Friday, July 15, 2005
The overlying importance of this whole Plamegate scandal is that it perfectly illustrates how far the Republicans will go to destroy a true American hero. We saw it when they invented a group of phony Veterans known as "The Swift Boat Liars" to besmirch the heroism of Sen. John Kerry, a thrice-wounded Vietnam vet with eight Purple Hearts, 17 Medals of Honor, and a Cap'n Crunch Super Sailor Badge with clusters. We saw it when they smeared the reputation of Scott Ritter, a Green Beret who disguised himself as a middle-aged pervert in order to expose the seedy underworld of internet pedophiles. We saw it when the right-wing controlled media made a laughing stock of the courageous Sandy Berger, a man who risked severe paper cuts to his genitals in order to illustrate how badly security at the National Archives has deteriorated on Bush's watch. And now, the Repugs have shown their true colors once again by blowing the cover of super-duper top secret undercover CIA agent and American Hero, Valerie Plame. Her crime? Telling the truth about Bush's lies.
The inspiration for six Ian Fleming novels and the hit TV series, Alias, Plame's 35-year career as a super-duper top secret agent was what legends were made of. From her base of operations, Codename: Cubicle, Agent Plame spearheaded such major CIA operations as Project Fetch Director Woolsey a Cup Of Coffee and Operation Who Stole a Box of Staples from the Supply Room? In 1996, she singlehandedly thwarted a major terrorist attack by remaining motionless at her desk for several months while slowly tripling the size of her ass. Along with John Deutch and Aldrich Ames, Valerie Plame is one of the few CIA spooks who has earned the admiration and respect of progressives everywhere.
While some repugs are quick to shrug her off as a "pencil pusher" or a "cubicly monkey", the frontline of the War on Terror ran right across Agent Plame's desk. When she pushed her seemingly nondescript pencil, nations burned. Empires rose and fell at the flick of her super-duper top secret wrist. So when the Agency ordered her to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein had tried to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger, she devised a cunning plan to assign the most unqualified, inexperienced boob with zero credentials to the task. It would be the exact opposite of what the Nigerites expected.
After hours of painstaking research, she whittled the list of candidates down to two potentials. Big Bird from Sesame Street refused the assignment, so she placed a call to Mr. Joseph Wilson, Codename: Shmoopsie, - former Ambassador to Lower Slobovia and, by pure coincidence, her husband.
Shmoopsie was incredibly busy helping democrats defeat Bush in the 2004 election, but when Agent Plame, Codename: Mumsy-Wumsy explained the mission to him, he turned his yacht around and headed for Nigeria at once. It was a daunting task, requiring long hours in a third world country with shitty golf courses, but he would do it for Mumsy-Wumsy. He would do it for the country he loved. And he would do it for America, too.
After spending several grueling hours sipping dreadful martinis at the Lagos Hilton, Shmoopsie made two very shocking discoveries:
1. For a nation full of Black people, it was next to impossible to get a decent shoe shine in Nigeria, and
2. Nigerian leaders vehemently denied selling yellow cake, or any other form of tasty dessert to Saddam Hussein.
Alas, Bush's entire reason for invading Iraq was a farce.
Upon reading Shmoopsie's super-duper top secret CIA report, Codename: An Article in the New York Times, Agent Plame proceeded to the office of Director George Tenet, carrying a cup of coffee to confuse snipers, ward off ninjas, and cloak her from Soviet spy satellites. Director Tenet was not only unimpressed by the Jennifer Garner pouty-face Agent Plame had spent months perfecting, but complained that she put too much cream in the coffee. Devastated, she returned to her Base of Operations, but vowed to continue working behind the scenes to expose Bush for the lying liar he is.
