October, 2005 link archive

Monday, October 3, 2005

A 'Longtime Confidante' is President Bush's pick to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and "what she lacks in experience she makes up for in devotion."

A 'Disappointed, Depressed and Demoralized' William Kristol writes that Bush's selection of Harriet Miers "will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president."

DeLay, Inc A Washington Post article predicts that "Washington will remain Tom DeLay's capital," with Democrats adopting "DeLay-like tactics," while the WSWS surveys the "vicious infighting" going on 'Behind the DeLay indictment.'

The New York Times reports an attorney's claim that "administration efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson's criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney," and the Post floats "a new theory" that Patrick Fitzgerald "is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials."

"In the mystifying drama of Judith Miller and her Times, I am as clueless as the next person about what's really going down," writes Jay Rosen. "But it seems to me we're watching just that -- Judy Miller's New York Times." And Arianna Huffington finds "Meet the Press" missing a signature element.

In what is described as a "blistering report," the Government Accountability Office said the Bush administration broke the law by paying Armstrong Williams to disseminate "covert propaganda" inside the U.S.

Among the conclusions of a confidential report commissioned by the Department of Defense in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, "which has been seen by The Independent," is that "desperately needed National Guards were stuck in Iraq."

"Some of you are concerned about the attack helicopters and mortar fire," a U.S. Army colonel reportedly told an angry crowd in western Iraq. "I will tell you this: those are the sounds of peace."

As U.S. Marines sweep through 'Lawless Iraq Cities,' a review finds that 'U.S. soldiers get off easy for crimes against Iraqis,' and a West Point instructor has "an uneasy suspicion that it relates to the nationality of the victim." Plus: 'What a "Secure" Province Looks Like.'

The Boston Globe reports on an FBI counterterrorism investigation that was launched after the discovery that "some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq ... were probably stolen in the United States."

Baghdad Burning's Riverbend discovers that "not everyone was as fascinated with the constitution as I was," and that "as the referendum gets nearer, interest seems to diminish."

As President Bush prepares to rally wavering Americans with a speech, the White House is said to have "cranked up a campaign to convince Americans they are winning the war."

A veteran reporter who had already "seen some pretty shocking things in Iraq" contends that "the New Orleans scene was worse than Baghdad" -- because "this was America."

At a post-Katrina Washington conference, the one elected official who embraced 'The Emperor's New Consensus' was said to be Sen. Chuck Hagel," who, "after eight years of George W. Bush ... seems, by comparison, Metternichian."

A Mississippi sheriff's department spokesman described a raid on a Red Cross shelter, during which police and U.S. Marshalls demanded identification from "people who looked Hispanic," as a "humanitarian mission."

A USA Today survey finds almost no support among the nation's governors for President Bush's suggestion for "federalizing emergency response to catastrophic events," which one governor recently said "would be a disaster as bad as Hurricane Katrina."

As key lawmakers "seek to diversify" after Katrina, an energy analyst is quoted as saying that "the coastal states that don't want to see [outer continental shelf] development really need to hang together, or they're going to hang separately."

Although the latest Bali bombings are reportedly "connected to an al-Qaeda-linked group," they are also said to be part of a 'campaign that began 50 years before bin Laden.'

An AP report portrays a likely Alabama gubernatorial primary contest as "a classic battle between the GOP's two cornerstones: religious conservatives and business groups."

As Gore Vidal turns 80, 'the poet of St. Paul' dies at 60.

Septermber 30-October 2

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Although Vice President Cheney offered assurances that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers "has a conservative judicial philosophy that you'd be comfortable with, Rush," have conservatives "been had" by "a defining act for Bush, his Bill Buckner moment that changes everything?"

The 'Right-Wing Peanut Gallery Hits Hard' at "the president's 'work wife'" -- though defenders point out that she was "raised Catholic, and became Born Again around '79 or '80."

Slate's Bruce Reed argues that "the fair question to ask ... is not how good a lawyer she is, but how good a hack?", and an American Prospect article wonders about 'The Things She Couriered.' Plus: 'The Ponzi Victims Catch On.'

"A different grand jury," with "no prior involvement in the case," has indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on two charges of money laundering, for which "the maximum punishment is life in prison."

"Almost all the would-be contenders" for the 2008 GOP nomination "are standing to the left of Bush," writes Boston Globe columnist Peter Canellos, surveying a field of "anything but Bush clones, plus one who is."

As five more Americans are killed in a new Iraq offensive, a Newsweek poll suggests that President Bush has "found his floor" -- with support for his Iraq policy at 33 percent.

A Daily Californian op-ed makes 'The Conservative Case for Withdrawal,' but Arnaud de Borchgrave says: 'Think again ... give chaos a chance.'

"Iraq's Shiite and Kurdish leaders quietly adopted new rules over the weekend that will make it virtually impossible for the constitution to fail in the upcoming national referendum," reports the New York Times, predicting that the move "could prove a serious embarrassment to American officials."

As Star Tribune readers protest the A8 placement of anti-war rally coverage, the ombudsman for Jacksonville's Times-Union airs readers' complaints about the paper's "War Toll" of U.S. military deaths, "which they perceive -- understandably, I believe -- as a reflection of the newsroom's bias about the war."

USA Today finds the 'Army not punishing reservists who won't go to war,' with an Army spokesman saying, "it's sensitive," given that reservists "have historically not been expected to serve."

Jeffrey St. Clair investigates 'The Great Green Scare,' wherein "the FBI is acting as a federally-funded paramilitary force for the cancer industry and Extinction, Incorporated," while "on Fox News, blinking eco-terrorist alerts have replaced Tom Ridge's color-coded threat level."

As a former Fox News correspondent alleges that "some reporters at Fox would ... just make things up," a FAIR article, which argues that "it is often hard to distinguish the guestlists of public broadcasting's programs from those of their commercial counterparts," says it's 'Time to Unplug the CPB.'

Asked by the Wall Street Journal whether an "academic bill of rights" measure being pushed through the House can be enforced, the measure's chief promoter said, "Not in this round." Plus: 'Professor reported to FBI for "Hating" America.'

Although authorities "have yet to confirm a single incident of gunfire at helicopters" in New Orleans after Katrina, Knight Ridder reports that "the mere rumor that they had was enough."

The three states hit hardest by Katrina are the big losers thus far in obtaining prime federal cleanup contracts, with more than 90 percent of the money reportedly funneled "into the pockets of large, out-of-state corporations."

The News-Press reports that it and two other Florida papers are suing "to make FEMA open its books to show who got money -- and how much -- after four hurricanes raked Florida in 2004."

As the New York Times reports that a real estate slowdown is spreading, a hedge fund manager describes how homebuilders skirt a Federal law barring sellers from giving money directly to buyers for a down payment, by teaming up with faith-based charities. Plus: 'Follow the money... in Ohio.'

The Times also covers a conference at which delegates from Bhutan reported on their country's three decades-old experiment with measuring "gross national happiness," a "concept grounded in Buddhist doctrine."

The "Energy Hog," not in Olathe anymore, draws criticism as it hits the national stage, and Jay Bookman finds that there's no 'fool shortage' in Georgia.

"Who are these people?" asks protest singer Burt Bacharach, with a little help from Elvis and Dr. Dre.

October 3

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

"So, this was my Tuesday," begins Knight Ridder's Matthew Schofield, describing a day in Baghdad which included a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman starting a briefing with journalists by saying, "OK, raise your hand if you were shot at today."

Former National Security director Gen. William Odom told "Democracy Now!" that "maybe" the New York Times "just overlooked it" when the paper declined to run his op-ed arguing that the U.S. should 'Cut and Run' from Iraq.

'Don't Know How to Exit Iraq? Ask the Sunnis.' In a Foreign Policy article, Robert Collier summarizes his telephone interviews with "the most prominent hard-liners," who "show more nuanced and realistic positions than might be expected."

Thomas Friedman argues that if the Sunnis don't come around, then "we should arm the Shiites and Kurds and leave the Sunnis of Iraq to reap the wind," in which case, says one reader, "we have nothing to blame ourselves for, because there was no saving it anyway."

The AP profiles six Iraq war vets, all Democrats, who are seeking House seats in four states, one of whom says, "I'm not anti-war, I'm anti-failure."

Ira Chernus argues that "when we criticize Bush because he has failed to keep us safe ... we reinforce the basic premises of the national insecurity state," and Andy Rooney declares that 'Ike Was Right.'

The Village Voice previews the court martial trial of a U.S. Marine recruiter "accused of selling and delivering counterfeit documents to illegal aliens in order for them to join the service."

As Bill O'Reilly says of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, "we could take his life, and we should take his life if he doesn't help us out," Bill Berkowitz asks of Pat Robertson's assassination call: "will it mark the end of his political influence?"

A Washington Post report disputes a key talking point made by Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes on her Middle East tour, that "the person I work for ... is the first president in the history of America to say ... the Palestinians should have a state."

The editor of a monthly magazine called "Women's Rights" has been arrested for blasphemy in Afghanistan, after publishing articles arguing against "punishing adultery with 100 lashes" and that "giving up Islam was not a crime."

Joshua Holland shows how the tale of 'Kofi and the Scandal Pimps' -- "conceived and cultivated by a small group of writers within a small circle of conservative publications" -- came to be "on all counts" a successful "diversion."

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Miers nomination has "shaken activists on both the left and right," while the WSWS argues that "placing a White House loyalist on the Supreme Court may ... have a practical as well as political significance."

Confessing to "feeling mired in Miers," Walter Shapiro writes that "What makes her nomination so politically intriguing is that neither left nor right, neither ideologues nor believers in a judicial meritocracy, are comfortable with the president's selection." Plus: another insider to replace Federal Reserve Chairman?

With President Bush acknowledging a "diminished appetite" for overhauling Social Security, Dick Morris suggests a new mission for him, reasoning that "all he needs to do is to pay attention to what is happening around him."

The head of the Arms Control Association urges Bush to "accelerate action" aimed at 'Preventing a Nuclear Katrina,' as "Fluffy" and "Happy" are deployed to facilitate 'Evacuation plans for major American cities.'

Jay Rosen says that the official story about Judith Miller is "So limited and empty and 'stiff' that some are reminded of the old Soviet style ... News comes in code, and mostly the silences speak." And Jon Carroll wonders, "How did Judith Miller get to be the martyr in all this?"

The introduction of legislation said to mandate that "a man better get laid if a baby is being made," prompts the question: 'When did George Orwell move to Indianapolis?'

The AP quotes Rep. Barney Frank as having "said he does not know if the targeted congressman is gay or not. However, Frank contended that the perception that the congressman might be gay had damaged his standing with some fellow Republicans in the House."

