"There have been many examples of the shambles that the Republican-controlled Congress made of its responsibility for oversight of the Bush administration. But none was so peremptory as the mass firing of 60 House appropriations investigators last month — virtually the entire hired staff responsible for tracking spending abuses in such money pits as the Iraq war, intelligence operations and the $62 billion Hurricane Katrina relief effort."
* mike whitney (thnx Noise):
"The Democrats didn’t win anything; that’s all hogwash. Bush was buried beneath an avalanche of bad news which was timed to begin with the release of Bob Woodward’s book “State of Denial”, followed by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Lancet’s Iraqi casualty report, the Mark Foley page fiasco, and a barrage of ethics-scandals, corruption investigations, and intensified coverage of the war. It was a carefully coordinated coup intended to install “adults” (like Robert Gates) in positions of power, change the policy in Iraq, and remove Rumsfeld and Cheney from office.
One down; one to go.
Right now, Cheney is probably huddled somewhere with his national security team figuring out how he can get back in the game and keep his fetid plan moving forward.
Cheney is smart; real smart. Smart like a cobra. He’s not going down without a fight and he doesn’t give a damn if he takes the whole country with him.
This is all about Cheney now; Dick Cheney, political survivor and skilled bureaucratic infighter. If anyone thinks that he’s going to sit around waiting for the Democrats to start sniffing around the Republican corruption-cesspool; they’re crazy.
(Cheney) understands the political climate and he knows that he only has two choices left; offense or defense?
Either he steps down or he collects his wits, gets his team together; Addington, Abrams, Chertoff, Gonzales etc; all the guys who are “one step ahead of the hangman”; and slaps together one “last-ditch” effort to establish absolute-dictatorial power that will put him forever beyond the reach of the law or of any future accountability for his war crimes.
It’s a tough task. Bush is teetering and he’s probably already left the Cheney-Rumsfeld orbit. Robert Gates’ job is to influence Bush, to win him over with reason and, thus, move the country away from the brink of disaster. Cheney has been removed from the policy-making apparatus and he knows it."