Saturday, June 19, 2004

Open thread

Here's a thread to keep the graveyard shift going.

Moving Day

Light or nonexistent posting until Monday when the cable guy comes...

You've Got to be Kidding Me

The Post invents a new job for Bush:
But even the harshest critics concede that the nation's spiritual leader rallied in the days thereafter.

(regarding Bush in the days after 9/11).


Labor Secretary Gephardt

I think we're all in agreeance on that idea.

No Communion for Santorum

He did support a pro-choice politician (Specter) against a pro-life one (Toomey).

But, surprise surprise - yet another article in the liberal New York Times about Catholic politicians and abortion rights which miraculously manages to not mention a single pro-choice Republican.

Confessore wonders why Bush is pushing this even though Catholic and Protestant views on abortion are pretty similar across the board.

Why, then, does the White House keep pushing the issue of John Kerry and the bishops? Good question. I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping Kerry off-balance and in an awkward position on a touchy subject. But clearly the Bush administration believes that having bishops and priests denounce Kerry from the pulpit would help them with some segment of voters. I wonder if they are correct.

I don't think that's it. I think it's that a clueless and hostile media will continue to push the idea that Kerry, alone in the world, is betraying his religion. Even those who aren't Catholic, and even those who aren't particularly religious, will get the message that Kerry doesn't live up to his professed beliefs.

It has nothing to do with increasing the Catholic vote for Bush -- if anything, I'd guess it'll lose Bush a few of those votes. It's about painting a general picture of an amoral man with no core beliefs.

In other words, it's just like every other Republican presidential campaign.

Friday, June 18, 2004

CBS Outrage

Wouldn't run Move On ads. Will run ads by obsessed Clinton-hater David Bossie's group.

Condi Lies and Lies and Lies and Lies

I'd be embarassed for these people if, you know, people weren't getting killed and stuff.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In publishing a report that cited no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, the Sept. 11 commission actually meant to say that Iraq had no control over the network, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on Friday.

As the White House strove to curb potential damage to President Bush's credibility on Iraq, his closest aide on international security denied any inconsistency between the bipartisan panel's findings and Bush's insistence that a Saddam-Qaeda relationship existed.

"What I believe the 9-11 commission was opining on was operational control, an operational relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq which we never alleged," Rice said in an interview with National Public Radio.

"The president simply outlined what we knew about what al Qaeda and Iraq had done together. Operational control to me would mean that he (Saddam) was, perhaps, directing what al Qaeda would do."

Intelligence reports of links between Saddam and the group blamed for the 2001 attacks formed a cornerstone of Bush's rationale for the invasion and occupation of the turbulent Arab country, where 833 U.S. soldiers have died after 14 months of violence.

The chairman and vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission differed with Rice's characterization of their panel's findings in separate interviews with Reuters.

"We don't think there was any relationship whatsoever having to do with 9/11. Whether al Qaeda and Saddam were cooperating on other things against the United States, we don't know," Commission Chairman Thomas Kean said.

Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton said he was unaware of anyone ever claiming that Saddam had directed al Qaeda.

"The word 'control' is new," Hamilton said.

Joe Hoeffel Week Almost Over!!

Total donations so far -- $7041.95! Only about $460 away from reaching the goal of $7500

Senator Clinton give a kickass speech today at the fundraiser. As did Hoeffel.

We're gonna take back the senate baby!

Scandal Plagued Administration

I'm starting to wonder when the Bush administration will start receiving the label, "scandal plagued," as the Clinton administration does and did, even though most of those scandals were just made up scandals and not real ones.

How many CIA agents have to have their covers blown?

Move On PAC

Move On is looking for candidates to endorse. Go tell them about your favorites.

Ignorant of History...

How can we have buffoons like this being the guardians of our public discourse? Brian Dickerson in the Detroit Free Press:

It sickens me to write these words, because I am one of those who gave Bush the benefit of the doubt -- one of the many Americans who, however much we may have disagreed with him on a dozen other issues, simply could not bring ourselves to believe that any president would mislead his constituents about so important a matter, or be so cynical about exploiting the emotional dynamite of 9/11.

