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March 28, 2007

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20 billion in bribes to abandon our troops and the Iraqi citizens to murderers of woman and children and you are bringing this up... great focus.

Both parties have slush-funds and campaign illegally. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that "there's not a dime's worth of difference between" Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, opening mail, banning books like "America Deceived' from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason. Now the Democrats put ‘Hate Speech" laws
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Last link (before Google Books bends to gov't Will and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Well, this thread is off to a promising start.

Warren, you had me right up to the reference to the Kelo decision and banning books from Amazon.

How exactly did the democrats go along with that?

Or was all this just a plug for a book?

It's nice to know that the "loyal Bushies" are getting their naps. Wouldn't want them to miss their beauty sleep.

What a fool this "chief" is. I'd love for Braley to have asked her "You don't remember or you don't want to remember?" or "Is it appropraite for someone who has such an advanced case of amnesia as you have to hold a high office?".

if I could switch gears for a moment and attempt to comment on, you know, publius' actual post---

Who would prosecute a Hatch Act violation? would this require an appointment of a special prosecutor?

from what I remember from my work in the feds (12 years), Hatch Act violations are prosecuted out of the US Atty's office. Nice set up, eh?

my understanding is that you can't be prosecuted. but you can be fired.

Or was all this just a plug for a book?

It was just a plug. If you google "america deceived" approximately 90% of the links are this guy (or some other shill) posting the exact same set speech to random posts on random blogs. It also appears (though I don't know for sure since I haven't called iUniverse personally) that the book was never distributed through B&N and Amazon in the first place. The evidence that it was ever banned by anyone seems to consist entirely of these little blogspam comments. Making up stories about government censorship to get more people to buy your poorly written self-published book? Classy!

I don't think "violation" is a strong enough word for this little nugget's relationship with the Hatch Act.

I think the chances of Gonzalez remaining AG just shot up -- given how brazen this is, I suspect the GSA isn't alone in rampantly violating the Hatch Act.

I suspect that the deeper Waxman probes on this, the more criminal referrals Bush is going to need squashed.

I thought Republicans were against government hand-outs?

It's true that some Democrats went along with the Iraq war, but if there weren't so many idiots believing there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between Bush and Gore, there wouldn't have been an Iraq war for those Democrats to vote for in the first place.

(Yes, I know, don't respond to the drive-by spammer.)

"my understanding is that you can't be prosecuted. but you can be fired."

is that true? presumably the reason Bush hired her was to ensure that the GSA was turned into a massive GOTV enterprise for GOP candidates. Can't imagine Bush would fire her for doing the job she was hired to do. Same deal with Gonzales.

I know that in the US several levels of the civil service hierarchy consists of political appointees, more so than in most other democracies. The system always had that potential for abuse then. Do we prefer aloof mandarins, or scheming party hacks?

I'd love for Braley to have asked her "You don't remember or you don't want to remember?" or "Is it appropraite for someone who has such an advanced case of amnesia as you have to hold a high office?".

What's so great about the "I don't recollect" line is that it is a tacit admission that this sort of behavior wouldn't be completely uncharacteristic of her conduct at the GSA. Otherwise a simple denial would suffice.

This is really nothing new. In 2004 the Treasury Department's website encouraged people to vote to keep the economic policies in place, which could only be interpreted as urging people to vote for Bush.

There is a difference in promoting policies and trying to directly get involved in affecting the vote through the government's services.

I found the video intensely frustrating because the Congressmen could never quite spring the trap closed on the lady. The questioning sequence I would have followed is:

1. Present the evidence of political activity.
2. Ask, "Do you know that the Hatch Act makes political activity on government property illegal?" Answer: Yes.
3. Ask, "Do you believe that the activity presented earlier constitutes political activity?
The answer will not be "Yes", and it almost certainly will not be "No". The most likely answer from a defensive witness would be "I can't really say either way."
4. Ask, "So you are unable to determine whether the activity reported above is legal or illegal?"
The answer to this will be affirmative. If it's a simple affirmative, then you proceed as follows:

5. Ask, "Is it your responsibility as Director of GSA to comply with the law?"
Answer: Yes.
6: "And you testify that you do not have the ability to discern violations of the law?"
Here it gets tricky. The answer will most likely be some sort of hedged affirmative. Depending upon the wording, the trap swings shut with:
7: "So it is your testimony that you do not possess the skills necessary to execute your responsibilities as Director of GSA?"

