Saturday, October 22, 2005

Open Thread

your eyes.

Open Thread

If we reason with destiny, gonna lose our touch. Don't kill the thread.

Open Thread

Distant as the distant thunder Where equal threads will rent asunder.

Open Thread

There's a thread and the thread is now and it's right for me.

Open Thread

Threads speak much louder than words.

My Blog Traffic, in Perspective

From Harper's:

Number of erotic Harry Potter fan-fiction stories posted on a website run by an Illinois woman: 1,750

Average number of hits the site receives each day: 198,000

Wanker of the Day

George Packer.

Judy Judy Judy

Timeswar continues:

Ms. Miller said in an interview that Mr. Keller's statements were "seriously inaccurate." She also provided The Times with a copy of a memorandum she had sent to Mr. Keller in response.

"I certainly never meant to mislead Phil, nor did I mislead him," she wrote to Mr. Keller, referring to Mr. Taubman.

She wrote that as she had said in an account in The Times last Sunday, she had discussed Mr. Wilson and his wife with government officials, but "I was unaware that there was a deliberate, concerted disinformation campaign to discredit Wilson and that if there had been, I did not think I was a target of it."

She added, "As for your reference to my 'entanglement' with Mr. Libby, I had no personal, social, or other relationship with him except as a source."

I didn't think Keller meant the word "entanglement" to imply what Miller is taking it as, but nonetheless I find her assertion about not having any relationship with him to be rather odd given this claim:

One lawyer familiar with Miller's testimony said the reporter told prosecutors at first that she did not believe the June meeting would have involved Plame. Miller said that, because she had just returned from covering the Iraq war, she was probably giving Libby an update about her experiences there, the lawyer said.

Is this a typical source relationship? For what possible reason would Miller just drop by the White House to update her "source" about her adventures in Iraq? And, yes, I know this is probably just some bullshit claim to cover for her apparent memory lapse over the June meeting but could we at least have a little consistency in our bullshit?

Prussian Blue

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

Open Thread

There'll be no mutant enemy we shall certify. Political threads of sad remains will die.

Limbaugh's Miers Idea

Oh no we're doomed.


Don't mess with MoDo.

I've always liked Judy Miller. I have often wondered what Waugh or Thackeray would have made of the Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp...

...Gilliard runs it through his unique translation device.

Pumpkinhead and the Truth

Don't get along so well.

Open Thread

How can the thread with its arms all around me?

Open Thread

Thread comes to you and you follow - lose one on to the Heart of the Sunrise.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Open Thread

No thread can take your place, you know what I mean. We have the same intrigue as a court of kings.

Endless Hours of Laughter

Oh this is going to be fun.

Weekend at Camp David

So, what are they going to be plotting?

Shoulda Listened To Those Pesky Bloggers


I wish that when I learned Judy Miller had been subpoenaed as a witness in the leak investigation, I had sat her down for a thorough debriefing, and followed up with some reporting of my own. It is a natural and proper instinct to defend reporters when the government seeks to interfere in our work. And under other circumstances it might have been fine to entrust the details -- the substance of the confidential interviews, the notes -- to lawyers who would be handling the case. But in this case I missed what should have been significant alarm bells. Until Fitzgerald came after her, I didn’t know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end of the anti-Wilson whisper campaign. I should have wondered why I was learning this from the special counsel, a year after the fact. (In November of 2003 Phil Taubman tried to ascertain whether any of our correspondents had been offered similar leaks. As we reported last Sunday, Judy seems to have misled Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement.) This alone should have been enough to make me probe deeper.


...But if I had known the details of Judy’s entanglement with Libby, I’d have been more careful in how the paper articulated its defense, and perhaps more willing than I had been to support efforts aimed at exploring compromises.

Dick Stevenson has expressed the larger lesson here in an e-mail that strikes me as just right: “I think there is, or should be, a contract between the paper and its reporters. The contract holds that the paper will go to the mat to back them up institutionally -- but only to the degree that the reporter has lived up to his or her end of the bargain, specifically to have conducted him or herself in a way consistent with our legal, ethical and journalistic standards, to have been open and candid with the paper about sources, mistakes, conflicts and the like, and generally to deserve having the reputations of all of us put behind him or her. In that way, everybody knows going into a battle exactly what the situation is, what we’re fighting for, the degree to which the facts might counsel compromise or not, and the degree to which our collective credibility should be put on the line.”

