Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Flower From a Pile of Crap
That's the nickname that Dubya gave Rove himself: "Turd Blossom!" It's bizarre in so many ways, but, of course, in "Bush-is-a-deity world," his true followers don't even know that. What the hell am I talking about? Garry Trudeau dropped that little bon mot into his Doonesbury strip, leading some editors to drop the strip completely. What is hilarious is the reaction I've read in "letters to the editor" sections of various newspapers regarding this series of strips. "Oh, I'm so offended by the language!" or, "How dare that word appear in the comics!" People, THAT TERM WAS GIVEN TO ROVE BY DUBYA HIMSELF!! You know the guy, the "straight-shootin' mean-what-I-say" dude from Texas who promised to "bring back decency" to the White House.....yeah, that guy! Think the hard-core Republicans will take Dubya to task for lowering the decency standards? Think Dubya will appear in the sequel to Bernard Goldberg's "100 People Screwing Up America?" ('cause it's all about lowering the culture standards) Think not......

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Wildfire Update
For those of you out there who are looking for a website that can provide you with updates on the wildfires of 2005, go to the National Fire News, a product of the National Interagency Fire Center. You will find a state-by-state breakdown of the 11 states so far that have active fires, right down to the complex name. And if you're looking for maps, then go to the National Fire Maps website, also hosted by NIFC.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

War of the Worlds
Saw Spielberg's film last night. Besides everyone in the audience murmuring the names "Oprah" and "Laurer" every time Tom Cruise was on the screen, it was a pretty damn good movie. Say whatever you will about the forced happy ending and the bizarre Tim Robbins character, but I'm amazed by how effortlessly Spielberg places cameras and paces action shots.....absolutley amazing. How he did the one long shoot where Cruise and his kids were speeding down the road in the van is beyond me.....and the "tripods" seemed to have weight and mass....good stuff all around, but I'll say upfront that I'm an old special effects geek from way back.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A Picture is Worth.....Well, You Know
Via BTC News and thanks to General Eric's graphing skills, we have this chart outlining the international terrorist attacks from 1995 to 2004:

Of course any graphic can be skewed towards a predetermined outcome, but go to the BTC News site and read the supporting links. Any way you slice it, terrorist attacks are on the rise. This was prepared before the London incident, by the way.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Roving Reporters
So just how many webs were spun regarding Karl Rove and "Plamegate?" Billmon over at the Whisky Bar does the hard work for us, and so we can sit back and peruse two years' worth of press briefings with Scotty McClellan. As the commericals say, "priceless."

QUESTION: The Robert Novak column last week . . . has now given rise to accusations that the administration deliberatively blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative, and in so doing, violated a federal law that prohibits revealing the identity of undercover CIA operatives. Can you respond to that?

McCLELLAN: Thank you for bringing that up. That is not the way this President or this White House operates. And there is absolutely no information that has come to my attention or that I have seen that suggests that there is any truth to that suggestion. And, certainly, no one in this White House would have given authority to take such a step.

Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 22, 2003

QUESTION: Scott, has there ever been an attempt or effort on the part of anyone here at the White House to discredit the reputations or reporting of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, his wife, or ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman?

McCLELLAN: John, I think I answered that yesterday. That is not the way that this White House operates. That's not the way the President operates . . . No one would be authorized to do that within this White House. That is simply not the way we operate, and that's simply not the way the President operates.

QUESTION: In all of those cases?

McCLELLAN: Well, go down -- which two?

QUESTION: Joe Wilson and his wife?


Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
July 23, 2003

QUESTION: Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove . . . Did Karl Rove tell that . . .

McCLELLAN: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous. But we've already addressed this issue. If I could find out who anonymous people were, I would. I just said, it's totally ridiculous.

QUESTION: But did Karl Rove do it?

McCLELLAN: I said, it's totally ridiculous.

Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
September 16, 2003


McCLELLAN: Let me make it very clear. As I said previously, he [Karl Rove] was not involved, and that allegation is not true in terms of leaking classified information, nor would he condone it.

QUESTION: He does not condone people pointing reporters toward classified information that's been released; he would not condone that either? Is that what you're saying?

McCLELLAN: The President doesn't condone the activity that you're suggesting, absolutely he does not.

Scott McClellan
Press Briefing
October 1, 2003


I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name.

Karl Rove
CNN Interview
August 31, 2004


Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division . . . Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published.

