Saturday, September 14, 2002

This Washington Post article has a cute little title.

War Could Unshackle Oil in Iraq
U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool

Well, aside from that it's pretty interesting, but it's too late for me to comment on it intelligently so go read it.
My foreign policy analyst Digby, who as far as I know did not begin that career as a Gap Model, has this take on U.N. speech:

The debate continues with Bush's speech not really being a definitive win for one side or the other, IMO.

The neocon argument has been that we must assert a right to unilateral pre-emption because our overriding goal is to preserve our status as the world's only superpower. John Bolton, Cheney's mole in the State department has said "There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is an international community that can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that is the United States, when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along."

So by going to the UN at all, and using the argument that Saddam has flouted UN resolutions as a reason for war, Bush conceded that it has legitimacy as an institution, something that the vulgar empiricists like Bolton, Perle and Cheney have been denying for years. Bush could have attempted to form a coalition outside the auspices of the UN or continued to ignore international opinion altogether. That is a win for Powell.

On the other hand, Bush did not shut the door on unilateral action and continued to claim that the new US doctrine of "pre-emptive regime change" is valid, even though he was appealing to the UN for support. This is slightly confusing but basically, it means that he'd like to have the UN's approval for what he's going to do anyway, a la Bolton. The neos still have sway, it seems, so Powell has not won the argument entirely.

However, if the UN and perhaps the US congress were to put forth the bubbling idea of coercive inspections and Bush feels pressure to go along, then the neocons will have suffered a tremendous setback because we will have agreed to the idea that the US goals with respect to Iraq are disarmament rather than regime change.

They will not give that up easily. The concept of "pre-emptive regime change" is the cornerstone of their global strategy.

So, the debate rages on.

Bob Shrum *wishes* he could be me. (permalink broken, just scroll down until you see "Bob Shrum.")
Ginger on the inconsistent treatment of, and outrage expressed in Blogistan about, 9/11 non-citizen widow/widowers.

Remember Deena Gilbey, the English woman whose husband died in the World Trade Center and pulled all sorts of strings to get the most she could get out of the Attorney General's discretion under the wretched PATRIOT Act, and who got her green card in something like record time from date of application back in July? The one who was deemed such a victim by conservative-libertarian blogdom? (Refresher course here for those who have forgotten.)

UPDATE: link fixed.

Atrios and Mrs. Atrios are very poor this month. Please click the amazon link and give us all your money.
There seems to be two ways of viewing Bush's speech to the U.N. One is that he gave in to his critics. The other is that he sure showed his critics by giving in to them.

Here's zizka's take.
Norah Vincent Alludes to Possible Hit Against Enemy Bloggers!!!

Norah says:

I am duly chastened and taking deep breaths to temper ongoing thoughts of hiring a hit man.

Damn, I'm duly chastened as well!

To date, Bloggers have accused Norah of:

1) being disingenuous when she asks for money by saying "Web real estate is expensive! If you like the site, toss me some coin to help put a a virtual roof over my head" while hosting her weblog on a free server.

2) Comitting possible plagiarism by stealing 10 words without attribution from a Jackson Browne song and then claiming it was:

a) inadvertent
b) an homage
c) acceptable under "fair use" (the inadvertent homage exception to copyright law, perhaps?)

However, since Norah has now implied possible recourse to both legal action and vigilante justice, I will refrain from further comment and perhaps hire a bodyguard, after I add one more thing:

How *dare* someone with a weekly column in the Los Angeles Times write a column referring to the media in the 3rd person.

The insane rantings of Norah Vincent can be found by travelling to norahvincent at, a free blog server.

(Norah's implied threat found at UggaBugga who should also be hiring a bodyguard).
Eunice Stone says:

"I thought anybody that's laughing about 9-11, I know they have that right, but there's something wrong with them," Stone told Fox.

That's what it came down to.

William Burton has a good new blog.
No roads closed over Coulter's NYT crack

From CHARLES PIERCE: If you're keeping score at home, this is how it works. If you happen to be the lunatic blonde spalpeen of suburban Connecticut, you can talk about blowing up the New York Times in the pages of an important weekly newspaper, making sure the reporter quotes you to that effect, and you will be an essential part of the national dialogue and the heiress to Lenny Bruce, besides. However, be Lebanese, and tell a similarly tasteful joke in the middle of the night at the Shoney's in Calhoun, Georgia, and they'll hunt you down all the way to the swamps of Florida.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Hunter S. Thompson still has a few operational brain cells:

His advice for President Bush: "QUIT!"
His advice for his fellow citizens: "Get out and vote."
If Georgia and Florida actually level charges against these guys, please send a legal defense fund address my way if anyone can comes across one.
Why isn't Byrd's apparent filibuster getting any attention?
My pal T.Bogg says:

So the Great Florida Bomb Scare turned out to be a joke that 3 guys were playing on a suspicious woman who was eyeing them because they were middle-eastern. Now Jeb (Ask Me About My Crackhead Daughter!) Bush wants them prosecuted.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm really looking forward to Operation TIPS. That way the whole country can be shut down by little paranoid racist busy-bodies with nothing better to do.

Three medical students of Middle Eastern descent who were stopped as suspected terrorists on Alligator Alley early Friday morning remained detained after they were overheard in a Georgia restaurant vowing to make America ``cry on 9/13.''

Federal sources involved in the investigation said they believe the three men - all U.S. citizens - were playing a stupid joke on another restaurant patron who gave them a suspicious look.

All three were on their way from Illinois to take medical training in Miami.

Federal sources said the men could be released as early as today with a ticket for blowing the I-75 toll booth near Naples.

