Saturday, April 19, 2008

Empty Suits ... “I felt we’d been hosed" ...

Power comes from lying ... Lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you ... Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you get them by the balls

Senator Roark, from “Sin City - That Yellow Bastard

Yes, we've used this opening quote before.

How the hell, with the Bush Grindhouse, could you not want to use every single day!

I mean, look over the last seven years ... Christ, these guys must have a small, laminated card they keep in their wallets with this on it ...

It's a morning ritual ... A Daily Prayer ... A mantra ... Any one of the Bush Grindhouse cronies tells more lies before 9AM, then you do all day ...

And, in an article that will appear in the New York Times tomorrow (Sunday), a whole lot of rubes are going to be terribly disappointed;

Message Machine - Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

Holy Corrupted Captains, Batman! ... Are you saying that retired Military officers got paid to carry the Bush Grindhouse lies?

It's a pretty detailed account of how a whole bunch of retired military people (those talking heads you seen trotted on your television screens, on both, MSM, and Cable, news programs) have been in the pocket of the Bush Grindhouse, from the get-go, to sell the war, sell all that great progress we've been told about, to beat down criticism, and to sing pretty songs before bad news is allowed to squeeze through and reach the general population.

Not exactly earth-shattering, but it is pretty astonishing, just how easily the Bush Grindhouse cronies went about the business of setting this up.

Like riding a bicycle ...

Want a taste?
Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said.

As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, Mr. Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed.

“Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.”

The Pentagon defended its relationship with military analysts, saying they had been given only factual information about the war. “The intent and purpose of this is nothing other than an earnest attempt to inform the American people,” Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

Boy, you know this must be serious ... Bryan Whitman, Pentagon spokesman, had to defend it with two lies, presumably, using a face so straight, you could cut paper on it.

Before we move on, I have to say, when I first saw and read this article, the first thing that came to mind, the very first thing was ...

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

It was just a few months ago, in January, that Rummy popped out from underneath is rock, and wistfully proposed an official Propaganda Agency;

Leave It to Rumsfeld ... There's Not Enough Lying Going On!
What cosmic forces came together, what asteroid-sized dice rolled a seven, to have former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld come out - the day a quantified and detailed report was released (and with a searchable database) on laying out the Bush Grindhouse's documented lying - and make a call for a new, U.S. Propaganda Agency, ostensibly, to win the hearts and minds of people who, presently, don't like us very much?

So many logistics to work out.

Would this compete with, or augment, the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) and White House Iraq and Iran Group (WHIIG)?

When will this be launched - August is out, per the razor-sharp thinking of Andy Card?

Hmmm ... Maybe Rumsfeld's wishful, and wistful, statement, is a ruse? Maybe it's already in action and Rumsfeld is just out there to throw people off the scent?

And this is what was coming out of Rummy;
We need someone in the United States government, some entity, not like the old USIA . . . I think this agency, a new agency has to be something that would take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that exist today. There are multiple channels for information . . . The Internet is there, pods are there, talk radio is there, e-mails are there. There are all kinds of opportunities. We do not with any systematic organized way attempt to engage the battle of ideas and talk about the idea of beheading, and what's it's about and what it means. And talk about the fact that people are killing more Muslims than they are non-Muslims, these extremists. They're doing it with suicide bombs and the like. We need to engage and not simply be passive and allow that battle of competition of ideas."

This wasn't some item on a wish list ... Or lamenting about "the army you may want ..."

Now, unless dementia is settling in, Rummy, pretty much, laid out exactly the program he, and Torie Clarke ran at the Pentagon!

Yes, the Little Lying Pixie (her official title was "Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs"), Torie Clarke (who had the guile to title her book "Lipstick on a Pig: Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game").

Oh, Little Lying Pixie Torie (Friend of Mary Matalin, if that doesn't clinch it) knew how to spin, spin like a top and she certainly knew how to play the game.

Torie Clarke, the former public relations executive who oversaw the Pentagon’s dealings with the analysts as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, had come to her job with distinct ideas about achieving what she called “information dominance.” In a spin-saturated news culture, she argued, opinion is swayed most by voices perceived as authoritative and utterly independent.

And so even before Sept. 11, she built a system within the Pentagon to recruit “key influentials” — movers and shakers from all walks who with the proper ministrations might be counted on to generate support for Mr. Rumsfeld’s priorities.

Other administrations had made sporadic, small-scale attempts to build relationships with the occasional military analyst. But these were trifling compared with what Ms. Clarke’s team had in mind. Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war. Journalists were secondary. “We didn’t want to rely on them to be our primary vehicle to get information out,” Mr. Meyer said.

