Saturday, June 30, 2007

¡Qué idiota!

Looks like Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Idiota) has the same foot-in-the-mouth disease as his goober supporter, former Sen. George "Macaca" Allen.

The Associated Press reports that Big Fred stuck his celebrity foot in his mouth and compared Cubans to terrorists.

Oops, there goes Florida.

Brilliant Hillary Clinton picked up on it right away and slammed the former senator for his gaffe the first chance she had on the campaign trail. As the gods of good fortune would have it, she was in Florida three days later.
"I was appalled when one of the people running for or about to run for the Republican nomination talked about Cuban refugees as potential terrorists," Clinton told Hispanic elected officials. "Apparently he doesn't have a lot of experience in Florida or anywhere else, and doesn't know a lot of Cuban-Americans."
Thompson last Wednesday told a cheering crowd in Bubba County in South Carolina that something needed to be done about illegal immigration. Why only a couple of years ago, "1,000 people from Cuba" showed up at our shores.

"I don't imagine they're coming here to bring greetings from Castro," the madcap humorist said. "We're living in the era of the suitcase bomb."

Hmmm, let this be a lesson to rabid Cuban-American Republicans just how shallow the party of their allegiance is about well, just about EVERYTHING!

Not that Howling Latina didn't get a chuckle when she learned the Miami folks had gotten their comeuppance and experienced first-hand what it felt like to be treated like them damn "furreign" outsiders.

The Criminal History of the Bush Administration

Here's a link to the list of crimes.

H/T Firedolake.

Egypt Bans Female Circumcision After Death of 12-Year-Old Girl

Great News after a tragedy, Guardian reports that Egypt has banned female genital mutilation.

Howling Latina's daughter has lived in Cairo for the last year or so; in fact, she's arriving on her annual trek to the U.S. on Monday.

Anyhow....unbeknownst to her, it seems Egyptians continue the practice of FGM (or as euphemistically called female circumcision) and as many as 50 percent of females undergo this horrid procedure.

For the unacclimated, FGM is the practice of female genital cutting of the clitoris; can't have women enjoying sex, of course.
Egypt has banned all female circumcision after the death this week of a 12-year-old girl undergoing the widely practised procedure.

Budour Ahmad Shaker died from an overdose of anaesthetic at a private clinic in Minya province in upper Egypt during the $9 (£4.50) operation. Her parents are threatening to sue the doctor involved after he reportedly tried to bribe them to withdraw their complaint.
Arab Woman Progressive Voice reports the child's parents have had the gall to sue the doctor for "negligence." She comments, "What do they call their subjecting their daughter to the operation to begin with? Wish someone would sue them!"

Not to worry, with the Bush/Roberts Court, females in America will soon be having back alley abortions and circumcision will look like reasonable enlightenment.

Not Fair & Balanced

Obstruct justice, out a CIA operative, lie under oath -- 30 months in prison with a possible presidential pardon for the well-heeled I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Beat and sexually assault a woman? Less than a year and a half for Eugene A. Marriott Jr., the man of God from Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church.

But wipe a DWI conviction from the books to augment your income as a Latina single mother? It's 42 months in prison with no time off for good manners.

This is the country and state we live in, unfortunately.

Today the Washington Post reports that a former lowly administrative assistant from the Fairfax County prosecutor's office was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for "making a man's drunken driving conviction disappear when she worked in the office in 2004."

Fairfax judges and prosecutors recused themselves from the case. And poor Cecilia A. Ruiz, 30, mother of two children, 6 and 8, had the harsh luck of facing the same Prince William County assistant commonwealth attorney who prosecuted Justin Wolfe and other death row luminaries from the region that leads the state in capital murder convictions.

State sentencing guidelines called for probation. However, the prosecutor wanted more; and a jury of her so-called peers obliged and handed down the hard-hearted sentence. At the time, the Fairfax prosecutor's office was being "criticized...for reducing charges against" Marriott.

"I'm asking the court to be lenient," Ruiz pleaded with sobs to the judge on Friday.

No matter. Honorable retired Fairfax Circuit Court Judge J. Howe Brown went along with the jury. And justice was served for the two-time winner of "employee of the year" award.

Meantime in the land of milk and honey and justice for all, the rapist won't have to register as a sex offender; and Libby will probably be pardoned.

Oh hell, when recalling legal moral outrages, let's not forget the chase pure preacher's wife who received a mere three years last month after shooting and killing her husband in cold blood.

Friday, June 29, 2007

"Meet the Press" - Good Show

For the past month or so, Howling Latina stopped posting about upcoming guests for the Sunday talk show, "Meet the Press." They were lame and hardly worth watching, much less writing about.

But...this Sunday is different. The guest of honor will be Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Indeed, at long last, the nation will have a chance to wake up from their stupor and learn of the high crimes and misdemeanors the Bush administration has perpetrated against the American people; and how they deem themselves outside and above the law.

Exclusive on the menu of topics will be "congressional subpoenas seeking testimony and documents from the White House about the NSA surveillance program, the firings of several U.S. Attorneys and the 'politicization' within the Department of Justice."

Slowly but surely, they natives are waking up. In having lunch today with a GOP faithful, Howling Latina actually heard her complain about the way One-Shot Cheney was pissing all over the Constitution and claiming everything he did was top-secret and outside Congressional oversight.

This Sunday, David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network (not to be confused with windbag David Broder of the Washington Post) will also be joining moderator Tim Russert along with Tavis Smiley of PBS, Chuck Todd of NBC and Judy Woodruff of "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer."

This is one Sunday talk-show certainly worth watching.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Breaking News - SCOTUS Chooses Life

In breaking news, the Houston Chronicle reports today that the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the execution of a mentally ill inmate in Texas who has been on Death Row since 1995.

The 5-4 ruling overturned two prior lower court decisions in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Scott Louis Panetti who was on death row for the shooting death of his in-laws in front of his wife and young daughter.

During trial, Panetti had fired his ace attorney, calling him a "bronco steer and an infidel." Then, acting as his own counsel, Panetti proceeded to issue subpoenas to 240 defense witnesses, including "Jesus" addressed to "Heaven.

The lower courts rejected Panetti's argument of mental illness and upheld the death sentence. However, defense council was able to successfully argue to the Supreme Court that the "Eighth Amendment of the Constitution bars 'the execution of a person who is so lacking in rational understanding that he cannot comprehend that he is being" killed for crimes against the state.

In Ford v. Wainwright (1986), the Supreme Court had banned states from executing inmates who were insane to the degree they were "unaware of the punishment they were about to suffer" and the reasons for it.

Whether Panetti was sane enough to kill or not, Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia had no problem trashing precedent and agreeing with the lower courts. According to their decision, Panetti had waited too long to raise the legal issue of mental competence; and this procedural lapse trumped every other legal argument in the case.

Using countervailing reasoning, Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority as noted in the Washington Post:

Requiring prisoners to meet the deadline would effectively require every inmate to lodge an "unripe" insanity claim just to preserve the option...adding "to the burden imposed on courts, applicants, and the States, with no clear advantage toany."
Indeed, Kennedy ruled that failure to bring a legal claim of incompetency during the earlier stages of a case should not bar an individual from introducing a later legal claim. A petitioner only needed to show a "substantial threshold showing of insanity."

Kennedy went so far as to scold the Texas legal system for failing to provide Panetti the means to establish his mental state in accordance with the law of Ford.

