Sunday, July 31, 2005

Curiouser and Curiouser...

Ohio... forget What's the Matter with Kansas? What in the nine hells is wrong with fscking Ohio!...

Did the GOP just finally run out of enough warm bodies to throw into the mill, or was this OH 2nd race the one no one wanted, and they just tapped this poor schmuck Schmidt who arrived last to the meeting...

To bring everyone completely up to date would be tough for me right now. I would say the best blogging on this is taking place at Atrios' place and Lindsey Beyernstein at Majikthise.

But the upshot is that the GOP has managed to pry yet another pathological liar out from under their rock just long enough to be blasted with the harsh light of truth. But more importantly (and there will be more to this story...) a name keeps coming up in many places associated with Schmidt, Noe and Taft...

That name is Hicks... Brian Hicks, senior partner with public affairs and wingnut politician factory Hicks Parnters, LLC. One of the things they adverstise as a service on their website is direct access to the Bush Administration. They also seem to disproportianately represent a high number of energy and engineering firms in the P.R./governmental affairs work.

I am wondering if this Brian Hicks could be in anyway related to Thomas Hicks, the recently retired principal at Hicks, Tate, Muse & Furst, who is/was also a major energy/capital player and is the guy who sold W the Texas Rangers for a song...

This could really end up getting weirdly byzantine. Really... I mean a reanimated corpse of Constantine or something....

mojo sends

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Eds Demand Blood and Tribute

Another interesting bit in the Washington Post this morning on the Plame Affair (or I guess Nadagate as we are now supposed to be calling it...

And can anyone explain what Nadagate is supposed to refer to...

Anyway... The Post story is essentially this empty bit of daily churn on how Attorney General (then-White Hosue Counsel) Sparky Gonzalez got word of the initial Plame investigation from White House COS Andy Card, but waited a whole 12 hours before he informed the rest of the staff.

There are some speculations as to why he waited, the usual suspects are hollering that it augers for most dread conspiracy, but for me I think this is a nothing story.

And that is very interesting...

You see, this is what I would expect to see from a news room where the editors are actually excited about an ongoing story, and moreover, they are afraid of getting scooped (especically the Post, which is the hometown paper of record for what is arguably one of the largest, most inbred company towns of all time).

This is a signal that an editor, or editors, in response to instructions from their supervisors are being told to get Plame in the paper every day! They don't care how non-story it is, they want their reporters on this digging it out and getting it in print.

Over the next couple of days I am going to watch the Post, Times and few other national papers carefully to see what they are getting in print. It might be that the Mighty Wurlitzer is losing control of the Steno Pool. It is an indication that the national media may really be taking this seriously.

And that's a good thing.

Roberts Outted

Well, you were right S9, The Dread Judge Roberts was certainly outted, all right...

As a member of the freekin' Federalist Society. The Washington Post has a piece on today's front page about it.

I'll give y'all the money shot on it right now, though. Roberts has previously told the Post and others that he has no memory of ever being a member of the Federalist Society. Then the Post goes out and finds the Society's lawyer's directory, which lists him as a member of the Washington, D.C. Steering Committee...

...of which he claims he has no memory...

I have two questions:

One... Why has the Bush Administration submitted yet another pathological liar to the Senate to be confirmed to a position of importance in our government?

Two... I would normally expected something like that to be an unstory, why is the administration and the nominee acting as though Federalist Society membership is something to be hidden?

It's not like it was all that secret...during the Bush v. Gore battle, Roberts membership as a Federalist Society cultist was apparently widely reported in stories on the competing legal teams...

What's up with that?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Roberts Rules

Wow...did I screw up that call or what. Let this be a lesson to you boys and girls. It is only cool to call your shot if you actually then follow up by swatting the ball out of the park on a frozen rope.

Otherwise your just a dork with delusions of grandeur...

Right business...

So who is the Dread Judge Roberts from the DC Wingnut District Court of Appeals and how on earth did we not see this guy coming. Well, he's only been around a little while. Most of his more relevant decisions can be found parsed out in blog-form at Supreme Court Nomination Blog.

