Saturday, July 16, 2005

Poll numbers out on C&D

The Denver Post has an article today that has the first public polls numbers on Referenda C&D.

"If the election were held today, 43 percent of the 625 respondents said they would vote in favor of Referendum C, and 42 percent said they would not. Fifteen percent said they were undecided."

On Referendum D, 45 percent of the poll's respondents said they would vote against it, compared with 39 percent in favor. Sixteen percent said they were undecided."

I was honestly expecting the numbers to be a bit worse. The proponents of C&D are going to have to run a better campaign than they have thus far if they want to succeed but it appears the public will be receptive to their message at least in regards to C.

"A majority of respondents opposed further cuts in public schools, state universities, community colleges, roads and bridges, prisons and Medicaid.

Sixty percent of respondents said they believe the state is experiencing a 'budget crisis.'

Nearly one-third of the respondents said they didn't vote in Colorado in 1992, the year voters approved TABOR, the constitutional amendment that sets limits on state spending."

Friday, July 15, 2005

No apparent shortage of anonymous sources...

Wasn't the jailing of Judith Miller supposed to have a chilling effect on the ability of reporters to utilize anonymous sources? Take a look around at the news and you'll see that even in the immediate aftermath of Miller's imprisonment, a time when sources and journalists would seemingly be their most conscientious, anonymous sources are still in abundance. There's been a plethora of stories on the Rove scandal in recent days which rely on anonymous sources. Wouldn't you think that of all the news stories which might be feeling the shockwaves of Judith Miller's imprisonment it would the Rove scandal?

The Pete Wilson strategy

A few weeks back Colorado Luis asserted that the "mexican time" comment by Bob Beauprez was not just an innocent slip of the tongue but really part of a GOP strategy to use immigration as the social wedge issue for the 2006 elections. Luis wrote,
"I think we need to consider the possibility that this so-called "gaffe" was part of a very intentional political strategy for 2006, which I'll call the Pete Wilson strategy after the governor of California who won re-election in 1994 in a campaign that was viewed as virulently anti-Latino and anti-Asian-American. That campaign was based on the idea that if Wilson could pick up 60% of the white vote, he would win no matter what. He picked up 61% and won. If you don't believe me, check out Pat Buchanan's argument praising Wilson's 1994 strategy and arguing that future GOP victories in California and nationally depend on mobilizing the white vote on the issue of immigration."
Some were dismissive of this assertion but I found it intriguing, it would be classic Rovian-GOP strategy - find a social wedge issue to bring your base out. Given the normal downturn in electoral turnout at mid-term elections as well as the President and Congress's low poll numbers the GOP has to find something to bring their base out to the polls in 2006.

Two days ago the Rocky ran a story on Rep. Tom Tancredo's recent Presidential campaign swings through Iowa,

"Despite all that, Tancredo created a buzz of his own. He got enough standing ovations from hard-core conservative Iowa voters that it should worry any top-tier presidential hopefuls who thought they could get through 2008 without touching the immigration hot-button."
Today I came across a Congressional Insiders Poll which contained some fascinating data. Question #2 was, "Which one issue is most on the minds of your constituents these days?" 37 congressional Republican's responded and 17 said immigration, the next highest was 10 - the economy. Look at some of the quotes from these Republican's that accompanied the poll,
"Immigration: Highest-octane issue in America"

"Concern and anger over illegal immigration continues to become a louder drumbeat..."
Last night in Denver Howard Dean expressed concern that immigration would be the social wedge issue in 2006,
"He charged that Republicans have prospered by stirring up fears about quotas and gays, and he predicted the next hot-button issue for the GOP would be immigration."
I think it's safe to say that Luis was certainly onto something. In all honesty in the short term I don't think the Republican's stand to lose much electoraly. The GOP's gains in Hispanic support have largely been discredited as the result of faulty exit polls. In addition only 1 in 5 eligible Hispanic voters actually votes and Hispanics make up a small percentage of the overall electorate, the folks at The Emerging Democratic Majority provide excellent analysis of these numbers here. Short term the strategy might work for them, long term they could lose the Hispanic vote for generations much like they lost the African-American vote thanks to the Southern Strategy.