From the start, interviews show, the White House took a keen interest in which analysts had been identified by the Pentagon, requesting lists of potential recruits, and suggesting names. Ms. Clarke’s team wrote summaries describing their backgrounds, business affiliations and where they stood on the war.

“Rumsfeld ultimately cleared off on all invitees,” said Mr. Krueger, who left the Pentagon in 2004. (Through a spokesman, Mr. Rumsfeld declined to comment for this article.)

From their earliest sessions with the military analysts, Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides spoke as if they were all part of the same team

So, let's get this straight.

Before September 11th, before the official launch of The Commander Guy's life dream, to invade and occupy Iraq, the Little Lying Pixie Torie Clarke, and her boss, Rummy, looked at retired military officers, not as towers of experience and wisdom, but mere puppets, to spoon-feed lies to, and have them carry those lies to the media, who, in turn, understood to follow their marching orders (under no circumstances, question anything) and pass those lies on to the American people.

For one thing, that's overlooked in the article, this clearly shows, how, early on, the deep, soul-clutching commitment the Bush Grindhouse had to supporting the troops.

Yesiree Bob, one big, heartwarming, fucking Norman Rockwell painting there.

And the Golden Boy, General Petraeus?
Two weeks ago General Petraeus took time out from testifying before Congress about Iraq for a conference call with military analysts.

Mr. Garrett, the Fox analyst and Patton Boggs lobbyist, said he told General Petraeus during the call to “keep up the great work.”

“Hey,” Mr. Garrett said in an interview, “anything we can do to help.”

Go out and read Message Machine - Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand.

If not new news, you will find it breathtaking, the detail of the un-American behavior and practices these people undertook.

And, as you watch the news in the coming weeks, during the campaign, see how much the news programs cut back on using retired Military people on their programs, now that the cat is out-of-the-bag, so publicly, (they should require these guys to disclose that they are lying greedheads; Maybe they should put candy bars, and real scrambled eggs on their uniforms, from now on).

And I may not be posting tomorrow after this.

I think I will be busy, very busy, putting poxes on all of them!

Bonus Link

David Neiwert: When Sock Puppets Rule Our Media

Pale Rider: When the Generals Chose Lies Over Their Soldier's Lives...

Think Progress: Pentagon uses military analysts as ‘puppets’ to push talking points

Kovie: Matthews Tore Torie Clarke New One on Hardball Tonight!

IPS News: Rumsfeld Flees France, Fearing Arrest

“They’re coming here for the American experience”; Rumsfeld Weighs In On Immigration Battle; Won’t Tie It To War With Iran
Suggests Army Recruiting Woes Could Be Solved With Mandatory Service By Illegal Aliens

"He is Iraq's Katrina itself"

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

19 April 2007... On The Garlic

Breaking News! Gonzales To Shift Testimony, Has New Excuse; AG To Cite 'Circuit City' Policy, Claim Replacement Attorneys Costing DOJ Less; Fired USA's Can Reapply in Ten Weeks

19 April 2006... On The Garlic

Breaking News! McClellan Points Finger At Bolten, Says Rough Period Ahead For White House; McClellan Surprised Resignation Accepted; Miffed No “Vigorous Defense” From President; Guesses “You Have To Screw Up A War” To Be Protected: Rove Moved, Will Concentrate Fulltime On Smearing

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons John McCain Is Cozying Up To President Bush and Jerry Falwell

19 April 2005... On The Garlic

Gingrich To Bump Delay, Retake Top House Role; Loophole in warranty of his Contract for America Gives Edge; Never Cancelled

McDonalds Celebrates 50th Birthday; Introducing New Finger Food Menu

Top Ten Cloves: If Detroit Free Press Had Mitch Albom Cover The Boston Marathon

Friday, April 18, 2008

ABC Plants Its Flag

Sadly, we already used the hysterical Eddie Izzard "Flag" routine video recently, in another post.

And there was a great video up, briefly, yesterday, called "In Memoriam - George Stephanopoulos", mocking the diminutive politico/news reader and, as we described him the other day, the "former staff member of the husband of one of the participants in this so-called debate", in the same production style as on his weekly Sunday morning thingy (it was "This video has been removed by the user." which means either YouTube gave him shit, or ABC gave him shit ... Likely, both).

Which brings us to today, and, if the ABC suits thought, hey, it's Friday ... Almost the weekend ... The worst is behind us ... Well, they had a little surprise.

From Josh Marshall's "Hmmm";

Remember that woman from the debate last night who the moderators showed videotape of asking whether Barack Obama "believes in the flag"? Her name is Nash McCabe.

I remember thinking it was sort of odd to have a couple one-off uses of ordinary voter questions when it didn't really seem like it was part of the format. But I was too distracted by the general inanity of the debate to focus on this issue too closely.

