JUST MARRIED, AFTER 51 YEARS TOGETHER
The bride on the left wears a lavender pantsuit. The other bride carries a gold-chained purse. As the music starts, they begin making their way toward the stage. They walk slowly, not because they want to, but because this is how they walk at age 83 and 79. The white-haired one in lavender is Del Martin. The one with coral lipstick is Phyllis Lyon. They are arm in arm.
KURTZ'S DEAN POSTMORTEM
Some nice investigative journalism
here from Howie the Whore. It's long and exquisitely detailed. Two conclusions I took away: there was a serious lack of organization and there was a serious lack of effective communication between Howard and his strategy and policy staff.
But Kurtz makes no attempt to explain why
Dean did so well so early, which might be a question we'll need to return to as Kerry's dullness potentially puts the dampers on turnout.
One thousand citizens turn out to protest
at a $2,000/plate AWOL fundraiser in Kentucky
In all her 67 years, Ann Hall has never protested anything — until President Bush came to Louisville yesterday.
Fed up with the president's positions on education, the economy and a host of other issues, she went downtown with a couple of friends to voice her displeasure.
"He cares nothing about the common person," said Hall, of Louisville. "We decided we're just tired of it, and we needed to do something."
So, carrying a sign that referred to the president as an "idiot," she; Lori Eisenbeis, 68; and Midge Ostendorf, 72, took their place among 1,000 or more protesters who gathered half a block from the Galt House. Sprinkled among the crowd was a handful supporting Bush.
Probably didn't make the news, though. Y'know, unpatriotic and all that.
But wait until you see New York and the convention. Everybody
SCOTTY ON THE 9/11 COMMISSION
I'll let Josh Marshall
do the heavy lifting on today's Scott McLellan bullshit-flinging contest:
: What's your response to those who suspect that Speaker Hastert is secretly --
: Why did they --
: Helen, I just pointed out the chairman of the commission and his comments. Why isn't that being reported?
: But there are other members --
: Go ahead, Mark. Mark was finishing up.
: What's your response to those who say Speaker Hastert is secretly doing the White House bidding in refusing to bring up a two-month extension for the commission?
: Silly, silly idea. I mean, the President supports extension -- supports the extension that the commission has requested. We've made that view known publicly and privately.
: Can I follow on that --
: Can you answer Mark's question. Can you answer what Mark asked about the one-hour limit --
: I said, no. I said -- I confirmed that.
: And can I just clarify that ...
: You were thinking about service, I know, when I mentioned that.
: What the commission is asking for in that one hour is the entire commission, not just the chair and vice chair. Are you not agreeing to that --
: The request came from the chairman and vice chairman, and the President looks forward to meeting privately with --
: I know. But they followed up by saying that they want --
: -- looks forward to meeting privately with the chairman and vice chairman to provide them with the necessary information.
: Why not all of them? What's the problem?
: Helen, we have great confidence that the chairman and vice chairman can share all that information with the rest of the commission.
: Why do they have to share it? The others have ears.
[Helen Thomas rules. -ed
: They're going to have a public report. I talked about how this is extraordinary for a President to sit down with a legislative body such as the 9/11 Commission.
: What's the President's problem, really, with meeting all of them?
: It's a legislative body? I'm sorry.
: There are lots of ways -- one, I have always said that there are lots of ways -- it's legislatively created, that's what I'm referring to. There are lots of ways to provide the commission with the information they need to do their work. And we have worked -- we have bent over backwards to provide unprecedented cooperation to the commission.
: Not from what we hear.
In short, we should be happy the Prazdent is giving two members of the 9/11 commission A WHOLE HOUR, because it's a legislative commission and there is also unprecedented cooperation and blah blah blah. Also, that dern Denny Hastert just won't extend the deadline for the 9/11 commission, even though we begged him!
In related news
, at the Repug national convention in New York, this year, look for:
“Or, and this is a real possibility, we could see President Bush giving his acceptance speech at Ground Zero,” he added. “It’s clearly a venue they’re considering.”
THE BUSH/KERRY DEBATES
The Decembrist speculates
on whether they will actually happen:
So how does [Bush] get out [of debating]? There hasn't been a presidential election without debates since Nixon in 1972. (Hmm, what does that tell you?) It's now totally institutionalized. David Broder in yesterday's Post suggested that Bush might use Nader, and the demands of the Citizens Debate Commission that candidates with 5% support in polls be permitted into the debates as a negotiating tool to minimize the number of debates with Kerry (or Edwards). But Broder doesn't seem to think that Bush can avoid debating altogether, and I doubt that Nader will be enough of a factor to theoretically qualify for debates even under the looser Citizens Debate Commission rules. Still, this is Bush, and if Rove decides he shouldn't debate, he's not going to debate. How he will pull it off, I don't know, but no one should be surprised if he does.
It's hard for me to imagine that the American people would allow this to happen. There would be a blistering response from the Kerry campaign, and the media would (justifiably) go nuts. Rove will minimize the number of debates, but I can't imagine less than three.
I'll totally enjoy Edwards vs. Cheney, by the way.
Decembrist is unquestionably right about one thing:
But watching the debate tonight, I was struck by how helpful it has been to Kerry and Edwards both to go through this ritual so many times. Despite the worst moderating and questioning imaginable -- Larry King is too dim and Ron Brownstein way too smart to be good debate questioners -- both of them were completely assured and comfortable.
If Bush doesn't improve his speaking/debating style dramatically from what was displayed on Meet the Press, he's in deep, deep trouble. The Dems have benefitted from all of these debates -- and no one will remember them in September and October.
LET IRRITANTS KNOW HOW YOU FEEL
From a company called Glarkware
, a noteworthy tool for urbanites (via the Butt):
Urban life is fraught with daily challenges. We're beset on all sides -- by thoughtless co-workers, oblivious roommates, and even regular strangers on the street -- with the flagrant flouting of the simple rules that govern mundane transactions in society. One such rule, however, is that we don't confront those who transgress against the social order -- and that's a rule Glarkware feels was made to be broken.
Now you can confront those who wrong you, in a way that won't result in your getting your ass beat up. Let the Urban Asshole cards do the talking for you, and put urban assholes in their place.
Each card is scored but not folded so you can present them as is or fold them up so that the recipient only sees "Congrats!" before they get "You're An Asshole" and the hard truth on the other side.
I wish I had one of these for the guy clipping his nails behind me on the MUNI last week.
DEAN / NADER?
Apparently Ralph Nader walked into Dean HQ and asked to be the Vice-President. Dean refused, fearing the schizophrenic campaign that would see his VP denouncing their ticket as "no different from the Republicans".
VOTING IS FOR OLD PEOPLE
Not too funny
It's all too obvious. Isn't it strange that Urban Outfitters is owned by this idiot
Over the course of Urban Outfitters' rise to market dominance, Hayne has bled all the politics, left-wing or otherwise, out of his business dealings. "As a company, we don't contribute to any cause except noncontroversial things like a breast cancer walk," he says. "I don't know anybody who is for breast cancer."
Yet Hayne himself is an ardent Republican. He is a financial supporter of arch conservative Sen. Rick Santorum, whose recent comments about homosexuals equated gay sex with incest and bestiality.
When PW asks Hayne about his financial support of Santorum, he initially denies it. And when presented with a computer printout of Santorum's campaign donors from the Center for Responsive Politics website--which cites a $4,650 contribution from Urban Outfitters--he responds: "I'll have to look into this. I don't think this is right." In fact, he and his wife have contributed $13,150 to Santorum and Santorum's Political Action Committee over the years.
Asked to clarify for the record whether he ever contributed to Santorum's reelection campaign, he counters, "I don't want to mislead you. Like many people, I have some affinity for Rick Santorum, and I have problems with some of his positions."
And where does Santorum's position on homosexuality fit in his comfort zone?
"I'm not going to comment on it," he says, irked. "I have my own opinion, but I am not going to share it. Our job as a business is not to promote a political agenda. That's not what we do. There are all kinds of political views held by my employees. Some would be horrified to learn that we contributed to Santorum's campaign, and others would be fine with it. We openly discuss and joke about our political differences."
It's not a mystery that the right would love to suppress turnout of young voters. It's a little strange how obvious they feel they can be about it.
NUTHIN' TO DO WITH RELIGION
McLellan totally spazzed when someone asked if this decision was based on AWOL's religious faith. RoveCo obviously wants to minimize perception of this as a religious issue. I think it'll be difficult for them.
The following transcript
doesn't do justice to McLellan's rising tone and intensity:
: Scott, following up on that. On the faith issue, the President has talked about -- this is intertwined with faith, but the Bible has been hotly contested on this issue. Some are saying that it's not in the Bible; some are saying it is. Where in the Bible has the President found this specific --
: April, I think the President described it from his views about where his beliefs are, and the principle of this decision.
: He talks about faith a great deal. And he talks about he -- his foundation, his new foundation after 40 is based on faith. Where in the Bible --
: The President talked about how he came to the decision and why he came to this decision. He spelled out the very reasons for acting on this issue now.
: Okay, well, maybe I could rephrase the question. You say that the President has talked to theologians. What part of the Bible did they particularly focus in on to help the President to come up with --
: Well, I think they're actually religious leaders from across the spectrum, with a wide variety of views.
