Saturday, November 02, 2002

This exchange with Jon Stewart is fascinating.

STEWART: No, honestly, I leave probably CNN on mostly all the time. Although the networks are not really meant to be watched all the time, which I realize now.

KURTZ: When did this come to you?

STEWART: As I was pulling my hair out... (LAUGHTER)

... watching the same footage over and over again of nothing.

But I do keep CNN -- I mean, Fox, let's face facts, is a relatively cynical undertaking, to begin with.

KURTZ: Because?

STEWART: Well, it's basically, it's taken the AM radio mentality and labeled it fair and balanced just to upset you guys.

KURTZ: A lot of people watch.

STEWART: Of course, a lot of people watch. A lot of people watch wrestling. A lot of people watch -- you know, you could put on porn, and I think a lot of people would
watch it.

But I think they call it fair and balanced just as kind of a dig. I mean, it's not. It's clearly meant to be more ideological and more opinion-based. They took the paradigm
of AM radio. By the way, I enjoy what those guys do. I find it fun to watch. It's just not a news network.

< snip >

STEWART: But the thing about CNN is, you guys actually say you can depend on CNN. That's why I'm more upset with you than I am with them.

KURTZ: You hold CNN to a higher standard.

STEWART: Exactly. I expect that from them. From you guys, I'm upset -- what I don't understand is why you guys, with the talent and the credibility and the
(UNINTELLIGIBLE) would want to take a page out of their playbook. Why wouldn't you want to take a page out of the more credible? Why wouldn't you go towards the
other -- why would you go louder when you could go smarter?

< snip >

KURTZ: So you don't, you're not confusing yourself with a quote, "real journalist"?

STEWART: No. You guys are...

KURTZ: You're just making fun...

STEWART: You guys are confusing yourselves with real journalists.

KURTZ: Oh boy, you're loaded (UNINTELLIGIBLE) today.

STEWART: Instead of putting on shows like "CROSSFIRE" and "Gotcha" and "I'm Going To Kick Your Ass With Tucker Carlson" and "Let's Beat Up The Short Guy."
KURTZ: I'm glad you're at least watching so much CNN, Jon.

STEWART: I am watching it constantly. It's driving me insane. Make the ticker stop. You're in the middle of a damn sniper story, and all of a sudden underneath it, you know, "Liza Minnelli's first VH1 show to air."

KURTZ: There's a new thing out called...


KURTZ: There's a new thing out called remote control. We'll have to get you one.

STEWART: But you're the news. That works for entertainment. People need you. Help us. Help us.

KURTZ: Thank you for making us feel needed, Jon Stewart. Thanks for sharing.


While we've all got our tinfoil hats on, how do we feel about this one?

Rumsfeld's influential Defense Science Board 2002 Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism says in its classified "outbrief" -- a briefing drafted to guide other Pentagon agencies -- that the global war on terrorism "requires new strategies, postures and organization."

The board recommends creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception.

Among other things, this body would launch secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction -- that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to "quick-response" attacks by U.S. forces.

Such tactics would hold "states/sub-state actors accountable" and "signal to harboring states that their sovereignty will be at risk," the briefing paper declares.

Tom Clancy couldn't dream this one up...

Roger Ailes (not that one) points me to this New York Times roundup of a very odd story that I'd forgotten about. Was local to me at the time. Strange then, strange now.

IRVINE, Calif. — On the morning of Feb. 28, 2000, a man in a black hood ran up to Patrick Riley in front of his office, shot him flush in the face and fled.

The bullet missed his brain, and Mr. Riley, a biotechnology entrepreneur, survived. But two days later, his business partner, a doctor named Larry C. Ford, killed himself with a shotgun after learning he was suspected of being the mastermind behind the shooting.

That is where the story probably would have ended — a lurid but ultimately local piece of intrigue played out in the sun-splashed Orange County sprawl — had it not been for the phone calls that within hours began coming in to the police. Dr. Ford, the callers said, had left something behind: a cache of weapons and anthrax.

The local elementary school was closed. Forty-two families were evacuated from their homes in Dr. Ford's affluent neighborhood. Then police and federal investigators began to unearth evidence that Larry Ford had another life — that he was not just a brilliant, if somewhat geeky, gynecologist who hoped to develop a device to protect women from AIDS.

Buried next to his swimming pool they found canisters containing machine guns and C-4 plastic explosives. In refrigerators at his home and office, next to the salad dressing and employee lunches, were 266 bottles and vials of pathogens — among them salmonella, cholera, botulism and typhoid. The deadly poison ricin was stored, with a blowgun and darts, in a plastic bag in the family room. A compartment under the floorboards held medical files on 83 women.

Read -- there's more. Put your tinfoil hats on first though. Anthrax, CIA connection, conflicting reports from law enforcement, South Africa, the Turner Diaries, links to white supremacists, one man in jail who won't give up the shooter despite facing 26-life, and a partridge in a pear tree are all there.

UPDATE: Here's an older story on this from LA Magazine.
Please donate to the Mondale campaign NOW through the Move On website.
Wow, Rittenhouse Review has a shocking article about Barbara Bush.
Bob Novak is a race-baiting liar..

After refusing to comment for a week on speculation about whether he was on a short list of potential U.S. Senate candidates after Sen. Paul Wellstone's death, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page broke his silence Friday.

Angered by a syndicated column by Robert Novak, which ran in Friday's Pioneer Press, Page said that though reluctant, he had to comment.

"Because of this week's extraordinary circumstances and the column's insidious use of race, Mr. Novak's comments require a response. Beyond the use of race, the column is, in its references to me, factually inaccurate," Page said.

The Novak column said, "According to Minnesota sources, he (Page) was eager to seek the Senate seat. But the DFL apparently did not want to risk running the African-American Page in an overwhelmingly Caucasian state, and Page was quickly discouraged."

Page said that, contrary to the column's claims, he "did not seek to be nominated to the Senate seat" and that beyond his friends and "a number of supportive citizens," he was not asked to be a candidate. Nor, he said, was he discouraged.

He also said the Novak column inaccurately said he "led the state Democratic ticket in recent elections." Page noted that judicial elections in Minnesota are nonpartisan and conducted separately from the political parties.

"I find it offensive and unacceptable that forces beyond my control have used me as a vehicle to interject race into Minnesota's political debate,'' Page said.

Oh god, just pour me a drink. Food stamp usage up! YAY!

WASHINGTON (AP) - More people are signing up for food stamps - a sure indication of tough times but also a dose of medicine for helping revive the economy.