Alligator Alley was closed to traffic all day Friday as explosives investigators searched for any kinds of devices in the two cars. Those searches had come up empty as of 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

''It appears there isn't a terrorist threat as it relates to destrutive devices in the cars,'' Gov. Jeb Bush said at a Miami news conference Friday. ``If this was a hoax, my hope is these people would be prosecuted.''

One federal source said although there is a federal statute against making terrorist threats, it remained unclear on Friday exactly what transpired Thursday morning in a Shoney's restaurant in Calhoun, Ga.

Eunice Stone, a nurse, told authorities and Fox News Channel she was sitting in a booth next to the three men shortly about 10:30 a.m. when she overheard the men laughing about 9/11 and making comments like ''if we don't have enough to bring it down I have contacts'' and ``if they're mourning 9/11 what are going to do about 9/13?''

In an interview on Fox News Channel on Friday, Stone said she thought they might be playing a hoax.

''We hesitated to call anyone because we thought, they're just playing us,'' Stone said. ``But then I thought what's the right thing to do? If it turns out it's nothing, then it's nothing.

Unbelievable (sent in by 56k

Since November 2000, Election Systems & Software of Omaha has won several new contracts with Florida counties to supply equipment to replace the systems of punchcard ballots blamed for 2000 election problems. The company's equipment handled Tuesday's ballots in 31 Florida counties, including the high-population Miami-Dade County and Broward County - in all, more than half the state's votes. The nation watched Tuesday's statewide election closely because of
the balloting problems that delayed the results of the 2000 presidential election.

Mike Limas, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Election Systems, said there were fewer equipment problems than the company had expected, given that the systems were new for many of the counties.

Praise Jeebus. Get Your War on 1980s style!
"They had gone to a party the night before in Chicago and they said they need to quit stopping because they were 5 hours late." - lady who turned in the Florida Terra Ists. Who also apparently said:

"Do we have enough to bring it down? If not I have contacts and we can get enough."

2 are naturalized citizens, one was born here.

This is a big joke.
This is what got drudge all excited.

The eggman needs to get out more.

CNN anchors are starting to make excuses for this pathetic circus.
A very chilling post by Talk Left.

The "make-shift" prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba housing mostly prisoners brought there from Afganistan is being considered for long-term use. Detainees will likely remain there for at least three more years.

"Navy Capt. Bob Buehn said his budget proposals through 2005 call for funds to continue housing detainees here, and could be expanded to accommodate even more than the roughly 2,000 prisoners authorized by Congress."

Plans call for "new roads, building construction and other improvements to house and support guards and other staff to watch the detainees."

We find this quote to be particularly ominous:

"We've already been here almost a year now," Buehn said, "and we're planning three years ahead. We have grand plans that go out for 20 and 25 years."

I find it difficult to come out too strongly on the "what should Janet do?" question. On one hand, there is part of me that wishes she would just concede, let McBride begin his campaign against Jeb, under the justification that she should just do what is best, in my opinion, for the state of Florida. But, that line of thinking is eerily similar to the media-pushed meme during the election 2000 debacle. At some level it isn't about Reno, it isn't about McBride, and it isn't even about maximizing the chances of beating Jeb. It is, once again, about taking Democracy and the notion that we should "count all the votes" seriously. Sure it is just a primary, and sure this might (or not) make it that much harder to beat Jeb come November, but much as I found calls for Gore to "move on for the good of the country" inappropriate and disturbing, I feel the same about calls for Reno to do the same. Once again we have a "presumptive winner" in a close race with massive election problems and still uncounted ballots, and once again we should ask ourselves how we would react if Reno was the "presumptive winner."

Medical Students are "very uncooperative" which as far as I can tell means - "they wanted lawyers."
The 3 detainees are medical students.

And they had medical equipment!

I'm pretty sure CNN said they were all citizens.

CNN's reporter actually just said something like it was significant that there was a laptop with a CDRom and that was significant because Al-Qaeda had made a CD Rom manual.

MWO caught Bob Nofacts spreading his usual lies.

Smear/Lie Campaign Against Jeb's Opponent Begins

BOB NOVAK: The power brokers got this rich Palm Beach lawyer who had laid off his whole staff because his firm was going under...

The TRUTH from reader Frank Castor:

McBride took a Florida based law firm and expanded it internationally, and it's now one of the top 10 firms in the country, and the largest in
Florida. McBride is from a small town, his father was an electrician. He's never lived in Palm Beach. He lives in Thonotasassa, and works in
Tampa. He required Holland & Knight to pay employees a minimum wage of $12.00, is a Vietnam veteran, was not drafted but volunteered,
and finished #1 in his Army Ranger Class.

Name the Next War Contest

Best one I've heard so far:

Operation Deserter Storm

Ted Barlow on how conservative christian republicans aren't actually all that fun, and how Andrea Dworkin ain't no liberal.

For the record, just because Farrakhan is black and you don't like him doesn't make him a liberal either.

Apparently the Florida drivers had suitcases, laptops, books, and "manuals with Islamic writing."

lock'em up
Jeanne D'Arc on the power of myth and the Central Park jogger story.
Hayes e-mail mentions 'uncomfortable areas'

Congressman Robin Hayes' campaign is calling for its most intrepid volunteers to talk with voters in certain Charlotte neighborhoods.

Meet at Eastland Mall Saturday morning, said an e-mail sent to Mecklenburg County Republicans Thursday. And don't worry about your safety in the mixed-income area.

"NRA members will cover neighborhoods that might be uncomfortable for some volunteers," the e-mail said. "Women & children will walk Univ. area."

Hayes, R-N.C., of Concord, faces Democrat Chris Kouri of Charlotte in a race expected to generate heavy campaigning and national interest.

