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It’s a dirty game,but we have to play.

Brownback Fumbles…Then He Mumbles.

Posted by Daniel on Sunday, May 13, 2007

Note to Sen. Sam Brownback: In Packerland, it’s not cool to diss Brett Favre.The GOP presidential hopeful drew boos and groans Friday at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention when he used a football analogy to talk about the need to focus on families.

“This is fundamental blocking and tackling,” he said. “This is your line in football. If you don’t have a line, how many passes can Peyton Manning complete? Greatest quarterback, maybe, in NFL history.”

Oops, wrong team to mention in Wisconsin, once described by Gov. Tommy Thompson as the place “where eagles soar, Harleys roar and Packers score.”

Realizing what he had said, the Kansas Republican slumped at the podium and put his head in his hands.

“That’s really bad,” he said. “That will go down in history. I apologize.”

His apology brought a smattering of applause and laughter. He tried to recover, saying former Packer Bart Starr may be the greatest of all time, but the crowd was still restless.

“Let’s take Favre then,” Brownback said. “The Packers are great. I’m sorry. How many passes does he complete without a line?”

“All of them!” more than one person yelled from the back.

“I’m not sure how I recover from this,” Brownback said. “My point is we’ve got to rebuild the family. I’ll get off this.”


Posted in Media Matters, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Is Hating President Bush A Hate Crime?

Posted by Daniel on Friday, May 4, 2007

The White House has threatened to veto a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday that expands hate-crime laws to include attacks based on sexual orientation or gender.Under current law, hate crimes are subject to federal prosecution only if the acts of violence are motivated by race, religion, color or national origin. Federal prosecutors get involved only if the victim is engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or participating in interstate commerce.

The White House says there is no need for the expanded bill because state and local laws already cover the crimes it addresses, and there is no need for federal enforcement. This in direct conflict to it’s position on the Terri Schiavo case back in March of 2005.

In addition to allowing greater leeway for federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate crimes, the House bill — which was passed on a 237-180 vote –provides $10 million over the next two years to aid local prosecutions.

A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate, but no date has been set for a vote.

Critics of the bill say it would have a chilling effect on clergy who preach against homosexual behavior.

“We believe that this legislation will criminalize our freedom of speech and our ability to preach the gospel,” said Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Lanham, Maryland.

Supporters disagree. The bill, they say, applies only to violent crime and, in fact, specifically addresses freedom-of-speech issues.

“Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution,” the bill says.

House representatives got into a heated exchange Thursday as they debated this bill.

“They [hate crimes] are more serious than a normal assault because they target not just an individual, but an entire group,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York.

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Florida, said it is unfair to single out specific groups for protection under the law.

“What it does is to say that the dignity, the property, the life of one person gets more protection than another American. That’s just wrong,” he said.

Both sides cited the case of Matthew Shepard of Wyoming, whose brutal 1998 murder was linked to his sexual orientation.

“Matthew’s death generated international outrage by exposing the violent nature of hate crimes,” said Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, the only openly lesbian member of the House of Representatives.

But Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, argued that Shepard’s killers got harsh sentences without hate-crimes provisions.

“Those perpetrators that did that horrible act — both got life sentences under regular murder laws,” he said.

If President Bush vetoes the bill, it would mark the third veto of his presidency. His second came Tuesday, when he vetoed a $124 billion war spending bill that included a deadline for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq.

Posted in GLBT, Media Matters, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Bush vs Dems…Why Neither Can Back Down Now

Posted by Daniel on Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Amid all the media spin and armchair political quarterbacking, I believe there will be no winners in the current game of ‘chicken’ being played between Bush and the Democratic-led Congress.  There can only be losers, and I think both sides know this.  So the question for them as each day passes is, “How can I make the other guy lose first?”

I make no claim as being a political genius, but it really doesn’t take one to see where all of this budget/Iraq push and shove is leading.

First, there is every indication (even to this immoral, unpatriotic, anti-American, liberal, elite, commie pinko) that Bush and his administration know they can’t win in Iraq.  They can try to cover it in the guise of a “surge” or “progress” or whatever they want.  The truth of the matter is that they are, at this point, simply doing their level best to prolong the inevitable.  Iraq will collapse into utter chaos and everyone know this.  Civil war is what they have now…but it will all spiral into a country-wide bloodbath.  Period.