If the answer to Question 4 involved something about consulting an attorney, then you proceed to ask, "Did you consult an attorney?" and when the answer comes back negative, you ask something along these lines: "So you were unable to determine whether the activity was illegal, yet you failed to consult an attorney to obtain advice on this matter, and instead simply allowed this event to proceed, knowing that it could be illegal?"


The toughest problem would come if the Director answered Question 3 in the negative. A flat denial that the activity was political in nature would be an obvious lie, but not one that could result in an indictment for perjury. The line of questioning would have to drag through a long digression to obtain a statement from the witness as to what constitutes political activity. At some point, the witness will attempt to abort by declaring herself unable to make such a close legal judgment -- at which point the questioner has to get her to really nail down that point, then slams the trap shut with Questions 6 and 7.

The point of all this is not to score debating points. The point is to drive home to the world that these people are liars. Liars hide in obfuscation, and the best countermeasure is a carefully designed sequence of questions that force them to reveal their lie. I wish the Congressman had done so. This woman would have been easy to nail, and he blew the opportunity.


I'm sure if they scratch a little they'll find similar presentations being done at pretty much all agencies. NASA, NOAA, EPA, the Park service, etc.

"How can you park service appointees help our candidates?"
"By making sure we promote creationism in the bookshops?"
"Great idea!"

In Illinois, the Republican lock on state government was ended by disgusted voters after this kind of behavior was uncovered and prosecuted, i.e., state employees were found using their work time and office equipment to work on behalf of Republican campaigning.

Well, since we are witnessing myriad revelations in what is now one large uni-scandal, I don't know which thread is which any longer.

So excuse me for noting here that John Cole, whose head exploded a while ago, is noting that attack ads are now being mounted against former Prosecutor David Iglesias in New Mexico.

David Iglesias, a Republican, who is not running for office.

Who needs unnamed Democrats when the Republican Party (hey, find a new name, my grandfathers are retching in their graves) eats its own?

The largest criminal enterprise in the history of the United States is coming down hard, imploding.

Lucianne Goldberg may have to step in soon and blow a Democrat just to show that we're all equally corrupt.

i wish i could find bril's blog, so i could know what i should be paying attention to, what things are really important.

come to think of it... looks like i forgot to install greasemonkey on my new PC.

Ms Doan, in addition to being a moron, is utterly expendable. Expect her to be either thrown to the wolves, or quietly fired and forgotten, depending on how much fuss is made about this.

What is it about federal government jobs that induces so much memory loss? Is it the water in DC or something?

Cleek,

Its just the hypocrisy at Obsidian Wings is so blatant.

The moral compass spins constantly.

I can't help, but point out how the posters stick their head in the sand when they should be worried how the Democrats are dragging us down.

Just as examples:

Something else Democrats should be more upfront about is the 30 “reserve funds” in the draft 2008 budget. A reserve fund is a sort of legislative hidden-ball trick that authorizes Congress to spend additional billions on favored programs so long as either spending elsewhere in the government is reduced or taxes are increased by an equivalent amount. For example, Section 306 of the draft 2008 budget includes a reserve fund worth an additional $15 billion in farm aid. But does anybody seriously think Congress will reduce spending somewhere else by $15 billion? Whoops, here comes another tax hike!

As we’ve asked before and will no doubt ask again, why can’t Washington politicians just tell us the truth?

and this

The bill set to reach the House floor today (resembling the Senate version) would raise taxes an average of $1,795 on 115 million taxpayers in 2011. Some 26 million small-business owners would pay an average of $3,960 more. The decreased number of Americans subject to income taxes would all pay higher taxes, and 5 million low-income Americans would be returned to the rolls.

