Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Other Items

"I think they were way out of line."

So Raymond Hernandez quotes Scott McClellan in "White House Strikes Back on 'Plantation' Remark" (New York Times). Thus Spake Scotty.

On what exactly? On the issue of the Bully Boy lying us into war? No. On the issue of Republicans cheering Alito's nonanswers to the Senate Judiciary Committee? No. On the issue of those 'hurtful' rumors about Rick Perry that his mother's rumored to be toying with reviving?
No. How about the illegal spying on Americans that the Bully Boy implemented? No. Alright then, what about what some call the "conspiracy" monerging of Scotty's own father? (For those who don't know, the mainstream media hasn't been too interested in addressing the issue of Scotty's father, he claims in a book that LBJ was part of the conspirarcy to kill JFK.) (Obviously the blackout on that is not to make Scotty look better but to protect a "child" -- Scotty.)

Again the answer comes back no.

What has Scotty in a snit is Hillary Clinton's remarks comparing the current policies of the Republican-led . . . everything to a plantation. We know Hillary's wrong on that because noted 'civil rights activist' Trent Lott weighs in that it's "just vicious kind of language." This from the man whose own racial "sensitivity" is the reason Bill Frist now holds the spot of Majority Leader in the Senate. (For now, anyway.)

Like Tracey Schmitt, Scotty can make whatever remark he chooses and the press runs with it.
Their history of being wrong is never examined. And a serious probe on where Scotty fits in with his "colorful" family is about as likely as a mainstream reporter noting that he continues to pack on serious pounds with each passing year. (Why do you think Bully Boy once moaned, in Canada, that another Scotty was cuter?)

Hernandez is much more interested in Hillary and demonstrates the sort of interest he has in her when, in his second article, he uses the term "trolling." About the only fact you'll learn from Hernandez is that Donnie Fowler apaprently now wants to be called "Don Fowler."

[CORRECTION: We didn't learn that. I was wrong. As noted in the DN! post:

First, as has been pointed out in phone calls this morning, Donnie Fowler is still Donnie Fowler. "Don Fowler" isn't Donnie (in this morning's Times). "Don" is Donald Fowler. No one can figure out when he became "Don" to the Times.]

But you will get all sorts of whispering and allegations. The paper that still can't address reality when it comes to the current White House never misses an opportunity to slime Hillary Clinton.

I was going to avoid both articles because Hillary's stance on the war makes me the last to want to defend her but this is shoddy journalism that continues the paper's long pattern of running with any and every whisper they could about Bill or Hillary Clinton. (The paper of record, for those who've forgotten, "trolled" in the Vince Foster rumors via William Safire's columns.)

Hernandez offers the no attributed claim that "In fact, Mrs. Clinton and her advisers appear to have figured out a narrow strategy of how to run for president without actually running for president" but, via his hurried pace, readers may be forgiven for assuming that Don Fowler (nee Donnie) was the source for this.

It's interesting that Hernandez's approach to reality is allowed to see print in the paper. Lots of sliming in the second article that has no attribution of any kind. Someone should suggest to Paul Begala that his "help" is neither not sought nor needed. And all involved would do well to stop speaking of "possibly" when a Times hitman comes calling attempting to portray Hillary Clinton as someone less than sincere about representing New York as their senator from 2006 until 2012.

(Note, nothing above is an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for Senator in 2006. She was, however, slimed and some "helpers" aided the Times by speaking of possibilities. Stick to the facts when it comes to the Times or, better yet, hang up the phone. Something hard for a long faded "name" to do apparently.)

Zach notes Robert Parry's "Is Bush Stupid -- Or Is America?" (Consortium News):

Many Americans believe George W. Bush is uninformed, simpleminded and, in a single word, stupid. But there is a different way to look at the evidence and conclude that while Bush may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, it is he who thinks the American people are the real dullards.
After all, Bush is the one who explains the "facts" about current events as if he’s speaking to people with the mental capacity of a five-year-old. He also assumes -- with some justification -- that his listeners don't mind being misled and lied to, as long as he gives them some bromides that make them feel good.
Regarding the Iraq War and the War on Terror, Bush has mastered a few talking points that sound pleasing but are essentially nonsense -- and he then repeats them endlessly to appreciative audiences as he did on Jan. 11 in Louisville, Kentucky.
For instance, Bush served up the old canard about how before Sept. 11, 2001, Americans felt they were protected by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but afterwards they realized they faced a unique danger that required sacrifice of civil liberties at home and "preemptive" wars against potential enemies abroad.
"You know, when I was growing up, or other Baby Boomers here were growing up, we felt safe because we had these vast oceans that could protect us from harm's way," Bush told the "town hall" participants in Louisville.
"September the 11th changed all that. And so I vowed that we would take threats seriously. If we saw a threat, we would take threats seriously before they fully materialized. And I saw a threat in Saddam Hussein."
The premise to this argument, however, is completely false. No Baby Boomer, who grew up with drills for hiding under desks in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack, felt safe because of the two oceans. Americans of all ages knew that intercontinental ballistic missiles could snuff out their lives in minutes.
Bush must know this reality, too, but his lie about the two oceans lets him suggest that the Sept. 11 attacks represented a completely new kind of danger, which, in turn, justified setting aside centuries of American traditions and giving Bush vast powers as the nation's "
unitary executive."
Democracy & Peace
Then, there’s Bush’s argument equating democracy and peace, a claim that is the rhetorical underpinning of his entire Middle East strategy, which holds that democracy in Iraq will spread across the region and spell doom for Islamic extremism.
"It's hard for some in our country to connect the rise of democracy with peace," Bush said in Louisville. "History has proven that democracies yield the peace."
But again -- while it may be nice to think of democracies as inherently peaceful -- the historical reality is often quite different.

