Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blair and Bush

This pretty much says it all.


A portion of the new U.S. embassy under construction is seen from across the Tigris river in Baghdad, Saturday, May 19, 2007.

The new $592 million embassy occupies a chunk of prime Baghdad real estate two-thirds the size of Washington's National Mall, with desk space for about 1,000 people behind high, blast-resistant walls.

The compound is a symbol both of how much the United States has invested in Iraq and how the circumstances of U.S. involvement are changing. (AP photo)

We are never leaving. Office space for 1k people? Jesus.

While the Congress and people of this country argue about troop strength, benchmarks and timelines, the Iraqi people are seeing this monstrous building going up knowing damn well all the talk is just posturing.

It's a sham, a media enabled sham. Wonder how that "Oil Sharing Law" is doing.

Rivals battle for rights to 867-5309,
otherwise known as ‘Jenny’s’ digits

Updated: 1 hour, 58 minutes ago
LINCOLN, R.I. - One-hit wonder Tommy Tutone made the phone number 867-5309 famous in the band’s 1982 hit single, which uses the digits over and over in its catchy refrain.

Now, a Rhode Island company and a national firm are battling over the right to use the number, which doesn’t reach the “Jenny” that Tutone sings about, but could find callers a decent plumber.

And what does Tommy say about this?

Tommy “Tutone” Heath told The Boston Globe that he’d prefer if neither company used the number.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Heath. “If I wanted to get into it, I could probably take the number away from both of them.”

Good for you Tommy, ridiculous is pretty much the word I'd use.

believe it or not, there is actually a claymation version on YouTube

Former GOP Lawmaker Arrested On Charges Of Raping Children And Legislative Pages

Former Republican Rep. Ted Klaudt could spend the rest of his life in prison after turning himself in to authorities Friday on felony charges that include eight counts of rape involving foster children and former legislative pages.

Five girls told authorities they were assaulted by Klaudt, court documents state, although charges filed Friday involve only two of the girls.


Four of the girls said they were accosted in Klaudt's hotel room in Pierre, where he stayed while serving in the South Dakota Legislature. Two of the girls were legislative pages when they were attacked, they told investigators.

He's accused of performing "ovary checks" and "breast exams" under the guise that he was helping young women donate their reproductive eggs, according to court records.

Yipes. They love their "Contract With America"
almost as much as they love the Gipper.

Big Mouth Strikes Again...

Not sure how much play this piece got in the US press recently, but BBC's John Humphrys and former UN Ambassador John Bolton tussled over Iraq and Iran policies, as well as their personal feelings for each other, this past Thursday, May 17.

Bolton claimed UK/US foreign policy would've been more successful if not for those "meddling kids" at the Foreign Office and State Department, saying:

"...there have been a number of occasions where the Foreign Office was not carrying through on [Blair's] policies, just as often happens in the United States; the State Department is not loyal to the President's policies." Humphrys countered that perhaps both had a responsibility to advise "their political masters" by dissenting. Bolton replied, “(their) responsibility is to follow orders when they're given clear orders, which they often do not do."

* Trivia Time -- Please answer the following correctly:
Bolton's statement reminds you of ______ a) Stalin; b) Hitler; c) Ceauşescu; d) Pol Pot; e) Idi Amin; f) Mobutu Sese Seko; g) all of the above.

Regarding Iran, Bolton went on to say that the U.S. should consider the "use of force" if all diplomatic options fail. (Sound oddly familiar?). The discussion got personal when Humphrys reminded Bolton of the overwhelming success of the Iraq policy (note sarcasm here). In typical bully fashion, Bolton accused Humphrys of being a “superior Brit,” of aiding and abetting the “extreme Left,” and for having an “empty brain.”

Given Bolton’s track record, I can see why he was chosen to serve as one of this administration’s most senior diplomats. His numerous successes at the UN are a testament to his skill and deftness in the diplomatic arena (note sarcasm again). Perhaps, Bolton should consider a new career as a WWE announcer....?

* Answer to trivia question: "g"

Cliff's going to visit FireDogLake today at 2:00 pm Eastern Time to chat about the Kentucky primary this Tuesday, May 22.

Owner Murdoch Told NY Post Writers To Not Be Critical Of China

Thank GOD Rupert is looking out for us!!!

China confirms bird flu outbreak

China has confirmed a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in the central province of Hunan, state media has reported.
More than 11,000 poultry died of the virus in Shijiping village near Yiyang city, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Some 53,000 birds have since been culled and officials say that the outbreak is now under control.

Poison found in toothpaste in Panama
The 6,000 tubes with an ingredient used in antifreeze came from China

New York Times

Diethylene glycol, a poisonous ingredient in some antifreeze, has been found in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste in Panama, and customs officials there said Friday that the product appeared to have originated in China.

"Our preliminary information is that it came from China, but we don't know that with certainty yet," said Daniel Delgado Diamante, Panama's director of customs. "We are still checking all the possible imports to see if there could be other shipments."

Some of the toothpaste, which arrived several months ago in the free trade zone next to the Panama Canal, was re-exported to the Dominican Republic in seven shipments, customs officials said. A newspaper in Australia reported Friday that one brand of the toothpaste had been found on supermarket shelves there and had been recalled.

China's pig flu: The next health disaster?

First came the bird flu. Now China’s pigs are succumbing to a violent infection. Is a human disease next?

A mysterious disease that is killing pigs in Guangdong province in southern China has health officials worried

By Barrett Sheridan
Updated: 4:01 p.m. ET May 10, 2007
May 10, 2007 - In an outbreak reminiscent of the early stages of SARS and bird flu, pigs are growing sick and dying across China’s southeastern Guangdong province. Roughly 3,000 pigs have been infected on hundreds of family farms and about 300 have died.

Second chemical eyed in Chinese pet food scandal
By David Barboza Published: May 8, 2007

SHANGHAI: China has found two companies here guilty of intentionally exporting contaminated pet food ingredients to the United States, the government announced.

God forbid they should get angry with us and stop exporting their top-notch commodities to the U.S.

Good Morning!!

Some things to keep you stoked while you mow the lawn.

Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias held a three-hour meeting this week with the staff of the Office of Special Counsel, which last month launched “a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.”

