Friday, April 14, 2006

Digging Your Own Grave 101

I read about two pages of Sy Hersh's New Yorker story on what Bushco has in mind for Iran, and it was so unbelievable that I had to put it down. I swear, I feel like we're all living in a Stanley Kubrick movie (irony, dread, humor, war, horror, death, etc.). If, God help us, any of the nightmare scenarios depicted in Hersh's story come to hideous fruition, my only hope is that James Jay ("Nuke 'Em") Carofano ends up flying the plane that delivers the bomb and ends up getting evaporated along with everything else after he delivers the payload.

Well, no sooner do I log on, but I come across this item (looks like the coward Ahmadinejad, with the emphasis on "mad," has every intention of doing exactly what the Bushies want).

I guess the only thing we can do, aside from praying that no one gets annihilated somehow and thus spurring an increase in terrorism worldwide (and as always, remembering our service people and doing what we can to help, especially now at the time of a holiday) is to contact our politicians and tell them as strongly as we can that we want to see this standoff resolved through international cooperation and thus prevent the "Crawford cowboy" from doing anything else that's particularly stupid before he himself asks God in his way if he did the right thing.

And speaking of the holiday, I should point out that posting will be very sporadic for the next few days, and whether you observe Easter or not, I hope you are able to spend some quality time reconnecting with your families and friends (and last week's "Real Time" Update is coming, I promise; I'm still assembling my information, but I can tell you that Joe Biden, one of the panelists, came off very well).

Update 4/17: In my response to commenter Astral, I said that the Palestinians should be accountable also (and how is something like this "justified"?).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Covering A Retreat

As most of us know, some of our retired generals are speaking out against Donald (“The Defense Secretary You Have”) Rumsfeld and his handling (using the term loosely) of the Iraq debacle. So thus, with “Swift Boat Liar” predictability, a cadre of other high-ranking officers has come to Rumsfeld’s defense (including Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Mike DeLong).

As the CNN story notes, DeLong is a former aide to General Tommy Franks, who led the combat operation that removed Saddam Hussein. Despite Franks’ many accomplishments, these comments were found about Franks in this Chicago Sun-Times story:

…his tenure has not been without its critics, particularly early in the Afghan war, when questions were raised about whether he was innovative enough for a 21st-century enemy like the al-Qaida terrorist network. Some questioned why al-Qaida fighters were able to slip away into Pakistan. Some even wondered if Franks would keep his job.

"Not overwhelmingly impressive" is still the assessment of retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, the top Air Force general during the Gulf War. "He sometimes seems to want to come across as one of these aw-shucks, sneaky-smart kind of guys. It's impossible to judge whether he's really sneaky-smart, or sneaky-average."
I posted yesterday about Colonel H.R. McMaster, the commander of the regiment that liberated Tal Afar, which was taken largely from a New Yorker article written by George Packer. In the article (as he mentioned McMaster), Packer noted that Franks cast the same blind eye towards the insurgency that his civilian leadership did.

In the spring of 2003, McMaster joined the staff of General John Abizaid at Central Command. Abizaid soon took over for Franks, who got out of Iraq and the military just as his three-week triumph over the Baathist regime showed signs of turning into a long ordeal. Although the violence in Iraq was rapidly intensifying, no one at the top levels of the government or the military would admit that an insurgency was forming.
I’m not terribly sympathetic to Franks or anyone in his command who reported to him who discounted the insurgency (including, apparently, Lt. Gen. DeLong), and judging from events subsequent to Franks’ departure, it appears that that is what happened.

And that appears to be the reason why they have a vested interest in covering Rummy’s hide, since he sold them, and us, straight down the river.

Update 4/14: Could we have expected any other reaction?

I Never Knew Either

I can't make this stuff up, no matter how hard I try.

This comes courtesy of The Brad Blog and an alert friend of mine (thanks). She’s just sinking deeper and deeper in doo doo regarding the Florida voter registration thing of hers (and am I the only one who notes the irony that this is happening in Florida, of all places?).

For more golden moments concerning the female right-wing criminal, I present this as a pre-holiday treat. Enjoy.

Two Faces Have I

I can’t see how former teen idol Lou Christie could have had Andy Warren in mind when he sang this pop hit years ago, but it would be appropriate if he had.

Bucks Candidate Double Talk?

