Saturday, March 17, 2007

Here at Last, the Liberation of Bagdhad

Of course, it's imaginary. Link.

How Bad it Will Be?

How bad it will be.

Well, without reading the piece, we know to the extent that the Iraq fandango enflames the Sunni-Shitte schism (so to speak) and destabilizes Iraq, a former balance to Iran, not to mentions fails to create a tolerant, modern democary...,

Pretty Goddam bad. To say it was bad idea or a dumb idea would be an understatement for the ages. We've got the Harding administration redux, this time on steroids and crystal meth.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Sole Source and Planner of All Acts of Global Terrorism and Evil Confesses

Can you believe this?

And you know it's true and not the result of any torture or abuse because he says so.

No wonder it took so long to come out... the time required for preparing the confesor and teaching him everything he had to know.... And of course the interogation for what he was actually involved in....

Well, here's one skeptic

And the General reveals the other crimes for which he's responsible:
  • New Coke
  • Formidable law blogger Ann Althouse
  • Not sending enough troops in the initial Iraq invasion.
  • Faking the deaths of Tupa, Elvis, and Jim Morrison, converting them to Islam, and hiding them out in a cave in Peshawar.
  • Selling Vogon Star Cruisers to Hugo Chavez.
  • The neglect of our wounded soldiers.
  • Introducing Bill O'Reilly to the magical properties of loofahs and falafels.
  • Telling Scooter Libby about Valerie Plame
  • Paris Hilton
  • Gonzales Prosecutor Scandal
  • France
  • Olestra's anal leakage side effect.
And another list is here.

Essential: Reporting from Inside Walter Reed

Link. Bookmark this now!!

And here's one post (albeit atypically on the lighter side):
Should Have Been Shredded

Here is a memorandum that has been passed around in the Medical Brigade for a little over a year. The reader will have to imagine it being typed on official Army letterhead...because it is. It's a shame that it is so true.

WASHINGTON DC 20307-5001



1. As a result of DOD budget cutbacks, we are forced to reduce the size of the force. Under CRAP, older Soldiers will go on early retirement, thus permitting the retention of lower paid Soldiers who represent the Army's future.

2. A program to phase out older Soldiers via retirement by the end of the current fiscal year will be placed in effect. The program will be known as the Retire Active Personnel Early (RAPE).

3. Soldiers who are RAPEd will be given the opportunity to seek civilian employment with in the Department of the Army. To that end, RAPEd Soldiers will be required to fill out numerous DA forms (currently in the development, test, and evaluation stage) detailing their education and experience. This phase does not guarantee retired Soldiers a civil service position; it does. however, guarantee that Soldiers' unique capabilities will be considered before being bypassed in the hiring process. This phase of CRAP is known as Survey of Capabilities of Retired Warriors (SCREW).

4. Soldiers who have been RAPEd and SCREWed may request review of their situation by higher authority. This is the Study by Higher Authority Following Termination (SHAFT) phase.

5. CRAP policy dictates that a Soldier may be RAPEd once, SCREWed twice, but may be SHAFTed as many times as the Army leadership deems appropriate.

6. If a Soldier follows the above procedures, he or she will be entitled to to get Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance (HERPES). As HERPES is considered a benefit payment, any Soldier who gets HERPES will no longer be RAPEd or SCREWed by the Army.

7. The Army leadership wishes to assure younger Soldiers who remain on active duty that the Army will continue its policy of ensuring that Soldiers are well trained through our Special High Intensity Training (SHIT) program. The Army takes pride in the amount of SHIT our Soldiers recieve and can boast that it gives its Soldiers more SHIT than any other service.

8. If a Soldier feels he or she does not get enough SHIT, see your commander. Your commander is especially trained to make sure you receive all the SHIT you can stand.

9. Point of contact is the undersigned.

Name Withheld
Rank, USA
Med Hold Company

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Even Republicns Don't Like the GOP Anymore

Link to article and here's the graphic.

A Puzzle from the Times

The Times' article:
March 13, 2007

Gonzales Says ‘Mistakes Were Made’ in Firing of Prosecutors

WASHINGTON, March 13 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, under criticism from lawmakers of both parties for the dismissals of federal prosecutors, insisted Tuesday that he would not resign, but said, “I acknowledge that mistakes were made here.”

The mea culpa came as Congressional Democrats, who are investigating whether the White House was meddling in Justice Department affairs for political reasons, demanded that President Bush and his chief political adviser, Karl Rove, explain their roles in the firings.

With Mr. Bush traveling in Mexico, the White House insisted that the president’s role had been minimal and laid the blame primarily on Harriet E. Miers, who was White House counsel when the prosecutors lost their jobs and who stepped down in January.

“The White House did not play a role in the list of the seven U.S. attorneys,” said Dan Bartlett, Mr. Bush’s counselor, referring to a roster of those who were fired.

Mr. Bartlett said it was “highly unlikely” that Mr. Rove would testify publicly to Congress about any involvement he might have had. “But that doesn’t mean we won’t find other ways to try to share that information,” he said.

With Democrats vowing to get to the bottom of who had ordered the firings and why, the White House scrambled to put its own spin on the controversy by releasing a stream of e-mail messages detailing how Ms. Miers had corresponded with D. Kyle Sampson, the top aide to Mr. Gonzales who drafted the list of those to be dismissed. [Page 16.]

Mr. Sampson resigned Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, at a press conference in an ornate chamber adjacent to his office, Mr. Gonzales pledged to “find out what went wrong here,” even as he insisted he had no direct knowledge of how his staff had made the firing decisions. He said he had rejected an earlier idea, which the White House said was put forth by Ms. Miers, that all 93 of the attorneys, the top federal prosecutors in their regions, be replaced.

“I felt that was a bad idea,” he said, “and it was disruptive.”

With Democrats, including the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, insisting that Mr. Gonzales should step down, his appearance underscored what two Republicans close to the Bush administration described as a growing rift between the White House and the attorney general. Mr. Gonzales has long been a confidant of the president but has aroused the ire of lawmakers of both parties on several issues, including the administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.

