Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Corrections Don't Always Correct
The other day, Jane Hamsher spotted an almost unconsciousable mistake in a column written by Dana Milbank for the Washington Post:
Continuing its tradition of journalistic excellence, the Washington Post sends its best and brightest to bash the blogs:
Elected Democrats and their liberal base are in one of their periodic splits between pragmatism and symbolism. Under pressure from blogs and liberal groups, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday attempted an obviously doomed filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito -- and Kerry got only 25 of the 60 needed votes.
Don't worry Dana, we will unleash no swarm of "hate speech" upon your tender ears explaining the difference between 41 and 60...
Now the Post edited Milbank's column and added a correction:
Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported as 60 the number of votes needed to sustain a filibuster. Sixty votes are needed to stop a filibuster. The incorrect information has been removed from this story.
This is the corrected line:
Under pressure from blogs and liberal groups, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday attempted an obviously doomed filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito -- and Kerry got only 25 votes.
But now the paragraph doesn't really make sense.
And the entire column doesn't make any sense.
Because that one incorrect line was the glue that held it together in the first place.
Notice how the correction doesn't say "and Kerry only got 25 of the 41 votes needed."
Because the truth doesn't pack the powerful punch that Milbank intended.
See how the next paragraph continues Milbank's thesis (which I guess has something to do with his silly title: "Tasting Victory, Liberals Instead Have a Food Fight"):
Likewise, the chance of a Republican Congress moving to impeach Bush is close to zero.
But with the correction added....there is nothing "[l]ikewise" about this next paragraph.
Twenty-five out of forty-one votes isn't the joke that Milbank thought twenty-five out of sixty was.
Simply stated, the shit don't be making sense.
(Time to interject some meanness: Milbank is really stupid. This wasn't a typo. This was an error. An error which apparently inspired him to write an entire column making hay out of his error. The appropriate correction - in my opinion: This entire column should have been deleted.)
Speaking of corrections....
(Correction: At the time of writing this...I wasn't aware that Tenet ever personally admitted using the "slam dunk" line but somehow - like a klutz - I missed this link: "Those were the two dumbest words I ever said," Tenet said in a speech at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.)
Monday, January 30, 2006
Senator Landrieu Voted Yes On Cloture
May 10, 2005; Catholic News Service:
In a 2001 fund-raising letter to supporters, Sen. Landrieu said she was "proud that both the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America have acknowledged my support of reproductive choice with current 'scorecard' ratings of 80 percent and 90 percent, respectively."
But earlier this year at the "Proudly Pro-Life" dinner honoring pro-life causes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, pro-life advocate and attorney Sharon Ryan Rodi said she hoped Sen. Landrieu was modifying some of her previous positions, noting "Mary Landrieu is moving ever so slightly to our side."
1 in '05 to 25 in '06
(Correction: I incorrectly included Senator Ensign as voting no on cloture. In fact, he didn't vote. He was in a car accident on Monday.)
On January 6th of 2005, only one Democrat Senator stood up for democracy.
On January 30th of 2006, twenty-four Democrats (and one Independent) stood up for rule of law.
While there may be some truth to this.
I still believe this.
Thank you to the following Senators: Bayh, Evan (D-IN), Biden, Joseph R., Jr. (D-DE), Boxer, Barbara (D-CA), Clinton, Hillary Rodham (D-NY), Dayton, Mark (D-MN), Dodd, Christopher J. (D-CT), Durbin, Richard (D-IL), Feingold, Russell D. (D-WI), Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA), Jeffords, James M. (I-VT), Kennedy, Edward M. (D-MA), Kerry, John F. (D-MA), Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ), Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT), Levin, Carl (D-MI), Menendez, Robert (D-NJ), Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD), Murray, Patty (D-WA), Obama, Barack (D-IL), Reed, Jack (D-RI), Reid, Harry (D-NV), Sarbanes, Paul S. (D-MD), Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY), Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI), and Wyden, Ron (D-OR).
And thank youto everyone - on and off the blogosphere - who did what they could to make today happen. Two votes turned into twenty-five. That's something.
Not enough. But something.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Filibuster Alito Weekend
Straddling that activist/reporter tightrope, I have an article at Raw Story about the online push to prod Senators to stop Alito: Liberal bloggers pushing hard for filibuster.
But then I've never disguised my liberal ideology. And would never.
I try to be fair. And I try to be fair to people I don't always agree with.
There are many journalists that I admire who don't hide their bias. I think the biggest problem with journalism today is that too many pretend that they don't have them. They do. We all do.
Aside from my fears of Roe v. Wade being overturned or slowly chopped up, significant erosion to rights such as speech or the concept of innocence before guilt, a Justice Alito could also seriously hamper something else I care truly about:
A free press.
With the Washington Post CIA renditioning stories, the New York Times NSA wiretap investigations, and the ongoing Plame leak case, there may be more than a few Supreme Court decisions in the future that might (can't express it in any other way) fuck our shit up permanently.
Democrats did a lousy job of making the case against Alito the last few months. The right got tremendously loud against Miers...why didn't the Democrats do the same?
So...yeah...make those phone calls, send those faxes, do whatever it takes.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Bush/Abramoff/Abramoff clients photos
That's the photo of President Bush meeting with Beningo Repeki Fitial, then-Speaker of the House for the Northern Marianas Islands, that John Byrne and I wrote about at Raw Story on Monday.
Fitial, recently elected governor, is tied to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a number of ways.
As we reported, Bush met with Fitial on the same day and at the same event with two of Abramoff's tribe clients who paid $25,000 each to attend, and it's been reported that Jack Abramoff was there, too, and included in a photograph with the President.
From Friday's Washington Post, Bush Reasserts Presidential Prerogatives, by Jim VandeHei:
According to three people who reviewed half a dozen photos of the men, Bush is pictured at official gatherings and fundraisers with Abramoff and his children. He also attended a White House meeting with some of Abramoff's clients, including tribal leaders and the then-speaker of the House for the Northern Mariana Islands, the sources said. Abramoff has pictures from the event, they said.
Come on, Jim. A link or a mention would have been nice.
Raw Story will have more on this in a few days.
Here's a semi-related article that I wrote for Raw Story yesterday: Studio that scrubbed Abramoff/Bush photo earned $140,000 from 2004 campaign.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton Posed for Photo with Abramoff:
Interior Secretary Gale Norton posed for a photograph with Jack Abramoff in her second encounter with the lobbyist, a brief face-to-face session in her office in 2002.
