Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"National Strategy for Victory in Iraq"

Another speech, another spin. Or as the “Kiss Me Kate” lyrics have it: “Another Op’ning, Another Show In Philly, Boston or Baltimo’, A chance for stage folks to say hello. Another op’ning of another show, Another job, that you hope at last will make your future Forget your past. Another pain where the ulcers grow, Another op’ning of another show.” And Bush’s speechwriters surely hope that finally, his speech today to the Midshipmen in Annapolis will make us forget the past. The strategy is to call the hopeless debacle in Iraq a victory and then to get the hell out. It’s not unlike what we did in Vietnam. “We won!” we said, and then we left. "I want our troops to come home, but I don't want them to come home without having achieved victory," Bush said. Well that’s easy for the geniuses running our country. Just say, “Victory achieved”. Maybe a nice bright red, white and blue “Victory Achieved” banner flying over the White House will convince the world. But then there’s that pain thing. What will make that go away? Jesus Juice…yeah…that’s the ticket.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

So What Have We Got?

We’ve got a President who has become so nutty and isolated that people (AmericaBlog) are talking about invoking the 25th Amendment (Presidential Vacancy, Disability, and Inability) to get rid of him. And we’ve got Seymour Hersh in the December 5th issue of The New Yorker who is once again telling it like it is. Hersh says, “Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that ‘God put me here’ to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that ‘he’s the man,’ the former official said...The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said. ‘He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’” The President has “become more detached” the former defense official said, “leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway.” Hersh says that even though the Prez may be adamant about no troop pullout from Iraq, the Pentagon has contingency plans. And the most frightening of these plans is, “American troops will be replaced by American airpower. Quick, deadly strikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units.” The danger of that, the experts told Hersh, is that “while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what.” Meaning, there is a very real possibility that the Iraqis would use our air power to settle their old scores. As one senior Pentagon consultant put it when he spoke to Hersh, “Who is going to have authority to call in air strikes? There’s got to be a behavior-based rule.” So what we’ve got is a President who is a blithering nutcase ranting about how he was chosen to implement God’s divine purpose. We’ve got Rove and Cheney using the blithering nutcase to advance their agenda to rule the world. We’ve got a bitch-goddess Secretary of State who can’t wait to start more wars and cause more bloodshed. We’ve got a Pentagon that plans to unleash full-scale air attacks on Iraq as soon as our troops are drawn down. And we’ve got military experts who are so lily-livered and protective of their jobs that they won’t tell the White House dogs of war that their plans are shit-brained and will only increase the numbers of insurgents and terrorists. We’ve got a mess that the real Jesus Christ would have a hard time putting to rights even if he didn’t have to contend with the lunacy of Little Jesus from Texas. AmericaBlog’s John Aravosis printed all the sections of the 25th Amendment, which outlines the process when a president becomes disabled. So if the VP and a majority of the officers of the executive departments inform the President pro tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House that George W. Bush is totally bonkers and boozed up, we’d still be stuck with Cheney as Prez. If Cheney drops dead or resigns rather than going to jail, we’d get Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert who is no bargain. If Hastert were indicted, we’d get the President pro tem of the Senate, Ted Stevens, whoever the hell he is. Although, how bad could Ted Stevens be? The very next person to succeed if Stevens resigned or dropped dead would be Condoleezzafucking Rice. And Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has probably handed out cyanide pills to the Cabinet in that horrendous event. You know it's a mess when the best hope for the United States is for the President to be committed to a rest home, the Vice President to be indicted, the Speaker of the House to resign and the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State to vanish without a trace.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Raspberry’s Powell Whitewash Doesn’t Wash

WaPo’s William Raspberry said this morning in his “We're Past Politics With Iraq” article, “Colin Powell, who -- unwittingly, I believe -- passed along some of the cooked evidence, is on record as having changed his mind. As Powell told Barbara Walters in September, when he made his dramatic show-and-tell presentation before the U.N. Security Council, there were "people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of these sources were not good and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me. . . . It's a blot . . . [that] will always be a part of my record.” Raspberry went on to say, “Powell is nobody's flip-flopper. People who wanted a certain conclusion gave him bad information and he passed it on -- to his regret. Can't members of Congress who believed the bad evidence enough to vote us into war also experience regret?” I am sure Colin Powell regrets every minute of his pandering to Republican Party politics, but his complicity in the lies that pushed us into the Iraq war is a little more than passing along information. The Colin Powell treachery in front of the UN is on tape. He dramatically held up a bogus vial of poison to illustrate Saddam Hussein’s ability to use chemical warfare. But please note that he did not refer to the Nigerian uranium. Later, he said the story "had not stood the test of time.” On February 24th, 2001, Colin Powell said "Saddam Hussein has not developed any significant capacity with respect to weapons of mass destruction…he is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." When Colin Powell told the world that George Tenet had misled him, it was total baloney and he knew it was baloney. Colin Powell had always been well aware that there were no WMD’s in Iraq. However, that said, I am becoming more convinced as each day passes that Mr. Four-star General Colin Powell was not the big powerful alpha male figure in the first Bush administration that he has been portrayed as being. I believe that Powell was little more than National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice’s errand boy. It was Rice and political strategist and WHIG member Mary Matalin who cooked up the “smoking gun…mushroom cloud” rhetoric that was seized on by the BushMen and used as a major justification for attacking Iraq. Raspberry’s defense of Colin Powell does not stand up to scrutiny. Powell willingly told lies to justify a war in Iraq in order to curry favor in the Republican Party. And it probably was because Powell had eyes on running for President. But Powell does not come close to having the power-mad driven amoral qualities of now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. When casting about for “Official A” who leaked the Plame info, I would bet on Condoleezza Rice. She is one bloodthirsty war-mongering bitch. And of all the people in the White House or with ties to the White House that I would not want to encounter in a dark alley at midnight, Condoleezza Rice and Mary Matalin are high on my list.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Allawi Says Bush’s Iraq Equals Saddam’s Iraq

