Archive for July 3rd, 2007

The Toddler-In-Chief

Okay, so, I have never been a real impeachment enthusiast. My feeling has always been that if the Democrats are going to go that route, they need to use investigations and hearings to build popular demand for impeachment, so that they are finally “forced” to oh-so-reluctantly give in to the will of the people.

However, the longer Bush goes unchecked, the more he acts like a toddler who has discovered that his parents won’t actually discipline him for anything. As the reality gradually dawns on him that there are no rules, he becomes bolder and bolder. At this point, the only way to rein him in is to send him to bed without any supper. Or, y’know, just kick him out of the house altogether.

Anyway, the fact is, I don’t think impeachment is nearly as much of a reach as the Democrats seem to think it is. F’rinstance, last March an ARG poll indicated that 42% of the American people were in favor of impeachment, including 47% of Independents. And that’s before the US Attorney scandal, and the Libby verdict and commutation. And four months before that, an Ipsos poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org found that 50% of Americans, and 56% of Independents, favored impeachment if Bush lied us into Iraq.

So that suggests to me that the idea of impeachment is not some far-left fantasy, but actually pretty darn close to mainstream – and 16-20 months later, it’s probably even mainstreamier. I’ll be interested in seeing what results the Brave New Films impeachment poll comes up with. If you’re likewise curious, you might want to kick in a few bucks to help them raise the commission fee for it.

3 comments July 3rd, 2007 at 10:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Impeachment,Politics,Polls

Another Wanker

I really do need to start waiting longer before handing out Wanker of The Day honors. ‘cuz, no offense to Billy Kristol, who is a most excellent wanker, but David Brooks just blows him away today. It’s not even close.

In retrospect, Plamegate was a farce in five acts. The first four were scabrous, disgraceful and absurd. Justice only reared its head at the end.

Ugh. I’m gagging already.

The drama opened, as these dark comedies are wont to do, with a strutting little peacock who went by the unimaginative name of Joe Wilson.

WTF is this even supposed to mean? Not only is Joseph Wilson a bad guy, but he has a BORING NAME! What a loser!

Mr. Wilson claimed that his wife had nothing to do with his trip to investigate Iraqi purchases in Niger, though that seems not to have been the case. He claimed his trip proved Iraq had made no such attempts, though his own report said nothing of the kind.

Nice sleight-of-hand there, Brooksie. The question is not whether Valerie “had nothing to do with” it, but whether she was the force behind it. She “had something to do with it” only insofar as she was the go-between between her husband and the CIA people who actually made the decision. Big whoop. As for what Wilson’s report “proved,” I’m sure it didn’t prove that Saddam never ever sought uranium, but that was never Wikson’s mission. He was sent solely to confirm the validity of the document that purported to show that Saddam attempted to purchase yellowcake from Niger, and he debunked it pretty conclusively as a total fraud. See how David Brooks demolishes the mighty straw army!

Act Two opened with a cast of thousands crowding the stage, filling the air with fevered vapors and gleeful rage. Perhaps you can remember those days, when the Plame story pretended to be about the outing of an undercover C.I.A. agent.

Umm… What? The Plame story is about the outing of a covert CIA agent, and your team is pretending it isn’t. Let me ask you a simple yes-or-no question: Did someone in (and by “someone in,” I mean “half of”) the Bush administration out an undercover CIA agent, and, oh by the way, out every single other undercover CIA agent at Brewster Jennings by association, as well as any informants and contacts they had cultivated? Does that really fall under the umbrella of good old-fashioned hardball politics?

By the start of Act Three, nobody cared about the outing of a C.I.A. agent.

Speak for yourself, you insufferably unctuous asshat.

Act Three was the perjury act, and attention shifted to the unlikely figure of Scooter Libby. As Joe Wilson was an absurd man with a plain name, Scooter Libby was a plain man with an absurd name.

Wow, I guess that was the payoff for that moronic swipe in the introduction. Masterfully done. I bow.

And the odder thing was that Libby was the only normal person in the asylum. People who knew him thought him discreet, honest and admirable. And yet the charges were brought and the storm clouds of idiocy gathered once more.

Well, first of all, lots of the people who know Scooter are criminals themselves. Second of all, his much-valued discretion is very, shall we say, selective. If you’re a loyal Bushie (or Bushie himself), Scooter’ll willingly perjure himself to cover up for you – but if you’re, say, an undercover CIA agent, you might as well be Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. And thirdly, by Brooks’s standard, I guess there’s no point in ever prosecuting serial killers who “seemed like such a nice young man,” right?

Republicans who’d worked themselves up into a spittle-spewing rage because Bill Clinton lied under oath were appalled that anybody would bother with poor Libby over lying under oath. Democrats who were outraged that Bill Clinton was hounded for something as trivial as perjury were furious that Scooter Libby might not be ruined for a crime as heinous as perjury. It was an orgy of shamelessness. The God of Self-Respect took sabbatical.

Ah, and here we reach the mandatory part of the program where Brooks burnishes his credentials as some sort of Reasonable Moderate. Both sides are equally in the wrong, you see. Because lying about a blow job and lying about outing a covert agent are EXACTLY THE SAME. Gotcha.

The trial and sentencing, Act Four, was, to be honest, somewhat anticlimactic. Fitzgerald, having lost all perspective, demanded Libby get a harsh sentence as punishment for crimes he had not been convicted of.