The photo, made public Friday evening by Interior officials in response to media requests, shows Norton, Abramoff, an unnamed man, Chief Phillip Martin of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the tribe's outside counsel, C. Bryant Rogers.
That was Jennifer Talhelm at the Washington Post, the news organization that filed a Freedom of Information Act request for it. Although Interior spokeswoman Tina Kreisher said they should have released it to the media when they first asked for it.
Love the first line on the caption:
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton in one of more than 5,000 photos taken during her tenure. From left to right: Unidentified, Phillip Martin, chief Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Secretary Norton, C. Bryant Rogers, outside counsel for Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and Jack Abramoff. The photo was taken February 5, 2002.
Was that first line written by a White House lawyer or spin doctor?
Thursday, January 26, 2006
'That's Why I Welcome The Hearings'
Team a faltering Eric Lichtblau with Elisabeth Bumiller and what do you get? Short answer: "Bush Visits Security Agency and Defends Surveillance" in this morning's New York Times. Long answer: really bad reporting.
As The Times reported:
Mr. Bush first met privately with employees at the agency, then told a small group of reporters who accompanied him that the program, which intercepts international phone calls and e-mail messages of people in the United States suspected of links to Al Qaeda, had been a crucial tool in fighting terrorism.
The Common Ills:
You have to be a really hideous reporter to write the above. A really lazy one who asks the White House, "What's the angle?" and then prints it as fact.
The NSA "which intercepts international phone calls and e-mail messages of people in the United States suspected of links to Al Qaeda". Really Bumiller? Really Lichtblau? So, then this agency was only recently created, right? Al Qaeda hasn't been around for decades and decades so the agency must not have been either, right?
The Common Ills is right. This isn't like the Media Matters tiff with The Washington Post's Ombudsman Deborah Howell about Dafna Linzer writing "President Bush and his advisers have defended it as legal and necessary to protect the country against future attacks and have said Congress was repeatedly consulted."
Bumiller or Lichtblau weren't paraphrasing the President's words. They were offering...
I'm not really sure what they were offering. Because it's way too "unartful" to qualify as spin.
Spin, which intercepts New York Times journalists suspected of links to the Bush Administration, has been a crucial tool in fighting Democrats.
But why didn't Lichtblau or Bumiller offer John McCain in this article?
The other day Senator McCain told Matt Lauer on the Today show that he doesn't know if President Bush broke the law on the NSA wiretapping program:
"That's why I welcome the hearings. If I was sure whether it's legal or not, then I wouldn't feel that these hearings are important."
Did you want a link to that McCain quote?
Can't help you. Because a Google News search on "That's why I welcome the hearings" draws up 124 results yet most of the articles that come up don't include that line.
It's supposed to be in this Jim VandeHei article from The Washington Post but it isn't.
A leading Republican welcomes the hearings but maybe we're not supposed to know that.
We're Just Wild For Wildmon!
It was nearly 30 years ago today
Reverend Donald Wildmon taught the band to play.
In the spring of 1978, Wildmon announced his first boycott of advertisers. He told Sears that his supporters would boycott its stores until it withdrew sponsorship of three shows at the top of his hit list -- "Three’s Company," "Charlie’s Angels," and "All in the Family." Although his following was miniscule, Wildmon used it to maximum effect by staging demonstrations outside Sears stores in several parts of the country and in downtown Chicago in front of the Sears building itself. The boycott worked. While denying it was acting under pressure, Sears canceled its ads on "Three’s Company" and "Charlie’s Angels."
It's been going in and out of style
But it's guaranteed to raise a smile (in irony)
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Jane Hamsher:
Anyway, one of Chris's advertisers is Verizon. A lovely company I'm sure who have done absolutely nothing wrong and should be treated with the greatest respect. So great is our respect for Verizon that we have to wonder, ever so nicely, if they agree with Chris that you or me (people of the liberal persuasion) should be compared to a known terrorist and mass murderer like Osama bin Laden. Chris has now repeated this several times.
I'm sure the folks at Verizon will only appreciate your sincere concern for the organizations they are associating their products with, so look at it this way. You are doing them a big favor. Not in a Victor Davis Hanson climbing up on the rooftop with a rifle and scope and thinning out the neighborhood kind of way, but one they will most assuredly appreciate nonetheless.
Here is how you contact the fine folks at Verizon:
So sad. So many brilliant thinkers (bloggers and readers) who are dangerously miscalculating these delusional media attacks.
Why not use your smarts instead?
Why not go back to what you should be doing? Digging and researching and brainstorming and justifying instead of losing your heads over other people's words.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Steve Gilliard has more info on what you can do (or who you can dial) at his aptly titled post, Better to go down fighting.
I guess I'll still take Alito any day over Harriet Miers...but I don't understand the reluctance of Democrats to push hard on this.
Even if every Democrat but one voted in favor of Alito the far right would still use it as a weapon. So what gives?
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Idiot Joel Stein
Joel Stein of the LA Times is just as stupid as William Blum.
The first line of his essay, Warriors and wusses: "I don't support our troops."
And it gets even worse after that.
Cernig at News Hog pretty much sums up how I feel about Stein's essay, which hopefully was meant as satire.
Dan Whitcomb reports for Reuters that Stein has been "bombarded" with "hate mail" over his article.
Whitcomb notes a comment left at the Little Green Footballs Website:
If I ever run into the a**hole, I'm going to knock his frickin' block off.
It's the least I can do to support the troops.
Curiously, a Little Green Footballer seems to be taking pride in the notoriety:
It’s a first. Al-Reuters notices Little Green Footballs, in their defense of the LA Times columnist who admitted he doesn’t support US troops: L.A. Times writer defends incendiary Iraq column.
From Whitcomb's article on Stein:
Asked if he had regrets, he said: "No, because I'm against the war. (I have no regrets) if this helps us get out of that war and bring our troops home safely."
Yeah. That's gonna happen.
Any day now the troops are going to come back home because of an essay that Joel Stein wrote.
In reality, it's the kind of stupidity displayed by (supposedly) liberals like Joel Stein and William Blum (who cackled and crowed about making Osama's first book club recommendation) that will - most definitely - not help "us get out of that war."
From Benedict Carey's A Shocker: Partisan Thought Is Unconscious , an article from Tuesday's New York Times Science section:
Liberals and conservatives can become equally bug-eyed and irrational when talking politics, especially when they are on the defensive.
Using M.R.I. scanners, neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and unconscious, the researchers report, and there are flares of activity in the brain's pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected.
