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November 09, 2007


I feel their energy rising again. This morning Bolton was making the rounds making a strong case against diplomacy with Iran and touting his new book (bullshit rationale for war).

I think the timing was important...now after the Mukasey confirmation. Lay folks take a decision like this and do not read the details, they assume if he was confirmed, he was not that bad. Bolton sounds so damn rational (unless you actually listen to his words) as he discredits and creates the rationale for the ONLY alternative. I fear that they are making headway in legitimizing their "style" of leadership and that many folks are buying in. Ten steps to a facists state...which one are we on?? Where are we now?

can we get a list of who voted For/against. We have no Senator in this state that cares, both voted for. Hope Liddy goes to pasture in the elections next year. I think the last lift she had stretched the last little bit of sense (a vast void) she had out.


Click through the link.

The Dems who voted for Mukasey are Schumer, DiFi, Carper (?!?), Bayh, Nelson (NE), Landrieu.

None of the Presidential candidate Senators voted, nor did Alexander or Cornyn.

The Senate Roll Call on Mukasey.

The vote was 53-40; Clinton, Obama, Biden, and Dodd did not vote. Note that this means a filibuster would have held. (The opposition has to produce 60 Senators on the floor to break a filibuster; the filibuster-ers do not have to reach 41 on the floor.)

There was a unanimous consent decree before the debate saying there would be no filibuster. This can only mean that of the Democratic Senators who voted against Mukasey, several of them wanted to vote against him only if they knew he would be confirmed anyway; and those who might have been willing to filibuster must have known this and known they wouldn't win the cloture vote.

As I said at FDL, at least Feinstein had the decency to stab us in the face.

And once again, we lose the battle at the unanimous consent decree, well before the vote itself...

Can we really imagine the framer's thinking that the fear of a mutual Congressional obstructionism would trump the rule of law? So much for the go along to get along Congress. Talk about appeasement. These instances of moral capitulation to a corrupt administration only ratify the oligarchy. I suppose the Constitutional idea was that Congress would fear the people and not the lobbyist or the actions of the opposition the next time the opposition came to power.

The rule of law is not a perpetual compromise toward lesser standards but the systemic challenges we face today strain the Constitutional process. Pelosi et al. are owned by the fear of losing their corrupt attachment to mere power.

I think the interview Wasserman-Schulz gave the other day (about impeaching Cheney) is entirely relevant here. She claims that the job of representatives in Congress is to win elections and cement their hold on power. Although she specifically put it in terms of Democrats in 2008, this has also been the operating principle of the Rethugs for years. Just as investing has become a short term, quarter to quarter, activity with no regard for long term planning or consequences, our government has become an exercise in short term electoral gains with no regard to long term goals. This is a hopelessly myopic approach within which to frame policy, whether domestic or foreign.

Their oaths of office, in which they swear to defend the Constitution of the United States is a meaningless photo-op for them. It produces glossy 8x10s they can autograph and send to supporters. The Constitution, the rule of law, none of it matters, so long as they can perpetuate their own power and maintain the patronage system with which they reward their friends and themselves.

The public has no representation in Congress. I have no idea if it is too late to save our democracy, but it will clearly not save itself.

Not to speak well of Mitch McConnell, but he really drew back the curtain on Schumer's machinations re: Mukasey. And Leahy's response to McConnell was dandy. Schumer seemingly got really punked on this one. McConnell tore him to shreds...

mighty mouse, I've clearly missed something here, any links or a few more details on what you're referring to with McConnell and Schumer?

This is from my viewing of the debate last night. When McConnell took the floor, he talked about how right Schumer was in maintaining that waterboarding/torture was a difficult call--he seemed to contradict a lot of what Schumer said on the floor, i.e., Mukasey was "dead wrong" on waterboarding.

I don't know what political consideration--and I really will not excuse whatever it was--prompted the four Democratic prez wannabes to not show up for the vote but it may have been the last straw for me. Despite all the proclamations from the Democrats about the great candidates we have, I do not agree. At least with Rudy we'll know we're getting an enhanced idiot king. We can only guess about the Dems. Damn.

Thanks mighty mouse, I missed the debate last night.

Sally, I couldn't agree more. I sent Dodd a contribution when he announced he would put a hold on the FISA revisions, and I made the mistake of believing he was sincere about restoring the Constitution. I sent him an email this morning. It wasn't nice.

Shame on Clinton, Obama, Biden and Dodd for missing the vote.

(Obama somehow manages to miss all the votes that could be used against him).