Enrollment has increased over the past two years from nearly 17 million in 2000 to 19 million in 2002, reversing a trend that began in 1994, according to the latest Agriculture Department figures.

With an increase in food stamp users, "grocery stores sell more food and farmers produce more food," Agriculture Undersecretary Eric Bost said. "That pumps more money, of course, into the economy."

In reality, food stamps no longer exist although the program still bears that name. Eligible recipients now get a plastic, ATM-like card to pay for their groceries, just like people using credit and bank debit cards.

The cards are more convenient for grocers and less embarrassing for some poor people who already feel stigmatized in relying on the government to pick up part of their food bills. The cards also are one of the ways the government is trying to increase enrollment after reports said participation in the program was low because many people were not aware they were eligible.

Jean Daniel, an Agriculture Department spokeswoman, attributes the increased enrollment to both the economic downturn and to the agency's efforts to enroll more people.

I mean, sure there's a bit of truth to it, but what a spin!
Mebbe Harvey's gonna go..

Support for U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites) Chairman Harvey Pitt is waning as the White House considers a call for his resignation amid political furor over his agency's accounting oversight, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The White House is considering asking Pitt to resign or may wait and allow him to step down after the Nov. 5 congressional elections, the paper reported, citing Republican sources.

The report cited rising White House dismay over controversy stirred up by Pitt's appointment of former FBI chief William Webster and other members of the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

President Bush could strip Pitt of his chairman's title, but cannot force him to leave the agency, the paper reported.
McBride on that lying weasel Jeb!
Jesse from Pandagon discovers what Tupac Shakur thought of the Wellstone funeral.
Rumors are swirling that 3rd party NY gubernatorial candidate Golisano is going to drop out and endorse McCall...


Friday, November 01, 2002

Make sure you remember to read Sully Watch and Smarter Andrew Sullivan.
Mark Kleiman has some interesting thoughts on the Boy Scout/Atheist flap:

Now imagine that the policy singled out any other religious belief for similar discrimination: that anyone could be a Scout who wasn't a practicing Roman Catholic, for example. That policy would arguably -- Eugene has convinced me of this -- be within the rights of a private group, and not subject to being overruled by state or federal civil rights laws. But the question whether that group should have free use of public facilities for its meetings, or extensive support from the United Way, would hardly arise. The group would instantly become disreputable, for the reasons Eugene lays out.

The policy in question wouldn't merely deprive individual Catholic kids of the benefits of Scouting; it would proclaim to the world, in a way that we as a people hold abhorrent, that there's something wrong with being a Catholic. Consequently, any support for the Boy Scouts, even the indirect support of giving them free places to meet, would be seen as supporting anti-Catholic bigotry. Putting the fact that one is an Eagle Scout on one's resume or college application would suddenly become a very dicey proposition.

The fact that the policy toward atheists is a real example, while the policy toward Catholics is a far-fetched hypothetical, merely points to the fact that this one kind of religious bigotry is still perfectly acceptable in polite company. (The polling data are appalling; atheists are the only group with net negative ratings in the Pew Center poll, rated unfavorably by about two-thirds of the public.) Senator Joseph Lieberman's denial that it was possible to have morality without religion was an insult to unbelievers that could not have been delivered with political safety to any other religious group.

Us godless people are fed up with religious bigotry.

Leah A. says:

I really thought it couldn't get any worse than the despicable column she wrote about those three young American muslim doctors-to-be, whom a fellow luncher at Stoney's reported to the police. Managing to turn the eavesdropper into their victim, Noonan imagined what had happened at Stoney's, after reassuring us that she had paid close attention to the details of the story; in her mind's eye the three young men in their muslim gear (actually only one of them was wearing a religious cap) garnered strange looks from the locals, became sullen, and decided to play their 9/11 joke on the hapless woman, whom, despite the claimed close attention, Noonan still appeared to think was the waitress, rather than another luncher. Surely, Peg argued, the men should have known their presence would discombobulate the locals, why couldn't they have done something as simple as smile and introduce themselves, thus reassuring all present, presumably, that they were not terrorists. That all three men had denied talking about 9/11, making a joke or attempting a hoax, and that the police and the security tape from the toll booth had cleared them of every one of the rumored charges against them went unmentioned by Noonan. In the end she celebrated the hospital's decision (since rescinded)to deprive them of their internships.

If Leona Hemsley was the queen of mean, Peggy is its princess.

This column is worse, but what they have in common is her too little remarked upon penchant for lies. That's why she finds those fantasy rhetorical devices so congenial; they allow her to tell untruths, without appearing to be lying, or perhaps, even to be aware that she is, which is why she was such a perfect speech writer for Reagan...and Bush pere.

The lies here are too many to fully document. Start with calling the memorial the triumph of the political over the personal. (Who really thinks that Peggy Noonan saw more than five minutes of the memorial, if that?) Nothing could have been more personal, or intimate than each of the eulogies for each of the three Wellstones, and each of their three friends and associates who died with them. Nor were there any boos when Republican Senators entered; and if there were some later on, they came from so small a fraction of the audience that I couldn't hear it watching on Cspan.

I think it was Digby in another comments section who mentioned that it's an odd political rally that never mentions so much as the name of the opponent.

When in the guise of channeling Wellstone lecturing his sons for having blown this tribute, (to their father, mother & sister, please remember), Noonan goes further into fantasy by having Paul ask them to imagine a reverse scenario, a funeral for Trent Lott, in which Democrats and the Democratic party get attacked, one has to ask, what on earth is she talking about? There were no such attacks Tuesday. Didn't happen. The eulogizers spoke with passion and much affection and humor, but always and only in support of the people and ideas that mattered to the Wellstones and their friends. The passionate response of the audience was born of grief and love, for those who had been lost, and for the values that need not be lost.(And the reason for the choice of a venue with a large seating capacity was because so many people wanted to be there, and even so, people were turned away.) Interesting that in Peg's fantasy world, exhorting people to get out and vote as a tribute to a fallen Senator becomes a cynical political ploy, thereby revealing the contempt she and a few other contemporary Republicans have for the very concept of voting.

