Monthly Archives: October 2005

Glenn Reynolds and the Gooey Kablooey

Via Gilliard: Glenn. Glenn Glenn Glenn Glenn Glenn.

ABORTION AND SPOUSAL NOTIFICATION: As several people point out, that’s going to be an issue with regard to Alito. I’m not sure what I think about this issue, but looking at the Pennsylvania statute I notice a lot of exceptions, one of which is this: “Her spouse is not the father of the child.”

I’m not sure about Pennsylvania, but in many states her spouse — even if he’s not the father of the child — would still be on the hook for child support. Likewise, if he didn’t want children, but she disagreed, lied to him about birth control, and got pregnant. And he certainly couldn’t force her to have an abortion if she did so, even if his desire not to have children was powerful, and explicitly expressed at the outset. (The usual response — “he made his choice when he had sex without a condom” — never comes up in discussions of women and abortion.)

So where’s the husband’s procreational autonomy? Did he give it up by getting married? And, if he did, is it unthinkable that when they get married women might give some of their autonomy up, too?

The problem here is that you can say “my body, my choice” — but when you say, “my body, my choice but our responsibility,” well, it loses some of its punch.

Let’s work backwards, because otherwise the stupid tends to overwhelm us.

On men’s procreational autonomy: I’m all for it. Go out and get yourselves knocked up, guys. The minute you can carry the kids, you’ll be able to get an abortion in a Kwik Trip. The reason this is an issue for women and not men, Glenn, and let me slow down so you get it all, is that we … are … the … ones … who … bear … the … children. God. I’m not saying you have to have a uterus to have an opinion on abortion, but the law does tend to consider the person physically affected by the situation rather than the blowhard who just wants to shoot his mouth off about it because he thinks it makes him sound virtuous and important. Until male pregnancy is a scientific fact instead of a fan fiction clich, this is going to be a woman’s issue and you’re just going to have to deal with us girls sharing your righteous spotlight.

Then there’s this:

(The usual response — “he made his choice when he had sex without a condom” — never comes up in discussions of women and abortion.)

Glenn, you splendid implement, abortion rights advocates aren’t the ones out there trying to take people’s condoms and pills away. That would be your friends, sweet thing. I personally want everybody to have condoms with them every time they have sex. If for no other reason than to prevent the inbreeding that obviously leads to thinking like this.

You know what I’d like? A law dictating that before a husband stuck his dick in his secretary, he had to notify his wife and ask permission. I’d like the state to mandate that before a guy told a woman he’d love her til death did them part and then dumped her while she was pregnant because the spark was just gone, he had to get her written okay. I’d like a law requiring the sick fuck who beats his wife to seek her permission before every blow. I’d like a law to force men who’ve forced women to bear 13 babies to just get it snipped at that point, because their wives are just downright exhausted.

You never see those laws, do you? God DAMN, Glenn, I wonder why? Maybe you could post about it for a while, instead of making veiled references to men being “on the hook” for supporting children?

In a post full of offensive bullshit that’s the part that revolts me the most. This whole idea of the tyranny of child support plays right into the conservative victim mentality, where if it wasn’t for the blacks, or the Jews, or the Ay-rabs, or the women, or the liberals, they’d just be king of the world. As if the only thing holding them back from their dreams is the woman who made them pay child support, the goddamn bitch. If not for her, why you’d be CEO of your own landscaping business instead of picking up roadkill, wouldn’t ya, Bubba? If somehow all minorities, women, liberals, all disappeared from the earth I just know you’d throw down the Cheetos, take your hand off your tiny little pecker and go right out and run for Congress!

I feel for white Christian men, really. Somebody’s always trying to keep them down.

As it is, there’s plenty to hate about Alito without even getting into abortion, so let’s not get too focused on that. Mostly because we shouldn’t give schmucks like Reynolds the satisfaction.


Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

There’s blood on the floor of the James S. Brady Briefing Room today.

Q Let me just follow up on an aspect of this and try it again here. On October 7, 2003, you were asked about a couple of the key players here, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, as well as another administration official who has not figured in the investigation, so far as we know. And you said the following, “There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made, and that’s exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals,” including Rove and Libby. “They’re good individuals, they’re important members of our White House team, and that’s why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved.” You were wrong then, weren’t you?