Blasts Slam Green Zone On Blair's Last Iraq Visit

GAO: Iraq War Costs $300B So Far

'Sicko' Shows Michael Moore's Maturity as a Filmmaker (from Fox no less)

Some GOP Notables to Miss Falwell Rites

Man Accused of Extorting Gas Station Owner Over Fake Terror Ties

Nursing home blames government for Katrina deaths

Owner Murdoch Told NY Post Writers To Not Be Critical Of China

GOP target Murtha over spending exchange

Ruling throws cold water on environmental whistleblowers

McCain Pulls a Cheney

I guess those immigration negotiations get rather tense. Senator McCain and Senator "Box-Turtle" Cornyn apparently got into a dispute. Cornyn questioned McCain's commitment to the bill, in light of his recent proclivity for not showing up for votes.

McCain responded with a verbal assault, including an F-Bomb. But hell, I guess that's better than the kind of ordinance he's been singing about dropping on Iran.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Something needs to be done about this immediately.

Anti-Evolution Kansan Runs Unopposed For National Schools Post
New York Times | Posted May 18, 2007 09:35 PM

The National Association of State Boards of Education will elect officers in July, and for one office, president-elect, there is only one candidate: a member of the Kansas school board who supported its efforts against the teaching of evolution.

Scientists who have been active in the nation's evolution debate say they want to thwart his candidacy, but it is not clear that they can.

Why can't they? What the hell is going on here?

Okay, I've just realized that in more than half my posts today I've said I "wasn't" something.... not a computer expert, not an Ivy League Grad etc.

So, my pretend psychiatrist would tell me that I am feeling "inadequate." The only way to combat that is to tell you what I am.


Speak enough Polish, Gaelic and Spanish to find out how much the beer costs and where the bathroom is. (what more do you need?)

Often dream vividly, especially lately. (tarantulas & cats running around carrying bunnies)

Would be 6'3" if it weren't for the scoliosis.

Am totally addicted to Showtime's series "Weeds" even though I hate marijuana.

Haven't listened to music in years, until the past few weeks (and I hate Jane Hamsher for doing this to me).
This is the best female power song since "I Am Woman".

Enough about me.... what about you?

Off to find something "political" to write about.

Bush Threatens To Veto 0.5 % Pay Raise For Our Troops

I could not believe my eyes either. After sending our troops into the middle of a civil war in Iraq without the body armour and equipment they need, this President is threatening to veto legislation that will give many of them an extra $6 a month. That is about the cost of an extra value meal.

And that is not all Bush opposes in this legislation. He also is against an extra $40 allowance for military survivors and price controls for prescription drugs under TRICARE. Shameless.

Wow, I'm also not a computer expert,
but I'm sure this isn't supposed to happen.

Symantec software deletes PC files
By Mure Dickie in Beijing

Published: May 18 2007 22:45

Software sold in China by Symantec, the world’s largest computer security company, Friday suddenly attacked the very PCs it was supposed to protect.

The surprise switch by Symantec’s Norton anti-virus software from digital gamekeeper to poacher hit users of Chinese-language versions of Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system.

An online update of the anti-virus software prompted it to confuse inoffensive but essential XP files as a hostile “Trojan horse” and to delete them. Affected PCs that are switched off cannot be restarted unless the files are reinstalled.

What do these facts tell you?

PBS Newshour

April 7th 2007

RAY SUAREZ: In fact, apprehensions at the border during the last six months were down about 30 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Slow economy behind immigration decline
PHOENIX, May 9 (UPI) -- Economic experts have alleged the recent decline of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is due to the United States' slowing economy.

While 6,000 National Guard soldiers were recently deployed along the border, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday that a weakening U.S. economy is likely behind the 27 percent drop in the past year in illegal immigrant apprehensions.

Specifically, experts said, the drop occurred because the United States' construction industry has struggled. Economists said that industry is a regular employer of undocumented immigrants.


"If I were President Bush, I would be much more cautious about touting the success of the increase in enforcement because there are other factors that could account for the decrease, including the softening of the U.S. economy, especially in the housing sector," Center on Pacific Economies Director Gordon Hanson said.

So, in the spirit of Patriotism, I offer up to any lawmaker who wishes to steal erm, utilize my plan....

Paddy's Comprehensive Immigration Bill**

Triple the number of INS officers, institute a fine to ALL Businesses/Employers of $250,000 FOR EACH INSTANCE OF HIRING AN ILLEGAL ALIEN, wait 6 months and whomever is still in the country undocumented follow thru with the current immigration bill standards.

But that might piss off the Chamber of Commerce.

The only way to curb illegal immigration is to either make more jobs in Mexico, or less in the U.S. They're not here because we're so nice to them, or our soap operas are better than theirs... they are here to make a living.

**I'm not a political scientist or graduate of an Ivy League school, and my foreign language skills are also suspect. This is just one crazy woman in Indiana's idea.

A Total Lack Of Empathy

Next time someone asks you to feel inspired by Tony Snow or pray for him, remember these words.

"I was angry," Comey said. "I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general."

This contradicted previous statements from Gonzales that there had "not been any serious disagreement about the program."

White House spokesman Tony Snow pooh-poohed Comey's testimony. "'Trying to take advantage of a sick man' -- because he had an appendectomy, his brain didn't work?" Snow asked.

In actuality Ashcroft had a severe inflammation of the pancreas, spent 10 days in the hospital and did not return to work for four weeks.

What a douche.

Looks like I'm giving up MSNBC except for 2 hours a day.

And how come we never saw any numbers for Stephanie Miller on MSNBC?

I can't find them anywhere.

How'd David Gregory Do?

After three days of "Gregory Live," how's David Gregory doing in his A.M. tryout?

On his first day, MSNBC averaged 247,000 viewers, with 59,000 in the 25-54 demo. (FNC had 731,000/322,000 and CNN had 398,000/136,000.)

Barack Obama was on the show yesterday. Tony Snow was on this morning.

Next week, CNBC's Jim Cramer will host from 6 to 9am...

Yeah, uh huh. This is what I want to see at 6a.

Ho ho!!! I don't know much about Kentucky politics (usually left to Cliff & Houndie), but this commercial for the primary makes it look like a fun race.

