You can’t know the players

If you don’t have a program. Here (in my humble opinion) is the best concise summation of events in the Wilson/Plame/Rove affair.

If you need further clarification of the topics involved, he follows with this, a refutation of the selective minimization of the issues that People Who Want This Thing to Just Go Away are screeching to the media.

Of course, the gold standard long form analysis continues to be Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, and you can always count on Atrios for a link to every single freakin’ story about it on the web.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall must be brewing something big- he hasn’t posted anything since 9:30 this morning.

Atrios has linked to a Guardian Radio Report that has Julian Borger naming Karl Rove. The quote is “Several of the journalists are saying privately ‘yes it was Karl Rove who I talked to.'” This is in reference to the six reporters that the White House reportedly talked to before getting Novak to run with the story. (Here’s the webpage where that link can be found.) Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than private admissions to get Karl Rove handcuffed and frog-marched out of the White House. If the Justice Department is worth its weight in salt, though…. there’s a bird in those Bushes- let’s see if that dog will hunt.

Taking a second to consider the variables- The NeoCons control the Justice Department… they control the paper shredders and the phone logs at 1600 Pennsylvania. They control the White House press room… However, they do not control the “Top Administration Official” that leaked the story to light a fire under Justice and force them to 1. go public and 2. get the lead out. Most folks think that T.A.O. is Tenet. Assuming he’s the man, there’s no way to know how many cards he still holds that he can legally play. (or leak.)

As Atrios says, “pass the effing popcorn!”

Let’s get to the bottom of this, shall we?

Wherever you find yourself in the discussion of the allegations against the White House that have arisen this week, surely you want to see a speedy and complete review of these charges by an independent party, right?

You wouldn’t want the taint of a partisan, John Ashcroft-led Justice Department to incompletely clear the reputations of George Bush and Karl Rove in this, would you? I mean, if the Fox says the hen house is safe, you don’t go back to bed without walking out there with the flashlight, do you?

We should have an independent prosecutor review these allegations to make sure that that the charges leveled against the White House are baseless, and that Karl Rove is an innocent of these allegations as the Clintons were of the Whitewater charges. That’s what independent prosecutors are for.

Sign the petition to bring in an independent prosecutor so that America can clear this up once and for all. Otherwise, we can expect the aura of scandal to hang around the White House like a bad smell until some disinterested third party (at least as disinterested as Ken Starr) comes in and proves that there is “nothing to these baseless allegations.”

Some of the voices stressing the importance of independent investigations into allegations of wrongdoing by the White House in the past decade:

“There is a clear conflict of interest when the attorney general appointed by the president is called upon to investigate possible illegal acts by the vice president or other high-ranking administration officials,” Lott said in a statement. -Trent Lott
[Read more…]

The Moja has Landed

Ladies and gentlemen, my man on the inside is home. Turning Tables has been one of my favorite blogs for its unflinching and detailed peek into daily life for a soldier in Iraq, but his time in Iraq is up, he has served with honor, and he is now back in the U.S.S.A.

Welcome home.

How is he spending his time?

“i’m over at a buddies…spinning some records and throwing back a few beers.”

Right on, right on.

Why does the Author of “We were Soldiers Once…” Hate America?

Joseph Galloway, author of the book “We were Soldiers Once, and Young” and the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers, thinks Don Rumsfeld is on pace to destroy the United States Army.

An excerpt from the article:

Armies are fragile institutions, and for all their might, easily broken.

It took the better part of 20 years to rebuild the Army from the wreckage of Vietnam. With the hard work of a generation of young officers, blooded in Vietnam and determined that the mistake would never be repeated, a new Army rose Phoenix-like from the ashes of the old, now perhaps the finest Army in history.

In just over three years, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and his civilian aides have done just about everything they could to destroy that Army.

He thinks Oliver North is a punk-ass, brown nose, too. I think I am going to read buy two copies of his book this week.

Why does Newsweek Hate America?

