Saturday, October 29, 2005

Never ending or beginning, On an ever spinning wheel

The News Blog has a link to a transcript of Fitzgerald's press conference, and a lengthy quote from the beginning. This seems like as good a time as any to tell you my current favorite "this probably won't happen--but what if?" theory.

I came up with it after hearing somebody on Larry King this morning saying that Fitzgerald's performance had been so impressive, that if his case was as strong, he was sure to be a nominee for the Attorney General someday.

Well, why not now? After all, what are two problems that the administration wants to go away, or at least make as better as they can right now? Fitzgerald and a replacement nominee for Miers.

And let's remember that before Bush's stunning--and not in a good way--choice of Miers, much of the speculation had focused on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. So: Bush nominates Gonzales to the Supreme Court, and asks Fitzgerald to be the new Attorney General.

Co-option, baby.

Oh, relax--it almost certainly won't happen. It's too obvious a bribe and an attempt to save Bush's sorry ass, for one thing. For another, Fitzgerald looks too much like Gary Cooper in a Frank Capra movie right now to accept it if it did.

And granted, the rationale for Miers's withdrawal would seem to preclude Gonzales as a candidate as well. Bush said:

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House, disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel"

So clearly, this half-baked scheme is what he should not do. But...can anyone among you say you think this president isn't capable of doing exactly the opposite of what he should do, let alone what he's said he'll do?

Just think about it as you read the next paragraphs.

In the "the GOP is turning on each other like runner-up beauty queens" department, Steve from TNG concludes:

Keep in mind that Libby is a lawyer. In addition to being broke, he faces disbarment, which means he doesn't make any more money, ever. That is a vice on his balls which Fitzgerald is using like Joe Pesci in Casino. Libby has to be shitting himself, seeing how David Brooks wrote him off like a Thai hooker on a business trip. How the new spin is that it's "just one man".

This is another one of those "As previously noted, I don't like Maureen Dowd so much as some of my Liberal comrades do, but..." posts

Good stuff is good stuff. Via Egalia:
"I can say that for the people who work at the C.I.A. and work at other places, they have to expect that when they do their jobs that classified information will be protected," [Mr. Fitzgerald] said, adding: "They run a risk when they work for the C.I.A. that something bad could happen to them, but they have to make sure that they don't run the risk that something bad is going to happen to them from something done by their own fellow government employees."

But what we really want to know, now that we have the bare bones of who said what to whom in the indictment, is what they were all thinking there in that bunker and how that hothouse bred the idea that the way out of their Iraq problems was to slime their critics instead of addressing the criticism. What we really want to know, if Scooter testifies in the trial, and especially if he doesn't, is what Vice did to create the spidery atmosphere that led Scooter, who seemed like an interesting and decent guy, to let his zeal get the better of him.

This administration's grand schemes always end up as the opposite. Officials say they're promoting national security when they're hurting it; they say they're squelching terrorists when they're breeding them; they say they're bringing stability to Iraq when the country's imploding. (The U.S. announced five more military deaths yesterday.)

And the most dangerous opposite of all: W. was listening to a surrogate father he shouldn't have been listening to, and not listening to his real father, who deserved to be listened to.

We pause now for an unpaid political anouncement


Friday, October 28, 2005

In Other Words...(Libby indicted)

Okay, this is going to be something of a link festival, which I normally don't like to do. They're not nearly as much fun as an orgasm festival. But this is a big story, so...

Blogenlust offers Two Points on Libby, the first of which is:

1) Before joining the White House in 2000, Libby was the managing partner of a Washington law firm. He knows the law and he knows the consequences of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements. If the allegations are true, it raises the question of what Libby was hiding that he'd rather risk the consequences of obstructing and lying to a federal grand jury. In other words, if there was nothing to cover up or hide, it would seem unusual that a seasoned lawyer like Libby would put himself in a position to be indicted on these charges.

Think Progress quotes Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei:
Rove Investigation Will Be Completed In Weeks, Not Months
More details on the Rove/Fitzgerald dealings from Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei on MSNBC:

We have more detail on what’s happening with Karl Rove. We know that something happened in the last couple of days that Rove’s legal team was able to provide to Fitzgerald, that according to one Rove associate, “gave Fitzgerald pause” about charging Rove. They think that within the next couple of weeks, not months, that the Rove part of this investigation will be wrapped up, and that it is still centered on whether he provided false statements. It’s not clear what exactly transpired. There has been this flurry of conversations between Rove and his team and Fitzgerald over the last week, with Rove trying to convince him, like, “Look, I may have forgotten some things but I did not lie.”

From the Republican side of things, Below The Beltway picks up GOP talking point number one: Trivialize the indictment:
In other words, like Martha Stewart, Libby was indicted for lying, not for the underlying act being investigated.

Actually, BTB blogger Doug provides an answer to his own statement a little bit lower in his post when he quotes Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:

This case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president.

Lower still, Doug quotes Patrick Fitzgerald with what he thinks is
Patrick Fitzgerald's response to Harry Reid:

This indictment is not about the war. Not about the propriety of the war. This is stripped of that debate and focused on a narrow transaction...

I think it's just as likely if not more so that Fitzgerald was speaking in his by-the-books, special council capacity. I also note that he only said this indictment is not about the war...

Safely back among the Democrats, John observes something in AmericaBlog about GOP talking point number two:
Republican hack Joseph di Genova is now saying on TV that the indictment "proves" that no one in the White House knew Valerie Plame was an undercover agent so they've been exonerated.

You know someone is CIA.

You also know that you have no idea WHAT this person's status is - covert or overt agent.

So Scooter and Rove did not know for sure whether Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent, yet they outed her anyway. What di Genova seems to be saying, and any other Bush defenders would be saying, is that it's okay to out a CIA agent so long as you make super duper sure that you DON'T find out that agent's status, overt or covert.

In other words, if you want to out CIA agents and risk the lives of countless Americans while our country is at war, just make sure you don't inquire first as to whether it might be a problem. So long as you're negligent, you're a Republican hero.

Let me just add a couple of things here before moving on. I watched about an hour of NBC, CNN and CBS News this morning. Just enough to remind me why I don't do that. I swear, one of things I think I'd do if I had a TARDIS is go back and tell Ted Turner that a 24-hour news channel is a terrible idea. I miss the old days, when we had one, half-hour news program at the end of the day, so most of it had to be actually news. Instead, we just get people talking and talking...

Also, anyone making the "We didn't know! How could we know?" defense always reminds me of what Will Durst said when Bush, Sr. denied knowledge of Iran-Contra: Either he knew...and he's a doofus...or he didn't know...and he's a doofus. Ignorance is no defense, especially involving people whose lives are at risk.

Okay, via TGW, Raw Story is reporting that Fitzgerald is pursuing more serious charges for Rove:

“This investigation is not yet over,” one of the lawyers in the case said. “You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation. Rather than securing an indictment on perjury charges against Mr. Rove Mr. Fitzgerald strongly believes he can convince the grand jury that he broke other laws.” . . .

