Wednesday, March 31, 2004
"I would like nothing better, in a sense, than to be able to go up and [testify.] But I have a responsibility to maintain what is a long-standing separation, constitutional separation, between the executive and legislative branch."
White House press briefing
March 24, 2004
"She's being asked to appear before a congressionally mandated commission under oath, and there is a presidential authority problem here. I have been a national security adviser and a deputy national security adviser. And I wouldn't have done it during the time I was there working for President Reagan."
Face the Nation
March 28, 2004
"This commission, it takes its authority, derives its authority, from the Congress, and it is a long-standing principle that sitting national security advisers do not testify before the Congress."
March 28, 200
Now the story is Bush will "let" Rice testify. No, allow her to testify. Does this mean he can set aside the Constitution at will or that Condi and others were making shit up obfuscating the reality that there truly was no reason she should not testify in the first place? Or does this mean Rice wanted to testify but Bush would not "let"
her before and that's why she sounded like Scotty reading off of cue cards. Ultimately Rice must feel the growing present danger -- she's going to be hung out to dry.
What really disturbs me is Bush comes out of the situation looking like a prince by "letting" her testify while she comes out looking like a liar and stooge. Of course, Rice may not of needed Bush's help on that order -- she was doing a good job of tearing herself apart -- and Bush does have a track record on leaving people to hang in the wind -- just ask Powell.
Rice will be resigning by the end of the term -- she might want to start collecting info for a book, or at least to protect her own ass, the Bushies are through with her.
On another note, what's up with the pres and vp having to testify together?
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
When I read the headline I thought it was a spoof; unfortunately it is not. The illogic of it all makes me cringe. Now that we can go to war (this means kill and be killed) over possible intentions, I think daily life could get extremely complicated. You could be arrested from Sprawl-Mart on the possible intention of shoplifting. You could be failed from a class if you thought about copying an essay or fact from the internet without properly citing it. I think having access to the internet qualifies for such reasonable justification. Don't worry, that job at the local gas station will be waiting for you after the dust settles.
Oh nevermind--it's all so ridiculous.
I will not testify -- grrr
Quit looking at my gap -- I'm telling the truth here.
I won't, I won't, I won't!
I'm just sulking -- leave me alone.
Now look at today's picture that is accompanying the story that she is testifying -- even CNN has her all smiles.
Give me a break already -- she's still not saying anything she hasn't said on 60 minutes.
Monday, March 29, 2004
Even if Bush does not believe he lied to or misled the public, how can he make fun of the rationale for a war that has killed and maimed thousands? Imagine if Lyndon Johnson had joked about the trumped-up Gulf of Tonkin incident that he deceitfully used as a rationale for U.S. military action in Vietnam: "Who knew that fish had torpedoes?" Or if Ronald Reagan appeared at a correspondents event following the truck-bombing at the Marines barracks in Beirut--which killed over 200 American servicemen--and said, "Guess we forgot to put in a stop light." Or if Clinton had come out after the bombing of Serbia--during which U.S. bombs errantly destroyed the Chinese embassy and killed several people there--and said, "The problem is, those embassies--they all look alike."
Is why so many people are bothered by the "spoof". It's not funny.
O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.
In THE FACTOR "Follow-Up" Segment tonight, we've been following the various demographic shifts throughout America, and now the Census Bureau estimates, by the year 2050, white Americans will make up less than 50 percent of the population. How will that change the USA?
Joining us now from Washington is Dr. William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. Here in the studio, John McManus, the editor in chief of "American Demographics" magazine.
So I guess this is being driven by Hispanics, right, with all the illegal immigration, millions of people coming in here and the higher birth rate among Hispanics in America. That's what's driving this?
JOHN MCMANUS, "AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHICS": The Hispanic population is the greatest increase that we'll see over the time period that we're talking about. Illegal immigration is a portion of the story, but it's the increase in -- rapid increase in immigration and birth rate in people of Hispanic origin that we'll see.
O'REILLY: All right. Because black birth rate is fairly stable, right?
