Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Good Move

Let's get it all out in the open, shall we?  That's right.  The correct answer is - Yes.

House and Senate call on purged attorneys to testify.

“Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate vowed to hold a new round of hearings to determine if partisan politics played a role in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys across the country. … The controversy flared up early Wednesday afternoon after David Iglesias, the departing U.S. attorney from New Mexico, told [...]

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One Last Thought

Just stumbled across a very well-written op-ed blog post by a new (to me) writer.  I'm headed for bed, given the new (early) time to arise!

They’re Pressing The Panic Button

The Republican bigwigs aren't afraid of the 2008 elections.  No, not at all. They're terrified of them.  And they have good reason to be. How terrified are they?  Follow me over the hill and through the dale to find out.  First off, the Republicans hitched their wagons to George W. Bush's star, and it's far, far too late for them [...]


A Hard Left to The Cheney Chin

Sometimes, the really good op-ed writers don't pull any punches.  Example?

Just The Facts…

Joe Conason has a doozy of an op-ed in the NYObserver.  And he calls Vice President Cheney out for being the king of duplicity: Seeking to intimidate the Congressional leaders last week, he recited the misleading old formula conflating war in Iraq with the struggle against Al Qaeda. His theories on that subject have been blown [...]

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Given The Boot

Fired. Kicked out.  For WHAT reason?

Schumer: Iglesias Allegations "Extremely Serious"

The reaction from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to U.S. Attorney David Iglesias' allegation that he was pushed out because he failed to indict a state Democrat before the election: “These are extremely serious and very troubling allegations coming from a [...]

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Poor Medical Care

It's becoming simply disgraceful.  And this isn't even the VA.  It happened at a state-run facility.

Three dead at veterans home after errors.

“State inspectors said Tuesday that three men died at the Minneapolis Veterans Home after neglect or medication errors last month, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty promptly ordered the Minnesota Department of Health to begin monitoring day-to-day operations of the state-owned nursing home. … Two of the men who died were in hospice care; one was given [...]

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In America?

THIS happened in America?  Embarrassing.

For Want Of A Dentist

This should never have happened in the United States.  We're becoming a third world nation before our very eyes. WaPo: (h/t Pach) Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday. A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him. If his mother had been insured. If his family had not lost its Medicaid. If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to [...]

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Passing Notes

Looks like all the hullaballo over that note from the jury in the Libby trial is quickly dying down.  Still, there are questions as to exactly what jurors wanted in the first place.   Talk Left has a good collection of the communications and analysis by other bloggers, too.

Libby Jury Note Was About Matthew Cooper

There was much waiting this morning as the Court decided how to respond to yesterday's jury note. Here is yesterday's note. It was a question about what was required on Count 3 of the Indictment, pertaining to former Time reporter Matthew Cooper. The count alleges Libby made [...]

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The Eyes of An Expert

Yes, indeed.  He's been there before.  He's done the tour of duty.  You can take what he says as gospel. 

Back to Iraq

Patrick Murphy left Iraq in 2004 as a captain in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.  Last week, he returned as a freshman Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives (PA-08), visiting Afghanistan and other countries as well with a group of his colleagues. He did not like what he saw:  "In Iraq, frustrated troops and senior officers said that the situation recalled the movie Groundhog Day - "the same thing happening over and over again as the Iraqi government provides little help," Murphy said. . . .The Iraqis have failed to stop sabotage of fuel lines that could[...]

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Troop Updates

Just a couple of things that will make your day, if you care about our troops.  Those headed for Iraq.  And, those who have returned home.

Pentagon Rushes Surge Troops To Iraq Without Normal Training

Training? Training? Who needs training? Your Caesar commands you to go now!  "Rushed by President Bush’s decision to reinforce Baghdad with thousands more U.S. troops, two Army combat brigades are skipping their usual session at the Army’s premier training range in California and instead are making final preparations at their home bases. Some in Congress and others outside the Army are beginning to question the [...]

Pentagon punishing maimed Iraq vets at Walter Reed who helped media expose abuse scandal

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Education in America

A strikingly negative report on how poorly we're educating our children.  Take a deep breath, folks.  This is stunning information. I don't care WHERE you live, there's not much good news.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress have come together for the first time with a shared sense of urgency to address a looming educational crisis that—if not addressed promptly and effectively—risks undermining the economic prosperity of future generations of Americans.  Seventy-seven million baby boomers will begin to leave the workforce over the next 10 years. Who will take their place? There is ample evidence, documented in detail in our new state-by-state report card on educational effectiveness, that too many of our nation’s schools and students are unprepared for the demands of the 21st century’s knowledge-based economy. Nationwide, only about one-third of [...]

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Talking Shop

Again.  Olbermann.  O'Reilly.  Keith's stickin' it to FOX.

The O’Reilly Fracture: Ratings Bad To The Bone

Bill O'Reilly just got some more bad news ... His hairline isn't the only thing that's receding. The February ratings show that he has the slowest growing program (11%) of all the cable news primetime programs in the 25-54 demographic. And he is clearly bringing down the Fox network because [...]

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Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere

Today seems to be the day for numbers.  New polls, new research, new attacks in Iraq.  Just scroll down for a sampling of it all.  Right now, in our continuing attempt to provide you with fodder for good discussions, consider some new research into immigration. Some folks just ain't gonna like these numbers....