Shakespeare's Sister has her impression of Fitzgerald's press conference, and his direct response to a talking point:
He made it perfectly clear that these charges are extremely serious. When some clever reporter asked him about the GOP talking points about these being “technical” charges, he came out swinging: “I’ll be blunt—that talking point won’t fly… The truth is the engine of our justice system… It is a very, very serious matter that no one should take lightly…

Okay, back to the Bushies. Eugene Volokh wonders: So what's a Bush Administration official supposed to do? He's impishly chiding someone from TalkLeft for complaining that Rove might avoid serious punishment by "flipping."

I've heard people condemn the Bush Administration for placing too much premium on loyalty over other virtues -- but surely few (on the Left or on the Right) would think that Administration officials should place such a premium on loyalty that they refuse to testify about others' criminal conduct?

It seems likely to me Volokh knows perfectly well that the bigger point is, if Rove did indeed break other, more serious laws, it will not satisfy justice if he avoids punishment like this. Oh well, if VandeHei is right, we'll know in a few more weeks (sigh).

In War and Piece, Laura asks, in the world could Libby have lied so blatantly, have misled so blatantly, without realizing given the scope of this investigation that he would get caught? Did he think the investigation would go away? That his colleagues would participate in the cover up? It's hard to know what he was thinking, but Kevin Drum's 'bottom line' analysis of what happened sounds right to me: Libby invented a compelling false narrative and just stuck to it.

And finally, from The Sideshow:
You know Libby=Cheney & Rove, you just know it, and these three charges are not nearly all they should be hit for. Novak said two people spilled the beans to him, and Karl has admitted talking. There's lots left on the table. And Raw Story is saying that Karl was offered a perjury deal but turned it down.

Whew! Okay, so these are the big questions yet to be answered to my satisfaction:

Who was/is Libby protecting?
Will Cheney be hit?
What's next for Rove?
Will they be able to weasel their way out of it?

Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode of The Mayberry'd be a sitcom if it weren't so tragic.

Please tip your blogger generously

If you look over to the right there and click the View my complete profile link you'll find, among other things, a link to my Wish List. If you're amazed at the quality of posts on this site (I know I am), please consider making a small donation to the Buy Ben Those Books And CDs He Can't Score Through The Ink 19 Gig Fund. I thank you.

Say what you will about the south...

The people of Chapel Hill, NC know how to party.
The orgasm festival is going to take place on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill on Thursday, November 10th. There are going to be "pin the finger on the clitoris" and “locate the g-spot” games followed by contests to see how quickly and properly people of both sexes can put condoms on bananas.

Believe it or not, "Dr" Mike "Hoo-hoo dilly" Adams--he of the charming "republican girls are better-looking than Democratic girls" theory--is rather irritated by this. He writes:
Jessica Polka, an executive board member for the co-sponsor of the event, was recently quoted as saying that “We also have the goal of trying to work toward fighting the social stigma against female sexuality.” In other words, she wants college women to become whores without being ostracized.

Yes, because only a whore enjoys a good orgasm, having their clitoris fingered, or g-spot located. Or cares enough about their health to want to know how to put on a condom quickly and properly.

While the UNC administration is undoubtedly thrilled that these coeds are turning out to be nymphomaniacs rather than intellectuals, not all of the blame can be placed on UNC.

Yes, because if a woman expresses (or probably even experiences) sexual desire, she is automatically an irrational nymphomaniac.
Indeed, FSU may have gotten the idea for their “orgasm festival” from the University of California, San Diego.

It's times like this I'm really glad I was born in California, and not North Carolina, Ohio or Tennessee.


Did you hear about the White House messing with The Onion? It's about this. And this is their response.

Well, you've heard the big news...

...everybody's talking about it...George "Sulu" Takei coming out as a homosexual, of course. What'd you think I was talking about? But seriously: I'd heard tittle to the effect that Takei was gay years ago. When you live in the SF Bay Area, few gay celebrities are news.

But thinking this morning about why it's taken him this long, I was remembering one or two things I know about him from reading his intriguing autobiography. He's a man of an age when this sort of thing simply wasn't talked about. Not only that, he has direct experience of being persecuted simply because of who he is...he and his family were in internment camps in WW2.

He was only a child (4-8), which has to put the fear of god into you.

On a personal note, I've always kind of liked Takei; you didn't get to see enough of it in Star Trek (with rare exceptions) but anyone who's ever seen him at a convention knows he is a very personally charming man. And if you ever got a chance to see him in a television production of a play called Year of the Dragon by Frank Chin, you know he has muscles as an actor he almost never got to stretch. It's avalible on videotape at your better stores.

I'm glad, both for himself and for the gay and lesbian community, that he was able to take this step.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

You know...this doesn't even seem funny and flip anymore

Just kind of, well, serious and loathsome. So, this will probably be our last game of..."Who Said It?"
..."The reason for not misleading the Congress is a very practical one...It's stupid. It's self-defeating ... Eventually you destroy the president's credibility." ...

Clearly, there is plenty of work to be done if Congress is going to equip itself to play a constructive role in the conduct of U.S. _ U.S. foreign policy in the years ahead. And I fervently hope that future presidents will take away from these hearings one important lesson, that no foreign policy can be effective for long without the wholehearted support of the Congress and the American people. It is often easier to develop a policy to be pursued overseas than it is to muster the political support here at home to sustain it. Covert action has its place in the kind of world we live in, but it is no substitute for the kind of effective political leadership that brings around a recalcitrant Congress and persuades the American people of the importance of supporting those who share our faith in democracy.

Now, who said it? Go see. And see if it doesn't just make you want to spit on them.

What's next?

Oliver Willis has a short post (this is the whole thing):

It’s clear with the knifing of Miers that the far right has kicked the butt of the Bush White House. The next nominee will in all likelihood be a hard right ideologue who thinks Roe is a myth and civil rights protections a work of fiction. One analysis on tv said that it would take the senate a month to prep for the next nominee which would push the entire process past the holiday hiatus… and into the election year.

Is 2006 going to be the year where we fight over a far right power grab on the American courts? Does Bush want that? The reason the right has to nominate people like Roberts, Miers, and even Bush himself is because America simply does not embrace the right-wing crazies.

I dunno; I'm still inclined to think the next nominee will be another moderate Republican. Someone too right for me and my pagan friends but not nearly right enough for the far right. Just maybe...a qualified one this time.

Oh people, people, people...

Kesher Talk ("News and views from a hawkish liberal Jewish perspective") has some unkind things to say about an interview with Joe Wilson that appeared in my local paper. To wit that he was being "ironic":
“The fact that this may become a crisis of governance should please no one,” Wilson said at a private hotel reception before speaking in downtown Seattle Wednesday evening.

