New Civilization News: Reeling In Rove    
 Reeling In Rove34 comments
picture25 Apr 2007 @ 09:53, by Richard Carlson

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands … is the definition of tyranny.

---James Madison

I know something which is known to few but is not a secret. Karl Rove is not a believer, and he doesn’t shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly. I think the way he puts it is, “I’m not fortunate enough to be a person of faith.”

---Christopher Hitchens

Rove was asked whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq.
"I think it was Osama bin Laden's", Rove replied.

---The Akron Beacon Journal, 4/19/07 [link]

You won't get an argument from me about the man's brilliance. I do confess wonder at how someone can enjoy the intense level of hatred expressed toward him. I've never had the control on my own anger levels enough to laugh at a person who responds extremely to my taunting. I'm uncomfortable in such a situation, but I understand there are those who love to create that tension. There must be people who adore him, such as those who come to his speeches. Does he have a family or anything like that?

Maybe we'll find out as announcement comes from the White House of the unleashing of an internal investigation by Special Counsel Scott Bloch of Mr. Rove's political shenanigans. My heart leapt with the news...at first. Then I began to wonder.

Aren't Waxman and Conyers on the verge of issuing subpoenas to get this Rove guy under oath? If he's "under investigation" by Bloch, can't he reply he's not allowed to discuss anything until the investigation concludes? Hmmm. How long did Fitzgerald take? Won't Bush Inc. be packed and ready to vacate the Oval Office by then? You know, this sounds vaguely like a Rove strategy in itself!

But now we have news this Bloch character is under investigation himself: something about punishing workers for not being loyal enough, things like that. The LA Times has the story this morning. [link]
Just how chummy are Rove and Bloch I wonder?

If Rove thought this up to avoid Congressional scrutiny, what other evidence do we need of this Administration's contempt for congressional process? Why will they not engage in discussion of policies? And don't give me the wartime powers of commander in chief argument! The Bushies were like this before they invaded the Middle East.

Among the matters Congress wishes to ask Rove about are those secret email accounts. Never mind millions of messages mysteriously have been deleted---in the manner of the Nixon tapes?---what was the purpose and function of those accounts? How were the "private" Republican laptops used? Earlier in the week Bob Fitrakis asserted they were used to manipulate presidential elections. On the hard drives of those machines is the record of interactions of election fraud and the programs that were used to do it. Fitrakis names names. [link]

If all this is just screwball conspiracy theory (and isn't it fun to ridicule people who think strategies actually might get planned out?) then why will not the White House answer any questions, except ones they hand themselves to friendly reporters? What is the principle that can't budge Rove? Or does he delight in thinking the opposition is just running around in circles?


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34 comments

25 Apr 2007 @ 15:05 by vaxen : I think...
that they are all on the same side (pan determinism) and that what will be eeked out, in the end, is the end of this country. Took a long time to die but, then, there are those of us who have studied the East India Company and know the origins of the "stars and stripes."

Psy-Ops is a strange bird, jazzolog. Very strange indeed and for the normal, everyday, folks... there is no way they'll ever understand Machiavelli.

"The Prince"



Oh, one more thing, jazzo, is that these people are not operating under any "Constitution." Because we are not under "Constitutional Law." They won't tell you that but it is true. We never have been, either. It is all "Commerce!" Approach them through the UCC then see how things change 'magickally.'

But, then, who will do that? All the lackeys in the Kings' court are paid off handsomely. Remember Yaakov and Esau? ;)

Oh, here is the link to the article. Hope it works...

[link]  



25 Apr 2007 @ 15:44 by vaxen : A little deeper...
A new UN testimony, revealed to Andrew Cockburn, shows the WMD fiasco goes back to 1997

A former senior UN diplomat has revealed to me details of how, just over 10 years ago, the Clinton administration deliberately sabotaged UN weapons inspections in Iraq.

American officials were fearful that Iraq would be officially certified as weapons-free, a development that was seen as a political liability for Bill Clinton. Thus the stage was set for the manufacture of the Iraqi WMD myth as the excuse for George Bush's catastrophic invasion of Iraq.



It was March 1997. For six years the UN inspectors had been probing the secrets of Saddam's weapons programmes, in the process destroying huge quantities of chemical munitions and other production facilities. To enforce Saddam's cooperation, Iraq was subject to crushing sanctions.

Now, Rolf Ekeus, the urbane Swedish diplomat who headed the inspection effort, was ready to announce that his work was almost done. "I was getting close to certifying that Iraq was in compliance with Resolution 687," he confirmed to me recently.

At the time, he declared that although there were some loose ends to be cleared up, "not much is unknown about Iraq's retained proscribed weapons capabilities."

For the Clinton administration, this was a crisis. If Ekeus was allowed to complete his mission, then the suspension of sanctions would follow almost automatically.

Saddam would be off the hook and, more importantly for the Clintonites, the neo-conservative republicans would be howling for the president's blood.

The only hope was somehow to prevent Ekeus completing his mission.

Enter Madeleine Albright, newly appointed Secretary of State. On March 26, 1997, she strode on to the stage at Georgetown University to deliver what was billed as a major policy address on Iraq.

cf: [link]

They are 'ALL' traitors, jazzolog, or "businessmen." Ever really study the "British East India Company?" The "Honorable East India Company (HEIC)?"

