Bush Thanks McCain for GI Bill they both Opposed?

File this under WTF. A more brazen black-is-white, war-is-peace moment I don't think I've ever seen!

It's unreal they think they can get away with this. Both McCain and Bush vigorously opposed the GI Bill, and now Bush is taking credit for himself and giving some of it to McCain? Absolutely through-the-looking-glass unreal!

McCain can be forgiven for forgetting that he had opposed the bill - his memory is always forgiven by our presscorps. But what excuse does Bush have?

As funny as that is, we know the real answer. Bush knows that the Press sees its job as playing stenographer for the culture's "newsmakers." Bush said it, so it gets repeated. If it gets repeated often enough without coordinated pushback from Democrats, the media and the American people figure it must be true. At no point is it journalist's job to adjudicate a statement's truthfulness - that would be liberal, after all. Of course, Democrats are not good at coordinated anything - much less coordinated messaging - so the Republicans successfully manipulate the media, and thereby become the win election after election. Let's see how it goes this time.


My VP Pick: Colin Powell

A Vice President typically fulfills one of three important roles in the campaign. First, they can be the campaign's attack-dog, giving a high profile to attacks the candidate cannot utter himself. Second, they can deliver a critical state or group. Finally, they can confer credentials in a particular area.

While it's no secret that Joe Biden, that wonderful curmudgeon, has always been my favorite pick for attack-dog VP. For Obama, however, there is a powerful choice who is signaling his availability.

Colin Powell will further solidify Obama's transpartisan appeal, and he is military-experience personified. That checks boxes 2 and 3 nicely. With Powell, who has signalled that he is strongly considering supporting Obama, we can turn this into the landslide we all want to see.

This will require explanation of the lie-filled UN presentation, of course. Distancing himself from Bush is a must. But Powell could easily say that certain discussions are still covered by executive privilege, but that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be a good idea.

Despite the slight danger in further pissing off the Left, this is a clear winner. Do it, Obama!

The Jerusalem Not-Flop

In a speech to AIPAC, Obama included Jerusalem must remain undivided. It was an excellent speech, as always, with specifics throughout amplifying the effect of the rhetoric:

He basically says the same thing here (youtube), way back in April.

Some think this means that Obama was dictating that in order for there to be any peace, Jerusalem must remain undivided. I'm surprised I have to point this out, but the President of the United States is not a party to the negotiations which will resolve such issues. That's between the Israelis and Palestinians. We may act as a mediator, lubricating the flow of events, but the views of our President don't determine the possible actions of soveriegn nations when deciding internal issues.

Once again, this may be explained by the fact that the Republicans have been living in a reality that they themselves create for so long. This works very well for embedding loyalty into your followers, but when the real world starts butting up against their constructed reality, they are at a disadvantage... and wars are started as a result. A small price to pay.

In this particular case, the Republicans have been playing games with the word "sovereignty" for so long that they have forgotten what it means. Iraq has an army of occupation on its streets. It is not sovereign. The parties to the Israeli Peace Talks, however, must be sovereign if they are to have any chance at success. If they are truly sovereign entities, then our President can take his personal views and go hang.

For the record, here is Obama's so-called flip-flop:

"Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties" as part of "an agreement that they both can live with."

"Two principles should apply to any outcome," which the adviser gave as: "Jerusalem remains Israel's capital and it's not going to be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967."

Judge for yourself.


McCain's Breaking His Own Freaking Law!

Just remember, the media thinks McCain can do no wrong:
David Plouffe brought a prop to his briefing with reporter: a copy of John McCain's signature on a state election document in which he attested that he'd be taking public financing.

"John McCain is spending tens of millions of dollars, we believe, unlawfully,' he said, waving the document.

The details of the argument over whether McCain used an acceptable or unacceptable loophole to secure a loan with the possibility of public financing is now before a court in a DNC lawsuit and subject to the FEC's consideration.

"John McCain signed his name, 'John McCain," Ploufe said. "He got on the ballot attesting he would be in the primary system."

He is breaking his own law, plain and simple.
Update: Marshall's take on this is excellent:
I mentioned earlier today that it was quite a thing to see John McCain denouncing Barack Obama for breaking his word on public financing when McCain himself is at this moment breaking the law in continuing to spend over the spending limits he promised to abide by through the primary season in exchange for public financing. (By the FEC's rules, we're still in the primary phase of the election and will be until the conventions.)