And that's pretty much the case.
All of us...all of us...say some stupid shit sometimes.
And yeah...let's continue to call each other out for saying stupid shit (whether left to right, right to left, left to left, right to right, x to z, etc.) or publishing stupid shit (whether blog to press, press to blog, blog to blog, press to press, z to x, etc.) but to remember that we all basically share similiar brains.
We all know more than the average folks...and many of the average folks rely on us to inform them about what's going on...not just in blogs or in print but in daily life...so we all have a tendency to believe that all we know is all that there is.
The name-calling is one thing. People that want to be rude and like to be rude are going to continue to be rude. Maybe we all have to accept that. Times have changed.
But it's the calling of motives which should be chilled.
Calling someone a GOP shill or a liberal moonbat just because you disagree with what they wrote or said just distorts whatever truth you claim you want to fight for.
My brain makes me say and write stupid shit all the time. So forgive me if this qualifies as that.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Bush Tied To Abramoff Client In Photo
John Byrne and I have got a big article today at Raw Story: Photograph shows Bush meeting now-Governor of Marianas Islands, whose firm was Abramoff client.
No sense in summarizing it because it's the photo we found that you're going to want to see.
A photo that might be hounding President Bush for a while.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Lukasiak Vs. Brynaert
I've been having an ongoing debate with Paul Lukasiak in the Haloscan comments from my last post about Democrats and Abramoff so I figured I'd transfer it to this post.
Although we disagree, I have a lot of respect for Lukasiak, compared to others on the left who are acting completely irrational about all of this.
(Apologies for the lack of posts the last few days but I've been very busy on so many stories that my head is indeed spinning. Hopefully, one or two will be ready to go at Raw Story - and/or here - sometime in the next week or so).
To get the latest on the Washington Post/bloggers controversy, Press Think is the place to go.
Ron... as I've pointed out numerous times already, although the document cited by Leen includes the names of three Democrats (Carnahan, Cleland, Daschle), only ONE of them received any money...that was Cleland, who got only $500 according to the FEC, and not the $2000 cited on the Leen document. But ALL of the GOP incumbents running for re-election got at least $1000, some got $2K, and Conrad Burns got $6,000 (5k for his "leadership PAC", $1K for his campaign). In other words, the document cited by Leen does not show DIRECTED contributions to Democrats. At most, its a "wish list" of some sort --- but it absolutely does not represent an effort by Abramoff to actually DIRECT contributions. and if you can't tell the difference between a "here's a bunch of people that you might want to give money to" list and a "here is a bunch of people that you NEED to give money to" list, then you really need to visit the Clue Bar for a refill....
Paul, speak of the devil..lol... first off...i have a ton of respect for you.. second off....you're wrong. On June 30, 2002 $5,000 was contributed by the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (as shown in the WaPo picture) to the nonfederal account of DASHPAC (link), Tom Daschle's 527 org. If you do a search for that date on that page you will see other Dems got money on that very same day from the tribe. As for Carnahan and Cleland (also listed on that WaPo excerpt)...I think there is an explanation for why those funds (except for 500 to Max) don't show up but I'm still working on proving that (I'll gladly talk about it in email with you). As for the source documents...there is at least one email on page 50 of the November 17 hearing evidence pdf which mentions Dems (though Abramoff does respond that getting money to CREE is more important)...but the majority of them haven't been publicly released yet (including the lists).
I copied most of that from a comment I left on a Press Think thread...but I should've added that there is information missing from the Capital Eye Website which you seem to be relying on.
Whoops. I guess you can't link directly to tray.com. But if you go to the main page and select "Donor Name Lookup" and enter Coushatta then select 2002 for the year you can see what I described for yourself.
I can not understand why what other bloggers write is so important to you. I do not know why writing, "no democrats took money from Jack", pisses you off. Did Cleland know Jack directed funds to his account? If he did, did he know about Jack's activities when he took the money? I first heard of jack on this blog, how would Cleland know anything about Jack at the time? He could not posssibly check out every source of funds. You wrote about misplaced hostility, I have been pissed at Bush for years and the cheerleading media. Why is it so important that one specific fact, that some Democrats received money from clients of Jack so important? Why should the liberal bloggers spread this? Are not the right wing bloggers and the MSM doing a good job at it? What next? What truth takes precedence over other truths? Bush pissing on the constitution is a truth that seems more urgent to me.
I copied most of that from a comment I left on a Press Think thread...but I should've added that there is information missing from the Capital Eye Website which you seem to be relying on. thanks for the information on DASHPAC and the "tray" link, Ron. and thanx for the cite of the email. As I'm sure you are aware, it was described as a "wish list" -- and as I'm sure you are also aware, Abramoff put a great deal of pressure on the tribes to contribute to certain causes (notably, but not exclusively, CREA) that all seem to be GOP related. Maybe we will find evidence of Abramoff pressuring the tribes to contribute to Democrats --- "Directing" their contributions, rather than "suggesting" to whom they should contribute. And Ron, that is what is at issue here.... directed contributions and influence peddling. This is about Jack Abramoff, not the practices of the lobbying industry in general -- and in your effort to "bend over backwards" to be "non-partisan", you are feeding into the myth that Abramoff was "bi-partisan" in his corruption. He wasn't -- and we both know it. I'd like to hear your theory on Cleland and Carnahan.... I do know that the Cleland contribution that shows up on Open Secrets was not from the tribe itself, but from an officer of the tribe. I also saw something that suggested that the contribution to DASHPAC was used for Tim Johnson, Cleland, and Carnahan --- but that is irrelevant, insofar as there are separate listings for Cleland and Carnahan on the Coushatta site.
I care about the truth...and the truth is being obscured, Ami, by nearly every single alist liberal blogger out there and their readers. And I believe in criticizing the press...not attacking it like a pack of angry wolves. P., My theory on Cleland and Carnahan...you're sort of on the right track...except it's another Dem PAC that I think the money went through. But I don't think I'm feeding into any myth since - as far as I know - no Democrat has done anything illegal and I'm not accusing them of that.
