Monday, April 30, 2007

The Medal of Freedom

I really thought I would be buying George Tenent's book, At the Center of the Storm, today, but after reading just a little about it - and after the 60 Minutes interview - I have no need to buy a book from a man who should have told the American people the truth and stopped this war before it started. I guess this was going to be his attempt to salvage his public reputation, but it's too little, too late. But hey, he got a medal of freedom (which he should have returned before publishing this book) and $4 million for telling us all what we have already figured out...this administration lies and those who should have been blowing the whistle are now making millions confessing their roles in this mess.

I really wonder how Tenent sleeps at night.

Take a minute and read this open letter to Tenent from a small group of former CIA intelligence officers. It begins:

Dear Mr. Tenet:
We write to you on the occasion of the release of your book, At the Center of the Storm. You are on the record complaining about the "damage to your reputation". In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the United States. We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush. We also call for you to dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Democrats

I have to say I was thankful that Kucinich and Gravel were included in the debate last night (even if they were put in the corner). Gravel is a little nuts and Kucinich, well, I love Dennis...

Without them in the debate last night, it would have been a real bore!

As for the rest...
Richardson: long-winded and sweaty
Edwards: still my fave of the current crop
Biden: should stay in the Senate
Obama: needs more time before stepping onto this stage...did you see how he let Kucinich and Gravel engage him on Iran? wow.
Clinton: I nodded off during at least one of her answers
Who else?...Oh, yeah, Dodd: obviously, he didn't make much of an impression on me last night

And Brian Fidel Castro really on anyone's mind these days?! That was the most irrelevant question of the night!

UPDATE: I take back my comment about Dodd. I did love his answer about civil unions! I'm proud he's a Dem...

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I got my latest alumni newsletter from Ohio University yesterday...this photo was on the cover and I had no idea where this little pond was located! How did a mini-lake pop up on campus?? I asked one of my co-workers (who also went to OU)...she said it used to be the little mosquito puddle between the aquatic center and Clippinger Hall.

Really nice change...but it made me miss my school...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kevin Tillman is a real American hero.

I don't think I need to add anything to this blog post. I hope you follow the link and read it.

(Pictured: Pat and Kevin Tillman)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Return of Bill Moyers!

I already have my Tivo set for Weds and the following Fridays...

Bill Moyers returns to PBS with a look at how the mainstream media "got it so wrong" when it came to reporting on the lead up to the Iraq war. I'm curious to see what he comes up with, and how the reporters and producers he interviews respond. I've always wondered why I was so sure Saddam didn't have any more bad weapons, yet the media kept repeating the Bush Administration's theories about those weapons as fact. If I could gather enough info to know that the weapons inspectors had done their jobs and Saddam had been disarmed in the 1990s, why couldn't the MSM? And why couldn't Congress??

So many lives (American and Iraqi) - and so much money - gone. I'd like the decision makers to explain their actions, but I'll be happy to start with the media's explanations!

Check your local listings!

Graphically speaking...

Via, Dahlia Lithwick reported on the Alberto Gonzales testimony:

One of the finest moments comes when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., busts out a big, big chart. Which happens after almost everyone has gone home. The chart compares the Clinton protocol for appropriate contacts between the White House and the DoJ on pending criminal cases with the Bush protocol. According to Whitehouse, the Clinton protocol authorized just four folks at the White House to chat with three folks at Justice. The chart had four boxes talking to three boxes.

Out comes the Bush protocol, and now 417 different people at the White House have contacts about pending criminal cases with 30-some people at Justice. You can just see zillions of small boxes nattering back and forth. It seems that just about everyone in the White House, including the guys in the mailroom, had a vote on ongoing criminal matters.

Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., calls this "the most astounding thing" he's seen in 32 years.

If I find a graphic of that chart, I'll post it!

UPDATE: You can watch the exchange, and sort of see the graphics, at ThinkProgress.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Is he not embarassed?

