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Step off, old man!
Saturday, 27 March 2004
Compare and contrast
Sen. Bill Frist, that Rich Little-Muppet looking dude who happens to be Majority Leader, went on the offensive yesterday in the Administration's efforts to discredit Richard Clarke.

"Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath," Frist said in a speech from the Senate floor, alleging that Clarke said in 2002 that the Bush administration actively sought to address the threat posed by al-Qaida before the attacks.

Frist later retreated from directly accusing Clarke of perjury, telling reporters that he personally had no knowledge that there were any discrepancies between Clarke's two appearances.

Way to go, Muppet boy. you had no knowledge about it but since you're a tool you just said it anyway. OK, how about this: Bill Frist addressed Congress alleging Clarke may have committed perjury, then told reporters he had no such evidence. How about investigating this joker?

Contrast his remarks with those of Sen. Bob Graham, former Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee in question.

"I concur with Senator Frist's call for de-classification of Richard Clarke's testimony to the Joint Inquiry. To the best of my recollection, there is nothing inconsistent or contradictory in that testimony and what Mr. Clarke has said this week. I would add three other recommendations:

First, if Mr. Clarke's testimony is to be released, it should be released in its entirety -- not, as the Bush administration has done in the past, selectively edited so that only portions favorable to the White House are made public.

Second, the Bush administration should de-classify other documents that surround the Clarke testimony, such as his January 25, 2002, plan for action against al Qaeda, in order to clarify the issues that are in dispute.

And finally, the Bush administration should release all other testimony and documents related to 9-11 for which classification can no longer be justified -- including the 27 pages of the Joint Inquiry's final report that address the involvement of a foreign government in supporting some of the 19 hijackers while they lived among us and finalized their evil plot.

The American people deserve to know what their government has done -- and should be doing -- to protect them from terrorists, and who should be held accountable for shortcomings that have left our country vulnerable."

We all want the truth, right? In this new spirit of declassification, let's see those 27 pages that detail the role Saudi Arabia -- oops, that unnamed supporter of terrorism -- played in 9-11.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:30 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 27 March 2004 8:39 AM EST
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Friday, 26 March 2004
Condi the Fraud
Condi Rice is such a fraud.

She wants to go talk to the 9-11 Commission again to refute the charges of Richard Clarke. She still won't testify under oath, however, and wants her testimony to be in private.

So basically, she can lie her ass off and say whatever she wants and can't be held accountable. I'm hoping the Commission tells her to screw.

Posted by brettdavey at 11:18 AM EST
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WMD jokes
I don't know if people are overreacting to the jokes Bush made about looking for WMDs. Let me say this, however: If I had a family member serving in the military in Iraq, I wouldn't find it very funny.

There are thousands of examples of pols from both parties finding someone's comments appalling, but then applying a different standard to their own. Here's something Tony Blankley, media pundit and former Gingrich staffer, wrote during the Clinton impeachment. It comes from ABc News' "The Note".

"Writing on May 3, 2000 in the Washington Times about Bill Clinton's dinner jokes about impeachment and other White House scandals, Tony Blankley wrote:

"But the audience, made up of the political and media leadership of the country, ought to be ashamed of itself for laughing and popping out of its chairs for repeated standing ovations. Because that hotel ballroom is not a night club, and Bill Clinton isn't a stand-up comic. He is the president of the United States, and there must always be a moral component to the assessment of his comments, whether they are funny or serious. In this instance, humor should not be its own reward."

I wonder what he thinks now?

Posted by brettdavey at 11:16 AM EST
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Wednesday, 24 March 2004
Dirty words or death
I've been closely following this whole Howard Stern debacle, where it looks like the FCC is going to force him off the air by threatening to revisit all his old shows and levy personal fines on Stern if they deem any of it offensive. Funny how Clear Channel, which loves Bush, dumped Stern two days after he turned on the President. Anyway, this is a portion of a letter that appeared in the Cleveland Plains-Dealer.

"I was wondering why the Republicans believe that hearing a four-letter word on the radio is more damaging than death or catastrophic injury. Consider that the Bush administration wants to increase FCC
fines for indecency up to $500,000 per violation per station, yet at the same time, it wants to restrict noneconomic damages in tort cases to $250,000 or $350,000.

So if a DJ says a four-letter word on the radio, the harm is so appalling that a fine of $500,000 per word, per station is justified. But if someone is paralyzed, killed or otherwise catastrophically injured, the most the family could get for the (noneconomic) loss would be up to $350,000."

