Tuesday, August 31, 2004


I'm typing this, but if I were dictating it, my tone may well resemble that of a Kubaz. Why is that, you say?

Because I'm holding my fucking nose.

Why is that, you say?

Because I'm wading in the filth of Commentary Magazine's website, and it's oh-so-stinky.

I didn't find what I was looking for, couldn't read the morbid thing I accidentally found ("Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?" by Guenter Lewy -- I'm guessing Lewy's answer, staying true to the awful Commentary line of American "Exceptionalism", is "no"), and so contented myself reading David "Lion's Share" Frum's "review" of Bill Clinton's book.

In it, I discover that history is not exactly Frumbag's ..well, bag. That, and/or he is not-so-secretly Richard Nixon's biggest fan.

But first, he indulges in a bit of hypocrisy:
The book suffers, too, from even worse faults than turgidity [! -- Consider the source!]. Again and again Clinton reverts to his old habit of using lawyerly language for the purposes of concealment.

Guardhouse Lawyering? Weasel-wording? Butchering agreed-upon definitions of words so that, if concealment is not exactly served, excuses are, and in spades? Heaven forbid!

And now on to implied Nixon-love.
No chief executive since Warren Harding has brought as much derision and disrespect upon the presidency.

Now, aside from the issue of whether the "derision and disrespect" allegedly earned by Clinton was warranted or not, objectively speaking, Richard Nixon is the undisputed champion of disgracing the Presidency. Surely a man who wrote a particularly ugly collection of banality and lies which is only suitable for truck stop restrooms' toilet paper dispensers book on the decade of the 70s would be familiar with such facts. But then, come to think of it, Frum, whose knowledge of history makes Tacitus's look masterly (which is no mean feat), does need to hold firm on one historic Nixonian principle: that "If the President Does It, It Is Legal", which is of course so handy for his beloved George W. to have lying, as it were, around.

And why should Frum pick on poor Warren Harding? Frum must not know his history, because I should think that for him the habit of defending simple-minded, language-mangling, Republican politicans, installed by cynical and corrupt interests, whose crimes and scandals involved plundering natural resources as well as general but massive instances of graft, would be so familiar as to be careworn. So, plainly, Frum values these things. What, then, did poor Warren Harding do that was so worthy of scorn in the judgement of our impeccable moralist Mr Frum? Why, like Clinton, Harding liked getting an occasional Oval Office blowjob not performed by his wife. On balance (sic), how reprehensible! Also, Harding presumably earns debits on moral accountant Frum's balance sheet by being so horribly, awfully conciliatory and pacifying. "Good" presidents, you see, are vindictive to their domestic rivals, and in foriegn policy, rigourously uphold the Blow Shit Up doctrine -- for Frumbag, that's the American Way, and the only way.

Naturally, he has supported candidates of his own party, , but he has largely stayed out of partisan politics. In this he could not have been more different from the only other living Democratic former President, Jimmy Carter, whose speech accepting the 2003 Nobel peace prize—during which Carter denounced on foreign soil the foreign policies of President Bush—may have been the most disgraceful act by an ex-President since John Tyler took a seat in the Confederate Congress.

Nixon on the lam in California post-resignation, nursing an illness or "illness" which conveniently made impossible in-person depositions to investigators (buying time for the coming pardon), merits no mention. But that's not the point, the point is to slam an admittedly ineffective president, Carter, for having principles and for enhancing the category of Ex-President which was previously made banal by various golfing non-entities, or outright soiled by the likes of Tricky Dick himself (though Nixon made some marginally redeeming gestures toward the end).

In conclusion, it is obvious that David Frum poops in his pants and doesn't know presidential history from the ass on his shoulders. And so, not exactly to my surprise, I come to the real reason why I'm holding my nose.

*Edit : Amended a sentence for clarity.

After a storm Posted by Hello

Sour Grapes

To whom it may concern:

My heart is sick and sad. It seems that my neighbour has forgotten me. After all my properly directed snark and vitriol -- nay, after bravely joining in the fray after he had kicked the crap out of "the hottest conservative writer" of that particular day -- after my several posts which were blatantly sycophantic judiciously praising of his style, nothing.

