Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The False Moral Superiority of the Bush White House 

I feel justified giving this the first blue bar quote since before last year's election,

As a former Clinton aide, the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby and the announcement that Karl Rove remains in the prosecutorial hot-seat gives me no schadenfreude. First because many of my fellow Texans in the Bush White House are friends of mine; others are acquaintances I've known for years. I feel their pain.

Second, because no one who loves the White House and reveres the presidency can take joy in seeing it besmirched. And third, because the ultimate result of the alleged criminal conduct was to march 2,000 young heroes off to die in an unjust, unwise, unprovoked and unwarranted war.

The plain fact is that after a seven year non-stop investigato-rama, no senior Clinton White House official was ever even charged with wrongdoing. Much less indicted. Much less convicted. In fact, the highest-ranking Clinton official to be convicted of wrongdoing in connection with his public duties was the chief of staff to the Agriculture Secretary. Betcha five bucks you can't even name the Clinton Agriculture Secretary in question, much less his chief of staff. Unlike Nixon (whose Watergate crimes were manifest), unlike Reagan (whose White House was corrupted by the Iran-Contra crimes), unlike Bush 41 (who pardoned White House aides and Cabinet officers before they could testify against him), Bill Clinton presided over the most ethical White House staff in decades.

... And yet George W. Bush campaigned on a pledge to "restore honor and decency to the Oval Office." He spoke of moms and dads on the campaign trail who showed him photos of their children and asked him to give them a president their kids could be proud of.

Now we learn that these Better People have turned the White House into a criminal enterprise. And that the purpose of that enterprise was to mislead the country into going to war. 2,000 Americans killed. 15,000 horribly wounded. $200 billion gone. And a Muslim world -- and a non-Muslim world, for that matter -- that hates our guts. Al Qaeda is recruiting terrorists faster than we can kill them. And there is no end in sight.

But thank God there were no blow jobs. They really are Better People.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The article that started the Plame Affair 

A huge piece fell into place last night when the NYT reported,

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 - I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

Here are some excerpts from a June 12, 2003 front-page Washington Post story mentioning Wilson's trip and findings,

A key component of President Bush's claim in his State of the Union address last January that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program -- its alleged attempt to buy uranium in Niger -- was disputed by a CIA-directed mission to the central African nation in early 2002, according to senior administration officials and a former government official. But the CIA did not pass on the detailed results of its investigation to the White House or other government agencies, the officials said.

... Armed with information purportedly showing that Iraqi officials had been seeking to buy uranium in Niger one or two years earlier, the CIA in early February 2002 dispatched a retired U.S. ambassador to the country to investigate the claims, according to the senior U.S. officials and the former government official, who is familiar with the event. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity and on condition that the name of the former ambassador not be disclosed.

During his trip, the CIA's envoy spoke with the president of Niger and other Niger officials mentioned as being involved in the Iraqi effort, some of whose signatures purportedly appeared on the documents.

After returning to the United States, the envoy reported to the CIA that the uranium-purchase story was false, the sources said. Among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong," the former U.S. government official said.

However, the CIA did not include details of the former ambassador's report and his identity as the source, which would have added to the credibility of his findings, in its intelligence reports that were shared with other government agencies. Instead, the CIA only said that Niger government officials had denied the attempted deal had taken place, a senior administration said.

This was at a time when slower Americans realized they had been lied to about Iraqi WMD.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Neat! (via Volokh Conspiracy)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

2/22: Never Forget! 

From a list of presidential assassination attempts published in The Atlantic this month,

Richard Nixon (February 22, 1974). Two years after the Secret Service first investigated him for threats against Nixon, Samuel Byck shot his way past security and boarded a commercial airplane in Baltimore, intending to hijack it and fly into the White House. When informed that wheel blocks prevented takeoff, Byck shot the pilot and co-pilot and then killed himself.

Then there was a later president's National Security Advisor who advised,

I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.
- Condoleezza Rice, May 16, 2002

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's all Michael Ledeen's fault 

With the aid of a former CIA officer Justin Raimondo ties together some threads at the base of the Plame Affair.

(I had another steak as a midnight snack, but my batteries in the camera were dead. Pretend you see a boneless T-bone, toast, raw carrots and strawberries).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

How to cook rat 

... in pictures.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Don't send flowers 


Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller; dear brother of the late Sonya (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the U.S. Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 a.m. at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Ziditshover section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Good Lord 

This is not the performance Bush wanted at this time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

America's biggest dick 

Brilliant (large QT video).

Clean teeth 

The heat just came on today; it was really cold so I stayed under the covers listening to talk radio and cleaning my teeth with a couple screwdrivers. Got a lot of plaque and "calc" off. Teeth are licking-smooth now.

PS: A new installment of Steve Don't Eat It is up.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

O'reilly O'Idiot 

A bizarre comment, full video here.

Another O'reilly gem here.

The thread supporting the right-wing lie machine is wearing thin ... not that it had any real substance ever, but ...

Another brouhaha over the Last Supper 

A new addition to my collection of Last Supper parodies,

Story here. Related posts here and here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Good stuff from my hown town paper 

Go to pharyngula

Monday, October 03, 2005

Disco MIDIs! 

Check them out. Recommended: Brick House, Disco Inferno ...

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