Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cheney as the Terminator

Some 4 Months after the Master online newshound Josh Marshall first broke the story that VP Cheney considers his office distinct from the executive branch , the Main Stream Media finally considers it newsworthy to write about just how much power the OVP asserts in the Bush Administration (aided and abetted by Torquemada Gonzales™). As always, blog mistress Digby gets to the heart of our clueless lapdog media:
    I really don't want to belabor this bloggy triumphalism because it is, well, unseemly. But I do have to wonder why in the hell I and other bloggers were writing about the "big story" that was all over the TV today ---- five months ago.

    Nobody gave a damn until Henry Waxman decided to issue a report that wondered why Dick Cheney was trying to shut down the agency that had crossed him. Then everyone "discovered" that Dick Cheney has created a fourth branch of government that answers to no one --- something we were talking about months ago. I don't get it.
I am in no way the equal of Digby's skill with words, but as a devotee of SciFi films, I am reminded of the Governator 's first picture that established him in as an actor. When the Cyborg time tripped back to the past, he embarked on a series of actions so insane that no one could have predicted the pattern.

He starts by killing some punk rockers and stealing their clothes. He robs a gun store and kills the owner only because the owner is clueless that anyone would be so brazen as to attack him (Terminator's knowledge of weapons and unemotional mannerisms made him seem like a customer instead of a killer). He then grabs a page from the phone book and proceeds to methodically execute all the Conner, S. entry's without a care that he may be caught.

Even the worst of the serial killers made pains to cover their tracks. Terminator acted more like the spree killer, except the action took place over a week, the Cyborg had a definite target in mind, and he absolutely DID NOT CARE where the murders took place ("I'll be back" , recognized by the Guinness Book as one of the five top movie quotes; shows that even a police station full of cops could not stop the Terminator from fulfilling his mission). Until this moment, who would ever believe that one man, no matter how crazy, would attempt such an assault (this was before the North Hollywood shootout).

What must be foremost in the minds of those who attempt to analyze the actions of VP Cheney is that they must never assume that law, precedent or even hypocrisy will prevent Cheney from doing what he feels is necessary to accomplish his life's ambitions. In this he is similar to the Terminator, and it explains in part the reason that a main stream press crippled by a refusal to deviate from the script can not get a handle on the OVP.

When those evil members of the net roots point this out (in their "vitriolic, unhinged tone"), the MSM goes berserk. They are handicapped by the constant idea flowing in the backs of their minds that this is just paranoid librul conspiracy™ talk. That no President even in war (Lincoln) or economic crisis (Roosevelt) had attempted to assume unlimited power with no oversight. Those lefty blogger's just have a political ax to grind with the Decider in Chief because they disagree with his policy's.

Maybe some time in the future this will change as the true extent of Darth Cheney's™ machinations are revealed. Yeah, and maybe the Commander will win the lottery.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lapdog Press

The master blogger Glenn Greenwald rips Richard Cohen's Washington Post column as the ultimate example of the beltway lapdog media whore:
    The Libby prosecution clearly was the dirty work of the leftist anti-war movement in this country, just as Cohen describes. After all, the reason Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate this matter was because a left-wing government agency (known as the "Central Intelligence Agency") filed a criminal referral with the Justice Department, as the MoveOn-sympathizer CIA officials were apparently unhappy about the public unmasking of one of their covert agents.

    In response, Bush's left-wing anti-war Attorney General, John Ashcroft, judged the matter serious enough to recuse himself, leading Bush's left-wing anti-war Deputy Attorney General, James Comey, to conclude that a Special Prosecutor was needed. In turn, Comey appointed Fitzgerald, the left-wing anti-war Republican Prosecutor and Bush appointee, who secured a conviction of Libby, in response to which left-wing anti-war Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton imposed Libby's sentence.

    ...Indeed, it is so terribly unfair to investigate powerful government officials because, as "white-collar types," they have a "morbid fear of jail" -- in contrast, of course, to blue-collar types, and darker ones still, who really do not mind prison at all...

    ...The real injustice is that prison is simply not the place for the most powerful and entrenched members of the Beltway royal court, no matter how many crimes they commit. There is a grave indignity to watching our brave Republican elite be dragged before such lowly venues as a criminal court and be threatened with prison, as though they are common criminals or something...
Oh the humanity! Not!

(Hat Tip to Bartcop)

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Commander Guy vs. Congress

The whore media have been flooding us with Hilton mania and the hassle of the Hoff in hopes that the firestorm about the firing of the US Attorney's (aka Gonzo-Gate) will quietly fade away (it won't). From Dan FroomKin of the WaPo:

    Why Were They Fired?
    By Dan Froomkin
    Special to
    Thursday, June 14, 2007; 1:20 PM

    White House spokesman Tony Snow yesterday dismissed the issuance of congressional subpoenas to two former White House aides as an attempt to "create some media drama."

    ..."One constitutional-law expert said yesterday that the White House is in a difficult legal position, with little ability to refuse the subpoenas. 'They're in the unsustainable position of refusing to explain the increasing evidence of a cover up,' said Charles Tiefer
    of the University of Baltimore Law School.

