And, yes, I DO take it personally: 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
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Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Rove on his way down? Let's all join hands and pray...
ok... i'm in belgrade, serbia, just back to the hotel after a wonderful meal at a restaurant that has been in continuous operation since 1823... it's been drizzling off and on all day but that hasn't prevented a nice walkabout (albeit under umbrellas) through the pedestrian zone and stopping off for capuccino and tort...
but, ya know what...? i'm psyched... this news about rove, if it holds and has legs, could be christmas and birthday all rolled into one... please, please, let it stick and let's see that evil, evil man, as atrios says, "frogmarched" out of the white house into a richly deserved oblivion... here's john at americablog...
Let's see Bush pardon him after he leaked classified information that endangered the lives of scores of CIA assets around the world and endangered the war on terror. And let's see Bush pardon him after all the quotes we're going to drag up from GOP members of Congress about the high crime it is to perjure oneself.
Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove....
Other panelists then joined in discussing whether, if true, this would suggest a perjury rap for Rove, if he told the grand jury he did not leak to Cooper.
Kind of makes lying about a blowjob look downright quaint.
And if it's Karl, I want to know who else in the White House knew. This isn't just perjury, it's obstruction of justice on behalf of the liar and anyone else who knew he lied.
i can't tell you how badly i want to see rove go down... it would be the biggest gift the u.s. could possibly receive to have him permanently removed from the scene...
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Last night, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know [the name of the source who leaked Valerie Plame's name] --and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
Here is the transcript of O'Donnell's remarks:
"What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is. And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."
everybody who's paid the slightest bit of attention to karl-the-antichrist rove over the past years knows in his or her heart that he has been the architect of some of the ugliest, vilest character assassinations ever perpetrated in american politics but has always managed to keep his name well into the "plausible deniability" range... if this pans out, karl will at last be outed and, for me, christmas will come early this year...
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John Conyers is nosing around again. He is one junkyard dog, I tell ya! You don't suppose there is any connection between his (and 51 other House members) filing a FOIA request about the Downing Street memos and Dear Leader's latest Executive Order?
Executive Order: Strengthening Processes Relating to Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified National Security Information
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to assist in determining eligibility for access to classified national security information, while taking appropriate account of title III of Public Law 108-458, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. To the extent consistent with safeguarding the security of the United States and protecting classified national security information from unauthorized disclosure, agency functions relating to determining eligibility for access to classified national security information shall be appropriately uniform, centralized, efficient, effective, timely, and reciprocal.
The Director and other heads of agencies shall ensure that all actions taken under this order are consistent with the President's constitutional authority to (i) conduct the foreign affairs of the United States, (ii) withhold information the dis-closure of which could impair the foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties, (iii) recommend for congressional con-sideration such measures as the President may judge necessary or expedient, and (iv) supervise the unitary executive branch.
The order expires July 2006, so I think this is just a way for them to stonewall people like John Conyers from obtaining embarrassing documents under the guise of working to make the process uniform across various executive agencies.
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Africa and Millenium Challenge - connect the dots, fercryinoutloud
Three years ago, the pressure of a looming international aid summit induced President Bush to launch the Millennium Challenge Account, an instrument for plowing generous aid into poor countries with uncorrupt institutions and good policies. Yesterday Mr. Bush responded to similar pressure ahead of next week's Group of Eight summit, which will have Africa high on the agenda. But whereas the Millennium Challenge initiative involved a promise of $5 billion extra for development per year, Mr. Bush's initiatives this time around are modest.
what really drives me totally crazy about articles like this is when they're disconnected from the bigger picture... just the other day, for instance, the nyt reported on the resignation of the Millenium Challenge chief executive and what a miserable failure the mca project has been so far (see my previous post) yet, in the above article, not a word is mentioned of that story... to me, that's just plain crappy journalism... if they had included mention of the mca's dismal performance, it might have led to a further speculation about whether the promised increase of aid to africa wouldn't suffer a similar fate... sheesh...
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If you listen carefully, you realize Democrats like Kerry and Biden are saying that this war is being fought the wrong way, not that this is the wrong war. They have bought into the Karl Rove argument that might makes right. And they are also accepting Rove's analysis that real men don't question war, only wimpy liberals do. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York endorses the same Rovian analysis.
As long as Democrats accept that premise, Republicans win and Democrats lose. Rove knows exactly how to push the Democrats' buttons and keep it that way.
Why can't we leave? Because we can't be liberal wimps. Advantage: Bush.
kerry and biden don't speak for me and, truth be told, not for the whole of the democratic party either... paul krugman takes venocchi's point right on home...