Yes, that is a very proper and admirable sentiment. No doubt that is why the Dems, taking their clues from him, have christened Indictment Day, which could come any day now, as a new holiday, called Fitzmas. In the sense of isn’t it wonderful…it’s beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas. And of course some people are worried that the Grinch will steal Fitzmas this year. In which case, their schadenfreude level won’t be met.

People...I'll say it slowly. Wilson. Was. Right. In the almost three years since our wrongheaded invasion of Iraq, that has only become more clear: Wilson was right. And because he was right, men at the highest levels of our goverment put out a "hit" on him and his family.

If those of us who belong (more or less) to the Democratic party are seen to be enjoying the idea that people who do wrong might actually be punished for it, well, it's not because we're taking our "clues" (they meant cues) from Wilson or anybody else.

It's because that's what happens in the America we believe in and have been missing for five years; what some hawks liked to call "accountability" when it was about sex. It's not schadenfreude, it's relief.

How do we break this to him?

Jessica at Feministing found an absolutely classic news item from Austin, Texas. It seems that a Pastor there, Ryan Rush, is peeved that the Klan is coming to town. Well, we can certainly understand that--nobody wants the Klan to come to town.

Even (especially) when they're there to support the same thing you support. See, the Klan is coming to support a homophobic gay marriage amendment...which Pastor Rush also supports.

Rush said that a group that would come in that is characterized as hateful and bigoted is not welcome in this city. He said he doesn't want the Klan as a partner on any cause.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: If you're against same-sex marriage, you are a hateful bigot. There is no compromise. Again, I encourage you to embrace it. Get yourself fitted for a sheet and just accept yourself now.

Ain't nobody that Spies Like Us (and vice versa)

Update: Steve Gilliard has a couple of interesting posts today, one serious, one not so much (but not entirely unserious either). First, he writes a thoughtful answer to a question about why he thinks the GOP is-really-falling apart. He begins:

The reason I think this could be the end of the GOP is very simple: corruption from all corners. You have the Majority Leader of the House, the defacto speaker, the Majority Leader of the Senate and the White House all facing criminal investigation.

This is the kind of thing which will fracture the party. It becomes easier to jump ship when the ship is on fire. Bush is a miserable manager, and with Cheney under intense scrutiny and if half of what Fitzgerald is reported to be up to, not only is he not finished, but Cheney is clearly in his sights. What you have now is an unpopular, and I believe emotionally unstable president, who basically let Cheney make all of his key decisions, who relied on Rove daily, facing the loss of his support team.

What is the ripple effect of that? The President can no longer raise money for candidates, neither can DeLay and Frist isn't all that popular, any legal troubles will cripple him as well.

Read the rest. Second, a more fun post theorizing that:
Americans like spies.

We may not fully trust special operators, we may not fully appreciate the FBI, but Americans love spies. Even the most diehard leftist can pick up Alan Furst and be carried away to 1930's Paris or read about the cold war machinations of George Smiley and his battles against Karla and the Moscow Circus.

The reason the GOP has been desperate to minimize Valerie Plame and her career is as simple as a trip to Blockbuster or Barnes and Noble.

In the American imagination, spies are heroes. From the suave Scotsman James Bond to the harried old school spies of John LeCarre, to the quick and sly spies of Len Deighton to the weary spies of Graham Greene, the spy is a hero in our imagination. He is the man at the end of the rope who lives.

When it becomes clear that the Bush Administration really did betray spies, all hell will break loose. While most Americans have little idea of what espionage is, a grimy business of betrayal, blackmail and greed, they know that when they go to the movies, they've seen everyone from Brad Pitt to Michael Douglas play spies. They know James Bond is the modern Western hero, suave and deadly.

Two to the right, two to the left

Okay, here's my favorite (so far) responses to Miers' withdrawal. First, from the Republican Llama Butchers (and, politics aside, I like that logo):
I've been trying all this time to analogize Dubya's pick of Miers to that scene in Bull Durham where Crash tells Nuke to hit the mascot on purpose in order to throw off the batter. After Nuke does so, Crash looks up at the batter, shrugs and says, "I dunno where it's goin'," and gives him an evil laugh. The next pitch, of course, is a perfect heater that catches the batter flat-footed.

I still hope this is what the White House had in mind, because the alternative explanation - that this was a genuinely accidental wild pitch - is rather unpleasant to contemplate.

In either case, if Dubya does bring the heat now, this whole issue vanishes. The base will rally round.

See, this is what Democrats mean when we say Republicans are "in denial." We see a president whose failures have all caught up with him in one year. From WMD to the Plame scandal to being anti-torture unless it's us doing the torturing to a diminished and depleted military.

It's no secret that I'm a Democrat, but I'd think even Republicans would be wondering if Presidents ever recover from years as bad as Bush has had. But no, what they see is an evil genius who probably needed to be taken down a peg and reminded what his base is, but who now can get up off the mat and make everything all right again.

Next, we have Brutally Honest, also right-wing, with an odd headline: Miers retires. I think the blogger means, "withdraws." But he further goes on to say:
It's said that one's character can be defined as the byproduct of how mistakes are handled. President Bush made a mistake with the Miers nomination. I'm hoping that his next choice will be properly credentialed, a strict constructionist and someone who conservative can not only get behind but get in the face of those on the left who will attempt to block the appointment.

Now is not the time to put forth a nominee that the left will embrace. Now is the time for a nominee to be named that will challenge the weak-kneed Republicans in the Senate to grow a spine.

My expectations of the Senate living up to that challenge are low sadly but much higher is the hope that President Bush will make amends.

So let me get this straight. You're pinning...your hopes...on how George...W...Bush...handles his mistakes. to put this...based on the President Bush that we liberals have been watching for five years...I wouldn't go uncorking that champaigne just yet.

I know we live in different worlds; in ours, President Bush does not admit failures well. My best guess, in my admittedly nonexpert opinion, is that he will put forth a nominee not much better, from the Republican POV, than Miers.

Good old Alberto "Geneva convention? What Geneva convention?" Gonzales seems a likely possibility...

And now here we are on the left, where Scott Shields writes:
Miers Withdraws: White House Bows To Far Right
That should be the headline of every newspaper in the nation tomorrow morning, as that's exactly what happened.
The only way for Bush to prove to the nation that he's not a complete and total hypocrite is to nominate a moderate or a moderate conservative. The 'Withdraw Miers' crowd can talk about qualifications all they want, but they have made far too many public statements about her lack of far right credentials to credibly claim that she was pushed out for anything but failing their right wing litmus test. Witness Michelle Malkin openly admitting that the 'documents' excuse was little more than window dressing (emphasis mine, of course):

Exit strategy hinged on refusal to release privileged White House documents. (Ed Morrissey and Charles Krauthammer called it.) Whatever. We know the real reasons. Now, onto a candidate that conservatives can be proud of, okay?

There's more on MyDD.

ETA: "TChris" also has some good things to say:
The president announced his intent to select a replacement for Harriet Miers in a “timely manner.” Miers was torpedoed by extremist critics in the president’s own party, raising the fear of an appeasement pick.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) cautioned Democrats to be careful what they wished for. "For those who were concerned that Harriet Miers was too conservative, you should not be too sanguine about this," Obama said.