Iraq’s one-time Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the UK citizen that the Bush administration pressured the Iraq Governing Council to accept prior to legislative elections, who is a relative of the thieving, lying bosom buddy of the Bush administration, Ahmed Chalabi, has now come out and said, according to an AP report in the NYT today, “Human rights abuses in Iraq are as bad now as they were under Saddam Hussein and could become even worse.” "People are doing the same as Saddam's time and worse, "Allawi told The Observer newspaper. "It is an appropriate comparison." "People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same thing," he said. True, Allawi is badmouthing his own Shiite peers because he’s running separately from the usual Shiite suspects in the December 15 election. And true, he’s appealing to Sunnis who say they’ve been abused by the Shiite security forces. But still…where is George W. in all this? Allawi is the man who told British Intelligence that an Iraqi officer said Iraq could position its weapons of mass destruction in "45 minutes". This claim was used by the Brits to get support for our invasion of Iraq. Yo! President Bush, would you like to respond to Allawi’s latest claim? You and the UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair had so much faith in Allawi’s knowledge of Iraq’s internal affairs that you justified going to war based on his info. Tell me again, President Bush, why are American soldiers dying in a country that the Bush administration turned over to the same corrupt dictators that destroyed it in the first place? Two US senators are arguing on Meet the Press this morning about how long we should stay in Iraq and how many troops are needed to stabilize the area. That’s the wrong issue. First, the American public needs to know why we are in Iraq when we have done NOTHING to eradicate the corruption that we supposedly were fighting against.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Why Did They Vote For Bush?

An NYT article by Kate Zernike (“Even Supporters Doubt President as Issues Pile Up”) tells why people in Columbus, Ohio and across the country voted for George Bush in 2004. Seventy-five people were interviewed for the story. Leesa Martin voted for GWB because she admired how he handled the terrorist attacks in 2001. Dave Panici called his vote for Bush “a vote for security”. Mark Briggs said "There is the notion of leadership and sticking with the plan, which I believe in." George Bush is “clear and consistent," he said. Kacey Wilson said she felt Bush spoke the truth. She liked “his cut-and-dry, take-no-prisoners style…I think people are used to more spinning." How people could be used to more spinning than the Bush spinmeisters cranked out, I cannot imagine. But hey, these are Repubs talking. Was Leesa Martin actually aware of what Bush did when he handled the 9/11 attack? Did she process the facts that Bush immediately got his Saudi friends out of the US even though he knew it was the Saudis who had attacked us? He insisted (lied) Iraq was involved in the attack. He claimed (lied) that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction and since he had lied and said Iraq was responsible for the 9/11 attack, he started a war to wipe Iraq off the earth. What’s to admire? And how about Panici’s vote for security? By Election Day of last year, Bush’s war in Iraq had empowered monumental numbers of terrorists around the globe. What security? Now these people are beginning to have doubts. Even so, Mark Briggs said he “did not want to believe that the president ‘manipulated’ intelligence leading the country into war”. The Republicans in Ohio and elsewhere are disappointed and they are having doubts. And as Georgia’s Vicky Polka said, she is even starting to think that “something's not going right here”, but these people will never vote for a Democrat. George W. Bush may be an incompetent, lying, boozed-up idiot, but 37% of the country is as stubborn and convinced they are right as their incompetent, lying, boozed-up idiot leader. Today, Bush and Cheney would lose an election. But the same folks who found reasons to vote for the Bush/Cheney ticket in 2004 will find reasons to vote for any candidates the GOP puts up in 2008.

Friday, November 25, 2005

How Bush Will Pull His Nuts Out of the Fire

WaPo’s Dan Baltz reported yesterday on President Bush’s strategy for saving his presidency: “Bush plans to use the time before the December elections in Iraq to talk about the U.S. stake and make the case that he has a strategy that is working, beginning on Wednesday with a speech in Annapolis that will focus on what the administration says is clear progress in training of the Iraqi security force. Other speeches will follow as White House officials attempt to use the final weeks of this year and early next year to shape public opinion.” That reminds me of one of Shel Silverstein’s cartoons. Two guys are shackled hands and feet to a concrete wall in a dungeon with no door or window and one says to the other, “Now here’s my plan.” President Bush is going to turn his lead-balloon government into the spun gold of Christ’s second coming by giving more speeches about an Iraq strategy that never existed. The White House blueprint for getting out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves is to have their boozy leader go out and charm the natives. The White House believes that a few more speeches will change public opinion from “Bush is the biggest asshole ever” to “We’re behind you, O Great I Am”. According to the Balz article, the White House is committed to the PR approach. White House counselor Dan Bartlett said White House officials don’t think people will continue to view Iraq in a negative light. "When you're in a tough spot -- and we're in a tough spot because of the nature of the enemy and the debate at home -- the snapshots will reflect [negative] public opinion," Bartlett said. "But we don't think they're permanent." So the plan is not to stop the violence in Iraq or withdraw troops. The plan is to have George W. Bush make speeches about how well the war in Iraq is going. And if you need any proof that the people in the White House are insane, Baltz reported “One White House official, who was willing to talk candidly about internal strategy only without being identified by name, acknowledged that 'those numbers are troubling' in recent polls but expressed confidence that they will recover because the public fundamentally regards Bush as 'a person of honesty and integrity'." The latest polls say that 60% of Americans do not believe George W. Bush is honest and trustworthy. Nevermind. Now here’s their plan.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I’ll be going to a feast with friends today where there will be only one disgusting-type Republican attending. For that, I am truly thankful. The last time I was in his company he said, “I just don’t know why they don’t load up all those people who supposedly are homeless and jobless and take them to Atlantic City where they can work for tips.” He’s the quintessential well-off white guy and while he laughed at what he thought was a clever remark, he was also serious. And the worst part of his comment is that he doesn’t believe people are really homeless or jobless. He believes they are running scams to bilk the government and that they should be glad to work for minimum wage because, What can they expect with no education? In all our thanks giving, there is always the underlying thought of Psalm 40:11: Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. But some people, through no fault of their own have not been preserved from want and need, and have not received even the most basic mercies. These are the people who must be protected from the Bush adminstration and the other disgusting-type Republicans. And I must say, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you God for letting me live amongst Democrats.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Vatican Rules: You’re Out If You’re Out