Washington D.C. was totally "sacked" during the war of 1812. The soldiers carried their 'arms' back to their ships. When have you ever heard of a defeated enemy carrying their 'arms' back to their ships?

Better start relying on your own two cents, and forget about Washington D.C. Ever wonder why the grassroots 'eidolons,' that get 'voted (guffaw)' into those 'representative' seats, always change their tune after a few months in the Capitol?

They learn the truth. Then it's a dog and pony show after that. Also, do some, in depth, research into what really 'transpired,' in 1913, with the establishment of "The Federal Reserve." It isn't Federal, and there is no reserve!

There is also no money! America, you've been betrayed; from the very get go.

Sorry 'bout that.

Why is no one concerned that 'Bush was 'Knighted' by Queen Elisabeth? Why aren't the Bush ties to the house of Windsor of no concern, whatsoever, to anyone?

Can you say: Tavistock? This nation is so DUPED!  



25 Apr 2007 @ 16:20 by rayon : Hit by sack of Potatoes
there is no denying it(is that an Aha?): almost all seems to ring true even though way above my head, can't do foreign political deduction for toffee. Being stone throw from palace checked out one point, was Clinton who rec'd an hon knighthood, we here do not think Bush did, could be wrong but canna imagine it. Guilliani did too. Yes, the changing of tunes once voted into office as a senator always got me wondering. This may not be right time, but Osama seems to be taking support from Hilary: following through this thought leads me for one into thinking similar conclusion to V's.  


25 Apr 2007 @ 21:24 by vaxen : Human...
beings are, innately good, and gentle, creatures - regardless of what the Darwinian bumpkins, and their 'scientific,' neo-con, behavior modist, sado masochistic, democrats, and republicans, and libertarian, and etc., cohorts - would have you believe.

However:

The British government, on 9 August 1971, unleashed one of its largest deep interrogation experiments. Irish internees were made to stand with hoods over their heads while electronic noise was played through speakers or headphones.

They were naked, half-starved, and abused. Professor Robert Daly: [17][18]

”Being awakened in the middle of the night, being beaten, lied to, and insulted, was all part of the ‘unfreezing process’ through which psychological defenses were broken down, and terror and humiliation were induced.

Hence, the photographing in the nude, being forced to urinate while running, the sadism and abuse. The aim of the treatment was to cause temporary insanity, a severe psychological injury liable to having lasting consequences.”

The unprecedented operations in Northern Ireland, prompted Amnesty International and the European Court of Human Rights to intervene. P. 58, 59 (Abu Ghraib?)

[link]

Now, maybe, you'll begin to understand how the pig Rove can thumb his fat ass at people everywhere. Believe me, nicola, jazzolog, et al, the day of reckoning is fast dawning for these non human entities.

Then, a word of encouragement; so, that you'll think twice about giving up the ship:

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these—to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

[link]  



26 Apr 2007 @ 05:29 by vaxen : Oh...
Calling out idiot America

by Scott Ritter

The ongoing hand-wringing in Congress by the newly empowered Democrats over what to do about the war in Iraq speaks volumes about the level of concern (or lack thereof) these “representatives of the people” have toward the men and women who honor us all by serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. The inability to reach consensus concerning the level of funding required or how to exercise effective oversight of the war, both constitutionally mandated responsibilities, is more a reflection of congressional cowardice and impotence than a byproduct of any heartfelt introspection over troop welfare and national security.

[link]  



26 Apr 2007 @ 05:30 by vaxen : PS:
Bush was Knighted, but we'll save that for another day. After all, they are of the house of Windsor.

It would be nice to have a delete button here. ;) You do know that the largest tunnel ever built, or so it has been said, is now under construction from Siberia to the good old USA? Yup... to Alaska. So, soon we shall be getting lots of Siberian oil.

Then we have Mogadishu, Somalia, and Iran not to mention the good old standbys Iraq and Afghanistan. Hands across the waters.  



26 Apr 2007 @ 09:24 by jazzolog : More On Bob Fitrakis
The article Vax links in his comment this morning is the same Fitrakis piece from The Free Press I referenced in the original entry above. No matter, I'm glad to learn Common Dreams has picked it up, and there are a bunch of reader comments there too.
Bob Fitrakis, who is an attorney and professor of acting-up at some community college in Columbus, actually ran for governor of this state last year in a campaign so independent he sometimes forgot to mention his candidacy in his speeches. Thus sealing his fate as one of my favorite madmen, he's written tirelessly about the Bush theft of what's left of this country---including the 800 page compilation of documents to prove it that he assembled 2 years ago entitled Did George W. Bush Steal America's 2004 Election? [link]

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oh oh, looks like Vax came along and changed his comment and the link. However, the Fitrakis was picked up by Common Dreams and that's good. [link]  



27 Apr 2007 @ 07:01 by vaxen : Some...
uncommon dreams:

===

Gaelic »» Westminister Confession of Faith ::
Westminister Confession of Faith

In 1643, the 2nd year of the English Civil War, the Westminster Confession of Faith was written as a document to be adopted by the Church of England. The English Parliment struck a deal with the Scottish Parliment, that in return for the help of the Scottish Army on their side, they would abolish the Episcopal structure of Bishops of the English Church (who had harrased the Presbyterian Church of Scotland). Over five years, the "learned, godly and judicious Divines" laboured to produce the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Longer Catechism and the Shorter Catechism. These were enthusiastically adopted by the Church of Scotland. In 1660, once the Republic of Oliver Cromwell gave way to the restoration of the Monarchy, the Church of England returned to its Episcopalian roots and nullified the work of the Westminster Divines.