: But where did they focus in on in the Bible? I mean, because this is a hotly contested issue. Some people say it's in; some people say it's not in the Bible.
: Right, and you're welcome to religious leaders about that.
: We understand there's the issue of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, but did he use that? We want to know.
: No, he talked about, in the Roosevelt Room, about the reasons how he came to this -- how he came to this decision --
: I understand what you're saying, but we want to know where the foundation of faith is on this issue. Is it Sodom and Gomorrah? Is it some other part of the Bible?
: You can consult religious scholars if you want to know those issues.
: I have, and I'm asking you.
[McLellan then moves on to another questioner.]
: Okay. Let me ask one more question. There's this interesting sentence here where he says that "marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society." So how does gay marriage weaken society, in the President's view?
: Well, this goes to the issue of an institution that is enduring and lasting. The President said in his remarks that this is the most fundamental institution in our civilization. And he talked about, in his State of the Union, about the importance of defending these kinds of enduring institutions, that some things -- that some things never change. He actually addressed that in his State of the Union address. And he talked about the importance of making sure that the people's voice is heard, as well.
: But specifically, how does allow -- how does allowing gay marriage, allowing two people of the same sex to marry, how does that weaken our society?
: It's a strong value of our society. It's a strong value of our civilization. And we should protect and defend those kinds of enduring institutions in our society.
...and bless Helen Thomas
: What does he think the penalty should be, they should go to jail if they break this law that eventually he hopes to have?
: The President believes that we should protect and defend the sanctity of marriage, Helen. That's what this is about. And there are people --
: They should go to jail?
: No, Helen, that's not the way the President is looking at it. The President is looking at this from making sure that activist judges and local officials don't redefine this enduring institution in our society.
Read Andrew Sullivan
, who is today historically eloquent about the hater-in-chief:
WAR IS DECLARED
: The president launched a war today against the civil rights of gay citizens and their families. And just as importantly, he launched a war to defile the most sacred document in the land. Rather than allow the contentious and difficult issue of equal marriage rights to be fought over in the states, rather than let politics and the law take their course, rather than keep the Constitution out of the culture wars, this president wants to drag the very founding document into his re-election campaign. He is proposing to remove civil rights from one group of American citizens - and do so in the Constitution itself. The message could not be plainer: these citizens do not fully belong in America. Their relationships must be stigmatized in the very Constitution itself. The document that should be uniting the country will now be used to divide it, to single out a group of people for discrimination itself, and to do so for narrow electoral purposes. Not since the horrifying legacy of Constitutional racial discrimination in this country has such a goal been even thought of, let alone pursued. Those of us who supported this president in 2000, who have backed him whole-heartedly during the war, who have endured scorn from our peers as a result, who trusted that this president was indeed a uniter rather than a divider, now know the truth.
There is more, and you should read it.
...not tons of sympathy out there
for Andy Sullivan, I'm afraid:
If gay Republicans came to you and said, "I'm sorry, I want to work with the Democrats now", would you say, "OK", or would you laugh at them and tell them to go away?
If a random gay Republican came up to me and apologized and wanted to work with me and my party to defeat George Bush, I'd shake his hand and say glad to have you, all is forgiven.
However, if Andrew Sullivan came up to me and wanted to apologize, I'd tell him to go fuck himself.
Some people you can't just forgive. If Sullivan's really sorry he backed Bush, he'll have to prove it to me.
But why is it that it takes a direct attack on Andy’s own identity for him to realize that this administration has no concern for anyone but the wealthy business elite, conservative Christians and neocon strategists who make up its political base? Funny how this arch-defender of the Bush/Ashcroft assault on our civil liberties has become so attached to the U.S. Constitution all of a sudden now that they’re coming after people like him.
VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR
, via Friends of March
LONDON (Reuters) - An ageing rock group gave themselves a facelift by getting a group of teenagers to stand in for them on the video of their latest song, helping them score their first chart hit for some 15 years.
Convinced the music industry is prejudiced against wrinkly rockers, The Alarm gave themselves the pseudonym The Poppyfields and persuaded a group of fresh-faced youths to mime their part.
"They did it to show they wanted to be judged on music and not on their image and haircuts of 15 years ago," said a spokesman for the band.
The single, 45RPM, went into the UK charts this week at number 28.
JOHN KERRY'S BAND'S RECORD ON EBAY
(Starting bid was $2100. Auction ended with no bidders...)
KUNG FU RUMMY
TWIN COBRA FIST!
. Via Monster.
LOAD UP THE VAN, MA: WE'RE HEADIN' TO CANADA
A Harris poll has found that two thirds of Americans believe executions should be televised. Three in 10 said that Osama bin Laden should be the first victim and 21 percent said they'd pay to watch. Eighteen percent said Saddam Hussein should be executed on TV, and 11 percent said they'd spring for pay-per-view.
METABLOGGER: FAIR USE AND COPYRIGHT
Left Coaster includes the following disclaimer at the bottom of a post
about Education Secretary calling the NEA a "terrorist group":
FAIR USE NOTICE
This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.
The post contains excerpts from a copyrighted Associated Press article.
Has a blogger been accused of copyright infringement? It's only a matter of time, and I'll admit to some trepidation about using photos (or editorial cartoons) from news sites -- even if it's for subsequent commentary.
...some thoughts about the issue here
, including a step-by-step walkthrough of Section 107 from a blogger's perspective.
has a similar article that might be useful.
THE SUBLIME CIRCUS THAT IS THE WHITE HOUSE DAILY BRIEFING
From today's transcript
: We know the President married well and we know he has trouble with English, but does he really have big biceps? (Laughter.)
: No, but you did bring up an issue that the President feels strongly about, and that is to promote healthy choices. And it's something he has been very committed to, leading by example on.
Al-Qaeda infiltrator, obviously.
...ah. The questioner is referring to this
I want to welcome the nation's new governors, Barbour and Fletcher, Kernan, Blanco, Walker, Tulafono and Schwarzenegger. (Laughter and applause.) Last time I was with Governor Schwarzenegger it dawned on me that we have some things in common. We both married well. (Laughter.) We both have trouble with the English language. (Laughter.) We both have big biceps. (Laughter.) Well, two out of the three. (Laughter.)
Boring. The mystery was cooler.
on the slow, sad fall of Colin Powell
At times, Powell has taken his fate with resigned humor. Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in The New Yorker last year of a diplomatic soiree that Powell attended on the eve of war, at which a foreign diplomat recited a news account that Bush was sleeping like a baby. Powell reportedly replied, "I'm sleeping like a baby, too. Every two hours, I wake up, screaming."
OSAMA YO MAMA
The Sunday Express (UK) reported this weekend
that Osama was surrounded by US forces and it's only a matter of time until he's captured.
Without comment on how likely this actually is, I refer you to Ezra at Pandagon speculating
on the impact of Osama's capture on AWOL's re-lection:
As the conventional wisdom goes, capturing Osama would make Bush a lock for reelection. I'm going to make the counter-argument and say that Osama's capture would be terrible for Bush's reelection. In fact, it would be one of the worst things that could happen to him.
Nader just jumped the shark
in a spectacularly historical way.
His legacy is no longer intrepid consumer advocate and lefty stalwart. Now he's another crack-addled monkey (see Perot, Ross).
TRACKBACK WITH BLOGGER
. Now I need some links.
SF NOISEPOP + SHOWMANIA
Okay. What would you
: The Unicorns at the Great American Music Hall;
: Low at the GAMH;
: Super Furry Animals at the Fillmore;
: Moving Units / Wrens at Bottom of the Hill; the Tyde at Cafe du Nord; Decemberists at the GAMH (and happy birthday Dad!);
: Zombies at the Independent.
A REALLY GOOD DEAN EULOGY
Matt Bai is some idiot who writes for the NYT, and this
is his (abbreviated) take on the candidacy of Howard Dean:
[W]hat Dr. Dean and much of the news media now claim as his political legacy — using the Internet to raise money, forcing his party toward confrontation — is merely tactical. As LaFollette could have told him, a truly transcendent political campaign has to be rooted in something deeper than fervent rhetoric and small policy variations. It has to be daring enough to survive the candidacy itself.
In the end, the tragedy of Howard Dean's impressive grass-roots campaign is that he will be remembered not for any lasting reform agenda, but for the missed opportunity to create one.
Smug, dismissive, and just plain wrong. At a minimum, Dean changed the tone of this election, reinvigorated the Democrats as an opposition party, and defanged the charge that criticism of the CIC is necessarily unpatriotic. Aside from all the cash that he raised and all the energy he created.
...why the dismissal of these accomplishments as "merely tactical?" I think reestablishing the semblance of a two-party system in America may well be "transcendant." Not that Bai really gives us any idea what that word means to him.
More importantly, isn't Bai just a little too conclusory about how ephemeral the Dean organization will be? We have no idea what will happen with the mailing list, and the MoveOn meetings as a return to localized political communities, and the money, and the energy. No idea
. Bai doesn't either, the snarky monkey.
