Friday, February 18, 2005


Thanks to The Fixin's Bar; a billboard in L.A. "corrected":

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Senate Dems not too "cool" 

Dear Howard Dean,

I want to congratulate you on becoming our new party chair, and let you know how excited I am about your leadership of the party.

Yesterday you sent me an email in which you noted that my party representatives had “demanded a Democratic Party that stands up for itself and for an agenda that reflects our values.”

I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, I am receiving some disheartening signals that our Party—our Democratic Senators, at least—are neither standing up for us nor standing up for our values.

I speak of the matter of Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert, the details of which I am sure you are no doubt familiar with. Today the Raw Story reported (quoting from Mary Ann Akers’ Roll Call column) that

Senate Democrats were reticent about signing on after the escort revelations. One Senate aide told her “senators wanted to wait and see how the story ’shakes out’ before acting.”

The Raw Story also reports (quoting an unnamed Senate aide):

“Thus far, the Senate has been cool towards investigating this matter,” the aide said. “Most Democratic senators have been cool to actively participating in a hands-on investigation of this matter, but Senator Lautenberg seems to have taken the lead.”

Huh? “Wait and see how the story ’shakes out’ before acting”? “Cool to actively participating in a hands-on investigation of this matter”? Only three congressional Democrats--Sen. Lautenburg and Reps. Conyers and Slaughter--interested in pursuing the matter? Is this how our party plans to stand up for our values? Can you imagine Republican senators—had this scandal occurred during the Clinton administration—adopting a “wait and see” attitude? Being hesitant to investigate?

Let’s be clear: a working prostitute with no legitimate journalistic credentials, acting under a pseudonym under the auspices of a phony news service run by a Texas GOP activist was given direct access to that most guarded of inner sanctums, the White House press room, where he served no function but to shill for administration viewpoints. Additionally, he was given special access to a confidential CIA memo regarding Valerie Plame, the leaking of which (by unknown administration officials) is currently the subject of a criminal investigation. Additionally, Scott McClellan has made questionable (to say the least) assertions regarding what he knew about the provenance of Gannon/Guckert at the time he was given security clearance to the White House. Either someone in the White House wanted Gannon/Guckert inside, or else the security/vetting apparatus is so incompetent as to raise alarming national security questions.

This in a White House which campaigned (in 2000) on “restoring dignity the Oval Office” and (in 2004) on so-called “traditional values”?

Now, if transparency and honesty in government and respect for a free and independent media are Democratic values—and I believe they are—then isn’t it in our interest to investigate and expose corruption, lying, and unethical behavior when we see it?

What the HELL are they waiting for??? To quote you, Chairman: "Aaaaggagaghaghahgah."

You know what: the Dems have been thrown what appears to be a big, juicy softball of a scandal on this one. If they can't step up to the plate, I suggest you immediately dissolve the Party.



Monday, February 14, 2005

White House Burning with Love, Love, Love 

What a beautiful Valentine's Day this is shaping up to be in the ole blogosphere. First, AmericaBlog has the latest, extremely graphic information on what Jeff "Jim Guckert" Gannon was doing in his spare time between acting as a planted shill in the White House press room and gay-bashing in the columns of the "Talon News Service." But a mere glimpse:

Sorry about that.

Well, but apparently that's not all. The mystery as to exactly how an apparently active male prostitute was given such intimate access to the West Wing--and exclusive access to confidential CIA memos concerning the identity of Valerie Plame--remains unsolved. However, they have some intriguing ideas over at Raw Story:

RAW STORY has been told that the White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan visited a gay bar in Austin, Texas, on March 19, 1995. The date was placed exactly as a local memorial service was held on the same day.

The source, who would only comment on condition of anonymity, reserved comment on whether McClellan was actually gay, but said he was frequently seen at gay clubs. Another source also confirmed this account.

“He was often seen in gay clubs in Austin, Texas and was comfortable being there,” the Texan said. “He’s been seen in places that normal people who are looking for heterosexual relationships are not seen alone.”

According to a White House transcript, McClellan is married, and Gannon sent the press secretary a wedding card. The White House, however, declined to comment.

"Simple" Scotty

Obviously, one anonymous source does not a true story make. Still, one can't but help see a curious pattern developing...

Oh, and see if you can even keep track of all the probable lies in the shit McClellan said today to Editor and Publisher, regarding what he (and Bush) knew about Gannon/Guckert, Talon News, etc.

Update--sorry, but this is just too fun. From about one year ago:

Bush prefers Martin spokesman to his own

by Jane Taber, Globe and Mail

Ottawa — This is the tale of the two Scotts — one American, the other Canadian. One is dark-haired, the other blond. Both are 35 and both work for the most powerful men in their respective countries.

Scott McClellan is the press secretary to U.S. President George W. Bush; Scott Reid is the senior strategist to Prime Minister Paul Martin.

But, according to Mr. Bush, Mr. Martin has the prettier Scott.

Indeed. Welcome to a new era of “pretty face” Canada-U.S. relations.

This is what happened:

Mr. Bush met Mr. Reid earlier this week at the summit in Monterrey, Mexico, just after the President's breakfast with Mr. Martin.

Mr. Reid was not initially in the hotel room where the two leaders and their closest advisers met, but was called in to brief the Prime Minister at the end as the group waited for the media.

Mr. Bush wandered over during Mr. Reid's chat with the Prime Minister. Mr. Reid introduced himself and shook hands with Mr. Bush.

“Well, what do you do for this guy?” the President asked as he pointed to the Prime Minister.

“Well, you know, sir, I can't really say,” Mr. Reid said. “It's not that I don't want to. It's just that, you know, I don't really know from day to day.”

This is true. Mr. Reid handles a number of files and performs a number of different duties, depending on the issue and the day.

The President chuckled. “Well, you got a pretty face,” he told the surprised Mr. Reid. He wasn't done. “You got a pretty face,” he said again. “You're a good-looking guy. Better looking than my Scott anyway.”

This is true. His Scott has a receding hairline and is on the chubby side, while Mr. Martin's Scott has a full head of hair and is quite fit.

For the first time in his life, Mr. Reid had no reply. “I didn't know what to say,” said Mr. Reid, noting later that he wished that Mr. Bush had referred to him as a “rugged-looking young man or something.

“But I'll take what I can, I guess,” he joked. “When a Texas Republican says you've got a pretty face, then I guess there is just no way around it."

Three cheers for pretty faces!

Happy Valentine's Day 

(Thanks to The Fixin's Bar.)

If laws are outlawed then only outlaws will obey the law 

Apparently the Georgia legislature isn't the only polity passing self-negating laws:

Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 … is amended to read as follows:
“(c) Waiver. —

“(1) In general. — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.

“(2) No judicial review. — Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court shall have jurisdiction —

“(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or

“(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.”


the actual legislation indemnifies the Department of Homeland Security and its subcontractors from all laws

When asked if the U.S. could succumb to Fascism, Huey Long replied, "Yes, but in America we'll call it anti-fascism."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Hunger for Dictatorship" 

America may well be on the road to fascism, warns The American Conservative.

(Um, yeah, that's Pat Buchanan's magazine.)
And yet the very fact that the f-word can be seriously raised in an American context is evidence enough that we have moved into a new period. The invasion of Iraq has put the possibility of the end to American democracy on the table and has empowered groups on the Right that would acquiesce to and in some cases welcome the suppression of core American freedoms. That would be the titanic irony of course, the mother of them all—that a war initiated under the pretense of spreading democracy would lead to its destruction in one of its very birthplaces. But as historians know, history is full of ironies.


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