Friday, August 31, 2007

Bashing Bush

Bush and the Katrina Disaster: Proof of "LIHOP"

Given a 9/11 MIHOP mindset, I have long thought that the Katrina disaster of the flooding of New Orleans was also MIHOP. Of course that view was ridiculed by some who visited this site.

Nonetheless, the evidence that the Bush administration-- at minimum-- let New Orleans flood on purpose has always been good-- and a sadly under-noticed Bush administration crime.

Now, we have actual proof that the Bush administration let New Orleans flood on purpose:
"By midnight on Monday, the White House knew. Monday night I was at the state Emergency Operations Center and nobody was aware that the levees had breeched. Nobody."

The charge is devastating: That, on August 29, 2005, the White House withheld from the state police the information that New Orleans was about to flood. From almost any other source, I would not have believed it. But this was not just any source. The whistleblower is Dr. Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, the chief technician advising the state on saving lives during Katrina.

I'd come to van Heerden about another matter, but in our talks, it was clear he had something he wanted to say, and it was a big one. He charged that the White House, FEMA, and the Army Corps hid, for critical hours, their discovery that the levees surrounding New Orleans were cracking, about to burst and drown the city.

Understand that Katrina never hit New Orleans. The hurricane swung east of the city, so the state evacuation directors assumed New Orleans was now safe -- and evacuation could slow while emergency efforts moved east with the storm.

But unknown to the state, in those crucial hours on Monday, the federal government's helicopters had filmed the cracks that would become walls of death by Tuesday.

Van Heerden revealed: "FEMA knew at 11 o'clock on Monday that the levees had breeched. At 2 p.m., they flew over the 17th Street Canal and took video of the breech."

Question: "So the White House wouldn't tell you the levees had breeched?"

Dr. Van Heerden: "They didn't tell anybody."

Question: "And you're at the Emergency Center.'

Dr. Van Heerden: "I mean nobody knew. The Corps of Engineers knew. FEMA knew. None of us knew."


But not really-- not in the context of 9/11, not in the context of the Iraq debacle.

Just another impeachable crime, should anyone care about justice.

Bush Threatens Nuclear Holocaust in the Middle East Over Iran' Efforts to Get Nuclear Technology

Doesn't say who might deliver the holocaust.

While I have tended to doubt that the US would attack Iran, at least in the near future, I'm not so sure Bush isn't crazy and/or sick enough to actually do it-- thus completing the middle east country invasion trifecta before his presidency is over.

I have little doubt Bush is itching to attack Iran, the main question is whether the "powers that be" will allow it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bush's Iraq Legacy Is a Wreck

Not so for the president. For him, this is it. He's not bigger than this. His entire legacy as president is bound up in Iraq. Which is another way of saying that his legacy is pretty clearly an irrecoverable shambles. That is why, as the folly of the enterprise becomes more clear, he must continually puff it up into more and more melodramatic and world-historical dimensions. A century long ideological struggle and the like. For the president a one in a thousand shot at some better outcome is well worth it, no matter what the cost. Because at least that's a one in a thousand shot at not ending his presidency with the crushing verdict history now has in store. It's also worth just letting things keep on going as they are forever because, like Micawber, something better might turn up. Going double or nothing by expanding the war into Iran might be worth it too for the same reason. For him, how can it get worse?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Our troops are seeing the progress that is being made on the ground. And as they take the initiative from the enemy, they have a question: Will their elected leaders in Washington pull the rug out from under them just as they're gaining momentum and changing the dynamic on the ground in Iraq? Here's my answer: We'll support our troops, we'll support our commanders, and we will give them everything they need to succeed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Trying to Defend Iraq

Worst President Ever

We'll have more shortly on the president's speech today. At the moment though I'm listening to the president comparing his war to the Korean War.

Really, the president flatters himself. As he has so many times.

This is little different from those claims back in 2003 and 2004 that post-war Germany was rife with 'insurgents' fighting against US occupation troops.

We can debate the ways to fix things. But let's not deny that Bush's folly was an unforced error, a foreign policy catastrophe of truly unique proportions in the annals of American history.

Bush Massively Distorts Truth About Al-Qaeda Captures in Iraq

Bush: Great Student of History, NOT!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Bush Policies Limit Reach of Child Insurance Plan

The Bush administration, engaged in a battle with Congress over whether a popular children's health insurance program should be expanded, has announced new policies that will make it harder for states to insure all but the lowest-income children.
New administrative hurdles, which state health officials were told about late last week, are aimed at preventing parents with private insurance for their children from availing of the government-subsidized State Children's Health Insurance Program. But Democrats and children's advocates said that the announcement will jeopardize coverage for children whose parents work at jobs that do not provide employer-paid insurance.

Pure evil.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Russia Resumes Long-range Strategic Bomber Flights

Bush Administration Pushed For Private Briefings For Petraeus, Dems Confirm

Amid a bitter skirmish between the White House and Dems yesterday over whether General Petraeus will testify publicly to Congress about Iraq, the Bush administration repeatedly claimed yesterday that the administration had never pushed for closed-door-only briefings for Petraeus.