Slow Day

Can I open my Fitzmas presents yet?

Open Thread

As I see a new thread in me, I can also show if you and you may follow.

Open Thread

Now the threads I've sang don't add much weight to the story in my head so I'm thinking I should go and write a punch line.


Wow. DeLay's lawyer lies, and the AP dutifully reports his claims as fact.

But We're Special!

Not really sure I agree with everything in here, but Kinsley discusses the media's belief in its own intrinsic specialness.

The Source

Reader b points to this rather important tidbit in the Times article that I missed last night:

It is still not publicly known who first told the columnist Robert D. Novak the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson. Mr. Novak identified her in a column on July 14, 2003, using her maiden name, Valerie Plame. Mr. Fitzgerald knows the identity of this source, a person who is not believed to work at the White House, the lawyers said.

Unclear what "not believed to work at the White House" means - does this exclude former employees?


Incredible. Almost identical paragraphs appearing in unsigned editorials across the country. Someone convene a panel on blogger ethics, quick!


Lovely Leon Kass.

Judy Judy Judy

Jay Rosen on Judy's shifting stories on, and the Times' inability to come clean about, her mystery double super secret security clerance.

Open Thread

What you gonna do when the thread strikes and hits you?

Open Thread

What you gonna do when the thread strikes and hits you?

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Bush

He's the CEO president, but it's kind of like he's the CEO of Enron and WorldCom.

Tonight on The Colbert Report.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Random Association

I was hanging around Assrocket's place, where I noticed this post by NotAssRocket. Indictment rumors circling around his ears.

Then, scrolling around I saw this post about To Kill A Mockingbird. Nothing wrong with that, but on a hunch I searched for something. And, sure enough, I found this:

Paintings in Black and White
Apparently not: Oh, the dramatic story: [artist] Travis Somerville transported at the tender age of 5 into "the heart of Southern redneck country," where he and his nobly liberal family suffered at the hands of those awful backward racists ("Southern Discomfort," Oct. 24)! A story complete with baroque details about slavery and lynchings and Martin Luther King Jr. I can't wait to see Somerville tell his tearful tale to Oprah.

Why is it that the South has produced such alienated whites as Somerville, parading their moral supremacy in exile as they proclaim how they had to leave Dixie because of all those evil, ignorant racists? Is there never an end to such people, with their "just so" anecdotes of hate and oppression? And is there never an end to gullible Yankee writers willing to peddle as authentic these biographies of self-righteousness cobbled together from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Inherit the Wind"?

Robert Stacy McCain
Gaithersburg, Md.

Robert Stacy McCain, of Gaithersburg, MD, is the Assistant National Editor at the Washington Times.

You can read more about him here, here, here, here, and here.

ah, memories.


If the shoe fits. Ad DeLay is running around the internets:

Judy Judy Judy

I suppose we can never know for certain (though we can certainly have opinions) whether Judy's little memory lapses were genuine, but as Redhedd explains she was certainly less than forthcoming (cough dishonest cough) in her New York Times tell all.

Fresh Thread


June 23

Ah, now we know:

New York Times reporter Judith Miller told the federal grand jury in the CIA leak case that she might have met with I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby on June 23, 2003 only after prosecutors showed her Secret Service logs that indicated she and Libby had indeed met that day in the Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House, according to attorneys familiar with her testimony.

Miller testified in her second grand jury appearance that it was during this June 23 meeting that she and Libby first discussed Plame's CIA employment.

When a prosecutor first questioned Miller during her initial grand jury appearance on September 30, 2005 sources said, she did not bring up the June 23 meeting in recounting her various contacts with Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney. Pressed by prosecutors who then brought up the specific date of the meeting, Miller testified that she still could not recall the June meeting with Libby, in which they discussed a controversial CIA-sponsored mission to Africa by former Ambassador Joe Wilson, or the fact that his wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA.

When a prosecutor presented Miller with copies of the White House-complex visitation logs, she said such a meeting was possible.

Shortly after her September 30 testimony, Miller discovered her notes from the June 23 meeting, and returned on October 12 for a second round of grand jury testimony. In this second appearance, Miller recounted details from her June 23 meeting with Libby, with the assistance of her notes.

The rest of the article makes it pretty obvious that Miller was most likely not simply protecting a source's confidentiality but actively trying to protect that source from legal jeopardy. Not the same thing.

