howard Dean had been elected Governor of Vermont. Vermont was a state that even FDR never carried, losing it and Maine when he won every other state in 1936. Vermont was once a part of what was known as 'rock-ribbed Republican' New England, and as recently as 1988 it was still considered a GOP stronghold. But something had been going on there. Led by progressives as disparate as the owners and employees of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and openly socialist congressman (now Senator) Bernard Sanders, liberalism had struck a chord in the Green Mountain State. Dean, along with Sanders and others articulated a vision of an America that was better than the mean-spirited 'sink or swim' land of the right. During the 1990's and early 2000's the state had moved until it was among the most progressive in America. And unlike, say, California where much of the shift has been fueled by immigration of people with fresh ideas, in Vermont the huge majority of the population was born and raised in that state. People just began to see things differently. And Howard Dean, as Governor, implemented the nation's first civil unions law and got the legislature to pass a plan giving health care coverage to all the children in the state. He also balanced the budget in the process.

And then he took his plan and ran for President. He didn't win the nomination-- done in by his now infamous geography lesson on the night he was upset in the Iowa caucuses, but those of us in the party had seen the future.

After Howard Dean failed to win, he ran for DNC chair in early 2005. By that time, I'd come around and let my DNC members know that was who I supported. And he won. And when the Bush administration tried early that year to privatize Social Security, a revitalized Democratic party hit back hard, and blocked it in Congress. Suddenly it was Republicans who were crossing over to vote with us, not the reverse. Then Dr. Dean (he is a physician, in fact) developed something new and revolutionary. He called it the '50 state strategy.' It involved sending paid organizers to every state. Even states that were solidly Republican were targeted, at least for organizing local party structure that could help in local and perhaps national races. Dean was blasted by some Democrats who felt he was wasting money in places that "Democrats will never win." They forgot where he came from. I imagine that the Alf Landon folks sat around looking at the 1936 map and figuring that at least Democrats would never win in Vermont. So he kept at it, and sent paid staff to build party organization everywhere-- Texas, Utah, Mississippi, Alaska, you name it. No place was off the list. I know that while some people here in rural Arizona who were not paid did a lot of work to revitalize the party locally, it was helpful that there are paid staff at the state level to help provide leadership, guidance and structure.

Now granted, the failures of conservatism have been on full display the past few years. But really, there hadn't been any great successes before that for at least a couple of decades (and that was at best fleeting,) and let's remember that in both the 2002 and 2004 elections we had been outmaneuvered by the Karl Roves and Tom DeLays who ran the GOP (in October 2002, you may recall, the economy stank so Congressional Republicans-- at the behest of Rove-- changed the subject and insisted on the vote on the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq (AUMF) even though the start of the war was almost half a year away, and in 2004 the reverse happened and the GOP changed the subject away from Iraq by making the election about John Kerry instead of their own incumbent President-- a hard task to accomplish but it's what they did.)

All Howard Dean did was play better hardball than the GOP did. And his catch in two election cycles: A net of 54 congressional seats, it looks like 14 Senate seats and the White House. And here is a number that might put his success in perspective: Republicans held onto the Wyoming at-large congressional district by a relatively narrow margin. Had they not, then all fifty states would have included at least one Democrat in their delegation (Senate or House.) So right now, in forty-nine states, voters have seen fit to send a Democrat to either the house or the Senate. Incidentally, there are seven states that right now send only Democrats to Washington (four in New England, plus North Dakota, New Mexico and Hawaii.) Barack Obama even competed for-- and won-- Nebraska's second congressional district (which was worth an electoral vote.) This is Nebraska, that we are talking about. Obama also won Virginia (which had not voted for a Democrat since 1964), Indiana (also not since 1964) and North Carolina (not since 1976). In all of this, the 'fifty state strategy' played a part. The party organization was there, and ready to be put into play (as it also was in helping to win a congressional seat in Idaho, hold one in Alabama and win a Senate race in Alaska.)

Credit Howard Dean for that. Good-bye Doctor. May you stay involved.

