Pat Tillman

War hero Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan last year, believed the US war on Iraq was “f***ing illegal” and counted Noam Chomsky among his favorite authors.

Must read story from The Nation. The right wing hasn’t come up with its spin yet, so they are just claiming to know Tillman more than his Mother and war buddies.

what karl told the fbi

WASHINGTON – Karl Rove testified for the fourth and final time Friday before the grand jury investigating whether his conversations with two reporters led to the leaking of a CIA operative’s identity.
The White House aide spent about four and a half hours inside the federal courthouse, and left without commenting to reporters.

From the WaPo

INDICTMENTS POSSIBLE NEXT WEEK: Fitzgerald could send out “target” letters to senior administration officials at any time, advising them that they are targets of the investigation, and bring indictments as early as next week, the lawyers said.

Also from WaPo

If Rove told the FBI agents the same story that he and McClellan were telling the press, then he might have set himself up for a felony charge of lying to a federal law enforcement official. And if he lied, then he need not have been under oath to have committed a crime.

From Salon

Unlike in Watergate, which was largely advanced by the press, this scandal has unfolded despite much of the press corps’ efforts to avoid, demean or restrain the story until very recently. Also unlike in Watergate, major influences in the press have aligned with their sources in the administration, not with the professionals in the government acting as whistle-blowers.

Also from Salon

By the way, when The Times prints something that looks like an obituary your days are numbered. Spin aside, Prosecutors have told Rove they can not guarantee that he will not be indicted over the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

fool me once, shame on you

We bring you these coincidences, reminding you, and ourselves here, that perhaps the simplest piece of wisdom in the world is called “the logical fallacy.” Just because Event “A” occurs, and then Event “B” occurs, that does not automatically mean that Event “A” caused Event “B.”

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 13 times, my head just may explode.

Fall of the Rovean empire?

For 30 years, beginning with the Nixon presidency, advanced under Reagan, stalled with the elder Bush, a new political economy struggled to be born. The idea was pure and simple: centralization of power in the hands of the Republican Party would ensure that it never lost it again. Under George W. Bush, this new system reached its apotheosis. It is a radically novel social, political and economic formation that deserves study alongside capitalism and socialism. Neither Adam Smith nor Vladimir Lenin captures its essence, though it has far more elements of Leninist democratic-centralism than Smithian free markets. Some have referred to this model as crony capitalism; others compare the waste, extravagance and greed to the Gilded Age. Call it 21st century Republicanism.

From a great article on Salon about Rove and the end of this bleak era in American history.

While some people may insist on being cheerleaders for the GOP, the facts don’t support them. The top 1% are the only ones doing better, according to the IRS. For the other 99%, wages have not kept pace with inflation. We as a nation are getter poorer while the GOP Feudalists have become wealthier. Debt is out of control. We are losing a war.

Now that Karl Rove, DeLay and Abramoff are under investigation, the movement is finally coming undone. So what comes next?

“It’s not an entitlement politics,” says David Axelrod, a consultant to Spitzer’s 2002 re-election campaign. “It’s a fairness politics, a let everyone compete on the same playing field politics.”

Spitzer is part of the new progressive movement that gets past the big/small government paradigm and looks to a government that works to be FARE. Frugal, Accessible, Responsible and Efficient.

Things are starting to look good for 2006. While I expect Spitzer to be a target of the Right Wing Feudalists like Grover Norquist, I think momentium is finally on the side of the people again.

christopher hitchens on imperialism

Christopher Hitchens is a right wing pundit that annoys me to no end. Not because his arguments are flawed, but because they are so well thought out and so damn convincing. Case in point

East Timor was for many years, and quite rightly, a signature cause of the Noam Chomsky “left.” The near-genocide of its people is an eternal stain on Indonesia and on the Western states that were complicit or silent. Yet Bin Ladenism wants not less of this killing and repression but more. Its demand to re-establish the caliphate is a pro-imperialist demand, not an anti-imperialist one.

His argument is that the al-Qaida goal of the re-establishment of the caliphate is, at its core, imperialist in nature. This is intriguing to say the least. In addition, it does more to explain why al-Qaida support comes not from the poorest in the Arab world, but the middle class. But I am still not sure that western imperialism isn’t a factor in the rise of Caliphate imperialism. Why would this be a zero-sum game? Why wouldn’t western imperialism convince otherwise neutral Muslims of the need for an Islamist empire?