Saturday, December 27, 2003

If the people lead, the leaders will follow 

Here's the headline in WaPo:

Questions swirl around Dean

Let's watch MW Dan Balz as he goes to work!

Rarely has a front-runner begun an election year with as many questions swirling around him as [Dean,] the man who rewrote the rules in presidential politics the past 12 months.

Right, Dan. Because the MW's never asked Bush any questions in 2000. Nothing about his desertion from the National Guard, nothing about torturing small animals, nothing about Harken, nothing about the Ranger land deal, nothing about his policies... Too busy clowning about Gore, I guess.

It's a nice lede, though—if you don't recognize it for the crock it is.

Up to now, Dean has benefited from a divided field. As he has surged, his rivals have struggled for attention and money. The compressed primary-caucus calendar, designed by Democratic Party leaders to deliver an early nominee to leave plenty of time for the Democrats to prepare for the November general election, gives Dean an advantage, considering his superior financial esources.

Right. And where and why did Dean find those resources, Dan? Under a cabbage leaf? The knock on Dean is that he appeals to Democratic activists only, but the numbers show he's also bringing in people who have never been involved in politics before (and if he can do that with Latinos, the Dems can write off the old Confederacy.)

Although doubts about Dean have been loudest here [DC], there is general agreement that the party establishment is not capable of mounting a stop-Dean movement. "What establishment?" one Democrat said sarcastically. "The only thing that could have an impact is if Bill Clinton came out and said, I don't appreciate a repudiation of my administration.

Right. Who's repudiating the Big Dog? Not Dean. He'd ask Clinton to be his ambassador to the middle East; and he may have a chance to put across the universal health care that Hillary couldn't. So what's the problem here?

The real issue is that the party establishment blew it. Worse, they know it, but they won't admit it. Gutless, feckless Beltway Dems, they blew it. They blew it on homeland security; had the solution, and let Bush steal their clothes on the DHS. They blew it on education, as "No Child Left Behind" sets the public schools up for failure to bring in vouchers. They blew it in on the war, where even Kerry admits that though he was lied to, he trusted Bush at the time (after a stolen election, they trusted Bush?) They blew it on the mid-term, where the country rightly concluded that a party that couldn't defend itself against Bush couldn't be trusted to defend the country. Then they blew it on Medicare, by somehow managing to lose the AARP. They blew it on the energy bill. And they're going to blow it on overtime when Congress reconvenes. So in time-honored DC fashion, they're shooting the messenger.

Dean isn't repudiating Clinton's policies. He's saying new tactics are needed. Triangulation doesn't work anymore (see above) because the Republicans, having achieved a level of discipline appropriate to a parliamentary democracy, have no incentive to give Democrats anything (see above). Unfortunately, playing these tactics is what funds the Beltway Dems—making Dean's new model of Internet funding all the more threatening to them. Dean's record as a pragmatic centrist in Vermont ought to be music to these guy's ears; it's really Dean's funding and organization that threatens them, since it renders (what little) power they have even less relevant.

"Democratic Party activists, whatever their ideological perspective, have a view that their leaders have been completely ineffective in combating President Bush," one Democratic strategist said. "The leaders have a view that either they're doing the best they can or that more clever centrism is better or they need someone with a military background at the head of the party."

RIght. And the view of the activists would be wrong, why? C'mon, Dan, I thought this was an analysis piece, not a not-for-attribution grab-bag of quotes!

Al From, who heads the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, credited Dean with running a successful campaign but questioned whether he can effectively lead the party as nominee. "We need to lay out a reason to replace Bush," From said. "We can't just depend on the fact that the activists in our party are angry at him and like Dean. There aren't enough of them."

Dan, any Presidential candidate who isn't angry isn't paying attention and doesn't have the temperament to be President. As for tired and toothless Al "Dog in the Manger" From, one hardly knows where to begin. How about universal health care as a policy? Sweet Jeebus, Al, this "anger" thing is a Republican meme, not a Democratic one!

As with so many of the anti-Dean screeds, you have to get to the last graf to see signs of rationality (the TNR's "Beyond Belief" piece is an example of this). Here it is:

But another centrist leader, Simon B. Rosenberg of the New Democratic Network, said party leaders here should recognize what Dean has done. "The Washington party is a failed party, and Dean's criticism of the Washington party is incredibly accurate," he said. "We're completely out of power and heading for permanent minority status if we don't start modernizing the party. Dean has been a modernizer and innovator, and should be embraced for it. Instead he's being attacked for doing it differently."

Damn right!

Dan, where's the analysis? DId you just phone this one in? Anyone can string together some random quotes! Is Dean a modernizer and an innovator? Why finish just when you should start? Too much like work?

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the editorial page keeps the anti-Dean drumbeat pounding:

Yet we are troubled by aspects of Mr. Dean's character and personality. ...

Yawn. I bet. Like Dean tortured small animals as a child, or lied his way into a war as an adult? What kind of character is the Post looking for, anyhow? Puh-leeze ...

Declaring victory and getting out 

The deadline is July 1, 2004, writes says WaPo:

"There's no question that many of the big-picture items have been pushed down the list or erased completely," said a senior U.S. official involved in Iraq's reconstruction, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Right now, everyone's attention is focused [on] doing what we need to do to hand over sovereignty by next summer."
e to
Just in time for the election! Yes, you've got to hand it to these guys—they can turn on a dime. Wonder how they'll be able to get the scripted coverage they've been getting if they no longer control the Iraqi media ....

Times editorialists wring their hands at what they wrought 

Here's the original. But you don't need to read it; I've shortened it:

Bush has always been a corporate shill, and he treated the social and small government conservatives as "useful idiots" to get elected. Once in office, he started throwing cash to the corporations that bought him his office like tomorrow will never come. He's not throwing cash to anyone else, though.

What a surprise! Who knew?

You know, we're still waiting on the apology from the Times "public editor" on the Whitewater reporting that did so much to transmit winger memes into mainstream discourse and hasten the VWRC coup that culminated in Florida 2000. Jason Blair? A piker! Are you going to handle this, Mr. Okrent, or keep putting Band-Aids on the cancer.

Burbling Brooks 

Here's the review David "I'm Writing as Bad as I Can" Brooks did of The Bell Curve (thanks to alert reader ari).

I like the part about "terrible vision." I guess it must not seem so terrible to Mr. Brooks now, eh?

Blame Canada! Blame Canada! 

