Note: If you're Looking For the Article on Chris Ruddy and Joseph Farah, Scroll Down To September 20 or Click here
What Should We Call The Bush Junta's Scandal Regarding the Outing of Valerie Plame? Regardless of what you hear from the Freepers and hate radio, the Plame scandal isn't going away. RNC chair Ed Gillespie said that it's worse than Watergate (via The Horse) We can call it one of the following (though it is far from an exhaustive list): Plame-Gate, Plamegate, Traitor-Gate, Traitorgate, Wilson-Gate, Wilsongate, Plame/Wilson-Gate, Wilson/Plame-Gate, Leakgate, Treason-gate, WMD-gate, CIA-gate, Rove-gate (though it might be a bit premature and optimistic), Intimigate, and Plamewar. I will add others.
FYI Due to popular demand, I added the actual quote from Limbaugh about his fear that Wesley Clark might encounter the same fate as Vince Foster (due, of course, to the treachery of the Clintons). Scroll down to the addendum of today's post about Hannity's and Limbaugh's bullshit. Limbaugh has no soul.
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Today at the University of Chicago:
QUESTION: Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?
GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.
And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.
I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business....
Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.
And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.
And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.
More Hannity and Limbaugh Bullshit In the second hour of his radio show, Hannity had a caller who sounded as if she got her talking points from the Free Republic web site:
CALLER: Probably what happened is that some liberal made this [the Plame scandal] up to slam the administration to make them look bad. It’s one more thing that they can do to try to make the White House look bad.
HANNITY: It’s obvious. Don’t you think, I mean—
CALLER: I do too. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that anyone who doesn’t see it has got their head in the sand and I don’t understand how they can’t see it.
HANNITY: I know this president isn’t perfect. I know that. I understand that. But I honestly believe, I have no doubt that his heart and his spirit and his soul is committed to making our lives safer and that at every step of the way these guys for political purposes just want to tear him down. It is sad to watch.
CALLER: It is and I agree with you about the leader of our nation and that anyone who doesn’t support him is probably just trying to undermine the United States and bring the United States down.
HANNITY: I appreciate the call...I will tell you this: I just think what they are doing is—and I don’t mind honest disagreement, but the level of antipathy and animosity is almost unprecedented...
ADDENDUM: In response to some criticisms of Clinton foreign policy that Wesley Clark made in the past Limbaugh actually said:
Come on. Do you think this bunch [the supposed Clinton cabal] is actually getting behind him [Clark] to promote him for the sake of making him a winner? Hardly, my good--If Wesley Clark doesn't look out, I mean, his family is going to be looking for him in Fort Marcy Park before it's too long. You don't sit out there and paint the Cliinton adminstration as clueless on world affairs and have these people become your best friends.
Note: Limbaugh is adhering to his theory that the Clintons don't want any Democrat to win in 2004 (so that Hillary can run in 2008). Limbaugh wants his listeners to believe that the Clintons are supporting the Clark candidacy in the hopes that Clark (the Clinton's dupe) will cause a Democratic defeat in 2004. I realize none of what Limbaugh is saying here makes any sense to anyone in the real world. It just goes to show the mainstreaming of the paranoid style.
The Bushies Are Running Scared Make no mistake, the Plame story is a big scandal that can become humongous. I've been listening to Rush ironically accusing Democrats who want to investigate this as desiring to create "a dangerous atmosphere" (dangerous for Bush White House traitors maybe). Limbaugh also uses the pathetic ploy that Wilson himself mentioned his wife's name in his biography--failing to mention that Wilson failed to mention that his wife worked in the CIA. The way the right is trying to spin this is pathetic. Here's Josh Marshall on the right's pathetic spin:
This mumbo-jumbo is the best they can come up with...As the lawyers say, when the facts are on your side, bang the facts. When the law's on your side, bang the law. When you've got neither, bang the table...When you don't even got a table, it would seem, you bang yourself.
10:27 UPDATE: Limbaugh just suggested that Clinton holdovers might be responsible for the Plame leak and mentioned various nonscandals like "filegate."
I Meant To Write On Monday I got home from work and I realized that the premiere for Quentin Tarentino's Kill Bill was going on, so I hightailed it up to Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Some guy gave me two Kill Bill mini-posters. After the premiere, Tarentino came out and signed stuff; he signed both of my signs. Robert Rodriguez came over and was signing stuff; I didn't have anything for him to sign but I told him that I loved his work; he thanked me. I'll write more stuff in the morning.
Call Now I heard about Fox News giving out Tucker Carlson's home phone number. That's not very nice. I like Tucker. He's from San Diego and he's good about telling it straight. If you're as indignant about this as me, call Fox News' Bill O'Reilly at 212- 301-3697 and complain. Leave a message if nobody is there.
Ha Ha! Joshua Micah Marshall was watching Fox News Sunday:
Just flipped on the TV and found Fox News interviewing Condi Rice. As it happened, a minute or two after I tuned in Brit Hume asked Rice about the Wilson/Plame matter. Let's be honest, I didn't expect Hume and Tony Snow to be the most hard-hitting questioners on this issue. But you couldn't watch the exchange without seeing how big a deal this is. First of all, Rice denied nothing. It was, in so many words, all no comments. More telling I thought was how visibly rattled Rice seemed. She seemed to have a hard time getting her words out. Her breathing was halting. . .
