Saturday, April 14, 2007

Analysis: Rove Flap Gives Dems Ammo

The AP Reports :

The fight over documents has gone to red alert. The White House acknowledges it cannot find four years' worth of e-mails from chief political strategist Karl Rove. The admission has thrust the Democrats' nemesis back into the center of attention and poses a fresh political challenge for President Bush.

Read Full Story

Related :
- Who Is Behind The 4 Years Of "Missing" Karl Rove Emails?
- Impudent Bush : I will oppose any attempts to subpoena
McCain Sees ‘No Plan B’ for Iraq War

“I have no Plan B,” [if the troop surge does not succeed in Iraq] Arizona Senator John McCain said in an interview with journalist from The New York Times.

No "Plan B"?

Isn't that one of the biggest problems with the war to begin with?

That invasion was planned without a "Plan B"?

The occupation was planned without a "Plan B" and now the surge is without a "Plan B".

Because we all know that the best way to win a war is to not to have a backup plan if your first plan does not succeed.

John McCain is a strong supporter of the war in Iraq and the recent troop surge and is running for President.

McCain has recently been ridiculed for giving out misleading information regarding the security of Iraq.

Senator McCain had asserted that “There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today,” and that "General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed Humvee."

Both statements of course, are untrue. Read McCain's April Fools Day Joke and McCain Lies To Media, Calls Media "Jerks" After Lies Are Exposed for more information regarding McCain's fairy tale vision of Baghdad.
Debunking Bush’s Whoppers On Pork

Think Progress reports:

"President Bush has tried to justify his planned veto of Congress’ Iraq withdrawal legislation by complaining about the non-Iraq related funds included in the bill.

American Progress senior fellow Scott Lilly, who served for years as Clerk and Staff Director of the House Appropriations Committee, debunks Bush’s rhetoric:"

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Who Is Behind The 4 Years Of "Missing" Karl Rove Emails?

- Rove E-Mail Sought by Congress May Be Missing
- Missing E-Mail May Be Related to Prosecutors
- Deleting embarrassing e-mails isn't easy, experts say
- Impudent Bush : I will oppose any attempts to subpoena

I don't want to hear that five million emails were lost. I don't want to hear that four years of Karl Rove's emails have magically disappeared from the face of the earth.

I don't want to hear that the five million missing emails and the recent attorney purge are unrelated. I don't want to hear it because I simply don't believe it.

If the emails are missing, it is only because someone doesn't want the emails to be found.

There are also questions being raised about White House use of GOP-provided, nongovernmental email accounts to avoid complying with Federal law, which requires the preservation of all electronic communications sent or received by White House staff .

The White House and The Republican National Committee are being investigated by The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who are trying to determine if the missing emails are connected to the attorney purge.

Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer is claiming that Rove believed that his emails were being stored on other machines and that he did not intentionally delete emails.

But Democrats aren't buying the explanations, and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Patrick Leahy stated to following on the Senate floor of the missing emails :

"You can't erase e-mails, not today," ... "They've gone through too many servers. Those e-mails are there -- they just don't want to produce them. It's like the infamous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes."

Leahy is more right than wrong, McClatchy reports that :

"If Karl Rove or other White House staffers tried to delete sensitive e-mails from their computers, experts said, investigators usually could recover all or most of them."
It's like "removing an index card in a library," said Robert Guinaugh, a senior partner at CyberControls LLC, a data forensic-support company in Barrington, Ill. "You take the card out, but the book is still on the shelf."
"People think they can delete e-mails, but that's not always the case," Guinaugh said.
As an investigator works, he may run across evidence that someone had installed scrubbing software or changed the date and time that a file was created.

"That would be suspicious," Guinaugh said. "It might indicate that something nefarious was going on."

First the White House claimed the attorney purge was not politically related but performance related.

Closer inspection has proven that performance was not the basis of the firing of eight U.S. Attorney's, political loyalty was.

The attorney's were rated to determine whether or not they were, using Karl Rove's own words "loyal Bushies".

To the White House, US Attorney allegiance to the Republican Party and to George W. Bush was (and is) far more important than any allegiance to United States law.

Now the White House is claiming that the reason Rove & Co. used RNC email accounts instead of White House email accounts was because they were politically related emails.

