Friday, November 18, 2005

What the world needs now

I'm late, I know. I was taking off my jacket as the computer was booting up. Mike called me while I was in a cab asking if I'd mentioned that I'd be blogging late. I hadn't. Or seen the need to. But he hadn't either and he's always stressing the importance of blogging regularly so that people know they can count on you and when they visit your site, you'll have something, anything, up.

That's why Rebecca wanted me to fill in for her when she was on vacation. She's built up quite a following and has done that by blogging regularly (and sharing her unique voice and perspective). A "dead site" -- something with nothing new for days and days -- causes people to stop visiting.

I don't qualify as a dead site but I do qualify as a burned roof of my mouth. I went out tonight and the soup was served way too hot. Which you have no way of knowing, of course, until you have the first spoonful. It's a minor thing but it's something that really grates on me. My tongues there now and will be going back to it repeatedly over the next few days before it heals.
Steam was rising when the bowl was placed before me so I waited five minutes and it didn't do any good at all.

Let's move on to Democracy Now! and be sure to check Mike's site for his comments.

"Report: Military Experiencing Shortfall on Recruiting Goals" (Democracy Now!):
The New York Times is reporting a new government study has found the military is falling far behind in recruiting goals for key combat positions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Government Accountability Office says the military has failed to staff 41 percent of combat and non-combat specialist positions. The report says the shortfall was disguised by the overstaffing of other positions in order to meet overall recruiting goals. Derek Stewart, the G.A.O.’s director of military personnel, commented : "The aggregate recruiting numbers are rather meaningless. For Congress and this nation to truly understand what's happening with the all-volunteer force and its ability to recruit and retain highly qualified people, you have to drill down into occupational specialties. And when you do, it's very revealing."

Is there any surprise here? Who expects large numbers of people to sign up for a war that has no meaning, no purpose, no goal and no end in sight? What's the pitch? "Sign up and spend the rest of your life in Iraq"?

Now the mainstream media spent a lot of time propping up both the war and the administration, but the reality seeped through. They can continue to spin but the reality is out there.

A commercial for Target just came on -- she said changing the subject. It was for Eternity which is my favorite of Calvin Klein's men's colognes. They use the song "What the World Needs Now" (is love, sweet love). I've always loved that song.

We reviewed Ken Emerson's Always Magic In The Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era for The Third Estate Sunday Review and I really did not enjoy the book for a number of reasons. But one of the reasons was Emerson's dimissal of "What the World Needs Now" as "sloganeering." It would be bad enough if he had dismissed the lyrics with that critique, but to trash the whole song was dismissing a wonderful melody that moves from sing along solely to sing along and counter melody.

What the world needs today is love sweet love. We're a nation ruled by a Bully Boy, a world held hostage by a bully. So call me a sloganeer or a lover of sloganeers set to music.

I love that song whenever I hear it. Nell Carter and others performed it on Gimmie a Break and that's probably the episode I remember best after all these years.

"Hawkish Democrat Calls For Immediate Troop Withdrawal" (Democracy Now!):
In an important development in the growing Congressional debate over the US occupation of Iraq, a hawkish Democrat who voted to authorize the war has introduced a bill calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania said: "It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraq people or the Persian Gulf region." Murtha is an army veteran with close ties to military commanders. He’s also the top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, and has visited Iraq several times since the war began. His proposed bill reads in part: "The deployment of US forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date." The bill marks the first time a resolution has been submitted to Congress calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. In response, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said: "Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."

Thanks to Rebecca for noting that I'd be blogging late. I'm tired. I'll note two pieces by Rebecca that are more than worth reading "talking about the common ills" and "little miss run amuck bob woodward" and on Bob Woodward, also check out C.I.'s "NYT: Woody sees his shadow and goes back underground."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Withdrawal timetable defeated by Republicans

Mike and I got carried away laughing at the PBS NewsHour and are both starting late but be sure to check out his take on the two items from Democracy Now! by visiting his site is Mikey Likes It!.

Republicans Defeat Measure For Withdrawal Timetable (Democracy Now!):
On Capitol Hill, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a resolution mandating the White House to provide quarterly Iraq progress reports and urging it to accelerate the process for a withdrawal of U.S. troops. The measure passed after a Democratic measure calling for a specific timetable for troop withdrawal was defeated. Commenting on the rejected Democratic resolution, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said: "I think it speaks to a bit of nervousness about public perception of how the war is going in terms of [2006] elections. And to be honest with you, the war is going to be going on long after '06. I'm more worried about getting it right in Iraq than the '06 elections."