The Left Coaster
is far better on Dean's legacy:
Howard Dean has often been labeled the "prophet of rage." It's certainly true that he was an angry man -- angry at Bush, the war, the budget deficit, the mushrooming unemployment cloud, at all things that had gone badly wrong in three short years. This anger hit a chord with the popular imagination; dissatisfaction with Bush was high and Dean was the perfect protest candidate. Dean successfully channeled the anger of millions who felt apathetic and disenfranchised. He awoke voters and gave voice to the legions who intuitively questioned the policies of the present administration. He introduced serious dialogue to an administration whose every effort has been to deceive, distract and manipulate the masses. By talking about the misguided war in Iraq, the shameful lack of jobs, the destructive obese deficits, and the massive increase of our $7 trillion national debt, he caused America to question whether George W. Bush is the right man for the job.
Read it all.
A case of mistaken identity
in the academic world, via Matt Yglesias:
An Oxford engineering student was surprised but undaunted when he was approached to deliver a series of lectures in Beijing on global economics.
Matthew Richardson knew "next to nothing" about the subject but, believing he would be addressing a sixth-form audience, he felt he could "carry it off".
Mr Richardson, 23, borrowed an A-level textbook entitled An Introduction to Global Financial Markets from a library and swotted up on its contents on the flight from London to China.
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
'Cuz there's no middle ground. Via Orcinus
, an email received at AWOLBush.com
From: "Baker, J." [email@example.com]
Subject: Comments . . .
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 22:33:11 -0500
You people are beyond evil. George W. Bush will be re-elected to a second term, and hopefully it will drive die-hard idiotic leftists to commit suicide, that would be the bonus round!
Instead of bitching about how much you hate George W. Bush and how he stole the election and went AWOL from the National Guard, why don't you rotten cocksuckers spend your time and money and offer up a candidate who isn't a god-damned America-hating lunatic?
You people are utterly useless to humanity and wholly better off dead, burning in eternal damnation.
Ya know, I think it's too bad that we can't follow Saddam's model of dealing with opposition - just open up mass graves and start torturing, maiming, and murdering liberals and leftists by the millions - toss them into the ground, and fill the holes up with dirt. I would love to volunteer for such duty!
Eat shit and die, all of you!
So which side are you on?
And how bad must it get before you really do something about it?
WHiCH STATES MUST WE WIN?
And can a Dem really win without the South? Billmon, recent poll numbers in hand
, seems to conclude that if Bush's popularity keeps sliding in the Midwest, the South is unnecessary. Check it out.
PICK IT UP AND PASS IT ALONG
, the New York Times is helpful
for once. As Reagan tried to classify ketchup as a vegetable, Bush tries to classify flipping burgers as "manufacturing jobs":
Counting jobs at McDonald's, Burger King and other fast-food enterprises alongside those at industrial companies like General Motors and Eastman Kodak might seem like a stretch, akin to classifying ketchup in school lunches as a vegetable, as was briefly the case in a 1981 federal regulatory proposal.
He's "out of touch with mainstream American values."
Another question: Is there anybody on the Bush administration's economic team thinking about ways to create new jobs, instead of thinking about ways to fool people into thinking they've created new jobs?
SAN FRANCISCO LINKS
This is a placeholder for a page to be constructed later.
SAN FRANCISCO LINKS:
Vertigo: Then and Now
[pictures of SF from the 1958 Hitchcock film; the same locations today]
BILLIONAIRES FOR BUSH
Exactly right and too good to be true, via Wonkette
Scenes from a GOP protest in Gotham:
At one point, as hundreds of guests with invitations waited to pass through velvet barriers to enter the club, a small group of men in bowler hats and women in gowns marched up, chanting, "Four more wars" and "Re-elect Rove."
As the group approached, a man who appeared to be a security agent of some type, was overheard whispering into a microphone: "We've got two groups. One for and one against."
Actually, it was two against. The person was confused by a group that calls itself Billionaires for Bush, a collection of activists who use satire to make a political point. Indeed, members of the Sierra Club, who were protesting on the other side of the street were also confused and began shouting at what they thought was a pro-Bush contingent.
"We want the truth and we want it now!" the Sierra protesters shouted.
The billionaires shouted back, "Buy your own president!"
ZELDA MASKS SECRETLY LIBERAL IDEOLOGY
A little splash of genius
over at Pandagon:
I agree with you, Tim. The Zelda series, for all its bowing to traditionally conservative themes such as the individualist response to grave and gathering tyranny, as well as the clear and unequivocal portrayal of evil as evil. But even from its inception, focusing the title on the kidnapped princess as a potential show of gender equality, and its increasing reliance on symbols of supposed "gay identity" as normative tools of in-world expression - fairies, rainbows, flutes, pointy ears.
There are conservative games out there, such as the gender and race-blind Metroid series and many Japanese role-playing games, which focus on a revitalization of traditional values and a maintenance of small-town, "heartland" life. There are better games than Zelda to instill conservative values in your children and your teenagers.
NASCAR FANS: THE NEW SWING VOTERS
I've seen the future. And I'm not afraid to tell you:
It is retarded
NASCAR drivers cover every inch of their cars and uniforms with the brands of their corporate sponsors. Diehard fans mark themselves from head to hip with logos and tattoos to show solidarity with those drivers, surrendering every available inch of torso for companies to cover with product names. At any given minute, I'm passed by hundreds of walking advertisements for Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats, M&Ms, DuPont, Sharpie, Winston and Valvoline, among others.
I'll say what you're thinking:
Deny these fuckers the franchise, please. Or give them their own country.
Unbelievable. Anyone who refuses to pander to these monkeys gets my vote.
(Read the whole thing. It's great.)
ON DISPLAY: A SINKING SHIP
The White House press briefing today
, on the topic of the now-discredited nine-day-old jobs prediction:
: When you dismissed the premise of John's question by saying, people can debate the numbers, let's be realistic here, the debate is going on between your Council of Economic Advisors and Treasury Secretary John Snow. Are there people here in this White House who never believed that forecast?
: Look, John, I think that the Council of Economic Advisors puts out an annual report on the economy; it's the President's Economic Report. And they do that every year. They've been doing it for some 20 years now. That's based on economic modeling and the data that is available at that point in time. The President is interested in the actual number of jobs being created, and the President is interested in making sure that everybody who is looking for a job can find one. That's where the President's focus is.
That's why I say people can debate the numbers all they want, but the President is going to be looking at the actual numbers of jobs being created. And the number of jobs being created is growing. The number is up. New jobs are being created. The economy is certainly moving in the right direction. And my point to John was that the last thing we need to do right now is raise taxes. And we need to focus on the policy decisions that are being made here in Washington, D.C. to create as robust an environment for job creation as possible. And that's where the debate ought to be focused.
: But it would appear, though, that people very high up in this administration didn't have a whole lot of faith in the forecast of the report that went up to Congress just a week ago in terms of the job creation numbers.
: Again, it's an annual economic report that is put out by the administration based on the economic modeling and the data that's available at that point in time.
: Can you answer the specific question, though? Was this report -- was the prediction of this many jobs, 2.6 million jobs, vetted prior to publication by the entire economic team?
: It's an annual report, David. It goes through the usual -- it goes through the usual --
: That's not the question. Was it or was it not vetted by the entire economic team?
: It's an annual report. It goes through the usual --
: So you don't know, or it was, or it wasn't?
: Can I get -- can I finish that sentence?
: When you answer the question. Let's hear it. What's the answer?
: The answer was, it is an annual economic report and it goes through the normal vetting process. And if you would let me get to that, I would answer your question.
: -- the full economic team vetted the prediction --
: It's an annual economic report. It's the President's Economic Report. But again, the President --
: Just say yes or no --
: -- it goes through the normal -- it goes through the normal vetting process.
: So the answer is, yes. I'm not done yet, I've got another one
: Why -- if you're suggesting that people will debate the numbers, that's kind of a backhanded way to say, oh, who cares about the numbers. Well, apparently, the President's top economic advisors do, because that's why they wrote a very large report and sent it to Congress. So why was the prediction made in the first place, if the President and you and his Treasury Secretary were going to just back away from it?
: Well, one, I disagree with the premise of the way you stated that. This is the annual Economic Report of the President and the economic modeling is done this way every year. It's been done this way for 20-some years.
: So why not -- why aren't you standing behind it?
: I think what the President stands behind is the policies that he is implementing, the policies that he is advocating. That's what's important.
: That's not in dispute. The number is the question.
: I know, but the President's concern is on the number of jobs being created --
: My question is, why was the prediction made --
: -- and the President's focus is on making sure that people who are hurting because they cannot find work have a job. That's where the President's focus is.
: Then why predict a number? Why was the number predicted? Why was the number predicted? You can't get away with not -- just answer the question. Why was that number predicted?
: I've been asked this, and I've asked -- I've been asked, and I've answered.
: No, you have not answered. And everybody watching knows you haven't answered.
: I disagree
THERE'S AN OLD SAYING...
Via Dominic, this is my favorite Bush soundbite. There's a certain wistful tentativeness that's very endearing. Also, you can hear
his tiny little wheels spinning. Magical.
TURKEY, OUR ALLY
Since Bush took office, favorable views of America have plunged globally—especially in the Muslim world. The Pew Research Center found that in Turkey, our secular Muslim nato ally, favorable opinion of the United States fell from fifty-two per cent three years ago to fifteen per cent last spring. For an Administration rhetorically devoted to the calling of freedom, this trend ought to cause great concern.