When she found out days later that Robert Novak had blown her cover, she immediately suspected that Rove was behind it. Aside from her husband, the Agency, the barista at the Langley Starbuck's, the entire cast of Cats, most of Washington D.C., and that guy who printed the "Kiss Me, I'm Married to a CIA Operative" T-shirt she gave to Shmoopsie for their anniversary, Rove was the only person who knew of her super-duper top secret identity. Obviously, this was his revenge for Shmoopsie's completely impartial criticism of Bush's illegal and immoral war in Iraq. Sleazy tactics indeed, but business as usual for the Bush junta. They ruined Wen Ho Lee, and now they had ruined her.
In the twelve months since Rove destroyed Agent Plame's career, Mumsy-Wumsy and Shmoopsie have suffered an endless nightmare of TV appearances, speaking engagments, magazine spreads, and lucrative book deals. Karl "The NARCitect" Rove's immediate termination will go a long way to repay these modern day Rosenbergs for the unjustice done to them, but it will never repair the damage they've inflicted on the War on Terror, a federal jobs program soon to be helmed by President Hillary Clinton. What Rove did amounts to treason, and not the noble kind of treason where you sell out your country or side with the enemy. Nothing short of his prosecution and incarceration will get us back on the Roadmap to Winning the Peace.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
As I write this, about the only thing that is going good is that the power is still on. Hurricane Dennis missed us here in the
The roof of my boat house is no more. Most of it is resting on the boat itself, with the rest pretty evenly distributed among my neighbors docks and yards.. This is going to be a major issue when the winds stop as to how to get those portions of the roof off the boat and what remains of the dock. About 65 feet of my seawall has busted out and a good portion of the land against the wall is now slipping into the bay. The seawall is about three feet thick (concrete) and one can only imagine what the hydrostatic pressure must have been to bust out that big a section of the wall. I have a new and exciting leak in the front of the house that seems to be from water getting into the siding of the house and not from the roof. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like to try and find where this water is coming from. But coming it is, by the bucketful. Some of these outer bands are just wind but others are wind and rain with rainfall rates in the 3 to 4 inches per hour rate. Would you believe that these bands are moving at around 50 mph?
And the Hurricane missed us??????
Oops—sorry just had to stop for a moment as a giant piece of stucco that covers the ceiling in the hallway just landed on the floor. And the bad news continues as there are now three different locations where water is dripping off the ceiling. It is now raining like a mutha!
I gotta tell you that this is worst than any of the four storms we ducked last year. Much worse.
Want some more good news? Because this is Sunday I have to get Debbie in to the
I’ll be soliciting donations later.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
You probably don't remember me but we met at a party a number of years ago. I still recall the tone of your voice and the way you looked me up and down before pronouncing my outfit "quaint". I could tell that you were very important (and busy) by the way that you laughed and turned back to Belgium and Canada after you said it. Still you made quite the impression on me.
That is why when I learned of your recent disappointments, I felt that I had to write you. Losing the 2012 Olympics to London after all of that effort must have been devastating. I know that you and England have a long rivalry. This had to really sting. A lot. This is the third bid in a row that you have lost right?
Then there is the matter of Lance Armstrong and his utter domination of the Tour de France. How a testicularly challenged American heathen can continue to trounce the athletic flower of French manhood is beyond me.
And as if your collective luck wasn't bad enough, along comes that virulent strain of snail-gonorrhea that has decimated escargot production. Have the God's no mercy?
To add insult to injury, David Hasselhof's new reality show was not picked up for a new... oh wait, that's Germany... Sorry.
And all of your disappointments are not recent, I know. How long has it been since Jerry Lewis has made a movie? Losing a screen legend like this, before his time, must cause irreparable damage to an already shaky national psyche.
On the international front, that damn cowboy George Bush went right ahead and invaded Iraq even though you forbade it! What arrogance!
French women are shaving and bathing more. Berets are losing ground to the baseball hat. Where does it all end? I cannot rightly say.
