The speeches of George Bush, reformed.
What if Bush had a crisis of conscience and turned over a new leaf? These speeches, written by school children and read by an impersonator show a mystical world of what might be.
via waxy. Hello, waxy!
Media critic Jay Rosen rises above the McClellan/"shake-up" foofaraw to put several pieces of the puzzle together and show how the Bush administration has significantly altered the long-standing relationship of the press to the White House. (More from Rosen here
.) Another piece that fits: Donald Rumsfeld's bold, frequent, and rarely-challenged assertions
that the American press is being expertly "manipulated" by Al Qaeda "media committees"
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am me and Rummy's he
Iraq is free and we are all together
See the world run when Dick shoots his gun, see how I lie
The Chicago Tribune reports on the Unification Church's
control of True World Foods
, a distributor that supplies the majority of sushi restaurants in the U.S. Also on their project list: The Washington Times
, George W. Bush
Berlusconi going down?
another leftist leader elected
- another victim of bush policies or of his own hubris? (via war and piece
"I've been silent long enough...
My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time
magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging
) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir!
Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth
Man tells President Bush that he should be ashamed of himself.
Bushie has been touring the country talking to the people and the people have been talking back. Today he met with his toughest and most elequent angry citizen, one Mr. Harry Taylor who began with this salvo:
Q: You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you'd like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are --
THE PRESIDENT: I'm not your favorite guy. Go ahead. (Laughter and applause.) Go on, what's your question? (full transcript here
Bush authorized Plame leak? According to Libby,
"Libby, testified in 2003 that he provided reporter Judith Miller with information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate after being told by Cheney that Bush 'specifically had authorized'
him to 'disclose certain information in the NIE.'" [via Drudge]
While making a required filing to the state ethics commission, Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell finds Diebold shares in his stock portfolio that he now claims to have bought "accidentally." Yes, that
Diebold -- the e-voting company whose chairman promised to "deliver the vote
" to George Bush. And yes, that
Blackwell, whose state helped deliver the White House
to the GOP. Blackwell insists that the humble amount of Diebold stock was in one of those "blind trust
" type of arrangements that worked out so rewardingly for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. [newsfilter via RawStory.]
Hindsight on Iraq is 20/20 --
but views diverge. Reason
magazine asks notable libertarians, conservatives, and academics -- from Instapundit
Glenn Reynolds (one word: "win") to Illuminatus!
author Robert Anton Wilson ("Bush has used [the invasion] as an excuse to destroy the last few tattered remnants of the Bill of Rights") -- if they would have chosen differently in 2003, knowing how the war would develop.
Former GOP senior strategist Kevin Phillips wrote the political Bible of the New Right, The Emerging Republican Majority
. He coined the term "Sun Belt." He voted for Reagan twice and still considers himself a staunch Republican. But now Phillips, the author of a new book called American Theocracy
, is warning that the party of George Bush and Karl Rove ("W brand Republicans," in the phrase of GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen) has become "God's own party
" -- the champion of a convergence of "petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex." Phillips also cautions that the W-brand party's "sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual
, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution." [Phillips was also discussed here
Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews
Taste's great! Less filling!
So did "several former judges who served on the panel also voiced skepticism at a Senate hearing about the president's constitutional authority to order wiretapping on Americans without a court order" or did "FISA judges say Bush within law"? Just in case you doubted that different newspapers present news stories (even those with official audio coverage
Intrigues at the White House: Andrew Card
, Bush's longtime chief of staff -- the guy who briefly interrupted the President's reading of The Pet Goat
one rough morning in 2001 and took heat for the Katrina and Dubai debacles -- is out
, replaced by budget director "Yosh" Bolten, the one-time founder of a club called "Bikers for Bush."
Meanwhile, is Rove rolling over for Patrick Fitzgerald
, and if so, what's the angle
New York Times to release Bush/Blair memo tomorrow.
The memo, which was mentioned previously
, but never publically disclosed, confirms that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were determined to invade Iraq, regardless of UN approval, and despite what both leaders told their citizens. More troubling, the memo also indicates that Bush may have conspired to assassinate Saddam Hussein, which appears to violate Sec. 5g of Executive Order 11905
, which states that "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." This executive order was considered the law of the land
even after 9/11, when Bob Barr proposed legislation H.R. 19
, which was never enacted into law.
George Bush is exempt
from the parts of the much reviled Patriot Act
that he doesn't like -- by decree of George Bush. He signed the bill
with pomp and circumstance. But after the reporters and guests went home, he issued a "signing statement
" that he can withhold information from Congress in violation of the law.