The Ace of Wankers

Jack Balkin reminds us of the president's ace - the pardon power - and Robert Parry tells us, among plenty of other things, that Richard Cohen has long been a wanker. He quotes from a 1992 column about the pardon of Casper Weinberger:

“Liberal” Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen spoke for many of his colleagues when he defended Bush’s fatal blow against the Iran-Contra investigation. Cohen especially liked Bush’s pardon of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who had been indicted for obstruction of justice but was popular around Washington.

In a Dec. 30, 1992, column, Cohen said his view was colored by how impressed he was when he would see Weinberger in the Georgetown Safeway store, pushing his own shopping cart.

“Based on my Safeway encounters, I came to think of Weinberger as a basic sort of guy, candid and no nonsense – which is the way much of official Washington saw him,” Cohen wrote. “Cap, my Safeway buddy, walks, and that’s all right with me.”

This was the basic view of much of the establishment "liberal" commentariat. Here's a Capital Gang segment from Feb 17, 2001, which includes a flashback to an episode from January 2, 1992, after the pardon of Weinberger:

SHIELDS: Welcome back.

On Christmas Eve 1992, then lame-duck President George Bush issued a pardon to former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and four other officials in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal. Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh immediately announced an investigation of the former president on the grounds that he was pardoning people in a case in which he was personally involved. This was the reaction by your CAPITAL GANG on January 2, 1993.


HUNT: Mark, as Cap Weinberger suggests, is this a personal vendetta against President Bush?

SHIELDS: No, it isn't Al. First of all, let's get a couple of things -- a couple of basics straight. You cannot have, on a sustained basis, a free government as long as the executive is somehow exempt from the rule of law. Now at what level, is it GS-12, GS-18, at which an executive employee of the federal government of the United States says, I'm going to do what I think is in the best interest of the country rather than what the law says?

NOVAK: The idea right now, under the constitutional powers of the president, in what was the greatest act of his presidency, he pardoned these people. And now this man, Judge Walsh, out of control with snide remarks -- well, I'm glad he's got a good lawyer -- is saying, we don't have any chance to get the people that we were persecuting, but we're going after the president of the United States.

HUNT: I thought the pardon of Weinberger was justified, despite the fact that he misled Congress.

For one thing, he was on the right side of what was, let's face it, a disgraceful...

NOVAK: What did he mislead them on?

HUNT: Let me finish, please -- a disgraceful policy. But to then give a blanket pardon to Clarridge (ph), to George (ph), to Elliott Abrams (ph) -- people who clearly lied, there wasn't any mistake in the -- they were liars.

NOVAK: Not true.

HUNT: I think that it was an unconscionable act, and all it does is pinpoint George Bush's untruthfulness about this whole issue.


SHIELDS: Al Hunt, does the Weinberger pardon, eight years later, stand the test of time?

HUNT: Better than some of the rest of us, Mark.

Yes, I think it does. I think it was a good pardon. We shouldn't forget George Bush's -- the former George Bush's complicity and duplicity in an illegal operation, but I also welcome Bob Novak's indignation over out of control, zealous prosecutors. For a minute I thought he was talking about Ken Starr.

The point being that Weinberger was, basically, one of the good guys and even if he broke the law no big deal. Even if we buy into the notion that Weinberger was one of the angels somehow, it doesn't change the fact that one reason to indict him was, of course, to get him to flip which he had made fairly clear he had planned to do.

The Heart and Soul of Republican America

Apparently, now that the election is over, it's in Hollywood.

Congressman Moron

There isn't necessarily anything wrong with selling disaster relief bonds but what a stupid argument for doing so:

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The federal government could sell bonds to cover the cost of disaster recoveries under legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.

Young introduced the bill Tuesday and spoke in favor it on the floor of the House of Representatives.

"When a natural disaster, be it a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or flood, hits a particular region or state, the rest of us can often feel disconnected because it's happening to 'them' and not 'us,'" Young said.

"Buying bonds that are specifically designated for these types of disasters can help bring together Americans and create a sense of patriotism."

America has averaged 31 major federal disaster declarations annually for the past 50 years, Young said.

"We must find a way to meet the inevitable needs that will arise after future disasters," he said. "We cannot continue deficit spending."

oy. so stupid my head hurt.

13 point gap

Just on CNN - new Gallup poll has 45% saying country better off if Congress controlled by Dems, and 32% Republicans.

