Saturday, October 04, 2003


No, this isn't a post about Mickey Kaus. I haven't actually watched this show before, despite the fact that I regularly see them filming it around my neighborhood. Tonight's show, so far, is a nice bit of anti-Patriot Act propaganda...


Robin "Would You Sleep With This Man?" Cook has a wee allegation:

Tony Blair privately admitted that Saddam Hussein could not attack British or United States troops with chemical or biological weapons two weeks before Britain went to war against Iraq, Robin Cook alleges today.


Just a note. I read every email I get but reply to few. So far today I've gotten 84. I'm not complaining, at all, just saying I can't possibly reply to all of them...


Ailes is on it.

The Family Circus

Scooter, Elliot, and Karl all say "not me!"

...and, uh, journalists? If they're full of it, feel free to out them. There's precedent.

From TERRY CARTER: The Robert Novak sourcing flap might get very interesting. Remember back when Oliver North testified before Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal. He told them, under oath, that the Reagan Administration he worked for was concerned about information being leaked out of that august legislative
body. Ollie gave the members some examples, including the leaked information about the 1985 interception of a plane carrying the the Achille Lauro hijackers. And a Newsweek magazine reporter had a problem with Ollie saying that because it had been the stand-up Oliver North himself who leaked it to Newsweek. After some navel gazing, the errant colonel was outed by Newsweek. Let the games begin.
(from a letter to Medianews)

Moving the Goalpost

Well, it looks like little Tommy Friedman has provided his own "shorter Tom Friedman" in the concluding graf of his latest:

That is so wrong. We may not get a better Iraq out of this war, but let's at least make sure we get a better America.

The bulk of the article is about how there should be an increase in the gasoline tax, a proposal with about as much popular support as would one to impose mandatory sterilization of everyone except African-Americans.


Utilizing his massive number of contacts within the Bush administration, the intelligence community, and the FBI, Brian Flemming has managed to put together a timeline of Bush's tireless effort to discover the identity of the person who blew Valerie "Victoria" Plame's* cover.

*How long is it going to take before you fix that, Newsweek? Sheesh...

(via Billmon).

Program Notes

TCM will be showing "Dr. Strangelove," the biopic of Don Rumsfeld, tonight at 8pm ET. I fortunately own my own copy, thanks to a very generous reader who purchased it through my wish list.


In figuring out what is and isn't appropriate in talking about Rush Limbaugh's latest problems, I use the "What Would Rush Do?" standard. And, yes, I think if some evil liberal were in his position, Rush would gleefully link to this little game.

Life with College Republicans


A half-hour later, back on the bus driving through a cold rain, the students were both energized and weary. A good bit into the trip, O'Day stood and said it was time to choose a winner of the anti-Howard Dean poster contest.

"All in favor of, 'Dean is a Ween, Don't Bring it to My Bush'?"

No applause.

"Dean Can't Measure Up, Four More Years"?

Mild applause.

"Dean's a Queen, Vote Bush"?

Very mild applause.

"I think the queen's got it," O'Day said, delivering the Tommy Thompson book to the young woman in the back of the bus who created the poster. She would not reveal her name.

...just wanted to add that I am watching Cabaret now, and am just about to get to the key moment where the MC finishes his cabaret song "If They Could See Her Through My Eyes," an amusing little number about a man with a Gorilla for a girlfriend, with the line:

If they could see her through my eyes, she wouldn't look Jewish at all

A shocking moment in the film - the instant when the MC has realized which way the winds are blowing and switches from mocking the Nazis to embracing them.

And, there has to be some irony somewhere in the fact that Joel Grey, in the performance of a lifetime, was born Joel Katz but changed his name for obvious reasons...

Fair and Balanced Tower Records

So I stopped in Tower Records earlier to do a bit of browsing and they had a massive display of librul books, anchored around Franken's latest. I didn't see a similar display for the Other Side.

Arnold's Army

A snapshot of his supporters:

The truth is available only on AM talk radio these days, and I think a couple of recruits in Arnold's Army did what they had to do. They spotted protest signs in the crowd and goose-stepped over to take care of business.

Not that they could have known, but the signs were carried by two Catholic nuns in their 60s. According to the nuns, their attackers snatched them away.

The silencing of dissent, coming just a day after Arnold denied reports that he once said he admired Hitler, had the nuns trembling.

"A sign was ripped from my hands," said Jo'Ann DeQuattro, a Holy Name sister whose sign said, "Groping Equals Sexual Harassment."

"I was assaulted physically," said Sister Jo'Ann.

She and Sister France White, of the Holy Child order, were headed for the exits when I saw them. Sister France had taped a sign to herself that said "Grope Free Zone." Sister Jo'Ann had her arm around Sister France to protect her.

Sister France said she gave a "groping" protest sign to a man who held a "Recall Arnold" sign, and watched as he was set upon and had the sign ripped away from him.

"People began fighting with him, and he was escorted out," said Sister France.

As for her own sign getting swiped, Sister France said:

"I believe a woman standing behind me grabbed it. A whole group of people were around us saying, 'Go home' and things like 'Get a life.' "

Sister France still had the "Grope Free Zone" sign taped to her when they decided to leave the rally, so Sister Jo'Ann suggested an exit strategy.

"She was afraid there was going to be more of it, so she said, 'We've gotta get out of here,' and walked behind me, real close behind, so Schwarzenegger followers wouldn't be hitting me as we left."

Sounds like the right kind of supporters for a man who once said:

I think we can't live without authority. There's a certain amount of people meant to be leaders, and to control, and another large amount, 95 percent, are followers. We have to tell (them) what to do and how to keep in order, you know?

and greatly enjoyed his wildly popular Hitler imitations.

Time to pop in my DVD of Cabaret...

If you happen to be rich, and you feel like a night's entertainment,
You can pay for a gay escapade.
If you happen to be rich, and alone and you need a companion,
You can ring ting-a-ling for the maid.
If you happen to be rich and you find you are left by your lover,
Tho you moan and you groan quite a lot,
You can take it on the chin,
call a cab and begin to recover on your fourteen carat yacht.

Tomorrow belongs to him...

Shorter Howard Kurtz

I won't tell you that until just recently my wife was Arnold's press secretary, but I will tell you that it is absolutely horrible that the evil media is treating Republicans so much more harshly for things they've actually done than they ever did Democrats for things they didn't do.

Howard Kurtz Flashback:

KURTZ: Well, joining us now, Joshua Marshall, Washington Editor of The American Prospect and a write for, and Chris Caldwell, senior writer for The Weekly Standard.

Josh Marshall, you don't know the extent of damage or vandalism by departing Clinton White House aides, and neither do I. So, in writing in Slate Magazine that the press wildly overplayed this story, it kind of sounds like you're acting as a knee-jerk Clinton defender. J

JOSHUA MARSHALL, WASHINGTON EDITOR, "THE AMERICAN PROSPECT": Not at all. I think when I looked at that, when I looked at that story for the first few days, the charges escalated and escalated, more and more things, destruction of property, trash everywhere. And at a certain point, journalists started asking for some actual proof, some pictures, someone to go on the record and actually say this happened. And over and over again Ari Fleischer said, "Well, it's, yes it's true, but we're going to rise above it" and so forth. And at some point, you say, when are we going to get some proof that this happened.

KALB: Josh, let me try the question this way. Did the Bush people play the media like a yo-yo?

MARSHALL: I definitely think so.


KURTZ: But, Chris Caldwell, do you buy the notion that journalists deliberately pumped-up the story, not just of the pardon, which I think everyone would agree, the Mark Rich pardon, very legitimate news story. But, of the $190,000 in gifts; other presidents took gifts, not at this kind of level, and the story about the prank/destruction of federal property, just because they can't stand Bill and Hillary Clinton and because they wanted to portray them as kind of low-class Arkansas hicks?

CALDWELL: Well, you know, these preconceptions that journalists have are not without a basis in fact. One of my colleagues likes to say ...

KURTZ: So, you're saying they are low-class hicks ...

CALDWELL: Well, yes, one of my colleagues likes to say, "The Golden Rule is that all rumors about the Clintons are true". But I think ...

...lambert comments

and Kevin Drum catches Howie doing more whoring. Howie thinks this is much less of a big deal than, say, alleged missing keys on White House computers.

Framing the Story

Dear America Media,

Please stop framing this story as one of Wilson vs. the White House. At this point, this story has absolutely nothing to do wtih Amb. Wilson. The real story is that a senior administration official has accused two top White House officials of telling at least 6 journalists the identity of an undercover CIA agent. That is the story.