Truly they are chipping away at what makes this country strong. Many here at Obsidian Wings were screaming about all the injustice just a few months ago are now they are silent when their country needs them most. Sadly, these Dem's are liars. They said one thing during the election and are doing just the opposite.

Harry Reid is as crooked as they come and no one here even cares. It's expected, but sad.

And more. (It just doesn't end. But no one here cares about the corruption, but they were screaming about it just a few months ago.)

"SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

...Perhaps she resigned from MILCON because she could not take the heat generated by Metro's expose of her ethics (which was partially funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute). Or was her work on the subcommittee finished because Blum divested ownership of his military construction and advanced weapons manufacturing firms in late 2005?

...Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases—often without the benefit of competitive bidding—to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife's watch.

As of December 2006, according to SEC filings and www.fedspending.org, three corporations in which Blum's financial entities own a total of $1 billion in stock won considerable favor from the budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs:

# Boston Scientific Corporation: $17.8 million for medical equipment and supplies; 85 percent of contracts awarded without benefit of competition.

# Kinetic Concepts Inc.: $12 million, medical equipment and supplies; 28 percent noncompetitively awarded.

# CB Richard Ellis: The Blum-controlled international real estate firm holds congressionally funded contracts to lease office space to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also is involved in redeveloping military bases turned over to the private sector."

This is off-topic on this post, but I didn't see where to put it in anything recent.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070327/62697703.html

Of course we can't trust russian intelligence reports. But what would be a proper response from congress or the US public to an attack on iran now?

Cleek,

Not to mention that no one here is screaming about how Iran is violating the Geneva conventions. How many posts when it was thought to be the US? See things are only bad if Bush does them. If others do them its okay.

Living one's life with that kind of moral compass just seems strange to me and a little pathetic.

cleek: i wish i could find bril's blog, so i could know what i should be paying attention to, what things are really important.

I know. I wish I could read Obsidian Wings with as much care and attention as bril, so I'd know exactly what everyone writing here doesn't care about, as well as what they do.

Bril - trying to hold your own nation to a high ethical standard does not in any way imply that other nations get a pass. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not use places like Iran as the point of comparison for my country. Any half-assed idiot can be more ethical than Iran.

Any half-assed idiot can be more ethical than Iran.

Remember who you're talking to.

And I suspect the parable of the beam/log and eyes is lost on some people.

Hypocracy, hm?

"Any half-assed idiot could be more ethical than Iran."

Then we're in good hands.

Not to mention that no one here is screaming about how Iran is violating the Geneva conventions

an excellent troll. nicely played!

Also, why isn't anyone pointing out that Saddam was worse than Bush? Huh. Answer that collective smartypantses...

Mr. bril, your comments alleging corruption on the part of Democrats amount to an admission of the corruption in this case. You are making no attempt to refute the hypothesis of corruption in this case; your counter-argument that Democrats are corrupt thus becomes a tacit admission of the corruption in this case.

Not to mention that no one here is screaming about how Iran is violating the Geneva conventions. How many posts when it was thought to be the US? See things are only bad if Bush does them. If others do them its okay.

what? They are doing worse then waterboarding the sailors? Then putting them in stress positions? Going for sleep deprivation, blindfolding, being nude in public, smearing them with menstruational blood, threatening them with dogs, smearing them with faeces, punching there legs into pulp with their knees?

Good thing we know for certain that the Iranian diplomats caught by the US from the office with the Iranian flag are doing so much better.

Not to mention that no one here is screaming about how Iran is violating the Geneva conventions.

Does anyone else wonder if bril posts these random assertions without links because (1) they're all over the right-wing blogs so he assumes everyone must be familiar with them; or (2) he doesn't want anyone to fact-check him?

The argument that Iran would violate the Geneva Conventions if it prosecuted the British sailors for espionage is so bad even a 1L could debunk it. Heck, I don't even think Iran ever ratified Protocol I.

Not to mention that no one here is screaming about how Iran is violating the Geneva conventions.