I want to return to this subject though because this is not hyperbole or some throw away line. He's really doing it. McCain opting into public financing, accepted the spending limits and then profited from that opt-in by securing a campaign saving loan. And then he used some clever, but not clever enough lawyering, to opt back out. And the person charged with saying what flies and what doesn't -- the Republican head of the FEC -- said he's not allowed to do that. He can't opt out unilaterally unless the FEC says he can.

The most generous interpretation of what happened is that McCain's lawyer came up with an ingenious legal two step that allowed him to double dip in the campaign finance system, eat his cake and spend it too. But even if you buy that line, successful gaming of the system doesn't really count as strict adherence. And the point is irrelevant since the head of the FEC -- a Republican -- says McCain cannot do this on his own.

Like everything that has to do with campaign finance, the details are a little ... well, detailed. But they're worth understanding. Last February in this episode of TPMtv, we explained just how McCain cheated the campaign finance laws ...

McCain Strenuously Disagrees with McCain

Wow. H/t Talking Points Memo.
This is a live one. John McCain said he strenuously disagrees with top adviser Charlie Black's comment that a terror attack on U.S. soil would help McCain's campaign -- but more evidence has just emerged that McCain does believe this, or a variation of it, anyway.

The latest? Back in 2004, as McCain was stumping in Connecticut on behalf of GOP Rep. Chris Shays, McCain said flatly that the recent release of an Osama Bin Laden tape had likely given the GOP a "little boost."

This is courtesy of The Hour, a daily paper in Norwalk, Connecticut, in November of that year (also verified in Nexis)...

But as McCain greets two breakfast-eating business partners, one from Stamford and the other from Bridgeport, the topic turns to the presidential race. The two men tell the senator they support President George W. Bush, and to that end, McCain says, "(Osama) Bin Laden may have just given us a little boost. Amazing, huh?"....

The two men, who requested anonymity, nod their heads in agreement. Later, while riding with Shays on an RV to a rally at the Stamford Government Center, McCain further explains, "(The video) is helpful to President Bush because it puts the focus on the war on terrorism."

The reference was to a tape of Bin Laden that had emerged a few days earlier. The McCain camp didn't immediately return an email.

Of course, it's perfectly possible that McCain believed that the specter of another terror attack on the U.S. helped the GOP back in 2004, and no longer believes that it would. But clearly, in the past a little light bulb has gone off over McCain's head and he's had the thought that the possibility of an attack would help Republicans. The thought isn't exactly foreign to him.

Black also said that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto had also helped McCain, something the McCain camp also disavowed. But back in December, when the assassination happened, he said it could "serve to enhance" his "credentials."

The point, again, is that McCain does believe, or has believed, what Black said, even if he's now saying he doesn't. After all, he told us so himself -- twice!
Maybe McCain just forgot again.

McCain Admits his Policies will not Help You

Kos on McCain's Oil-price plans:

He's proposing things he knows won't make a difference, then admits it:

At a town hall in Fresno, CA, McCain admitted that the offshore drilling proposal he unveiled last week would probably have mostly "psychological" benefits, NBC/NJ’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy notes. "Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial."

In other words, "It won't do shit for you, but it'll make you feel like something is being done." That's not beneficial. In fact, it's the exact opposite of beneficial.

This isn't quite right, of course. McCain's policies will have more than just psychological benefits. A few Texas oilmen will get even richer. Thank god! They've had it rough.


Obama and Public Financing

So, McCain is calling Obama a hypocrite and flip-flopper over his decision to forgo public financing this election. They're saying that he "broke his word to the American people"... but what word did Obama actually give?
If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.
Over and over, in every example I see cited, those are his actual words. Now, I've been led to believe by Rush Limbaugh that Words Mean Things. What Obama did not say is "I will take public financing." He said he would take public financing if an agreement could be reached. But McCain has given the green light to the Republican 527s - unaccountable organizations tailor-made for the Republican's brand of smear-and-fear based politics. Therefore, an agreement could not be reached. No words have been broken in this process.

Instead, this shines a light on the Republican's eagerness for a side-show driven election, where attacks come from outside groups and therefore the Maverick can appear above the fray. Why not shutter the 527s, as Obama has impressively done with MoveOn, and have an election driven by the candidates and what they themselves inject into it?

