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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, April 20-22, 2007


Still Lying, After All These Years

As pointed out by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (Thursday, April 19), Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used the "I can't recall, Senator," excuse (in varying forms) 45 times during the first day of his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And Senate Republicans are looking for Gonzales to resign his top-cop position (maybe they prefer the term "retire", a favorite of the Bushies). A quick resignation by the AG would prompt both House and Senate Republicans to call for an end to the hearings about the firing of eight Bush-appointed federal prosecutors. A Gonzales "take this job and shove it" coupled with the Democratic majority's refusal to "let it go", as the GOP would suggest strongly, would allow the minority to call the democrats "witch-hunters" and "fishing expeditionists".

Watching the body language and verbal posturing of both Senate and House Republicans we can all see it coming. Their hope is a quick, painless resignation followed by either the stoppage of hearings regarding the AG and the firings or a barrage of "The Democrats got what they wanted and now they're just using it to bash us," stuff. Boo-hoo-hoo.

The truth is that this isn't over until everyone testifies. That includes Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and anyone else who had a hand in attempting to besmirch the names these eight non-political GOP appointees who weren't "loyal Bushies". This might, in the end, call for the President and Vice president to testify as well.
There are serious questions to answer, not the least of which is: Why didn't the president merely fire these appointees, without comment, rather than dirty their names? Allow me to answer my own question: because they feel that they can get away with anything. Which brings us to a follow-up question: What ever gave them the idea that they can get away with anything they want? I got the answer for that one, too (Surprise!). Because the "way it used to be" granted them that right.

The former GOP majority (in either or both houses) left the President and his band of Klingon Neo-Con PNAC'ers (or whatever they call themselves today) allowed the president a near-carte-blanche course to do as they saw fit without allowing the people of the United State the benefit of the Congressional right of oversight. But since the election of 2006, where those same Americans began to see All the President's men, including Congress, in a different light, there has been a new Sheriff in town: A Democrat majority.

So just what are the GOP'er saying in the halls of congress today?

''Frankly, I don't think the Democrats are going to be satisfied with the resignation by Al Gonzales,''
-Senator john Cornyn (REPUBLICAN-TX)

They had better not be "satisfied" with Gonzales' resignation, Sen. Cornyn. There are other questions to be answered, especially if you consider Gonzales' faulty memory. What happened to the missing emails from the Republican National Committee? Why was official US government business being done through a private organization's email system rather than through legitimate channels? why did the AG lie before telling some of the truth before his memory disappeared? Who first floated the idea of firing all 93 federally appointed prosecutors and who asked, in the end, "Are you guys nuts?"

And what about asking the people who really know the answers. By trade, I'm a network engineer and information technology manager who builds email servers for a living. If I were a member of the Senate or House Judiciary Committees, I'd want to ask the RNC' IT manager some questions, and here they are:
-What happened to the missing emails?
-What is your organizational backup strategy?
-What is the RNC's disaster recovery plan?
-Where are your backup tapes?
-And, finally, who do you archive your offsite backups with?

Organizations are required to keep their emails for a few years. If any of my customers didn't have a backup, and the government wanted to take a look at what was "accidentally erase", I know that I'd have some questions to answer.

''He has done a fantastic job at the Department of Justice. He is our No. 1 crime fighter. He has done so much to help keep this country safe from terrorists.''
-White House spokesperson Dana Perino

It appears that the White House, ever loyal to those who are loyal to them, are still standing behind the AG. After all, if Gonzales leaves they may have to put someone in that position who will pass the muster of a Democratically controlled Senate, one who might actually hold the nation's best interests over those of the President's.

-Noah Greenberg

Iraq Can't Be Won

"If you mean by clear military victory an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible,"
-Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

-Forwarded by Victoria Brownworth

Gag - (Order) on This

CongressDaily reports, “Pentagon lawyers abruptly blocked mid-level active-duty military officers from speaking Thursday during a closed-door House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee briefing about their personal experiences working with Iraqi security forces.” One correspondent tells Laura Rozen: “My guess: the training is not going well, there are some big gaps, and a bunch of horror stories that the Pentagon doesn’t want aired. … That said, this will backfire.”

When the Pentagon issues a gag order, we are definitely in trouble.

-Forwarded by Victoria Brownworth

In response to Madman's question to GOP presidential candidate Tommy "I Wish I were Jewish so I could Make Lots More Money" Thompson, "Please tell us all how did you get that much money," Dorothy Schwartz writes

As a fellow (but former) Wisconsinite with Tommy Thompson, I want to let you know that money grows on trees in Wisconsin. Or maybe he made his money with cheese.

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-Noah Greenberg