Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Pear of 'Terrer' Quits!

Karl Rove, the "Pear of Terror"

Dearest Readers, this will be a short post. But you all know Prissy could not ignore this latest development! August 31st will be Rover's last day.

Do you believe, now that his son is grown and going off to college, his Daddy Rover wants to spend more time with him? No? Prissy isn't buying it either...

So why is Rover really calling it quits? He and Dubya have been turds of a feather for over 30 years. Speculation is wild, Rover claims he will be writing a book. He may need the proceeds for legal fees.

Emptywheel has some good fodder to think about why Rove quit now. As she so aptly points out, Karl is involved in lot's of dirty dealings. It was only a matter of time until something stuck...

Prissy is still thinking that Rover got a proffer from very special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and perhaps Rover just got notice the time is up and its time to get his affairs in order before facing the music.

The last time Karl mused about quitting was May of 2006 when msm was hinting his indictment was expected at any moment.

If Karl was the White House mole, he was probably doing double agent against Cheney and Steven Hadley. Most likely there was always the agreement between Rover and Dubya that should they ever be caught, it would never be Dubya who took the fall...

Fed UP with Dubya's brand of democracy? Write a letter about it, email it to Prissy along with your picture or a picture about what you are fed-up about. Prissy will return to Washington, DC for a couple of weeks next month. Your letters and pictures will be personally delivered to your representative. Just let Prissy know who needs to receive your ire and she will see to that they get it!

You can email or snail mail to: The Prissy Patriot, PO BOX 30322, Gahanna, OH 43230

Hot LinksComing soon!

Analysis: Rove bows out despised and deified

Rove said he fully expects accusations that he is leaving under pressure. "I know they'll say that," he told the Journal. "But I'm not going to leave or stay based on whether it pleases the mob."

Either way, Rove is not leaving on a high note. Most Americans do not approve of Bush's performance in office, and especially the his management of the war.

The days of big policy dreaming are over, as White House officials focus mostly on the upcoming budget fight and the never-ending battle over the war.

The domestic policies Rove championed with an eye on changing the GOP and history - most notably overhauling the Social Security system and immigration laws - are dead. Few Republicans want to bring them back to life.

Financial Times Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.

“I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.

“One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.

Treason? Let us count the ways...

From A.N.S.W.E.R.Stop Government Attacks Against the Anti-War Movement!

In an unprecedented action, the ANSWER Coalition today received citations fining the organization $10,000 for the placement of posters announcing the September 15 March on Washington DC. The fines come after a campaign led by FOX news calling for the DC government to take action against those putting up posters for the September 15 demonstration.

They have told us that we have 72 hours to remove every poster, or the fines will go into effect. Tens of thousands of dollars in additional fines are expected in the coming days. Bush’s Interior Department is threatening similar actions against ANSWER. The September 15 posters are legal and conform to city regulations. We will not allow the government's intimidation tactics to slow our outreach or silence the antiwar movement.

We can stop this effort to repress the antiwar movement with your help.

Reuters Rove leaves more second-term blues for White House

With Democrats in control of Congress and brimming with optimism about the 2008 White House race, Rove's talk of a lasting and historic shift to Republican dominance seems long ago.

"This closes the chapter where George Bush and Karl Rove thought they were building a new Republican majority that would last a generation. That is clearly off the table," said Cal Jillson, a political analyst at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Bush's top domestic priorities -- overhauls of Social Security and immigration -- are dead in Congress, leaving the administration scrambling in its final 17 months to save his first-term tax cuts, blunt Democratic spending priorities and salvage the war in Iraq.

"At this point all they are trying to do is save some of the signature items from their first term and hand off the war in Iraq to the next guy in better shape than it looks today," Jillson said.

My Guesses on Why Rove Resigned by emptywheel

The Abramoff Investigation We know Rove is tied in with everyone tied in with the Abramoff inevstigattion. We know that Susan Ralston, Rove's Assistant was closely involved--and it appears that she has been refused immunity, even though some of her testimony about Abramoff appears to be quite interesting. Novak, at least, thinks Ralston would get to Rove. So it's possible that Rove is one of the ultimate targets of the Abramoff investigation.

The OSC Investigation This is easy. We know Rove is a target of the OSC investigation into the politicization of anything and everything in the entire government. We know he did, in fact, politicize anything and everything. The ultimate outcome of an OSC investigation would consist of Scott Bloch explaining that Rove did politicize anything and everything and recommending that Bush should fire him, but then to have Bush sit on that recommendation as he has with Lurita Doan. But perhaps Rove is leaving anyway, in an attempt to prevent us all from learning how closely our government resembles that of a one-party state, like maybe the old Soviet Union.

