There's plenty one could say about Newt Gingrich, but let it be known that you can't deny that the man has testicles the size of over-inflated basketballs.On suggesting it was time for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, Gingrich said:"This is the most mishandled, artificial, self-created mess I've seen ...
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Fineman and Imus, a few minutes ago.
Evidently, if one is a distinguished professor who has written and spoken about Bush’s violations of the Constitution, that’s reason enough to get on the no-fly list. That’s according to testimony by Walter J. Murphy, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University. Murphy is also a retired Marine. There’s an [...]
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With Democrats in Congress handing Bush and Cheney chances to label them as letting down the troops in Iraq and, in effect, give them co-ownership of the eventual debacle there, Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has cleared the air.
"We are not going to cut funding, period," Sen. Levin said today. "But what we should do, and we're going to do, is continue to press this president to put some pressure on the Iraqi leaders to reach a political settlement."
In effect, Levin is overruling Majority Leader Harry Reid, who seems to have been carried away by his heady new position, last week reminding President Bush he is not "king" of the U.S. and threatening to cut off war funding if the troops are not out by March of next year.
Levin knows it's more complicated than that: "We can keep the benchmarks part of the bill without saying that the troops must begin to come back within four months. If that doesn't work and the president vetoes because of that, and he will, then that part of it is removed, because we're going to fund the troops.
"And what we will leave will be benchmarks, for instance, which would require the president to certify to the American people if the Iraqis are meeting the benchmarks for political settlement, which they, the Iraqi leaders, have set for themselves."
Not as good a sound bite as the Majority Leader's, but Sen. Levin has earned the right to speak as the voice of reason. In October 2002, he voted against the resolution to let Bush invade Iraq. Sen. Reid voted for it.
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Finally, there is news that the President?s people can trumpet with pride: the economy produced 180,000 new jobs last month and unemployment is down.
But this report in the Christian Science Monitor is coupled with word that many of the new hirings are in Washington, where Congressional committees are taking on droves on investigators and lawyers to uncover what the White House has been hiding for the past six years.
The product of their labors will be new examples of ?waste, fraud, abuse and government secrecy? to go with more cases of ?improper political interference? in the workings of the Justice Department.
The Bushies have been busy, and the new Congress is eager to hear more about their innovative work.
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Perhaps the most damaging element to Iraq's long-term security is, ironically, its prison system. The U.S.-run detention centers are full of petty criminals and plenty of innocents who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, mixed in with hardened insurgents and the occasional terrorist. Much like other ill-conceived prison systems, Iraq's detention infrastructure has become a training ground and recruitment center for violent action.
Ned Parker of the LA Times explains:
U.S.-run detention camps in Iraq have become a breeding ground for extremists where Islamic militants recruit and train supporters, and use violence against perceived foes, say former inmates and Iraqi officials. . . Iraqis swept up in security operations and held indefinitely while the Americans try to determine whether they have any links to the insurgency are susceptible to the extremists' message, former detainees said. . . "It looks like a terrorist academy now," said Saad Sultan, the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry's liaison to U.S. and Iraqi prisons.The policy of mass round-ups works on a very localized level, in that there are fewer fighting-age males to deal with. But from a strategic perspective, it's an absolute disaster. We engender a hatred towards the occupation and our troops while simultaneously offering insurgents access to Iraqis when they are most susceptible to recruitment. According to the article, there are now 18,000 Iraqis in U.S. custody, many of whom wait for up to two years for any kind of judicial process. The most mind-blowing part of the piece, though, is this:
U.S. military officials acknowledge that they are battling militants for the hearts and minds of detaineesUh, no -- if you're incarcerating somebody, either he 1) was an insurgent and already hates the U.S. or 2) didn't do anything wrong and hates the U.S. for wrongfully imprisoning him . . . and is probably now ready and willing to seek revenge. When you throw somebody in jail, I think it's safe to say that you've lost the hearts and minds battle. The idea that we'll get any detainee to like us while in custodyis pretty insane. Naturally, the U.S. reportedly has no strategy for dealing with this problem and leaders are "in denail."
More than a few people are positive that the Foley scandal was the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the drubbing the Republicans took at the polls in November, not just in FL-16, but in districts all over the country. If some voters saw the GOP as a bunch of moral degenerates, far more saw them as quintessential hypocrites. The Foley scandal wasn't just another case of a garden variety Republican closet queen voting against gay and lesbian equality. Not at all. It is a scandal about a man that everyone (except the voters in FL-16) knew was as gay as wrapping paper and who the Republican hierarchy knew was molesting underage pages entrusted into their care by their parents, many of whom were big Republican campaign contributors. Hastert, Shimkus, Blunt, Boehner, Reynolds should all have been on trial for conspiracy to enable a child predator. Instead, the child predator resigned from Congress, checked himself into a rehab clinic, and... not well much. When I first started writing about Foley being a closet case, right wing loons screamed their heads off that I had no proof and that I was making it up and that I was smearing a good man.
