According to Bob Geiger (from whom I pulled this lovely graphic), George Bush has dubbed this "National Character Counts Week." Oh…really?
— This morning, George Bush signed into law the Republican Pro-Torture, Anti-Constitution, Anti-Bill of Rights bill. The ACLU sent along this statement from Anthony Romero, its Executive Director (and also took out a full-page ad in the WaPo today on this issue):
"With his signature, President Bush enacts a law that is both unconstitutional and un-American. This president will be remembered as the one who undercut the hallmark of habeas in the name of the war on terror. Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man's-lands.
"The president can now – with the approval of Congress – indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act."
"The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into," said Bush, to Larry King, while running for president in 2000. Of course, we know what's happened since — gotta pay those debts to the Religious Right — because there was Bush in February of 2004 saying "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife."
And then this past week, Condi and Laura Bush:
A week ago today, and just six days before the religious right's anti-gay hullabaloo, Liberty Sunday, Condi Rice swore in a new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Mark R. Dybul. The ceremony also featured a very curious group of people for a high-level Republican affair; from the State Department's website:
"I would like to extend a special welcome to the First Lady. Mrs. Bush… a number of Ambassador Dybul's family members joining us on this auspicious occasion. They include: partner, Jason Claire; mother, Claire Dybul; father, Richard Dybul; and mother-in-law, Marilyn Claire. Please join me in extending a very warm welcome to all of our distinguished guests."
Dr. Dybul is gay, and is, ostensibly, "married" to Jason Claire.
So, let's see — gin up the evangelical base by pretending to be anti-gay, using dog whistle speech in front of your hand-screened GOP crowds, all the while acting in a completely different way within your Administration when folks may not be looking.
Note to evangelicals: if you didn't already get the memo, you've been had by a two-faced con man and his snake oil salesman, Karl. (H/T to JayAckroyd.) You can watch video of the lovely ceremony here on Alternet. Frankly, I'm pleased that the Bush Administration is openly supportive of a loving, committed gay couple like this — but I bet James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and the whole "hate the gays" crew isn't so cheery. For the Bush Administration, it has always been about leveraging whomever or whatever it took to gain power — including Jesus Christ. How's that for family values?
Wonder if Chris Matthews will ask David Kuo about this during his interview on Hardball today? Hmmmmm…
— Nope. No civil war here.
Families fled in search of safety Monday as open warfare raged for a fourth day between Shiite militias and armed Sunni men in Tigris River towns north of Baghdad. Militias allied with Iraq's Shiite-led government held sway in Balad city, forcing out Sunni families and leaving the bodies of slain Sunni men to rot in the streets, according to police, residents and hospital officials.
The Iraqi government deployed still more reinforcements to try to calm the embattled towns and hold open the main roads, Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Kareem al-Kinani said in the capital. But local police officers accused Shiite-dominated government police forces of working alongside Shiite militias in executing Sunnis and appealed for more help.
In a statement Tuesday, the U.S. military said it had provided assistance to Iraqi forces to calm the violence ''at the request of the Iraqi civic and military leaders.'' It did not say when the request came, or at what point in the four days of attacks U.S. troops began intervening.
Coordinated efforts had achieved a ''marked decrease'' in the violence there over the last 24 hours,'' Lt. Col. Jeffrey Martindale, the local commander in Balad, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The escalating violence in the Tigris River towns in many ways serves as a microcosm of the daily violence roiling Iraq. Sectarian attacks have increased more than tenfold since the start of the year and now claim more than 100 victims a day, according to the Iraqi government.
In the continuing failed Whack-A-Mole strategy mess in which our military finds itself mired in Iraq, we previously shifted military personnel to Baghdad to quell increasing violence in the capitol city for election time, only to see violence in the Sunni triangle re-ignite while our soldiers were busy elsewhere. So guess what we have to do all over? Again…Swopa and Juan Cole have more.
— How much are you tanking as the Republican President when you have to take time out of your day to court the very wingnut mouthpieces that your party put on the radio specifically to rev up the base in the first place?
— In case you were wondering, even the Bush Administration says that Afghanistan and Iraq are failing at democracy. Heckuva job, Bushie.
Sick of the rubber stamp Republican Congress? Ready for some accountability? Had enough? I know I sure as hell have.