The state court failed to provide the procedures to which petitioner was entitled under the Constitution. Ford identifies the measures a State must provide when a prisoner alleges incompetency to be executed...[A] fair hearing...including an oportunity to submit "expert psychiatric evidence that may differ from the State's own psychiatric examination." The procedures the state court provided petitioner were so deficient that they cannot be reconciled with any reasonable interpretation of the Ford rule.
The Supreme Court decision of Panetti v. Quarterman appears to expand the rights of death row inmates. Based on the ruling, any legal claim of substance grounded on prior case history can now be argued in spite of statutory time limits. The prosecution had asked the Courts to reject Panetti's claim and further restrict future appeals based on mental competence.

Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer joined Justice Kennedy in the majority and remanded the case. Mental health experts will now examine Panetti and determine the state of his "rationality," as defense attorney Keith S. Hampton noted.

Executing people like Penetti "serves no purpose and offends our sense of decency and common humanity,'' said Gregory W. Wiercioch, a staff attorney with Texas Defender Service who argued the case before the Supreme Court.

No Mercy for Gonzo -- or Bush

Just finished reading an article about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales demanding that U.S. attorneys seek the death penalty in cases that did not merit the ultimate punishment.

The Washington Post via Talk Left reports that in testimony yesterday, former U.S. Attorney Paul K. Charlton, "one of nine U.S. attorneys fired last year [testified in Congress] that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales ha[d] been overzealous in ordering federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty."

Charlton testified yesterday that Gonzales has been so eager to expand the use of capital punishment that the attorney general has been inattentive to the quality of evidence in some cases -- or the views of the prosecutors most familiar with them.

"No decision is more important for a prosecutor than whether or not to . . deliberately and methodically take a life," Charlton said. "And that holds true for the attorney general."

Remember, this is the same bloodthirsty bastard who cavalierly signed off on 152 state-sanctioned murders while Bush was governor of Texas. Just a test walk in the park for the thousands and thousands that would soon die in the Middle East because of the deadly duo.

The case involved a man charged with murder without a body or DNA evidence. The body was buried in a landfill but Justice refused to exhume the body because it cost $500,000 to 1 million. It's only some dumb wetback whose life might be at stake; and some poor family whose loved one remained in the dump.

Matthew 7:1-3 warns: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

No mercy for Gonzo; or Bush. Let the full measure of what they have sown be reaped without mercy.
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces (Matthew 7:6).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman to the Rescue

Only hours ago, Howling Latina was bellyaching about the fact that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh told a ball-ass lie to the Senate when they asked him what he knew of the administration's designation of detainees as illegal combatants.

Well fear not. Sen. Patrick Leahy is on the case and to the rescue.

Think Progress reports that Leahy wrote a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking Justice to investigate the patent lie to Congress told by the good judge. Especially when he claimed total ignorance about the White House discussion, and we now know that while Cheney was insisting everyone be locked up, Kavanaugh was passionately arguing the policy would never pass Supreme Court muster.

In other words, another sworn testimony by a GOPer filled with lies.

When is a Ball-Ass Lie a Lie...?

In reading Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post, Howling Latina came across an item about Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

It seems he was deeply involved in the White House discussion on the "rules governing detention of combatants." But when Kavanaugh testified before the Senate, he claimed he was out of the loop.

Kavanaugh's statement at the time: "Senator, I was not involved and am not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants, and so I do not have any involvement with that."

But Shapiro reports: "In fact, in 2002, Kavanaugh and a group of top White House lawyers discussed whether the Supreme Court would uphold the Bush administration's decision to deny lawyers to American enemy combatants. Kavanaugh advised the group that the Supreme Court's swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, would probably reject the president's assertion that the men were not entitled to counsel. Kavanaugh had worked as a clerk for Kennedy. That meeting was first reported in The Washington Post. NPR independently confirmed the details with multiple sources.

Of course, Kavanaugh now has a nice cushy lifetime appointment to the Court.

And what does the Senate Majority Whip have to say on the subject...?

"Durbin now says he feels 'perilously close to being lied to' at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing."
Oh for crying out loud! Give us a damn break and call a spade a damn spade and a lie a damn lie.

First denial, then acceptance and then "a-c-t-i-o-n." If the former governor of Alabama can be convicted and sent to prison for accepting a campaign contribution, Howling Latina thinks in the case of Kavanaugh, impeachment is a nice start; and then prosecution for lying under oath of the Scooter Libby rank.

White House, Cheney, Justice, National Security Council Subpoenaed

Howling Latina bets Vice President Cheney now wishes he'd been a bit more cordial to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy three summers ago when he told him to go f--- himself.

That ol' maxim to be kind to folks on your way up 'cause you might run into them on your way down certainly seems to hold true to the law of fortuna in the case of Cheney.

The Associated Preess via ABC News reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy has issued a subpoena for the White House, Justice, Cheney's office and the National Security Council as it relates to the NSA eavesdropping program.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal disputes within the administration over the legality of the program.

"Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection," Leahy said in his cover letters for the subpoenas. "There is no legitimate argument for withholding the requested materials from this committee."

Well, it looks like the Dems are getting tired of pussyfooting around with Bush, Cheney and Company and decided the time to act is now--rather than later.

Rest assured this Congressional fight with the White House will end up in Court unless...the recent series of legal losses related to torture, enemy combatant, and so on give Junior pause and White House Counsel Fred Fielding starts to negotiate with their losing hand.

Southern Baptists Going Back to Basics

Howling Latina was so heartened to read that Rev. Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, unlike his previous predecessors, is leaving politics outside the church's door.

Sure, he's met with more than a few GOP presidential hopefuls, but the Washington Post reports that he's also met with Democrats and refuses to endorse ANYONE.
[I[n an interview at his denomination's annual meeting here last week, said he offers his thoughts about salvation to candidates but never an endorsement. And he talks to Democrats, too. He sees the political courtship as a duty: The nation's leaders need to hear a Christian viewpoint, he believes.
Nothing used to rile HL quicker than some sanctimonious Christian blabbing about what a great Christian this or that Republican was, to the exclusion of ALL Democrats, of course.

Yes, before Jim Wallis penned his book, "God's Politics," she would tell her fellow church members on Sunday, "God is not a Republican." And what joy it was for her to bring light to Sunday school armed with a few Bible precepts and quotes.

The howler is so happy to learn that the church she loves is going back to the original vision of the founding father, Roger Williams. She thinks she just might make her monthly trek to church this coming Sunday.

It's been too long; lately, her monthly trek has taken her months.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Frigging Pharisee

At long last, another Pharisee from the Christian nutwing is being exposed to the clueless faithful.

Today, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani went to Regent University and was given a hero's welcome by founder Pat Robertson.

Now, this is the same former New York mayor who is pro-choice, pro-gay rights and pro-everything that makes support of ANY Democratic candidate absolute heresy for the religious right.

Not to worry. Here's what Giuliani had to say, per the Washington Post.

"Don't expect you're going to agree with me on everything because that would be unrealistic. I don't agree with myself on everything," he said to laughter. "But if you agree with me about enough things, and you think I have the ability to lead then maybe I'm the person you can support."
Stay tuned for the riveting interview with David Brody of the CBN News to be posted tomorrow.

From the Lips of Tom Davis

A Democratic activist friend of Howling Latina told her a month ago or so that Davis personally had confessed that he would not be running for the House in '08.

