Right Wing Consp-air-acy?

From Wonkette, via Joe Trippi:

    Many of you are familiar with the lawsuit that Air America filed against MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. after MultiCultural pulled Air America off the air in Chicago. Air America won a temporary restraining order against MultiCultural, forcing them to put Air America back on the air. . . It turns out there's more to MultiCultural than meets the eye. The CEO Arthur Liu, a Republican supporter, retained the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher -- a firm that lists Ken Starr and Ted Olsen as its alumni.
    This is a right-wing blackout, and we can't let it happen.

Many Happy Returns to Atrios

The mighty Atrios celebrates two years of blogging today.

Gorelick's Life Threatened

Oh, lovely:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Jamie Gorelick, a member of the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said Saturday that she received death threats this week after a number of conservatives alleged that her former work in the Justice Department may have contributed to failures leading to the attacks.

Ah, the FBI's investigating. I feel much better. I mean, anyone who ultimately works under John Ashcroft is just so righteous, right?

Frankly, I'm far more afraid of what can happen to this country under Ashcroft than I am about Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the North Korean madman, and Courtney Love combined.

The Plot to Implode the Middle East

Or that's certainly what it seems like between Iraq, Bush and Sharon's summit this week (in which Bush gave every impression of kissing Sharon's posterior), the small-scale suicide bomber yesterday, and Israel's "protective" measure of assassinating the new head of Hamas (after killing the old, old one last month).

I guess this is just another skirmish in the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Islamic world, eh?

More on CNN's Poll

I presume CNN did not like the results it got on last night's question: "should pictures of hostages be broadcast", which was overwhelmingly "yes", because they're out with a new poll this morning that simply twists the first:

    Does the media coverage of hostages in Iraq encourage the kidnappers?

This, of course, has 83% of respondents saying, "Yes!"

Perfect example of the framing of a question to get the results you want vs. the results you don't.

Speaking of Rush

Think I should interview him for my book on the dangers of online prescription ordering? hehehe

Nah, he probably didn't buy online. They usually don't sell in quantities of 10,000. I'm still amazed he simply didn't buy a pharmaceutical company and eat the profits.

Gorelick Asked to Resign by 9/11 Head Keane?

That's what Steve at NoMoreMister (Nice Blog) reports Rush Limbaugh is alleging. If it's true - and I hope it's not - it's a sad day.


Not Surprised. Just Shocked.

From Josh Marshall yesterday:

    Beyond belief? How about way, way beyond belief.

    This from the Associated Press ...

    Some Iraqi nuclear facilities appear to be unguarded, and radioactive materials are being taken out of the country, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency reported after reviewing satellite images and equipment that has turned up in European scrapyards.

    According to ElBaradei's letter, satellite imagery shows ``extensive removal of equipment and in some instances, removal of entire buildings,'' in Iraq.

    In addition, ``large quanitities of scrap, some of it contaminated, have been transfered out of Iraq from sites'' previously monitored by the IAEA.

CNN Poll Tonight

I'm not a big poll person, because there are so many ways to sway the answer or to make it almost impossible for a thoughtful person to answer.


    Do you have a problem with "God" being used in the classroom, on money, and in the courts?
    Will you vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger?
    For what? If governor of California, no... and only partly because I live in Vermont. For president? Sure, he'd make a great president of the "I'm smarter than I look" Club or the one for men with IQs exactly matching their neck size.
    Should moth balls be banned?
    Excuse me?

But CNN's tonight is one that's provocative and also a bit hard to answer, at least in some respects. The question: should images of American hostages be broadcast? Clearly, this is in reference to the 20-year-old Batavia, OH private.

However, while I don't like the see anyone exploited and I ache for the guy - and Hamill and others - every time I see or hear about him, we do have to see these images. Especially those of GIs and civilians because we placed them there (the GIs specifically and the civilians.. well... we brought war to them). We have to see the effects of what we've done.