If you trusted George Bush, well, fine I suppose. But the claim that "we could not believe that any president would mislead his constituents about so important a matter..." is just insane. It's ignorant of history, ignorant of human nature, and, frankly, just plain ignorant.

I want to be able to pat people on the head when they come around, but what the hell is this guy thinking?

Joe Hoeffel Week Continues!

Final day! The goal for the week, in honor of Senator Clinton's visit, was $7500. We're a bit short of that, at $5851.44, but getting pretty close... Do your part!

From Political Wire:

"Senate Democrats may add Missouri, Pennsylvania and Kentucky to top-tier targets -- giving more party aid to those challenging the states' Republican incumbents," the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports. "That's if the candidates and their fund raising stay strong. But funds lag from a prime source: Trial lawyers gave so much to Sen. Edwards's presidential bid, 'it's a little harder' getting checks, says Sen. Corzine, Democrats' campaign committee chairman."

Don't like Hoeffel? You can always give to the DSCC instead. I trust Corzine to do the smart thing with the money.

Changed Procedure

This is pretty ridiculous. Rumsfeld should be fired for this alone:

This week, when the 9/11 commission holds its 12th and final hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, it will drill down on the excuses offered by the nation’s air defense network, NORAD, to explain why it failed utterly to order a protective cap of fighter jets over the nation’s capitol as soon as the world knew that the nation was under attack. Families will be listening carefully when the commission questions the head of NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector, General Ralph E. Eberhart. NORAD had as long as 50 minutes to order fighter jets to intercept Flight 93 in its path toward Washington, D.C. But NORAD’s official timeline claims that F.A.A. notification to NORAD on Flight 93 is "not available." The public will hear further questioning of military officials all the way up to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, who wasn’t notified until after the attack on the Pentagon.

So many unconnected dots, contradictions and implausible coincidences. Like the fact that NORAD was running an imaginary terrorist-attack drill called "Vigilant Guardian" on the same morning as the real-world attacks. At 8:40 a.m., when a sergeant at NORAD’s center in Rome, N.Y., notified his northeastern commander, Col. Robert Marr, of a possible hijacked airliner—American Flight 11—the colonel wondered aloud if it was part of the exercise. This same confusion was played out at the lower levels of the NORAD network.

What’s more, the decades-old procedure for a quick response by the nation’s air defense had been changed in June of 2001. Now, instead of NORAD’s military commanders being able to issue the command to launch fighter jets, approval had to be sought from the civilian Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. This change is extremely significant, because Mr. Rumsfeld claims to have been "out of the loop" nearly the entire morning of 9/11. He isn’t on the record as having given any orders that morning. In fact, he didn’t even go to the White House situation room; he had to walk to the window of his office in the Pentagon to see that the country’s military headquarters was in flames.

Mr. Rumsfeld claimed at a previous commission hearing that protection against attack inside the homeland was not his responsibility. It was, he said, "a law-enforcement issue."

Why, in that case, did he take onto himself the responsibility of approving NORAD’s deployment of fighter planes?

And why is Gail Sheehy the only one who's really looking into the questions that the rest of the press has been running from for years?

Can't They Ever Get It Right?

There's something about the Clinton administration and Whitewater that causes the press to get it wrong every goddamn time they write about it. LMC brings us this AP report:

Another independent conservative group, Citizens United, is crafting video ads for television and the Internet that slam Moore.

The group's head, David Bossie, is a former Republican congressional aide who was one of President Clinton (news - web sites)'s harshest critics. He was fired in 1998 by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich for withholding the public release of testimony transcripts favorable to the Clintons in a campaign fund-raising probe.

What a load of crap. Bossie was fired by Dan Burton, his boss, (at Gingrich's urging it seems) not because he withheld "the public release of testimony transcripts" but because he got busted releasing heavily doctored transcripts to the press who, reliably, rushed the information into print. I'm looking at you Steno Sue.