Remember, Northrup is Fletcher's primary opponent.

On Target

From Andrew Sullivan. Wish I thought of it first.

Has anyone else noticed the bizarre spectacle of many Bush-backing blogs demonizing Ron Paul for not saying that we deserved 9/11, at the same time eulogizing a man who absolutely and explicitly said that we did deserve 9/11: Jerry Falwell.

A Real Leader

The other day we wrote about the Iraq vote here, and what we said certainly could have been taken as critical of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. So I want to make my personal position clear.

I am a HUGE fan. Just read what he said about Senator McCain in the post below. The man actually speaks like a human being, saying what he thinks, and not what he thinks he should say to please everyone. He called President Bush a loser. Now, at least 72% of us, or all sentient beings, know this to be true. But Reid said it, and not many other politicians would have.

He also was honest about the situation in Iraq. He has been attacked mercilessly by that group of geriatric, white-on-rice Republican presidential candidates for stating the obvious--because Republicans need fables and myths lest they are forced to face the truth that there is no Santa Claus.

Well, here is what Senator Reid had to say yesterday and I agree with it wholeheartedly. Keep giving 'em hell Harry....

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement this morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

Yesterday, the Senate held two important votes:

On the Feingold Amendment, which called for transitioning the mission and on the Warner amendment, which would have required the President to certify that the Iraqi government is meeting benchmarks in order to receive U.S. aid.

I supported the Feingold amendment, which provided a real change of course out of the war. I opposed the Warner amendment, because after more than four years of war, 3,400 American deaths, 20,000 wounded, and nearly $500 million in taxpayer dollars spent, we need action, not more reports – especially those without consequences.

Yet while I supported one vote and opposed the other, I am encouraged by both. They show real and growing momentum on both sides of the aisle away from this tragic and endless war.

As the Los Angeles Times reported this morning, "The votes illustrated Congress' dramatic response to public dismay with the war." And as CNN's Dana Bash said, "It was a milestone in the Iraq war debate. For the first time, the vast majority of the President's fellow Republicans voted to directly challenge his Iraq policy."

It is no wonder that a broad, bipartisan consensus for change is emerging. We are well into the fourth "surge" of U.S. forces since the start of the war, yet April was one of the deadliest months of the entire war and attacks on our troops show no sign of decreasing.

The Iraqi government has failed to adopt an oil law, a law on de-Baathification, or any further constitutional amendments. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki is accused of sabotaging efforts for peace and stability by firing some of his top law enforcement officials for doing too good of a job combating violent Shiite militias. Conditions are so chaotic that – according to a report this morning by the Chatham House Research Institute, the Iraqi government is on the "verge of becoming a failed state" with "internecine fighting and continual struggle for power" [threatening] "the nation's very existence in its current form."

And the U.S. mission grows further and further disconnected from our strategic national interests. Instead of focusing on force protection, hunting down al Qaeda and other terrorists and training the Iraqi military – missions that will make us more secure, help the Iraqi people and reduce our troops' exposure to the sectarian violence – U.S. forces are patrolling Baghdad streets, extremely vulnerable to snipers, kidnappers and improvised explosive devices.

Our brave forces have done everything asked of them and more. But every day we debate the war, our troops remain in harm's way.

The overwhelming veto-proof bipartisan majority of the Senate is now on record saying that the status quo is unacceptable. With that reality as a backdrop, this morning we will vote for cloture on Senator Murray's Sense of the Senate Resolution that will move us to conference on the Emergency Supplemental bill and the important negotiations that will take place there on our future course in Iraq.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this resolution. We all agree that we need to swiftly pass a supplemental bill that fully funds our troops. We all agree that "stay the course" is not an option.

And as we move this debate to conference, the American people deserve to know that the Democrats' commitment to bring this war to its responsible end has never been stronger. And if enough of our Republican colleagues decide to join with us, even the President of the United States will have to listen.


You would think if you're running for President,
you'd be smarter than this.

War Candidate McCain Didn't Show Up For Four Out Of 14 Latest Iraq Votes
The Hill | Sam Youngman | Posted May 18, 2007 08:58 AM

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is the only presidential candidate in Congress to have missed a major vote on the Iraq war this year, and his absences are not sitting well with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Liz Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for Reid, told The Hill, "Sen. McCain has spent considerable time defending the president on Iraq and catering to the Republican base on immigration, but has only managed to show up for four of the last 14 Iraq votes and parachute into [yesterday's] immigration press conference at the last minute.
Who is the real John McCain?"

Right there are about 10 campaign commercials for the Democrats.

COMMENT FROM CLIFF: I will have the answer to your question above soon enough.

Seems our friends over to the right aren't the only ones who don't like Baroody.

Bush Asked to Reconsider Safety Nominee

Published: May 18, 2007

Senate Democrats urged President Bush on Thursday to withdraw his nomination of a top lobbyist from the National Association of Manufacturers to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission, saying the candidate was unqualified and the appointment posed insurmountable conflicts of interest.


Many of the defendants in cases brought by the commission are members of the association. In the ethics agreement that Mr. Baroody sent to the commission, he said that as a result of the severance payment, he would remove himself from agency decisions concerning matters involving the association. He also said that ethics rules would not prevent him from considering actions involving the companies that are members of the association.

Democrats criticized that distinction.

“Both his work on behalf of N.A.M. and its members for well over a decade and this large cash payout indicate that he cannot escape a serious conflict of interest in this position,” Senator Durbin and Senator Nelson wrote.

Fox in the henhouse indeed.

T.G.I.F. Disco Edition!!!!

Bit and pieces, tidbits and trash to get you thru the day.....

Senate group prodding CIA to declassify report on 9/11

Wolfowitz's companion riled over treatment

Ex-governor seeking death with dignity

Web-based TV series follows lives of 3 men in Baghdad

From Russia with lust: Tsar's erotic letters to young mistress auctioned

Cop liked Tasers so much, he took 50,000 volts

Drivers cut back — a 1st in 26 years

Immunity for Cheney, others sought in Plame case

Make Mine a Half-Naked Double-D

Oh my.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

'Moral decision' jeopardizes Navy lawyer's career

By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News

NORFOLK, Va. – Matt Diaz was a Navy lawyer with 18 years of military experience when duty called at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Six months there broke him.