Bill Schneider helpfully pointed out that the last time Republicans had such shitty numbers was during impeachment.



Titles include the opening track, "Please Explain," that laments "Where is the love, where did it go;" the second cut, "Where Did It Go?" urges "Stop the clock, make it stop. Where is that world, where did it go?" and the most stridently political number, "Who Are These People?" sung by Costello.

That song, expressing disillusionment with the war in Iraq, forcefully asks, "Who are these people that keep telling us lies and how did these people get control of our lives and who'll stop the violence 'cause it's out of control? Make 'em stop."


Bacharach, who projected an image of the Hollywood good life in the 1960s and '70s during his marriage to glamorous actress Angie Dickinson, told of a political turning point that sparked his anger.

"I heard (then U.S. Secretary of State) Colin Powell tell the United Nations there are weapons of mass destruction. I totally believed him. I love this guy. He's like a hero. This was such a bad, bad blemish mark on his life, that he was so wronged.

"Then we go into Iraq. It looked like the heroic, right thing to do. It was the wrong thing to do. There was fabricated information. There are no weapons of mass destruction."

You can get your copy here...


Who knows, maybe John Gibson is more right than he knows. With any luck Christmas WILL be overshadowed by Fitzmas this year

Judy Judy Judy

In her times piece, she wrote:

As I told Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Libby also cited a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, produced by American intelligence agencies in October 2002, which he said had firmly concluded that Iraq was seeking uranium.


With no weapons of mass destruction having been found in Iraq and new questions being raised about the case for war, Libby assured Miller that day that the still-classified document, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), contained even stronger evidence that would support the White House’s conclusions about Iraq’s weapons programs, according to Miller’s account.

In fact, a declassified version of the NIE was publicly released just 10 days later, and it showed almost precisely the opposite. The NIE, it turned out, contained caveats and qualifiers that had never been publicly acknowledged by the administration prior to the invasion of Iraq. It also included key dissents by State Department intelligence analysts, Energy Department scientists and Air Force technical experts about some important aspects of the administration’s case.

Now there's a story that should've been written! Prominent White House official lies to New York Times reporter about what's in a not yet declassified document! But, of course, had Judy burned her source she wouldn't have gotten any more fake information and thus would've had to have stopped publishing misleading articles!

Must've Slept Through a Couple Years

Certainly any murder is tragic for the victim and their loved ones, but when did Pamela Vitale and Daniel Horowitz become America's most well known and well loved couple?

Keepers of the Flame

Big Media Matt has a good article about the gyrations of "liberal hawks."

The incompetence critique is, in short, a dodge -- a way for liberal hawks to acknowledge the obviously grim reality of the war without rethinking any of the premises that led them to support it in the first place. In part, the dodge helps protect its exponents from personal embarrassment. But it also serves a more important, and dangerous, function: Liberal hawks see themselves as defenders of the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention -- such as the Clinton-era military campaigns in Haiti and the Balkans -- and as advocates for the role of idealism and values in foreign policy. The dodgers believe that to reject the idea of the Iraq War is, necessarily, to embrace either isolationism or, even worse in their worldview, realism -- the notion, introduced to America by Hans Morgenthau and epitomized (not for the better) by the statecraft of Henry Kissinger, that U.S. foreign policy should concern itself exclusively with the national interest and exclude consideration of human rights and liberal values. Liberal hawk John Lloyd of the Financial Times has gone so far as to equate attacks on his support for the war with doing damage to “the idea, and ideal, of freedom itself.”

It sounds alluring. But it’s backward: An honest reckoning with this war’s failure does not threaten the future of liberal interventionism. Instead, it is liberal interventionism’s only hope. By erecting a false dichotomy between support for the current bad war and a Kissingerian amoralism, the dodgers run the risk of merely driving ever-larger numbers of liberals into the realist camp. Left-of-center opinion neither will nor should follow a group of people who continue to insist that the march to Baghdad was, in principle, the height of moral policy thinking. If interventionism is to be saved, it must first be saved from the interventionists.

He goes on to point out that the "liberal hawks" went from pushing national security/WMD to pushing humanitarian reasons for the invasion, amazingly right in lockstep with the Bush administration.

