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Telling The Truthiness: News From The Gut

Bush: Felon In Chief

TalkLeft gives you more details about the "Karl Rove-Ken Mehlman/Official White House email sent out over Republican National Committee servers/incoming and outgoing email messages for 51 out of 87 different White House/government appointees purged" brouhaha.

Or, as Bush and Cheney (AND U.S. ASSAttorney General Alberto Gonzales) like to say,"WHAT U.S. Constitution? WHOSE Bill of Rights? WHAT planet are you on where you think this administration is accountable to anyone? The Presidential Records Act, like the Geneva Conventions, is quaint and not to be worried about. Go f*** yourself!"

Free Press? So Why "Fear Is In Every Newsroom In The Country"?

So much for the First Amendment, folks. From Adbusters (with deep thanks to Buzzflash for the link):

When Australia’s Rupert Murdoch threw his support behind the Iraq War, so did the 175 media outlets he owns as part of News Corp. When Canada’s CanWest Global Communications justified the Afghanistan invasion, so did its eleven daily newspapers and 16 television stations. And when the major US media conglomerates signed off on the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, American journalists lined up right behind them. In a recent interview on PBS’s Bill Moyers Report, former CBS Evening News anchorman Dan Rather explained why journalists were so afraid to question the war.

“Fear is in every newsroom in the country . . . particularly in [the] networks,” said Rather. “They’ve become huge international conglomerates. They have big needs, legislative needs, regulatory needs in Washington. Nobody has to send you a memo to tell you that that’s the case – you know. And that puts a seed in your mind of well, ‘If you stick your neck out, if you take the risk of going against the grain with your reporting, is anybody going to back you up?’”

Although the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have shown that media conglomerates limit the diversity of views, subvert democracy and stymie journalistic integrity, Canada, America and Australia’s media regulators continue to let them expand. In fact, over the past decade, media regulators have gone out of their way to help facilitate consolidation or have refused to speak up against it – all to the detriment of the public’s interest. As each of these three countries enters another round of media convergence, their federal media watchdogs appear to be looking the other way.

Yet Another Bush "Veto on America" As He Wages Bloody War on Science

Grrrrrr.... What is even MORE infuriating is that we've seen examples of several cases where the rabid rightwingers who fight against any use of embryonic stem cells (taken only from those that would be lost anyway) then turned around and used their OWN money and their OWN clout to seek the benefits FROM those stem cells. These, the same folks demanding that embryos that are barely more than a few cells deserve far more right to life than the women carrying them or the fully-cooked human beings who could benefit from REAL science. From Think Progress:

Today, President Bush issued the third veto of his presidency on legislation expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research, which recently passed Congress with a bipartisan, overwhelming majority.

Faced with the opposition of nearly two-thirds of Americans, White House spokesperson Tony Snow today attempted to spin the veto as a positive development. Snow claimed that Bush has a “unique and unprecedented role” in supporting stem cell research, and attacked critics for “misstating” the administration’s policies, claiming that Bush was in fact “putting science before ideology.”

In an attempt to drum up support for less potent alternatives to embryonic stem cell research, Snow falsely characterized the science behind stem cell research, claiming scientists “are not even entirely sure about what the possible benefits of embryonic stem cells [are].”
Just another loud, arrogant, and infinitely harmful "Fuck You" from the White House we pay to abuse us.

Gee, is Tony Snow, battling colon cancer, using stem cell treatments or at least using doctors willing to explore this? I (sadly) would not be surprised.

Yeah, Bush's War on Science is as well founded in fact and executed just as effectively as his other wars (on health care as a whole, on public education, on reason, on brown people not named Alberto Gonzales, to name a few).

Why Did Bush's FBI Allow Osama Bin Laden To Charter American Plane(s)?

Very good question, especially considering the Bush family and the Bin Laden family - on which Dubya sat on a board with bin Ladens - have for a very loooonnng time financially benefited from their war profiteering. Can you say Carlyle Group?

Notice this is from Canada since the press here still quakes in its boots:

FBI were aware that Osama bin Laden may have chartered one of the flights that took members of the bin Laden family out of the United States immediate after the 9/11 attacks, yet allowed the planes to depart, new Agency documents reveal.

