Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Opening The Files: X-mas 2007

I've never been one to celebrate Christmas but I certainly love the creativity that the season brings out in people. I've always found my muse to be a bit mischievous at times. And there is no lack of gifts I could write about as many Americans celebrate in the traditional way (the last minute, mad dash to the only Walmart still open in the tri-state area). I could make a crack about Rescue Rudy having a communication problem as he dissembles on the 9/11 radio ruckus. Or I could have a puntackular time with Bush's 2008 itinerary and how he'll be doing more spit shining in the last year of his presidency than a Marine boot camp cadet (no offense to said Marine cadet as his efforts will not be in vain). Or given the heavy emphasis on religion this campaign season, I could even get all deep and philosophical and discuss the intricacies of navigating a world of religion as someone not of a particular faith.

Nah! Bring on the snark. Happy Holidays everyone!

Bob Franken: Yule Fools

Watertiger: Wedged in the Chimney

Steve Young: A No-Spin Yuletide Blame

Moonbat: It’s a Blunderful Life

Libby Spencer: Christmas in Blogtopia

But we can't forget the serious.

Meteor Blades: Never Forget. Especially Today.

Jon Soltz: Helping The Wounded During the Season of Giving

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Shootin' Thru The 'Tubes

Twas the fortnight before Caucus and all through the land, much was stirring and Shootin' Thru The 'Tubes (Yea it doesn't rhyme, so sue me):

With barely two weeks to go before the Iowa caucus and Rescue Rudy tanking like a Brittney Spears' comeback tour, all eyes have turned to Mike Huckabee. Last week, Huckabee bashed the Bush administration's foreign policy as suffering from a "bunker mentality", which perhaps helped his poll numbers. But like all good little Repubs, he soon reserved course a bit to claim that prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay is "too nice".

Mitt Romney, however, embraced the Bush with much vigor. Such shouldn't have been any surprise since they seem to have some traits in common. For in seeking to defend his claim of seeing his father march with MLK, "No Lit Mitt" shows his grasp of the english language is about as tenuous as The Decider. Course what should be more worrisome is Mitt's equally messianic mentality.

John McCain has also been on the rise and was working doubly hard to suppress a rumor earlier this week. What it exactly was no one knows for certain but at least his learned his lessons from the '00 campaign.

Fred Thomspon...is he even still in this thing?

Tom Tancredo...nope.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Opening The Files: 12/20/07

A Pernicious and Troubling Vigorous Sentiment

To no one's surprise, the New York Times reported this morning that the White House's involvement in the discussion of whether to destroy CIA interrogation tapes which may have depicted torture was far more extensive than previously revealed. Names now familiarly associated with the subject of torture -- Gonzales, Addington, Bellinger -- were all consulted. And while no one advocated directly for their destruction, there was what the Times called a "vigorous sentiment" that they be disposed of.

So how do the Bushies respond? Do they deny the claims of the report? Heaven's, no. As has become a hallmark of this administration, their defense comes down to an issue of semantics. Sure they were being evasive, the Bushies admit, but they weren't misleading anyone (save for of course anyone who'd take such a claim seriously).

While the Grey Lady ultimately caved to the White House's demands, this silly pushback was so laughable as to almost be undeserving of the usual derision.

But what I and many others do not find the least bit assuming is the fact that the Bush administration did not seek to deny the report. Talk about missing the forest fire for the burning trees. Then again, such should also not be surprising. Any administration that would countenance heinous -- and potentially illegal -- acts would certainly be more than willing to cover-up said acts. Maybe if the Bushies put more energies toward enacting sound policies as opposed to coming up with excuses to justify bad ones, they mightn't need to issue statements scolding the media for calling a spade a spade.

Their silence on that is perhaps the thing we should find far more "pernicious and troubling".

Christy wonders if it is just a coinkydink that a fire should break out at the White House at the same time we are learning their tenants were involved in possible destruction of evidence. Will Bunch on the other hand, delivers the snark.

The Heretik ponders who's the most vigorous of them all and comes up with only one answer.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In Which I Eat Humble Pie

Most people don't like being wrong, but when it comes to my belief that the filibuster of the FISA bill debated before the Senate yesterday wouldn't matter, I'm gladly having a heaping helping of humble pie with my late night meal. Dodd's threat of a genuine, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style filibuster, succeeded in staving off the much expected cave.