Cmdr. Diaz is on trial because of actions he took after concluding – as many of higher rank have – that the Bush administration's offshore detention camp for terrorism suspects was making a mockery of American justice.


What is illegal, he said, is the Bush administration's prosecution of the war on terror. He accused officials of violating international law, such as the Geneva Conventions on the humane treatment of war prisoners, and the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of due process.

"I made a stupid decision, I know, but I felt it was the right decision, the moral decision, the decision that was required by international law," Cmdr. Diaz said. "No matter how the conflict was identified, we were to treat them in accordance with Geneva, and it just wasn't being done."

The U.S. Defense Department strenuously rejects such talk.

"Detention of enemy combatants in wartime is not criminal punishment and therefore does not require that the individual be charged or tried in a court of law," Daniel Dell'Orto, a top Pentagon lawyer, testified recently before the Senate Armed Services Committee. "It is a matter of security and military necessity that has long been recognized as legitimate under international law."

Go read the article. They have a blow by blow timeline of Guantanamo and the violations.

Man, he must be putting some mega-vitamins in the Grey Goose.

It's been a long time since I agreed with Hitch.

20 Ways Bush & Co. Can Make a Democratic White House a Certainty:

  1. Do not, under any circumstances, fire Alberto Gonzales.
  2. Do, however, fire more U.S. Attorneys.
  3. Offer free tours of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  4. Offer free tours of areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
  5. Offer free tours of Jenna and Not Jenna's living quarters.
  6. Increase the number and length of Bush press conferences.
  7. Refer often to Dick Cheney's sage observations. Include many visual aids of his face .
  8. Continue defending the Iraq occupation while providing amusing and creative antonyms for "occupation".
  9. Encourage Fox Noise to keep disparaging Ron Paul.
  10. Replay the Republican debates.
  11. Ask Laura to expound on the One Explosion in Iraq per Day theory.
  12. Replay Karl Rove's rap debut.
  13. Maintain all denials; enhance them with confident smirks.
  14. Never answer a question directly, accurately, or genuinely.
  15. Accelerate the increase of troops to Iraq.
  16. Don't let that war with Iran slip away.
  17. Kill innocent civilians over there so they don't follow us here.
  18. Privatize everything.
  19. Don't give up on that whole "spreading Democracy" thing.
  20. Three words: Torture, torture, torture.


Was Gonzales' Emergency Visit Illegal?

When then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales went to John Ashcroft's hospital room on the evening of March 10, 2004 to ask the ailing Attorney General to override Justice Department officials and reauthorize a secret domestic wiretapping program, he was acting inappropriately, Ashcroft's deputy at the time, James Comey, testified before Congress earlier this week. But the question some lawyers, national security experts and congressional investigators are now asking is: Was Gonzales in fact acting illegally?

Per Comey...

he arrived at the room and began explaining to Ashcroft why he was there, he was intentionally "very circumspect" so as not to disclose classified information in an unsecure setting and in front of Ashcroft's wife, Janet, who was at his bedside and was apparently not authorized to know about the program.

So what did Gonzo & Card do?

"The door opened and in walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed. They greeted the attorney general very briefly. And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there — to seek his approval for a matter, and explained what the matter was — which I will not do."

In other words, in their zeal to shake down Ashcroft, they discussed HIGHLY CLASSIFIED MATERIAL, so classified that Comey will not discuss it with Judicial Committee, IN FRONT OF ASHCROFT'S WIFE.

"Executive branch rules require sensitive classified information to be discussed in specialized facilities that are designed to guard against the possibility that officials are being targeted for surveillance outside of the workplace," says Georgetown Law Professor Neal Katyal, who was National Security Advisor to the Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton.

"The hospital room of a cabinet official is exactly the type of target ripe for surveillance by a foreign power,"

Out Damned Libertarian!

There's an amusing movement among Republicans to kick Ron Paul out of the next debate. Apparently, they think he's a bit too quirky, while others are attacking Paul for being racist and anti-semitic. Over at the NRO, Jonah Goldberg disagrees with this move, but adds this caveat;

The only way I could see my opinion on this changing is if we learn more about the racist or anti-Semitic stuff. Indeed, I would be more sympathetic to ousting him on those grounds if this push to ban him hadn't come up before those revelations. I do think there are some views where party discipline warrants denying a podium to a candidate at a GOP debate. Racism and anti-Semitism are such views, but libertarian isolationism isn't.

What I find most amusing about all of this is that Republicans don't find Paul serious, and many are now accusing him of being racist and anti-semitic. But no one is asking him to leave the party, just the Presidential race. So the GOP will accept a kooky bigot amongst their ranks, as long as America can't see him. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Republican Party (Yay!)

Federal Abstinence Funding May Drop
Thursday, May. 17, 2007 By AP/KEVIN FREKING

Federal funding for abstinence education will likely fall considerably this year as Democratic leaders said Wednesday they will let a $50 million grant program expire on June 30.

The program, known as Title V, has not proven to be effective, said Rep. John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Dingell's committee has jurisdiction over Title V funding. With a budget deficit and a war, he said the decision to eliminate funding was not a difficult one.

"Abstinence-only seems to be a colossal failure," Dingell said.


"With all we know about how to prevent teen pregnancy and reduce sexually transmitted diseases, it is high time to redirect the millions of federal dollars that we squander every year on abstinence-only education to programs that actually work," DeGette said.

Facts should be taught in school, morality in the home.
Why is that so difficult for them?

Schadenfreude is my friend.

Anti-Gay Kansas Church Members Plan to Attend Falwell Funeral

The controversial anti-homosexual Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., plans to "preach" at the funeral of Rev. Jerry Falwell, according to its Web site.

"WBC will preach at the memorial service of the corpulent false prophet Jerry Falwell, who spent his entire life prophesying lies and false doctrines like 'God loves everyone,'" reads a posting on

The church cites a break with the Calvinist Baptist church as one reason they will attend the funeral in protest.

"Falwell warmly praised Christ-rejecting Jews, pedophile-condoning Catholics, money-grubbing compromisers, practicing fags like Mel White, and backsliders like Billy Graham and Robert Schuler, etc.," the site reads.

