Daily Archives: June 7, 2007

The Sopranos finale: is Tony Soprano really George Bush?

There have been some on the internet who have suggested that The Sopranos is an analogy to George Bush’s America. Let’s take a short look.

If this is true, certainly Tony is W himself. You can figure out for yourself if you think it works, a sociopath, enriches himself by the illegal deeds of his associates, tries to stay above the fray and the reach of the law, secretive, combative, suspicious, does a little coke, cheats on his wife, has a gay man on his staff, feigns being a “good guy”, doesn’t read books, and has “compassion for babies, ” has no respect for “talk therapy.” Throws away money that is earned by others, sends his own money overseas, and the household is about to go broke. I think the episode in the desert represents the fact that Tony/Bush have lost their passion for the office. The episode of Tony sending the weird kid off to far away lands to a semimilitary camp is pretty clearly related to our kids going to Iraq.

By this way of thinking, Uncle Junior, the rightful heir to the throne, would be Jeb Bush. Uncle Junior shooting Tony Bush in the stomach could represent the Terri Shiavo mess that Jeb Soprano got George into, and maybe the Katrina thing as well. Uncle Junior is now being shunted off to pasture, like Jeb.

Paulie Walnuts is obviously Dick Cheney, and Carmella is certainly Laura Bush.

Patsy is Rove; fair physical resemblance. He “ran away” and left Sil (Scooter Libby) to face the hitmen/Dems. Sil (Scooter) isn’t dead but it’s doubtful he’ll regain consciousness (politically).

I think AJ is the American people. Depressed by the routine shit, and by Tony (Bush), he tries torture and the waterboarding (his suicide attempt) and discovers it’s not so great, either to give or to receive. He starts to update himself on what is really going on in the world, and forge new relationships outside the family. Maybe his new friend Blondie with the stems is H. Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. ha.

Meadow is a little bit of the Bush kids, as is AJ, but mostly she is another part of the American public, which has lost its idealism and decides that we better start studying the Constitution. Tony Bush says that’s “criminal law.” ha. Meadow Bush is still heavy into the mob, though, her boyfriend is Patsy’s/ Rove’s son. We don’t now whether Meadow Bush will use her power for good or evil. That’s life.

The Democrats may be Phil Leotardo’s bunch; Out of power (in prison) for a long time, from NY, have attacked Tony Bush, resulting in the loss of several of Tony Bush’s lieutenants, and decreasing his income. All in all, they don’t seem much better than Tony Bush, who in turn has sent his goons to smear/kill the Leotardo Democrats from NY, but so far that hasn’t worked.

The pile of asbestos represents the big smoking mess that Phil/dems have inherited from Tony/Bush. Nobody wants it. This is pretty much like Iraq, with all the other stuff like global warming mixed in. Chrissie (who represents somebody like Condi Rice, who is trying to distance himself from the worst vices of Bushco) suggests negotiations with the new power, but George/Tony is ambivalent, and of course paranoid. So he kills Chrissie/Condi.

Bobby is not an easy one to fit in here. Is he Andrew Card or Scott McClellan? that would be too obscure…. a not-so-obvious Rumsfeld?….I think that he most likely represents the American man. A soldier, loyal, takes care of those who need help, ready to follow the leader, but finds out it really isn’t much fun killing people, and he begins to wonder, too late, if this whole mess might be bad for his wife and especially his daughter.

Big Pussy was probably kind of a Colin Powell. Disloyal=outtahere.

The Russian “paramilitary” from the “Interior Department” who killed 16 Chechnians (drove the Russians out of Afghanistan), and was chased in the Pine Barrens by Cheney (paulie) and Rice (Chris), and got away, is Osama Bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda. Tony Bush made it very clear that Osama bin Russian getting away is Paulie Cheney’s responsibility in the future.

With all this, what can we predict: If I am Chase, I carve out an ending where mostly the forces for good triumph: Firstly, I think it is likely that Osama bin Russian comes back and whacks Paulie Cheney, and is then killed by the feds or the Democrats/Leotardos. Tony Bush goes to jail, Laurarmella goes to live with her parents and sells real estate, AJ joins a peace rally, Meadow Bush walks out on her boyfriend, and Pelosi Leotardo holds sway, though Tony Bush is gonna try to get the Feds to arrest as many of the NY Democrats as possible. As a last touch, Patsy Rove turns state’s evidence on Tony Bush, and escapes punishment completely. Like always.

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Filed under Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, entertainment, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, The Sopranos

UPDATED:Mary Beth Buchanan: how did she get on (and off) the US attorney “LIST”?

