Buttle

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Gonzales received another report of an NSL-related violation a few weeks later. “A national security letter . . . contained an incorrect phone number” that resulted in agents collecting phone information that “belonged to a different U.S. person” than the suspect under investigation, stated a letter copied to the attorney general on May 6, 2005.

At least two other reports of NSL-related violations were sent to Gonzales, according to the new documents. In letters copied to him on Dec. 11, 2006, and Feb. 26, 2007, the FBI reported to the oversight board that agents had requested and obtained phone data on the wrong people.

Viva Bush

Courtesy of Media Matters.:

CNN anchor Jack Cafferty:

The Mexican flag has become a source of irritation to a lot of Americans during the immigration debate that’s heating up in this country. Carried as a source of pride by demonstrators, the idea could backfire.

Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes:

And that was that huge demonstration in Los Angeles yesterday where many, many people were waving Mexican flags. That just alienates Americans and will only further anger the anti-immigrant forces.

Eponymous pundit-borg Lou Dobbs:

I don’t think that we should have any flag flying in this country except the flag of the United States.

Grave-robbing baby-killer Robert Novak:

[B]randishing the Mexican flag signals divided loyalty or perhaps loyalty to a foreign power.

George W. Bush on his 2004 presidential campaign:

flag waving bush

Author vs Narrator

Arnold Schwarzenegger held a conciliatory news conference (and his now disembodied ass) where he expressed regret for blowing at least $40 million in public money, hundreds of millions in private money, months of everyone’s time, all for a special election that has instantly converted him into a gristle-bound lame duck.

“If I were to do another Terminator movie, I would have the Terminator travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have a special election.”

The confusing thing: who exactly is the “I” in that sentence?

More importantly: who is the “governor”?

Episode V

“So you’re swordfighting Scooter Libby.”

“What kinda swords?”

“Epeé? No wait — sabre.”

“Nuh-uh. Rapier.”

“Fine. So you’re swordfighting Scooter. His bejeweled rapier has an evil oily sheen on the blade — one nick means slow death!”

“That fucker.”

“But after a long struggle, you finally get him backed into an ornate grotto in the basement of the Executive Office Building.”

“He can’t maneuver so well cause of his broken foot.”

“Right. You see your opening.”

“Lunge!”

“You lunge! He waves one of his crutches at you — a futile gesture. He is skewered.”

“Scooter kabob.”

“His sword arm is pinned behind him against a life-size marble mermaid. He drops the weapon and falls to his knees. He looks up at you, helpless.”

“As I give the blade a gentle twist.”

“And gasping in pain, he gives you that sorta come closer last words kinda motion. So you lean in to hear what he has to say — ”

“The secret identity of Officer X no doubt…”

” — and he suddenly plunges a tiny dagger towards your neck!”

“What kind?”

“One of those little triangular ones that you can hide in your boot. The kind with the sideways handle and the blade sticking out between your knuckles, so you can conceal it in your hand and then punch someone in the eye with it.”

“That’s my Scooter.”

“So he plunges a tiny dagger towards your neck. You catch the movement out of the corner of your eye, and dodge just enough so that he misses your jugular — ”

“Yes!”

” — but the blade gets buried deep in the meat of your trapezoid.”

“Well fuck… So then what happens?”

“We don’t know yet.”

“Aw, man. That’s bullshit.”

“Yeah.”

“Oh well. Empire was the best Star Wars movie. Maybe I get a robot shoulder.”

Slow Fade

The case against Libby is strong. The trial will bring more focus on the Iraq lies. The investigation against Rove continues. Long forgotten details like the Niger forgery now get close attention. Conservative politicscriminalization

Once it spring leaks, it can take a long time for a huge ship to sink. Tilting slowly into the water at a sickly angle, until in begins to dive under, it’s fat metal ass lifting into the air, propeller pointing at the heavens, unholy and doomed.

Until finally — at long last — nothing is left of the entire majestic edifice except a debris-filled froth and a field of floating corpses.

Complete Disaster

Yesterday, Josh Marshall regarding the proposed $260 billion aid package to the Gulf:

This will be Iraq all over again, with the same fetid mix of graft, zeal and hubris. Cronyism like you wouldn’t believe. Money blown on ideological fantasies and half-baked test-cases.

You could come up with a hundred reasons why that’s true. But at root intentions drive all. You’ll never separate this operation or its results from the fact that the people in charge see it as a political operation. The use of this money for political purposes, for what amounts to a political campaign, tells you everything you need to know about what’s coming.

Today, in the New York Times:

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government…

After four and a half years of this shit, the only constant seems to be that it can always get worse.

Ill Wind

Aside from spending the day worrying about New Orleans, August 29 was a pleasant day in Los Angeles. And yet something in the very air seemed wrong, an inexplicable soul-sucking malaise of negative energy…

Well, looking at the TPM Katrina Timeline, I just realized that Bush made a stop about 30 minutes from Los Angeles on Monday afternoon. Just so we’re clear, the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning at 8:14 AM Monday morning announcing a breach in the Industrial Canal levee. By the time of Bush’s 2:40 P.M. speech in Racho Cucamonga, there had been public confirmation of the 17th Street Canal levee breech.

