s skippy the bush kangaroo: March 2004

skippy the bush kangaroo



Wednesday, March 31, 2004

say hello

to mr. brendan's big blog.
posted by skippy at 11:50 PM | 2 comments

i'll have a decaf latte venti, and donald rumsfeld's phone number, please

thanks to jj of cookies in heaven, we find this washpost story about the administration flunky who accidentally left his notes and phone log from his office at the defense department on a table at a dc starbucks:

did you hear the one about the guy at starbucks? no? okay. a guy walks into the starbucks at connecticut avenue and r street nw on sunday to get his favorite latte, and sits down at a table.

on the table, he spots four pieces of paper. one is stationery with the heading "office of the secretary of defense," and right under that "the special assistant."

it has a penciled map of directions from the pentagon to defense secretary donald h. rumsfeld's house in northwest washington. another sheet says, "eric's telephone log." someone has written "conf. call" at the top and some notes, some in partial shorthand, on one side. these apparently were taken by eric…

our good citizen, no dummy he, concluded these were significant papers and should be turned over to the appropriate people. so that would be the pentagon or the white house?

oh, no. he turned them over to none other than that most left-leaning think tank, center for american progress, headed by none other than former clinton chief of staff john d. podesta.
you can download these papers for your own perusal at cap's website.
posted by skippy at 4:09 PM | 0 comments

air america awol for three hours in los angeles - a skippy rant

we pretty much ran all over blogtopia (y!wctp!) this morning announcing that air america radio was not airing in los angeles at 9 am real time, which would have been simultaneous (what we in the media call "live") with the 12 noon airing on the east coast.

as two spanish dj's introducing "funky town" and "hotel california" graced our los angeles radio at 1580 am, we listened to the live feed coming out of san francisco's kabl. our opinion of al's debut comes a bit later.

however, later in the day, we tuned the radio into the los angeles affiliate kbla at shortly after 12:30 pm. and what did we hear? a taped delay of the o'franken factor, pretty much the exact same thing we heard a few hours earlier.

now, this is troubling. los angeles has got to be the second biggest market in the air america radio network, yet the shows are coming to us three hours after the fact. we don't need to point out that this is going to be very bad for any radio call-in listener interactive format that they would want to promote.

we don't know who is in charge of scheduling, but we can assure you that if we can't get to an internet connection to hear air america radio live, we probably won't be tuning in. the three hour tape delay, along with kbla's poor signal that we can barely pick up on our boom box, makes it hardly worth our while. it makes no sense how san francisco, in the same time zone as los angeles, can carry the feed live, but the los angeles radio cannot. it made us want to listen to "hotel california" in spanish.

now, as to the show: let's be frank(en). his co-host katherine lanpher is definately solid, a great radio presence, and she was able to be simultaneously a straight (wo)man, an interviewer, an anti-dote to dead air, and audience at the same time. we don't have the specifics in front of us, but we understand she has worked on the radio for many years. it's obvious, and franken did good by getting her on his show.

al, on the other hand, is a bit of a problem. rather rambling, not too focused, and not really sharp. if you think about the times on television when franken has been brilliant, it was usually when dave letterman or howard stern could be his straightman/co-hort in humor. al hasn't really honed his radio personality yet, where pace is one of the three main things a show needs on radio, and we don't remember what the other two are.

he had great guests: bob kerrey, currently on the 911 commission, and michael moore. and he had calls of good wishes from rightists ben stein and g. gordon liddy, who both showed a graciousness and courtesy for their competition (al) that made us long for the days when repubbbs were adults. plus a fine segment from wally ballou of bob and ray, interviewing robert smigel as a foreigner. however, a dead-on sounding imitator of annthrax coulter was pretty wasted with a joke that we not only saw coming a mile away, it phoned in from the airport for a ride home.

however, we are, as readers of this space know, huge fans of randi rhodes, and her show, which follows franken's, is what liberal radio is all about. she is erudite, focused, ready to get ideas out (al needs either lots of time to get a point across, or else a script ) and passionate. she railed on guest ralph nader, who hung up on her. we think she probably just expressed the feelings that a lot of lefty's have.

we are willing to give air america radio time to find it's way. we are looking forward to janeane garafalo's show tonight, with kos, atrios and julia. but if there's a three hour tape delay, we are not really excited about it. if we can't call in and remind america that we coined the phrase blogtopia, what good is it?


cross-posted on the american street and our daily kos diary.
posted by skippy at 3:13 PM | 0 comments

sliding poll numbers not awol for awol

instead of obsessing over the day to day fluctuations of kerry v. awol, we take reader bruce webb's lead and just look at radiofreemonkey's awol approval ratings for his entire three years in office thus far.
posted by skippy at 11:11 AM | 1 comments

violence still not awol in iraq; 9 killed, bodies mutilated

in one of the worst days of violence since we won the war, 9 americans (five soldiers and four contractors) were killed in separate incidents today in iraq, says the voa news:

crowds of iraqis demonstrate in fallujah after the bodies of several foreign contractors were burned beyond recognition. this, after their vehicles were attacked and burned in the town, which has been a stronghold of opposition to the u.s.-led military occupation. at least two burned corpses were later seen hanging from a nearby bridge…

further north, five american soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their armored personnel carrier. in washington, a white house spokesman called the attacks a horrible attempt to intimidate efforts to restore order to iraq, but vowed those attempts will not succeed.

the violence came just two days after a united nations official warned the ongoing violence risks jeopardizing iraqi elections which are supposed to take place by early next year.
the australian gives us the details on the attack in fallujah, which are particularly gory:

furious iraqis hacked up the charred bodies of two people, believed to be foreign civilians, and hung the remains from a bridge after their car was ambushed wednesday, saying fallujah would be the "cemetery" of us-led occupation forces.

"down with the occupation, down with america," they shouted as they hurled rocks at the bodies, one of them headless, that dangled from the bridge over the euphrates river, an afp correspondent witnessed.

the bodies were then taken down and placed on the ground for people to kick them and slash with knives.

young men also strung a severed hand and a leg on an electricity pole on the main street of fallujah, west of baghdad, where the attack took place early wednesday.

four policemen in a car who were near the bridge at the time were seen leaving the scene without intervening.
posted by skippy at 11:08 AM | 0 comments

air america awol from los angeles

we have no official confirmation as to why this is (not) happening, but the much-touted air america radio network is a no-show in the los angeles area.

as of 9:20 am, station kbla 1580 am, is still playing spanish language programming. unless al franken is bi-lingual, there is a serious glitch in this network.

luckily we can still hear air america radio on the live feed internet here.

update: thanks to riba rambles, here is a listing of the live streaming audio for each individual affiliate for air america radio. we listened to former senator bob kerrey, of the 911 commission, as al franken's first guest on the live stream of kabl 960 in portland!
posted by skippy at 9:22 AM | 0 comments

political animal not awol with corroboration for clarke

the blogger formerly known as calpundit (yes! we coined that phrase, too!) has a whole list of other people who agree with richard clarke's assesment of awol's disinterest in al qaeda before it became a re-election tool (including the administration's own memo).
posted by skippy at 12:04 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

polls about awol may lead you awol from ultimate result

worried about those recent stories showing awol's numbers climbing in certain polls? don't be.

swopa, writing on needlenose, quotes a ron brownstein story from the latimes which points out the obvious: awol is stil hovering at about 50%, which, for an incumbent, is certain death (ok, we're paraphrasing):

in every reelection attempt by a president since the gallup organization inc. developed modern polling techniques, the incumbent's job approval rating — a crystallization of americans' attitudes about the country's direction — has been perhaps the single most important variable in the outcome.
since the mid-1950s, every incumbent with an approval rating comfortably above 50% in the election year has easily won a second term: dwight d. eisenhower in 1956, lyndon b. johnson in 1964, richard m. nixon in 1972, reagan in 1984 and clinton in 1996.

