Earth To New York Times...

Why oh why, given the history of Judith Miller's prose on Iraq and her ties with the delusional machinations of Ahmed Chalibi and the fact that it was he who "discovered" the Oil For Food documents, is the New York Times allowing her to continue to write on this topic?

The "Paper of Record" continues to become the "paper for bird cages".


Who ARE these people?

Now I'm just baffled.
This comes acrossed your desk and you can't see the really story here? Are these people so out of it?

The Senate offers up a resolution opposing the racist lynchings of African Americans. Because some of the senators are afraid of the political ramifications with some constituents (read: racist morons), the Senate delays the vote to the evening when no record of the vote or roll call is required. All the major networks want to cover is that the Senate is offering an apology for not previously passing legislation. Incredible.

So far it's been confirmed that there are around 80 co-sponsors of the bill leaving 20 senators who will not sign an anti-lynching resolution.
This is the list of the Pro-Lynching 20. Will they be allowed to hide in the shadows?

Bingaman (D-NM)
Conrad (D-ND)
Reed (D-RI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR) (In the clear)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thomas (R-WY)
Voinovich (R-OH)

ABCNBCCBSAPCNN... Where are you......
Reuters at least is talking about the missing signitures.


Withdrawal Anyone?

How long will it be before the MSM (Mainstream Media) starts paying attention to the numbers?
USA Today is starting to listen.
Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003.

Patience for the war has dropped sharply as optimism about the Iraqi elections in January has ebbed and violence against U.S. troops hasn’t abated. For the first time, a majority would be “upset” if President Bush sent more troops. A new low, 36%, say troop levels should be maintained or increased.

The souring of public opinion presents challenges for the president, who has vowed to stay the course until democracy is established and Iraqi forces can ensure security. He hasn’t suggested sending more U.S. troops.

We have reached a tipping point, says Ronald Spector, a military historian at George Washington University. Even some of those who thought it was a great idea to get rid of Saddam (Hussein) are saying, "I want our troops home."

The pattern of public opinion on Iraq - strong support for the first two years that then erodes - is reminiscent of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, he says.

... and our old buddy, Walter Jones, is taking his activism to the next level.
Go Walt!
Walter Jones … a North Carolina conservative, said on ABC’s "This Week" that he would offer legislation next week setting a timetable for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. I voted for the resolution to commit the troops, and I feel that we’ve done about as much as we can do, ” said Jones, who had coined the phrase "freedom fries" to lash out at the French for opposing the Iraq invasion.



Dear Media:

This just in:

The new ABC News/Washington Post poll, here, shows 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Bush is doing overall, reports ABC News' Polling director Gary Langer, the most in more than 75 ABC/Post polls since his presidency began. His approval rating is 48 percent.

Bush's Iraq approval ratings haven't fared much better: 41 percent said they approve of the job the President is doing in Iraq, while 58 percent disapprove — matching his career-high Iraq disapproval mark.

George W. Bush’s approval rating is now a full twenty points lower than Bill Clinton's was on the day he was impeached. Dear media, that means you gotta stop referring to him as a popular president, and no less important, stop treating him like one. If you want to be wimps about everything, fine, just don't blame it on his "popularity." Blame it on yourselves.

Via Doc Alt


A Fool for the Millennium

Of all the arrogant asses in the Bush administration... of all the neocons who put their full faith and effort into dragging America down into the depths that it is in today... it is Richard Perle who stands above all others as the one who put his own neoconservative interests above what was good for this country. He is someone who will say anything, do anything (if he actually does anything) and step on anyone to forward his agenda. To me he epitomizes all that went wrong in the planning and execution for the last five years in foreign policy. His absolute arrogance and refusal to admit any wrong, looking directly in the face of all the mistakes he has made and/or championed, makes him principal fool of this millennium.

Why the media doesn't flush this man out and exposed his bleached white flesh to the light of reason I have no idea. His failed attempt to push Ahmed Chalibi into a presidency or prime minister position in Iraq and ultimately into the Oil Minister position stands as the ultimate act counter to the interests on this country as well as Iraq.