Well, it turns out TPM Reader JL did give it some thought. And he came up with something very interesting (see JL's post at the DrexelDems blog). He did a little googling and found out Nash is pretty popular with the traveling press now in Pennsylvania. It turns out McCabe was featured in an April 4th story in the Times which begins like this ..."

What an incredible coincidence!

What an incredible stroke of unbelievable good luck?

Shoot, Norville Barnes, a recipient of a boatload of dumb, good luck as any, pales in comparison into the pot-o-gold ABC stumbled upon.

This woman, Nash McCabe, just happened to be out there ... Just happened to live in Latrobe, PA ... And an ABC producer, wandering around the vast state, looking for the one voice, the one golden voice, who could epitomize the burning issue, that buzzed about item at every dinner table, the linch pin to this years' election ...

Who could ask Barack Obama about the Lapel Flag Pin?

Where was this All-American John or Jane Doe?

Who could ask;
Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't.
The always insightful and entertaining Attytood had puzzlement, as well;

As I watched her question, what I wondered -- and I imagine many other viewers wondered as well -- was where on earth did ABC find this representative of my home state. As a journalist, I kind of assumed that ABC sent a film crew to western Pa., and then culled the most provocative questions from the people that they found. Silly me. In fact, ABC News found Nash McCabe the old-fashioned way -- they read about her, and her thing with the American flag, in the New York Times earlier this month:
LATROBE, Pa. — Ask whom she might vote for in the coming presidential primary election and Nash McCabe, 52, seems almost relieved to be able to unpack the dossier she has been collecting in her head.

It is not about whom she likes, but more a bill of particulars about why she cannot vote for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

“How can I vote for a president who won’t wear a flag pin?” Mrs. McCabe, a recently unemployed clerk typist, said in a booth at the Valley Dairy luncheonette in this quiet, small city in western Pennsylvania.

Greg Sargent, of TPM Election Central interviewed Stephanopoulos the other day;
In an interview with me moments ago, Stephanopoulos strongly defended his handling of the debate. He dismissed criticism that it had focused too heavily on "gotcha" questions, arguing that they had gone to the heart of the "electability" that, he said, is forefront in the minds of voters evaluating the two Dems.

Forefront in the minds of voters ...

The NYT interview with Nash McCabe was published back on January 4th ... Meaning it was taken a day, or more before that ...

That's over three-months ago!

From Attytood again;
So Nash McCabe wasn't located at random at all. Instead, someone at ABC News decided that they wanted to go after Obama on the patriotism issue, and they actively sought a Pennsylvanian who they knew wanted to bring it up. I assume they thought it would sound better if "a typical voter" asked the question instead of Charlie Gibson. "You see, we're only raising the issue the voters really care about," they can claim.

I have to wonder, if off-air (we already know what he did on-air), Sean Hannity coached Stephanopoulos to beat down Obama on the Lapel Flag Pin as well ...

It's 11PM, Do You Know Where Your Lapel Flag Pin Is? Links

D-Mac: Sen. Obama, Are You The Devil?

Steve Benen: About that flag-pin question…

Digby: Tiddly Winks

dday: We're marching on ABC/Disney in Burbank today - armed with flag pins!

The Nation: Journalists Slam ABC Debate Tactics; In an open letter to ABC, journalists and media analysts condemn the network's poor handling of the April 16 Democratic presidential debate

OOPS! ... Hillary's At It Again!

Maybe, she's hearing the voices, again ...

Or there's much more, and longer-lasting, stress from ducking all that sniper fire.

More Bush Grindhouse behavior from Hillary, playing out her version of "Either you're with us, or against us"

Hillary Clinton Attacks MoveOn

I've tried to stay out of the pie fights of late, but as a long-term defender of MoveOn and other progressive organizations -- this is completely unacceptable.

"MoveOn opposed military action in Afghanistan" is a Republican talking point, articulated specifically and purposefully by Karl Rove

The Huffington Post has the Audio;
" endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] -- which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down," Clinton said to a meeting of donors. "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me."
And, she was for MoveOn.Org, before she was against them;
The comments also contradict Clinton's previous statements praising this year's elevated Democratic turnout in primaries and caucuses, and appear to blame her caucus defeats on newly energized grassroots voter groups that she has lauded in the past as "lively participants" in American democracy.

"You've been asking the tough questions," Clinton said in April of last year at a MoveOn-sponsored town hall event. "You've been refusing to back down when any of us who are in political leadership are not living up to the standards that we should set for ourselves... I think you have helped to change the face of American politics for the better... both online, and in the corridors of power."

