Filtered news 4/26

: The entire scheme has been laid out before us. The question now is whether Karl Rove will get away with it.

Days 'til Bush leaves office: 634

"The Bushies create falsehoods to manipulate public opinion and then feeds them to influential 
and prestigious media outlets. Eager to be used, our most prominent journalists then repeat those 
falsehoods mindlessly and uncritically. Worse, when it is revealed that what they were fed was false, 
they say nothing and continue to protect the identity of those responsible, in the hope that their 
"sources" will continue to use them.
     -- Glenn Greenwald, explaining the PatTillman/Jessica Lynch lies, 

Karl Rove's daily exercise routine

  1.  Light stretching
  1. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Delete.  (4 sets)
  1. Cool down
  1. Slim-Fast™ shake

I can feel the burn, can't you?

Obama and Hillary are tied      Excerpt:  For the fourth straight week, Obama has gained ground and he has finally caught Hillary.  It’s now Obama 32% Clinton 32% and Edwards holding steady at 17%.  Bill Richardson is a distant fourth at 3%.  Dodd and Biden and Clark each attract 1% support.   I still support Obama first; I still think Edwards will win.

"Barack The Magic Negro"  The vulgar Pigboy - still the racist bastard   Excerpt: This is a head-shaker.  Imus gets canned for calling some college women basketball players "nappy-headed hos"  and yet Rush Limbaugh plays "Barack The Magic Negro" on his show and he is still on the air?

Great news! TV Viewing is down - way down    Excerpt: In the past few weeks, a raft of top shows on all major networks have hit record lows: 
Lost, Desperate Housewives, ER, My Name Is Earl, The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, CSI: Miami and, just Monday, Heroes. Still others, such as 24, Law & Order: SUV and  American Idol, had their worst ratings in two years or more.

"Bush is standing by Alberto Gonzales. Bush says Gonzales is an honorable man. 
  You know what that means? George is drinking again."  
     -- David Letterman 

When the Repugs question your patriotism, don't whine.  Instead, point out that President Bush has been helping Osama bin Laden for almost six years. Sounds harsh. But it's true. Consider the facts. President Bush had bin Laden trapped in the mountains of Tora Bora. But he let bin Laden get away because Bush wanted to focus on Saddam Hussein instead. The president and the White House tried to lie about this during the 2004 election. But since then the . President Bush decided to let bin Laden get away so he could get ready to attack Saddam Hussein. So pretty much anything bin Laden does from here on out is on President Bush. And how about Iraq? President Bush has screwed things up so badly that he's created a whole new generation of recruits for bin Laden. He's created a whole new army for bin Laden. Not by being tough but by being stupid. And by being too much of a coward to admit his mistakes once it was obvious that the occupation of Iraq was helping bin Laden specifically and the jihadist agenda in general. After half a decade, the verdict is pretty clear: President Bush has been the biggest ally Osama bin Laden has. He's helped bin Laden at pretty much every turn -- even if only by his own stupidity, incompetence and cowardice. And when the next big terrorist attack comes, we can thank President Bush for helping make it happen.

Precious moments.  From :

At a special Earth Day event Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney inhaled his first-ever breath of oxygen.

"I am...proud to stand before you today and...breathe in the same gas used by...millions of Americans," said a wheezing and gasping Cheney, whose body is accustomed to compounds of chlorine and sulfur dioxide.  "One breath, however, is enough for me.  I'm glad the stuff will be out of the atmosphere forever in a few decades."

Cheney then left the press conference to attend a cardiac health awareness dinner, where he feasted on human hearts

With a plate of fava beans and a nice chianti, no doubt.

Fascist America in 10 easy steps  It's been said in different ways in different forums, but it's a stark reminder of how bad things are when it's published by a mainstream author (Naomi Wolf) in a mainstream publication (albeit not one read by most Americans).   

: (h/t Hugh J.)

If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration. 