Some local southeast Democrats are a bit puzzled by recent remarks made by democratic congressional candidate Andy Warren. A quote from
today's Philadelphia Inquirer states, "Warren said he voted for Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election and voted for Bill Clinton twice. In the last presidential election he went for Kerry."

This is in contrast to another article that appeared in the Allentown Morning Call in January of 1993. This portion appeared in that article: Bucks County Commissioner Chairman Andrew Warren, a Republican, attended the rally... 'This may come as no surprise to you, I supported George Bush..." This was made in reference to his support of George H.W. Bush in the 1992 (presidential election).
But as Andy has stated previously, his ability to change parties shows that he is “part of a growing national trend of socially progressive, fiscally responsible Republicans” (a trend which, as far as I’m concerned, exists only in Warren’s imagination). And at least Patrick Murphy admitted voting for George W. Bush in 2000, whereas Warren has been trying to distance himself from the vote he cast for Dubya’s old man.

Tick tock, Andy. This little show of yours is going to get cancelled in a few weeks, hopefully in as decisive a manner as possible so we’ll never have to watch a rerun.

A Quiet Giant Passes

He’s been immortalized in a way with the Rev. Scott character in Doonesbury, but I believe his words and actions will withstand the scourges of the present moment (Iraq, terrorism, the wingnut saber rattling over Iran, etc.).

This takes you to a remembrance from mcjoan on the Daily Kos site, and this takes you to an interview Bill Moyers conducted with the Rev. William Sloane Coffin for NOW.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"There Are No More Miracles"

What follows are the first three paragraphs from Trudy Rubin’s column in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer (registration required):

In early 1998, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hugh Shelton, sent all of his 17 four-star generals a book called Dereliction of Duty. Then he summoned them to a breakfast at which the author, a young Army major named H.R. McMaster, described how Lyndon B. Johnson's top generals let the president bog us down in Vietnam without voicing their strong reservations.

One of the generals at the breakfast, Tony Zinni, who was then head of Central Command, recalled for me the chairman's firm words. "This will never happen again," Shelton said.

But despite internal grumbling about the administration's strategy for the Iraq war, most top brass have stayed silent. Now, some retired officers are speaking up.
I realize how difficult a call it is for these men to do this, because the moment they open their mouths and say anything that runs contrary to Bushco doctrine, they will endure the same fate as Gen. Eric Shinseki, as Rubin notes below:

Senior military officials had developed a contingency plan in the '90s in case of an Iraq invasion, calling for 380,000 to 500,000 troops. Rumsfeld said the plan was old and stale; Zinni says it was "living, breathing and dynamic," and was updated yearly. In 2003, the top Army general, Eric Shinseki, said several hundred thousand troops would be needed for postwar Iraq, but he was humiliated by Rumsfeld, sending a clear message to other military critics to shut up.
It bears repeating that the consequence of Rumsfeld’s arrogance, deception and incompetence is this, among other tragedies.

As I read Rubin’s story, I realized that these career military men have to do what they must given their time in service, and open rebellion against the civilian chickenhawks primarily responsible for the Iraq debacle both demoralizes the forces under their command and jeopardizes their own benefits and pensions. However, that still does not free them the duty to decry the madness of this misbegotten enterprise, and I also know that they don’t need me to remind them of that.

I know they want to hear about any possible successes in Iraq, as I and as every American should. That’s why, despite how I feel about the messenger, I was glad to hear this message about Tal Afar:

In last week’s issue of The New Yorker, author George Packer reported on the progress made to date in Tal Afar, as well as many other aspects of the war in the magazine’s typically thorough style, and now-colonel H.R. McMaster, formerly the commander of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, who Rubin referred to in her story, had a lot to do with it. As Packer reported:

The lessons that McMaster and his soldiers applied in Tal Afar were learned during the first two years of an increasingly unpopular war. “When we came to Iraq, we didn’t understand the complexity – what it meant for a society to live under a brutal dictatorship, with ethnic and sectarian divisions,” he said in his hoarse, energetic voice. “When we first got here, we made a lot of mistakes. We were like a blind man, trying to do the right thing but breaking a lot of things.” Later, he said, “You gotta come in with your ears open. You can’t come in and start talking. You have to really listen to people.”
And what of Rumsfeld? How well did he listen to reports of the insurgency that was forming after the spring of 2003, when Hussein’s statue fell in Fardos Square? As Packer reported:

“They didn’t even want to say the ‘I’ word,” one officer in Iraq told me. “It was the specter of Vietnam. They did not even want to say the ‘insurgency’ word, because the next word you say is ‘quagmire.’ The next thing you say is ‘the only war America has lost’. And the next thing you conclude is that certain people’s vision of war is wrong.”

