.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Success!

“Iraqi security forces announced on Monday the capture of a senior al-Qaida in Iraq figure, and the U.S. ambassador said the risk of civil war from last week's sectarian violence was over.”
-AP, February 27, 2006

“See? How dare people doubt Fearless Leader? We just caught another senior al-Qaida figure (boy there sure seem to be a lot of them) and the threat of civil war is over. Things aren’t so bad. I don’t know why people are always so fussy about the situation there. It’s just like that whole ‘ports’ thing. You’d think that people just don’t trust Fearless Leader and his orcs.. um, I mean minions.. um, I mean Administration.. to do the right thing..”

“Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week's bombing of a Shiite shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.
Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday -- blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound -- and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.”
-Washington Post, February 27, 2006

“Sure a lot of Iraqis are dying, but not as many Americans recently, so you can see that we’re making progress. We are keeping ourselves safe and maintaining the moral high ground. America is still safe, and Iraq is advancing quickly. They’ve gone from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War in only three years! It took the U.S. about 90 years to do that, so you can see… Democracy is coming to Iraq 30 times faster than it did to the U.S.! Success!. The President owes a lot to our military. Without their hard work and sacrifice none of this would have been possible. He knows how to repay them..”

“At least tens of thousands of veterans with non-critical medical issues could suffer delayed or even denied care in coming years to enable President Bush to meet his promise of cutting the deficit in half — if the White House is serious about its proposed budget.

After an increase for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing by leaps and bounds, White House budget documents assume a cutback in 2008 and further cuts thereafter.”
-AP, February 27, 2006

“..or maybe he doesn’t. You’d think that Fearless Leader was having some issues. I’m sure he’ll be fine though. Dubya knows that The People will support him.”

“The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.”
-CBS, February 27, 2006

Monday, February 27, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: What, Me Worry?

“A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.
The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.
P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.”
-UPI, February 24, 2006

“Has anyone told Dubya this? Seriously, he said he didn’t know about the situation until about a week or two ago, so he might not be up on the situation. Someone tell Fearless Leader!”

“The White House got a gift in the ports security debate, a chance for the president to sidestep a battle with members of his own party and to tone down bipartisan criticism of the deal.

The offer by Dubai-owned DP World to submit to a broader review of security issues in its deal to take over major operations at six U.S. ports also could salvage a business deal critically important to its economic future.”
-AP, February 26, 2006

“Wow, what a gift. DP World has agreed to the check of the security issues that should have been checked prior to the scandal.. Kind of like how Dubya has now been pushing Congress to sign a bill making his already-underway illegal wiretapping legal. You know, I think that the old saying about closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out comes to mind. Nothing to worry about though. We’re just giving control of 21 American ports to a foreign government linked to terrorism. Nothing to see here. Move along.”

“U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said yesterday he's gained a ‘pretty good’ comfort level with the deal under which a United Arab Emirates company would take over operations at six U.S. ports.
However, Frist said he wants to ‘take a pause’ for 30 to 45 days so other members of Congress can be briefed.
Speaking to reporters before headlining a GOP fundraiser in Lexington, Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said his initial trepidation about the deal has waned in recent days as his staff received intelligence briefings.
Frist said Republicans trust the Bush administration and think its determination that the port deal doesn't threaten American security is ‘in all likelihood absolutely the right one.’“
-Courier-Journal, February 26, 2006

“I’m guessing that his change of heart began with waking up to find a horse’s head in the bed with him, but I could be wrong. Maybe Frist has just learned over the last six years that if Fearless Leader says something, then it is going to be done and done right. I think that that level of faith is inspiring.”

“Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations' outgoing human rights chief in Iraq has revealed.
John Pace, who left Baghdad two weeks ago, told The Independent on Sunday that up to three-quarters of the corpses stacked in the city's mortuary show evidence of gunshot wounds to the head or injuries caused by drill-bits or burning cigarettes. Much of the killing, he said, was carried out by Shia Muslim groups under the control of the Ministry of the Interior.
Much of the statistical information provided to Mr Pace and his team comes from the Baghdad Medico-Legal Institute, which is located next to the city's mortuary. He said figures show that last July the morgue alone received 1,100 bodies, about 900 of which bore evidence of torture or summary execution. The pattern prevailed throughout the year until December, when the number dropped to 780 bodies, about 400 of which had gunshot or torture wounds.
‘It's being done by anyone who wishes to wipe out anybody else for various reasons,’ said Mr Pace, who worked for the UN for more than 40 years in countries ranging from Liberia to Chile. ‘But the bulk are attributed to the agents of the Ministry of the Interior.’"
-Independent (UK), February 26, 2006

“Yep, that port deal makes as much sense as our brave plan for democracy in Iraq, and I’m sure that it will work out at least as well.”

Friday, February 24, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Fear and Loathing

“If the furor over the port deal should go on, Mr. England said, it would give enemies of the United States aid and comfort: ‘They want us to become distrustful, they want us to become paranoid and isolationist.’”
-New York Times, February 23, 2006

“That would be Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England saying that.. Amazing how anything that goes against the Administration helps the enemy isn’t it? Apparently questioning the port deal helps terrorists.”

“Bush said the war's critics should stop questioning the motives that led him to launch the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
‘The American people know the difference between responsible and irresponsible debate when they see it…. And they know the difference between a loyal opposition that points out what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right,’ Bush said.
‘I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy — not comfort to our adversaries,’ Bush said.”
-LA Times, January 11, 2005

“Oh, and questioning the war in Iraq aids terrorists..”

“In acknowledging the message was true, President Bush took aim at the messenger Saturday, saying that The New York Times jeopardized national security by revealing that he authorized wiretaps on U.S. citizens after September 11. The president said he allowed the NSA ‘to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda.’ Publishing details of the program ‘damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk,’ Bush said.”
-CNN, December 17, 2005

“And questioning the illegal Presidential wiretaps aids terrorists..”