Why not? Because then the Republicans would have to talk about issues, and on the issues they fail epically. Let's get a little list of those failures from John Cole, my favorite ex-Republican:

The New York Times: Bush May End Term With Iran Issue Unsettled

No shit.

And Iraq
And Afghanistan
And gas prices
And food prices
And the economy
And the housing crisis
And our descimated military
And the debt
And emergency management
And healthcare
And North Korea
And Palestine/Israel
And the environment
And the trade deficit
And keeping religion out of government
And our relationships with Europe and the rest of the world
And human rights
And education
And the war on drugs
And food and drug safety
And cronyism
And the dollar
And the Supreme Court
And Medicare Part D. (I forgot about that one.)

The Republicans cannot allow this election to be about the issues, or they'll lose in an unequaled landslide. So they must make the election about being afraid of Obama personally, for a slew of reasons, not the least of which will be that he is Black. How will they do that? With the 527s. In order for Obama to "keep his word," in their eyes, he has to agree to this kind of campaign. Instead, he refused. Our election and nation will be better for it.



Being sold at the Texas Republican Convention:

But remember, it's the Democrats that are the racists, since Senator Byrd was a KKK member 200 years ago, when the world was young.


McCain Hates Youtube

McCain vs McCain on Bush.

Ouch. No third term here... move along.

Boortz Call Notes - Impeachment

I was able to get almost all of this on the air:

I had an idea over the weekend that's just a doozy, Uncle Neal. Not only will it defend our constitution from what George Will - my favorite conservative voice - called Monarchical Powers! The powers of a King! The most unAmerican thing you can imagine! Not only will it defend our constitution, but it presents the only path to victory I can see for the Republicans. That path is having the Republicans impeach President Bush.

Now Neal, I know what you're thinking, and I just urge you to give this some serious thought. This is a crossroads for our constitution. Love it and take advantage of your podium.
  1. Mr. 25% is hated around the country - repudiation of him would help you IMMENSELY
  2. You actually put principle above Party for once
  3. Defend the Constitution
  4. Hilary would hate it - Pelosi the first female president.
What to impeach for:
  1. Lying to the people about the Iraq War - he said things that were contradicted by intelligence. CIA told him the sources were untrustworthy - Newsweek on June 11th
  2. Commissioning felonies - FISA - admitted to this on the White House Lawn
  3. Ignoring Habeas Corpus - an 800 year tradition -Al Marri - AP, May 24
  4. Obstructing Justice - pardoning someone to keep them from talking - selective leaking of classified NIE -> Valerie Plame (proven covert Mar 16th, 2007)
George Will, always my favorite voice out there, called these powers Monarchical! The powers of a King!


Missiles or Geese?

There seems to be an organized pushback on this:

The DoD says those are geese, because we don't have cruise missiles that can fly in formation. At least, we don't have declassified cruise missiles that can fly in formation.

They say that the apparent high-speed flight is just an optical illusion created by a huge difference in relative velocities. But look at the first couple of seconds of film? When the camera isn't panning, the ground is not moving that fast. When they zoom in and start following the "geese," you can easily correct for the initial ground-pan caused by the flight of the AC-130. Those are some damned fast geese.

Furthermore, Geese don't fly in V's just cuz it's stylish. Each bird flies slightly above the one in front of it, reducing wind resistance. This is an early evolutionary adaption, since all migratory birds share the trait. These "geese" are flying abreast.

Finally, there are an awful lot of "individuals" chiming in on the weapons-systems blogs saying emphatically that these are birds. The likely explanation for all of these curiosities seems like a coordinated push-back to me.


McCain Loved the Estate Tax

McCain was for the Estate Tax (also known as the death-tax) before he was against it:

“In his 1906 State of the Union Address, President Theodore Roosevelt proposed the creation of a federal inheritance tax . Roosevelt explained: ‘The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government.’ Additionally, in a 1907 speech he said: ‘Most great civilized countries have an income tax and an inheritance tax. In my judgment both should be part of our system of federal taxation.’ He noted, however, that such taxation should ‘be aimed merely at the inheritance or transmission in their entirety of those fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits.’

“I agree with President Roosevelt, and I remain opposed to full repeal of the estate tax.”

Guess what his position is now? Once again, I much prefer 2000-McCain to 2008-McCain.