In his latest diatribe before the AIPAC conference he begins again the rhetoric of war upon the backs the soldiers of this country, their families as well as all taxpayers.

From Dana Milbank's article in the WaPo:

"Perle provoked cheers from the crowd when he favored a military raid on Iran, saying that 'if Iran is on the verge of a nuclear weapon, I think we will have no choice but to take decisive action.' When Harman said the 'best short-term option' is the U.N. Security Council, the crowd reacted with boos."
Where are his allegiances? What is his intent in stirring up even more the trouble in the Middle East? Under who's instructions is he acting? Who the hell is this guy?

Excellent post on Perle by Xymphora.
An excerpt assembling the following facts:

1. Perle is an integral part of the neocon crowd that actively lied to the American people about Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction, and thus has zero credibility.

2. Even if Iran had bombs, which it doesn't, they could only be used for defensive purposes, as nuclear retaliation would be fatal to the country.

3. The only nuclear power in the Middle East with dangerous bombs is none other than Israel, the country that Perle and AIPAC work for.

4. The reason we know about Iran's nuclear program is that Iran has allowed UN inspectors to inspect, something that Israel won't allow.

5. Any bombs Iran might ever have in the distant future could never pose any threat to the United States as Iran has no means to deliver them.

6. Since the Iranian nuclear program is spread out and hidden in anticipation of just the attack Perle is calling for, bombs wouldn't stop it.

7. Bombing will kill a lot of civilians, but will have no effect on dislodging the Iranian government, and will indeed strengthen the position of the hardliners in Iran.




Stating The Obvious

Fox Admits Bias

London bureau chief, Scott Norvell, opens his big trap and seals the deal in the May 20 Wall Street Journal Europe.

Even we at Fox News manage to get some lefties on the air occasionally, and often let them finish their sentences before we club them to death and feed the scraps to Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly. And those who hate us can take solace in the fact that they aren't subsidizing Bill's bombast; we payers of the BBC license fee don't enjoy that peace of mind.

Fox News is, after all, a private channel and our presenters are quite open about where they stand on particular stories. That's our appeal. People watch us because they know what they are getting. The Beeb's institutionalized leftism would be easier to tolerate if the corporation was a little more honest about it.

Not that there really was any question between any sentient beings... but the clarity is good. Maybe this will finally end Bill O'Reilly's sanctimonious ramblings about being fair and balanced.... but I doubt it.

Via Slate


Deep Throat Revealed

Mark Felt It Is!

Vanity Fair magazine said on Tuesday that Mark Felt, a former FBI official, had revealed himself to be "Deep Throat," the legendary source who leaked Watergate scandal secrets to the Washington Post and brought down President Richard Nixon.
I guess the real question is why come out now?

He was acting associate FBI director after Hoover died, in May of '72. He might have concluded that the bureau was being politicized during that period. His denial in 1999 was not too convincing:

Are you Deep Throat? The answer to that is yes and no. I'm the person that they're talking about. [Chatterbox was initially tantalized by this, but quickly realized Felt meant "I'm the Mark Felt who worked at the FBI in 1972."] I was involved very deeply in all that ... went on. But I'm not guilty of disclosure, leaking it to the press, or anything like that.
My hope is that he wants to send a message to others out there now that it's never too late to keep government agencies from being used for politcal gain.


Freedom Fries No Longer Taste So Good

The regrets this week of Walter Jones, the man who named "Freedom Fries", is particularly telling for the future of the Bush Administration. It's one more weight on the scale tilting ever downwards for George and company.

Asked by a reporter for the North Carolina News and Observer about the name-change campaign - an idea Mr Jones said at the time came to him by a combination of God's hand and a constituent's request - he replied: "I wish it had never happened."

Although he voted for the war, he has since become one of its most vociferous opponents on Capitol Hill, where the hallway outside his office is lined with photographs of the "faces of the fallen".

