Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Daily GOP Follies

I read the news today - good grief

Today is a milestone day, in our democracy's headlong plunge from grace. It appears there are now only 666 days until our national nightmare is over. Make of that what you will.

Bill Maher (see video I posted yesterday) was right in his assessment of our struggle - our confusion as we even attempt to keep track of the rash of scandals coming out of the White House. If you expand to include the entire GOP, its unbelievable. Well almost unbelievable... although this time, they've really gone over the edge.

Remember not so long ago... Newt Gingrich (the same guy who was having an affair while pointing an accusing finger at Bill Clinton - that Newt Gingrich;) was riding high, on a white horse, talking about how he and his 'family values' were going to save America? I believe he called it the 'Contract with America.' More like a contract on America.

Truly... these are your family values in action, Newt? Really? If these are family values, we'd like a few less helpings, thank you. In fact, we'd like to leave the table now. And if you have the audacity to even consider running for president, we will happily ignore you when we aren't too busy laughing.

What are these crooks doing when they aren't lying under oath, cheating somebody, hiring unqualified cronies, robbing the treasury - or robbing little old ladies as they cross the street? I don't mean to indict all of Republicans of course - Senator Lugar, Senator Specter and Senator Hagel, you are excluded; but damn few others.

While conservatives are crying - and obsessing - over what they perceive to be that lost, 'Reagan greatness,' it is really a shame that they won't or cannot realize that this is exactly when their fall from decency (and fiscal reality) began in earnest.

Their 'face of Reaganomics,' John Stockton was just indicted for defrauding investors. Like Newt, it turns out he was just another political shyster picking our pockets, finding ever better ways to steal from the people - and our treasury - in the interest of his powerful, wealthy friends.

Same ol stuff, different year.

By the way, two quotes (about Stockton) that ran side by side in the Washington Post, when put together, say everything we need to know about Reaganomics:

"It's a shame that a guy who made such a great contribution as a member of Congress and the Reagan administration has this happening to him," said M.B. Oglesby, a former deputy chief of staff to Reagan. "He was the driver in the whole budget process in the beginning of the administration that set the tone for the tax cuts and the budget cuts."

"I have vivid memories of his misusing and misstating data and using obviously phony economic forecasts," said veteran budget analyst Stanley E. Collender. "You wonder if those were habits that stuck with him when he became a Wall Street dealmaker."

Yes, it was those pesky 'bad habits' again. Those bad habits that set the tone for years of GOP rule in America.

By the way - remember the Iran Contra scandal? Seriously - does anyone still remember Iran/Contra? It apparently doesn't exist; it seems to have fallen right out of history, because no one ever paid a price. No one linked it to the top, to the beloved 'Gipper' himself.

It is up to us - the people - to make sure that no more presidential scandals fall through the cracks, or we'll be doomed to an endless stream of this 'garbage rule' we see today.

Face it neocons - the looting party is over. If you really want to rejoin the American populace (and be allowed to continue in American politics,) your party must look back even further, to a clean and decent time... say Eisenhower.

Ike was a great American and a great president. You could do a lot worse. In fact... you have done so very much worse, during your plunge into the depths of depravity and corruption. We tried to believe that Nixon was an aberration, but now you give us Bush and Cheney. Always trying to up the ante! I ask you in all honesty, why would we trust you again, EVER, with our highest office?

Maybe it would be a nice chance of pace for you, if you took a new tack... consider it, give it some thought.

I know the American Enterprise Institute will be up in arms at the very idea of a 'reasonable' and 'non partisan cooperation' between parties, not to mention giving up their imperial and dictatorial ambitions. Heaven forbid that any of us should ever get along, when they are so right and everyone else is so wrong. *Cough.* But really at this point - what have you got to lose that you haven't already lost?

If I were you, I'd tell AEI to take a hike, and toss the religious right wingnuts, Ann Coulter and Karl Rove from a fast moving train. Dig yourselves out this morass, and look inside for some vestige of that long buried sense of patriotism and decency.

Ike is your ticket. Ike is a fabulous place to start. The man was an honest statesman and a national hero. He was honorable. He was honest. He even warned the nation about the rise of the military industrial complex. So, have you got one of those - anywhere - within your ranks?

How about Chuck Hagel? I hear Ike was one of his political heroes. That seems like a hopeful sign, don't you think?

Again... what have you got to lose?
Because really, can it get much worse... and when it does (with a few more news days like today) will there be anything left to salvage?

I read the news today, oh wow:

  1. The White House was using outside email accounts to correspond about White House business, which violates the Presidential Records Act. Of course, they were using Republican National Committee email accounts... of course...

  2. A Gonzales aide is already invoking the 5th amendment (amazing how quickly they have come back to the Constitution, like hapless prodigal children. Damn handy slip of paper, isn't it?) It appears she can't answer any questions at an upcoming Senate hearings concerning the fired prosecutors, because literally anything she says will incriminate her. Hmmm.

  3. Although we're probably not terribly shocked to hear this, it now appears Alberto Gonzales lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee when he said he wasn't involved in the firing of the procescutors. Emails say otherwise.

    Stopping short of demanding Gonzales' resignation, Sen. Arlen Specter cited a Nov. 27 calendar entry placing the attorney general at a Justice Department meeting to discuss the dismissals. Those documents "appear to contradict" Gonzales' earlier statements that he never participated in such conversations, said Specter, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversees the Justice Department.