Ron, the truth is not being obscured by A-list bloggers... the truth is that there is no evidence of any kind of quid pro quo involving democrats and Abramoff --- and every time someone says something like "Abramoff was corrupt, and gave money to both parties" they are implying that the Dems were just as crooked as the Republicans. I also think you should check out the Wampum blog post(http://wampum.wabanaki.net/vault/2006/01/ 002293.html ) that details all of the other lobbyists that worked for the "Abramoff tribes" at the same time they were employing Abramoff. The point being that these other lobbyists probably gave their Native American clients lists of politicians and PACs that supported Native American issues -- and just because a Democrat appears on a list of names compiled by Abramoff does not mean that Abramoff is responsible for the donation to the Democrat. Indeed, the Coushatta Tribe, which generated the contributions we are talking about here, employed not just Abramoff's firm in 2002, but had a much longer relationship with Johnson and Associates LLC, and paid that firm $80,000 during 2002 for services. http://sopr.senate.gov/cgi-win/o...564/ 000564080|4 Is it possible that the Coushatta donations to Democrats were "directed" not by Abramoff, by by Johnson & Associates? We don't know --- and for the Post to make it appear that the only possible source of "direction" of contributions for the Coushatta is, to say the least, disingenuous...
Why do I need to go to the Wampum blog when I can read the testimony of two of the tribe's leaders testifying instead? I'm not sure why you are dismissive of what they testified about or the lists they submitted to Congress (and Susan Schmidt and others at WaPo have seen those lists). I'm not sure why you are dismissive of the fact that Abramoff employed Democrat lobbyists, as well. And as for evidence of "any" quid pro quo...you're right..for now... i'm sorry...but it's hard for me to talk about stuff I'm still working on...plus the fact that I work for Raw Story so I have to withhold a lot of stuff that I can use to counter you. But as long as you acknowledge the evidence that I mentioned I have no problem if you disagree with me on the significance or if you think it's been manufactured somehow. But at least one email, testimony by two tribe spokesmen, and the partial list published in the Post are evidence that the alist bloggers have ignored and that's just plain wrong.
But at least one email, testimony by two tribe spokesmen, and the partial list published in the Post are evidence that the alist bloggers have ignored and that's just plain wrong. Ron, I hope that the stuff you are "holding back" is a lot more significant than the "evidence" you say the A-listers are ignoring... because that evidence (as it concerns democrats) consists of a reference to a "wish list" in an email, "testimony" that references a list that included both the RNC and DNC (not specific democratic candidates), and a photoshopped excerpt of a "list" that "directs" $2000 each directly to the campaigns of Carnahan and Cleland -- and Carnahan's campaign got zip, and Cleland got $500. (and the "soft money" argument doesn't hold -- the list includes a reference to the Phil Crane PAC with a notation that $1000 each was supposed to go to four GOP congresscritters from the $5000 contribution made to the PAC). The information from Wampum certainly suggests the strong possibility that there were other sources of "direction" for campaign contributions besides Abramoff -- and to not explore that possibility -- and assume that Abramoff was the sole source of "direction" -- is simply bad reporting.
I just looked at Wampum. What Wampum leaves out. Sonofsky earned 40,000 in 2002. Greenberg earned 300,000. Not sure what difference it makes whether Abramoff was lead lobbyist...He's listed as a lobbyist on Greenberg irs files along with usual suspects from his team.
Richard Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, testified that he donated to campaign committees for the House and Senate, both parties, to be precise.
oh...and i guess...since i'm piling on bloggers I should add that that Washington Post graphic with the totals in Indian donations absolutely sucks and is worth criticizing. But from 1999 to before Greenberg took over as lobbyists the Pueblo of Sandia tribe only gave $5,500 in donations, according to fecinfo.com (but I'm not sure where WaPo got their total from since I come up with a different figure).
Ron.... The idea that one firm was the "lead lobbyist" and others followed their lead is erroneous. Different lobbying firms often specialize in different aspects of the law and/or Federal bureaucracy, so an Native American tribe might hire one firm to deal with environmental issues on tribal lands, and a second lobbying firm to deal with gambling issues. One of the problems with the way that Native American tribes are being portrayed is the idea that their ONLY interests were their casinos --- because that's what Abramoff was lobbying about. That is COMPLETE bullshit --- and you are doing it here as well with your "lead lobbyist" nonsense. Abramoff may have been "lead lobbyist" on gambling issues --- but Native Americans tribes aren't a Las Vegas crime family running a casino, and their interests are far more varied than your EXCLUSIVE emphasis on gambling issues -- and your REFUSAL to consider other sources for "suggestions" for contributions to Democrats -- would imply. I'm not sure why you are dismissive of what they testified about or the lists they submitted to Congress (and Susan Schmidt and others at WaPo have seen those lists). I'm dismissive of it because from the one excerpt of a list that we have seen, the nature of these lists is being completely distorted when it comes to Democrats. BTW, how do you know what Steno Sue and "others at WaPo" have seen? If they have access to these lists, why haven't they published them? Or are Steno Sue "and others at WaPo" only being allowed to see what someone wants them to see? It sure as hell wouldn't be the first time that Steno Sue has transmitted GOP spin with disregarding all other relevant facts.... now would it?
Paul, You write about my "REFUSAL to consider other sources for "suggestions" for contributions to Democrats -- would imply. But that is bullshit. It's your refusal to acknoweldge that it's possible something is there. All I'm saying (and have been saying) is that it's wrong to completely disregard potentialities. I'm promoting this to post, by the way.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Calling Out Liberal Bloggers
I'm calling out all bloggers on the left to stand up for truth and the "reality-based" community and help clear up the disinformation that's polluted our respective communities.
Too many people believe that there is no evidence that Jack Abramoff directed his clients to send campaign donations to both Democrats and Republicans.
Earlier today, Jeff Leen, Assistant Managing Editor, Investigative for the Washington Post conducted a live discussion with readers, that included a number of questions from presumably liberals that have been grievously misinformed about the paper's reporting.
My last post contained a link to a Committee on Indian Affairs hearing held on September 29, 2004, which included testimony from Richard Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and Bernie Sprague, subchief of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, who told the bi-partisan committee that Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon provided their tribes with lists of politicians and committees to contribute campaign donations to, which they did - though sometimes with reservations (no pun intended). Mr. Milanovich specifically testified that the lists contained Republicans and Democrats.
Here's an exchange from today's online discussion:
Abramoff directed his clients to make to Democrats: And again, I have yet to see any factual evidence reported about "directing". Say the text of an e-mail. Or a substantiated quote about it. All I've seen is "look, clients donated...must have been directed" bollocks.
You folks could save yourself a lot of hassle by sharing with us your factual evidence. Otherwise, it just seems you're playing games for the sake of a false balance.
Jeff Leen: You will find part of our evidence at link.
Abramoff sent his clients lists with specific directions on the amounts to donate to lawmakers and other groups, including some Democrats. The URL above takes you to one of those lists that we published last March.