What Noonan, the divorcee who embraces the notion that parents (other parents that is)who divorce are being selfish and injuring their children, can't understand is that there was no division in the Wellstone's lives between their political beliefs and how they actually lived their lives. Naturally, the intimacy they share within their family was of a different nature than the connection they shared with constituents, but that connection was also an extension of the core values that informed even their closest and most intimate relationships. As was also true of their lost friends, Mary McEvoy, Will McLaughlin, Tom Lapic. Did Peg find it lacking in class when the President of the U of M in his eulogy for Prof. McEvoy mentioned her tireless commitment to special education and announced an annual award to be given in her name for an academic whose work connects to public service? Was that too political for her taste. For John Kennedy's? For John Adams? (To both of whom she maintains a direct line of communication)

In a spirit of magnanimity worthy of Paul Wellstone, let me say a good word for one Republican. Rod Gramms is as conservative as they come; I doubt there is a single issue I'd agree with him on, but apparently he really did care about his senatorial comrade. As quoted in the StarTribune, he confined himself [to this statement "They can do what they want. We're here tonight to say goodbye to a friend. That's all I'm thinking right now."

Putting a draft board together "just in case"?

What the hell?

hudson valley - The state headquarters of the Selective Service System is searching for men and women to serve on draft boards, including one in Rockland.

If a military draft would ever become necessary, about 2,000 local and appeal boards nationwide would decide which young men in their communities would receive deferments, postponements or exemptions from military service, based on federal guidelines.

Prospective board members must be citizens and at least 18 years old. Males must be registered with the Selective Service. Members cannot be employees of any law-enforcement agency, an active or retired member of the armed forces or have been convicted of a criminal offense.

Each new member would receive 12 hours of initial training, followed by four hours of annual training, for as long as he or she remained in the position.

Those who wish to be considered should call 339-8302 or 847-688-7996. Residents may also request an application online at or write to Selective Service System, 105th AW/EMB 1 Militia Way, Building 210, Newburgh, NY 12550.

It's the Democrat/Republican Economy Smackdown!

Rule of Law Party Whining Again.

The Maryland Republican Party is charging that partisan politics is behind a decision declaring the GOP's absentee ballot application illegal. News4's Chris Gordon reported that, as a result, just days before the election, some Republicans may be denied their right to vote.

Applications for absentee ballots require that a voter fill out their date of birth. But the Maryland Republican Party sent out applications that did not require a birth date.

As a result, State Attorney General Joseph Curran, who is a Democrat, directed the Board of Elections to declare those absentee ballot applications invalid. Republicans are in an uproar.

cry me a river.
I guess I'm about the only one who doesn't think the Harvey Pitt is going to be shown the door anytime soon. As far as I can remember, the only time the Bush administration has obviously backed down from anything or anyone was over the Linda Chavez nomination. Sure, they've backed down plenty of times on things, but always with a Fleischeresque swirl like "a changed regime is regime change" so as not to appear that they've backed down. There's no way to throw Harvey to the wolves without admitting error, and I just don't see it happening.

Fact Checking Michael Kelly's Ass (eeeew)

As Tbogg and Uggabugga have noted, Michael Kelly's latest article on Chickenhawks is his usual lesson on strawman construction and demolition. But, Michael Kelly also errs by including Abraham Lincoln in the list of honorable chickenhawks like himself. Kelly Says:

Such has given us the leadership in war of such notable "chicken hawks" as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

A quick Google search will reveal to all that Abraham Lincoln did indeed volunteer to serve in the Blackhawk Indian War of 1832.

UPDATE: And, Buckminster Fush writes in with this:

FDR was not a chickenhawk either! A chickenhawk is a Draft Dodger, and this doesn't describe Roosevelt in the least.

He was 16 at the time of the war with Spain, and by the time the USA entered WWI

he was 34. During WWI he was assistant Sec. of the Navy, as someone in the comments pointed out. In which of these wars does Kelly think he should have fought?

FDR, though he favored intervention in the Second World War, was handcuffed by the Neutrality act of 1935. When he did seek to support the allies he asked for, and received, congressional authorization, most famously for the Lend-Lease Act.

The first time FDR called for war with the Axis was AFTER the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

To call him a chickenhawk is shameful and fallacious.

Read this sentence a few times...

Then explain it to me.

The quest for an effective "nonlethal" chemical agent like the one that killed more than 100 hostages in Moscow last weekend has tantalized U.S. military and law enforcement officials for years.

I thought Joseph Heller was dead -- who knew he was writing copy for the Post?

He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt.

It's really sickening watch Candy Crowley on CNN giggling about Florida voting problems.

Forrester Supporter Assaults Lautenberg

But Mr. Lautenberg said that he was gratified to have had the chance to present his views alongside Mr. Forrester's, and that he was confident he still had the stamina and determination to handle the rough and tumble of politics. As he walked past 150 demonstrators on his way into the studio, one reached out and punched him in the arm, but Mr. Lautenberg brushed it aside.

"I was ready to start swinging back," he said later with a smile.

Hesiod points us to this story about racist Republican election tactics.

Hamas Threatens US, Moonie Times Reports

Intelligence sources say the top terror targets are all polling places in heavily democratic districts.
I tend to be fairly sympathetic about stupid stunts pulled by stupid teenagers and college students. And, while dressing up in blackface at a southern university is truly a horrible stunt, without knowing more I would have to put it in the 'stupid' rather than 'malicious' category. Despite all the carping about how our schools have been taken over by multicultural diversity training seminars, your average college kid doesn't have a freaking clue about this stuff.

Jim C. takes on Harvey Pitt and has this addendum:

ADDENDUM: This entire situation begs the question, why didn’t anyone in the media break this story before the SEC voted on Webster’s appointment last week? I presume Webster’s affiliation with U.S. Technologies was included in the biographical material submitted to the SEC. It should have been known to reporters covering the agency. It was a matter of public record. Did not one reporter there, or at the White House, think to perform even the most cursory of research about the company at which Webster chaired the board of director’s audit committee? Come on, people, I can’t do this all myself.


There are a variety of issues about which I can 'agree to disagree' with people. However, there are some opinions which, admittedly, are likely to get people crossed off my list (not that they care). To that fairly small set of opinions we can now add the belief that this Peggy Noonan column, in which she claims to speak for a dead man while chastizing his family and friends, isn't truly disgusting

(via Tbogg, who informs us that next week the Nooner will be channeling Jam Master Jay - perhaps to admonish his fellow Negros to Stay in School, word!)

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Jeb's Secret Weapon

Nov. 1, 2002 | In December 2000, we reported that Florida's use of a faulty and politically questionable list of felons and dead people "scrubbed" from voter rolls -- half of them African-Americans -- may have cost Al Gore the 537-vote margin of victory claimed by George W. Bush in Florida.

Fast-forward two years. There's another close race in Florida. This time, younger brother Jeb is fighting to fend off a challenge from Bill McBride for the governor's race. The Nov. 5 face-off could again come down to thousands, if not hundreds, of votes.