MCMANUS: Proportionately, black birth rate and increases in their population will level out and be less significant in growth in that time period. I think Bill will be able to address the numbers better than I can, but...
O'REILLY: OK. And how about Asian? What's the situation with that?
MCMANUS: Asian -- we're going to see a 213 percent increase, according to the Census Bureau projection, and so that will be a very rapid increase of the percentage of their population in the U.S. as well.
O'REILLY: All right. Now, Doctor, the Census Bureau really doesn't tell us how this is going to affect the country. Do you have any theories on it?
WILLIAM FREY, PH.D., BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Well, I really think what's happening is going to be this phasing out or fading out of the white baby boom population. It is a 50-year time period we're talking about...
O'REILLY: Yes. We'll all be dead. Thank God, right?
"What's the situation with that?" "We'll all be dead. Thank God, right?" Nice -- I knew he was a piss poor journalist, and i use that term loosely, but I had no idea he was a Grand Dragon. When's David Duke comin' on the show, Bill?
UPDATE: Another nice article from the Boston Globe highlighting our tenuous idea of a democracy in the Middle East:
Like hundreds more, he was released earlier this month, with no explanation of why he was arrested in the first place or why he was ultimately cleared to go home.
Khodair, a 55-year-old cafe owner, colorfully recounted to a half-dozen men packed in his dark, half-underground bedroom on a recent afternoon how he was forced to sit on his knees in the sun for 10 hours before his first interrogation. "It was just like hell," he recalled.
"Nothing has changed since Saddam," Khodair said. "Before, the Mukhabarat [secret police] would take us away, and at least they wouldn't blow down the door. Now, some informant fingers you and gets $100 even if you're innocent."
Ashcroft tried that with his TIPS program (satiric link) -- well, minus the 100 bucks. How much is that in Iraqi dinars?
Thursday, March 25, 2004
The report also detailed low morale among Army soldiers, with 72 percent of those questioned characterizing morale as either low or very low in their unit and 52 percent saying their personal morale was either low or very low.
Meanwhile Bush jokes about not finding WMD's. Military men and women and their familes have been dying, losing limbs, losing sleep, wondering if their family will be reunited and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured and this guy uses it as a joke. Bush, why don't you joke about the concentration camps while you're at it?
Ok, like the gorilla isn't already pissed about being held in captivity and then you want to throw shit at him -- go pick a zit or something you dumb, mean shits.
I want that job. Here's the lede:
Protecting America against terrorist attacks and other disasters requires strong interagency communication and superior intelligence-gathering. Oh, and a little help from Hollywood.
Forget wagging the dog, just think Leni R. and you'll be triumphant. 136g's a year. Crap. That's over 4 times what I make now. I thought I was doing my part in helping people and creating a better society, but couldn't I create a better society through highly manipulative images of nationalistic fervor that will be in over-the-top fictive narratives where pretty people can play hero (especially with 136 thou in my pocket)? Who cares that the jobs are probably nothing like advertised. Forget fighting dragons and climbing mountains, I want 24 on steroids.
Brownlee said he had visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and found them in good spirits.
"Most of them, even if they've lost a limb or two, or even an eye, they haven't lost their courage," Brownlee said.
Wonderful. Now let's wheel those buggers back down the alleyways of Fullajah or Baghdad. Cripes "even if they lost a limb or two" -- how nonchalant of him.
Since the invasion a year ago, 582 U.S. troops have died and more than 2,900 have been wounded. Some soldiers return home saying they want to leave the Army at their next opportunity.
Some must be Army speak for like HALF THE FREAKIN" FORCE!
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the government wanted to maintain its embassy in Baghdad and security for civilians was essential.
"I don't think this is a time in history where we should just be jumping around in a populist way," he said.
Yeah, forget the people; the slobbering, ignorant masses. They know nothing of the intracacies of government and foriegn affairs. Why can't they just be like Keebler's elves? Smiling, happy little fellows taking orders from the main elf on the package --
Friday, March 19, 2004
Why oh why do we have affirmative action for white Christian evangelical men? Why oh why do newspaper editors let their biases about such people cloud their judgment? I'm sure the brothers Hack, Glenn and Mickey, will spend weeks discussing how this guy's race and religion allowed him to get away with things that other journalists couldn't get away with.
but I would also assume newsrooms across the country will be shaken, people will be fired, this guy will be blacklisted, and everyone will eye white, Christian men with a little more skepticism.