To read the whole post, click here. Also, Marshall has a must-read column in the Los Angeles Times on the efforts of the "fair and balanced" right-wing media propaganda machine to "Gore" Clark by portraying him as a congenital liar.
Ecstacy That's the feeling I'm feeling since I've heard from various sources that the CIA is requesting that the Justice Department investigate the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame by Bush officials. This could be big. I have visions of Karl Rove being frog-marched out of the White House. Woo Hoo!
Sounds Racist To Me I got an email telling me I was too harsh for suggesting that Rush Limbaugh is a racist in my post today titled, "Regardless of Whether Clark Said it, The Truth Is That Limbaugh is Full of Shit." Well, on today's show, Limbaugh had a parody of Gone With The Wind that also parodied the Democratic presidential candidates. When the announcer in the parody said Carol Moseley-Braun's name, a sound-alike of Butterfly McQueen screams, "I don't know nothin' about runnin' for no president!" The Republicans wonder why they get less than ten percent of the African-American vote.
Bush-hating Versus Clinton-hating The Howler does a good job of continuing to analyze the current strategy by the right: creating the meme that Bush-haters are worse than Clinton-haters and that Bush-hating is done by the irrational.
Somerby sites National Review as an active part of this strategy. This is ironic since National Review had the '90's cover story of Rush Limbaugh that portrayed him as the leader of the opposition. For anyone who missed it, my previous post from today told how Limbaugh repeated the lunatic Clinton Body Count conspiracy theory (scroll down two posts and read the updates).
A Comparison Between Bush and Clark is Needed My response to Rush Limbaugh’s argument that Wesley Clark is a candidate without substance has generated a lot of attention. It has been put on bulletin boards and cited by other web sites. Some thoughtful people such as Keith Berry are concerned that because I did the comparison of Limbaugh’s resume with Clark’s, it would mean that “political pundits wouldn't be able to criticize candidates unless they themselves had a better record than the candidate. I have no military experience, so I wouldn't be able to criticize President Bush on the war, because the president spent at least some time in the Air National Guard. I couldn't knock President Bush on education as his degree from Yale more than likely trumps my degree from a state college.”
This is a valid concern. One doesn’t have a good resume to be able to raise questions about the fitness of someone for a given office. To effectively rebut Limbaugh’s arguments that Clark was a myth, I only needed to list Clark’s qualifications. However, I added a comparison because I thought it would be fun because my inference of Limbaugh’s comments was that he was not only raising questions about Clark’s qualifications for the presidency but that he was denigrating Clark’s substance in general (e.g., calling Clark “Hillary’s sockpuppet”). Here’s something that Limbaugh said last week that I didn’t include in my comparisons post:
"What is it [the press] said about Bush [in 2000]? 'He’s irrelevant; he’s incompetent; he’s unqualified; he’s nothing but a governor; what experience does he have?' What is Wesley Clark compared to George W. Bush in all the ways the press tries to disqualify Bush? What is it? You tell me: it’s Wesley Clark’s stature over George W. Bush in these people’s minds. What it is is an illusion, an illusion borne of the fact that they know they are in a downward spiral and the only hope they’ve got is to nominate somebody that doesn’t remind anybody of who they really are, and that’s the purpose that Clark serves."
I’m all for stacking Bush’s qualifications and accomplishments against Clark’s. In fact, I will do a post that does this soon. Categories include: Education, military service, business experience and accomplishments, honors and awards, arrest record, and overall character. By the way, I’m laughing as I’m typing this. Help me out and submit your comparisons for these categories at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: here's a list of Bush's accomplishments in the White House.
Regardless of Whether Clark Said it, The Truth Is That Limbaugh is Full of Shit
On Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Thursday, Limbaugh cited a post on the Democratic Underground website by someone who claims that he met Clark at a campaign event and that when asked about Limbaugh and others who were going after him, Clark allegedly said, “Limbaugh's full of shit" (Limbaugh said “full of bleep” for the benefit of his radio audience). Also, according to the poster, Clark “said that he is not going to sink to their level. He said that he needs us to call the radio stations and do what needs to be done.”
Whether Clark said these things, I know not; one thing I know: Limbaugh is full of shit. If Limbaugh wants to press Clark on this, I think it would be a good thing, because Clark’s team should have plenty of ammo. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. For one thing, we can start with Limbaugh’s recent unfair attacks on Clark (scroll down for my posts from the last two weeks). Also, they could bring up the racist things that Limbaugh has said. Clark’s team can bring up Limbaugh’s embrace of Richard Mellon Scaife’s wild conspiracy theories (see addendum). Clark’s team can bring up Limbaugh’s various distortions and unfair attacks.(also, click here). That Limbaugh is an accomplished bullshit artist is beyond dispute.
