Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pre-Revolutionary History

By Poputonian on Hullabaloo.

I think we again need some pamphleteers. People to write up truly anonymous pamphlets, print multiple copies at Kinko's and leave them at bus stops, laundromats, kiosks, etc. For people who don't go to lefty blogs who probably also don't have a full awareness of what is transpiring.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Homophobia at 30,000 Feet

Cap'n Dyke links a story about a gay couple who were acting the way my husband and I have acted on some flights (touching affectionately and giving little kisses, like he just gave me on his way out the door) on an American Airlines flight.

The entire flight crew, including the Captain, ordered them to stop touching, and stop requesting to speak to American Airlines represenatives when the plane landed or the flight would be diverted.

What do you expect of the airline that helped Mohammed Atta fly into the WTC?

Has the General Surrendered?

We're not there yet, sir.

Don't give up the fight.
The citizens of the United States of America, from all parties, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of America and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Neocons and all the odious apparatus of Republican rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the courts, we shall fight in the poll booths, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength on the airwaves, we shall defend our Nation, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the editorials, we shall fight on the internet, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Nation or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire of Ideology beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the lovers of true freedom and democracy, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

Hey, Mom, Peter Boyles Isn't a Trustworthy Source

He may not be a classic RWNJ, but his biases color his outlook so bad, he just outright lies to prove himself right.

So, mom, be prepared for my scoffing the next time you cite Boyles to me.

Today's Guest Blogger, Glenn Greenwald

Although he wasn't aware he was going to guest blog for me today.

This is my argument, which has come out in drips and drabs in various posts, in a nutshell.

Glenn Greenwald:
But a desire to see the Democrats take over Congress -- even a strong desire for that outcome and willingness to work for it -- does not have to be, and at least for me is not, driven by a belief that Washington Democrats are commendable or praiseworthy and deserve to be put into power. Instead, a Democratic victory is an instrument -- an indispensable weapon -- in battling the growing excesses and profound abuses and indescribably destructive behavior of the Bush administration and their increasingly authoritarian followers. A Democratic victory does not have to be seen as being anything more than that in order to realize how critically important it is.

But Greenwald offers up another reason. Bush followers are sociopaths. Do we trust sociopaths to protect our rights from their sickness? Talk about putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
To sit around chortling about how great these detainees have it and how grateful they should be requires a sociopathic derangement that is nothing short of grotesque. And to believe that people on a one-day controlled visit get an accurate or complete picture of what goes on there requires a blind faith in the Government so absolute that it is explains most of what one needs to know about the authoritarian Bush movement. On the day our country legalized tortured
techniques and vested the definitively un-American power of indefinite detention in the President, Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn take off their masks and reveal the hideous and frivolous face of the Bush follower.

Thank you, Glenn, for blogging for me today.

Let me just add that, oh yes, Senator Salazar, my nemesis, I will remember your ultimate betrayal. Your D will not protect you from my wrathful primary vote.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

On Step Closer to a New Declaration of Independence

There are still many steps until the current government has so utterly failed to protect our rights that we're going to have to protect them ourselves.

For instance, we have an election soon which will most likely upset the Republican majority. That should give us some oversight, checks and balances again. Should. Only 34 Senators voted against the Military Commissions Act, suspending the writ of Habeas Corpus and allowing the President King to define torture how he sees fit. That's not a promising sign of things to come under a Democratic majority in the Senate.

Here are the Dems who voted yea:
Carper (D-DE), Johnson (D-SD), Landrieu (D-LA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Lieberman (D-CT), Menendez (D-NJ), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO), Stabenow (D-MI).

How'd I know my Dem Senator voted for it, the Neocon-lite tool. It's that kind of BS that will prompt me to vote third party rather than support him and his detainee-torturing, flag-loving ways for another term, so I hope he gets his ass kicked in the next primary. Really, Sen. Salazar, would it be alright if we wrapped an American flag over a suspected terrorist's head while we pour water on his face to make him think he's drowning? It's so patriotic. Make sure you roll up some "goddamned piece of paper" to light your cigar as the terrorist gasps for breath.

And the Reps who voted nay:
Chafee (R-RI). So I feel a bit for Chafee who has to go simply because he helps the Reps keep their majority.

And a Senator abstained, Snowe (R-ME). Her vote wouldn't have made a difference except to her own sense of honor.

Despite the thus far pathetic performance of our Congress, there's still the Supreme Court, which should, should, reinstate Habeas Corpus and affirm the common meaning of cruel and inhuman treatment as used under international law in the Geneva Conventions, which is also a law the United States must follow.

The original Founders had a lot more grievances against their King George. We're not quite there yet.

(Disclaimer: I am not advocating armed revolution. To the FBI and Secret Service, I don't advocate assassination, just as I abhor torture and the undermining of our Constitution for political leverage. I have a lot more faith in the processes of our government than our own government, apparently)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NY Post Sides with Terrorists

It was pretty crappy for the NY Post (a Rupert Murdoch paper) to insinuate that Keith Olbermann panicked about a harmless puff of powder. But I just heard Olbermann's side, and it's even worse than that.

First of all, the Post got some things wrong. Olbermann didn't panic, but called the police out of a sense of responsibility to others (I imagine in case others handling the mail had been exposed). Olbermann cooperated with protocol for dealing with potential biological contamination: he had a decontamination shower, his clothes were bagged, and his keys and wallet were melted. He didn't ask to be taken to the hospital after he found out it was just soap, he was cooperating with the protocol that he do so. And he had to stay there for ten hours though he wanted to leave, because they had to wait for the tests to clear him. By the way, the preliminary tests which the Post suggested were done right away took 6 hours, while the second tests took 10.

But more importantly, the Post exposed the FBI investigation into the terrorist threat (I don't think Olbermann was the only one to get the threat). At the end of the article the Post said Olbermann had no comment, as if he were embarrassed. Truthfully, he had no comment because the FBI asked him not to comment for the sake of the investigation, a Post reporter attempted to contact him by pretending to be a friend, and the Post did not contact Olbermann's employer.

Olbermann told about how, when the Fox journalists were kidnapped, other networks were called by Murdoch (or a representative) asking to keep the story on the down low, since they were told by authorities that the kidnappers were not aware they had ahold of someone of note. The other networks, including MSNBC, complied with that request quite willingly. As Olbermann said, if Fox or the Post were to make such a request again, MSNBC would still comply, as they are human beings who care about the security of their fellow human beings.

Letter to NY Post RE: Olbermann Anthrax Scare

Dear Paula,

I just read the article about Keith Olbermann's anthrax scare. It painted quite a humorous picture of Olbermann in his jammies, jumping like a little girl who sees a spider and riding in an ambulance, a cool cloth on his forehead and a thermometer in his mouth. The disdain was well-placed.

It was only powdered soap! I wish more terrorists would use fake weapons, and then claim the abject terror it created in its victims was just a harmless prank. The world would be filled with laughter while at the same time people we disagree with could be intimidated into silence.

I bet if the NY Post's anthrax letter in 2001 hadn't gotten wet and you had opened it in a puff of powder, you wouldn't have called anyone. You would have scoffed at pansy CDC guidelines to call local law enforcement (they have real criminals to catch). You would have sucked it up (quite literally) like the man Olbermann wishes he was.

After the deaths of 5 people in 2001 - one of your own employees probably should have played the lottery that week - the realities of anthrax exposure became common knowledge amongst the Wikipedia-addicted. If Olbermann hadn't been too busy panicking, he could have jumped on the internet and looked it up. Self-diagnosis from the internet is usually best, although it can be a risk which the more macho of us will take (my husband's co-worker was having symptoms of a heart attack, and by the time his wife got off the computer, he was dead. Now that's a real man).