Cutting Taxes, Fixing Roads, Funding Schools

What is now known as Referendum C was introduced in the state House on January 27, 2005 as HB05-1194. The original language of that bill contained a tax cut, specifically it reduced the state income tax from the current 4.63% to 4.5%. The bill was assigned to the Finance and Appropriatons committees and repeteadly laid over while bi-partisan negotiations with Governor took place. Finally on March 9th the bill, in all of it's ammended glory, passed second reading in the House. Somewhere though in the 41 days between first reading and second reading the tax cut was removed, that decision may be what ultimatley keeps Referendum C from passing this November.

I was following 1194 quite closely, closer than most, and at the time I remember thinking that if you had to give up the tax cut to make a deal - so be it. The important thing, I thought, was getting something done to bring to the voters this November. The tax break was miniscule, we needed to focus on the broader issue. Now I see just how incredibly short-sighted that was.

It is still early in the C&D debate, but thus far debate seems to be focusing on the allegation that Referenda C&D are somehow akin to a tax hike. Now I certainly don't buy that, no new taxes are being created and no tax rates are going up... how can that be a tax hike? The problem for C&D proponents though is that just having a debate on the issue is damaging to their cause. Whether or not C&D are actually a tax hike is secondary, there will be constant debates from now until November on the issue. In everyone of those debates - whether they take place on a blog, at a barbecue, around the water coooler, or on the Aaron Harber show - the phrase "tax hike" will be uttered... repeatedly.

Wouldn't it be nice if Referendum C still contained that miniscule tax cut? The debate would be over 0 the bumper stickers write themselves, "Cutting taxes, fixing roads, funding schools". How do you vote against that? At the time the tax cut seemed so insignificant but now it appears it may have been the keystone to the C&D debate and it was given away.

I'd like to know where in the negotiations the tax cut was finally jettisoned and for what rationale. I'd like to know who's idea it was to sacrifice the tax cut.

Kudos to Speaker Romanoff for having the foresight to incorporate the tax cut into the original language of 1194. I don't know why we ever gave it up.

Fundraising numbers are in...

Colorado Pols has done a nice job of putting together the fundraising numbers for the various candidates for CD-7 seat and Governor. I have a few thoughts...

CD7 race Democrats
Ed Perlmutter - $215,000
Peggy Lamm - ?
- Okay so technically the numbers are not due until today but considering that the fundraising numbers for every other major candidate have leaked out one must assume that Peggy Lamm has come up short. As Colorado Pols noted, if Lamm had any good news to report she would have gotten word out. I think most objective observers of this race felt that Perlmutter would hold a fundraising advantage over Peggy Lamm, it looks like they were right.

CD7 race Republican
Rick O'Donnell - $269,000
- O'Donnell is running unopposed and had a healthy fundraising quarter. Given the competetive nature of this district and the emphasis that the national parties have placed on the seat I would expect O'Donnell and his Democratic opponent to have little problems raising adequate funds for the 2006 election.

Gubernatorial race Democrats
Bill Ritter - $164,000
Rutt Bridges - $131,000
- I've written a bit about this race previously, to put it succintly I think that this advantage is a negligible one and I fully expect Bridges to be able to defeat Ritter in a primary.

Gubernatorial race Republican's
Bob Beauprez - $403,700
Marc Holtzman - $390,000
- These numbers are pretty staggering relative to the amounts raised by their Democratic counterparts, when you figure in Holtzman's 1st Quarter funds his total soars to over $800,000. This primary race is shaping up to be quite a dog fight and I'm looking forward to it heating up. The amount of money being thrown around shouldn't phase Dems though as Rutt Bridges can outspend any Republican candidate in the field if he should win the Democratic Party.

Hopefully we hear something out of Peggy Lamm soon...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Revisting the credibility gap, again...

Thursday's Washington Post really went inside the recent WSJ/MSNBC poll which I referenced yesterday in my post, "Credibility part Deux. The numbers are actually worse than I thought for the President,
"A majority of those polled disapprove of how Bush is handling the economy, foreign policy -- and Iraq. A plurality -- 49 percent -- agree that "we should set a deadline for withdrawing our troops from Iraq." And asked "If the United States withdraws its troops from Iraq there will be more terrorist attacks in the United States," only 36 percent agree -- compared to 54 percent who disagree.