The country missed the chance to say no before this war started, but it can still say no to Mr. Bush's open-ended commitment, and demand a timetable for getting out.
I know that this argument will be hard to sell. Despite everything that has happened, many Americans still want to believe that this war can and should be seen through to victory. But it's time to face up to three realities. First, the war is helping, not hurting, the terrorists. Second, the kind of clear victory the hawks promised is no longer possible, if it ever was. Third, a time limit on our commitment will do more good than harm.
robert kuttner's column in today's boston globe echoes steve clemons on john bolton's stalled nomination as u.s. ambassador to the u.n. - he isn't worthy of confirmation... moreover, notes steve, if bush takes the low road and offers bolton a recess appointment over the upcoming july 4th recess, bolton should decline...
It was fairly remarkable that Bolton's name was not mentioned by the President last night -- not even in taking a pot shot at the Democrats and single Republican who have stalled the nomination process in the demand for documents.
Bolton is probably thinking this through. The White House wants him to take a recess appointment -- and he allegedly doesn't want it under these conditions. There are other things he can do. [...] TWN hopes that Mr. Bolton realizes that he needs to withdraw and take a role in the Vice President's office. The nation's interests will be better served -- and those Boltonian skills the President allegedly wants can still be close at hand.
rodrigo de rato, imf managing director, issued a statement this morning on argentina...
"The Argentine authorities have informed Fund management of their desire to start negotiations with the IMF on a new economic program.
"The program supported by the Fund arrangement approved in September 2003 was not fully implemented because of a decision by the Argentine authorities to delay key structural elements of the program until completion of their debt restructuring. The authorities now believe that it is time to work toward a new IMF-supported program."
this oughta be interesting, particularly after argentina president néstor kirchner took this memorable shot a week ago...
‘‘The IMF focuses its attacks on me because I strongly defend the fatherland’s interests and refuse to court those interests that have permanently sunk us."
as we all know, the nyt can and often does try to play the "fair and balance" bullshit game where truth is often the casualty... today's editorial, however, imho, says what needs to be said...
We did not expect Mr. Bush would apologize for the misinformation that helped lead us into this war, or for the catastrophic mistakes his team made in running the military operation. But we had hoped he would resist the temptation to raise the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over again to justify a war in a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks. We had hoped that he would seize the moment to tell the nation how he will define victory, and to give Americans a specific sense of how he intends to reach that goal - beyond repeating the same wishful scenario that he has been describing since the invasion.
Sadly, Mr. Bush wasted his opportunity last night, giving a speech that only answered questions no one was asking.
"misinformation" is a choice of words i have trouble with... "deliberate misinformation" would be more accurate and "LYING" even more so... interesting as well, that they not only didn't bite on the repeated false allegation that iraq and al qaeda were connected, they simply asserted the truth - "a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks..."
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The only thing new in the speech was that Dear Leader finally uttered the words "Osama bin Laden." But did anyone hear him mention "Saddam Hussein?" Did we hear anything about WMD? Or rape rooms? Or "he gassed his own people?"
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I thought I would be able to escape, but it's early start time (don't these things usually start at 9 EDT?) gave me a window. So along with my TT friends, we endured together.
What can I say? He didn't say anything new. Even a tried and true soldier audience wasn't buying it. I noticed many not looking at him. I caught one soldier dozing off. Dear Leader was interrupted once for applause and Terry Moran of ABC confessed that it had been generated by a White House advance person...not the soldiers. At the end of the speech there were no shouts of Hoo-Rah, only 30 seconds or so of polite applause and then George milked the rope line.
Oh, and there will be no troop increases, so suck it up soldier. Dear Leader doesn't have your back. You are on your own.
[Edit at 8:12AM.] -- Just checked the transcript and yes, Saddam Hussein is mentioned in the speech twice: (1) "remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime" who are in cahoots with terrorists, (2) in reference to the oppression of the Kurds: "Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights..."
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i was asleep on an airplane last night during the speech-that-wasn't-a-speech but it sure sounds like i didn't miss much... what i've seen this morning on the reaction news, it's embarrassingly obvious that bush is severely reality-challenged... saying the same things over and over again may have been initially interpreted as firm resolve... now, they just sound foolish and blind... on the sound bites, watching him smirk as he said we will "make our stand" against terrorists in iraq made my stomach turn... then watching him link iraq to bin laden YET AGAIN was enough to gag a maggot... obviously, rep. robin hayes (see previous post) took the bait...
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For those oil enthusiasts who believe that petroleum will remain abundant for decades to come -- among them, the President, the Vice President, and their many friends in the oil industry -- any talk of an imminent "peak" in global oil production and an ensuing decline can be easily countered with a simple mantra: "Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia."