October 4

Thursday, October 6, 2005

"An anguished James Dobson prayed ... for a sign from God," and White House envoys reportedly "got pummeled" when they tried to quell a "conservative uprising" by explaining "what's different about this trust-me moment as opposed to the other ones."

A BBC documentary will report that President Bush told Palestinian officials that he had "a mission from God" to "go and fight those terrorists ... And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me ..."

And Ha'aretz reports that according to Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas, Bush also said that "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."

Bush warned of "a radical Islamic empire that expands from Spain to Indonesia," in a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy.

"Staying in this fight" will require "decades of patient effort," said Vice President Cheney a day earlier, in a luncheon speech to a group that offers arms manufacturers a shot at "Bonding the Industry-Army Partnership."

After passing a 'Draconian new law, aimed at crushing resistance,' Iraq's parliament reversed its electoral law changes, prompting a Sunni politician to predict that "the Sunni Arabs will be able to defeat the constitution," and that "95 percent of the Sunni Arabs will vote 'no.'"

The Washington Post editorializes that as 'Iraq Slips Away,' the country's "prospects would be better if its leaders heard the American president clearly describe the likely consequences of their current strategies."

Iraq "may be too far gone to be salvaged," argues Robert Dreyfuss, but "if the United States would get out of Iraq, give the Arab League and the UN a chance to manage things there, and take part in Arab-led talks with the Sunnis, catastrophe might be averted."

During "A Summer of 'Damage Control'" by the mainstream media, Mark Major observes that "no 'liberal' media institution or columnist has called for the resignation of Bush Administration members ... nor has there been any substantive discussion of whether U.S. officials should be charged with war crimes."

The White House threatened to veto a $440 billion military spending bill after the Senate voted 90-9 to include an amendment that "set new limits on interrogating detainees in Iraq and elsewhere," reports the Washington Post. The Senate majority leader had blocked an earlier vote by "abruptly stopping debate" on the spending bill.

Former Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin pled 'Guilty in Israeli Espionage Case,' and "revealed for the first time that he also gave classified information directly to an Israeli government official," and former Bush administration official David Safavian was 'indicted on obstruction.'

With Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald reportedly "expected to signal within days whether he intends to bring indictments," Editor & Publisher cautions "editors and reporters: As the aspens turn, don't stray too far from your desks, cells or Blackberries." And, 'remember the memo.'

Another Trifecta For Bush? Lawrence O'Donnell predicts "at least three high level Bush Administration personnel indicted and possibly one or more very high level unindicted co-conspirators." Plus: 'Rove to testify again in CIA leak probe.'

'A Ghost in the Media Machine' Following a report that marks "the fourth time the GAO has uncovered the White House's illegal use of taxpayer money to produce 'covert propaganda,'" MediaCitizen calls on "the public to do what our elected officials are unwilling or unable to..."

Earl Ofari Hutchinson writes that after former Education chief William Bennett 'put his mouth where his party is,' "the problem ... was that those who instantly denounced Bennett were all Democrats."

Addressing a conference on "participatory media," Al Gore charged that "there is virtually no exchange of ideas at all in television's domain," while his claim that the Bush administration unleashes "squadrons of digital brownshirts" was dismissed as "unsubstantiated."

The Wall Street Journal describes the "chaotic circumstances still faced by hundreds of thousands of people" as FEMA and its contractors manage to fill "only a fraction of the massive demand for temporary housing along the Gulf Coast."

Two Louisiana inmates who have been "jailed in Avoyelles Parish for at least a year" reportedly dialed FEMA's toll-free number and "received $2,000 each ... in Hurricane Katrina relief."

A decision to make the genetic sequence of a recreated 1918 Spanish flu virus available to scientists online, prompts a warning of "a theoretical risk that any molecular biologist with sufficient knowledge could recreate this virus." Plus: 'Martial Law: It's for the Birds.'

An Indiana state senator finds that an effort to limit reproductive rights "has become more complex than she thought. So she is withdrawing it from consideration."

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said that "certainly the president can claim executive privilege" in withholding documents pertaining to Harriet Miers. "But in this case, I think with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, you can't play, you know, hide the salami, or whatever it's called."

The creator of "enyanomics," who is said to have sold an average of over 10,000 CDs per day since 1988, 'escapes intruder by hiding in panic room.'

October 5

Friday, October 7, 2005

Moaning In America President Bush's job approval rating dips into the 30s, and 69 percent of respondents "say things in the U.S. are pretty seriously off on the wrong track -- the highest number since CBS News started asking the question in 1983."

"The White House initially would not give details of the 10 plots that Bush mentioned in his morning speech," reports the AP, but on Thursday evening, "released a fact sheet with a brief, and vague, description of each."

Left I on the News notes that "Bush gave us 16 more words," and Juan Cole writes that "Bush's attempt to conflate the regimes he doesn't like with al-Qaeda makes nonsense of his whole vision," and "as for the rest of your speech, it is all made up as you go along, just like your whole administration."

Media Matters contrasts a "note" from Rush Limbaugh's "mistress in Georgia" with CNN's live coverage of the speech.

Bush also raised the specter of "Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq," after which Pentagon officials claimed to be in possession of an "intercepted letter" purported to be from Ayman al-Zawahri to al-Zarqawi, that they said confirmed administration assertions that Iraqi insurgents have a detailed plan to force U.S. withdrawal and create an Islamic state.

U.S. intelligence officials say that information obtained in a U.S. forces raid on an Ansar al-Islam base in Iraq led to the NYC subway warning, but also tell Knight Ridder that analysts were skeptical of the intelligence, partly because there's no evidence that Ansar has the wherewithawl to carry out a major operation in New York City.

Craig Crawford writes that "a news media outlet was persuaded to join a conspiracy of silence until the government was ready to announce the news ... which happened to coincide with White House strategy for Bush's speech and also just so happened to serve as a neat distraction from Rove's latest bad news."

Murray Waas says Karl Rove "will be pressed about issues as to why his accounts to the FBI and grand jury have changed, or evolved, over time," and an NYU law professor tells the AP that Rove's return "suggests Fitzgerald has learned new information that is tightening the noose." Plus: What kind of trip is Rove on?

Democrats are advised to "emphasize the importance of the American military as a potential force for good in the world," but an Arkansas Times columnist is 'Waiting for Fulbright.'

'Our Hero' Dave Zirin looks at reaction on the right to a San Francisco Chronicle story about a "fiercely independent thinker who ... was critical of President Bush and opposed the war in Iraq," and who never made it to a planned private meeting with his "favorite author."

After the International Atomic Energy Agency and its head Mohamed ElBaradei won the Nobel Peace Prize, the chairman of the Nobel committee said, "This is not a kick in the legs to any country."

'The Other Hurricane' Mike Davis writes that after Katrina, "walking among the ruins of the Lower Ninth Ward, I found myself worrying more about [an] EOS article than the disaster surrounding me."

As FEMA said it would re-bid four no-bid contracts for Katrina recovery work, the House voted to approve Homeland Security's budget, which reduces FEMA's funding by 12 percent, and a GOP senator told the White House to "back off our bill" to expand Medicaid eligibility rules.

Salon reports that President Bush's reelection may have been made possible by a Toledo Blade reporter with close ties to the Republican Party, who is said to have sat on the story of potential campaign violations by the central figure in "Coingate," Tom Noe.

"Stolen Honor" producer Carlton Sherwood has sued Sen. John Kerry and a one-time campaign aide, saying they defamed him as they sought to block Sinclair Broadcasting from airing his documentary. Sherwood co-founded a security company with a Fox News analyst who was a recent beneficiary of 'Cronyism, FOX-Style.'

Spokane Mayor Jim West vows to fight a recall, as a judge considers "whether to release the Internet history of the mayor's city-owned laptop computer."

In urging President Bush to 'Withdraw This Nominee,' Charles Krauthammer invokes the memory of G. Harrold "Harold" Carswell, while the Wall Street Journal recalls a "successful argument" on a "big constitutional issue," made by Harriet Miers in 2000.

Weekly Standard editor William Kristol was quoted as saying that it is "not out of the question" that Miers could withdraw -- and follow the example of another GOP nominee.

The Weekly Standard's 10th anniversary "soiree was emblematic of the entire Bush era," writes Craig Aaron. "While the conservative elite was nibbling lobster tails and sipping champagne, the rest of the world--from the Bayou to Baghdad--was going down the toilet."

At an "orgy of self-congratulation" hosted by the Association of the United States Army, the Washington Post's William Arkin found 'Microwaves, Lasers, Retired Generals For Sale.'

An international organization has reportedly posted ads for "vacant positions" in video production and editing.

October 6

Monday, October 10, 2005

As Pakistan backs off earlier refusals of aid from India, looting has reportedly broken out in the wake of an earthquake that has taken an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 lives, and left more than 2.5 million people homeless according to the U.N.

A refugee from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir and where 90,000 people lived, told the New York Times that "the whole city has collapsed. There is nothing."

A WSWS round-up of earthquake coverage unburies a subtext: "if Washington is powerless in the face of such catastrophes, then how can Islamabad be expected to do better."

The Louisiana Katrina Reconstruction Act, whose price tag "exceeds the high end of estimated costs of the storm," reportedly includes "billions of dollars' worth of business" for clients of lobbyists who sat on an advisory panel as the Act was being crafted. And Paul Krugman wonders: 'Will Bush Deliver?'

As the president 'Goes on the PR Offensive' to combat a code crisis, the Wall Street Journal, in a profile of "the administration's indispensable man," identifies the White House's "most threatening" problem.

A GOP pollster is quoted as saying that a "recruiting chill" among potential Republican contenders for House and Senate races can be attributed to the fact that the non-candidates "aren't stupid. They see the political landscape." Plus: 'GOP feels sting of candidates' rejection.'

Presstitutes argues that David Broder, in a column and an appearance on "Meet the Press," is among those advancing a "new Bush the Victim narrative."

Maureen Dowd asks: "Conservatives are shocked to discover that President Bush has been stuffing his administration with cronies and mediocrities in important places?"

Dowd refers to Robert Bork's Borking of Harriet Miers, whose nomination he called "a slap in the face to the conservatives who've been building up a conservative legal movement for the last 20 years," and Frank Rich predicts that Miers' nomination "will be remembered as the flashpoint when the faith-based Bush base finally started to lose faith in our propaganda president ..."

Columnist Trudy Rubin says that Bush delivered "an amazing speech" last Thursday in which "he left out almost everything you need to know." And Norman Solomon annotates the speech, characterized by another commentator as 'George Bush meets the phantom empire.'