While jubilation is warranted, the battle is not over. Even Dodd, who along with his fellow compatriots deserve praise for their efforts, recognizes this is only a temporary stay of execution. The bill has been tabled until after the first of the new year and by then the supposed deadline for passing some sort of bill will be even more immense and the Bushies will pull out all the stops to get their dictates enacted.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some pie to finish.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why the Filibuster Won't Matter

At some point this morning, the Senate will begin debate on a resolution to make permanent the provisions which passed as part of the Protect America Act last August. That egregious surrender to a lying, manipulative administration will no doubt be replicated today, despite the efforts of a patriotic few.

That is ultimately why as much as I wish the outcome of today's vote would be different this time, in my heart of hearts I know it won't. So long as we have the leaders in Congress that we do, nothing will change. No amount of lies will keep the Democrats from cowering in fear at the mere mention of Bush, a president who history will undoubtedly judge to be one of this country's worst.

All weekend, attention has been focused on who was endorsing whom as we reach the final stretch in the race to Iowa. And to me, it's probably for the best. Because the rat race to determine the next president will certainly have more influence than pleas to stand up for liberty. For only when there is someone in power who the right will not give undue deference to no matter how far astray they lead this country will the affronts to the Constitution and the American people begin to be corrected.

See also A.L. and Digby.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holding Patterns

A couple months ago when debate about the fate of FISA legislation passed in August was rekindled, Sen. Chris Dodd won high praise from the blogosphere for declaring his intent to not only place a hold on but if necessary filibuster any bill that sought to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies that aided the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Now it seems Dodd might have to make good on his promise now that Senate Majority Leadership Harry Reid has signaled that a FISA bill granting immunity will come up for a vote on Monday despite Dodd's hold.

Now Reid of course does not have to honor the hold but traditionally the practice is frowned upon as, along with the filibuster, it is a way of ensuring the minority party's views are expressed and considered. And given it is being issued by a fellow Democrat, one would think Reid wouldn't have been so willing to forgo tradition. Some might say that Reid is just doing what is necessary to unclog the bottleneck which has plagued the Congress for some time now but when you consider that not a peep has been mentioned about not honoring a similar hold placed on a bill banning waterboarding by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, any claims that Reid just wishes to keep the debate rolling along just doesn't wash.

Anyone else think it might be time that Reid be applied the appropriate label?

See Glenn, Christy, and Libby on Reid and Digby has the last work on Huckleberry Graham.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Exercise in Futility

I'm back to my one trick pony propensity again but given the serious of the subject matter -- the subjection to and potential cover up of the torture of US detainees -- I feel a bit of harping is warranted. But as with most things the Congress does these days, they just aren't thinking far enough ahead.

Yesterday, the House took the advice of a phalanx of retired Army and Navy officers to ignoring President Bush's threat to veto and passed by a ban on the practice of waterboarding.
The House approved legislation yesterday that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics, drawing an immediate veto threat from the White House and setting up another political showdown over what constitutes torture.

The measure, approved by a largely party-line vote of 222 to 199, would require U.S. intelligence agencies to follow Army rules adopted last year that explicitly forbid waterboarding. It also would require interrogators to adhere to a strict interpretation of the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war. The rules, required by Congress for all Defense Department personnel, also ban sexual humiliation, "mock" executions and the use of attack dogs, and prohibit the withholding of food and medical care.

The measure still must make it through the Senate, which given that some members have already signaled their willingness to downplay even the most heinous of practices, remains very much in doubt.

But even if it were to reach full passage, it would be -- as my post title suggests -- utterly meaningless. For you see the Congress has already affirmed such a ban. It was a little thing called the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. And we all remember how long that "ban" lasted (hint: as long as it took the ink to dry on the "Only if I want to" note Bush attached to it).

So while we can applaud Congress for once again seeking to clear up the issue of just which practices are acceptable but we must realize that until we banish the Bogart, this latest affirmation won't matter one bit.

More from DHinMI and Carpetbagger.

Blog Thanks: Salon's Blog Report for linking to the ASZ of this post.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Opening The Files: 12/12/07

You Can't Torquemada Anything

Sorry for the Mel Brooks pun but I felt that some levity was in order given the tortuousness of extracting even a modicum of information from the Bushies. The President still feigns ignorance of what some have taken to calling "Tapegate". This is despite the person he once deemed worthy of a spot on the Supreme Court being intimately involved in discussions with the CIA over the fate of the tapes. It would appear the Bush Bubble is now so opaque that it no longer permits light to penetrate, let alone reality.

There have been some rather inane defenses for why this issue isn't a big deal. And the depths to which the right will plunge in defense of torture shows there really is nothing that should ever be considered verboten.

Which is perhaps the biggest travesty in all of this. Because our leaders can no longer state unequivocally that we will treat our prisoners with a decency that the enemy may never show theirs, we've seceded any claim to being "better than that".

