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Monday, October 31, 2005

REMAINS of the DAYS: The One with the Leaking.
It was a strange week, was it not? The stench of corruption hung thick in the air as we all waited anxiously for Saint Patty McFitzmukkah, or whatever we’re calling him now, to deliver some news. Or was that smell maple syrup maybe? Whatever its origin, it smelled like bad news to the folks inside the White House. A sad corner turned in Iraq, an embarrassing end to the Harriet Miers debacle, and the Fitz dénouement on Friday all added up to one heckuva hellacious week for the Bushies. I’d feel bad for them if not for the fact that they’re a pack of lying, vicious assholes. The best news from Friday wasn’t that Scooter had been nabbed, but that the investigation isn’t over. Yes, it sucks that we will to wait some more, but Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and the rest of them have to sweat it out too, and that gives me a happy. The next few weeks and months should prove to be very, very interesting. While we wait, I invite you to reach into DAYS trick-or-treat bucket and grab yourself some Remains. Beware the razors in the candied apples though.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

On June 14, 2003, Bush TOOK A FALL from his SCOOTER.

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This was a week before Libby's meeting with Judith Miller, a month before Novak's column. We should've known this was W's way of signaling that Scooter should take the fall for the White House's crimes, the crafty bugger.

UPDATE: Libby indicted on 5 counts: perjury, obstruction and false statements. Libby resigns. Rove apparently still under investigation. Hooray. Is this the first of many dominos? Read Fitzgerald's press release and the indictments here or here.

UPDATE: Live webcast of Fitzgerald's presser
via CBS. Also, Reddhead is blogging just about every development, almost in real-time. Check it.

UPDATE: C&L has video of St. Patrick's press conference, the opening statment anyway. The Heretik rounds things up for us, including links to Bush, Cheney and Joe Wilson's reactions. (Bush: "We're all saddened by today's news" Um, Hahahahahahahaha!)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Since it's been at least 8 nights since we first speculated that special counsel Fitzgerald would break the news, and since we're sick of the term Fitzmas, we're now officially changing the event's moniker to Fitzukkah. Now if only we could find our dreidel.

No doubt, tomorrow is the day. How do you think these guys are sleeping tonight?

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To be clear, despite yesterday's animated prediction that Big Dick would be among those indicted, I don't honestly think it will happen -- not tomorrow anyway. Mostly, I just wanted to post a picture of a cartoon penis because, well, sometimes I'm a 9-year-old.

No, what I really think will happen tomorrow is this: Scooter 'The Gimp' Libby will be indicted for sure, Rove will probably also be indicted and/or the Grand Jury will be extended or a new one empaneled. The reason for the extension/empanelment? Fitzgerald has uncovered an even bigger scandal, with Big Dick at it's heart. Rove could be a key player in that investigation moving forward, which is why he wouldn't be indicted. Yet.

I know, I know, I'm just a crazy freakin' liberal loon. But wait, why is it so crazy? At the very least, we know Cheney is a big fat liar, even right-wing schills Joe Scarborough and Dick Morris have come to that conclusion. And today, Murray Wass reported that Cheney and Libby, against all recommendations, "withheld crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." Among those documents, the original text of Colin Powell's now infamous speech to the United Nations, much of which was removed due to its highly questionable nature. Considering the now thoroughly discredited contents of that presentation (aluminum tubes of terror, mobile homes of mayhem, etc.), can anyone imagine how fantastical that original speech must have been? The mind boggles.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com 'Seriously, you shoulda seen this crazy shit before.'

So why would Dick and Scooter withhold those documents? Because they were protecting the White House from being accused of manufacturing faulty intelligence to sell their precious war. You know, "fixing the intelligence and facts around the policy." Wass goes on to report that when the intelligence report was finally released in April 2004, without the inclusion of those withheld documents, Bush, Cheney and other administration officials cited it as "proof that the administration acted in good faith on Iraq and relied on intelligence from the CIA and others that it did not know was flawed."