But, granting the conceit (just for fun) that humanitarian concerns were their actual reasons for the invasion, this is still just utterly ridiculous. We had an opportunity and a need, post-9/11, to invade a country under tyrannical rule which was, in an odd way, a threat to us. That country was called Afghanistan. And, despite all the promises of saving the residents from the Taliban and engaging in a massive reconstruction of that country, that sort of didn't, you know, happen so much. It would've been nice to build some streets of gold in that country, show the world what the great benevolent United States could do, but we didn't. When the Bush administration kicked the soccer ball away from Afghanistan and towards Iraq the media and the "liberal hawks" and the country dutifully followed, aborting what could have been the greatest humanitarian triumph in history. One which, given the speed at which books about the place were selling after 9/11, would've had the full support of the country. I was somewhat surprised but deeply proud of the fact that post-9/11 much of the country seemed to buy into the idea that bad people had taken over a country of good people. There was a heartwarming generosity after 9/11, a sense that we must help those people - not the bad people, but the ones under their thumb.

Yes, we're still in Afghanistan, but we haven't exactly thrown all possible resources into bringing that country into modernity. We had our chance, but Iraq was a much shinier toy.


Poor Little Ricky

He's stupid and he's ugly and nobody likes him anymore.


I have to admit that I'm a bit confused about the significance of the details in this AP story and the subsequent one in the Washington Post. It seems to me that that there's an important backstory that I'm just not quite getting.

Support the Troops

Another right wing blogger supportes the troops (always happy to assist, he says) by absolving their commanders of any responsiblity for their actions.

No Spine Zone

A little truth appears.

Open Thread

I asked my love to give me shelter And all she offered me were threads.

Open Thread

On the darkest night so painful do you hunger for thread midst the torture of being one?

Local Notes

Saw Vienna Teng this evening, which I quite enjoyed. I liked the show more than I expected (though, to be clear, I expected to like it otherwise I wouldn't have bought the ticket), it showed her to be not just simply "chick with piano who writes songs" but instead "good performer and good songwriter who also does the piano thing." Check out her latest.

World Cafe Live is an interesting venue. Drink your wine, don't smoke, and keep it quiet. Rock concerts for old people, though I mean that in a good way,


the song

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Will Russert ever come clean? Or is he in the New School of Journalism in which your job doesn't actually involve telling your readers/viewers what you know.

Open Thread

How can the thread with its arms all around me?

Top Ten Next Career Moves for JFM

From the Village Voice.

Where'd the Crisis Go?

I almost miss all those condescending, hectoring, and largely false Washington Post editorials.

Open Thread

Threads speak much louder than words.


Bye Tom.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas court on Wednesday issued a warrant for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's arrest, and set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and state money laundering charges.Travis County court officials said DeLay was ordered to appear at the Fort Bend County, Texas, jail for booking, where he'd likely be fingerprinted and photographed. DeLay's lawyers had hoped to avoid such a spectacle.

The warrant, known as a capias, is "a matter of routine and bond will be posted," DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin said.

The lawyer declined to say when DeLay would surrender to authorities but said the lawmaker would make his first court appearance Friday morning.


Could be...

We're the New York Times and You're Not

Gene Lyons on the latest nonsense from the Grey Lady.

(via julia)

So Simple

When the hack writes for his blog he will have no press protections, and when he appears in print, on TV, on radio, or any other medium including skywriting, he will.

All the Way Up

What Josh says, plus this.


Last week rumors were flying everywhere around the ether that 22 indictments were about to happen. That didn't happen, clearly. But no one seemed to know whether 22 indictments referred to 22 counts total handed to some unknown number of individuals or whether it referred to 22 separate people. Assuming Larry Johnson's information is good we know now that it referred to 22 people. All 22 may not be indicted, but apparently there are 22 potentials.

Like Client Like Lawyer

DeLay's attorney - big fibber.

The Koufax Are Coming!

The Koufax awards have from the beginning been about fostering some nice community in left blogistan. Please consider making a donation to help make them possible.

So, What You're Saying Is...

Bush knew all along and only cared that they got caught?

WASHINGTON - An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News.

"He made his displeasure known to Karl," a presidential counselor told The News. "He made his life miserable about this."

Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President's rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.

As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nears a decision, perhaps as early as today, on whether to issue indictments in his two-year probe, Bush has already circled the wagons around Rove, whose departure would be a grievous blow to an already shell-shocked White House staff and a President in deep political trouble.

Asked if he believed indictments were forthcoming, a key Bush official said he did not know, then added: "I'm very concerned it could go very, very badly."