those races also showed remarkable stability, with the incumbent moving out to a lead early in gallup polls and generally maintaining it.

more volatility was evident in the reelection campaigns of gerald ford in 1976, carter in 1980 and george h.w. bush in 1992, all of whom lost. approval ratings for each fell below 50% in the months before the elections. and polling found voters ricocheting between their qualms about the challenger and dissatisfaction with the incumbent.
[ed. note: emphasis swopa's]

as we have often maintained, even with the national media on his side, virtually unlimited funds, a cadre of thugs with a penchant for silencing dissenters, and the flag wrapped firmly around his a**, awol can still only manage 50% or so.

think of where he'd be with a level playing field.

he's toast.
posted by skippy at 4:19 PM | 0 comments

rice and white house make skippy's new poll awol to relevancy

now, we're not saying we had anything to do with it, but...

the day after we set up a new poll asking if condoleeza rice should testify before the 911 commission, the white house does the one flip flop we like to hear, and announces that dr. rice (and her uncle ben) will indeed testify publicly, and under oath, too!

however, there is a condition (and we're not talking about awol's skin blotches): the
atjoucon
tells us:

the decision was conditioned on the bush administration receiving assurances in writing from the commission that such a step does not set a precedent and that the commission does not request "additional public testimony from any white house official, including dr. rice,'' white house counsel alberto gonzales said in a letter to the panel.


well, one hand, they apparently don't have a dictionary handy, because once you do something the first time, that's the very definition of "precedent."

on the other hand, this administration is never one to worry about precedents.
posted by skippy at 12:29 PM | 0 comments

liberal thought no longer awol on the radio

if you're reading our blog, we're sure you're aware that the new liberal radio network air america radio will debut on your airwaves tomorrow at noon eastern, nine am real time, with the ready-for-lawsuit-time players starring al franken in the o'franken factor.

our good buddy julia of sysiphus shrugged has informed us that she will be a sooner-than-later guest on janeane garafalo's show, the majority report, as well as our other favorites kos, atrios and bill scher of liberal oasis.

julia also posted the entire schedule of air america radio on her blog as well as the american street, along with the list of which stations in which cities will be carrying the shows. but if you're stuck deep in the heart of a red state, don't despair! you can hear the fun on xm satellite radio, or on the live feed on their website (although as of this writing, we couldn't find where on the website that would be possible).

we are, of course, looking forward to hearing franken, garafalo, the lovely lizz winstead (originator of the daily show) and chuck d. but we are especially thrilled that air america scored the tenacious and erudite randi rhodes (whom we have been championing to get her own national program since we began blogging).

randi is a pro at radio talk, and unlike a drug addict we could name, actually takes calls from the opposition to debate with them (and she actually destroys them by arguing their points, not by hitting the mute button).

be sure to tune in! here in los angeles we'll be listening to kbla - 1580 am, and in new york it's wlib - 1190 am.

this ain't no game of paintball.

update: as of 9:13 am in los angeles, kbla is still playing spanish programming. no franken, unless he's bilingual.
posted by skippy at 12:08 PM | 0 comments

house of saud finds an oasis

a liberal oasis, that is! bill scher, editor of the lo, interviews craig unger (felix's nephew), author of "house of bush, house of saud." an excerpt:

never before in history has a president of the united states -- and i’m really referring to both president bushes -- has had such a close relationship with another foreign power.

never have they had personal and financial relationships and their public policies so deeply tied to another foreign power.
and the saudis, of course, are not a western democracy. it’s an islamic theocracy. and they’ve played a huge role in the development of terror.

so, i think there’s a piece of logic that has been missing from the american conversation about this…i think a strong case can be made that without the saudis, there is no 9/11.

it’s not just that 15 out of 19 hijackers were saudi. the infrastructure of al qaeda, it’s funding, was developed in many ways by saudis.

that raises the question of: if you’re in bed with the saudis, how can you fight a real war on terrorism?
posted by skippy at 12:09 AM | 0 comments

judge withdraws from gay marriage (write your own joke)

mainly because we're so used to writing 'awol' jokes, we can't quite get the hang of clever headlines again.

be that as it may (and it may be as that), the new mexico judge has recused himself from hearing the case in which the restraining order prohibiting the sandoval county clerk from issuing gay marriage licenses will expire. and if the structure of that sentense seems obtuse to you, think about the poor guy that had to write it! the sfchron says:

the judge who issued a court order barring a county clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses withdrew from the case monday, possibly clearing the way for more permits to be granted.

judge kenneth brown offered no reason for recusing himself. on march 23, he'd issued a temporary restraining order against sandoval county clerk victoria dunlap.

a hearing on the restraining order had been set for friday -- the day the order expires. the hearing will now be postponed until a new judge is chosen.

dunlap said she'd resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples "if we're not barred by the court."
meanwhile, on the other side of the country, 2 same-sex couples were wed in new york, in an admitted act of "civil disobedience." the asspress sez:

a unitarian universalist minister married two same-sex couples saturday in the state capital, adding to dozens of gay marriages performed in the state in recent weeks.

the rev. samuel trumbore described the weddings as civil ceremonies, a distinction a new york prosecutor considers illegal.

"today was an act of civil disobedience to try to advance their cause to recognize their marriages as legal," trumbore said.
posted by skippy at 12:08 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 29, 2004

note to moveon.org: you can't spell progressive without "e-g-o" - a skippy rant

let us preface this post with the caveat that we are long-time moveon.org supporters. readers of this space will know we actively promote every action alert and news piece that fine progressive organization puts out.

we also have contributed money, and have urged everyone else to do so, too. so, please read the following as if it were a good friend saying something that only a really good friend would have the compassion to say. a lefty intervention, if you will:

we got an email from moveon.org today promoting their new book moveon’s 50 ways to love your country: how to find your political voice and become a catalyst for change (which we had already promoted in an oblique yet clever-as-a-kangaroo manner here).

but our complaint with the email was the heading, and the thrust of the missive: take the moveon book to #1.

the gang at moveon asked us to order the book from amazon, so it could move up the best seller list, from the current (as of this afternoon) #2 spot all the way to #1!

our problem with that was, at the time we received the email, the #1 book was richard clarke's against all enemies.

it seemed to us at the time (and still seems to us, even though, indeed, the moveon book is now #1) that there was a tiny bit of hubris at work here. begging people to make moveon's tome #1, thus pushing clarke's book out of the top spot, would only be for bragging rights. and what good is bragging that you're better than another person on your own team?

in our opinion, while the moveon book is chock full of good info and inspriration, at this moment in our history, we should all be thankful that richard clarke has the guts to stand up to awol and his posse. it's very important, at least just as important, that clarke's story get out to the american people as much as moveon's volume of good citizenship ideas.

we're all on the same side here. perhaps this is a molehill of badly worded press releases that has spurred us on to pulling out our mountain-scaling gear. but still, we were bothered by moveon's insistance that we buy their book so they could displace the most important witness to the 911 commission, if not the most important voice of dissent in the past three years.

ok, if it was sean hannity or bill o'reilly's book, we would have pulled the credit card out immediately. but now, we have to be candid, the next time a moveon email graces our inbox asking us for more money, we'll take it with a grain of salt, and wonder if there isn't some other, less egotistical, progressive website that could use our cash.

let's not eat our own. let's be happy that there are a plethora of leftist voices now being heard. let's not insist that our voice be the loudest. you don't see us going to everyone's blog, begging for hits so we can displace the kos, do you?

focus, folks. bragging rights are pretty insignificant compared to what's at stake in seven months.


cross-posted on the american street and our daily kos diary .
posted by skippy at 9:54 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the white house props department.
posted by skippy at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

protesters not awol at rove's house

lefty's everywhere might want to take note:

the national peoples' action, a group dedicated to support of immigrant rights, today held a demonstration outside of karl rove's house in washdc. cnn tells us:

hundreds rallied sunday outside the home of karl rove, president bush's chief political adviser, urging legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from high school to legalize their status and qualify for in-state college tuition.

protesters stood outside rove's washington house to show their support for the development, relief and education for alien minors act, or the dream act…

"if president bush wants our [re-election] vote, he has to give us the dream," said emira palacios, the group's co-chair.
that's an idea! why don't we all protest outside of awol's house? oh yeah, that's right, it's our house!

(thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to the gang at cookies from heaven, makers of the best cookies in blogtopia! yes! we coined that phrase, and we tasted their cookies, too! they are great!)

posted by skippy at 3:51 PM | 0 comments

note to britt hume: doctor, get over thyself!

thanks to atrios (lovely pic of him on the kos, by the by), we find that britt hume is once again waxing condescending.

when discussing the bad taste awol showed by making fun of the lies he used to send almost 600 americans to their death in iraq, britt thought it basically came down to this:

and in america today, if your sensibilities are offended by something that has happened, you get an enormous amount of credibility and are taken very seriously.

my own view of this is, the president's there poking fun at himself over what goes down, i think, as one of his failures. and i thought it was a good-natured performance, and it made him look good only in the sense that it showed he could poke fun at himself. but he certainly doesn't disguise the record on weapons of mass destruction.

and you have to feel like saying to people, "just get over it."
gee, if this makes you a bit miffed, why not email foxnews and let them know how unfeeling and tasteless britt hume is to suggest that the families of almost 600 americans who died on a snipe hunt in iraq just get over it? here's another email address to britt.

meanwhile, here's blah3's take on awol's joke. very very good.
posted by skippy at 12:31 PM | 0 comments

what would scooby doo?

mel gibson's christ seems to be finally running out of passion. the film was beat out of the number one spot for the second week in a row. this time, our lord and saviour was not only less popular than a cgi talking (albeit with a terrible speech impediment) ghost-chasing dog, but also a band of thieves plotting to kill a church going lady. irony, anyone?

mtv, our source for all things christ, tells us:

"scooby-doo 2: monsters unleashed," fell $20 million short of the opening-weekend numbers put up by its 2002 predecessor, but still managed to squirrel away an estimated $30.7 million to debut at #1...the film had enough bite to shut out the latest tom hanks flick, "the ladykillers." the coen brothers' ("fargo") remake of a 1955 bank-heist comedy earned second place with $13 million...

mel gibson's "the passion of the christ" lost another 35 percent of its audience, but continued to put up strong numbers, slipping a notch to #3 on $12.5 million, bringing its to-date total above $315 million. the film will open in another 500 theaters this weekend in anticipation of the easter holiday.
posted by skippy at 12:18 PM | 0 comments

awol headlines now semi-awol

we'd like to thank everyone who voted in our poll for the past two weeks, to help us decide whether or not to keep the "all awol all the time" format.

as you may remember, the first week the results got lost by pollhost, so we were forced to run it an unprecedented second week. never in all the three weeks since we had been running polls had we maintained one for two weeks in a row.

as you can see, the plurality of people who voted would like (or, as the networks would say, 44% of americans think) that we should keep the format, which includes ever-harder-to-write headlines which always incorporate the concept of "awol" some way or the other. but an impressing 28% of americans say we shouldn't.

add to that a not-to-be-discounted 20% of americans who want to know why this poll is such a yucky color, and the results of the last week (which, before the nimnutz at pollhost lost them, indicated an even split down the middle), as well as the two guys who would rather read de beste, and we'd have to say it's practically a toss up, with a little bit of progressive leaning towards keeping the format.

therefore, we, unlike the repubbbs, are always ready to compromise. therefore, here is our new policy: when the story has to do with awol, or perhaps his posse, we will use the "awol" concept in the headline. otherwise, we will have one of the interns write a totally un-awol-related caption for the story.

but please be sure to vote in our new poll this week, asking "should condoleeza rice testify publicly before the 911 commission?
posted by skippy at 11:15 AM | 0 comments

police not awol in arresting couple after they saw "passion"

according to cnn, a couple in georgia got into such a huge argument after seeing mel gibson's "the passion of the christ" that police were forced to arrest them.

the two left the movie theater debating whether god the father in the holy trinity was human or symbolic, and the argument heated up when they got home, melissa davidson said.

"it was the dumbest thing we've ever done," she said.

davidson, 34, and her husband, sean davidson, 33, were charged with simple battery on march 11 after the two called police on each other. they were released on $1,000 bail.

according to a police report, melissa davidson suffered injuries on her arm and face, while her husband had a scissors stab wound on his hand and his shirt was ripped off. he also allegedly punched a hole in a wall.
come on, kids, remember: wwjd!
posted by skippy at 12:06 AM | 0 comments

satire not awol from kos diaries

by jazzmaniac on the kos diaries: bush bashes jesus.

an administration aide admitted to growing white house frustration that staffers had been "caught napping," not only by mr. christ's unexpected return, which the aide likened to "a thief in the night," but especially by his strongly worded condemnation of bush's foreign policy. "after all," stated the staff member on condition of anonymity, "we've been working since day one to bring about armageddon specifically to hasten the lord's return. then he does this. i've got to question both his loyalty and his timing”…

national security advisor condoleeza rice stated on nbc's today show that the king of kings "never gave us a plan to follow , really. we would have welcomed his input, but he was apparently too busy converting water into wine."

rice's statements appeared to contradict those of deputy secretary of state richard armitage. appearing on cnn, armitage stated that "the redeemer had presented the administration with a lengthy plan, titled `revelations,' that "president bush has endeavored mightily to follow. the president has been diligent about this, despite the fact that yahweh doesn't exactly write the most clear or concise memo i've ever seen."

appearing on conservative radio host rush limbaugh's program, vice president dick cheney questioned the everlasting light's credibility in his scathing critique of the iraq war. "frankly, he was out of the loop. i mean, where's he been for the past 2,000 years?" cheney asked. "and now he suddenly makes himself manifest in an election year?"
very funny. go read.
posted by skippy at 12:05 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, March 28, 2004

don't be awol in saying hello

to unfutz.
posted by skippy at 6:09 PM | 0 comments

clarke proclaims clinton not awol on al qaeda

today on meet the potato, russert challenged guest richard clarke with the assumption that president clinton also failed to stand up to the al qaeda threat when he was in office. clarke responded cooly, and without hesitation or pause:

but let's talk about the cole. the cole was attacked in october of 2000. president bush was running for office; he never mentioned it. vice president gore was running for office; he never mentioned it. the media hardly touched it. what were they focused on? they were focused on the election, and they were focused on the middle east peace process. i thought it was a mistake, and the very fact that i quote mike sheehan in the book as saying that i think is indicative of how he felt and how i felt. if i didn't think it was a mistake, that wouldn't be in the book.

the facts have come out, and the facts have come out before the 9-11 commission that the fbi and the cia refused to say who did it in october of 2000. and the president was, therefore, faced with the problem, "can i go ahead and bomb somebody in retaliation for the attack on the cole when my cia director and my fbi director won't say who did it?"

now, this is the same president who, when he bombed afghanistan, when he bombed al-qaeda camps, because george tenet and i and sandy berger recommended he do it in order to get bin laden and the leadership team, where we thought they were going to be meeting, the reaction he faced to that was the so-called wag the dog phenomenon. no one in the media, tim, no one in the media, no one in the congress said, "oh, that's a great thing that you're retaliating for the attack on the united states," they said, "this is all about monica lewinsky, and this is all about your political problems."

so now the same president who had that experience last time he fired cruise missiles at bin laden wants to fire cruise missiles at bin laden, but he's got a cia director and an fbi director who won't say, "bin laden did it, mr. president." i would still have done it; i recommended doing it. do i think it was mistake that we didn't do it? yes. but let's understand the context.
we were happy to hear someone of note finally say it on national tv: the lewinsky/impeachment process diverted clinton from doing his job. and why shouldn't it? how can somebody devote their energies to running the free world when they have to defend themselves to the entire congress, the national press, and the whole country for getting a hummer, and we don't mean the gropinator's vehicle of choice (though we've heard stories about him, too).