“Almost every day is a new phase, in some ways, because we're reminding different countries which may be susceptible to al Qaeda, that you're either with us or against us. And so we're constantly working on bolstering confidence amongst some nations which may sometimes forget that either you're with us or you're with the terrorists. That's kind of a -- that's a phase, I guess you could say.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, July 17, 2002

“Heck, anything that isn’t for the Administration works for the terrorists.”

"Q: How can people help on the war on terror?
Dubya: It's one thing to have a philosophical difference — and I can understand people being abhorrent about war. War is terrible, but one way people can help as we're coming down the pike in the 2006 elections is remember the effect that rhetoric can have on our troops in harm's way, and the effect that rhetoric can have in emboldening or weakening an enemy."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, answering question from 7-year old child, January 11, 2006

“Apparently even the upcoming 2006 elections might aid the terrorists… IF we weaken Fearless Leader’s grip on America. Remember, terrorists aren’t the only ones who use fear to get what they want.”

"Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
-Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: A Fine Port Whine

“This is how you know that what you are doing is annoying EVERYONE… When you are a neo-conservative and DeLay says that you are doing something stupid, you have officially jumped the shark.”

“U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay said Wednesday that President Bush is making a big mistake backing a sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates.

The former Republican majority leader said the administration's approval of the deal is ‘pretty outrageous.’ DeLay made the remarks during a campaign event with Houston real estate executives.”
-Associated Pres, February 23, 2006

“And this really doesn’t seem like something that just happened ‘accidentally’”

“The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.

As part of the $6.8 billion purchase, state-owned Dubai Ports World agreed to reveal records on demand about "foreign operational direction" of its business at U.S. ports, the documents said. Those records broadly include details about the design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment.
The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S. government requests. Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.”
-New York Times, February 23, 2006

“So it looks like there are two options here.. Either we HAD to do it for some reason..”

“Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) said last night that he will convene his panel today for a public briefing to be led by Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert M. Kimmitt and five other administration officials involved in the security review of the deal. Warner was briefed yesterday by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The senator said he was satisfied that proper procedures were followed on the deal.

But he said he would withhold judgment on the deal's national security implications until after today's briefing. The United Arab Emirates provides docking rights for more U.S. Navy ships than any other nation in the region, Warner noted. He added: ‘If they say they have not been treated fairly in this, we run the risk of them pulling back some of that support at a critical time of the war.’"
-Washington Post, February 21, 2006

…or we just WANT to do it for some reason..”

“The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.

One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose agency heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World - giving it control of Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark's container port.
Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet.
The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World's European and Latin American operations and was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.”
-New York Daily News, February 21, 2006

“..but either way, we all know one important fact. Dubya has no idea what is going on around him, again.”

“President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.”
-Associated Press, February 22, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Any Port in a War

“Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alike, President Bush endorsed the takeover of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports by a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement.”
-Associated Press, February 21, 2006

“As you may know, Bush has not vetoed ANYTHING in the last six years. Not budgets filled with Congressional pork. Not flawed assistance bills. Nothing. So you see how important he must think that this is. He is threatening to go against both parties to fight to help a company owned by the UAE operate our major ports. He must really believe in this, or he must be completely incapable of backing down when he decides to do something, or he needs something, anything, to get the ‘Dick shoots someone in the face’ story out of the news cycle.”

“I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction, but they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, February 21, 2006

“Just like they did with the Presidential briefing titled ‘Bin Ladin Determined to Attack U.S.’, the war plans for Afghanistan, the WMD issue in Iraq, the war plan in Iraq, the Katrina disaster plan and the Medicare card issues. Hey, you can trust them. Even if they miss something.. How bad can it be?”

“Lawmakers from both parties have noted that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.”
-Associated Press, February 21, 2006

“I leave you with a few words from Fearless Leader and his infallible wisdom.”

“THE PRESIDENT: Are you talking about the energy issue?
Q No, I'm sorry, the ports issue.
THE PRESIDENT: It's not a political issue.
Q But there clearly are members of your own party who will go to the mat against you on this.
THE PRESIDENT: It's not a political issue.
Q Why are you -- to make this, to have this fight?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't view it as a fight. I view it as me saying to people what I think is right, the right policy.”
-Questions and Answers with George ‘Dubya’ Bush, February 21, 2006

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: American Freedom (tm) 2.0

“As you may remember, there was a little case of Republican Amnesia that happened a last month.”

“Q: There are allegations that we sent people to Syria to be tortured…
McCLELLAN: To Syria?
Q: Yes. You’ve never heard of any allegations like that?
McCLELLAN: No, I’ve never heard that one. That’s a new one.
Q: Syria? You haven’t heard that?
McCLELLAN: That’s a new one.
Q: Well, I can assure you it’s been well publicized. My question is…
McCLELLAN: By what, bloggers?”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, January 18, 2006

“That was in regards to this story.”

“A Canadian citizen who was detained last year at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as a suspected terrorist said Tuesday he was secretly deported to Syria and endured 10 months of torture in a Syrian prison.”
-Washington Post (front page), November 5, 2003

“Well, you’ll be happy to know that it turns out that American Freedom ™ is alive and well. It turns out that the Administration did nothing wrong. Whew, I’ll sleep easier.”

“A federal judge has tossed out a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Syrian-born Canadian man who claimed U.S. counterterrorism officials deported him so he could be tortured in Syria.
Citing ‘the national security and foreign policy considerations at stake,’ the judge said Arar had no grounds in a U.S. court to claim his constitutional right to due process was violated.”
-Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 17, 2006

“Hey the guy was Syrian, or even worse: Canadian. He obviously has no say in where we in America decide to ship him off to. He should think of it as a free vacation to a warm and sandy destination. There are some though that would deny Fearless Leader his moment of triumph.”

