Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I wonder how many times Ed Gillespie will pull this one out?
See any familiar faces behind baby Jane Fonda?
(Clue: Look north-west.)
Rubber Hose blog points us to an interview with Howard Zinn at American Amnesia.

Anonymoses leads us to Daily Kos, where there's more on the Iowa peace activist subpoenas.

Ready for this one? Deep breath...Pen-Elayne points to MadKane..who leads us to the hilarious Bush Unmasked!

Josh Marshall tells us how soon we can expect President Bush's military records to be released. ;)

See Cup o' Joe's response to the recent NY times editorial titled "Come Back Little Deaniacs". (My own is HERE).
This is a public coment made from an M.D. on a petition addressed to Terry McAuliffe:
I am 48 years old and have been a registered democrat since I was old enough to vote. I belong to "Dr's for Dean" and feel blessed that I am living in a time when he is politically active. I can see that if either Kerry or Edwards runs agains Bush every thing that they complained to him about they will be countered with "well you voted for it". That is very true and I consider them both 'Bushlights'. Since the stolen election and the failure of the party to stand up against Bush I lost total respect for the party. I have special interest in Dr. Dean. I view him as the last hope for the survival of this country. Please stop choosing a candidate for us. If Kerry is the candidate I cannot vote for him because he voted for a war that he knew was wrong.. If I knew there were no weapons or mass destruction and knew the plans of the PNAC he had to know too. I live in California and deserve the right to vote for Dean in the scheduled primary. If Kerry is the candidate I will leave the party.

N.Y. Times
David Brooks--just another frustrated intelligent soul stuffing his own words in Bush's incapable mouth

After the Russert interview, David Brooks supplies what he imagines President Bush meant...what he wishes President Bush meant...as so many of us are trying to do as we scratch our heads in numbed astonishment at Bush's never-improving dogmatic fact-vacant simplicity.
I can just see David Brooks in front of his television...saying "Come on, President Bush....come ON...!"
It must be very frustrating. I am lately finding I am desensitized to my prior frustration. I have given up on the man saying anything novel or hopeful as to my way of wishing to see the world. That is not to say I've tuned him out..I am always listening. My hope now lies in November, 2004. And I don't think I'll have to put words in the Democrat's mouth. *Sorry, David..I couldn't resist! ;)*
JWR/Inspirational Words
You Are Unique-
Make a difference

Reading these inspirational words this morning, I thought it would be a kindness to pass some of them along and share them with my readers:
"Every kind person is unique. You have unique talents, skills, knowledge, and resources. Utilize them to help others in ways that are uniquely yours. Learn from other kind people, but don't compare yourself with anyone else. Others will be able to do things that you cannot. And you will be able to do things that others cannot.

One who sings well can utilize this talent to cheer up the despondent, the ill, and those who need an emotional lift. One who has been blessed with financial wealth can help those who lack the means to meet their needs. One with time and energy can volunteer to help the elderly and those who require physical assistance. One with life experience can share the expertise amassed over time with those who will benefit...

Don't let the feeling that others are doing more than you, discourage you from doing good. First of all, you can never tell how much a seemingly small act of yours has accomplished.

Furthermore, you might have an opportunity to do a major act of kindness for an individual or an entire group of people. Opportunities for kindness can present themselves in unexpected ways. And it is because you will be the right person at the right place at the right time that will make a major difference. So keep your focus on what you can do rather than on what anyone else has done, is doing, or will do. Your life task is to do what you can do, and this is totally up to you."

--Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

New York Review of Books/Michael Massing
Now They Tell Us
The contrast between the press's feistiness since the end of the war and its meekness before it highlights one of the most entrenched and disturbing features of American journalism: its pack mentality. Editors and reporters don't like to diverge too sharply from what everyone else is writing. When a president is popular and a consensus prevails, journalists shrink from challenging him. Even now, papers like the Times and the Post seem loath to give prominent play to stories that make the administration look too bad. Thus, stories about the increasing numbers of dead and wounded in Iraq —both American and Iraqi—are usually consigned to page 10 or 12, where they won't cause readers too much discomfort. [New York Review of Books 1-29-04]
Please read this article.
See some of my prior entires on reporter Judith Miller here and here.

See Demagogue for comments on Miller last June.

See Pen Elayne for more comments about this article.

Also in New York Review of Books:
Paul Krugman on the new Kevin Phillips and Ron Suskind books

On the Phillips book:
In any previous administration—at least any administration of the past seventy years—this sort of incestuous relationship among foreign governments, private businesses, and the personal fortunes of people in or close to the US government would have been considered unusual and prima facie scandalous. What we learn from Kevin Phillips's new book, however, is that this kind of intertwining of public policy and personal self-interest has been standard operating procedure not just for George W. Bush, but for his entire family.
On the Suskind book:
What emerges from Suskind's book is a picture of an entirely cynical administration—much more cynical than Nixon's, in which the corruption was localized, and large parts of the policy process continued to be run by serious, even idealistic people. (Old hands at the Environmental Protection Agency describe the Nixon administration as a golden age.) Under Bush, it seems, political rhetoric bears no relation to reality—what officials say has nothing in common with what they do, or what they think. And policy decisions are driven almost entirely by politics, by what the political arm thinks will play well with "the base."

