Subject to Change, version 2.0
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Friday, June 24, 2005

Learn, Damn You Learn!.

 Let me state this a bit more clearly: This whole Rove thing is a trap intended to paint Democrats as whiny hippies. If we respond by getting all pissed off and indignant, this will happen. Or we'll let them invade...

[Ezra Klein]
9:56:57 PM    

John Cole Gets It: "Red-Baiting". Conservative blogger John Cole continues to have a complete rundown of the pro-Rove defenses, and isn't much impressed with any of them. See here, here, here, here, and here.

Bottom line: those defending Rove are full of it. While the RNC and White House are so far solidly endorsing Rove's attacks, the defenses are intellectually bankrupt, and it doesn't take longer than a few choice quotes to prove it. It's also become clear that the Rove hatchet job -- coming in the middle of a highly unusual publicity blitz by Rove himself, which itself is being cited as the initial preparations for a full-scale White House attack against their critics -- was fully intentional.

There's going to be blowback, here. New Yorkers and others aren't going to sit by while the White House itself calls them traitors.

We now know these talking points were White House approved and distributed. That's why this is so important: there's more of this coming, for anyone who doesn't sharply toe the Bush Administration line, and it's happening right now for a reason. The stories coming out in the next month are going to be very, very bad for Bush and for everyone involved in selling the Iraq War. Bush's numbers have absolutely tanked, the Downing Street documents are getting more and more attention, Bush and Cheney are increasingly seen as so out-of-touch with ground reports from Iraq as to border on slightly delusional, and Senate Democrats are beginning to increasingly demand specific documents relating to the ("fixed?") claims made by the Bush Administration in the runup to the Iraq War.

Therefore, anyone who doesn't support Bush's failed and increasingly unpopular policies is a traitor. That's the line they're going with.
[Daily Kos]
9:56:01 PM    

Exit Strategy.

One last aside about Rove's imitation of Spiro "nolo contendere" Agnew, and then I'll give the subject (and Turd Blossom himself) a rest.

In retrospect, I think Rove's comments will be seen as both the GOP's opening shot in the 2006 congressional elections and the swan song for Bush's ill-fated Social Security "reform" campaign. Depending on how things go at the polls next year, it could even be remembered as a kind of howled lament for the death of Bush's entire domestic program (with the significant exception of his bid to pack the federal courts with the kind of judges who think Plessy v. Ferguson was a perfectly sound piece of constitutional jurisprudence.)

It's hard to see how Rove and the gang can expect to sit down and negotiate seriously with the Democrats over Social Security after launching what looks to be a sustained PR campaign denouncing them as traitors and/or terrorist dupes. My guess is that the decision to launch Operation Scapegoat was based, at least in part, on a hardheaded calculation by Rove (although maybe not the meathead he works for) that Social Security reform is effectively dead, leaving only the question of how to position the GOP for the inevitable fallout.

The Rovian strategy, it appears, is to try to label the Democrats as "obstructionists." It's pretty a weak line, given the complete lack of a popular groundswell of support for trashing the existing Social Security system, but it at least keeps the GOP on the offensive, which is where Rove always wants to be.

The Dems-as-traitors meme is simply an attempt to extend the same strategy to the disaster in Iraq. Obviously, the Rovians would like to focus the debate on "liberal" attempts to expose or question the administration's policies -- such as the use of "practices tantamount to torture" -- rather than on the abject failure of those policies.

But once it becomes clear Rove has elected the path of total confrontation, all along the line, there will be no further incentive for the average hack GOP congress critter to put his or her neck on that line in order to advance the more controversial items (Social Security, a flat tax) on Bush's domestic agenda -- especially if the Democrats can remain relatively (i said relatively!) united.

Once set in motion, in other words, the strategy is largely self-reinforcing. Rove must be aware of that, which in turn must mean he's content to remain in campaign mode -- feeding a steady diet of red meat to the base and vicious lies to the public -- until November 2006.

It appears the next 16 months in American politics are going to be particularly ugly -- even by Rovian standards.