Finally, it's not just honesty where Bush is taking a hit. Only 50 percent of those polled gave him high ratings for being easygoing and likeable, down from 57 in January; 43 percent gave him high ratings for being smart, down from 50; 40 percent gave him high ratings for being compassionate enough to understand average people, down from 47; and only 29 percent gave him high ratings for being willing to work with people whose viewpoints are different from his own, down from 33."

Will there be a backlash against the Republican's 2006? The Democrats seem to have some momentum going for them at this early stage.

Just in time for the weekend NY Times breaks important Rove story

I was thinking that Plame-Gate might have reached it's media apex, at least until Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald releases his findings and/or indictments, what with the White House stonewalling, the coming weekend, and the press and average American's relatively short attention span when it comes to these seemingly partisan battles - I was almost tired of this story, almost.

I really felt that the GOP had done a nice job over the last few days of muddying up the story, being aggressive, and really pushing back. Unfortunately for the GOP the facts really do seem to be against them at this point. Friday morning's NY Times breaks the news that Rove spoke about Valerie Plame with Bob Novak as he was preparing that now infamous column and three days before Mr. Rove spoke to Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper about Mrs. Wilson.

I think Plamegate just got a breathe of life that will sustain it through the weekend.

Editor & Publisher has a nice story on the impact of the NY Times piece.

Feingold goes after the lobby...

Democratic reformer Russ Feingold has apparently set his sites on the Washington Lobby. I guess this is a reaction by the Democrats to the Republican's "K-Street Plan" and the explosive growth of the Washington D.C. lobby corps. The Hill provides the details of Feingold's plan,

"Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) will introduce a bill today that would radically overhaul the ways in which lobbyists and lawmakers interact with one another.

Feingold's bill would require more disclosure of meetings between lawmakers and lobbyists, curb privately funded travel, slow the revolving door between government service and lobbying, and raise the cost of traveling on private jets, according to talking points released by Feingold's spokesman."

and the Republican's attack 527's, which of course leaned heavily Democratic in the 2004 election cycle. Again, The Hill provides the details,

"House Republicans plunged into the issue of 527 reform yesterday as conference leaders sought to bridge the gap between two competing pieces of legislation."

It sounds as though there is still some internal GOP strife over just how deeply this bill should cut into recent campaign finance reform but reform is coming.

On a local note,
"National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.)... warned that 527s were active in attacking Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) during the last campaign and could be more prominent this cycle."

Howard Dean event tonight...

I was unable to attend tonight's Howard Dean event in Denver but had a good friend there who just called to fill me in on some of the details. As wonderful as it was to have Chairman Dean here in Colorado it appears that the event itself left a bit to be desired.

The list of big name attendees who were in attendance really pales in comparison the list of names who were not even invited, namely all of the Democratic state legislators. In fact the only State Rep in attendance was Anne McGihon, and no one from the Senate was present - though Joan Fitz-Gerald's husband was in attendance, apparently Joan was traveling. One has to wonder how an event like this was organized and no one thought to invite even the state Democratic leadership. Apparently the DNC, who organized the event, felt there was no need to include Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, House Majority Leader Alice Madden, or Speaker Andrew Romanoff. The abscence of any state Dems was noticeable and people were talking about it. You would think that the recent 2004 electoral success of the state Democratic Party would garner a little respect and recognition from the DNC, apparently not though.

While the state Democratic legislators were MIA some of prominent names were in attendance including Jared Polis, state party chairman Pat Waak, CD-7 candidates Ed Perlmutter and Herb Rubenstein, Gubernatorial candidate and Denver DA Bill Ritter, and Denver City Council President Elbra Wedgeworth.

In addition to the noticeable abscences the event apparently was poorly organized with complaints from some donors (all of whom had contributed $100-500 to attend) about a range of issues from inconvenient and poorly planned sign-in process (it wasn't at the main entrance to the hotel!) and the lack of any real publicity about the event (neither the Denver Dems nor the Colorado Dems website have anything on their websites about the Denver event). In addition there was some concern about how much of this money will be directed back into Colorado by the DNC, apparently no one knows for sure what percentage or amount Colorado campaigns might see.

