Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kansas, Bored of Education, Finds Comfort in Ancient Myths

The next step is to give astrology its equal chance in the classroom with those secular humanist heretical heliocentric theories of "astronomy." Anyone who really looks at the stars and realizes their majesty knows that they can't be uninterested in our chances in the next Kansas MegaSuperPowerball® Lottery ("ya gotta be innit to lose it!").

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sen. Kitten Killer can't ... Dr. Inside Trader so affronted he ..., or, What is it with right-wingers and their attachment to sentence fragments?


The following rant sounds like any right-wing rant on any right-wing blog, but remember when reading it that these are the published words of the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. You can click here to see the original rant on Bill Frist's blog, "Pack of Voles" (or its edited version, if he comes to his senses), but here's his whole post, without a single edit or addendum, as it appears this morning, Thursday November 3. The ellipses belong to the author, not to True Blue Liberal.
Embittered Democrats Sink To New Low
Author: Bill Frist, M.D.
November 2nd, 2005

Leave it to the Democrats to find old ways to sink to new lows ...

Today ... for the first time in more than 25 years ... Harry Reid - backed by a loyal following of obstructionist Democrats - invoked an obscure rule under which the Senate chamber can be ordered into closed session.

No vote is required.

One moment, we were talking about finally acting to get our deficit under control.

The next: closed doors. Zipped lips. No C-Span.

Everything secret.

Why did he do it - and why does it matter?

This was, at best, a political temper tantrum.

But more likely ... a feeble attempt to give purpose to a party with no agenda.

A tactic of the weak ... a tactic of a party with no convictions, no principles, no ideas.

Look ... it's no secret that Washington has been tense lately over numerous political issues, but this can be healthy.

To debate is democratic ... a sign of progress ... a means to a resolution.

What was done today is anything but ...

It was an affront to the Senate; it was an affront to the American people; and it was an affront to the principles of democracy.

This political stunt, in truth ... reinforced the difference between US and THEM.

We - Republicans - were elected by the American people to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD.

The Democrats are content just standing in our way.

So ...

When Harry Reid and his colleagues are done pouting behind closed doors, my door will be OPEN.

Open to talk about how we're going to secure our borders; open to talk about filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court; open to talking about ending wasteful Washington spending and restoring fiscal discipline to our government.

Open to DOING THE JOB THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED US TO DO.

Today's actions remind me of an old proverb:

"The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out."
This is the writing of a man who went to Princeton and Harvard? Besides the wingnut love of sentence fragments and CAPITAL LETTERS TO SHOW THAT HE'S REALLY REALLY AFFRONTED, please note what's missing. He never once mentions War, or Iraq, or Rove and Libby, or the White House Iraq Group, or the failures of the Intelligence Committee, or anything of substance. Harry Reid did not close the doors of the Senate for procedural reasons, or to flex his muscles. Harry Reid and the Democratic leadership were (finally) raising real questions about war and peace that affect every American. Maybe Dr. Bill should have listened to Harry Reid when the doors closed, rather than pitching public fits of pique.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Until further notice (or indictment), the phrase "Senior White House Advisor" should be globally replaced with the words "Karl Rove"


from The Washington Post, "Trial Could Pit Libby's Interests Against Bush's":
"A senior White House adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic, said the Bush team believes it dodged a bullet when Fitzgerald charged only Libby on Friday and then pointedly said in his news conference that the indictment should not be read as a condemnation of the war or its run-up."
Just once I'd love to see a sentence start with these words in the Post or the Times: "Karl Rove, speaking on the assumption that we would respect our 'promise' to protect his anonymity, ..." Is there ever anything that any anonymous senior advisors in any Administration (Republican or Democratic) reveals anonymously to their embedded media partners that isn't either a) a self-serving lie, or b) self-serving spin?
Just asking.
True Blue Liberal

crossposted from http://whiggate.org/

Friday, October 28, 2005

WHIG of the Week -- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby , Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney and the First Indicted WHIG on this First Day of Fitzmas


On the first day of Fitzmas, the grand jury gave to us ...
one Scooter on crutches
(why did Dick hobble him with a lead pipe?)

Isn't it bad enough that he was named after Phil Rizzuto and that this is his view in the mirror every morning, and then he has to make daily genuflections to the man who makes Mike Myers' fictional Dr. Evil look like Mother Teresa? If it weren't for the whole illegal invasion of Iraq thing, you might almost feel sorry for him.

Who's next?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"True Pretenses", or, the measured right-wing response to the call for Congressional inquiry into the actions of the White House Iraq Group

I haven't been able to find anything written on the Right about the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), and for good reason. No publicity about the Group can be good for the Right's arguments about war aims. This blog entry is the very first thing that I've found written anywhere on the Right side of the internets about the group that gave this blog its raison d'être.

First, of course, is the typical Rovian ad hominem attack on your attacker as shown in the title of this blog posting: Conservatives Are Always Right :: Socialist Anti-American Pansy Demands Inquiry into "WHIG". After more obligatory name-calling about the "Socialist, anti-American, pro-bin Laden pansy who is incapable of any kind of rational thought or comprehension" (a.k.a. Dennis Kucinich), Mr/Ms Conservativesarealwaysright quotes from the Wikipedia definition of WHIG for the benefit of his/her readers ("... One example of the WHIG's functions and influence is the "escalation of rhetoric about the danger that Iraq posed to the US, including the introduction of the term 'mushroom cloud'"), and dismisses attacks on the group with this gem:
"That's it. That's the problem: A group worked to drive support for the Iraq war based on true pretenses." [emphasis added]
To which I would add a helpful quote from Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10e):
pretense, or pretence \\ n (15c) 1: a claim made or implied; esp : one not supported by fact 2 a : mere ostentation : PRETENTIOUSNESS {confuse dignity with pomposity and ~ --Bennett Cerf} b : a pretentious act or assertion 3 : an inadequate or insincere attempt to attain a certain condition or quality 4 : professed rather than real intention or purpose : PRETEXT {was there under under false ~s} 5 : MAKE-BELIEVE, FICTION 6 : false show : SIMULATION {saw through his ~ of indifference}
Pretenses have never been truer than the pretenses of the White House Iraq Group.


crossposted from WHIGGATE UPDATE @whiggate.org

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

$100,000,000 spent for every American soldier killed in Iraq ...

