Saturday, October 12, 2002

This is a surprise...not

Administration officials blocked Congress's bipartisan 9/11 panel with new, unnamed objections, according to The New York Times The panel's sponsors, including Joe Lieberman, expressed "surprise" at the last-minute objection.

I'm not surprised. No matter what Ari Fleishman says in the name of The Pretender, the last thing this administration wants is an objective inquiry into what may have been known before 9/11, and what was ignored.

Here's a good one, considering the relative oratory skills of the 84 year old Robert Byrd and the 56 year old Pretender to the Oval Office:

An intern in the White House "mistakenly" forwarded an email to Hispanic leaders that called Sen. Robert Byrd, who led the opposition to the Iraq resolution on Thursday, "doddering" and "senile," according to The Charleston Daily Mail

My, my, those pesky White House interns! Of course, a White House spokeswoman hastily said that the email "does not represent" the views of the president, and was written by an unnamed "activist."

God help us...
Bush Turns Sights on Economy

Friday, October 11, 2002

Stumbled on another good blog: Naked Emperor. I had thought about the Salon blogs when I started this thing, but I don't like the fact that you're tied to one computer to use the service. Still, a good blog. Check it out.

Site Meter is a service that allows you to check your site's stats with several criteria, one of which is search words. I found it amusing that the top search words used for this humble blog are "nasty whore." Thanks, Media Whores Online!

Hot tip: Having the flu is the pits.

[badword] Looks like The Pretender will get his war. [/badword] I hope he doesn't think this is a video game. Already the administration is planning on occupying Iraq, if we win, that is.

Frankly, I'm too disgusted and angry to say much about this mess right now. What I would say at this point may bring Ashcroft's goons down on my head, and I want to hold on to what little freedom I still have.

Quote of the week:
"So we have a president who thinks foreign territory is the opponent's dugout and Kashmir is a sweater."
--Rep Pete Stark, D California, speaking of Bush's lack of knowledge of war.
more here

Slimebag Chutzpah quote of the week:
''They keep trying to find some way to change the subject because they don't want to talk about national security, homeland security or the job that they've done on the economy'' (!!)
--Trent Lot [Unbelieving emphasis mine]

More later. I'm off to have a beer or three.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Harken Coverup...Uncovered!
Media Whores Online reports that according to the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal the Harvard Management Company, in an Enron-like arrangement, invested millions in Harken, in an off-the-books deal. Dubya personally signed off on the deal when he was a member of Harken's audit committee. Read more at Media Whores Online

Media Whores wonders if the media will follow up. I do, too.

Is it just me, or was The Pretender's Monday night speech...well....weird?

The speech itself offered no new information, but instead prattled on about how great a threat Saddam Hussein is to the world, particularly to the U.S. Okay. Yep, he's a bad man all right. But Bush, always confusing at best, has been baffling on the subject lately. So far he's demanded an immediate pre-emptive strike (aka: war) even if Saddam agreed to U.N. inspections; then implied he'd wait for said inspections. Now he claims he hopes there will be no war. In the face of what he loudly proclaimed a short month ago, this strains belief.

Everything surrounding the Monday night speech is fogged with confusion, and Bush's delivery seemed to echo that confusion. Ordinarily, he can be almost eloquent (for him) when he's pounding the table and being aggressive. But Monday night, he looked like he was being forced to talk about corporate responsibility again. His eyes wandered, he seemed to lose track in a couple of places, and he didn't have that patented "steely-eyed glare" that he gets when he contemplates using all the cool new toys at his disposal.

The lead-up to this thing was bizarre, too. Last week, the administration announced that there would be a major address to the nation on Monday night. Normally, the networks would be put on alert to carry the speech, but ABC, CBS and NBC carried on with their regular programming...get this: because they weren't asked to carry it.

It gets stranger. The reasons given: "it isn't a policy speech." It isn't? What the hell was Bush talking about, then? Somehow, I tend to think that when he speaks about something as serious as possible war, he's not just musing to himself or being theoretical. But hey, I guess it's possible. Oh, and they didn't want to frighten the American people (except those in Cincinnati, I guess). And then there's this howler:

On a more practical note, the administration official added, the networks would have been reluctant to interrupt prime-time programming so early in the new TV season, unless developments were really big.
From The Washington Post

I can picture it now:

KARL ROVE: Okay, we gotta say something. People are getting mad. You'll have to give a speech to the nation.

BUSH: Goodie! I get to sit in front of that big seal and be on TV??

ROVE: Well, not in front of the Presidential seal. We were thinking of a museum in Cincinnati.

BUSH: [more puzzled than usual look]

ROVE: And as for TV, I think Fox will carry it, since it's you.

BUSH: Can't we make the networks carry it???

ROVE: Yeah, we usually them to, but not this time. We have to think of all the people who'll be angry about missing Drew Carey. Plus it's not a policy speech.

BUSH: [stupidly blinking] It's not? What do I talk about, then?

ROVE: Iraq

BUSH: [scrunching up his face] I can't talk about policy? I can't talk about bombing the hell outta Iraq? I can't talk about...

ROVE: Of course you can (soothingly). But we're not marketing it as a policy speech, or a speech to the nation.

BUSH: But you said....

ROVE: Please, George, don't start asking questions again. You know how confused you get.

