Archive for November 30th, 2007

This Is What Not Having It Both Ways Looks Like

I’m way late on this, I know. I had planned to post it from the airport, but that didn’t exactly work out as planned. From yesterday’s NYT:

A Senate chairman said Thursday that President Bush was not involved in the firings of U.S. attorneys last winter, and he therefore ruled illegal the president’s executive privilege claims protecting his chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former adviser Karl Rove.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy directed Bolten, Rove, former White House political director Sara Taylor and her deputy, J. Scott Jennings, to comply ”immediately” with their subpoenas for documents and information about the White House’s role in the firings of U.S. attorneys.

”I hereby rule that those claims are not legally valid to excuse current and former White House employees from appearing, testifying and producing documents related to this investigation,” wrote Leahy, D-Vt.


The executive privilege claim ”is surprising in light of the significant and uncontroverted evidence that the president had no involvement in these firings,” Leahy wrote in his ruling. ”The president’s lack of involvement in these firings — by his own account and that of many others — calls into question any claim of executive privilege.’


”If he is now saying that the president wasn’t aware of it, as we have said from the beginning, then I don’t understand why he continues to have this rope-a-dope that’s not going to go anywhere,” [White House Press Secretary Dana] Perino told reporters.

You can’t simultaneously claim executive privilege and lack of presidential involvement. They’re mutually exclusive.

Good on Leahy for finally calling BushCo. out on this, but it would have been nice if he had done it a few months ago.

2 comments November 30th, 2007 at 09:38pm Posted by Eli

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


RIP, Evel Knievel.

The world just became a poorer, smaller place.

November 30th, 2007 at 09:16pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Dante Was Wrong

Of the nine rings of Hell, at least five of them have to be airports.

The limo driver holding his sign upside down did brighten my mood a bit.

November 30th, 2007 at 08:38pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

So Much For Travelblogging…

Not sure how many of you are familiar with a Windows Vista bug which makes it impossible to connect to the internets via public wifi. You can connect to the wifi network, just… not the internets.

Well, I have it. I could have sworn that I used to be able to connect from the Pittsburgh airport, but… not anymore.

I think it is time to set up a Windows XP partition – I am simply too overwhelmed by Vista’s brilliance, such that I fear I shall fly too high and crash violently back to Earth like Icarus.

Also, my flight’s delayed.

3 comments November 30th, 2007 at 04:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Travelin’ Man

Posting may be light until Monday night, as I will be traveling.

Hopefully I’ll have time to post some stuff from the airport…

November 30th, 2007 at 12:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Friday Quote & Monkey Blogging

This week’s quote is from the Peter Sellers hippie/pot comedy I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!:

What an incredible conception! Teeth, teeth, and yet more teeth!

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s zenmaster monkeys looking down their noses at us…

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November 30th, 2007 at 10:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

The Police Firefighter State

Did you know that firefighters can enter your home without a warrant? Even if it’s not actually on fire, they can still perform inspections. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the Bush administration would seek to take advantage of that kind of access…

It was revealed last week that firefighters are being trained to not only keep an eye out for illegal materials in the course of their duties, but even to report back any expression of discontent with the government.

A year ago, Homeland Security gave security clearances to nine New York City fire chiefs and began sharing intelligence with them. Even before that, fire department personnel were being taught “to identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities” and were also “told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States.

Um, you mean like I’m doing right now?

Unlike law enforcement officials, firemen can go onto private property without a warrant, not only while fighting fires but also for inspections. “It’s the evolution of the fire service,” said a Phoenix, AZ fire chief of his information-sharing arrangement with law enforcement.

“We used to just fight fires, but now we spy for the government too – it’s a natural progression.” Mission creep doesn’t get much creepier.

Keith Olbermann raised the alarm about the program on his show Wednesday, noting that “if the information-sharing program works in New York, the department says it will extend it to other major metropolitan areas, unless we stop them.” He then asked Mike German, a former FBI agent who is now with the ACLU, “This program seems to be turning [firefighters], essentially, into legally protected domestic spies, does it not?”

“That’s the entire intent,” German replied, noting the serious legal issues involved. “There is actually still a fourth amendment,” he pointed out, “and what makes a firefighter’s search reasonable is that it’s done to prevent a fire. If now firefighters are going in with this secondary purpose, that end run around the fourth amendment won’t work, and it’s likely that they will find themselves in legal trouble.”

I would hope that most firefighters are just as appalled by this idea as I am. Olbermann video at the Raw Story link.

(h/t AZ Matt)

November 30th, 2007 at 12:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers

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