The two Republicans, who spoke anonymously so they could share private conversations with senior White House officials, said top aides to Mr. Bush, including Fred F. Fielding, the new White House counsel, were concerned that the controversy had so damaged Mr. Gonzales’s credibility that he would be unable to advance the White House agenda on sensitive national security matters, including terror prosecutions.

“I really think there’s a serious estrangement between the White House and Alberto now,” one of the Republicans said.

Already, Democrats are pressing the case for revoking the president’s authority, gained with the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act last year, to appoint interim federal prosecutors indefinitely, without Senate confirmation. The administration has argued that such appointments are necessary to speed the prosecution of terrorism cases. After the dismissals became a big political issue last week, Mr. Gonzales signaled that the administration would not oppose the changes being sought by the Democrats.

“We now know that it is very likely that the amendment to the Patriot Act, which was made in March of 2006, might well have been done to facilitate a wholesale replacement of all or part of U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who serves on the Judiciary Committee. “Who authorized all of this? Who asked for that change?”

Questions about whether the firings were politically motivated have been swirling through the administration since January. But they reached a fever pitch on Tuesday with disclosures by the White House that Mr. Bush had spoken directly with Mr. Gonzales to pass on concerns from Republican lawmakers, among them Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, about the way certain prosecutors were handling cases of voter fraud.

The White House took the unusual step of having Mr. Bartlett conduct a hurried briefing with reporters in Mérida, Mexico. He said the president had “all the confidence in the world” in Mr. Gonzales and traced the idea for the firings to Ms. Miers, saying she had raised the question of whether the Justice Department should clean house in Mr. Bush’s second term, as is common when a new president comes into office.

“What Harriet Miers was doing was taking a look and floating an idea to say, ‘Hey, should we treat the second term very similar to the way we treat a first term?’ ” Mr. Bartlett said.

White House officials reiterated Tuesday that Mr. Bush had not called for the removal of any particular United States attorney and said there was no evidence that the president had been aware that the Justice Department had initiated a process to generate a list of which prosecutors should lose their jobs.

But inside the White House, aides to the president, including Mr. Rove and Joshua B. Bolten, the chief of staff, were said to be increasingly concerned that the controversy could damage Mr. Bush.

“They’re taking it seriously,” said the other of the two Republicans who spoke about the White House’s relationship with Mr. Gonzales. “I think Rove and Bolten believe there is the potential for erosion of the president’s credibility on this issue.”

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both parties expressed anger about the administration’s handling of the matter. While Democrats voiced the loudest criticism, several leading Republicans — among them Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, John Ensign of Nevada, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and George V. Voinovich of Ohio — said Tuesday that they also had concerns.

Mr. Ensign, ordinarily a strong supporter of the White House, said he was “very angry” at how the administration had handled the dismissal of the prosecutors, particularly Dan Bogden, the United States attorney in Nevada. Mr. Ensign said he had been misled or lied to last year when he asked the Justice Department about the firing of Mr. Bogden and was told that it had been connected to his job performance.

“I’m not a person who raises his voice very often,” said Mr. Ensign, who is also the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the Senate. Of his decision to speak out, he said, “I think there are times where you just have to do what you feel is right, and this is one of those times.”

Mr. Coburn said the firings had been bungled, calling them “idiocy on the part of the administration.”

Mr. Specter, in a speech on the Senate floor, referred to another of the dismissed attorneys, Carol C. Lam, who prosecuted Randy Cunningham, the former Republican congressman now serving an eight-year sentence in a corruption case.

Mr. Specter raised the question of whether Ms. Lam had been dismissed because she was “about to investigate other people who were politically powerful,” and he questioned the Justice Department’s initial explanation that those who had lost their jobs had received poor performance evaluations.

“Well,” he said, “I think we may need to do more by way of inquiry to examine what her performance ratings were to see if there was a basis for her being asked to resign.”

David Johnston, Eric Lipton and Jeff Zeleny contributed reporting from Washington, and John Holusha from New York.

The puzzle:

Find the mistakes Gonzales refers to.

So much for the paper of record; just another water-carrier....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What Our Leaders Think -- I Mean, Believe


And they keep showing the love here.

Today's Activity

Let's sign a petition to encourage the man elected president to run in 2008. It can't hurt, we can do worse, and at his worse (yes, I know, it's fairly bad), he's a clear improvement over Rudy.

A Little Times Bashing

This is what's important to Pinch. As opposed to making the paper, um, relevant and necessary to readers.

Mr. 9/11 -- The Story of a Faker

Our Next Leader, lucky us:
The intensity of their feelings can be heard in the voice of Rosaleen Tallon. A stay-at-home mom who supports right-to-life candidates and lives in the unglamorous New York suburb of Yonkers, Tallon lost her brother Sean, a former Marine who became a probationary New York City firefighter, on 9/11. Six years later she is still enraged that Sean never heard the Fire Department's radioed "mayday" order to evacuate the twin towers before they fell. If he had, she says, he would have heeded the directions of his superiors and gotten out.

As Rosaleen will tell anyone willing to listen, the vintage radios that Sean and 342 other city firefighters carried at their deaths on 9/11 were known to be defective. The faulty radios were the target of years of scathing internal assessments, bureaucratic wrangling, and accusations of bidding favoritism, and still the Giuliani administration had never replaced them.

Here, in the radios fiasco, was government paralysis at its worst, the sort he frothed about as a reformist candidate for mayor. The city's firefighters were sent into the towers without the basic ability to send or receive maydays. The buck stops with Rudy, who knew that the same radios had faltered when the World Trade Center was first bombed by terrorists in 1993, the year he was elected mayor.

What is more, just three months before the 9/11 attack, a city firefighter trapped in the basement of a burning house in Queens broadcast a mayday on a high-tech digital radio issued by his administration to replace the older variety. When firefighters battling the blaze didn't hear his SOS -- it was picked up only by radios carried by firefighters a couple of miles away -- an uproar ensued. The firefighter survived, but the high-tech replacement radios, which had never been field-tested, were thus withdrawn, and the firemen went back to relying on their old radios, just in time for 9/11.

And on Sept. 11, the faulty radios were just part of a tableau of dysfunction. Fire Department officials couldn't communicate with police officials, whose helicopters had bird's-eye views of the unstable towers poised to fall. Police and fire communications weren't linked, and no one bothered to set up a unified police-fire command post on the street near the towers, which is Emergency Management 101. Meanwhile, the city's emergency dispatchers fielded a flood of 911 calls from panicked World Trade Center workers and gave out the wrong advice, or just threw up their hands -- "Do whatever you have to do, Sir."

