Friday, August 31, 2007


As they did with the NIE, the Defense Dept rewrites a critical GAO report to soften its harsh assessments of “progress” in Iraq

Cooking the books:

An independent commission established by Congress to assess Iraq’s security forces will recommend remaking the 26,000-member national police force to purge it of corrupt officers and Shiite militants suspected of complicity in sectarian killings . . .
[Kevin Drum] This is becoming a comedy of the absurd. Scrap the Iraqi police force? Start over from scratch? Is this a joke? Even if we could do it, it means (a) putting 26,000 armed and pissed off Iraqis back on the street, (b) running the country without a police force until a new one is recruited and trained, and (c) spending two or three years building a replacement. And that's the good news. The bad news is that there's no reason to think the shiny new police force would be any better than the old one. . . [read on!]


[Juan Cole] The Nation has gotten hold of a secret USG report that says that profound corruption is the norm in the Iraqi government . . .


And it’s not just corruption in the Iraqi govt
An American-owned company operating from Kuwait paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American contracting officers in efforts to win more than $11 million in contracts [in Iraq]


“What failure looks like”

Which is it?
[Steve Benen] Gen. David Petraeus said he, not the president’s team, will be writing his report to Congress in a couple of weeks. That’s not what the White House said 10 days ago. . .

As noted here and elsewhere, the “Petraeus” (White House) Report is already all but written – and it contains no surprises beyond the predictable Bushian talking points
"We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress and we believe al Qaeda is off balance at the very least," General David Petraeus told the Australian in an interview after briefing Australia's defense minister, Brendan Nelson, in Baghdad. . .

Will the Democrats let themselves get rolled again on this issue? Sure looks like it
The White House is growing more confident that it can beat back efforts by Congressional Democrats to shift course in Iraq, a significant turnabout from two months ago, when a string of Republican defections had administration officials worried that President Bush’s troop buildup was in serious danger on Capitol Hill. . . .


What WILL the Democrats do?
Saying the coming weeks will be "one of the last opportunities" to alter the course of the war, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said he is now willing to compromise with Republicans to find ways to limit troop deployments in Iraq.

Reid acknowledged that his previous firm demand for a spring withdrawal deadline had become an obstacle for a small but growing number of Republicans who have said they want to end the war but have been unwilling to set a timeline. . . .

[BarbinMD] It sounds like the Democratic leadership isn't bothering to wait for the White House report on all that so-called progress in Iraq before caving to George Bush . . . [read on]

How much is the Bush gang doing to encourage the Allawi effort to unseat Maliki?

Pressure from fellow Republicans builds for Larry Craig to resign
Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who chairs the GOP's senatorial campaign committee, stopped short of calling on Craig to resign but suggested strongly that he should.

His bizarre police interview


Read it all:

Funny. Usually it’s the majority party that gets complacent, lazy, and mired in scandal. The minority party gets that “lean and hungry look” and points out the inherent corruptions of incumbency. But in this case, says Josh Marshall, it’s the minority party that is acting as if no one can hold them to account

Will the Inspector General investigation into Dept of Justice lies and corruption bear any results?


Oh, and by the way: Gonzales was a lousy manager too

Here is a handy list of the WORST conceivable nominees to replace Gonzales – at last one of whom (Ted Olson) we might actually see

Hey, friends, this Republican twenty electoral vote grab in California is serious business – it could not only snatch defeat out of an otherwise easy Democratic win in 2008, it could make a Democratic win at the national level much more difficult for a very long time to come. Let’s be clear – if we decide nationally to assign electoral votes within each state by wins within each electoral district, we can do that (though it basically makes the Electoral College irrelevant and turns the national vote into a popular vote decision). That might even be the right thing to do. But what is completely wrong is for the Republicans to maintain “winner take all” in the states they dominate, but lobby for a different set of rules in the states they want to split with the Democrats

Bonus item: Tony Snow gets cranky

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration.

The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September . . .
[Kevin Drum] One more interesting thing: the Post actually explains why someone leaked a draft copy of the report to them: the leaker was afraid it would get watered down before final publication and wanted to make sure that someone knew what the GAO really thinks. Considering what happens to most reports that go through the DoD wringer, I'd say that shows considerable foresight.
[Matt Yglesias] So how about that political progress in Iraq? Well, Time says it's actually a fraud. . . . Basically, the Iraqi cabinet seems to have cobbled something meaningless together so that Ryan Crocker can go before congress and say that just when it looked like the administration was going to need to report (fake) security progress but no political progress -- bam! -- in the nick of time along comes some (fake) political progress. . . [read on]

You broke it, you own it
In a sign that top commanders are divided over what course to pursue in Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday that it won't make a single, unified recommendation to President Bush during next month's strategy assessment, but instead will allow top commanders to make individual presentations.

"Consensus is not the goal of the process," Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. "If there are differences, the president will hear them."

Military analysts called the move unusual for an institution that ordinarily does not air its differences in public, especially while its troops are deployed in combat.

"The professional military guys are going to the non-professional military guys and saying 'Resolve this,'" said Jeffrey White, a military analyst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "That's what it sounds like."

White said it suggests that the military commanders want to be able to distance themselves from Iraq strategy by making it clear that whatever course is followed is the president's decision, not what commanders agreed on. . . .
[The Angry Rakkasan] Mark it down. August 29, 2007. That’s the day the Pentagon announced it was done being responsible for Mr. Bush’s waste of lives, time, and money in Iraq. Tonight, the Defense Department has essentially told the President, "Thanks for the war, George, but it’s all you from here on out, buddy." . . . .