The speech was largely about eliminating the social safety net for poor Americans.

I know that you wept, like many of us wept when we heard stories about people having to choose between food or medicine. Those days are gone because of this Medicare legislation. (Applause.)

You gotta admit, the boy has timing.

Here’s the bulk of his remarks from that speech about the worst disaster in American history.

This was a terrible storm. It’s a storm that hit with a lot of ferocity. It’s a storm now that is moving through, and now it’s the time for governments to help people get their feet on the ground.

For those of you who prayed for the folks in that area, I want to thank you for your prayers. For those of you who are concerned about whether or not we’re prepared to help, don’t be. We are. We’re in place. We’ve got equipment in place, supplies in place. And once the — once we’re able to assess the damage, we’ll be able to move in and help those good folks in the affected areas. (Applause.)

David also mentioned that we’re making progress overseas. And we are making progress overseas. Recently, the Iraqis came together and wrote a constitution. It’s not easy to write a constitution. Look at our own history. I was reminded that several of the delegates to our own Constitutional Convention stormed out and wouldn’t sign the document. (Applause.)

Hurricane exploitation – the quotes

Writing from the hurricane ravaged front-lines of Australia, a right-wing blogger digs up up some quotes which he offers as evidence of leftist hurricane exploitation. I know it’s “Hard Work” to search for quotes, and clearly the extremist right is making “Good Progress” — which leaves them little time to dig up evidence of their own fetid verbal vomit. So I’ll help out by finding a selection of some of the choicest hurricane commentary by Republicans and Republican collaborators.

there is more to see   → → →

Freak Show

You thought the “MSM” was too focused on the bloody realities of war? Not so fast! Gaze in wonder as Powerline’s hindrocket savors the magic of opposite day:

almost every major newspaper in America is committed to the proposition that we aren’t really in a war, so they aren’t interested

You thought violent right-wing extremists would only use the ashes of the WTC as hallowed ground? Gaze in awe-struck befuddlement as Ann Coulter drenches the graves of New York firefighters with a stream of her rancid urine:

it’s far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York, where the residents would immediately surrender. That strategy appears to be working. Then again, maybe it’s just that it’s so damnably hard to find parking in New York…

Even extremist cleric Pat Robertson is losing the battle against himself in the wake of his bewitching hymnal, “Onward Christian Death Squads.”

Times are tough in Cognitive Dissonance Land. Multimillionaire propagandists suddenly find themselves sputtering like mis-programmed robots, “white crosses bad, white crosses good, good bad! bad good!” while sparks fly out the back of their heads and smoke pours out their ears.

Yes, it is satisfying in it’s own way. But when violent robots get caught in their own bad programming, things can get ugly. Stuck in gunslinger showdown mode, the lunatic automatons just keep firing away…

How many of us will they take down before they return to their true calling? Namely, schizophrenically yammering at telephone poles on street corners, finger-thrusting angrily at vapor.

Also, just so we’re clear, Little Green Footballs:

Search results for conditions victory iraq (0 matches)

April Fools

Daniel Drenzer, April 11, 2003::

Given that the war will likely be completely over in 60 days (the upper limit of Nordhaus’ “best-case” scenario); the northern and southern oil fields were captured without significant damage [UPDATE: the last oil fire has now been extinguished]; oil markets have been unruffled; and none of the worst-case scenarios have come to pass, it would be safe to say that the dice came up favorably. However, both press reports and antiwar activists played up the potential trillions in economic costs.

Glenn Reynolds, April 11, 2003:

“FOR SUCH AN ADVANCED SPECIES, THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO RUB IT IN.” — Marge Simpson

Yeah, there has been a lot of pro-war gloating. And I guess that Dawn Olsen’s cautionary advice about gloating is appropriate. So maybe we shouldn’t rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a “quagmire” were wrong — again! — how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong — again! — how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error — again — and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about “civilian casualties” now seem almost disappointed that there weren’t more — again — and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American “liberators” were proven wrong — again — as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn’t stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It’s probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.

Nah.

MORE:

Victor Davis Hanson, April 4, 2003:

Depressed and discredited pundits now turn to dire predictions of years of turmoil in postbellum Iraq…

Despite the protestations of a return to normalcy, this present war will ever so slowly, yet markedly nonetheless, change America’s relationships in a way unseen in the last 30 years

In the neighborhood of the battlefield, Iran is in a unique position. The illegitimate government will have to tell its own restless population why the liberation of Iraq next door is a bad thing…

The world is upside down and we should expect some strange scenes of scrambling in the weeks ahead as side-glancing diplomats and nail-biting envoys flock to meet Mr. Powell in Washington, who — far from fearing those recent idiotic calls for his resignation — will in fact emerge as one of the most effective and powerful secretaries in recent history. Such are the ironies of war.

It will all be an interesting show.