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Saturday, April 28, 2007
(3:07 PM) | Stephen:
The State Of Things

Let's do a quick run-through of all the allegations, accusations, investigations and indictments that have been flying out of the White House and Congress these last few weeks, shall we?

First up, we have the DC Madame's first casualty, Randall Tobias, who until yesterday was the director of USAID and US Foreign Assistance at the State Department. As Josh Marshall notes, Tobias is using the "Haggard Defense: no sex, just massages." An appropriate snarky comment can be supplied, I am sure, by the readers.

Marshall's journalistic empire - for which we should all be incredibly grateful - has also been busy informing us of how the various voter fraud charges in Wisconsin, Missouri, New Mexico and other swing states have been trumped up and pursued by US Attorneys, whether willingly or as a result of pressure from the White House Karl Rove. These investigations, of course, have been placed and timed to coincide with close elections so that minorities - who favor Democrats - would be disenfranchised. These non-existent problems with voter fraud have also been used to justify the various Voter ID laws popping up in state legislatures lately, and the DOJ's Civil Rights Division has been all too happy to put its stamp of approval on these measures clearly designed to disproportionately affect poor and minority voters.

Let's see, how about the continuing saga of Jack Abramoff? It's hard to keep up with just this, but so far Representatives John Doolittle and Tom Feeney, along with former Representative Tom Delay and former Senator Conrad Burns are all under investigation for their involvement in Abramoff's illegal activities. I keep thinking I've missed someone here, so let me know in comments, would you?

Moving on, we've got violations of the Hatch Act:

Here's the scheme, as revealed over the past month: Rove and his deputies traveled to various agencies throughout the government, lecturing management there about Republicans' political prospects. . . . .But there was a line to be drawn: no commands were to be given -- because such a directive would be a blatant violation of the Hatch Act, which forbids the use of government resources for political ends.

On the contrary, the government officials receiving the briefing were supposed to get the hint -- as Tom Hamburger reported, "employees said they got a not-so-subtle message about helping endangered Republicans."

Arizona Representative Rick Renzi has been under investigation for an illegal landswap and kickbacks funneled through a family company. And it's tied to the US Attorney investigations, since we now know that one of Renzi's aides contacted USA Paul Charlton about the investigation. Soon after that call, the FBI and DOJ investigators were hindered by all sorts of obstacles put in the way of their investigation. Also, when approval was finally given for a wiretap, the story was leaked to the press, which then negated whatever good the wiretap may have been. However, all that was apparently not enough for Charlton to keep his job, since he was fired about a month later.

And let us not forget the illegal use of RNC email addresses for official WH correspondence, with four years of Rove emails accidentally deleted and the fact that none of the most senior members of this administration seem to use email at all.

Journalistic conventions would say that right now, with allegations flying, subpoenas arriving daily and investigators hardly able to keep up with ever-expanding criminal probes, the Bush Administration is "under siege." But that's not really true. We are under siege from an administration and political party that are continually lobbing more and more information at us - so much so that it makes me wonder if this is an intentional strategy to so overwhelm Congress and the American people that we are paralyzed.

With all that is happening now, will Halliburton ever be held accountable for over-charging us, for providing substandard food to our soldiers? Will we ever find out what has happened to the billions of dollars our government has lost in Iraq, let alone the billions more that have been spent indiscriminately?

I'm certain the worthies reading this blog post have not fallen into this trap, but I'm suffering from so much scandal-overload from this group that I actually don't spend much time considering warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, the secret CIA prisons which, about one week or so after Bush declared them empty, were open for business again.

Our Executive Branch looks increasingly like some 3rd-world dictatorship, offering us nothing but naked grabs for power and unceasing corruption. It's interesting to note how many of the Congressional investigations lead back to the Bush White House. The modern, totally corrupted GOP is the proverbial onion, this one diseased and rotten, with each soggy, stinking layer revealing another appalling grotesquerie, each one leading to another until finally we reach this onion's putrescent core, and find Karl Rove's malevolent visage grinning back at us.

It used to be funny to hear and read - especially in comment threads - people's contorted logic trying to defend George Bush and the modern GOP. But now, with our Constitution trashed, our reputation in tatters, our money wasted, our soldiers dead and wounded, it's just sad and discouraging.

Over 3,000 American soldiers dead, but John Edwards is a big hypocrite because he has a big house! Thousands of American troops wounded yet denied full disability benefits, but Al Gore has a big house too! New Orleans is still completely destroyed, but William Jefferson had money in his freezer! The president claims the authority to eavesdrop on you, take you off the street, hold you in a secret prison indefinitely, torture you to extract information, then try you in a secret court without ever telling you that it's happening, let alone grant you access to a lawyer or a jury of your peers, b-b-b-but Bill Clinton!

That's the worst part of all this. Millions of people have been duped by the modern GOP, and instead of rising up to hold them accountable, they now actively participate in deceiving themselves. They intentionally choose to believe the talking points distributed through the rightwing media, because it would damage their God damned pride to face the truth. And long after George Bush and Karl Rove are merely unhappy memories, this nation will still be stuck with those who would rather use a lie to soothe their troubled psyche than stand up like grownups and face the truth.

cross-posted at Ezra's place

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