Sovereignty? Wuh?
AMMAN, Jordan - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says talks with the United States on a longterm security agreement have reached a "dead end." Al-Maliki says the talks slumped because each side refused the other's demands.

He says the initial framework agreed upon was to have been an accord "between two completely sovereign states." But he says the U.S. proposals "do not take into consideration Iraq's sovereignty."
Furthermore, we retain the right to determine what is an "act of aggression" against Iraq, so we can have a Congress-free path to war with Iran:
Other conditions sought by the U.S. include control over Iraqi airspace up to 30,000 feet and immunity from prosecution for U.S. troops and private military contractors. The agreement would run indefinitely but be subject to cancellation upon two years of notice from either side, lawmakers said.

"It would impair Iraqi sovereignty," said Ali al-Adeeb, a leading member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party. "The Americans insist so far that it is they who define what is an aggression on Iraq and what is democracy inside Iraq ... if we come under aggression we should define it, and we ask for help," al-Adeeb said.

Our level of respect for Iraqi sovereignty has been an open question. I guess we have a final answer.



Another racist attack on Obama.

There you go. Beautiful.

Obama wants to pop a cap in divisiveness' ass! He don't love them hos! He's going to be selling crack outta the White House!

Olmert the Oil Speculator

As far as I can find, he hasn't been repudiated by the Israeli government for this comment:
"If Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective," Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
And oil spikes. It had been down to $125ish, but with that little splash it spiked to $138.

By depressing contrast, when Saudi Arabia proposed pumping another 500,000 bpd, the market yawned. This is something to keep in mind while the Republicans are pushing to make us "energy independent" by pumping another 300,000 bpd from the Coastal Shelf.

McCain Forgetful or Something Else?

McCain's episodes of forgetfulness keep occurring at a regular rate :

1: Putin President of Germany:

2: Had forgotten he had said he wasn't an expert on the economy:

3: Thought he had walked freely through a Bagdhad market without body armor, while, in fact, he looked like this and was surrounded by hundreds of American Soldiers and three Apaches:

4: Thought Petraeus had told him that he went around Baghdad in an unarmored Humvee. (There's video for this, too, and for just about all these other screw-ups, but that would result in the longest post ever, so I'll refrain. YouTube has ample documentation of all this stuff.)

5: Denied strongly that he had criticized the media in his Cottage Cheese/Lime Jello Speech, and in fact that he had personally struck out that particular line - when he had, in fact, delivered that line. Forgetful? Or something else?

6: Saying he had voted for every Katrina investigation, when he had voted against 2 of them for sure, and more if you look at amendments.

7: He thought we were back down to pre-Surge troop levels, when we aren't even close. And McCain says Obama isn't in touch with the military.

8: He thinks Iran, a Shiite country, is training and arming Al Qaeda, a Sunni group. He was corrected by Lieberman, then got Sunni and Shiite confused again the next day.

9: He said the Sunni and Shiite didn't have a long history of violence against each other.

10: He said he didn't think we could stay in Iraq indefinitely because of the nature of the culture over there. An occupation is untenable - that we would always have casualties. Now he says we could be there for 100 years without human cost.

11: He's been confused about Gen Petraeus' chain of command. Petraeus only makes decisions about Iraq, not the entire Theater.

12: Proposes a Cap-and-Trade system, but doesn't understand that there is a cap involved.
It's not quote mandatory caps. It's cap-and-trade, OK. It's not mandatory caps to start with. It's cap-and-trade. That's very different. OK, because that's a gradual reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. So please portray it as cap-and-trade. That's the way I call it.
What is the most generous interpretation of these events? That he's very forgetful.

Another Devastating Youtube Video

Oh, man. Talk about a man of the 20th Century. He's just not ready for prime time in the information age. This video was made by a Ron Paul supporter. Good for them.

Obama's Accomplishments

Some people say Obama has no accomplishments to point to. Well, take a look at this. Ripped in it's entirety from Droogie:

The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act
Introduced by Sen. John McCain in May 2005, and cosponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy. Barack Obama added three amendments to this bill.

While the bill was never voted on in the Senate, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Acts of 2006 and 2007, respectively, drew heavily upon the wording of this bill.

The Lugar-Obama Cooperative Threat Reduction.
Introduced by Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Tom Coburn.