.. and when you multiply a hundred million by 2,000, that starts adding up to real money.

The Use of The Presidential Seal in This Post Is Not Meant to Suggest Presidential Support or Endorsement of TBL

So this is what they were worried about when they should have been worried about finding the absolute best crony to sit in Sandra Day O'Connor's Supreme Court seat:

"Protecting the Presidential Seal. No Joke."
25 Oct 2005
New York Times:
'It has come to my attention that The Onion is using the presidential seal on its Web site,' Grant M. Dixton, associate counsel to the president, wrote to The Onion on Sept. 28. (At the time, Mr. Dixton's office was also helping Mr. Bush find a Supreme Court nominee; days later his boss, Harriet E. Miers, was nominated.)

Citing the United States Code, Mr. Dixton wrote that the seal 'is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement.'

Click the image to urge your Representative to co-sponsor the WHIG Resolution of Inquiry


Click the image to your right to send a message to your Representative about the Dennis Kucinich Resolution of Inquiry, or click these links to read more about the White House Iraq Group at afterdowningstreet.org or whiggate.org.

Please spread the word! Maybe even The New York Times will finally get the message that the White House Iraq Group is actually a news story, and that some of us actually still care about the fact that a war was started for base reasons with false information and is still being carried out in our names.



crossposted from WHIGGATE UPDATE @ whiggate.org

Friday, October 21, 2005

OK, Senator, it's probably good that I wouldn't be able to sue those poor harassed gunmakers if my family were gunned down with their legal product

but don't they still have the right to sue me? What am I supposed to do if the civil avenue of the courts is taken away? Respond to them in some UNcivil way? Why is this playing field now so uneven that corporations have unlimited power with no responsibilities for the crap they sell? Yet makers of poisoned cow flesh can sue Oprah Winfrey for slander and music billionaires feeding us Britney Spears can shamelessly sue high school downloaders. Wasn't there another system of government in which corporate control was the ultimate ideal? I can't remember the name (and I hate to use the F word), but I think they tried it in Italy and Germany in the first half of the last century.

Read this Bill "Kitten Killer" Frist blog entry about the successful GOP efforts to protect the gun industry from American courts and American citizens. And then read the "moderated" blog comments that, surprisingly, are all in complete and enthusiastic agreement with the sadistic vivisectionist. Try to add a comment of your own. Mine, for some strange reason, will not show up. All I wanted to know was whether Doc Frist had any good stock tips.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Source sez Judy was a WHIG || New York Daily News has better sources on WHIG than the New American Pravda (aka the NYT)

If you want to really find out what went wrong at the New York Times, don't waste your time reading 10,000-word apologias in The Grey Lady. The New York Daily News explains it all for you in one sentence at the end of a snappy little article in yesterday's paper:
Prez Iraq team fought to squelch war critics
BY JAMES GORDON MEEK and KENNETH R. BAZINET
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - It was called the White House Iraq Group and its job was to make the case that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and biochemical weapons.
So determined was the ring of top officials to win its argument that it morphed into a virtual hit squad that took aim at critics who questioned its claims, sources told the Daily News.
One of those critics was ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who debunked a key claim in a speech by President Bush that Iraq sought nuclear materials in Africa. His punishment was the media outing of his wife, CIA spy Valerie Plame, an affair that became a "side show" for the White House Iraq Group, the sources said.
The Plame leak is now the subject of a criminal probe that has seen presidential political guru Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, hauled before a grand jury.
Both men were members of the group, also known as WHIG. From late 2002 through mid 2003, it was locked in a feud with officials inside the CIA and State Department over claims Saddam tried to buy "yellow cake" uranium in Niger to build nukes, a former Bush administration and intelligence sources told The News.
"There were a number of occasions when White House officials or Vice President [Cheney's] staffers, or others, wanted to push the envelope on things," an ex-intelligence official said. "The agency would say, 'We just don't have the intelligence to substantiate that.'" When Wilson was sent by his wife to Africa to research the claims, he showed the documents claiming Saddam tried to buy the uranium were forgeries.
"People in the Iraq group then got very frustrated. It was a side show," said a source familiar with WHIG.
Besides Rove and Libby, the group included senior White House aides Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, James Wilkinson, Nicholas Calio, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley. WHIG also was doing more than just public relations, said a second former intel officer.
"They were funneling information to [New York Times reporter] Judy Miller. Judy was a charter member," the source said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, The Official Newspaper of the WHIGs masquerading as the bastion of "The Liberal Media" (and that will henceforth be known as the New American Pravda), still has yet to mention the words "White House Iraq Group" or "WHIG" (in its modern context) in its news pages. Only Frank Rich's column of last Sunday broke their embargo on the name of the group that controlled their pre-invasion coverage of mythical so-called "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (a combination of words for which you will find 7,865 Times articles, not that they're trying to scare anyone, or do the WHIG's dirty work).

Crossposted from WHIGGATE UPDATE @ whiggate.org

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Duggar Family insures the future of the Republican Party


And they will all vote.
I can't wait to try their copyrighted recipe for "Tator Tot Casserole", which looks like it might just be the whitest food ever dreamed up by Man or God or Sheeple.