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
WE WANT BUSH TO WIN
The statement said it supported President Bush (news - web sites) in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites), as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."
In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:
"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization."
"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."
The group said its cells were ready for another attack and time was running out for allies of the United States.
"Whose turn is it next? Will it be Japan or America, or Italy, Britain or Oslo or Australia?" the statement said, adding Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were also targets.
The group is named after Muhammed Atef, also known as Abu Hafs, a close bin Laden aide killed in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan (news - web sites).
Of course, pundits will spin it by saying it's perfectly logical the would state the opposite of what they really wanted because they know the American people would do the exact opposite of whatever they wanted, thus elect Kerry. Oh Lord, here we go-- la la la la la
This is the best lede I've seen --
The Department of Health and Human Services (news - web sites) inspector general is launching an inquiry into whether Bush administration officials committed any wrongdoing last year by withholding from Congress internal analyses showing that Medicare prescription drug legislation the White House supported would cost significantly more than lawmakers believed.
The logic-defying administration knows no bounds.
From the press briefing yesterday
Q Scott, there are some conservatives who believe that there's a real crisis in the transatlantic relationship over the war on terror. You said just a minute ago that there's a difference between supporting the U.S. in the war on terror and Iraq. But you're the one --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I said let's make a distinction there. I mean, he was --
Q All right, but you guys don't make that distinction.
MR. McCLELLAN: It's the global war on terrorism --
Q Now, wait a second. The central front in the war on terror is Iraq, according to this President.
MR. McCLELLAN: And countries are contributing in many different ways in the war on terrorism. And you have more than 30 countries participating on the ground in Iraq.
Q But in the central front -- in the central front. Is not the litmus test for Spain, for instance, whether they keep troops on the ground in Iraq as to whether they're going to really cooperate in the war on terror?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one, let's not prejudge things. You have a new government coming into power. The President had a very good conversation with the leader of the new government just yesterday. And the President said he looks forward to continuing to work with him in the fight against terrorism.
Now, Iraq is the central front now in the war on terrorism. The terrorists have made that very clear. They realize the stakes are very high there. The stakes are high in the war on terrorism. And advancing freedom and democracy is a key component of winning the war on terrorism. The Middle East is a very dangerous part of the world. And what we are achieving for the Iraqi people will also help bring about more stability in that part of the world. And that helps make the world a safer place and a better place.
But look, we're going to work -- we're going to work with the Spanish government in the fight against terrorism.
Q Do you think it's a litmus test?
MR. McCLELLAN: We've had a strong alliance in the past. We will continue to work together on issues of common concern.
Q But you won't say whether you consider it a litmus test, I mean --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, I've seen comments in the press. That was not something that was discussed yesterday in the phone call. And, obviously, there is discussion about the U.N. playing a role in the future. We want the U.N. to continue to play a vital role in the future. So we'll continue to talk these issues as we move forward.
Q Is the President worried that there is a view that goes beyond Spain -- and you know it -- that it's too dangerous to associate yourself with the United States in the war on terror, and that maybe there's another way to fight terrorism, aside from aligning yourself with the U.S.? How dangerous does the President think that trend is, and what does he think he can do about it?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, anyone who thinks that we are not at war only needs to look back to last Thursday, because that was a grim reminder that we are at war against terrorism. And we need to continue to stand together in this war against terrorism. Terrorists are indiscriminate in who they attack and where they attack. I mean, you just have to go back and look at the places that they've attacked previously. They've attacked in Saudi Arabia; they've attacked in Tunisia; they've attacked in Morocco; they've attacked in Turkey, in Indonesia -- certainly in the United States, as well.
