More Proof The Truth And President Bush Have Never Been in the Same Zip Code Together

From Steve at The Carpetbagger Report on today's just peachy Bush Rose Garden press conference, in a piece he appropriately called, "Fun with Fact-Checking!":

Following up on an earlier item, I watched the president's press conference this morning and jotted down a quick note every time I heard him say something that I knew to be false. Needless to say, I went through more than a couple of sheets of paper.

* On the issue of military tribunals, Bush said, "We will work with members of both parties to get legislation that works out of the Congress."

That's not quite right. First, the White House isn't interested in working with congressional Dems at all, and second, the proposals with bi-partisan support are staunchly opposed by the president.

* In describing his concerns about Common Article III of the Geneva Convention, Bush said, "Common Article III says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague.

What does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity'? That's a statement that is wide open to interpretation."

Somehow, American presidents seemed to function just fine with the same interpretation for the last 60 years. Besides, the judge advocate general of the Army recently said, "[W]e've been training to that standard and living to that standard since the beginning of our Army, and we continue to do so." To hear Bush tell it, the standard doesn't even exist. Apparently, only he and his sycophants agree.

* Asked how he measures progress in Iraq with all the death and destruction, the president said, "Well, one way you do it is you measure progress based upon the resilience of the Iraqi people."

This was my personal favorite of the day. Apparently, we're no longer looking at progress in the war by indicators that we can actually measure (casualties, oil production, terrorist attacks, etc.), but instead by the amorphous concept of "resilience." Now all we need is a resilience-o-meter and we'll have some valuable data to consider.

Rosie O'Donnell, The Irredeemable Right, and Religious Extremists

The extreme right needed no excuse to go after Rosie O'Donnell. That she wasn't married to a man (even before she announced she was a lesbian) was enough for some to trash her. Even before she spoke out against the war in Iraq before we entered it, the rest of the extremists wanted her shut up, shipped out, and forgotten.

As long-time readers know, I'm not a Rosie fan. Oh, I don't dislike her because she's a lesbian or any of the other "popular" reasons to shun her. She's just not my style.

But I don't have to be a fan - or to even agree with her most recent comments (although I do happen to agree with these, quite assuredly) - to support her right to express her feelings. Bush and Cheney certainly express theirs, as does Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, "Dr" James Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter.

The extremists now want Rosie not just forced to apologize to them, not just removed from ABC (which already did such a nice job for the extreme right with that ridiculous mock-u-mentary "The Path to 9-11") but actually lynched because she said - to paraphrase - that there is little difference between the extreme religious right in this country and the "evil" Islamic fanatics in the Middle East and elsewhere.

What's to argue there? Rarely a month goes by when Pat Robertson doesn't suggest the State Department get blown up because they aren't setting foreign policy the way he wants it run. He blames homosexuals for hurricanes, Bill Clinton's blowjob for 9-11, and often recommends violence. Coulter can barely get through the day without recommending the deaths of Muslims just because they're Muslims or to have The New York Times blown up or a jumbo jet flown into its headquarters.

Actually, I'd probably say to Rosie that there is ONE difference between Muslim extremists and Christian extremists here at home. "Our" extremists are often in bed with corporations and other avenues to their own self-interests. For example, Pat Robertson's "aid" network seems to largely exist to smuggle diamonds out of Africa where it's not unusual for workers and villagers to lose limbs or their lives for their procurement. James Dobson's in bed with a lot of strange people as is Jerry Falwell.

Bush's War-Mongering Makes it Tough For NATO to Find Troops To Serve in Afghanistan

Story here at The Scotsman and, as usual, the problem comes right down to Bush and his "foreign-policy-by-threats-and-war" mantra.

First Rabbis Since Holocaust Ordained in Germany

I could not believe this when I read about the first German rabbi ordinations, meaning that I assumed that - since I know Jews who have moved to Germany to work or study - what was certainly not allowed under Hitler had long since been corrected. It's about time... way past time, in fact.

Before You Get Too Comfortable With the Lower Gas Prices...

Gas prices that were nosing $4/gallon here in Vermont have eased back to $2.78 to $3/gallon and we're told that inflation in the U.S. is easing off as a result of the rolling back prices (and near $3 a gallon is hardly low).

However, many experts are saying that if you take the time to blink, you're going to miss this relief. As soon as October, we could see them take a very sharp jump again and, this time, they may not back off anytime soon.

Speaking of Pro-Torture Kangaroo Courts

Josh Marshall makes an excellent point about the Republican game plan a la Rove that I wish would come to pass:

Karl Rove is certainly playing high stakes poker on the Kangaroo Courts. Set aside for the moment the merits of the underlying questions of whether our country should continue to abide by the rule of law and the principles our founders based the country on. Hard I know, but for a moment, put that to one side.

The aim here was to unite Republicans behind a bill and then force Democrats either to vote for or against -- demoralize the supporters of those who vote for and crush with 30 second ads those who vote against.

But if the White House actually gets tripped up in a fight with members of his own party over what kind of torture we should use, and that's the last legislative story out of Washington going into the election, that really seems like it would be a big disaster for the White House.

Are Bushies Promising to Torture Military Lawyers Who Don't Support Bush's Pro-Torture Plan?

TPM Muckraker has some evidence that it does indeed appear that military lawyers are having their arms - and possibly other body parts - twisted to say torture is good for America, just like welfare for Wal-Mart and record deficits and having a president who is deeply hated throughout the world!

Stealing America, Vote By Vote

Buzzflash points us to Stealing America.

Why Do Republicans Hate National Security So Much?

I think it's a fair question considering how they often say Dems do this.

But here, the Republicans have voted AGAINST Democrat-offered amendments that would have INCREASED national security.

The Bombs the Army Can't Report Are Killing Many But Alas, This is Also Not Supposed to be Reported

Two American soldiers (at least) dead from a bomb yesterday in Baghdad, at least 25 more hurt and who knows how many Iraqi civilians since - according to Rumsfeld - their deaths don't count and, in fact, don't even occur if they are caused by insurgency.

Bloody bastards.

Maureed Dowd: "Vice Must Wash His Hands Before Returning To Work"

Rozius brings us the latest MoDo, focusing on Cheney's insistence that despite the lies that got us into these wars without end, the mistakes that keep us there without any progress, and the bankrupting of both this country and every nation we attack, "war is a damned good thing". Here's a bit, but visit Rozius for the rest:

I called Tim Russert to ask if Dick Cheney had washed his hands after their interview on Sunday.

“No-o-o,’’ he replied, sounding confused.Any sort of scrubbing, I wondered? Antiseptic wipe, Purell, quick shower on the way out? No, Tim assured me, the vice president did not stop at the basement shower at NBC, or even drop by the men’s room you pass on the right as you head out to the parking lot.

According to The Times’s health section yesterday, Lady Macbeth and Pontius Pilate were not alone in wanting that “damned spot” out. “People who washed their hands after contemplating an unethical act were less troubled by their thoughts than those who didn’t,’’ Benedict Carey wrote about a new study on the “Macbeth effect,” published in the journal Science.

“In one of several experiments among Northwestern undergraduates, the researchers had one group of students recall an unethical act from their past, like betraying a friend, and another group reflect on an ethical deed, like returning lost money,’’ the article said. “Afterward, the students had their choice of a gift, either a pencil or an antiseptic wipe. Those who had reflected on a shameful act were twice as likely as the others to take the wipe.’’

If Dick Cheney didn’t try to hose himself down after his outlandish performance on “Meet the Press,’’ he may be so deep in denial he doesn’t even know he’s ruining America and needs a symbolic moral superwash.

Since W. revealed he’s been reading Shakespeare — including “Macbeth” — I’ve been puzzling over which character the vice president most resembles. He’s got as much malignant sway over the protagonist as Iago, but Iago hated Othello.

The Lord of the Underworld is more like Lady Macbeth, who persuades her partner to make a huge error in judgment by taunting him about manliness. If he doesn’t want to be unmanned, he must pre-emptively wield the dagger against his rival. She tells him:When you durst do it, then you were a man;And to be more than what you were, you wouldBe so much more the man.

Even though “blood will have blood,” Macbeth decides he must stay on his self-destructive path:I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.

W. and Vice went on TV this week to double down on their dishonest case, now contradicted by a mountain of evidence, once more milking our sorrow over 9/11 to justify their errant course in Iraq.

In a speech that Tony Snow promised would be “reflective,’’ the president used hyperventilated rhetoric about “a struggle for civilization” and cynically retraced a line he now knows is false, again linking Osama and Baghdad: “If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened.’’