In an excerpt from her book "Alleluia America!," Irish journalist Carole Coleman describes her interview with Bush and the subsequent dressing down from his handlers, quoting one as saying, "You were given an opportunity to interview the leader of the free world and you blew it."

"Journalism's Joan of Arc stood at the stake and a nation shrugged," reports the Guardian, adding that New York Times reporter Judith Miller has "angrily denied" the suggestion that she went to prison "because of a misunderstanding."

Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell asks: "Why have the Times' seven hard-hitting weekday opinion columnists remained virtually silent ... on their colleague ... throughout this ordeal?"

E&P also reported that a forthcoming book by former CBS producer Mary Mapes, in which she addresses the "60 Minutes" National Guard documents controversy, has gone missing from Amazon.com, but it's available at Amazon.ca., although a first chapter excerpt has now been removed.

Although the bill's co-sponsor is quoted as saying that bloggers will "probably not" be considered journalists under the proposed federal shield law,' Yahoo Adds Blogs to Its News Section.'

"While the stalwarts of the Democratic Party sit idly by waiting for a miraculous Bush collapse from within," writes Joshua Frank, "more people are dying in Iraq every day." Plus: "The real culprit in this fiasco."

Two Iraqi intellectuals, who once "were among the most persuasive advocates of a U.S. invasion," are now quoted as saying that violence "is destroying the very idea or the very possibility of Iraq," and that the new constitution "threatens Iraq with catastrophe."

"Yahoo's latest experiment," a "corporate-powered warblog," is said to reveal that it considers war news "just another form of entertainment."

An "anti-indecency activist" consulting the FCC has launched a Web site at the commission that will make it easier for viewers to complain about indecent broadcasts, reports Broadcasting & Cable, but consultant Penny Nance says they are still working out some "techno-kinks."

The head of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, which claims to be "the largest and most active conservative grassroots political organization in America," responds to allegations that he sexually molested pre-teen female family members over two generations.

October 7-9

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A New York Times report finds Kashmiris "paying the heaviest price" as rain and hail blanket the earthquake zone and the 'death toll hits 42,000,' with the number of homeless pushing an estimated 3 million.

Tariq Ali reports from Lahore that "the picture in the northwest of the country is much worse than has been reported," and that the prime minister scolded journalists for reporting "the deaths of hundreds of children. 'Why are you being sensationalist? Be optimistic!'"

After "nearly four days of confusion and mixed messages," Newsday reports that the NYC subway bomb threat appears to have been "fabricated." And unnamed government sources tell CNN that "an informant in Iraq ... admitted he gave false information."

With 'Fading Support For Iraq War' in the U.S., Iraqi political leaders were reportedly drafting "last-minute changes" -- some of them said to be "substantial" -- to the constitution only days before Saturday's referendum, described as "a win-win situation for the insurgents."

Fawaz A. Gerges calls the confrontation in Iraq 'Al Qaeda's Golden Opportunity' and a godsend for Osama bin Laden, but Barnard Haykel sees an opportunity for the West in an "emerging schism" among jihadis, many of whom are said to "believe the war in Iraq is not going well."

"Casualties in Iraq have shifted toward citizen soldiers" who accounted for "more than half of all U.S. deaths in August and in September," while thousands of Air Force and Navy personnel are assigned "new low-tech roles" in Iraq and Afghanistan, to "help the Army keep up force levels."

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on 'a fact of life' among U.S. troops in Iraq, quoting one soldier as saying that "in past wars, you know, they could go into town and there would be girls there or boys or whatever you want. Here, you can't really leave the base, because you'll get killed."

Lewis Lapham postulates an America in which "people trained to the corporate style ... have no further use for free speech," and where the corporate media's "willingness to stay on message is a credit to their professionalism."

An excerpt from Capt. James Yee's "For God And Country," sparks a meditation on the Pentagon's use of the charge of "improper sexual conduct" against "those viewed as troublesome," while Pentagon leadership simultaneously "embraced sexual humiliation tactics with particular relish" for detainees.

The New York Times editorializes that President Bush ought to spike his nominee to "head a key office at the State Department that coordinates the delivery of life-sustaining emergency aid to refugees," citing her performance in "another patronage job."

More than 2,000 pages of documents released by the Texas State Library are said to reveal that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers "quickly developed a deep and almost gushing admiration for her boss" after going to work for him.

Morton Mintz has 'Ten Questions for Harriet Miers,' all touching on the concept of the corporation as a person.

Rep. Tom DeLay is reportedly "setting aside his own aversion to the media" and launching a blitz "on radio, on TV and in print," wherein "he assails the prosecutor in one sentence and portrays himself as a victim in the next." Plus: Doing the 'GOP meltdown.'

Having "left a trail of unpaid bills from Texas to Virginia," the 'Once powerful Christian Coalition teeters on insolvency,' reports the Virginian-Pilot. Earlier: 'How the mighty have fallen.'

When Angela Merkel read a statement announcing a power sharing deal through which she became her country's first East German-born and first female chancellor, "It was like she was announcing her own funeral," one observer said.

As the New York Times' Bill Keller was telling an advertisers conference that "Bloggers recycle and chew on the news," the blogosphere was "at its best," argues Arianna Huffington, "diving into and carving up the latest developments in the rapidly unfolding Plamegate saga."

Keller also called "fair and balanced" the "most ingenously cynical slogan" in media marketing. Plus: 'Journalism in Camouflage' at the Washington Times.

In an interview in which he analyzes media coverage of the controversy surrounding him, Ward Churchill contends that "Air America is Clear Channel's 'liberal alternative' to itself."

October 10

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Following a last-minute change in Iraq's draft constitution, a Sunni negotiator reportedly said that now "the only opponents should be the Zarqawi people. They oppose everything. If they wrote the constitution, they would oppose it."

Left I on the News speculates on what's behind the U.S. government's decision "to release the text of an alleged letter ... which purports to be advice given by Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," and War In Context points out that "The letter addressed to Zarqawi asks the reader to pass along greetings ... to Zarqawi."

As U.S. conservatives and former Iraqi exiles 'desert war campaign,' Edward Luttwak argues that "What we have now are U.S. troops interposed between the insurgents and our allies in Iraq, in effect protecting our enemies from our friends," in an op-ed headlined 'Withdrawal isn't retreat.'

USA Today reviews a new CIA report which finds it ironic that policymakers were "receptive to technical intelligence (the weapons program), where the analysis was wrong, but apparently paid little attention to intelligence on cultural and political issues (post-Saddam Iraq), where the analysis was right."

A visit to Kabul by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was welcomed with rocket attacks and a new wave of violence from an insurgency said to have been "particularly bloody" in recent weeks.

Rice later showed up in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad "to assess the devastation" from the earthquake, as the rescue of "a dazed 5-year-old buried in the rubble of her family's house," provided 'a glimmer of good news.'

With an African diplomat saying the situation in Darfur is at "one of the lowest points - if not the lowest - that we have had," a report that John Bolton blocked a U.N. envoy from briefing the Security Council on rights violations in Darfur, prompts the question: 'What is John Bolton up to at the United Nations?'

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Mr. Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy," and Judith Miller makes an encore appearance before the grand jury. Plus: 'Miller, prosecutor have tangled before.'

With the possibility that 'Bush Could Lose Rove Over Probe,' speculation regarding who might become Bush's next "brain" prompts Billmon to caution that "Rove, at least, is smart, even if it is a feral, devious brand of intelligence."

Referring to a number of recently published articles designed "to limit the potential fallout to the President should Rove or anyone else be indicted," Anonymous Liberal wonders: 'Where are the Stories Exculpating Cheney?'

As Cheney rejiggers his spokesteam, an analysis released by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who is pushing for full disclosure of federal contract awards in a centralized database, shows that Cheney's Halliburton stock options increased in value from $241,000 to more than $8 million in the last year.

President Bush "had the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere" -- especially "when the questioning turned to Miers," wites Dana Milbank, about a photo-op interview on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, "Bush pointed to Miers' religion in again expressing confidence she will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate," as Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson took to the airwaves to give his version of what Karl Rove said to him about her nomination.

'To Sir, With Love' Maureen Dowd reviews "a cache of mash notes" from Miers to Bush, and the New York Times reports that "lawyers for the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee are expressing dissatisfaction with the choice and pushing back against her."

City Pages' Steve Perry points out that "the big three dailies" had just proclaimed Harriet Miers "the 'safe' choice of a weakened president" when "all hell broke loose."

Respondents to a new Ipsos poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org. were asked if they agreed with the statement: "If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him."

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez turns up in Parade magazine's "Personality Parade" -- and in the New York Times, under the headline: 'Chavez thrives on seeing threat from Bush.'

The Independent Weekly examines a "paperwide" decision by the Raleigh News and Observer to run "dueling reviews" of a Jesse Helms autobiography -- one of them "blistering," the other a "badly written piece of far-right-wing cant."

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a Wiccan priestess to offer a generalized prayer at governmental meetings in a Virginia county, which, according to her appeal, invites only Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious leaders to deliver prayers.

As Nashville songwriters rush to embrace 'The rise of the "redneck"' and other stereotypes, Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times goes cross country to be present when Kanye West 'raises the bar for hip-hop,' and Bob Dylan wins a Quill award for "Chronicles."

October 11

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This year's Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to playwright and poet Harold Pinter, who expressed his thoughts on Iraq in a House of Commons speech and when he accepted an earlier prize.

Pinter said he was "bowled over" by the announcement, but promised to "have words by the time I get to Stockholm." His 1991 poem, "American Football - A Reflection on the Gulf War," was rejected by a number of publications.

With special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald rumored to be angling for a grand jury extension, his investigation "has now turned toward a little known cabal of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG)," reports Jason Leopold, noting that "The group relied heavily on ... Judith Miller."

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann examines 'The Nexus of politics and terror,' documenting 13 instances in which a political downturn for the Bush administration was followed within days "by a 'terror event' - a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning." Earlier: The ratings game.

"Rich and well-connected" New Yorkers reportedly got their own special terror tips by e-mail, days before the general public was informed of last week's subway terror threat.

"Of course, it's hardly startling to discover political strategists scheming to win elections," writes Jonathan Schell. "But sixty-four-page reports publicly recommending, without a trace of substantive argumentation, a full-scale strategy for a political party is, I suggest, something new."

Consistent Leadership A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts President Bush's approval rating at 39 percent and finds that only 28 percent of respondents believe the U.S. is headed in the right direction. Last week: 37/26 and another 39/28.

The poll also found that just two percent of African-Americans approve of his leadership, one month after he pledged to "address the racial divide in a variety of ways." But Bob Herbert does concede that "there's one thing the president has been good at."