No surprise to anyone, it was all a dog and pony show. There was no substance in what the Senate passed, there was no intent to have any substance. It was just a page from Nixon's playbook of pretend you're as tired of the war as everyone else so you can get some votes.

The second item was one that The Common Ills community member P.J. (who works at the Washington Post) asked us to note.

Woodward Was Told of Plame’s Identity (Democracy Now!):
Longtime Washington Post journalist and current assistant editor Bob Woodward testified Monday a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame nearly a month before her identity was thought to be first disclosed. The official appears to be someone other than Lewis Libby or Karl Rove. Woodward was questioned by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald after the unnamed official alerted Fitzgerald of his conversation with Woodward. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Woodward and Post editors did not reveal the source’s identity. Post editors say Woodward only told them of the conversation last month.

Bob Woodward is a joke. He's made himself a joke and he's made journalism a joke. You want to talk Judy Miller? Talk Bobby Woodward first. Judith Miller stenographer to the powerful? Well what has every book by Bob Woodward been except the minutes of the court? He's sucked up to the powerful for years, minimized guilt, covered up actual events. Without Bob Woodward, there might not have been a Judith Miller.

I like Robert Parry's work and think he's a great reporter. Rebecca gave me Secret History (hope that's the correct title) and urged me to read it and another book whose title I'm forgetting. (Rebecca, they are both on my book cases. I'm just rushing to get this up and meet a guy for a dinner.) Parry writes about the press' retreat from investigative journalism almot immediately after Watergate. That retreat resulted in where we are today. I agree with Parry absolutely. But I also think that certain parties were especially responsible for the retreat and among those are Bob Woodward, Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham. (I don't think that Parry would necessarily disagree with me on that point. His writing may imply that point. I've just never read it stated specifically. Which doesn't mean he hasn't stated it, just that in my limited reading of Parry, I haven't seen it.)

