Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Who knew, sometimes these silly internet quizes are right!?!

Check out my scoring on this quiz:

Part Passionate Kisser

For you, kissing is about all about following your urges
If someone's hot, you'll go in for the kiss - end of story
You can keep any relationship hot with your steamy kisses
A total spark plug - your kisses are bound to get you in trouble

Part Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

BARBARians A Gathering

This Tuesday there will another drinkfest for Bay Area Regional Bloggers and Readers at the Zeitgeits in the city. For details and motivation go here.

Suffering From Blog Depression?

I have noticed that my blogging output has been somewhat reduced lately. That's why I was happy to stumble upon this handy guide, What Everyone Should Know About Blog Depression.

Well at least I found out I'm not suffering from "dimentia" (you'll have to read the pamphelet to get the joke)rather it is too nice to be inside tanning by the feeble light of my LCD screen...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Fencing-Blogging

Classical Style!

Boulevards and Avenues

Which track will the investigation of special prosecutor Fitzgerald take. There seems to be as many possibilities as there are bloggers and pundits.

I would like to see it stroll down this boulevard of White House Conspiracy:
There is much evidence now emerging that indicates the Bush inner team of Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld were in awe of the UK's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's ability to win re-election based on poll numbers greatly improved by a nice neat war in the Falklands. This revelation comes from no less than a Bush family biographer, Herskowitz. This writer ascribed a quote to Vice President Dick Cheney, when he was chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, "Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade."
"One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief," said George W Bush in 1999.
Other documents to come from the Blair organization suggest that the timing of the mid-term elections was a serious consideration in the urgency with which Bush pushed for the Iraq invasion. One can only assume that this was being driven by Rove's calculation this would drive the sagging economy off the front page and place Bush in the commander-in-chief role that brought loyalty, improved poll numbers and a remarkable seat gain in the mid-term elections.
All legitimate political warfare in Rove's and Cheney's world, but beyond the sophomoric tricks normally attributed to Rove. This is where they crossed the red-line into a dark and criminal world.
The Bush team systematically smeared people like Ambassador Wilson and head of counter terrorism Richard Clarke, who both sought patriotically, and at great peril to their own careers, to inform the public that the reasons given to go to war were not true.
The added crime that Fitzgerald might consider as evidence of a conspiracy to commit a war of aggression, is the now-published fact President Bush ordered thousands of bombing sorties over Iraq to destroy targets unrelated to the no-fly zone, and clearly intended them as the first step towards an invasion.
These actions seem to breach the constitutional powers solely given to Congress to authorize war. Could Fitzgerald net Mr. Rove and his cronies into a charge of criminal conspiracy to fraudulently misrepresent the facts to provide cover for a war they knew was illegal unless they had a casus belli? The British memos say as much.(emphasis mine)

Starting a needless war is the father of all crimes. Aside from the avenues of murder and mayhem visited upon innocent civilian and soldier alike, the lifetime of physical and psychological scarring; the economic waste and war profiteering, the loss of time and treasure that would have been better invested in make life more beautiful, the real crime is that war begets more war as the fire spreads once the flames of death and suffering find fuel in the tinderbox of humanity's darkest impulses.

(via Smirking Chimp)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mightier than the sword...

Swabloggering visuals The Unfair Duel

Monday, July 25, 2005

Kids say the darnedest things.

I highly recommend this video of O'Reilly Radar > Seven words you can't use in kidergarten.

Turn down the volume if at work!

(via grow-a-brain)

Faulkner on the Bush White House

Ejoy this excerpt from the 2005 Faux Faulkner Winner The Administration and the Fury:
“He needs his makeup,” Dick said.

“I ll do it,” Condi said. She put a little brush on my check and it tickled and I laughed.

Rummy walked into the room. “Jesus, what s he laughing about,” Rummy said.

“Dont you pay attention to him, Georgie,” Dick said. “They re going to be asking you all about Social Security. You just remember what we talked about.”

“He cant remember anything,” Rummy said.

I started to holler. Dick s face was red and he looked at Rummy. “I told you to hush up already,” Dick said. “Now look what you ve gone and done.”

“Go and get him Saddam s gun,” Condi said. “You know how he likes to hold it.”

Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam s gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

“Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?” Rummy said. “Cant you think any better than he can?”

Someday Bush is gonna' need that pistol and it won't be pretty.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

To understand is not to forgive. It is simply better than the alternative, which is not to understand.-Alec Nove

From a worthy read over at The Early Days of a Better Nation

Logic is not their strong suit

Conversations with a present day-conservative and Aristolte

This cartoon nails it!

(via Crooked Timber)

Hot, Hot, Hot.

I decided this week to be more of a blog reader than a blogger. Besides it was extremely hot and I promised myself to never blog while in my underwear (or nude, if you must know). Today I've got the swamp cooler going and will hookup 2 more by noon.