The official Vatican document that excludes gays from the priesthood will be released on November 29th. But a leaked version has been circling the globe for weeks. The NYT reported this morning that an Italian reporter who saw the Vatican document two weeks ago attests that the leaked version is the real deal. The document, only five pages with footnotes, bans “candidates who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.'" And there don’t seem to be any loopholes, except of course, the loophole which has always been favored by the RCC: lying. But the Vatican seems very sure that no Roman Catholic candidate for the priesthood would ever lie, and certainly not about his sexual orientation. Right? Right. The document is clear about active gays. They are not welcome. But exactly what are "deep-seated homosexual tendencies”? The term was not defined. However, a deep-seated tendency seems to be the opposite of what the Vatican calls a “transitory” tendency. A transitory tendency allows a candidate to be ordained if it was “overcome” at least three years before ordination. So okay. Pope Ratz wants to purify the RCC priesthood. Will this Draconian edict accomplish his aim? Some statistics say that 25% percent of the RCC priesthood is gay. Some statistics put the figure at 50%. And most RCC gay-counters agree that two out of three are in the closet. Richard Sipe, a retired priest and psychotherapist opines that 30 percent of RCC priests are gay. He says banning gays from the priesthood is "like a gay bar refusing to serve homosexual patrons. It doesn’t make any sense." In addition to the obvious problem that Pope Ratz’s gay-squad will have in separating deep-seated tendencies from transitory tendencies, there are two enormous difficulties the Vatican’s document does not address: 1) The flap that started this gay purge is that pedophile priests are molesting little children. But most pedophiles are heterosexual not homosexual. 2) The Vatican has no plan for dealing with its gay bishops, archbishops and cardinals. Obviously, the RCC has no intention whatsoever of ridding itself of one-third to one-half of its workforce. It simply wants to seem to be stamping out a life-style that it actually promotes and needs. And the RCC wants to deflect attention away from its pedophile and homosexual hierarchy by claiming the problem will go away if they ban gay candidates. Funny how the Republican Party and the Roman Catholic Church have come to the same conclusion about how to solve their problems: Protect the top dogs and lie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Re Woodward, It’s Worse Than We Thought

Bob Woodward has sold his soul in order to write his books. He probably is a GOP shill. So, that too. But while watching him on Larry King last night trying to excuse his cowardice in reporting his complicity in the Wilson/Plame case, I saw a Bob Woodward who cuts corners, tells lies and ingratiates himself with the power elite because these acts of dishonesty make it possible for him to get published. Apparently, Bob Woodward thinks the ways in which he has allowed himself to be corrupted is okay because he’s a journalist. It’s okay because it’s in service of getting the story. And getting the story has become more important than personal integrity to Woodward. Woodward made an interesting admission at the time Mark Felt said he was Deep Throat. All during the thirty years Woodward and Carl Bernstein refused to divulge the identity of Deep Throat, Woodward said he had told no one Deep Throat’s identity except Ben Bradlee. Then, when Felt outed himself, Woodward mentioned in passing that he had told his wife Deep Throat’s real identity. That’s interesting because it’s a clue to the Woodward persona. When Woodward lies it isn’t a lie, it’s a right he grants to himself. Woodward denied on Larry King’s show on October 27th (the night before Fitzgerald’s press conference about Scooter Libby’s indictment) that he had a “bombshell”. He said that night that he didn’t even have “a firecracker”. Last night Woodward refined his denial. He said, “On the night of October 27th I was telling you the exact truth that I did not have a bombshell or any story for the next day's paper.” So now he says he didn’t have a bombshell for the next day. Last night Woodward told Larry King that when his source said Plame was an undercover agent for the CIA, it was “offhand and casual”. At that point, Woodward said, “on your show I didn't know what that meant at all because it was such a casual offhand remark.” If that is true, why was he so afraid of being subpoenaed that he decided not to tell his editor he had privileged info? Last night, he said he was “focused on getting the book done…you know the significance of this is yet to be determined….” You have to marvel at the man’s ability to excuse himself. Even now, after Libby has been indicted and has resigned because of the Wilson/Plame case, Bob Woodward still claims, as he has done for the past two years that the significance of White House officials outing Valerie Plame is yet to be determined. He even said that he doesn’t think Valerie Plame was undercover. King asked, “Did the source indicate whether Mrs. Plame was an undercover agent or a desk analyst?” Woodward said, “Good question. And specifically said that -- the source did -- that she was a WMD, weapons of mass destruction, analyst. Now, I've been covering the CIA for over three decades, and analysts, except -- in fact, I don't even know of a case. Maybe there are cases. But they're not undercover. They are people who take other information and analyze it.” So what we’re left with, after having seen Woodward on Larry King last night, is that Woodward doesn’t think the Plame outing is significant, he doesn't think Plame was undercover, he doesn’t think his role in the White House attempt to slime Wilson and his wife is significant, and he thinks the whole investigation pales in comparison to his having access to the White House and to writing his books, He said, “I've been able to interview President Bush for the last book "Plan of Attack" for three and a half hours over two days, no limitations on questions, no practical limitation on time". Later he said, "You know, I am protecting not a person but a relationship and the information I get for my newspaper and books and that's the vital lifeline.” People do not change. They only get more like themselves. Bob Woodward is, after all, only Bob Woodward. He cut corners when he was reporting on Watergate but back then he had Ben Bradlee to keep him in line. But like the folks in the White House, Woodward is listening to no one now.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Point Is

We were lied into a war by the Bush administration that used faulty intelligence and knew it was faulty intelligence. The Bush administration put an old (71) and incompetent politician, Donald Rumsfeld, in charge of the planning and execution of the war in Iraq. Rumsfeld bungled every facet of the war. As of November 20, 2094 American soldiers have died in the Iraq war and 15,568 American soldiers have been wounded. We have been told that we would be betraying the Iraqis if we pull out of Iraq. We have been told the war was about ending terrorism and bringing democracy to the Iraqis. The truth is that terrorism only started in Iraq after our unprovoked attack and bringing democracy to the Iraqis was a fiction to rationalize our attack. The Bush administration says we owe it to the Iraqi people to kill and wound more American soldiers in a war that the Bush administration lied us into and that was badly planned and botched at every turn by an old fool. We the people owe nothing whatsoever to Iraq or to the Iraqis. The war has made the world less safe from terrorism. The Bush administration and Donald Rumsfeld owe everything they have or ever will have to the Iraqis because it is the Bush administration and Donald Rumsfeld who have betrayed the Iraqi people. But the citizens of the United States owe nothing to the Iraqis. We have already paid too much. The terrible irony is that while George W. Bush is publicly saying he will never leave Iraq until the war is won and that we must stay the course, the White House is planning right now to withdraw our troops because the war has become political poison. The final betrayal to Iraq, to the world and to the people of the United States is that the Bush administration will fix a date for a phased-out US withdrawal from Iraq starting in January. The fact (and it is a fact) that the Bush administration is planning to pull our troops out of Iraq is a good thing. But we must NEVER ALLOW the White House to claim that we pulled out because the war was over and we won. NO ONE HAS WON ANYTHING IN IRAQ. And most of all the Iraqis have gained only pain, deprivation and civil war.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Run For Cover Week In Review