The Wall Street Journal's John Fund excoriates "a failed vetting process" for "what one presidential aide inartfully praised to me as that of 'a female trailblazer who will walk in the footsteps of President Bush.'" And another conservative columnist calls Miers "the least qualified Supreme Court nominee since Harry Truman picked his poker buddies."

As Bush 'Does more than wink,' he's drawing criticism from both the right and the left over his 'emphasis on religion of nominee.'

Howard Fineman probes 'The conservative crack up' while David Ignatius, reviewing 'How the Republicans Let It Slip Away,' finds evidence that "the GOP is entering the post-Bush era."

In a move that "usually presages an acceleration of a federal probe," 'SEC Issues Subpoena To Frist,' while a Republican ethics lawyer scores the Senate Majority Leader's "capacity for clumsiness and bad timing."

"Catastrophic events attract attention," said a U.S. Army liaison officer, after suicide bombers struck Tall Afar for the second time in two days, as Iraqis prepared to walk to the polls. Plus: 'Stuck In Baghdad? Yeah, Right.'

'A new low for operation photo-op' leads to "Another great Bush administration moment."

"Unlike on previous trips to the country," reporters accompanying Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Kabul "were compelled to wear bulletproof vests," as Rice proclaimed that Afghanistan is "inspiring the world with its march of democracy."

A Harris poll finds that 74 percent of Americans surveyed believe environmental protection "standards cannot be too high ... regardless of cost," while only 19 percent believe that there is "too much government regulation."

One week after the U.S. Forest Service fired an official who voiced concerns about alleged pesticide misuse in forests, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says the National Park Service "has started using a political loyalty test for picking all its top civil service positions."

Although there are reportedly 300,000 vacant apartments in Texas alone, FEMA is said to be "wasting money hand over fist" by spending $11 million per night on hotel rooms for Katrina evacuees. Plus: A call to "come on home."

Italy has awarded a multibillion dollar construction contract for what would be the world's longest suspension bridge, linking Italy's toe and the island of Sicily.

As CNN's Anderson Cooper lands a $1 Million book deal, and lands on "Oprah," San Francisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman declares that "The Anderson Cooper cult of personality must end."

A CBS News exec dismisses the impact of audience research on the network's editorial product, but a journalism professor says that "For thirty years, research has been a mainstay of how local news is developed."

With the Minnesota Vikings on cruise control, scroll down for speculation that the team is also under 'The curse of the Bush.'

October 12

Friday, October 14, 2005

The New York Times tackles 'The Miller Case,' and Judith Miller offers up a "personal account" in which she writes that "On one page of my interview notes, for example, I wrote the name 'Valerie Flame.' Yet, as I told Mr. Fitzgerald, I simply could not recall where that came from..."

Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell calls for Miller to be "promptly dismissed for crimes against journalism, and her own newspaper," and Left I on the News says that either Miller is "lying about" her conversations with "Scooter" Libby, "or she engages in very strange conversations indeed."

A new Pew Research Center poll finds that "for the first time since taking office in 2001, a plurality of Americans believe that George W. Bush will be viewed as an unsuccessful president."

"Now that Mr. Bush's approval ratings are in the 30's, we're hearing about his coldness and bad temper, about how aides are afraid to tell him bad news," writes Paul Krugman. "Does anyone think that journalists have only just discovered these personal characteristics?"

ABC's Terry Moran defended Helen Thomas after White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told her: "I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism."

McClellan was also pelted with questions about President Bush's 'staged' teleconference, where he 'sort of' went to Tikrit.

With the Terror Spin Cycle said to be getting 'Getting Dangerously Short (For Bush),' Craig Crawford explains why "the source of this president's power ... is proving to be the key to his undoing."

"Sooner or later, anti-Americanism is bad for business," says the advertising executive who founded Business for Diplomatic Action, whose slogan is, "It's not about ads. It's about actions!"

Knight Ridder's Tom Lasseter says his week spent with "a crack unit of the Iraqi army ... suggests that the [U.S. exit] strategy is in serious trouble," as "the mostly Shiite troops are preparing for, if not already fighting, a civil war against the minority Sunni population." Plus: 'Fear and loathing in militia hell.'

The Independent's Patrick Cockburn reports that "a deep crisis is turning into a potential catastrophe because President George Bush and Tony Blair pretend the situation in Iraq is improving."

The Independent also reports that in column by Tina Brown, Iraq war supporter "Baroness Thatcher ... criticised Tony Blair for taking Britain to war in Iraq on the basis of flawed evidence," saying that "there were no facts, there was no evidence, and there was no proof."

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles a battalion commander who job it is to deliver apologies and compensation after "anonymous GIs in passing patrols and convoys" have killed civilians.

The Washington Post reports that the Army has identified over 330 soldiers wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan who have returned home, only to be hit by 'Financial Friendly Fire.'

The New York Times' ombudsman declares that 'Now Is the Time,' Arianna Huffington wonders "So which way will it go?", Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell explains 'Why Judith Miller Can't Catch a Break,' and Jay Rosen warns that "This is just armchair speculation, okay?" Plus: 'Times' columnists defend lack of commentary' on Miller.

$5.3 million worth of food donated by Great Britain has reportedly "never reached the victims of Hurricane Katrina" because of a U.S. "ban on British beef." The nearly 400,000 packaged meals are being stored in Arkansas, at a cost to taxpayers of $16,000 a month.

"The first comprehensive survey of hurricane victims" finds that 39 percent of displaced New Orleans residents -- or some 50,000 households -- say that they "definitely or probably won't move back."

"Journalists as well as everybody else have been stunned by the perspective that the hurricane provided on the nature of our society," human rights reporter Jamie Kalven told In These Times. "But you know, what we're seeing down there can be seen in Chicago on any day." Plus: 'That Was a Short War on Poverty.'

The 'Black Mecca' once billed as "the city too busy to hate," which leads the nation in "the creation of black millionaires," now reportedly also 'Leads Nation In Child Poverty,' and the Black Commentator says its leaders "don't know how to liberate anybody -- they know how to get paid."

A study finding that women accounted for just 14 percent of the guests on the Sunday morning political talk shows, follows one released last July which found that only eight percent were African Americans, with three people accounting for 70 percent of the appearances.

Poverty Barn bids farewell to "a real American hero," whose youthful courage on "a hot ... dangerous day" she herself recalled as merely "the simple act of walking through a schoolhouse door."

The Los Angeles Times detects 'a Glint of Liberalism' in legal journal writings by Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers in the early 90s, as those calling on Bush to withdraw the nomination include Judge Robert Bork, while "the other side isn't very impressed either."

October 13

Monday, October 17, 2005

Back to Iraq's Chris Allbritton says "color me skeptical" after finding 'Curious numbers in Ninevah' that Juan Cole calls "counter-intuitive," and the Los Angeles Times quotes a Sunni Arab spokesman as saying: "If 95% ... can't stop the constitution, then who can?"

Cole tells the Washington Post that "This thing is an enormous fiasco ... and this result guarantees the guerrilla war will go on," and in a TomDispatch interview, he talks of media coverage that generates "an extremely persistent set of images that almost no actual information is able to make a dent in."

Baghdad Burning's Riverbend finds it "worrisome" that "Iraqis abroad aren't being allowed to vote this time around," and as the ballots were being counted, U.S. forces bombed two villages, where residents said that at least 39 of "an estimated 70 militants" were civilians.

The New York Times finds that President Bush has changed his tone on Iraq, as "he appears to be preparing the country for a struggle of cold war proportions," and Time profiles an insurgent 'Professor of Death' with similar expectations.

Although Bush says "Our strategy is clear in Iraq," a Christian Science Monitor article asks, "What is it?"

During an appearance on "Meet the Press," Secretary of State Rice said that after 9/11 "We could decide that the proximate cause was al Qaeda and the people who flew those planes into buildings and, therefore, we would go after al Qaeda ... or we could take a bolder approach." Plus: "Critics of the Iraq war allege..."

Reporting on how 'Cheap labor flows to Iraq,' the Chicago Tribune retraces the journey of 12 Nepalese men and discovers that "the U.S. military has allowed KBR to partner with subcontractors that hire laborers from Nepal and other countries that prohibit citizens from being deployed in Iraq." Earlier: 'Did You Know This About Iraq?'

'Soldier Propagandist' After discovering that "pro-Bush rhetoric" from one of the U.S. soldiers who appeared in last week's teleconference with the president, "is sprinkled throughout the media in articles dating back to 2003," MediaCitizen asks: "how could one soldier get so much face time?"

As a former CBS national security correspondent contends that there is "one enormous journalism scandal hidden in Judith Miller's Oct. 16th first person article about the (perhaps lesser) CIA leak scandal," Arianna Huffington poses "some questions for Miller's editors," and a commenter at PressThink says that Miller buried the lede.

"What matters most in this case is not whether Mr. Rove and Lewis Libby engaged in a petty conspiracy," writes Frank Rich. "What makes Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation compelling ... is its illumination of a conspiracy that was not at all petty ... instigated by Mr. Rove's boss, George W. Bush, and Mr. Libby's boss, Dick Cheney." Plus: 'Rove's Consigliere.'

Josh Marshall posts a question asking, "What did Harriet Miers know about the White House plan to bulldoze Joe Wilson and reveal his wife's identity?" and "what does she know about what the president knew?" Earlier: 'The things she couriered' and 'Making sense of the Miers nomination.'

With the White House reportedly hoping to "relaunch" the nomination of Miers with "new talking points ... notable for their absence of even a passing reference to her religion," John Nichols argues that her nomination provides further evidence that "George Bush has given up."

A Business Week commentary finds 'Sound, Fury' from right-wing bloggers and pundits on the Miers nomination, but 'Yawns' from most conservatives, even though Rush Limbaugh says that it's not a "crack-up," it's a "crackdown."

The Washington Post reports on how lobbyist Jack Abramoff arranged for client eLottery -- "The New Way to Play!" -- "to pay conservative, anti-gambling activists to help in the firm's $2 million pro-gambling campaign," including Ralph Reed, the reverend who heads up the Traditional Values Coalition and Grover Norquist.

Cyphering liberates Monday columns by both Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert, who conclude that 'It's Health Care and Education, Stupid!', with the latter advising Democrats to "get off their schadenfreude cloud and start the hard work of crafting a message of hope that they can deliver convincingly to the electorate..."

David Sirota catalogs the major symptoms of the 'Partisan War Syndrome' afflicting the left, beginning with "wild hallucinations that make progressives believe we can win elections by doing nothing, as long as the Republican Party keeps tripping over itself."

As the U.S. government "averts its eyes from an oncoming disease tsunami," Eric Margolis reports from Bangkok that "On U.S. TV, I was actually asked, 'How many al-Qaeda were killed by the quake?'"