From The Raw Story;

Eli Pariser of, which officially endorsed Obama's candidacy this February, released the following statement to Huffington in response to the report:
Senator Clinton has her facts wrong again. MoveOn never opposed the war in Afghanistan, and we set the record straight years ago when Karl Rove made the same claim. Senator Clinton's attack on our members is divisive at a time when Democrats will soon need to unify to beat Senator McCain. MoveOn is 3.2 million reliable voters and volunteers who are an important part of any winning Democratic coalition in November. They deserve better than to be dismissed using Republican talking points.

Oh Boy ...

Is a good cry coming up next (say, Sunday or Monday, just before PA votes)?

Reich - "Obama for President"

On his own blog today
, the former Clinton Administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has come out today and endorsed for President ...

Barack Obama!

The formal act of endorsing a candidate is generally (and properly)limited to editorial pages and elected officials whose constituents might be influenced by their choice. The rest of us shouldn't assume anyone cares. My avoidance of offering a formal endorsement until now has also been affected by the pull of old friendships and my reluctance as a teacher and commentator to be openly partisan. But my conscience won't let me be silent any longer.

I believe that Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.

It's a short post, but worth giving it a read-through.

And, Mr. Reich, keep your head up - James Carville will probably come gunning for you, soon

And in case you missed it ...

Robert Reich: "Old Politics ... Old Media Are Irrelevant Now"

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

18 April, 2007... On The Garlic

The Laura Bush Bummer Bombing-of-the Day; Warning - Bypass this post if you don't want to be discouraged

Top Ten Cloves: Ways President Bush Can Sweeten The Offer To Secure A New War Czar

18 April, 2006... On The Garlic

President, forcefully, announces “I’m the decider”; White House Stumbles, Late Providing Wagons To Circle Around Rumsfeld; President Said To Be Irate With Paperwork Snafus, Vendor Shortages; FEMA Asked To Appropriate Katrina Trailers

Top Ten Cloves: What Would Be Different If Rumsfeld Was A Dog, But Still Secretary of Defense

18 April, 2005... On The Garlic

Steinbrenner Calls In FBI To Hunt For 'Real' Yankee's'

Sideways Team Uncorks Again; Begin Shoot on Sequel, Rightside-Up

Top Ten Cloves: Reason People Filed Their Taxes Late

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Charlie and George Go To A Debate ...

Just a little follow-up on the debate last evening ...

Charlie and George ...

Not quite in the same league, but, after the outrage (and disappointment) an equal amount of laughs could be had, as if the debate was presented as a corporate, white-collar version of "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle".

Which has me thinking; How did ABC miss it?

They were in Philadelphia ... They had two-hours to play with ... It would be only 1.6 miles (approximately 8-minutes) to travel from the National Constitution Center... If they didn't want to pack that time with commercials, they could have let the off-screen, voice-from-the-heavens, riff some more on the Constitution

To really cap off their tabloid, junk, "Gotcha" debate-producing/debate-moderation-strategy, they could have taken Barack Obama to Gino's Steaks and have him order a cheesesteak, using quick-cut close-ups, overhead shots, maybe even have a camera from the POV of the grill ... A little tune softly in the background, building up the drama, putting the pressure on Obama to order it the correct way (and in English) ...

Maybe cut to Hillary, or use a double-screen shot, so we can hear her tell the audience of the great cheesesteaks subs her grandfather used to make (including shooting the cow, with his second-amendment-granted-right-to-own-a-gun), and how it's a tradition and her grandfather was never bitter about making cheesesteaks subs ...Then a quick cut to Hillary eating a cheesesteak sub, washing it done with shots and beer ...

And then, George Stephanopolous will ask a question, given to him by Sean Hannity, or some other dittohead, righwingnut, if Obama likes the same cheese on his cheesesteaks that William Ayers likes ... Didn't he and William Ayers share a cheesesteak once, or both order and eat cheesesteaks at the same place?

Then, the MSM, and the Right Wing Freak Show, can start a whole new meme, about Obama, still being an elitist, but now trying fake working-class roots, of being a brown-bagging-lunch-carrying common man, question the veracity if he's ever eaten a cheesesteak, or that he likes to put French cheeses on it, maybe even a little arugla.

Hillary will jump on it too, saying that she has the experience to handle a cheesesteak, that she's dealt with, and eaten, all the cheesesteaks thrown her way for the past 16-years, and that, obviously, Obama isn't ready to handle a chessesteak ...

Hillary could get up at 3AM and make a perfect cheesesteak, Obama couldn't...

And, during the commercial breaks, ABC, instead of the Constitution, will have that off-screen, voice-from-the-heavens give the history of, and recipes to ... Cheesesteaks!
Hmmm ... I think I'll stop here ... Why give ABC a free gameplan ...

