Friday, January 07, 2005

"Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law, Accountability Office Decides"; Democracy Now!: Loaded Mouth; BuzzFlash; Ms. Musing and more Alberto's slip

The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Thursday that the Bush administration violated federal law by producing and distributing television news segments about the effects of drug use among young people.

The accountability office said the videos "constitute covert propaganda" because the government was not identified as the source of the materials, which were distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

From John Files' New York Times story (tucked inside the paper on page A11) Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law, Accountability Office Decides which tells us there is some accountability, there's just no "law enforcement powers" to this accountability.

From this morning's Democracy Now!:
Headlines for January 7, 2005

- Nine U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq
- French Journalist Still Missing in Baghdad
- Tsunami: Annan Tours Aceh
- Indonesian Military Beats Acehnese, Bars Journalists
- Mandela Son Dies of AIDS
- Palestinian Candidate Barghouti Detained Again by Israelis
- Neocon Bolton To Quit
- Klansman Arrested in 1964 Murders of Civil Rights Workers
Gonzales Grilled on Role in Torture at Confirmation Hearing

Alberto Gonzales' role in paving the legal groundwork that led to the torture of detainees in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay was the central focus of a Senate hearing yesterday, which is considering his nomination to succeed John Ashcroft as attorney general. Gonzales delivered more than seven hours of testimony, most of it responding to questions from Committee members on his role in setting the stage for the abuse of detainees. We hear excerpts of the hearing and speak with journalist Mark Danner of the New Yorker and author of Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. [includes rush transcript]
History in the Making: Dems Force Debate on Ohio Voting Irregularities

For only the second time in over a century, Congress debated certification of the Electoral College vote. The joint session vote tally was interrupted by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH) who, along with other House Democrats, mounted a challenge to Ohio's 20 electoral votes. The challenge was signed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), forcing the House and Senate to split and have a two-hour debate on voting irregularities. We hear excerpts of Republicans and Democrats in both chambers. [includes rush transcript - partial]
A heads up for web surfing this weekend, Why Are We Back In Iraq will be guest blogging at Loaded Mouth:

I'd also like to announce that I'm guest-blogging at Tas' Loaded Mouth this weekend. I've posted two articles there already, and although I jumped at the chance because I wanted to write about something else (not that I'm tired of writing about this, only that I feel it's important to stay on topic for-the-now HERE since the bigger bloggers don't really give a shit). But wouldn't you know it? Both of my posts on Tas' blog were still about this fraud of an election that nobody thinks they should care about (except us loony tuneheads). (

For those who've wondered in e-mails, Ms. Musing is back up and one of their posts tackles yesterday's historic moment:

“And I do have a senator.”

That was Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones yesterday declaring that Senator Barbara Boxer was joining the protest against OhioÂ’s election results, chiefly to draw attention to voter irregularities and disenfranchisement. (Feminist Majority Foundation has issued an action alert, calling on supporters to thank Boxer for taking a stand and to urge Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to take leadership roles in election reform.)

Watching C-SPAN, the moment came across as urgent and historical, particularly for anyone who remembers how events played out in 2000 -- when every black representative who sought a senatorÂ’s support was rebuffed.

Unfortunately, however, the urgency was short-lived. Armed with talking points titled "Propagandist Michael Moore and Democrats: Separated at birth!", Republicans were dismissive of concerns about voter irregularities. And few Democrats stepped up to show support (my love for my new senator, Barack Obama, continues to grow).     (

Here's an editorial you won't want to miss:

I think it's safe to say, from stitching together news accounts, that the Bush twins don't practice sexual abstinence, aren't teetotalers, and have indulged from time to time in marijuana use -- and that's just what we know.

Dear me, does that make them victims of the liberal press? Or does it just prove that if George and Laura can't get their own daughters to practice their calculated hypocritical political "values" that it is the Bush rhetoric that is out of sync with society?

We ask this rather obvious question because it leads into an important point, one that the right wing has been tossing out like red meat to culturally populist fundamentalist Christian carnivores for years. You know, the guys who read Playboy, watch raunchy FOX television programming, swear in front of their kids, go to Hooters -- and then nod when the preacher discusses how depraved American society has become.

The American press isn't liberal. It is merely secular and modern, which does indeed make it "liberal" to the right wing amen chorus that sings in the GOP gospel pundit and think tank choir. If it's not pre-enlightenment and creationist in its outlook, it's "liberal."  (

That's the opening of BuzzFlash's latest editorial (remember, they're doing one a day in the lead up to the inauguration).  Make time to read it.

And I'll note an editorial (for the second time this week) from the New York Times.  A number of you are e-mailing about the duties of the White House counsel Mr. Gonzales Speaks :

Even his vows of allegiance to the rule of law were rather peculiar. He said that as White House counsel, he had represented "only the White House," while as attorney general, he "would have a far broader responsibility: to pursue justice for all the people of our great nation, to see that the laws are enforced in a fair and impartial manner for all Americans." We thought that was also the obligation of the president and his staff.

Hopefully, the New York Times editorial board better illuminates Gonzales' "slip" as we've called it on this site.

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