    "We have to have an attorney general who is candid, truthful. And if we find out he has not been candid and truthful, that's a very compelling reason for him not to stay on," said Specter, R-Pa.

  4. This one came from right field... but it appears federal prosecutors announced conspiracy and securities and bank fraud charges against Reagan-era budget director David A. Stockman. They are accusing him of misleading investors about the finances of a troubled Michigan auto parts company.

  5. One of the eight former U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration stated yesterday that White House officials questioned his performance in 'highly partisan political terms' only three months before he was dismissed from his job.

    John McKay of Washington state, who had decided two years earlier not to bring voter fraud charges that could have undermined a Democratic victory in a closely fought gubernatorial race, said White House counsel Harriet Miers and her deputy, William Kelley, "asked me why Republicans in the state of Washington would be angry with me."

  6. Have you ever heard of the 'Hatch Act?' No? Apparently Lurita Alexis Doan hasn't heard of it either. Doan is the Chief of the General Services Administration and - shocker - a deputy in Karl Rove's political affairs office at the White House. Rove is everywhere! Apparently, Doan joined in a videoconference earlier this year with top GSA political appointees, and discussed ways in which "targeted public events, such as the opening of federal facilities around the country" could be used to help Republican candidates.

    The Hatch Act, as it turns out, is a federal law that restricts executive-branch employees from using their positions for political purposes... although when you think about it, this law could easily be used to clean out the entire working populace in the White House

    (save perhaps the chef and a few of the waiting staff.) Oh - Doan is also accused to trying to give a no-bid job to a friend and professional associate last summer, and the committee plans to investigate Waxman's charge that she "intervened" in a troubled technology contract with Sun Microsystems that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Shocking.

  7. Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico is now under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee after a watchdog group accused him of trying to pressure David Iglesias, (one of the now fired prosecutors, then the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque, N.M.,) to rush a corruption probe against Democrats in an effort to sway the 2006 elections. Domenici has now hired Duke Cunningham's lawyer Lee Blalack to defend him. Er, good luck with that. I'm sure 'Cryin Duke' will save ya a spot at his table in the prison mess hall.

  8. The President seems truly attached to Guantanamo and to torture in general. He defends it with a self-righteous vengence that is truly inexplicable. Or is he once again deferring to that Cheney on his shoulder? When his own Secretary of Defense Robert Gates - with the backing of Condi Rice - suggested that perhaps, just maybe, it is time to close down this abomination and bring these guys to America, Cheney and Gonzales quashed all further discussion. And so once again we have to ask... who is running this country? Sir George, or Sir Dick? My bet is on Sir Dick.

    Kangaroo courts, secret prisons and torture are for banana republics sir - not for this American democracy. Everyone seems to 'get that' except for you. But then - you still don't seem to grasp that you aren't a King, and that America is not your little GOP fiefdom. And so far, no one in our Congress has given you much reason to believe otherwise. But the people sir... the people are growing restless. Its no wonder that you hate us so, and spy on us at every turn. We are the real wildcard in your imperial plans, aren't we? A restless populace is not a good thing (as I recall, Southern slave owners lived in constant fear of their own slaves.) Eventually the people will grow so outraged - fed up - that they will actually succeed in pressuring their reluctant, foot-dragging, corporate-owned representatives into action. And Congress will again begin to worry about the votes. And maybe, just maybe, you will finally pay the price for your royal assumptions, and your blatent disregard for America's guiding principles of freedom, justice and the rule of law.

  9. Aides to President Bush are being warned today, not to destroy any emails (like they haven't already... please.) Waxman, who is proving quite adept at ferreting out GOP sneakiness, has already made the same warning to the Republican National Committee. It appears there is a history in this White House of using RNC email accounts for correspondance that is 'off the public record.' Translation: illegal, immoral and corrupt in nature (and we can't let anyone find out about this.) Apparently this use of RNC email accounts was discovered during the Abramoff investigation.

    In one instance, Mr Abramoff, who is serving a 70-month sentence on corruption charges, sent an e-mail to Susan Ralston, executive assistant to Karl Rove, the president’s chief political strategist, on her RNC account about a gaming-related decision by the department of the interior.

    When the e-mail was forwarded to another official in the White House e-mail system, Mr Abramoff was warned by an associate who said the official “said it is better not to put this stuff in writing in their e-mail system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us”.

    Mr Abramoff responded: “Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her RNC pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system.”

    ”We are reviewing it and taking appropriate action,” the RNC said yesterday.


    Right-o.

  10. Former Army Sgt. Sam Provance was the only uniformed military intelligence officer at the Iraqi prison to testify about Abu Ghraib abuses during the internal Army investigation - and it didn't take him long to realize that the Pentagon was scapegoating low-level personnel, sacrificing them to save the chain of command.

    For refusing to shut up and play along with an obvious cover-up, Provance was tossed out of the US military.

    The Pentagon went forward with its plan to pin the blame for the sadistic treatment of Iraqi detainees on a handful of poorly trained MPs, not on the higher-ups who brought the lessons of "alternative interrogation techniques" from the Guatanamo Bay prison to Abu Ghraib.
    To hear Sam Provance's own story, in his own words, is to realize just how bad things really are. And they are very, very, very bad.

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