Immigration: Not the Source of All Our Problems After All

....Some new data on the immigration front:A study released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that immigrants who arrived in the state between 1990 and 2004 increased wages [...]

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Move Along

Attacking Bill O'Reilly is so, well, old skool.  First, Olbermann adds Glenn Back to his "bad guys" list.  Then, guess what --

Glenn Beck thinks Olbermann is ‘killing’ democracy

Like most rational people, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has seen CNN blowhard Glenn Beck’s work and isn’t terribly impressed. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Olbermann said Beck is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing. The very dangerously bigoted guy who is selling himself as a pragmatic philosopher. I don’t think he sees his own bigotry. There’s [...]

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Good Reading

I've filed this away for when I have a bit more time (during lunch), but a quick skim has me agreeing with the blogger - this really is

Today's Must Read

The Washington Post interviewed a former detainee in one of the CIA's "black sites," to give the most detailed description yet of what the facilities are like. Marwan Jabour was picked up in Pakistan in May, 2004, "beaten, abused and [...]

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Progress Or Smoke Screen?

Steve Clemons has an interesting take on these sudden "meetings" in the Middle East.  Involving Iran and Syria, in particular. 

Chess Pieces Move: Bush Admin Officials Plan to Meet with Iranian and Syrian Reps in Neighborhood "Block Party"

I'm getting a lot of "official statements" from U.S. Senators in my in-box all of a sudden commenting on the Bush administration's change of heart regarding attending official meetings with representatives from the governments of Iran and Syria. This [...]

UPDATE: The "right" is a bit divided on this issue -

Negotiate With Iran?

It is in the news, and NRO is blowing a gasket over it - the story is that the United States is going to enter into negotiations with Iran and Syria...and, of course, this means we're surrendering in the War [...]

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Another Set of Numbers

Keith Olbermann takes on Al Gore's critics, with a masterful obliteration of their foot-stomping about Gore's electric bill.

Olbermann on Gore’s Energy Use: Setting the Record Straight

You knew after his big night at the Oscars Sunday, the far right would come out in full force against former Vice President Gore. Since these single-minded sensationalists never let those pesky "facts" get in the way, Keith breaks down the utility bill. I have no problem with "think-tanks" [...]

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Running the Numbers

It's a good think Laura Bush was a librarian, not a math teacher.

Dear Laura, it's not one attack a day in Iraq, it's 230

Laura Bush, ace Iraq expert, made a little bit of a whoopsie on Larry King the other night. She said that Iraq was really going well, but that the big bad biased liberal media keeps reporting that one attack a day in an effort to make things look bad. Well, seems it's more like 180 attacks a day, and that's just against our troops. There are 50 attacks a day or so against civilians, making that 230 attacks a day. Looks like Mrs. Bush may have to [...]

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Head-Scratcher of the Day

Things that make you go "Hmmmm".  Whazzup with these numbers!  Particularly the evangelicals' interest in Rudy?

Poll: Blacks Shift Towards Obama; Evangelicals Shift Towards...Rudy!

The Washington Post has released still more numbers from its poll this week. The poll's latest findings: Blacks are shifting towards Barack Obama and Evangelicals are shifting towards Rudy Giuliani.  In December and January, Post polls found that Hillary Clinton led Obama among blacks by 60%-20%. This week's poll says Obama now holds a slim advantage among African Americans, 44%-33%. Still, Clinton enjoys a healthy front-runner's lead in other areas: She's seen by Dems as the most electable, as the strongest leader, and as the candidate with the best experience to be President. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, the Post says that Rudy Giuliani now holds a two-to-one margin over John McCain, largely because of [...]

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The War

Nothing much more to be said, beyond this. 

Damn. Guess That Beer Will Have to Wait.

A friend of mine's stepson - call him Steve - is in the Army. He's an officer, been in since before the turn of the century. Smart, smart kid. He's been posted a few places, including a tour in Iraq a coupla years back in a city (not Baghdad) whose name you'd recognize. While in Iraq, his name, it was later discovered, was on a list made by local insurgents of their top targets among local U.S. military personnel. His sporadic e-mails often are cryptic. It's clear he has a lot to say about [...]

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Catching Up

Somewhat.  Still trying to settle into the new job.  Caught up in lots of orientation and paperwork. I'll get things back to normal, soon. In the meantime, one thing that caught my eye tonight.

Déjà vu: Thieves break into N.H. Dem headquarters

Talk about Déjà vu! Burglars broke into the N.H. Democratic Headquarters. Many times, the like minded antics of the Bush administration has been compared to that of the uber-secret one of Nixon. The comparison of the war in Vietnam and the one in Iraq has been made many times. I wonder what would Nixon think [...]

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Required Reading

As always, Keith Olbermann pens a spectacular "Special Comment", demonstrating exactly what excellent writing is supposed to be.  Whether you agree with his position, or not, you really do have to admit that the man can write! You'll find a full transcript plus video right here.   I'm not going to fill up any more space here with a quote.  It's all worth watching and reading.  So, go now.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

We'll See Who Wins

I'm okay in posting this.  In real time, they have not yet announced this category at the Academy Awards.

Aw, Jesus Camp

It's a miracle: I've actually seen two of the documentaries nominated for Oscars this year: An Inconvenient Truth and Jesus Camp. Truth I saw in the theater long ago; Jesus Camp, I watched with Hombre last week. It was eye-opening, the details were sharp and telling, and it had the best camera work of any documentary I've seen. It was entertaining: Ted Haggard made an arrogant [...]