Bin Laden has become the Willie Horton of the midterms. After letting the C.I.A. disband the unit devoted to hunting for Osama — the Senate took a slap at the White House on Thursday when it voted to reinstate it — Mr. Bush now won’t stop talking about the bogeyman he ignored for five years while he transferred all his resources to Iraq.

“The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad,” he said.Instead of going after Osama, we invaded Iraq. Now W. says we must stay in Iraq or it will be run by Osamas. We must kill all the terrorists we are creating. American soldiers must keep dying because American soldiers have died. If we criticize Mr. Bush, then we’re unmanning the whole country. The logic is deviously Rovian, and we are trapped in the circularity.

On “Meet the Press,’’ Mr. Cheney warned that America cannot let its adversaries “break our will’’ and show we “don’t have the stomach for the fight.’’“It was the right thing to do,” Vice insisted of the war in Iraq, “and if we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.”

Know Why Bush Holds His Few Press Conferences in the Rose Garden?

It's all the fertilizer he offers up.

He was particularly smirky, simplistic, short-tempered, snide, and partisan today. All he does is offer these ridiculous sound bytes that can't even make sense to him.

One more of these press conferences and my old Sony is going to give up the ghost from the books, pens, shoes, and fruit I toss at the screen.

If You Hear a Squishing Noise, It's Not You

I just gave my dog a three-part oatmeal flea bath and, as always, I'm far more wet and sudsy than Ben. Unlike Ben, however, I did not enjoy a large plate of ground meat as my reward.

No, my soggy Keds are all the reward I need. ::squish::slosh::squeak::

If This Isn't the Floater in the Toilet Bowl (Novak) Calling the Anus (Armitage) a Poopy!

So why is Bob Novak - the man who was the first one to publicly out CIA operative Valerie Plame in what became known as PlameGate - claiming the person who told him, Dick Armitage, is "distorting" his role?

I suspect that at least some of this is Novak still trying to cover for his White House pals who seem to be the only ones who still like the Prince of Darkness Novak.

Speaking of Israel's War on Hezbollah in Lebanon

Israeli Major General Udi Adam today became the first high ranking Israeli military officer to resign over what the Israeli public came to view as a very failed war in Lebanon against Hezbollah.

Great Britain Says The Term "War Crime" Needs to Be Redefined

Perhaps I'm reading too much - or too little - into the comments of the British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells when he says "war crimes" need to be redefined in light of the war on Lebanon and Hezbollah mounted by Israel this summer. But note that he seems to see anything Hezbollah did as bad yet won't even breathe a hint that Israel might have even accidentally done anything wrong at all (that 40% of the death were young children and about 20-30% more the sick and the old is just an inconvenient piece of trivia apparently).


Dan Froomkin Asks, "How Far Can Bush Push Congress?"

Actually, Bush has considered both the Senate and the House of Reprehensibles (sadly, quite appropriately) his bitches for some time now and, with only a relatively few and rare exceptions, I suspect he'll continue to do so. In fact, Bush is counting on the GOP to keep majority on Capitol Hill so Bush can kill Medicare, which may be part of the reason Dubya got off his rump and went down to the Hill today. Here's what Froomkin has to say:

Just how far can President Bush push Congress? We'll know soon enough.
The Bush-Cheney assertion of wartime executive power has been so extreme and widespread that even many Republicans are troubled by one manifestation or the other.

But the occasional signs of rebellion within the ruling party have time and again been crushed by the White House and GOP leadership.

This being election season, everything needs to be viewed through a political lens. And while some Republicans candidates are distancing themselves from their unpopular president in campaign commercials, they are aware that ferociously pounding Democrats for being weak on national security has worked very well for them in the last two election cycles.

The White House and the Republican leadership believe embracing the president's warrantless wiretapping program and detainee proposals are key to surviving the November elections.
But the effects of the legislation Congress is considering this week will last far beyond November. And critics argue that the White House's approach won't help protect the country so much as put captured American soldiers at risk, further blacken America's image abroad, legitimize unconstitutional treatment of detainees, erode privacy rights, cede congressional authority and institutionalize what has thus far been the extralegal assertion of nearly unchecked, and therefore potentially corrupting power, to this president as well as those to come.
Read the rest here.

Colin Powell Comes Out Against Bush's Push for Military Tribunals

It's refreshing to see that former Secretary of State Colin Powell has rediscovered his principles by coming out against Bush's push (with a Texas-sized cattle prod) for the military tribunals the Supreme Court has already stated are unconstitutional.

The text of Powell's letter to Sen. John McCain in which he states his opposition can be found here.

Noble Idea: The Secretary of State (SOS) Project

The Secretary of State (SOS) Project does seem like a good idea: supporting the election of decent secretaries of state now to increase the chances of a fair (i.e., not rigged!) election cycle in 2008.

We've already suffered tremendously with very bad secretaries of state, even when we're not residents of the state where the secretary works. Some of the worst examples are Katherine Harris in Florida for Election 2000 and Ken Blackwell in Ohio in 2004.

Unfortunately, we have a pretty much across-country problem in that secretaries of state, charged with overseeing elections, are often political hacks who then coordinate the state-wide campaign for a particular candidate, as Harris did in 2000 for George W. Bush and Blackwell did in 2004 for.. you guessed it.. Bush.

We need to stop this practice. Visit the SOS Project Web site to learn more.

A Personal Reminder to Mr. Soros

The previous posting re George Soros I made reminds me of this note I drafted several months ago:

Dear Mr. Soros:

Please accept this reminder of my previously tendered very generous offer to let you do one or more of the following:

  1. Adopt me (I am not, however, amenable to changing my first name, and especially not to something silly like Katrinka
  2. Make me your kept woman (so long as neither sex nor housework is involved; I may be poor but I have standards and besides which, fornication musses my hair)
  3. Hire me for something terribly important and worthwhile (and did I mention high paying?)
  4. Marry me (again, there can be no sex involved or housework which alas makes me sound like a Republican)

I have excellent references and I haven't bitten anyone in years. I'm also up to date on my shots, including distemper.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration of this matter. And if I'm this thankful now, imagine how I'll be after you adopt/keep/hire/marry me!

Frequently right-maligned George Soros Donates $50M to Africa to Fight AIDS and Poverty

The BBC reports that billionaire George Soros will give $50 million to a U.N. project to combat both AIDS (which has completely devastated huge portions of the entire continent) and poverty in Africa. Good for George, just as I have been very pleased that Microsoft magnate Bill Gates has contributed huge sums.

This becomes even more important when, as we know, all the money (which was really just a drop in the bucket) George Bush pledged (always making it sound like it's his money when almost every other American pays far more in tax dollars commiserate with their income than he does and certainly more than the great recipient of the Bushie tax breaks, "Duck, it's Dick!" Cheney - who pocketed more than $2M in refunds just for 2005) a bundle to Africa and then simply never gave the money.

The Bushies have hamstrung every dollar to Africa because they don't want any AIDS-fighting money to advocate any means of birth control and stopping sexually transmitted diseases that isn't abstinence only (unconscionable fools).

Red Alert! Help! Alert The Masses! There IS A Shortage of Sperm!

No, really. The BBC would not lie either. There's a shortage of sperm.

OK, it's just a shortage of sperm donated to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) clinics, but it's still a damned shame! Think of the tons of this stuff spilled into facial tissue and socks each and every day.

Oh, the humanity!

Now They're Threatening Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys? The Nerve!

Al Qaeda has allegedly issued threats against France.

What is bin Laden going to change the name of Muslim "French" toast and "French" fries to, eh?

Jihad Toast and Holy War fries just doesn't have the kind of "roll off the tongue" sound to give this Joe-mentum...momentum.

How Dare Anyone Accuse the U.S. of Lying About Anything, Much Less About Nukes or Iran

::rolling eyes::

The IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, has accused the U.S. of lying in a report about Iran's nuclear program and its potential.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

The U.S. would never lie (WMD) about a country (Iraq) and its nuclear capabilities (Iraq). Right?

Muslims: The Pope Is An Old Poop

OK, maybe they didn't quite say that, but Pope Pompous the Infinite..er..Benedict, once himself called the Hitler of the Vatican (oh, what imagery!), has inflamed the Muslim masses with his anti-Islamic comments.

Watch Out Washington County - I May Be Coming to Your Door on Saturday

Well, I've just gotten my "mission" for Bernie Sanders on Saturday. I'll be getting literature at 10 AM in beautiful downtown Montpelier (not pronounced "Mon-peel-yaaaaa" by anyone but Steve Martin and Jim Hogue) and then going door to door not simply to remind people to vote, but also to make my pitch for voting Bernie.

