Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

outraged...and really upset

by whataboutbob Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 03:55:47 AM EST

Funny about life in Europe, but I didn't find out about Bush commuting Libby's 33 month prison sentence until this morning (Posted Tuesday 3 July). And this news really, really upsets me...and scares the shit out of me too.

Basically, what Bush has done is blatant obstruction of justice. By commuting Libby's prison term, but leaving the felony account there, Libby is still under prosecution and thus can utilize the 5th amendment in order not to say anything that will incriminate himself (or Bush or Cheney).

And what is Congress going to do about this? I see this situation in the same light as Nixon and Watergate, the "Saturday Night Massacre" - this is as serious a crisis in the US government as can happen. If this isn't an excuse of starting the impeachment process, so a real investigation of the law-breaking administration can occur, I don't know what is.

I'm completely upset about this...I can't even coherently say how outrageous and in-your-face blatant this act is. The President is saying he is above the law. Will anyone stop him here? And if not here, what does he do next? This is a coup of the rule of law...

wow...this is truly awful...and incredibly scary...

Brought across by afew


Display:
Just to be clear, under the direction of Cheney, Libby consciously leaked the name of a CIA spy, then lying and committing perjury to the FBI and a Grand Jury to obstruct Justice of the original felony. All of these are serious felonies. You and i would be in prison for a long time on any of these charges. The only pressure the prosecutor had on Libby was the fact that he was going to be n prison... maybe he would have started giving more information about Cheney, to lessen his sentence. Doesn't have to now.

Rule of Law? Wake up America...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 07:54:01 AM EST
Bush has accomplished one thing that most people would have flatly denied was possible just a decade ago: He makes Nixon look good by comparison.

That said, I was under the impression that the actual leak was done by Rove, not Libby - Libby's role was, as I heard the story told, to throw enough sand in the machinery to allow Rove to escape.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 08:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sen. Reid's statement (link):

"The President's decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is disgraceful.  Libby's conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War.  Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone.  Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter of national security.  The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President's Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law."

And Speaker Pelosi responds:

The President's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people.
The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed. He has abandoned all sense of fairness when it comes to justice, he has failed to uphold the rule of law, and he has failed to hold his Administration accountable.

Democratic Party Chairman Dean's statement:

"Once again President Bush and the GOP have undermined a core American value: equal justice under the law for every American. By commuting this sentence, President Bush is sending a clear message that the rules don't apply to the Bush White House or loyal Republican cronies. After promising that anyone who violated the law would be 'taken care of,' President Bush instead handed Scooter Libby a get out of jail free card. Though Libby was convicted by a jury of lying about a matter of national security, President Bush is sparing him the consequences ordinary Americans would face. This conviction was the first moment of justice in a Bush Administration void of accountability. It's a sad day for America when the President once again puts protecting his friends ahead of equal justice under the law."

Okay. So fucking do something about it.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:11:26 AM EST
Let's be legalistic about this. What can Congress legally do?
  1. add an amendment to the Constitution limiting presidential pardon
  2. start impeachment proceedings on Bush and Cheney
  3. ...?


Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:18:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Option 1 is out, at least for now.  The amendment process would take years, even if it could be expected to pass.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think 3. would include continung current investigations and subpoena requests...but I think these investigations will end up the same way, if they get there any time soon. So, if Congress has any sense or urgency about protecting the Constitution and the rule of law, then there is no choice but starting impeachment hearings. And once an impeachment hearing starts, no information requested can be denied.

I vote starting impeachment. But...What do you think, do they have the back-bone to do this? And happens if hey don't??

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congress has no backbone to face down Bush-Cheney; if Congress did, it would probably cause me to have a stroke.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 09:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At last we know what Congress is scared of... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:05:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 03:01:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru,

3 : A strongly worded rebuke threatening the President of a slap on the wrist. That'll teach him!

Short of Bush starting a new war, nothing spectacular is going to happen before 2009. The only thing Dems can do is to take example on Henry Waxman and Pat Leahy and investigate, investigate and investigate.

If they ever do, the real sparks will start to fly in 2009, but before that, very doubtful.

by Francois in Paris on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 07:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nonpartisan on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 05:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not mad, I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099685/quotes



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 09:48:30 AM EST
is he your favourite philosopher?  you quote him a lot
by zoe on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 12:03:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just see this huge mafia link.  Hey, here's a non-Roberto quote (and Roberto--he just reads his lines, right?)

Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

http://www.hotmoviequotes.com/quotes/movies/godfather/page_5.html



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 04:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

Careful. Comments like that can get you threatened with banning. {runs back into the shadows before Stormy sees}

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 09:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Helen. Don't hide in the shadows too long, they might feel safe but there are all kinds of psychopaths lurking in the corners. 8->
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the difficulty is that I find I don't understand where the line of what is acceptable has been drawn and so I have lost confidence in my ability to comment on any issue. Hence my silence.

We have discussed political violence, its use and effectiveness, in many guises and contexts on this site. Sometimes bemused, often condemning, but the fact that it exists, or that it might exist in the future, has never been a subject of criticism; until I mentioned it in the context of domestic US politics. At which point exceptionalism and an attack of the vapours kicked in and I found myself subject to censure and a not-particularly-veiled threat of banning.

So I thought I'd jump before I was pushed. You can't participate if you don't know the rules; as I simply can't understand for the life of me why what I said was wrong it seems that I don't.

I await clarification

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to make one thing clear: you were asked to be more moderate. You were not "censored" and you were not threatened with anything at all, least of all banning. No one has ever been banned from ET. No one. Why on earth would you be?