All I can offer is this advice: Keep your
nose head up and soldier on. When I say "soldier on" I don't mean like you have done during actual wars. I meant... maybe "soldier on" is a poor phrase to use. How about "keep truckin' "? Yes, that's it. Keep truckin' until we meet again.
P.S. Keep f---ing with me and see what happens next.
No one actually asked me to post here, but then again no one said I couldn't, so prepare to be Garofolized, rethuglicans!
What a surprise - the Chimp Executive Oaficer can't get his oversized head (or his undersized brain) around why it is that Muslims, who we all know are usually a peace-loving people, would actually lash out at the flocks of lilly-white Aryan sheep in the US and UK. How's this for an explanation: We're attacking them! What else can they do in the face of this regime's oppressive policies?
The whole f**king world hates us because the neocons pulling the strings of the BushCo hegemonistration decided that a good response to the events of 9/11 would be to bomb the shit out of any country that has substantial oil reserves, resists converting to their perverted fundamentalist version of Christianity, or pissed off one of their family members in the past. So they just pissed away all the goodwill and sympathy this country enjoyed on September 12, 2001. Way to go, tards.
All right, so maybe the purple-fingered zombies who voted in the rigged election in Iraq say they like us, but what else are they going to say? How honest would you be if some right-wing BushCo mouthpiece from Fox News shoved an electronic phallic symbol in your face, screaming questions at you while a trigger-happy American jarhead was standing just a few feet away with a loaded weapon?
And what about President Lame-Brain's domestic policies? Well, let's see - we have the so-called "Patriot" Act (talk about an Orwellian name - do you even know Orwell's work? Have you even seen 1984?), freedom of speech is now verboten. How else do you explain the the fact that Air America is having trouble getting sponsors?
Who said "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"? Was it Orwell? I don't remember hearing that line, but it sounds like something right out of one of his screenplays. But here in Jesusland, dissent isn't allowed, so we're basically being deprived of our right to express our patriotism. And no, I'm not talking about phony, flag-waving "Oh this is the greatest country on earth" patriotism, I'm talking about hard-core dissent. I'm talking about letting people know just how much this country really sucks. Now that's patriotic.
So why can't you people see the solution? We just wait till we're attacked again - and you know we will be, the way we're pissing people off. But this time we don't do anything in retaliation. We just sit back and enjoy the goodwill. Then the real patriots launch a massive, coordinated show of patriotism by sticking it to the crooks in the White House as loudly and as often as possible. No holds barred, man - the stolen election, the ties to corporate criminals, the inescapable similarities to Hitler - we let it all hang out.
Think about it: Every country in the world will be standing in solidarity with us, one of the most patriotic - truly patriotic - and peaceful countries in the entire world.
With ideas like this, I should be the freaking president. Dream on, wingnuts.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
by L. Brent Bozell III
July 6, 2005
When Sandra Day O’Connor announced her intention to retire from the Supreme Court, Washingtonians gathered with one thought: the circus has come to town.
Reporters quickly assured viewers this "titanic battle" that is guaranteed to be knock-down, drag-out, wall-to-wall ugly. They didn’t wonder: why does this always happen with Republican nominations, but not Democratic ones? In 1993, President Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was calmly approved by a vote of 96 to 3. In 1994, Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer, who was confirmed by a vote of 87 to 9. By contrast, all hell broke loose with Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, with 58 senators against the one, and 48 votes against the other. The same pattern occurs with Attorney General nominees: 42 votes against John Ashcroft, 36 against Alberto Gonzales, and zero against Janet Reno. Why?
It’s simple. Republicans have been willing to grant Democratic presidents their right to select nominees of their choice, while Democrats have used an explicitly ideological standard since the 1987 trashing of Robert Bork: if you’re conservative, you’re disqualified – period.
These Democrats are emboldened because on high-profile, non-electoral fights like this, liberal bias flies fast and furious in the newsrooms. A classic example can be found in the work product of staunchly liberal National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg, who has tried to ruin two conservative Supreme Court bids.
