Friday, November 04, 2005

It's the weekend and Brownie thinks he's "a fashion god"

Good evening. We start with Democracy Now!

Italy Warned US On Iraq-Niger Documents
Meanwhile, the Italian government says it warned the Bush administration documents purporting to show an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger were fakes. Italian Senator Massimo Brutti said the warning was issued around the same time President Bush made the claim in his State of the Union speech of January 2003. Brutti later called the Associated Press to retract the statement. The claim played a key part in the Bush administration’s attempts to justify the war on Iraq. CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity was leaked after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, questioned the Iraq-Niger connection.

Brown Complained, Discussed Wardrobe as Katrina Hit
And newly-released e-mails continue to call into question the job performance of former FEMA head Michael Brown. On the morning Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Brown wrote to a colleague: “Can I quit now? Can I come home?" A few days later, he wrote to an acquaintance: "I'm trapped now, please rescue me." In other e-mails written during the days leading up to and during the storm, Brown discussed searching for a dog-sitter and mused on his wardrobe. Three days before Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, Brown wrote to his press secretary Sharon Worthy: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?" Days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working." On August 29, the day the storm hit New Orleans, Brown received an e-mail from deputy director of FEMA public affairs Cindy Taylor. Taylor wrote: "You look fabulous – And I’m not talking about the makeup!" Brown replied: "I got it at Nordstroms... Are you proud of me?" Brown wrote in another e-mail one hour later: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god." Two days later, Brown received an e-mail from Marty Bahamonde, one of the only FEMA employees on the ground in New Orleans. Bahamonde told Brown “the situation is past critical” at the Louisiana Superdome. Brown responded: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?" Brown resigned as FEMA director September 12th. He continues to collect a $148,000 dollar annual salary.

Fashion god, huh? Wonder what the religious fundies make of that? :D

I don't know who listens, watches or reads. I know C.I. prefers to listen and Rebecca prefers to watch. I'm just glad to get it. And I want to pass on something that Rebecca and I did Labor Day and ask you to consider doing the same. We both were with family and made a point to make sure the TV was on during Democracy Now! It's a way to expose people you know to it. Thanksgiving is coming up and if you're able to, try to talk up the show and try to have it on the TV or the radio. If that's not a possibility and there's a computer you can pull up transcripts. (Or you can watch it or listen to it online, I always forget about that. They provide audio and video streams online.)

We really do need to make sure that the people who matter to us know about Democracy Now! Leah e-mailed and was talking about how she heard about the show and all but only got into it because it's all over the community websites and now she listens on the radio and can't think of a time when she didn't.

It's weird because the more you listen, the more valuable you realize the show is. But it's easy to forget that before someone turned you onto it, you might not have known about Democracy Now! or you might have thought, "Oh another news show."

It's not another news show, it's the news show. Democracy Now! is the most important show you can watch and I may not know all the radio shows but I'd bet it's the most important you can listen to also.

I celebrate Christmas cause I'm Catholic. If you do or if you give gifts for another reason during that period, think what an amazing gift Democracy Now! is to someone who's never really gotten to know it. And think about how great the conversations can be when you're not having to stop every few seconds and fill someone in on the facts. If they watch Democracy Now! there's no need to explain, you can just discuss the events that matter.

I had two e-mails I want to respond to so let's go into that.

Rafe e-mails wondering if I wasn't too hard on Hillary Clinton? Could be. But I don't know that I'm going to lose any sleep over someone who's not too concerned that we're in an illegal war and that Iraqis and troops are dying. As for the thing that could hurt her, I didn't know C.I. was going to mention it last night. We talked about it on the phone because my professor had brought it up and I wanted to get C.I.'s take on it. C.I. agreed with my prof.

Universal health care really took root as an idea in my area. And Hillary and Bill pushed it during the 1992 campaign. But then we got "single payer" which was not about providing universal health care but was about making sure the insurance companies and others kept making the big bucks. My prof is real left (and real cool) and I was surprised when he started talking about this. I also thought about how I'd heard all the dopey "Hillary wanted to bring communism to the United States" nonsense from the right. I think, the class thinks, that a critique about how she sold out the idea trumpted by many doctors and nurses in my area to get in good with big business would hurt her. Now maybe you older readers know all about that but people my age and younger weren't old enough to follow that. I was like 8 or 9 when all that was going down.

So Rafe, I think, my personal opinion, that Hillary sold out a real concept that could have helped people. She pushed something that would benefit big business and that didn't succeed and that some think wasn't intended to succeed.

Now for Lysa who e-mailed to ask a sex question and wondered if I'd stop talking about? I haven't. If I get 1 of those questions, I do put it up here. Lysa wonders why some guy's penis go straight up and some stick out at an angle and some are bent.