Benchmark Election For Southern Progressives

Progressives have an opportunity on Tuesday to prove hundreds of strategists wrong. Kentucky is holding its primary elections and the Governor's race pits Progressive former Lt. Gov and AG Steve Beshear against millionaire businessman Bruce Lunsford, a man who has strongly supported George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, Ernie Fletcher, and Anne Northup. Lunsford has outspent Beshear nearly 3-1, but Beshear passed Lunsford in the polls this week and has a chance to topthe 40 percent mark needed to avoid a run-off and win the primary outright.

The importance of the race however, goes further than pure ideology. Yes, Bruce Lunsford said he will allow public schools to teach creationism. And he campaigned actively against Democrat Ben Chandler when Ernie Fletcher won the Kentucky Governors race in 2003, the first time a Republican won the office in 30 years.

This race involves a candidate in Bruce Lunsford, who not only belongs in the Republican primary, but he belongs in the Ken Lay wing of the Republican Party. Lunsford made his millions founding the healthcare company formerly known as Vencor. While he was the CEO, the federal government brought a fraud claim of $1.3 billion against it, alleging that Vencor overbilled Medicare.

The company eventually agreed to pay a $104.5 million settlement, and ended up in bankruptcy. However, Lunsford's attacks on Kentucky's working families may not have ended there. Lunsford split his Vencor company before it headed to bankruptcy and created a second company, Ventas. It may not be to anyone’s surprise that the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell, current Secretary of Labor to George W. Bush, Elaine Chao, was named to the Board of Directors.

In 1997, Lunsford and his partners were sued for "insider trading, fraudulent omissions and stock prices punctured by bad news in the health care industry." (Lexington Herald Leader, 6/1/2001) The lawsuit was tossed by a Louisville judge but in 2001, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reinstated the case after holding that the plaintiffs arguments "permit a strong inference that defendants engaged in securities fraud." (Courier-Journal, 6/7/2001)

Lunsford never learned to steer clear of his crowd of Republican friends, and ran for governor with a coterie of advisors that looked like a Jack Abramoff foursome returning from a Scottish golfing trip. One of his top advisors in 2003, Larry Townsend, followed Lunsford's lead in supporting George W. Bush, and even took it a step further by co-chairing "Democrats for Bush" with Zell Miller.

Now Kentucky faces a scenario where Mitch McConnell's friend Bruce Lunsford is trying to masquerade as a Democrat and put a stop to the Ditch Mitch efforts in 2008. The contrast could not be clearer. In 1996, Steve Beshear opposed mitch McConnell in a race for the United States Senate. Bruce Lunsford has been one of Mitch McConnell’s top supporters.

If Bruce Lunsford succeeds, he will help McConnell stay in power and continue pushing George W. Bush's efforts to escalate the war in Iraq. It’s time for all Democrats in Kentucky to make sure that McConnell and Bush are not allowed to hijack the Democratic Party in Kentucky. Keep their friend Bruce Lunsford out of the Statehouse. Support a true Progressive in Steve Beshear on Tuesday.

Nothing ever changes with these guys.

Hurricane chief:
Feds wasting millions on P.R. campaign

NOAA has spent $4 million on a P.R. campaign at the same time the agency's hurricane research budget has been trimmed by $700,000, according to National Hurricane Center director Bill Proenza.

By Brian Skoloff, Associated Press Writer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The federal government is spending millions of dollars on a publicity campaign that could be used to plug budget shortfalls hurricane forecasters are struggling with, the National Hurricane Center's director said Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is spending up to $4 million to publicize a 200th anniversary celebration while the agency has cut $700,000 from hurricane research, Bill Proenza said. The hurricane center is part of the National Weather Service, which is a NOAA agency.

It's all about the style for these guys,
screw the substance.

Everyone Hates Fredo

A series of harsh editorials, pointing out the overall buffoonery of AG Fredo Gonzalez here, here and here. Fredo, do you have any decency? Do you have any sense of honor or pride? There are few issues that unite both Democrats and Republicans, but Fredo, your incompetence has managed to do both. How is it that you don't understand this? Why won't you resign?

In case you missed it last night, Tweety gets all frothy with Rep Kingston over Iraq.

Via Crooks & Liars

COMMENT FROM CLIFF: When will this lying, sad-sack, Deliverance clone stop publicly getting his ass handed to him? It's actually rather amazing. In one week, Robert Greenwald and Chris Matthews both easily dispense with his sophistry.

MEMO TO GOP: Time to find a new spokesidiot.

Patrick Andrade / Atlaspress

GREAT article about Mitt "Romeo" Romney in Time....


Tongue Tied
By Ana Marie Cox

Mitt Romney may be leading the underwhelming Republican presidential field in fundraising, but he also has a less dubious distinction —he leads the pack in committing professional-grade gaffes.

We speak here not of policy change of hearts or a sometimes inscrutable grasp of foreign policy, but of the pedestrian media misstatements that any politician racks up over a life time — and Romney has piled them up in just a few months...

In a similiar note, Fact Check goes thru the second Repulican Debate.

They found?

Mitt Romney claimed he didn’t raise taxes when he was governor of Massachusetts, failing to note that he increased government fees by hundreds of millions of dollars and shifted some of the state tax burden to the local level.

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado claimed scientific reports on whether humans are responsible for global warming are split 50-50, which isn’t close to being true.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee praised a "fair tax" but failed to note that it would ease the burden on the richest Americans while imposing a stiff retail sales tax of perhaps 34 percent.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani used more statistical dexterity to manipulate statistics, claiming adoptions increased 113 percent when he was mayor.

Actually, they peaked and started a continuing decline.

Much more in depth at both sites.


Yeah he's a corrupt lunatic, but he has some interesting tidbits in his columns sometimes. First there is the fact that former Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff aide (what a coincidence! That must be like one in a million considering they barely knew each other, right?) Susan Ralston has "requested immunity" to testify before the good Rep. Henry Waxman. Think she might have some interesting things to say?

Second there is this:

Many of these congressmen believe that Rove should have quit when he was ahead as manager of the two Bush elections and left in January 2005. However, they do not want to see him limp out of Washington with his scalp hanging on Henry Waxman's belt. "We're not hostile to the administration," one prominent conservative House member who did not want his name used told me. "We just want it to be over."
As do all of us Bob, as do all of us (well not you, but again, corrupt hack and all).