I believe that as this is a story about leaks, and therefore you yourselves are intimately involved with this story, you are trying to deflect the spotlight away from yourselves. Stop pretending you don't have a role.


Shorter Jack Shafer

Since I personally can not yet conclude that anyone broke the law based on my limited knowledge of the facts, it is therefore imperative that we conduct no investigation that might unearth additional facts which could change my opinion.

Much Bloggy Goodness

Is being provided by Roger Ailes (not that one) today.

Just to Be Clear

Hillary Clinton standing by her husband - bad thing. Maria Shriver standing by her husband - good thing.

Corruption, Corruption, Corruption

Not that we didn't know this:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 3 � Last month the Iraqi Governing Council questioned why the American occupation authority had issued a $20 million contract to buy new revolvers and Kalashnikov rifles for the Iraqi police when the United States military was confiscating tens of thousands of weapons every month from Saddam Hussein's abandoned arsenals.

On Wednesday the Iraqi council, in a testy exchange with the occupation administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, challenged an American decision to spend $1.2 billion to train 35,000 Iraqi police officers in Jordan when such training could be done in Iraq for a fraction of the cost. Germany and France have offered to provide such training free.

These decisions are being questioned by Iraqi officials as Congress is also seeking to examine how the American occupation authority and the military are spending billions of dollars here. Iraqi officials and businessmen charge that millions of dollars in contracts are being awarded without competitive bidding, some of them to former cronies of Mr. Hussein's government.

"There is no transparency," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of the Governing Council, "and something has to be done about it.

"There is mismanagement right and left, and I think we have to sit with Congress face to face to discuss this. A lot of American money is being wasted, I think. We are victims and the American taxpayers are victims."

(via Steve G.)


Reader ji writes in:

I think folks are off-focus on Novak's latest. Here's the money quote: "CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover -- they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told."
Someone told him this. The real story here isn't the end of Novak's career. The story is, who TF would set Novak up for a fall like this? I believe that no DC player, even Rove, would be stupid enough to out a CIA front agency at this point. Someone did this for a reason. But who, and why? I'm stumped. I don't believe Novak's CIA source would out a CIA front agency just to destroy Novak. And this is awul for the White House. Also, I don't believe Novak just invented being told: this is his SOP - some player tells him stuff. But who, and why? This is too f**ing weird. Who told Novak?
I'm going to have to go with the GOP, and someone really, really dumb.

More on Recent Revelations

The Right Christians informs us:

The Washington Post also reports that White House counsel has directed White House employees to collect all records related to Wilson or Plame, the Niger trip and Plame's CIA relationship. Some White House employees complained that this would constitute a heavy burden because of the high volume of contacts they had with Wilson. Vice-President Cheney surely must not be one of those so burdened since he claimed on Meet the Press on Septmeber 14 to have never met Wilson.

Arnold Hearts Ken Lay

Details here and here.

Getler Sort of Gets it


The good news is that the other reporters didn't bite. The bad news is that none of them wrote or broadcast stories revealing what was going on. This could have been done without disclosing Wilson's wife's name or the source of the information, assuming the reporters had agreed to ground rules of confidentiality set by the source.

The Post, on principle, won't say whether any of its reporters were among those called. But Executive Editor Leonard Downie says The Post has "told readers everything we know" thus far.

The Justice Department will decide whether a crime has been committed by the leakers. But were the reporters who were called accomplices? No, although, again, they could have written or broadcast stories revealing what was happening. If reporters agree to protect the identity of a source they must do so, even if they don't use the information or if it turns out to be wrong. The press is not an arm of government, Downie said, and an agreement with a source is an obligation that is central to surfacing all kinds of wrongdoing. "One can imagine extreme circumstances where you could ask to be released, but if the source refuses you are bound by the agreement. It's a very important ethic of journalism," he said.

But, let me add, I really don't get this sentence. " If reporters agree to protect the identity of a source they must do so, even if they don't use the information or if it turns out to be wrong." This is bullshit. If a source lies to you (which is slightly different than 'turns out to be wrong') you should have an obligation to inform your readers. Period.

Time for Novak to Go

I think the the Post article is a bit too hard him in a way. Once Plame had been outed this was public information, though of course it didn't need to be made obvious. However, on CNN Novak was just making shit up. It's one thing to just make shit up about normal every day stuff, but this was making shit up about something quite important that he was a player in. CNN has to fire this guy, now.

The name of the CIA front company was broadcast yesterday by Novak, the syndicated journalist who originally identified Plame. Novak, highlighting Wilson's ties to Democrats, said on CNN that Wilson's "wife, the CIA employee, gave $1,000 to Gore and she listed herself as an employee of Brewster-Jennings & Associates."

"There is no such firm, I'm convinced," he continued. "CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover -- they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told. Sort of adds to the little mystery."

In fact, it appears the firm did exist, at least on paper. The Dun & Bradstreet database of company names lists a firm that is called both Brewster Jennings & Associates and Jennings Brewster & Associates.

..oy, he also put it in his October 4 column. And the newspapers ran it. Jeebus Effing Christ.

...CalPundit comments.

But it might. And if the only reason for bringing it up is to let everyone know that Valerie Plame gave money to Al Gore — well, words fail me.

You know, a lot of conservatives are resisting the idea that the Plame affair is for real because it's just so far-fetched. Why would smart people like Karl Rove or Scooter Libby expose a CIA agent over something as trivial as Joe Wilson writing a New York Times op-ed? Especially when doing so didn't really do much to discredit him anyway?

Well, why would anyone feed Robert Novak information about a CIA front company just so that he can make the point on national TV that Valerie Plame is a Democrat? Is it really worth doing that just to add minutely to the Republican meme that this is all a partisan feud rather than a genuine national security matter?

Why indeed. The bottom line, I think, is that these guys just don't care. When it comes to dealing with enemies, they lash out with everything they've got no matter how trivial it is and no matter what collateral damage it might cause. There's just no sense of proportion at all.

I wonder what's going to be next from them?

Friday, October 03, 2003

The Definitive Rush/McNabb Column

Here. No money paragraph, just read the whole thing.

On a related note, Agenda-Bender coins and claims ownership of the term Oxy-Con.

Kay vs. Kay


"On the basis of technical analysis on the two (trailers) that we have, it is not going to be possible to reach a determination," Kay told reporters Friday.

It was a different-sounding Kay from the one who confidently showed off the trailers to NBC Nightly News in its July 15 broadcast.

At the time, Kay told NBC: "I've already seen enough to convince me."

The original tip on the trailers was provided by a defector working with Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress and now a member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council in Iraq.

Hasta la Vista, California

Morford on the Arnis.

And Schwarzenegger's bouncing around like a Hummer on meth, inflicting that weird maniacal grin and massive blocklike head all over the unsuspecting media, as pretty much the entire population of even slightly aware and intelligent people in California and in fact all over the nation go, oh holy Christ, please dear God no.

Now This is a Good Deal

Amazon is selling the soon-to-be-released box set of the first 4 seasons of Buffy for only $120 right now.

You can also pre-order the 5th season...

Oh, and since I'm copping to my geekness and sitting here watching the Special Edition of the Fellowship of the Ring we shouldn't forget that the Two Towers Special Edition is coming out fairly soon.

The former was really a far superior movie to the one released in theaters. I'm hoping it's true of the Two Towers, too.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

So far we've either found one vial of this or a vial filled with harmless ubiquitous bacteria, depending on whether you believe David Kay or George Bush. What a choice.

Heads-Up Gate

Wyethwire is absolutely correct. The Bush administration has already crossed a serious line, and one which caused one of Clinton's deputy secretaries to lose his job. Somebody gave the heads up to Alberto Gonzalez that an investigation was about to begin, and as Nina Totenberg informed us, someone in the JD subsequently agreed to a request to delay for a day a memo forbidding any further scrubbing attempts. Where is the outrage? From NPR:

The White house asked for and got permission earlier this week to wait a day before issuing a directive to preserve all documents and logs which led one seasoned federal prosecutor to wonder why they wanted to wait a day, and who at the justice department told them they could do that, and why?

Had Enough?

Pre-order yours today.

Where Alabama Goes...

so goes the Nation?

Anyway, I get all my important Alabama news over at War Liberal. It really is like watching a slow motion train wreck. You may remember that the governor lost a referendum to radically overhaul their tax system, and since it didn't pass the state is basically having to cut everything. They're Grover Norquist wet dream kind of cuts. So, if you want to know what life in Grover Norquist's America might look like, it appears that Alabama will be the prototype.

