More Grist for the TreasonGate Rumor Mill
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
Note: This is an e-mail circulating around Capitol Hill that was forwarded to us by a source wishing to remain anonymous (no, not Scooter Libby, for God’s sake). We can only offer it up as rumor and speculation, but it certainly is interesting rumor and speculation at that! Much of it is consistent with other corroborating leaks, except for two bombshell points: that Colin Powell spilled the beans on Cheney, and that Cheney’s lawyer is negotiating with the U.S. Prosecutor’s office.
Here it is, exactly as BuzzFlash received it:
“below, some extremely sensitive information about the impending conclusion of the valerie plame investigations. the sources include two senior members of senate and key staffers; counsel for individuals that have been called before the grand jury; and two journalists taking a lead position in investigating the case. the following represents a composite of the information from those sources.
plamegate coming to conclusion. the investigation has focused mostly closely on vice president cheney and his staff, as well as us ambassador to the un (and former undersecretary of state for arms control) john bolton and his staff. we are told that eight indictments have already prepared, with the possibility of another ten. these indictments include senior white house staff, most notably vice president cheney’s chief of staff scooter libby, fred flights (special assistant to john bolton), and–very surprisingly–national security adviser steve hadley. apparently, libby and hadley have both been told by their lawyers to expect indictments. the indictment of senior bush political advisor karl rove seems highly probable.
most critically, a plea bargain process has evidently been opened with vice president cheney’s lawyer. that does not mean that an indictment is coming. but i’ve some critical background around the issue.
in the past several days, former secretary of state colin powell had a meeting with senator john mccain (R-AZ), primarily about the mccain-sponsored amendment on inserting a rider prohibiting torture onto the us defense budget (a bill which powell has himself been lobbying heavily for, against objections of president bush).
during the meeting, powell recounted to the senator that he had traveled on air force one with bush and cheney, and brought to their attention a classified memorandum about the issue of whether there was indeed a transaction inolving niger and yellow cake uranium. the document included ambassador joe wilson’s involvement and identified his wife, valerie plame, as a covert agent. the memorandum further stated that this information was secret. powell told mccain that he showed that memo only to two people–president and vice president. according to powell, cheney fixated on the wilson/plame connection, and plame’s status.
powell testified about this exchange in great length to the grand jury investigating the plame case. according to sources close to the case, powell appeared convinced that the vice president played a focal role in disclosing plame’s undercover status.
in his conversation with mccain, powell felt that–at a minimum–there would be a serious shakeup at national security council as a consequence. in particular, vice president cheney would no longer hold a pivotal role in us national security affairs. powell apparently did not discuss the potential of a cheney resignation.
lead prosecutor patrick fitzgerald has apparently been looking at the precedent of formerly indicted nixon vice president spiro agnew. this shows the likely path, because addressing executive immunity and privilege questions would necessarily begin start with a plea-bargain deal that would entail a resignation.
this is all likely to occur within the next week. 28 october (next friday) is the last day of the grand jury, and no requests have been made to extend their session. the investigator is expecting to wrap up by then.
there are enormous implication for what would be the biggest white house shakeup since the iran-contra scandal in the reagan era. president bush’s approval rating at 39% has already led to a significant decrease in policy efficacy with key legislators in congress (which i’ve already discussed at length elsewhere). i’ll spin out the broader policy implications when i have some time to write at greater length, but i wanted to get this out immediately.
one interesting point though–it is worth noting that a parade of senior republican senators have evidently been privately pushing mccain to lobby to be cheney’s replacement. senator lindsey graham (R-SC) has also been mentioned. meanwhile, the white house has already been developing countermeasures–notably including senior white house officials privately voicing president bush’s disappointment in karl rove’s involvement in the case, calling it ‘misconduct.’ an urgent search for a rove replacement is already underway.”
