What They Said

The President and his administration must be held to the highest standards when it comes to matters of war.  It cannot be forgotten that, along with statements about Saddam's link to terrorists and claims of nuclear and biological weapon stockpiles, the Bush White House talked of an immediate threat, that could not wait for any measures other than immediate attack.

As President Bush has said, time is not on our side. Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action. Cheney

Bush preparing for his 2003 State of the Union speech.

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide. Bush - 2003 State of the Union

And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own. Bush - 2003 State of the Union

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Poverty Pimp to the Poor: You have rights, but not too many

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty printed a posted with the following text (sorry, it's too big to scan):

Never forget. You have rights.  You still have rights, even if you're homeless...

You may have the right to sleep in public if you have nowhere else to go.

Your children have the right to attend school.

You have the right to vote.

You have the right to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

You have the right to apply for food stamps, Medicaid, welfare and Supplemental Security income.

Needless to say, he poster is a waste of paper.  And it is insulting to the poor.  Who doesn't know that they have the right to apply for benefits?  And is that really a right worth mentioning?  And the right that the homeless may have to sleep outside would be considered barbaric by the rest of the West.

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Judy Miller Speaks: Letter posted on her blog

Judy has posted her goodbye letter on her blog:

I will continue speaking in support of a Federal shield law. In my future writing, I intend to call attention to the internal and external threats to our country's freedoms - Al Qaeda and other forms of religious extremism, conventional and W.M.D. terrorism, and growing government secrecy in the name of national security - subjects that have long defined my work. I also leave knowing that The Times will continue the tradition of excellence that has made it indispensable to its readers, a standard for journalists, and a bulwark of democracy. source

Judy just doesn't get it.  No reporter has the right to be part of a crime.  And Judy Miller failed to be a standard for journalists, a bulwark of democracy.  She passed on lies that led us to a war of choice.

Cross posted: Political Porn

Seattle's Monorail Vote: A case for states' rights

Yesterday voters in Seattle voted down plans to build an elevated transit line through the city.  The same plan had won four prior elections, only to fail on its fifth and final (?) vote.

On the day before the city-wide vote, USA Today reported:

Voters in [Seattle, a] traffic-clogged city of 575,000 have gone to the polls four times since 1997 and said "yes" to a monorail, coercing a reluctant City Hall into backing the project. A citizen governing board oversaw design of a 14-mile route through the heart of the city and spent $140 million buying right-of-way and land for stations.

It was a struggle to get the monorail to the point of collecting taxes, buying right-of-way and getting a contractor to build and operate the transit system. And then it faced another vote, another hurdle.

At the time that the monorail was being first considered by city voters, the region had already passed a massive suburb-to-city system, which turned out to deliver far less than promised - with trains running at surface level and not going very far. But the suburb-to-city plan had the support of regional powerbrokers, and only required one election to get built. Unhindered by accountability, the suburb-to-city system baited and switched the region, offering a shorter route that moved at street level instead of speeding over or under cars. Additionally, the project was able to rip through a mostly low-income and historically African-American neighborhood.

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Alito wants to weaken the Constitution

Here's what at stake with the Alito nomination:  The Congress and the President will gain power. Ordinary Americans will lose power.

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After Miers: Get tough, go nuclear no matter what

A strategy for the next nomination: Dems go nuclear
Now that Miers is out, it's time for the Democrats to get tough.  My advice: Block the next nominee as being too far right no matter who that person is.  Start planning a filibuster now - regardless of the nominee. Five minutes after Bush announces the nominee the Dems should say Bush nominee ___ (fill in the blank) is D.O.A. as far as Senate Democrats are concerned.

It doesn't matter who Bush actually nominates. Bush could nominate Thurgood Marshall from the dead and the Dems should proceed as planned.  "Marshall's a radical right-winger.  The president is cowing to special interests of extremists.  We won't stand for a radical conservative like Marshall."

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Yellowcakegate: How to proceed

  1. Stop talking about bigger fish to fry.   Focus on Libby and the charges against him.  Don't get distracted or caught up in an expectations game.  The worst: We demand justice for Rove and he is vindicated.

  2. Focus on what Libby did: He lied to the FBI and the Grand Jury in order to cover up leaking a CIA agent in order to cover up lies about going to war.  

  3. Investigate and report and comment on everything related to the cover up of lies about going to war.

  4. Change the name of the scandal to Yellowcakegate.

more below fold

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Kos wrong about why Miers dropped out

Earlier I said that the Miers withdrawal meant the following three things: (1) Bush is weak; (2) The Right is strong; (3) Separation of powers matters.

That makes the Miers withdrawal a defeat for Bush, victory for the Right and victory for Congress and the Supreme Court.

Where's that leave the Democrats? In the same hole they've been in since September 12, 2001.  Buried deep in fear and uselessness.

Today Kos linked to a "backstory" entry at National Journal's hotline.  The entry pointed to competence as the reason why Republicans tanked Miers.  And Kos claimed that this means that it was not a Right wing victory.

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Kerry: Ties Plamegate to Bush's lies about Iraq

The real Plamegate narrative is not about who gets charged with what, but what the White House, the Democrats and Republicans and the media did to get America into a war of choice.  While almost everyone in the DC establishment fucked up by publicly buying the b.s. coming from the White House, blame still lands squarely with Bush.

The real Plamegate narrative is how Plamegate provides America a chance to fess-up, to come to terms with the ends to which Bush went to get us into his war.  And it's nice that papers like the NY Times and Knight Ridder are starting to pick up this part of the story, especially as tension builds for Fitzgerald's expected indictments on Friday.

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Leftie Loonies: You know who you are

Leftie Loonies: You know who your are. You’re a member of every ineffective Leftie group in your city (and now the Blogosphere). You join every committee, every list serve, every book club and every protest. You read newspapers with a masthead that’s been the same since the General Strike of 1919. And you sell those papers at folding tables in the middle of everyone else’s political rally. You’re still upset about the merger of the AFL with the CIO, and want to revive the Wobblies (or at least their music). You debate anyone you meet about the merger of the AFL and the CIO.

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