And even though the list has been widely condemned -- the company that created it admits probable errors -- the same voter scrub list, with more than 94,000 names on it, is still in operation in Florida. Moreover, DBT Online, which generated the disastrously flawed list, reports that if it followed strict criteria to eliminate those errors, roughly 3,000 names would remain -- and a whopping 91,000 people would have their voting rights restored.

Eventually the list will be fixed, state officials have promised, in accordance with a settlement with the NAACP in its civil rights suit against Florida following the 2000 election. But notuntil the beginning of next year -- and after Jeb Bush's reelection bid is long over.

Damn. Drudge says Tweety's show is in the ratings basement.

Two Tears on a Bucket on why Roe v. Wade ain't enough.

Pitt Seeks Probe of Himself


Their headline, not mine, and not the Onion's...

Announcing Stand Down

A group blog dedicated to disseminating information about and critiques of Iraq invasion plans.
Brad DeLong asks:

Why Are We Ruled by These Idiots?


Sully's all upset because the evil Howell Raines has let his arch nemesis Richard Goldstein write for the New York Times. Over at the Dish, he says this of Harry Hay, considered the founder of the modern gay rights movement:

He was also a supporter of the sexual abuse of children, fervently supporting the vile organization, NAMBLA, and lobbying to make it a part of the gay rights movement.

while chiding the Times, and Goldstein, for not including such lurid details in their obit and column.

Selective outrage for Sully is nothing new, and nor is deception. While any support of NAMBLA makes one a bit queasy, it's a little disingenuous to say that he was a 'supporter of the sexual abuse of children.' His support for NAMBLA was more ACLU-style supporting their right to exist and make their thoughts on sexual consent heard than him being an explicit advocate of pederasty or pedophilia. One can look at this petition which is the centerpiece of his 'support for NAMBLA' and come to your own conclusions - this isn't really the focus of this post.

The real focus of this post is Sully's selective outrage about this topic. Consider this quote by Sullivan good friend and one-time substitute contributor to the Daily Dish, Camille Paglia:

These days, especially in America, boy-love is not only scandalous and criminal, but somehow in bad taste. On the evening news, one sees handcuffed teachers, priests and Boy Scout leaders hustled into police vans. Therapists call them maladjusted, emotionally immature. But beauty has its own laws, inconsistent with Christian morality. As a woman, I feel free to protest that men today are pilloried for something that was rational and honorable in Greece at the height of its civilization.

~ Camille Paglia, activist and author
in Sexual Personae (New York,Vintage Books1991

Or, this quote, from Salon:

As far as Ginsberg's pro-NAMBLA stand goes, this is one of the things I most admire him for. I have repeatedly protested the lynch-mob hysteria that dogs the issue of man-boy love. In "Sexual Personae," I argued that male pedophilia is intricately intertwined with the cardinal moments of Western civilization.

Can we call on Sully to now frame all discussion of Ms. Paglia as "Camille Paglia, supporter of the sexual abuse of children?"

There's also his recent canonization of recently slain Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, who was also an advocate of the decriminalization of 'paedo sex,' which was enough to scare off that other member of the Fortuyn fan club Rod Dreher.

Think what you want about NAMBLA and "NAMBLA supporters." Just make sure to include them all.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

His name's Jam-Master, call him Jay
The crowd goes wild when he starts to play
Everything is correct, and A-OK
Jam-Master's on a move, but his sounds will stay

Jam Master Jay, rest in peace.
TBogg gets the quote of the day...

Oh well. Better ranting on Free Republic than perched on the roof, thinning out the neighborhood with a high powered rifle...

I do have to wonder if any of the people going after Ted Rall for his column about Paul Wellstone actually read past the title.

But, in any case, Rall did remind me of all of the conspiracy theories about Ron Brown's death that had slipped my mind.
Holy crap! Republicans seem to have re-discovered the Fairness Doctrine, and believe it is still in force.

oh lordy...
Dr. Squid on Pootie-Poot's gas.

Proposal for Future Memorial Services for Dead Politicians

My good friend David Broder sent me an email today in which he lamented the partisan tone of Paul Wellstone's memorial. He feels that it was inappropriate that equal time was not given to the opposition party to air their views. When, for example, Paul's commitment to combatting domestic violence was praised, Trent Lott should have been given time to praise domestic violence. When his supporters and friends asked that Paul's death not be the end of his vision and his legacy, Tommy Thompson should have had time to air his thoughts on why Paul's vision deserved to die with him.

Broder's modest proposal, a good one as always, was for all future political funerals to be bi-partisan. If a politician from one side of the aisle dies, all formal ceremony should be put off until a politician from the other side does too. Then, there could be a joint memorial, with supporters and speakers apportioned according to the current representation in Congress. We would expect Ralph Nader to file a lawsuit objecting to third party exclusion from the memorial proceedings, but this shouldn't be a hindrance.

In death, as in life, bipartisanship is the highest ideal. We must have balance.

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

As far as the nation knows, President Bush does not keep a Richard Nixon-style "enemies list." If he did, though, Gabe Hudson might well be on it.

Hudson's new collection of short stories, "Dear Mr. President" (Knopf, $19), has made him a favorite of book critics, fellow writers and lots of readers. But the book, it seems, has had the opposite effect on the commander in chief.

If Hudson is telling the truth - and there's no reason to think he isn't - Bush recently sent the young author a two-paragraph note, complete with his own review of "Dear Mr. President."

"I was in shock. Very surprised," Hudson said Tuesday. "I didn't think it was real at first. I mean, who would? But once you hold the thing and read it, there's no doubt in your mind. I mean, nobody could fake the authority of that letter."

Bush's missive, however, was not fan mail.

"The letter began by thanking me for sending the book," Hudson said. "Also, I'm from Austin, Texas, and the president touched on the fact that I was a fellow Texan, congratulating me on my book. But he was setting me up for the one-two punch. Because he called the book unpatriotic and ridiculous and just plain bad writing. Beyond that, I've been instructed not to talk about the contents of the letter for the time being."

UPDATE: Buckminster Fush sent in a link to an excerpt from the book.
Boston Globe has more on Harken. Dirty bastards and their fixers.