The most stubborn resistance to the idea of an insurgency came from Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense secretary, who was determined to bring about “a revolution in military affairs” at the Pentagon – the transformation of war fighting into a combination of information technology and precision firepower that would eliminate the need for large numbers of ground troops and prolonged involvement in distant countries. “It’s a vision of war that totally neglects the psychological and cultural dimensions of war,” the office said. Rumsfeld’s denial of the existence of the insurgency turned on technicalities: insurgencies were fought against sovereign governments, he argued, and in 2003 Iraq did not yet have one.
I’m beginning to wonder if they ever will, as I’m wondering if people bleed, suffer and die whether or not their country is a fractured state of warring religious and ethnic tribes or “a sovereign government.”

Packer’s story continues with the effort of McMaster and his regiment to stabilize Tal Afar.

After McMaster’s (recent) offensive (to liberate Tal Afar), (Lieutenant Colonel Chris) Hickey and a squadron of a thousand men set up living quarters next to Iraqi army soldiers, in primitive patrol bases without hot water, reliable heat, or regular cooked meals. One afternoon, I walked with Hickey a hundred yards from his headquarters – past soldiers on guard duty warming themselves over a barrel fire – to the mayor’s office, in the Castle. The new mayor, Najim Abdullah al-Jabouri, is a secular Sunni Arab and a former brigadier general from Baghdad, who speaks no Turkmen, Tal Afar’s main language. The city was so polarized that the provincial authorities had turned to an outsider to replace the corrupt former mayor and win a measure of confidence from all sides.

On Najim’s wall hung a photograph of him with McMaster. The Mayor had written a letter to Bush, Rumsfeld and Congress asking them to extend the 3rd ACR’s deployment in Tal Afar for another year.

“If the doctor makes an operation and the operation succeeds, it’s not a good thing to put the patient under the care of another doctor,” the Mayor told me. “This doctor knows the wound, he knows the patient.” He added, “Hickey knows my children by name.”

I asked what would happen if, as before, the Americans withdrew from Tal Afar.

“What? No American forces?” The Mayor could hardly comprehend my question. “It will take only one month and the terrorists will take over. At a minimum, we need three years for the Iraqi Army to be strong enough to take control of the country – at least three years. You can’t measure the Army only by weapons. It’s building people too.”
Packer’s story also portrays our troops trying to train the Iraqi Army to hold Tal Afar acting with typical bravery and representing the very best of our country. It also told of what the Shiites have endured and are enduring from the Sunnis, including the cold-blooded execution by a Sunni of three Shiite men working in a butcher shop. As nearly as I can tell, no one is innocent over there, but I wonder exactly how the Shiites will react they, as a people, they finally say enough is enough.

This proposal from Lieutenant Colonel Majid Adbul-Latif Hatem, an Iraqi battalion deputy commander who Packer quotes about the future of Iraq, struck me as a solution proposed by the British during their empire days that had never really worked then either:

“…To get rid of the problems, we should divide Iraq into three parts: Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd. If there is one Iraq on the map, but inside the people are divided, what’s the point of being one? The people are tired of war and instability – they just want to live in peace, even by dividing. The time of Jesus and the prophet Muhammad is past. There are no more miracles.” And when asked about civil war, the answer was “At any moment, there will be war between the two sects.”
Even though some of this is “water wet, sky blue, yes we know now get back to telling us how lousy Bush is” stuff, I’d like to say something about Iraq (or at least patch together a post with the most reliable information I can find) that portrays what’s happening but also pays tribute to our fine men and women serving in this misery. And I also want to portray the deceit and murderous incompetence of the moral cowards that put them where they are.

"Egging On" The Freepers

I’m going to try and interject some common sense into this whole situation (silly me). I’m referring to the supposed “War on Easter” that is taking place in this country (of course, right-wing sites such as WorldNetDaily are all in a typical uproar over it – as I’ve said before, these people would have nothing to do without a “war” of one type or another).

When individuals such as Tyrone Terrill, the human rights director of the St. Paul, MN City Council (a city council needs a human rights director?) decided that the “Happy Easter” sign should be taken down, he was thinking about one thing and one thing only: the potential to be sued by a group of people that chooses not to recognize the holiday.