UPDATE @ 2:35: Mark Morford has the final word on Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their sixteen children.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The "W" Word finally sees print in the Paper of Record

I've had no access to a computer or a phone for the last three days, so of course it was during this time that traffic on Whiggate Update decided to jump from an average of 5-6 to an average of 200-300 visitors a day, but more importantly, it was over this weekend that the "W" word finally received its first mention in the pages of the The New York Times. And, of course, by "W" word I don't mean Dubya (which, of course, begins with a "D"), I mean White House Iraq Group and its increasingly more well-known acronym, WHIG. Frank Rich's Sunday Opinion piece, "It's Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby" jumped at me when I opened The Week in Review section of yesterday's paper, with the WHIG word not only prominent in the text, but in the sidebar. It was everything that their boring front page coverage of "who told Judy Miller what when" was not. Without getting bogged down in the details that sap the life and drama from these crimes, Frank Rich brought us back to the bigger story of how this is not the story of bob novak and judy miller and matt cooper, no matter how fascinating I'm sure they find themselves. This is the story of a war planned in secret and sold with false "facts" and talking points to the American public and the world through a gullible embedded press corpse. It's interesting that the two people on the Times staff who most clearly and most regularly see through the lies of our Leaders in Washington are not the embedded reporters and editors who are privileged to be on a first name basis with Scooter and Karl, but an economics professor, Paul Krugman, and a theater critic, Frank Rich (both of whom are muzzled from the vast majority of internauts by this idiotic new Times Select filter, which blocks their columns from those of us who refuse to spend a cent on internet content-- but this important column is available at truthout.org).

Thank you Frank for uttering the magic words in the Times. I hope that thousands of lesser writers are shamed into following your lead.


crossposted from Whiggate Update @ whiggate.org

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Harold Pinter comments on Donald Rumsfeld's physiognomy (21 Jan 03)

There's no space here to give justice to one of his plays, but, given the general political slant of this blog, I thought it appropriate to reprint his speech before the House of Commons on January 21, 2003, two months before the beginning of the current American war.

One of the more nauseating images of the year 2002 is that of our Prime Minister kneeling in the church on Christmas Day praying for peace on earth and good will towards all men while simultaneously preparing to assist in the murder of thousands of totally innocent people in Iraq.

bluedon

I've been taken to task recently by the American Ambassador to Britain for calling the US Administration a blood thirsty wild animal. All I can say is: take a look at Donald Rumsfeld's face and the case is made.

I believe that not only is this contemplated act criminal, malevolent and barbaric, it also contains within itself a palpable joy in destruction. Power, as has often been remarked, is the great aphrodisiac, and so, it would seem, is the death of others.

The Americans have the ostensible support of the 'international community' through various sure-fire modes of intimidation; bullying, bribery, blackmail and bullshit. The 'international community' becomes a degraded entity bludgeoned into the service of a brutal military force out of control. The most despicable position is that of course of this country which pretends to stand shoulder to shoulder with its great ally while in fact being more of a whipped dog than anyone else. We are demeaned, undermined and dishonoured by our government's contemptible subservience to the United States.

The planned war can only bring about the collapse of what remains of the Iraqi infrastructure, widespread death, mutilation and disease, an estimated one million refugees and escalation of violence throughout the world, but it will still masquerade as a 'moral crusade', a 'just war', a war waged by 'freedom loving democracies', to bring 'democracy' to Iraq.

The stink of the hypocrisy is suffocating.

This is in reality a simple tale of invasion of sovereign territory, military occupation and control of oil.

We have a clear obligation, which is to resist.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

England's error was letting Bobby Sands keep his name

Do you remember this man from his hunger strike at Long Kesh prison in 1981 and the intense international media attention that it gained? If you don't, IRA member Bobby Sands was a "freedom fighter" to some (including many Americans) and a "terrorist" to others in an earlier "war on terror." He and nine of his fellow prisoners died as the result of their hunger strikes between May and August and they tilted international public opinion against their UK captors.













Now the shoe is on the other foot and it is people in the UK calling attention to those same tactics being used by political prisoners of the United States government.

You would never know from our media that there has been a hunger strike going on among hundreds of political prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for the last two months. Even if we did know the names and faces of these men being illegally held under unconstitutional detention procedures, would we care as much about their hunger strike as we did in 1981 about the strike of a man whose name sounded familiar to our ears and who looked much more like one of us? Will it take a death, or multiple deaths, before this current apathy ends?
Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Check out Blue Jersey dot net

Check out this newest addition to the True Blue Liberal sidebar:



Even if you're not lucky enough to live in the Garden State, please check it out. We have an important election going on this year. You don't have to wait until 2006 to take a whack at Bushism.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Look of (Prezdential) Love



Does he give all his cronies the same loving look when he appoints them to positions they're not quite qualified for?

(Click on either picture for more details)

True Blue Liberal is the first to cheer good news in the American economy when he sees it!


[...] At Ford, sales of the Explorer, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator fell more than 50 percent compared with the same month a year earlier. The company also built its last Excursion in the month, ending production of its largest S.U.V.
At G.M., sales of the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe fell more than 50 percent, while the GMC Yukon was down 46 percent and the Cadillac Escalade fell nearly 23 percent, with the supersize Escalade ESV falling 40 percent. Sales of the Hummer H2, made by G.M., fell 32 percent. [...]
There's nothing like a little Schadenfreude (and a train commute or a very small car) to start the day.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Is loyalty the worst of George W. Bush's Seven Deadly Virtues? Is this really the right time to appoint another crony?