Not Just Abortion Shenanigans, Matt

One of the things most of my liberal pals seem to miss is that the various actions by the Bush administration to give various legal recognition to embryos and fetuses aren't just symbolic gestures to placate the anti-choicers. I haven't had enough coffee yet to inspire me to hunt down the details, and perhaps my lawyer friends can help me out, but from what I remember one of the reasons the Court has thus far declined to revisit the central ruling in Roe v. Wade is that there hasn't as of yet been the establishment of any legal status of the fetus - that is no establishment of their standing in law. So, the motivation for doing these types of things is to give legal recognition to the fetus.
So, I'm watching CNN and Jeff Greenfield, responding to polls saying that Mondale has 98% name recognition and is ahead of his opponent by 8 points says "well, you have to realize that it's been a long time since Mondale ran for Senate and you have a lot of new people who don't even know who he is."

New York Times Sunday:

Fewer people attended than organizers had said they hoped for, even though after days of cold, wet weather, the sun came out this morning. Participants said the shootings in and around the city in the last three weeks had kept people from planning to visit Washington.

New York Times today:

Emboldened by a weekend antiwar protest in Washington that organizers called the biggest since the days of the Vietnam War, groups opposed to military action in Iraq said they were preparing a wave of new demonstrations across the country in the next few weeks.

The demonstration on Saturday in Washington drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers. They expected 30 buses, and were surprised by about 650, coming from as far as Nebraska and Florida.

For the record - which side has used the occasion of a man's death both to bash the other party and the way that man's sons chose to honor their father?

Some days I'm still shocked. After all these years. But, as the minute man reminds us, the GOP grief police are always with us.

MWO says:

So how did the Right react to the service?

Sadly, the soulless, seething Right did everything but physically crash it.

They filled the Internet with expressions of their excruciating pain over witnessing a celebration of one man's love, compassion, commitment, and, ultimately, sacrifice.

They put forth characteristically gauche, desperate cries for hate radio host Rush Limbaugh to commiserate with them in their contempt for all good things, calling on him to publicly dissect and trash the beautiful Wellstone tribute. They mocked the laughter shared among the Senator's admirers in hopes of making it a political issue. They did what the Right does - scrutinized, invaded, and attempted to defile a sacred realm.

What got them so enraged? For the soulless Right, politics is about power for its own sake. For the soulless Right, politics is about "getting theirs," wars, and angrily resisting those who would seek to promote American ideals like social justice.

So, naturally, they could not grasp a connection between the mourning of a beloved Senator and father by Paul Wellstone's friends and family, and their urgent, heartfelt pleadings for an election victory that would honor his life and legacy.

But trashing a memorial service of one of the most universally respected and revered public servants of our day?

It is because there are pitiful, spiritless people like them, whose blackened, hardened hearts know no limits of depravity, that the decent people of an entire nation cherish people like Senator Wellstone that much more, and will dedicate themselves to continuing his fight.

Instapundit says:

Meanwhile a bunch of people who watched the ceremonies on CSPAN2 say the whole thing was rather unseemly, more like a fundraiser than a funeral. I didn't see it, but that would get Clinton, Lott and Mondale off the hook, I guess. It's perfectly seemly to laugh and gladhand at a fundraiser.

Actually, it's perfectly seemly to laugh and cheer at a memorial service. God, hasn't any republican been to a jubilant memorial service?

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

TAPPED has a post about what they perceive as gay-baiting by Sanders against Graham.

What Hesiod says.

No one will celebrate the egg man's life.

UPDATE: just want do add -- anyone who doesn't get that the best memorial services, when possible, celebrate life and not death, is a truly pathetic soul.
If I were the liberal equivalent of Fox News I'd run tape of Tommy Thompson *not* singing the national anthem over and over...

Wellstone memorial on Cspan2 now. Looks like a it's going to be quite a celebration, as it should be.
Nathan Newman has an interesting analysis of recent increases in partisanship.
post taken down for various reasons.

It's Okay If You're a Republican.

I'm not nearly as sanguine as Tom Spencer is about the political impact of the latest revelations about Mike Huckabee's involvement with the parole of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond, who later raped and killed another woman shortly after his release.

For those of us who weren't paying attention, Dumond was one of the Clinton Conspiracies. Short version is that Clinton interevened to put this poor innocent man away because of his distant relationship to the 'alleged' victim.

When the poor innocent man raped and murdered someone following his release, Huckabee attempted to distance himself from what had been his very public Clinton-hate motivated cause.

Waas writes:

Huckabee has denied a role in Dumond's release, which has become an issue in his race for re-election against Democrat Jimmie Lou Fisher. Fisher says Huckabee's advocacy of Dumond's freedom, plus other acts of executive clemency, exhibit poor judgment. In response, Huckabee has shifted responsibility for Dumond's release to others, claiming former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker made Dumond eligible for parole and saying the Post Prison Transfer Board made the decision on its own to free Dumond.

But the Times' new reporting shows the extent to which Huckabee and a key aide were involved in the process to win Dumond's release. It was a process marked by deviation from accepted parole practice and direct personal lobbying by the governor, in an apparently illegal and unrecorded closed-door meeting with the parole board (the informal name by which the Post Prison Transfer Board is known).

After Huckabee told the board, in executive session, that he believed Dumond got a "raw deal," according to a board member who was there, and supported his release, board chairman Leroy Brownlee personally paved the way for Dumond's release, according to board records and former members. During that time - from December 1996 to January 1997 - Brownlee regularly consulted with Butch Reeves, the governor's prison liaison, on the status of his efforts, two state officials have told the Times.

"I don't believe that he had access to, or read, the law enforcement records or parole commission's files - even by then," the official said. "He already seemed to have made up his mind, and his knowledge of the case appeared to be limited to a large degree as to what people had told him, what Jay Cole had told him, and what he had read in the New York Post."

Jay Cole, like Huckabee, is a Baptist minister, pastor for the Mission Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville and a close friend of the governor and his wife. On the ultra-conservative radio program he hosts, Cole has championed the cause of Wayne Dumond for more than a decade.

Cole has repeatedly claimed that Dumond's various travails are the result of Ashley Stevens' distant relationship to Bill Clinton.

The governor was also apparently relying on information he got from Steve Dunleavy, first as a correspondent for the tabloid television show "A Current Affair" and later as a columnist for the New York Post.

Much of what Dunleavy has written about the Dumond saga has been either unverified or is demonstrably untrue. Dunleavy has all but accused Ashley Stevens of having fabricated her rape, derisively referring to her in one column as a "so-called victim," and brusquely asserting in another, "That rape never happened."

The columnist wrote that Dumond was a "Vietnam veteran with no record" when in fact he did have a criminal record. He claimed there existed DNA evidence by "one of the most respected DNA experts in the country" to exonerate Dumond, even though there was no such evidence. He wrote that Bill Clinton had personally intervened to keep Dumond in prison, even though Clinton had recused himself in 1990 from any involvement in the case because of his distant relationship with Stevens.