Also, the heat on the the White House Leak Scandal got turned up - maybe hot enough to cook an eggheaded professor and those conservative, kooky keyboard pundits.

So here's few of my favorite reads:

For a primer read this 2 week old post from Defective Yeti - What you say, "The White House has lost the Defective Yeti?" Probably never had 'em in the first place.

Billmon offers another possible indictment that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald could pursue on the leakers.

To get a breakdown on the security classifications go see this post by Digby where he teaches winger apologist how to count to three. Hell, just read everything he wrote last week.

Barbara O'Brien has been on fire all week over at The Mahablog. I especially appreciated her live-blogging of the Special Joint Hearing and for her cogent argument of why 'The Right' are Public Enemy Number One and are bigger danger to America than terrorists.

If anyone needs a break, or some mental distractions, or just plain fun, check out kontraband.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

" Important Message From Counsel's Office"

Read internal memos disseminated in the White House back when this whole thing started, back in September 30, 2003
The following notice was sent to all White House employees:
This communication is a follow-up to the directive I sent you this morning regarding the preservation of certain materials in the possession of the White House, its staff, or its employees.
Pursuant to a request from the Department of Justice, I am instructing you to preserve and maintain the following:
“[F]or the time period February 1, 2002 to the present, all documents, including without limitation all electronic records, telephone records of any kind (including but not limited to any records that memorialize telephone calls having been made), correspondence, computer records, storage devices, notes, memoranda, and diary and calendar entries, that relate in any way to:
1. Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and/or his wife’s purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency;
2. Contacts with any member or representative of the news media about Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and/or his wife’s purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency; and
3. Contacts with reporters Knut Royce, Timothy M. Phelps, or Robert D. Novak, or any individual(s) acting directly or indirectly, on behalf of these reporters.”
You must preserve all documents relating, in any way, directly or indirectly, to these subjects, even if there would be a question whether the document would be a presidential or federal record or even if its destruction might otherwise be permitted.
If you have any questions regarding any of the foregoing, please contact Associate Counsels Ted Ullyot or Raul Yanes in the Counsel to the President’s Office.

Alberto R. Gonzales
Counsel to the President

There is more at the site about what each staffer would be swearing to, yet, think about it, are all these documents now in the hands of Fitzgerald?

What does it mean?

I dunno!

Yet with more transparency, leaks included, the more I hope to be free to understand what the government is doing.

Underreported News

As as Liberal I want these people to have some therapy, 60 right-wing terror plots foiled:
In the 10 years since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, roughly 60 right-wing terrorist plots have been uncovered in the United States, according to an upcoming report by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. The plots, all foiled by law enforcement, reportedly included violent plans by antigovernment militia groups, racist skinhead organizations, and Ku Klux Klan members to use various types of chemical bombs and other weapons.

The plots demonstrate that the Department of Homeland Security still needs to closely monitor right-wing groups, says Heidi Beirich, with the Intelligence Project. The DHS was criticized by hate-group experts in April when an internal planning document on domestic terrorist threats was leaked to the press. The DHS report listed radical leftist groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front, which have been involved in numerous arson cases, but not violent right-wing militia and skinhead groups.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security, is calling for the DHS to do more to fight right-wing domestic terror groups and to work more closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The FBI has a considerably more thorough view of domestic terrorism than DHS," says Thompson. The DHS has said that the internal document was never intended to be made public and does not represent all its assessments on domestic terrorism.

And by people I don't mean our home grown terroists, but rather the officials at the DHS.

Update: More UnderReported news.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I want ringside seats..

This just in:
Joseph Wilson Vows to Beat the Holy Hell out of Karl Rove- In an interview yesterday former Ambassador Joseph Wilson called on President Bush to produce deputy chief of staff Karl Rove by three o'clock Friday afternoon so that he can beat the holy hell out of him for discussing Wilson's wife's job with a reporter.

Wilson criticized what he called a 'total pussy move' by the White House in the wake of revelations that Rove was involved in the leak to the news media that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA officer.

Bush said earlier this week that he would do nothing to subject Rove to a possible ass kicking because of the continuing investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. White House press secretary Scott McClellan did say, however, that Bush has the utmost confidence is ability tn Rove'o defend himself and suspects that should it come to blows, Rove will be the one to open a can of all purpose whup ass all over Wilson.

In the interview Wilson was also asked about Rove's defenders who have been quick to point out that in the email describing Rove's conversation with Time reporter Matt Cooper it is never stated that Rove actually mentioned Wilson's wife by name, rather referring to her as Mrs. Wilson or Wilson's wife.

