The President has decided that the punishment handed down to Scooter Libby, a man who was charged with perjury by a Republican appointed U.S. Attorney, found guilty by a jury of his peers, and sentenced by a strict conservative judge appointed by the President himself…was a little harsh.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.”

Sure he still has to pay the hefty quarter million dollar fine, especially considering his “trust” has gathered millions this is gonna be a tough year for tax write offs.

I’m gonna deviate from the other left-leaning blogs and not let myself be outraged by this complete and utter lack of respect for the rule of law.  Oh well.

Who wants cake?

Zeh Donkey

A few quick notes and about the debate and my scores for the candidates before I head off to the beds.

  • Mike Gravel has Grape Nuts for brains, I am absolutely sure of it. No serious policy points, just the usual crazy outbursts of random insults lobbed at the other candidates. C-
  • Hillary Clinton could kick my ass, she was easily the most concise person on the stage. My God, what have we created… A
  • Dennis Kucinich loves Michael Moore, hates capitalism, and is totally into black chicks, the crowd ate him up. B
  • Barack Obama wanted to Have A Dream (TM) sooo bad on stage, but the evil Tavis Smiley wouldn’t let him have more than a few seconds. Obama can survive these events with stage presence alone, but he needs a pulpit to really take on Hillary (who’s the master of the heavy sound bite). B+
  • Bill Richardson is trying really, really hard to be Bill Clinton. Good policy points, nowhere near the flair of the other candidates…he can’t get away with being the boring wonk like Hillary can. B
  • John Edwards, soft spoken, a bit solemn. Making your audience cry won’t get you elected, but I was impressed with his willingness to engage the other candidates’ policy positions and offer some mature rebuttals. He did well this time. A
  • Chris Dodd had a good Clintonesque (as in Hillary) presence on-stage that was quite Presidential looking. Too bad he was trying to juggle the policies of Kucinich and Richardson…he was like a very deceptive tofu filet minon. B –
  • Joe Biden, as much as people make fun of him, he does so well in these debates I can’t fathom why he isn’t higher up in the polls. Wait, he’s Joe Biden, that’s why. Regardless, a lot of well articulated ideas. A

The candidates are getting better, and with the slow summer months ahead, we should begin to see the definitive front runners come late August.

Also, Cornel West looks really funny.

Usually, the rigors of my day job prevent me from contributing to the Loop, but today was a special day.

I just got back from the National Press Club where former HUD Secretary’s Jack Kemp and Henry Cisneros plugged their new book about the importance of developing new housing in urban and rural areas along with Habitat for Humanity Chairman John Retsinas and former NAHB head Kent Colton.

The conference was interesting.  First, there was air conditioning in the room and the Press Club graciously offered up free delicious, precious, glorious cold water. It’s moments like these that I want a time machine to punch the Congress in the face for putting DC on the damned Potomac and not, say, in Tampa.  At least then I could wear shorts.

Anyways, the substance of the conference was pretty bland, your typical book plugging and back slapping amongst friends, but what was so interesting about the meeting was the overall sense of community and respect the men had for each other.  Two Republicans (Kemp, who was Dole’s Veep nominee in ’96) and Colton (A heavy hitting Romney supporter) and two Democrats (both Retsinas and Cisneros worked in the Clinton administration) obviously thought very highly of each other…and there was a nice sobering hue of gooey buddy-ness they left behind.

Are we really that different, the left and the right?  Is there room for exploration and moderation, for cooperation and action?

Kemp has been one of the staunchest supporters of DC voting rights, not something the GOP particularly wants to see happen, and Cisneros is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country leaving the public sector to lead Univision to it’s staggering number 5 slot in network ratings.

As a young Latino just getting started in this wide and wacky town, Cisneros has particularly been an inspiration to me…both for his professional success  and his success with the laydeez.

In any case, it was a fun day and getting to meet with some ambitious and influential people always helps remind me of why I love this town so much.

Okay Mr. Gravel, like the vast majority of Americans, I have not watched any of the super-early Presidential debates, and I probably won’t for some time. Thanks to your commercials, I have decided to give you a bit of my attention. So why, oh why, did you choose these now infamous bits?

