Friday, May 26


Judge rules reporters must surrender some documents in Libby case.

All of the news organizations had asked Walton to review the materials sought by Libby — including e-mails, drafts of articles and reporters' notes — in hopes of convincing him that they were not relevant and that the defense was on a "fishing expedition."

During that review, Walton said, he found "a slight alteration between the several drafts of the articles" Cooper wrote about his conversations with Libby and the reporter's first-person account of his testimony before a federal grand jury.

"This slight alteration between the drafts will permit the defendant to impeach Cooper, regardless of the substance of his trial testimony, because his trial testimony cannot be consistent with both versions," Walton wrote.

It is unclear from Walton's ruling what those inconsistencies are.

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Get us the hell out. Now.

Evidence indicates that the civilians were killed during a sustained sweep by a small group of marines that lasted three to five hours and included shootings of five men standing near a taxi at a checkpoint, and killings inside at least two homes that included women and children, officials said.

That evidence, described by Congressional, Pentagon and military officials briefed on the inquiry, suggested to one Congressional official that the killings were "methodical in nature."
Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican who is a retired Marine colonel, said that the allegations indicated that "this was not an accident. This was direct fire by marines at civilians." He added, "This was not an immediate response to an attack. This would be an atrocity."

Back in September of '05 I wrote a post titled "Why We Have to Get Out of Iraq" in which I quoted Juan Cole saying, "The first reason to get the ground troops out now is that they are being fatally brutalized by their own treatment of Iraqi prisoners...The brutalization of the US military and of its prisoners is a brutalization of the entire American public. It is an undermining of the foundational values of the Republic. We cannot remain Americans and continue to behave this way routinely."

I think this most recent incident in Haditha is evidence of just that. We're manufacturing brutal killers in this immoral war, not just soldiers, and it's a direct result of the Bush-Cheney attempt to characterize all those who oppose us as "terrorists," who are, therefore, fair game. It's so reminiscent of what happened in Vietnam that it couldn't help but be anticipated. Unless, of course, you have a faith-based administration that thinks that if you say, "Slam dunk!" enough times, that's what you'll get.

This misbegotten war is detrimental to our national character. We need to get out of Iraq and begin to try to repair our American psyche and our reputation in the world.

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Thursday, May 25


If I were George W. Bush, I would never appear in the United States at the side of Tony Blair. The contrast is too great. Bush started tonight's press conference with a scripted statement that was a reprise of every banal statement about the Iraq war he's ever made. Tony Blair, on the other hand, spoke, seemingly, extemporaneously, and was far more inspiring and believable.

As the press questioning started, Bush's responses began extremely low-energy and recycled old talking points, and then progressed to pique at the questions. Blair, who thinks well on his feet, then took control of the press conference, selecting the questioners.

Initially, Blair's responses to questions seemed to give Bush some additonal energy (although not much), so that he started spouting his usual "freedom is universal" cant. But then he reverted to his robo-like, smirking, rambling statements.

How much did he have to drink during Happy Hour with Blair? The man was visibly irritated with questions that required him to respond to press revelations. At one early point, he just caved and, after some awkward silence, indicated that he wanted Blair to respond in his stead. Blair tried, but he was also thrown off by questions about Iran.

At some point, both Bush and Blair got downright belligerent, shooting down strawmen and reacting angrily to reporters. Bush, I should say, was belligerent, while Blair was more passionately defensive.

Bush, responding to Martha Raddatz, said he's completely relying on Gen. Casey's appraisals of conditions on the ground, and he will do whatever Gen. Casey says we should do. He said we don't want politicians basing decisions on politics, he's set clearly the objective, a country that can sustain itself and protect itself. Blair chimed in with more "in the next few months" theme. Bush interjected to Martha that "in the long run, we want to achieve our objective." He made a big deal about Al Qaeda and Zarqawi. He WANTS out troops out, he understands what it is to put our guys in harm's way, he's going to a memorial service. But he also understands that it is "vital that we do the job, that we complete the mission." It's TOUGH, he says, but what we're seeing in Iraq could happen all over the world if we don't confront these people who have no rules.

Asked what he would miss about Tony Blair, Bush replied, "His red ties."

So on and so on. I have to cook dinner.

It was a disastrous performance.


Lou Dobbs just announced that he'd confirmed with Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) office that minutes before the Senate passed its "comprehensive immigration reform" bill, it adopted a provision that requires consultation with the nation of Mexico before we can build a fence along the border.

