>points< from today’s NYT Editorial:

> Harriet Miers, the White House counsel whom Mr. Bush tried to elevate to the Supreme Court, originally wanted to replace all 93 attorneys with Republican appointees.<

[altho it is said that Clinton and others did this? Not so fast…But in an e-mail to Harriet Miers on Jan. 9, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s chief of staff Kyle Sampson (who resigned yesterday) admitted that the Clinton administration never purged its U.S. attorneys in the middle of their terms, explicitly stating, “In recent memory, during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Presidents Reagan and Clinton did not seek to remove and replace U.S. Attorneys to serve indefinitely under the holdover provision” ]

>Congress should broaden the investigation to determine whether any other prosecutors were forced out for not caving in to political pressure — or kept on because they did. <

>If that sounds cynical, it is. It is also an accurate summary of the governing philosophy of this administration: What’s the point of having power if you don’t use it to get more power?<

Politics, Pure and Cynical  (snips)

 Time and again, President Bush and his team have assured Americans that they needed new powers to prevent another attack by an implacable enemy. Time and again, Americans have discovered that these powers were not being used to make them safer, but in the service of Vice President Dick Cheney’s vision of a presidency so powerful that Congress and the courts are irrelevant, or Karl Rove’s fantasy of a permanent Republican majority.

 In firing the prosecutors and replacing them without Senate approval, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took advantage of a little-noticed provision that the administration and its Republican enablers in Congress had slipped into the 2006 expansion of the Patriot Act. The ostensible purpose was to allow the swift interim replacement of a United States attorney who was, for instance, killed by terrorism.

 Among the documents is e-mail sent to Ms. Miers by Kyle Sampson, Mr. Gonzales’s chief of staff, ranking United States attorneys on factors like “exhibited loyalty.” Small wonder, then that United States Attorney *Carol Lam of San Diego was fired. She had put one Republican congressman, Duke Cunningham, in jail and had opened an inquiry that put others at risk, along with party donors.

…about this Dept. of Justice? Those in favor of Lam writing a tell-all, say aye.

“aye”

Democratic Caucus, U.S. House of Reps:

Washington, D.C. – Retired General and Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley K. Clark today endorsed the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq Accountability Act and issued the following statement:

“House Democrats have offered a responsible approach that protects our Armed Forces, the troops and their families, and encourages both the Iraqis and the Bush Administration to work more effectively to salvage some success in ending what has been a tragically mistaken and failing mission. This conflict must be resolved politically – military efforts alone are insufficient – and this legislation strongly promotes that political solution. This legislation is the product of the kind of responsible legislative leadership that the American people voted for in 2006, and I wholeheartedly support this bill.”

GOP readies opposition to troop bill    (ap)

WASHINGTON – Democratic-backed legislation to withdraw U.S. combat troops from

Iraq cleared its first Senate hurdle Wednesday, but Republicans confidently predicted they would soon defeat it and President Bush backed them up with a veto threat.

The legislation, calling for combat troops to return home over the next 12 months, “would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America’s strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq,” the White House said in a written statement.

The strong veto message underscored the intensifying struggle between the administration and the new Democratic-controlled Congress and came on a day in which the Pentagon conceded in a report that “some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a civil war.”…

…In the House, Democratic leaders said they were building support behind legislation to require the withdrawal of troops by Sept. 1, 2008, if not sooner. That plan faces its first test vote Thursday in the Appropriations Committee, and Democrats circulated a letter of support from retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander who ran for president in 2004.

Damn Shame about Vilsack

February 23, 2007

Wes surely might announce AFTER he stops this administration’s pending airstrikes on IRAN (for those who were about to ask).

I’m fit to be tied that Vilsack won’t make it at least to the Iowa caucuses as ‘favorite son’ with his anti-war message. Impossible to believe that Vilsack wasn’t strong-armed.

As it happens, I guess my furiously dashed off letter to Senator Boxer early this a.m. was timely then?