While the Bushies may not be able to come up with a clear instance in which torture "saved lives", Cenk Uygur reminds us of a clear instance in which it had the opposite effect.

Robert Scheer wonders if in destroying those tapes of harsh interrogations, we may have lost out on learning the truth behind the event that supposedly warranted the harshness in the first place.

Digby says that all the Bushies have succeeding in doing is blurring the moral clarity on an issue which requires a far more focused stance.

Scarecrow says it looks like the spooks at Langley aren't willing to be the fall guys anymore.

I'd have to agree with Micheal that Kit Bond really is the craziest Repub of the day for his claim that waterboarding is just the latest water sport craze. Is a name change in order?

Bob Cesca documents the righties attempt to downplay waterboarding as an "exercise in restraint" which isn't all that restrained after all.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)


Shootin' Thru The 'Tubes

I'm starved for ideas so here's what's Shootin' Thru The 'Tubes:

It must be Huck season because everyone seems to be gunning for the former Gov, which isn't all that surprising given his rise in the polls of late. But what exactly does his rise mean? Is he truly the easy target candidate the Dems wish to run against, as he who rules our world alleges? Is he a flash in the pan or will he go the distance? Perhaps we may know when the media finally decides to pay more attention to a candidate's character and less to the cut of their trouser or perfectly coiffed, though not too expensive, hairdo.

Then again, maybe keeping us uninformed about what things that really matter is their way of keeping the populace depression free. Ignorance may be bliss but when it comes to voting on who will be the next leader of the free world, learning a thing or two about how they may govern goes along way.

If only we'd taken such to heart prior to the last couple of elections. With the myriad of scandals seeping from the Bush White House, it's nice to get a refresher course from time to time.

Speaking of which, looks like Christmas isn't coming early for Scooter Libby, as his gift from The Decider seems to have gotten lost in the mail. But hey, there's always next year.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Necessary Roughness

The title of this post might suggest this is an homage to the Scott Bakula film of the same name (one of the few sports centric films I like). No the "necessary roughness" to which I speak of comes from a former CIA operative who claims that while practices such as waterboarding do constitute torture, it was nonetheless the right call given all the worthwhile information gleamed.

A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

"The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate," said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News With Charles Gibson" and "Nightline."

"From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."

Kiriakou says he struggled with the idea of which was more important: refusing to torture or learning valuable information in the hectic, post-9/11 scare. No doubt there are some who would view him as a Jack Bauer-esque figure, willing to do what was necessary to protect American lives. But as Kevin Drum reminds us just what we learned from Zubaydah via these tough love practices remains very much in doubt.

Kiriakou says he ultimately feels that waterboarding is torture and that as Americans "we're better than that". But that he would even allow that such may be necessary in some cases, he forfeits the seriousness of the claim. For when you open the gates, even seemingly out of necessity, you also risk moving into the "because we can" territory.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

They Knew

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

Yesterday everyone was up in arms over the destruction of interrogation tapes which may have depicted torture of US detainees. But turns out, some were a little less shocked than others since they'd been briefed on those same practices.
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

This revelation is rightly causing outrage among many, despite protestations from the Democrats involved who claim their hands were tied due to secrecy clauses that prevented them from revealing what they had learned about the CIA program. While that excuse can only go so far, and indeed may not even be a valid one given the mechanisms available to Congress, the revelation is certainly likely to temper calls for investigation into CIA practices. And perhaps that was the reason this news was leaked in the first place.

In any event, we know one thing is for certain: The Democrats are now just as complicit as the Bushies.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Pantings the Opposition

Back in July, I made note of an article in the Fashion section of the Washington Post that tittered about Hillary Clinton's neckline and started a controversy over her conniving cleavage. It was a childish attempt to be cute and I suppose it was inevitable given the gender make up of the current crop of presidential hopefuls, discussion would eventually work its way south. The same author now seems to suggest that Clinton's choice of pants over skirts is a way of compensating for lacking the one trait endemic to all the other candidates vying for the presidency.

Digby and Carpetbagger have more on the latest bit of frivolous fluff from the fashionistas at WaPo.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Torture, Lies and No Videotape

Speculation is continuing apace in the blogs and media over what exactly was depicted on interrogation tapes destroyed by the CIA, with calls for investigations ringing out seemingly from every quarter. Some speculate the tapes would have shown how truly harsh our "harsh interrogation" practices were and that they were destroyed to prevent their use in possible criminal prosecutions. Others wonder if possible revelations of connections to prominent foreign allies were the reason the tapes were destroyed despite multiple warnings that they be retained.