Time to find more US attorney dots and try to connect them.

Mary Ann Buchanan was and is, by almost all accounts, a loyal Bushie US attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She investigated and prosecuted the hell out of Democrats in the Pittsburgh area, while turning a blind eye to alleged sins committed by Republicans. She received special assignments and had a leadership position amongst the US attorneys. Yet, as with some other apparently loyal and capable USAs, Mary Beth Buchanan’s name was, at one point in time, placed on the list of USAs to be considered for firing. WTF? over?

Since voting issues seem to have been prominent factors in the firings of some USAs, I did some googling of things like Pittsburgh, voter fraud, 2004, things like that, which led me to this interesting letter to the editor of a Pittsburgh paper, alleging voter fraud in Allegheny County:

link

Thursday, October 21, 2004

In the Oct. 15 article titled “[Gov. Ed] Rendel will send monitors to elections offices,” it was not surprising to find a quote by the Allegheny County Chair of the Democratic Party, Tom Flaherty stating, “I could see if we had a history of voter fraud, maybe, but Allegheny County has always run impeccable elections, no matter which party is administering them.” Sure, Tom, maybe you forgot that Allegheny County spent $15,000 in 2002 to have an independent investigation into the allegations of rampant voter fraud in Kennedy Township. Or maybe you should spend some time in the Allegheny County Department of Elections after an election to see how many challenges to absentee ballots are mounted.

Voter fraud is alive and well in Allegheny County and one of the reasons is due to the shoddy leadership within the Department of Elections for not monitoring and cleansing the voter rolls. As of this writing, there is still an active investigation into improprieties in Kennedy by the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Pennsylvania State Attorney General’s Office.

As Stalin said, “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”

[signed]

Kevin Parent, [resident of] Kennedy [PA]

Wow; what a juicy morsel for Rovian fraud-yellers….A bit more poking around (actually a lot more) informed me that Mr. Parent is the husband of a woman who lost in a close local Republican primary election in 2001 in a heavily Democratic area. Apparently most of the voters were actually Democrats, who switched affiliations to try to mount a challenge to the local Democratic Party “machine.” There was a local investigation, and there was some pretty good evidence that fraudulent absentee ballots were involved, probably a couple dozen, and that there was one guy who seemed to have his handwriting on most of the bad ballots. There was some testimony that suggested that irregularities were also present in the 1999 primary, but there was insufficient evidence to make a solid case.

Link to report of local investigation into irregularities in voting in Kennedy in 2001.

Mr. Parent is an interested party to the Kennedy vote fraud issue, and a vocal one. Though I don’t know that he’s a Republican, he seems to have some knowledge of what the US Attorney has under active investigation; I wouldn’t be surprised if he had made a complaint to that office, and to Republican officials.

But apparently no indictment or newspaper headlines came as a result of whatever investigation might have been undertaken. Perhaps the USA, who was Mary Ann Buchanan, figured that the Republican/Democrat party switching would confuse the issue, or realized that this was just too small a case to bother with, or felt like the state authorities could adequately handle a couple of local grafters.

But I have no doubt that the Kennedy “non-prosecution” reached the desk of somebody in Washington, [UPDATE ONE:]because it was pretty big news in Pittsburgh:One blogger noted:

One thing to consider is that Mary Beth did not consider that prosecuting Mel and John Weinstein for voter fraud was worthwhile. From my perspective it was a slam dunk case, and yet there were no charges filed. They are Democrats, and one is the county treasurer.

Even the TeeVee news had it:

It’s not the first time we’ve reported on irregularities in Kennedy Township elections. But this time it could decide which candidate gets to run in November.

County election officials say two mysterious absentee ballots have turned up in last week’s Republican primary in Kennedy. Why are just two votes important? Because the primary was decided by one vote.

Republicans Tony Perri and Bob Muha squared off in last week’s Republican primary for the right to run in November against incumbent Kennedy treasurer Mel Weinstein, a Democrat.

Weinstein is also the father of County Treasurer John Weinstein. Perri won the GOP primary by one vote. But now, an irregularity has surfaced. …

“It could be possible that our office made a mistake and mailed two Republican ballots to registered Democratic voters,” he said.

But the county GOP committee says there’s also another possibility.

Perhaps Republican absentee ballots were marked by someone else, not Republican voters, and added into the total group of absentee ballots in an attempt to change the outcome of the election,” said county GOP solicitor Robert Owsiany.