"The problem with the governor is that he listens to Jay Cole and reads Steve Dunleavy and believes them ... without doing other substantative work," the state official said

Nice to see Waas is still working. Wondered where he'd been.

I bet Dunleavy wishes he didn't write this column. Or this one. Ah, I bet he doesn't give a shit actually. Lying piece of crap that he is.

UPDATE: To be fair to Half Moon Steve, I must point out that the liberal media loved Wayne Dumond too. Here's the Village Voice shedding tears for him.

Max's take on Pootie-Poot gassing his own people.

Which I basically agree with. Even if one supports "stern measures" and recognizes the inherent dangers thereof, it's pretty clear this was a colossal screwup of result if not intent. Hey, maybe they did the best they could, maybe not. My guess is they didn't plan for 150 to die. I'm also a bit concerned with the summary execution of every single terrorist as well.

TBogg on Hitchens:

Outside of Richard Hatch from Survivor has there ever been so much written about someone who is such a flyspeck in the cultural landscape?

One thing that the Left (whatever that means) doesn't have is a group of non-partisan sounding front organizations for everything. Today, for example, Paula Zahn was talking to Frank Gaffney from the "Center for Security Policy." Sounds like a very serious scholarly place. Well, Frank Gaffney writes for fine scholarly organizations like NRO, America Spectator Online, World Net Daily, and Jewish World Review and the organization is affiliated with

Paula didn't tell us any of this.

UPDATE: Digby adds:

Paula really should have mentioned that the CSP's Web site proudly notes that no fewer than 22 of the center's advisory council members now occupy key national security positions in the Bush administration.

She also could have noted that the CSP is almost 100% funded by defense contractors and that it is the single biggest funder of the Iraqi National Congress.

She could also have asked Frank why his CSP, which ostensibly studies global security threats, only wrote 2 reports on the threat of islamic terrorism from 1998 to 2001, while churning out thousands of pages about Iraq and other rogue states.

But, no. Not even a mention of the fact that he is one of the key disseminators of neocon cant in the national security establishment. He's just a dispassionate scientific think tank scholor, analysing the data and giving us his unbiased opinion.

Check this out.

Neal Pollack has a few words about Kaus, the New York Times, and homophobia on the left.

Heard on NPR...

Apparently during the oral arguments over the legality of the detention of Hamdi, the American citizen who was captured in Afghanistan and who has been held without charges since, one of the judges asked where the limit was for declaring people "enemy combatants". He asked, for example, could someone [a citizen] stopped in an airport be declared an enemy combatant? The government's lawyer said yes.

UPDATE: NYT article on this is here, though I haven't yet read it.

Washington Post reports Gingrich lies.

Leading the GOP charge against likely Minnesota senatorial candidate Walter Mondale, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused the former vice president Sunday of supporting Social Security privatization and raising the retirement eligibility age, but it appears the allegations are false.

Miracles do happen.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Oh shit. Dick Morris just overstepped.

"Bush, on the one hand, is telling the American people that we have this super-crisis with Iraq," the top consultant explained. "And then he futzes with Paris and the United Nations, he campaigns in South Carolina eating rubber chicken, and he's not acting like a president whose country is under siege."

Morris said that Bush needs to "set a deadline for the U.N., stop negotiating with France - stop looking like a p---y."

The Bush family is like Marty McFly in this area. "Don't call me chicken!" Or, don't call them pussies or wimps.
I agree with Brad DeLong that TAPPED was being way to wimpy when they backed down from their attack on that lying idiot Ramesh Ponnuru over the fact that he claimed that Mondale was "a major advocate of President Bush's position on Social Security . . . " Even if we can forgive Ponnuru for the "honest mistake" part of his fraudulent claim due to his reliance on an AP report, his claim is about as true as someone claiming that I'm a 'big supporter of Bush's War on Terrorism' simply because I think terrorism is bad. TAPPED should stand by their original statement that Ponnuru "lied, pure and simple." The most generous interpretation is that Ponnuru made a very strong claim that he had no justification in making. I suppose this makes him not a liar per se, but simply someone who 'makes shit up.' I know this doesn't disqualify you from your key to the pundit green room, but it shouldn't stop others from pointing it out either.

Hannity the liar.

Scoobie talks to him.

SCOOBIE: Well, that’s practical politics. He really didn’t have a chance against Pataki. You have to put your resources towards viable candidates, such as getting rid of George, er, I’m sorry, Jeb Bush, who was responsible for purging tens of thousands of minority voters from the polls back in 2000 through this felony—

HANNITY: Can I ask you—what is it about all these liberals; they’re so filled with vitriol. They so filled with animosity. Sir, no such thing happened. It’s an absolute lie and it’s even a bigger disgrace that you repeat the lie.

SCOOBIE: BBC journalist Greg Palast—

HANNITY: BBC, now we’re quoting the Brits, okay.

SCOOBIE: He did a study and he found how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush used the felony voter purge to get tens of thousands of eligible voters off the voter rolls and these people didn’t have access to any kind of ballot once they were at the polls—


HANNITY: First of all, that’s untrue. It’s never been proven. It’s never even been alleged except by the real extreme left like yourself. But what is true and what was chronicled is the systematic disenfranchisement of brave men and women who were out there serving their country—and that’s what Al Gore did. We have to break...

Today I'm sorry that one of the really finest United States senators amongst the 100 is
not with us. He's on his way to mourn the loss of a fellow Senator, Paul Wellstone. We
all send our send our prayers and thoughts to his family. Pete Domenici is one of the
fine ones. He's a really, really great American. (Applause.) He's a solid, solid citizen.
And I hope, if all goes right, next Tuesday, all around the country we're going to start
calling him, Mr. Chairman again, because we're going to change the United States Senate.


GOP candidate makes up Bush immigration policy.

You know, he lies. And I thought Al Gore was the only one who did that.

Republican Tim Escobar has an uphill climb in his battle to represent California's 39th Congressional District. The seat was drawn up by the state's Democratic legislature to be a Democratic seat, and the Democratic nominee, lawyer Linda Sanchez, is forecast to have an easy victory.

But Escobar has taken a bold, new step in his campaign: He assigned President Bush a new immigration policy. In a Spanish-language television ad for Escobar, the announcer declares: "Tim Escobar supports the proposal from President Bush to grant legal status to 3.5 million immigrants." The screen flashes a message that reads: "Legalize Immigrants."

