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Friday, September 30, 2005

Judith Miller's Talking

She has just come out of the courthouse and the main points:

- Waiver was personal, exclusive by her "source," Scooter Libby
- Talking to the source directly was important
- Testimony was sabout the one source only
- She claimed her stay in jail was "long"

Care to discuss it?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Absolut Corruption

Thanks to Maria at 2politicaljunkies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

At least they addressed the ethics problem...

Our friends at CREW (Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility):

...released a 93-page report entitled Beyond DeLay: The 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress, documenting the egregious, unethical and possibly illegal activities of the most tainted Members of Congress. For the first time, CREW has compiled and analyzed all these members’ transgressions in tandem with the federal laws and congressional rules they may have violated.

CREW has also launched a new website,, which details the tainted thirteen’s violations and encourages visitors, through the website, to contact their member of Congress to ask for an investigation of these members.

The 13 members are:

-- Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

-- Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA)

-- Rep. Tom Feeney(R-FL)

-- Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)

-- Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)

-- Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH)

-- Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA)

-- Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)

-- Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC)

-- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

-- Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

-- Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)

The full press release can be read HERE.

I'm glad to know that Delay's replacement is number one on the list. I can sleep well at night knowing that The Culture of Corruption is alive and well in the Republican Party.

"It's about time."

Well. It’s official. Tom Delay has been indicted for something we have known all along. He is crooked. How the world has ignored this fact for as long as it has is a testament to the power of one-party rule and media intimidation. My response to this news is, “It’s about time.”

My response to the headlines that the SEC has opened a complete investigation of Bill Frist’s financial stock holdings and dealings is the very same, “It’s about time.” I repeat the mantra when I think of the impending indictment of Karl Rove and the criminality that is being exposed. Incompetence. Corruption. Cronyism. It’s all there and has been in full view. Yes. “It’s about time.”

It seems that BushCo and its Republican Party subsidiaries are crumbling under the weight of their pathological corruption. The only detail remaining to be seen is how far will it all go. How deep into the fabric of the congressional Republican power structure will the unraveling thread extend? Have they knitted sufficient firewalls to protect state and county GOP party machinery? I ask these questions because I, along with many other ePluribus Media members, have been investigating the extent of the Republican Media Complex for the past six months and have an understanding of how they weave the relationships of money and favors that is the fabric of their organization.

I was taught by an acting teacher long ago one of the great lessons. She told me that, “Your strength is your weakness.” At first I didn’t get it, but it became clear as I grew older and it’s the best piece of wisdom I have ever received. In my case, she meant that as an actor I would always play to my strengths and, as a result, not work on my weaknesses. In the short run, she argued, I may book a sitcom or soap or movie and make out quite well…for a while. But, without the skills to play other parts, where would I be when the public tired of my act? A great example of an actor who never let himself get pegged into one type of role is Dustin Hoffman. Think of how he challenged himself and grew as an actor, and, as a result, has had a long and prosperous career.

Now, what has Dustin Hoffman’s career got to do with the fall of the Republican Party? Nothing directly, but everything in the big picture.

You see, the biggest strength of the Republican Media Complex may also prove to be its biggest weakness. Those of us who have been looking have been forced to admire, in a perverse way, how integrated the RMC has become. It’s the main reason they have been so effective. The central control of money and message has been their strong suit and has led to this Republican age. It certainly hasn’t been their policies and platform. Those have been on the losing side for decades, but by building interconnected and interdependent money and power relationships throughout the country, they have managed to craft an astoundingly consistent, well financed and winning organization.

For example. All money travels through the Abramoff-Delay, pay-to-play wing of the Republican Party. We discovered how the message, even in local races, is dictated from Karl Rove’s office. The media distribution, too, is controlled centrally. How many times have we seen talking points emerge from the White House, then distributed to Rush and Sean for afternoon delivery and finally to O’Riley for nighttime repetition only to have it appear in the MSM the next day. This is not done by accident. This is how they do things. Top down, centrally controlled and funded, with favors and return favors being the yarn that holds it all together. That is their strength.