No one word yet on exactly how much money was raised at the event.

One down...

Rep. Duke Cunningham will not be seeking re-election in 2006. Probably worried a picture of the Feds rading his house might show up on campaign literature.

Rutt Bridges Q&A on Colorado Pols

Rutt just finished up his Q&A over on Colorado Pols, my first impressions are that it was pretty uneventful. The questions from the public were not all that great, they're have certainly been better questions in past Q&A sessions. Rutt's answers did him no harm and no damage, so I guess no big screwups means that's a win for Rutt. Answering the questions live I thought was a nice touch, it shows that he has command of the issues and confidence in his positions.

I liked his answer to question #6 about abortion and his views on choice. His answer touched on several different policy initiatives he believes are tied into the abortion issue such as adoption and sex-ed. His answer seemed thoughtful and well reasoned and too often the abortion debate turns into a screeching partisan debate.

He handled the immigration question, #9, quite well too.

His handling of question #11 was excellent,
"11. The Bighorn Center was responsible for creating the “no-call list” in Colorado. If you could prevent each of your opponents from calling one person during the campaign, who would you add to their personal no-call lists?

I would add Rupert Murdoch to Marc Holtzman’s list, though that money horse may have already left the barn. For Bob Beauprez, it would be his mentor and soul mate, Tom DeLay."

Never too early to start in on your potential opponents, these jabs were subtle yet effective.

Some thoughts on Colorado politics...

I haven't been focusing as much as I would like on Colorado politics, partially because the session is over and we are in a summer time lull awaiting the C&D campaigns to heat up. Partially too because there has been a lot of action on the national political scene as of late. I've made a few postings over at Colorado Pols on state politics in recent days but I have a few other things I'd like to get off of my chest...

1. Shouldn't we be hearing from Angie Paccione soon? Her polling was conducted last week, the numbers are in. Why haven't we heard anything? My guess is that the numbers were not overwhelming either way. Given the winning percentage of Congressional incumbents (near 95%) Angie has a tough decision to make, if the people are not clamoring to vote out Musgrave should she risk losing her relatively safe State House seat? Personally I'd love to see Angie run and I think she has a good shot at beating Musgrave if she runs a good campaign. It has to be tough to give up your seat though and roll the dice to run in what would surely be a close US House race, but at some point in his or her career a politician has to be a gambler and has to take a leap of faith if they want to rise in the political ranks. Run Angie Run!

2. For Governor, I think Rutt Bridges is my guy. I know he was out fundraised based on the numbers that came out yesterday but I think you cannot discount two things about those numbers. First, Ritter had a 2 week advantage, if you extrapolate the daily fundraising numbers for Rutt out you see that fundraising advantage evaporate. Second, and I think most importantly, Rutt doesn't need anyone else's money to run for Governor, so ultimately I think his fundrasing numbers are a bit inconsequential.

3. Money aside, can Bill Ritter really win a Democratic primary? Primary voters are the hardcore party loyalists, the party's base if you prefer. What about Bill Ritter appeals to the Democratic Party base? Not much from what I can see.

I look forward to the Q&A with Rutt Bridges this afternoon over at Colorado Pols, should be enlightening.

Nice Bloomberg piece on the Rove Scandal

Bloomberg does a nice job of dispelling some of the absurd Republican talking points on the Rove scandal.

"Republicans are attempting to defend Rove by discrediting Wilson, saying the former ambassador misled the public about why he was sent to Niger and what he found there.

Bush supporters such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich contend that Wilson lied in claiming that Vice President Dick Cheney dispatched him on the mission to Niger. That echoes a Republican National Committee talking-points memo sent to party officials.

Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president's office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney's questions."

How do we counter the Rove spin?

Josh Marshall has an excellent post this evening which discusses the growing spin from the right about the Rove scandal - that is they are smearing Joe Wilson (again) and Matthew Cooper. The pattern is old hat for obeserves of this administration and Josh summarizes it well,

"Now we can see in full view what we've seen again and again in recent years, the favored tactic: terror by grand moral inversion, the lie so total and audacious that it almost knocks opponents off their feet."