Again, more lies. Scooter was indeed sentenced for the crime he was convicted of, which was that of covering up the more serious underlying crime. That is why no-one was ever charged with it.

And finally, yesterday, came Act Five, and a paradox. Scooter Libby emerged as the least absurd character in the entire drama, and yet he was the one who committed a crime. President Bush entered the stage like a character from another world, a world in which things make sense.

Boy howdy, if ever you needed proof of just how out of touch with reality Brooks is, that last sentence should seal the deal. Hell, it might even be grounds for involuntary committal. And as for his paradox, well, I just don’t get it. Fortunately for Brooks, simply being absurd is not actually a crime, nor does lack of absurdity somehow preclude criminality. I guess Brooksie is unfamiliar with that whole “banality of evil” concept…

His decision to commute Libby’s sentence but not erase his conviction was exactly right. It punishes him for his perjury, but not for the phantasmagorical political farce that grew to surround him. It takes away his career, but not his family.

Oh, please. Scooter is not being punished at all, and he will go on to have a very lucrative career as a lobbyist or conservative think tank fellow.

Of course, the howlers howl. That is their assigned posture in this drama. They entered howling, they will leave howling and the only thing you can count on is their anger has been cynically manufactured from start to finish.

Methinks the David doth project too much. Having been firmly embedded in the liberal blogosphere for the entire Libby trial, I can assure you that absolutely none of our outrage is manufactured. That’s a Republican industry.

The farce is over. It has no significance. Nobody but Libby’s family will remember it in a few weeks time. Everyone else will have moved on to other fiascos, other poses, fresher manias.

I’m sure you and the rest of the Republican-media complex will do your best. And if there’s one area in which the Bush administration has proven itself highly skilled, it’s in generating new fiascoes to distract from old ones. So it’s entirely possible that we might forget all about Scooter Libby. But you’ll probably wish we hadn’t.

3 comments July 3rd, 2007 at 11:55am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Corruption/Cronyism,Libby/Plame,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Powerdox

The position of President is the most powerful it’s ever been since the FDR/Truman/WWII era, yet at the same time, the Presidency is the weakest it’s ever been politically since the Nixon/Watergate era.

This really should be impossible, but the combination of 9/11, a supine Congress, complicit media, and feckless opposition gave BushCo. a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trash the Constitution, which they were only too eager to seize.

In theory, the Democratic Congressional majority and Dubya’s staggering unpopularity should make his powers very easy to roll back, but so far Republican opposition and lack of Democratic resolve have prevented any movement back towards democracy. We may have to wait until next November, when (hopefully) the thought of a Democratic President will do wonders to remind the Republicans of just how important checks and balances are. And as much as I dislike the thought of Hillary Clinton as President, she would fit the role of Constitutional boogeyperson better than any other Democrat except maybe Crazyalgore. (Please run, Crazyalgore, I’m begging you!)

(h/t Caro Kay at MakeThemAccountable.com for the presidential power study)

July 3rd, 2007 at 11:40am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Politics,Polls

Eli’s Obsession With The Google

My old blog is on the first page of search results for bully gave me a wedgie pulled up my underwear pictures.

Someone is going to be very disappointed…

July 3rd, 2007 at 11:11am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google

Quote/Wanker Of The Day

Billy Kristol gets the much-coveted two-fer:

“It became an issue of character and courage, really,” said William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, who had argued in his magazine that if Mr. Bush was not going to pardon Mr. Libby, at least he should commute his sentence. “I certainly think Bush did the right thing and I think he did something important for his presidency. I think conservatives would have lost respect for Bush if he had not commuted Libby’s sentence.”

Well, I guess if sending other people’s kids into a pointless neverending war is a hallmark of character and courage, I don’t see why pardoning commuting someone who broke the law on your behalf should be any different. I wonder how much energy I could save this summer by using the Republican moral compass as a fan…

Side note from the same story: The Bush Administration is no stranger to commuting where Scooter is concerned:

Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney are extremely close – they often rode to work together before Mr. Libby’s indictment forced him to resign as Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff in October 2005….

Sorry, I couldn’t resist…

1 comment July 3rd, 2007 at 08:04am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Libby/Plame,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers

What Kung Fu Monkey Says

This is absolutely spot on.

What it boils down to, is that BushCo’s Ultimate Secret Weapon is… a complete lack of any shame whatsoever. Instead of slinking away in disgrace when exposed as incompetents and corrupt serial lawbreakers, they stick out their chests and chins and say, “Whaddaya gonna do about it, punks?

And the Democrats don’t really have an answer. They keep catching the car over and over again, but they can’t do anything with it.

July 3rd, 2007 at 07:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Libby/Plame,Republicans

3rd of July Fireworks Photoblogging

By an amazing and convenient coincidence, I just happen to be “up to” the fireworks photos I took at my high school’s anniversary celebration. They were really quite surprisingly good, like municipal grade even.

<alibis>This was my first ever attempt at photographing fireworks, plus I had to use my 50mm fixed lens because of the low-light conditions, and it’s not wide-angle to take in all the action.</alibis> I did manage to get some halfway decent shots, but only because I took a couple hundred in all.

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1 comment July 3rd, 2007 at 06:58am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging


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