BUT, as my acting teacher taught me…IT’S ALSO THEIR WEAKNESS. And now comes the fun part. Hopefully with the aid of some good prosecutors and investigators, we will get to watch that great big sweater of interconnected favoritism all come apart…because they knitted it for strength, never noticing that they were also building their weakness.

You see, they knitted their sweater with few, long single threads instead of many short ones. As a result, all it will take is for one of them to break for it all to become one pile of yarn.

Personally, I intend to grab my popcorn and watch, as their once overpowering strength becomes their undoing weakness.

“It’s about time.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A New Design

Design isn't content...but I've been working on the canvas today. The photo that is the header was taken in 1982 at Auke Bay, Alaska. One of my favorite photos. I was driving by and there it was. It's in color...that's what the light was like at that moment in time.

I hope to bring you words and news of some of the never ending moments of time that happen to pass by my way. I hope you all participate because this blog is part of a community of blogs...from k/o: politics & culture to The Duke Baskeball Report.

Community. Talking to each other via this tool called the web. Leave your mark. Read and comment. That's what this fleeting moment is all about.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Barbara & Leslie

Barbara and Leslie have returned from the Gulf Coast where they have been "doing it." Helping to relieve and reporting on the devistation left behind from Katrina and Rita. Barbara's latest report is here and Leslie's photo journalism shines here.

Thank you to them both. A sample below.

photo: Leslie Spurlock

Saturday, September 24, 2005

This and That

By way of Kid Oakland, my favorite blogger, comes this interesting post by Ripley at The Zen Cabin. He has unearthed some an interesting BYU connection within the Bush Administration that bears watching.

My feelings about this war have been complex and altogether twisting in the wind. After all, this is an extremely difficult predicament Bush has engineered. Billmon has articulated better than I my feelings with his incredible, Heart of Darkness. Required reading on this September 24, 2005.

XicanoPwr has been doing some award winning blogging on Hurricane Rita at ePluribus Media. His commentary, Inside Hurricane Rita is great stuff.

Finally, my song-writing partner, UNCMark, and I have written a new tune titled, Two Tales of America. I'll have a version up soon. It's the main reason for my hiatus.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Taking a Break...

I'll be back on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Condi. Can I be excused?

Reuters - Wed Sep 14, 4:39 PM ET

U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's vision of freedom from want, persecution and war. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A List

Electronic things I don't know how I ever did without:

- A scroll mouse
- Tab browsing
- HBO on Demand
- iTunes
- Blogging
- On-line banking
- High speed internet
- HTML basics

I'm sure there are others. Care to add to this frivolous post?

Monday, September 12, 2005

It's Official. The Man Hasn't a Clue.

This is truely unbelievable. The President of the United States was informed by the press that his FEMA director had resigned.

Go HERE for video of this remarkable scene.

Here's the kicker. The White House released the name of the new FEMA director, R. David "Duct Tape" Paulison, minutes after Brown's resignation. If it's true that Bush didn't know this until the press told him, the question begs, "Who made the decision about Paulison?"

Have the wheels fallen off here? Who is running the country?

1,461 Days

It has been 1,461 days since Osama bin Laden orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attack on America. He is still at large. America has spent over $200 Billion dollars and lost almost 2000 American lives and ruined over 20,000 others through injury removing the leader of Iraq who had nothing to do with the attack. We have also killed over 100,000 Iraqis in the process.

My 9/11 message?


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Kid Oakland's "Nine Eleven"

I thought of writing a reflection of 9/11, but before I did, I went to Kid Oakland's blog and caught his take, and decided to point you all to his site. To give you a taste...

New York to New Orleans. East Coast to Gulf Coast. Hope and loss. Love and hate and fear. There is no safe place. No matter how straight the rows they make on the their ticketed-only, anti-American, Pentagon-sponsered public event:

You can't make a straight line out of sorrow and grief.

