Archive for July, 2007

How To Tell When The Big Dick Is Lying and America’s Greatest Mistake

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Well, if you ask me, today’s interview of the Big Dick Cheney by Larry King proves one of two things: 1) The Big Dick is a cold heartless human being, or 2) He’s just flat out lying. Here’s why:

A- When you listen to Cheney unscripted, he reveals his inner workings, or at least those that are not coached.

B-If you read the text of his interviews, you should be taken aback. If not, you are not paying attention.

Today’s “interview” is case and point. After shrugging off the bad poll numbers that continue to haunt the whole of the W, Rove and Co one more time, Larry asks the same question twice. The context here is that Cheney actually has the chutzpah to compare his administration with Lincoln and the other great leaders of our nation again. So, King poses the following one more time:

Q But in all cases they did question themselves. In all cases they said, well, let’s look at it this way. Don’t you? I mean, the question is don’t you ever say maybe I’m wrong?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I think what we do is we look at it in terms of trying to decide what’s the right thing to do, and weigh the evidence. And there’s a lot of debate and discussion. We went through the exercise at the beginning of this year. You may remember when the President decided to put more forces into Baghdad. That’s a time when we evaluated a whole range of options, when we talked to a wide number of people with a variety of viewpoints, met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talked to outside military experts, as well as the politicos on the ground and made a judgment, the President made a decision then. And I think it was the right decision, felt it was the one to go into Iraq.

Q In retrospect you would still go into Iraq?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.

Q So those 3,000-plus lives have not died in vain?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, sir. Larry, you worry about every single casualty and —

Well, no - you don’t do you Mr. Cheney. When admittedly, you actually were wrong (remember WMD),and then don’t question if you were right…you see the reason for my first two points at the top of this post.

Even caught with his pants down, hand in the cookie jar, and trying on the his Emperor’s new clothes in the forbidden torture chamber we are not supposed know about, the Big Dick lies to us and to himself. He should be saying, “Whoops, you know what? We screwed pooch on the WMD thing, perhaps we were wrong, but now we are in there and we have to do right by Iraq. When you break the items in the china shop, you bought them.”

Well, of course, we get none of that out of the Big Dick. He’s too much in denial to understand that he may have assisted in the “Greatest Mistake” our country has ever collectively made, which was ironically made by a whole collection of republican baby “boomers” who lay claim on the moniker “The Greatest Generation.”

And he continues to shovel the rhetoric to get us to try and by the snake oil:

…And I firmly believe, Larry, that the decisions we’ve made with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan have been absolutely the sound ones in terms of the overall strategy.

Q Although there were mistakes.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, sure. Yes, there are always things in war that happen that nobody anticipated; surprises, things that don’t go exactly as planned. That’s the nature of warfare. But that doesn’t mean the strategy isn’t the correct strategy, that the objective isn’t the right objective.

But simply because you say it is, doesn’t make it so either Mr. Cheney.

Here’s the good news:

We walk out of here on January 20th of ‘09, and I think we’ll be able to hold our heads high knowing we did the best we could for the country.

Really?

The real test is whether or not the strategy that was put in place for this year will in fact produce the desired results.

Q Will those results be in place on that day in ‘09 when you leave?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I believe so.

But that is not what the President is saying, is he?

Q You don’t know what to expect, though, do you? Or do you?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it’s going to show that we will have made significant progress. The reports I’m hearing from people whose views I respect indicate that indeed the Petraeus plan is in fact producing results.

Now, admittedly, I’ve been on one side of this argument from the very beginning. I urge people to have an open mind, to listen to General Petraeus when he comes back, but also look at what others have to say.

I see, back to that artificial deadline of 15 September….we wait, but I’m not confident that the people who led us into this Iraqi problem are the ones who can get us out.

But what of this General Petraeus?

Q By the way, is General Petraeus the be-all and end-all?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: General Petraeus is a very impressive officer. I know him. I’ve watched him over the years when he commanded the 101st, when we first launched into Iraq four years ago. And I spent some time with him out at Fort Leavenworth when he had the command out there. He is a very, very highly regarded officer, for good reason. He’s a great soldier, and he’s also something of a scholar — a Ph.D. from Princeton. He’s a man who’s a very thoughtful advocate of counterinsurgency doctrine. He’s really the author, if you will, of the current counterinsurgency doctrine in the U.S. Army, who’s having a chance to put in practice what he has believed and developed over the years.