Included on that list which The Washington Post published on March 13, 2005 are two Democrats, former Senators: Tom Daschle and Max Cleland.
The Coushatta tribe was "directed" to contribute $2,000 to Friends of Max Cleland for the U.S. Senate Inc. with the notation: "Very receptive to tribal issues." DASHPAC - the political action committee for former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle - is also listed (though it's possible that a line has been crossed through the amount).
While this isn't evidence of wrong-doing (or any quid pro quo), this is evidence of Abramoff directing Indian clients to donate to Democrats as well.
As of now, the WaPo online discussion is not even listed at Memeorandum. Liberal bloggers who care more about truth than hypocritical partisanship should consider linking to it so that it does show up.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Let's Just Pretend This Didn't Happen
(UPDATE - Added a link to evidence that "didn't happen")
Nothing to see here.
Haven't you heard that the Washington Post makes "racist assumptions" and that some of their reporters think Indian tribes are "stupid?"
So, so silly. Who even bothers to read the news articles that renowned bloggers link to when they tell us what's what?
More reliable news organizations are quick to point out that Indian donations to Democratic candidates dropped dramatically during the Abramoff era...
Personally, I'll take WaPo any day over Bloomberg.com but what exactly was "more reliable" to Ms. Hamsher?
Abramoff's tribal clients continued to give money to Democrats even after he began representing them, although in smaller percentages than in the past.
The Saginaw Chippewas gave $500,500 to Republicans between 2001 and 2004 and $277,210 to Democrats, according to a review of data compiled by Dwight L. Morris & Associates, a Bristow, Virginia-based company that tracks campaign-finance reports. Between 1997 and 2000, the tribe gave just $158,000 to Republicans and $279,000 to Democrats.
While the percentage may have "dropped dramatically," as you can see, the Saginaw Chippewas only gave $1,790 less to Democrats in the second Presidential election cycle.
But since no one said anything when Hamsher brought it up the other day...why not keep running with it?
(time out to interject that it's an ABOMINATION that this vile, fucking race card - and I hate that term "race card" so y'know I'm pissed if I employ it - was flung against the Post on Martin Luther King Day...you used to only see this kind of shit from radical, wingnut right-wingers...congratulations to the "progressive blogosphere" for successfully emulating the right!)
The link that Cozumel wasted his/her time posting at firedoglake was to a transcript of a Committee on Indian Affair hearing held on September 29, 2004.
To sum up the parts that I'm excerpting from the testimony: Richard Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and Bernie Sprague, subchief of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, testified that Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon provided their tribes with lists of politicians and committees to contribute campaign donations to, which they did. Mr. Milanovich specifically testified that the lists contained Republicans and Democrats.
To the best of my knowledge, these lists haven't been publicly released, yet, but when they are will the renowned bloggers apologize for attacking journalists who, undoubtedly, are more informed about this than they are?
(Update: Jeff Leen, Assistant Managing Editor, Investigative, of the Washington Post left a link during an online discussion to a portion of one such list that WaPo originally published on March 13, 2005: link. This list sent by Abramoff to the Coushatta tribe includes Democrats such as Tom Daschle and Max Cleland.)
Excerpts involving Mr. Milanovich, Mr. Sprague, Senator John McCain and Senator Daniel Inouye:
Mr. Milanovich. Sir, in our process, the budget process, we have a fiscal year beginning October 1. We ask our lobbyists to submit a proposed list of contributions that would be made in the future so they did make recommendations to particular legislators, Senators, Representatives, as well as PACs and other charitable organizations. Yes, sir.
Senator McCain. And do you know roughly how much money that was?
Mr. Milanovich. Somewhere, I do not really remember right now.
Senator McCain. Like hundreds of thousands?
Mr. Milanovich. Yes, sir.
Senator McCain. Would you submit that list for the record for us please?
Mr. Milanovich. I believe it has been submitted, sir.
Senator McCain. It has been?
Mr. Milanovich. Yes.
Senator McCain. And that is hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions recommended by Mr. Scanlon and/or Mr. Abramoff?
Mr. Milanovich. Correct.
Senator McCain. How about you, Sub-Chief Sprague?
Mr. Sprague. The Saginaw Chippewas were taken by Mr. Petras and Mr. Scanlon and Mr. Abramoff over a 2-year period of approximately $1 million in contributions.
Senator McCain. In campaign contributions?
Mr. Sprague. Campaign contributions to people we never heard of, people we knew nothing about, organizations, different things of this nature. And we will get that list to the committee of all those individuals that were donated to.....
Senator Inouye. Chairman Milanovich, you indicated that you were provided with a list of candidates to support.
Mr. Milanovich. Yes, sir.
Senator Inouye. And you supported these candidates with money?
Mr. Milanovich. Some of the candidates were, it was agreed to support, make contributions to the recommendations list, yes, sir.
Senator Inouye. Were these contributions made in cash or by check?
Mr. Milanovich. By check, sir.
Senator Inouye. And how were the checks made out, to the individuals or to the campaign committees?
Mr. Milanovich. I do not recall. I do not really remember how the checks were made out, undoubtedly to the committee, though, or to the PAC, whatever it may have been.
Senator Inouye. Were the candidates Federal candidates?
Mr. Milanovich. There were some Federal candidates, yes, sir.
Senator Inouye. Were they from the State of California?
Mr. Milanovich. I do not remember. The list was long, and I questioned and the vice chairman also questioned certain names on the list because we did not know who they were. As SubChief Sprague states, there were PACs, there were charitable organizations, and we did not know who they were. We questioned, but again there was a forward movement of some tribal council members who said just approve it.
Senator Inouye. Were you told that by supporting these candidates that your tribe would benefit?
Mr. Milanovich. In so many ways, yes, sir. Sometimes they did say that we need to make these contributions in order to convince. Other times, it was a just a good organization and it will make somebody else happy.
Senator Inouye. Were you receiving any benefits from these candidates?
Mr. Milanovich. Not that I am aware of.
Senator Inouye. Have you received any since then?
Mr. Milanovich. Not that I am aware of.
Senator Inouye. Were any of the contributions made to political party organizations, like the presidential committees?
Mr. Milanovich. I do not recall a presidential committee, but perhaps the two party committees.
Senator Inouye. Democrat and Republican?
Mr. Milanovich. Yes, sir.
Senator Inouye. To the campaign committees? Were they congressional or senate campaign committees?
Mr. Milanovich. Both, sir.