'Ooohhh… you mean he only referred to my wife as Mrs. Wilson rather than Valerie Plame… because you know… no one could possible realize that Valerie Plame is, in fact, my wife… and vice versa. People are really very stupid like that... besides all those terrorists out there who would love to get there hands on anyone from the CIA are way too retarded to ever be able to put together this particular puzzle. I mean, it's still amazing to me that they were able to orchestrate 9/11 seeing as how they're just so incredibly fucking incompetent! Ass!'

Asked what he planned to do to Rove given that he is ever able to actually confront him, Wilson replied, 'Look, this isn't going to take too long. If that fat little bastard ever actually gets the balls to show his fat fucking face I imagine the whole thing will be over in about five minutes. My only fear is the suction that will be generated when my foot meets his ass. I might lose a shoe in there.'

(via Other Crap)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Are we there yet?

LiberalOasis answers the question that has been bothering me about the Plame investigation, namely, "Why is this taking so long?"

Fitzgerald was appointed to lead The Leak probe on Dec. 30, 2003. (He actually has been investigating for little over a year and a half, not two years.)

He has said in a legal motion that: “By October 2004, the factual investigation - other than the testimony of Miller and [Matt] Cooper and any further investigation that might result from such testimony - was for all practical purposes complete.”

Matt 'n' Judy's attempts to avoid testifying have extended the investigation another 9 months and counting. Otherwise, it appears he would have been done in 10 months.

(Yes, we were that close to finding out the full truth in time for Election Day. Thanks Matt ‘n’ Judy for standing up for the public’s right to know.)

In any event, we’re at Month 19.

I guess we need patience because, as they say, "Rove wasn't guilty in a day..."

(sorry about that)

Allons enfants de la patrie...

Today is Bastille Day and to help you celebrate let me offer these Bastille Day drink recipes. This one sounds delicious:
French Revolution
1 oz. brandy
2 oz. framboise
3 oz. Champagne
Mix ingredients in a flute. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Noble Cause in Oz

Help celebrate the 3rd Blogiversary of skippy the bush kangaroo one of the first liberal blogs around.

That and there's some kind of prize if you're his 1 millionth visitor...

Great Time Waster

Chaos Theory is where you set off a chain reaction of explosions by clicking your mouse.

This game is simply addictive. My highest score to date is 125.

No Name, No Guilt

For a funny look at Karl Rove's defense, check out The Illustrated Daily Scribble

(via Buzzflash)

White House Denies Leaking Denial

This just in.
UNNAMED WHITE HOUSE SOURCE DENIES LEAK An unnamed White House source last night vigorously denied leaking classified information about a CIA operative, sending the White House scrambling to identify the source of the leaked denial.

The unnamed source, who identified himself only as “Rarl Kove,” leaked a strongly worded denial of the previous leak in phone conversations with over two hundred newspaper columnists across the country.

“We are not in the business of leaking information,” the unnamed source said.

Ben Trimble, a political columnist for the Canton (OH) Star-Ledger, attempted to STAR-69 the call in order to identify the source of the leaked denial, but to no avail.

“It wouldn’t disclose the phone number or the location,” Mr. Trimble said. “That kind of made me think it was Cheney.”

White House Scott McClellan said that the Administration would launch a “full investigation” into the leaked denials.

“If someone is out there denying leaks, that is very serious business,” Mr. McClellan said. “Denying leaks is my job.”

But moments after Mr. McClellan spoke, columnists received a new round of anonymous phone calls, this time denying that the White House had been the source of the earlier denials.

(via Other Crap)

Techie Tuesday: Vibrating Soap

Will the march of technology never cease? Now showering can be clean self-stimulating fun with Vibrating soap:
Loosen up your aching body whilst showering yourself in hot running water or bathing in relaxing warm water. Truly innovative, the Vibrating Soap has a vibrating motor actually built into the soap itself.

To use, simply lift the soap off the soap dish holder (included) and voila, it switches into vibrating mode ready to be used. When you've had enough, simply put it back on the holder and the vibrations will automatically cut off - it is 100% safe for use in water.

Coming in a variety of colors, I think the pulsating pink would be a good gift for a certain jailed reporter worried about dropping the soap.

(via The Presurfer)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Blood is Treasure

This ghoulish story comes from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Jobless Ahmed said he needed to sell his blood because he was the only breadwinner for his 11-member family, which includes his elderly father and sick mother.

“Unemployment and the deterioration of the economic situation have reduced me to this,” said the university graduate, who has a bachelor’s degree in economics and administration. “I don't have anything except some dinars in my pocket, which is only enough for transport.”

The high rate of unemployment is forcing many Iraqis to sell their blood to shadowy brokers who supply people whose relatives are in need of transfusions.

The system works in the following way: the family of a patient approach the broker with the blood group and amount they require. An appropriate donor is found, whose blood is drawn at an official blood bank and transferred to the family.