every time we see mr. clarke on television we are very impressed with is calm, confident demeanor. he is not snarky, not condescending, not self-righteous, not sniveling, and never thrown for a loop by anybody's accusations or questions. remember, he's a repubbblican hawk! he's one of their own finally telling the truth, and we love to see his calm and firm countenance stand up to them (as opposed to somebody who looks like she's just about to cry) (one more for good measure).
posted by skippy at 5:51 PM | 0 comments

korn and stern not awol with free anti-awol music

as we all know, howard stern has become virulently anti-awol in his radio rants (because clear "resistance is futile" channel dropped his show from four of their stations). and korn, also notoriously anti-establishment to start with, has gotten on the bandwagon with an anti-music monopoly song called "y'all want a single." cnn says:

the video to "y'all want a single," which stern hails as "the most inspirational, the most spectacular understanding of what's going on in this country right now," was shot at an out-of-business los angeles record store. in it, korn, joined by fans, storms through the aisles smashing the display cases and cds with crowbars.

while the store is being destroyed, statements taking the music industry to task cross the screen, including: "one corporation owns the 5 major video channels in the u.s."; "90% of the bands signed to a major don't make a profit"; "two radio conglomerates control 42% of listeners"; "the music industry releases 100 songs per week."
the new remix features stern, and you can download the mp3 for free (like the good old days) here.



posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 0 comments

seattle pi: awol shouldn't be awol disclosing names for plame

the seattle post intelligencer makes the case that since the administration had no trouble disclosing the fact that richard clarke was the "senior administration official" who praised the anti-terrorism strategy in 2002, they should have no trouble telling us who leaked valerie plame's name to robert "mr." novak:

it's useful, then, that the president and his staff are willing to serve the public interest by releasing journalists of their obligation to protect confidential white house sources. there's one more way for the administration to serve that interest. release robert novak and five other capital reporters of any obligation to withhold the names of the "two senior administration officials" who told them that valerie plame was a cia operative, in what appeared to be an attempt to punish plame's husband, retired ambassador joseph wilson iv, for debunking the president's nigerian yellow-cake claim.
quid pro quo, clarice.
posted by skippy at 12:10 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, March 27, 2004

bloggers not awol with opinions

cj at nitpicker discusses naomi klein's theory about awol's theory about the beneficiaries of terrorism...and since terry from nitpicker is on the ground in afghanistan, the point is doubly made.

tarek at the liquid list bemoans the loss of bob edwards from morning npr, and wonders if there's not something else afoot.

tom burka reports on sec. ridge's efforts to form the department of homeland security security (did he apply to the department of redundancy department?)

no more mister nice blog believes if there were any smoking guns in clarke's previous testimonies, they would have been declassified long ago.

dave johnson at seeing the forest ponders fighting the wrong war.

the hamster points out that nearly 15% of americans are uninsured.

and talkleft tells us that the latest newsweek poll after the 9/11 hearings show awol's terrorism approval dropping 8 points from 65% to 57% (to us, the fact that awol gets any approval at all is terrorism).
posted by skippy at 5:11 PM | 0 comments

bloggers not awol from dead trees publishing

two of our favorite bloggers, mad kane and nathan newman, are contributors to the upcoming publication big bush lies: 20 essays and a list of the 50 most telling lies of george w. bush.

the book is edited by jerry barrett of bushwatch, another great site, and apparently it's due out in the first of may. be sure to pick a copy up or order it online. because mad has been very nice to skippy international and we want her to become rich and famous.
posted by skippy at 4:56 PM | 0 comments

kay baily hutchinson awol with comments about delay's nemesis earle

senator kay bailey hutchinson, herself once a target of travis county da ronnie earle's investigations, is curiously silent on mr. earle's current foray into tom delay's alleged campaign finance abuse.

this is interesting, says the asspress, because every other repubbb in texas and out are accusing earle of playing politics, leading a witchhunt, and promoting gay marriage at junior high schools (ok, maybe not the last one, but everyone except hutchinson is yelling about the guy).

but the state's senior senator [hutchinson] - herself once the target of an investigation by travis county attorney ronnie earle - has not joined her gop congressional colleagues in criticizing earle's current investigation.

earle is looking into whether corporate contributions made to the political action committee texans for a republican majority - formed in 2001 by u.s. house majority leader tom delay - went to gop state house candidates' campaigns. such a move would violate texas campaign finance laws…

in 1993, after hutchison won her senate seat in a special election, earle investigated allegations she misused state employees and equipment and destroyed state documents while serving as the texas treasurer.

hutchison was acquitted when earle abruptly dropped the case in 1994. earle said then that he gave up the case because the trial judge would not rule in advance whether prosecutors could use as evidence documents and other material obtained in a controversial raid on state treasury offices.

"what he did to me was unconscionable. i think the purpose was to get me out of the senate race so that they (democrats) could keep the seat," hutchison said.

when asked whether she thinks earle's current investigation is similarly politically motivated, hutchison stammered through a response. "this is just, i should not be in this story. this is not my story," hutchison said.
posted by skippy at 1:16 PM | 0 comments

awol now awol in insisting he was awol in meeting with clarke

cbsnews reports the white house is backing off its claim that awol never was at the damning meeting where he implied that clarke must find an iraq-al qaeda connection:

retracted white house statements do little to boost public trust. cbs news correspondent jim stewart reports, until today, the bush administration denied a meeting had taken place between the president and clarke, during which bush allegedly instructed clarke to investigate saddam hussein and iraq after sept. 11.

the white house today reversed that comment, and staff members now tell reporters, "we are not denying such a meeting took place. it probably did."
posted by skippy at 12:04 AM | 0 comments

Friday, March 26, 2004

don't be awol in saying hello

to skiplog (no relation).
posted by skippy at 11:56 PM | 0 comments

lefty blog not awol from number one spot

we'd like to congratulate the daily kos, who has dethroned a certain right wing site as the most read blog in blogtopia!

and yes! we coined that phrase!
posted by skippy at 4:10 PM | 0 comments

nydailynews not awol on awol's bad taste joke

the nydaily news takes a dim view of the dim bulb who made the bad taste "those wmd's have to be here somewhere" joke at the media dinner in washington two days ago. this article says "kin of gi's aren't laughing."

george medina, 43, of orange county, who lost a son in iraq, heard about bush's remarks when his outraged daughter, an army sergeant, called him yesterday. "she was very upset," medina said.

"this is disgraceful," medina continued. "he doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. it's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country."

his 22-year-old son, spec. irving medina, died nov. 14 in baghdad when an explosive device struck his convoy.

charles celestin, 28, of coral springs, fla., and irving medina's brother-in-law, blasted the commander-in-chief's remarks.
"to be poking fun; it's just a travesty to the soldiers who lost their lives. i think it's disrespectful," he said.
be sure to go to the nydailynews front page and vote in their poll (right hand side bar). the results so far:

very funny, shows a good sense of humor - 17%

about as funny as a slain soldier - 83%


(thanks to athena's diary on the daily kos for the link!)
posted by skippy at 3:52 PM | 0 comments

don't be awol in saying hello to

beautiful horizons.
posted by skippy at 3:39 PM | 0 comments

condi's foot not awol from her mouth

thanks to a daily kos diary by steveuk, we found this story in the sfchron: in rush to defend white house, rice trips over own words.

the refusal by president bush's top security aide to testify publicly before the commission investigating the sept. 11 attacks elicited rebukes by commission members as they held open hearings this week. thomas kean, the former new jersey governor bush named to be chairman of the commission, said: "i think this administration shot itself in the foot by not letting [rice] testify in public."

at the same time, some of rice's rebuttals of clarke's broadside against bush, which she delivered in a flurry of media interviews and statements rather than in testimony, contradicted other administration officials and her own previous statements.