Davis is supposedly sick and tired of having to run for Congress every two years; he's also tired of all the goings-on in the House. Sen. John Warner would soon retire and immediately anoint Davis as his choice as successor. Davis would run for the Senate and that would be that.

At the time, HL took her friend's comments in stride, along with many tidbits she hears, although she certainly held the remarks in high regard since they not only coincided with published rumors but supposedly came directly from a source who would uniquely know: Congressman Tom Davis.

Well, the scenario as depicted by Seth McLaughlin of The Washington Times, the same reporter who penned a few helpful stories about Sen. Jim Webb last year, matches my friend's account.
"There has been considerable discussion about the ossibility that [Mr. Warner] might delay an announcement of candidacy, then announce he wasn't going to run, to allow Congressman Tom Davis to build up at the beginning of the campaigns, which would give Davis an advantage," said Morton C. Blackwell, chairman of the Virginia's Republican National Committee and leader of the conservative Leadership Institute.
Indeed, Warner's retirement would give Davis the perfect opportunity to do what he's been rumored to want to do for a very long time.

Make what you will of this post; if nothing else, a little more fodder for the rumor mill.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Warner Moving On

Although Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia has not publicly said whether in '08 he will run for re-election or not, every indication, according to an article by the Washington Times points to Warner "moving on."

"There has been considerable discussion about the possibility that [Mr. Warner] might delay an announcement of candidacy, then announce he wasn't going to run, to allow Congressman Tom Davis to build up at the beginning of the campaigns, which would give Davis an advantage," said Morton C. Blackwell, chairman of the Virginia's Republican National Committee and leader of the conservative Leadership Institute.

Rep. Tom Davis of Northern Virginia has been a loyal footfsoldier who for years patiently waited in the House wing of the Capitol for former Sen. Allen to stumble, senior Sen. John Warner to retire...ANYTHING...for his turn to make a run for the Senate.

It looks like his long-held dream will become a reality.

In the meantime, win or lose, Howling Latina predicts his sweet bride, Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (in a tight state Senate race in '07), will run for her hubby's seat in '08 to try to keep it in the Republican column; and of course, in the family portfolio.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Driving While Black...

Two judges from a three judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit wrongly ruled that driving while black was probable cause for police to stop a vehicle.

The Washington Post has the maddening story:
One March night in 2004, D.C. police stopped Melvin Goddard and three friends outside a Columbia Heights gas station while hunting for a fleeing car thief. All four fit the police's vague description of the suspect: a casually dressed black man.
Yep, that's all it took -- nothing more.

In the 2-1 decision, the majority (all whites) held that precedent required they rule in favor of the D.C. cop that made the initial stop.

Well, never mind, decried Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a black conservative appointed to the Court by President George Bush and filibustered by Dems until a Senate "deal" avoided the constitutional meltdown.
What we are now tempted to enforce is . . . the rule that in a high-crime neighborhood, being young, male and black creates reasonable, articulable suspicion," wrote Rogers Brown. "For as we all know, courts would not approve the search of four men in business attire, conversing peaceably in front of a Starbucks, if the only basis for the search was a 'lookout' broadcast specifying a white man, medium height and build, wearing a business suit."
Right on, Sister Janice.

It looks like Sen. Majority Harry Reid might have been a tad bit hasty when he said that Brown was sure to roll back the civil rights of minorities. Unlike Uncle Clarence on the U.S. Supreme Court, her opinion gives Howling Latina a great deal of hope for the future; and confirms to her why it is SO IMPORTANT that minorities be appointed to the high courts.

The two judges for the majority were Chief Justice Douglas H. Ginsburg and Judge David S. Tatel.

The Right Call...

A federal judge threw out the death sentence of Richard Thomas Stitt a little over two years ago. Judge Raymond A. Jackson ruled that defense counsel had a financial conflict of interest during trial and had "performed deficiently."

You see, every defendant is constitutionally entitled to receive effective counsel; and last week, Judge Jackson refused to revisit his April 2005 decision and sentenced Stitt to life in prison plus 65 years. There is no parole in the federal system.

During trial, pricey Miami criminal attorney Norman Malinski wanted to keep his legal fees a secret. Stitt's family claims they paid Malinski more than $100,000. Malinski says he was paid between $75,000 and $100,000. However, the government asserts that defense received $500,000 from drug money.

The obvious conflict arose when Malinski put his legal fees ahead of a client's life. Defense failed to hire expert witnesses during the penalty phase of the trial that would have offered mitigating evidence and quite possibly spared Stitt's life. To offer an effective defense, counsel would have had to take a smaller slice of the pie or ask the Court to provide monies for experts. This, in turn, would have invited questions about Malinski's illicit fees from a drug enterprise.

Instead of expert witnesses, defense counsel hired someone "whose only previous experience with federal prisons came from watching a television show." And contrary to the prosecution wishes, Judge Jackson deemed the remedy for this irreparable harm and abject dereliction of duty by Malinski was to vacate the death sentence altogether--not a new sentencing trial.

Indeed, it is incongruent when a Court holds defense counsel to be ineffective during the penalty phase but perfectly capable during trial. But even if that were the case, to bring a jury panel that only hears the most damaging summary of the facts and then ask them to determine whether a defendant should live or die is not only perverse but unjust. Future "dangerousness" is a subjective decision that may hinge on trial court demeanor that reflects remorse by the accused.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously affirmed Jackson's ruling earlier last year. The Courts have held that judges have "broad and flexible remedial power" in district courts "to fashion an appropriate remedy" when a petitioner has successfully challenged the initial trial court's finding.

Fortunately, Stitt's capital murder conviction fell under federal jurisdiction. One can hardly envision Virginia's Supreme Court vacating and resentencing a death-row inmate because of incompetent counsel; the most one usually hopes for is a new penalty phase trial.

Think of William Wilton Morrisette, III or Daryl Renard Atkins; both received a new penalty phase trial; and both were once again sentenced to die.

Or poor Justin Wolfe whose attorney was disbarred for incompetence but never received a second chance to fight for his life.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

You're Fired...

It looks like Howling Latina is not the only Democratic activist who would like to give Sen. Jon "Corndog" Cornyn the heave-ho.

When Daily Kos asked readers who they would like see get booted out of office in '08, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky led the poll of 8,037 with 2,556 or 31 percent,. But this figure was cloesly followed by Corndog of Texas with 2,025 or 25 percent; the remaining candidates weren't even close.

Susan Collins (ME) 5% 455 votes
Norm Coleman (MN) 19% 1555 votes
John Sununu (NH) 3% 294 votes
Gordon Smith (OR) 2% 202 votes
Elizabeth Dole (NC) 11% 950 votes

"Corndog" has one of the worst approval rates for a senator at 42 percent with a 43 percent disapproval rate. So....the possibility of a Democratic Senate pickup in one of the reddest states of the Union in Texas is very doable, especially if State Rep. Rick Noriega decides to run.

Yep, nearly every naturalized citizen who votes in the race would likely support Noriega; and it would spell the beginning of the end of an era.

The good ol' boys network of political hackery that totally disregarded and discounted the will of a minority (and later a majority)--whether by conservative Democrats or as Republicans-- will finally end. And not a second too soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Barack Obama Wins Politico Straw Poll

Progressive political activists at Take Back America Conference slightly favor Illinois Sen. Barack Obama over former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Sen. Hillary Clinton comes in at a distant third, Politico reports.
Obama received 29% of the 720 votes cast in the straw poll, narrowly beating out ... Edwards, and decisively knocking official front-runner Hillary Clinton into third place.