So I think you need to keep that in perspective. Terrorists want to spread fear and chaos. They have no regard for innocent life. It doesn't matter who and when and where they strike, they simply want to strike and spread fear and chaos and intimidate us. And you cannot be intimidated in the face of terrorism, you must stand strong and show resolve and determination and take the fight to those terrorists.
Q You can't be afraid to be aligned with the U.S., is what you're saying.
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, in terms of, if you're talking about the U.S. -European alliance, the President has often spoken about the need for us to work together on the common challenges that we face. And the highest and most important challenge that we face together is the war on terrorism. There are a number of ways to participate in that war on terrorism, but the coalition in Iraq is strong. The coalition in the global war on terrorism is strong. And you only need to look to some of the comments that have been made in recent days to see that that coalition is very strong, and the will and resolve of the international community remains firm.
Q Scott, can I follow up on where David was taking you before? I think I've heard some internally contradictory things today. You have said that Europe is with us on terrorism, but we may have some disagreements on Iraq. You've also said --
MR. McCLELLAN: There are many European nations that are helping in Iraq.
Q That's right. You've said that Europe is with us on terrorism, maybe disagrees on Iraq, Iraq remains a central front on terrorism. And, yet, we now have the Spanish, and we didn't really hear from the leader of the Netherlands today a resounding endorsement that he would necessarily keep his troops there --
MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, I think he said we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States in the war on terrorism and with the civilized world. Obviously, they've got some political processes that they have to follow back at home.
Q And so it's not clear that they keep their troops there beyond July --
MR. McCLELLAN: The coalition in Iraq is strong. Obviously, you're going to have a transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people at some point. And we're still discussing those issues with leaders in Iraq, about continuing to provide security as we move forward. But the United States and the coalition will stay until the job is finished and until Iraq has a free and peaceful and prosperous future.
Q Can you tell us a little bit about what the President plans to do to convince European leaders that they should take the risks that are involved? You had the Prime Minister of Spain say in his comments yesterday that you can't build a coalition together or conduct a war on a basis of lies -- obviously a statement you folks don't agree with.
Can you tell us what the President's plan is to begin to work against these kind of -- these kind of views?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President has made the war on terrorism his highest priority for quite some time now, David.
Q The question is convincing -- convincing these leaders. I want to hear how he's going to --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you're making it sound like that that lack of support is wider spread than it is. There is a strong coalition in Iraq that is working to help the Iraqi people realize their aspirations and realize a free and peaceful future. So I disagree with the premise of the way you stated your question to some extent. It's important that we -- that we all realize that the stakes are very high in the war on terrorism. The stakes are very high in Iraq, which is the central front in the war on terrorism. And it's become clear from some of the statements made by al Qaeda, themselves, that they recognize how high the stakes are in Iraq. And that's why we must continue to stay the course. When we prevail in Iraq with freedom and democracy for the Iraqi people, we will have dealt the terrorists a significant blow in this global war.
Make a little move, do a little dance, get down tonight....
Monday, March 15, 2004
Bush is horrible at defense. He stumbles and blathers more than usual. Kerry doesn't need to go negative to attack issues and policies.
Sick 'em boys.
“I voted for Bush in 2000, and I’m not going to vote for him again,” said Jean Prewitt, a group member from Birmingham, Ala. Her 24-year-old son, Kelley, was in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division when he was killed on April 6 just south of Baghdad. “I just feel deceived. He just kept screaming, screaming, weapons of mass destruction, weapons of mass destruction, we’ve got to get in there. We got in there and now there aren’t any.”
when they attended a conference on Islam last month at the
University of Texas at Austin's law school and aggressively
questioned students and staff members a few days later, the
Army said in a written statement on Friday. The service said
it was giving agents extra training to remind them of the
legal limits on their investigations.
I know there is some wonderful snarky comment to be made, but I can't do it. It seems like college should be one place where people should feel free to explore multiple philosophies, issues, ciltures, etc. without fear of being unfairly targeted as a terrorist sympathizer.
There's only an average of 19 attacks per day.
Washington has been channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the political opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - including those who briefly overthrew the democratically elected leader in a coup two years ago.