HALLIBURTON EXPLOITING ASIA’S POOR FOR WORK IN IRAQ
Halliburton unit is tapping pipeline of illicit
workers for U.S. military jobs in war zone
IRAQ — American tax dollars and the wartime needs of the U.S. military are fueling an illicit pipeline of cheap foreign labor, mainly impoverished Asians who often deceived, exploited and put in harm’s way in Iraq with little protection.
Tens of thousands of foreign workers, often from impoverished Asian nations, make up the civilian service in Iraq. But, many of these workers, hired by contractor KBR (subsidiary of Halliburton), are lured to Iraq with false promises of a safe job in Kuwait or Jordan, work for as little as $1.56 an hour (well below the pay of an American employee), and are treated like second-class citizens.
THE ENTIRE PLAMEGATE CHRONOLOGY! GET THE WHOLE STORY BEHIND THE INDICTMENTS COMING DOWN FROM FITZGERALD!
Takebackthemedia.com and their Hollywood Award winning director/producer Symbolman is proud to present the Definitive Chronology of the Rove/Plamegate outing in DVD format, “Roves War.”
After more than a year of research, filtering through hundreds of hours of footage and blogs, the “Rove’s War” double DVD set weighs in at 150+ minutes of Red Meat for those that want to know exactly where, when, what and who pulled treasonous crimes – as we shred media propaganda and rumors, and expose the Truth.
Subject: CA: The “Special” Election FYI
Begin forwarded message:
From: Jackie Goldberg
Subject: The “Special” Election
Hi everyone-There are only four weeks to go until the
so-called “special” election. And the big worry is
that only reactionary people will vote! I can tell
you for a fact, that this may be one of the more
important California elections in recent years.
You see, the corporate take-over of California is what
is being proposed. Several of the Governor’s
measures, all sponsored and paid for by members of the
corporate elite of California and the United States
have several goals. First and foremost they do NOT
want to be bothered having to work with the pesky
legislature. So, they propose something they call
“Live within your means.” This measure makes the
Governor a King where matters of money are concerned.
It also trashes the Prop. 98 guarantee for Public
Education. What that means is that the Governor can
unilaterally determine how to cut the budget if the
legislature cannot get a 2/3 vote to do so. And that
means that the Republicans will NEVER vote for a
budget if there is a Republican Governor who will be
able to cut anything he wants, however he wants,
without the approval of the legislature. It means
that the legislature is irrelevant to the budget
Regardless of what you feel about the current
Governor, it is not hard to believe that at some time,
some Governor will slash health care, human services,
and public education because he/she needs no one to
approve. Checks and balances were set into the
California constitution to prevent one-man rule. This
election could overturn this.
Then, of course there is the redrawing of district
election lines. No state uses retired judges. In
fact almost all of them do it the way we in California
currently do it. That is the legislature, with the
signature of the Governor, writes a plan every ten
years. Both sides have to agree. When they cannot
agree, a lawsuit puts it into court, and then an
active judge will make the changes necessary to make
it fair. Think about retired judges. Currently
almost all of them are going to be Anglo males,
largely drawn from the men appointed by Governors
Wilson and Deukmejian. This does not sound
“non-partisan” to me.
All in all, it is just a power grab. Even the
so-called Prop. 78 “drug savings” measure is paid for
by the biggest pharmaceutical companies and would be
entirely voluntary on their part. The real savings to
consumers would come from Prop. 79 and the drug
companies are spending millions to stop this good
This ballot has something to hate for everyone. One
proposition tries to kill off the voice of public
employee unions by making it harder to get an OK from
members to use money collected to lobby or support
candidates. Another tells a young person who wants to
teach that they will have absolutely NO job protection
for five years! No other job in the state is treated
like that. Talented young people with about $100,000
in debt from five years training at a University will
not likely choose teaching because of this
And of course, no assault on our rights would be
complete with an attempt to limit a woman’s right to
choose. So here is how I am going to vote:
Prop. 73 NO Prop. 75 NO Prop. 77 NO
Prop. 74 NO Prop. 76 NO Prop. 78 NO
That is six big NO’s on the November 8th ballot.
