Saturday, April 05, 2008

Breaking News! MLK, Posthumously, Pardons McCain

It's absolutely astounding the the McCain Campaign was able to keep the lid on such breathtaking news.

I mean, with all the media digging (wink, wink), the 24/7 news cycles, the rocking-and-rolling biography tour, and no one, not one single McCain worker even hinted such a blockbuster was forthcoming.

Yesterday, ol' Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain spoke at the ceremonies commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, giving his mea culpa for, originally, dissing, and voting against, the MLK Holiday.

"We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed. And always, that was his method in word and action—to remind us of who we are and what we believe. ...


King, and many, many others, were being beaten, some even murdered, in the fight for equality, the battle for civil rights, the call for the country to live up to it's pledge, its' Constitution and McCain does a paint-by-numbers Norman Rockwell tribute, as if everyone listening to it was going to cheer such a distortion.

I am not an MLK scholar, however, from readings and viewings of program on Dr. King, I harbor serious doubts that Dr. King was so rosily upbeat about the "confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed".

It was, this "good heart of America" who was, with bullhorns and angry red-faces, attempting to put Dr. King down, looking to silence him, marginalize him.

And that was just our own government.
"The FBI's interest in King intensified after the March on Washington in August 1963, when King delivered his "I have a dream speech," which many historians consider the most important speech of the 20th century. After the speech, an FBI memo called King the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.

The bureau convened a meeting of department heads to "explore how best to carry on our investigation [of King] to produce the desired results without embarrassment to the Bureau," which included "a complete analysis of the avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader."

No, I don't believe Dr. King understood, nor accepted, the lateness, for his fellow Americans.

If McCain bothered to look, or assigned someone in his staff to check, I think he would find that Dr. Kings' body of work was directly aimed at not accepting, or understanding such lateness from his fellow Americans.

All McCain would have had to look at was Dr. King's final day, in Memphis, to support the garbage men's strike, who protested and marched wearing signs that read "I Am A Man".

McCain was just toting the party line, engaging in the standard the "Santa Clausification of MLK" (H/T to Andrew Golis/TPMCafe).

Cornell West, speaking with Tavis Smiley;

West: I mean, I think it's very important because you see a lot of chit-chat about Martin every year and Martin has been so domesticated and tamed and defamed, you know, what we call the Santa Clausification of the brother.

Tavis: Wait a minute. Hold the phone, hold the phone. The Santa Clausification of Dr. King, which means what, Dr. West?

West: He just becomes a nice little old man with a smile with toys in his bag, not a threat to anybody, as if his fundamental commitment to unconditional love and unarmed truth does not bring to bear certain kinds of pressure to a status quo. So the status quo feels so comfortable as though it's a convenient thing to do rather than acknowledge him as to what he was, what the FBI said, "The most dangerous man in America." Why? Because of his fundamental commitment to love and to justice and trying to keep track of the humanity of each and every one of us.

McCain is not a nice, little old man, and he often sneers and snorts, and it's not toys in his bag, but wars, and more wars, and he is threat to everybody.

Too bad he didn't have Lieberman with him for his Make-Up Mitt Speech, though I doubt Lieberman would have been able to whisper the correct answer in his ear on this day.

Then again, it's a bit surprising that McCain didn't tie things together, and say Kings' killer was trained by Iran.

You're slipping there, Fly Boy ...

No, Wait A Minute ... I Think It Was The Hospital That Was Under Sniper Fire ...

Oops, she did it again!

No, not Britney Spears, but the other diva, Queen of the campaign trail, the intrepid candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

If Hillary was inflicted with the same curse as Pinocchio, you could line her up to measure a couple of football fields, with her schnauz by now.

Geez, don't their people check anything?

Hillary's been bouncing around the campaign trail, attempting to put the Fear-of-God into people, over healthcare (as you know, only HRC has the de facto, guaranteed, absolutely successful healthcare plans), telling a tale (that has gotten taller-and-taller) about a woman - a pregnant woman - who was said to have no insurance, and was denied treatment (because she didn't have the $100), and both she and her baby died as a result.