GAVIN NEWSOM ARRESTED
He would be, if these guys
had their way (via Andy Sullivan):
...ooh, they obviously hated him even before this:
This particular mayor [Newsom] has a radical homosexual agenda to push," Staver says. "Back in 1998, this same mayor issued a resolution that said that pro-family groups that say homosexuality is wrong or is a choice [constitutes] hate speech and ought to be prohibited. This [recent action] is simply ridiculous, and he's engaging in illegal acts that we intend to stop."
FLYNT ON BUSH ABORTION
Well. Via Atrios
, Larry Flynt has some interesting allegations
Moby told my fellow gossips Rush & Molloy: "For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you're an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion."
Now the incorrigible Larry Flynt says he plans to market a Bush abortion story as genuine - in a book to be published this summer by Kensington Press.
"This story has got to come out," the wheelchair-bound Hustler magazine honcho told the Daily News' Corky Siemaszko. "There's a lot of hypocrisy in the White House about this whole abortion issue."
Flynt claimed that Bush arranged for the procedure in the early '70s.
"I've talked to the woman's friends," Flynt said. "I've tracked down the doctor who did the abortion, I tracked down the Bush people who arranged for the abortion," Flynt said. "I got the story nailed."
Oh dear. Let's see how long it takes before this
hits the mainstream media. My prediction? No matter how much supporting evidence there is? Never
Everything is on the table. Everything.
from Newsday's Marie Cocco via the Left Coaster
So here is the best way to try to understand this president. It's all too simple to say what you see is what you get. It is more accurate to say that what everyone else sees, Bush does not get.
No wonder he does not believe there's the slightest possibility Americans will vote him out of office. Bush cannot imagine a set of facts, a change of circumstance, a shift of mood that might overtake the electorate and influence its choice. This is because he is not influenced by facts, or changing circumstance or shifts of mood.
"See, I know exactly where I want to lead," the president said. He believes he's shown a capacity to "be steady and make good decisions."
But there is a distinction to be made between presidential steadiness under pressure and petulant self-certainty. It is not apparent that Bush sees it. There is a danger that resolve in a leader can decompose into rigidity. This does not trouble the president's spirit.
Bush is convinced that others are as convinced about his leadership as he, himself, seems to be. The nervousness he does not see stems from his own determination to leave the presidential blinders firmly in place.
Clueless. Delusional. Yep.
HOW IT HAPPENED
describes the gay marriage behind-the-scenes in Mayor Gavin Newsom's office and in City Hall.
The whole thing is wonderfully historic and kudos kudos kudos to Newsom.
Kendell said she was stunned by the magnitude of what Newsom unleashed.
"I feel the weight of history, in a way that I never felt before,'' she said. "It is remarkable and profound.''
As for Newsom, who came into office as a moderate, he credits George Bush for what happened.
"I was at the State of the Union,'' he said, "and I felt a real resolve on this issue.''
ELIMINATIONISM AGAIN ON THE RIGHT
David Neiwert, again, has an update
What kind of national dialogue are we having when Sean Hannity can publish a book with a title that equates liberalism with terrorism as one of the great "evils" now confronting Americans? What, do conservatives now expect liberals to play nice when a lying, slandering traitor like Ann Coulter can smear a wounded veteran like Max Cleland, crudely misrepresenting the circumstances in which he lost three limbs -- and pay no consequences whatsoever to her ever-blossoming media/punditocracy career?
I read passages like this, from Rabbi Daniel Lapin -- the right-wing ultraconservative from my neck of the woods -- and wonder whether dialogue is even appropriate at this juncture:
"I am absolutely convinced that God is far from finished with the story of the United States of America," he said by way of summation. "First of all, [there's] the matter of the little battle that must be fought, just as it was in the 19th century." There were, and are, "two incompatible moral visions for this country. We had to settle it then. We're going to have to settle it now. I hope not with blood, not with guns, but we're going to have to settle it nonetheless. The good news is that I think our side is finally ready to settle it. Roll up its sleeves, take off its jacket, and get a little bloody. Spill a little blood. We'll settle it. And we'll win. And then there's no holding us back."
It is not hard to understand why liberals -- and centrists too -- are angry. Most of all, we're angry because of what these ideological powermongers are doing to our country.
Read it all.
SANTORUM STANDS ALONE
While most Repukes on the Senate Judiciary have conceded the seriousness of the docs scandal
Faced with a difficult-to-defend situation, many Republicans simply withdrew from the field of battle, quietly slipping out of the room. Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joined Mr. Hatch in agreeing that what had happened was terribly wrong.
is bold in his defense of criminal activity:
The most unrepentant of Republicans was Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican leadership. According to the newspaper Roll Call, Mr. Santorum told reporters that he still believed that "the real potential criminal behavior" was with the Democrats because the content showed their unwholesome ways of colluding with outside interest groups to oppose Mr. Bush's judicial nominees.
What a fuckstain
...perhaps you should Google
"Santorum." We're number one!
I would like to state, for the record, that although I supported Matt Gonzalez in the recent San Francisco mayoral election, Gavin Newsom has definitely made me proud to live in this city.
The most powerful arguments for gay marriage are images of two people embracing, looking into each other's eyes, and pledging to stay with each other forever. We've gotten plenty of those images
in the last few days.
Thanks, Gavin. This took some courage and you deserve credit.
REMEMBERING BILL HICKS
I've just listened to a few of his records for the first time and he was really, really something.
Dead of pancreatic cancer at age 32. And he couldn't stop performing:
On January 5, 1994 - against McGarr's wishes - Hicks did the eight o'clock show at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York. In her attempt to prevent Hicks from doing the gig, McGarr rang Donovan. "Colleen, Bill is ready to die. He just won't lie down," Donovan told her. She hung up on him. Hicks was about 30 minutes into his set when he looked up over the microphone and scanned the crowd. "Colleen, are you out there?" he said.
The Guardian has this tribute
the Republicans sounded more like this
A future Tory government would look seriously at ending the "chronic injustice" of forcing less well-off people to pay income tax, as part of a concerted attempt to revive the party's tax-cutting tradition, the Conservative co-chairman, Lord Saatchi, said yesterday.
In an interview with the Guardian, to mark Michael Howard's 100 days as Tory leader, Lord Saatchi declared that it was "not right" to tax people living below the poverty line and then force them to go "cap in hand" to the state for benefits.
Ah, the good old days.
BARB BUSH'S BELLY BASH
Here at Salto, we pride ourselves at being the firs--um, well, the second, or maybe third, to bring you news of the lascivious antics
of Bush daughters:
FRISKY First Daughter Barbara Bush put on a belly-dancing show at Chelsea hot spot Viscaya early yesterday while imitating the undulating tummy of a sword-twirling Japanese dancer named Yoko. Bush jumped up and joined Yoko at the socialite-studded after-party for Jennifer Nicholson's fashion show, prompting partygoers to throw flowers and hundreds of dollars in cash at the feet of Bush and Yoko. Commenting on the trays of margaritas and Veuve Clicquot champagne delivered to Bush's table before her gutsy performance, one wag quipped, "I hope the Secret Service is driving her home."
Just to remind you: Babs 2.0 is the hip one and, um, Jenna is the hot one.
WHY THE POLLS LOOK BAD FOR BUSH
had it exactly right:
The polls show that for every "life-long" Democrat who teaches at a liberal arts college and thinks they are insulated enough from the economic and political shocks sure to result from massive deficits and pre-emptive wars to vote for Bush, there are more Republicans who have realized that their fiscal conservativism and reticence to get embroiled in foreign wars has been comprehensively and arrogantly repudiated by the person they thought was their standard-bearer.
You wanna see the praize-dent's teef
Yeah, I know. Probably not.
JOSH MAKES A FUNNY
On Larry King interviewing Condi Rice
Condi was on Larry King last night. And I had really high hopes she would take home the big prize since with these two you pretty much know it's going to be a train wreck. Sort of like Barney Fife interviewing Dr. Evil.
THEY WERE LOOKING, BUT HE NEVER SHOWED
Not looking good
for the bad guys.
Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. He never showed, however; of that both Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop are certain.
The question of Bush's presence in 1972 at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Alabama - or the lack of it - has become an issue in the 2004 presidential campaign.
Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: "I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with." But, says Mintz, that "somebody" -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.
"And I was looking for him," repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush "changed his mind and went somewhere else" to do his substitute drill. It was not "somewhere else," however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit - the reason being Bush's wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount.
There's much more in the article worth reading.
"Listen, Pennsylvanians are great entrepreneurs and farmers," Mr. Bush told his audience, which applauded occasionally. "We ought to be opening up markets for Pennsylvania products. In other words, there's a lot of things we can do. But I'm confident about the future of this economy because I've seen what we've been through. I know the spirit of America. I know the entrepreneurial spirit; I know the fact we've got the best workers in the world."
...link seems to have vanished from nytimes.com. Interesting.
I have lots of problems with the Drudge thing. The most problematic is with the timing. Smells like Rove to me, not a Dem -- were they to use something like this, they would use it earlier. And who's pushing this? Recent dropout Clark? Highly unlikely, especially with the news that he's endorsing
Too many questions.
