« Tommy K's Cooperation | Main | Bush's Cheney's Legacy »

August 31, 2007


Rove has forgotten that we didn't invade Vietnam but were asked in. For the invasion of Iraq alone, Bush deserves ignominy, and Rove was one of his accomplices.

Dear EW,
I hope this isn't OT. With your evocation of The Wizard of Oz in the title of this post, you reminded me of something that my little brain finally realized the other day. Remember when Dorothy threw the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch, and she melted? Do you remember the Ho-He-Ho guys with the green faces suddenly came to their senses, as if an enchantment had been lifted, and praised Dorothy? "Hail, Dorothy!" one of them said. I think I've happened upon the definitive source for the Bush regime's thinking going into Iraq. Put them together. Despotic leaders. Check. Subjugated people. Check. Poppies everywhere. Check. Sorry, scratch that. The poppies are in Afghanistan. Torture. Check. Well, torture before AND after, but it still counts for the before comparison. I think that pretty much proves that Bush and Co. watched the Wizard of Oz and thought that was the way it happened whenever a despot was deposed. It's the only reasonable explanation, as far as I can see, which, admittedly, is not that far, but far enough to recognize some eery similarities. Just a chance coincidence? I'm not so sure. The big bonus is, if my analysis holds water, maybe we can throw it at shrub.

Turdblossom gets it wrong like usual: "He who writes history first, wins."

Lyin' soundbites ain't history, and if Turdblossom had stayed in any of those colleges, he might have learned that...or not.

The stupid f**king bozo thinks he can set the criteria---today---by which a president will be measured in the context of history. He thinks he can spell out the measurements and then make up the results, before the fact, much like he and his boss have done with every "report" they issue (or edit). And that historians will act like lobotomized Fox news producers and happily go along.

Some architect. I wouldn't let him design a garden shed for me, let alone policy.

...as I read through the article I wanted to barf!

"A wide range of human-rights issues — from the repression in North Korea, Myanmar, and elsewhere to religious freedom to trafficking in persons — are kept on the international agenda in good part because of this president’s demands for action."

I guess he forgot about Dafur?

Written like a guy who's... got nothin'

He's got nothing left but his own delusions, as he tries to convince and comfort himself that he isn't the galactic failure that he is.

Just go back to Texas, TB.

As long as we are discussing the blindly stupid, AP has a lovely little article about an agreement on greenhouse gases. "Negotiators from 158 countries reached basic agreement Friday on rough targets aimed at getting some of the world's biggest polluters to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming."
Way down in paragraph 12 of 19 is this short note: "Friday's agreement does not include the U.S., which has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol." That's it, no other mention of the only major industrialized country that doesn't even show up at these UN conferences.

. . . to trafficking in persons — are kept on the international agenda in good part because of this president’s demands for action

You betcha. That innovative leaflet program to encourage Pakistani criminals and Afghan warlords to round up people and sell them for cash to President Bush, was definitely kept on the agenda because of Bush's demands. He put the "W" in human trafficking.

Thanks for this droll understatement: ...yet he ensures his cronies defy all market realities by giving them no-bid contracts

The most venal of Rove's Stupidities, IMHO, are the false narratives that claim to equate:
War in Iraq = War on Terror = WWII = VietNam

Leave it to Rove to be that stupid.


Clearly, Rove needed a good editor, and EW, you are that editor.

OT, Bush is quoted as saying that Tony Snow will beat cancer.

See ya, Tony.

You know W's accuracy record as well as I do.


from the evidence before us, you're a first-rate editor


if i were you

i don't think i'd apply to the white house just yet,

facts just aren't their thing.

If I remember correctly, Dr. Frankensteil was irrationally proud of his creature, too.

Turdblossom actually mentions Saudi Arabia as one of the countries that attacked us on 9/11? .. Oh .. never mind .. I see that Emptywheel added that ;-)

"Did you call for me, Mr. White?"

"Karl, come in and close the door. I want to talk to you about the NRO piece before we go to press with it."

"Well, sure, Mr. White, I had a whole week to work on it, much more than a Powerpoint, so I thought it was pretty ready to go, you know?"


"What? That's all positives in there, with a tricky allusion to McGovern and Vietnam at the end, too? It works with our target demographic all the time!"


"Oh, come on! There's no defeatest language in there! In fact, I say that by making all the 'right' decisions on the front end, the president can only be cheated out of his legacy by a sell-out at home."


"No, no, I know this guy, I'm telling you. He sees it just like I layed it out in the piece. Those two terms in the White House mean everything to him, and I got them for him."

"Well, Karl, you're not at the White House anymore. You're here at the Planet, and I wouldn't accept that piece from a high school journalism intern. Now, tear that shit up and try again!"

"But, Mr. White..."

"Get out!"