The Iglesias Investigation But I'm most interested in the possibility that Rove is rushing out just two steps ahead of the Iglesias investigation. HJC is collecting a great deal of evidence that DOJ employees covered up the real reasons for the Iglesias firing ... and that the real reason for the firing had everything to do with politicizing the judiciary. It not only has evidence that Will Moschella, Paul McNulty, and Alberto Gonzales lied about the reasons for Iglesias' firing, it appears that Moschella, at least, is getting downright cooperative (and note, McNulty is going to be out of DOJ at almost the same time as Rove will be out of the WH).

If this is the reason Rove is quitting, it's not just that BushCo wants him out before he's officially indicted. After all, it's not just Rove--but Bush, too--who was involved in firing Iglesias. So Rove may be leaving as part of a firewall approach in an attempt to save Bush. If it comes to it, Rove may admit to having Iglesias fired in an attempt to politicize the entire judiciary to hide the fact that--in this specific case, at least--Bush but was involved in that process, too.

NYT China Enacting a High-Tech Plan to Track People

At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.

Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.

Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.

Security experts describe China’s plans as the world’s largest effort to meld cutting-edge computer technology with police work to track the activities of a population and fight crime. But they say the technology can be used to violate civil rights.

Rolling Stone John Edwards is Third in the Polls, But Don't Count Him Out

If he weren't rich, handsome and so well married, you might feel a little sorry for John Edwards. Never before in the 231-year history of our republic have the inalienable traits that Edwards possesses -- his fair skin and a Y chromosome -- been anything but a prerequisite for presidential politics. Today, his race and gender stand a chance of derailing his campaign altogether. "There's a lot of democrats who would like to make history," says Markos Moulitsas, founder of the influential online forum Daily Kos. "The party is anxious to nominate a black or a woman," agrees Dick Morris, the former adviser to Bill Clinton. "You have to sign off on either of those two options before you even get to voting for Edwards." Indeed, Edwards has been all but eclipsed by the celebrity candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: He ranks a distant third in national polls, and his $12 million cash on hand is barely a third of Hillary's and Obama's hauls.

But counting Edwards out would be a big mistake. Flying below the radar, the former vice-presidential candidate is pulling off a feat that Democratic consultants have long considered impossible: staking out the most progressive platform among the viable candidates while preserving an aura of electability. In head-to-head polling against the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, Clinton and Obama have managed to post only modest leads. Edwards, by contrast, not only bests every Republican candidate in the race, he trounces them -- by an average of twelve points.

"Edwards' message is more left than it was in '04, and it's attracting the right kind of people for the primaries," says Bill Carrick, a veteran party strategist. "But the general electorate still sees him as mainstream. He's doing a good job of threading that needle."

John Edwards, like Kucinich would make a very good president in 08. Edwards probably has the best chance of making it among people on both sides of the political isle who vote. Here in Ohio, he is well liked. He got a little over 30% in the Ohio 2004 primary and he's no longer an unknown candidate 2007. Look for him to poll well in this state. Unlike Hillary, being dogged from both political parties and the real fun hasn't yet begun. Odd how corporate media keeps claiming she is first in the polls. Prissy is all for a woman president, but we can do better than a Bushette lite. Never forget Hillary was a Goldwater girl...

Democracy Now Bush's Brain Steps Down: Facing Subpoenas, Karl Rove Resigns

AMY GOODMAN: What does this mean for George Bush? You have written in the Dallas Morning News just today the resignation of Rove means the last and most important member of George W. Bush's Texas inner circle is gone.

WAYNE SLATER: You know, the thing about George Bush is -- and one of the things Karl said yesterday -- I’ve seen a man who hasn't changed. That's true. George Bush is very much the same person I remember talking to in the early 1980s here in Texas with the strengths that he has and all the flaws that he has. And one of the flaws is that he surrounded himself then, and more dangerously in the White House, with a few people, a few loyalists. Among the early group of loyalists were these Texans who were super loyal to Bush and whose advice and counsel he trusted. But one by one, they've all left. Karen Hughes has left, Joe Alba has left, and on and on down the line. Karl was the most important and the closest adviser to the President. He wasn't just a political consultant. He's the guy who basically put together in an effective way the politics of division and raised the politics of division, of exploiting polarization, exploiting the wedge issues of gay marriage, of fear of terrorism, in a politically efficient way in order to win 2002, 2004. But those principles, that approach, came back to haunt him and sent the house of cards -- contributed to the house of cards going down, falling down in 2006.

