Archive for November 27th, 2007

Whopper Of The Month

And I thought Dana Perino claiming that Dubya never harbors resentments was rich:

You are not going to believe this, well, actually you will… According to Karl Rove (on Charlie Rose), the Bush Administration did not want Congress to vote on the Iraq War resolution in the fall of 2002, because they thought it should not be done within the context of an election. Rove, you see, did not think the war vote should be “political”.

Moreover, according to Rove, that “premature vote” led to many of the problems that cropped up in the Iraq War. Had Congress not pushed, he says, Bush could have spent more time assembling a coalition, and provided more time to the inspectors.


It is worth remembering that the Senate in the fall of 2002 was controlled, barely, by Democrats. Get it? George Bush, we are being told, wanted to delay, wanted to hold back, wanted to take the time to build a coalition and let the inspectors finish their job, but that damn Congress just pushed him into it. George Bush, you see, is a careful, prudent, leader, deeply concerned about the consequences of premature.

It makes one’s head spin. Dubya wanted to be deliberate and careful, but those crazy loose cannon Democrats authorized him to use military force, thus forcing him to do so. It’s a crock, Rove knows it’s a crock, and Rove knows that we know it’s a crock.

It’s like in one of those crime shows like CSI or Law & Order, that scene where everyone knows this guy is the killer, and he knows that they know, but they don’t have any hard evidence. You know, the scene where the killer pours on the naked insincerity and says, “Why, Lieutenant, I could never do something terrible like that to her. I loved her.” All while looking the interrogator right in the eye and smirking.

It’s that exact same kind of in-your-face, ha-ha-you-can’t-touch-me fuck you to everyone who’s been paying attention, to everyone who can actually remember events from more than two days ago. “I can lie as much as I want and no-one will say anything. Sure, you bloggers can scream all you want, but we own the media, and they won’t say squat about this, except for the ones who say I’ve made an excellent and perceptive point, even though they know as well as you do that it’s just a big, wet, stinky lie I made up to piss you liberals off. Put that in your blogs and smoke it. Also, here is my ass, I am showing it to you now.”

Now, if Rove had said, “They handed a gun to a bloodthirsty sociopath; what did they think was going to happen?”, I would have been okay with that.

November 27th, 2007 at 11:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers,War

Correction Of The Month

Time’s response to Joe Klein getting busted either lying or uncritically regurgitating Republican spin on a bill he never even bothered to read:

In the original version of this story, Joe Klein wrote that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would allow a court review of individual foreign surveillance targets. Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way, but Democrats don’t.

I’m not really sure that I would even call that a “correction” – it’s more like a signing statement. Here’s how it reads to me:

The Democrats told us we were wrong, but the Republicans told us we were totally okay, so we’re just going to cover our asses by printing this to make ourselves look like responsible journalists while continuing to steadfastly ignore the plainly obvious truth.

Truly, another proud day in journalistic history.

(h/t Jane)

UPDATE: I should probably also point out the curious phrasing: “Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way” – they don’t even claim that that’s what the bill says, simply that it “can be interpreted that way.” That’s some might fine parsing right there.

November 27th, 2007 at 10:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Media,Wankers

I Wouldn’t Worry About It…

…It’s not like Gallup knows anything about polling.

Yesterday two polling firms — Zogby and Gallup — released surveys of the presidential race that offered strikingly different conclusions. The Zogby poll found that Hillary is trailing five leading GOP candidates in general election matchups. The Gallup Poll, by contrast, found that Hillary, and to a lesser degree Obama, has a slight to sizable lead over the top GOP contenders.

A couple of other things that distinguish these two polls: The Zogby one is an online poll, a notoriously unreliable method, while the Gallup one is a telephone poll. And, as Charles Franklin of observed yesterday, the Zogby poll is completely out of sync with multiple other national polls finding Hillary with a lead over the GOP candidates. The Zogby poll actually found that Mike Huckabee is leading Hillary in a national matchup. The Gallup findings were in line with most other surveys.

I don’t need to tell you which poll got all the media attention. Do I?

The Zogby survey was covered repeatedly on CNN, earned coverage from MSNBC, Fox News, and Reuters and was covered by multiple other smaller outlets.

By contrast, I can’t find a single example of any reporter or commentator on the major networks or news outlets referring to the Gallup poll at all, with the lone exception of UPI. While the Zogby poll was mentioned by multiple reporters and pundits, the only mentions the Gallup poll got on TV were from Hillary advisers who had to bring it up themselves on the air in order to inject it into the conversation.


Worse, the Zogby poll was covered with few mentions either of its dubious methodology or of the degree to which its findings don’t jibe with other surveys. Bottom line: The Zogby poll was considered big news because many in the political press are heavily invested in the Hillary-is-unelectable narrative for all kinds of reasons that have little to do with a desire to, you know, practice journalism.

As much as I dislike Hillary and don’t want her as the nominee, this is still inexcusably shoddy reportage. If the corporate media wants to take Hillary down, they can do it by reporting on her policies, like her refusal to withdraw all our troops from Iraq, or her vote in favor of Kyl-Lieberman, or her leadership position in the DLC.

November 27th, 2007 at 09:39pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Democrats,Elections,Media,Politics,Polls,Wankers

We Like The Moooon…

But not as much as a spoon…

China displayed the first image of the moon captured by its Chang-e 1 lunar probe at a gala ceremony Monday, marking the formal start of the satellite’s mission to document the lunar landscape.