The New York Times
website this morning was rerunning a profile that Elisabeth Bumiller wrote about Harriet Miers on November 20, 2004 when this unknown aide was appointed White House Counsel, "A Woman Of Low Profile In a Job High-Powered":
[...]''She's the kind of person you want in your corner when all the chips are being played,'' said one friend [and longtime crony and current war profiteer], Joseph M. Allbaugh, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. ''She will give the president advice unvarnished, and that's exactly what he wants.''
Ms. Miers, 59, currently serves as deputy chief of staff for policy and assistant to the president. She has rarely, if ever, talked to reporters since arriving in Washington in 2001, and she declined a request for an interview on Friday.
But her history, and comments from friends, suggest that she is the kind of woman, like Karen P. Hughes [crony & WHIG member] and Condoleezza Rice [WHIG & war criminal], whom Mr. Bush likes on his staff: tough, direct and intensely loyal. Her appointment reflects the president's determination to promote longtime members of his inner circle to critical positions for his second term. [...]
She may be a very nice person. The Washington Post is even reporting that she gave money to Al Gore's Presidential campaign in 1988, so maybe she's even [gasp] some sort of moderate. But can it really be that hard among all the legal talent in this country to find someone for our Supreme Court who has actual judicial experience? Isn't her experience as Governor Bush's Chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission the perfect example of cronyism? If there were a National Lottery Commission, wouldn't the job of Chairman be a perfect fit for Mike "Brownie" Brown or some other political hack? Weren't Lottery Commissions (and the ambassadorships to the Vatican and Monaco) created just to provide safe harmless havens for hacks and cronies and college roommates?
If the Senate doesn't turn around and say, "Give us a real candidate!" If it actually progresses to the point where there are hearings about Harriet Miers' qualifications for one of the most important positions in our government, I hope they ask about her official Presidential nickname and secret West Wing handshake. Bill Maher may have been joking when he asked if the president only knows three people, but does he know more than three dozen? And how about friends from Yale and Harvard rather than Texas and Oklahoma? Is he allowed, by Mister Cheney and his mother, to appoint anyone to an important position who hasn't sworn a blood oath to Barbara Bush's Bouncing Baby Billionaire Boyz club?
Loyalty will be finally be a sin (or at least a crime)
when this crowd finally leaves office,
True Blue Liberal

Friday, September 30, 2005

NYT - "House Votes for New Limits on Endangered Species Act" ; TBL-"Let's make greedy old white Goppers in suits an endangered species"


You realize, of course, that California Condors would only exist in pictures if this current crop of flag-bedecked Goppers (much worse than the vile Nixonians of my youth) were in charge of this nation in the sixties and seventies.
Click here for the details of their latest attempt to destroy one of the most important positive pieces of legislation ever enacted by Americans.

WHIG Cheerleader Judith Miller released from jail with promise to testify against her ex-teammates

Here's an excerpt of The ("Liberal") New York Times reporting on one of its own tonight:
[...]Ms. Miller was freed after spending more than 12 weeks in jail, during which she refused to cooperate with the [Plame leak] inquiry. Her decision to testify was made after she had obtained what she described as a waiver offered "voluntarily and personally" by a source who said she was no longer bound by any pledge of confidentiality she had made to him. Ms. Miller said the source had made clear that he genuinely wanted her to testify.
That source was I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff*, according to people who have been officially briefed on the case. Ms. Miller met with Mr. Libby on July 8, 2003, and talked with him by telephone later that week, they said. [...]
* "And [The New York Times did not add] Mr. Libby is of course a key member of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) that in August and September of 2002 used Judith Miller and this newspaper to lend credibility to their claims about nonexistent Iraqi "Weapons of Mass Destruction" as part of their creation of false rationales for war. Mr. Libby's boss, Richard "Dick" Cheney was then able to point to this New York Times reporting about "WMDs" to back up the story that the WHIGs were making up out of whole cloth. We sincerely apologize for our role in these crimes against humanity."

The simple combination of four words "White House Iraq Group" has yet to appear anywhere within the pages of the New York Times (at least as revealed by a search of nytimes.com). When the "Paper of Record" finally catches up with the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times and Newsday and CNN and Fox News and others and decides that the news about the White House Iraq Group is "Fit to Print", then WHIGGATE Update and True Blue Liberal will report that momentous event to you.

Crossposted from WHIGGATE Update at whiggate.org

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Can you find a better way to spend 65 dollars? ... a two-day course of enlightenment for less than the price of an SUV's tank of gasoline


I hate to brag, but here's the visual proof that my Sunday and Monday made up for the fact that I couldn't make it to Washington DC on Saturday.
What can you say about a football stadium, "The Birthplace of College Football" at Rutgers, being sold out and silent as the Dalai Lama talked informally and with great humor and seriousness about war, peace, compassion, attachment, and reconciliation to 36,000 new friends? It was a Sunday morning I'll never forget.
And Monday night? I expect that in a year or two ECM will release a record by Keith Jarrett called "Keith Jarrett Solo at Carnegie Hall" or, more likely, "The New York Concert" (to fit neatly with the solo improvisational concerts that made Köln, Vienna, and Paris famous) and you'll wish you were there in the sold-out hall too for his only US solo concert in the past decade, from the first note through the five encores. I've been to a lot of concerts since I first saw the Allman Brothers and Johnny Winter at the Spectrum in Philadelphia in 1971, and this one ... one man alone at an unamplified piano in Carnegie Hall for two and a half hours ... beat them all. Or maybe it was just that seeing the Dalai Lama the day before had opened my mind to fully accept this music on this night.
(Sorry if this post seems insufficiently engagé, but Bush and Cheney and Brownie and the rest of our gang in DC just seem so small and insignificant after brushes with spiritual and artistic greatness over the past two days. Some atrocity will get TBL back on the case of these petty greedy thin-skinned "men" soon, but right now I'm listening to Radiance, so excuse me if I don't give a shit.)

The GOP (rhymes with slop) wouldn't use hurricanes to further their right-wing agenda, would they?

Please spread the word about this current petition appeal from MoveOn.org about a Republican plan to fund Katrina & Rita relief by slashing almost a trillion from things like health care for the poor and elderly, student loans, Amtrak (hey, who needs trains when we've got unlimited gasoline and foolproof highway evacuation plans!?), even eliminating all funds for PBS (I guess Republicans don't like Bob Dylan documentaries, or Bert & Ernie's alternative lifestyle choice). God forbid they could fund vital government services by slowing their tax giveaways to corporate donors and their rich friends and relatives.

The proposal to use natural disasters as their cover for extending their attack on the last remnants of the New Deal and the Great Society comes from over 100 members of Congress, and we need to respond quickly to keep it from gaining momentum. I hope you'll sign MoveOn's petition, asking Congress to help rebuild the Gulf Coast by ending Republican tax cuts for the wealthy, not slashing important services. Feel free to add a note of your own to their petition telling these spokespeople for the rich and corporate interests of America that if they want to cut waste, then they can slash the fat from the Pentagon and start holding bake sales and country-music charity telethons for their B2® bombers, "Smart®-Brand" Missiles, "Bunker-Buster" Nuclear Bombs, and unnecessary wars.

