Scooter's Pardon Problem - Bush By the Book

No (scape)goats in this book. But according to Isikoff and Hosenball at Newsweek this is what the fallguy can expect:
Scooter Libby’s Pardon Problem :

"Those regulations, which are discussed on the Justice Department Web site at www.usdoj.gov/pardon, would seem to make a Libby pardon a nonstarter in George W. Bush’s White House. They “require a petitioner to wait a period of at least five years after conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later) before filing a pardon application,” according to the Justice Web site.


“You know, I get asked about pardons on a lot of different cases. And there’s a procedure in place,” he said at first. When Bush added that he has been telling members of Congress who have contacted him about the matter to “look at the facts in the case,” Cavuto followed up: “So what are you saying?”

“I’m saying … there is a process in any case for a president to make a pardon decisions. In other words, there is a series of steps that are followed, so that the pardon process is, you know, a rational process,” the president answered."

Get ready for prison now, Scooter...
You have plenty of time before sentencing to get your affairs in order NOW, so there should be no reasons to delay your entering the system as soon as the sentence is pronounced.

As a side note on this:
How strained must the relationship between bush and cheney be, when cheney has to make his plea for a pardon on the national news? Since when do Republicans take their "inner business dirty dealings" public like that? They usually do that stuff behind closed doors.

Ths Single Payer Healthcare Solution

CT Blue had a diary up on healthcare the other day in which I left this comment:

I am registered for my VA benefits BUT I don't use them because I am one of the few with a better plan (through my wife's job). I can still safely say that the Canadian system is far better than the private insurance we, personally, have here.

Why? Because we are not rich.

I have lived under both healthcare systems (Canadian and US), and I can't for the life of me figure out how you have let the insurance industry and government treat Americans this way?

America can and should do better.

I could sit here and explain all of the ways the Canadian system is better but that would be a waste of time since there are still those of you that have never lived under both systems and I, too often, hear the mantra of the American system is the best. As CT Blue put it:

"a peculiarly American disease: the belief that America is number one in everything because -well, just because. We are the richest, we have more freedom, we have the best healthcare, we have the best athletes, we have the best of everything. It doesn't matter that most of it's not true, it's an article of faith so we don't question it."

I question it from experience. American healthcare #1? It isn't. It is actually a horrible system of healthcare, especially considering the amount of money we pay for this piss-poor service, and it is not even near the top ten in the world. If you cannot figure this out just from the fact that Americans go to Canada to buy their drugs, and are going to Mexico to seek treatments, then you are completely blind to the failures of the American system.

We pay more money for our healthcare than any other nation in the world, and this is what it gets us:
Rank Country

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba
40 Brunei
41 New Zealand
42 Bahrain
43 Croatia
44 Qatar

45 Kuwait


Right down around some South American, Dictatorship, and Middle Eastern countries. The richest nation in the world and we are #37 in providing healthcare to our citizens.

Are you proud?

Just another sign that the "The Great Republican Experiment" has failed completely in their drive to privatize, and all it has done is enrich the insurance companies at our healths' expense. And, just like the war in Iraq, some faux patriotic mantra or slapping a flag or a bumprsticker somewhere isn't going to help a bit.

The Black Commentator has been running a great series on healthcare, and today their topic is "Pull the Plug on the Private Healthcare Industry". Here is some unusually large excerpts from this piece but I encourage you to read the entire series at The Black Commentator:
Single Payer Healthcare Part 13

Every year since 1994, the year in which the Clinton Administration failed to reform the health system in the United States (leaving in place the private health insurance industry dominating the healthcare-delivery system), actual healthcare coverage for people in the United States has continued to shrink. Real costs for private health insurance companies and their profits have skyrocketed. Higher co-pays, premiums and deductibles for the Medicare program have been mandated by the prerogatives of the private health insurance industry.

This is the sleazy side of the healthcare crisis in the United States: private health insurance companies charge more for less coverage and benefit shamelessly from the sheer desperation of people who have no other options. In addition, their inordinate impact on the healthcare system in the United States has prevented the publicly funded healthcare system from fulfilling its potential.

As a result of the dominance of the private health insurance industry, people become impoverished, making some eligible for the deficient Medicaid program, or they live with the extreme anxiety of healthcare insecurity until some become old enough or disabled enough to qualify for the deficient Medicare program, and/or they suffer and they die prematurely from no healthcare at all. Remember, 47 million remain uninsured and another 60 million remain anxiously underinsured. These horrible numbers are increasing every year.