Now, I don't "do" door-to-door so this will be interesting. I simply decided that if I want my reps to be more accountable to me, I also must be more accountable to them and to the democracy I want. IMHO, Rich Tarrant would be an extremely damaging choice to this state and to its representation in Washington. He's a corporate fatcat but Vermont is not a corporate state.

But it's (my volunteering) not just an effort against Tarrant but for the many - if not all - good things Bernie has done in the past and even more he will hopefully accomplish in the future.

TeleDildonics ::choke::


Wired also covers the new "open source" teledildonics "intimate interface". Just what I've always wanted (not), a way to have sex with my office equipment (NOT!).

I'm not a prude but well... I find that typing with both hands is more productive.

The Burning Man

Wired discusses a new book that documents a full decade of "desert depravity" re: the annual Burning Man festival, something I have always wanted to attend but alas, never have.

Going Out for Bernie

Well, I just volunteered to go beat the campaign trail for Bernie Sanders for U.S. Senate this weekend.

Is he perfect? No. But Bernie Sanders has been good to the state and good to its residents. He's also good for this country. So I'll give my weekend.

A "December Surprise" Cut-and-Run?

Writes Holden at First Draft:

According to the right-wing Insight Magazine, Poppy's fixer is working with the Chimp on a plan to cut-n-run from Iraq after the mid-terms.
    President Bush has acceded to his father's urging and has made former Secretary of State James Baker a leading adviser on Iraq.

    Administration sources said Mr. Baker, head of the congressionally mandated Iraq Study Group, has been discussing with the president recommendations on an exit strategy that could begin after the November elections. They said Mr. Baker's approach to Iraq differs sharply from that of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"Gee, Let's Use Weapons On Mobs... You Know, Like Peaceful Demonstrators!"

Gottlieb at My Left Wing got this posted before I did:

With friends like these...
Or should that be “with fiends like these…?”
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

    The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

    "If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
Put this in your WTF! File.


Jon Stewart: Who Will The Bushies Try Harder to Catch This Election Cycle?

Jon Stewart on The Daily Show: "Will it be the soccer mom vote or Osama bin Laden?"

My vote's on soccer moms.

More On The Latest Way The Bush Administration Fudges The Numbers (Here, on Iraq, But They Do It Everywhere)

The Chicago Tribune offers more on the misguided (what? another understatement?), foolish, and truly criminal way the Bush Administration and Rumsfeld have decided to "edit" official civilian death tolls in Iraq by excluding deaths by insurgency from tallies.

CentCom representative: "Yes, Mrs. Akmed, I realize YOU think your husband is dead because his body lies in 147 different parts from the downtown Baghdad bomb but officially, we don't consider him dead. Kindly just Scotch tape him back together and take him home, OK? Oops - don't forget his right arm that flew through our office window. Thanks much!"

Wow! Conservative Christopher Buckley Guts Bush, Says It's Time to Give Congress to Democrats

Color me surprised. Buckley was very "in" with the Bushies at one time. Now he apparently is not a loyal Bushie; in fact, he's joined the chorus of "true" conservatives who find Bush a global train wreck.

Good Night, Ann Richards

News sources are reporting the death of former Texas governor Ann Richards, of cancer, at the age of 73.

While I'm not exactly known for liking Texas politicians (there's the understatement of the month), I respected Ann Richards for many things. I still can't believe she lost the governor's seat to a pissant screw-up fuckhead named George Bush (I wonder what ever became of this privileged little megamaniacal egotist cokehead?).

Good night, Ann, and thank you.

Sunlight Foundation Challenges Lawmakers on Capitol Hill to "Punch a Time Clock"

Check out this press release I just received; I rather like the idea:

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Sunlight Network (the 501(c ) (4) social welfare organization affiliated with the Sunlight Foundation) is today announcing “The Punch Clock Campaign,” which will pay out good-will bounties to anyone who gains the signature of a Member of Congress, or prospective Member, on an agreement to make their daily schedule – listing all the people they meet with, including lobbyists, and all the meetings they go to, including fundraisers — public on the Internet.

“Every single day, the majority of Americans have to account for their time by punching a timecard or filling in a time sheet. It is about time our employees, guaranteed to us by the Constitution, do the same,” said Executive Director Ellen Miller. “A little more than a decade ago this would have been nearly impossible. Now, with the development and reach of the Internet, posting their daily schedule – complete with all the lobbyists they meet with and the fundraisers they go to – is simple.”

Sunlight is asking Members of Congress and FEC qualified challengers to sign an agreement to post their Congressional schedules. To anyone who can get a Member or challenger to sign the agreement, Sunlight will pay a cash fee -- $1,000 for each Member of Congress’ signature, and $250 for all other FEC qualified candidates.

“The Sunlight Network is hoping the change the nature of the relationship between lawmakers and citizens. That starts with lawmakers being more transparent and open about what they do as elected representatives – posting their calendars would begin that process,” Miller added.

The agreement Members and candidates are being asked to sign reads, “I believe citizens have a right to know what their Member of Congress does every day. Starting with the next Congress, I promise to publish my daily official work schedule on the internet, within 24 hours of the end of every work day. I will include all matters relating to my role as a Member of Congress. I will include all meetings with constituents, other Members, and lobbyists, listed by name. (In rare cases I will withhold the names of constituents whose privacy must be protected.) I will also include all fundraising events. Events will be listed whether Congress is in session or not, and whether I am in Washington, traveling, or in my district.”

More information can be found at

The Sunlight Network, a 501 c(4) affiliated with the Sunlight Foundation, was founded in 2006 to foster a more positive relationship between lawmakers and their constituents, using technology, transparency, and local communities.

Rumsfeld and Bushies Suddenly Get All Girly Scared About Offing Taliban

The military is supposedly mightily pissed that Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bushies suddenly got all fussy about how they weren't "supposed" to drop bombs on cemeteries (they like their victims alive to start, tyvm) so they refused to let the troops on site take out the large collection of Taliban present at a funeral in Afghanistan. More on the story here.

But remember please: Mr. Clinton is still keeping us from being safe by refusing to catch Osama bin Laden. ::snort::

In Tabloids R Us: Anna Nicole Smith's Son Dies

A coroner has ruled the death of Anna Nicole Smith's 20 year old son "suspicious". The young man died in the hospital room of his sorry excuse for a human being of a mother after she gave birth to a second child out of wedlock.

Smith supposedly had to be sedated (which begs the question, is Anna Nicole ever NOT medicated?) after the event and has now suffered "memory loss" because of the trauma. While I would hardly care to ridicule her grief which I'm sure is real, Smith often can't seem to remember her own name.

I'm just sorry her 20 year old son lived his entire life as the "adult" to his cartoon of a mom and just as sorry that Anna Nicole - who said, "I'm pregnated" and used her pregnancy as a way to sell more diet pills from TrimSpa so she could buy more drugs and get more pregnated - has brought another child into the world.

But I'm sounding pretty prig and sanctimonious now so I'll stop.

It's Been a Bad Week With The People Who Should Not Breed

Both Brittney Spears and Anna Nicole Cesspool Smith have given birth for the second time.

Our condolences to the newborn babies.

Murtha Calls for Rumsfeld's Immediate - If Not Sooner - Resignation

Rep. Jack Murtha, a 34-year veteran of the Marines, writes at Huffington Post about his resolution calling for the immediate resignation of Secretary of Defense (and man, is he ever defensive!), Donald Rumsfeld.

I say, "Fire the bum!"

Then indict him for war crimes along with Bush, Cheney, Condi, and company.

"The U.S. Vs. John Lennon"

From The Nation:

Power to the People

Jon Wiener previews The US vs. John Lennon, a documentary that suggests the same vision that motivated John Lennon in the Vietnam era empowers Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks and others today.

As A Signal of How Well the Bushies Are Doing in Iraq...

Iraq has asked Iran for security help.

Your serve, Mr. Rumsfeld!

As A Signal of How Well the Bushies Are Doing in Iraq...

Iraq has asked Iran for security help.

Your serve, Mr. Rumsfeld!

Speaking of The Blogroll

As you may have noticed, the blog rolls have largely returned at right, along with some additional changes like the links to books I recommend at Powells (a great union book store).

For some reasons, a couple of entries like Constant's Pations and What's the Point? appear in the blogroll text as it exists in the template but are not showing up in the list. I'm troubleshooting this problem.

However, if you were part of my blog roll and do NOT see your entry now listed, please feel free to give me a shout. Shouts accompanied by a cup of extra strong fair trade coffee are even more appreciated.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

What Happens When Little Richard "Translates" For George Bush

If you haven't seen the video that apparently appeared first on The Daily Show, which blends Bush with the Little Richard Geico commercial, you must... you simply must.

What? You're still here? No, go look at the video. I'm nowhere near as funny.

