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May 10, 2006

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Opponents try to introduce an amendment that would prevent this; it vanishes under suspicious circumstances. Result: no more of those inconvenient reports about what this administration is doing with our money.

I wouldn't be so sure about that last part. I don't know if State's IG issues public reports, but I have it on good authority ( very good authority), that State's current IG has an issue with spending money period, much less wastefully spending money. So, the only obstacle to him being able to conduct effective oversight is his budget, which, alas, may be insurmountable.

Not that oversight should have been taken away from Bowen, mind you, just that it might be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Of course, his aversion to spending money may lead him to not spend money on Iraq oversight, and so down the rabbit's hole it goes. Though if it's budgeted for that purpose I imagine it'll get spent (and wisely if the IG has any say).

oh, sheesh. all administrations do this. it's precisely why conservatives distrust government in all its forms and never stop working to lessen its power, reach and budget. that's why real conservatives have been working so hard to defend Bush: he's the antithesis of government corruption, nepotism and machine politics. he's a rugged individualist cowboy.

whew. did i get that right ?

Oh, I get a major kick out of conservative justifications of Bushist kleptocracy. It's almost a tautology:

1. Taxes are evil because they penalize financial success.
2. The government can't do anything right.
3. Therefore, the best thing to do with taxpayer dollars is NOT to spend it on programs for the needy, the dispossessed, the storm-shaken, or soldiers' benefits.
4. Instead, the best thing to do with taxpayer dollars is give them back to your friends and relatives in the private sector -
5. - because, since your friends and relatives are the wealthiest people in the country, most of those taxpayer dollars belong to them, anyway.

Voila!

cleek: downright eerie ;)

hilzoy prompts me to note the most outrageous thing I have read in quite some time (even by Powerline standards):

JOHN adds: Actually, I think the theory that the Bush administration was somehow behind the September 11 attacks is going mainstream. I think that, with increasing frequency, we'll see that claim reported non-judgmentally in the mainstream media. It wouldn't surprise me if, in a few years, a great many Americans believe that the administration was complicit in the attacks--God knows how or why--just as, today, many millions of Americans are irrationally convinced that some government agency was behind the Kennedy assassination. If the Democrats take control of either branch of Congress in November, I think it's entirely possible that we'll have committee hearings on this "issue."

That's right, Time Magazine's Blog of the Year says that if the Democrats win back either branch of Congress, it's "entirely possible" they will hold hearings on whether Bush planned 9/11. Seriously, I know things are looking tough for the GOP, but can't these people just stick to claiming Democrats will ban the Bible?

anyone know if Time has revisited their honorees to see how they're doing, what they're up to, what kind of insights they're onto these days?

it'd be nice if Time could print a few passages from their Chosen Ones to highlight just what it is they do, day to day. Steve's quote above would be ... informative.

If it weren't for your moonbat Bush-hatred, you would realize that all these Democrat investigations are undermining the Nation in a Time of War and distracting the Commander in Chief from facin' down th' axis o' evil.

(Cue wind machine and wailing harmonica.)

And very much on topic, has anyone else read the story at Kos that NSA has refused clearances to DOJ OPR lawyers who were investigating the role of other DOJ lawyers in the NSA spying scandal? No clearances, no investigation. How conveeeenient.

Core principle of conservative governance: IOKIYAR.

I nearly did a postus interruptus to point out that Bowen is a down-home, stalwart Republican, but luckily read on and Hilzoy, natch, nailed it.

See, Bush and company are something else. What are they? Who are they? (as the Wall Street Journal editorial page asked constantly of EVERYONE in the Clinton White House). Are they Americans?

Steve: I'll give the idiots this. Figuring out who Osama Bin Laden's paymasters are and were will be a study in ominous ambiguity. I mean, how is it that identical rhetoric issues from the mouths of Ann Coulter AND the cave-dweller?

Yeah, folks get to keep the Bibles.

I'm trying to decide whether Oliver Stone or DaveC. (if I can crash the gated neighborhood) gets to write the script for the movie.

Maybe a joint effort.

Sorry, forgot to add:

McManus, like Merlin, knows the answers to the questions "What are they?" and Who are they?"

I'm just the opening act. Seriously. -:-

Bob?

OT to bleh I just read your 6:49 pm comment in the top post at Digby's and I have to say very good point. I recommend the Digby post as well as the diary but I thought bleh's posts were the stand out response.

(Cue wind machine and wailing harmonica.)

Much of what goes on these days would make for a perfect stop-time blues song (Think "Mannish Boy" or "Bad to the Bone")

does anyone besides me just get sad at hearing this, or is it the red wine talking?

for yahweh's sake, are there any limits on the corruption this administration will tolerate [encourage?]?

