Friday, July 29, 2005



The big news this week on the creation and development
of an American Empire was the official announcement
that the War on Terror is over.

It’s always been called the Global War on Terror. (The
G -WOT) Even the medals say "for service in the Global
War on Terror."

But Administration officials now say that phrase may
have outlived its usefulness, because it focused
attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the nation's
senior military officers this week switched to have
spoken of "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism"
(The “G-SAVE!”)

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he
had "objected to the use of the term 'war on
terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then
you think of people in uniform as being the solution."

He said the threat instead should be defined as
violent extremists, with the recognition that "terror
is the method they use."

Although the military is heavily engaged in the
mission now, he said, future efforts require "all
instruments of our national power, all instruments of
the international communities' national power."

Believe it or not, he said the solution is "more

Excuse me, wasn’t this the Kerry campaign platform?

I can’t object, because I’ve been saying for years
that we are not at war with terror – indeed, we are
not at war with anything, except maybe the Taliban,
and if we were, it would not be with terror.

Rather, we are engaged in a focused campaign against
those would violate both domestic American and
international law in committing acts of murder; and
more generally we must formulate a policy to deal with
the problem of people, around the world, who see
wanton violence as a solution to their problems.

And in that vein, it is vitally important that we not
be seen as contributing to the problem, but being part
of the overall solution.

This is why I felt it so important to support the
weapons inspections process, regardless of what they

This is why I felt so strongly that abandoning the
inspections, the UN, the Security Council, and both
the domestic and international legal process was such
a mistake, and that launching a preemptive invasion of
Iraq – an action both Violent and Extreme, I might add
– was so very, very wrong.

We instantly lost not just the moral high ground, but
control of the process, the ability to shape events to
our values.

When I object to the invasion of Iraq, when I point
out the problems at Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo, and
the Patriot Act, it’s not because I’m a pacifist, or
want to blame America first.

It’s not even because I worked at the UN, or have
legal training.

It’s not, in the final analysis because I’m a civil
rights buff, or find the abuses sickening, or am
concerned too many people have been killed in Iraq for
no reason, or that our leaders have lied, or even that
my definition of patriotism is supporting the
Constitution, not the President; the nation when it’s
right, and when it’s wrong, pointing that out; and
hoping we live to up to our professed American ideals,
although I acknowledge that’s part of it.

No, the real reason I argue as I do is that our
tactics, as they currently exist, are entirely

A fireman does not win his struggle by setting more
fires. A policeman does teach criminals a lesson by
committing crimes. You can’t fix your computer by
hitting it with a hammer or throwing it out the
window. It may feel good, but your problems will be
worse than when you started.

And you don’t win a struggle against murderous,
violent extremists by breaking the law, bombing
civilians and abandoning civil rights.

It just doesn't work.



John Roberts is not making it easy for me. I want to
like him. I want to let this one go, and just get it
over with, and move on to indicting Karl Rove.

But then he has to get all slippery and do the one
thing that could derail is chances. Come across as

Then there’s “Newsweek,” which is getting worse by the
week, so to speak. First “Newsweek” reported as fact
that Roberts was never a member of the “Federalist
Society” a well-know conservative legal group.

Well, even though John Boy said couldn’t remember ever
joining, he was listed as an Executive Officer in
their 1998 Directory. Newsweek printed a retraction.

Then “Newsweek” mocked "Liberal bloggers who floated
conspiracy theories," (hey!) about Roberts'
involvement with the legal effort in 2000 to stop the
Florida recount, stating flat out the allegations
"aren't true."

The magazine reported, "Roberts's role in the case of
Bush v. Gore was minimal, according to colleagues who
worked with him. Roberts did briefly go to Florida to
be on hand as a legal consultant, but he was
preoccupied with working on the adoption of a baby

so, it must be true.

The Miami Herald reports: "U.S. Supreme Court nominee
John Roberts played a broader behind-the-scenes role
for the Republican camp in the aftermath of the 2000
election than previously reported -- as legal
consultant, lawsuit editor and prep coach for
arguments before the nation's highest court, according
to the man who drafted him for the job."

Roberts did not go "briefly" to Florida to be on hand
as a legal GOP consultant. He camped out in
Tallahassee out for nearly ten days.

It gets worse.

“According to people who attended a Senate meeting,
Roberts was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) what
he would do if the law required a ruling that his
church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout

Renowned for his unflappable style in oral argument,
Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources
in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he
would probably have to recuse himself.”

If that’s true, he is immediately disqualified from
sitting on the Supreme Court.

I want to give him every benefit of the doubt, but if
he keeps this up, his “golden boy” image will be


Sunday Talk Shows


I caught the ever-beloved-by-the media John McCain on
ABC’s “This Week,” on Sunday.

Should Karl Rove lose his job? “I don’t know the
answer to that.”

Isn’t the law clear? "I don't know what the definition
of negligent."

But most of all he said, he “just doesn’t know,” and
“Just doesn’t understand” why Judith Miller is in
jail. He said it in that altar-boy way of his, as if
good, decent, wonderful Judith Miller had been pulled
off the street by an evil man, and poor, helpless John
McCain was powerless to stop the bad independent

How about this:

Judith Miller is very likely complicit in the smearing
of Joe Wilson, and the person she is protecting is

A friend of Miller’s has said that Judy Miller spoke
about Joe Wilson, it was with “a passionate and heated
disgust that went beyond the political and included an
irrelevant bit of deeply personal innuendo about him,
her mouth twisting in hatred.”


Meanwhile, on NBC, Tim Russert redefined “awkward” by
letting his guests speculate for several minutes about
what Scooter Libby may have told the grad jury – about
what Tim Russert told HIM, and what Tim testified to.
Russert finally just said, regarding his own testimony
before the grand jury,

“But I was asked what I said. I did not know.”