Where was Rudy? He didn't know what to do or where to go because he had put his emergency command center in exactly the wrong place. Against the advice of experts, he had built the emergency command center in the area most likely to be attacked, an area that had already been attacked, the 23rd floor of No. 7 World Trade Center. It was off-limits on the only day it was ever needed.

Giuliani's supporters believe it would be impossible to undermine the ingrained perception of their candidate as a national icon, Rudy the Rock. But imagine what a talented and aggressive Democratic media consultant could do with Giuliani's real 9/11 record. Imagine Rosaleen Tallon and a Greek chorus of angry, bereaved New Yorkers in a spate of heart-tugging commercials. The ads could include not only the family members of men and women killed on 9/11, but also hard hats sickened by prolonged exposure to the toxic ground zero air that Giuliani declared safe to inhale within days of the attack. And the chorus could include the mayor's downtown constituents, who were left to rid their homes of chemical dust without city assistance, risking their own well-being. The New York City government now estimates that 43,000 people have significant 9/11-related health problems. Many, no doubt, would gladly go on camera.

Giuliani's vulnerability can be detected, in part, in his shifting accounts of his actions. He has said, for example, that technology for police-fire interoperability didn't exist at the time the planes slammed into the towers. A fawning 9/11 Commission swallowed that line, but the U.S. Conference of Mayors found shortly before Giuliani's testimony to the commission that of 192 cities it evaluated, three-quarters had radios interoperable across police and fire departments.

Giuliani has also said that firefighters remained in doomed towers because they, as a breed, are wired to their bones and sinews to stand their ground. But firefighters are also part of a quasi-military chain of command and are wired to obey orders during a crisis -- if they can hear them. Tellingly, Giuliani's Republican successor, Michael Bloomberg, who took office in January 2002, had little difficulty outfitting the FDNY with reliable radios, which they now carry with them into harm's way.

"He tells filthy lies, shamelessly parlaying his failures into a multinational empire and national campaign," said Sally Regenhard, the mother of a fallen firefighter. He cut and ran, she says. "All the heroes of 9/11 are dead or wounded, spiritually, emotionally or physically."

Where's Matt? Or What About an Openly Gay Ex-Porn Star Serving in the Military?

Try and find what the Chairman of the Joint (ahem) Chief of Staff thinks about the poster-boy (and more) for opnly gay soldiers serving the military (at least ones who are wonderfully endowed ex-porn stars) here -- if you can find a reference.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Quotes of the Day

First comes from an old-time Republican:

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the
people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow
weary of the existing government, they can exercise
their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise
their revolutionary right to overthrow it."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Sometimes the majority only means that all the
fools are on the same side."
-- Anonymous

"Conservatives say teaching sex education
in the public schools will promote promiscuity.
With our education system? If we promote
promiscuity the same way we promote math
or science, they have nothing to worry about."
-- Beverly Mickins

Sunday, March 11, 2007

How the Wingnuts Conquored America and Can do it Again

John Dean interviews the writer of a book about how the GOP wrested control and can doi it again:
Thomas B. Edsall spent twenty-five years covering national politics for the Washington Post, and now writes for a number of publications that try to sort the wheat from the chaff in the Capital City, such as The New Republic, The Atlantic, The Nation, and The Washington Monthly - to mention but a few. Last fall, shortly before the mid-term elections, this veteran political reporter published Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power.

Had the Republicans maintained control of Congress, people would doubtless be poring through this well-researched work to get the answers to why. However, because Democrats regained control, Tom Edsall's work has been largely ignored.

That is a serious mistake. This excellent book deserves to be read, and read carefully - for it remains deeply relevant, now and for the 2008 election.

That's true, in part, because the 2006 mid-term election was not a mandate in favor of Democrats. Rather, it was a mandate against Republicans. It's also a mandate the Republic party is likely to learn from, and respond to, as the Republican Party has historically been very good at learning from its mistakes, recalibrating, and returning stronger than ever. Moreover, nothing that occurred during the 2006 election has dramatically changed the efforts of Republicans to make themselves the permanent ruling party.

Thus, I was glad to have the chance to get the thinking of a seasoned political observer on Republican strategies and politics in general in the following Q & A session with Edsall:

QUESTION: Two of your eight chapters relate to the subject of polarization, and the index shows that the subject is a theme running thorough later chapters as well. Based on your research and reporting, I wonder if you could give a working definition of polarization - or as you saw it when looking at the Republicans?

ANSWER: Polarization is the growing ideological division between the leaders and elected officials of the Democrats and Republicans, between the party platforms, and between the voters who identify with the two parties. Polarization in its contemporary form first became apparent in 1964, but has accelerated sharply in the years since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Prior to 1980, there was considerable overlap on issues between the two parties, with substantial numbers of pro-choice and pro-civil rights Republicans, for example, and many anti-abortion and anti-civil rights Democrats (especially in the South). Now, officials and voters hold consistently conservative views on most social/cultural and economic issues if they are Republicans, and liberal views if they are Democrats.

Q: Your title in Chapter 2 "Anger Points: Polarization as a Republican Strategy." Did your research show that when wedge issues provoke anger they are particularly effective? What are some examples?

A: The Republican Party used many sophisticated data-mining and micro-targeting techniques - culling consumer lists, magazine subscriptions, polling and other information - to develop portraits of individual voters. The goal was to identify likely Republican voters and their "anger points." Issues lending themselves to political manipulation - i.e., issues touching upon anger points -- included gay marriage, welfare, spending for social services, taxes, abortion, and culturally permissive government policies, and government interventions viewed as favoring the interests of ethnic and racial minorities. The GOP found that anger is one of the best motivators for mobilizing political participation.

Column continues below ↓
Q: In Chapter 2, and elsewhere, you reveal a rather significant memorandum that Matt Dowd, who was Bush's top pollster in the 2000 presidential race, sent to Karl Rove - while they were waiting for the ruling in Bush v. Gore. Dowd's memo, it seems, changed history, because it changed the way George Bush decided to govern. Would you explain?

