horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Saturday, June 26, 2004

via Reading A1:
Cheney gets Shanked.
My first reaction on seeing this staring up at me today from A1

Contacts between Iraqi intelligence agents and Osama bin Laden when he was in Sudan in the mid-1990's were part of a broad effort by Baghdad to work with organizations opposing the Saudi ruling family, according to a newly disclosed document obtained by the Americans in Iraq.

was to set up a howl: Just how far will the Times go to whore itself to Dick Cheney's PR agenda?

Billmon has some backgound:
The New Pravda Lives!

You might have thought, after the editors of the New York Times issued that grudging mea culpa for getting suckered into the great Iraqi WMD snipe hunt, that the paper was turning over a new page (so to speak), and would stop acting as propaganda bulletin board for the neocons and their friends in the Iranian, um, I mean, the Iraqi National Congress.

For a few brief moments - particularly after the 9/11 staff shot a bunch of big, gaping holes in Dick Cheney's favorite fairy tale about a Iraq-al Qaeda terror axis - it even looked that was the case. It was, briefly, almost like the good old days, with the Times spreading the evidence of official mendacity across the front page, and Cheney imitating Spiro Agnew ranting about the impudent snobs of the liberal media elite.

But you knew it couldn't last, right? And it didn't. Today the Times is back in full-blown New Pravda, cheerfully collaborating in the latest (and lamest) neocon "strategic information" campaign:

I'll just be the simple southern boy and wonder out loud: If BushCo had all this smoking gun evidence while the commission was in session why didn't it share it with the commission, rather then run a "New Pravda" propaganda crusade the neocons would have the commission shouting their eagle eyed insight from the tree tops. Instead we have the same recycled lies from the Chalabi Clan presented as though they were new. What is wrong with "the paper of record"? Aren't they supposed to do some basic fact checking. If they do print something that is unconfirmed speculation, shoudn't they state that. They didn't learn from their WMD cheerleaders on steroids. So the Cheney tales of Iraq continue to spin like a bad soap opera and NYT acts as an echo chamber.

Fox polls are bias, rigged, a farce. Shocking.
via Taliking Points Memo
I have a new slogan for Fox News: "Pro-Bush Results Guaranteed". Unlike "Fair and Balanced", this would allow them to stick closely to their empirical record.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

ethics: n. set of moral principles or values, principles of conduct governing an institution, or an individual.
Ethics are lack there of may be catching up with Tom Delay, via Tapped:
“I am a more partisan Democrat that I was,” he says. “The place makes you more partisan.”

But he will also tell you that this deepened sense of partisanship is not what caused him to file an ethics complaint against his fellow Texan, Majority Leader Tom DeLay. And he laughs at the assertion that his charges will make the House a nastier, more uncomfortable place to work.

“There could not be a more caustic partisan atmosphere than what exists in the House of Representatives right now,” he says, “and much of it is caused by the individual who is the subject of this complaint.”

Bell may have started something he won’t have to finish. When the lame-duck freshman filed his complaint against DeLay with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct last week, he ended a seven-year détente between the two political parties on Capitol Hill that had involved an unspoken agreement not to file such complaints. But Bell, who lost in a primary last March, will not be here next year to endure the likely fallout.

Its a shame that it takes a lame duck with nothing to lose to do the right thing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Guardian, excerpt from their interview with President Clinton
We ask him about the red and blue crocheted band around his right wrist - an incongruous clash with the statesman attire. For the first time in the interview he becomes emotional, the voice catching and his eyes redening. "I've worn it for two years. I went there [to Colombia] and met these unbelievable kids from a village on the edge of the rainforest where the narco-traffickers are dominant," he says. "They sang and danced for peace and I fell in love with these kids. I asked them to perform at the White House one Christmas. They came with the culture minister, a magnificently attractive woman called Consuelo. The bad guys hated these kids because they made them look like what they are. The guerillas couldn't kill these children, so they murdered her ... I can still hardly talk about this.

"Two years ago they asked me back and I said, 'I'll come, but you've got to bring those kids to see me.' So I turn up - and the children greeted me at the airport, along with the new culture minister - the niece of the murdered woman. And they gave me this bracelet, which I've never taken off."

Monday, June 21, 2004

Show Us the Proof
When the commission studying the 9/11 terrorist attacks refuted the Bush administration's claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, we suggested that President Bush apologize for using these claims to help win Americans' support for the invasion of Iraq. We did not really expect that to happen. But we were surprised by the depth and ferocity of the administration's capacity for denial.

When the pieces don’t fit
Psychology helps explain how Bush and Cheney can see a link that the Sept. 11 commission can’t find

.....For more than 40 years, social psychologists have studied the phenomenon of "cognitive dissonance" - what happens when people have pieces of information on the same subject that are inconsistent. The presence of contradictions is psychologically unpleasant, and people do whatever it takes to resolve the inconsistency.
We used to call it lieing to cover your ass, now its called "cognitive dissonance".

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Did Ronald Reagan Win the Cold War?
Sorry, Reagan loyalists: the answer is no.

The subsequent Soviet collapse was almost entirely an internal affair. Gorbachev's reforms were a response to an era of stagnation that began long before Reagan was president. Gorbachev's glasnost unleashed long-suppressed nationalist currents in the Soviet Union and he dismantled the communist party's oversight functions before any meaningful market-based institutions were in place. These factors led to chaos and implosion. The end of the Soviet empire does not owe itself to Reagan's tough anti-communism. Rather, it owes itself substantially to Mikhail Gorbachev's arrival on the world scene.

The down side of inflating a man to mythical status is that when the truth overtakes the legend it makes the fall to earth is even harder.

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