30 July 2006


New York Times:

On the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Lieberman
has left it to Republicans like Lindsey Graham of
South Carolina to investigate the administration’s
actions. In 2004, Mr. Lieberman praised Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for expressing regret
about Abu Ghraib, then added: “I cannot help but
say, however, that those who were responsible
for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th,
2001, never apologized.” To suggest even
rhetorically that the American military could be held
to the same standard of behavior as terrorists is
outrageous, and a good example of how avidly the
senator has adopted the Bush spin and helped
the administration avoid accounting for Abu Ghraib.

Mr. Lieberman prides himself on being a legal
thinker and a champion of civil liberties. But he
appointed himself defender of Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales and the administration’s policy of
holding hundreds of foreign citizens in prison
without any due process. He seconded Mr. Gonzales’s
sneering reference to the “quaint” provisions of the
Geneva Conventions. He has shown no interest in
prodding his Republican friends into investigating
how the administration misled the nation about
Iraq’s weapons. There is no use having a senator
famous for getting along with Republicans if he
never challenges them on issues of profound

If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the
lead in saying that there were some places a
president had no right to take his country even
during a time of war, neither he nor this page
would be where we are today. But by suggesting
that there is no principled space for that kind of
opposition, he has forfeited his role as a
conscience of his party, and has forfeited our

Mr. Lamont, a wealthy businessman from
Greenwich, seems smart and moderate, and he
showed spine in challenging the senator while
other Democrats groused privately. He does not
have his opponent’s grasp of policy yet. But this
primary is not about Mr. Lieberman’s legislative
record. Instead it has become a referendum on his
warped version of bipartisanship, in which the
never-ending war on terror becomes an excuse for
silence and inaction. We endorse Ned Lamont in
the Democratic primary for Senate in Connecticut.

29 July 2006

Make Friends - The Mel Gibson Way

TMZ.com reports:

Once inside the car, a source directly connected
with the case says Gibson began banging himself
against the seat. The report says Gibson told the
deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you."
The report also says "Gibson almost continually
[sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and
will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me."

The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage
of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews
are responsible for all the wars in the world."
Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

Let the damage control begin!

UPDATE: LA Weekly confirms the story.

26 July 2006


AP: A man looks after two young Iraqi boys wounded from a
suicide car bomb blast, Monday, July 24, 2006, in Samarra,
95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq.

BBC News:

Neither man talked about failure, nor were
they likely to, but that was the subtext to the
meeting between US President George W Bush
and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

The security operation in Baghdad, which the
Iraqi leader launched six weeks ago - and which
Mr Bush had endorsed during his unannounced
visit to the Iraqi capital last month - has not
produced results.

Or, more accurately, it has produced the wrong

The upsurge in sectarian violence which has
coincided with the crackdown, has seen the
Iraqi civilian death toll rise to about 100 per

It’s a good thing we’re blessed with a president who is
so very concerned with protecting innocent human life.

And yet, I tend to agree with Wolcott’s belief that when
the dust finally clears -- if anyone’s still alive -- history
will not be kind to President Bush, or to us for that matter.

The war crimes of the United States compound
by the minute, the hour, the day. I predict that
George Bush, upon leaving office, will be the
most despised president in American history. He
will have his core support, the clotted, stunted
brains that collect at sites like Lucianne.com and
Powerline, but he will enjoy no Reaganesque
orange sunset afterglow (or Nixonian self-
rehabilitation), so deep, lasting, and tragic is the
damage he's done, a damage abetted by a
craven, corrupt political class and a press that
even now, as the full dimensions of the disaster
unfold before us, is unable to sound alarm, so
accustomed as they've become to their role as
sponges and clever snots. History will not
forgive Bush or the United States, nor should it,
for raising and destroying the hopes of the Iraqi
people, and presiding over the dissolution of
their nation into a failed state.

But as the great American philosopher Yogi Berra once
said, “It gets late early around here.” Perhaps we won’t
have to wait so long for history's judgment after all.

15 July 2006


Senator Ted Stevens explains the internet:

"The Internet is not something you just dump
something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of
tubes," Stevens said during a June 28
committee session.

"And if you don't understand, those tubes can
be filled. And if they are filled, when you put
your message in, it gets in line and it's going to
be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube
enormous amounts of material, enormous
amounts of material."

