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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

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Friday, May 20, 2005

King George's Hot Date

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Porn star and former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey will be joining her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, in attending a dinner with President Bush in Washington, D.C. on June 14.

“I’m especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove,” Carey added. “Smart men like him are so sexy. I know that he’s against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isn’t so bad!”

One would think that Bush's religious base isn't going to be to happy about this. I bet Laura isn't too happy either.

Monitor Your Reps

Go check out Plogress; it's a site where you can track your representatives' actions.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fox Viewership Declines

Are the people waking up?

April '05 marks "the sixth consecutive month where FNC declined versus prior month in M-F, primetime P25-54 (every month since Nov '04)," CNN's press release says. The 25-54 demo is coveted by advertisers. One insider called it a "downward spiral." FNC still has more demo viewers than CNN, though (443k vs. 304k in April). Here are FNC's month-by-month weekday primetime averages in the 25-54 demographic: Oct. 04: 1,074,000 / Nov. 04: 891,000 / Dec. 04: 568,000 / Jan. 05: 564,000 / Feb. 05: 520,000 / March 05: 498,000 / April 05: 445,000

I'm sure Rove will give the orders to crank up the fear machine any day now. Stay tuned.

The Farce Is Strong With This One

What would today be without a Star Wars related post? Viewing the first of the series back in 1977, the film meant no more to me than the good guys versus bad guys, cool battle scenes, and Lea in a bikini. Much has changed since then. The only question is, what has changed more, the world, or my perception of it. It appears that the political undertones of the first trilogy in relation to the Vietnam War are as appropriate as ever in the present's reality of Empirical take-overs...

Since early screenings of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith began last month, film critics, commentators and Internet bloggers have been debating whether filmmaker George Lucas is comparing President Bush and the Iraq war to the Dark Side of the Force. The conservative film site Pabaah.com has called for a boycott. The topic even made NBC's Today show.

Bush beneath the mask? To many, Revenge of the Sith seems to be touching on current events. Lucas said Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival that the movie was written before the Iraq war. "We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction," he said, adding, "The parallels between Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Media Strikes Back

Looks like the bitch-slap the White House gave Newsweek might have some unexpected consequences. Maybe the mainstream media has a spine after all?

Molly Ivins from The Sun Herald:

So where does all this leave us? With a story that is not only true, but previously reported numerous times. So let's drop the "Lynch Newsweek" bull. Seventeen people have died in these riots. They didn't die because of anything Newsweek did - the riots were caused by what our government has done.

Get your minds around it. Our country is guilty of torture. To quote myself once more: "What are you going to do about this? It's your country, your money, your government. You own this country, you run it, you are the board of directors. They are doing this in your name. The people we elected to public office do what you want them to. Perhaps you should get in touch with them."

Ari Berman from The Nation:

The Bush Administration's aggressive response to a Newsweek story alleging that US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay flushed the Koran down the toilet in front of Islamic detainees displays the height of hypocrisy. After Newsweek clumsily issued an apology, followed by a retraction, White House spokesman Scott McClellan called on the magazine to "help repair the damage that has been done, particularly in the region," by explaining "what happened and why they got it wrong." Maybe the Bush Administration should do the same, by opening up its secret facilities for inspection to the Red Cross and other third-party observers. We are printing below a letter from reader Calgacus--a pseudonym for a researcher in the national security field for the past twenty years--that shows how the desecration of the Koran became standard US interrogation practice.

Anne Applebaum from the Washington Post:

Blaming the messenger, even for a bungled message, doesn't get the administration off the hook. Yes, to paraphrase Rumsfeld, people need to be very careful, not only about what they say but about what they do. And, yes, people whose military and diplomatic priorities include the defeat of Islamic fanaticism and the spread of democratic values in the Muslim world need to be very, very careful, not only about what they say but about what they do to the Muslims they hold in captivity.

From the Editorials of the Star Tribune:

The White House response fits a pattern of trying to intimidate the press from exploring issues the administration doesn't want explored. Compare it, for example, to the Dan Rather report on President Bush's military service. To this day, we don't know if what Rather reported was accurate or not, or to what degree it may have been accurate. Nor do we know whether the documents he cited were genuine. All we know is that CBS can't verify that they were genuine.

Yet the hullabaloo caused by that incident appears to have intimidated other journalists from trying to pin down the full truth about Bush's military service. And now there will probably be less enterprise reporting on prisoner abuse or anything else that might embarrass this administration. It also fits neatly in with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's effort to muzzle public television and radio. This behavior seems so Nixonian, except that the current crew is much better at the press-intimidation game than William Safire and Vice President Spiro Agnew were. For Newsweek and other media that come in for this treatment, we have one word: Resist.

Politics for Dummies

Straight talk in the classic dummies style from Scoop...

Q. Blair and Bush made a secret deal in mid-2002 to attack Iraq the following year and to use the interim period in which to "fix" the "intelligence and facts" around that policy; the secret memo surfaced in early-May in the Times of London. But virtually none of the major American media reported in a timely way on this memo substantiating that Bush and Blair lied through their teeth in taking our respective countries to war. Why the U.S. media reticience?

A. You must be the same dim bulb who asked about pensions, right? The corporate American media, especially TV and cable but also the major newspapers, are and long have been in lockstep with the Bush Administration: They do what they can to hype the Bush spin and to keep embarrassing stories out of the public eye, or they delay running anything them until the interest has died down; whether this is because the media are ideologically in bed with Bush&Co. or because they are afraid of Rove-ian retribution doesn't matter, since the result is the same.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bush's Slippery Slope

How low can they go?

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - President Bush's handling of the economy and sagging support for the conflict in Iraq have caused his support to erode further in Illinois since last fall, when he won re-election but lost the state to his Democratic rival by a wide margin.

Approval of the president's overall performance - 41 percent in a statewide Tribune/WGN-TV poll - has slipped even in Chicago's collar counties and Downstate, which were once more likely to back Bush. A similar poll last October showed Bush's job approval rating at 45 percent.

Downing Street Media Coverage

Keith Olbermann spent some time discussing the Downing Street memo. He also spent some time interviewing Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. He asked her what he referred to as a "devil's advocate" question, which went something like this: "This is a British document, containing British opinions and British assessments. Under those circumstances, why should the White House be asked to defend itself?"

Take what you want, leave what you don't.

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