As for the unconfirmed allegation that Clark told people “to call the radio stations and do what needs to be done,” Limbaugh’s characterization of this was to suggest that Clark was either telling his supporters to put pressure on radio stations not to carry Limbaugh’s show or to call Limbaugh’s program and challenge Limbaugh on the facts; Limbaugh bellowed: “Clark is looking at this like bombing from 15,000 feet. He doesn’t want to incur any damage, so he’s going to have his minions go in there and do the groundwork. So his minions have to call the radio stations—this could also mean calling the program and either arguing with me about Clark, pumping him up...” That’s not a bad idea to call up and challenge Limbaugh on the facts. Even though Limbaugh has a huge homefield advantage (e.g., the mute button), I’ve had a good time taking him on. Also priceless is the supporter of John Kerry who set the record straight about the way Limbaugh used his butt to keep his butt out of Vietnam. Limbaugh is a paper tiger when he’s up against someone armed with the facts. Bring ‘em on!
Addendum: Especially during Bill Clinton’s presidency, Limbaugh extensively used many of Scaife’s conspiracy theories. He often cited two of Scaife’s paid operatives, Chris Ruddy and Joseph Farah (Farah helped write Limbaugh’s book, See I Told You So). However, I want to make a distinction; although Limbaugh used Scaife’s paranoid conspiracy theories that Clintons were responsible for bumping off people who got in their way, unlike Ruddy or Farah, I don't believe Limbaugh was controlled by Scaife. Limbaugh didn’t need to be. He didn’t need Scaife’s largesse; he has advertisers who depend on radio listeners who believe in the magical healing powers of emu oil (Blue Emu is one of Limbaugh’s sponsors) or who want to get prescriptions for Viagra “over the phone.” One final thought: why is it no surprise to me that another Limbaugh sponsor, Enzyte aims its ads at men who are insecure about “size and response”?
9/26 UPDATE: 9:55 AM PST Limbaugh just told his radio audience that an "abnormally high" number of people connected to the Clintons were killed under mysterious circumstances and suggested that the Democratic presidential contenders are also aware of this "fact" and don't want to anger the Clintons. Limbaugh used the CBC conspiracy to explain why candidates like Dean and Kerry were not going after Clark, whom Limbaugh portrays as the stooge in a scheme by the Clinton "cabal." Limbaugh said: "How many people do you know that have suddenly -- how do I say this -- died? Not very many, I would think. But, with the Clintons, quite a few." (thanks to Snellius of DU for the quote.) Limbaugh just recited a core Scaife and Freeper staple, the notorious urban legend The Clinton Body Count.
9/26 UPDATE: 10:20 AM PST: Limbaugh reiterated the Clinton Body Count and how this is why allegedly the Democratic presidental candidates are afraid of the Clintons: "Howard Dean, John Kerry [are] afraid to go after the Clintons and that's understandable, given the history of what people who have crossed the Clintons have had happen to them." Can anyone dispute the assertion that Limbaugh is full of shit?
Read This John Gorenfeld on how megalomaniac ex-con and rape-enabler Sun Myung Moon is being rehabilitated by the Bush family. Funniest and grossest part of the article: according to the rules of Moon's Unification Church, there is the following instruction for married couples: ""after the act of love, both spouses should wipe their sexual areas with the Holy Handkerchief' --referring to the church-supplied washcloth -- which must 'be kept individually labeled and should never be laundered or mixed up.'" Yuck!
The Right's "Hillary Plot" Conspiracy Theories Timothy Noah of Slate has a series on Republicans who want Hillary to run for the presidency. The first article discusses the various conspiracy theories by rightists that the Clark candidacy is an attempt by the Clintons for a power grab. I forgot to post a transcript of the Limbaugh show from last week that echoes this thought regarding a Hillary plot:
LIMBAUGH: "It ultimately comes down to the fact that Wesley Clark is a sockpuppet [of the Clintons]. He’s been thrown in there to make sure that none of these other people including Gore gets anywhere near the nomination. The thing Clark doesn’t know is that it includes him."
Also, last week, Limbaugh said: "What's happening here is Clark is establishing credentials as a candidate so that whenever who's nominated loses to Bush, then he will be a perfect running mate for Hillary in '08."
Click here for a paranoid rant by Ann Coulter that is a right-wing staple on the matter.
Note to bloggers: I have gotten a lot of hits because I’m transcribing Limbaugh’s radio show regarding statements he made about Wesley Clark. My schedule makes it difficult for me to do this on a regular basis. Also, Limbaugh irritates the hell out of me after a while. If another blogger can transcribe what Limbaugh is saying about Clark, I can link to that blog.
Important Posts Today I will have two important posts up later today. One in the next few hours, the other around 7:00 PM Pacific time.
UPDATE: I should be able to post the article I promised to post at 7:00 if all goes well. The other post will be postponed; I should have it up tomorrow.
SECOND UPDATE: D'oh. The story I was going to post at 7:00 didn't pan out. I will be posting a small story with the next hour.