Read the entire entry. It's worth the trip.

Runs In The Family

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Four Years Later

What have we to show for our "War on Terror?"

Four years after the collapse of the towers, evil is still with us and so is terrorism. Terrorists have staged spectacular attacks, killing thousands, in Tunisia, Bali, Mombasa, Riyadh, Istanbul, Casablanca, Jakarta, Madrid, Sharm el Sheik and London, to name only the best known. Last year, they mounted 651 "significant terrorist attacks," triple the year before and the highest since the State Department started gathering figures two decades ago. One hundred ninety-eight of these came in Iraq, Bush's "central front of the war on terror" - nine times the year before. And this does not include the hundreds of attacks on U.S. troops. It is in Iraq, which was to serve as the first step in the "democratization of the Middle East," that insurgents have taken terrorism to a new level, killing well over 4,000 people since April in Baghdad alone; in May, Iraq suffered 90 suicide-bombings. Perhaps the "shining example of democracy" that the administration promised will someday come, but for now Iraq has become a grotesque advertisement for the power and efficacy of terror.

NY Times chimes in...Rove afraid of Blacks

With a nod to The Huffington Post...

But the political pressures on Mr. Bush, and the anxiety at the White House, were only growing. Behind the president's public embrace of Mr. Brown was the realization within the administration that the director's ignorance about the evacuees had further inflamed the rage of the storm's poor, black victims and created an impression of a White House that did not care about their lives.

One prominent African-American supporter of Mr. Bush who is close to Karl Rove, the White House political chief, said the president did not go into the heart of New Orleans and meet with black victims on his first trip there, last Friday, because he knew that White House officials were "scared to death" of the reaction.

"If I'm Karl, do I want the visual of black people hollering at the president as if we're living in Rwanda?" said the supporter, who spoke only anonymously because he did not want to antagonize Mr. Rove.

Steve Gilliard

Man, he nails it with Cards on the Table. Tough to pick a money quote. I'll go with two:

...and it took a week for Bush to respond, while his wife called the greatest natural disaster in American history Corrina. Yeah, I bet you get Xanax and Merlot right. You don't call it Zantrax.

You know, the funny thing about Grover Norquist and his friends is that while they wanted to drown government (speaking of invisible people as of late), they never worked in it. They thought all you needed was a lot of guns.

Oddly enough, there are people behind those guns and they can save lives. If they have the leadership and the resources. Which, quite obviously, they didn't have. Bush and his cronies saw protecting America as a macho activiity, lock up the brown people and hunt them overseas. The fact that there's more to it than that didn't cross their minds.

Until thousands are dead.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Let No Tragedy Go Unexploited

The president has signed an executive order that allows contractors who rebuild New Orleans pay less than prevailing wages to their workers. This comes at a time when those workers need an honest wage to get back on their feet. CNN article here.

There's really no need to ask yourself who benefits. This action came after the vice-president's trip to the area to see first hand how Halliburton can bilk the American people out of more money. He obviously found what he went there to find.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Red States Sing the Blues

Be careful what you vote for, you just might get it.

In the aftermath of Katrina, let's rattle off some of the pressing needs of the victims of the storm.

-    Shelter
-    Food
-    Clothing
-    Employment
-    Transportation
-    Training
-    Money
-    Medical care
-    Education
-    Hope

The need is staggering. Where do we look for help?  Few institutions are large enough to coordinate and supply comfort and support to so many people. In fact, the federal government stands alone in that respect. So America looks to Uncle Sam for answers in times of such tragedy and during the past week, we watched in horror as our Uncle failed miserably. The reason for today's feeling of national shame is that our government not only failed, but it seemed lost, inept with no idea about what to do or where to turn. We are disappointed, frustrated and outraged.