Only, much like the Where's Waldo Snipers, it didn't quite happen that way.

And Hillary has been spinning this so much, the hospital has gone public, in an attempt to get her to stop.

The woman, Trina Bachtel, did die last August, two weeks after her baby boy was stillborn at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio. But hospital administrators said Friday that Ms. Bachtel was under the care of an obstetrics practice affiliated with the hospital, that she was never refused treatment and that she was, in fact, insured.

“We implore the Clinton campaign to immediately desist from repeating this story,” said Rick Castrop, chief executive officer of the O’Bleness Health System.

Linda M. Weiss, a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit hospital, said the Clinton campaign had never contacted the hospital to check the accuracy of the story, which Mrs. Clinton had first heard from a Meigs County, Ohio, sheriff’s deputy in late February.

A Clinton spokesman, Mo Elleithee, said candidates would frequently retell stories relayed to them, vetting them when possible. “In this case, we did try but were not able to fully vet it,” Mr. Elleithee said. “If the hospital claims it did not happen that way, we respect that.”
I wonder if the Clinton spokesman shrugged their shoulders and muttered under their breath "Well, if that's what you want to believe, but we know what we know".

Karen Tumulty;
What is astounding here is that for all the research that the Clinton campaign has done, scouring and scrubbing the opposition, they didn't put a bit more effort into looking at what their own candidate is saying.

John Cole, over on Balloon Juice;
What this all boils down to is a question of competence. It has become increasingly clear that despite their claims about passing the CinC threshold and despite their claims of superior judgment, the Clinton crew cares little about actually getting things right. Loyalty, however, is a cherished value. Competence, not so much.

Where have I seen that poisonous combination over the past eight years? Does the country need four more years of rule from an arrogant and incompetent administration that places a priority on loyalty and secrecy?

And And Pam, from Pam's House Blend, is equally perplexed;
"I simply do not understand this. With all the true health care nightmares out there to use to illustrate why the system is broken, why does the Hillary Clinton and her staff let her tell complete fables on the campaign trail?

The Clinton camp is throwing some local sheriff under-the-bus, saying he told Hillary the story.

When did that conversation take place?

At 3AM?

Yeah, tested, vetted and ready on Day One...

Right ...

The Hillary Death Watch is now down to 8.8% of a chance she'll win the nomination.

Pass The Word ... Mukasey Lies!

Ed.Note: This was intended to be posted yesterday, however, homefront difficulties surfaced and pulled me away, squashing my writing time)

There is something fun, almost liberating, about calling the Crony General of the United States a liar.

Mukasy's a liar! ... Mukasey's a liar! ... Mukasey's a liar!

Go ahead try it, it's fun, isn't it?

Mukasy's a liar! ... Mukasey's a liar! ... Mukasey's a liar!

Okay, not exactly earth-shaking news, but certainly, a most significant revelation.

And that is was water-carrying, for the Bush Grindhouse's egregious fearmongering, over Telcom Immunity, warrants multiple poxes to be placed on the new Crony General.

I mean, let loose ... Conjure up as many as you can! ... Empty out the cupboard! ... Just keep firing pox, after pox, after pox ... No pox will be too large, or too small ... We can take shifts, but keep the poxes coming!

Last week, at a speech given at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, the Crony General for the United States, Michael Mukasey, puckered up, and tearfully added his voice to the chorus of lies the Bush Regime has thrown against the wall, in their pursuit of absolute power.

Glenn Greenwald is all over this, big time, first noting the speech last Saturday, and on Thursday, calling for action

The Crony General, in his speech;

"Officials "shouldn't need a warrant when somebody with a phone in Iraq picks up a phone and calls somebody in the United States because that's the call that we may really want to know about. And before 9/11, that's the call that we didn't know about. We knew that there has been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn't know precisely where it went."

At that point in his answer, Mr. Mukasey grimaced, swallowed hard, and seemed to tear up as he reflected on the weaknesses in America's anti-terrorism strategy prior to the 2001 attacks. "We got three thousand. . . . We've got three thousand people who went to work that day and didn't come home to show for that," he said, struggling to maintain his composure.