Diebold and "Hack The Vote": Salon Tells You About The Insecurity of Your Vote on Their Machines

Salon discusses a fascinating Princeton study that shows insecurity rather than security rules the state of electronic voting art at companies like Diebold.

Hacked voting machines handed us Bush twice. Want it to continue happening?

More on Reports That Air America May File Bankruptcy

Think Progress has more on the rumors that the alternative-to-conservative-only talk radio, Air America, is in tough enough financial shape to declare bankruptcy, as I posted about earlier today.

I wish them good luck in reorganizing. We need alternatives.

OK, Maybe Justice Won't Be So DeLay-ed, After All

A court may resurrect one or two counts of conspiracy against former House Majority Leader - and still one hell of a creep - Tom DeLay.

Man, I hope that if he gets jail time that the state of Texas decides to put a Webcam in his cell.

Wouldn't that be fun?

Deborah LaFave: I Agree With Her, She Should Be in Jail

I'm ill tonight not just from Nancy Disgrace's atrocious actions, but because every news show tonight has been filled with excerpts of Matt Lauer's interview with Deborah LaFave, the teacher who had sex with a fourteen-year-old student and then, rather than go to jail, makes a bundle off interviews with the media and posing for pictures.

In the interview I couldn't seem to avoid parts of, she says she probably should be in jail for what she did. I agree. The rest of the time, she sat there justifying the fact that while her rape by a boyfriend as a teenager was "terrible", her sex with a student was just "not a good idea."

She is not a sex offender she says; she "just made a bad choice... would never do anything to break the law." It's nice to see that she's apparently had money for breast augmentation surgery; her chest has grown steadily in pictures over the last few years. Sheesh.

If she was a man, that is where she would almost undoubtedly be.

I don't like double standards; our legal system shouldn't mete them out either. And our media shouldn't play into this woman's fantasy of being a sex goddess anymore than the way they fell over themselves interviewing fruit loop MaryKay LeTourneau for raping a boy and having two children with him she has YET to work to support despite all the time she's been out of prison.

Bipolar disorder or not, look into her eyes and there is no one home. There is no hint of a conscience there.

Two-Thirds of Americans Find the Constant Bush-Republican References to Nazis Totally Inappropriate

From Think Progress:

NBC released a poll tonight showing that the majority of Americans object to recent White House attacks comparing Iraq war critics to Hitler appeasers. Asked about the recent “appeaser” language, NBC’s Tim Russert said the poll showed this rhetoric “did not resonate with the American people.”

GOP Fights Wiretapping Restrictions

Of course the GOP wants to spy more with no limits on invasion of privacy. Really, the GOP should have a pig rather than an elephant as the symbol of their party. But the Dems sit there and take so much crap from these greedy assholes that an ass is an appropriate party symbol for them.

U.N. Chief Says Middle East Sees Iraq As a Disaster

While I roughly agree with U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan, I would argue that "disaster" is too nice a word for what Iraq has become under our direction. Nor is it just the Middle East that sees Iraq as a catastrophe (also too weak a word to describe what we've done there).

WaPo Apparently Doesn't Get the Bush-Rumsfeld Memo Not to Report Insurgent Deaths in Iraq

Because the Post states that more than 100 are dead just in Baghdad, just today, mostly from insurgent violence. As I reported yesterday, the Bushies with Rumsfeld have decided to "reduce" the death count by omitting any lives lost to car bombs and other insurgent attacks (which is MOST of the deaths in Iraq).

The Bushies also fudge numbers for U.S. soldier deaths and woundings, job numbers, economic growth numbers, the national debt, and just about everything else from which they can divorce the American people from the ugly truth.

Nancy Disgraced: How a Malevolent and Malicious Yet Mediocre Talk Show Host Helped a Young Mother Commit Suicide

I used to call Nancy Grace Nancy Graceless simply because this is EXACTLY what she is. In the old days, the only TV show that would put this malicious, vindictive bitch on air was Geraldo Rivera (Jerry Rivers to his parents, if you didn't happen to know about his name change for "ethnicity" sake) who in his typical hyperbole used to refer to her as "Amazing Grace", probably because there is never a suspect Nancy doesn't pronounce guilty without so much as a shread of evidence.

While I used to be a Court TV buff (primarily because I used to cover trials as a journalist), the one program I could never stomach was Grace's because she is the most mean-spirited piece of crap on the planet - on a par with Ann Coulter and the late Barbara Olsen. Finally, I stopped watching it altogether and then stopped watching CNN Headline News when they ridiculously gave this raving bitch her own show.

But now even Nancy Graceless has topped herself. Her brutal interrogation of the apparently confused and mentally challenged mother of a little toddler who has gone missing very well may have led to the woman's suicide in the hours between Grace pummeled the one on camera and when the interview would have aired. In fact, Nancy is SO graceless that she aired the interview WHILE her program ran a banner below Nancy's nasty face telling us the woman's body had been found at the home of her child's grandparents from a self-inflicted means of death.

What does Nancy do to top herself even then? She spends most of tonight's show I'm told (I wouldn't watch it) trying to rehabilitate herself by repeatedly making it sound like the mother had something to do with her child's disappearance and even his death.

That may be true, Graceless, but how will we ever know NOW? Melinda Duckette, the dead mother, was the last person to see her child that we know about. And now she is NOT around to answer any more questions for police or aid in the recovery of her little boy. Trained police officers would NOT have treated this woman, who supposedly has a history of some mental problems, this way because they would know she might do something rash and because they needed her alive to help in the investigation.

But you, oh graceless bitch and ratings whore, kept after that woman as assuredly as any pitbull trained to attack and kill. How you dared show your miserable, hate-hideous face after that is beyond the pale.

Granted, no human being can ever truly make another commit suicide. But you damned well came about as close as possible. I just wish to God that your devoted fans, likely also people who view the world as hatefully as you do, will see through you and drive you right off the airwaves. Or maybe someday someone will do to you what you did to Melinda Duckette.

Sleep well tonight, Nancy, knowing that you made it a lot harder to find that little boy. If he's not dead, I bet he's terrified wondering if he'll ever see his mom again. Yet, even if he is found, he won't see his mother again, will he, Nancy? You made sure of that.

I've seen you in action before. I've seen you tear the throat out of people who are later determined to be innocent. But you never apologize. Because you're you, you feel you have justification to do whatever you want.

Must suck to be you. I'd sure hate to look in the mirror every morning and go to bed with myself at night if I were you. Thank God I'm not.

I'll be praying for Melinda Duckette and her little boy tonight. But I'm not a tolerant enough Christian to pray for you, Nancy. No way in hell.

The LA Times Gets It Right

As they indicate, the only seeming difference between Bush and his policies and the terrorists is the name of the people committing the evil.

Bush Once Again Invokes Religious Crusade and "Good vs. Evil" Simpleton Language in Terrorism Issues

Bush is dangerous. A simpleton AND very dangerous. Neat trick!

Glenn Greenwald Tells Us (Sadly) That the Specter NSA Wiretapping - Spy on Americans - Bill Much Closer to Enactment

This is so bad on so many different levels:

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today on various proposals relating to the Specter FISA bill, as well as the other competing FISA bills pending before the Committee. This report from the AP's Laurie Kellman, published in The Washington Post, is completely unclear about what happened, but the gist of it seems to be this:
    Senate Republicans blocked Democratic attempts to rein in President Bush's domestic wiretapping program Wednesday amid a sustained White House campaign to give the administration broad authority to monitor, interrogate and prosecute terrorism suspects.

    While refusing to give the president a blank check to prosecute the war on terrorism, Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee kept to the White House's condition that a bill giving legal status to the surveillance program pass unamended.
Right. Refusing to give Bush a blank check. Sure. Uh huh.

Why Is the White House Watching The Press Corps?

This White House is pretty f'd up - and that's putting it mildly.

ABC News brings us another example: at the White House press gaggle, where NO cameras are allowed, why was the White House training a camera directly on the reporters?

I have some suspicions. They aren't good. One might say they're downright Orwellian.

Keith Ellison: In The Tradition of Wellstone, He May Be First Ever Muslim Elected to Congress

Story here from The Nation.

Let me say that I would be very pleased to see someone who seems to respect and admire the late Paul Wellstone elected to Congress. Wellstone's absence has been felt and it's high time that a Muslim gets a shot at Congress.

Say Hello to...

[Ed. note: I originally misreported this blog's name as "Taking It Personally". It however was added to the blogroll by its correct name and I've amended it here. So much for "smart pills" - at least, I should never consume those that boast "President Bush couldn't work a day without these beauties!" ::cough::]

Take it Personally.