Bush ran to China and came back with NOTHING. Which is understandable, given that the Chinese hold 52% of our debt. Since China is no longer pegging its yuan to the dollar, it means China is buying more bonds in euros, yen and other currencies and less in US dollars. It hasn’t come to the point where China is selling off US treasuries, but a sell-off would be disastrous for us. So it’s understandable that Bush would kiss-ass in China. But let’s be clear, he made no headway, either on the balance of trade front or regarding China’s human rights offenses. There is no sign that Beijing intends to release anyone on the list of human rights cases that Bush gave to Chinese President Hu Jintao in New York in September. So the Bush trip to China simply got Bush out of the US but it accomplished nothing. And while Condoleezza Rice is condemning everyone and everything that doesn’t conform to her personal concept of God as a Christian Republican, she found time to say that she is not the White House official who leaked Plame’s status to Bob Woodward. And National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley says it’s not him. Most people think it’s Bush, Cheney or Rove. But since Woodward had his little tête-à-tête with the WH official in mid-June of 2003, the leaker could have been Colin Powell or John Ashcroft for that matter. If I were a Plame-outing bookie, I’d be highly favoring Colin Powell as the leaker. I had high hopes for the article that WaPo ombudsman Deborah Howell said she was working on re Bob Woodward. It was published today. She also gave us NOTHING. Howell said, “The Post took a hit to its credibility with readers last week…Woodward is part of the DNA of the Post newsroom…Woodward is listed as assistant managing editor, he has no management duties…The Post’s story Wednesday put the paper in a terrible light…many readers think Woodward ought to be fired or disciplined…He (Woodward) believes that when it all comes out readers will understand a lot more…Woodward said he hadn’t told (Executive Editor Len) Downie about what he knew because he was afraid of being subpoenaed…What now? Woodward ought to have an editor.” So there you have it. Nothing, but nothing. And yet, what’s that about Woodward not telling Downie about his talk with a senior official because he was afraid of being subpoenaed? Woodward talked to the White House official in mid-June of 2003 and Patrick Fitzgerald took over the Plame investigation from Ashcroft on December 20, 2003. That’s six months that Woodward surely had no fear of being subpoenaed by Bush-crony Ashcroft. Well, there’s a whole new ballgame now that Fitzgerald is convening a new grand jury. And Woodward is going to need a lot more than an editor.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Oh Spare Me, WaPo

Today’s Editorial in the Washington Post defends Bob Woodward and, of course, totally misses the point. Dear WaPo Editors: It’s not the fact that Bob Woodward protected his sources that has outraged us, you morons. It’s that Bob Woodward was swanning around downplaying the Wilson/Plame outing while at the same time he was in the thick of the Wilson/Plame outing himself. It’s that Bob Woodward was protecting the White House while he knew full well that White House officials had divulged Valerie Plame’s CIA status to punish her husband for revealing Bush administration lies. We all know that Bob Woodward can keep secrets. We’re not upset that Bob Woodward would not reveal a source. We’re upset that he made on-the-record comments about how insignificant the Wilson/Plame case was, while knowing that he himself had key info and that the Wilson/Plame case was of vital importance. The current issue of Time mag reports that Woodward came forward when he realized on October 28th that his informant had told him about Wilson’s wife earlier than Libby’s informant. Oh really? Here’s a man, Bob Woodward, who has extraordinary access to the White House. He comes and goes and interviews the Prez and the Prez’s men as he damn well pleases. And he suddenly realizes what he knew and when he knew it was before Libby’s epiphany? I don’t think so. Bob Woodward has known all along that he was the first reporter to have gotten the poop about Valerie Plame from a White House official. And for whatever reason…maybe someone threatened to rat Woodward out…but for whatever reason, Woodward suddenly understood he could no longer protect the White House and therefore he came forward. The Time mag article says Woodward asked his source three times to release him from their confidentiality agreement—once in 2004 and twice in 2005. Woodward says that when he told his source that their conversation was earlier than Libby’s conversation with his source, Woodward’s source said, "he or she had no alternative but to go to the prosecutor." Please! See, Mr. and Mrs. Washington Post, the whole thing doesn’t scan and we don’t trust Bob Woodward anymore. We think he’s a lying sack of shit just like the guys in the White House that he has been protecting. So Bob Woodward can wave the flag, and talk about protecting his sources, all he wants. And you can defend this lying sack of shit all you want. But it’s been 34 years since Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein made the Washington Post proud with their reporting on Watergate. So whether you want to admit it or not, little by little and inch by inch, Bob Woodward has used the Washington Post to advance his position as paid shill for the GOP. And now you can take your apologia and shove it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

MSM Is Back to Its Dissembling Ways

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have decided that Bob Woodward’s day-late-and-dollar-short confession has put Scooter Libby in the clear. The NYT says, “The revelation left the special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, grappling with an unexpected new twist - one that he had not uncovered in an exhaustive inquiry.” Grappling? What grappling? Since Fitzgerald has not commented on Woodward’s deposition, who says he’s grappling with anything? And since Fitzgerald is engaged in an on-going investigation, why does the NYT make it sound as though the investigation is done and therefore was not thorough? WaPo quotes former federal prosecutor John Moustakas, saying, "I think it's a considerable boost to the defendant's case. It casts doubt about whether Fitzgerald knew everything.” Fitzgerald is the last person to claim he knows everything. Fitzgerald himself said, “Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson”. Fitzgerald never claimed to have knowledge that Libby was the only official to have told a reporter about Valerie Wilson. The Woodward disclosure may well be the “bombshell” that Libby’s lawyer, Theodore Wells, claims it to be. But not because it casts doubt on the Fitzgerald investigation. It’s a bombshell because it casts doubt on Bob Woodward and his extraordinary access to the White House. It’s a bombshell because it casts doubt on Woodward and his vaunted reporter’s objectivity. It’s a bombshell because it looks like Bob Woodward has been working for the Republican Party for the last two-and-a-half-years. Woodward continually criticized the Fitzgerald investigation and said the Wilson/Plame affair was unimportant during a time when he could come and go to the White House at will. Now we find out Woodward has been smack in the thick of the smarmy attempt of the White to discredit Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame. What a thing. Bob Woodward turns out to be just a two-bit shill for the GOP. Cheap Throat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When the Crazies Run the Asylum