The Bushies for their part have been all over the map with excuses. First they said it was in line with CIA practices, then they said they knew nothing about the tapes existence (as equally an incredulous claim as Bush not knowing the contains of the latest NIE on Iran), and now they've seem to have found themselves a scapegoat in the form of a former director of operations. But the idea that a senior CIA official would sanction a restroom break, let alone the destruction of evidence, without authority is so laughable as to be almost not worth putting forth. Then again, passing the laugh test has never been a hindrance to the Bushies before.

I know there are some who are jaded, assuming that once again we will be subjected to endless investigations and inquests that may reveal much but ultimately will result in zero consequences. But on this issue, one which not only has implications on our status in the eyes of the world but also on how Americans may be treated aboard, we really do need to learn just what has been done in our name.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Law Unto Himself

For a long time we've known that President Bush does not see himself bound by the law. He and his cohorts have suggested that he can order such actions as torture, indefinite detention, kidnapping and warrantless electronic surveillance of any person, even US citizens. But the one thing that was never truly discussed was the legal basis on which the Bushies determined the President had these authorities. Often it amounted to "because he's the President", a statement which was usually followed by the questioner's patriotism being called into question.

But now we learn just what legal opinions the Bushies based their arguments on. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, took it upon himself to scour the Office of Legal Counsel and found that the office is rather superfluous since the Bushies have determined they do not need counsel, let alone consent.

Think Progress has Whitehouse's notes. According to the Bush administration:
1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II.

3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.

Now Bush apologists would most likely claim these usurpations to be a good thing, that we need a robust executive during war time to "cut through the bull" as it were.

To that I have only one question: What if it were Hillary?

More reactions via Meme.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

The JFK Moment That Wasn't

Well Mitt Romney finally gave was was long touted as his version of JFK's infamous speech addressing his own religiosity some 37 years ago. The consensus seems to be that not only did Romney fail to assuage many's concern over his Mormonism but he made some even more leery but for far different reasons than his religious dogmas. For unlike JFK's speech in which he made clear that his first responsibility would be to uphold the Constitution, Romney seemed bent on giving winks and nods to the evangelicals who were his true audience.

His long winded but ultimately uninspiring speech also showed how intolerant the man can be (as if that were already evident enough). As someone who does not practice a particular religion but nonetheless values freedom I'd have to agree that Romney's claim that "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom" is deeply offensive. And his ignorance of the role that religion played to the founding fathers shows that despite his ability to pose, he really is no Jack Kennedy.

See also Walter Shapiro.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Olbermann on Chicken Little Presidency

In perhaps his most scathing Special Comment to date, Keith lets loose at President Chicken Little who even after learning that the sky wasn't anywhere near falling, continued to coach his words to suggest just that. Bush may fancy himself a bald eagle of liberty but the only thing bald about his presidency have been the lies which he utters almost seemingly every time he opens his mouth.

Check out C&L for the video until I can find a suitable YouTube to embed.

(Filed at State of the Day)


Rightie Regurgitation

At least we finally know the real reason for why the Bushies were so keen to deem an audience of right wing bloggers with The Decider. Former White House Counsel Dan Bartlett dishes on why they just love them some winger blogs (via Drum):
I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It's a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we've cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.

"They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them." Looks like I'm in for a trip to RadioShack since my snark-o-meter just exploded.

More meter explosions here.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Opening The Files: 12/05/07

What did he know and when did he know it?

The more important question is: does it matter? In the case of President Bush, not a lick.

It's been a little over 24 hours since one of the most tail-spinningest revelations since the Brittney/K-Fed split. We learned that all the talk of Iranian nukes was all for naught. But never fear, even without the aid of his mistrusty brain, Bush could still spin the news to his advantage. For just like when it was revealed that there were no WMD's in Iraq, Bush and his supporters see the news of a similar absence of nukes in Iran as vindication that his manly approach to foreign policy was the right choice.

Get ready for some lawsuits, I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of filings resulting from all the sudden upper spinal displacements over this one.

The Decider gave a press conference this morning in which should forever warrant a new moniker: The Uninquisitor. For in claiming he was only fully briefed on the Iran NIE last week, Bush also admitted that he was told of "new information" some months ago. Given this "new information" covered what was one of the key issues he'd been harping on for well over a year, you'd think he would have at least been curious. Then again, according to Bush no one told him to tone it down either.

Apparently Bush is indeed out to set a new tone in Washington: Don't ask me, I just work here.

While Bush may be feeling "pretty spirited", Blue Texan documents the five stages of wingnut grief over the loss of the bomb Iran bombast. But Attaturk reminds us not all are giving up on "teh Crazy!"

Andy Borowitz reports on Iran being booted from a very prestigious club.