Think Progress has a video of it here.

The Raw Story also covers it, and has a video of Keith Olbermann, in his "Bushed" segment (Olbermann, nightly, hightlights three of the Bush Grindhouse's numberable, and still climbing, scandals)

More from Greenwald;
"This isn't just a matter of academic and historical interest about the 9/11 attacks, although it is that. One of two things almost certainly happened here, each of which is of great importance. Either Mukasey is lying about the 9/11 attacks in order to manipulate Americans into believing that FISA's warrant requirements are what prevented discovery of the 9/11 attacks and caused 3,000 American deaths -- a completely disgusting act by the Attorney General which obviously cannot be ignored. Or, Mukasey has just revealed the most damning fact yet about the Bush's administration's ability and failure to have prevented the attacks -- facts that, until now, were apparently concealed from the 9/11 Commission and the public.

Now, the Crony General is a former judge (Greenwald: "Mike Mukasey was a long-time federal judge and so I feel perfectly comfortable calling that what it is: a brazen lie.") so it's not like he's merely a Bush Grindhouse political hack ...

Wait a minute, what am I saying? ... He's the Crony General ...With the shit train that was on the tracks at the time he was offered the position, no way he didn't agree to play inside the alternate reality, and climb aboard the shit train that is the Bush Grindhouse.

Sooooo ....

He's either lying, playing politics (not to mention exploiting the horror of Sept. 11th) within the long-running Bush policy of lies and fearmongering.

Or, he let slip just how deep an REM snooze the Bush Grindhouse was in when they hijacked the office.

And this would have come before the infamous blow-off of the now infamous August 2001 PDB - "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US".

Oh man, either way, this sucks and we can't do enough, can't get them out fast enough, can't heap enough criminal and moral charges on these dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds!

So, let off the steam ....

Mukasey's a liar! ... Mukasey's a liar ... Mukasey's a liar!

Bonus Mukasey Mish-Mash

Digby/Hullabaloo: Clever Gaffes

EmptyWheel/Firedoglake: Snowball

Glenn Greenwald: The DOJ comments on the Mukasey controversy

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

5 April 2006 .. On The Garlic

Look What They're Saying!

5 April 2005 .. On The Garlic

Google Ups Ante In Email Wars; Now 2-Gig, plus Cars, Chickens and Pots

Washington Monument Reopened After Trim; 500-Feet Chopped Off For Security Precautions

Bewitched Tune Writer Dies; Third of Show To Fall From Spell Cast in 1964

Top Ten Cloves: New Changes At CBS Evening News

Friday, April 04, 2008

In Your Land, There Was A King ...

In your land there was a King,
Who once said, "I have a dream",
Now there's a man who knew,
The Secret ...
A verse, sung by the incredibly-voiced Esther Satterfield, on Chuck Mangione's "Land of Make Believe"

Big doings today, the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Should Barack Obama prevail, win the nomination and general election, than the 41st anniversary will be huge doings, with President Obama presiding over a memorial ceremony.

That's certainly a dream worth dreaming.

We tip our cap today, with a Good Post Alert, to Barry Crimmins, who bullseyes' the day with his "The Giant Triplets"
And today as EVERYONE bemoans the assassination of Martin Luther King, we remain largely silent as a mob of defenders of a hateful status quo, that's imposed and enforced by the still greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - the US government, gang-character assassinates Rev Jeremiah Wright for daring to say "Goddamn America!" America, a country where the poor continue to grow more desperate and hopeless. America, a country with over two million people in jail, including 900,000 African-Americans and a vast number of Latinos. America, a country that spends more on militarism than the next 46 highest spending countries combined.
There's more, including YouTube and links to King's "Why I am opposed to the Vietnam War" and "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" so go check out Barry Crimmins' "The Giant Triplets"

And when you finished there, Truthout has a pair of good ones up;.

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III's, "It's Not the Dream; It's Our Nightmare"
The best way to pay tribute to Dr. King and his total sacrifice is to understand what he stood for. Start by reading two speeches. First, read "I Have a Dream." Second, read "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." Don't allow others to selectively define Dr. King for you. Read these two speeches for yourself.

