Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.> more ... (0 comments)
Just in time for the end of 2008, disgraced former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez easily wins Library Grape‘s inaugural Most Outrageous Self-Pity Award.
Out plugging his forthcoming CYA memoir in the Wall Street Journal, Gonzales lets loose with this steaming load of dissembling nonsense:
“What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?”Jon Perr at C&L sums up how supremely ridiculous this is:
“For some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.“
Of course, that self-described “casualty of the war on terror” blessed the torture regime best articulated by then-head of the DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel, John Yoo. As Jane Mayer describes in her book, The Dark Side, Gonzales as White House counsel stood by as the Bush administration wiped away Geneva Convention protections and blessed Yoo’s definition of torture as necessarily “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”
In his interview with the Journal, Gonzales blames Yoo for the legal basis for waterboarding and other so-called “enhanced interrogation” tactics, asserting “in the end it was the Justice Department’s call.” Of course, during his January 2005 confirmation hearings for the Attorney General role, Gonzales lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee about President Bush’s torture policy. Calling Senator Feingold’s questions about Bush’s commander-in-chief powers “hypothetical,” Gonzales claimed the infamous Yoo memo “has been withdrawn.” But as the New York Times subsequently revealed, while the Justice Department in December 2004 publicly proclaimed that torture was “abhorrent,” the new Attorney General in February 2005 and again later that same year issued secret memos which “provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.”Gonzales’ lies to Congress didn’t end there. No doubt, the man who pioneered the Sgt. Schultz defense (“I know nothing. Nothing!”) will claim in his memoir “I don’t recall” lying to Congress about his role in the Bush administration’s purge of U.S. prosecutors.
Say what you will about the propriety of Roland Burris accepting an appointment to the US Senate from disgraced Governor Hairdo but the tide of evasive, nonsensical wankery coming out of his camp at the moment is driving me a bit batty (see, e.g., Burris’ tortured performance on Rachel Maddow yesterday).
A more recent example?
Take the new gambit being trotted out today, with Burris and his sympathizers triumphantly trying a new version of the race card on for size.
Today, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush — already having ham-handedly played his first race card yesterday with his oh-so-subtle entreaty that we try to avoid lynching Mr. Burris — doubled down with his second, even more ludicrous race card by comparing Harry Reid to segregation-era race-war-mongers George Wallace and Bull Connor:
[T]he recent history of our nation has shown us that sometimes there could be individuals and there could be situations where school children — where you have officials standing in the doorway of school children. You know, I’m talking about all of us back in 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m talking about George Wallace, Bull Connors and I’m sure that the U.S. Senate don’t want to see themselves placed in the same position.Look, I’m no fan of Harry Reid but this whole ludicrous intra-party racism-baiting bullshit needs to get nipped in the bud (no, “nipped” is not a thinly-veiled derogatory reference to those of Asian descent).
How is intraparty racism concern-trolling helpful for anyone involved in this mess (besides Gov. Hairdo)? Are segregation references still this much of an assumed magic get-out-of-jail-free card in the grievance politics arsenal?
Question regarding your appointment to the US Senate? SEGREGATION!
Question regarding a law you sponsored? GEORGE WALLACE!
Sharp criticism on the fluffiness of your quiche? RACISM!
Do we have something like Godwin’s law for knee-jerk, inappropriate references to segregation-era policies or figures like George Wallace? If not, we need one.
Well, it looks like everyone in the political establishment and the media is playing along with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s gambit by hastily canonizing the newly appointed junior Senator from Illinois, Roland Burris, as the kind of unquestionably pure and saintly lion of the people Blago wanted us to view him as.
You know what question I’ve haven’t heard anyone ask Mr. Burris?
It would go something like this:
“Mr. Burris, the Democratic leadership in this country is unanimous in calling for Governor Blagojevich to resign.
The President-Elect and the entire Democratic Caucus in the Senate have stated that they would not accept any person appointed by Mr. Blagojevich to President-Elect Obama’s vacated Senate seat.
Why now, after decrying Mr. Blagojevich’s allegedly illegal actions with respect to trying to sell the vacated Senate seat, have you decided to forcefully thumb your nose to the entire elected leadership of the Democratic Party by accepting Mr. Balgojevich’s appointment?
Although many say that you are a man of great character, why would you now then decide to get caught up in a naked plot by the Governor to hold onto power and, in the process, sow division and rancor in your Democratic Party?
Shouldn’t you have let the process play out before deciding to complicate the matter in this way and run the risk of making the entire leadership of your chosen party look like ineffectual hacks should they ultimately cave to Mr. Blagojevich’s demands?”
As usual, the media was fed a handy narrative and they ate it up like starving children. More needs to be asked of Roland Burris about why he effectively decided to volley a big “Fuck You!” to nearly every important figure in national and Illinois Democratic politics.
You gotta hand it to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich — he is just about the most perfect nutjob politician on the market these days.
Facing down the hurricane-force political headwinds, Blago announced today that he will appoint respected pol Roland Burris to President-Elect Obama’s vacated Senate seat, against the stated wishes of Obama and the entire Democratic Caucus in the Senate. Ballsy!
You’ve got to watch the press conference to appreciate the depths (heights?) of
mental illness chutzpah he is plumbing:
Wonkette, as usual, has the best snark to sum it all up:
“Blagojevich’s news conference came less than an hour after U.S. Senate Democratic leadership issued a statement saying the Senate will not seat anyone the governor chooses to fill Illinois’ vacant Senate post.”
O RLY, Democratic leadership? You’re going to REFUSE this nice, experienced, elderly black gentleman a legally valid seat in the Senate? Ha ha, no you won’t!…
Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush also spoke at the presser to offer his support of Burris, and he said THIS: “I would ask you not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointor.”
HA HA HA, yeah c’mon Harry Reid, stop lynching black people, it’s a dick move.
Gosh, what a surprise. Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff said in a recent interview that Bush’s knowledge of foreign policy was as bad as Sarah Palin’s:
We had this confluence of characters—and I use that term very carefully—that included people like Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and so forth, which allowed one perception to be “the dream team.” It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin–like president—because, let’s face it, that’s what he was—was going to be protected by this national- security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire.Thank God we’ll have someone other than an incurious, simpering idiot in charge of the White House for a while.
Following upon countless studies that have consistently found that the abstinence-only sex “education” championed by the Bush administration have been ineffectual or counterproductive, a new comprehensive federal study finds that students who pledge abstinence until marriage engage in dangerous sex practices at a higher rate than other students. Quelle surprise!
As Steve Benen puts it:
Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,” but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.
“Taking a pledge doesn’t seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior,” said Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. “But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking.”
Got that? The difference between teens who make abstinence “pledges” and teens who don’t isn’t sexual conduct, it’s that those who make the “pledges” engage in more dangerous sexual conduct.
After a while, this just gets repetitious — the right insists that abstinence programs work, objective research shows they don’t. Conservatives, not satisfied, demand more objective research, which further proves abstinence programs don’t work. No evidence, no matter how overwhelming, seems to be enough.
But reality just won’t budge. The nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that abstinence programs do not affect teenager sexual behavior. A congressionally-mandated study, which was not only comprehensive but also included long-term follow-up, found the exact same thing. Researchers keep conducting studies, and the results are always the same.
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