MR. McCLELLAN: David, it’s not a question of whether or not I’d like to talk more about this. I think I’ve indicated to you all that I’d be glad to talk about this once this process is complete, and I look forward to that opportunity. But, again, we have been directed by the White House Counsel’s Office not to discuss this matter or respond to questions about it.

Q That was a public representation that was made to the American people.

MR. McCLELLAN: Hang on. We can have this conversation, but let me respond.

Q No, no, no, because it’s such an artful dodge. Whether there’s a question of legality —

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I disagree with you.

Q Whether there’s a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations.

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t think that’s accurate.

Q So aside from the question of legality here, you were wrong, weren’t you?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, David, if I were to get into commenting from this podium while this legal proceeding continues, I might be prejudicing the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial trial. And I’m just not going to do that. I know very —

Q You speak for the President. Your credibility and his credibility is not on criminal trial. But it may very well be on trial with the American public, don’t you agree?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I’m very confident in the relationship that we have in this room, and the trust that has been established between us. This relationship —

Q See those cameras? It’s not about us. It’s about what the American people —

MR. McCLELLAN: This relationship is built on trust, and you know very well that I have worked hard to earn the trust of the people in this room, and I think I’ve earned it —

Q Is the President — let me just follow up on one more thing.

MR. McCLELLAN: — and I think I’ve earned it with the American people.

Q Does the President think that Karl Rove did anything wrong?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it would be good for you to allow me the opportunity to respond to your questions without jumping in. I’m glad to do that. I look forward to the opportunity —

Q I haven’t heard a response.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, I have been responding to you, David, and there’s no need — you’re a good reporter, there’s no need to be rude or disrespectful. We can have a conversation and respond to these questions, if you’ll just give me the opportunity to respond. I’m glad to do that.


Q In the year 2000, the President said the following: “In my administration, we will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not just what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves.” Doesn’t the American public deserve some answers from this President about the role of his Vice President in this story and what he knew and when he knew it, and how he feels about the conduct of his administration?

MR. McCLELLAN: The American people deserve a White House that is committed to doing their work. We are focused on the priorities of the American people. As the President indicated Friday, we’ve got a job to do, and we’re going to do it.


Q Scott, let me follow up on what David was asking. You say we know you — and we do — but we can’t vouch for you; that’s not our job. And I wonder, do you really think after —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, wait a second. Let me just interject there. I think there are many people in this room I see expressing their own commentary on TV all the time — not just reporting. You do a job to report the news, as well, but many people in this room also go on the air and express their views and their commentary. And I’ve worked with many of you for quite some time now.

Q I didn’t follow that. I can’t go on TV and say, “America believes Scott McClellan.” That’s not my role.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, you go on TV, though, and engage in commentary about views and things that are expressed here at the White House.

Q Right. But what I can’t do is carry your water for you. And I wonder —

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not asking you to.

Q Well, there — yes you are.

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m just asking you to speak to who I am. And you know who I am.

Q There’s been a wound to your credibility here. A falsehood, wittingly or unwittingly, was told from this podium. And do you really believe that the American people should wait until the conclusion of all of this process and just take on trust everything that comes from that podium now, without the explanation and the answer that you say you want to get —

MR. McCLELLAN: There are a lot of facts that still are not known in this investigation and in this legal proceeding that is ongoing. We also have to work under the presumption of innocence in our legal system. And, again, the reason I can’t comment further is because if we were to get into that, we could be prejudicing the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial hearing.


But let me step back for a second, too, because part of my job is to be an advocate for the President, and I’m going to vigorously defend his decisions and his policies, and help him to advance his agenda. But I’ve another important responsibility, as well — it’s something that we all, I think and hope, share in this room — that is to make sure that the American people get an accurate account of what’s going on here in Washington, D.C. And I work hard to meet both those responsibilities.

Q But don’t you think, Scott, that that second part of your job has been damaged, your credibility has been damaged by this?

MR. McCLELLAN: For me to even respond to that question would force me to talk about an ongoing investigation and legal proceeding, and we’ve been directed not to do that.


Q On October 7, 2003, the President said about the CIA leak investigation, “I want to know the truth. That’s why I’ve instructed the staff of mine to cooperate fully with the investigators.” Last Friday the special prosecutor said that he has been unable to find out the truth because of Lewis Libby’s obstruction of the investigation. Does the President wish that Mr. Libby tell the truth?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, that is making a presumption. Under our legal system —

Q But does the President wish that Libby tell the truth?