For more than three centuries, various churches around the world have adopted the Confession and the Catechisms as their standards of doctrine. The Church of Scotland is one of these churches.

[link]

© Highland Cathedral and St Columba Church 2005

===  



27 Apr 2007 @ 09:58 by jazzolog : Vax Must Know My Itinerary
We're heading for Columbus this afternoon for consecration of our new bishop in this part of the world. [link] I'll be singin' in the choir, and Ilona has a part in the service, but more important will be the opportunity this evening to meet the new Presiding Bishop of the Church, Katharine Jeffords Schori. In terms of Vax' comment, the present position of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church is an urgent invitation to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England pronto! He was in Canada recently but sent word he was too busy to stop down to say hello. Our guys replied that if he'll set the time and place, we'll be there, no matter where or when...and we'll pay his way to wherever. Many are saying we just should finish the American Revolution by dumping our ties. May happen.  


27 Apr 2007 @ 11:52 by rayon : Fascinatory facts
truly, Richard maybe you are right - time to cut ties. 'Always maintained that first and foremost a church group is about Community, which translates as those immediately around. The adopted belief is secondary and formulated by the group. One can take over an personal understanding of another's doctrine, but it will be by natural means changed by the new owners to more represent them, than the original owners in the new owners eyes. Should not be schismatic at all, just natural growth in pastures new. Vax's link is fascinating, and looks real enough for later reading. Have an excellent gathering Richard!  


27 Apr 2007 @ 14:29 by vaxen : MU?
Mu n Chruthachadh



What a place to find a Mu!

([link])

Since you'll be roamin in the gloamin ya might psalter wi' the above. ;)
And knell her holy fauperiness that a Black Douglas waits at the pass and he's carrying the heart of the Bruce!

;)

1 NAOMHA, naomha, naomha, Thighearn uile-bhuadhmhoir!
Moch sa mhadainn togar leinn ar n-òran duitse suas ;
Naomha, naomha, naomha, cumhachdach is truacant,
Dhia an Tri Pearsa, Thrianaid chaomh nam buadh!

2 Naomha, naomha, naomha! tha do shiuagh toirt cliù dhuit
Tilgeil sìos an coroin òir an lathair Dhé s an Uain,
Ceruban is seraphan sleuchdadh dhuit le h-ùmhlachd,
Thi bha s a tha, s a bhios gu sìorruidh, buan.

3 Naomha, naomha, naomha ! ged chuir duibhre sgàil ort,
Ged nach léir do shùilean peacach dealradh àrd do ghlòir,
S Tusa mhàin tha naomha, chan eil coimeas ann duit,
Iomlan am fìrinn, gràdh, is cumhachd mór.

4 Naomha, naomha, naomha, Thighearn uile-bhuadhmhoir!
Bheir d uil oibre cliù do d ainm san speur, s air tir,s air cuan;
Naomha, naomha, naomha, cumhachdach is truacant,
Dhia an Trì Pearsa, Thrianaid chaomh nam buadh !
AMEN.  



29 Apr 2007 @ 10:50 by jazzolog : Ohio Pulled What Off?
I'm sure many Athens friends and contacts were in the packed audience last night at Stuart’s Opera House for the special presentation of the sizzling new documentary How Ohio Pulled IT Off. Dana and I didn't stay around for the sumptuous feast served up at the reception, so we didn't say hello to all of you. Please forgive us, but we just had gotten back in town from consecration of the new Episcopal bishop for Southern Ohio, Tom Breidenthal, and that gigantic reception in Columbus had been enough for one day.

I also didn't get called on for a comment I wanted to make about the film itself. There were some pretty powerful political statements made and more legal promises too, and I'm sure we all wanted to hear those things. But this was part of the Athens International Film and Video Festival and a masters thesis offering to the OU School of Film, so I thought a little critique of the movie itself wouldn't be out of order.

I'd be a fool to offer anything but glad praise for the colossal editing, research, choice and capture of so many great clips (especially all the CNN stuff), and the inventive, often hilarious, vintage film material from 50 and 60 years ago. Hey, I come from Jamestown, New York, where those old "automatic" voting machines were made, and I salute the inclusion of footage of one of our trucks tooling around the ancient 2-lanes. All of that material was absolutely astonishing!

The interviews as well are positively brilliant in the film. Kucinich, Fitrakis, Palast, Steven Freeman (from UPenn), all the disgruntled voters, and even Dan Tokaji up at OSU (who's going to get a copy of this) all brought the house down. The lively audience applauded and shouted appropriately through the whole showing. I congratulate the 3 filmmakers for seeking out those particular people and getting them before cameras at last, since the media insists on other talking heads we have to listen to.

But like Dan Tokaji, I'm holding off my standing ovation for some indictments. Clever strategy by a political party may be infuriating and downright unfair but if laws aren't broken or new ones written to secure our election system, what really has been accomplished? If computer software has been created to flip votes and hack into the electronics, where is apprehension of these crooks?