I think it's just genetics but I'm guessing. Lysa wonders if it sticks straight up does that mean a guy's a virgin or has only had sex a few times?

Lysa, I can tell you absolutely that it has nothing to do with that. :D I've had sex lots of times and mine sticks straight up when fully erect. I don't know that Seth will want to answer this, but we can toss it over to Seth (Seth in the City) and see if he wants to weigh in.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I plan on putting up something here Saturday.
Elaine's blogging tonight so be sure to check her out at Like Maria Said Paz though she'll probably be just doing a "general entry" from what she said on the phone. And, though I bet everyone already saw it, check out Kat's "A Time To Dance" review of Stevie Wonder's latest album. Rebecca gave a heads up last night and Kat will probably write something about it at her site tonight. And be sure to check out C.I.'s indyround up on various reports of The World Can't Wait events.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mixed bag

Good evening and we'll start things off with Democracy Now!

Carter Criticizes Bush Administration on Torture, Iraq War
In light of the Washington Post revelations, Bush administration officials insist they will not tolerate the use of torture at home or in any foreign prisons. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said: "We're doing everything we can to protect America but we obviously do everything we can to do it in a way that's consistent with our legal obligations." Yet there are no indications the Bush administration has dropped a controversial proposal that would exempt CIA agents from a Senate ban on torture. Speaking in New York yesterday, President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's stance: "The insistence by our government that the CIA or others have the right to torture prisoners in Guantanamo and around the World is just one indication of what this administration has done that's a radical departure from past policies." Carter also lashed out at the Bush administration's justifications for the war on Iraq. Carter said: "I think that the claims that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and the claims that he had massive weapons of mass destruction that would threaten our country were manipulated at least to mislead the American people into going to war."

U.S. Launch Lethal Air Strikes While Attacks Kill Dozens in Iraq
In Iraq, separate incidents claimed the lives of at least 53 Iraqi civilians and six U.S. troops Wednesday. Two U.S. troops were killed near Ramadi when insurgents reportedly shot down their helicopter. The Washington Post reports U.S. aircraft returned and dropped bombs near the crash site, killing at least 20 people. Elsewhere in the country, a suicide bomber exploded a minibus in an outdoor market in the town of Musayyib, killing 20 people and wounding 60 others.

It's good that Jimmy Carter is still alive to fight this corrupt administration but anyone else read something he says and think, "Where is Bill Clinton?" Thought Bully Boy was the one who went AWOL. We could use some strong words from Bill Clinton but I guess, like his wife, everything has to be factored into Hillary Clinton's 2008 run.

I don't think she's going to get it. I called C.I. about some stuff I was hearing at college and C.I. said, "That's Hillary's weakness. Not a smear from the right but if those people speak out, she's sunk."

So what's Hillary weakness? Ha! Liked I'd tell. But I bet she knows it. She was trashed by the right for it. But if the left went after her on it, especially people who feel they got stabbed in the back, she wouldn't have a shot.

I didn't pay attention in Bill's first term. I was a little kid. But Hillary better find a position on the war that pleases the base soon because if the left criticizes her, she's over.

I don't even like the idea of her being president because I'm sick of the Bush-Clinton-Bush cycle. I don't see the point in furthering it by having Hillary Clinton as president. No family should have a lock on the presidency. And she's such a chicken hawk that I really don't care for her.

So it's left to Jimmy Carter to act as the responsible adult. Hillary won't. She's too busy trying to assure America that she's in the center. She is with corporate America. She's just not with the grass roots in the Democratic Party.

If she finds a voice to speak out against the war, I'd consider her but with her track record, I doubt she'll have anything worth saying about the war until after 2008 when she loses (hopefully in the primary) and she realizes she sold herself to be reasonable to all the wrong people.

It's too bad because if she could speak out against the war, I'd go for her in a minute. It might just be words, empty words, but I'd probably give her the benefit of the doubt.

She's just a coward. Most of the people who can't find their voices on the war are cowards. If she's not a coward, then she's a war cheerleader with the war lust and needs to get honest about it.

"Hey, I'm Hillary and I want your vote so I can start wars over all the globe. I'll fight smart and often. Vote for me!"

In class, people were making jokes about the kind of speeches she'd give. "I'm Hillary Clinton, some of you know my husband . . ." which would bring up the Monica jokes. The only bigger joke than Hillary today was a photo of Laura Bush that C.I. told me about. It's at Delilah's A Scrivener's Laments and you should check it out because Laura's all bugged eyed and her hands look like a really old man's.

I really don't know much about Jimmy Carter. I wasn't even born when he was president. But I know he's speaking out now and being counted. Lots of leaders are acting like they're afraid of being shipped to a gulag so I'll say thank goodness for Jimmy Carter. Our prof told us his son (Chip?) might run for office.

