Recently in BushCo Category

Why BP is Not Katrina

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Kevin Drum does a crack job of explaining the difference between the Katrina disaster and BP's mishandling of the ongoing oil spill.

This conflates two very different things. Katrina was an example of the type of disaster that the federal government is specifically tasked with handling. And for most of the 90s, it was very good at handling them. But when George Bush became president and Joe Allbaugh became director of FEMA, everything changed. Allbaugh neither knew nor cared about disaster preparedness. For ideological reasons, FEMA was downsized and much of its work outsourced. When Allbaugh left after less than two years on the job, he was replaced by the hapless Michael Brown and the agency was downgraded and broken up yet again. By the time Katrina hit, the upper levels of FEMA were populated largely with political appointees with no disaster preparedness experience and the agency was simply not up to the job of dealing with a huge storm anymore.

The Deepwater Horizon explosion is almost the exact opposite. There is no federal expertise in capping oil blowouts. There is no federal agency tasked specifically with repairing broken well pipes. There is no expectation that the federal government should be able to respond instantly to a disaster like this. There never has been. For better or worse, it's simply not something that's ever been considered the responsibility of the federal government.

[snip]

But there is one way in which they're similar. As Levin says, Katrina would have been an immense disaster no matter what. But it was far worse than it had to be because a conservative administration, one that fundamentally disdained the mechanics of government for ideological reasons, decided that FEMA wasn't very important. Likewise, the BP blowout was made more likely because that same administration decided that government regulation of private industry wasn't very important and turned the relevant agency into a joke. If you believe that government is the problem, not the solution, and if you actually run the country that way for eight years, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But we shouldn't pretend it's inevitable.

In the end, it all boils down to having competent people in government positions, not ideological cronies scratching their balls.

Well, Color Me Surprised

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NOT!

(NYT) WASHINGTON -- Thousands of pages of internal e-mail and once-secret Congressional testimony showed Tuesday that Karl Rove and other senior aides in the Bush White House played an earlier and more active role than was previously known in the 2006 firings of a number of United States attorneys.
Like anyone who has been paying attention for the last eight and a half years didn't already know this.

Oh, and previously known? How about; than Karl Rove publicly testified before congress.

Can the Legacy Media be any more gutless?

All Politics Is Local

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MN Progressive Project has a post up about Minnesota Republican infighting that has gotten ugly. It is the usual personal attacks on character that we have come to expect from today's Republican party. It is reminiscent of the attack George W. Bush's campaign made against John McCain back in 2000

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that Democrats of days gone by have engaged in the same personal attacks and will do so in the future. Currently, though, it appears to be a Republican trait. If anyone has done any reading on Karl Rove's past, you learn that he started his dirty, character assassination tricks at a young age, and at a local level.

I know, for myself, that in the past I never paid attention to these kind of low brow political attacks. I considered myself above them, or just felt it was not important enough for me to take into consideration. But I have come to learn that it is important these types of antics be exposed and brought to the attention of the electorate, and at a local level. Just imagine a world where Karl Rove's sleazy campaigning were exposed when he first started out, and had not been at the helm of George W. Bush's campaign, and by extension, his administration.

Eight years of George W. Bush in the White House has taught me that all politics is local. Any and all personal attacks, whisper campaigns, and other Lee Atwater dirty trick antics, whether by Republicans or Democrats, must be exposed early on at the local level, or else we can look forward once again to an incompetent and immoral presidency.


Bush's Legacy

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Make no mistake, this $1 Trillion budget deficit is all because of one man; George W. Bush. He was given a surplus and ended up passing on a deficit. Thank you very much Fucknut.

Why Distracted?

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I've been hearing, and reading, a lot lately on how investigating law breaking by the Bush administration would end up distracting Obama from his job of stewarding the country. How, exactly would Obama be distracted. It's not like the White House will be running any investigation. Let's remember, the Justice Department is an independent agency, not beholden to, or controlled by, the White House.

If memory serves me well (large amount of drugs and alcohol years ago make it not so much a possibility), when Nixon tried to control an investigation, he actually sealed his fate and ended up resigning.

Honestly, I think the village idiots are confused. It's they who would be distracted. We are talking about people who willingly, and easily, walked hand in hand with the Bush administration into the Greatest War Against Terror. And by hand in hand, I mean lead by the Bush administration because the villagers seem unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Okay, that was unfair. But it felt soooooo good to type.

Anyway, Obama's concern, which does hold merit, is that the American people would be distracted by the investigations, and the Republicans in the congress would step up their obstructionist behavior (and possibly a few complicit Democrats). However, is an increase in obstruction by Republicans any more of a problem then what they are doing now? And with the Blue Dogs already complicit in obstructing Health Reform....., well, I don't think it would be much worse then what he already faces. As for the American people? For the most part they are always distracted by something. Usually with the Legacy Media's help.
This is what Sarah Palin meant when she said it:

I've been struck by this since the beginning. If it is the case that the president can designate an Office of Legal Counsel functionary to immunize government officials and employees against criminal behavior, then it is true, to all intents and purposes that "if the president does it it's not illegal."
And, from this article, we also learn that Cheney, who developed his executive beliefs and values from the Nixon White House, ordered the CIA to not inform Congress about the secret wiretapping programs.