Bush’s request for an additional $50 billion for the war is an opportunity for the Democrats – if they decide to do something about it

The National Guard and US troops: stretched to the breaking point
[Fred Kaplan] President George W. Bush's behavior gets more baffling every day. Most leaders in his predicament would be recalibrating their rhetoric, seeking to alter expectations, so that the inevitable drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq won't appear to be a defeat.

Instead, Bush is doing the opposite. Twice this past week, he has appeared before his most bedrock base (the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars), promised to give his commanders whatever they need for victory, and lambasted Congress for so much as contemplating withdrawal, a step, he warned, that would imperil civilization and free peoples everywhere.

He is willfully ignoring two facts. First, almost nobody in a position of power or much influence is advocating a complete withdrawal from Iraq. Second, a partial withdrawal is certain to take place in the next nine months, and this has nothing to do with Congress.

This has been noted time and time again, but apparently it bears repeating: The U.S. Army and Marines are simply running out of combat troops. . . .

As dependable as sunrise, the news once again grasps at straws to imagine that Bush is headed for an upsurge of popularity. Where does this desperate need come from?
[David Kurtz] Nearly seven years into his Presidency, don't we have a pretty good idea of the character and abilities of this man? There is a long track record now of truly unparalleled incompetence, corruption, and politicization. What more do we need to know? Bush's legacy is firmly entrenched, and barring any seismic historical events between now and January 2009, any changes to that sorry legacy will be at the margins. . . .


Iran attack coming in September?

It’s as if it never happened. . . .
[AP] An Army officer's acquittal on charges of failing to control soldiers who abused Abu Ghraib prisoners cuts short a trail of accountability that could lead much higher, human rights groups say. . . .

Bush returns to the scene of the crime
[Bush] And so it's -- my attitude is this: New Orleans, better days are ahead. It's sometimes hard for people to see progress when you live in a community all the time. Laura and I get to come -- we don't live here, we come on occasion. And it's easy to think about what it was like when we first came here after the hurricane, and what it's like today. And this town is coming back. This town is better today than it was yesterday, and it's going to be better tomorrow than it was today. . . .
[AP] It's an emotional time. You re-live what happened and you remember how scattered everyone is now. There are relationships now that are completely over," said Robert Smallwood, a New Orleans writer. "The city has been dying this slow death. In New Orleans, you can't escape it. It's bad news everyday." . . .

The crime:

Who they are
[Avedon Carol] Republicans have shown no sign of believing in "the right to keep your own money" or in limited government or in a "strong defense". Allowing rich people and corporations to make use of (and often ruin) public services without paying for them is not giving you "the right to keep your own money"; in fact, it's making you pay for the things they get more use from. Limiting the power of government to protect your Constitutional rights is not "limited government"; neither is allowing a president the power to summarily deprive individuals of those rights "limited government". Bankrupting the Treasury in order to give the DoD money it doesn't need (and doesn't spend wisely) while you go blow up other countries that posed no threat to the US is not "a strong defense".

Conservatives have always supported intrusive government. . . [read on!]

Hmmm. . . . maybe Chertoff isn’t such a shoo-in at Justice after all
[Spencer Ackerman] Long before he was internationally infamous as the Homeland Security secretary who dithered while New Orleans drowned, Michael Chertoff helmed the Justice Department's Criminal Division, placing him at the top of all federal criminal prosecutions. He left the position in 2003 to take a federal judgeship -- but not before severely misconstruing, under oath, a chain of events in the 2001 interrogation of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh. As it turns out, a sworn statement, made by an attorney in the division's Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, John De Pue, contradicts Chertoff's testimony to Congress, something that can't bode well for his rumored nomination for attorney general. . . .

The other candidates:

We’ll have more on this, down the road, but confirmation for Bush’s DOJ nominee is going to be very tough. Think about the questions they will have to answer

New documents reveal more trouble to come for the DOJ
[Newsweek] The investigation (headed by the department’s respected inspector general, Glenn Fine) has already turned up new documents and e-mails about the purge that have not been made public and that are inconsistent with previous Justice Department statements . . . [read on]

FISA hearing, Sept 5

The amazing string of Republican corruption and scandal stories

Bye-bye Larry – and take Moe and Curly with you;_ylt=AuREw.O0OCqaq4PFIa2lcpOs0NUE
Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's political support eroded by the hour on Wednesday as fellow Republicans in Congress called for him to resign and party leaders pushed him unceremoniously from senior committee posts.

The White House expressed disappointment, too — and nary a word of support for the 62-year-old lawmaker, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge stemming from an undercover police operation in an airport men's room.

Craig "represents the Republican Party," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the first in a steadily lengthening list of GOP members of Congress to urge a resignation. . . .


Hypocrisies galore

Advice to Republicans: stay outta those bathrooms!

Bizarre story: Speaking of bathrooms, Tucker Carlson brags about beating up a gay guy who made an unwanted advance toward him. The story starts as a story of spontaneous male rage – then devolves into undeniable gay-bashing
[Steve Clemons] Tucker Carlson brought this home in an interview he did yesterday in which he got "bothered" in a public restroom when he was a high school student and then got a buddy and went back to beat up the guy before he was arrested. To be fair to Carlson, we haven't yet heard whether the "botherer" grabbed Tucker's crotch or just tapped his foot under the stall.

But Carlson's comment that he chose to beat up the trespasser "after the fact" in a vigilante action says much. . . .

Read the full transcript (or watch the video clip) which is pretty disgusting, not just because Tucker Carlson, self-described as "the least anti-gay right-winger you'll ever meet", admits to beating up someone trolling for sex in a public bathroom -- but because Dan Abrams and Joe Scarborough just laugh.

Then Tucker backpedals from his own account
[What he said] CARLSON: I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and -- and --

ABRAMS: And did what?