The formerly confidential documents obtained by Judicial Watch through Freedom of Information Act and ongoing litigation states:
Traffic control reports show that the plane was allowed to depart the United States after making four stops to pick up passengers, ultimately landing in Paris where all passengers disembarked on 9/20/01, according to the document.

FBI’s most recent document production includes details of the six flights between 9/14 and 9/24 that evacuated Saudi royals and bin Laden family members.

The documents also contain brief interview summaries and occasional notes from intelligence analysts concerning the cursory screening performed prior to the departures.

FBI did not consider a single Saudi national nor any of the bin Laden family members as possessing any information of investigative value.

According to Judicial Watch the documents contain numerous errors and inconsistencies which call to question the thoroughness of the FBI’s investigation of the Saudi flights.

Dead Kids? No Problem in Bush's War of Error on Terror

Gee, is this what President Bush meant by "No Child Left Behind"?

Reported on MSNBC by Keith Olbermann: The Bush Administration - supported by a rabid right who will cry long and hard about the "right to life" of barely multi-cell organisms - and the Pentagon now admit that they knew children were in the Afghanistan compound they bombed over the weekend, and decided to bomb anyway, killing at least 7-8 little kids.

While the children died, it seems that our bombs did NOT take out the so-called "high profile" Al Qaeda target they were aiming for. So I guess killing a bunch of toddlers is a "great" moment in the War on Terror.

Ugly Over The Airwaves: Rightwing Domination Of Talk Radio, How To Stop It

Think Progress brings us a report that finally ends the myth of anything approaching "fairness" and balance in talk radio:

The Center for American Progress and Free Press today released the first-of-its-kind statistical analysis of the political make-up of talk radio in the United States. It confirms that talk radio, one of the most widely used media formats in America, is dominated almost exclusively by conservatives.

The new report — entitled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio” — raises serious questions about whether the companies licensed to broadcast over the public radio airwaves are serving the listening needs of all Americans.

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America’s airwaves. Some key findings:
    – In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.
    – Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk — 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.
    – 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

His and Hersh: How Bush And Rumsfeld Created The Horror of Abu Ghraib, Then Protected Themselves

I posted this at All Things Democrat in the wee hours of this morning, but it needs as much attention as possible (remember how Rummy dismissed abuses in Iraq prisons as the work of "a few bad apples" - I can agree with this if you say those bad apples are named Georgie Porgy and Donny Dumbsfeld):

While perhaps too many Americans have been closely following interviews with England’s two princes (Harry and William) and the unanswered questions of what happened on the night of their mother’s - Princess Diana’s - death a decade ago, there’s a much bigger issue that needs attention: what Bush and Rumsfeld allowed happen at the Iraq prison Abu Ghraib (and elsewhere).

Hardhitting journalist Seymour Hersh, one of the first to break the stories of abuse of prisoners - many of whom were arrested only for being Iraqis or Muslim or simply looking different from Americans - by American soldiers in 2004, is back in The New Yorker with fresh details that tell us both President Bush and then Pentagon Secretary Donald Rumsfeld LIED LIED LIED about not knowing of the torture and degradation and unnecessary deaths while they worked tirelessly to keep any official investigation into it from looking beyond grunt soldiers and low ranking generals.

Much of the punch packed in Hersh’s latest piece comes from Major General Antonio M. Taguba, the man charged with investigating the abuses at Abu Ghraib when the Bush Administration and Pentagon could no longer look blankly and say, “What’s Abu Ghraib?” Taguba says that Bush and Rummy knew WAY before they say they did about the claims of massive abuses, tortures and even deaths at the prison, that they specifically BLOCKED Taguba from looking any higher up the food chain than lowly GIs and minor generals, and THEN forced Taguba to retire as punishment for trying to investigate as fully and fairly as a decent inquiry should.

The highest “hit” there, of course, was Janis Karpinski, a one star general then titularly in charge of Abu Ghraib but - she says - forced by the Pentagon to allow psy ops and torture proponents run the prison and then busted down when she did as ordered by Rummy; the rest were the likes of Lindy England (the Abu Ghraib poster girl for torture and leash holding as well as frequent model for sex pictures in and around prisoners).