He wasn’t doing it to spite anybody. He wasn’t doing it to earn the wrath of knuckle-dragging fire breathers such as Bill O’Reilly (who, of course, is engaging in typical behavior).

I’m a Christian, and I most certainly recognize the holiday. But if a Happy Easter sign is taken down on a public building, I DON’T CARE!

Diversity, as most of us know by now, is the way of the world, especially in this country where many people come legally and obtain citizenship to work (like most other things, this is ultimately about money, in the end). And in the name of that, I’ll trade the “sacrifice” I have to make of someone deciding not to display a “Happy Easter” sign versus many of the hardships people coming to this country of other faiths have had to endure to make a life for themselves.

(Note: This argument has nothing to do with offshoring of jobs. I’m talking about people who COME HERE LEGALLY, as opposed to illegals and others who arrive for a few months at a time, learn how to do a job, and then return home taking the job with them.)

Suddenly, I'm Not Laughing

We can focus on the latest idiotic remarks from Pat Robertson about God supposedly telling him to ask a woman about her sex life as part of a supposed miracle cure for her asthma (via the Huffington Post), but instead, I’d like to focus on what Robertson said later in the interview.

(CBS Correspondent Rita Braver, asking Robertson about his presidential bid in 1988): Do you think that the world just-- that this country just wasn't ready for someone with such a close association with religion?

PR: I don't think there's any question about that. But I-- I felt at the time that I might be an heir of Ronald Reagan. I-- I shared his-- points of view about the-- the economy, about-- strong defense, about-- strength against-- Communism and these other things-- free enterprise, etcetera-- and the moral values.

My race for the Presidency-- I didn't do all that bad for an amateur, you know. I beat the sitting Vice President in a number of states. But nevertheless-- when it was all over with, I had mobilized 300,000 plus people in about 35 states.

And that became the core of the Christian Coalition, which in turn became a very highly visible part of the-- Republican Party, and perhaps has been major-- major influence in winning the Congress for the Republicans and maybe putting a born again Christian in the White House. So I was sort of a forerunner of-- of a-- of a group that was given a voice.

RB: You-- you helped form the Co-- Christian Coalition. Then you sort of—

PR: That's right.

RB: --stepped away from it.

PR: Right.

RB: But why?

PR: Well I'd-- I'd had enough. We-- we had accomplished our goals. We had a 10 year set of goals. And we-- we got every one of them. The only one we didn't get is the Supreme Court, and we're-- we're only one judge short of that. (LAUGHTER) So I think-- the Congress conservative, a-- a majority of governorships conservative, a born again Christian in the White House, and-- so-- I-- I had done what I set out to do.
Do you want to know something?

The “whack job” is right (and nonsense such as this is part of his sickening legacy…these people practice no “religion” that I know or want to be part of in any way).

Nukes In The News

“Fantasy Land,” huh Rummy? Is that the name of the proposed new theme park that our government plans for Iran (constructed by Disney with special “consultation services” by Halliburton, right Dick? Any by the way, you gotta work on that change up, dude) to be built on the site of, as Billmon puts it, “a large radioactive hole 200 miles south of Tehran”?

Well, Sy Hersh pretty much spoils all the Bushco fun with his typically top-notch reporting on this (of course, Sy’s the guy who broke the story about that little Abu Ghraib dustup some time back).

And speaking of Billmon (obligatory hat tip to Atrios), he presents some spot-on analysis on what Bushco has in mind, and I thought this excerpted paragraph from an update reveals a lot about the “holy crap, what the hell is Bush trying to do now to screw things up even more” fears of the Saudis, though of course they’re hardly blameless in this also.

Saudi Arabia, fearing that US military action against Iran would wreak further havoc in the region, has asked Russia to block any bid by Washington to secure UN cover for an attack, a Russian diplomat said on Tuesday . . . A Gulf diplomat, who also requested anonymity, said Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries were worried about the possibility of US military action against Iran at a time when Iraq is engulfed in what is increasingly turning into civil war.
As better lefty bloggers than I have already noted, Bushco will keep up this drumbeat throughout the year, taking us ever closer to the edge with incendiary quotes from Dubya and especially Cheney on this to work the lap dog media into the appropriate lather necessary to recreate the fear that has served them so well for much of their abhorrent term in office.

The only problem is that you can only whip an animal for so long before it becomes complacent or decides to turn on its handler and attack (or, at the very least, boo vociferously at a baseball game).