Bush and Rove via the USDA AP:

Investigators tentatively traced the first U.S. cow with mad cow disease to Canada, which could help determine the scope of the outbreak and might even limit the economic damage to the American beef industry.

Reuters via Forbes:

"It would be premature to draw such a conclusion at this time ... As yet, there is no definitive evidence that confirms that the BSE-infected cow originated in Canada," chief Canadian veterinarian Dr Brian Evans told a news conference.

I'd like to believe the USDA. But since they are POTL , that's hard to do.

American officials originally said the infected animal was 41/2 years old. But the ear tag identification linking the cow to an Alberta herd is for an animal born in April 1997 -- making it 61/2 years old.

“No ear tag is tamper-proof, ear tags can be removed and reapplied, but again, we’re not intimating that that in fact is the circumstance here,” said Evans.

“What we’re suggesting is that we need to verify, using scientific methods such as DNA, that the animal that left Canada with that ear tag is in fact the animal that the U.S. is pursuing at this point.”

Of course, the real villain is not the farmer, but our corporatized food supply. Buy locally!

UPDATE: Read up on the Slow food movement.

That SCLM... 


President Bush's most-feared political opponents for now may not be Democratic presidential candidates, but a billionaire financier and anti-Bush advocacy groups with big-spending plans.

Funny thing! I don't recall seeing any reportage that read like this:

President Clinton's most-feared political opponents for now may not be Republican Senators and representatives, but a billionaire financier [Scaife] and right wing advocacy groups with big-spending plans.

Gosh, I wonder why?

Notice the negative spin of "anti-Bush," too. As if these groups weren't for, oh, civil liberties, the Constitution, a sane foreign policy, universal health care ... Of course, getting rid of Bush is the first step to achieving any of these goals,. but "anti-Bush" is a real and typical mischaracterization.

Where is the money in Iraq reconstruction? 

Surprise! Nobody really knows.

Jackie Spinner and Arianna Cha of WaPo give the details.

The board is appointed by Bremer and has only one Iraqi member, who hardly ever shows up:

The 11-member Program Review Board, a mini-Congress of sorts for the occupation government in its power to allocate money. The board -- comprising mostly Americans, Britons and Australians -- was appointed by L. Paul Bremer, the top administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. ... There is only one Iraqi member, Finance Minister Kamil Mubdir Gailani. According to minutes from 20 meetings from Aug. 12 to Nov. 8, he attended just one session. The CPA said it is working "to better accommodate everyone's schedule."

Right. "Scheduling conflicts." How odd, since the board controls a lot of money, including Iraqi money.

It uses Iraqi money that includes oil revenue and seized assets from the Hussein era to pay for projects not anticipated by the country's budget. So far the board has approved more than $4 billion in such spending.

Meanwhile, the legal status of the PRB is so unclear that no agencies have agreed to review it.

The occupation authority's legal standing has led to some confusion. For example, the General Accounting Office, which reviews federal contract disputes, said that because the CPA isn't a federal agency it wasn't sure it had the authority to review a protest lodged by a company that lost a bid for a reconstruction contract. The Pentagon inspector general, looking at the same issue, dropped it for the same reason.

No announcements are made of when contracts are awarded, and no minutes are available.

Meetings of the review board aren't public and there are no transcripts. Abbreviated minutes of meetings since August have been posted on the Internet, but they do not include information on more than 200 projects approved from May to mid-August. There's no description of the discussions leading to a decision.

FInally, the process is politically wired.

Getting an audience before the Program Review Board often requires a confluence of good luck and good connections. There are thousands of proposals floating around, but only a few of them are seen by the board.

Let's review: an appointed board, spending Iraqi money (but without Iraqis present), no audits, no minutes, and you have to know someone to get a seat at the table!

A typical example of Bush crony capitalism!

The PRB looks like a real candidate for a full-up Where is the money analysis. In our system, whenever there's no accountability, you get slush funds, money laundering, Iran-Contra...

NOTE: Kudos to WaPo for allowing some real reporting to be done on this explosive subject.

Why is anyone worrying about the DLC when the Beltway Dems lost the Senate in 2002 by being wussy with Bush? 

Just asking.


More proof we're succeeding:

Rebels unleashed a coordinated assault on military bases and the governor's office in the southern city of Karbala on Saturday, killing 13 people - including six soldiers from the U.S.-led occupation force and six Iraqi police officers - and wounding at least 172, officials said.

The nice-guy anti-Dean meme: He's a Teflon candidate 

Atrios already identified "pessimism" as a bullet point on the RNC's anti-Dean blast faxes.

That bullet comes from the Republican dark (or should I say darker) force of Ingraham, Matalin, and North.

Here's a subtler, more seemingly innocuous anti-Dean meme: Dean is a Teflon candidate. From Mark Barabak of the LA Times writes:

When Howard Dean appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press," the reviews were scathing, with most pundits calling the interview earlier this year a disaster. But others saw it differently. Traffic on Dean's Web site soared, and he collected more than $100,000 in the next 24 hours.

When Dean suggested America was no safer with Saddam Hussein in custody, rivals in the Democratic presidential contest seized on his comments as a major gaffe. But days later, more than 30 New Jersey lawmakers — joined by Gov. James E. McGreevey — elbowed onto a packed stage to endorse him.

The former Vermont governor has millions in the bank, more than any Democrat running, and a legion of followers, linked by the Internet, who crowd campaign events from Manchester, N.H., to Yuma, Ariz.

But there is one advantage that has proved even more valuable for the impulsive and irrepressible Dean: a Teflon coating.

Sweet Jeebus! Does it never occur to any of these pundits that voters:

  • Like what Dean says

  • Like the way that he says it

  • and are backing their opinions with bucks?

It's the DGB factor... The SCLM just can't account for it...

Burbling Brooks 

David "I'm writing as bad as I can" Brooks opines in the Times:

[Philosopher Michael Oakeshott] believed we should cope with the complex reality around us by adventuring out into the world, by playfully confronting the surprises and the unpredictability of it all. But we should always guard against the sin of intellectual pride, which leads to ideological thinking. Oakeshott's doctrine was that no doctrine could properly describe the world.

So, what is Brooks's example of playfully confronting surprise with non-ideological thinking? You'll never guess—the Iraqi war:

I tell Oakeshott that the Americans and Iraqis are now involved in an Oakeshottian enterprise. They are muddling through, devising shambolic, ad hoc solutions to fit the concrete realities, and that we'll learn through bumbling experience. In the building of free societies, every day feels like a mess, but every year is a step forward.