They seem to offer a lot of good stuff, including this from Raw Story about how the NSA is lobbying the Senate to repeat its own vetted, PR talking points (luffly):

<> we are SO far off the rails in the u.s...
    The National Security Agency has taken the unusual move of sending members of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee a list of "approved talking points" regarding its warrantless eavesdropping program, RAW STORY has learned.

    Some of the talking points urge Senators to imply that they have personal knowledge of plots foiled by the wiretap program, or that the Senators--seven of whom responded by writing the NSA a letter blasting the move--had other personal knowledge that the program was legal or necessary.

    "I have personally met the dedicated men and women of the NSA," one point reads.

    "The country owes them an enormous debt of gratitude for their superb efforts to keep us all secure."

    "It has detected plots," reads another, "that could have resulted in death or injury to Americans both at home and abroad."
No examples are given in the document.

it's hard to express outrage when your outrage meter looks like salvador dali's painting, the clock explosion...

Despite Reported Bankruptcy Filing, Air America Hopes to Restructure

Story about Air America's present and (hopefully) future here.

More on the Really Difficult Climate of Iraq's Anbar Province

I noted MissM's posting on this last night. Interestingly, late last week, I happened to catch a radio program (could have been on VPR or WGDR or one of their feeds) where translaters from some Anbar province leaders said that it was not that al Qaeda did anything to recruit them into more interest in the Al Qaeda movement. Instead, they felt drawn to al Qaeda directly by the actions of the U.S. in Iraq; to them, al Qaeda represented the only real opposition movement to the U.S. If so, man... what does this say about our operations there? And what does it bode for the rest of Iraq in our continued occupation?

From Monday's WaPo:

The Pentagon is taking "very seriously" a classified intelligence report concluding that the U.S. military has fought to a stalemate in Iraq's western Anbar province as political conditions also worsen in the "epicenter" of the country's Sunni insurgency, a senior defense official said yesterday.

In congressional testimony on security in Iraq, Pentagon officials also said the rise of "ethno-sectarian violence" has laid the conditions for civil war, aborting plans by U.S. commanders to begin withdrawing U.S. troops. Gaps in the capabilities of Iraqi security forces leave open the prospect that U.S. forces may have to stay in the country for as many as five or more years, they said.

Calling Anbar "a very hot zone on the battlefield," Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric S. Edelman said the secret report on the volatile, strategic province was gaining high-level attention at the Pentagon.

"It is an important report. We've taken it very seriously," Edelman told a panel of the House Government Reform Committee. "This is an operational assessment by one very good intel officer," he said, adding that "a lot of us are looking at it very closely" and are seeking a further assessment on Anbar from top U.S. commanders in Iraq.

The report, first outlined publicly in The Washington Post yesterday, said a shortage of U.S. and Iraqi troops in Anbar and the collapse of local governments have left a vacuum that has been exploited by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq. It painted a bleak picture of security prospects in Anbar, a large province bordering Syria and Jordan that includes the troubled cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

"Anbar has been the epicenter of the insurgency," Edelman said, adding that "a purely military solution to any insurgency is not possible." He said the report was a "snapshot" that does not represent the entire country.

Vermonters: Don't Miss Cody Michaels' Concert on Saturday, September 23rd

Seats may go fast for Cody Michaels' can't-miss piano concert of his original works on Saturday, September 23rd at the Woodbury Methodist Church (Route 14, S Woodbury) at 7:30 PM. At just $10 for adults, this is very affordable for a pianist that I think is just splendid.

For reservations, call 229-4507. See my previous post for more details! Also visit Cody Michaels' Web site.

Hope to see/meet a few folks there (just made my reservations).

While Airport Security Checks Great-Grandmothers' Sneakers for Bombs

WaPo tells us that many of the items on the banned carry-on list goes right on the airplanes anyway.

Not that they bother to check the cargo holds at ALL, of course.

Rolling Stone Magazine: "Bush's Phony War"

Hoffmania brings you the latest from Rolling Stone Magazine, "Bush's Phony War".


Paul Krugman: "Promises Not Kept"

More important words about 9/11 and how the Bush Cabal abused it, us, and the entire rest of the world. Thanks to Rozius for the link and information:

Five years ago, the nation rallied around a president who promised vengeance against those responsible for the atrocity of 9/11. Yet Osama bin Laden is still alive and at large. His trail, The Washington Post reports, has gone “stone cold.” Osama and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are evidently secure enough in their hideaway that they can taunt us with professional-quality videos.

They certainly don’t lack for places to stay. Pakistan’s government has signed a truce with Islamic militants in North Waziristan, the province where bin Laden is presumed to be hiding. Although the Pakistanis say that this doesn’t mean that bin Laden is immune from arrest, their claims aren’t very credible.

Meanwhile, much of Afghanistan has fallen back under the control of drug-dealing warlords and of the Taliban, which sheltered Al Qaeda before it was driven from Kabul. NATO’s top commander has appealed for more troops; the top British commander in Afghanistan has said that fighting there is fiercer than in Iraq. And the numbers bear him out: since the beginning of 2006, the NATO force in Afghanistan has had a higher rate of fatalities than that suffered by coalition troops in Iraq.

The path to this strategic defeat began with the failure to capture or kill bin Laden. Never mind the anti-Clinton hit piece, produced for ABC by a friend of Rush Limbaugh; there never was a clear shot at Osama before 9/11, let alone one rejected by Clinton officials. But there was a clear shot in December 2001, when Al Qaeda’s leader was trapped in the caves of Tora Bora. He made his escape because the Pentagon refused to use American ground troops to cut him off.

No matter, declared President Bush: “I truly am not that concerned about him,” he said about bin Laden in March 2002, and more or less stopped mentioning Osama for the next four years. By the time he made his what-me-worry remarks — just six months after 9/11 — the pursuit of Al Qaeda had already been relegated to second-class status. A long report in yesterday’s Washington Post adds detail to what has long been an open secret: early in 2002, the administration began pulling key resources, such as special forces units and unmanned aircraft, off the hunt for Al Qaeda’s leaders, in preparation for the invasion of Iraq.

At the same time, the administration balked at giving the new regime in Kabul the support it needed. As he often does, Mr. Bush said the right things: the history of conflict in Afghanistan, he declared in April 2002, has been “one of initial success, followed by long years of floundering and ultimate failure. We’re not going to repeat that mistake.”

But he proceeded to do just that, neglecting Afghanistan in ways that foreshadowed the future calamity in Iraq. During the first 18 months after the Taliban were driven from power, the U.S.-led coalition provided no peacekeeping troops outside the capital city. Economic aid, in a destitute nation shattered by war, was minimal in the crucial first year, when the new government was trying to build legitimacy. And the result was the floundering and failure we see today.

How did it all go so wrong? The diversion of resources into a gratuitous war in Iraq is certainly a large part of the story. Although administration officials continue to insist that the invasion of Iraq somehow made sense as part of a broadly defined war on terror, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has just released a report confirming that Saddam Hussein regarded Al Qaeda as a threat, not an ally; he even made attempts to capture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

But Iraq doesn’t explain it all. Even though the Bush administration was secretly planning another war in early 2002, it could still have spared some troops to provide security and allocated more money to help the Karzai government. As in the case of planning for postwar Iraq, however, Bush officials apparently refused even to consider the possibility that things wouldn’t go exactly the way they hoped.

These days most agonizing about the state of America’s foreign policy is focused, understandably, on the new enemies we’ve made in Iraq. But let’s not forget that the perpetrators of 9/11 are still at large, five years later, and that they have re-established a large safe haven.

A Navy Mom Speaks Out Against Lies of Bushies and Pentagon

Vox Verax points us to this heartfelt and all too accurate letter from a Navy mom (Dana Melius):

Pundits and politicos have often assumed that rural America blindly ascribes to the President's polemic. Not so. The following is a beautifully worded letter from a mother whose son is in the Navy. From the New Ulm, Minnesota, Journal:
    Critics of U.S. ‘war’ on terrorism are also patriots

    Once again, I could not hold back tears as our family last week sent off our Navy son, Matt. After missing him dearly while he served 18 months on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, he was heading back to his new base in San Diego, preparing for six to nine months at sea. Like other parents of military children, we are proud and pray for his safety. But more than ever before, we are also frustrated and angry.

    And despite what U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush say, we have every right to both support our troops AND criticize the Iraqi war. Enough is enough. This latest spin from the Bush administration — likening critics of the Iraqi “war” on terrorism to Nazi appeasers in World War II — is more than astonishing. It’s un-American.

    Freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom to disagree. These are all attributes of democracy that must be preserved every bit as our other freedoms. Today, many journalists and politicians are realizing they were misled and misdirected by the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld war machine. The price — in U.S. military lives and thousands more innocent, Iraqi civilians, along with escalating violence throughout the Middle East — has been horrific. And this administration’s focus on Iraq has only blurred the war on terrorism.