“We're in a new world now and the all-powerful U.S. government apparently has free rein to ruin innocent lives without even a nod in the direction of due process or fair play. Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen who, according to all evidence, has led an exemplary life, was seized and shackled by U.S.authorities at Kennedy Airport in 2002, and then shipped off to Syria, his native country, where he was held in a dungeon for the better part of a year. He was tormented physically and psychologically, and at times tortured.

The underground cell was tiny, about the size of a grave.
Mr. Arar's captors beat him savagely with an electrical cable. He was allowed to bathe in cold water once a week. He lost 40 pounds while in captivity.
This is a quintessential example of the reprehensible practice of extraordinary rendition, in which the U.S. government kidnaps individuals ­presumably terror suspects ­ and sends them off to regimes that are skilled in the fine art of torture. In terms of vile behavior, rendition stands shoulder to shoulder with contract killing.”
-Bob Herbert, New York Times, February 20, 2006

“In defense of American Freedom ™, I think that I need to point out something. We NEED to send people to other countries to be tortured. Otherwise we’d have to do the torturing, and for some strange reason, despite the authorization from Fearless Leader and his band of Enablers, Americans tend to frown on the use of the thumbscrews. Heck, there are even those people within America who feel that disobeying the Geneva Conventions is, dare I say it, wrong.”

“Legal theories granting the president the right to authorize abuse despite the Geneva Conventions were unlawful, dangerous and erroneous, then-General Counsel Alberto J. Mora advised officials in a secret memo. The 22-page document was obtained by the New Yorker for an article in its Feb. 27 issue.

Mora said Navy intelligence officers reported in 2002 that military-intelligence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were engaging in escalating levels of physical and psychological abuse rumored to have been authorized at a high level in Washington.
‘I was appalled by the whole thing,’ Mora told the magazine. ‘It was clearly abusive and it was clearly contrary to everything we were ever taught about American values.’
Mora said he thought his concerns were being addressed by a special group set up by the Pentagon. But he discovered in January 2003 that a Justice Department opinion had negated his arguments with what he described as ‘an extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the president's commander in chief authority.’"
-Associated Press, February 20, 2006

“Sometimes you just need to have these foreigners tortured just to keep them in their place. Soon, if things don’t start looking better in Iraq, we’re going to take collective punishment to a whole new level.”

“The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, warned yesterday that Washington might cut aid to the Iraqis if the new government included sectarian politicians, pointing out that the US had spent ‘billions’ in building up the police and the army.
‘American taxpayers expect their money to be spent properly. We are not going to invest the resources of the American people into forces run by people who are sectarian,’ he said. He singled out the defence and interior ministries, saying they should be in the hands of people ‘who are non-sectarian, broadly acceptable and who are not tied to militias’.”
-The Independent (UK), March 21, 2006

“Yep, we gave them free elections, but those darn Iraqis had the nerve to freely choose groups that we didn’t want them too. If they don’t cut that out we’ll have to cut off the money we send to support the puppet regime that we set up. That is what American Freedom ™ is all about. You are free to make any decision that we approve of first. If Iraq is lucky they will soon enjoy the same benefits of American Freedom ™ that we have here at home.”

“Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden.

The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words ‘Homeland Security.’ The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.”
-Washington Post, February 17, 2006

“Homeland Security: It isn’t just for terrorism anymore.”

Friday, February 17, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: The Trouble with Harry

“You know, there are still a few little items that come up regarding the tragic shooting of Harry Whittington.”

“The local prosecutor's office has not been contacted and would only get involved if there were an indication of criminal wrongdoing or the facts were in dispute, said District Attorney Carlos Valdez.”
-Associated Press, February 13, 2006

“Well, that shouldn’t be a problem. I mean, the whole reason that Katharine Armstrong was the one to tell the story instead of the White House was because she saw everything. There shouldn’t be any questions.”

“And Katherine suggested, and I agreed, that she would go make the announcement, that is that she'd put the story out. And I thought that made good sense for several reasons. First of all, she was an eye-witness. She'd seen the whole thing.
And so we were confident that Katherine was the right one, especially because she was an eye-witness and she could speak authoritatively on it. She probably knew better than I did what had happened since I'd only seen one piece of it.”
-Vice President ‘Dick’ Cheney, February 15, 2006

“Yep, she was right there to see what went on.”

“Armstrong said she was watching from a car while Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of the vehicle to shoot at a covey of quail.”
-Associated Press, February 12, 2006

“DICK: There were three of us who had gotten out of the vehicle and walked up on a covey of quail that had been pointed by the dogs. Covey is flushed, we've shot, and each of us got a bird. Harry couldn't find his, it had gone down in some deep cover, and so he went off to look for it. The other hunter and I then turned and walked about a hundred yards in another direction --
Q Away from him?
DICK: Away from him -- where another covey had been spotted by an outrider. I was on the far right --
Q There was just two of you then?
DICK: Just two of us at that point. The guide or outrider between us, and of course, there's this entourage behind us, all the cars and so forth that follow me around when I'm out there -- but bird flushed and went to my right, off to the west. I turned and shot at the bird, and at that second, saw Harry standing there. Didn't know he was there – “
-Interview with ‘Dick’ Cheney, February 15, 2006

“Um, does that mean that she was like 100 yards away? Did she really watch the accident?”

“Armstrong said she saw Cheney's security detail running toward the scene. ‘The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem,’ she told The Associated Press.”
-Associated Press, February 14, 2006

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but if she mistook all of the running around for a heart attack, I’d have to say that she really wasn’t an ‘eyewitness’ to the VP shooting a man in the face. If you’d seen that I’d think that it would stick in your mind. She was at least an eyewitness to the results of the shot”

"It broke the skin. It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that.
-Katharine Armstrong, February 12, 2006

“DICK: Well, I said, ‘Harry, I had no idea you were there.’ And --
Q What did he say?
DICK: He didn't respond. He was -- he was breathing, conscious at that point, but he didn't -- he was, I'm sure, stunned, obviously, still trying to figure out what had happened to him.”
-Interview with ‘Dick’ Cheney, February 15, 2006

“Well was he ok and talking or was he lying there in shock? I’m sure that once Mr. Wittington is finally taken out of the hospital (it has been a week now, including several days in ICU) he’ll clear this up and explain that Dick didn’t do anything wrong.”