Tell that to the troops who died because Bush couldn't get them kevlar.

Classy column though. Hijacking a Brit philosopher to turn bad planning into a virtue—now that's something.

NOTE: The long-gone, much lamented Spy magazine often critiqued Abe "I'm writing as bad as I can" Rosenthal. We should be so lucky as to have Rosenthal back today; say what one would of him, he wasn't a whore.

Friday, December 26, 2003

I'm optimistic! 

From The Times:

In Crawford, Tex., the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, said it was "kind of early to determine the economic impact." Seeking to assuage the public's fear, he said President Bush "has eaten beef in the last couple of days."

And deeply, deeply assuaged.

Say, have they arrested the felon in the White House who blew Plame's cover, yet? 

Dana Milbank does his best with a story buried on the Friday after Christmas:

According to administration officials and people familiar with some of the interviews, FBI agents apparently started their White House questioning with top figures -- including President Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove -- and then worked down to more junior officials. The agents appear to have a great deal of information and have constructed detailed chronologies of various officials' possible tie to the leak, people familiar with the questioning said.

Weird. I thought the usual tactic was to get the little guys first, and have them turn on the bog guys. When they start at the top, with Rove, gee, it's almost like they're getting instructions or something...

Meanwhile, WH law-breaking continues:

But sources said the CIA believes that people in the administration continue to release classified information to damage the figures at the center of the controversy, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his wife, Valerie Plame, who was exposed as a CIA officer by unidentified senior administration officials for a July 14 column by Robert D. Novak.

The unidentified officials whom the FBI started the investigation with...

White House officials profess to be unconcerned about the outcome of the investigation. Some administration officials said they believe charges will eventually result, although it could be as long from now as 2005. A Republican legal source who has had detailed conversations about the matter with White House officials said he "doesn't get any sense at all that they're worried or concerned, or that they're covering up."

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

Say, how's the 9/11 commission report coming?

If this be pessimism let us make the most of it  

Atrios nails it (I hope not, actually), tracing the origin of the "Dean is pessimistic" meme back to WW's Ingraham and Matalin, and predicting the future course ot the infection through the mainstream media.

Better pessimistic than delusional, or a liar, a deserter, a careless executioner, or a torturer of small animals.

Ownership society 

A trial balloon for the SOTU. (Kuttner explains in the LA Times.)

See, in an "ownership society" there are people that are owned—winger pundits, media whores, oh, anyone with an employment contract... And things that do the owning: Large corporations.

The role of government is to help as few things own as many people as possible.


If they can send one Republican to the moon, why can't they send all of them? 

The WH is starting to leak its campaign plans. Being POTL, the leaks are all lies, but which lie is most like the truth? Who knows.

Anyhow, Bush wants to show he's a usurper, not a ... No, a uniter! That's it, a uniter!

So the White House is trying to think of a stunt to make people believe this, and introduce it in the SOTU:

But Mr. Bush, some of his own strategists and advisers said, has a long way to go if he wants to avoid being portrayed as a divisive figure who motivates Democrats to vote against him. As a result, the White House is considering using the State of the Union address to propose a big new national goal that would not be partisan or ideological and would help rally the country behind Mr. Bush's leadership, an outside adviser to the administration said. The possibilities floated by the White House include a major initiative for the space program or an ambitious health care goal like increasing life expectancies.

"They want to have the president talk about an important national goal that is big and a unifying theme," the adviser said.


And keep the specifics out of the SOTU! We don't want another 16 words fiasco!

It's morning again in... India 

Bob Hebert of the Times opines:

"Offshoring" and "outsourcing" are two of the favored euphemisms for shipping work overseas. I.B.M. prefers the term "global sourcing." Whatever you call it, the expansion of this practice from manufacturing to the higher-paying technical and white-collar levels is the latest big threat to employment in the U.S.

Years ago, when concern was being expressed about the shipment of factory jobs to places with slave wages, hideous working conditions and even prison labor, proponents said there was nothing to worry about. Exporting labor-intensive jobs would make U.S. companies more competitive, leading to increased growth and employment, and higher living standards. They advised U.S. workers to adjust, to become better educated and skillful enough to thrive in a new world of employment, where technology and the ability to process information were crucial components.

Well, the workers whose jobs are now threatened at I.B.M. and similar companies across the U.S. are well educated and absolute whizzes at processing information. But they are nevertheless in danger of following the well-trodden path of their factory brethren to lower-wage work, or the unemployment line.

So if this is a recovery, where are the jobs?


Seems like the only growth area these days is being a winger pundit or a media whore. I wonder why that is?

Bush proposes Individual Meat Accounts (IMAs) to deal with mad cow 

They give you a tax credit on a freezer, see ...

It's all part of being an ownership society (another rial balloon for the SOTU. As if after last year's fiasco, we'd believe anything in it.)

Thursday, December 25, 2003

There's no "W" in "safety" ... 

Why would that be, I wonder?
Latest casualties:

As Iraqis and occupation soldiers began their Christmas celebrations on Wednesday and early Thursday, guerrilla fighters unleashed a string of intense rocket and bomb attacks across the country, killing at least four American soldiers and six Iraqi civilians and wounding dozens of people, military and government officials said.

Bush: the ineffectual killer 

Honestly, I'm not making this up. Peter Bergen of WaPo writes:

President Bush reportedly keeps photos of the 20 or so top terrorists in his desk, and when one of them is apprehended or killed writes an X through his picture.

Golly. Can you imagine FDR, Truman, Lincoln—any great wartime President—doing this?1 Combine this with Bush torturing small animals (I'm not making this up either) and you've got a portrait of a deeply disturbed individual.

Worse, Bush's tactics won't work.

That might work for a Mafia crime family: Arrest all the key members and the organization will disappear. But al Qaeda is now a movement based on an ideology. Arresting a movement is quite a different proposition from arresting people.

1And why do I get the uneasy feeling that Bush's critics and political opponents are in the same book?


I wish the Newspaper of Record (not!) could come up with some other word for Dean's DGB factor—one that didn't denigrate Dean, marginalize his supporters, and trivialize his achievements.a

How about "truthful"?

Anyhow, Dean remarks:

"It certainly isn't helping me in the long run, because Bush will eventually use their criticisms in his ads. But in the short run, I think it makes them look smaller."