Where’s the Outrage from Military People? Among the numerous insults that Limbaugh made against Wesley Clark in the past few days (scroll down) are an allegation and an insinuation that, if true, would be punishable by court martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As I mentioned, Limbaugh accused Clark of begging for his fourth star (Limbaugh based this charge from an article in a web site of an admitted violator of the Espionage Act—see my 9/17 post); the conduct Limbaugh accuses Clark of would be a violation of Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman. Limbaugh also claimed, without a shred of evidence, that Clark “might surrender to the world domination types...”(for the full qote, scroll down to my 9/18 post, "Limbaugh Update"). Limbaugh’s innuendo suggests that Clark is capable of behavior that would put him in violation of Article 99 (misbehavior before the enemy), and Article 104 (aiding the enemy). These are serious charges that Limbaugh cavalierly made without any evidence. In fact, Clark’s biography reflects the opposite of Limbaugh’s charges.
How about the 2000 presidential campaign? Remember when, in the first debate, Al Gore said he had gone to a disaster site in Texas with Federal Emergency Management Agency director James Lee Witt? Actually, it turned out that he had gone to that disaster with a deputy of Witt. As vice president, Gore had gone to 17 other disasters with Witt, but not that one.
The press jumped all over him. There were scores of stories written about how Gore had lied about Witt. It was as if Witt had been the most popular man in the United States of America and Gore was lying to get some of that Witt magic to rub off on him.
Contrast that with the media's reaction to this Bush description of his tax cut in the very same debate: "I also dropped the bottom rate from 15 percent to 10 percent, because, by far, the vast majority of the help goes to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder." "By far, the vast majority . . . goes to the people at the bottom." That is what Bush told America.
The truth is that the bottom 60 percent got 14.7 percent. Gee, that's a pretty significant misstatement, don't you think? More important than whether a Texas fire was one of the 17 disasters you went to with Witt. So what was the reaction of the liberal mainstream press?
All I Ask Is That You Send One Short Email. That’s Fair Enough, Isn’t It? Welcome to all of you who are checking out this site for the first time. I’ve gotten a huge spike in hits because I recorded and showed the world what Rush Limbaugh is saying about Wesley Clark. A pompous windbag like Limbaugh doesn’t scare me (I know firsthand that Limbaugh, like all bullies, is a big wuss; click here and here). What I have mentioned previously really scares me about Limbaugh is how the supposed mainstream media turns a blind eye to his demagoguery (click here for an egregious example) as well as the attempt to make him appear mainstream (scroll down to my 7/17 post). Limbaugh, unlike demagogues of the past like Father Coughlin and George Wallace, has received a free ride from much of the mainstream media.
Considering the vicious attacks that Limbaugh made against Wesley Clark recently, I have the following assignment: 1) read the charges Limbaugh made (scroll down to read last week’s posts); and 2) write Howard Kurtz at email@example.com and tell him to reconsider his views about Limbaugh. Mention the attacks Limbaugh made on Clark. It’s important.
What Democrats Face from the Scaife Internet Network
I agree with Al Franken in his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (click here to buy the book and support this site) that right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife set the tone of political discourse for the last decade. Scaife has funded numerous “journalists” who planted stories in the mainstream media that supported Scaife’s paranoid conspiratorial worldview. Most prominent was Scaife’s role in the discredited story that Bill Clinton was responsible for the death of Vince Foster. Scaife is also a devoted believer of the Free Republic staple and urban legend, the Clinton Body Count, the belief that Bill Clinton is responsible for the murder of dozens of people. Scaife is also responsible for the phony Troopergate scandal—in which Scaife-paid Arkansas troopers were paid by Scaife to spin lurid stories to Scaife-paid journalists/operatives. This incestuous relationship between parties paid by Scaife (who act as if they are working independently), is a common Scaife tactic. Scaife’s paranoid memes has metastasized largely because of the vast amounts of money that Scaife has used to pay people to promote his conspiracy theories.
Scaife’s Current Internet Network
Several of the Scaife-subsidized veterans of the Clinton wars are involved in the contemporary internet community. The three most prominent are Joseph Farah, Christopher Ruddy, and David Horowitz. These three represent Scaife’s influence on the web. Let me discuss each separately.
Unlike Ruddy and Farah who prostituted their journalistic integrity when they accepted money from Scaife to put forth his paranoid and delusional theories about the Clintons, to the best of my knowledge, Horowitz had nothing to do with the spread of the Vince Foster story. Horowitz receives generous funding from Scaife whom Horowitz calls “a decent, patriotic American.” Horowitz’s internet presence is FrontPage Magazine (for a good site that critiques Horowitz and FPM, click here).
The Scaife Internet Network and Wesley Clark
The venom against Wesley Clark by the Scaife Internet network has been swift and unrelenting. On Wednesday, I discussed a scabrous article from Horowitz’s FrontPage Magazine on Clark. On Newsmax, Dan Frisa wrote a particularly venomous column on Clark (Terry Krepel noted that Frisa used terms such "traitorous," "opportunistic," "grandstanding," "more like a leader of a Pinko Parade," "self-promoting egotist," "unsettling beady eyes" and "a four-star jackass." In his most recent column, Farah claimed “Clark may be the most dangerous person in the presidential race” and that he “has a strong military record that would fool most people into thinking he's a genuine hero and patriot.” Expect more of this. Let me remind Democrats out there about the naiveté of thinking that because Wesley Clark is a decorated (and wounded) veteran and has a long and distinguished military career, that the right will not stoop to outrageous attacks. Just remember what happened to John McCain in South Carolina in 2000.