Dick Durbin warned that the president is “almost certain to turn to a nominee that is embraced by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.” Harry Ried cautioned the president not to travel that road:

Harry Reid, D-Nevada, blamed "the radical right wing of the Republican Party" for ending Miers' nomination. "Apparently, Ms. Miers did not satisfy those who want to pack the Supreme Court with rigid ideologues," Reid said.

Again, there's more here at TalkLeft.

The things you find in conservative blogs


I'm reading blogs from both the left and the right about Bush's defeat on Miers, preparing to write a post. That'll be along shortly, but in the meantime, I just had to share with you this dandy photo I found at a "patriots" blog.
Clever, isn't it? Especially when conservative bloggers are lining up to enlist. Fucking chickenhawks. Especially in light of yesterday's post about the liberal Democrat college student who is doing his duty as a Marine. In contrast to the "I can serve my country better from here" republicans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just 'cause I feel like it

Some women, and one or two things, I think are beautiful...

I'm not following this

So there's this fella named Alex Cornell du Houx; 21-years-old, a college senior. Alex is development director for the College Democrats of America and co-president of the Maine College Democrats.

He and his family feel the current war in Iraq is unjust. Nevertheless, in little over a month, he will be leaving for Iraq. As a Marine.

While Cornell du Houx has actively rallied against many of President Bush's policies, he feels that his involvement in the Marines is not a conflict of interest.

"Regardless of my opinions regarding the war in Iraq, it is my duty as a U.S. Marine to serve and I am ready and willing to do my job to its fullest extent," he said.

Follow this link and read the rest of the news item; it's impressive. I don't know about you, but to me, this is the kind of young man about whom words like "Godspeed" and "good luck" should be used, if not yet "hero."

Ah, but we have reckoned without the much-talked about character of the College Republicans, who feel it is not enough for him to be serving his country in a war they won't dirty their hands with; he should stop opposing our president as well:

Daniel Schuberth, a leader of the Bowdoin College Republicans and College Republican national secretary, said, "I applaud Mr. Houx for his service, just as I applaud any other soldier who is brave enough to take up arms in defense of his country. I find it troubling, however, that one of the most vocal opponents of our president, our country and our mission in Iraq has chosen to fight for a cause he claims is wrong. Mr. Houx's rhetoric against the war on terror places him in agreement with the most radical fringes of the Democratic Party, and I am left to question his logic and motivation."


the genuine article

From an unidentified author in The New Yorker, long-ago:
Every so often, though, we're stopped dead by a crisis that we recognize at once as the genuine article; we recognize it not by its size (false crisis can be made to look as big as real ones) but because in the course of it, for a measurable, anguished period-sometimes only minutes, sometimes hours, rarely as much as a day-nothing happens.

From Murray Waas, today:
As we await word from the federal grand jury hearing the CIA leak case (and despite all your phone calls and emails, I really don't know... or pretend to know much more than anyone else), I am reminded of these words written in his diary by Leonard Garment, an aide to Richard Nixon on Christmas Day, 1972, when James McCord was indicted for his role in the Watergate break-in.

Garment was in turn quoting Jose Ortega y Gasset: "We do not know what is happening, and that is what happening."

What? What?

David Neiwert found a column by Mike "Hoo-hoo dilly" Adams, doctor of humor, in which he says that conservative women are better-looking than liberal women. Yes. And not only that:
The public discussion of this issue will help Republicans answer some important questions. For example: "Should we assume that being gay often causes one to be a Democrat? Isn't it more likely that the lack of exposure to attractive women causes Democrats to be gay?" And "Do Democratic women consider compliments in the workplace to be sexual harassment simply because they rarely hear them?"

But, of course, it isn't necessary at this time to explore the many intellectual questions that flow from the observation that our women are more attractive than theirs. Instead, we must immediately begin to exploit the issue for political gain. And the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute is doing just that by publishing a calendar featuring, among others, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and Shemane Nugent.

Now, granted, the most Republican woman I've ever known happens to be a pretty girl with a great rack, but I've always considered that to be a meaningless coincidence. Although, if we're not going to limit ourselves to real Republicans, there's always Ainsley Hayes.

Still, perhaps he's right. Maybe women Democrats are just dogs.

Women like Rosario Dawson and Portia de Rossi.

Yes, I think we all know where they'd end up on a "hot or not" list, especially when compared to the likes of Michelle Malkin. I'm convinced; I'm switching parties.

ETA: And in a related entry, Shakespeare's Sister writes today about a new theory about why Women Aren't Funny. My all-time favorite quote on this subject comes from one of the original woman writers for Saturday Night Live, Anne Beatts:
Men feel threatened by women being funny...because they think the ultimate woman's joke is "How big is it?"

I know I constantly feel threatened by performers like Amber Benson & Alyson Hannigan, Katy Sagall, Susan Sarandon and pretty much any woman working from an Aaron Sorkin script. But it's true, on a personal note, a woman I know with nice comic timing was definitely threatening to me.

So much so, she was only one of the best lovers I ever had.

What Holly said

And for once I'm not talking about Holly Hunter, one of my favorite actresses and all-around fabulous babe, but Holly Martins, who says at Wonkette:

Indictus Interruptus: DC Tumbrils Headless Another Day
Look, we know Patrick Fitzgerald is a by-the-books tieclipped tightass and everything, and really, we're grateful. Who else could have had the fortitude to trace the source of the Plame leak all the way back to the sulphuric maw of Dark Lord Cheney? But all this tension is getting unbearable. We haven't clicked so compulsively on the CNN site since the days of the Janet Jackson Superbowl clip. Can't the guy take pity on us and hand down just one charge to tide us over? Another day like this, and the sheer distraction of the thing will have us believing Harriet Miers is actually qualified for the federal bench.

I agree with every single word of this post

Matthew Yglesias:
I'll certainly read the article on Brent Scowcroft when it comes out, but I feel compelled to at least semi-dissent from the heaping of praise upon the likes of Scowcroft, Larry Wilkerson, Richard Haas, and other Republicans who've started speaking out against the Bush administration lately. Everything they say could have been said 12-18 months ago when it would have made a difference for the future of the country. But that would have meant taking fire from the then-intact conservative attack machine, and gotten them labeled as bad party men. Instead of speaking out when Bush was strong and trying to weaken him, they've waited until Bush is weak and decided to pile-on in an effort to save their own reputations.

Read the whole thing. Made the hair on my arms stand up.

To kill time as we nervously wait for Patrick

...Jane Hamsher has put together a collection of quotes on the subject of whether or not perjury is grounds to remove a President; including:
Bill Frist (R-TN): To not remove President Clinton for grand jury perjury lowers uniquely the Constitution's removal standard, and thus requires less of the man who appoints all federal judges than we require of those judges themselves.