Okay, pretty absurd, but, in reality, not too far off the reservation on how the debate played out last evening (you can go to my bleary-eyed-written-post "Boy, And We Thought Russert and Williams Sucked") for more 411 on this fiasco.

And if you think this is harsh, or off-the-mark, the World Wide Web and Blogosphere is bursting with similar and comparable disgust.

As we noted last evening, it was a Leonard Pinth Garnell-type night, all the way.

Perhaps the best, the winner for title-and-post goes to Robert Elisberg, over on The Huffington Post, with his "What If ABC Held a Debate, but Forgot to Show Up?";
This was topflight journalism at its worst. This was ABC's old, flimsy history with threadbare sizzle packaged as news. It was a tabloid debate with tabloid questions. Matt Drudge come to life on a respectable stage. From what I subsequently discovered, they actually, eventually got around to real issues -- after over an hour. But watching it for a mere 45 minutes made me feel almost seedy. I wanted to shower to get the smarm off. I love news, I admire professional journalists, I cherish the Mainstream Media, even when they flounder, because it is the core of democracy. But this was embarrassing. This was pathetic. This was just a cheesy press conference with cheesy questions.

A tie, or by-a-hair, second, was Will Bunch, on his Atttytood blog, "An open letter to Charlie Gibson and George Stephanapoulos";
With your performance tonight -- your focus on issues that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods, punctuated by inane "issue" questions that in no way resembled the real world concerns of American voters -- you disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes.

But I'm not ready to make nice. What I just watched was an outrage. As a journalist, you appeared to confirm all of the worst qualities that cause people to hold our profession in such low esteem, especially your obsession with cornering the candidates with lame "trick" questions and your complete lack of interest or concern about substance -- or about the American people, or the state of our nation. You embarrassed some good people who work at ABC News -- for example, the journalists who worked hard to break this story just last week -- and you embarrassed yourselves. The millions of people who watched the debate were embarrassed, too -- at the state of our political discourse, and what it has finally become, at long last.

And this morning, Tom Shales, television critic of the Washington Post, rings in with "In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC";
When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates' debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news -- in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.

For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.

At the end, Gibson pompously thanked the candidates -- or was he really patting himself on the back? -- for "what I think has been a fascinating debate." He's entitled to his opinion, but the most fascinating aspect was waiting to see how low he and Stephanopoulos would go, and then being appalled at the answer.

Also making its way into the discussion this morning is the wistful longing of debates past.

Libby, over on Newhoggers, harks "It's time to bring back the League of Women Voters or some neutral entity, whose agenda has nothing to do with ratings and promoting their overpaid media stars, to run these events again" and Marty Kaplan, on The Huffington Post reaches for the same, begging "Would someone please get the networks out of the presidential debate business? ... But I do blame the candidates, the campaigns and the parties for being complicit with the corporate politainment circus. The first ten people in the phone book could do a better job of asking candidates questions that voters care about."

And, perhaps the best, head-slapping, suggestion, comes from Markos, on his Daily Kos;
"I honestly don't understand why Democrats haven't learned to ignore the bullshit substance-less questions and simply say, "Okay, that's a dumb question. Let's talk about something people care about, like the housing crisis."

Just bypass the idiotic questioners and talk about the things that the Democratic primary electorate actually want to talk about.

Trust me, they'll get brownie points, and the idiot questioners will look like idiots in the process."

Last nights' dredge should put a bullet in any more Democratic debates, since the primary is nearly over, so we get a respite, of sorts.

Just enough time, maybe, to unremember this fiasco, and to start dreading the General Election debates

More Links!

Barry Crimmins: The ABC/HUAC Democratic Inquisition

Think Progress - AUDIO: Hannity Feeds Stephanopoulos Debate Question On Weather Underground

Attaturk/Firedoglake: On reflection

Lynn Sweet: Obama's toughest grilling to date at Thursday debate. William Ayers becomes a factor

Steve Benen: Worst. Debate. Ever

Greg Mitchell - Clinton-Obama Debate: ABC Decides Top Issues Facing Americans Are Gaffes, Flag Pins and '60s Radicals

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

17 April 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The White House Easter Egg Roll

Garlic Poll - Bush Declassifying Results

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Boy, And We Thought Russert and Williams Sucked

Boy, and we thought Russert and Williams sucked.

As I watched the debate last evening, I realized it wasn't a debate.

At least that wasn't the main event.

What we had, I think, was an ABC-produced infomercial on the U.S. Constitution.

That voice-from-the-heavens, off-screen, intoning on the various amendments of the Constitution, with the fancy-dancy graphics.