Another tone shift, on Katrina recovery, prompts GOP critics to complain that "we're going to need a plan and somebody in charge," and that "there has to be some federal leadership here."

October 14-16

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Amid indications that 'Cheney May Be Entangled' and his 'office is a focus,' TalkLeft predicts that if a New York Daily News report of a "secret snitch" is true, "it's Karl Rove who flipped on Friday and gave up Cheney."

Raw Story reports that John Hannah, a senior aide to Vice President Cheney, is cooperating with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, according to sources close to the investigation.

As the 'Journalism community turns on Times, Miller,' the Chicago Tribune editorializes on 'A journalistic travesty,' Eric Alterman offers up a theory involving a 'Manchurian Reporter,' and Attytood's Will Bunch revisits 'The oil-for-food years.'

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff says that in Judith Miller's article, he "saw point by point where, if she is on the stand ... the defense lawyer for Libby could go through her account and find passages where she is giving information that could be helpful to Libby's defense."

Miller reportely "received a standing ovation from more than half the crowd" when she was presented with the Society of Professional Journalists' First Amendment Award at the group's convention in Las Vegas.

President Bush's job approval rating sank to 39 percent in the latest USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, and he remained at 40 percent in only one poll conducted in October.

Iraq's Electoral Commission announced a ballot audit after reporting "unusually high" numbers of "yes" votes in the constitutional referendum, amid Sunni allegations that some areas had more "yes" votes than registered voters. Plus: Ex-Taliban elected to Afghan parliament.

Although the U.S. military said that it "knew of no civilian deaths" after "an F-15 dropped a bomb on a crowd," the Washington Post reports that "at Ramadi hospital, distraught and grieving families fought over body parts severed by the airstrikes, staking rival claims to what they believed to be pieces of their loved ones."

The Defense Department inspector general "doesn't have a single auditor or accountant in Iraq tracking spending," reports Knight Ridder, having "quietly pulled out of the war zone a year ago - leaving what experts say are gaps in the oversight of how more than $140 billion is being spent."

Armed Iraqis reportedly stole $3.5 million worth of computers and Internet equipment that had been donated by South Korea last month.

They Got Ed The Moderate Voice rounds up reaction to the U.S. military pulling "The Ed Schultz Show" from Monday's planned debut on Armed Forces Radio. People For the American way announced that it will "ask activists to pepper the Pentagon with calls..."

Although country music critic Chet Flippo now says that it's "laudable" that Merle Haggard is exercising his "right to speak out ... when many other country artists feel ... that to do so would jeopardize their careers," Flippo earlier advised the Dixie Chicks to "Shut Up And Sing."

Eighteen Grandmothers Against the War were arrested for disorderly conduct after they showed up at a military recruiting center in Times Square and said they wanted to enlist, reports the AP. Plus: When movements collide.

After Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund wrote that two conference call participants claimed Harriet Miers "would vote to overturn Roe," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "This was not a call organized by the White House, and as far as I've been able to learn, no one at the White House was involved on that call."

The AP reports that 'Miers Backed Ban on Most Abortions in '89,' while a candidate for Dallas city council -- but 'Some Critics Still See Bugs' in "Miers version 2.0."

As the campaign war chest for Rep. Tom Delay -- who will likely be booked this week -- reportedly hits $1.2 million, just one U.S. Senator is still giving. And DeLay's attorney says his client rejected a plea deal.

Calling "The old conservative talking points ... now inoperative," E. J. Dionne finds it "especially amusing to see ... DeLay complain about the politicization of justice."

The Wall Street Journal spotlights the campaign of Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist in a run-off election for "the only vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives."

The NewStandard reports that as 'Some Neighborhoods Rebuild ... Part of Lower 9th Remains Off-limits,' even to residents attempting to return "at what they thought was the behest of city authorities" -- but Fats is back.

Facing South highlights an "emerging theme" exemplified in one GOP senator's declaration that "Fraud is in the culture of Iraqis. I believe that is true in the state of Louisiana as well."

As the European Union grapples with the 'facts about bird flu,' MaxSpeak tackles 'Bird Flu, Bird Brains and Economists' and Madeline Drexler sings the 'Bird Flu Blues.'

Find out who was voted the world's top public intellectual in a poll sponsored by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines.

October 17

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bush Knew? Sources tell the New York Daily News than "An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair," but that "Bush did not feel misled so much by Karl and others as believing that they handled it in a ham-handed and bush-league way."

Having told associates he has no plans to issue a final report, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has "heighten[ed] the expectation that he intends to bring indictments," reports the New York Times, while making it likely that "a complete account of the administration's activities may never be known."

As Fox News is found to be pushing the "criminalization of politics" talking point, Slate's Jacob Weisberg argues that "Rooting for Rove's indictment" is "unseemly" and "unthinking."

An 'F List' is published, questions are raised about what happened to "the story beneath the story," and, 'It's Libby vs. Miller Time.'

"My purpose here is not to defend Judy nor attack her," writes Newsweek's Christopher Dickey, who argues that "Burning Judy won't light the way to better journalistic standards and ethics in a media marketplace that long ago concluded having access to power is more important than speaking truth to it."

The Washington Post reports that the 'CIA Is Still in Turmoil' one year after Porter Goss became director, with his second-in-command having "walked out of Langley last month and then told senators ... that he had lost confidence in Goss's leadership," although an earlier report suggested that he "was forced out because of 'insubordination.'"

As 'Naughty Harry' is caught 'lawyering without a license,' Robert Bork, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined 'Slouching Towards Miers,' laments that "the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq aside, George W. Bush has not governed as a conservative."

Dahr Jamail analyzes '"Elections" and other Deceptions in Iraq,' and Juan Cole argues that "it's really dangerous just to up and leave altogether and allow Iraq to fall into civil war ... do we want a genocide on our conscience?"

Testifying that many Iraq rebuilding projects will be dropped, a U.S. special inspector general, reports Reuters, said that "Of the almost $30 billion in U.S. funds for Iraq ... up to 26 percent have been spent trying to protect the investment" from insurgent attacks. And a pop quiz asks: "Who won the elections in Afghanistan last month?"

An Australian TV program reportedly shot film of U.S. troops burning the bodies of dead Taliban in Afghanistan, along with footage of a psy-ops broadcast taunting villagers for allowing the bodies to be burnt. Plus: 'Rice Wants to Follow Afghan Model in Iraq.'

Rory Carroll, the Guardian's Baghdad correspondent, has reportedly been kidnapped in Iraq, where he was covering the trial of Saddam Hussein.

The Christian Science Monitor examines concerns that the trial "may not measure up to international standards," Human Rights Watch lists "problems with the tribunal," and the WSWS calls the procedure a 'Legal Lynching.'

Stars and Stripes reports that the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps, citing security concerns, have "blocked all access to commercial e-mail services" for "sailors, Marines and DOD employees and contractors" using overseas government computers.

Although the U.S. military is reportedly raking off $120 million a year from the $2 billion that "flows through military-owned slot machines," it spends "little of its Congressional funding, and none of its gambling profits, on treatment for those whose gambling gets out of control."

Pentagon screening finds that "28% of Iraq veterans," about 50,000 this year alone, have returned home with medical or mental health problems, dwarfing the Pentagon's official casualty count.

A FEMA spokeswoman says "it is unfortunate" that FEMA and the Red Cross were off by 400,000 in their estimate of the number of Hurricane Katrina evacuees being lodged in hotels, after "the New York Times raised questions about the figures."

"I don't need the approval of the press, but I just wish they'd stop the viciousness," says Bill O'Reilly, claiming that "Now it's so bad that I spend an enormous amount of money protecting myself against evil... there are some very, very bad people out there and we're dealing with those people."

"I kept a job and a roof over my head and my belly mostly full," writes a reporter about his month-long "life of minimalist survival. I couldn't have supported a child or taken a vacation, a day off or a sick day. To do better, I'd need to do what so many do: work a second job."

October 18

Thursday, October 20, 2005

In an address described as a "scathing attack" on the record of President Bush, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Powell, said that "What I saw was a cabal" between Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, "on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made."

Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson says, "Face it, America. You've been punk'd ... Revelations during the past week about the Plame affair make it clear that the Bush administration used covert action against its own citizens." More from Johnson on 'The So-called "Lies" of Joe Wilson.'

In making his 'Case Against Cheney,' John Nichols argues that no one in Washington "is known to be more vindictive," while on "Hardball," David Gergen said "the Dick Cheney I have known for 30 years has always stopped well short of the line of illegal or immoral activities." Plus: Gergen bot and sold.

Laura Rozen introduces her American Prospect article on 'The Report They Forgot ... Whatever happened to Pat Roberts' Phase II intelligence report?'

In Judith Miller's account, Lewis Libby "appears to significantly misrepresent the contents of still-classified material," reports Newsweek, and an attorney who describes Patrick Fitzgerald as "a super predator," says Miller's story "seems like a carefully scripted message to Libby, and perhaps to other sources..."

A Wall Street Journal profile of Libby notes that his "original Washington patron was Paul Wolfowitz, his political-science professor at Yale University," who employed Libby as a Reagan State Department speech writer in 1981.

Clarence Page thinks "Boosters of Team Bush should give Miller a medal," and a "former intel officer" tells the New York Daily News that not only was the White House Iraq Group "funneling information to Judy Miller. Judy was a charter member."

Following a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, President Bush said he was a "heck of a lot more confident" of peace prospects between Israel and Palestine than when he first took office five years ago. Bush also addressed the issue of "background noise."

Bush acknowledged that the nomination of Harriet Miers emerged from a "little different process from the norm," as Miers revealed a second law license suspension, and reportedly provided "erroneous and incomplete information" to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A Madison Capital Times editorial says that "when they are not attacking Harriet Miers ... right-wingers are going after American Girl," over an alliance with what one organization calls a "pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group." Plus: 'Meet the Fundies' and their 'Revolting pharmacists.'

A Harris poll finds high levels of support among the public for universal health insurance (75 percent in favor), embryonic stem-cell research (70 percent) and other health care measures considered "controversial."

"To any sheriff or peace officer of the state of Texas, greetings, you are hereby commanded to arrest Thomas Dale DeLay and him safely keep so that you have him before the 331st Judicial District Court of Travis County."

Calling for an exit strategy from Iraq, Richard Nixon's Vietnam-era defense chief, Melvin Laird, writes in Foreign Affairs that "our presence is what feeds the insurgency."

Calling Iraq "a graveyard of American power," Daniel Sneider cites an earlier Foreign Affairs article on 'Iraq Syndrome' by John Mueller, who argues that "the only thing remarkable about the current war in Iraq is how precipitously American public support has dropped off."