Bush and his team simply want to keep America in the fray long enough for them to be out of office before the “batḵẖā” hits the proverbial bābīzān.  Simply stated, Bush doesn’t give a shit which party runs congress or the White House after 2008…either way, Iraq will be their problem and their mess to clean up.  The current administration knows that regardless of who is President after 2008, that person – due to the overwhelmingly unanimous outcry from Americans – will end our occupation in Iraq, pull our troops out and the blood of that action will be on the hands of that President and that Congress.  Meanwhile, Bush will be writing his memoirs inside a padded cell in the Hague…if there’s really is the God he so firmly believes in.

As for the Democrats…I am once again hanging my head in shame over their lack of intestinal, not to mention Political, fortitude. 

They can’t win because (again, in my humble opinion) if they actually did utilize their power of the proverbial purse strings, the blood would be on their hands.  Meaning, they could (and should) keep sending the same bill complete with pull-out timelines to the Presidents’ desk.  Eventually, we could no longer afford to keep the troops in Iraq.  We’d have to bring the troops home.  This, in turn, would put the onus of standing up for themselves squarely on the shoulders of the Iraqi government.  Naturally, that governing body will, in all likelihood, collapse under the weight of such a burden.  Again, it would become a bloodbath for power.

Either way, though, the end result is going to be the same.  And there is nothing anyone can do – at least presently – to stop the juggernaut that is the rising insurgency.  

Bush, like a geographical rapist, will never pull out.  He couldn’t now even if he wanted to.  He prays daily for something good to happen so that his presidential library has at least one wing – or drawer – with “SUCCESS” written on it.  At the rate things are going, though, he should just hang that “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner over the barn in Crawford, Texas.  Let the birds of his paradise bomb the shit out of that as John Ashcroft’s voice sings out “Let the eagles fly…”

The Democrats are so afraid that they will be known for not supporting the troops, they are willing to cave into making concessions because they can’t overturn a veto.  I say, again, keep sending the same bill to the White House.  Otherwise, you’re going to be vetoed into giving Bush exactly what he’s been so used to getting…a blank check.  All for the sake of the troops.  And you know that’s bullshit.  How many lives is your re-election truly worth??  Bring the troops home by not paying Bush to keep them there!!  

There will be war in Iraq.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Eventually, either Saddam Hussein would have died, which would have then led to a war created by the vacuum…OR…there could have been a coup.  Either way, war would have been the end result.  For better or worse.

But how many American and civilian lives could we have spared by letting that scenario take it’s natural course?

It doesn’t matter now because Bush has made that issue a red herring.

So why are the two parties really making this war a game of chicken?

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

I Just Made a Lemon Cake, and I’m Tired

Posted by revelkc on Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hi! Remember me? Yeah, that’s right, I’m Revel, stalwart (?) other half to the Tempest. I haven’t been able to post for quite awhile, and I have missed it. Not that ideas haven’t floated in and out of my cerebrum on a regular basis–they have. The Great Idiot still pisses me off on a daily basis. His houseboy turned fall guy, AG the AG–I’ve seen better liars at closing time at the old Cabaret. Karl the Snarl, after he got out of my girl Sheryl Crow’s face (Sheryl, if you’re reading–I am a HUGE fan, even more so now), could possibly face his political Waterloo over something as completely boneheaded as violating The Hatch Act. (As Bugs Bunny says, “What a Maroon!”). And excuse me, who the hell is Mike Gravel? Before the Democratic debate (the feel-good debate of April 2007!!!) I had no idea he was running. I still am not sure he’s really running, but I hope so…he was on FI-YAH. I hope this, of course, for the entertainment value, but also out of curiosity that he might be able to wring just a few more bemused looks out of Dennis Kucinich. And last but not least, George T–or as the ever lovely Maureen Dowd calls him, Slam Dunk shows us all that it’s never too late to make your self look like a the whiniest of whiny lackeys to a misbegotten hell-hole of an administration.

All of these things have been on my own personal radar, like they have been for many of you. And I want to write about them, truly I do. But you see, I just made a lemon cake, and I’m tired. REALLY REALLY tired.

Ok, the simple making of the cake didn’t make for my exhausted condition. Hell, the cake was SUPPOSED to be chocolate chip cookies.

Buckle your seat belts, this is the chain of events that have kept me from slicing and dicing, George, Gonzo, Karl, and the rest (and Ann, she may be quiet right now, but that smell in the air HAS to be her….).