But are we being fair? After all, we have been responsible for selecting our leaders and administrations. We elected George Bush and the Republican congressional majority. And they have pretty much delivered what they promised, if one took the time to pay attention. Their aversion to the government organizations that supply all of the above needs has been quite clear. They have proposed or succeeded in cutting or eliminating the programs or departments that offer:

-    Shelter
-    Food
-    Clothing
-    Employment
-    Transportation
-    Training
-    Money
-    Medical care
-    Education
-    Hope

I don't recall hearing any Republican in the past three cycles talk about increasing the funding to answer any of these needs. Quite the contrary. They have made no secret of their desire to unravel the New Deal, which was created to answer the above needs...needs which stemmed from an earlier national tragedy, The Great Depression. In fact, Republican policy is a blueprint for returning to the gilded age of robber barons and unregulated business practices that led to that economic disaster. They promised, "to drown the federal government in the bathtub" and they have pretty much delivered.

So are we being fair with our outrage? For those Republican purists, and there are some, there is no outrage, no surprise or no disappointment. I have heard and read statements that have reveled in the tragedy as an opportunity to cleanse the population, rid the south of sin and blame the victims who got what they had coming.

Fortunately, they are not the majority. Most are appalled and they can't understand why their beloved, moral leader would wait so long to respond. These voters are the metaphorical Kansans to whom Thomas Frank refers in his book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" During the election they were fed a constant barrage of irrelevant culture issues, which masked the inhumanity of the underlying truth about the Republican agenda. They were warned about the dangers of gay marriage and over-the-counter birth control, but they weren't told about the small print details in the bankruptcy bill. They were distracted by the left hand thumping the Bible, while the right hand was picking their pockets, cutting their pension and sending their sons and daughters off to war. And, now, the final insult...America can't or won't act to save the lives of Americans. I wonder, if given the choice now of saving 10,000 lives in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and allowing two men to marry in Massachusetts, which one they would select. My better part would think the latter.

The reality is, those victims of the storm in the Red States and others watching from afar who asked with their ballots for this kind of government, have gotten exactly what they voted for. I'm hoping the next time, they'll pay a little more attention.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Since the Government won't help, will you?

If we had a real President

This is apost by Stirling Newberry at I'm reprinting it here because we need to hear the speech we'll never get.

My fellow Americans, it has never been my policy to lie to you, neither to exagerate the dangers we face, nor to minimize the challenges that lay before us. Two days ago, with almost biblical force, the Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, including Mississippi and Lousiana. The damage was no less than what a war would have caused - a millon are left homeless, and millions without power and the other sinews of modern life.

As importantly the oil wells and refineries are out of commission. The port of New Orleans, vital for bringing goods in and out of the United States, is out of commission. This is a disaster which has hit in one place, but which reaches out to the rest of the nation, and indeed the world.

In the wake of September 11th, Americans pulled together to face the crisis, and willingly set their personal interests aside to meet the dangers we faced then. I am going to ask them to do the same now, so that a temporary disruption does not grow out of proportion. I ask all Americans to act out of restraint and be mindful of what they use, so that there will be enough to support the vital reconstruction effort that we are about to embark upon.

Therefore, I am taking the following steps immediately, and will follow with others shortly.

I am requesting to the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tem of the Senate to call Congress back into session, in that they may be able to pass such measures as are necessary and proper to meet the crisis.

I am requesting that congress appropriate a sum of money for federal transporation projects, to be paid for by a 5% across the board cut on all transportation projects in the recent transportation bill. This money to be released immediately to pay for the restoration of transport in the Gulf.

I am asking Congress to pass an adendum to the bankruptcy bill, delaying by 6 months the effective date for those federal districts hit by Katrina, for both personal and corporate bankruptcies.

I am requesting that Congress restore funding to both flood control and the Army Corps of Engineers, to be paid for by a 1% sur-tax on incomes over 250,000 in the next fiscal year.

Every city in America belongs to all Americans, I promise, here, that we will rebuild, not only historic and famous cities, but each and every city that has been touched by this disaster. I am requesting that the governors of the states affected submit to the Department of Homeland Security budgets for that reconstruction, to be included in the budget that I will next submit to Congress, or, if urgent, in a supplemental request.