A Fox News reporter finds U.S. Marshals 'Riding the Wrong Horse in Baghdad,' and asking journalists at the trial of Saddam Hussein such questions as, "What is your religion?" and "Who do you think the bad guys are in Iraq?"

'The cowed prisoner reinvents himself,' and serves notice that he is "not going down without a fight," declaring that "If you are Iraqi, you know me."

'Afghanistan, Iraq among most corrupt countries in world,' according to Transparency International's 2005 "Corruption Perceptions Index," with the U.S. coming in as the seventeenth least corrupt country.

The Army has sent 68 special "non-lethal capabilities" riot and crowd control kits to Iraq and Afghanistan, reportedly "in response to an urgent requirement request from field commanders." Plus: "The bodies were burned facing Mecca."

A legal resident of Bahrain, "permanently living outside of the United States," has been called to jury duty in California.

October 19

Friday, October 21, 2005

"Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby have been advised that they may be in serious legal jeopardy," reports the New York Times, facing possible charges that include "perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement," according to "lawyers involved in the case." Earlier: 'What's wrong with ancillary charges?'

A Wall Street Journal article theorizes that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald "may be exploring whether to charge White House officials with leaking garden-variety classified information ... 'relating to the national defense'" under the Espionage Act.

Amid a 'palpable silence at the White House,' Ray McGovern raises the possibility that President Bush could fire Fitzgerald. Plus: 'Is Michael Ledeen the Niger forgery author?'

Judith Miller told the federal grand jury that she might have met with Lewis Libby on June 23, 2003 "only after prosecutors showed her Secret Service logs that indicated she and Libby had indeed met that day," reports Murray Waas, part of "the double mousetrap that Fitzgerald pulled off."

Waas notes that in her personal account in the Times, Miller didn't mention that she "initially failed to disclose the meeting in her testimony or that she was shown the ...logs." She also inaccurately claimed that "we were all wrong" about WMD. Plus: 'Thanks for the link, New York Times. Please answer my question.'

Media Matters points out that a Times article which reported that Senate testimony by Secretary of State Rice "was punctuated by a heckler who called for an end to the war," failed to reveal that the heckler "is a former senior-level U.S. diplomat and former Army colonel."

U.S. 'Goodwill Envoy' Karen Hughes reportedly told a "skeptical" Indonesian audience that Saddam Hussein gassed "hundreds of thousands" of Iraqis. Plus: 'Abducted Saddam trial lawyer found dead.'

U.S. officials are moving to "limit the damage" and "control Muslim backlash," as a top Afghan cleric warns of "very, very dangerous consequences" following reports that U.S. troops burned the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.

The Nation observes "another Pyrrhic victory for the Bush Administration in its effort to salvage its failed Iraq project," while Stewart Nusbaumer sees 'The Costs of War at Walter Reed' and Robert Parry chronicles the 'Rise of the "Patriotic Journalist."'

Materiel Damage A Government Accountability Office report confirms that "the National Guard's response to Hurricane Katrina 'was more complicated because significant quantities of critical equipment ... were deployed to Iraq.'"

Reporting that "the only FEMA employee to ride out Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans" testified that his e-mails "confirming the worst-case scenario" were greeted by complaints that former FEMA head Michael Brown needed time to dine, the Los Angeles Times adds that Brown's consulting contract "was recently extended for another 30 days."

Facing South discovers that "unsigned editorials" in four newspapers "say exactly the same thing" in defending President Bush's suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act. Three are owned by Freedom Communications, which has also been trumpeting a bogus claim about the estate tax.

Storm City USA Today reports that the coastal areas most vulnerable to hurricanes are experiencing population growth at "almost twice the national rate," and with winter likely to arrive within weeks, there are reportedly "not enough cold-weather tents in the world" to house the 'Quake's Homeless Millions.'

Gunning For Votes By a margin of 283 to 144, and "with considerable Democratic support," the House passed a bill that would "shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits."

Following a National Review report that strategists working with the White House on the nomination of Harriet Miers have "discussed whether Miers should simply stop visiting with lawmakers, lest any further damage be done," the Washington Times reports that Miers "has finished the tour."

A copywriter described as "the Howard Stern of advertising," resigned two weeks after telling a Toronto dinner audience that "Women don't make it to the top because they don't deserve to. They're crap."

A New York Times report amplified the ad executive's complaint of suffering "death by blog," but omitted his description of women as "crap" who would inevitably "wimp out and go suckle something."

Four lawsuits in less than two weeks are said to fuel debate over whether Alaska is a prime "dumping ground" for priests who "have been accused publicly of abusing a child or children in the past."

As 'Jolly Roger's grand plan' prompts a "Don't FOX with local news" campaign, a group called Citizens for Principled Conservatism is denouncing Ann Coulter for "mainstreaming extremism within the Conservative Movement."

A problem with "The Colbert Report," says one reviewer, is that "it's a lot easier to make fun of the news than to parody the people who deliver it. Perhaps that's because people like Bill O'Reilly are already parodies of themselves."

October 20

Monday, October 24, 2005

'Breaking Ranks,' Brent Scowcroft tells the New Yorker that "The real anomaly in the Administration is Cheney. I consider Cheney a good friend -- I've known him for thirty years. But Dick Cheney I don't know anymore." Asked about the differences between George W. Bush and his father, Scowcroft said: "I don't want to go there."

The article isn't available online, but in a Q & A with the author, Hullaballo's Digby notices "some spanking new jargon bubbling up into the mainstream," including, "the term 'conservative' has been surgically removed from the failed ideology of neoconservativism," with neocons now being portrayed as 'Liberals With Guns.'

The New York Daily News reports that "a source with close ties to the White House when told about these outbursts," said: "This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help. This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight."

In describing how 'Cheney has gone off the radar,' Michael Wolff notes that Cheney's office "refuses to supply a daily schedule of his recent activities, and, furthermore, makes this refusal off the record. (Truly -- a spokesperson refused to provide information only under the condition that I agreed not to say she refused to provide information.)"

A Wall Street Journal article on how the 'CIA leak probe could augur shift among Bush staff,' quotes David Gergen as saying that President Bush "has to have fresh blood." Plus: time for a climb?

As the 'Leak case renews questions on war's rationale,' UPI's Martin Walker reports that the inquiry "has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium ... according to NAT0 intelligence sources."

Raw Story reports that an aide to Vice President Cheney, David Wurmser, is the one who 'passed Plame's name to Libby, Hadley, those close to leak investigation say.'

Josh Marshall speculates on the strategy behind leaking on Lewis Libby, as "allies of the White House suggested Sunday that they intended to pursue a strategy of attacking any criminal charges as a disagreement over legal technicalities or the product of an overzealous prosecutor."

Lawrence O'Donnell explains why Patrick Fitzgerald will not issue indictments, and a Washington Post report on an 'Inquiry as Exacting' as the 'Exacting' Fitzgerald, notes that "Legal sources said [Robert] Novak avoided a fight and quietly helped the special counsel's inquiry, although neither the columnist nor his attorney have said so publicly."

Judith Miller fires back at the New York Times' ombudsman, who called on the paper "to review Ms. Miller's journalistic practices as soon as possible," and the co-author of a book on the Times writes that "Maureen Dowd's remarkable column takes us into the far reaches of the sausage factory, offering up the rare sight of one Times staff member all but calling another a liar in public."

Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell wonders, "What does someone at the Times have to do to get fired?", and the New York Sun editorializes on the 'autophagy' going on at the Times. Plus: 'When Divas Collide.'

Pat Buchanan writes that "Thirty months ago, many of those [now] anxious to see the White House brought down were hauling its water," including the "adversary press" and "the indispensable enablers of war" among the "loyal opposition."

Reporting that "Three massive vehicle bombs exploded Monday near the Palestine Hotel ... killing at least 20 people," the AP quotes Iraq's national security adviser as saying it was a "very clear" effort to take over the hotel and take foreign and Arab journalists as hostages.

Assuming that "the inept and corrupt al-Jaafari government ... has no allies left in the Bush Administration," writes Joe Klein, "wouldn't it be deliriously weird if Ahmad Chalabi turned out to be the top guy after all?"

The Washington Post reports that "apparently ... without formal guidance from the Pentagon's leadership," enemy body counts are "now creeping into too many news releases from Iraq and Afghanistan."

The U.S. military has confirmed a Telegraph report that four U.S. contractors were killed in the Iraqi city of Duluiyah on September 20, after their convoy was attacked by "dozens of Sunni Arab insurgents wielding rocket launchers and automatic rifles."

A secret British military poll is said to demonstrate "the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq," with 82 percent "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops and 45 percent of Iraqis saying that they believe "attacks against British and American troops are justified."

Mark Borkowski ponders "the worrying rise" of the "Texan God-botherer" who "now presides over a vast engine, the ultimate PR machine, the function of which is to make the world love America and all it stands for." Plus: Women's rights advocate gets two years for "blasphemy" in Kabul.

A Knight Ridder investigation of the Pentagon's "prime vendor" program, which allows middlemen to set their own prices, finds that "it's costing taxpayers 20 percent more than the old system."

Records obtained by EPIC are said to "provide a rare glimpse into the world of domestic spying" and to represent "the tip of the iceberg at the FBI and across the intelligence community."

Ralph Reed "was an obliging, even eager middleman" in attempts by lobbyist Jack Abramoff to solicit favors from the White House on behalf of his clients, "judging by e-mail exchanges between the two ... obtained by Time."

Levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina are reportedly "looking less like acts of God and more like failures of engineering that could have been anticipated and very likely prevented," with investigators citing "a cultural mind-set that did not pay enough attention to public safety."

In a Washington speech, Mikhail Gorbachev declared the Cold War a draw and collected a Grammy.

October 21-23

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Scooter Libby has been caught in a very serious lie," begins The Washington Note's commentary on a New York Times report that Libby first learned about Valerie Plame Wilson in a conversation with Vice President Cheney, and that "Mr. Libby's notes indicate that Mr. Cheney had gotten his information about Ms. Wilson from George J. Tenet..."

As it's pointed out that Cheney may also have been caught in a lie, the White House 'sidesteps' reporters' questions about the vice president, but spokesman Scott McClellan 'Throws Rove & Scooter under the bus.'

Raw Story reports that 'Fitzgerald has decided to seek indictments,' and Laura Rozen's first read on a La Repubblica article is that the chief of Italy's military intelligence service "brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House."

Recounting 'Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure,' Frank Rich spells out the role of war-drum banging in the 2002 mid-term elections, Nicholas Kristof expresses a distaste for "mushier kinds of indictments," and the Houston Chronicle editorializes on Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's 'Double Standard.'