[Whiskey Bar]
9:54:59 PM    

Evan Bayh: Bush's Energy Plan: Short on Progress, Long on Political Distraction

Sometimes when I come back to Washington from Indiana, I feel like an ambassador to a foreign country. The reality of the Bush administration and the reality of people around the country seem to be two very different propositions. Take the debate over energy in Washington. It doesnít take a degree in economics to know that something is wrong when it takes $30 or $40 to fill up the gas tank. And we donít need some Washington think tank to tell us that itís a problem when so much of our economic and national security depends on whether Saudi Arabia and Russia are in the mood to be nice to us on any given day.

After four and a half years of this Presidency, we can all recognize the familiar pattern. We get lots of grandiose talk of a bold vision for America. But when the rubber meets the road, the Presidentís approach on energy is a hodge-podge of handouts and giveaways. Itís no surprise that these special interests would rather cling to yesterdayís status quo than embrace an exciting new future of energy independence. But it is utterly dismaying that the White House doesnít want better for the American people.

And what is the centerpiece of the Presidentís energy strategy? Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Ė an effort that would do more to secure Chinaís energy needs than our own.

And watch out for these four letters: MTBE. I cannot recall a more glaring example of putting narrow interests over the public good. MTBE is a fuel additive that has found its way into the ground water in 36 states, polluting the water supply for over 45 million people. Courtesy of Tom Delay, we have a provision in the energy bill that would allow the polluters to get off scot-free, while sticking the victims of the pollution Ė communities like South Bend, Indiana, -- with the tab for the clean-up. And Tom Delay has already indicated that if he doesnít get his MTBE provision, we wonít get an energy bill at all. Thatís not leadership.

So where are the innovative proposals for new hybrid vehicles? For new low-weight-high-strength alloys so cars weigh less and use less fuel? Where is the far-reaching strategy to develop more renewable fuels like wind and solar, biomass and ethanol? Where are the bold steps needed to make a difference?

Washington is on the verge of squandering yet another opportunity to do right by the American people. Where action is needed, the President forces us to choose between give-aways to the special interests or legislation which the independent analysts say would do almost nothing to reduce our dependence on oil.

We have seen this before. We saw it when the American people were poised to take any action necessary to put our country back on track after the 9/11, and they collectively asked, ďWhat can we do?Ē

ďGo shopping,Ē he said. Tellingly, the Presidentís answer then was as short-sighted as his energy bill is today Ė long on political distraction, short on real progress. We can do better.

- Evan Bayh
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
3:22:40 PM    

The Demagoguery Of Mediocrity

Although sometimes you need to shower immediately afterwards, today's sojourn into the conservative blogosphere was actually a pleasant surprise when I came across an honest post from what appears to be an honest conservative. Today over at blogger trevino made this post concerning Coward Karl's remarks against Democrats regarding their actions after the 9/11 attacks.The remarkable...

- canuk
3:21:17 PM    

Ethics in unethical places.

Last summer, an article in the Lancet charged that doctors at Abu Ghraib knew about the abuse that was going on, aided the process by not providing adequate care and by helping to design physically and psychologically coercive interrogations, and...

 [Body and Soul]
10:03:14 AM    

Lott knows how to bury pork.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) may be slightly imbalanced, but when he campaigned as a fiscal tightwad intent on limiting government spending, he meant it.

Senators, take heed: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) may have a "hold" on your bill.

The freshman is using his power as a Senator to put a hold or secret filibuster threat [...]

[The Carpetbagger Report]
10:01:49 AM    

Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Coke FRIDAY!.


Late Night Snark...