Lemon CakeWe were out of brown sugar, that’s why no chocolate chip cookies. So I compromised and made the lemon cake with white chocolate chips and homemade lemon butter cream frosting. Why did I have to have this? I WANTED A REWARD. You see, I have had home made chocolate chip cookies (and if I do say so myself I make excellent home made chocolate chip cookies) on the brain since a week or so before our Annual Neighborhood Garage Sale (at which we made a tidy $200.00, thank you very much…of which Daniel held himself to spending only $65.00…which is very good for him. He can tell you what he bought later, I think he’ll do it more justice). The reason? Because Pam complimented me to Daniel, saying I always had nice treats for sale during the annual event.

But I gotta tell you, the past 4 months of Gay Construction (which I subtitle the G.A.R.P. for Great Anderson Remodeling Project) have worn me out, and likely led to the shortage of brown sugar, which lead to chocolate chip cookies turning into lemon-white chocolate chip cake, which I insisted on making because I have been so worn out I wanted a reward.

See, it makes sense. Ok, rearrange your entire house, come back, sit down and reread it, and it will make sense.

The G.A.R.P. is our combined brainchild, a nearly superhuman effort that is sure to be remembered in a Beowulf style epic poem. At least on 18th Street if not all of Willowbrook. And Manchester, England…are we still big in Manchester? I hope so, I was hoping for some kind of band at the airport when we finally get to visit on our European-Australian tour.

I would say I just digressed, but lets call a babble a babble. Where was I? Oh, yeah…

The G.A.R.P. is what Gay Construction has been all about since the dawn of 2007. The Anderson family, or at least four of them, are coming to visit, as you no doubt already know. This required, of course, more than a light dusting. We have been in full tilt boogie mode revamping the Great Room, Dining Room, and Foyer, and it has been well worth it. And the Annual Sale is something we have been a part of every year since we moved here. I want us to make a good showing, we are after all the First Couple of Willowbrook. (That little reminder was for our neighbor, former first lady Nancy. She KNOWS why.)

So G.A.R.P. plus sale plus Pam and Daniel plus my undying love for a crazy Italian man led me to a quest for chocolate chip cookies that morphed into a lemon cake consolation prize.

Did I tell you, I just made a lemon cake, and I’m really tired? I’ve missed you guys, and I want to tell you all about it sometime.

Posted in Just For Fun, Our Writings, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Look Mom…I’m On Stage!!

Posted by Daniel on Friday, April 27, 2007

Losers all…Last night’s Democratic Presidential Primary Debate was anything but.

It was one of those times when you feel there is just no good candidate out there in the Democratic field.  And this is one of the reasons so many people are disillusioned with our party.

Disclaimer:  I understand that this is just the first of what will probably be many Democratic debates before the Primaries, however this would have been the golden opportunity for the field to whittle out the kooks and the weak.  Unfortunately, they all appeared kooky and weak.  I also understand that each candidate had but only one minute to answer each question, but this format leaves only more questions unanswered.

Pandering.  Panic.  Talking points.  That’s all we got last night.  More bumper sticker slogans.

I think the only real stand-out last night was former senator Gravel (AK), who reminded me of a more feisty – and alive – version of Ross Perot’s running-mate in the 1992 debates…Retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale.  While Stockdale occasionally forgot where he was, literally, Gravel most certainly knew where he was…I just think he forgot when he was.  

Back to the seriousness…

In the interest of brevity, I’ll give you the one shining moment…one golden opportunity where I think the Democrats, as a whole, have once again lost their nerve and decided to play it safe:

There was one point where I thought that Sen. Clinton was too cautious when she was asked about Rudy Giuliani’s comments that the country wouldn’t be safe under Democrats.  That would have been a great opportunity for her to show outrage and anger over the use of the tactics that were used by the Republicans in 2004, and she didn’t do that. I think that would have been a good moment.  Right then and there, Hillary should have chewed Giuliani – and by extension, the GOP as a hole (not a typo) – a new ass.  She should then have shown the utter outrage over the scare tactics used by Giuliani as his failed attempt to bark with the big dogs.  Instead, as is so many times the case when pandering and not wanting to speak truth, she peed like a puppy.