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Have Another Cup

Coffee.  Care for a second cup?  Go ahead.  Really.  Maybe a third. Or a fourth.

Fiber From Drinking Coffee?

Well here is some interesting news! Need More Fiber? Try Coffee, Coffee May Be Higher In Soluble Fiber Than Wine Or Orange Juice, Researchers Say,They say coffee has more soluble dietary fiber (the type of fiber that dissolves in water [...]

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Obama's On A Roll

Looks like the man from Illinois isn't slowing down. I'm impressed at the turnout in neighboring Texas -

Obama Draws Massive Crowds

If Friday's turnout in Austin, TX is any indication, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "is gaining huge momentum," KEYE-TV reports.  "More than 20,000 supporters filled Auditorium Shores to hear him speak. The crowd shows Obama’s appeal crosses [...]

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Feat and Terror

Life in Iraq. Read. And remember.

Sitting Ducks

At last my heart and mind are at rest, until tomorrow. I was waiting for a phone call from my daughter to tell me she is home safely. She, like thousands of university students in Iraq, is taking her mid-term [...]

UPDATE:  Cross your fingers and say a prayer.

Suicide bomber kills 41 at Baghdad university.

“A suicide bomber struck Sunday outside a college campus in Baghdad, killing at least 41 people and injuring dozens as a string of other blasts and rocket attacks left bloodshed around the city. Most of the victims were students at the college, a business studies annex of Mustansiriyah University that was hit by a series [...]

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Olbermann Profile

Keith Olbermann certainly has been getting some attention since he signed that new multi-year deal with MSNBC.  Rolling Stone last week.  CBS Sunday Morning today.

Olbermann profiled on CBS

CBS Sunday Morning did a profile on Keith Olbermann and Countdown today. The "Rummy Special Comment," was the # 2 political blog post (#3 overall) of 2006 via Nielsen BuzzMetrics. "CBS: If you firmly believe reporters never should share their personal views, Keith Olbmermann is definitely not the newsman for you. "Mr. Bush, the [...]

Oh, by the way, let me remind you that MSBNC posts clips from most Countdown segments online.  Enoy.

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Sunday Night at the Academy Awards

I'm tired.  Worn out.  Left town Friday night for some family stuff.  Came back late Saturday. Spent today trying to catch up with chores around the house and and now trying to keep one eye on the Academy Awards while updating my mp3 player.  In other words, I'm darned maxed out on multi-tasking!  I was also skimming through my bloglines and noticed one of the key stories right now is (surprise!) Iran.  AmericaBlog has done most of the heavy lifting, snagging a couple of most interesting reports. -

Pentagon drafting plans to bomb Iran

We can't win two wars, so let's have three! These people are seriously nuts. Oh, but the plans are to "just" bomb Iran's ability to help the insurgents in Iraq. Uh, ok. And what do we do when the Iranians decide to flood across the boarder and hit us back? Of course, this is exactly what Bush wants to have happen - he wants all out war with Iran. The problem is [...]

But, wait. There's more.  The natives are restless.

Report: Top generals/admirals will resign in protest if Bush launches war with Iran

From the Sunday Times (London): "SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources. Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before [...]

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Discuss A Bit Among Yourselves

Prison is prison.  But, still.....

100 Years in Prison, Not Really, For Soldier in Iraqi Rape, Murder

What a great headline for the Administration. One of the soldiers who raped an Iraqi girl and killed her and her sentenced to 100 years in prison.  Read the fine print. He's eligible for parole in [...]

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What's Wrong With This Picture

Ponder THIS possibility, why don't cha...

Ahhh, this is...

Ahhh, this is fun. Whackjob member of Congress Michelle Bachmann, it turns out, has discovered that there's already a plan in place to divide Iraq. Iran will get half the country. And they'll set that part up as a "terrorist safe haven zone." Says Bachmann: "And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called…. the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And [...]

UPDATE:  Well, now.  That didn't last long, did it?

Bachmann Retracts Her Embarassing Iran/Iraq Conspiracy Theory

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Spanking Update

My original post on the California spanking story sparked one of the biggest bumps in comments this blog (or its predecessor) has seen.  I'm standing by my earlier thoughts, with a bit of clarification.  I'm not a big proponent of spanking. We certainly used it judiciously on our children, preferring to talk them through problematic situations.  Still, it's not (in my mind) an area the government needs to be forcing itself.  And, it won't be - at least not in California.

CA Spanking Bill Dies

Many parents reasonably believe that appropriate methods of parental discipline should ordinarily be decided by parents, not by the government. And while there is widespread agreement that child abuse does not fall within the realm of appropriate discipline and should be criminalized, there is widespread disagreement whether spanking, without more, constitutes abuse. A California legislator learned that lesson when she introduced a bill to criminalize the spanking of a child who hasn't reached the [...]

Now, comment away.  It's all yours.

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Where's Osama?

Tony went a little wacky in his push to find bin Laden, didn't he?

Tony Blair reportedly hired psychics to find Iraq WMDs.

Newly declassified documents revealed that the Ministry of Defense spent £18,000 of taxpayers’ money in an experiment “to see if volunteers could ’see’ objects hidden inside an envelope. It is claimed the ministry hoped positive results would allow it to use psychics to ‘remotely view’ Bin Laden’s base and also to find weapons of mass [...]

