Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today's The Day...

...that the Rules & By Laws Committee meets to figure out what to do with Michagan and Florida's delegates. My wife looked at me this morning like I had a hole in my head when that was the first thing I said when I woke up this morning.

I need help...

Meanwhile, this is what will be waiting for the Committee outside their door.

(Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters)

T Minus 234/233 Days

"Actually I - this may sound a little West Texas to you, but I like it. When I'm talking about - when I'm talking about myself, and when he's talking about myself, all of us are talking about me."

- Hardball, May 31, 2000

Friday, May 30, 2008

MoveOn.Org New Ad: Identical Cousins

The Disgruntled Employee

Isn't it interesting that when someone makes charges against an employer, the immediate reaction from said employer is the "disgruntled employee" excuse?

Following the blowback from Scott McClellan's new book, in which (surprise, surprise) he is critical of the Bush administration and George W. Bush, all we heard from the White House is how it was all "disgruntled employee" claptrap and "That's not the Scott I knew." You're right. The Scott McClellan you knew would lie his motherfuckin' ass off for the Bushies, so yes, maybe this Scott was unrecognizable to you as a man whose conscience ate away at him until he had to come out with something a little closer to the truth than the standard Bush White House fare. I still have a problem believing that he "unknowingly" lied, but that's up for debate.

But for all those who still think, and I wouldn't have the first clue why, that the media has an obvious "liberal bias" comes the newest Disgruntled Employee of the Day: Jessica Yellin.

CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin said Thursday she was referring to her time spent at MSNBC when she said she felt pressure not to report stories critical of the Bush administration during the time leading up to the Iraq war.

During her CNN appearance, Yellin said the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives to make sure the war was presented "in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings."

The higher Bush's approval ratings, the more pressure she felt from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, she said. Pushed by [CNN's Anderson] Cooper to explain, Yellin said her bosses would turn down critical stories about the administration and try to put on positive pieces.

MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines... didn't dispute Yellin's claim that she did some Washington and Pentagon reports while there.

"She had little to no contact with editorial decision makers, and certainly was not a part of the editorial process on a daily basis," Gaines said. "Given how her story has changed so dramatically since her appearance on CNN - her current employer - less than 24 hours ago, we find it hard to believe that anyone would take this disgruntled former employee's comments seriously."

And how did her story change? She specified that it was MSNBC she was working for when she felt the pressure to report the favorable stories as opposed to being critical. Why are these people still trying to defend what we already know to be true? The media ginned up the drumbeat for war as much as the Bushies did. We all know this. Even that "liberal rag" the New York Times had Judith Miller marching in lockstep with the White House and their WMD claims. But is "disgruntled employee" Yellin telling the truth?

I think we can all remember the cancelled Phil Donohue show on MSNBC, the same time slot that Countdown with Keith Olbermann now fills.

The charges against MSNBC aren't new, however. A prime-time show with Phil Donahue received consistent pressure to present panels tilted in favor of the war, said Jeff Cohen, that program's former senior producer. Donahue's show was on for less than a year before being cancelled less than a month before the war began.
He once witnessed a producer scolded for organizing a discussion with pro- and anti-war sentiments presented equally, said Cohen, a liberal activist who wrote a book about his experiences with TV networks.

...From the other side of the podium, McClellan offered criticism of the media's performance. He said reporters were "complicit enablers" by covering the preparations for war instead of more aggressively questioning the need for it.

Finally, and although it comes five years too late, it's a start... coincidentally just in time for a Democratic president to be in a position to take over the Oval Office January 20th, 2009.

But it is far from over. The mainstream media is still caught in a rut of propping up instead of examining independently and letting the cream rise to the top. A perfect example is how the McCainstream Media handles the Maverick with kid gloves even though we know that Mr. Straight Talk Reformer has sided with the current pResident 95%-100% of the time in the last 18 months.

That's some agent of change, huh?

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald has more on Politico and their equating "critics" of the war to "left wing haters" but ties in the point of the push back on those claiming deferential treatment of the media towards the Bush Administration.
Politico reporter Mike Allen, formerly of The Washington Post and Time, appeared yesterday on the show of right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher. The two of them guffawed together at how absurd are Scott McCellan's claims that the media was "deferential" to the Bush administration and then Allen said this:

ALLEN: And indeed, Scott does adopt the vocabulary, rhetoric of the left wing haters. Can you believe it in here he says the White House press corps was too deferential to the administration?

We only believe it because it's true, Mr. Allen.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman Dead at 81

NY Times: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Korman, the tall, versatile comedian who won four Emmys for his outrageously funny contributions to “The Carol Burnett Show” and was seen to hilarious effect on the big screen in “Blazing Saddles,” died here on Thursday. He was 81.