"If we were given misinformation intentionally by people in this administration, to commit the authority to send boys, and in some instances girls, to go into Iraq, that is wrong," he told the newspaper. "Congress must be told the truth."

The consistant denials to reality by Scotty and other about the abuses published by Amnesty Int'l are sounding hollow and almost comical if it wasn't all so damn un-funny. How long can they hold their heads up on the way to work each day. I'm not the first to postulate that Scotty will be on his way soon. I think it all is weighing heavy on his shoulders lately.

I made the prediction just before the election to one of the company wingers that Bush would go down in history as one of the worst ever. The look on his face was complete astonishment.... "how could anyone think the way?" the look said. I don't think he would be so astonished or surprised at my words now.


Catblog Friday

Be Prepared for the Coming of the Theocracy!


No More Pizza Before Bedtime

I need to post this just to get it outta my head and to be able to claim creation rights.
"Mr. Lucus... let me introduce you to Peter Jackson."

Star Lord 3.5
Revenge of the Previous

Treatment:

Luke, Han and Leia are on the run from the Empire and the evil Darth Vader. Searching for a planet to hide, they come upon on the far away planet "Middle Earth". This planet is inhabited by a halfling people called "Hobbits". They soon befriend these small creatures and ask for their help to hide from the Empire. This works for a time but soon search droids land on the planet and discover evidence of their arrival. Within hours Darth Vader and Imperial Storm Troopers land on the lush planet to search for the fugitives.

The Hobbits hide the three in a long forgotten cave deep within Middle Earth where Luke comes across a magic ring that makes the wearer invisible. With the Empire bearing down on their location they deside to use the ring to fight Vader and the Storm Troopers. With the help of the ring, the hobbits and some of their Elf and Dwarf friends, including the powerful wizard Gandalf, they are able to battle back, concluding in a wicked cool fight scene between Vader with his light saber and Gandalf with his supernatural quarterstaff.

As Luke uses the ring to fight he begins to be drawn into a darkening world where his powers to use the force are heightened by the ring but black thoughts begin to creep into his mind. The longer he wears it the more he gets drawn into this netherworld.....

... you get the idea. heheh bamwink


The Gathering Galloway Storm

This is one of those media moments that can change the world. British MP, George Galloway does a complete smack-down of the US Senate. Galloway was (falsely) accused by conservative US senators of taking bribes from Iraq in an oil-for-food scandal. His statement before the US Senate is a truly righteous, withering, and devastating critique of the US position in Iraq:

Real Video - MP3 Audio - Full Transcript

Excerpt:
"I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims, did not have weapons of mass destruction.

I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda.

I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001.

I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies."

==========================================

And lordy lord I hope someone has video or audio of this!

Before the hearing began, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow even had some scorn left over to bestow generously upon the pro-war writer Christopher Hitchens. "You're a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay," Mr Galloway informed him. "Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink," he added later, ignoring Mr Hitchens's questions and staring intently ahead. "And you're a drink-soaked ..." Eventually Mr Hitchens gave up. "You're a real thug, aren't you?" he hissed, stalking away.

I love this guy!


Why I Like Ike

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

- - Pres. Eisenhower, 1954


Downing Street Memo

Someone has set up a great new site documenting the release of the what's now being called the Downing Street Memo.

DowningStreetMemo.com

It has a great Take Action page that helps you to contact your media outlets asking them start reporting this issue. I can think of no other issue as important as making this administration and the country admit the reality of how this war was started.


Quote Of The Week

"You have an electorate having their time wasted by pop culture stuff like Paula Abdul, the runaway bride, Robert Blake, whatever it is. And it's a way to not have to spend money and actually do good news gathering and investigative journalism. It's a way to keep the electorate misinformed and dumbed down."

-- Janeane Garofalo
culled from PBS


Care To Explain?

