The Fugitive

Justice nearly catches up withDon Rumsfeld. Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of “ordering and authorizing” torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest. US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” for six years. Under international law, authorities in France are … Continue reading The Fugitive

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Dana Peroxide’s Habitually Proclaimed Ignorance Pisses Helen Off

Q Dana, why did the Bush administration give immunity to the Blackwater guards, and is the administration going to hold these guys accountable for what transpired?

MS. PERINO: This is what I can tell you: Secretary Rice has made it very clear that she takes the situation very seriously. It is under review. She said that anyone who has engaged in criminal behavior will be prosecuted. I don’t have additional detail that I can provide for you, and I’ll have to refer you to the State Department and Justice Department for more.

Q Has the President been briefed on this, or what does he think? What is he saying?

MS. PERINO: I do not know if the President has been briefed on it specifically. I can ask.

Q Were they given immunity or weren’t they?

MS. PERINO: Helen, as I said, it’s a matter that’s under review.

Q (Inaudible) tough questions. Why can’t you answer them?

MS. PERINO: Because it is a matter that’s under review, and I’m going to refer you to the State or the Justice Department for more.

Q What do you mean “under review”? Why don’t you say yes or no?

MS. PERINO: The State Department is the one that is looking into this and they are the ones answering questions on it.

Q So the administration hasn’t decided whether or not the reports of that are true? You’re still looking into whether or not they actually were?

MS. PERINO: I am going to refer you to the State Department on that, who is looking into it.

Q As a general question, how could you both be offered immunity and promised prosecution?

MS. PERINO: Again, this is being — this is under review. It’s not something that I can talk about from here. Obviously, anyone who is engaged in criminal activity would be of a great concern and it’s very serious and it should be prosecuted. Let me let the State Department and the Justice Department answer further questions on it.

Q Also, what is being reviewed? Just so we’re clear.

MS. PERINO: The entire situation is being reviewed, from the incident to the aftermath of it. And I just don’t have anything more for you that I can say from the podium today.

Continue reading “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle”

War Crimes, Bitches!

This should make Chimpy’s worn-out “talkin’ ’bout the peace with Koizumi” storyeven funnier! A top US scholar of wartime Japan said Wednesday that the Bush administration’s “war on terror” bore close parallels to Japan’s past militarism through a defiance of international law. Herbert Bix, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his landmark biography of wartime emperor Hirohito, said he believed US aerial bombings and alleged use of torture in Afghanistan and Iraq constituted war crimes. “The current American rampage in Iraq and elsewhere, not to mention the Bush administration’s threats of war against Iran, so clearly replicates Imperial … Continue reading War Crimes, Bitches!

You will not be surprised to learn…

In Michael Gerson’s new book we learn Dick Cheney doesn’t care about people. FromWaPo is this: (viaTP) He [Gerson] recounts meetings in which Cheney’s office tried to kill proposals to increase training of death-row defense lawyers, transition assistance for prisoners and aid for Hurricane Katrina victims. “The storm had also revealed a political and moral chasm in the Republican Party,” he writes. “The president and I saw Katrina as an opportunity to open a debate on race and poverty. Anti-government Republicans saw Katrina as an opportunity to cut off medicine to old people. It confirmed the worst image of Republicans … Continue reading You will not be surprised to learn…

Forget Poland!

They’rebooking. Polish Prime Minister-designate Donald Tusk said his future government would seek to end the nation’s military mission in Iraq next year, according to an interview published Wednesday. Poland, a staunch U.S. ally, sent combat troops to the 2003 war in Iraq and still has some 900 soldiers stationed in the southeast, despite public displeasure with the mission. Polish troops now primarily train Iraqi forces and renovate schools and hospitals. “We want to finish the mission in this form in 2008,” Tusk was quoted as saying by the daily Polska. He did not elaborate. Tusk made pulling out of Iraq … Continue reading Forget Poland!

With A Face Just Like Yours

This is just so fucking stupid I want to eat my own head. Part of the reason that we have had a faith outreach in our campaigns is precisely because I don’t think the LGBT community or the Democratic Party is served by being hermetically sealed from the faith community and not in dialogue with a substantial portion of the electorate, even though we may disagree with them. And you know, Atrios takes apart the know-it-all-ness of it, the condescension, but you know what I’m damn well tired of? Being told my concerns as a Democratic voter in a Democratic … Continue reading With A Face Just Like Yours

Your President Speaks!