Throughout the summer, I occasionally walked, as it were, across the street, like the good neighbour that I am, to knock on his door, offer some poisoned delicious fruitcake, and engage in witty repartee with his illustriousness as well as his vivacious girlfriend, with an aim of a torrid menage a' trois further enlightening myself, politically.

To no avail. Each time I rang, a shifty-eyed tweaker would peer through the blinds, and if I persisted in ringing, would eventually answer the door, only to gruffly send me on my way.

At last I had had enough of this ill treatment, and the next time I was in such a circumstance, demanded of this rude person the truth about my friend.

I said to him, "Do you mean, sir, that you have no knowledge of a Mr. Sebly F. No, who, I assure you, lived in this very house?"

And at last, perhaps jarred to attention by my persistence (he had seemed terribly distracted on all occasions), he seemed to focus, and replied, "Uhh wait, was he a great big fat person?"

Still quite loyal to my friend I allowed that he was perhaps zaftig, but the tone with which I said it chided my uncouth, ungenerous, interlocutor.

"Oh, well that guy split, dude. He moved to Montreal and shacked up with some hairy bear named Youppi -- a gay thing you know."

I was horrified and said so: "You mean he's banging Brent Bozell?!?!"

"No, no. Youppi. It's a gay mascot thing, you know."

Puzzled, I bid this odd man adieu. Something -- actually, everything -- was not quite right, and I resolved to find out what it was.

I crept around my neighbour's house -- very quietly -- and heard ..well, I'm still not quite sure what to make of it.

Crashes, breaking glass. Girlish shrieks.

Then voices. I could only catch pieces, but I shall reproduce them here as best I can.

Female Voice: "He left me tied up in there! As if I'm some bukkake whore!"

Male Voice: "But you [are or aren't, unintelligible]!"

FV: "Never mind all that! I do not waste my time inventing Utopias! What of the children of Iran! Do you envy me, looter?!"

MV: "Uhh, what?"

FV: "Reason is man's only absolute! Do you know the sacred word, 'I'"?

MV: "Well, yeah, I guess so"

FV: "Make love to me! You shall call me, Dagny Taggart. I shall refer to you as Hank Reardon. Now, lay me like you lay hard rigid Reardon Steel down the railroad tracks."

MV: [Unintelligible]

FV: "My God --metaphor!-- it's huge! I was used to Seb's, which is so dainty. May I call it 'John Galt'"?

MV: [Cretinous Lusty Laughter]

I couldn't bear to hear any more. Obviously, this scoundrel had taken over my friend's home and girlfriend!

But what was I to do? So I waited. And waited.

And now, Seb is back. I hear through the grapevine that there was no permanence with Youppi, rather it was just a tryst, an "experiment" with gayness that is habitual with him; the stranger was merely housesitting for Seb, and apparently a perk that goes with housesitting for Seb is getting to do filthy things to Ms. Aynber Pawlik, his common law wife!

And this brings us to the present, where my heart is heavy with jealousy betrayal. Did I not at least deserve, in my capacity as neighbour, a notification of the coming shenanigans at Seb's house while he was to be away? Would this not have spared me the indignity of what I heard (her banshee shrieks still ring in my ears)? Am I so unworthy? Had I not established trust by keeping the many secrets Seb had intimated to me, such as the fact that Aynber loves anal is a terrible cook whose hash browns taste like salted diarrheal cardboard (his description, not mine)? I think so.

Plainly, I am not as important in Seb's world as I'd supposed, and for that I grieve.



*edited a few spelling and grammar mistakes -- what can I say? I was so dejected when writing this.

From The Vault

In the index of my copy of Bob Woodward's Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987, I could find only one entry on Michael Ledeen, but it *is* germane:

(From Page 428)
..[CIA Director Bill] Casey met with Michael Ledeen, an NSC consultant who was close to [Oliver] North and [Robert} McFarlane. Ledeen told him that Ghorbanifar was coming to Washington with important intelligence and with proposals for operations. Casey set Ledeen and North up with the chief of the CIA's Iran desk.