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The Army tries to do an about-face over the Walter Reed Hospital stories.  But, somehow, it just doesn't come out quite right...

Army Surgeon General: "More than half" our wounded vets aren't treated like animals

Well, don't I feel warm all over. As Joe noted below, the Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, is now telling us that the Washington Post expose about the horrendous problems at Walter Reed is a pack of lies. (Ignore for a moment that the top military brass has already apologized for that pack of lies, and has assured us that the pack of lies are being fixed and that many of the lies have already been fixed (which isn't really true because one of the biggest problems is that they're 600,000 disability claims behind)).  But my favorite part of the Army Surgeon General's interview is the following statement: [...]

UPDATE:  Maybe somebody forgot to tell the boss that things were just peachy over a WR Hospital...

Gates sets up panel to investigate Walter Reed

Defense Secretary Gates tells us that a new panel will look into the deplorable conditions of Walter Reed and any other medical facility they choose. They have 45 days to get their report together and present it to Congress and the public. This is a sad state of affairs when a special [...]

But, wait.  There's more!

Iraq Veteran Shot In The Head Describes ‘Systemic’ Neglect At Military Hospitals

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Weekend Reading

If you're stuck inside on a rainy weekend, here's something to keep you occupied for a while - especially if you're a Keith Olbermann fan.

Olbermann’s Rolling Stone interview…

With an article title guaranteed to send these guys into a tizzy, Rolling Stone’s Mark Binelli interviews Keith Olbermann… Olbermann clearly relishes his feuds and doesn’t seem to worry much about sparking new ones. When I ask him why he thinks Katie Couric’s stint as CBS anchor isn’t working, he shoots back, “It’s simple. She’s not [...]

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One Down

How many more to go?  It's a VERY early out, indeed.

Tommy, We Hardly Knew Ye

Just two days after pissing on the third rail of Democratic primary politics by embracing price indexing for Social Security, Tom Vilsack is planning an 11 AM CST presser to withdraw from the 2008 race. Why?  Money, money, money.  He figured that he needed $20 million to be competitive, and he didn't think he could raise it.  It's an early withdrawal, but it's a realistic decision.  That said, I'm trying to remember any other [...]


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Twists and Turns

Those fun folks in Washington always seem to have another trick up their collective sleeve.  This one could get v-e-r-y interesting.  As Arte Johnson used to say. 

Goodbye Murtha plan, hello repealing ‘02 resolution

John Murtha’s “readiness strategy,” which would insist that only troops with adequate training and equipment be sent to Iraq, seems to be losing favor with enough Democratic lawmakers that passage seems unlikely. House Democrats have pulled back from efforts to link additional funding for the war to strict troop-readiness standards after the proposal came under withering [...]

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Orleans Ladies

Oh, what a great song.  "New Orleans Ladies" by LeRoux.  What wonderful memories of a magnificent city, New Orleans.  Mardi Gras was better this year. Better than last.  But, the city is still not herself. Yet, somebody is happy.

NOLA: Bush's Plan Is Working

Thomas F. Schaller writes in Salon: A key reason for the troubles facing Blanco and her party is the massive out-migration of New Orleans-area Democrats in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The storm, and the administration’s botched handling of it, literally drove Democrats out of Louisiana. Though a perfect estimate is impossible, analysts who follow the [...]

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Compounding the Wounds

We've blogged about it before.  It's been big news all week. How the Pentagon is failing to properly care for wounded military personnel at Walter Reed Hospital.  Now, radio/TV guy,  Don Imus,  is going after the government.  Big time.  He may be getting older.  He may be contankerous as all lget out.  But, sometimes, he's on game.

This morning on his radio show, Don Imus continued to call attention to the deplorable conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Imus has highlighted the issue every day this week. On yesterday’s show, he revealed, “I haven’t heard from anybody [in the administration] about whether I can come down there and take a [...]

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Dinner Discussion

Looking for something to spark the conversation at dinner tonight?   Consider some fresh quotes via AmericaBlog -

George Bush may very well be breaking the Army

Speaker Pelosi's blog, the Gavel, expands significantly on a NYT story today about the extent to which Bush's "surge" in Iraq is straining our military resources. The Gavel notes the following military experts expressing real concern that Bush may be breaking the Army:  "Lieutenant General David Poythress, the state adjutant general for the Georgia National Guard, 12/17/06: “There is a danger of breaking the Army, but there is an equivalent danger of breaking the Guard. Guardsmen don’t sign up to be full-time soldiers. If that’s what they wanted, they’d join the active Army.”  General Peter Schoomaker, Chief of Staff United [...]

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Quick Thursday Update

Just took a break for lunch and a few moments to see what's happening in the outside world!  One of the most talked-about stories seems to pick up where we've been before.  Not enough manpower.  Not enough equipment.  Not the correct equipment.

They don’t even have the right rifles

Thousands of National Guard and Reserve troops had been told they could expect a longer break between deployments to Iraq. In some cases, reservists were promised they would get years between deployments. Now, they’re being told to forget what they’d been told; Bush’s escalation strategy demands more sacrifice. The Pentagon is planning to send more than [...]

UPDATE: As you can imagine, those on the other side of the aisle don't agree.  One, in particular, has put together an attack.  You now have both sides.  Comment away.  I'm still thinking the equipment isn't where it should be.  Not by a long shot. No pun intended.

