Karl Rove’s Key Strategy To A Republican Majority

August 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Remember this as we get the US Attorney firings back on the front pages: Karl Rove had a strategy of a Republican majority. It was 50+1. And the way to do that was to use every tool at the Administration’s disposal to get it. If a district, or a state, was a political battleground, like New Mexico, or Missouri, key individuals were needed in the right spots, including the US Attorney office, so that unprovable, but political damaging investigations could be run against Democratic candidates just before elections so that doubt would be sowed among voters on the Democratic candidate. David Iglesias would not play ball, and the local Republicans were furious with him, that in a tight race in New Mexico, he would not bring up spurious accusations against the Democratic candidate, who barely lost to the Republican incumbent, Wilson by like 900 votes. It worked against David Siegelman of Georgia. Spurious allegations brought on by a corrupt attorney put Siegelman in jail until an appeals court saw how terrible the case was against Siegelman. But the damage was done, of course.

This is a reprehensible way to victory and, in the long run, unsustainable, the corruption eventually feeding on itself and destroying the party that used those tools.

Donald Rumsfeld Approved Torture for the United States Military

April 21, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

He should therefore be tried for war crimes.

The 232-page report, the product of an 18-month inquiry, was approved on Nov. 20 by the Senate Armed Services Committee, but has since been under Pentagon review for declassification. Some of the findings were made public in a Dec. 12 article in The New York Times; a spokesman for Mr. Rumsfeld dismissed the report at the time as “unfounded allegations against those who have served our nation.”

The Senate report documented how some of the techniques used by the military at prisons in Afghanistan and at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as in Iraq — stripping detainees, placing them in “stress positions” or depriving them of sleep — originated in a military program known as Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape, or SERE, intended to train American troops to resist abusive enemy interrogations.

According to the Senate investigation, a military behavioral scientist and a colleague who had witnessed SERE training proposed its use at Guantánamo in October 2002, as pressure was rising “to get ‘tougher’ with detainee interrogations.” Officers there sought authorization, and Mr. Rumsfeld approved 15 interrogation techniques.

The report showed that Mr. Rumsfeld’s authorization was cited by a United States military special-operations lawyer in Afghanistan as “an analogy and basis for use of these techniques,” and that, in February 2003, a special-operations unit in Iraq obtained a copy of the policy from Afghanistan “that included aggressive techniques, changed the letterhead, and adopted the policy verbatim.”

Months later, the report said, the interrogation officer in charge at Abu Ghraib obtained a copy of that policy “and submitted it, virtually unchanged, through her chain of command.” This ultimately led to authorization by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez of the use of stress positions, “sleep management” and military dogs to exploit detainees’ fears, the report said.

There’s that SERE again. Man, the Chinese sure played some mind games on us! SERE comes from the torture the Chinese put American soldiers through during the Korean War. America uses SERE to train soldiers to ward off torture techniques. Now, under George W. Bush, these techniques were used against detainees, not just at the CIA, but also in the United States Military.

Karl Rove Resigns

August 13, 2007 at 12:14 pm | Posted in America, American politics, Bush Administration, conservatives, corruption, George W Bush, karl rove, King George, Republicans, secret combinations | Leave a comment

So Karl Rove will leave the White House at the end of August. Many are wondering why, what’s with the quick departure. Me, well, I believe that he is leaving in order to shield the White House from some very strong storms about to come from the numerous investigations into law-breaking that came out of Rove’s strategies, from politicizing US attorneys, to the Abramoff scandal, to the Hatch Act violations.

These of course, are still minor things. They are not the meat of the violations that the Bush administration has committed under the direction of Karl Rove. Let us not ever forget that the war in Iraq, while architected and dreamed up by Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, was used by Karl Rove as a political lever. He told Republicans in January of 2002 to use the impending war against Democrats. The 2004 election, strategized by Karl Rove, was all about the war. The May Mission Accomplished landing on the aircraft carrier in 2003 was all about the 2004 election. Starting the war in March of 2003 (and not waiting around until the summer, or late fall) was all about the 2004 election. The war in Iraq was all about getting Bush reelected and about creating a permanent Republican majority, Karl Rove’s wettest dream. Building on the false perception that Democrats were militarily weak, Rove and the Republicans pressed for the worst things of the war, just for political points. This is the legacy of Karl Rove. This is the legacy of George W. Bush. This is the legacy of these Republicans today.