If Olbermann had bothered, he would have discovered that doctors can't tell if a person has contracted anthrax even with known exposure. Instead, he erred on the side of caution in case the preliminary tests missed something and anthrax needs immediate treatment. I bet all he had on his mind was the fact that, even after getting treatment, inhalation anthrax has a 75% death rate. Basically, there's nothing anyone can do. All that's left is to face impending death like a warrior.

So Olbermann wasted not only his time and dignity seeking medical help so he could live, he wasted the time of the medical personnel that could have been saving the life of some guy who waited till he was critical before seeking care.

Julie O.
Centennial, CO XXXXX
(Personal information not intended for publication, since there are all kinds of wackos out there who like to hurt strangers for their opinions)

Via Crooks & Liars.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Condi's "Comprehensive Plan," Plus the Real Reason the Cole Went Unavenged

ThinkProgress points out one of the lies in Condi "Historical Document" Rice's pathetic response to Clinton's interview, that, "We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda." Think Progress quotes from the 9/11 Commission's finding that Richard Clarke put together a detailed plan which he had developed at the end of Clinton's term and which he attempted to get action on.

But I don't think that adequately shows how hard Rice is lying. So what if Clarke drew up a plan and Condi wouldn't listen? That just means there was a disconnect and she's telling the truth. There was a plan, she just never received it.

Except that later in the 9/11 Commission Report (pdf), we find a timeline showing what Condi knew, and when she knew it.
After Rice requested that all senior staff identify desirable major policy reviews or initiatives, Clarke submitted an elaborate memorandum on January 25, 2001. He attached to it his 1998 Delenda Plan and the December 2000 strategy paper. "We urgently need ...a Principals level review on the al Qida network," Clarke wrote.

But more pressing was the urgent need for the Bush Administration to come up with its own plan so they wouldn't have to share credit. So they spent five months basically starting from scratch. They did keep Clarke on because of his expertise in the area, but generally ignored his requests and suggestions.

Over a month later, the Clarke offered his comprehensive plan for a second time.
Hadley convened an informal Deputies Committee meeting on March 7, when some of the deputies had not yet been confirmed. For the first time, Clarke's various proposals "for aid to the Northern Alliance and the Uzbeks and for Predator missions" went before the group that, in the Bush NSC, would do most of the policy work.
The Administration again goes over Clarke's plan for a third time:
On May 29, at Tenet's request, Rice and Tenet converted their usual weekly meeting into a broader discussion on al Qaeda ... Tenet emphasized the ambitious plans for covert action that the CIA had developed in December 2000. In discussing the draft authorities for this program in March, CIA officials had pointed out that the spending level envisioned for these plans was larger than the CIA's entire current budget for counterterrorism covert action.
The CIA official, "Richard," told us that Rice "got it."

What? She got something she never got? How can that be?
He said she agreed with his conclusions about what needed to be done, although he complained to us that the policy process did not follow through quickly enough.

So she agreed with the comprehensive plan she never received. Interesting. Now just switch some words around and it will be uniquely a Bush Administration strategy, with no taint of Clinton on it.
Rice and Hadley asked Clarke and his staff to draw up the new presidential directive. On June 7, Hadley circulated the first draft ...
Rice viewed this draft directive as the embodiment of a comprehensive new strategy employing all instruments of national power to eliminate the al Qaeda threat. Clarke, however, regarded the new draft as essentially similar to the proposal he had developed in December 2000 and put forward to the new administration in January 2001.
Finally, in answer to Wallace's question about the U.S.S. Cole, which he would have had if he had asked the right person or read the Report,
Rice told us that there was never a formal, recorded decision not to retaliate specifically for the Cole attack. Exchanges with the President, between the President and Tenet, and between herself and Powell and Rumsfeld had produced a consensus that "tit-for-tat" responses were likely to be counterproductive. This had been the case, she thought, with the cruise missile strikes of August 1998. The new team at the Pentagon did not push for action. On the contrary, Rumsfeld thought that too much time had passed and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, thought that the Cole attack was "stale." Hadley said that in the end, the administration's real response to the Cole would be a new, more aggressive strategy against al Qaeda.

Why did the Bush Administration embolden bin Laden and decline to retaliate for the Cole, Chris Wallace?

It was stale, and they preferred to implement the comprehensive plan that Clinton had left for them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

RMN Late

The Rocky Mountain News wasn't on the doorstep again, so I went online to report a missed delivery. I bet they got a lot of calls this morning from people who don't have phone anxiety.

RMN had production problems, so the electronic edition is free today. You can get your national stories and cartoons without covering your house in newspaper ink.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Autumn, Will it kill us all?

Global Warming? Them's fightin' words.

The small front page headline in the Denver Post today made me jump to conclusions: a climatologist is releasing some new findings and some RWNJ who calls himself a scientist because he paid $150 to a "really smart guy" in his apartment near the beach for a "docterit" says the whole thing is a liberal scam.

Reading the whole article, I realized the RWNJ was William Gray at CSU, my alma mater. He's the guy who every newspaper, network and news affiliate interviews in May and June about whether their readers and viewers will be tragically but dramitically swept to sea this hurricane season. He's usually right so his credentials shouldn't be questioned. Gray makes educated and reasonable efforts to debunk the Global Warming "scam" but seems to be in the minority of other Climatologists who also have educated and reasonable observations to support Global Warming.

Julie had almost brought me completely around to the Global Warming side. (I had read the Michael Crichton book....he knows what he's talking dinosaurs that come back to take over the world) She has some more work to do.

Updated by Julie O.

Here's some links:
Colorado State professor disputes global warming is human-caused
Gray and Muddy Thinking about Global Warming

The Big Dog Jumped Off the Porch

ThinkProgress has the portion of the Chris Wallace/Bill Clinton interview where the Big Dog nearly takes off Wallace's head. "He's crazed! He leaned close and poked me with his finger!"

I think Clinton was wrong when he said Wallace got the interview under false pretenses, though. Wallace did intend to spend most of the interview on Clinton's Global Initiative. But Wallace wanted to throw in a loaded question, remind the Fox audience that Clinton had bin Laden surrounded and then let the terrorist go, get a typically weak, inadequate response of "no I didn't," and then move on after respectfully disagreeing about what an inadequate job Clinton did as President. "Now that everyone remembers what a terrorist-lover you are, we can talk about your little 'Global Initiative.'"

Thing is, Clinton already had his dander up from being slandered by Disney, he wasn't about to let a puny partisan tit like Wallace play those games. And as Wallace admitted, he didn't expect to spend so much time getting set straight with actual facts on the bin Laden question. After all, his audience already knows all the relevant facts, "right, audience?" ::nudge nudge wink wink::.

I particularly liked when the smirking Wallace asked if Clinton would like to talk about the Global Initiative, and Clinton said "no, let's finish this."

And that was Wallace's big mistake, treating the Big Dog like the typical "liberal spokesperson" who gets run over all the time.

Clinton has an encyclopedic memory. And he lived through his own Presidency, so he can answer those loaded questions in great detail and with authority, unlike the normal "Clinton lovers" who usually can't answer all the questions because they don't remember. Plus, Clinton has the gravitas of a former President, so it was unlikely even a contemptible jagoff like Wallace would attempt to bully Clinton in that Hannityesque manner to move on.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Melting Pot

No, it's not a political post about the nature of our nation, it's a post about the restaurant, The Melting Pot.

We went there for the first time tonight to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary, and it was pretty cool. Although I am still significantly buzzed, it's not just the alcohol talking.

Every night of the week you can go in for a midnight special (Sun - Thurs after 9, Fri & Sat after 10) of fondue with bread, veggies & apples, a salad, a whole bottle of wine (thus the buzz), and a chocolate dessert fondue for about what two people would pay at a regular, medium-priced restaurant (about $30).

We had the beer cheese fondue. I'm glad they mixed the ingredients right at our table, 'cause I can make that at home.