So if you're still determined to pump the issue up, that's your decision.

I tried to welcome you back to commenting, but if you want to be silly, go ahead.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I made what I felt was a mildly satirical comment as a solution to the bind that an incoming Democratic President would be in over the composition of the USSC. Emphasis on mild.

Indeed, the only way to be more moderate was not to say anything. And yet the attack of the vapours still occured. Is American politics occuring on a rarified plane where such grubby considerations  are unconscionable ? Not so far as I've seen in the last couple of days, yet apparently we aren't allowed to suggest such things. I just don't see why it was wrong and, silly or no, it's undermined my confidence to comment. I'd love to come back but I really need to know why it was wrong.

I didn't know that nobody had been banned, but as we have discussed elsewhere, there is a difference between intention and perception. So I was not threatened with banning, but that's not how it seemed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 01:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 05:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't do that.  there are a couple of people here who wanted to start a feud with me because I thought Paris Hilton should go back to jail and disagreed with them.  I mean, really!  
by zoe on Thu Jul 5th, 2007 at 10:53:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a completely ridiculous characterization of what happened.  No one "wanted to start a feud" with you and the disagreement was not because you thought Hilton should go back to jail.  At the time, I said you were failing to understand the discussion.  Clearly I was right.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 5th, 2007 at 02:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, I think you are completely wrong and I think you just like to pick fights with people.
by zoe on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 03:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you two should just let it go.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 03:41:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, when I get flamed simply for disagreeing with someone here, that's really showing that there is no tolerance here.  
by zoe on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 03:59:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Flames burst out regularly over here, especially on open threads.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 04:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
spontaneous combustion?
by zoe on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 09:29:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You like playing with fire.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 09:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have had a fever for 2 weeks straight so spontaneous combustion is not such a far-fetched idea.  Tomorrow, they decide to take out my tonsils, I hope.  
by zoe on Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 09:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh.  In case you want to come out, I'll leave this on the table.

Nomad, hands off!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 01:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that a number of us on the late, lamented Mr Gillard's blog wrote at the time that Libby would be pardoned.

Actually, the way Bush did it is even sneakier and wilier (preserving Libby's ability to hide behind the Fifth) proving once more that even when we think we're being pessimists, we're still too optimistic.

Leaving aside the legalese, I never though for a minute that Libby wouldn't be taken care of somehow, and frankly I think we can consider ourselves very lucky if this administration surrenders power willingly in 2008.

(Instead of "administration" I should say "regime" - there's no doubt Bush himself will leave but the nomenklatura might find new ways to remsain in power.)

by Lupin on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 10:06:48 AM EST
These people have very skilled lawyers working for them.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 10:13:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously not a Bush solution. It's too clever and too slick.

Obviously not a Bush statement either. Likewise.

But whatever - the ball is in the other court.

This is not a total surprise, because there's a long history of lawlessness on the R side. Nixon was pardoned, North and Poindexter were pardoned, the Tower Commission was careful not to get anywhere near Reagan, Bush 41 pardoned a few people who really should have done time, and so on.

There's actually nothing really new here.

And I don't think it's loyalty to Libby (Scooter who?) so much as a pre-emptive strike to avoid further testimony. As such it gives the finger to the Rule of Law, while pointing a finger at events and people that need further investigation.

So my interpretation is that while this is a grand fuck-you, there's some measure of fear in the White House now. Bush-Cheney are hoping to brazen it out. But they're not entirely sure they're going to be successful.

It's up to Pelosi and Reid to decide whether or not they will be. I'm hoping for action rather than speechifying, but I'm not seeing evidence that's going to happen - at least, not yet.

The point the D's don't seem to get is that Bush's aura of political invincibility is built on nothing more solid than bravado and bullshit. As an act it's rigid and fragile, and all it needs is someone to stare down the White House and the whole house of cards will collapse. It isn't supported by public opinion, but bizarrely the D's still seem to think that R talking points and rhetoric actually matter.

We'll see if perhaps they can be persuaded to change their minds this time.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 12:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the core of the regime (yes, it's time to stop calling it an administration) are men whose mindset gelled in the 1970s under the triple humiliation of Vietnam, Watergate, and Iran -- and particularly the strong man of the regime, Dick Cheney. This is what I wrote on the same topic this morning in the Salon:

what Nixon got wrong was he didn't tough Watergate out. Cheney will do what he thinks Nixon failed to.

The Constitution and the rule of law? Nixon didn't trample them hard enough. Cheney will.

Violent, ruinous projection of American power in the world? Nixon didn't hang in there. Cheney will.

Iran? OK, it was no longer Nixon's watch. But Cheney will anyway.

All this is of course subject to whether Cheney can and what he can. Which is pretty much the central issue in American politics right now. No one needs tell the Beltway Dems, they know, but they'd rather skirt round it.

"Right now" means right now, and for the last seven years.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:02:02 AM EST
How is Cheney going to get beyond January 2009? Maybe they will get Bush to resign? Or kill him?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:06:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would not be surprised if they find a way to just stay in power - even keep Bush. Who is going to stop them? Congress? And by sending e-mails and making phone calls nothing will change. They give a damn, they just do what they want, so far it worked out well for them and I just don't see much changing soon.
by Fran on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've claimed here in the past, Bush staying in power is one of the few things in this country that would result in extreme civil unrest. No way it happens without a nuclear bomb killing a million people in Manhattan. And probably not even then.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 12:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you sure about either of those, or is that just wishful thinking?

I'd imagine the real issue is whether or not he can keep the armed forces with him.

