David Kirkpatrick

October 10, 2009

Impeach Obama?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:35 am

Obama hasn’t been in office for nine months and there is already a movement afoot pressing for impeachment? Really? This is very, very dumb and if it gets any publicity will only serve to further marginalize the political right — if that is even possible. Right now it’s heading toward that 15% number that pretty much any political poll will elicit and can be written off as a lunatic fringe.

Here’s the best bit from the link — the group pushing for impeachment has a very unique take on impeachment worthy behavior from POTUS:

The new effort might be described as part of Brown’s campaign to define impeachment down. On the homepage of the new site, Brown argues that the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” — the circumstances justifying impeachment, according to the constitution — doesn’t mean crimes in a legal sense. Rather, it refers simply to “bad behavior.”

Talking to TPMmuckraker, Brown elaborated on that view. Properly understood, he said, impeachment is “like a recall in California” — a political act. “It’s a process by which you remove an incompetent president.”

By that — perhaps low — standard, Brown argued, Obama more than qualifies. “He’s basically handed our foreign policy off to the United Nations. His economic policies are destroying the value of the dollar.”

“He’s in over his head,” Brown continued. “I am fearful for my country for the first time in my adult life.”

Good luck with that.

December 6, 2008

Legal heat about to hit Bush 43 administration?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:56 pm

Looks very possible right now. The keystone figure is likely to be Alberto Gonzales and his actions as Attorney General. He’s facing some real civil and probable criminal charges — charges that Bush may be hard pressed to pardon away because of their explicitly political nature.

From the TPM Muckraker link:

It would appear that the most obvious reason for Terwilliger to withdraw from the civil suit is to be able to devote additional time to Dannehy’s more serious investigation into criminal wrong-doing.

That’s certainly the opinion of the veteran Washington lawyer bringing the civil suit in question. Dan Metcalfe, a former DOJ official and now the executive director of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University Washington College of Law, who brought the suit on behalf of the law students, told TPMmuckraker*: “I think it’s quite fair to say that the most plausible explanation for what happened is that [Terwilliger] learned he was going to be otherwise occupied on Gonzales’ behalf.”

That would jibe with the newsearlier this week that Dannehy has issued subpoenas through a grand jury — it would be common practice at this point for targets in the investigation to receive letters from the prosecutor informing them that they are under investigation. And of course it would be in sync with our report that Dannehy appears to have contacted Gonzales or his lawyer in connection with the probe.

Also from the link:

Late Update: There’s additional evidence that Terwilliger is feeling jumpy about the twin cases, and is anxious to draw a distinction between the civil suit and the possible criminal investigation. Within hours of a story being posted by the legal publication AM Law Dailyincorrectly stating that DOJ was paying Gonzales’ lawyers for their work on the Dannehy investigation, Terwilliger had posted the following comment on the site:

Please correct your story as it is plainly in error to report that the Justice Department is paying Judge Gonzales’ legal fees in connection with the Inspector General inquiries. Those fees are a private responsibility. DOJ is reportedly paying fees at governement [sic] rates to another law firm in connection with a civil law suit in which Judge Gonzales has been sued in his individual capacity in connection with events in which he was involved, if at all, in his offical [sic] capacity.

Go below the fold for even creepier facts about Gonzo …


October 2, 2008

Veep debate: Biden v. Palin

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:06 pm

The sole vice presidential debate. McCain team only wanted one debate, along with not allowing Palin to give a press conference to this day since the announcement of her as the veep pick an unprecedented event in US presidential politics.

It’s interesting because toward the end Palin made what sounded like an honest plea that she likes speaking directly to the American public instead of the canned media events — such as with Gibson, Hannity and notoriously Couric — which before tonight was her only real national exposure aside from the convention.

As for the event, I don’t how it’s going to play out in spinning the performances of Biden and Palin, but as an actual debate Biden mopped the floor with Palin by (mostly) answering the questions asked and more importantly, actually rebutting Palin’s points. In contrast Palin regularly avoided the actual question by giving a one word answer and immediately stating she wanted to talk about a completely separate topic.

