Friday, May 07, 2004

This is the ONLY time Mickey Kaus has used the name 'Abu Ghraib' on his blog:

It's always an underling's fault with Kerry, isn't it? He doesn't fall! The Secret Service guy got in the way. He doesn't engage in 'Benedict Arnold' demagoguery! It was those wacky speechwriters. He didn't want Carter or Baker as envoys. That was an aide's mistake. Do we think that if Kerry were president he'd take any blame for the Abu Ghraib abuses?

Kaus' monomania has now officially veered into the territory of mental illness. (That seems to be my running theme for the week. Tune in next time for another thrilling installment of Erik Siegrist: Armchair Psychologist!)

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Josh Marshall's latest is a must-read: is Rumsfeld really dead man walking?

Two points about what JMM wrote:

- I agree that the administration won't want to risk confirmation hearings for a new Secretary of Defense. That's why I don't think they'd have any; the simplest solution, for them, would be to put off naming one until after the election, and just let Wolfowitz run the department in everything but name. I don't know how long they could get away with it (or even the legality/constitutoinality of it), but I guarantee you the little hamster in Karl Rove's brain is exhausting itself keeping that wheel going.

- I think the biggest danger for Bush is what Rummy does after he's kicked to the curb. The whole Bush house of cards hangs together on loyalty; in theory that's supposed to go both ways, but in practice of course it only flows up the chain, not down. If Rumsfeld -- his career essentially over -- feels at all betrayed by the way he was pushed out, what's he got to lose by writing his own book?

A pipe dream? Of course. But Rumsfeld being forced to resign was a pipe dream a couple of weeks ago...
In a sane world, the Abu Ghraig revelations would have been enough to sink any presidency.

Point: The Red Cross had been trying to get the US government to take action on the problem for months.

Point: The Taguba Report was completed two months ago and according to Seymour Hersh, Taguba's was the third investigation into prison abuses in Iraq.

Point: CNN first ran a story about this (without much in the way of details, and of course without pics) back in January. (Kevin Drum gets the nod for the last two tidbits.)

This information has been available, both inside the Pentagon and in the media, for at least three and a half months, and more likely longer. If Bush says he just found out about it now, that leads to one of two conclusions:

1) He's lying. He's known about it for months, and is only making noise about it now because the public release of the pictures made it impossible to do otherwise.

2) He's telling the truth, and thus proved that he is so completely isolated and insulated from the world around him as to be effectively autistic.

Take your pick.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

It's time to play... Who Said It?

We need a president that represents the values we try to teach our children: integrity, accountability, and responsibility. And that's simply no longer possible. The president says he wants to be responsible, but he doesn't want to accept any consequences. Responsibility and consequence go together. That's one of the things that is inevitable. And this president has, in effect, resigned... He's resigned his responsibility to be accountable.

Answer: John Ashcroft

The buck's gotta stop somewhere...

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

George Will has gone cold turkey on the presidential Kool-Aid. George Freakin' Will!

I'll say it again... Bush will be lucky to win Texas in November.

Monday, May 03, 2004

And the hits just keep on coming... Bush can't even win the hearts and minds of his Iraqi media mouthpieces any more.

On a front-page editorial of the Al-Sabah newspaper, editor-in-chief Ismail Zayer said he and his staff were ''celebrating the end of a nightmare we have suffered from for months ... We want independence. They (the Americans) refuse.''

And just in case you were wondering how bad things were back home, compare the AP version linked above with this wire version. It's barely even the same story anymore.

When does our media demand independence?
Another day, another crime committed by the Bush administration.

At least Nixon had China. What's Bush got? Seriously -- he's posioned everything he's touched. Negative job growth; deficit through the roof; world opinion against us (even with the sympathy 9/11 created); the Middle East in chaos; the culture war at home at a fever pitch; a power-mad government bureaucracy giving 'corruption' a bad name.

Where are the 'Pros' to balance out the 'Cons' on Bush's ledger?
Another day, another abject failure for Bush's foreign policy.

The whole point of supporting Sharon's plan (and thereby alienating pretty much the entire Arab and Muslim worlds) was to reinforce Sharon's position. So far has the world's opinion of Bush fallen that his influence apparently isn't even worth anything within Israel.

Think about that.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Well now, this is interesting.

Bob Dreyfuss posts that the Pentagon probably wasn't "in the loop" on the deal to hand Fallujah over to actual Iraqis.

And yet Scottie Mac laid the groundwork for a deal with Ba'athists to help with security over a week ago.

McClellan knows what's coming, but Wolfowitz doesn't? That makes no sense.
Josh Marshall has some absolutely damning allegations which are being thrown Ahmed Chalabi's way (yes, above and beyond the ones that are fairly common knowledge.)

Quite frankly if this stuff is true, I'd have to think not only would Chalabi be open for all kinds of trouble (of the Gitmo variety), but his neocon sponsors would also be headed for disgrace and prison.

Not that it'll happen under Bush. But this is the kind of accusation that could have ripped an administration apart back in the crazy old 20th century.
Here's a story not getting much play -- hideous prosecutorial abuse by the Justice Department, but against a target nearly as reviled in the public eye as terrorists. (Doug Pappas had the story first.)

Look, I know that the president said steroids were very naughty, and those overpayed pampered athletes have it coming to them yadda yadda yadda, but scooping up the test results from baseball players who had no connection to BALCO whatsoever is a gross violation of those players' rights. It would be like investigating a business for money laundering and then seizing the financial records of everyone living in the same city who had a bank balance over $50,000.

But that (and the constant leaks) is pretty much SOP for Ashcroft's mob.

UPDATE: Follow-up from Pappas.

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