THE DICTIONARY STRATEGY

Parsing words is the liar's last resort. So Cheney Boy had nowhere else to go to justify his absurd claim that the Iraq insurgency was in its last throes. "If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period, the throes of a revolution," he said on CNN. Uh-huh. If you look at what it says about arrogant, it's still spelled C-h-e-n-e-y, who also calls Gitmo a tropical resort kinda like a Club Med ("They got a brand new facility down at Guantanamo. They're very well treated down there. They're living in the … [Read more...]

HEADLINES AND STORIES TO LOVE

Earlier this week in Monday Morning Quarterback, a regular correspondent wrote that Joe Biden "has the experience and the smarts to be a fine president." I myself like the Democratic senator's shoot-from-the-lip style. But voting for him over Hillary because "the Clinton baggage [might] make her easy to defeat," as our correspondent noted, is another matter. I'm not sure I want to vote for any candidate who is cut from the same establishment cloth as the rest of the Beltway pols. Be that as it may, my staff of thousands has asked me to point … [Read more...]

NPR-UNION EPIC FEUD; D’ARCY ON THE GUGGIE

A labor arbitration hearing has been finalized for July 7 to settle the case brought against National Public Radio by the union representing a staff editor who was disciplined for his supervision of a David D'Arcy report about the Museum of Modern Art's involvement with a painting looted by the Nazis. That's a mouthful, but necessary. The case has all the earmarks of an epic feud. (See Whose Klose Call Got NPR Reporter Fired? and Union Pursues NPR Case.) Relations between NPR and the union (the American Federation of Television and Radio … [Read more...]

KILL BILL, THE LATEST VERSION

The demonization of Bill Moyers is not limited to conservative venues. It also finds a warm, comfy outlet on supposedly liberal PBS. George Neumayr, executive editor of the hardline right-wing American Spectator Magazine, was given ample time last night to spew his venom on PBS's NewsHour in a softball interview with Jeffrey Brown. But that's the least of it. Kenneth Tomlinson, head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is on a mission to destroy PBS by targeting Moyers and "Now," his former program, with outright lies. … [Read more...]

AGUILERA’S ‘TORTURE’ MUSIC

Prompted by Time magazine's Inside the Wire at Gitmo, about an interrogation at Guantanamo's Camp X Ray in which a sleep-deprived prisoner is kept awake "by dripping water on his head or playing Christina Aguilera music," the legal eagle at Underneath Their Robes has filed a confidential opinion that asks, Is Christina Aguilera's Music "Torture"? This memorandum necessarily focuses on specific musical compositions by Aguilera and whether playing each individual song to an unwilling detainee might rise to the level of torture. That such … [Read more...]

‘LAST THROES’ . . . UH-HUH

Need some entertainment on a Monday morning? How about ABC chief White House correspondent Terry ("Bulldog") Moran, right, questioning White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan the other day? I don't know which to admire more, Moran's tenacity or his sense of humor. As reported by Editor & Publisher, here's how that went: MORAN: Scott, is the insurgency in Iraq in its "last throes"?McCLELLAN: Terry, you have a desperate group of terrorists in Iraq that are doing everything they can to try to derail the transition to democracy. The Iraqi … [Read more...]

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK

"Watching the Sunday morning's talk shows provided possible answers to some political riddles," regular correspondent Alan Edelson writes. He continues: There was John McCain on Meet the Press, talking on and on about how proud he had felt supporting George W. Bush in 2004, when we knew how much he detested Bush for the slimy way he defeated McCain in the South Carolina primary in 2000. It seemed obvious that some sort of inducement had been offered the proud senator from Arizona, but what exactly was it and why was it offered? McCain … [Read more...]

HISTORY’S VERDICT: GUILTY AS CHARGED?