Update 4/14: Marie Cocco interjects some frightening sanity into this insane discussion.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Where Indeed?

From "he who does not wish to receive a hat tip," with thanks...

Republicans Sign on to Independent Commission-8th District Congressman Remains MIA (dated 4/6/06)

Mike Fitzpatrick's failure to ask any tough questions about Iraq, or to take on members of his own party, was once again put front and center, as Fitzpatrick remained silent while prominent Republicans signed on to a measure creating a "special oversight committee" to investigate billions of dollars misspent in Iraq.

Yesterday, two Republican Congressman joined dozens of Democrats in supporting a measure that would create an independent, non-partisan House Committee tasked to examine expenditures and contracts for the Iraqi Reconstruction effort. Fitzpatrick refuses to support this bipartisan measure whose sole purpose is to get answers for the American public.

"During World War II, Harry Truman had the wherewithal to call for a commission to investigate waste, fraud and abuse by contractors in the war effort," said Patrick Murphy, Democratic candidate for Congress. "It is disappointing to see that Mike Fitzpatrick lacks that same intestinal fortitude."

Murphy, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, saw first hand while in Baghdad the problems with the administration of government contracts held by Halliburton and its subsidiaries.

"I saw with my own eyes in Iraq the problems with Halliburton's contracts and Kellogg Brown and Root's contracts, and Mike's refusal to back independent oversight of how tax dollars are being spent is just another evidence of Mike being MIA.

"I believe that Congress has a responsibility to make sure that tax dollars are spent efficiently and wisely. It disturbs me that Mike's priorities would be anywhere else."

According to the Defense Department's Inspector General, the military failed to account for more than $8.8 billion in appropriated Iraqi Reconstruction funds. For more than a year, Fitzpatrick has refused to sign onto H.Res. 116, a bipartisan bill that would create an independent commission to investigate-on behalf of Pennsylvanian taxpayers and the brave men and women fighting abroad-the disappearance of this money.

Press inquires are directed to:
Stephanie Odell
(215) 760-2557

Joshua Nanberg

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Fox In Another Henhouse

(re: another Bush crony in a position of high responsibility...)

If you don’t know who Mark Everson is, you should, especially this time of year. Everson is the IRS commissioner who wants to allow third parties access to our tax data.

Why this is something that would be considered at all is a total mystery to me. As far as I’m concerned, our tax data is something that should NEVER be accessed by ANYONE except the IRS, especially with fraud and identity theft such a concern in our digital age.

I contacted Arlen Specter’s office some time ago and told him that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES do I want any third party accessing my data. And just to show you how steamed I was, I actually contacted Rick “Man On Dog” Santorum and told him the same thing (and for good measure, I communicated my displeasure to little Mikey Fitzpatrick also).

So what did Everson do before he got his commish job under Dubya? Well, according to the information available here:

Most recently, Mark Everson served as the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget. Prior to that, he was the Controller of the Office of Management and Budget.
OK, that’s not too bad. And going back even further…

Previously, he was Vice President for Finance and Controller for LSG Sky Chefs in Arlington, Texas. From 1988 to 1998, he held several positions with the Pechiney Group, including Senior Vice President and Controller in Paris, France.
LSG Sky Chefs, by the way, is a company that pursues “culinary excellence in airline catering,” and the Pechiney Group’s two core businesses, according to their web site, are aluminum and packaging.

We always knew Dubya is a “private sector” kind of guy, but just for once, I’d like to see someone in his administration who has worked in federal government for more than ten years in one department and has acquired somewhat of an understanding to know how it actually works. Everson also worked for the INS and the U.S. Information Agency.

OK, so I wouldn’t even be mentioning him unless there were issues, right?

Uh huh (as noted here)…

Despite the congressional mandate not to close any of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) during the 2006 tax-filing season, the IRS apparently is continuing to consider such closings as a cost-cutting measure, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said.
And (via Atrios)…

Yesterday (3/29?06), Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) blasted Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Mark Everson on his agency's decision to task private firms with collecting taxes instead of using federal employees to do the job. Taxpayers will lose as much as $35 million dollars a year paying expensive commissions charged by the private tax collection agencies and lose additional money spent on preventing fraud at the firms.
(By the way, take another look at Everson’s photo in the bio from the Progressive Government link. Do I detect a hint of yet another smirk? Must be a Texas thing…).