    This is the same administration, through the deceit and military mistakes of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, which underestimated the number of troops needed for the Iraqi effort. Despite cries from U.S. generals for more troops and better equipment in the initial stages, Rumsfeld said he knew better. All this from a man – Mr. Rumsfeld – who shook hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983 during the Reagan administration, which then sold weaponry to Hussein’s army of thugs... <

Former Deputy Secretary of State Armitage Gets Added to Valerie Plame/CIA Covert Operative Leak Suit

It's not like Dick "Built Like a Brick Shithouse Swollen by the Hurricane Katrina Floods" Armitage doesn't deserve to be added to the Plamegate leak lawsuit filed by former CIA covert operative Valerie Plame (aka Mrs. Joseph Wilson) for outing her to Novak and the press.

Cynthia Tucker: While Bush Acts Like Foreign Policy Is Something Done Only By Bullying, Resurgent Taliban Takes Advantage of Chaos of Afghanistan

Remember, we're still "in occupation" of Afghanistan, too. And we've done an even more piss poor job there than the Bushies have wrought in Iraq. Difficult to imagine, but true. Cynthia Tucker tells you about how the Taliban is having a high old time.

You remember the Taliban. The one Bush keeps saying "he" wiped out but which has been growing and thriving for the many years since we attacked and stayed in October 2001.

Hyping Terror, Thanking Syria and Ignoring The Many Ways You're Far More Likely to Die Than From a Terror Attack

Larry Johnson says it well on the incredible fearmongering terror hype:

The rightwing media (Wall Street Journal editorial page and National Review) have frequently criticized me for my July 2001 op-ed in the New York Times, which argued that terrorism was not the greatest threat facing the United States. Within the last month articles by Ohio State University professor, John Mueller, and Wired Magazine's, Ryan Singel, acknowledge, albeit indirectly, that I was right. They offer critical facts to buttress their arguments that the threat of terrorism is overstated.

While I fully agree with them, I would note that we have seen a dramatic, significant increase in international terrorist attacks in which people are killed and wounded since the United States invaded Iraq. The U.S. presence in Iraq is fueling a growth in terrorism. Fortunately, those who want to attack us in the continental United States confront major obstacles (which is a key part of Mueller's arguement).

Let's start with an article by Ryan Singel that appeared yesterday (September 11, 2006) in Wired. He writes:
    But despite the never-ending litany of warnings and endless stories of half-baked plots foiled, how likely are you, statistically speaking, to die from a terrorist attack?

    Comparing official mortality data with the number of Americans who have been killed inside the United States by terrorism since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma reveals that scores of threats are far more likely to kill an American than any terrorist -- at least, statistically speaking.

    In fact, your appendix is more likely to kill you than al-Qaida is.

    With that in mind, here's a handy ranking of the various dangers confronting America, based on the number of mortalities in each category throughout the 11-year period spanning 1995 through 2005 (extrapolated from best available data).

Frank Rich: "Whatever Happened to the America of 9-12?"

Frank Rich shares some much needed perspective on where we've "gone" since September 11th, 2001 and more importantly, where we are headed. Here's a bit, but read the whole thing at Rozius (unless you're blessed with a Times Select membership):

'The most famous picture nobody's ever seen' is how the Associated Press photographer Richard Drew has referred to his photo of an unidentified World Trade Center victim hurtling to his death on 9/11. It appeared in some newspapers, including this one, on 9/12 but was soon shelved. 'In the most photographed and videotaped day in the history of the world,' Tom Junod later wrote in Esquire, "the images of people jumping were the only images that became, by consensus, taboo."

Five years later, Mr. Drew's "falling man" remains a horrific artifact of the day that was supposed to change everything and did not. But there's another taboo 9/11 photo, about life rather than death, that is equally shocking in its way, so much so that Thomas Hoepker of Magnum Photos kept it under wraps for four years. Mr. Hoepker's picture can now be found in David Friends compelling new 9/11 book, Watching the World Change, or on the books Web site, watchingtheworldchange.com. It shows five young friends on the waterfront in Brooklyn, taking what seems to be a lunch or bike-riding break, enjoying the radiant late-summer sun and chatting away as cascades of smoke engulf Lower Manhattan in the background.

Mr. Hoepker found his subjects troubling. "They were totally relaxed like any normal afternoon,"he told Mr. Friend. "It's possible they lost people and cared, but they were not stirred by it."The photographer withheld the picture from publication because "we didn't need to see that, then." He feared "it would stir the wrong emotions." But "over time, with perspective," he discovered, "it grew in importance."

Seen from the perspective of 9/11's fifth anniversary, Mr. Hoepker's photo is prescient as well as important - a snapshot of history soon to come. What he caught was this: Traumatic as the attack on America was, 9/11 would recede quickly for many. This is a country that likes to move on, and fast. The young people in Mr. Hoepker's photo aren't necessarily callous. They're just American. In the five years since the attacks, the ability of Americans to dust themselves off and keep going explains both what's gone right and what's gone wrong on our path to the divided and dispirited state the nation finds itself in today.

What's gone right: the terrorists failed to break America's back. The "new" normal lasted about 10 minutes, except at airport check-ins. The economy, for all its dips and inequities and runaway debt, was not destroyed. The culture, for better and worse, survived intact. It took only four days for television networks to restore commercials to grim news programming. Some two weeks after that Rudy Giuliani ritualistically welcomed laughter back to American living rooms by giving his on-camera imprimatur to "Saturday Night Live." Before 9/11, Americans feasted on reality programs, nonstop coverage of child abductions and sex scandals. Five years later, they still do. The day that changed everything didn't make Americans change the channel, unless it was from Fear Factor to American Idol or from Pamela Anderson to Paris Hilton.

For those directly affected by the terrorists' attacks, this resilience can be hard to accept. In New York, far more than elsewhere, a political correctness about 9/11 is still strictly enforced. We bridle when the mayor of New Orleans calls ground zero "a hole in the ground" (even though, sadly, he spoke the truth). We complain that Hollywood movies about 9/11 are "too soon," even as United 93 and World Trade Center came and went with no controversy at multiplexes in middle America. The Freedom Tower and (now kaput) International Freedom Center generated so much political rancor that in New York freedom has become just another word for a lofty architectural project soon to be scrapped.

The price of all New York's 9/11 P.C. is obvious: the 16 acres of ground zero are about the only ones that have missed out on the city's roaring post-attack comeback. But the rest of the country is less invested. For tourists - and maybe for natives, too - the hole in the ground is a more pungent memorial than any grandiose official edifice. You can still see the naked wound where it has not healed and remember (sort of) what the savage attack was about.

But even as we celebrate this resilience, it too comes at a price. The companion American trait to resilience is forgetfulness. What we've forgotten too quickly is the outpouring of affection and unity that swelled against all odds in the wake of Al Qaeda's act of mass murder...

My Recommended Reading List - Order Here From Powell's

I'm going to offer a few select books each month that are on my personal reading list that I think readers of this humble blog might like. I endorse Powell's because it's a great union book store that offers the best of local bookstore service with fast Internet turn-around.

You'll see my initial recommended list at the top right. I did include a couple of my titles, but most if not all of the list will normally be politically, environmentally, socially, or historically important.

The Lady Has Style - And Quite a Good Mind, Too!

If you haven't been to MissM's lately, you owe yourself a trip. Love the changes... and of course, the content.

Example: the piece she has up right now from Thomas Ricks, author of Fiasco, on the complete horrific mess that is Anbar Province, the one place in Iraq that is now considered al Qaeda country.

Bushies Find a Way to Drastically Reduce Iraq Civilian Death Count: Stop Reporting Any Insurgent Deaths

MSNBC has the basic story here, but it's official. To reduce the horrendous and always-worsening civilian death count in Iraq - at well over 3,000 just for one reporting Baghdad morgue alone alone, the Bushies including Donald "Duck" Rumsfeld, have decided to stop including ANY deaths that are a result of insurgent attacks...

This means MOST of the deaths in Iraq, like the sometimes hundreds who have died in a single day from multiple insurgent-blamed car bombs.

This is montrous. Unconscionable. Derelict. And completely fucked.

I guess this means the death count will now primarily be those killed by paper cuts from U.S. red tape and those who die from lack of oxygen from holding their breaths waiting for the situation in Iraq to improve under U.S. command?

Newsweek: Bush's Grasp of History is S-h-a-k-y

But then, why would Mr. Bush's grasp of history be any better than his grasp of America, his grasp of the English language, his grasp of the truth, his grasp of al Qaeda or the "real" threats to America, or any frickin' thing else?