Bush is totally reeling and has had too many consecutive negative news cycles. But if it's the Republicans, would they really want to K.O. Kerry in favor of someone else?
Tea leaves and tarot cards. This is going to move rapidly. Stay tuned.
COLIN POWELL IS LOSING HIS SHIT
The general chewed out the buck private yesterday.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, a retired four-star general known for his even temperament, paused yesterday during a congressional hearing to berate a Hill staffer for shaking his head as Powell offered a defense of his prewar statements on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.
The public scolding came after Powell had already endured a number of attacks by Democrats on the administration's Iraq policy during an appearance before the House International Relations Committee. He had just snapped at a member of Congress who had casually declared President Bush "AWOL" from the Vietnam War.
Powell was recalling for the panel his review of the prewar intelligence. "I went and lived at the CIA for about four days to make sure that nothing was," he began, when he paused and glared at a staffer seated behind the members of Congress.
"Are you shaking your head for something, young man, back there?" Powell asked. "Are you part of these proceedings?"
Powell's unusual remarks threatened to derail the hearing. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a 12-year veteran of the House, objected, "Mr. Chairman, I've never heard a witness reprimand a staff person in the middle of a question."
Powell shot back, "I seldom come to a meeting where I am talking to a congressman and I have people aligned behind you giving editorial comment by head shakes."
You can't blame him. He has watched his reputation dissolve like an alka-seltzer in a glass of water, and he's gotta be pissed.
And for what?
THE COKE CHARGE BOOK I
Okay. I've heard about this before. One of the books that makes this allegation is "Fortunate Son" by the late J.H. Hatfield. Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewed him
before his death:
J. H. HATFIELD
: Well he was also in the National Guard with George W. back in the 70's which is interesting too because in 1972 in August, my publisher was able not too long ago to get hold of Bush's national guard records. And in 1972, at the same time we alleged he was doing community service for cocaine arrest James Bath who was in the unit with him. Both of them were grounded for failing to show up for medical exam.
: Wait, what did you say about drugs?
J. H. HATFIELD
: Oh the drug question. Well that's the $64 question that we raise in the afterword of the book. We say that George W. Bush was arrested in 1972 for possession of cocaine and his father got it fixed and he did community service at Project Pool a minority mentoring program, tough area in Houston for 1 year.
: Now how do you know he got arrested for cocaine?
J. H. HATFIELD
: Because we have three sources in the book. Three confidential sources but nevertheless they're close friends of Bush, they've been close friends for many years, all the way back to when he was a boy. And there were also sources that I used consistently through the book and other stuff that they've told me about was corroborated by secondary and third sources.
: And what's the story that they told you?
J. H. HATFIELD
: That he was picked up. That he was taken to jail. He called his father of course. His father at the time was UN ambassador. There is some conflicting stories I have on whether he was actually in town in Houston at time or whether he was in New York. But the truth is, what they all say is that he contacted the judge that was gonna handle the case and he said look "I'm a benefactor of Project Pool, I support them. I'll make sure George W does his time there in community service," and the judge let him out of there. And that's where he spent the next year.
: Now explain the story exactly as you understand it. What was he picked up for?
J. H. HATFIELD
: Possession of cocaine. I believe, although my source denied it, one of them, I believe that one of them might have been there when it happened.
: Where did they say it happened?
J. H. HATFIELD
: Harris County, Houston.
There's obviously a lot to evaluate here, the most important being the credibility of Hatfield and his sources. Someone told me that this piece
, by the publisher of Fortunate Sun, discloses that Hatfield's primary source was Karl Rove. I'm not sure it says that. In fact, I'm not at all sure what it does
say. It may be an (sloppy) excerpt from a longer piece.
Could be total bullshit. ...
...Easter Lemming has a handy roundup
of recent events.
I'm not sure what to think about this
. I think "skeptical" might be the best word.
Two books now contain the charge that Bush was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972 in Texas, most likely in late November or December after his stint in Alabama. Bush was allowed to perform community service in 1973 by working for a minority children's program in Houston, Professionals United for Leadership League (PULL), chaired by his father. The record of that arrest was expunged, meaning he apparently received the equivalent of Youthful Offender status at the age of 26.
It would be awfully helpful if the Progressive Southerner or Mike Odom would indicate which books contain the charge. Without cites, this looks as loony as my late Uncle Tom's charge that Clinton was involved in trafficking cocaine through the "Arkansas mafia."
, on the other hand, looks far less fishy:
In a new development Wednesday, a retired Texas National Guard officer said he overheard a conversation in 1997 between then-Gov. Bush's chief of staff, Joe Allbaugh, and then-Adjutant Gen. Daniel James of the Texas Air National Guard in which he contends those two men spoke about getting rid of any military records that would "embarrass the governor."
Former Lt. Col. Bill Burkett told the AP that he saw documents from Bush's file discarded in a trash can a few days later at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. Burkett described them as performance and pay documents. He said the documents bore the header: "Bush, George W. 1lt." _ meaning first lieutenant.
And if that
is interesting to you, my friend, go over to Calpundit
, because Kevin just talked to Burkett for a long time and will soon report
about the conversation.
Kevin drops another little tasty morsel
, from USA Today, in the meantime:
A second former Texas Guard official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, was told by a participant that commanders and Bush advisers were particularly worried about mentions in the records of arrests of Bush before he joined the National Guard in 1968, the second official said.
Arrests, huh? Tasty.
REASONS TO BE HAPPY
Dissento's got a list
-- Gay weddings in Mass. coming in May
-- Kay: "We we're all wrong"
-- Press Corps to Scott McLennan: "It was a straightforward question; How about a straight answer?"
-- Plame indictments coming
-- Frist staffer gets caught stealing memos
-- O'Reilly eats shit on WMDs
-- Sullivan nearly implodes over Meet the Press Interview
-- Michael Moore vindicated over "deserter" charge
-- Ben Chandler may pick up GOP seat in "referendum on Bush"
-- New Dennis Miller show sucks; has ratings similar to Scarborough
To this wonderful list I would add the new Stereolab record; Pixies reunite; Coachella; and Bill Murray nominated for an Oscar. Add your own.
If you haven't seen this already...
Really. Spend some time here
...this is not for the faint of heart. No joke. It creeped me out somethin' awful.
WELCOME TO AMERICA
on suppression of dissent:
In the early 1970s, after the exposure of COINTELPRO, a program of widespread FBI surveillance and sabotage of political dissidents, reforms were put in place to prevent the government from spying on political groups when there was no suspicion of criminal activity. But once again, protesters throughout America are being watched, often by police who are supposed to be investigating terrorism. Civil disobedience, seen during peaceful times as the honorable legacy of heroes like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., is being treated as terrorism's cousin, and the government claims to be justified in infiltrating any meeting where it's even discussed. It's too early to tell if America is entering a repeat of the COINTELPRO era. But Jeffrey Fogel, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Law in Manhattan, says, "There are certainly enough warning signs out there that we may be."
It's worth your time.
...chilly out. Little bit.
"It did not involve a lawsuit against Dick Cheney as a private individual," Scalia said in response to a question from the audience of about 600 people. "This was a government issue. It's acceptable practice to socialize with executive branch officials when there are not personal claims against them. That's all I'm going to say for now. Quack, quack."
SCRUM AT CALPUNDIT
Kevin Drum at Calpundit has been at the forefront of doing real reporting on the AWOL stuff.
The traffic at his site has increased tenfold, with an authentic no-holds-barred rugby scrum in the comments to this post
. The reason? Drum is asking Alabama Calpundit readers to go and do some research. Commenters have been airlifted in from the Free Republic or somewhere to dissuade him from continuing.
Check it out.
IOWA SUBPOENA UPDATE
Kos has an update
. Looks like the FBI is backing off.
I've received word from Iowa that the federal subpoenas against Drake University and Catholic Peace Ministries have been withdrawn.
Read the whole thing.
KERRY TALKING POINTS
Okay, Praz (and David Brooks
). You're a war president, huh? We can do that.
Greg Abbott has some advice for Kerry on the rhetorical response
"In a time of war, America needs a president who can tell the difference between good intelligence and bad intelligence ...
In a time of war, America cannot afford a president who needs a committee of outsiders to explain to him the mistakes he's made ...
In a time of war, America cannot afford a president who makes bad situations worse by refusing to admit he's made a mistake ...
In a time of war, America needs a president who will ask all Americans, including his own political allies, to make financial sacrifices for the good of the country ... "
And Calpundit is just, well, perturbed
by the whole thing:
Who the hell does George Bush think he is, anyway? We haven't had a "wartime president" since FDR, and there's a good reason for that: you're only a wartime president if you act like you're at war. That means placing the country on a wartime footing, putting aside petty politics to forge a bipartisan wartime consensus, and telling the nation in no uncertain terms that sacrifices need to be made. George Bush has done none of those things. In fact, he's done exactly the opposite, sending the message loud and clear that this war is as trivial and inconsequential as it's possible to be, all the time treating it as little more than a partisan club with which to beat his enemies.
BILLIONAIRES FOR BUSH
GORE FINDS HIS VOICE
In a withering critique of the Bush administration, former Vice President Al Gore on Sunday accused the president of betraying the country by using the Sept. 11 attacks as a justification for the invasion of Iraq.