Another American Hostage

The image of the young private from Batavia, OH being held by the Iraqi Resistance as a hostage is heart-wrenching. He says he came to Iraq to free them but didn't go willingly, just wanted to be home with his child.

This comes with a government reminder that we don't negotiate with terrorists. Now, I understand that. I do. But I wonder if the young private's family finds that comforting.

Karl Regrets Banner

In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Karl Rove admitted he wished that the "Mission Accomplished" banner had never appeared behind Bush in last May's "victory" speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Gee, Karl, I bet the hundreds of Americans who've died since then, coupled with other coalition force, contractors, humanitarian works, and civilians regret it, too. Now go take an anger management course, Karl.


Much as I listened to the joint Bush-Blair press conference today (and man, does Bush like to act like der fuhrer with the press in such situations) and Blair's post-summit interview with Tom Brokaw tonight, I'm not fully sure what was accomplished or how this improves either man's standing. At this point, Blair would need to bitch slap Bush on international TV to improve his status back in GB.

"Kill Her, Fine. Just leave the TV Alone!"

In a "feel good" story sure to be retold on Mother's Day and straight from the warm, wonderful land of Jeb Bush comes this story of a teenager who hired a hitman to kill his mom but cautioned the would-be hitman to do anything he wanted except damage the family TV.

Charming child. Almost makes one wish Roe vs. Wade was retroactive.


From CNN on Tony Blair

I'd generally agree with the assessment CNN provides on the meeting between Blair and Bush tomorrow. Tony may be running out of cat lives at this point unless he's able to push Bush forward. I wonder how Tuesday's presidential press conference played in the European press.

From the article:

    Blair, who meets Bush at the White House Friday, must prove wrong those critics who say London's cherished "special relationship" with Washington is a one-way street, analysts say.

    ..."Blair has to try and demonstrate that he can have some influence on Bush, to get him to see the subtleties of the Iraq situation," said Wyn Grant, politics professor at Warwick University.

    The impression that Blair can restrain Bush and his troops or can help secure a United Nations resolution on Iraq would give his standing a much-needed boost, analysts say.

In the Somebody's Doing Better, But it May Not Be Us Department

Right now, 63% of respondents to a CNN poll asking if the War in Iraq is making al Qaeda strong or weaker says the organization is stronger now.

To believe it's weaker almost requires you buy the argument given by the Pentagon that the "tiny fraction of dead-enders acting up" is just the last gasp of bad behavior before it's extinguished. But we not only have a terrible situation in Iraq, Bush made sure that Arabs were doubly incensed by (what to all appearance seems like) the total capitulation of Bush to Sharon in ways that will not benefit the Palestinians.

Oh yeah, and drug crops look like they're in for another record year in Afghanistan. Every year since we bombed them, drugs have been produced in quantities unknown before our arrival.

John Kerry

Let me return to a refrain that may be familiar to a few of you: the ... ahem... charisma of John Kerry.

Now, please, before you send death threats or offers of free psychoanalysis, understand that there is not one shred of question in my mind that Kerry will be a much better president than Bush. However, Bush is an abnormally low standard upon which to test anything except sheer audacity and fibbing. In my mind, I can literally off the top of my head name at least one hundred people just in politics who would be great improvements over Bush, and some of them are even Republican.

But I wish Kerry were a little less of a fence rider and so careful a man. I find it hard to be passionately for Kerry. I admit, however, that he's not the fresh change I saw in Howard Dean (Dean wasn't perfect, but I preferred him). Nor did I feel passionately for Clinton or Gore.

Yet here's another admission: right now, I suspect it would be very tough to feel as passionately for another candidate as I feel passionately opposed to even the possibility of another term of Bush. Unfortunately, I think probably the majority of the people for Kerry right now are more anti-Bush than pro-Kerry. I'm not sure I like that.

Granted, charisma isn't vital for the presidency.

