What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 20, 2006

Gingrich v Rove (Round 1)

Via Insight Magazine.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has decided to break with President Bush.

Sources close to Mr. Gingrich said that, after having kept silent for more than a year, he has become openly critical of the administration, portraying the president as a weak man akin to Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. The former House speaker has warned conservatives not to expect anything from the White House over the remaining two years and instead focus on building a base for leadership for 2008.
Did I read that right? Weak like Jimmy Carter? Newt Gingrich says that Dubya is a "weak man" like Jimmy Carter.

Oh my god. How will all the wingnuts respond? How can they? The man who brought about the "Contract with America" and the Republican take-over of the House in 1994 says that Bush is weak like Carter. I think I hear some wingnut heads exploding right now. Oh, the humanity!

But Newt isn't done. No Sirree.
The sources said Mr. Gingrich, who refuses to commit to a presidential bid in 2008, blames White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for Mr. Bush's mistakes, including the loss of Congress in 2006. They said Mr. Gingrich's criticism of the top Bush political adviser has been considered by the president and this could lead to Mr. Rove's early departure.

On Nov. 30, Mr. Gingrich, hosted by dozens of powerful conservatives, spoke at a private fund raiser for the Virginia Conservative Action PAC. Mr. Gingrich, lamenting the waste of the Republican Party's huge ad campaign during the 2006 election, called on Mr. Rove to either change his losing strategy or quit.

"2004 was pathetic, and 2006 was worse," Mr. Gingrich said, referring to the Rove-directed GOP campaigns.
So Bush is weak and the huge 2006 election losses are Rove's fault, thus spake Newt.

But there's one more tidbit:
Mr. Gingrich gave several reasons for the GOP’s loss of Congress in 2006. He cited the U.S. failure to stabilize Iraq, the botched relief effort after Hurricane Katrina and the lack of an agenda that could have inspired Americans.
But I thought the Republican Talking Point about New Orleans was that it was all Mayor (and Democrat) Ray Nagin's and Governor (and Democrat) Kathleen Blanco's fault. Is Newt Gingrich actually saying that FEMA botched the relief effort?


Not only that, but he said that FEMA made things worse:
"If there was no FEMA, New Orleans would have recovered faster," Mr. Gingrich said.
This isn't the first time Newt's spoken to us via Insight Magazine. In August, Newt said that the GOP has been an "abysmal failure" for 12 years.

My god it's fun to trash the Republicans with one of their own.
  • GOP = lacks an inspiring agenda, an abysmal failure for 12 years
  • FEMA=Made things worse in New Orleans
  • Dubya=Weak
  • Rove=It's all his fault
Who says this isn't fun?


Richmond K. Turner said...

What, now Newt's your hero? 9, 10, 11, and 12 years ago you would have been liked nothing more than to see the man gone and out of the public eye forever.

The cool thing is that he's pretty much right (at least this time around). His feelings about what the GOP have done since their 1994 victory pretty closely mirror my own. They very quickly abandoned everything that we thought they stood for and became just like every other congressional majority in history.

It's nice to know that there are people within the party who are seeing things the same way that I am, but it's a shame that it took 12 long years for the voters to reject this rolling trainwreck.

xranger said...

Dayvoe, you truly do not understand us conservatives.

Newt is our Reagan standard bearer, our champion of eliciting the modern conservative causes.

We have all come to the conclusion that W is not a conservative but, rather, an extension of the Rockefeller Republicans. That is why the election was such a resounding vote against him and the Congress. (In the same manner, his father was also fired by us).

We still support the war in Iraq, because we must. To leave prematurley has the potential for catastrophy for America, and we are, first and formeost, looking out for America.

See, we conservatives are country - first, as opposed to party - first. This is the major difference between conservatives and liberals.

Thus ends the lesson. Talk amongst yourselves...

Schmuck Shitrock said...

we will...use every technology we can find...to break up their capacity to use free speech -- Newt Gingrich

Oh, I think we understand Conservatives, all right.

xranger said...

What's that quote from?

Anonymous Schmuck said...

It's in today's New York Sun, quoting an audio excerpt from his office, but I've seen it quoted in a number of places.

Here's some more context:

"This is a serious, long-term war. Either before we lose a city or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us to stop them from recruiting people."

Still lovin' Newt, x?

Anonymous said...

Still lovin' Newt, x?

Uh, based on the FULL quote you posted (and not relying on the hatchet editing job from your earlier comment), yes.

