Rove Knows That Voters Have Short Memories

In 2006 people voted against Republicans, not for Democrats. Never forget this.
The 2006 election taught Republicans that people vote against headlines about corruption and war. Republicans were being investigated and indicted for corruption so people voted against them.
So they are taking steps to change the playing field for 2008. This is what the Justice Department scandal is about. The prosecutors who did “play ball” — drop investigations into Republican corruption and investigate “administration priorities” — were allowed to stay and the ones who did their jobs were fired.
If the Republicans have their way with this — and that means if ANY of the 93 current prosecutors stay in that job — the public will be reading about dozens and dozens of Democrats being investigated and indicted for corruption even though they are completely innocent, while corrupt Republicans will be given a free ride to continue to raid the Treasury (while of course giving a “finders fee” to The Party.) And if this is what is happening in 2008 the public will vote against Democrats. It’s as simple as that.
The only way to stop this is to replace all 93 Bush prosecutors with honest people, and clean out the entire Justice Department.
Meanwhile, the supporting infrastructure that surrounds the Democratic Party — unfunded blogs and poorly-funded progressive organizations and very few poorly-funded think tanks — is still failing to reach out to the general public with reasons to vote for Democrats.

Iran Violates Geneva Conventions

Broadcasting pictures of the captured British sailors and marines is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Unlike the United States, England has not withdrawn from that treaty.
We face here another example of the consequences of Bush’s violation of the compact between a democracy and its leaders. When the leader of your country says he has information that we face imminent attack, you must believe him. Bush did this to lead us into an attack on Iraq, and was lying. So now Bush tells us that Iran is a threat to peace – and it probably is, as this recent action demonstrates. But we can not believe Bush and we can not trust that there is no hidden agenda involved.
As I have said before, if Bush and the Right’s claims about Iran come out of true concern for the country, then Bush must step aside. We must have leadership that the people can trust to tell us this is so.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – Not Just Subprimes

It’s not just “subprimes” that are in trouble. See Mortgage crisis hits million-dollar homes, page 2

“Everyone’s looking at subprime. The rock they aren’t looking under are the adjustable rate mortgages and teaser rates and low money-down loans,” said Mark Kiesel, a portfolio manager for Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s biggest bond manager. “It’s going to affect prime as well.”

In fact, it’s everywhere. Subprimes are the tip — now the iceberg is coming into view.

Josh Rosner, managing director at investment research firm Graham Fisher & Co., says the growing numbers of foreclosures outside the subprime market is just the start.
“To define the problem as a subprime problem is short-sighted,” Rosner said. “It’s really seeing the tip of the iceberg as the iceberg.”

The New Terrified America

In the New Terrified America, many parents think that pedophile sexual predators lie in wait around every corner, hoping to snatch their kids away. Some parents won’t let their kids play outside anymore. Some schools won’t allow kids to walk to school without a parent. I think it’s idiotic, but it seems to have become the cultural norm now.
Go read FEAR, FEAR, FEAR… (read the comments, too. And an aside – in the comments note how right-wingers feel perfectly free to just make up stuff about “trial lawyers” and expect to be believed.)
A comment. A child is about 10,000 times more likely to be hurt or killed in a car than kidnapped by a sexual predator. (There are about 100 cases of kidnapping by sexual predators in the United States per year. About 1 in 7700 of us die in cars each year, about 1 in 1000 of us are injured each year.) Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death in children in the United States. So what does this fear cause parents to do? They put their kids in cars.
I watch some television, and last year (leading up to the election) almost every show seemed to be about child molesters…
Question for discussion — this really, really serves the interests of authoritarians who want people to be afraid. So is it intentional? Is America being whipped into a frenzy of fear on purpose?

The Lying Baptists have taken over

Monica Goodling, one of the Republican commissars responsible for misleading Congress about the US Attorney firings, is a graduate of Messiah College and Regent University. The goal of Regent University (“The nation’s academic center for Christian thought and action”) is to combine quality education with biblical teachings and produce “Christian leaders who will change the world”.
In other words, it’s a training school for Christian political operatives. The webpage doesn’t mention any affiliation other than with Pat Robertson, but it seems obvious from Goodling’s behavior that these schools are strongholds of the famous Lying Baptists.
God works in wondrous ways. If Jesus could turn water into wine, he can turn crooks into believers and believers into crooks. Praise Him!