2007 George Bush debates 2003 George Bush on timetables for Iraq.   |    | 

Private armies are NOT a good thing is diarist 's accounting of his personal investigations into the private military company.

"I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with 
  somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating."  
     --Harry Reid, after Cheney's verbal diarrhea,  

Not quite a liberal media But, at any rate, this is :

White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity, a White House spokesman and other administration officials said yesterday.

The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose, and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies, the officials said.

The existence of one such briefing, at the headquarters of the General Services Administration in January, came to light last month, and the Office of Special Counsel began an investigation into whether the officials at the briefing felt coerced into steering federal activities to favor those Republican candidates cited as vulnerable.

Hey (you might be saying), isn't that illegal? Why yes, it is.

Such coercion is prohibited under a federal law, known as the Hatch Act, meant to insulate virtually all federal workers from partisan politics. In addition to forbidding workplace pressures meant to influence an election outcome, the law bars the use of federal resources -- including office buildings, phones and computers -- for partisan purposes.

And who conducted those briefings? If you've been paying attention, you'll say "why, a deputy to chief White House political advisor Karl Rove." And you're right!

No slouches, they in the White House's political arm (and who are we kidding, that's the whole building); they quickly managed to get the talking points out to almost everyone before the reporters started calling:

By the end of yesterday afternoon, all of those describing the briefings on the record had adopted a uniform phrase in response to a reporter's inquiries: They were, each official said, "informational briefings about the political landscape."

At the Department of Homeland Security, spokesman Russ Knocke at first said "there is no indication that any meeting on election targets, congressional districts or candidate support or assistance took place at the department." He then called back to alter that remark, saying he had no indication that such a meeting was held at department "offices." A department official said employees were briefed on "morale" but did not elaborate.

I smell subpoenas in someone's future.

How dare you sir? Keith delivered a scathing Special Comment tonight about the Rudy Giuliani gave before a New Hampshire Republican meeting (CSPAN stream).   |    |  

"Claim a difference between the parties on the voters' chances of survival — and you do Osama Bin Laden's work for him. And we — Democrats and Republicans alike, and every variation in between — We — Americans! — are sick to death, of you and the other terror-mongers, trying to frighten us into submission, into the surrender of our rights and our reason, into this betrayal of that for which this country has always stood."

-16640">(Read the rest of this story…)

The wingnuts on Tillman  They only support the troops when

The NRO had a glowing op-ed to Pat on 05/04/04: "." Pat and his family were treated with none of these. Yesterday—only silence because the propaganda was exposed. I wonder if will write a piece that says Tillman acted strangely when he tried to warn his "mates' that he was an American when he got shot and Derby only hopes that he would have done it differently if he were there….

weighs in and predictably says that there was no cover up at all:

There is no question that the initial misreporting of the circumstances of Tillman's death was stupid and improper. The claim of a government conspiracy to cover up the facts, however, is ludicrous.  

Does he mean the rapper? They also painted Kevin Tillman as “an antiwar activist who has posted on far-left web sites…Well there you have it….He posted on some websites. Didn't he actually fight in Iraq? I guess they must have  about the excellent way the military handled Pat Tillman's death…

Mahablog catches Rick Moran carrying out a fraud ..Moran says:

If it was good enough for your daddy/granddaddy’s war it’s good enough for yours,” seems to be what the Pentagon is saying with regards to trying to hype the accomplishments of Pat Tillman - whose by continues - and Jessica Lynch, the young woman whose convoy was ambushed resulting in severe injuries and her capture by the Iraqis.

Barbara his myth by checking out the posts he uses and says: I know it’s as common as ticks in Arkansas, but whenever I see this kind of depraved dishonesty from rightie bloggers I am disgusted anew.

Glenn Greenwald follows through also:

What liberal media?  Extraordinary. Rupert Murdoch's New York Post Associated Press story to slime Harry Reid and the Dems' Iraq plan.

Your Molly Ivins Moment:  (Pay attention, Imus!)