Ooh, Lou is hot about that. This Republican president and Republican Senate leadership, he said, have thrown in their lots with Senate Democrats and overruled Senate Republicans, an unprecedented event. He aired reports that said the House bill would cost about $1.9 billion as opposed to the $54 billion cost of the Senate bill.

Rethugs, including Bush and Frist, haven't thrown in with Democrats, no matter what Lou says. They've cast their lot with corporate demands for a cheap labor pool. Senate Dems are addressing a different agenda, the impossibility of deporting 12 million people we can't identify and compassion for their American citizen relatives. It's one of those devilish coincidences that they've both come up with the same proposals. Either way, it won't help Bush to be perceived as siding with Dems -- Democratic and Independent voters aren't likely to believe that Dubya has suddenly developed principles, and conservatives/Republicans are furious about his position on immigration.

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Hey guys, I've quit commenting on the Plamegate issue because Mikevotes is covering it so well. Be sure to tune in to Mike to keep up with the developments.


Bye bye, Kenny-boy.

The friends I have who lost boatloads on the Enron debacle have all said in the past to me, to a man (and woman), that they don't really care whether or not Lay, Skilling, Fastow et al go to jail -- nothing will compensate them for their losses.

Today, they're sounding a different tune. They're glad the verdicts came out the way they did. But they still want their money back. Sorry, guys. Ain't happening.

One last thought: I am sick and tired of Ken Lay playing the "Lord" card: "And, most of all I believe God, in fact, is in control and that, indeed God works all things good for all who love the lord. We love our lord, all this will work for good." He's evidently forgotten (or ignored) the fact that Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me." If Ken Lay loved Jesus so much, he wouldn't have stolen the life's savings of his loyal employees and left little old ladies in California without the means to pay for artifically inflated energy costs. When he stole from them, he stole from the lord he claims to love.

UPDATE: Digby addresses the story the MSM hasn't, and won't: the relationship between George W. Bush and Ken Lay. You've got to admit, they talk the same Jesus talk and walk the same anti-Jesus walk.


Wednesday, May 24


Wow. What a day. I won't give you Too Much Information on the icky stuff. Sufffice it to say that after spending a frantic morning at work trying to form a coherent plan for transitioning our $4.5 million spend on promotionals and incentives to a new vendor in the same time frame (30 days) that I have to produce a new corporate marketing brochure for my $14 billion company (forget the two CEO employee message videos I have to produce with the same deadline as all of the afore-mentioned and manage the company's many web sites and all the other important, though less crucial, assignments that all seem to have the same production dates), I then had (wanted) to attend a 14-person goodbye luncheon for one of our sweetest female employees (out of 17,000) who recently became engaged to Jerry Jones, Jr. (yes, of the Jerry Jones Dallas Cowboys-owners clan) -- I then had to leave early so that I could have a biopsy (every woman's scare -- breast cancer).

I was originally scheduled for a Friday biopsy, but just as I entered the office this morning I got a call from the Perot Center that they wanted to do it today if possible. I thought, "Great, then I won't have to wait over the long holiday weekend for the results," so I said okay. Then, within a couple of hours, I started suffering from miserable cold symptoms, a nose that spouted like a fountain and yet one I couldn't breathe through. I made it to the luncheon, yet had to leave early to make my new appointment.

That was an experience that no man could comprehend, and as I said, I won't go into details. But I will say that it was painful, two hours long (no, it usually takes about a half hour, but there were complications), and now I will have to wait for two days to find out whether or not my "abnormalities" (as my radiologist and internist termed them) are cancerous. It's the final (I pray) step in a process that went from routine mammogram, to repeat mammogram, ultrasound and now biopsy. I mention it because while I have tried to downplay it to my husband or completely omit mentioning it for my friends and family, I also finally realize how important it is for all women to pay attention to their health, and because I don't want to forget what I experienced. I had the original mammogram because a lady I love and admire recently had such a routine procedure after many years of not attending to her own well-being and is now being treated for aggressive breast cancer. It was a wakeup call for me, so I went in for the same routine. It was just a precaution, and I thought it would be over with the first test.