I will have no part in the creation of a constitutional double-standard to benefit the President. He is not above the law. If an ordinary citizen committed these crimes, he would go to jail.

Henry Hyde (R-ILL, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee): But when circumstances require you to participate in a formal court proceeding and under oath mislead the parties and the court by lying, that is a public act and deserves public sanction. Perjury is a crime with a five-year penalty.

Chuck Hagel (R-NB): There can be no shading of right and wrong. The complicated currents that have coursed through this impeachment process are many. But after stripping away the underbrush of legal technicalities and nuance, I find that the President abused his sacred power by lying and obstructing justice. How can parents instill values and morality in their children? How can educators teach our children? How can the rule of law for every American be applied equally if we have two standards of justice in America--one for the powerful and the other for the rest of us?

Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Perjury and obstruction hammer away at the twin pillars of our legal system: truth and justice. Every witness in every deposition is required to raise his or her right hand and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God. Every witness in every grand jury proceeding and in every trial is required to raise his or her right hand and swear to tell the truth. Every official declaration filed with the court is stamped with the express affirmation that the declaration is true. In the words of our nation's first Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Jay: `if oaths should cease to be held sacred, our dearest and most valuable rights would become insecure.'

Today is the 35-year anniversary of "Doonesbury"

CBS News:
For the past year, "Doonesbury" - published by Kansas City, Mo.-based Universal Press Syndicate - has followed the progress of character B.D., who lost a leg to an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Iraq. The story has been praised by groups that work with injured soldiers and derided by others like Fox's Bill O'Reilly, who compared Trudeau to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

It's the latest in a long career of giving politicians and newspaper editors heartburn as Trudeau and his cast of Baby Boomers, reformed hippies, blogging teenagers and one Hunter S. Thompson-esque mercenary named Uncle Duke debate the issues of the day on the funny pages of almost 1,500 newspapers around the world. Wednesday marks the strip's 35-year anniversary.

"Well, it's a humor strip, so my first responsibility has always been to entertain the reader," Trudeau said in response to e-mailed questions from The Associated Press. "But if, in addition, I can help move readers to thought and judgment about issues that concern me, so much the better."

Reason magazine associate editor Jesse Walker said the strip has occasional breakthroughs, but has become more Democrat polemic than satire and Trudeau's best work is decades behind him.

I disagree about that. As Mark Evanier wrote in an excellent column a handful of years ago,
Garry Trudeau is probably a liberal on anyone's Political Preference Chart, but he's delivered a few good body-blows to this nation's more prominent liberals. (I have a friend, conservative to the extreme, who thinks those are the only funny Doonesbury strips. When Trudeau goes after Ted Kennedy, he's a brilliant political satirist; when he targets Newt Gingrich, he's an unfunny, know-zero propaganda monger. This is the kind of thing that convinces me Trudeau is fair, especially since I have liberal friends who think just the opposite.)

I also think Trudeau's work in the last year has been some of his most powerful and admirable. But, to get back to the CBS News story:
In 1984, a week of Doonesbury strips depicting Vice President Bush placing his "manhood in a blind trust" led to this Bush retort: "Doonesbury's carrying water for the opposition. Trudeau is coming out of deep left field."

Doonesbury's 25-year anniversary collection, Flashbacks, contains a collection of quotes marking the evolution of Bush, Sr's public responses to the strip, from "I don't get troubled by Doonesbury because I know who I am," to "So I'm saying, why should I be all uptight, when people don't need a filter, you know?"
Trudeau refutes his far-left, anti-Republican label, saying he's supported "moderate" Republicans over the years and not "mindless ideologues like the ones who who've had a stranglehold on power the past five years."

This can be supported. In 1980 he went so far as to feature his title character working in a series of strips as an advance man for moderate Republican John Anderson.
Internet blogs broadcast a wide range of perspectives and television viewers can tune in nightly to the late show monologues or Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Is "Doonesbury" still relevant?

"That's for the readers to adjudge, but I will say that in general public commentators have nowhere near the clout that we enjoyed 35 years ago, the age of four TV channels and no Internet," [Trudeau] said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's all good. You can't have too many voices in a democracy. Talented people will find their audiences."

Christopher Lamb, an associate professor of communication at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, dedicated a chapter to "Doonesbury" in his book "Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Political Cartoons."

"Satire is ephemeral. It doesn't last. For Trudeau to do it for so long is just incredible," Lamb said. "He may be competing with satirists like Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce and H.L. Mencken. He rides the cultural, political and social waves. He's a heck of an observer."

And just as a reminder of what all the fuss is about, here's today's Doonesbury. Still funny in my book.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'm sick of coming up with clever ways to say this

No more beating around the Bush: Republicans are just toads. They think reporting the news that 2000 men and women have now lost their lives in a war that was and is wrong is anti-Bush.

Just toads. Period, end of sentence. Meanwhile, this is how a Democrat marks the milestone:
The Army is now running a series of horrid comnmercials where kids, black kids talk to the parents about all the fun things
they can do in the military.

Truck convoys to Ramadi and patrols around Baghdad are not included.

Losing your leg is not included.

Having them make you a new skull isn't included.

Being told there is no money for college isn't included.

Watching your friends die in your arms isn't included.


At least they have the support of their countrymen


Only one in 10 Americans said they believe Bush administration officials did nothing illegal or unethical in connection with the leaking of a CIA operative's identity, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

Thirty-nine percent said some administration officials acted illegally in the matter, in which the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, was revealed.

The same percentage of respondents in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll said Bush administration officials acted unethically, but did nothing illegal.

Plame and her husband, retired State Department career diplomat Joseph Wilson, have accused Bush administration officials of deliberately leaking her identity to the media to retaliate against Wilson after he published an opinion piece in The New York Times.

The July 2003 article cast doubt on a key assertion in the Bush administration's arguments for war with Iraq -- that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium for a suspected nuclear weapons program in Africa.

As one or two other bloggers have said, I really wish when they report things like this they'd include the fact that the doubt turned out to be prudent and fully-justified. Seems important.


Well, here we are once again with the good people at the conservative National Review Online. Here we find Jim Geraghty arguing with Hugh Hewitt about the fact that the GOP is, to coin a phrase, "turning on each other like runner-up beauty queens."

Hewitt feels that the GOP would do well to emulate the loyalty to their president that he thinks Democrats showed when Bill Clinton was in trouble. Geraghty asks,

Is the Democratic Party's steadfast refusal to hold Clinton accountable for anything really the role model that the GOP wants to emulate?

Later, Hewitt responds:

I did not call for the GOP to steadfastly defend the president and his nominee against obviously meritous charges of perjury, etc. I argued that the Democratic Party's example of absurd and wrong headed loyalty of a scandal-plagued Clinton contrasted sharply with many among the GOP's immediate turn on Bush/Miers even before the hearings, when Bush deserves political support from the very people he has aided, at a minimum until the hearings begin. The GOP and allied pundits cold move a long way towards party loyalty and the sort of political maturity that enduring majority coalitions need without ever coming close to the line the Democrats crossed with Clinton, and that move would serve the party and their goals in the long run.