There are actually two good measures and they are, of
course, at the very end. They are Prop. 79 YES; and
Prop. 80 YES.
I am voting YES on Prop. 79, because it would require
the drug companies to negotiate a real deal with the
state of California that would cover Medi-Cal
recipients, and the savings would also be passed on to
all Californians in lowering the drug costs for them
as well. And Prop. 80, I am voting YES because it
would re-regulate electricity in California so we
don’t end up with blackouts and with the gaming of our
system by Texas Oil and Gas, and Electric company
traders like Enron, etc.
So, be sure to vote on Tuesday Novebmer 8th! Vote
absentee, or go to the polls. But VOTE! If we fail
to show up, those who want corporate rule will win by
default. This is why they wanted a $50 million
special election. They knew there was no urgency.
They want this vote because they believe we won’t go
to the polls and a very small minority of reactionary
voters will be able to carry the vote on these
If you want more detail on these measures, go to the
website: www.speakoutca.org. There you will find
background info, and a printable voting guide to send
to your family and friends, and co-workers. Remember,
friends don’t let friends neglect their civic duty.
Especially when so much is at stake.
If you would like to hear more in person, I am having
a community meeting at Logan Elementary School on
October 27th, Thursday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. And if
you want to help defeat these measures, call SEIU
Local 347, at (323) 712-1779 to join me in walking
precincts. Or you can phone voters by calling (213)
381-5611 ext. 40 and ask for Norma Lopez. I’ll see
you there too.
Warmest regards, as always,
Remember If you can not attend the community meeting
www.speakoutca.org has information on all of the
initiatives and a downloadable voters guide in english
and soon in spanish as well! The
“Special” Election is on Tuesday November 8th!
After too many years in the making, my book on pop language, Slam Dunks and No-Brainers, has just been been published, and the time has come for me to shamelessly promote it. I’m doing some NYC and New Jersey events, listed below. I also threw in a few book tour events in the Bay Area and Chicago, in case you or any friends of yours are out there.
Meanwhile, you can buy the book on Amazon (uh, duh): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0375402470/
Weds. Oct. 19–between 7:30-8 a.m.?
The Today Show– a segment on pop language
(The times and the segment itself are up in the air, but I taped it last week.)
Mon. Oct. 24, 8:30 p.m.
I’ll be on the hot new Mark Jacobson Show, a “live talkshow” at Mo Pitkins’ House of Satisfaction
34 Ave. A
(free, I think)
Weds. Nov. 2, 7-9 p.m.
reading at KGB Bar
Nonfiction Readers Series
85 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505 3360
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7:30-9 p.m.
Talk and book signing
South Orange Library
65 Scotland Rd.
South Orange, NJ 07079
Saturday, Nov. 5, 2-4 p.m.
97A Baker St.
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2-4 p.m.
Town Book Store
255 East Broad Street
Tuesday, October 18, 7:30 pm
Capitola Book Cafe
1475 41st Avenue
(near Santa Cruz)
Thursday, October 20, 12:30 pm
581 Market St.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St.
Maybe Karen Hughes can help.
A Polling Free-Fall Among Blacks
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Thursday, October 13, 2005; 3:09 PM
In what may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling, President Bush’s job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.
The drop among blacks drove Bush’s overall job approval ratings to an all-time low of 39 percent in this poll. By comparison, 45 percent of whites and 36 percent of Hispanics approve of the job Bush is doing.
A few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Bush’s approval rating among blacks at 51 percent. As recently as six months ago, it was at 19 percent.
Poll: Bush Presidency Judged Unsuccessful
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
For the first time, more people say George W. Bush’s presidency will be judged as unsuccessful than say it will be seen as a success, a poll finds.
Forty-one percent of respondents said Bush’s presidency will be seen as unsuccessful in the long run, while 26 percent said the opposite. Thirty-five percent said it was too early to tell, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
In January, 36 percent said successful and 27 percent said unsuccessful.
