Saturday, June 17, 2006

Karl Rove, White House Make-up Artist, Torture Policy, Katrina Outcasts, Dems Do Something Right, GOP Sex, Rob Corddry and Stephen Colbert.

Between now and the elections expect nothing but lies and misdirection. The White House has turned Karl Rove over to the GOP to work his crooked magic in an effort to retain the House and the Senate.

The recent damned if you do and damned if you don't votes in both the House and Senate on troop withdrawal resolutions were designed by Rove to paint Democrats in a corner. And, of course, way too many of the weak sisters in the party walked right into his trap.

The record, they say, speaks for itself: Rove was the architect of a series of
victories for Bush -- the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, as well as
the 2002 midterms -- that left Democrats demoralized and divided. While it might
be Washington myth that Rove is responsible for all of Bush's wins -- after all,
it was the president who executed the plans and earned the vote -- the balding
Texan with the mischievous grin gets much of the credit in the eyes of
Republicans and Democrats alike.

When the Republicans are desperate and feel that any means will justify the end, Karl Rove is their go-to guy. Expect much wedge issue politics, out and out lies and the insinuation that if you don't agree with the GOP, you are something less than a patriotic American.

It was enough to elevate the well-worn notion of political pandering to a whole
new level of sycophancy: Knowing full well that a constitutional amendment to
ban gay marriage had no chance of passing, Republicans--led by the
president--raised the issue in the Senate anyway. "I am proud to stand with
you," President Bush told supporters of the ban last week. In fact, he spoke
about it twice in three days. Never mind that a recent Washington Post-ABC News
poll shows that fewer than 1 percent of Americans consider the issue of gay
marriage as key or relevant to their voting choices. This is about something
much more important--throwing red meat to the GOP base.

New White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten pretty much just came out and admitted that his primary job will be to apply make-up to the pig. Trust me, despite what you hear, it will still be a pig.

Bolten's changes so far have been more about process than policy. He has not
tried to alter the broader direction of Bush's presidency, nor does he intend
to. His mission, as he sees it, is to find a better way to explain the same
agenda. "It's part of our job to help the American public see the president that
we see inside the White House and that doesn't always get reflected on the
outside," he said.

The Pentagon is saying that, yeah we tortured, but it was by accident, we just got the wrong information, everything's all right now, so forget about it. Incompetence, like crap, runs down hill.

A secretive military Special Operations group in Iraq used several unauthorized
interrogation tactics on detainees in early 2004 after it erroneously received
an outdated policy from commanders in Baghdad, according to a high-level
military investigative report released yesterday at the Pentagon.

As a result of the error, interrogators at temporary holding facilities
washed down detainees and questioned them in overly air-conditioned rooms, fed
them only bread and water when they were uncooperative, and made them kneel for
long periods of time as part of an approach using "stress positions." The
tactics also included giving detainees minimal amounts of sleep and using loud
music and yelling to keep them from sleeping or communicating.

I wonder how many terrorists this supposed mistake created?

I guess that Katrina recovery, like Mr. Bush's little war in Iraq, will have to wait on the next administration to be resolved.

She's not alone. Across the state, more than 200,000 people are living in
trailers or unfinished houses, many still in tents in the front yards of their
ravaged New Orleans homes, without insurance, health care, access to decent
public schools or, in many cases, jobs. In fact, so many people are desperate to
make their homes livable that FEMA is still delivering trailers to the New
Orleans area. To date there are some 70,000 FEMA trailers in some 60 villages in
Louisiana alone, with additional trailers parked in yards. And not a single one
of those trailers is strong enough to withstand hurricane-strength winds.

Things are looking up. The House Democrats finally do something right, most of them anyway.

Democrats got tough with Rep. William Jefferson last night, voting 99-58 to boot
the corrupt Congressman off the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

It seems that anti-gay Republican Strategists are willing to pay big money for a little hot girl on girl action. That's the difference between them and us, they have to pay for it.