"He betrayed this country!" Mr. Gore shouted into the microphone at a rally of Tennessee Democrats here in a stuffy hotel ballroom. "He played on our fears. He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops, an adventure preordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place."
Feels to me like spring is coming.
But then the war in Iraq came, and he felt betrayed. "It is not a minor matter to take the loyalty and deep patriotic feelings of the American people and trifle with them," he declared, adding with a shout: "The truth shall rise again."
...audio is available here
, at least for now. It's really worth a listen.
THE RAPTURE IS COMING
So I guess you might as well just take the day off.
60 Minutes has the scoop
"It could happen at any moment. It could happen, as we like to say, during this interview. Like that. Bang," says Thomas Ice, who might be called a professor emeritus of the Rapture. He runs the Pre-Tribulation Research Center out of his garage in a Dallas suburb. It's a one-man think-tank funded by LaHaye and dedicated to preparation for the last days on earth.
"There is a lot of debate over where ... artificial body parts, and contact lenses, and clothes would be "Left Behind" or not. But the body would definitely be taken," adds Ice.
That's what happens to believers. But the rest of humanity is condemned to suffering.
"That's what the Bible teaches. There are gonna be many Southern Baptists, for example, or many Presbyterians, or many Catholics, or people who are a part of Christendom," says Ice. "But if they haven't personally trusted Jesus Christ as their savior, even if they ... a lifelong member of a church, you know, then they will be damned."
WHERE'S GRANDPA? A SHORT PIECE OF SPECULATIVE FICTION
"Um. Where's Grandpa?"
"He was there a second ago. That's weird." Your sister walks over to the recliner.
She's holding up a small silver disk. A short wire seems to be attached.
"Let me see."
The disk is imperfectly circular and warm to the touch. The word "Medtronic" is inscribed on one side.
"I think it's his pacemaker," your sister says, and giggles nervously.
But no, really, it's scary, isn't it? That these people are allowed to vote?
KERRY'S NINE BREAKS
Dan Conley outlines the nine breaks
that have propelled Kerry to the brink of the nomination.
Here's the first:
1) The Russert interviews. In the summer of 2002, John Edwards looked like the rising star of the Democratic Party. Then he went on Meet the Press and looked completely unprepared for the grilling. It took Edwards about a year to win back his credibility with Washington insiders and in the mean time, he lost his position as co-frontrunner.
In the summer of 2003, Howard Dean was riding a wave of anti-war sentiment and generally favorable media coverage. While his Russert moment did nothing to dissuade his true believers, it was a turning point for media coverage of Dean ... and that would turn out to be his achilles heel.
Finally, this weekend George W. Bush went on MTP to sure up his lagging poll numbers. Anyone still unconvinced of Bush's electoral vulnerability was soon aware that Bush can be beaten -- giving Kerry the final boost he needed pre Virginia and Tennessee to basically wrap up the nomination.
Read the rest.
I used to really love Christopher Hitchens.
Then there was this
(via TBogg, who no longer hurts the eyes
, thank goodness):
As with most senior Democrats, Kerry's revolving-door record with lobbyists and donors is one to make Cheney and Bush look like amateurs.
It makes me a little sad.
RETURN TO FUNDAMENTALS
Josh Marshall thinks
that Bush's precipitous decline in popularity
may be because of Kay's WMD disclosures.
I don't think most people following this story figured it would have nearly so dramatic an effect as the Annenberg study indicates. I certainly didn't. Indeed, I focused on the parts of Kay's comments and testimony which struck me as attempting to exonerate the administration.
As did I. Big time.
But this may be a case in which close attention to the news helped create a real blind spot. As we've noted here many times the White House has gone to great lengths to avoid publicly acknowledging the reality that we were totally wrong about the weapons.
The implication of this is that the American public is finally tiring of all of the head-fakes. I'd love it if it were true.
...according to Billmon
, the Russert interview didn't help the perception of Bush as either a liar or, well, just an incompetent:
If, as the polls suggest, people (particularly the independents) are already having doubts about Bush's judgement calls -- especially on Iraq -- then I don't see how this kind of dialogue is going to help him:
: Let me turn to Iraq. And this is the whole idea of what you based your decision to go to war on.
: Sure, sure.
: The night you took the country to war, March 17th, you said this: Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
: That, apparently, is not the case.
Kevin Drum moves from intelligent punditry to actual journalism
with his update
on AWOL and the mysterious ripped page from his military records. Big ups.
To make a long story short, Bush apparently blew off drills beginning in May 1972, failed to show up for his physical, and was then grounded and transferred to ARF as a disciplinary measure. He didn't return to his original Texas Guard unit and cram in 36 days of active duty in 1973 -- as Time magazine and others continue to assert based on a mistaken interpretation of Bush's 1973-74 ARF record -- but rather accumulated only ARF points during that period.
Funny how this one just won't go away.
...Jesse Taylor at Pandagon is not sure
that the transfer was disciplinary.
A VERY EXCITING EMAIL
The original post was here
From : Teen Vampire Meetup
Sent : Sunday, February 8, 2004 3:07 AM
To : xxxxxxxx@xxxx
Subject : Teen Vampire Meetup: Time to Vote for a Venue
*Please Do Not Reply to This Message -- For Help, See Below*
Your next San Francisco, CA "Teen Vampire" Meetup is Saturday,
Feb 28 @ 7PM. The exact location is open for a vote. Vote for
your preferred venue now:
Want a Meetup in your town or neighborhood? MeetupPlus members
can add a preferred local venue, and any venue(s) receiving
enough votes will have a Meetup. Add your venue directly to the
A full report will follow. I am, I'll admit, tingly with excitement.
AWOL ON RUSSERT
Looks like I can't add anything to what's already out there.
Transcript is here
The Center for American Progress goes through everything point by point
, with ugly results for ol' Bunnypants.
Kevin Drum has the reaction from the National Review
Andrew Sullivan has a revelation
On the budget, this president is frighteningly unaware of the reality of his own legacy and policies. That's the only conlclusion you can draw from his answers on Tim Russert. Either that, or he really is lying.
Brad DeLong finds another lie
(with numbers to prove it).
writes about Bush's apparent unconditional willingness to disclose all of his military records.
...Roger Ailes has more of the aftergame
A BRIEF, SHINING STATE OF THE UNION MOMENT
Atrios has the clip
, which goes something like this:
Bush: Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year. The terrorist threat --
[tentative applause from Democratic side grows to healthy applause]
[Bush looks confused and then seriously annoyed]
Bush: The terrorist threat...
[Bush tosses head in snarky, mocking way]
Bush: ...will not expire on that schedule.
[Loud applause from Repug side]
Seems to me the clip shows the Repugs applauding the terrorist threat, but we know that simply can't be true!
What the clip really shows is the reemergence of the Democrats as a true opposition party.
[Perhaps you should seriously consider throwing Atrios a few nickles for bandwidth. Hm?]
IOWA SUBPOENAS UPDATE
, an update and explanation from one of the subpoenaed parties in Iowa:
Yesterday, February 3, Detective Jeff Warford of the Polk County Sheriff's Office-FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force came to Catholic Peace Ministry's office here in Des Moines with a subpoena for me to testify before a Federal Grand Jury next Tuesday, February 10. Mr. Warford also served papers on Elton Davis at the Catholic Worker House and Patti McKee, who was coordinator of Iowa Peace Network until last month. The Grand Jury process is shrouded in secrecy. We do not know who or what the object of this investigation may be, beyond "possible violations of federal criminal law in the Southern District of Iowa."
The proceeding will be behind closed doors. We may not have an attorney present. We have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment, refusing the answer questions that might incriminate us. The government, then, can offer us immunity from prosecution, in which case we will obliged to answer under threat of contempt of court and could be imprisoned for the length of the Grand Jury session, 18 months, should we continue to refuse to answer. This immunity would be limited to our own testimony and anything any of us say could be used against the others.
Whatever is going on, this is definitely an escalation on the part of the government's war on dissent and clamp down on civil liberties. The fact that anything that we three and the peacemaking communities we represent could possibly attract the notice of a "Terrorism Task Force" is reprehensible. Please spread the word, express concerns you have with Federal and Polk County authorities. Keep us in mind and prayer.
Catholic Peace Ministry
Go to that Kos link above for a few more update links.
FOUR THINGS I'M LISTENING TO
Stereolab, Margerine Eclipse
The Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
Various Artists, Pillows & Prayers: Cherry Red 1982-1983
Mates of State, Team Boo
And a rare (!) night out for me tonight, to see locals Mates of State and Rogue Wave at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Woo.
...OOO! Read Tim's review
of Team Boo! Hi Tim!
This is the lineup for the Coachella music festival. Wow.
Saturday, May 1st
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Future Sound of London
And you will know us by The Trail of Dead
Death Cab for Cutie
Q and not U
The Section Quartet
Sunday May 2nd:
The Flaming Lips
Belle & Sebastian
Paul Van Dyk
The Crystal Method
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
Broken Social Scene
The Sleepy Jackson
The Cooper Temple Clause
Home Town Hero
The Section Quartet
Even without the Pixies, this is, like, most of my favorite bands. Unreal.