I don’t want to put the whole burden on him. He’s —

…He’s a scapegoat in training/waiting.

Of course there are other issues facing the Veep - where does he hang his political hat and how do we hold him accountable:

Q We have an op-ed piece by Walter Mondale, former Vice President, held your job. And at that time — I guess up to that time, he would be considered the most powerful Vice President. He wrote that after 9/11, “Cheney set out to create a largely independent power center in the office of the Vice President. He was an unprecedented attempt not only to shape administration policy but, alarmingly, to limit the policy options sent to the President.” He also accused you of having a “near total aversion to the notion of accountability.” How would you respond to this?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think Walter obviously doesn’t know or understand or chooses not to know how I, in fact, have operated. That’s just not the case. Fact is, my job has been to serve the President. I’ve been very clear about that from the beginning to the extent that I’ve got staff working for me or that I’m actively involved in the processes to pursue his agenda. I’ve never had a separate agenda. I don’t operate — I don’t freelance. In terms of accountability, I’m accountable to him.

What about the American People? Isn’t the Veep, an elected official, beholden to the American People? We always knew that he placed us on the secondary back burner when it came to accruing power and asserting authority. This just cements it.

Oh, and what about the AG Gonzales? Is he lying to us too?

Q Moving on to other areas. Alberto Gonzales — do you stand by him?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do. Al is a good man, a good friend, in a difficult assignment.

Q Are you troubled by what appears to have happened — the appearance of him not telling the truth?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t want to get into the specifics with respect to his testimony and the questions that were asked. I know Al on a personal and professional basis, and I hold him in high regard.

Q You’re going to stand by him?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.

Q No doubt about that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Correct.

That figures. When a person’s integrity augers well with your own, be it ethical or unethical, you will no doubt support that man.

If nothing else, Gonzales is a good role model for answering questions you don’t want to be asked or held accountable for:

Q In that regard, The New York Times — which, as you said, is not your favorite — reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President’s intelligence-gathering program. Was it you?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t recall — first of all, I haven’t seen the story. And I don’t recall that I gave instructions to that effect.

But let’s mince some words here.

Q So you didn’t send them to get permission.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital.

That’s some mighty fine line drawing isn’t it? If he wasn’t the one to tell them directly, he’s off the hook. But what if he told Libby to tell them to do it? Is that the same thing? A conscience is such as his is easy to assuage in such a way.

But Libby’s off the hook and feeling good:

Q I haven’t seen him; I know him. How is he doing?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, he’s doing well. He obviously went through a very, very difficult time, very hard for him and for his family. I think having the commutation of sentence decided has been a huge relief for him, but he still has a very difficult road. He’s got — obviously he needs to find work. He’s got legal bills. He carries the burden of having been convicted. All those are not easy problems. But he’s clearly in — he’s in good spirits and getting on with his life.

Q Do you keep in touch with him?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q Did you call him after the verdict?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I’ve seen him, had dinner with him.

Don’t worry about Libby - he’s got a lot of pals working on paying those steep bills, Mr. Cheney. He won’t be out of work long. I wouldn’t employ the man, though.

And, what of Uncle Karl?

Q The Senate Judiciary Committee is subpoenaing Karl Rove in connection with the firing of federal prosecutors. Why shouldn’t he appear?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: There is a strong tradition that the President of the United States is entitled to have people around him who advise him who do not then have to go before the Congress and testify with respect to the advice they gave the President.

It’s different for a Cabinet member, for example. If you’re Secretary of Defense, you are confirmed by the Senate, you testify before the Senate, you have some accountability to the Senate or to the Congress for testimony. But when you’re a senior advisor to the President, as Karl Rove has been, then you are not traditionally required to go testify before the Congress. So that element of executive privilege, confidentiality of communications between the President and his senior people is a very important one, and it shouldn’t be violated. And I don’t believe it will be in this case.

Sounds awful squirrelly to me.

Q But the public might say, what have you got to hide? And that would be logical, what have you got to hide?