But now, from an unexpected source, comes a devastating challenge to this powerful dogma: In a newly-released book, investment banker Matthew R. Simmons convincingly demonstrates that, far from being capable of increasing its output, Saudi Arabia is about to face the exhaustion of its giant fields and, in the relatively near future, will probably experience a sharp decline in output.
This guy is no wild-eyed "eco-terrorist" either.
Matthew ("Matt") Simmons is not a militant environmentalist or anti-oil partisan; he is Chairman and CEO of one of the nation's leading oil-industry investment banks, Simmons & Company International. For decades, Simmons has been pouring billions of dollars into the energy business, financing the exploration and development of new oil reservoirs. In the process, he has become a friend and associate of many of the top figures in the oil industry, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. He has also accumulated a vast storehouse of information about the world's major oil fields, the prospects for new discoveries, and the techniques for extracting and marketing petroleum. There is virtually no figure better equipped than Simmons to assess the state of the world's oil supply. And this is why his assessment of Saudi Arabia's oil production capacity is so devastating.
Oh, and natural gas in North America? Peaked, according to Exxon. And adding new pipelines won't help.
"Gas production has peaked in North America," Chief Executive Lee Raymond told reporters at the Reuters Energy Summit.
Asked whether production would continue to decline even if two huge arctic gas pipeline projects were built, Raymond said, "I think that's a fair statement, unless there's some huge find that nobody has any idea where it would be."
But all in all, the speech sounds like more of the same. Stay the course. Bush has a strategy for success. Is that anything like Nixon's secret plan for ending the war in Viet Nam? According to Scottie, Dear Leader is going to get "very specific" as to his strategy for success. Huh. Really? Anyone holding their breath?
Sure wish I didn't have to drive tonight. Playing the drinking game for this one might be fun ... and the only way I would be able to get through the speech with my sanity intact. Instead, I will probably be listening in the car and screaming at the radio and pounding the steering wheel.
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According to well-placed political sources, Giuliani has been working closely with Rove to build a Presidential platform against presumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. “There’s been talk on Capitol Hill for months about Rove’s ‘secret meetings’ in New York with Giuliani,” says one D.C. operative. “[Rudy] is not appearing on Hardball and Larry King for his health.”
But sources say the job Rove has in mind for Giuliani isn’t the one the ever-ambitious ex-mayor is angling for; as usual, the Boy Genius has his own ideas. “Whoever gets the Republican nomination is going to appear so extremist that it will be hard for them to appeal to moderates, the core of winning any national election,” notes our insider. “But you add on an American hero like Rudy Giuliani and you have a likable ticket. Just prepare yourself for constant reels of Giuliani saving New York on September 11th.”
i thought that perhaps the bernie kerik debacle had wiped rudy off the program but, when it comes to rove's evil master plan, nobody's ever down for the count...
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amazing...! i hadn't heard this proposal (stopping "the borrowing of operating surplus within Social Security to mask the enormous size of the operating deficits for the rest of the hemorrhaging budget"), but if it's the only action taken on social security this year, that would be just fine by me...
Republicans who have floundered in their scramble to promote an exit strategy for Iraq are honing skills on an exit strategy for an equally touchy topic -- President Bush's desire to turn Social Security upside down.
With next year's elections looming on the horizon, there does not appear to be a desire to accomplish anything that either deals with the vital program's long-range health or follows Bush's longstanding yearning to partially privatize it.
Instead, the effort is seeking to position electioneering Republicans as being in favor of something that polls and other opinion research indicate is relatively popular. [...] That would be the stealing, or embezzling, or (for euphemism lovers) the borrowing of operating surplus within Social Security to mask the enormous size of the operating deficits for the rest of the hemorrhaging budget.
the outcome (believing you're always right) is undisputed... the analysis (born-again) makes sense... however, i've learned over many years that attempting to apply rational thinking to irrational behavior is often a sure recipe for a major headache...
George W. Bush is simply "right." And I mean "simply." Maintaining simplicity has been George's salvation. After years of quiet desperation, a rich frat boy, a certifiable putz and a drunk Bush was "saved." Until that moment, life's plethora of choices, conflicting options, moral and personal issues overwhelmed poor young George. Then someone turned him on to Jesus... the one-stop, one-track, one-size-fits-all solution. For young George, the Bible became his life's owner's manual.