CLEARLY A MORE IMPORTANT POST THAN ALMOST EVERYTHING BELOW
We must be very, very careful when there are investigations into what is almost certainly a legitimate anti-war protest. Two words: Chilling Effect.
Lawyers worked Friday to derail a federal grand jury investigation into an anti-war conference held three months ago at Drake University.
Federal officials have refused to say why they want information about the conference, the legal group that hosted it and four Des Moines-area peace activists involved.
But officials with the National Lawyers Guild, host of the Nov. 15 conference, said they intend to move Monday to block the subpoena, one of five delivered this week by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Bruce Nestor, a Minneapolis lawyer representing the guild, said he will argue that the subpoena has a "chilling effect on the rights of people to associate with the National Lawyers Guild and with the rights of our members."
Four of the subpoenas went to Des Moines peace activists, who were told to appear Tuesday before a federal grand jury. One went to Drake University, asking for information about the anti-war conference and records of the National Lawyers Guild local chapter.
The U.S. attorney's office in Des Moines convinced a judge Thursday to issue an order under seal - described by peace-movement sources as a gag order - to prohibit Drake employees from talking about the document search.
The subpoena demanded records from campus security reflecting any observations of the Nov. 15 conference, including "any records of persons in charge or control of the meeting, and any records of attendees of the meeting." Drake University President David Maxwell declined to comment Friday on how the university would respond.
Meanwhile, members of the Iowa congressional delegation and legal experts expressed concern about the appearance that the government is investigating activists involved in peaceful opposition to war.
"I don't like the smell of it," said Sen. Tom Harkin, adding that he did not know details of the investigation. "It reminds me too much of Vietnam when war protesters were rounded up, when grand juries were convened to investigate people who were protesting the war."
I have a bunch of friends who were active in the National Lawyers Guild, and it's very, very difficult for me to believe that this is anything but a heavyhanded attempt at silencing expressive and associative rights.
Pay attention, now. And read the whole thing.
No. Seriously. Check this out
Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush told him on Tuesday that he wanted to appear on "Meet the Press." Republican officials said Mr. Bush was eager to send a message that he is not afraid to take tough questions from the moderator, Tim Russert.
HEH-HWAA-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA etc. Oh, I'm sure
it was Bush's idea.
BUSH TWINS EXPOSED
[WARNING: GOOGLE MANIPULATION ZONE]
OK. I don't have pictures of Jenna Bush naked or Jenna Bush nude, or even Jenna Bush semi-nude. For that matter, I don't have pictures of Jenna Bush with no clothes on or Jenna Bush undressed or Jenna Bush in a three-way with Babs 2.0 and the wizened corpse of Strom Thurmond. Let me be entirely clear: you will certainly not find nude pictures of the Bush twins here, or the Bush twins nude, for that matter. "But what about Barbara Bush?" you ask, gently. I have no need to lie. You could scour this site for hours and find no pictures of Barbara Bush nude, or Barbara Bush in a mild state of disheveled undress, or even Barbara Bush giving someone a smoky look. Nothing like that around here. Nada. Zip.
No. Seriously. Nothing.
Yeah. No nude or naked Jenna Bush. Nothing even remotely like that. You want to see Jenna Bush nude, you weirdo? Go somewhere else. Because you will not see nude photos (or, in any other format! like, um, .jpg, or .gif, or .bmp, etc.) of the Bush twins here, with their luscious ta-tas all hangin' out, doin' weird sexy twin-things to each other.
But if one were
interested in that sort of disgusting shit, you should pay attention to this website
I found, as they would have that sort of awful, perverted garbage long before I
[Google search reports will follow periodically...]
...the web means that you will never have a new idea
...man, even Larry Flynt has thought
about it (via Savage Love, of coz). I'm sorry already.
...and apparently there are actual rumors
(as opposed to transparent attempts to manipulate Google) of Babs 2.0 nude footage
ROUND 'EM UP AND TAX THEIR ASSES
Coyote's Bark has a (partial, I'm sure) list of American companies
who are exporting jobs, apparently cribbed from Lou Dobbs. Worth taking a look at; you can adjust your consumption habits accordingly. This carries far more weight than your vote these days, of course.
Circuit City, Inc.
Now someone has to make a list of companies that disproportionately contribute to conservatives, and those that screw their employees on benefits. Probably some overlap there...
Did I mention that you shouldn't shop at Wal-Mart
, drones? I know, I know: I'm preaching to the choir.
Aside: Wouldn't it be fantastic to evaluate the tax status of companies based on the residency of the CEO? Or of the members of the company's Board of Directors? You could make it sophisticated and exacting, but the theory would be -- if you want SlitherInc to be taxed under the law of Boondocky Tax Haven Island, that's fine. Go take your inflated salary and see how many bananas you can buy with it, jerkoff(s).
I bet there are (tax) law review articles proposing this already.
DEAN HINTS HE WOULD VEEP
RUSSERT RUSSERT RUSSERT
The talk of the blogosphere is Russert's interview with AWOL
Department of Louise
breaks down last week's hour-long Dean interview to aid your comparison -- and suggests a donut game (think drinking game) (hey, it's Sunday morning, for crying out loud) (no, you're not an alcoholic) based on AWOL
I believe we can narrow the field of targeted responses to:
"grave and gathering" (may be completed with either "threat" or "danger");
any combination of "Iraqi people" and "free"/"freedom";
any combination of "stimulative"/"stimulus" with "growth" (1 sip/bite followed by yelling "VIAGRA!");
any reference to fiscal "restraint" (WARNING: do not attempt to eat or drink while laughing);
The Smirk; and,of course,
(say it with me, won't you?): "I will never forget the lessons of 9/11."
My humble suggestion is a donut-tastic bite if AWOL
is "disappointed" by any kind of "election-year" or "attack" politics.
Kos and his commenters present their take
. My favorite might be this one
Two questions for Russert to ask Bush:
Can you please point out Iraq on this map?
If the Vice President dies, who will be president?
gets into it too.
...as does David Corn
(via Gutless Pacifist
INTERACTIVE DUBYA ACTION FIGURE
Via Alterman, this thing
is just, like, fun to play with. It brighten'd my day.
Watch his mouth during the "fool me once" bit for extra funny.
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THROW THIS IDIOT OUT OF OFFICE?
Bush can't speak without elaborate stagecraft bullshit
The morning was raw, with wind whipping his hair, script and overcoat. Moments before the speech, the White House staff had to get the Coast Guard to reposition a cutter anchored behind him because it had drifted out of position and was no longer providing a perfect backdrop.
We no longer have the luxury of remaining silent.
MAX CLELAND FOR VP?
For those of you who don't know, Max Cleland is the former Democratic Senator from Georgia. He is a triple-amputee veteran who was compared to Osama and Saddam in Repuke attack commercials.
No More Mister Nice Blog ponders Cleland as Kerry's running mate
[UPDATE: Jonathan Cohn at TNR has more on Cleland and Kerry and patriotism
RUSSERT DEBATE QUESTIONS
both are proposing questions for Russert's tete-a-tete with AWOL
I've stolen a couple of questions from comments to DeLong's post that are too good to be ignored:
Mr. President, why have you attended not a single funeral of a fallen American soldier in Iraq, nor visited any of the wounded?
In February 2003, when you were selling your tax cut package, your CEA put out a briefing paper claiming that the tax cuts would create 510,000 new jobs in 2003. What happened?
Be sure to read all of the DeLong piece, though. We'll compare and contrast here on Sunday.
[UPDATE: There must
be strong lines of questioning on Bush's war record and the recently-released fake-ass budget. Look for softball questions -- or hardball initial questions with meager followup. We'll go through the transcript blow-by-blow, I promise.]
[REUP: Comes now Roger Ailes with a few more pointers
Look for (1) "hard questions" phrased in such an open-ended manner that Bush can answer them in any way he likes ("you're a fiscal conservative, but what about the deficit?," "is this country really safer since 9/11?"); (2) no gotcha quotes, unanticipated topics or facts and figures; (3) ample opportunity to either bash the Dems or claim the high road ("I'm too busy protecting the country to pay attention to what the Democrats say").
THE GUIDE TO POLITICAL HUMPITUDE
Don't you want to know -- deep down, now, we're talkin' -- how humpable the Dem candidates are?
I know that you do.
may be the important thing you read all day.
JUST DO IT
Please. Just. Click. Here
We concluded that in some of these categories Iraq had weapons, and that in others where it did not have them, it was trying to develop them," Mr. Tenet said in a 40-minute speech at Georgetown University, his alma mater.
"Let me be clear," he went on. "Analysts differed on several important aspects of these programs, and those debates were spelled out in the estimate. They never said there was an imminent threat. Rather, they painted an objective assessment for our policymakers of a brutal dictator who was continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might constantly surprise us and threaten our interests. No one told us what to say or how to say it."
Someone can this political little monkey.
Barney Frank on Kerry and responding to GOP attacks
"It is hard to demonize as an irresponsible leftist a man who has locked up criminals and shot communists," Mr. Frank said. "That's John Kerry's record. Kerry's cast a couple specific votes that are unpopular, but so has Bush. In general, I like our ground better."
Translation: Bring it, motherfuckers. We will no longer fuck around.