As the buzz wears off, I get sleepy. I highly recommend The Melting Pot.

That is all. Good night.

Great Incentive to Vote

Kvatch has the goods on an awesome new voting machine, the AccuBar TSX.

Update: Oooh, seems a Snickers bar costs $5. That is a clear violation of the Voter's Rights Act.

You Were Saying About Mod Reps?

The Maverick, Legal Lindsey, "John Wayne" Warner, the salvations of a moderate country against the extremist in the White House.

Yeah, not so much.

From allowing secret evidence to allowing the President to define what torture is, the Big Three got nothin'.

And though it would have been nice if the Dems had raised hell about this compromise, there is still one significant difference.

The Dems wouldn't have let this stinker through in the first place.

Via Atrios

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

David Broder's False Dichotomies

David Broder (via TPM) puts "the vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers on the left" up against "the doctrinaire religious extremists on the right" as the two political poles.

It's a part of his call to cling to the independent, moderate middle which is made up almost entirely of Republicans. He throws Joe Lieberman in there, I imagine for some sort of balance, though Holy Joe is not a Dem.

Broder's false dichotomy is found where he lists the preferences of mainstream Americans - thence the independent, moderate middle - on issues:
Americans are saying no to excess greenhouse gases and no to open borders; yes to embryonic stem cell research, yes to a path to earned citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants and yes to a living wage.

I'm read mostly by other vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers, whose blogs I also read. So the bullshit Broder is shovelling is pretty obvious, right?

Those are the things we vituperative, foul-mouthed lefty bloggers have supported, and which doctrinaire religious righty extremists have opposed, for many years. Which puts us, as Broder himself admits, squarely in the middle of mainstream American opinion. How is that an extreme?

It must be because 1) he's a dishonest Righty who can't admit he's wrong, 2) we're uncivil and ungodly, and 3) we frequently and uncivilly have pointed out how very wrong and dishonest he is.

So his magical solution to the problems caused by the Naive Little Kitten lead astray by the Big Bad Wolf? (Seriously, he said this of Bush: "Bush was a pleasant, down-to-earth guy who would not rock the boat. Instead, swayed by some inner impulse or the influence of Dick Cheney, he has proved to be lawless and reckless." Just ignore the fact that, since his first business venture, Bush has destroyed everything he has touched.) We must re-elect the guys who have let Disaster Kitty have his way on nearly every disastrous policy.

See, though those independent, moderate Reps he listed have occasionally stood up to Bush, they will keep the Senate Republican. The Republicans will continue to set the agenda. One agenda will be to continue to block oversight of our lawless and reckless President. Yes, it's the same argument Broder made concerning the filibuster "nuclear option:" the Dems should surrender all and trust the moderate Reps -- trust them to give the President anything he wants.

After all, they were the Gang of 14 once.

Try being the Gang of 14 every day for the past five years, motherf*$kers. Forget time travel, make Lincoln Chafee the Senate Majority Leader right now. Force the Senate to do oversight right now. Make the President submit a plan for the occupation of Iraq or lose his funding right now.

If they can't do it right now, what makes anyone think they can do it on November 8?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Iraq: America's Mini-Me

Democracy is on the march, and Iraq is going great! Besides freshly-painted schools, they've got the same kinds of mundane bureaucratic in-fighting that we've got.

Why, it was just a few weeks ago that Sec. Elaine Chao greeted Sec. Margaret Spellings with a barrage of PKC machinegun bullets in the Rose Garden after an especially contentious Cabinet meeting.

Freedom is messy.

Via Rising Hegemon.

Moderate Reps Playing a Game on Torture?

After watching this Crooks & Liars video clip, I was all set to label Lindsey Graham a Republican I Disagree With, But Who At Least Has Integrity, and be happy that some Congressional Reps were standing up to the bully Pres.

Cynical Digby (with good reason) explains why I should be cautious about Graham's self-sacrificing noble schtick, particularly his willingness to surrender habeas corpus. That goes for John McCain and the other mod Reps, too.

SpongeBush DumbRants

Kvatch at Blognonymous delivers a catchy ditty and Photoshop.

Bush's Strategy to Win

Giving continuous speeches about how terror =9/11 = Iraq = you're all gonna die, 24/7 until November 6.

Remember that poll bounce he had after the 9/11 anniversary when he talked petulantly to the nation about how terrorists attacked us because they hate old men who vote? That's already gone. (via AmericaBlog)

Its disappearance probably had something to do with his admitted desire to kidnap Americans from their homes, strip them of their citizenship and send them to secret prisons overseas to be tortured for the rest of their lives.

He's getting so desperate to prevent real Congressional investigations he's started panicking, screwing up a once tried-and-true tactic. He means to simultaneously scare and comfort the populace by reminding them of the bogeyman and his special, unique ability to fight it, but he's so unravelled, he's unwittingly revealed his sickest innermost fantasy and accidentally told the truth: the bogeyman is Bush.

Fear/tough talk may be his strategy to win, but it won't work. Most people realize we need a divided, accountable government.

Friday, September 15, 2006

WashParkProphet Helps Me Vote

Forget Kos, we must obey Oh-Willeke.

Or at least consider his input. I'm just glad to get some explanations about the various referenda and amendments.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

WB's Last Day Sunday

September 17th will be the WB's last day on the air as it merges with UPN to become CW. (Do all these letters even mean anything anymore?)

The final lineup will be the pilot episodes of four popular cancelled shows.

Here's the schedule:

5/4c Felicity (pilot)
6/5c Angel (pilot)
7/6c Buffy the Vampire Slayer (pilot, two hours)
9/8c Dawson's Creek (pilot)

Since Pither will be recording The Simpsons, I will be otherwise occupied watching Buffy and Angel from 5 - 8, so don't look for me online.

CW will remain on Channel 2 in Denver.

Monday is "Goddamn Piece of Paper" Day!

I didn't know until my son told me yesterday that tomorrow his school is celebrating Constitution Day, even though it's on Monday, September 18. He said his teacher wants him to wear red, white and blue to school. I asked him why not parchment yellow, since it's Constitution Day, not Flag Day. He didn't get it.

I tried to explain what the Constitution is, specifically stressing that we are the government. And tonight he chose a bedtime story called John, Paul, George and Ben (with Independent Tom thrown in as well) about Hancock, Revere, Washington, Franklin and Jefferson. It's a cute book. I explained to him that those guys had a King named George who thought he could do whatever he wanted and treated them unfairly, and they all worked together to get rid of the king, which could have cost them their lives.

In illustrating the Freedom of Speech we enjoy, I told him that even saying bad things about their king was considered treason. To illustrate, I said, "you know how we make fun of President Bush and talk about how we need another President? We're allowed to do that because those men (in the book) wrote down in the Constitution and Bill of Rights that we can say whatever we want about anyone, including the President, as long as we don't hurt anyone."

Moderate Senate Reps Stand Up to Bush

Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Caroline and John Warner of Virginia pushed legislation to the full Senate that President Bush opposes because it doesn't let him torture people.

And Colin Powell has resurfaced to oppose his former boss, writing a letter of support to Sen. McCain.

Dr. Rice chimed in with her own letter of support for the President's position, see above link). I need to look up the bill itself, but the AP reports that the Pres' version of the bill would
... go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terrorist trials, using coerced testimony and protecting U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that violate the Geneva Conventions.

Here's Dr. Rice's reasoning that those things actually do adhere to the vague terms of the Geneva Conventions against "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment:"
In a case where the treaty’s terms are inherently vague, it is appropriate for a state to look to its own legal framework, precedents, concepts and norms in interpreting these terms and carrying out its international obligations.