CARLSON: Hit him against the stall with his head, actually!

CARLSON: And then the cops came and arrested him. But let me say that I'm the least anti-gay right-winger you'll ever meet --

[The revised version, later] Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.


Another Republican retirement – another winnable GOP seat
[Evans-Novak] Republican Senators are now talking about losing four seats in 2008 . . .

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Larry Craig (R-ID) goes full-out in his defense: "I am not gay!!!!”
Craig said that he "over-reacted" and pleaded guilty August 8 because his hometown newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, had been conducting an eight-month investigation into his sexual orientation. He said he hoped to avoid fueling what he described as the newspaper's "witch hunt" by quietly resolving the matter by pleading guilty -- without telling any of his family, friends, staff or colleagues. . .
[Steve Benen] I know this is going to sound silly, but as political strategies go, this isn’t a ridiculous idea. Now that he’s had time to think about it, Craig realizes that the criminal charges against him are pretty thin, and he wasn’t actually caught propositioning anyone. Sure, it looks like Craig was trying to make sexual advances on the stranger in the next stall, but as long as he can argue, with a straight face, that this is the result of a misunderstanding, there’s no irrefutable proof that he’s lying. . . . [read on]
[David Kurtz] Craig says he is not and never has been gay, and blames the Idaho Statesman for what he called vicious attacks against him, referring to the long investigation by the paper of rumors that Craig was gay, for his decision to plead guilty. Of course the paper didn't publish the results of that investigation until today--after news of Craig's June arrest and August guilty plea broke.

The REAL reason why he pled guilty:

More to the story?

An excellent question
[Steve Benen] E&P asks a good question: how is it that a senator can get arrested on sex charges, and no one noticed for a couple of months? Roll Call noted it found out based on a tip, but newspaper editors agreed that it was a combination of factors, most notably that Craig was arrested outside his home district in an area where few national outlets have a desk.

[Joe Sudbay] Note the vitriol with which he utters the words that he's not gay. It is very, very disturbing. It's as if being gay is the very worst thing in the world ever. Ever. . . .
[BC] Craig hates himself, and that is sad, no matter how you slice it. His explanations for the events in Minnesota are so ridiculous, they defy logic and credibility . . .

Smelling a loser, the GOP wants Craig out before the next campaign

Craig might fight on:

The God squad isn’t listening to any excuses

Double standards?
[Steve Benen] I don’t want the right to feel dispirited because of these scandals; I want them to give up. Give up on using gays as a wedge issue. Give up on abstinence-only policies that don’t work. Give up on constitutional amendments regarding personal behavior. Give up on holding up the GOP up as the authority on what should and shouldn’t be allowed in bedrooms.

Or don’t. Go ahead and continue to embrace hypocrisy. Keep hiding your head in your hands every time a Larry Craig gets caught. Continue to argue that it’s not at all odd that your presidential front-runner is a thrice-married adulterer.

It’s up to you, my conservative friends. . .

[Scott Reed, GOP consultant] “The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. “You can’t make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass-roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country.”

Welcome back Jeff: perfect timing!
[Steve Benen] Remember Jeff Gannon (James Guckert), the alleged gay prostitute who inexplicably was invited to the White House 200 times? Who got a daily press pass using a pseudonym? Sure you do — he’s the one who would ask ridiculously-slanted, groan-inducing softball questions for the White House, and would then publish “news” items that lifted Republican press releases word for word.

Gannon went away for a while, but now he’s anxious to make a comeback . . . [read on]

Gonzo’s replacement: maybe not Chertoff after all?
NBC reports the latest speculation on Gonzales’ successor: “Per a source close to the White House, ex-Deputy Attorney General George J. Terwilliger III is ‘looking very good’ to replace Alberto Gonzales. Former Solicitor General Ted Olson and former appellate judge Laurence Silberman are ‘also in the running.’ And Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson ‘are unlikely.’”

What’s wrong with them?

Picking a fight:
[Matt Yglesias] This is stereotypically shrill blogger of me, but I think Brian Beutler's right that there's no sense in writing about how Bush "should" appoint a widely respected Attorney-General who'll restore the nation's confidence in the neutral administration of justice. At this stage in the game, one knows that the leopard doesn't change its stripes. Besides which, I'm still fairly convinced that the White House is going to be looking for a fight over its nominee's confirmation . . .
A half-dozen or so lawyers are being discussed among administration officials as possible candidates to replace Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, but no clear favorite has emerged, and President Bush is willing to fight for the right candidate . . .

No, the investigations of criminal wrongdoing by the Justice Dept (what a strange thing to type) are not over

Hmmmm. . . . coming attractions?
Jack Goldsmith, the former head of Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, will testify before Congress after the summer recess about the NSA's warrantless surveillance program. This could get interesting.


Gen. Petraeus forced changes to the NIE report
[Kevin Drum] [U]ntil recently my guess was that Petraeus's September report to Congress would be pretty sober. My thinking was that he's a smart guy, and realizes that trying to paint too pretty a picture would ruin his credibility. So instead he'd present a basically realistic assessment, but stud it with just enough signs of progress to convince everyone that he deserved more time to make the surge work.

Now I'm not so sure. . .

Pleased don’t be shocked. . .
President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.

The request -- which would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- is expected to be announced after congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September featuring the two top U.S. officials in Iraq . . .