The increasing pessimism about Bush’s long-term prospects comes at a time when many polls have found the public increasingly is negative about Bush’s performance and the direction of the country.
While there is much to admire in Tom Frank’s book, its thesis has been used to bolster the preposterous thesis that, in the 2004 election, Bush/Cheney won the votes of a right-wing majority. This could not have happened, as there’s no such animal in these United States.
And so the following critique of Frank’s book is exceedingly important.
Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by The Nation
What’s the Matter With ‘What’s the Matter With Kansas?
by Katrina vanden Heuvel
In a fascinating paper called “What’s the Matter With What’s the Matter with Kansas?”, Princeton professor Larry Bartels uses data from National Election Study (NES) surveys to test [Tom[ Frank’s thesis [that “conservatives won the heart of America” and created a “dominant political coalition” by convincing Kansans and blue-collar, working-class people to vote against their own economic interests in order to defend traditional cultural values against bicoastal elites]. He examines class-related patterns of issue preferences, partisanship, and voting over the past half-century. Bartels concludes that the white working class hasn’t moved right and that “moral values” are not pushing them to vote Republican.
Moreover, for the most part, voters’ economic and cultural attitudes are either both liberal or both conservative rather than the bifurcated split Frank sees. Bartels also disproves the argument that there’s been a long-term decline in turnout.
* Has the white working class abandoned the Democratic Party? No
* Has the white working class become more conservative? No
* Do working class “moral values” trump economics in determining voting patterns? No
* Are religious voters distracted from economic issues? No
So what IS causing Republican wins?
From Bartels’ study:
Stonecash’s analysis suggests that net Republican gains since the 1950s have come entirely among middle- and upper-income voters, widening rather than narrowing the traditional gap in partisanship and voting between predominantly Democratic lower income groups and predominantly Republican upper income groups. Similarly, McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal (forthcoming, chap. 3) have shown that income has become an increasingly strong predictor of Republican partisanship and presidential voting since the 1950s.
[E]conomic status has become more important, not less important, in structuring the presidential voting behavior of white Americans over the course of the past half-century. Moreover, the general trend in support for Democratic presidential candidates among whites in the bottom third of the income distribution has been upward, not downward.
[So here’s the answer, friends. Democratic policies make many Americans richer, whereupon those Americans start to vote Republican. As Granny Bee might say, ain’t THAT a fine how d’ye do? I thought you might find this, below, interesting, too.-Caro]
[O]utside the South there is no evident trend in party identification among low-income whites. Indeed, a simple comparison of beginning and end points shows that Democrats outnumbered Republicans in this group by exactly the same 10% in 2004 (a 31-21 Democratic margin) as in 1952 (a 41-31 Democratic margin).
To a good approximation, then, the decline in Democratic identification among poor whites over the past half-century is entirely attributable to the demise of the Solid South as a bastion of Democratic allegiance.
[In the case of cultural issues there is no] evidence of a significant conservative shift since the early 1970s, either among low-income whites or among high-income whitesÅ For abortion Figure 6 does show discernible movement, with both groups becoming more liberal (pro-choice) from the early 1970s through 1992 and more conservative (pro-life) thereafter. The net result of these shifts left both groups modestly more liberal in 2004 than they had been in the 1970s.
[T]here is no evidence in the NES data that the white working-class has become more conservative over the past 20 years, either on economic issues or on social issues.
It appears from these results that positions on social issues are considerably less relevant to the partisanship and voting behavior of working-class whites than of more affluent whites – and that this disparity has been growing, not shrinking, over the past 20 years. The “hallucinatory appeal” of “cultural wedge issues” (Frank 2004, 245), such as it is, actually seems to increase rather considerably with each step up the income scale. Meanwhile, the cultural concerns of working-class whites continue to be “far overshadowed by material concerns,” at least insofar as those concerns are reflected in their views about concrete economic issues like jobs, government spending and services, and aid to minorities.
