Saturday, May 08, 2004


Top military officials speak out.

Sap Suckers

From Billmon:

Like the the 17-year locusts - who this summer will return to annoy the northeast United States for the first time since 1987 - the neocons seem to emerge periodically to infest the government and wreck havoc on American foreign policy, then return to their underground hiding places to await the next turn of the cycle. During their off years, I'm told, the 17-year locusts survive by patiently sucking sap from the roots of trees. The neocons, of course, extract a similar form of sustainance from the bank accounts of conservative think tanks and their donors. We can only hope that the damage done this time around can be repaired before the critters next reemerge into the sunlight.

From the Unfortunate Names Department...

Asked about claims by many prisoners after their release that they were picked up by mistake Colonel Foster Payne, head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib, admitted that "some people were in the wrong place at the wrong time", but added: "Clearly everyone [here] is not a farmer."

Support the Troops

What Max says.

Nader vs. Lieberman

Poppy McCool has an interesting idea for Nader.

Bush Quotes


(via mikecapone)

GI Email Cut?

Some journalist should look into this. It appears that the military may have ordered all inessential email access from Iraq cut.

Wingnut Debate Dictionary

A blast from the past.

Pat Roberts Wakes Up

Bad Attitudes brings us this excerpt from a speech by Republican Senator Pat Roberts:

From a speech May 3 at Kansas State University by Republican Senator Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee (via Rodger A. Payne’s Blog):

“Whether or not the United States views itself as an empire, it is obvious that for many foreigners and international critics, we look, walk and talk like one and they have responded accordingly.

“An empire that displays weakness and is not taken seriously is in serious trouble. However, being perceived as capricious or imperious is also dangerous. The problem has often occurred when an imperial power insists on imposing a particular vision on the world.

“It seems to me that in fighting the global war against terrorism, we need to restrain what are growing U.S. messianic instincts – a sort of global social engineering where the United States feels it is both entitled and obligated to promote democracy – by force if necessary.”

I'm all for promoting democracy, but we haven't yet moved beyond our tendency define democracies as "countries who are on our side" and to call everyone else not-democracies. And, much like the War on Terror or the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty, the idea of a War Against Not-democracies is just another poorly chosen (though thankfully not in common usage) metaphor which allows those who think insufficient use of force is at the root of all of our problems to slant the debate in their favor.

Military force can be used to topple regimes, kill people, and destroy cities. But, that's basically where its usefullness in "spreading democracy" ends.

There isn't a single sensible person who really believes that we went to Iraq to install a democracy. Tom Friedman's war existed in his head and nowhere else. The messianic instinct Roberts refers to isn't about promoting democracy, it's a messianic desire to expand the number of client states who serve our interests. Essentially, the cold warriors live on, using American force to further certain US business interests and to install buffers between us and the mythical united Union of Muslim Fascist Republics (a replacement for the non-existent USSR), which said cold warriors began warning about as soon as the USSR collapsed.

And, sadly, the messianic tendencies of many involved are far more personal than most will acknowledge. Remember Ledeen:

This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. And all this talk about, well, first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq, then we will take a look around and see how things stand, that is entirely the wrong way to go about it. Because these guys are all talking to each other and are all working with one another. . . . If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well, and our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Ledeen will go to his grave believing that if only we killed a few more people, toppled a few more regimes, it would have all worked out wonderfully. I imagine he's already written the lyrics to some of those songs.

Ignoring the human cost, this war has been a real waste of $200 billion. I wish I had that $200 billion at my disposal to fight poverty, cure disease, and, yes, promote democracy.



The Philadelphia-area native at the center of the Iraq torture scandal has reportedly told friends he wants to get out of there right away and return to Australia, where he claimed three years ago he was joining the CIA.

"It's safe to say I've seen enough for a lifetime here in Iraq, and it's definitely time to come home," Steve Stefanowicz reportedly said in an e-mail to a friend in the southern Australian city of Adelaide. He apparently meant Adelaide and not Telford, the Montgomery County, Pa., suburb where he was reared.

Meanwhile, another Australian friend told the Daily News in an e-mail that in fall 2001 "Steve announced to all of his friends that he was leaving Adelaide to return to America to work for the Central Intelligence Agency."

"The events of 9/11 had nothing to do with his motivation to return to the U.S.," South Philadelphia native Sam Krupsky, now an executive with the Australian Rail Track Corp., wrote. "He was out of work and out of luck, and left because he had no prospects here."

Stefanowicz, a 1988 graduate of Souderton Area High School, was called by his Naval Reserve unit and reportedly sent to the Middle East in 2002. But it is the 34-year-old's activities as a civilian interrogator in Iraq for defense contractor CACI International that have put him at the heart of the scandal that has rocked America's reputation in the world.

On the Right

Approximately Perfect takes a look at the bizarre alternate reality inhabited by right wing bloggers.



The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.

The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: "It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn't know what they were doing."


Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan "prolong the shock of capture", he said.


The British former officer said the dissemination of R2I techniques inside Iraq was all the more dangerous because of the general mood among American troops.

"The feeling among US soldiers I've spoken to in the last week is also that 'the gloves are off'. Many of them still think they are dealing with people responsible for 9/11."

We know who to blame for that last part. As for the torture?

An American general recommended that Army prison guards in Iraq become more involved in ``softening up'' prisoners for interrogations shortly before abuses occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison last fall, according to an internal report at the heart of the controversy.

It is a role that military police are not trained to perform and are prohibited from doing, the Army says; that led members of Congress to press Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Friday, largely unsuccessfully, for details on what role MPs played at the troubled prison.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Rumsfeld whether military intelligence or the MPs' direct commanders had authority over the military police prison guards at Abu Ghraib and what the MPs' instructions were.

Rumsfeld said authority over the guards had ``shifted over a period of time.''

Be a Bundler

The Hoeffel campaign is trying to find ways to recognize bloggers who bundle donations. So, particularly if you're a Pennsylvania blogger consider signing on.

...or, just donate!