When the Deceptive and Uninformed Attack

The liberal blog The Carpetbagger Report has a post up this morning entitled They don’t even have the right rifles, in which the author laments over National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers being re-deployed without enough time between deployments and [...]

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pssst. Lookee Here

Got your calculator ready?

Bush Cutting Medicaid To Pay For ONE FAMILY's Tax Cut

Who is our economy FOR? Bush is cutting Medicaid by $28 billion. Bush is giving the Walton family (Wal-Mart heirs) a $32.7 billion tax cut. You do the math. Go see who else wins and [...]

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The Spin Continues

If you thought they were spinning the comments, what they're doing with the poll numbers is nothing short of a tornado.

Conservatives are aggressively...

Conservatives are aggressively pushing a new poll by a GOP firm which allegedly shows that there's more support for the Iraq war than anybody thinks. So we asked another Republican pollster to look at the poll's numbers, and get this: He tells us that the poll is bogus. What [...]

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Simply Stupid

Nothing more to say.  This is an extremely frustrating attitude, to say the least.

Boortz: “Teachers Unions More Dangerous Than Nuclear-Armed Terrorists”

On Hannity and Colmes last night, Neal Boortz told an agreeable Sean Hannity that teachers unions are more dangerous to America than terrorists armed with nuclear weapons because a nuke could only wipe out 100,000 people but public schools are "destroying a generation."Look, Al Qaeda, they could bring in a [...]

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Twisting The Truth

I really have to wonder if the folks in Washington really believe all they say these days.  Part of me wants to believe that they do; part of me thinks that there is no way they can believe the spin they are spewing.

Al Qaeda is resurgent, bin Laden is back in charge, yet Cheney says Pelosi and Murtha will validate the terrorists

Again, Cheney is talking like it's 2002. Unfortunately, the reality facing America now is that for al Qaeda, it's 2001 all over. The terror network is on the move and it's happened right under the noses of Bush and Cheney. Just this week, we learned that Bin Laden is back in charge. The terror networks are expanding. Al Qaeda has taken [...]

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Vilsack Ready To Implode

It looks like the man from my home state of Iowa may have made a major mis-step in the 2008 presidential campaign. Heck, Tom Vilsack had to be a long shot, at best.  This ain't gonna help any -

Well, That's News

Had some interest in how Vilsack would perform, but now that he's advocating the long run destruction of social security by indexing benefit increases to prices, not wages, all signs point to "not well." For an explanation of why this basically [...]

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Today With Tony

Tony Snow is ALWAYS good for a quote to contemplate.  And try to figure out.  Today, was no exception.

Snow Backtracks, Now Claims Bush Didn't Know Of Walter Reed Neglect

During yesterday's White House press briefing, Tony Snow tried to play down the neglect uncovered at Walter Reed by portraying it as old news. President Bush "certainly has been aware of the conditions in the wards where he has visited," Snow said, affirming that the administration was aware of Walt [...]

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Health Care Costs

There's just something so fundamentally wrong with this prediction. The precentages are simply staggering.

Study: US healthcare to account for 1 in every $5 spent

The AP reports on a new study which predicts the cost of healthcare is going to go way up at current rates unless something is done: Health care is expected to account for $1 of every $5 spent in the United States in another decade. That means a rise in out-of-pocket expenses, such as the copays for [...]


The Big Story Today

One thing I haven't managed to get in my new digs, is cable TV!  I miss keeping one ear on the news, while I go about my work.  So, I'm catching up tonight, with some Cable News and lots of internet scanning.  It's relaxing, in a sense.  If the news, itself, wasn't so controversial.

Today’s Clinton-Obama flare up

I mentioned this briefly earlier, but it seems to be the big political story of the day, so let’s flesh this out a bit. In her column today, the NYT’s Maureen Dowd quoted entertainment mogul David Geffen, who was a loyal Clinton supporter in the 1990s, saying all kinds of critical things about Hillary, while explaining [...]

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Settling In

Sorry for the extended departure. Making the job switch matched up perfectly with a long, tiring, weekend of driving for an out-of-town meeting.  But, all is well.  I'm settled into the new, non-media, gig and enjoying it very much. Hopefully, this will mean I can carve out some time each evening to snag a few blogs for those of you who are still hanging around. Heck, I'd welcome some new folks, so spread the word!

And, now, we return you to your regularly scheduled program.  Already in progress. All Spin. All the time.

The Delusional Dick Cheney

After Dick Cheney got done telling ABC News that it was a good sign that the Brits are pulling their forces out of Iraq he went back on the attack. He scurried off to East Asia rather than be here in town for the potential conviction of his top henchman. And he continues to say anything and just make shit up in order to maintain the fiction that we are fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq. ABC News interviewed the vice president in Tokyo, where he told troops aboard the USS Kitty [...]

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Daily Life in Iraq

Certainly a bit slanted against the war, from the British media, but it's well worth your time to watch. There are others willing to put their collective necks on the journalistic line, and their numbers are growing.  Still, this is hard-hitting.

Iraq: The Hidden Story

What the media isn't showing in Iraq: (h/t Hardliner) It's a gut-wrenching 49 minutes, but worth your time. Americans, these actions are being done in our name.  This is our legacy. My hope is that showing videos such as this one and bringing you the information that the traditional media downplays or hides that it propel [...]