At another point in his 11-minute discourse, he
said he'd seen these delays firsthand: "I just the
other day got - an Internet was sent by my staff
at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just
got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up
with all these things going on the Internet

13 July 2006

Round 2

WASHINGTON - The CIA officer whose
identity was leaked to reporters sued Vice
President Dick Cheney, his former top aide
and presidential adviser Karl Rove on
, accusing them and other White
House officials of conspiring to destroy her

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie
Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a
former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney,
Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of
revealing Plame's CIA identity in seeking
revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush
administration's motives in Iraq.

Several news organizations wrote about
Plame after syndicated columnist Robert
Novak named her in a column on July 14,
2003. Novak's column appeared eight days
after Wilson alleged in an opinion piece in The
New York Times that the administration had
twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq to justify
going to war.

The CIA had sent Wilson to Niger in early
2002 to determine whether there was any
truth to reports that Saddam Hussein's
government had tried to buy yellowcake
uranium from Niger to make a nuclear
weapon. Wilson discounted the reports, but
the allegation nevertheless wound up in
President Bush's 2003 State of the Union

The lawsuit accuses Cheney, Libby, Rove and
10 unnamed administration officials or
political operatives of putting the Wilsons and
their children's lives at risk by exposing

"This lawsuit concerns the intentional and
malicious exposure by senior officials of the
federal government of ... (Plame), whose job
it was to gather intelligence to make the
nation safer and who risked her life for her
country," the Wilsons' lawyers said in the

You can read the filed documents, here.

Firedoglake has more from Joe Wilson, here.

Plus, Eric Alterman provides a helpful reminder of why
Robert Novak -- who has now publicly admitted that Karl
Rove confirmed Plame’s identity for his article -- is (still)
a scumbag.

11 July 2006

Wish You Were Here

A statement issued on behalf of Pink Floyd said:
"The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn
of Syd Barrett's death. Syd was the guiding light of
the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which
continues to inspire."

Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a 60's classic and
easily one of Pink Floyd's best albums. If you've only
heard their 70's stuff, pick up a copy and treat yourself
to the genius of Syd Barrett in all its absurd glory.

Shine on.

10 July 2006


BAGHDAD (AFP) - More than 30 people were
in attacks across Iraq as sectarian
bloodletting raged on in Baghdad, raising new
fears that the country is sliding towards civil

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appealed to the
country's Shiites and Sunnis to unite to "defeat
terrorists and all those who insist on opposing
the political process".

Ten people were killed and 51 wounded in a
car bombing and mortar attack in the capital's
Shiite-dominated slum district of Sadr City,
police said, a day after 61 people were killed
in apparent tit-for-tat attacks.

The attack in Sadr City, a bastion of fighters
loyal to firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-
Sadr, came after 42 Sunni Arabs were gunned
down Sunday in a deadly rampage in a Sunni
district of Baghdad blamed on Shiite

In an apparent revenge attack soon
afterwards, 19 people were killed and 59
wounded when twin car bombs went off
outside a Shiite mosque in a largely Sunni
district of the capital.

Baghdad has been swept by a wave of
sectarian violence, much of it targeting
mosques, since Sunni militants in February
blew up a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra,
north of the capital.

Another 23 people were killed across the
country on Monday, including seven Iraqis who
were executed by gunmen after their bus was
ambushed in Baghdad's mainly Sunni
neighbourhood of Ameriyah, security officials

Iraqi and US troops also sealed off the
capital's Sunni neighbourhood of Dura and
state media announced a daytime curfew there
from 2:00 pm (1000 GMT) until 8:00 am
(0400 GMT).

The whole capital is already under a dusk-to-
dawn curfew.

A curfew was imposed after Dura residents
reported hearing gunfire and said large
numbers of armed men were out on the
streets. The neighborhood has been the scene
of repeated fighting and attacks on security

Sunday's violence was the deadliest since a
July 1 truck bombing in Sadr City that killed 66
people, overwhelmingly Shiites, triggering a
new wave of communal attacks.

Take it away, Condi...

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice
said Monday she is certain
Iraq's new leaders can prevail over
"determined killers'' like those that killed 41
people over the weekend.

"No one could have expected that just within
weeks of coming to power that the Iraqi
government would have been able to stop the
violence and to completely address a difficult
security situation,'' Rice said. She spoke
before a meeting at the State Department with
Pakistani Foreign Minister Kursheed Kasuri.