"Yesterday the House of Representatives voted 286 to 130 in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban the burning of the American flag...thus taking care of the Iraqi insurgency. Y'know, I'm under the impression that the majority of American flag burning takes place overseas. So I think passing this amendment will have the efficacy of banning American use of the metric system."
--Jon Stewart

"President Bush welcomed Vietnam's prime minister to the White House today. He promised the prime minister he would travel to Vietnam next year---that is, unless his dad can get him out of it."
--Jay Leno

Stephen Colbert: What appeals to you about the Republican party?
Porn star Mary Carey: I just think Republicans are very, very wealthy people. And, um, if I want to be wealthy and powerful I should hang out with them. If you play with cripples you start to limp. So I don't want to play with cripples anymore. I want to be up with the NBA players, y'know, which is Republicans.
Colbert: Okay. In your analogy Democrats are handicapped and Republicans are tall athletic black men.
Carey: Exactly. That's exactly what it is.
Colbert (narration): But today's GOP is not just for pornographers. It also embraces compulsive gamblers [photo of Bill Bennett], drug addicts [photo of Rush Limbaugh], and convicted killers [photo of Don King].
--The Daily Show (Watch the clip here)

Oh, sign me up! Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

[Daily Kos]

9:57:43 AM    

Eminent doman, TIF, and other stuff.

If a paper has to run a disclaimer like this, should they even be reporting on the topic? (...)

[South Knox Bubba]
9:56:03 AM    

Military invasion of minors' privacy.

 I almost forgot about this outrageous abuse of private information on minors by the military. Apparently they are getting some of the data from No Child Left Behind records. I heard they are even calling some of these kids, kids under eighteen, at home trying to recruit them. Magic 8 Ball Says: all signs point to a draft...

[South Knox Bubba]
9:55:13 AM    

Karl Rove: Decoy for Downing Street.
Keep your eye on the ball, people. Maybe you could tie the two themes together: "Why did famously disciplined Karl Rove choose this moment, when the media is starting to investigate the Downing Street Minutes, to make a profoundly controversial public statement he must have known would cause a firestorm? By his deliberately outrageous insult, is he trying to distract the public attention from the President's awful poll numbers and the violent quagmire in the President's occupation of Iraq?"

[Paperwight's Fair Shot]
9:54:15 AM    

Brownback sets sights on Roe.

Appearing on Meet the Press last weekend, John McCain, who opposes abortion rights, said he doesn't believe Roe v. Wade will be overturned, "at least not any time soon given the tenor of politics in America and the courts in America."

Apparently, some of McCain's Republican colleagues take a slightly different approach to the issue. In [...]

[The Carpetbagger Report]
9:53:36 AM    

Karl Rove To America: Suck It

Letís dispose of this quickly, shall we? When Howard Dean speaks, heís speaking as the chair of the Democratic Party. The Democrats pay him. If Democrats around the nation donít like what Dean says, then they can cease donating to the party. When Dick Durbin speaks, heís representing the people of Illinois, to whom he will be answerable when heís up for re-election. When Karl Rove speaks, heís talking as an official with the White House. The only person heís accountable to is the President, who, as Scott McClellan so dismissingly pointed out, wonít ask Rove to apologize. Roveís paid by each and every tax-paying American. He represents all of us.

So when that cock gobbler wants to get his rocks off by jackiní it in front of "hundreds" of slavering lap dogs, ready to lick his scrotum at a momentís notice, and he wants to use that moment of yankiní his crank to declare that liberals are pussies who want American soldiers to die, he may as well add, "Oh, and any of you who disagree with me can suck it. And, hey, thanks for the paycheck." (Which is, more or less, what he said last night on Scarborough Country.)

Somewhere, deep in the basement of the White House, Karl Roveís leather slave is weeping. Rove keeps his leather slave chained to the radiator, right next to one of FDRís soiled wheelchairs and Taftís slop trough. The leather slave is weeping and frightened because he knows his tears will only cause Rove to put on the spiked glove to smack his ass into a bloody pulp. And the thought of this causes him to weep more Ė itís a vicious cycle. Karl Roveís leather slave started weeping because whenever Rove comes back to the White House after giving a hate-filled screed to an audience that loves him, like a fresh antelope carcass tossed into the lionís den, Rove will want to take out his great glee and orgasmic power on the supple ass cheeks and elastic mouth of his slave.

Karl Roveís leather slave hears the door to the basement open. "Honey, Iím home," he hears Rove announce. And itís true. And, oh, sweet Jesus, heís wearing the chaps, a raging hard-on, and nothing else. Sadly, Karl Roveís leather slave puts away the K-Y. He knows heís about to get fucked hard and rough, a cock thrust so far up his asshole that, as Rove likes to say, "Iíll come out of your mouth."