Moreover, where was any of the candidates on that Giuliani gaff???  You’re f—ing Democrats and none of you spoke up about it…not even after the debate when you had the mics all to yourselves!!

Again, I realize it is still early in the campaign, but if this is the road the Democratic contenders are going to continue to take, especially through 2008, count me out of voting Democrat.

Unless Hillary decides to grow a pair and actually speak up and speak out.

Now if I could only find my magic lamp…

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A Great Lady Passes

Posted by Daniel on Monday, April 23, 2007

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, a seven-term congresswoman from southern California, died late Saturday of cancer.Millender-McDonald, who was 68, died at her home in Carson, California, said her chief of staff, Bandele McQueen.

McQueen could provide no details on what form of cancer Millender-McDonald had. He said she had been receiving hospice care.

The congresswoman had asked for a four- to six-week leave of absence from the House last week to deal with her illness.

“Juanita Millender-McDonald was a trailblazer, always advocating for the full participation of all Americans in the success and prosperity of our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The dignity with which she faced her illness was an indication of the determination with which she always served the people of her district.”

Millender-McDonald was in her seventh term representing a heavily Democratic Southern California district that includes Compton, Long Beach and parts of Los Angeles.

I had the great pleasure in meeting Rep. Millender-McDonald in 1999 at a conference in Sacramento. We discussed HIV/AIDS among minorities in urban areas and I found her to be extraordinarily sensitive to and a champion of those suffering from the disease…regardless of their race or orientation.

“She was a dedicated public servant who tirelessly and honorably served her country for many years,” President Bush said in a statement. “We hold Rep. Millender-McDonald’s family, friends, staff, and constituents in our thoughts and prayers.”

Millender-McDonald is the second member of Congress to die this year of cancer. Republican Rep. Charles Norwood Jr. of Georgia died in February after battling cancer and lung disease.

“She was a champion for the consumer and fought injustice wherever she saw it. She always valued public service and served her state and nation with grace and honor,” said California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres, who served with her in the California state Legislature.

The congresswoman’s son, R. Keith McDonald, had received “temporary emergency release” from a 41-month prison term after his mother had surgery in May 2005, according to the Los Angeles Times. The former Los Angeles water district official was convicted of extortion in a contracts case. Millender-McDonald was never implicated.

The congresswoman, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, worked on former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s unsuccessful 1982 gubernatorial campaign and other local races as a volunteer before getting elected to the Carson City Council in 1990.

She went on to serve in the California state Assembly, and in 1996 sought a U.S. House seat during a special election to replace Rep. Walter Tucker III, who had been convicted of taking bribes while mayor of Compton, California, and of cheating on his taxes.

She won the special election, and in March beat out Tucker’s wife, Robin, in a primary that featured nine Democrats. She won a full House term in November 1996 and has subsequently won re-election easily.

Millender-McDonald has recently worked on issues including election reform and opposing the genocide in Darfur.

She drew national attention in 1996 when she took then-CIA director John Deutch to Watts to address the community following a newspaper report alleging that profits from domestic sales of crack-cocaine were funneled to the CIA-backed Contras in Nicaragua.

This year Millender-McDonald became chair of the Committee on House Administration, which oversees operations of the House and federal election procedures.

She is survived by her husband, James McDonald, Jr., and five adult children.

Under California election procedures, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has 14 days to set a date for a special election to fill the seat.

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Lies – Lies – Lies – Get Out

Posted by Daniel on Friday, April 20, 2007

gonzales_bush_illegal.jpgAttorney General Alberto Gonzales confronted a fresh Republican call for his resignation Thursday as he struggled to survive a withering, bipartisan Senate attack on his credibility in the case of eight fired prosecutors.

“The best way to put this behind us is your resignation,” Sen. Tom Coburn bluntly told Gonzales — one GOP conservative to another — at a daylong Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Gonzales disagreed and told the Oklahoma senator he didn’t know that his departure would put the controversy to rest. “I am committed to working with you in trying to restore the faith and confidence you need to work with me,” he said.

The exchange punctuated a long day in the witness chair for the attorney general, who doggedly advanced a careful, lawyerly defense of the dismissals of the federal prosecutors. He readily admitted mistakes, yet told lawmakers he had “never sought to deceive them,” and added he would make the same firings decision again.

“At the end of the day I know I did not do anything improper,” he said.

But another Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, delivered a virtual invitation for him to step down.