"McManus, like Merlin, knows the answers to the questions "What are they?" and Who are they?""

Bourbons

Kevin Phillips hinted;Michael Lind misdirects. The answer lies with Prescott, of course, before the war. Just a hint:Anyone seen "The Boys from Brazil?"
But it is not what you are thinking. Study Franklin Pierce, Bab's ancestor. Go see or read the "Da Vinci Code" Ask yourself what secret Brown was trying to cover up by planting such ideas. Where are the missing Templars? The lost tribes of Israel? Who really paid for the DNA mapping? Meaningless extra sequences, sure, right.

Has anyone done numerical analysis of Bush's speeches? The hump, the hump, has anyone seen out President shirtless? I can say no more.

...hearings to focus on cases in which there is clear evidence of wrongdoing, corruption, or incompetence...

That might not be enough.

They might very well berlusconise the whole thing:

It is difficult to exaggerate the degree of popular support for the investigations of public corruption that took place in 1994 when Berlusconi first "entered the playing field." The magistrates who conducted the investigations were highly trusted; and Antonio Di Pietro, the most prominent of the prosecutors, was literally the most popular person in the country—far more so than Berlusconi himself. [...] In order to reverse the seemingly irresistible momentum of the corruption investigation, Berlusconi conducted an all-out attack against the judges of Milan and Palermo that changed the Italian political landscape even more radically [...]

From The New York Review of Books: The Berlusconi Show
Excellent sum-up of the the Berlusconi saga. Definitely a must-read.

Of course, the major question is if what occured in Italy is possible in the US.

There are many arguments against, how the US isn't as politically dysfunctional, but I don't think it should be taken as granted that they would neither try nor succeed with it.
I hope that all those scandals (that seem worse in both magnitude and calibre than everything all together since the Civil War) are like a magma conduct obstructed by a mountain of spin and obfuscation, waiting to explode like the Krakatoa.
In a normal administration it would... in a normal one...

Well, I had to ask.

Just to add to Bob's points, I've spent the morning trying to decipher messages in the clouds, as usual, but all I see is this uniform gray overcast. No discernable information content at all.

Damn Republican censorship.

One more reason why Bush is at 31%. Jeez.

It would be implausible if Democrat-led hearings were not partisan and vindictive, even purely so. It happened before, it'll happen again.

CHarles: I truly meant what I said about the Democrats. A party that thinks it can't talk too loudly about the violation of law that is the NSA program, or about Abu Ghraib, is not a party you need to fear. I really think they will pick their targets carefully, for maximal chance of extremely obvious (and easy-to-understand) malfeasance. And cracking down on obvious malfeasance is an unqualified good.

One more reason why Bush is at 31%. Jeez.

It would be implausible if Democrat-led hearings were not partisan and vindictive, even purely so. It happened before, it'll happen again.

I thought that as leader of the Party of Ideas, Bush was doing poorly because he was not The Great Communicator, as opposed to, you know, the ideas sucking.

If you have great ideas, you do not fear oversight nor even partisan reviews of your policies. You welcome them -- funny how the Party of Ideas thinks its so frightful that Democrats might have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on their record. Maybe that's because the Ideas suck, and they fear oversight.

As for Democratic led hearings being partisan and vindictive; let's look at the Republican record to date concerning questions of oversight (both Clinton era when Repubs were doing the oversight and recently when Democrats tried to get some oversight of Bush). Oh, that's right -- extremely partisan and vindictive.

So yes, the Republican party will do all that it can to turn Democratic oversight hearings into something partisan and vindictive. Anything to avoid actual reasoned scrutiny of their Ideas.

"...is not a party you need to fear."

To the great shame of the nation and pending the judgement of history, hilzoy is correct. Charles Bird and Rumsfeld and Bush have nothing to fear from the leadership of the Democratic party. And very little to fear from its base.

"Sorrow and the Pity" ...the sequel. Probably made in Europe in a decade, by refugees.

Don't bait me, Thullen, I am so far beyond civility you wouldn't believe it.

Bob:

My weak little parodies are merely cover for increasing incivility on my part. When they don't seem effective at pointing to what I think is the truth, I think to myself "Who could explain this better?", and invariably I think of you.

Let's say we both wish to strangle Ann Coulter with our bare hands (not that you do, but bear with me). I want Ann to wonder right up until the moment of blacking out from strangulation: "It's odd, but when that clown was standing over there saying he wanted to strangle me with his bare hands, I thought it was kind of funny, but now he is strangling me and he's still laughing. What gives?"

Then I refer her over to you to explain the precise reason why her windpipe doesn't seem to be functioning.

As usual when I attempt to clear the waters, I muddy them, probably.

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