April 25th

A message from Howard Dean:

    George Bush and his right-wing allies are waging a systematic campaign to roll back a woman's right to choose. And we cannot stand for it.

    That's why I am traveling to Washington for the March for Women's Lives on April 25th.

    Americans from across the country will converge on the National Mall to stand together and show that we will not let politicians get in the middle of decisions between a woman and her doctor. Join me and represent the Democracy for America grassroots in Washington, D.C. on the 25th:


    You can also view a special video message that I have recorded with Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Please take a look and pass the link along to your friends:


    This administration has pursued dangerous, extremist policies that put women's lives at risk -- both at home and abroad. Those who care about choice and freedom must stand up and be heard. And we will -- I hope you'll join us in Washington, D.C. on April 25th.

    Thank you.

    Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

The President's NEXT Fake Speech and Press Conference

Good evenin'
Now, I won't say ladies and gentlemen because Karl tells me lots of you folks ain't neither. We expected a bit more respect out 'a the lotta you considerin' how careful we honed you since before I was selected president.

But, with ev'rybody belly-achin' about how ooohhh Iraq is so bad and look, there the prezdent goes on vacation again, I figured I better paint you suckers a pitcher...er... pitcher.

OK, here's the way it's goin' down. It occurred to all good Christians - and by that, I mean o' course me an' Karl - and Karl's a great Christian even if he says the word fuck a lot - and the rest o' the Carlisle Group that what we got in Iraq is maybe a war with all o' Islam. Now, we've said it isn't but for some Goddamned reason, the Islamisists think it is. It also occurred to us that maybe gettin' more than a billion of these smelly, smarmy people mad at just a little group of fat, white, Christian-talking oil billionaires prob'ly ain't too good. Y'know, they might retaliate and then it could affect US, the important people, and not just poor, lazy regular Americans.

So, on June 30th, I've decided to turn the whole damned thinking mess over to Jerry Falwell, to bring Christianity to the middle east, with Ariel Sharon as his closest advisor. See, puttin' Sharon in is smart 'cos he'll give me the Jew vote in Florida and those Islamasisticsists who don't wanna get dunked in the great hot tub of Christianity can become Jews. And it's good for Sharon, too, cause he's got a place he can send all those ungrateful Palestinians.

Trust me, it's a win-win situation.

Before y'all start to whine again, yeah, I'm takin' the summer off again even though you think the war is going badly and that we're under significant threat. But a man's gotta rest sometime, and spending more than 40% of my time sitting on my ass eatin' pretzels at one o' my retreats is mah due. Anybody who don't agree with that is, o' course, a terrorist or somebody who loves a terrorist or at least is willin' to have unChristian-like sex with 'em.

And no, Helen, I'm not takin' your question. I decided I don't take questions from mean little old ladies. 'Sides, Condi waitin' up to read me Chapter 4 from, "The Power of Positive Thinking."

Now get outta my White House 'fore I call a military tribunal on your ass.

The Charges of Partisanship on the 9/11 Panel

The last few days, the air waves and other media have been filled with calls of partisanship and bias on the 9/11 panel. All of the complaints, of course, have been about Democrats on that panel.

But this should come as no surprise. After all, for weeks, we've heard about the "partisan" members of the panel from the mainstream media itself, and the only partisans they were talking about, clearly enough, were the Democrats, as if a) 9/11 is strictly political - and it's not or wasn't until Bush's handlers got hold of it (or worse, if you listen to the conspiracy theorists who believe Cheney, Carlisle, some entity besides bin Laden alone engineered that horrific day) b) that the Republicans were the one true voice and everyone else were complainers and c) that Thomas Keane, a Republican although a fairly moderate one, had not encouraged all the members of the panel - and not just Dems - to sit down for interviews.

Me thinks the GOP is gearing up for what it sees as criticism of our feckless leader who stayed on vacation during a time of grave warnings, and then tried to roll the day into part of his "great legacy".