Bush's crack legal team, specifically John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, declares that the Constitution is the legal framework for the President to pretty much do whatever he wants when it comes to "defending the nation;" interprets lots of formerly identified torture techniques to no longer be torture; and considers the past five years of unlawful detentions and creative, "coerced interrogations" to be precedent, therefore the "norm."

This is an attempt to legalize the torture that BushCo has been engaged in for the past 5 years. What Bush has been doing to detainees has long been recognized as torture. There's nothing inherently vague about it.

And if the AP article is accurate, that the bill would permit the withholding of classified evidence from the accused, first of all, where's the "legal framework, precedents, concepts and norms" in American law to support that? And, second ... Oh. My. God.

Secret fucking evidence. How much more of an appropriate title could there be than King George? And of course a totalitarian, authoritarian cobag like Bush who thinks the Constitution allows him to do whatever he thinks is in the national defense also thinks a simple bill could amend the constitution, Amendment VI:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

There is no secret evidence withheld from the defense. That's as un-American Soviet-Communist-Gulag-Archipelago-Nazi-Islamofascist as you can get.

Why even have a trial? With indefinite detentions, that wasn't a problem.

Denver Bid for '08 Convention: "Disastrous"

That's according to Marc Ambinder of Hotline On Call, the National Journal blog.
The site selection committee had high hopes for Denver, located in a blinking-blue Mountain West state with a growing Hispanic population. But one Democrat briefed on the city's initial presentation called it "disastrous." Others confirmed that the general impression among site selection members of Denver was not positive, although a third iteration of Denver's bid, submitted last week, has been better received.

The city also lacks a union hotel, and even though the city’s labor leaders voted to table its outrage, it remains an obstacle.

We're still not out of the running, however. (via Rocky Mountain News)
But Debbie Willhite, the Denver 2008 Host Committee executive director, said the city’s proposal was characterized as "extremely thorough" by a member of the site selection committee just this week.

Still, Willhite said, the report Wednesday in the Hotline On Call, a blog of the National Journal, casts Denver in an unfavorable light.

"It does not reflect well on our bid, and it does not reflect well on our city," she said.

"But I would say also, unequivocally, it does not reflect the DNC’s current thinking about where Denver stands in this process. I was reassured of that profusely by the executive director of the Democratic National Committee," Willhite said.
Marc Ambinder, the blog reporter, said he stood by his story.

"To be honest, there were some initially who were dismayed by the quality of the bid," he said. "The technical aspects were not up to the expectations that they had for (Denver), and that disappointed them."

Ambinder said Denver’s subsequent submissions under Willhite "have gotten progressively better" and that many of the technical concerns have been answered.

"The question (now) is whether the DNC will be willing to give Denver a shot to sort of prove their bona fides and really go into the nitty gritty of these bids," said Ambinder, who has covered national politics for five years.

"I think by the end of this month we will know whether they’ve narrowed it down to (New York and Minneapolis-St. Paul) or whether they’re still keeping Denver in mind," he said.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Bad is the Bush Economy? This Bad ...

Just to make ends meet to feed our two growing boys and keep the sock merchants at bay, Pither's had to get a second job, for which he actually had to get a pseudonym ... from the BW-3 menu.

Mango Habanero.

Had Enough?

Conservative Says: Give Dems a Chance

I understand where Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, Jr., is coming from when he says it's time to let the Dems fuck things up for a while. (via AmericaBlog)

I wasn't a huge fan of the Dems in the 90s, when I was just beginning my political awakening. They had been in power a very long time, seemed they'd grown fat and lazy. They obviously lost focus on what their core principles were, couldn't "message" their way out of a wet paper sack, which was proven in several recent elections. Plus I grew up in a conservative household, so "impressions" trickled down.

But I am simply more liberal at heart, and there's that whole "rebellion" thing, so I'd usually take up the Dem side in arguments.

When I'd have arguments about which party's economic policies are better, I'd sometimes end up wondering if maybe we should just let the Reps have their way and either prove they were right or wrong once and for all. After 9/11, I was somewhat grateful the Reps were in power, since I believed they were good at that covert operations stuff, which was how I knew you fight shadowy, stateless operators like terrorists. I watched too many Tom Clancy movies, I guess.

Of course, there is the argument that the Reps and true conservatives haven't really been in power, the neo-cons and extremists have. Maybe I would like Republicanism, if Reps hadn't allied themselves with the far-right religious nuts who declared cultural/religious war on the liberals, or the radical Darth Vader-like policy-makers who think they can use The Force to squeeze necks into submission. Sold their souls for power, unless power lust is what's really in their souls.

But, I'm not sure the Dems will fuck up when they're in power as badly as the Reps are doing now, at least not in the immediately tangible way BushCo did.

The Dems stand for more of what Americans really want, economically and socially, including those Great Society entitlement programs Buckley hates. Since not all Dems are liberals, I don't see a lot of those alienating "extreme liberal" issues, like gay marriage, going forward.

And as damaging as the Reps have been these last few years, at least the pull back towards "The Gilded Age" we've gotten (the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, the middle class squeeze) with the accompanying losses of benefits such as pensions and healthcare, I think we may get even more Great Society entitlements that worked so well to create the prosperity of the 1950s. Universal healthcare gets talked about a lot. And public financing of elections might even get more steam.

But I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool Dem. I voted third party through most of the 90's (and even after 2001, when I voted Libertarian locally). If I'm a swing voter, it's from Dem to third party, and my pendulum swings pretty far before I'll switch back. So if they get too much power, use it unwisely, lose focus, I will vote third party again.

And I'm not toooo worried about that. The pendulum does swing, in that necessary tug-of-war between two opposing sides. Too much progress can be de-stabilizing, as is not enough progress (or regression, as we've got going now). The disastrous neo-cons had their turn. They're done.

If the Reps want to revitalize, they also need to slough off the religious nuts. That might be a large segment of their party, but then we might get a couple of smaller parties as foils for the larger Dem party, which would still work. The true Reps might even be able to attract more moderates and conservative Dems to their side. That won't happen, but it should.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What Bush's Secret Prisons Are For

Read TalkLeft for an ex-prisoner's account.

Olbermann's Ratings Surge

After my husband and I watched Olbermann's comments about the empty space behind him, Pither wondered what the ratings were like, hoping a right-wing backlash wouldn't lead to bumping him off the air (yeah, we haven't seen someone in the media speak like that to the Pres in a while).

Seems that speaking truth to power may be the wave of the future, and Olbermann is riding the crest. (from MyDD) His "key demo" numbers kept going up all last week after his first set of biting comments to the Administration, and

By Friday night, Olbermann surpassed Zahn in overall numbers even as younger viewers, his best demo, generally opted to go out instead of watching television news.

It seems my husband is right to be concerned, though.
At a time when MSNBC, or at least, is showing it's intention to move in a new direction by firing Eric Alterman, it's imperative that we show support for Keith Olbermann, one of the few (and perhaps only) consistent voices of sanity on cable news.

The PR Administration

The Pres and his minions ::cough::Nowrasteh/Disney::cough:: were working hard all week to manipulate the public with the double whammy of "scare the shit out of them, then act the puffed-chest, tough-talkin' daddy." Yeah, it was totally coincidental that Disney scheduled a factually compromised portrait of blame for 9/11 and the Pres gave an inspirational War on Terror speech at the same time.

So why isn't it working anymore? (via AmericaBlog)

"The power of his rhetoric is in marked decline, and that's no reflection on the quality of what he says, which is still very high," said Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a neoconservative scholar who has been sympathetic to Bush's anti-terrorism policies. "There's a desire in the country for more deeds, not more words. . . . We are losing a war right now, and there is no way to get around that."

B-bb-but, the murder rate in Baghdad is down!

The decision to include only victims of drive-by shootings and those killed by torture and execution, usually at the hands of death squads, allowed U.S. officials to argue that a security crackdown that began in the capital August 7 had more than halved the city's murder rate.