Dr. King the strict constructionist referred to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. He stated, "It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned ... Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check - a check which has come back marked insufficient funds." Again, a clear indictment of America!

It's Jeff Cohen's "Forty Years Later, (The Late) Martin Luther King Still Silenced"

Last night, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams enthused over new color footage of King that adorned its coverage of the 40th anniversary of the assassination. The report focused on the last phase of King's life. But the same old blinders were in place.

NBC showed young working class whites in Chicago taunting King. But there was no mention of how elite media had taunted King in his last year. In 1967 and 1968, mainstream media saw Reverend King a bit like they now see Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Back then, they denounced King's critical comments; today they simply silence them.

Before you click over to read these great posts, click here, and let Bill Evans be your reading soundtrack, his haunting "Peace Piece"

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

4 April 2006... On The Garlic

DeLay Resignation Clears Way For Medal of Freedom Award

Top Ten Cloves: Things To Look Forward To When Katie Couric Takes Over As CBS News Anchor

April 04 2005... On The Garlic - Special Pope Coverage

Who Gets Nod For Next Pope? Conclave Wide Open; Third World, Koppel, Buchanan, Schwarzenegger On Short List

Special Pope-Cam Gives Round-The-Clock Coverage

Frist Concurs With Vatican Diagnosis; Viewed Videotape of Papal Apartment For Hours

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The Red Sox-Yankee Opener

Thursday, April 03, 2008

No Doubt, Lou Dobbs Will Go Absolut-ely Apocalyptic

If I were in the predictions game, I might go out, on a very short limb, and say Lou Dobbs will soon be calling for a boycott of Absolut Vodka.

The Right Wing Freakshow is all atwitter today, with an ad campaign that conjures up the image of the mythical land of Aztlan, apparently found on, or tipped off to, a blog of a Latin American Editor and Journalist.

In a perfect world, our loved ones wouldn’t die leaving us terribly saddened and alone. But in an “Absolut World,” wonderful things can happen, including getting the U.S.-Mexico border straight once and for all. (This print ad was taken from the current issue of Quién magazine, in Mexico City.)

Hmmm ... Think I'll have to whip up a batch of Vodka-and-Tonics tonight, kick back and watch Lou Dobbs meltdown

Ahh, screw Lou Dobbs ...

Better to fire up some Ruben Blades

Pedro Navaja. Ruben Blades & Seis del Solar

Azucar!, Laura Martinez!

The Hillary Deathwatch

Oh, those scamps over at Slate Magazine.

A most amusing series they are running - The Hillary Deathwatch.

Here's today's offering;

The Hillary Deathwatch: Strong head winds put the Clinton camp back in irons

Lastly: Less money, more problems. Early estimates put Obama's March fundraising total north of $30 million. Not as hot as his $55 million February haul, but enough to dwarf Clinton's estimated $20 million for March. This despite what many consider Obama's worst news month yet. Meanwhile, Clinton's debts are reportedly as high as $9 million, not including her $5 million self-loan. Obama is already outspending her 3-to-1 in Pennsylvania—and he can afford to continue. There's a saying that candidates never drop out; they just run out of cash.
You can go here, to Deathwatch 2008: Down and on the way out, to catch up from the beginning.

(And you can click on the 2007, to review the last throes and fall of former Crony General Alberto Gonzales)

They also offer you the opportunity to send in your own prognostications

I don't know ... We might see those striking Daily Kos diarists start picketing Slate ...

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

April 03 2006... On The Garlic

White House Chides Media Again; Calls For “Better Daylight Saving Time” Stories

Top Ten Cloves: Things About ESPN Televising Dominoes Events

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Little Yoo Wop

Something this big needs some music.

It's not every day, we finally get documents released, that detail the war criminality of the Bush Grindhouse, and one of their star players, John "Torture Sounds Good To Me" Yoo.