In other words, the White House was playing the Blame Game, pinning the entire intelligence failure on the CIA, even though the agency pleaded with them not to use the questionable intelligence as public rationale for their war. Cheney and team pointed the finger at the CIA, to which George Tenet complied, prompting Bush to pinned a medal on him and send him on his merry way. Done and done. Crazy talk? Consider this headline, in July 2003, just days before Joe Wilson's damning editorial hit the wire: White House Welcomes Tenet Mea Culpa on Iraq Allegations. I bet they did. That's how you earn yourself a medal my friend. Also, consider the odd timing in June 2004, courtesy of ThinkProgress.

June 2, 2004: Bush speaks at Air Force Academy; Tenet meets him upon arrival at White House to tell him that he was going to resign.

June 2, 2004: Bush consults lawyer in CIA leak case.

June 3, 2004: In press gaggle, McClellan notes that Tenet called Card the afternoon of the 2nd to ask for meeting with Bush. Tenet and Bush meet for 45 minutes.

June 5, 2004: New York Times reports that Cheney was interviewed by Fitzgerald.

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The shady developments of the past week, detailing the communication between Big Dick's office, the CIA and the State Department, have led many to believe that Fitzgerald has uncovered new information that will lead him to either extend the Grand Jury are empanel an entirely new Jury to investigate wider conspiracy claims. Former intelligence correspondent Richard Sale believes this to be true, citing interviews and information "designed to pin down in meticulous sequence what Cheney knew, when he knew it, and what he told his aides." If this information only came to light in the past week, Fitzgerald will surely need more time to investigate the high crimes potentially committed by the nation's highest office.

There have also been recent revelations, from Italian intelligence officials no less, that shed new light on the source of the original Nigerian Yellowcake forgeries, which lie at the heart of this matter, and the White House's involvement with them. For all these reasons, 41 members of the House yesterday called on Fitzgerald to expand his investigation to determine whether Cheney and the White House Iraq Group conspired to deliberately deceive Congress into authorizing the war. I'm really hoping for this expansion, this extension, this empanelment. That's what I really want for Fitzukkah. That and some gelt please.

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Whatever we learn tomorrow, I believe we should all try to temper our joy just a smidge. After all, if any of the above is even close to the truth, it means that our government is more corrupt and dangerous than anyone ever thought possible. And that, frankly, isn't something to celebrate.

That said, you all hopefully excuse me if I title tomorrow's post something along the lines of, "YAHOOOOO!" or "HELL YES!" or "SUCK IT ROVE!!" Seriously, the schadenfreude may simply be too much for me to contain myself. Either that, or we'll all get Pujoled. If that happens, I'll eat an entire pile of Yellowcake, and wash it down with my own bitter tears.

A Fitzmas Carol
SourceWatch: George Tenet
ThinkProgress: The Leak 23
OGM: The Night Before Fitzmas
DAYS: Of Scooters and Big Dicks
Dear Leader: We all need to get on the same page.
Who said there'd be no indictments today?
Meet Tom Noe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Today seems to be the day we've all been anxiously waiting for. In anticipation of Santa Fitzgerald's announcement, I've been pressed by some to offer predictions about who will be indicted and/or charged in the investigation because, apparently, some people seem to think I know what I'm talking about. Fools. Despite their misguided ideas, I've decided to acquiesce and offer my feeble predictions, based primarily on whose names I could tie funny pictures to.

And so, without further ado, I present the DAYS Fitzmas gifts.

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I couldn't come up with photos for Hadley, Fleischer or Hannah, but I belive they'll be involved in some way too. Merry Fitzmas everyone.

p.s. And yes, I am sick of the term 'Fitzmas' and promise to use it no more. How about Happy Fitzmukkah instead?

Yesterday was a sad day. Another American died in Iraq, the 2,000th to be exact. His name was George Alexander Jr. He hailed from Killeen, Texas. He was 34.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com In memorium.

Sgt. Alexander's death is as tragic and sad as the 1,999 that came before him, and as heartbreaking as the many that are surely still to come. In an earlier post, I wrote about the number 2,000 and how it only begins to scratch the surface of the terrible and unnecessary costs of this war. President Bush says we must honor the fallen by finishing the job in Iraq. The problem with that, um, 'plan', is that we still have no idea exactly what that job is, nor do we have any idea how to know when it's been accomplished. I wonder, will the president don a flight suit again to let us know?