AMY GOODMAN: Wayne Slater, what does this mean for the congressional investigations in which he's invoked executive privilege? He didn't show up at one. Does he still remain at the center of them? Is he less protected stepping out?

WAYNE SLATER: Well, he remains very much the same. There are two things here, Amy. One is that he still very much is the focus of an investigation in Washington on this matter, not simply by members of Congress, but, more importantly for him, the Justice Department. And so, he remains there. But all the associations that he has with the President, the effort and the claim of executive privilege, stays, even if he leaves for private life. So he will try to do and Bush will try to do what they've done in the past, and that is to try to wait this thing out. The only question is now whether an indictment or other charges could come in the future or the near future. Frankly, my experience with Karl is that he always escapes. And so, looking at the history of the guy, from the late 1980s through the current situation, tells me he most likely will escape this latest round of both political inquiry and federal investigation. I could be wrong. Only time will tell.

Big September, Get involved! Big September

THIS SEPTEMBER Send Congress A Message That It Will Ignore At Its Peril!!

Come to Washington, D.C. Join the many thousands of Americans already committed to marching on Washington this September.

Make A Stand NOW.

The information on this website is designed to help you get involved in one or more BIG SEPTEMBER actions. The actions listed on our D.C. Action Calendar have been envisioned and planned by a variety of anti-war organizations. All of them are directed to the same purpose: convincing Congress to GET U.S. OUT OF IRAQ NOW.

WCAX Leahy Reacts to Rove's Resignation

But last month Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy subpoenaed Rove to testify about the firing of 8 U-S attorneys. The White house has refused to honor that subpoena.

Leahy in a statement said he wants to know what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are trying so desperately to hide.

More of the his actual statement: August 13, 2007 -- “Earlier this month, Karl Rove failed to comply with the Judiciary Committee's subpoena to testify about the mass firings of United States Attorneys. Despite evidence that he played a central role in these firings, just as he did in the Libby case involving the outing of an undercover CIA agent and improper political briefings at over 20 government agencies, Mr. Rove acted as if he was above the law. That is wrong.

Now that he is leaving the White House while under subpoena, I continue to ask what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are so desperate to hide. Mr. Rove’s apparent attempts to manipulate elections and push out prosecutors citing bogus claims of voter fraud shows corruption of federal law enforcement for partisan political purposes, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into this serious issue.

“The list of senior White House and Justice Department officials who have resigned during the course of these congressional investigations continues to grow, and today, Mr. Rove added his name to that list. There is a cloud over this White House, and a gathering storm. A similar cloud envelops Mr. Rove, even as he leaves the White House.”

It's not just the White House under a severe thunderstorm warning

Democrats.org Alberto Gonzales Could "Fast Track" Death Penalty Cases

Alberto Gonzales could soon have the authority to "fast track" death penalty cases. From the Los Angeles Times:

The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts.

...Under the rules now being prepared, if a state requested it and Gonzales agreed, prosecutors could use "fast track" procedures that could shave years off the time that a death row inmate has to appeal to the federal courts after conviction in a state court.

Truth Dig Inside the Data Mine

Delving into Joseph Nacchio and Qwest’s story reveals a company with close ties to the White House—ties that appear to have been temporarily severed when, according to Nacchio and his legal team at Qwest, the company refused to participate in the government’s data-mining program—making it the only big telecommunications company that didn’t take part. Nacchio claims that secret government contracts he was expecting were never delivered after his refusal to participate in the National Security Agency program, resulting in skewed profit claims.

While currently under new leadership, wooing back government contracts, and finally turning a profit, Qwest will have to struggle to maintain a competitive edge in an industry of telecommunications giants. These giants have received favorable treatment from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. Parallel to this success have come news reports that these ever-merging entities—notably AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon—are participating in domestic data-mining programs.

These mergers are even more conspicuous due to the number that have been approved in just the past three years. 2005 alone saw enough mergers to leave Americans with only two major telecommunications companies: Verizon and AT&T. Colbert cites the most recent and highly contested AT&T/BellSouth merger that combined the country’s two largest telecommunications companies. Despite the massive scope of the merger, when the Department of Justice conducted its regulatory analysis it concluded that there were no major antitrust issues.

In contrast to companies such as AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon, Qwest has encountered significant roadblocks in its expansion efforts, causing telecommunications experts to ask pointed questions about differing treatment from the Department of Justice, the FCC and the SEC. Specifically: Is there government retribution? The question gains clout in light of the recent U.S. attorney scandal and the selective prosecution that the Bush administration has been practicing.