In 1987, she took a bitter ex-girlfriend’s diary and ruined Douglas Ginsburg’s nomination by forcing him to admit marijuana use at Harvard in the 1960s and 1970s, after which a parade of politicians from Gingrich to Gore admitted the same, with no career damage. (The Didn’t Inhale President came later.) In 1991, Totenberg took a bitter former employee (and according to some, wanna-be girlfriend) named Anita Hill and forced a new set of hearings around Hill’s unsubstantiated tales of sexual harassment by Thomas. But when Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick came forward with their (far more serious) charges against Bill Clinton, Totenberg’s compassion was nowhere to be found.
While partisans on both sides gear up for battle, everyone should acknowledge that the "mainstream" media are going to echo the sentiments of any liberal special interest group against whoever is nominated by President Bush. Even on the one relatively peaceful Republican nomination in recent times – Papa Bush’s awful 1990 selection of David Souter, now a solid liberal on the court – liberals in the press sounded now-comical alarms. Dan Rather panicked with Senator Paul Simon: "Is there any doubt in your mind that [Souter's] views pretty well parallel those of John Sununu's, which means he's anti-abortion or anti-women's rights, whichever way you want to put it?"
The most perverse form of media slant emerges when "reporters" warn that conservatives have a "litmus test" for nominees, implying liberals have never voted strictly on an ideological basis. Those massive Republican majorities for Ginsberg and Breyer (and Reno) ought to rebut the idea that Republican senators are "litmus test" voters, but the media are a Ted Kennedy echo chamber – boorish and predictable – on this issue.
In the first hours after O’Connor’s retirement, CNN political analyst Bill Schneider was already implying only the right used a litmus test. In a story using a graphic titled "A Litmus Test," Schneider recounted how Republicans want no more David Souters: "Conservatives were outraged when he turned out to support abortion rights. Many liberals denounce the idea that a nominee should have to pass a litmus test on the abortion issue." Then came Ted Kennedy, supposed litmus-test hater, who said with a straight face (and no CNN rebuttal): "I don't set up a litmus test for any particular nominees. I have voted for judges which have been pro-life." Unmentioned by Schneider: Kennedy voted not only against Thomas, Ashcroft, Gonzales, and so on, but also against supposedly "anti-women’s rights" Souter. (He was confirmed 90 to 9.)
In 1994, the Media Research Center’s Nexis research of the terms "litmus test" with "Supreme Court" in the three news magazines, as well as the Washington Post and New York Times, was eye-opening: 111 uses from 1987-1992, but only ten uses in Clinton’s time up to the Breyer confirmation process. Most of the disparity came from the newspapers: 54 to 3 in the Post, 44 to 5 in the Times. Translation: During the Reagan-Bush years, there was a defined ideological standard to be met by nominees. In the Clinton era, there was apparently no ideology to consider.
In 1994, Nina Totenberg sat with anchor Ken Bode during live coverage of hearings on Stephen Breyer the "centrist," with Bode complaining Reagan and Papa Bush emptied "the law schools of very conservative Republicans." Totenberg replied "the Clinton administration, at least so far, has not done that at all."
I bet you even Ted Kennedy laughed at that one.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Guess when this happened
Okay, contestants, when did this news story break?
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) -- The Bush administration's plan to launch a military strike on Iraq ran into plenty of flak in the American heartland Wednesday. At a town meeting held in St. John Arena at Ohio State University and aired exclusively on CNN, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice encountered a noisy, opinionated crowd and considerable opposition to another war with Iraq.
Powell was drowned out at one point by a group chanting, "One, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war," as he tried to explain U.S. policy to the audience of 6,000.
The heckling became so intense at one point that Powell interrupted CNN's Judy Woodruff and said, "Could you tell those people I'll be happy to talk to them when this is over. I'd like to make my point."
Similar outbursts greeted Rumsfeld and Rice as they laid out again a U.S. position that is familiar to those who have followed the building crisis in the media.
