Thursday, June 29, 2006

Laura on Lakoff

George Lakoff (oops, I'm already thinking of an elephant) has a new book. Laura Miller has the Cliff Notes on Salon.

Lakoff's newest political stuff is on the web through Rockridge Institute. Worth keeping up with (which would be easier to do if they added RSS).

Olbermann: "not too SWIFT"

If the New York Times did not exist, the Bush administration would have to invent it. Bush has gotten more value from the Times than Stalin ever got fom Pravda.

The Times helped Cheney and Bush build up the fiction of Saddam as a nuclear threat by funneling exclusive coverage of Chalabi bullshit through Judith Miller to the front page.

And how does the Bush team show its gratitude? By casting The Times in the role of dart-board for the latest episode of the long-running series, "If you ______, you're helping the terrorists."

Bush, Cheney, Tony Snow, and a chorus of Republicans in the Senate and House over all expressed shock and outrage that the Times blabbed about a state secret. It's a secret that White House hid in plain sight in this 2001 press release: President Announces Crackdown on Terrorist Financial Network. And SWIFT, the agency that provided information to the U.S. Government, has long acknowledged their cooperation on their own website:
As you may know from the User Handbook and, SWIFT has a longstanding history, beginning in the 1990s, of cooperating with authorities such as central banks, treasury departments, law enforcement agencies and international organisations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in their efforts to prevent misuse of the financial system. Our members support this policy.
Keith Olbermann's team put together a fine set of clips on this. Crooks and Liars has it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Boehlert: Why did they score it for Bush?

Eric Boehlert, author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush, looks into the widespread MSM (mainstream media) comments that Bush "won" the week on Iraq following the killing of El Zarqawi and the sneak-in, sneak-out state visit to Maliki, and the Republican "stay the course" House resolution.

Boehlert cites some of the fawning coverage in a guest column on Eric Alterman's blog.

As you may have noticed, Iraq violence hasn't abated—the foe has thrown some horrific new throes at Iraqis and U.S. troops, two American soldiers were brutally tortured and mutilated, and the public strongly backs the Democratic proposals for withdrawal.

The most innocent explanation (excuse?) for the press behavior is that "Bush down in Polls" isn't news anymore, but "Bush Bounces Back" has a bit of the "Man Bites Dog" in it. Imagine if you can that Bush's poll numbers actually did rebound and missed calling the turn. Embarrassing much? Oh, yes.

Surely it's more embarrassing--nay, a source of professional shame--to fall for Rove's feints again and again and again and again? The press apparently enjoys playing Charlie Brown to Karl Rove's Lucy and can be counted on to kick at the disappearing football.

Just once, I'd like to see them play Rocket J. Squirrel to Rove's Bullwinkle. "But that trick never works."

Boehlert notes with surprise that right wing MSNBC bloviator, Chuck Scarborough managed to see through the Rove Reality Distortion Field: "This sound like a complete loser for Republicans come this fall."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

How many throes are left?

Cheney sticks to his assessment that the Iraq insurgency is in its "last throes." I'm sure he's right. But would that be the last two or three throes or the last hundred throusand throes?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Doing Stand-up until the Republicans Sit Down

Over on HuffPo Jerry and Joe Long report,
GOP Congress To Live Like Average Iraqis
"WASHINGTON...In a stirring display of non-binding election year necessity, House and Senate Republicans vowed to spend the remainder of the War On Terror living under conditions similar to those of average Iraqi citizens. (more)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Five words from NPR

At the Webby awards, acceptance speeches are limited to five words. accepted thusly: "The democracy needs more truth."

But, given, the nature of their mandate and funding, they're not really in a position to present truth per se. They are the poster child for: "this side says A and that side says B."

Which means that half of everything they broadcast is a lie.

Unless you believe that the truth is the average of two lies.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Fine Commencement Address

We're all commencing the rest of our lives today. So, for those of us who are far, far from our graduations, who haven't reached them yet, or who have suffered through lousy commencement addresses, here's an opportunity to read a good one from Victor Navasky. Want proof if its excellence before clicking? It should suffice to know that Navasky quotes Groucho (as that eminent academician, Professor Quncy Adams Wagstaff of Huxley College). Or you can skip the speech and go out and watch Horse Feathers. It's all the same to me.