Right, and right.

Rove heaves Veneman over the side on mad cow 

Quick work!

Joyeux Noel 

Of course there wasn't anything to the security concerns that led Bush to cancel Air France flights to LA—but he had to be seen to do something, and it's always easy to slam the French.


Of Howard Dean: "Dean is a courageous individual who stands up and tells the truth as he sees it."

The acronym sums up the secret of Dean's appeal. Usage example: "The SCLM is incapable of accounting for the DGB factor, and so they marginalize and personalize the phenomenon under headings like 'feisty' or 'combative' or even 'angry.'"

In Philly, the acronym expands to "Dean's got a basket," which translates to "Dean's got balls,"
"Dean's got a pair," or "Dean's got stones." As, in fact, Dean does.

[Revised from previous posting and added to the Lexicon of Liberal Invective.]

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

And so this is Christmas 

I can still remember how beautifully my mother's voice would soar, singing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear."

Can't we just get back to singing carols round the piano?

The current "X"mas Saturnalia encourages greed and lust—not to mention stress—in a way that Jesus would not approve. Christmas wasn't meant to the "engine" of our retail economy.

Let's abolish it, and start fresh—without the corporations and the marketing.

Mean inspection? We don't need no stinkin' meat inspection! 

Merry Christmas, America!

Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman said yesterday that her department tested 20,526 cattle for mad cow disease last year. But that is only a small percentage of the 35 million commercially slaughtered each year.

Because no domestic cases of mad cow disease have been found before, the United States has never put in place the kind of stringent testing done in Japan and some European countries, where every animal is supposed to be tested before humans can eat it.

If an animal becomes infected, the incubation period of the disease is three to eight years, so the detection of one animal with the disease suggests that others may have been infected by the same source but have not yet been found.

Mr. Stauber said an F.D.A. memorandum in 1997 predicted that if a single case of encephalopathy was found in the United States and a total ban on all feeding of animal protein to animals was immediately enacted, it was still possible that as many as 299,000 infected cows would be found over the next 11 years.

Well, we've found the one. Ribs anyone?

Personally, I'm still a carnivore. But I guess I'm going to have to start avoiding corporate food in favor of food grown locally, where I can know and trust the farmer. Keeps more money in my community, anyhow.

The Oxycontin Kid 

From an editorial in the Boca Raton News:

Rush, you might want to reconsider your support for the Florida law that strips voting rights from convicted felons.

Excellent shot!

Rush really does give new meaning to the phrase "big" pharma, doesn't he....

SCLM: Let the games begin! 

The essential Eric Alterman in the essential The Nation writes:

In its self-appointed role as semiofficial punditocracy politburo, the Washington Post editorial board issued what ABC News's The Note properly termed "a button-popping, eye-bugging anti-Dean editorial" that it undoubtedly hoped would serve as Dean's political death sentence. Expressing editorial shock and awe over Dean's unarguably accurate observation that Saddam Hussein's capture left the United States no safer than before, Post editors termed the candidate's views to be "not just unfounded but ludicrous" and complained of his "departure from the Democratic mainstream."

The punditocracy has chosen its side. Perhaps it's time the rest of us choose ours.

As alert reader pansypoo points out in comments in another thread, I thought Bush and his MWs wanted Dean to win?

I guess they just can't cope with the DGB factor

Merry Christmas, aWol 

Great to see that WaPo still has actual reporter Walter Pincus in action, but why bury this story on the day before Christmas, I wonder?

The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board has concluded that the White House made a questionable claim in January's State of the Union address about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain nuclear materials because of its desperation to show that Hussein had an active program to develop nuclear weapons, according to a well-placed source familiar with the board's findings.

Right. "Desperation." Got that.

The source said that at the time of the State of the Union speech, there was no organized system at the White House to vet intelligence, and the informal system that was followed did not work in the case of that speech.

Thank heavens the adults were in charge! Seriously, this is just what DiIulio said on the domestic side—there was no policy arm at all; everything was political.

The findings of the advisory board do not appear to add many new details about the uranium episode, but they make it clear that the White House should share blame with the CIA for allowing the questionable material into the speech.

Right. When hell freezes over.... Era of personal responsibility? Accountability? That's for the little people!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Poor, poor, David Brooks 

He's really losing it.

Howard Dean, the Huey Long of the iPod set.

I always like it when Republicans shills get all serious and try to "help" Democrats. It's cute, and if you don't pay any attention, it doesn't hurt you.

But couldn't the Times get themselves a columnist who can write? Like Abe Rosenthal?

Et tu, Inky!?! 

Our own Philadelphia Inquirer trashes Dean here:

This is especially rich:

Disagree with Bush or not, there is no question that he takes seriously his oath to protect the country and its people,

Let's leave the details aside and deal with the laziness and counter-factuality so typical of the Bush defenders posing as journalists. Here is the actual oath Bush took:

I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In fact, Bush is a miserable failure at taking his oath seriously, and the courts agree

Mr. Ferris can be reached at kferris@phillynews.com (be reasoned and polite, please, so Ferris can sort out the liberals from the wingers spoofing as Deaniacs).

And here is the Letters to the Editor address: inquirer.letters@philly.news.

One more thing to worry about in Bush's America 

First case of mad cow disease in US.

Slash those USDA inspections!

Sometimes Nice Is Really Nice 

Want to feel better about your country, fellow citizens, the world community, and the left/center of the political spectrum? Check out this Christmas roundup of the year's nicest and naughtiest from David Sirota, Christy Harvey and Judd Legum, who bring us The Progress Report, a daily feature of Mr. Podesta & friends' shiny, new think tank, The Center For American Progress, which is surely among the nicest presents those of us on that center/left spectrum received this year.

The Center, a baby among think tanks, has gotten off to a sparkling start. It's choice of "Fellows" is snazzy and smart, and The Progress Report is nothing short of startingly good - an invaluable resource that raises to a shiny new level that unique internet instrument of argument by linked collage of primary resources.

Thank-you Mr. Podesta, and thank-you to everyone else associated with The Center, for the daily proof it offers that being nice, being tempered, being civil, being a liberal, is in every way compatible with being tough, being wry, being appropriately angry when only anger will do, and being iron-willed in one's determination not to play any of the roles assigned to the left by either the SCLM or its puppetmaster*, the American right.