The American people can no longer bear this reality. Nearly 70% of the US citizens want a federally financed (single-payer) national healthcare system. The overwhelming majority of physicians are also demanding the single-payer solution to the healthcare crisis in this country. An impressive number of hospital CEOs want it. They are all demanding that the private health insurance industry must no longer have a choke hold on the healthcare system in the United States.

But where are the presidential candidates? With the exception of Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), all want to keep the private health insurance industry in business keeping people sick, economically desperate, and profiting off the people’s misery. The Republican Party candidates are actively attempting to expand the role of the private health insurance industry. What are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards doing?

Well, none of them is advocating single-payer because it challenges the prerogatives of corporate America, a major source of their campaign contributions. When Clinton, Obama, and Edwards speak of the single-payer solution not being politically feasible, they are not referring to the democratic will of the American people. We have spoken through the polls and in the 2006 elections. They should listen and take action. Rather, they are actually talking only about their political careers and their need to remain in the good graces of their financial backers. Wherever we encounter these and other presidential candidates, through banners and letters and phone calls to their headquarters, we need to make perfectly clear to each of them that we want a single payer national healthcare system.


Not only are solid majorities in support of single-payer and against the criminal war in Iraq, the American people now understand the relationship between the anti-war movement and the single-payer national healthcare movement. As a result, the political energy of the people is qualitatively higher than it has ever been since ordinary people dismantled Jim Crow segregation and ended the criminal Viet Nam war.

History is now on our side. But, we can not rest. You can help. Demand that Congress now hold full Congressional Hearings on the Health Crisis in the United States.

Specifically, urge speaker of the House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman, Charles Rangel D-NY); and Congressman, Pete Stark (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Health Committee, during April, the anniversary month of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; to hold full Congressional Hearings on an Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Residents in the United States (HR 676).

Also contact Healthcare-Now or call us at 1-800-453-1305 so that you can learn of ways in which you can directly support and participate in the historic national human rights movement to guarantee that all residents in the United States have comprehensive world class healthcare and healthcare insurance coverage from cradle to grave.

This is our time in history. Let’s seize it.

Here’s how: For an inspirational 7 minutes, see this little video of Congressman John Conyers talking about how we can win single payer.

About the author: Mr. Sankofa is a human rights public policy specialist and community organizer. He is a national organizer for Healthcare-Now. He is also the strategic planning consultant for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, Legal Defense, Research, and Education Fund. As a former trial attorney, specializing in complex institutional reform litigation, Mr. Sankofa, directed the AIDS Project of the National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine and the Antioch School of Law. Raised in Washington, DC, Mr. Sankofa now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Click here to contact Ajamu K. Sankofa, Esq. and Healthcare-NOW.

Here are the links to the previous articles in this series, all of which are must reads:

Read the introduction to this series

Part 1 of this series

Part 2 of this series

Part 3 of this series

Part 4 of this series

Part 5 of this series

Part 6 of this series

Part 7 of this series

Part 8 of this series

Part 9 of this series

Part 10 of this series

Part 11 of this series

Part 12 of this series

Part 13 of this series

Dinesh D'Souza, Chris Shays & Sex

skippy points:
to chug bleach, who deconstructs dinesh d'souza's assigning of blame for the sexual deviancy of abu ghraib to liberal america:

after that one 'will and grace' episode where will forces all those naked muslim guys to get into a pile and deny islam, i think it'd be almost hard to deny what a completely not stupid argument d'souza has come up with.

i also think dinesh d'souza spends a lot of time thinking about all male domination orgies, but i have no other context for that except the fact that he's devoted his life to talking about them.

It's not torture! It's a sex ring. Republican Representative Chris Shays said so:

Shays: "Then the next question is, well what has the US done? Well it has been accused of doing torture. That's what it's been accused of. Now I've seen what happened in Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture, it was outrageous, outrageous involvement of National Guard troops from Maryland who were involved in a sex ring and they took pictures of soldiers who were naked. And they did other things that were just outrageous. But it wasn't torture."

Oh yes! Shays did say that... And I have the video to prove it.
I am certain that dinesh d'souza would agree 100% with Shay's comments and the pleasure that those pictures they got to keep from that sex-ring brought them both.

Video via Matthew Gertz at My Left Nutmeg:


Got a Beef With a CT Dem? I do...

Via Kos at the big orange cat herd:
Let's not forget this from Ellen Tauscher and her friends:

The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker:

We write to encourage you to bring bankruptcy reform legislation to the House floor as soon as the Senate completes its consideration of the bill. The New Democrat Coalition has backed common sense bankruptcy reform in the past and helped in passing the bankruptcy reform bill by overwhelming margins in the House of Representatives during the 108th Congress.