It played on like a bizzaro-world Hooked-On-Phonics, having a hard-on for David McCullough.

Apparently, to keep the audience from snoozing, or running over to another channel, they intercut this prime-time civic lesson with moments of two, poorly-prepared debate moderators (one who - God, and this is one of our major media companies? - was a former staff member of the husband of one of the participants in this so-called debate and, for Godsakes, what the fuck was he doing on it? Ever hear of "conflict-of-interest" ABC? Or, even, cutting you some unwarranted slack, "the appearance of a conflict-of-interest?) running through a dated checklist, acting the whole time like two little smarty-pants

With the War in Iraq going south, troops in Afghanistan, our economy melting down like a popsicle, sitting on a car dashboard, at high noon in mid-July, and, the heart-stopping revelations - just last week - and broken by - guess who - ABC News - that torture of prisoners was planned, in detail, by senior and cabinet members, inside the White House, and with the knowledge and approval of The Commander Guy, how did these two mannequin-brained television news readers handle themselves?

They spent, nearly the first hour of this so-called debate on ...

Drum roll, please ...

1. Barack Obama's "Bitter" remarks last week (and, By George, even if the voters aren't listening, we, the media are going to make this as big an issue as we possibly can).

2. Barack Obama's "Minister" (settled, "stick-a-fork-in-it-it's-done", oh, about a month ago)

3. Obama and the Lapel Flag Pin Bullshit (Apparently, they didn't want to check, to see if he had holes in his socks too; Somebody needs to research if the Manufactured News Story Association is collecting royalties everytime this comes up)

4. Hillary Clinton's Excellent Bosnia Adventure (Beaten to death and left by the side of the road to die off about, oh, 2.5-weeks ago)

Oh, yeah, and thanks to the guy, the former staff member of the husband of one of the participants in the so-called debate, who sandbagged a topic at the behest of a Fox News Nitwit, so that Obama will probably see a few headlines soon, that he's harboring 1960's radicals in his basement.

It would seem that Charlie Gibson can't anchor the evening news broadcast and be a debate moderator in the same evening.

And George Stephanopolous?

Must be news to the ABC suits that he's taking tips from Fox News Nitwits

For a punishment, for his dreadful work this evening, those ABC suits should work out a deal, loaning and assigning Stephanopolous over to Fox and Friends, and see if he still struts his stuff when he gets back.

Normally, this might be a moment, where we would kick it off to cue up Que Sera Sera.

But no, this was a Leonard Pinth Garnell evening ("Unrelentingly bad!") all the way, so we have to go highbrow, and let Harry Lime sign us off.
In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and what did that produce - the cuckoo clock!

And it took, seemingly, forever, for the cuckoo clock to strike the evening over.

The Bonus Cavalcade-of-Links
(Apologies - Too tired to link and tag the way we normally do)

Katrina vanden Heuvel: A GOTCHA DEBATE...

Greg Mitchell: The Debate: A Shameful Night for the U.S. Media

Nicole Belle/C&L: Attention ABC: You’re HURTING America! UPDATED with VIDEO!

Keith Olbermann: Hannity Feeding Question To Stephanopolous; NBC’s Chuck Todd tells Countdown’s Keith Olbermann that Sen. Barack Obama ‘did not have a good night’ during the Democratic Presidential Debate in Philadelphia

Eli on Firedoglake: Sweet Jesus, I Hate Charlie Gibson Democratic Debate Wrap-Up

Chris Cillizza: Keystone Kerfuffle: First Thoughts

ABC (Read This One More For The Comment Section): Clinton, Obama Find 'Brotherly Love' at Philly Debate; Dems Last Chance to Settle Scores Before Pennsylvania Primary

Andrew Sullivan: After The Freak Show

Foon Rhee/Boston Globe: Clinton, Obama trade jabs on electability, honesty

Qualifications for Debate Monitor: Be a former staff member of the husband of one of the participants in this so-called debate

Know Thy Pope

I'm having a hard time finding it, but I could have sworn I heard someone - recently - refer to Pope Benedict as "The Vatican's Cheney".

It's quite likely this post will draw the wrath of the perpetual fuming smokestack, Catholic League President Bill Donohue, but hey, it might slip under the radar.

Donohue is, very likely, going to be going without sleep for about the next week (which could make him more dangerous), with the Head Honcho in-country ... So many comments to swat down ... So many critics to bully ...

Why would The Commander Guy be rolling out the red carpet for the Pope?

I mean, he would be doing this for Kim Jong Il, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or any other monstrous criminal (Okay, I know he let's Cheney in the office every day)?

While, at first, I thought it odd, perhaps a blatant, feeble attempt to grab some approval ratings.