Please sign here :
http://www.political.moveon.org/rebuild/:
and pass it on
!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

International Day of Peace


The aptly named Pax Romano gets the credit for pointing out that today is the International Day of Peace. I probably should have heard about it someplace else, but it's funny (or not so funny) how Peace doesn't get much play in our media.

Remember the moment of silence at noon today; save your lungpower for Saturday in DC.

Monday, September 19, 2005

"This is the Katrina Administration" - Senator John Kerry's Speech at Brown University


CLICK HERE for the full text of the speech that John Kerry will be giving at Brown University today. Here's a sample from the heart of the speech:
"[...] Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job - Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to “Mission Accomplished” and "Wanted Dead or Alive." The bottom line is simple: The "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.

This is the Katrina administration.

It has consistently squandered time, tax dollars, political capital, and even risked American lives on sideshow adventures: A war of choice in Iraq against someone who had nothing to do with 9/11; a full scale presidential assault on Social Security when everyone knows the real crisis is in health care - Medicare and Medicaid. And that's before you get to willful denial on global warming; avoidance on competitiveness; complicity in the loss and refusal of health care to millions.[...]"
I have one problem with this speech. Why can't he call himself a liberal? Why can't he draw the battle lines clearly and take a side, rather than conceding the center to the "conservatives"? It may be a small quibble, but it's my quibble. Hell, it's my raison d'être. True Blue LIBERAL

Friday, September 16, 2005

Does every Republican President have a trusty little fat man with a note-pad in his hand??

... President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The president say, ''Little fat man isn't it a shame
What the river has done to this poor cracker's land."

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
--Randy Newman, Louisiana 1927

blueboys
Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.
--9/15/05 New York Times article about Louisiana 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Proud American Presidents Standing Up and Taking Responsibility

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility"
-- The 43rd President of the United States comments on Hurricane Katrina, 13 September 2005

"To the extent that this axe contributed, along with gravity and age, to fell this cherry tree, I take responsibility."
-- Famous childhood saying of the 1st President of the United States

"The Portion of the Buck For Which the President is Responsible (which, in a Ownership Society of Entrepreneurship and Small Government and Local Control, is negligible) Stops Here"
-- Oval Office Desk Plaque of the 33rd President of the United States (as clarified by the current resident of that office)

The Pentagon learns important lessons from Iraq -- "Gee, we shoulda used nukes!"

The Washington Post article by Walter Pincus from Sunday, "Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan:Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons", should be read by everyone. When I read the way the Pentagon is cold-bloodedly reviewing cases in which nuclear weapons may actually be used, it makes me a little nostalgic for the era of Mutually Assured Destruction in which the unthinkable was still unthinkable.
[...] A "summary of changes" included in the draft identifies differences from the 1995 doctrine, and says the new document "revises the discussion of nuclear weapons use across the range of military operations."

The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations. [...]
Certain war criminals in the current administration are probably kicking themselves that they didn't just nuke a few "WMD bunkers" in and around Baghdad in March 2003. They would still be crowing about the way they prevented Saddam Hussein's imminent nuclear attacks on Jerusalem and London with their quick bold decisive action. With dangerously high levels of radiation in the glowing remains of the "Iraqi WMD bunkers," there would be no way to disprove their lies. A vast majority of the flag-waving American public would believe them, and though the rest of the world wouldn't, every other government would be scared to death to say anything to such proven madmen.

(this entry started its life as a comment on the subject over at Shakespeare's Sister, but I thought it deserved a post of its own here).

Monday, September 12, 2005

Washington sends in the Rapid Emergency Graffiti Reduction & Eradication Teams (REGRET) in advance of W's hurricane photo-op













This photo accompanied an article in yesterday's Washington Post.

The "Blame Game" continues and Karl Rove finds the real villain behind the tragedy of New Orleans in the National Archives -- FRANCE!


After careful scrutiny by Karl Rove and his staff, it seems that nowhere in this treaty for the Louisiana Purchase did those perfidious French henchmen working for the sneaky Napoléon fully disclose the tendency to flooding and hurricanes in New Orleans and the southern part of the Purchase, nor the tendency to tornados (now to be officially known as "French Twists") and flooding in the northerly reaches of the Mississippi.

The bombing of Paris begins in five minutes. See, the Bush Administration proves once again that there's no problem that can't be solved by a war (or by blaming our intellectual superiors).

Friday, September 09, 2005

What Goes Around Comes Around for Richard "Dick" Cheney -- Fun with Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature


Type "Go Fuck Yourself" into Google and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky". In the meantime, here's a pleasant picture of "Dick" out of his bunker and into his most compassionate mode to cheer up the good people of the Gulf Coast. True Blue Liberal

Hey, if they let just anyone in, their ProWar Pentagon FlagFest® might turn into a Peace March

"Tight Constraints on Pentagon's Freedom[sic] Walk:Event Remembering 9/11, Troops to Be Kept 'Sterile,' Limited to Preregistered"
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 9, 2005