And the papers told sordid details of the investigation:

John Weinstein appears to have filled out five 1997 Kennedy absentee ballots, although Dresbold said she couldn’t reach a definitive conclusion without reviewing additional handwriting samples.

[end of update 1; see update 2 below]

And, unfortunately for Ms. Buchanan, as it turned out, the headlines about voting irregularities in the Pittsburgh area immediately before the 2004 elections featured alleged Republican, not Democratic, malfeasance:

link

students have said they signed such a petition but were then asked to fill out the signature and address portions of voter registration forms in order to verify their identities. Those forms were later filled out to register the students as Republicans. In the latest case, students say they never saw a registration form.

“My son never put a change of address in anywhere,” said Mara O’Neill, whose son, Sean, 22, was among the Pitt students who signed the petition. O’Neill said her son listed an address where he stays with friends during the school week and that he has never listed that address any other place. He receives his mail at home in O’Hara, and, until he was suddenly reassigned as a Republican voter in Shadyside, has always cast his ballots near his home.

A friend of O’Neill’s, Camilla Kydland, also signed the petition, but listed her home address in Fox Chapel. That’s where she received her notice that she is now enrolled in the Republican Party.

I can imagine that such people as, say, Karl Rove, would be plenty po’ed to find out that a real case of voter fraud did not achieve headlines in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2004, while GOP dirty tricks did.

Whoever put Mary Ann Buchanan’s name on the list of US attorneys to be fired was obviously NOT a member of the knowledgeable senior staff of the DoJ; Buchanan, like Gregory Miller in Florida, was always in favor with those who worked with her. It seems likely, therefore, that the list was being made by those whose most important affiliations, if not titles, were outside the DoJ itself (yes, I’m lookin at you, Kyle and Monica). It would seem that being placed on the list had really nothing to do with the overall performance of the USAs, but was rather the instant and perhaps poorly considered action of a powerful person, perhaps within the White House, who had no tolerance for a missed opportunity to trumpet “Democrat voter fraud” immediately before the election (yes, Karl, I’m lookin’ at you….). I’m betting that somewhere there is an email or a memo signed by the Rovester or his COS that says something like,

“if ANYBODY sees ANY evidence that ANY USA failed to prosecute AND PUBLICIZE ANYTHING that smacks of voter fraud, I want to know about it, YESTERDAY.

I can’t say if this little episode was the cause of “blacklisting” Mary Beth Buchanan. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it were pretty darn close. There must be locals who can shed more light on it.

How did MBB get OFF the list?
I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody just called bullshit, because MBB was such a model Rovian in every other way. UPDATE 2: But just prior to the 2006 elections, somehow she got the message that she hadn’t measured up in 2004, and she fired off a press release touting her public corruption activities, including, notably, the Weinstein voting fraud investigation:

Dirty cops and crooked politicians beware — federal, state and local authorities are teaming up to fight public corruption in Western Pennsylvania.U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said she will meet with other agencies in coming weeks to establish a special working group. Other members are likely to include the FBI; Pennsylvania State Police; the state Attorney General’s Office; and the offices of several local prosecutors, including Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

The region has had numerous high-profile public corruption cases recently:
• Dr. Cyril Wecht, the former Allegheny County coroner, was indicted by a federal grand jury in January on 84 counts related to charges that he used his public office for private financial gain.

• The federal investigation into former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy ended in June without federal charges filed.

• Three high-ranking officials in the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office were convicted as part of the ongoing federal investigation into campaign-finance abuses and other misconduct.

“We’ve investigated more public-corruption cases in the past four years than we have in the past 10 years,” Buchanan said.

Federal investigators are busy investigating other cases of possible public corruption.

In addition to the ongoing investigation into the office of outgoing Sheriff Pete DeFazio, the list of federal public-corruption investigations incudes wrongdoing in the Plum Police Department; special treatment given to certain people by Washington County District Attorney John Pettit; and allegations of absentee-balloting fraud by Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein and his father, Democratic powerbroker Mel Weinstein, of Kennedy.

The majority of public-corruption cases are filed by federal prosecutors. From 1994 to 2004, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh won 60 convictions in public-corruption cases, according to U.S. Department of Justice figures. Statewide during that time, 515 public officials were convicted of corruption in federal court.

So, I can see Mary Beth Buchanan printing off a copy of that newspaper story and firing it off to Monikyle with a “so shove it up your ass” note, with a carpetbombing cc to the rest of freakin DoJ. I’m betting that got her off the list.