But to my mind, you can forget nearly all his history of jurisprudence. There is only three things and three things only you need to know about this fscking wingnut:

One: He was a partner in the law firm that sued Al Franken on the part of The O'Reilly Factor after William got a hard look from Franken and cried like a sissy to Roger Ailes who then filed suit against Franken, which summarily got laughed out of court.

Two: He was a senior member of the legal team in Bush v. Gore, which signaled the official end of the rule of law in America.

Three: He has a weird fetish for "law and order" -- no, not the horrible TV show (although he is probably weird for that as well) but for the kind of law and order that has him pimping strongly for Mandatory Minimums and denying right to counsel and other such opinions as can be found at the aforementioned SCOTUS Nomination blog.

So how typical is this for Maximum Leader to put up a guy with next to no history, who's legal career focuses on pimping criminally stupid conservative causes, making sure W gets his way, regardless of the rule of law and treating the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution like a two-dollar hooker... This is absolutely the guy W wants on the bench in the War on Terror®.

Right, this guy's an evil reptilian from the Sirian League threatening to be the last bit of noise that will crash the waveform of our Constitution. So where does that leave us all now in this?

To me, the saddest part of all of this, including most of the conversations I have been reading at some of my favorite blogs, seem to be focused on entirely on "how do we look good losing" as opposed to "how do we win against bad odds."

If we are to win this thing, it isn't going to be in the well of the Senate. It is going to be in the hinterlands and in the electoral math of some key states with shaky GOP Senators facing reelection next year.

However, I think Lindsey over at Majikthise is absolutely right. This all begins and ends with absolute party discipline. Look we all know what is at stake, this is no time for any of the typical self-involved Democratic temper tantrums to erupt, like they always seem to. Any Dem Senators step out of line, then fsck 'em, they get spaced out the airlock...I am looking at youDiane Feinstein!

And that goes for any slack-jawed moderate Democrats in the House, one so much as opens their pie hole, or gets their grill on the chat shows without being in full-throated support of the game plan, the end!

Harry Reid and Dr. Dean need to get on the same page about this. I know asking Democrats and progressives to get together on something like this is like herding cats, but it's not going to work any other way. Decide if you can do that now, and if not, then fine, go ahead and continue shopping for funeral accessories. I'm sure it will be a lovely wake for the Republic...

But if we decide we can, then the next step is going to start by getting the right pressure in the right places. There must be five or six GOP Senators facing sketchy reelection fights next year. They need to feel the branch creak.

Bush is vulnerable right now, he has no coattails and doesn't really have any leverage in the Senate now, anyway. Don't make this about Bush, make this about the Senators and whomever of their numbers are thinking about 2008.

Next, this guy might not have much of a resume, but what there is needs to be out there, and as far as the "Nuclear Option" goes, then fine, I am all ready to see the well of the Senate get vaporized in a procedural mushroom cloud. Cool, let Bill Frist ride the bomb all the way to ground zero just like Slim Pickens in the end of Dr. Strangelove.

If we fight hard -- and more importantly, fight smart-- we can do this. We can punk this clown and get the machinery moblized for the midterms and get rolling on 2008 all in one shot.

Sorry, this turned a bit more into a rant than I thought it was going to. My bad.

The 2008 race starts right now.

Any takers?

mojo sends

Monday, July 11, 2005

Call from the Poll

Okay, here is Mojo calling his shot...

The nominee for Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court will go to J. Harvie Wilkinson.

I come by this divine little soup├žon of wisdom by virtue of the fact that George Will penned the op/ed equivalent of a sloppy blow job for Judge Wilkinson in Sunday's Washington Post. I am one of those who believe that Will is part of a quasi-official information organ for the Republican Party's Mighty Wurlitzer and Maximum Leader's communications bullpen in the West Wing.

Basically, a religious textualist and orginalist who was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1984. He got his start in Republican Party politics by running unsuccessfully for Congress in the late 60s before deciding law school might be an easier path across the Potomac.