That’s all he said. I still have no idea what he




Speaking of “Meet the Press”, get this:

MR. RUSSERT: “So you would view it as inappropriate
to ask for his [Judge Roberts[ work product while he
worked in the White House counsel's office?”

MR. THOMPSON: “Well, as I say, it's--in large part,
it appears to be ATTORNEY-CLIENT information and
things, that--conversations that he has with his
priest, conversations he has with his doctor or his
wife or his client are matters that are off-limits,

This is crazy on two different levels.

1. Conversations with his doctor and priest are
confidential because of what HE told THEM, not the
other way around. Way to confuse the issue.

2. When Roberts worked in the White House Counsel’s
office, his client was the American people, not the

If Bush wants his own criminal lawyer, he can pay for
it himself. Actually, with regard to Valerie Plame,
he already has.

Smart move, by the way. On "Law & Order," they call
it "lawyering up." Fred Thompson ought to know - when
he's not on "Meet The Press," shilling for the
President, he's an actor on the show.

See how I tie it all together in the end?




What is “Apophis”?

(A) A new anti-anxiety drug

(B) The latest sensational racehorse

(C) The search engine which will blow away Google

(D) The name of James Cameron’s next film.


The asteroid that will hit the Earth in 2036.

“Based on available data, astronomers give Apophis - a
1,000-foot wide chunk of space debris - a 1-in-15,000
chance of a 2036 strike. Yet if the asteroid hits,
they add, damage to infrastructure alone could exceed
$400 billion.”

But this solves Social Security, right?




Could the news get worse for those caught up in this

Oh, yes.

The big claim now is that they didn’t know that she
was undercover, or maybe she wasn’t really undercover.
(She even drove to work! Every day!)

Now that excuse is gone.

The CIA spokesman Bill Harlow testified last year
before a grand jury about conversations he had with
Novak at least three days before the column was

He said he WARNED Novak, in the STRONGEST terms he was
permitted to use without revealing classified
information, that Wilson's wife had NOT AUTHORIZED the
mission and that if he did write about it, her NAME

Harlow said that after Novak's call, he checked
Plame's status and CONFIRMED that she was an
UNDERCOVER operative.

He said he called Novak back to REPEAT that the story
Novak had related to him was WRONG and that Plame's
name should NOT be used.

He did not tell Novak directly that she was undercover
because that was classified.

So, Novak was warned several times not reveal this
information, that the story was wrong in any case, and
he prints it anyway?

What a jerk.




The Pentagon is facing its worst enlistment crisis
since the all-volunteer army began in 1973. The
shortfall in manpower is so bad that the army is
taking people with criminal records and pending
criminal charges, and offering them enlistment bonuses
ranging from $14,400 to $20,000 in addition to as much
as $70,000 towards college loan repayments.

To retain soldiers already enlisted, the Army was
forced to offer as much as $150,000 to some soldiers
in key areas as a means of retaining them. The
Pentagon also asked Congress to lift the age of
military recruits to 42, a full six years older than
it had been three years earlier.

Despite all of these inducements, admitted Lt. Gen.
Franklin L. Hagenbeck at a Congressional hearing, "We
will likely miss recruiting missions for all three




How many killed or captured suspects have described so
far by U.S. media to be Al Qaeda's "Number 3 Man"?

A) 1

B) 2

C) 3

D) 4

Answer: D


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

How Many Iraqis Work for the Republican National Committee Anyway?

Department of Defense Press Release:
Date: July 13

"'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. 'They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.'"

Department of Defense Press Release:
Date: July 24

"'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified."

Bush and the Culture of Truth

Looks like the American People do not believe that Bush is in touch with the Culture of Truth....

July 26, 2005


"Did Bush deliberately mislead country on Iraqi WMD?"

YES:   51%

NO:   47%

Fun With Sentence Completion

Complete this sentence from a story on today's CNN website:

" ______________________ was still panting, drooling and not obeying commands,

despite ______________________________."

(A) "Scott McClellan" .... despite "urging from Jeff Gannon"

(B) "Ahmed Chalabi"... despite "begging from Donald Rumsfeld"

(C) "Karl Rove" ..... despite "repeated visits to Judith Miller"

(D) "George Bush" .... despite "promises he could use the Slip N Slide after the meeting with Prime Minister"


"At a 4-H dog show in northern Ohio, Madalyn Lynch's boxer was" .... despite "the giant fan and ice packs."

It was about the heat wave.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Question of the Day

The Dallas County Sherriff is usual. In what way?

The Sherriff is:

(A) A Democrat

(B) A Woman

(C) Hispanic

(D) A Lesbian

Answer: All of the above.

No, really.

Her name is Lupe Valdez, and she elected Dallas County Sheriff last November. You can read more about her at the Daily Kos. (Thanks)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Question of the Day

Students, of course, blog. But should college professors blog?

Maybe not.

Michael Gee, a journalist for 17 years at the Boston Herald currently teaches journalism at Boston University. What did he say about one of his students on a Boston web site?

That she was:

(A) “Very bright”

(B) “Had a lot of potential”

(C) “Asked good questions”

(D) “A talented writer”

(E) “One of his best students”

(F) “Incredibly hot."

Answer: F

That’s the grade he got, too. He was fired.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sunday Talk Shows

Recap of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows:

Meet The Press:

Ken Mehlman, short version:

"America's desperate attempts to prevent a nuclear weapon from being detonated on an American city had to be ruined because Joe Wilson later appeared in Vanity Fair."

I'm paraphrasing, but that's basically it....

Friday, July 15, 2005

Question of the Week


Fox News had an expert named Walid Shoebat on this week
to talk about the London bombings.

How did they identify him?