Suddenly life's complications, choices and confusions were culled down to a handful of easy-to-understand instructions. Life's once-intimidating blank canvas was transformed to a paint-by-numbers set. He now not only knew what the picture was, but all he had to do was not mix his colors to end up with a perfect painting every time.
for me, the essence of true spirituality (as opposed to religiosity), does indeed lead to a major simplification of life's choices... i do not believe, however, in abdicating the ability to think for ourselves or in relinquishing the authorship of our own lives to a body of external authority that is often promulgated by those who are either self-serving or who are speaking from a flawed perspective... i do not believe that was jesus' message and i certainly don't believe that there is anything in his message that condones war, intolerance, or hate...
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I have been talking to my fellow soldiers about this whole situation and I have told them about how the leadership in Washington is trying to get the American people to silence their criticisms of the continued lunacy we call the occupation of Iraq. I tell them that they are saying to the Congress: Well, ya know our poor soldiers wanna stay and finish the fight in Iraq but you people in Washington D.C. are under cutting their morale by bringing up this “time table stuff” and “what the hell are we doing in Iraq do we have a plan ? stuff.
When I tell this to my fellow soldiers they immediately begin to laugh and then they get pissed off that such bull shit is being spouted back home because we are the ones who are calling home and telling our families what a bunch of lies and crap they are telling the American people.
this is an extension of yesterday's post where i lamented the growing, ever-grasping tendrils of the republican/fundamentalist christian alliance... now, in an obvious attempt to deflect criticism for being at the head of the liberal media pack, the nyt decides to pander... of course, at the nyt, they would never stoop to calling it pandering... oh, no... not in THOSE august halls...
Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, announced several new policies in response to a recent report by the paper's Credibility Committee. Among them is a fresh attempt to diversify the Times' staff and viewpoints, and not in the usual racial or gender ways, but in political, religious and cultural areas as well.
The aim, he wrote, is "to stretch beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation."
He also said that he endorsed the internal committee’s recommendation "that we cover religion more extensively.... This is important to us not because we want to appease believers or pander to conservatives, but because good journalism entails understanding more than just the neighborhood you grew up in."
key code words used to signal the change of direction: diversify, political, cultural, religious, religion, appease, believers, pander, conservatives, important, understanding
key code words used with a (barely) cloaked negative connotation: predominantly, urban, liberal, orientation
key code words used to signal contrition for past behavior: fresh, attempt, usual, more, extensively, full, range, more, just
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i remember walking around the zocalo in mexico city not long after the zapatista national liberation army (EZLN) emerged seemingly out of nowhere on the last day of 1993 by seizing a number of villages and highways in the southeastern mexican state of chiapas...
the zocalo is always ground zero for national protests in mexico and there were a number of them in progress that day... i happened to notice several well-groomed men and women in business attire walking around with clipboards and became curious... i tagged along with one for a while until i managed to figure out that they were employees of a p.r. firm hired by the zapatistas to gauge public opinion of their actions... amazing, i remember thinking, how times change... now the revolution hires its own p.r. firm... that was followed by the realization that one of the reasons the mexican government wasn't rolling a mass of heavily armed troops into chiapas to dispatch the cheeky bastards as they would have done in previous years without batting an eyelash, was that subcomandante marcos, the anonymous, balaclava-wearing ezln leader was sitting in the lacandon rain forest in chiapas, drinking coffee with cnn reporters who were beaming it all back to the rest of world, live via satellite... not your father's oldsmobile...
But they have also announced their determination to ensure that the ”scoundrels” - a catch-all term to describe all politicians - ”will not get their own way,” but rather will ”be held accountable” and forced to pay.
What will the next step be for this poorly-armed indigenous rebel movement, which has captured the world's attention with daring political actions throughout its 11-year history, but has maintained a markedly low profile over the last four?
Through a spokesperson, the leader of the EZLN, known as ”Subcomandante Marcos”, revealed that the group is planning to do ”something else” to put forward its demands, but has still not specifically stated what it means to do or when.
”This other thing does not imply any kind of military offensive on our part. We are not planning or discussing the resumption of combat,” Marcos noted in one of several communiqués released this past week.
somewhat suprising, at least to me, is that the zapatistas are strongly opposed to the presidential candidacy of andrés manuel lópez obrador(or amlo as he's come to be known), the left-leaning mayor of mexico city who has been leading the polls for the last six months...
According to Marcos, the political and macroeconomic stability that López Obrador has pledged to establish if he is elected president will merely mean ”growing profits for the rich, poverty and growing plunder for the dispossessed, and an order that keeps the discontent of the latter under control.”
Robert Parry issues a prediction for Tuesday night
i completely agree... nothing in the history of the bush administration gives any indication whatsoever of a willingness for honest give and take with anyone... they're right, they're ALWAYS right, and woe betide anyone who gets in their way...