*Granted, "puppetmaster" isn't exactly a temperate way of describing the relationship, but after the evidence of the last several weeks, I can think of none better, from the SCLM's response to Al Gore's endorsement of Howard Dean, to their predictably meaningless coverage of Saddam's capture, to the recent preview both events provided of their coming election coverage, which the vast majority of the SCLM still seem to think is about them, not about issues, God knows not about American citizens as actual actors in the drama of their own democracy, and certainly not about evaluating who is telling the truth about what, or about finding the narrative in the actual facts, in what actually happens, rather than imposing pre-approved narratives that assure our establishment media that they are members of the club, all dues paid up.

**I do have some questions about the niceness of those Moroccan "mine-detonating monkeys," but better than mine-detonating kids, or other human types; best of all, please can't we just get rid of these bloody death traps, once and for all, and forever?

Lucky techies 

David Zielenziger of Reuters writes:

Morgan Stanley estimates the number of U.S. jobs outsourced to India will double to about 150,000 in the next three years. Analysts predict as many as two million U.S. white-collar jobs such as programmers, software engineers and applications designers will shift to low cost centers by 2014.

But the biggest companies looking to "offshoring" to cut costs, such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM - news) and AT&T Wireless (NYSE:AWE - news), are reluctant to attract attention for political reasons, observers said this week.

And to all our new CS grads, good luck paying off those student loans. Of course, in Bush's America, you can always get a job as a security guard ... Or a servant ...

Could the Libya agreement have anything to do with oil, I wonder? 

Since we won't be getting our fix from Iraq anytime soon.

Bruce Stanley of AP writes:

American oil companies have chafed for more than 17 years at U.S. sanctions that forced them to abandon prolific oil fields in the Libyan desert.

Now, after Libya's surprise agreement to abort its programs for weapons of mass destruction, the Americans can foresee their return to a country of promising and barely explored petroleum wealth.

So, how much did we pay the Libyans?

Yellowstone safe from snowmobiles 

John Heilprin of AP writes:

A federal judge refused to grant a temporary reprieve Tuesday from his order that the National Park Service must revive a plan scrapped by the Bush administration to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Winger snowmobilers, clutching Bibles, claim Yellowstone is only 6000 years old, and that's OK to pollute it since if it isn't the End Times, God will clean up their mess anyhow.....

"Entertainment news" 

Ladies and gentleman—

Put your hands together for wingerdom's biggest blowhard, The Man who poisoned mainstream discourse—

The Man who pressed his double-plus-sized lips to 15 million ears and railed against lawbreakers and drug addicts when all the time his maid was bringing pills to him in a cigar box—

The Man who trashed your right to privacy until he needed it

The Man who made the Red States Red—

The hardest working whore in show business—

R-u-u-u-u-u-u-s-h "The Oxycontin Kid" Limbaugh!

So anyhow, a judge rules that prosecutors can examine Limbaugh's patient records to see if he was doctor shopping for his prescriptions, a crime under Florida law.

And where does WaPo bury the story?

In the Entertainment section.

Can anyone say "state-run media"? Sigh...

The Bush tax 

Not bad! If Dean can turn the grass-roots internet stuff into grass roots "boots on the ground" we may have a shot in 2004.

Bush reports to Congress: Yep, it's a qWagmire 

Jim Abrams of AP writes

Iraq suffers serious energy and communications shortages and harbors an increasingly sophisticated insurgency, the White House said in a report to Congress that emphasizes the successes of the U.S.-backed coalition in restoring order and security to Iraqis.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press, states that even with a buildup in Iraqi security forces, "it is not possible to know at this time either the duration of the military operations or the scope and duration of the deployment" of U.S. troops.

Well, not knowing either the scope or duration sounds like a pretty good definition of quagmire to me. On the other hand, it could just be that Unka Karl has already decided—secretly, of course—to declare victory and get out—say, before the Republican National Convention, so he can have a big parade of the troops before Broadway.

With POTL like the Bush gang, who knows?

Jack Ruby time for Saddam? 

Names highlighted to incriminate the guilty...

From the Moonie Times !!:

In April 1990, when Saddam's resort to chemical warfare against Iraqi Kurds was already well known, a delegation of five Farm Belt senators led by Bob Dole of Kansas, then the Republican leader in the Senate, met with Saddam in Mosul. The senators' main concern was to keep open the Iraqi market for American growers of rice and other grains. Mr. Dole told Saddam President Bush had asked him to say that "he wants better relations, and the U.S. government wants better relations with Iraq." Sen. Alan Simpson, Wyoming Republican, explained to Saddam that Iraq's problem was with the "haughty and pampered" Western media, not with the U.S. government.
That very same day, back in Washington, Mr. [James] Baker instructed Ambassador Glaspie to inform Saddam that "as concerned as we are about Iraq's chemical, nuclear and missile programs, we are not in any sense preparing the way for a pre-emptive military unilateral effort to eliminate these programs.

From the other Times:

As a special envoy for the Reagan administration in 1984, Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the defense secretary, traveled to Iraq to persuade officials there that the United States was eager to improve ties with President Saddam Hussein despite his use of chemical weapons, newly declassified documents show.

Seems like the Iraq war was really just a falling out among thieves. No wonder W couldn't ever give a good reason for it!

Merry Christmas, lucky duckies! 


More than 90,000 people who have been out of work for months will lose their federal benefits today, when a program to aid the long-term unemployed expires.

"Rule of Law"? Ho ho ho 

Kerry (good for him) calls for an investigation. On his blog, yet:

Last week, a majority of the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) determined that Attorney General Ashcroft violated campaign finance laws, possibly exceeding the federal contribution limit by as much as 200 times, and failed to disclose certain contributions during the 2000 election cycle.

Great to see the media all over the story; after all, here's an Attorney General breaking the law. Oh, wait....

"More tongue, Mr. President?" 

Dan Balz and Richard Morin fluffery in WaPo.

Could Bush's spike after "capturing" (below) Saddam be a dead cat bounce? Not discussed. In any case, a week is a long time in politics...

Six degrees of prostitution 

Or, A Perle of great price. Krugman:

Inevitably the list includes both Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle, whom I hereby propose (stealing an idea from Slate's Tim Noah) as the subject of a parlor game about cronyism, along the lines of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." The former Pentagon official, who has close ties to Donald Rumsfeld, has enthusiastically embraced the advantages of being both a businessman and a policy insider. His prestigious if part-time official position on the Defense Policy Board provides him with credibility, and at least the suggestion of both inside information and policy influence. This has led to lucrative consulting deals, and has attracted investments in his venture capital fund, Trireme Partners.