You can read all the Alabama posts at this link.

The World is a Better Place

So, Bush keeps saying that the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq. Well, fine, okay, let's stipulate for sake of argument that it's true. But, that isn't the question - the question is whether or not this was the best use of $150 billion and climbing and more than 300 lives.

Shorter Arnold

I did some bad things, I won't tell you what they are, but I'm really truly sorry to all the people I hurt whoever they may be.


Honesty is great and all, and I don't want our candidates letting loose big whoppers, but aren't there some bigger nits to pick?

Is NPR doctoring transcripts?

This is pretty creepy.

Anyone Hear...

...what Bob Nofacts said on CNN just now about the CIA leak? I wasn't paying attention and only got the last couple of seconds...

ah, someone wrote in just as I asked:

Novak was just on Judy Woodruff and used the opportunity to further smear Wilson and wife. He said Wilson gave over the limit to Gore, had to give $1,000 back, and the same day wife gave $1,000 to Gore listing a fictitious employer. Novak says he's been told (by whom?!) that this is illegal for CIA deep cover agents (listing fictitious employers).
I think just about everyone watching must have winced to see him saying all this. he also refused to say whether he'd had a summons, under advice of counsel. I really think CNN will cut him loose.

Anyway, obviously this administration is much more concerned with sliming its opponents than, you know, national security. And, the analyst lie is, no pun intended, no longer operative.

...CNN really needs top stop this. It's like Monica all over again when half the press was really part of the story and pretending not to be. Novak should be required to stay clear of this when he's wearing his journalist hat. If they want to have him be an interview subject, fine.

The Mutiny Begins

I commented yesterday that I was a bit surprised that Bill O'Reilly was defending Limbaugh. I figured he'd see it as an opportunity to dethrone the king and seize control. C-list wingnut Michael Graham decides to put the knife in.


heh heh.

Dick Cheney is Jewish?

I saw this yesterday and it made me want to puke:

MOWBRAY: Well, first, I would like to respond to the last comment made about the neo-con shell game that's going on. This is a big red herring that the people on the left always want to drag out. You know, the so-called neo-con cabal. Some people just come outright and say that they mean the Jews in the administration."

You know first the said this PNAC stuff was a grand conspiracy theory. Then they said it was not conspiracy because it was all out in the open and it's just our foreign policy and they've been honest about it. Now they're accusing people of being anti-Semites for using the word neoconservative.

Goodbye Leon Harris

CNN's giving a nice sendoff to Leon Harris, making them officially an all white network* (link suddenly bloggered...scroll down). In his teary final comments he made a very direct statement to the rest of CNN - "You're here for what this place stood for." He paused for a few seconds and then kind of muttered "and what I think it can continue to stand for."

*Okay, there's Soledad O'Brien who is part of the much-in-demand "not Hispanic-looking Hispanic" demographic.

Bush Says US has Totalitarian Government

"Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction."
-Bush, just now.

Fox News Viewers Ignorant

We knew this:

Cue wingnut trolls proving how stupid they are by arguing that these things are TRUE damnit!



Bernstein said he would not have disclosed the name of the CIA employee if he had been in Novak's shoes, but would have, instead, sought to find out why the name was being leaked. "The real story here was always what the White House did in terms of going to Novak," he said. "If somebody from the White House called me under those circumstances, I would not print that she was a CIA operative. The story would be the conduct of the White House."


Good for the Inky


Author Al Franken was right.

Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot. Well, less fat than formerly, but still an insufferable blowhard and bully, mired in self-aggrandizing delusion.


One irony of this controversy is that Limbaugh's comment was no more outrageous or off-base than dozens of things he says each week on his popular show.

Limbaugh is one of the central players in the spread of an extensive, alternative media network designed to give conservative viewpoints a far more explicit, unchallenged airing than liberal views ever do in the so-called "liberal media" conservatives are always decrying.

On his show, Limbaugh's views rarely get tested by contrary argument or corrected by fact police; his callers agree with and adore him. Those who would dare challenge his preconceptions, his tidy narrative of how liberals are the root of all evil, get little air time.

Inside this cozy RushWorld, it's easy for him and his listeners to assume their views are the undisputed truth. It's interesting that it took only four weeks for Limbaugh to trip over his acid tongue on ESPN. That's not, as he would have it, a measure of the mainstream media's reflexive political correctness. It's a reflection of how out of touch he is with the majority of Americans who have a clue about what's really going on.


This is incredible:

For several days in early September, supervisors at Abington Memorial Hospital told African American employees to stay out of a patient's room after a man ordered that no blacks assist in the delivery of his child.

Despite a hospital policy stating that "care will be provided on a nondiscriminatory basis," maternity ward staffers accommodated the man's wishes.

David Corn Interview

Buzzflash interviews David Corn here.

He has a new book out documenting the flights of fancy by Dear Leader. At 320 pages, I assume it's only volume I.

Memo to Denny and Dick

Dear Denny and Dick,

The responsibility for correcting the problem of unauthorized disclosures of classified information falls squarely upon the shoulders of all Government officers and employees who are privileged to handle classified Government information. Department and agency heads have substantial authority to address the problem of persons who engage in the unauthorized disclosure of classified information within their own organizations through suspension or revocation of clearances and procedures to terminate employees in the national security interests of the United States.


The Crisco Kid
October 15, 2002

Full memo here.
(thanks to Sovok)

Job Report Out


Official rate remains at 6.1%, but if one adds a couple of extra digits there's been, as predicted, a slight uptick. Labor force participation is down.

Payroll is up 57,000. I'm sure Max will soon tell us just how many jobs Junior has to create to make good on his promises, as will the site of his employer. And the wingnuts will cite this as further proof that we need an even bigger tax cut.

...Wampum has more.

UPDATE: Jobwatch has now been updated to include this lovely graph. We're now 672,000 jobs behind the Bush administration projections which were used to justify the latest tax cuts.

Time for Bob to Go?

Mark Kleiman says it's time for Bob Novak to go. I think it's long past time for lie peddlers like Novak and Safire to go. Both have repeatedly passed on information from sources that has later turned out to be false, and then failed to either run corrections or reveal the source.


Check this shit out:

As pressure built on his aides, Bush joked about the matter. During a roundtable discussion with reporters for African news organizations, he was asked about three reporters in Kenya who were detained this week in what some journalists saw as an effort to intimidate them into revealing sources. The detention drew a condemnation from the International Federation of Journalists, which complained that the government has been harassing and brutalizing journalists.

"I'm against leaks," Bush said, to laughter. "I would suggest all governments get to the bottom of every leak of classified information." Turning to the reporter who asked the question, Martin Mbugua of the Daily Nation, Kenya's largest daily newspaper, Bush said, "By the way, if you know anything, Martin, would you please bring it forward and help solve the problem?"

No you asshole, you aren't against leaks - you're just against leaks YOU DON'T APPROVE OF you pathetic piece of shit. Bob Woodward has already informed us you PERSONALLY dole out classified information to reporters, and "top administration officials" are ALWAYS leaking to the press.

Some journalists have been detained to intimidate them, and you JOKE about it? What the fuck?

The current issue isn't about "leaks," it's about REVEALING THE NAME OF A DEEP UNDERCOVER CIA OPERATIVE.

God it's too early for this shit.

Florida Law

Florida Statutes
893.135 Trafficking; mandatory sentences;
(c)1. Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of oxycodone, or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, but less than 30 kilograms of such substance or mixture, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs," punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. If the quantity involved:
a. Is 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
b. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
c. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and pay a fine of $500,000.

(thanks to cc)

Thursday, October 02, 2003


Even Gordon Liddy won't defend Rush.


This column proves, without a doubt, that Paul Krugman is an enemy of the state.

Even Steven

Make sure to check out tonight's Daily Show. (you can catch it tomorrow at 7)


Watching Aaron Brown go over tomorrow's news, and Rush hits the front page on many.

Reminder and Thanks

Just wanted to remind people to please make your Amazon purchases through this link or one of the links to the left(And to thank those who do). I'm not telling you to use Amazon - please feel free to shop where you want- but if you are buying through them anyway simply clicking on a link through this site will throw me a few nickels. It isn' t much on any individual purchase, but it adds up over time.

Aaron Hearts Judy

Judith Miller is coming up on Aaron Brown. hoo boy.

One more comment. It's time for the Times to do a Wen Ho Lee (important)/ Jayson Blair (not important) - style forensic revisiting of all of her articles. When your sources lie, you name them and correct the record.