According to Bob Somerby, Nightline even had the actual tapes. On air, they played the real tape and on screen showed the doctored transcript to presumably confused viewers, without noticing the discrepancies.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

O'Reilly vs. O'Reilly

Quite funny.

Flightsuit Boy, March 1 2003


We have removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding.

Bush Notes

These are probably classified, but...reader l writes in:

I've attached a photo you might find interesting.

It's from Bush's cabinet meeting on Thursday. When I saw the photo I noticed the notes he had made and wondered what they said. I cropped the photo and rotated it so I could read them and...

The page on the left looks like scripted sound bite lines. The second line says (i think) "sworn emeny of US."

But what I find more interesting is the right page.

It's a list of reporters and where they work. the first is DEB RIECHMANN fromt the Associated Press.

What I wonder is. Is this a list of the people he was going to call on? Is it all the reporters in the room? Can't he remember their names by now? and so forth. there are more but... who has the time.

... original hi-res image is here.

Mea Culpa

I think this Beinart mea culpa is rather nice. He was one of the snootier Iraq hawks. He writes:

In the run-up to the Iraq war, I tried hard not to be partisan. I distrusted the Bush administration and feared it would be politically empowered by the war. But such thoughts felt petty and limited at such an important time. And so I evaluated the arguments for war on their merits, irrespective of my feelings about the people making them. Doing so made me feel superior to the Democrats, who, I suspected, would have supported an Iraq war waged by Al Gore, and to the Republicans, who had opposed the Kosovo war because it was waged by Bill Clinton.

But, in retrospect, my efforts not to be limited proved limiting. Partisanship, it turned out, was an extremely useful analytical tool in understanding the Iraq war. Had I not tried so hard to cleanse myself of it, I might have seen some of the war's problems earlier than I did.

This was a partisan war. By partisan, I don't mean that it was led by Republicans. It was partisan in the sense that the people who formulated it prized group loyalty above all else. They divided the world, the country, and even their own administration into people who could be trusted and people who could not. And, unfortunately, the people who could be trusted knew much less about how to build democracy in Iraq than the people who could not.

Digby has some comments.
For some of us, it was enough to watch the "conservatives" engage in a decade long smear campaign, impeach a president over a private sexual matter and then steal an election to prove that they are "not as we'd like them to be." But, those were such fun times for the press, when they all got to pretend like they were happenin'--- talkin' 'bout the nasty 'n shit, all the while cluck clucking like a bunch of women's temperence workers over the horrors of sexual incontinence. They just couldn't bear to see the party end. The deification of Bush after 9/11 was just the latest chapter in their lazy acceptance of GOP political propaganda.

It was, in fact, another example of that which Beinert finally realized perpetuated the failure in Iraq --- myopic, group loyalty so profoundly disdainful of anyone outside of it that they cannot be trusted to even carry out their own plans successfully. The modern GOP lives in a little world of its own, made even more parochial by the advent of its own media infrastructure. The people who are in charge are second rate thinkers who rose to the top because the pool was so small to begin with.

As a partisan Democrat, would I have been more likely to have supported a war pushed by President Gore? Sure, but it's really quite irrelevant. The dishonesty and incompetence of this administration with respect to Iraq was on display for all to see. I may have been more likely to trust "Al Gore's war," but I sure as hell wouldn't have supported "Al Gore's war" if the Gore administration had behaved anything like the Bush administration did.

There were a lot of factors in the timing of the runup to the war, but the Nov. '02 elections was a prime one. It was dispiriting that few in the press could bring themselves to believe that the administration would play politics with something so serious. It was dispiriting because it was so obvious they were playing politics, and as Beinart finally notices, used it to be as divisive as possible.

It was no way to unite a country to go to war.


Stakeholder notes that Rumsfeld, in addition to being an accused War Criminal (by me, of course), also appears to have lied under oath.