The request is being prepared now in the belief that Congress will be unlikely to balk so soon after hearing the two officials argue that there are promising developments in Iraq but that they need more time to solidify the progress they have made . . .
[Kevin Drum] So that's that, I guess. The White House already knows what Petraeus and Crocker are going to say and they figure it's going to be $50 billion of good news. And with that, the Kabuki show continues. . . .
[Daniel Politi] The additional request is a sign the administration sees the "surge" lasting "into the spring of 2008." Near the end of the story an unnamed officer at the Joint Chiefs of Staff continues the campaign to reduce expectations for the Petraeus-Crocker hearings, saying he doesn't expect "any surprises." . . .
[Atrios] And the response of the Democrats will be... predictable.

Bush gives a speech!
President Bush played down the failure of the Iraqi government to meet political benchmarks set by the U.S. Congress. . .

The last refuge of scoundrels
[Steve Benen] By the way, in his speech to the American Legion conference, Bush added:

“I appreciate your efforts to honor the American flag. There are those who say the flag is just a piece of cloth. That’s not the view of those who bled for it and saw it drape the caskets of some of our finest men and women. It was the American flag that we planted proudly on Iwo Jima, that first graced the silver surface of the moon. The country is careful to protect many things because of what they symbolize. Surely we can find a way to show equal respect for the symbol that our soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines and Coast Guard’s men and women have risked their lives for — the flag of our nation. So today I join the Legion in calling on the United States Congress to make protection of the flag the law of our land.”

Really? Just 15 months left in office and the president is suddenly going to start taking a flag amendment seriously?

The boomlet over Iyad Allawi as the New Savior of Iraq captures everything that has been wrong with this enterprise from the beginning. There is NO REASON to believe that he would be effective as the new strongman leader of Iraq, and much reason to think not. But he would be a change from a policy that isn’t working and he would buy more time. That’s all Bush cares about any more

The kind of people they REALLY are
[Steve Benen] When it comes to fundraising pitches, the rhetoric is supposed to be accurate but exaggerated. Reasoned, sensible requests tend not to raise money; donors have to be shocked into reaching for their checkbook.

The Republican National Committee tends to take this idea to the extreme with pretty loathsome fundraising appeals. Indeed, the RNC has developed a well-deserved reputation for making accusations that turn right at accurate and head straight for loonyville. Consider the party’s latest pitch . . .

This is the man “Meet the Press” has put on twice as representative of the “blogging community” – CBN’s David Brody

Bonus item: Alberto Gonzales, a trip down memory lane. . . .

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


A kind of tragedy. Here’s a man who was widely expected to become a Supreme Court Justice, but when Bush and Cheney got through with him he was a national travesty. It was all with his full knowledge and participation, so it’s impossible to feel sorry for him, but his providing legal cover for torture policies abroad, and for illegal surveillance at home; his allowing Karl Rove to hire and fire his own US Attorneys; his suppression of civil rights, politicizing the prosecution (or non-prosecution) of voting and electoral cases all across the country; and his absurdly untruthful and devious performances before Congress – all served to make him an object of scorn even within the Republican party. Bush is damn mad to have to let his old Texas pal go, but the person he should be most angry with is himself, because he badly used his friend, over and over again
[Bush] “Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle, and I have reluctantly accepted his resignation with great appreciation for the service that he has provided for our country. . .

After months of unfair treatment, that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position and I accept his decision.

It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeding (sic) from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.”

It’s Bush’s own damn fault
[David Kurtz] We saw the sour, petulant Bush on display in his public statement from Waco this morning . . .


A reminder of why this became necessary
[Andrew Cohen] When historians look back upon the disastrous tenure of Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States they will ask not only why he merited the job in the first place but why he lasted in it as long as he did. . . [read on]
Worst. AG. Ever. . . . [read on]
[NYT] Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice. He has resigned. . .


[David Kurtz] Well, that was as unceremonial and abrupt a resignation announcement from a cabinet official as we are likely to see for some time. . .

Here's the video. Don't blink. You might miss it.
[Tim Grieve] Did Alberto Gonzales jump or was he pushed? . . [read on]

Of course, they couldn't even handle his resignation without lying about it
[David Kurtz] I must say that it strikes me as an especially carefully crafted and stage-managed departure . . .

Lying to subordinates and the press is par for the course for these guys (and for much of official Washington in similar circumstances, truth be told). So nothing out of the ordinary there. But this elaborate choreograph, as related to The Times by administration officials, of Bush initially rebuffing the resignation, seems designed to emphasize that the timing and circumstances of Gonzales' departure was of his own choosing and that the President's hand was not being forced by Democrats on the Hill.

In short, I don't buy that tick-tock as being an accurate reflection of events, not with an attorney general who became a bipartisan laughingstock perhaps unparalleled among cabinet officers in U.S. history. The man was run out of town. The White House effort seems designed to minimize the appearance of that fact.


The bloodbath they’ve created at DOJ: nine major resignations

The investigations won’t stop

Don’t laugh
"The resignation of Alberto Gonzales had become inevitable. His situation was a distraction to the Department of Justice and its attempt to carry out its important duties."

--Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), who urged Gonzales to replace New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias after Iglesias failed to indict New Mexico Democrats before the 2006 elections. The politically motivated purge of Iglesias and other U.S. attorneys triggered the series of events which ultimately led to Gonzales' resignation

Who will replace Gonzales?


NOT Chertoff?

Will there be a confirmation fight; or will Bush use a recess appointment?

And who will replace Chertoff?
[T]hese sources say Chertoff will be replaced at Homeland Security by Clay Johnson III, the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. . . .

Johnson, who has no homeland security experience, is a professional Bush loyalist. While Johnson may have familiarity with some aspects of DHS’s budget, he appears to have no experience in the many responsibilities of the department, including immigration, air travel security, disaster response, and other aspects of our nation’s homeland defense.

He is one of Bush’s oldest friends, having attended both prep school and college with the President. Johnson served as Bush’s gubernatorial chief of staff in Texas before heading up the Bush-Cheney transition team. . .