Arnold Hearts Hitler

Frankly, I don't think what Arnold said, or to a lesser extent did, in the 70s matters much. Of course, that's a "republican only" standard, for whom youthful indiscretions happen well into middle age, but still.

As for his Nazi fondness, his closeness with Kurt Waldheim was far more disturbing. And, his belief that women's breasts are public property is still more disturbing. I'm pretty disgusted by the general "boys will be boys" tolerance of this bullshit. It's a crime. Misdemeanor sexual battery at a minimum.

But, anyway, here it is. This is really old news/gossip, but it's hitting the mainstream.

Speculation Quieting Down

Obviously I can't say for sure, but reading the tea leaves it seems that the media has sorta stopped speculating out loud about the identity of the leakers. I assume it's because by now literally every journalist in Washington knows - or thinks they know - the identities.


Leave it to Slate

what a useless bunch of twits.

Just to add: Barra provides evidence that McNabb is "overrated" and then he asserts, without any evidence, that it is because McNabb is black.

One last time, really slowly, so even the stupid whores at slate can understand...

Athletes are overrated all the time. Pick any random popular athlete, and you will be able to find no shortage of people who will claims he/she is overhyped. The issue here is whether or not McNabb is overhyped because of his race, and more importantly whether there is any evidence to suggest that's actually the reason.

Barra says "But the truth is that I and a great many other sportswriters have chosen for the past few years to see McNabb as a better player than he has been because we want him to be," after writing an entire article about why McNabb isn't any good. He can only speak to his own motives, not that of other unnamed sportswriters whose motives he hasn't divined, and he hasn't presented any evidence that before Rush's brilliant revelation he had given McNabb more favorable coverage than he deserved. He may have "want[ed] him to be better" but he offers no evidence that he wrote better about him.

All together now... HACK!

...Jesse has more.

And then there were 9...

Graham dropping out.

That's why they call him...

... Robert Nofacts.

A Moment of Compassion

I'm not obligated to feel or express any compassion for Rush Limbaugh. There are 6 billion other people on this planet, almost all of whom are more worthy than Rush of any emotional energy I wish to expend. My attitude - and approach to this blog - is that it's fair to treat people with about the same degree of fairness and venom that they treat others. And, by that criteria, Rush is truly in a class of his own.

Having said that, drug addiction is (contrary to Rush's assertions below) a serious disease. While I'm all for mocking Rush's (alleged) problems with as much bile as he throws at anyone who is down on their luck, I do want to make it clear that I'm not mocking drug addiction or drug addicts generally.

When this story unfolds, my guess is that (if the basic facts that we know are true) it will be spun that poor Rush suffered from chronic pain for awhile, and in the process he got hooked. That may even be true. But, much like Andy Sullivan claiming (perhaps truthfully) that he got HIV from unprotected oral sex, and it was therefore due to an "accident," and not due to "reckless behavior," this is just a way absolving himself of any responsibility, a particularly bad strategy for someone trying to kick a drug habit. As those 12 steppers say, "if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you got."

If Rush were ever willing to cut anyone else that kind of slack, I might even buy it. I don't blame Sullivan for getting HIV and I won't blame Rush for becoming an addict. However, they do blame others for similar misfortunes. We make choices, and sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we don't. We should have a bit of empathy for the people who don't.

A final transcript (For now):

Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat. Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is a White House dog?

...Arthur Silber has some more comments.

Rush Limbaugh Show, 9-23-93

LIMBAUGH: OK. Welcome back and thank you very much. You're watching RUSH LIMBAUGH, the television show. Substance abuse--that means drug addicts. We're now going to cover their rehabilitation if this plan goes through.

Jerry Colangelo is the president of the Phoenix Suns. He's a man I've recently met this year as a guest of a friend of mine who's the coach of the Phoenix Suns, Paul Westphal. I went out during NBA finals in June--went--with them to Chicago. Had lunch with Mr. Colangelo. He's done miracles with this franchise. Six years ago, five of his players were charged with drug abuse and this kind of thing. And it--they've--they've got a wholesome operation out there--very cultured, very classy operation. Family entertainment's the way that they look at their basketball games and their team, and this re--it set them back. Colangelo vowed it's never going to happen again. He's got a player named Richard Dumas. One-time violator of the NBA drug policy. Got caught again violating the terms of his rehab. Colangelo says, I've had it. You're not playing here for this whole season. I don't care if you're clean. You've got to show me that you cannot--that you can stay clean for an entire career. I'm not going to pay you this kind of money.'

I want to let you read along with me a quote from Jerry Colangelo about substance abuse, and I think you'll find that he's very much right. Put it up, Chet, and I'll read along.

(Graphic on screen)

"I know every expert in the world will disagree with me, but I don't buy into the disease part of it. The first time you reach for a substance you are making a choice. Every time you go back, you are making a personal choice. I feel very strongly about that."

Jerry Colangelo President Phoenix Suns

LIMBAUGH: (Voiceover) He says that, I know every expert in the world will disagree with me, but I don't buy into the disease part of drug abuse. The first time you reach for a substance you are making a choice. Every time you go back, you're making a personal choice. I feel very strongly about that.'

What he's saying is that if there's a line of cocaine here, I have to make the choice to go down and sniff it. And I don't know how--how to do it, but if I was going to do it, I'd do it. If there were a gun here, it wouldn't fire itself. I've got to reach for it and--and pull the trigger. And his point is that we are rationalizing all this irresponsibility and all the choices people are making and we're blaming not them, but society for it. All these Hollywood celebrities say the reason they're weird and bizarre is because they were abused by their parents. So we're going to pay for that kind of rehab, too, and we shouldn't. It's not our responsibility.

Rush Limbaugh Show, 10-1-1992

LIMBAUGH: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for tonight's weather forecast from Rush Limbaugh. No, I want to show you something. This is a map of the United States. And these blue dots represent everywhere in the country you can watch this show. We--I'm not kidding--we have over 200 television stations, and the way this is measured in television lingo, we now blanket 98 percent of the country, but I want--I want to show you one dot that isn't blue. This dot, ladies and gentlemen, this red dot happens to be our nation's capital. If Jesse Jackson--the Reverend Jackson were to have his way, this would be the new state, New Columbia, appropriately named since there's drugs and crime there.

Rush Limbaugh Show, 1-15-96

In fact, I'm reminded--I had this story about three weeks ag--maybe it was before Christmas, maybe it was as far back as November--but there were a couple of drug convictions out in--I think it was a Colorado court. And these guys had--had done some really bad stuff, and there were mandated federal sentences for the crimes they had committed. And the judge apologized to the criminals while sentencing them because he thought it was too severe. He apologized and the com--the community was outraged. So we've gone from a judge sentencing a mother who makes her child beg six months in jail, to judges apologizing for getting dope dealers and crack dealers and drug salesmen off the streets with too severe a sentence.

Miller Much More Serious Than Jayson Blair

One could suggest that the reason Miller still has her job is that she's white*...

There is a widespread perception among staff that her work has brought dishonor on the newspaper. The perception that she's protected at the top is widespread, and the reluctance of editors to penalize her adds to that, one of my sources said. Why did an assistant managing editor consistently defend her work of the last year? One of the deans of political writers at the Times tells me: "It makes no sense [but] the only thing I can think of for that clap-trap going into the paper without adequate reporting safeguards -- maybe sniffing the Raines?"

Once reporter Steve Engelberg (he is said to have spent a good portion of his time keeping Miller honest) left the three-dimensional investigative team of Engelberg, William Broad, and Miller, "she had a free ride under Howell and Boyd to do what she wanted. They protected her, particularly Boyd," according to one of my sources.

As they continue to protect Gerth.

*Just echoing the standard line on the Blair fiasco


Good for him:

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie today accused ESPN of "institutional racism" for its decision to hire Rush Limbaugh and for the portrayal of NFL players in the fictional series "Playmakers."

ESPN had tarnished its image of being one of the most respected media outlets for NFL coverage for the sake of ratings, Lurie said. The hiring of Limbaugh and the show are examples of "racist potshots" toward the league, he said.

"Some of the events of this week are built with institutional racism," Lurie said. "It exists. Let's not hide it. Let's not make us believe the problem is a single person. It's far from that."

A telephone message seeking comment from ESPN today was not immediately returned.

The guardians of our national discourse (and yes, I mean YOU Howard Kurtz. And NBC. And Espn.) have for too long ignored the amount of explicit and implicit bigotry which oozes from Limbaugh's every utterance. ESPN knew that when they were hiring someone "controversial," that what controversial meant was "bigot."