deputy secretary of state richard armitage contradicted rice's claim that the white house had a strategy before sept. 11 for military operations against al qaeda and the taliban. the cia contradicted rice's earlier assertion that bush had requested a cia briefing in the summer of 2001 because of elevated terrorist threats. and rice's assertion this week that bush had told her on sept. 16, 2001, that "iraq is to the side" appeared to be contradicted by an order signed by bush on sept. 17 directing the pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of iraq.

rice, in turn, has contradicted vice president dick cheney's assertion that clarke was "out of the loop" and his intimation that clarke had been demoted. rice has also given various conflicting accounts. she criticized clarke for being the architect of failed clinton administration policies, but also said she had retained clarke so the bush administration could continue to pursue clinton's terrorism policies.
posted by skippy at 12:12 PM | 0 comments

money not awol in presidential race

true, awol has raised over $170 million for his campaign, far eclipsing john kerry's $61 mill. but kerry has raised more money than awol this month, and especially last night, too. bloomberg tells us

bush raised at least $12 million this month through march 17, bringing the total for his re-election bid to $171.4 million, according to his campaign web site. kerry raised at least $20 million in march through yesterday, breaking the one-month record for a democratic candidate of $8.4 million that he set in february, according to campaign announcements. and the voa news says:

the political stars of the u.s. democratic party were in washington thursday night to help senator john kerry raise $11 million for his presidential campaign…

meanwhile, president bush raised over $2 million thursday night in mr. kerry's hometown of boston. as he has done repeatedly in the campaign, mr. bush told republican party faithful that mr. kerry waffles on key issues.
[ed. note: emphasis, and condescening smirk, ours].

do we see a trend?
posted by skippy at 12:05 PM | 0 comments

sean hannity not awol on amazon top best sellers

sean's book, deliver us from evil, is a big number 21 on amazon.com! too bad he's not number one, or number two, or even number five!
posted by skippy at 11:57 AM | 0 comments

wrap-up of delay grand jury not awol

news 8 austin reports that the grand jury hearing on tom delay's alleged illegal campaign contribution scheme wrapped up their business yesterday.

the grand jury that began the investigation wrapped up thursday. the investigation could be on to a second grand jury, according to the travis county district attorney.
stay tuned.
posted by skippy at 11:50 AM | 0 comments

skippy mail bag not awol

letters, we get letters...

reader and longtime contributor rose sends us a link to david ignatius' column in today's washpost, wondering what a true 'wartime' president would do under current political conditions:

i like to think that this hypothetical leader would have found a way to rise above the fray and unite the country: he would have embraced the commission's work, forthrightly admitted his own mistakes, sent his national security adviser to testify publicly -- and insisted that the security of the united states was too important to be buried in election-year squabbles.

president bush and his white house handlers did pretty much the opposite. they fanned the flames of partisan debate; when asked awkward questions, they stonewalled; rather than testify before the cameras, national security adviser condoleezza rice spent part of her wednesday afternoon dishing dirt to reporters about a commission witness who had criticized the president.
and kelley kramer informs us about her blogpost praising richard clarke for his grace under fire against cnn's "little bill" hemmer:

hemmer: the white house says… the previous administration was obsessed with nothing…they allege, at the time, why wasn't anything done to take al qaeda out. this was august of 2000…

clarke: well, a great deal was done. the administration stopped the al qaeda attacks in the united states and around the world at the millennium period, they stopped al qaeda in bosnia, they stopped al qaeda from blowing up embassies around the world…there was a great deal the administration did, even though at the time, prior to 9/11, al qaeda had arguably not done a great deal to the united states.

if you look at the eight years of the clinton administration, al qaeda was responsible for the deaths of fewer than 50 americans over those eight years. contrast that with ronald reagan, where 300 americans were killed in lebanon and there was no retaliation. contrast that with the first bush administration where 260 americans were killed on pan-am 103 and there was no retaliation.
posted by skippy at 11:40 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 25, 2004

indictment will probably not be awol for delay

the houstonchron reports that house leader tom delay himself said that he expects to be indicted on illegal campaign fund violations:

delay and an aide in a march 8 private meeting at the omni houston hotel talked to houston supporters about the possible need to pay for a legal defense in connection with the grand jury investigation, according to two people who attended the meeting…

delay talked about the grand jury investigation only after being asked about it by one of the 40 to 50 people in attendance, sources told the chronicle.

delay talked briefly about a legal defense and then had an unidentified aide discuss the possible need for raising money for a legal defense fund.

one of those interviewed quoted delay as saying, "i fully anticipate being indicted."
and as the asspress points out, the house repubbblican conference rule would require delay stepping down as house majority leader:

a 1993 republican rule would force house majority leader tom delay to temporarily vacate his leadership position if he were indicted in a texas criminal investigation of state election spending.

the house republican conference rule stipulates that members in leadership jobs, committee or subcommittee chairmanships and ranking committee members must step aside if they are indicted on a felony punishable by at least two years in prison.
because it would be difficult for delay to run the house of representatives from prison, although we're sure he'd probably try to do it.
posted by skippy at 10:54 PM | 0 comments

humor not awol in the white house

interesting to compare and contrast these two news stories:

bush makes jokes about lack of wmds in iraq

and

three u.s. soldiers die in ambushes

to be honest, when we saw the picture of awol bending over with the caption "those wmd's have got to be somewhere," we said "is he looking for them up his ass?"
posted by skippy at 5:45 PM | 0 comments

don't be awol in saying hello

to washington state political report and marc's cyberspace travels and chi mi bhuam and folkbum's rambles and rants.
posted by skippy at 5:20 PM | 0 comments

smirking chimp never awol with the news

the smirking chimp, who does the best job, in our opinion, of culling the pertinent news stories of the day into the single place you need for one-stop shopping, outdoes himself today. just look at the specials available to his customers now:

jimmy breslin in newsday writes the subtext of what george tenet was saying to the 911 commission - only one guy with guts in the bunch:

the reason we all liked each other at these hearings was that we all have jobs down here. these hearings may be serious to the press and the people, but you can't make anybody lose a job. that is the most important thing in washington, d.c. nobody should lose a job.

"no plumber ever fought for a job as hard as donald rumsfeld does for his. look at his record. good lord, he goes way, way back to working for nixon and ford, and do you know how long ago that was? rumsfeld was with the first bush and now he is with this bush and if you have a third, he'll be there early.
josh marshall writing in the hill examines all the underlings that have spoken out against awol - terror aides strangely keep turning on bush:

the first possibility is that the bush white house is so freewheeling, inattentive and just plain unlucky that it keeps appointing senior counterterrorism aides who actually turn out to be both policy incompetents and closet democratic partisans. the second that these malefactors leave the white house, they show their true colors and start leveling all manner of baseless charges against the president.

the second possibility is that every counterterrorism expert the white house hires who isn't (a) a hidebound ideologue or (b) a dyed-in-the-wool bush loyalist eventually becomes so disgusted with the mix of incompetence and mendacity that is the white house's counterterrorism policy that he eventually quits and then immediately sets about trying to drive the president from office.
and peter singer in the latimes examines the real flip flopper in today's presidential campaign: awol - bush's meandering moral compass:

in short, bush is on the side of the states against "distant bureaucracies" when he is governor of texas and on the side of washington, d.c., when he is running the federal government. when there is a budget surplus, he is in favor of tax cuts to return the surplus to the taxpayers, and when there is a deficit, he is still in favor of tax cuts.

