Friday, October 07, 2005

Other items

I wasn't in the mood for the Bully Boy's latest nonsense. I see David E. Sanger's byline and cringe (he's earned his stripes in the Elite Fluff Patrol). But I try to have a little hope as I read through "10 Plots Foiled Since Sept. 11, Bush Declares" in this morning's New York Times. Surely, I wrongly think, even Fluffer Sanger won't be as willing to reach over and fluff the Bully, right?

Wrong. One of the "10 plots" is the supposed Jose Padilla case. A case that's not been heard in any of court law. To this day. And Sanger's speaking of it being "well known." (Guess his arm was tired from the fluffing he gave the Bully Boy.) (Fluff was originally used in the sense I knew the word. ??? e-mailed last week to inform me that a "fluffer" is also a term for someone on a porn shoot who helps the male remain . . . standing.) Why the Times printed this b.s. is beyond me. (Claims that they can't independently verify no matter how they kid themselves by letting an anonymice out of its cage.)

Bully Boy wants to distract us again. He's trotting out the disproven connection between 9/11 and Iraq yet again. (Fluffer Sanger doesn't note that either. His arm must have been really tired.)

Here's a tip for Fluffer Sanger. Actually, here are two tips. First, wear a white shirt in case the mountain/moehill erupts while you fluff because bleach will get those stains out easily. (Remember to wear gloves in these days of safe play.) Second, if you feel the need to repeat the Bully Boy's empty words on bin Laden, then it's probably your job to note earlier empty words -- "Dead or alive." Never happened, did it?

Bully Boy's polls continue to tank. He wants a little loving and apparently he need a little ego stroking -- Sanger's a boy happy to stroke as he demonstrates in this morning's article.

10 Plots! Bully Boy screams, 10!

One wonders why he didn't toss in his bicycle accidents and the pretzel mishap so he could reach a higher number. Then again, ten may be the highest number he can comprehend.

While Elite Fluff Patrol member Sanger's allowed to stroke the Bully Boy at length, Philip Shenon's reduced to five (check my math) paragraphs with "Outside Inquiry Sought on Prosecutor's Demotion:"

The ranking Democrats on three House committees called Thursday for an outside investigator to determine why a prosecutor in Guam was demoted in 2002 after opening a criminal investigation of Jack Abramoff, the Washington lobbyist now at the center of a federal corruption investigation.
[. . .]
Colleagues said Mr. Black's reassignment in November 2002 resulted in the collapse of the investigation in Guam, where Mr. Abramoff had a lucrative lobbying practice. Law-enforcement officials have confirmed that the Justice Department's inspector general, the department's independent watchdog, opened an investigation in recent weeks into the circumstances of Mr. Black's demotion.

Which story is a really news? That Bully Boy staged another production of Scaring America or the Abramoff issue? If Sanger were an entertainment writer, to provide an illustation, he'd be gushing over the new season of 7th Heaven. That's how pertinent Sanger's 28 paragraphs of drippings are. (Again, check my math.)

In other real issues (yes, the Times covers a few real issues today besides Shenon's article), we'll note Eric Lichtblau and Ronald Smothers' "New Spy Case Revives Concerns Over Security at F.B.I.:"

The widening investigation into an F.B.I. analyst suspected of passing intelligence to the Philippines is raising new concerns about the bureau's vulnerabilities in protecting its secrets from internal espionage.
After the Robert Hanssen spy scandal in 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began a major overhaul of its internal security to prevent employees from pilfering secret records. Among the measures was the increased use of internal computer audits to spot employees like Mr. Hanssen who might be reading records they had no reason to review.
But Leandro Aragoncillo, hired last year as an analyst for the bureau at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, N.J., appears to have done just that for months without being noticed, officials say. Mr. Aragoncillo is accused of improperly combing the computer system to print or download 101 classified documents on the Philippines, including 37 marked "secret," and passing the information to Manila in his native country.
Investigators for the bureau say they suspect that he may have also improperly gained access to classified material when he worked at the White House as a Marine aide to the vice president's office under Dick Cheney and Al Gore.

Billie e-mails to note Ralph Blumenthal's "Questions Linger on Role of Miers in a Contract to Run the Texas Lottery:"

To this day, partisans in Texas argue over whether Ms. Miers was seeking to stamp out corruption at the Lottery Commission during her tenure or was trying to curb Democratic influence over one of the world's most lucrative lotteries.
Mr. Bush himself, in choosing Ms. Miers for the Supreme Court, specifically cited her service on the Lottery Commission, saying that the panel "needed a leader of unquestioned integrity" and that she "delivered results." Administration officials suggested that Ms. Miers had been sent to the commission to clean it up at a troubled time.
But Charles E. Soechting, the current state Democratic Party chairman and a lawyer for Ms. Linares, said that at the time Mr. Bush named Ms. Miers to the commission, the lottery was highly regarded and at its revenue peak. "She was on a mission to clean the office of Nora Linares," Mr. Soechting said.
Questions about that period could come up at Ms. Miers's confirmation hearings. Contacted by phone in New York, Mr. Littwin said this week that under a settlement he could not discuss his case but that he would testify before the Senate if called. A Democratic staff member at the Senate Judiciary Committee said the panel was likely to talk to him and others who had worked with Ms. Miers.