"In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Hatter: and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad." "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be, said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here." The Moony rag (The Washington Times) says the Prez is drinking, won’t talk to anyone but Big Momma and the Little Mommies (Condi, Karen and Laura). The WashTimes also says the Prez is ticked off at Big Daddy and won’t talk to him anymore. In addition, the WashTimes says the Prez is testy, belligerent, argumentative and feels betrayed. Hunter over at Daily Kos is hinting that the President’s nutsoid condition could lead to a dangerous breach of national security. So, could it? Can the President, all on his own, have an attack of rodent rage and start World War III? No. I absolutely believe that dick Cheney could cause some serious mischief on his own hook. But George-the-Dupe Bush? Nah! And the reason is that when GWB was elected the first time, his minders knew there was a fifty-fifty chance he would have a psychotic break, start abusing booze and/or cocaine again and slide into a narcissistic episode. And with that prospect on the horizon, the president has never had any discretionary power. As with everything else in the Republican Party, the worst of it is that the president’s mental decline is bad for the country. It’s not that the USA can’t pull itself out of the morass the GOP has landed us in, it can. But it will take a quarter of a century for both parties to undo the effects of five years of Republican fascism. Not only has the Bush administration been bad for the nation, it’s been bad for the entire planet. And now we find out, integrity icon Bob Woodward has shot his credibility to hell by letting his Republican politics dictate his reporting. After reading the statement Woodward released re his testimony yesterday in front of Fitzgerald’s grand jury, you have to wonder: What was all that nonsense Woodward was spouting before the Libby indictment about Valerie Plame’s outing being a simple case of gossip? Woodward was one of the people the White House was giving information to. Woodward knew if anyone knew that the GOP’s concerted effort to discredit Wilson and his wife was serious business. It very much looks like Woodward was not just protecting his sources but was protecting the Republican Party. Well that’s that. Bob Woodward’s goodwill capital has been spent and in the aid of the most corrupt and power-mad administration in the history of the United States. What a waste! Ring around the rosey Pocket full of posies Upstairs, downstairs We all fall down

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

How To Deny Withdrawing and Withdraw

This latest Bush administration claim that black is white is a wonder to observe. An article in this morning’s NYT by Carl Hulse, “Senate Republicans Pushing for a Plan on Ending the War in Iraq”, shows the GOP wants to withdraw from Iraq because the war has become a political liability. Of course this means setting a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. And a timetable is the same thing as setting a target date. And a target date is the same thing as a plan to get the hell out. But the White House has vehemently claimed it would never set a target date or a timetable or a plan for phased-out withdrawal or anything remotely approaching getting the hell out. So how does the White House keep vowing: We will never abandon Iraq, we will never back down, we won’t leave until victory has been won, we are in this for the long haul, we will defend Iraq until the angel Gabriel blows his horn, we are Iraq’s saviors, and at the same time pull our troops out and leave the Iraqis high and dry? For the White House, that’s easy. The White House will simply withdraw and say it is not withdrawing. What could be simpler? Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senator John W. Warner (R-VA), chairman of the Armed Services Committee have come up with a plan that is the carbon copy of a Democratic proposal, except that the GOP plan doesn’t establish dates for withdrawal. Which is a marvelous trick. You can’t withdraw without withdrawing. Unless of course you are devising a plan for the Bush administration. As the NYT article says, “The primary differences between the party approaches regards fixing dates for a withdrawal. The Democratic plan called for the administration to provide ‘estimated dates’ for redeployment of American troops once a series of conditions was met, with the caveat that unexpected contingencies may arise.’ “But Republicans said that provision was cutting too close to setting a schedule for withdrawal. ‘We are not going to have any timetable,’ Mr. Warner said.” We’re going to pull out the troops but there will be no timetable, no target date, and no phased-out withdrawal. The White House will think of something, count on it. It may say that the Iraqis are kicking us out. It may spin a new slogan called: “Phase Two Mission Accomplished”. Or the GOP may say the Democrats have a gun to their heads. But the fact is, the war in Iraq has become political poison. Ergo, the Bush administration is going to cut and run. And lie, lie, lie.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Now They’re Lying about Lying

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman was on Meet the Press yesterday. I keep wondering if one of our guys looked like Mehlman, would his ever-present sneer and inadvertent blowing out of his cheeks when he says a word starting with “P” irritate me the way Mehlman irritates me? Mehlman has injected irritating into every facet of his persona. It’s his tell. How do we know when Ken Mehlman is lying? He’s irritating. Mehlman is the brains behind the GOP talking points for defending the war in Iraq. And he has absolute faith in the premise that a lie will eventually be accepted as true if it is told often enough. The current oft-told tale as perfected by Ken Mehlman is that everyone in Congress was bamboozled by the same faulty intelligence as the White House when the US voted to attack Iraq. Lie! Lie! Lie! The White House spread the faulty intelligence knowing it was faulty. There was no other intelligence being disseminated except the faulty intelligence promulgated by the White House. The big sin is that the White House knew it was faulty. Never forget and never let anyone else forget that Colin Powell stood up at the UN and told lies he knew were lies. Whether individual congressmen voted to attack Iraq is not important. It’s important that those congressmen who did vote to attack Iraq did so on the strength of faulty intelligence which the White House knew was untrue. And that is the crux and the crime of the entire catastrophe in Iraq. Two-thousand and sixty-seven American soldiers have died in Iraq. Fifteen-thousand-five-hundred and sixty-eight American soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. All the deaths, maiming and destruction in Iraq have been caused by lies knowingly spread by the Bush administration in order to justify its vision of US global supremacy.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Impeach Bush and Get Cheney for Prez

The current argument against impeaching Bush is that we would get Vice President Cheney for Prez. Or if we impeach both Bush and Cheney we’d get Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert for president. So? It’s not as though either Cheney or Hastert would have any real power after an impeachment. The worst impact of an impeachment would be the time consumed by the process and the chaos that would inevitably result if Bush and Cheney were convicted. But the power of the White House is already shot to hell no matter who succeeds as president. The answer to the dread question, "Do you want Cheney to be president?" is, "Not as an elected president." But it’s a completely different situation if Bush is forced to resign or is impeached and Cheney becomes president by default. To impeach a president and/or vice president, the House of Representatives would have to pass articles of impeachment by a simple majority. These articles detail the allegations. When the articles of impeachment are passed, the accused has been impeached. Then the Senate tries the defendant. A two-thirds majority vote of the Senators present is necessary in order to convict a defendant who has been impeached. My argument against impeachment is that it is not necessary now that the White House has so effectively impeached itself. In any case, the country is still going to have to witness time-consuming legal processes and chaos, which inevitably will result from the present investigations. And the governing of our country has already being sidetracked. Whether or not to impeach is irrelevant. The White House has already made decisions that have left it hamstrung, discredited and impotent. It doesn’t matter now who has the title of Official Asshole in Chief. The fact of the matter is that there is no option that would be cleaner and less damaging to the country than any other option. Impeachment, resignation and investigations all lead to dishonor and ignominy for the Bush administration, and ineffective government and waste of resources for the people. We have to get through the next three years as best we can. But first we have to get the troops home. Then, the elections in 2006 will begin the end of fascist rule in Congress.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Three More Years