Is General Wesley Clark a Myth? On Thursday, I mentioned how Rush Limbaugh on his radio show referred to Wesley Clark as a myth. Here's the entire context of his comments Limbaugh made when he spoke to a caller:
George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac. John Kerry threw his medals across the Potomac. We're in the business of creating myths about all thee guys aren't we? [Excitedly] That's what Wesley Clark is, he's a total myth! That is the word I've been looking for all day. Sorry, it took me almost three hours to get it. You're exactly right. He is a myth. They are constructing a myth.
National Review's Richard Brookhiser has similar thoughts: "Wesley Clark is George McClellan--proud, smart, by the book, untalented, incompetent. All stars, no battles."
REALITY: A myth? No battles? Here's Tom Junod in Esquire (click here for the entire story):
His stride is at once jaunty and athletic and somewhat artificial, like the stride of a man who has devoted time to teaching himself how to walk . . . as, in fact, he has, after getting shot four times in Vietnam. Taught himself to walk again, without a limp, despite the fact that a quarter of his calf muscle was gone; taught himself to shake hands manfully, despite the loss of the muscle around his right thumb. He had to learn those things because, as his wife says, he was desperately afraid of being profiled out of the Army.
Today's Crash I have gotten a lot of traffic since I started writing about Limbaugh's attacks on Wesley Clark, so there are a lot of people who are not familiar with me. For fun, I like to crash parties and other events such as the Oscars. Click here to read about today's event which was the lamest event I ever crashed.
Limbaugh Update Today on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Limbaugh was again denigrating Wesley Clark, whom Limbaugh was comparing to the character Ashley Wilkes from Gone With The Wind (based on a comment from a Village Voice story by Richard Goldstein). Limbaugh summed up Wesley Clark's candidacy as the triumph of "symbolism over substance." Limbaugh also referred to Clark as "a myth." Let's compare Clark versus Limbaugh on matters of substance:
Clark: First in his class at the U.S. Military Academy. Holds a Master's Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Limbaugh: Dropped out of Southwest Missouri State University during his freshmen year.
Clark: General Clark is a recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He has received honorary Knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments and was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor. In August 2000, General Clark was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
Clark:During his thirty four years of service in the United States Army, he held numerous staff and command positions, rising to the rank of 4-star general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander.
From 1997 through May of 2000, General Clark was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command. In this position, General Clark commanded Operation Allied Force, NATO's first major combat action, which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
From 1996 to 1997 General Clark served as Commander in Chief of the United States Southern Command, Panama, where he was responsible for the direction of U.S. military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From 1994 to 1996, he served as Director for Strategic Plans and Policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff with responsibilities for worldwide U.S. military strategic planning.
General Clark is also licensed as an investment banker. He joined Stephens Inc. as a consultant in July of 2000 and was named Managing Director, Merchant Banking of Stephens Group, Inc. from March 2001 through February 2003. He is currently the chairman of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic advisory and consulting firm.
Limbaugh: Got into radio because his wealthy father owned the station. Fired from numerous radio jobs until catching fire with talk radio. Despite coming from a wealthy background, Limbaugh depended on government largesse, namely unemployment benefits, instead of relying on his family.
Clark: Has been married to the same woman since 1967.
Limbaugh: Twice divorced. Third wife was an aerobics instructor whom Limbaugh married when he weighed over 300 pounds--not that I'm accusing Limbaugh's current wife Marta of being a gold digger and trophy wife or anything.
UPDATE: Responding to a caller who claimed to have previously been under the command of General Clark, Limbaugh responded:
You said something. You called this guy a maniacal general. What did I say yesterday? This guy reminds me of these maniacal generals that are always in these Bob Ludlum novels, these malcontent generals that have retired from the U.S. or NATO or whatever and they join some super-secret conspiracy club that can take over the world. [unintelligible] Everyone still calls them general and they still dress in their military fatigues and everything and run around at super-rich private clubs having lunch, concocting schemes to take over the whole world. Here you’ve come along and confirmed it, that’s what Wesley Clark--We’ve got to take this all under advisement, I mean he doesn’t come across as one of these world domination types. It’s worse than that: he comes across as someone who might surrender to the world domination types, that’s my big fear with a guy like him, and the Clintons and everybody else.
Scroll Down Read yesterday's post on how pimpled-ass draft-dodger Rush Limbaugh is smearing Wesley Clark and denigrating his service in the military with the help of FrontPage Magazine, which is run by an admitted violator of the Espionage Act.
Note I updated the earlier post on Limbaugh's attempted sliming of Wesley Clark. I will update it tonight--probably several times. Also, for those of you new to my site, scroll down and read my other posts (yesterday, I addressed Sean Hannity's baseless charges against Clark). Also, read my calls to talk radio--see the sidebar.
Limbaugh's Lies about Clark Pimpled-ass draft-dodger Rush Limbaugh is smearing Wesley Clark and denigrating his service in the military with the help of FrontPage Magazine, which is run by an admitted violator of the Espionage Act.
On Tuesday , I mentioned that Sean Hannity was spreading rumors about Wesley Clark (scroll down to read them). Counterspin Central listed some possible points of sliming that the GOP and Bush campaign will take against Wesley Clark.