In Washington, Ghorbanifar stayed at the Madison Hotel under the alias Nicholas Kralis. In a series of meetings involving the CIA, Ledeen and North, Ghorbanifar proposed a "sting" operation against [Libyan Dictator Moamar] Qaddafi in which the Libyan leader would pay $10 million for the disappearance of Libyan exile leader Magarieff, who then would resurface to Qaddafi's embarrassment. He also said that he had intelligence about a three-man Iranian team working in Europe to assassinate Iranian exiles. Ghorbanifar named his source, who had previously turned out to be unreliable.

The CIA's Iran chief sent Casey a memo saying that Ghorbanifar's "reporting on this team is very reminiscent of his previous terrorist reporting which, after investigation and polygraph, turned out to be fabricated...This has been a persistent problem throughout the four years we have known him...It is hard to find in the file any instance where his reporting in fact resulted in a solid development."

Not much has changed in 20 years, huh? Michael Ledeen, still in a hurry to be gullible and devious.

Monday, August 30, 2004

More Assorted Crap: Covering the Coverage

I checked in to see if the Oxblog (which Seb says is basically the Corner, only slightly better-written) dorks had anything to say on the spy scandal but instead found out that David Adesnik was too busy masturbating to fret over such quotidian things.
OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! Miss America Erika Harold is visiting Bloggers Row!

Right. And more of the same:

ARI FLEISCHER'S GUIDE TO RED-HOT G.O.P. LOVE: Washington icon Ari Fleischer gave Bloggers' Row ten minutes of his time this afternoon.

Icon??? Pfft.

Meanwhile, Tacitus, presumably to avoid Adesnik's unseemly eruption of G.O.P. goo, heads for the streets so that he too may sate his carnal desires. Alas, he is disappointed by the "Kerry Voters" who apparently lack the granny panties and tighty whities he finds properly patriotic.
It's not just the disturbing underwear that's, er, disturbing

An excellent display, by the way, of "pure writing craft". Thrill us with more, mighty wordsmith!

Elsewhere, Tacitus is proud to note that he met the man who wished to serve Richard Nixon by conspiring to kill reporters, G. Gordon Liddy, whose personality of over the top, abjectly humourless, utter ridiculousness is so much like, er, Tacitus's prose style. Maybe if Liddy and Howard Hunt could even attempt to spike Muskie's drinks with LSD, an aged Liddy could do us one last favour and uncork a tank of nitrous oxide in the air conditioner ducts of redstate.org. Someone, please, give this nitwit Tacitus a sense of humour.

Later, he bemoans the lack (sic -- relative; Tacitus evidently wishes that the playbill was exclusively composed of unreconstructed social obstructionist nutcases, the likes of which made Pat Buchannon's '92 speech go over so well) of social conservatives, and then makes cozy with Rick "Gay sex=sex with dogs" Santorum.

Do social conservatives rule the party? Not enough, I say.

Yeah, that's right. Obviously, the party needs more underwear inspectors like Tacitus, whom I shall refer to from now on as Inspector 12.

*Update: As usual, TBOGG is annihilating.

**UpdateUpdate: Ezra at Pandagon offers his analysis, which is appropriately damning. But, alas, he was wrong to begin with. Tacitus never deserved the respect far too many lefties gave him -- the guy always was a jackass. Just because he occasionally deigned to lecture snarling righties doesn't mean he wasn't just as ideologically extreme. If one will but look, his alleged sobriety was only a matter of prose style and never substance, it was an illusion. Give me a snarling, shrill righty any day before a smug, condescending, dissembling jackass.

***Edit -- Reworked a sentence so that its blade, as it were, slices more cleanly.

Assorted Crap

A local instance of corporate welfare; "the shareholders, the poor shareholders!"

Sully underlines the fact that in building Log Cabin Republicans, many a dumb fucking stump is left in the ground to suddenly observe what is, after all, an over thirty-year-old phenomenon:

History has come full circle, hasn't it? The Dixiecrats meet again in New York. Now they're called Republicans.

uggabugga has an excellent diagram up clarifying the tangled mess involved in all the recent (Israeli spying, Plame, Niger documents) scandals. Props to uggbugga for dissecting the reptilian Pentagon clusterfuck.

Shysteeblog has posted an excellent history of the utterly vile Michael Ledeen. Evidently the blog's proprietor has spent some time in Italy, which Ledeen has seen fit to menace for many years, and so his brief history of Ledeen's activity there is especially interesting.