Felt like we needed an "Awwwww" this morning.

(AP Photo/Xinhua, Lu Chuanquan)

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a dog feeds tiger triplets and her own puppy, right, at the Paomaling Zoo in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province, Wednesday, May 16, 2007.
The tiger triplets were rejected by their mother shortly after their birth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Just FYI, Washington Journal tomorrow on Cspan

Newspaper Articles
· Viewer Phone Calls
· Discussion on FISA & Privacy
· Discussion on Congressional Lobbying & Ethics Rules

Call in for some FUN on the FISA & Privacy segment!!

9/11 victim identified with new DNA technology

New York officials have identified another Sept. 11 victim from years-old remains that have been retested with new DNA technology over the past year.

Nine victims whose remains had not been identified from the thousands recovered after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center have been positively identified in the past two months, the city medical examiner's office said.

It's funny, almost 6 years later, how stuff can sneak up on you. I won't bore you with my personal story since we all have one, but this made me a bit weepy. We trudge around day after day fighting and frothing about the horrors this administration has perpetuated, but the most criminal act doesn't get mentioned.

It never ceases to amaze me how we all felt on September 12th. Which they took and twisted beyond recognition to meet their horrid, petty, power-grubbing agenda. And now, because of that "science" they scoff at, someone's mother or husband or child will have some sense of closure.

God bless 'em, everyone.

The DOJ dropped off some of the Karl Rove "stash" of emails!!!

Whooo hoo!!

Oh, wait, not so much.

And the results (pdf)? Underwhelming. The Department searched the email accounts of sixteen Justice Department officials over the period of November 1, 2004 through May 2, 2007. All they found, according to the letter from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling, was a single email sent on February 28, 2007 forwarding a copy of McClatchy's bombshell story on U.S. Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias.

Attached is an already produced email from Rove's aide Scott Jennings warning that the story was on its way (Jennings notes that Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) strategy is "not to respond [to requests for comment] and hopefully make this a one day story").

Hertling added in the letter that the Department is continuing to search for relevant documents.

I realize that it's actually become trite to say this, but if this was a Democratic President with a Republican led Congress, he'd be dragged from the White House in shackles while being pelted with tomatoes to the tune of "Send In The Clowns".

Humour is good. Any suggestions for the song?

Fort Dix Terrorists Trained With Assault Weapons Approved By Bush

Not sure what the story with these guys is yet, whether it's for real or hokum. But notice how the fact that the NRA thinks suspected terrorists should have the right to bear arms didn't make it into their little Jack Bauer fantasy scenario during last night's debate.

This is just one more way the Republicans fail to protect us. Imagine a day where there are 20 Virginia Techs, because the GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA.

Even the tiny fruit fly makes choices
17 May, 2007 l 0000 hrs ISTlREUTERS

CHICAGO: A tiny fruit fly — without any input from the outside world — will spontaneously change directions, researchers said on Monday in a finding that just may rescue the notion that free will not only exists but is a basic function of the brain.

There are the ingredients, you make the joke.


God, Fredo Gonzalez is a slime. I mean, how mentally impaired do you have to be to make John Ashcroft seem honorable and reasonable?

Wolfowitz to Resign This Afternoon?
May 16, 2007 12:42 PM

Brian Ross and Kirit Radia Report:

World Bank officials say the bank's board is completing an "exit strategy" that will allow World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to resign this afternoon and "still save some face" over the issue of his efforts to seek a promotion and pay raise for his girlfriend at the bank.

The officials say the bank's board will accept Wolfowitz's resignation but will also acknowledge that the World Bank's Ethics Committee bears "some responsibility" for giving him bad advice on the issue of his girlfriend.

The decision is likely today, officials say, because Wolfowitz had been scheduled to leave tonight for a European trip.

Final VoteVets Ad

And it may even be the best yet:

The Elephant In The Room

According to ABC News, President Bush was mentioned once last night at the GOP debate.

As happened in the last debate, the president was not only not praised by his would-be successors and fellow Republicans, he was only mentioned by name by the candidates once – and in this instance it was by Paul, observing that "George Bush won the election in the year 2000 campaigning on a humble foreign policy -- no nation-building, no policing of the world." The irony was not lost on anyone.

What shouldn't be lost is that McCain and Giuliani often campaigned for Bush. They helped make this mess, and they are not going to get away with pretending they played no part.

Your Government looking out for you!

FDA food safety plan got cold reception
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration came up with a plan earlier this year for tough regulations on handling fresh produce but its parent agency gave the proposal a cold reception, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Wednesday.

Officials of the Department of Health and Human Services rejected the FDA plan presented at a meeting in February after a series of health scares, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

The FDA said at the meeting its current approach was failing to stop an increase in food-borne illnesses and that its plan could help cut produce-related outbreaks in half, the paper said.

Another day in the Bush Administration, another Department flushed away.

You think "Health and Human Services" would be self explanatory even to these cretins.

Interesting Morning Reading

On how Washington's law against tall buildings helped create a Democratic majority in the Senate. You wondering what the hell I'm talking about? Read this.


Per Faux Noise Viewers, the winner last night was.....

Ron Paul!!!!!!

Here is the segment everyone is saying Giuliani won. I'm not so sure.

What Paul says makes sense to me. What do you think?

COMMENT FROM CLIFF: I am actually really interested to know what people thought of this. Believe it or not, Ron Paul was too apologetic Yes, keepng our troops in Saudi Arabia pissed bin Laden off. I agree with Paul on that, as well as what we did in Iran in 1953 (coup).

In other words our stupid, mostly Republican-based policies (Iran Contra, Rumsfeld having a nice coffee with Saddam, funding jihadists against the Russians in Afghanistan) caused a lot of serious problems. That, however, should not make us forget that bin Laden is a mass murderer, and has killed innocent civilians not only in the U.S., but all over the globe with the flimsiest of reasoning. Somehow, Paul seemed to forget that.