At my job - I'd be embarassed to say that I didn't know what my staff was doing, or why I made big decisions...but Alberto Gonzales got up there and said he didn't know, or couldn't remember, why decisions were made at the U.S. Justice Department.


Will he stay, or will he go?

I just don't know...

Yes, it will be better for the country.

Yes, it will make the Democrats happy.

But, he provides a great shield to the President. Who will Bush hide behind next if Gonzales goes?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You say it's your birthday...

Almost every year on my birthday, I get Anthony Michael Hall (pre-gym days) singing "you say it's your birthday...nah, nah, nah, nah,'s my birthday too, yeah" stuck in my head. Now, you all can sing along!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

That's what he's sorry for???

Wolfowitz Apologizes for 'Mistake'
World Bank president apologizes for role in giving raise to staffer with whom he was involved.

Isn't there anything else he'd like to apologize for?

(and is there anything she'd like to apologize for?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is Katie Couric Blushing?

This cracks me up...embarassing on so many levels!

Katie Couric video essay was copied from The Wall Street Journal

Newsweek reports "Couric apparently faces no repercussions, because she doesn’t actually write 'Katie’s Couric's Notebook'—though many of the entries are presented in the form of first-person essays, as was the controversial piece. Addressing her audience, Couric began: 'Hi everyone, I still remember when I got my first library card.'"

Here's the text:

COURIC: "For kids today, the library is more removed from their lives. It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out."

WSJ: "The library is more removed from their lives," says Sabra Steinsiek, a retired librarian in Albuquerque, N.M. "It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out."

COURIC: Sure, children still like libraries, but books aren't the draw.

WSJ: Sure, there are still library-loving children, but books aren't necessarily the draw.

COURIC: A recent study found kids use libraries more for DVDs, story hours and computers than for checking out books.

WSJ: Suburban kids, especially, often use libraries more for DVDs, story hours and computers, because their parents buy them books, according to a 2005 study by the Association for Library Service to Children.

COURIC: Many kids skip the library altogether and head for the store. Sales of juvenile books rose 60 percent from 2002 to 2005. It's an encouraging sign that kids value reading...

WSJ: Many kids, of course, skip the library and head right for the store. Sales of hardcover juvenile books rose 60% from 2002 to 2005, to $3.6 billion. Yes, that's an encouraging sign that kids still value books.

COURIC: ...but many tech-savvy kids never experience the joy of using the library's shelves as a place to discover new worlds.

WSJ: But many tech-savvy kids never experience the library as a place for serendipitous discovery.

COURIC: And students are arriving in college unable to navigate libraries with a Dewey decimal system many have never used.

WSJ: Meanwhile, with most teens turning first and foremost to the Internet for schoolwork, students are arriving in college unable to navigate libraries.

Ahhh, Marty Kaplan

More from Huffington Post:

Imagine if the audience's appetite for outrage extended to the dying of American democracy. Imagine if media bosses believed that we're insatiable for information about the Republican attempt to rig the '08 election by politicizing the Justice Department and prosecuting phony voter fraud. Imagine if the same kind of blanket coverage that's currently conferred on loopy astronauts, bratty rehaboholics, and, yes, slandered basketball teams, were afforded instead to the slow-motion fascism on the move in America. Would we watch it the same Pavlovian way we watch tits, twits and tornadoes?

Media executives think not. They believe the jury is in on that one. They don't believe that we're addicted to junk news and shock jocks because it's the only diet they've offered us; they think the market for civically useful information is simply saturated. They don't think that because they're just tools of the vast right-wing conspiracy (though some, like Fox, have made that their market niche), or just because it serves their economic self-interest (though the tax cuts and wealth transfers whose consequences they've declined to cover have benefited them handsomely). No, they air what they air, and cover what they cover, as a capitalist service to us. Us, in the form of our mutual funds, our pension funds, our IRAs and 401(k)s, our collective American existence as Wall Street. Entertainment is exquisitely sensitive to demand. As long as we demand quarterly growth in profits more aggressively than we demand real news, the clowns will always get more airtime than the fifth column of hacks who have penetrated the halls of Justice.