But the types of slayings, including suicide bombings, that the U.S. excluded from the category of "murder" were not made explicit at the time. That led to confusion after Iraqi Health Ministry figures showed that 1,536 people died violently in and around Baghdad in August, nearly the same number as in July.

Damn that un-American, pro-terrorist MSM, reporting objective facts. Are they trying to influence an election?

Disney Coupon

Click on pic for a larger version.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Letter to White House RE: Putting Aside Differences

Dear President Bush,

It was with great relief I heard you say these words tonight:
“Winning this war will require the determined efforts of a unified country. So we must put aside our differences, and work together to meet the test that history has given us. We will defeat our enemies, we will protect our people, and we will lead the 21st century into a shining age of human liberty.”

I am so glad you have finally decided to put aside your plans to reshape the Middle East and fight terrorism with war; treat your own citizens as enemies by spying without warrant, detaining indefinitely, or exiling; ignore the will of the people and the restraints of the Constitution by setting the Executive Office above the other branches; chastising those who disagree with certain decisions you make by suggesting they support terrorism or are opposed to American freedom.

As a proud American, I have to say those were insurmountable obstacles to my unity with your position, since being unified meant abandoning the very essence of what makes one an American, i.e. a devotion to: the system of government created by the Constitution; the fundamental principles of the Bill of Rights; diplomacy, cooperation, respect and strength in foreign policy to foster diplomacy, cooperation and respect from foreign nations; tolerance and even encouragement for dissent and argument.

I have lived too long with the freedoms and privileges my ancestors fought to give me to throw it all away on a little "temporary security." "Live free or die" is in my blood, and I will not surrender it for a foreign invader or a President of the United States.

So it is with a sense of great pride that I accept your offer to reaffirm the principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to unify once again with the American people and fight our enemies sensibly and legally.

With all due respect,

Julie O.

The Empty Space

Perhaps we're only allowed one powerful commenter at a time. Olbermann took over for Bill Moyers, who took up the baton from Edward R. Murrow.

Via Crooks & Liars.

The Disney Shredding Continues

Dumbo Jets from commenter disneycorpse at AmericaBlog.

How I Will Spend This 9/11

For 9/11 anniversaries past, I didn't pay attention to any coverage. I still can't see movies or documentaries about it, and have just recently been able to look at still pictures without the throat constricting and a couple of tears falling.

This morning, while making chocolate chip cookies, I was listening to Al Franken get choked up recalling some of his experiences. What a time to begin paying attention to remembrances. I've got a head cold and it makes the dripping even worse. But how bad can you feel with the smell of chocolate chip cookies?

And of course the past few days I've gone from anger and outrage to laughter and ridicule about ABC/Disney. I can't think of a worse way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 than that damn cheesy mockumentary. It's like America getting attacked again, using cheap phony emotions and lies to manipulate us into following a monkey moron down another path to disaster.

And it doesn't seem that outrage, media coverage, letters, entreaties or threats did one jot of good to combat a huge mega-corporation that cares only about making money, which means backing the most pro-business anti-little guy horses they can find, which are generally Republicans. There's only one way to control or punish such an entity, and that's by going after their bread and butter.

The rest of today I will spend playing Resident Evil 4 (imagining the Ganados with mickey mouse ears) and looking for or creating satires bashing ABC/Disney. And, of course, trying not to eat a dozen chocolate chip cookies. I bet the victims and heroes of 9/11 would love a good laugh and a cookie.

To start things off, here's some clips of upcoming historical documentaries from Disney/ABC, via AmericaBlog.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Alternate Viewing for Tonight

The Best War Ever via Crooks & Liars.

Satire Sucks for Disney

Truth? There is no objective truth!
Everyone must be brainwashed!


Satire sucks, for Disney
Satire sucks, can't sue me.
Their precious cartoon icons are fair game.

Come along and join the throng end 83 years of great success.

S-A-T-I-R-E S-U-C-K-S!


From the throngs:
The Life of Mickey at AmericaBlog
The Propagandists at Jesus' General
The Path to 9/11 Storyboards at The Poor Man
The Mouse That Whored at Lost Chord

Corporate Logos:
Walt Disney Politics at DailyKos
Willful Deception at Eschaton

Riding High on a Diplomatic Coup

My son, Ben, has two friends who aren't allowed to play together, Kid A and Kid B. Ben prefers Kid A, who is older and who he's been friends with longer. And, anyway, Kid B sometimes annoys Ben, telling him to "be the girl" in a game. (Nevermind that Kid A and Ben get into a fight almost every time they play).

So generally, when Ben is playing with Kid B and Kid A comes along to ask Ben to play, Ben goes with Kid A and Kid B gets his feelings hurt. So Kid B rang on the doorbell to tell me Ben hurt his feelings, and I had a huge meeting on my front porch to hash through feelings and try to come to an equitable division of Ben's time.

I think it was agreed amongst the parties that, when Ben is playing with one boy and the other comes to play, Ben will take a few minutes to finish up his game and then go on to the next boy. (Originally I said, "take ten minutes," but since they didn't know when ten minutes would be up, they wanted me to time it for them. No thank you.)

Of course there are also Kids C, D, E, F and G who may sometimes enter into the equation, so who knows how that will work.

BTW, Kid G is a girl, and when we were up at my parents' for Labor Day weekend she left a note on our front door:
Dear Ben,

Could we play somtime? Do you love me? Its okay to say so. Write

Love, Kid G

I dont love you!

Is that cute, or what?

Sandy Berger is Going to be Rich

AmericaBlog says the scene with Sandy Berger is way more defamatory than any story about it has described and that it is so integral to the first half of the film, it can't be cut.
We are 1 hour 54 minutes into the film, it is the culmination of the entire first two hours of the film. CIA agents on the ground with Commander Massoud have found bin Laden. They have him pin-pointed in a house. They are looking at the house with binoculars. They are on the phone with the CIA, that has patched in Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger. Berger, like a bumbling ass, sits there, looking every which way, refusing to give them clearance to grab bin Laden who is in their literal grasp. The woman at the CIA has to lecture Berger about how intelligence works, like he's some kind of moron. Berger literally looks like a deer caught in the headlights. He's clueless, an idiot, a moron, unfit to serve in any public office - hell, I wouldn't hire the guy to mow my lawn. After a very long pause, the agents are begging Berger to take some responsibility, stop being such a wuss, stop trying to cover his chicken-shit ass, you see Berger reach forward and the phone line goes dead. Clearly Berger has ended the call. Osama gets away. And Sandy Berger is personally responsible for killing 3,000 Americans and bringing down the World Trade Center twin towers.
The entire culmination of the first half of the show is one big fat lie. This isn't just a small scene with a small error. It's THE scene and it NEVER HAPPENED AT ALL.

And proving that Disney/ABC lied when they claimed it's unfair to criticize the film because "it's still being worked on," the original Path to 9/11 that everyone has been criticizing already aired in New Zealand, unchanged in every detail. That means, if they truly are "still working on it," that it was previously finished and that it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible to change, just as John in DC says.

AmericaBlog has also laid out an eleven point plan to punish Disney/ABC for abusing its broadcasting responsibilities in a blatant attempt to influence an election in favor of Republicans and defaming Berger, Albright and Clinton.

The Rats Did Play, and They Made The Path to 9/11

I was wondering about the actors in The Path to 9/11. I mean, aren't Hollywood actors generally supposed to be "liberal" and politically active, thus the entire purpose behind The Film Institute (via Big Ink)? So why involve themselves in an obvious sham?

Seems at least some of them fought the good fight to try to bring the film closer to the truth, particularly Harvey Keitel (via Atrios).

Virtually from Day 1 of shooting, "Keitel put his own researcher on the case," looking to correct historical, character and other inaccuracies he found in the script, said John Dondertman, a production designer on the film.