A: Dowd analyzed poll data and found that the percentage of voters who could be classified as genuinely "swing" or persuadable voters had shrunk from roughly 24 percent of the electorate, to 6 percent or less. This meant that developing governing and election strategies geared at building up turnout among base votes became much more important than developing governing and election strategies designed to appeal to swing, or middle-of-the-road, voters. Persuading a non-voting conservative, a regular listener to Rush Limbaugh, or a hunter determined to protect gun rights to register and get to the polls became much more important and more cost effective than going after the voter who is having trouble making up his mind as to which candidate to vote for. The result was the adoption of policies designed to please the base (tax cuts for the wealthy, restricting abortion, appointing very conservative judges, opposition to stem cell research) that ran counter to Bush's 2000 claim to be a "uniter, not a divider."

Q: From the book's endnotes, it appears you interviewed Matt Dowd several times. Did you read his memo to Rove? What was the source of the five decades of data? Did you find it persuasive? Is his memo online anywhere? Maybe the middle is not gone, and is this why the GOP could not hold Congress.

A: The sources of data were primarily exit polls, along with the National Election Studies polling done every election year. I did find Dowd's argument persuasive as a guide to Republican political strategy, and my own examination of the same poll data supported his claims. Dowd has never released the memo, and to my knowledge it is not available. The polarization strategy works only for Republicans, because the percentage of voters who identify themselves as "conservatives" is much larger than the percentage of self-identified "liberals." Democrats must use a swing vote strategy and appeal to the middle in order to keep Democratic-leaning moderates in the fold.

Q: Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post (Jul. 12, 2006) has the following quote from Matt Dowd, which sounds like Dowd has turned against polarization: "The perceived polarization that exists in this country ... is not a good thing," said Matthew Dowd. Dowd is also a founder of Did this arise in your research? Any reactions?

A: Dowd became involved with the project after I finished writing the book. The goal of the new project is just the opposite of the strategy he, Karl Rove, and others developed after the 2000 election. I have not asked Matt if he had a change of mind.

Q: Tell us why polarization works for Republicans but not for Democrats? Or do Democrats use it?

A: See above. Democrats, along with all politicians, use polarizing tactics, but not as successfully or as intensively as the GOP. Democrats have used Social Security and Republican privatization proposals to win over elderly voters, and have portrayed the GOP as anti-civil rights in efforts to build support among black and other minority voters.

Q: What, as you see it, is the impact of polarization on Washington?

A: Polarization has made it very difficult for the national government in Washington to build broad support for any policy. It has also made it more difficult to come to agreement on such pressing issues as immigration, trade policy and energy conservation.

Q: What, if any, did the 2006 election require the GOP to do to adjust their plans for a permanent majority, or to adjust any of the steps and action you had set forth in your book? Also, are you doing, or have done, and post-election chapter, if so, when will it be published?

A: I am working on a new introduction for the paperback edition, which should be coming out sometime in the summer. The Republican Party is regrouping and currently lacks a strong leader. The selection of the 2008 nominee will determine the short-term, and perhaps long-term, strategies that the party will adopt.

Q: As I read your book, I added marginalia every time I saw polarization activity that had a negative consequence on the system. I have about two dozen such margin marks. How would you characterize the negative consequences of polarization on our political system?

A: In some ways, polarization is healthy because it gives voters real choices. This benefit comes at the cost of building a national consensus at a time when terrorism, globalization, and other issues demand the capacity to reach broad agreement, a willingness to compromise, and the capacity to see the legitimacy of the arguments of the opposition

Q: I noticed that you traced polarization back to Nixon's first term in office, and discovered some of Buchanan's memos, as well as Spiro T. Agnew's speeches. Would you agree that by today's standards, Nixon played soft-ball?

A: Yes, but Nixon and his aides could be pretty tough.

Q: What is the largest impact of the 2006 election on the master plan of Republicans to build a party and coalition that can keep permanent control of Washington? And what adjustments to you see them making for 2008?

A: The 2006 election was a major setback for the GOP. Bush's conduct of the Iraq War has undermined a crucial Republican strength: the preference of voters for the GOP on national defense issues, and trust in the GOP in times of war and foreign conflict. The problem right now for the Republican Party is that the Democrats have the initiative, and the Republicans have to wait for the Democrats to falter. The Democrats have done so often in the past, but it is uncertain what will happen over the next 21 months until November 2008.

(Photo: link.)

A Siple Reminder of Our Leaders' Love for Their Soldiers


Meanwhile, the surge is getting enhanced or enlarged with injured troops who wouldn't normally be sent back into combat.

American Justice and Our Leaders' Respect for Law

Of course, this is from an Australian newspaper. The perversion of the American system of law by Our Leaders is of no interest to the domestic Big Media (proving of course that they're anti-American leftist stooges):
MAJOR MICHAEL MORI, the defence lawyer for David Hicks, could be removed from the case after threats from the chief US prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis, to charge him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The intervention may derail Hicks's trial, and possibly prompt his return to Australia. It would take months for a new lawyer to get to grips with the case and the new military commission process.


Colonel Davis has accused Major Mori of breaching Article 88 of the US military code, which relates to using contemptuous language towards the president, vice-president, and secretary of defence. Penalties for breaching the code include jail and the loss of employment and entitlements.

Major Mori denied he had done anything improper but said the accusations left him with an inherent conflict of interest.

"It can't help but raise an issue of whether any further representation of David and his wellbeing could be tainted by a concern for my own legal wellbeing," Major Mori told the Herald. "David Hicks needs counsel who is not tainted by these allegations."


Indeed the Federal Government has highlighted Major Mori's work as proof of the fairness of the much-criticised US military commission system.

However, Colonel Davis said Major Mori was not playing by the rules and criticised his regular trips to Australia. He said he would not tolerate such behaviour from his own prosecutors.

"Certainly, in the US it would not be tolerated having a US marine in uniform actively inserting himself into the political process. It is very disappointing," he told The Australian. "He doesn't seem to be held to the same standards as his brother officers."

Hicks's lead defence counsel, Joshua Dratel, a New York lawyer, said Colonel Davis's threats were only the latest example of the "corrupt" system under which Hicks would be tried.