Posted by brettdavey at 12:58 PM EST
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Tick, tick, tick
There have been a million movies where the good guy has to defuse a bomb and does so under extraordinary circumstances. None of those celluloid heroes has anything on me.

My son has been waking up at 5 a.m. lately. This morning, I got him and tried to rock him to sleep. He was in and out of consciousness, kind of moaning and groaning. I knew the chances were about even that I could get him back to sleep.

That's when the wild card came into play: an ominous smell coming from his diaper.

If I changed the diaper, I knew the game was over. He would freak out and wake up for good. So I sat there rocking him, knowing he had a big load in his pants. Was it wrong not to change him? Hell yeah, but I wasn't about to wake him up for good.

Then, as I sat in the rocking chair at about 5:30 a.m., the second wild card was dealt: I had to go to the bathroom.

There were two choices: put him in the crib prematurely and have him go off or join him in the dirty diaper club.

I put him in the crib.

He freaked out but after I returned from the bathroom, I was able to put him back to sleep. I went to bed around 5:58 a.m. Then, the third wild card came: I couldn't fall back asleep.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:46 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 24 March 2004 12:55 PM EST
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Tuesday, 23 March 2004
Crazy aides
This is from Richard Cohen's column in the Washington Post today. If the White House attacks on O'Neill and now Clarke are accurate, you have to question the decision-making of the President for putting these people in positions of power in the first place. Here it is:

Pity poor George Bush. For some reason, he has been beset by delusional aides who, once they leave the White House, write books containing lies and exaggerations and -- this is the lowest blow of all -- do not take into account the president's genius and all-around wisdom. The latest White House aide to betray the president is Richard Clarke, who was in charge of counterterrorism before and after the attacks of Sept. 11. He says Bush "failed to act prior to September 11 on the threat from al Qaeda."

As with former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, another fool who had somehow risen to become chairman of Alcoa, Clarke's account of his more than two years in the Bush White House was immediately denounced by a host of administration aides, some of whom -- and this is just the sheerest of coincidences -- had once assured us that Iraq was armed to the teeth with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:03 PM EST
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Now Playing: Excellent rebuttal
This column was written by Daniel Ruth from the Tampa Tribune. It's definitely worth a read and a great rebuttal to all the numb nuts who say, "If you had your way, Saddam would still be in power." Here it is:

Well it took over a year, but finally Vice President Dick Cheney, the Bush administration's leading towel snapper, actually stumbled upon a truth the other day when he suggested if it were up to Sen. John Kerry, ``... Saddam Hussein would still be in power in Iraq.''

Yes, and more than 570 American military personnel might still be alive. And hundreds more of the 3,000 soldiers wounded in George W. Bush's vanity war would not need to be fitted with a prosthetic limb.

And countless other U.S. families would not have had their lives imploded simply because the president of the United States and his fellow country club warriors took a ``Get Smart'' intelligence approach to going to war.

Good grief, there have been times over the past 12 months when the Don Adams-In-Chief has appeared to be on the very verge of saying; ``Would you believe ... we went to war because ... uh, ... because, uh, Saddam was keeping his neighbors up all night playing Bobby Darin records?''

Perhaps this is what happens when you take a frat boy keg party approach to foreign policy - you wind up having to concoct more erratic excuses for killing bunches of people than Joe Pesci in ``Goodfellas.''

Of course, this isn't to say blowing up a country now and then is necessarily a bad thing.

What's the point in being the world's foremost superpower if you can't unleash the full brunt of your military contractors on some poor, unsuspecting Third World tin-horn dictatorship that just happens to be sitting on the mother of of all mother lodes of oil?

Thus the Bush administration plunged the nation into the Iraqi war with less of a grasp on reality than Ezra Pound. And therein lies the irrefutable genius of the Bush White House.

You can tell more whoppers about weapons of mass destruction than Joe Isuzu, Pete Rose and Nathan Thurm combined, and as long as you can make the public think they might wake up tomorrow to find Saddam Hussein living next door, the citizenry will still get more morally outraged over Bill Clinton playing coochie-coochie- coo with an intern.

But for sheer chutzpah, perhaps nothing topped Cheney's feigned Scarlett O'Hara-like outrage over comments made by Kerry alluding to the ``coalition of the coerced and the bribed'' serving as ``window dressing'' in support of the U.S.-led Iraqi occupation.

``If such dismissive terms are the vernacular of the golden age of diplomacy Senator Kerry promises, we are left to wonder which nations would care to join any future coalition,'' Cheney vamped, with a straight face, on both sides.