Edwards took 26% of the vote and Clinton 17%.

Howling Latina is a bit surprised; she thought Edwards was the Golden Boy of the lefties. Maybe that business about Obama calling Clinton and Edwards out for their initial support of the war in Iraq made a dent on support for Edwards. Of course, Lil Hill has never been a favorite of the left.

But before we all start singing, "Good Night Irene" and declare Obama the new front-runner, we have to keep in mind that this was just a dumb straw poll nearly a year and a half before the presidential election.

Straw polls are unscientific indicators, and their results are determined in part by who chooses to participate.
Nonetheless, primary season is sneaking in, day by day, and before we know it, fun and postering will be over and the game begins for keeps.

No Senate Bid in '08 for Allen

In a stick-it-to-your-home-boy with a plausible deniability endorsement, The Hill reports that former Sen. George Allen (R-Racist), is giving his goober support to former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Mouthpiece), and not to his fellow brethren from Virginia, former Gov. Jim Gilmore.

[I]n an interview with The Hill, Allen offered his thoughts on those who have taken his place as Republican White House hopefuls.Allen introduced former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) when the probable presidential candidate keynoted the state party’s gala earlier this month.

“I think [a Thompson candidacy] is good,” Allen said. "I would encourage him to do so.”

Though Allen said he is not yet endorsing a Thompson bid, he did say that to grassroots Republicans “who care about the party,” Thompson’s popularity indicates “there has been a bit of a void for someone with a proven conservative record.”

Howling Latina is not the least bit shocked that Allen has taken a pass at endorsing Real McCoy Gilmore for president. Or as noted later in the post, Allen has no intention of running for the Senate in '08, whether John Warner retires or not.

Too risky; if he failed to gain the nomination over Rep. Tom Davis, his national political aspirations, as slight as they are, would be forever gone.

As for Allen, though he said he misses the give-and-take he enjoyed with Washington reporters, he said his new endeavors are keeping him busy and he is enjoying himself.

Despite rumors that circulated earlier this year that Allen was gauging interest in another Senate run should Warner retire, Allen insisted, “There was never anything to that.”

Nope. Allen has his eyes on the governor's mansion in '09, especially with redistricting coming on the heels of the national census in '10; and the chance to play candyman and kingmaker in one fell swoop.

Right after Allen was stunningly upset last year by Sen. Jim Webb, HL noted that Allen's next foray into statewide politics would come with a run for governor. Of course, Real G has the exact same idea and not surprisingly, Allen is less than supportive of his Old Dominion homie.

HL is placing her bets on the table that the next Virginia governor's race will pit three former governors vying for the mansion in Richmond: Allen, Gilmore and Warner, especially since all three eventually want to call the White House their home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sen. John "Corndog" Cornyn is Toast

If Texas State Rep. Rick Noriega throws his hat into the political ring in '08, Sen. John "Corndog" Cornyn, R-Racist, is toast.

Equal to Virginia's netroots winning candidate, Sen. Jim Webb who faced Harris Miller, a deep-pocket party loyalist in the primary, Noriega would have to beat Mikal Watts, a man described by kos as a "rich trial lawyer...with tons and tons of money [who] has been generous with his money to various progressive institutions in Texas."

Howling Latina thinks Noriega would win the primary and then go on to whip Cornyn's ass in the general to the delight of Democrats in the Lone Star State and throughout the nation.

Like Fighting Dem Jim Webb, Noriega is the real deal; and here's why.
Noriega is exactly the right candidate to run against John Cornyn. Noriega spent a year in Afghanistan on the front lines of the "war on terror". He's also been deployed to the Texas border to train National Guardsmen on matters of border security. What are the two biggest issues these days? John Cornyn can talk about these things. Rick Noriega has actually been there and done them.
Indeed, Cornyn is nothing but a phony empty suit whose pockets are overstuffed with insipid talking points. Here he is gushing over Karl Rove.
“I personally don’t know anyone who is as smart or more skillful when it comes to politics,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a personal friend of Rove.
Well, nothing would delight HL more than the ignominy of Rove's pal getting the boot in '08 and once and for all laying to rest his political genius (which is nothing more than lying and cheating and stealing and 'caging' and thuggery in an "ends-justifies-the-means" upside-down world).

Noriega is not only a war veteran with a strong resume of public service, but he's right on the issues and a Tex-Mex to boot. We keep hearing how Tex-Mexs are now a majority in Texas. Like the African-American community who helped Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder win the governor's race over Republican Marshall Coleman in 1989, the Tex-Mex community will come out in DROVES in support!!!

It's way past time for the majority in Texas to refuse the lame nags from the past, here and there, and demand the reins of government to reflect their numbers in the stable.

Giddy-up horsey, yee haw.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

To Be or Not To Be...

Listening to media pundits pontificate this morning on the Sunday talk shows, Howling Latina kept hearing calls by neocon apologists for Bush to pardon Libby.

Hello...are you paying attention wingnuts; please listen up.

Unlike President Bush's latest maneuver of sneaking in a last minute interim U.S. attorney last week before signing a bill that overwhelmingly passed Congress outlawing such shenanigans in the future, the president's hands are kinna tied in a knot of his own making when in comes to St. Scoooter. Bush did what he did last week 'cause he could; and now he doesn't pardon 'cause he can't.

You see, to pardon Libby might not only invite Congress to investigate, but lead to unintended disastrous legal consequences for the White House.

Here's John Dean, former White House counsel under President Nixon, explaining:

It should be of concern to Vice President Cheney that the Fitzgerald filing on Libby's sentence once again indicates that Special Prosecutor has concluded, based on the evidence, that Cheney was involved in Libby's misdeeds. Fitzgerald all but states that he still has not gotten to the bottom of this investigation because Libby refuses to tell the truth, and that, if he did reach that bottom, he would likely find Dick Cheney, who may well have violated a number of laws.


I suspect Patrick Fitzgerald will be watching with great interest any pardon action. After all, he was working in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York when that office ignored the refusal of the Bush Department of Justice, under Attorney General Ashcroft, to investigate former President Bill Clinton's pardon of financier Marc Rich.

One would be wise to remember that Fitzgerald will still have five years before the statute of limitations runs to find out why such a pardon was issued, as occurred with Clinton's Marc Rich bottom. Fitzgerald's appointment as Special Counsel ends when he ends it, and given his apparent view that Cheney is at the heart of the Plame scandal, I don't expect him to end it prematurely.

In other words, Libby has to go the slammer, equal to Susan McDougal who refused to rat out to the feds and spare herself the indignity of prison during the Clinton Whitewater scandal: for the joy and hope of a pardon and the eternal gratitute of an administration.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Goldman Family Gets Rights to O.J. Simpson's Book

The Houston Chronicle reports that "[a] federal bankruptcy judge Friday awarded Ron Goldman's family the rights to O.J. Simpson's canceled book, 'If I Did It,' which the Goldmans want to rename 'Confessions of a Double Murderer.'"

Certainly sounds like a perfectly reasonable new title, si? It's certainly more truthful.

Inspector General - No Go-Along-to-Get-Along Hack

Howling Latina was heartened to read a post by gchaucer2 at DailyKos talking about how Glenn A. Fine is no go-along-to-get-along hack. So folks, this Alberto Gonzales Justice investigation is the real deal.