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Simply So Wrong

It doesn't take a genius to look at this word picture and realize something is horribly wrong with our system of caring for our Veterans.  Horribly wrong.  Care to debate?  Feel free.

Wounded Soldiers Coming Home To Neglect At Famed Military Hospital

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like [...]

UPDATE: Not just at Walter Reed

Military Crackdown Extends Further Than Walter Reed

John had linked to Arthur's post about the evidentally punitive measures the brass are taking at Walter Reed, in retribution for the soldiers speaking out about the horrible conditions they were enduring during their convalescence and rehabilitation. Well, unfortunately, Walter Reed is not the only facility, nor the only crackdown from the Department of Defense. E&P:  A [...]

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Olbermann and More

After a busy weekend out of town, with Monday marking the start of new career for yours truly (no more media!), it's been busy!  But, this is too good not to post!  MSNBC is putting most of Countdown with Keith Olbermann online, it appears.  "The News Hole" is, apparently, the new blog for Countdown, complete with video clips!  Here's Friday's show.

Friday Night Live

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Thursday, February 15, 2007


Bring 'em home.  Plain and simple. That's what Americans want.

Poll: 53% Want Troops Home "As Soon As Possible"

With the House debating escalation and the Senate getting ready to try to debate a new anti-"surge" resolution this Saturday, a new poll just out from Pew finds that support for the war continues to plummet while public skepticism about it continues to soar. The survey finds that a striking 53% of respondents want the troops brought home "as soon as possible." That's up five points in the last month and the highest percentage yet favoring such a pullout in this poll (though a larger sum of those favor a gradual drawdown to an immediate one). For the first time [...]

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Moving Day

Okay, folks. Time to trim the workload around here.  Yours truly is moving on.  To a new job in a new industry and I can't keep two blogs rolling.  So, if you're finding us via, delete that bookmark and move on up to the new site or drop in via

I'm getting out of the media business, and into something completely different.  It's an exciting time and I'll tell you more about it as time goes on.  We're building something from the ground up, so it's going to be a lot of work.  Bottom line - the old wb42 site is history after tonight.  I have family matters piled up this weekend, so posts will be sparse.  But, move on over to the new site and be ready for some fun!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just A Little Fun Among Friends

Those White House News Conferences with Tony Snow.

In Heated Exchanges, Reporters Press Snow To Justify Iran Claims

At today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Tony Snow faced intense questioning over administration claims that Iranians have smuggled weapons into Iraq with “the approval of senior Iranian officials.” Yesterday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace seemed to contradict this claim, saying that he has not seen evidence that the Iranian government “clearly [...]

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Oh, Yeah

One more thing. Did you hear this story?

Another Republican Corruption Indictment

Federal grand jury indicts Foggo, Wilkes,A federal grand jury on Tuesday issued indictments against Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes and former high-ranking CIA official Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, [...]

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Missing Data And Missing Laptops

Who knows what evil lurks in the halls of the FBI?

FBI still losing laptops, weapons

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost or had stolen 160 laptops in four years, including 10 with sensitive or classified information, and one containing personal information on FBI employees, according to a report released Monday by the Department of Justice inspector general. In addition, 160 weapons [...]

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Political Suicide

We have, indeed, been talking about this for darn near a full year now.  It's beginning to look like the early "conspiracy theories" are close to reality.

Cheney's Top Aid Says War With Iran "Real Possibility in '07"

As the Bush administration ratchets up pressure on Iran, Vice President Cheney's top national security aide has been quoted by the Washington Post - in the 10th paragraph on page A18 - that war with Iran is "a real possibility" this year: "Some senior administration officials still relish the [...]

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Philosophical Changes

Talk about a past that will come to haunt him.  Look at Mitt Romney's presidential chances.

GOPer Mitt Romney jumps in the race for the White House, hypocrisy and all

Today, former Massachusetts governor Mitt ‘more conservative today than yesterday‘ Romney, announced his Presidential plans- formally- in his home state of Michigan. In the former Republican governor’s 2,151 word speech, he mentioned the word “Massachusetts” only twice: he doesn’t want to remind conservative southern primary voters where he’s been active in politics for the last [...]


A Blogger Calls It Quits

Even though her boss stood up for her, she just couldn't stay.

Edwards' Bigoted Blogger Resigns

Just when it mattered least, Amanda Marcotte resigned from the John Edwards campaign: "I was hired by the Edwards campaign for the skills and talents I bring to the table, and my willingness to work hard for what’s right. Unfortunately, [...]

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Slip Of The Tongue

This is why I could never be a politician. One slip of the tongue and you get your words crammed right back down your throat. I'm still looking for the law that says politicians must be perfect.

Obama’s ‘waste’ gaffe

In New Hampshire over the weekend, Barack Obama told an audience that “we ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged, and to which we now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.” It was a well-received comment [...]

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Let's All Sing

They won. They won big.  But...

Country Radio Refuses To Accept Dixie Chicks: Listeners Are "Outraged"

Country radio still isn't ready to make nice with the Dixie Chicks. With a haul of Grammys Sunday, the Texas trio topped their comeback from their 2003 Bush-bashing comment that turned them from superstars to pariahs -- but Music Row isn't welcoming them back into [...]


All To Balance The Federal Budget

Cutting corners where corners should not be cut.

Bush plans more cuts to veterans' health care

The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now - even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system. Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012. After an increase sought for [...]