At one point early on in rebuttal on the second question she actually announced she wasn’t going to answer the questions asked by the moderator or rebut points made by Biden. Incredible! It really seemed to me she was rushing into her talking points as they came to her, not when it would make sense to us them in answering the question at hand.

Tonight’s debate was held in St. Louis at the Washington University in St. Louis at 9:00 pm EDT. The moderator was Gwen Ifill from “The Newshour” and “Washington Week” on PBS.

Immediately Palin looks a little nervous, but it’s not a completely fair observation on my part because I’m expecting a nervous Alaskan governor.

8:03 my time, it’s on …

Head below the fold for some more of my reactions to the debate, plus a bit of news on Troopergate out of Alaska.


March 13, 2008

Iraq — no WMDs, no al Qaeda/Saddam connection

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:05 pm

Okay. We found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the reason given pre-invasion for immediate action. Maybe the intelligence was bad, maybe cooked up. At this point there’s no way of knowing.

After that intelligence failure was disclosed and publicized, the Bush 43 regime continued (and still does to some extent) to push the idea the Iraq invasion was also important because we were able to break up an al Qaeda/Saddam Hussein party plotting against the US.

Whoops. Turns out that was patently false, and a US military study conclusively covers that very fact.

From the TPM Muckraker link:

We were told by the Joint Forces Command that our copy was mailed today. But ABC News has already got its copy and posted it for all to see. So here you go (pdf). Behold! “This study found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e. direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”

It’s a shame every stated justification for the preemptive strike against Iraq has proven false. Right now we are in a true quagmire, with no end in sight. It’s wonderful the “surge” has improved conditions, but by all rights we shouldn’t be caught in a brutal civil war and spending unfathomable amounts of US treasure as our economy sinks into recession and our dollar freefalls in the international market.

(And although I’m not going to dig up any links right now, serious economists on the right and left, aside from pollyanna cheerleaders, agree we are in recession regardless how the Fed wants to play this thing.)

March 8, 2008

More shame for the Bush 43 administration

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:35 am

This most recent Bush administration has been notably characterized by, among other things, an unbelievable level of cronyism and incompetence. Many staff positions were filled purely on the basis of loyalty to the administration with no real consideration given to ability.

Sadly this state of affairs has occurred under the political banner of conservatism. I’ve posted before why this administration is in no way “conservative” as the term is traditionally politically known.

Here’s another sad tale of hypocrisy and situational ethics that is no longer surprising coming out one branch of D.C.’s right wing.

From the TPM Muckraker link:

What’s a little plagiarism between movement conservatives?

Tim Goeglein has had a tough week, but he still has friends in the “right” places. The former White House aide in charge of religious and conservative outreach resigned late last week after admitting he plagiarized pieces he wrote for the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind. Goeglein took passages from Pope John Paul II and Dartmouth professor Jeffery Hart, among others. But Goeglein is still embraced by the conservative community. At the weekly meeting of center-right leaders at American for Tax Reform on Wednesday morning, he received three rounds of applause from the packed room, including one standing ovation, as he asked for their forgiveness.

Via Nancy Nall, Goeglein’s least favorite blogger.

February 7, 2008

Department of Justice uber alles?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:11 pm

Attorney General Michael Mukasey provided some amazing legal machinations before Congress today. He essentially declared that the Department of Justice determines US law.

From the linked TPM Muckraker post:

Mukasey wanted to say it more carefully. “I think what I said was that we could not investigate or prosecute somebody for acting in reliance on a Justice Department opinion.”

So a Justice opinion, even if wrong and in direct violation of law, provides immunity from prosecution by the DoJ. Just wow, and more than a bit tautological.

This is damn close to saying the DoJ is the final arbiter of US law. I think the Supreme Court might have something to say on the subject.

(For more information on TPM Muckraker and their now special relationship with the DoJ, check out this post and extensive comments.)

January 30, 2008

The US and torture

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:33 pm

This post from TPM Muckraker does a nice job of illustrating just exactly where the United States stands vis-a-vis torture.

This subject is a part of a dark period in US policy following 9/11, and will possibly stand as the true legacy of the Bush 43 regime. John Negroponte, the former Director of National Intelligence, has already gone on the record admitting we did utilize the torture technique of waterboarding.