Steven D says with Bush it's all about the "knowledge". Or maybe it's the facts, at least as how Bush wants us to seem them.

And seems Bush isn't the only one who's incurious when it comes to Iranian intelligence. Mike Huckabee says he doesn't know a thing about it. Joe Biden would probably say that doesn't pass the smell test any more than Bush's Sgt. Schultz routine.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)


Monday, December 03, 2007

Iran NIE: Why Now?

Two areas of debate have surfaced after the release of the latest intelligence estimate concluding that Iran has unlikely had an active nuclear weapons program since as far back as late 2003. The first question is why, after being told by the Bushies that no NIE would be released to the public, was it eventually revealed? Some speculated it was because of pushback from Congress but I think Fred Kaplan's hypothesis that the hardliners in the Cheney faction lost out this time is probably far more accurate given the legislature's recent penchant for believing whatever the Bushies choose to peddle.

And this leads us into the second area of discussion: why did the Bush administration continue to ratchet up the rhetoric on Iran even after the intelligence community concluded there was likely no 'there' there. The simplest answer is that the Bushies had no intention of releasing the NIE, at least in its current form. Most likely they were hoping to delay the findings until such time that a sufficient number of caveats could be added or deleted from the document so as to cast an ambiguous cloud over the reports findings. And as we've come to know with the Bush administration, ambiguousness is their modus operandi.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

A Rug Pulled but Another Already Laid

At least now we know why the Bushies were so hot to keep the latest intelligence estimate on Iran from the scrutinizing eyes of the public. Turns out it completely puts the kibosh on all that World War III rhetoric. Via The New York Times, who sadly know a thing or two about reporting on dubious claims of Middle Eastern nukes:
A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely keeping its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

Now not to be a buzz kill or anything, while it is good news that the Iranians don't appear to be on the fast track to having a nuke anytime this decade, the Bushies have already done away with the threat of said nukes as a rationale for war. This estimate was ready well over a year ago and as Larisa reminds us, since then the rationale for war has shifted. So we can take this bit of news with a bitter grain of salt.

More reactions via Meme. See also Ray McGovern.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

George, Hugo, and Vladimir

Two votes. Two decidedly different outcomes.

Voters took to the polls overseas this weekend and the results are an illuminating look at how the US has handled its foreign policy. For in a country we ostensibly label an ally, democracy has taken even more of a backslide while in one constantly denounced as authoritarian, the voice of the people rang loud and rang true.

First up: Russia where President Vladimir Putin's party won a landslide sweep in the parliamentary elections. Speculation is already off and running that Putin will use this win to continue to remain in power past the end of his term early next year. What form that will take remains to be seen but it is a safe bet that like his soul eyed counterpart in the US, Putin will find someway to remain influential beyond his tenure.

But such an authoritarian move is getting very little attention as compared to that of the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's referendum seeking more power. Unlike Putin, Chavez put the issue of whether he could stay past his current term to a vote and the people responded. Even more surprising is that Chavez, though chastised, vows to abide by the vote and even goes to far as claim it as proof that there is no dictatorship in his country.

So on the one hand we have a man who has been referred to as a Latin American version of Hitler praising a vote against him and on the other we have a man who seems bent subverting democracy to stay in power at all costs.

No wonder Bush sees eye to eye far more with the latter than he does with the former.

See also Cernig.

Blog Thanks: Salon's Blog Report for linking to the ASZ of this post.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Hostage to Partisanship

Yesterday the blogs were abuzz with news of the hostage situation unfolding at a Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, New Hampshire. While giving new meaning to the phrase "battleground state", thankfully the drama ended as swiftly as it began. All the hostages were freed and the hostage taker, later determined to be a mentally unstable individual, was taken into custody.

But once the well wishes were issued, it didn't take long for the partisan rancor to set in amongst the right and it continues today. The typical jokes and jabs were elicited and some pundits were even trying to pick winners and losers in the crisis. Many are conspiratorially suggesting the event was possibly staged at worse or at best will be seized upon by the Hillary campaign to garner some form of pity vote. Michelle Malkin, who has in the past scolded lefty blogs for their impertinent commenters, was furiously deleting them from her site yesterday. At least she now understands how we on the left feel about and deal with such poor taste ramble rousers.

And this incident just highlights what is to come. Any situation or event even marginally connected to a Democrat will be picked over by the righties and the media with a fine tooth comb, where as genuine scandals like Rescue Rudy's taxpayer funded rendezvouses will be all but ignored.

I long for the day when basic decency will win out over politics. Sadly it seems that may never come true so long as there are those who will forever attempt to divide us.

See also fellow ASZer Steven Reynolds.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)