Rove Demoted

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean says Karl Rove’s demotion in the White House is not enough:

“After having his hand in nearly every bad Bush policy decision and nearly every scandal that has consumed the Bush White House, it is not surprising that Karl Rove was demoted this morning. But, a demotion is not enough. From the collapse of the President’s scheme to privatize social security to Rove’s involvement in the outing of a covert CIA agent’s identity while he still holds a security clearance, the President has abundant reason to fire Karl Rove.

“The Bush White House is merely engaging in window dressing. President Bush doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t just change the window dressing, you have to make changes in the Bush Administration’s policies which have undermined America’s security – from the economy to health care, our families and the war in Iraq.”

‘Swinging Dirk’ Kempthorne Returns to DC

Family Values: First of all, his name is Dirk — but his last name is Kempthorne, not Digler, and he was the governor of Idaho until this week, when President Bush nominated him to be the next Secretary of the Interior.

But when Kempthorne was a U.S. senator, he had a reputation. If it is true, he made Bill Clinton look like a school boy. According to 43rd State Blues: Democracy for Idaho, it is widely rumored that:

  • While he was philandering in D.C., he was married, of course — but he also had a full-time girlfriend from back home who worked in his office
  • He and the girlfriend had a child
  • When his senate career ended, his wife insisted that he give up the girlfriends, all of them, and move back to Idaho
  • They moved back, but at least one girlfriend, the one with the child, returned to Idaho too

Did I need to mention that Kempthorne is a Republican?

Poll: Bush’s Approval Drops to New Low

Ports Deal and Katrina Bungling Cause 8 Point Drop

Is President Bush in a race with himself to the bottom:

GOP voters oppose the ports deal by 58%

The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.

Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they’re opposed to the agreement…

In a separate poll, two out of three Americans said they do not think President Bush has responded adequately to the needs of Katrina victims. Only 32 percent approve of the way President Bush is responding to those needs, a drop of 12 points from last September’s poll, taken just two weeks after the storm made landfall.

Mr. Bush’s overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.

First They Came for Cat Stevens

Apparently, there’s a thin line between whining and terrorizing. Singer Morrissey, who has in the past made no secret of his distaste for the British Royal Family, Tony Blair and George W. Bush, reports that he has been worked over by government officials:

The FBI and the Special Branch have investigated me and I’ve been interviewed and taped and so forth. They were trying to determine if I was a threat to the government, and similarly in England. But it didn’t take them very long to realise that I’m not…
I don’t belong to any political groups, I don’t really say anything unless I’m asked directly and I don’t even demonstrate in public. I always assume that so-called authoritarian figures just assume that pop/rock music is slightly insane and an untouchable platform for the working classes to stand up and say something noticeable.
My view is that neither England or America are democratic societies. You can’t really speak your mind and if you do you’re investigated.

We are only half-laughing.

Girls Rule, Boys Drool

Lawrence Summers stepped down yesterday as President of Harvard University after a stormy five-year tenure. In March of 2005, Summers (former Secretary of the Treasury under the Clinton administration) garnered a no-confidence vote from the Harvard faculty; he faced a second censuring in the wake of the resignation three weeks ago of William C. Kirby, Dean of the Faculty of the Arts and Sciences. Like many folks associated with the “college outside of Boston,” Summers has a propensity for talking out of his butt. His most controversial remarks concerned the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering fields:

So my best guess, to provoke you, of what’s behind all of this is that the largest phenomenon, by far, is the general clash between people’s legitimate family desires and employers’ current desire for high power and high intensity, that in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong.

…Blah blah blah, basically what the dude said was that chicks are dumb in math and too busy making babies to hold down a real job.

To this correspondent, even more egregious was Summers’ 2002 dissing of Cornel West (scholar, rapper, and featured player in two-thirds of the Matrix trilogy), who left Harvard’s African-American Studies Department to rock the mike at Princeton after Summers’ suggestion that he devote more time to “traditionally academic pursuits.” Hmmph. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, suckah.

