Somebody to Fire!!!!

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emptywheel
I'm thrilled with the news that George Bush just gave Barry Jackson a promotion. Yesterday, President Bush named Barry Jackson to be Peter Wehnher’s replacement to run the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives.Jackson was the major White House strategist behind Bush’s failedSocial Security privatization ploy, and was one of the White Houseemployees discovered to be using RNC email accounts to e-mail an associate of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. That's because just

Republicans Back Sound Minimization Oversight

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emptywheel
I'm watching HJC's first hearing on FISA Amendment, and I think the Republicans may be giving us a superb opportunity to address one of the big problems of the FISA Amendment. You see, the Republicans have no fucking clue that the reason McConnell chose the Republican bill over the Democratic one is because it removed all oversight over minimization. Thus far--and at 12:04 we've only had questions from 3 Republicans--Dan Lungren has already
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The Decider on Iran

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emptywheel
Aside from the boorishness of discussing more war with bread crumbs all over your chin, Bush's pathetic simplification of our relationship with Iran--in a monologue he calls "strategic thinking"--is pretty alarming, even coming from Bush. "The job of the president," he continued, through an ample wad of breadand sausage, "is to think strategically so that you can accomplish bigobjectives.

Scottish Haggis and Wide Stance

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emptywheel
Josh and his reader ask WTF is up with Arlen's support for Larry Craig. TPM Reader BR wonders about Arlen: "What the hell isSpecter thinking? Is he trying to destroy the Republican party? Nothingcould be worse for them then drawing this out or attracting any furtherattention to the situation. Or did Specter offer friendly encouragementnot thinking Craig would take him seriously?

GAO Report: The Status of the Dispute

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emptywheel
Okay, here's the Karen DeYoung report I was so impatient for yesterday. She lays out mostly the changes that I found here, ThinkProgress found here, and NSN found here. A bleak portrait of the political and security situation in Iraq released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office sparked sharp protests from the top U.S.

Tommy K's Greek Vacation

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emptywheel
As I suspected, Judge Burns was none too impressed that Tommy K's daughter bought Phillip Halpern's long-lost uncle's house with the ensuing benefit to Halpern of precisely nada. Halpern, who had last seen his uncle in 1999, said in court papers hehad no knowledge of the deal and did not benefit in any way from it,and removing him or the office was not warranted. On that matter, Burns agreed.

Still Holding My Breath for DeYoung and Ricks

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emptywheel
[Update: Here's DeYoung's take.] So I've been holding my breath to see what Karen DeYoung and Tom Ricks had to say about today's GAO report. After all, they were leaked the draft report last week, and they anticipated that BushCo might "soften" the report. Since there are clear signs the Administration did just that, I have been eagerly waiting for them to give us a catalog of the changes the Administration forced

The GAO Report Busts the Administration in Its Lies

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emptywheel
I'm anxiously waiting the WaPo's analysis of today's GAO report. You'll recall the WaPo reported last week that someone had liberated a copy of the GAO to prevent BushCO from "softening" its conclusions. But the numbers suggest that some of the conclusions were softened: whereas on Thursday, the WaPo reported Iraq had met three and partially met two of the benchmarks, the GAO has since added two more partially met objectives--on

"One Bomb Away"

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emptywheel
Glenn highlighted a part of the Jeffrey Rosen on Jack Goldsmith article that I wanted to return to: [Goldsmith] shared the White House’s concern that the Foreign IntelligenceSurveillance Act might prevent wiretaps on international calls involving terrorists.But Goldsmith deplored the way the White House tried to fix the problem, whichwas highly contemptuous of Congress and the courts.

emptywheel's Continuing Obsession with Ed Gillespie

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emptywheel
Via CREW, I see Ed Gillespie making grand promises that the GOP will have a scandal-free election in 2008. Ed Gillespie, President Bush's counselor and a former chairman of theRepublican Party, acknowledged that ethical scandals have hurt the GOP.He predicted that by 2008, the party "will not have candidates who haveany kind of ethical considerations that will be a concern to thevoters." Like CREW, I'm not holding my breath that the GOP will

Remember that Bankruptcy Bill We Passed...