Brew's right:

We Are All Wearing The Blue Dress Now

Whether Republicans like it or not, if George Bush is elected in the fall, the entire world will view the election as American approval of the torture and sexual humiliation of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. It might not be fair, it might not be reasonable, but it is nevertheless reality. Apologies, prosecutions, firings and courts martial will not be enough to expunge the stain this scandal has placed on the honor of the United States. The pictures are simply too graphic. The abuses are simply too horrible. If George Bush is elected President, the entire world will view the election, at a minimum, as tacit approval of these events.

This election will thus no longer merely determine the Presidency. This election is now much larger than the office. The United State’s place in the family of nations is now on the ballot. This election will determine whether the United States will ever again have any standing or moral authority in the rest of the world. The United States cannot simultaneously stand against depraved sexual torture and the wanton abuse of human rights, while electing the commander in chief upon whose watch these events occurred. The seven hundred thousand or so viewers of Fox News may be able to rationalize such cognitive dissonance; the six billion people who make up the remainder of the world will not.

Media Revolt


Hastert Lies to his Constituents

Say it isn't so, Speaker!

What will we tell the children?

Friday, May 07, 2004

Kerry Boobies!

Courtesy of Woot



Rumsfeld did not describe the photos, but U.S. military officials told NBC News that the unreleased images showed U.S. soldiers severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi female prisoner and “acting inappropriately with a dead body.” The officials said there was also a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys.

Open Thread



An alert reader points out that if you listen to the hearings starting at 4:43 today (Tivo magic), when Gene Taylor is asking about Rummy and the photos, you can clearly hear Rumsfeld's legal counsel (or someone next to him?) say "He thinks you saw the photographs. " I'm pretty sure the next sentence is "Don't tell him you saw them," though that's less clear coming out of my TV anyway.



LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Secretary, the behavior by Americans at the prison in Iraq is, as we all acknowledge, immoral, intolerable and un-American. It deserves the apology that you have given today and that have been given by others in high positions in our government and our military.

I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never apologized. Those who have killed hundreds of Americans in uniform in Iraq working to liberate Iraq and protect our security have never apologized.

LIEBERMAN: And those who murdered and burned and humiliated four Americans in Fallujah a while ago never received an apology from anybody.

Lieberman is making one of two points. Either he's just saying "USA! Not quite as bad as the worst people on the planet!" Or, he's saying "I just want to point out that some brown people unconnected to this event did some bad things!"


Thugs and Sadists

At some point, in my mind some of the members of the administration cross the line from being simple thugs to being actualy sadist. They have taken steps which have no clear purpose other than to foster an environment which doesn't simply allow for abuse, but which actively encourages it - for no clear purpose that I can fathom. From Conason:

How did the "permissive environment" that encouraged rampant criminality and cruelty arise at Abu Ghraib? According to the JAG senior officers who spoke with Horton, Pentagon civilian officials removed safeguards that were designed to prevent such abuses. At a detention facility like Abu Ghraib, those safeguards would include the routine observation of interrogations from behind a two-way mirror by a JAG officer, who would be empowered to stop any misconduct.

The JAG officers told Horton that those protective policies were discontinued in Iraq and Afghanistan. They said that interrogations were routinely conducted without JAG oversight -- and, worse, that private contractors were being allowed unprecedented participation in the interrogation process. Moreover, the contractors who participated in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners were operating in a legal twilight zone, says Horton.

"The Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs the conduct of officers and soldiers, does not apply to civilian contractors," he adds. "They were free to do whatever they wanted to do, with impunity, including homicide."

If that seems hard to believe, it is apparently true that the contractors are exempt from prosecution by Iraqi and U.S. courts and not answerable to those within the military chain of command. Kenneth Roth, the director of Human Rights Watch, has suggested, however, that under the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. government "nonetheless remains responsible for the actions of those running the detention facilities, be they regular soldiers, reservists or private contractors."

In practice, the changes in oversight appear to have blurred authority and accountability at Abu Ghraib. Along with the lack of proper supervision and training of the Army reservists who ran the prison, these changes resulted in lawlessness and atrocious abuse.

After hearing the complaints of the JAG officers, Horton and his bar colleagues wrote to Haynes and the CIA's general counsel in an effort to clarify U.S. policy on the treatment and interrogation of detainees. Those inquiries, he recalls, "were met with a firm brushoff. We then turned to senators who had raised the issue previously, and [we] assisted their staff in pursuing the issue directly with the Pentagon. These inquiries met with a similar brushoff." The Bush administration wanted no meddling by human rights lawyers as it brought democracy and human rights to the benighted region.

Horton says that career military officers at the Pentagon were "greatly upset" by what they regarded as the deliberate destruction of traditions and methods that have long protected soldiers as well as civilians. Those officers, and others who may have evidence to offer, are obviously reluctant to step forward and speak because they fear reprisal from the Pentagon and the White House. They have been instructed not to talk to anyone about these issues. It is to be hoped that in the investigations to come -- whether or not Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and Undersecretary Feith keep their jobs -- those conscientious officers will be able to tell what they know about the decisions that led to this national disaster.

Due Process

Rummy's newfound concern for careful due process is touching after the Yee affair.

House Rumsfeld Thread

Go at it.

Lower than Low

I'll post it when the transcript comes up, but regarding Lieberman Josh Marshall says:

Secondly, I've always had a love/hate feeling (I'd say love/hate relationship but obviously he has no idea who I am) about Joe Lieberman. After his statement today, no love.

Lieberman's statement today was truly vile. Unbelievably vile.

We need to find a solid primary challenger in Connecticut in 2006.

They Get Letters

To Romenesko:

Just saw an interesting notation this morning in Slate's condensation of Joseph Wilson's "The Politics of Truth":
Page 343: A friend of Wilson's hails Novak on Pennsylvania Avenue. Novak casually tosses out charges of nepotism: "Wilson's an asshole. The CIA sent him [to Niger]. His wife, Valerie, works for the CIA. She's a weapons of mass destruction specialist. She sent him [to Niger]."

Now here's a question for the ethics panel (or at least other Romenesko Regulars). Since it appears Mr. Novak may have voluntarily disseminated the classified information regarding Ms. Plame's CIA status outside his role as a journalist, does he really have a valid claim for privilege?