After all, getting your snapshot next to the man in PopeWear isn't bad for business ... Newspapers across the country will lap that up like Happy Soup!

Perhaps, his staff, to break up the day, of the lamest-of-lame President, trying to make him feel relevant, threw it on the schedule.

But then it hit me ...

Pope Benedict is Bush's kind of guy!

While The Commander Guy has his piddly, poltical scandals to lord over, PB is the Babe Ruth of ruthless, hardcore, monolithic stonewalling.

This guy wrote the book - literally!

Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1981–2005)

In his capacity as Prefect, Ratzinger's 2001 letter “Crimen Sollicitationis” which clarified the confidentiality of internal Church investigations into accusations made against priests of certain crimes, including sexual abuse, became a target of controversy during the sex abuse scandal.[14] While bishops hold the secrecy pertained only internally, and did not preclude investigation by civil law enforcement, the letter was often seen as promoting a coverup.[15]

This refers to the "Crimen sollicitationis", which, in a nutshell, was the Vatican's way of telling their corps, especially regarding sex scandals, to "shut the fuck up, or else!"

Where do you think that got that line from in 'The Godfather', when Don Corleone chastises Sonny with "Never tell anyone outside the Family what you're thinking again!".

"British documentary alleges pope linked to "child abuse cover-up"
Before becoming head of the church, the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger enforced church doctrinal orthodoxy, including a "secret Vatican decree which seemed to shelter the perpetrators and silence the victims of abuse", the Panorama programme said.

This was the 1962 document Crimen Sollicitationis, which told top churchmen how to deal with priests who "solicit or provoke the penitent toward impure and obscene matters", according to a translation from Latin on the BBC website.

It imposed an oath of secrecy on victims, witnesses and those probing abuse claims and said that anyone breaking this would be excommunicated, the BBC said.

Boy, doesn't that just make your heart swell with spiritual inspiration, how they really hit the nail-on-the-head, spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ like that?

I think that's one of my favorite passages in The Bible, when JC, witnessing repugnant, immoral child abuse, tells his apostles to keep it on the QT.

What do they call these guys - Princes of the Church?

So, as the MSM takes a breather from the campaign (or, in another light, rearms itself to bash one or the other candidates), splashing the Papal "Up Yours" tour across our pages and screens (maybe even pulling in Peggy Noonan, to have her do her version of Je T'aime Moi Non Plus, [Note: This is the great rendition, of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot] live, on television, for the new Pope, though, a little piece of her heart will be singing it for Ronnie), here's a little tip for you;

Get To Know Thy Pope!

He's a thug, he had a direct hand in perpetuating (in case you need clarification, that means, scores-of-hundreds, possibly thousands of young children, mostly boys, were sexual abused) the Priest Pedophile Scandal, when he, and a vast many others, could have, just as easily, put a stop to it.

If you want to say "Forgive Them Lord, They Know Not What They Do", that's not exactly accurate.

And that, sure as hell, is one helluva of a test for someone's faith ...

Bonus Pope Riffs

BBC: Warm US welcome for Pope Benedict; Pope Benedict XVI has received an unprecedented presidential greeting from George W Bush after arriving for his first official visit to the US.

The Boston Globe was on top of the Pedophile Priest story from the get-go, and you can go here and you can go here to check out a ton of material on the scandal.

ABC's Brian Ross: Then-Cardinal Ratzinger's Hand Slap - Then-Cardinal Ratzinger Became Upset When Asked About Sex Abuse in the Church

YouTube: Boston Clergy Abuse Scandal - Geoghan Documents Released

Barry Crimmins: Child Abuse - Mea Maxima Culpa

Vatican Discounts "Bonfire Pope"; Says Flames "Not Hunched Over Enough"; Late Pontiff's Bend Was Measured "Religiously"; Never Used Contingency "Roller Skate Gloves"

News In Brief - OJ, Vatican Said To Sign Deal, Merge Hunts

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

16 April 2007... On The Garlic

Chopped Garlic ... Of Virginia Tech ... The Right To Bear Arms ... And Barry Crimmins

His Fly Is Down and Nobody Wants To Tell Him ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

McCain's Foodgate ... The Gift Keeps Giving ...

What did he eat and when did he eat it?

And, while he is committed, fiercely, to not torturing Americans, is giving them a meal from the McCain Family Recipe crossing that legal line?

This is just too much ...

The Garlic noted, and properly marked the occasion last week, of Stumblin' Bumblin John McCain becoming "The Gift That Refuses To Stop Itself From Giving".

And, he's forking over presents again already this week!

Keep in mind, SB John is out there, pretty much footloose and fancy-free.