Finally, let me be clear that this doesn't change the fact that on the other side of the ledger, are barbaric imbeciles like Romney, Giuliani and company who think war is good, Guantanamo is great and a comb over looked good in the eighties. (And just getting to see Helmet Hair Hannity's face when he had to keep saying Paul was winning the text voting, made watching the whole thing worth it).

But I digress. Please comment folks on the broader issue of what Ron Paul said. I am really interested in what everyone thinks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This I don't understand. Are they going to pretend to be poor?

What is the point?

Two things that MUST NOT HAPPEN!!!

Spice Girls might reunite
16 May, 2007 l 0709 hrs ISTlANI

LONDON: Rumour has it that there is a good chance of a much awaited Spice Girls reunion.

The English all-female band, which split in 2001, is reportedly getting back together for a charity concert in the summer.

Future of rural pubs under threat, group warns
Rural pubs are closing down at the rate of one a day because of the smoking ban, drink-driving laws and high running costs, the president of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland, Paul Stephenson, claimed yesterday in Monaghan.

I will fight to the death to prevent them both.

It's Simply Not Fair!

So let's just say you're a corrupt, boot-licking, Bush-backing Neoconservative. You're an elitist ass. You're pretty much wrong about everything. You're stuck at parties with real winners, you know guys like David Brooks and Richard Perle. Life-of-the-party kinds of guys.

Well, at least in the past you could count on the fact that if the crimes you're inevitably committing came to light, on the small chance you were actually sent to prison, it would be in a country-club resort kind-of-place with other jackasses exactly like yourself.

But no, not anymore. Now they're letting POOR people into your prison to join in your late-night theoretical discussions of battle with other draft-dodgers sponsored by the AEI Pokey Fellows program.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Bob Johnson at Daily Kos has the wire report from ANS (Afterlife News Service) on Reverend Falwell's passing.

Gotta Love This...

Armed Forces Press Service announced yesterday that the Defense Department is blocking access to many popular Internet sites from department-owned computers due to "bandwidth issues." Sites include:,,,,,,,,,, and

The popularity of the sites has not affected operations yet, but blocking them prevents them from causing such a problem, officials said . "It is a proactive measure: we do not want a problem with demand for these sites clogging the networks," a U.S. Strategic Command official said.

Didn't soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan already have to register their blogs? Some measures can be accepted in a war zone, but several reports show that many soldiers were using the sites to keep family and friends back home up-to-date, and not for political or military commentary (unlike this site -- but I "don't recall" whether or not we're writing this from a war zone).

Freedom of Speech. What part of the Constitution was that?

"War Czar" Blamee Finally Named...

AP reported this afternoon (5/15) that Bush found a willing scapegoat for the Wars on Terror, Iraq and Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, director of operations for the Pentagon, will be the newest addition to the Bush administration's seemingly endless cadre of appointees. (Although, unlike most others, Lute is a qualified candidate).

At last count, five current and former generals turned down the post (although that number could be higher since I'm just going on what's been reported).

I'm so excited because this means the war(s) will be ending soon...right?

General Batiste was fired for this....

Move On is getting a petition together to get General Batiste his job back.

It took CBS two weeks to fire Don Imus for racist and misogynistic comments, but it only took them two days to fire respected General John Batiste for speaking out against the president on the war.

It's censorship, pure and simple. We're aiming to get over 100,000 messages demanding that CBS re-hire Major General Batiste by the end of the week. Can you help?

Go sign it, please? It is the right thing to do.

South Carolina Young Democrats Unveil "Mission Accomplished?" Banner

Will any of the GOP candidates address them at the debate tonight?

From the Washington Post:
Underscoring the dominant issues, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq and the South Carolina Young Democrats sponsored a 20-foot mobile billboard to circle the debate site, bearing the phrases: "Republicans, Mission Accomplished?" and "McCain, Mission Accomplished?" And, activists affiliated with Planned Parenthood also were holding an abortion-rights rally outside the hall.

Jerry Falwell Dead

Now you know I don't like to speak ill of the dead, even the anti-Semitic, gay-baiting, segregation-supporting, Tinky-Winky hating dead.

And I could never handle this one better than Howie Klein did.

So I'll let Howie do it for me.

Kentucky Governor's Race Shaping Up to Be A Nightmare for Sen. Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell’s
worst nightmare may come true next Tuesday. Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher is trouncing McConnell’s hand-picked candidate, former Louisville Rep. Anne Northup, and is poised to avoid a run-off and make McConnell’s reelection extremely difficult.

On the Democratic front, Steve Beshear is storming past one of Mitch McConnell’s top supporters, Bruce Lunsford.

The question of the Democratic primary once again is: Will all candidates in the Democratic primary for Governor pledge to actively campaign against Mitch McConnell in the 2008 elections?

Until Bruce Lunsford addresses his support for Sen. Mitch McConnell, look for his numbers to continue to drop…

Cross-posted at Ditch

General Batiste Calls Out John McCain For Covering George W. Bush

Last week Maj. General John Batiste made headlines for saying that George W. Bush refused to listen to him and other Generals on the ground in Iraq. Now he is calling out John McCain for protecting Bush:
As for McCain, the pro-Dem VoteVets group will air an ad tonight featuring retired Maj Gen. John Batiste, the former commander of the First Infantry Division and a tough critic of the Iraq war. "Senator McCain, protect America, not George Bush," says Batiste in the ad, to air on FOX after the debate. It's one thing when liberal attacks McCain on the war, but the Straight Talk folks could have a tougher time pushing back against a retired two-star.

More Obama Meat

Although it seems the MSM has decided Obama doesn't have enough policy proposal, he seems to be one of the most, if not the most, policy oriented candidates on the campaign trail. Here's a snippet from a recent speech.

He also answered a union teacher's question about school vouchers by saying that he doesn't support them, but then volunteered that he backs charter schools. After acknowledging the audience's lack of applause for that stance, Obama explained that he wants to promote creativity and experimentation within public schools rather than see money siphoned from them.

"In addition to putting more money into the system, we're going to have to think more innovatively about, 'What are we teaching?' " Obama said. "We've got to adopt some of those best practices and apply them to the school system."

Jessie Phillips, a Communications Workers of America steward from Trenton, said some of Obama's comments surprised her.

"But I think it's brave of a candidate to come here and say some of those things," she said. "I more strongly lean toward him now."