Over the last several years, we have worked to advance reasonable and balanced legislation that would require individuals who have the ability to repay their debts to do so, while preserving the important safety net of bankruptcy under Chapter 7 for those who truly need it. We believe that responsible bankruptcy reform embodies the New Democrat principle of personal responsibility, while at the same time adding important new consumer protections such as requiring enhanced credit card disclosure information and encouraging participation in consumer credit counseling.

It is our hope that the House of Representatives will consider this important piece of legislation in an expedited manner. We stand ready to work with you and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass bankruptcy reform into law.


Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher
Rep. Adam Smith
Rep. Ron Kind
Rep. Artur Davis
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy
Rep. John Larson <<<<
Rep. Stephanie Herseth
Rep. Dennis Moore
Rep. Mike McIntyre
Rep. Joe Crowley
Rep. Jay Israel
Rep. David Wu
Rep. Diane Hooley
Rep. Melissa Bean
Rep. Jim Davis
Rep. Harold E. Ford, Jr.
Rep Ed Case
Rep. Jay Inslee
Rep. Shelley Berkeley
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks

When we criticized this crowd, they whined and cried that they were being attacked for being "centrists", refusing to explain how gifting the credit card industry in this manner was "centrist".

That's because the legislation wasn't "centrist". It was corporatist at the expense of American consumers.

Well, Representative Larson... Are you proud of this? Sirota was right, and you and your money party friends selling out Americans to the credit card industry were all wrong. There is a long list of right wingers up there.

Watcha gonna do about it? Did anyone in the Democratic party really think Lieberman would be the end of it?
Elect Real Democrats officially launches
By Met00

Well, today was the formal launch of Elect Real Democrats.

In CT there is one DLC Democrat in the House (Larson). But for those of you who live in "safe" districts, there are any number of other DLC and Blue Dog Democrats for you to consider helping when a progressive Democrat comes along to challenge them.

The interactive map was fun to make and I hope that everyone likes the way it works.

As always, any input that anyone from MLN has is always welcome.

Also, the power of this type of campaign is the power of you telling others about it. Since I personally hate the psuedo-spam from "tell a friend" pages, I have begged in my tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show member progressive Democrat way that you help by letting others know about the site and what we are trying to accomplish.

Before we can help Dr. Dean and his 50-State effort, we have to clean up our own house so we can have a chance to really help the working men and women of America.

I am not a Democratic party member, but this is a better idea than the status quo...

What's the problem CPL Matt Sanchez?

"Wow, who knew a little award and a couple of pictures would get me all this attention? Death threats, hate mail and plenty of people who want to be my "friend"--and it's not even 4 pm!!!" - CPL Matt Sanchez, CPAC honoree

What is the problem?

Is it Matt's service in the Marines?

Nope. He can still be proud of that, regardless of what the right wing will now say about him (and until the military gives him the boot, AND THEY WILL. Even from the Reserves.)

Is it because both Hannity and O'Reilly championed Matt's cause at Columbia Universtiy?

Nope. But this is partly why CPAC made him a TOP honoree last week.

Is it Matt's association with GOP candidates?

Nope. GOP politicians love guys like Matt. Lots of guys like Matt...

Is it because of Matt's short-lived enamoured support from radical right wing pundit-wannabees like Malkin?

Well, not really...

Is it Matt's show of support from noted gay-basher and all-around-hater Ann Coulter?

UMMMM? Ya, that and the fact that Matt is a gay porn star known as Rod Majors:

And... Matt is a male escort as well. <<<(WARNING!!! Nudity in that link.) The Jeff Gannon story all over again.

Michelle Malkin is on top of the story after learning the truth about her former hero, and even answers her own question before asking it:

It's only a matter of time before the MSM goes nuts with the story. Report on the everyday progress in Iraq? Forget it. Sex, homosexuals, and the GOP? Get ready for wall-to-wall coverage a la Foley, Gannon, and Haggard.

Should CPAC organizers be embarrassed if the rumors about his alleged porn star past are true? Well, yes. Next time, they should do more extensive background research before handing out an honor with Jeane Kirkpatrick's name on it.


I guess we'll see who the real bigots--on both sides of the aisle--are now.
(You can find the link for the bigot Malkin here...)

Here is the problem Matt Sanchez:
It doesn't take her more than a few paragraphs to say something really, really stupid and hypocritical. Malkin has Matt going from hero to zero, and all because Malkin and most of her, and Coulter's, CPAC ilk are bigots.

As for Malkin's reports on progress in Iraq?

Here it is: More bombs are going off, more bullets are flying, and more Americans and Iraqis are needlessly dying today because of what semi-epsilon-moron-minuses like Malkin call progress.

H/T to Matt Browner-Hamlin at Emboldened.