Those E-Mails Are The Key

Sidney Blumenthal, in Follow the e-mails | Salon.com writes about the secret trove of White House e-mails that were routed through Republican Party servers in an attempt to avoid Congress ever forcing disclosure of illegal activities by government officials.

The first glimmer of this dodge appeared in a small item buried in a January 2004 issue of U.S. News & World Report: “‘I don’t want my E-mail made public,’ said one insider. As a result, many aides have shifted to Internet E-mail instead of the White House system. ‘It’s Yahoo!, baby,’ says a Bushie.”

This use of outside e-mail accounts to conduct government business is probably not legal.

When I worked in the Clinton White House, people brought in their personal computers if they were engaged in any campaign work, but all official transactions had to be done within the White House system as stipulated by the Presidential Records Act of 1978. (The PRA requires that “the President shall take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented and that such records are maintained as Presidential records.”) Having forsaken the use of Executive Office of the President e-mail, executive privilege has been sacrificed. Moreover, Rove’s and the others’ practice may not be legal.

Goodling – A 1999 Graduate In A High-Level Position?

This Kos diary, Daily Kos: The Strange Hire of Monica Goodling, makes a huge point about that DOJ Spokesperson who is pleading the 5th. How did a 1999 graduate of unknown Regent University “Christian Leadership to Change the World” law school (after attending Messiah College) get appointed to the high level and profile job of Department of Justice Spokesperson in the first place?

I’m trying to square these appointments with the notion of competent governance. The fevered pronunciations of doom by this administration would dictate that an important slot like this be filled by someone with experience and gravitas, someone of proven competence whose advice could be relied on by the AG – not some inexperienced, weirdly trained neophyte whose law credentials are weak and who was selected in order to toss a banquet of bones to the noisy fringe of the party.

Apparently the only qualifications needed to rise to a high level in our government are that you are indoctrinated into The Party early, and uninfluenced by real-world experience. Competence in governance is not required.

Digby Digby!

Iran has captured 15 British sailors and marines and says they are “interrogating” them. The fear is that the Iranians might follow the example set by the United States for “interrogation” procedures. Digby said what many of us have been thinking,

I can’t believe we are in the position of having to hope the Iranians show more restraint and good sense than Dick Cheney, but we are.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – Sales Lower, Inventories Higher

New home sales dropped again – 3.9% to lowest level in 7 years. Inventories up again to the highest level in 17 years. Go see The Bonddad Blog: More on New Home Sales and New Home Sales Drop 3.9%.
Here’s the thing. Last week lenders tightened requirements for getting a loan. This means that fewer people can get loans now for buying houses. So demand for houses is about to drop — a lot. The drop in sales reflects the month before this tightening so things can only get worse.
We have an increase in supply and a big decrease in demand. That can only — ONLY — mean a drop in housing prices is coming. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Continue reading

Today’s Must-Read

This is an important post about an important time in the history of our nation.: MyDD :: Myths About Moveon

I don’t know if the supplemental is a major step forward or not. I know it won’t end the war, since this was has been coming for sixty years and is part and parcel of a militaristic political structure that we must and are working to disassemble within both parties. But it is a major step forward in terms of our movement, as we affirmatively passed a significant piece of legislation through a House which, while full of some new blood, saw its Democratic membership grow by only 20% in 2006. Moveon was true to its members in helping this happen.
… Now, in a larger and more important sense, we all own the war. It’s our war. American attacked Iraq. Voting against funding or this bill or for impeachment or anything else does not exempt you from responsibility for America’s actions in the world. That’s what it means to live in a liberal democracy; citizens get a say in things but also have to take responsibility for the actions of the state even when we don’t agree with what the state is doing. That means that Moveon, or anyone else, isn’t ‘selling out’ when we participate in the political process. There is a set of political institutions, and you either participate in them or you don’t, but you are responsible for the war as an American regardless.

How Much Of The Public “Know” Iraq Was Behind 9/11?

Regular readers know that I’m always interested in what the public “knows.” This tells you a lot about where the public gets its information.
I’m looking for polling on public beliefs about Iraq being connected to the 9/11 attacks.
Last September, FIVE years after the war, Sept. 2006 Zogby International poll has 46% of the public believing that Iraq was connected to the 9/11 attack – with 65% of Republicans believing this and even 32% of Democrats.
Has anyone seen more recent polling.