Senator:

Urgently request that you write legislation which serves constituents over and above your own self-interests. Legislation against conflicting interests on the parts of U.S. representatives, both houses. (Not referring to you personally, Senator Boxer. Altho I must admit, I did find your participation in a joint fund-raiser with Senator Obama in S.F. recently more than a bit distasteful. )

It should be verboten that a duly-elected sitting U.S. Senator or Congressperson be permitted to launch a campaign for higher office while holding a seat to which said “representative” has been duly elected by his constituency; to say nothing of using campaign funds which have been contributed soley for purpose of election or re-election to said legislative office. Double-Double-dipping, Senator. Breach of contract.

Yes, it should be verboten that a duly-elected sitting representative of the people should aspire to a higher office by way of the senatorial or congressional bully-pulpit.

And in the end, sitting senator-wannabes with an eye on the Whitehouse notoriously do not win (and/or keep) the presidency in any case. Haven’t you noticed? There seriously oughta be a law against such hubris, Senator.

Disgusted constituent

And to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee:

No contributions, no boots on the ground for senators-elect. Not until legislation gets passed which makes it illegal (a conflict of interest) for duly-elected-sitting senators and representatives to run for a higher office while serving their terms. Clearly a breach of contract with the constituencies by whom they were elected, their jobs are to legislate in the best interests of ‘we the people’, not to campaign all over the country on our dime in what has now surely become the biggest-bizarrest-freak-show of our times. Let’s just get back to Democracy: Of, by and for the people. Shall we?

Disgusted Democrat

Q: If there’s to be viability outside the beltway (in either party), isn’t it time we made this an issue? 

“…we get the government we deserve”

?…can’t remember who said that. But that’s what we will continue to get. An administration auctioned to the highest bidder for as long as we accept this as inevitable.

So. Why do we even bother? Why not just settle for shallow mediocrity – at best (if we’re lucky).

Americablog, May 11, 2006

US House Republicans suddenly pull cell-phone privacy bill, Rep. Markey thinks Bush spy agency types may have gotten it killed today

Well isn’t this interesting. Remember when I bought General Wesley Clark’s cell phone records for under a $100 in order to prove that anyone’s privacy could be violated?

Well, since that time there have been a number of bills in the House and Senate to address this problem. The House recently passed one bill unanimously, and a second bill was coming up in the House today. But it suddenly disappeared without a word right when the story broke about the Bush administration illegally spying on all of our phone records.

Coincidence? Not according to what Representative Markey may be hearing. He wrote to House Speaker Denny Hastert today asking what happened to the bill:

“With no notice or explanation, H.R. 4943 summarily disappeared from the House floor schedule that day and it has not been seen or heard from since. I am concerned about reports that some intelligence agency or interest had a hand in the bill’s disappearance. . . Is it currently in some legislative ‘Guantanamo Bay’?”

Legislation that no one disagreed with – legislation to protect your cell phone records – suddenly disappears from the House floor on the very day that we find out George Bush is spying on – what? – our phone records!

-snip

Securing America, January 23, 2006

Wes Clark stands with Schumer to endorse bipartisan bill to stop sale of cell phone call logs to protect privacy of millions of cell phone users.

Last Week Chairman Arlen Specter and Sen. Bill Nelson Joined Schumer to Introduce Legislation to Criminalize Practice that Was Successfully Used Against Gen. Wes Clark and Millions of Others.

Thieves Steal and Sell Entire List of Every Call Cell Phone Owner has Made, Private, Business and Personal Relationships Made Public for a Small Fee.

Who your Physician is, Whether you see a Psychologist, Companies you do Business with, Private/Personal Relationships Can all be made Public.

Last week U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer introduced legislation to combat the growing black market of cell phone call logs stolen and sold by criminals. The bipartisan Consumer Telephone Records Protection Act of 2006, was introduced with Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and others and it will criminalize the practice of both stealing and selling these records for cell phone, landline and voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) subscribers. Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 1:15pm Schumer will stand with Gen. Wesley Clark to urge the passage of this critical bill. Gen. Clark’s personal cell records were purchased online recently. A representative from Verizon Wireless will also participate in the press conference – Verizon and Cingular have both endorsed the Schumer-Specter-Nelson bill.

DATE: TUESDAY, January 24, 2006
TIME: 1:15 p.m.
PLACE: 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building
WHO: Senator Schumer, Gen. Wesley Clark, and a representative from Verizon Wireless
Location: 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building