Yet for some it get's worse.

Abdul-Waham Ameen owned a grocery store that was destroyed by a car bomb explosion. He didn’t have enough money to repair the shop, so he has been selling his blood for more than six months to pay for rent, food and other living costs.

“I may sell my kidney, too,” said Ameen. “Living conditions are extremely difficult. This is the only option for me.”

Words fail me!

It's Gobsmacking!

Ex-Python, Terry Jones wrote many a wickedly funny column about the War on Terror. In fact, he was quite prescient and common sensical about the war and what would happen with Blair going along for the ride. Read this interview from about 6 months with Mother Jones"
Mother How did you come to write these columns?

Terry Jones: I think it was rage. It was just blind rage (laughs). This was after 9/11, and I just couldn’t believe what our great leaders were doing. It seemed like every action they took was designed to have exactly the opposite effect of what they said they were going to do.

Like Bush, after 9/11, says the right thing: “We’re going to catch the evil perpetrators of this evil deed.” But if you’re going to catch the perpetrators of an evil deed, what you need is secrecy and speed to nab them red-handed. What you don’t do is say when you’re going to look for them -- “we’re going to look in two months’ time.” Or where you’re going to look -- "we’ll look in Afghanistan.” Or what you’re going to do -- "we’re going to bomb you.” I mean, by that time, all the evil perpetrators would leave the country, I would’ve thought. Now, as a result, they haven’t caught the evil perpetrators, and the whole thing’s a joke.

Instead of treating it as a crime -- which is what they should have done, getting the FBI and Interpol and everybody onto it -- they’ve elevated it into a war. So they’ve elevated the status of the evil perpetrators like Osama bin Laden. He’s put up as of an equal footing with the United States itself. They’ve increased his prestige and reputation to no end, the perfect way of recruiting more people to his agenda. It seems like the so-called “war on terror” has gotten many people, including yourself, much more politically active. Why is this happening now, as opposed to, say, during the Reagan-Thatcher years?

TJ: That’s a very good point -- we should’ve been as outraged by that as well. I suppose it’s really the sheer effrontery of what’s going on now. Also, I think people feel more pulled into it because of 9/11. I think, for myself, it was when you saw Blair going along with Bush’s agenda in invading Iraq. You saw two million people taking the streets of London to protest against this and say “don’t do it,” and Blair just goes ahead. He prepares this dodgy dossier, which is full of manipulated intelligence in order to persuade people that it’s a reasonable thing to invade Iraq. And yet by doing that action, instead of making us safer from terror attacks, he’s actually putting us on the front line. So I think we feel exposed and we feel vulnerable because of these actions that our leaders are taking with total disregard for the safety of their own people.

Blair, in particular, angers me because at least I can see Bush’s agenda. It’s stated by the Project for the New American Century, in their report “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” which was published in September 2000. They state their agenda quite clearly, and they say that removing the regime of Saddam Hussein is secondary to the importance of establishing an American force presence in the Middle East. They actually state this as their intention before Bush gets into power, so we can see that’s the neocons’ agenda. But for Blair, what does Blair get out of it? It’s just mind-blowing that he puts his entire country on the line for terrorist attacks for no good reason. It’s gobsmacking (laughs). Any idea what Blair does get out of going along?

TJ: Well, I suppose he gets a nice pat on the back from George Bush, and a red carpet when he goes there. And he probably gets a very nice Christmas card. But he doesn’t get much else.(my emphasis)

The whole thing is so tragic that sometimes the only people who can see clearly are comics...

Brains, Now Whiter and Brighter with New and Improved Corporate Media

Here is my Top Ten from over 50 reasons You May be Brainwashed by Corporate Media if You:
1)... believe the 5 corporations who own almost all of the media in the U.S. are liberal.

2)... are unaware Iraq had 650 million barrels of oil in reserve just before the war in Iraq .

3)... are unaware that the Iraq war is the biggest case of war profiteering in human history.

4)... believe depleted uranium weapons are not radioactive or deadly weapons of mass destruction (they are 12% less radioactive than nuclear weapons grade uranium and very deadly).

5)... are unaware stem cell research threatens the pharmaceutical industry by curing and preventing diseases which drug companies profit from by treating with drugs.

6)... are unaware our founding fathers intentionally made sure that corporations had no power over people or our government.

7)... are unaware U.S. corporations are now protected under the 14th amendment as a legal 'person.'

8)... are unaware abortions go down only when we reduce poverty, expand healthcare and improve education.

9)... are unaware Tort Reform will absolve corporations of massive negligent liabilities for things like asbestos exposure, pollution, mercury poisoning, hazardous waste, mad cow disease and all sorts of dangerous products and practices.

