"On Topic" With Doug Krile

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Back Up and Running

After a nasty bout of computer problems, we're back up and running and ready to keep you thinking and talking. Here are a few links to keep you busy until we get completely back on our blogging feet.

Here are the blogs from today's 5:30 Report.
!!Two Iraqis caught near our southern border.

Remember the Army recruiting problems in May? The June numbers are out and being touted as something of a turnaround. But, are they really that good? Click, read, and then comment.

Interesting links in this blog. Follow the links to read a blog written by Little Rock native and former Democrat-Gazette writer, Chris Albritton, who has just returned to Iraq as an freelance journalist.
News flash: Iraq is a disaster. I've been back one day, and the airport road was the worst I've ever seen it.

More CAFTA chatter. And it's from the mainstream media. AP reporting the administration worked to bury a report on labor conditions in Central America.

And, you MUST check out this link to a news report that's just downright amazing. Let's just say it's about Zombie Dogs, suspended animation and hypothermia. Now, if THAT doesn't make you want to click, I don't know what will! ENJOY


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Speech-Night Update

Okay, some preliminary reaction to the President's speech tonight.

Here's the full text of the speech.

Now, some analysis:
How many Equipped Iraqi forces are there?

Are we making any progress in Iraq?

Why don't we send more troops?

Interesting AFP report that the US has secret prisons on warships.

Now, how about a couple of chuckles:

ABC News says the White House Team had to coax applause during speech. If true, that explains why it was so quiet!

It's not really a chuckle, but just so darn unbelievable! A news crawl kicking up the terror alert level? Go figure.


Somebody Turn Down the Heat, Please!

It's hot. Literally. And figuratively. Nudging 100 degrees here again today. And new polls certainly seem to turn up the heat on the President and Iraq. Let's get to the blogs:

What a difference a few years makes. Timetables "good." Timetables "bad."
In 1999, George W. Bush criticized President Clinton for not setting a timetable for exiting Kosovo, and yet he refuses to apply the same standard to his war.

By the time you read this, the President's speech may be over. Let's see how accurate this blogger is in predicting what the President will say. Here's a snippet from the prediction:
As things get worse in Iraq, the Bush administration uses the continuing horrors to justify the grandiosity of their goal, which is to spread freedom. Each act of violence is merely a bump on the road to progress carried out by the "last throes" of a "desperate" insurgency. We can expect to hear this same line of argument at the president's prime-time speech tonight.

That takes care of the blogs we mentioned on the air today. Now, some additional reading.

Air America bloggers point out the fact that the Downing Street Memo hits Page 1 of the Washington Post today.
Behind the scenes, British officials believed the U.S. administration was already committed to a war that they feared was ill-conceived and illegal and could lead to disaster.

To balance things out, consider this blogger who points out some most interesting media comparisons. I know we mentioned both incidents in a timely manner, but it looks like the "big three" might have stumbled.

Now, enjoy this from the Boston Globe. Halliburton's bills for Iraq work. Questioning 1.4 BILLION in billings:
for services the firm is providing in Iraq, charges that include $45 cases of soda, $100-per-bag laundry service, and several months preparing at least 10,000 daily meals for a US military base that the troops did not need and ultimately went to waste.

And, ,just for good measure, in case you missed it earlier today, here's the latest poll. We'll update the "spin" as it becomes available.
UPDATE: Well, it's not exactly "spin", but this is a pretty good summary of response to the latest polls, including a link to a republican editorial writer who's leaving the party.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Conflicting Viewpoints

The heat wave continues. Maybe that's to blame for a particularly contankerous selection of blogs today. Or maybe I'm just getting grouchy in my old age. Whatever the reason, we pulled two blogs from last night's update to use on the air today.

Bush's Credibility Chasm. What he says vs what the blogger is seeing.

This blogger walks through Karl Rove's controversial speech and wonders -
I am not sure what conservatives Karl was talking about, because the facts (Something that is like Kryptonite to this administration) show that conservatives are not the people they think they are.

New poll shows Americans don't believe the Administration when it talks about Iraq. Barely one in five Americans believes the insurgency is weakening.

Here's a veteran who's not mincing words in taking Bush to task. He says Bush is using the Military as a backdrop to hide his failures as President.

And, from our "old words can come back to haunt you" department, read what Donald Rumsfeld said during the Vietnam War. He was a young conservative congressman from Illinois at the time.

Another example of why military recruiters are having a tough time. Army recuits abused. Drill instructors charged and convicted.

How about this well-researched blog that points out how the Administration has used upcoming events to predict an increase in violence in Iraq. The blogger writes:
This rationale is not new. Pending political events in Iraq have repeatedly been used by the Bush administration to explain the insurgency dating back prior to the transfer of sovereignty in June 2004.

Seems like there's a lot of THIS going on today. Another blogger attempt at countering "talking points" from the Administration and Conservative editorialists.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sunday Update - We're Havin' A Heat Wave

It's hot. REALLY hot around here. Talked with relatives up North today. It's hot there, too. Can you say "global warming?" We're SIX INCHES under the normal for rainfall. That's a problem, my friends.
So, before I brave the heat and try to not completely burn a chicken on the grill, here are a few links to interesting reads for a hot Sunday evening. No extensive comments. Just click away to your heart's content. And join us Monday at 5:30 on KWBF for the latest.

Rumsfeld on Meet the Press

Bush's Credibility Gap.

What Conservative Party was Karl Talking About?

A man who lost two sons in the War criticizes Rove.

Ever wonder how inflation can be under control when everything is costing more?

And, here's one more. It's more on Rumsfelt's MTP appearance. And it makes just too good of a point to ignore.

UPDATE: This is from Daily Kos. Strong words from Sen. Chuck Hagel. He's been criticized for his statements against the war. He's obviously not backing down, saying now that Iraq could be worse than Vietnam. And, yes, he is a veteran.


Friday, June 24, 2005

No Apologies, New Polls and Prison Torture. What a Way to End The Week.

Scroll down for the links we used on the air today. We have a ton of fresh, updated material, to get you into the weekend.

Torture. The U-S now admits it happened. Here's the report from Forbes.

And here's a summary and a long list of interesting comments.

One of my favorite things that bloggers do is track and compare what comes out of the mouths of politicians. Case in point, this Dick Cheney vs Dan Bartlett quote showdown. Go figure. You'd think somebody in the administratioin would have a big whiteboard with key quotes written on it. Just to make sure everybody IS on the same page.

Speaking of quotes, here's one blogger's take on the joint Press Conference this morning with Bush and the Iraqi Prime Minister. I figure there was enough said there to feed the blogosphere until the Sunday morning talk shows roll around! Speaking of which, here's a great collection of quotes from Donald Rumsfeld, in advance of his scheduled appearances EVERYWHERE on Sunday morning. It'll be interesting to see how hard the talkers push him for answers.

The Rove Quote - It's not just democrats and liberals who are jumping all over him. even some republicans aren't happy with the response from their side. Fair and Balanced.

And, just to keep the poll trends intact, consider this new poll that shows people think Bush was more responsible than Saddam for the war in Iraq. