Today's Note From a Madman
Monday, July 25, 2005
Bush's Expanding Roadtrip
So who do you think "G"lobal "W"arming Bush took with him in an attempt to sell America's elderly on the Medicare Prescription Drug card (the one that costs them more than if GW allowed Medicare to negotiate prices), and try to kill Social Security? If you guessed his mommy, and former first lady, Barbara Bush, you guessed right.
(Funny how George H.W. Bush seems to want to have nothing to do with "Junior." Maybe it's the other way around. As a "right-wing" reader of Madman pointed out to me once, "It couldn't have been easy being the son og George W.W. Bush." And here I thought that was the only reason that George W. Bush ever entered politics in the first place.)
I guess GW ran out of poor people to exploit on his $30,000 a day tour to kill Social Security, so he has to now travel with rich people who never had to worry a day in their lives.
"This is a good deal. If you're a low-income senior, you need to get the form and fill it out. It'll help you a lot."
-GW Bush on his trip with Barbara Bush
If you are an elderly person with $500 per month in prescription drug costs, and you earn more than about $12,000 per year, you will have to pay about $4,000 of your $12,000 to keep yourself healthy. This is not a "good deal" unless you happen to own a pharmaceutical company.
And it's "only" going to cost the US taxpayer half-a-trillion dollars!
Barbara Bush: It will save [seniors] money
GW: And save money, yes. See? That's why she's here - to remind me what to say."
Hey! I thought that was Karl Rove's job! I wonder if Mrs. Bush (41) ever had to worry about "saving money."
"I don't care what the rhetoric is, seniors have nothing to worry about when it comes to Social Security. What you better worry about is whether or not your grandchildren are going to get their checks."
"G"lobal "W"arming Bush doesn't care what the rhetoric is, or what anyone else says, for that matter. Senior citizens might be safe, for now, but the only way to make sure their "grandchildren... get their checks" are to make sure their money isn't at risk.
"I'm here because I'm worried about our 17 grandchildren."
I don't know about any of you, but I found that little statement insulting. Does anyone in their right mind think that if GW has his way, and completes his liquidation of the Social Security Trust Fund, that his twins, and his nieces and nephews will have any problems financially with their futures? It just goes to show you how truly out-of-touch the Bushes and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party really are.
I know that this was "Babbs" attempt at humor, but some of US don't see the humor in the fleecing of our future.
Ask yoursleves one question:
Which is more important? A Blue Dress or the lives of our covert CIA operatives? The "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party think the former.
John McCain Waffles on Rove
For those who say McCain is a maverick ... forget about it, he is towing the party line as he positions to run for Pres. in 2008:
McCain is thought to be as honest as they come. He doesn't tote the party line. He's an independent thinker and the extreme religious right hates him. John even railed President Bush for attacking his family during the 2000 South Carolina primary and told the Prez that he should be embarrassed. Last night on Hard Ball, he caved like a cheap suit on the issue of Rove-gate. He stuck to the Ken Mehlman defense.
Matthews asked the proper question and tried to get him to give a basic right or wrong opinion.
MATTHEWS: I want to know what your ethical standard would be here if it is shown that somebody in the White House, the vice president's staff or somebody on the president's staff, whoever they are, intentionally leaked an undercover agent's identity as a way of either just pushing them back or punishing them, whatever the motive. Do you think the standard should be, did they break a criminal act or not?
MCCAIN: I don't know, because it depends onólook, I can't be the president of the United States. I trust this president. I believe that he will do the right thing.
And, right now, the status of this situation is, is that Karl Rove still publicly denies that he did leak this name, OK. And I believe he has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. And, again, as we said earlier in our conversation, he was trying to refute allegations that Ambassador Wilson made that turned out not to be true. And he knew they were not true. Well, I'm talking about Karl Rove knew they were not true.
Notice he didn't answer the question. Matthews wasn't asking about the President or the current status of the case. He asked him for an opinion. McCain brought it back to Wilson. The question is an easy one to answer. With McCain flopping around you have to figure that the entire GOP is worried about the direction and outcome of the investigation.
Here's the question that no one's asking (except Madman, of course): Why doesn't President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush just ask Karl "The Traitor" Rove , Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney and his man, "Scooter" Libby what they did; then let all of them stand in front of cameras and explain themselves; then the president can pardon Rove and Libby, Cheney could resign and GW can get on with the job of attempting to "fix" all he has "broken" with his earlier "fixes." -NG
House Of Cards
MSNBC is reporting that Ari Fleischer and John Bolton may be involved in the CIA Leak scandal. As laid out in a very good on-air report for Hardball...
A witness who testified at the grand jury and lawyers for other witnesses say the memo was written in July of 2003, identified Valerie Wilson, also known as Valerie Plame, as a CIA officer, and cited her in a paragraph marked S for sensitive. According to lawyers, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and undersecretaries, including John Bolton, gave testimony about this memo. And a lawyer for one State Department official says his client testified that, as President Bush was flying to Africa on Air Force One two years ago, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer could be seen reading the document on board.
The timing is significant, because the president's trip on July 7 was one day after Ambassador Joe Wilson's column was published criticizing the administration. In other words, on July 6, Wilson's column comes out. On July 7, the State Department memo about Wilson's wife is seen on Air Force One. And, on July 8, Karl Rove had a conversation with columnist Robert Novak, but says it was Novak who told him about Valerie Plame, not the other way around.
Rove also says he never saw the State Department memo until prosecutors showed it to him. Six days later, on July 14, 2003, Novak published the now infamous column that publicly identified Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife, as a CIA operative.
Grand jury witnesses say a call record kept by Ari Fleischer shows Novak placed a call to him during this period. And lawyers for several witnesses say their clients were questioned by investigators about Fleischer's conversations. Fleischer, however, did not have the power to be a decision-maker in the administration. And White House observers point out, he wouldn't have likely taken it upon himself to disseminate the State Department memo. In any case, Fleischer and his lawyer have declined to comment.
As far as Karl Rove is concerned, a recent line of questioning about him suggests the grand jury may be pursuing issues related to possible inconsistencies. For weeks, Karl Rove's lawyer has been saying the now deputy White House chief of staff testified his 2003 conversation with "TIME" magazine reporter Matt Cooper was about welfare reform and, only at the end of that discussion, did Rove talk about anything else.
Matt Cooper recalls leaving Karl Rove a message about welfare reform. But Cooper testified that, when he and Karl Rove spoke, Joe Wilson was the only topic of conversation. Cooper says this contradiction with Rove, combined with his testimony that Rove told him about the Wilson's CIA wife, prompted a flurry of grand jury questions. And Cooper told NBC's Tim Russert the grand jurors themselves played an active role.
Rush Holt and the "Unofficial" Hearings on the CIA Leaks
Today, I participated in an unofficial Senate hearing regarding the disclosure of Valerie Plame as a covert employee of the CIA. As you know, Karl Rove has been implicated in this disclosure. A great deal of media attention has been paid to whether Rove has broken a law. But the issue is both broader and deeper than Karl Rove's legal guilt.
Gathering intelligence from foreign sources is a critically important job. We depend on our spies to prevent war, save lives, and gain advantage on our enemies. Disclosing the identities of our undercover agents jeopardizes their lives, destroys their effectiveness, and puts all of their foreign sources at risk. The disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity was gratuitous partisan retribution, *yet it endangers American agents and threatens our national security*.
As a member of the House Committee on Intelligence, I have been trying to get my colleagues in Congress to address this issue. It involves Karl Rove, yes. But it is more than that. Congress must investigate what happened, how it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. To that end, *I have introduced a resolution requiring that the Bush Administration turn over to Congress any information relevant to the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. If the Administration refuses to protect the safety of our intelligence officers, Congress
must act*. To read more about the resolution that I introduced, please click here <http://rushholt.com/archives/2005/07/rush_holt_helps.html>.
What happened to Ms. Plame is an abhorrent betrayal of trust. We must protect every one of America's clandestine intelligence officers - people who put their lives on the line for us. We owe it to them to ensure that their identity is protected.
-Rush Holt, in a reply to Eddie Konczal
Dumb and Dangerously False Quotes
The Republicans can't stop making 'stuff' (word changed by RJS) up when it comes to the unconscionable outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame:
"And I must say from a common sense standpoint, driving back and forth to work to the CIA headquarters, I don't know if that really qualifies as being, you know, covert."
-Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), on CNN Late Edition, 7/24/05
"There are thousands of undercover CIA employees who drive through the three gates at CIA Headquarters in McLean, Virginia everyday. "
-Former CIA intelligence official Larry Johnson, at TPM Cafe, 7/24/05
Pat Roberts is Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, so he certainly can't claim justifiable ignorance. All the dissembling and spin in the world can't derail Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation, and yet these inveterate liars just still can't help themselves.
"First, Republicans tried to defend Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby by saying that Valerie Plame wasn't a covert agent, so revealing her identity wasn't a crime. But now that it's clear Plame was a covert agent, Republicans are trying a new tactic: saying she shouldn't have been covert.
"And they're using your tax dollars and the power of the Congress to do it. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he will hold hearings to investigate the use of covert status by the CIA.
"This just shows how desperate Republicans are getting. Roberts' hearings are a last-ditch effort to minimize the important of the leak. But it is more clear now than ever before that the leak of Valerie Plame's identity to reporters was a serious breach of security, and it's time for President Bush to do something about it."
When are the Republicans going to stop this smear campaign! They are merely putting up a smokescreen to protect people who broke the law. Given the frantic rhetoric of the Republican Party, I now suspect that both the President and Vice President were aware of this scheme a long time ago. This is smelling more like a Watergate style cover-up each passing day.
-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane
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