A few weeks ago when I exposed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as a closet queen-- again, something everyone in Washington knows but is a tightly held secret Outside the Beltway-- the wingnuts were howling, accusing me of having no proof, making it up and smearing a good man. Uh huh. (In today's Examiner Mrs. Mitchell says she's the butch and he's the femme in terms of household chores.) I have another one for you, wingnuts. Well, actually there are 3 United States senators-- as well as half a dozen Republican congressmen-- who have consistently vicious homophobic voting records but who all partake in sex with other men. The senators are McConnell (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Larry Craig (R-ID).
Larry Craig? They have gay people in Idaho? They sure do. And they have Democrats there too. In fact, one-- the last Democrat to have been elected to federal office from that deeply red state, Larry LaRocco-- has just declared that he's going to run against Larry Craig next year. Before ascending to the Senate in 1990, Craig had been in the House for ten years. His 17 years in Congress is surpassed in Idaho history for holding federal elective office only by the legendary isolationsit William Borah. It may sound like a dauntless task to unseat someone so entrenched as Craig. It won't be easy... nor will it be impossible. In fact, when he left the House to run for the Senate, LaRocco was elected in his place.
The 62 year old Craig-- who, like Louisiana Congressman Jim McCrery in similar circumstances-- quickly married a staffer when threatened several years ago with exposure in a gay sex scandal. (She already had 3 children, which he has adopted.) The Idaho media has openly discussed the question of Craig's closet since he was first outed by Mike Rogers of BlogActive on the Ed Schultz radio show last October.
Craig has denied that he is a closet case having sex with strange men in public restrooms... but not very vigorously. He knows it's just a matter of time before it all comes out. In fact, when Rogers first outed him, it wasn't news in DC; "everyone" already knew-- except the poor suckers back in Idaho.
Yesterday on the phone Rogers told me that "Larry Craig is the epitome of a self-loathing gay man. In the wake of a Congressional scandal he married a staffer and, in his biography, fails to mention that their three children are from her first marriage. All this while secretly having sex inside Union Station, Washington, voting on the Senate floor to enshrine inequality against gays and lesbian equality in the Constitution."
The charges against Craig have been sitting out there, like the one-eyed aunt dressed as an elephant in the middle of the tea party. There are rumors that the story is about to be blown wide open by the local media and that there are a number of Republicans ready to jump into the race as soon as Craig bows out-- as is expected in some circles. In fact, one far right kook, Robert Vasquez, a former Commissioner from Canyon County, has already declared that he's in the race whether Craig pulls out or not. Craig says he hasn't decided yet and will make up his mind this summer.
LaRocco is already campaigning. "I just don't believe we're having all of our values represented [in DC] with the budget deficit, education and health care..., so I want to be part of the repair crew." I suspect the word "values" sounds a lot like an alarm bell to Larry Craig and that when LaRocco formerly announces on April 11, Craig will be reconciling himself to the fact that he'll soon no longer be a member of the Senate's babershop quartet-- nor it's little trio of closeted Republican hypocrites.
Mike Rogers, who uncovered Craig's deviant behavior and has done so much to make people understand that it is flat out wrong to advocate misery and inequality for gay people while sneaking around having gay sex, gets the last word:
Larry Craig, like so many others with something to hide is an expert at doublespeak. Craig has refused to answer the allegations made by sources. When his office was pressed to respond to my reporting of his sexual encounters in Union Station, they replied this has "it's ridiculous." Well, I would agree with his statement. What could be more ridiculous than a closeted Senator having sex in Union Station and then voting against gay Americans? Why won't Larry Craig simply answer the question, "Senator, did you ever have your penis in the mouth of a man in Union Station?"
Gingrich is running for president. Gingrich obviously thinks this is what the American people want. Gingrich even thinks that this is what the Republican voters want. That's how bad the US Attorneys scandal has gotten. More from AP.
She graduated from Pat Robertson’s Regent University, so if hers is a Robertsonian faith, then I can see how it would damage her soul. As the WaPo article here notes, she’s long been conversant with the use of “no comments.” She’s one of 150 Regent grauates in government. there’s just a whole [...]
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