BUSH: Hey! If I'm making a speech, I'll miss Drew Carey!

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Power to the people....finally

Yeah, I know it's trite. I know that sometimes we all feel that we're bashing our heads against a brick wall, for nothing. The moneyed politicians have the real power, not us.

But today, something very special happened. And it makes me proud.

You may read Joe Conason's excellent columns in Salon You may, tomorrow, read something about the fact that Jeb Bush may well have been fed questions beforehand in his debate with McBride. If you do, let me tell you where it came from.

The person who broke this story was not one of the heavy hitters in the media. Most have never heard of him. It wasn't even a local Florida reporter. It was someone whose handle is dedulus, a poster on Bartcop, who originally got this story. And it was made public by Atrios, a blogger, someone who publishes a wonderful daily blog, unbeholden to any corporate media.

The story in brief, which none of the major media even bothered to look at, let alone publish, until it was all over the grassroots net. Until many many people made phone calls, wrote emails...From the looks of things, Jeb Bush may very well have been had questions fed to him, in clear violation of the rules of the debate. The major media, of course, almost to a man (or woman), praised Jeb for having "facts at his fingertips." Well, yeah, you and I would too, if we had the advantage that Jeb apparently had.

The basis for the story, and the reason major media should (and some of them are, thanks to being embarrassed by a poster and a blogger) look into this, at the very least, is that Jeb seemed to know the name of the next questioner, calling the one who he was speaking to at the time (Fran) by Sylvia's name....Sylvia being in the queue.

As neither Bush nor McBride was supposed to have pre-knowledge of any of the questions, or questioners, Jeb's "slip" seems pretty damning.

Whether this story means something, or nothing remains to be seen. It's certainly something that should be at least investigated. And guess what, folks. It never would have come to light had it not been for Atrios and Dedalus. Two people who write for their own reasons...whether it's for the joy of it, or because they're disturbed at what's going on in our country, or like most of us bloggers on the political scene, both.

Atrios patted himself on the back today for 200,000 hits. No. I pat him on the back, heartily, for having the guts to publish this story.

I'm humbly glad to be in such company.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Bits and pieces

God, having a full time job is the pits. Too tired to write much tonight, but I wanted you to know about some good stuff out there.

Arianna skewers The Pretender, but good. In an article called "Osama who?" in Salon, she begins:

We all know who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, don't we? No, not Osama bin Laden. God, that is so last year. It never turns out to be the person you first suspect. It was Saddam Hussein. For some reason we couldn't find him when we went after him in Afghanistan, bringing that magic elixir of regime change along with us. But now we've got a better idea: Track him down where he actually lives, in Baghdad, and punish him right in his own backyard. It's the only way to obtain justice for the thousands he killed on 9/11.

You have to read the whole thing.
A new, promising blog: Liberty In Mourning. Welcome to blogdom, Sue.
Must read: "Unanswered Questions"
William Raspberry of The Washington Post writes of one Larry Williams, who has written an open letter to The Pretender, asking some pointed, and germain questions about the saber-rattling. Colonel.Williams is no flaming radical; he's a retired Marine colonel with experience in Beirut and South Vietnam. See his questions to Bush here. Don’t hold your breath waiting for The Pretender to answer them; I’d hate to lose both my readers :)

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Lies, Lies and Damn Lies

The pretend-president of the U.S. has repeatedly told us that attacking Iraq is necessary for the safety and security of the “Homeland.” He’s beaten the drum calling forth horrors of Saddam unleashing nuclear weapons and/or biological or chemical weapons on the world.

He has presented no creditable evidence of this, and has largely ignored options other than a unilatral attack.

And he has lied. Deliberately and repeatedly.

The truth is that long before 9/11 conservatives have been planning for war that goes far beyond the “axis of evil:” Iraq, North Korea and Iran. In fact, a strategy for American intervention in many areas of the world was suggested in a report issued in September, 2000 by a group of conservatives from Project for the New American Century. Key points in that report:

  • Identifies the challenge for the 21st century: to “preserve and enhance” American peace and security. [Emphasis mine]

  • Repudiates the anti-ballistic missile system

  • Identifies Iraq, Iran and North Korea as primary, immediate targets, long before Bush identified those countries as the “axis of evil” after 9/11.

  • Urges that the U.S. perform “constabulary duties” throughout the world. Note that the report identified no limits on police actions by U.S. forces. (My, doesn’t that sound familiar? Anyone remember Vietnam?)

  • Strongly recommends a much larger U.S. military presence throughout the world, specifically in the Middle East, Latin America Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe.

In addition to this report, another conservative group at the American Enterprise Institute has argued for “democratization” through pre-emptive attacks. This is supposed to create a “domino effect” where other surrounding nations will collapse before U.S. pressure and embrace democracy. (Again. Remember Vietnam?)

Will the Republicans never learn from history? Do they even read history? In fact, we’ve learned the hard way that “democratization” simply doesn’t work. Reform comes from within, not without.

Want examples? How about Israel, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, India, South Africa, The Phillipines. Going further back: France, and yes, the United States.

How about the well-known failures from the last century: Korea and Vietnam. Does any sane person claim successful democratization in those two areas?

But Bush wants war, and God help us, he’s likely to get it. He has on his cowboy hat and his gun in the back of his pickup truck, ready to hunt. And he’ll tell any lie to achieve it.