Wednesday, July 6


Susie at Suburban Guerrilla links to this story about Bush colliding with a Scots police officer during a bike ride. The pRez sustained injuries to his hands and arms. The excuse was that it was raining "lightly." In light of past (highly questionable) reports where his sycophants rate "little or no rain" as "a lot," I think someone should check the precipitation reports for the day.


Who'd-a thunk it? Lieberman exhibits a backbone:

But several Senate Democrats who co-authored that deal countered that ideology is a legitimate line of inquiry and potentially a reason to block a nomination. "In my mind, extraordinary circumstances would include not only extraordinary personal behavior but also extraordinary ideological positions," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), a moderate the White House has been hoping to enlist to give bipartisan backing to the nominee.


This says pretty much all I want to say about the Judy Miller "resurrection as media heroine" affair.

If it becomes apparent to a journalist that a source lied to him on a matter crucial to the public good, should he be ethically permitted to expose the lie and the liar, despite any prior promises of confidentiality? Yes.

If a source with a clear political motivation passes along classified information that has no value for public debate but would endanger the career, and possibly the life, of a covert agent, is a journalist ethically permitted to "out" the no-good sneak? You bet. And if the knowledge that they can't always hide behind anonymity has a "chilling effect" on political hacks who are eager to manipulate the media in furtherance of their vested interests, that's OK with me.

My husband (The Sage) and I both studied journalism in college (his major, my minor), and it never occurred to us, nor were we taught, that a journalist has the right and/or privilege of keeping the secrets of criminals to the point that he/she becomes part of the conspiracy.

Tuesday, July 5


Courtesy of Demagogue:

"Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives."

Monday, July 4


On this Fourth of July, I share with you a song that's been rattling around my head for months now. I leave it to you to judge its relevance.

ONE TIN SOLDIER (The Legend of Billy Jack)

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
"With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there."

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

Now the valley cried with anger,
"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it...
"Peace on Earth" was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.


A must-read true story of an elderly Hindu Afghan couple caught in the murky world of post-9/11 Washington.

Sunday, July 3


"Politics is show business. It's just show business for the ugly. It's Hollywood without all the beautiful people." -- Sen. Chuck Hagel

More here.


These are the stakes.

This, conservatives say, will prevent the defeat of another nominee such as Bork and will inoculate Bush from pressure to appoint a moderate such as Kennedy or Souter. And if it works with O'Connor's replacement, conservatives say, they will have found a formula that will allow them gradually to control the judiciary and revisit the full range of precedents regarding abortion, affirmative action, church-state matters and regulations of business and the environment. [emphasis mine]


John Bolton is one scary loose cannon. What I can't figure is, why on earth would Condi and Bush want him when he has a history of defying his bosses and putting them in awkward (to say the least) situations?

Michael Tomasky issues a call to action:

So here’s what we know: In one area, and in only one area that we know of (Iran), Bolton kept information from his superiors and pursued an agenda that was more hard line than others in the administration were comfortable with. It also happens to be the case that the matters on which Bolton freelanced had to do specifically with the United Nations’ handing of Iran-related issues.

It’s hardly going out on a limb, given all this background, to suggest that UN Ambassador John Bolton might hit Turtle Bay with a certain agenda in mind with regard to Iran—an agenda, his history on the topic indicates, that might not even square with that of his boss, the president. Small wonder that Ledeen told The New York Sun back on January 24, “I love John Bolton.”

The prospect of a Bolton recess appointment is sneaking under the radar right now. A formidable opposition that got Democratic senators to focus on Bolton in the first place, and then succeeded in raising such a clamor that the GOP-controlled Senate couldn’t win him a cloture vote, seems to have turned its attention to other matters. Folks, let’s not wake up next Thursday morning and find that this man is representing us at the United Nations. It’s time to rev the machine back up.


A really good editorial about the confusing Supreme Court decisions regarding religious monuments in public places. And it's written by a Christian.


The much-anticipated Newsweek article about Karl Rove's involvement with the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame is online and doesn't tell us much more than we already knew.

Here are the salient points:

(1) Rove talked to Time's Matt Cooper about the Wilson/Plame affair three days before Novak's column was published.
(2) Rove's lawyer denies that Rove told any reporter that Plame was a CIA agent and never "knowingly disclosed classified information." He said Rove testified before the grand jury two or three times and signed a waiver authorizing reporters to disclose his contacts with them.

That's it, other than to mention that the White House is "concerned" that special prosecutor Fitzgerald is interested in Rove. We already knew about the incident on July 21 where Rove called Chris Matthews and said Plame was "fair game."

Rove has mastered the art of preemptive disclosure: you make the story seem a bigger scandal than it is, then when the first reports come out, sit back and laugh when they seem to make the opposition seem hysterical and overreactive. After that, the impact of further investigations and disclosures is blunted. It has struck me as odd and almost unbelievable that hosts of journalists are now indicating that they "know" Rove outed Plame after keeping silent for so long. I suspect that the White House has been furiously leaking that fact in recent days so that Rove's true involvement (possibly perjury and a coverup) would seem petty when it came out.