Archive for October, 2005

31.10.05 | Comments Off

Searching for a Silver Lining

The nomination of Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court could do good if Democrats would unite and fight instead of posturing for TV time. If a filibuster successfully prevented confirmation it would save the court from a dangerous tilt. If Republicans, “nukeâ€? it, virtually freezing the Senate isn’t all bad. Either way progressives could get […]

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30.10.05 | Comments Off

“Obliviously On He Sails�

Calvin Trillin’s best selling book of poems about the Bush administration had the prescient title quoted above. Though the President lost a key official to indictment, he’ll “stay the course” with the same misguided crew. The New York Times says he appears to see little need for the housecleaning previous administrations tried to rebuild credibility.

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29.10.05 | Comments Off

Second Term Scenarios

The only similarity between the Lewinski and Lewis scandals is the forced parallel in names. Lewinski was a personal failing, Lewis the tip of an institutional iceberg. He alone lied enough to be indicted. An unknown number broke a law too complicated to enforce, but kept their deception within the legal limit. The Washington Post […]

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27.10.05 | Comments Off

Slow Learner

Senator John Kerry expressed regret yesterday about his vote to authorize the Iraq war. He also called for withdrawing 20,000 troops by year’s end. Talk about too little too late.

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26.10.05 | Comments Off

More Appointment Woes

Bush nominated J. Dorrance Smith as chief spokesman for the Pentagon. In April Smith said the partnership of U.S. TV networks and Al Jazeera is “a powerful tool for the terrorists in the war in Iraq.” Some Senators think that might limit his effectiveness as liaison with the news media, and will try to save […]

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25.10.05 | Comments Off

Desperate for Distraction

With senior staffers and a nominee in trouble, to say nothing of a war he wishes we’d ignore, Bush takes umbrage at The Onion decorating parodies of speeches with the Presidential seal. Is this what he calls setting priorities?

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No scrap of advice she gave to Bush, that might reveal her thinking or beliefs about the law, can be revealed to the Senate without jeopardizing the Presidency, so her slate stays blank. A cynic might conclude Bush advisers determined that blank is her best side. More likely, Bush is counting on Miers’ twisting in […]

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24.10.05 | Comments Off

Political Training Ground

John Scott, candidate for mayor in Solon, Ohio, will give $1,000 campaign donors special access and the title “mayoral adviser.â€? A spokesman for Ohio’s Secretary of State, an expert at manipulating elections, says it appears legal, “there is no law against poor judgment.” It is unclear whether that refers to asking too little, putting the […]

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23.10.05 | Comments Off

An Abundance of Caution

Tis the night before Fitzmas, and the best subject for discussion is Libby saying, during Bush’s first term, that he planned to stay as Cheney’s adviser until “I get indicted or something.” I will not discuss his prescience, because I don’t want to jinx anything.

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22.10.05 | Comments Off

To a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail

DeLay attacked the prosecutor for being a democrat. Now he wants to get rid of a judge who contributed to moveon.org. At the trial he will probably challenge jurors who voted, because they might not have chosen Republicans. With a little luck the jury will tell Tom to go pound salt.

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21.10.05 | Comments Off

Even Dumb Blonds Get an Occasional Boost

“Miers is a good bowler and against abortion – so what?� That was the headline over Ann Coulter’s column in the DeKalb, Illinois Daily Chronicle today. She didn’t write it, but it’s the most intelligent thing that ever appeared above her name.

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19.10.05 | Comments Off

Why Should Only Business Get Its Way?

The Bush solution to illegal immigration seems to be to make cheap labor legal. If that’s a good idea, maybe it would work for marijuana.

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18.10.05 | Comments Off

Bush Protects His Base

A couple of cabinet secretaries astounded Lou Dobbs today. They suggested our immigration laws would be strictly enforced. Bush will send undocumented workers home, bring them back as “guests� (i.e. cheap labor). Sorry Lou, nothing will change.

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17.10.05 | Comments Off

Unintended Consequences

The Majority Leader stepping aside frees House Republicans to slash budgets for food stamps and health care for the poor to pay for hurricane relief. Who would have believed DeLay was the best of a bad lot?

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16.10.05 | Comments Off

Even a Non-Answer Could Be Interesting

Whether or not Fitzgerald indicts, it is clear Libby and Rove lied to McClellan, maybe bosses, and us. That may not be enough for jail, but for people on the public payroll it should be enough to kick them off. When Senators quiz Harriet Miers about her legal judgment, they should ask how she advised […]

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15.10.05 | Comments Off

Keystone Crooks

The Bush Education Department hired Armstrong Williams to engage in illegal “covert propaganda.� Now they want to nail him for not performing the work. Doesn’t that make them all innocent?

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14.10.05 | Comments Off

Casual Conversation

The President chatted via satellite with ten U.S. troops. They were polished. Bush looked at his notes too much, seemed to grope for the right words. Next time, maybe the President should practice and let the soldiers wing it.

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13.10.05 | Comments Off

Mitigating Circumstances

Ms. Miers was persnickety that memos not expose the President to bad grammar. She also might be careful that a nominee, not subject him to conservative rebuke, unless it helps disguise another screw-up. Apparently she thinks stashing evacuees in hotels for eleven million dollars a day generates enough political stench to justify putting her on […]

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12.10.05 | Comments Off

Conservative Columnist Comes To

George Will summarizes Bush failures in the October 17 issue of Newsweek. He doesn’t like No Child Left Behind, the Prescription Drug Bill, the Transportation Bill, or rebuilding New Orleans with borrowed money. Will shows great insight until he seems to express surprise at Bush’s incompetence.

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11.10.05 | Comments Off

Executive Excursion Number Eight

On his last trip to Katrina’s wake the President donned a tool belt and had his picture taken with a hammer, pounding nails into a piece of plywood. It wasn’t a photo-op, he was a role model. Questioned about his plans for rebuilding the city, he said local people should do the planning and he […]

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