A short rant on voter “fraud”/suppression/intimidation:

Greg Palast estimates that 3 million votes/voters in this country were challenged or impeded in attempting to cast their votes, essentially all of them by Republican Party operatives. How many fraudulent ballots were cast? a few dozen, most by people who just didn’t know better, who just didn’t understand that their criminal or immigration status did not allow them this particular privilege. Voter fraud allegations are simply a form of voter suppression, and are an attack against democracy, by the party that trumpets the “purple fingers” in Iraq, but tries to silence the “brown fingers” and the “black fingers” in this country.

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, US Attorneys, voter intimidation

Southwest Missouri State: Dr. Strangelove University

From a bio of JD Crouch, fundo-rightwing hawk and formerly member of the Bush administration, comes this description of a border-state “nuke ‘em” policy center:

Before joining the Bush administration, Crouch worked alongside Van Cleave at Southwest Missouri State University‘s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies. The department’s faculty website reads like a who’s who of influential hardliners. Faculty have included: Keith Payne, founder of the National Institute for Public Policy; Henry Cooper, a former head of the Strategic Defense Initiative and founder of the pro-missile defense group High Frontier who worked with Crouch in the mid-1980s as chief negotiator of the U.S. Delegation on Nuclear and Space Arms Talks with the Soviet Union; William Graham, a former Reagan administration adviser whose record includes membership on Donald Rumsfeld‘s Commission on the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States and executive of various defense contractors, including R&D Associates and Jaycor; Charles Kupperman, a former Lockheed executive and director of Empower America; and Ilan Berman, president of the hawkish American Foreign Policy Council and a member of the neoconservative-led Committee on the Present Danger. Crouch has also been a longtime supporter of Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, one of the more outspoken and widely publicized hardline policy institutes in Washington.

I’m betting their sports mascot is the Chickenhawk. I could be wrong.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Middle East, Politics, Think tanks

Gonzales was trying to suppress the Office of the Deputy Attorney General

Link

The US attorney firings can be seen as part of a plan to turn the entire Department of Justice into an arm of the Republican Party, so it could perpetrate partisan prosecutions, the logical extension of Karl Rove’s “dirty tricks” strategy.  That meant that the people in the Department who made prosecutorial decisions had to be very partisan.

By the time of the 2004 elections, the Bush administration realized that it had made one very major mistake in its hirings, and that mistake was Deputy Attorney General James Comey, the man whose job it was to actually run the Justice Department.  Comey and Attorney General Ashcroft were both Republicans, but were above the kind of politicization of DoJ that was demanded by Rove et al.  As a result, there were at least two major fiascos, one being the refusal of the entire DoJ to go along with certain aspects of a new domestic surveillance program, and the other being the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald, who successfully prosecuted  Scooter Libby.

The resignation of Ashcroft and the departure of Comey must be seen in that light. The ultimate Bushie, Alberto Gonzales, was brought in to obliterate the independence of the ODAG:

“Mr. Sampson explained to me a vision for the operation of the Attorney General’s office and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General that would involve operating those respective staffs as essentially one staff,” Comey wrote in responses to questions for the record submitted by members of the House Judiciary Committee. The responses were sent to RAW STORY.

Comey went on to explain how Gonzales’s plan to merge his office with Comey’s would have eliminated a layer of oversight on the Attorney General’s decision-making.

One of the necessary steps in “merging”  (which was really removing the power of the DAG) was as the secret memo  that took the power of hiring and firing away from the Deputy (Paul McNulty, who had replaced Comey) and gave it to two young rabid GOP operatives, Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson, who were on Gonzales’ staff.

Most of the machinations that led to the firing of the US attorneys were accomplished under this scheme of taking the DAG out of the loop. Of course, now Gonzales has adopted the strategy of trying to blame any misjudgments on McNulty, a tack which has been widely noticed in the press as well as by the Congress.

Looking back, things that I would have done differently? I think I would have had the deputy attorney general more involved, directly involved,” Gonzales said in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.

But in a May 15 press conference, Gonzales appeared to reverse himself and pin most of the responsibility for the firing of the US Attorneys on McNulty.

“The one person that I would care about would be the views of the deputy attorney general, because the deputy attorney general is the direct supervisor of the United States attorneys. And in this particular case, Mr. McNulty was a former colleague of all of these United States attorneys, and so he would probably know better than anyone else about the performance and the qualifications of these — of our United States attorney community,” Gonzales said.

He went on, “My understanding was was that Mr. Sampson’s recommendations reflected a consensus view of the senior leadership of the department, in particular the deputy attorney general.”

Gonzales may somehow be allowed to serve out his term, but that is a true “miscarriage of Justice.”

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