Thursday, November 10, 2005

Random notes...

Well, while I was gone yesterday on a mission of mercy, I missed some fun stuff, so let's have at it.

I am simply astonished at the Fox News spinners, who sit there and say that Scooter Libby was "merely charged with perjury and making false statements." These from the same people who roasted Clinton over a spit for perjury. So, perjury is only wrong if a Democrat commits it. Sorry, guys, 81% of the American people disagree with that statement.

Senate Republicans refused to have oil executives, they of the 25 billion dollars of profits in the third quarter alone, testify under oath yesterday in hearings, probably to keep their testimony from showing how much Bush has coddled them during his administration. Profits are fine, price-gouging is not. We are obviously being gouged if they are making that much money in profit in three months. Exxon-Mobil execs somehow managed to come up with the formulation that their profits are right in line with other corporations, which is strange, considering Exxon-Mobil's profit set records for any corporation in the world. And yet, no testimony under oath. Remember, they put baseball players under oath about steroids, but that doesn't affect us nearly as much as overpriced gas.

And yes, Scott McLellan once again falls into the Ron Ziegler category, falsifying yesterday's press briefing transcript from the White House to correct an answer about Rove and Libby that temporarily deviated from the Bush line. When asked by NBC's David Gregory, "Whether there’s a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations," McLellan responded, "That's accurate."

The FNS and CQ transcripts show that answer. The video makes it obviously clear that's what he said. But Scottie puts out a transcript where he says, "I don't think that's accurate." Just who does he think he can fool? Add this in with his attacking of the patriotism of reporters, and he's on his way to a public hanging.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Listened in on the RNC conference call

Poor Ken Mehlman. This one had to be hard. He did his best to show that this off-year election didn't mean anything, but the last time things went like this was 1993, when the GOP crowed that it meant big things in 1994, and it did. Now they are trying to ignore the reality of what happened last night, spin it hard, but the numbers are identical to 1993, and that is not good news for this party.

Mehlman also had to deal with dKos "infiltrators", who mainly asked silly questions, but one person asked a great question that he totally avoided about Ahmed Chalabi, and why Congress has not attempted to subpoena him about his role in the Iraq war. When Ken dodged it, she laughed hysterically before being cut off.

Surprisingly, there was a lot of focus from reporters about Virginia, probably because the President went there Monday night, but I think Virginia is just part of the puzzle. I will say that it's a pretty big part, because it featured a Democratic candidate speaking openly about his Catholic faith (Kaine), who won counties that Bush kicked Kerry's ass in during the 2004 elections. It's a good blueprint for Democrats that they shouldn't be ashamed of religion, they should embrace it without sounding stiff (Kerry) or jumping all over it with the fervor of a Jerry Falwell.

On the whole, Mehlman did his best to put a good face on a bad situation. It's interesting that he used the term status quo for Virginia a lot, given that it's a red state that again went blue for governor. And it's interesting that he dodged California, which was a clear loss for Republicans.

Election craziness

I'll be damned. The hip-hop mayor rose from the grave. It's not a great day for Detroit.

In other news, it's a good day for Democrats nationwide. NJ and VA governorships, Ahnold got trounced here in California (although it would've been nice if 77, 78 and 80 passed, from my viewpoint, anyways), and when the GOP's biggest victory is Bloomberg keeping the NYC mayor's office (and he's a liberal, mind you) and defeating the Ohio reform initiatives (very sad that they went down), then you know things are heading south. 12 years ago, the GOP revolution began with winning the offices that Democrats won tonight. This may be the reverse trend going into 2006, if and only if Democrats get their act together. Just because the Republicans are imploding doesn't mean that Democrats will win by default. It still requires working for it.

In any case, I'm going to bed. And I'm sure that I can hear the last shreds of hope for Detroit being torn away.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Undermining Griswold

No, I'm not talking about abortion here. I'm talking about privacy, period. Today's Washington Post has a story about how the FBI has increased hundredfold its use of national security letters to compel information from libraries and corporations about customers who are not even suspected of having committed a crime.

First of all, I urge you to read this story, and read it again. Then, I'd urge you to write your representatives and demand that they add in additional oversight well beyond what they conduct now. If innocent people are going to routinely have information about them given to a government data bank, then someone ought to be looking at how effective this random information gathering is.

This story is yet another sign of how this Republican-led Congress has become the sheep to George W. Bush's shepherd. The same group of people who oversaw every last little thing Bill Clinton did has had the least amount of interest into investigating the truthfulness of Bush's presentation to Congress of intelligence regarding Iraq, the least amount into checking out prisoner abuse allegations that have come from Army officers, no interest in many things that Clinton would have been roasted over a spit for. If Clinton had taken us to war the way Bush did, he'd have been impeached a second time.

We need our Congress to behave responsibly, and the only way to get that behavior is to vote for change. 2006 is a critical year, and we need to hang that over the head of every elected representative, and tell them we want our constitutional right to be left alone to be respected.