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We mourn the sacrifice of every victim of this war: the 2,000 Americans killed, the 15,000 wounded, the 200 coalition casualties, and the countless number of Iraqi civilians killed and injured. We should remember that it didn't have to be this way.

And if you want to know what 2,000 looks like, watch this video.

We need new leadership, and we need it NOW. You can get out tonight to honor the sacrifices that have been made and to demand change. Find an event near you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fitzgerald Will Make His Decision Known Tomorrow

Lawyers familiar with the case think Wednesday is when special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will make known his decision, and that there will be indictments. Supporters say Rove and the vice president’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, are in legal jeopardy.
Clemons has more. Don't forget to put the milk and cookies out!

We’re about to turn yet another corner in Iraq, this one emblazoned with the stark and damning number of 2,000. With that number hanging heavy over the nation’s conscience and its soul, it’s more than past time to begin demanding change. President Bush, Dick Cheney and the architects of this ugly war would prefer that you and I would just stop counting the bodies, but the sad parade of flag-draped coffins coming home continues, even if they try to quietly dump them unceremoniously into cold, empty cargo holds.

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While 2,000 dead U.S. soldiers is no doubt an alarming figure, it sadly only begins to scratch the surface of the deep well of pain and suffering this war has caused. In addition to the 2,000 dead, more than 15,000 soldiers have been wounded, many sent home missing an arm, a leg or more. Countless others have been wounded in other ways, emotionally scarred for life because of the things they’ve seen or done in the combat zone. A recent Pentagon study revealed that 1 in 4 soldiers require mental and emotional treatment. A year ago it was 1 in 6, so things are only getting worse. The Pentagon study further revealed that…

“… almost 1,700 servicemembers returning from the war this year said they harbored thoughts of hurting themselves or that they would be better off dead. More than 250 said they had such thoughts "a lot." Nearly 20,000 reported nightmares or unwanted war recollections; more than 3,700 said they had concerns that they might "hurt or lose control" with someone else.”
These worrying figures are lent emotional context when played out in the individual stories of soldiers like Chief Warrant Officer William Howell, Sgt. 1st Class Andre McDaniel, and Spc. Jeremy Wilson. All three served with the 10th Special Forces unit in Iraq. All three committed suicide within a year of returning home.

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I don’t think anyone ever claimed that war isn’t ugly, although I do remember happy fantasy talk of “hearts and flowers” when our young men and women first rolled over the Kuwaiti border into Iraq more than two-and-a-half years ago. But this ugliness is manifesting itself into the creation of a 'War Culture' in this country, one that feigns indifference toward, or even celebrates, the disturbing stories and imagery that come back from the war zone.

Our military’s civilian leadership, headed up by Donald Rumsfeld, has allowed this War Culture to permeate, foster and spread throughout the rank and file, most recently evidenced by last week’s distressing reports from Afghanistan. Reportedly, U.S. soldiers faced the bodies of two killed Taliban towards Mecca and burned them in a purposeful show of disrespect in order to taunt the enemy. The Message?

“You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be. You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Talibs but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."
Acts like this are a clear manifestation of the President’s remarkably stupid “Bring ‘em on” proclamation 1,878 dead soldiers ago. The only thing this attitude has brought on has been more death and the creation of a seemingly acceptable torture culture within the military, one that has given birth most notably to the endless damage resulting from the Abu Ghraib scandal. Although incidents such as these tend to be shrugged off by blind cheerleaders of this war as the actions of a “few bad apples”, this culture has managed to infect the highest levels of the rank and file, all the way up to the elite 82nd Airborne.

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This is not the case of simply a few bad apples, as pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly would have you believe, this comes from the top. Want proof? President Bush intends to use the first veto of his presidency to cut down a $440 billion military spending bill. Why? Because it includes a simple provision, championed by John McCain, to ban the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" of anyone held in custody of the United States government, that’s why. Lord knows our leaders don’t want this ‘option’ to be taken away from them, they think it actually works. That is why Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other true believers, will do everything in their power to crush the bill. Simply put, our leaders condone torture. That is the only message to be derived from these actions. It shouldn’t really surprise us, should it? After all, these guys support treason, so why not torture too?