And we wonder why Aristide's "I've been kidnapped" is getting more serious attention in the world press than he is here. We'll just add him to Allende and Noriega and Castro.
The Iraqi leader, now in U.S. custody, represented "the most dangerous regime in the world's most dangerous region," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Um, where to start. How many times does this have to be disproved before she finally gives it a rest?
"I don't think this takes away from the rightness of this, to remove this dictator, make sure that there would be no weapons of mass destruction in the future," Powell said.
Rightness as in moral clarity? Or rightness as in we're right, you're wrong? Powell lost all credibility with me. He's Tony Blair on acid. Let's kill all the people in the slums now, because they live in dangerous areas, could be dangerous people, and one day might rob some old lady of her Spam and bread. How old is he, 6? The best one is from Rummy:
Asked on CNN's "Late Edition" if the war in Iraq was worthwhile given that 564 U.S. soldiers have died there, Rumsfeld said, "Oh, my goodness, yes. There's just no question ... 25 million people in Iraq are free."
Oh my goodness? Not the phrase I want to hear from the defense secretary.
And the last time I checked it was a few more than that. Over 2000 wounded. Over 10000 Iraqi's dead -- or don't they count (consider your answer here: moral clarity and all). This idea of "freedom" is illusive -- but I suppose one must be in an occupied country to truly get a sense of what freedom means. Remember, the sppon does not bend, but your mind, as the toga kid said to Nero in the Matrix. Bend it, baby.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Check out what Howard Stern and Jimmy Breslin are saying about the ads. It wouldn't be so bad if Bush didn't evoke 911 for everything for tax cuts to war with Iraq but the way it stands, he is making 911 the most political event in our nation's history.
I hope "I will never polticize 911" Bush continues to run the ads -- between hiring actors to be firefighters and the stonewalling of the 911 commission (limiting questions to one hour with ony the chairs), there will be enough fodder for October and November when people will be truly tuning in. Patience -- the more people see the ads, the more they will see this stinks; especially when he accepts the nomination on top of ground zero.
Sunday, March 07, 2004
Of course this shifts the focus from the real issue -- did the president say he was not going to use the tragedy for political purposes and can the ads be constuted as exploitation.
"The increase of nearly 12% - higher than that of 2003 - will see an extra $2.6bn allocated to defence, officially raising the budget to more than $25bn.
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Beijing says analysts believe the real figure is at least double that."
Accordin to Ruters, "The 15 biggest spenders, led by the United States, accounted for more than three quarters of total world military expenditure, it said." So who are the other 14 -- well, you have to check out this graph.
Meanwhile in Haiti the rebels are now saying they will not disarm and are giving like chicken livers and pbby tongues to their vodoo war god. This is only after thousands of POOR people who came out in support of their ousted president.
Chavez -- (Venezuela is sharply split between those who fear Chavez is trying to install Cuba-style dictatorship and those who say he has given a political voice to the impoverished majority. The president's six-year term ends in 2007. The constitution allows recalls halfway through an elected official's term._ -- you're next.
Friday, March 05, 2004
Q Shouldn't that be off-limits to politics, Scott, that tragedy?
MR. McCLELLAN: September 11th? September 11th, as I said, it taught us that we must confront dangers before it's too late, and that we must continue to take the fight to the enemy. There's a clear choice for Americans in how we confront the threats of terrorism.
Q But the President -- the party is using it for political purposes. I mean, it's pretty clear now --
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, these are threats that didn't happen overnight; that September 11th taught us that we must confront these threats by taking the fight to the enemy.
C'mon, you remember what he said a year ago -- and how does the image of firefighters carrying a coffin through rubble "take the fight" to the enemy? Just asking.
I read an article last night about Wilson is going to name names in his new book.
One of the oddest sections is the subpoena request for a list of those who attended a White House reception for former President Gerald Ford's 90th birthday. "The White House at the time announced the reception would honor Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, but said the event was closed to the press. The White House Thursday declined to release the list and the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, which paid for the event, did not return phone calls."
Who is involved in the G. Ford Foundation and why this event specifically?