The population don't matter, they can easily be cowed with some nasty terrorist incidents and a bit of police violence. There will be resentment and angry muttering, especially on dKos, but I think it's optimistic to assume that serious and organised resistance is likely.

The armed forces are different. They have executive ability and real muscle, and if they're not on side then Bush and Cheney aren't going to win this one.

If there's no consensus within the forces a nasty civil war may be likely before anything is settled for sure.

But if things get to that point I'd expect a positive outcome, because the forces people will realise that's insanity - leaving the US defenceless isn't a realistic option.

The smarter option would simply be to arrest Cheney. There's enough cause and given his minimal popularity, I can't see a lot of people standing up for him.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 01:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The military industrial complex doesn't need Bush, therefore, it will not happen.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 02:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also don't consider Bush to be anything more than an acceleration of the problems manifest by this country's various cultural and institutional limitations.

To my other reply to your comment I should have added that Wall Street doesn't need Bush either - any politician able to get elected to the office of the president is going to need an enormous amount of corporate money to get there which ensures favorable policies for them.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 02:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The military is not on side.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 04:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The armed forces are different. They have executive ability and real muscle, and if they're not on side then Bush and Cheney aren't going to win this one.

At this point, a good chunk of them are overseas, while Blackwater's here. It may not be so much are the troops on their side, but are those private firms.

by lychee on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 06:48:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not actually being in charge, Bush cannot stay in power.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 05:19:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's possible Bush may end up being the sacrificial lamb.

A hypothetical attack on Washington that takes out the president and also removes the symbols of US democracy would be very convenient for the MilInd corpse, for all kinds of reasons.

What worries me more than anything is that I don't see any real resistance happening if there's a coup. The military are split at best, and include a fair few hardliners. After a hypothetical attack it's likely they could be rallied without too much dissent.

And then that's it - game over. The end of what passed for a republic, and Welcome to Gilead.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 06:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Bush is assassinated between now and next winter, Cheney will become president in time to contest the Republican primary and the Presidential election as the incumbent and, having served as President for less than two years, will be able to run for election twice. It goes without saying that Cheney probably wouldn't even have to steal the November elections in such a scenario.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 06:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only kink in this scenario is that I don't see Papa Bush in cahoots with Cheney.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 07:04:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Look, it makes no sense. The public is already pacified to an astonishing degree. The "risk" of democracy is largely gone already. Why lift the illusion and risk unrest when the elites already have what they want? The myths of American democracy in the public mind are based primarily on the right to vote. It would be absolute madness from the point of view of the elites.

I can only see a military coup if peak oil effects become extremely harsh and/or the economy is devastated to such a degree (for any reason) that the government has to resort to a level of private asset seizure that the public won't accept in order to stay afloat, or if the military decides it needs and can get away with forced conscription. These are real risks, but not in the short term. They are dire risks for the entire developed world, actually, as we move from an energy rich to an energy poor society. Global networks run by elites will not break down voluntarily as it is tantamount to voluntary relinquishment of power, but nonetheless, their structural assumptions cannot survive a decline in energy availability, guaranteeing mass violence.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 07:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be absolute madness from the point of view of the elites.

You're assuming sane actors, and that the elites are a monolithic political block, neither of which seem likely.

The elites that matter the most are the defence/intelligence/oil/(drug?) cartels. These people have a long and persistent pattern of violently destabilising democracies abroad. Psychologically, they consistently display sociopathy, narcissism and sadism.

They are, in a word, sick fucks. They are not nice people. Nor are they sane.

But even if they were, they're also viciously partisan. They don't just hate democrats and especially liberals to a pathological extent, they also hate democracy.

I think the calculation has to be that removing the democratic proces would consolidate the gains of the last few years.

If the coup happens by way of a convenient terror attack, there's actually nothing to risk. As with 9/11, most of the population will be even more compliant afterwards. There will be the usual round of flag-waving and patriotism.

I'd expect some effort to pin the blame on liberals, or at least liberal points of view, which will make liberalism somewhat unpopular - just think how many people robotically repeated the Iraq war talking points, even when they clearly made no sense.

Reintroduce the draft, and you have your permanent war machine. Dissent would become very difficult, even more so by the simple expedient of a no-work list.

It's possible many people wouldn't even care much. The new government would be there to protect them from another attack, after all.

Is it really any more mad as a possible scenario than threatening Iran with nukes, or invading Iraq on a nonsensical pretext and then not bothering to equip the troops for a proper occupation?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:41:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand the left wing obsession with conspiracy theories. As Chomsky points out repeatedly, the "conspiracy" is out in the open, and anyone who bothers to read this site has read the proper materials to know what it is all about. The US military budget is a "conspiracy." Capitalism is a "conspiracy." 3rd world resource theft is a "conspiracy." Again anyone that reads this site knows the basic mechanics of these various "conspiracies."

Again I'll reference the last US election - a large portion of commenters on this site assumed that many races were going to be fixed, that there was no hope of a democratic win, and once the election was over, assumed that there was no way the republicans would relinquish control. It was embarrassing.

You're assuming sane actors, and that the elites are a monolithic political block

Elites are largely sane - they know their limits. Those that don't end up dead (like Bud Dwyer) or in jail (like Ken Lay or Duke Cunningham). They know how far the public can be pushed and stolen from. Bush didn't dare reinstate the draft, for example, because he knew it would bring back the civil unrest of the 60's and 70's. That's not good for business or political stability. Again, for all the "evil" and posturing of this administration, they were still terrified of civil unrest. As much as things have slid backwards, they still beat the political environment of the early 20th century by a mile.