The district stretches east from Charlotte to Fayetteville, including parts of Cabarrus and Union counties. This year, the N.C. General Assembly changed his 8th District to include Democratic-leaning parts of Charlotte, including neighborhoods off Central Avenue, Independence Boulevard and N.C. 49.

Hayes campaign manager Richard Hudson said the campaign's basic concern isn't crime, but safety from fast-moving traffic on busy streets such as Independence and Central. High school students often volunteer to do the precinct walks.

"I could understand, going back and reading it, that it could have been worded better," Hudson said.

So will those National Rifle Association members be carrying guns? Hudson said he hopes not.

"I'm not going to speculate as to what they meant or didn't mean by that," said Kouri spokesman Paul Blank. "If other people want to say what they think that means, (they can)."

Oh man, Norah just digs in deeper and deeper.

Threatening lawsuits against those who criticize her...claiming she had to pay for more server space when she launched her blog..on blogger...She's a serious case...

Oh, and for the record Norah, I'm not trolling for your hits -- you should be trolling for mine. But I'll return the favor and not link to you.

a women in Georgia...overheard some men in a restaurant...plotting an attack on Miami on 9/13...

Um, does this NY Post story even resemble what happened on 9/11/01 or am I just crazy?

SARASOTA, Fla. - At Emma E. Booker Elementary School, teacher Sandra Daniels recalled yesterday how she and her class learned of the terror attacks - when a federal agent rushed into the room to inform the president of the United States.

President Bush had been presiding over her reading class last 9/11, when a Secret Service agent interrupted the lesson and asked, "Where can we get to a television?"

"The president bolted right out of here and told me: ‘Take over,' " Daniels told The Post yesterday. "I knew something serious had happened, and then a short while later he came back and said, ‘What we thought was an airline accident turned out to be a terrorist hijack.'

"My kids were so happy that morning - imagine the president of the United States sitting there shooting the breeze, and then poof, suddenly he's gone. What do you say to a bunch of second-graders?"

Her class was watching TV in the media room when the second plane hit. Daniels almost broke down.

"I didn't want to collapse right there in front of my class, so I decided to treat the tragedy as a learning tool," she said. "I explained what a hijacking is and what a terrorist is. I told them how innocent people who went to work that morning, just like your parents, were dying because some people hated America because we're so free."

Thursday, September 12, 2002

The irony about the ad claming social security is reverse reparations is that it might just make a whole bunch of new social security fans.
Air Force recommending criminal charges against two National Guard pilots

WASHINGTON - The Air Force is recommending criminal charges against two Air National Guard pilots for their role in the fatal bombing of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan ( news - web sites), a senior defense official said.

The charges were to be announced Friday at the Pentagon ( news - web sites) after the U.S. Central Command and the Canadian government released additional details from a joint investigation of the April 17 tragedy.

The senior defense official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity, said the Air Force would recommend that F-16 pilot Maj. Harry Schmidt be charged with involuntary manslaughter. He dropped a 500-pound bomb on a group of Canadian soldiers, mistaking them for enemy forces. Four Canadians were killed and eight were wounded.
Max on E.U. plans for regime change in Florida.
F.S. writes in to tell me:

I was wondering if you can alert your readers that John MacArthur, publisher of Harpers Magazine and author of "Second Front" will be a guest on Phil Donahue's show tonight.

His book was excellent. The incubator baby stories and Dickhead Cheney's control of the press. He especially screeds Pete Williams of NBC News.

Neal Pollack on the Day After.
Henry IV to Hal

" ... Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels ... "

Henry IV, Part II, Act 4, Scene 4


This year, I am sorry to be the bearer of this awful news: The great Warren Zevon has been diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer.. He is taking it, forgive me for saying so, like a man. “I’m okay with it, but it’ll be a drag if I don’t make it till the next James Bond movie comes out.” I have always loved Warren, but I particularly enjoy the new album, “My Ride’s Here,” on Artemis with guest spots by Paul Muldoon, Hunter S. Thompson and a song written with the great Carl Hiaasen, tied to his new novel.

Blogged out at the moment. So, click on the links to your left..
Jeb Says:

"I don't know exactly what the powers I have to do this, but I guarantee you that in November, the election will run much more smoothly than the supervisors of election allowed to occur (Tuesday)," Bush said Wednesday.

Fair enough - how about if there are problems and you 'win' you resign in shame.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Post-Bush Speech Punditry Drinking Game!!

Drink once every time someone says focus, statesman, vision, Churchillian, or uniter.

then stumble off to bed.

Big Dog on Letterman tonight.
The Onion.

"I said we can do it, but we don't want to at this moment," Cheney said. "'If we just wait a little longer, Saddam is bound to commit some act of aggression or we'll find some juicy al
Qaeda ties or something, and then we can make it look like the whole country's behind it. George has got to learn to hold his horses."

Cheney also explained to Bush that his constant pestering is keeping him from attending to the very work that will make the invasion a reality.

"Donald [Rumsfeld] and I are working on the U.N. weapons-inspections thing, and we're this close to finding a way to make that a compelling reason, but we just need a little more time," Cheney said. "I told George to go back to the Oval Office and stay there. I also made him put his hand on his heart and promise me he wouldn't talk to me about it anymore."

Within an hour of sending Bush to his office, Cheney received six e-mails from Bush, all of them forwarded news articles that the president had found online. Among them was an Associated Press story titled, "Lawyers Say Bush Does Not Need Congress To Attack Iraq," accompanied by a message from Bush reading, "dick, have you seen this?!?!?!?!?! [sic]"

"Of course I've seen it," Cheney said. "Who does he think planted the story?"

