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Step off, old man!
Thursday, 22 April 2004
Baby puke
There's nothing like seeing your kid puke really bad. Just wanted to share that.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:37 AM EDT
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Learned my lesson ... again
One of my favorite lines was from my friend Craig, back when we in our 20s. He kept having the same problems with the same girl and he said, "Learned my lesson...again."

I remember this because I haven't posted in a while and I've had a few people razzing me. I don't blame you. There's nothing worse than going to a blog or website and seeing old posts.

The best razzing came via e-mail after I finally posted something less than scintillating yesterday. Her e-mail read: "We waited nine days for this?"

I had one other long hiatus where I didn't post for a while. Won't happen again. Honest. (Now, as a group, say to yourself: "Learned my lesson...again.")

Posted by brettdavey at 9:35 AM EDT
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In the line of duty
This comes off You knew there had to be more to this story because for the most part, Vietnam vets don't attack each other.

Of course, it's not very surprising that the Cheney-Wolfowitz-Bush axis who didn't go to Vietnam would endorse this sort of behavior. Kerry, the guy who served in Vietnam and got wounded gets attacked publicly, while the guy who didn't show up for his Guard service gets off the hook.

Here it is:

"We found out earlier today that John O'Neill, the guy Bush trotted out to attack Kerry's military service, also did Nixon's dirty anti-Kerry work (in addition to clerking for Rehnquist). A partisan hack spanning multiple administrations.
We also found out that he's a partner at the Houston firm of Clements, O'Neill, Pierce, Wilson and Fulkerson. One of his co-partners is Margaret Wilson, who was George Bush's general counsel 1998-2000.

Well, there's more about good ol' Margaret. She was a lawyer at Vinson & Elkins before she worked for Bush. Vinson & Elkins was Enron's main law firm -- the very firm that facilitated Enron's frauds. Vinson & Elkins was also the firm that spawned Al Gonzales -- Bush's current general counsel.

In other words, Vinson & Elkins and COPWF are the very embodiment of the Houston good ol' boy Republican network. That this network spawn Kerry's harshest critic should be of no surprise (his career was probably made thanks to the Nixon dirty work). Thus, there should be no illusions that O'Neill is in any way an independent and impartial critic of John Kerry."

Shocker, huh?

Posted by brettdavey at 9:16 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 21 April 2004
Bar appetizers for breakfast
Today is Administrative Professionals Day, which of course I didn't know until one of the Administrative Professionals in my office reminded me. We have a secretary/assistant/administrative professional in our department who is awesome to work with so I figured I'd take her to lunch.

Unfortunately, I had a noon and 1 o'clock meeting so we went to Newport Creamery at 11 a.m. I figured we could have breakfast but by the time we got there, they weren't serving breakfast anymore. So we proceeded to have buffalo chicken tenders, cheese quesadillas and french fries.

Consequently, I feel like I'm going to barf. Just thought you'd want to know.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:28 PM EDT
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Monday, 12 April 2004
The Vacation President
How the hell can Bush keep going on vacation with what's going on in Iraq? This simpleton spent last week being taped for some outdoor sporting show, showing off his prowess with the fishing rod. And it was the White House's idea to invite them along, as a means to further cement Bush's reputation with hunters and outdoorsmen.

Check this out from CBS News:

"A CBS News tally shows this is Bush's 26th presidential trip to Crawford. He has spent all or part of 166 days at the ranch or en route -- the equivalent of 51/2 months. When Bush's trips to Camp David and Kennebunkport, Maine, are added, according to the CBS figures, Bush has spent 250 full or partial days at his getaway spots -- 27 percent of his presidency so far."

If you're going to be a "war President," like Bush says he is, at least be around to conduct the war. Further evidence -- along with the fact that George's Uncle Dick has to go to the 9/11 Commission with him -- that the Cheney-Rummy-Wolfowitz crew is really running the country.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:36 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 7 April 2004
Various stuff
* The White House is refusing to release the speech that Condi Rice was going to give on 9/11/2001. Excerpts of the speech were printed in the Washington Post and detailed the Administration's obsession with a Star Wars missil defense system versus other programs that could actually... uuuh, work against terrorists! These people are shameless, but you know that.

* Good to see Red Sox fans freaking out after the first game of the season. Way to go, freaks! Let's see: we've finished 6/10th of one percent of the games to be played in the regular season. Time to hit the panic button!

Posted by brettdavey at 8:57 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 6 April 2004
What's the point?
Once the 9-11 Commission finishes their work, guess where their report goes? To the White House, where it will be vetted before it is released! That means the White House goes through the report and removes everything that could jeopardize national security (HONK!). So it will be just like the report that Congress put together, where the Bush Administration removed all references to Saudi Arabia's support of terrorism.

Should be a heck of a report. 250 pages of black marker and yellow highlight on the pages where they talk about Clinton dropping the ball.

An aside to everyone who was so gung-ho about the war in Iraq: if we withdraw in less than 100 days, what do you think Iraq is going to look like? Don't say you don't care, because if left to its own devices, Iraq will wind up in the hands of people 100 times more radical than Saddam Hussein. I'm sure they'll look very kindly at the U.S.

Remember when everyone scoffed at those who said invading Iraq would cause more terrorism. What's your opinion now?

Posted by brettdavey at 9:23 AM EDT
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Handful of dookie
If you have a kid, you will occasionally end up with a fistful of shit. It happened to me this morning. I was wiping my son and didn't realize that the shit ran all the way up to his shoulder blades. I wiped and my hand was smeared with dookie.

