Subject to Change, version 2.0
I'm a goddamed liberal. Deal with it.

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Surely Not

My wife has suspected this for more than a year: A Bush-watcher website identified as is reporting under the byline of "domestic intelligence reporter" Brian Harring that the Department of Defense is using a cynical tactic to mislead the public regarding the true death toll for American military personnel in Iraq. Harring claims he has an internal pdf. file from the D.O.D. which...

11:03:27 PM    

The Daily Pulse: Jelly Fingers Edition.

Not much commentary today. I was almost done when the three year old hit delete. I had to do it over again, and did not have the time, or the patience, to completely recreate....

10:11:01 AM    

The Hottest Debt - Explicit And Uncensored!.

What is almost certainly one of the most awful political ideas in history just got a little bit worse.

Key Republican lawmakers, scrambling to keep President Bush's Social Security proposals afloat, plan next week to embrace an idea that many have avoided thus far: funding personal retirement accounts with surplus revenue that now pays for other government programs.

The strategy is controversial because it would create new budget problems. Either the diverted money would have to be replaced with new taxes, or Congress would have to slash programs now funded by Social Security's excess payroll taxes.

Republicans said yesterday that they will address those concerns later. First, they said, they want to create momentum and enthusiasm for Bush's proposed private accounts, which are so unpopular with congressional Democrats and with many Americans that some supporters privately consider them in deep peril.

The writer doesn't make this clear, but the idea is to use the surplus Social Security money that's not only keeping a significant portion of the government afloat, but likely also some of the money that's keeping Social Security destroy Social Security and push the entire government further into debt.

To be fair, though, they're just making the massive spending that will be required to finance private accounts explicit, which was the goal all along. Right?

10:07:35 AM    

In case you missed it . Catching up on Consortium News:

Robert Parry says the case against Bush is a slam-dunk:
The latest piece of the puzzle was reported by Charles J. Hanley of the Associated Press in an article on June 4 describing how Bush's Undersecretary of State John Bolton orchestrated the ouster of global arms control official Jose Bustani in early 2002 because Bustani's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] was making progress toward getting arms inspectors back into Iraq.
There were a lot of knowledgeable Washington insiders at the time saying that Bush was trying to set Saddam up for war, but somehow the entire Washington Press Corps either couldn't hear it or didn't think it was important to tell us. What's up with that? Someone ask Michael Kinsley.
Observing the behavior of the national news media over the past three years has been like watching incompetent players in the mystery game "Clue" as they visit all the rooms and ask about all the suspects and weapons, but still insist on guessing at combinations that are transparently incorrect.
Parry also notes that Bush's SEC Choice Hyped 'Chinagate'. That's Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA):
George W. Bush's nominee to oversee Wall Street produced a congressional report in 1999 that laid the principal blame for China's alleged theft of nuclear secrets on the Clinton administration when the primary rupture of secrets actually could be traced to the Reagan-Bush administration of the 1980s.

I agree with the content of Pour on the Media! - but I do have a criticism.

As George W. Bush's poll numbers sink to his personal lows and the mainstream news media finally reports on the Downing Street Memo, what political factors should get the credit for these changes? And what are the lessons for the future?
He talks about Air America Radio and the Internet, but I actually felt that at this point he owed it to us to name a few of those net sources - sources that the AAR hosts and researchers obviously read voraciously every day in order to be up to date on not just the news but the background and analysis. There's not a question in my mind that Team Franken, Rachel Maddow's bunch, and Janeane and Sam are checking out Eschaton, LiberalOasis, and Daily Kos at the very least with more than daily regularity. (And I'm pretty sure someone who reads this page is passing things on to Janeane - she's repeated too many Sideshow-originated terms and memes for me to think they all got there from some other original source.) That's why they always have plenty to say and are so quick off the mark to spit back at any right-wing meme that's come around in the course of the latest news cycle. Credit where it's due, guys.

And putting those subjects all together, LMSM, the 'Lying Mainstream Media' looks at the strange excuses that have been appearing in The Washington Post for why they didn't cover the Downing Street Minutes because they "add not a single fact to what was previously known about the administration's prewar deliberations. Not only that: They add nothing to what was publicly known in July 2002." Says Parry:

Oh, really?