This whole disaster may get resolved yet.
Two things: Either Nike is saying finally bust on my competition so it's an even playing field or they completely know how to play the PR campaign until this ugly report "blows over."
You want to know where US jobs are going? Check out Indonesia where workers sometimes work 17 hour days 6 days a week. Geez, and we complain about our 9 hour days (that is, if we can find a job. And I don't want to hear any of that, "but that's their culture" or "they need the work and are willing to do it" crap. Both arguments don't hold any water with any thoughtful analysis.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
He's got some other great stories and discussions going on.
Noting how establishing U.S. naval bases in the Philippines in the early 1900s allowed the United States to maintain a "great presence in the Pacific," Garner said, "To me that's what Iraq is for the next few decades. We ought to have something there ... that gives us great presence in the Middle East. I think that's going to be necessary."
Yeah, that explanation would have sold us the war and then some -- couldn't you see Faux News trying to wrap patriotism and fear around that? Snow: We need a strong base of operations in the middle east. Hannity: That's right so we can go kill us some Arabs and broadcast America is great news 24/7. Colmes: C'mon guys, preemptive war is a big deal. Should we be doing it for a new base of operations? Hannity: Shut up bitch. Get me my leather thong and lick my boot you un-American liberal Taliban.
Seriously though, who is going to occupy those damn bases? And don't say the guys who are currently in Saudi Arabia -- who will be leaving now that they have new digs. I have a feeling we'll need more troops in Iraq than in SA since we invaded their freakin' country and killed some 8-10 thousand civilians in the process. Yeah, if I was a family member of one of those 8-10 thousand people I'd say hey thanks for getting rid Saddam and by the way, stay in my country for decades. Really, no problem. You can have my couch. You want to bang one of my daughters that you didn't kill while you're here. Sure, no problem. For you, baby, anything.
I've been all over the board on this guy. One minute I like him, the next I'm questioning his motives and his determination to get to the bottom of this -- hopefully he'll do what he needs to do and all my "liberal" friends who bashed me for not speaking ill of him will eat a little crow. Otherwise it may prove to be a long summer for me.
Why risk this? Can the benefit outweigh these voices:
"Until Bush cooperates with the federal commission that is investigating the nation's preparedness before the attacks and its response "by testifying in public under oath ... he should not be using 9/11 as political propaganda," said Kristen Breitweiser, a wife of one of the victims.
"Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, on Thursday called the ads disgraceful...."We're not going to stand for him to put his arm around one of our members on top of a pile of rubble at Ground Zero during a tragedy and then stand by and watch him cut money for first responders."
Yes, I know he going on the Patton war president hero thing, but wouldn't the images actually give fodder to the "other side" while giving the media a "good" controversy for ratings? Won't his pronouncements after the tragedy about not using 911 for political gain come to haunt him?
The bottom line is, why defend it? I can't explain why they would come out say the ads are, "...Appropriate for an election about public policy and the war on terror, saying they were a tasteful reminder of what the country has been through the last three years." Yeah because we all done forgot. What the hell? What planet are they on? I'm not exactly a Bush supporter, but purely from a political move, I would suggest bagging the ads while using the same message with different images -- of course not being a Bush supporter, I hope he runs the ads all over the place and more stories like this pop up in the media and make it mainstream. Let's talk about the reminders, the commission, the promise not to exploit the tragedy. Yeehaw.
So, let's see -- Valeria Plame, WMD's, energy task force, stolen files, and the 911 commission -- then a host of other non-prosecutable stories including the AWOL and the use of taxpayer funds for election campaigning (medicare ads). As the cynic I am, we should see another war shortly.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
I'll burn and send a CD of the "Delicious Militia" for anyone who comes up with the best answer.
Q Scott, Justice Scalia apparently is in the habit of going on hunting trips with people who have cases before the Supreme Court. This has been reported on the front page of The New York Times. He took Vice President Cheney on a duck hunting trip to Louisiana when Vice President Cheney had the energy task work case. And just recently, the LA Times reported that he took the dean of the Kansas Law School on a pheasant hunting trip, and the dean had a case pending before the Supreme Court, and he sided with the dean in that case.