The elites that matter the most are the defence/intelligence/oil/(drug?) cartels

As in they matter a lot more than anyone in the current administration, even if they are cronies of the oil industry. Until said institutions are under severe duress, the chance of a coup is zero.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 03:01:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, for all the "evil" and posturing of this administration, they were still terrified of civil unrest.

But the limits are continually being tested and continually being pushed back.

As others have said about Sicko or about the situation in general - where's the resistance? Even the anti-war protests have barely been able to match the Promise Keepers for turnout.

Again I'll reference the last US election - a large portion of commenters on this site assumed that many races were going to be fixed, that there was no hope of a democratic win, and once the election was over, assumed that there was no way the republicans would relinquish control.

True - but I think people also assumed that if the Dems won there would be significant changes. So far all they've done very little except speechify, with bitter disappointment for almost everyone.

And most of the campaign front-runners are busy promising business as usual and a big swollen throbbing military if they win, rather than a change.

However, the lock-down is not complete. There's still wiggle-room and someonme unauthorised might win.

I think there's probably a vicious battle going on behind the scenes already. The knives seem to be out for Cheney, but as one of the Sick Fucks he won't be responding passively.

Elites are largely sane - they know their limits.
I don't see any evidence that Cheney or Rumsfled or even Bush are sane. Their world view makes no sense at all, and seems to be fuelled by delusions, partisan resentments and rage, and the Sick Fucks have already demonstrated - repeatedly, in other countries - that when it comes to power, they don't consider the rule of law or the democratic process an obstacle.

Of course you may be right, and I think we'll all be happier if you are. But still - no one can deny there's a thread of violence and psychosis runnning through politics in the US, which is far outside the limits of traditional petty political corruption.

Usually it operates abroad, sometimes it operates less obviously at home. But it has been growing in influence since the end of WWII, and we haven't seen how far it's willing to go yet.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 04:24:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember I am talking about the possibility of a coup in the US, not the political climate.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 02:52:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, remember, a coup doesn't have to be visible or even quick. It could be done behind the scenes, with a public facade in which we still appear to have the right to vote, but we're manipulated through fear-- kind of what's been tried on us for the past few years except taking it further and further, as well as increasing the presence of private "security" firms in our lives to the point that if there were any dissent, it could be squashed rather quickly.

I don't think the concern here is so much a military action as creeping manipulation, so that everything looks legal on the outside, if that makes any sense.

by lychee on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 10:49:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It makes perfect sense. I agree with you on this one.

There's no need for a putsch, or even to assassinate Dubya. A good Tonkin incident, a new step up in the war hype, and get the country behind bombing Iran could be enough to keep them in power. Doesn't matter who the president is, as long as the appearance of democracy is upheld (that's a valuable property when it comes to spinning wars of aggression -- we're bringing democracy...) Fred Thompson would do fine.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 02:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But hasn't the putsch already happened in 2000? Since then they seem to have put their people in importanten positions, and despite everything that happened they are still in power and it doesn't look to me like there is really anyone interfering with that - despite some loud clamoring. Lots of noise but no real action.
by Fran on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:45:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also assume you are familiar with him, but it might be worthwhile to study what the elites learned from the Smedley Butler incident.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 07:43:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting reading, thanks.  For those who are interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:50:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a quote from Smedley's book War Is a Racket:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What appears to be the whole text of War is a Racket is available online here.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 06:04:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"subject to whether Cheney can, and what he can".

One thing's for sure, they don't need Dubya. Another is that they may not succeed in holding on to power. But they'll try, and they don't need more than the appearance of democracy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too raw, red, angry to comment yesterday.  Still angry but the brain has kicked-in.

This is the action that "changes everything."   Bush has set the precendent of a President pardoning an underling for the preformance of illegal acts committed by order of the President. This establishes the Executive Branch of the Federal Goverment as the Ruling Body of the the Goverment.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
Sorry ATinNM, I'll believe it when I see it.
by Fran on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:36:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think my former comment might be wrong. The executive branch, that's the president, wright? Okay, if this is the case - I believe it.
by Fran on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah. Remember Clinton pardoned a bunch of pseudo-cronies on his last day in office as is the tradition. This is vintage Bush - blatant disregard for democratic institutions and top level protection for insider loyalists. I ask this honestly: did anyone not see this coming? I would have been awestruck had he NOT been pardoned. We've had 6.5 years of unchanging behavior, it's all very predictable.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 12:47:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
did anyone not see this coming?

Sure, though we don't often discuss these matters here. I never expected them to let the law bother them over the Plame case -- if only for the example ("We don't do rule of law"). Lupin in a comment above refers to his thinking and to discussions on Steve Gilliard's blog. I understand when people express feelings of anger and revolt, but surprise? Hardly.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 03:13:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is surprising is that the mode of the pardon is more cunning than most people expected. It's interesting that legalistic subversion of the US constitutional system is the only area where the regime shows competence. Everything else is a clusterfuck of biblical proportions.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 05:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or so we all thought yesterday. But now it seems - perhaps not.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 04:25:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
White House Won't Rule Out Libby Pardon | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Tuesday declined to rule out the possibility of an eventual pardon for former vice presidential aide I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby. But spokesman Tony Snow said, for now, President Bush is satisfied with his decision to commute Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence.
by Fran on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 12:23:23 PM EST
I'm still really upset. Wrote an email to everyone I practically have ever known in the US...many notes coming back...helplessness, anger, cynicism, ducking for cover, keep on keeping on. Damn...this really fucking sucks. If this doesn't stimulate the impeachment process, then what's to stop them calling martial law? Maybe the army, who hates Bush. Damn this sucks...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 01:08:50 PM EST
This is an email I just received from Senator Schumer, and my reply (inverse order):