They said the United States would prefer to see a peaceful resolution and hopes that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will make significant progress when he visits with Iraqi officials this weekend.
But if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein doesn't allow U.N. arms inspectors to have unrestricted access to all weapons sites in Iraq, they reaffirmed that a U.S.-led coalition will respond with military force.
How many times....?'
While those opposing a "racist war" were a tiny, if vocal, minority, there were many others in the audience who agreed with a veteran who asked if "we're going to do it half-assed the way we did before?"
A caller from Oklahoma echoed that sentiment, asking, "How many times are we going to send our children and our children's children to fight Saddam Hussein?"
"We've spent seven years containing him at no loss to U.S. lives," Rumsfeld said, adding that an attack would reduce the threat of "chemical and biological weapons that will pose a threat to your children and grandchildren for the future."
Another caller noted that the U.S. encouraged an uprising in southern Iraq but did not help those who responded, and that they were subsequently "slaughtered" by Iraqi troops."Our policy has been to support opposition groups, and it continues to be our policy," Rumsfeld began, but he was drowned out by chants of "Bull----! Bull----!"
Another member of the audience screamed at the chanters, "Shut up!" One young man asked Powell why the United States is willing to attack Iraq while ignoring actions by other countries. Powell responded, "No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing. He is producing weapons of mass destruction, and he is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other dictators."
Powell scolds questioner
As shouts erupted from the audience, he added, "I'm really surprised that people feel they need to defend the rights of Saddam Hussein." "You're not answering my question, Mr. Powell," the questioner said. Powell said, "I suggest, sir, that you study carefully what American foreign policy is. Every one of the violations has been pointed out on what is not right, and I would be happy to spend 50 minutes with you after the forum to explain it."
Rice told the audience that should military action be necessary, "the cardinal principle of the planning of this operation has been to seek to minimize civilian casualties." Obviously, that's not possible (to eliminate them altogether), especially when you're dealing with someone who uses people as human shields. But we have no intention of trying to wreak havoc on the Iraqi people."
One heckler who made his way to a microphone asked how Powell, Rumsfeld and Rice could sleep at night, knowing that innocent Iraqis would be killed and injured by any military strike."We will not send messages to Saddam Hussein with the blood of the Iraqi people," he said. "If you want to deal with Saddam, deal with Saddam, not the Iraqi people."
'What democracy is all about'
"What we are doing," replied Powell, "is so that you all can sleep at night. I am very proud of what we are doing. We are the greatest nation in the world ..." He stopped as the audience rose and applauded.
"... and what we are doing," he resumed, "is being the indispensable nation, willing to make the world safe for our children and grandchildren, and for nations who follow the rules."
A caller from Germany who identified himself as a member of the U.S. armed forces, told the panel that he agreed with what they were trying to do. "And if lives need to be lost," he said, "let it start with mine." Although surprised by the opposition they encountered, the officials adjusted to the noise level and the probing questions.
"This is a tremendous example of what democracy is all about," Rumsfeld said. "People expressing opposition ... would not be allowed to do this in a number of countries, including Iraq."
A State Department spokesman played down the tone of the meeting, and said Powell, Rice and Rumsfeld "enjoyed it. They came away feeling that the overwhelming majority of the audience was very supportive of the goals of the administration."
If you guessed 2002, you're wrong. In fact, this whole exercise is a cheat.
The story is from Feb 18, 1998. And the cast of characters was not Powell, Rice and Rumsfeld. It was Madeleine Albright, Sandy "Scissorhands" Berger and William Cohen.
Fascinating how evil and dangerous Saddam Hussein was during the Clinton presidency. As Albright said:
No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing. He is producing weapons of mass destruction, and he is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other dictators.
But today's historical revisionists say Saddam was no threat, and that Bush lied (Downing Street memo, blah blah blah).
Hypocrisy is always ugly.