Today, at theWhite House (after taking the day off yesterday). Stop Investigatin’ Me! The House of Representatives has wasted valuable time on a constant stream of investigations, and the Senate has wasted valuable time on an endless series of failed votes to pull our troops out of Iraq. What The Initial Bill Said We Got To Do After going alone and going nowhere, Congress should instead work with the administration on a bill that puts poor children first; a bill that will take care of the poor children that the initial bill said we got to do; a bill that … Continue reading Your President Speaks!

aWol AWOL from Jeebus…

…Unless he’s riding with him.From Julie Mason at theHouston Chronicle (viaFroomkin) Another Sunday and President Bush skipped church. We can’t remember the last time he went. He never used to miss church — and we know, because we get Sunday pool duty all the time and have to get up in the dark and go with him. 9/23 pool report: The president of America eschewed church on this fine Sunday and instead went for a bike ride in Virginia…9/30 pool report: The evangelical president did not go to church today, but he did go on a bike ride…10/7 pool report: … Continue reading aWol AWOL from Jeebus…

Your President Speaks! Again!

Today, at theWhite House, after a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Because He Eats Beef? Because Chimpy Has Never Raised Cattle Second time we have met here in the Oval Office, and I told the President that I remember distinctly his description of what life was like in Uganda, particularly when it comes to his raising cows; he’s a cattleman, and it gave us something to talk about. What President Museveni Has Got The President has got good advice and has got good judgment when it comes to issues like Somalia and the Sudan. Get Moving Those Troops … Continue reading Your President Speaks! Again!

“Without Legal Affect”

I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Bush Assministration to act onthese recommendations. A U.N. human rights expert is calling on the United States to prosecute or release suspects detained as “unlawful enemy combatants” and to move quickly to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Martin Scheinin, the U.N.’s independent investigator on human rights in the fight against terrorism, said in a report released Monday that he’s concerned about U.S. detention practices, military courts and interrogation techniques. He urged the U.S. government to end the CIA practice of extraordinary rendition, in which terrorism suspects are taken to foreign countries … Continue reading “Without Legal Affect”

Musta Been Typo

Seems to me that$1.4 billion would provide health care for many poor kids. The Pentagon has asked Congress for $1.4 billion in emergency spending to combat a growing threat of sniper attacks in Iraq based on an overstated assessment of the extent of the attacks, its records show. In last week’s spending request, the Pentagon said sniper attacks have quadrupled in the past year and, if unchecked, the attacks could eclipse roadside bombs as the top killer of U.S. troops. However, the rate of sniper attacks has dropped slightly in 2007 and fallen dramatically in the past four months, according … Continue reading Musta Been Typo

A One-Two Punch

Pow! U.S. home prices fell nationwide in August for the eighth consecutive month, offering little hope of a turnaround anytime soon, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday. Things could get worse, said Yale economist Robert Shiller, who helped create the index. “There is really no positive news in today’s report,” said Shiller, chief economist for MacroMarkets LLC, which collaborates with S&P on the indicator. “At both the national and metro area levels, the fall in home prices is showing no real signs of a slowdown or turnaround.” Home prices as measured by the index have fallen by more every … Continue reading A One-Two Punch

Regarding Bush’s General Tuck*

As I watched Bush’s press conference last week in California I was focused on Bush’sswipe at Governor Blanco and missed how moments later he referred to General Blum, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, as “General Tuck.” Reading Holden later, whodidn’t miss it, I was shocked. Does the President really not know who General Blum is? Was this just another of his mis-speaks? Or something else? I’m sure we’ll never know but I offer this for your consideration. Here is thefull context of what Bush said: And our National Guard personnel is providing very important assistance. It turns out … Continue reading Regarding Bush’s General Tuck*

What Chris Did

Baby, baby, baby, talk hard. (I may have a problem with this one. No, really. This is exactly what happened to me with Howard and with Big John, this is all it took, which is in and of itself a problem. You know that sort of “oh, no, no, no” feeling you get in your gut when you’re falling for somebody you just can’t fall for, somebody who’s a coke-addict poet who hates people and thinks punctuality is for losers and has two nipple rings and on top of that is, like, married and your boss? You know that feeling, … Continue reading What Chris Did

The all FEMA press conference

I’m always amazed when I see something likethis that there wasn’t at least one person, somewhere, beforehand, who raised their hand to say…Maybe this isn’t such a good idea…and everyone realized how freaking stupid they were being to consider doing something so freaking stupid. UPDATE: FEMA admitsTheir bad. STATEMENT IN REGARDS TO FEMA’S TUESDAY PRESS BRIEFING FEMA’s goal is to get information out as soon as possible, and in trying to do so we made an error in judgment. Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received. We are reviewing our … Continue reading The all FEMA press conference

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

FEMA MakesDana Peroxide SIC

Q Dana, on Tuesday, FEMA’s deputy administrator held what was called a news briefing to talk about the California wildfires. And from what we understand, the questions were posed not by reporters, but by staffers, and that distinction was not made known. Is that appropriate?