The unfortunate part is that our media today is most complicit in this bamboozle. So Americans won’t get a clear picture of what is really going on. You have to look at sources outside of America to see things clearly. It is very unfortunate that it really has come to this, but this is the consequence of divisive politics.

Rove: Troops to Come Home Before 2008 Election

July 9, 2007 at 12:09 pm | Posted in America, American politics, Bush Administration, corruption, Iraq, Military, Republicans, violence, War, War on Terror | Leave a comment

Karl Rove has revealed once again the White House’s strategy for the 2008 elections, just like he had revealed the strategy for the 2002 elections. What is the strategy? Well, according to THE math (as opposed to the real math), Iraq will not figure in to the 2008 elections because, according to him, troops will be home before then. Or at least begin the “post-surge redeployment”, the Bush administration’s new catchy phrase that totally avoids describing what in actuality it really is: a withdrawing of troops from the field of operations. See, Bush is vetoing any such actions now because they are not on HIS timetable. His timetable is timed perfectly with November of every even year. That’s the timetable of most concern to the Bush White House. Whatever works to make Republicans stay in power is what works for Bush. They assume many things wrongly because of this. For example, the surge is a failure, not complete, but a failure nonetheless. Violence continues. Political solutions are somewhere at the bottom of the dank Euphrates that runs through Baghdad.

But none of that matters. It is all a matter of perception. This is why the public face is what it is. They are selling a story. They have to follow the script.

REPORTER: Mr. President, if you decide…

BILL MOYERS: But the White House press corps will ask no hard questions tonight about those claims. Listen to what the President says:

PRESIDENT BUSH: This is a scripted…(laughter)

REPORTER: Thank you Mr. President–

BILL MOYERS: Scripted. Sure enough, the President’s staff has given him a list of reporters to call on.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Let’s see here… Elizabeth… Gregory… April…Did you have a question or did I call upon you cold?

APRIL: No, I have a question (laughter)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. I’m sure you do have a question

ERIC BOEHLERT: He sort of giggled and laughed. And, the reporters sort of laughed. And, I don’t know if it was out of embarrassment for him or embarrassment for them because they still continued to play along. After his question was done. They all shot up their hands and pretended they had a chance of being called on.

APRIL: How is your faith guiding you?

PRESIDENT BUSH: My faith sustains me because I pray daily. I pray for guidance.

ERIC BOEHLERT: I think it just crystallized what was wrong with the press coverage during the run up to the war…I think they felt like the war was gonna happen. And, they– the best thing for them to do was to get out of the way.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you for your questions.

Be on the watch, America. The Bush administration will try once again to pull the wool over your eyes. Please see through their muck.

Americans Disapprove of Bush’s Veto

May 8, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, Congress, Democrats, Iraq, Republicans, violence, War on Terror | 2 Comments

(UPDATED)

54% of Americans oppose Bush’s use of the veto last week, and most Americans trust the Democratic Congress over the White House on Iraq.

Unfortunately, the numbers are not where they need to be. Too many Americans are still being frightened by Bush and company’s rhetoric. How to break through that…yeah, that’s going to take some time. I really do think when Americans step back and look objectively at this period in their history, they will be ashamed of what has transpired since Bush and the Republicans came to power. Hopefully they will come to this realization quick enough to break the Republican party for decades to come.

(Update)

I like how Michael over at Discourse.net puts it:

I am part of the majority. Why is it so silent?

Silent or not, I do think that the electorate will take its revenge at 2008. Bush is making Hoover look good. And Hoover defined his party for over a generation. We’ll get the enablers.