He pointed to the former senior Pentagon official in charge of detainee affairs, Cully Stimson, who resigned last month after urging businesses not to hire law firms that had worked for Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

US prosecutors are under intense pressure to offer Hicks, a former kangaroo skinner and father of two, a plea bargain deal by the end of the month.


Prosecutors have decided not to press ahead with three charges against Hicks - attempted murder, aiding the enemy and conspiracy to commit war crimes.

There is now only the lesser charge of providing material support to a terrorist group. That charge is retrospective, since it did not exist for non-US citizens when Hicks was arrested.
Link (emphasis added).

Rudy: Big Time Asshole

Too good to excerpt:
Why Rudy Giuliani Really Shouldn’t be President
By Jim Sleeper

The deluge of commentary on Rudolph Giuliani’s presidential prospects has forced me finally to break my long silence about the man. Somebody’s gotta say it: He shouldn’t be president, not because he’s too “liberal” or “conservative,” or because his positions on social issues have been heterodox, or because he seems tone-deaf on race, or because his family life has been messy, or because he’s sometimes been as crass an opportunist as almost every other politician of note. Rudy Giuliani shouldn’t be president for reasons more profoundly troubling. Maybe you had to be with him at the start of his electoral career to see them clearly.

Throughout the fall, 1993 New York mayoral campaigns, I tried harder than any other columnist I know of to convince left-liberal friends and everyone else that Giuliani would win and probably should.

In the Daily News, the New Republic, and on cable and network TV, I insisted it had come to this because racial “Rainbow” and welfare-state politics were imploding nationwide, not just in New York and not only thanks to racists, Ronald Reagan, or robber barons. One didn’t have to share all of Giuliani’s “colorblind,” “law-and-order,” and free-market presumptions to want big shifts in liberal Democratic paradigms and to see that some of those shifts would require a political battering ram, not a scalpel.

I spent a lot of time with Giuliani during the 1993 campaign and his first year in City Hall, and while a dozen of my columns criticized him sharply for presuming far too much, I defended most of his record to the end of his tenure. He forced New York, that great capital of “root cause” explanations for every social problem, to get real about remedies that work, at least for now, in the world as we know it. I saw Al Sharpton blink as I told him in a debate that twice as many New Yorkers had been felled by police bullets during David Dinkins’ four-year mayoralty as during Giuliani’s then-seven years and that the drop in all murders meant that at least two thousand black and Hispanic New Yorkers who’d have been dead were up and walking around.

Giuliani’s successes ranged well beyond crime reduction. As late as July, 2001, when his personal and political blunders had eclipsed those gains and he had only a lame duck’s six months to go, I insisted in a New York Observer column that he’d facilitated housing, entrepreneurial, and employment gains for people whose loudest-mouthed advocates called him a racist reactionary. James Chapin, the late democratic socialist savant, considered Giuliani a “progressive conservative” like Teddy Roosevelt, who was a New York police commissioner before becoming Vice President and President.

Yet Giuliani’s methods and motives suggest he couldn’t carry his skills and experience to the White House without damaging this country. Two problems run deeper than the current likely “horse race” liabilities, such as his social views and family history.

The first serious problem is structural and political: A man who fought the inherent limits of his mayoral office as fanatically as Giuliani would construe presidential prerogatives so broadly he’d make George Bush’s notions of “unitary” executive power seem soft.

Even in the 1980s, as an assistant attorney general in the Reagan Justice Department and U.S. Attorney in New York, Giuliani was imperious and overreaching. He "perp-walked" Wall Streeters right out of their offices in dramatic prosecutions that failed. He made the troubled daughter of a state judge, Hortense Gabel, testify against her mother and former Miss America Bess Meyerson in a failed prosecution charging, among other things, that Meyerson had hired the judge’s daughter to bribe her into helping “expedite” a messy divorce case. The jury was so put off by Giuliani’s tactics that it acquitted all concerned, as the Washington Post recalled ten years later in assessing Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s subpoena of Monica Lewinsky’s mother to testify against her daughter.

At least, as U.S. Attorney, Giuliani served at the pleasure of the President and had to defer to federal judges. Were he the President, U.S. Attorneys would serve at his pleasure -- a dangerous arrangement in the wrong hands, we’ve learned -- and he’d pick the judges to whom prosecutors defer.

As mayor, Giuliani fielded his closest aides like a fast and sometimes brutal hockey team, micro-managing and bludgeoning city agencies and even agencies that weren’t his, like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Board of Education. They deserved it richly enough to make his bravado thrilling to many of us, but it wasn’t very productive. And while this Savonarola disdained even would-be allies in other branches of government, he wasn’t above cutting indefensible deals with crony contractors and pandering shamelessly to some Hispanics, orthodox Jews, and other favored constituencies.

Even the credit he claimed for transportation, housing and safety improvements belongs partly and sometimes wholly to predecessors’ decisions and to economic good luck: As he left office the New York Times noted that on his first day as mayor in 1994, the Dow Jones had stood at 3754.09, while on his last day, Dec. 31, 2001, it opened at 10,136.99: “For most of his tenure, the city’s treasury gushed with revenues generated by Wall Street.” Dinkins had had to struggle through the after-effects the huge crash of 1987.

Remarkable though Giuliani’s mayoral record remains, it’s complicated further by more than socio-economic circumstances and structural constraints. Ironically, it was his most heroic moments as mayor that spotlighted his deepest presidential liability. Fred Siegel, author of the Giuliani-touting Prince of the City, posed the problem recently when he wondered why, after Giuliani’s 1997 mayoral reelection, with the city buoyed by its new safety and economic success, he wasn’t “able to turn his Churchillian political personality down a few notches."

I’ll tell you why: Giuliani’s 9/11 performance was sublime for the unnerving reason that he’d been rehearsing for it all his adult life and remained trapped in that stage role. When his oldest friend and deputy mayor Peter Powers told me in 1994 that 16-year-old Rudy had started an opera club at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, I didn’t have to connect too many of the dots I’d been seeing to begin noticing that Giuliani at times acted like an opera fanatic who’s living in a libretto as much as in the real world.