That led to Keitel rewriting most of his own lines - which in turn meant almost daily revisions for cast members who had scenes with him.
On one occasion, Keitel holed up in his hotel for an entire day with director David Cunningham revising the script.

Other times, Cunningham would "fumble through the 9/11 Commission book trying to figure out how to correct details Keitel called into question," said the script supervisor.

Why did Keitel have to hire his own researcher? Because there were no expert advisers on the set to make sure the film had the facts right, not even paid 9/11 Commission front man Thomas Kean.

You know what they say, "When the cat's away ..."

The Path to the Next 9/11

When someone makes the movie about what led up to the next bin Laden/al-Qaeda terrorist attack in the U.S., they should be sure to include the part where the U.S. military had bin Laden surrounded in the mountains of Afghanistan, could actually see him through night vision scopes, and just as they were about to launch an attack on his camp, they were redeployed to Iraq.

Other scenes must show the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the treaty between the Taliban and Pakistan in which Pakistan agreed not to police their own border or to arrest bin Laden if they were to find him. Such scenes should be in 24-like split-screens of Ann Coulter saying everything is going swimmingly in Afghanistan and Gen. Abizaid saying Pakistan is not colluding with the Taliban.

And just to share the blame, since we are all responsible, they must also include shots of average Americans yawning at work and watching Two and a Half Men instead of paying attention to world events or holding their leaders responsible.

At least the filmmakers can include the scene where President Bush finally realizes that he really is concerned about bin Laden. Now that the trail has gone "stone cold" Bush has decided to put the heat on. He requested intelligence to "flood the zone" to get some leads on bin Laden, but intelligence says the problem is, they don't know where "the zone" is. That's how cold the search is.
Many factors have combined in the five years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to make the pursuit more difficult. They include the lack of CIA access to people close to al-Qaeda's inner circle; Pakistan's unwillingness to pursue him; the reemergence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan; the strength of the Iraqi insurgency, which has depleted U.S. military and intelligence resources; and the U.S. government's own disorganization.

Yet, somehow, it's the Democrats' fault, 'cause they're weak on foreign policy and national security. The filmmakers should include scenes where the Democratic minority undermine the Republican majority's efforts with their opposition and bad attitudes.

Although for several years the Republicans got pretty much everything they wanted, including no oversight, because they controlled all branches of government, the words of the Democratic minority in opposition was what really caused the crappy post-war occupation in Iraq; the insurgent activity and terrorist recruitment and on-the-job training it provided; the burgeoning Iraqi civil war; the weakening of America by hurting its standing and respect in the world as an honest broker; harming its military, including corrupt spending and causing lower recruitment, higher desertion; putting its economy in jeopardy.

Yes, words and negative attitudes are powerful things. So are movies. Filmmakers really can blame the entire Bush Presidency on Democrats, and even convince, or at least confuse, future generations.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Real Reason Path to 9/11 Is So Bad

To undercut the future Senate or Congressional investigations which are almost certainly to begin sometime next year.

I read somewhere the theory that this mockumentary is stage one of an October Surprise, meant to set up Democrats as incompetent and weak on national security while reinforcing the old belief that Republicans are the shiznit.

But, from bits and pieces I've read about the flick, it sounds like Nowrasteh makes everyone, from the President to a parking garage attendant, look criminally negligent and stupid, and intimately responsible for the tragedy that followed.

Take, for instance, Nowrasteh's portrayal of airline employees.

Here's what really happened in real life. When Atta was about to board a US Airways flight from Portland, ME to Logan Airport in Boston, a warning popped up. Security regulations at the time required that personnel hold his luggage until he boarded the plane. So they did. When he was boarding the American Airlines flight in Boston, no warning popped up and he was allowed to board, just like anyone else.

In what was surely time compression, Nowrasteh had the warning pop up in Boston. And I could understand that. He needed to combine information from two locales and times into one incident. I'm sure his explanation is that he wanted to show the inadequacy of the security regulations which allowed people on warning lists to fly unsearched, and he wanted to only deal with Logan Airport. It just makes sense.

Here's the problem, as the scene is related by John in DC at AmericaBlog, who has the complete copy of the movie:
The AA employee called a supervisor who kind of shrugged and said, blithely, just let him through. The first employee, shocked, turned to her supervisor and said, shouldn't we search him? The American Airlines supervisor responds, nah, just hold his luggage until he boards the plane. The scene is clearly intended to make American Airlines look negligent.

According to security regulations at the time, no airline was negligent for allowing Atta to fly. Neither US Airways nor American Airlines did anything wrong. Had the supervisor merely explained the regulation in a professional manner to a less experienced employee whose common sense said, "Search him!" (as does everyone's common sense), it would have conveyed the inadequacy of the regulation.

So why have the supervisor act careless and unprofessional and the second employee look shocked? Because this is a movie about assigning blame as far and wide as possible.

It's not about understanding the reasons which lead up to the event. Its purpose is to elicit emotions of outrage and anger and focus them everywhere equally. (Maybe not so equally, considering its portrayal of the previous Administration).

How does spreading the blame equally help for an October Surprise? Not much, but I'm not sure this or anything else will save the Republicans at least one house, and I am sure the Republicans and their minions are very aware of that.

So what this really is about - knowing that one house or possibly both is going to start using subpoena power to open real investigations - is a hopeful propagandistic brainwashing piece to diffuse and confuse public emotion so much it won't matter what investigators find. The national consciousness will already have been set, or at least split, sort of like the split between the Warren Commission crowd and the Grassy Knoll crowd.

As I explained in a previous post, once people see something, it's a lot more likely they will believe it, no matter what any commission finds. As far as I know, some of my memories of my life may have just been dreams. But I saw them, so I remember them as real.

But Bambi got caught in the headlights, and the most egregiously erroneous scenes are purportedly getting reworked. However, as John in DC's post shows, there are surely many little things that will slip by, will be aired and will become true representations of history for many people.

BTW, John in DC called the American Airlines' government affairs office in DC to tell them that The Path to 9/11 was blaming them for the deaths of 3000 people, and the woman hung up on him. So, after that scene airs, let's all write and call American Airlines with our anger that they helped the terrorists kill Americans, and we will never fly with them again.

It's the Simple Things

Over at Eschaton, there is a post about Jonah Goldberg's stances on the Saddam - al Qaeda connection.

But the part that amuses me was at the end:
UPDATE: Um, this isn't my blog. Sorry Atrios.
-Attaturk 6:17 PM

Ultimately, I Can Always Find a Silver Lining

Why would ABC News correspondent, John Cochran, call Clinton supporters and aides Clintonistas? That is a derogatory term used by right-wingers.

But he did, and as of 1:18am MST, September 9 (Happy Induction Day, California!), it's still on the ABC website. AmericaBlog has a screen capture if they try to dump it down the memory hole.

Is it his conservative bias, perhaps? Or does he just hang out with so many "liberal" Washington insiders, their terminology rubbed off on him.

I would think that he was just doing a self-serving piece for his bosses, possibly even edited by his bosses, since the article stresses that the complaints are coming before the movie is even finished (though it was finished enough to send solely to right-wing outlets for positive reviews, which he doesn't think important enough to mention), and ends with this:

For ABC, the blowback from Clinton supporters and aides may not be an entirely bad thing. Conventional wisdom says there's nothing like a little controversy to boost ratings. And this time it is liberals — not conservatives — who are complaining about reputed Hollywood bias.

But I just can't get past the use of Clintonistas and the focus on Clinton supporters.

It's not just liberals or Clinton supporters complaining, and it's not about Hollywood bias (although the filmmakers have an openly-stated mission to convert Hollywood to conservatism). It's about plain and simple facts about what lead to an event which had a great impact on the national psyche, an event that belongs to all of us, for which we deserve the unvarnished truth. And it's even coming from FOX News.