The Bushies, as represented by Hewitt and Geraghty, still don't get it. They think we were absurd to oppose impeaching a President Of The United States over actions which had nothing to do with his job. They say we were wrong-headed to remain loyal to a "scandal plagued" Clinton. Conveniently forgetting that 99% of the scandals that plagued him were bought, paid for and otherwise created by the GOP.

As Molly Ivins once memorably pointed out,

"If left to my own devices I'd spend all my time pointing out that [Clinton's] weaker than bus-station chili. But the man is so constantly subjected to such hideous and unfair abuse that I wind up standing up for him on the general principle that some fairness should be applied."

I've used that quote before but I think it bears repeating because it so perfectly sums up what I think most Democrats (certainly I) think about Clinton. It's hard to agree that your man should be horsewhipped when you're too busy trying to stop the other guys from hanging him.

The reason Bush is losing political support is because the events of the past year have finally made it clear that he deserves little or none. The reason Clinton lost little or none of his political support is not because Democrats "crossed a line," or don't care about perjury or obstruction. It was because we drew a line and said: No more. We really don't care that much who the president has sex with, and we certainly don't think it's impeachable or grounds for resignation.

It's because Democrats, and the nation, showed that "political maturity" of which Hewitt writes. Enough to know that Republicans had backed Clinton into a corner not out of the interests of the nation but out of resentment of him personally.

On a completely unrelated matter, also in firedoglake today, ReddHead picked a choice quote from a NY Daily News article:

A senior Senate Democratic aide said, "When it's about perjury and obstruction and it deals with sex, Republicans think it's worthy of impeachment. When it's about perjury and obstruction dealing with national security, they don't take it seriously."

Feminism is silly

So says Warner Todd Huston of Renew America. Now, before we continue, I want you to click on that link and see if you can keep from bursting out laughing when you see Warner Todd Huston. I couldn't.

I'm sorry if that sounds cruel, but what the hey, I gotta do something until the indictments roll in. Now, on to what he actually says:
now, we can safely say the battle is won. "Feminism," as a movement, is now unnecessary. In fact it has become silly at best and dangerous at worst.

The battle is won? All right! Party over at my place, everybody! Ladies, bring your miniskirts and birth-control pills, we're gonna party like it's 1979!

At Amherst Regional High School in New Hampshire they have decided to stop calling freshmen students by that long standing and venerable name. They have decided to call their students "Ninth Graders" instead of freshmen.

I'd bet you've already sensed why this decision has been made, haven't you? That's right, Amherst High has decided to stop using the word freshmen because that appellation has the word "men" in it. How gauche to have a word that might be misconstrued as having a possible male connotation despite the fact that no one even considers the word to be gender specific.

So far, actually, I agree with this, such a decision does seem silly, cosmetic, and arbitrary. But I'm not sure whether making a fuss over it is any better or worse than the people who made a fuss about "freshman" in the first place.

Staff writer, Rachel Hanley, of the Daily Hampshire Gazette said that the school wanted to "move away from 'freshman'" as a "result of conversations among faculty that began after the controversial production of The Vagina Monologues two years ago."

So, it's perfectly fine to talk about "vaginas" in high school using a word that seems suspiciously gender specific, but not the word "freshmen"? Curious that.

Um...Warner...The Vagina Monologues is about vaginias. It's monologues about them. Vaginias themselves, in fact, are gender specific. There are no male vaginas but there are female freshmen, and I think that was their point. Again, not saying I agree with it 100% or approve of the actions being taken, but...

Oh, by the way, as we go on, do you notice that Mr. Huston has the kind of relationship with good writing and literacy that would make him a prime candidate to be a FEMA aide?

We have already dummed down our college course with too much social "sciences," and inapplicable and pseudo fields such as Gay studies, Women's studies or Minority studies. Why not add Popsicle stick art and finger painting as college level courses, the same relevance and seriousness would apply?

Yes...I suppose we have "dummed" down our college course[s], haven't we?

The battle for feminism has been won, yet he still feels comfortable equating the study of the place of women (or gays or minorities) in history with activities for children. Uh-huh.

No, feminism has become as much a thing of the past as rotary phones or buggy whips. It's time to move on, girls. Join the men as leaders of the nation, not as spoiled, half-educated whiners, would ya?

But Warner Todd! The leader of the nation is a...

What's the buzz, tell me what's a-happenin

Firedoglake's Jane has a good round-up of the bloggers on how things stand.
Wonkette: ...things are ugly and it's not just the weather....According to a reporter intimately familiar with White House operations, 'these slimy thugs are turning on each other like runner-up beauty queens.'"

Just great. Now all I can think about is Dick Cheney getting into a bitch-fight with Scott McClellan, the two of them in ballgown drag, mascara running down their tear-stained cheeks...

Steve Clemons: "An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN:
1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.

3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.

4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday."

Steve is also reporting the rumor that McCain has been approached to replace Cheney if "health problems" force him to step down.

In Memoriam

Rosa Parks, 1913-2005

Thanks to Media Girl for the image.

Monday, October 24, 2005


This race is already run
Get off your horse, get on this train
"Welcome to the real world"
I said "Welcome to the real world"
Are we rushing like the wind?
Naked out and naked in
"Welcome to the free world "
I said "Welcome to the me world "
Are we rushing like the wind?

Put your lovin' arms around

Did you lose your faith in God, no?
Does your conscience always get you down?
Fall to pieces, rough and tumble
Does your conscience always get you down?

These days it's all in the mind
It's Elemental
Don't say you're up when you're down
It's Elemental

Put your lovin' arms around

This your new year's resolution
Put your lovin'arms around
Nothing doing resolution
Put your lovin' arms around

Take another leap in the dark
With a humble heart
Do yourself some good
What did you become?
Patience, be sure
Baby, baby

These days it's all in the mind
It's Elemental
Don't say you're up when you're down
It's Elemental

~Tears For Fears


This is obviously looking like a pretty good week for us liberals. Conservatives are turning on each other and Bush is being hammered in the approval polls all over this land. Speaking of which, Tom Delay, "The Hammer" himself, is about to get nailed to the wall.

Republicans are bracing for indictments that may go as high as Cheney or even higher and resignations if not impeachment are starting to seem like a real possibility. Meanwhile, the rationale for war, which is what most of this is about, has all but completely collapsed.

Best of all, the conservatives' tormentors are men whose honesty nobody that is unbiased seems to be able to question seriously. So you gotta ask yourself:

Is there anything that could make this moment any better than it is right now? Gee, I dunno, maybe if, somehow, Tucker Carlson were to choose this moment to remind us all yet again of what an awful human being he is.

Well, guess what.


I must have fallen on my feet
A hundred times or more
I heard the wind blow down the street
The knocking at the door
But there was no one there
Though I looked everywhere
So was it all a dream?