As for Hillary, it'll be fun to watch the little bitty minds supporting her and the ones supporting John Edwards duke it out online. Who'll cry uncle first? Who'll cite TD Jokes (as Billie calls him) first to prove they are "inclusive"? We already know who'll do that the same idiot who didn't know a damn thing about Cindy Sheehan but felt the need to write a factually incorrect, long post on Cindy Sheehan and when confronted on the many errors, respond something like, "It's not my role or Cindy's to determine foreign policy." Uh, yeah, it is. This is a democracy, you stupid freak.

I'm so glad everyone in the community delinked from that freak. Sometimes I'm tempted to visit the freak's site especially since the freak didn't have the brains to mention once that Rosa Parks died. I thought that was so great of Cedric to point out that the morning after Rosa Parks died, the freak was writing about a death from three years ago.

I love how the freak and others use terms like "magazine" to describe their blogs. :D

I guess if the magazine is called I Love John Edwards! then it could be a magazine. Or maybe it could be called Council of Foreign Relations -- I'm For 'Em Because I Don't Know Anything! But the gentle chidings of David Brooks are like swatting a dog on the snout with a kleenex. What can you expect from a freak who links to Free Republic and Andrew Sullivan?

What a freak.

Always has to check John Edwards' position before the freak can figure out their own.

Elaine and I both find the freak disgusting. While Rebecca was on vacation, we'd talk about how disgusting the freak was.

Let me tell you that if you haven't read Rebecca's "ted koppel go away already" you better. Rebecca don't need talking points from nobody! :D She's smart enough to figure out where she stands all by herself. And that's why she's so popular. She's not C.I. popular and she'll tell you that herself and that she doesn't want that kind of popularity.

I don't blame her on that because I used to think how cool it must be to be C.I. I don't anymore. Jess and Ava help with the e-mail there and it's just too much even with them and C.I. I can get online and figure out what I want to write before I start but C.I.'s got all these requests and all these suggested links. I like being a community offshoot and not the leader of the community because I get to write about whatever and blow off a post if I feel like it and I only have to post once a day. If C.I. posts only three times a day, there are e-mails asking, "Hey, am I missing a post?"

I'm not griping at members of the community. (But I do think it would be great if more started their own sites.) But there are all kinds of pressures on C.I. that I don't have and the more I hear about them from Ava and Jess, the more glad I am that I'm not like that. I can take a day off and I'll get "I missed you" at the most now. Used to I'd get more than that. But C.I. . . .

I really admire C.I.'s hard work and never missing a day. I know C.I. has a demanding job and is usually speaking to college students or high schoolers several times a month. So I really appreciate The Common Ills a lot more than I did before I started this and if you ask any member from that time, they'll tell you I was high on The Common Ills back then. But doing this site and also learning what all it took to do The Common Ills, I really appreciate our community flagship all the more.

And Wally beat to me quoting C.I. today. But I'll quote it anyway because I go down to the kitchen this morning and Ma and Dad are singing "Victim of Romance" and I'm all, "What?"
and rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and they go, "Read it!" So I read "Other Items" and am laughing and wide awake.

This is from "Other Items:"

There's a "White House Memo" that Carl e-mails about. He wonders whether it will get the sort of ridicule that it deserves and that a "White House Letter" by Elisabeth Bumiller would? Good question.
It's entitled "Press Secretary on Trial in the Briefing Room" and attempts to provide you with the crashing waves that have threatened the love tunnel that exists between the press and Scott McClellan. Stretch praises him. Elite Fluff Patrol squad member Richard W. Stevenson blows air kisses. See, Scotty said Karl Rove and Scooter Libby weren't involved in the outing of Valerie Plame and now that the "public record" demonstrates that this is false, poor Scotty and poor press just aren't sure, as Dionne Warwick once sang, what to do with themselves.
It's a tough time for both sides. All those expectations. All those laughs. Could it all be coming to end? He fed them, they stroked him. It was a mutal love affair born of self-interests on both sides. So Stevenson uses terms like "unwilling or unable" (is he charting on patients?) to attempt to explain the bind Scotty finds himself in (although it applies equally as well to what passes for the press). If Scotty comes out and speaks the truth (highly unlikely considering the administration he serves in), Karl Rove might go ballistic on him.
What's Scotty to do?
Stevenson frets and worries.
It's all so very "Victim of Romance:"
Homeroom studyhall
I knew that I was gonna fall
Late at night I weep
Mumble in my sleep
Yeah knock on wood
Say I never felt so good
Heaven above
It must be love
I'm a victim of romance
Sing it, Stevenson, sing it!
("Victim of Romance" is written by John Martin. I'll plug Michelle Phillips' version which is available on her album of the same name and which Hip-O Select released this year on CD.)
"A member of a prominent Texas political family, he was viewed by many reporters when he took the job as genial and straightforward but difficult to knock off the White House's talking points," Stevenson all but sobs into pillow.
Stevenson reassures us that, in all the madness, Scotty's high roaded it and "has instead appealed to the better instincts of his journalistic inquisitors." Yes, Stevenson can't stop singing "Victim of Romance:"
Cold blooded felony
Murder in the first degree
It's a crime
What he's done to my spine
It certainly is. It certainly is a crime what Scotty's done to Richie's spine. A victim . . . a victim. . . Stevenson's just a victim of romance.
Hopefully, it will all be worked out in time for home coming. I'd hate to think Richie might miss getting pinned by Scotty.