{...}
Officers are prepared to arrest anyone who joins the march or concert without a credential and refuses to leave, said Park Police Chief Dwight E. Pettiford.
The event, the America Supports You Freedom[sic] Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks and a show of support for those serving in the military, topped off with a concert by country singer Clint Black, known for his pro-troops anthem, "Iraq and Roll." Organizers said they expect 3,000 to 10,000 participants.
Maybe we could all register before the deadline at 4:30 today under fake names (preferably Disneyesque or Arabic), although that's probably violating 4 or 5 provisions of the Patriot[sic] Act®.
Some military supporters have welcomed the event as a way to counter the antiwar movement and back the troops abroad. Antiwar groups say they are convinced that the event was orchestrated to boost the war effort and link the war to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- and to undercut an antiwar protest planned for Sept. 24.
One restricted group will be the media, whose members will not be allowed to walk along the march route. Reporters and cameras are restricted to three enclosed areas along the route but are not permitted to walk alongside participants walking from the Pentagon, across the Memorial Bridge to the Mall. [What, we can't embed Ted Koppell in the March!?!]
The Washington Post and other corporate entities initially signed on as co-sponsors. But critics from within the newspaper and from the antiwar movement said partnering with the Pentagon raised questions about objectivity, and three weeks ago The Post pulled its co-sponsorship.
If you signed up weeks ago in good faith to march and show your support for victims of 9/11/2001, please don't show up at this ProWar Pentagon FlagFest® that abuses their memory for the War Department's bellicose ends. Find some quiet way to remember the victims of terror and the "war on terror" on Sunday. Then show up on the Mall on September 24th instead, when participants and the press will not be turned away.
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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Honorary WHIG of the Week, Former FEMA Director (and current war profiteer) Joe Allbaugh

No, Joseph Allbaugh is not a known member of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), and he is not the honorary WHIG of the Week so we could run this picture and make the obligatory joke about his hairline being a disaster area (though he is living proof that looks don't count if you want to be counted in among the in crowd at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), or to point out the fact that his old boss obviously had a crush on him.

He and his college roommate and current FEMA chief Mike "Brownie" Brown are in the news this week because of the massive failures of FEMA in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but it's not even that connection that this blog is interested in, though it is the reason he came to our attention.

We're more struck by how he's just one more piece of the tight inbred nexus of war dreamers, planners, sellers, and profiteers who gave us the current quagmire in Iraq that will still be a disaster long after we're celebrating Fat Tuesday again in the Big Easy. Here's Josh Marshall writing in The Hill on October 1, 2003 (around the time we realized that the "Mission" was not quite as "Accomplished" as we had been told by the guy dressed up like a Naval Aviator for his aircraft carrier photo opportunity).
The Bush Crony Full-Employment Act of 2003=The Hill.com
[...] Remember Joe Allbaugh? He’s part of what they used to call President Bush’s Iron Triangle — Allbaugh, Hughes and Rove.
In chronological order, he was Bush’s chief of staff when Bush was governor of Texas, his campaign manager when he ran for president and his Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director after that.
So you could say they were pretty close.
A couple weeks before the beginning of the war, Allbaugh left his job at FEMA to get into the business of securing pricey Iraqi reconstruction contracts for high-flying clients.
Allbaugh’s new firm is called New Bridge Strategies. But it’s actually an outgrowth of Haley Barbour’s lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers. [...]
Haley Barbour, of course, is now the Governor of Katrina-ravaged Mississippi. Surely a coincidence, but a coincidence that would have some poetic justice if it weren't for the human lives lost and ruined.
Marshall's article goes on to talk about connections between Iraq War II profiteers and others with close WHIG connections like the Chalabi family and Pentagon Iraq Group (PIG) leader Doug Feith. The real reason for giving Allbaugh this honor on this dishonorable week for FEMA is because the membership in the White House Iraq Group may not be limited to those names in the few published accounts about the group. Why wouldn't the third leg of Bush's unattractive Iron Triangle be privy to the actions of the other leg, WHIG Hughes, and the hypotenuse, WHIG Rove? The fact that Allbaugh attempted to sell those connections to make a buck between the Tigris and Euphrates (when he should have been concentrating on the Mississippi) is probably not a crime in Bushite Corporate America®. But it probably should be.

Crossposted from Whiggate Update

TBL's question of the day. Would you rather live in a boring country or in the U.S.A. of 2005?

"I do not think anyone can possibly understand how
boring a general election in

the world's best country really is."
Flag-waving trolls occasionally ask TBL why he doesn't just move to Canada or France (their anonymity even allows them to offer to pay my airfare). Other than the fact that my family has been here since 1732 and I feel I have as much right to stay on these shores as anyone who isn't a descendant of Pocahantas and Geronimo and Sitting Bull, I also wonder if I don't just enjoy the grappling over real political issues. If I lived in a rational country like Norway, wouldn't I be driven to act like one of those happy characters in a Munch painting or an Ibsen play? Or maybe just drink a lot?

What's your take on boredom as an alternative to life in the U.S.A. (which, of course, famously bored The Clash, but that was during the Carter years).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Is mindless patriotism killing Americans in New Orleans?

"Offers of Aid Immediate, but U.S. Approval Delayed for Days"
from the Washington Post 7 September 2005:
Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars -- including a Swedish water purification system, a German cellular telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships -- have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department.
Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 90 countries and international organizations offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. [...]

I can understand the petrified Cold War brains of Cheney and Rumsfeld refusing to acknowledge Castro's offer of 1,100 Cuban physicians and hurricane experts, but why are they still blocking helpful Swedes and Germans and Canadians and Frenchmen and scores of others, a week and a half after the storm hit? Would they have delayed for one minute if any of these countries had volunteered in March 2003 to send men and military materiel as part of the "Coalition of the Willing® [to Destroy Iraq]"?? According to the Post article, fully-loaded planes have been sitting on runways around the world for four or five days, just waiting for an OK to deliver desperately-needed help.

This is a crime. This is not just bureaucratic red tape. This is not just the laziness of the vacationing junta. This is not just the incompetence of Bushy's beloved Brownie. This inability to accept outside help because of misguided macho nationalism or flag idolatry or mindless patriotism is murder.

You don't have to burn a flag, or spit on one,
but don't lend your hand to raise one above this ship of fools either,
unless it's light blue, with a white globe in its center
(you know, the flag John Bolton would burn),
True Blue Liberal

HurricaneHousing.org - Site sponsored by the NAACP and MoveOn.org being blocked?