On the topic of highlights, send whatever you want; however, I'll make the editorial choice not to note any Sunny-Side-of-the-Street/It's-not-that-bad highlights between now and the 24th. I'm not in the mood for it and the community's not in the mood for it (94% of respondents to Gina and Krista's poll taken Monday). Thanks go to Gina and Krista who only thought Friday's roundtable ended the special editions of their round-robin. As with yesterday (and Monday), you'll find a new gina & krista round-robin in your inboxes this morning. Wally and Cedric helped out last night. Wally may not post (or may post late) as a result. Cedric takes Wednesdays off for church responsibilities. Tuesday is usually a posting night for Cedric and I appreciate he and Wally giving of their time for the round-robin. Rebecca, Ty, Jess, Ava and Jim will be helping out with the one that will go out Thursday morning. Dona, Elaine, Trina and Mike will help with the one going out Friday morning. Short of all sites going dark while we address this issue over the next few days, we'll have to work out a schedule. And the work involved in that may mean, as happened last night, that there's not an evening post up here.
The community is behind stopping Alito's ascencion to the Court and Gina and Krista are willing to put themselves out and do a daily round-robin. Nina, Eli, Martha, Shirley, Brad, Kara, Ruth, Tracey and Jayson are participating with each edition. If other members would like to help contact Krista today or Gina tomorrow. Kayla has a piece in today's round-robin about how she's organizing her community. Thank you to everyone who's getting active and thank you especially to Gina and Krista. They are taking no days off between now and the 24th. (And since I'll be helping with that, posts may be late going up here, especially on Sunday.) Betty rushed a chapter (her words, I think it's funny and to the point) up last night so that she could focus on helping out with each edition, something Kat is also doing. This should go without saying for this community but in case anyone's thinking of doing something but hasn't thus far, please get active, make your voices heard as a "NO!" against Alito and motivate your friends and family to get active as well.

This didn't get forwarded in time to make this morning's round-robin, so we'll note it now. From NOW:

Alito Must Not Be Confirmed - Demand a Filibuster Today
Call Your Senators
By the time the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Samuel Alito ended last week, Judge Alito had dodged so many questions that we knew little more about his judicial philosophy than we had before they started. Even so, Judge Alito's unwillingness to stipulate that Roe v. Wade is "settled law", as recently confirmed Chief Justice Roberts had, puts a woman's right to choose in great peril. This factor alone should be enough for Senators to vote against his nomination.
Due to the current balance of power in the Senate (55 Republicans, 44 Democrats), we do not have the necessary 51 "no" votes to defeat Alito outright. So the only way for senators to block confirmation is for them to launch a filibuster -- which can only be ended if 60 of the 100 senators vote to stop the filibuster and proceed to a vote on the nomination. In other words, IF there is a filibuster, 41 senators can block the nomination. But without a filibuster, those same 41 votes would not be sufficient to stop Alito -- so the "no" votes are meaningless in terms of the final outcome, unless there is a filibuster.
Make the message to your senators clear: Our nation needs them to do more than vote no. They must support a filibuster in order to prevent Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Please call your Senators today and ask them to support a filibuster in opposition to this nomination. A no vote without a filibuster is a meaningless gesture. Our Senators' commitment to women's rights is a hollow shell if they will not fight to preserve them.
Talking Points for Calls
It is very clear that Judge Alito does not consider Roe v. Wade "settled law".
This factor alone should be enough for Senators to vote against his nomination.
We need them to do more than vote no.
Ask them to support a filibuster in opposition to this nomination.
A "no" vote without a filibuster is a meaningless gesture.
Our Senators' commitment to women's rights is a hollow shell if they will not fight to preserve them.
More information on Alito's record is available
If you're having trouble getting through at the local number, try the Senate Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
Call your Senators

Rod passes on the scheduled topics for today's Democracy Now!:

* Eugene McCarthy and his significance
* Haiti and the role of the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy

The e-mail address for this site is