The WSJ profiles the coterie of jackasses selected to cover the RNC convention. Evidently they saved the "best" for last for at the bottom lies Tacitus, Roy Edroso's description of whom is right-on:
Tacitus looks like your basic Libertarian alderman candidate.

Myself, I'm glad that the WSJ's brief questionnaire preserved Tacitus's intolerable style; witness, the typical modesty displayed in this comment:
Simply put, the three of us can put out some truly compelling writing. We are -- in terms of pure writing craft -- about the best blogging team there is. And we know our subject matter first-hand.

Like I said, jackasses.


Can someone tell me how to get rid of this damn bar thingy on top? It's covering up my name, dammit. Someone had posted the solution in the comments at Roger Ailes's blog but it's gone now for some reason.

Thank You.

RETARDO & Scenery Posted by Hello

Link Dump

While at the farm, I collected a *lot* of links that I need to clean out of my favourites folder.

You may find something interesting in all this; you may not.

I won't get done with this tonight, so consider this post a continuing one.

As if we needed something to expand the already gelatinous American Waistline, there are now Fried Cookies.

An interesting blog by a woman losing her sight.

Activist Singles Site. Good, if superfluous, idea.

Repugnicans shouldn't even bother with entertainment at the convention, because the only "celebrities" who've agreed to play aren't well known, and if they are known, it's mostly only by people with atrocious taste (Republicans).

Revival of a Geopolitical Dracula, the CFPD, the neocons who managed to lie enough to destroy detente.

A piece I don't much care for arguing that Hitchens is an alcoholic.

William F. Buckley's National Review was once overtly racist, and these crazy racists wish it would return to that model, rather than the implicitly racist one NR now uses.

A funny site of short cartoons.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Solidarity With The Protesters

I can't be there, but they have my moral support.

In honour of those who will inevitably be arrested, I copy out this letter:

To The Editor:
There is no one in public life for whose integrity and wisdom I have greater respect than George Kennan but in his otherwise excellent article occurs a passage which, coming from him, alarms be considerably: "These observations reflect a serious doubt whether civil disobedience has any place in a democratic society... Some people, who accept our political system, believe that they have a right to disregard it and violate the laws that have flowed from it so long as they are prepared, as a matter of conscience, to accept the penalties established for such behavior. I am sorry, I cannot agree... It would then be all right for a man to create false fire alarms or frivolously to pull the emergency cord on a train.. provided he was prepared to accept the penalties of so doing."

Mr. Kennan is far too intelligent to know that his example is a red herring. Who ever heard of a man going to the police and saying: "I have just turned in a false fire-alarm. Please arrest me?"

I commit an act of civil disobedience if I deliberately break a law because I believe it to be unjust, either negatively or positively. A negatively unjust law--the Prohibition law of the Twenties, for example (passed, by the way, "democratically")-- is one which forbids an action which should be a matter of private, not public, judgement. A man who went to a speakeasy or dealt with a bootlegger did not say to himself: "It is my moral duty to drink whiskey." He said: "I have as much moral right to drink whiskey as my neighbor has to drink milk."

In the case of a negatively unjust law, a man will break it as privately as possible; he has no intention of paying the penalty if he can possibly avoid it because he thinks has no moral right to exact one.

A law is positively unjust if it commands an action which is unjust or immoral. A man who publicly refuses to serve in the armed forces, as distinct from a draft dodger, does not say: "I have a right to defy the law." He says: "It is my duty to defy the law. Moreover, though the majority do not yet recognize it, it is really the duty of all men to defy it." It is only in such circumstances that a man can be said to "accept" the penalty for defiance.

To claim that one is right and that the majority is wrong is, of course, morally perilous; every crank and megalomaniac is prone to make it. But to suggest, as Mr. Kennan seems to, that the claim can never be justified is to deny that human history owes anything to its martyrs. Dr. Johnson, who was certainly no anarchist, thought otherwise:

"The magistrate has a right to enforce what he thinks, and he who is conscious of the truth has the right to suffer. I am afraid that there is no other way of ascertaining the truth but by persecution on the one hand and enduring it on the other."

-- W.H. Auden

*From Democracy And The Student Left by George F. Kennan, 1968
The Letter from Auden originally appeared in the New York Times.