"Editorial: Someone explain to Bob Woodward that a reporter reports" (The Common Ills):
Just the facts Woody has puzzled a few over the years. There was Wired, for instance and people feeling their words were misrepresented. There was Janet Cook, as well. But if anything's come close to smudging the rep of Bob Woodward it may be his pooh-pahing of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame and Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into that outing.
Or maybe he just sounds like someone trying to cover his own ass?
Guessing the latter? Note Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig's "
Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago:"
In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive, according to a statement Woodward released yesterday.
Many have noted that while he was writing his last book on the Bully Boy, full of quotes that access and pre-arranged agreements produced, he somehow missed the big story -- the outing of Valerie Plame.
He didn't miss it. He apparently just either felt it wasn't news or he was covering up (either for the administration or for himself).
From CNN's Larry King Live,
October 27, 2005:
KING: We're in Washington where things are hopping and we're going to follow up again tomorrow night. We're going to lead this round with Bob Woodward as we turn to tomorrow. But, Michael Isikoff whispered to me during the break that he has a key question he'd like to ask Mr. Woodward, so I don't know what this is about.
ISIKOFF: No, look, this is the biggest mystery in Washington, has been really for two years and now as we come down to the deadline of tomorrow the city is awash with rumors. There's a new one every 15 minutes and nobody really knows what's going to happen tomorrow. Nobody knows what Fitzgerald's got. I talked to a source at the White House late this afternoon who told me that Bob is going to have a bombshell in tomorrow's paper identifying the Mr. X source who is behind the whole thing. So, I don't know, maybe this is Bob's opportunity.
KING: Come clean.
WOODWARD: I wish I did have a bombshell. I don't even have a firecracker. I'm sorry. In fact, I mean this tells you something about the atmosphere here. I got a call from somebody in the CIA saying he got a call from the best "New York Times" reporter on this saying exactly that I supposedly had a bombshell.
WOODWARD: Finally, this went around that I was going to do it tonight or in the paper. Finally, Len Downie, who is the editor of the "Washington Post" called me and said, "I hear you have a bombshell. Would you let me in on it."
KING: So now the rumors are about you.
WOODWARD: And I said I'm sorry to disappoint you but I don't.
Did the Post, as the Times did, ask their reporters if any had information on the outing of Valerie Plame? According to the article in the Post, he "never mentioned this contact . . . to his supervisors until last month."
Vanity Fair beat the Post to the scoop on Mark Felt. That was embarrassing for the paper. This is embarrassing as well.
It's made more embarrassing by the fact that Woody felt the need to critique the case (on Larry King Live as well as on NPR).
the article:
Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously undisclosed conversation after the official alerted the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the investigation.
Woodward, weighing in for public consumption, never revealed his own conflict of interest while chatting & chewing. That's a reporter?
How ethical was it for him to weigh in on a case which he could be forced to testify on (and was forced to)? How ethical when he's not being upfront that he has his own conflict of interest?When he's saying on national TV that he doesn't have a "bombshell," that he doesn't even have a "firce cracker"?
He had something but he sat on it. And he failed to disclose while repeating cloaking himself in the guise of "objectivity" and wrapping himself in the name of the paper.
Bob Woodward was always the lightweight of Woodward & Bernstein (think of him as the McCartney of the two), willing to play the access game and that's partly why he's had his long career at the Washington Post and why Carl Bernstein moved on to other things.
Now Woody, of the dipthong and "calcium in the backbone," is exposed as a party to something that resulted in a criminal investigation. He weighed in on that investigation. He never told the public that he was involved.How ethical was that?
It gets better. From the Post article:
Citing a confidentiality agreement in which the source freed Woodward to testify but would not allow him to discuss their conversations publicly, Woodward and Post editors refused to disclose the official's name or provide crucial details about the testimony. Woodward did not share the information with Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until last month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward said he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does not recall the conversation taking place.
That's Walter Pincus. Once again, Woody has one version and Pincus another. (Think of Howie Kurtz's critique of the Post's coverage of the lead up to the war for another example of where Pincus and Woody's memories differ.)
Is that how it works? You can disclose to a grand jury but not to the public? Not if you're a reporter. If you're naming the source, you're naming it. If you're a reporter. Can you imagine what would have been said of Judith Miller if she'd tried that tactic?
Woody sat on a story. While sitting on it, he went around, identified with the paper, and weighed in on an investigation. Now Woody's has testified and named his source but wants to say that it's not the public's business.
It very much is the public's business. In June of 2003, he was a party to a conversation that was news but he elected to stay mum on the topic -- except when taking to the airwaves to attack Fitzgerald and to dismiss the issues involved.
When you name your source to the grand jury, you name it to the public. You can't name for a criminal investigation and then, if you're a reporter, say, "Oh well I won't name to the public."
Why? Because naming to the public is your damn job.
A reporter reports.Confidentiality, like pregnancy, does not come in "bits." It's an either/or. Either you're pregnant or you're not -- either you do protect the confidentiality or you don't.
Woody needs to name his source.
The fact that he's taken to the airwaves to refute the importance of an investigation that he's now been drawn into only makes that more necessary.
He has outed his source to a grand jury. There is no more "confidentiality."The press does not function behind closed doors. It is supposed to serve the public.
The Post should force him to make a public apology for offering opinions on a case that he was involved in without revealing his own involvement. He deceived the public.
He weighed in using his name and reputation (such as they are) in what can be seen as an attempt to sway public opinion.The opinions he offered now seem far less than objective.
If Woody can't come forward with his information, the Post needs to place him on unpaid leave.
If Woodward owned stock in Enron and while the investigation into its practices was ongoing he took to the airwaves to say there was no Enron story, he would have deceived the public. His statements regarding Fitzgerald's investigation and the outing of Valerie Plame are deceitful because he did not disclose to the public his own involvement.
Is Woodward familiar with the ethics guidlines for his own paper? Is he familiar with this statement: "Our obligation is to serve readers, not sources."?
How about this statement: "Our reporting should be honorable; we should be prepared to explain publicly anything we do to get a story. "?
Bob Woodward did not go on Larry King's show as private citizen Bob Woodward. He went on as Washington Post journalist and book author Bob Woodward. The statements he made were pertinent not because he was a private citizen but because he was a well known reporter.
Pronouncing judgement on an investigation carried with it the implication that the opinions were coming from a well versed, knowledgable reporter.
Well versed and knowledgable does not include "party to the investigation." Bob Woodward deceived the public by failing to disclose his own involvement when he weighed in on Larry King's show. He could have stated he had no comment on the investigation.
Instead he elected to weigh in on the topic while refusing to disclose his own ties to the investigation.
One can argue, "Well Woodward didn't want to be called before the grand jury!" That's obvious.
But it comes back to the fact that non one forced him to offer opinions on a federal investigation.
He elected to weigh in.
There's not a great deal of difference beween his lack of disclosure and Armstrong Williams'.
Both benefitted from keeping something hidden. Both owed it to the public to disclose their own involvement.
The source has now been named to a grand jury in a criminal investigation. There is no more confidentiality for that source. Furthermore, the source contacted Fitzgerald's office and the Post knows this. An administration official contacting the a prosecutor regarding a criminal investigation is news.
The source is news. The Washington Post can no longer hide behind the confidentiality agreement. They need to name the source and Bob Woodward needs to be disciplined because there is no longer an impression of impartiality in his statements re: Fitzgerald and the case itself.
Had the source refused to give permission to be named in a grand jury investigation, we'd be dealing with different issues. But that's not what happened. The source waived confidentiality with regards to a criminal investigation. The paper is now in a situation where it's sitting on information that it has no right to sit on.
If Woodward had refused to testify based on his beliefs in confidentiaity, we'd argue for his right to protect his source. But a source is protected to prevent retaliation. The administration knows who the source is, the grand jury knows who the source is. The public is the only one left in the dark. That's not how the press works.