“INTERVIEWER: Stig, I’ve been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.
STIG: No, no. Never, never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to give his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me.
PRESENTER: But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.
STIG: (pause) Oh yeah, well - he did that, yeah.
STIG: Well he had to, didn’t he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do. I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law.
INTERVIEWER: What had you done?
STIG: Er… well he never told me that, but he gave me his word that it was the case, and that’s good enough for me with old Dinsy. I mean, he didn’t want to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off. There’s nothing Dinsdale wouldn’t do for you..”
-Monty Python’s Flying Circus

“By the way, the title of the Quotes this morning comes from a classic Alfred Hitchcock film in which an old man believes that he has accidentally shot and killed another man with his gun while hunting, and immediately begins trying to hide the body. It’s a comedy, not a documentary.
Thanks to First Draft for helping me locate most of the Quotes this morning.
Next week: Quotes that don’t involve members of the Administration shooting people in the face.. I promise."


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: May the Circle be Unbroken

“Oh, I know.. You’re all tired of the ‘Cheney shot someone in the face’ story. You want something fresh, something exciting. Tough luck. I do have a fresh angle though. Remember the big Jack Abramoff scandal? The one where lobbyists were influencing votes through donations? You know how big the lobbying scandal is becoming? Well guess who Dick was out hunting with..”

“Katharine Armstrong, whose family owns the ranch where Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a hunting partner, is a registered lobbyist who has been paid to lobby the White House, according to records.
Armstrong told NBC News in a telephone interview that she has never directly lobbied Cheney as far as she remembers.
‘Never!’ she said. And she says she does not remember directly lobbying the president himself either.”
-NBC, February 15, 2006

“Poor Katharine. Another brave sufferer of Republican Amnesia. Maybe she can find a cure with all of the money that she was receiving.”

“Armstrong was paid $160,000 in 2004 by the powerful legal firm Baker Botts to lobby the White House, according to records she filed with the U.S. Senate as required by lobbying disclosure rules. The records indicate she was paid the money after she ‘communicated with the White House on behalf of Baker Botts clients.’"
-NBC, February 15, 2006

“But she doesn’t remember lobbying the President. Hey, maybe this isn’t just a convenient case of memory loss. Maybe she is on the up and up.”

''I'm going to have lunch with Secretary of State Rice, talk a little business; Mrs. Bush, talk a little business; we've got a friend from South Texas here, named Katharine Armstrong; take a little nap. I'm reading an Elmore Leonard book right now, knock off a little Elmore Leonard this afternoon; go fishing with my man, Barney; a light dinner and head to the ballgame. I get to bed about 9:30 p.m., wake up about 5 a.m. So it's a perfect day.''

-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, as quoted in the Aug. 22, 2005, New York Times

“No.. This is looking like another spot on the Administrations record. How can we create the Grand Unified Theory of scandal? How can we tie all of the ongoing scandals up in a neat little bow?”

“In a phone interview, she told NBC News that in return for the money in one case, she set up a meeting at the White House for a Baker Botts client, although she said she felt she could not release the client’s name.
‘A meeting for doing something with one of their clients,’ she said, describing the event. ‘I’m not at liberty to say which.’ She says she cannot remember which White House official the meeting was with. She also said that during the inauguration proceedings, she got Karl Rove to speak at a Baker Botts function. ‘I got them Karl Rove,’ she said.”
-NBC, February 15, 2006

“More Republican Amnesia, but look.. Karl Rove! The circle is complete! The Great Circle of Cash has been forged! All hail the mighty Rove, the High Priest of scandal, and the lies and deceit for which he stands. Good God, it is beautiful in its audacity.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: The 18-Hour Gap

“And now back to America’s Funniest Vice Presidential Bloopers, already in progress.”

“The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice President of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occurred and called Vice President Cheney's office for confirmation.”
-Editor and Publisher, February 13, 2006

“The White House did not inform the national media of the accident, but the vice president’s office confirmed the story after journalists called to ask about the report on the Caller-Times Web site nearly 24 hours after the shooting.”
-MSNBC, February 13, 2006

“They didn’t tell the Press.. Go figure. Oddly enough they didn’t seem to let the local authorities in on it either, as they were legally obliged to do.”

“CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer reports Texas authorities are complaining that the Secret Service barred them from speaking to Cheney after the incident. Kenedy County Texas Sheriffs Lt. Juan Guzman said deputies first learned of the shooting when an ambulance was called.”
-CBS News, February 13, 2006

“But despite the news blackout and keeping the local sheriffs in the dark, the important people all knew what was going on.”

“White House chief of staff Andrew Card told Bush about Cheney’s involvement in the shotgun accident on Saturday night.
McClellan was informed that night that someone in the Cheney hunting party was involved, but he didn’t know that Cheney was the shooter until the next morning, the spokesman said.”
-MSNBC, February 13, 2006

“Wow.. That is a lack of attention to detail. How the hell do you call up the White House spokesman to tell him that there had been a shooting in the Vice-President’s hunting party and forget to mention that the Vice-President was the one who did the shooting? Really? It wasn’t mentioned? Even in an ‘oh sh*t, you are not going to believe this!’ kind of way? Man, that would have been the first thing that I think I’d have said.”