George W. Bush won’t back down, won’t say he’s made a mistake, won’t admit he’s ever been wrong. Yesterday, the president was supposed to give one of the most important speeches of his disastrous presidency. With the drubbing he’s been receiving lately over his policies, political choices and quagmire in Iraq, he was supposed to answer his detractors in spades. The purpose of this all-important speech was to tell the people who voted for him that he still was their guy, that he still had the stuff to lead, that he was their president and he could and would cut the mustard. But instead of looking to the future and outlining plans for the next three years, GWB looked back. He seemed to be debating his opponent on the 2004 campaign trail. On Veteran’s Day, 2005, the President made arguments about why his catastrophic war of choice in Iraq had been the right thing to do. And further, he again stated, “we will never back down, we will never give in”. God help us! As David Gergen said last night on Lou Dobbs Tonight, the President needs to correct his course. But Gergen also said, “In this case, Lou, I think the course correction is one of philosophy, as well. That is, the president has assumed that he can rebuild his presidency by appealing to his base, his conservative base. “But the truth is, he's losing a lot of moderates and independents. If he's going to rebuild his presidency, he has to be president of more than the base. He has to be president of the entire country. To do that, he has to go back and appeal more to the independents and the moderates and join them to his base.” David Gergen and all the other pundits and opinion-givers are counseling the president to do the one thing he cannot do: Change. Well of course he can’t change. That is precisely why the puppet-meisters picked him in the first place. All they had to do was point GWB in a direction and know he would never deviate, never make adjustments, never veer or swerve. They could rest in the knowledge that GWB would march to their drumbeat and preach the doctrine of global supremacy, as ordered. But these White House geniuses never reckoned on leaks, investigations, indictments, backlash and Republican disenchantment. So what now? The president needs to correct his course but he can’t. And all the president’s men cannot make him do the one thing that might save his presidency, might save the Bush administration, might save the GOP, and might save the Republican Party. Three more years and the GOP is stuck with a president unable to alter his course, a vice president too old and sick to alter anything, a speaker of the house who is more concerned about who leaked the news about torture prisons than investigating the fact that the US has torture prisons, a secretary of state who owes her career to a man who is too mentally unstable to save his own ass. What now? Well, I know what the Vatican would do…the Cardinals would kill all the bastards and leave no trace. But even the GOP has better morals than the Vatican. I think the Repubs will turn on the BushMen and demand resignations down to and including No. 8 in the line of succession. How does Secretary of Agriculture sound for Prez?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day

It still means something to honor our war dead and wounded on Veterans Day. That is, it means something to the folks who get up in the morning and go to work and make the wheels go round that move our daily lives forward. Of course, our war dead and wounded mean absolutely nothing to the armchair warriors in the White House who have never gone to war and who turned themselves inside out to keep from going to war: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Official Asshole Karl Rove. These traitors to the real heroes who made our country great have killed 2,065 American soldiers in Iraq for no good reason and have wounded 15,568 soldiers for no good reason other than to inflate their egos. The war in Iraq is a sin, travesty and blot against our entire country. But the brave men and women who have given their lives and who have been wounded in Iraq are a credit to the entire world and deserve better leaders than they have had to endure. The New York Times reported this morning that a senior administration official said President Bush has chosen today, Veteran’s Day, to deliver a speech which will be “the most direct refutation of the Democrat charges you've seen probably since the election.” President Bush will refute his anti-war critics by saying that Democrats who voted for the war used the same intelligence that Bush used but the Dems have switched. Yesterday Senator McCain (R-AZ) said, "There is an undeniable sense that things are slipping in Iraq." But he also said that withdrawing troops would be wrong. Instead, McCain wants more troops in Iraq…from 10,000 to 165,000 more troops. Do not be deceived by the faulty reasoning coming out of both Bush and McCain. They both know full well that although the people who voted for the war did not know the intelligence was faulty, the White House not only knew the intelligence was faulty, the Bush administration promoted the faulty intelligence as 100% reliable. That is a monumental difference. On Veterans Day of all days in the year, we must honor the Iraq war dead and wounded by demanding that the warmongers in the White House withdraw our troops from Iraq. There is no rationalization for the war in Iraq that President George W. Bush can come up with today or any other day that will justify the war crimes the Bush administration has committed. They all should face criminal charges and they all should be forced to resign.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

John McCain For Prez? NO FUCKING WAY!