Does the President believe -- and when I asked you about this, you said you weren't familiar with the specifics, even though it's been on the front page of the LA Times. Does the President believe that it's appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice to go on hunting trips with the Vice President while the Vice President has a case pending before the Supreme Court?
MR. McCLELLAN: Russell, I think I've addressed this matter. I think I said, as recently as yesterday, that in terms of the issue, if you're asking about recusals or things like that, those are issues to address to Justice Scalia. And I think Justice Scalia has addressed that matter. And
if you have specific questions about vice presidential scheduling matters or trips, you can refer those questions to the Vice President's office.
Q Well, I was asking whether the President believes it's appropriate.
MR. McCLELLAN: All right, thank you.
Likewise in Haiti, I keep wondering where are the bodies? Who are these people cheering?
I want to trust that our government had no complicity in the "kidnapping", but we don't have the best track record. The Panama Deception chronicles our love affair with Noriega; Pinochet was our guy; the Pentagon Papers highlight a number of planned scenario's under which we could "legitimately" invade Cuba; and we're not too keen on Chavez (he thinks that we are undermining his presidency).
I'm trying to keep up with all this and sort things out, but if you have insight or info, let me know.
UPDATE: The Guardian has an editorial that may put things in some sort of context.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
But the Supreme Court ruled that the charity is not a religious employer because it offers such secular services as counseling, low-income housing and immigration services to people of all faiths, without directly preaching Catholic values. In fact, Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote that a "significant majority" of the people served by the charity are not Catholic. The court also noted that the charity employs workers of differing religions.
And this can only get uglier because Catholics are worried that they could be forced to pay for employee abortions. There are a few concerns here. First is the dissenting opinion and the language used: Brown wrote that the Legislature's definition of a "religious employer" is too limiting if it excludes faith-based nonprofit groups like Catholic Charities.
This is a concern because of the "faith based programs" exemption. I never liked the idea of faith based programs. Let me revise that. I thought it sounded great, then thought about it and found it troubling. You see the more state regulations and rules directly apply to religious organizations, the more the state could hinder or infringe upon them. Yes, this is about insurance and a separate law, but the idea that the state will give religious organizations money and not expect certain "values" or "ideals" to be upheld is silly.
I think one of the worst thing the clergy, all clergy, did was start to get paid a salary. Suddenly they had to worry about what they told their congregations and how they told them -- they are, after all, who pays their salaries. Many clergy seem to be afraid to say what needs to be said or take strong stands on issues, especially when those might be unpopular -- the war for example. Many churches came out against the invasion (except for the evangelical, but they have been trying to get missions in the middle east forever) but they did not organize at the local level any demonstrative difference from the "pro-war" crowd. It was very disheartening.
Ultimately with more state funds going to religious organizations there will come a time in the future where those organizations will rely heavily on those funds and that will be to their doom. A state finds itself in this position all the time -- if you don't raise your drinking age, we'll cut off highway funding. Now what pastor is going to want to make a choice between a local program that helps say the homeless or battered women, and just going along with the state's "request", rule, or regulation? What reverend is going to be able to tell his congregation, especially in urban, high-need areas, that they will be stopping the food pantry because they don't want to pass out condoms? Once the religious organization takes money from the state, they are beholden to the state.
This happened in San Francisco, not the most conservative city in the union, but it does give conservatives a "heads up" on what to expect. And as the dissenting opinion spells out, if you're a legislator, you better specifically allow faith based exemptions from state laws. Now this is the kicker, because then all the worries people had against the faith based programs in the first place become Freddy's fingernails overnight. What do ya' mean the fundamentalists don't have to abide by "X" law or "X" amendment?
But we only hear the bad news.
Monday, March 01, 2004
I know three things about ducks -- 1) they eat some weird shit -- insects like midge larvae, mayflies, and damselfly nymphs -- I don't know what Scalia eats, but he sure has some cahoonas trying to pass off the "there's no reason to think I would be biased here" line. 2) If it quacks like a duck.... 3) Daffy was much cooler than Bugs -- "Mine, all mine! I'm rich. I'm independently wealthy." And he sings better than Scalia.