The question is, what are Democrats going to do about it? It seems too often that Dems are so taken aback at the sheer audacity of the spin that they fail to react, in part because they believe that no one could possibly believe the spin. Of course the spin sticks, the media becomes distracted, public opinion shifts and the Dems have, once again, lost the argument. I appreciate Josh's observations and I agree with him wholeheartedley but we need to take the next step - we need to counter punch. We need a strategy and we need to get organized, the GOP has issued their talking points, the GOP is organized and on message. Time for the Dems to stop flailing about, focus their attack and construct a coherent message to counter the effects of the GOP spin.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Credibility part deux: Revenge of the Polls

You'll recall that I posted yesterday about the growing credibility gap that the administration is facing. Well there was a poll released today that I think further illustrates that the American people have turned, they no longer believe their President. Bush has gone to the well one too many times and now people simply do not trust him.

"Furthermore, only 41 percent give Bush good marks for being “honest and straightforward” — his lowest ranking on this question since he became president. That’s a drop of nine percentage points since January, when a majority (50 percent to 36 percent) indicated that he was honest and straightforward. This finding comes at a time when the Bush administration is battling the perception that its rhetoric doesn’t match the realities in Iraq, and also allegations that chief political adviser Karl Rove leaked sensitive information about a CIA agent to a reporter. (The survey, however, was taken just before these allegations about Rove exploded into the current controversy.)"

So as bad as these numbers are they potentially could get much worse for the President.

Karl Rove, evil genius?

Craig Crawford seems to think so...

"...he's actually created a situation here where the federal courts can target leakers and reporters more than ever because the law is going to be blind to whether it's a good leaker or a bad leaker. I mean the principle is the same. The great damage has been done here to the ability of reporters to get information from leakers. So that fulfills his agenda to hamper the news media and that I think is going to be one of the most lasting consequences of this case unless he gets indicted. But there's nothing in Matt Cooper's email that could indict him. There'd have to be a lot more."

It's an interesting analysis, given Rove's track record this leak scandal does seem uncharacteristically sloppy. You don't often find Rove or one of his candidates doing the heavy lifting themselves when it comes to the dirty tricks. Then again the one other time time that Rove got into trouble with a press leak it was to Robert Novak and it got Rove fired from George H.W. Bush's 1992 re-election campaign. So perhaps it's not so uncharacteristic after all.

Rehnquist hospitalized

"Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, ailing with cancer, is in the hospital with a fever, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Rehnquist was taken by ambulance to an Arlington, Va., hospital Tuesday night and was admitted for observation and tests, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said."

I wish the Chief well.

I was preparing to post my thoughts on what I see as the real Supreme Court issue facing liberals - the age of Justice John Paul Stevens - but I will refrain for a bit out of respect for the Chief.

GAO: Army Reserves desperatley need funds

Would someone please remind me again who is supposed to be the party of national security and which party hates the military? For far too long the Dems have allowed the GOP to take the highground in any debate on the military and national security. I think it's high time that the Democratic Party employ the Rovian tactic of attacking the percieved strength of your opponent. The fact is the GOP abandons Veterans (as evidenced by the cuts to VA hospitals and the like), the GOP sent our troops into battle without proper equipment, the GOP has let the Coast Guard rot and failed to protect our shores and ports, the GOP has abused the national guard and reserves. Why aren't Democrats making these points?

Exhibit A of the GOP's incompetency, this GAO report from yesterday

“We found that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Army Reserve to continue to provide ready forces in the near term due to worsening personnel and equipment shortages”
Just as the Democratic Party needs a 50 state strategy to compete electorally we must confront all issues head on. We cannot concede a single state to the GOP and we sure as hell shouldn't be conceding any issues to the GOP.

Funny passage from today's Hill

I was reading an article in today's edition of The Hill about Congressional Republican's standing by their man Karl Rove. When I got to the following passage I literally laughed out loud,

"Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) told The Hill, “I’m not going to participate in a hit job on Karl Rove. I’m going to wait for the facts.”

DeLay prefaced his comments by saying that the media had demanded a special prosecutor and now must wait for the facts. Told that the media doesn’t have the power to convene a special prosecutor, DeLay brushed off the comment."