With President Bush and his advisers said to be "devising plans to salvage the remainder of his presidency," and House Democratic leaders reportedly devising a new slogan, a Harris Poll finds that "American sentiment toward the situation in Iraq continues to be gloomy."

The BBC reports that although the Sunnis came close to derailing Iraq's new constitution, the results will be "a bit of a morale booster" for Bush, "who is facing the imminent prospect of seeing U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaching 2000."

A spate of "unusual on-the-record bashing" of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq, includes an oral history entry by a State Department official who said the administration was "not prepared" when it invaded Iraq, but did so anyway in part because of "clear political pressure, election driven and calendar driven."

As Lawrence Wilkerson defends his take on 'The White House Cabal' in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Slate's Fred Kaplan wonders, "Where's he been?" and Michael Tomasky says, 'Well, Colin?'

Although Wilkerson reportedly said that "seldom in my life have I met a dumber man," a "key cog" in the cabal is described elsewhere as 'Dumb, but smart.'

'Syria: The Next Iraq?' Robert Dreyfuss warns that the Bush administration is already engaged in "shattering another Middle East state."

'Conservatives Escalate Opposition to Miers,' as "individual misgivings about the nomination have now coalesced into a coordinated effort to derail it."

After columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested a document standoff as a way of 'Saving Face,' President Bush 'lays groundwork for Miers to back out' by calling document requests "a red line I'm not willing to cross."

The Wall Street Journal reports that although Bush's pick of Ben Bernanke to head the Fed "doesn't appear to be political, it is possible that the timing of yesterday's announcement was."

A Washington Post article leads to an observation that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's "stock trading problems are very real, here to stay, and will end his political career."

A judge in California signed a death warrant for Noble Peace Prize nominee and Crips co-founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who must now hope for clemency from 'the Terminator.'

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, whose "name was invoked by revolutionaries across the globe, from Vaclav Havel ... to Nelson Mandela," died at 92. Earlier: 'Thank you, Sister Rosa.'

"I don't have the training, I don't have the experience, I don't have the knowledge and the technique used in cutting black people's hair," said a Louisiana barber explaining his "whites only" sign.

An op-ed by Media Transparency editor Rob Levine responds to a claim that "few principled objections remain" to private school vouchers.

"Our niche is the good stuff," said the owner and editor of the Newark Weekly News, which has reportedly signed a $100,000 contract with the Newark city council to publish "positive news" about the city.

The White House is taking on "America's Finest News Source" over its use of the presidential seal in a parody of President Bush's weekly radio address.

As Al Franken's new book debuts in top ten at Amazon.com, a Media Research Center blog posting that targets him for an 'execution' joke, includes David Letterman's quip that "The real crime is that there's an adult man walking around in the current administration named Scooter."

October 24

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On Wednesday, Raw Story reported that Fitzgerald had asked the grand jury to indict Lewis Libby and Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and that he had also "asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative..."

As 'Fitzgerald focuses again on Rove,' a Plame neighbor "told Reuters two FBI agents asked him on Monday if he knew about Plame's CIA work before her identity was leaked to the press in 2003. [He] said he told them: 'I didn't know.'" Plus: On 'Rove's Money Trail.'

A Financial Times article on the case quotes Frank Luntz as saying, "If [Fitzgerald] indicts, they [the White House] will have no choice but to attempt to demonize him. I think that is going to be really, really tough."

TalkLeft unpacks a claim by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's spokesman that "liberal groups" misconstrued her remarks on "Meet the Press," to the effect that Hutchison "was not commenting on any specific investigation" when she denounced "perjury traps."

"Let's put aside the legal arguments for a moment," suggests Arianna Huffington, "and just focus on this glut of lying."

Laura Rozen reports on La Repubblica's series on the Niger forgeries, which confirmed that the head of Italy's military intelligence service met secretly with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley in Washington on September 9, 2002. Plus: 'The Real Significance' of the La Repubblica stories.

In 'Background to Betrayal,' Justin Raimondo writes that "In short, SISMI knew the documents were fakes but pushed them to help the White House gin up a war. The question is: who else knew? ... Did Hadley know? Did Libby? Did Cheney?"

Analyzing the 'Dialectics of the Plame Affair,' Gary Leupp wonders whether "the next week [will] produce some breakthrough in the present balance of political forces in society?"

"The shocking thing about the trellis of revelations" concerning Vice President Cheney, writes Maureen Dowd, "is how unshocking it all is. It's exactly what we thought was going on, but we never thought we'd actually hear the lurid details."

Dowd references Cheney's attempt to exempt the CIA from a Senate measure barring abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody, which prompted the Washington Post to brand him 'Vice President for Torture,' editorializing that he's "aggressively pursuing an initiative that may be unprecedented for an elected official of the executive branch."

A hunger-striking detainee's request to be allowed to die is said to have been made "out of desperation" over being held at Guantanamo Bay without charges since 2002.

As the U.S. military advises reporters against "creating news where none really exists" in covering an "artificial mark on the wall," the WSWS concedes that "the human toll exacted by the war has not really been news. The White House and the Pentagon have worked diligently to prevent it from becoming so." And, "You had me at '1'."

The New York Times reports that "while it took 18 months to reach 1,000 dead, it has taken just 14 to reach 2,000," with a weekly average of "roughly 17 deaths" since an incident in Fallujah in 2004 involving "Iraq's second-largest force." Plus: The reason for the surge -- and the beat goes on.

Although "there is no way of knowing how many deaths go uncounted," the 'Rising Civilian Toll' in Iraq is known to be "many times larger" than the U.S. military death toll.

With a think tank predicting that the U.S. is "likely to stay in Iraq after Bush," a Pentagon public affairs nominee disclosed his plans to "encourage more positive stories," and defended his article charging that "Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and al Qaeda have a partner in Al-Jazeera and, by extension, most networks in the U.S."

As fake news finds new friends at the local level, Diane Farsetta of PR Watch alerts readers to 'A Fake End to Fake News.'

An Indiana legislator wants to make disorderly conduct at military funerals a felony, following a protest by Westboro Baptist Church, whose Rev. Fred Phelps "contends American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays." The group says a 1995 IED attack is also behind its "Love Crusades."

The American Family Association is targeting Walgreen's over its sponsorship of the Gay Games, reportedly claiming that it's "contributing money to the Games in order to promote HIV transmission and therefore profit from HIV drug sales." Sen. Barack Obama said of AFA's boycott threat against dollmaker American Girl, "It's just silly."

A "drumbeat of doubt" finds GOP senators "uneasy about where we are" and feeling that a "really fine person" ... "needs to step it up a notch," while The Hill finds that an erstwhile Bush booster is "not the only Republican to put some distance between himself and the president." Time for a speech?

The Independent's Andrew Gumbel, a student of U.S. elections, reports on a gubernatorial campaign that "may have started as a joke," but with the Texas political establishment "floundering all around him," the candidate and his advisers now believe that he "stands a real chance of winning."

'The mouth of the South Side,' who says he got upset at last night's World Series game because "that's my family on the field," did not mention that he was reportedly "bounced out of New York after allegations of child abuse" when he complained that "the government is trying to tell people how to raise their kids." Plus: 'Mr. Explosive,' meet the 'Poster Gorgon' of the Astros.

Take a guided stroll down 'Schwarzenegger Street' to meet the characters in "Arnold's Neighborhood," including Bush Bird, Rover and O'Reilly the Grouch.

October 25

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The White House's strategy for deflecting the blow of possible indictments "is familiar to anyone who has watched earlier presidents contend with scandal," says a Los Angeles Times analysis. "Keep the problem at arm's length, let allies outside the White House do the talking, and try to change the subject to something -- anything -- else."

As Harriet Miers withdraws her Supreme Court nomination, both Miers and President Bush blamed her decision, as predicted, on principled resistance to senatorial "efforts to obtain Executive Branch materials and information."

A Christian advocacy group "Wishes Miss Miers All The Best" after accusing her of a "radical feminist worldview," and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid urged Bush not to "reward the bad behavior of his right wing base" in choosing his next nominee.

Despite talk of indictments and a report that "Sources close to the case said they doubted ... Fitzgerald would seek to extend the term of the jury," word of additional office space being leased, after setting up shop online, leads to speculation that "Fitzgerald's operation is expanding," or not.

Reporting that Fitzgerald "has secured at least one indictment in the case," Raw Story also references sources who say that he "could convene a new grand jury to investigate forged documents used by the Bush Administration that purported to show Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Niger." Plus: Breaking news of a confirmed indictment!

With any indictments reportedly expected to be "very detailed and discuss the involvement of other White House officials who aren't being charged," Tom Engelhardt wonders: 'Will the Bush Administration Implode?'

Ted Rall endeavors to explain 'Why Bush Is Unimpeachable,' and Stephen Pizzo asks, 'So where does that leave an un-indicted George W. Bush?'

Newsday reports that 'In August 2002, Dick Cheney was doing his best to shock the nation into action,' but Jim Lobe dials it back to March 24, 2002, explaining why Cheney's "barrage of statements" on Sunday political talk shows about Saddam's supposed nuclear program, "remains so significant today."

Junior's Game "As the Patrick Fitzgerald juggernaut proceeds apace, they've tried to argue that this was all Cheney's doing," writes Jane Hamsher, who isn't buying it, since "It's the kind of dirty, junior high politics that former 'loyalty enforcer' Dubya delights in."

'Why?' The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mike Luckovich discusses his editorial cartoon marking 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, in which he hand wrote the name of each one. See a large version and comments here. And the Freeway Blogger goes nationwide with '2K Why?' Earlier: "The soldier is still there."

As 'Washington debates the meaning of 2,000 deaths in Iraq,' MTV reports 'Almost 70 Percent Of U.S. Casualties In Iraq Under Age 30,' with " the highest fatality rate (11.7 percent) being among 21-year-olds."

The Media Channel's Danny Schechter issues a call "to press the press and move the media to change the political climate by challenging politicians to abandon a war that has already been lost."

Citing "sources inside the Iraqi insurgency," Time reports that 'The Real Targets' of 'The Baghdad Hotel Attack' -- which according to one expert "if it had succeeded, might have changed the course of the war" -- were not journalists, but a private security firm, which the insurgents believe "is actually a Western or Israeli government intelligence agency."

"There is a time for fighting, and a time for politics," says an Iraqi insurgent who doubled as a vote canvasser, even though "politics for us is like filthy, dead meat."

Arianna Huffington watches 'The Democrats Blow It On Iraq -- Again!' while Dana Milbank delivers the good news and bad news about Sen. John Kerry's Iraq policy.