I haven't told my mom, my sisters, or my children. I am confident from what the doctors have said that the odds favor my getting a positive report. But the past couple of weeks have made me realize that we are, ultimately, as responsible for our own health as anyone. I had four medical professionals, an RN, a radiologist, an imaging technologist and a breast cancer specialist at my side for the whole ordeal. It cost me $315 in out-of-pocket costs. But that was because I have excellent health insurance through my company. I saw the actual costs (indeed, I had to sign off on it) for this procedure -- it was approximately $2,750. And since the hospital said I had a $773 balance from leg surgery late last year (we've never been given notice of that, so it was a surprise), I paid for that debt with my debit card. Otherwise, they would have refused to conduct the procedure, they said.

And as I signed, I thought, what would a woman do who has no health insurance and no ability to just say, "Okay, here's my card" to pay the overdue balance?" I had discussions with the registration personnel (Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas), and the upshot was, they told me such a person would have to find some social service agency that would help or do without.

Here I am, always a progressive, bleeding-heart liberal with questions.

Anyway, have no words to express what I'm feeling now that I'm home, bruised, pained, but more concerned with what lesser-privileged women in the same situation endure who don't have access to the Margot Perot Women's Health Center. As I sat in the elegant private lounge set aside for women in their hospital-issued gowns before the procedure, I observed in the total silence that reigned that the women there were well-groomed and -coiffed. In fact, I felt a little like the scruffy tomboy I've always felt MY elegant sisters and mom think I am. I wanted to say to someone, "What are you in here for?" and share experiences, but everyone was reading either D Magazine: 25 Fabulous Luxurious Getaways or Vogue. That's not to make a big deal of the differences in hospital patrons, but I couldn't help but compare it to our recent experience with our middle (of five children, three of whom are girls) daughter's recent hospitalization at the public Parkland Hospital (regular readers will remember she was sent there because of a traumatic brain injury), where people of all income levels receive the best emergency care in the nation.

But I ramble. So what? It's my blog, and I don't want to forget what I thought and felt.

Now I wait for Friday, and the results of my biopsy.

UPDATE: The pathology report is in: it's benign.



But Bush will probably refuse.

An honest reading of what excerpts of the letter have surfaced led some, including moi, to suggest that that was the case.

Now we'll see if BushCo will take advantage of the opportunity or blow the whole thing up.



An interview with Juan Cole on the current situation in Iraq and his projections for the future on KOS.

The knowledgeable professor paints a grim picture. BushCo has created a terrible regional crisis where none existed before. Where Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made progress in seeking peace for the Middle East, the Rethuglicans have critically hampered any prospects for that effort and now beat the drums for furthering the conflict by attacks on Iran.

"The army that will defeat terrorism doesn't wear uniforms, or drive Humvees, or calls in air-strikes. It doesn't have a high command, or high security, or a high budget. The army that can defeat terrorism does battle quietly, clearing minefields and vaccinating children. It undermines military dictatorships and military lobbyists. It subverts sweatshops and special interests.Where people feel powerless, it helps them organize for change, and where people are powerful, it reminds them of their responsibility." ~~~~ Author Unknown ~~~~

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In this war – as in others – I am less interested in honoring the dead than in preventing the dead.
– Butler Shaffer


It's snuck up on us, not by open debate but by executive order, presidential fiat. An absolutely terrifying anti-America conspiracy. Excellent article by Jim Hightower. Read it all, share it with everyone you know, and then contact your Congressman to protest any legislation that would force the FBI and other police agencies to give information that they collect on American citizens to the Pentagon.

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you have to concentrate on," George W said with a laugh at Washington's Gridiron dinner in 2001.

If only we'd known then that behind George's snickers, the Bushites were serious. Employing a combination of deceit, defiance, arrogance, flag-waving and secrecy, they have fooled a majority of Congress and the media into accepting the overlay of a "spook society" on our "Land of the Free." The far-reaching extent of their efforts are only now becoming clear.
Since the founding of America, a central tenet of our liberty has been that the military is not to be turned on our own people. Violations of this guiding rule have occurred in the past, but rarely and only temporarily, and when it's been violated, public outcry has forced the reinstatement of the rule.

Bush & Co., however, has not only turned loose the military to spy extensively on the American people, but has also asserted the right to do so in perpetuity. Its claim is that 9/11 turned the homeland into a foreign battlefield, so the nation's historic prohibition against military surveillance of Americans is null and void. And since this war on terrorists has no end ("the long war," Rumsfeld calls it), the Bushites maintain that the Pentagon can engage in domestic spying ad infinitum.
Using its never-ending war as a bugaboo, the BushCheney regime is asserting that it is entitled to operate as a military presidency. The Madmen hate our freedoms, the Bushites screech, so in order to defeat The Madmen, our freedoms must be suspended … for as long as it takes. Not only is that grotesquely absurd, it is entirely un-American.