Do not even consider the remote possibility of voting for John McCain. You saw him on The Daily Show last night. The man seems to be a nice man; he’s a funny man, a self-effacing man. He acts like a Republican with a conscience and a heart in the right place. But just remember, John McCain can find it in that heart to defend Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and the US attack on Iraq, which was accomplished with bogus intelligence. John McCain, for all his nice trappings is a neocon. He’s a foot soldier who has been given his marching orders. And those marching orders are to charm the nation into forgetting who he is and what he stands for. Anyone who can defend Colin Powell and Powell's speech in front of the UN is obeying orders. McCain claims that Powell threw out half of the UN speech before he delivered it and that Powell now regrets that blot on his record. Well, let me remind you, Mr. McCain, the half of the speech Powell didn’t throw out was the part where he unreservedly and without qualification swore that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And Powell knew it was a lie at the time. Trust me, the only reason Powell regrets giving that speech is because it’s playing havoc with his visions of a career in politics. Serving as John McCain’s Vice President would be a nice re-entry. Anyone who can defend Dick Cheney (and McCain most assuredly defends Dick Cheney) has to be tossed into the same pot with Cheney. The Republican party is hoping the Democrats will not be able to come up with a candidate in 2008 who can inspire confidence, who has a twinkle in his eye and who commands respect. The Republican Party has chosen their man who fills that bill: John McCain. Know this about John McCain: He has a core of steel. He will never bend. He may trade horses about matters of integrity and truth but he will never give up the idea that the United States must rule the world, by force if necessary; that nukes are necessary for us, while the rest of the world must give up their nukes; and that the U.S. must pre-emptively strike all nations who might be a threat any time, now or in the future. Following is a capsule of McCain and his military beliefs. War & Peace: The War on Terror is the overriding and transcendent issue.(11-2004) Looting, terrorism in Iraq was a result of US mistakes.(9-2004) The Iraqi war was necessary after years of failed diplomacy.(9-2004) The War on Terror is a fight between good and evil.(8-2004) The War on Terror is a war we must fight.(9-2004) Avoiding the War on Terror has cost us dearly.(8-2004) Bush promised enemies would soon hear from us and they did.(9-2004) Saddam would have acquired terrible weapons again.(8-2004) The Iraqi war was necessary, achievable and noble.(9-2004) Our adversaries express a hatred for all good in humanity.(8-2004) The cause of the Iraqi war was just.(4-2004) Kosovo an example of feckless photo-op foreign policy.(12-1999) Fighting was based on polls and photo-ops.(11-1999) Important to win, important for US to be superpower.(6-1999) Distrust Milosevic, and Verify.(6-1999) Authorize Clinton to send in ground troops.(5-1999) Supported deployment in Bosnia; supports it in Kosovo.(4-1999) Higher price for security due to earlier idle threats.(4-1999) Palestine: Against declaration of statehood.(2-1999) Voted YES- $86.5 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan. (10-2003) Voted YES- authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (10-2002) Voted NO- allowing all necessary forces and other means in Kosovo. (5-1999) Voted YES- authorizing air strikes in Kosovo. (3-1999) Voted YES- ending the Bosnian arms embargo. 7-1995) Supports $48 billion in new spending for anti-terrorism. (1-2002) CIA assessments in Iraqi WMDs were all wrong. (3-2005) Belief in Iraqi nukes was poor analysis of aluminum tubes. (3-2005) Belief in Iraqi BWs was based on one unreliable person. (3-2005) Belief in Iraqi CWs was based on flawed imagery. (3-2005) Iraq never had delivery systems to attack US mainland. (3-2005) CIA never questioned assumption that Saddam had WMDs. (3-2005) Conclusions on Iran and North Korea are all classified. (3-2005) Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. (11-1995) Foreign Policy: We have good reason to expect solidarity of our allies. (8-2004) Suu Kyi & the people of Burma will rule themselves someday.(4-2004) Overthrow “rogue” governments to keep Americans safe. (2- 2000) Our conscience influences US intervention, as in Rwanda. (2-2000) Africa: Money for AIDS would be lost to corruption. (1-2000) Concern over Chechnya spreads to Caucasus oil reserves. (1-2000) Russia: Sanctions until Putin exits Chechnya. (1-2000) IMF’s Russia policies bad, but agency is OK. (10-1999) Urge Japan to open economy to ensure Asian recovery. (5-1999) Clinton abandoned framework of “assertive multilateralism”. (4-1999) Korea: ease starvation, but avoid war during death throes. (4-1999) Pay dues to UN after UN reforms. (7-1998) Cuba: No diplomatic and trade relations. (7-1998) The man is a neocon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


We’ve all got to vote! Even if it’s only to remind ourselves what happened on November 7, 2000, and November 2, 2004, we must go to the polls. Those two days are black spots on the voting rights of the American people. When an election day comes along now, we must go to the polls. It doesn’t matter that the elections are small potatoes or that the fate of the world won’t be changed. We must vote! It’s our right and our duty! VOTE!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Neil Armstrong And His Famous One-liner

Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module on July 20, 1969, set one foot on the moon and was supposed to say, "That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.” But he flubbed the line. What Armstrong said scans better, but makes no sense: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. In that sentence, man and mankind mean the same thing. But nevermind. NASA immediately started the old political cover-up and claimed Armstrong really had said, “a man”, it’s just that the “a” was buried under static. And Armstrong backed NASA up saying he’s pretty sure he said the “a” but it got lost in space. But that’s all old news. The new news is that Armstrong is now 75 years old and James Hansen, an Auburn University (Montgomery, AL) history professor who grew up in Indiana has come out with a Neil Armstrong biography, called "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," The media blitz started last night on “60 Minutes”. I had thought it was pretty much accepted that NASA had scripted the now-famous one-liner. But once again, Armstrong said on “60 Minutes” that he had written the little gem himself. He had an epiphany while on the space flight to the moon. And Hansen repeats the old story that Armstrong was the author, but suggests he may have been influenced by Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, or Dwight Eisenhower who said in 1957 that Sputnik was a call for "a giant leap into outer space." I don’t think for a minute that Neil Armstrong thought up that line. NASA and the United States government aren’t that sloppy about PR. They would never have taken the chance that an astronaut whose lifetime experience had been living in one small town in Ohio after another, might step out of the moon pod and say, “Hi Mom. I got here OK.” I have no idea who wrote the line, but William Safire was a White House speechwriter at the time and he wrote the snippet for the plaque that was placed on the moon that day: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D.” I’m not a fan of Safire’s, but I do like it that he admitted he’d made a mistake on that plaque. The “A.D.” should have gone before 1969, not after, he said. In the end, so what? Why not let the first man to set foot on the moon have his day in the sun. He’s been a quiet man, a self-effacing man, a man who minded his own business for the last 36 years. Does it matter whether he actually authored one of the most oft-repeated phrases ever quoted? It matters.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


It’s in the New York Times …read it for yourselves. The following first paragraphs of four NYT stories show the collapse of the Bush administration far better than anything I could write. 1) MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Nov. 4 - President Bush's troubles trailed him to an international summit meeting here on Friday as anti-Bush protesters turned violent just blocks from the gathering site, and Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's fiery populist leader, rallied a soccer stadium filled with at least 25,000 people against the United States. 2) An auditing board sponsored by the United Nations recommended yesterday that the United States repay as much as $208 million to the Iraqi government for contracting work in 2003 and 2004 assigned to Kellogg, Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary.. 3) MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Nov. 4 - President Bush was asked four times on Friday about Karl Rove and the C.I.A. leak investigation, and four times he refused to answer. 4) Public outrage over President Bush's mishandling of the Katrina disaster has forced the administration to back away - if only temporarily - from a deeply wrongheaded policy on low-income housing. In New Orleans this week, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced with great fanfare that the government would tear down some of the most unlivable high-density public housing in the country and replace it with model lower-density housing, which will probably serve mixed-income residents. And speaking of troubles the GOP brings on itself. The movie "Good Night and Good Luck" is a straightforward look at CBS and Edward R. Murrow during the Joseph McCarthy era. And the message is: The GOP never learns. The public will accept only so much deceit, manipulation and lies from its government before the people rise up and say, ENOUGH!