Be sure to read Wally's "World Can't Wait (but national media can on Bully Boy and Florida and probably everything else)" about conditions in south Florida.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Late at night. :D Here are two things from Democracy Now!

Historian: NSA Falsified Gulf of Tonkin Evidence
The New York Times is reporting new evidence has emerged about the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 that precipitated the escalation of the Vietnam War. A National Security Agency historian has determined officers at the agency knowingly falsified intelligence in order to make it look as if North Vietnam had attacked U.S. destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf. Following the alleged attack, Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnamese targets and used the event to persuade Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which led to the escalation of the war. The NSA’s historian determined the intelligence may have been falsified not for political reasons but to cover up earlier mistakes made by intelligence officers. However, the Times reports there has also been a cover up of the historian’s account, which was first published in a classified in-house journal of the National Security Agency in 2001. The historian’s article remains classified. According to the Times, policymakers at the NSA feared the release of the historical study might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq.

Report: CIA Conducting Interrogations in Soviet-Era Prison
The Washington Post is reporting the CIA has been hiding and interrogating important al Qaeda detainees at a Soviet-era secret prison in Eastern Europe. The prison is part of a small global network of secret CIA and military compounds used in the so-called war on terror, including the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. At the request of U.S. officials, the Post did not publish the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the secret program. Intelligence officials and legal experts told the Post the prisons “would be considered illegal under the laws of several host countries, where detainees have rights to have a lawyer or to mount a defense against allegations of wrongdoing.”

Ma said to make sure and thank Rebecca and her ex-husband. Dad wasn't able to take time off from work but Ma was planning on participating in The World Can't Wait protest. Rebecca had offered last week that we could go with her and her ex-husband to New York City and join up with The Third Estate Sunday Review for the protests there. Ma liked the idea. Then Sunday, Rebecca mentions the travel arrangements and I go, "Uh Ma, thought we were driving." :D

Ma's not a big fan of flying. She had a series of questions for Rebecca's ex-husband, like how long had he had his license and has he had any crashes. :D

Ma now says she still hates flying but if she had to again, she'd do it if she could have the same pilot. He's a cool guy and I want to tell him thank you but I'm not sure what to call him because Rebecca gets grief from her old in-laws if she even types 'my ex' at her website. (Sex and Politics and Screeds, as if you didn't know lol.) I'm going to call him "Fly Boy" lol.

Fly Boy is really cool. We talked sports and politics and he let me steer the plane for a bit. That was so cool. It was really fun because we got to talk to Elaine and Rebecca and Fly Boy. At the rally, I told Ty that Fly Boy let me steer some and he was so jealous! :D

Jess' parents were at the protest and that was cool and we all got to meet Jim's mom. I understand why he dates Dona too cause she and his mother are so alike. Jim's mom goes the thing she likes best about Dona is that Dona doesn't take any crap from Jim.

I don't know what Elaine's going to write about tonight because we talked about a lot of stuff on the ride back. But 1 thing we agreed on was that it was more fun doing an essay based on some topics from Democracy Now! yesterday than just sitting there writing a summary. So we'll probably both be doing that. We're going to keep noting Democracy Now! everyday because it's the best source of news but that will be our news and then we'll do our op-eds.

Dad say on the Gulf of Tonkin thing to be sure to note C.I.'s "NYT: Somebody get Scott the big mop" because it still makes him laugh when he reads it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The reason

Good evening and let's kick things off with Democracy Now!

October Marks Fourth Deadliest Month for U.S. In Iraq
And U.S. losses in Iraq continue to rise. Seven U.S. soldiers were killed on Monday bringing the monthly death toll to 92. This made October the fourth deadliest month of the war for U.S. troops.

Report: 40 Iraqis Die in U.S. Bombings Near Syria
In Iraq, hospital officials in the town of Qaim say up to 40 people were killed Monday in U.S. bombings near the Syrian border. An Iraqi doctor said many of the killed were women and children. Local residents said U.S. aircraft carried out a series of bombing raids beginning shortly after midnight and continuing until dawn. Military officials said they were targeting safehouses used by a local Al Qaeda leader.