How can you have any fault at all with what Newt is saying there? He's spot-on in this case. Someday, we will get hit again. When that happens, we will once again slam some doors shut on even more of our civil liberties. We did it after Pearl Harbor. We did it after 9/11. And we are going to do it next time.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Thanks, x. It's good to know that when Conservatives say "country first" you're not referring to a country protected by the First Amendment. You're right: that is an important difference between liberals and Conservatives.

My quote was no "hatchet job." It was an accurate distillation of exactly what Gingrich said and what he meant. I'm sure that if you asked him, he would agree.

xranger said...

That wasn't me; I don't go by Anonymous.

I will say this: In this modern communication age, I do feel debate should be robust, with all points of view, regarding the use of the internet and the terrorists.

During WWII the FBI was diligent in intercepting Axis conspirators on our shores, and used any means possible. Did that trample civil rights? Make your case.

You cannot hide behind some blind veil of the First Amendment to say that no spying on overseas phone calls to known terrorists, or observation of e-mail to known terrorists, cannot occur. (And that is what the eaves-dropping debate is about).

We need to proect our civil liberties, but evolve the limits in this ever-evolving communication age.

If not, when the first coordinated attack, dirty bomb or suitcase nuke that occurs domestically happens, and it may, will you be happy that you protected the civil liberties of foreign agents acting in our country?

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Pardon my inattention in assigning that post to you, x.

Of course the First Amendment does not protect speech absolutely. But political speech in particular, no matter how hateful and hurtful, needs to be protected rigorously.

As for spying, I am not aware of anyone who is asking that it be curtailed, are you? If so, I want to go on record as disagreeing with them. All I ask is that spies obey the law and the Constitution. Do you consider that unreasonable?

So...you asked me to make my case and turnabout is fair play. Do you defend Newt's call for the evisceration of the First Amendment?

Maria said...

Rockefeller Republicans wanted small government both in terms of spending and keeping government off of people's backs. Reagan ran up monster deficits and helped pave the way for the Christian Right's morality dominance with his attacks on imaginary welfare queens who owned multiple Cadillacs and hippies who "looked like Jane and smelled like Cheetah" that helped to divide the country into two: us vs. them.

xranger said...

Maria, go back to bed. Your meds have you talking like a lunatic.

John: Gingrich was saying what I was saying. Limit the free speech to those that plan us harm, by monitoring their phone and e-mail transmissions to the terrorist enemy.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Maria: x is right. Describing Reagan accurately makes anybody sound like a lunatic. Thank goodness you didn't quote him very much.

x: OK, that's what I thought. I'm sure I could trust you to decide who needed to have her/his freedom of speech taken away; but are you sure you would trust me?

r said...

Wow Dave you were right their heads are exploding

Sherry P said...

i thought i heard a noise like many, many little firecrackers going off! ; )

xranger said...

Man, what are you all smoking today?

Anyway, let's look at the current debate on the so-called eaves-dropping laws (a.k.a. the shredding, urinating and puking on the Bill of Rights):

The Executive branch issued a program, acting as the Commander In Chief, to monitor communication between people in the US and known terrorist cells overseas.

The Supreme Court ruled parts of this un-Constitutional, and said to send it to Congress to try again. This happened, with a modified bill that was passed and signed.

If the left has a problem with this, they should try the courts agin, to verify the constitutionality.

Sounds like democracy in action to me.

(BTW - google Rockefeller Republicans and you'll see the real definition. Oy, my head).

xranger said...

John, to continue, you said:

"As for spying, I am not aware of anyone who is asking that it be curtailed, are you? If so, I want to go on record as disagreeing with them. All I ask is that spies obey the law and the Constitution. Do you consider that unreasonable?"

No, and the Patriot and Surveillance Acts do just that.

To define espionage:
Black's Law Dictionary (1990) defines espionage as: "...gathering, transmitting, or losing...information related to the national defense."


What's that...do I hear heads exploding?

Anonymous said...

Look, ma, the children are debating x again.

Silly kids.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Pretty controversial stuff, huh? Of course, you have already stated that you don't care much for this one, either:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

EdHeath said...