The following were touched upon by Rush Limbaugh in just the first ten minutes of his radio show yesterday:
1) He's an unstable hothead who "almost started World War III." (Really? This analysis at Antidotal puts the lie to this talking point.)
2) He was involved in the Waco disaster. (See below.)
3) He's just a front for Hillary and Bill Clinton; Limbaugh referred to Clark as "Hillary's sock puppet." (See below.)
The hapless radio jock also claimed that Clark "had to beg Bill Clinton for his fourth star. Military people think that he didn't earn it -- that he hasn't deserved it -- that Clinton gave it to him anyway."
Then Limbaugh hit that third point:
"I’ll tell you the most popular theory out there, and Clark is already being asked about it, he’s already saying 'no.' The big theory is that Wesley Clark is out there as Hillary’s sock puppet and that he’s going to end up being her vice presidential candidate -- that all this is to condition the American people to him -- to make the American people aware of him to get a big military guy, not a Vietnam veteran as the French looking, although Clark is. He is a Vietnam vet but he has more recent experience" (emphasis added).
Limbaugh appears to have received much of his disinformation regarding Wesley Clark from an article by Lowell Ponte in FrontPage magazine. Limbaugh even mentioned Ponte on his show and cited Ponte's article on his web site; Limbaugh's words are almost taken word-for-word from Ponte's column.
Ponte's FrontPage article is dripping with paranoid and vicious innuendo. Ponte suggests (of course, without a shred of evidence) that Clark is under the control of the Clintons because they are blackmailing him. Ponte writes:
The Clintons, as their use of private detectives and secret police attests, like to use people they can blackmail, people over whom they hold some dark secret as a threat.... Perhaps General Wesley Clark was more intimately and directly involved in the deaths at Waco than anybody has reported. Perhaps he has some other secret shame or disgrace. For whatever reason, the Clintons seem confident that they have him under their complete control.
This is illustrative of what the late historian Richard Hofstadter called the paranoid style.
It is vile, and it would be a terrible shame if the American people were to sit back and allow a racist traitor like David Horowitz -- and a notorious, dishonest propagandist like Rush Limbaugh -- to smear a true patriot like Wesley Clark.
Hannity should put up or shut up regarding Wesley Clark A couple minutes ago, a caller to Sean Hannity's radio show brought up the topic of the United Nations and Wesley Clark's candidacy. Hannity discussed in detail what he thought were the problems with the UN but he didn't even mention Clark.
UPDATE: Hannity mentioned a Clark candidacy during the second hour of his show: “Wesley Clark has been wrong on every aspect of the president’s war on terror. He’s been one of his top critics and he’s going to be held accountable for everything he’s predicted that’s gone wrong here when we start delving into his record.” Hannity didn't mention any specific instances of Clark being wrong.
SECOND UPDATE: Hannity on Clark in the third hour of his radio show:
[Clark’s] predictions have been wrong on just about every front [regarding the war on terror and the battle in Iraq] and he’s announced today his candidacy—or is expected to announce, I guess later. He’s assembled his team of campaign operatives that include veterans of the campaigns of Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. He declared his party affiliation just two weeks ago, because he wouldn’t [unintelligible] He said that the Democratic Party stands for internationalism. It’s a party that stands for ordinary men and women. It’s a party that stands for fair play and equity and justice and common sense and reasonable dialogue. [laughs] Okay, I’m going to tell you right now very quickly he’s going to become one of the other nine--and—because he’s basically saying the same thing and—I’ll tell you when we start pulling out all the quotes and predictions that he’s made as it relates on the war on terror, I mean he’s been wrong on just about every front. I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere. That’s my prediction.
Is it too much to ask that Hannity give at least one example? It seems that the GOP talking points are that Clark made predictions and was “wrong on every front.” If and when Hannity gets around to analyzing what Clark has actually said, it’s my hope that he doesn’t engage in disinformation such as when Morton Kondracke who claimed that “Wesley Clark, who wants to be vice president of the United States—the Democratic Party should think very carefully about taking advice from Wesley Clark, who has been a doomsayer about [the Iraqi war] from the beginning,” In fact, Clark predicted a swift victory.
THIRD UPDATE: I tuned into Larry Elder's show and Elder claimed that Clark was wrong on just about every one of his predictions about Iraq but, like Hannity, Elder didn't give any examples. The Clark-was-wrong-on-every-prediction meme is spreading thoughout talk radio.
FOURTH UPDATE: It's come to my attention that on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Limbaugh was spreading the lie about Clark's 9/11 phone call (also spread by George Will and the Weekly Standard.
Films I Want To See Over the weekend, I saw the surfing documentary Step Into Liquid (which I loved) and Once Upon A Time In Mexico (which I liked but didn't think was as good as El Mariachi). On Sunday, I tried to get into an advance screening of Richard Linklater's School of Rock (starring Jack Black) but I got to Mann's Chinese Theatre too late; I was very unhappy because I like Black and I love Linklater's films--especially Dazed and Confused and Waking Life.
Here are some films I want to see:
1) Kill Bill. Quentin Tarentino's first film in six years (his previous film was Jackie Brown which is one of my all-time favorites).