Just in case, you're still playing the video over-and-over, in slow-motion, trying to find the snipers that Hillary Clinton had to avoid in Bosnia, or, you're scouring through the IMBD site, looking for Hillary Clinton in the credits of any one of the hundreds of Rocky films, blockbuster news dropped yesterday;

The March 2003 Yoo Memo Emerges! (not an April Fool's Joke): The Torture Memo to Top All Torture Memos

Subhead: The Big Kahuna: The Torture Memo that Makes the August 2002 Memo Look Like Objective and Thoughtful Legal Analysis

"On Friday, March 13, 2003, Jay Bybee resigned from his Office as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The very next day -- a Saturday, mind you -- John Yoo, merely a Deputy AAG in the Office, issued his notorious memo to the Pentagon, on behalf of OLC, which effectively gave the Pentagon the green light to disregard statutory limits on torture, cruelty and maltreatment in the treatment of detainees. This is the version of the 2002 Torture memo, which was addressed only to the CIA and the torture statute, as applied to the numerous statutes restricting the conduct of the armed forces. None of those statues, you see, limits the conduct of war if the President says so. It is, in effect, the blueprint that led to Abu Ghraib and the other abuses within the armed forces in 2003 and early 2004 ..."
Yoo's memo was, The Green Light, as Phillippe Sands writes in Vanity Fair;
"We talked about the methods of interrogation. “In terms of their effects,” she said, “I suspect that the individual techniques are less important than the fact that they were used over an extended period of time, and that several appear to be used together: in other words, the cumulative effect.” Detainee 063 was subjected to systematic sleep deprivation. He was shackled and cuffed; at times, head restraints were used. He was compelled to listen to threats to his family. The interrogation leveraged his sensitivities as a Muslim: he was shown pictures of scantily clad models, was touched by a female interrogator, was made to stand naked, and was forcibly shaved. He was denied the right to pray. A psychiatrist who witnessed the interrogation of Detainee 063 reported the use of dogs, intended to intimidate “by getting the dogs close to him and then having the dogs bark or act aggressively on command.” The temperature was changed, and 063 was subjected to extreme cold. Intravenous tubes were forced into his body, to provide nourishment when he would not eat or drink."

If you want to prime your scorecards, you can start adding the names of, well, The Commander Guy, and his distrustful sidekick, Vice President Darth Vader, and his home boy, David Addington.

There's lots more that the "War Criminal" placard should hang on, and there'll be a YooMemoPalooza of links below.

But we gotta get to the music, the fanfare for this occasion

And we turn to the legendary Sam Cooke, to provide us the tune.

You know it, so sing, or hum along ...
Yoo Tortured Me

Dammit, Yoo tortured me
I know Yoo tortured me
Dammit You tortured me
Dishonest John Yoo, dishonest John Yoo
Dishonest John Yoo, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Yoo beat me
I know Yoo, Yoo, Yoo beat me
Dammit Yoo, Yoo, Yoo, beat me
Dishonest John Yoo

At first I thought it was interrogation
But Yoo, it's lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To query Yoo and break Yoo alone

Yoo beat me
I know Yoo, Yoo, Yoo beat me
Dammit Yoo, Yoo, Yoo, beat me
Dishonest John Yoo

Whoa-oh-oh, whenever I'm with Yoo
I know, I know, I know when I'm near Yoo
Mmm hmm, mmm hmm, dishonest John Yoo, dishonest John Yoo
Whoa-oh-oh, I know-oh-oh-oh

At first I thought it was interrogation
But Yoo, it's lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To query Yoo and break Yoo alone

I know, I know, I know, Yoo tortured me
I know Yoo tortured me
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, Yoo Yoo Yoo Yoo tortured me
Dishonest John Yoo

Bonus YooMemoPalooza Links

Sam Cooke - You Send Me 1958

Glenn Greenwald: John Yoo's war crimes

emptywheel/Firedoglake: Acting Counsels and Torture

Jack Balkin/Balkinization : The Legality of Evil: The Torture Memos and the Living Constitution

Christy Hardin Smith: Yoo Torture Memo: I’ll Take Addington At Cheney’s Behest For $1,000, Alex…

Space Cowboy/Shakesville: Bush: Legacy of S&M

emptywheel/Firedoglake: The “John Yoo, Let’s Pretend We’re Lawyers” Game

Paul Kiel/TPM: The Timeline Behind Yoo's Memo

I Missed Home Ec For This!