July 23, 2002 - Rycroft Memo (Meeting minutes with Tony Blair and Cabinet)

"The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. "

Oct. 16, 2002 - George Bush Press Conference (Three Months Later)

"I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary." ... "Hopefully this can be done peacefully. Hopefully we can do this without any military action." ... "I've carefully weighed the human cost of every option before us. If we go into battle, as a last resort, we will confront an enemy capable of irrational miscalculations."

ummm... American Media? Care to explain?
Care to even ask the obvious questions?


Posted Without Comment

Cartoon by Ann Telnaes


The war on PBS continues.

.. can it survive Tucker "bow-tie" Carlson and crew?

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse:

Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases

This is incredible. I would think this would make even moderates wake up and smell the dictatorship. It's not enough for these people to control both houses of Congress, ownership of the media, 80% of the freakin' money in the country... they want it all. They are really showing their colors at this point. They want complete control of every outlet for responsible journalism or at least any opposing viewpoint to the party line. The questions and dissent must stop for these people to continue their meteoric rise to despotism.

The outrage meter spikes at 11 again.


Canada Gets It

Canadian Broadcasting -CBC- has a great documentary on the American media nightmare.

Go Watch


War on the War on Terror

This looks like a good read: Terry Jones's War on the War on Terror

excerpt from his interview with Mother Jones

MotherJones.com: How did you come to write these columns?

Terry Jones: I think it was rage. It was just blind rage (laughs). This was after 9/11, and I just couldn't believe what our great leaders were doing. It seemed like every action they took was designed to have exactly the opposite effect of what they said they were going to do.

Like Bush, after 9/11, says the right thing: "We're going to catch the evil perpetrators of this evil deed." But if you're going to catch the perpetrators of an evil deed, what you need is secrecy and speed to nab them red-handed. What you don't do is say when you're going to look for them -- "we're going to look in two months' time." Or where you're going to look -- "we'll look in Afghanistan." Or what you're going to do -- "we're going to bomb you." I mean, by that time, all the evil perpetrators would leave the country, I would've thought. Now, as a result, they haven't caught the evil perpetrators, and the whole thing's a joke.

Instead of treating it as a crime -- which is what they should have done, getting the FBI and Interpol and everybody onto it -- they've elevated it into a war. So they've elevated the status of the evil perpetrators like Osama bin Laden. He's put up as of an equal footing with the United States itself. They've increased his prestige and reputation to no end, the perfect way of recruiting more people to his agenda.

Good stuff......


Facts is fer Chumps

Don't like the results of a governmental report on terrorism? Just don't publish them. These people are incredible.

New State Dept. Terrorism Report Will Omit Statistics

When the State Department releases its annual report on terrorism later in April, it will be missing specific numbers. Last year's report undercounted terrorist attacks, and the department had to put out an embarrassing correction......

Anything to keep Condi and her husband from looking like fools.


Credibility Gap

Nick Kristof pens the understatement of the year:

"[W]e will have to work much, much harder to win back our credibility with the public."

...that realization... priceless.

The rest of the article is filled with other such deep epiphanies by St. Nick, but this one caught my eye:

"I think we're nuts not to regulate handguns more strictly, but I also think that gun owners have a point when they complain that gun issues often seem to be covered by people who don't know a 12-gauge from an AR-15."

This, of course, also means that reporters have no business reporting on any part of military operations without a complete understanding of how to retro-fit a humvee for body armor.

Nick, you do your colleagues no favors by being an advocate for them.


Chris' Sullen Tripe

Chris Suellentrop let's the Big Green Monster get the best of him in his latest screed in the New York Metro online magazine. With all that is going on in politics and foreign affairs these days, with all the distortions to outright fabrications, Chris finds the need to label Sy Hersh... yes.. Sy Hersh as a liar.