Well, John Cochran's not the only one who can find a silver lining during a shitstorm. I found a couple of silver linings, as a matter of fact.

One is the "Tom Cruise Effect." It's when you do something that gets lots attention and free publicity, but is so outrageous and so widely covered that you lose in the long run. Who doesn't know Tom Cruise is a Crazy Day Cult Member who lost his lucrative 10 picture deal? Who won't know that Disney, Cunningham and Nowrasteh desecrated 9/11 for partisan political purposes?

It'll be a long time before Disney lives this one down. As for Nowrasteh and Cunningham, so much for their plan to quietly invade Hollywood and turn it "conservative." Now everything their names are attached to in any way will get picked apart.

That's the second silver lining, "The Sunshine Disinfectant."

Usually, a whole lot of people don't pay attention to or understand political controversies, which is why the simple lies that get repeated the most worm their ways into the national consciousness. But getting caught lying in a movie about something already in the national consciousness, considered sacred, in order to change the "Hollywood Paradigm" or influence an election ... that's easy to get, very highly publicized. Very bad for Disney and stealth conservative paradigm shifters.

However, for the American public, the blowback is not a bad thing at all. Right Wing "conventional wisdom" for many Americans - such as the lie that Clinton had many chances to take out bin Laden and refused to do so that RWNJs like Ann Coulter and others repeat so often - is now being very publicly, widely and unequivocally contradicted by many authorities (like the 9/11 Commission Report that the movie is supposed to be based on!) who actually know what they're talking about, unlike political hacks, TV pundits and RWNJ bloggers who started blaming Clinton before the smoke even cleared.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I Just Don't like the Video Games

I'm in my mid-30's and I just bought my first video game system.

Doing the math, you'll realize my pre-teen years coincided with the early 80's when Atari and Intellivision were being introduced to our homes. Except for mine. I could play video games at the arcade but my mom would always say, "I just don't like the video games at home." For the Christmases and birthdays of '81, '82, '83, '84 and '86 I asked for one gift: a video game system. I would then recieve a gift of equal value and the admonition of "I just don't like the video games at home."

One summer weekend, my parents went to Phoenix and I was to stay with my cousins in town. They had had an Atari for a year and were already bored with it. I could play for 48 hours and get my fill. I arrived Friday night to find that the family rule was was no video games after dark. Saturday morning I found was family garden day as was all day Sunday......SHIT!!!!! I related my unlucky tale to mom on her return and she, with an understanding smile, said "I told Aunt Nancy not to let you play Atari. I just don't like the video games at home"

The next Christmas, another set of cousins scoured the house and opened their Christmas presents on December 18th. As punishment, my aunt offered my mom the Atari system my cousins were supposed to get. Mom politely refused and told her "I just don't like the video games at home."

In high school, I told mom I was saving my hard-earned Chuck E. Cheese wages for a Playstation. She tsked and said she would just have to confiscate it because, "I just don't like the video games at home."

College and young adulthood put food and lots of drinks before Playstation 2, Gamecube and XBox until a co-worker sold me his used Gamecube and a few games. I have been in the basement for a week now. I did call mom during the open of Resident Evil 4 to tell her I'm playing video home.

Oh, in 1985 I asked for a bike. I got that.

The Heat is On; Disney Breaks a Sweat

With Bill Clinton and the Senate Democrats threatening to sue Disney, they are considering dropping The Path to 9/11 entirely.

All via WTF Is It Now?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My, How Things Have Changed

Atrios reminds us that Disney tried to block the distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 because, "It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle."

Poor Man's D'ohcumentary Storyboards

I had a couple of scenes from the d'ohcumentary, but the Poor Man actually got ahold of the storyboards.

Bonus - the Keyboard Kommandos at Poor Man also have links to two more bits of info on the inaccuracies: Richard Ben-Veniste, former 9/11 Commission member, complains of the inaccuracies (while not jumping on his friend, Thomas Kean, Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission and paid consultant on Path to 9/11, for not correcting the inaccuracies and then trying to shift responsibility for the stuff Nowsrateh made up); and an author who claims his FBI pal who worked on 9/11 and was hired as a consultant for the film quit because "he thought they were making things up."

ABC Affiliates Can Refuse to Air The Path to 9/11; They've Done It Before

I realized I had buried the lead in my last post, so I'm elevating it to the top of this one.

I had commented at ColoradoLib that I didn't think local ABC affiliates could refuse to air network programming.

But my husband tells me that affiliates can make the argument that what the network wants to air is contrary to local public mores or interests, such as what happened a few years ago in 8 states:

ABC affiliates refused to air Saving Private Ryan because of indecency concerns.

The network can require the affiliates to "make good" (re-air during different shows) the national commercials that got covered over. Stations can lose their affiliation if they do it too much. So click on CL's link and call Channel 7, or whoever your local affiliates may be.

However, as ColoradoLib heard on Jay Marvin's show, that probably doesn't apply to O&Os (owned & operate).

Letter to ABC RE: "D'ohdrama 9/11"

Robert A. IgerPresident and CEO, The Walt Disney Company

Dear Mr. Iger:

I understand ABC has received many complaints about the accuracy of Cyrus Nowsrateh's "docudrama," "The Path to 9/11."
By now your company should be well-versed in its glaring and unfair inaccuracies, so I won't repeat them here.

Claims of "creative license" and "for dramatic effect" are sorry excuses when there is no evidence to support even the possibility of some of the inaccurate scenes.

I request that you take the lead from Scholastic, which has dropped the high school companion guide, and refuse to air the grossly misleading docudrama.

I would appreciate a prompt reply to my e-mail.

I considered adding a part that said: "Imagine the uproar had the film "Tora, Tora, Tora" included a scene showing FDR's foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor when there were only rumors and conspiracy theories to back it up." But I looked up that conspiracy theory, and it looks like it may have been true. Of course, that doesn't change the point about not making things up out of whole cloth for a "docudrama" that purports to be based on facts.

Form letter via ThinkProgress, though I only kept the last line. Now ThinkProgress is urging us to contact the chairman of Disney, Senate Majority leader George Mitchell, and Lucid Analysis, in comments, has a whole long list of Disney board members with contact information.

I had commented at ColoradoLib that I didn't think local ABC affiliates could refuse to air network programming, but my husband tells me that affiliates can make the argument that whatever is being aired is contrary to local public mores or interests, such as when ABC affiliates refused to air Saving Private Ryan because of indecency. The network can require the affiliates to "make good" (re-air during different shows) the national commercials that got covered over. Stations can lose their affiliation if they do it too much. So click on CL's link and call Channel 7.

Kooky 9/11 D'ohdrama Loses Scholastic

'Cause, you know, "scholastic" sort of implies being learned or educated, not brainwashed and mislead.

Via ColoradoLib.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

9/11 "Docudrama" Downgraded to "D'ohdrama"

Because more and more we're hearing about how horribly fictional The Path to 9/11 is.

Now, a top expert and adviser to Clinton and Bush II, Roger Cressey, adds another fictionalization to the list (via TPMCafe). In addition to the big stuff being wrong, such as how the CIA had bin Laden surrounded and were told to back off by Clinton himself, the little stuff is wrong, too.
They got the small stuff wrong such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed instructing Ahmed Rassam to carry out the millenium attacks. Then they got the big stuff wrong, this fantasy about how we had a CIA officer and the Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Massoud looking at Bin Laden and they breathlessly call the White House to say we need to take him out and the White House said no.
There was comment at ThinkProgress from someone who said that this docdrama is not too important, since most people have made up their minds about who's to blame for 9/11, anyway.

Nice attitude. People are disseminating lies that other people already believe to be lies, so just help enshrine those lies into the national consciousness by putting it on film with actors like Harvey Keitel.

