"And now we come to Alan Schlesinger. Ironically, if you were in Connecticut over the past two months, you wouldn't have known there was a Democratic wave in the rest of the country. That's how stagnant the race had become. Fortunately, Alan Schlesinger just shattered the status quo here and injected a sense of fun, making this race what it's needed to be for awhile, a friggin' carnival. Lamont stayed still for a month or two, and as Foley got caught molesting boys and the Republicans got caught being Republicans, no one really noticed the groundwork being laid against Lieberman by an increasingly angry and passionate Alan Schlesinger. He was watching, and waiting, and practicing, and now it turns out he's very, very good. Republicans and conservative unaffiliated voters are now torn between their heads and their hearts, because Schlesinger really delivered, once again. "
* new commentor joshua:
"Good to know the U.S. branch of the KGB is still operational.
They might as well let the mob run the government, at least then they'd turn a profit."
* watch keith
"Mr. Ney, despite a criminal record, will be able to begin collecting a Congressional pension of about $30,000 a year in a decade, when he turns 62."
* the illinois rumour about the 16 year-old page-doodler is Weller (R-IL)
* LAT oped:
"Just last December, Vice President Dick Cheney pointed to the Republican "minority report" on Iran-Contra — written, not coincidentally, by Cheney's current chief of staff, David Addington — to justify the White House's insistence on the primacy of the executive branch in matters of national security. At the time, that report, which blamed the scandal on Congress for "legislative hostage-taking," was considered out of the mainstream. Today, it reads like a run-of-the-mill memo from the Justice Department outlining the legal basis for any of the Bush administration's wartime power grabs.
Cheney and Addington are not the only veterans of the scandal who have resurfaced to help President Bush fight the war on terror. So have Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Otto Reich, John Negroponte, John Poindexter, neoconservative Michael Ledeen and even Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian arms dealer who brokered one of the first missile sales to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's regime.
Iran-Contra, then, wasn't just a Watergate-style crime and a coverup. It was, rather, another battle in the neoconservative campaign against Congress and in defense of the imperial presidency. Though Iran-Contra might have been a draw — the 11 convicted conspirators won on appeal or were pardoned by George H.W. Bush — the backlash has become the establishment.
Already there are reports that if the Democrats take over Congress in November, their agenda will have a 1986-ish look: hearings and calls for more congressional oversight of foreign policy.
But if they want to avoid again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they must do what their counterparts 20 years ago failed to do. They must challenge the crusading ideology that justified the invasion of Iraq and has made war the option of first resort for this administration.
Otherwise, no matter how many probes they convene — or congressional seats they pick up — the Democrats will always be dancing to Ollie's tune."
"In fact, the Republican-controlled Congress has created a new standard for the use of oversight powers. That standard seems to be that when a Democratic president is in power, there are no matters too stupid or meaningless to be investigated fully -- but when George Bush is president, no evidence of corruption or incompetence is shocking enough to warrant congressional attention. One gets the sense that Bush would have to drink the blood of Christian babies to inspire hearings in Congress -- and only then if he did it during a nationally televised State of the Union address and the babies were from Pennsylvania, where Senate Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter was running ten points behind in an election year.read the rest.
The numbers bear this out. From the McCarthy era in the 1950s through the Republican takeover of Congress in 1995, no Democratic committee chairman issued a subpoena without either minority consent or a committee vote. In the Clinton years, Republicans chucked that long-standing arrangement and issued more than 1,000 subpoenas to investigate alleged administration and Democratic misconduct, reviewing more than 2 million pages of government documents.
Guess how many subpoenas have been issued to the White House since George Bush took office? Zero -- that's right, zero"