Does anybody believe that Romney would ever not pander to an audience?

I've been seething about his since the other night, and if it weren't for the fact we've tried to keep this blog PG-13, I'd boil over right now.

You know, at first, I really went off about the fact that they can "sacrifice" two years of their lives (all freakin' five of them) for their CHURCH, but not their COUNTRY. But that really isn't the point. The point is the vacuity of their responses to Mike Wallace's questions and their utter lack of understanding of the gravity of our current situation.

"Where alot is given, alot is expected, so we have to live up to that standard." Too stupid and superficial to even try and rebut.

"There are other sacrifices to make as well, and I hope to be able to make a sacrifice of that caliber at some point in my life."

Time's a wasting bucko, what kind of "sacrifice" you thinking of? Buying your underwear from Wal-Mart? Sending all your excess caffeinated beverages to Ethiopia?And finally, they are exposed for their very shallow, callow and fallow nature with this comment:

"I've seen alot and read alot that has made me say my goodness, I hope I never have to do that."

Well, my goodness also. I really hoped that a member of my family didn't have to head back to Iraq for the third time next month, but you know what?

My pony never showed up.

Millionaire children of a millionaire that was named after one of the Marriotts for God's sake!! Detached and banal to the point that would make them the male Paris Hiltons.... without the rehab choices.

Finally, just a FYI, each and every one of those men was born after 1970. (I couldn't find any exact dates for bdays) That means not one of them is over 37.

Guess what I found?

US Military Enlistment Ages
Active Army - 42
Army Reserves - 42
Active Air Force - 27
Air Force Reserve - 34
Active Navy - 34
Naval Reserves - 39
Active Marines - 28
Marine Corps Reserve - 29
Active and Reserve Coast Guard - 27

So clearly, it's time to get a' sacrifin' boys!

The Joys Of Oxycrack

I have been meaning to write something about this ever since the story came out that these nice men--or in street lingo drug pushers--lied about the addictive nature of their wonderful product (hat tip to Rudy Giuliani for assisting in these efforts) and caused countless deaths and misery throughout swaths of this country.

When I was working on a political campaign in Kentucky a few years back, we had to come up with a plan just to deal with this one drug, as some towns saw one in eight residents addicted. Just another success story in the precursor to the The War On Terror, our idiotic War On Drugs that has been an abysmal failure.

So pot gets you jail time. So should these guys then get the chair? I like Scott Thill's take on how differently we treat these two drugs.

McClatchy has done some incredible reporting for this war.

U.S. Embassy employees fearful over Green Zone attacks

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. Embassy employees in Iraq are growing increasingly angry over what they say are inadequate security precautions in the heavily fortified Green Zone, where recent mortar and rocket attacks have claimed the lives of six people, including two U.S. citizens.

In spite of the attacks, embassy employees complain, most staff members still sleep in trailers that one described as "tin cans" that offer virtually no protection from rocket and mortar fire. The government has refused to harden the roofs because of the cost, one employee said.

A second official called it "criminally negligent" not to reduce the size of the embassy staff, which a year ago was estimated at 1,000, in the face of the increasing attacks and blamed the administration's failure to respond on concerns that doing so might undermine support for President Bush's Iraq policy.

"What responsible person and responsible government would ask you to put yourself at risk like that? We don't belong here," the employee said, adding, "They're not going to send us home because it's going to be another admission of failure."

Just imagine that. "They're not going to send us home because it's going to be another admission of failure."

They're more worried about their "image" than the soldiers and citizens they are sworn to protect.

Not so hard to imagine after all.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I haven't taken a stand as to my choice for winner in '08, but this made me step back a bit.

Senator and Presidential candidate Chris Dodd today released the following statement responding to the announcement that the Feingold-Reid legislation would be attached to the Water Resources Development Act Reauthorization:

"We should have a straight up or down vote on Feingold-Reid - not as an amendment to a water bill or any other bill.

This is the most important Senate debate since the original vote to authorize the war.

This simply cannot be the occasion for hiding behind procedural tactics. That is why I am calling on all my other colleagues running for President to state clearly where they stand on this important legislation by joining me as a co-sponsor of Feingold-Reid and stating how they would vote on the bill."
Text of the Amendment

Harry Reid has said he would allow a cloture vote on the Feingold-Reid amendment to end the Iraq War. The problem is that it's just a procedural cloture vote on the water bill - and it is going to fail.

Attaching this bill as a procedural amendment to the Water Bill is bullshit. Feingold-Reid deserves consideration on the floor of the Senate as a free-standing bill with a straight up or down vote.

Harry Reid knows that the GOP will filibuster this amendment and that their filibuster will succeed, preventing it from having a straight up or down vote.

This is the HEART of Democracy. Subterfuge or goverance?

What do you want? More bullshit or a straight up or down vote?

Grab a calling plan and get to work!!!

Reid - 202-224-3542

Presidential candidates:

Obama: 202-224-2854
Clinton: 202-224-4451
Edwards: 919-636-3131
Richardson: 505-982-2291
Kucinich: 877-413-3664
Gravel: 703-652-4698

***seems I've been using this graphic quite alot lately....

McNulty, Justice Dept. No. 2, Resigning
Monday, May. 14, 2007 By LARA JAKES JORDAN/AP

WASHINGTON — Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said Monday he will resign, the highest-ranking Bush administration casualty in the furor over the firing of U.S. attorneys, The Associated Press has learned.

McNulty, who has served 18 months as the Justice Department's second-in-command, announced his plans at a closed-door meeting of U.S. attorneys in San Antonio, according to two senior department aides. He said he will remain at the department until this fall or until the Senate approves a successor, the aides said.

What to think of this?

Josh Marshall

If I were Gonzales and the White House, I'd see McNulty's departure as a very unwelcome development.

Behind the scenes, supporters of McNulty and Gonzales have been increasingly at odds as the scandal has progressed -- with McNulty's supporters saying he wasn't kept in the loop and that that the Gonzales clique is made of crooks and the Gonzales supporters (read: Sampson, Goodling, Elston, et al.) saying McNulty let the cat out of the bag in his testimony earlier in the year. (So, McNulty: You guys are crooks; Gonzales: Yeah, whatever, but no one would know if you'd kept your mouth shut.)