Christmas Wars: Bill O’Reilly Caught Lying, Said School Banned Christmas Attire

Shameless: If his lips are moving, Bill O’Reilly is lying:

O’REILLY: Plano, Texas, north of Dallas. Students were told they could not wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. Let me repeat that. Plano, Texas. Students can’t wear clothing that have red or green colors because they were too close to Christmas colors. Can you believe this? This is fascism. In addition, it’d be grossly disrespectful.

The facts:

On December 9, Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed on both Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and the nationally syndicated The Radio Factor with Bill O’Reilly that the Plano Independent School District (Texas) “told students they couldn’t wear red and green because they were Christmas colors.” He labeled the alleged ban “fascism.” On December 12, the school district released an official statement by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Otto refuting O’Reilly’s contention:

“The school district does not restrict students or staff from wearing certain color clothes during holiday times or any other school days,” noted Dr. Otto, who said that the school district’s attorney has requested that Mr. O’Reilly retract the statement.

Bush’s Broken Promises to Katrina Victims

He really does not care: President Bush only roused himself to become engaged in the wake of Hurricane Katrina because it would have been political suicide to do anything less. But he has moved on, and, predictably, so has his government, leaving the citizens of the Gulf Coast to fend for themselves:

Officials from both parties say the bottlenecks have occurred in large part because of a leadership vacuum in Washington, where President Bush and Congress have been preoccupied for weeks with Iraq, deficit reduction, the C.I.A. leak investigation and the Supreme Court.

Less than three months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, relief legislation remains dormant in Washington and despair is growing among officials here who fear that Congress and the Bush administration are losing interest in their plight.

As evidence, the state and local officials cite an array of stalled bills and policy changes they say are crucial to rebuilding the city and persuading some of its hundreds of thousands of evacuated residents to return, including measures to finance long-term hurricane protection, revive small businesses and compensate the uninsured.

“There is a real concern that we will lose the nation’s attention the longer this takes,” said Representative Bobby Jindal, a Republican from Metairie, just west of New Orleans. “People are making decisions now about whether to come back. And every day that passes, it will be a little harder to get things done.”

Officials from both parties say the bottlenecks have occurred in large part because of a leadership vacuum in Washington, where President Bush and Congress have been preoccupied for weeks with Iraq, deficit reduction, the C.I.A. leak investigation and the Supreme Court.

Congressional leaders have been scrambling to rein in spending, and many in Washington have grumbled that Louisiana’s leaders have asked for too much, while failing to guarantee that the money will be spent efficiently and honestly.

By contrast, many say, Washington’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks seemed more focused and sustained.

Now, with the holiday season days away and the 2006 midterm elections just around the bend, many Louisiana officials say they fear the sense of urgency that spurred action in September is swiftly draining away.

By the way, weren’t the Republicans going to investigate the fatal fumbling of the government’s actions during the story? What ever happened with that?

SEC Upgrades Frist Investigation

Reuters:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has given subpoena power to investigators looking into the stock sales by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, said sources familiar with the matter on Wednesday.

Moving to protect the Frist inquiry from any future criticism for not being thorough, the SEC changed its status to formal from informal and gave investigators subpoena power to force individuals to talk or to produce documents or e-mails.

Jeb’s ‘Shared Sacrifice’ – New Hybrid SUV

The Bradenton Herald:

Less than 24 hours after urging Floridians to turn up thermostats and curtail gasoline use in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Gov. Jeb Bush rode Friday in a white Ford Escape Hybrid…

“It’s kind of hard to be arguing to conserve gasoline when you’re driving around in a Ford Expedition that guzzles it down at a 6- to 8-mile-per-gallon clip,” Bush said after arriving at a northeast Tallahassee Mormon Church where hurricane evacuees were staying…

“This baby outside . . . makes more sense,” Bush said.

…Bush ordered state facilities to raise their thermostats to 78 degrees and take other energy saving measures. He asked all Floridians to do the same as part of a “shared sacrifice.”