10)... believe the UN scandals could have taken place without the largest, most influential member and host nation being involved.

Bonus Round:

If you believe Fox News is fair and balanced, you have been brainwashed by corporate owned media.

(via Grow-A-Brain)

Quote of the Day

If we lose the war on terrorism,
the terrorists will have won.

(Via Ironic Times}

Stonewall McClellan

Well the press finally broke the dyke on the Karl Rove's involvement in the leaking the the name of a CIA operative. Scottie refused to answer any quesions as he attemped to stick a finger in it. Look at these all these un-answered questions (kind of like hearing a one-sided phone phone conversation) or visit Think Progress for the full text of today's White House Press Briefing
QUESTION: Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in a leak of the name of a CIA operative?

QUESTION: I actually wasn’t talking about any investigation.

But in June of 2004, the president said that he would fire anybody who was involved in this leak to the press about information. I just wanted to know: Is that still his position?

QUESTION: Scott, if I could point out: Contradictory to that statement, on September 29th of 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one to have said that if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired. And then, on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation, when the president made his comments that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved, so why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you’ve suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, We’re not going to comment on an ongoing investigation?

QUESTION: So could I just ask: When did you change your mind to say that it was OK to comment during the course of an investigation before, but now it’s not?

QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, I’ve gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this ?

QUESTION: Do you stand by that statement?

QUESTION: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you’re going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you’ve decided not to talk.
You’ve got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

QUESTION: (inaudible) when it’s appropriate and when it’s inappropriate?

QUESTION: No, you’re not finishing. You’re not saying anything.
You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson’s wife. So don’t you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn’t he?

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you’re saying today?

QUESTION: You’re in a bad spot here, Scott…
… because after the investigation began — after the criminal investigation was under way — you said, October 10th, 2003, I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this, from that podium. That’s after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

QUESTION: So you’re now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore and since then you haven’t.

QUESTION: When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you pin down a date?

QUESTION: Well, then the president commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?.

QUESTION: Well, we are going to keep asking them.
When did the president learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson’s wife in the decision to send him to Africa?

QUESTION: When did the president learn that Karl Rove had been…

QUESTION: After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the president’s word that anybody who was involved will be let go?

QUESTION: Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove’s lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, here?

QUESTION: Scott, there’s a difference between commenting on an investigation and taking an action…

QUESTION: Can I finish, please?

QUESTION: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

QUESTION: So you’re not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?

QUESTION: There’s a difference between commenting publicly on an action and taking action in response to it.

Newsweek put out a story, an e-mail saying that Karl Rove passed national security information on to a reporter that outed a CIA officer. Now, are you saying that the president is not taking any action in response to that? Because I presume that the prosecutor did not ask you not to take action and that if he did you still would not necessarily abide by that; that the president is free to respond to news reports, regardless of whether there’s an investigation or not.

So are you saying that he’s not going to do anything about this until the investigation is fully over and done with?

QUESTION: Scott, what was the president’s interaction today with Karl Rove? Did they discuss this current situation?

And understanding that Karl Rove was the architect of the president’s reelection (OFF-MIKE) how important is Karl Rove to this administration?

QUESTION: Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this administration?

QUESTION: No, no, no, no. Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this current administration?

QUESTION: Scott, I think you’re getting this barrage today in part because it is now clear that 21 months ago you were up at this podium saying something that we now know to be demonstrably false.

Now, are you concerned that in setting the record straight today that this could undermine the credibility of the other things you say from the podium?

QUESTION: Scott, at this point are we to consider what you said previously, when you were talking about this — that you’re still standing by that or are those all inoperative at this point?

QUESTION: Are you standing by what you said previously?

QUESTION: When the leak investigation is completed, does the president believe it might be important for his credibility, the credibility of the White House, to release all the information voluntarily that was submitted as part of the investigation, so the American public could see what transpired inside the White House at the time?

QUESTION: Have you or the White House considered whether that would be optimal to release as much information and make it as open…

QUESTION: I’d like you to talk about the communications strategies just a little bit there.

QUESTION: And he would like to do that when it is concluded, cooperate fully with…

QUESTION: Scott, who in the investigation made this request of the White House not to comment further about the investigation? Was it Mr. Fitzgerald? Did he make a request of you specifically?

QUESTION: Was the request made of you or of whom in the White House?

QUESTION: In your dealings with the special counsel, have you consulted a personal attorney?

Crooks and Liars has some video of the drowning man. He didn't answer any of those questions.

On another topic came this bonus question:
QUESTION: Since President William Howard Taft became chief justice after his presidency, you would not rule out the president’s nominating former law school professor Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court, would you? And if you wouldn’t, we can report that President Clinton is under consideration, can’t we?(my emphasis)

MCCLELLAN: Well, that’s the first time I’ve heard that name suggested. I know there are a lot of names being suggested out there and you know that I’m not going to get into speculating about any particular names.