MS. PERINO: It is not. It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we — we certainly don’t condone it. We didn’t know about it beforehand. FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to try to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regards to the wildfires in California. It’s not something I would have condoned, and they, I’m sure, will not do it again.

Q Who is responsible?

MS. PERINO: FEMA is responsible, and they have taken that — they have accepted that responsibility, and they issued an apology today.

Q But isn’t — a follow-up on that. Isn’t there a normal morning call with all the press secretaries of all the agencies here, and whether somebody is having a press briefing or not is discussed?

MS. PERINIO: We have a variety of ways that we talk to the — communicate to the communicators in the agency. FEMA is not on that daily call, no, and I don’t know if the DHS — the head of DHS communications knew about it either. But FEMA has apologized for the error in judgment.

Q Dana, why didn’t this raise alarm bells, in terms of credibility, with anyone there?

MS. PERINO: You’ll have to ask them. They have admitted that they had an error in judgment. I would agree with that. They’ve issued an apology. You’ll have to ask them about why they decided to do that.

Q But isn’t the President concerned, at a time when he is traveling to the area to talk about a very significant natural disaster — there have been issues about FEMA in the past, trying to make a distinction about progress made, and for them to effectively pretend to hold a news conference, doesn’t the President have concerns about that?

MS. PERINO: I just said that the White House did not know about it before hand, andthe White House condones* [sic] it. And they have apologized for it. They had an error in judgment, they’ve admitted that. And I think that what they were — I don’t think that there was any mal-intent. I think that they were trying to provide information to the public through the press, because there were so many questions pouring in. It was just a bad way to handle it, and they know that.

Q Will anybody be reprimanded?

MS. PERINO: You’ll have to ask FEMA.

Follow The Asterisk, Dana

*The White House does not condone the way the FEMA press conference was handled.

Continue reading “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle”

Friday Ferretblogging: New Parents Edition

The only time he is ever still: So I think this is why people have more than one kid. I forgot how much freaking fun it is to have a baby around the house. He’s impossible to bore, impossible to tire, impossible to over-snuggle or over-spoil. Riot squirrels himself into a frenzy over a bubble envelope. He divebombs Puck from the top of the couch. He tries to crawl into my shoeswhile I’m still wearing them and he shreds newspapers for amusement. Did I mention he does it before we’re done reading? He’s always ready to play, to bat at … Continue reading Friday Ferretblogging: New Parents Edition

Oh my

I don’t usually write much of local NOLA politics (I’m smart enough to know it’s freaking complicated). But I do follow it. And man it has been a week of shall we sayInteresting.

Monday: An FBI agent testifies in court that state Sen. Derrick Shepherd has been laundering money for some felon and a cut of course. (Do read Oyster on this to fully appreciate)

Wednesday: Sen. Shepherd denies any wrongdoing and implies it is all an FBI plot to get back at him for not providing the FBI with any dirt in what appears to be an FBI investigation of Ray Nagin…at least so says Shepherd.

Wednesday: Nagin’s spokesperson denies Nagin is a target of a federal investigation. (I guesswe’ll see)

And all week long District Attorney Eddie Jordan has been in the news. He owes $3.7 million which he can’t pay. It’s due to a judgment against his office for racial discrimination in the firing of white employees. (more on Eddie fromAdratos)

That’s just the beginning of Eddie’s week.Wednesday night it is reported, in what is probably the strangest story, that police had been seeking a suspect for robbery, home invasion and possibly shooting a cop and the cop’s wife. Turns out said suspect had fled to District Attorney Eddie Jordan’s home and was hanging out with Jordan’s girlfriend.

Ok I thought ya can’t out do that. I was wrong.

Continue reading “Oh my”

And where were you?

Yesterday Bush took ashot at Gov. Blanco. Blancoresponds: In a statement forwarded by her press office, Blanco noted that it took federal forces nearly a week to arrive in Louisiana after the storm. “I was the only game in town, leading for nearly a week without the president’s help,” Blanco said. “Of all the lessons learned from Katrina now being put into place in California, I would hope the one he would remember is that politics has no place in any disaster,” she added, before taking a shot at the slow manner in which promised federal aid has been delivered. … Continue reading And where were you?