While it may be true that some people were alleging what the secret British memos now confirm, those people were vocal opponents of invading Iraq and were treated by the Post and other pro-war news outlets as fringe characters fit only to be ignored.

In other news:

Josh Marshall wonders how well Kerry would do if an election between him and Bush were held today. The latest NYT poll suggests Bush might not do too well in that situation.

"And People Wondered..." says Atrios, "...why I blogged anonymously when I was an academic," linking to this post from Majikthise: Think about what happened: A CUNY sociologist was tried in the media for an unsigned polemic he wrote as a private citizen and posted to an obscure independent website. There were no complaints about Tim Shortell's scholarship, his service to his department, his teaching, or his rapport with the CUNY community.

By the way, Atrios has really been cookin' since he came back from his wanderings, and if you haven't been paying attention over the last week especially, I recommend that you catch up now.

The Stakeholder has photos of that wild hippie-lefty rabble that Dana Milbank seemed to be describing at the Conyers-led hearing on the Downing Street Minutes.

I sure hope John Aravosis is right about the future.

Matt Taibbi is turning out to be a real firecracker, with some of the strongest writing around. Check out his piece on Deep Throat in The New York Press, Throat Job.

The Official God FAQ (via Biomes Blog).

[The Sideshow]

10:06:41 AM    

Most moronic thing said about evolution this week: The envelope please.

Guest Post by Morbo

I've thought about awarding a prize for the dumbest thing said about evolution every week. I'm certain I would have no problem finding winners.

This week's contender is Connie Morris, a member of the Kansas Board of Education. The Kansas City Star reported that Morris sent a four-page letter to her constituents in [...]

[The Carpetbagger Report]
10:04:32 AM    

Setting Expectations.

In a throwaway line in the middle of a longer post on the influence of alternative media on politics, Markos mentions this:Now money is flowing into a VC fund that's looking to create an alternative to Fox News on the cable dial, while also building out other elements of a progressive media machine. The idea isn't to recreate what the Right did, but build a better machine tailored for the 21st century. First of all, this is a really good idea, and I assume Markos knows what he's talking about here. He's been hinting around this sort of thing for several...

[Paperwight's Fair Shot]
6:54:36 AM    

Break a Rule? Go to Jail..

Many apologies for extended absence. I'm back for a bit, with yet another report about the criminalization of black students in our public schools. This time, Chicago is in the news:Accusing an elementary school in Lawndale of "criminalizing" black students...

[two feet in.]
6:53:24 AM    

Update on the Senate's anti-lynching resolution

When the US Senate apologized for its history of inaction against lynching earlier this week, 20 Senators were missing from the list of cosponsors. As of this morning, eight of those Senators have signed on retroactively. The new cosponsors are: Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 6/14/2005 Sen Conrad, Kent [ND] - 6/14/2005 Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 6/15/2005 Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] -

- Professor Kim

[Professor Kim's News Notes]
6:46:55 AM    

Quote Of The Day

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous....

-- Carl Sagan

- canuk
6:30:50 AM    

Quote Of The Day

"The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means."......

-- Georges Bernanos

- canuk

6:28:52 AM    

Jeb Just Can't Admit He Was Wrong

Not admitting to mistakes must run in the Bush Family bloodline. Just like his brother King George, who absolutely refuses to admit to making any mistakes, little brother Jebby can't or won't either. Rather than admit he was wrong in interfering in the Terri Schiavo case, he now wants to extend the matter by finding a prosecutor who agreed to launch an investigation as to why Terri Schiavo...

- canuk

6:28:16 AM    

The Corner of Downing Street and Pennsylvania Avenue (Or: Why I Love the Conyers Photograph).

1. They're the suits and we're the shirt sleeves.
2a. As more shoes drop, they'll find themselves on the outside looking in.
2b. You're trapped in there, Cheney!
2c. After all the lying, it's time to put a...

6:05:41 AM    

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