Indeed we will.

All Roads Lead to Karl Rove

April 16, 2007 at 2:37 pm | Posted in American politics | 2 Comments

So it goes.

On Rove and Myers Testifying Not Under Oath

March 20, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, Congress | 5 Comments

The White House, continually acting stupidly, won’t agree to Rove and Myers testifying under oath and in public. They offer the following conditions for Rove and Myers testifying:

Questioning of White House officials would be conducted by a Member or limited number of Members, who would be accompanied by committee staff. Such interviews would be private and conducted without the need for an oath, transcript, subsequent testimony, or the subsequent issuance of subpoenas. A representative of the Office of the Counsel to the President would attend these interviews and personal counsel to the invited officials may be present at their election.

Now, if the White House has nothing to hide, if it did nothing wrong, just why would they need to keep Rove’s and Myers’ testimonies private and not under oath? If you have the truth behind you, what do you fear?

Joshua Marshall states the obvious:

Let’s be honest. Presidential advisors testify all the time. They don’t have the same responsibilities vis a vis Congress as members of the executive departments. But they can and do testify. There’s only one reason why you agree to ‘talk’ to Congress unsworn, in private and without a transcript: because you want to be able to lie or dodge questions in a way that’s too embarrassing to do in public.

Kos adds to the obvious:

What the White House is really saying is, “We reserve the right to lie.” Otherwise, if they intend to tell the truth, why would it matter whether they’re under oath or not?

That’s a weird message to be sending out…

The signs are pointing to Democrats not backing down. Rove’s and Myers’ testimonies WILL be under oath, as they should be. Com’on Mr. Rove, what have you got to hide? Ms. Myers? What are you afraid of?

Glenn Greenwald has a great post about the huffing and puffing of those on the right when Clinton evoked executive privilege, which most assuredly Bush will try to do (and lose). Here is Tony Snow, Bush’s Press Secretary in 1998 on executive privilege:

Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public’s faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold the rule of law.

Well said, Mr. Snow.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has the following to say:

“After telling a bunch of different stories about why they fired the U.S. Attorneys, the Bush Administration is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Congress and the American people deserve a straight answer. If Karl Rove plans to tell the truth, he has nothing to fear from being under oath like any other witness.”

Finally, Obsidian Wings has this extra on Kyle Sampson, who may find life tough in the near future:

Also: you can see Kyle Sampson not just lying, but drafting dishonest letters for his superiors to send to Harry Reid under their own name, in part 3.7 of the documents, pp. 48-9 and 53-5 (pdf). He tells Gonzales that “I am not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the Attorney General’s decision to appoint Griffin”, and puts almost the same statement in his draft of a letter sent to Harry Reid under the signature of Richard Hertling, the Assistant Acting Attorney General. I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would hire him after this, except for political reasons. And if someone does hire him to curry political favor, I can’t imagine they’ll trust him much.

More good analysis:

What’s Bush’s Game

What Happens Now

Rove Was Behind It All Along

March 15, 2007 at 5:17 pm | Posted in American politics, Bush Administration, Cheney, George W Bush, Republicans | 2 Comments

Well well well, new emails have come out showing that Rove was behind the purge of US attorneys all along. This directly contradicts everything the White House and the Attorney General have said.

Has it come to a point yet where Americans will finally agree that Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, etc are liars and that not a word that comes out of their mouths can be trusted? I mean, how many times should they lie to you before you see this?

A Case Where Medicine Proves to be the Problem Not the Cure

December 15, 2006 at 1:56 pm | Posted in American politics | 2 Comments

My wife can tell you that I hate seeing commercials during the evening news for this drug or that drug, (here’s a drug to help you sleep better, here’s a drug to have a better sex life, etc). I’ve believed that an overuse of medicine that messes with the natural process of a body will actually harm a body. For example, I don’t care much for giving drugs to little children for things like ADHD and other issues that are not life threatening to a child. You add foreign chemicals to a child and then wonder later on why that child has serious other issues. Well, according to a recent study the use of a drug in this case hormone replacement therapy has led to an increase in cases of breast cancer. When warned to not use it anymore, back in 2002, the cases of breast cancer dropped dramatically by 7%, when before that they were slowly on the rise.