It’s interesting how over the years, Condoleezza Rice
has become something of an expert on judging what no
one could have expected. Many will remember the
infamous (and irrefutably false) claim
she made in
May 2002 regarding the 9/11 hijackers:

"I don't think anybody could have predicted
that ... they would try to use an airplane as a
missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

And while it’s true that no reasonable person thought
the violence would suddenly stop once this new
government was formed, the current picture in Iraq is
certainly a stark contrast to the “cakewalk and rose
pedals” scenarios painted by the architects of this war
prior to the invasion. And we now know (thanks to the
Downing Street memos) that back in January 2003, Bush
and Blair didn’t expect any sectarian violence at all.

NY Times [3/27/06]:

The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned
a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi
government that would be complicated, but
manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was
"unlikely there would be internecine warfare
between the different religious and ethnic
groups." Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

I guess no one could have expected that the public
would ever learn the contents of that memo -- or that
anyone involved would ever be held accountable for
their incredibly poor judgment.

09 July 2006

Running Scared

George Bush’s favorite Democrat is suddenly fighting for
his political life. Facing a strong challenge from newcomer
Ned Lemont, Holy Joe’s allies in Washington are circling
their wagons and launching a media counterattack
against the crazed liberal “haters” that wish to purge
their party of Connecticut’s junior senator.

David Brooks writes in the Sunday NY Times:

What's happening to Lieberman can only be
described as a liberal inquisition. Whether you
agree with him or not, he is transparently the
most kind-hearted and well-intentioned of
men. But over the past few years he has been
subjected to a vituperation campaign that only
experts in moral manias and mob psychology
are really fit to explain. I can't reproduce the
typical assaults that have been directed at him
over the Internet, because they are so laced
with profanity and ugliness, but they are
ginned up by ideological masseurs who salve
their followers' psychic wounds by arousing
their rage at objects of mutual hate.

Imagine that. Connecticut Democrats who actually expect
their senator to take a stand against the Republicans
and not sellout members of his own party when it comes
to issues like Social Security, abortion rights, and the Iraq
War aren’t actually patriotic Americans participating in the
democratic process. No indeed. They are in fact witless
members of an irrational mob fueled by “rage” and

It is a narrative supported by Lieberman himself, as seen
in this July 4th quote, also from the NY Times:

Speaking to reporters at the end of the parade
route, Mr. Lieberman decried what he saw as
too much hatred in politics.

"Once you start hating, you lose the ability to
get anything done," he said.

And you certainly can’t accuse Joe Lieberman of hating --
hating Republicans and their failed policies that is. In fact,
you can always count on Holy Joe to be first in line to
show “bipartisan support” for everything from Bush’s
nonexistent exit strategy in Iraq to denying emergency
contraception to rape victims
. Which is probably why his
most vocal defenders these days are Republicans.

He’s even got Ann Coulter in his corner.

But will this attempt to paint Lieberman’s opponents in
the Democratic party as irrational haters convince
Connecticut’s primary voters to support the candidate
who -- as he never stops reminding us -- has the
courage to vote his own convictions, no matter how
unpopular those convictions may be?

We won’t really know until the primary in August. But the
fact that this race is even close, and that Lieberman is
now saying that he may run as an Independent if his
loses the primary is already causing panic within the
Washington establishment.

Steve Gilliard writes:

The Beltway crowd is shocked that real
people might want to get rid of one of their
favorite housepets, therefore they have to be
fringe leftists demanding a loyalty test.
Instead of disgusted at the way he only
attacks fellow Democrats and makes nice
with Republicans who's values he supposedly
doesn't share. People outside Washington
aren't stupid they know when they're being
sold out. Lieberman does things to get the
support of the Beltway in crowd, who are
slaves to power. And then he comes home and
he's got problems.


The same people who sent Lieberman back to
Congress three times are now crazed and
need to be saved from themselves by him and
two chances to vote for him. Because they're
too stupid to vote for him in a primary, after
sending him to the Senate three times.

I've never seen a more frightened successful
experienced politician not facing indictment in
my life. He's totally lost his nerve. He's
insulting the voters who sent him to

Insulting the voters. It’s worked for Joe’s buddies in the
GOP for the last six years... maybe it’ll work for him too.

You can learn more about Ned Lamont -- and contribute
to his campaign if you are so inclined -- here.

05 July 2006

One Less Pardon

HOUSTON - Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay,
who was convicted of helping perpetuate one of
the most sprawling business frauds in U.S. history,
died Wednesday in Aspen, Colo. He was 64.