This is the first paragraph in their latest article about the reconstruction of Iraq:

Last February, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner was trying to put together a team of experts to rebuild Iraq after the war was over, and his list included 20 State Department officials. The day before he was supposed to leave for the region, Garner got a call from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who ordered him to cut 16 of the 20 State officials from his roster. It seems that the State Department people were deemed to be Arabist apologists, or squishy about the United Nations, or in some way politically incorrect to the right-wing ideologues at the White House or the neocons in the office of the Secretary of Defense. The vetting process ¦got so bad that even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion,² recalled one of GarnerÃs team.


Fresh Legs

This story has started to move so fast that it seems to be updating as fast as I can refresh my browser. Josh Marshall and Atrios are my two information nexuses (nexi?) for this. They are provided updated insider information and informed specualation (Josh) and a roundup of all the information available on the web (Atrios).

Looks like the American media has reached one of those famous “Tipping Points” that we have been hearing about from the White House. I first ran across the story back in July.

If it starts to look like Karl Rove is going to be frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs, then I am finally going to get cable so I can watch it in living color.

The Joys of Privatization

Remember how old editions of the New York Times had a bold headline, then a slightly smaller headline, and then the body of the story- I picture this story that way:

The big headline:
Edison Schools a Dismal Failure: Schools Languish in Puddles of Underfunded Misery

then the smaller headline:
Bush Family Pal/Head of Company Nets Millions: Victory Declared!

The punchline is that funds belonging to public school teachers’ retirement funds were used to bail out Edison schools in Florida.

My favorite editorial on the subject can be found here.

This nice summation of the situation comes from the comments section of another blog that I read regularly:

“No doubt, what’s going on is hard to express, even though I think we can grok it in its entirety.

My little tin-foil coated head sees this as a rather spectacular, and, in its own twisted way, brilliantly innovative example of the crony capitalist/rightist populist connection, as follows:

1. Public schools are bad because public anything is “socialist”, and besides the secular humanist union-loving teachers just fill our kids heads with godless America-hating propaganda.

2. The solution to the above is (ta da!) The Magic of the Marketplace.

3. This is great, because every time we can “privatize” something, we (the crony class power elite) get another great opportunity for corrupt, revolving door patronage.

3. There’s one problem though: education does not really fit into the Jaycees myth of business. In fact, it’s a crappy business, and corporations that try it invariably either educate poorly, or lose money, or both.

4. But that means our crony friends don’t get filthy rich acting like they are “capitalists” in any genuine free market sense. In fact, the notion of Free Markets itself, we winkingly acknowlege, is another front meme four our adventures in crony land. No, our “businesses” can only thrive while sucking mightily at the public teat.

5. Solution? Use another “socialist” bureaucracy to buy out the tanking education “business”. This is a win-win. This way, we will, in effect, set up a system in which two “socialist” bureaucracies we despise (public crony-unfriendly education and safety nets for the lucky duckies) will end up holding each other hostage. It’s sort of like tying two people together with a bomb set up so that if you disconnect the people, BOOM!

6. So if things go really well we might trash both commie pinko institutions and syphon tons of money out of their dying corpses into the pockets of our crony compatriots.

7. Brilliant. Our red-state Joe 6-pack dupes will be happy we “saved education from commies”, and “shrank government”, while all the while we can move the entire country one step closer to Banana Republic status.

Let’s have a cigar!
-mondo dentro”

Really, it doesn’t hurt any less when I laugh, but at least it distracts me…

Anybody want to take a shot?

I checked the comments section of my blog this morning only to find a rather obnoxious ad for Penis Enlargement products tacked onto a six month old entry. Does this mean that someone has discovered a way to spam the comments of MT-based weblogs?

Is that obnoxious or what? Just in case anyone is interested in joining me for a little “exploration” of the IP where the “comment” originated, here it is:

Vamos a ver, shall we?

Is it still “news”?

Okay, they call it “news” because it’s information that one did not have before, and is therefore new. Right?

So, what do we call this? Why didn’t someone tell us this before? We had no idea!

Did someone finally wake up at cnnfn? I picture Lou Dobbs in his $1000 suit, wiping his sleepy eyes and mopping the drool off his chin and suddenly shouting “What the hell?” while his coffee cup goes tumbling.