when he focuses on human embryos, he speaks of his obligation to foster and encourage respect for life, but when respect for human life gets in the way of his wish to strike back at those he considers enemies of the united states, he is willing to bring about the deaths of thousands of innocent human beings. these are not the actions of a person of principle.
the smirking chimp - it's what's for dinner!
posted by skippy at 5:18 PM | 0 comments

compassionate conservatives not awol with new song parodies

plenty of great mp3 songs you can download from the compassionate conservatives, including "teach your children well," and update on the original csn&y hit ("dragging it 30 years forward...from one quagmire to another!").
posted by skippy at 4:44 PM | 0 comments

skippy not awol with update on delay

it must be getting closer, because now even cbs is reporting delay's troubles:

the capitol hill newspaper [roll call] said a gop congressional rule stipulates that members who hold elected leadership posts must temporarily step down if they are indicted on a felony charge…

delay's problem stems from a state grand jury sitting in austin that is probing allegations that corporate money was used illegally in 2002 legislative races in texas.

specifically, the grand jury is investigating whether state law was violated when a republican national committee group gave $190,000 to seven candidates for the texas house in 2002.

the donations were made on the same day, two weeks after a political committee called texans for a republican majority sent $190,000 in corporate money to the rnc group.

under state law, the political committee, created by delay, could not legally give corporate donations to candidates.
stay tuned!
posted by skippy at 12:25 PM | 0 comments

free market results not entirely awol

still wondering where the jobs are? why haven't those tax cuts trickled down to the middle and lower class? well, dont' worry, the free market theory isnt' completely wrong, as yahoo informs us: corporate profits rise in 2003.

corporate profits posted a second straight double-digit annual gain in 2003, the commerce department said on thursday, but a lackluster job market suggests companies remain hesitant to hire...

the commerce department said after-tax corporate profits rose 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter, a slowdown from the 10.1 percent gain in the third quarter. for all of 2003, the department said after-tax profits were up a hefty 19.2 percent. that was down, however, from 2002's 24.6 percent increase.
profits down from 24.6% to 19.2%? oh, those poor corporations! looks like we'll just have to increase productivity some more, by firing half the staff and making the remaining employees do both jobs for no increase in pay! that always works!

posted by skippy at 12:23 PM | 0 comments

taste awol from awol's jokes about self

rove must have told awol to start doing some self-depricating humor to make himself more likable to the american public, because he presented a mock slide show at a black tie dinner with the media last night. msnbc reports:

there was bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. “those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere,” he said.
too bad nobody pointed out that making fun of the non-existant wmd's in iraq only brings up questions of why almost 600 americans and countless iraqi's died in the first place.

addendum: wdiv-tv in detroit reports on this, adding a poll for you to express your outrage about awol's bad taste and lack of compassion for the military families of the people who died in his bloody snipe hunt. go vote!

(thanks and a tip of the cookie-loving hat to jj at cookies in heaven for the link! side note: mrs. skippy loves the white chocolate macademias!)
posted by skippy at 12:19 PM | 0 comments

insights never awol to alterman

eric alterman (compulsory plug for his book and his other one now in paperback) puts it best discussing richard clarke's testimony before the 911 commission:

joe wilson, valerie plame, max cleland, paul o’neill, general zinni, and dick clarke are all unpatriotic liars and weenies right? has to be true; otherwise, this administration is both incompetent and dishonest. and that’s not possible. i mean, on the one hand we have people who have given their entire careers to serving the american people and in many cases, paid dearly for it. on the other, we have a guy who didn’t bother to show up for his cushy national guard service during a war he supported, spent most of his first forty years drinking and carousing, and having been made wealthy by his father’s associates, fell into the job of president where he (undeniably) misled his country into a war based on falsified evidence. gee that’s a hard one. no wonder ron brownstein thinks the clarke testimony might be a turning point.


posted by skippy at 12:02 PM | 0 comments

jobs still awol, but afl-cio jobs bus not

unemployment stayed steady, if you want to call 1,000 more people applying for benefits than last week "holding steady," which most repubbb spinmeisters are doing. spinmeisters like cnnmoney:

new jobless claims were little changed last week, the government said thursday, coming in near wall street forecasts and raising some hopes for a strong monthly jobs report next week.

the labor department said 339,000 people filed new claims for state unemployment benefits in the week ended march 20, compared with a revised 338,000 the prior week.

but both those figures came in lower than the readings from the past few weeks. the march 13th week's report was the lowest number of new claims since jan. 13, 2001, when the number of new claims was only 316,000.
as always, we must remind everyone that this number reflects first time applicants, and has nothing to do with the current 5.9% officially out of work, not to mention the thousands of people who have just given up looking for work, or the partially or under-employed.

but the afl-cio remembers these people. yesterday a bus with 51 people (one for each state, and one to grow on) left st. louis for an 8 day "show us the jobs" tour throughout the midwest rust belt.

and there's a blog page where you can read the participants' thoughts, and a link to send a note to awol to let him know how you feel about jobs.

be nice, now.
posted by skippy at 11:57 AM | 0 comments

rumor has it tom delay may soon be awol

via the blogger formerly known as calpundit (yes! we coined that phrase, too!) kevin drum at the washington monthly: speaker of the house tom delay may be considering stepping down.

apparently election law violations would constitute not only an embarrassment but also illegality for the speaker. the austin chronicle explains:

state gop leaders imposed a republican-friendly redistricting plan on the texas house, delay's money machine helped pack the house with craddick loyalists, and in return [tom] craddick would give delay a new congressional map that would provide the bug man [delay used to be an exterminator] with more friends and fewer enemies in d.c.

the tomstown scandal refers to a series of grand jury investigations and lawsuits...spawned during the execution of the toms' strategy of conquest. the two main groups whose activities are under scrutiny are the texas association of business, a pro-gop group with connections to both toms, and the texans for a republican majority political action committee, created by delay to secure gop control of the texas legislature. both groups are accused of violating texas election law during the 2002 state elections – into which tab and trmpac poured around $4.5 million – and during craddick's subsequent campaign to become speaker of the house.
and although nobody in the texas state government (and certainly not the federal) had the balls, moxie, or even motivation to take on delay, travis county district attorney ronnie earle (admittedly a democrat) had no such reservations. salon tells us (but you have to watch an ad before they tell you anything):

because the state capital lies within the jurisdiction of travis county, earle is far more powerful than the d.a.s in larger cities, such as houston, dallas and san antonio. his public integrity unit has a mandate and legislative funding to prosecute public officials who break the law. he's held office for 27 years, and is the only democrat with statewide prosecutorial authority. his ongoing investigation of two political action committees that spent a combined $3.4 million on 22 republican texas house races is now focused on a pac founded by delay and directed by a delay operative.
stay tuned!
posted by skippy at 12:32 AM | 0 comments

don't be awol in saying hello

to digestible news (brand new blog! be the first to leave a comment!)
posted by skippy at 12:32 AM | 0 comments

media not awol on richard clarke's testimony

thanks to al rodgers posting on a daily kos thread, we get several papers' outlook on the testimony of richard clarke to the 9/11 commission:

the washpost front page,

the nytimes oped piece, which we quote pertinently here:

mr. clarke's conclusion was that after george bush became president, neither he nor the terrorism agenda got the same top-level attention. the bush administration officials who testified denied that vociferously. their arguments suffered from the absence of condoleezza rice, the person to whom mr. clarke reported. ms. rice has been doing the rounds of talk shows in an attempt to bolster her argument that the administration had found mr. clarke's plans wanting and immediately began a full-bore effort to come up with a new antiterrorism strategy. what the nation deserved to hear her address publicly before the commission is why that process took eight months. a new plan was not approved by the white house until the eve of the terror attack on sept. 11, 2001.
maureen dowd, also in the nytimes:

donald rumsfeld told the 9/11 panel that there had been no point retaliating for the cole bombing in october 2000, "four months after the fact," because that might have sent a signal of weakness.

so it was too late to whack osama four months later, but not too late to re-whack saddam 12 years later?
and finally, slate:

richard clarke is telling the truth and fatal in difference: the bushe's catastrophic allergy to clinton.