***Update, and on-topic, Matthew Yglesias completely disgraces himself. WTF is wrong with you, man?

***Edit: Maybe Yglesias is joking; I hope so.

At any rate, coverage of the protests by a leftist *not* given to reactionary sneering may be read at the always excellent alicublog.

From a site strategically linked to by that asshole Instapundit (and so rating a maximum cootie factor of 10), is this picture which is by far my favourite of all. Perfect.


BAKER LAKE, Wash. (AP) -- When state Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort, there were some clues scattered nearby -- dozens of empty cans of Rainier Beer.

The bear apparently got into campers' coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. And not just any cans.

"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker.

Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest. The beast then consumed about 36 cans of Rainier.

A wildlife agent tried to chase the bear from the campground but the animal just climbed a tree to sleep it off for another four hours. Agents finally herded the bear away, but it returned the next morning.

Agents then used a large, humane trap to capture it for relocation, baiting the trap with the usual: doughnuts, honey and, in this case, two open cans of Rainier.

That did the trick.

"This is a new one on me," Heinck said. "I've known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference."


Spies Like Them?

First, bwahahahahahahaha. Choke on it, Doug Feith. If all of this is really true, then you truly are, as General Franks said, the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.

The FBI is probing a spy case at the Pentagon in which

...the FBI believes it has "solid" evidence that the suspected mole supplied Israel with classified materials that include secret White House policy deliberations on Iran.

Israel of course denies the allegation, as do the Likudistas at AIPAC. The BBC adds that this sort of thing isn't exactly new:

However, he adds that Israel has been accused of spying on the US before.

A former Jewish-American US Navy intelligence analyst, Jonathan Pollard, was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The AP says the investigation has been going for a year.
The target of the probe was identified by the two officials as Larry Franklin, a senior analyst in a Pentagon office dealing with Middle East affairs. Franklin, who did not respond to a telephone message left at his office Saturday, formerly worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency.


Franklin works in an office overseen by Douglas J. Feith, the defense undersecretary for policy. Feith is an influential aide to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld whose previous work included prewar intelligence on Iraq (news - web sites), including purported ties between Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime and al-Qaida terrorism network.

In August 2003, Franklin and a Pentagon colleague were in the news after it was disclosed they had met two years earlier with Manuchar Ghorbanifar, who was among the Iranians who suggested to the Reagan administration in the 1980s that profits from arms-for-hostages deals be funneled into covert arms shipments to U.S.-backed Contra rebels battling the leftist Nicaraguan government.

Ahh, they always come back. Ghorbanifar, of whom I blogged last year, is a totally discredited snitch from Iran-Contra days, and whatever intelligence he provided Franklin should be considered laughable at best by anyone in the business. But like some sort of Piltdown Man of Spies, Ghrobanifar was pulled from the storage bin marked "fraud" and given a new label of "genuine" by Likudistas/Neocons to give credence to their bizarre theories of the Descent of Iran. This, of course, should be no surprise since several of these Neocons themselves are, shall we say, sneakily recycled.

See also the full NYT coverage here. This will be something to watch; the charges look relatively tame, yet they in turn might expose enough of the Pentagon creeps to light that the effect will be a monkey-wrench in the Feithful-est Scheme of all: the Invasion of Iran.

Background? This post by Dr. Cole is perhaps the best outline of the whole Neocon issue vis-a-vis the Middle East that I have read. If you click on any link I have here, make it this one.

This story is moving fast, and is tied to several of the other scandals that only seemed to have petered-out in the last few weeks. Juan Cole's follow-up is here. Josh Marshall weighs in here, and with Laura Rozen, nicely ties things up at the Washington Monthly.

Meanwhile, Neosporin's comrade at Jumping To Conclusions is apparently just as much master of accidentally perfect comic timing as Neosporin himself. Witness, the snicker elicited by this report which posits Israeli Intelligence involvement in the McGreevey scandal. Why the affected disbelief? Well, because, don't you know, Israel never plays dirty pool, except with Arabs who are so subhuman that they deserve anything they get. As soon as Neosporin weighs in, I'm sure he'll stay in character by calling the FBI anti-semites.

Now that I've delivered the obligatory kick to the teeth, on with more coverage.

The BBC rounds up Israeli Press coverage of the spy scandal here. In which, the Jerusalem Post seems suprisingly moderate:
The Jerusalem Post notes "damaging comparisons" with the case of Jonathan Pollard, the American Jewish naval analyst who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel in the 1980s.

Yediot Aharonot says it hopes that when the facts become clear, the publicity about the case will be seen to be excessive because, it says, "the US and Israel cannot allow themselves another Pollard affair."

The paper suggests that the disclosure would not have been given such media prominence "unless the Americans had an interest in sending Israel a signal that it is beginning 'to get on their nerves', in the hope that we take the hint".

Washington "has behaved in this way in the past", the paper concludes, "and it is worth reading the signals, and using the inner channels to check and question what has provoked its wrath, examine our government's actions, and try to put things right if possible."

Maariv, on the other hand, prints some wishful thinking:
The “Franklingate” espionage scandal is beginning to look like a surfeit of hype forced into bed with a paucity of fact.

A senior administration official has told the press that this does not look like a case of spying. “From what we know, Larry Franklin looks more like an incompetent fool way out of his depth than a spy. He apparently passed on some papers to Israel without realizing the ramifications of his actions”.

So Feith called Tel Aviv and told them to push the line that Franklin is a boob: "go on, nothing to see here."

Here's AIPAC's statement, which is essentially what you'd expect: denial and self-aggrandising spin.

I can't wait until The Pod weighs in; and I'm sure the humourless dorks at Oxblog with have something disingenuous to say if they can tear themselves away from condemning The Onion long enough to do so.

What do I think about the spying itself? Throw the book at him, like they would at anyone else. Israel is an ally and I don't have a problem with that, but spying by Israel is more problematic than, say, if the Brits (or Australians) got caught spying on US, for the excellent reason that Britain, to my knowledge, doesn't have a history of stealing our technological secrets and flipping them over to less-than-friendly regimes like that of the Chinese. Also remember the U.S.S. Liberty incident as well as the Pollard scandal. As De Gaulle said, "nations have interests", which may or may not coincide with its allies'; this is the peril involved in assuming a too-cosy relationship with an ally that has a mulititude of enemies which may or may not be just as belligerent to US interests.

*edited to correct General Franks's quote

** Update: Ha'aretz's take on the matter; it's the CIA's fault.

Israeli sources knowledgable about the CIA say that unlike other American intelligence organizations, the CIA has political differences of opinion with Israel about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The CIA sees Israel as disruptive in American efforts to improve its relations with the Arabs. The CIA also argues that Israel is a bad influence on improving relations between Washington and Damascus. It's not surprising the CIA was the first to charge that Israel has an agent in the Pentagon - an accusation Israel says is entirely baseless.

*** Another Update: A guy named swopa is our mole among the crazies. His reporting can be read here, with a follow-up here. A mole where, you ask? At "novelist" and neocon-loving hack Roger L. Simon's blog. Now the point isnt that the cretins that inhabit Simon's blog are crazies (so crazy that they profess admiration for the insane basement-dwelling Adam "I possess a certain affinity for the occasional use of totalitarian methods" Yoshida), but that a few of them are notable crazies: specifically neocon hack/Iran-Contra Figure/administation gadfly Michael Ledeen, who is notable, which is to say notorious for, among other things, justifying the Iraq War by saying that "The American people are a war-like people who love war" and by being a lifelong, admiring student of Italian Fascism.

It is a minor coup that swopa got Ledeen to open up. Of course it's not like Ledeen spilled any important beans, but that he opened up at all.

We're all in swopa's debt for at least this: by illuminating what can possibly be done by smart thinking in comments sections in notable wingnut blogs. A far more productive vocation than bothering to troll a la freepers. Also, it always helps to know what the other side is thinking when they have their guard down, and in this case, it's worse than I expected. Witness, the master race fantasies of M. Simon in the same thread.

Meanwhile, Laura Rozen is all over the spy story.

The Asia Times's Jim Lobe is good on this sort of thing too, and gives more background here.

At the National Security Council (NSC), [the Feith Gang] communicated mainly with Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser, until Elliott Abrams, a dyed-in-the-wool neo-con with close ties to Feith and Perle, was appointed last December as the NSC's top Middle East aide.

''They worked really hard for Abrams; he was a necessary link'', Kwiatkowski told IPS Wednesday. ''The day he got (the appointment), they were whooping and hollering, 'We got him in, we got him in'''.


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Wag The Dog

"Condi, Dick, Tom, Karl, Satan.. I've brought you guys here to discuss what we can do to douse the flame that is that $%$#%%%%% Kerry's campaign. The Pakistani July surprise was a nice touch, but we have to keep hammering because

The figures just released show that the economy's in the toilet.

So, Tom, let's get a little sympathy going for my Wall Street base. Anything you can come up with?

You say that terrorists are talking about targeting America's economic institutions?! *PERFECT!*


Take that, you French bastard! Muahahahahaha

What? Tom, what's this shit?

They're starting to catch on. Dammit. We'll have to go a different route now. Condi, can you still get those guys at the NSA to photoshop Kerry into a picture of a leatherdaddy parade, or replace Anton LeVay's head with John Edwards's in the context of a virgin sacrifice? No offense, Satan, you know you're a crucial part of my team, pardner. Can you still get that done, Condi? Karl? We could leak them to one of the Murdoch papers..

Acute Powers Of Observation

TBOGG, yet again, lays waste to the NRO dorks, specifically when they converged on Boston, like so many lampreys feasting below the anal fin of the Great White Media Shark.

He paints a fine picture of socially-inept retards on the make:

Can I call it or what?Lousy tips, bad haircuts, and nobody gets laid. Nobody. Gets. Laid.To the bloggers who will be in Boston covering the Democratic convention:If you walk into a bar and see a bunch of pudgy guys in elastic-waist Dockers®, nursing beers and wiping their sweaty hands on their Le Tigre polos while nervously eyeing the one woman in the room...you've found the place. It only looks like a premature ejaculation support group.

He then goes on to show that even the spottled and pudgy, though hopeless with women, none the less draw an odd sort of groupie (whose linked blog is pure unintentional comedy gold -- the winks are icing on the cake).

Yes, there are pictures. The Poindexter-quotient of this one in particular is off the fuckin charts.

An Educational Film

Roger Ebert's review of the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.

There's a level of cynicism here that is scarier than the Red Chinese villains in John Frankenheimer's 1962 classic. It's a stretch to imagine a communist takeover of America, but the idea that corporations may be subverting the democratic process is plausible in the age of Enron.


Meryl Streep has the assignment of playing the alarming and incestuous Mrs. Shaw, a role for which Angela Lansbury won an Oscar nomination, while essentially stealing the movie. Streep wisely goes for oblique humor rather than straight-ahead villainy, making the character different and yet just as loathsome. Gossips have whispered for months that her performance is modeled on Sen. Hillary Clinton, but I dunno; Streep has mentioned Peggy Noonan, Condi Rice and Dick Cheney.


Frank Rich writes in the New York Times that the movie is "more partisan" than "Fahrenheit 9/11," but that requires a simpler and more translatable plot than the one I saw. Demme sticks his knife in everywhere, suggesting that the whole system and both parties have been compromised by the power of corporations. (For truly uninhibited parallelism in interpreting the movie, read Paul Krugman's July 20 N.Y. Times column "The Arabian Candidate.")


What we can say is that Demme has taken a story we thought we knew and, while making its outlines mostly recognizable, rotated it into another dimension of conspiracy. Are corporations really a threat to America's security? The rotten ones are. When you consider that the phony California electric crisis, with its great cost in lives and fortune, was an act of corporate terrorism, he has a point."

Yes, he does.

Geezers And The Military-Industrial Complex

Since he's a patriotic fellow who already had served two years with the Marines and 18 years with the Alabama National Guard, Wicks signed up. His wife, Jan, thought it was funny. The Army surely would change its mind, she figured, when they learned her husband's deep, dark secret: John Wicks is 68 years old. But no. The Army is stretched so thin, particularly in certain specialty areas, that it made Dr. Wicks a colonel and cut orders sending him to Iraq to help soldiers deal with combat stress. This is what it has come to in a nation that spends $420 billion a year - Congress just approved the bill 10 days ago - on national defense: We're sending geezers to war.

Is this really a surprise? Full column here.