Where I've worked, it's always been considered poor form to talk openly -- to anyone on the street, for instance -- about what you may or may not be publishing in the future. Indeed, in some circumstances it could be a firing offense. Yet here is the distinguished Mr. Novak, apparently, dropping his little tidbit on anyone on the street.

I say Mr. Novak may have learned of Ms. Plame's status while playing the part of a journalist, but once he chose to selectively pass along that information to others before his readers, he squandered the privilege. If true, this little anecdote shows him to be just a courtier and a gossip and not a journalist at all.


Fire Rumsfeld Movement Heats Up

Congressman Joe Hoeffel calls for Rummy and Tenet to be fired:

Washington, DC -- (May 7, 2004) ­ U.S. Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel (PA-13) today issued the following statement regarding Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

“Donald Rumsfeld should not be allowed to resign ­ he should be fired. In fact, the President should fire both Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet because of the wrong information and bad advice they have given the White House.

“Their repeatedly mistaken judgment and failures of leadership have undermined America’s standing in the world and done serious damage to our mission in Iraq and the battle against terror across the globe.

“The official who should consider resigning is Secretary of State Colin Powell since his advice on these critical matters of national policy is not being followed by the White House.

You can donate to the Hoeffel campaign for Senate here.

You can sign the DCCC's petition here.

Rumsfeld the Second

What's this nonsense about not viewing the pictures until last night?

...Rumsfeld did leave the door open to the possibility of his resignation. Interesting.

Rumsfeld Testimony


Fire Them All

Says Newsday. Who can argue?

The long knives are out for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In the wake of the news about the abuse and torture of Iraqis detained at a notorious prison outside Baghdad, United States senators and even columnists for The New York Times are calling on ... George W. Bush to give his defense secretary the heave-ho.

The reality is that, if Bush is going to clean house, it makes no sense to stop with Rumsfeld. Considering how the Bush administration has made a mess of the situation in Iraq - from the wrong intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to the incredible lack of planning for the post-war situation to the entirely unnecessary alienation of allies - the whole national security team should be fired.

Designs on the White House

There's a grass roots T-Shirt design contest to create better unofficial Kerry campaign T's. So, if you're a designer and want to submit your entry go here.

What do you win? Fame, glory, and the knowledge that your T-Shirt is being worn around the country. The whole thing is a fundraiser for the Kerry campaign as well - proceeds will go there. Once the winners are announced, you can become a human billboard for the Kerry.

Oh, and I'll be one of the judges.

Balkin Speaks

You listen:

The Administration, and particularly Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, have been cavalier about American obligations under international law, including the Geneva Convention. International law and transparency, we are told, are unnecessary because, unlike all of the other countries in the world, we are Americans, and we naturally believe in human rights and the rule of law. We need no special incentives to be good. But if history teaches us anything, it is that when governments, no matter how well they think of themselves, decide to free themselves from constraints, they become unconstrained, and when they refuse to make themselves accountable, they abuse their power. The only thing that has been lacking until now has been the proof of what everyone should already have known: that unchecked power leads to hubris, hubris leads to corruption, and corruption leads to violations of human rights.

Americans are proud of their devotion to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. But these cannot exist without institutional preconditions: they cannot exist if government officials insist on complete secrecy, mock international covenants, and refuse to allow their actions to be tested and constrained by law.

This Administration wanted secrecy. It wanted to be free of legal constraint. It wanted to do whatever it wanted whenever it wanted without ever having to be called to account for it.

Now it is reaping what it has sown.

All Your Jobs

Employment report out. We'll look at it more detail later. But, so far so good - 288,000 new jobs in April. For those keeping score at home, that's still below the 306,000 average per month the Bush administration predicted would occur if their latest tax cut package passed. And, still below that 320,00 per month they were predicting last December.

But, all in all it's good news for the job market. Though, we'll open up the box later and see just what those jobs were...

Prisoner Abuse

Who is to blame? According to the brain trust that is the modern conservative movement - women, feminists, Muslims, and the Academic left.

I'm shocked they didn't blame the obvious culprit - gays.

And, while we're at Media Matters - according to Rush Limbaugh it's just like "good old American pornography."

...oh, and Juan Williams (in comments) informs us that NPR informed told who the REAL culprit is - Clinton! I should have known.

...georgemustgo provides the transcript:

INSKEEP: . . . You said it's difficult for the secretary [of defense] to ensure in advance that terrible things won't happen. But the investigation found, as I understand it, a lack of training and a shortage of troops at the Abu Ghraib prison, and isn't it a secretary's responsibility to have people ready to do their jobs properly?

HIMMELFARB: Ultimately, it is his responsibility, and that is, that is certainly something that's going to be factored into things. But I think when you're, you're dealing with a war, when you're dealing with a constantly changing situation, it is simply inevitable that there are, there are going to be problems. And I think what we really need from our secretary of defense is to be sure that once he learns of those problems, that he takes action.

Now, certainly one thing I will say is that I believe, as, as a lot of folks on the, on the political right believe, that our military has been undermanned for many years, and it's very, very difficult to fight a war like this with a, a military that basically is, is Bill Clinton's military and a military that basically was formed during the days when we were all talking about the "war is peace" dividend.

Say Hello To

My new sponsor, Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

JK Totals

Total Donations: 1789
Total Dollars: $153469.62

For yesterday, that was 188 donations totalling $14,184.71.

New Kerry Boobies should be on their way...

Thanks to all who donated!

...also, the Concert for Kerry at the Khyber in Philadelphia apparently raised $13,000! $2800! Good job! I didn't attend, having consumed a couple too many beers at the Phillies game that day.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Digby Sez

You listen.

I'm once again struck by the moral surety of these religious Republicans who don't seem to be upset by the deviant behavior graphically shown in these pictures and who don't seem worried in the least about how they are going to explain it to their children. It seems like only yesterday that every other word from their mouths was "deplorable," "reprehensible," "despicable," "disgusting," and " "revolting," as they relayed their shock and horror at the stunning news of a 50 year old man having an affair with a young woman in his office. If I recall correctly, this was considered to be an act of such depravity that they didn't know how the nation could survive if the perpetrator wasn't removed from office.