Senator Inouye. Both?
Mr. Milanovich. Both.
Senator Inouye. And they were made out by check?
Mr. Milanovich. Yes, sir.
Senator Inouye. And you have the list and you can provide it to the committee?
Mr. Milanovich. It has been submitted, yes, sir.
Those guys work fast.
Yesterday, only a few hours after we posted an article on Raw Story about how the Republican National Committee had listed a number of non-profit, tax-exempt, and (cough) non-partisan organizations on their Website as "GOP groups," they revised the site.
It's a good thing that they can't do the same so quick to the U.S. Constitution whenever things get hot.
Maybe the Republican Party should drop the elephant as their mascot and run with the cheetah.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Misdirected Liberal Hostility
While The Washington Post gets bumrushed by hordes of liberal bloggers because their extraordinary Abramoff coverage isn't partisan enough, The New York Times gets away with more Judith-Millerish crap that should be condemned all the way to Keller and back.
Carlotta Gall and Douglas Jehl share the credit for "U.S. Officials Believe Qaeda Agents Killed in Pakistan Strike" but since Gall reported from Peshawar, 'Jehl from Washington' must be reponsible for the utter nonsense contained within.
Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing what Times entity is responsible for the title of this article which seems to contain a typo. The 's' signifying plurality appears to be misplaced. According to (what I'm assuming is) Jehl's part of the article only one official believes that Qaeda agents died in the still-unconfirmed CIA airstrike. I guess "U.S. Official believes Qaeda Agents Killed in Pakistan Strike" isn't as catchy.
And since the one 'money quote' to support the headline includes "might have been" perhaps the headline has more than a plurality typo.
According to (who I'm assuming is) Jehl:
The C.I.A. and the White House have declined to comment on the raid, the third airstrike in recent weeks inside Pakistan territory by American aircraft. The American counterterrorism officials who agreed to speak about it were granted anonymity because they had not been authorized to speak publicly. They offered a defense of the attack, saying they did not believe that innocent bystanders in Pakistan had been killed. One counterterrorism official said that even if Mr. Zawahiri was not killed in the attacks, "Some very senior Al Qaeda types might have been." The official declined to identify other Qaeda members thought to have been at the scene.
I'm no mindreader. All I can go by is what (who I'm assuming is) Jehl tells me, and since he only specifies that one official said Qaeda members were killed I have to assume that that's the only one of the "American counterterrorism officials" who sold him that specious horseshit.
But what kind of a newspaper would allow something like "they did not believe that innocent bystanders" were killed when the very first line of this same story (written I assume by Gall) empirically states "but killed at least 18 civilians."
This is gobbly-gook.
This is worth getting angry about.
Whether or not Abramoff or DeLay were close buddies or not is so completely irrelevant that I'm beginning to think that most of the liberal blogosphere has been replaced by pod people.
Only to nitpickers does "Abramoff campaign money" translate into money directly contributed by Abramoff. This scandal - for the most part - is about Abramoff directing clients to pay Congressional members...not about his personal contributions. I guess since Frank Rich is behind-the-wall now, most bloggers don't realize that he wrote something very similiar yesterday to what the Washington Post ombudsman is getting attacked for (on so many freakin' blogs Sunday there's no need to provide links).
There's no doubt that the Abramoff scandal is mostly a GOP affair...but anyone that thinks that all Democrats will emerge unscathed hasn't been paying attention.
By all means, attack the journalists who - like President Bush - claim that both sides are equally muddied. But unless you've got an inside line to Abramoff's tribes or federal investigators it would be more prudent to keep an open mind as more emails and details are released.
That is...if you care at all about being wrong.
The other day I went off on Media Matters...but their article on the WaPo ombudsman column was the way it should be done. Directing hundreds of readers to leave comments on an unrelated Washington Post message board is the way it shouldn't be done (I originally wrote a long post which picked on certain bloggers for what they wrote about this...but I decided to kill it since it's a waste of time to write about that kind of stuff...there's just no getting through to them...and God help us all if these silly circle jerkers ever obtain real political or media power).
Friday, January 13, 2006
Michelle Malkin Writes Like Jeff Gannon
Atrios linked to a blog post by John Lombard which shows that Michelle Malkin lifted parts of a recent column from an ABC News original report. Malkin basically just used the exact same language in the same order to describe various individuals mentioned in her column.
Malkin also ripped off the Associated Press for her article.
Lenz: "The debate between protection versus mobility has dominated military doctrine since the Middle Ages, when knights wrapped themselves in metal suits for battle, said Capt. Jamey Turner, 35, of Baton Rouge, La., a commander in the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment."
Malkin: "Capt. Jamey Turner, 35, of Baton Rouge, La., a commander in the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment bluntly reminded The Associated Press: “You’ve got to sacrifice some protection for mobility. If you cover your entire body in ceramic plates, you’re just not going to be able to move.”"Lenz: ""It's the Army's responsibility to get soldiers the armor they need. But that doesn't mean those deaths could have been prevented," said Spc. Robert Reid, 21, of Atlanta."
Malkin: "But challenging the leaked study’s premises, Spc. Robert Reid, 21, of Atlanta, commented: “It’s the Army’s responsibility to get soldiers the armor they need. But that doesn’t mean those deaths could have been prevented.”"
Unfortunately, Malkin accidently changed the homestate for one of our troops:
Lenz: "Second Lt. Josh Suthoff, 23, of Jefferson City, Miss., said he already sacrifices enough movement when he wears the equipment."
Malkin: "Second Lt. Josh Suthoff, 23, of Jefferson City, Mo., said: “I’d go out with less body armor if I could.”"
Thursday, January 12, 2006
We Get Offers From Three Kings
Urgent and Confidential from Sgt Richard Murphy.
I hope my email meets you well. I am in need of your assistance. My name is Sgt Richard Murphy, I am in the Military Engineering Unit here Baghdad, Iraq. We have about $15 Million US dollars that we want to move out of the country. My colleagues and I need a good partner, someone we can trust. This is a risk free and legal business (oil money).
But we are moving it through diplomatic means, to send it to your house directly or a bank of your choice using diplomatic courier service. The most important thing is that can we trust you? Once the funds get to you, you take your 60% out and keep our own 40%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be kept. Our own part is sending it to you. If you are interested, I will furnish you with more details. The whole process is simple and you must please ensure strict confidentiality at all times.
I look forward to your reply and co-operation, and I thank you in advance as I anticipate your co-operation. You can reach me on via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Waiting for your urgent response.