From the 9/11 Citizen Corps newsletter:

The number of Citizen Corps councils continues to grow. There are currently over 150 registered local councils and more are being added every week. Please take a look at our re-designed listings for local and state councils. You can now find point-of-contact information for Citizen Corps Councils near you. We want to thank everyone who has worked to make Citizen Corps an active part of their communities as well as the more than 48,000 of you who have signed up to receive information from the Citizen Corps web site. What we do today can make America safer tomorrow. If you do not have Citizen Corps in your community, we encourage you to contact your community.s leadership, the mayor or your city council member, or your state.s point of contact, now listed on the website, to urge them to bring Citizen Corps to your community.

What's Happening At...Department of Justice (DOJ)
-The Neighborhood Watch program continues to demonstrate how people can make their communities safer. In addition to helping local police solve and prevent crimes, many Neighborhood Watch groups have also added terrorism prevention to their duties. Communities located near power plants and similar facilities have found that Neighborhood Watch groups can add a valuable layer of security to these locations. Some local Neighborhood Watch organizations are even looking at ways to provide their members with training on how to detect terrorist activity. To find out more information bout Neighborhood Watch, visit

"Fort Myers voters said they were turned away for not showing a picture identification, which is not required."

The report didn't say if it was William Rehnquist asking for the IDs.
Ethel the Blog shows us that the Freepers have a long history.
I like Neal Pollack's version of Sullivan's navel-gazing much better.

But we also know, of course, that this kind of memory is not the most important one. Some events solder themselves into our consciousness so intensely that they change the way we see the world for ever. The details barely matter. The change itself matters. You are fired from the magazine you edited; your freelance career is greately curtailed because a major newspaper is afraid of your ideas; leading activists attack you for being a dangerous reactionary; your ideological enemies lurk around every corner. These kinds of events stop your life for a moment; your soul freezes while the rest of the world swivels around you to a new position. Then you start to blog, and you feel better.

Speaking of Sully, I couldn't even get past the 1st page of his drivel on Salon. He wasn't kidding when he called it a "Fisking." Jesus, Salon editors, he's submitting crap to you that isn't even good enough to put up on the Dish.
Little Ben Shapiro says Falwell was right.

Jerry Falwell said after Sept. 11 that abortionists, feminists, the gays and lesbians who promote homosexuality as a natural lifestyle, the American Civil Liberties Union and all those who try to secularize America (in short, the PC crowd) bear some responsibility for Sept. 11.

While his statement may have been unpopular, it was true, at least in the larger sense. If we pillory those who defend traditional moral values, we seem weak. Why would any terrorist fear a country that treats the Boy Scouts like the KKK? If we treat the moral as trivial, if we make it seem as though our lives have no value, how can we expect others to respect the value of our lives?

In the cosmic sense, Falwell was correct. We have tossed God from the public schools. We have ignored his morality in favor of subjective man-made values. We cannot expect God to maintain his protection of us if we exile him.

America did not change for more than a few moments on Sept. 11, but our society must undergo serious and lasting change if we hope to live in freedom and prosperity. If those who fight against God continue to win, God will not defend us. And we will not have the moral courage to defend ourselves.

UPDATE: Iraqi newspapers agree with both of them!

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi newspapers marked the anniversary of Sept. 11 with banner headlines describing the terrorist attack as "God's Punishment" against America, and ordinary Iraqis also voiced anger at a country they fear might be preparing an invasion of their country.
The state-owned weekly Al-Iktisadi covered its front page Wednesday with a photograph of a burning World Trade Center tower and a two-word headline in red: "God's Punishment."

The daily Al-Jumhuriya, in a front-page editorial, said the lesson the United States should have drawn from Sept. 11 was that its policies inspired hatred. Many Arabs have linked Sept. 11 to a sense in the region that Washington unfairly sides with Israel and that its Iraqi policy has hurt ordinary citizens here.

These comments by Riordan don't exactly make his new L.A. paper sound particularly interesting.

The as-yet-untitled paper will be a broadsheet focusing on "local news, features, and columns about the media and Internet. It will be a weekly - I think you have to evolve into a daily - but we won't be politically correct, not one ounce of political correctness," Riordan vowed.

"When the L.A. Times pulls their P.C. stuff, we'll call 'em on it! When they pull their liberal spin and distort the news, we'll call 'em on it!"

Haven't we been here before?

I'm actually no fan of the Times. As a local paper it sucks, and as a national paper it mostly sucks with some occasional exceptions. But "Not the Times" does not a newspaper make. On either coast.

The right wing press discovers the quick-exit-of-the-Bin-Laden-family story.

Took them long enough.
Jeb Bush on the inept and corrupt election he is supposed to be responsible for:

"What is it with Democrats having a hard time voting -- I don't know," Bush said.

They're just practicing.
I really can't believe Jesse Jackson said this on the weekend before the 9/11 anniversary:

"What I don't like is demonizing Saudi Arabia, " he said. "It's not true. They are not enemies of ours. And to come under that kind of criticism, I think, is ridiculous."

Truly tasteless, given the nationalities of the hijackers.

Why does this not surprise me?

In tiny Union County, officials said they would have to count all ballots by hand because their optical-scan system somehow showed that every vote cast was for a Republican candidate.

They probably forgot to reprogram them from 2000.
One year later, I would ask that the forgotten victims of 9/11 be remembered. Their names and stories were not printed in the New York Times and they have received barely any mention as a group let alone as individuals.

I am speaking of the civilian casualties, the "collateral damage," in Afghanistan.