What I wouldn't give to witness a reporter give a civics lesson to Tom DeLay. The statement from DeLay about the media and special prosecutors is really classic GOP spin. They're not stupid, the idea is to obfuscate, obscure, and otherwise muddy up the issues... rarely though are they called out by the press on those obfuscations.

That paradigm of virtue Zell Miller? He's actually a thief...

"Experts are voicing concerns about how and why former Gov. Zell Miller departed the Governor's Mansion with over $60,000 in taxpayer dollars.Every living Georgia governor, including Jimmy Carter, says they would not have kept the money or considered that it belongs to them."

The newly found moral relativism of the Right

Nice post over at Bull Moose detailing the newly found moral relativism of the Republican Party. The party that was swept into power in 1994 on promises of reform has now been hopelessly corrupted by the power they have achieved.

"Of course, the right was not terribly concerned about the principles of federalism or opposing judicial activism in Bush v. Gore or in the recent Schiavo situation. The principle of limited government was cast aside long ago for pork barrel incumbent protection and for the benefit of their corporate cronies in the Medicare drug bill. Ultimately, it is all about power.

Conservatives are the new moral relativists. If you don't believe the Moose, just ask Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Tom DeLay, and yes, Karl Rove. They came to power in '94 promising to tame the power of government - now they are enamored by it.

Conservatives have made the ultimate faustian bargain. Can conservatism survive conservatives?"

One of Plame's classmates comes to her defense...

Excellent post over at TPM Cafe today from one of Valerie Plame's classmates. Considering the outright lies coming from the GOP in regards to Plameand her husband I encourage everyone to read this account.

"A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.

The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The sycophants have gone delusional...

Read this and try to keep a straight face... I dare you

"Byron York has a vital detail in his must-read piece right now on the main part of the NRO website. Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, tells Byron that Time's Matt Cooper called Rove to talk about something else and that only secondarily did the subject of Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame come up.

This is important, because it suggests Rove wasn't "retailing" the information about Wilson and Plame -- wasn't reporter-shopping to drop a dirty dime on those involved -- but was rather a passive source, answering a phone call at the reporter's behest and presumably changing topics to the sexier one at issue at the reporter's behest as well."

Does anyone really believe that Karl Rove operates this way? What in Mr. Rove's well documented past would make someone believe in this "Benevolent Karl" straw man that the sycophants on the right are concocting? This is a man with a 30 year history of dirty tricks, 30 years! Rove, while he was head of College Republicans was reprimanded in the mid 70's by the RNC and then chairman George H.W. Bush. In the midst of Watergate Rove was conducting meetings where he detailed dirty tricks tactics. In 1992 George H.W. Bush fired Rove from his campaign when Rove leaked information about a Bush family confidante to - get this - Bob Novak. This is a guy who painted an opponent in a judicial race - a man who had dedicated his life to helping neglected and abused children - as a pedophile through a wisper campaign. I could go on, but instead I recommend reading this piece which details Rove's history.

Somehow I don't think that the "Benevolent Rove" defense is going to stick...

Worse than Watergate, so says Ed Gillespie

This is pretty damning...

Hardball (MSNBC - 9/30/03):

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Don't you think it's more serious than Watergate, when you think about it?

RNC CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE: I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?

GILLESPIE: It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics.

Has the administration lost all credibility?

Are we finally seeing that the American public has turned on the Bush administration after being burned one too many times by the White House? Clearly Bush will always maintain popularity with the sycophants on the right, but the rest of the nation seems to finally have turned against the administration.

The focus on the afternoon political shows has been on the growing credibility gap of the White House in regards to the Rove scandal. But this administration is also facing a growing credibility gap with the war in Iraq, as evidenced by the desperate speech in North Carolina a few weeks back. The President recieved no bounce from that speech - and in fact even slipped a bit in one poll. Just prior to that the polls showed that the President's overall approval numbers plummeting, that 60% of American's believed Iraq wasn't worth it, that 40% favored impeachment if in fact the President misled us about WMD's.

The lead up to the Rove scandal was filled with bad news and signs of a growing credibility gap with the general public. This current scandal could very well be a catalyst for further backlash, it appears that the public has already turned and the Rove scandal is just more fuel for the fire.

speaking of corrupt Republican's, let's not forget our friends in...


"State District Judge Bob Perkins today said he believes two officials with Texans for a Republican Majority should stand trial on felony charges of money laundering."

