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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Dowd in the Lead

"It requires an exquisite kind of lunacy to spend hundreds of billions destroying America’s reputation in the world, exhausting the U.S. military, failing to catch Osama, enhancing Iran’s power in the Middle East and sending American kids to train and arm Iraqi forces so they can work against American interests."
-Maureen Dowd



-Forwarded by Joe D.

Liar! Liar! Traitor! Traitor!

How many former and present Bush-Cheney lackeys does it take to prove that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is lying, and therefore, a traitor?

Judging by the parade of them coming in to testify in Libby's perjury trial, the world may never know.

Today, it was Judith Miller's turn. Some of you will remember Ms. Miller as the New York Times reporter who went to jail rather than divulge her source for the story. Other will remember her for her non-wavering complicity, which led to her to printing everything which came out of the White House and, more to the point, the Vice President's office, almost verbatim as "news" in "The Paper of Record". In the end, it appeared the real reason Miller didn't want to release her sources was because she appeared to be writing just what they told her to. So much for the "investigative" part of "investigative reporting".

Libby is on trial for perjury and lying to the FBI due to his stating that he heard Valerie Plame's name from reporters. Miller is there, along with others, to say it just wasn't that way. Plame, of course, is the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson, an expert on Africa, was sent by the CIA, without being paid, to Africa to find out if there was any truth to the forged Italian documents that said Saddam Hussein purchased yellow-cake uranium from Niger. There wasn't any truth to it.

Plame, a CIA undercover operative, and her whole Weapons of Mass Destruction program was discontinued after she was outed by the likes of Libby, Reporter Bob Novak, former Under-Secretary of State Dick Armitage and Karl Rove, just to name a few. It will be interesting to hear how many times Libby's former boss, Cheney's name will be mentioned in that courtroom. (At the time of the leak, Libby was Cheney's Chief of Staff.)

Also testifying today was former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. His testimony included the damaging statement that Libby had leaked to him the identity of Plame, calling it "Hush-hush" and "on the Q-T". The meeting happened several days before Libby told the FBI that he learned the name from reporters such as Meet the Press' Tim Russert.

One curious Fleischer statement, and probably the one which led him to ask for immunity, had Fleischer wondering out loud if the news he had just heard from Libby would somehow put him in jeopardy.

"I was absolutely horrified! I thought, 'Oh my God! Did I play a role in outing a CIA officer?'"
-Fleisher to prosecutors

Yes, you did. Ari. and here is how you helped: You didn't come forward right then and there and tell the FBI, the Attorney General, or, it appears, anybody else about your chat with Libby. Had you done just that, perhaps her name wouldn't have been published just a few days later by Novak. And if you did tell someone, such as President Bush, for example, why aren't you coming clean now?

Fleischer's testimony was an echo of Cathie Martin earlier testimony. She was Cheney's spokeswoman, and still is the wife of former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (someone ought to play "friends, all you have to have are friends") . Martin described herself as one of Cheney's "communicators"; a group which could be counted on getting out the VP's words on various issues.

"Ms. Martin described how she and other “communicators” — that is, press officers and other members of the White House communications staff — had been excluded from high-level discussions about how George J. Tenet, then the C.I.A. director, would publicly take responsibility for the “16 words” on Iraq’s quest for uranium. A Harvard Law School graduate, she seemed a bit miffed about the implied humiliation."
-The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/30/washington/30scene.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1170199707-HL/XZSwRtO4Q96owWAKIrw)

“Everybody was sort of in the dark." Libby "told me there had been a decision not to have communicators involved.”

It appears that Libby did find his "communicators" after all.

And surprisingly, Martin stated under oath that she was angry at not being picked by Cheney to be the one to out Plame.

It's just a game to these people. They don't view Americans as people, merely as enablers. They don't picture undercover operatives as an essential part of the war on terror. They're simply pawns to be maneuvered for political and monetary gain (like there's a difference). And they don't view our nation's soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as cannon fodder.

-Noah Greenberg

The Anti-War Rally

The most memorable line at Saturday's peace rally was this:

"Bush is not the decider, he is de-liar.
- Rep. Maxine Waters (DEMOCRAT-CA)

True to form, the corporate fascist media lied about the number of people at the rally implying that it was less than 100,000. In fact, the organizers estimate it was at least 500,000 and may have been up to 600,000.

-Robert Scardapane

The on-the-spot estimate (from persons stationed as counters whom I spoke to) was that the numbers at the beginning of the march were considerably larger than 500,000, maybe double, but obviously some persons had to drop away (like me) for health & transportation reasons. The 300-500,000 number may have been those who could continue to the end of the march.

-Jenny Hanniver

More on Fleeting Freedoms

The anti-gay theocrats are going after divorce in Virginia now

Don't say we didn't warn you. To the theocrats, taking rights away from the homos was the low-hanging fruit. But, their victories over the gays emboldened them. Now, they are coming for the straight people -- and they want to change the rules for divorce. But, let's be realistic. That's just a first step -- a slippery slope. You know they really want to ban divorce:
After its victory in last year's fight over a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Virginia, the Family Foundation of Virginia announced Thursday that it will push to change the state's divorce laws to make it more difficult for parents to end their marriage.

The Family Foundation, which opposes abortion and promotes socially conservative values, said it will lobby the General Assembly this year to amend the state's long-standing no-fault divorce law, which essentially allows a husband or wife to terminate a marriage without cause.

The foundation is advocating "mutual consent divorce" for couples with children, which would require a husband and wife to agree to divorce before a marriage can be legally terminated, except in certain instances, such as abuse or cruelty. The proposed legislation would not affect childless couples.

"Right now, one spouse can unilaterally end [the marriage], and not only is their spouse unable to stop the divorce, their abandonment does not preclude them from having custody of their child," said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation. "When we send a message that one can up and leave their family and have no consequence, the Old Dominion is encouraging divorce."
Gays never had the right to marry. So, they work hard to deny us rights but they aren't taking away anything that we already have. But watch the right wingers start to chip away at the rights of straight people. It's divorce now. But they won't stop there. They're going to go after birth control and anything else having to do with sex.

-Victoria Brownworth with thanks to Joe in D.C.

After All... It's Only (Our) Money

“The Bush administration is expected to announce next week a major step forward in the building of the country’s first new nuclear warhead in nearly two decades,” the New York Times reports. “It will propose combining elements of competing designs from two weapons laboratories in an approach that some experts argue is untested and risky.” The overall bill is “estimated at more than $100 billion.”

-Victoria Brownworth

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-Noah Greenberg