I’m still trying to wrap my head around them –and I don’t mean any supposedly deep meaning to them. I’m trying to figure out why they thought these almost caveman-themed ads were a good idea. Yes, they’re different from other political commercials –but so’s superimposing your campaign URL over footage of nitro-burning funny cars.

No, whoever came up with these sort of freaky gems decided that they wanted to send some kind of message. Okay then… here are a few of the readings I made from these commercials:

  • Mike Gravel is an angry mute
  • If you’re stuck in the wilderness, you better hope Gravel isn’t out to get you
  • Mike Gravel might just kill us all
  • Mike Gravel will help us, for a price
  • Mike Gravel: The world turns to ashes campaign
  • Mike Gravel pick up rock, Mike Gravel throw rock, rock go splash!

If there were deep meaning to these ads, they’re so deep down and lost in the bizarro-world mindset that dreamed them up that I don’t dare go after them, lest I get pulled in. But what sort of person has a mind this dark and twisted? I was curious to see what this Gravel was all about so Googled and found out the man was a goddam US Senator …from Alaska. Holy shit, and here I thought Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens (R-Alaska) was an outstanding case of Land of the Midnight Sun crazy. What the fuck are they feeding these people up there? Bears? These godless killing machines must have have poisoned the state. Yes, Mr. President, I know we get a lot of oil from this area, but –damn it, sir– it’s time to accept the state as a basket case and cut our losses before it spreads to our borders through Canada. Fire, Mr. President. It’s time to take some of those extra nukes and show the Eskimo (pardon, Inuit) what Northern Lights really look like.

Well don't I look like a dick?According to the Politico, “potential” GOP Presidential candidate Fred Thompson flew to London today for the blessing of former Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in his bid to become the President of the United States of 1986.

I mean 2008, excuse me, I’m sorry.

Now any rational person would say something along the lines of “Why would a US candidate be looking for the endorsement of a former world leader who represents a party that has been out of power for more than a decade?” Well, rational person, Fred Thompson doesn’t care.

You see, Fred wants to pretend he’s Reagan, whose governing style was similar to Van Halen in that the leader did nothing except hog credit while the rest of the group went about ruining the country. This is a tactic Mr. Thompson is looking to emulate.

When Reagan ran for President, he had been a failed actor, the President of the Screen Actors Guild, and the Governor of the State of California. Mr. Thompson was a Senator from Tennessee who in his entire tenure did nothing to distinguish himself from his colleagues other than support McCain-Feingold, complain about how much work was involved in being a Senator, and marry a stripper.

Obviously, this man deserves to be President, especially since he’s already pretending to be the president.

When your only contribution to society is giving ugly men hope that they could marry pole dancers if they made enough money, the media deems you capable of running the country.

Back on track, Thompson will be having his picture taken with whatever is left of Lady Thatcher, and afterwards he’ll make out with David Cameron.

Of course, American conservatives should be furious that their golden boy feels the need to essentially ask permission from the former leader of another country before running for President, but of course they don’t care.

Liz Cheney, the well-known spawn of Beelzebub, and Mary “Botox” Matalin have also joined the Thompson campaign for some reason.

Image from Carlcoxphoto.com.

obama.jpgHey-O, back again after a bit of a hiatus.

USAToday (Where everything is A-OK…in COLOR!) is reporting that Hillary has managed a double digit lead over Diet Jesus Obama. Drudge has jumped on this, probably to raise Dick Morris’ blood pressure, but this is hardly new.

Hillary has a strong, organized, and effective campaign. She, along with Mitt Romney on the GOP side have managed to change this race into a new monster entirely. Here we have two strong contenders (meaning Clinton and Romney), who are neither well liked by even their own constituency, nor particularly energizing in their own right. That, however, doesn’t change the public’s awareness of their capability to lead.

Hillary’s ability to lead is unquestionable, I’m convinced she could successfully wrestle every Republican challenger to the ground physically…even if she has a harder shot at winning the general election.

But where does that leave Obama? Well, he leads every other Dem or GOP candidate among independents, he leads every other Democrat among conservative and GOP voters, and he leads every other candidate period in hypothetical general election mashups.

What can we take away from this? America isn’t necessarily ready for a black president, they are, however, ready to stop caring he is black.

America is ready for Obama.

Even if the Democrats aren’t.

Well, alive enough…

Yes, we’re still here. The demands of modern employment have kept the Outer-Loop a bit stagnant recently, I know, so I apologize.