"Never mind petitions. We need serious action by the
Democratic Congress to face down this lawless
administration. Petitions will just get more of the
finger from Bush-Cheney.
Leonard Poryles.
--- Chuck Schumer <info@dscc.org> wrote:

> Dear Friend,
>
> I?m outraged.  President Bush commuted Scooter
> Libby?s prison sentence wiping away two and half
> years of jail time with the stroke of a pen.
> President Bush ignored Libby?s felony conviction for
> lying to investigators, ignored the jury?s guilty
> verdict, and ignored the rule of law that governs
> our nation.
>
> We expect more from our President.  We expect honor
> and integrity, we expect moral leadership.  We
> expect our President and his staff to be held to a
> higher standard.
>
> Tell President Bush that you are disgusted by his
> actions.  Sign our petition today letting President
> Bush know that this outrageous conduct won?t be
> tolerated."

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 01:54:57 PM EST
Just a small question, After Bush is out of office, is it possible to charge him with crimes comitted when he was in office? could he be  charged with obstruction of justice for pardonning Libby?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 02:14:27 PM EST
After the November elections, he'll pardon Cheney preemptively, then he'll resign, then Cheney will pardon him.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 05:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
outraged...and really upset  

but hardly surprised.  cf Juan Cole today

As for Libby's pardon, he was convicted of lying to a grand jury and obstructing the special counsel's investigation. Since Fitzpatrick could never have gotten to the bottom of whether crimes had been committed as long as key figures like Libby lied to him, Libby's crime was grave. The commutation of his sentence is a great injustice. It is not the first a Bush has committed.

Iran-Contra criminal Elliott Abrams, now a deputy National Security Agency adviser to Bush, essentially committed the same crime as Libby, though he only pled guilty to withholding information from Congress.

Abrams was pardoned by George H. W. Bush, and then his son hired him. Congress, which should have been permanently outraged by having been misled by Abrams, gave him a pass. A far rightwing Likudnik, he has been handling Palestine issues for Bush!

So, like father like son.

Except for that vision thing about the insidious traitors.

Basically, in Bushworld, high government officials are above the law, including all international law and most domestic. America is not nearly as much fun if you aren't rich.

And then there was Ford pardoning Nixon... boy, did that stick in my craw, even as a kid.

The Old (White)Boys' Club sticks together.

A Brief Legal Bibliography of Presidential Pardons

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 03:50:24 PM EST
Having a hard time responding in a coherent and rational manner.  I've sent of letters both electronic an dsnail to pelosi and Lynne Woolsey, my local rep, written a letter to the editor, but feel really discouraged by this.  Maybe more so than it warrants, but shit, what does it take to get a real victory over these guys?

I know, cash and leverage, then you become like them generally.

Shit, Shit Shit.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 06:29:25 PM EST
Bob, I've just been watching Breakfast With Hunter, thanks to youtube.

Check out part thirteen, in which he reads the following quote:

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.  

The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes and all his imprecise talks about "new politics and honesty in government", is one of the few men who have run for president of the United States in this century who really understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose, as a matter of policy, and a perfect expression of everything he stands for.  Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hunter_S._Thompson



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 08:39:55 PM EST
Only now you find it scary and unlawful what America is doing?
But people, it started long time ago and it was SOOO obvious where it is leading. When America started to NOT obey international law, by bombarding sovereign countries around the world, interfering in their internal affairs and playing "world policeman",  when America excluded it self from International courts for war crimes etc. Wasn't that obvious? Or it was OK for you until rule of law was doing OK inside America (if ever was, wouldn't exactly know about it).
Someone rightly said "EVERY LAW is a good law if it applies  to EVERYONE".
Woallla, this is what you get  otherwise. America lost its reputation as "free, democratic country" some time ago internationally and is seen as a big bully. Now it's for Americans to taste their own "medicine" ...bad days in front of them...and it's only right!


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:23:26 AM EST
When America started to NOT obey international law, by bombarding sovereign countries around the world, interfering in their internal affairs
Started? When did America (and European countries as well, btw) NOT do some or all of these things? Sometime before the crusades, perhaps?
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 02:34:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this whole presidential pardon thing is dead fishy, imo.

there's something 'divine right of kings' about it, and it flies in the face of equal justice for all.

it encourages impunity, and opens the door for blackmail too.

if america really wants to be a democratically fair country, she will do away with this medieval anachronism, that belittles the whole point of an hard-working, judiciously independent magistrature.

when you look at the repug track record on this, it's a rogues' gallery that has come back on the country in spades...

really offensive, and a lampoon of justice.

scary, yes a bit, depressingly familiar is more like it.

when will these wax wings melt already?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 02:50:15 AM EST
The only chance for something (anything) to happen in USA would be economic crises of 1929 caliber. Or World War III (which they may initiate easily but is not good for business as for now). Some of it will probably happen (just not yet) but in the main time things will deteriorate further and not only in USA but around the globe. West and ( non existing any more) East . And we can only watch!
It really does not matter who is in power ( especially in USA but not only there) as long as business is booming for "elite" (read crooks). When the business is down then they will start to bite each other and of course they'll use naïve voters to die in their battles. Been there done that. In the end for those who survive and were loyal to the winners there will be a little something to be thrown over the shoulder. Others will be happy to be alive...Let's vote all over again! Long live democracy!
I would like to be less pessimistic and more naïve...but really. After living on both sides of the farce it's just impossible for me. It's only possible for those who rather will not see and think too much, minding their own business in life quietly and believe in fairies...I never was one of them unfortunately. Some things are stronger then us. Bloody brain working his own job would be one of them.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 04:25:52 AM EST
I think the US will "collapse" (or, more positively, "transform") during the 2010-20 decade, just as the URSS "transformed" after Gorbachev, or the Colonial Empires of France and Great Britain "transformed" in the 1920s.