I understand I am not a woman and I don’t know, nor will I ever know, the pains women have to go through during menopause, however, when we mess with our bodies’s natural process to such a degree, we end up paying a price that we might not want to pay.

We should not be relying on medicines, specifically drugs, as frequently as we have been.

Bush and Rove Only Republicans Not Worried About November

October 15, 2006 at 2:26 am | Posted in American politics, Democracy, King George | 5 Comments

It seems that only Bush and Rove are not concerned about the outcome of the November election. I wonder what they know…..does it have to deal with the electronic voting machines and the ease to which they can be hacked?

Rove’s October Surprise

September 22, 2006 at 2:25 pm | Posted in American politics, Republicans, War on Terror | 9 Comments

It looks like Rove’s October surprise is going to be a strike on Iran probably by October 21. That is in time for the election, but late enough so the negative consequences of the attack don’t affect the election, but will only be affecting America after November 7. This is no liberal dreaming this, as is seen by Newsmax’s article, a right-wing magazine. Anyone still think Bush and his cohorts are not playing politics with national security?

Rove’s Strategy for ’06: Fear

May 11, 2006 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rove’s Strategy

That’s what it will turn out to be. It won’t be about a strong foreign policy vision (as that is a failure); it won’t be fiscal restraint (as that is also a failure); there is no vision that Rove can bring to the table in November ’06 to keep conservatives at the polls, except fear of what the other side will do…..

Ironically, Rove excoriated Democrats in 2004 for their policy of being anti-Bush, and now Rove’s strategy is simply anti-Democrat. Are conservatives that stupid to fall for this strategy? Do they not see that other than “the other side is evil, vote for us,” Rove and the Republicans have no strategy to win 2006?

The American Civil War, Fought Over Slavery, Begun by South Carolina

January 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Posted in American politics | 60 Comments

From the Archives, I offer the following post. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War

With that shot on the Union ship “Star of the West” the Civil War officially began. The causes of the Civil War are complex and deep, however one word describes the heart of the division of America that led to actual fighting: slavery. Continue Reading The American Civil War, Fought Over Slavery, Begun by South Carolina…

Barack Obama’s SOTU Speech

January 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

I love this part:

Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.

You see, we know what’s possible for our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.

well done, Mr. President. Here is the whole text of his 2011 State of the Union address

This Will Come Back to Bite Us in the Ass

April 6, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Posted in American politics | 7 Comments

Obama has approved targeting a Muslim cleric.

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

ah, endless war. We still haven’t gotten the previous bad guy, you know, the one who ordered his henchmen to use planes for missiles, ending up killing nearly 3000 Americans. He’s still out and about. Way to give a boost to al-Awlaki’s standing among his peers. Way to make him more than he is.

This Is About the Dumbest Statement From Senator Brown

February 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

The new Senator from Massachusetts

I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside, and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families. This Senate jobs bill is not perfect. I wish the tax cuts were deeper and broader, but I voted for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work.
I was disappointed with the continuation of politics-as-usual in the drafting of this bill, as it was crafted behind closed doors, without transparency and accountability. I hope for improvements in that process going forward. All of us, Republicans and Democrats, have to work together to get our economy back on track. I hope my vote today is a strong step toward restoring bipartisanship in Washington.

He’s got some really stupid constituency if he has to state that every time he decides to say something. I mean, it’s factually wrong and of course brings up the point, why would he vote for it if he thought it was poorly created?

