February 11, 2005

Schine Revisited: The Guckert Scandal breaks into the mainstream, here, here, here, and here. The story is important because of its connection to other White House efforts to create its own propaganda machine, separate from traditional media outlets. In this case, a pseudo-reporter was permitted to infiltrate the White House Press Corps and ask planted questions at daily briefings, and, in one case, even at a Presidential press conference.

But lets face it, the real reason this story has bite is the inference that it connects to what an earlier generation would have inelegantly called a "daisy chain". As soon as "Jeff Gannon", the reporter in question, became tied to internet sites plugging gay pornography and prostitution, the focus shifted from just another story about a fake website/blog shilling for the Bush Administration. With the revelation that classified information about the identity of a CIA agent was leaked to this clown, the story expanded geometrically.

One obvious avenue for investigation, by either the mainstream media or the blogosphere, is who in the administration greased Guckert's path, ie., who was his "Roy Cohn"? This guy was treated as a "reporter" for three years by the White House, even though they knew he was representing a website that was little more than a propaganda front for Karl Rove. So who looked the other way?

February 10, 2005

The Judds Say Farewell: Wasn't Andrew Sullivan supposed to be retiring or something?

February 08, 2005

To no one's surprise, the major obstacle to reapportionment reform in California is coming from...Tom DeLay, and the GOP rump in the state Congressional delegation. What DeLay and the crackerocracy fear isn't that the Republicans lose a seat or two in California in 2006; it's that the move to reform the drawing of legislative districts sweeps the country.
Ward Churchill Update: Academic fraud of a more traditional sort: the genocide that never was. I don't know of a civil libertarian defense to this sort of thing.
The Cole-Goldberg "debate" is becoming increasingly one-sided, as you might expect in a battle between someone who is paid to think for a living (the Professor) and someone who is paid not to think (the Pundit). Goldberg is being made to look foolish, in part because he's sparring with someone who actually knows something about the subject, rather than someone who can write well and has a lot of opinions, but also due to the Elephant in the Room in the debate over the "War" on Terrorism: the Chickenhawk issue. The question to Goldberg was simple: can someone who is of age (or who has children of age) and who backs a discretionary war, ostensibly because it is in our national interest, have his views taken seriously if he (or his children) does not volunteer to fight in said war?

Obviously, this is a different issue than the standard "chickenhawk" debate, which concerns the disproportionate number of non-veterans in the Bush Administration. There may have been any number of reasons why someone didn't choose to fight in Vietnam, but few of them are germane four decades later. The issue at stake here is whether someone younger than, lets say, thirty-five (or with a son in that agegroup), has any moral or intellectual credibility to ask other people to make sacrifices for him, if he is not also willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

It is, as "Armed Liberal" points out, a question designed to end debate. As well it should, for the issue is one of simple hypocrisy. No one should feel so privileged in a time of war to cheerlead from the sidelines, especially when one is healthy enough to play. If you believe it is important enough for your nation to be fighting this war, why aren't you out there?
There's something morally repugnant about bloggers who have devoted more attention to the politically incorrect remarks of a college professor at Colorado or a news president at a cable network than about the death of a quarter of a million people in Asia less than two months ago.

February 07, 2005

"Angel," he said. Can I call you Angel?" Mr. Samgrass drinks Michael Totten under the table....
Cause I ain't got no dog-proof ass: Jonah Goldberg, on why he does not fight for freedom:
As for why my sorry a** isn't in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give -- I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few -- ever seem to suffice.
The glory of Liston lives on!![link via Juan Cole]

February 06, 2005

Prediction: Pats 31, Eagles 13. Those of you who would like, shall we say, to make it a little more interesting, can participate in this little contest being sponsored by Atrios.