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November 20, 2005


One can but hope that this will hamper the ability of that clown Pombo to ram through the legislation opening Federal lands (Say MY Land out loud) to mining interests.

note the backdrop of the scandal:

Conservatives' mission: save Bush presidency

Everybody from the top leaders (including Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) to the grassroots bloggers (who are trying to persuade radio stations to play a new pro-war song titled "Bush Was Right") has been enlisted in the cause. The goal is not merely to boost wartime morale on the home front. Ultimately, the goal is to save the Bush presidency.

That's how conservative leaders view this historic moment. As Iraq hawk William Kristol put it the other day: "If the American people really come to a settled belief that Bush lied us into war, his presidency will be over. He won't have the basic level of trust needed to govern." And David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, contended: "The Iraq war "is the Bush administration. ... The President has to defend, champion and explain the war - or else be destroyed by it."

But Frum fears that Bush's unpopularity "will be very hard to reverse." Indeed, Bush's predicament is dire, because he first ran for president on a vow that he, unlike Bill Clinton, would not become trapped in Credibility Gap. Character was Bush's calling card. He promised that he would "restore honesty" to the White House; yet today, nearly six in 10 Americans tell pollsters that Bush is untrustworthy.

It may be too late for Bush to win them back. As a number of historians and pollsters contended the other day, most Americans by now have developed a shorthand about Iraq: Bush cited weapons of mass destruction as his prime rationale for war; then we went to war and didn't find any. This shorthand has been embraced by swing-voting independents; according to pollster John Zogby, only 28 percent now side with the president.

Zogby said by phone: "Trust is like virginity. Once you've lost it, you don't get it back. That's what happened to Lyndon Johnson during Vietnam, and Nixon during Watergate. And Bush doesn't have much wiggle room to improve his status anyway, because, at this point, half the nation already hates his guts."

I have been saying thgis all along.

Their latest hope is now the December election in Iraq, but that has a short-term and long-term problem. The short-term problem is that this is the third time dipping into that well, so far as US public opinion is concerned.

The long-term problem, which is of course the core problem of this whole misadventure, is the non-likelihood that any credible Iraqi government will emerge. It may well be legitimate in the eyes of the Shia. It will at best remain a tolerable flag of convenience for the Kurds, but their real loyalty remains with Kurdistan. But as for the Sunnis, what is the chance that it will offer them any deal they find acceptable?

Well, I'm off to Juan Cole's Informed Opinion, where I'm sure I'll find plenty of cheerful stuff to brighten my Sunday morning.

-- Rick

"Bush was Right" sung to the tune of Garryowen?

The week should not pass without noting that Republicans are now passing last-ditch soak-the-poor provisions by hair-thin margins ... margins they could not sustain without the votes of members indicted or soon to be indicted for their own personal piggery.

IT'S A RAID! The jig's up, the vice squad's breaking in, and some of the players are grabbing what's left on the table and stuffing it down their pants on the way out the back door.

Over at another blog, someone posted last night that the Republicans win because they are the "party of convictions," to which I responded that they are the party that lacks convictions, i.e., Rove's not in jail, etc.

Looks like that's going to change this coming year.

Time to go stock up on popcorn and dark beer - the circus is coming to town!!


RonK, you got that right. Looking at the fact that Rep. Pombo is on the list makes me frantic in thinking that his comeuppance won't be in time to save our public lands from his plans to sell them off to the highest bidder. Can't we get this scandal going faster so we have a chance to save something from these crooks?

With Plame, Abramoff, Iraq war intel follies, Franklin/AIPAC, Delay's indictment, Frist's investigation, Cheney(subtopics: torture, renditions, guantanamo, Halliburton,) and the rest, we are witnessing scandal's perfect storm. The amazing thing to me is that all of these investigations are looking into criminal behavior committed in the last four years.

So, I guess the Republicans weren't lying, to them, 9-11 really did change everything.

and speaking of Abramoff and the old domino theory. in the Boston Globe it looks like up to 36 congresspeople were in on this scam.

"Almost three dozen members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, pressed the government to reject an Indian casino in Louisiana while they collected large donations from rival tribes and their lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

Many intervened with letters to Interior Secretary Gale Norton within days of receiving money from tribes represented by Abramoff or using the lobbyist's restaurant for fund-raising, an Associated Press review of campaign records, IRS records, and congressional correspondence has found.

Legislators said that their intervention had nothing to do with Abramoff, and that the timing of donations was a coincidence."

what a coincidence! I was just thinking that myself! I wouldn't simply couldn't in my wildest imagination believe that there was any connection between say a $20,000 'donation' to some politician's PAC, and his writing a letter to dear sweet gail norton at Interior about some native american casinos.

and further on the article notes something about.....ethics....remember the word 'ethics'? oh I almost forgot, after 11 years of republican control that word has fallen out I mean been pushed out of the popular political lexicon and the public's consciousness.

"Congressional ethics rules require lawmakers to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in performing their official duties and in accepting political money."

avoiding conflicts of interest. ethics. you don't say! now the press, ahem, reminds them, and us!!


and I like this quote from a Knight Ridder story. they seem to do a good bit of investigative reporting.

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/ ...id=aLHX6Q_LZC4A

"Beyond the potential legal concerns, Scanlon's cooperation with authorities may spell political jeopardy for Republicans leading into next year's elections, especially if he helps draw other lawmakers into the investigation. ``He knows where all the bodies are buried,'' said a congressional aide who worked with Scanlon."

all those bodies! it's going to be quite an exhumation, folks!!

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