(A) "Terrorism Expert"

(B) "Muslim Scholar"

(C) "Explosives Engineer"

(D) "Professor of Trauma and Psychology"

(E) "Former Terrorist"

Answer: E



I am having fun watching uncharacteristic display of
ham handed political spin coming from the Right. I
think it’s a result of that old adage “a lawyer who
defends himself has a fool for a client.” Rove is
defending himself on this one. If it were anyone but
Karl Rove, Rove would’ve thrown him or her to the
wolves to spare the President. Clearly he’s got a
conflict of interest.

Here’s Bush in 2003:

Q: “Given recent developments in the CIA leak case,
particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with
the investigators, do you still stand by what you said
several months ago, do you stand by your pledge to
FIRE anyone found to have done so?”


Karl Rove, Swirling Vortex of Scandal


A few thoughts on why they can’t win.

First of all, they did something really bad, and they
didn’t think they’d get caught, and they did.

As a result, their stories are all over the map,
contradicting each other and sometimes themselves.
Soon, they’ll have to start attacking each other to
avoid being tagged with prison time.

Their basic story, though, is that at heart, this is a
partisan smear of Karl Rove. Wilson, his wife
Valerie, the CIA, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are
all conspiring to frame Karl Rove.

But here’s the problem. There’s a reason that the
Dems lost the last election. No one thinks they’re
smart enough to pull this off.

As one person put it:

“Calling Democrats wimps for 20 years has its effects.
It means that when they actually do say something
people automatically assume that they aren't acting
out of political courage. They assume that there is no
risk involved. If John Kerry is calling for Rove to
resign, he must have done something wrong.”

Right. Ken Mehlman was just on TV saying “Everyone
knows that Karl Rove has the highest ethical

Ha! Ha!

Another blogger put it:

“Sorry, you can't go around telling everyone who'll
listen that Karl Rove is a cross between Sun Tzu and
Machiavelli for years on end and then suddenly portray
him as a simple, straight shooting public servant.
Only the most ardent Neanderthals are going to buy

Also, they’ve already admitted this is really bad:

Look at this exchange:


“Don't you think it's more serious than Watergate,
when you think about it?”


“I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the
identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's
abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a


“It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?”


“It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world
implications of it. It's not just politics.”



When Former President George Bush found out that one
his campaign aides was leaking sensitive information
to the press, he ordered his fired immediately and
never let work for him again.

The journalist was Bob Novak.

The aide was Karl Rove.


The Karl Rove Scandal: A Summary for Beginners


In February of 2002, a few months after 9/11 and more
than a year before we went to war, the Bush
administration was searching for ways to justify going
to war (sorry, it’s true).

One avenue they were pursuing was the idea that Saddam
Hussein was trying to buy uranium from the country of
Niger, where they have a lot of it.

So someone from the White House asked the CIA about
it, and they decided to send someone to Niger. A
covert CIA operative named Valerie Plame, who works in
the department of the CIA devoted to preventing the
spread of weapons of mass destruction, mentioned that
her husband, Joe Wilson, was an expert in such issues
and was available.

Who is Joe Wilson?

Joe Wilson was career foreign service officer who
served from 1976 to 1998. In 1990, he was the U.S.
Ambassador to Iraq. After Hussein invaded Kuwait, and
war was in the offing, he was trapped in Iraq. While
sheltering more than a hundred Americans at the U.S.
Embassy and diplomatic residences, Saddam Hussein
threatened to execute by hanging anyone who didn't
turn all foreigners over to him.

Joe Wilson defied Hussein by showing up to the
confrontation, with reporters watching, with a noose
tied around his neck.

He boldly stated, "If you want to execute me, I'll
bring my own damm rope."

Saddam was intimated and backed down. All the
Americans were let go.

This toughness impressed President George H.W. Bush,
who called Wilson a "truly inspiring" diplomat who
exhibited "courageous leadership" by facing down
Hussein and helping to gain freedom for the Americans
before the 1991 war began.

He wrote in a personal note:

"Dear Joe — Both Barbara and I appreciated your note
of Jan. 25. Even more, we appreciate your service to
your country and your courageous leadership when you
were in Baghdad. Good Luck. Many Thanks. George Bush"

The Secretary of State wrote:

"To Joe Wilson, with deep appreciation for your
outstanding service to the nation — and with warmest
personal regards. Jim Baker"

After that, he was President George H. W. Bush's
ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé & Príncipe; then,
under President Bill Clinton, he helped direct Africa
policy for the National Security Council.

So he had vast experience in Africa AND with Hussein’s
Iraq. So Joe Wilson is a genuine American hero and
was obviously qualified to go to Niger and discover if
Saddam was seeking uranium.



So the CIA asked Joe Wilson to go on this mission to
Niger, with the full backing of the United States
government. All his expenses would be paid for the
U.S., but he would making the trip free of charge. He
would be paid nothing. He would do it out of sheer
patriotism. This is a concept that is difficult for
some people to grasp to this day.

Of course, he got a free vacation to Niger out of it,
but, bear in mind, the Niger Uranium Mine District,
is not exactly the Non-Stop All Night Party Town you may have heard it

First he met with the American Ambassador to Niger,
who had already debunked the idea that Saddam was
trying to buy uranium. Long story short, that’s what
he found too.

Hussein had not attempted, and certainly not
succeeded, in buying uranium from Africa. (There’s on
allegation of a sort-of attempt, but that’s it.)

He didn’t file a written report, but his findings, he
said, were almost certainly given to people higher up,
including the Vice President’s office.

There the matter ended until September of 2002, when
the British began insisting Hussein could launch an
attack with his uranium missiles in 45 minutes, and
Bush cited the British in his State of the Union
Speech of January of 2003.

Bush said “The British government has learned that
Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities
of uranium from Africa.”

This statement was based on documents that later
turned out to be forged.

Then we went to war.

Then, on July 6, 2003, Joe Wilson wrote a now famous
editorial in the New York Times titled “What I Didn’t
Find in Africa.”