Quick, somebody get Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain some GPS for his trip down Memory Lane!

No doubt, as the the Sometime Straight Talk Express pulled into his old High School yesterday, lounging back in one of its' seats, SB John must have had a smile on his face, dreamily recalling his youthful exploits.

While SB John may have been pleasantly ensconced in the somniferous sounds of a Victrola tune long gone, he stepped off the bus into an iPod-MySpace-YouTube-World Wide Web-24/7 kind-of-life and, it looks like he's gonna have a tough time with it.

Student calls McCain out for political motivations of school appearance

Today Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stopped at his alma mater, Episcopal High School in Virginia, to lecture on the importance of teaching and the honor code. McCain’s toughest question came from student Katelyn Halldorson, who called the senator out for the political motivations of his appearance:

“I think judging by the amount of press representatives here and also by the integration of your previous political endorsements in your earlier personal narrative, we can see that this isn’t completely absent – er political motivation isn’t completely absent,” she said. “Yet we were told that this isn’t a political event. So what exactly is your purpose in being here – not that I don’t appreciate the opportunity, but I’d just like some clarification.”

“I knew I should have cut this thing off. This meeting is over,” McCain joked, before launching into a long description of his biography tour…

McCain concluded the visit by saying, “I hope that attendance here was not compulsory…I apologize if you were unwillingly in attendance here.”

According to one EHS staff member, attendance was required.

Space Cowboy, over on Shakesville, offered that "I don't remember any classmates whatsoever that were as cool as the student quoted above, Katelyn Halldorson. Maybe there's hope after all."

Wonkette gave Halldorson their "High Schooler Who Harasses John McCain Of The Day", for calling out McCain's "bullshit".

Looks like SB John, if he's going to called out and dumped on by teenagers, is going to have to adopt something else from The Commander Guy

Invitation-Only, Military audiences.

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

2 April 2007... On The Garlic

Look No Further, Your Handy Baseball Primer

2 April 2006... On The Garlic

Special Essay - Play Ball! ... Batter Up! Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?

Garlic Poll Results: Most People Think The PNAC Is ...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Don't Tell The Lincoln Group About This ...

Oh boy, I smell trouble ...

The Wired's Danger Room had this yesterday;

Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'

A study, written for U.S. Special Operations Command, suggested "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers."

This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach -- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.
And this;
Information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence…to pass the U.S. message. … On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.

An alternative strategy is to “make” a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however, and depending on the person running the blog, may impose a significant educational burden, in terms of cultural and linguistic training before the blog could be put online to any useful effect. Still, there are people in the military today who like to blog.
Don't the different branches of the Bush Grindhouse talk to each other?

Someone ought to wake up these military people, as what they are proposing is already in place.

It's called Fox News.

Along with those like Matt Sludge, Michelle "Stalkin" Malkin, Dennis Miller, Ann Coulter and a whole bevy of other Right Wing, Freakshow bloggers and pundits who echo Fox News, simply recite the Bush Grindhouse talking points, or just make up their own stories.

And there's The Lincoln Group.

You remember them, don't you? ... The propaganda company the Pentagon hired to plant pro-USA stories in the Iraqi newspapers and media?

Is this a turf fight in-the-making?

Will the propaganda pro's have to compete against the pajama-clad, basement dwellers?

Holy Baghdad Bob, what a bubbling bruhaha, Batman!

Wait a minute!

How do we know this story, this study, isn't a planted piece?


They're trying to flush something out .... Or maybe, its to see how many of the previously-referenced Right Wing, Freakshow bloggers and pundits raise their hands, salivating at the opportunity to start shoveling it for the government.

Cuts down on the recruiting costs, I suppose.

Bonus Spiked Media Riffs

The Carpetbagger Report: The military plan to ‘clandestinely’ put bloggers on the payroll

Jeff Fecke/Shakesville: Working Undercover for the Man

When A Michelle Malkin Quits The O'Reilly Factor, And No One is Around To Hear it, Does It Make A Sound?