Nice of Larry to set the Veep up for this reply:

THE VICE PRESIDENT: First of all, there’s no charge. What’s the allegation of the wrongdoing here? Frankly, there isn’t anything. With respect to the U.S. attorneys, there’s been, I think, a bit of a witch hunt on Capitol Hill, as they keep rolling over rocks hoping they can find something. But there really hasn’t been anything come up that would suggest there was any wrongdoing of any kind. And in the meantime, the President feels strongly, and I do too — I agree with him — that it’s important for us to pass on these offices we occupy to our successors in as good a shape as we found them. And that means protecting and preserving the integrity of those processes.

Q So he will not appear?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think an offer has been made to work out an arrangement that, in fact, the senior officials would meet with members of Congress, but not under oath, not in public, no transcript, to discuss these issues, and the committee has rejected that.

Sounds good if you can get it. Wouldn’t you like to have the same kind of privilege if you were in some kind of trouble? But really, off the record like this really opens up the whole charade to all kinds of different interpretation.

Wouldn’t you rather have it on record so that every thing is on the up and up? If it was, they would, wouldn’t they? This bull shit about executive privilege is all a hoax to keep us from peeling back the curtain to discover the Emperor has no clothes and the Wizard is really a powerless man.

But now, how about some saber rattling toward Iran:

Q Would you make an overt move on Iran?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: For what reason?

Q For reasons of information you have that we don’t.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I’m not going to speculate about prospective operations.

Q How worried are you?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m concerned about Iran.

Well, I’m worried and certainly don’t trust this Administration to know any thing for certain as a basis of going to war with another country - remember WMD once again.

And what about Gitmo?

Q General Powell says he would close Guantanamo yesterday. Would you?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No. No,

But here’s a concern:

Q Do you have to torture them when they’re there?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We don’t do torture.

Q How come in the past, though, there’s been a question on that? Have you ever said we support certain methods of physical harm?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We support the ability of certain agencies of the federal government to have the capacity to use enhanced techniques for interrogation. We have authorization that we got from the Congress, to in fact do that. And they do it under very careful safeguards and very stringent safeguards. We’re careful not to torture. We’re not in the business of torturing people. That would not be –

Q What does “enhanced” mean?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We don’t discuss specific techniques because the last thing you want to do is tell your potential adversary what your techniques are, because that would allow them to train and practice to resist them.

I don’t buy it, do you? Where there’s rendition, there’s torture. Simply because you turn a blind eye to it doesn’t mean we don’t do it.

Finally, do you trust a man who answer this relatively benign question thusly?

Q What are you going to do in February ‘09?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I have no idea. I haven’t given it any thought.

I don’t. As one of the heads of state that perpetrated what will go down in history as America’s Greatest Mistake, I don’t think that they will be able to walk out of the Whitehouse in January 2009 and hold their heads high. And it will partially be because they will be pasted with cream pies and rotten fruit.
[tags]Cheney, Hypocrisy, Liar, America’s Greatest Mistake, WMD, Larry King[/tags]

Republican Fashion Update: Orange is the New Red

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

“Knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“FBI.”
“Um, Don’t you have something to do in the lower 48?”
“No, Senator. Open the door. We have a warrant. We’d like to take a look at your remodeling project. Seems a bit off, Sir.”
“So? I’m Senator for life!”
“Possibly, Sir, but we’re still coming in.”
“I’m a powerful man, I get what I want!”
“Well, Sir, I hope you want a jumpsuit.”
“Give the jumpsuits to those losers in Louisiana!”
“Sir, I’m aware you once threatened to resign from the Senate if your earmark for the Alaskan bridges was sent to help Louisiana post Katrina. Not your finest moment. And those bridges…”
“Nowhere IS somewhere, dammit!”

A swarm of federal agents serving a search warrant at his home is unprecedented in Alaska politics and is part of what appears to be a widening corruption investigation that first burst into view last August. That’s when agents raided the offices of state legislators and oil field services company Veco, among others.

Federal investigators and grand juries in Anchorage and Washington, D.C., have been seeking information about a remodeling project at Stevens’ Girdwood home that occurred in 2000. The project, which more than doubled the size of the house, was overseen by Veco CEO Bill Allen. Two months ago, Allen pleaded guilty to bribing state lawmakers and agreed to cooperate with authorities. Veco vice president Richard Smith pleaded guilty to identical charges. — Anchorage Daily News

Something is definitely rotten in the state of Alaska, and the Feds keeping finding more and more. Keeping Stevens company is Rep. Don Young, R-AK, under investigation for his ties to Veco, state Senate President Ben Stevens (Ted Stevens’ son) whose office was raided by the FBI last year and who was involved is a fishy fish deal in 2005, and junior Senator Lisa Murkowski, who last week, under intense scrutiny, revesed a sweetheart land purchase she made for herself.

