Democratic Underground

Blog Box

January 20, 2005
Compiled and written by Delilah Boyd, A Scrivener's Lament

Talking Points, Blogger Style

Talking points are easy to compile. Just consult your favorite liberal bloggers for this week's batch:

Domestic Spying: Republican Peeping Toms (and Peeping Georges and Peeping Albertos) belong in jail.

Unitary Executive Power: If it was good enough for Hitler, it's good enough for Bush & Alito.

Abramoff: There is no lobbying scandal. What we've got here is a Republican bribery scandal.

National Security: Are you safer now than you were when Monica was an intern?

Yellow Cake Scam: Did you hear the one about the four-star general's "No Yellow Cake" report? Of course not.

Bush Bubble: George W. Bush is so out-of-touch that he still thinks our soldiers have the best equipment.

Iraq War: Republicans hire PR firms to tell our soldiers what to think.

Media Maytag Spin Cycle: Republicans can't function without their echo chamber.

George W. Is No Spy Master!

Talking Point: Republican Peeping Toms belong in jail .

Who else could spend five years trampling the U.S. Constitution (diverting our human resources from actual terrorist chasing), spying on Quakers and grandmothers, and still come up completely empty handed? Just a Bump in the Beltway cites the New York Times article on Bush's failed domestic spying shenanigans and asks, "Are you really surprised to find that this crew is incompetent at making you safer? Are you?"

Just in case, BushBots always state that Al Qaeda would love to attack us again. They really, really want to. So be afraid. Be ever afraid. But as the poll numbers are beginning to reflect, BushCo's I Spy Fear Factory may not be so popular. Bob Geiger has the report on Bush's bad news.

TomDispatch calls the president's Constitutional Crisis pickle "The Year of Living Dangerously," and Radar Contact's Elizabeth de la Vega writes, "OK, everyone who has studied the Unitary Executive Theory of the Presidency, raise your hand. Anyone? Anyone?"

Talking Point: If it was good enough for Hitler, it's good enough for Bush & Alito

Speaking of the emperor's new clothes Unitary Executive Theory of the Presidency (UETP), the best post on this theory's history comes from Rev. Bill McGinnis at loveallpeople.org, who explains the UETP's pre-Magna Carta origins:

The Unitary Executive Theory (Führerprinzip), Or The King-With-Advisors Form Of Government

(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 14, 2006 ) Alexandria, VA -- The "Unitary Executive" theory is really just another name for the ancient "King With Advisors" form of government, widely used around the world for thousands of years in human history. The basic idea is that the King has the final authority and makes all the final decisions, but that he consults with his advisors, and may or may not heed their advice. The role of the people is to go along quietly with whatever the King wants to do.

Then the good reverend adds:

"There must be no decisions by majority, but only responsible persons, and the word 'council' is once more reduced to its original meaning. At every man's side there stand councillors, indeed, but one man decides."

Source: MEIN KAMPF at http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=98197509, pages 669-670.

Yikes! Who needs Rod Serling when you've got Karen Hughes?

Abramoff & the Republican Bribery Scandal

Talking Point: There is no lobbying scandal. What we've got here is a Republican bribery scandal.

When Republicans try to bundle Abramoff with legitimate lobbyists (educators, disability rights groups, Indian tribes, and homeless advocates), they can cry Reform! and further destroy the ability of legitimate lobbyists to gain access to elected officials. Two birds, one stone. Upper Arlington Progressive Action (UAPA) debunks the Abramoff/Indian tribes crap that major media conglomerates are still peddling daily. In fact, UAPA notes that the tribes always donated to Dems, but their donations to Dems actually decreased after they hired Abramoff.

Also hot on the "Abramoff Is A Bipartisan Crook" debunking trail is Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo tome post, Summa Abramoffica:

More generally, I think you'll see over the course of the next year that these federal 'hard' money contributions - either from Abramoff or his clients - aren't where the real game was being played. The real action was in money funnelled (sic) or laundered through various DC-based non-profits or de facto cash payments to members of Congress or their staffs.

And color me a new fan of Taylor Marsh (The Antidote To Right-Wing Talk):

Because since Abramoff is involved with Grover Nordquist (sic) and Ralph Reed & Co., with Scanlon, Ney and Tom Delay, you can be sure Bush-Cheney re-elect is not far behind. After all, these guys weren't meeting just to elect House members. They wanted the whole shebang, and baby, they got it, so I hope they get it.

As Kenneth Branagh whispered in Dead Again, "This is far from over."