But, somehow, pictures of a young soldier pointing gleefully to a naked, hooded prisoner forced to masturbate on camera only elicits a mild "disapproval." Anyone have some clues where I might find an explnation of this in Senator Inhofe's Baptist Bible or Freddie Barnes's Episcopal prayerbook, because I'm finding it awfully difficult to understand?

Mo Money


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush may seek more money for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan next year than the $50 billion figure his budget director cited months ago, White House officials say.

The acknowledgment comes amid growing doubts in Congress that the amount will be enough to finance U.S. operations in the two countries, especially in an increasingly violent Iraq. Lawmakers also say they will probably give the administration less leeway than it wants in spending the money.

Joshua Bolten, Bush's budget chief, cited $50 billion in February as "the upper limit" for what might be spent for the wars next year. But administration officials, who have repeatedly said they can't predict what will be needed, said this week that the figure has been misinterpreted and that they might request more or less than that.

"He feels very strongly that that wasn't meant as a marker," budget office spokesman Chad Kolton said Thursday, referring to Bolten's mention of $50 billion

JK Day Update

Total Donations: 1733
Total Dollars: $148650.47

That's 132 donations totalling $9365 today.

Woot promised new Kerry Boobies if we hit $10000.

Donate now!


I don't even know what to make of this:

WASHINGTON, May 6 — At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that same day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said in a report today.

The taping began before noon on Sept. 11 at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, in Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, where about 16 people met in a basement conference room known as "the Bat Cave" and passed around a microphone, each recalling his or her version of the events a few hours earlier.

But officials at the center never told higher-ups of the tape's existence, and it was later destroyed by an F.A.A. official described in the report as a quality-assurance manager there. That manager crushed the cassette in his hand, shredded the tape and dropped the pieces into different trash cans around the building, according to a report made public today by the inspector general of the Transportation Department.

The tape had been made under an agreement with the union that it would be destroyed after it was superseded by written statements from the controllers, according to the inspector general's report. But the quality-assurance manager asserted that making the tape had itself been a violation of accident procedures at the Federal Aviation Administration, the report said.


...sign the petition.

Phillies Suck.


Concerts for Kerry

For anyone local, there's a fundraiser tonight at the Khyber.


From Jack Higgins in the Chicago Sun-Times.


Make sure to tune into Al Franken's show today - the incomparable Bob Somerby will be on.

Give a Little...

Remember it's John Kerry day - the day you're supposed to open up your wallets.

It's not enough for Kerry to have "just enough" cash - he needs to have "fuck you" money in his pocket. The worst thing that could happen is that he cruises into June and July before the convention without a big warchest. That's when he'll get pummelled.

US Out of Falluja

The General we picked to take care of Falluja is telling us to get the hell out of there and to get the hell out of the country.

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - The Iraqi former general entrusted with pacifying volatile Falluja said on Thursday U.S. Marines must withdraw quickly from around the troubled town and go home so stability can be restored.

"I want the American soldier to return to his camp. What I want more is that he returns to the United States," General Muhammad Latif told Reuters in an interview.

Missing the Point

I'm amazed at the number of right wingers (see Thomas, Cal below and too many hacks around the web to mention) who think that when we talk about US soldiers torturing inmates that it's important to provide context by reminding people that, well, you know Saddam Tortured People Too! Aside from the obviously bizarre low bar we've now set for ourselves, this isn't about how we here at home react to these pictures - it's about how people in Iraq do.

Aside from the horror, this is just a complete and total failure of leadership at every level. It's a failure of leadership which is going to lead to more and more of our troops getting killed. It's a failure of leadership which is going to chip away at our fast-eroding moral authority. It's a failure of leadership which completely undercuts the now-stated purpose of being in Iraq - spreading the flowers of American Democracy.

For decades America's standing in the world had 3 main components - military, economic, and moral superiority. The last one of course was never perfect, but despite our numerous failings over the years an idealized view of the US has persisted. Though somewhat mythic, it has been to some degree embraced and admired around the world. Heck, even noted America-hater Noam Chomsky has stated this is the best country in the world.

We'll presumably have the military and economic superiority for a little while longer, but for American Exceptionalism to persist to any degree, we also need the last one.

It's amazing that the PNACers have managed to prove themselves so wrong so quickly, and in the process destroying their vision of an "American Century." That was the 20th - I don't think it will continue.

We're All Moral Relativists Now

Even Cal Thomas has seen the light.

A Sequel I'd Like to See

Mystery Men II: The Bowler vs. the Pickler

Just a bit of silly fun on a Thursday morning.

American Bush Justice

The Iraqi scientist who dared tell the Bush administration the truth has been held in solitary confinement for over a year.

(via Patridiot Watch)

Prayer Warriors Unite!

Today is the National Day of Prayer. Let us pray for the election of John F. Kerry.

...Slacktivist has some good commentary on NDP. Short version - either it violates the constitution or it's completely offensive to people of genuine faith. Take your pick. And, hey, Ollie North is the honorary Chair this year! Now, that's great!

Thursday is New Jobless Day

And, for the first time since I've been paying attention, some truly good news - only 315K new lucky duckies!

Happy John Kerry Thursday!

You know what to do.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Radio Goo Goo

Off. Oh well, wanted to talk about the media's treatment of the Catholic issue. Got sidetracked.

Father Greeley

Good for him.

There is currently a discussion among some Catholic bishops about refusing the sacraments to Democratic Sen. John Kerry for not opposing abortion, thus doing the Republican National Committee's work for it.But the Pope and the national hierarchy also have condemned the death penalty and the war in Iraq. Are these bishops willing to deny the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support the death penalty or the Iraq war? And if not, why not?

Moreover, will they tell Catholics that it is a sin to support an unjust war and to vote for a candidate who is responsible for such a war? And, again, if not, why not?

I can think of a couple of reasons. First, denouncing abortion will get you attention in the Vatican. Attacking the death penalty and the war are not likely to promote your career. Second, the rules are different for Democrats and Republicans. It is curious, to say the least, that 30 years after Roe vs. Wade, the issue of denying the sacraments would be raised during this election year.