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Still Breaking News

Countdown is talking tonight about how the military is doing a bit of a turnaround on this story. I'll update with more details.  But, up until mid-day today, this was the story and the analysis.

Bush administration anonymously presents evidence against Iran

Bush administration officials have been hinting for weeks that they had quite a presentation to show reporters about Iranian meddling in the war in Iraq, and would provide proof just as soon as they could find some. I mean, as soon as they nailed down the details. Yes, that’s it. Yesterday, reporters in Iraq finally received [...]

UPDATE:  Here's the problem -

The White House’s Iran claims begin to fall apart

When Pentagon officials presented a 16-slide PowerPoint presentation to reporters Sunday in Baghdad, they did not imagine they would be on the defensive, only hours later. The briefing, reminiscent of many pre-Iraq war briefings, was highly unusual because the officials that conducted it refused to let reporters attach their names to the intel they were presenting. [...]

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Still Breaking News

Countdown is talking tonight about how the military is doing a bit of a turnaround on this story. I'll update with more details.  But, up until mid-day today, this was the story and the analysis.

Bush administration anonymously presents evidence against Iran

Bush administration officials have been hinting for weeks that they had quite a presentation to show reporters about Iranian meddling in the war in Iraq, and would provide proof just as soon as they could find some. I mean, as soon as they nailed down the details. Yes, that’s it. Yesterday, reporters in Iraq finally received [...]

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Ungodly Behavior

Life in prison would be bad, at best.  At worst, this:

What Goes On in Our Prisons

Human Rights Watch has issued a report on male-on-male prison rape in American prisons. As part of their research they solicited mail from prisoners. The following letter is the one they chose to open their report. Hat tip to Chrisopher Hayes. "I've been sentenced for a D.U.I. offense. My 3rd one. When I first came to prison, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly none of this. I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. And very shy. These characteristics have got me [...]

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bad News

Or, at least it would seem that way.

US Sending Third Carrier Strike Group to Persian Gulf

The Iranians have reason to feel paranoid. At least one former White House official contends that some Bush advisers secretly want an excuse to attack Iran. A second Navy carrier group is steaming toward the Persian Gulf, and a third carrier will [...]

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Just A Bit of History

Fascinating stuff, those old political speeches.

FLASHBACK: Here's Hillary's Full Speech On Eve Of War Vote

The other day, Hillary Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader that when she voted to give President Bush the authority to go to war, "I said that it was not a vote for pre-emptive war." So we thought it would be a good idea to dig up the speech she gave at the time. She said: "My vote is not, however, a vote  [...]

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Big Speech

Obama's speech today really was quite good. On several levels.

Obama's Speech Accomplishes More Than It Appears

A couple of very quick thoughts on Barack Obama's speech. First, one peculiar aspect of this Dem primary is that there is not one, but two potentially history-making candidates -- he and Hillary Clinton -- meaning that they'll in a sense be vying for the role of most potentially history-making contender. By drawing a direct line from [...]

UPDATE:  A bit of response from the Right.

Official Blogs for Bush Commentary on Sen. Obama's Presidential Announcement

1. He hasn't the experience: Certainly the most impertinent Presidential campaign since Wilke in 1940. 2. Should he get elected, his ultra-liberal policy proposals will just be more-of-the-same political gamesmanship when placed into practice. 3. Democrats would be monumentally stupid [...]

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Negative Picture

So, how are things in Iraq?

Democracy..not possible in Iraq

The Iraqi political parties that formed the current Iraqi government claim to seek establishing a democratic system in Iraq. The very same political parties don’t practice democracy. The main five political parties that rule the country are: The Supreme Council [...]

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The Big Speech

Obama's speech today really was quite good. On several levels.

Obama's Speech Accomplishes More Than It Appears

A couple of very quick thoughts on Barack Obama's speech. First, one peculiar aspect of this Dem primary is that there is not one, but two potentially history-making candidates -- he and Hillary Clinton -- meaning that they'll in a sense be vying for the role of most potentially history-making contender. By drawing a direct line from [...]

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Before It Makes The Bigtime

This could be a HUGE story.

Is Harry Reid getting ready to sue AP & John Solomon?

I hate putting this important a story up on a Saturday night, but I'm not gonna be scooped on this baby. Check out this Associated Press story from a few days back that nobody seemed to notice. It looks to me like Harry Reid is getting ready to sue the AP and their former [...]

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Friday, February 09, 2007


I really don't want to get into the Anna Nicole story.  But, this is just too much....

Zsa Zsa Gabor's Husband Says He Might Be The Father

The husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor said Friday that he had a decade-long affair with Anna Nicole Smith and may be her infant daughter's father. The claim by Prince Frederick von Anhalt comes amid a paternity suit over Smith's 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn. The birth certificate lists Dannielynn's father as attorney Howard K. Stern, but former Smith boyfriend [...]

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Today's Big Story

Not Anna Nicole Smith.  But the lies that led to the Iraq War. Read on....

Cheney’s Other Liars

First, a heads-up: Christy will be on Air America with Sam Seder about 9:15 a.m. EST. Somewhere in the lead up to the Iraq war, the Bush/Cheney Administration decided they needed two strands of intelligence to convince the American people and the world that a preemptive war on Iraq was justified. The first would be [...]

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Those Prisons

Yet another account you should read.

