"If you want to know how much pain the midterm elections are likely to inflict on the Republican Party, keep your eyes on the national spotlight. If, for the next three weeks, attention remains focused on the war in Iraq and on congressional scandals, the Republicans could lose 20 to 30 seats--or perhaps even more."
"This says to me there will be another October surprise that results in elevating the terror threat. As I've said many times before, the goal of this Administration is to use the war on terror to strike fear in the heart of every American. Fear that will translate into votes. This time around, with all their current problems, they need a doozie. Don't put it past them."
* james ridgeway:
"Five Scandals that Could Put Republicans in Jaili suspect we could add to that list.
1. Who lost Iraq?
2. Who blew 9/11?
3. How wide is the domestic surveillance net?
4. Is Big Oil pulling an Enron?
5. Who's making money off your retirement?
BONUS: Grounds for impeachment?
Congressional investigators digging into the aforementioned questions cannot ignore the possibility of impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney, who figures prominently in almost every one of the scandals engulfing the administration. It was Cheney who ran the government's response to the 9/11 attacks without constitutional authority, at one point ordering shoot-downs of commercial planes and what would turn out to be a medevac helicopter; who led the secret meetings of administration officials and oilmen to set energy policy; who allowed Ahmed Chalabi to play the U.S. government like a violin; who very well may be the origin of the whisper campaign that culminated in the Plame leak; and, of course, it was Cheney's former employer (and source of continuing deferred compensation paychecks) that benefited enormously from no-bid contracts in Iraq. Judicial Watch, the conservative legal outfit in Washington, has unearthed an email dated March 5, 2003, sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official whose name had been blacked out, that said of a pending deal under which Halliburton would rebuild the Iraqi oil industry, "We anticipate no issue since the action has been coordinated w VP's office." There's plenty more where that came from; whether any of Cheney's actions constitute "high crimes and misdemeanors" is for Congress, and the nation, to debate.
"Once again, Newsweek’s U.S. editors have chosen a stupid cover for Americans while filling all three international editions with interesting, in-depth articles about disturbing topics Americans should know."
" the difference between the international and domestic editions of Newsweek (as well as its crosstown rival, Time) is like the difference between the mind of an international business executive wizzing across the Atlantic at 35,000 feet and that of a retarded chimpanzee thrashing around in own feces at the zoo -- except I think even the domestic edition of Newsweek is probably a little highbrow for Bush.cnn vs cnni is exactly the same.
Having spent a blessedly brief period of time in public relations purgatory, dealing primarily with the foreign media, I can offer this explanation: the international editions of Newsweek and Time are almost entirely different publications that happen to use the same names as their American cousins. They try to appeal to a smaller, more upscale audience, while the domestic editions go after the mass market. They have to compete with The Economist, while the domestic editions compete with USA Today."
* concerntrollery via wapo:
"Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie said Democrats are dangerously close "to overreaching" in their attacks, risking a political backlash like the one that damaged Republicans after they pushed for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton over the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal in 1998."
"WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is investigating whether Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania traded his political influence for lucrative lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, according to sources with direct knowledge of the inquiry.
The FBI, which opened an investigation in recent months, has formally referred the matter to the department's Public Integrity Section for additional scrutiny. At issue are Weldon's efforts between 2002 and 2004 to aid two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers with ties to strongman Slobodan Milosevic, a federal law enforcement official said."
"Two men are to be tried behind closed doors in an Old Bailey courtroom in a move that will stop the public finding out whether George Bush proposed what would have been a war crime and how Tony Blair reacted. The evidence the government does not want us to hear is in an official record of a meeting in Washington in April 2004, when the situation in Iraq was deteriorating fast. The memo, it has been reported, refers to Bush's alleged proposal to bomb the Arabic TV channel al-Jazeera, and is said to reveal how far Blair went in criticising US military tactics in Iraq at a time when troops were bombarding Falluja."