In private, Rudy can contemplate the human comedy with a Machiavellian prince’s supple wit. But when he walks on stage, he tenses up so much that even his efforts to lighten up seem labored. What drove him as mayor was a zealot’s graceless division of everyone into friend or foe and his snarling, sometimes histrionic, vilifications of the foes. Those are operatic emotions, beneath the civic dignity of a great city and its chief magistrate.

Of course, I know more than a few New Yorkers who deserve the Rudy treatment, but only on 9/11 did the city really become as operatic as the inside of Rudy’s mind. For once, New York re-arranged itself into a stage fit for, say, Rossini’s “Le Siege de Corinth” or some dark, nationalist epic by Verdi or Puccini that ends with bodies strewn all over and the tragic but noble hero grieving for his devastated people and, perhaps, foretelling a new dawn.

Giuliani called the Metropolitan Opera only a few days after 9/11 and insisted its performances resume. At the first of these, the orchestra, striking up a few well-known chords, brought the entire cast, Met administrative, secretarial, and custodial staff (who'd come up onstage), and the capacity audience to their feet to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” with unprecedented passion. A few days later Giuliani proposed that his term be extended on an “emergency” basis beyond its lawful end on January 1, 2002. (It wasn’t, and the city did as well as it could have, anyway.)

Should this country suffer another devastating attack before the 2008 primaries are over, Giuliani’s presidential prospects may soar beyond recalling. But the very Constitutional notion of recall could soar away with them. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and Giuliani was right for his time and on a stage with built-in limits. But we shouldn’t have to make him the next President to learn why even a grateful Britain dumped Churchill in its first major election after V-E day.

Indeed. I don't care how many times Giuliani has been married, but the fact that publicly humiliated his family makes him an asshole.

Richard Land, head of public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention, told The Associated Press that evangelicals believe the former New York City mayor showed a lack of character during his divorce from his second wife, television personality Donna Hanover.

"I mean, this is divorce on steroids," Land said. "To publicly humiliate your wife in that way, and your children. That's rough. I think that's going to be an awfully hard sell, even if he weren't pro-choice and pro-gun control."

Still, he gets a lot of manlove from Tweety and the gang, who apparently aren't bothered by this behavior.

The Growing Irrelevance of Big Media Journalism

The Times apparently thinks just one needs to go, not that the ineptitude of this administration is historically broad and the rot starts at the very top:
[Snr. Alberto Gonzales] has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them.

First, there was Mr. Gonzales’s lame op-ed article in USA Today trying to defend the obviously politically motivated firing of eight United States attorneys, which he dismissed as an “overblown personnel matter.” Then his inspector general exposed the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been abusing yet another unnecessary new power that Mr. Gonzales helped wring out of the Republican-dominated Congress in the name of fighting terrorism.

The F.B.I. has been using powers it obtained under the Patriot Act to get financial, business and telephone records of Americans by issuing tens of thousands of “national security letters,” a euphemism for warrants that are issued without any judicial review or avenue of appeal. The administration said that, as with many powers it has arrogated since the 9/11 attacks, this radical change was essential to fast and nimble antiterrorism efforts, and it promised to police the use of the letters carefully.

But like so many of the administration’s promises, this one evaporated before the ink on those letters could dry. The F.B.I. director, Robert Mueller, admitted Friday that his agency had used the new powers improperly.

Mr. Gonzales does not directly run the F.B.I., but it is part of his department and has clearly gotten the message that promises (and civil rights) are meant to be broken.

It was Mr. Gonzales, after all, who repeatedly defended Mr. Bush’s decision to authorize warrantless eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and e-mail. He was an eager public champion of the absurd notion that as commander in chief during a time of war, Mr. Bush can ignore laws that he thinks get in his way. Mr. Gonzales was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it.

The attorney general helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture. He has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.

His Justice Department has abandoned its duties as guardian of election integrity and voting rights. It approved a Georgia photo-ID law that a federal judge later likened to a poll tax, a case in which Mr. Gonzales’s political team overrode the objections of the department’s professional staff.

The Justice Department has been shamefully indifferent to complaints of voter suppression aimed at minority voters. But it has managed to find the time to sue a group of black political leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters.

We opposed Mr. Gonzales’s nomination as attorney general. His résumé was weak, centered around producing legal briefs for Mr. Bush that assured him that the law said what he wanted it to say. More than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush’s disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.

On Thursday, Senator Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, hinted very obliquely that perhaps Mr. Gonzales’s time was up. We’re not going to be oblique. Mr. Bush should dismiss Mr. Gonzales and finally appoint an attorney general who will use the job to enforce the law and defend the Constitution.
A little more here. Of course, AG has been a historically corrupt appointment....

And then there's this:
Mission Accomplished: A look back at the media's fawning coverage of Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq
On May 1, 2003, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln aboard an S-3B Viking jet, emerged from the aircraft in full flight gear, and proceeded to "press[] flesh," as The Washington Post put it, as he shook hands and hugged crew members in front of the cameras. Later that day, Bush delivered a nationally televised speech from the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in which he declared that "[m]ajor combat operations in Iraq have ended," all the while standing under a banner reading: "Mission Accomplished." Despite lingering questions over the continued violence in Iraq, the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction, and the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, as well as evidence that Bush may have shirked his responsibilities in the Texas Air National Guard (TANG) during the Vietnam War, the print and televised media fawned over Bush's "grand entrance" and the image of Bush as the "jet pilot" and the "Fighter Dog."

Chief among the cheerleaders was MSNBC's Chris Matthews. On the May 1, 2003, edition of Hardball, Matthews was joined in his effusive praise of Bush by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and "Democrat" Pat Caddell. Former U.S. Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-CA) also appeared on the program.:

MATTHEWS: What's the importance of the president's amazing display of leadership tonight?


MATTHEWS: What do you make of the actual visual that people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And that's the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously. What does that image mean to the American people, a guy who can actually get into a supersonic plane and actually fly in an unpressurized cabin like an actual jet pilot?


MATTHEWS: Do you think this role, and I want to talk politically [...], the president deserves everything he's doing tonight in terms of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. Do you think he is defining the office of the presidency, at least for this time, as basically that of commander in chief? That [...] if you're going to run against him, you'd better be ready to take [that] away from him.


MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Bob Dornan, you were a congressman all those years. Here's a president who's really nonverbal. He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?


MATTHEWS: Ann Coulter, you're the first to speak tonight on the buzz. The president's performance tonight, redolent of the best of Reagan -- what do you think?

COULTER: It's stunning. It's amazing. I think it's huge. I mean, he's landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. It's tremendous. It's hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that. And it doesn't matter if Democrats try to ridicule it. It's stunning, and it speaks for itself.

MATTHEWS: Pat Caddell, the president's performance tonight on television, his arrival on ship?

CADDELL: Well, first of all, Chris, the -- I think that -- you know, I was -- when I first heard about it, I was kind of annoyed. It sounded like the kind of PR stunt that Bill Clinton would pull. But and then I saw it. And you know, there's a real -- there's a real affection between him and the troops.


MATTHEWS: The president there -- look at this guy! We're watching him. He looks like he flew the plane. He only flew it as a passenger, but he's flown --

CADDELL: He looks like a fighter pilot.

MATTHEWS: He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him -- I mean, he seems like -- he didn't fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

CADDELL: Yes. It's a -- I don't know. You know, it's an internal thing. I don't know if you can put it into words. [...] You can see it with him and the troops, the ease with which he talks to them. I was amazed by that, frankly, because as I said, I was originally appalled, particularly when I heard he was going in an F-18. But -- on there -- but the -- but you know, that was --

MATTHEWS: Look at this guy!

CADDELL: -- was hard not to be moved by their reaction to him and his reaction to them and --

MATTHEWS: You know, Ann --

CADDELL: -- you know, they -- it's a quality. It's an innate quality. It's a real quality.

MATTHEWS: I know. I think you're right.

Later that day, on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Matthews said:

MATTHEWS: We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like [former President Bill] Clinton or even like [former Democratic presidential candidates Michael] Dukakis or [Walter] Mondale, all those guys, [George] McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits. We don't want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.

On the May 7, 2003, edition of Hardball, Matthews asked former Nixon administration official G. Gordon Liddy what he thought of the response to Bush's landing on the Abraham Lincoln. Looking at the footage, Liddy commented that Bush's flight suit made "the best of his manly characteristic." From the May 7 Hardball:

MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?

LIDDY: Well, I -- in the first place, I think it's envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know -- and I've worn those because I parachute -- and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those -- run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count -- they're all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.

MATTHEWS: You know, it's funny. I shouldn't talk about ratings. I don't always pay attention to them, but last night was a riot because, at the very time [U.S. Rep.] Henry Waxman [D-CA] was on -- and I do respect him on legislative issues -- he was on blasting away, and these pictures were showing last night, and everybody's tuning in to see these pictures again.

Various media figures hyped Bush's National Guard experience but made no mention of evidence that emerged during the 2000 presidential campaign that Bush may have received special treatment in getting into TANG and during his tenure. On the May 1, 2003, edition of CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, Blitzer noted that jets like the F/A-18 Hornet "helped win the war in Iraq" and twice commented on Bush's TANG background -- at one point calling Bush a "one-time Fighter Dog." From the May 1 edition of Wolf Blitzer Reports:

BLITZER: There was a riskier landing that the president wanted to make. The Secret Service, though, just wouldn't let the commander in chief ride in an F/A-18 strike fighter. But CNN's Kyra Phillips will be doing just that in a matter of only a few minutes. She's in the cockpit of this F/A-18 Hornet. Right now, Navy jets like this one, of course, helped win the war in Iraq. Now, they're headed home. We'll talk with Kyra as soon as she catapults off the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. That's coming up.

A little bit of history and a lot of drama today when President Bush became the first commander in chief to make a tailhook landing on an aircraft carrier. A one-time Fighter Dog himself in the Air National Guard, the president flew in the co-pilot seat with a trip to the USS Abraham Lincoln. And he then mingled with the pilots and the crew members of the carrier on its way back from a deployment which covered the war in Iraq and before that, the war in Afghanistan. From that same deck tonight, the president will make more history. He'll deliver a major address to the nation.


BLITZER: And the president clearly pleased by his own landing aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.


And as we mentioned, President Bush is no stranger to military aircraft. He flew F-102 fighter jets in the Texas Air National Guard. He joined at the height of the Vietnam War but was never sent overseas and never saw combat. There's a picture of the young George W. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard.

On the May 1 edition of CNBC's The News with Brian Williams, Williams, now anchor of NBC's Nightly News, said of Bush:

WILLIAMS: And two immutable truths about the president that the Democrats can't change: He's a youthful guy. He looked terrific and full of energy in a flight suit. He is a former pilot, so it's not a foreign art farm -- art form to him. Not all presidents could have pulled this scene off today.

On the May 1 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta van Sustern, correspondent Jon Scott reported:

SCOTT: Greta, the president made just about as grand an entrance tonight as the White House could have asked for. He came in aboard an S-3B Viking. That's a sort of a workhorse of the carrier fleet, an aircraft that is sometimes used for aerial refueling. It can also drop targeted and non-targeted bombs, the so-called dumb bombs. It can do a little bit of everything, and today it brought some very important cargo, namely the president of the United States, the first time ever that a sitting president has landed on a moving aircraft carrier.

Now, of course, President Bush flew fighters in the Air National Guard, but no pilot, no matter how experienced, can land on an aircraft carrier first time out. The president did take the stick for a short time during his flight, but he let another pilot handle the landing. Now, he -- when he got here he was absolutely mobbed by the 200 or so crew members who are normally on deck during flight ops, as they call them. The people in the multicolored jerseys reached out for a handshake, a photo, anything they could get of this president. One observer here tonight said it was like the Beatles climbed out of that plane, and that's very much what it looked like from here.

On the May 1 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, White House correspondent Wendell Goler reported:

GOLER: With a tailhook landing on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, President George W. Bush made history in advance of a historic speech to the nation in which he'll declare the war in Iraq is all but over. Mr. Bush traded his suit and tie for a flight suit and took a 20-minute flight to the ship during which he briefly called on his skills as a pilot in the National Guard.


HUME: Wendell, the president said "Yes, I flew it," right? And you said he did. How much flying did he actually do today?

