"Now, the 9/11 commission was a political document, too.'* billmon:
"It finally occurred to me that I may have been looking at this the wrong way. I’ve been thinking about an American air strike as the Cheney Administration's way of kicking over the table and ending the chess match. But the Iranians may see it as simply another move on the board -- a disastrously bad move they could then exploit to improve their position.read the rest.
It’s not so much that the Iranians want the Americans to attack their country, but they may be fully prepared to deal with it and use it to their own Machiavellian advantage -- not just politically and diplomatically, but also to advance their alleged nuclear ambitions. They may even be counting on it. If this is correct, their initial reaction to a U.S. air strike may be surprisingly restrained.
But this, in turn, raises some ominous questions: If a conventional air strike, even a big one, won't scare the Iranians, what will? And how far up the escalation ladder is the Cheney Administration willing to go to try to force them to knuckle under?'
"An investigation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General found that HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson instructed staff to award contracts to President Bush’s political allies and withhold them from his political opponents.
The news prompted Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) — the ranking member on the House Government Reform Committee — to call for Jackson’s resignation."
* tristero on torture:
" Shame, shame, shame on the cowards in both parties that permitted this disgracefully grotesque farce to happen. This is as inexcusable a stupidity as the neglect that permittted the 9/11 attacks, the idiotic reasoning and intellectual blindness that advocated and executed the Bush/Iraq war, and the failure to prepare for Katrina. What the hell is going on, that a country that prides itself on its heritage of freedom and liberty, that fought such an awful war over the degrading enslavement of human beings - that such a country would vote to permit some of the most repulsive and evil practices human beings are capable of and place the power to do so directly in the hands of a moral midget?"
"And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate. It contributed nothing. On the question of whether or not the United States will reconfigure itself as a nation which tortures its purported enemies and then grants itself absolution through adjectives -- "Aggressive interrogation techniques" -- the Democratic Party had…no opinion. On the issue of allowing a demonstrably incompetent president as many of the de facto powers of a despot that you could wedge into a bill without having the Constitution spontaneously combust in the Archives, well, the Democratic Party was more pissed off at Hugo Chavez."