March 26, 2007

repair is the dream
of the broken thing

Andreas Gefeller, Untitled (Stadium), 2002, digital C-print

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

2. George W. Bush

"But of course this isn't about lying. It's about politics. Last week George W. Bush held a special press conference to announce that, 'Members of Congress now face a choice: whether they will waste time and provoke an unnecessary confrontation, or whether they will join us in working to do the people's business.'

"Yes folks, apparently 'the people's business' now involves the White House collaborating with the Justice Department to cripple investigations against Republican officials by firing prosecutors who don't have their noses sufficiently far up the president's backside.

"Let's do a quick recap of some of the rest of the "people's business" that the Bush administration has spent the past six years working on.

" -Allowing wounded soliders to live in rotting, rodent-infested quarters when they return home from Iraq.

" -Outing a covert CIA agent and then lying about it.

" -Making sure that we lose three American soldiers a day for an indefinite period of time.

" -Throwing hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars at a war which most of the country thinks we shouldn't be involved in.

" -Torturing people in secret prisons and refusing them access to any kind of legal representation.

" -Dramatically increasing the gap between rich and poor Americans.

" -Making sure that more children go without healthcare.

" -Ignoring the recent increase in violent crime.

" -Ignoring the very real threat of global climate change.

" -Doing nothing to decrease America's dependence on foreign oil.

" -Tossing off while Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, showing up for a couple of photo-ops, and then forgetting about the whole thing.

" -Turning Michael Schiavo's terribly difficult and private family decision into a nationwide media circus.

" -Unconstitutionally spying on American citizens.

" -Pursuing policies which have massively increased the threat of global terrorism and then pig-headedly refusing to change course.

" -Letting Osama bin Laden get away.

"You know, if that's the definition of 'working to do the people's business,' maybe Our Great Leader should take another vacation."

* Washington Post on The Cloud over Mr. Gonzales. excerpt:

"Alberto R. Gonzales's death by a thousand cuts continues. A newly released e-mail revealed that he participated in an hour-long meeting with senior Justice Department officials about a plan to dismiss seven U.S. attorneys. This appears to contradict Mr. Gonzales's assurance that he participated in no such discussions.

"A missive dated Nov. 21, from Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to the attorney general, to Andrew Beach, an assistant in Mr. Gonzales's office, emerged in a 283-page document dump Friday night. 'Meeting for next Monday. Re: U.S. Attorney Appointments. 1 hour. AG's conference room. Thx.' It lists six people who would attend, including the AG, Mr. Gonzales.

"On March 13, Mr. Gonzales said: 'I never saw documents. We never had a discussion about where things stood. What I knew was that there was ongoing effort that was led by Mr. Sampson, vetted through the Department of Justice, to ascertain where we could make improvements in U.S. attorney performances around the country.'

"Mr. Gonzales finds himself in this mess because he and others in his shop appear to have tried to cover up something that, as far as we yet know, didn't need covering. U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president -- with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president was entitled to replace any he chose, as long as he wasn't intending to short-circuit ongoing investigations. But the shifting explanations for the eventual dismissals of eight federal prosecutors -- from no explanation to saying performance was at issue to acknowledging that performance was not the issue for all of them -- have Democrats and Republicans calling for candor from Mr. Gonzales."
"A Justice Department spokeswoman said the latest e-mail did not contradict the attorney general's previous assertions. He's entitled to explain why not, and he'll get that chance, in congressional testimony after his former chief of staff, Mr. Sampson, testifies Thursday. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) warned yesterday on NBC's 'Meet the Press' that Mr. Gonzales's appearance will be 'make or break.'"

* "My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music." -- Vladimir Nabokov


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