Sunday, November 06, 2005

Once Around - Sunday Edition

It's been a while since we ran through our links looking for the best and brightest comments and stealing them to post here. It's time to spin the dial and see what's up.

AmericaBlog links to Time for a story about the White House without Rove. Personally, I think that it is naive to think that Bush will dump Rove. Rove might end up without his Deputy Chief of Staff title, or even end up outside the West Wing, but Rove will remain a key advisor to Bush until Bush heads back to the ranch.

"The expected departures are among a host of new signs suggesting that Bush's sixth year in office--the last one before midterm elections and a turn in attention toward the 2008 race to succeed him--will be very different from his first five. The sunny optimist who loved to think big is now facing polls in which for the first time a majority of Americans say they do not trust him. "It's like it's twilight in America," says one frustrated conservative."

More like, it's America coming out of the dark night of the Bush Presidency.

From Baghdad Burning, here is how the Iranian take over of Iraq is perceived from the ground.

"Congratulations Americans- not only are the hardliner Iranian clerics running the show in Iran- they are also running the show in Iraq. This shift of power should have been obvious to the world when My-Loyalty-to-the-Highest-Bidder-Chalabi sold his allegiance to Iran last year. American and British sons and daughters and husbands and wives are dying so that this coming December, Iraqis can go out and vote for Iran influenced clerics to knock us back a good four hundred years.

What happened to the dream of a democratic Iraq?"

Amerian's sons and daughters, husbands and wives - dying to give half of Iraq to the Iranian Ayatollahs. The brilliance of Bush and crew.

The Carpetbagger has a great summary of Ohio's corrupt Congressman Bob Ney, followed by a quick roll call of some of the current members of the circus of corruption that is the Republican party in Congress.

"Ney's denials not withstanding, the Ohio Republican appears to have a serious problem on his hands. There's already evidence that Ney pressured a casino owner to sell a fleet of ships to benefit one of Abramoff's clients, received one of those luxurious Scottish golf trips that Abramoff is famous for, promised to use his role on the House Administration Committee to help reopen a casino for an Abramoff client, and placed comments in the Congressional Record favorable to Abramoff's purchase of a Florida gambling company. Ney claims Abramoff duped him. We'll see how that defense works out.

I'd also like to take a note that if there's ever been a less ethical group of lawmakers from the same party serving at the same time, I wouldn't want to see them. The GOP House majority really is quite a caucus. Ney's problems are getting worse, but let's not forget DeLay, Cunningham, Pombo, Feeney, and Blunt, among others, all of whom are dealing with ethical and/or criminal questions of their own — and this is just the House caucus."

Ney to abandon the Republican "rope a dope" for the more traditional, "I'm a dope" defense. Stick with what you know, Bobby.

At Democratic Veteran, Jo Fish links us to a Seattle PI story that makes you wonder if any Pentagon policy makers have the balls to stick an "I support the troops" sticker on their own cars. The PI story describes a Pentagon decision to renege on promises to Washington National Guards soldiers to pay them reenlistment bonuses after the soldiers actually signed their reenlistment papers.

"A Department of Defense decision to renege on war-time promises to pay bonuses to more than a dozen re-enlisting Washington National Guardsmen has sparked outrage from prominent elected officials and state National Guard officers working to rectify the situation.

According to a state Guard spokesman, Maj. Phil Osterli, at least 15 Washington National Guardsmen and women signed re-enlistment forms promising them a tax-free $15,000 bonus in return. Many of them were stationed in Iraq at the time, he said.

But Pentagon officials have said in published reports that the bonuses were canceled because they duplicated other programs and were prohibited."

The beauty of the Bush Administration is that they will lie to anyone about anything. You have to give them credit. It is an audacious strategy.

At the Pen and Sword, Commander Huber, takes "Big" Dick Cheney to task. It would certainly seem that the Vice President has a close and financially beneficial relationship with his old company Halliburton. The Commander's key link is to a Raw Story post that concludes:

Big Dick: “Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest," the Vice President said. "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years.” Meet The Press 2003

Raw Story: "Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Halliburton stock options. The company has been criticized by auditors for its handling of a no-bid contact in Iraq. Auditors found the firm marked up meal prices for troops and inflated gas prices in a deal with a Kuwaiti supplier. The company built the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

"Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million.

Cheney continues to received a deferred salary from the company. According to financial disclosure forms, he was paid $205,298 in 2001; $162,392 in 2002; $178,437 in 2003; and $194,852 in 2004."

He has "severed", "gotten rid of" and has "no financial interests". Yet, owns $8 million in stock options and receives an average of close to $200,000 a year in deferred salary from Halliburton.

Obviously, Dick Cheney is incapable of speaking without lying. Or, he simply is to morally challenged to recognize the truth.