It’s getting so that a couple nice young girls can’t drive up to DC for the
Pride parade without getting openly propositioned by Republican Strategists who
give them their real names and business cards these days.

Rob Corddry's leaving the Daily Show.

Overlooked in the barrage of nerd-bent one-liners and Prince-gawking at the Webby Awards Monday night was host Rob Corddry's admission he may not be able
continue on the Daily Show now that his pilot,
The Winner,
produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, has been picked up by Fox. "It's
not clear whether I'll have time," Corddry told the audience before setting up a
You Tube-quality clip.

And a video of Stephen Colbert asking Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA), who sponsored the bill to display the Ten Commandments in Congress, to name them. He couldn't.


  1. Gotta love that clip of Colbert.

    Also, on the torture issues America is having, I think the Pentagon would properly deal with this mess if the Bush administration would let them. Instead they want to play some political rhetoric game where they make excuses and tell lies and then try to dress everything up so it doesn't look like anything happened but reporters aren't allowed in and then Bush is like Guantanamo has become "an excuse" to not support the "war on terror"...

    Low-ranking officials want to do what's necessary but can't. It's not allowed.

    (Ever read State of War? That's where I am getting this idea from.)

  2. It wasn't just about detainees who had to deal with bread and water. The report specifically cites one prisoner who died during interogation, apparently due to using hypothermia techniques on him.

    In the report, Brig. Gen. Formica said that he did not investigate the underlying incidents that led to the investigation, or check the existing documentation for completeness or accuracy, relying instead on the military's own previous findings on the incidents. Those previous findings, unfortunately, appear to have been from investigations which were stonewalled, where members of the Special Forces used fake names and mysteriously "lost" the great majority of their files, and in which the Criminal Investigations (CID) officer on site stated that he was "unable to thoroughly investigate suspects and witnesses because of their involvement in the Special Access Program and/or the security classification of the unit they were assigned to during the offense."

    The Special Access Program was specifically approved by Rumsfeld and his assistants in the Pentagon.

    Amongst the allegations not investigated further are this one, in which a US soldier over at Abu Ghraib swore an oath indicating that a young Iraqi claimed to have been sexually and physically abused and sodomized while imprisoned by US Special Forces.

    The US soldier swore an oath indicating that the Iraqi in question "could not sit and was bleeding from the rectum". This claim of sexual assault while under Special Forces imprisonment appears to have been backed up by numerous other sworn statements from US soldiers.

    According to the sworn statement of one soldier:
    "In my opinion, (prisoner's name redacted) came in emotionally and physically abused. (Prisoner) said, I don't remember in exact words, "they have taken everything from me."

    I don't know the name of their capturing unit. All I know is they came from the palace. . . I don't know if they got a rectal investigation. . . When SF (Special Forces troops, such as Task Force 626) brought detainees in . . . you could see that they were facially abused. I don't know which SF unit. I saw detainees with bruises, black eyes, beaten, physical abuse. If we get them like that, we'll stop and take them to the aid station or MPs, that way we're cleared of it. We don't want it said that it happened here. . ."

    Over the course of my time here, I've seen maybe ten detainees come in here physically abused, downright beaten and tortured, and I've easily screened hundreds of detainees. The only trend associated with that abuse would be SF (Special Forces) detainees. One of the first questions I'd ask was "why were you detained" and if they would mention (redacted) it was usually associated with extortion, and "he beat me". Those were the two trends right there."

    So basically, these are very serious allegations with numerous sworn statements from US soldiers backing them up. It should be of real concern that the US' best troops would act in such a manner, with such impunity, under the direct authorization of the Secretary of Defense.

  3. "Looking back over the past two months, I'm pleased with the progress we've made," he said. But he noted, "We are keenly aware of having just 2 1/2 years left to cram in a lot of agenda."

    That statement from John Bolten makes my blood run cold.

    Bob Higgins
    Worldwide Sawdust


I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)