I don't know what the US will "transform" into, but that it will is obvious to me.  Who said, "If something can't go on, it won't."  Keynes?

99.99% of the discussions and political activism we see today, on the web, in Washington, etc., is promulgated upon following the "old rules".  These will be completely outmoded in less than ten years, I think.

The current crop of Democrats will be minders during the transition, at best, sort of like Al Smith minded the Democratic Party before FDR, or Gorbachev Russia before Yeltsin.

To paraphrase Churchill, we may be approaching the end of the beginning.

by Lupin on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 05:39:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
I don't know what the US will "transform" into

---
Yap...that is the (my) question!
What would you say USSR (Russia) actually transformed into?


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 06:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is indeed the $10,000 question.
by Lupin on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 08:17:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A friend sent me this:

Commuting Scooter
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/24255
By David Swanson

George Mason (1725-1792), the father of the Bill of Rights (1791-2002), argued at the Constitutional Convention in favor of providing the House of Representatives the power of impeachment by pointing out that the President might use his pardoning power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection."

James Madison (1751-1836), the father of the U.S. Constitution (1788-2007), added that "if the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty.

Sounds like impeachment is the way to go, from what a couple of Founders say...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 07:57:09 AM EST
"I see this situation in the same light as Nixon and Watergate, the "Saturday Night Massacre" - this is as serious a crisis in the US government as can happen. If this isn't an excuse of starting the impeachment process, so a real investigation of the law-breaking administration can occur, I don't know what is."

I don't know how old you are. If you were not around for the Watergate, or too young to understand it than you comment is understandable.

But if you were old enough to live through it than the comment is blatantly false.

You are comparing the commuting of a sentence of someone who committed perjury on a matter not directly related to the exposing of CIA agent - regardless of whether it was right or wrong for his prosecution.

And you are comparing it a series of horrific events that began with the burglary of the DNC headquarters by former CIA agents at the request of high level officials of the White House and with, worse, the attempted cover-up and bribes by the U.S. Attorney General and the President of the U.S. Included in it were a litany of dirty tricks by CREEP (Committee to Re-Elect the President) some of which were illegal.

There is no credible comparison of those events or anything since, with the closest being the Iran-Contra scandal under Reagan.

And if you are irate over Bush's commutation of Libby which is legal under the Constitution regardless of whether it is fair or moral, then I would suggest you look at the horrible trail of commutations and pardons committed by Bill Clinton (called Pardongate) which included:

  1. The commutation of 16 FALN terrorists which killed and maimed people (coincidentally New York has a high population of Puerto Rican people who were sympathetic to their cause and who would vote for Hillary). The Senate condemned the action 95-2.

  2. The pardoning of fugitive Marc Rich (coincidentally his wife made major contributions to Clinton's library and Hillary Clinton's campaigns after that).

  3. After lobbying by Hillary's brother, Hugh, the owners of a carnival company convicted of bank fraud were pardoned after paying Hugh over $100,000.

  4. The commutation of drug trafficker Carlos Vignali (whose father made significant political contributions).

In total there were 140 pardons many of which had political motivations and was an arrogant abuse of power which even his own political party said was.

So when you get outraged over the scandal by Bill Clinton and the outrageous hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton's statement yesterday, then I will buy into some of your outrage over this.

But impeachment? Over what? The impeachment of Nixon was more than warranted. The impeachment proceedings of Clinton was a sham and a desecration of the Constitution. By the same standards applied to Clinton you could impeach Bush and probably every future President. But it doesn't make it right.

Unfortunately this and Clinton's pardons/commutations are all perfectly legal. There is nothing anyone can do about Libby or about Clinton's Pardongate, but I do think Congress should seek to enact a law that does limit the ability of a President to commute or pardon anyone for any reason - particularly if there is a political motivation behind it.

There is a concept of equal justice under the law and that is just not the case in this country too many times, particularly if you are a young person who makes a mistake and does not have the financial resources of Marc Rich who could afford to hire Scooter Libby (ironically) to defend him and help get his pardon.

If you want to be outraged, then be outraged over the entire system which heavily favors the haves over the have-nots and don't waste your outrage over a bunch of haves getting their way or not.

by Private on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:02:46 AM EST


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have nothing else to say to that?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feel free to argue with Private.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or agree with him, of course!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:17:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ho ho!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:55:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now who's troll-baiting whom, rg?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, this is me:



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 11:58:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, to put it another way, exactly how much empathy to Bob's...existential moment...has private shown, in Bob's diary, about Bob's...existential moment?

If private wishes to argue that the Libby commutation isn't important, or is less important than whatever [name other politician here] does did or has done, or...well...ya know...he could show some respect to Bob!

And now I will quote another "b":

What can one say about the Libby soft-pardon. Is Bush trying to set some record as most despised president ever?

No. The most likely reason to rescue Libby from jail-time by clemency is to keep him quiet. There was the danger that Libby, staring at a cell wall, would feel some urge to talk to Fitz.