Not bad for a simple country doctor from Vermont. But it would never have happened if millions of ordinary Americans hadn't come together and backed a guy who totally rejected the conventional wisdom of how Democrats could win elections. Thanks again if you were one of them.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Obama and Biden Officially Certified

In a Joint Session of Congress, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, winners of the November 2008 election, were officially certified as President-elect and Vice President-elect with 365 of the 538 Electoral College votes:

The House reconvened at 1:00 pm EST today for a Joint Session with the Senate to count and certify the Electoral College Ballots. The Vice President handed the state certificates to the tellers and the tellers then read the certificates from each state to the House chamber. The Vice President, at the conclusion of the reading of certificates, directed the tellers to deliver the results of the count. The Vice President announced the certified election results for the positions of President and Vice President of the United States - officially announcing Barack Obama the President-Elect and Joe Biden the Vice-President-Elect.

You can watch the YouTube here [28:03]. The announcement of the final vote total starts about 23:27 minutes in.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

20 Forgotten Bush Scandals

Sex and Shoplifting

1) In March 2006, Claude Allen, Bush's top domestic policy aide, was arrested when he tried to return items he had shoplifted from Target for cash refunds. Allen, who made $161,000 a year, blamed stress from Hurricane Katrina.

2) In 2005, bloggers pricked up their ears when a reporter named Jeff Gannon asked a softball question at a Bush press conference. Some sleuthing turned up nude photos of Gannon—real name: James Guckert—on male escort websites.

3) Randall Tobias, Bush’s AIDS tsar, mandated that organizations must oppose prostitution in order to receive American aid. It later emerged that Tobias purchased services through the notorious D.C. Madam, though Tobias maintained he only bought “massages.”

4) The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service would not seem to be the sexiest government agency. But a departmental investigation last year found that officials had “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”

Where’d the Money Go?

5) When testifying before Congress in 2007, L. Paul Bremer, the former head of reconstruction in Iraq, was unable to account for as much as $12 billion—about half of his budget—as the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority between May 2003 and June 2004. According to a report by Rep. Henry Waxman, contractors brought bags to meetings in order to collect shrink-wrapped bundles of money.

I'll give ya the first five...for the rest hit the link.

Can you believe some of those? Contractors coming with bags to collect shrink wrapped stacks of money? Jeff Gannon? Made in China? This guy's Presidency will go down as the worst in history... unless of course Jeb bUsH is somehow elected.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Countdown: Monday and Tuesday Worst Persons

WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD: Tom McClusky, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin vie for tonight's top honors.

The winner: The grift that keeps giving...

Another scandal hits the Palin clan

Jan. 6: Levi Johnston, the father of Gov. Sarah Palin’s grandson, has quit his job in the oil fields of Alaska’s North Slope because he didn’t have a high school diploma which is a requirement for an electrician apprenticeship. In Worst Person in the World, Keith Olbermann points out that Palin may have pulled some strings to get him the job originally.


WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD: Joseph Farah, the proprietor of World Net Daily, radio host Bill Cunningham, Alaska's state Public Safety Commissioner, Joe Masters.

The winner: A flaming liar...
World Net Daily caught in own lie

Jan. 5: World Net Daily's Joseph Farah denies that his Web site verified the questions surrounding Barack Obama's birth certificate even though Countdown managed to dig up the page that proclaimed an investigation into the matter.


UPDATED: For the record, Barack Obama was born in the USA.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Can They Just Go, Now?

Adding Up Bush's Damage

Bush's catalog of his transgressions against the nation's interests would keep him in a confessional for the rest of his life.

Bob Herbert, NYT:

When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry -- a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches -- over the damage he’s done to this country.

This is the man who gave us the war in Iraq and Guantánamo and torture and rendition; who turned the Clinton economy and the budget surplus into fool’s gold; who dithered while New Orleans drowned; who trampled our civil liberties at home and ruined our reputation abroad; who let Dick Cheney run hog wild and thought Brownie was doing a heckuva job.