In a very low-key way, he described what he found, and
the fact that the Vice President and President may
have based the decision to go to war on mistaken

He wrote: “More than 200 American soldiers have lost
their lives in Iraq already. We have a duty to ensure
that their sacrifice came for the right reasons.”

Since then, of course, more than 1,500 American
soldiers have been killed.

He was also no peacenik. He wrote in the op-ed:

“I was convinced before the war that the threat of
weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam
Hussein required a vigorous and sustained
international response to disarm him. Iraq possessed
and had used chemical weapons; it had an active
biological weapons program and quite possibly a
nuclear research program — all of which were in
violation of United Nations resolutions. Having
encountered Mr. Hussein and his thugs in the run-up to
the Persian Gulf war of 1991, I was only too aware of
the dangers he posed.”



Then all hell broke loose. The White House read the
op-ed and freaked out. He practically suggested that
the White House exaggerated the threat from Iraq to
justify the case for war!

This was in July, and we were supposed to have found
massive amounts of weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq. None were found.

First, the White House admitted it was wrong:

Ari Fleischer said: "The president's statement was
based on the predicate of the yellow cake [uranium]
from Niger. So given the fact that the report on the
yellow cake did not turn out to be accurate, that is
reflective of the president's broader statement."

On July 11, George Tenet admitted that Bush’s
statement had no factual basis, and boasted that he
had kept similar statements out of two speeches Bush
gave earlier.

Meanwhile, the Slime and Defend Machine began to kick

Wilson had to personally destroyed, just like Al Gore,
John McCain, Paul O’Neill, Richard Clarke, all
honorable men who had the misfortune to tell the truth
in a way that might stand in the way George Bush
acquiring more power.

That same day, Tenet made his admission, July 11, Karl
Rove spoke with Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper on,
I swear this is true, “Double Super Secret
Background,” telling him that Joe Wilson couldn’t be
trusted, that “Joe Wilson’s wife” was an operative in
WMD at the CIA, and that she had suggested he go on
the mission to Niger.

That same week, someone high up in the administration,
possible Rove, maybe not, told 5 other reporters the
same thing, possibly including Robert Novak, who
rushed a story out stating that Wilson couldn’t be
believed because, quote:

“Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife,
Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of
mass destruction. Two senior administration officials
told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger
to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its
counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and
asked his wife to contact him. 'I will not answer any
question about my wife,' Wilson told me.”

-- Robert Novak, Washington Post.

In a later column Novak said he included this
paragraph "because it looked like the missing
explanation of an otherwise incredible choice by the
CIA for its mission." After all, he wrote: “I was
curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill
Clinton's National Security Council (NSC)” would be
chosen for the mission.

He claimed that: “Wilson had become a vocal opponent
of President Bush's policies in Iraq after
contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and
John Kerry in this one.”

And he wrote that: “During a long conversation with a
senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was
assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been
sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the
suggestion of one of its employees, his wife.”



So now you know what happened. Bob Novak revealed the
identity of an operative in the CIA, which is a crime,
which led directly to the current investigation.

None of this would be that big a deal except that this
week Matt Cooper of Time Magazine testified before a
Grand Jury that Karl Rove personally told him Valerie
Plame’s identity.

We all thought it would never come out, and if it DID
come out, it would turn to be someone like Scooter
Libby, Cheney’s Chief of Staff. But Karl Rove!
Bush’s buddy since the 1970s! Isn’t he too smart for

So Republicans and Right Wing nutjobs have been
pushing the most outrageous lies and ridiculous
arguments for the past week, to justify Karl Rove’s
quite possibly treasonous behavior.

I’ll start with Valerie Plame Wilson, since it goes to
the heart of why Karl Rove is so evil.

“Valerie Plame Wilson was not a covert agent, so no
law was broken.”

Even this were true, I take it for granted revealing
the status of non-covert agents is still pretty evil.
But this is false. In fact, the CIA says she was
covert. The prosecutor believes she was covert, or he
wouldn’t be bothering.

And she was in fact, MORE covert than the average
operative. Some agents travel with a diplomatic
passport – they can’t be arrested where they travel.
But she didn’t. She she went out in public and
traveled with an ordinary passport. Like James Bond
or that girl from “Alias,” the MOST covert agents
travel as ordinary people, traveling from city to
city, in her case, investigating the spread of nuclear
materials. If Valerie Plame had ever been caught
spying in another country, the U.S. would have
disavowed all knowledge of her, and she could have
been executed.

Valerie Plame pretended to work for an American
corporation, called Brewster-Jennings & Associates. It
was a actually a CIA front company, and she had a
network of informants all around the world helping he
spy on people and governments allowing for the illicit
sale of materials of weapons of mass destruction.

She was trying to stop bad people from exploding a
nuclear bomb on an American city.

Now we see what a scurrilous weasel, what a loathsome,
anti-American, power-mad freak Rove is.

When he outed Valerie Plame, he not only ruined her
ability to ever fight terrorism, he destroyed anyone
who ever worked at Brewster-Jennings, AND all of her
contacts around the world AND ALL the contacts of
ANYONE who ever worked at Brewster-Jennings, AND ALL
of THEIR contacts.

All a terrorist, or corrupt government has to do is
say, “Hey, Valerie Plame was in Ukraine last year.
And who did she meet with? Let’s see – Boris in the
Ministry of Defense? He met with a CIA officer?
Maybe we should have a chat with Boris!”

Bye, bye, Boris.


The other lies are so stupid, I’m enjoying watching
the spin, because they are so idiotic and so easily

Some claims you may hear:

“Joe Wilson is a liar.”

Sometimes this is based on the idea that Wilson
claimed that Dick Cheney personally sent him to Niger,
and Rove was trying to “correct” that by saying, “no,
it was it was his undercover wife.”