The Rove speech put down a marker for any U.S. political figure who dares criticize aspects of Bush’s war policies. Dissenters will be accused of endangering American troops – as sure a way as can be imagined to throttle a public debate.
If there was any doubt about whether Rove was speaking for Bush, White House spokesmen and Republican leaders pointedly defended Rove’s remarks.
What was lost in the political brouhaha, however, was that the White House was signaling its strategy for firming up softening public support for the Iraq War: demonize those who dissent, again.
"put down a marker" conjures up visions of a dog peeing on a fire hydrant... i guess that's not too bad a metaphor now is it...? when it came out yesterday that bush would be making a televised speech on iraq tuesday night, i regretted that i would be on an airplane while it was being aired... sanity prevailed, however, when i remembered that i've never, ever watched a bush speech either live or all the way through... my stomach simply cannot tolerate it... things work out the way they're supposed to, i guess...
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while i have referred to and credited many other blogs, with the possible exception of steve clemons' washington note, i have refrained from making recommendations... that said, today i would like to refer you to a blog that has only been in existence for two days and has already had over 21,000 visitors... it's title is "take it to karl - american service men and women mad at karl rove..." as a vietnam veteran and even though i don't care to make anything special out of myself for that, i do have some idea of what our troops are going through in iraq... i also understand all too well what it must be like to hear someone like karl rove shooting off his big fat mouth...
(from an active duty soldier in iraq...)
Never insult me and my fellow liberals again, Karl. Watching a fat, hateful thing like you that has never faced any greater danger in your life than a long golf shot denigrate every liberal who has put on a uniform is more demoralizing than ten thousand speeches that uphold America's highest ideals from Sen. Biden or Byrd.
as benito at kos points out, when the economist speaks, people listen... "[The Economist] is the very pinnacle of the elite press. Its line reflects that elitism, of course, but its pages has [sic] to reflect the truth because the people who read its pages both require and expect it..." all the more evidence of the depth of delusion about iraq bushco is attempting to foist on the american people... beware of the tuesday night prime time address...
Strategically, [Iraq] is a disaster for America. An Iraq refashioned in its image was supposed to persuade angry Arabs of the joys of liberal democracy. Yet the country is now breeding Islamist terrorists of its own. Having no objective but to destroy Americans and the Iraqi government they have helped to create, they will not stop their attacks until American troops quit Iraq, or possibly even after then.
Rove's flamboyant remarks -- in which he roused conservatives by saying liberals prefer "therapy and understanding" for terrorists instead of retaliation -- has put President Bush's top strategist back on stage. It's a place where he has seemed increasingly comfortable of late. [...] Long a policy wonk in a political operative's skin, Rove always had significant involvement in issues during the first Bush term. Now, that role has been made formal, with expanded administrative powers and the explicit authority to range widely into a variety of policy areas.
actually, i think this is good news... rove is an extremely dark force and moving into the light can only help expose this man for who he is - adeconstructionist without compassion, the principal architect of the bitter divisiveness consuming our national dialogue, what's left of it that is...
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it's a delightfully cool, quiet, partly sunny sunday here in buenos aires... reading the news over an unaccustomed second cup of coffee (segafredo - strong, sweet and hot), i'm struck once again by the seemingly inexorable forward march of the unholy republican/fundamentalist christian alliance... its tendrils are appearing everywhere... i can only conclude that this is just the beginning... soon the beast will be fully awake... kos and armando may take some comfort in poll numbers but i'm not getting a warm, fuzzy feeling when i see things like these...
the more bushco hits on the "straights = good, gays = bad" theme, the more "official," legally-sanctioned intolerance we're gonna see...
"If the last election showed one thing, it's that culture drives politics. I want to take the form that is now owned by the left - the documentary - and use it to help drive an overall political agenda that supports the culture of life." [...] Though heavier than most on messianic zeal, Mr. [Stephen K.] Bannon - Roman Catholic filmmaker, conservative-film financier, Washington networker and Hollywood deal-chaser - is emblematic of a new wave in Hollywood, a group that intends to clean those media pipes with pictures that promote godliness, Pax Americana and its own view of family values. Some of these filmmakers, armed with camcorders and Web sites, are pushing overtly political projects in the blogosphere and at conservative festivals.
so, what's next...? "Father Knows Best: The Movie...?"
The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.
frankly, i'm much less concerned about the direction of entertainment than i am about the direction of news, especially now that it's becoming nearly impossible to obtain it spin-free... i think it's becoming clear that the goal is to manipulate public perception of government action well beyond what we see even now - and it's been pretty heavy already...
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