No peace quote, I'm running so late.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"Peace doesn't arrive on empty promises"

Be sure to check out Mike's thoughts on the two items we picked out from Democracy Now! (his site is Mikey Likes It!).

Report: CIA Used Spanish Airports for Secret Flights (Democracy Now!)
The Spanish newspaper El Pais is reporting that CIA planes made at least 10 secret stopovers inside the country while transporting detainees. The secret stops occurred at airports in Spain's Baleaic islands. Spain's opposition party - the United Left Party - has called on the country's interior Minister to explain the use of Spanish airports for what it describes as the CIA's "plane-prisons." Another Spanish newspaper -- Diario de Mallorca - reports that a CIA plane that took off from the Spanish island of Mallorca was involved in the alleged CIA kidnapping of a Lebanese-born German who says he was snatched up in Macedonia and then transported to Afghanistan. The man - who has since been released - claims that in Afghanistan he was shackled, beaten, injected with drugs and questioned persistently about his alleged links with al-Qaida. A number of probes are underway in Europe over covert CIA operations there. The Italian and German governments are both investigating allegations that the CIA has kidnapped individuals within their borders. Italy is seeking the extradition of 22 CIA agents for the involvement in one such kidnapping. The Washington Post also recently reported that the CIA has two secret prisons in Eastern Europe countries.

We kid ourselves that we're in a "clean" war. Less so now. But I can remember when the invasion began, deaths were treated as nothing big. We had a "purpose" so what were a few lives?

Of course those "few" lives were all Americans and we never stopped to study the other deaths, the ones that TV wasn't interested in and, pretty soon, the print media took a pass on as well.

"Clean" war, "safe" war. When you outsource it, it's all the harder for the people to know what you're doing.

What Bully Boy's doing is kidnapping people, who have not been found guilty in a court of law of anything, and then allowing them to be tortured. As C.I.'s pointed out, apparently our rules, laws and mores aren't things we carry inside of us, but only things we hold dear while our feet are planted on domestic soil.

It's as though Bully Boy's strutting around the Oval Office saying, "It's Abu Ghraib, baby! What happens in Abu Ghraib, stays in Abu Ghraib!"

It doesn't work that way. Forget blowback, which is very important, for a moment and just ask yourself, especially all you flag wavers, if the country you support, the ideas you were raised with, mean so little that you dispose of your American citizenship and duties just by leaving the country.

Alito: "The Constitution Does Not Protect A Right To An Abortion" (Democracy Now!):
Newly released documents show that Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito said 20 years ago "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." Alito made the statements in a job application to become deputy assistant to Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Edwin Meese. In the job application he wrote "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government argued that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." Alito said it had been a "source of great personal satisfaction" to help advance such legal causes because he believed in them "very strongly." He also wrote at the time "I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values." In the same document he revealed that he was a "lifelong registered" Republican, a Federalist Society member and that he had donated money to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the documents reveal that Alito is an "aggressive participant in an ideological movement intended to withdraw discrimination protections from workers." Alito's confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin on January 9th.