Clinton and Obama, while paying perfunctory attention to SB John, are to deeply engaged in hitting each other with kitchen sinks and anvils, far to obsessed in their warfare to bother with his gaffes.

Gift #1

McCain Takes Bold Stance On Torture: ‘We Cannot Ever Torture Any American’

Today, during the question-and-answer period of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) address to the Associated Press, a journalist asked McCain about torturing terrorism detainees, saying “Don’t we stand for something better?” McCain seemed to get confused, talking instead about his opposition to the torture of Americans:

I’ve made it very clear, I’ve made it very clear in my statements and in my support of the Detainee Treatment Act, the Geneva Conventions, etc., that there may be some additional techniques to be used, but none of those would violate the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act…And we cannot ever, in my view, torture any American, that includes waterboarding.

No Lieberman to whisper in his ear is getting to be pretty inconvenient for the Straight Talk Express, though, his policy of not torturing Americans doesn't go unappreciated

Steve Benen, over on The Carpetbagger Report, says it for all of us with "Well, there’s a bold declaration for Mr. Straight Talk. He does not believe that the U.S. government should torture U.S. citizens. What a relief."

Gift #2

Does he really eat this stuff, or, go through the motions and sticks to doughnuts?

Passion Fruit Mousse

Farfalle Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms

Ahi Tuna with Napa Cabbage Slaw

These are but a few of the home-cooked meals SB John digs into, created from Cindy McCain's recipes.

Only ...

McCain "Family Recipes" Lifted from the Food Network

On a section of McCain's site called "Cindy's Recipes," you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading "McCain Family Recipe." Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the "McCain Family Recipes," were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.

At least three of the "McCain Family Recipes" appear to be lifted directly from the Food Network, while at least one is a Rachael Ray recipe with minor changes.

Oh My!

We all know the old adage of "Too many cooks spoil the soup", so, I guess, for the 21st century, the Digital Age, we'll have to update that to something like "Too many candidate's wives plagiarizing recipes from the internet spoil the talking points".

I wonder what names he called her last night for this?

And is this the cuisine of a Straight Talker?

Brilliant at Breakfast doesn't think so;
Besides, what does it say about a manly macho military manly manly man like John McCain that he's sitting down at the family table eating "Ahi tuna with napa cabbage slaw" and "passion fruit mousse"? Shouldn't a real man, a man's man, a Chris Matthews kinda man, sit down to something like wild boar with whole roasted potatoes and eat them with his hands while quaffing tankards of ale? ... I don't know, these recipes sound kinda French to me.

Hmmm ... We just noted in a Retro Garlic, the McCain-Is-Bob-Dole thing, so we'll have to do some research, to see if Libby Dole ever lifted or plagiarized anything, and put them out there as "Family Recipes".

He is going to need some good eats, to stay strong.

Those court hearings, about him weaseling out of Public Financing for his campaign, can be long and drawn-out.

Firing It Up - My Wall Street Journal

From Danny Shea, on HuffPo;

My Wall Street Journal, a parody of the Wall Street Journal on newsstands this week to mark the April 15 tax deadline, has rankled News Corp executives so much that they're trying to make sure no one sees it
Oh, this is rich!

Sticking to the WSJ is delicious of-and-by itself, but seeing Sir Rupert react to it .... Priceless!

Murdoch Freaks

And they (News Corp. cronies) have attempted to buy up the copies!
It was not supposed to go on sale until this week, but some newsstands began selling it early. Last Thursday, Alexander Laurence was working at one such stand in Los Angeles, chatting with a customer, David Metz, when, both of them say, a man in a shirt with a Journal logo asked if anyone had seen a paper that looked sort of like The Journal.

"This guy comes by all the time to bring promotional stuff for The Wall Street Journal -- bags, coin trays, stickers," Mr. Laurence said.

Sure enough, they found what he was looking for. "He grabbed them all, said, 'I need to buy all of these,' " Mr. Laurence said. "He had been going around to different stands, buying them."

The man paid with a corporate American Express card. "At first he's saying they have to make a correction or it's not supposed to be out yet," Mr. Metz said. "But then he said these are not published by The Wall Street Journal."

Priceless! ...

Bonus Links

My Wall Street Journal Website

Gawker: WSJ Trying To Suppress Parody?

NYT: A Funnier-Than-Usual Journal Gets Snapped Up Early

We're Waiting, John Fund ... For You To Take Your Head Out Of Your Ass ... Lieberman Abandoned The Democrats To Run As An Indie, He Wasn't Forced To

Clock's Ticking Again - Some More Heads To Be Pulled Out of Asses ... Step Right Up Dorothy Rabinowitz ... And Richard Cohen To

Oh Ronnie, How I Long For You ...