He said the committee would continue its investigation and urged Gonzales to provide additional information. “If you decide to stay on it’s up to the president,” he said.

Gonzales sat alone at the witness table in a crowded room for the widely anticipated hearing. There was no doubt about the stakes for a member of President Bush’s inner circle, and support from fellow Republicans was critical to his attempt to hold his job.

“The moment I believe I can no longer be effective I will resign as attorney general,” Gonzales said after making it clear he did not believe it had come to that.

The hearing was drawing to a close on Capitol Hill when Bush spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters at the White House, “The attorney general has the confidence of the president. … The attorney general acted to replace the U.S. attorneys and there was nothing improper.”

Struggling to save his credibility and perhaps his job, Gonzales testified at least 45 times that he could not recall events he was asked about.

After a long morning in the witness chair, Gonzales returned after lunch to face a fresh challenge to his credibility. “Why is your story changing?” asked Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, noting that the attorney general was now accepting responsibility for the firings after initially saying he had played only a minor role.

In response, Gonzales replied that his earlier answers had been “overbroad” and the result of inadequate preparation.

The process that led to the firings “should have been more rigorous,” he added, although he repeatedly defended the decisions themselves.

Gonzales sat alone at the witness table in a crowded hearing room for the widely anticipated hearing. There was no doubt about the stakes involved for a member of President Bush’s inner circle, under pressure to resign since the dismissals of the prosecutors.

Gonzales insisted Thursday he played only a small role in the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors. Skeptical senators reacted with disbelief.

“We have to evaluate whether you are really being forthright,” Specter bluntly informed the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

Specter said Gonzales’ description was “significantly if not totally at variance with the facts.”

“I don’t want to quarrel with you,” Gonzales replied after Specter asked again whether his was a fair, honest characterization.

Gonzales told the committee there was no impropriety in last winter’s firings and the decision was “justified and should stand.”

Gonzales conceded that “reasonable people might disagree” with the decision. He said the process by which the U.S. attorneys were dismissed was “nowhere near as rigorous or structured as it should have been.”

Offering an apology to the eight and their families, he also said he had “never sought to mislead or deceive the Congress or the American people” on that or any other matter.

Majority Democrats expressed skepticism at the attorney general’s testimony.

“Since you apparently knew very little about the performance about the replaced United States attorneys, how can you testify that the judgment ought to stand?” asked Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked Gonzales whether he had reviewed the evaluation records of the dismissed prosecutors, who Justice Department officials initially said had been fired for inadequate performance. He said he had not.

The attorney general began his turn as a witness after a tongue-lashing from Sen. Patrick Leahy, the committee’s chairman.

“Today the Department of Justice is experiencing a crisis of leadership perhaps unrivaled during its 137-year history,” said the Vermont Democrat. “There’s a growing scandal swirling around the dismissal” of prosecutors, he added.

Specter offered no more comfort in his opening remarks.

He said the purpose of the hearing was to determine whether the committee believes that Gonzales should remain in office. “As I see it, you come to this hearing with a very heavy burden of proof,” Specter said as Gonzales listened intently, lips pursed, a few feet away.


Posted in Media Matters, Politics | 1 Comment »

Hey…Cheney FINALLY Killed A Real Bird!!!

Posted by Daniel on Saturday, April 14, 2007

Air Force Two carrying Vice President Dick Cheney struck a bird as the plane neared O’Hare International Airport on Friday.The aircraft landed safely. Mechanics checked the plane while Cheney spoke at the Heritage Foundation’s annual leadership conference, but the incident did not delay his departure from the airport to return to Washington.

Isn’t irony delicious?

“A bird hit the right engine of the plane upon landing,” said Megan McGinn, a spokeswoman for Cheney. “He was told after he delivered his remarks.”

At the conference, Cheney issued a scathing report card on Democrats in Congress.

“In Iraq, above all, the Democrats’ attempt to micromanage our commanders is an unwise and perilous endeavor,” Cheney said.

“It is impossible to argue that an unconditional timetable for retreat could serve the security interests of the United States or our friends in the region. Instead, it sends a message to our enemies that the calendar is their friend, that all they have to do is wait us out — wait for the date certain, and then claim victory the day after.”

Cheney rebuked lawmakers for trying to tie funding for the war in Iraq to such a timetable, calling such a move unacceptable.

