Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
- George W. Bush, August 5, 2004
So in the wake of the 9/11 Commission Report, George Bush says he'll appoint a national intelligence director--and it turns out to be a toothless figurehead that doesn't even comply with the 9/11 Commission recommendations.
In any case, to me the best summary of the whole process leading up to this comes from an Alaskan lawyer named Dick Haggart:
President Bush today enthusiastically endorsed a proposition that he had previously proposed be delayed until after the election and which he had previously opposed in its entirety, and which was originally contained in a report that he had originally wanted withheld until after the election from a Commission he did not want established in the first place. Next on the News Hour, Israel enthusiastically endorses the Nazis.
The Republican spin machine will lie about ALL of that, of course, but it's good to remember.
Canadian Immigration says, "Those are real, eh?"
It seems that Canadian immigration officials are taking the term "full disclosure" to its logical extreme:
Toronto Sun: Baring all for Canada
FOREIGN STRIPPERS MUST SUPPLY NUDE STAGE PHOTOS TO OFFICIALS
By TOM GODFREY, TORONTO SUN
IMMIGRATION OFFICERS are having to pore through naked pictures of hundreds of exotic dancers to keep impostors out of Canada. Foreign strippers planning to table dance in clubs here must now provide photos of themselves with no clothes on to qualify for a visa for Canada, immigration officials say.
"Stage photos during performances are required," said Sergio Mercado, of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico.
More at http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/News/2004/07/27/558388.html
(I've never associated Canada with strip clubs, but my Canadian friend Liz swears that her hometown of Windsor, Ontario is the "strip club capitol of North America," an assertion I am in NO position to challenge on the basis of first-hand knowledge whatsoever.)
The White House vs. A Black Hole
It used to be thought that once something had fallen into a black hole it was lost and gone forever, and the only information left behind was just mess and spin.
- Physicist Stephen Hawking, talking to BBC'sNewsnight.
Stephen Hawking has argued for nearly 30 years that nothing that disappears into a black hole is ever seen again, that all information is destroyed. Now, he's changed his mind.
So it turns out there is a difference between a black hole and the White House
Scotsman.com News: Hawking U-Turn on Black Holes
"...like rubbernecking a highway accident made entirely of words"
Goddamn, I wish I could be as eloquent as this:
Drifting With The Tide
You're floatin' in a big sea of shit and instead of just stayin' in the boat, no, you reach out and you pick up this one little turd and you say "This turd, well this turd pisses me off. I'm gonna do somethin' about this turd!
- Master Sergeant Dix (Fred Ward) in 1988's Off Limits, to his men, Army CID investigators looking into the murder of prostitutes in 1968 Saigon.
Call it Outrage Fatigue, but for anyone paying attention to what the US government is doing and what's it's becoming harder and harder to focus one's anger. I mean, there's not enough hours in day to enumerate the incompetence, greed, lies, delusions, stupidity, hypocrisy, and yes, evil generated by the bunch occupying the White House. How does one pick out which little turds floating in the sewer that is the Bush Administration to focus on?
Kevin Drum, for example, blogger for the Washington Monthly, and regular chronicler of the the incompetence, greed, lies, delusions, stupidity, hypocrisy, and yes, evil generated by the bunch occupying the White House, has his limits, too, as he discusses the Bush Administration's latest Outrage Du Jour:
DEATH SQUAD OUTRAGE: Matt "Death Squad" Yglesias wonders why there hasn't been more outrage among liberals about the rumored appointment of John Negroponte as Iraq's new ambassador cum viceroy beginning July 1. [For those who've forgotten the Reagan Administration's grotesqueries in Latin America and Iran-Contra, a] brief explanation of Negroponte's unfitness is here.
So why no outrage from this corner? Aside from the fact that it's still just a rumor, the answer is.....weariness. I mean, there are only so many hours in a day and only so many things to be outraged about.
After all, Bush already appointed Negroponte as ambassador to the UN, so we know he doesn't have any problem with his background. And he originally appointed Henry Kissinger as head of the 9/11 commission, so we know he has no shame. And he's also appointed Elliot Abrams and John Poindexter to positions in his administration, so we know he's not worried about associating with Iran-Contra almost-but-not-quite felons. And the original rumor was that Paul Wolfowitz would be the new ambassador to Iraq, so we know that irony is lost on him.
Where can one start? Where can one finish? It's the kind of thing that could--literally--drive a person mad.
I don't drink, really. Maybe I should start.
President George Bush has spent more than 40% of his presidency at one of his three retreats, sparking criticism from Democrats that he is not taking his job seriously at a crucial time in US history.
Mr Bush was on his 33rd visit to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, at the Easter weekend, where he has spent 233 days or almost eight months since his inauguration, according to a tally by CBS news. Add his 78 visits to Camp David and five to Kennebunkport, Maine, and he has spent all or part of 500 days out of the office while in office.
- Gary Younge, in "President spends 40% of time out of the office" in The Guardian, April 12, 2004
By the time President Bush returns to Washington on Labor Day after the longest presidential vacation in 32 years, he will have spent all or part of 54 days since the inauguration at his parched but beloved ranch. That's almost a quarter of his presidency.
Throw in four days last month at his parents' seaside estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, and 38 full or partial days at the presidential retreat at Camp David, and Bush will have spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route.
- Mike Allen, from a
Washington Post story, August 7, 2001
It's not just that George Bush, whose job can fairly be said to be most important in the world, is spending so much time on vacation--it's also that the time he spends on vacation is identical to the time he spent before 9/11/2001
A terrorist attack that kills 3,000 Americans and its horrific aftermath; continuing terrorist threats; the drastic structural changes needed in intelligence, analysis, and response systems; two huge military operations in afghanistan and Iraq; diplomatic fallout from the pissed-away international goodwill resulting from the Iraq misadventure; AND a tanking economy. All of this and George Bush can't be bothered to cut down on his seemingly endless vacations
to attend to these pressing issues?
Against All Enemies, Foreign *and* Domestic
The wonders of technology: courtesy of Audible.com, I downloaded this morning the audio of Condoleezza Rice's 9/11 Commission testimony, mere hours after she gave it. I've only listened to the first several minutes of her testimony while riding the train to work--specifically the woodenly delivered, cover-your-ass statement she gave at the beginning. The wonders of technology: courtesy of Audible.com, I downloaded this morning the audio of Condoleezza Rice's 9/11 Commission testimony, mere hours after she gave it. I've only listened to the first several minutes of her testimony while riding the train to work--specifically the woodenly delivered, cover-your-ass statement she gave at the beginning.
I'll listen to the rest later, but first I'm in the middle of Richard Clarke's book, Against All Enemies, which arrived from Amazon Japan a couple of days ago. Fascinating stuff so far.
I'll say more later, but I will say first that it's not the anti-Bush hatchet job the mouth-breathing Bush apologists (who, of course, are merely parroting the talking points that they're getting from Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh). So far Clarke is NOT coming across as particularly partisan*.
*Okay, he does seem particularly pissed off at the FBI and its one-time Director, Louis Freeh. He doesn't come right out and say explicitly that he thinks Louis Freeh is so incompetent that he could't find his own ass with both hands and a flashlight, but it's pretty evident that's what he thinks.