Friday, November 04, 2005

ABC Poll November 3, 2005

Bush Disapproval Ratings: Overall job: 60% disapprove Economy: 61% disapprove Iraq: 64% disapprove Health care: 61% disapprove Gas prices: 68% disapprove Bush Personal Ratings: Is a strong leader: 53% say No Is honest and trustworthy: 58% say No Shares your values: 58% say No Understands problems of people like you: 66% say No In addition to the above results, the poll revealed that “73 percent of Americans call the level of U.S. military casualties in Iraq ‘unacceptable,’ and fewer than half, 46 percent, think the war has contributed to the long-term security of the United States…and just 39 percent now say the war was worth fighting.” So now the whole world knows how the majority of Americans feel about their President. The whole world except George W. Bush who reads nothing, sees nothing and talks to only five people in addition to his image in the White House reflecting pool. One wonders how Bush’s surrogate mommies Karen Hughes and Condi Rice are spinning the dose of reality he’s getting in Argentina. Thousands of protesters are chanting, “Get Out Bush” and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has made mocking jokes that Bush is afraid of Chavez. As of yesterday, 2037 American soldiers have been killed in the Bush war of choice in Iraq. Since landing aboard USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, wearing a macho-man green flight suit, holding a white helmet, swaggering, saluting and proclaiming, “Mission Accomplished”, the President has killed 1,898 more American soldiers. It’s difficult to know exactly what the man deserves. Eternal damnation, for sure. But for now, the President’s Daily Press Grief is one of this life’s little pleasures.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

CNN’s Aaron Brown Is Out

I don’t think he wanted in. There have been signs that Aaron Brown was not sure he wanted to work at CNN. Brown went on the payroll at CNN in July, 2000. On the fifth anniversary of his first show he said he’d signed another contract. And, oddly, he said, “After that, we’ll see.” Before that, on February 1, 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart, Brown didn’t come in to work. Reports were that he was playing golf. The New York Times reported this morning, “Jonathan Klein, the president of CNN/U.S., said today that he and Mr. Brown had mutually agreed that Mr. Brown would leave the cable news network because the new CNN lineup left ‘no options’ for a program that would include Mr. Brown.” It would be interesting to know the ins and outs of the CNN/Aaron Brown tug-of-war, but Brown has not been happy for sometime. And being paired with Anderson Cooper was not going to work in anyone’s alternate reality. For once, the old “mutually agreed” rhetoric was probably true. I’m an Aaron Brown fan. I hope he turns up somewhere and soon, with a show and lineup of his choosing. Good luck, Aaron!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Senate Majority Leader (R-TN) Bill Frist had a snit-fit-and-a-half yesterday. The Senate "has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," he said. “They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas…for the next year and a half, I can’t trust Senator Reid.” This is the same Bill Frist, MD, who said AIDs could be transmitted by tears and sweat and then had to admit his statement was not true. This is the Bill Frist who claimed Terri Schiavo was not in a vegetative state though he’d never seen her in person; this is the same Bill Frist who is being investigated by the SEC for insider trading. Republicans whining about trust and hijacked leadership is too funny. The occasion was when Democrat Leader Harry Reid (NV) forced the Senate to close down by invoking the little-used Senate Rule No. 21. After the Senate was cleared, the lawmakers spent two hours behind closed doors and agreed to name three members from each party to assess the state of the Intelligence Committee's inquiry into prewar intelligence and report back by Nov. 14. Harry Reid and the Democrats had had enough of the foot-dragging and obstructionist tactics of the Intelligence Committee that is supposedly investigating the Bush administration’s use of intelligence to justify the Iraq war. WaPo reported that Frist could hardly find words to express his anger, but that he finally said, “This is an affront to me personally. It's an affront to our leadership. It's an affront to the United States of America. And it is wrong." However, the NYT reported that, “Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, questioned Mr. Roberts's (Intelligence Committee chairman, R-KS) commitment to the inquiry. He said that whenever the panel closed in on the sensitive question of administration handling of intelligence, ‘then all of a sudden an iron curtain comes down. ‘I have to say in all honesty that I am troubled by what I see as a concerted effort by this administration to use its influence to limit, delay, to frustrate, to deny the Intelligence Committee's oversight work into the intelligence reporting and activities leading up to the invasion of Iraq,’ Mr. Rockefeller said.” For his part, Harry Reid seems unconcerned that Frist won’t be able to trust him anymore. The NYT quoted Senator Reid saying, "If Senator Frist is upset about my following Senate procedures, then I'm sorry he's disappointed with my following Senate procedures.” Reid added he had "zero" regrets about his maneuver and said “the American people had a victory today”. Yes we surely did have a victory. The Republicans control all three branches of government—judicial, legislative and executive—and yet Harry Reid closed down the Senate and forced the whole lot to act like responsible legislators. Hooray!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

George W. Bush Will Never Say He’s Wrong

He’ll talk about his war of choice, And birds that got the flu, He’ll brag about Alito, And praise his mother too. He’ll rant about the rights of cells And say they’re holy spawn What won’t he say? He won’t say he’s wrong He’ll say he’s gotta stay the course And kill off more GI’s. He’ll rave for hours on terrorists And tell a million lies. He’ll say the poor and old folks In his world don’t belong. What won’t he say? He won’t say he’s wrong. He’ll say a bunch of crap, but holy mother! There is one particular thing he won’t say, no never, not ever! In no way, shape or form Will anything be so strong As to make him say he’s wrong. He’ll say he’s gotta save Iraqis And teach democracy. He’ll say it’s worth 200 mil a day To remake their history. He’ll say it takes balls to lose a war And watch mothers pale and drawn. What won’t he say? He won’t say he’s wrong. (With apologies to Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, II and the entire cast of South Pacific.) As of yesterday, 2027 American soldiers have died in Iraq. And this morning, because the Prez can’t say he was wrong, can’t say we should pull out of Iraq, can’t talk about the Libby indictment, can’t say he was sorry his aides had lied, and can’t say he will fire Karl Rove, he talked about bird flu. He said the US is prepared for a pandemic. Which it isn’t and won’t be in the foreseeable future. But of this, we can be sure: The President will never say he’s wrong.