He said it’s the president’s sole duty to direct military operations. He also said the country doesn’t need 535 secretaries of state, a jab at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who recently traveled to Syria.

After the speech, Cheney, accompanied by his daughter, Liz Cheney, made an unannounced stop so they could buy a birthday gift for one of his granddaughters.

Cheney posed for pictures with little girls while Liz Cheney secured a doll with a Western cowboy hat and get-up.

Posted in Just For Fun, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Bush To Congress: “Why don’t you try finding the emails on The Google?”

Posted by Daniel on Friday, April 13, 2007

Liar, liar…President Bush’s aides are lying about White House e-mails sent on a Republican account that might have been lost, a powerful Senate chairman said Thursday, vowing to subpoena those documents if the administration fails to cough them up.

“They say they have not been preserved. I don’t believe that!” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy shouted from the Senate floor.

“You can’t erase e-mails, not today. They’ve gone through too many servers,” said Leahy, D-Vermont “Those e-mails are there, they just don’t want to produce them. We’ll subpoena them if necessary.”

With that, Leahy headed to his committee, which approved — but did not issue — new subpoenas to compel the administration to produce documents and testimony about the firings of eight federal prosecutors over the winter.

Democrats say the firings might have been improper, but that probe yielded a bigger question: Whether White House officials such as political adviser Karl Rove are purposely conducting sensitive official presidential business via non-governmental accounts to evade a law requiring preservation — and eventual disclosure — of presidential records.


The White House issued an emphatic “No” to those questions during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, saying the Republican National Committee accounts were used to comply with the Hatch Act, which bars political work using official resources or on government time.

But White House spokesman Scott Stanzel acknowledged that 22 White House aides have e-mail accounts sponsored by the RNC and that thousands of e-mails may have been lost.

Stanzel said the White House was trying to recover the e-mails. The administration also is drafting new guidelines for aides on how to comply with the law.

Leahy is not buying that.

“E-mails don’t get lost,” Leahy insisted. “These are just e-mails they don’t want to bring forward.”

The revelation about the e-mails escalates a standoff between the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House over the firing of the prosecutors. The subpoenas come a few days before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is to appear before Leahy’s committee Tuesday to fight for his job.

Leahy’s panel approved new subpoenas that would compel the Bush administration to surrender hundreds of new documents and force two officials — Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William Moschella and White House political aide Scott Jennings — to reveal their roles in the firings. The panel delayed for a week a vote on whether to authorize a subpoena for Rove’s deputy, Sara Taylor.

Leahy has not issued any subpoenas, but permission by his committee today would give him authority to require testimony from all eight of the fired U.S. attorneys and several White House and Justice Department officials named in e-mails made public as having had roles in the firings.

Late today, White House officials admitted they made a mistake.

The White House “screwed up” by not requiring e-mails from Republican Party and campaign accounts to be saved and is trying to recover any documents that may have been deleted, a spokeswoman said.

The admission came after the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused the White House of trying to hide messages related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, which has stirred up a hornet’s nest on Capitol Hill.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters that the e-mails from those accounts should have been saved, but said policy has not kept pace with technology. She said computer experts were trying to retrieve any records that have been deleted.

“We screwed up, and we’re trying to fix it,” she told reporters.

Perino said Thursday that 22 aides in the political arm of the president’s office use party or campaign e-mail accounts, which were issued to separate official business from political work. Some of those accounts were used to discuss the December firings of federal prosecutors in eight cities, a shakeup that has triggered a spreading controversy on Capitol Hill.

Perino said the accounts represent “a small slice of people” in the White House, where about 1,000 people have political duties. But she said, “We don’t have an idea on the universe of the number of e-mails that were lost.”

“I don’t know if Sen. Leahy is also an [information technology] expert, but I can assure you that we are working very hard to make sure that we find the e-mails that were potentially lost and that we are responsive to the requests, if there are responses that need providing, on the U.S. attorneys matters,” she said. “We’re being very honest and forthcoming.”

Leahy said the e-mails would have remained on party or campaign computer servers, and he compared the situation to the famous 18½-minute gap in one of the Watergate tapes.