I think (assuming he does have any other purpose than simply trolling) bril may be referring to the Iranians' putting the captured British personnel in front of the cameras for "propaganda" purposes which does, IIRC, violate one or another of the Geneva Convention provisions.

It doesn't make it right of course, but if this is the worst thing that happens to them, they're probably pretty lucky.....

The argument I've seen on the right-wing blogs is that it violates the Geneva Conventions to prosecute uniformed soldiers for espionage. (What they neglect to address is that this provision only applies during an actual armed conflict.)

This other argument, I haven't seen, and I guess I'd have to look up the relevant sections. It's a given, though, that Iran has little respect for international norms; how many countries think it's fair game to take someone else's embassy personnel hostage?

And another discussion goes off the rails...

Was parading captured (true and alleged) terrorists and Saddam before (US) news cameras paid for with tax dollars? (trying to steer the discussion back ;-) )

Not to mention that no one here is screaming about how Iran is violating the Geneva conventions.

Well. Next time I vote in Iran, I'm certainly going to vote against the people who are doing that.

Oh, wait. I don't live in Iran. Well then.

Erasmussino, thanks, I enjoyed that bit of imaginary cross-examination. I too was frustrated by this Congressman's choice to make speeches rather than pin the witness down.

For example, although it would chance losing control of the witness, after asking her about 6 times whether she agreed that "target" means "target," he might have asked her whether she thinks she has the ability to read simple English headlines, and whether she customarily exercises this skill when reviewing Power Point slides (I thought he was setting up for this when he elicited that she was familiar with Power Point presentations), and finally what she takes this slide to be referring to. If she again weasels out and says, oh, ask the author, it wasn't my meeting, just ask ok, you're here now, you've read this slide, you've seen it when you prepared for this hearing and you've had a long time to look at it now, can you demonstrate your reading skills for us, please? Tell me in your own words what you personally understand this sentence to mean. I won't hold you responsible for reading the author's mind, but how do you yourself read this? If she continues to demur, ask her if she is asserting a privilege or has some other reason that she thinks she doesn't need to answer the question after giving her oath.

Similarly, she kept saying that she couldn't recall saying "that," i.e., whatever version of her remarks the other attendees recalled. Well, that's an honest answer, because she no doubt phrased it a little differently than any of them did. And the way you deal with that sort of evasion is to say simply, "And did you say anything similar to that?" Or even, "What did you say?" Of course, she can then go ahead and commit perjury -- but at least you have a chance of indicting her for it. At least make her admit that she did stand up and say something, even if she "doesn't recall" what she said.

It can also be useful, when dealing with a witness who "doesn't recall," to begin by asking easy and harmless questions about the same time period, so that it's really obvious that the problem is not her memory.

I'll stand up and take the bold position that Saddam was worse than Bush, particularly at cheerleading. Also, he dressed even uglier, and had a poor sense of tonsorial style.

Also, of course, Saddam "killed his own people," which is to say that he turned the mechanisms of his government, which was supposed to serve all Iraqis, solely to the service of his own camp, using its powers to preserve his party's grasp on power. Thank goodness nothing like that happens here.

Wouldn't Iran and Britian have to be in armed conflict for there to be a violation of the GC? I don't think the GC applies to illegal border crossings when there is no war.

Having just watched the video... was anyone else just really embarrassed for Doan? Let alone the Bizarro World types who claimed that she would eviscerate her interrogators?

the Bizarro World types who claimed that she would eviscerate her interrogators

that kind of thing makes it pretty clear that the RedState clowns really are nothing more than cheerleaders. their entire function is to maintain the morale of GOP loyalists: not to inform, or convert; but to keep everyone clapping. so, they sing their little cheers about how they're going to push the other team back ("push 'em waaaaay back!") how they're going to score and keep scoring and how the QB is going to lead them to victory, and how their defense is unstoppable, etc.. they have all the substance of a high school fight song, and none of the joy.

aside: 55-60% of DOJ voting rights attorneys have left in the last two years. heckofajob Bushy.

That's some delicious politicization, you must have some! Thanks for the post, publius.

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