And shame on the Democrats for not filibustering.

so now difi is the torture senator

I tried to warn her

you just gotta fuck one sheep, and 50 years of being a good shepard are down the tubes

Diane Feinstein, Enemy of Humanity

kinda sad to see that happen, but FUCK HER AND THE HORSE SHE RODE IN ON

Honestly, I find it hard to get too exercised about the candidates' absence. So, because they weren't there, the vote was 53-40 instead of 53-44. BFD. Result is the same.

Given that there were going to be 53 votes to confirm, the only possible tactic is a filibuster, and for a cloture vote, their presence or absence is immaterial.

NB: the Gang of 14 agreement apparently now extends to AG, and waterboarding does not count as an extraordinary circumstance.

Well, Andrew, like I said, I don't care about all that stuff. I want a presidential candidate to say loud and clear that he/she is against torture and to vote accordingly.

Given that there were going to be 53 votes to confirm, the only possible tactic is a filibuster, and for a cloture vote, their presence or absence is immaterial.

The votes on an issue of this importance are not immaterial.

If this is an important issue, then why didn't they lead the drive for a filibuster?

Shame on Clinton, Obama, Biden and Dodd for missing the vote
Honestly, I find it hard to get too exercised about the candidates' absence. So, because they weren't there, the vote was 53-40 instead of 53-44.

It is most interesting because if they win the election, there is no standard to hold them to personally when they make their cabinet/AG selections.

freepatriot - That was not a horse she rode in on, it was a big (and sore) sheep.

Ambiguous Pronoun Alert:

EW: "It takes a real beating--like the one Alberto Gonzales gave Richard (one good reason not to blog before coffee) Mark Pryor when he appointed Tim Griffin and attempted to "gum to death" that nomination..."

Marcy, the 'he' there reads as it was *Pryor* that nominated Griffin, not Gonzalez. Pronouns are always first parsed by the listener (or reader) as referring to the closest antecedent.

Pete--that's precisely why I said cloture vote. You're right, for leading a filibuster, their presence is material. Leading from Davos doesn't work. But that leadership failed to happen, not last night at 10 PM, but in the days and weeks before that.

Thanks Andrew. I re-read some of your earlier analysis, and it is absolutely correct.

I was reading above, and have to say that I am surprised that John Cornyn missed voting. If I am not mistaken, though, he was tending to more important matters, like fund-raising with the Preznit to get out the Repug vote.

This is up at Talking Points:
First, our reporters are digging into the Mukasey confirmation story, trying to find out just what went down yesterday, what the deal was that Reid held out for, how it was exactly that the presidential candidates didn't get back or weren't given enough time to get back for the vote.

It looks like some of the non-voters might have legitimate excuses. (Maybe the senate ought to find a way to allow voting by conference-call or other remote method. This is not a problem that will be going away soon.)

If the "non-voters have legitimate excuses" I presume they still have legitimate mouths with which to voice thier own legitimate mea culpas and legitimately set the record straight on how they would have voted but for . . .

I'm waiting, but not holding my breath. Like every other sell out by the Washington elite.

There's never been a law against speaking clearly, against eschewing cowardice. Its merely conventional dem politics to do so.

I presume they still have legitimate mouths

I've even given up on things that simple.

Four "party" candidates for President in the Senate, each of whom said they were against the nomination, and a party that still sets a cover of darkness vote to slide him in with no commentary and none of those candidates having to actually vote against him or say a word against him.

As soon as his name was picked from a list where he didn't seem to "fit" with the others, it seemed almost definite that deals had been made. As soon as Whitehouse held feet to the fire on a real question, and even those like Feingold were halting in their response, it was pretty clear the deal was done.

It looks like Dems got water resources pork as part of the deal - booyah for them.

And now Nadler, Kennedy, Kerry etc. want to compound the error of it all by adopting the pretense that no one knew what was right or wrong since the time the Constitution, prohibiting bills of pains and penalties and cruel and unusual punishment was adopted, through today and we now need a [NOTHER] law on torture.

Despite Mukasey's sworn, under oath, testimony that he thinks the President doesn't have to follow the law all the time.

Mary - I don't know if you saw my comment on another thread last night that Schumer's "debate" speech sounded like a great argument to impeach Bush/Cheney and prosecute Gonzales, but was, through some supremely contorted reasoning, his argument to confirm Mukasey. It was simply amazing how he described the complete political criminalization of the DOJ, all the torture and war crimes and how Bush has made the extortion threat that if Mukasey is not confirmed, he will simply leave DOJ rudderless in the storm to die. Schumer's conclusion: better give in to the tortuous extortion and help them cover their crimes. I knew it was coming from Schumer, and was STILL shocked at the duplicity.