My sincerest hope is that none of us are audited by Mark Everson's IRS, but if somehow that awful event happens, just grit your teeth and chalk it up to another instance of the “have-nots” getting hosed under Bushco and this blight of a presidency. May we all get through this period and do our very best to make sure we never have to endure anything like this ever again.

Uh Oh, Silvio

As long as Prime Minister Jesus is going to go down in flames electorially, I just wanted to take a moment and say thanks for providing some really entertaining copy. You can never underestimate the value of a good belly laugh during difficult times, and I appreciate the fact that he provided so many over all of these weeks. Also, congratulations to the voters of Italy for tossing out a religiously delusional egomaniac who was accidentally granted electoral office.


Not This Time

I read this and, after separating Dubya’s typical spin, struggled to understand a bit what is going on with the immigration legislation in Congress (and there are demonstrations scheduled all over the place today, including some in PA). Then it occurred to me.

Suppose Harry Reid had signed off on the Senate version before it went to the House-Senate committee. Then the bill comes back from the committee looking nothing like what Reid originally approved, and then he votes against it.

You know what would happen, don’t you?

The Repugs would immediately start crowing, “There goes that flip flopper Harry Reid. He’s just like John Kerry. He voted for the bill before he voted against it. Ha ha.”

If I were Harry Reid, I’d tell Bill Frist and John Boehner that I’m not going to sign a damn thing until I approve the bill in its FINAL FORM out of the House-Senate committee (and not that the Democrats are innocent on this, but there are Republican splits on this issue also, such as the one between Bush and "Bored George" Allen of Virginia).

The Dems have to be as hostile as the Repugs. Yes, I know it’s an ugly spectacle and it turns people off, but cowering and losing has a lot to do with the current mess in which we find ourselves.

Update: Five little words - throw this idiot in jail!

Fool Me Once...

I found this comment from Brad61 over at the T-Nation site regarding Bush and Cheney telling Libby to reveal Valerie Plame’s identity to New York Times reporter Judith Miller:

President Bush, 9/30/03:

"I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

President Bush, 9/30/03:

"If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of. . . . I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business."

President Bush, 10/28/03:

"I'd like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information."

President Bush, 6/10/04:

Reporter: "Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?"

President Bush: "Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts."

President Bush, 10/28/03:

"I want to know the truth. ... I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers."

President Bush, 7/18/05 issue of USA Today:

"If someone committed crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

White House Press Secretary, 9/29/03:

"The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."

White House Press Secretary, 10/7/03:

"Let me answer what the President has said. I speak for the President and I'll talk to you about what he wants . . .If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates, that's not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business."
In true Bushco fashion, they’ve covered themselves legally because the argument is whether or not the President has the right to declassify information, and based on what I’ve read, the president does have that right. The statement over and over again from Bushco is that they want to know if someone leaked classified information. Well then, if Bush’s decided that it was “declassified” already, then the whole argument is about nothing, right?

It’s beyond sickening to see how far Bushco will go with this ruse instead of just telling the truth (which of course would drive “the base” into apoplexy), isn’t it?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tinky Winky Goes Gangsta

Hey, at least he didn't shoot an elderly hunting companion in the face, right (and I was kind of amused by this).

Apparently, according to the news reports from Yahoo and Comcast's The Fan, the Tinky Winky dolls had been recalled six years ago, but this one may have been resold.

(Here's the link to The Fan on Comcast.)

I know I shouldn't bust on this show because it really is good for kids from the age of about 1 1/2 or so to about 3 or 4, and especially because Jerry Falwell was mad at it because he thought Tinky Winky was gay or something (hey, if Falwell didn't like it, it must be good), but any adult watching this for long hours with a child is eventually going to get a bit addled in the head (maybe it explains some things about me I guess - insert free shot here).

Besides, I always wondered if Laa Laa and Dipsy had a 'thang going on. Dipsy, by the way, was the only kids TV character I ever saw whose complexion changed over time; he got progressively darker. When the series began, he was lighter skinned than the Mayflower ancestors reunion at a New Greenwich, CT country club, and when the series ended, he looked like a 'rasta.

Well, I wish Tinky Winky all the best. Good luck beating the rap.

By the way, the "Real Time Update" is a great big question mark this week. I'll try my best to get to it.

Update: I just found out the show will be off this week, so I should be able to crank something out in a few days for last week (the show with Ben Affleck and Cynthia McKinney, etc.).