The big payback in Iraq.
Last night on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, ROBERT LICHTER, President, Center for Media and Public Affairs put forth the following: You know, Charlie Peter, a great Washington journalist, once said, "The message of Watergate was dig, dig, dig, but journalists thought the message was act tough." And so I think you're getting negative coverage that may be kind of compensatory criticism.
Should the news focus more on the optimistic elements
or is it reflecting public opinion
. Is "compensatory criticism" justified for what it might wrongly perceive as possible White House manipulation during the run up to the war?
"These are just slush funds for conservative interest groups"
--The Compassion Capital Fund ($148 million of our money), and the Community-Based Abstinence Education grant program ($391.7 million of our money)--just 2 of many new programs. ...The distribution of new money to conservative organizations is a small part of an estimated flood of $2 billion a year in federal grants to religious and religiously affiliated organizations.
--except it's only to organizations who have policies that agree with Bush and the GOP agenda on social issues, and not about need.
President Bush on the state of the US Economy,
including a discussion of the national debt and rising global interest rates, from today's news conference.
"Don't worry Mr. President, we have Kansas surrounded."
Warrantless searches: they're not just for wiretaps anymore. U.S. News and World Report
probes the Bush administration's covert drive to conduct physical searches of American homes without court approval.
In 1946, Encyclopedia Britannica
and Harold Lasswell
produced an educational film about the nature of Despotism. Calls to mind contemporary examples of despotism, and (in view of Lasswell's own views on the subject) raises some interesting questions about the uses and misuses of persuasion and propaganda.
Film link via the Prelinger Archive
, previously discussed here
"Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans." Invoking "high crimes and misdemeanors,"
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold introduces a motion to censure
[PDF link] President Bush for his controversial, legally dubious
NSA wiretapping program. Feingold declares: "The President must be held accountable for authorizing a program that clearly violates the law."
Republican leader Frist retorts: "It's a crazy political move"
that sends a "terrible" signal to Iran
. Democratic bloggers say: Call your senator
. [More legal fallout from the NSA program recently discussed here
Newsfilter: Secret arrests, secret renditions, secret interrogations in secret jails, and now, secret rulings from US federal judges
. More fallout from the Bush administration's NSA domestic-spying program [recently discussed here
Adieu, Abu Ghraib
-- we hardly
knew ye (classified, ya know.) In the wake of a damning Amnesty International report
, military spokesperson Keir-Kevin Curry says the infamous Baghdad prison
will be closed within three months, its occupants transferred to other facilities in Iraq, including Camp Cropper (and don't ask what's happening there
, or the terrorists win.) Or is Curry's statement premature
? And would the closing of Abu Ghraib represent a change of policy, or merely rebranding the same old same old
to avoid bad associations
'The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House,"
said Jay Rockefeller, vice-president of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after the committee quashed a broad inquiry into the legality of the NSA spying on Americans -- despite an increasing number of legal scholars coming forward
that the program is "blatantly illegal,"
in the words of Yale Law School dean Harold Koh. Meanwhile, the GOP proposes giving spying on Americans the "force of law"
while subjecting it to "rigorous oversight."
-- a veritable cornucopia of heart-healthy ingredients
on a bun. Pat
make 'em in Philly (where else?), inspiring a rivalry not quite as intense as Sunni vs. Shi'a
. (In bad taste, you say? Since when is a cheesesteak in good taste?)
Some people put Cheese Whiz on 'em (a "Whiz wit"
). Jim FedExes 'em
. Philadelphians have strong opinions
about 'em. The leader of the Free WorldTM eats 'em
and then lies about 'em
. Faux-fu, they ain't. Ever eaten one and lived?
"In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush
and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage
Jeb Bush Asked to Explain Cruise Ship Deal
The post below on impeachment of
Pres. Bush might also consider how the abuses seem to be a family affair: A top House Democrat released e-mails Tuesday detailing Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's role in pushing a $236 million federal contract for Carnival Cruise Lines to house Hurricane Katrina victims.
Exclusive: Dubai ports firm enforces Israel boycott
[Defenders of the Bush/Dubai deal argue that we ought to be fair and not be racist in being anti-Arab...that is "un-American."]
"The parent company of a Dubai-based firm at the center of a political storm in the US over the purchase of American ports participates in the Arab boycott against Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.....Moreover, the Post found that the website for Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone Area, which is also part of the PCZC, advises importers that they will need to comply with the terms of the boycott....