August 2001 Was Hotter Than Usual

Fred Kaplan tells quite a story in Slate this week. Go check it out, with this to whet your appetite:

    National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has made a big point of the fact that Tenet briefed the president nearly every day. Yet at the peak moment of threat, the two didn't talk at all. At a time when action was needed, and orders for action had to come from the top, the man at the top was resting undisturbed.

    Throughout that summer, we now well know, Tenet, Richard Clarke, and several other officials were running around with their "hair on fire," warning that al-Qaida was about to unleash a monumental attack. On Aug. 6, Bush was given the now-famous President's Daily Brief (by one of Tenet's underlings), warning that this attack might take place "inside the United States." For the previous few years—as Philip Zelikow, the commission's staff director, revealed this morning—the CIA had issued several warnings that terrorists might fly commercial airplanes into buildings or cities.

The Osama Connection

His tape today aside, I'm not sure how convinced I am that Osama is intricately involved in what's going on in Iraq.

Oh, sure, to some degree, the so-called insurgents and Osama have some mutual objectives, but I think it's more for Osama's benefit (and Bush's.. who loves to try to tie any badness in Iraq to the War on Terror) to suggest that he's running the show in Iraq than it would be for the Iraqis. In fact, I'm afraid that suggestion is going to drive up the death count (all around) in Iraq. The US can say they're fighting Osama, and more latitude will be afforded them when we come out with dozens more dead from among civilians and non-combat personnel.

Bad Day in Black Rock

Let's see: an Italian truck driver was murdered on video so brutally that al-Jazeera balked at showing it, we've got a lot of contractors and GIs missing (probably many humanitarian aid workers, too), Bush doesn't know who's gonna run Iraq after his campaign clears out on June 30th, Osama is offering to bargain with the Europeans, Russia's pulling out its people, and the White House tells us Iraq is wonderful.

I know someone will tell me it's my liberal negative mindspin, but y'know, this just doesn't sound good.


Few Except Andrew Sullivan

...seemed very happy with the press conference last night. Andrew was watching a different show, I think.

For example, here's this from Wednesday's Times' editorial page:

    The United States has experienced so many crises since Mr. Bush took office that it sometimes feels as if the nation has embarked on one very long and painful learning curve in which every accepted truism becomes a doubt, every expectation a question mark. Only Mr. Bush somehow seems to have avoided any doubt, any change.

The Bush-Sharon Meeting

How do you win the hearts and minds of Arabs?

Apparently, by telling them all is wonderful in Iraq except for a couple of Islamic Eddie Haskells, and then sending powerful signals both through remarks earlier this week that there can be no Palestinian state so long as there's a terrorist willing to take a life and by seeing Sharon today and giving Sharon a green light on keeping several of the strategic and illegal settlements.

I don't think you even need me Muslim at this point to think that the Bush administration is doing everything wrong on bringing a balance that could ultimately mean peace. Well, unless the peace is supposed to happen by completely eliminating Palestinians altogether.

Let us not forget that everywhere, everyday, new settlements are being built to try to encroach further. And meanwhile, those in Israel not in the passionate settlement movement have more and more reason to fear.

I suspect that by the mere act of removing ALL the settlements built on disputed land - keeping those that are legal - could go a very long way to giving Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular some degree of hope. The Middle East is home to both Muslims and Jews, and both need to be allowed to live, work, prosper, and find happiness.

Take All of the Partisan Issues and Pain Out of It

And you still come away feeling like the 9/11 panel hearings represent a very interesting look at the systems in place supposedly to defend us. Also, the overall partisanship with which it is enacted (and turned into bureaucratic grey water).

Granted, I've only been any to catch snips. It's tax week, nutty editorial deadline week, and "Imitrex doesn't help my migraines" week. But what I do see are quite interesting. I'd still love to see some of the documentation they have that has not been made public.

Every American - hell, just about every citizen of the world - could do worse than try to understand how something like 9/11 happened, how to try to reduce its possible recurrence, and how much crap has been committed in the name of "doing battle with them evil-doers."



