Friday, April 27, 2007


it's been an eventful week ...

(photo-edit by dave hill)

deputy secretary of state randall tobias resigns
... one day after confirming to abc news that he had been a customer of a washington, d.c. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation.

the married tobias had used his diplomatic perch as a vocal international proponent of abstinence and monogamy as well as anti-prostitution over condoms ...

deputy chief of staff robert coughlin of the justice department's criminal division resigns
... after coming under scrutiny in the department’s expanding investigation of convicted super-lobbyist jack abramoff.

former justice department director of public affairs monica goodling subpoenaed
... by the house judiciary committee and offered immunity for her testimony into the u.s. attorney scandal. according to dismissed new mexico u.s. attorney david iglesias, goodling holds, as the doj liaison to the white house (see: rove, karl), "the keys to the kingdom."

rep. john doolittle (r-ca) resigns from the house appropriations committee
... after fbi agents raided his house as part of a congressional influence-peddling investigation (see: cunningham, duke et abramoff, jack). just three days earlier former doolittle aide kevin ring resigned from his lobbying firm.

"ring seems poised to follow the path of other aides who've pled guilty in the abramoff scandal — pleading guilty to lesser charges in return for delivering their former bosses to investigators."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

subpoena powers: activate!

the wonder twins are in the house — and the senate!

(image by aarrgghh)

one month ago today the senate and house judiciary committees, chaired by sen. patrick leahy (d-vt) and rep. john conyers (d-mi) respectively, authorized subpoenas for harriet miers, karl rove and aides in the justice dept. to provide documents and testimony in the ongoing u.s. attorney scandal. a week earlier subpoenas for doj aides and former u.s. attorneys were approved by the senate committee.

this coming wednesday the house oversight and government reform committee, chaired by rep. henry waxman (d-ca), will vote on subpoenas for former bush chief of staff andy card and secretary of state condi rice, for their valuable insight on the outing of former spook valerie plame and the peddling of the discredited iraq-niger yellowcake bid, respectively.

and before the republicans deafen us with screeches of "witchhunt!" let's share a teensy bit of perspective: the "worst congress in the history" (you know who you are!) issued more than 1,000 subpoenas to bill clinton — and absolutely zero to george bush.

i do believe someone's projecting ... a miasma of rank hypocrisy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

catch me if you can

so y'all have probably heard there's a new posse in town.

but will the honorable sen. leahy and his faithful deputy rep. waxman ever catch up to that insufferable li'l varmit and the pet chihuahua he rode in on?

from the looks of where alberto's headed today, they may not have to ...

(image by aarrgghh)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

a crazy li'l thing called credibility

as greg sargent @ demonstrates, once it's gone — it's gone, baby:

as you can see, over the past four months the percentage of respondents who think the us "must win" in iraq for the sake of the broader "war on terror" dropped eight points. meanwhile, the percentage who think victory is not necessary to it has gone up a surprising ten points. this is striking — because in that four months or so since dems took power in january the overriding message that the white house, the gop and all of their lackeys and shills in the media have been blaring at the electorate in every conceivable forum is that (a) victory is absolutely essential in iraq and failure is not an option lest america become less secure; and (b) leaving iraq would constitute a catastrophic defeat in the broader war on terror.

in other words, not only is the central white house/gop message failing to persuade, but fewer people buy it now since the propaganda campaign geared up in earnest, and significantly more people hold the opposite view. the white house and gop are losing the argument, if they haven't completely lost it already — suggesting that on iraq, their once-daunting ability to persuade, something that was jealously eyed by dems after the 2004 losses and has been hailed by the media for far too long since, has been reduced at this point to little more than smoldering wreckage.

some perspective

from juan cole:

i keep hearing from us politicians and the us mass media that the "situation is improving" in iraq. the profound sorrow and alarm produced in the american public by the horrific shootings at virginia tech should give us a baseline for what the iraqis are actually living through.

they have two virginia tech-style attacks every single day.

virginia tech will be gone from the headlines and the air waves by next week this time in the us, though the families of the victims will grieve for a lifetime. but next tuesday i will come out here and report to you that 64 iraqis have been killed in political violence. and those will mainly be the ones killed by bombs and mortars. they are only 13% of the total; most iraqis killed violently, perhaps 500 a day throughout the country if you count criminal and tribal violence, are just shot down. shot down, like the college students and professors at blacksburg. we americans can so easily, with a shudder, imagine the college student trying to barricade himself behind a door against the armed madman without. but can we put ourselves in the place of iraqi students?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


just a friendly public reminder of how all dynasties end ...

i met a traveller from an antique land
who said: "two vast and trunkless legs of stone
stand in the desert. near them on the sand,
half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

tell that its sculptor well those passions read
which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
the hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
and on the pedestal these words appear:"

(december 19, 2000)

"my name is ozymandias, king of kings:
look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

(from "bush at war" by bob woodward)

nothing beside remains: round the decay
of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
the lone and level sands stretch far away.

— percy bysshe shelley (1818)

(may 5, 2006)