This comes as a surprise to the White House, which is open to a temporary worker program that includes a mechanism to allow some workers to earn legal status -- but nothing of the sort the ad claimed. "The president has said he does not support a broad amnesty program," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

The Republican Borg has latched on to Mondale's age as an issue.

St. Regan provides Mondale's response for him.

REPORTER: Mr. President, I want
to raise an issue that I think has
been lurking out there for two or
three weeks, and cast it specifically
in national security terms. You
already are the oldest President in
history, and some of your staff say
you were tired after your most
recent encounter with Mr. Mondale.
I recall, yes, that President
Kennedy, who had to go for days on
end with very little sleep during the
Cuba missile crisis. Is there any
doubt in your mind that you would
be able to function in such

REAGAN: Not at all, Mr.
Trewhitt and I want you
to know that also I will
not make age an issue of
this campaign. I am not going to
exploit for political purposes my
opponent's youth and inexperience.

Go Jesse.

Gov. Jesse Ventura said today he fears the results of the U.S. Senate election on Nov. 5 will be challenged in court and questioned the fairness of how absentee ballots already cast for the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone will be treated. Ventura said that is one reason he is reserving the right to make an interim appointment so that Minnesota will have two votes in a post-election U.S. Senate session and during any challenges to Minnesota’s chaotic Senate election.

"I fully somewhat expect there will be litigation," Ventura said in an interview after he met with staffers at the Department of Natural Resources this morning. "I can’t see a way around this. And I think it’s going to come in the form of how the election is held."

He added, "It’s very difficult to say that it’s a fair election when they’ve already said that anyone that voted absentee with the name 'Paul Wellstone' won’t be counted, and anyone who voted absentee with the name 'Norm Coleman' will be counted.

"That to me right there creates an unfair election."

Iraq is no longer Iraq

Sully and Hitch say that by calling Iraq "Iraq" instead of, um, I'm not sure what, peace protesters "are de facto parties to his [Saddam's] vile propaganda." Because, Iraq is not really Iraq you see. Or, at least, we won't really be at war with Iraq -- just Hussein.

Here he praises Safire for doing it.

SAFIRE GETS IT: "The world must not allow Iraq to gain the level of destructive power that appeasement and misplaced trust permitted North Korea to achieve." Amen. I'd forgotten the damning Jimmy Carter quote of the time, likening his "breakthrough" with the murderers in Pyongyang as a "miracle." Here's what I want to know: why hasn't anyone in the press asked Carter and Clinton what they now think of their legacy in North Korea? Why are these people never ever called to account?

So, if peace protesters equate Iraq with Saddam on signs they are de facto parties to his vile propaganda. If William Safire does it, he gets it.

Orwellian indeed Andy.

I wonder when he is going to berate the networks for their various programs including "Showdown Iraq," "Countdown Iraq," "Target Iraq," etc...

UPDATE: Almost forgot poor Hitch. Check out his recent column, lovingly titled "We Must Fight Iraq."

UPDATE 2: Andy X finds the evil anti-war left has been drafting our war resolution, too, which begins "To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq."

From the Note

Echoing Kate O'Beirne on "Capital Gang," and many others, Fred Barnes writes on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal : "In a year of bitter Senate races, Mr. Wellstone had a cordial relationship with his GOP opponent, Norm Coleman. Mr. Coleman, after all, was a Democrat until 1998 and voted for Mr. Wellstone the three previous times he'd been on the ballot in Minnesota, including a losing race for state auditor. This year Mr. Coleman described Mr. Wellstone as a liberal far out of the mainstream."

The truth is, Coleman's campaign was based almost completely on destroying Wellstone.

Mort Kondracke and Barnes on "Fox and Friends" this morning sort of tittered their way through making the accusation that Democrats have somehow invented the notion that Coleman was running a negative campaign against Wellstone, and that Democrats were saying this to help Mondale.

You can argue that there is nothing wrong with negative campaigns; you can argue that Wellstone and his allies were running their own negative campaign against Coleman; and you can argue that Coleman (and the White House) didn't have 100-percent control over the allied groups' negative attacks on Wellstone.

But how all these conservative voices have come up with this talking point is completely beyond us. Unless some central Republican voice is spreading that message …

Well, duhh. On a related note, this has to win the Bad Timing of the Year Award.

A piece of literature attacking Sen. Paul Wellstone's support of the estate tax, featuring a large tombstone and the letters "R.I.P.," was mass-mailed last week by a lobby group for small businesses.

On the flip side, the mailing urges recipients to "Tell Paul Wellstone His Votes are Killing You." The copy also says, "Paul Wellstone's taxes can even reach you even in the grave

I can't believe Paul Wellstone is dead.


James Treffinger arrested

NEWARK, N.J. -- Essex County's top elected official, who dropped out of the U.S. Senate race this year amid a federal probe, was arrested Monday on corruption charges.

County Executive James Treffinger was taken into custody about 8:50 a.m. by FBI agents at his home in Verona. An afternoon court appearance is scheduled.

The charges include extortion, mail fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry A. Carbone. Extortion carries the heaviest penalty, up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges mostly deal with Treffinger abusing his office to raise campaign funds, including extorting $15,000 from a company involved in other corruption cases, United Gunite Construction Inc. of Irvington.

Treffinger is also accused of attempting to obstruct the federal investigation. A covert tape recording caught him saying that he was seeking a presidential appointment as
U.S. attorney for New Jersey so he could derail the probe, prosecutors said.

I wonder what would make him think that's how things work in this executive branch.

Iraq behind Anthrax!

Saddam hates Patrick Leahy!

Actually, that article is pretty funny if you read it after replacing the word silica with sand and the word bentonite with kitty litter .

Continuing the education scam...

Tbogg points me to this one.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A software company run by Neil Bush, a younger brother of Gov. Jeb Bush, hopes to sell a program to Florida schools that students would use to prepare for the test that is key to the governor's education policy


Ignite spokeswoman Louise Thacker denied the company had an unfair advantage because its founder and CEO, Neil Bush, is a brother of Florida's governor.

It's really time for someone to do a big expose on the interlocking links between education policy, politicians, education materials companies, and the media. It's one big cesspool.


The New York Times acknowledged Friday that one of its staff photographers violatedjournalism ethics and company policy when he had a child pose for a news photograph that was published last month in some of the paper's editions. The controversial picture shows a 6-year-old boy aiming a toy pistol alongside a sign reading "Arabian Foods" outside a store in Lackawanna, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo. The photo accompanied a Sept. 20 article about a group of Arab-Americans who have been accused of operating a cell of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

That damn Howell Raines.
I don't claim to be an expert in hostage rescue operations, but I do agree with Hesiod that any rescue operation which directly killed 117 people doesn't seem like much of a "success."