More on Imus

Okay, I really am going to start ignoring the All-Imus-All-The-Time stuff, but I thought I'd link to one more blog post:

The Walkman, Imus, Racism, and My Being an Insensative Smart Ass White Guy

I don't know who this Horowitz guy is, but I think I like his friend Ed Lawson! (even though he has a lot of typos)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus...Blah, Blah...

I don't have anything to say about the Imus "scandal" so I'll just link to my favorite blogger's post on the subject...

Read Imus? on Political Animal.

Update: Here's another interesting opinion: The Luxury of Our Sensitivity

Oh yeah, and from Tom Giago, via Huffington Post:

"Was Jesse Jackson banned from radio and television or public appearances for life when he referred to Jews as hymies and to New York City as Hymietown? Of course not. And was the Reverend Al Sharpton similarly banned for his racist remarks about whites during the Tawana Braley episode."

Back to regularly scheduled programming, please!!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Power of Negative Thinking...

Okay, I am all for the age-old wisdom of the "power of positive thinking," but this The Secret book definitely seems to take things too far, especially for people who may feel desperate and are searching for answers. As reported in today's Washington Post, the author Rhonda Byrne not only thinks good things happen to you when you have a positive attitude, but bad things are also your fault:

"Imperfect thoughts are the cause of humanity's ills," Byrne asserts, in a stunning sentence that had me pondering how to perfect my thoughts, pronto.

Poverty? "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts."

Illness? "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can. . . . You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness."


Friday, April 6, 2007

Is this playing where you are?

I listened to an interview this week with Jake Kasdan about his new movie, The TV Set. It opens this weekend, but not in DC! If anyone gets to see this, let me know how it is. I LOVED Freaks and Geeks (Kasdan was one of its creators), so I'm curious about his new movie. Here's the trailor...

Anna Nicole Smith - Anatomy of a Feeding Frenzy

So, maybe I was wrong when I thought the entire MSM had lost its mind...maybe I just watch too much cable news!

The findings of the Project for Excellence in Journalism:

How big was the Anna Nicole Smith story? How pervasive a media phenomenon was it? Can any lessons be learned about the media from the episode?

This PEJ Index Special Report of the 23 days of the Anna Nicole story—from her death on February 8 to her burial on March 2—reveals that it was indeed a major story in the national press, though not equally so across outlets. Only two other stories during that time—the debate over Iraq and the 2008 Presidential race—generated more attention in than Smith’s demise—and those only barely.

Yet the sense that the Smith soap opera—and the clips of her vamping in scanty attire—was a wall-to-wall event from which there was no escape in the media is something of a misimpression.

The Smith saga did not attract major coverage from all the media sectors studied, which includes 48 different outlets across five media sectors. (Please see the methodology for a complete list.) Instead, it was driven largely by relentless attention from two—both television-based. One was network morning news. The other, even bigger, was cable TV news, where this story accounted for nearly a quarter of all the airtime.

What’s more, not all channels devoted equal time to the story. In network morning shows, the story was covered more heavily by CBS and NBC.

And on cable, the Fox News Channel fixated most on the story, followed by MSNBC.

These findings add to the evidence of cable’s fixation on one big event. But they also go beyond that. The fact that for the most part, the newspapers, web sites, nightly network newscasts, and radio news outlets treated Smith’s death as a blip on the radar screen speaks to cable’s ability to magnify an event until it feels like the only story on the entire media agenda.

In reality, the media landscape is diverse with different news priorities. What consumers learn about—and what they do not learn about—can vary dramatically depending on where they go for news.

Theatre or Reality?

I enjoy anyone (even Geraldo) yelling at Bill O'Reilly and basically calling him a moron, but I can't tell if this was a real argument, or "news theatre"...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Planet Earth update

If you haven't yet watched Planet Earth on Discovery Channel, start now and buy the DVD...we are. It's amazing.

Not much TV leaves me stunned...