"Karl is fighting for his life," the official added, "but anything he did was done to help George W. Bush. The President knows that and appreciates that."

Other sources confirmed, however, that Bush was initially furious with Rove in 2003 when his deputy chief of staff conceded he had talked to the press about the Plame leak.

Judy Judy Judy

Digby takes us inside a scary mind.

Wanker of the Day

Lord Weisberg.

Open Thread

What you gonna do when the thread strikes and hits you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Press

On the Colbert Report Lesley Stahl just claimed, as a matter of fact, that the country has shifted to the Right since the beginning of the Reagan years. The country being presumably, the consensus of public opnion.

That's what they believe. I see no actual evidence of it.


Support the troops!:

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle


A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, confirmed the bonuses had been canceled, saying they violated Pentagon policies because they duplicated other programs. She said Guard and Reserve members would be eligible for other bonuses.

Krenke said some soldiers had been paid the re-enlistment bonuses, but she was unsure how many or whether the money would have to be repaid. Murray’s office said that as far as it knew, no active Guard or Reserve members had received the bonuses.

Judy Judy Judy

Another odd tale.

Open Thread

If we reason with destiny, gonna lose our touch. Don't kill the thread.

Pony Prices Going Up

Larry Johnson:

Had lunch today with a person who has a direct tie to one of the folks facing indictment in the Plame affair. There are 22 files that Fitzgerald is looking at for potential indictment . These include Stephen Hadley, Karl Rove, Lewis Libby, Dick Cheney, and Mary Matalin (there are others of course). Hadley has told friends he expects to be indicted. No wonder folks are nervous at the White House.

(via Americablog)

Experts Warn of "Peak Pony"

The horror.

Veep Resignation Rumors

This is pretty funny. The issue isn't that the rumors are true, but that it's apparently true that there are rumors.

(tip Dartanyon)

Little Guys

I think this post by Jeralyn provides some perspective which has been missing from a lot of the conversation. The "little guys" in the Plame investigation have been largely ignored, but they're also the ones who will have the most incentive to flip if there's flipping to be done. The upper level guys will always have the full support of the massive conservative machine behind them, both money and the propaganda arms, but the little guys would likely just be cut loose.

Liberal Hawks

They really are such silly people. They imagine themselves to be noble crusaders when they were just chumps.


Is Hannah the flipper?

Open Season

It looks like attack the immigrants is on the agenda. There's nothing necessarily wrong with a general policy of expelling illegal immigrants, aside from the cost of course, although it's important to remember that plenty of illegals have perfectly legal children and/or spouses. But I don't look forward to living in a "show your papers please" society

Loud and Proud

Paul Waldman on liberals and conservatives.

Open Thread

What you gonna do when the thread strikes and hits you?

Miller and the UN

Will Bunch raises questions about Miller's reporting on the UN. In some too overlooked pieces Russ Baker did some work on this.

Here's one.

Here's another.

Plame Game

It seems that we will know soon, quite soon, how big a deal all of this is. It still could amount to nothing at all, or it could be the equivalent of a nuke lobbed into official Washington. If it's the latter it'll be quite fascinating. It is, after all, a story which official Washington, which includes the Cohens and the Tweeties and the Russerts and the Mitchells of the world, was at least until recently largely dismissive of and one which they did their best to run from. Some of this is due to the lack of leaks from Fitzgerald, but not all of it. If it does hit big much of the American public will be rather clueless about where it all came from.

The Final Showdown

That is indeed what the conservative anguish is all about - the desire to beat the big boss from the comfort of their basements.

Keep on Wanking

Cohen digs deeper.

Open Thread

Leaving all the changes far from far behind. we relieve the tension only to find out the thread's name.

Open Thread

Our thread is our world, our life.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Big Time

Ha ha.

As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials. The prosecutor has assembled evidence that shows Cheney's long-running feud with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.

In grand jury sessions, including with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Fitzgerald has pressed witnesses on what Cheney may have known about the effort to push back against ex-diplomat and Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, including the leak of his wife's position at the CIA, Miller and others said. But Fitzgerald has focused more on the role of Cheney's top aides, including Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, lawyers involved in the case said.

One former CIA official told prosecutors early in the probe about efforts by Cheney's office and his allies at the National Security Council to obtain information about Wilson's trip as long as two months before Plame was unmasked in July 2003, according to a person familiar with the account.