The Bush administration specialized in deceit. How else could you get the public (and a feckless Congress) to go along with an invasion of Iraq as an absolutely essential response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when Iraq had had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

Exploiting the public’s understandable fears, Mr. Bush made it sound as if Iraq was about to nuke us: “We cannot wait,” he said, “for the final proof -- the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

He then set the blaze that has continued to rage for nearly six years, consuming more than 4,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. [...] The financial cost to the U.S. will eventually reach $3 trillion or more, according to the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz. [snip]

And then there’s the Bush economy, another disaster, a trapdoor through which middle-class Americans can plunge toward the bracing experiences normally reserved for the poor and the destitute.

Mr. Bush traveled the country in the early days of his presidency, promoting his tax cut plans as hugely beneficial to small-business people and families of modest means. This was more deceit. The tax cuts would go overwhelmingly to the very rich.

The president would give the wealthy and the powerful virtually everything they wanted. He would throw sand into the regulatory apparatus and help foster the most extreme income disparities since the years leading up to the Great Depression. Once again he was lighting a fire. This time the flames would engulf the economy and, as with Iraq, bring catastrophe. [snip]

There seemed to be no end to Mr. Bush’s talent for destruction. He tried to hand the piggy bank known as Social Security over to the marauders of the financial sector, but saner heads prevailed.

In New Orleans, the president failed to intervene swiftly and decisively to aid the tens of thousands of poor people who were very publicly suffering and, in many cases, dying. He then compounded this colossal failure of leadership by traveling to New Orleans and promising, in a dramatic, floodlit appearance, to spare no effort in rebuilding the flood-torn region and the wrecked lives of the victims.

He went further, vowing to confront the issue of poverty in America “with bold action.”

It was all nonsense, of course. He did nothing of the kind.

The catalog of his transgressions against the nation’s interests -- sins of commission and omission -- would keep Mr. Bush in a confessional for the rest of his life. Don’t hold your breath. He’s hardly the contrite sort.

And then, we've still got this "save Bush's legacy" campaign going on, with the Bushies trying to rewrite history (in their own alternate reality, of course) and it's enough to make you want to barf:

"He's a good decision-maker"

Joe Sudbay, America Blog:

Everything you need to know about the interview conducted by the Washington Post with two of George Bush's top aides, Josh Bolten and Stephen Hadley, is summed up in this quote from Bolten:

"He's a good decision-maker," Bolten said.

Yes, the man who brought down the U.S. economy and destroyed our reputation in the world is viewed by his staff as "a good decision-maker." What's their definition of someone who makes bad decisions? So, you can read the full article, but you get the gist. This is the Bushies trying desperately to salvage their reputations. That can only happen if we ignore the facts of the past eight years. If you really want to hurl, read the last two paragraphs of the article:

Bolten said another of his goals when he took over was to try to get the country to see the likable boss he and other aides saw in private, convinced that would boost Bush's popularity. "I failed miserably," he conceded. "Maybe in the beginning of the sixth year of a presidency, that's a quixotic task. . . But everybody who has actual personal exposure to the president, almost everybody, appreciates what a good leader he is, how smart he is and, especially, how humane he is."

Hadley invoked Bush's 2000 campaign theme in summing up the president's personal qualities. "He has got this great compassion which was not just a slogan, 'compassionate conservative.' It is who he is. It is one of the great things he brought to this office," Hadley concluded. "This is the one thing that just drives me crazy, that somehow this is an arrogant administration, an arrogant president running an arrogant policy. This guy -- one thing he is not is arrogant."

We'll see a lot of this pablum over the next couple weeks. But, we know all we need to know about George Bush. He is the worst president EVER. And, Bolten, Hadley, Cheney, Rove, Hughes, Fleischer, Bartlett ...the list goes on and on... they all had a role in the worst presidency EVER.

Why is anybody still foolish enough to be buying what they're selling?

I guess I answered my own question, didn't I? Sigh.


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