Last August, in a moment of supreme synergy, Mr. Perle, wearing his defense-insider hat, co-wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed praising the Pentagon's controversial Boeing tanker deal. He didn't disclose Boeing's $2.5 million investment in Trireme.

Sure enough, Hollinger also invested $2.5 million in Trireme, which is advised by Lord Black. In addition, Mr. Perle was paid more than $300,000 a year and received $2 million in bonuses as head of a Hollinger subsidiary. It's good to have friends.

(I think Krugman gives Perle too much credit.)

Ralph won't run as a Green 



Faith-based National Parks 

Here (via Atrios:

This fall, the Park Service also approved a creationist text, "Grand Canyon: A Different View" for sale in park bookstores and museums. The book by Tom Vail, claims that the Grand Canyon is really only a few thousand years old, developing on a biblical rather than an evolutionary time scale.

Vail claims this is a work of "scriptural geology".... Sigh....

Bush to seniors: Why pay less? 


It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to set up a legal, safe program to import drugs from Canada, the Food and Drug Administration's head pharmacist said Tuesday.

Two cities - Springfield, Mass., and Montgomery, Ala. - are the only governments buying drugs from Canada so far. But states from New Hampshire to Wisconsin are studying the issue or are ready to start their own programs.

How convenient. And those Canadians are dropping like flies. Aren't they?

Here's an idea: Why not let us order Canadian drugs over the Internet, to be shipped to us by mail? That wouldn't cost hundreds of millions, right?

Gosh, I thought competition was good. And all that.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Will Bush visit Baghdad in a Santa suit? 

Just asking ...

After that Thanksgiving Day turkey stunt (fake turkey, fake President), anything's possible....

Looking into his eyes and seeing his soul, part 2 

OK, now we know why Bush isn't yelling about Russia going ahead with new atomic weapons (back).

"Russia Offers to Forgive 65% of Iraq's Debt.".

Holmes: ... The curious incident of the dog in the night.
Watson: The dog did nothing in the night.
Holmes: That was the curious incident.

You scratch my back ....

Rush "The Oxycontin Kid" Limbaugh to take a plea 

"He wants this thing to go away", says one of his flaks.

Funny, that's how I feel about him!

Rush! Not in front of the servants!

Just charge it with the RepubliCard! 

Go Kos!

Orange you scared yet? 

John H. Cushman Jr. and David Stout of the Times write:

Asked to address the paradox that Al Qaeda, despite its supposedly weakened state, is able to pose the biggest threat since Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. [Scott "Sucker MC" McClellan said: "We cannot rest. We must continue carrying out the war on terrorism and taking the fight to the enemy."

Q: Why doesn't the lightblub go on after the Republicans have screwed it in?
Scott "Sucker MC" McClellan: We must continue to seek out new light sources wherever they may be found!

There now. Don't you feel safer? 

Vladimir Isachenkov of AP writes:

Russia Deploys Fresh Batch of Strategic Nuclear Missiles
Russia has deployed a fresh batch of its top-of-the-line strategic nuclear missiles after a break caused by a funding shortage, and military officials presented ambitious plans Monday for building weapons even more potent.

Another triumph for Bush diplomacy! Remember all that crap about Bush looking into Putin's soul? Maybe Putin (making an arbitrary assumption here) looked into Bush's soul too...

Democracy and occupation don't mix 

Amy Wilentz of the LA Times writes:

The final, unhappy lesson: America has had a long education in intervention (we occupied Haiti once before, for example, from 1915 to 1934), but in the end, each country is its own country. Each has its own legacy, its own unreadable, idiosyncratic culture, its own recent past and — as in both Haiti and Iraq — a long and alien political tradition. You can't march in with a tool belt of solutions and fix things: It's not a simple plumbing problem. A nation is a collection of hearts and minds and erratic human behavior, and in order to run an occupation, you must somehow deal with obscure and dangerous political land mines planted beneath your feet. Look at Israel and the West Bank, look at Syria and Lebanon. Occupation and democracy can't coexist, and the one never engenders the other.

There's no indication, of course, that Bush gives democracy, let alone freedom, anything more than lip service, but we might as well puncture the rhetoric.

Japan and Germany being the counter-examples—but each at least had alternative political cultures to the dominant, war-losing one, and both were truly defeated nations.

Sheesh! What do the Czechs know? 


Labor unions in the Czech Republic demanded Monday that stores stop playing Christmas carols incessantly or pay compensation for causing emotional trauma to sales clerks.

Bush to workers: Drop dead 


"It is incredible callousness" to refuse to consider the issue [of extending employment benefits for Christmas], Dean said. Extending benefits would cost about $1 billion per month, he said, and the Federal Unemployment Trust Funds already have roughly $20 billion in reserves.

Under the unemployment insurance system, workers who lose their job through no fault of their own are generally eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment insurance provided by state benefit systems.

Since March 2002, workers have been eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits provided by Congress after they exhaust state jobless benefits. Congress adjourned this year without again approving those extended benefits.

Republicans argue that the economy is beginning to improve and unemployment is on the decline, rendering it unnecessary to provide extended benefits. Dean rejected that argument, saying up to 90,000 workers will lose benefits because of the inaction in Congress.

The money is already in the fundmdash;what about all that Republican rhetoric about putting your own money back in your pocket?

Great to see the media focussing on an issue where many Americans share the same needs, instead of silly controversies about the Confederate flag and who called who before saying what ... Oh, wait.

Gutless, feckless Beltway Dems 


The Republicans' aggressive moves caught the Democrats off guard. Although they had come to expect tough GOP tactics in the House, they were stunned when the strategies moved to the Senate, where relations between the parties have been less confrontational. Some Democrats now regret they did not react more quickly and aggressively.


The Republicans steal a presidential election (say 38% (back) of the American people) and the Dems think it's going to be business as usual...

The consequence:

Nearly half the electorate -- people who chose Democrats to represent them in Congress -- are, to an increasing degree, disenfranchised. Their representatives aren't simply outvoted on the House and Senate floors, they're not even present when key legislation is discussed and refined.

Get it through your thick heads, Dems: The Republicans are playing for all the marbles, for keeps.

"A boot stamping on a human face—forever."

Verrrry Unusual 

Two from Mustang Bobby at Bark Bark Woof Woof.

What, No Fishnet Stockings?

