"And what with the State of the Union address in a scant two days' time, I hope you're all on the edge of your seats, eager for more of this sort of hypocritical, cynical crap — I'm especially looking forward to Bush's twisted logic on raising taxes for employees whose bad luck it is to have health insurance plans. Oh, there'll probably be more switchgrass/biofuels talk, fearmongering of the legendary hybrid "Manimal," and, of course, MARS, BITCHES!* drum:
Any speculations on what else Bush will try to scam the American people with this year? "
"I never thought the day would come when I'd miss John Ashcroft as Attorney General, but that day has come. These guys are just beyond belief."
"Perhaps Gonzales misspoke under the glare of a hostile judiciary committee hearing. But his remarks show a very worrisome approach toward the Great Writ, and it is not the first time we've seen it. It is the same approach we've already witnessed in the Administration's views about Jose Padilla, Yasser Hamdi, and other accused enemy combatants, as well as its views about detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Under this approach, habeas corpus is *not* an individual right. It is merely a default rule that can be waived in the interests of national security according to the judgment of the President as Commander-in-Chief.* jeff@largely:
What is most troubling about this view-- that habeas is not a right but a default rule rather easily dispensed with-- is that it undermines the very purpose of the Great Writ, both in the United States, and in Great Britain, where it originated: The possibility that the King could dispense with the rule of law and throw individuals in prison because he regarded them an enemy of the state is the very reason why we have a writ of habeas corpus. Substitute "George W. Bush" for "King" and you are rapidly approaching the Administration's desired position."
"Now that the neoconservatives have been run over by a streetcar named reality, they're starting to pitch Murtha's proposal as if it were their own idea--a delicious piece of triangulation that in another era they would have described as (heh-heh) "Clintonian."* TL:
Maybe irony isn't dead after all.
"Which federal crime deserves a harsher punishment? Selling 5 grams of crack or selling out your country? The crack sale triggers a 5 year mandatory minimum. Bob Ney's "significant and serious abuse of the public trust" (in the words of the sentencing judge) earned a sentence of 30 months -- three more than the government recommended."
* lindorff on iraq:
"It seems ever more likely to me that this whole mess was no blunder at all.
People are wont to attribute the whole thing to lack of intelligence on the president's part, and to hubris on the part of his key advisers. I won't argue that the president is a lightweight in the intellect department, nor will I dispute that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and that whole neocon gang have demonstrably lacked the virtues of reflection and humility. But that said, I suspect that the real story of the Iraq War is that Bush and his gang never really cared whether they actually would "win" in Iraq. In fact, arguably, they didn't really want to win.
What they wanted was a war.
If the war they started had ended quickly with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, that would have served their purposes, at least for the short term. Bush would have emerged from a short invasion and conquest a national hero, would have handily won re-election in 2004, and would have gone on to a second term as a landslide victor. But if it went badly, as it has, they figured he would still come out ahead. He would be a wartime president, and he'd make full use of that role, expansively misdefining his "commander in chief" title to imply authority over the Congress and the courts, to grab power heretofore unheard of for a president.
This, I suspect, was the grand strategy underlying the attack on Iraq.
If I'm right, there may have been method to the madness of not building up enough troops for the invasion to insure that U.S. forces could occupy a destroyed Iraq and help it rebuild, method to the madness of allowing looters free sway to destroy the country's remaining post-invasion infrastructure, method to the madness, even, of allowing remnant forces of Hussein's to gather up stockpiles of weapons and even of high-density explosives, so they could mount an effective resistance and drag out the conflict.
So many apparently stupid decisions were made by people who should clearly have been too smart to make them, from leaving hundreds of tons of high explosives unguarded to cashiering all of Iraq's army and most of the country's civil service managers, that it boggles the mind to think that these could have been just dumb ideas or incompetence. (L. Paul Bremer, for instance, who made the "dumb" decision about dismantelling the Iraqi army, prior to becoming Iraq's occupation viceroy, had headed the nation's leading risk assessment consultancy, and surely knew what all the risks were of his various decisions.)
I mean, we expect a measure of idiocy from or elected leaders and their appointees, but not wholesale idiocy!
This disaster has been so colossal, it almost had to have been orchestrated."