With oil companies reporting record profits, the New York Times reports new 'Doubts Raised' on Saudi Arabia's ability to expand production "to keep prices and markets stable," despite assurances made at "that session in Texas."

The Times also reported that many scientists fear Arctic thawing is "past the point of no return," as the Wall Street Journal explained why two global warming skeptics are now facing critics of their own.

House Resources Committee chairman Rep. Richard Pombo, -- 'Tom DeLay in Cowboy Boots' -- who recently proposed selling off 15 national park sites, is pushing legislation that offers the mining industry access to national parklands.

As NPR reports on the debate over the National Park Service's plan to grant naming rights to corporate and personal donors, Der Spiegel updates the efforts of South America's "most controversial conservationist" to buy up and preserve land in Argentina and Chile, including his Pumalin Park.

After replacing the president of CBS News with the president of the network's sports division, CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves said that "Clearly there's a need for a different vision for CBS News."

Editor & Publisher salutes a blogger who nailed a scoop in reporting that the 'New CBS News Boss Donated to Bush Re-Election Bid in 2004.'

Commemorating a 'Clean Sweep,' Billmon invokes a lament from "Shoeless Joe," that "Instead of nursery rhymes, I was raised on the story of the Black Sox Scandal."

October 26

Friday, October 28, 2005

'A Formidable Hawk Goes Down,' as the Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney and an Assistant to President Bush, resigns after being indicted on obstruction of justice, false statement and perjury charges

A 'lack-of-memory defense' is planned for a man described as "methodical, detail-oriented and comprehensive."

Lewis Libby is still listed as part of "The President's Team," but his bio is now cache only. Meet Vice President Cheney's 'New Brain.'

The Smoking Gun has posted a copy of the five-count felony indictment, or you can read the text on a single page. A transcript of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's news conference is also available. Plus: 'A grave indictment, but grave questions remain.'

Billmon wonders "why Fitzgerald didn't hit him with the 1917 Espionage Act -- or even the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (a.k.a. The Big Enchilada.)," and follows up here.

"Fitzgerald is betting on the fact that he can secure an indictment against Rove on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, the misuse of classified information, and possibly other charges, as early as next week," reports Raw Story, according to "lawyers directly involved in the case."

Reporting that "Fitzgerald appeared set to charge Rove with making false statements until [Rove] provided new information on Tuesday that gave the prosecutor what two people described as 'pause,'" the Washington Post says Rove "could still be charged in the case, according to three people familiar with the talks."

Ann Coulter said that an ongoing investigation of Karl Rove "is like the worst possible outcome."

Josh Marshall points to the top paragraph on page 5 of the Libby indictment as evidence that both Cheney and Libby knew the security status of "Wilson's wife."

"This is the first time in 130 years a White House official has been indicted," said NBC's Tim Russert. And Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Fox News: "It is a surprise. We were expecting a single count indictment on perjury, now we have obstruction of justice."

MSNBC's Tucker Carlson doesn't give a WHIG about the subject of a "quickie paperback" whose "legacy may be in for yet another blow."

'Rove Unmasked' As Jonathan Chait declares that "Karl Rove really is George W. Bush's Svengali," Robert Parry probes '"Plame-gate" and the Myth of the Renegade Aide,' predicting "strong resistance from official Washington if the prosecutor tries to track the criminality up the chain of command."

In 2004, Lewis Libby and his boss "decided to withold crucial documents" from the Senate Intelligence Committee that related to then-Secretary of State Powell's 2003 U.N. address, reports Murray Waas, noting that "the administration also refused to turn over ... contents of the president's morning intelligence briefings on Iraq."

Rep. Jerry Nadler says that when he went on TV to discuss his call to expand the Fitzgerald investigation to look at a possible White House conspiracy to deceive Congress, "Mr. Hannity wanted to make a big joke out of my contention that the CIA leak issue is 'only the tip of the iceberg.'"

Novak Time? With the columnist having "made a mash of it every time he's discussed the subject," Jack Shafer explains how far Robert Novak must go to set the record straight.

'The Scandal isn't the Leak,' writes Saul Landau, it's "the illegal war," which John Pilger calls 'The Epic Crime That Dares Not Speak Its Name.'

The Toledo Blade reports that a federal grand jury has indicted Bush "Pioneer" and "former" coin dealer Tom Noe, for "illegally laundering money into President Bush's re-election campaign" to meet his $50,000 pledge for a 2003 fund-raiser in Columbus, where Bush said: "I like good football. I like to be around good people."

Carl Bernstein tells Editor & Publisher that "we are obviously watching ... the implosion of a presidency," and Anna Quindlen writes that "maybe someday his security detail could drive George W. Bush over to take a look" at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where "he'll be able to see himself in the reflective surface."

U.S. forces reach another milestone in Iraq, but remain 'one step behind' an 'Iraqi phantom,' as civilians are forced to give quarter.

As a new Shiite election alliance is said to include affiliates of Moqtada al-Sadr, the Christian Science Monitor finds "evolving Sunni coalition ... engaging in a political high-wire act."

As Slate contributor Phillip Carter ships off to war, the writer who introduced the poetry of one 'D.H. Rumsfeld' is also on a 'Mission to Iraq.'

The Nation transcribes a conversation between Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh, who began by saying, "Consider Scott and I your little orchestra playing on the deck of the Titanic as it goes down, because we're all in grave trouble here."

Analyses of 'Why Harriet Went Down' find a 'White House in Meltdown' and the long-term impact "hard to predict," but in the short-term Miers' withdrawal spoiled an entire week of "Doonesbury" cartoons. And "look what it gets President Bush."

After a White House counsel objected that The Onion is "using the presidential seal on its Web site," editor Scott Dickers expressed surprise that "the president deems it wise to spend taxpayer money" for his lawyer to write such letters.

Raw Story's Nancy Goldstein salutes the courage of "the most prominent team athlete" to come out of the closet "in the history of modern American sports," but whom "you've probably never heard of" despite "three Olympic gold medals ... four championships ... or three all-league MVP awards." Plus: Et tu, Sulu?

Keith Olbermann recently told guest Al Franken that he was dressed down by his MSNBC bosses for allowing Franken and Janeane Garofalo to appear on consecutive nights in September, 2003.

Adult Video News writes up an article from the October issue of Harper's, "Debbie Does Salad: The Food Network at the Frontiers of Pornography." The author discussed 'Pornucopia' in an interview with "On the Media."

October 27

Monday, October 31, 2005

Although a new USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll finds that 55 percent of Americans "now judge Bush's presidency to be a failure... his comeback strategy begins today."

"Scalito" After President Bush moved to change the subject with a new Supreme Court pick, Think Progress toured 'Samuel Alito's America,' and law professor Jonathan Turley said that "There will be no one to the right of Sam Alito on this court."

Attytood's Will Bunch has a question for the nominee: 'Where were you in '72?' And Atrios thinks that "it would've been quite nice if Judge Alito had stopped by to pay respects to Rosa Parks ... yesterday."

Patrick Fitzgerald and I. Lewis Libby's attorney "discussed possible plea options before the indictment was issued last week," reports Time. "But the deal was scotched because the prosecutor insisted that Libby do some 'serious' jail time." Plus: 'Crouching prosecutor, hidden charges,' and 'from Air Force Two to Air Force One.'

Knight Ridder's Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel delve into the 'mystery at heart of CIA leak probe,' and Josh Marshall posts the first in a series of installments on 'The Italian Connection.'

The Christian Science Monitor reviews comments by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in advance of his visit to Washington, including his claim that "I tried on several occasions to convince the American president not to wage war."

A former federal prosecutor offers up three suggestions for what citizens can do in response to 'The White House criminal conspiracy,' with number one being "they must insist that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence complete Phase II of its investigation," which Frank Rich calls "a scandal in its own right."

Nicholas Kristof apologizes to Patrick Fitzgerald, calls for the resignation of Karl Rove, and says that if Vice President Cheney "can't be forthcoming about the activities in his office that gave rise to the investigation, then he should resign."

Kristof recalls Cheney telling the 2000 Republican convention that George W. Bush would "restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office." A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that by a 3 to 1 ratio, "Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush."

'Our Myth Brooks' Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell writes that after "the hapless John Tierney ... called the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA employment an 'accident,'" fellow New York Times columnist David Brooks "seemed intent on outdoing" him. While on "60 Minutes," former spooks slammed the Bush administration.

Paul Krugman thinks the Bush administration has "lost the myths that sustained its mojo," but "the long nightmare won't really be over until journalists ask themselves: what did we know, when did we know it, and why didn't we tell the public?"

The WSWS probes 'The political implications of the Libby indictment' for an administration that "came to power on the basis of fraud and the suppression of votes" and "yet has been given a free pass by the Democratic Party, Congress, the courts and the media."

A Variety article on how 'Right-wing gabbers' are being 'energized by White House meltdown,' quotes MSNBC's Tucker Carlson as saying that "the Fitzgerald probe is out-of-control and the crime alleged at the base of it is not a crime." And Fox News' Brit Hume tells Juan Williams that "somebody needs to hose you down."

"As the money runs out" on Iraq reconstruction and the 'U.S. blows $1 million on 7 lemon cars in Iraq,' in an interview with Al-Jazeera, "Ahmad Chalabi has ruled out the withdrawal of US and any multinational forces from Iraq at the present."

Reuters reports that six U.S. soldiers died Monday in roadside bomb attacks, and a "precision strike" by U.S. aircraft is said to have killed 40 and wounded 20, "many of them women and children." Plus: 'They tell me they've assassinated my brother.'

Just days after the New York Times reported that Iraqi and U.S. officials were "reluctant to release even the most incomplete of tallies," the paper reveals that the U.S. military is counting Iraqi civilian casualties, but only "daily partial averages of deaths and injuries of Iraqis at the hands of insurgents," and not those civilians killed by American-led forces.

In a two-day series, the Allentown Morning Call probes the Army's worldwide offshore dumping of "millions of pounds of unused weapons of mass destruction," and reports that an aborted chemical dump "could have killed everyone in Manhattan."

Two months after Katrina, 'Thousands of evacuees face eviction,' 15,000 in Texas alone, and a housing advocate says that "It's going to show up at homeless shelters this winter."

The Washington Post reports that a former member of Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is "playing a pivotal role in deciding" the fate of a "virtually 100 percent effective" cervical cancer vaccine, which conservatives fear "could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage."

Following last summer's report that the Boston Red Sox have "the largest group of evangelical Christians on any team in Major League Baseball," a New York Times article claims that "college football is increasingly becoming a more visible home for the Gospel."

October 28-30

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