The resignation list for the Bush gang as a whole, all following the 2006 elections
[Miss Laura] Look over that list closely, and ask yourself a simple question: Had we not won in 2006, would any of these people resigned?

Whoa – suddenly, the Bush gang says they want to play NICE?
[Kevin Drum] Uh huh. I'm sure he's so looking forward to mending relationships with Democrats in Congress. Because, you know, he's a uniter, not a divider. . .

There was another big story yesterday, what was it? Uh, a Republican somewhere – oh yeah, uber-right wing Larry Craig (R-ID), homophobe, family values and sanctity of marriage hypocrite – pleads guilty to a homosexual assignation in a men’s room. What IS IT with these people?

Previous hints:

Uh huh
“At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions,” Craig said in a statement released Monday evening. “I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct. I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."

The arresting officer’s statement

Bigger trouble to come?
[Roll Call] At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” . . .

[David Kurtz] Would Senate rules require Craig to report this misdemeanor conviction to the Senate Ethics Committee?

The right wing struggles to make sense of it all (actual quotes, dug up by Pam Spaulding)
I'm getting to the point where I just don't care about that—my rage at the betrayals overshadows all. Haggard, Foley, this kook. It seems that NO one speaks for us and acts for us. . . .

OK, here is my latest conspiracy theory... enjoy! Homosexuals are deliberately infiltrating the GOP so they can say either (1) See, we're gay and we're Republicans, too! or (2) They can claim to be anti-homosexual agenda politicians, and then when they are caught, it makes the GOP look like the party of hypocrites. Either way it advances the homosexual agenda. . . .

I thought Republicans were Anti-Gay? Am I missing something here? The GOP apparently has Gays in High Places. And the Main Stream media rather than saying, The Republicans are not the narrow minded Cretins we make them out to be. Instead say another "Fag Republican" was caught. What gives? The Demorats love Gays until they are members of the GOP. Then they are dirty scoundrels? Two faced liars and hypocrits. That's what the Demorats are today. They hurl the Gay Insult when a GOP member is outed. If they out themselves as Demorats they are courageous. Otherwise they are Sexual Deviants. . .

The GOP needs to clean it's house of perverts and sodomites. . .

I think this is another Democrat setup. Anyone who says anything against gays nowadays is persecuted.

Nah, I think more likely the GOP bigwigs eventually knew about it and figured it will come out any way, dump it today under the flash of the Gonzales stories.

Whoosh! Part two – Mitt Romney tries to erase all signs of buddy Craig’s endorsement and support

In other news:

How does Allawi think that having a high-powered DC lobbying firm backing him will go down with the people back in Iraq?

Mr. Six-gun:
[July 17, 2004] Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings. . . [read on!]

Will Gen. Petraeus be held to account for this massive loss of US weapons, many of which have now ended up in the hands of Iraqi insurgents?


More attempts by the Bush gang to erase history (they seem to have forgotten how the Internet works)

Competitive Senate seats in 2008: a huge pick-up is possible

The most viable new Republican Senate candidate in 2008 is a turncoat Democrat (named, no kidding, John Kennedy)

Debunking the myths of Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 performance

Fred Thompson’s campaign hasn’t even officially started yet – and he’s still losing key staffers

Bonus item: Gonzo’s resignation letter: the redacted version

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, August 27, 2007



Echoes of Chalabi: Allawi plans a triumphal return to Iraq, starting the process of challenging Maliki. When will these folks figure out that ANYONE perceived as a US puppet will have trouble gaining legitimacy?
Iraq's former interim prime minister accused Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of fomenting the sectarian violence plaguing the war-ravaged nation and said Sunday he will return to Baghdad soon to "reverse the course in Iraq."

However, Ayad Allawi's ties to a powerful Washington-based GOP lobbying firm is raising eyebrows as President Bush has adamantly expressed his support for al-Maliki.

Speaking from Amman, Jordan, Allawi told "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that he will push for "a less sectarian, nonsectarian course" when he goes back to Baghdad next week -- and al-Maliki's ouster may be part of the solution. . . .
[Josh Marshall] Finally, unexpectedly, out of the blue even, we appear to have arrived at a grand cross-party consensus on Iraq: it's Nuri al Maliki's fault and he should be fired. Faced with the tough task of biting the bullet one way or another, pols across the partisan divide seem to have arrived at this as the one position . . .

Which, of course, puts into a rather sharp relief the simple but less and less often spoken fact that Iraq is a country under foreign military occupation.

But watching the Sunday shows today -- both in what would-be-premier Allawi said as well as the comments of various US political leaders -- you see what's behind the dump Maliki movement: a crystallizing belief that democracy just hasn't panned out in Iraq and that it's time to install a strongman government that can get the country in its grip and calm things down. . . .

It won’t work:
[Nibraz Kazimi] "These are the usual amateurish stunts that US diplomats and spooks resort to when trying to arm-twist a Middle Eastern ‘flunky’; Washington is panicked by the Sunni withdrawal from the government whilst their current policy can be summed up with “Give the Sunnis everything they want”—including arms and protection to former insurgents who’ve been killing Americans and Iraqis for the last five years. By spreading this rumor, the Americans would like to spook Maliki into giving the Sunnis all that they want too—their current demands being the Presidency, and the Oil, Defense and Finance ministries and the Intelligence Service, in addition to their current portfolios—and fall into line with policy. Here’s a series of reality checks ...." . . . [read on!]