Former Iraqi Interrogator Admits Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners: "I Will Never Forgive Myself"

Despite my best efforts, I cannot ignore the mistakes I made at the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man [...]


Rove On A Roll

Karl seems to have really stepped in it this time.

Karl Rove is a Racist Elitist Pig

The following anecdote does not come from a left-wing blogger but from National Review Online's The Corner. Karl Rove managed to be such a racist snob that he even offended that crowd. According to a congressman's wife who attended a Republican women's luncheon yesterday, Karl Rove explained the rationale behind the president's amnesty/open-borders proposal this way: "I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas." And I thought Rove just wanted to keep enough of the Hispanic vote to win elections past [...]

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Room For Condi At The Libby Trial

With memory lapses like this one, she'd fit right in.

Ex-Rice Aide: Memory Lapse on Iran "Really Quite Curious"

I just got off the phone with Flynt Leverett, a former CIA Mideast analyst and National Security Council staffer during President Bush's first term. Leverett says he finds it "really quite curious" that Secretary Rice is pleading a memory lapse [...]

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The Big Story

That's what this story was.  Until Anna Nicole Smith suddenly died.  Basic info here -

Hastert Used Military Aircraft To Fly Foley Page Scandal Figure To Washington

The media continues to pound a false Washington Times report accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of wasting government resources by “demanding permanent access to a large military jet for herself, her staff, other Members and supporters.” In fact, Pelosi’s office has stated repeatedly, from the beginning, that “it is up to the Air Force to [...]

Major update here -

A new statement...

A new statement from the House Sergeant at Arms on the Pelosi-plane-ridiculousness ... "For Immediate Release February 8, 2007 As the Sergeant at Arms, I have the responsibility to ensure the security of the members of the House of Representatives, to include the Speaker of the House. The Speaker requires additional precautions due to her responsibilities as the leader of the House and her [...]

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The New Polls

Still, the bounce just ain't happening. No matter how hard you look, it's tough to find much of optimism for the Administration.

Morning musings: Bush continues to flail in the quicksand

A new survey shows President Bush’s approval rating is at an all-time low. In fact, the only political leader with a lower approval rating is Ariel Sharon.  Let’s think about that for a second. The only world leader with a lower approval rating than Bush is a Jew among Palestinians. The only world leader with a [...]

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This Looks Like...

Not much more than a slap on the wrist, to me.  Or, is that all that's really warranted?

Breaking: a long-awaited...

Breaking: a long-awaited report on the Office of Special Plans, the intelligence shop in the Pentagon notorious for its bogus intel on Saddam Hussein's ties to Al Qaeda, is coming out tomorrow. Some details here, via [...]

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Will it make any difference?  Will the number of suicide bombings decrease?  Will the number of civilian deaths decrease? Will the number of military deaths decrease?

al Qaeda on the run

Via Iraq Pictures: A suspected insurgent training site is destroyed with explosives north of Baghdad. This news from Iraq, via the Jawa Report, should be top story. But since Anna Nicole Smith died, it won't get the coverage it deserves: [...]

Before you move on, here's the likely answer to at least one of my questions -

Yes, Things Can Get Worse....A Continuing Series

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Managing Our Money

It is, after all, our tax dollars they're losing.  Simply unbelievable.  This story has floated around the web for a long time now.  Finally, pretty much confirmed, the world is getting a glimpse of just how badly the Iraq War has been run.

Pallets Of Cash - Billions

Well, years later it's finally hitting a mainstream outlet - the Bush administration sent pallots of cash to a war zone, and didn't have any way to track where it went (which was probably the plan): [ ...]

Some more interesting thoughts on the vanishing $$$$$$ here -

Someone Else's Money

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MM And Imus

Mary Matlin with Don Imus this morning.  Just downright bizarre.  Weird. And strange. Transcripts and audio via Crooks and Liars and others.

Mary Matalin is Dazed and Confused

Her appearance on Imus this morning was just bizarre. The main point Imus wanted to cover is if she actually told Libby that Tim Russert hated Chris Matthews. I edited some stuff out (it's still a long clip) and tried to focus on her responses to this point and the Libby trial. Basically—try to follow [...]

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The Prosecutor Purge

The stars are lining up and this one is looking more and more like the title of this post - a true purge of prosecutors who might not be explicitly friendly to the Bush Administraton.

‘I was ordered to resign’

The more we learn about the Bush administration’s prosecutor purge, the more disconcerting it looks. Bud Cummins’ dismissal was suspicious in Arkansas, Carol Lam’s removal was odd in San Diego, and now we’re learning more about John McKay’s dismissal in Seattle. Former U.S. Attorney John McKay told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his resignation this [...]

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It's Enough To Make Your Head Hurt

Are you having as much trouble as I, trying to figure out what's happening with the Scooter Libby trial? I've read through this post a couple of times and STILL can't really figure who's saying the good stuff and who's not. Comment away and straighten me out.  Oh, by the way, make sure you read the comments on the post quoted below -

JustOneMinute: What Is Russert's Game (And Is Fitzgerald Helping Him Play It?)

Tim Russert's testimony, as elicited by the defense, painted a picture of a pundit with a puzzling problem. Arianna Huffington has a great collection of links and a quick summary of Russert's baffling testimony and Jane Hamsher offered some helpful hints as well [and let's include Swopa's liveblogging 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Let me point out a few dots that the defense has introduced and make [...]

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