A few people (including Tresy) have suggested the new street name for OxyContin should be "dittos," and a new name for OC addicts be "dittoheads," a la "crackheads."


House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi just compared Republican attempts to cut Medicare spending with the Holocaust.

ha ha ha, just kidding.

That didn't actually happen of course, but people are telling me that Grover Norquist just compared taxes to the Holocaust on NPR's Fresh Air.
In comments Peter provides this report:

I listened pretty carefully, and with some astonishment. Grover was making the point that in this country, people often go up and down the income scale, so a tax cut for the "rich" can benefit everyone. Terry Gross responded with a question about the estate tax repeal, which clearly benefits only those who have rich parents.

Grover calmly segued into a moral argument: that is was immoral to discriminate against one group of people just because they were different, ie, rich. He said something like, "It's like the Holocaust, people saying, 'Oh, it's okay, they're just going after those people there... not me.' Something is immoral no matter who they're doing it too."

Terry, who is very kind of all sorts of guests, interrupted: "Excuse me... did you just compare taxes to the Holocaust?"

"No," said Grover, and then did it again. He repeated that whether or not you're taxing someone, or "shooting" someone, its immoral for you to accept it just because it's happening to someone else. He also then threw in a comparison to the Apartheid regime of South Africa.

Briefly: this interview was actually disturbing. Norquist laid out ridiculous arguments and nebulous facts with the calm, reasoned manner of a Lyndon LaRouche: someone who believes that only he has the truth, and everyone else is deluded or evil.

The interview started with him responding to Terry's question: "How do we pay for the war in Iraq, etc." by him saying, "Interesting use of the word 'we.' We are the people. The government is THEM. THEY have to pay for it; we don't."

And this man talks to the President and his senior advisers on a regular basis.

Can't wait for the transcript...

UPDATE: Sadly No kindly provides the transcript:

Norquist [Discussing the death tax] I think it speaks very much to the health of the nation that 70% plus of Americans want to abolish the death tax because they see it as fundamentally unjust. The argument that some who play to the politics of hate and class division will say it's only 2% or 5% in the near future of Americans likely to have to pay that tax. I mean, that's the morality of the Holocaust, it's only a small percentage, it's not you it's somebody else. And this country, people who may not make, earning a lot of money, at the centerpiece of their lives, they may have other things to focus on, they just say it's not just, if you've paid taxes on your income government should leave you alone, not tax you again.

Q. Did you just compare the estate tax with the Holocaust?

Norquist: No, the morality that says it's ok to do something to a group because they're a small percentage of the population, is the morality that says that the Holocaust is ok because they didn't target everybody. It's just a small percentage what are you worried about? It's not you. It's not you, it's them. And arguing that it's ok to loot some group because it's them, or kill some group because it's them, and because it's a small number, that has no place in a democratic society that treats people equally. The government's going to do something to or for us it should treat us all equally. And the argument that Bill Clinton used when he wanted to raise taxes in 1993 is I'm only going to tax the top 2%, so this doesn't affect the rest of you, I'm only going to get some of these guys, not you, others.

The challenge there, when people use that rhetoric, in addition to the fact that I think it's immoral to separate the society, by, uh, when South Africa divided society by race, that was wrong. When East Germany divided them by income and class, that was wrong. East Germany was not an improvement over South Africa. Dividing people so when you can mug them one at a time is a bad thing to do. Whether you do on racial grounds, religious grounds, whether you work on Saturdays or not grounds, economic grounds.

Q. So you see taxes as being, the way they are now a terrible discrimination against the wealthy, comparable to the kind of discrimination of say, the Holocaust?

A. Well, when you pick, when you use, you can use different rhetoric, or different points for different purposes, and I would argue that those who say don't let this bother you I'm only doing it, the government is only doing to a small part of the population, that is very wrong. And it's immoral. they should treat everybody the same. They shouldn't be shooting anyone. And they shouldn't be taking half of anybody's income or wealth when they die.

Way to Throw an Opening, John

So, John King just had Tom DeLay talking about how great it will be if CA gets the gubernator because the state needs someone to restore "fiscal sanity."

Um, John, couldn't you have maybe, just maybe, mentioned the federal deficit?

Drip Drip Drip

Even Fox...

Newspaper reports alleged Limbaugh got the drugs from his housekeeper. But a source close to the investigation told Fox News that Limbaugh had other drug suppliers and could become a target of future criminal probe.

The investigation apparently began as a probe into the illegal sale of prescription painkillers in South Florida that targeted dealers. But later investigators came across Limbaugh through clues gathered in a bust a Palm Beach County (search) in May, revealing him as a buyer.


Asked about the culpability of Limbaugh in an investigation which did not target him, the source told Fox News that he could still face charges for having a large quantity of prescription painkillers without a prescription, but said no charges are imminent.

(via Hesiod)

I'm quite disappointed in Bill O'Reilly. He's apparently defending Rush on his radio program. He should've seized the opportunity to throw Rush overboard...

The Palm Beach Post has a picture of the maid up...

and, here's a story.

Rush Limbaugh Show, 10-13-95

... Story number two: St. Paul, Minnesota. A state legislator, a Democrat, spent hours driving drunk around Minnesota on Wednesday, threatening to kill himself with a BB gun and talking by--and--talking by car phone to people who begged him to stop and get help for his alcoholism. Name is Bob Johnson. He was arrested on a well-traveled two-lane highway just outside Bemidji--if I'm pronouncing that right; I hope I am--and was extremely drunk according to the county sheriff; said he was driving erratically, taken to the county jail and placed under a suicide wat--suicide watch. This situation on Wednesday was so tense that the state Democratic Party asked the media to hold off reporting details until it was resolved.

Now get this: Bob Johnson, drunk, driving around Minneapolis, threatening to shoot himself with a BB gun--Wonder where Al Cowlings was this night?--was drunk and calling people on the phone. Lis--listen to this. Bob Johnson was once listed in legislative directories as a school social worker, quote, "recognized for work in fields of youth and family problems and alcohol drug prevention."'
Another Democrat--another--folks, these people are taking it really hard, you know, these

Democrats, threatening to kill themselves with a BB gun, getting drunk. Here--a guy who had been cited, who had been recognized for his great work in alcohol and drug abuse is drunk on the highways. This is just--it's tragic, but it's just--it's outrageously funny. And he is just the latest in a series of Democratic legislators in Minnesota accused of crimes including shoplifting, spouse abuse and insurance fraud. Conflict resolution, Democrats and all their good social works, and still, look at what ha--it just--it's--it's hypocrisy. ...

(thanks to jm)

Rush Limbaugh Show, December 16, 1994

So we're not going to get on--we don't fault these animals for a lack of discipline, but we get on human beings who are fat for lack of discipline and you know it and I know it. But here's the thing that struck me about this. We have alcoholics and drug addicts in our society, don't we? And what do we say about them? Well, they can't help it. Why, it's genetic. Why, they have a disease. Why, put one thimbleful of scotch in front of them and they can die.'

We totally exempt them from any control over their lives, do we not? Some athlete will spend two years snorting lines of coke. He can't help it.' You know, it's--it's just--it's not--it's--it's genetic. These people--they're predisposed to having this addictive syndrome. They--they can't help--yeah, like that line of cocaine just happened to march into the hotel, go up to the athlete's room and put itself right there in front of him on his blotter.

Rush Limbaugh Show, 12-12-95

Finally, I don't know how many of you saw this or not. This is--this--this is an amazing story. I want to laugh at this so badly, but it--it--it's--you shouldn't, but I can't help it. It's a story about Scott Plumlee, 39 years old; Pensacola, Florida. In his neighborhood, there's far too much drug activity going on. He doesn't like it. He went to the cops and demanded they stop it. The cops said, Sorry, Mr. Plumlee, we don't have any evidence. We can't move into your neighborhood and just remove all the drug dealers because we don't have any evidence it's going on.'

So Plumlee went back to his neighborhood, went down to the corner, bought 4 bucks' worth of marijuana, went back home and called the cops. He said, Come on out. I've got the evidence.' They have arrested him. I kid you not. They've arrested him and he's got, perhaps--he's facing a one-year jail sentence for 4 bucks' worth of marijuana.

He--he--he said, After I bought it, I thought there it is. Boom. Now get him off the street. I never thought we'd get in trouble.' The cops are all saying down there, Hey, look, you know, we don't want citizens taking this dangerous activity into their own hands.'

I have to think that this is going to get straightened out; that the guy's not really going to go to jail. But, see, you've got a drug-infested neighborhood and here's a guy trying to do something about it. Goes out and makes a buy just to get the evidence. The cops say, No, we didn't see it happen. We still don't have any evidence. All we know is that you've got the 4 bucks of--of marijuana. Follow us to jail, pal.' So--but our heart's with the guy.

