Alas! Poor Justice, I knew her well

by lestro

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:4Un2XAOy2DPNlM:http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/fish_BushHussein_crop_300.jpg

The politicization of the Department of Justice has really been the ugliest thing this administration has done. And these fuckers have been up to no good since Day One.

But the literal corruption of Justice really is the most despicable.

Maybe it is because the president and his cronies have been treating the Justice Department like their own lawyers and legal loophole finders and torture apologists for years, but it’s fairly obvious something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Which is why we can’t even let this little “restructuring” effort go without it being fully checked out.

Asked about the recent dismantling of a high-profile unit in the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles that specialized in public corruption cases, an office spokesman provided what some saw as a curious justification:

Eliminating the public integrity and environmental crimes section, spokesman Thom Mrozek said, would actually enhance the effort to prosecute such cases.

The Bush Administration going after people that look at public corruption and environmental crimes? Check.

Bizarre doublespeak explanation? Check.

Red Flag.

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whatever the President says must be true

by lestro

the subhead says it all. From the Washington Post:

Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush’s Behest
EPA Scrambles To Justify Action

The EPA should never have to “scramble” to “justify” something. If they do, that probably means that it is a bad move that the EPA shouldn’t have supported but had to because of the politicization of every goddamn agency in Washington.

This is yet another example of how this administration has forgotten that they are supposed to be there doing the people’s business and not that of their buddies. Kind of like the AG forgetting he’s the country’s lawyer, not the president’s.

The EPA officials are supposed to be scientists, not politicians and their findings are supposed to based on fact, not on campaign contributions or ideology.

ITMFA. I mean, come on:

EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. While their proposal was less restrictive than what the EPA’s scientific advisers had proposed, Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents.

“It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference for the president personally to override a decision that the Clean Air Act leaves exclusively to EPA’s expert scientific judgment,” said John Walke, clean-air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The president’s order prompted a scramble by administration officials to rewrite the regulations to avoid a conflict with past EPA statements on the harm caused by ozone.

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement warned administration officials late Tuesday night that the rules contradicted the EPA’s past submissions to the Supreme Court, according to sources familiar with the conversation. As a consequence, administration lawyers hustled to craft new legal justifications for the weakened standard.

craft new legal justifications”? that’s fucking ridiculous. what that means, in basic english is “either make up the rules as we go along or change the rules to fit our needs.” and that’s no way to run a country.

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war is fun

by twit

Bush listens to military and civilian personnel on the front lines describe how difficult operations are in Afghanistan, and in a Ferraro-esque display of self-absorption and abandonment of reality, suggests they should quit complaining and instead be more appreciative of the ‘fantastic’ and ‘exciting’ experiences of war and reconstruction.

From Reuters on March 14, 2008, with emphasis added:

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I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger.

You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

The Raw Story notes on March 13, 2008 that an upcoming conference is going to highlight “some pretty fucked-up shit” from the experiences of combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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why is Bush tap-dancing?

by twit

From Think Progress, including an MSNBC video:

Today, President Bush is meeting with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for lunch at the White House, where he is expected to endorse his presidential bid.

… while waiting for McCain to arrive, Bush stood outside on the North Portico and entertained the press corps by tap dancing, doing a goofy walk, winking, and smiling.

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theories abound after the jump…

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mission accomplished?

by lestro

So the President today said we are not headed into a recession:

“I’m concerned about the economy,” he said. “I don’t think we’re headed to recession. But no question, we’re in a slowdown.”

Wondering whether this means we are already IN a recession, I did what any intrepid internet user might do and headed on over to Wikipedia:

In macroeconomics, a recession is a slowdown in a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), or negative real economic growth, for two or more successive quarters of a year.

An alternative, less accepted definition of recession is a downward trend in the rate of actual GDP growth as promoted by the business-cycle dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research.[1] That private organization defines a recession more ambiguously as “a significant slowdown in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months.”

A recession may involve simultaneous declines in coincident measures of overall economic activity such as employment, investment, and corporate profits. Recessions may be associated with falling prices (deflation), or, alternatively, sharply rising prices (inflation) in a process known as stagflation.