"’The vice president was concerned,’ said Mary Matalin, a Cheney adviser who spoke with him yesterday morning. ‘He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the [rules]. He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do.’"
-Washington Post, February 13, 2006

“Hey, I’m not much of a hunter (I have trouble killing spiders much less innocent animals in the wild), but I think that there was one thing Cheney did that he wasn’t supposed to do. See if you can follow me on this one.. HE SHOT A HUMAN BEING. As far as I know that is something that you are not supposed to do, unless he’d like to claim that he was authorized by Congress. Any hunters out there might want to correct me, but I’m guessing that is you aren’t careless on incautious you don’t end up shooting people. If Cheney wasn’t to blame though, who was?”

“The White House blamed the 78-year-old man whom Vice President Dick Cheney shot during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas for the incident, as officials struggled Monday to explain why they waited nearly 24 hours before making the news public.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan tried to absolve Cheney of blame for shooting wealthy Austin lawyer Harry Whittington, saying that hunting ‘protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington when it came to notifying others that he was there. And so, you know, unfortunately, these types of hunting accidents happen from time to time.’”
-Knight-Ridder News Service, February 14, 2006

“Now say something funny that will make this all seem ok..”

“Harry Whittington, the 78-year-old lawyer shot by Cheney, suffered a mild heart attack after a shotgun pellet in his chest traveled to his heart, hospital officials said.
Whittington was moved back to the intensive care unit and will be watched for a week to make sure more of the metal pellets do not move to other vital organs. He was reported in stable condition.”
-Chicago Sun-Times, February 15, 2006

“No, no, no! That isn’t funny! That is tragic. Jeez… The old guy was shot in the face and had a heart attack. The guy is in ICU. That’s serious stuff. You don’t make light of that kind of stuff. Show some tact.”

“President Bush's spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn't be confused for hunter's safety wear.

‘The orange that they're wearing is not because they're concerned that the vice president may be there,’ joked White House press secretary Scott McClellan, following the lead of late-night television comedians. ‘That's why I'm wearing it.’
The president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, took a similar jab after slapping an orange sticker on his chest from the Florida Farm Bureau that read, ‘No Farmers, No Food.’
‘I'm a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in,’ the governor cracked during an appearance in Tampa Monday.”
-Associated Press, February 14, 2006

“Ha ha! Funny! Almost as funny as when Bush mocked a woman that he had put to death in Texas or when he made fun of trying to find weapons of mass destruction under the couch at the Press banquet. Our Administration has such a great sense of humor about shooting people.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: This Calls for Barry White!

“We will return you to America’s Funniest Vice Presidential Bloopers tomorrow.. In the mean time, it’s time for looove. [Cue Barry White]”

“My darling, I can't get enough of your love babe

Girl, I don't know, I don't know why
Can't get enough of your love babe
Oh, some things I can't get used to
No matter how I try
Just like the more you give, the more I want
And baby, that's no lie
Oh no, babe
Tell me, what can I say?

What am I gonna do?
How should I feel when everything is you?
What kind of love is this that you're givin' me?
Is it in your kiss or just because you're sweet?”
-Barry White, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe”

“If we evolved a race of Isaac Newtons, that would not be progress. For the price Newton had to pay for being a supreme intellect was that he was incapable of friendship, love, fatherhood, and many other desirable things. As a man he was a failure; as a monster he was superb.”
-Aldous Huxley

“It is my belief that the only power which can resist the power of fear is the power of love.”
-Alan Paton

“To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.”
-Anna Louise Strong

“When we met, it wasn't quite clear to me

What you had in store was there for only me
Silly, you know you took me by surprise
Then I turned and looked, I saw that message in your eye
There you were, I fell on the floor
The way you move, girl, only made me want you more
I did not know you had me hypnotized
There's a movement of your body dancin' in my eyes
I know I had to hold you and make you mine
Don't want to control you just to have a good time
In ecstasy when you're layin' down next to me
Oh, no, no, ecstasy, yeah, when you're layin' down next to me”
-Barry White, “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Next to Me”

“Happy Valentine’s Day Mrs. Skippy (and to the rest of you too).”

Monday, February 13, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Dick Shoots Man in Face

“I killed a man In Reno, just to watch him die."
-Johnny Cash, ‘Folsom Prison Blues’

“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.”
-Associated Press, February 13, 2005

“Sometimes there is such a thing as having it too good.. This story is case in point… So many, many options on how to take this one. I’ll just do a few favorites.”


“Now, in terms of legal authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I've just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow -- there is -- unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position is, is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence.”
-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, December 19, 2005

“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.”
-Associated Press, February 13, 2005

“Mr. Cheney claimed that he was permitted to shoot the Most Dangerous Game due to the authorization to use force passed by the Congress in the days following September 11. Mr. Cheney then had the man labeled an ‘Enemy Combatant’ and locked in Guantanamo.”


“The White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping.

Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November.
‘It's hardball all the way,’ a senior GOP congressional aide said.”
-Washington Times, February 6, 2006 Issue

“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.”
-Associated Press, February 13, 2005

“He then stopped, turned, growled, and said ‘Anyone else feel like bucking the President?’”


“Shortly before the State of the Union address by President George W. Bush, U.S. Capitol Police arrested well-known anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan in the House Gallery. California Rep. Lynn Woolsey invited Sheehan to hear the speech.
Sheehan wore a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat, Schneider said. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.”
-WRC-TV, February 5, 2006

“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.”
-Associated Press, February 13, 2005

“The Vice President’s office stated that Mr. Wittington, the injured man, had stated that Mr. Cheney could not shoot straight. Mr. Chaney apparently took this as a critique of Iraq policy and felt threatened, leading him to shoot Mr. Wittington in the face.”


“Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.”
-Associated Press, February 13, 2005

“Mr. Cheney stated that though the 78 year old victim was tough, he still felt that the meat was better than baby, which he felt was too fatty and probably bad for his heart. He promised as a good hunter to eat everything he killed. The NRA wrote a letter of support to him later in the afternoon.”