Not really pardoning him now helps to let Libby keep the right to pledge the fifth at least as long as the legal appeal process is kept alive. In early 2009 a full pardon will be done and the media, congress and voters will not care anymore.

Essentially Bush is protecting Cheney and himself through the presidential power to pardon someone. That is obstruction of justice.

But the whole Bush/Cheney administration, selected by a dubious legal ruling in 2000, with its war of aggression on Iraq, the tapping of domestic phone calls in ignorance of the FISA law, the corruption of the Justice Department and some thousand things we don't know about is essentially one big long experience in obstruction of justice.

This is not a defect of the Bush/Cheney administration, its a feature.

The clapping on the right for the Libby clemency shows that their base just loves this. It may even lift Bush's poll ratings.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/

Obstruction of justice!

KerCHING!

But hey, what do we need?  I know, a story of Senor Ex-Presidente and how it's really a sort of (maybe even understandable but waddayagonnado?) sour grapes re: the rich getting away with it.

Getting away with what?

Well, private uhmmed and ahhhhed about, ya know, the morality thing...

...and I haven't been mega-trolled so far and...hey!  Snot fair!

Right, hmmm.  Let's see...

Trolls can be existing members of a community that rarely post and often contribute no useful information to the thread, but instead make argumentative posts in an attempt to discredit another person, concentrating almost exclusively on facts irrelevant to the point of the conversation, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others.

A troll is a person who approaches a board with the specific intention of stirring things up, either as a goal in and of itself or as a means of attacking the board perhaps motivated by opposition to the ethos of the board.

The general element, that determines whether a malicious user is a troll or not, is the level of indignant emotions present in the person, coupled with the person's history with the forum or group.

and...I stab myself with liberal gladiola thusly:

The word troll is often and easily (mis)used as an ad hominem attack against someone whose viewpoints and input cannot otherwise be silenced (i.e., via banning). Its successful use and misuse reveals much about how starkly different the world of technicians is compared to normal social and political discourse.

The term troll should be used with attention since it is a very easy way of undermining an opposing point of view. Sometimes, overly using the word "troll" may constitute trolling in itself.

Established forum users might all agree on one side of a message as being the universal truth; in which case a "troll" might just be some outsider adding an opposing message.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If only somebody would give George W. Bush a blowjob, there'd be grounds for impeachment.

(disclaimer:  stolen joke)

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:15:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it didn't bring conviction, remember?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:41:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read your other diary and thought of the following poem, and then I couldn't find it.  But this time I persevered.  For you and Bob and all of us, including noble Private private.

Birdbrain!
Birdbrain!
Birdbrain rules the World!
Birdbrain is the ultimate product of Captialism
Birdbrain chief bureaucrat of Russia, yawning,
Birdbrain ran FBI 30 years appointed by F.D. Roosevelt and never chased Cosa Nostra!
Birdbrain apportions wheat to be burned, keep prices up on the world market!
Birdbrain lends money to Developing Nation police-states thru the International Monetary Fund!
Birdbrain never gets laid on his own he depends on his office pimp for him
Birdbrain offeres brain transplants in Switzerland
Birdbrain wakes up in the middle of the night and arranges his sheets
I am Birdbrain!
I rule Yugoslavia England Poland Argentina United States El Salvador
Birdbrain multiplies in China!
Birdbrain inhabits Stalin's corpse inside the Kremlin wall
Birdbrain dictates petrochemical agriculture in Afric desert regions!
Birdbrain lowers Northern California's water table sucking it up for Orange County Agribusiness Banks
Birdbrain harpoons whales and chews blubber in the tropics
Birdbrain clubs baby harp seals and wears their coats to Paris
Birdbrain rules the Pentagon his brother runs the CIA, Fatass Bucks!
Birdbrain writes and edits Time Newsweek Wall Street Journal Pravada Izvestia
Birdbrain is Pope, Prmier, President, Commissar, Chairman, Senator!
Birdbrain voted Reagan President of the United States!
Birdbrain prepares Wonder Bread with refined white flour!
Birdbrain sold slaves, sugar,tobacco, alcohol
Birdbrain conqured the New World and murdered mushroom god Xochopili on Popocatepetl!
Birdbrain was President when a thousand mysterious students were machineguned at Tlatelulco
Birdbrain sent 20,000,000 intellectuals and Jews to Siberia, 15,000,000 never got back to the Stray Dog Cafe
Birdbrain wore a mustache & ran Germany on Amphetamines the last year of World War II
Birdbrain coneived the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem in Europe
Birdbrain carried it out in Gas Chambers
Birdbrain borrowed Lucky Luciano the Mafia from jail to secure Sicily for U.S.
Birdbrain against the Reds
Birdbrain manufactured guns in the Holy Land and sold them to white goyim in South Africa
Birdbrain supplied helicopters to Centeral America generals, kill a lot of restless Indians, encourage a favorable business climate
Birdbrain began a war of terror against Israeli Jews
Birdbrain sent out Zionist planes to shoot Palestinian huts outside Beirut
Birdbrain outlawed Opiates on the world market
Birdbrain formed the Black Market in Opium
Birdbrain's father shot skag in hallways of the lower East Side
Birdbrain organized Operation Condor to spray poison fumes on the Marijuana fields of Sonora
Birdbrain got sick in Harvard Square from smoking Mexican grass
Birdbrain arrieved in Europe to Conquer cockroaches with Propaganda
Birdbrain became a great International Poet and went around the world praising the Glories of Birdbrain
I declare Birdbrain to be victor in the Poetry Contest
He built the World Trade Center in New York Harbors waters without regard where the toilets emptied
Birdbrain began chopping down the Amazon Rainforest to build a wood pupl factory on the river bank
Birdbrain in Iraq attacked Birdbrain in Iran
Birdbrain in Belfast throws bombs at his mother's ass
Birdbrain wrote Das Kapital ! authored the Bible ! penned The Wealth of Nations !
Birdbrain's humanity, he built the Rainbow Room on top of Rockefeller Center so we could dance
He invented the Theory of Relativity so Rockwell Corporation could make Neutron Bombs at Rocky Flats in Colorado
Birdbrain's going to see how long he can go without coming
Birdbrain thinks his dong will grow big that way
Birdbrain sees a new Spy in the Market Platz in Dubrovnik outside the Eyeglass Hotel
Birdbrain wants to suck your cock in Europe, he takes life very seriously, brokenharted you won't cooperate
Birdbrain goes to heavy duty Communist Countries so he can get KGB grilfriends while the sky thunders
Birdbrain realized he was Buddha by meditating
Birdbrain's afraid he's going to blow up the planet so he wrote this poem to be immortal

