Archive for category Karl Rove

What’s the worst that can happen?

This is a question that must have been asked 12 years ago when the US invaded Iraq. Well the initial predictions were positive. The war will be quick, cheap, we will be hailed as liberators, there will be peace, so on and so forth. Of course none of that happened. They were dead wrong, but even me when I witnessed the reports of chaos in Iraq, I could not comprehend that this would happen. What is the worst that can happen? ISIS can happen. The relatively new Islamic terrorist group is different from other organizations because they are successful. They have the oil fields, they are surrounding Baghdad, they have both Iraqi and American weapons in their inventory and they are gaining more ground. This is made worse by their tendency to be very destructive. So far, over 1,700 Iraqi troops have been executed. So yes, that is the worst that can happen and the Bush administration is completely at fault no matter how indirectly this is. Maybe this is a question Obama should consider, especially with an upcoming midterm and a country filled with pissed off liberals.

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The Problems in Iraq are Just More of Bush’s Toxic Legacy

Ed Kilgore has a good rant on Bush’s Toxic Legacy:

The mess in Iraq right now, along with the remarkably limited options for any constructive U.S. action to avoid humanitarian and political disaster, and the hostility of American public opinion to doing anything at all, provide fresh reminders that Barack Obama will leave office as he entered it: dealing with the unfinished business and toxic legacy of the George W. Bush administration. From Iraq, to Gitmo, to the NSA, to the housing sector, to the banking sector, to a completely fouled up non-system of campaign finance, to an out-of-control fossil fuel industry, to a long-range structural budget deficit, to a politicized judiciary, and to a radicalized Republican Party: the trouble never ends, and all created by a swaggering crew that inherited peace and prosperity and a budget surplus after the most dubious ascension to power in American history.

It’s worth pondering isn’t it?

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The War Power, The Sergeant, the Senator: Treason or Heroism

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.

Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, who are visited by war, either their own or, like Obama, inherited from another (in Obama’s case two other) fools who preceded them, have always had this power. While not yet president, and without this act may well not have become president, Ronald Reagan communicated with Iran, telling them, in effect, just to refuse to deal with Carter on releasing our citizens from the U. S. Embassy in Iran, and await his presidency. Their deal (which killed Jimmie Carter’s hope for a second term and by the way was treason, meriting a firing squad.)

The 30, 60, 90 day notification of Congress is also unconstitutional, but not for the reasons the Republicans and Democrats alike, trumpet. Saint Paul, as I recall, said “this trumpet has an uncertain sound.” And I know he said that some leaders have “zeal without knowledge.” This is Republican and Democratic leaders on steroids, just like my former wife.

The reason the War Powers Act is unconstitutional is not what is now said by either Republicans or Democrats, as I told Joe Biden when he was both Minority Senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and when he was chair. I testified before his committee a few times, and he called me at the law school sometimes to chat about this. The reason is simple. Due to both a few but very senior Democrats and almost all Republicans, Congress forced the Demo’s to give the president 30, 60, or 90 days to play with Congress’ army while he picked his nose. War has not been officially declared since FDR did it in WW2. George Bush (the first) and Colin Powell, in my opinion, got it right, constitutionally, by voting 50-50 in the Senate, and then the Dark Lord, Vice President Cheney, broke the tie and we went to war in Iraq the right way by law; and they had the smarts to stop when their limited mission was accomplished. And until this time, the President, as Commander in Chief, has no constitutional power to use the United States armed forces, save self-defense.

In the Framers’ mind that means only when the United States of America, not our allies, are attacked. For Utahns, the reason J. Reuben Clark, my hero and a great patriot, a rock-ribbed Republican who served under many Republican presidents, served variously as chief legal adviser to the Department of State (then, as an deputy Attorney General on loan from Justice to State,,,,,,now called Legal Adviser to the State Department; and Vice Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Mexico; and advised many presidents between world wars one and two, on all arms control treaties between those to dreadful wars) opposed NATO was because it delegated the war power to a generation not yet born and for the defense of people, and nations, not yet born. Neither the United Nations (Korean War) nor NATO (Ukraine?) can declare war for the United States of America. This is the statement of law, the War Clause, that makes this beyond debate. Remember, that it is also the sole right of Congress: not the President of the United States, nor NATO, nor the United Nations, that decides what constitutes International law, as well. So, both Constitutional Law and International Law, save an attack on the United States, inform us that Congress, not the president or these international bodies, who determines for war or peace.

