Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why I Hate Him So, Part the Umpteenth

"The only thing worse than a politician is a child molester."
-- Rip Torn, in "Extreme Prejudice"

For those of my Gentle Readers who may still support Bush - and by extension his appointees such as Alberto "Gonzo" Gonzales - and wonder why I rant and rave about his incompetency (and obviously despise the man), it is fruitful to dig into the actual workings of his administration. This is not accomplished by watching Fox News. One is forced to seek alternative news outlets, even if they might seem a little, well, leftish. But leaving no stone unturned in the search for the truth about the corruption of this administration, I bring you this cut-and-paste from the decidedly left-wing blog, DailyKos. Draw your own conclusions.

The Chart of Injustice
by Devilstower
Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 04:20:16 AM PDT

Kos readers got a preview of this story in drational's diary, and now that chart for selecting US attorneys is getting some scrutiny from the Associated Press. Far from being the kind of politics-free evaluation of prosecutorial competence that Bush, Gonzales, and crew had maintained, the document encapsulates the real motivations behind the firings.

The Justice Department weighed political activism and membership in a conservative law group in evaluating the nation's federal prosecutors, documents released in the probe of fired U.S. attorneys show.

The political credentials were listed on a chart of 124 U.S. attorneys nominated since 2001, a document that could bolster Democrats' claims that the traditionally independent Justice Department has become more partisan during the Bush administration.

To sharpen the damage caused by this document, there's an accompanying note that completely demolishes the argument that Gonzales was either duped by his underlings or merely asleep at the wheel.
"This is the chart that the AG requested," Monica Goodling, Justice's former liaison to the White House, wrote in a Feb. 12 e-mail to two other senior department officials. "I'll show it to him on the plane tomorrow, if he's interested."
Alberto Gonzales requested a chart showing the political activism of the USAs and their membership in the Scaife-funded Federalist Society. Any notion that he was only interested in their success in prosecutions is now completely lost. Explaining that when Gonzales gets on the stand next Tuesday should be very, very interesting. In fact, a better question might be whether Alberto Gonzales will actually be AG by Tuesday.


[An interesting companion piece is here, concerning an interview with former career Justice Department attorney Daniel Metcalf.]

This seems to be typical of the Bush administration and everybody, and I mean everybody, that he has appointed or had appointed. Every one of them is driven by an agenda that is definitely partisan to a degree not seen since Louis XIV said, "L'etat, c'est moi."

That's French, a vile language, but very poetic. Translated, the expression means, "The nation, that's ME."

One of the problems that I have with Bush and all his buddies is that they have this idea that the authority of the government - their idea of government - that that authority and power flows from the Constitution, from the institution, in other words.

This is why they feel comfortable in trying to establish Republican rule in America, with all their actions designed to establish a one-party stranglehold on the reigns of power. Gonzo made this clear a short time ago when he was testifying before the senate Judiciary Committee. He is on record as saying, (in reference to Habeas Corpus"), “There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution..."

Whoa, there, Gonzo! This is upside down.

The Constitution is a legal document designed to prevent the usurpation of the authority and rights of the sovereign people, and doesn't grant anything to anybody. Rather, it limits the government's authority over the people.

As the Founding Fathers made plain (in writings, speeches, and action) all rights derive from the people. The people are sovereign (as in self-ownership, a concept also referred to as the sovereignty of the individual). The elected officials work for the people, fulfilling as best they can the wants, needs, and desires of the people.

As any reasonable person can quickly discover upon entering a neighborhood bar of a Friday after work, the people have a lot of differing points of view about the issues of the day.

Most recently, an overwhelming majority of the people decided that they had had enough of the President's war, whether it is right or wrong makes no difference, and they elected a new Congress to get them out of it. The Congress is directly elected by the people, as the President is not; as Chief Executive it is his job to fulfill the desire of the American electorate and Execute a speedy exit from Iraq.

But fire Gonzo first.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The dog ate my email

Hard drive failure, maybe?

This is rich: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on the Senate floor yesterday, in response to the assertion that this incompetent Bush administration can't find the Gonzo's emails.
"They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that!" Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy shouted from the Senate floor.

"You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers," said Leahy, D-Vt. "Those e-mails are there, they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary."

Well, good luck on that, Senator. Just bear in mind that these are the same people who have bugged every telephone in the country (and most of the rest of the world, to boot), but can't find a 6'5" dialysis-machine-toting terrorist, wanted in every state and most of the territories, with both hands and a road map.

Update: Scratch that last. Make it a dozen intelligence agencies, a seeing-eye dog, and a road map.

Neocons continue to screw Third World

Deforestation of African rainforests looks like this

Everybody's seen those guys standing on the freeway on-ramp with the handmade cardboard sign that says, "Will work for food," right? It seems that some Third World countries will also work for food - hell, that's putting it mildly; they're selling off their birthrights -- for a few bags of salt. It's downright biblical, and not a little creepy.

The UK Guardian is reporting on a breaking scandal involving Big Lumber:

John Vidal in Kisangani
Wednesday April 11, 2007
The Guardian

Vast tracts of the world's second-largest rainforest have been obtained by a small group of European and American industrial logging companies in return for minimal taxes and gifts of salt, sugar and tools, a two-year investigation will disclose today.

More than 150 contracts covering an area of rainforest nearly the size of the United Kingdom have been signed with 20 companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past three years. Many are believed to have been illegally allocated in 2002 by a transition government emerging from a decade of civil wars and are in defiance of a World Bank moratorium.


According to the 100-page study, compiled by Greenpeace International working with Congolese ecological and human rights groups, if all the forests identified for logging are felled, it could "release" up to 34bn tonnes of carbon - nearly as much as Britain has emitted in 60 years.

To gain access to the forests for the next 25 years, the European companies have made agreements with village chiefs, offering bags of salt, machetes and bicycles, and in some cases promised to build rudimentary schools, the report states.


The report criticizes the World Bank for encouraging logging in Congo in the knowledge that corruption was rife. It refused to comment until the report has been published.
For those not in the know, Paul Wolfowitz (neocon architect of the Iraqi war) is now the president of the world bank. We all recall that one of his ambitions was to make Iraq into a "free-trade" zone (think unregulated corporate economic rape). Now that he's head of the World Bank, he's bringing necon-style economics to the third world, paying for goods in barter.

As for Wolfy's performance while not raping Third World countries, the Government Accountability Project broke the news that Wolfowitz’ girlfriend Shaha Ali Riza, who is also a Bank staffer, has received salary raises far in excess of World Bank rules and protocol.