B-b-b-ut, Todd S. Purdum, leading with his smelly jock, said there was no "there" there. As we noted earlier this week:

Is Todd trying to get a job at People? "It has been a long time since Ms. Miers lacked encouragement!" The first clause of the sentence screams for an exclamation point. Breathless writing?
You bet. Who can breathe when the fumes from Todd S. Purdum's smelly jock are wafting all around!
It gets better!

Ms. Miers has been a go-to person for Mr. Bush ever since, first as his appointee to the Texas State Lottery Commission, which she helped clean up; then as White House staff secretary, directing the flow of . . .

She helped clean it up!
Uh, Todd, get your fingers out of your jock and pick up the morning edition of your own paper.
Blumenthal's a little less sure than you are. Todd. Todd! Quit sniffing your fingers and read Blumenthal's article.

Well "clean it up," I mean . . . Really, considering the stench from his own filthy jock, does anyone really think Todd S. Purdum knows the first thing about "cleaning"? Come on. Blumenthal delivers the slap down for the second time this week. (He must be well out of range of the fumes de jock of Todd.)

Walk on,

Francisco e-mails to note Craig Aaron's "Standard Issues" (In These Times):

The Standard’s 1997 cover story, "Saddam Must Go," by Kristol and Robert Kagan, is widely credited with planting the seeds for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. After 9/11, the Standard--amplified by the megaphone of Murdoch’s media empire--started pointing the finger at Iraq. (On the very afternoon of the terrorist attacks, Kristol told NPR, "I think Iraq is, actually, the big unspoken sort of elephant in the room today.") And as late as November 2003, the Standard was still pushing a Saddam–Al Qaeda connection on its cover (headline: "Case Closed").
That’s a lot of fodder for the Standard's 10th anniversary issue, which asked a number of longtime contributors to ponder the following question: "On what issue or issues (if any!) have you changed your mind in the last 10 years--and why?" But for the most part, the Standard-bearers are staying the course.
Kagan--wondering what happened to all his fellow warmongers--scolds them with a quote from Thucydides: "I am the same man and do not alter, it is you who change, since in fact you took my advice while unhurt, and waited for misfortune to repent of it." (Kagan, though, overlooked the opening line of the quoted passage: "For those of course who have a free choice in the matter and whose fortunes are not at stake, war is the greatest of follies.")

Francisco: If this is highlighted, yesterday's visitor should note that if he or she has any problems with what is written about Robert Kagan, the person to take them up with is Craig Aaron and the publication is In These Times. If the visitor reads this, please stop wasting the community's time on things that never were said here. Thank you.

Lori e-mails to note Al Gore's "American Democracy in Trouble: It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse" (Common Dreams):

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.
How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?
I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
At first I thought the exhaustive, non-stop coverage of the O.J. trial was just an unfortunate excess that marked an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our television news media. But now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsessions that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time.
Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? And does it feel right to have no ongoing discussion of whether or not this abhorrent, medieval behavior is being carried out in the name of the American people? If the gap between rich and poor is widening steadily and economic stress is mounting for low-income families, why do we seem increasingly apathetic and lethargic in our role as citizens?
On the eve of the nation's decision to invade Iraq, our longest serving senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, stood on the Senate floor asked: "Why is this chamber empty? Why are these halls silent?"
The decision that was then being considered by the Senate with virtually no meaningful debate turned out to be a fateful one. A few days ago, the former head of the National Security Agency, Retired Lt. General William Odom, said, "The invasion of Iraq, I believe, will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history."
But whether you agree with his assessment or not, Senator Byrd's question is like the others that I have just posed here: he was saying, in effect, this is strange, isn't it? Aren't we supposed to have full and vigorous debates about questions as important as the choice between war and peace?
Those of us who have served in the Senate and watched it change over time, could volunteer an answer to Senator Byrd's two questions: the Senate was silent on the eve of war because Senators don't feel that what they say on the floor of the Senate really matters that much any more. And the chamber was empty because the Senators were somewhere else: they were in fundraisers collecting money from special interests in order to buy 30-second TVcommercials for their next re-election campaign.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was - at least for a short time - a quality of vividness and clarity of focus in our public discourse that reminded some Americans - including some journalists - that vividness and clarity used to be more common in the way we talk with one another about the problems and choices that we face. But then, like a passing summer storm, the moment faded.

Lastly, check out BuzzFlash's GOP Hypocrite of the Week's winner:

Take for example the latest nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Bush told a news conference that she was the best person he could find for America. Well, the truth is that she was the best person that he could find to ensure the maintenance of Republican one-party rule and the Imperial GOP Presidency. He also knows that any woman that thinks he is the most brilliant person around would throw out any convictions against him or his staff.

??? e-mails to note that BuzzFlash is carrying a book by Scott Ritter (introduction by Seymour Hersh) entitled Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein.

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