The Petraeus plan: ten more years in Iraq

Who are we fighting in Iraq? (hint: it’s mostly NOT “Al Qaeda”)

The overarching question is whether Al Qaeda has the ability to strike the United States with another "spectacular" along the lines of 9/11, or possibly something worse. When the Qaeda leadership was driven into the hills in 2001, and many of their top operators were killed or captured, the jihadist movement was sustained by local wannabes. They set off bombs and blew up subways and discos from Indonesia to Britain. But they were not very high-tech, and some were klutzes, like the two mokes who last June failed to set off a pair of car bombs in London and then tried, unsuccessfully, to become suicide bombers at the Glasgow airport. (One eventually did die of his burns, but no civilians were injured when their car caught fire but failed to explode.)

When the United States struck Afghanistan in 2001, "there were probably 3,000 core Al Qaeda operatives," says Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School. "We killed or captured about 1,000; about 1,000 more ended up in distant parts of the world. And about 1,000 ended up in Waziristan. But the great terror university in Afghanistan is gone; they've relied on the Web since. They haven't had the hands-on instruction and the bonding of the camps. That's resulted in low-skill levels. Their tradecraft is really much poorer."

The danger now, says Arquilla, is that the longer the Iraq War goes on, the more skilled the new generations of jihadists will become. "They're getting re-educated," he says. "The first generation of Al Qaeda came through the [Afghan] camps. The second generation are those who've logged on [to Islamist Web sites]. The next generation will be those who have come through the crucible of Iraq. Eventually, their level of skill is going to be greater than the skill of the original generation." . . .
[Kevin Drum] Even the optimists don't seem to think that we have more than about a 10 or 20 percent chance of winning in Iraq — for whatever definition of "winning" is currently in vogue. But it's not a 20% chance of winning versus a downside of zero. There's pretty much a 100% chance that the longer we stay in Iraq, the stronger al-Qaeda will get. Anyone who isn't taking that into account isn't taking the war seriously.

Frank assessments on Iraq from three reporters on Meet the Press (excerpts)
MR. RUSSERT: Tom Ricks, your paperback edition of “Fiasco” is out. You wrote a postscript for this book in April, and I want to use it to frame our discussion. It’s astonished—“It astonishes me that in early 2007 it appears” “the two most likely outcomes of the current turmoil in Iraq are either that the country will break up, or that Sadr—an anti-American ally of Hezbollah—will become the country’s ruler. However, neither of those events is likely to end the violence, but rather simply to open a new and even more dangerous phase.” You still stand by that?

MR. THOMAS RICKS: Yeah. What strikes me is that all of the options carry bigger downsides than benefits, and things that look like solutions in the short term carry the prospect of long-term violence. I think that’s true of every single policy option out there, and so I think the beginning of wisdom is to understand that we—there are no good options. All we have to now think about is what is the least bad option. . .

MR. RUSSERT: Michael Gordon, since you wrote “Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion And Occupation of Iraq,” what’s your current thinking about how it’s going to end? . . . If we, in fact, are arming the Sunnis and we’ve already armed the Shiites, are we arming both factions in a civil war?

MR. GORDON: . . . They’re not being given arms by the Americans, but you’re pointing to one of the very real risks. I mean, the potential here is by organizing these Sunni groups in Baquba and ... (unintelligible) ... and ... (unintelligible) ... and all sorts of places in Iraq, we do have a mechanism to provide local security and really to drive out al-Qaeda of Iraq. The downside is unless this becomes institutionalized and these people become either Iraqi police or somehow approved by the Iraqi government, we might be setting the stage for more intensified civil war.

MR. RUSSERT: Richard Engel . . . Joe Klein in Time magazine wrote this, that “US Ambassador Ryan Crocker” said, “‘The fall of the Maliki government, when it happens, might be a good thing.’” And then Klein asks, “But replace it with what?” Half of Maliki’s Cabinet has abandoned his government. Are his days numbered?

MR. ENGEL: His days are certainly numbered. This government is going to collapse. The problem is, it’s going to take several months to form a new government. And there’s a very likely and real possibility that you could have a series of unstable governments that come and then collapse . . .

I think you need to accept that they—the blue finger day was a disaster, and you need to have new elections. Probably a good idea to have new elections in Iraq right now while the troop surge is still in place. Then, after that happens, you would have a new leader emerge, hopefully with some enhanced powers, and then really change the rules of the game. . .

MR. RUSSERT: Tom Ricks and Michael Gordon, you cover the Pentagon, both in an extraordinary way. You’ve heard all the testimony, all the reports that the military is being strained terribly by the war in Iraq. Do you expect that there will be significant troop withdrawals recommended by the leadership in the Pentagon for 2008?

MR. RICKS: Yes. If things go beautifully, better than expected, you’ll see troop drawdowns beginning by April of next year. If things go horribly, you know, much worse than they are now, you’re going to see troop drawdowns beginning in April of next year. They’re going to come down by about one brigade, say about 5,000 troops a month, from April to October of next year. The question is, after October, how far—how much further do you go below 130,000? And then what becomes the mission of the troops that remain?

MR. RUSSERT: Michael:

MR. GORDON: Well, the natural life of the surge, if you were to do nothing and just let it run its course, would be around March or April. Because at that point the troop levels in Iraq need to—will decrease unless they extend the tours further, which they’re—have already ruled out doing, going beyond 15 months. . .

MR. RUSSERT: Richard Engel, is an all-out civil war inevitable in Iraq?

MR. ENGEL: Absolutely. It is going on right now, but it’s just contained. You have so many American forces that are keeping the lid on this civil war, but Iraqis are, are fighting. And you pull them back, it’s just going to come right up to the forefront.

