Does Bush really think he is fooling anybody with his ridiculous legacy project? Timothy Gay writes a very convincing smackdown of the legacy project and argues that the neo-cons can stop dreaming - history will not look kindly on President Bush. Need even more evidence for that assertion? The New York Times profiles a 513-page report that details the "$100 billion failure" of Iraq's reconstruction.
Also, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines how important the Midwest will be to GOP hopes in future elections... you know, they really got off to a good start last week!
And, John Nichols defends Jesse Jackson Jr.
Timothy Gay writes a convincing op-ed for the Boston Globe that brings the Bush "legacy project" down a few notches. He wins my nomination for quote of the morning:
Watch, their apologists argue, history will vindicate Bush and Cheney just as it exonerated Truman and Marshall. It may take a couple of decades, but future McCulloughs will come to recognize that the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq was transformative - and that torturing suspects was the only real way to fight terrorism.
Neo-cons can stop fantasizing now. Bush is no Truman, Iraq is no Cold War, and Dick Cheney is no George Marshall. The rehabilitation of Bush and Cheney is not going to happen in any foreseeable lifetime.
Habeas corpus wasn't the only thing suspended during Bush's presidency. So was America's moral bearing.
I wanted to stand up and applaud after reading this column, but I thought that would probably look a little silly. So, as Bush continues his legacy project, we can all keep in mind the reality of the situation:
"There really seems to be an overwhelming consensus that this is a failed presidency," said Charles Walcott, a presidency expert at Virginia Tech.
If you need any more evidence of how the Bush administration has pretty much bungled or mismanaged everything it touched, look no further than the front page of the New York Times:
An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.
The funniest part of the report has to be the following quote from Donald Rumsfeld on the expense of reconstruction:
“I think it’s going to cost billions of dollars,” Mr. Garner said.
“My friend,” Mr. Rumsfeld replied, “if you think we’re going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken.”
Is Rumsfeld the worst Secretary of Defense of all time? I'm trying to think of some others who could share that stage with him, but I can't think of anyone who reaches the same level of incompetence.
Also worth reading today, Newsweek has a lengthy report and interview with Thomas Tamm, the Justice Department official who tipped off the New York Times on the warrantless wiretapping program.
Politico reports on how the Illinois Republican Party is milking the Blagojevich scandal for all it is worth:
The Illinois Republican Party launched a new Web site that it says will link 12 different state Democrats to scandal-ridden Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The site, Friendsofblago.com, is the latest incarnation of the state party's hopes of turning President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat over to the GOP.
After looking at the Web site, Democratic strategist Phil Singer noted, "Democrats across the board have said Blagojevich has got to go so I'm not sure that this Web site has a point other than to continue the divisive politics that have haunted America in recent years."
The Republican National Committee has also wasted no time putting together a web video implying that Barack Obama is not being truthful about the situation.
Oy, how I wish they would all just go away. Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin at dcexaminer.com claim Karl Rove will be leading the GOP's fight against the Holder nomination:
But his political involvement may soon become even more pronounced: Yeas & Nays has obtained an advanced transcript of this weekend's "The Chris Matthews Show" on NBC and panelist Ceci Connolly, a reporter for the Washington Post, tells Matthews during the show's "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" segment that "Word on the street is that Karl Rove is going to be helping lead the fight against Eric Holder when his nomination for Attorney General heads up to the Senate."
Karl Rove should be making a permanent home for himself under a rock somewhere. The Washington Examiner is edited by a Townhall and FOX News contributer, so keep that in mind when evaluating this rumor...
Speaking of the GOP, Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel maintains that the GOP's presidential and majority hopes will be dependent on their ability to compete in the Midwest - especially Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan:
The Republican Party has emerged from its losses in 2006 and 2008 with a serious geography problem. It has been routed in the Northeast. The West Coast isn't much better. The Southwest, thanks to a burgeoning Latino vote, appears to be trending against the party. And suburban growth trends have boosted Democrats in historically Republican states such as Virginia and Colorado.
If those patterns continue, a shrinking map will leave the fortunes of the GOP more dependent than ever on its ability to compete in the traditional battlegrounds of the Midwest, including several states (Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan) that it hasn't carried in at least two decades.
"Republicans cannot allow the map to continue to shrink on them," said GOP insider and former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, who calls the upper Midwest "critical to the Republican Party." Unless the party can do better in the region, "there aren't enough voters for them, either congressionally or presidentially, to regain the majority nationally," Democratic pollster Paul Maslin said.
I'm sure the GOP really increased their popularity in Michigan and other Midwestern states this past week. Nothing says "we need the Midwest, especially Michigan" like a big f-you to the auto industry!
In other news, John Nichols at The Nation describes his view of Jesse Jackson Jr. and urges other writers and analysts not to make assumptions that could potentially destroy an innocent man's career:
Since his election to the House in a 1995 special election, Jackson has compiled one of the most consistently progressive and reform-oriented records in the chamber. He has clashed not just with the Bush administration and its economic-royalist allies but with Democrats who have chosen to compromise with those interests. As such, he has cost himself politically. Jackson's stands on principle have made it harder for him to raise money and to attain the powerful positions that are apportioned to those who go along to get along.
Those hopes are based on what I know of Jesse Jackson Jr. and his service to the republic over the past 13 years -- a service that I am not prepared to disregard until I have seen convincing evidence that he has betrayed the public trust.
Yael Abouhalkah, a columnist for the Kansas City Star, argues that Jackson Jr. "sure looks a little naive" for meeting with Blagojevich even after it was revealed by the Chicago Tribune that the feds were taping the governor's conversations and investigating him for "pay to play."
Also in the NY Times this morning, Frank Rich wonders why there is so much outrage over Blagojevich when the scandals perpetrated by the Bush administration have been so much worse:
Blagojevich’s alleged crimes pale next to the larger scandals of Washington and Wall Street. Yet those who promoted and condoned the twin national catastrophes of reckless war in Iraq and reckless gambling in our markets have largely escaped the accountability that now seems to await the Chicago punk nabbed by the United States attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald.
The Times calls its chilling investigative series on the financial failures “The Reckoning,” but the reckoning is largely for the rest of us — taxpayers, shareholders, the countless laid-off employees — not the corporate and political leaders who led us into the quagmire. It’s a replay of the Iraq equation: the troops, the Iraqi people and American taxpayers have borne the harshest costs while Bush and company retire to their McMansions.
It is a rather sad commentary that the Blagojevich scandal gets round the clock coverage for days, but a Senate report linking Rumsfeld and top Bush officials directly to torture policies gets only a glancing mention.
If you are into design like I am, you'll appreciate this post on LogoDesignLove I found via Andrew Sullivan. Sol Sender, the designer behind Obama's logo, shows some of the other logo ideas for the '08 campaign that didn't make the cut.
So what's on your mind?