It's 1997. Some white supremacist/Christian Identity movement terrorists take over a the Wintergarden Theater during a performance of Cats , and take 1200 people hostage. After 2 days Janet Reno authorizes a rescue mission which has the government pumping some unknown poison gas into the theater. All terrorists are killed, along with 150 of the hostages.

A success?

Letter to the editor.

I know something about
defending a president who's
been caught lying. Let me tell
my friend Ari Fleischer that
he's only making things worse
for President Bush. After The
Post reported on Mr. Bush's
many fabrications regarding
Iraq and homeland security,
Mr. Fleischer sent a letter to
the editor in which he refers to
President Clinton's false denial
of an affair as a "crime that
shook the nation" [Oct. 24].

The lawyer in me is compelled to point out that President Clinton
has never been charged with nor convicted of a crime. The same
cannot be said of President George W. Bush who, of course, was
convicted of drunken driving many years ago. To his shame, in the
2000 campaign Mr. Bush falsely denied ever having been convicted
of a crime.

The political veteran in me knows that lying about a long-past
drunken driving conviction -- or an affair -- is understandable, if
not excusable. What is not excusable is misleading the country --
repeatedly, as The Post and others have noted -- about going to
war. There is something odd about a White House that thinks
misleading people about sex is a crime, but misleading us about
war is good public policy.

A few people have written to me about the undercounting of the numbers of protesters at the recent anti-war protest in Iraq, with the AP reporting "hundreds." MWO has got this one covered...
I have to admit I totally love this argument, being pushed around by the various bloggers and now William Safire. You see, we're planning to go to war with Iraq, hand their oil production over to American interests, nullify existing agreements the Hussein regime has with France and Russia. And, get this - they oppose the war because THEY'RE greedy.

The mind reels...

Sunday, October 27, 2002

MWO has a nice tribute to Wellstone up.
Ah, I miss the good 'ole days, when conspiracy theories were in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal.

So quickly Vince Foster is forgotten.

UPDATE: Just wanted to expand on this point which probably wasn't clear.

Conspiracy theories are always directed against those in power (or those imagined to be in power occasionally). During the Clinton years, conspiracy theories ranging from Bill Clinton tied up LAX for two hours to get a hair cut to Hillary "The Lesbian" Clinton had her ex-lover Vince Foster killed to Bill Clinton ran a cocaine smuggling operation through Mena airport didn't just occupy the excitable partisans of the internet. In fact, they were a regular staple of mainstream media outlets - print, television, and radio. From the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to the New York Times front page to Inside Politics on CNN to, of course, the Rusty Limbaugh show, with an audience probably larger than the rest combined.

It wasn't just the media, either. I forget - how many separate congressional investigations of Vince Foster's death were there, complete with amateur ballistics tests by Congressman Dan dan the Watermelon Man?

So, when a few inhabitants of internet message boards get a bit suspicious about the death of a Democratic Senator, I don't want to hear generalizations about the paranoid left. I've been listening to the paranoid right and its conspiracy theories in mainstream media for years. Part of the reason those on the left are a bit paranoid now, aside from the fact The Other Side is in power now, is that the mainstream media has by and large failed to aggressively follow up on the many potential 'conspiracies' of this administration, as well as the very real conspiracies against the last one.

Besides, it was about one year ago that two prominent Democratic senators survived assasination attempts by someone who likely had access to the bioweapons program of our military. Still unsolved. Political assasinations - whether done by disgruntled 'lone gunmen' unconnected to the political power structure or done at the behest of those in power, directly or indirectly, are not of course impossible.

Am I saying I think Dick Cheney used his mind control powers to down Paul Wellstone's plane? Of course not. Probably the plane hit bad weather and crashed. Do I respect people who jump to conclude that the Bush administration is repsonsible for this? No. Do I condemn people who harbor a few cynical suspcions? Of course not. Nor should you.

If you've got a problem with this, take it up with Alamo Girl.
Looks like we may be seeing the triumphant return of Senator Mondale.

Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?

President Bush has authority as commander in chief to order the indefinite imprisonment of American-born terror suspects without second-guessing by federal judges, the Justice Department told a federal appeals court yesterday.

Justice Department lawyers set the stage for a landmark courtroom battle in Virginia on Monday, telling the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond that a federal judge in Norfolk did not have the authority to conduct an inquiry into the president's decision to imprison Yaser Esam Hamdi as an "enemy combatant" without charges, a lawyer or a trial.
President Cartman Gets Testy:

With other leaders not rushing to embrace his plans, he did not conceal his testiness today. The only time he spoke to reporters was during a photo session with Fox, and he glowered during Fox's windup and looked annoyed at the unruliness of the camera crews. The last straw was when a cell phone went off, which infuriates Bush, even when the violator is a member of his staff. In a breach of protocol, Bush cut off the translator before Fox's answers could be rendered in English, and the White House transcript ignored Fox's words, saying simply, "Answered in Spanish."

Did FBI Deliberately Slow Translation?

Their headline, not mine.

Just when information from terrorism suspects needed urgent translation right after the Sept. 11 attack, the FBI unit that did that work deliberately slowed down to create a backlog that might win the unit more money and staff.

That’s what a former translator who worked at the FBI tells Ed Bradley on 60mMinutes this Sunday, Oct. 27, at 7 PM,mET/PT.

Sibel Edmonds, hired as a translator of Turkish and other Middle Eastern languages after Sept. 11, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the FBI, which she claims fired her for bringing the corruption to light. “Let the documents pile up so we can show it and say that we need more translators and expand the department,” Edmonds says one of her supervisors urged.

When Edmonds wasn’t slowing down enough, that supervisor forced her bydeleting her work, she says. “The next day I would come to work and the translation would be gone,” she tells Bradley. Edmonds says when she confronted the supervisor, “He said, ‘Consider it a lesson and don’t talk about it to anybody else and don’t mention it.’”

It was frustrating for Edmonds, she says, because the agents who needed the translations were working hard. “The first two months after the September 11 event…[The agents] were working around the clock…I would receive calls from these people saying, ‘Would you please prioritize this and translate it?” she says.

Edmonds was fired after bringing these and other charges to the attention of FBI supervisors and a top official in the bureau. She then went to Sen.Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversees the FBI.

“She’s credible and the reason I feel she’s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story," says Grassley. She’s told her whole story in a private session of Grassley’s committee and the senator believes it’s time to change things.