It's been a long time since something felt as good as Alterman's list of potential shadow cabinet appointees
Secretary of State: Wesley Clark or Anthony Zinni, if Clark is on the ticket.
Adviser for National Security: Anthony Zinni if he's not Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense: Max Cleland
Chairman of the Federal Reserve: Joseph Stiglitz
Director of the CIA: Joseph Wilson
Secretary of the Treasury: Laura Tyson
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers: Paul Krugman
Attorney General: Elliot Spitzer
Secretary of the Interior: Gary Hart
UN Representative: John Lewis
Ambassador to Niger: Paul Wolfowitz
Ambassador to Mars, George W. Bush
Ambassador to Venus, Ralph Nader.
Chairman of the Democratic Party: Howard Dean
Cleland for Defense. Krugman. Spitzer. Dean as DNC Chair.
[UPDATE: Okay. Spitzer needs to find better things to do than spend time worrying about threats made by a video game
. I agree.]
[REUP: Alterman says
RFK Jr. for EPA. Nice.]
SAFIRE ON THE DEBATES
He's partially right and partially wrong
Q: Who would win in a televised Kerry-Bush debate?
RN: Kerry on debating points, but Bush on personality, optimism and all that stuff that Kennedy and Reagan had down pat. But Edwards would lose to Cheney -- against a steady hand, there's such a thing as too much charisma.
As someone with entirely too much experience with debates, I concur that Bush will come off well against Kerry, which is one very important reason I'm so leery of Kerry getting the nomination.
But I think a well-prepped Edwards will rip Cheney a new asshole. Sorry, Bill. "Against a steady hand" -- please. There's too much stuff like this
to talk about (via Billmon). [UPDATE: See also Arianna
PRESSING THE HARD LINE
Signorile on Kay and Iraq and the hardlineniks
That's just one of dozens of reports throughout a variety of media at the time, all of which pointed to the fact that the Bush administration was marching to war using whatever it could scrape out of the CIA. The hawks were planning the invasion of Iraq within weeks of Bush's inauguration, according to former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, and were looking for the intelligence to back them up. Let's not forget, too, that within hours of the 9/11 attacks, Rumsfeld was trying to blame Saddam and launch an attack on Iraq. The fact that all of this is even up for debate now is really quite laughable.
Good stuff and a must-read.
CAN YOU FEEL IT?
BUSH = DUM MEME IS BACK
And thank god, really. Not that I advocate using it as a political tactic (at least at this point); it's just the troof. A scary troof, at that.
Again, why aren't you reading Matt Yglesias
For a while I thought this Bush-is-dumb thing was some kind of clever act, but that really does seem to be how the intel situation played out (look, among other things, at Bush's very poor grasp of the situation in off-the-cuff remarks, including statements like "this is the guy who tried to kill my dad" that clearly weren't part of the official message) and it gels with Paul O'Neil's account of the economic policymaking process where at least once or twice it looks like the president was trying to get a second opinion about the wisdom of his policies only to be cut off.
All of which raises the question again of whether we can mention that the president isn't very bright? Near as I can tell, no one really denies this. Some conservatives are very clever people, others really aren't; much the same could be said of liberals. Back during the 2000 campaign one often heard rightwing commentators explicitly acknowledge that their candidate wasn't so sharp, and then argue that this wasn't a big deal. Briefly, during the post-9/11 hero worship phase, we were even supposed to believe that stupidity was an asset, allowing the president to cut through little things like "correctly analyzing the facts" and achieve true "moral clarity."
More recently, though, the unintelligence of the CINC and his utter dependence on his advisors to tell him what's going on has vanished from the discourse. This is too bad, because one of the other things that's gone on since January 2001 is that most of the advisors capable of bringing contrarian information to the president have also vanished making any change of posture essentially impossible. Bush's only saving grace in this regard is his ongoing relationship with his father, who knows various people (Baker, Scowcroft, etc.) who are more in touch with reality. Still, the positive impact this has had seems to be somewhat minimal. And it is, I think, a real problem -- a "character issue," if you will -- that the president is unable or unwilling to gain access to sources of information about the world that are independent of his staff and Cheney.
Speaking of contrarian advisors, looks like Powell's off the rez again
, according to the WaPo:
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he does not know whether he would have recommended an invasion of Iraq if he had been told it had no stockpiles of banned weapons, even as he offered a broad defense of the Bush administration's decision to go to war.
Asked if he would have recommended an invasion knowing Iraq had no prohibited weapons, Powell replied: "I don't know, because it was the stockpile that presented the final little piece that made it more of a real and present danger and threat to the region and to the world." He said the "absence of a stockpile changes the political calculus; it changes the answer you get."
Remember, no admin official has indicated that the lack of WMD should have changed the decision to go to war. The line has been that Saddam was "dangerous."
The only question is how long it'll take for Powell's masters to yank his leash hard enough for him to recant this worrisome bit of freethink. My best guess is 24 hours.
It's too bad that Powell has been so tainted by his association with this administration.
Keep this thing alive.
Check Calpundit's exits
has some, too.
I'm with Atrios -- the longer this lasts, the better. And I really hope it isn't Kerry.
[UPDATE: I think those exits above are all the same...]
RICIN ON THE RIGHT
David Neiwert reports on Frist's mail trouble
Actually, ricin has a long and colorful history among members of the American far right, and suspicions of domestic terrorism certainly should be raised here.
Billmon has the goods
As always, the two essential points of control will be the panel's membership and the scope of its inquiry.
In days gone by, when independent, bipartisan commissions occasionally really were independent and bipartisan, the White House typically would ask the ranking opposition leaders in Congress to put the "bi" in bipartisan by nominating the members from their party. Doing so now would at least give the investigation a veneer of credibility, setting it apart from the duel GOP whitewashes currently being cooked up in the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
Everything I've read so far, however, indicates the Rovians intend to keep the commission's membership in their hot little hands. This means we can probably expect the usual line up of weak and/or ignorant apologists on the Democratic side. Heck, they might even find a spot for Joe Lieberman, if he drops out of the presidential race soon enough. Or, maybe they could try to pass Richard Perle off as a Democrat. I've heard he's still registered as one.
And here's the other thing. And it's very, very important.
As for the scope, the strategy seems to be to make it as wide as humanly possible, in hopes of avoiding a Watergate or Iran-Contra style focus on what the president knew and when he knew it. (Or, more accurately in Bush's case, what he didn't know and when he didn't know it.) So the White House wants to drag in Libya and Iran and North Korea -- and, for all we know, the search for Nicole Simpson's "real" killer.
Read the whole thing.
BOB KNIGHT ALERT
He's clearly insane
. This country's cult of sport is the only thing keeping him from the sidewalk, a tin cup, and a cardboard sign.
Texas Tech coach Bob Knight got into a verbal spat with the university chancellor, David Smith, at a grocery store Monday, prompting a review by school officials.
And what prompted this outburst?
One eyewitness told the Lubbock Avalance-Journal that Knight raised his voice to Smith after the chancellor approached him at a salad bar to compliment the coach on his recent good behavior.
WE'VE WON THE WAR II
Try refuting this with logic. That would be a start.
This is something that I mentioned a few weeks ago: despite the supposed rightward drift of America since the early 80s, the fact is that most Americans actually have an increasingly liberal view of most issues: they like Social Security and Medicare, they like strong public schools, they prefer working with the UN to taking action unilaterally, and they are socially pretty tolerant. Taxes excepted, this is why Bush mostly has to advance the conservative agenda by stealth: if he spoke honestly about his goals he'd get very little support. And he knows it.
Taxes are the only exception, as Kevin notes.
Isn't it strange that yer own Frum
America in 2004 is a less ideologically conservative country than it was in 1984. The partisan map has been trending Democrat for a dozen years: Dick Morris points out that Minnesota is the only state in the Union that has grown more Republican since 1988. Conservatives sometimes forget that George Bush won 500,000 fewer votes than Al Gore in 2000; the Bush political operation can never afford to let that fact slip out of mind.
This is a not a new thought, but:
Is there any reason for the fiscally conservative side of the GOP to support Bush at all? (I understand that wacky pseudo-Christian evangelicals cain't gait enuff.) At least Clinton balanced budgets...
Check it out
and spread the word.
was too busy doing lines to show up for duty.
Even that wacky utopian-leftist Zbigniew Brzezinski is down
That U.S. credibility has been hurt is indisputable. It is a serious matter when the world's No. 1 superpower undertakes a war claiming a casus belli that turns out to have been false. Numerous public opinion polls demonstrate there has been a worldwide drop in support for U.S. foreign policy. There is manifest resentment of recent American conduct and a pervasive distrust of America's leaders, even in countries that have participated in the coalition in Iraq. Trust is an essential ingredient of power, and its loss bears directly on our long-term national security. An America that is preponderant but distrusted is an America internationally weakened.
Working on site redesign.
READ BETWEEN THE LINES
Watch Iran carefully
in the next few days.
On Saturday, Khatami had suggested his government would not go ahead with the Feb. 20 vote, which he called undemocratic because of the disqualifications.
"My government will only hold competitive and free elections ... the parliament must represent the views of the majority and include all (political) tendencies," Khatami said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Hours later, doctors confined Khatami to his home for treatment of what a senior presidential aide told The Associated Press was a longtime back problem exacerbated by stress.