Quote of the Day

“I do not believe that Crimea will slip out of Russia’s hands. … Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush or being weak or unwilling to use military force,” he said. “I think Putin saw an opportunity here, and he has seized it.”

Former Bush 43 and Obama Defense Secretary Bob Gates



The Ultimate in Revisionist History

Hurricane Katrina occurred in August 2005.  President Obama was sworn in for his first term in January 2009.

Yet, in a new poll, 29% of Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for the government’s Katrina failure, while 28% blame Bush, the guy who was actually, you know, president at the time.  Another 44% aren’t sure which one to blame.

The Mess We Left Behind

As we focus on Syria and Egypt and Afghanistan, let’s not forget the mess we left behind in Iraq, where Sunni-Shiite violence just gets more intense.

There have been almost 3,000 deaths from sectarian attacks this year, with more than 500 so far this month.  This weekend, car bombs in Baghdad have killed almost 40 people.

Not to mention the rapprochement between Iraq and Iran that we created, which is a strategic disaster for us.

I hope that as Bush 43 assumes more of a public profile again, and as Dick Cheney campaigns for his daughter Liz in Wyoming, they will get asked, “WTF?”

Shocked? Where Have You Been Since 2006?

If you’re shocked about Verizon’s turning phone records over to the NSA, where the hell have you been?

From a letter former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) sent to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, NSA Director Keith Alexander, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on January 23, 2006:

“One element of the NSA‘s domestic spying program that has gotten too little attention is the government’s reportedly widespread use of data mining technology to analyze the communications of ordinary Americans. Today I am calling on the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Secretary and the Director of the NSA to explain whether and how the government is using data mining technology, and what authority it claims for doing so.

Data mining is a new, unproven and intrusive technology in the counterterrorism context, and we need to know how it is being used, how effective it is in finding patterns of terrorist activity, and whether there are sufficient safeguards to protect the privacy of Americans. We can and must fight terrorism aggressively without infringing on the privacy of law-abiding Americans.”  Emphasis added.








Federal judge Edith Jones from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was considered a possible Supreme Court pick during the Bush 43 Administration.

Now a judicial misconduct complaint has been filed against her for alleging in a February speech that African-Americans and Hispanics are “predisposed to crime.”  If you’re looking for justice in her court, you’d damn well better be lily white.

Setting Him Up to Fail

“Republicans have held the administration to about one-third of the money [to implement the Affordable Care Act] that the Bush administration received from a Republican-led Congress for the lesser challenge of starting up the Medicare drug program.”

From “G.O.P Is Readying a New Offensive Over Health Law,” Jackie Calmes, NYT


Quote of the Day

“Let’s make it clear, the president got his tax hike on January 1st.  The discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It’s about taking on the spending problem here in Washington.”

John Boehner after meeting with Obama this morning about the sequester.

The Bush tax cuts expired on January 1st.  The president didn’t “get” a tax hike on anybody, income tax rates went up automatically.  What the country — and the GOP — got was a tax cut on everyone making less than $400,000 for individuals/$450,000 for couples.

Quote of the Day

“Drone strikes are an innovation in anticipatory self-defense, requiring careful oversight and a high threshold for action. They are also a technology that allows the most discriminate application of force in the history of warfare. That the use of drones protects U.S. troops from risk is a virtue. And the targeting of American citizens who are fighting for the enemy is neither new nor forbidden by the laws of war. At least eight American volunteers for the Waffen SS were killed during World War II. Should their U.S. citizenship have earned them membership in a special, protected category of combatant?

“This, of course, is the essence of the matter. If America is in an ongoing war against al-Qaeda and associated groups, then the rules of war apply, Yemen and the Afghanistan/Pakistan border are battlefields, and al-Qaeda operatives are lawful targets. This is the position taken by both the Bush and Obama administrations, consistent with America’s inherent right of self-defense and the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

“Labeling Obama as ‘judge, jury and executioner’ is his critics’ prerogative. But defending the country is not their responsibility. It is easy for those without executive authority to dismiss risks that are prospective. After a terrorist attack on America, the critics would likely be silent, hoping that no one recalled their complacency.” Emphasis added.

Michael Gerson, “Obama’s drone policy, rooted in self-defense,” WaPo


Maureen Dowd Sounds More Like Peggy Noonan

Obviously, I’m very relieved that Mittens won’t put his hand on the Book of Mormon and take the oath next week, while his entitled princess bride looks on smugly.  But, mostly because of Newtown and my sense that we are not going to seize the moment to seize military weapons and ammo, I’m not as excited about the Inauguration as I thought I’d be on election night.

Maureen Dowd (“Takes One to Tango,” NYT) isn’t feeling very upbeat either:

“But the cost of W.’s misbeggoten wars and his mishandling of the economy overwhelmed Obama’s first term.  And Obama underwhelmed on traits everyone thought he’d excel at:  negotiating, selling, charming, scaring, bully-pulpiting, mobilizing, dealing with Capitol Hill and, especially, communicating.  It’s taken the White House four years to develop a coherent message:  Pay your bills.

“We’re facing default.  Again.

“We’re mired in partisan trash-talking.  Still.

“And despite the tragedy of the children riddled with bullets in Newtown, Conn., no one is expecting any consequential fixes to our absurdly lax gun laws.”

I too have felt that Obama hasn’t ‘splained often and well enough.  But the bottom line is that if you’re a GOP congressman more worried about a primary from the right than the general, Obama could be Demosthenes and it wouldn’t make a difference.