Unveiling the image at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Premier Wen Jiabao hailed it as a major step in ”the Chinese race’s 1,000-year-old dream” of exploring the moon.

China hopes the probe, launched late last month, will have surveyed the entire surface of the moon at least once by early next year.

The probe’s launch closely followed the start of a similar mission by Japan, prompting speculation over a new space race in Asia. India plans to launch a lunar probe in April.

China has wanted to explore the moon for 1,000 years? Jeez, talk about a long-term plan.

November 27th, 2007 at 08:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Science,Technology

No, Your Other Left.

This is… alarming:

Rhode Island Hospital has been fined $50,000 and reprimanded by the state Department of Health after its third instance this year of a doctor performing brain surgery in the wrong side of a patient’s head.

”We are extremely concerned about this continuing pattern,” health department director David R. Gifford said in a statement Monday.

Come on, people! This isn’t brain surgery – well, okay, it is, but you know what I mean.

If I ever have to get serious surgery, I’m drawing a great big “X” where they’re supposed to cut, and a big red “NO” on the other side. Can’t be too careful.

1 comment November 27th, 2007 at 06:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weirdness

Least Believable Statement Of The Month

From the AP report on Dubya’s private global warming chat with Algore:

“I know that this president does not harbor any resentments,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “Never has.”

Awesome. Hooray for President Jesus!

5 comments November 27th, 2007 at 11:54am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Environment,Gore,Quotes


Let this be a lesson to all you kids out there.

(from Married To The Sea)

November 27th, 2007 at 11:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics

Green Tea

It’s funny, if this were coming from MoDo I’d be pissed off, but since it’s Bob Herbert, I’m just nodding in agreement…

A friend of mine, talking about the Democratic presidential candidates, tossed out a wonderful mixed metaphor: “This is awfully weak tea to have to hang your hat on.”

The notion that Bush & Co. had fouled things up so badly for Republicans that just about any Democrat could romp to victory in 2008 was never realistic. What’s interesting now, with the first contests just weeks away, is the extent to which Democratic voters are worried about the possibility that none of their candidates have the stuff to take the White House.

This election, the most important in decades, cries out for strong leadership. The electorate is upset, anxious and hungry for change. But “weak tea” is as good a term as any to describe what the Democrats are offering.

Hillary Clinton is the cautious, rigidly programmed candidate who, in the view of most voters, will say whatever the moment demands. Spontaneous she ain’t. You can just picture her cross-examining advisers and prowling through polling data to determine whether she’s for or against driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Barack Obama has the incandescent smile, and the personality to go with it. Oprah loves him, and a lot of campuses are wild for him. But you still wonder if there’s any there there.

His is the make-nice candidacy, no sharp edges. But it’s one thing to offer yourself as the agent of change, and quite another to answer the obvious question, “Change to what?”

John Edwards has been the most forceful of the so-called top-tier candidates. But his plan from the beginning was to move to the left of Senator Clinton, never expecting to find Senator Obama happily patrolling that progressive, antiwar region.

Mr. Obama had barely stenciled his name on his Senate office door before grabbing his hat and announcing he was running for president. That was faster than even Mr. Edwards’s first, lightning-quick decision to seek the highest office in the land.

The problem for voters is that very little leadership has emerged from the many months of frenetic Democratic fund-raising and politicking.


Bush-bashing is not enough. Unless one of the Democratic candidates finds the courage to step up and offer a vision of an American future so compelling that voters head to the polls with a sense of excitement and great expectation, the Republican Party could once again capture the White House (despite its awful performance over the past eight years) with its patented mixture of snake oil and demagoguery.


The need to offer an honest vision that is almost electric in its intensity is especially important for Senators Clinton and Obama. Both have to rally enough voters to overcome deep wells of prejudice in this society. That can’t be done by referencing a résumé, or in a nine-second response to a question from Wolf Blitzer.

The American public, tired of war and economically insecure, longs for a leader who will tell the truth and offer a way out of the current morass.

A Democrat can win with a realistic plan for exiting Iraq and, more important, a full-blown economic strategy that addresses the growing anxiety over the fading American dream.


A Democrat who makes a believable case that these problems can be dealt with effectively — and who asks the public to roll up its sleeves and join in such an effort — can win.

But that’s not what we’re getting. Not so far. And maybe it’s not necessary. Maybe the economy will be so bad next year that a Democrat will win in any event. But that’s not the kind of tea you want to hang your hat on.

If anything, I think Herbert lets the three frontrunners off easy. In addition to the lack of leadership, they all share a lack of experience, unless you consider being First Lady to be experience, which I really don’t.

There is leadership and experience in the Democratic field, but it’s coming from the middle and back of the pack, mostly from candidates that most people either haven’t heard of or don’t take seriously. Chris Dodd is a veteran senator taking a stand and vowing to put a hold on any FISA bill that gives telecoms retroactive immunity; Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment against Cheney; Bill Richardson has promised to withdraw every troop from Iraq, and has a resume as long as your arm.

I don’t really know what we can do about this. The media (including Herbert) has decided that this is a three-person race on the Democratic side, and that no-one outside Hillary/Obama/Edwards matters at all. I’m afraid that this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, which would be a damn shame.

3 comments November 27th, 2007 at 07:15am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Media,Politics

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