2) Where's The Party Yaar? I saw the trailer and it looks like a fun film to watch. It involves partying by Indian-Americans (Indians from Asia, not native Americans). I enjoy Bollywood musicals and this looks very off-beat. Also, the trailer promises hot Desi women!(okay, I added the last sentence to get hits from horny guys surfing for porn but it's true).
3) Wonderland. This is the story of porn star John Holmes and the infamous Laurel Canyon murders. Val Kilmer is a great actor and the trailer looks intense.
4) Anything Else. Some people say that Woody Allen is slipping but I saw The Curse of the Jade Scorpion recently and I thought it was entertaining. It stars Jason Biggs whose acting skills go far beyond convincingly fucking a pie.
5) Duplex. I love dark comedies and while Danny DeVito's previous effort Death to Smoochy was no Dr. Strangelove, it wasn't as bad as some people said it was. Actually, I thought it was pretty good. Duplex looks better. Plus, it stars two good actors--Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore.
George Bush makes many liberal Democrats froth at the mouth, but he does not have this effect on most independents. Democrats are behaving suicidally by not embracing what you might, even after yesterday's court decision, call the Schwarzenegger Option: supporting a candidate so ideologically amorphous that he can appeal to these swingers.
Which is why so many Republicans are quietly gleeful over Dean's continued momentum. It is only the dark cloud of Wesley Clark, looming on the horizon, that keeps their happiness from being complete.
I applaud Howard Dean for firing people up; however, we need a candidate who can kick George W. Bush's illegitimate ass. That man is Wesley Clark.
Give me a fucking break. When Sullivan was at the helm of The New Republic, the fair and balanced right was accusing Clinton of every crime under the sun--including exploiting religion. Clinton was accused of the mass murder of political enemies (as well as friends such as Vince Foster), drug running--you name it. The right's jihad against Clinton was a disgrace. What did Sullivan do as the editor of the most prestigious progressive magazine to address this? Very little.
Prediction Ohio State 22, North Carolina State 19. Losing Maurice Clarett has hurt and distracted the Buckeyes.
SATURDAY UPDATE: Ohio State 44, North Carolina State 19 in triple overtime. I was kind of close because late in the fourth quarter, Ohio State was leading 24-17 which is close to my prediction (at the end of the fourth quarter, it was tied at 24-24). The Buckeyes once again dodged a bullet and kept the longest winning streak in Division 1-A football intact at 17 games. It was ugly but a W is a W. Next week, Ohio State plays Bowling Green which today kicked the crap out of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University 62-3. On an unrelated note, click here and read Mark Alan Stamaty's toon on Al Franken and the Faux News lawsuit.
If you work for any Murdoch publication or network, or if you work for the Rev. Moon's empire, you're really not a journalist in the way that we used to think. You're basically just part of a propaganda machine. And that's a pretty large segment of the media.
As for the rest, certainly being critical at the level I've been critical -Â basically saying that these guys are lying, even if it's staring you in the face Â- is a very unpleasant experience. You get a lot of heat from people who should be on your side, because they accuse you of being shrill, which is everybody's favorite word for me. And you become a personal target. It can be quite frightening. I've seen cases where a journalist starts to say something less thareferentialal about Bush, and then catches himself or herself, and says something like, "Oh, I better not say that, I'll get 'mailed.'" And what they mean by "mail" is hate mail, and it also means that somebody is going to try to see if there's anything in your personal history that can be used to smear you.
It's like shock therapy, aversion therapy. If you touch these things, you yourself are going to get an unpleasant, painful electric shock. And most people in the media just back off as a result.
Buy Krugman's book, The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century.
Nice Try I love reading the Sitemeter report for Google searches done by people who access this site. As I have noted previously, I find that people access this site based on a Google search of Greg+Palast+debunked and other such searches. Today, someone did a Google search of "dirt on Greg Palast" I see, if you can't refute what the guy has to say (such as Palast's investigative reporting on how Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris took away the right to vote of tens of thousands of eligible voters), then try to look into his personal life. Karl Rove would be proud.
UPDATE: I went to Sitemeter after posting and discovered that someone came to this site based on a Google search of Coulter+topless+book+reading. What a perv.
It Was Just My Opinion A few days ago, I mentioned the Girls of the Big Ten pictorial in Playboy and I considered Yen Shipley of the University of Michigan as my favorite, even though I have a degree from Ohio State. One person thought I should have picked Elizabeth James because she totally hot and, because she's from Ohio State, picking her would not involve going against school loyalty. Someone else mentioned that the hottest woman in the pictorial was Aurora Marie of Wisconsin. I can't dispute the logic of either choice.
He Distorts; We Abide I was listening to the Bill O’Reilly’s Radio Factor today and O’Reilly was ranting against the smear culture that he claimed was typified by Michael Kinsley’s supposedly libelous column about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s admitted gangbanging. When I heard this, I was paralyzed—not because I couldn’t respond to it but because I didn’t know where to start. First, a smear is when you lie about someone to hurt that person’s reputation. Kinsley’s column doesn’t fit into the category of smear because, of course, Schwarzenegger admitted in the Oui interview that he engaged in the revolting behavior in question (I’m very open-minded about consensual sex, but this is disgusting and Schwarzenegger’s bragging about it raises additional legitimate questions about his fitness for office; I don’t think I’m alone).