Dad passed on this Wolf Blitzer interview with Joe Wilson from CNN:

BLITZER: So you're still looking toward that.
On August 21, 2003, at a forum, you were quoted as saying this -- and I believe you did say this because we've talked about it: "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
He's still working at the White House. He's the deputy White House chief of staff.
WILSON: And I think that Karl Rove should be fired. I think that this idea that you can, with impunity, call journalists and leak national security information is repugnant.
It is not fitting for a senior White House official. It is below any standard of ethical comportment, even if it is not technically illegal, because of the high standard of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
But nonetheless, there's now clear evidence that Mr. Rove was leaking classified information. Mr. Fitzgerald made it very clear.
My wife was a covert officer at the time that these people were leaking her name.
I believe it's an abuse of the public trust. And even if he can't be convicted of it, I see no reason why somebody like that, why the president would want to have somebody like that working on his staff.
BLITZER: Well, forget about conviction. He hasn't even been charged with a crime.
WILSON: Again, it's now very clear that he leaked it. Mr. Cooper's sworn testimony indicates that. The e-mails indicate that.

With the death count continuing to sky rocket, do people get how we ended up over there? I know people going online and going to Democracy Now! and stuff like that get it, but I wonder if
most people get it. Like if they're watching CNN and they see Joe Wilson talking about the stuff above, do they get that Bully Boy lied us into war?

I think it's obvious but then you meet somebody who starts saying stuff like, "Iraq attacked us on 9/11." My friend Tony was out last night and he heard that from this old guy who's table was next to Tony and his date's. The old guy was going on about how people are forgetting why we are over there and that we are over there because Iraq attacked us on 9/11.

Tony tells me that today and we're all shaking our heads wondering how someone can still believe that lie? Bully Boy kept trying to link 9/11 and Iraq but you'd think by now common sense would have made most people realize the hijackers weren't from Iraq.

Places like CNN would just show that stuff over and over for years. This summer they kind of woke up but they really set it up for people to believe that nonsense.

And now you got people still believing it. I don't think most people but I think a lot of people who can't face the truth are still holding on to the lies that Bully Boy told and the media broadcast.

Which makes it all really sad because people keep dying. Iraqis, Americans, British, you name it. Why are they dying?

Not because of 9/11. Not because of WMDs. Not because of anything but the lies that came out of Bully Boy's mouth. He wanted this war and he got it and everyone else has to pay the price.
And we'll keep paying it until we wake up to the reality that we need to bring the troops home.

That's my thought for the day. Here's another thought, see Breathless. We watched that last night and it's a really cool movie. I like black & white movies but some people don't. If you have a problem with that or with subtitles, you aren't going to like Breathless. But if you can go with that, this is a pretty incredible movie.

I'm closing with C.I. because I loved "'Labor Dept. Is Rebuked Over Pact With Wal-Mart' (Steven Greenhouse):"

The above is from Steven Greenhouse's "Labor Dept. Is Rebuked Over Pact With Wal-Mart" in this morning's New York Times.
Wal-Mart, the 'family' story, can comply with existing child labor law . . . provided they're given a 15 day notice before an inspection and provided they're found in violation they get one of those Harriet Miers "redo"s and are given ten more days to come into compliance with the law.
Gordon S. Heddell (inspector general) calls it a violation and it is. So why isn't the Times front paging it and why is Wal-Mart seen as a 'family' store? A work camp, sure. But a 'family' store?That the most profitable, most powerful retail store on the globe needs an exception to on the book laws tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the greed involved and the 'family' nature of the store.
It also underscores the lack of interest (some might say "scorn") that this administration has for the public. This isn't something the Times can cluck over and deem "partisan" so instead they bury the findings of this report inside the paper instead of front paging it.
On the front page you can find nonsense by Michael Barbaro ("A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room") that plays the usual "some say" and "but others say" and never touches on any issue at length with the exception of stock value and the market:
Once a darling of Wall Street, Wal-Mart's stock price has fallen 27 percent since 2000, when H. Lee Scott Jr. became chief executive, a drop that executives have said reflects, in part, investors' anxieties about the company's image. Sales growth at stores open for more than a year has slowed to an average of 3.5 percent a month this year, compared with 6.3 percent at Target. And Wal-Mart is facing growing resistance to new urban stores, with high- profile defeats in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
At no point in the article does Barbaro take a moment to discuss the p.r. bait and switch (reported by the Times last week but maybe he was too busy being amused by the "war room" to pick up a paper) of their "insurance" plan ("scam"?). This isn't journalism. This is a p.r. report on . . . public relations and the Times should be embarrassed to front page it. But the paper of record has gotten away with passing off press releases as reporting for so long, they probably aren't capable of being shame faced at this point. Barbaro found the Wal-Mart "war room" amusing. At least he got something out of the article. That's more than can be said for readers of it.