I realize this film had to be completed and some degrees are involved, but there is repeated movement through its entirety toward the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial election that is misleading. Blackwell is the bad guy and so we trace his comeuppance as the driving force of the film. There are 4 or 5 turning points in which the approaching 2006 election provides opportunity for flashback to the possibilities of fraud in 2004 and even 2000. So when we get the results of 2006 at the end of the movie, there is an implication that now we have a happy ending and the bad guys are all gone. We even have Blackwell snarling, "You haven't seen the last of me!" What we didn't have was a shot of him shaking his fist as he's dragged away...and that's the rub.

My opinion is the documentary still needs something. It needs a conclusion in which we see indeed Blackwell still is in operation, now consulting for more rich profits to the religious neocons. We need questions raised as to why a liberal Episcopal priest in California is being chased by the IRS for alleged political statements in his pulpit, while the Pentecostals in Ohio are shown on film presenting Blackwell in what clearly are worship services and nobody says anything about it. We need an update on Diebold and their machines and who is doing anything to prepare for 2008? The last I heard Diebold was thinking maybe manufacture of the machines is just too much trouble and are going to sell off the line. Why shouldn't they use the tactics that have worked so well for Halliburton?

My only concern about the movie essentially is that it's too easy afterward to think the work is done now and we can just go have fun. I don't think that's the case at all. The fact is we don't know why there didn't appear to be so many dirty tricks in 2006. There's no indication anywhere that Rove either learned his lesson or somehow decided just to let Blackwell twist in the wind. The charge made in the film that the Democrats dropped out of investigation and recount demands because they play dirty too still stands, and I have the sense that no voter in America really feels sure his or her vote will matter in the slightest next time. If I'm right about that, then the real ending of the movie is that Freedom got pulled off in Ohio, pulled off of us and thrown away, and the marketplace is all that's left.

Sometimes when there's a big hit at the Film Festival, they schedule more showings. Despite this problem I have with How Ohio Pulled IT Off, I hope that will be the case here. There are a few days left for the Festival to give more people a chance to see it. Michelle, let's go. What can we do? Can I help? [link]

Incidentally, Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd got off a couple of brilliant columns at week end. TruthOut has them both.
Krugman writes about the new Gilded Age the Repubs have created here
[link]
and Maureen skewers Tenet here
[link] .

Whew, what a feisty Sunday. I guess I'll just spend the rest of the day celebrating Duke Ellington's birthday.  



29 Apr 2007 @ 12:19 by jazzolog : Krugman: How Much Is $14 Billion?
Gilded Once More
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Friday 27 April 2007

One of the distinctive features of the modern American right has been nostalgia for the late 19th century, with its minimal taxation, absence of regulation and reliance on faith-based charity rather than government social programs. Conservatives from Milton Friedman to Grover Norquist have portrayed the Gilded Age as a golden age, dismissing talk of the era's injustice and cruelty as a left-wing myth.

Well, in at least one respect, everything old is new again. Income inequality — which began rising at the same time that modern conservatism began gaining political power — is now fully back to Gilded Age levels.

Consider a head-to-head comparison. We know what John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in Gilded Age America, made in 1894, because in 1895 he had to pay income taxes. (The next year, the Supreme Court declared the income tax unconstitutional.) His return declared an income of $1.25 million, almost 7,000 times the average per capita income in the United States at the time.

But that makes him a mere piker by modern standards. Last year, according to Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine, James Simons, a hedge fund manager, took home $1.7 billion, more than 38,000 times the average income. Two other hedge fund managers also made more than $1 billion, and the top 25 combined made $14 billion.

How much is $14 billion? It's more than it would cost to provide health care for a year to eight million children — the number of children in America who, unlike children in any other advanced country, don't have health insurance.

The hedge fund billionaires are simply extreme examples of a much bigger phenomenon: every available measure of income concentration shows that we've gone back to levels of inequality not seen since the 1920s.

The New Gilded Age doesn't feel quite as harsh and unjust as the old Gilded Age — not yet, anyway. But that's because the effects of inequality are still moderated by progressive income taxes, which fall more heavily on the rich than on the middle class; by estate taxation, which limits the inheritance of great wealth; and by social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which provide a safety net for the less fortunate.

You might have thought that in the face of growing inequality, there would have been a move to reinforce these moderating institutions - to raise taxes on the rich and use the money to strengthen the safety net. That's why comparing the incomes of hedge fund managers with the cost of children's health care isn't an idle exercise: there's a real trade-off involved. But for the past three decades, such trade-offs have been consistently settled in favor of the haves and have-mores.

Taxation has become much less progressive: according to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, average tax rates on the richest 0.01 percent of Americans have been cut in half since 1970, while taxes on the middle class have risen. In particular, the unearned income of the wealthy - dividends and capital gains - is now taxed at a lower rate than the earned income of most middle-class families.

Those hedge fund titans, by the way, have an especially sweet deal: loopholes in the law let them use their own businesses as, in effect, unlimited 401(k)s, sheltering their earnings and accumulating tax-free capital gains.

Meanwhile, the tax-cut bill Congress passed in 2001 set in motion a complete phaseout of the estate tax. If the Bush administration hadn't been too clever by half, hiding the true cost of its tax cuts by making the whole package expire at the end of 2010, we'd be well on our way toward becoming a dynastic society.