Golden Winger

Congratulations to Richard Cohen.

Ponies for Everyone!

You can now have your very own pony! Proceeds presumably go to help feed the ferrets that power First Draft's Commodore 64.

I'll Take The Queen of All Iraq for $2000, Alex

What is "pictures with goats?"

Time to Call Poppy

It's time to ask him what he thinks:

Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.

Open Thread

Threads to the left of you threads to the right speak when you are spoken to don't pretend you're right.

Shocked That There's Lawyering in the House

DeLay's lawyer says that Earle tried to get him to cut a deal and indicted him when he refused. In Republican bizarro universe that's somehow evidence of bad faith on Earle's part.

Orange Jump Suits

Cafferty continues to drive Wolf insane.

The pairing of Cafferty and Blitzer reminds me of the pairing of Laughlin and Beckwith.

Wanker of the Day

Allison Barber.

Double Secret Clearance

No one's admitting that the Queen of All Iraq had any kind of special security clearance.

Josh writes:

The second possibility is that Miller was given some special status or special clearance that was, shall we say, off-the-books, a special status few at the Pentagon or the CIA seem to know about or are willing now to admit knowing about.

Certainly she was going around telling people she had super double secret status:

Miller guarded her exclusive access with ferocity. When the Washington
Post's Barton Gellman overlapped in the unit for a day, Miller instructed
its members that they couldn¹t talk with him. According to Pomeroy, 'She told people that she had clearance to be there and Bart didn't.' (One other witness confirms this account.)

Say it Louder

Dick Gephardt's Rose Garden moment with Bush was wrong for so many reasons. It's nice to hear him say he was wrong, but I'd like to hear him say it a bit louder to a few more people. Not because I need him to do some kind of public penance, but in a world in which "only supporters of the war get to be on TV to criticize it" he is in a position to do so.

Sounds Like A Job for Pajamas Media

George Packer:

What is it about Iraq that the American media isn't reporting?
A. It's not that they're not reporting it. I read the Times, the Post, the newsweeklies, the monthly magazines, and there's a lot of information. The biggest problem reporting in Iraq is you can't talk to Iraqis without putting yourself and them at risk. You can't walk the streets or go to a restaurant or go to someone's home. So inevitably the point of view of the Iraqis starts to disappear in stories. Honest journalists say they don't know what's going on with Iraqis in this stage of the war. So many parts of Iraq journalists just can't go. Every journalist has the nightmare of kidnapping in the back of his mind.


Aside from all of the other obvious issues involved with The Queen of All Iraq having some sort of security clearance, wouldn't it be the case that unlike any other reporter if she did actually publish any classified information she'd be committing a crime?

Bang Bang the Idiot Boy

Not writing a story? Then what exactly was The Queen of All Iraq doing?

Dare to Dream

Big Time:

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A special counsel is focusing on whether Vice President Dick Cheney played a role in leaking a covert CIA agent's name, according to people familiar with the probe that already threatens top White House aides Karl Rove and Lewis Libby.

The special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, has questioned current and former officials of President George W. Bush's administration about whether Cheney was involved in an effort to discredit the agent's husband, Iraq war critic and former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, according to the people.

Fitzgerald has questioned Cheney's communications adviser Catherine Martin and former spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise and ex-White House aide Jim Wilkinson about the vice president's knowledge of the anti-Wilson campaign and his dealings on it with Libby, his chief of staff, the people said. The information came from multiple sources, who requested anonymity because of the secrecy and political sensitivity of the investigation.

Open Thread

Onward through the thread, onward through the night of my life.

Open Thread

There's a thread and the thread is now and it's right for me.

Quote of the Day

Mathew Gross:

I think the Miller affair is to the New York Times what the Bush v. Gore decision was to the Supreme Court: a sharply partisan escapade that deeply undermines the integrity of a great institution.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Turd Sandwiches

Agreed. Unilateral disarmament is for suckers.

Two Choices

Walken vs. Zod.

Local Notes

The Arden Theater's production of Loot was far better than all the reviews I saw portrayed it. I'd never seen it before, so I have no comparison point, but I thought it was pretty good.

Bartok heavy program by the Philadelphia Orchestra was fairly interesting. Never been a Bartok fan, but I quite enjoyed their performance of the Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin which I'd never heard before.

Open Thread

Small threads make base men proud.