Thanks emptywheel, it kind of reminds of the speeches Hitler was giving from his Bunker in 1945. According to Rover, we spread Democracy by invading other countries. Who knew?

The stuff about the culture of life and infant mortality is actually the crux of any critical commentary about Rove and his maunderings. They DIDN'T have a culture of life. They DIDN'T protect the young. They only professed to. THAT'S why infant mortality is so high. Iraq, jobs, public health--all of that is secondary to the fact that they didn't have a "culture of life" because they just didn't give a damn about human beings.

I couldn't get past this line from the article:

"I can hardly be considered an objective observer, but in this highly polarized period, who is?"

...and who has made it polarized?

"...the region descended into chaos, violence, and danger,"


What was it before? As I recall the reason we LEFT Viet Nam is because it had descended into UNCONTROLLABLE chaos, violence and danger (as long as WE control the violence, it is not chaos?)

Same as Iraq, we stay and the chaos is somehow not chaos, we leave, and all hell breaks loose, when it was loose already?

The old Rove idiom, "If you can't beat em', beat ON them!"

The Bush era will be known as the age of "ME Pluribus Unum."

Karl Rove (as quoted by EW @ Top): "History’s concern is with final outcomes, not the missteps or advances of the moment."



There are no *final* outcomes in history. History is the study of what happened when and why, by whom and to whom, of who we were and are, of the cultures we've developed and how they changed and how they came to be. It's the study of all the intermediate steps, and outcomes are just punctuation marks, a turn in the staircase, or - if one disagrees that the metaphor of progressive ascendence is in any way accurate, as I do - then a turn in the road or trail.

I don't know that I've seen the ignorance, idiocy, and arrogance of Republican philosophy ever encapsulated so well in a single sentence. Only the outcomes matter; the end justifies the means.

I suspect it's why they have such a hard time with evolution, which is, too, also all about the intermediate steps.

But of course Karl doesn't care about the intermediate steps. It would get in the way of his future plans. After all, Turdblossom says he may go into teaching -- even though he has no college degree. Another unnecessary intermediate step.

By god, what an asshole.

Well for me the money quote:

"And this president saw the wisdom of removing terrorism’s cause by advocating the spread of democracy, especially in the Muslim world, where authoritarianism and repression...."

Because regardless of his "blah, blah, blah..." that's where the single greatest cognitive distortion is solidified and expressed for all time.

The idea that the cause terrorism is cured by democracy and that it will be cured by a democracy currently being run by an authoritarian administration. This administration has "proven" by unethical empirical research that the theory is false.

And they aren't smart enough to recognize that they should have rephrased that cognition if they wanted to "hide" their mistakes. Its the foundation of all the damage they did. It's the lie, the foundational judgment, that increases instead of decreases the violence.

Great article, as always.


the Yo he ho guys were called "Winkies".

I kid you not.

John Dean on Rove:


hope this is okay to post here, thought others might be interested. If not, let me know. and if it has already been referred to, my apologies.

I think I get it. They dumped Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales to clear the field for their Iraq campaign, and to prepare the way for bombing Iran.

They're getting the scandals out of the way before their nexthurrah...

O/T, sort of, but what is the Wan Kim story?

after reading



Writ Law article by Marci Hamilton regarding religious wing (headed by Treene) of DOJ:


"Eric Treene:

The Attorney General in the past year has spoken about religious liberty to the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations at their annual dinner and then last summer spoke to Agudath Israel about religious liberty. In the next month, I am speaking to the National Council of Jewish Women and a South Asian group of Hindu and Muslim attorneys and leaders.***** I know the Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim are planning to address this in numerous forums.****"


Did everybody know this was going on, converting the US gov't? What the he**?

Also O/T. The government filed its Response to the ACLU motion before the FISA Court, to release redacted orders representing what used be called the TSP, as well as the Court's denials and other legal arguments that the government has acknowledged the existence of.

See Government Response to ACLU Motion before FISA Court (text version), which has links to the ACLU press release, etc.

Reads to me like the romantic doodlings of a man in love.

More OT:

Waxman wants to know the name of the company that was screening and auditing WH email. The WH won't say.

Hmm. I wonder why not? Might it be that the same firm handles GOPmail? Might it be hooked into Brent Wilkes's operations?

LHP - Shall we call the new "yo he ho" guys the "wankies"?

pseudonymous in nc,

I'm working on that one (company in charge of WH email). Don't think it's Wilkes' company, but I do think it is connected to CIFA. Pretty sure it is not the GOPMail company.


thanks for that one.

OT: Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 ?!?!?

Can we replace the Democratic Congress with Appalachian State? They appear to have plenty of fight and no fear.

joejoejoe - I think that is exactly why EW is a little scarce. Michigan doesn't usually tank like that unless they are playing a Pac-10 team.

pseudonymous in nc and William Ockham,

Is the GOPmail company the same as GovTech, the people who run the House Intel Committee servers, among others?
The comment about Waxman's inquiry reminded me of this story from March:


Ouch. On both counts.