I really miss the days when we could spend literally months arguing about which phone Gore used to make fundraising calls...

..they also notice Rumsfeld's performance today, which was indeed truly "sickening."

Big John Needs FU Money!

Click here to give him some.

Josh Marshall Flees Country!

Concerned about fallout from exciting forthcoming story!

I’m going to be taking a breather from TPM for a few days. I’ll be away tucked away on some island somewhere far, far away. If something truly earth-shattering happens I may pop my head up. But I'm going to try mightily to resist (and you'll be in good hands while I'm away.)

A few points before signing off, though. You may have noticed a slight down-tick in the frequency of posts of late. And that’s for a few different reasons. But a principal one is that I and several colleagues have been working on a story that, if and when it comes to fruition --- and I’m confident it shall --- should shuffle the tectonic plates under that capital city where I normally hang my hat. So that’s something to look forward to in the not too distant future. And that’s taken some of my time away from TPM and prevented me from sharing with you some delectable tidbits which otherwise I would have loved to have done.

Okay, not really, he's just going for some fun in the sun in advance of a big story coming out. But, I like my version better.


I know people play games with their party registrations sometimes so they can be good Fox News Democrats, but is there anything that can genuinely justify this description in today's NYT?

Michael Novak, the conservative Catholic theologian, has no problem with bipartisan criticism, but suggests Democrats are getting the brunt of it because, in his view, they are less tolerant than Republicans are on abortion. "It's really rather striking,'' said Mr. Novak, himself a Democrat. "The Democratic Party was always such a home to Catholics, but they are being driven out. They - I'm talking about the politicians - face more and more pressure in the Democratic Party to be pro-choice if they have ambitions.''


First of all, anyone who hasn't read the book needs to. It's the critical text for understanding what happened in the 90s. The movie is no substitute - there are too many threads, too many important details, to be covered completely.

The narrative of the movie is created primarily through interviews, with some narration by Morgan Freeman to tie things together. There are some media clips, as well as some stock footage for illustrative purposes.

Overall, I think it does quite a good job at telling the basic story of what happened, from the late 80s through impeachment. I would have preferred it if the movie included some more details -- too often things are asserted rather than demonstrated, and while that's fine for someone like me who basically knows about it for the uninformed it might be less than convincing. For example, in the movie it was asserted something along the lines of "the OIC leaks to the press one day would be contradicted by testimony the next." A specific example or two of that, neatly packaged, would have driven home the point. Also, some of the specific cases of complete journalistic fraud on TV could have been highlighted.

It did a pretty good job of showing what a bunch of misogynistic sex-obsessed corrupt perverts Starr's gang was. It kept coming back to sex, every time, even before Monica arrived on the scene.

Some of the interviews were quite revealing, even if you've read the book - former Clinton staffers, Susan McDougal, Claudia Riley.

One of its inadvertent successes was painting a portrait of the tragic fall of Jim McDougal. Late in life, for a variety of reasons, McDougal had become a tragic buffoon, so it was interesting seeing a fuller portrait of his life.

Is the movie brilliant? No. But, it's definitely worth dragging your friends and family to.

Obligatory "celebrity" sighting list: Peter Boyle, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert George, Tom Tomorrow, Joe Conason, Gene Lyons, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Toobin, David Brock, Steven Brill, John Stossel, Al Franken, Susan McDougal, Salman Rushdie (I think), Lloyd Grove...

...Jim C. also has a review.

Hannity the Deceiver

Hannitizing the truth, from CAP.

Rusmfeld - War Criminal

There really isn't any doubt.

But, as I was reminded of again last night, official Washington only cares if it involves a Democrat with his zipper down.


You know what to do.

(total as of this morning $205,475).

But, don't forget it's also Joe Hoeffel week!

Waking Up


Of all the ways Mr. Bush persuaded Americans to back the invasion of Iraq last year, the most plainly dishonest was his effort to link his war of choice with the battle against terrorists worldwide. While it's possible that Mr. Bush and his top advisers really believed that there were chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq, they should have known all along that there was no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. No serious intelligence analyst believed the connection existed; Richard Clarke, the former antiterrorism chief, wrote in his book that Mr. Bush had been told just that.

