" When asked whether Hastert should step down today, Joe(mentum) scolded Democrats for attempting to make it a partisan issue. Of course he has no interest in holding Hastert or any other Republican to account."* juancole:
"It seems pretty obvious that the Department of Defense is using flimsy excuses for not revealing the nature and severity of the wounds GIs receive.
Note that this situation is the opposite of the general rule in cable news infotainment. Usually the national cable networks spend hours and hours covering local murder mysteries and emergencies while ignoring vital national and international stories. In this case, they mainly cover Iraq by reporting what the Bush administration says about Iraq, but they almost never cover the local impact of the war or concentrate on the wounded veterans struggling to make their lives. Shouldn't some cable news organization be highlighting at least one such veteran every day, and giving information about where we can send help?
"If Judge Walton continues to follow this approach -- and it's hard to imagine why he wouldn't -- graymail will probably not be the silver bullet that Libby is hoping for.
The seemingly unstoppable imminence of his trial isn't just a problem for Libby; it's an Excedrin Extra Strength-sized headache for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their entire senior staff, not to mention the Republican Party. Once the trial begins, the administration will have little or no control over the proceedings. Trials are not conducive to spin. Spin requires secrecy; trials, on the other hand, are decidedly public. Reporters will be there. Citizens who have the patience to stand in line can watch. Government officials who testify will actually have to identify themselves before speaking. Their statements will be transcribed and made available to the public almost immediately.
The White House and the RNC do not want anyone to hear, or hear about, Patrick Fitzgerald calmly laying out the case against Scooter Libby -- which will inevitably provide an extremely damaging view of the Office of the Vice President -- in a courtroom where they will have no pundit protection.
With the jury selection date fast approaching and the possibilities of a court dismissal evaporating, the White House appears to be shifting to Plan B: a PR effort to pave the way for a presidential pardon of Scooter Libby -- before the trial.
December would be an excellent month for a pardon -- it's the holiday season after all -- and the mid-term elections would be over. The best way to head off this possibility is to call attention to it. Now."
"I'm firmly in favor of beating the shit out of the Republicans with this disgusting Foley thing or Woodward's book or whatever. This world desperately needs someone to put some brakes on Bush and Cheney. But, really, no matter what happens now, what they have done to Iraq is so huge, so horrible, so fundamentally immoral I don't know what the United States can ever do to make it right. We invaded a country that was under political repression and turned it into a chaotic bloodbath in which neighbor is killing and torturing neighbor."
"Actually, I suspect the real story of the Bush Administration is President Bush, whom God created to humble me regarding my most cherished theory. I believed that it was much safer to be ruled by mediocre men than by geniuses. The gifted grow passionately attached to their visions. The gifted who have been ambitious enough to seek power in the first place will grow furious at anything that balks the realization of their visions and ready to do the most godawful things to achieve them.
It did not occur to me what might happen if an utterly mediocre man became convinced that he was not, in fact, a mediocrity."
* aravosis: "Stephanopoulos on ABC: Hastert is toast " (youtube)
" To me, it is entirely possible that the Bush administration will launch an attack on Iran before November 7. The totality of this administration's record demonstrates a level and depth of irrationality that is impossible to grasp fully. The monstrousness of such an act should always be emphasized, repeatedly...
We should always remember one further fact: those in the administration who drive our foreign policy have always wanted and intended to attack Iran. That was the big target from the very beginning. The question of timing is a separate one. From their perspective, and if they think such an attack would ensure continuing Republican control of Congress, why not do it in the next month? Two for the price of one, and all that...and never mind the possibly tens or hundreds of thousands dead, and possibly even more if the mayhem rapidly spirals out of control. Never mind that the United States would forever brand itself as one of most destructive, contemptible, damnable nations in history, engaging in murderous, aggressive war whenever the whim strikes it."