The mighty Atrios points us to David Sirota's site for some Claim vs. Fact analysis of some of the president's rather astounding comments and comparisons. Notably:


    "But there was nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior government that could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale."
    - George W. Bush, 4/13/04


    In the very same press conference, President Bush said "part of [the reason I requested the PDB] had to do with the Genoa G-8 conference I was going to attend" in 2001, where he was warned that Islamic terrorists were potentially plotting to fly airplanes into buildings.

One Last Question

Why... oh why.... did the president stumble so severely when asked if he could name even one mistake his administration had made? This speaks of the most serious set of blinders perhaps ever recorded on videotape.


Now David Gregory has asked if it's fair that one of the main criticisms leveled against Bush's administration is that he never admits making a mistake. Bush is back skating all around the pond.

This isn't quite as clearly scripted as others, but I think he's already chosen the reporters/questions ahead of time, and he's answering almost nothing clearly and concisely. I know, huge surprise.

Thanks Betsy!

Elizabeth Bumiller is trying her best to let Bush evade the question of whether he feels any personal responsibility for 9/11. And my, is he doing Figure 8s and Hamil camels around it!

"Secretary of State Rumsfeld"

Hmmm.... that's what our feckless leader said.

Bush's Speech

It's still going on (no questions yet), but three things strike me:

    a) he doesn't appear medicated right now (which is good)

    b) I think he just said the Iraqis have to grow up and take over their country

    c) he's still arguing this is just a teeny-tiny contingent of people; I don't think some of the cities like Fallujah speak well to the truth of that statement

More "Who's In Charge in Iraq?"

MSNBC is reporting that the bodies of four of seven contractors missing since an attack on a convoy at the end of last week have been found buried near the site of the convoy attack.

I keep thinking about Hamill, the missing debt-ridden dairy farmer who had to take a job in Iraq to pay his bills. Has anyone heard a word from him? I don't need to close my eyes to see his face, trying to remain brave in the face of his captors. Or those of the Japanese humanitarian workers.

Who's Running Iraq Again?

This from International Reuters:

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German aid organizations evacuated their last four workers from Iraq on Monday due to the deteriorating security situation, a spokesman for one of the groups said.
    The government said two embassy guards feared killed in an ambush last week remained missing.

    A spokesman for the "Aktion Deutschland Hilft" said the last four members of a 10-person team removing munitions from residential areas left Baghdad on a U.N. aircraft for Amman. He said they hoped to return to Baghdad as soon as possible.

Plus kidnappers of Italians want the Italians out of Iraq. And we have a bunch more unaccounted for hostages. Death tolls must be going up in Fallujah, but we're still hearing the grave "600" Iraqis number - mostly women, children, and the elderly. LOTS more are missing.

Tonight, however, the president will tell us only a tiny number of people are involved while the rest of Iraq loves us and we're only there to help ("We're from the American goverment and we're here to hur.. help you."). I wish they would let Helen Thomas ask a question. Ahem.

MoveOn Wants Your Support

MoveOn.org is soliciting signatures for a petition to ask the US to hand over authority over Iraq to the United Nations (I'm not sure the UN wants it, however). Go here to add your name. A personal note isn't bad either. The more voices, the better.

New Complaints about Bush

I've been mildly amused and... er... amazed that people are complaining that Bush will speak tonight in one of his few, heavily scripted press conferences... specifically because it bumps part of American Idol and thus, Fox is pulling the show tonight.

While I have many complaints about our feckless leader, this is the one time I'm happy. Not just because no Idol, but because I doubt he'll do any better at this scripted press conference than he has at the others. And if recent history proves correct, at least one critic will question what medication he's on.


Who is Praying for Whom?

According to this report from ABC News Australia, troops are still being asked to pray each day for the president, his family, and staff. Think the president canceled a moment of his fishing trip to pray for them?

    They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.

    Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.

    "I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.