MR. McCLELLAN: Under — the President directed everybody in the White House to cooperate fully with the special counsel. That’s what he expects. The White House has been cooperating fully with the special counsel, and we will continue to do so. In terms of the individual you bring up, there is a presumption of innocence. And we’re going to work under that presumption. We want there to be a fair and impartial hearing; I’m sure others do, as well. Maybe some don’t, but that’s the way that our legal system is set up. And so we need to let that legal process continue.

And Libby’s replacements? Indictment bait.

Q Scott, can you address the message that was sent today by the Vice President, who in the midst of this indictment, appoints to replace Scooter Libby somebody who, himself, was mentioned in the indictment, and is very much in the mold of Scooter Libby, and who has been a —

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know what your suggestion is, if you’re presuming something or not.

Q Well, there was an announcement —

MR. McCLELLAN: These are two individuals that have served the Vice President very well since 2001. And the Vice President selected them because he values their judgment and their insight, and looks to their experience as people that could fill these two positions.

Q But what does that say to the people who — in both parties, who have said that this indictment and other issues that have arisen show the need for a change, and maybe some fresh faces here in the White House, and here is somebody who —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the Vice President is the one who tapped these two individuals to serve in his positions. I don’t know if you’re asking a broader question about staff change. The President — it’s always the President’s prerogative to have a team in place that will help him meet his needs and his goals and carry out his agenda.


Q Are you saying that Mr. Addington was not in the indictment?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?

Q Was Mr. Addington not one of the players mentioned in the indictment?

MR. McCLELLAN: You’d have to ask the special counsel those questions.

What about Justice Sloppy Seconds?

Q Scott, on the subject of rude, my apologies for my unfortunate choice of words this morning to you, but I think the question bears asking again, and that is that the President said repeatedly when he nominated Harriet Miers that she is the best person for the job. Does that in any way indicate that while Sam Alito may be well-qualified for the Supreme Court, he is not, as was described of Harriet Miers, the best person?

MR. McCLELLAN: He’s extremely well-qualified. When the President selected Harriet Miers, he was taking into consideration what members of the Senate had said, that he should look outside the court. But we recognize now that in the culture of today’s confirmation process, it is very difficult to nominate someone who comes from outside the court and has little public record on constitutional issues to be confirmed. That’s something we recognize.


Q The other thing is, when announcing Harriet Miers and in supporting her nomination, the President repeatedly made a virtue of her lack of judicial experience, made a virtue of the idea that she was someone outside the judicial monastery. Now, when we hear you talk about Sam Alito, all we hear about is the virtue of experience. So which is —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Harriet Miers — we felt Harriet Miers was very well-qualified to serve on our nation’s highest court. But I think I just answered your question in the previous response I gave you.


Q — why did the President think John Roberts and Harriet Miers were better choices than Judge Alito to replace Justice O’Connor?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t think you can look at it that way. Judge Alito is someone that the President interviewed when Justice O’Connor announced that she was going to be retiring. He is someone they interviewed, he met with at length. The President has always been very impressed by Judge Alito because of what he said in his remarks about him today. And the President was pleased to nominate him to the bench.

Q He determined twice that there were people better than him.

Miserable Failure

From Holden:

USA Today:

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday shows that a solid majority of Americans, 55%, now judge Bush’s presidency to be a failure.


When Gallup asked in 1993 whether the first President Bush’s tenure was a success or failure, 53% called it a success even though he had been defeated for re-election a year before. During Clinton’s presidency, a majority never called his tenure a failure. Only once, after the health care debacle in 1994, did a plurality say it was a failure, by 50%-44%.

In January 1999, after he had been impeached by the House and was awaiting a Senate trial, 71% called Clinton’s tenure a success.

Via Froomkin.

My Bush Boom Hired Harriet Miers As Its Personal Lawyer

From Holden:

Consumer spending declined in September, the seond month in a row.

U.S. consumer spending dropped for a second month in September when adjusted for inflation, the first back-to-back decline in 15 years and a sign that rising fuel costs left Americans with less money for shopping.

Personal spending adjusted for inflation, which strips away the rise in energy prices, fell 0.4 percent after falling 1 percent in August, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Before the adjustment, spending rose 0.5 percent last month after a 0.5 drop in August.


“Consumer spending was really slowing down a lot in August and September,” said Kevin Logan, senior market economist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in New York. “We’re entering the fourth quarter on a weak note.”

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle Summary

From Holden:

I’d like to think I’m some great original thinker but I suppose I’m not.