[ed. note: we firmly refuse to refer to mr. clarke as "dick clarke," as many rightists organs (and even journalistic outlets, as well as their organs) are doing. we believe they are doing it to diminish mr. clarke's reputation, dignity and the effect his testimony might have. after all, who are you going to believe, the repubbblican administration or the guy that does the ball drop in times square every rockin' new year's eve?]
posted by skippy at 12:32 AM | 0 comments

rumsfeld was definately awol on 9/11

thanks to atrios, we find gail sheehy's report on what questions the 9/11 widows want to ask rumsfeld. (such as, how come he didn't break up his pitch session for the star wars missle defense program when he learned about the attacks on the wtc?)
posted by skippy at 12:28 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

help make sure richard clarke's message is not awol from the airwaves

we got an email from moveon.org, which is trying to put together a tv ad to get richard clarke's point of view about awol's short-sightedness to the american public. as the email says:

instead of refuting clarke's claims, the bush administration has launched a campaign of character assassination, hoping that the story will just go away.

we're committed to stopping that from happening by making sure that the american public hears clarke's extraordinary comments. if we can raise $300,000 in the next few days, we can run a hard-hitting ad nationally that highlights his message. you can see a rough story board of the ad and donate to get it on the air at:
this place right here.

moveon rightly points out that clarke is a repubbblican and a hawk, and has independent witnesses confirming his conversation where awol hinted strongly to find a connection between 9/11 and al-qaeda.

if you've got any spare cash, even $5.00, send it to moveon.

moveon.org. it's what's for diner!
posted by skippy at 3:43 PM | 0 comments

will god be awol from pledge?

we don't know, and personally, we don't have a dog in this fight. since grade school, skippy has left certain words unspoken whenever he's recited the pledge, (sometimes "under god," sometimes not...but always "for all" at the end). so none of us at skippy international can understand why people who don't like specific phrases in the pledge just refrain from saying them as they recite. you don't see skippy going to the supreme court because somebody made him say something he didn't like!

imagine our delight to find that left is right is of the same opinion!
posted by skippy at 3:30 PM | 0 comments

good taste not awol to cookies in heaven

we must commend jj and the gang at cookies in heaven for a great product! the entire staff at skippy international and mrs. skippy, too, highly recommends these wonderful cookies!

if the middle east terrorists had these cookies, there'd be peace in the world!
posted by skippy at 3:26 PM | 0 comments

resurrection awol for 'passion' viewer

reuters tells us of a brazilian pastor who died while watching "the passion of the christ":

jose geraldo soares, a 43-year-old presbyterian pastor, had reserved two movie theaters at a belo horizonte shopping mall on sunday afternoon to see the film with his family and the congregations of two local churches.

but halfway through the movie, soares' wife noticed that he was no longer awake. a doctor who was also watching the film tended to soares, but the priest was already dead.

"he was calmly watching the movie next to his wife," said amauri costa, a family friend who also attended soares' funeral on monday.

soares is at least the second person to die while watching "the passion," which opened in brazil on friday. peggy scott, 56, died of a heart attack on feb. 25 in wichita, kansas while watching film's climactic crucifixion scene.
we're waiting to hear about the audience members who became zombies while watching dawn of the dead.
posted by skippy at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

family steering committee not awol with questions for the 9/11 commission

thanks to a daily kos diary we find a few questions the family steering committee would like to ask the 9/11 commission.
posted by skippy at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

violence still not awol in iraq

another explosion occurred in baghdad today, in another hotel. the baghdad sheraton was hit, presumably by a missle of some sort. reuters tells us:

a suspected guerrilla rocket struck a central baghdad hotel used by foreign contractors and journalists early on wednesday, but caused limited damage and no injuries.

"there's evidence of some sort of rocket hitting the hotel at about the sixth floor,'' said one guest at the ishtar sheraton hotel.

the powerful blast, about a third of the way up the hotel, shattered some windows and smashed concrete.
apparently many foreign reporters were housed at the sheraton.
posted by skippy at 7:36 PM | 0 comments

book on awol's connection to saudis now awol in britain

craig unger's book house of bush, house of saud, detailing the extensive links between the two blood lines, has been banned in britain, due to the publisher's (rightly placed) fear of lawsuits by the saudi's.

eric boehlert writes in salon:

"we've had to withdraw it for legal reasons," says an editor at secker & warburg, a u.k. division of random house. "we expected we would be able to publish it with a degree of risk. but regrettably in the final analysis we decided we could not."

"essentially it's been quashed," says author craig unger. scribner published the book in the united states on march 16. (shortly before that, salon ran exclusive excerpts from the book.)

unger's literary agent elizabeth sheinkman stresses the decision had nothing to do with the book's quality and that secker & warburg editors "were very excited about" the manuscript. "but they were concerned that it could be very costly for them," she says. "in the process of having it legally vetted they were ultimately advised it would be dangerous to publish the book. or rather, the likelihood of random house being sued by the saudis was too likely for them to go forward."
we cannot criticize the british publishers for this action. the libel laws are very "plaintiff-friendly" in that country, and it's better to run away and live to fight another day.
posted by skippy at 6:56 PM | 0 comments

ayn coulter's sarcasm not awol on the american street

imagine our stunned surprise to see our arch enemy, ayn coulter, blogging on the american street, where we often post (the same crap we post here because we are too damn lazy to write original stuff for another blog).

today, ayn poses the esoteric question, what if nro columnist meghan cox gurdon wrote in the style of shirley jackson?

we can't wait for the follow up, what if david brooks wrote like ray bradbury?

it was quiet on the veldt, as condi and rummy looked to the east, over the mosques, the compounds, the spider-holes, over the grass that was cut all wrong.

"something wicked this way comes," said condi.

rummy nodded his head, his eyes closed.

"it's coming," she said.

again, the nod, imperceptable.

"soon."

"it's terror," said rummy. he opened his eyes, the dark pale eyes of a man who has seen too much, but knows there is more to see. "and it's coming."

they began to walk away, slowly at first, then picking up speed, walking, then stepping lightly, like a jog, but not a jog; then faster, faster till they were running, as if running could take them out of harms way, though they both knew better.

"someone had better tell the boss," condi remarked, as the horizon loomed before them, "that the martian chronicles is not a newspaper the rover spirit found."
posted by skippy at 6:46 PM | 0 comments

skippy not awol with keen observations

pardon us if we pat ourselves on the back, but thanks to cursor, we find a usatoady article that pretty much confirms our previous rant of a couple days ago.

pakistani officials hinted late last week that ayman al-zawahiri, 52, an egyptian doctor and islamic militant regarded as an architect of al-qaeda's sept. 11 attacks in the usa, was cornered in the mountainous south waziristan district. but asked sunday whether the government had evidence of zawahiri's presence in the semi-autonomous tribal belt, mehmood shah, the head of security in the combustible northwest frontier province, was unequivocal.

"no. we have no indication. our guess was based on the amount of resistance we faced and the number of foreign fighters," shah said during an interview in his office here. "later on, many people started guessing names, and that's how his name came up."

pakistan's ambassador to the united states, ashraf jehangir qazi, told cnn on sunday that the intensity of the fighting indicated a "high-value target." he added, "we've made it absolutely clear that we do not know the identity of the high-value target that might be there."

we had wondered aloud ealier why the screeching heads were going to the "all zawahiri cornered in pakistan all the time" format late last week. and now this only confirms our suspicions that they had no basis on which to pre-empt all other news (including the continuing violence in iraq) for this non-story.

but they didn't ask us. they never do.
posted by skippy at 11:51 AM | 0 comments

mcclellan inadvertantly admits awol was awol on 9/12

of course, the story of the day is ex-counterterrorism czar richard clarke accusing awol of not being on the ball (or even in the ball park) when it came to counter-terrorism. and just as of course, the repubbbs are working overtime to discredit mr. clarke.

but you have to wonder if these guys ever think before they open their mouths. case in point, the white house press briefing for march 22.

one reporter, we don't remember who, forgive us, questioned white house press secretary scott mcclellan about clarke's claim that a day after 9/11 awol asked him to pursue the links between the horrible attacks and iraq:

q: clarke now says that he has three eyewitnesses, and he repeated it again this morning, and he named them -- to the conversation.