“Now for an interesting point without any needed snark. 18-hours before this story made the news.”

“The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice President of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occurred and called Vice President Cheney's office for confirmation.
The confirmation was made but there was no indication whether the Vice President's office, the White House, or anyone else intended to announce the shooting if the reporter, Jaime Powell of the Corpus Christ Caller-Times, had not received word from the ranch owner.”
-Editor and Publisher, February 12, 2006

Friday, February 10, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: The Other Shoe Falls

“In a speech today, Bush told members of the National Guard Association of a foiled 2002 Al Qaeda plot to fly a plane into LA's US Bank Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. Bush said that the terrorist's plan was put into place after 9/11 but ‘was derailed in early 2002, when a Southeast Asian nation arrested a key al Qaeda operative.’ Bush added, ‘Subsequent debriefings and other intelligence operations made clear the intended target and how al Qaeda hoped to execute’ the plot, and helped other allies capture the ringleaders."
-Washington Post, February 9, 2006

“Aaaaahh! Another terrorist attack! Be afraid! Terrorists are a cowardly and superstitious group lot, and apparently they only attack on election years!”

“U.S. President George W. Bush disclosed new details on Thursday of a thwarted al Qaeda plot to use shoe bombs to hijack a plane and fly it into a Los Angeles building, as he sought to justify his tactics in fighting terrorism.”
-Reuters, February 9, 2006

“Um, say what? They were going to hijack a plane with their Nike’s? Somehow the made-for-tv movie of that is going to look a little silly. I have this image of the swarthy terrorist holding up his sneakers and a lighter and threatening to set the laces on fire if they don’t turn the plane around..”

“Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as ‘nonexistent.’

‘I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels,’ the mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press. ‘I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody.’"
-Associated Press, February 9, 2006

“No one told the mayor of Los Angeles? The target city? Wow… They must have been so worried about this one that they kept it at the Federal level and didn’t tell the people who would be in charge of dealing with the devastation if something happened. So, while the people who actually would die didn’t hear about it, that’s only because our brave men and women serving in the war on terrorism are doing their jobs.”

“After a CIA official claimed last year that the government had ‘probably prevented a few aviation attacks against both the East and West Coasts’ since 9/11, John Pistole, the FBI's counterterrorism director, said he was ‘not sure what [the CIA] was referring to.’"
-New York Daily News, June 17, 2004

“What? The FBI’s counterterrorism director didn’t know about it either? Is Dubya the only one who hears about this stuff? And where did he get his information? I mean, the voices in your head really aren’t sufficient as evidence in a court of law. There is just one little thing about this story.. Hmm.. What is it?...”

“Q Scott, I wanted to just ask a follow-up about the LA plot. Is there something missing from this story, a practical application, a few facts? Because if you want to commandeer a plane and fly it into a tower, if you used shoe bombs, wouldn't you blow off the cockpit? Or is there something missing from this story?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know what you're referring to about missing. I mean, I think we provided you a detailed briefing earlier today about the plot. And Fran Townsend, our Homeland Security Advisor, talked about it. So I'm not sure what you're suggesting it.
Q Think about it, if you're wearing shoe bombs, you either blow off your feet or you blow off the front of the airplane.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, February 9, 2006

“Well, the Great Shoe Terror of 2002 may be over, but there are still those out there who are working to defeat our national security. Luckily we are fingering some of those people right now and will be able to stop their insidious influence.”

“Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been ‘authorized’ by Cheney and other White House ‘superiors’ in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.”
-National Journal, February 9, 2006

“Luckily Dubya is going to get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable, just like he’s done with Karl Rove.. He’s been saying so for a while.”

“But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 30, 2003

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Pulling a Boehner

“A White House aide who was once chief of staff to House Majority Leader John Boehner helped plan a 1996 trip to the Northern Mariana Islands that was organized by fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff, billing records from Abramoff’s firm show.
Barry Jackson, now chief deputy to White House adviser Karl Rove, accepted an invitation to travel to the island of Saipan in April 1996 but later decided not to go, White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Tuesday.”
-Associated Press, February 8, 2006

“Wow, who’d have thought that the new House Majority Leader’s name would come up somehow tied to the Jack Abramoff scandal? I thought that Boehner was the guy that was going in to get rid of the air of scandal that DeLay had created.”

“When asked about the contacts between his office and Abramoff’s, including a dinner Boehner attended in May 1996, Boehner told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday: ‘Some of his (Abramoff’s) underlings worked with some low-level employees of my office. I’m telling you I never met the man.’
Boehner spokesman Don Seymour said Tuesday that Boehner now does recall meeting Abramoff once, in ‘a brief, incidental conversation at a widely attended event that he estimates was about five years ago.’
In an e-mail to the AP, Seymour also said Boehner did not intentionally downplay Jackson’s role on his staff.
Boehner has declined to give up more than $30,000 he got from Abramoff’s Indian tribe clients, saying his own work on tribal issues justifies the contributions. He did not receive any money from the tribes until Abramoff represented them.”
-Associated Press, February 8, 2006

“I mean, he seems pretty tight with Abramoff in this story. He also seems to have the rare disease ‘Republican Amnesia’ that manifests whenever someone mentions Abramoff, Valerie Plame, the planning of Iraq, the response to Katrina, or Osama bin Ladin. It is fortunately only a temporary condition that only lasts as long as the Press is looking.”

“According to bills from Abramoff’s former lobbying firm to the Marianas government, Abramoff’s staff contacted Boehner’s office about island issues at least 10 times in the first four months of 1996. Copies of the billing records were obtained by The Associated Press through open-records requests to the territorial government.
Typically, the contact was made by David Safavian, who later became the Bush administration’s chief procurement official in the Office of Management and Budget. Safavian recently was indicted on charges of obstructing investigations of his ties to Abramoff. Safavian was the first administration official indicted in the Abramoff scandal.”
-Associated Press, February 8, 2006

“Hey, look! Bush’s name is tied into the story too.. Go figure. You can’t blame Boehner for working for a little extra cash though. If he didn’t hustle he’d have a hard time keeping a roof over his head in Washington.”

“Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who was elected House majority leader last week, is renting his Capitol Hill apartment from a veteran lobbyist whose clients have direct stakes in legislation Boehner has co-written and that he has overseen as chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee.”
-Washington Post, February 8, 2006

“Ok, so maybe keeping a roof over his head isn’t such a difficult thing for him. This is the guy who was going to clean up the corruption caused by the lobbying scandal DeLay was involved in.. If he doesn’t look out he’s going to get the same harsh treatment that DeLay has received.”

“Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him with a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee.

DeLay, R-Texas, also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers. The subcommittee also has responsibility over NASA — a top priority for DeLay, since the Johnson Space Center is located in his Houston-area district.
‘Allowing Tom DeLay to sit on a committee in charge of giving out money is like putting Michael Brown back in charge of FEMA — Republicans in Congress just can't seem to resist standing by their man,’ said Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”
-Associated Press, February 8, 2006

“What? DeLay is on the subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, which is currently investigating… him? Oh cruel irony. He’s also overseeing NASA, a group that found itself at the center of a little scandal just the other day.”

“George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word ‘theory’ at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said. Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted.”
-New York Times, February 8, 2006

“Good times, good times. Yep, the 24 year old Presidential appointee (and Bush campaign volunteer) didn’t even have a college degree. They don’t check anyone’s credentials apparently. It’s a good thing that Boehner is there to clean up the scandals.”

“CAFFERTY: These guys are either arrogant or stupid and neither of those is a good thing if you're going to be the House majority leader--am I missing something here? Where's the reform part? I wonder how long this guy is going to last.

WOLF: You did hear Ed Henry say that it is a basement apartment which is not necessarily all that desirable---
CAFFERTY: Yea...and pigs fly upside down and the moon is made of green cheese and there's no quid pro quo from a lobbyist who is also your landlord? Do I look like I just fell out of the back of a vegetable truck to you?”
-CNN, February 8, 2006

“Wow.. and that is all from a single day in the news. February 8. It’s amazing that the news doesn’t make more of this kind of stuff. I’m sure they’ll get to it after they find the next missing white woman.”

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Cracks in the Dam

“Goddess bless Helen Thomas. She seems to ask the important questions.”

“Q Does the President think he should obey the law? He put his hand on the Bible twice to uphold the Constitution. Wiretapping is not legal under the circumstances without a warrant.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I guess you didn't pay attention to the Attorney General's hearing earlier today, because he walked through very clearly the rationale behind this program. And, Helen, I think you have to ask are we a nation at war --
Q There is no rationale to disobey the law.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he's not -- are we a nation at war?
Q That's not the question.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, that is the issue here.
Q No, the question is, the point is there are means for him to go to war, get a warrant to spy on people.
MR. McCLELLAN: Enemy surveillance is critical to waging and winning war. It's one of the traditional tools of war.
Q Nobody says he doesn't have running room to --
MR. McCLELLAN: And the Attorney General outlined very clearly today how previous administrations have used the same authority and cited the same --
Q That doesn't make it legal.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- and cited the very same authority.
Q If they broke the law, that's too bad. You know what happened to Nixon when he broke the law.”
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesman Scott McClellan, February 6, 2006

“It looks like asking those questions makes the Administration a wee bit nervous though..”

“The White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping.

Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November.
‘It's hardball all the way,’ a senior GOP congressional aide said.”
-Washington Times, February 6, 2006 Issue

“Yes, that is Karl Rove, the man who outed an undercover CIA agent to the press, trying to make sure that no one complains about the Administration’s illegal wiretapping.”

“Isn’t it ironic.. Don’t you think? A little too ironic. Yeah, I really do think.”
-Alanis Morrisette

“Why should they be jumpy though? The Democrats can’t even seem to work up a good head of steam on this issue, and you know that the Republicans control Congress (and now the Supreme Court).”

"’Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision — we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people,’ Carter told reporters. ‘And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act.’

Carter made the remarks at a union hall near Las Vegas, where his oldest son, Jack Carter, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
The former president also rebuked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for telling Congress that the spying program is authorized under Article 2 of the Constitution and does not violate the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed during Carter's administration. Gonzales made the assertions in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which began investigating the eavesdropping program Monday.
‘It's a ridiculous argument, not only bad, it's ridiculous. Obviously, the attorney general who said it's all right to torture prisoners and so forth is going to support the person who put him in office. But he's a very partisan attorney general and there's no doubt that he would say that,’ Carter said. ‘I hope that eventually the case will go to the Supreme Court. I have no doubt that when it's over, the Supreme Court will rule that Bush has violated the law.’"
-Associated Press, February 7, 2006

“That’s just Carter though. I mean, he was known as the worst President ever for years (until dethroned by Dubya). He’s some namby-pampy pacifist with a good history in international relations and civil rights who used to be President, but we all know that real men invade other countries without reason and ignore civil rights, so we can discount what he says.”

“A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had ‘serious concerns’ about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.”
-New York Times, February 7, 2006

“Um, that’s a Republican… A REPUBLICAN! My God, I knew it was getting cold out again, but I had no idea that the inferno was icing down. Who knows, we may actually find out that we are a country ruled by laws after all..”

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Catching Up

“Well, the delightful and resilient Mrs. Skippy’s surgery went splendidly and she is recovering nicely at home. Thanks to all of you that were concerned. Seems like the world kept spinning busily away in my absence.”

“Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

“Diplomatically, Mr. Bush's ambitious call for the replacement of 75 percent of the United States' Mideast oil imports with ethanol and other energy sources by 2025 upset Saudi Arabia, the main American oil supplier in the Persian Gulf. In an interview on Wednesday, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said he would have to ‘seek an explanation’ from Mr. Bush.”
-New York Times, February 2, 2006

“One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.”
-Knight-Ridder News Service, February 1, 2006

“Exactly which parts of the State of the Union address were ‘literal’ and which weren’t? Inquiring minds want to know..”

“President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale.”
-Attorney General Alberto ‘Thumbscrews’ Gonzales, February 6, 2006

“Yes, there were many times that President Washington told the NSA to use roving wiretaps of cell phone lines without court order in order to stop the terrorists.. um, I mean British. Honestly, do they even try to make a convincing lie anymore?”

“BIDEN: Thank you very much.

General, how has this revelation damaged the program?
I'm almost confused by it but, I mean, it seems to presuppose that these very sophisticated Al Qaida folks didn't think we were intercepting their phone calls.
I mean, I'm a little confused. How did it damage this?
GONZALES: Well, Senator, I would first refer to the experts in the Intel Committee who are making that statement, first of all. I'm just the lawyer.
And so, when the director of the CIA says this should really damage our intel capabilities, I would defer to that statement. I think, based on my experience, it is true -- you would assume that the enemy is presuming that we are engaged in some kind of surveillance.
But if they're not reminded about it all the time in the newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget.”
-Questioning of Alberto ‘Thumbscrews’ Gonzales, February 6, 2006

“Yes, revealing the secret illegal spying hurt our national defense because we are relying on the terrorists being idiots. Honestly, that’s what he’s saying. Thankfully our government is looking into other ways of dealing with terrorists”

“In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States. Steven Bradbury, acting head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel, went to a closed-door Senate intelligence committee meeting last week to defend President George W. Bush's surveillance program. During the briefing, said administration and Capitol Hill officials (who declined to be identified because the session was private), California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances.”
-Newsweek, February 13, 2006 Issue

“Hey, why would that bother anyone? I mean we’re only talking about terrorists.. ok, I mean terrorist suspects. I’m sure that our government would never abuse their power, and we all know that they don’t make mistakes, so good, honest citizens shouldn’t worry. I’m sure that they only want to act as judge, jury and executioner of the truly evil.”

“A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.
A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a ‘threat’ and one of more than 1,500 ‘suspicious incidents’ across the country over a recent 10-month period.”
-NBC, December 14, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: A Brief Hiatus

[Ok, so this is getting posted late.. Um.. sorry.]

“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.”
-Ingrid Bergman

“Sleep, riches, and health, to be truly enjoyed, must be interrupted.”
-Jean Paul Richter

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

“The Quotes of the Morning will be going on a brief hiatus as I spend a few days keeping track of the lovely and talented Mrs. Skippy as she goes through a little surgical adventure. The Quotes shall return next Tuesday unless I really get ambitious.
Oh.. and the Quotes were linked to on the blog (www.fourcolorpolitics.blogspot.com) by TBogg yesterday. I’m so proud I can’t stand it.”

“The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here! I’m SOMEBODY!”
-The Jerk

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Homer J. for the Rebuttal

‘I’m tired of always commenting. I’ll let Homer J. do it for me.”

"Being popular is the most important thing in the world!"
-Homer J. Simpson

“Each time I am invited to this rostrum, I am humbled by the privilege, and mindful of the history we have seen together. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and national achievement. We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history — and it has been my honor to serve with you.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Bart, you're saying butt-kisser like it's a bad thing!"
-Homer J. Simpson

"Shut up, Brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-tip!"
-Homer J. Simpson

“In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another — and I will do my part.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!"
-Homer J. Simpson

"I am so smart, I am so smart, s-m-r-t....I mean s-m-A-r-t."
-Homer J. Simpson

“Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder — and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously. They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder. Their aim is to seize power in Iraq, and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world. Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear. When they murder children at a school in Beslan ... or blow up commuters in London ... or behead a bound captive ... the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth.
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Don't let Krusty's death get you down, boy. People die all the time, just like that. Why, you could wake up dead tomorrow! Well, good night."
-Homer J. Simpson

“By allowing radical Islam to work its will — by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself - we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals, or even in our own courage. But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Lisa, stop that racket! I'm trying to fix your mother's camera. Easy, easy....I think I'll need a bigger drill."
-Homer J. Simpson

“We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders — and for the others, their day will come.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"The lesson is: Our God is vengeful! O spiteful one, show me who to smite and they shall be smoten!!!"
-Homer J. Simpson

“Our work in Iraq is difficult, because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, that nation has gone from dictatorship, to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections. At the same time, our coalition has been relentless in shutting off terrorist infiltration, clearing out insurgent strongholds, and turning over territory to Iraqi security forces.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

“I am confident in our plan for victory ... I am confident in the will of the Iraqi people ... I am confident in the skill and spirit of our military. Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen."
-Homer J. Simpson

“So to prevent another attack — based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute — I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al-Qaida operatives and affiliates to and from America.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Unfortunately, son, we Simpsons sometimes have to bend the rules a little in order to hold our own."
-Homer J. Simpson

“The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions — and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"If this were really a nuclear war we'd all be dead meat by now."
-Homer J. Simpson

“We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"Uh, Lisa, the whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rainforest scare a few years back: our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?"
-Homer J. Simpson

“The Supreme Court now has two superb new members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. And I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'."
-Homer J. Simpson

“Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research – human cloning in all its forms … creating or implanting embryos for experiments … creating human-animal hybrids…”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 31, 2006

"I'll handle this... the only danger in space is if we land on the terrible Planet of the Apes... wait a minute. Statue of Liberty... THAT WAS OUR PLANET! YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!"
-Homer J. Simpson

"I guess you might say he barking up the wrong...bush."
-Homer J. Simpson

View My Stats