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There is a great danger here. This simplistic ‘us vs. them’, black and white face the Bush administration has put on this struggle has made it easy for people to condone such horrific acts. Aldous Huxley once said, “the propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” In a sense, the Bush team has successfully done this, thus the War Culture spreads and acts of torture are condoned. It’s much easier for people to simply say, “well, they knocked the Towers down, so yeah, we’re gonna sodomize them,” then to put the work forth to understand just what is actually being done in our names. This, as fellow blogger The Heretik said, is how the world ends.

And the War Culture continues to spread, thanks not only to the government but also to their bedfellows, the war profiteers. Defense companies like Boeing and Bell Helicopter are compelled to feed the beast because it suits them and their bottom lines. This is why they show little regard for the potential ramifications of an advertisement that depicts a mosque on fire as U.S. soldiers repel onto its roof from one of their machines. The tagline? “It Descends from the Heavens. Ironically, it Unleashes Hell.” Oh, that's nice. Gawd.

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Perhaps the most disturbing example of this spread and acceptance of War Culture occurred about a month ago. It is called War Porn. Most people ignored it, I think because it was just too much to take, which is understandable. 'War Porn' is the phenomenon of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan posting photos and images of their kills – dismembered bodies, bloodied faces, etc. – on the Internet, not for the purpose of awakening the public to the horrors of war, but rather to entertain them. Shortly after this story broke, one of my favorite bloggers, Billmon, wrote about War Porn, first quoting from The Nation:
The website has become a stomach-churning showcase for the pornography of war -- close-up shots of Iraqi insurgents and civilians with heads blown off, or with intestines spilling from open wounds. Sometimes photographs of mangled body parts are displayed: Part of the game is for users to guess what appendage or organ is on display . . . A series of photos showing two men slumped over in a pickup truck, with nothing visible above their shoulders except a red mass of brain matter and bone, is described as "an Iraqi driver and passenger that tried to run a checkpoint during the first part of OIF." The post goes on to say that "the bad thing about shooting them is that we have to clean it up." Another post, labeled "dead shopkeeper in Iraq," does not explain how the subject of the photo ended up with a large bullet hole in his back but offers the quip "I guess he had some unsatisfied customers."

The Porn of War
September 22,
Billmon then turns to George Orwell for this eerie comparison:

April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank. then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow with a little boy about three years old in her arms. little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him and comforting him although she was blue with fright herself, all the time covering him up as much as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets off him. then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood. Then there was a wonderful shot of a child's arm going up up up right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from the party seats but a woman down in the prole part of the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they didnt oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didnt it aint right not in front of kids it aint until the police turned her turned her out i dont suppose anything happened to her nobody cares what the proles say typical prole reaction.

George Orwell
Billmon’s words following this are riveting. I read this after I attended the march in DC on September 24, but it helped to crystalize my beliefs and it reminded me why I was there. I encourage everyone to read the entire post.

Considering all of this, it is becoming more and more difficult to think we aren’t being turned into monsters by this war. And the Bush cabal seems intent to allow it to continue, as evidenced by their reckless veto threat to McCain’s anti-torture amendment.

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Of course, some of you may still say this seems like nothing but ‘lefty garbage,’ that I’m simply glorifying the actions of the few to make my point. If that’s you, then maybe it’s best to just keep it simple:

2,000 Dead American Soldiers.

Shouldn’t that be enough?

And if you want to know what 2,000 looks like, then watch this video. After that, get out and raise your voice in dissent this week. Demand new leadership. Demand accountability. Tell the President and his cronies: “We Hate Your War.”

Iraq Casualties
Iraq Body Count
Paul Hackett's Iraq Pledge
The Torture Question
ThinkProgress: A Progressive Exit Strategy
Juan Cole: Why We Have to Get the Troops Out of Iraq

return to DAYS home


Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer

I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq’s nuclear program to justify the war.
Oh snap.