First of all, it wouldn’t justify outing a CIA agent,
but Wilson never made that claim, and if he had,
Cheney could have issued a simple statement, saying “I
didn’t send Wilson to Niger,” and I might add, it
doesn’t matter who sent him, anyway.

Another version of this is that Wilson “lied” because
he didn’t state in his original op-ed that his wife
sent him to Niger.

Seriously, this is making the rounds on Fox News. He
wife DIDN’T send him to Niger, but even if she did, it
doesn’t affect finding regarding the uranium claim,
and it STILL wouldn’t justify revealing his wife’s
covert status.

(Which they know, which is why it was on “Double Super
Secret Background”!)

“Plame was singlehandedly responsible for getting
Wilson the unpaid job in Niger.”

This utterly ridiculous on its face, and even if it
were true, so what? What is this meant to prove? Or
is it an attempt to smear Joe Wilson without
substance? Yeah, I think so.

“Wilson is inept.”

Whatever, see above.

“Plame, Wilson, and the entire CIA are driven by
irrational hatred of the Bush administration.”

Seriously, this is newest argument. I think they may
finally lose the American people with this one. A
vast conspiracy involving all the hippie weirdos at
the CIA. One that, apparently, involves George Tenet,
Ari Fleischer, Saddam Hussein, and hiding tons of
weapons of mass destruction.

“Iraq was, in fact, seeking to acquire uranium from

Like hell it was. And irrelevant.

“Rove didn't know Valerie Plame's name.”

Not that it matters, (he called her “Joe Wilson’s
wife”) but we learned just THIS MORNING that he did.

“Rove didn’t use her name.”

This is funniest one. He said, “Joe Wilson’s wife,”
which is good enough for me. But he revealed her
identity. That’s all.

“Rove didn't realize Plame was covert.”

This is possible, but only in the sense that he didn’t
“Know, Know” if you know what I mean. He “knew” she
worked for the CIA, he “thought” she had enough power
to send Joe to Iraq by herself, he “knew” she worked
on weapons of mass destruction, but he gave her name
to the whole world because the ghost of Lee Atwater
told him to.
You think the American people will buy that?

“Plame's covert status wasn't protected well by the

Yeah, it’s their fault!

“Wilson identified his wife on his web site.”

It was her identity as a CIA operative, not his wife,
that was once a secret.

“She appeared in public, even on tv!”

He existence was not secret, her status was.

“Novak never identified her as a covert CIA agent,
just a CIA agent. Liberals outed her as covert

They’re kidding, with this one, I assume.

“It was just a short phone call.”

Well, why not a little treason to end a conversation?

“Rove really wanted to speak about welfare reform.”

What’s that cologne called, Mr. Rove? “Desperation.”

“Wilson went on too many TV shows, and wrote a book.”

Laugh all you want, Wolf Blizter called this a
“serious allegation.”

“Rove is the real whistleblower – he’s a hero who
leaked Plame's identity in the interests of good

This is the “Wall Street Journal” stance. Sure, poor
victimized Karl Rove – he outs one undercover CIA
officer to protect Dick Cheney from real allegations
that he used forged documents to take America to war
by not mentioning her name in one short phone call
about welfare reform and he’s tagged for life.


GOP: Valerie Plame Suggested Invasion of Iraq

According to sources who have briefed on the matter, it was CIA operative Valerie Plame, also known in Washington by her code name, “Wilson’s Wife,” who suggested invading Iraq in 2003.

“It’s all her fault,” said the person who asked to remain anonymous because “rational people might read this.” “We would never have invaded Iraq and gotten into that damm mess if it weren’t for her and her meddling husband,” he said.

Apparently Ms. Plame wrote a memo in 2002 urging an invasion of Iraq. Neither Mr. Bush nor President Cheney authorized the memo, and never knew her name, but somehow a declaration of war found its way into Bush’s Saturday radio address.

“By then we were committed,” said the source, who spoke on double secret sauce background, “the U.S. would look bad if we’d backed out then.”

Republicans believe that the memo was a partisan liberal trick designed to make the President look foolish. “She’s a liberal, so she gets the President to launch a war in the Middle East, even though he’s against nation building, and it turns into a total disaster, and she and her liberal friends and liberal husband laugh it up,” said the anonymous source.

“It’s not fair,” said another source. “They took advantage of Bush when he was at his most vulnerable, and now we’re in a quagmire. She’s a liberal peacenik at their most despicable, whatever her name is.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

For the Love of America, Fire Karl Rove

"Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."

- George H.W. Bush, April 26, 1999.

Former President Bush -- you know, W's father -- once caught someone one his staff leaking to media. When he found out, he had the guy fired, and he never worked for him again.

That man was Karl Rove.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Karl Rove Parsing

What Karl Rove is really saying:

"It depends how you identify 'identity'."

Karl Rove Must Go

Juan Cole on Karl Rove

"Rove can only have thought it would discredit Wilson to associate his missiion with the CIA if he viewed the CIA as the enemy. This is the Richard Perle line. If Wilson was sent to Niger on the recommendation of a CIA operative, then he was not an objective ex-ambassador but a CIA plant of some sort, attempting to undermine the Bush administration and the military occupation of Iraq."

"This theory is that of a crackpot. The actions are those of a traitor. What is the difference between Robert Hansen revealing key secret information for money to the Soviets and Karl Rove revealing it to the proliferators for political gain for the Republican Party and the Bush White House? Both are traitors who traded secrets for gain."

"A man who would do what Rove did should not be in the White House in any capacity. And no person who tolerates a man like Rove in the White House should be commander in chief of American security."

-- Juan Cole

Friday, July 08, 2005

Eyewitness Accounts in London


Where is Edward R. Murrow when you need him?

At least 50 people were killed and 700 injured yesterday in London.