As the Washington Post reported on Friday, the Justice Department has now opted to also "investigat[e] whether Attorney General R. Gonzales sought to improperly influence the testimony" of Monica Goodling in addition to the U.S attorney firings.

Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine and the head of the Office of Professional Responsibility, H. Marshall Jarrett confirmed by letter to Sens. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., that "the scope of [their] investigation" would indeed address the subject of perjury by either Gonzo or Goodling; all bets are on Abu Gonzales.

If you recall, Gonzales testified that he had not discussed the U.S. attorney firings with anyone from his office because to do so might compromise the investigation; and then Goodling testified that Gonzo had approached her in an apparent attempt to coordinate their stories.

And of course, the person clearing Goodling to testify...? Yep, the same inspector general with his sidekick, the head of the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Only today Think Progress front-pages the news that "[t]he Office of Special Counsel, which has already recommended that GSA chief Lurita Doan be suspended or fired for participating in partisan activities while on the job, is now moving forward with its investigation of nearly 20 other administration agencies."

Will all these investigations result in some kind of legal smoke screen to hide the high crimes and absolve the cretins?!?

Well, from everything Howling Latina has read so far, Fine appears to be a professional in the mold of Patrick Fitzgerald.

Going back to the NSA surveillance program, here are a few headlines with his name at the center from as far back as last year.

Indeed, if HL were the Bush administration, she would be very, very afraid.

Justice Dept. Expands Inquiry of Gonzales, The New York Times, June 15, 2007

THE NATION; Justice inquiry expands to include Gonzales; Democrats say his remarks to an aide were an attempt to influence her testimony. Los Angeles Times,June 15, 2007

FBI Finds It Frequently Overstepped in Collecting Data, The Washington Post,June 14, 2007

Justice Dept. probes its hirings Investigating for bias toward conservatives, TheBoston Globe, May 31, 2007

Justice Dept. Allows Immunity Deal for Former Gonzales Aide's Testimony. Washington Post, May 8, 2007.

Audit criticizes feds' $5 billion wireless system; New interagency communication network at 'high risk of failure', USA TODAY, March 27, 2007

IG Criticizes Work On Wireless Network For Law Enforcement, The WashingtonPost, March 27, 2007

Government misstated statistics on the war on terror, audit shows. Sacramento Bee,February 21, 2007.

FBI should have followed up on Foley's emails, inquiry finds. USA Today, January 23, 2007.

Justice Official Opens Spying Inquiry, The New York Times, November 28, 2006

Bush Thwarted Probe Into NSA Wiretapping. "Officials...revealed yesterday that Glenn A. Fine, the Justice Department's inspector general, has opened a preliminary inquiry into how the FBI used information gleaned from the NSA surveillance program." - Washington Post, July 19, 2006.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rachel Maddow Rocks

For the last couple of days, Howling Latina has read every newspaper item and every blog post, listened to every network and cable clip, and devoured every morsel of news about the "will Bush pardon Libby" story thread.

And every assumption, explanation, excuse, judgment, argument, rationalization and predicate only left her hungering for more answers, more theories, anything that would account for Bush not immediately pardoning I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby after U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton refused to delay his sentence.

Now, we are talking about a president who on a daily basis ignores the will of the people and has nothing but disdain for Congress. Only yesterday on his way to signing a bill that prohibits the administration from appointing interim U.S. attorneys without confirmation by Congress, he sneaked a last minute toady to the post, you know, just for ol' times sake.

And on the face of perjury by his beloved attorney general and a growing number of Republicans aghast at his inexplicable loyalty, Bush continues to remain resolute in his confidence in Gonzo.

So...does anyone really think that Bush gives a damn about the possible outrage that might follow a Libby pardon?!? Hardly. Unless you expand the context as Miss Maddow so brilliantly did on "Countdown."

Yes, for the very first time, it all makes sense.

Maddow posits that Bush is in a tight pickle with no juices in the jar. If President Bush issues a pardon, the House or Senate might think it's a good idea to ask Dead-Eye Cheney a few questions about the private conversations he had with his faithful servant who is now a convicted felon.

Fitzgerald brilliantly laid the case that Libby lied to protect Cheney; and by pardoning Libby so that he never has to face the legal consequences of obstructing justice, Congress would certainly be within their purview and authority to investigate if a quid pro quo took place.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tough on Crime for Other Criminals

In a total wingnut upside down world, Republicans are demanding tough sentences for criminals while also demanding that President Bush pardon poor Scooter Libby.

The Washington Post reports today that GOPers actually think that in spite of the total culture of corruption in the Bush administration, they can magically run in '08 with a tough on crime theme.

Yes, in what can only be described as sheer audacity, Fredo and his sham Justice Department are decrying judicial discretion ALA U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton who cannot be trusted to hold criminals accountable.

The Justice Department is offering the plan as an opening salvo in a larger debate about whether sentences for crack cocaine are unfairly harsh and racially discriminatory.

Republicans are seizing the administration's crackdown, packaged in legislation to combat violent crime, as a campaign issue for 2008.

In a speech June 1 to announce the bill, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urged Congress to re-impose mandatory minimum prison sentences against federal convicts--and not let judges consider such penalties "merely a suggestion."

Wah, ha, ha, ha, ha. This comes from the guy who is being investigated by his own department in Attorneygate and has about as much credibility as Britney Spears giving parental advice.

Well, link here for a list of the righteous Grand Ole Docket as compiled by TPM.

Shameless run-away prosecutors; what sheer balls to go after patriotic Republicans; you see, when Republicans break the law, they're not "really" breaking the law.

New Faces for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals & Capital Punishment

With three vacancies in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Virginia Sens. John Warner (R) and Jim Webb (D) submitted five names to President George Bush: G. Steven Agee, Donald W. Lemons, Glen E. Conrad, Thomas E. Albro and John G. Douglass.

The most interesting nominee from the standpoint of capital punishment is law professor John G. Douglass who directs a program in trial advocacy at the University of Richmond, a Baptist-supported university. He is certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia as a mediator and was editor of Law Review.

In a most intriguing article titled, "Confronting Death: Sixth Amendment Rights at Capital Sentencing," Douglass argues in the Columbia Law Review that courts should eliminate the penalty phase of capital trials. Prosecutors have too much power based on their "tactical choice...[of] death-elibility factfinding," he writes, that trumps the Sixth Amendment in bifurcated trials.
"The Framers knew nothing of a 'guilt' phase and a 'penalty' phase. They crafted the Sixth Amendment not only to protect the innocent from punishment, but also to protect the guilty from undeserved death."
The Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys endorses his candidacy.

Virginia Supreme Court Justice Donald W. Lemons leads the list of candidates with top recommendations from Virginia's five statewide bar groups. Lemons ruled in the capital murder case of William Wilton Morrisette III. In the minority, Lemons deemed that legal defense error in not objecting to faulty jury instructions was not critical to a death sentence verdict. However, in a 4-3 decision, a majority of the Court ordered a new penalty hearing.

State Supreme Court Justice G. Steven Agee, a staunch supporter of stare decisis, was endorsed by the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He was also rated "qualified" by the Virginia State Bar. This past Friday, Agee wrote the majority opinion in the capital case of Ricky Javon Gray.

Gray had been convicted and sentenced to die on two-counts of capital murder for killing two victims under the age of 14 by someone 21 or older. Defense argued that capital offense charges were unconstitutional based on equal protection under the law since the charges strictly varied with defendant's age of over 21.