FBI to Condi: Say What???

From Saturday's Newsday:

    WASHINGTON -- The FBI on Friday disputed National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony that it was conducting 70 separate investigations of al-Qaida cells in the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Rice, testifying before the Sept. 11 commission Thursday, said that those 70 investigations were mentioned in a CIA briefing to the president and satisfied the White House that the FBI was doing its job in response to dire warnings that attacks were imminent and that the administration felt it had no need to act further.

    But the FBI Friday said that those investigations were not limited to al-Qaida and did not focus on al-Qaida cells. FBI spokesman Ed Coggswell said the bureau was trying to determine how the number 70 got into the report.

Musharraf Runs Democracy the Bush-Cheney Way

From CNN:

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Javed Hashmi, leader of the multi-party alliance against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison on charges of sedition.

    ...Hashmi was arrested on October 29 on charges of defaming the government and the army.

    The charges came after Hashmi, a member of parliament, circulated a letter allegedly written by an army officer opposing the role of the army in national politics.

Twenty-three years for criticism.

Howard Stern

The piece on Keith Olbermann tonight about Howard and the war against Bush is quite interesting. It does seem unique that Clear Channel chose to drop him only once Howard began to criticize Mr. Bush, after several years of supporting almost entirely right-sy candidates. Yet there's also this busy buzz-buzz with the FCC and decency.

But what Howard decent when he was geared to the right, while he's indecent now? The dates are just awful close for pure coincidence, Janet Jackson's nipple aside.

Hey, I make no secret: I don't like Howard. I did for a short time, when he first appeared on WNBC in New York. He was a bad boy, and I pined for the days when I was still pretty young when Imus was stoned out of his gourd and being a reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyyy bad boy.

But I realized Howard was never going to grow up so I turned him off. Just like listeners can do now - turn him off. He doesn't have to be your cup of tea to be allowed to be on the air. Radio is filled with voices and genres I don't like. So I don't listen. No biggy.

Tastes change, too. For example, I used to think Alan Colmes was a very good program host and was quite smart. I don't listen to him now either.

Another Legitimate Question

Even the mainstream press is asking the question, "Why is you say the information from the 8/6/01 memo was too vague to act upon to prevent 9/11/2001 yet similarly sketchy information was used to push us fast and furiously into the Iraq war?"

For some of us, this is not a new question. Still, it's nice to hear others begin to ask it.

The Horse Rides Again?

From Roger Ailes (the good one) from David Neiwert, news that Media Whores Online may return as soon as May.

I'd love to see that. Even though the "Out to Pasture" sign has been up for a bit, I keep dropping in there, because MWO was my first blog love. They're good and we need them now more than ever.

Bush Beats Clinton Any Day of the Week

From CounterSpin:

    LET'S LOOK AT THE TOTE BOARD: Total number of Americans killed by Islamic terrorists during the entire 8 years of Bill Clinton's Presidency: 54.

    These were from the first World trade Center attack, in which 6 were killed

    The Khobar Towers attack, which resulted in the deaths of 19 U.S. service members.

    The African Embassy bombings that killed 12 Americans.

    And, of course, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, killing 17 sailors.

    Total number of Americans killed on George W. Bush's watch? Well over 1500. Probably closer to 2000. Not everyone who died in the WTC, for examle, were U.S. citizens. In fact, a significant percentage weren't.

    In any event, it's pretty clear that the death toll for Americans on that day dwarfed the entire total for Bill Clinton's Presidency.

    That's true even if you count the 200 citizens of other countries killed in the African Embassy bombings and the 150 or so who died in the domestic terrorism of Oklahoma City.

    In fact, more of our citizens have been killed in IRAQ than died through either war, or terrorism during Bill Clinton's entire 8 years in office.