Man, is he good, or what?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I did not know the name of that woman...

Thanks to Newsweek we finally get a glimpse as to what Karl Rove said as Matt Cooper's Source
Rove's words on the Plame case have always been carefully chosen. "I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name," Rove told CNN last year when asked if he had anything to do with the Plame leak. Rove has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife.

This is probably due to the fantastic legal advice one finds in DC on how to parse one's word. Like, it is technically accurate to say you did not sleep with someone if you never, you know, actually fell asleep. But let's continue.

NEWSWEEK obtained a copy of the e-mail that Cooper sent his bureau chief after speaking to Rove. (The e-mail was authenticated by a source intimately familiar with Time's editorial handling of the Wilson story, but who has asked not to be identified because of the magazine's corporate decision not to disclose its contents.) Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The e-mail characterizing the conversation continues: "not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger... "
Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative. Nonetheless, it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published.(my emphasis)

I doubt the "Mr.s Joe Wilson works on WMDs at the CIA but I didn't know her name was Valerie" defense is gonna' allow Rove to keep his job or go over well with the public. Although I'm sure a lot of Right Wing cerebral contortionists will argue otherwise.

Maybe this latest revelation will re-animate the White House Press Corpse and they'll begin to ask Scottie McClellan some difficult questions.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

We’re not Afraid!

Show the world that we're not afraid of what happend in London, and that the world is a better place without fear.

Hundreds of people have sent in there picures over at We’re not Afraid!

Fewkin' brilliant, I say...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Solitary Worship

Before the internets, bibical finger games were along the lines of,"Here's the church and here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.:

Now days you can find every handy religious argument, such as Masturbation: God's Great Gift to Us:
The subject of masturbation is the cause of much concern and confusion among Christians. Most of us are taught that masturbation is sinful or wrong, and many believe that the Bible actually forbids masturbation. The latter is simply untrue; masturbation is not even mentioned in the Bible. And when we consider the facts, it becomes clear that masturbation is not a sin, but rather a blessing from God that enables us to fully enjoy our bodies and can help us lead a more healthy spiritual life.

With an opening like that you know your are going to come across some truly edifying exhortations. For instance:
Masturbation is a gift that we should not abuse. This means we should not masturbate to excess, or to the point where we injure ourselves. If you are masturbating until you are exhausted, or until your genitals are raw or bleeding, this is excessive, harmful, and not what God intended.

(Via Other Crap)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Nominate Gonzales so we can have a Rovian Romp

Dear President Bush,

Please, pretty please (with a cherry on top) nominate your long-time friend and confidant to the Supreme Court. Coventional wisdom says he should be a shoo-in since he already passed through the ring of fire (OK, it was like an encore request with an non-smoking crowd where lighters were as rare as the only 3 or 4 smokers in the crowd) and was confirmed as the successor to John Ashcroft, passing with a politcally wide enough margin.

Forget about any litmus test, or his role in torture memos, or arguments about Executive Privilege in a time of war. That's ground already trod over and has been masticated and digested by the Democrats.

Just let him answer questions about his role in the "it's not a crime" and "it's not a cover up" outing of Valerie Plame, you know, the wife of the guy who made you eat crow over those 16 words in your State of the Union Speech awhile back.

Me and my friends, plus a lot of other Americans, deserve to know the part he played as White House Counsel in the recent unfolding drama of Karl Rove (and Skooter, too) with the Grand Jury investigation into a possible treasonous act.

For example:

Why did White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales asked for permission to delay transmitting the order to preserve evidence until morning?

Why did The White House lawyer need to review phone logs and other records supplied by presidential aides before turning the documents over to the Justice Department

Just as Needlenose wondered what role did he play in coordinating The White House response to the Plamemania?

Carptetbagger asks, Why did Gonzales recuse himself? Then he later notes
But now comes word that Gonzales plans to name Ted Ullyot to be his chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson as his deputy chief of staff, and Raul Yanes as counselor, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. All three have been lawyers in the White House counsel's office under Gonzales.

If the names sound familiar, it may be because Ullyot and Yanes were the coordinators of the White House's response to the investigation into the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. That investigation is being handled by, uh, the Justice Department.

Gonzales, who had been called before the grand jury in the case, has recused himself in the Plame probe, as promised during his confirmation and as predecessor John D. Ashcroft had done. It remains to be seen whether Gonzales will also have Ullyot, Sampson and Yanes recused, or whether he will take further steps to shield Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the case, from political influence.

I know the Democrats, well, maybe, the Gang of 14, said they wouldn't filibuster a nominee over ideology, but you said you'd nominate a person of integrity.