According the Washington Post, this site is being widely blocked today by filters within the government. Click on the banner to see if it's blocked by your employer or internet provider:
Donate Housing :: Find Shelter
It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that this endeavor is a project of MoveOn.org and the NAACP, could it?
Just Asking,
True Blue Liberal

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Friday, September 02, 2005

La France offre son aide aux Etats-Unis, touchés par Katrina

Libération : La France offre son aide aux Etats-Unis, touchés par Katrina

WE ACCEPT! PLEASE SEND AID AND A NEW GOVERNMENT!

1/3rd of the Louisiana National Guard and even more of the Mississippi National Guard are fighting Bush's unnecessary war while their states suffer

So the protection of the "Homeland" is shown, like every other platitude from the Bushies, to be just so much, pardon my French, bullshit.
The Times makes the point in an article today that what's going on in New Orleans this week is a Man-Made Disaster - New York Times, 2 Sept 2005:
...one-third of the men and women of the Louisiana National Guard, and an even higher percentage of the Mississippi National Guard, were 7,000 miles away, fighting in Iraq. [...] One lasting lesson that has to be drawn from the Gulf Coast's misery is that from now on, the National Guard must be treated as America's most essential homeland security force, not as some kind of military piggy bank for the Pentagon to raid for long-term overseas missions. America clearly needs a larger active-duty Army. It just as clearly needs a homeland-based National Guard that's fully prepared and ready for any domestic emergency.
This blog has been relatively quiet, but I cannot describe how pissed I am this week. I cannot describe how sick I feel that my government will blithely spend hundreds of billions of my tax dollars (and tax dollars of our children) to destroy Baghdad because of a family oil feud betwixt the Bushies and the Husseins, and then will have the nerve to ask for volunteers and donations when it comes to repairing a great American city. How much vital American infrastructure (levees, bridges, roads, mass transit, shelters, alternative energy...) can be built, rebuilt, or maintained by the money being thrown down the fucking rathole that is the Pentagon? What if Donald Rumsfeld (to revive a slogan from the Vietnam years) had to hold a bake sale to build his unnecessary (except as phallus replacements) Cruise® Missiles (named after the movie star) and B-2© Bombers? What if he had to call upon the big hearts of the American people to help out in his crusade to transfer money to subsidiaries of Halliburton? Would you open your wallet to fund the Pentagon's worthwhile activities in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo or the next war in Iran or Syria? Of course you wouldn't. Would you?

Because the Bushies aren't comfortable with any problem that they can't solve with a gun, I have a real fear that they want this signature failure of their "leadership" to turn into a fight against "the looters," because "the looters" are less-than-human and can be dealt with in the way that these neo-Republicans feel most comfortable dealing with the lower classes. But try to imagine that you had lost everything you owned and hadn't had anything to eat or drink in days and were being given no aid or shelter or information or means of egress by your government. Would you have any hesitation in stealing food for yourself or your family? Would you be feeling more than a little anger at the authorities? Ask yourself if this anarchy is in anyone's political interest.

You know that Karl Rove & Karen Hughes are working hard at this moment to make sure that their understanding & caring boss will have a suitable folksy photo opportunity somewhere in the disaster area today or tomorrow to show how understanding & caring & kinder & gentler he really really is. But let's not forget the real story of this week when they try to shove their images down our throats. Remember that earlier this week their boss was on vacation and at political fundraisers and comparing his dirty little illegal war to World War II, and himself to FDR, while New Orleans sank.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Howell Raines summing up Katrina & our national "leadership" better than I could ever hope to ...

This blog has been a little quiet in the week of Katrina, but I have to quote at length from Howell Raines' "I'm just glad I saw it" in today's Guardian :
Every great disaster - the Blitz, 9/11, the tsunami - has a political dimension. The performance of George Bush during this past week has been outrageous. [...]
This president, who flew away on Monday to fundraisers in the west while the hurricane blew away entire towns in coastal Mississippi, is very much his father's son when it comes to the kinds of emergencies that used to call forth immediate White House action before its Bushite captivity. When he was president, his father did not visit Miami after Hurricane Andrew, nor for that matter, did he mind being photographed tooling his golf cart around Kennebunkport while American troops died in the first Iraq war. Now the younger Bush seems determined to show his successors how to holiday through an apocalypse. [...]
As for the Superdome refugees, it finally fell to the governor of Texas to announce that they could come to Houston's Astrodome. What other American president, one wonders, would fail to house these people in the decent barracks available at the closed and active military bases scattered throughout the South? The plain fact is that Jimmy Carter did a better job of housing the Mariel refugees from Cuba than Bush has done with the citizens of New Orleans.
The populism of Huey Long was financially corrupt, but when it came to the welfare of people, it was caring. The church-going cultural populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration that worries about the house of Saud and the welfare of oil companies while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die on foreign deserts.
PLEASE read the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Too bad they didn't go with the name "Operation Iraqi Liberation" , then they could have saved space by simply chiselling O.I.L. into these headstones

"Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans"
By DAVID PACE, Associated Press Writer (via Yahoo News)
Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.
Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names.
The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served.
Thanks to AntiChimp for pointing out this outrage.

Two quotations of the day on the concept of "Blood Debt"

[...]Politically, mobilization for total war entailed military domination of domestic as well as international policy. [...] Once the war machine had been put in motion, and a "blood debt" to the war dead established, it was inconceivable not to support the emperor's loyal troops.
[...]
Despite the deepening quagmire of occupation and empire, Japanese leaders and followers alike soldiered on -- driven by patriotic ardor and a pitiful fatalism. It was only afterwards, in the wake of defeat, that pundits and politicians and ordinary people stepped back to ask: How could we have been so deceived?"

[...]For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.
"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."
What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself. [...]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

That's real "Christian" of you Pat. I think political assassination is exactly the tool that Jesus would have used in this situation.

"Televangelist Calls for Venezuelan President's Assassination"
- New York Times, 23 Aug 05:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming ''a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.''

''We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,'' Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's ''The 700 Club.''

Is there anything clever that can be added to this other than "Fuck You Pat, You Make Me Ashamed To Have Been Raised A Christian And An American"? Fuck You Very Much!