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You’d THINK A Pig Like Cheney Would Know About Pork

Posted by Daniel on Tuesday, April 3, 2007

PrioritiesVice President Dick Cheney on Monday blasted “self-appointed strategists” on Capitol Hill for trying to force the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, declaring the U.S. military answers to the president, not Congress.Speaking to a fundraising luncheon for Sen. Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, Cheney repeated President Bush’s promise to veto an upcoming emergency war-spending bill if it contains any timetable for a withdrawal.

“It’s time the self-appointed strategists on Capitol Hill understood a very simple concept: You cannot win a war if you tell the enemy you’re going to quit,” he said.

I’m confused, Mr. Cheney…the bill from Congress is to be vetoed by the “President” because it undermines the troops – or because it’s too full of pork? If it’s a matter of undermining the troops, that was done the day you and the Bush administration lied them into Iraq in the first place. And if it’s because of the pork crammed into the bill, this hypocrisy smells pretty rancid considering how many pigs were slaughtered by the previous Republican-led Congress over the past six years.

Where was your disgust for pork then?

Both Bush and congressional leaders say each other would be to blame for stalling money for the war effort if the president vetoes the bill.

Cheney said Democrats are trying to push the president into accepting “unwise and inappropriate restrictions on our commanders.”

“The fact is that the United States military answers to one commander-in-chief in the White House, not 535 commanders-in-chief on Capitol Hill,” he added. “We expect the House and the Senate to meet the needs of our military on time, in full, and with no strings attached.”

He urged Congress to “stop the political theater” and send Bush an acceptable war-spending bill before the Pentagon begins to run low on cash later this spring.

Meanwhile, the standoff between Congress and the White House over Iraq ratcheted up another notch Monday over war funding.

Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is joining Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, in sponsoring a new Iraq bill that would end the majority of Iraq war funding after March 31, 2008, the day Senate Democrats originally proposed pulling troops out of the war-ravaged nation.

The bill would permit spending in only three areas: fighting al Qaeda, training Iraqis and protecting the U.S. Embassy and personnel.

Reid’s spokesman, Jim Manley, concedes passing the bill won’t be easy.

“This is an uphill battle, but it’s the next step in a series of things to try and change the president’s policy in Iraq,” he said.

White House spokesman Dana Perino responded by accusing Democrats of changing their stance on Iraq. “It’s almost shifting so fast, it’s like a sandstorm,” she said.

Perino insisted funding is essential.

At the Sessions fundraiser, Cheney said Democrats are essentially telling U.S. troops to “retreat — with no regard whatsoever for the actual conditions on the ground in Iraq.”

“When members of Congress speak not of victory but of time limits, deadlines or other arbitrary measures, they’re telling the enemy to simply watch the clock and wait us out,” he said.

“It’s time the self-appointed strategists on Capitol Hill understood a very simple concept: You cannot win a war if you tell the enemy you’re going to quit.”

Last week, the Senate passed a $123 billion Iraq spending measure that recommends a final withdrawal of all troops by March 31, 2008, and mandated that troops begin redeployment within four months of the bill’s passage.

Congressional negotiators are trying to reconcile that bill with a House version calling for an August withdrawal.

Bush, meanwhile, is threatening to veto any bill that sets a timetable for withdrawing troops, even if the bill contains vital war money.

Cheney reiterated that threat during his Monday speech, saying that “if either version comes to the president’s desk, he will use the veto power, no question about it.”

He added, “It’s also clear that we’ve got enough supporters of the military in Congress to sustain a veto, and so it is pointless for the Democrats to continue pursuing this legislation.”

Reid apparently is trying to leverage the White House by toughening the bill, and he is pushing to vote on the new measure within the next two months.

In a statement, Reid said that if Bush vetoes the legislation, “I will work to ensure this [new bill] receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”

The work period begins April 10, when the Senate returns from its spring recess, and ends Memorial Day.

Republican staff members tell CNN that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is looking closely at the bill. McConnell has repeatedly challenged anti-war lawmakers to cut off funds for the war rather than impose conditions that would force a withdrawal, but he said Monday that Reid’s measure amounts to “an arbitrary surrender date.”

“The chosen date isn’t tied to circumstances on the ground or the needs of the military commanders,” the Kentucky Republican said in a written statement. “It’s completely arbitrary. It was pulled out of thin air, and the terrorists have already marked it on their calendars.”

A McConnell aide told CNN that Reid simply cannot get the votes to support this latest bill, but Manley rejected that assessment.

Manley scoffs at that assertion: “No one knows where the votes are until we call the roll.”

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