White House "Embarrassed"; Bush Victory Strategy Speech Written By PR Agency; Gave President Wrong Folder; Iraqi Newspaper Prints Slams Against Murtha, Kerry, Pelosi

Rumsfeld Blames Contractor, If Media Plant Stories True, But Defends Outsourcing Program; Says "Still Gathering Facts"; If It Turns Out Positive, Will Be Adopted Into New 'National Victory Strategy' Plan

Secretary Says No Reflection That We Don't Know What's Going On; More Bush Troubles As Rice Backtracks, Corrects Comments, Blames Lincoln Group; Meant To Say Was Surprised Levees Breached, Not By Hamas Election Victory; Backs Pace That There's No Civil War

Rififi Director, Jules Dassin, Blacklisted, Dies at 96

I may have only paid glancing notice to this obit, based on the element of it being a blacklisted director.

But the name, "Jules Dassin" carried my full attention to it, for Dassin made, IMHO (and a a lot of others) the greatest crime caper film of all time.

Jules Dassin directed "Rififi".

Rififi is classic Film Noir, tense, pulsating and with an unbelievable nerve-shattering segment of the heist.

Jules Dassin, 96; blacklisted director was master of film noir

Mr. Dassin, considered one of the leading American filmmakers of the postwar era, directed his most influential film, "Rififi," while living in France after being blacklisted as a communist in the early 1950s. "Rififi" earned him a best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. Turan noted that "Rififi's" influence "is hard to overstate." The critic wrote that one section of the film is "a model of tension and precision." In the sequence, Mr. Dassin spends "a full 30 minutes on the actual robbery, a completely wordless half-hour (though it makes good use of sound effects) that racks the nerves and provides a master class in breaking and entering, as well as filmmaking."

From Wikipedia;
Rififi is based on a novel by Auguste le Breton; le Breton assisted in adapting it to film. However, Dassin expanded the safe-cracking job, which is negligible in the book, into a 32-minute sequence that occupies a fourth of the running time and is played entirely without dialogue or music, intensifying the suspense. So meticulous is the construction and so specific the detail of this scene that the Mexican interior ministry banned the movie because there were a series of robberies mimicking it.

From an essay, by James Hook;
And yet, even in a film of such generous superlatives, something does stand out, towering over it all. For Rififi is that most hallowed of films, a film that contains a monument within. Like the Grand Hall ball in The Magnificent Ambersons or the pickpocketing sequence in Pickpocket or the crop-duster chase in North by Northwest, the virtually silent, gleefully long heist scene at the center of Rififi is a tingling, ecstatic, sustained act of brilliance—a sacrament of the cinema. For an astounding 33 minutes, Dassin removes all dialogue, hushing the soundtrack to the mere sounds of breath—the accidental note from a piano is enough to stop your heart—as we observe the criminal team at work, breaking through the floor, silencing alarms, cracking safes, checking watches, and signaling each other. It is a scene you’ve seen before (shameless imitators have been cannibalizing it for decades), but you will never see it so purely, respectfully done as here.

Rififi (1954) Roger Ebert / September 1, 2002

I highly recommend, the next film rental you make, or purchase, check out Rififi, you will not, repeat, you will not be disappointed.

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

1 April 2007... On The Garlic

Hey, Wait A Minute ... We're Not Falling For That One Again ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

1 April 2006... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 1 April 2006

1 April 2005... On The Garlic

Happy April Fools Day! Entire World Clicks Onto The Garlic Sets New Web/Blog Record

Top Ten Cloves: Special April Fools Headlines We'll Never See

Monday, March 31, 2008

Top Ten Cloves: Excuses Hillary Clinton Is Giving For Not Paying Her Campaign Bills

News Item: Clinton's new campaign motto: BYO

10. "Some would say, let's get everybody together, let's get unified ... The sky will open ... The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing ... And everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect ... And we won't have to pay any bills ... "

9. It's not the pledged bills that matter, but the popular bills that count

8. Thought that once she crossed the Commander-in-Chief Threshold, she didn't have to pay the bills anymore

7. “I know there are some people who want to shut this down and I think they are wrong,” Clinton said in an interview during a campaign stop here Saturday. “I have no intention of paying any bills until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan ..."