And as for the social insurance programs - well, in 2005 the Bush administration tried to privatize Social Security. If it had succeeded, Medicare would have been next.

Of course, the administration's attempt to undo Social Security was a notable failure. The public, it seems, isn't eager to return to the days before the New Deal. And the G.O.P.'s defeat in the midterm election has put on hold other plans to restore the good old days.

But it's much too soon to declare the march toward a New Gilded Age over. If history is any guide, one of these days we'll see the emergence of a New Progressive Era, maybe even a New New Deal. But it may be a long wait.  



29 Apr 2007 @ 12:21 by jazzolog : Dowd: Good Ol' Slam Dunk
More Like an Air Ball
By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times
Saturday 28 April 2007

Poor Slam-Dunk.

Not since Madame Butterfly has anyone been so cruelly misunderstood and misused. Slam-Dunk says that when he pantingly told the president that fetching information on Saddam's W.M.D. would be a cinch, he did not mean let's go to war.

No matter how eager Slam-Dunk was to tell W. what he wanted to hear while polishing W.'s shoes, that intelligence they craved did not exist. "Let me say it again: C.I.A. found absolutely no linkage between Saddam and 9/11," the ex-Head Spook writes in his new book, self-effacingly titled "At the Center of the Storm." Besides, Junior and Darth had already decided to go to war to show the Arabs their moxie.

The president and vice president wanted Slam-Dunk to help them dramatize the phony case. Everyone had to pitch in! That Saturday session in December 2002 in the Oval Office was "essentially a marketing meeting," Slam-Dunk writes, just for "sharpening the arguments."

Hey, I feel better.

Slam-Dunk always presented himself as the ultimate guy's guy, a cigar-chomping spymaster who swapped jokes with the president. But now he shows us his tender side, a sniveling C.I.A. chief bullied by "remote" Condi.

He says Condi panicked in October 2002 and made him call a Times reporter, Alison Mitchell, who covered the Congressional debate about invading Iraq. He told Alison to ignore the conclusions of his own agency, which had said the links between Saddam and terrorist groups were tenuous, and that Saddam would only take the extreme step of joining with Islamic fanatics if he thought the U.S. was about to attack him. His nose growing as long as his cigar, he said nothing in the C.I.A. report contradicted the president's case for war.

"In retrospect," Slam writes, "I shouldn't have talked to the New York Times reporter at Condi's request. By making public comments in the middle of a contentious political debate, I gave the impression that I was becoming a partisan player."

Can't a guy be a lickspittle without being an ideologue?

There were so many nasties trying to push Slam around: Vice, of course, and Wolfie, and Wolfie's neoconcubine Doug Feith. Once, Slam writes, Wolfie "hounded" a C.I.A. briefer to translate the diary of Abu Zubaydah, a captured Al Qaeda official, even though the C.I.A. had decided it was just misogynistic ramblings "about what he wanted to do with women." Oh, that sexy beast Wolfie. Look out, Shaha!

But even though he was paid a $4 million advance to settle scores, Slam can't turn on W. Maybe it's the Medal of Freedom. "In a way, President Bush and I are much alike," he writes. "We sometimes say things from our gut, whether it's his 'bring 'em on' or my 'slam-dunk.' I think he gets that about me, just as I get that about him." (He had me at "slam-dunk.")

The worst meanie was horrid Bob Woodward. Slam socialized with Bob and gave him lots of intel for his best sellers, but then Bob "painted a caricature of me leaping into the air and simulating a slam-dunk, not once but twice, with my arms flailing. Credit Woodward's source with ... a fine sense of how to make me look ridiculous, but don't credit him or her with a deep sense of obligation to the truth."

A deep sense of obligation to the truth is something Slam keenly understands, even though he scurried around like the butler in "Remains of the Day," trying to toadie up to the president while, as he belatedly admits, W. was going to invade Iraq without debate or casus belli.

He says he warned Paul Bremer about de-Baathifying the Iraqi Army, but hey, he was just a staff guy. That's probably how the two worst intelligence disasters in our history happened on his watch. He was merely providing intelligence for the guys who wanted to ignore or warp that intelligence and make bad policy. What could he do?

Slam says he was Cassandra. A C.I.A. paper was given to the president's national security team in September 2002 to sum up the possible negatives of invading Iraq, including anarchy and a breakup in Iraq, instability in the neighborhood, a surge of terrorism against U.S. interests, oil disruptions, and seething allies.

But it was discreetly tucked away in the back of the briefing book, after the stuff at the beginning about how great it would be to liberate Iraq and end threats to Iraq's neighbors, and the stuff in the middle about reforming Iraq's bureaucracy.

Slam gives tips to others who want to engage in public service, including: Don't forget that there are no private conversations, even in the Oval Office. Another might be: If you worry about your own survival more than your country's, you might end up as the whiny fall guy.  



29 Apr 2007 @ 16:41 by vaxen : Too bad..
none of it matters at all. And the one Demonrat [link] who really has anything to say (I hope he goes independent)? You didn't even mention.