I subscribe to the consistent ethic of life that the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin enunciated some years ago. I believe abortion is wrong. I believe the death penalty is wrong. I believe preemptive war is wrong. I will take seriously the "pro-life" enthusiasts when they are ready to protest against and denounce the death penalty. I will take them seriously when they also denounce criminally unjust wars.

Radio Ga Ga

I'll be doing my usual gig on Majority Report tonight - 10 o'clock hour. You can listen here. They're also having Bryan Stevenson on, who I'm looking forward to listening to. Some of you may remember a little fundraiser we had awhile back for the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, which is headed by Stevenson.

Slacktivist tells us some more about Stevenson and links to an interview with him.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Apparently Jay Severin is a big liar. I'm shocked.

If I were like Jay Severin, I'd write something like:

Some of you think we should befriend people like Jay Severin. I think we should kill them.

But, I'm not like Jay Severin so I won't.*

*"I think we should kill them" a direct quote from Severin, advocating genocide against all Muslims in the US.

Swift Boat Liars

One really does wonder why these guys dishonor themselves and their service by being such liars.

And, yes, one wonders why the media even gives them the time of day.

Tomorrow, a new group "Goat Molesters for Truth" will hold a press conference detailing Bush's current and past relationships with goats.

$25 Billion More

It'll never end.

The Bus


The dirty little secret of President Bush's bus tour is that he didn't spend much time on the bus.

An hour or so on Tuesday was all he logged, though that seemed plenty for the startled residents of some small towns in rural parts of Ohio, who had never seen a motorcade quite like this one. After all, it is not every day you see three buses moving along on back roads, preceded and followed by Chevy Suburbans carrying men with large guns, and helicopters overhead. One woman who was mowing her lawn ran indoors, leaving the lawn mower idling in her yard.

Good Question

Reader l writes in (also sent to the LA Times):

Regarding the article "Crew Contradicted Kerry Over Battle, Doctor Alleges" (May 5), I'd just like to know why every Republican-instigated, Republican-funded smear campaign against John Kerry gets treated as legitimate news.

This is a complete non-story, but it nonetheless gets prominent play.

Moore and Disney

Everyone keeps emailing this in. Look, it's just no big deal. The movie gets a lot of extra publicity and finds another distributor.

That's not to say this kind of corporate censorship combined with media concentration can't be an issue, but I doubt it's going to impact this particular movie one bit.

Great New Laws

Jim Henley shows us part of the text of a piece of legislation which, as far as I can tell, would pretty much outlaw computers.

Senate Blocks New Overtime Rules

Good for them. Of course, who knows what'll happen once it bounces back and forth between them and the House, but so far so good.

Reward good behavior.

Cheap Ads

Don't forget, temporary low low prices....

Open Thread

Chat amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Bush to Talk to Arab TV

It was bad when Hillary did that, even when she didn't, but...

Crass Commercialism

A good friend makes some great clothes and jewelry.

Viva la France!

Bush covets the French flag while travelling on his French-Canadian bus.


(thanks to reader k)

Good News, For Now

Anti-gay amendment fails to pass Kansas House.

Bush Hates Veterans


At least one person who said he waited patiently in line came away empty handed.

Bill Ward, of Dubuque, said he arrived at about 7:30 a.m., and waited an hour. When it came time to show his identification, Ward said he was asked if he supported Bush in 2000.

"I said I didn't vote for him then and I won't vote for him now," Ward said.

Saying he is a World War II veteran who served in Germany and France, Ward is strongly critical of the war in Iraq.

'The only thing I wanted to do was get down to the riverfront and ask Bush some questions," he said.

Ward's lack of support for the president apparently was his undoing.

"They asked some girl to escort me out and I told them I don't need to be escorted out," Wards said. "I'm a veteran of World War II."

Just Wait

Chris Geidner has some fun with Jeffrey Rosen, one of those who keeps warning gay activists that they'd better get to the back of the bus before there's a backlash. In truth, there has been a legislative backlash, but that just shows how captive the Republican party is (in particular, the state organizations) to the Christian Right. But, a reasonable chunk of people who are against gay marriage and similar just don't think it's particularly important. It just isn't the big of a political issue. In fact, I believe the best thing they could do is turn the '04 GOP convention into a HomoHateAThon. Bring it on, I say, and say goodbye to the GOP for a couple years.

Just Bizarre

I understand that the Bushies want the campaign narrative to be Commander Codpiece Kills the Terra Ists, but even so what freakin' moron in that campaign decided to name a campaign tour the "Winning the War On Terror Campaign Tour." Are these people on crack? And, then, after releasing that tidbit to the media several times, what freakin' moron decided to then rename it to the Yes, America Can Tour.


Slapnose brings us this interesting new GQ article on Powell, etc... in which we learn that Condi Rice lies, among other things.

The more I spoke with Wilkerson, the more I understood why Powell's staff had gone to such lengths to set up my interview with him, reminding me that anything Wilkerson said was the same as hearing it from Powell. But if Wilkerson was going to be Powell's voice, if he was going to say the things that Powell wouldn't or couldn't, there was one question I still needed him to answer. Before I left, I wanted a sense of Powell's plans for the future. I was wary of how to phrase the question, though. It seemed safe to assume that Wilkerson had not been dispatched to announce the end of Powell's career in this article, at this particular moment, and if I asked him outright whether or not Powell was planning to quit, I could put him on the spot. He might wind up saying, as Powell did, "I never speculate on that" or "He hasn't announced a decision." So I phrased the question differently.

"Being inside the building," I said, "is there as much expectation that this will be the end of Powell's tenure as there is outside the building?"

Eight long seconds of silence.

"Um," Wilkerson said, "I've known him for fifteen years...."

I nodded.

"My considered opinion is that he is..." His voice trailed off. "He's tired. Mentally and physically. And if the president were to ask him to stay on—if the president is reelected and the president were to ask him to stay on, he might for a transitional period, but I don't think he'd want to do another four years."

Wilkerson fell silent again.

"He seems tired," he said.



He's Fucking Dead

Interesting column on Pat Tillman's memorial service. It's a shame our media is always desperate to force all heroes conform to the standard cartoon script, instead of letting them just be human.