"Follow the Exit Signs"

That's the title of this Washington Post piece by Sen. Robert Byrd. Notably:

    It's clear that the war in Iraq should never have been fought. The administration's claims on which we went to war simply are not true. In seeking to stop Saddam Hussein, we have created a vortex of violence. In rushing to act without the strong support of the community of nations, America is isolated, and our few allies are targets.

However, of course, we can't just pull out. We need to do everything possible to hand this off in a way where we can try to fix some of what we've damaged - water, electricity, hospitals, and not killing so many women and children would be really nice, too. But we can't hand this off to Chalabi who has no one's respect but perhaps a few stalwarts in the Bush Administration. I doubt Jordan would be too happy about that arrangement either.

Louis Freeh and 9/11

It was Louis Freeh's turn at the 9/11 investigatory commission. Now here's a man, former FBI director under Clinton, whom I feel probably deserves to shoulder some blame.

Freeh, if I read correctly, was rather liberal with his vacations, even at a time when we were seeing increased terrorism, and there were some real questions raised about how the FBI was doing business (the scandals in the FBI forensic labs, for example). Freeh, a Republican, may have been kept in place by Clinton, but he bent over backwards to help any Republican who wanted to launch yet another investigation into Clinton or any of Clinton's administration.

What bugs me is not just that Clinton was being investigated for some new thing almost every minute of every day. What bothers me most is that all too often, what he was being investigated on mattered so little. Monica. White Water. The list goes on.

Clinton made some errors that I feel should have been thoroughly gone through, but none of them involved fellatio, interns, penny-anty land deals, and "murdering" Vince Foster.

The resources of the FBI, Secret Service, et al, should have been far better used in the years leading up to September 2001. One of the main distractions, instead, was the right wing trying to make Clinton sound like a sexual deviant.

That so many died because the government was so focused on trying to operate around all the Monica et all investigations is unforgiveable. Louis Freeh helped perpetrate these distractions.


I didn't see much of the Mubarek-Bush press conference following their meeting together at the Crawford Ranch (Bush still can't tear himself away from vacation), but what little I saw prompts me to ask a question. Actually, two questions:

    1. Since Bush says there can be no Palestinian state until "there are no longer terrorists willing to kill", when did the plan end to have the Palestinian state? Terrorists will always be willing to kill. Bush isn't going to change that. No one is.

    2. Are we paying for the drugs Mr. Bush is taking?

And yes, I'm serious on the latter point. Get a transcript of the press conference.


"Bush Speaks of Truth, But Doesn't Tell it"

That's the headline of Cynthia Tucker's piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

    The entire premise of the Bush presidency -- that he is a man of principle, of honor, of candor -- is crumbling. The chaos engulfing Iraq is not just the result of guileless miscalculations. It is the inevitable outcome of a policy built on mendacity.

Check this ABC News Story

It relates to all the contractors in Iraq right now, and how there is no system to really handle problems with them. I would also expect it's quite an insult to the military, there earning chump change to be shot at, when the DoD is happy to bring in hired guns who can be rogues for $1,000-$2,000 a day per contract employee.

Note this:

    "If a U.S. military person is suspected of committing a crime, there's an established system to deal with it — court-martial," Singer says. "When a private military person is suspected of committing a crime, there's really not much legal recourse. For example, in Iraq right now, you would have to rely on local law. Well, guess what, there is no local law."

Meter Still Running

From the Houston Chronicle:

    Meter still running on Cisneros investigation
    Five years after former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to his mistress, the meter is still running on the independent counsel investigation.

    Taxpayers were billed $839,085 for the six months ending Sept. 30, 2003, by attorney David Barrett, the independent counsel named to head the inquiry that began in 1995. Although Cisneros entered his plea in 1999 and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, Barrett's office is still open and has not set a date for closing.

    Barrett is finishing a final report on the case as required by law, an official said.

    A recent report by the General Accounting Office found that, so far, Barrett's investigation of the former San Antonio mayor has cost $20,509,928, plus whatever has been spent over the past six months.

    An even more expensive investigation -- one headed by Kenneth Starr into allegations against former President Clinton -- officially closed last month.