Sgt Richard Murphy.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Media Matters Sometimes
(Before I lay into Media Matters in this post, I should mention that...heh...we have a history.)
Basically, Media Matters has been bashing the Washington Post the last couple of days because of an article that contained one line that represented the Bush Administration's position.
The other week, Franklin Foer wrote a controversial blog entry for The Plank at the New Republic Website which critiqued the dominant liberal blogosphere attacks on the press:
Last month, I wrote a column against the Mainstream Blogosphere. I argued that the MSB has made a grave mistake in relentlessly attacking the credibility of the New York Times and Washington Post. For decades, conservatives have been trying to shred these institutions. Now, the left-wing bloggers have made common cause with the media's conservative critics, trying to bring down the "mainstream media." The NSA domestic spy story has provided a powerful case study in why the left's attack is so dangerous. Here, the Times has exposed an important example of Bush's imperial presidency, a potentially pernicious violation of civil liberties. Instead of praising the Times for excellent reportage and bravely bucking presidential pleas to bury the story, the MSB has heaped disdain on the Times. They have trashed the Times for sins ranging from throwing the election to Bush to turning a blind eye to these abuses. (Hey, Atrios: When was the last time that you exposed such a big story?)
Although The Washington Post's Dafna Linzer didn't break a big story when she wrote "Secret Surveillance May Have Occurred Before Authorization," any reasonable person could see that it wasn't an article that Bush Administration officials would be trumpeting on the Sunday talk shows. Linzer wrote of how NSA began spying on American citizens without obtaining warrants even before the Bush Administration formally "authorized" it ("authorized" is in quotes...since the jury is still out whether the Bush Administration had the power to do such a thing).
But Media Matters is making a big deal out of the second sentence in the following paragraph:
The NSA program operated in secret until it was made public in news accounts last month. Since then, President Bush and his advisers have defended it as legal and necessary to protect the country against future attacks and have said Congress was repeatedly consulted.
Is that sentence true?
Yes, it is. That has been the Administration's position.
From a December 19 press briefing, here's President Bush:
"We monitor this program carefully. We have consulted with members of the Congress over a dozen times. We are constantly reviewing the program."
Was President Bush telling the truth?
But the question on the table: Does the press have an obligation to counter statements or partisan postions in their articles each and every time they publish something that is untrue, sort-of-true, or arguable?
If that were the case then nearly every single article published would be so unforgivingly long that most newspaper readers would never even finish reading them.
In an article published by The Washington Post on January 7th called "Report rebuts Bush on spying," Carol D. Leonnig wrote about the bi-partisan Congressional Research Service's report which dismissed Bush Administration arguments that offered justification for the warrantless eavesdropping.
But the report did not declare the operation illegal, just that the "legal justification" wasn't as "well-grounded" as officials were making it out to be.
But included in Leonnig's article was this paragraph:
"This report contradicts the president's claim that his spying on Americans was legal," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), one of the lawmakers who asked the CRS to research the issue. "It looks like the president's wiretapping was not only illegal, but also ensnared innocent Americans who did nothing more than place a phone call."
Leonnig chose not to counter Senator Lautenberg's misleading-at-best statement. The report never suggested that the operation was illegal...simply that the "legal justification" provided so far didn't measure up and that due to classified information it was "impossible" to determine anything further:
Whether an NSA activity is permissible under the Fourth Amendment and the statutory scheme outlined above is impossible to determine without an understanding of the specific facts involved and the nature of the President’s authorization, which are for the most part classified.
That's part of my problem with Media Matters.
They only care about media "misinformation" when it's coming from the right. "Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."
Real media critics don't act in such a partisan manner.
Real media critics help to correct misinformation no matter which side of the political spectrum it's slanted to.
Real media critics wouldn't waste so much time nitpicking articles that are factually accurate but not as one-sided as they'd prefer them to be.
Call them Media Matters Sometimes.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Some Links & A Screed
Lukery at wotisitgood4 has been digging into all things Sibel Edmonds the last few months. The FBI whistleblower recently caught up with Lukery's work, spoke to him on the phone, and informed him that he is one of the few that are on "the right track."
Zen Comix picks on Pat Robertson.
Jay Rosen continues to examine the "back story" to why so many media organizations screwed up the West Virginia miners' story.
Fat Old Jewish Guy Who Lives In The Projects is the coolest name for a blog, ever (and I'm not saying that just cause I want him to buy some ad space).
Hepkitty's Litter Box takes us through the year that just passed us by.
From this Associated Press article, Bush to Democrats: Don't Slam Iraq Policy, by Jennifer Loven:
But he termed irresponsible the "partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil or because of Israel or because we misled the American people," as well as "defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right." With that description, Bush lumped the many Democrats who have accused him of twisting prewar intelligence with the few people, mostly outside the mainstream, who have raised the issues of oil and Israel.
It's fucking ridiculous but Loven is right.
Only those "outside the mainstream" have raised the issue of oil in regards to the invasion of Iraq.
But just because it hasn't been raised...doesn't mean that it's an "outside the mainstream" idea.
Even if things got quiet in Iraq, somehow, because of our nation's dependence on oil, there is no way that American troops will be exiting from the region anytime soon.
We are there for the oil. Iraq's oil. Saudi Arabia's oil. The rest of the oil.
Not neccessarily to steal it (though that's certainly arguable) but to defend it.
Everybody fucking knows this. Too bad only those "outside the mainstream" ever say it aloud.
Monday, January 09, 2006
What About Jeff?
President Bush signed into law a silly idea that would make it a crime to anonymously annoy other people on the Internet (and on the phone).
Atrios wonders "Who will be the first head up their ass blogger to try to get one of their trolls in trouble with this law."
If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on La Shawn Barber.
I guess this silly law will also hurt the Crank Yankers and Bart Simpsons of America.
If anyone ever calls you looking for "Mike Hunt" or asking you to let Prince Albert out of his can then they better give you their name, rank and serial number otherwise the full force of the law will wreak vengeance on their asses.
I am kind of wondering how this law will affect everyone's favorite blogger, Jeff Gannon, since he doesn't use his real name: James Guckert.
I wonder if it's still legal to attend press briefings and annoy White House press secretaries without using your real name.
Maybe Stephen Kaus Should Shut His Hole
After I wrote this first post about a military blogger I was challenged by that same blogger to "ask questions" or "shut my hole."