One need not feel that the war in Afghanistan has been unjust or inappropriate, or that our military was callous or indscriminate in its choice of targets, or to "Blame America," to think that these indirect victims of the events of 9/11 deserve some consideration. Their deaths were a direct result of the events of 9/11, and the blame can be placed on those who planned and implemented the mass murder on that day.

The fact that some civilian casualties are an inevitable consequence of almost any military action does not make the deaths less tragic. Nor does my mentioning them imply that I am elevating the importance of their deaths above those Americans and non-Americans who died on 9/11. They are, however, also victims of 9/11, even if their deaths came later and their stories are not often told here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

I've been Instapundited and Mediawhoresonlined and SalonConasoned and Altercated, but being Buzzflashed beat them all.
Dick Cheney is going to celebrate 9/11 by appearing on the Rush Limbaugh show.
If I were in charge of programming 9/11 TV, I would just rerun the tape of broadcasts on my own network (CNN,NBC, whatever) starting from the initial breaking news reports one year ago, commercial free, at precisely the same time.
The thing to remember about the Florida problems today is that it is just a primary, when voter turnout is presumably *much much lower* than on election day.
Sisyphus Shrugged wrote in to tell me that the new AP article has been written to reflect reality.

ORLANDO, Fla. –– Gov. Jeb Bush's 25-year-old daughter was found with what was believed to be crack at a drug rehab center where she was undergoing court-ordered treatment, police said.

If confirmed, it would be Noelle Bush's second lapse since entering rehab and could result in jail.

I think this is where I'm supposed to yell "Advantage: Blogosphere!", spike the football, and do the Snoopy Dance

on the *other hand* it has this paragraph:

The rock tested positive for cocaine in a police field test, but Bush was not immediately arrested because police could not get staff members at the rehab center to cooperate and give sworn statements, Rolon said.

which is somewhat different than the earlier account:

Bush was not arrested because police could not obtain sworn statements signed by the center's staff. A worker who found the suspected cocaine on Noelle Bush tore up a
sworn statement she had began writing at the suggestion of one of her bosses, police said.


This really is disturbing.

President Bush Monday told world leaders it will be the responsibility of the whole international community, rather than the United States, to determine what kind of regime should replace Iraqi President Saddam Hussein if his government is toppled by U.S. military action, European diplomats told United Press International.

During a call to the current head of the European Union, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Bush made it clear he felt "not his responsibility to define" who or what would replace the Iraqi president, according to one diplomat.

Oliver Willis puts it pretty well:

The best way to stop terrorism is democracy, but we have been lax in bringing it to Afghanistan - and have already decreed that after Saddam Hussein is deposed as leader of Iraq - that isn't our problem either. The grievances of terrorists have no basis in reality, but now our actions (destroying a country, then running away) make their claims almost true.

Florida Bombshell!!!

Democrats put big crack rock in Noelle's shoe!!

Developing hard....

To: Matchett-PI


How easy it would be to find one of the people who work at that center who happen to dislike Republicans/JebBush/President Bush/ etc - or who are just a registered
Demonrat OR have relatives living on the taxpayers - who would easily - for just the right sum of (secret) money - happen to find a stash of cocaine on this poor young
lady - and call the police (sorta like the bar owner who called the police on the President's daughter) when with others they don't call police, they handle it internally.

Anybody who thinks this is anything other than one more dispicable, desperate Demonrat attempt to destroy Governor Jeb Bush is sadly mistaken, ignorant, or both.

Neal Pollack is back making the rest of us redundant.
(Bad Thought: Does this mean that Noelle is helping the terrorists?)

Why is the media not calling this what it is -- crack?
Anti-Dotal on the truly revolting Mark Steyn.

Poor Sully. It just isn't one of his better days. As Howell Raines' little rag has replaced Clinton's Cock as Sully's "preciousssssss," his obsessive rantings have made him even sillier and less reliable than Kaus on the subject.

Consider this post today in which he compares the early headline/first paragraph of the Post's versus the Times' coverage of an identical story. The problem is, Sully links to the early version of the story. The final version, and the one which made it into print is here.

So, Sully:

From the Washington Post:

Iraq Lacks Material for Nuclear Bomb, Study Says
Biological Capacity Cited, But Report Stops Short Of Backing Military Action

By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, September 10, 2002; Page A06

LONDON, Sept. 9 -- Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon "in a matter of months," but only if it manages to acquire fissile material from an outside source, according to a report issued today by an independent military and security research group here.

From the Raines Times:

"London Group Says Iraq Lacks Nuclear Material for Bomb

LONDON, Sept. 9 — Saddam Hussein has substantial stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and the capacity to expand production of them on short
notice, but Iraq will be unable to build a nuclear weapon for years unless it obtains radioactive material on the black market, a leading security affairs research
organization said today.

Such a difference.

Right Wing Terrorists get sent up.

Condition Orange

Run away! Run away!
More on Noelle.

Gov. Jeb Bush's 25-year-old daughter was found with cocaine at an Orlando drug-rehabilitation center, police reported on Tuesday.

Bush was not arrested because police could not obtain sworn statements signed by the center's staff. A worker who found the suspected cocaine on Noelle Bush tore up a
sworn statement she had began writing at the suggestion of one of her bosses, police said.

Sgt. Orlando Rolon, a police spokesman, said the investigation by the department's drug-enforcement bureau is continuing.

Officers were dispatched to the drug-treatment center after a resident there reported that "the governor's daughter was caught, by treatment center staff, with drugs,”
according to the police report.

Police were called to the Center for Drug Free Living at about 8:45 p.m. Monday where workers gave them substance that later tested positive for cocaine, Rolon said.