The Court disagreed. Agee wrote that a rational scrutiny of law based on age exists, pointing to "other Virginia laws make age distinctions between adults in similar situations."

U.S. District Judge Glen E. Conrad was first appointed to the bench by Sen. John Warner and former Sen. George Allen for the Western District of Virginia in 2003. Conrad refused to enforce a Department of Labor order asking that the chief financial officer of Cardinal Bancshares be reinstated under the “whistleblower” provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Thomas E. Albro, a high-profile trial attorney from Charlottesville, represented author John Grisham in the past.

The VSB rated Albro and Conrad "highly qualified" and VBA, VWAA, VADA and VTLA endorsed their candidacies.

There are three vacancies in the Court and two other judges have indicated they plan to take senior status. The most recent vacancy emerged when Judge J. Michael Luttig resigned last year after Samuel Alito was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Stay of Execution for Christopher Scott Emmett

Great news for abolitionists. Just two hours before he was scheduled to die, Gov. Tim Kaine granted Christopher Scott Emmett a stay of execution until October. In a statement released tonight, the governor said:
Basic fairness demands that condemned inmates be allowed the opportunity to complete legal appeals prior to execution."
Mr. Emmett confessed to robbing and killing his co-worker, John Langley, during a crack cocaine binge. A jury convicted Emmett of capital murder and during the penalty phase, his court appointed attorney unfortunately failed to present the overwhelming mitigating evidence of his "extremely chaotic, abusive, and neglectful" childhood that might have led the jury to spare his life.

Defense filed a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court asking them to stay the execution, and review the conviction and sentence. The Court refused to stay the execution, even though four justices voted in favor of the motion. However, under the "rule of four," writ is granted when four justices agree to accept an appeal.

"The Court does not expect to consider his appeal until late September," Kaine said, so "basic fairness" demands that Emmett be allowed to complete these legal appeals.

Emmett wants the Supreme Court to review a federal appeals court's decision in his case. "

Allowing Emmett's execution to go forward before the Supreme Court rules on his appeal would foreclose any additional review of his case. The irreversibility of an execution and the fact that four Justices of the Court believe a stay is needed to consider the appeal warrant my intervention in this case," Kaine said.

The clemency petition to Kaine included an affidavit from three jurors who wrote that they wish they had known of Emmett's "impoverished childhood" before they handed down the ultimate punishment. "If I had been presented with the evidence, I would not have voted for the death penalty," one juror wrote. It only takes one juror to block a death penalty sentence.

Earlier, the Supreme Court of Virginia unanimously ruled "that representation provided to Emmett by his trial counsel ‘fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.'" Nonetheless, the Court refused Mr. Emmett a new penalty trial.

Kaine's reprieve until Oct. 17, 2007, is designed to allow the High Court to rule on the appeal. Although the Virginia governor morally opposes capital punishment, he has signed the death warrants of Dexter Vinson, Brandon Hedrick, Michael Lenz and John Yancey Schmitt since taking office on January 14, 2006.

Why Does Bush Needlessly Lie?

Asked about Pres. George Bush's watch that disappeared before a crowd in Albania, Canadian Press reports that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow scoffed at the idea someone from the cheering crowd stole the watch.

During a press confernce Snow reassured the press that Bush had safely placed the watch in his pocket in a feat equal to David Copperfield walking through the Great Wall in China.

In fact, skeptics like Howling Latina might ask how Snow could be so certain the watch had not been pinched.

Well, hush, hush, sweet howler, because the president told him so. And who are you going to believe the president and Snow or your own lying eyes?!?

I have never seen such a ludicrous story," Bush said Wednesday of the media's coverage. "Unbelievable."

Just to prove the point, Bush rolled up his sleeve to show photographers in the Oval Office that he was wearing the watch.

Later, spokesman Tony Snow confirmed, "That is, in fact, the watch he was wearing in Albania."

Of course, no two watches are alike. Never mind that viewers can clearly see Bush looking at the ground for several seconds and then poof, the watch is gone.

They lie about the little things; they lie about the big things; they lie, lie, lie because they can.

McEachin Whips Lambert in Democratic Primary

Del. Donald McEachin upset turncoat state Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III yesterday in the Democratic primary for the 9th District. The 30- year veteran was soundly beaten by McEachin.

If you recall, Lambert campaigned last year against Sen. Jim Webb and endorsed small-minded, bigoted George Allen over our Democratic standard bearer; and as the Roanoke Times reports, this double-crossing move sealed Lambert's fate.
Lambert riled Democrats last year by endorsing Republican George Allen, even though Allen was battling questions about his sensitivity on racial issues. McEachin was an early and avid supporter of Democrat Jim Webb, who defeated Allen in a close race. Webb campaigned for McEachin during his primary campaign.
Lambert admits to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that "his support of Allen probably cost him his job.

Nah, you think...?
"I thought the Allen folks would have helped me more, but it didn't work out that way."
Dream on, Bernie. Like a dirty dish rag, your usefulness to Allen was over right after Nov. 7; and as to your private little problem with the Dems, with Webb's staunch support of McEachin and nothing more to gain, your GOP friends threw you in the ringer, sort've speak.

Well, no one says it best than our own Vivian Paige: "Benny got what he deserved."

Yes, indeed he did.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mafia Lieutenant Signs Up

Ed Gillespie, who has been the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party is stepping down to take Dan Bartlett's slot at the White House; or at least that's what the Washington Times reports.

With the Democratic Congress breathing down the neck of loyal Bushies, Howling Latina supposes that the administration needs a trusted "caporegime" to lead the counter-offensive and stave off the subpoenas that are sure to rain down like bullets during an Army shooting exercise.
Virginia Republican sources say Ed Gillespie will today be offered the job of counselor to the president, replacing Dan Bartlett as one of President Bush's top advisers.

[A] source familiar with the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Washington Times that Mr. Gillespie was planning to visit the White House this afternoon, and if offered the job, he plans to take it.
Well let's hope the loyal foil actually gets his White House prize; but just the same, he might want to keep counsel on retainer; working for the Bush administration just ain't what it used to be.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Republicans Block Vote on Gonzales But Seven Vote with Dems

This afternoon, Virginia senators split on the issue of no-confidence against Attorney General Gonzales. Republican Sen. John Warner voted against the cloture motion but Sen. Jim Webb voted for it.

The ultimate roll call on the resolution was 53-38 with one senator abstaining. Sixty votes were required to move the nonbinding motion to the floor and ultimate vote. The motion picked up seven Republicans.

Oh yea, how could Howling Latina fail to point out? Turncoat Joe Lieberman voted no. But folks, this was no meaningless vote. There were seven missing votes: Biden (D-DE), Brownback (R-KS), Coburn (R-OK), Dodd (D-CT), Johnson (D-SD), McCain (R-AZ), Obama (D-IL). and this list includes at least three votes for cloture with a possible fourth and fifth one. Additionally, once Johnson returns, the motion would then only be one vote shy of the required 60 vote threshold.