I am ordering the Department of Justice to coordinate with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to set up temporary federal courts near the disaster area with all due haste, and will, within 15 days, submit to Congress a list of temporary jurisdictions to be created for the duration of the emergency.

I am requesting that all interstate highways be placed on strict speed limit enforcement, and that where practicable, state legislatures consider lowering the speed limit for the duration of the shortage by 5 mph, to save gasoline. I hope that every state will do this voluntarily, in the spirit of unity that this crisis should inspire.

I am ordering the defense department to end the call ups of reservists, and instead activating all medical and law enforcement units available to be sent rescue and restore order. I am authorizing the activation of the IRR to relieve personnel who are qualified for these duties, and ordering other agencies to make administrative personnel available to the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to free up personnel who are so qualified.

I am directing the Departments of Energy and Commerce to begin strict enforcement of anti-gouging measures on oil. If need be there will be a rationing system put into effect, but we would hope that Americans, in the spirit of patriotic restraint, will make this unnecessary.

I have formed a disaster group at the cabinet level, to be headed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to coordinate the response.

I am placing the effected counties of Louisiana and Mississippi under martial law. And, as is constitutional, suspending writs of habeus corpus where the courts are not open. I am ordering every federal agency with law enforcement capabilities to place at the disposal of the Home office personnel to be allocated to the disaster area, or relieve those who can be sent to that area. I am ordering that all courts and financial institutions be secured from looting or other forms of vandalism.

I am placing a freeze on all federal wage increases, and having the salaries of all officials who work in the White House, including myself, to have 20% held back to contribute to the costs. It is a small gesture, but at a time when Americans are generously opening their wallets and giving to such organizations as the American Red Cross, we can do no less.

I am ordering a review of all federal construction, with non-urgent projects to be delayed, in order to make available more resources for the reconstruction effort.

I am ordering that centers be established to house those afflicted, and that military bases make available to the Secretary of Homeland Security a list of beds and other units available for sheltering the homeless.

I am ordering that all federal agencies make available to the Secretary of Homeland Security generators and other equipment that can be used to restore power to medical facilities and other vital services.

I am requesting that the secretary of energy procure ethanol for mixing with gasoline, and making ethanol considered to be compliant fuel in all markets.

I am suspending all military maneuvers not related to on going operations authorized by congress.

I am ordering the Secertary of Transportation to make available on the Eisenhower Interstate System open trucking lanes which will be used to expedite the movement of goods to the afflicted areas.

I am requesting that the EPA and Department of Interior make available their environmental engineers to the afflicted areas to begin the clean up and containment of toxic waste and other hazardous materials.

I am suspending interest on all debts due the Federal government in the afflicted areas for the next 30 days, and delaying any declaration of default for the same period.

Other nations have graciously offered to help us, and I am ordering the Department of State to take all such requests, and streamline any paperwork that the Department of Homeland Security feels would be of value. I am ordering that we recompense those who come to help us fully and fairly, so that that aid may be available to other nations less prosperous than we are.

These measures are temporary, and will last only as long as there is disruption from the storm. Additional steps may be needed to meet this emergency. America is bound together by history and by the bonds of commerce. We will meet the challenge, we will rebuild and restore what was destroyed. We will also mourn those lost, and grieve with every family. And so in closing I am declaring that this Labor Day Monday will be a day of fasting and prayer, in rememberence of those departed, and thankfulness for the bounty of our nation that will allow us to overcome these trials, and emerge stronger than before.

This I promise, so help me God, that we shall spare no effort to save the living, to respect the dead, to bring life to this region, and to spread the sacrifice.

Let us take a moment, and pray for the safety of those who now struggle for life, and for the courage of those who now, as the arm of our great nation, reach out to rescue them. With them go our prayers, our support, and the light that America brings to the darkness.

Thank you, my fellow Americans, for your time, your aid and your understanding.

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