Center staffers said they talked with Bush after receiving several complaints from residents about her, the report stated. Employee Julia Elias searched Noelle Bush and
“found a small white rock-like like substance in Bush's shoe.” Elias ripped a sworn statement that officers later collected as evidence.
Mark Crispin Miller says In the Wake of 9-11, the American Press Has Embraced a 'Demented Caesarism'
Dick Cheney steals pensions from Dresser-Rand employees.

Thanks, Dick!
Numerous voting problems in Miami-Dade, Broward.

I'm shocked.
How many strikes does she get?

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter was found with cocaine at a rehabilitation center where she is undergoing drug treatment, police said Tuesday.

Police were called to the Center for Drug Free Living in Orlando late Monday, where workers gave them a substance they said they found on Noelle Bush, 25, Police Sgt. Orlando Rolon said.

Possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony, said police.

Obviously the poor woman is an addict and she needs treatment. I'll leave it to treatment professionals to decide what that should be. But, the disparity between the treatment she's gotten and the treatment that prick Jeb has mandated for other drug offenders makes me really, really, angry.

The Sullynator has some interesting responses to the Harper's article against him.

Sullivan gets all huffy at the suggestion that his good friend Charles Francis, by giving him $500, bought a favorable mention.

First, if Francis only gave $500 why is he listed as a Gold Sponsor for giving $1000+?. I don't think it really matters, except to highlight Sully's tendency to instinctively lie when accused.

Second, as is his way he takes the Harper's criticism out of context. The context of the criticism was Sullivan's non-stop rantings against Krugman for having gotten some money from Enron for essentially attending a conference. If we all remember, Krugman was bad because he took Enron money without disclosing it even though he was working as a Times columnist. Then, even though it was before he was a Times columnist it was bad because he didn't disclose it. Then, it was bad because even though Krugman had disclosed it, he hadn't disclosed it every single time he mentioned Enron in his column to his readers, even though he was writing viciously negative things about the company. The time Krugman did write something nice, in Fortune , he disclosed it.

But, in any case, the Harper's article was highlighting Sullivan's now famous double standard of morality - one for him, and one for everyone he doesn't like. If Krugman is supposed to disclose his Enron payola every single time he writes something about them, then Sully should disclose in the text every single time he writes something nice about one of his $500 (or is it $1000+?) donors.

The truth is Sully's "defense" is a less convincing version of Krugman's - as Krugman was supposed to disclose his former financial ties to a company he was blasting, while Sully doesn't need to continuously disclose his financial ties to someone he is saying nice things about. Neither "defense" is really necessary, as in both cases there isn't all that much to defend, which of course was the point of the article in Harper's.

UPDATE: Just wanted to add that determining whether or not Paul Krugman is an "economic genius" of course requires a subjective judgement. But, if one considers the honors his peers have bestowed upon him - including the prestigious John Bates Clark medal and tenured positions at top universities - it isn't a ridiculous statement. And, given that it's a pretty good bet that he'll be a future Nobel Laureate as well....

Oh, also, check out the cartoon of little Hitchens and little Andy riding George Orwell like a horsey in the back of the NYT Book Review this past Sunday. I couldn't find it online.

Monday, September 09, 2002

U.S. May use Israeli Army Bases against Iraq.

JERUSALEM: Israel has authorised the United States to stockpile military hardware at its army bases, in view of a possible US-led offensive against Iraq, the daily Maariv reported on Monday.

According to the paper, which got hold of an official document, Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer has given the green light for the weaponry to be brought in the coming days.

Which is real and which is a joke?

so hard to tell sometimes...
Hey, TAPPED, since you guys are oh so busy all the time you could, you know, pay me vast Kausian sums of money and fold Eschaton into the massive Kuttner empire. I'll even say nice things about Robert Reich!
Don't miss Smarter Andrew Sullivan!
Just so we know which reporters and reports not to trust.

First, a blast from the past.

Columnist Gene Lyons--who has written widely, for Harpers magazine, the Internet journal Salon, and in book form, exposing the right-wing elements behind Whitewater and the Starr investigation--reveals a link between Starr's office, the Wall Street Journal and ABC television.

Lyons recalls that on April 23, 1998, Susan McDougal appeared before a Little Rock grand jury to answer questions about the Clintons and Whitewater. Her refusal to testify that day forms the basis for the current trial on criminal contempt charges.

That same day an op-ed column appeared in the Wall Street Journal under the headline "When Susan McDougal Almost Talked," written by Chris Vlasto, a producer for ABC News. The column opened with the lead sentence, attributed to Susan McDougal: "I know where all the bodies are buried." In his account, Vlasto claimed that McDougal had insinuated to him in off the record remarks in 1994 that she had dirt on the Clintons.

McDougal has denied ever being alone with Vlasto during a meeting in New York or talking to him about "buried bodies." Her account is backed by two other witnesses. But at her grand jury interrogation last year, Starr's prosecutors presented the Wall Street Journal article--published that very day, through coordination between the independent counsel and the Journal's editorial office--as proof thatMcDougal was hiding important facts about Whitewater. With jurors watching they placed the article in front of McDougal, drawing attention to the headline. Prosecutors later introduced the op-ed piece as evidence.

Vlasto's personal role raises many questions. It is highly unusual, to say the least, for a network television producer to write an article in a competing medium about what a source allegedly told him in confidence. His column was not Vlasto's only effort, not merely to report on events, but to shape them. According to Jim McDougal, after his Whitewater conviction Vlasto approached him and urged him to cooperate with the special prosecutor."You don't have to go out this way," Vlasto said. "If you walk in to see Ken Starr, he will greet you with open arms."