The solid Democratic plurality in partisan attachments inherited from the New Deal era has eroded steadily and substantially over the past half-century. However, it is easy to overlook how much of that erosion is attributable to the demise of the artificially Solid South of the Jim Crow era – a development that should hardly be bemoaned by progressive observers.
Having lost two successive presidential elections, albeit by extremely close margins, some Democrats seem inclined to believe that their party must be reinvented for the new millennium. Indeed, according to one prominent political reporter, “The big conversation going on in Democratic Washington at the moment, at dinner parties and luncheons and think-tank symposia, revolves around how to save the party” (Bai 2005, 62). The prescriptions focus on ideology, infrastructure, linguistic strategy, and more.33 However, a surprisingly large fraction seem to be predicated on the notion that “Democrats need to give a more prominent voice to Middle American, wheat-hugging, gun-shooting, Spanish-speaking, beer-guzzling, Bible-toting centrists” (Kristof 2004b) in an effort to inoculate the party against the “hallucinatory appeal” among working-class whites of “cultural wedge issues like guns and abortion” (Frank 2004, 245).
My analysis implies no particular political strategy for Democrats (or, for that matter, for Republicans). Perhaps more gun shooting and beer guzzling would be all to the good; I don’t know. However, if the basis for that diagnosis is a belief that Democratic support has eroded more among working-class whites than among affluent whites, the belief is simply false. And if the proffered political cure is grounded in a belief that working-class whites are especially sensitive to cultural issues, that belief is also false. Insofar as the data presented here suggest anything about how to appeal to working-class whites, they suggest that bread-and-butter economic issues are likely to be more potent than social issues. At least, that has been the case over the past 20 years, and especially in 2004.
On the other hand, if the idea is to appeal to a large class of white voters who have become noticeably less Democratic over the past half-century, the place to find them is in the middle and upper reaches of the income distribution. These affluent whites are more liberal on social issues than working-class whites are, and if anything they have become increasingly liberal on social issues over the past 30 years. Moreover, their views about social issues are more closely connected to partisanship and voting behavior than those of working-class whites – and they have become much more closely connected since the 1980s. Those facts suggest that “recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues” may not be such a “criminally stupid strategy” on the part of Democr
ic leaders (Frank 2004, 243). Indeed, it may be a testament to the success of that strategy that affluent white voters have not become even more markedly Republican, despite the fact that they (still) attach at least as much weight to economic issues as to social issues.
Of course, the trick for Democrats, given the current configuration of the American party system, is to appeal to affluent voters who are liberal on social issues without alienating the core Democratic constituency of working-class voters drawn to the party primarily by economic issues. Likewise, the trick for Republicans is to appeal to working-class voters who are relatively conservative on social issues without alienating the core Republican constituency of affluent voters drawn to the party primarily by economic issues. Neither party will have an easy time of it, since economic issues continue to be at the heart of the American party system, as they have for most of the past 150 years. 34 Nevertheless, in a messy and closely contested majoritarian system, neither party can afford to stand pat – or to be fastidious about where it finds its support.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The Rove That Dare Not Speak Its Plame
Did the Cheney-Rove effort to discredit Joseph Wilson include dispatching a surrogate posing as a reporter, quondam male escort Jeff Gannon, to interview Wilson? And does the White House relationship with Gannon continue today?
I’ve pointed out before that Gannon’s blog sounds very much as if it originates from the keyboard of Karl Rove. Rife with dated turns of phrase, political history arcana, and pats on the back for Rove, it’s not always plausible as the voice of a man who never wrote a word or took part in politics until his late 40s.
The blog’s preoccupations and elisions are also telling. Although it came into existence over Plamegate, it hasn’t taken note of Rove’s or Libby’s fresh worries. Nor has it mentioned Judy Miller’s release from jail, despite having called impatiently last summer for Miller to give testimony that the blog was somehow then sure would “clear” Rove. That was back when it looked as if it all might fall on Libby, if only Miller would talk.