And going back to, to their points, if you pull back the troops, the troops themselves are going to be furious. They have done so much and worked so hard and sacrificed so much that if you start pulling them back because of political debates and domestic pressure in the United States, they’re going to be livid. They’re not going to thank the Americans, and they’re probably going to end up blaming Democrats, who said, “We never got a chance to complete the mission and all of our hard work hasn’t been accomplished.” So I think there’s a real risk if you draw them—draw the troops down and don’t give them a new mission that they’re going to feel that they were just used and, and, and manipulated. . . .

[Matthew Gertz] Neither Russert nor the other members of the panel -- Washington Post military correspondent Thomas Ricks and New York Times chief military correspondent Michael Gordon -- mentioned recent reports indicating that some members of the military would not be opposed to drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. . . Further, on August 25, the Los Angeles Times reported that many soldiers are "becoming vocal about their frustration over longer deployments and a taxing mission that keeps many living in dangerous and uncomfortably austere conditions. Some say two wars are being fought here: the one the enlisted men see, and the one that senior officers and politicians want the world to see."

How the war is being fought: must-see video
[The Guardian] A nine-minute clip on YouTube offers a terrifying glimpse of the way the war is being won and lost in southern Afghanistan. The video, filmed from the belly of a Spectre AC-130 gunship, shows an attack on an alleged insurgent camp, rendered through a quivering black and white screen and the pilot’s mechanical monotone.

The crosshairs wander across a cluster of buildings, seeking out targets and shredding them to pieces. The bombs blitz mud dwellings, turn vehicles into fireballs, and mow down dozens of small white figures - people - as they sprint hopeless for their lives. “You are clear to level the building,” says the voice. The only sop to local sensitivities is that the Americans avoid hitting a mosque. . . .

[Tim Grieve] The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that "child fighters" -- some as young as 11 -- are now playing "a significant and growing role in kidnappings, killings and roadside bombings" in Iraq.

The U.S. military says it's a sign that the "surge" is working. Here's Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone, the U.S. commander of detainee operations in Iraq: "As our operations have increased, al-Qaida [in Iraq] and others have used more minors in the fight against us, and in the process we have detained more and more juveniles."


But WE’RE not desperate, huh-uh
[Daniel Politi] The Post says some worry the increased focus on filling this year's recruiting goals will leave the Army scrambling next year as it will have to start basically from scratch. And, of course, there are the concerns that those who sign up are doing it for the wrong reasons and that all this further illustrates how the Army has lowered its standards. "My sense is that right now, they're willing to take anybody who is willing to walk in the door and ship by Sept. 30," an expert tells the Post.

More on the Pentagon “spin room” – and the man behind it
[Harper’s] Dorrance Smith, a former ABC News producer, has been close to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld since the Ford Administration. Which probably explains why the Bush Administration picked him to be assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

In November 2005, shortly after President Bush nominated him for the post, Smith wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal claiming American television networks—including Fox News—had an “ongoing relationship” with the pan-Arab news network Al-Jazeera. . . . [read on!]

Visions of the future: what happened in Basra when the British withdrew?

Setting up an “inevitable” conflict with Iran (thanks to Dick W. for the link)

How Bush blew the search for Bin Laden

It’s what they do . . .
Top military lawyers have told senators that President Bush's new rules for CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists could allow abuses that violate the Geneva Conventions, according to Senate and military officials. . . .

The kind of people they are: of course conservatives will rush to distance themselves from gun-toting Ted Nugent’s vicious and disgusting threats against Obama, Clinton, etc. . . . right?

The current state of the Republican field for President

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Just a rumor, but. . . .
The buzz among top Bushies is that beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally plans to depart and will be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Why Chertoff? Officials say he's got fans on Capitol Hill, is untouched by the Justice prosecutor scandal, and has more experience than Gonzales did, having served as a federal judge and assistant attorney general. . . .

Bush’s propaganda “surge” – doesn’t it just tell you everything about how these people have run the war?
[AP] For the Pentagon, getting out Iraq information will now include a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week Iraq Communications Desk that will pump out data from Baghdad _ serving as what could be considered a campaign war room. . . .

The Pentagon dismissed suggestions that the communications desk will be a message machine or propaganda tool, and instead said it is being set up to gather and distribute information from eight time zones away in a more efficient and timely manner.

"I would not characterize it as a war room," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Friday. "It's far less sinister than that. It's more like a library."
[Steve Benen] Fine. Here's a fairly straightforward test: will the "Iraq Communications Desk" be just as diligent in publicizing discouraging news as it is putting a positive spin on developments on the ground? Will it back up assertions with data that is open to public scrutiny? Will it steer clear of White House-approved political rhetoric?

If the answer is "yes," it's a helpful public resource. If "no," it's a propaganda tool. Time well tell.

The check is in the mail
President George W. Bush, faced with growing calls to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, pleaded with Americans on Saturday for patience . . .

Is the “overall reduction in violence” real? It’s hard to know
[AP] This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago. . . .

Brig. Gen. Richard Sherlock, deputy director for operational planning for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said violence in Iraq “has continued to decline and is at the lowest level since June 2006.''

He offered no statistics to back his claim. . .
[Ilan Goldenberg] O’Hanlon’s piece in the Wapo today points to a significant reduction in sectarian violence. But as Matt points out the U.S. military won’t actually verify those numbers or show any proof.

In fact getting access to any kind of civilian casualty number has grown much more difficult in the past year. The most reliable source for civilian casualty estimates, the UN, has not been allowed access to the data since the start of 2007. The Iraqi government was mad because it thought the UN’s numbers were too high so it stopped sharing the data.

There are also numerous reports of underreporting of civilian casualties inside Iraq.

Even more damning is the fact that just last August the military and the Bush Administration specifically underreported civilian deaths in an attempt to tout the success of the original Baghdad security operation. An accusation that was confirmed by the Iraq Study Group.