Will two hearings -- one official, the other not -- be seen by historians as a turning point in ending the Bush regime's misrule and bringing its ring leaders to justice? It would be nice to think so. And maybe they will be, judging from "Who We Are," the lead editorial in this morning's New York Times about the Senate Judiciary Committee's official hearing on the prison camp at Guantanamo. The Times has absorbed torrents of criticism, largely justified, for not taking on the regime in the rush to war and not exposing the justification for … [Read more...]

QUESTIONS FROM THE RIGHT

A reader writes, in re: Myth vs. Fact: Is Africa the Lost Continent? "What about all the aid that gets appropriated by corrupt governments in Africa instead of used for its original intent?" Boy, I'm so glad you asked. One of the points Jeffrey Sachs made, which I did not recount, is that the mismanagement of funds through corruption and poor governance is N0T TRUE -- repeat NOT TRUE -- for many of Africa's poorest nations. It's a convenient myth for those who'd rather not invest in African development, he says. Sach doesn't deny that … [Read more...]

KING GEORGIE BARS THE DOOR

Congressman John Conyers Jr., far left (courtesy of the daily Kos -- have a look at this), was barred from delivering a petition to Georgie Boy that demanded an explanation of the Downing Street Memo. The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Conyers yesterday convened a meeting of House Democrats about the memo and the Iraq war. The session, held in the basement of the Capitol, is to be rebroadcast tonight on television at 8 p.m. ET by C-SPAN2. A video of the entire session is currently available for viewing on the Web at … [Read more...]

MYTH VS. FACT: IS AFRICA THE LOST CONTINENT?

Economist Jeffrey Sachs was his usual stellar self earlier this week at the Council on Foreign Relations -- calm, cogent, full of facts (all of them broken down into relevant categories), persuasive, angered by the Bush regime -- contemptuous of it I'd say, but he managed to keep his contempt in check no doubt for diplomatic reasons -- unhappy with the American public in general, and ultimately not very optimistic about Africa's chances of succeeding in feeding itself or eliminating diseases like malaria unless the United States ponies up its … [Read more...]

THE ‘DOMESTICATED’ PRESS

"Exhibit A" of a "domesticated" press. That's what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern calls this morning's Washington Post editorial, which describes the main revelation of the Downing Street memo as "vague but intriguing." In other words, it doesn't believe that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" to invade Iraq. McGovern, who ripped into the press for knuckling under to the Bush regime, says there's "nothing vague" about the memo and, far from intriguing, "it's depressing." McGovern points out further that 1) the head of … [Read more...]

HOLD THE FRIES, LEFTIES ARE NOT ALONE

I never thought I'd be glad to hear from a Goldwater Republican, much less agree with him. But Straight Up reader M. Paulding has changed my mind. He writes in response to Battle of the Prewar Memos: The second DSM [Downing Street Memo] is more damning than the first, despite Sanger's observation. I'm a conservative, not a neoconservative. There is a BIG difference. And as a Goldwater Republican, I DEMAND an investigation of HOW and WHY the idiots in the White House decided it was necessary to SQUANDER $208 billion of our money and the finest … [Read more...]

‘CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE’ FUN FOR CAMPERS

More Camp X Ray frolics: An 18-year-old Saudi camper of Chadian descent who was just shy of his 15th birthday when he was seized in Pakistan by local authorities has told his lawyer "he was beaten regularly in his early days at Guantánamo, hanged by his wrists for hours at a time and that an interrogator pressed a burning cigarette into his arm." No word, though, on whether he likes the "culturally appropriate" food he's served three times a day. … [Read more...]

BATTLE OF THE PREWAR MEMOS

Another prewar memo, written July 21, 2002, two days before the famous Downing Street memo, has come to light. Here it is, as posted by The Sunday Times of London. Now compare Walter Pincus's report on it in Sunday's Washington Post with David Sanger's in this morning's New York Times. The difference is night vs. day. Pincus begins by saying the memo concluded that "the US military was not preparing adequately for what the memo predicted would be a 'protracted and costly' postwar occupation" and follows up by saying that it "provides new … [Read more...]