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I'm sure that AG Gonzales' latest will be a great comfort to journalists:

At yesterday's news conference, Gonzales also appeared to soften a statement he made on Sunday about the possibility that a current investigation might lead to the prosecution of New York Times reporters who first disclosed the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping program.

"Let me try to reassure journalists that my primary focus, quite frankly, is on the leak -- on leakers who share the information with journalists," Gonzales said yesterday. He added that he would prefer to "try to persuade" journalists "that it would be better not to publish those kind of stories."

Don't you love it? And doesn't it smack you in the face with typical Bush administration Soviet-style hypocrisy? If we can't "persuade" you not to publish leaks about this administration's illegal activities with threats to cut off your access and complaints to your corporate masters (both have indeed been remarkably effective during this administration), THEN we'll arrest and prosecute you. We're reasonable people.

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Tuesday, May 23


For this alone, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be impeached.

"It is difficult to believe," Mr. Cox said, "that the United States government, which once considered itself as an exemplar of human rights, has sacrificed its most fundamental principle by abusing prisoners as a matter of policy, by 'disappearing' detainees into a network of secret prisons, and by abducting and sending people for interrogation to countries that practice torture, such as Egypt, Syria and Morocco."

An overwhelming repudiation of the Rethuglicans in Congress in the midterm elections and an aggressive Democratic majority immediately enacting sweeping legislation compelling BushCo to reverse its extra-legal policies of torture, rendition and holding prisoners without resource to the courts, might persuade the world that the U.S. is reasserting its formerly recognized moral authority on human rights. But it'll take time and a huge and sustained commitment on the part of a new U.S. government to achieve. Bush and Cheney have destroyed in a matter of a few years the perception of our beloved nation as a beacon of "truth, justice and the American way."

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MAVERICKS WIN!!!! 119-111 in overtime.

Monday, May 22


Wow. Chris Matthews of Hardball interviewed Major General John Batiste tonight, and I can't wait to link to the transcript. He not only calls for Rummy's resignation, he reveals specific problematic decisions about post-9/11 decisions, especially regarding Iraq and says he retired from the military so he could speak out. He condemns Rummy in harsh terms, says there was a good, solid plan (which he says would have required around 380,000 troops) which because of Rummy's "arrogance and condescension" was totally ignored.

It was an impressive performance. He just EVISCERATED BushCo.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has video.


A new ARG poll says that 75% of Americans rate the economy as bad, very bad, or terrible.

Those who approve of the way Bush is handling his job are 32%; 61% disapprove.



Bob Somerby's best daily post in some time. He examines press corps attitudes towards Al Gore that, despite everything that's happened over the past six years to prove Gore right on so many issues, still linger.

WHAT can we do about it? They loved Dubya and destroyed Gore. Now they're crazy about John McCain and lavish their praise on him no matter what he does or says. I just don't get it. They're not stupid. They've seen the results of Rethuglican policy, and McCain's aligned with it.

George Soros, where's our alternative, progressive CNN? You've got the bucks, and a nation lifts its lonely eyes to you.

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They're spying on everything on the Internet.

So it's okay for Big Brother Bush and his minions to know everything there is to know about us. But it's NOT okay for reporters to tell the American people the truth about what's going on behind the secret doors of our government, even if what's going on is that the administration is illegally spying on us. It's so NOT okay, AG Gonzales says, that he may start prosecuting reporters as spies.

Send the Telcos a message. And come November, send the Rethugs the only kind of message they understand.

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The NY Daily News "Daily Dish" tells of Clarence Thomas rushing to Dubya's sister Doro to tell her "We have to pray for your brother. He's in real trouble."

Duh. So are we all, thanks to his leadership.

Another interesting item is George H.W. Bush's hatred for former Nixon counsel John Dean, whose book Worse Than Watergate and columns he has written for Findlaw have been sharply critical of Dubya.

According to her account, Bush 41 still hates John Dean, Richard Nixon's fired White House counsel who testified in the Watergate scandal and decades later became a severe critic of Bush 43.