A reporter recalled to McClellan that the President thought Harriet Miers was the best for the job, and asked, “Does that mean that Judge Alito is second best?”

It’s Only Just Begun

From Holden:

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff last week after being indicted in the CIA leak investigation, will be arraigned this Thursday, CBS News has learned.


We’re going to get these periodic reminders of the Bush Assministration’s treason for some time to come. Betcha Libby will plead out before airing this in open court.

The Post-Constitution Boom

From Holden:

We’re witnessing a sudden increase in US casualties in Iraq since the constitutional referendum, with 94 US soldiers and Marines dead in October (the largest monthly total since January) and 2024 dead since the war began.

More than half of the US servicemen and women killed in October died after the constitutional referendum. So much for turning the corner.

New Supreme Court Nominee Less Qualified than Miers

From Holden:

Looks like Chimpy’s back-up pick for the Sumpreme Court is Sam Alito. But is this country ready for a Supreme Court justice who is less qualified thatn Harriet Miers?

Your President wouldn’t lie to you, would he?

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, of all the people in the United States you had to choose from, is Harriet Miers the most qualified to serve on the Supreme Court?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Otherwise I wouldn’t have put her on.

Your President and First Lady wouldn’t lie to Matt Lauer, would they?

Q You said she [Harriet Miers] is the most qualified candidate for the job –

THE PRESIDENT: As I told you.

Q — would you agree with that?

MRS. BUSH: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Let Us Now Praise Harry Reid

He’s too sexy for his shirt:

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Sunday that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should apologize for the actions of their aides in the CIA leak case.

Reid, D-Nev., also said Bush should pledge not to pardon any aides convicted as a result of the investigation into the disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity.

“There has not been an apology to the American people for this obvious problem in the White House,” Reid said. He said Bush and Cheney “should come clean with the American public.”

Reid added, “This has gotten way out of hand, and the American people deserve better than this.”

Somebody light my cigarette.


Holden’s Stable’s Getting Crowded


For your very own pony, click here. It’s the perfect belated Fitzmas gift.


Unanswered Questions

Frank Rich lays it out:

There are many other mysteries to be cracked, from the catastrophic, almost willful failure of the Pentagon to plan for the occupation of Iraq to the utter ineptitude of the huge and costly Department of Homeland Security that was revealed in all its bankruptcy by Katrina. There are countless riddles, large and small. Why have the official reports on detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo spared all but a single officer in the chain of command? Why does Halliburton continue to receive lucrative government contracts even after it’s been the focus of multiple federal inquiries into accusations of bid-rigging, overcharging and fraud? Why did it take five weeks for Pat Tillman’s parents to be told that their son had been killed by friendly fire, and who ordered up the fake story of his death that was sold relentlessly on TV before then?


Add your own in the comments. If there was one mystery of the last five years you could have solved, just one, what would it be?



Chicago Tribune, in which any leak story is gonna be buried in favor of World Series ticker-tape parade coverage, nonetheless calls this one a wallop to the White House:

As much as anything, the fact that the leak case continues on is troublesome for the White House. It keeps alive for a year or more the question of whether the U.S. should have gone to war, and focuses on actions by officials at the highest level, including the vice president.

While Friday’s results fell short of worst-case scenarios, they were negative enough to darken the political clouds hanging over the White House and to ensure that the internal debate over President Bush’s controversial decision to go to war in Iraq will be aired in public.

The indictment of Libby, a key national security and political adviser, held out the possibility that Bush, Cheney, former CIA Director George Tenet and other top officials might be called to testify at his trial and recount the reasons why the administration pushed so hard to go to war.

It would create the kind of political drama that no White House would want, particularly one already under siege for its appointments to the Supreme Court, mishandling of hurricane disasters, surging energy prices, and the mounting death toll in Iraq.

That’s gonna leave a mark.


Happy Howard Photo: BOOM Edition

Both barrels.

“This is not only an abuse of power, it is an un-American abuse of the public trust. As Americans, we must hold ourselves and our leaders to a higher standard. We cannot fear dissent. We cannot fear the truth. And we cannot tolerate those who do.

“More importantly, we can’t ignore the glaring questions this case has raised about the rationale the Bush Administration used to send us to war in Iraq, a war that continues. American soldiers are still in harms way. Over 2,000 brave Americans have lost their lives, thousands of American soldiers have been wounded, and thousands of American families have made the ultimate sacrifice. Still, the President has no plan and no exit strategy. And still he hasn’t answered the question, what are we doing in Iraq and when can our troops come home?”