And an excerpt from "Antonio Gramsci Reader:
VI Hegemony, Relations of Force, Historical Bloc"

"As Engels wrote, many people find it very convenient to think that they can have the whole of history and all political and philosophical wisdom in their pockets at little cost and no trouble, concentrated into a few short formulas. They forget that the thesis which asserts that men become conscious of fundamental conflicts on the terrain of ideologies is not psychological or moralistic in character, but structural and epistemological; and they form the habit of considering politics, and hence history, as a continuous marché de dupes, a competition in conjuring and sleight of hand. ‘Critical’ activity is reduced to the exposure of swindles, to creating scandals, and to prying into the pockets of public figures."

+++

Gas-sipping vehicle gets 1,900 mpg
April 21, 2007, Los Angeles Times
[link]

We couldn't pass up mention of the winner of last week's Eco-marathon Americas, a fuel-economy challenge sponsored by Shell Oil Co. A team from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo won the $10,000 grand prize by achieving the equivalent of 1,902.7 miles per gallon on regular gasoline in a student-built vehicle. Granted, the students didn't win in someone's mom's Dodge minivan. Their "car" is a one-occupant streamliner built of carbon fiber composite. At a measly 98 pounds, it weighed less than the driver. And that was 98 pounds including the car's 50-cubic-centimeter Honda engine. "The main reason we do this is because it's a way to encourage students to focus on technical innovation for potential future careers," said David Sexton, president of Shell Oil Products. But there is a practical side to the competition, said Cal Poly team manager Tom Heckel, a junior mechanical engineering major. "Any publicity we can get makes people aware that the 20 mpg or so they're averaging in their cars can be improved on — a lot." The event, held April 14 at the California Speedway in Fontana, was the first time that Shell had brought its 25-year-old Eco-marathon competition to the U.S. The event drew 20 university, college and high school teams from around the U.S. and Canada. Rules called for each vehicle to complete seven 1.45-mile laps around the speedway's inner track, averaging at least 15 mph. Fuel consumption was measured after each attempt and adjusted for ambient temperature and other factors in a complex formula that ends up giving an extrapolation of miles per gallon.

Note: Why would the president of Shell Oil Products state the main reason for this competition is about careers and not finding ways to improve gas mileage? The world record is over 10,000 mpg [link] . How is it that the average car gets only 22 mpg when the Ford Model T got 25 [link] mpg almost 100 years ago? For more [link] ,  



30 Apr 2007 @ 09:32 by jazzolog : A Review Of The Media Clown Show
or why the American people no longer trust a "free" press.

(Thanx Vax for a fascinating comment: I'm gettin' on that research pronto!)

All the President's Press
By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 29 April 2007

Somehow it's hard to imagine David Halberstam yukking it up with Alberto Gonzales, Paul Wolfowitz and two discarded "American Idol" contestants at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Before there was a Woodward and Bernstein, there was Halberstam, still not yet 30 in the early 1960s, calling those in power to account for lying about our "progress" in Vietnam. He did so even though J.F.K. told the publisher of The Times, "I wish like hell that you'd get Halberstam out of there." He did so despite public ridicule from the dean of that era's Georgetown punditocracy, the now forgotten columnist (and Vietnam War cheerleader) Joseph Alsop.

It was Alsop's spirit, not Halberstam's, that could be seen in C-Span's live broadcast of the correspondents' dinner last Saturday, two days before Halberstam's death in a car crash in California. This fete is a crystallization of the press's failures in the post-9/11 era: it illustrates how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media in its shows. Such is literally the case at the annual dinner, where journalists serve as a supporting cast, but it has been figuratively true year-round. The press has enabled stunts from the manufactured threat of imminent "mushroom clouds" to "Saving Private Lynch" to "Mission Accomplished," whose fourth anniversary arrives on Tuesday. For all the recrimination, self-flagellation and reforms that followed these journalistic failures, it's far from clear that the entire profession yet understands why it has lost the public's faith.

That state of denial was center stage at the correspondents' dinner last year, when the invited entertainer, Stephen Colbert, "fell flat," as The Washington Post summed up the local consensus. To the astonishment of those in attendance, a funny thing happened outside the Beltway the morning after: the video of Mr. Colbert's performance became a national sensation. (Last week it was still No. 2 among audiobook downloads on iTunes.) Washington wisdom had it that Mr. Colbert bombed because he was rude to the president. His real sin was to be rude to the capital press corps, whom he caricatured as stenographers. Though most of the Washington audience failed to find the joke funny, Americans elsewhere, having paid a heavy price for the press's failure to challenge White House propaganda about Iraq, laughed until it hurt.

You'd think that l'affaire Colbert would have led to a little circumspection, but last Saturday's dinner was another humiliation. And not just because this year's entertainer, an apolitical nightclub has-been (Rich Little), was a ludicrously tone-deaf flop. More appalling - and symptomatic of the larger sycophancy - was the press's insidious role in President Bush's star turn at the event.

It's the practice on these occasions that the president do his own comic shtick, but this year Mr. Bush made a grand show of abstaining, saying that the killings at Virginia Tech precluded his being a "funny guy." Any civilian watching on TV could formulate the question left hanging by this pronouncement: Why did the killings in Iraq not preclude his being a "funny guy" at other press banquets we've watched on C-Span? At the equivalent Radio and Television Correspondents' Association gala three years ago, the president contributed an elaborate (and tasteless) comic sketch about his failed search for Saddam's W.M.D.