Open Thread

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the thread and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


Something to ask little Scotty about at the next gaggle:

Copyright 2003 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company
The Houston Chronicle

October 08, 2003, Wednesday 3 STAR EDITION


LENGTH: 587 words

HEADLINE: Bush: 'No idea' if sources of leak will be identified

SOURCE: Hearst News Service



WASHINGTON - President Bush voiced doubts Tuesday that Justice Department investigators would track down two senior administration officials who illegally identified undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame in an alleged scheme to silence her husband, Iraq policy critic Joseph Wilson IV.

Bush commented as presidential spokesman Scott McClellan announced that three top presidential aides had denied leaking the identity of the CIA officer - a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $ 50,000 in fines.

McClellan said he had obtained face-to-face denials from White House political director Karl Rove; I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff; and Elliott Abrams, an official with the National Security Council.

While stressing that the three officials had denied telling syndicated columnist Robert Novak about Wilson's wife, McClellan declined to discuss whether any of the officials later tried to widen the impact of the published leak by calling the attention of other journalists to the Novak column.

McClellan's comments drew a sharp distinction between the original leak to Novak and a so-called second wave of unidentified White House officials who allegedly alerted other journalists to Novak's revelation.

We see how much the narrative has changed since then, and how well the administration managed to shape that narrative at the time.

Biden Today

On Face the Nation:

Sen. BIDEN: I do. That has been my constant fear that our--that there will not only be a civil war, that civil war will result in a regional war, because if it breaks down into an all-out civil war, that is if the Sunnis don't buy into this constitution over the next two months by voting for Sunnis in the parliament, in getting--trying to get the constitution amended, if they don't do that, then you're going to see all of the sponsors of the various three major elements there. Everybody has a dog in this fight. We may find a regional war and not just a civil war, and that does not lend itself to any solution by any number of American troops. You'll see us drawing down more rapidly then than otherwise.

I guess I'm not sure what this means - Biden's offering up the "if it becomes a total clusterfuck we get the hell out" strategy?

Hidden Scandal

Former CBS national security correspondent:

There is one enormous journalism scandal hidden in Judith Miller's Oct. 16th first person article about the (perhaps lesser) CIA leak scandal. And that is Ms. Miller's revelation that she was granted a DoD security clearance while embedded with the WMD search team in Iraq in 2003.

This is as close as one can get to government licensing of journalists and the New York Times (if it knew) should never have allowed her to become so compromised. It is all the more puzzling that a reporter who as a matter of principle would sacrifice 85 days of her freedom to protect a source would so willingly agree to be officially muzzled and thereby deny potentially valuable information to the readers whose right to be informed she claims to value so highly.

One must assume that Ms. Miller was required to sign a standard and legally binding agreement that she would never divulge classified information to which she became privy, without risk of criminal prosecution. And she apparently plans to adhere to the letter of that self-censorship deal; witness her dilemma at being unable to share classified information with her editors.


If Ms. Miller agreed to operate under a security clearance without the knowledge or approval of Times managers, she should be disciplined or even dismissed. If she had their approval, all involved should be ashamed.

Open Thread

There 's daggers in men's threads.


It certainly is odd that a reporter would have a security clearance. Their job is to report information to the public, not to be let in on secrets they can't report.

There was some dispute previously about her clearance. The Queen of All Iraq was running around telling people she had one but this was possibly just bullshit (via pressthink).

Perhaps someone should ask Bill Keller how this makes any sense?


Watch some annoying guy interview Graham Allison, author of Nuclear Terrorism : The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe.

Bolder Approach

Oh. My. God.


I noticed this yesterday but haven't yet posted about it. At one point someone was calling Valerie Wilson "Victoria" - it was a "mistake" made in multiple news accounts at the time.

Wanker of the Day

"We have prosecutors and civil litigants going in there and interfering with the day to day operations of our newsrooms and we just can't tolerate this."
--Lucy Dalglish

Oh, mercy!


How many meaningful sources can dance on a head of a pin?

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Arianna will be on Howie's show on CNN in a minute.

...please, for the sake of the children, make sure you turn the channel when the "wide ranging sit down with Tom Friedman" comes on.

Open Thread

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the thread and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Open Thread

Thread more than thou showest, thread less than thou knowest, thread less than thou owest.

Fire Judy and Apologize

E&P's Greg Mitchell says Judy must be fired and Keller must apologize.


Rove cancels fundraising appearance.