This is not just a matter of the president's diminishing credibility, although that's disturbing enough. The war on terror has actually suffered as the conflict in Iraq has diverted military and intelligence resources from places like Afghanistan, where there could really be Qaeda forces, including Mr. bin Laden.

Mr. Bush is right when he says he cannot be blamed for everything that happened on or before Sept. 11, 2001. But he is responsible for the administration's actions since then. That includes, inexcusably, selling the false Iraq-Qaeda claim to Americans. There are two unpleasant alternatives: either Mr. Bush knew he was not telling the truth, or he has a capacity for politically motivated self-deception that is terrifying in the post-9/11 world.

Hunting of the President

Went to the premier tonight. The Big Dog was there, as was John Stossel. Well, you take the good with the bad.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Hoeffel Week Continues!

Remember to give to the next Senator from Pennsylvania, Joe Hoeffel!

I don't have the time to calculate the exact total for the week, but I think we're about $2500 away from the $7500 goal. And, that's over $20,000 raised through this site so far!

Give a little...

Open Thread

Chat away.

Take the Poll

The Republicans are trying to make it even harder for unions to organize. Tell the Detroit News what you think ('yes' is the pro-union vote.)

Breaking News

According to CNN, the Earth is still not flat.

Commission reports "no credible evidence" that al Qaeda and Iraq cooperated in 9/11 attacks on United States. Details soon.

This is maddening for many reasons, but let's turn it around. Suppose the Bush administration really did believe that Iraq had been involved with 9/11. Then, frankly, I'd be calling for his impeachment for not declaring war against Iraq on 9/12.

Nobody serious except Mylroie believes that there was any Iraqi involvement. Has the brains of our press been so beaten into oblivion that they really think this is "breaking news?"

...okay, the actual commission report on the other hand is actually breaking news, because it doesn't just shoot down the "iraq-9/11 connection," but the more general "iraq-al qaeda connection" which Bigtime Dick can't stop yammering about.

CNN's headline writers just can't tell the difference between the two.

Kerry for Prez

The Philadelphia Daily News makes its endorsement.

...take the poll.

Selective Outrage

So, Time magazine reveals the location of Cheney's secret bunker, which everyone who cared knew anyway, and the White House gets all outraged about it. Of course, last week when the New York Post revealed the location of Cheney's secret bunker, we heard not a peep.

Drug Lords

Back before the warbloggers found their shiny new Iraq toy under the tree, nothing could inspire howls of righteous rage more than suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the Bush administration wasn't doing all it had promised to do in Afghanistan (Afghaniwhut?). The rhetoric was fairly similar (in Afghanistan it was "aren't you glad that girls can go to school?", in Iraq it's just "the schools!").

But, no one talks about Afghanistan much. It's rather a shame. After 9/11, a lot of the best of this country were on display. Sure, there were those who wanted to "nuke them all," but there was also much genuine concern for the people of Afghanistan. Books about the country were flying off the shelves at bookstores. That war too was quickly appropriated by the jingoists. You know, those pesky human rights organizations concerned about things like cluster bombs were regularly blasted for not having ever cared about the atrocities of the Taliban (right).

But, 2 and a half years later it's pretty obvious that whatever we were supposed to do in Afghanistan didn't get done. Arguably, there wasn't much of a point of going there at all, at least not given the way it's been handled.