Politically related emails that are now magically missing. Four years of them. Five million of them.

Are we are really supposed to believe these missing politically related emails sent threw the RNC to avoid federal law on White House record keeping are not related to the politically related firing of eight US Attorneys that the White House claims is not politically motivated?

Do they really expect intelligent people to swallow that pill using the poisoned Kool-Aid they have so artfully provided for us?

My intuition and skepticism are telling me the emails have gone missing because someone wanted those emails missing.

Furthermore, I am willing to bet there is much more in those missing emails than just the information about the attorney purge.

Given that the five million missing emails are pre-2005 there is likely to be other important emails in the batch besides emails regarding the attorney purge. This could include emails regarding the invasion of Iraq and the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to the press - all more good reasons to try to make the information disappear.

In the days and weeks to come more information will become available, and I doubt any of it is going to indicate that the Bush Administration is a pious and effective Administration.

As the pressure builds it is likely that the White House and it's loyalist will continue to lash out, just like many cornered animals will do. Their anger and refusal to fully cooperate (while claiming to cooperate) only makes them look more guilty to average Americans.

Everyday this scandal gets bigger and more complicated.

More and more comparisons are being made between the missing emails and the 18 1/2-minute gap in the Richard Nixon audio tapes about the Watergate break-in.

[Fact: Did you know Karl Rove worked on the Richard Nixon reelection campaign? Vice President Dick Cheney first served as a Nixon intern and then served under former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who served in various positions under Nixon. Many people who work for Bush once worked for Nixon. That's not very surprising, is it?]

Hopefully the emails can be recovered even if the cronies went to great lengths to hide or destroy them.
Dozens slain in Baghdad, Karbala attacks
Bombings raise questions about `surge'

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish - Imus Finds Little Sympathy

Related :
-MSNBC drops simulcast of Don Imus show
-CBS fires Don Imus from radio show
-Roker : There is no joy in what has transpired
-It's not just Imus
-Rosenberg alluded to previous racially insensitive remarks that first got him fired from Imus

"Shock jock" Don Imus triggered outrage when last week he called the female players of the Rutgers basketball team "nappy-headed hos" - a comment that is not only racially offensive but sexist as well.

The reaction was slow, but once realization hit, Imus was sunk.

Once the advertisers begin to flee, you know your days are numbered. Yesterday MSNBC announced it was dropping the Imus simulcast and today CBS announced Imus was fired from the radio show.

The AP reports : "Imus had a long history of inflammatory remarks. But something struck a raw nerve when he targeted the Rutgers team — which includes a class valedictorian, a future lawyer and a musical prodigy — after they lost in the NCAA championship game."

The firing of Don Imus should be a redefining moment in American public discourse. The line has been drawn in the sand and America is finally starting to reject open bigotry.

While the words and popularity of Don Imus expose that a large segment of America is at least still somewhat racist, the negative reaction to the derogatory words reveal that an even larger segment of America will no longer tolerate racism and sexism in public discourse.

So while this incident exposes the ugly and racist underpinnings of American society it also offers a beacon of hope because the outrage triggered by the Imus remarks shows progression in our society.

In the past the comments made by Imus would have been socially acceptable, but today we have been shown that racial and sexist slurs will not be digested as easily as they once were.

So while I am disgusted with the use of such openly racist and sexist language I am pleased to see America's rejection to such crude language.

The firing of Don Imus should serve as a warning for other shocking personalities who want to use their time on the air or in print churning out sexist or racist remarks that are disguised as "jokes".

I'm sure some voices on the hard right will claim that their "Freedom of Speech" is under fire. This argument can be debunked very easily.

The first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;"

Simply put, Congress is not restricting Imus so his right to free speech is not being restricted. Imus still has the right to make vile comments, he just will not have the privilege of making such comments on CBS or MSNBC.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

End The War Or Start The Draft?

Two headlines popped out at me this afternoon.

The first : Gates announces longer tours in Iraq
The second : Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad

The first headline details that US troops tour of duty will be extended, the second headline claims the United States plans to break several parts of Baghdad up into isolated communities.

Imagine you are the US soldier, tired and weary of combat who is told "Effective immediately, your prison sentence has been extended an additional three months, you will now serve 15 month tours."