The other thing that really struck me with a lightning bolt was the speech by Huckleberry Graham. He too, although not as eloquently as Schumer, listed off a bunch of ills and then said confirming Mukasey was the best solution available. Nothing new there; but then he welled up and passionately stated how he knew that Mukasey considered torture illegal and that the President was not above the law, and some other critical point Mukasey was actually on the right side of the law on. Graham said Mukasey could not say these things in his sworn committee testimony, but had specifically given these answers to Graham to the same questions at a private meeting. In short, Graham vouched for Mukasey because he knew Mukasey had prevaricated in his testimony. Remarkable. Mukasey's the man, cause I know his testimony was dishonest and misleading. Nobody said a word about this. WTF is going on in Congress?

bmaz -- you hit the nail on the head, duplicity is the modus operandi of our elected officials. They are so corrupt, so dishonest, that they can no longer distinguish right from wrong, truth from fiction. I love that fact that Graham thinks Mukasey told him the truth, while he lied to Congress. How on earth would Graham know? That's the trouble when liars you can't tell when they are telling the truth and when they are lying. Perhaps Graham looked into Mukasey's eyes and saw his soul. I hear that works well...

oops, "trouble with liars" sorry 'bout that

By now we are all aware of the most prevalent cover stories that the dems are using -- wink, wink, we insiders get it and all that -- to wit: if Mukasey didn't go through, 1) the DOJ would be in such a horrible uproar that it politization would continue (like Mukasey's going to end that) 2) that Bush might, horror of horrors, do a recess appointment of the [very same] Mukasey (uh, neutering the already neutered dems???) 3) that some really draconian assistant AG, Keiser, or something like that, would make things even worse, etc. So, by God we'd better roll over.

And then there's the back door assurance that Mukasey says, you know, that if there was a law against torture -- one that's not vetoed andpassed over veto that is; or one that's not obviated by a signing statement -- he would surely uphold it. And we all know how derfinite he's been on the definition of torture; surely he would never second guess a legislated definition that the boss didn't like.

Yeah, we can count on Mukasey to be a real Elliot Richardson. He da man.

Anyway, why would the dem Senators think we are so stupid that all this isn't obvious. Oh yeah, I forgot, they count on the media not to rock the boat too badly. Tune into the News Hour tonight and let Brooks or Lowry set it straight while Jim Lehrer wisely nods and hmms.

It's a sad state of affairs when one can't tell if the dems are merely complicit in their own rape or willing partners.

bmaz @ 13:22 - the last couple of days were tight for me and I didn't see it until now. Thank you for saying it!

Graham has been one of the worst, in that he actually knows enough to know how to make the cover stick and how to sprinkle around indicia that you are doing the right thing, while very concertedly and deliberately doing the wrong thing.

Just what DOJ needs. A leader who will is either lying under oath or lying in back room deal making with the Senate.

OTOH, at least he showed up and said his piece and made his deals. The "leadership" of the Democratic party - Reid, Obama, Clinton, Dodd, Biden - - - not one leader there. Hell, if they didn't have the GOP to steer them, they'd be absolutely rudderless.

Oh Mary, you don't know how right you are about the GOP steering them. When it was time for Schumer and another Democratic supporter of Mukasey (DiFi I think?) to speak, they were voiced to the floor and allotted their time in the well to speak BY THE MINORITY! They were literally the GOP stars of the night. Last night I described it as surreal; somehow that doesn't seem strong enough.

I think Ben Franklin best sums up the political nightmare of the last 7 years:

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."

By the minority eh?

Surreal doesn't seem strong enough, but I guess when Dems are involved, strong words falter and fail.

Greg Sargent at TPM is putting together (or trying to) what happened last night. Apparently the candidates were out campagning, because they'd been told the vote would be next Tuesday. By the time they heard it was last night - which apparently was after 6pm Eastern - they couldn't get there in time - and Reid wasn't going to hold the vote open for anyone.

Aside: CNN.com was polling a bit ago, with the question being on how many of your congresscritters need to be replaced, and the answers being some or all. 'Some' had 55% of the responses then,

Hey everybody! What's happenin'? How's it goin'?