Well, that's real issue, isn't it? I suspect no sensible liberal says there should be no spying. I suspect no sensible conservative wants *zero* oversight of spying programs (Nixionian conservatives? Never mind). The trick is to meet somewhere in the middle. I think everyone can agree this executive branch has pushed against oversight. Stipulating that some progress on oversight has already occurred and that more oversight from a newly democratic congress is coming, what are the opinions about how much oversight on spying is too much oversight?
For example, I can subscribe to the (long version) of the Gingrich quote, as long as some (independent) party or parties keep track, even a bit after the fact, of these rules of engagement and the activities carried out under them. Even knowing that someone will look at it in month or six months will curb abuses, keep Karl Rove from ordering a penetration of the DNC's computers.
Because, at the end of the day, that’s the real fear. An administration that said (and correct me because I’m wrong and at best paraphrasing) “a vote for the democrats helps the terrorists” need only take it a step or two further and decide the power of the democrats needs to be limited to help defeat the terrorists (because the democrats are undermining the war effort). This is the administration that proceeded into Iraq based on the one percent doctrine. (Are we really saying we will invade 100 times even though we know we will be wrong 99, but that one where we get the terrorists will make it all worthwhile?) (I think I am flashing on the sequel for Team America – F**k yeah harder, or perhaps with a vengeance). This is the administration who are “detaining” people who *might* be terrorists for years or sending these *maybe* terorrists to countries we know torture, people who are the right ethnicity and have similar names to *suspected* terrorists, because we don’t want to take the chance they’re not terrorists. This is the either you are with us or with the terrorists administration. Is it really such a leap to think this administration might not peak at the democrats while casting their net?
But I do want them to cast their net. I just want a few people, preferably from a judiciary system, but definitely not people who answer to or work directly for the president, to take look at what *all* the activities are. I mean, do we really want another president facing an impeachment proceeding in the Senate. Let’s encourage Congress to save Bush from himself. F**k Yeah. (sorry, got Team America stuck in my head).

Oh yeah, and Newt is an interesting guy, someone who may genuinely care about the poor, for example, but makes this loopy proposal to give them laptops. He is probably salivating at the $100 laptop the MIT media center is putting together for third world countries. And Karl Rove is thoroughly discredited now, his Permanent Republican Majority ran headlong into Dick Cheneny’s One Percent Doctrine and they both lost. But I think Newt is still mostly out on the fringe.

xranger said...

John, thanks for printing out sections of the Bill of Rights, but I'm not quite sure what your point was.

Probable cause for the eaves-dropping is the fact that people talk with terrorists. Pretty clear, there.

I imagine your inclusion of detainee's rights was a referrence to Club Gitmo. Problem is, they are not US cictizens and under the cover of our rights as US citizens. OOps.

Ed, know this about Newt: He is truly the modern conservative mouthpiece regarding bright, innovative ideas regarding American social and foreign policy issues. Take a moment to listen to his ideas, and you'll realize he is acting in a "New Deal" way: the social ideas jump from conservative to liberal (with no increase in government), all in the name of real progressive thinking.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

I can subscribe to the (long version) of the Gingrich quote, as long as some (independent) party or parties keep track, even a bit after the fact
I have a two problems with your statement, Ed.

First, the long quote and my shortened version of it are the same quote. Newt said he would curtail the ability to use the internet (which I skipped for the sake of clarity), AND he would curtail freedom of speach. You could argue with me about whether he meant it that way or not, but it is what he said. And I'll bet if you asked him, he would agree with me about what he meant.

Second, we already have a "party or parties" to "keep track." It goes by the name of the Judicial Branch. Article 3 of the Constitution? Maybe you've heard of it. For the past 230 years, we have put together a pretty good method for determining when the government can spy on people in this country. Warrants.

FISA even gives these people the right to get a warrant after the intrusion, but that's not good enough for them. They claim to need the ability to listen to our conversations with no review whatsoever. Also, to see what we're checking out from the library with no review whatsoever. Also, to look at our financial records with no review whatsoever.

Look back at my previous post. The Fourth Amendment clearly requires something called "probable cause" to dig into our privacy. Random warrantless does not yeild results obtained through probable cause. It yeilds results obtained through no cause.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

You're welcome, x. I'm not sure Newt would have recognized it as quickly as you did. Now please do yourself the favor of reading it.

Fourth Amendment: It's really pretty simple and well established law: No probable cause, no warrant. No warrant, no wire tap. The fact that one talks on the phone to someone in France is not evidence of a crime. No probable cause.

Fifth Amendment: As I read it, it doesn't say anything about citizenship. I'm pretty sure it says, "No person." OOPS!