Read More.
And hold on.

Monday, October 24, 2005

We knew this was coming, didn't we?

"He's a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he's been tapped by God to do very important things."
Yes, yes, we already know that about President Bush. But what do you think of special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald? Oh, you were talking about Fitzgerald? Sorry. No wonder the White House selected him for the job, he sounds like their kind of guy.

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'Man, this smearing stuff is hard work Karl... when do we bring up the vast, left-wing conspiracy?'

Sunday, October 23, 2005

REMAINS of the DAYS: The One With The Waiting.
It really is the hardest part, isn't it? If so sayeth Tom Petty, than so sayeth I. As we waited, we twisted ourselves into a frenzy. We entertained ourselves by coming up with the term Fitzmas, then got sick of it 3 days later. We saw Tom DeLay's crooked smile, gawked at Saddam in his giant playpen, and got punked by Vince Vaughn. But this week, it looks like the waiting, the speculating, and the bloviating will finally stop (well, the bloviating never really stops, does it?). Fitzgerald has to say something this week, or else the entire blogosphere's collective head will explode. And, ewww, blogger brains. Until then, how about we free fall into some Remains?
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Friday, October 21, 2005

My skepticism meter is off the freakin' charts this morning. For the past week, I've been thinking that today would be the day we've all been waiting for, Fitzmas as some have dubbed it, when Patrick Fitzgerald would have his little indictment party. The president's cross-country jaunt to California today only serves to further confirm my suspicion.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Bad Moon Rising? 'I hear hurricanes ablowing, I know the end is coming soon. I fear rivers overflowing, I hear the voice of rage and ruin.'

My feeling is that the only courtesy Fitzgerald is willing to extend to Rove & Co. is a Friday afternoon announcement, the best time to release bad news. Also, Fridays or roundly believed to be the best day to fire someone, so, you know...

But really, why would Bush decide to go to California when what has been dubbed a "record hurricane" is barreling down on Florida, particularly in light of his disastrous response to Katrina? And why would he proceed with his trip even though an embattled Governor Arnold urged him not to? Lastly, what better place for Bush to be when the shitstorm comes down than graveside to universally revered Republican father figure Ronald Reagan?

It all seems rather fishy to me. Hold on kids, it could be a wild Friday.

UPDATE: Oh, and a bomb scare on Capitol Hill, how convenient. Man, my tin-foil hat sure is strapped on tight today, isn't it?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

While we all wait for Santa Fitzgerald to hand out those indictments, (I predict a Friday afternoon announcement by the way), we do get the pleasant distraction of already-indicted, former House Republican leader Tom DeLay getting booked at a Houston courthouse this afternoon. Sadly though, the following is all we get in terms of a booking photo:

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Happiest. Criminal. Ever.

Seriously, weren't we all hoping for something a little more insulting? Where's the crazy James Brown hair, the Nolte Hawaiian shirt, the Jacko disfigured-deer-in-the-headlights look??

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God, all they had to do was look into the president's own family to get some clever ideas for the photo shoot.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Image hosted by TinyPic.com Jeb's pride and joy.

Let's hope they do a better job when Rove, Cheney and the rest get booked.

return to DAYS Home

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The internets are abuzz today with a flurry of speculation, rumor and innuendo (my god, that never happens!) surrounding the anticipated announcement from doorman-turned-BushCo.- toppler Patrick Fitzgerald. I sense a nation of reality-based bloggers, champagne at the ready, perched at their stations, rocketing from site to site looking for the latest news, fingers excitedly hovering over their keyboards ready to pounce at any signal from the elusive Mr. Fitzgerald.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com Is that you Santa Claus?

Yesterday's news that Fitzgerald may now have Darth Cheney's office directly in his sights, coupled with today's follow-up from Raw Story indicating that a top aide to Cheney may have flipped and is singing, literally has us hanging on the edge of our metaphors.

Billmon over at the Whiskey Bar likens the feeling to that which precedes a volcano, while Firedoglake calls it a gathering storm and Wonkette welcomes us to play some Indictment Bingo. I personally am seeking signs of weasels scrambling from their usual habitats... anyone seen Rove today? I'm also wondering when the next terror alert will be announced.

