Monday, February 4, 2008

At the End of the Day - February 4, 2007

[Hey all - Blue Girl here, standing in for the inimitable Apollo 13 who is under the weather with the gawd-awful bug I had a couple of weeks ago. Besides that, everyone was great about keeping the lights on while I was off-line due to the second major hardware catastrophe in six covering the End of the Day is the least I could do. Send Apollo good thoughts and I'll turn the reins back over as soon as the master is on the mend.]

CREW is calling for the Attorney General to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the millions of missing emails that the White House failed to archive, in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Why did Israel bomb Syria last September? Seymour Hersch probes that puzzler as only he can in the latest issue of the New Yorker. One of the conclusions he makes early on? The M$M proved to be useful idiots in promoting an improbably, if not impossible, meme.

Lo, and Behold! Another Bush administration in need of a criminal defense attorney! According to the Washington Post, HUD secretary Alfonso Jackson (he of the partisan litmus test for awarding contracts) tried to strongarm the housing authority of Philadelphia into giving a piece of publicly owned property to a crony.

Bush submitted his final budget today, and true top form, he is planning to spend $3.1 Trillion dollars, while steadfastly adhering to his theory of economics that, apparently, hinges on the premise that as taxes rates approach zero, receipts will approach infinity. In the Bush budget, military spending will be higher than at any point since World War II, while effectively freezing or eliminating 151 domestic programs. Democrats reacted angrily, and even some Republicans were unable to suspend disbelief and get on board. “They’ve obviously played an inordinate number of games to try to make it look better,” said Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. The picture becomes even more surreal when we stop to think about the deficit spending that is financing aWol's excellent Iraqi misadventure.

Palestinian suicide bombers struck in Dimona, Israel today, killing one woman at an open-air mall. It was the first suicide attack in Israel in over a year. The attackers came from Gaza, and served to point up that Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas, on whom the Bush administration is relying heavily to lead the Palestinian peace process, has little if any control over the Gaza Strip, which remains under Hamas control.

The United States military is blaming faulty communications between U.S. forces and Iraqi militia allies for a helicopter strike in which at least nine Iraqi civilians were killed.

Tomorrow the Senate is set to take up FISA and telecom immunity while they think we are distracted by Super Tuesday. Make your calls in the morning and remind your senators that you are watching and paying attention, and passing the buck to the taxpayers for damages won't cut it, either. No immunity. No how, no way. And if our Senators don't stand up for the Fourth Amendment, right now, when they come asking for our support for their reelection campaigns, they shall be met with the mantra "not one dime and not one moment of our time."

Wikileaks has posted a real mind-blower. Here is the link to the 2005 Rules of Engagement for Iraq. Paul Keil said it best: "At the very least, if the Bush Administration expires and we are still at war only in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can count ourselves lucky." (Cross border incursions, including into Iraq and Syria? Laos, anyone?)

But hey, you've still got Turkey throwing the chessboard in the air and attacking Kurdish terrorists in Iraq, with brutality and extreme prejudice. As a good friend said, this is exactly what we don't need right now. Says a whole helluva lot about Iraqi sovereignty, doesn't it?

Attention California Voters: If you are a "Decline to State" voter, you have to take a unique and unusual step in order for your vote to count! It is not enough to ask for and cast a Democratic ballot! There is a place on the ballot that you must mark "Democratic" in order for your vote to count. And the scan machines do not return your ballot for correction!

At the risk of starting a firestorm (I have not officially endorsed any primary candidate, although I have made up my mind who I will cast my secret ballot for tomorrow) I found an interesting post by Stanley Fish at the New York Times Blogs in which he peeks behind the curtain into the dark, dark psyches of the hard-core Hillary Haters - the ones who make Sully look silly and trifling by comparison.

[That's a wrap, folks - there's nothing below the fold.]