The thing is, poppy production is up. Way up. With that comes money to bad people. Money to bad people means power to bad people.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Rock Lobster

The Medium Lobster Says:

Imagine there is some weapon of mass destruction planted by terrorists in the heart of a city, ready to go off - a "ticking bomb," if you will. Would it be wrong to torture a terrorist to find the location of such a device and save the millions of lives at risk? Hardly. Now, what if instead of torturing a terrorist, interrogators had to torture a confederate of that terrorist - some associate who would know where the terrorist was so they could locate that ticking bomb? Is that dirtying of our hands such a high price to ask in the goal to protect millions? I think not. Now, what if instead of a terrorist's comrade, interrogators have a terrorist's relative or neighbor? Is it still justified to go as far to save innocent lives? I should hope so! And what if that terrorist has a lot of relatives and neighbors - hundreds, even? Would it be wrong to grant blanket authority to torture hundreds of prisoners knowing full well that any of them could have the crucial information required to save a city? Certainly not! And what if the threat we're faced with is not a bomb at all but an even more pernicious threat - a rogue nation with the potential capability to someday construct that bomb? Would it not be America's right - no, her duty - to invade that country, occupy it, and set up a system of torture-like interrogations to rid that country of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction once and for all? Absolutely!

Indeed, the most unsettling question being raised by these latest news items is not the issue of torture itself, but the question of whether America will be strong enough to use that torture to defeat the enemies of life and liberty. The Medium Lobster can only hope that this great nation will retain its nerve.

Irony Alive and Well


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Attorney General Peter Heed resigned abruptly Tuesday because of an allegation of inappropriate conduct with a woman.

Gov. Craig Benson said the alleged incident occurred at a conference last month in Bretton Woods on preventing sexual and domestic abuse. Benson said he heard about the allegations late last week and received Heed's letter Tuesday afternoon.


What this guy says.


Mrs. Atrios, the Atri-kitties, and I are in the process of moving so things may be a bit slower than normal over the next week or so.


Ha ha ha.

...once I was offered the golden opportunity of attending a blogger convention organized by Winer for the low low price of $500.


Capitol Fax talks to Congressman Danny Davis about his association with Moon.

Taxonomy of Demagogy

The winners of Max's contest have been announced.

Joe Hoeffel Week Continues!

The cowardly Arlen Specter is too scared to debate Joe. He does have time, however, to have a rather pointless show debate about the presidential election.

Impress Senator Clinton! She's coming on Friday! Give to Joe!

Worst AG Ever

I'm not familiar enough with AGs past to know, but it's hard to imagine that one could get much worse. Ashcroft is corrupt. He's stupid. He's incompetent. He loves the spotlight. He believes laws don't apply to Republicans. He's obsessed with porn, pot, and prostitution.

When he did his latest "WE'VE ARRESTED A TERRORIST!!!!!" news conference yesterday I thought that finally there was a bit of skepticism on the part of the press. Maybe I was just projecting, but I sensed a bit of subliminal eyerolling coming from the CNN anchordesk.

Krugman has more.

Kristol vs. Kristol

The treatment of the Wellstone family during and after the memorial for their father was something which made me realize that some of these people have no limits. None. I wouldn't bother spitting on them if they walked by because they're not worthy of my saliva. Unsurprisingly, Bill Kristol has different views now.

Keep the Faith

My good friend Jon Bon Jovi netted a cool million for Big John. Sadly, my invite got lost in the mail.

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. - Musician Jon Bon Jovi says criticism and intimidation won't stop him from speaking out in support of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites), who raised $1 million at the singer's home Monday night.

"I've received hate mail at my house. I've had people drive by my home and shout things out," Bon Jovi told guests gathered outside his home along the Navesink River. "And I think that they question my patriotism because I decided to stand up and have a voice. And I stood up to have a voice because I think that's the most American thing that you can do."

More than 300 people attended the fund-raiser, including actors Meg Ryan, James Gandolfini and Steve Buscemi, both of HBO's "The Sopranos," and Richard Belzer of NBC's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit."

Monday, June 14, 2004

Food, Drink, Fun

Matt Stoller is putting together a fundraiser in NYC on Wednesday. Go!