Scientific American The New Psychology of Leadership Recent research in psychology points to secrets of effective leadership that radically challenge conventional wisdom

In the past, leadership scholars considered charisma, intelligence and other personality traits to be the key to effective leadership. Accordingly, these academics thought that good leaders use their inborn talents to dominate followers and tell them what to do, with the goal either of injecting them with enthusiasm and willpower that they would otherwise lack or of enforcing compliance. Such theories suggest that leaders with sufficient character and will can triumph over whatever reality they confront.

In recent years, however, a new picture of leadership has emerged, one that better accounts for leadership performance. In this alternative view, effective leaders must work to understand the values and opinions of their followers—rather than assuming absolute authority—to enable a productive dialogue with followers about what the group embodies and stands for and thus how it should act. By leadership, we mean the ability to shape what followers actually want to do, not the act of enforcing compliance using rewards and punishments.

Given that good leadership depends on constituent cooperation and support, this new psychology of leadership negates the notion that leadership is exclusively a top-down process. In fact, it suggests that to gain credibility among followers, leaders must try to position themselves among the group rather than above it. In his use of everyday language—such as “hunt down” and “those folks”—Bush portrayed himself on 9/11 as a typical American able to speak for America.

According to this new approach, no fixed set of personality traits can assure good leadership because the most desirable traits depend on the nature of the group being led. Leaders can even select the traits they want to project to followers. It is no accident, then, that Bush has often come across to Americans as a regular guy rather than as the scion of an elite East Coast Yale University dynasty.

The New Yorker An Unsolved Killing What does the firing of a U.S. Attorney have to do with a murder case?

Gonzales’s justifications for McKay’s dismissal now seem unlikely to be true, because it has become clear that Justice Department officials were seeking to fire McKay before 2006. On March 2, 2005, Kyle Sampson, Gonzales’s chief of staff, included McKay’s name on a list of thirteen U.S. Attorneys to be fired, in an e-mail to Harriet Miers, the White House counsel. Sampson sent the e-mail four months after the 2004 elections, and after McKay decided not to bring charges against the Democratic Party, or people affiliated with it, in Washington State, in the wake of a narrow victory by Christine Gregoire, the Democratic candidate, in the governor’s race. The contest, which was resolved after two recounts, prompted a lawsuit by the state Republican Party alleging widespread voting irregularities.

Several of the fired U.S. Attorneys had declined to prosecute Democrats in electoral disputes. Many Democrats have suggested that the prosecutors were dismissed by Gonzales and the Bush White House in retaliation for failing to advance Republican political objectives. But, in a deposition before the House Judiciary Committee in April, Sampson offered another explanation for McKay’s dismissal. He said that McKay might have been fired because he had been too aggressive in his advocacy of the investigation of Tom Wales’s murder. Sampson testified that McKay had approached Larry Thompson, then the Deputy Attorney General, and demanded that he “take some action” on the investigation, and that subsequently there had been tension between the two men. (“I don’t remember being mad at John McKay,” Thompson told me. “We always had to do balancing acts about how to allocate resources, but I never thought John acted inappropriately in the Wales case.” McKay said, “Larry Thompson was extremely supportive of the Wales investigation, and of me personally. I’m unaware of there having been any criticism.”)

Sampson’s testimony caused a sensation in Seattle. “The idea that I was pushing too hard to investigate the assassination of a federal prosecutor—it’s mind-numbing,” McKay told reporters at the time. “If it’s true, it’s just immoral, and if it’s false, then the idea that they would use the death of Tom Wales to cover up what they did is just unconscionable.” After news of Sampson’s statements broke, six Democratic congressmen from Washington State wrote to Glenn A. Fine, the inspector general of the Justice Department, who had begun an inquiry into the firings, asking that he investigate whether “Mr. McKay’s removal may have been related to his zealous advocacy for increased Justice Department attention to the murder of Tom Wales.”

The question of why McKay and the other U.S. Attorneys were fired remains unanswered. (Harriet Miers has been subpoenaed to answer questions on the subject before the House Judiciary Committee, but she has refused to appear, citing executive privilege. A court fight about the matter seems likely.) The notion that McKay was fired for failing to prosecute Democrats is plausible. But the passion that McKay brought to the Wales case may have played a part, too.

Quotes of the Day

"Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art."-- Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616) Spanish novelist

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."-- George Washington

"A true friend stabs you in the front."-- Oscar Wilde

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."-- Martin Luther King Jr.