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All of this giddiness is understandable of course, but I do hope we don't get Pujoled. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, which is probably most considering I just made it up, it refers to last night's NLCS baseball playoff game. The Houston Astros, with papa and mama Bush cheering them on (NSFW), were one out away from going to their first World Series ever. The fans were on their feet, raucous with anticipation. The stadium, Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field, natch) was on the verge of bedlam. Then, suddenly, the Cardinals' Albert Pujols dashed an entire stadium's dreams with a crushing blow to left field, and all that uproarious anticipation went for naught.

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All I'm saying is don't pop prematurely, keep that champagne on ice. Lord knows we don't want to get Pujoled.

OGM: Indicted
Catch: Tunnelling
Shakes: Rumor Mongering
TalkLeft: Let's Make a Deal
Ga10@Kos: Dealing With Fitzmas
DU: Rove Cancels Fundraising Appearances

return to DAYS home

Monday, October 17, 2005

American garage, Karl Rove edition
Is master of politics any better at organizing junk than the rest of us?

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I don't know, but I bet he hides bodies better than just about anyone.

Hey, are those WMDs I see in there?

Catch: Judy Comes Clean
Wonkette: Da Scooter Code
WaPO: Cheney's Office a Focus in Leak Case

Frank Rich: It's Bush/Cheney, not Rove/Libby
(I know, that's what I said three months ago...)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

REMAINS of the DAYS: The one with the slaughtered poultry.
It’s time to pick up the loose ends of the week with another installment of Remains. Some would say it was a rough seven days for the White House, which is surprising really considering it mostly consisted of the administration's bread and butter: Paranoia and Photo-ops. But the Bushies have taken such a turn for the worse, they can’t even get those things right anymore. This, my friends, is what a Rove-less White House looks like. Get used to it. As Rove awaited his frog march, Bird flu panic set in across the globe, capping the week with a Romanian fowlcaust of monumental proportions. So, who will be first to step up and call for a ban on turkeys this Thanksgiving? Tofurkey anyone? Or maybe we should just munch on some Remains?

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

We live in exciting times. I’m all atwitter about tomorrow’s vote on the Iraqi constitutional referendum. Clearly, we’re on the brink of a historic juncture. A watershed moment. A turning point. How do I know? Because the White House told me so, that’s why.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com 'Hey, look what I found! Democracy!'

Yesterday, the Sunnis agreed to end their call for a ‘no’ vote on Saturday’s constitutional referendum based on the one condition that the entire document can be renegotiated in December. In other words, the constitution they vote on this weekend could be entirely rewritten in two months. So then, uh, what’s the purpose of Saturday’s vote? Well, it’s the symbolism stupid. Bush and his hawks need a corner to turn, even if the corner is essentially a U-turn which brings us right back to where we started. Brilliant.

The biggest reason the vote needs to happen now can be found in the polls. No, not the election polls silly, the approval polls. Specifically, Bush’s sagging ones. Never mind the critics who have warned that ramming the referendum through will greatly increase the chance of Civil War in Iraq. Never mind the fact that most Iraqis haven’t even read the damn thing. Hey, we’ve got a deadline to meet and that’s exactly what we’re gonna do dammit.

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UPDATE: Did anyone catch President Photo-ops sadly staged Q&A with soldiers in Iraq this morning? This is a man who clearly knows he’s in his last throes. Seriously, you could practically smell the desperation oozing through the television screen. And did he really say to soldiers in the middle of the war zone he created that he wished he “could be there to see you face to face and thank you personally. Probably a little early for me to go to Tikrit”?? No sir, I think it’s a perfect time for you to go. And leave your body armor at home, ok?

Image hosted by TinyPic.com 'Wish I were there! Well, not really...'

Wonkette has a recap, ThinkProgress has a look ‘behind the scenes,’ and C&L has the video. Unfuckingbelievable.

LC: Dead In His Sights
Billmon: Let’s Break a Deal
BAGNews: Exit the Green Zone
Shakes: Too Bad About Bob Hope

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