Remember to check Elaine's thoughts at Like Maria Said Paz.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bully Boy's Week From Hell

Good evening. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Let's kick things off with three things from Democracy Now! Remember Elaine and me get together on the phone to discuss which ones to choose so check out Like Maria Said Paz for her take.

Libby Resigns After Five Count Indictment in CIA Leak Case
For the first time in 130 years, a White House staff member has been indicted for crimes committed in the office. On Friday, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents during the CIA leak investigation. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines. Until Friday Libby was a central figure in the Bush White House holding three top positions: chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, national security adviser to the vice president and assistant to the president. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the indictment on Friday. President Bush's chief advisor Karl Rove has so far escaped indictment for his role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson. But Rove remains under investigation. On Sunday Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called on Bush to apologize and for Rove to resign. Bush and Cheney have both praised Libby for his service. The top candidate to replace Libby is David Addington who currently works as the vice president's legal counsel. Three years ago he wrote a memo that asserted the war on terrorism renders obsolete the Geneva Convention's limitations of questioning detainees. Ambassador Wilson accused Libby and the White House of outing his wife, Valerie Plame. He said, "Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months. But more important, they did it as part of a clear effort to cover up the lies and disinformation used to justify the invasion of Iraq. That is the ultimate crime."

Now just hold on for the next item.

After "Week From Hell" Bush's Approval Rating Drops
New polls show that the public trust in the Bush administration has reached a new low. A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll has found Bush's approval rating to be just 39 percent - the lowest of his presidency. Meanwhile 46 percent of the country says the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined under Bush. Only 15 percent of the country feel Bush has restored honesty and ethics to the government. This comes after what Time Magazine described as the worst week of Bush's presidency. Within a span of four days the U.S. death toll in Iraq topped 2,000, Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court and Lewis Scooter Libby was indicted and resigned. Time described it as Bush's QUOTE "Week from Hell."

Week from Hell is right and bout time, you ask me. We've lived under five years of hell, bout time Bully Boy got at least a week of it. Too bad he didn't get it sooner like before he sent us over into an illegal war that over 2,000 American troops have died and who knows how many Iraqis. It's too bad the press was too damn timid to ask him questions or to challenge him. We did an editorial at The Third Estate Sunday Review this week and this point was made:

We hope it's not over. We hope there's more to come on Rove and that information made public demonstrates this was an orchestrated smear to discredit critics. The way they've done all along. With the help of a compliant press. In Watergate, the press didn't always play along. The trashing of Jean Seberg depended upon Joyce Harber getting reassurance from her editor (who passed the smear along) that the "source" was reliable before it found its way into The LA Times. These days, the press runs with anything. Pearl Jam audience stages mass walk out. (Didn't happen, AP.) Linda Ronstadt booed from stage. (Didn't happen.) Possibly, of the overt moments, nothing will ever match Diane Sawyer's repeated attempts at public shaming the Dixie Chicks. "Aren't you ashamed?" she repeated over and over while identify the Bully Boy as the commander-in-chief. We missed the part where Diane Sawyer signed up for the military but she obviously signed up to do her part for the Bully Boy. (Don't give her credit for correcting the Howard Dean non-scream. That took lobbying behind the scenes.)

It's bad enough that the press didn't bother to ask the questions that needed to be asked but it's worse that they used their power to attempt to shame and embarrass the people who showed more guts than they did. Dad was really impressed that I knew who Jean Seberg is. He asked me after he read the editorial and goes, "That was C.I., right?" and I go yeah and start telling him the story. Dad knew who she was. She was an actress who went to France and became famous and we're going to watch Breathless with Nina tonight if I can finish this and get it posted. Breathless is one of her famous movies. So she was active politically and stuff and then the press started putting out that she was pregnant by a Black Panther which was a cause she supported but the baby's father wasn't a Black Panther and they were using that to try to smear her and silence her. I didn't know any of this stuff. C.I. was filling us in because a lot of us didn't know about it. (I think Kat did and Elaine and Rebecca knew some of the story.) So this Joyce Harber is a gossip columnist for the LA Times in Los Angeles and she prints it as a blind item but it's obvious who she means. And she only printed it because her editor (who later ended up becoming editor of the paper and tried to play it like he couldn't remember any of this) passed it to her and told her it was from a reliable source. The FBI was trying to plant something like that about Jean Seberg to discredit her and make people not like her. So it appears in the paper and that's just the beginning of the story. Anyway, point is the press tries to smear sometimes and they sure did try to smear for their Bully Boy.

