The thing about this is that if you’re a Mac user, or just travel in sufficiently techie circles where you’ll recognize this as based on a Mac ad, this ad sends a very clear message: Hillary Clinton’s campaign is like a Windows computer — gray, tedious, dull, etc. If, by contrast, you’re not familiar with the source ad, it’s sending a very different message: Hillary Clinton is a would-be totalitarian dictator. The former sentiment is a sentiment that, I think, a lot of us liberal political junkies can share and certainly something that I think is fair game. The latter sentiment, by contrast, is not only a pretty outrageous claim but also happens to precisely echo one of the incredibly large set of unhinged attacks the right wing has been perpetrating against Clinton for over a decade now. I very much don’t want to say that liberals should all treat Clinton with kid gloves, but I do think people should at least try to be somewhat careful about not re-enforcing these narratives.
“In DOJ documents that were publicly posted by the House Judiciary Committee, there is a gap from mid-November to early December in e-mails and other memos, which was a critical period as the White House and Justice Department reviewed, then approved, which U.S. attorneys would be fired while also developing a political and communications strategy for countering any fallout from the firings.”
While I believe that this building is beneath the standard of what is acceptable, I think it is wrong to suggest that mold found behind an air conditioner somehow is an excuse to say that all of our veterans are receiving substandard medical care. [...]
I found the situation at Walter Reed to be overblown by both politicians and the media.
E&E reports that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing into Philip Cooney’s editing of global warming reports revealed that Cheney’s office also played a role. Kevin O’Donovan, an aide in Cheney’s office, wrote a memo to Cooney suggesting they try to “reinvigorate debate on the actual climate history of the past thousand years.” Waxman said the Cooney-O’Donovan memo “suggests active coordination between [White House Council on Environmental Quality] and the office of the vice president.”
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) has become a controversial figure in the blogosphere. Yesterday, ThinkProgress sat down with her to discuss her stance on Iraq, among other issues. Tauscher began by telling us that she does not support the Bush strategy of escalation, noting that it is the fourth surge the administration has tried to effect without any success.
Referring to the current state of the strained and overstretched armed forces, Tauscher said, “I think this is a significant criminal dereliction of duty by the Commander in Chief.” She added that classified reports on military readiness are “chilling.”
ThinkProgress asked her whether she still stands behind her statement in the summer of 2002, when she said: “I am convinced that a regime change in Iraq is in the best interest of the United States and also our allies.” “I still think that was true,” she responded. She said her position then and now was that the “appropriate thing to do was to recontain Saddam Hussein” so that “you didn’t have to constantly look over your shoulder.” She said she tried to “slow things down” and avoid the “rush to war,” alluding to her sponsorship of a resolution that tried to delay the war vote until after the November 2002 midterm elections.
Tauscher said, “My constituents at home, while they didn’t want to go to war and didn’t believe we needed to go that far, wanted to deal with Saddam in a kind of permanent way — permanent in the sense that you didn’t have to worry about him in the short term. And I think people generally wanted to have regime change, they wanted to have the Iraqis freed from him.” But “never in my wildest dreams did I believe that that the Bush administration would fabricate information about weapons of mass destruction, cherrypick intel and feed it to the American people and Congress on a silver platter and make the case so significant that it would be irresponsible not to do something.” Watch it:
ThinkProgress also asked Tauscher about her attitude towards the netroots. We’ll be reporting on that tomorrow.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, introduced an amendment that would require victims of Hurricane Katrina to perform 20 hours/week of approved “work activities” to receive financial aid for housing.
The Institute for Southern Studies reports that Louisiana is “still largely an economic disaster area as a result of Katrina.” Many jobs have disappeared, and the first houses in the Lower Ninth Ward weren’t completed until late last month, amid a “sea of ruin.”
In an impassioned speech, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) addressed Hensarling on the House floor:
This amendment is cruel, it is cold, it is calculating, and it is pandering to the schizophrenic dichotomy that has plagued this nation since they first brought Africans on these shores from Africa. And that is the issue of race and poverty. Let me tell you something, gentleman. Where were you, where was your amendment when the Twin Towers were hit and the people in New york suffered that catastrophe? There was no cry before we gave them help. “They got to go get a job.” Everybody was there and poured in help, as they should, the American way. Where was your amendment down in Florida when the hurricanes hit down there? Nobody said, “Make ‘em work before we help them.”
Earlier this evening, the House defeated the amendment 266-162.
Transcript: Read more
At a press conference moments ago:
“We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants. The initial response by Democrats unfortunately shows some appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts. It will be regrettable if they choose to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials. And I have agreed to make key White House officials and documents available. I proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse, and I hope they don’t choose confrontation. I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials.”
UPDATE: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, “I don’t accept [the White House's] offer. It is not constructive and it is not helpful to be telling the Senate how to do our investigation, or to prejudge its outcome. … Testimony should be on the record, and under oath. That’s the formula for true accountability.”
In June 2006, the Justice Department fired Bud Cummins as U.S. attorney in Arkansas and replaced him with Karl Rove-protege Tim Griffin.
Traditionally, the Justice Department works with the state’s senators to come up with a replacement U.S. attorney. But in a Feb. 6, Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) confirmed that the Bush administration ignored his objections to Griffin.
In a Dec. 26, 2006 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse explained that they “temporarily” appointed Griffin, rather than Bud Cummins’ deputy Jane Duke, because Duke was pregnant:
He noted that often, the first assistant U.S. attorney in the affected district will serve as the acting U.S. attorney until the formal nomination process begins for a replacement. But in this case, “the first assistant is on maternity leave,” he said, referring to Jane Duke, who gave birth to twins earlier than expected the same week of the announcement.
On Jan. 11, Pryor wrote a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and took issue with the Justice Department’s excuse:
I am astonished that the reason given by your office for the interim appointment is that the First Assistant U.S. Attorney is on maternity leave and therefore would not be able to perform the responsibilities of the appointment. … This concerns me on several levels, but most importantly it uses pregnancy and motherhood as conditions that deny an appointment. While this may not be actionable in a public employment setting, it clearly would be in a private employment setting. The U.S. Department of Justice would never discriminate against women in this manner.
Therefore, based on Roehrkasse’s explanation, the Justice Department is either 1) guilty of sexual discrimination or 2) guilty of using sexual discrimination as an excuse for appointing a “loyal Bushie” as a federal prosecutor.
“Gonzales’ legacy at the (Justice Department) has been one of misplaced priorities, political miscalculation, and a failure to enforce the laws which he has sworn to uphold,” Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) said in a statement. “I think that it is time for him to move on.”