Rush Limbaugh Show, 7-22-1996

LIMBAUGH: All right. Thank you very much. Thank you. You know, I've been--I've been thinking. There are some other things the Dole campaign could do in addition to hiring Billy Dale. You know the story about the Mena Airport--Mena, Arkansas. This is the--the--the story about drugs and--and--and--and--and--and cash being run in and out of there to Central America that--that--that Clinton knew about when it was all going on and it's been written about in The American Spectator. How about Dole goes to w--and it's closed now--the Mena Airport's no longer there. But how about Dole goes there, does a public appearance, and while he's making a speech, helicopter flies over, drops a bunch of bales of hay to indicate drugs coming into the state of Arkansas. Or he could go to the Excelsior Hotel, where Paula Jones claimed that Clinton took--pu--he took his pants down. And Dole could go to the hotel room, conduct a press conference there. Go out to a savings and loan, stand in front of--do all sorts of stuff, just--just to--just to focus the press on--on some of Clinton's, shall we say, transgressions.

Get Your War On



"I apologize."


...god, they're showing it again. He really did say that the allegations weren't true, and then apologized for being a bad boy.


Says the father of Mike Spann.

"If someone in the Bush administration leaked this, they need to be punished, and they need to be made an example of, because that's not just a leak, that's treason," Spann, of Winfield, Ala., told The Associated Press. "They should appoint an independent counsel so the American people can be sure, and let the chips fall where they may."

Arrest the Alleged Pill Popper

The more I think about this, the more outraged I get. Sometimes things are just so commonplace and expected that you cease being outraged. There are so many young black men (and others) in jail for decades after getting busted for possession of minute quantities of illegal drugs. If law enforcement has evidence that Limbaugh has been buying illegal prescription drugs for years, then they have an obligation to arrest him. At they very least they can give him the compassionate conservative treatment that Noelle got (the compassionate conservative treatment is, of course, simply compassion for conservatives) and get some mandatory treatment.

CNN on Rush

It appears that Limbaugh is a part of a drug investigation, but they're targetting the suppliers and not the buyers.

Sure is nice being a rich white illegal drug user.

Proper Dosage

Ever 6 months or so they get Richard Cohen's medication just right and he hits one out of the park.

That hypocrisy was on display Tuesday when President Bush indignantly declared war on leaking, asserting that there are "just too many leaks." The president, as is his wont, misspoke. What he meant to condemn are leaks that do damage to his administration. Up to now, he has said nothing about leaks that favor his cause.

The leak now under investigation is of a particularly pernicious kind. The identity of the CIA employee was disclosed not really to inform the public of something it should know, but as a way to send a dead fish to anyone in the administration who might question that Iraq was a major and imminent menace. Saddam Hussein, we were once told, not only had chemical and biological weapons but was rushing to build an atomic bomb. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," said Condi Rice.

Within the intelligence community, remarks such as Rice's caused a certain amount of head-snapping. The president's national security adviser waxed mushroomish the same day in September 2002 that the New York Times reported Iraq had "sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes" for its nuclear weapons program. The Times story cited "administration officials," "American officials" and the conclusions of "American intelligence experts."

The Times story was clearly based on a lot of reporting -- and just as clearly, government officials cooperated. They did so because the story suited the purposes of the Bush administration -- never mind that they led the Times astray. The tubes are now thought to have been designed for a conventional weapons program -- missiles.

For some reason the Bush administration did not denounce that sort of leak. On the contrary, Rice, Cheney and others used the story in their Sunday talk show appearances. This was typical. The administration has leaked or used intelligence over and over again to make the case for a war in Iraq. However, it would not permit dissenting views to surface.

Bumpity Bump

Just wanted to bring a couple stories up. First, this one:

"They may try and recover deleted email files for certain dates..."

"The White house asked for and got permission earlier this week to wait a day before issuing a directive to preserve all documents and logs which led one seasoned federal prosecutor to wonder why they wanted to wait a day, and who at the justice department told them they could do that, and why?"

-Nina Totenberg, on NPR last night.

And, Bob Novak's source-revealing past:

WASHINGTON -- Three and half-years ago, I reported that a veteran FBI agent resigned and retired after refusing a demand by Attorney General Janet Reno to give the Justice Department the names of top secret sources in China. My primary source was FBI agent Robert Hanssen.
Disclosing confidential sources is unthinkable for a reporter seeking to probe behind the scenes in official Washington, but the circumstances here are obviously extraordinary. The same traitor who delivered American spies into the Kremlin's hands was expressing concern about the fate of intelligence assets in China.
When my source was revealed as a spy, my first fear was that I had been the victim of disinformation by a truly evil man. I wrote my column of Nov. 24, 1997 only after other officials confirmed Hanssen's account. Nevertheless, I now wanted to make doubly sure and rechecked my report's validity. I did so, and several sources -- including one FBI agent who would not speak to me in 1997 -- totally confirmed what I had written. I am absolutely convinced that Hanssen told me the truth.
Then, why break a reporter's responsibility to keep his sources secret? I wrestled with this question for months and finally decided that my experience with Hanssen contributes to the portrait of this most contradictory of all spies. Furthermore, to be honest to my readers, I must reveal it."

Spill it Cliff

Go over to Unqualified Offerings for some fascinating stuff about Cliff May.

Feel the Love

You know, the Boy Scouts is a private organization and they can do whatever the hell they want assuming it's legal. So, when I heard that they were inviting Ollie North and Ann Coulter to speak I just thought "how embarrassing for them." But, would you really want your child going to hear this crap?

“Let’s just say that this was a war just for oil,” Coulter told the crowd of about 300. “Why not go to war for oil? We need oil. What do Hollywood celebrities think fuels their jets? How do they think their cocaine is delivered?

Liberal Media Quiet

So, CNN has talked a lot about Limbaugh and ESPN, but not a peep about his alleged drug use...

One could credit them for being responsible and not running with it until they can confirm it, but they usually don't hesitate to report any horseshit that pops up on Drudge's site.

...CNN has now confirmed.

Thursday is New Jobless Day

Congratulations to the 399K new jobless, and to the 5 thousand we missed last week...

Sept. employment report is on Friday. I predict it'll be basically flat with a small uptick in unemploment. Slightly bigger uptick in October, then a bad November.

But, what do I know...


The men who won the 2000 election by promising to restore honor and integrity to the White House spent yesterday doing a pretty good imitation of O. J. Simpson, looking for the culprit. You could just picture President Bush with his Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, magnifying glass and bloodhound Barney. Silly. The White House knows who did it. All Mr. Bush has to do is roll heads.

Slime and Defend

CYA more important than national security:

The Bush administration pursued a two-track political strategy on Wednesday to minimize the damage from the criminal investigation into the disclosure of a C.I.A. officer's identity.

The White House encouraged Republicans to portray the former diplomat at the center of the case, Joseph C. Wilson IV, as a partisan Democrat with an agenda and the Democratic Party as scandalmongering. At the same time, the administration and the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill worked to ensure that no Republicans in Congress break ranks and call for an independent inquiry outside the direct control of the Justice Department.

"It's slime and defend," said one Republican aide on Capitol Hill, describing the White House's effort to raise questions about Mr. Wilson's motivations and its simultaneous effort to shore up support in the Republican ranks.

Look, at this point it doesn't matter if Joe Wilson rapes babies. He is almost entirely irrelevant to this story.

...Josh Marshall makes a similar point.

Arnold the Groper

LA Times has the story.

Six women who came into contact with Arnold Schwarzenegger on movie sets, in studio offices and in other settings over the last three decades say he touched them in a sexual manner without their consent.

In interviews with The Times, three of the women described their surprise and discomfort when Schwarzenegger grabbed their breasts. A fourth said he reached under her skirt and gripped her buttocks.

A fifth woman said Schwarzenegger groped her and tried to remove her bathing suit in a hotel elevator. A sixth said Schwarzenegger pulled her onto his lap and asked whether a certain sexual act had ever been performed on her.

According to the women's accounts, one of the incidents occurred in the 1970s, two in the 1980s, two in the 1990s and one in 2000.

Steve G. says:

So Oprah, are you gonna have your friend Arnold back to explain his sexual harassment of women? Groping, grabbing, normal men get sued for this. How blind is Maria? And god knows, what has he done to women too scared to talk?


Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Holy Crap II

Rush is in town for a speech, and local news is already on the drug abuse thing...