Juan Williams puts the blame on Dean
Dean's scream was played almost 700 times by CNN alone. I guess that qualified Dean as a "terrible candidate" as Williams avers. The media droned on and on about Dean's "anger" every time they spoke about Dean. I guess that made Dean a "terrible candidate".
Dean raised more money from the public (many of them first-time contributors) than any prevous Democratic candidate. I guess that's why his "whiny" supporters are doing the "pesky" excuse-making and finger-pointing at (suddenly) fickle folks like Juan Williams. Up to the Sunday before Iowa, Juan was pretty convinced in the power of the Dean candidacy. He predicted a Dean win in Iowa himself.
I'm not making excuses for Dean...but Williams is making excuses for the media by now sitting in his power-seat and looking back on it all as if no one ever had real confidence in the Dean candidacy. Now he says Dean is too intense and overly-combative. It sounds like Juan has fallen into the "angry-Dean" myth along with the rest of the media.
I think he's been working at FOX a little too long.
Williams says:
First, Dean's combative attitude toward President Bush played well with people angry at the results of the 2000 election as well as those upset over the decision to go to war in Iraq. That base of voters saw in Dean a man willing to take on the president. But that willingness to take on the president did not translate into voter trust that Dean had a good grasp on protecting the nation from terrorism. Exit polls show voters want an experienced candidate and someone who cares about them.
Dean intuitively pulled on a common string in most of us....someone was finally singing "our tune". I do not accept that there was a loss of voter-trust because of anything Dean directly did or failed to do. It was all about perception cast upon Dean by pundits and opinion-makers. If Williams truly believes the media had nothing to do with the perpetuation of misgivings about Dean's stability, I think he's got to be blind..or perhaps he's just lashing out defensively.
I would refer Juan Williams to what I see as a more intellectually honest appraisal of the Dean candidacy and the question "What happened?" In his February 6th column, Jon Carroll has simply said "I dunno."
So now we've had 2.5 rounds of primaries (Iowa is its own thing, a quasi-democratic photo op of limited significance), and Howard Dean seems to be pretty much out of it. I do not pretend to understand the reasons; it is my guess that people who say they understand the reasons probably don't either.
Was it the Scream? The Wife? The Warmth Issue? The Impatience Problem? I dunno. Maybe it's just hard for a truly obscure and inexperienced candidate to endure the ritual bear-baiting we call an election.
Note: Mr. Carroll did not sink to saying that it was because of a "terrible" perormance. I think it's fair to say "obscurity" played a part in media's ability to play with Dean as they saw fit.

Juan Williams has stated:
His tongue-lashing of the Iowa man who asked him to tone down his attacks on Bush became a staple of conservative talk radio.
A couple weeks later, another rabid Freeper-type person in a Dean crowd had to be physically subdued by venue management.
Dean raised passions. I don't believe a passionate candidate is necessarily a terrible candidate just because the media is concerned about their automaton version of "decorum". Does anyone believe our Founding Fathers were not men of great passion?
I usually find much in Juan Williams' commenary with which I agree.
He laid a bomb with this one. He comes off sounding very defensive of the fact that his initial instincts about Dean being a winner turned out wrong once the careless chatterering class (to which he belongs) got their sharp teeth into him. Join the club, Juan. Join the club.
Greg Palast
Bush/NSA stymied investigation of Dr. A.Q. Khan, seller of Pakistani atomic secrets in order to protect Saudi Arabian interests
You may never have heard of Khan Laboratories, but if this planet blows to pieces this year, it will likely be thanks to Kahn Labs' creating nuclear warheads for Pakistan's military. Because investigators had been tracking the funding for this so-called "Islamic Bomb" back to Saudi Arabia, under Bush security restrictions, the inquiry was stymied. (The restrictions were lifted, the agent told me without a hint of dark humor, on September 11.)...
.....intelligence agencies under Clinton, based on many other leads as well, were following up on the Saudi connection until the Bush team interfered....

San Jose Mercury
Iraq Intelligence-Public vs. Private
Viva la difference?

In this artice are excerpts from the public and classified versions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons capabilities. The first set of quotes under each topic is from the public version, "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs," which was released by the CIA in October 2002. The second set is from the classified version of the NIE, portions of which were declassified and released by the White House in July 2003.


Companion article/San Jose Mercury
Doubts, dissent stripped from public Iraq assessment
The public version of the U.S. intelligence community's key prewar assessment of Iraq's illicit arms programs was stripped of dissenting opinions, warnings of insufficient information and doubts about deposed dictator Saddam Hussein's intentions, a review of the document and its once-classified version shows.
As a result, the public was given a far more definitive assessment of Iraq's plans and capabilities than President Bush and other U.S. decision-makers received from their intelligence agencies...
.....The public version contained the alarming warning that Iraq was capable of quickly developing biological warfare agents that could be delivered by "bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives, including potentially against the US Homeland." No such warning that Iraq's biological weapons could be delivered to United States appeared in the classified version....
...In a section on chemical weapons, the top-secret findings said the intelligence community had "little specific information on Iraq's CW (chemical weapons) stockpile." That caveat was deleted from the public version....
....Deleted from the public version was a line in the classified report that cast doubt on whether Saddam was prepared to support terrorist attacks on the United States, a danger that Bush and his top aides raised repeatedly in making their case for war...

The Jamaican Observer/Wayne Brown
Government by lying
...In an editorial on Thursday entitled 'Baghdad Is Bush's Blue Dress'*, the Los Angeles Times accused the Bush administration of complicity in 'arguably the greatest scandal in US history' and raised the spectre of impeachment....
*Robert Scheer was the author of the LA Times column..I've used the link from "Working for Change" so you won't have to register/sign in.