Public Confused

A new poll is out, on honesty and ethics in government. It shows how well the public understands what has been going on for the last five years (not). (Yes, the same public that thinks Iraq was behind 9/11.) See White House Ethics, Honesty Questioned. Some items from the article:

…nearly half say the overall level of honesty and ethics in the federal government has fallen since President Bush took office

Which means that more than half don’t think the level of honesty and ethics have fallen under Bush.

55 percent of the public believes the Libby case indicates wider problems “with ethical wrongdoing” in the White House, while 41 percent believes it was an “isolated incident.” And by a 3 to 1 ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush.

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Never Forget

Never forget that the massive government budget deficits were intentional. When the Clinton surplus started to shrink, Bush called it “incredibly positive news.”
PRESIDENT ASSERTS SHRUNKEN SURPLUS MAY CURB CONGRESS,

President Bush said today that there was a benefit to the government’s fast-dwindling surplus, declaring that it will create ”a fiscal straitjacket for Congress.” He said that was ”incredibly positive news” because it would halt the growth of the federal government.

And then the Republicans, controlling Congress, started spending like there was no tomorrow. See The Republican Spending Explosion, from the far-right-wing Cato Institute,

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Enough Already!

Steve at The Left Coaster:

It’s Time For The Democrats To Start The “Enough, Already” Campaign
Regardless of how you feel about yesterday’s developments, may I suggest that if the Democrats were waiting for an opportune time to finally take the stage and make a claim for power, now is that time?
[. . .] the Democrats have their opening to begin the “Enough, Already” campaign for next year. Here are some possible lines of attack for such a campaign:

You have to go there to read the rest.

Rove

Remember that we KNOW that “Bush’s Brain” Karl Rove talked to a reporter and disclosed that Valerie Wilson was a CIA agent. He was not indicted (today) because under the legal statutes that apply the charge is “hard to prove.”
We KNOW he blew the cover of an agent and we also know that he is still in the White House, still has a security clearance, and is still capable of blowing the covers of other agents. Great.

Why Not Charge For The Leak?

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Prosecutor Fitzgerald made it pretty clear that he isn’t prosecuting for the leak itself because he can’t, and that is the source of the Obstruction of Justice charge. He was obstructed from getting to the truth. From the Patrick Fitzgerald Press Conference Transcript (you’ll love where this is posted):

And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He’s trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view. As you sit here now, if you’re asking me what his motives were, I can’t tell you; we haven’t charged it. So what you were saying is the harm in an obstruction investigation is it prevents us from making the fine judgments we want to make.

And later in the press conference,

What I’m simply saying is one of the harms in obstruction is that you don’t have a clear view of what should be done.

New Progressive Coalition

I wrote this on the 18th, and just found it still in “Draft” form. So here it is ten days late. I’ll be posting more about this group soon.
The New Progressive Coalition is up and running.
From the article, Venturing into political donations:

Today [Deborah] Rappaport, 47, is launching the New Progressive Coalition, a fundraising initiative to support progressive political groups using venture capital methods. Donors are called “investors.” Political activists are running “start-ups.” The goal is to get the money to the brightest ideas. And, just like eBay and its well-honed feedback system, the members will rate ideas and organizations on the coalition’s Web site. Top rating: five stars.
[. . .] NPC is trying to hook up progressive political groups with donors of small to mid-sized amounts “who aren’t sure where to go,” Rappaport said. Similar efforts have been tried in the valley in the non-profit arena, to link newly rich executives with charities. Often the executives get involved in the operations.
[. . .] Like a good VC shop, NPC plans to give seminars and provide advisers for donors evaluating who is worth funding. It hopes to foster relationships among activists seeking to build efficient organizations around a cause, providing consultants and advisers.
[ . . .] Republicans, who have backed grass-roots groups for years, say Rappaport is an idealist whose progressive notions are out of step with mainstream America.
“Supporting the grass roots is a very romantic notion and sometimes an effective idea,” said Dan Schnur, a Republican consultant who has worked in Silicon Valley. “But every dollar that people spend empowering the progressive Democrats is one more vote for Republicans. They are dragging their party to the left.”

The RWNM Will Shift Blame To Joe Wilson

I was watching the announcement of Scooter Libby’s indictment on CNN and right wingnut CNN commentator Terry Dornon laid out the strategy of the RWNM – Blame Joe Wilson. Wolf Blitzer pointed out that Joe Wilson had not been indicted and Paul Begala flagged Dornon’s argument as a diversionary tactic that was not going to work, but that won’t stop them from trying.
Facts don’t matter to the Right Wing Slime Machine so expect to hear variations on this theme in the months to come. Over at The Left Coaster eriposte has a detailed and comprehensive analysis titled Treasongate: The Dates Were Wrong . . . that completely debunks right wingnut accusations against Joe Wilson. Click through and arm yourself with the facts so we can beat back the RWSM.
eriposte also has another extensive article, Treasongate: Uranium from Africa and the Robb-Silberman report. This is the first I’ve heard of a Robb-Silberman report, but just one interesting revelation is that “Senate and House Intelligence Committees knew that uranium from Africa claim was baseless, before Joseph Wilson’s op-ed in 2003.” This is the conclusion eriposte draws:

This is the only significant new finding for me in this report and it means that any Senate or House Intelligence Committee member who kept claiming, after June 19, 2003, that there was still evidence supporting the claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa was simply a brazen liar.

This is apparently the first part of at least two parts. Read the whole article.

Statement by Sen. Reid

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement.
“These are very serious charges. They suggest that a senior White House aide put politics ahead of our national security and the rule of law.
“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.”

Where To Look

Go here and start hitting refresh… Update – It’s there now, with a press release.
Update – Nothing on the site yet, but TV says Libby indicted on 2 counts of perjury, 2 counts of making false statements and 1 count of Obstruction of Justice. It says Libby “Endagnered National Security.”
Significant – Libby did not resign in advance, which means a senior member of the Bush Administration has been indicted. This is a major historical event.
Still no resignation… Still not fired.
Update – Libby has resigned. Question – did he wait to resign because he wanted to make history by being a senior White House official indicted? Did he do this to embarrass Bush and Cheney?