Except for lying, this man excels at nothing.

Maryland's Massive Electronic Voting Problems

Thebhc at Anything They Say brings us a truly horrific story of problems with the voting "machines" for the primary voting in Maryland which, you just know, bodes what November will be like. He also points to the Washington Post story today on the Maryland voting woes.

As Thebhc says so correctly, this is beyond ridiculous. Hell, it's way past criminal. And I don't think it's unintentional either. Much of this madness goes right back to Bush's "Help America Vote" act which of course was designed to allow us to do anything but.

Yet More Examples of Halliburton & Subsidiaries Bilking American Taxpayers For Services Never Performed

DailyRead at TrailingEdge Blog follows up on the story of Halliburton/KBR whistleblower McBride's charges about her former company (he found it on Huffington Post from a wire service piece):

Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root charged millions to the government for recreational services never provided to U.S. troops in Iraq, including giant tubs of chicken wings and tacos, a widescreen TV, and cheese sticks meant for a military Super Bowl party, according to a federal whistle-blower suit unsealed Friday.

Instead, the suit alleges, KBR used the military's supplies for its own football party.Filed last year in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by former KBR employee Julie McBride, the lawsuit claims the giant defense contractor billed the government for thousands of meals it never served, inflated the number of soldiers using its fitness and Internet centers, and regularly siphoned off great quantities of supplies destined for American soldiers.

McBride was hired by KBR in 2004 as a "morale, welfare and recreation" coordinator at Camp Fallujah, a Marine installation about 35 miles west of Baghdad. She was fired the next year after making several complaints about KBR's accounting practices, the suit says, and was kept under guard until she was escorted to an airplane and flown out of the country.

Halliburton denied McBride's allegations.
I agree with DR: start building the gallows now.

But please, don't give KBR or Halliburton (aka DickCheneyCo) the exclusive no-bid contract to construct them because they'd charge us billions for $30 worth of plywood and rope and - of course - never get the damned gallows finished.

Who Does Dick Cheney Disrespect?

Apparently, just about ALL of us, with "The Dick" Cheney citing the majority of U.S. citizens in his new attacks, according to AmericaBlog.

Well, I can't think of anyone whose opinion I would least like to favor me. Join me in this wonderful company!

Apparently the American Public Is a Little Sugar-Loaded From All That Kool-aid Konsumption

Because they're seeing UN "ambassador" (my God, saying that in the same breath as John Bolton is ALMOST as painful as saying President George Bush) Bolton as a living symbol of the failure of American foreign policy.

And the Bushies have no one but themselves to blame. Bush, fearing he'd have a hard time selling Bolton on Capitol Hill, appointed Bolton during a recess. A few moments ago, they decided they could force Cap Hill to swallow him whole this time, so they brought Revoltin' Bolton back for a vote. And it's not going peachy.

Tsk tsk tsk. My heart just ::yawn:: aches.


PostGlobal: Can Torture Be Justified?

I say no - and sorry if that offends the rightest of the righteous.

Check out the discussion of this topic on the PostGlobal blog at the Washington Post.

Ask Matt Lauer Which the Tougher and Most Dissembling Interview Was: Tom Cruise or George Bush?

God knows both Cruise and Bush have some closets to escape...

Crooks and Liars brings us the truly ridiculous and obnoxious Bush defensive routine when Matt Lauer had the "nerve" not to just "trust" Bush on every single lie.

Keith Olbermann Once Again Stands Above the Crowd: His Special Comments on Bush and 9-11

For a few weeks now, Keith Olbermann has offered extremely intelligent commentary in addition to his usual programming on Countdown on MSNBC and it comes at no little risk, of course. MSNBC, in the leadup to the Iraq War, killed Phil Donahue's show in the same time spot because the network decided that although Donahue was their top ratings grabber at the time, they did not want to have such a man questioning the war while the Bushies kept beating the drum ever louder.

Tonight, Keith's comments on 9-11 were quite possibly his best yet. You can find the video at the Countdown site here or at Crooks and Liars. The transcript at Bloggerman is provided below, but go here for the whole thing:

This hole in the ground

Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.

All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.

And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

However, of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast -- of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.

Five years later this space is still empty.

Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.

Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.

Five years later this country's wound is still open.

Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.

Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.

It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial -- barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field -- Mr. Lincoln said, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.

Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." So we won't.

Instead they bicker and buck pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they're doing instead of doing any job at all.

Five years later, Mr. Bush, we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir, on these 16 empty acres. The terrorists are clearly, still winning.

And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.

And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is its symbolism of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.

The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.

Those who did not belong to his party -- tabled that.

Those who doubted the mechanics of his election -- ignored that.

Those who wondered of his qualifications -- forgot that.

History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation's wounds, but to take political advantage.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President -- and those around him -- did that.

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused, as appeasers, as those who, in the Vice President's words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."

They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated al-Qaida as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had 'something to do' with 9/11 is "lying by implication."

The impolite phrase is "impeachable offense."

Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space, and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.

Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11.

Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible for anything in his own administration.

Yet what is happening this very night?

A mini-series, created, influenced -- possibly financed by -- the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.

The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.

How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you -- or those around you -- ever "spin" 9/11?

Just as the terrorists have succeeded -- are still succeeding -- as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero.

So, too, have they succeeded, and are still succeeding as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.

This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney's continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.

And long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street."

In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car -- and only his car -- starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man's lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An "alien" is shot -- but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help. The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there's no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, "they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves."

And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.

"For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own -- for the children, and the children yet unborn."
When those who dissent are told time and time again -- as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus -- that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American...When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"... look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:

Who has left this hole in the ground?

We have not forgotten, Mr. President.

You have.

May this country forgive you.

Condi Rice Would Like Your Spare Children

She needs them to fight that war on Iraq we're losing to just about everyone. And she doesn't want to use rich and wonderful children like the Bush twins so please, if you earn less than a million a year and you've got children of military age, just send 'em over to Condi or Don Rumsfeld.

I'm Sure There's a Reason...

...that I'm getting traffic from the U.S. Embassy in Israel for my comments about Mr. Netanyahu. But if I were them, I'd spend more time being concerned about Mr. Netanyahu. He's far more worrisome.

Hallelujah (Quite Literally): A Portrait of Jesus That Doesn't Promote War, Environmental Destruction, Or Hate

What a refreshing change! An evangelical author who understands that Jesus isn't a commodity of the Armed Forces, Wal-Mart, or even American-Only! Read about Brian D. McLaren's far more tolerant and loving view of the Christian messiah:

Lyndsay Moseley was no longer inspired by the evangelical Christian faith of her youth. As an environmental activist, she believed that it offered little spiritual support for her work and was overly focused on opposing abortion and gay marriage.

Then the 27-year-old District resident discovered Brian D. McLaren of Laurel, one of contemporary Christianity's hottest authors and founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in upper Montgomery County.

"He always talks about the environment as a priority when he talks about the church being relevant to the world," Moseley said. "He's leading a [spiritual] conversation that needs to happen," one that "I've been hungry for."

McLaren has emerged as one of the most prominent voices in an increasingly active group of progressive evangelicals who are challenging the theological orthodoxy and political dominance of the religious right. He also is an intellectual guru of "emerging church," a grass-roots movement among young evangelicals exploring new models of living out their Christian faith.

Progressives, who range from 11 to 36 percent of all evangelicals, according to various polls, are still overshadowed by the Christian right among evangelicals. But the steady popularity of
McLaren's books over the past eight years signals an expanding diversity of thought in this important political constituency.

McLaren, 50, offers an evangelical vision that emphasizes tolerance and social justice. He contends that people can follow Jesus's way without becoming Christian. In the latest of his eight books, "The Secret Message of Jesus," which has sold 55,000 copies since its April release, he argues that Christians should be more concerned about creating a just "Kingdom of God" on earth than about getting into heaven.

Along with such other progressive evangelicals as Washington-based anti-poverty activist Jim Wallis and educator Tony Campolo, McLaren is openly critical of the conservative political agenda favored by many evangelicals.


More on How Bush Uses September 11th As a Campaign Tool

US News and World Report tells us all about how Mr. Bush considers this fifth anniversary of 9-11 just the start of one B-I-G election time push which, if he gets his cronies re-elected in November, will mean the END to all the money you paid into Social Security.

ABC Changes NONE of the Controversial, Faked Scenes in "The Path to 9-11"

Story here.

Disney and all of ABC should be ashamed of themselves.

Far More Worthy Than Any of Bush's Blather and Pablum...

Greg Mitchell of Editor&Publisher offers us a personal testament to 9-11 here.

Situation is "Dire" In Iraq's Anbar Province

The Washington Post details what (as in everything) is going wrong.