Updates are coming soon. I promise.

No really.

It’s official, well not really but almost…in a little over a month anyway.

Come hither gentlemenFred Thompson, a mediocre character actor from the state that brought us both Bill Frist AND Al Gore, has told insiders that he intends to officially announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on July Fourth aboard a red pickup truck. Sources say he will also have an eagle on his shoulder, a burning effigy of Osama bin Laden making out with Nancy Pelosi will be displayed behind him, and several other metaphorical symbols his campaign is keeping secret for the time being.

Sure, we’ve known this was going to happen sooner or later. Republicans have been saying for years that the Democrats have been bringing Hollywood values to Washington, except for Sonny Bono, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, and of course Fred Thompson. Mr. Thompson would bring his Presidential experience (via a demo reel) to the fold and make this race foam at the mouth.

That being said, the Republican race is now interesting again. All the indications point to a war of attrition between the 47 men running for the nod, and this may actually cause a vote to take place at the convention, which would be kind of cool.

Mitt Romney has executive experience, John McCain has foreign policy experience, and Giuliani has experience looking busy. Thompson has pretended to be Admirals, District Attorneys, hell, he even pretended to be President once on camera! Please, elect this guy!

In all seriousness, what does this mean for the race on both sides of the isle? Well, the GOP now has it’s proverbial pretty boy, someone with free media exposure who has had enough experience in Government to overstep Tancredo and Hunter, but doesn’t have enough to cause the scrutiny the current top three contenders have. He’s charismatic and folksy, but incredibly condescending at the same time and his radio hosting stints will provide the Democrats with more than enough ammo to pound him to the ground. His personal life is as contentious as Giuliani’s, and the enthusiasm around his campaign is similar to that of Ted Kennedy’s bid for the 1980 Democratic nomination.

In terms of fundraising, Thompson is relying on friends and associates, he doesn’t have the network of Mitt Romney, the suburban appeal of McCain, or the national admiration of Giuliani. His performance during the debates will be paramount, though his support from right wing media and the blogosphere will be fierce.

Let’s make something clear however, the Republicans still don’t have an Obama or an Edwards. There is no candidate that creates the ubiquitous excitement that Obama does for the Dems, and there is no candidate with an insurgent activist network as comprehensive as Edwards’. Democrats WANT to win this election, and the Republicans are projecting this as an uphill battle. They need to remember that there will eventually be a general election.

That being said, I’m still banking on Romney, I suppose we’ll see what happens.

Via The Politico.

Gay Photo by Fred08.com

Thomas JeffersonMuch has been said of the dichotomy of left and right. While what each concept actually means is up for debate, a marriage between the two extremes has always been disturbingly visible.

It is from the far left and far right that the calls for impeachment are coming in America and it is from the far left and far right that the isolationist currents are forming. The far left and the far right are fueled by populism, by distrust of the existing government, by the Lou Dobbs Democrats and the Ron Paul Republicans of the country.

The fact is the new emerging economies in Russia and China are perfect examples of the complicated ideologies in modern political theory.

Read the rest of this entry »

First off, let me say that I sincerely believe that people like VP Dick Cheney (and Pres. Bush) are not as bound to their more socially conservative positions in their day to day lives. Since they’re fairly intelligent people (note: I did not say strategic planners or orators), reason and maturity help prevent them from going as apeshit with a real life issue as they would during a press conference. Of course, we currently live in the political version of X-treme sports so these days no Republican (with national aspirations) can really say anything short of the Falwell-Party line without risking a serious backlash (McCain in 2000, anyone?).

Back to Cheney: With his lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, 37, he’s usually avoided any discussions about GLBT rights. Well now the VP has something else to stir around in his head: Mary Cheney and her longtime partner, Heather Poe, just gave birth to Dick’s 6th grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, this morning. From published photos, he and his wife seem (expectedly) happy for their new grandson, thus we see the glimmer of a warm human figure behind the normal political bullshittery. While I’m tempted to go with the whole “see? Cheney loves his daughter for who she is and has some admirable traits”, at the same time I think there’s a strong argument that, if he really loves his daughter and is okay with it, he should be screaming at the barricades for GLBT rights. For now his position is going to go down in history has one of the ironic spots in the Bush Administration’s heavy social conservatism.