Tony Blair Continues to Lie About Iraq

December 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

Now he says he would have opted for removing Saddam Hussein no matter what, because he was supposedly a threat to the region. This is, of course, a lie. Take it away Colin Powell and Condolleeza Rice

Colin Powell:

And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…

Think about what Colin Powell’s remarks here mean. 1. No WMD capability. 2. No threat to neighbors. Furthermore, Saddam was not killing his own people in any genocidal way in 2001-2003. There was no urgent need for action. This is very important, because Mr. Blair wishes for people to forget this point. Saddam was indeed a bad guy, as were his sons. But being bad has no precedent in International Law for the removal of said bad guy. Tony Blair worked on the “Blair Doctrine” in 1999, based on international intervention in domestic affairs of certain nations when humanitarian crises occur. Kosovo was the first such example. To this point, it is still the only example that actually fits what Tony Blair was talking about. He wants people to think Iraq was just another Kosovo.

Tony Blair and George Bush sold the war on WMD. When that proved false (as it was false), they shifted ground. They said, “look at the humanitarian crisis!” when there was no humanitarian crisis. They said, “He’s a threat to his neighbors” which is directly contradicted by the Secretary of State and by the National Security Adviser of the United States.

Tony Blair knows he is wrong, but doesn’t have the guts to admit it. He knows Iraq does not fit his Blair Doctrine, but is very afraid to admit it. He thought siding with Bush over Chirac and the other Europeans, would do better for Britain. But now that a new American president is in power, one who has naturally shifted away from Europe to the real new powers of this world—the Asian powers—Britain is really getting a short shrift.

I for one am glad Europe did not select him to be their first European Union president. It would have been embarrassing to have such a liar represent them.

GOP Upset They Got Caught Siding With Rapists

December 2, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

And they have the temerity to demand an apology from Senator Al Franken for daring to put up the anti-rape amendment.

The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.

“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape –and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

“I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”

And why exactly should Franken do anything to stop anyone from labeling Republicans as siding with rapists when that is where their votes lie? It was their choice to vote against Franken, which was probably a decision based on the fact that it is Franken and had absolutely nothing at all to do with the amendment itself. This tells you just how awful the Republicans have gotten in Congress. They were unwilling to approve an amendment against the government providing contracts to companies who don’t ban rape. You’d think every single Senator would agree with that. Of course, Franken’s amendment was brilliant, because it targeted companies like KBR which essentially had in their contract a clause that allowed rape to occur. And because KBR is so close to the Republicans, they just simply could not vote against them. Even if it meant being labeled as siding with rapists. Two wonderful things occurred in the November 2008 election. 1. Barack Obama was elected president. 2. Al Franken was elected Senator.

Thomas Paine Was A Communist!

October 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Posted in American politics | 18 Comments

I guess Glenn Beck is gonna have to find a new hero. The good folks at Think Progress have unearthed the following from one of Thomas Paine’s tracts:

It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal.

and

[C]reate a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property. And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age.

Wow, such a radical socialist communist totalitarian dictator! What is Glenn Beck gonna do?

American Arrogance in Afghanistan

October 3, 2009 at 6:23 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

on full display, and a major reason why we are losing in Afghanistan. We value our lives more than theirs, our culture more than theirs, our way of life more than theirs. Nominally that’s just fine, but when you are in a battle like the one we are in Afghanistan, this just doesn’t work. The locals, who we value less than our own equipment, will act separately, and as they feel, rather than act with us.

The unit arrived at Wanat ill prepared for the hot work of building an outpost in the mountains in July; troops were thirsty from a lack of fresh water, and their one construction vehicle ran out of gas, so the unit was unable to complete basic fortifications. The soldiers had no local currency to buy favor by investing in the village economy, the history makes clear. The soldiers also said they complained up the chain of command about the lack of air surveillance over their dangerous corner of Afghanistan, but no more was provided.

Even as they settled into their spartan command post, the unit’s commanders were insulted to learn that local leaders were meeting together in a “shura,” or council, to which they were not invited — and which might even have been a session used to coordinate the assault on the Americans that began before dawn the very next morning.

The four-hour firefight finally ended when American warplanes and attack helicopters strafed insurgent positions. The paratroopers drove back the insurgents, but ended up abandoning the village 48 hours later.

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