Here's the story... Hillbilly heroin!

...and Rush resigns.

...and Scoobie is a happy man.

Holy Crap

I mean, holy crap.

The faux philo-semites will ignore this, but....

Holy Crap!

Republican political consultant Frank Luntz says: “Americans don’t want to hear about the Holocaust anymore, and they particularly don’t want to hear it from the Jewish community.”

UPDATE: some people wonder why I commented on this. If someone on the Left had said something like that they'd be pilloried for it regardless of context or meaning. I wasn't trying to accuse Luntz of anti-Semitism, just rather surprised he actually said it.

Six Hundred Million


WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 - The Bush administration is seeking more than $600 million from Congress to continue the hunt for conclusive evidence that Saddam Hussein's government had an illegal weapons program, officials said Wednesday.

The money, part of the White House's request for $87 billion in supplemental spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, comes on top of at least $300 million that has already been spent on the weapons search, the officials said.

The budget figures for the weapons search are included in the classified part of the administration's supplemental appropriations request, and have not been made public. The size of the request suggests the White House is determined to keep searching for unconventional weapons or evidence that they were being developed under Mr. Hussein. The
search so far has turned up no solid evidence that Iraq had chemical, biological or nuclear weapons when the American invasion began in March, according to administration officials.

Look, let's say you need to provide $300,000 per inspector, including expenses and insurance. That's 2000 inspectors.

John Ashcroft Flashback

From Liberal Oasis:

October 4, 1997
CNN’s “Evans & Novak"

JOHN ASHCROFT: The truth of the matter is that if the law's been violated, we should be able to ascertain that.

We can, if we have an independent person without a conflict of interest…

ROWLAND EVANS: …The attorney general has shaved down all the allegations that Vice President Gore apparently down to one single allegation -- which telephone he used to make these fundraising calls from.

Do you really think that alone is worthy of a special prosecutor?

ASHCROFT: …you know, a single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor.

If you're abusing government property, if you're abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that.

So my own view is that there are plenty of things which should have caused [Attorney General Janet Reno], a long time ago, to appoint a special prosecutor, an independent investigator.

We asked for that on March the 13th of this year in letters from Republican members on the Judiciary Committee. And she's in a bad position…

…The man who signs her check is the man that she's investigating, and she hasn't been very aggressive about it.


Just go look at Drudge. This should be amusing.


"They may try and recover deleted email files for certain dates..."

"The White house asked for and got permission earlier this week to wait a day before issuing a directive to preserve all documents and logs which led one seasoned federal prosecutor to wonder why they wanted to wait a day, and who at the justice department told them they could do that, and why?"

Nina Totenberg, on NPR this evening.

This really is absolutely unbelievable. Where is the outrage? We need some answers to those questions.

UPDATE: Digby adds:

One would have thought that the Commander in Chief would have personally ordered his staff to preserve all e-mails and documents relating to a possible felony and breach of national security during wartime on the morning after the leak was revealed in Robert Novak's column.

That's what a leader does. He doesn't depend upon legal technicalities and partisan firestorms to make him do the right thing. He takes the bull by the horns and demands that anyone under his watch who commits such an act, or knows who committed such an act, comes forward or he'll know the reason why. He would make it crystal clear that there will be zero tolerance for political games with national security. He would immediately put in place safeguards to ensure that it never happens again. He would fire the perpetrator and send all evidence to the proper authorities.

Of course, strutting around in a fighter pilot costume is good, too.

Kleiman Speaks


When Bush says there are too many leaks, he means that too many reporters have access to evidence that makes him look bad. That is not, I submit, a problem that the nation needs to worry about. It would be horribly ironic if the result of this particular White House dirty trick were to tighten the administration's grip over what the citizens are, and are not, allowed to know.

No, this isn't about leaking. It's about exposing the name of an intelligence officer. That's a specific crime, covered by a specific statute. Let's not let Bush and his minions change the subject.

Scooter With the Candlestick?

A bunch of people have informed me that Larry Johnson just pointed his finger in the general direction of, if not directly at, Scooter Libby on Buchanan and Press just now.

Okay, I didn't see it but from what I can glean without a transcript I think he pointed his finger at the EOB, said the person was involved with past scandals, and said that the first person they should question was Libby.

Honor and Dignitude

Wow, check this out.

According to The Washington Post, in early 2002 Wolfowitz ordered a CIA report on Blix. When the report didn't contain damning details, Wolfowitz reportedly "hit the ceiling."

Haley Hanging with the CCC

Oh yes, there are no more racists in the Republican party.

Barbour wears a lapel pin with the U.S. and state flags and he is in a photograph on the Web site of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a neo-Confederate group accused of racist views. Barbour says he doesn't know anything about the council. The picture was taken at a council-sponsored barbecue in July used to raise money for private academy school buses.

You can find the picture here, with the caption:

The election year Mississippi Black Hawk Barbecue and Political Rally held on July 19 drew dozens of political candidates and was attended by a crowd of over 500. The Black Hawk Barbecue is sponsored by the Council of Conservative Citizens to raise money for private academy school buses. (Pictured L-R: Chip Reynolds, State Senator Bucky Huggins, Ray Martin, GOP gubernatorial nominee Haley Barbour, John Thompson, and Black Hawk Rally emcee and C of CC Field Director Bill Lord.)

Lying about it doesn't help.

Here's the ADL on the CCC.

Here's the SPLC.

What will emerge will be just be a slimy brown mass of glop," Millard wrote. "The genocide being carried out against white people hasn’t come with marching armies; instead, it has come with propaganda that is calculated to brainwash whites into happily and willingly jumping into the Neo-Melting Pot, and to their destruction. ... Genocide via the bedroom chamber is just as long-lasting as genocide via the gas chamber."

Look, there is no way in hell that Barbour "knows nothing about the council." None.

Haley Barbour flashback:

NYT, October 20, 1982, Wednesday, Late City Final Edition.

But the racial sensitivity at Barbour headquarters was suggested by an exchange between the candidate and an aide who complained that there would be ''coons'' at a campaign stop at the state fair. Embarrassed that a reporter heard this, Mr. Barbour warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks.

The People Speak

68% want independent investigation. 72% think someone in the WH leaked.

Step up to the Plate

In comments, anonymous writes:

Its time for the other journalists to come out and tell us who it is. They are protecting a criminal that has damaged national security. Would they protect a pederast? Why would they protect someone that, if this story is true, could cause a national security disaster and end the lives of Plame's contacts.

There is no loss of credibility for a journalist to expose a treasonist leaker and if they continue they are guilty of aiding and abetting. They know who it is according to Wilson. They can nip it in the bud and save the taxpayers millions of dollars and keep this country focused on the war on terrorism instead of chasing ghosts.

Come on, be a hero.

Jack Shafer finally says something reasonable:

The hard-and-fast rules that govern confidential sourcing leave a half-dozen news organizations in a position where they know the leakers' identities as institutions but can't force individual reporters to reveal their names without violating the journalistic taboo of "burning" a confidential source. If the journalists in the know were to surrender the names of their White House sources, they'd be shunned by their peers and (more important) frozen out by future confidential sources because they're untrustworthy. They might as well move their butts over to the obit desk. (One state court has even found that a confidentiality agreement with a reporter is contractual, enforceable by law.)

But it's not like Washington journalists like to play "get the leaker" in the first place. They don't even like to examine the motives of the confidential sources who appear in their own newspapers or the pages of the competition. It's considered poor form in Washington to uncover another reporter's confidential sources, but not because it's bad journalism. Confidential sources are the grease that makes the wheels of Washington journalism turn, and anybody who disturbs the cloak of anonymity undermines what 80 percent of the reporters in town do. Because Washington reporters outnumber worthwhile confidential sources by a ratio of 10 to 1 (or greater), confidential sources can usually pick the most advantageous (to them) terms for dispensing information. For that reason alone, most Washington reporters would rather acquire the other guy's confidential sources than expose them.

This may explain why none of the reporters who talked to the White House sources filed the more newsworthy story: namely, that the normally leak-free administration was attempting to put Ambassador Wilson in an unflattering light by connecting his Niger mission in some nepotistic fashion to his wife's position as a CIA employee, and damage her cover in the process. Any of the reporters could have published a story about how an administration source was talking trash about Wilson without naming Valerie Plame or violating their confidentiality agreements. So, why didn't they? I can only assume that the reporters calculated that with confidential administration sources being so rare these days, they shouldn't do anything that would deter a future leak. So, they ignored the tip and declined to expose the leakers' skulduggery in hopes of getting a different—and perhaps less dicey—story leaked to them later.