Have you ever thought "Bush should read this book
". Anatomy of a meme.
UAE, Jolted by Port Deal, Is Key Western Arms Buyer
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the centre of a growing controversy over its proposed management of U.S. port terminals, is one of the world's most prolific arms buyers and a multi-billion-dollar military market both for the United States and Western Europe.
Bush's "pepperoni" defence of outsourcing.
"India's middle class is buying air-conditioners, kitchen appliances and washing machines, and a lot of them from American companies like GE
. And that means their job base is growing here in the United States. Younger Indians are acquiring a taste for pizzas from Domino's
, Pizza Hut
Battle plans for Iran...
resonates with the sad ring of real possibility.
"How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?" Good question. As noted
in an earlier post, the EPA is one of the agencies that is facing cuts to finance BushCo's America. How? By shutting down its network of libraries and its electronic catalogue
Notice: henceforth, the Minister of War shall address the people only through the Ministry of Truth. The story-behind-the-story of the Vice President's hunting mishap is the denigration of the MSMTM as the traditional proxy of the public interest
, says NYU journalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen. "It strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is,"
Cheney told cherry-picked Fox "News" correspondent Brit Hume yesterday. GOP spokesperson Mary Matalin underlined the point by saying that Cheney considered holding a news conference, but that "would have meant a lot of grandstanding" by reporters
; Donald Rumsfeld often goes even farther, claiming that terrorist organizations manipulate the American press directly through "media committees."
Judging by the administration's contempt for the Fourth Estate
, says Rosen, "The public visibility of the presidency itself is under revision. More of it lies in shadow all the time. Non-communication has become the standard procedure, not a breakdown in practice but the essence of it." Even arch-conservative pundits like George Will are starting to get nervous
about the lack of check and balances under the current regime. There's no doubt that the White House press corps seems angrier these days -- but are they missing the bigger stories
by focusing their wrath on Scott McClellan's birdshot spin?
Lawyers Group Says Bush Exceeds His Powers
[found at Linkfilter]
The American Bar Association denounced President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program Monday, accusing him of exceeding his powers under the Constitution.
Zeitgeistfilter: Lumpen Leisure
and Welcome to Middle-Class Lockdown... Now Shut Up and Buy Something
-- two fine rants about our current state of disunion by James Howard Kuntsler, author of The Long Emergency
), and writer and Vietnam vet Joe Bageant
. "All over but the keening for our soon-to-be-lost machine world," Kunstler predicts in The American Conservative
, while Bageant taps the inner stream-of-unconsciousness for Dissident Voice
: "Things cannot be as bad as the alarmists say. They cannot be as bad as I often suspect they are. If there really were such a thing as global warming they would be starting to do something about it. And besides, even if it were true, science will find a way to fix it. If there really were genocide going on in so many places far more people would be concerned... If the earth were heating up we would surely notice it. If our soldiers and government agencies were torturing people around the world it would make the news. If millions were being exterminated, it would be more obvious, would it not?" (Kunstler's book previously discussed here
, Bageant here
What unites hardliners like Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh -- their uncompromisingly conservative take on politics? In a provocative blog post titled Do Bush followers have a political ideology?
, Glenn Greenwald persuasively argues otherwise. He believes that the conservative movement -- traditionally
against big government
, excessive spending
, and federal intrusion into the private lives of Americans
-- has been hijacked by something much more dangerous: an authoritarian cult
, or as Greenwald puts it, "a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate."
Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids
backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks
against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort
" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.
Top 12 media myths and falsehoods on the Bush administration's spying scandal
Summary: Media Matters presents the top 12 myths and falsehoods promoted by the media on President Bush's spying scandal stemming from the recent revelation in The New York Times that he authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on domestic communications without the required approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court.
"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on
in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," writes former CIA official Paul Pillar, coordinator of U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until 2005, in an article soon to appear in Foreign Affairs
, hardly a radical rag. More confirmation that Seymour Hersh was right about the administration "cherry-picking" intelligence
to justify a foregone conclusion to go to war in Iraq.
Abramoff says Bush is lying. "Having my picture taken with someone doesn't mean that I'm a friend with them or know them very well."
- George W. Bush, Jan. 26, 2006
"The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows."
- Jack Abramoff
Mr. Abramoff, who raised over $100,000 for the Bush campaign, also indicated that he was sent a personal invitation to stay at the President's Texas ranch.