Oh Halloween

The spirits of the past
The costumes and the masks
The shipwrecks and the ghosts
From up and down the coast
They've all come back to see
If we were meant to be
We can't escape our dreams


You must have followed me back home
And hid behind my back
No one could find me on their own
I'm off the beaten track
Well I was scared before
But I'm afraid no more
And nothing's as it seems


The spirits of the past
The costumes and the masks
To me they don't disguise
The presence in your eyes
They turn their heads to see
If we were meant to be
A nightmare or a dream

Oh Halloween

The spirits of the past
The costumes and the masks
To me they don't disguise
The presence in your eyes
They turn their heads to see
If we were meant to be
A nightmare or a dream

Oh Halloween

~Kirsty MacColl

A foggy day in Washington (D.C.) Town

The Mahablog blows away some of the smoke...

Richard Stevenson and David Johnston write in the New York Times that Republicans are bracing for indictments and are getting their excuses...ready.
… On Sunday, Republicans appeared to be preparing to blunt the impact of any charges. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, speaking on the NBC news program “Meet the Press,” compared the leak investigation with the case of Martha Stewart and her stock sale, “where they couldn’t find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn’t a crime.”

The chief talking point seems to be that “bringing charges like perjury mean the prosecutor does not have a strong case,” write the NY Times reporters.

Hmm, let’s think. What was it the righties kept saying about the Clinton witchhunt investigations and impeachment? That it wasn’t about sex, it was about lying under oath? I do believe I remember that.

Oh, but Clinton was a Democrat lying under oath. That’s different. Sorry, I forgot...Snarking aside, this flip flop on the severity of perjury is so hypocritical that even Michelle Malkin was bothered by it. Malkin links to a statement made by Senator Hutchison in 1999 on the Clinton articles of impeachment in which the Senator declared that lying to a Grand Jury and other acts of justice obstruction are extremely serious matters. And you’ll remember that righties everywhere took this lesson to heart–obstruction of justice is real bad. And now the GOP is saying that it isn’t that big a deal. No wonder they are confused.

Side note: This ties into something I've been thinking about for a couple of days, in rare moments of sympathy for Democrats. No wonder they're having some trouble winning us liberals over. They're facing an electorate made up of people who have now had five years of training in healthy skepticism, not just in general, but specifically about them and their motives.

We don't forget the people who just stood by and let the right do this to our country...and that includes Al Gore.

On the other hand Republicans, those lucky dogs, have spent five years (and more) training their base to be credulous, gullible fools. Now I ask you...which vote would you rather go after? Yeah, me too.

But I digress. Now, back to Mahablog:

And, of course, we lefties don’t forget that Clinton attempted to cover up a personal sexual relationship that didn’t make any difference to how he was running the country. The Bushies (allegedly) are trying to cover up a breach of national security.

And reporters keep insisting on writing stories about Fitzgerald that queer the new Republican Talking Point image of him foaming at the mouth.

in WaPo, Peter Slevin and Carol D. Leonnig write that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is known for being tough and bipartisan. “…in a case with huge political stakes for the White House,” they write, “a portrait is emerging of a special counsel with no discernible political bent who prepared the ground with painstaking sleuthing and cold-eyed lawyering.”

Known for convicting Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and for compiling the first criminal indictment against Osama bin Laden, Fitzgerald is an Irish doorman’s son who attended a Jesuit high school, then Amherst College — where he was a Phi Beta Kappa mathematics and economics major — and Harvard.

He registered to vote in New York as an independent. When he discovered that Independent was a political party, he re-registered with no affiliation. Illinois citizens know him for pursuing Republicans and Democrats with equal fervor. Former governor George Ryan (R) is on trial on corruption charges, and a growing number of aides to Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) face influence-peddling charges.

My god. Am I mistaken, or is this guy really, as he appears to be, the one thing against which the walls of Washington DC cannot stand: An honest man. It's positively Capraesque, for God's sake.

I don't usually agree with conservative blogs

But Wizbang is right, the most signifigant thing about Alec Baldwin's debut as a Huffington poster is his showing that as a writer, he makes a damn fine Saturday Night Live host. I probably agree with everything he has to say, but I will fight to the death for my right not to read the way he says it.

I just lost a semi-long post about this

But that's okay, because Carperbagger Report has it covered.
Been waiting patiently for the Bush gang to go on the offensive against Patrick Fitzgerald? Wait no more.

As the White House and Republicans brace for possible indictments in the CIA leak probe, defenders have launched a not-so-subtle campaign against the prosecutor handling the case.

"He's a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he's been tapped by God to do very important things," one White House ally said, referring to special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

The fact that Thomas DeFrank added that the source was referring to Fitzgerald was helpful, because it seems to me the description applies to someone else.

I'm convinced: At least some in the White House, and other Republicans, have got to be literally shitting in their pants.

There is no such thing as a dignified photo of this President

Case in point. Via Firedoglake,an NY Daily News story that says...well, that says here Bush is with his faith and his Peter Pan advice; he has no scars on his face and he cannot handle pressure...

Presidential advisers and friends say Bush is a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy, occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the "blame game." They describe him as beset but unbowed, convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency even if they damage him and his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the President himself," said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."

Oh, this is good.

ETA: Steve at The News Blog argues that stories like this up the chances for impeachment, or at the very least a graceful exit via the 25th Amendment.
If I was a House member and read [the emphasized text above], impeachment would be a much less distant prospect today. He's saying that he could give a shit about your job.

I don't quite know what I want to say about this

In a recent issue of the Journal of Popular Culture, authors James K. Beggan of the University of Louisville and Scott T. Allison of the University of Richmond argue that the women of Playboy magazine are getting “tougher.”

Beggan and Allison...found a pattern to the way that Playboy's wordsmiths described the women who graced the magazine's centerfold. They were typically strong, career-oriented, aggressive and, in a surprising number of instances, downright "tough." Adjectives suggesting vulnerability, submissiveness or passivity appeared less frequently.
But are these women really as they were described? Perhaps not, Beggan acknowledges. But it doesn't matter: "This is the image of them that is being presented to men."

OK, but is the text describing the Playboy models really what men are paying attention to? If a woman is posed in a vulnerable an submissive position in her picture, I think that’s going to trump any “aggressive” text descriptions.

-From Feministing.

I think there's something in here about what I call "bionic bimbo" feminism, after reading Where the Girls Are, by Susan J. Douglas. After the feminism wave of the '60s and '70s came a vogue for TV shows that put up a front of being about strong women but were in fact a bit of a sham. Think Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Bewitched, I think Buffy more recently.

As Douglas put it:

They would show us women with power, but only in comic book settings that could never be mistaken for reality. This power had to be kept secret, as the women who possessed it masqueraded as regular women, as lower-class women, as women with absolutely no power at all. Given their power, it was critical that these women be hyperfeminized, with large, gravity defying breasts and perfectly souffleed hair.