Matt Cooper's Source
July 10, 2005

Billmon has many more of Scotty's briefing transcripts for you to read. I suggest you go and read them, and see if any of the older folks out there get a deja vu of the 'ol tricky dick stonewall!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

London Calling
The recent bombing in London only adds to the rediculous "flypaper" theory that was set forth regarding the Iraq war: "If we fight the enemy in Iraq, they'll be too busy to attack us here." Never mind how insane that is to the people who live in Iraq (Thanks a lot! Can you get your flypaper out of here now?), but even after the bombing Bush can't help but repeat that line this week in a radio address:

"We will stay on the offense, fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home," Bush said.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Latin Root of "Liberal" is "Liber," or "Free"
For some time now right-wing pundits and talk-show hosts have tried to link liberals and liberal ideas with unpatriotic images and symbols, even hinting that liberals are sympathetic with "the evildoers." Well, many also believe that the religious fundamentalists that are feeling thier oats with the current administration in command of the White House, Congress and Senate are our own home-grown version of "Taliban thinking." Hmmmmmmm......if only someone could provide a handy comparison. Wait! Over at the Daily Kos, our 'ol pal Kos did just that by comparing the basic tenants of the radical religious right here at home, liberal ideas and radical Islamic beliefs of a group like the Taliban:

Foreign Policy
Al Qaida/Taliban: World domination - do it our way or we attack
American Taliban: World domination - do it our way or we attack
Liberals: Peace and international cooperation

Pop Culture
Al Qaida/Taliban: Hate it... kill it
American Taliban: Hate it... ban it
Liberals: Laugh at it... boycott it

Al Qaida/Taliban: Belief in their own infallibility
American Taliban: Belief in their own infallibility
Liberals: Willingness to consider other viewpoints

Al Qaida/Taliban: God is on our side and will help us kill our enemies
American Taliban: God is on our side and will help us kill our enemies
Liberals: God may or may not exist and will not help us kill anyone

Stem Cell Research
Al Qaida/Taliban: No Stem cell research
American Taliban: No Stem cell research
Liberals: Stem cell research

Al Qaida/Taliban: God choose Osama Bin Laden to defeat the Great Satan
American Taliban: God choose George W. Bush to lead us
Liberals: God didn't choose anyone

Al Qaida/Taliban: Control of the Press
American Taliban: Manipulation of the Press
Liberals: Freedom of the Press

Free Speech
Al Qaida/Taliban: Anyone who disagrees with us is an infidel and must be silenced
American Taliban: Anyone who disagrees with us is a traitor and must be silenced
Liberals: Anyone who disagrees with us is in for a spirited discussion

Al Qaida/Taliban: Conform or else
American Taliban: Conform or else
Liberals: Embrace diversity

Al Qaida/Taliban: You're either with us or against us
American Taliban: You're either with us or against us
Liberals: We're all in this together

Al Qaida/Taliban: Death to the infidels
American Taliban: Kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity
Liberals: Live and let live

Al Qaida/Taliban: Universe and man created 6,000 years ago by God
American Taliban: Universe and man created 6,000 years ago by God
Liberals: The Universe began as we know it at least 14 billion years ago, maybe more

Al Qaida/Taliban: Subservient to will of its leaders
American Taliban: Subservient to will of its leaders
Liberals: Will served by Representative government

Al Qaida/Taliban: A woman's place is in the home
American Taliban: A woman's place is in the home
Liberals: A woman's place is wherever she wants it to be

Al Qaida/Taliban: Marriage is only between a man and a woman
American Taliban: Marriage is only between a man and a woman
Liberals: Marriage is between any two people who love each other

We could keep this up all day, I suspect. Remember, the point isn't that the American Taliban is just like Al Qaida (though given the chance...), the point is that there's no reason that liberals would ever "root" for Al Qaida or the Taliban or any of the crazies in the Islamic fundamentalist world.

The reasons we hate the American Taliban are the same reasons we hate fundamentalists of all stripes -- they seek to impose their own moral code on the rest of society, and do so with the zeal and moral absolutism possible only from those who believe they are doing "God's work".

Is that list an oversimplification of major issues? Certainly it doesn't speak for everyone, but in this day and age of "speaking points" and "sound bites" all the majority of the American public hears is snippets like the ones above. I think the real danger lies in the reality of a larger trend of the Bush administration to utilize regulatory powers in order to advance a conservative moral agenda which restricts personal freedoms under the guise of safety from stereotypical "evildoers."

Remember, whether you strongly agree or disagree with hot-button issues like flag burning, abortion or medicinal use of marijuana, the key concept in this Country is for the individual to make his or her own choice. This current administration believes you should not make those choices, they will be made for you. How close is that to enforcing dress codes for women? That's a reach I know, but this current crop of Conservatives are acting like Big Government can and will tell you what to do/say/watch.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Give Skippy a Hand!
One of the best blogs out there, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, is on a mission to hit a million visitors by mid-July. Yep, that's the very same Skippy that's been immortalized on The Daily Show not once but twice! Now that Jon Stewart is best-buddies with 'ol Skip, how would you like to hear him being interviewed? Sound crazy? Either go to this portion of StBK which lists the Ben Carter interviews on the BlueGrassRoots site. Or, here are parts one and two of this fine interview. Go have a listen, and then get on over to Skippy right now! Let's make this one a true "Mission Accomplished!"

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?