Oh, you think, what a bummer - you were really hoping to see your daughter and wife in another sixty days when your tour ended, but suddenly it will be nearly half a year before you see them again. Nice.

So let me be the 800 pound guerilla in the room and ask : how can over-stressing the military be beneficial to the United States or Iraq? Obviously the troops are being asked to stay for longer tours because there is a shortage of manpower.

Furthermore, one only needs to look to the neglect of Walter Reed to understand that not only is our manpower limited, so is the ability to take care of those who have been injured in war.

There is but one "solution" to the problem, end the war or start the draft.

I am an opponent of the draft, everything about a draft indicates that you no longer live in a free society.

But I am also opposed to a mere handful of men and woman taking all the punishment for the President's bad decisions.

If Jane and John Doe can wear a uniform then so can Jenna and Barbara Bush.

I am quite certain there is only one way to establish control over Iraq, and that is to have a military draft, and I really don't think that's going to happen without civil unrest and molotov cocktails in the United States.

If the draft is not an option then scaling back or ending the war has to be an option or we will accomplish nothing but exhausting ourselves and our supplies.

With that said, does anyone think dividing up Baghdad will accomplish anything?

The Independents Robert Fisk writes

' 'The campaign of "gated communities" - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and will be the most ambitious counter-insurgency programme yet mounted by the US in Iraq."

"The system of "gating" areas under foreign occupation failed during the French war against FLN insurgents in Algeria and again during the American war in Vietnam. Israel has employed similar practices during its occupation of Palestinian territory - again, with little success. ' '

OK, but my questions are : What about the other 59 districts in Baghdad that will not be "gated"? What's to prevent insurgents from setting up base in non-gated communities?

Furthermore what is to prevent insurgents from launching more attacks in Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosul, Basra, Najef, Karbala, Samarra and Kirkuk?

And why, why, why are we taking advice from the Israeli's? The Israeli's have not been entirely successful in quelling the Palestinian uprising, which even in it's zenith is nowhere near as violent and dangerous as the insurgency in Iraq.

Have we already forgotten that Israeli's strong arm completely failed against Hezbollah in Lebanon last summer?

Israel has been unable to coexist with their Arab neighbors for decades, so what on earth qualifies them to be giving us advice on Iraq?

The only qualification Israel has in my eyes to be giving us advice on Iraq is their exceptional ability to not solve the problems brewing with their Arab neighbors ... And that's not much of a qualification at all when you think about it.


Hey, I got an idea! Let's turn Baghdad into a new West Bank since life is soooo good in the West Bank for the Palestinians...

We can put a wall up and everything. Then we can say it's for the "security" of the Iraqi's even though it's just a cage to lock them up in just like the Wall in the West Bank bank does. That will solve all our problems!

Sounds like a good idea, if your a proud neocon unaware of the realities of such a scenario.


Attempting to turn Baghdad into a divided police state will not solve the major political and religious divides among the Iraqi people and therefore will not aid in eradicating the violence amongst them.

In the long run the practice of dividing communities may only serve to aggravate sectarian feuds further so may in fact be detrimental to stopping violence.

I know the idea sounds tempting for a problem that has been so complex. But the truth is and always will be that only the Iraqi's can take control of their country, we cannot shape, manipulate or carve their destiny forever.

It may sound harsh, especially from a Liberal, but sometimes countries need a revolution, sometimes there has to be a civil war.

Sometimes the good guys come out on top, sometimes it's the bad. Covertly aiding the Iraqi's who have been deemed as the favorable choice is always an option in trying to ensure a better future for Iraq.

But to deny a civil war when perhaps one needs to be waged is almost like denying fate, the time bomb will explode eventually so you might as well quit stalling and take cover.

The President was foolishly optimistic in his thinking that toppling Saddam would somehow trigger a wave of freedom and liberty throughout the Middle East.

The Bush Administration has illustrated how incompetent they are in dealing with issues in the Middle East with their utter lack of knowledge about Muslims before the occupation began. That ignorance leads directly to the failure you see here today.

If the Bush Administration had understood the complex political and religious differences among the people of Iraq then none would have believed such a fairy-tale scenario was possible.