Oh Those Missing - Read: Purged - Emails

Anon posting in Comments on my original post about this the other day points us both to this post at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's blog as well as the comment available below this post. Here's the main post:

LIke most observers, the editorial writers at The New York Times are finding it difficult to understand why the Bush administration and the RNC can't find all the e-mails from White House staffers. The Bush administration had a legal obligation, under the Presidential Records Act, to preserve those communications. That seems not to have been a concern:
    The post-Watergate law requiring the preservation of presidential records has proved to be no match for the Bush White House’s stealthy use of back-channel e-mails via the Republican National Committee’s computer system. Congressional investigators have discovered that while 88 White House staffers had accounts over at the G.O.P. computer banks, there are no e-mail archives to be found for 51 of them.

    Congress has demanded that the White House and the R.N.C. provide the full e-records as it tries to figure out the story of the political purge of United States attorneys. Claims by the White House and the R.N.C. that they’re trying their best to comply are increasingly hard to believe, and we strongly urge Congress to continue the search.
We strongly urge Congress to continue the search, too. Strongly.
Now here's the comment on online collaboration:
We disagree with the NYT emphasis on e-mails. Based on Ralston's denial, it appears there is something else going on.
    Question: Karl Rove didn't discuss this claim with you?
    [Ralston, response]: No.Mr. Berenson
    [Ralston Counsel]. Do you want to clarify that last answer?
    Ralston. I don't recall. I don't have a recollection of anyone discussing with me specifically that claim.
Ralson leaves open the possibility that the GOP and WH-EOP have an online collaborative file sharing program such as SharePoint, which integrates with MicrosoftOutlook. However, this is a third-party website, which RNC could hide, say it is not a file system they own, and avoid providing it to Congress. What review has Congress does on online collaborative file sharing programs which are not related to e-mail, but could fit nicely within Ralston's denial above?

Only in BushTopia: U.S. Races To Deport Wife Of American Soldier Missing In Iraq

Alex Jimenez is one of the three U.S. soldiers ambushed and still missing in Iraq weeks after several comrades in the same unit were killed in the same scuffle that resulted in these MIAs. As if this isn't sad enough, bhfrik at All Things Democrat tells us how the U.S. government wants to say thanks to his family by deporting Jimenez's wife, who applied for a green card four years ago.

Why does the story of Yaderlin deserve any more attention than hundreds of others facing deportation, separation from children and families and uncertain futures in a land thousands of miles from home? Because Alex is one of the two soldiers whose unit was attacked and is now missing in Iraq. A third member of his unit was also captured and later found dead near the Tigris river.

That’s right… the government is working to deport the wife of a soldier missing in Iraq. It would be bad enough if the couple were just dealing with Alex being in Iraq and having to go through this domestic nightmare. Can you imagine our soldiers having to worry about dodging IED’s in the broiling heat surrounded by misery and death on a biblical scale… and having to worry and fret about your wife’s immigration status. I wonder how many soldiers have been killed or wounded from being all distracted by thoughts on legal proceedings at home, rather than concentrating on surviving the hell hole they find themselves in.
Color me apoplectic and ashamed of any government agency that would do this, at this time.

In fact, I'm thinking perhaps the right-most Republicans clamoring so fervently for blood and tears in forcing so many immigrants back across borders should be deported themselves, perhaps along with those who came up with the execution of this plan against Jimenez's wife. Bet they're all sporting "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers featuring a ribbon as yellow as these people's bellies on a background as white as the skunk stripe down their hateful backs.


The Department of Corrupt Incompetence Department

Not only have both George Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales completely shattered all possible records for how we define corrupt and massively partisan incompetence, they flagrantly wave their duplicitous dealings in our faces, such as when almost all official White House email goes not by government mail servers but by those of the RNC where more than 50 out of 87 Bush Administration officials have had their incoming and outgoing emails purged to be sure they did not fall into the hands of citizens via the Presidential Records Act.

Really; these folks make Nixon look like a ridiculous amateur and Watergate like a silly little dispute between three-year-olds.

From Think Progress:

House investigators have learned that the Bush administration’s use of Republican National Committee email accounts is far greater than previously disclosed — 140,216 emails sent or received by Karl Rove alone — and that the RNC has overseen “extensive destruction” of many of the emails, including all email records for 51 White House officials.

For the last several months, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been “investigating whether White House officials
violated the Presidential Records Act” by using email accounts maintained by the RNC and the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications. Today’s findings confirm that the accounts were used “for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.”