    Attorney Julie Thomas, who replaced Robert Ray who replaced Starr, pulled the plug officially on March 19, ending more than a decade of federal investigation of Clinton.

    The cost of that investigation, which led to Clinton's impeachment and eventual acquittal by the Senate, cost $72,768,285 through the end of September, according to the GAO.

Is it Just Me?

Or does The Sopranos suck this season?

I'd like to think I've simply grown up, no longer content with vicious mobster killings, people committed to screwing people over, and unhappy with people who scratch every itch with a 15" dagger. Or maybe watching the Bush Administration is enough organized crime for me.

Seriously, though, I've never found anyone on that show a truly compelling, likeable character. Sure, I was bummed tonight when Steve Buscemi's character got this close to making it only to dump it all away. But that's not all. Carmela is a user extraordinaire. She can pass judgement on Tony (ick) but she sure wants his money, even knowing how it's made. Adriana and Christopher deserve each other; we can only hope they don't have any children. Meadow's gonna grow up to be Victoria Gotti (but with even less talent). Melfi's not worth the bother. But then, none of them are.

Life just seems too short to watch a show where no one seems capable or even motivated to make life not such a sh*thole. The same holds true for our current WH administration. Come on, November 2004!

Homeland Security?

Is this a 3-hour Bush campaign movie in NBC tonight?

I notice they use real footage of Bush, but have a fake Karzai from Afghanistan. This sucks.

Former President George W. Bush

Oops, sorry. I'm just practicing. I like how it sounds. I like even more what it means.

And trust me, the ranch in Crawford will be forgotten by him as soon as he's out of power... or out of Dick Cheney's power, anyway.

The American Hostage

I heard more about the American hostage today, a contractor who is over there because he couldn't find work in America and he needed to pay off the debts from his failed dairy farm. There are a lot of people like that in Iraq: people with no ability to get decent paying wages here and reach a point of desperation so great, they'll consider going into a war zone just to get better than minimum wage.

Speaks volumes about George Bush's America to me.

McCain Says No

CNN is reporting that John McCain says he completely rules out a run for VP on a Kerrey ticket. If he has no real desire there, I'm glad he's announced it now. But I also expect that McCain used the doubt as leverage to get something from his Republican colleagues.

Say what you want about McCain, but one thing you can't say is that he's not a survivor, in every possible meaning of the word.

Hostage Deadlines Begin to Pass

One of the Blogger-eaten posts related to the Iraqi hostages - now a collection from America, Japan, and other countries. Now, the deadline given on the American hostage, a contractor from Mississippi, has passed with no word - and I doubt we got out of Fallujah.

The Japanese public is up in arms, and rightly so, demanding that their leader withdraw troops - and remember, Japan's troops are there in completely non-combat roles only. Many of those taken are humanitarian workers, although it's unclear whether the contractor from the US captured was Army-contract or otherwise.

I hope their lives are spared. But I also hope the lives of the Iraqi people are spared, too, along with our military. Enough death for no purpose.

Is the Public Getting Smarter?

I note that in the CNN poll today asking whether the WH presidential daily briefing memo released yesterday supports the White House's version or Richard Clarke's, more than 62% say it supports Clarke.

All those dead in Iraq from the massive misplanning after a completely unnecessary war might be a clue.

President Actually "Works" This Morning

President Bush, in a rare moment not spent vacationing or coming up with silly nicknames to call people, attended Easter services at Ft. Hood this morning.

Said the president, "My subjects.. er.. people.. you know, those people who don't realize me and Karl and Diebold got the electronic voting all taken care of so they aren't really needed... wanted me to come out on Easter so I did. But Condi promised me I can get right back to the ranch and find me some eggs and chocolate bunnies. See, that's what Easter's all about. Candy."

Blogger Must Be Hungry

Because it ate several posts between last night and now. Let me go find it a white chocolate bunny to satisfy it.