But even if the Fifth Amendment applied only to citizens, the Busies have violating it at least twice. Perhaps you have heard of Mr. Padilla? He is an American citizen. He has been held for almost five years now without trial. The first three years, he wasn't even charged. OOPS!

xranger said...

John, I feel like I got you on the ropes and you're flailing wildly. Step it up.

Don't be sloppy in your rebuttal: nobody has the right to arbitrarily spy on someone's phone conversation with a party in France. And that case has not been made, either by W, the courts, Congress (or me). You don't want to be eaves-dropped? Don't talk to KNOWN TERRORISTS.

Padilla's case was settled in 2003 at the Supreme Court: http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/policy/national/03-1027.pdf

And, for the love of god, don't equate our Constitution with some world-governing body. It is for and about US citizens. Period.

Whigsboy said...

Why, why, why? Why does xranger, along with almost every other conservative, say "don't want your phone tapped, don't talk with a known terrorist." The question is this: How do we know the American whose phone line they are tapping is talking to a known terrorist? The administration is working outside of any established legal framework and have never explained why it's necessary. Why is that so much to ask?

The Patriot Act passed, the time to present a warrant to the FISA court after the fact was expanded. Congress was more than willing to work with the Administration to establish legal frameworks for this stuff, so why not do that? Nobody has answered that question. What about the current laws is not adequate to conduct necessary domestic surveillance? I don't even need to know. Tell it to all of the members of the appropriate congressional committees - in private - and then move forward with legislation to make it possible. This Congress voted to suspend Habeas Corpus for christ's sake. They'll do anything.

But no, that never happened. Nobody knows what the fuck is going on with the wiretapping program. And if this administration hadn't proven time and again to be absolutely untrustworthy when it comes to hugely important issues like conducting a war and hurricane response - as opposed to, say, suspect land deals, under-the-desk felatio, and using christmas card lists to recruit potential donors - much of the American public might be willing to let a domestic wiretapping program with no freaking oversight whatsoever slide.

But that's not the case. Congress is willing to give the administration the tools it needs to fight the war on terror, but the administration went behind everybody's back and secretly launched this program. And nobody on the right seems to care.

Accountability, individual responsibility, personal freedom - none of it means squat to too many on the right. Unless of course John Kerry botches a joke about the military, then it's different.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

That's funny, x. Good one. "Ropes." He, he.

It is well established law that Constitutional protection is NOT limited to citizens. Look it up. I'm very surprised that you would expose your lack of knowledge that way. You're a better debater than that.

"Flailing wildly," he says! Bwa, ha, ha, ha. Sorry. Lost it there for a second, but you are funny!

So Padilla is settled? What? was he acquitted or convicted? I guess I missed that. When and where was the trial? Or maybe he was released? Died from the torture? I guess he must be alive, or why did a Federal judge just order a mental evaluation on Tuesday?

Gotta hand it to you, though. "Step it up." You're cracking me up.

xranger said...

You libs only glean the parts of a debate you want to hear, then chant la-la-la (with finger in ear). I laid it out pretty clearly how the executive, judiciary and legialtive branches put forth their arguments and modified the law.

Regarding oversight (before the Supreme Court decision and Congress' modification), Wickipedia states:

"The administration contends that with regard to the NSA surveillance program, the administration fulfilled its notification obligations by briefing the Gang of Eight. Eight key members of Congress (thirteen individuals in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional Sessions) have been briefed on the NSA program more than a dozen times (but they were forbidden from sharing information about the program with other members or staff):

Speaker of the House: (Dennis Hastert (R-IL))
House Minority Leader: (Dick Gephardt (D-MO); Nancy Pelosi (D-CA))
Chair and Ranking Member of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: (Porter Goss (R-FL); Peter Hoekstra (R-MI); Jane Harman (D-CA))
Senate Majority Leader: (Trent Lott (R-MS); Bill Frist (R-TN))
Senate Minority Leader: (Tom Daschle (D-SD); Harry Reid (D-NV))
Chair and Vice Chair of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: (Pat Roberts (R-KS); Bob Graham (D-FL); Jay Rockefeller (D-WV))"

As you can see, Congress WAS notified; specifically, the leaders of BOTH parties.

xranger said...


The legality of holding Padilla was settled.

Whigsboy said...