In his capacity as an ABC journalist Vlasto produced the reports by correspondent Jackie Judd about the semen-stained dress saved by Monica Lewinsky. Last week Judd and Vlasto were joint recipients of an award from theRadio and Television Correspondent Association in Washington for having the best "scoop" of 1998. The source of this report was undoubtedly Starr's office, which knew of the dress from the testimony and tape recordings supplied by Linda Tripp.

And one from just a year ago.

On October 26, ABC News ran a special report by Brian Ross, declaring that Iraq had been conclusively linked to the anthrax in a letter sent to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Ross reported that the spores found on the Daschle letter were “nearly identical to those discovered in Iraq in 1994. ABC NEWS also has learned that at least two labs have concluded the anthrax was coated with additives linked to the Iraqi biological weapons program.”

Ross claimed that “five well-placed and separate sources have told ABC NEWS that initial tests have detected traces of bentonite and silica, substances that keep tiny anthrax particles floating in the air by preventing them from sticking together—making them more easily inhaled.... As far as is known, only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons.”

Ross has produced more than one television “exclusive” which served US interests in relation to Iraq. When he worked as an investigative reporter for NBC News, he filed a report in April 1990 on alleged Iraqi attempts to obtain nuclear “triggers” from Western high-tech firms, a story which clearly required the tacit or active collaboration of American intelligence agencies.

Also significant is the identity of one of the report’s producers: Chris Vlasto. He was last in the news when he was identified as a media agent of the right-wing operatives who engineered the Clinton impeachment. Vlasto picked up the tab for a celebratory dinner for Paula Jones and her Christian fundamentalist attorneys the day they succeeded in hauling Clinton before a grand jury and compelling him to testify under oath about his sexual history, including answering questions about Monica Lewinsky.

UPDATE: Ooops, left off the punchline. I am the worst Blogger ever!

For ABC's Claire Shipman, interviewing Saddam Hussein's mistress was nothing like chasing the Monica Lewinsky story.

"We're not in Clinton territory here," Shipman says -- even if the interview with Parisoula Lampsos did include her claim that the Iraqi leader uses Viagra. And that Hussein could be romantic, though he had four other mistresses.

Shipman and producer Chris Vlasto say they spent months verifying Lampsos's account with U.S. and European intelligence officials and other Iraqi defectors (without a blue dress, they had to work hard). But even more interesting is how they tracked down the 54-year-old woman for Thursday's "PrimeTime Live."

Vlasto, working with the opposition Iraqi National Congress, waited for days in a Middle East country he declines to name until two Iraqis drove him at high speed to a safe house. There he conversed with Lampsos through an Arabic translator, learning only later that she speaks limited English. The fact that both are of Greek descent didn't hurt.

"What made her credible is she actually said nice things about Saddam," Vlasto says. "That and the level of detail convinced me to go back to ABC and say, 'We've got to do this woman!' "

Shipman met with Lampsos in May at a safe house outside Beirut. The Iraqi dissidents "thought it would be easier for Parisoula to talk to a woman, that it was hard to explain why she was the mistress of a dictator," she says.

Vlasto, who helped break some of the Lewinsky scoops, says Lampsos agreed to show her face because the dissidents believe that going public will make retaliation by Hussein's forces less likely. "Unlike Lewinsky, it was life and death. She's risking her life to do this interview," he says.

The two days of discussions ranged from Hussein's sex life to his hiding of chemical weapons to what Lampsos describes as his fondness for watching videotapes of his enemies being tortured. "This may be the hardest interview I've ever done," Shipman says. "It was exhausting. She was so emotional and so scared."

It really looks as if the major air carriers are doing what they can do make sure nobody ever wants to fly ever again.
O'Reilly's pissing off all of his old friends these days. (via Altercation).
Bush Sr. Defends his Friends and Partners.

Bush also said he was worried about the effect on U.S.-Saudi relations of the war against terrorism.
"What I don't like is demonizing Saudi Arabia, " he said. "It's not true. They are not enemies of ours. And to come under that kind of criticism, I think, is ridiculous."

Have any of the right of center folk on Blogistan talked about Rohrabacher's tango with the Taliban? Any?

Scott Rosenberg discusses War Marketing.

Imagine if John Podesta had said something like ""From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August" regarding going to war.


Richard Perle now claiming that Atta met with Hussein personally. Hesiod is on this too.
Since people love to use word searches as "proof" of things, I thought I'd try one. Number of times "Jenna" appears within 5 words of "Bush" in news articles from 01/01/2001 to 09/01/2002: 878. Age of Jenna Bush over this time period: 19-20.

Number of times "Chelsea" appears within 5 words of "Clinton" from 01/01/1993 to 09/01/1994: 1567. Age of Chelsea Clinton over this time - 12-14.

I don't want to hear squat about how the media gives the twins too much media coverage.

I want to comment some more on two posts below ("Just read this now.") I think Jeanne D'Arc sums up the importance of this case perfectly when she says:

The story confirmed everybody's worst fears about young men, race, class, and urban life. It confirmed something many conservatives wanted to believe and most liberals were doing their damnedest not to allow themselves to believe -- that there were growing numbers of young men (most of them -- oh, God, do we have to admit this -- minorities) who had no moral center whatsoever. Animals.

Thirteen years later, there's one more detail that needs to be added to the story: It was a lie.

And Sisyphus sums up my reaction pretty well with his title:

Oh, God, No.

This case was one of those defining cultural moments. It came near the peak of concerns about urban crime, and helped to construct and confirm people's worst fears. It allowed people like John DiIulio to speak of a "Super-Predator" underclass, some apparent new species of subhuman. It increased the public's tolerance for draconian and corrupt police tactics for which the city of Los Angeles will be paying a heavy financial price for years to come. Though such tactics are credited by some for falling crime rates in NYC, and I don't want to bother debating this point for now, but even if we accept it - at what cost, and who paid it?