A drop in civilian casualties would be great news. I just wish someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in reporting that news could actually verify those numbers. . . [read on!]

Best-case scenarios
[McClatchy] One way to look at the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq released this week is to review what it describes as the best-case scenario.

In that scenario, Iraq's security will improve modestly over the next six to 12 months, but violence will remain high. The U.S.-backed government will grow more fragile and remain unable to govern. Shiite and Sunni Muslims will continue to feud. All sides will position themselves for an eventual American departure.

In Iraq, best-case scenarios rarely, if ever, have come to pass. . . .
[Matt Yglesias] It really is striking how un-optimistic the more optimistic views of Iraq are when you get down to it. . . . [read on!]

Support the troops: bring them home!

John Warner (R-VA), who had the temerity to suggest a troop reduction BEFORE the Bush gang was ready to suggest a troop reduction, gets the usual treatment

Gen. Peter Pace now denies his recommendation to Bush about cutting troop levels in half
[Mimi Katz] One of Bush's standard lines is that Iraq policy shouldn't be made by politicians in Washington (other than him) and that he will "listen to the Generals." Of course this isn't true . . .

Blogs are imperfect news sources, to be sure – but every now and then we are reminded why they serve as an important corrective to the mainstream media

Traitors. TRAITORS!
[AP] One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted.

Or worse. . . . [read on!]
[Steve Benen] Why has waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption flourished over the last several years in Iraq? This might have something to do with it.

Of particular interest, the AP noted that whistleblowers are offered an avenue under the federal False Claims Act to file what's called a "qui tam" lawsuit, which allows private citizens to sue on the government's behalf. (The policy was developed under Lincoln to help root out corrupt contractors selling defective products to the Union Army.)

The Justice Department has the option of signing onto these lawsuits, 12 of which have been filed dealing with alleged Iraq reconstruction abuse since 2004. To date, how many qui tam suits have the Bush administration endorsed? Zero.

Opium sales way up, profits go the Taliban
“I think it is safe to say that we should be looking for a new strategy,” said William B. Wood, the American ambassador to Afghanistan . . .

At what price?
The government's terrorist screening database flagged Americans and foreigners as suspected terrorists almost 20,000 times last year. But only a small fraction of those questioned were arrested or denied entry into the United States, raising concerns among critics about privacy and the list's effectiveness. . .

Few specifics are known about how the system operates, how many people are detained or turned back from borders, or the criteria used to identify suspects. The government will not discuss cases, nor will it confirm whether an individual's name is on its list. . .

How they talk when nobody else is around
[The Guardian] The speech was aimed primarily at what White House officials privately describe as the “defeatocrats”, the Democratic Congressmen trying to push Mr Bush into an early withdrawal.

[Steve Benen] In private, presidential aides walk around the White House referring to “defeatocrats”? Seriously?

West Wing conversations now resemble Free Republic threads? I vaguely recall a time in which the political establishment perceived Bush’s election as the return of the “grown ups.” It’s rather amusing, in retrospect.

OK, moral equivalence time:

Exhibit A:
[Jane Hamsher] Since Friday, Blue America candidate Darcy Burner [D-WA] has raised over $57,000 toward her $100,000 goal to offset George Bush’s fundraising visit for her opponent, Dave Reichert.

Natasha over at Pacific Views catches Reichert in the YouTube above flashing his Republican charm and “civility”:

“And, oh yeah, did you catch that at the end? He compares Democrats to Gary Ridgway. A serial killer who pled guilty to the murders of nearly 50 women over two decades. . . .

Reichert says, “And in America, how hard is it for me to put my arm around a Democrat, if I could put my arm around Gary Ridgway? . . .

[NB: Yeah, Democrats are almost as bad as serial killers. Meanwhile. . . .]

Exhibit B:
[Avdeon Carol] [I]s Ted Nugent threatening the lives of Obama and Clinton? Maybe not, but I'm sure liberal bloggers are much nastier (because I read it in a "respectable" newspaper). . . .
"Obama, he's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun," Nugent said in front of a screaming crowd as he brandishes what appear to be two large assault rifles. . .

"Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch," Nugent said, brandishing his weapons.

He also went after Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), suggesting she, too, might like to "suck on my machine gun." Nugent's tirade against California's other Democratic Senator, Diane Feinstein, is too garbled to transcribe, but one can hear Nugent call her a "whore."

Why I like John Edwards
"I don’t have a Karl Rove. I don’t want a Karl Rove."

In the 2000 campaign, the national media caught the meme that Gore was a “serial exaggerator.” Once it took root, even innocent comments were pumped up as proof that Gore was a braggart and a windbag. Why has Rudy Giuliani been sheltered from the same characterization?


Bill Kristol dives off the deep end
[A]ll honor to George W. Bush for following in Reagan's footsteps, grasping the nettle, and confronting the real lessons and consequences of Vietnam. The liberal media and the PC academics are horrified. All the better.

As the left shudders, Bush leads. . . . [read on]

Sunday talk show line-ups
NBC’s “Meet the Press,” — Guests: Sen. John Warner, Virginia Republican; Lance Armstrong, cyclist and activist.

“Fox News Sunday,” — Guests: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican; Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat; former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican.

ABC’s “This Week,” — Guests: Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat; Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican; former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers.

CBS’ “Face the Nation,” — Guests: Former senator John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards.

CNN’s “Late Edition,” Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat; Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican; Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, No. 2 U.S. military commander in Iraq; former senator Max Cleland, Georgia Democrat.

Bonus item: Rate your blog!

PBD’s ranking: "Restricted"

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***