It was like a commercial where someone dips their hand in peanut butter.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:16 AM EDT
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Friday, 2 April 2004
What discrepancy?
There's no disputing the fact that the White House slime job on Richard Clarke is just that -- a slime job. They rarely dispute his facts and here's why: the major facts are pretty much supported by Bob Woodward's earlier valentine to the President called "Bush at War."

Today, there's a roundup on the that compares quotes from "Bush at War" and "Against All Enemies. Here's part of it:

"Here are four of Clarke's "controversial" charges, along with the supporting material from Woodward's much-loved book:

Rummy's targets: Pundits found it hard to believe that Rummy really said it! On September 12, Clarke alleged, the wise old owl was prowling the White House, looking for someone to bomb:

CLARKE (page 31): Later in the day, Secretary Rumsfeld complained that there were no decent targets for bombing in Afghanistan and that we should consider bombing Iraq, which, he said, had better targets. At first I thought Rumsfeld was joking. But he was serious and the President did not reject out of hand the idea of attacking Iraq.
Pundits wondered if this could be true. They should have studied their Woodward--for example, his account of Camp David on 9/15:
WOODWARD (page 84): When the group reconvened, Rumsfeld asked, Is this the time to attack Iraq? He noted that there would be a big build-up of forces in the region, and he was still deeply worried about the availability of good targets in Afghanistan.
In Bush at War, a string of advisers note that Iraq would provide better targets. (Hence the word "still" in the passage above.) Last weekend, Rumsfeld was asked about Clarke's troubling claim by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. Rummy gave two rambling replies; in the course of his non-answer answers, he never denied making the statement which Clarke records in his book.
Rummy and Wolfie's designs on Iraq: Say what? One of Clarke's controversial claims concerned alleged designs on Iraq. Scribes were shocked by Clarke's account of life on September 12:

CLARKE (page 30): I expected to go back to a round of meetings examining what the next attacks [against America] could be, what our vulnerabilities were, what we could do about them in the short term. Instead, I walked into a series of discussions about Iraq. At first I was incredulous that we were talking about something other than getting al Qaeda. Then I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq.
What a controversial statement! Unless you read Woodward--same day:
WOODWARD (page 49): Rumsfeld raised the question of Iraq. Why shouldn't we go against Iraq, not just al Qaeda? he asked. Rumsfeld was speaking not only for himself when he raised the question. His deputy, Paul D. Wolfowitz, was committed to a policy that would make Iraq a principal target in the first round of the war on terrorism.
Not that there was anything wrong with it, but that's what Woodward records! Indeed, Woodward shows Cheney voicing a similar view:
WOODWARD (page 43): "To the extent we define our task broadly," Cheney said [at a 9/12 NSC meeting], "including those who support terrorism, then we get at states. And it's easier to find them than it is to find bin Laden."
Again, rumination on easier targets.
Bush's testes: Did Bush have a jones for linking Saddam to 9/11? That was Clarke's controversial impression on September 12. Everyone knew how shocking it was when the profiteer dared to say this:

CLARKE (page 32): "Look into Iraq, Saddam," the President said testily and left us. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty stared after him with her mouth hanging open.
Everyone knew it was controversial when Clarke recorded this troubling notion--the notion that Bush was eager to link Saddam to 9/11. Maybe they should have read their Woodward. He records Bush's view on September 17:
WOODWARD (page 98): Bush said he wanted a plan to stabilize Pakistan and protect it against the consequences of supporting the U.S.
As for Saddam Hussein, the president ended the debate. "I believe Iraq was involved, but I'm not going to strike them now. I don't have the evidence at this point."

In fact, he didn't have the evidence, but according to Woodward, he asserted belief. For the record, it's odd that Bush would have reached this judgment. Earlier, Woodward records the views of Wolfowitz, the most anti-Saddam Bush adviser:
WOODWARD (page 83): [Wolfowitz] worried about 100,000 American troops bogged down in mountain fighting in Afghanistan six months from then. In contrast, Iraq was a brittle, oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable. He estimated that there was a 10 to 50 percent chance Saddam was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Even Wolfie was only at 10 to 50 percent. By the way, this passage provides another bit of "easier target" thinking.
Not that urgent: According to Clarke, the threat of terror wasn't "urgent" for the Bush Admin before 9/11. In this case, Clarke himself told scribes where to go. Yep! He sent them straight to this passage in Woodward:

WOODWARD (page 39): [Bush] acknowledged that bin Laden was not his focus or that of his national security team. "There was a significant difference in my attitude after September 11. I was not on point...I didn't have that sense of urgency, and my blood was not nearly as boiling."
Oof! The White House would love to get that one back! Of course, the pundits would have missed it too. But Clarke just keeps bringing it up.

Posted by brettdavey at 3:56 PM EST
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Who could have known?
It's been a hellacious week so I haven't posted in a little bit. Sorry!

Condi Rice's claim that no one ever could have predicted terrorists would use planes as weapons seems to be crumbling by the minute. The latest is an article from the English paper The Independent. Here's an excerpt:

"A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".

State secrets privilege? What the hell is that? Next up is double secret bingo privilege.

Why is there this level of debate over the issue? It's apparent that the Administration didn't take the threat of terrrorism as seriously as they did an attack with ballistic missiles from a rogue state. The latest revelations that Rice was going to deliver a speech on September 11, 2001 about such a danger shows where the Administration was focused.

They wanted the Star Wars missile defense system, a Reagan-era favorite, as the front line of US defense. These people are living in the 80's. They need to be shown the door.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:03 AM EST
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