Fishermen Dress Lobster As Barbie

Barbie hasn't been seen since early December and apparently was unkempt and nearly naked, except for her shoes.

Must have wandered into Neil Bush's watery trap one too many times. (Leave the shoes on honey, I like the shoes.)

BBWW also wades into the surf of cognitive dissonance...

Last week everybody and their dog (with the notable exception of former Senator John Glenn) jumped Howard Dean's case because he said he didn't think America was safer now that Saddam Hussein is in custody. We heard from the Administration and several Democratic candidates, "Of course we're safer! A terrible dictator is no longer threatening our country! Dean has no understanding of foreign policy!"

But today we get this:

Administration Raises Level of Terrorism Alert to Orange
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 — The Bush administration raised the nation's antiterrorism alert status a notch on Sunday, indicating a newly heightened concern about the possibility of an attack in coming days.

See: Thanks For Clearing That Up

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Anyone else feeling orchestrated? 

Saddam, Libya, Orange Alert ... Next comes the capture of the "terror team," I imagine .... Sorry to wear my tinfoil hat, but ...

Say, is Ken Lay in jail yet? 

Why not? Just asking.

FInancial contagion from US mutual fund scandals 


How deep does the rot go? In Iraq, for example?

We haven't hit bottom yet...

We Got Him!, or uh... sorta sumpin like that 

Depends on your definition of we?
More on the possible series of events leading up to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Capture announced in Iran prior to announcement by mainstream Western press.

Saddam Hussein arrested - Kurdish official
Dec. 14, 2003 via Independent Online (South Africa)

Tehran - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been arrested, an Iraqi Kurdish representative in Iran said on Sunday, but the US defence department said it could not confirm the report.

"I confirm that Saddam has been arrested," Nazem Dabag, representative in Iran of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), told Reuters.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted PUK leader Jalal Talabani as saying that Saddam had been captured in his home town of Tikrit.

"The American forces in Tikrit announced that Saddam was arrested on Sunday. The Americans said that they will announce the news officially in the next few hours," IRNA quoted Talabani as saying.

Full article at Independent Online link above.

Again, as Lambert reported below - See earlier post:
Saddam really captured three months ago and kept on ice?" more details from that Sunday Herald article.

Dec. 21, 2003: Revealed: who really found Saddam? via
Sunday Herald Online (UK)

First reports – indeed the very first report of Saddam’s capture – were also coming out elsewhere. Jalal Talabani chose to leak the news and details of Rasul Ali’s role in the deployment to the Iranian media and to be interviewed by them.

By early Sunday – way before Saddam’s capture was being reported by the mainstream Western press – the Kurdish media ran the following news wire:

“Saddam Hussein, the former President of the Iraqi regime, was captured by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. A special intelligence unit led by Qusrat Rasul Ali, a high-ranking member of the PUK, found Saddam Hussein in the city of Tikrit, his birthplace. Qusrat’s team was accompanied by a group of US soldiers. Further details of the capture will emerge during the day; but the global Kurdish party is about to begin!”

By the time Western press agencies were running the same story, the emphasis had changed, and the ousted Iraqi president had been “captured in a raid by US forces backed by Kurdish fighters.”

Rasul Ali himself, meanwhile, had already been on air at the Iranian satellite station al-Alam insisting that his “PUK fighters sealed the area off before the arrival of the US forces”.

By late Sunday as the story went global, the Kurdish role was reduced to a supportive one in what was described by the Pentagon and US military officials as a “joint operation”. The Americans now somewhat reluctantly were admitting that PUK fighters were on the ground alongside them , while PUK sources were making more considered statements and playing down their precise role.


Of the numerous and more exotic theories surrounding events leading to Saddam’s arrest, one originates on a website many believe edited by former Israeli intelligence agents, but which often turns up inside information about the Middle East that proves to be accurate.

According to Debka.com, there is a possibility that Saddam was held for up to three weeks in al-Dwar by a Kurdish splinter group while they negotiated a handover to the Americans in return for the $25m reward. This, the writers say would explain his dishevelled and disorientated appearance.

But perhaps the mother of all conspiracy theories, is the one about the pictures distributed by the Americans showing the hideout with a palm tree behind the soldier who uncovered the hole where Saddam was hiding. The palm carried a cluster of pre-ripened yellow dates, which might suggest that Saddam was arrested at least three months earlier, because dates ripen in the summer when they turn into their black or brown colour.

Full article at Sunday Herald link above.

Additional, earlier article links posted below:
See Hmmm... Yet Another Bush Lie?! or scroll down page.

Why not Universal internet access? 

From the Cluetrain guys here:

The U.S. government should set a national goal: every citizen will have high bandwidth, open access to the Internet within five years, beginning with schools and public buildings, then businesses, other private enterprises and homes.

Since the Internet is a public good and has become a key tool in preserving democracy in this country, shouldn't everyone have the right to access it?


POTL, n. People Of The Lie.

This useful term was coined by Christian psychiatrist and theologian M. Scott Peck in his book The People of the Lie, which is, among other things, an examination of the nature of human evil. Peck quotes Martin Buber:

Since the primary motive of evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within the church.

Additional excerpts can be found here.

"Utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, they are unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity. They are acutely sensitive to social norms and what others might think of them. They seem to live lives that are above reproach. The words "image", "appearance" and "outwardly" are crucial to understanding the morality of 'the evil'. While they lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their goodness is all on a level of pretense. It is in effect a lie. Actually the lie is designed not so much to deceive others as to deceive themselves. We lie only when we are attempting to cover up something we know to be illicit. At one and the same time 'the evil' are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid the awareness.

Peck's material, I feel, has great potential for analyzing and deconstructing the nature and behavior of the wing of the Republican party that has captured our government. With the caveats, that Peck raises, that evil is very dangerous to analyze—since we are, after all, all vulnerable to it.

Bush to older Americans: Drop Dead 

"Drop dead" over the top? Not really, since prescription drugs can save lives, right? LIke your Mom's or your grandmother's?


Older Americans find the [new Medicare Prescription Drug] law too confusing to be able to say whether they like it, according to both it supporters and detractors.

More Bush trickeration? Here's all you need to know about Bush's prescription drug bill:

  • It only kicks in after the 2004 election, so there's no chance for citizens to see the law in action before voting. I wonder why?