Allen Ginsburg, Hotel Subrovka, Dubrovnik, October 14, 1980 4:30 A.M.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:41:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Private, you are a person very difficult to understand. It's not possible to try on the internet.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OMG!  Do you just repeat right-wing emails verbatim?  The comparison to the Clinton pardons is just stupid.  The comparison to Watergate (and Iran-Contra) is apt, in that we're talking about the executive pardoning people involved in crimes, or covering up crimes, committed by the executive branch itself.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 03:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obstruction of justice = commuting the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of peers of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI and the Grand jury (done to protect the outing of an undercover CIA agent who was THE authority on weapons of mass destruction and Iran's nuclear capacities...by the Vice President for political purposes - which is treason during a war)...in an ongoing criminal investigation. By a President. That isn't as significant as Watergate?

But blow jobs are probably more immoral right?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 05:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Firedoglake has a link to a Sidney Blumenthal article "And Bush and Chehey walk too...", in which this is quoted (too tired to search a link):

Cheney aroused President Bush to the danger from Wilson. A handwritten note by Libby that surfaced in his trial revealed that Bush raised his concern about the Kristof column in a subsequent June 9 meeting. The next day, the State Department memo "Niger/Iraq Uranium Story" began circulating within the administration. On June 12, Cheney identified Plame to Libby, and Libby went hard to work. Within three days, he discussed Plame with five officials. On July 6, after Wilson published a New York Times op-ed disclosing that the rationale the president gave for the war was premised on false information, an enraged Cheney ordered Libby into high gear. Cheney also secured Bush's concurrence for Libby to leak selected parts of the still-classified National Intelligence Estimate on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction to New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8. Bush, therefore, was deeply involved. But what did the president know, and when did he know it?

Bush's commutation of Libby's 30-month prison sentence for four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice was as politically necessary to hold his remaining hardcore base for the rest of his 18 months in office as it was politically damaging to his legacy and to the possibility of a Republican succession. It was also essential in order to sustain Libby's cover-up protecting Cheney and perhaps Bush himself. . . .

Bush rewards Libby's cover-up, thwarting the investigation into Cheney's and perhaps his culpability. Bush's commutation is the successful culmination of the obstruction of justice.

But..uh...not as bad as Watergate, or the pardon of Rich. Maybe we have been visited by "the base".

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 05:55:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Private needs an art attack.

He or she has no art, and therefore sees a few shapes, a few shadows.  They may represent many people, who see little but a few shapes and a few shadows, but are mortally afraid...of going outside.

So here she or he comes, accusing, belittling, lying, spinning, a coke frenzy of angst and bile, as if private cared about the hard done by.  Hey private, why not write us all an excellent diary about Micahel Moore's latest movie, why doncha?

On t'other hand, he seems to have you fired up, Bob!  And all hail the truth merchants, for they give freely and ask only for...well...private, too, must need something.  Are these people paid to invade web spaces?  I think they must be, because otherwise it'd all get too heated and there'd be tears and punches and then someone would fuck off and never return.  And I like someone, and I don't want her to fuck off and never return, but if she's off to have the greatest time of her life...I wish her all the best!

Yet this guy or gall...invited by Jerome!  Cheers!

Ya know, the bottom-feeder comment, it's just like "ya ya your knob's too small."  For what, and what are you measuring my knob against, and what do you mean--you've been staring at my knob?  Oh yeah, right.  You dislike...hmmmm....

us lot, private, so...er...are you like the skinheads who crashed a birthday party I was at when I was but fifteen?  In they came, leer leer, moan groan, grab beer, threaten, change music, shout....while we stood around thinking, "Woah!  Violent people."

And they tried to wind a few people up, but we were many and we were rational and therefore no fun, so sooner or later they fucked off, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

I mean, let's start with the basics:

"You are bottom feeders."

Okay.  We like bottoms.  You have come here to...what?  Enjoy the bottoms or to tell us off for enjoying bottoms?  What is priavte's interest?

The only one I can see is money.  In a freak freudian way I can imagine he or she has a wadge of cash, made through the city, banking, that kinda thing, and so is economically distanced, but not enough to be one of the rich dolphins...

rabid scum...

Hey, why hang around with rabid scum?  Keep away!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 08:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jul 5th, 2007 at 01:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 12:23:21 PM EST

Here's a GREAT rant by Keith Olbermann...and at least someone in the US media gets the gravity of this situation!!

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/070407Y.shtml

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Jul 4th, 2007 at 05:20:55 PM EST


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