Inasmuch in the buildup to the beginning of hostilities the United States regarded the international community with all the thoughtful collegial consideration of the galley captain in the ramming speed scene from ``Ben-Hur,'' Cheney would have been more properly obligated to call this moment the golden shower of diplomacy.

As well, it is sort of hard to fathom any future nation that would want to enter into a common bond with this country if its own troops had paid the ultimate battlefield sacrifice after having been deceived and treated as little more than Republican National Committee campaign bunting.

A year after the war began, a brutal dictator has been driven from power, replaced by a puppet government with less authority than Groucho Marx's rule over Fredonia.

It's true, however, that the populace no longer has to worry about being taken away to some horrific torture chamber.

Now for their convenience, Iraqis can be blown up by insurgent elements in the comfort of their own homes. In the parallel universe of the White House, that counts as progress.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:02 AM EST
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Monday, 22 March 2004
Last night's "60 Minutes"
Richard Clarke, the former top anti-terrorism official in the Bush Administration, dropped a few bombshells last night on "60 Minutes", but you have to wonder if it will matter. The majority of people don't care about the truth in this stuff; they'd rather cling to the myth of Bush as the warrior-president.

Is it any surprise to hear the Administration was obsessed with Iraq right out of the gate? Let's not kid ourselves with the "President Bush was very engaged on the topic of terrorism from the get-go.." talk either. Decisions on this were driven by idealogues left over from the first Bush Administration -- Cheney, Rumsfield, and Wolfowitz. To claim otherwise is ignorant.

And if President Bush was so concerned and locked in on the topic of terrorism, why did he take a month-long vacation in August 2001, just seven months after being sworn in as President?

Posted by brettdavey at 8:45 AM EST
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Friday, 19 March 2004
Say one thing, do another
It's laughable the way the President wants to portray Kerry as someone who will not provide for the troops. This compilation of quotes came from

"Thousands of U.S. troops invaded Iraq in March without the new body armor that can stop rifle bullets, and thousands more still lack the lifesaving protection. `I can't answer for the record why we started this war with protective vests that were in short-supply,' Army Gen. John Abizaid told Congress last week." (Richard Sisk, Knight-Ridder Tribune, 9/29/03).

"The administration announced that on October 1 it wants to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones." (Editorial, Army Times, 6/30/03).

"Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks while they wait--sometimes for months--to see doctors." (Mark Benjamin, UPI, 10/17/03).

"The Bush administration is formally opposing a proposal to give National Guard and Reserve members access to the Pentagon's health insurance system." (Gannett News Service, 10/24/03).

"The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday that it is immediately cutting off access to...about 164,000 veterans who expected to enroll in the system during the current fiscal year." (Edward Walsh, Washington Post, 1/17/03).

And now this, from (White House press secretary) Scott McClellan's press briefing of March 17: "This president, from day one, has provided strong support to our troops to make sure they have all the resources they need to do their job, and that includes supporting significant pay raises for our troops, improving housing and health care for our troops. This president, from day one of this administration, has been working to make sure our troops have all the resources they need to do their job."

Makes you want to holler.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:38 PM EST
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Wednesday, 17 March 2004
The Godfather meets Wag The Dog
Of course, this isn't news. Why should it be? It's only your money.

This is from the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Last November, during the heat of the congressional debate on the law, the White House reportedly threatened to fire a top Medicare official if he told the truth about the cost of what President Bush described as a $400 billion Medicare bill.

Medicare's chief actuary, Robert S. Foster, said it was clear from the start that the actual cost would be substantially more -- as high as $534 billion. And, he said, the White House was aware of that in June, five months ahead of the debate.

Although, by law, the actuary is charged with providing nonpartisan counsel to lawmakers, Foster said he was silenced by the White House to prevent Congress from getting the true figures. Threatened with "severe'' personal consequences, he was instead ordered to withhold the information, even if Congress asked for it.

Absent the damning cost data, the bill (bitterly contentious even among Republicans) barely eked by, passing in the House, 216 to 215. With cost as the sticking point, the likely outcome would have been reversed, if all the facts had been known. Democrats had argued that the law didn't significantly help seniors and gave drugmakers too much clout. Republicans said seniors didn't gain significantly from the much costlier plan."

That's the first part, where the Bush Administration again acts like the Mob. Here's the second part where they act like "Wag The Dog."

"In order to sell the complicated and skimpy plan to seniors, the Department of Health and Human Services is paying actors to pose as journalists in bogus TV "news'' reports. Videos have been sent to TV stations, along with government-prepared scripts for news anchors to read. The idea is to make propaganda appear to be unbiased news during prime-time viewing."

By the way, you're paying for those actors to be hired as well.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:44 PM EST
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