With his article titled "Sy Hersh Says It's Okay to Lie (Just Not in Print)" and subtitled "Sy Hersh's Loose Relationship With the Literal Truth" you would think that he would have used some of those 3500+ words to document actual lies told by Sy Hersh, yet all I could find was an exaggeration of numbers used to pull actual numbers out of a uncooperative source. Hardly the same thing. He attempts to use the fact that in speeches Sy Hersh will sometimes use unverified numbers while working on a story to hopefully get other reporters off their asses as Hersh's "problem with the truth".

"There are two Hershes, really. Seymour M. is the byline. He navigates readers through the byzantine world of America’s overlapping national-security bureaucracies, and his stories form what Hersh has taken to calling an "alternative history" of the Bush administration since September 11, 2001.

Then there's Sy. He's the public speaker, the pundit. On the podium, Sy is willing to tell a story that’s not quite right, in order to convey a Larger Truth. "Sometimes I change events, dates, and places in a certain way to protect people," Hersh told me. "I can’t fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say."

No, Chris, there's actually just one Sy Hersh, and you and the majority of journalists in this country should be damn glad we have him as an example of the way it should be done. The reason his writing IS so great is that it IS researched and facts are verified. That's what great writing and editing is, Chris. Try it sometime.


The JG Mystery Continues

Holy Crap?!

Is Jeff/James Gannon/Guckert actually the long lost Johnny Gosch?

Rense has the whole story here. Incredible if true.

That's a big, BIG if.


Run Away Train

Digby at Hullabaloo nails some key points (again) in the discussion about how it seems some on the right have finally seen the true colors of the wingnuttia, who are now marching to glory in their new found power, and how a slight crack has appeared in the right-wing solidarity.

These are the money quotes:

"See, the right isn't like us. They think that the so called liberal media is irretrievably biased but believe what they see, read and hear on their own media. We on the left, on the other hand, have no faith in any mainstream media, really, or any alternative media either for that matter. We have developed the habit of culling from various sources and analyzing the information ourselves as best we can. Even then we are very skeptical. Nothing that the media could do would particularly shock or disappoint us. No so with the other side."

"For instance, a conservative doctor of my acquaintance was stunned by the Schiavo matter. This man watches nothing but Fox news and could not believe the anti-intellectual religiosity of their coverage. This is a matter that he knows intimately and he could see clearly that the coverage wasn't "fair and balanced." Indeed, it wasn't true. It's as if a veil fell from his eyes."

As inevitable as this realization would appear, I thought this day would never come. It's debilitating to sit back day after day and hear the rants of the more radical on the right (Randal Terry, Tom DeLay, etc) and believe that true conservatives are buying into this new radicalism. It's somewhat reassuring to see that some are attempting to fight back before the lot of them go over a cliff together. Stopping this run-away train, however, might not be so easy when the tracks are greased with the effluence pouring out of Fox News, Limbaugh, and new books like "Men in Black:. How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America".

DeLay and company need fresh meat to throw to the true believers to keep them fed, active and fighting to keep them in power. This means constantly creating new evil doers to battle against. The next on their list are not just activist judges anymore but the entire judiciary.

When they come knocking on my door, cross in hand, I just hope there's someone left to speak up for members of the reality-based community.


Bloggers Guilty of (gasp!) Informing Public

In the court case of Apple vs. the bloggers who leaked tech information about an upcoming release of hardware for Apple, the judge has chastised the bloggers for the dastardly deed of "informing the public".

The judge was quoted as saying that the bloggers "are doing nothing more than feeding the public's insatiable desire for information."

Excuse me? whaaa? Is this not the definition of journalism? (I'll concede that the definition has been somewhat stretched as of late.... thanks Mr. Guckert)

While I understand that Apple has a right to their intellectual property but reporters/bloggers also have the right to report news (and this IS important news to a large segment of the computer community) when it is thrown their way. Using this judge's statements I would say a pretty large portion of the news I heard today could fall under his condemnation.

At least Fox news is free and clear... very little true information being distributed there.

Bob Garfield of On The Media has a good interview this week with Susan Crawford, professor of internet law at Cardozo Law School about this case.


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