Clintons, Today

Transcript from portrait unveiling. I'll give Bush his due on this one - he appeared to try his best to be a class act for once. But, here's the Big Dog:

This is a great country.Politics is noble work.I've just been doing some interviews in connection with my book, and I told Mr. Ryder (ph) yesterday, I said, "You know, Most the people I've known in this business, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, were good people, honest people, and they did what they thought was right. And I hope that I'll live long enough to see American politics return to vigorous debates where we argue who's right and wrong, not who's good and bad.

Brooks the Hack

Confessore does a pretty good job with Bobo Brooksie. A bit too nice, I think, but that's okay.

Grassroots Fun

Don't forget to check out Concerts for Kerry and Run Against Bush.


Interesting. Barack Obama has proposed a series of 6 debates between him and his opponent Ryan, echoing a certain famous set of debates from the 19th century. It's fairly standard for the frontrunner, as Obama is, to try and duck debates as long as possible. But, it's a nice reasonable proposal and if Ryan ducks it he'll look like a tool. Well, he already does look like a tool next to Obama, but he'll look like an even bigger tool.

Sorry Guys

Stephanie and Max, sitting in a tree...


I'm doing a bit of poking around old news for various reasons, and I came across some funny stuff from just over a year ago. Here's one:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In an effort to blame the United States and United Kingdom for war atrocities, the U.S. Central Command charged Thursday that Iraq will dress members of a paramilitary force in uniforms from the two countries while hurting his own people.

In a written statement, Jim Wilkinson, Central Command's director of strategic communications, said, "Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has ordered the procurement of military uniforms identical down to the last detail to those of the U.S. and U.K. forces."


Ted Barlow gives us an example of what we can expect from the blogger who must not be named basically every day until the election.

The Annual Ritual

Every year (I think) CBO does a study about the "solvency" of Social Security, and every time they do it they push the expected date by which the trust fund is empty by another couple of years. So, unless you don't believe in the full faith and credit of the US government, no worries until 2052.

Russo Marsh & Rogers

Turnabout is fair play. Russo, Marsh, & Rogers is the PR firm to which this website, calling for people to prevent theaters from running Michael Moore's new movie, was registered until they modified the entry.

Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814

Telephone: (916) 441-3734
Fax: (916) 441-6057

Sal Russo:

Ron Rogers:

Teri Smith O'Rourke:

Joe Wierzbicki :

Kelley Afghari:

Douglas Lorenz :

Corey Sparks :

Contact these "Domestic Enemies" and tell them what you think.

Orcinus has more.

Joe Hoeffel Week Continues!

$3955.23 raised so far! Over half way to the goal of $7500!

Thanks to all who have donated.

Click here to make Arlen Specter cry.

...Remember, Specter owes his candidacy to Bush and Santorum, who supported him in his barely won primary race against Toomey. Santorum supported Specter even though he's pro-choice.

Specter will never again cast a deciding vote against these people. He owes them, and he plans to pay them back:

To that end, Specter said, Santorum has his vote for any future leadership race — "anything, including president." While some see the White House as Santorum's ultimate objective — Weyrich had previously touted him as a replacement for Vice President Cheney if health concerns were to force him out — the most immediate scenario will hit in 2006.

With enough money, Hoeffel can win.

Not All The Bishops Are With Me

One wonders what Catholics should think of a president who believes the Church should be under his control.

...Josh Marshall has more.

Froomkin on the Memo

I don't want to hear any more crap about paranoid leftist Bush-hating fantasies. Frankly, they're all right there in an official government document.

These people hate this country and everything it stands for.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Silly Red Cross

Drudge is all excited because apparently the Red Cross says we should charge Saddam with something or let him go.

What do they think we are? A nation of laws? it is:

Saddam Hussein must either be released from custody by June 30 or charged if the US and the new Iraqi government are to conform to international law, the International Committee of the Red Cross said last night.
Nada Doumani, a spokeswoman for the ICRC, told the Guardian: "The United States defines Saddam Hussein as a prisoner of war. At the end of an occupation PoWs have to be released provided they have no penal charges against them."

Her comments came as the international body, the only independent group with access to detainees in US custody, becomes increasingly concerned over the legal limbo in which thousands of people are being held in the run-up to the transfer of power at the end of the month.

