Good evening. We'll start with Democracy Now! and tonight Elaine and I will be commenting on the same three items from Democracy Now! again.
Amb. Joe Wilson Defends Sheehan
With the stage set for a possible show down in Crawford this weekend, more prominent figures are lending their support to Sheehan. In recent days, musicians Joan Baez and Steve Earle have performed at Camp Casey. Veteran civil rights activists and many veterans of the Iraq war are camped out there. On Wednesday, former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson issued a statement saying "The Bush White House and its right-wing allies are responding to Cindy Sheehan and the military families' vigil in central Texas in the same way that they always respond to bad news -- by unleashing personal attacks and smears against her."
As the victim of a smear campaign, Joe Wilson can tell when one's going down. I think it's really great that he spoke out. And I think it's great that people like Joan Baez and Steve Earl have visited Camp Casey to make sure that it had attention while Cindy Sheehan was taking care of her mother. Joan Baez is just cool. I knew of Steve Earle but I didn't know his music until Democracy Now! played one of his performances at Camp Casey (on Monday's show) and I ended up getting his The Revolution Starts Now CD today. I also got Joan Baez's Joan. I called Dona and asked her which one to get because she and Ava have just been digging into Baez's whole collection since last fall. Dona said she thought I'd like Joan best. I come home with it and my sister's all, "What did you get?" and we're setting the table for dinner when she finishes her part and grabs the bag. Dad and Ma came in as she was pulling out the CDs and it turns out that they have Joan on record. We're all going to go into the living room when my girlfriend Nina gets here and just listen to Joan and Earle's CD.
White House Denies Bush on Vacation
Meanwhile, the White House is denying that President Bush is on vacation. Administration spokesperson David Almacy said the reason that Bush is in Crawford, Texas, is due to the renovation of the West Wing of the White House. Almacy said "He's operating on a full schedule; he's just doing it from the ranch instead of from the White House." He continued, "The only week he had officially off was this last week.'
Why lie? Because America's noticing that all he does is take vacations. After almost five years in office his vacation time is almost one year. Econonmy's tanked, prices are rising, people are dying in Iraq every day and he's on vacation. It doesn't look good for him. Dad said George H.W. Bush was ridiculed for taking vacations. So you'd think that the cracked brain of Karl Rove would have factored that in.
This latest lie is so outrageous that you have to shake your head as you keep laughing. Ma had a good point but told me not to make it until the vacation is over. It's a strong one but it will be more obvious then so we'll wait until September for it.
MSNBC Journalist Calls Crawford Protesters 'Anti-war Extremists'
As the American Legion declares war on peace activists, President Bush and his allies continue to find support among some in the media for what many see as a smear campaign against Cindy Sheehan and other antiwar military families. On Monday's edition of MSNBC's Hardball, White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell labeled anti-war demonstrators at Bush's property in Crawford "anti-war extremists." The comments came in an exchange with FBI whistleblower turned Congressional candidate Colleen Rowley:
O'DONNELL: You're a Democrat running for Congress. It was reported that Republican leaders in your state were just thrilled that you had decided to align yourself with anti-war extremists. Do you think that this could affect your race for Congress?
ROWLEY: Well, I will quickly correct the record that they are not anti-war extremists. The majority of the people I saw down in Crawford were actually veterans groups. There were military families and --
O'DONNELL: But, Colleen, they do oppose the war in Iraq, do they not?
ROWLEY: Yes, they do. But that does not make, I guess the term extremists. They're really, I think, reflective of mainstream America in many ways."
FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley responding to MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell. Thanks to MediaMatters.org for posting that clip.
Norah O'Donnell is a joke. C.I.'s talked about her and the way she spins (talked about her at The Common Ills). Ma says O'Donnell got a pass and she was front and center pushing the Bully Boy agenda morning after morning on The Today Show. I was listening to Democracy Now! today and didn't see the video but Tony saw it and was making jokes like, "Norah O'Donnell? She looked like Rosie O'Donnell!"
Nobody disagreed with my advice the other day so I'm going to close with a thing C.I. did. I'll do e-mails tomorrow but today was too hot and I'm lagging big time so I doubt I could offer any real advice anyway. I hope everyone else is surviving the summer heat. Remember to drink lots of water. People always go "liquids" and I love my Pepsi but those and other cokes will dehydrate you. So drink some water. Stay cool. And here's C.I.'s thing from yesterday which made me laugh when I read The Common Ills this morning.
"Rummy wants to get historical . . . on some things"
From today's Democracy Now!:
Rumsfeld Compares Anti-War Activists to Backers of Stalin
Meanwhile the Bush administration appears to have launched a coordinated effort to discredit the anti-war movement. On Tuesday, President Bush, White House spokesman Trent Duffy and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld all took jabs at critics of the war. Duffy described the critics as people who don't believe the U.S. must win the war on terror. And Rumsfeld compared anti-war activists to American supporters of Joseph Stalin. He said "Throughout history there have always been those who predict America's failure just around every corner... Many Western intellectuals praised Stalin... For a time, Communism was very much en vogue... thankfully the American people are better centered. They ultimately come to the right decisions on big issues. And the future of Iraq is a very big issue."
So Donald Rumsfeld wants to go "historical?" Well he really doesn't need to go that far, does he?If he wants to talk about people appeasing tyrants, he doesn't even have to crack a book -- well, possibly his diary.
What was the year that Donald Rumsfeld, grinning, met with Saddam Hussein? Shook his hand, joked with him, made nice?
If that memory has fogged over the last twenty plus years, Rummy can open his diary and look for the entry for December 20, 1983.
How might that entry read?
There are knowables and unknowables but oh boy do I now know Saddam! He's so groovy and rules with an iron fist. There's no leader I'd rather embrace!!!!!
He's a strong presence. So strong that my knees went a little weak. That's why I didn't bring up his using chemical weapons on Iran. I'd thought maybe telling him how that blew me away, but when we embraced, the only thing I could think of was Sergio Mendes' "Never Gonna Let You Go." That song totally rocks! And I can tell me and Saddam are going to be tight for years to come.
He likes good music too! He taught me to do the robot to Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue!"
He is so cool! Boy, am I glad we've kept him in power!
He told me I reminded him of Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club and I was all, "Oh my God! I was just thinking how you were Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club!" He was all, "No way!" and I was all, "Totally way!"
I told him we saw the Persian Gulf like detention and we needed a strong guy like him, or Judd Nelson, to protect our interests. For a second, he freaked me out because he made this totally mean face and started snarling, "Don't you ever talk about my friends. You don't know any of my friends. You don't look at any of my friends. And you certainly wouldn't condescend to speak to any of my friends. So you just stick to the things you know: shopping, nail polish, your father's BMW, and your poor, rich drunk mother in the Caribbean. "
At first, I thought, "Good God, he really is a madman!" Then I realized he was quoting Judd Nelson from Breakfast Club! He rocks!!!!!!
We had our picture taken together and I'm pasting it in here, Dear Diary, but I'm not real crazy about the way the flash makes my shirt look like it's pink!!!! But I like the way it makes my hair look shiney like Brooke Shields in those Wella Balsam commericals.
Joyce keeps telling me I'm losing my hair but what does she know? At the White House, they all tease me about my full head o' hair! Jealous much? They're all upset because with the soft shimmers and the way I wear it, I look like a cooler Alex P. Keaton!!
As long as I have my health and my hair, I'm unstoppable! Some day me and Saddam are going to be sitting on top of the world, controlling everything! I just know it!!!!!!
Dear Diary, you know how I am always the ultimate judge of character and I am telling you that Saddam Hussein is a stand up guy. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!Does he really want to go "historical?"