First introduced in November 2005 and enacted in 2007, this bill expanded upon the successful Nunn-Lugar threat reduction, which helped secure weapons of mass destruction and related infrastructure in former Soviet Union states.

Lugar-Obama expanded this nonproliferation program to conventional weapons -- including shoulder-fired rockets and land mines. When the bill received $48 million in funding, Obama said, "This funding will further strengthen our ability to detect and intercept illegal shipments of weapons and materials of mass destruction, enhancing efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism."

Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
This act of Congress, introduced by Senators Obama and Coburn, required the full disclosure of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds in FY2007.

Despite a "secret hold" on this bill by Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd, the act passed into law and was signed by President Bush. The act had 43 cosponsors, including John McCain.

The act created this Web site, which provides citizens with valuable information about government-funded programs.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act

This law helped specify US policy toward the Congo, and states that the US should work with other donor nations to increase international contributions to the African nation.

The bill marked the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor. Following this legislation's passage, Obama toured Africa, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. He spoke forcefully against ethnic rivalries and political corruption in Kenya.

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act
In the first month of the 110th Congress, Obama worked with Sen. Russ Feingold to pass this law, which amends and strengthens the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

Specifically, the changes made by Obama and Feingold requires public disclosure of lobbying activity and funding, places more restrictions on gifts for members of Congress and their staff, and provides for mandatory disclosure of earmarks in expenditure bills.

The House passed the bill, 411-8, on July 31. The Senate approved it, 83-14, on Aug. 2. At the time, Obama called it "the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate."

Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act

Following the Republican-sponsored voter intimidation tactics seen in mostly black counties in Maryland during the 2006 midterm elections, Obama worked with Sen. Chuck Schumer to introduce this bill.

The bill has been referred to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Obama said of the bill, "This legislation would ensure that for the first time, these incidents are fully investigated and that those found guilty are punished."

The Obama-McCain Climate Change Reduction Bill

The Obama-McCain bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., would cut emissions by two-thirds by 2050.

Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

Introduced by Obama, this binding act would stop the planned troop increase of 21,500 in Iraq, and would also begin a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq with the goal of removing all combat forces by March 31, 2008.

Explaining the bill, Obama said it reflects his view that the problems in Iraq do not have a military solution. "Our troops have performed brilliantly in Iraq, but no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else's civil war," Obama said.

Amendments to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill

Obama worked with Sen. Kit Bond to limit, through this bill, the Pentagon’s use of personality disorder discharges in the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill.

This provision would add additional safeguards to discharge procedures and require a thorough review by the Government Accountability Office. This followed news reports that the Pentagon inappropriately used these procedures to discharge service members with service-connected psychological injuries.

"With thousands of American service members suffering day in and day out from the less visible wounds of war, reports that the Pentagon has improperly diagnosed and discharged service members with personality disorders are deeply disturbing," said Senator Obama. "This provision will add additional safeguards to the Department of Defense’s use of this discharge and mandate a comprehensive review of these policies."

The Comprehensive Nuclear Threat Reduction provision

Working with Sen. Hagel and Rep. Adam Schiff, Obama authored this provision, which would require the president to develop a comprehensive plan for ensuring that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material at vulnerable sites around the world are secure by 2012 from the threats that terrorists have shown they can pose.

A provision from the Obama-Hagel bill was passed by Congress in December 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill.

"It is imperative that we build and sustain a truly global effort under an aggressive timeline to secure, consolidate, and reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material to keep them out of the wrong hands. The comprehensive nuclear threat reduction plan required by this provision is an important step in that effort," Obama said of the provision.

Editor, again: So there.

Fox News gets everything wrong

Fox News is saying that protesters for the Democratic Convention are preparing to have the Brown Note Generator used against them.

Of course, this will be difficult because such a weapon does not exist. In fact, such a "note" does not exist. The Mythbusters busted the hell outta that one. Once again, Fox News couldn't be bothered to do 3 minutes of Googling before putting it's crap on the air.

Naive Bush Administration

Once again, we've "invaded" Pakistan with our bombs. Doesn't Bush know that it's reckless and naive to invade our ally or talk with our enemies?
Pakistani army says US-led coalition airstrike killed 11 Pakistani border troops

AP News

Jun 11, 2008 06:32 EST

U.S.-led coalition forces along the volatile Afghan border launched an airstrike that killed 11 Pakistani paramilitary troops, Pakistan's army said Wednesday. The military condemned it as an act of aggression that "hit at the very basis of cooperation" in the war on terrorism.