Here he is with Tim Conway doing a great dentist sketch. Conway never failed in making Korman break up during practically every scene they did together.

McClellan Skewered For Telling Truth

By now, everyone has weighed in on the new McClellan tell-all on the Bushies' back rooms, but I think there are two trains of thought for Scotty's book.

1 - Now he tells us? And

2 - Maybe this will open the floodgates.

Either way, cracking the door open on a extremely secretive administration can only be a good thing. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. The White House has obviously come out with guns blazing in their attack on McClellan in response. But there is one former aide who came to his defense.

One former Bush aide... is sticking up for McClellan, arguing that the former Bush press secretary is "getting savaged for saying what everyone knows to be true."

Mike Turk served as the eCampaign director for President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign. As such, his tenure corresponded with that of McClellan's. No longer connected to the administration, Turk is now one of the few (if any) voices with connections to that crowd who are saying, quite simply, that the book "What Happened" is steeped in little more than truth.

Maybe he'll be the first on many.

Presidential Material

AP/Charles Dharapak
(H/T Dependable Renegade)

T Minus 236 Days

"This administration is doing everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end."

- Washington, DC, 2001

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

T Minus 237 Days

"So on behalf of the well-oiled unit of people who came together to serve something greater than themselves, congratulations."

- Addressing the University of Nebraska women's volleyball team, May 2001

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hillary The Victim

I haven't written very much because of my schedule lately, but I just read a Huffington Post item that I couldn't let pass.

I speak with fellow blogger Armadillo Joe and our habit of surfing around and comparing our findings of posts we read blaming everyone and everything - the media, misogyny, sexism - for Hillary Clinton's downfall, rather than where it should truly lie, her terrible campaign leaders and campaign strategy, GOP-style negative smear tactics and "insert both feet" gaffes that have wasted her name recognition status and cause over half of voters to find her untrustworthy, when once she was the odds-on favorite to win the party nomination for the presidency.

"How Dare You!" written by Jill Iscol is just another example in a long line of reasons that Hillary Clinton's campaign has failed time and again and why any good will towards her has diminished. Iscol's first few lines read like a parody. I was waiting for it to get funny and show it's sarcasm and irony, but that paragraph never came.

We need to talk. How dare the leadership of the Democratic Party turn on Hillary Clinton! How dare they betray Bill Clinton! How dare they not speak out when Hillary is disrespected by words like bitch, whore and the "c" word!

Really? Who called her a "whore" or a "cunt"? Did anyone from her own party talk about Hillary that way? Did Obama? The only one I remember calling Clinton "bitch" was Tina Fey on a Saturday Night Live skit, and it was "in a good way." Did that offend women or were they pumping their fists in agreement?

Iscol describes herself as a "Hillary supporter... along with millions of Democrats throughout our country" and is outraged at the treatment of her preferred candidate and that the Democratic leadership is not sticking up for her. What she doesn't mention is that, unlike millions of other Democrats throughout the country, she isn't just a supporter but a Campaign Finance Chair for Clinton. Not much disclosure there, huh? She goes on:

...This is not the party I thought I belonged to. ...That Party stood proudly by a president who many called the first black president because both he and his wife had demonstrated a lifelong commitment to civil rights and human rights.

That is until Bill Clinton compared Barack Obama's win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson's primary wins in 1984 and 1988, inferring that he won because of the black vote. And Geraldine Ferraro revealing herself to be a passive racist, the kind that live next door and smile to your face but peer out from behind their blinds to make sure you're not doing anything of which they'd disapprove. And Hillary Clinton's "hard-working Americans, white Americans" gaffe.

Women are outraged. We are still fighting for her, and we are ashamed of how our candidate, a woman who has devoted her adult life to serving others... has been treated not just by the media but by her own Democratic Party.
Yes, it's true women are outraged. But not just female Clinton supporters. How about the outrage of Obama supporters who happen to be women? Do they not count? Are they so vapid that they don't know what they're doing and therefore dismissed?

I said it once, I'll say it again and now I'm putting it in writing: Hillary Clinton is not losing/did not lose the Democratic nomination because of her gender, no matter how many times you may scream it at the top of your lungs. She lost because she was the hare, and thought she could take a break after February 5th, while Obama the tortoise looked at the whole race and didn't nap under a tree after Iowa.

And as far as the "treatment by her own Democratic party" is concerned, let's take a look at at how Hillary Clinton has treated "one of her own" in the Democratic Party, as well as her foot-in-mouth disease, and her thoughts on the Democratic process itself:

- your insistence that there have been widespread calls for you to end your campaign, when such calls had been few.