The Goring of the President

Talking Point: Are you safer now than you were when Monica was an intern?

You know the rightful president has hit a nerve when the White House, FOX, and the right-wing wacko Keyboard Kommandos squeal like Deliverance pigs. Crooks and Liars has the Gore speech video, and Peter Daou (The Huffington Post) notes the (cough) major media attention (cough) given to Gore's speech:

Which of the following is more important:

a) The deceptive and intentionally vague testimony of a judge who could shape America's future
b) The tears of his wife

a) A missing girl in Aruba
b) The brazen outing of a covert CIA operative

a) A major speech by a former Vice-President of the United States accusing George W. Bush of breaking the law
b) An overturned tanker truck on a New York highway

Bloggers and C-Span covered the former vice president's speech while Republicans and major media outlets prepared their selective snippet-laden rebuttals. News Hounds gives us FOX's play-by-play after-the-fact attack, as well as Mr. Gore's downright eloquent response to the criticism. Colleen at ASC Blog (American Constitution Society) posts Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' response to Gore's speech. Be sure to read David Richman's comment:

With regard to the Administration's defense that Clinton, through Reno, ordered warrantless searches, it bears mentioning that at the time of the search --- in 1993, I believe --- the law did not prevent such searches from taking place. It was after that that the law was amended to close this "loop hole."

And you know your White House spin really sucks when Forbes magazine corrects your lies. Bush Out has the details and the link.

The Yellow Cake Hits the Fan!

Talking Point: Did you hear the one about the four-star general's "No Yellow Cake" report? Of course not.

From Truthout:

A four-star general, Carlton W. Fulford Jr., was also sent to Niger to investigate the claims of a uranium purchase. He, too, came away with doubts about the reliability of the report and believed Niger's yellowcake supply to be secure.

--snip--

The State Department review also cast doubt on the logistics of Niger being able to deliver 500 tons of uranium even if the sale were attempted. "Moving such a quantity secretly over such a distance would be very difficult, particularly because the French would be indisposed to approve or cloak this arrangement," the review said.

Surely, Brewster-Jennings and Valerie Plame would've noticed 500 tons of uranium being carted out of Niger. Heavy sigh.

Bom dia, Portugal!

Talking Point: George W. Bush is so out-of-touch that he still thinks our soldiers have the best equipment.

Sydney H. Schanberg's Village Voice article, "The secret's out: Bush is overtaken by events-and overwhelmed," is so Hot-Blog-Worthy that even a brand new blogger in Portugal, Formiga Bargante, has cited it. What a great blog beginning! From Schanberg's article:

Anyway, I'm watching his speech on CNN and suddenly the president utters one of those giggly little fibs he likes to tease America with. He says of the soldiers he has sent into battle: "When you put these kids in harm's way, we owe them the best equipment, the best training, and a strategy for victory."

It was the "equipment" part that crossed my eyes. Omigod, I thought, his staff has failed him again and made him look like a fool. I guess they didn't tell him about the repeated news stories since the war's start, nearly three years ago, that showed soldiers were being killed and maimed because of outdated body armor and vehicle armor. The latest undisputed report was on page one of the Times on January 7, just four days before his speech.

--snip--

The president and his coterie have put so much information behind "classified" walls that now even the president apparently doesn't have clearance.

Ouch! That would definitely leave a mark... if George W. actually read what people write about him.

Republicans Control Your Message, Mister!

Talking Point: Republicans hire PR firms to tell our soldiers what to think.

JABBS notes that the U.S. Army has hired a public relations firm (Manning Selvage & Lee) to do outreach to pro-military bloggers. Also, the Pentagon is shutting down some military blogs. Ignore the truth. Sanitize. Spew lies. Repeat. Good Republicans don't need the truth. Speaking of controlling the message...

Hughes Riles Rules!

Talking point: Republicans can't function without their echo chamber.

Have you read the Hughes memo to her minions on using her official talking points? Corrente posts the actual Hughes memo, along with some real-time situation reports by Josef Goebbels. The juxtaposition is chilling, to say the least.

Compiling talking points is the easy part. Every single day, thousands of liberal bloggers offer a wealth of ideas on how to fight the right. The inherent barrier: Getting our unified message to the public. It obviously takes a brazillion bloggers to yell, "You're not the king, George!" before one reporter notices, waters down the content, and steals the credit for the story angle.

How many more bloggers will it take to tear down the right-wing media wall and reach the public once and for all? Start blogging and make it happen!

Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations to Delilah.

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