"John Dean always struck me as an arrogant little creep," Koch quotes her father as telling her. "Perhaps some of this visceral anti-Dean feeling I have is because of the way he has attacked your brother."

Both George Bushes have used political slurs to damage their campaign opponents , yet no-one has suggested that Mike Dukakis, John McCain, or John Kerry "hate" the architects of their defeats. Dean, on the other hand, as a legal scholar has criticized George W. for his legal maneuvering, not made personal attacks, and yet Poppy "hates" him.

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Paul Krugman:

Um, wasn't the stock market supposed to bounce back after Wednesday's big drop?

We shouldn't read too much into a couple of days' movements in stock prices. But it seems that investors are suddenly feeling uneasy about the state of the economy. They should be; the puzzle is why they haven't been uneasy all along.

The rise in stock prices that began last fall was essentially based on the belief that the U.S. economy can defy gravity -- that both individuals and the nation as a whole can spend more than their income, not on a temporary basis, but more or less indefinitely.
I can't resist pointing out that the Bush administration's response to the squeeze on working families has been, you guessed it, to accuse the news media of biased reporting.

On May 10 the White House issued a press release titled "Setting the Record Straight: The New York Times Continues to Ignore America's Economic Progress." The release attacked The Times for asserting that paychecks weren't keeping up with fixed costs like medical care and gasoline. The White House declared, "But average hourly earnings have risen 3.8 percent over the past 12 months, their largest increase in nearly five years."

On Wednesday John Snow repeated that boast before a House committee. However, Rep. Barney Frank was ready. He asked whether the number was adjusted for inflation; after flailing about, Snow admitted, sheepishly, that it wasn't In fact, nearly all of the wage increase was negated by higher prices.

I can confirm that the home building industry is far less optimistic for next year's closings now than they were last fall. And home building, as Krugman states later in the piece, has been a major if not THE major factor propping up the economy.

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Fun poll results in today's Houston Chronicle.

If George W. Bush's brother Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush runs for U.S. president, I will:

Work for his campaign:
Vote for him:
Consider voting for him:
Not vote for him:
Move to Canada:


Sunday, May 21


Boy, Dubya sure is having his troubles. The wingnuts are angry about his immigration proposals, Speaker Hastert is mad that his buddy Porter Goss was sacked from his job as CIA Director, Senate and House Republicans are engaging in "open warfare," and his approval numbers just keep on shrinking.

Conservative direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie explains:

The main cause of conservatives' anger with Bush is this: He talked like a conservative to win our votes but never governed like a conservative.

For all of conservatives' patience, we've been rewarded with the botched Hurricane Katrina response, headed by an unqualified director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which proved that the government isn't ready for the next disaster. We've been rewarded with an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. We've been rewarded with a war in Iraq that drags on because of the failure to provide adequate resources at the beginning, and with exactly the sort of "nation-building" that Candidate Bush said he opposed.
Conservatives did not spend decades going door to door, staffing phone banks and compiling lists of like-minded voters so Republican congressmen could have highways named after them and so there could be an affirmative-action program for Republican lobbyists.

White House and congressional Republicans seem to have adopted a one-word strategy: bribery. Buy off seniors with a prescription drug benefit. Buy off the steel industry with tariffs. Buy off agribusiness with subsidies. The cost of illegal bribery (see the case of former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham) pales next to that of legal bribery such as congressional earmarks.

Where's the anti-abortion legislation? he asks. Where's the constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage? How dare a Rethuglican Congress allow taxpayer money be used for stem-cell research? Where are all the right-wing judges we were promised? It's all about enacting a Big Business legislative agenda, he asserts (duh!).

Maybe conservatives should stay home during the midterm elections, he muses, and stop giving money to the RNC.

I've never seen conservatives so downright fed up as they are today. The current relationship between Washington Republicans and the nation's conservatives makes me think of a cheating husband whose wife catches him, and forgives him, time and time again. Then one day he comes home to discover that she has packed her bags and called a cab -- and a divorce lawyer.

As the philanderer learns: Hell hath no fury. . . .

Couldn't happen to a more worthy bunch of people. But I have no sympathy for the conservatives. They helped elect a man as president of the United States who, Viguerie himself admits, had a name but little experience, and brought the deluge upon us all. And with the priorities he lists, at such a tumultuous time in our history, they certainly deserve exactly what they got. Problem is, the rest of us don't, but they've stuck us with him, too.

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