Rove approaches, taking down Teddy Rooseveltís riding crop, and says, "Oh, you know you love the sting."

- Rude One
[The Rude Pundit]
9:40:57 AM    


In the last Scottís Red Hot Media Workout ( ďBruce Dernís Penis"), I posted this small item:

Last night Scott played me a song called ď9/11 is a Joke,Ē by a rap band called Public Enemy. I donít know about you, but I donít find terrorism of any kind to be ďa joke.Ē


In the comments section below the post, a gentleman named Tom responded:

ďMaybe you were trying to be ironical, but you should probably be informed that '911 is a joke' was released long before Sept 11, 2001, and is a protest song about the slow reaction time of emergency personel in black neighborhoods after 911 is called.Ē


Thanks Tom, but the fact that the song was released long before September 11, 2001, makes it even more chilling, for it suggests perhaps that there was prior knowledge of the terrorist attack.

For the tip, Tom, youíll be getting a ďScottís Red Hot Media WorkoutĒ body hugging acetate spandex dual-tone stripey sleeveless shirt.

GG and S.

- Greg Gutfeld
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
9:38:54 AM    

Killen gets 20 years per murder

"By Ellen Barry Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times Published June 24, 2005 PHILADELPHIA, Miss. -- Gazing down at Edgar Ray Killen, who was once his parents' preacher, Neshoba County Judge Marcus Gordon on Thursday imposed the maximum sentence of 60 years in prison for the 1964 murders of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. 'It is my responsibility to make that...

- Professor Kim
[Professor Kim's News Notes]
9:36:47 AM    

Rove's message trap.

It occurs to me that it might be helpful to consider this week's flap over Karl Rove's slander from Rove's perspective.

The White House's top political strategist was in New York at a time when his boss' approval ratings are tanking, the war in Iraq is failing, the president's signature domestic policy initiative has become a [...]

[The Carpetbagger Report]
9:35:43 AM    

Same Sex Marriage Bill Up Next In Canadian Parliament

The Canadian Parliament passed legislation Thursday evening to extend the sitting of this session. In return for support of the extension, the Bloc Quebecois Party demanded and received assurance in writing that the Same Sex Marriage legislation be included in this extended session of Parliament. With the support of the BQ, and NDP parties, the Conservatives will not have enough votes to stop the..

- canuk
9:34:12 AM    

The misinformation campaign about Canadian healthcare.

Hi, this is Matthew Holt from The Health Care Blog, and I'll be writing a few articles about health care, (which may be somewhat crossposted from my blog) and taking the odd rare opportunity to rant about other subjects of...

 [Ezra Klein]
7:04:11 AM    

Shadows in the Hoods - Hoods in the Shadows

1969: Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States. Nixon's Attorney General, Richard Kleindienst, "calls for the repression of 'ideological criminals'", and declares the anti-war movement an "epidemic" of "national subversive activity". Kleindienst: "When you see an epidemic like this cropping up all over the country-the same kind of people saying the same kinds of...

- the farmer

7:01:49 AM    

US Vulnerability to China This week's bid by a Chinese oil company (CNOOC) to buy an American oil company (Unocal) has provoked some interesting reactions in Washington. Despite the fact that 70% of Unocal's oil reserves are in Asia, that it supplies just 1% of US oil needs, and that oil is highly fungible (meaning that oil from one source can and will be replaced by oil from another source at virtually the same price if necessary), it seems rather silly to worry about the US becoming more economically dependent on China if the deal goes through. Which means, I suppose, that I find many on Capitol Hill to be rather silly right now...

The Washington Post: "House and Senate members demanded an administration review of the bid, required under the Defense Production Act, to determine potential economic and security risks."

The New York Times: "Two Republican congressmen, Richard W. Pombo, chairman of the House Committee on Resources, and Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote to President Bush last week, saying that 'such an acquisition raises many concerns about U.S. jobs, energy production and energy security.'"