So please lcan we have a nomination battle over the integrity of one your prime advocates and facilitators and his relationship with the other apologist and handler?

I'm just asking, you know, in the interest of the country and all that...

A time for compassion.

Rather than blog the instant reaction with analysis on what this means for your side (and score political points) it might be worthwhile to leave some comments on other blogs and remind them of the humanity that took a blow today. We can go back to politics tomorrow.

Prayers and heartfelt grief for those families who suffered today.

Just a thought....

I read the news today, oh boy...

Last night, I woke up around quarter to 4 and couldn't go back to sleep. So I checked in with London based blogger Avedon Carol who always has an early jump on the day's stories. That's how I learned of the bombings in London.

When I turned on the local news the story just started to be reported. I watched for an hour or so and fell aseep with the TV on just before the sun was coming up.

It seems all the intelligence services were caught flat-footed and I'm afraid that with all the money their spending it will be like predicting earthquakes - you know it's going to happen except not the when, nor the where, nor how much devastation there will be..

It's not very encouraging.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Who's da' Judge?

David Podvin has a beautiful idea, as well as way with words, on who the Bush nominee to the Supreme Court should be in his piece called Litmus Test:
George W. Bush should nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. The former Texas governor can do the nation a service by resisting the temptation to appoint a stealth fascist who gains confirmation through subterfuge. Instead, Bush should boldly signal conservative plans for the Constitution by promoting the administration official who authored the memo arguing that the United States government can legally torture people.

It’s not as though Bush would ever choose someone who is rational. For months, the White House has been working with right wing groups to eliminate from consideration any potential nominee who is even remotely civilized. What remains is a group of troglodytes longing to eliminate the separation of church and state, overturn reproductive and civil rights law, invalidate environmental and labor statutes, and erase all restrictions on big business.

Gonzales is thought to be near the bottom of the right wing wish list because Republican activists believe he is too liberal, a gruesome insight that reveals everything one needs to know about conservatives. Since the other potential nominees are even more barbaric than the one who advocates mutilating defenseless human beings – and since anyone Bush nominates is going to lie about his or her intentions – it will be most constructive if Gonzales is chosen.

A showdown over Gonzales will define the official American position on the merits of disemboweling people with nightsticks. It is not an issue that Madison or Jefferson ever envisioned being considered in the senate. However, original intent has been supplanted by conservative intent, so it is necessary to revisit the Dark Ages and debate whether removing someone’s teeth with pliers constitutes ethical behavior.

Republican senators are in the majority, meaning the pro-pliers contingent will have the upper hand. Even so, we should have a national dialogue on this ultimate issue of decency. The battle of ideologies will pit the party of torture versus the party that would oppose torture if doing so didn’t involve being criticized. The world must watch us debate this topic so that the next time Bush conquers a defenseless nation Americans won’t have to endure hearing Old Europe whimper about the United States acting contrary to our stated beliefs. When your societal ethos explicitly validates mutilating women and children, no one can reasonably accuse you of failing to live up to your lofty moral rhetoric.

The Senate debate on Gonzales should be compelling. The Republicans will unanimously support him as they did when he was nominated to be Attorney General. John McCain, who is idolized by many neurotic liberals yearning for a conservative good guy, will again demonstrate that five years of being tortured by the Viet Cong have not soured him on the concept of bludgeoning handcuffed people. Thad Cochran will explain that hooking someone’s testicles to a car battery is exactly what Jesus would do (when He wasn’t busy bombing abortion clinics). Orrin Hatch will explain that opposition to Gonzales is racially and religiously motivated and proves that liberals hate Hispanics and Christians.

The Republicans will do their job, which is to be evil. The Democrats will also do their job, although no one has been able to determine exactly what that might be. Theoretically, it involves standing up for the ideals of the people who elected them. In practice, it usually means something considerably less noble. Twelve Democratic senators recently honed their fighting skills for the upcoming confirmation bout by capitulating on the CAFTA trade agreement that exports the jobs of (primarily Democratic) blue-collar workers.

It will be fascinating to see Hillary Clinton answer the age-old question, “Just exactly how does one strategically position oneself as a moderate on the issue of gang-raping women to extract information?” Dick Durbin will have the chance to prove that he can oppose torture without subsequently dissolving into tears. Barbara Boxer will tell the truth and get blasted for it, whereupon she will tell the truth again, causing analysts on Fox to question her sanity.

He has lot more to say which is worth reading. He finishes with this bit that sums up what ths country needs.
The selection of a torture advocate would provide the ultimate litmus test, not of the judicial nominee’s ideology, but of society’s decency. George W. Bush should nominate the vile Alberto Gonzales to serve on the Supreme Court, and the Democrats should forcefully oppose him on moral grounds. It is time to have a fight for the soul of America.