I'm mid-wedding celeb (yes, lots of weddings this time of year). So I'll have to be humbled by all you wolverine haters later.

This is not on topic for this post, but for Next Hurrah in general. I ran across this blog, but don't know what happened in 1993 to know why now is different, though one commenter suggested because these attorneys today were fired for trying (or not trying) to affect the outcome of elections

from the Vanguard.com
Attorneygate: Bill Clinton’s 1993 Purge of U.S. Attorneys

Published by Richard Poe April 14th, 2007

History is an excellent antidote for hysteria. All the huffing and puffing over the Bush Administration’s firing of eight U.S. Attorneys might be tempered by an awareness that Bush’s predecessor, President Bill Clinton, summarily fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys on a single day, March 24, 1993. (1) (2)

Why the Clinton Administration initiated this unprecedented purge has never been adequately investigated. For the convenience of future historians, we offer here a full list of the 93 U.S. Attorneys whose resignations the Clinton administration demanded:

Also, is there a place where someone can get bios of US Attorneys? I found the above post while trying to get information on the attorneys who will prosecute the two Alaska legislators on trail next week. The attorneys are Joseph Bottini, Edward Sullivan, and James Goeke.

Steve, you can check the local US Attorney web page, but I doubt you are going to find substantial biographies of line level AUSAs. As to the Clinton BS, it is common practice for a new administration taking office, when the previous administration was from the other party, to replace all the US Attorneys. There are often a couple of holdovers here and there for continuity of some specific investigation or something of that nature, but basically there is a house cleaning. Reagan did it. Clinton did it. So did Bush when he took office. It is standard; the new President wants people from his party, instead of the ones there from the opposing party. That is understandable. What is not standard, and what is not understandable, is the wholesale changeout during a President's term, and firing for no explicable good reasons of his own appointees from his own party. People pushing this argument as support for Bush's actions are either either uninformed or liars.

Replacement of US Attorneys at change of administration is common (the rule), not unusual. Whatever differences there were between Clinton's replacement of 87, and GWB's replacement of 84 or so aren't huge differences.

One can look up the number, date and timing of replacements at the Library of Congress Nominations Search Tool. Here's a summary of 14 year's worth:

  • US Attorneys Confirmed by the Senate Under President Clinton
    • 103rd Congress: 87
    • 104th Congress: 4
    • 105th Congress: 18
    • 106th Congress: 14
  • US Attorneys Confirmed by the Senate Under President Bush
    • 107th Congress: 84
    • 108th Congress: 14
    • 109th Congress: 26
    • 110th Congress: 1 (as of July 1, 2007)

More history at Norm Theory and the Future of the Federal Appointments Process, by Michael J. Gerhardt. (pdf file - Duke Law Journal)

... similar requests had been made by [Janet Reno's] predecessors in the Carter, Reagan, and Bush administrations and honored by previous U.S. Attorneys.

Thanks, my assumptions were along those lines but I didn't have the details. And yes, I'd checked the Alaska District page and there's nothing on the individual attorneys. But there was this interesting tidbit:

United States Attorney - Later Years

Other prominent United States Attorneys served this district. Joseph W. Kehoe (1934-1942) gained recognition as a watercolor artist of Alaskan scenes. Warren N. Cuddy (1929-1933) founded the First National Bank of Anchorage, one of Alaska's two largest banking enterprises. Ralph Julian Rivers (1933-1944) was Alaska's first elected Representative in Congress, serving from 1959 to 1966. Theodore Fulton (Ted) Stevens was appointed in Fairbanks from 1954 to 1956 and later elected Senator in 1968. Michael Spaan (1981-1989) served the longest term as a United States Attorney for this district. He also personally tried the longest criminal case in the history of the state which resulted in RICO, fraud, and extortion convictions of two well-known lobbyists and political brokers. Spaan also gained widespread reputation for this vigorous enforcement of laws designed to protect Alaska's rich fishing grounds.

The Dems can do this, too! What a great picture!


The players look confident, and the Coach is holding-up his winning game plan! This was no fluke!

Teeny, tiny Boone, NC is the DFH Intergalactic Headquarters of the South. More than likely, one evening last week, Coach Moore sat back from his kitchen table, held up that paper and said, "Honey, here's how we're going to beat Michigan at the Big House on Saturday!"

Sorry EW, but with Edwards going full steam ahead it just has to be that a NC school is going to do well. Let's also keep an eye on Duke or UNC to see whether it lifts the entire state.

BTW, where did Edwards go to school?

MarkH - Have you shifted to basketball prematurely or started happy hour early?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad