Saturday, August 28, 2004

Sick Day

Ugh. Sick on the weekend... No posting today.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Spy VS Spy

Oh this is rich.

CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports 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.

At the heart of the investigation are two people who work at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

The FBI investigation, headed up by Dave Szady, has involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that CBS News was told document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy."

This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome."

The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?

With ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the analyst was assigned to a unit within the Defense Department tasked with helping develop the Pentagon's Iraq policy.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been made aware of the case. The government notified AIPAC today that it wants information about the two employees and their contacts with a person at the Pentagon.

AIPAC told CBS News it is cooperating with the government and has hired outside counsel.

It denies any wrongdoing by the organization or any of its employees. An Israeli spokesman said, "We categorically deny these allegations. They are completely false and outrageous." The suspected spy has not returned repeated phone calls from CBS News.

Thank God the grown-ups are in charge.

President Bush's cabinet nominees are the finest group of cabinet nominees I believe we have seen in the last 100 years. They are extraordinary men and women of accomplishment and achievement. They are grownups. They are people who have a proven record of achievement, and I am proud of them.


Basketball Jones II

Rumors of our demise are now greatly deserved.

ATHENS, Greece - Bronze is the best the American men's basketball team can do, and the reason is simple: They were beaten by a better team, Argentina. Manu Ginobili scored 29 points to lead his nation to another victory over the country that used to dominate the sport, an 89-81 win in the Olympic semifinals Friday night.

For the first time since 1988, the gold medal will not go to the Americans. And for the first time since pro players were added for the original Dream Team in 1992, the United States will not be the Olympic champion.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Basketball Jones

Rumors of our demise, for now at least, have been greatly exaggerated.

ATHENS, Aug. 26 -- Move back the departure day. Everybody's favorite team to pick on won a basketball game. They did not chip acrylic from the rim. They did not let another nation's marksmen shoot them down from 20 feet and beyond. And, most shockingly, it was the opposing coach -- not Larry Brown -- pleading for the gods of the game to correct an injustice.

For one demonstrative game at the Olympics, Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson and America's great sneaker pitchmen performed like -- heraldic trumpets, please -- a men's basketball team from the United States.

Marbury stood behind the three-point line and let fly a bevy of jumpers, most of which found the bottom of the net in a 31-point, record-setting performance that pushed the United States past previously unbeaten Spain, 102-94. Marbury broke the 30-point record held by Charles Barkley and Adrian Dantley for the most points by a U.S. player in the Olympics, and the United States topped the 100-point barrier for the first time in the tournament.

Before a jeering, whistling crowd at Olympic Indoor Hall, the United States advanced to the semifinals, where it will meet Argentina, a 69-64 winner over Greece on Thursday night.


Maintaining Appearances

Four years ago, George Bush and the Republicans took it upon themselves to cram as many African Americans as possible onto the convention stage; now, that's sooooo, well, four years ago -- for 2004, the GOP is all about tolerance!!!

Or at least
the appearance of tolerance.

It's a rough example of what everyone seems to agree is Karl Rove's genius: targeted messaging. Give each group what they want to hear. Tell one story on television and another in the mail. Make the soccer moms feel fuzzy and raise your hands to heaven for the evangelicals. We can have it both ways.

Except that the moderate Republicans think the party can't have it both ways.

The politics of exclusion doesn't resonate with most voters, Barron said. That's why they're not putting Jerry Falwell and Gary Bauer on stage next week. They scare people. I pointed out that, as it's written now, the Republican platform excludes the stated opinions of almost every prime-time speaker at the convention, including Dick Cheney, who only yesterday restated his endorsement of the states rights solution of the Defense of Marriage Act. Barron agreed, calling the platform an insult to Pataki, Giuliani, and Schwarzenegger, whose long standing records of tolerance on gay and lesbian issues are not reflected.

Gov. Schwarzenegger's lack of tolerance on gay Predator issues is also not reflected.

Gov. Schwarzenegger

"I love the people kays und lesbians, but not
the Predator kays und the Predator lesbians.
In fact, I fully support an amendment stating that
Predator marriage is between a Predator male und
female -- not a kay Predator und another kay Predator."

Broken Tusk (of The Log Cabin Predators)

"It is a sad day when the party of my youth decides that
there is no longer a place for a Predator who believes in low taxes
and a strong defense, but who also wishes to marry a Predator of
the same sex with whom he is in love."

*Link via those clever bastards at Pandagon


Wednesday, August 25, 2004


That clown in Texas should step out of his ranch and face Cleland like a man.

Text of the former Senator's letter to President Bush.

Dear President Bush,

We, the undersigned members of the United States Senate call on you to specifically condemn the recent attack ads and accompanying campaign which dishonor Senator John Kerry's combat record in the Vietnam War. These false charges represent the worst kind of politics, and we agree with both Senator John McCain and Senator Kerry that a firmly established service record in the United States Military is fully above reproach. As veterans of the armed services, we ask that you recognize this blatant attempt at character assassination, and publicly condemn it.

Our outrage over these advertisements and tactics has nothing to do with the tax code or campaign finance reform efforts of this nation. Our pain from seeing these slanderous attacks stems from something much more fundamental, that if one veteran's record is called into question, the service of all American veterans is questioned. This administration must not tacitly comply with unfounded accusations which have suddenly appeared 35 years after the fact, and serve to denigrate the service of a true American patriot. The veterans serving today should never have to expect this kind of treatment, when the wars of their generation have passed into history. We brothers and sisters in arms expect our Commander in Chief to stand up and reject this assault upon John Kerry's honor, the honor of American veterans and that of the United States Navy.

As you yourself have said, there is nothing complicated about supporting our troops, and the leaders of this nation should make it clear that the members of our military will not only be supported when they wear the uniform, but also when they return home to the land they fought to defend. Their valor and their wounds, both physical and psychological, make them heroes for as long as they live, a status which should not and must not change simply because they seek to enter public service. We Senators and Congressmen who wore the uniform served in different branches of the military and belong to different political parties, but we join together today to defend a fellow veteran from attacks we know to be false, and politically-motivated slander that has no place in our democratic process.

Mr. President, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, we believe you owe a special duty to America's combat veterans when they are under false and scurrilous attacks. We hope you will recognize this duty, and speak out against this group and their efforts to smear the reputation of a man who has served this country nobly.

Call on this group to cease and desist. We can return this campaign season to a discussion of the issues on either side, and restore faith in the political system. As Americans, we should expect nothing less.


Does It Count As A Trend?

Another grim milestone. Casualties have increased for the second month in a row following the transfer of power to the Iraqi Governing Body.


Back On The Grind

Ah, relaxed, refreshed, and returned as promised. (Okay, so I lied and said we'd be posting again on Tuesday; but give me a break, we didn't get back from the Outer Banks until yesterday afternoon and there were pets and an apartment with which to be reacclimated.)

Now, with that out of the way, perhaps we'll start with something lighthearted and fun, like -- oh fuck it -- following the lead of John Kerry, we're turning the things fall apart Swift Boat right into the fire and going after these assholes.

Swift Boat Round Up

Ties to the Bush Campaign

1) Benjamin Ginsberg-- attorney for the Bush re-election campaign -- has been providing legal advice to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

2) Ken Cordier -- a retired Air Force Colonel -- resigned as a member of the Bush team's veteran committee on Saturday, after it was revealed that he is indeed the same Ken Cordier who has been appearing in the Swift Boat ad.

3) Bob Perry -- longtime friend of presidential advisor Karl Rove and the largest contributor to Republican efforts in Texas -- donated $100,000 to the Swift Boat group. While Rove maintains that the two have not spoken in over a year, this claim seems specious given that, during next week's Republican Convention in New York City,
Perry is sponsoring a GOP fundraiser which is expected to be attended by Rove and President Bush.

* New Supporters

1) William Rood -- an editor of the Chicago Tribune -- is one of the two, the other being John Kerry himself, living Swift Boat officers present at the event for which Kerry received his Silver Star; following a long silence,
he came forth Sunday to verify Kerry's account of the story.

2) Jim Russell -- crew member of a Swift Boat which patrolled alongside the one helmed by Kerry -- was present for the events that led to Kerry receiving his Bronze Star. He had this to say in a letter to the editor of his local paper.

The picture I have in my mind of Kerry bending over from his boat picking some hapless guy out of the river while all hell was breaking loose around us, is a picture based on fact and it cannot be disputed or changed. It's a piece of history drawn in my mind that cannot be redrawn. Sorry, "Swift Boats Veterans for the Truth"- that is the truth.

* Cambodia

1) John O'Neill -- a head of Swift Boat Veterans For Truth -- has stated John Kerry is lying when he claims his Swift Boat crossed into Cambodia; O'Neill maintains that Kerry would have been court-martialed such an the act occurred, and adds that the patrol, which he ran two months after Kerry, came within only 50 miles from the Cambodian border. Yet last night, the Kerry campaign produced a recorded conversation between O'Neill and President Nixon, in which O'Neill informs Nixon that he crossed into Cambodia.

O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.

NIXON: In a swift boat?

O'NEILL: Yes, sir.

In response, the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth produced this photo of Kerry on patrol in Vietnam.

"After I embellish the events of my service in Vietnam, so as to receive a Bronze and Silver Star, I shall inflict wounds upon myself not once, not twice, but thrice -- ensuring three purple hearts and an early exit from the war. After 35 years have passed, I shall use these events to procure the Presidency of The United States, bringing about The End Of Days and guaranteeing complete and utter global destruction. BWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!..... Then I will eat your babies."