6. She's been sleep deprived

5. Holding off paying bills, to put pressure on the striking Daily Kos diarists to get them to start writing about her again

4. "We tried to go to the accountants' office, but we came in in an evasive maneuver... I remember arriving under sniper fire... there was no greeting ceremony... we ran with our heads down, we basically were told to run to our cars... there was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the accountants' office, we basically were told to run to our cars, and not pay the bills

3. Checkbook was in kitchen sink thrown at Obama

2. She didn't have any plans, after Super Tuesday, to pay any bills

1. “It’s not easy, it’s not easy,” Clinton said shaking her head. Her eyes began to get watery as she finished answering the question, “I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do. This is very personal for me. I have so many ideas for paying the bills and I just don’t want to see us fall backwards. It’s about our bills, it’s about our kids’ bills,” she said softly crying, her voice breaking.

Bonus Hillary Riffs

Kenneth Vogel: Clinton didn't pay health insurance bills

Mark Murray: Clinton: Not paying the bills?

Prairie Weather: Clinton sustaining damage on two fronts

What About On Day Two?

Top Ten Cloves: If Hillary Clinton Is A Monster, The Movies That Would Be Made About Her

"Oh ... THAT Conspiracy ..."

We Bring You The Head of Alphonso Jackson

Well, he went out, a little bit off-form.

"Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced his resignation today, citing "personal and family matters." He has come under pressure from Congress for his refusal to answer questions about a federal lawsuit and whether he tried to steer land to a business friend."

For the first time in awhile, a politico, either knowing what a shit-train the Bush Grindhouse is, or, under the glare of possible criminal charges, didn't cite "wanting to spend more time with family", for their hasty departure.

That may not be a option available to Jackson in the not-too-distant future.

The "personal and family matters" are Jackson facing a grand jury, on his cronyism, so, possibly, Daddy won't be coming home some day soon.

Chalk up another one for the Bush Regime.

Meanwhile, Alfredo Garcia can stay at rest.

Bonus Links

Think Progress: Jackson Gets Evicted: White House Officials Questioned His ‘Ability To Continue To Lead The Agency’

And just last month, the now former HUD Secretary was featured in one of our Retro Garlic

Retro Garlic: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall ...

It's Now Dirt Nap Time In America

Legendary Ad Man Hal Riney died last week.

One of the more celebrated creatives that made his mark, helping to create, and coming out of, the boon of the 1960's, to usher in a new mode of operation for Ad Agencies.

Included in his highlights was creating an ad for Crocker Bank, and with it a song that, a few years later, became a #1 hit for The Carpenters;

"We've Only Just Begun" is The Carpenters' signature song. Although it was recorded in early 1970 it is still much in demand as a wedding anthem. [1] Written by the songwriting team of Roger Nichols (music) and Paul Williams (lyrics), the song originally debuted in a commercial for Crocker Citizens Bank in California in 1970, with Williams providing the vocals.[1] It is ranked #405 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

Riney was also behind foisting on us Wine Coolers, through the, interpreted by some, whimsical, folksy wit and humor of fictional Bartle and Jaymes, fronting for fat wine cats Ernest and Julio Gallo.

Perhaps, more famously, Riney is the one that created the Republican's rallying cry during the resurgence of the 1980's, that being Ronald Reagan's "Morning In America" campaign ad.

Full text of the ad:

It's morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It's morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?

The Career Thumbnail - The Carpenters, Ronald Reagan and a Wine Cooler

Yeah, I suppose, if you work at it, suspend certain tenets and beliefs, you can sell anything.

Ad Age has a piece today - Hal Riney Explains His Own Best Commercials - and a video to go with it.

Hal Riney Explains His Own Best Commercials: Video Excerpts From His 2002 San Francisco Presentation

(Note: This was not professionally recorded, and, at least on my computer, the audio is not so great)