Here's the roll call.
YEAs ---53
Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Bayh (D-IN) Bingaman (D-NM)Boxer (D-CA) Brown (D-OH) Byrd (D-WV) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Carper (D-DE) Casey
(D-PA) Clinton (D-NY) Coleman (R-MN) Collins (R-ME) Conrad (D-ND)Dorgan (D-ND) Durbin (D-IL) Feingold (D-WI) Feinstein (D-CA) Hagel (R-NE) Harkin (D-IA)Inouye (D-HI) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Klobuchar (D-MN) Kohl (D-WI)Landrieu (D-LA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lincoln (D-AR)McCaskill (D-MO) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV)Salazar (D-CO) Sanders (I-VT) Schumer (D-NY) Smith (R-OR) Snowe (R-ME)Specter (R-PA) Stabenow (D-MI) Sununu (R-NH) Tester (D-MT) Webb (D-VA)Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---38
Alexander (R-TN) Allard (R-CO) Bennett (R-UT) Bond (R-MO) Bunning (R-KY) Burr (R-NC) Chambliss (R-GA) Cochran (R-MS) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Craig (R-ID) Crapo (R-ID) DeMint (R-SC) Dole (R-NC) Domenici (R-NM) Ensign (R-NV) Enzi (R-WY) Graham (R-SC) Grassley (R-IA) Gregg (R-NH) Hatch (R-UT) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Isakson (R-GA) Kyl (R-AZ) Lieberman (ID-CT) Lott (R-MS) Lugar (R-IN) Martinez (R-FL) McConnell (R-KY) Murkowski (R-AK) Roberts (R-KS) Sessions (R-AL) Shelby (R-AL) Thune (R-SD) Vitter (R-LA) Voinovich (R-OH) Warner (R-VA)

Present - 1
Stevens (R-AK)

Not Voting - 7
Biden (D-DE)Brownback (R-KS) Coburn (R-OK)Dodd (D-CT) Johnson (D-SD)McCain (R-AZ) Obama (D-IL
Interestingly, many of the Republicans voting for cloture are up for reelection in '08. Coleman (R-MN) Collins (R-ME) Hagel (R-NE) Smith (R-OR) and Sununu (R-NH). Snowe (R-ME) and Specter (R-PA) are not up for reelection, but also voted for cloture.

Senators who earlier professed no-confidence but voted for Gonzo anyway are: Roberts, Sessions, Graham, Bond, Grassley and Ensign.

Attorneygate has Long Legs...No-Confidence on Monday

On Sunday, Tony Snow said the White House was unconcerned about the upcoming no-confidence vote.

But today we learn from Robert Novak that Bush administration aides have secretly been stumping the Senate for "votes to block" the so-called symbolic motion.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Novak writes that "[p]revailing opinion among Republican office holders, contributors and activists" is that Gonzales has been an embarassment and should go.

Republican insiders are enraged by Bush's retention of Gonzales, whom they consider a political and governmental disaster. Beyond his affection for Gonzales, the president is reported to fear that a new attorney general could not be confirmed without pledging to name a special prosecutor to investigate the firing of U.S. attorneys. That explanation suggests a lame-duck regime, preferring to stay with a crippled, leaderless Justice Department.
Oh dear; nothing like a full-blown batwing meltdown. It sure looks like there's a whole lot more to this Attorneygate business than the public already knows. One-two-three, kick; one-two-three-four.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Plea to John Warner & Jim Webb

Dear Sens. John Warner and Jim Webb:

Tomorrow, the Senate will hold a no-confidence vote against Attorney General Gonzales. He is increasingly becoming an embarrassment to country and party.

Equal to former Secretary of State Colin Powell calling on President Bush to close Guantanamo, I ask that you please express the obvious. Gonzales must go. He has allowed the Justice Department to become a political arm of the Bush administration; and this is wrong.

Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Daniel J. Metcalfe, a former senior career Justice Department official who resigned in January and whose career goes back as far as the early 70s and the Watergate scandal, "could no longer tolerate the 'sheer political expediency, avoidance of individual responsibility, defensive personal aggrandizement, irresponsible ‘consensus’ decision making (and) disregard for longstanding practices and principles'” taking place in the department.

Senator Warner and Webb, please vote yes when the issue of no-confidence comes up on the Senate floor. It is the only way to elicit the president's attention and return justice for all.

Colin Powell to Support the Dems?

If you missed this morning's "Meet the Press," click here and see the entire show; or click here for the transcript.

In must see TV, Powell tells moderator Tim Russert that if he knew back then what he knows now, he would not have supported the idea of invading Iraq.

What's more, he refused to assure Russert that he'll support the GOP presidential candidate. On Guantanamo, there's no wistful pining for Jack Bauer of "24". He says if it were up to him, he would close Guantano not tomorrow--but this very afternoon.

Oh, and that business about Bush letting the generals run the war has been totally drowned by the truth that most generals did not support the Bush surge. Howling Latina is coming to the sad conclusion that every time our idiot president opens his lying mouth, the exact mirror opposite is the actual truth.

And Powell also lays the Iraq fiasco and total breakdown of intelligence directly at the feet of the president and previous feckless Congress.

Powell admitted to Russert that he had informally advised Barack Obama on several occassions about foreign affairs. When asked to name the candidate he is supporting, Powell refused. And when asked if he would consider supporting an independent candidate, he demurred and said, "I'm going to support, I’m going to support the best person that I can find who will lead this country for the eight years beginning in January 2009."

Well, alarmed by his answer, Russert pushed him and asked, " Of any party?" Powell steadfastly responded, "The best person I can find."

Hmmm, like the former Republican junior senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, Howling Latina would not be surprised is there if there is a Dem future for the former secretary of state.

Every day, it's become more and more evident that the worst president in the entire history of the United States has totally destroyed the GOP brand; and men and women of courage and honor are leaving the party of Lincoln in droves.

Giuliani & Gays

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has an op-ed this morning, unfortunately behind the NYT firewall, where she asks, "Be honest. Who would you rather share a foxhole with: a gay soldier or Mitt Romney?"

For my money, Howling Latina will take the gay soldier over the glib, fresh-faced GOP Bret girl; it's no contest. Talk about your classic switcheroo con-man. Attractive, all dressed up in feathers and furs to conceal his hollow core. For all but most loyal die-hard GOPers, the pandering has to be labeled as 'whoring without a cause.'

And the same can be said for the cross-dressing Rudy Giuliani, who is full of Sept. 11 machismo sprinkled with hypocrisy of epic proportions. Last month, USA Today wrote of Giuliani's private life, circa 2000, when he unceremonious dumped his bride for a fresher face.

America [is] getting a look at what New York tabloid readers [are] familiar with from the pre-Sept. 11 world, when Giuliani's planned 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton fell apart in the face of his prostate cancer and the messy and very public breakup of his marriage to TV personality Donna Hanover.

Judith Nathan was the other woman back then and subsequently became Giuliani's third wife and stepmother to the two Giuliani-Hanover children, Andrew and Christine. Giuliani's first marriage to his second cousin, Regina Peruggi, ended after 14 years in divorce and later an annulment.

Giuliani's brutish behavior of announcing to the world that he was leaving his wife before having the good manners to tell her will surely give pause to more than a few women of faith, although certainly not all.

Of course, there is more. There is the issue of moral courage in defending one's friends. Recently, Giuliani refused to say where he theoretically stands on the issue of gays in the military, using the lame excuse that during war, any social change must be delayed. It's for the soldiers welfare, of course.

Well, Mayor Giuliani certainly didn't have any qualms about exploiting the kindness of his gay pals when hard times hit him with a two-by-four and he needed a pillow to lay his head.

Back when Giuliani was Time's Man of the Year, Eric Pooley of Time Magazine recounted how the former mayor during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack was living in an "Upper East Side apartment of Howard Koeppel [with] his longtime partner, Mark Hsiao."

