Archive for April 19th, 2007

Kick ‘Em When They’re Down

Looks like yet another Republican with some… FBI issues:

In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker.

Details of the raid on Patriot Insurance Agency in Sonoita, Ariz., were not immediately available. Renzi’s most recent financial disclosure form lists the business as an asset belonging to his wife, Roberta [why does that sound so familiar?], and valued at $1 million to $5 million.

Little is known about the inquiries into Renzi’s activities, but according to media reports the Justice Department has been running a two-track investigation into Renzi regarding a land deal, as well as a piece of legislation he helped steer that may have improperly benefited a major campaign contributor. It was not immediately clear which investigation the raid pertained to, and neither his attorney nor his spokesman could be immediately reached for comment.

As a result of the raid, Renzi is stepping down from his seat on the House Intelligence Committee, according to a statement from his office obtained Thursday evening by Roll Call.

“Today, the FBI came to my family’s business to obtain documents related to their investigation,” Renzi said. “I view these actions as the first step in bringing out the truth. Until this matter is resolved, I will take a leave of absence from the House Intelligence Committee. I intend to fully cooperate with this investigation.”

Renzi, Renzi, now where have I heard that name before…

Oh, that’s right – he was on the internets three years ago looking very cozy with our old friend, Katherine Harris, back when they were both employed:

Ah, memories…

April 19th, 2007 at 11:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans

Going, Going, Gonzales

The Toastmaster Attorney General.

So, what did AG-Squared have to do to save his job today? WaPo, by way of Christy:

Bush does not think Gonzales did anything wrong in dismissing the prosecutors, according to aides, but has been aggravated by his friend’s clumsy, shifting explanations of what happened. In effect, advisers said, Bush is giving Gonzales a chance to fix the situation today.

What happens if he does not remains unclear. No one in the White House believes Gonzales can say anything that would get Democrats to drop the matter, but his supporters hope he can be confident and consistent enough to explain his role without providing more ammunition for critics. Should he stumble, some Republicans said, Gonzales has a responsibility to fall on his sword, sparing Bush having to ask.

So, how’d he do? Well, um, not so hot:

CNN reporting quotes from White House senior aides.

“Going down in flames.”

“Not doing himself any favors.”

“Watching clubbing a baby seal.” (watching testimony)

“Very troubling.”

“Don’t understand that tactic Gonzales used.”

A lot of ex-prosecutors in the Senate, and they smell blood. Even the Republicans, who are taking this opportunity to score some easy Independent-Minded-Defenders-Of-The-Constitution points against the Dead AG Walking.

Really, just a complete disaster by all accounts. Only a clueless blithering idiot would think Gonzo did well.

Statement from White House spokeswoman Dana Perino:

President Bush was pleased with the Attorney General’s testimony today. After hours of testimony in which he answered all of the Senators’ questions and provided thousands of pages of documents, he again showed that nothing improper occurred. He admitted the matter could have been handled much better, and he apologized for the disruption to the lives of the U.S. Attorneys involved, as well as for the lack of clarity in his initial responses. The Attorney General has the full confidence of the President, and he appreciates the work he is doing at the Department of Justice to help keep our citizens safe from terrorists, our children safe from predators, our government safe from corruption, and our streets free from gang violence.

Yeswell. Like I said.

UPDATE: I almost forgot about Jeffrey Feldman’s brilliant Tao of Gonzo:

Verse 1:

“I now understand that there was a conversation between me and the President.” –Tao of Gonzo, Apr 19, 2007

Ah, yes. Here we are introduced to a moment of deep spiritual contemplation. There are times in our lives, he is saying, when we understand the experiences we have when we are having them. I at a sandwich, I understand. I drive to work, I understand. But there are other times when we have an experience, but we do not understand the experience as such at the time. For argument’s sake, we could call these “moments we are breaking the law.” For example, if we are having a conversation with the President and his advisers about illegally circumventing the authority of Congress, it may be difficult to understand that it is happening at the time. One might say, I am having this conversation, but is this really me? Is this really a conversation? Is this really a law and if it is not a law, then can I be breaking this law in this conversation that may or may not be happening? These are moments of spiritual drift, vagueness of identity. Am I undermining the Constitution? Hard to say. Am I in violating the public trust? Hard to say. Am I in charge of my own actions? Not clear. They are moments of great spiritual questioning, wonderment, lack of understanding.