But that claim is false, according to an on-the-record statement we've obtained from the office of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rather, the Bush administration did in fact push for limited private briefings for Petraus and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker, and even did so as far back as early July, according to the statement, which was provided to Election Central by Lynne Weille, the communications director for Foreign Affairs Committee chair Tom Lantos.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Andrew Sullivan Has Choice Words for Rove

The man's legacy is a conservative movement largely discredited and disunited, a president with lower consistent approval ratings than any in modern history, a generational shift to the Democrats, a resurgent al Qaeda, an endless catastrophe in Iraq, a long hard struggle in Afghanistan, a fiscal legacy that means bankrupting America within a decade, and the poisoning of American religion with politics and vice-versa. For this, he got two terms of power - which the GOP used mainly to enrich themselves, their clients and to expand government's reach and and drain on the productive sector. In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51 percent. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51 percent, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country. Such a choice was and remains despicable.

Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency. His divisive politics and elevation of corrupt mediocrities to every branch of government has turned an entire generation off the conservative label. And rightly so. It will take another generation to recover from the toxins he has injected, with the president's eager approval, into the political culture and into the conservative soul.

Rovism a "Disaster"

David Frum, conservative writer and one-time Bush speech writer, has a column the New York Times evaluating the legacy of Rovism. The verdict, which I hinted at in my post last night, is that Rovism was not only a disaster in terms of public policy and governance. It was also a disaster in political terms -- the latter fact just took longer to reveal itself.

Karl Rove biographer: 'This is the end of the Bush presidency'

Wayne Slater, author of The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power, joined CNN on Monday to deliver what was, in effect, a political obituary on both Rove and the Bush administration.

"He can be called ... someone who was extraordinarily successful in the politics of -- politics," said Slater. "He is brilliant as a political strategist, and yet at the end, we've seen this colossal failure by the Bush administration, this collapse, and he has to bear some responsibility for that as well."

Rove leaves a tarnished legacy

Karl Rove leaves the White House in anything but victory. His legendary reputation was seriously diminished by the Republican defeat in the 2006 midterm elections, and has been eroded almost every day since then, as President George W. Bush has struggled through his second term.

There probably was no better sign of how far this White House has fallen than at the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames this weekend, a gathering of probably the most committed Republicans in the country. This was where Rove displayed his political skills to the country in 1999, steering Bush to a victory in a nonbinding poll that nonetheless cemented his position as his party's prohibitive favorite.

Bush's name was barely mentioned in Ames on Saturday, much less Rove's. The winner of the contest, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, offered a pretty grim verdict on the last seven years in Washington when he said, "If there has ever been a time that we needed to see change in Washington, it is now."

Gone are the days when Republican candidates were expected to fight to become the heir to either the Bush legacy or Rove himself.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Huge Dow Sell Off on Loan Fears

Dow Falls 387 Points on New Loan Fears

Published: August 9, 2007
Stocks on Wall Street today suffered their biggest one-day decline since February after the turmoil in the home-loan market caused renewed concerns about tightening credit worldwide.

What Else Don't We Know About Bush?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Afghanistan Leader Karzai Has Harsh Words About What the US Has Done Recently

In the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the United States and its allies have essentially gotten nowhere lately, says Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"We are not closer, we are not further away from it," Karzai said ahead of his two-day summit with President Bush at Camp David, Md. "We are where we were a few years ago."


Despite its progress since U.S.-led forces toppled the militant Taliban regime in 2001, Afghanistan still is dominated by poverty and lawlessness. Stability has been hindered by the lack of government order, particularly in the southern part of the country.

"The security situation in Afghanistan over the past two years has definitely deteriorated," Karzai said in the interview. "There is no doubt about that."

More More More More Spying Not Enough! We Need Even More!

The day after President George W. Bush marshaled political forces in Congress to grant him greater authority to engage in counterterrorism-related spying, the president stated that he would seek greater changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act when the legislative branch returns to work in September.

"While I appreciate the leadership it took to pass this bill, we must remember that our work is not done," the President said in his Sunday statement. "This bill is a temporary, narrowly focused statute to deal with the most immediate shortcomings in the law."

The President said next month he would focus on further immunizing private companies that cooperate with government wiretapping. However, he used complicated language to describe these activities.

"When Congress returns in September the Intelligence committees and leaders in both parties will need to complete work on the comprehensive reforms requested by Director McConnell, including the important issue of providing meaningful liability protection to those who are alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001," he said.

One constitutional scholar derided Bush's reasoning, particularly the tortuous language in his statement.

"Apparently 'allegedly helped us stay safe' is Bush Administration code for telecom companies and government officials who participated in a conspiracy to perform illegal surveillance," wrote Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin in a Monday morning blog post. "Because what they did is illegal, we do not admit that they actually did it, we only say that they are alleged to have done it."

More More More More Spying!

White House says spying broader than known: report
Wed Aug 1, 12:28 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration's top intelligence official has acknowledged that a controversial domestic surveillance program was only one part of a much broader spying effort, The Washington Post reported in its Wednesday edition.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell wrote in a letter that other aspects of the National Security Agency's domestic spying program remain classified, the Post said.

Super Secret Spying Secretly Illegal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. intelligence court earlier this year secretly struck down a key element of President George W. Bush's warrantless spying program, The Washington Post reported in its Friday edition.

The decision is one reason Congress is trying to give legal authorization to the spying program in fevered negotiations with the Bush administration this week, the Post reported.

The intelligence-court judge, who remains anonymous, concluded that the government had overstepped its authority by monitoring overseas communications that pass through the United States, the Post said, citing anonymous government and congressional sources.