So screw the people and the Congress and president now living. When the president, any president, has this army to use, that army will never return to Congress’ care. This is unconstitutional because it is an illegal attempt to delegate to the President a plenary power, given exclusively, textually, to the Congress. Like the power over interstate commerce (the road by which most civil rights legislation is constitutional), along with the equal protection and due process of law clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. It’s as if Congress were to say to Obama, “Say, friend, we’re so damned tired of life in Washington, despite the cherry blossoms, we will do what the Supreme Court does, and reconvene when good weather returns. We’re going to go to Balboa Island, California, where it’s nice and sunny, in ocean or on the beach, and pick our nose and scratch our butts. And better yet, we have one in eight chances not to pick both with the same finger. Even though we’ve proven, time out of mind, that we in Congress cannot chew gum and pick our nose, simultaneously (a great blessing). So, pres., you now have the taxing and the spending power, and we’ll sweeten the loaf by throwing into the pot, since you do have to stick around in this shitty weather, and give you the power also to fund and provide for the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. And don’t sweat it about financing things by the provision in the Constitution that spending bills begin in the House. Since you already have the taxing and spending power, do all this in the White House. P.S. please instruct the Treasury Department to deliver our checks, our salaries, and all the REALLY big bucks from the armaments industry and all those other lobbyists. We really have earned this right by selling our souls to the devil. Have a good life.

I say that both Senator and Soldier are bona fide heroes. Ed Firmage xoxox

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Who The Hell is Karl Rove?

He’s not an elected official.

He doesn’t even show up for congressional subpoenas.

I mean: Who is this guy?

What happened to this:

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Ten Years Ago Today . . . And No It Was Not Worth It

I hate looking back.  Ten years ago today the US invastion of Iraq began. 

The push for war with Iraq felt like a time of public madness.  The American media has never been less absolutely incompetent than in those months.  Yeah, the media pretty much sucks now, but back then they were awful beyond the telling of it.  The largest peace rallies in history got no coverage.  American media has spent the last decade hoping no one reminds them how bad they were, how gullible, how insanely biased for the Bush administration they were and how they mindlessly lapped up any lie they were told. Read the rest of this entry »

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This Isn’t Funny Anymore

Doctored Photo

Doctored Photo

Why does the Supreme Court keep injecting themselves into our voting system, enabling the plutocrats to get their way? Here comes another 5 to 4 vote. You can count on it. When justice Scalia stunned the court this week by saying the voting rights act is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement”, what was he talking about?

Sounds like Scalia’s living in another era. This is every bit as much about white peoples right to vote as any other race. I’ve been struggling to know my vote is being counted ever since Scalia and his gang of five stole the presidential race in 2000. After all, Scalia said that Americans didn’t necessarily have the RIGHT to vote for their president. He didn’t say anything about congresspeople, but we know that in the 2012 election, Democrats in the house got far more votes then Republicans. Gerrymandering stole the day for the losers there, but let’s face it, republican election fraud has so many avenues in the 21st century, you wouldn’t know where to turn without GPS.

If any of these clueless old white guys who watch Fox “news” think they’re going to benefit from preventing people who make less then a billion dollars a year from voting, they are going to feel pretty silly standing there with their pants down when the realization of what has happened finally hits them. Bush v Gore, Citizens United, and now this! Haven’t we been hearing for years that Judges shouldn’t be legislating from the bench? The Voting Rights Act has been reauthorized numerous times and the last time was in 2005, when the Senate voted 98 to 0 to retain it.

This reminds me of the kind of hubris exposed by Ron Suskind in this 2004 statement, which most now believe was made by Karl Rove, (someone who is widely believed to be rigging our elections):

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Robert Parry gives an insight into how we got here in his recent article concerning the coming supreme court ruling on the voting rights act:

Over the past half century, wealthy right-wingers have invested millions and millions of dollars in “think tanks” and other research institutions – the likes of Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and Federalist Society – that have worked diligently to cherry-pick the nation’s early history to transform America’s Founding narrative into its opposite, with Washington and Madison made into states’ rights lovers and federal government haters.

The hubris has become so visible that during Obama’s last election, a Republican governor was bragging about suppressing votes for the president, and Fox “news” had to cut to a commercial when Karl Rove tried to halt the announcement of Obama’s victory.

This isn’t just enraging, it’s downright dangerous!

NOTE: OK, I doctored the photo of Scalia, but we all know that’s what he meant.

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What President is Karl Rove Talking About?

Obama hasn’t come within a light year of saying Romney committed a felony. I think it’s telling that Rove has accused him of saying that.

I’ve said here that I believe Romney HAS committed felony voter fraud, but there are many out there who would stop at nothing to fool us or Brad Friedman. Mr. Friedman is not easily fooled.

What is that Fox “news” refrain?

You Decide.