It is Now September 11th

... I ask that as you read, watch, and listen to coverage of the anniversary of the terror attacks today, you bear in mind that Mr. Bush is playing every one of us for fools, using this day NOT to honor the dead or those who have tried truly to defend us, but to whip up more money for the Republicans and to make us so scared we will vote his cronies into office again in November.

Even a moment of taking Mr. Bush seriously as he "mourns" the dead of 9-11 dishonors each and every person that died that day, as well as those who have died in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and elsewhere since that beautiful, deadly Tuesday morning.

Some of us "fell" for Bush's rhetoric once. We cannot afford to make that mistake ever again.

Bush and Bin Laden: Five Years Later

With the fifth anniversary of September 11th upon us, I really don't give a flying F about Mr. Bush laying wreaths and giving more of his tortured speeches. I want to know why the man he insisted was entirely responsible for September 11th has become such a non-issue for Bush and Cheney. And that's even temporarily laying aside how much the Bush and bin Laden family fortunes have been intertwined for a prolonged period of time (this isn't conspiracy theory: Bush himself was part of the same Carlisle Group as the bin Ladens for a period of time, as have several now former American presidents and British prime ministers, like Maggie Thatcher and John Major).

As ABC News tells us today, there is really little explanation why Osama bin Laden has not yet been caught. Meanwhile, Dana Priest in Sunday's Washington Post says the hunt for bin Laden has gone "stone cold".

Strange - the Bushies and Blair have whipped up such terror and fear and hate that "homeland (in)security has become a $130 Billion business for their political pals, yet we can't seem to catch a 6'4 Arab with questionably bad kidneys. Odd.

And what has Bush done? He disbanded the elite group charged with trying to find and take out Bin Laden. He palled up with the Pakistanis who this week signed an agreement NOT to operate in the park of Pakistan where bin Laden has been so frequently rumored to be hiding.

Rather Than Protect Americans, Rather Than Fix the Economy, Rather Than Rebuild New Orleans

... the wonderfully responsible and socially conscious Republicans are planning a $50 Million smear campaign against the Democrats.


Now, it's not like the Dems don't have some problems of their own - chief among them letting the Republicans decide everything from message to monstrosity. I'm not here to defend the Dems but to support a real democracy... and the older I get, the less I am inclined to believe that either major political party wants to have a true democracy.

But there are far better ways to spend $50 million... like health care, education, maybe even actual equipment needed for the troops the Republicans are happy to send into harm's way based on lie after lie.

LA Times' Media Critic Assails "Irresponsibility" Of ABC in GOP Myths in "The Path to 9-11"

From Editor and Publisher:

Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times joined many of his media and TV critic colleagues on Sunday in raising serious questions about "The Path to 9/11" TV movie, scheduled to start a two-day run tonight, but went further in judging its home network, ABC.

The movie has been criticized for factual errors, taking too much artistic license in conflating or inventing events, and for alleged pro-conservative bias. The filmmakers were hastily re-editing all weekend but it is not known what the final product will look like.

Commentary in newspapers across the country simmered on Sunday, but even the favorable reviews were based on apparently out-of-date review copies.

Rutten described ABC's reputation as a "smoking ruin" and ripped its "irresponsibility" to history. He observed that "it's hard to know whether you're looking at the consequence of unadulterated folly or of a calculated strategy that turned out to be too clever by half."At the end of the day, it probably doesn't make much difference because, either way, the lacerating controversy surrounding the network's docu-dramatic re-creation of events leading to Sept. 11 is an entirely self-inflicted wound. For most of the week, ABC rather haughtily attempted to characterize itself as the victim of philistines, or self-righteously as a champion of free speech or, more pathetically, as just plain misunderstood by people who just don't understand how television is done."It is none of those things. "It's an opportunistic and self-interested organization that somehow thought it could approach the most wrenching American tragedy since Pearl Harbor with the values that prevail among network television executives — the sort of ad hoc ethics that would make a streetwalker blush — and that nobody would mind." The rest of the lengthy column can be found at www.latimes.com.Reviewing the same not-quite-final version of the film for the Detroit Free Press, Mike Duffy wrote that "on balance, over five often compelling hours, 'The Path to 9/11' seems extremely scrupulous in trying not to assign blame for the events of 9/11 to the administrations of either Clinton or President George W. Bush.
Ed&Pub also notes that big edits to "The Path to 9-11" are being seen in European broadcasts of the film and asks if such changes will be seen here. Also, E&P notes that The Times corrected some of the ridiculous errors in The Times' media critic Stanley's article on the 9-11 film which seemed to read like a Bush press release.

Is Bush and White House Diverting Millions Into Joe Lieberman's "Independent" Senate Campaign in Connecticut?

The truth looks like the Bushies ARE funding Joementum to the tune of Millions! while Lieberman (and remember, you can't spell Lieberman without "Lie") says no.

Two from Glenn Greenwald: GOP Knows How to Control TV Networks and Bush's FlipFlop on FISA

First, Glenn Greenwald shows us how the Republican Party is expert at controlling how the TV networks present you their message over our airwaves, while he also points out how Mr. Bush has flipflopped on the FISA issue surrounding the NSA wiretapping no-nos:

The President this week urged passage of the Specter bill by arguing that FISA is an inadequate tool for eavesdropping on terrorists, and that we therefore need to legalize his warrantless surveillance program. This is his explanation as to why FISA is inadequate:
    When FISA was passed in 1978, there was no widely accessible Internet, and almost all calls were made on fixed landlines. Since then, the nature of communications has changed, quite dramatically. The terrorists who want to harm America can now buy disposable cell phones, and open anonymous e-mail addresses. Our laws need to change to take these changes into account. If an al Qaeda commander or associate is calling into the United States, we need to know why they're calling. And Congress needs to pass legislation supporting this program. (Applause.)
This statement is completely misleading, because it depicts FISA as some sort of relic from 1978 that doesn't take into account all of this new, complicated communications technology. But FISA was amended in October, 2001 at the request of the President precisely in order to take that technology into account, and when it was, the President himself even used virtually the same language back then to praise the FISA amendments that he is now using to claim that FISA is obsolete. Here is what President Bush said once FISA was amended in October, 2001 via the Patriot Act:
    We're dealing with terrorists who operate by highly sophisticated methods and technologies, some of which were not even available when our existing laws were written. The bill before me takes account of the new realities and dangers posed by modern terrorists. It will help law enforcement to identify, to dismantle, to disrupt, and to punish terrorists before they strike. . . .

    Surveillance of communications is another essential tool to pursue and stop terrorists. The existing law was written in the era of rotary telephones. This new law that I sign today will allow surveillance of all communications used by terrorists, including e-mails, the Internet, and cell phones.
The flaw which President Bush is claiming exists with FISA today is exactly the flaw which he himself said -- using almost identical language -- was eliminated by the 2001 amendments to FISA which he requested. In his radio address the next weekend (on October 27, 2001), he emphasized the same point by praising the new FISA ...
Read the rest here.

Some People Suffer Road Rage, While Karl Rove Has Net Anger Issues

Few of us have such power to go after spammers but then, it's no surprise that Karl Rove knows how to abuse ALL his privileges. Is it?

From The NY Daily News:

When it comes to pesky e-mail spam, Karl Rove doesn't mess around.

The White House political adviser and deputy chief of staff took time from his busy schedule early last year to personally track down a bothersome spammer who made the mistake of hitting subscribers to President Bush's campaign site, the Daily News has learned.

Sometime after Rove intervened, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan opened a criminal investigation that ultimately led to the arrest of a Florida man while he was at the movies with his then-7-year-old daughter.

The businessman, Robert McAllister, who hired the spammer that infuriated Rove, now claims he's the victim of malicious prosecution brought about by the President's famously ruthless political aide.

"His voice was chilling," McAllister recalled in an interview Friday. "He says, 'Look, I got a Web site here called georgewbush.com and I got 900 subscribers and every one of them is getting e-mail from you.' He said, 'You gotta stop this right here and now. You've got to leave my subscribers alone.'"

On Friday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia declined to comment on what role, if any, Rove had in spurring or aiding the probe that led to the spammer becoming a government cooperator and charges ultimately being filed against McAllister.

Rove said through White House spokeswoman Dana Perino that he "vaguely remembered" the spam onslaught, but did not recall making phone calls or e-mailing subordinates about it. He also said he could not recall whether he or any member of the White House or campaign contacted the Department of Justice about it.

However, e-mails, phone records and transcripts of secretly recorded phone conversations turned over to defense attorneys make it clear that Rove, in January 2005, was personally involved in finding the culprits who spammed the Bush campaign site.
Read the rest here.