Some eyewitness accounts:

"All of sudden there was this massive huge bang. It was absolutely deafening and all the windows shattered. The glass did not actually fall out of the windows, it just cracked.

The train came to a grinding halt, everyone fell off their seats. There were just loads of people screaming and the carriages filled with smoke. You couldn't really breathe and you couldn't see what was happening. There were some people in real trouble. "


“I was being twisted and thrown to the ground. I thought I wasn't going to get out of this - whatever it was - I just didn't know. I thought that was it when it went all so dark. Then I touched my hand to my face and felt the blood and knew it wasn't all over yet.”


“Everybody was absolutely terrified. You could hear the screaming from the carriages in front, because that was where the explosion had happened, and there was lots of injured people there. Nobody knew what was going on.

People were trying to open the doors and the windows to let the smoke out and were rocking the train, which
already felt like it had come off its rails. So we were panicking that the train was going to get knocked over.

It was just general chaos. I thought I was going to die when I saw the flames. I thought we were going to get engulfed by the flames or get overwhelmed by the smoke.

I really didn't think we were going to get out. It hasn't quite sunk in, I think. It's the kind of thing
where you see it on the news, but don't expect to be in it - and I was in it and it was horrible.”


“There was a huge "boom" outside. I knew it was a bomb straight away. There was that smell of an explosion
that accompanied it. I saw lots of debris fly past the window, including one huge chunk. It must have been the roof of the
“I was walking along. There was a crowd of people around the bus. The next thing I knew I was on the floor. There was shed loads of glass raining down. Someone fell on me and someone fell on him. For a moment I thought I was going to be trampled. I picked myself up and everyone was running. There was glass everywhere. I saw the bus ripped out at the back
... it couldn't have been anything else but a terrorist attack."

“I was on the bus in front and heard an incredible bang, I turned round and half the double-decker bus was in the air.
It was a massive explosion and there were papers and half a bus flying through the air. There must be a lot of people dead as all the buses were packed, they had been turning people away from the tube stops."

“There was a big bang. After the smoke went away I realised there was a double decker bus exploded. People were running towards me screaming and crying. I saw at least five people jump from the top deck of the bus. Half of it was blown away. They were jumping onto the street to escape. It was such a big explosion and the bus was packed
because the tube was closed. People were covered with
dust and debris. I didn't see any blood.”
"The train didn't get very far out of the station when there was an explosion. Loads of glass showered down over everyone, the glass in the doors in between all the carriages shattered. There was a lot of smoke and a lot of dust, there were some areas of panic, I could hear screams. People were trying to work out what happened. A lot of people were covered in blood."
"The lights went out, and with the smoke, we couldn't breathe, and we sort of cushioned each other during the impact because the compartment was so full. It felt like a dream, it was surreal.

It was just horrendous, it was like a disaster movie, you can't imagine being somewhere like that, you just want to get out. I kept closing my eyes and thinking of outside."
"There was a loud bang and the train ground to a halt. People started panicking, screaming and crying as smoke came into the carriage. Everyone was terrified when it happened. One guy was being tended outside on the track. His clothes were torn off and he seemed pretty badly burned."
"People were screaming and shouting and saying things like I'm dying, I'm dying, please help me. I think I saw somebody who was dead it was just indescribable."
"I was on the train and there was a fire outside the carriage window and then there was a sudden jolt which shook us forward.

The explosion was behind me. There was really hard banging from the carriage next door to us. That was where it happened. A carriage was split in two, all jagged, and without a roof, just open. I saw bodies, I think."

"I saw three bodies on the track. I couldn't look, it was so horrific. I think one was moving but I'm not too sure. I couldn't look, it was so horrific . There was a massive explosion, smoke and flames. My carriage must have been two away from where it was. The middle of the train was blown out and there were people on the track."



Miles O'Brien, CNN:
“Let's get started with Jeevan Deol, who is a witness
to the bombings yesterday and also a Muslim scholar in
London and happened to be right near where the double
decker bus blew up. I want to ask you about what you
saw, but first, I am curious what the reaction within
the Muslim community is this day after those attacks.”

Jeevan Deol:
“Well, I'm afraid Miles I'm going to have to correct
you. I am not a Muslim, so I think I'm going to have
to pass on that question.”

“I'm sorry, I thought it was said you're a Muslim --
you're NOT a Muslim scholar?”

“No, I work on terrorism and security issues in the
University of London.”

–– CNN, July 8, 2005

Could you pretend to be? Just for a little while?



As seen on CNN, July 7:


Um, yes.



“The other thing is, of course, people have -- you
know, the market was down. It was down yesterday, and
you know, you may have had some bargain-hunting going

“I mean, my FIRST THOUGHT when I heard -- just on a
personal basis, when I heard there had been this
ATTACK and I saw the futures this morning, which were
really in the tank, I thought, "HMMMM, TIME TO BUY."

"Others may have thought that as well. But you never
know about the markets."

–– Brit Hume on Fox News, July 7, 2005.

His first thought, really?

Remember when Brit was correspondent for ABC?

Thank god he’s found a home in psychoville.




“This is his [British Prime Minister Tony Blair]
second address in the last hour. First to the people
of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic
Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the
second was African aid. And that was the first time
since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know
now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's
important for them all to be together."

"I think that works to OUR ADVANTAGE, in the Western
world's ADVANTAGE, for people to experience something
like this together, just 500 miles from where the
attacks have happened.”

–– Brian Kilmeade, Fox News, July 7, 2005.

They’re always thinking at Fox, I’ll give ‘em that.


“All day long people have been saying to me, "Wasn't it great they didn't pick Paris?" And I've been saying, "No, no, no." Paris was exactly the right place to pick and the Olympic committee screwed up.”

“Why? Simple. It would have been a three-week period where we wouldn't have had to worry about terrorism. First, the French think they are so good at dealing with the Arab world that they would have gone out and paid every terrorist off. And things would have been calm.”