So if it's true that women are being presented in Playboy magazine as "tougher," does that really mean anything when they're also presenting themselves as figures of fantasy? I actually don't have a problem with that, I'd be a hypocrite if I said I did.

But I wonder if people aren't kidding themselves. I don't believe that posing in the nude is an inherently anti-feminist act. But I don't know if it's any more likely that because a 14-year-old boy sees "tougher" language next to a picture of pubes, he's going to grow up admiring women as people.

Meaningless facts

Courtesy of Birthday Calculator:

My date of conception was on or about 9 December 1970.
I am 17,960,669 minutes old (and counting).
My birth tree is:

Pine Tree, the Particularity
Loves agreeable company, very robust, knows how to make life comfortable, very active, natural, good companion, but seldom friendly, falls easily in love but its passion burns out quickly, gives up easily, many disappointments till it finds its ideal, trustworthy, practical.

True, maybe kind of but not really, if I did don't you think I'd be happier, ha, only inasmuch as everything is, I hope to god, probably true (unfortunately), all too true, ditto, true (sob), I like to think so, not so much as I'd like.

A lot of the other blogs are throwing "Fitzmas" lines these days

As in "It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas." Fortunately, I'm better than that.

Update: On the other hand, this "Fitzmas" joke made me laugh:
Rudolph, the subpeona delivering reindeer.

Back to original post: However, I did want to point you to this latest update by the NY Times:
After a 22-month inquiry, the special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is expected to announce this week whether he will seek indictments against White House officials, a decision that is likely to be a defining moment of President Bush's second term.

Personally, I think/hope that 30 years from now, when the histories are being written, the defining moment of Bush's entire presidency will be that "My Pet Goat" moment.

That's when he had a chance for greatness. And that's when he blew it.

"We know that the president wasn't truthful with us when he sent us to Iraq," the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, said on ABC's "This Week." "What got Rove and Libby in trouble was because they were attacking -- which the Republicans always do-- attacking somebody who criticized them and disagreed with them. They make the attacks personal. They go over the line."

The negative effects on Mr. Bush's presidency from indictments of his senior aides, said James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, would be as great as the positive effects of Mr. Bush's handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"This is the most important turning point for his administration in terms of turning down and losing support," Mr. Thurber said.

Looks like it's gonna be another interesting couple of weeks to watch Bush's polling numbers. I still think breaking the 30% ceiling is not out of the question.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I just know this woman hates me or is going to if she ever knows who I am

Also in the New York Times, a feature about Sarah Schulman, playwright, novelist, and lesbian.
Her fearlessness has won her a reputation for difficulty (which she dismisses as mere "rumor") and may have impeded her progress in the insular and touchy theater world. Certainly her plays - serious reflections on life at the margins, frequently experimental in structure or satirical in tone - have not achieved the acclaim of her fiction. Her novels are published by major houses and reviewed respectfully. (Of her book "Rat Bohemia," Edmund White wrote, "The force of her indignation is savage and has blown the traditional novel off its hinges.") Her plays, on the other hand, have until recently been produced at "rat-infested parking lots" or downtown dives with names like University of the Streets and Women's One World. They have received a few mainstream reviews, ranging from scornful ("a talking poster") to glowing ("every line will ring true"), but have mostly been ignored.

Because she finds that intolerable - "Respect is my Achilles' heel," she said - and because she is very smart, Ms. Schulman set out quite deliberately, around 1994, to beat the system. And now, at 47, after an "an 11-year-crawl," she finally seems poised for a substantial breakthrough. Her new play, "Manic Flight Reaction," which is in previews at Playwrights Horizons and opens on Oct. 30, wraps a typically serious Schulman theme (the need to take responsibility for the pain you cause others) in a delightful premise: a young woman discovers that her mother's ex-lover is now the wife of a Republican presidential candidate. Will she be outed? It's a surprise to find Ms. Schulman working this comic vein; the set could pass for the living room on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." But even more so, given Ms. Schulman's reputation for ideological absolutism, it's a surprise to see her slyly question the assumptions of all the characters: not just obvious bad guys but also the delightful main character, Marge, a 50-ish lesbian academic described in the stage directions as "struggling to settle - at the last minute - into normalcy, but lovingly."

I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale

The NY Times has a pretty good, somewhat lengthy "memo" reminding us all that the "leak" scandal is really about how the country was misled into war. That is something that should never be forgotten in the coming weeks, months and years.

Republican Senators and Congresspeople, etc, will be trying (and have already started) to minimize the illegality of whatever charges are brought, if any. We should not forget.

The dispute over the rationale for the war has led to upheaval in the intelligence agencies, left Democrats divided about how aggressively to break with the White House over Iraq and exposed deep rifts within the administration and among Republicans.

And left liberals like myself frustrated almost to the point of tears with "my" party. Democrats are "divided" about how aggressively to break with the White House over Iraq? Come on, Democrats...say it...say it!

They lied. They are liars. And they lied about the most serious decision any politician can make: Commiting troops. Putting the lives of young men and women at risk. And you have the fucking nerve to be divided about how aggressively to break with them over that?

The answer is you break with them agressively, you break with them hard. And until you do you do not show up in my e-mail box asking for support. Seriously. I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating until they catch a fucking clue:

Democrats? Fuck you.
"The way in which the leak investigation is being pursued is becoming a symbol of who was right and who was wrong about the war," said Ivo H. Daalder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. "The possibility of Libby being indicted, and the whole Cheney angle, is all about proving in some sense that they were wrong and therefore that those who opposed the war and never thought the intelligence was right have been proven correct."

The passions surrounding the investigation and the question of why the administration got it wrong about Iraq's weapons programs, other analysts agree, reflect the troubled course of the war and the divisions over whether it was necessary or a diversion from the effort to combat Islamic extremism.

They didn't "get it wrong." That implies that they thought they were "right," but were mistaken. They were not mistaken. They lied. They are liars. You know, part of me still thinks that if John Kerry had just pointed at George W. Bush during one of the debates and said those words, he'd be president today.

The administration has acknowledged the failures of pre-war intelligence, though its supporters have pointed out that many Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, and the intelligence services of other countries were also convinced that Saddam Hussein had caches of banned weapons. But the White House's insistence that there were many other compelling reasons for deposing Saddam Hussein have only inflamed critics of the war.

Many Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, and the intelligence services of other countries may indeed have also been convinced that Saddam Hussein had caches of banned weapons.

But you know what?

They didn't start any wars over it.

The race card

Lawrence O'Donnell:

A typical Washington, D.C. grand jury is about 75% African American. Fitzgerald’s is slightly more than that. This is not the kind of group Karl Rove feels at home with. He has no professional experience trying to appeal to a group like this. He has been so unsuccessful at it that his boss’s job approval rating with African Americans is now 2%, which, factoring in the margin of error, could actually be zero. To make matters statistically and demographically much worse for Rove and Scooter Libby, only 12 of the 23 grand jurors have to agree to indict them.