Pollacky Goodness

Don't forget to check in with Neal Pollack, who apparently is planning to storm the Air America studios tonight and force Sam and Janeane to have him on as a guest on the Majority Report so he can rail against the Sexual McCarthyites on the Left who exposed his Teabagging Scandal.

Bush Bus Tour Fraud

This is pretty unbelievable. Bush is flying, and not taking the bus. The questions from the audiences are planted.

Discourse Monopoly

One of the things I've noticed about conservative pundits and bloggers since doing this is that for some reason they seem to truly believe that only they should have standing to express their opinions. Here's another example from the blogger who must not be named:

In other words, "John Kerry deserves criticism for what he's saying even though I agree with everything he says."

...Shorter He Who Must Not Be Named:

The anal rape of juvenile prisoners in Iraq is justified because it serves as a powerful warning to Kim Jong Il.

I think we're reaching the end, here, frankly.

Cheap Ads

The number of ads on the right hand strip has declined, so honoring the Gods of Supply and Demand I've lowered prices. Place your ad now before prices go up again!

Marshall on the Bush Neocons

This is about right:

In the popular political imagination we're familiar with the neocons as conniving militarists, masters of intrigue and cabals, graspers for the oil supplies of the world, and all the rest. But here we have them in what I suspect is the truest light: as college kid rubes who head out for a weekend in Vegas, get scammed out of their money by a two-bit hustler on the first night and then get played for fools by a couple hookers who leave them naked and handcuffed to their hotel beds.

And just think, it's on your dime and with your nation's honor -- what an added benefit.

Look, the Onion accurately portrayed the level of thinking of these "deep thinking grownups" who were "realists" and who were "more serious about the realities of the post-9/11 world" than us silly people who were "stuck in a 9/10 world." Or whatever:

No It Won't"

By Bob Sheffer

No it won't.

It just won't. None of that will happen.

You're getting worked up over nothing. Everything is going to be fine. So just relax, okay? You're really overreacting.

"This war will not put an end to anti-Americanism; it will fan the flames of hatred even higher"?

It won't.

"It will harden the resolve of Arab states to drive out all Western (i.e. U.S.) influence"?

Not really.

"A war against Iraq is not only morally wrong, it will be an unmitigated disaster"?

Sorry, no, I disagree.

"To take over a country and impose one's own system of government without regard for the people of that country is the very antithesis of democracy"?

You are completely wrong.

Trust me, it's all going to work out perfect. Nothing bad is going to happen. It's all under control.

Why do you keep saying these things? I can tell when there's trouble looming, and I really don't sense that right now. We're in control of this situation, and we know what we're doing. So stop being so pessimistic.

Look, you've been proven wrong, so stop talking. You've had your say already.

Be quiet, okay? Everything's fine.

You're wrong.

That's the level of rhetoric we've been hearing from these idiots since they got into office. And, now, thousands are dead because they got conned by a 2-bit hustler.

Worst. Administration. Ever.

Why Does George Will Hate America?

Wow, they're even losing him.

Monday, May 03, 2004


God. Worst. Administration. Ever.

Radio Free Sisyphus

Julia from Sisyphus Shrugged will be on Air America shortly. Right after Fat Mike of NOFX and Chris Schifflet of the Foo Fighters. (both of can listen to NOFX's Idiot Son of an Asshole here (replaced with more "official" version).

Rule of Law

Something tells me that Bill Thomas isn't going to make good on his promise:

WASHINGTON - Bush administration officials were wrong to prevent a budget expert from giving Congress estimates of the cost of Medicare legislation, congressional researchers have concluded.

In a report made public Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said efforts to keep Richard Foster, the chief Medicare actuary, from giving Democratic lawmakers his projections of the bill's cost — $100 billion more than the president and other officials were acknowledging — probably violated federal law.

Recent estimates set the bill's cost at more than $500 billion.

Foster testified in March that he was prevented by then-Medicare administrator Thomas Scully from turning over information over to lawmakers. Scully, in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, said he had told Foster "that I, as his supervisor, would decide when he would communicate with Congress."

Congressional researchers chided the move. "Such 'gag orders' have been expressly prohibited by federal law since 1912," Jack Maskell, a CRS attorney, wrote in the report.

The report was requested by committee Democrats after majority Republicans refused to subpoena Scully and White House adviser Doug Badger to testify about their roles in keeping cost estimates from lawmakers.

Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., the committee chairman, said he would be willing to issue subpoenas if laws had been broken.

A spokesman for Thomas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

...the Bloggers at the DCCC are a bit less pessimistic than I am.

Arlen Specter Controls Your Uterus

Watch Arlen Specter announce his intentions to help hustle Bush's anti-choice judges onto the Supreme court.

Be very afraid.

And, then give to the Hoeffel campaign.

Cranking Up The Draft Noise


WASHINGTON - The chief of the U.S. Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft and requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services.

The proposal, which the agency's acting director Lewis Brodsky presented to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, also seeks to extend the age of draft registration to 34, up from 25.

Open Thread

Chat away.

The Importance of Pronouns

A reader brought this one to my attention. It appears to have been disappeared from the NYT story for some reason, but I read it there earlier:

The court documents state that she told investigators that Staff Sergeant Frederick "motioned the detainee's hands back and forward on its penis to coax the detainee to masturbate himself"...

Emphasis mine.

Church vs. Pro-Choice Catholic Democrats

No More MNB documents another bit of selective outrage by some members of the Catholic church. You see, Kerry may be disinvited from the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, a charity fundraiser sponsored by the New York Archdiocese.

They were unconcerned in previous years with attendance by pro-Choice Catholics Giuliani and Pataki. No word on whether those two will be attending or not this year.

Call the office of Governor Pataki and ask them if he expects to attend the dinner this year. 518-474-8390.


In the PDN:

In 1996, the company's outspoken CEO, David D. Smith, was arrested by Baltimore undercover officers and charged with a misdemeanor sex offense involving a female prostitute.

Smith was reportedly driving a company-owned Mercedes when he was arrested in an undercover sting at a downtown corner frequented by prostitutes. A 31-year-old woman told an undercover officer that "she had just seen her regular date driving in the area," according to court documents. Police followed the car onto an expressway, where they said they witnessed the woman perform oral sex while Smith drove north.