One of his more memorable moments on the bench to date has been his authoring the now-somewhat-infamous Hamdi decision for the Fourth Circuit. To review, that's the decision that sought to justify unlimited police powers for Maximum Leader to prosecute the War on Terror® that was swatted out of the park by a 6-3 vote of the Supremes.

Yeah, I'll give you three guesses who the dissenters were...

And yet, he also authored the decision for the Fourth upholding the Clinton policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regarding gays in the military.

So the big question becomes, are his conservative credentials strong enough to mollifiy the kool-aid drinking Red-Staters, or is Redneckistan going to be satisified with nothing less than the reanimated corpse of Roy Cohn on the court.

My basic instinct is that Wilkinson is the perfect stealth nominee for the court. He is a little older, he doesn't have a particularly high profile, he is known as being somewhat affable, but his writing and opinions generally fall into the Rehnquist school of conservatist activism from the bench all gussied up in a Victorian-era costume of Originalism and know, the whole "Constitution in Exile" thing. But he hasn't done enough to create the kind of heat that will make progressives go nuclear on his nomination.

He is going to be the man, and if it's not for O'Connor's chair, then it is going to be for Rehnquist seat and Scalia or Kennedy will be moved to Chief.

mojo sends

Friday, July 08, 2005

Ladies and Gentleman, Please Welcome....THE SUPREMES!

For everyone who may have doubted the importance of defeating George W. Bush last year, then you now have your answer in the last week with the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the anticipated retirement announcement of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, which our mojowire editorial ninjas secreted away in the airducts in and around the capitol tell us could come as soon as Monday morning.

In fact, rumor burned through DC on Friday that the President would announce Rehnquist’s decision to partake in renewal at Carousel when he returned from his Euro-love-in in Scotland.

So here we have it, a chance to remake the U.S. Supreme Court and undo 50 years of the fight for equality, justice and a secular Republic. In the immortal words of the great American poet Ice-T – no Sean, not that quote – but these immortal words: “it’s on!”

Forget the war on terror, forget Iraq, forget the economy, forget the environment, forget all of it, this is all there is going to be everywhere from everyone for the next several months. Nearly everyone with any kind of pull or a coalition or a mailing list is even now starting to hustle the money from constituents to fight this royal battle.

I would like to start this discussion by cribbing ruthlessly from those far more learned than I, namely the great Publius at the Legal Fiction blog, who, as usual, has done a masterful job of reviewing the bidding for us, especially in regards to the meta-dispute in all of this regarding the place of politics and rhetorical review in the proceedings.

In particular he points out something that we here at the mojowire here from our legal counsel again and again concerning our various troubles with Article I of the constitution and what the hell ever the word “commerce” means in the first place. And it is simply this: law is politics.

Take it away Pub:
“There is only politics. Law is politics, especially constitutional “law” – which is not “law” at all but a jumbled, incoherent collection of political victories attained by different political coalitions at different points in our history. Because law cannot be separated from politics, and because constitutional “law” is generally the imposition of political preferences on vague indeterminate text, we should abandon the Kabuki dance nomination process and talk more openly about politics.”

Now, even by his own admission this is a bit strong, and yet it makes the point more than adequately. Before when we told you to forget that particular laundry list of items crawling across the bottom of your FoxNews feed, it was by of saying that this decision will have a radical effect on all of those other issues, from the way we legalistically prosecute a war on terror, to an individual’s relationship to the state or the state’s ability to engage in commerce to whether we can really have a state mandated flavor of Christianity.

Moreover, it is said, again by Publius among others, that this is much different from the garden variety statutory divination done by most courts and even the Supremes on occasion, again with the Publius:

“I think that constitutional law falls much, much closer to the “pure politics” end of the spectrum than other types of legal decisions. By “constitutional law,” I mean interpreting and applying (or claiming to) vague indeterminate legal text. This is a wholly different exercise from statutory interpretation – which I think courts do quite well, largely because interpretation relies upon a set of neutral, non-political principles that judges generally agree upon. In other words, statutory interpretation works because – like baseball – judges usually agree on the rules that govern.