That's right, folks, three was company. When his former wife, Donna Hanover, refused to move out of Gracie Mansion, it was just Rudy and two gays. "Koeppel, a friend and supporter of Giuliani's, had [loaned] the mayor a bedroom suite" after he had moved out in June 2001. And at the time, no one can recall Rudy talking about the cohesiveness of the mayor's office being hampered as a result of the mayor's sleepovers.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

More RGV (Republican Gay Values)

Americablog has an excellent post about Lindsey Graham, the senior senator from South Carolina; and how his service in the military may now be endangering the cohesiveness of his unit.

Now as closely as Howling Latina reads the news, somehow rumors of Graham's sexual orientation never found their way into her personal computer screen. True, when Graham was a mere House manager and blabbled on and on about the rule of law as it related to former President Bill Clinton's sexual misdeeds in practically every cable channel, 24/7, she found his voice and manner of walking more than a tad bit feminine.

But never bothering to learn whether Graham had ever been married, fathered any children, you know, the normal things you would expect a heterosexual male to have realized by the time he reaches his 40s and 50s, she did a little 'googling' today and learned that unlike Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Graham is still out there for some lucky gal/guy.

John Aravosis writes that he is simply "not comfortable having a US Senator serve active duty in Iraq as a 'colonel' when there has been persistent chatter about his sexual orientation and [questions arise as to] whether [his service] conforms to the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy."

Moreover, RPG (Republican gay values) "can't have it both ways," he notes:

The Republicans, and Senator Graham, can't have it both ways. Did the Pentagon investigate the rumors about Senator Graham's orientation prior to choosing to have him serve active duty? Doubtful. But the rumors are out there, and the Senator's very presence has been known to fuel such rumors, so it is not out of the realm of the possible that others with whom he served had the same questions. And once they have those questions, per Don't Ask Don't Tell, there is a threat to unit cohesion.
And this is no idle buzz. The chatter was once so loud that DeWayne Wickham of USA. Today wrote an op-ed back in December 2002; and a story thread on the subject also appeared on Sean Hannity's blog of Fox News.

Come out, come out, wherever you are....and watch where you place your hands, Big Boy.

More About Bush's "Too-Much-Partying-Bug"

President Bush met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday morning and after the meeting Sarkozy told the press that Bush was "slightly indisposed" and [would] rejoin the working meeting as soon as he" could.

Without a trace of skepticism, the Washington Post dutifully reported the White House line. Bush was hit by an apparent morning virus, the poor soul, but miraculour recovered in mere hours.

Bush's day started slowly Friday, because he was hit by an apparent virus, White House officials said. After meeting with new French President Nicholas Sarkozy, he went back to bed and missed two morning sessions at the summit. But by midday, a slightly ruddy-looking Bush was back on his schedule and attended a working lunch of G-8 leaders.

He's not 100 percent, but he felt well enough to return to the talks," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett.

You know what folks? Howling Latina may be an idiot but...she's not entirely stupid. Now what kind of virus disappears within hours?!? She means, other than the too-much-drinking-late-night-partying scourge?!? But bless the Post's heart; apparently "apparently" was the key operative word in the article to clue readers there might be more to the story than an unfortunate bug.

Our idiot president reminds HL of the alkie who quits drinking beer a thousand times, all the while sneaking bottles of Jim Beam underneath his pant legs to ease the withdrawal angst.

Every good alkie needs a troop of enablers; and Bush minions like Bartlett have enabled him to continue on the path to destruction. Unfortunately, drunks not only hurt themselves but everyone around them. And as the most powerful person in the word, Bush is hurting EVERY DAMN person in WORLD.

America voted for the Village Idiot 'cause media pundits like Chris Matthews of "Hardball" kept telling them to imagine how much fun they could have going out for a couple of beers with the president in their minds.

Well, all the boozing from the last six and a half years has left the United States reeling from alcohol poisoning. It's going to take a 12-step program before the nation can fully recover; and step one is to be honest and admit we royally screwed up.
H/T to Americablog for the images.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bush Is Drinking Again

Mainstream media has images of Bush drinking a beer and later rolling on the floor with laughter.

H/T to Crooks and Liars for the first picture and Think Progress for the second one.

But not too worry, though. C&L informs us, it's not real beer. Really..! You see, it was a non-alcoholic one; and it all depends on what the meaning of "beer" is.

What a bunch of crap! Besides, what's this business about Bush having to leave the summit early due to some mysterious ailment?!?

"President Bush is slightly indisposed this morning and will rejoin the working meeting as soon as he can," French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the press today. Of course, pictures tell the story of merriment the night before with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel,"on the balcony of their hotel in Heiligendam." And news accounts note of the huge "foaming head [of] the German brew."

Ask any recovering alcoholic about near-beer and they'll tell you it's a definite no-no. There is no such thing as non-alcoholic beer. They have as much as 2 percent alcohol, you have to be over 21 years old to purchase it, and the beer can only be shipped to states where alcohol is permitted to be shipped interstate.

For more than two years, Howling Latina has written that she thought Bush had fallen off the wagon; and noted that media stories popped up from time to time that claimed the very same thing. There's even a YouTube video from CBS's "The Late Late Show."

Well, like the stain on Monica's blue dress, a picture is worth a thousand words. The persistent pesky rumors were obviously true. Drink enough O'Douls and yep, you'll get your buzz on and choke on a pretzel; or fall off your bike.

Don't believe me? Well, just go ask any friend of Bill what he or she would think if a drunk were to tell them they're still sober after drinking a few so-called non-alcoholic beers.

Pick up a new 24-hour chip, Mr. President You obviously fell off the wagon. Remember, "to thyself be true."

Free Paris Hilton

After watching the latest saga in the Paris Hilton soap opera, Howling Latina has the utmost compassion for Paris Hilton and her family.

Top defense attorney Roy Black of Texas said on "Hardball" tonight that the original sentence was lengthier than usual and given by the judge to make a moral statement. "Just 'cause someone is super rich doesn't mean they can escape the long reach of the law."

The city apparently routinely releases female inmates from jail after they've served as little as 10 percent of their sentence for minor offenses. Add to that Hilton's medical condition which caused two jail psychologists, a psychiatrist and the sheriff grave concern and for crying out loud, how frigging bloodthirsty do we need to be before we allow a sliver of mercy for the rich, equal to the poor, my law and order Americans?!?

Apparently a majority of Gringos have never broken the law; or if they broke it, they were prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law. If not, why begrudge grace for someone else?

How about all those law and order batwings whose battle cry of late has been, "Free Scooter Libby, no amnesty for illegals"?

Update musing: What would GOPers be saying if instead of Miss Hilton who was caught driving on a suspended license it had been the daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia?!? You know, the same one who was recently popped for driving under the influence with three of her five children in a van.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

He's Coming Back...

Howling Latina is so happy to read that Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is planning to return to the Senate no later than September.

The Washington Post reports that Johnson has fully recovered 90 percent of his speech, "although his right side remains weak."

Majority Leader Harry Reid (gosh, doesn't that have a sweet ring to it) is quoted saying that Johnson "and his family and the doctors are trying to decide whether he will come back in September or July, but he's really doing quite well."

Well, that's certainly good news; and to think the GOPers were salivating at the prospect of his death mere months ago.

Johnson, 60, was rushed to the hospital Dec. 13 after becoming disoriented during a phone call with reporters. Hours later, he underwent emergency surgery and was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a condition that causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large, become tangled and sometimes burst.

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