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emptywheel
To bail out those poor, helpless little credit card companies? Well, it's time to revoke it: As subprime borrowers began to default on their mortgages in rapidlygrowing numbers this year, credit card issuers increased their effortsto sign up such customers with tarnished financial histories, accordingto a market research firm. Direct mail credit card offers to subprime customers in the UnitedStates jumped 41 percent in the first half of this year, compared withthe first

Goldsmith's PR Campaign Begins

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emptywheel
And so the man who began a silent revolt against BushCo's shredding of the Constitution begins to speak. The NYT has a long Magazine article on Jack Goldsmith reviewing the revolt and previewing Goldsmith's book, due to come out on September 17. The article provides details we've known in sketchy form before--like how the key decisions, prior to Goldsmith's arrival, were made by Cheney and Addington bypassing normal channels in the
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War Council

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emptywheel
If you haven't already read Pat Lang on Bush's surprise visit to Iraq today, do so now. For whatever PR value BushCo is trying to milk out of this visit (here's C&L with coverage), Lang is persuasive that the chief reason for the visit is to bring his war cheerleaders together to develop a game plan for the next few weeks.

Arrest John Boehner

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emptywheel
The government's primary strategy, in responding to the ACLU's request for release of the FISC rulings disallowing parts of the Administration's domestic wiretapping program, is to argue that the ACLU doesn't have standing to ask for the documents. Only an aggrieved person can ask for such rulings, and even then, the aggrieved person cannot see the orders themselves that authorize domestic spying. But there are two problems with that, it seems.

How Long Has Gillespie Been Acting as White House Counselor?

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emptywheel
First, a correction. I suggested the other day that Dick was one of the three people who voted not to keep Rummy when Bush took a show of hands on Rummy's fate. But Cheney may not have been among those polled. The WaPo has a review of the book and the incident today, and Cheney is not among those named (though Abramowitz does not identify all of the votes). For Canning Rummy Josh
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We're Sorry for Spiking the News

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emptywheel
The NYT has a really weird story out today which tries to explain why news outlets don't publish "open secrets" about public figures. Old-fashioned as it seems, there are still tacit rules about when anopen secret can remain in its own netherworld, without consequence tothe politician who keeps it. But now that any whisper can become aglobal shout in an instant, how much longer can those rules apply?

Condi, AIPAC, and the A1 Cut-Out

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emptywheel
You'll recall that the AIPAC defendants called Condi and Stephen Hadley to testify about how they routinely leak classified information. Well, the government claims that these two, at least, don't have to testify. Secretaryof State Condoleezza Rice and other senior intelligence officialsshould not be forced to testify about whether they discussed classifiedinformation with pro-Israel lobbyists, federal prosecutors argued in aclosed-door court hearing Friday. Two former American IsraelPublic Affairs Committee lobbyists facing espionage

Bush's Cheney's Legacy

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emptywheel
I couldn't help but think of Dick when I read this story on Bush's legacy. First, because there's this story of Bush's show of hands vote on whether Rummy should be ousted. Mr. Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details ofa meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on thefuture of Defense Secretary Donald H.

Ding Dong the Wicked Witch Is ... Publishing at NRO?

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emptywheel
Reading Rove on his last day in the WH: President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century by manipulating the scientific proof of that key test--global warming--so his donors could continue to profit off the dying petroleum age while they still had a chance. Hewill be judged as a man of moral clarity who put America on wartimefooting in the dangerous struggle against

Tommy K's Cooperation

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emptywheel
I'm trying to pull together as many of the details in the new transcripts about how Tommy Kontogiannis has cooperated (I was going to spell it "kooperate") with the government. The information is actually conflicting--Tommy K wants to portray himself as a good American who was just seeking out powerful Congressman to give intelligence to.
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