February 17, 2006
Compiled and written by Delilah
Beating The Bushes
Are you suffering from scandal fatigue? Me either. Osama who?
ET planned to attack Los Angeles? Brownie bites back? A 40-minute
Katrina response transcript gap? Libby was only following orders?
Neocons starting the cartoon war? And what could possibly trump
this week's BushCo blunders? Hint: It beats a hole in the... never
Sure, if you're a card-carrying Republican afraid that the liberal
majority in America will finally figure out that 65% is a greater
number than 35%. Sure, if you're a Republican running for office
this year. Sure, if you're a Young Republican, banking on a lucrative
career in Republican dirty tricks. And what's the Rovian way to
fight scandal fatigue? Confound and confuse, of course: turn ignoring
the law, stomping on the U.S. Constitution, and every other sleazy
act into a public opinion issue.
Be careful what you wish for, Rove. Three BushCo scandals dominated
the blogosphere (as well as the corporate-owned media) this week,
and the overseas release of the new torture photos is rapidly rising
in the charts... with a bullet.
Daou zeroes in on that Scandal Fatigue meme:
This coincides with a recent wave of references
to the "angry" left, as though anger at the apathy
of the media, the political establishment and
much of the public in the face of this cavalcade
of scandals is somehow in bad taste.
Take a look:
Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
Paper: White House Knew About Levees Early
McClellan Confronted With Abramoff Emails
Waas's New Scoop: Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to
Leak Classified Information
Chief FISA judge warned about misuse of NSA spy
House majority leader's landlord is a lobbyist
Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap
Bush's Budget Tricks
John Dickerson Speaks...And Drops Some Plamegate
Bush's Social Security Sleight of Hand
Tom DeLay to Oversee Justice Department
Each of these stories constitutes a full-blown
crisis that would have caused a massive firestorm
for any other administration. But a cursory glance
at the online editions of national papers and
news outlets as well as a scan of the major cable
news nets would lead you to believe that the most
important piece of news today is that a British
man accused of killing his wife and child will
return to the US to face trial.
If the Bush administration's motto is "Confound and Confuse,"
this week was one for the books. Less than an hour after I submitted
last week's Blog Box, George W. Fearmonger marched out to tell a
private audience that intelligence (cough) analysts believed that
Independence Day aliens terrorists planned
to attack the Liberty (sic) Tower in Los Angeles. Daily
Switcheroo! Our pResident has just told an audience
how the war on terror prevented an attack in Los
Angeles by the very guy who organized 9-11, Khalid
Funny, I always thought Bush told us that Osama
planned the 9-11 attack, but notice that part
about "Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind
of the Sept. 11 attacks who was captured". Didn't
we invade Afghanistan to get Osama Bin Laden because
he was the guy behind the attacks? Didn't we invade
Iraq partly because Saddam Hussein had 'supported'
Osama Bin Laden - the guy behind the attacks?
Of course, this "we foiled a terrorist attack" crapfest was debunked
six ways to Sunday (Pensito
Review hacks it to death with facts and logic) and
disappeared down the Bush Humiliation Rabbit Hole, but not before
FOX News aired the Independence Day aliens-blast-the-Library Tower
Matters has the FOX video, and CanOFun
has the video of John McLaughlin's (The McLaughlin Report) most
excellent smackdown of Bush's Shoe Bomb Media Stunt. Naturally,
BushCo needs a change of
underwear subject matter;
however, I don't think this is what they had in mind...
Brownie Bites Back
Marshall (Talking Points Memo) notes:
If you aren't watching the Michael Brown senate
hearings, you just missed a real treat. Sen. Norm
Coleman (R), doofus senator from Minnesota, just
managed to get his butt kicked by disgraced former
FEMA Director Michael Brown. That's a singular
and Liars has the video. Surely, things couldn't
get any worse for the Bush administration! Or could they?
Take 2: The Chertoff Response
Hmm. Chertoff "takes responsibility," but he's not stepping down.
End of story? Not hardly. There's a 40-minute conference call transcript
"missing" from the documents provided by BushCo officials to the
U.S. Senate committee investigating the government's Hurricane Katrina
response - a Nixonian "gap" which could explain the government's
position as the storm made landfall. The Katrina
Coverage blog is your go-to site for everything you
need to know about Hurricane Katrina, but the media hasn't covered
and won't cover at all.
Still not feeling the scandal fatigue? Me either.
Scooter Libby Fingers Dick Cheney in CIA Leak
Oh, Scooter! How could you? American
Progress presents Libby's Cheney-blaming Nuremberg
Defense in a neat little bullet-points package:
These revelations spell trouble not just for
Libby, but Dick Cheney and the Bush administration.
* Libby's revelations do not excuse him from
legal jeopardy. The excuse "my boss told me to
do it" does not mean that Libby is immune from
* These new revelations establish a motive for
Libby. The new information released helps to explain
why Libby would risk perjury before the grand
* New revelations prompt more questions about
the administration's role in the CIA leak case.
With the new revelations come more questions about
who else in the administration was actually involved
in the outing of a CIA agent.
Who else was involved? Don't forget to check Think
Progress's nifty list, "23 Administration Officials
Involved In Plame Leak." The page has been updated and now includes
photos of each
perp Bush administration official.
Yikes! What could possibly blast this story off the airwaves?
The Cruel Cartoon War Is Raging...