Alito meets with Diane Feinstein today. What does DiFi gush to the press? Alito told her he was seeking a political appointment so his remarks shouldn't be taken too seriously. And DiFi gushes that he seemed sincere.

Let's break it down for DiFi.

1) Leave the "peering into the soul" for the Bully Boy.

2) He's seeking an appointment now. The supreme appointment, one to the Supreme Court. There's no higher appointment.

Wait, that's wrong. Usually that's true. But in 2000, we found that a higher office than Supreme Court Justice could be appointed. That's the year where we found out that the office of president wasn't an elected one necessarily, it could also be an appointed one.

3) What he told you, DiFi, should disturb the hell out of you. He told you that he'd say anything for an appointment.

4) Gee, DiFi, do you think he might trot out that trick again?

She embarrassed herself in the John Roberts confirmation hearings. She needs to get her act together. That doesn't mean saying a lot of pleasing things about how as the only woman on the Judiciary Committee, you feel a special obligation.

Don't give anymore empty words. Show some action.

"Other Items" (The Common Ills):
Carl Hulse writes about a plan to get the troops out of Iraq in "Senate Republicans Pushing for a Plan on Ending the War in Iraq:"
In a sign of increasing unease among Congressional Republicans over the war in Iraq, the Senate is to consider on Tuesday a Republican proposal that calls for Iraqi forces to take the lead next year in securing the nation and for the Bush administration to lay out its strategy for ending the war. The Senate is also scheduled to vote Tuesday on a compromise, announced Monday night, that would allow terror detainees some access to federal courts. The Senate had voted last week to prohibit those being held from challenging their detentions in federal court, despite a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary.
Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is the author of the initial plan, said Monday that he had negotiated a compromise that would allow detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to challenge their designation as enemy combatants in federal courts and also allow automatic appeals of any convictions handed down by the military where detainees receive prison terms of 10 years or more or a death sentence.
Let's file this under believe it when it happens. Not the "plan." Not it being "passed." Elaine and I have said for some time that with the 2006 elections approaching, the occupation so unpopular with the people, a "secret plan" would be announced by Bully Boy. His arrogance has apparently forced Repubes in the Senate to step up first.
I don't want a bumper sticker analysis of the "plan." Before the press trumpets it in headlines, they better examine every detail. (Provided it passes.)
Are the Republicans sincere? Who knows? But the Democrats aren't even pretending at this point. (There are individuals who break the silence on this issue, and certainly in the House we see bravery and leadership, but I'm speaking of those in supposed leadership roles as well as the bulk of the Dems in Congres.)
Maybe the Repubes are sincere? But this trick's been played before, "We'll be out next year!", and Congress passing a slogan isn't going to solve anything (but the election "crisis" faced in November of 2006). Sound cynical? Nixon's "peace plan" seems to be echoing here.

Here's how it went today. A Democratic proposal gets shot down in the Senate today. A similar proposal made by Republicans gets passed. Why?

Because the "plan" is no plan. It's just an attempt to look good in the upcoming elections.

There's no teeth in what was passed. It's non-binding.

Nixon pulled out a "peace plan" when facing elections. In fact, he apparently had Kissinger screw over a plan in 1968, a real plan, because it was more important that he get elected than that the war be ended and the troops brought home. Sound familiar?

So don't get excited by sleight of hand or tricks pulled out as Bully Boy tanks in the polls and as Republicans fret over the elections this month. We've lived through this nonsense before. It's sop tossed out to make you think that something's going to change and they want you to think that until after you vote in 2006.

"Peace Quote" (from me):
Peace doesn't arrive on empty promises.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The real miracle, still, is to walk on earth

Mike and I are covering the same two items from Democracy Now! so make a point to visit Mikey Likes It! to see his take on them.