Hmm. I am not an economist, but unlike the President, I do read the papers and I must say, they have been talking about this for a while.

I realize the President is a busy man and has many miles to jog and brush to clear and all, but you think someone would have mentioned this to him, if not an economic adviser, one of his oilman buddies bragging about his new boat or private island or something…

On one issue particularly worrisome to American consumers, there are indications that paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline is not out of the question once the summer driving season arrives. Asked about that, Bush said “That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that. … I know it’s high now.”

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(UPDATED!)Spy satellite update: It’s raining metal, hallelujah!

by lestro

FEB. 21 UPDATE AND VIDEO BELOW!

Well, by now we all know that a US spy satellite is getting closer and closer to landing on our heads, but never fear, the Bush Administration is all over it.

Despite initial statements that it could not be shot down, it looks like either tonight or tomorrow a Navy ship will be firing off a couple of missile in an attempt to shoot this bad boy out of the sky, weather permitting:

The officer said that three Navy warships were in position in the Pacific Ocean to launch the interceptors, and that radar and other tracking equipment, both in space and on the ground, were being monitored at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, and at a space command headquarters in Colorado Springs.

The operation is being controlled from the Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Neb., with additional monitoring of information transmitted from the interceptor managed by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.

Visually speaking, via reuters:

Apparently despite circling the earth every 90 seconds or so, once the order is given, the Navy will have a window of “tens of seconds” in order to hit this thing, which weighs 5,000 pounds (including 1,000 pounds of toxic rocket fuel) and is the size of a school bus.

But not to worry, just in case they miss, FEMA is on top of it:

A United States satellite is falling back to earth and could potentially impact almost anywhere on the planet…

Perhaps trusting this to folks who couldn’t even feed flood victims in New Orleans is a bad idea, but no matter.

I am not worried though. I have seen the Simpsons episode where Bart discovers a comet aimed directly for Springfield. The military tries to shoot it down, but misses, destroying the only bridge out of town. Luckily, Homer’s prediction proves right and one can only assume we are destined for a similar result:

Homer: What’s everyone so worked up about? So there’s a comet – big deal. It’ll burn up in our atmosphere and whatever’s left will be no bigger than a chihuahua’s head.

Bart: Wow, Dad, maybe you’re right.

Homer: Of course I’m right. If I’m not, may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow.

Beyond all that, there better be footage of this. I want multiple angles, high def footage I can download and watch over and over again. Hell, if they run it live, i’ll even get up in the middle of the night to see this…

UPDATE:

At approximately 10:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday night, the Navy shot down the offending satellite in an explosion one paper described as “like the death star.” The military is also “80 – 90 percent confiden[t] the fuel tank was destroyed,” which was the part they were aiming for as it contained the toxic bits. From the New York Times:

“Completing a mission in which an interceptor designed for missile defense was used for the first time to attack a satellite, the Lake Erie, an Aegis-class cruiser, fired a single missile just before 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, and the missile hit the satellite as it traveled at more than 17,000 miles per hour, the Pentagon said in its official announcement.

“A network of land-, air-, sea- and spaced-based sensors confirms that the U.S. military intercepted a nonfunctioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite which was in its final orbits before entering the Earth’s atmosphere,” the statement said.”

USA! USA! USA!

The military will also continue to monitor the debris as it falls through the atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour, but the rest of it is expected to burn up to chunks no bigger than the aforementioned chihuahuas head.

The best news of all of this, however is that there is footage and you know, it does look a little like the Death Star explosion from the original Star Wars, though not as cool as the re-released Star Wars

Bush tries reverse psychology, fails miserably

by twit

Via Think Progress Feb 10, 2008:

In an interview with Fox News, President Bush argued that if his agenda and record are made central issues in the upcoming presidential election, then the Republican nominee stands “a better chance of winning” because the election won’t be about him:

My attitude is, so long as they’re talking about me, we have a better chance of winning because our candidate will — what’s going to matter is not the past but the future when it comes to campaigns.

If the Democrat Party feels like they can win an election by focusing on me, I think they’d be making a huge tactical mistake. But I hope they do that then because our candidate will be able to talk about the future.

Videos and the punchline after the jump…

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