Rosa Parks Lies in Honor at U.S. Capitol
In Washington, over10,000 people began lining up Sunday outside the Capitol to pay homage to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks who died last week at the age of 92. Parks' body is lying in honor at the U.S. Capitol in the Rotunda. According to Senate historian Richard Baker, Parks is the first private citizen to ever be accorded the honor. She is also the first woman and second African-American to lie in honor at the Capitol. The tribute is usually reserved for heads of state. President Reagan was the last person to lie in state at the Capitol. A memorial service will be held today at the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington. Her body will then be flown to Detroit for a funeral on Wednesday. On Sunday a memorial service was also in Montgomery Alabama. We'll have more on Rosa Parks later in the show.

Rosa Parks deserved that honor. And then some. Cedric found a great poem that he shared in The Third Estate Sunday Review news review:

Cedric: As most will know already, Rosa Parks, civil rights pioneer who refused to give up her seat on the bus when ordered to do so which led to the a city wide, bus riders strike, passed away Monday. I've thought about what to say to note the death of a leader and toyed with a biographical sketch or a timeline. But one of the books we read for this week's book discussion offered something that I felt summed up things better than I ever could. From The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son:"
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

I really think Cedric found the perfect poem that sums it all up. Rosa Parks was part of a movement and the movement carries on.

From the news review we did at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

C.I.: Thank you Cedric. Again, Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son." Rosa Parks passed away Monday at the age of 92. The following day the US military fatality rate for those killed in Iraq reached 2,000. For news on Iraq, we go to Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz and Mike of Mikey Likes It. We started with Mike last weekend, so Elaine, why don't you start?
Elaine: C.I., the official fatality count for American troops in Iraq stands at 2016. When the count reached 2,000 this past week, over . The official count for American troops wounded in Iraq is 15,220.
Mike: Three of the 2016 who've died in Bully Boy's war of choice are from yesterday, two from a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad and one died near Baiji.
Elaine: While the causes of death in those cases are clear, another military death is less so. The Associated Press reports that an unnamed American soldier was found dead Friday. The cause of death is under investigation. Al Jazeera reports that in Huweder, a car bomb has killed 26 Iraqis.
Mike: The AP offers 30,000 as their count for Iraqis who've died during the invasion/occupation.
Elaine: The occupation has also taken a toll on recruitment in the United States with the military having to lower expections each month. As reported by CounterRecruiter, the figures for fiscal year 2005 find the military 6,600 soldiers short of their target goals. The occupation is also effecting numbers in Great Britain. The war in Iraq is identified, by Michael Smith in London's Sunday Times, as the reason for 6,000 members of England's Territorial Army which has resulted in "a manning crisis."
Mike: Another crisis is the one described by Rahul Mahajan at Empire Notes:
After last November's demolition of Fallujah and its transformation into a prison camp, insurgents shifted their focus to Mosul and Ramadi, as well as towns along the Euphrates up toward the Syrian border. Mosul, which had seen very few incidents before, became a hotbed of violence; Ramadi, which had been quite active before, became probably the city in Iraq in which there has consistently been the most fighting between the occupying forces and the resistance.
In the last six weeks, 21 American soldiers have been killed in Ramadi, far more than in any other city in Iraq, the vast majority by roadside improvised explosive devices, detonated when troops patrolled.
There is no police force in Ramadi and the local government set up by the U.S.-initiated political process is largely unable to function (the deputy governor of Anbar province was recently assassinated).
Elaine: And the indictment of Scooter Libby is said to lead to a political crisis for the Bully Boy. England's The Independent headlines "Special report: Bush faces his Watergate." In this article, by Andrew Buncombe, it's noted that:
But the issues raised by "Plamegate" - the leaking of the identity of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent - are far more significant than those involved in the "second-rate burglary" of the Democratic National Committee's offices in Washington's Watergate complex in the 1970s. They go to the heart of why America, and its faithful ally, Britain, went to war in Iraq.
Mike: A point missed by Todd S. Purdum who prefers sniffing his own dirty jock strap to reporting. From The Common Ills yesterday, storry C.I. my sister begged me to work this in:
Let's start with Todd S. Purdum ("A Prosecutor's Focus Shifted to a Cover-Up") who apparently decided that instead of washing his dirty jock, he'd turn it inside out and wear it for another six months without washing. That would explain how the fumes got to him yet again and why he feels the need to early on toss out Bill Clinton. Drawing comparisons no sane person would make (Clinton's cover up revolved around a private, consensual sex affair; Libby's cover up revolves around the outing of a CIA agent), you start to wonder if Todd's not only sniffing his own fumes but also chewing on his dirty jock? The after taste of his "news analysis" makes one wonder.
How far into the article before Todd mentions Clinton (for balance, I'm sure)? Fourth paragraph. How far before Nixon is mentioned? Fourteen. (Always check my math.)
And what are we 'assured' when Nixon finally crawls out from under the rock? "The Wilson affair is not Watergate . . ." Really?The issues involved are not a consensual sex affair either. But Todd didn't have a need to rush to assure there. They may actually go beyond the petty motives of Watergate (original motive: to spy on the Democratic Party during a presidential election) since the outing of Valerie Plame is an attempt to discredit (and silence) her husband Joseph Wilson who was explaining that there was no evidence of "yellow cakes."
C.I.: Jumping in, Todd S. Purdum of The New York Times.
Elaine: At IPS, Jim Lobe calls the administration's loss of Libby "a serious blow." Lobe offers the rundown on Scooter Libby in "A Formidable Hawk Goes Down."
Mike: Robert Parry asks "Letting the White House Walk?" at Consortium News. While Parry notes that other indictments may be forthcoming and that a trial of Scooter might allow more details to emerge, he also notes this that's not making it in other reporting on Plamegate:
In his five-count indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis Libby, prosecutor Fitzgerald leaves the false impression that it was all right for White House officials with security clearances to be discussing the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, a counter-proliferation official under deep cover.
Under the rules of classification, however, to see such secrets an official must not only have a top-secret clearance but also special code-word clearance that grants access to a specific compartment governed by strict need-to-know requirements.In both the Libby indictment and a hour-long press conference on Oct. 28, Fitzgerald showed no indication he understood how extraordinary it was for White House officials to be bandying about the name of a covert CIA officer based on the flimsy rationale that she was married to an ex-diplomat who had been sent on a fact-finding trip to Niger.
Fitzgerald, who is the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, appears to have bought into the notion that government officials had a right to discuss Plame's covert status among themselves as long as they didn’t pass the secret on to journalists. Then Fitzgerald didn't even seek punishment for that, limiting his criminal case to Libby's lying about how and when he learned of Plame's identity.
C.I.: That is a very important point. Thank you, Elaine and Mike. Scooter Libby indicted for a number of counts -- perjury, false testimony, etc. -- in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson who went public to expose Bully Boy's 16 word lie in the 2003 State of the Union address regarding "British intelligence has recently learned that Sadaam Hussein sought" yellow cake from Niger. Also, quickly, Eric Schmitt's "An Influential Bush Insider Who Is Used to Challenges" rightly pointed out that Scooter Libby is not just Cheney's chief of staff. Scooter was "assistant to the president, chief of staff to the vice president and Mr. Cheney's national security advisor." Now we go to Rebecca, of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, offers us a look at the news from the world of science. Rebecca?

