President Bush has once again refused to address the national convention of the nation's largest and oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP which was held this week in Milwaukee. Instead, Bush sent the chair of the Republican national Committee, Ken Mehlman who apologized to the group for the so-called southern strategy of the GOP, appealing to white southern racists to win elections. Instead of attending the NAACP conference, Bush addressed the Indiana Black Expo, which presented him with a lifetime achievement award. It marked the fifth consecutive year Bush has turned down an NAACP invitation to speak, making him the first sitting president since Warren Harding to not address the group. President Bush's father was booed when he addressed the group as Vice President in 1986 but still addressed the NAACP when he was elected president.
The Washington Post is reporting that White House officials are privately saying that they are concerned that the investigation into the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame will lead to an indictment of someone in the administration later this year. This comes as Democrats escalate their calls for the man known as "Bush's brain" to be stripped of his security clearance and fired. There are also calls for Congressional hearings. One of those leading the charge in the House is California Democrat Henry Waxman.
- Henry Waxmann (D, California):
"This is a serious matter because it affects the national security of this nation. It's an even more serious matter because if our national security has been jeopardized, it's been jeopardized for political purposes."
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The political firestorm over Karl Rove and the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame continues in Washington. Wilson and top Congressional Democrats are increasing their calls for Karl Rove to be fired over the White House leak. We speak with Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, and Norman Solomon, author of "War Made Easy." [includes rush transcript]
Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton, takes on Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" on Iraq, the Democrats, the invasion of Iraq and much more. [includes rush transcript - partial]
SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL: He's undermining himself by putting out all of these stories and keeping this at a -- in the forefront of the news. He has regarded his defense as though it is the defense of the administration himself. He cannot separate himself. Furthermore, the President has not separated him. He walked to Marine One, his helicopter, accompanied by Karl Rove, a clear statement that he stands by Rove. So, Bush has embraced Rove, as well. This is -- Bush -- Rove's damage control, in my view, has created more damage. This so-called master of communications is undermining himself in terms of communications, but in the end, none of that matters. It all comes down to Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, and what he decides to do.
NORMAN SOLOMON: And I think this raises also the question of the role of the Democratic Party here. Under Howard Dean, the Democratic Party in the United States now has a pro-war position. Let me repeat that. The Democratic Party has a pro-war position as the war in Iraq continues. And so, how well-positioned is the Democratic Party and its leadership, such as it is, to raise these issues about lies on behalf of war and also raise these issues about the meaningfulness of this war. When -- during the Vietnam War, and I know Sid Blumenthal, as well as myself, were active in writing about that war at the time, we had a situation where there were many people in the Congress who had a similar position to Howard Dean and most in the Democratic Party leadership today on this war. During the Vietnam War, they said, Well, we cant cut and run. We can't pull out. That was a pro-war position. And so what kind of political discourse can we have about lies about a war that continues right now?
One other thing I'd like to mention. In 1968, as previously, and I was able to hear this in person at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in 1968, Senator Wayne Morris, the senior Senator from Oregon, a Democrat said, and I'm quoting here from transcript, I do not intend to put the blood of this war on my hands. Here we are in the midst of the Iraq war, and I am looking for one United States senator willing to say that he or she is unwilling to put the blood of this war on his or her hands. We don't have a single senator today willing to say that.
INANITY RULES IN THE CAPITAL: How inane was the idea that, if Rove didn't actually name Wilson's wife, that would mean that he hadn't IDed her? Duh. The idea was always completely inane--and three days ago, King Karl gave it up. His lawyer, Robert Luskin, spoke to the National Review's Byron York:
YORK (7/12/05): A few other notes: Luskin declined to say how Rove knew that Plame "apparently" (to use Cooper's word) worked at the CIA. But Luskin told NRO that Rove is not hiding behind the defense that he did not identify Wilson's wife because he did not specifically use her name. Asked if that argument was too legalistic, Luskin said, "I agree with you. I think it's a detail.Duh. If you're more than seven years old, you always knew how inane that claim was. But inanity is the mother's milk of our national discourse. Three days later, here's the New York Times' David Johnston, saying that "critics of Bush"--no one else--think this claim is pure crap:
JOHNSTON (7/15/05): White House officials may argue that Mr. Rove's conversation with Mr. Novak did not amount to leaking the name of the agent. But to critics of Mr. Bush--including the Democrats who have called for Mr. Roves resignation--think that is splitting hairs, and Mr. Rove in effect confirmed her identity, even if he did not name her.Three days after Rove killed this turkey, Johnston says that critics of Bush think its silly. Apparently, those critics of Bush include lawyer Luskin, who gave up this dog three days back.
Note: This passage has been dropped from NYT on-line editions. We don't blame the Times for dumping this embarrassing turkey. Good Lord! At the Times, you had to be a "critic of Bush" to think this claim didnt make sense.
The article Somerby's referring to is David Johnston & Richard W. Stevenson's. (Go to first Times post today for the link.) And David E. Sanger "contributed to the article." (I didn't note the "contributed" credit. There's above the title and then there's end credits.) Print edition readers, go to A14, it's second column, below the pull quote.
I went to the memorial service for Gaylord Nelson, a giant of progressive politics.
The former governor of Wisconsin, who also served in the U.S. Senate for 18 years, took on Joe McCarthy, championed civil rights, was an early and courageous opponent of the Vietnam War, an advocate of auto and tire safety, a fighter for Legal Services and for Head Start, and above all, an ardent environmentalist. He was the first Senator to propose a ban on DDT, and he helped shepherd through the landmark environmental laws of the 1970s.
Gaylord Nelson was the father of Earth Day. It was his idea. And when he left the Senate, he continued for the rest of his life to work on the issue of the environment at the Wilderness Society.
On Earth Day 2000, he wrote: "Forging and maintaining a sustainable society is The Challenge for this and all generations to come. At this point in history, no nation has managed to evolve into a sustainable society. We are all pursuing a self-destructive course of fueling our economies by drawing down our natural capital--that is to say, by degrading and depleting our resource base--and counting it on the income side of the ledger. . . . We have finally come to understand that the real wealth of a nation is its air, water, soil, forests, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats, and biodiversity. Take this resource away, and all that is left is a wasteland."
The above is an excerpt and we'll note that Rothschild steers those interested to Bill Christofferson's biography of Nelson entilted The Man From Clear Lake.
And don't miss "Hillary on the Right:"
There was Hillary Clinton instead calling for 80,000 more troops for the Army so that the United States can be fully equipped to patrol the far corners of the empire at a moments notice.
Hillary, the darling of the Democrats for 2008 (pssst, I dont think she can win!), has been steadily repositioning herself on the far rightward reaches of the Democratic Party when it comes to the Pentagon.
Shes always been for the Iraq War, and she still is.
And in case you needed any other clue about where she stands, she was accompanied by Joe Lieberman at her press conference calling for more troops.
I am repeating these words, once again, from Matt Cooper's TIME magazine article. The words in quotation came from Lewis "Scooter" Libby. "Scooter" needed to disseminate the storyline good and fast - before the public could effectively point their finger at Dick Cheney.
"The Vice President was unaware of the trip by Ambassador Wilson and didn't know about it until this year when it became public in the last month or so." Other senior Administration officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, have also claimed that they had not heard of Wilson's report until recently.
I gave you a blog entry in September, 2003. "Dick Cheney denies Joe Wilson Three Times"
Read it again. Think about it carefully. Why was it so important, in September, 2003, for Cheney to get out on the political talk shows and swear, hot and heavy on a stack o'Bibles, that he didn't know Joe? Why didn't Tim Russert ask more pointed questions at the time - when he could have?
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