The Novak-Wilson-Plame story illustrates in creepy fashion what happens when reporters, especially Washington reporters, become too beholden to their sources. They forget that they're supposed to answer to their readers, not their sources. And when they're obsessed with keeping their confidential sources happy, they end up missing the story.

For shame.

Up Next

Will Wolf "conflict of interest" Blitzer throw softballs to Novak? This really is ridiculous.

Novak is spinning ridiculously. What the hell does he think "difficulties" means.

Besides, it doesn't matter one bit for this issue whether her life was in danger. Jeebus.

Invisible fairies tell him she wasn't an operative, and when he used the word operative he didn't really mean operative.

Don't let McClellan Frame the Issue

Reader ES writes in:

Somebody better tell the WH press corps that they're perilously close to succumbing to the controlled message WH politicos are peddling. McClellan frantically tried to impose the old brilliant "16-word" play on the Plame story -- trying to limit coverage to the act of leaking; trying to shield the WH from discussion of the larger national security ramifications of the leak.

Someone tasked with tracking loose nuclear materials was rendered useless and her networks and contacts were exposed for the underworld to see. The whole, worst fear of humanity has been arguably facilitated by someone in the White House.

Will the Washington crew let the story advance to "political witch hunt"? Or will they advance the story to its real meaning? What has this done to our world? Are we less safe now?

Agreed. We're already getting craptacular coverage from the New York Times along these lines:

"The scandal over the leak is hard to define in one or two sentences. It does not seem to involve issues of constitutional gravity, like Watergate or the Iran-contra affair, or at least not directly. It does not have to do with greed. Nor does it seem to involve matters of national security."

Actually, it does involve issues of constituional gravity. It does have to do with greed. It has everything to do with matters of national security. It has everything to do with an adminsitration willing to throw national security out the window in order to play petty vindictive politics. It has everything to do with a president and his administration who, when confronted with these charges, saw fit to do absolutely nothing about it.

What an embarrassment the New York Times is. For shame.

UPDATE: If I were a real dork, I'd say "advantage blogosphere!" But, I'm not, so I'll just point out they apparently have pulled that paragraph.

Out and Proud

More of this kind of stuff, please.

Lexington, Kentucky) State Senator Ernesto Scorsone came out Tuesday, becoming the first gay Kentucky state officeholder.

The 51 year old Democrat made the announcement in a speech at the Governor's Equal Employment Opportunity Conference in Louisville.

Scorsone praised Gov. Paul Patton for signing an executive order in May prohibiting discrimination against state employees or job applicants on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"As a public official I was proud that our government was taking this step toward fairness," Scorsone said.

"As a gay Kentuckian, I was proud of the executive order because, while I personally may have been fortunate when it comes to job discrimination, other gay Kentuckians have not."


Digby says:

If President Bush refuses to personally and forcefully pursue a national security risk on his own staff, how can we trust him to keep this country safe?

sounds about right.


Mark Kleiman says:

The big advantage for Bush is that the inexcusable media silence during the long cover-up period means that most voters are hearing about the story first in terms of Bush's co-operation. And of course any explanation about how long the stone wall had stayed in place would make the reporters look bad, as well as the White House. In reputational terms, they're all in this together.

Exactly. This is like Clinton/Gore in reverse. During the good old days, press heaped up a giant serving of bullshit - both in terms of the "Clinton scandals" and coverage of the Gore campaign, and now they just like to pretend they had no responsbility for either. Now they spent months ignoring a real scandal - a real scandal many of them were intimately involved with - and I'm sure many would just like to pretend it didn't happen.



What kind of government would condone a political crime that may have endangered human lives and damaged national security?


Julian Borger on the Michelangelo Signorile show. Coming on in a couple minutes.

"for at least two of the was Karl Rove"

"it is broadly known...that in at least a couple of these calls, Karl Rove made the allusion to Joe Wilson's wife. A question may be whether these phone calls came after Robert Novak put his piece out...

"...the timing may turn out to be crucial..."

Dear ABCs the Note

Yes, yes, we knew the Republican talking point that Wilson gave money to John Kerry, which for some reason is supposed to have something to do with the fact that two top white house aids have apparently committed serious felonies. Maybe simply giving money to Democrats now excuses any and all illegal behavior by other people.

But, he also gave money to George Bush. Please inform your readers.



(thanks to Jeff Hauser)

...CalPundit has more.

A Beautiful Thing

It was really a joy to see Rush Limbaugh being treated with absolute contempt on local news last night. He wasn't simply criticized, but talked about as if he were lower than dog shit. Which he is, of course.

You can read all about it.

If anyone caught McNabb's press conference (I didn't), let us know how it went.

Damning Editorial

I posted up the preview version before, but this editorial in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune is a must-read.

Was it Scooter with the Candlestick?

In USA Today:

In Washington, Plame was assigned to the CIA's Non-Proliferation Center, an organization of analysts, technical experts and former field operatives who work on detecting and, if possible, preventing foreign proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, met with officials at the Non-Proliferation Center before the invasion of Iraq to discuss reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa. A U.S. official with knowledge of those meetings said Plame did not attend. But the former U.S. intelligence official said she was involved in preparing materials for those meetings."

Common Knowledge

A bunch of right wing hacks are going on about how since they knew Wilson's wife was CIA that everybody did. Look, right wing hacks, the reason you knew she was CIA is that Republican operatives were spreading the information around. It isn't as if Wilson's like some Washington Superstar. None of you heard of the guy before this stuff came out.

Josh Marshall destroys this ridiculously self-defeating line of hackdom from the hacking hackity hacks, as does Mel Goodman here. (thanks to 56 for the tip on the last one) Goodman says a lot, but as for this particular issue:

Mel Goodman: I've worked in Washington for the past 38 years, including 24 years at the CIA...and I know Ambassador Wilson....and I did not know that his wife was an agency employee. Let's face it....this was targetted information as part of a political vendetta....a pure act of revenge...again, no more and no less.

CalPundit picks out some more key excerpts.

More Good Rundowns

Tresy over at corrente and Brad DeLong.

What Color is the Sky in Jonah's World?

This is hilarious.

Busy for a Bit

Go to corrente and elsewhere for bloggy goodness.(oops. excuse typo. busy)

Important Radio

Make sure to listen to the Michelangelo Signorile show today (1-4 EST). You never know what you might hear. Julian Borger will be on.

It's a record month!

You like me! You really like me!

Sully Gets a Clue


Suspend Robert Novak

Dear CNN,
You really can't have on one of the principals of the story on discussing it, particularly when much of what he says is in conflict with what your reporters are saying. You look foolish and unprofessional.



4 killed today


Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Dear Journalists,
One thing you should be on guard about is the desire for Ashcroft's Justice Department to grant immunity in exchange for testimony from prominent White House officials.



Drudge Steals From Me

Thanks, eggman.

(note, I just think this is funny. He just took from what I bothered to transcribe, before the official transcript was out. typos included)

Dear John King

You just mentioned on CNN that Amb. Wilson donated money to John Kerry.

You didn't mention that he also donated to George Bush.

Please tell the complete story.

Love, Atrios

Clinton Rules

If Clinton rules were in operation, someone would have to be out on their ass already. Wyeth explains.

RNC Chair Says This is Worse than Watergate

(if true). Fascinating.

New Tactic

Given Bush's comments today, and the latest letter from Gonzalez, it's pretty clear that the White House tactic now is to try and turn this into an issue of "leaking classified material," in a general sense, and try to go after everyone involved in anyone involved with leaking classified information. Presumably, including reporters.

Watch your back all, but don't let them win.

On the Newshour

Audio here.

This not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been under cover for three decades. She is not as Bob Novak suggested a "CIA analyst." Given that, i was a CIA analyst for 4 years. I was under cover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the CIA unti I left the Intelligence Agency on Sept. 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it. The fact that she was under cover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous. She was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she works with overseas could be compromised...

For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal... and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that, well, this was just an analyst. Fine. Let them go undercover. Let's put them go overseas. Let's out them and see how they like it...

I say this as a registered Republican. I am on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear, of an individual who had no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it because the entire intent was, correctly as Amb. Wilson noted, to intimidate, to suggest taht there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision-making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy, and frankly what was a false policy of suggesting that there was nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend it was something else, to get into this parsing of words.

I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this.

-Larry Johnson, a former counter-terrorism official at the CIA and the State Department.

Listen to the whole thing.
They've even lost Newsmax.

UPDATE: Full official transcript here now.