Today’s opining on the public discourse.
Huzzah! Indictments at last:
A South Texas grand jury has returned multi-count indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County’s federal detention centers:
The indictment accuses Cheney and Gonzales of engaging in organized criminal activity. It criticizes Cheney’s investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and “at least misdemeanor assaults” on detainees by working through the prison companies.
Gonzales is accused of using his position while in office to stop an investigation into abuses at the federal detention centers.
Okay. So this isn’t a federal indictment, and David Kurtz at TPM is raining on the parade a bit, but the fuckers have been indicted nonetheless. Let’s hope this is a harbinger of better things to come.
This is almost enough to assuage my anger at spineless Senate Dems, but not quite:
Regrettably, the Senate Democratic caucus meeting went exactly as expected this morning.
Senate Democrats refused Tuesday to strip Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) of his prized chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
After months of acrimony between him and his former party, Democrats ultimately decided that taking away Lieberman’s gavel would give Republicans an extra vote next Congress.
Lieberman instead will lose chairmanship of a global warming subcommittee on the Environment and Public Works Commission as a rebuke for supporting John McCain and attacking Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.
Roll Call added, “Senators approved the motion by a resounding vote of 42-13.” Because the vote was held by secret ballot, we don’t know which Democrats were part of the 13.
The little fuckwit’s going to bite them. I guarantee it. Ah, well, he’s coming up for reelection soon enough, and it doesn’t look like Connecticut voters are going to be as lenient.
In slightly better news, the Senate’s just a little bit less corrupt today:
The AP reports:
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has lost his bid for a seventh term.
The longest-serving Republican in the history of the Senate trailed Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by 3,724 votes after Tuesday’s count.
So that’s nice.
It’s also nice that Steve Benen gave Newsweek a sound spanking today:
When bizarre, fringe publications speculate openly about who may or may not be the Antichrist, it’s easy to dismiss. When Newsweek publishes a 600-word piece on those who wonder about Obama being the Antichrist, one really has to wonder what on earth the editors were thinking.
On Nov. 5, Todd Strandberg was at his desk, fielding E-mails from around the world. As the editor and founder of RaptureReady.com, his job is to track current events and link them to biblical prophecy in hopes of maintaining his status as “the eBay of prophecy,” the best source online for predictions and calculations concerning the end of the world. Already Barack Obama had drawn the attention of apocalypse watchers after an anonymous e-mail circulated among conservative Christians in October implying that he was the Antichrist. Former “Saturday Night Live” ingenue Victoria Jackson fueled the fire when, according to news reports, she wrote on her Web site that Obama “bears traits that resemble the anti-Christ.” Now Strandberg was receiving up-to-the-minute news from his constituents in Illinois. One of the winning lottery numbers in the president-elect’s home state was 666 — which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast (also known as the Antichrist). “It is very eerie, and I take it for a sign as to who he really is,” wrote one of Strandberg’s correspondents.
First, from a theological perspective, the whole thing about “666” being a “mark of the beast” is inherently suspect, and dismissed as nonsense by most scholars. Second, and more importantly, what is the purpose of Newsweek running a story about those who wonder if Obama is the Antichrist?
Keep in mind, this isn’t just some bizarre online-only piece — Newsweek decided this was worthy of publication in the print edition of its weekly news magazine.
I can appreciate the fact that there are a handful of very odd people in the world, some of whom believe the Book of Revelation foretold Obama’s election. Strange people can be led to believe strange things. That’s not a reason for Newsweek to publish articles about their inanity.
We are, alas, going to be dealing with a shit-ton of this sort of dumbfuckery. No one in the Village or on the right seems quite able to wrap their minds around a popular, liberal, Democratic African-American as President. The freakout is spectacular. All we can do when mainstream publications start spouting the bullshit is roll up our sleeves, grab a Smack-0-Matic, and get smacking.
Finally, two gems from Dana Perino, who is utterly determined to remain obliviously stupid until the bitter end. First, here she is on how Dems should feel about Bush’s burrowing ratfuckers. Don’t read this until you’ve swallowed whatever you’re drinking:
The Washington Post reported this morning that between March and November, the Bush administration has “burrowed” at least 20 political appoi
ntees into career civil service posts, initially depriving President-elect Obama of the chance to install his own appointees in key jobs.
In today’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino defended the “burrowing,” saying that Obama’s administration should want experienced Bush political appointees in his administration:
PERINO: But there are people in the federal government who — and you should want people who have worked in the administration who think that they might want to make their careers in government. We have a lot of smart people all across the government with a lot of expertise — in the financial sector, in the energy sector, in the environmental sector, the Labor Department, etc.
“A lot of expertise?” She has the gall to say this right before naming off all of the areas the Bush regime has left in flaming fucking ruins? Are you fucking kidding me?
Here’s what I’m grateful for: I’m grateful they’re incompetent enough to probably deserve firing.
But she tops her own cluelessness regarding reality and Bush bubble dreams with this little insight:
The Bush administration repeatedly insists that it does not practice torture: “We do not torture,” President Bush declared in 2005. The U.S. “is not torturing any detainees,” White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said last April. Dismissing a Red Cross report describing interrogation techniques that were “tantamount to torture,” Bush proclaimed last year, “Haven’t seen it, we don’t torture.”
Today, Perino took the Bush administration’s torture denials to a new level when she insisted that it had never engaged in torture:
PERINO: This president has said that we did interrogate terrorists, and we did so to protect the country from possible imminent terrorist attack. We did not torture.
That’s just… that’s not even a lie. That’s a symptom of a severe psychotic break.
I’m so glad this parade of assclowns is almost out the door. It’ll be nice to have people nominally in touch with reality running the place again.