In constitutional law, by contrast, the judges are not just arguing about the proper result, but about the very rules that should apply in the first place. And in my opinion, history has shown us that these disputes are essentially political battles…

Being human, judges can and should be expected to act in their own political self-interest. That’s why Judge Taney used his tricksie ouija board to unearth a constitutional provision that said blacks couldn’t be citizens. That’s why Republican-appointed judges in the early 20th century found that the Constitution barred some of those pesky legislatively-enacted labor regulations. That’s why the New Deal Court adopted a jurisprudence that miraculously allowed all of FDR’s legislation to pass.”

So we are with you Publius, this is very much a political campaign about what are essentially political ideals on how we should live and what our government should be like as embodied in the Constitution.

And with yet another in a long line of examples from the “how low are they willing to stoop” file, there are certain members of the Senate like Bill Frist and Mitch McConnell trying to sell us all the idea that a nominees judicial philosophy or their personal political ideologies are irrelevant to the job of being the nation’s final arbiter on judicial philosophy or political ideals.

This is an example of how seriously they are taking it in terms of the political campaign aspect of all of this. That they are even now spinning up the echo chamber with various lies and misdirections, with such whoppers as “there has never been a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in history…”

Wrong again Dr. Frist…in fact there has been and it was a Republican Senate minority that did it for the first time during the Johnson Administration when the Chief Justice Earl Warren retired and Johnson named Associate Justice Abe Fortas to the Chief’s chair. And a Republican Senate minority sent him packing with a filibuster and Johnson withdrew the nomination.

Moreover, every right wing Kool-Aid chugging tinfoil hat brigade irregular is now cracking open their check books and sending what’s left of their Social Security checks to a number of different groups like the Family Research Council that are planning on making W’s like miserable if they don’t get their way.

This, again, is the real nuts and bolts politics of this thing at work. A lot of people like Ralph “boxcars” Reed, Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer and his various minions put their personal political lives on the line in getting George Bush elected again last year, even though a lot of evangelicals and their ghoulish doppelgangers out in Redneckistan had their doubts.

And there was only one thing they wanted for their support. They promised that they could deliver the Supreme Court, and if they don’t then their political power with the Red Staters is going rate somewhere down around the “Save the Spotted Owl Society.”

So you had better believe these guys are going to go all out to make sure that they get their guys on the court. At first, we had thought that perhaps the whole right wing nutjobbery resistance to Sparky Gonzales might be nothing more than a put up job designed to make him a little more palatable to the moderates in the Democratic Party.

In some regards it has worked, even if it was just an unintended consequence as we are now starting to believe it is. Especially given that the shortlist for O’Connor’s seat includes such luminaries as Priscilla Queen of the Bench Owenms, and Janice Rogers Brown, or William Pryor, and all with easily a good 20 years in front of them on the bench.

Those devilworshipping nighcrawlers have conservative credentials that would make Pat Buchanan sit down and weep. And there are a host of others, and again, perhaps some of these names are merely being used as stalking horses to make a lot of Democrats think: “well, sure Al Gonzales thinks the U.S. can torture can kill anyone it wants with impugnity in the name of the war on terror, but hell, at least not this freekin’ guy…”

But there is no doubt that the movement conservatives are taking this deadly serious, whether they think they are being played or not by the West Wing (and part of us really hope that is the case). The very survival of the Movement as a real political force in America depends on their being able to deliver the court into their hands for generations to come.

So when Publius, and other noted progressive thinkers want to talk about addressing the Supreme Court nominations as political campaign be assured that it is not crass or disrespectful. It is simply a reflection of the reality that the other team is already doing so, and as with so many other times in the past five years, have a good furlong head start on us…

All You Need To Know About The Movement

Being able to take a somewhat jaundiced view at the action across the pond yesterday, we were provided a glimpse into the very heart (or the dried up and shrivled dog turd that passes for a heart) of the Movement Conservatives and their gleeful pronouncements on why they are shiteing themselves with glee over the British masstrans bombing.