If the Bush Administration itself didn't also have a complex political and religious ideology themselves then such a fairy-tale scenario in Iraq would have never been dreamt up in the first place.

The two articles -
The first : Gates announces longer tours in Iraq
The second : Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad

These articles paint a lovely picture when combined together.

The first article suggests that the military is stretched thin.

The second article indicates that the US military believes it can complete a massive security operation that would realistically requite much more troop strength than we currently have.

So the question of the day is : End the war or start the draft?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Bush Administration VS. A Democratic Congress

I am truly amazed at President Bush's absurd game of demanding that Congress submit to his will, as if he really believes this is a monarchy and that the job of Congress is to grant his wishes. Ha!

Perhaps if Bush had employed real constitutional scholars in his administration instead of 150 religious ideologues from Pat Robertson's Regent University he would understand how this thing we call a "Democracy" [not Theocracy] really works.

However I am truly concerned that the President seems to be unaware of the fact there are three branches of government and that he does not exercise absolute authority over the Legislative Branch.

The President "demands" a bill with no strings [i.e. deadlines, timetables] attached.

This means that the President wants unlimited amounts of money to wage a war for an undetermined amount of time, yet he can't even explain to us what constitutes as a victory or how he plans to achieve it.

Congress recently passed a bill that would have allotted President Bush the money necessary to wage his war in Iraq, if troops were to begin withdrawing from Iraq in 2008.

The President and his enablers have wrongfully labeled this move as "political theatre" and have falsely claimed that Congressional Democrats are trying to harm the troops by putting guidelines in the bill.

The Bush Administration has also been proclaiming the date of April 15 as being the day that "the money runs out" but an independent report concludes the Pentagon has enough money to continue operations of the war threw July without significant impact.

What else the President, his loyalist and his enablers are failing to mention is that the President is the one who failed or refused to include necessary money for the war in his annual budget. Because, you know, it's pretty hard to balance the budget with a trillion dollar war on the books.

Now President Bush seems to be holding press conferences for the sheer purpose of having nationally televised temper tantrums.

The President has reduced himself to throwing out partisan slurs to the audience so everyone can see just how outraged [!] he is that Congress is no longer acting as his complicit puppet.

The President's recent behavior is reminiscent to a spoiled child who is used to getting his own way and who doesn't know how to play well with the other kids.

Unfortunately for Bush he does not realize this behavior is extremely unbecoming of a mature President and that history will duly note his stubborn foolhardiness as detrimental to his own cause.

The President's recent behavior indicates he had grown far too comfortable with the old Republican Congress and the age of unaccountability they had enabled him to reign over.

So, where is that bi-partisanship spirit that Bush promised shortly after the Republicans lost the elections?

Oh, that's right, by "bipartisan" what the President really meant was that if the Democratic Congress was as subservient as the Republican Congress then bipartisanship was absolutely possible in one of the most partisan countries in the world! It's all so clear now!

Back to reality ...

Now the President wants to meet with Democrats to discuss the issue, with preconditions of course.

What a surprise! This is the exact same reason the Bush Administrations foreign policy is floundering at an impasse, because of it's unrealistic and unfair preconditions.

The Bush Administration attitude is "I'll only talk to you if you agree to compromise your position beforehand and I will not compromise my position at all."

No wonder they can't get anywhere. The Bush Administration cannot even negotiate with it's opponents in the US, so how would it ever be able to negotiate with opponents outside the US? The answer is they can't and that's part of the reason why the Bush Administration is broken down on so many levels.

The President and Republicans have to realize that they have already been given every opportunity and chance to win or end the war in Iraq while they were in power, but they failed to do either.

Their failure led to their defeat in the 2006 elections, but the Republicans don't even have the dignity to loose with grace and refuse to quietly surrender their position of authority even though they are no longer the majority.

That failure and fall from grace should serve as a lesson to anyone, Democrats included, who wants to wage a war, you need to have a plan for ending the war just as you had a plan for beginning the war and you must set a goal that is realistic and obtainable.

It's time for Republicans to give the other team it's chance at bat because they lost the inning. Whether they like it or not, it's the rules of the game and if they don't follow them history will not forgive them as easily as their enablers have.