- your misspeaking about Martin Luther King's relative importance to the Civil Rights movement.

- your misspeaking about your under-fire landing in Bosnia.

- insisting Michigan's vote wouldn't count and then claiming those who would not count it were Un-Democratic.

- pledging to not campaign in Florida and thus disenfranchise voters there, and then claim those who stuck to those rules were as wrong as those who defended slavery or denied women the vote.

- the photos of Osama Bin Laden in an anti-Obama ad.

- fawning over the fairness of Fox News while they were still calling you a murderer.

- accepting Richard Mellon Scaife's endorsement and then laughing as you described his "deathbed conversion."

- quoting the electoral predictions of Boss Karl Rove.

- the 3 a.m. Phone Call commercial.

- President Clinton's disparaging comparison of the Obama candidacy to Jesse Jackson's.

- Geraldine Ferraro's national radio interview suggesting Obama would not still be in the race had he been a white man.

- the dozen changing metrics and the endless self-contradictions of your insistence that your nomination is mathematically probable rather than a statistical impossibility.

- your declaration of some primary states as counting and some as not.

- exploiting Jeremiah Wright in front of the editorial board of the lunatic-fringe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

- exploiting William Ayers in front of the debate on ABC.

- boasting of your "support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"...

- repeatedly praising Senator McCain at Senator Obama's expense, and your own expense, and the Democratic ticket's expense.

This Olbermann list doesn't even mention her comparison of the Democratic party process to the Republican one and how she claimed if we were playing by their rules, she'd be the nominee by now. For anyone still using that argument and the threat of not voting for Obama, the Democratic candidate, when he wins the nomination, I say, "Please review your party affiliation and re-register to vote as a Republican. We don't need your triangulating, Republican-lite kind around here."

But now, Senator Hillary Clinton, after shooting herself in the foot countless times, often with Mark Penn's finger on the trigger, takes the sawed-off shotgun and sticks it in her mouth on her own with her awful comment regarding the 1968 election and the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. When I first heard this secondhand, I thought surely there was some mistake. Did she actually use the word "assassinate"? And of course, I know that she doesn't want any harm to befall Barack Obama, but how brain dead or "sleep deprived" do you have to be to make such an idiotic comment?

I was still confused about her comment, not knowing what to make of it. Then I remembered a pundit on Countdown (I believe it was Howard Fineman) speaking of a previous Hillary comment ("Obama's not a Muslim.... as far as I know.") and saying that Clinton doesn't say anything without thinking about it. Wow. Could she be thinking, "Let me stick around... you never know what can happen... remember Bobby Kennedy?" Then Keith Olbermann set me straight.

The fact is that it doesn't matter what Clinton was thinking. In fact, it shows that if anything, she wasn't thinking when she made that comment, effectively ending, in my opinion, any possible shot of wresting away the nomination from Obama.

Comparing the media's treatment of Hillary to that of Obama's is a bad joke. How do you compare the Rev. Wright's six week debacle (where Obama renounces his Christian Pastor and there are still 11% of voters at this point who still think he is Muslim), questions of patriotism and lapel flag pins, the sham of the ABC debate, pundit after pundit during primary after primary trying to make it look like a horserace, asking why Obama can't "close the deal" when in fact they should be asking why the well-known Hillary couldn't "close the deal", how does Clinton compare that to anything the media has thrown at her?

Jill Iscol's delusion of how the Democratic party has "betrayed" Hillary Clinton is laughable when in fact it is Hillary that has, at almost every turn done or said practically anything to try and stop the Obama tidal wave from flooding her dingey of a campaign with a bailing bucket the size of a thimble. Any excuse save reality keeps these people grasping for something that they themselves have squandered.

Sydney Pollack Dead at 73

NY Times: LOS ANGELES — Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like “The Way We Were,” “Tootsie” and “Out of Africa” were among the most successful of the 1970s and ’80s, died Monday at home here. He was 73. The cause was cancer, said the publicist Leslee Dart, who spoke for his family.


I just stayed up to watch HBO Films' RECOUNT about the 2000 Presidential Election. The movie is riveting from the get go and immediately makes your blood boil... if you care about justice. And after it was over, I couldn't help the overwhelming feeling of sadness that took hold of me. How different our world would be these eight years later had it not been for a conflagration of the worst characters and worst decisions made in our nation's history.

I highly recommend it to anyone and will gladly make copies for those who don't have HBO.

For those of you who know about the unfortunate events of the 2000 Election, or think you know what happened but are unclear about certain facts, watch and learn.

T Minus 238 Days

"I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein."

- Washington, DC, May 25, 2004

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day


For a complete list of United States War Casualties, click here.