...and Ann Coulter has enlisted. Her target? Not anti-Muslim cartoonists.
Not even "Old Europe." Her target is Ted Rall. Should Rall sue Coulter
for libel? Duh. Ted has already raised some serious cash from his
readers, but he'll need quite a chunk of change to take on the queen
of the damnable. Ann says: "Iran is soliciting cartoons on the Holocaust.
So far, only Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau, and the NY Times have made
blogs: "She lied. I have not submitted anything to any Iranian
publication. I have no intention of doing so. And I have said that
in public, repeatedly."
Sidebar Note: Coulter is either one of those people she claims
is "too stupid to vote," or she intentionally committed voter fraud
in Florida. Heli's
Heaven and Hell Radio has the felonious particulars.
Also of note in the cartoon war is the resurfacing of neocon,
Daniel Pipes. Sartre at Neocon
Watch quotes John Sugg:
So, let's look at the guy who started this whole
cartoon escapade. He's Flemming Rose, the cultural
editor of the Danish newspaper. In all of the
Lexis-Nexis database of stories from the American
media on the Mohammed cartoons, there is absolutely
no mention of the fact that Rose is a close confederate
of arch-Islamophobe Daniel Pipes. Indeed, there
is almost no context at all about Rose's newspaper.
Only a brief mention in the Washington Post gave
a hint at a fact desperately needed to understand
Interesting, isn't it, that our corporate-owned media jumped into
the cartoon war without investigating or reporting on the American
Republican party roots of this issue? Quick, Deadeye Dick! Create
Dick Gets His Historical Asterisk Kicked
Vice President Richard Cheney*, shot his friend Harry Whittington,
the grandfather of the Texas GOP, in a post-CSI world. (Note: CSI
Crime Scene Investigation is the top TV show in the world, and forensic
science programs are now harder to get into than the mind of Laura
Bush's clothing designer.)
We all know the routine: secure the scene, interview all witnesses
for conflicting accounts, determine definitively if alcohol and
drugs were contributing factors, and collect and process the evidence.
Anything less, and our CSI-savvy nation cries
You think I'm kidding? Brainshrub
is all over the hunting accident forensic algebra:
Here's the math adjusted for a the diameter of
the area that was hit for both a regular 28 gauge
rifle cylinder AND an improved cylinder*:
Cylinder: = 1 pellet/17.98 inches sq. @ 40 yds.
((1/2.8)/(1/17.98)) = 17.98/2.8 = 6.421 times
40 yd./6.421 = 6.23 yd.
Improved Cylinder: = 1pellet/21.58 inches sq.@
((1/2.8)/(1/21.58))= 21.58/2.8 = 7.707 times closer
40 yd./7.707 = 5.19 yd.
Cylinder: Target was 6.23 yards away.
Improved Cylinder: Target was 5.19 yards away.
Conclusion: If this was an accident or a quick
swing such that the target was caught with the
edge of the pattern, then the target was within
5 to 10 yards when he was shot, maybe less, possibly
a little more.
Dick Cheney came within a few inches of blowing
Whittington's head off...
Smoking Gun has the official accident report, which contains
fewer facts than the Jon Stewart video treatise (courtesy of CanOfun).
Other bloggers, like Alan Dershowitz at The Huffington Post, point
out that Cheney really had nothing to lose by delaying a public
A simple cost/benefit analysis suggests that
he (or those advising him) must have believed
that there was more to be gained than lost by
a 14 hour delay that would eventually be made
public. It is likely, therefore, that something
happened during that 14 hour period which was
worth the negative costs of the delay.
What is the most likely thing to happen during
a 14 hour delay that is worth the negative publicity?
One possibility is that it takes approximately
that period of time for alcohol to dissipate in
the body and no longer be subject to accurate
What was Cheney doing just before he went hunting?
Did anyone in the hunting party have a drink?
Why, yes, Alan. "President Vice" Cheney finally admitted to Brit
Hume (four days later) that he had "a beer" at lunch, but there
was no mention of the brazillion heart medications we know The Vice
takes daily, or any inkling of alcohol-related contraindications.
(Hey, it really is a post-CSI world!)
Any way you look at this story, it stinks. And the stink grows
stronger every day. So far, BarbinMD
at Daily Kos has compiled the best list of facts on the ground,
but there are still several holes (pun intended) in the official
timeline and testimony of all concerned:
- Lunch" was an afternoon picnic, which ended around 4:00, when
the hunting party recommenced
- Where's Ambassador Willeford and why hasn't she made an official
- Who were the bush beaters (hired hands to clean up the kill
spots and wring the necks of the surviving floppers) and did
they sanitize the scene of the accident poste haste?
- Were they even interviewed by local authorities?
The 50,000 acre Armstrong Ranch doesn't run itself, y'all. And
Kenedy County only has 414 residents, most of whom know who puts
food on the county's table. Consequently, we may never learn what
really happened last Saturday. When all is said and done, however,
we learned definitively this week that George W. Bush is not in
charge... or as the children say, he's not the boss of Dick Cheney.
That in itself is significant, if only because the media is finally
acknowledging a simple fact most of us have known since the 2000
presidential election campaign.
Scandal fatigue? Not bloody likely. There are many more bushes
to beat, and we're just getting started.
(* the second U.S. Vice President to shoot a man
while in office.)
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