Even if it were possible to "shut my hole" I probably wouldn't have. But I did ask questions. And I was able to write a fair account of a right-of-center blogger unfairly treated by the press for a left-leaning news website which was linked by luminaries on the right such as Michelle Malkin, Instapundit and National Review Online.
And I'm damn proud of that.
Roggio and me...we don't agree at all about the why, what or when of the invasion of Iraq...but that doesn't mean that we must forever battle like Highlanders or something.
A half-hour ago, I was forced to sign up for an account at Huffington Post to leave a comment at an "article" written by Stephen Kaus which...basically...implies that I've been "swiftboated" (or maybe he's saying that I've helped with the "swift boating") by Bill Roggio.
Here's a link to Military Blogger Bill Roggio Swiftboats the Washington Post, which contains absolutely nothing new, no new research, no new quotes, no digging (well what not the right kind of digging) just the worst kind of knee-jerk partisan opining that there is.
It's been a few minutes and my comment hasn't appeared at Huff Post.
Good thing I saved it:
I certainly didn't participate in any "swift boating" when I interviewed Roggio for Raw Story.
There are so many wrong (and stupidly partisan) things in this "article" I don't know where to start (but perhaps you can start by pointing out exactly when Roggio told Hewitt in the radio show that reporters that want to embed have to get their work checked out first and approved).
If Roggio wrote that he was married to Minnie Mouse and the Washington Post wrote it up without fact-checking it I guess that would be Roggio's fault too.
I mean...gimme a break...I'm a liberal who has argued against this war since before it started...but I recognize an unfair attack when I see it.
If the WaPo writers did half the work I did they could have written an article to support their thesis....their work was shoddy...and Roggio never should have been tied to buying of Iraqi stations in the first place.
Did you even read any of Roggio's articles? Cause it doesn't seem like you did...there's a few mainstream journalists out there embedded with troops right now filing stories that are far more like the propaganda that you want to see.
Anyway...here's another link to my Raw Story article on Roggio, if you missed it: Washington Post ombud says paper will answer complaints about putting blogger in propaganda story. And here's a link to the correction Washington Post published the other day: link.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Far From Over
(Re: Raw Story reports that Time Magazine's Karen Tumulty has an article in tomorrow's edition which quotes an FBI official as saying that the case against lobbyist Jack Abramoff is "far from over.")
Why Are We Back In Iraq? has obtained the following email that Congressman Tom DeLay wrote Jack Abramoff early Saturday morning before he decided to give up on returning to his House Majority leadership position:
Dear Jack buddy,
This is the endpals forever,
You made your choice
And now my chance is over
I thought I was in
You put me down and say I'm goin nowhere
Save me darlin'
I am down but I am far from over
Give me somethin'
I need it all
'Cause I am runnin' over
Back in the race
I'm movin' in
'Cause I am getting closer
I'm diggin' in
I want it more than anything I've wanted
Save me darlin'
I am down but I am far from over
Give me sonethin'
I need it all
'Cause I am runnin' over
Save me darlin'
I am down but I am far from over
Give me somethin'
I need it all
'Cause I am runnin' over
Tom "Frank" DeLay
Friday, January 06, 2006
Roggio & Me at Raw Story
A little over a week ago after I wrote this post about a military blogger I was challenged by that same blogger to "ask questions."
I did. And Bill Roggio responded.
And now I have two articles up at RAW STORY, as a result:
There was a lot of stuff I didn't use...and some stuff that got cut out...and a few sources that didn't get back to me. Maybe I'll throw some of that stuff up here over the weekend.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Raw Story has an article about a Wall Street Journal article on a Harris Interactive poll which shows that 70% would oppose Judge Samuel Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court if he were to overturn Roe.
But here's the part that struck me. The way different groups of core voters reacted to the two questions:
"President Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you believe he should be confirmed by the Senate?"
"If you thought that Judge Alito, if confirmed, would vote to make abortions illegal, would you favor or oppose his confirmation?"
For Republicans who voted yes on both the percentage dropped from 65-56%.
For Independents who voted yes on both the percentage dropped from 34-26%.
For Democrats who voted yes on both the percentage remained the same.
In other words, 100% of Democrats who would vote to confirm Judge Alito want Roe vs. Wade overturned.
Monday, January 02, 2006
MSM Don't Link
...and we think she should.
Jane Hamsher at firedoglake is 100% right:
If there was one thing I would say to print journalists trying to ease themselves into the internet era it would be LEARN HOW TO LINK YOU BASTARDS.
It drives us CRAZY and fuels much scorn when nobody in the MSM seems to realize that this possibility (let alone this necessity) exists. And I don't mean some auto-generated Yahoo link to the word "Pentagon" like nobody knows what it means. I mean if you talk about Karl Rove's first appearance before the grand jury, and six months ago your own publication wrote an article about that very event, you link to it. It's not hard, you probably looked at it when you wrote the piece in the first place.
How hard would it be to - say - give a link to the Committee on Indian Affairs so that readers can get a look at Jack Abramoff's silly e-mails when you report about them?
The Washington Post site does a much better job than just about anywhere else...and I've a feeling that they'll get even better. But The New York Times and - especially the UK press - have a lot of catching up to do. Not sure how this would work with the Associated Press, Reuters, Knight-Ridder, etc., though...and that's a problem...though I also think it's a problem that so many stories are left to just the wire service reports.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Bush's Funny New Year
A year ago, in January of 2005, the United States Army opened it's second Amputee Center at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (link).
Since 2001, out of close to 17,000 wounded in total, about two-and-a-half percent wind up as amputees. Along with Brooke's burn and trauma units the hospital treated more than 2,300 wounded in 2005 (link).
President Bush spoke to the press on New Year's Day from Brooke Army Medical Center (transcript) and joked about a "little scratch" he had suffered:
Happy New Year to you all. Thanks. I can't think of a better way to start 2006 then here at this fantastic hospital -- a hospital that's full of healers and compassionate people who care deeply about our men and women in uniform. It's also full of courageous young soldiers, Marines, airmen -- men and women who are serving our country and making great sacrifice. I'm just overwhelmed by the great strength of character of not only those who have been wounded, but of their loved ones, as well. And so, thank you all for bringing great credit to our country.
As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel.
Those were the first two paragraphs of his remarks. I included the first one so as not to be accused of taking the second one out of context.
I hope the President recovers from his "little scratch."
Oprah Winfrey did a show on the Brooke Army Medical Center and there's pictures of some of the brave men and women recovering from their lifelong wounds (link). I wonder if Oprah joked about a "little scratch" when she visited the troops there.