By criticizing actions like this when Obama advocates them McCain is saying that President Bush is too far to the left on foreign policy. That dirty hippie, George W. Bush. As Pat Buchanan - conservative lion - stated so eloquently (video), McCain's foreign policy “will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”

Complex Evolution Demonstrated in Lab

The Creationist's last available attack on Evolution is that there are chemical processes in our cellular metabolism that are "irreducibly complex" - that they could not have come about by a collection of random, naturally selected mutations. Well, let's see how they deal with this doozy:

A major evolutionary innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers' eyes. It's the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait.

And because the species in question is a bacterium, scientists have been able to replay history to show how this evolutionary novelty grew from the accumulation of unpredictable, chance events.

Twenty years ago, evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski of Michigan State University in East Lansing, US, took a single Escherichia coli bacterium and used its descendants to found 12 laboratory populations.

The 12 have been growing ever since, gradually accumulating mutations and evolving for more than 44,000 generations, while Lenski watches what happens.

The short story is that one of E.Coli's distinguishing traits is it's inability to metabolise Citrate, which has a very different molecular structure than E.Coli's primary food. After around 31,000 generations, all of a sudden this E.Coli started eating Citrate! With the frozen genetic samples, the researchers are able to go back in a frame-by-frame manner, and watch the mutations accumulate into this novel masterpiece.

So, there we have it. Genuinely new complexity from naturally selected random change! Woooo! Go Science!


McCain is Another Extra-Constitutional President

McCain's position on Presidential Power has gone from Maverick-ey to 3rd-Term-Bush-ey, just like everything else.

December 20, 2007:
"1. Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?

McCain: There are some areas where the statutes don't apply, such as in the surveillance of overseas communications. Where they do apply, however, I think that presidents have the obligation to obey and enforce laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, no matter what the situation is.

Okay, so is that a no, in other words, federal statute trumps inherent power in that case, warrantless surveillance?

McCain: I don't think the president has the right to disobey any law."


"A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush's program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.

In a letter posted online by National Review this week, the adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said Mr. McCain believed that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a 1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance."

Cribbed from Washington Monthly.

Phase 2

Telling us something that you knew already if you were paying attention, we have finally have the Phase 2 Investigation into the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Phase 1 of the investigation was into the flaws in intelligence, whereas Phase 2 is the inquiry into how the public case for war was made by the Administration.

It is damning:
  • Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa'ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa'ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
  • Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
  • Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
  • Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq's chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community's uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
  • The Secretary of Defense's statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
  • The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.
They swore to threats that were contradicted by available intelligence. That's called lying. The White House push back that this contradictory intelligence never made it to the president runs afoul of their often-cited theory of the Unitary Executive. If someone in the executive branch new it, then the Executive knew it, and they are accountable.


The GI Bill

Bush and McCain say the new GI bill will hurt retention in a time of war, and therefore is not something they support. He says this despite the fact that this bill was written by Senator Warner and Senator Webb (Reagan's Secretary of the Navy), and they have explicitly addressed retention issues. The Daily Show nails it:


The Why of Bush's War

It has been said that President Bush thought being viewed as a wartime president was key to securing a successful presidency and avoiding the one-term embarrassment that his father endured. This has been one of the possible "real reasons" for the Iraq War, and now we hear it from a loyalist. McClellan:
Every president wants to achieve greatness but few do. As I have heard Bush say, only a wartime president is likely to achieve greatness, in part because the epochal upheavals of war provide the opportunity for the transformative change of the kind Bush hoped to achieve. In Iraq, Bush saw his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness.
What we've been saying all along. We were right.

Bush admits to Engel that going to war was a decision based on his personal instinct and not on any long-range strategy for the Mideast:

“I know people are saying we should have left things the way they were, but I changed after 9/11. I had to act. I don’t care if it created more enemies. I had to act.”
Yup. "I don't care if it created more enemies. " I'd rather do something, even if it's bad for America, than look like I didn't do anything. That's the kind of leadership we want from our President! Hell, it isn't even strategic myopia. It's the complete unawareness that a thing called Strategy even exists.

Let us never again elect a simpleton to this job.