A.P.: "'It's not a business transaction at all,' said C. Richard D'Amato, chairman of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional advisory panel. 'This is not a free market deal. This is the Chinese government acquiring energy resources.'"

I suppose that most of the reason that this deal is provoking such reactions among US politicians (compared to what would be the case if it was, say, a Brazilian company offering to buy a US company) is the idea that this deal would make the US more economically dependent on a country that may someday be an 'enemy' of the US in some sense.

Whether it is indeed likely that China will someday be an 'enemy' of the US is a subject for another day (personally, I'm skeptical). But even if you take that assumption as true, the fact is that this deal has virtually no macroeconomic relevance, and that this revelation about US economic dependence on China is coming very, very late.

Given that China's government already controls hundreds of billions of dollars of US Treasury bonds - easily enough to wreak substantial havoc in US financial markets whenever they want to - the US economy is already extremely vulnerable to decisions made by the Chinese government. China's acquisition of one billion barrels of oil reserves in Asia is nothing compared to the economic influence over the US that they already wield.

That's why what really worries me about the sentiments coming out of Capitol Hill right now is simply the astonishing economic naivety that they display... and that these misconceptions have a good chance of leading to bad policy-making.

Kash - Kash [Angry Bear]
7:00:20 AM    

Different priorities. (Bumped. Important redesign threads below -- kos)

Republicans and Democrats have different priorities.

Believe capturing the person primarily responsible for the attack should be a top priority.

It's been four years, and Osama bin Laden is still free, even though Bush's CIA chief says he knows where he is.

Investigate the intelligence failures that led to 9/11.

Do everything in their power to block the 9/11 Commission from doing its work.

Propose creating the Department of Homeland Security.

Push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Believe we should have stayed the course in Afghanistan, not allowing the Taliban to resurge, the warlords to take power, and the opium trade to skyrocket.

Ignore Afghanistan as the situation worsens.

Believe that we should be honest with our troops about the reasons we go to war, give them everything they need to be safe, and make sure we go in with an exit plan.

Manipulate intelligence to trump up reasons to go to war, don't give our troops the support they need, constantly mislead the public about the direction the war is going, and fail to make an exit plan. And turn Iraq into the ultimate terrorist training ground.

I'd add one more to this national security list:

Democrats demand accountability. Republicans avoid it all cost.

[Daily Kos]
6:35:39 AM    

Dr. Mengele, Your 3:00 Is Waiting (Specious Nazi Hyperbole Edition)

The issue of medical personnel assisting at the interogations in Guantanamo is not news, not even at the Gray Lady. When the Red Cross finally got past the 3-headed guardian at the gate last year, they had much the same story to tell as we read this morning in the Times, where the "questioning" of prisoners as it relates to medical ethics is getting a little more attention: "Military doctors at...
- Riggsveda

6:33:25 AM    

We're trying to have a civilization up here...

Bill C-48 passed in late night sitting.

Ottawa | June 23CBC - The Liberals scored a quick and decisive victory on Thursday night, catching the Conservatives off guard and passing their controversial Bill C-48. The bill passed third reading by a vote of 152 to 147. Losing the vote would have automatically triggered a federal election. With a number of Conservative members missing, the Liberals moved a motion to cut off debate and bring the bill to a vote. C-48 is the NDP amendment to the budget that adds a further $4.6 billion in social spending and the Conservatives were dead set against it. But the Liberal tactic worked and the Conservatives were outflanked and defeated.

[The Agonist]
6:30:09 AM    

Bill C-48 passed in late night sitting.

Ottawa | June 23CBC - The Liberals scored a quick and decisive victory on Thursday night, catching the Conservatives off guard and passing their controversial Bill C-48. The bill passed third reading by a vote of 152 to 147. Losing the vote would have automatically triggered a federal election. With a number of Conservative members missing, the Liberals moved a motion to cut off debate and bring the bill to a vote. C-48 is the NDP amendment to the budget that adds a further $4.6 billion in social spending and the Conservatives were dead set against it. But the Liberal tactic worked and the Conservatives were outflanked and defeated.

[The Agonist]
6:29:14 AM    

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