The popular backlash against the FCC's lifting of media ownership
regulations is bearing fruit: Two recent victories show that our
collective efforts are having an impact.
First: Corporate-sponsored junkets for FCC Commissioners have been
stopped. Last year, the Center for Public Integrity revealed that the FCC
had accepted over $2.8 million in free travel and entertainment from the
very industries they were regulating. Public outrage at this and the
loosening of media ownership regulations resulted in the FCC banning this
practice. For the complete story, visit
Second: Low-power FM broadcasting -- nonprofit radio stations with a
reach of just a few miles -- recently received a huge boost. Last Friday,
the FCC recommended to Congress that it eliminate restrictions that
deprived communities of their own locally-oriented radio stations. If
Congress writes this into law, it will clear the way for hundreds -- if
not thousands -- of communities to begin broadcasting.
The battle in Congress over Low-power FM licenses is about to begin, and
Big Media is going to fight back - hard. We're going to need all of your
support to beat them. Stay tuned to http://www.mediareform.net/lpfm for
Neither of these developments would have even been thinkable a year ago,
proving what Free Press has believed all along: when corrupt policymaking
practices are brought into the daylight for all to see, the public will
demand action, and regulators and legislators will be forced to respond.
We are making headway.
It's quite possible that the federal appeals court in Philadelphia will
roll back the all-important newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule,
thanks to public pressure and a brilliant legal fight led by the Media
Access Project. Congress is still trying to roll back the rest of the new
rules, with growing bipartisan support. More and more Americans are
realizing that we have to fight for better media if we want a better
country and a better democracy.
The Free Press Team
PS: This Friday, February 27th, NOW with Bill Moyers will air an expose on
the repression of peaceful protest during FTAA negotiations in Miami last
November, featuring footage collected by Independent Media Centers across
P.P.S.: Stay up to date on news relating to media reform with our free
daily headline service. Sign up at
http://www.mediareform.net/news/deliveries.php. Give it a try; both
subscribing and unsubscribing are easy.
A brief history of Low Power FM:
In 1999, media activists convinced the FCC of the need for low power FM
broadcasting: 10 to 100 watt, nonprofit neighborhood radio stations with a
reach of only a few miles. No sooner was a nationwide service implemented
than large commercial interests used their massive lobbying power to place
limitations on it, claiming that low power FM transmissions would result
in an unremitting "ocean of interference" with existing stations.
Industry's efforts, spearheaded by the National Association of
Broadcasters, culminated in the successful passage of the Radio
Preservation Act of 2000. Severe restrictions on where low power stations
could exist on the dial ensured that community broadcasters would exist
only in the most remote of rural locales. It also demanded an official
study on potential interference issues, economic impact assessments, and a
collection of public comment with a full FCC report to Congress - all
amounting to a disingenuous stall tactic.
The Congressionally-mandated study was completed earlier last year. It
unequivocally found the NAB's claims of interference to be bogus. Public
interest groups including Free Press commissioned additional research to
defend the report and to file comments with the FCC reiterating its
findings. On Friday, February 20, these efforts paid off when the FCC
released its recommendations to Congress, agreeing with public interest
advocates that industry claims of interference were patently false. They
called for the lifting of the stringent industry-sponsored restrictions on
low power broadcasting.
Now it is up to Congress to act on the FCC's recommendations. This will
clear the way for hundreds - if not thousands - of communities to begin
broadcasting locally-originated content. While the fight in Congress
remains, thanks to public outcry over the FCC's actions last summer, many
in Congress are eager to pass legislation that represents a positive step
towards encouraging localism and diversity on our airwaves.
Now this information is coming from "Geostrategy-Direct, a new online newsletter edited by veteran journalist Robert Morton and featuring the "Backgrounder" column compiled by Bill Gertz. and I found this guy has done some good digging already on the group and the writers. It's like Drudge on oxcontin.