That’s how we do things downtown.


Official A

So Fitzmas has arrived, champagne’s been drunk, presents opened, your brother’s pasted a bow on his head, your uncle Pete just barfed into the potted fern, the truck you bought for your kid has been discarded in favor of the box it came in which is providing endless amusement … now what?

Well, for starters, as we heard from Fitz this afternoon, this ain’t over. And don’t be fooled by his aw-shucks demeanor into thinking what he’s got on his plate still is no big deal. If he’s pursuing this through Cheney’s office, he’s going all the way through Cheney’s office and out the other side and down a couple feet into the lawn just to make sure.

There’s Official A, for starters. That’s chewy, that little tidbit there.

This indictment is just the beginning of a process to provide justice for more than 2,000 dead soldiers, for a woman whose career was destroyed, for a man who is being slandered on talk shows even as we speak, for intelligence agents whose work was ignored, for anybody and everybody abandoned because this group of people in the White House was too focused on political destruction to do the jobs they needed to do.

Spin is important now, message is important now, but if there’s one thing I took from an afternoon of watching one Republican after another, from Bob Barr to Orrin Hatch to even the loathesome little tool from Human Events, it’s that they get how serious this is. And they’re scared.





I have something to say to the Republicans

From Tena:

I will never forget the night of the election last November. I will never forget that sudden turn-around, between 8:30 and 9:00, CST. I started crying at about 9 that night. I cried myself to sleep. I woke up crying the next day and I cried all day long, and cried myself to sleep again. The same thing on Thursday. I didn’t stop completely until late Friday afternoon. My husband was getting worried. I haven’t cried that much since my mother died.

I was crying because I knew that the Truth had lost the election, and Lies had won it, whether fairly or not. When lies win anything, can it be fair, even if the votes are cast and counted fairly? All the hell I want now is the Truth.

I want to know the truth about what the Bush Junta has actually been doing. I want to know what they’ve been up to. They are squatting in my house.

And that’s the other reason I cried so much when Bush got this 2d term by hook and by crook: by picked audiences, vicious smear jobs on honorable men and women, and heavily laundered money – You Republicans tend to forget very Goddamned easily that the White House belongs to us, to the people. You have no Divine Right to rule America.

Governing is not a game and we are not your playthings. We are this country and you have no right at all to ever impugn the patriotism of a single one of us. You have no right at all to lie to us about anything having to do with governing our country. You are beholden to us, and to us alone.

If you Republicans are going to always insist on learning this the hard way, so be it. May this lesson be so hard that you finally get some understanding about what America really is supposed to be about. And may it keep you the minority party until you finally do understand.

Treason, Bitch!

From Holden:

Plame was covert. Suck it, wingers!

Joseph Wilson was married to Valerie Plame Wilson (Valerie Wilson). At all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.



“This case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president.

“It’s now time for President Bush to lead and answer the very serious questions raised by this investigation. The American people have already paid too steep a price as a result of misconduct at the White House, and they deserve better.”



Paul Begala just said on CNN that this is going on and on and on, and said it was dangerous for the Vice President.

And Terry Jeffrey of Human Events blithers back about British Intelligence, Joe Wilson, etc., and you can just see the Republican strategy backfiring. Complicated defenses don’t defuse simple attacks. They don’t. Nobody gives a shit beyond the first sentence. That’s what they bet on with the Swift Boat veterans, that’s what they bet on with gay marriage, and now it’s biting them on the ass, HARD.

Read the indictment and other documents and see for yourself. (.pdf)

But for my money, sitting here watching this incredible feeding frenzy unfold, getting a headache from CNN’s red and blue flashing “color screens,” well, it looks like all the walls just came tumbling down.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks.


End Times

From Holden:

Oh my fucking god! The White House’s official transcript of Chimpy’s little speech today actaully includes heckling of Dear Leader!

THE PRESIDENT: In the four years since September the 11th, the evil that reached our shores has reappeared on other days, in other places — in Mombasa and Casablanca and Riyadh and Jakarta and Istanbul and Madrid, in Beslan and Taba and Netanya and Baghdad, and elsewhere. In the past few months, we have seen a new terror offensive with attacks on London, and Sharm el-Sheikh, and a deadly bombing in Bali once again.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. President, war is terror.