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You Decide

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I’m a Little Drunk

Well, maybe a lot, but I’m not driving my Toyota tonight. I don’t believe in harming people with my car.

I like to tell the truth, which often gets me in trouble, but I never meant any harm to anybody.

I believe that we are being scammed by the powers, and must fight back against election fraud at high levels.

Sometimes, opinions are like assholes, and I have mine.

You can’t say I’m not honest.

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Karl Rove Rewriting History Again

Karl Rove is making the rounds to sell his new book, revising history every time he appears on TV. This morning, it was “Meet The Press” with Tom Brokaw. How many blatant lies can you tell before you stop getting invited on talk shows?

“[T]he suggestion that somehow or another the administration had as its policy, ‘We’re going to go in to Iraq and take their resources and pay for the war’ is not accurate,” Rove told Brokaw.

In reality, in 2003 both White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said exactly that, on the record. And the Coalition Provisional Authority that the U.S. set up in Baghdad spent Iraqi oil revenues to pay for the occupation.

This morning Karl Rove also strongly implied, three times without being contradicted by Brokaw, that the U.N. Security Council authorized the invasion of Iraq. They did not. In fact, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan declared the invasion a breach of the U.N. Charter because there was no such authorization.

Previous One Utah post:

Karl Rove: ‘Mushroom Cloud’ Meme Wasn’t Exaggeration (March 8th)

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Karl Rove: ‘Mushroom Cloud’ Meme Wasn’t Exaggeration

Mushroom cloud from TV series
Mushroom cloud on the horizon from TV series “Jericho.”

Via Media Matters. In his new book, President Bush’s Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove writes (emphasis added):

So, then, did Bush lie us into war? Absolutely not.

[...]

From my perch inside the West Wing — but outside the frantic activity in the Situation Room — I could see the care everyone was taking to not overstate the case or exaggerate the danger. The president emphasized this when we reviewed his speeches, and this care was reflected everywhere else in the administration.

(Pages 340-341 of Courage and Consequence)


October 7, 2002

Yeah, right. The fear mongering campaign was deliberate and orchestrated by the White House Iraq Group. Chief Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson proposed the “smoking gun/mushroom cloud” meme as the best way to scare people into backing a war of aggression.

“The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly [Saddam] can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Condoleezza Rice, September 8, 2002

The scary vision of mushroom clouds was repeated by President Bush and General Tommy Franks, head of Central Command. Vice President Dick Cheney declared Saddam to be a “mortal threat” on his way to “nuclear blackmail.”

The “all fear all the time” campaign worked wonders. From History Commons:

When 100,000 people march against the war in Washington, the largest antiwar demonstration since the Vietnam War, the Post buries the story in its Metro section. …Saddam Hussein is routinely, and effectively, conflated with 9/11, and the “smoking gun-mushroom cloud” trope is reported over and over again in TV news broadcasts. …By late September 2002, over half of Americans polled believe that Saddam was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and 72 percent believe that Saddam will attack the U.S. with chemical or biological weapons.

And then, in October 2002, the Bush administration engineered a vote in Congress on the Iraq AUMF — just days before the first post-9/11 election.

More here: The Bush Administration’s Misleading and Inaccurate Public Statements on Iraq.

UPDATE: More from Rove’s book, via HuffPo:

“Would the Iraq War have occurred without W.M.D.? I doubt it…Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the W.M.D. threat. The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam, bring about regime change, and deal with Iraq’s horrendous human rights violations.”

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Bush’s Moon Base Cancelled

Constellation program
Sorry, this is just too expensive and there’s no scientific rationale for it.

During the 2004 election, Karl Rove was hard pressed to offer any reason why anyone should want a second term for President Bush. One of his desperate election-year stunts was a grandiose announcement of NASA manned missions to the Moon and Mars. For which there was no money.

President Obama will send a $3.834 trillion budget to Congress today for Fiscal Year 2011 that includes the cancellation of the NASA Constellation program, aka Bush’s Moon Base. The program was hopelessly behind schedule and over budget.

Manned spaceflight is a waste of money. Most space science is done with automated vehicles that don’t need to carry people, food, water and air out of Earth’s steep gravity well. The Mars Pathfinder succeeded beyond the expectations of the designers. Since then, NASA has run 7 more successful Mars missions. What could astronauts do that these semi-autonomous landers can’t?


Previous One Utah posts:

No Bucks, No Buck Rogers (August 14, 2009)
NASA Offers Science Fiction Justification for Manned Moon Program (July 16, 2009)
NASA Abandoning Plans for Bush’s Moon Base (May 4, 2009)
Obama Should Cancel Bush’s Moon Mission (December 13, 2008)

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