mr. mcclellan: let's just step backwards -- regardless, regardless, put that aside. there's no record of the president being in the situation room on that day that it was alleged to have happened, on the day of september the 12th.
[ed. note: emphasis, and astonishment, ours.]

is that really what they want to go on record with? the day after the worst attacks on america in this country's history, the time when he was supposed to be leading the nation in time of crisis, they have proof that awol was never in the situation room?

where was he? clearing brush in crawford? golfing in new haven? choking on a pretzel in the bedroom?

fercryininthesink, shouldn't the leader of this country be in the situation room at least once the day after the most horrific attacks this nation has ever seen?

and even if he wasn't, does he want his minions to admit as much to the public?


cross-posted on the american street and our daily kos diary.
posted by skippy at 12:27 AM | 0 comments

inadvertant irony not awol on faux news

blogger kelley kramer sends us this link to the daily show's page, where they have the video from faux news showing dick cheney's recent speech on why awol's administration is such a success, sharing split screen with the breaking news of bombing in iraq.

reality! it's such a hoot!
posted by skippy at 12:08 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 22, 2004

star tribune believe richard clarke not awol on facts

an editorial in the minneapolis star tribune makes a compelling case for former counterterrorist czar richard clarke making a compelling case against awol:

a few facts about clarke: he's a republican. he served 30 years in government; for 10 years, under three republican presidents and one democrat, he served in the white house as one of the nation's most senior national security advisers. clarke is not a dove. he believes in an assertive foreign policy and a vigorous projection of u.s. military power, which should make him a natural ally of…cheney…rumsfeld and…wolfowitz...finally, what clarke has to say about the current bush administration's obsession from the start with iraq is corroborated by former treasury secretary paul o'neill in his memoir, "the price of loyalty."
posted by skippy at 6:07 PM | 0 comments

awol street

going down.
posted by skippy at 5:48 PM | 0 comments

terrorism czar says awol was awol on terrorism

last night on 60 minutes, the former counterterrorism chief who served under the reagan, first bush, clinton and second bush administrations, laid some pretty heavy charges at the feet of this current administration: ie, they are stupid.

ok, we paraphrase. what he did tell lesley stahl was, among other things:

frankly," he said, "i find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. he ignored it. he ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. maybe. we'll never know."

clarke went on to say, "i think he's done a terrible job on the war against terrorism."
why? well, apparently awol had his mind made up who he was going to hold responsible for 9/11, even before any, let alone all, the facts were in:

the president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'i want you to find whether iraq did this.' now he never said, 'make it up.' but the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that george bush wanted me to come back with a report that said iraq did this.

"i said, 'mr. president. we've done this before. we have been looking at this. we looked at it with an open mind. there's no connection.'

"he came back at me and said, "iraq! saddam! find out if there's a connection.' and in a very intimidating way. i mean that we should come back with that answer. we wrote a report."

clarke continued, "it was a serious look. we got together all the fbi experts, all the cia experts. we wrote the report. we sent the report out to cia and found fbi and said, 'will you sign this report?' they all cleared the report. and we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the national security advisor or deputy. it got bounced and sent back saying, 'wrong answer. ... do it again.'
clarke's own words, from his book "against all enemies":

wolfowitz fidgeted and scowled. … “well, i just don’t understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin laden.”

“we are talking about a network of terrorist organizations called al qaeda, that happens to be led by bin laden, and we are talking about that network because it and it alone poses an immediate and serious threat to the united states,” i answered. …

wolfowitz turned to me. “you give bin laden too much credit. he could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on new york, not without a state sponsor. just because fbi and cia have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don’t exist.”

i could hardly believe it, but wolfowitz was actually spouting the totally discredited laurie mylroie theory that iraq was behind the 1993 truck bomb at the world trade center, a theory that had been investigated for years and found to be totally untrue.
posted by skippy at 5:48 PM | 0 comments

zombies make jesus awol to first place

say what you will about the "all awol all the time format," we loved writing that headline. but apparently we weren't the only ones.

the remake of george romero's least interesting of his zombie trilogy films, dawn of the dead, pushed mel gibson's the passion of the christ out of first place in the weekend box office sweepstakes. and when you want to know about jesus and zombies, where else do you turn but mtv?

the $26 million "dawn of the dead" remake easily cruised to a #1 finish with an estimated $27.3 million take over the weekend, according to studio estimates. the surprisingly strong finish for the sarah polley/ ving rhames popcorn flick meant that gibson's run at #1 was stopped at three weeks. the controversial retelling of the final 12 hours in the life of christ lost 40 percent of its audience, but slipped only one spot on $19.2 million in estimated grosses, bringing its to-date domestic total to $295.3 million.
interestingly enough, as the uk guardian tells us, the jim carrey film eternal sunshine was the pleasant dark horse of the bunch:

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, starring jim carrey and kate winslet, was the weekend's surprise, opening in fifth, with around $8.6m. distributors focus had clearly not expected much and had not given the film an especially wide release. but it seems carrey can still pull them in - indeed, according to variety, showings sold out in many venues.
skippy has forgone seeing both christ and the zombies, but can highly recommend the jim carrey film.
posted by skippy at 5:25 PM | 0 comments

cheney awol on meetings for counterterrorism but not energy taskforce

judd legum, who helps pen (or "type"?) the cap's blog progress report, sends us an interesting compare/contrast email:

energy task force met at least ten times: in 2001, vice president cheney formally convened his energy task force "10 times between january 29, 2001, and may 16, 2001. all but two of the meetings were held in the vice president’s ceremonial office." his staff also met at least 6 times with enron energy executives. [source: gao report, 8/22/03; ap, 1/8/02]

versus

counterterrorism task force never met: “bush said [in may of 2001] that cheney would direct a government-wide review on managing the consequences of a domestic attack, and 'i will periodically chair a meeting of the national security council to review these efforts.' neither cheney's review nor bush's took place.” - washington post, 1/20/02
maybe because ken lay wasn't on the counterterrorism team...
posted by skippy at 5:07 PM | 0 comments

admnistration's own memos prove they were awol on terrorism

thanks to the kos, we find this time line from the center for american progress which uses actual internal memos from the current administration to show just how little they worked to fight terror.

a couple of damning examples:

5/10/01 – ashcroft new doj budget goals memo: official annual budget goals memo from Attorney General Ashcroft dated 5/10/2001 (directly compares to the 4/6/2000 reno memo). out of 7 strategic goals described, not one mentions counterterrorism, a serious departure from reno...

post 9/11 – budget document detailing omb rejection of fbi counter-terror request: internal document showing that fbi requested $1.499 billion for counterterrorism for the post-september 11 emergency supplemental but received just $530 million from the white house, despite serious counterterrorism needs.
quite interesting, and we'll be eager to hear how the administration denies it.
posted by skippy at 12:42 PM | 0 comments

awol campaign awol on own import restriction laws

reader and contributor rose sends us this excite news piece telling us that the campaign to re-elect awol is offering a beautiful jacket made in myranmar...whose imports are, unfortunately, illegal in this country.

a "bush-cheney '04" campaign jacket sold on the internet has stirred controversy because it was made in myanmar, whose imports have been banned by the united states.

although the company that shipped the fleece pullover, spalding group of louisville, kentucky, has said it did so in error, human rights groups blamed president bush's re-election campaign staff for not taking a more careful look at the origin of the products being sold in its name.

the bush administration has had sanctions in place since september against myanmar -- also known by its colonial name burma -- in an attempt to punish the government over human rights violations.

"burma is one of the most repressive, brutal dictatorships in the world," said charles kernagan, head of the national labor committee, a group that seeks to combat sweatshops internationally. "the bush-cheney campaign was putting money into the hands of dictators with that purchase."
posted by skippy at 12:31 PM | 0 comments