Also, I’m glad that O’Reilly is speaking out against smear culture but I find it odd that he brought up a column that is not libelous—or even unfair. O’Reilly and his fair and balanced colleagues engage in real smears on a regular basis. I don’t have time to do an exhaustive analysis of the various smears of the Fox News gang but go to my new sidebar and check out my prank phone calls to O’Reilly in which I attempted to confront him about his boss Roger Ailes who pedaled hateful conspiracy theories (Note: they’re not really prank calls but I had only a short space to write in the sidebar). I tried to call into the show to talk to O’Reilly about this but the lines were jammed.
What I also found particularly ironic about today’s Radio Factor show was O’Reilly’s characterization of the judge who clubbed him and Ailes like baby seals in the Al Franken “fair and balanced” lawsuit. Apparently, O’Reilly is still smarting about Judge Denny Chin’s dismissal of Fox’s suit as “wholly without merit, both factually and legally.” O’Reilly was bellyaching that had the case been tried in a red state, Fox News would have prevailed. He gave as proof of Judge Chin’s alleged bias a decision he made in the “Candyman” child pornography case—which he characterized as a case in which law enforcement used information from people who joined a kiddie porn web site in order to obtain search and arrest warrants against these people. O’Reilly falsely claimed that Chin threw out convictions in the case because the kiddie porn web site in question constituted “ protected activity under the First Amendment issue.” Mr. No Spin went on to claim that Chin said that the kiddie porn web site was “disgusting but protected.”
Under none of the stories about the matter is what O’Reilly claimed about the case fair and balanced. Actually, it wasn’t a kiddie porn web site in question but more than one internet discussion groups. Judge Chin didn’t address the issue of the legality of child pornography on the web; instead, he addressed defense motions regarding faulty warrants (a news story states that “the FBI and prosecutors have acknowledged making errors”). I don’t have Judge’s Chin’s 59-page ruling in which, according to the news story, "Chin acknowledged that law enforcement needs some latitude to catch those who break child pornography laws on the Internet and sexually exploit and abuse children.” A caller tried to clarify the matter with O’Reilly on the show but he cut her off—go figure. (click here for another story on the case).
In O’Reilly’s world, addressing the issue of Arnold’s admitted group sex in a public place is a smear. On the other hand, settling a score by falsely accusing someone of being soft on child porn is fair and balanced reporting. Someone let me out of the No Spin Zone; I’m dizzy.
If You’re Involuntarily Crapping your Pants From Bad Meat, Thank George W. Bush When I moved, my subscription to Playboy didn’t follow and I just got the October 2003 issue. I was not disappointed. There’s a picture of Jennifer Connolly topless on page 38. It’s the back to school issue that has a pictorial of the babes of the Big Ten (I’m a Buckeye but I have to confess that I was smitten by Yen Shipley of the University of Michigan and her Brazilian cut; note to Hef: make her Playmate of the month). Plus there’s an excerpt from Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose’s forthcoming book, Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America. Ivins and Dubose document how the Bush Regime weakened USDA regulations on meat enacted during the Clinton years; the GOP is a subsidiary of the meat industry which doesn’t care if you contract Listeria or other diseases caused by bad meat, mainly cold cuts. The article is not a pleasant read. Does anyone want to bet that the luncheon meat served at the White House is checked for Listeria? Then why isn’t the meat sold at the grocery store checked? Just wondering.
Responding to Liars One thing I agree with Bill O'Reilly is that it's necessary to stand up to people who attack you; the problem is that the people whom O'Reilly accuses of unfairly attacking him are right (BTW, a new book on O'Reilly is The Oh Really? Factor : Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly by Peter Hart of FAIR is due out soon; check it out).
One of the reasons that the 2000 election became the 2000 selection was that the right has a much bigger megaphone than the left. The Daily Howler was one of the few voices responding to the lies that Al Gore was a pathological liar (I was able to contribute in a small way with my phone call to Rush in 2000).
I Volunteer To Be Process Server to Tom DeLay The other day I suggested that Tom DeLay be indicted for his illegal dealings. Tapped is a little more reserved; it suggests lawsuits. That's fine with me; I'm even willing to be the process server who hands the subpoenas to DeLay. If DeLay gets wind of the pending lawsuit and tries to dodge the subpoena, I can use my security-bypassing skills to get access to him--trust me, I know how to get past phalanxes of security people.
Franken's Book Lies Is Great But Dude, Where's My Plug? I finally had a chance to read Al Franken's Lies last night. It is a great book. Franken skewers mendacious right luminaries such as the Usurper In Chief, Ann Coulter, Roger Ailes, Bernard Goldberg, Christopher Ruddy, Barbara Bush, Sun Myung Moon, Newt Gingrich, Rich Lowry, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Wes Pruden, Richard Mellon Scaife, and the dim bulbs at the Wall Street Journal's editorial page such as Peggy Noonan the Dolphin-queen. It is informative and witty. There's a wickedly funny cartoon in the book about a character named Supply Side Jesus.