(NYT)The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
Next week sure is going to be an interesting news week.

Outrage Fatigue, Part II

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Honestly, have our conservative brethren deteriorated to a state of second childhood? This age old cry of "tattle tail" is right out of noon recess at the local grade school playground.

Smith: Some of the critics are really labeling this 'Abu Ghraib Part II.'

Herridge: Well, you remember that after Abu Ghraib there was worldwide condemnation for these images of humiliation. And I learned in my research today that there was also a military report in 2008 that concluded that there is a connection between these images and also suicide bombers. Forty-eight bombers, or potential bombers, were interviewed, and they said that these images were a big factor, a big motivating factor, in the decision to become a suicide bomber.

The suggestion by Herridge is that by releasing the photos, we are endangering the service members of our armed forces. However, I think

If anyone thought that photos from those centers would not eventually leak out to the public -- or at the bare minimum, be forced out eventually by the inevitable lawsuits, as was the case here -- they were fooling themselves. Or at least gambling that they'd be out of office by then and could lay the whole mess in the laps of whoever had the misfortune to succeed them.

Indeed, the Obama critics are now out in force shouting that the pending release of these photos will hurt soldiers in the field, including Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. Bill Kristol is claiming that "this would be a gratuitous assault on the well-being and the reputation of our fighting men and women."

Imagine my surprise when I see the names of Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and Bill Kristol leading the battle cry from the playground. For Christ's sake, they're supposedly grown men. Instead, we are subjected to hearing excuses I expect from a 4th grader.

President Bush allowed torture to occur under his watch. Torture of which the Great Republican/Conservative God Ronald Reagan himself strongly rejected, as proven by his signing the Geneva treaty banning torture. Now, we are reaping the benefits of torture. Well, actually, al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations are reaping the benefits of torture.

The Bush administration lied about the rational for invading Iraq, then tortured terrorists to acquire proof of a tie between al-Qaida and Iraq (which failed miserably) and now we are faced with this misbegotten horror of a news story.

Some days, I really don't like the human race.

Spade Time

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It's time to call the fighting in Pakistan a civil war, one that's been going on for many decades, and one that George W. Bush managed to put us smack dab in the middle of because of allowing Osama to escape.
Okay, so you believe that the "harsh interrogation methods" are legal. You have people in the Justice Department create memos to support your belief. What reason, then, is necessary for you to destroy memos challenging your belief that "harsh interrogation methods" are legal? Unless, of course, you really do know the "harsh interrogation methods" are illegal.

It's going to happen. A Special Prosecutor will be named.

Rule of Law, Bitches!
Normally, I am not one to jump to any conclusions in regards to a person's, or nation's, intentions. However, considering that North Korea's rocket flew directly over Japan and supposedly failed to place it's payload into orbit, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say they just signaled to the rest of the world they are now a nuclear power.

Do they have enough to go toe to toe with us, or any other country with a left over cold war arsenal? Probably not. In fact, I'd go so far as to say North Korea has assured it's own destruction. If they lob one of their inferior bombs at, say, Pakistan or India, good bye North Korea.

Now, if they pointed one of those bombs at the US, hell we wouldn't even need to use any nuclear weapons in retaliation. A good week of carpet bombing with conventional weapons would be just as effective as a few lobbed nucs. The North Korean government and military is posing, images of grandeur populating their collective imagination in compensation for their lack of true might and completely ignorant of their inability to stand up to the big boys at the moment.

However, that does not mean they will remain impotent. Having possibly developed nuclear weapon capability, and obviously having developed the very real capability of transporting a nuclear weapon, we are going to have to deal with North Korea quickly.

I could go on at this point about the failure of the last administration in preventing North Korea from developing nuclear capability, but that will not change the facts now in place. North Korea has shown itself capable of inflicting severe damage to it's neighbors and disrupting an already unstable global state of affairs. Regardless of how North Korea managed to achieve nuclear weapons capability, we now have to address the issues.

Even more frightening is the real possibility of North Korea setting off World War III. With North Korea stands China. Whether we like it or not, China will have much to say in the manner of how North Korea is dealt. We mishandle China - look out.

The United States once managed to put into place a framework to keep North Korea sedate. Then, with our collective heads shoved up our collective asses, we placed George W. Bush into the Oval Office - twice! We now are facing the real consequences of that insanity. I hope to God we've managed to place a man in the Oval Office capable of rectifying this mess left for him; and us.

Politically Motivated

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Ted Stevens' case was the first to be dealt with because it prevents any cries of partisanship when Holden moves to deal with the cases of politically motivated prosecutions on the part of the Bush Justice Department.
But than, what did you expect from a man who told a Senator to go "fuck yourself."

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Obama administration has endangered Americans and opened the country to further attack by reversing Bush administration anti-terrorism policies such as harsh interrogations of suspects, former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday.
In case anyone is wondering, I think the man is a war criminal and should be handed over to the Hague. But than, I'm a partisan progressive, so I'm biased.

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