"There are two kinds of humor.  One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and shared humanity---like what Garrison Keillor does.  The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule---that's what I do.  Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.  I only aim at the powerful.  When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel---it's vulgar."

Corruption watch : more on the Rick Renzi front. The Wall Street Journal reports that, as U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton's office tried to push the investigation forward, his bosses in Washington delayed progress on the case for months.

Adam and Steve.  Seven years ago today, while he was still Vermont's governor, Howard Dean signed the first civil unions bill in the nation.  Number of state locust-control agents that have needed to be hired since then: zero.

Kodak moments.  Seventeen years ago, the Hubble space telescope was placed into orbit by the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery.   to view crystal-clear images of galaxies far, far away.  Democrats see the wonder of an evolving universe.  Republicans see potential oil fields and Christian converts.

The pissy patient.  Dick Cheney went to the hospital to yesterday.  They were found to be sufficiently evil and he was sent home on a shield carried by a platoon of Orcs.

Whiniest first lady in history.  Laura Bush on the Iraq violence she sees on the teevee: "No one suffers more than . ... And it's hard, it's absolutely hard!"  She then added: "Garcon!  Refresh my Perrier, it's gone tepid again."  How does she muddle through the day...

This is another edition of The One-word Answer ManGreg Sargent at Talking Points Memo :  Has anybody else noticed that every day brings palpably more wild-eyed and unhinged attacks from the folks who either are in favor of the war or the folks who are for some reason instinctually opposed to the Dems' aggressive anti-war stance?


Now back to your filtered news....

Cheers to Bill Moyers.  The veteran journalist, whom Bill O'Reilly called out Monday night as part of George Soros's vast left-wing conspiracy, tonight:

Moyers asks young pundits like Peter Beinart of The New Republic what gave them credibility as outspoken early supporters of war.  "Had you been to Iraq?" Moyers asks him. Moyers breaks real news when he has Phil Donahue reveal that his bosses at MSNBC insisted on two pro-war spokesmen on his show for every one against it.

You bring the chips.  I'll bring the dip.

A class act.  Students at Baghdad Technology University hung a banner in support of those at Virginia Tech which reads: We, the students of Technology University, denounce the attack at Virginia Tech. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims who faced a situation as bad as Iraq’s universities do. The sanctity of campuses must be protected around the world.  They added: "By the way, does your cafeteria meatloaf suck as bad as ours?"

Sunny days!  Scientists at Georgia Tech have figured out how to create solar panels that are .  This is clever:

Traditional solar panels are often flat and bulky. The new design features an array of nano-towers---like microscopic blades of grass---that add surface area and trap more sunlight.  "It allows more opportunities for the photon to hit the part of the cell that creates electricity," said Jud Ready, the senior research engineer who invented the panel. And that has resulted in a big jump in current generated.  Ready said the three-dimensional panels produce about 60 times more than traditional solar cells. environmental breakthrough during the Bush years.  I think I need to sit down.

Jeers to George Soros.  If, as , the progressive billionaire isn’t giving any money to , my question is: why the hell not?  Bad vile left-wing smear-merchant conspirator!  Bad!

Mr. Frumpyface.  President Bush said yesterday in the direction the Democratic leadership has taken on Iraq.  Translation: I'm disappointed to learn that you have leadership and I don't.  You've done enough damage, sir---go make yourself useful and clear some dead brush.  (Start with Gonzales.)

Not all deaths count?   “Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.”

“Extended overseas deployments affecting soldiers serving in Afghanistan and other locales overseen by U.S. Central Command should ,” a senior U.S. official claimed. Noah Shachtman: “Yeah, yeah. Water is dry, ice is warm, and .” 

than their President and I do.”  Of course, by “suffer,” she means the “peace of mind” that Americans “sacrifice…when they see the terrible image of violence .” 

Bigots in the open The U.S. invasion “unmasked” Iraqis “as .” 