It is only when we revisit these moments of spiritual doubt under duress of, say, being convicted of perjury by a Senate committee–only in these moments does our spiritual fuzziness snap into sudden focus. Ah, yes! Like rings on the duck pond, the ambiguity recedes to the shores of self-doubt, leaving behind a moment of clarity. Indeed it was a conversation. Indeed it was the President. Indeed it was a conversation. “I understand that there was a conversation between me and the President.” Which is to say, “Now, unlike before, I am able to see. I can understand that my own actions were indeed actions and that I did indeed experience them.” I understand, now.

*applauds with one hand*

3 comments April 19th, 2007 at 09:19pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans,Rove

Caveat Pre-Emptor; Or, Seller Beware

It’s a little late now…

On a visit to Ohio yesterday, White House senior political adviser Karl Rove claimed he never wanted the war in Iraq:

“I wish the war were over,” Rove said. “I wish the war never existed... History has given us a challenge.”

History shows Rove was exceptionally eager in 2002 for the upcoming Iraq war, anxious to reap what he viewed would be the political gains for conservatives leading another military conflict [examples follow.]

Sorry, Karl – you thought it was a great idea at the time, back when everyone thought it would be all lemonade and ponies and Dubya could play the Heroic Manly War President, but now that it’s turned to unrelenting death and shit, well… no backsies. You and Dick and Don and Dubya brought this on yourselves, and now you get to wallow in your own filth. Or better yet, roll around a whole lot and make sure to get it all over the rest of your Republican buddies in Congress.

Of course, when you’re in trouble, always blame the boogeyman:

Rove also claimed yesterday that it was bin Laden, not President Bush, who decided to launch the Iraq war:

In a question-and-answer period after his speech, Rove was asked whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq.

“I think it was Osama bin Laden’s,” Rove replied.

Rove’s comments are part of re-emerging tactic by the Bush administration to associate the ongoing war in Iraq with 9/11. Rove and company appear to have forgotten that President Bush said 9/11 had “nothing” to do with the war in Iraq.

Just because the invasion and disastrous occupation of Iraq was the best thing Osama could have hoped for, does not mean it was his idea. Even in his wildest madman’s dreams, I don’t think he ever imagined that the US would do something so catastrophically stupid. But then, who hasn’t misunderestimated George W. Bush at one time or another?

(Cross-posted at Greatscat!)

April 19th, 2007 at 08:35pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Republicans,Rove,War

The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse




(Video courtesy of the A-Man)

April 19th, 2007 at 06:11pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Wankers,War


Given the incredibly volatile status of the Middle East, and the United States’ severely tarnished image in the global community, it is vitally important that our next president has a keen understanding of the intricacies of foreign policy, and the requisite delicacy to make America’s views and goals understood by all.

Today, John McCain proved to us all that he is indeed the right man for the job:

John McCain’s singing makes my ears sad.

3 comments April 19th, 2007 at 05:46pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iran,McCain,Politics,Republicans,TV,War

And The Whiny Little Children Will Lead Us

Funny, I had always thought that phrase was supposed to mean something positive. But the children are leading us, and the results have been unrelentingly awful.

Oh, and some of us are still waiting to inherit the Earth. Maybe after The Rapture takes all the fundies away…

1 comment April 19th, 2007 at 11:40am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Republicans,Wankers

He May Be A Wanker, But He’s A Consistent Wanker

David Broder actually holds Imus to the same standard as us foul-mouthed hippie bloggers. It’s still not a fair comparison, but it’s nice to know that his dedication to civility is absolute.

So, to sum up…

Liberal Blogosphere: Meanness Bad, Incivility Good.

Conservative Blogosphere and Media Elites: Meanness Good, Incivility Bad.

Broder: Meanness = Incivility = Bad.

(h/t Atrios)

April 19th, 2007 at 11:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Wankers

Streaking Mets

Oh my:

MIAMI, April 18 – The Mets traded their long underwear for short sleeves, stashed the woolen caps and ditched the parkas. No need for winter clothing here, where, for the first time in two weeks, they could embrace playing baseball alfresco.

“It’s nice to feel the heat,” Manager Willie Randolph said before Wednesday’s game against the Florida Marlins. “Want to run around naked.”

Two words for any TV network broadcasting the Mets in the near future: Tape delay.

April 19th, 2007 at 11:05am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Sports

Thursday Sculptureblogging

Some photos of various sculpture from the Carnegie Museum and Library:

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Some writer guy.

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I feel pretty, oh so pretty…

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Stephen Foster.

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A wider view of the prettysaurus in its natural habitat.

April 19th, 2007 at 07:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

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