But the revelers in the ballroom last Saturday could not raise that discrepancy and challenge Mr. Bush's hypocrisy; they could only clap. And so they served as captive dress extras in a propaganda stunt, lending their credibility to the president's sanctimonious exploitation of the Virginia Tech tragedy for his own political self-aggrandizement on national television. Meanwhile the war was kept as tightly under wraps as the troops' coffins.

By coincidence, this year's dinner occurred just before a Congressional hearing filled in some new blanks in the still incomplete story of a more egregious White House propaganda extravaganza: the Pat Tillman hoax. As it turns out, the correspondents' dinner played an embarrassing cameo role in it, too.

What the hearing underscored was the likelihood that the White House also knew very early on what the Army knew and covered up: the football star's supposed death in battle in Afghanistan, vividly described in a Pentagon press release awarding him a Silver Star, was a complete fabrication, told to the world (and Tillman's parents) even though top officers already suspected he had died by friendly fire. The White House apparently decided to join the Pentagon in maintaining that lie so that it could be milked for P.R. purposes on two television shows, the correspondents' dinner on May 1, 2004, and a memorial service for Tillman two days later.

The timeline of events in the week or so leading up to that dinner is startling. Tillman was killed on April 22, 2004. By the next day top officers knew he had not been killed by enemy fire. On April 29, a top special operations commander sent a memo to John Abizaid, among other generals, suggesting that the White House be warned off making specific public claims about how Tillman died. Simultaneously, according to an e-mail that surfaced last week, a White House speechwriter contacted the Pentagon to gather information about Tillman for use at the correspondents' dinner.

When President Bush spoke at the dinner at week's end, he followed his jokes with a eulogy about Tillman's sacrifice. But he kept the circumstances of Tillman's death vague, no doubt because the White House did indeed get the message that the Pentagon's press release about Tillman's losing his life in battle was fiction. Yet it would be four more weeks before Pat Tillman's own family was let in on the truth.

To see why the administration wanted to keep the myth going, just look at other events happening in the week before that correspondents' dinner. On April 28, 2004, CBS broadcast the first photographs from Abu Ghraib; on April 29 a poll on The Times's front page found the president's approval rating on the war was plummeting; on April 30 Ted Koppel challenged the administration's efforts to keep the war dead hidden by reading the names of the fallen on "Nightline." Tillman could be useful to help drown out all this bad news, and to an extent he was. The Washington press corps that applauded the president at the correspondents' dinner is the same press corps that was slow to recognize the importance of Abu Ghraib that weekend and, as documented by a new study, "When the Press Fails" (University of Chicago Press), even slower to label the crimes as torture.

In his PBS report last week about the journalism breakdown before the war, Bill Moyers said that "the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses." That's not universally true; a number of news organizations have owned up to their disasters and tried to learn from them. Yet old habits die hard: for too long the full weight of the scandal in the Gonzales Justice Department eluded some of the Washington media pack, just as Abu Ghraib and the C.I.A. leak case did.

After last weekend's correspondents' dinner, The Times decided to end its participation in such events. But even were the dinner to vanish altogether, it remains but a yearly televised snapshot of the overall syndrome. The current White House, weakened as it is, can still establish story lines as fake as "Mission Accomplished" and get a free pass.

To pick just one overarching example: much of the press still takes it as a given that Iraq has a functioning government that might meet political benchmarks (oil law, de-Baathification reform, etc., etc.) that would facilitate an American withdrawal. In reality, the Maliki "government" can't meet any benchmarks, even if they were enforced, because that government exists only as a fictional White House talking point. As Gen. Barry McCaffrey said last week, this government doesn't fully control a single province. Its Parliament, now approaching a scheduled summer recess, has passed no major legislation in months. Iraq's sole recent democratic achievement is to ban the release of civilian casualty figures, lest they challenge White House happy talk about "progress" in Iraq.

It's our country's bitter fortune that while David Halberstam is gone, too many Joe Alsops still hold sway. Take the current dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder, who is leading the charge in ridiculing Harry Reid for saying the obvious - that "this war is lost" (as it is militarily, unless we stay in perpetuity and draft many more troops). In February, Mr. Broder handed down another gem of Beltway conventional wisdom, suggesting that "at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback."

Some may recall that Stephen Colbert offered the same prediction in his monologue at the correspondents' dinner a year ago. "I don't believe this is a low point in this presidency," he said. "I believe it is just a lull before a comeback." But the fake pundit, unlike the real one, recognized that this was a joke.

[link]  



30 Apr 2007 @ 10:16 by vaxen : Dear jazz---
You may wish to put this link [link] on your already overloaded plate as it is primary and essential for any forward looking analyst to take into consideration the future directions of intelligence gathering professionals. Believe it or not there really are some very intelligenct, loving, caring, concerned, people --- in intelligence ;) --- who too often get the short schrift of things political yet, we know that every single thing that happens, 'in the field,' is based upon the intelligence narrative. Gonna get some rest? Ever? Ah, no such thing for the wicked, now, is there? ;) Thanks for the articles.

Since it is now 6:17 in the AM, and the sun will rise here in a few more hours, I think I'm gonna try to grace my sheets with a bit of me.

"We are greater than me." --- New Intel Motto

This one's cute:

PORTAL: Information Operations (IP, JIOC, OSINT, but not IW)
Generals Lie, Troops Die: An Officer's Critique

Return on Information as a new metric, other insights from World Innovation Conference. Also [link] ... (Earth Intelligence Network)


Open Source Intelligence Operators Unite! ;) G'night, my friend. Hope ya enjoyed Glasgow.  