(Via Smirking Chimp)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Stain of Torture

Found this the other day at and I got to say this has been on my mind. I still think the people who voted for Bush were endorsing the The Stain of Torture
Having served as a doctor in the Army Medical Corps early in my career and as presidential physician to George H.W. Bush for four years, I might be expected to bring a skeptical and partisan perspective to allegations of torture and abuse by U.S. forces. I might even be expected to join those who, on the one hand, deny that U.S. personnel have engaged in systematic use of torture while, on the other, claiming that such abuse is justified. But I cannot do so.

It's precisely because of my devotion to country, respect for our military and commitment to the ethics of the medical profession that I speak out against systematic, government-sanctioned torture and excessive abuse of prisoners during our war on terrorism. I am also deeply disturbed by the reported complicity in these abuses of military medical personnel. This extraordinary shift in policy and values is alien to my concept of modern-day America and of my government and profession.

The military prides itself, as do physicians, on being professional in every sense of the word. It fosters leadership and discipline. When I served as White House physician, my entire professional staff was drawn from the military, and they were among the best and most competent people I have met, without qualification.

The military ethics that I know absolutely prohibit anything resembling torture. There are several good reasons for this. Prisoners should be treated as we would expect our prisoners to be treated. Discipline and order in the military ranks depend to a large extent on compliance with the prohibition of torture -- indeed, weak or damaged psyches inclined toward torture or abuse have generally been weeded out of the military, or at the very least given less responsibility. In addition, military leaders have long been aware that torture inflicts lasting damage on both the victim and the torturer. The systematic infliction of torture engenders deep hatred and hostility that transcends generations. And it perverts the role of medical personnel from healers to instruments of abuse.

Today, however, it seems as though our government and the military have slipped into Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." The widespread reports of torture and ill-treatment -- frequently based on military and government documents -- defy the claim that this abusive behavior is limited to a few noncommissioned officers at Abu Ghraib or isolated incidents at Guantanamo Bay. When it comes to torture, the military's traditional leadership and discipline have been severely compromised up and down the chain of command. Why? I fear it is because the military has bowed to errant civilian leadership.

Our medical code of ethics requires us to oppose torture wherever it is inflicted, for any reason. Guided by this ethic, I served as a volunteer with the international group MEDICO in 1963, taking care of people who had been tortured by the French during Algeria's civil war. I remain deeply affected by that experience today -- by the people I tried to help and could not, and by their families, which suffered the most terrible grief. I heard the victims' stories, examined their permanently broken bodies and looked into faces that could not see me because of the irreparable damage done not only to their senses but also to their brains. As I have studied reports of torture throughout our troubled world since then, I have always found comfort in knowing that at least it did not occur here, not among Americans.

Now that comfort is shattered. Reports of torture by U.S. forces have been accompanied by evidence that military medical personnel have played a role in this abuse and by new military ethical guidelines that in effect authorize complicity by health professionals in ill-treatment of detainees. These new guidelines distort traditional ethical rules beyond recognition to serve the interests of interrogators, not doctors and detainees.

I urge my fellow health professionals to join me and many others in reaffirming our ethical commitment to prevent torture; to clearly state that systematic torture, sanctioned by the government and aided and abetted by our own profession, is not acceptable. As health professionals, we should support the growing calls for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and demand restoration of ethical standards that protect physicians, nurses, medics and psychologists from becoming facilitators of abuse.

America cannot continue down this road. Torture demonstrates weakness, not strength. It does not show understanding, power or magnanimity. It is not leadership. It is a reaction of government officials overwhelmed by fear who succumb to conduct unworthy of them and of the citizens of the United States.

I had to steal this whole because it is what our government is doing in our name. We all bear the shame...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Shirking as of late...

I haven't been writing much lately. I've ignored my blog, my email, and my checkbook. Instead I've been reading escapist fiction non-stop this last week. Every now and then I find a sci-fi series that is worth reading. It's like a cheap vacation, no pre-flight screening required.

I have always love reading. The cereal box in the morning, or in a pinch, the list of chemicals and instructions of the bathroom cleaners. Lately, I have read too much on LCD screen, so much that I am concerned for my eyesight, so back to basics - the dogeared paperback.

So far I've read 1227 pages out of the 1642 that the series has. As far as reading series goes, I hate waiting for the next one to be published. I prefer read them straight through in an almost obsessive way. When I was 12, I read Lord of the Rings in a weekend. I had the most amazing dreams, and in a fainting spell (when I jumped up suddenly to close the window from a rain storm) I flew above armies clashing in Middle Earth...

I've always been blessed with vivid imagination which is why I love to read, or maybe because of that love. I've never understood people who say they hate to read, which I seem to encounter more of late. And then again, these are the same folks who vote...