That's sufficient notification? Really? "Hey, you there, Gang of 8, here's what we're doing - well, here's some of what we're doing, 'cause we can't tell you everything - but you can't tell anybody else about it and we're going to continue doing it regardless of whether you think it's unconstitutional. Remember, no tellsies or Alberto may have to sic his dark-suited boys on your ass."

What a wonderful gesture - a partial courtesy review.

I can't wait 'til elected representatives who actually respect what the fuck Democracy is supposed to be about and whose understanding of it expands beyond talking points about "freedom" or "liberty" get their hands back on those committee chair gavels.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

From the same article you cite, x: "Detroit District Court judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled on August 17, 2006 that the program is illegal under FISA as well as unconstitutional under the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution. She ordered that warrants be obtained for all wiretaps, although her decision is stayed pending appeal"
-- which I believe was my point. Care to put an cash down on the outcome of that appeal?

After you sighed, you still didn't answer my question about how Padilla was resolved. He's been in jail 5 years now. No trial. No attorney for 3 years. And the Bushies had to invent a whole new name for "political prisoner" to justify holding him and hundreds of others without due process. (Remember due process? Check back to my posting of the Fifth Amendment.)

Wire tapping. How do you know whether they're monitoring your phone calls to France, Jamaica, or Greensburg for that matter? They're not letting anybody see what they're doing. That in itself is illegal.

But keep fighting, x. I'm still tee-hee groggy hoo from that last bwa-ha-ha-ha punch you hit me with. Gettin' pretty woozy..HO-HA-HA-HA-HE......HE-HOOOOOO

xranger said...

Without doing a google, I believe her ruling was over-ruled already.

We're stuck here on this thread with the original act, which (as I keep saying) was over-ruled by the Supremes, re-written by Congress, and is now the law.

I respect the rule of law. If GW overstepped, fine. It was re-written to meet the Supremes decision.

This is all a good thing. Once again, democracy in action.

John, get off this Padilla thing. He's scum, he's a terrorist, and it was ruled that was within the law to hold him.

Remember, he is a terrorist, not your run-of-the-mill burglar.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

If Padilla is a terrorist, he should be charged, convicted, and punished JUST LIKE YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL BURGLAR.

That's want the Constitution says, and I'm stickin' to it.

So far, your belief that he is a terrorist has slim support. They threw him in jail without legal recourse, claiming he tried to build a dirty bomb. When they were forced to charge him, it was for littering and intent to deliver sedition. Two years later, still no trial, still behind bars, and his jailers are being charged with torture.

If they could PROVE that he was scum, they would have. And the fact that they can convict him in the court of public opinion and convice people like you that he's guilty -- of something else entirely than the original acccusations -- just enforces the justification behind the Fifth Amendment.

The question is not why I am pounding this issue, x. The question is why you and your fellow conservatives are not.

And if Bush overstepped, it is damn well not "fine." It is despotism.

Democrats-Lie said...

Since you brought it up:

Speaking of Burglars, no comment on Sandy Burglar (I mean Berger) taking classified documents from the National Archives as he was preparing for the September 11th Commission?

And the man gets off with a $50,000.00 fine and barred from classified documents for only three years instead of a permanent basis? No comment, Mr. Schmuck?

Ok....I get it.

When you're a Democrat, it's *just* different.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Yeah, I have a comment:

For the sake of the New-Born Savior's Shit, are you still on that?

BTW, ya doesn't has to call me Mister.

r said...

DL just can't get anyone to read his blog so he posts his shit over here.
Typical winger head explosion avoidance move.

Democrats-Lie said...

LOLOL! That's the best you both can come up with? Still no comment on Sandy Berger?

Of course not. All you can do is attack me in response because you know damn well that I am right.

Typical liberals.

John Schutrick said...

You have thoroughly vanquished me in this debate, Master Lie. I am prostrate with humiliation. I cannot come up with a single idea to counter your razor wit and pin-point reasoning. Whew, and I thought x was tough! You da man! You my hero forever! I'm converting to Right-Wing Lunacy the very next time the WhakoMobile comes by my house because of your complete dismantlement of my philosophy.

Hows that?

Seriously: Happy Holidays, Braden and x.

Democrats-Lie said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours as well.

corporatemedia said...


Republicans constantly say they are the party of family values.

The THREE front runner candidates for '08 (McCain, Giuliani, and Gingrinch) have SEVEN marriages between them!

And the amazing thing is this:

None of those three is the Mormon candidate !!!