It helped create an environment in which the Liberal Media could push The Bell Curve and The End of Racism as serious books.

It was a symbol of an era. And, it was complete and utter horseshit.

In addition, I'm sure some people owe the Reverend Al an apology over this one.


VICE PRES. CHENEY: Who did the anthrax attack last fall, Tim? We don’t know.

MR. RUSSERT: Could it have been Saddam?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I don’t know. I don’t know who did it. I’m not here today to speculate on or to suggest that he did. My point is that it’s the nature of terrorist attacks of these unconventional warfare methods, that it’s very hard sometimes to identify who’s responsible. Who’s the source? We were able to come fairly quickly to the conclusion after 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was, in fact, the individual behind the 9/11 attacks. But, like I say, I point out the anthrax example just to remind everybody that it is very hard sometimes, especially when we’re dealing with something like a biological weapon that could conceivably be misconstrued, at least for some period, as a naturally occurring event, that we may not know who launches the next attack.
Just go read this now.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Drudge says:

WASH TIMES: U.S. national security agencies are on alert for a terrorist attack after the discovery that a Middle Eastern man carried out suspicious surveillance of the Washington Monument, the Pentagon and other buildings in the area... MORE... The man in question videotaped the Washington Monument on the Mall on Sept. 1 and paced off several distances around the monument, according to U.S. intelligence officials...

I wonder if this was relayed via America's Most Wanted.
As Hesiod notes, whichever psyops guy (Charlotte Beers?) made up the latest lurid Saddam stories probably watched Exit to Eden waaay to many times.
Josh Marshall on Apples and Oranges, Clinton, Bush, and Iraq.

The false comparison seems to be a conservative disease. It seems to be the only weapon of some of the sillier right wing bloggers as well.
Will the real George Bush Please Write In?
Bill Clinton outlines his views about his wider vision regarding terrorism and peace:

First, we should support President Bush and our military in finishing the job of getting Osama bin Laden and the other al-Qaeda leaders out of Afghanistan.

Second, we must do everything we can to end the North Korean nuclear missile programme. This is a very big deal: the North Koreans may not be able to grow enough food to feed their people, but they are world-class missile builders and they sell missiles to our adversaries.


Third, we must constrain the production and distribution of chemical, biological, and small-scale nuclear weapons. We know that Saddam Hussein is a continuing concern because his laboratories are busy. His military is much weaker than it was at the time of the Persian Gulf War, but the threat of his labs is real. It is not as immediate as the need to restart the Middle East peace process and stop the violence there, and it may not require an invasion, but it must be addressed.

Fourth, we should increase the capacity of our friends to deal with terror. I support what President Bush is doing to help President Gloria Arroyo in the Philippines. I also believe Bush is right to broaden the uses of our aid to Colombia, in order to save the oldest democracy in Latin America from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc. The Farc are, in fact, terrorists in the service of drug traffickers who are trying to make Colombia the world's first narco-state.


Fifth, we have to improve domestic defences and cooperation. I support the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security as long as it has the authority to keep all the related agencies in close cooperation and it has immediate access to all intelligence.

Diane Feinstein, no squishy liberal peacenik, outlines hers here:

Above all, there is our approach to Iraq and our perceived readiness to invade that nation unilaterally.

I believe we have to ask many critical questions, most of which are unanswered.

Questions about the ongoing war on terrorism. How do we stay the course, root out terrorism and, at the same time, initiate war with a nation-state which, to this day, remains unconnected to 9/11?

Questions about the extent of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and about who will get to them first.

Questions about going it alone in Iraq.

Questions about casualties and cost.

Questions about collateral human damage - civilians killed in the short term and in the long run.

Questions about the future of Iraq, about whether we can honestly expect a democracy to be created out of a nation consumed by tribal factionalism.

Zell plays some silly games here, but he outlines pretty clearly "his" concerns about Iraq.

1) Even if Hussein has nukes, does he have the capability to reach New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta?

(2) The old Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear missiles for decades, many of them capable of reaching our major cities, and yet we didn't get into a war with the Soviets. The president needs to explain why Iraq is different.

(3) Who will join with us in this war and what share will they be willing to bear? (There was also some grumbling about our boys in Afghanistan "just doing guard duty" to protect those warlords.)

(4) What happens after we take out Hussein? How long will our soldiers be there? And, again, with whose help?

(5) There is concern about too much deployment. We've got our soldiers stationed all over the world. Someone needs to bring us up to date on where they all are, why they are there and how long our commitment to keep them there is.

(6) How does our plan in Iraq fit in with the whole Middle East question? How will it affect Israel? How will it affect our war on terrorism? Does taking Saddam out help or hurt that entire messy situation?

(7) At Mary Ann's Restaurant, Tony is all right. But Putin is not. Why are we putting so much trust in him? Is he still with us in the war on terrorism, or was that just so much talk at a photo op?

(8) The people at Mary Ann's know very well who fights our wars -- the kids from the middle-class and blue-collar homes of America. Kids like their grandchildren. They want to hear the president say that he knows and understands that.

(9) Forgive my bluntness, but these folks also want to hear the president and the vice president say that this war is not about oil.

(10) They also want to hear an explanation of why we didn't take care of this in the Persian Gulf War, and why it is on our doorstep again so soon.
CNN's cheerleading a possible Iraq war so obviously it's pathetic.

On the other hand, CBS has had some incredibly skeptical coverage this morning. Refreshing.