Aw, don't let the cartoon super-villains get ya down!

on his first day on the new
job, mukasey is grilled, by
letter, by reps. conyers and
nadler. . . take a look.
here's to hoping that -- true
to his word -- mukasey will now re-
pudiate these positions, expressly

in the first day of his hearings,
october 17, 2007, he called these
memos "worse than a sin -- a mistake". . .

so -- will he act upon those words,
and now renounce all forms of torture?

we'll see. . .

Kagro -- not sure what you're drinkin', but can I have some??? ;)

Mary -- strong words are the ONLY things Dems seem able to conjure up, it's in the action department that they falter and fail. Nope, that's not right either, they know exactly what they are doing, that is more of the problem, I think.

P J Evans, Reid wasn't going to hold the vote open for anyone? This man has to be a double agent.

Sally, that's what's being said. I want to see statements from (at least) Dodd, Clinton, and Obama, laying out why they weren't there. (Well, Obama probably was going to miss it anyway; he seems to be making a habit of not showing up on big votes.) I'm hearing crickets. And Greg Sargent's version isn't meshing completely with the version coming out of Reid's office.

I'm drinking very old, bitter, fermented Glenn Greenwald punch.

I was reminded that I still had an unfinished bottle of it when emptywheel said it was "unclear that our political system has the fortitude to save itself anymore."

If you are going to drink something Glen, perhaps it ought to include -livet or -fiddich.

Why isn't anyone taking Harry Reid to task? He's the one that controlls when this was voted in. I think he should be investigated.

What is that investigation going to show? That Reid is an old, weak, punch drunk wimp that is a DINO and constantly works behind the scenes to screw progressives, the Constitution and United States as a whole? We know that already.

Yikes Kagro, that punch isn't just old and bitter, it's rancid. Thanks for the link, I'm at a loss for whether to laugh or cry. I wonder whether Glenn can conjure up some cartoon super heroes to take out what have become our very real supervillians and their corrupt henchmen in Congress. Now if you will excuse me, I need to get back to being defeatist ;)

Yikes--Reid caved on Mukasey to get a vote on defense appropriations? Huh?

TPM is now saying it was a tradeoff for a vote on the mildefense appropriations bill.
Watch it go bad.

Does the defense appropriation bill include funds for waterboards?

Reid caved on Mukasey so the GOP didn't hold up the defense appropriations bill? WTF? Why not do the right thing (and what he promised; i.e. that he would be hands off and allow fillibusters if they came) on the torture nomination and then make the Rethuglicans look like petulant jerks for holding up the precious military funding? Jeebus!

Well. I'd say that does it.

Maybe it's time for a full-on review of the history of Congressional Democratic Party hackery. And hackery it is, not just treachery, because the reasons for it have nothing to do with anything but the next fucking deal.

My elderly father has been saying for a few years now that he doubts we'll avoid another civil war for long in this country. No idea what form it would take (not necessarily a shooting war), but I'm beginning to think he's right.


I've been feeling it coming for a while. The tension is working up to where we'll all start swinging at something. I suspect that Bush and Darth think they can control that reaction, but I kind of doubt it (unless they're suicidally nuts, which is a possibility).
(The tension's almost up to cut-with-a-knife level, I think.)

which is a possibility

A distinct one, and the reason the Democrats' obstinate refusal to admit the existence of a big picture is so vile, as well as deeply stupid.

There's a line that's been running through my mind lately. It started as something I wanted to say to a performer who shortchanged a piece by shying away from bringing the properly ample amount of nasty to its inner voice, but it also goes for reading our current predicament.

"That thing that's mocking you does not go to church (though it will gladly watch while you do)."

It never had bris, or bar or bat mitzvah. It snorts at the pillars of Islam, and would kill the Buddha at the side of the road in a minute without knowing or caring why. Name, not just an ethical system, but any set of speak-softly-but-carry-a-big-stick notions that people have stumbled over by which their natural survival is a possible outcome: The crew to which this Democratic so-called leadership insist on catering, has wiped their feet on it. That's the kind of nuttiness we got here from the knaves, I'm afraid, and that's the measure of the failure of the fools.

PDragon and PJ - Quite frankly, I am not sure that we have the actual gusto still existent in the US for any real civil war. The GOP chickenhawks talk a lot but have never had the inclination for much more than the video game Bush recently played; the Democrats are curiously afraid of their own shadow anymore. Who would wage this war? I say this half in jest, and as I think about it more, a growing half not in jest.

I knew a fix was in when they rushed the confirmation through in the middle of the night
... what ever is making these quislings comply on torture, step on an impeachment of a president who has sub-nixon approval, and run like charlie brown for the football of defense funding...Christ we have gone through the looking glass of bizarro world squared.

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