    "...White House does not have standing to try to quash the subpoenas preemptively. That leaves White House ...with the choice of a negotiated settlement or a showdown in federal court.

    "If the White House refuses the subpoenas, Leahy and Conyers could move to hold the White House in contempt, then forward those citations to the full House and Senate for approval. The contempt citations would then be sent to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Jeffrey A. Taylor, who is required to impanel a grand jury to consider indictments. Taylor may have to recluse himself because of his involvement in events as a U.S. attorney."

    Richard B. Schmitt writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Except in cases involving national security or military secrets, the executive branch enjoys no absolute privilege to withhold documents from Congress. In most disputes, courts balance the interests of the administration to keep the documents private, against the public or congressional interests in learning about the material
I find the prospect of a Court showdown with the DIC and his administration unlikely. It would be the first step in road not taken since Iran Contra in the 1980's, and even then the D's did not push Ray guns for a full accountability of his involvement in efforts to circumvent the law. A compromise may be reached.

But this President has demonstrated the personality of a petulant 4 year old, one who figuratively held his breath and stamped his feet because he did not get his own way during the recent War Funding bill. And unlike Reagan who at least showed a willingness to compromise, the Cheney Administration has held Congress as the equivalent of dog excrement that must be wiped off his shoe.

So let us assume that the D's actually show some spine and really push it and it ends up in Court. The DC Circuit is Chock full of Federalist Society members that specializing in twisting, ignoring or reinterpreting the law to conform to their ideology . Under any other Court that actually followed the law and precedent the President would be screwed, but I will bet a months pay that alchemist of the DC Circus will turn lead into gold (Claims of executive privilege denied to Clinton will change to Claims of executive privilege approved for Bush. )

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Scooter, Big Dog and the Hypocrisy Gene

Having read the most excellent coverage of the sentencing of Lewis "Scooter" Libby at FDL, I referenced an additional comment by Rick Perlstein titled Washington X-Ray. He gives an analysis of the many letters submitted by "The Conservative Thought Machine", summing them up with this final observation:

    What's missing from every single one - every one: a single forthright statement about the magnitude of the offense for which he'd already been convicted.
As Jane Hamsher further elaborates:

    Which brings us to, oddly, what for me was the most telling moment of the Libby trial today. It is customary for those found guilty to express contrition during the sentencing phase...Libby expressed none. Zero, zip, bupkis...Libby that he thought himself a great man to whom a terrible wrong has been done. Today Scooter's career as a man on trial ended and his life as professional right wing victim began.
It is one of the most difficult ideas to grasp for those of us who read Al Gores book Assault on Reason, this persistent double standard when the Right condemns President Clinton for allegedly lying under oath on a weak civil litigation (latter dismissed) and yet will defend Scooter Libby lying under oath to obstruct justice (prevent a prosecutor investigating a Federal Crime). In the words of the Master Attorney Alan Dershowitz:

    On the basis of my research and experiences, I am convinced that if President Clinton were an ordinary citizen, he would not be prosecuted for his allegedly false statements, which were made in a civil deposition about a collateral sexual matter later found inadmissible in a case eventually dismissed and then settled. If President Clinton were ever to be prosecuted or impeached for perjury on the basis of the currently available evidence, it would indeed represent an improper double standard: a selectively harsher one for the president (and perhaps a handful of other victims of selective prosecution) and the usual laxer one for everyone else.
Every one else except Henry (youthful indiscretions) Hyde. His opening statement during the Impeachment of the Big Dog:

    We cannot have one law for the ruler and another law for the ruled...If that understanding is lost ...the American democratic experiment and the freedom it guarantees is in jeopardy.

    ...Let's look to the future, to the children of today who are the presidents and members of Congress of the next century. And let's not crush their hope that they too will inherent a law- governed society.
Contrasted this with another member of the Conservative smart set, my Jewish Sister Mona Charon:
    Jewish World Review /Nov. 24, 1998 /5 Kislev 5759

    For months, I have tried to understand the attitude of millions of my fellow Americans who, faced with unrebutted evidence of presidential law breaking, shrug their shoulders and say, "Let's move on." If I've heard one, I've heard a hundred callers to radio and television programs say, "What the president did was intolerable. But it wasn't impeachable. So drop it."
    ...we should probably go ahead and remove perjury from the criminal code as well. After all, people lie all the time out of embarrassment about money, drugs...There are as many rationalizations about lies as there are liars.
    Libby's crime, according to Fitzgerald, is perjury and obstruction of justice. The grounds? People's memories of who said what to whom more than three years ago differ. Good Lord, may I never be subject to a grand jury inquest, as I forget appointments, names, faces, passwords, jokes, what I told my husband yesterday and whether or not I paid the phone bill last month.
Your old Sarge is a Political Science Major not a geneticist, but I really believe the hypocrisy gene is hardwired into Republican DNA.

This is not about paying phone bills Mona, it's about payback for your enemy, real or imagined. When Joe Wilson wrote that oped in the NYT about his trip to Niger, shooter Cheney decided he was an enemy that had to be destroyed. The present Administration is filled with such men and women, big ego's with small minds who view the slightest insult as an excuse to attack.