The outcome of the charges against Smith, who was 44 and married with children at the time of his arrest, was not reported. Sinclair issued a statement at the time saying the incident "is unrelated to our business.?" We thought you should know about this. There is no journalistic value here.

All Your Jobs Belong to Bush

The new jobs report comes out on Friday. Let's hope for good news - I'm not going to wish for bad news to further my personal political agenda - I'm not a supporter of "hope for short term pain to get us long term gain" either on Iraq or the economy. But, what I do want is the truth, about both those things for better or for worse, to be understood by the people in this country.

So, even as we hope for good job news (a soft labor market is of no benefit to me, either) let's prepare for the inevitable spin in which bad numbers are made good and average numbers are made great.

It's a bit premature, but let's just remind ourselves. 140K+ net new jobs or so are necessary just to keep up with the growth in the working age population. And, while a second month of good numbers will indeed be an encouraging sign, there's almost no chance that the jobs numbers will return to their pre-Bush levels by the election.

There are some discouraging trends. The rise in the adoption of adjustable rate mortgages at a time when interest rates will inevitably rise is cause for concern. Rising long term rates could destroy the housing market. The declining share of output going to labor is also of concern. (Short version - wages are flat, productivity has been going up, therefore all that extra productivity is going to profits). Whether this is just a temporary trend in a weak labor market, or whether it's a sign of structural changes in the economy (decreasing competition due to tech. changes, poor anti-trust enforcement, a rise in crony capitalism, etc...) is unclear.

Linda Chavez Lies?

Media Matters is up and running. And, I have to say I'm completely shocked to find out that they've caught Linda Chavez lying. Of course, Chavez was already a proven liar.

What will we tell the children?

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Media Matters


WASHINGTON, May 2 ? David Brock, the former right-wing journalist turned liberal, describes himself as once having been a rather large cog in the machinery of the conservative media.

Now Mr. Brock is starting a new endeavor built to combat the very sector of journalism that spawned him, with support from the same sorts of people (Democrats) about whom he once wrote so critically.

With more than $2 million in donations from wealthy liberals, Mr. Brock will start a new Internet site this week that he says will monitor the conservative media and correct erroneous assertions in real time.

The site, called Media Matters, was devised as part of a larger media apparatus being built by liberals to combat what they say is the overwhelming influence of conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Bill OReilly.

Mr. Brocks project was developed with help from the newly formed Center for American Progress, the policy group headed by John D. Podesta, the former Clinton chief of staff. And Mr. Brock said he hoped it could help provide fodder for fledgling liberal radio talk shows being started across the country, including those of the comedians Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo.

Sheesh. Wish someone would give me $2 million to do this. But, joking aside, it's about goddamn time our side threw some money at working the ref. And, hey, David, if you're hiring, I could use a job...

I met David once, though that was before I was doing this. Nice guy.

Shorter Franklin Foer

I am much more concerned with the lack of civility in John Dean's book than I am with his convincing evidence of "cancer growing on the presidency."


Lovely tidbit from Josh Marshall:

Then there's the matter of the bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad on August 7th, 2003. I'm told that the Jordanians have phone intercept intelligence, which they shared with the US government, showing that Chalabi had advance warning of the bombing, which he chose not to share with the Jordanians or the Americans.

Of course, we still fund Chalabi to the tune of some $340,000 a month. So don't think your tax dollars aren't being well-spent. And that does not include the various highly-lucrative contracts doled out to his family members, political associates and cronies.

So, Chalabi is a supporter of terrorism as long as it is aimed against his political foes.

Dinosaur Adventure Land

Funny how the New York Times can do a story on the creator of a Creationist Theme Park and not mention that its creator was quite a virulent anti-Semite and anti-Catholic bigot, according to the SPLC.

Church No Longer Has Authority

Body and Soul pointed out that the boss of Carrie Gress (one of the people interviewed by Hagerty), is George Weigel, who recently argued that people should ignore the Vatican... when it comes to war. This brought to mind a similar piece by Hagerty, in which she was discussing the declining authority of the Church. In that, she interviewed the editor of First Things:

HAGERTY: And, of course, the '60s challenged every form of authority, from the police and the presidency to pastor and the pontiff. The changes were particularly pronounced in the Catholic Church, as that decade brought a dramatic shift in the relationship between the hierarchy of the church and the people in the pews.

Unidentified Man: Amid all of the conflict, the holy man in Rome carried on his peaceful pursuits. He opens the second session of the Ecumenical Council in Rome.

(Soundbite of religious chanting)

HAGERTY: The Second Vatican Council in the early 1960's gave the laity a greater role as the public face of the church. Then, in the 1968 Encyclical on the Regulation of Birth, or Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI instructed Catholics not to use artificial birth control. According to Father Richard McBrien, a church historian at Notre Dame, Humanae Vitae drove a wedge between lay Catholics and the church hierarchy.

Father RICHARD McBRIEN (Notre Dame): Humanae Vitae made Catholics realize, perhaps for the first time in modern times, that whenever the pope speaks, he may not always be right. He may not always know what he's talking about.

HAGERTY: American bishops continued to weigh in on topics such as nuclear deterrence, economic policy and welfare reform, and until the past decade or so, these pronouncements usually made a big splash in the news media. But Richard John Neuhaus, editor-in-chief of the Catholic magazine First Things, says those statements only serve to undercut the Catholic Church's credibility with the faithful.

Mr. RICHARD JOHN NEWHOUSE [sic - it's Neuhaus] (Editor-in-Chief, First Things): An awful lot of people said, 'Hey, you know, what do these bishops really know about American nuclear policy? What do they really know about marginal tax rates?' And by speaking too often when it was not necessary to speak, the bishops undermined their credibility when they speak on questions that require their speaking..

Neehaus, of course, in addition to being the editor of First Things is also a director at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, at which both Gress and Weigel work.

So, one short year ago it apparently wasn't important to be a "good Catholic" or an "orthodox" Catholic. Ignoring the will of the church was a good and correct thing. Now, apparently, ignoring the will of a few in the Church is a bad bad bad thing. And, according to Hagerty, it isn't just important to Catholic voters - it's important to all voters. Where Hagerty gets this piece of information? She pulls it right out of her ass.