Thousands of Students Say No To Recruiters in Boston (Democracy Now!):
The Boston Globe is reporting that more than 5,000 high school students in five of Massachusetts' largest school districts have removed their names from military recruitment lists. In Boston, about 3,700 students, or 19 percent of those enrolled in the city's high schools, have removed their names from recruiting lists. At Cambridge Rindge and Latin School more than half the student body, ordered the school system not to give their names to the military this year.

As Mike said on the phone, "This is reality." It is too. It's what's going around in the country, catching fire, word of mouth, turning against this war and the notion that we are the subjects of the royal Bully Boy. It's all over now, Bully Boy.

Which brings up something C.I. passed my way. I got an e-mail about how it was too busy to note something at The Common Ills and that I might be interested in it.


I hadn't heard of this, maybe you have?

"Going Inside the Debate" (Danny Schechter, News Dissector):
You have all read this story by now I would guess:
"GOP memo touts new terror attack as way to reverse party's decline."
It broke in Capitol Hill Blue and probably shocked very few us us which is in itself a comment on the low regard many hold this administration. Wrote Publisher Doug Thomspson:
"A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."
"The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could "validate" the President's war on terror and allow Bush to "unite the country" in a "time of national shock and sorrow."
Funny thing about this story is that this scenario is layed out in Larry Beinhardt's must read novel The Librarian, a political thriller about a plot to steal an election. Beinhart wrote an earlier novel that inspired the movie "Wag the Dog." I quote from the book in my report from Amsterdam. Scroll down.

Can you imagine what would happen if a Democratic memo was discovered with that kind of message? The headlines of every paper would scream, it would lead on the evening news, Ted Koppel would devote a full Nightline to it. There would be a lot of clucking about how shameless this is and a lot of talk about whether the Democrats were doing more talking, more than hoping.
The Republicans compose this memo and I knew nothing of it until C.I. passed it along in the e-mail. I watch the news, I read a daily paper, I listen to the news on the radio.

So where's the outrage over this?

The Republican Party can just do whatever it wants to, apparently. The White House seems to think that they can as well.

White House Tries To Alter Transcript of Press Briefings (Democracy Now!):
The White House has been accused of trying to rewrite history after requesting Congressional Quarterly and the Federal News Service to alter the transcript to a October 31 press briefing. Both news agencies reported White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan responded to a question about the CIA leak case by saying "that's accurate." But the White House insists he said, "I don't think that's accurate." So far both Congressional Quarterly and the Federal News Services have refused to change their transcripts but the White House website now claims McClellan said "I don't think that's accurate."

If you listen to Democracy Now! today, you'll hear the actual exchange. What did Scott McClellan say? "That's accurate." But the White House thinks it's okay to rewrite reality. Which is Why Bully Boy's launching his latest attacks. It's wrong, according to the Bully Boy, for those who criticize him, in Congress, to do so if they voted for the war.

I'm the last to defend the war hawks who rushed to rally behind Bully Boy. But they didn't vote on war and he's lying (again) when he implies that they did. They were also led to believe that we'd try for, if not get, a UN resolution. That idea got trashed as well. Bully Boy wanted this war and lied us into it. If some in Congress have woken up, good for them.

But in Bully Boy's you're with me or you're against me world, we're all his enemies. Has anyone ever felt more persecuted and yet done more to turn the entire world against him?

If you missed it, here's an excerpt from a news article on the topic.

"Bush Takes Fresh Shot at Iraq War Critics" (Terence Hunt, Associated Press):
Iraq and other problems -- from the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina to the indictment of a senior White House official in the
CIA leak investigation -- have taken a heavy toll on the president's standing. Nearing the end of his fifth year in office, Bush has the lowest approval rating of his presidency and a majority of Americans say Bush is not honest and they disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the war on terrorism.
In his prepared Alaska remarks, Bush noted that some elected Democrats in Congress "have opposed this war all along.
"I disagree with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand," he said. "Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy."

As someone who disagreed with the war before it was launched, I'll state that I disagree with Bully Boy (and most bullies and liars) and that I do not respect the Bully Boy. Of course, he's not concerned with my opinion. Or your's. We're all part of the "none that matter" as Cokie Roberts so infamously called us.

Bully Boy wants to be worshipped like a king. He wants to live in a fantasy world where he walks on water and we all stare in awe. There's been no cause for awe from the "leadership" he's offered America. He doesn't grasp that because he doesn't address reality.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center):
The real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.
Thich Nhat Hanh