30 Apr 2007 @ 18:09 by jazzolog : Glasgow: I Wish
Would've seen the Dempstress then! We were in Columbus for the consecration. Communion personally to 3000 people. I was reminded of Voltaire's remark about the church reducing Christ to a wafer. Heh heh.  


30 Apr 2007 @ 19:22 by vaxen : Hahaha!
Right on. That's what I felt like in viewing the pics of the 'Glasgee' 'congregation.' Bunch of old stiffs speaking Gaelic. Goidelic at that. Yet...

They say that Grovel doesn't gravel. Oops! I meant to say that "they say" that Gravel doesn't grovel. So, lest ye think I've lost my marbles and would actually vote for any of these creeps with anything less than the new Klachnikovs, please take a gander at these comments:

[link]

Likening the 'man' to the sapper 'Ross Perot,' elsewhere, as well. Boulder Colorado would make a nice new capitol and they're in a state too (Or should I have said: Frenzy?)! Ah the sweet, sweet, eternal mysteries of the Verse. ;)

Lock and load! But, then, I'm no patriot so, to me, it's more like 'lock and bload.' See ya...

Oh, how was the 'communion?' Do y'all get to tipple a bit o the wine reserved for the 'priestesses?' Or is that considered too Anglicano, cum Romano-Pagani, in these enlightening times?

Ever read 'The Golden Ass of Apuleius?'

[link]

RA  



1 May 2007 @ 15:14 by vaxen : In particular...
"All options are on the table." --- Obama, Clinton,McCain, etcetera.



Note the Delta wing modulus in the sky.

"All options are on the table." --- Nobody cares  



1 May 2007 @ 15:19 by jazzolog : Four Years Ago Today
"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

Let the cash roll in.  



1 May 2007 @ 23:17 by vaxen : And now?
Martial law...  


2 May 2007 @ 04:03 by vaxen : There is...
an old Mahayana precept. It goes something like this: "Hendoku Iyaku." You had mentioned, in the beginning of your article, how someone like Karl Gustav Rove could enjoy such a level of intense hatred being directed towards him?

Easy if you remember the Mahayana cannons teachings: "Hendoku Iyaku!" Changing poison into medicine is what that means. You can do it too! ;)

Now excuse me, please, I've got to go and change some "poison into medicine." See ya later swamiji.  



2 May 2007 @ 08:10 by jazzolog : Ultimately
the psychopath needs pure medicine, not more poison. His skills of transformation are useless before the fires of Vajrayana.  


2 May 2007 @ 19:34 by vaxen : A...
bit of a response that I got from Craig Roberts, columnist over at Lou Rockwells place, when I admonished him about going on and on and on about 'Bush.' You know, 'smoke and mirrors.'

I mentioned that what they should concentrate on is 'the Federal Reserve' and the 'International Investment Banking systems,' and the part they play in all wars extant on the face of planet earth, rather than scapegoatism which matters not...

I mentioned Wall Streets' having financed Adolph Hitler. I also mentioned Andrew Jackson, THomas Jefferson, as well as the Federal Reserve Act, etc., and his response was interesting.


From: Paul Craig Roberts paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com
Date: 2007/04/30 Mon PM 06:53:57 EDT
To: stormulf@bellsouth.net
Subject: Re: Scapegoatism



Only 67% of Americans can name their vice president.
They have no idea who Andrew Jackson was or what the
Federal Reserve is. I can't teach them history in a
column.  



4 May 2007 @ 07:59 by jazzolog : How's That Again?
In a two-page letter sent to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Mr. Bush said his veto threat would apply to any measures that “allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life.”

[link]

"Destruction of human life." Bush/Cheney opposed to destroying life? Let me list the ways, the cities, the names...  



4 May 2007 @ 15:05 by vaxen : How about...
the 'American people (whatever that means.)' who have been putting up (shelling out) for these shenannigans from the very beginning. It's an easy thing to "just say no."

But the thing about having this kind of tyranny of the populace is that they think they elect leaders who can act as scapegoats for them... thus the endless tirades against "bush cheney." Sops with which to wet the already overly wet whistle of denial. You are guilty of putting up with this nonsense, not Bush, Cheney...

Goes back much further than that. Happy denials, then, but you won't get out of this one.

Oh, I see that Olmert will probably resign. Old Jewish adage: So what?  



4 May 2007 @ 16:00 by vaxen : Curious aside:
"I'm the commander in chief, see, I don't need to explain, I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting part about being president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

~ George W. Bush

"La necessita che non da tempo (“the necessity that allows no time”)." --- Machiavelli (Or is that 'Machiadora?')

[link]



That hoodoo that you do so well?  



4 May 2007 @ 17:35 by jazzolog : Down And Down We Go
I like better his more recent description of his Chiefdom:

“The question is, ‘Who ought to make that decision, the Congress or the commanders?,’’ Mr. Bush said. “As you know, my position is clear – I’m the commander guy.”

[link]  



4 May 2007 @ 18:53 by vaxen : Mad Max
Senator Max Cleland – Former member of the 9/11 Commission, resigned in December 2003 "I, as a member of the [9/11] Commission, cannot look any American in the eye..."

Oh?  



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