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd put up the whole thing cause I'm real proud of the hard work that goes into this. C.I. tried to pass off to Dona or Jim the anchor duties but they were saying, "You're the anchor." As soon as C.I. did the thanks and we're done we all hear something on the phone. Kat's like, "What was that?" And Elaine goes, "I think someone just threw up." It was C.I.

C.I. kept apologizing because we were running behind all night. That's not because C.I. was putting the phone down to go throw up. That's cause, like Dona said, we wasted time. There were also the usual posting problems but it was also because we wasted time. C.I. and Ava did their TV review in 15 minutes. I know I defocused and I'll take my part of the blame for wasting time. It's important to have fun and we always do but I was reading The Common Ills today and if I'd known how sick C.I. was feeling, I would have focused and done my part to get us all done at an early hour. If someone reading this goes, "Well C.I. was throwing up . . ." Yeah, but C.I. gets a lot of 24 bugs or throws up when there's been no sleep so it's not that unusual. For it to send C.I. to bed is unusual.

We all tend to think that anything's not unusal, like C.I. could show up with a hand hanging by a blood vein and ready to work and we'd go, "Okay, let's get started." That's what Jess pointed out on the phone today. I know when I'm sick, I don't want to be around anybody, I want to talk to anybody, I just want to grab the covers, pull them over my head and be left alone until I feel better.

One e-mail tonight. Brett e-mailed wondering why I apologized in the news review (see above) for bringing up C.I.'s entry at The Common Ills? C.I. doesn't like when we do that. C.I. sees it as looking like a plug and just prefers that we don't do it. I did it for my sister and C.I. knows my sister loved that (I mentioned it here Saturday morning) so it was okay but C.I. was surprised.
If my sister hadn't asked (or my Ma or my Dad), I wouldn't have. Also, my Ma is Trina, which is her nickname in her family since she was a little girl and she said it was okay to mention that. She sends stuff to C.I. a lot and you'll see "Trina e-mails to note . . ." But she sent in something Sunday and she signed it "Trina, Mike's mother" and C.I. wasn't sure if she wanted to be noted that way. C.I. went with "Mike's mother" since Ma had made a point to put that in and also probably because it got me a link. :D
But she said it's cool. My sister does not want her name mentioned at all. Here or anywhere!