In fact, right after claiming the docdrama is "straight out of Disney and fantasyland," Cressey had to smack down the very next thing Joe Scarborough spouted, which is "common knowledge" amongst wingnuts.
SCARBOROUGH: But at the same time, doesn’t history show that Bill Clinton had several opportunities to go after bin Laden, but the President and his cabinet were afraid to do so because they may offend some people in the Arab world?
CRESSY: Actually, Joe, that had nothing to do with it. If you read the
9/11 Commission report, it makes it very clear. In most of those cases, George Tenet, the Director of the CIA, said because there was single source intelligence it was his recommendation to the President not to take the shot. There was never a case where we had a clear shot at Bin Laden and the decision to take it wasn’t made.

Here's why it's important to not let this dreck be aired, or if we can't get ABC to drop it, why it has to be challenged openly and widely:

When I went to visit my parents in Cheyenne last weekend, my mom and I took the kids to a park near downtown with a train in it. I'd passed by that park many times but had never been there. When I mentioned that to my mom, she said, "Yes you have. Remember, it was when Ben bonded with Joe [his cousin]." I told her that I remember that happening, but I hadn't been there, I'd been on a date with my husband while my parents watched the boy. She had recorded it on videotape, and isn't it funny how memory can be tricked.

When I got home and told my husband (who'd had to stay home for work) about my weekend, I mentioned that story. Before I got to the part about it being on videotape, he said, "You've been there before, with Ben when he was toddler." I laughed and reminded him that we had seen that on videotape because we'd been on a date, and isn't it funny how memory can be tricked.

So now we're going to have a movie that portrays:
  • bin Laden having been surrounded by CIA and U.S. military when CIA and U.S. military weren't even in Afghanistan,

  • John O'Neil being unable to get Mohammed Atta's name from the CIA because of a "wall" between CIA and FBI that didn't even exist,

  • the "liberal" Washington Post (think "media in general") being blamed for leaking information about the U.S. listening in on bin Laden's phonecalls, leading to bin Laden no longer using phones, when it was actually the "conservative" Washington Times (Moonie Times) that did it, and even they weren't responsible for bin Laden not using the phone, as he had already stopped using it after an attack on his training camps in Afghanistan,

  • that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed instructed Ahmed Rassam to carry out the millenium attacks,

  • probably, since the film seems to be made up of "things Cyrus Nowsrateh believes about history because he reads right-wing blogs," that Clinton did nothing about the U.S.S. Cole,

  • that Condi Rice and President Bush were "very concerned" (heard it on radio, no link) about the PDA entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to strike in U.S.," even though Bush's initial reaction to a plane flying into a building was "what a bad pilot," his subsequent glazed-over look when informed a few minutes later, "America is under attack," and Rice's testimony before Congress that the memo was just a "historical document" which no one took too seriously.

That's all we know about so far, because the filmmakers used up all their copies of the movie sending to right-wing bloggers and media outlets. They wouldn't even send a copy to President Clinton, Madeleine Albright or Sandy Berger.

And considering they published a companion "discussion guide" for high school students - apparently making the movie required viewing - which is incredibly skewed wingnut propaganda that Cyrus Nowsrateh got from reading RWNJ blogs, it's of utmost importance to attack the totality of this dreck.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Congratulations, Wyoming

My family should be very happy to know that Wyoming has the second-highest increase in median incomes, at +4.1%. Rhode Island is first, with 4.4%. Wyoming is followed by Montana, North Dakota and Washington D.C. (via FireDogLake)

And that's it. The other 45 states have losses in median income, ranging from -.4% - -12%, for a median loss of -6.45%.

But look on the bright side. Unemployment is low and corporate profits are up, which obviously means the country's in an economic boom ... for corporations who are employing people desperate enough to take low-paying, benefitless jobs.

Hoorah, Big Box Stores. Thank you for saving America.

Scenes from 9/11 "Docudrama"

The totally non-partisan and factual ABC/Disney "docudrama," The Path to 9/11 will air September 10 and 11. On ABC, I guess. Probably at 8/7 central.

President Bill Clinton has Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, in his sights and is about to pull the trigger. But Chief of Staff Leon Panetta reminds Clinton of the political realities any decisive action has during a hotly contested election season, so Clinton calls off the attack and gives bin Laden a Home Depot gift certificate.

That decision has disastrous consequences, in episode two of The Path to 9/11.

Update: More non-partisan factual facts presented in the "docudrama."

Sources documenting the "docudrama:" FireDogLake and ThinkProgress.

Update 2: More Photoshoppy goodness and happy fun links here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day Weekend Off

In about an hour the boys and I will be heading up to my parents' for the weekend. I'm not sure whether I'll post from there or not.

So see you next week, and have a good Labor Day ... um ... not laboring ... unless you have to work, in which case enjoy your overtime ... unless you live somewhere that doesn't pay overtime for working a Federal holiday ... or if you don't live in the U.S.

And happy Father's Day in Australia, MikeFitz.

Tony Blankley's Not an Average American

I'm listening to Tony Blankley on Al Franken's show, Lawrence O'Donnell substituting.

I don't think Tony Blankley understands the phrase average American.

He was asked how life has improved for the average American, and answered that the economy is going well. When asked about how the last two Supreme Court appointments were positive occurrences, he answered that a conservative court would make life better for average Americans.

What?!? More Americans slipping into poverty, becoming uninsured, the Middle Class getting squeezed, real wages down while corporate profits are soaring, record foreclosures, an increasing debt that will be paid for by future average Americans. In what way are average Americans benefitting from the current economy?

As for the Supreme Court, for the most part the conservatives vote for more power to the Executive to detain indefinitely, spy on, torture average Americans. This is better?

I've Never Heard Such a Loud Tennis Match

The crowd was insane during the match between Andre Agassi and Marcos Baghdatis. Usually they stop yelling before the serve, but toward the end of this match, they never really did.

And I've never seen such a gruelling tennis match. Not that I watch tennis that often, and I only caught this one because I was looking for Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It's my favorite when Vincent D'Onofrio is on because of its emphasis on psychologically-based investigation.

But I only caught the last three sets and was flipping from Waterworld. Yes, Waterworld. Sometimes you just have to watch a crappy movie on TV. Generally, you know a Kevin Costner movie's not much good if it was made after 1989 or doesn't have a corn field or a baseball in it. Except that I really like The Postman. Anyway, my point is, I didn't see every moment of the painful tennis match, but I was still suffering.

Apparently, both Baghdatis and Agassi were doped up. Agassi had been taking cortisone shots for back pains, and Baghdatis got some pain pills after he fell on his wrist early in the match. My percocet is beyond its use by date, or I might have joined them. (Kidding, just say no, kids). Still, by the end Baghdatis was in obvious pain, dancing and stretching out his thigh muscles. Agassi must have had a better quality painkiller, because, despite being nearly twice Baghdatis' age, he seemed to hold up better.

Of course I was pleased Agassi won, his last year in the tournament. But Baghdatis fought hard and earned respect.

... BTW, I was also occasionally switching to the VMAs. So, lots of pain last night.

I even caught the little video introduction done by Britney Spears and K. Fed. I wouldn't say it induced pain so much as nausea and anger.

British Film Assassinates Bush

Can't you hear the talking heads bloviating about it already?

Even I find the idea of it upsetting, but I'd wait to see the film before I made any judgments ... that is, if it's not banned in the U.S.
“Death of a President,” also scheduled to be shown at the Toronto Film Festival in September, focuses on all those linked to the pretend crime — including nearby anti-war protesters, suspects, Secret Service guards and investigators, Dale said.
“It’s an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back at the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story,” Dale told reporters.

“It’s a pointed political examination of what the war on terror did to the American body politic,” he said.

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