The occupation officially ends on June 30 and US forces will be in Iraq at the invitation of its sovereign government.

... troll repellent. Saddam's a bad guy, yadda yadda yadda, and if even a small portion of what we "know" about his regime is true, then locking him up until the end of time would make me and most people quite happy. But, "Saddam's a bad guy" isn't enough for any system of justice I'm happy with. And, we do have a wee bit of a problem considering that the people in this administration have gone out of their way to reject any concept of "International Law."

Vigilante Justice always has a certain appeal to our inner Righteous Man, but in the absence of a clear system of justice - Iraqi, US, or International - that's about all we're doing to Saddam.

Joe Hoeffel Week Continues!

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I'm rewatching a bit of the Ashcroft hearing from this past week. It's really quite a big deal. You have the attorney general asserting things he doesn't know, and refusing to turn over memos to the committee without any legal basis.


One of the things which I always find amusing is the fact that Paul Weyrich is such a vocal advocate for rail transit...


Perhaps they're smarter than I think, but my guess is this Registered Traveler Program is just complete bunk.

As the number of airline passengers starts to soar with the temperature, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is finally taking a significant step toward speeding the security process for at least some flyers. Aviation sources tell Time that this week the TSA will announce the launch of a three-month trial of its Registered Traveler program, which will start at five airports, beginning in Minneapolis—St. Paul and then in other cities, including Los Angeles and Houston. A sort of fast track for frequent flyers, the program aims to let approved passengers use less crowded lanes to the security checkpoints and possibly avoid such routine security measures as removing their shoes and coats. To gain that privilege, passengers must submit to an extensive background check, including searches of commercial and government databases. After being approved and paying a small annual fee (yet to be determined), they would be issued a card—containing a biometric identifier (a fingerprint, for example) and personal data—that shows they're entitled to the special security treatment.

So, they'll get a card carrying a biometric identifier. Are check-in desks and security lines going to have anyway actually checking the biometric data on the card against the actual biometric data possessed by the person?

This is just going to be a way of fast-tracking government officials and their pals.

Truly Sad

As, Sadly, No! rightly explains, there's "There's dumb (D.) There's fucktard dumb (FD.) And then there's clueless fucktard dumb (CFD.) That was somewhere below CFD."

But, what caught my eye in the post he links to was this line:

When my students and I study media bias...

Poor things.

Untaxed Income

Since Jesse and Matt are discussing the estate tax, let's remember one of the reasons we have an estate tax - to simplify things for the heirs.

When someone dies, there is no need to pay capital gains taxes on the estate's assets. This makes sense, as doing so would be a huge burden for the heirs - not financial, but accounting.

Removing the estate tax will mean that there are huge capital gains that may never be taxed. Ever.

...correction (more to what I posted in comments than from the post itself). Repeal of the estate tax does indeed allow inherited wealth to accumulate until the end of time without having to pay capital gains taxes, however it does not as I said mean that capital gains taxes would not have to be paid on assets once sold.

In current law, asset values for capital gains purposes are calculated on a "stepped-up" basis, meaning that if you receive part of an estate you are liable for any capital gains upon sale of those assets, with the base value calculated at the time of the inheritance. This does indeed mean that a large chunk of the capital gain is never taxed. So, if you receive a stock portfolio and instantly cash it in no capital gains tax would be paid, but if you wait a year and sell it you'd be liable for the capital gain starting from the moment you received it. Of course, if you just pass it on to your heirs without sale they too can essentially nullify the capital gains liability.

The estate tax repeal, interestingly, actually limits the amount of assets which can be passed on with this "stepped-up" system. So, heirs of large estates will indeed find themselves being liable for capital gains based on the original purchase price, and not the price at date of inheritance. I'm just guessing here, but I bet this little provision was thrown in to make the tax cut seem cheaper, and will be chucked out as soon as they extend the full estate tax repeal, which as it stands only lasts one year.