The generals speak Several retired generals endorsed Congress’ Iraq withdrawal legislation yesterday. Maj. Gen. John Batiste called it “important legislation [that] sets a new direction in Iraq,” while Lt. Gen. William Odom said it will “re-orient US strategy to achieve regional stability, and win help from many other countries - the .”

Comic relief There are “problems” in Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) office, according to an internal memo sent to staff. The biggest one: “[I]f you have a planned (and you know what I mean), please go to the public restrooms. We don’t want to subject our staff or constituents to any fowl (sic) smelling odors while they are in the office.”

Hillary and Obama respond to Rudy and the verdict is in: Obama: "Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low blah blah blah." Clinton: "One of the great tragedies of this Administration is that the President failed to keep this country unified after 9/11 yada yada yada."

Unbelievable. Neither one of them took the chance to do what Rudy did: explain in a few short sentences why the country would be safer with a Democrat in the Oval Office. Is it really that hard? Giuliani's position is clear: more war, more domestic surveillance, more torture, and fewer civil liberties. And while it's true that the liberal position on making America secure is a little more complicated than the schoolyard version of foreign affairs beloved of Bush-era Republicans, it's not that complicated. So instead of complaining about how mean Giuliani is, why can't Obama and Clinton just tell us what they'd do?

Whining just reinforces the message that Democrats are wimps. The real way to be "hard hitting" is to explain why Giuliani is wrong and what Democrats would do instead — and why the average Joe and Jane would be safer and better off without guys like Giuliani bumbling recklessly around the globe leaving a stronger al-Qaeda and a weaker America in their wake. Until they do, Rudy and the Republicans are going to win every round of this fight.   isn't what I was after, but at least it's a decent attack on Giuliani. That's a start, I guess.

Cheers to Adam Kokesh.  He's the Marine Corps sergeant who was keeping score last week of the number of times Alberto Gonzales said "."  He's funny:

"[S]omeone told Gonzales at each of the breaks that I was in the crowd.  For the first twenty minutes or so after the break, he didn't say it once, but then he just lost it.  He also said "I don't-" and caught himself at least a hundred times, which probably made him sound like at least twice the douche he would have."

Thank you for your service in the field (seven months in Fallujah...holy crap) and the hearing room.  I'll take two of your biceps to go, please.

“Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low." -- Obama Rudy's claim that Americans would be safer under GOP President.

Yesterday, we told you to keep an eye out for news about Bradley Schlozman, who was up until recently the U.S. attorney for western Missouri. to give you an idea of how he operates: the most important qualification a lawyer can have, apparently, is whether he/she is a Republican.

Winning the war (?) In a recent (Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia), 10% of the respondents said they approved of terrorist attacks on civilian targets. Question: is this good news or bad? 10% is a pretty small number, all things considered, but at the same time, it's way more than enough to keep al-Qaeda supplied with foot soldiers for a long, long time.

These other results, however, are unreservedly bad news:

  • 75% have an unfavorable view of the U.S. government.

  • 79% think one of the goals of U.S. foreign policy is to weaken and divide the Islamic world.

  • Only 16% think the primary goal of the war on terror is to protect the U.S. from attack.

  • Only 24% think the U.S. is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state.

  • Only 23% believe al-Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks.

Here's the problem: At best, we're never going to manage to do more than tread water in the war on terror/jihad/extremism/whatever as long as the Muslim public so overwhelmingly holds these beliefs. Unfortunately, although the Muslim attachment to a deeply illiberal culture is real and needs to be faced squarely, changing Islamic public opinion isn't a matter of merely overcoming some kind of mass delusion. After all, with the exception of the last bullet, these are all pretty defensible beliefs.

So here are some questions for every one of the 2008 presidential candidates: Do you care about Muslim public opinion? Do you think it affects U.S. national security? Which aspects of American foreign policy do you think contribute to these attitudes? What concrete steps would you take to change these parts of our foreign policy? Aside from making jokes about bombing Iran, that is. There will be an open book test on January 20, 2009.