“Or another way to look at it is the French are already up to their eyeballs in terrorists. The French hide them in miserable slums, out of sight of the rich people in Paris."

"So it would have been a TREAT, actually, to watch the French dealing with the problem of their own homegrown Islamist TERRORISTS living in France already.”

“But, alas, they picked London. I like the Brits. I like London. I hate to see them going through all this garbage when it would have BEEN JUST FINE in Paris.”

–– Anchorman John Gibson, Fox News Web site, July 6,
2005. (Before the London bombings took place).

Let me repeat that:

Terrorism, bombings, bloodshed, murder, are “JUST




Michelle Wie, finished runner up to Annika Sorenstam at the LPGA Classic last week, a major akin to the Masters or the
U.S. Open for the men. Not bad for an amateur.

Oh, and she's 15 years old.

No woman has made the cut in a men's golfing event in 60 years.

No boy that young has ever done it, or could hope to, in my experience.

But Michelle Wie almost made the cut, playing against professional men at the John Deere Classic today.

"It's pretty phenomenal,'' said J.L. Lewis, the early second-round leader at 13-under 129 who could wind up being a trivia question.

"She's 15 years old. Let's face it. Has there ever been anybody that age, man or woman, that could play in a tour event at age 15? I don't know. Maybe there is, but I don't think they've ever done it. Obviously she can go out and break par. More power to her. It's pretty impressive.''

Annika Sorenstam tried to make the cut at the Colonial in 2003, an event she picked specifically because it played to her strengths. She didn't make it.

Checking the leaderboard, I see she tied with Nick Price, winner of four majors and 1994 Player of the Year; and she finished ahead of Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters Champion; Kirk Triplett, one of the top players on tour; Aaron Baddeley, star of those tv commercials and the Next Big Thing; Billy Andrade, winner of $900,000 this year so far; Lucas Glover, winner of over $1 million dollars in 2005 so far; and believe it or not, David Duval, the man who dethroned Tiger Woods in 1999 to become the #1 golfer in the world, the man who shot the lowest score in golf history recently, and who won the 2001 British

Oh, well, there's always next year. And next year, and next year.....


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Somebody's Lying

In the midst of all this Valerie Plame business, and the jailing of journalists, it's worth remembering one key point:

One of George Bush's top aides is lying to him.

Who is it?

Friday, July 01, 2005

We're Playing By the Enemy's Rules


It’s funny, last week I was going to write that the
big battle of the summer would be over the U.S.
Supreme Court. Although I admit, I was thinking of

O’Connor was the one who, when it was announced that
Al Gore had elected President in 2000, said, “this is
terrible.” I guess she was thinking of leaving and
couldn’t. But then the Supreme Court put Bush in the
White House and she stayed until now.

But she’s leaving, and since she really is “the swing
justice,” the battle to replace her will be fierce.

I won’t predict who Bush will nominate. I can’t read
his mind and don’t care to learn how. Besides, as one
liberal blogger said, “every time I write about Bush
and say, ‘but he wouldn’t really do that, would he?’
he goes and does exactly that.”

Knowing Bush, though, he won’t shy away from
controversy, and it will probably be someone
relatively young and possibly Hispanic.

If it isn’t a woman, then we’ll have 8 men and 1 woman
on our highest court, which seems odd for a country
where more than half the voters are female.

Suppose 6 or 7 justices were women? What do you think
the odds would be then of overturning Roe v. Wade?

Oh well, ladies, you can’t have everything.


If you think it’s been a while since we’ve had a
vacancy, you’re right.

On February 3, 1812, Justice Joseph Story was sworn in
as Associate Justice. For the next eleven years and
one month, the same 9 Justices would serve together on
the Supreme Court until Justice Brockholst Livingston
died on March 18, 1823 -- the longest time without a
change in our country's history.

On August 3, 1994, Justice Stephen Breyer was sworn in
as Associate Justice. Since then, the same nine
Justices have served together on the Supreme Court
and, on September 13th, 2005, they will surpass the
old record set in 1823.



I really don’t know who he should or will nominate.
But one Republican wrote this today:

“By definition, those will never be "consensus"
nominees. Justices Ginsburg and Breyer were not
"consensus" nominees, nor should any Republican
nominees be—particularly when Republicans control the
Senate, for heaven's sake. “

This is absolutely false.

Bush could, but won’t, find a consensus nominee. A
war is not inevitable.

Look, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer WERE
consensus nominees.

Orrin Hatch recommended them to Bill Clinton --
because Clinton consulted with him, even though
Republicans were in the MINORITY.

Ginsburg was confirmed 96 - 3 and Breyer 87 - 9.

Maybe Bill Clinton had some deep-seated psychological
need to please everybody, I don’t know.

But America was a lot less divided when he was the
President, and there was a reason for it.



I won’t bore anyone with my thoughts on Sandra Day
O’Connor as a justice, though liberals could have done
a lot worse. She was very thoughtful, clearly the
driving force of the court the last few years, and
therefore has come in for a lot of criticism on the
left and right for her obvious attempts at crafting a
political compromise on recent issues.

Not only will the war over her replacement be tough,
but the court itself will be a more divisive place.

No, my favorite memory of Sandra Day O’Connor involves
former football great John Riggins. John Riggins was
truly a great player and very popular among Redskins
fans. Apparently he was sitting next to O’Connor a
formal dinner and as a dinner companion he found her a
bit stiff, compared to the women he was used to.

Drinking perhaps too much, he managed blurt out:

“Hey, loosen up, Sandy baby!”

before sliding under the table and passing out.

Maybe now Sandy will finally get the chance.



Like you, I watched Bush’s speech the other night with
great interest.

