Category Archives: Policy

Stacking the Deck

Man, oh man… The GOP just can’t stand a fair fight, can it. Even when it comes to the matter of law, it needs to make sure the judges are “on the right side” so to speak. The emails tell the tale of the latest White House (and/or GOP) scandal, the decision to fire a slew of U.S. Attorneys solely on the basis of their political leanings. Check out the PDF document at that link. The boldness of this plan would’ve astonished me a few years ago. Now, with scandal upon scandal under its collective belt, the Bush Administration isn’t surprising anyone.

It was courteous though, that the Department of Justice noted it wouldn’t be talking to the press about the firings, but that the justices were free to announce their resignations themselves. Gotta keep this quiet, right?

Yes, Big Brother Is Watching

Make no mistake about it, the government is spying on ordinary citizens using the Patriot Act as cover. When the Act was re-enacted last year, Bush waited until all the reporters were gone, then added one of his legendary signing statements, noting that he “did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law’s requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ”impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive’s constitutional duties.” Scary stuff.

Once a Liebermann…

I haven’t been keeping up with the antics of one Joseph Liebermann since the election. If you haven’t either, here’s a great piece at Salon.com about the crazy Indie Dem’s latest moves. What a guy. If there was ever any doubt that Liebermann is still out for Liebermann (instead of, say, representing the people who elected him), this piece should set the story straight. Even George W. Bush seems to be rethinking the way he speaks about the occupation in Iraq. Why isn’t Liebermann?

Elsewhere, who would have expected the Senate’s Republicans to push for even stricter ethics reform rules than those proposed by the Democrats? Well, hell hath frozen over, my friend. There’s a new wind of transparency coming. By a 98-0 margin, the Senate voted to mandate that all earmarks be put on the internet for 48 hours before they are inserted into any legislation. Rock on. As for the House, representatives there voted to ban all gifts from lobbyists, as well as travel paid for by lobbyists or taxpayers or campaign funds. Some representatives complain the measures don’t go far enough. I guess we’ll see.

According to Salon, Stephen Colbert wasn’t invited to this year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner. If you didn’t catch his wrap-up of the event last year, check it out here.