Marc Lynch has more ("the al-Qaeda worldview — of a world divided between clashing civilizations and Islam under a comprehensive assault from the West — seems widely spread and increasingly entrenched"). The full PIPA report is

Rove's Secret Source for Voter Fraud  In , we took a hard look at just where Karl Rove got the bulk of the voter fraud stories he imparted at an before the Republican National Lawyer's Association. We noted that three of the seven "hot spots" he mentioned in that speech appeared to come directly from a 2000 New York Post op-ed by Stephen Bronars and John Lott, Jr. entitled, .

We're sure you took our word for it, but in case you're incredulous, here's a direct matchup of Rove's words from the speech and the corresponding quote from the Bronars and Lott piece, so you can see for yourself.

What Rove said in the speech:

With all due respect to the City of Brotherly Love, Norcross, uh, Rome Blank's home turf, I do not believe that 100 percent of the living adults in this city of Philadelphia are registered, which is what election statistics would lead you to believe.

Bronars and Lott article:

Take Philadelphia, where people apparently take their civic responsibilities seriously ... Preliminary numbers show some precincts had 100 percent of the registered voters voting, with 99 percent of their votes going for Gore.

What Rove said in speech:

The efforts in St. Louis to keep the polls opened -- open in selected precincts -- I mean, I would love to have that happen as long as I could pick the precincts.

Bronars and Lott article:

In St. Louis, a judge, who was a former aide to House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, ordered city polls held open for an extra three hours. The suit filed by Democrats on behalf of two voters claimed that they had insufficient time to vote.

What Rove said in speech:

You know, the practice in Oregon is everybody gets their ballot mailed to them and then you fill it out. And one of the practices is that people will go to political rallies and turn in their ballots. And we received reports in the 2000 election -- which, remember we lost Oregon by 5000 votes -- we got reports of people showing up at Republican rallies and passing around the holder to get your ballot, and then people not being able to recognize who those people were and not certain that all those ballots got turned in.

Bronars and Lott article:

Similarly, at a Bush rally in Oregon, voters who tried to hand in their ballots to Republican officials were apparently deceived into giving them to people not connected with the campaign.

And for more John Lott fun, feel free to check out .

Well said!  :

The Washington Post's David Broder is called the "dean" of the Washington punditry. More recently, he seems to sum up everything that's wrong with the class who brought you weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq war and the ever "resurgent" President Bush. He is the vessel of a received wisdom which keeps the war-president in place, cautioning against criticism and validating war- and fear-mongering at every turn. Rather than provide pearls of wisdom based on a lifetime in Washington politics, Broder dishes out naïve, uncritical appraisals of Bush which often have a sycophantic twist-by contrast, he strings administration critics with malicious attacks which reflect faulty reasoning and imaginary facts. True, every columnist makes a mistake or two under the pressure of an imminent deadline. But Broder's recent streak is a growing embarrassment for the Washington Post.

I really don't know whether I find it more painful or amusing to watch David Broder's quickening decline. But I'm going to go with amusing. Because clearly there's some deep streak of evil within me that gets a kick out of watching one man struggle so desperately for relevance and even coherence.

In Thursday's Broder writes ...

Here's a Washington political riddle where you fill in the blanks: As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats -- a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance.

If you answered " Harry Reid," give yourself an A. And join the long list of senators of both parties who are ready for these two springtime exhibitions of ineptitude to end.

So, Gonzales, almost universally judged a liar and an incompetent who has dragged the administration into one of its most politically perilous scandals yet.

Reid, frequently makes off-the-cuff remarks that are anathema to Broderite Beltway insiders.

Sounds about even, I guess. But I think I'll take Reid.

People think of Broder as the 'Dean' of the Washington press corps because of things he did in the 60s and 70s. But the man he is today is much more a product of the long conservative ascendancy of the last three decades -- an ascendancy still very much alive in the town's journalistic and editorial elite. You can hear the animus more and more sharply in this columns as his inability to grasp the political moment becomes more and more clear.


April 26, 2007 - 9:32am