Transcript & Video available here at MediaMatters.org.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Photographic proof that George coulda won that Tour de France thingie


Here's the picture on the front page of The White House website this morning.
I love the way our athletic Vacationer- in- Chief has a half-wheel lead on the 7-time Tour de France winner, showing that Lance Armstrong is following the same groundrules given to the embedded reporters who are allowed to ride with the President, or that our Fearless Leader missed his true calling in life -- to become a bicycle racer!

Would you buy a used war from this man?


CNN.com -
"Bush plans bid to rally Iraq support" -
Aug 22, 2005:
President Bush will launch a new round of speeches to rally support for the war in Iraq, advisers said Sunday, as protesters camped outside Bush's Texas home and polls showed weaker support for the two-year conflict.

Senior aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of long wars like World War II, which U.S. forces fought from 1941 to 1945.

They said the president also will invoke the September 11, 2001, attacks, arguing once again that the insurgents battling American troops in Iraq share the same ideology.....

I wonder if this publicity tour will be as convincing as his Raping Social Security tour? Maybe he'd be better off taking a permanent vacation in Texas.

Friday, August 19, 2005

September 24 could be a very important day in the history of the American peace movement

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I was glad to get this e-mail in my mailbox this evening:

ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545 | Click to subscribe

Statement about a joint rally and joint march for September 24

The two major antiwar coalitions that have initiated and organized for a massive anti-war March on Washington for September 24 have agreed to organize a joint rally followed by a joint march. Both coalitions will organize under their own banners, slogans, and with their own literature for the September 24 demonstration. The joint rally will begin at 11:30 am at the Ellipse in the front of the White House. We urge everyone around the country to unite and come out for the largest possible anti-war demonstration on September 24.

Signed by:

United for Peace and Justice

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
(on behalf of the September 24 National Coalition)


There were worries that the two competing groups would divide the crowd and dilute the anti-war message. The fact that they have joined forces is very good news indeed.
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Even if you can't make it yourself, you can help them spread the word on your blogs and webpages and emails. There are banners here. Please consider adding one to your sidebar for the next month.
Thanks,
TBL

WHIG of the Week -- Andrew H. Card, Jr. , White House Chief of Staff and Product Marketing Expert


Andrew H. "Andy" Card, Jr., automobile industry lobbyist turned chief assistant to the CEO of BUSHCHENEYCo, Inc. (click for official bio here), could very well be remembered in the history texts and quotation anthologies of our future (assuming, optimists that we are, that we have a future) for two things: 1) the interruption of his boss's reading of My Pet Goat pictured to the right, and 2) the fact that he said to Elizabeth Bumiller of the New York Times that "you don't introduce new products in August." That quote certainly seems relevant to the Whiggate Update blog, which is getting a slow start in its first summer month of operation, but still planning to get the term "Whiggate" injected into the political dialogue of the nation in September. The article that included Andy Card's famous nugget of marketing wisdom is also a good recap of the way the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) worked in July and August of 2002 to implement the objectives of the Downing Street Memo (DSM) in the cynical runup to September 11 and 12. Though WHIG wasn't mentioned by name in this front page article (the mention of the group still has yet to make its first appearance in the Times!), three of its other prominent members are mentioned (Rove, Hughes, and Rice) in this early report on the most cynical product launch of the 21st century.

Click here for the full text on SF Indymedia for free, or here if you want to pay to read the whole thing for a fee from the New York Times, or just keep scrolling down if you want to read a lenghy block from this key reference:
"BUSH AIDES SET STRATEGY TO SELL POLICY ON IRAQ
Saturday, September 7, 2002 Pg. A1, A6

By Elizabeth Bumiller

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 – White House officials said today that the administration was following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.

The rollout of the strategy this week, they said, was planned long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas last month. It as not hastily concocted, they insisted, after some prominent Republicans began to raise doubts about moving against Mr. Hussein and administration officials made contradictory statements about the need for weapons inspectors in Iraq.

The White House decided, they said, that even with the appearance of disarray it was still more advantageous to wait until after Labor Day to launch their plan.

“From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, “you don’t introduce new products in August.”

A centerpiece of the strategy, White House officials said, is to use Mr. Bush’s speech on Sept. 11 to help move Americans toward support of action against Iraq, which could come early next year.

“Everybody felt that was a moment that Americans wanted to hear from him,” said Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political advisor. Sept. 11 will also be a time, Mr. Rove said, “to seize the moment to make clear what lies ahead.”

Toward that end, in June the White House picked Ellis Island in New York Harbor, not Governors Island, as the place where President Bush is to deliver his Sept. 11 address to the nation. Both spots were considered, White House advisors said, but the television camera angles were more spectacular from Ellis Island, where the Statue of Liberty will be seen aglow behind Mr. Bush.

“We had made a decision to that this would be a compelling story either place,” said Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. “We sent a team out to go look and they said, ‘This is a better shot,’ and we said O.K.”

In the same way, Mr. Bush’s Sept. 11 remarks, about 10 minutes in length, are to serve as the emotional precursor for a tougher speech about Iraq that the president is to deliver to the United Nations General Assembly the following day.
[***]
White House officials said they began planning more intensively for the Iraq rollout in July, even as Mr. Bush was busy responding to the summer’s corporate scandals. Advisors consulted the Congressional calendar to figure out the best time for Iraq hearings while Ms. Hughes, even as she was driving back to Texas, discussed with Mr. Bush the outlines of his Sept. 11 speech.

By August, with Congress out of town and the United Nations not convening until September, White House officials decided to wait out the month, even as final planning continued by phone between advisors in Washington and at Mr. Bush’s ranch in Texas.

“There was a deliberate sense that this was not the time to engage in his process,” Mr. Rove said. “The thought was in August the president is sort of on vacation.” [...]

"Sort of" like now, and every other August of his pampered life. Let's hope they don't have any new products planned for rollout in two weeks.

crossposted from WHIGGATE UPDATE (whiggate.org)