GOLER: Brit, the president says he flew the plane about a third of the way from North Island Naval Air Station to the carrier Lincoln. He says the pilot asked him if he wanted to do some maneuvers, but he flew it mostly in a straight line. He says he sure misses flying but that the S-3B Viking is a lot more sophisticated than the planes he flew during his time in the Air National Guard.

The print media joined in the collective swoon the following day. From a May 2, 2003, article in The New York Times by staff writer David E. Sanger:

But within minutes Mr. Bush emerged for the kind of photographs that other politicians can only dream about. He hopped out of the plane with a helmet tucked under his arm and walked across the flight deck with a swagger that seemed to suggest he had seen Top Gun. Clearly in his element, he was swarmed by cheering members of the Lincoln's crew.

Even in a White House that prides itself on its mastery of political staging, Mr. Bush's arrival on board the Lincoln was a first of many kinds.

Never before has a president landed aboard a carrier at sea, much less taken the controls of the aircraft. His decision to sleep aboard the ship this evening in the captain's quarters conjured images of the presidency at sea not seen since Franklin D. Roosevelt used to sail to summit meetings.

Mr. Bush was clearly reliving his days as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, more than three decades ago. "I miss flying, I can tell you that," he told reporters who bumped into him as he moved around the ship.

Washington Post staff writer Karen DeYoung reported on May 2, 2003:

Bush, who had taken off his helmet and thus avoided photographic comparisons to presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis's unfortunate episode with a tank helmet during 1988 campaign, jumped down in full flight regalia, a smile splitting his face. The Navy had planned an official greeting, with Bush being piped aboard and walking through two rows of "sideboys" saluting him -- a tradition that dates from the days when visiting officers were hauled up the side of the ship in a boatswain's chair.

Bush ignored it all, swaggering forward and pumping hands with everybody in sight before they could salute. "Here's a man with a birthday," he yelled at a television cameraman as he swung his arm around a sailor. "Put him on C-SPAN." For once, there were no security concerns to keep Bush from pressing flesh, and he made the most of it, hugging and patting everyone on the back -- from the greasy flight deck crew to F-18 pilots waiting to fly home this afternoon.

"Great job, great job," he kept saying. "I flew it," he shouted back to a reporter's shouted question about his flight. "Yeah, of course I liked it. It was fantastic."

Later, Bush explained that he had taken the controls from the pilot, Cmdr. John "Skip" Lussier, for about a third of the 15-minute flight at 360 knots, but had just steered during the "straight" parts. It was, he said, "much more sophisticated" than the jets he used to fly during his tour in the National Guard. Bush had a briefing from the Air Wing Commander and crew members who described their personal experiences flying in combat, watched gun camera footage and heard a battle damage assessment.

The weekend news programs brought even more praise for Bush's performance. On the May 4, 2003, edition of CBS' Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer and Time columnist Joe Klein had this to say:

SCHIEFFER: As far as I'm concerned, that was one of the great pictures of all time. And if you're a political consultant, you can just see campaign commercial written all over the pictures of George Bush.

KLEIN: Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me. And it just shows you how high a mountain these Democrats are going to have to climb. You compare that image, which everybody across the world saw, with this debate last night where you have nine people on a stage and it doesn't air until 11:30 at night, up against Saturday Night Live, and you see what a major, major struggle the Democrats are going to have to try and beat a popular incumbent president.

On the May 4, 2003, edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Fox News Washington bureau managing editor Brit Hume recounted Bush's bravery:

HUME: But this was risky business. You know, there's grease and oil on the decks of those aircraft carriers. The wind's blowing. All kinds of stuff could have gone wrong. It didn't, he carried it off. Somebody, perhaps he, obviously, believed he could. But this was no slam dunk.

On the May 3, 2003, edition of CNN's The Capital Gang, then-Time columnist Margaret Carlson spoke of the "stirring tableau":

CARLSON: A hurricane couldn't have interfered with that particular parade. It was so well done, and even though we knew that everything was choreographed down to, you know, catching that fourth hook on the ship, it was still a pretty stirring tableau. Cecil B. DeMille couldn't have been done better. And even though you know there's no Santa Claus, Christmas is still great, as it was with that particular moment.

And appearing on the May 4, 2003, edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham discussed her reaction:

INGRAHAM: Speaking as a woman, and listening to the women who called into my radio show, seeing President Bush get out of that plane, carrying his helmet, he is a real man. He stands by his word. That was a very powerful moment.
Link. To say that the Big Media courtiers continue to do society a disservice is, of course, a major understatement. They're ever more irrelevant so why would anyone pay attention to them? It's not just Our Leaders who hate us but their Big Media water-carriers as well.

Then today's Times has this query buried deep in the Metro section:

Which brings her to the subject of Rupert Murdoch, the newest of Queens’s media moguls. In September, his News Corporation, which owns The New York Post, purchased TimesLedger Newspapers, a chain of 16 local weeklies, including The Ridgewood Ledger, which covers Ms. Walthers’s neighborhood.

Then, last month, The Daily News announced that it would begin selling advertisements for The Queens Courier, a Bayside-based group of free weeklies.

The moves reflect the vigor of community weeklies, which are gaining ad revenue and circulation as daily newspapers hemorrhage both. But it also marks a new period for the borough’s independent newspapers, which are as boisterous and distinct as the neighborhoods that gave rise to them.

Message for the Day


Speaking of the Radical Right: Just One More Proof that They're Incredibly Stupid or at Least Shamelessly Demented

They think crap like this is what? Funny? Accurate? What they hope people would believe??

A Major Paradign Shift for the Radical Right Wing

Open homosexuals in the military are OK, at least if they're well hung porn actors who are willing to be poster boys for the radical right and engage in bashing anyone to their left.

My Sole Substantive Beef with the Clintons (That Can't be Explained Away by Circumstances)


They essentially killed a chocolate Lab:
...Buddy, the Clinton's famous chocolate Labrador Retriever... save for the unhappy circumstances of his death. The Clintons let him run unsupervised and he was killed by an automobile, as was his predecessor, Zeke, the Cocker Spaniel. As with her pro-war hawkishness, Ms. Clinton has some explaining to do if she hopes to cop the dog-lover vote.