For the likes of Andrew McCarthy over at NRO, it was simply a matter of pointing out that the British are just another subset of the slackjawed, limpwristed, dickless Euro-Pansies who had it coming because they still subscribe to such "quaint" notions like Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions. If only we could just "squeeze information out of the bad people" like they used to do on all those cool old cop shows; send Kojak or Baretta over there, that'd learn 'em.

To reiview, that's the one that says Thou Shalt Not commit unrestricted warfare against civilians just because you think there might have been a terrorist in the woodpile.

But, no, the food-defiling Brits had it comin' donchya see...

And then the echo-chamber really started to kick in as the good people over at FoxNews started in with their whole "Thank God for the terrorists bombs so we could forget all about this hippie G8 nonsense about world cooperation to deal with global warming and the horror of AIDS and poverty in Africa. No, it's all about the terrorism again, thank God!"

Then it was off to the races. Here is my favorite from the Neo-Catholo-Facist Opus Dei wannabees over at Southern Appeal. This was in the comment section from the post regarding the Andrew McCarthy Screed

Feddie - your blog reaches hundreds of people. What I would really like to see is a well articulated post calling all the 18-32 year old single men to get off their couch, put down the remote, and protect THIS HOUSE[emphasis his]

This is the most tremendousest thing I have ever seen. This guy is taking his personal views on the war on terror and international relations from a fscking athletic shoe commercial. You got that?! Dude is using a some Madison Avenue tennis shoe pimping to define his feelings on patriotism.


But at the end of the day, doesn't this tell you everything you ever really needed to know about The Movement and its followers? The whole thing is built on cheap advertising jingles, and market research and is designed with one purpose -- and one purpose only -- in mind, and that is to get a large segment of the population to look in the wrong direction while the "leaders" of the movement rip them off blind, poison their air and water and crap all over the rest of the world in their name and get them to give thanks for it.

That really is modern conservatism in a nutshell...

mojo sends

Monday, July 04, 2005

Feeling the Branch Creak

Some underplayed news on CNN this morning... Newsweek: Rove Spoke to Reporter Before Leak

You will excuse me whilst I giggle with barely controlled glee.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Newsweek magazine is reporting that e-mails between Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper and his editors show that Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, spoke to Cooper in the days before a CIA operative's identity was revealed in the media, but it wasn't clear what Cooper and Rove discussed.

C'mon, we all know what they were discussing. This could get very messy for the White House, and suddenly Karl the Jackal's little performance from the previous week in front of a group of rabid, redstate, brainstems comes into focus. Karl the Jackal must have known this was coming down, hence the misdirections.

Say the words with me, you know you want too:

Frogmarched, Bitch!

If the special prosecutor is really serious about this, then the next stop for Karl the Jackal might just be standing tall in front of the (federal) man with whatever scumbag hack lawyer the RNC appoints for him.

Hell, between this and Randy "Duke" Cunningham having the FBI search his crib the other day, I haven't had this much to smile about in politics for a few years now.

The Freepers are gripping hard!

Yeah, so it might be a tad unseemly for me to reveling in such tremendous schadenfreude, so I will beg your pardon after the fact. It's just that it has been painful watching these various asshats get over for the past few years. It is also likely they will all walk away from their current travails.

But at just this moment, the fact that at least a few of them might be be publicly forced to contemplate their magnificent bastardness in front of a federal judge and/or grand jury and possibly even have to seriously contemplate what life might be like "on the inside" is helping me to cope with the fact that they have been treating our country, our government and our Constitution like a cheap hotel room during Fleet Week.

Karl the Jackal might end up having to teach an emergency Abstinence-based sex ed class for the Aryan Brothers in cell-block D...sleep tight, princess!

Okay, enough of that... Let's just hope our Justice system is up to the task of following through on the swing, here...