Now that orange is the new red, I predict Alaska is going blue.
_____________________________

Quote of the Day- 7/31/07

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” — H.I.M. Haile Selassie I

What’s That Tapping We Hear?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Lady SnoopertyAt the risk of stating the obvious, George Bush is daft. Already in enough hot water to brew the world’s largest decaf, half-fat, light-foam latte, he’s brought up the topic of snooping again. Is it not enough that his sorry excuse for an Attorney General is being toasted like a marshmallow at an RNC camp out due partially to his involvement in a snooping case?

The administration has gone back to the well to expand FISA wiretapping powers. After a court challenge last year, Bush reluctantly agreed to abide by FISA, but now, he has “new” reasons for rewriting the law to his tastes. Reasons that are a reprise of previously rejected justifications. “Terrists use disposable cell phones and the internets to recruit operatives and plan attacks.”

Well, at least this time he’s actually asking Congress to rewrite the law rather than just taking it upon himself. It’s sad actions like this constitute an improvement in his performance.

Snoop First, Ask Permission Later
Bush has never satisfactorily explained why FISA’s “snoop first, report within 72 hours” rule is onerous. With his track record there is sufficient evidence to suspect he’s afraid court reviews might find his taps illegal if he reports them. Remember, he secretly tapped for two and a half years before his own DoJ determined it was clearly illegal in 2004.

The Gonzales Domino Investigation shows the AG is rather cool to FISA. After all, his involvement in the pitiful Ashcroft Affair - when he tried to strong-arm a bed-ridden Ashcroft into signing off on the program - that’s landed him in dutch for possibly perjuring himself to Congressional investigators. Yet this is the man Bush would have monitor and enforce what few rules left in a gutted FISA.

Hens, meet your guardian Mr. Fox.

Strapping on the Miner’s Lamp
Not content with merely listening in, Homeland Insecurity Skeleton Michael Chertoff is also calling for yet another “essential security measure” - data mining airline records to profile inbound airline passengers. Information will include names, itineraries, credit card information, race, political opinions, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation? Are we now afraid legions of GLBT operatives will attack James Dobson’s church?

The Center of Democracy and Technology sees problems with a program that keeps the information on file for 15 years - apparently in case walker-bound senior terrorists plan to attack AARP headquarters. “This is part of a broader trend of the government building databases on the ordinary, lawful activities of ordinary, law-abiding citizens.” And, it adds one more location where already dubious, controversial, and frequently erroneous corporate data-mining uncovers heinous crimes like redeeming Cashback Rewards on your Discover card. But not to worry, CNN reports passengers can see the records and correct mistakes, “in hopefully just a few months.

Tell It to the Grannies
Tell that to the dozens of grannies, 7-year olds, and those unfortunate enough to have the last name Kennedy who’ve been placed on no-fly lists. And, it’s not like the administration has a sterling record on complying with FOIA requests either.

Bush would be well-advised to juggle the scandals and suckpits he’s already dug for himself. His own fear-mongering has made Americans dubious of anything that comes out of his mouth and he seems hell-bent on continuing that downward trajectory until his last day in power. It’s sad we can’t trust him with the most minor of policies without fear of them going south like an AG tossed off a cliff. It’s sad the DoJ is now an oxymoron. It’s sad he wants more and more data about our private lives when by his own admission he can’t process what he already has because he neglected to hire enough translators and information processors. It’s sad he chips away at our freedoms like a drunk hacking away at Washington’s nose on Mt. Rushmore.

It’s time for Congress to stand up and do the job they swore to do - protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign, domestic, and yes, feckless Presidents. We’ve already given up enough to make the framers spin in their graves. It’s time to stop the erosion before they die a second death. It’s time for ordinary Americans to stand up and be counted too. It’s what we all agree to when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Let’s not make it a hollow promise.