One GIANT Leap Towards Media Credibility

Face the facts. At least I wish the MSM would. Arthur Silber at Once Upon a Time:

Greg Mitchell discusses the recent coverage of administration claims about Iran's purported actions in Iraq, and then notes this development:

This made made me reflect on one night last month, just after the Gordon and Baghdad briefing articles, when an e-mailed memo arrived in my inbox. At least one news editor had seen enough.

That night, the first part of the PBS Frontline series on the media was aired, with distressing reminders of newspapers' complicity in the Iraq invasion. It showed Bob Woodward on Larry King's CNN show back then saying there was "almost zero" chance WMD would not be found in Iraq. In a new interview, Judith Miller said she did nothing wrong in her reporting back then, even if the reporting itself was wrong.

A few minutes after that, the e-mail landed in my "new messages" box.

It came from KSFR, a public radio station in Santa Fe, N.M. I don't know anything about the station, although I have been to Santa Fe a couple of times. It seems that the surge in "unnamed officials" had finally pushed News Director Bill Dupuy to take action. He wrote that "until further notice, it is the policy of KSFR's news department to ignore and not repeat any wire service or nationally published story" about Iran, North Korea, and other sensitive foreign areas if it quotes an "unnamed" U.S. official.

"What we have suspected and talked about at length before is now becoming clear. 'High administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity,' 'Usually reliable Washington sources,' and others of the like were behind the publicity that added credibility to the need to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq.

"This is a small news department with a small reach. We cannot research these stories ourselves. But we can take steps not to compromise our integrity. We should not dutifully parrot whatever comes out of Washington, on the wire or by whatever means, no matter how intriguing and urgent it sounds, when the source is unnamed. I am also calling on our colleagues in other local news departments -- broadcast and print -- to take the same professional approach."

Very, very well done, Mr. Dupuy. Exceptionally well done, and please allow me to extend my deep gratitude.

And that, my friends, is how you fight the bastards.

I second that well done! All those in favour of media credibility say "Aye!"

Something like this would not solve all of the problems that are currently embeded in much of the MSM's chronically sycophantic stucture, but it would leave them with articles that are more honestly sourced and less likely to be filled with propaganda. (H/T C&L)

Too bad that more smaller papers don't just tune out those unconfirmed sources on Iran forwarded by the press services. The world would likely be a better and safer place if they did.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby - GUILTY on 4 counts

Justice has been served. Now... Will bush finally fire pardon scooter or will he just leave it to cheney to shoot him?
Emptywheel via Firedoglake:

"The Libby verdict is in:






Fitzgerald has asked for a couple of minutes with Ted Wells.

We will not know anything about potential appeals until after sentencing in June."

As far as appeals? There is nothing appealing about a Neocon, nevermind a guilty Neocon. (Aren't all Neocons guilty anyways?)

And if bush wants to pardon this guilty, lying, sack of dirty neocon trash, just be sure he knows that he was part of the treasonous cabal that outed an entire NETWORK of CIA spies working on nucular counter-proliferation duties.

Bush is already the WORST PRESIDENT EVER... Does he really want to add "Friend of the traitors" to his list of failures too? He might want to think twice about giving a pardon to scooter. It just won't look too good in his presidential library, IF he can ever find somewhere that is willing to stoop so low as to host one for him.

Just an update on doing the time:

Scooter faces up to 30 years in prison for his crimes.

update deux:

News Corpse (Via CT Bob) has Fox spinning a doozy of a lie on the guilty verdict...

update trois: ctblogger has a bunch of videos up on Libby.


DLC loses tax exempt status

Scarce over at MLN digs up a real zinger:
DLC loses tax exempt status:
"Via Forbes (subscription only):

In a previously unreported action, the Internal Revenue Service has revoked the DLC's tax exemption on the grounds that it primarily benefited a private group-Democrats, and particularly 'New Democrats' running for or holding office-rather than the community at large. The DLC has sued in federal court to overturn the decision..."

Go read the entire diary because, proving they are right-wingnuts, the story only gets better as the DLC makes their arguments for tax exempt status.


Ned Lamont Interview

CT Bob and Spazeboy have another CT Blogging media original reporting effort up today. Go check out their exclusive interview with Ned Lamont:
Via CT Bob:

"Here's the entire in-depth interview with Ned from last Friday. Spazeboy and I ask questions about the campaign, about the current administration, and about the future. The interview runs about 33 minutes, and concludes with a unique "free association" session."

While you out surfing you might also want to check out ctblogger's video on the Bloggers forum held in Hartford. Connecticut Bloggers are pioneering in real media efforts, ESPECIALLY in the area of video Blogging.