Ha. Ha. Just kidding. Like everyone else, I skipped
it, which got lower ratings than the Home Shopping
Network, in favor of the appropriately titled
“Empire,” which is not, surprisingly, about the

The general consensus seems to be that it’s the worst
major speech he’s ever given. I’m not just saying
that. I admit that most people loved his inaugural,
both convention speeches, and most of SOTUs.

But here he is, at Fort Bragg (I mean, how perfect is
that?), in front of his favorite prop, U.S. soldiers,
giving a very emotional speech, with tributes to the
troops, and he got one ovation other than at the end.
Other than that, there was polite applause.

Obviously they felt it was necessary for Bush to look
serious about the war and address growing concerns.

So we heard about how Iraq is a hot bed of terror and
that we’re not leaving. About how we’re going to win,
or why we’re there now, or what our objective is, or
what the plan is: nothing.



"Some wonder whether Iraq is a
central front in the war on terror.
Among the terrorists, there is no debate.
Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden:
'This Third World War is raging' in Iraq."

-- George W. Bush

Yes, he really quoted his new best friend, Osama Bin
Laden, in the middle of the speech. As an authority
on the war, I guess.

This is not just a joke on my part.

Honestly, what do you think Bin Laden’s goal was on
September 11th?

To kill a lot of Americans?

Try again.

It was to start a worldwide war between the Christian
West and the Muslim East, with himself as spokesman
for Islam.

In other words, in attacking the TwinTowers and the
Penatgon, they were trying to provoke the U.S. into
launching a war in the Middle East.

And guess what happened.

Even taking Bush at his word -- and I don’t -- that
we’re fighting “terror” over there (a ridiculous
phrase, BTW), we are fighting this war BY THE OTHER

Osama started this war, and we’re fighting on HIS
turf! Ever heard of "home court advantage"?

Listen to Bush:

"We fight today because terrorists want to attack our
country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they
are making their stand."

Who the hell cares where they’re making their stand?

Ever thought about NOT letting Osama bin Laden drive
American foreign policy?

Guess not.


I said it the afternoon of September 11, 2001. The
Republicans would ride this horse for years.

They still can’t decide if it was the worst day in
American history or the best.

They want us to remember it, anyway, because of how
you felt that day: unquestioning faith in our new,
untested, unexperienced, unknowledgeable, novice

Remember the Bush campaign slogan of 2004, referencing
9/11: "The nation's darkest hour and Bush's finest."

So in his speech to the troops he mentioned,
“September the eleventh,” as he is wont to do, both in
phrase and habit, over and over and over again.

The reaction is:

No one’s buying it. Not this time. Americans don’t
want to hear your romantic fantasies about being a big
9/11 hero anymore. Enough already.

He’s like Al Bundy reliving high school football glory
days. “Remember that time I scored the winning

Yes! Be the way, the kids are out of control, the
house is a mess and the dog needs to be walked. Also,
Osama bin Laden is still at large, in case you forgot.

So why don’t drop the happy memory routine, put away
the football jersey that doesn’t fit you anymore, get
off the couch and get a real job?


Time between the September 11 attacks, and today,
while Osama bin Laden remains at large:

1,380 days

Time elapsed from the assault on Pearl Harbor to the
surrender of Japan, in which the U.S. managed to
defeat German, Italy,and Japan, fighting a war in Europe
and across the Pacific ocean.

1,365 days


The Republicans are trying to find someone to run
against Hillary in New York. And not succeeding.

I read this on the AP wire:

“Gearing up for a possible run for Senate against
Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Nixon's
son-in-law Edward Cox announced the formation
Wednesday of an exploratory committee that includes
Henry Kissinger and other GOP elders."

"The exploratory committee includes Kissinger, Nixon's
national security adviser and secretary of state;
Theodore Roosevelt IV, former chairman of the League
of Conservation Voters and a managing director at
Lehman Brothers; and William H. Taft, a former
ambassador to NATO and legal adviser to the State

"Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro
has been mentioned as a possible Republican

First of all -- Cox, Kissinger, Nixon, Roosevelt, Taft
??– couldn’t he find anyone NOT straight out of some
liberal fantasy of an Old Boys Network?

The Brandy and Cigar set on the Titanic was more
diverse than this crowd.

As far as Jeanine Pirro is concerned – if she wants to run, I
say, bring it on!

Not only is she easily defeated – does the term
“tax evasion” mean anything to you – but we’ll probably
take the D.A. spot in Westchester too.


You know by now that 17 U.S. soldiers were killed in
Afghanistan this week when the Taliban a rocket to
shoot down a US helicopter. This is the second US
helicopter lost this week. Earlier in the week, Iraqi
guerrillas north of Baghdad downed one, killing two US

I support the war in Afghanistan, so I'm not going to
make a big deal about this, and the war there is
actually going well considering how few troops are

This is probably not unrelated to the fact that is was
a war of necessity, and not just for “fun,” or
whatever this week’s reason for Iraq adventure is.

So chalk this is to unfortunate things that happen,
but also note that the Taliban may be making a
comeback, and with sophisticated weapons.

Could it be that if we had more troops to spare we
could secure Afghanistan even more?

Just a thought.



Guerrillas launched a major attack in Samarra on

Carloads of gunmen came into the city and attacked a
building used by security forces with rocket propelled
grenades. They then attacked the hospital, until U.S.
and Iraqi government forces drove them back.

Samarra is an important city north of Baghdad, with a
population of nearly 200,000. Its early Islamic
monuments make it symbolically important.

One Middle East expert wrote:

“When ten carloads of guerrillas can just drive into
town and shoot it up, you know no one is really in
control of the place.”


"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps,
the most to be dreaded because it comprises and
develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of
armies; from these proceed debts and taxes, known
instruments for bringing the many under the domination
of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in
the midst of continual warfare."

-- James Madison, 4th U.S. President,
Political Observations, 1795

Happy Fourth!