Tech Tags: politics wire+tapping bushomnipotent+poobahbring+it+on


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Cloudy With Crapstorms in the Afternoon

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Yesterday brought a veritable crapstorm of scandals and ineptitude from across the Bush administration. At this rate, we could assign a probe to each of the 535 members of Congress and the backlog would still look like the line waiting to get into the toilets at the frickin’ Super Bowl. Take some Pepto Bismol and take a look:

  • Amnesiac Al and the Incredible Changing Story - FBI honcho Robert Mueller joined others to directly contradict testimony from Amnesiac Al about the infamous Ashcroft Hospital Raid. Perjury charges float in the summertime air like butterflies of the devil.
  • Murder Most Foul? - Close on the heels of a 3-star General’s demotion and the disciplining of several lower echelon officers, new documents reveal Army medical examiners were extremely suspicious of 3 closely-spaced bullet holes - possibly fired from less than 10 yards away - in Pat Tillman’s forehead. Their requests for additional investigation were stymied several times. Tony Soprano, eat your heart out.
  • Astronauts More Blasted Than Their Rocket - NASA apparently allowed at least two drunken astronauts to go into space despite the concerns of fellow crew mates and NASA’s flight surgeon that they were astronauts in Lindsey Lohan disguise. Well, at least they weren’t two diaper-clad stalkers.
  • Greasy Palms - Government auditors uncovered an Army procurement officer who has taken up to $9.6 million in bribes and was waiting for an additional $5.4 million to come through. The Army Major must be the son Duke Cunningham never had.
  • Slaving Away - Two workers alleged human trafficking, and shoddy construction practices were rife at what will eventually be the US’ largest embassy. The State Department’s Inspector General conducted a “brief review”, and gee, didn’t find anything amiss. “At this time our reach does not extend to third-country hiring practices. I don’t believe I have the authority to enforce the laws of Sri Lanka, I really don’t,” the State Department’s IG said. He apparently doesn’t have the authority to enforce US laws either.

Bush apologists have already cranked up the Obfuscation Blame-Shifting Death Ray, but the number and size of the crapstorms threatens to overwhelm them. They’ve left half the political appointees in Washington twisting in the wind while the White House continues to claim testimony is a web of vicious partisan lies, things the Big Guy didn’t know, and simply fabrications of dozens of sick-minded witnesses out to get poor o’l George.

I’m not buying it. If Jon Stewart can do a daily 15 minute riff of videotaped lies and contradictions and the Bush cabal can’t see them using all the resources of the US government, I’d say George is either history’s most audacious liar or history’s biggest empty-headed loon. Either way, it is time for him and his minions of malfeasance to move on.

I once counseled against impeachment. I wanted to spare us the same Rancor-apaloozaTM we had last time. I figured things were bad, but not so bad we couldn’t wait the stupid bastards out. I’ve never been so wrong - and I’m omnipotent dammit! Days like yesterday, show just how wrong I was. I’ve since turned toward impeachment because I feel the country has already gone down the crapper and the evil bastards are sealing the toilet before we can escape. But now, I’m all for climbing back out of the shitty goo and biting all their asses viciously and repeatedly. And just to ice the cake, slamming the lid down on their tiny peckers until they bleed.

After all, I was always taught to put the seat down when I am done.

Tech Tags: politics scandal gonzales tillman nasa bribery human+trafficking omnipotent+poobahbring+it+on


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Congress Approves Homeland Security Bill in 2 Strong Votes

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Congress gave final approval yesterday to legislation that requires tighter screening of air and sea cargo, and shifts more federal anti-terrorism grants to high-risk areas such as New York and Washington, delivering on a pledge by Democrats last fall to implement additional recommendations of th…

House Passes Farm Bill, Expanding Food Stamps

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Democrats ignored a veto threat and passed a bill that would continue generous farmers’ subsidies at a time of record crop prices.

Cheney to Get New Heart Monitor Battery

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The minor surgery, scheduled for Saturday, takes about an hour.

Recalled Canned Foods Continue to Be Found on Grocery Shelves

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Stores continue to sell recalled canned chili, stew, hash and other foods potentially contaminated with poisonous bacteria even after repeated warnings.

Latest Campaign Issue? One Candidate’s Neckline

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says that an article discussing the candidate’s cleavage is insulting.


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