Is there any doubt that the current Republican Party leadership is just corrupt to the core?

Texans for a Republican Majority is a PAC setup by none other than Tom Delay.

Andrew Sullivan on the Rove scandal

Andrew Sullivan is a conservative with a conscience, I often times wonder how a Republican like him can tolerate the shenanigans of this White House. Andrew has an excellent piece today on the Rove scandal, unlike many of his GOP counterparts Andrew is calling for Bush to fire Karl Rove as Bush promised to do to the leaker.

"An emailer puts it as well as I could:
Two points, briefly:
1. People need to stop hiding behind Clintonian semantics here and understand that even if no actual technical violation of the law is found in the Rove/Plame case it will still be true, based on what we know now from the Time emails, that White House actions compromised a CIA asset during a time of war. What would Hannity, Limbaugh, Scarborough and all the cable loudmouths be saying if it had been Sidney Blumenthal?

2. Scott McClellan once told the American people that Karl Rove was not involved in any way, and that the President would remove anyone found to be involved. During the Lewinsky scandal many people insisted that it was not the sex that bothered them, but it was the lying, spinning, parsing, and direct misleading of the American people that offended them, and that came to define the Clinton White House. What would the cable loudmouths be saying if instead of McClellan it had been McCurry?

This isn't about technical violations or a game of gotcha. It's about character, and George Bush needs to show some."

Dems are talking with their checkbooks

From The Hill...

"Ethics allegations against two prominent House Republicans have boosted the fundraising efforts of their Democratic challengers.

Former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) announced yesterday that he raised more than $500,000 during the first two months of his campaign to unseat House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas)."

With his announcement, Lampson joins California Democrat Francine Busby, who is challenging embattled Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), as the beneficiary of negative news reports surrounding a Republican incumbent.

Busby’s campaign raised $64,000 of its $100,000 second quarter total in the last two weeks of June, said campaign spokesman Brennan Bilberry, after a string of stories broke about a federal investigation into the sale of Cunningham’s home to the owner of a Nevada-based defense contractor that received millions in federal appropriations."

Great to see!

Excellent Op/Edmpiece in this morning's LA Times on Rove

Robert Scheer pulls no punches this morning in discussing the Rove-Plame scandal that is now starting to engulf the administration.

"In the end, though, what Rove's leak and Novak's column really exposed was the depravity of the administration's deliberate use of a false WMD threat and its willingness to go after anyone willing to tell the truth about it.

It's ironic that the expertise of this couple should be turned against them by a White House that has demonstrated nothing but incompetence in dealing with the WMD issue. But clearly truth and competence are virtues easily shed by the Bush administration in the pursuit of political advantage, even when this partisan game jeopardizes national security."

Excellent summation of the issues. The mainstream press seemed preoccupied with the 1st Amendment issues raised by Judith Miller's jailing. Now though it appears the tide has turned and they are now focusing on the criminal activities of the Rove. The White House press briefing yesterday was loads of fun, and this morning's newspapers pulled no punches, Americablog has a nice summation of the morning press. And of course if Tim Russert, King of the Inside the Beltway Media, has turned on you things are really not going well, from this morning's Today show,

"One Republican said to me last night, if this was a Democratic White House, we'd have Congressional hearings in a second."

that may be the most damning statement I've heard given that Russert is quoting a Republican, the Republican is pointing out the obvious double-standard they are applying to this serious situation, and Russert was saying it - Tim doesn't generally like to ruffle any feathers inside the Beltway, he must smell blood in the water.

speaking of corrupt Republican's, let's not forget our friends in Kentucky

Looks like 3 indictments were brought down, 2 to officials in the Governor's office and 1 to the state GOP Chairman...

Took a few days off...

I took a break for the weekend and it looks as though the Rove-Plame investigation has taken a turn. Marshall Wittman (currently of the DLC, former staffer to McCain and Bush I) though doesn't think we should get our hopes too high.

"Democrats should not get too excited about the presumed crisis confronting Rove. Short of a criminal indictment, Rove is not going anywhere. As I wrote in my blog this morning, for Bush to get rid of Rove, would be like Charlie McCarthy firing Edgar Bergen."