  • There's no money to pay for it, because of Bush's tax cuts for the super-rich. So it's another typical bait and switch operation

  • It doesn't legalize cheap drugs from Canada

  • Big pharma likes it for that reason, and also because they have greater leverage to keep prices high than they would under a single-payer system

I like Walter Shapiro, but why wasn't this the lead? 

The combination of a war justified by questionable premises, political polarization and governmental secrecy seems on pace to deliver what might be dubbed "The Conspiracy-Theory Election of 2004."

Here (scroll down, down, down).

Instead, he leads with all this "Inside Baseball" stuff about Madeline Albright, Morton Kondracke, and the transmission belt from FUX to the RNC...

Though, come to think of it, would Bush keep OBL on ice until, say, November 10, 2004, as Albright joked?

Is this really so crazy? I mean, we would have to make the assumption that Bush was willing to use the intelligence agencies for political purposes.... And run a war according to the political calendar ...

Hmmm ....

This idea—that Bush has OBL on ice—would explain why we've somehow "failed" to find OBL, despite the fact that he needs kidney dialysis done...

Orange you scared? 

Threat level (not to the Constitution, your civil liberties, your livelihood, your health, of course) rises to orange...

Happy Holidays from the Ministry of Fear!

UPDATE: Revised threat levels from alert reader MJS:

The Government Commander Flight Deck Shit Alert System has issued the following Holiday Color Coded Commander Flight Deck Shit Schematic:

#1. Pale Auburn: Soft texture, wormlike, watery. The public is advised to go out and buy things, but to not feel too safe at any given time.

#2. Tobacco-brown hue. Doughy, vaguely rodent shaped. Stay indoors but don't read the newspaper unless you really have to for sports scores and B.C. by good Christian Jonny Hart.

#3. Polluted River Bottom Black & Tan. A Mother of Pearl quality due to oil runoff, greasy, stain guaranteed. Lock your door and cover the children in plastic sheets--but don't smother them yet.

#4. Last Color the Devil Sees Before God Buggers Him--Transdimensional Mega-Void Matter Splatter Sub-Atomic Chili Flecks. You may now smother the children.

#5. Pure White. Go golfing with your country club friends. And make sure to smile for the cameras--a shit-eating grin is a patriotic capper!

"Lie"bya ... 


Of course we would expect Bush to claim that that the Iraq war brought success in Libya, and equally we would expect the lie to fall apart on close examination. Jennifer Loven of AP writes:

Announcing the Libya deal, Bush invoked the Iraq war that brought down Saddam Hussein as he issued a flat warning of "unwelcome consequences" for countries that do not follow Libya's lead.

But is the threat credible, given that we've tied our troops down in Iraq?

Many analysts say the war's aftermath has proved so difficult for the United States that other countries probably view U.S. military force as an unlikely option elsewhere right now.

"The plan was that Iraq was to be a message for everyone to either fall in line, or else," [Joseph Cirincione, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's nonproliferation project] said. "The problem is this threat is not very realistic."

British officials say that perhaps just as important was the long diplomatic process of getting Libyan leader Gadhafi to take responsibility for the 1988 downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Gadhafi initiated the weapons talks in March, amid the buildup in the Persian Gulf area to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. The overtures came just after Libya agreed to a $2.7 billion settlement for the Pan Am bombing.

As a result, Britain pushed successfully for the lifting of U.N. penalties against on Libya, a sprawling desert country in northwest Africa.

Libya first contacted the British, not the Americans, noted Daryl Kimball of the private Arms Control Association. Also, Libya had worked for several years to shed its pariah status before Iraq became an issue.

See? Not even Bush's poodles believe him!

On to the next flimsy justification!

Great Moments in Anglo Saxon Culture.  

Not to be outdone by our planets creeping variegation of human fauna, Master Race brine shrimp maverick Harold Von Braunhut - known to his friends as Harold - and the "inventer" inveigler of the Sea Monkeys, has croaked at the age of 77. And no amount of water added will bring him back.

Harold, so the legend goes, was quite the wing-ding white supremacist neo-nazi sea monkey himself, according to a reported previous ADL report.

In a radically different sphere, von Braunhut's hard right-wing beliefs drew notice. According to a 1996 Anti-Defamation League report, he belonged to the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations.

So thats why the little monkeys wore those little crowns on their heads.
Whats more, Harold (as his friends used to call him), no doubt taught Karl Rove a few fast talkin' carnival pitchman showbiz tricks.

...managing the career of a man who dived from 40 feet into a kiddie pool filled with 12 inches of water. He sold invisible goldfish by guaranteeing that owners would never see them.

Heh. Indeed.

Harold, inventer extrordinaire of the Amazing Hair Raising Monsters, and devoted follower of white Christian light, may also have been something of a grand wizard of ironic humor.

The Washington Post in 1988 published an article on him and his affiliations, adding that his relatives said he was Jewish.

Well, obviously, thats just another liberal Jew controled media conspiracy lie.

No sir, Harold "Sea Monkey" Von Braunhut was nuttin' but "the Real McCoy!"

So take that Dr. Charles Richard Drew!

Don't say angry whitey ain't never done nothin' fer y'all.

y Hmmm... Yet Another Bush Lie?! 


Via: Talk Left - Sunday, December 21, 2003
Saddam: Drugged and Held for U.S. by Kurds
citing sg.news. wire story below.

Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops only after he had been taken prisoner by Kurdish forces, drugged and abandoned ready for American soldiers to recover him, a British Sunday newspaper said.

More from: Yahoo News

Saddam came into the hands of the Kurdish Patriotic Front after being betrayed to the group by a member of the al-Jabour tribe, whose daughter had been raped by Saddam's son Uday, leading to a blood feud, reported the Sunday Express, which quoted an unnamed senior British military intelligence officer.

Also found at: ABC Online Australia

Update Three more as of noon Sunday:

Two fully mirrored via: Common Dreams

1- Sunday Herald (Scotland)

Also, for a quick take and direct link to the Sunday Herald article
see: Lambert's earlier post to this page. Saddam really captured three months ago and kept on ice?

2- The Age (Australia)

and one more mention via the Sunday Morning Herald (Australia)

Meanwhile, CNN Breaking News dittybird Connie Mayberry is all over tidings of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch rally and Britain's Pop Idol contest winner story as well as your token holiday happy talk CEO gives the little people big one-time holiday bonus story and of course the Al Gore's son smokes dope big reefer bust story. Then there's the Clay Aikens graduates from school story and the .......

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