How did Hagerty conclude that report?

HAGERTY: Whether these kinds of messages will influence the public's thinking about a possible war with Iraq, much less the president's thinking, is anyone's guess. No doubt churches will still try to give moral guidance to the nation. They'll just have a lot more competition. Barbara Bradley-Hagerty, NPR News, Washington.

You see, then Hagerty did inform us that Bush was defying the wishes of his own Church. But, again, that was a good and normal thing. Unlike now. You see, then it apparently wasn't important to voters that Bush was a good Methodist, or other legislators were good Catholics.


I Read the News Today Oh Boy

Apparently everything is good. Happy in Fox News land. Happy in CNN land. Happy in NYT land. Happy in Washington Post land.

So, it wasn't until I clicked over to Talk Left that I discovered, through an AP report, that 11 soldiers died today. Apparently, that's no longer considered to be worthy of even a modest headline.

More Hagerty

Roger Ailes pieces together some more weird connections in the Hagerty report.

Open Thread


War President

All the controversy about Nightline's broadcasting of the names and faces of the fallen reminded me of the "War President" mosaic made by American Leftist. When it was first brought to my attention I didn't link to it because while I didn't have any problem with it I thought it was basically a cheap if effective bit of agitprop. However, then AL made a follow-up post which really made me rethink.

Given this image's inflammatory nature, I posted it with a great deal of trepidation. I had a hard time deciding if it was the right thing to do and I am still not sure. No, I didn't have the consent of the families of those pictured, and I apologize for any additional pain that this image causes them. That said, I must say that it is my belief that one distinguishing characteristic between art and other forms of speech is that art takes risks, and if we, as a society, value art we must allow it more leeway than other modes of expression to incite or offend.

'War President' is meant to be a satirical commentary, informed by the whole project of using the dead as political props. I'm not making a dime off the image, and never will attempt to do so. Given this lack of financial or other crass motives, other recent instances of the politicization of the dead strike me as more morally questionable: the coffins of the victims of 9/11 showing up in a political advertisement, the continued suppression of images of the funerals of those lost in Iraq from the mainstream American media, and images of the 9/11 disaster in a campaign ad. A certain party stands to benefit greatly from all three of those instances of politicization.

I'd also like to point out that 'War President' is an image. It is not a textual statement or rhetorical argument. An image is like an empty room and any message that one reads in that room necessarily came in the baggage one carried when one walked in the door. If I made a mosaic of George Washington composed of images of the American dead from the revolution, would viewers likely take that image as an indictment of Washington? I submit that they would not. It would be viewed as a monument to the dead and a celebration of a great leader, a somewhat maudlin monument maybe but surely not offensive. The fact that 'War President' is not viewed such a manner is not due to any intrinsic property of 'War President' but lies somewhere else.

Very true. Something like "War President" could have been auctioned off on EBAY to drooling freepi in the wake of the "Mission Accomplished" journey by flightsuit boy. The only reason people have a problem with Nightline and with something like "War President" is because they recognize that things in Iraq are a mess. Sadly, they'd rather be right than see any recognition of the sacrifices they themselves are not making (except Andrew Sullivan, who truly believes that his late night blogging was a noble sacrifice which made all of this possible.). I was against this war, but I was always happy to be wrong.

Both the Afghanistan conflict and the war in Iraq had moments when I knew that the administration was far more concerned about appearing to do something useful than actually doing it. In Afghanistan, it was the "have schoolchildren send a dollar to the White House" program, with the money donated being used for Afghan humanitarian aid. I always wondered what happened to that money, and in the wake of the Anthrax attacks when all mail to Congress and the White House is getting blasted until it's brittle who the hell thought encouraging people to send mail like that was a good idea. Of course it was total bullshit - PR, nothing more.

In Iraq it was "the schools! the schools!" I'm all for schools, of course, but I assume that schools weren't part of the vital public infrastructure that we blew up. Slapping on a new coat of paint so we can say "4 trillion schools have been rebuilt!" was, again, nothing more than a PR ploy to insert a line into every NPR report and every Bush speech. I'd rather hear about "the electricity! the electricity!" Oh well.

At this point I don't really know what the hell they went into Iraq for. I did ask Christopher Albritton of Back-to-Iraq what, one year later, he thought about it and he said something along the lines that whatever grand geopolitical plans they once had were no longer operative. I think that's probably true - they no longer know what the hell they hope to achieve there.

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

Congrats to Jesse from Pandagon on his new job.


Reader e did a bit of follow-up on some of the people interviewed by NPR's Hagerty regarding Kerry's Catholicism. As you may remember, she interviewed 4 people coming out of an 8:00 am mass - a mass which only could have happened Monday-Saturday according to the Church's public schedule. Only one of those people had their occupations identified - a "union official" (commie Democrat).

What about the other 3? Well, this reader discovered nothing on one of them, but what of the other two? First we had Ted Flynn. Could it be this Ted Flynn? Ted Flynn who has written yet another version of Pat Robertson "New World Order" book, which itself was itself lifted wholesale (and then sanitized) from standard anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

And, then, she also interviewed Carrie Gress, who likely is the woman who is the program studies manager at the Catholic Studies Program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which is yet another Scaife/Bradley funded right wing lunatic tank. You'd think her occupation, at least, would have been relevant.

..Reader patience adds in comments:

I decided to try to figure out who "Philip Monos" was; according to Google there doesn't appear to be any such person. So I went back and listened to Haggerty's broadcast piece to see if there was a mistranscription of the name. Well, yes...I believe it is actually Phillip Munoz (she gave it the Spanish pronunciation). This helps. Back to Google.

Could this individual in fact be Vincent Phillip Munoz, as in "Vincent Phillip Muñoz is a Civitas Fellow of Religion & Public Life at the American Enterprise Institute and an assistant professor of political science at North Carolina State University" and who wrote this piece for the National Review in March?

...according to readers, Munoz and Gress at least are the people we've identified.

...Flynn confirmed as well. trifecta!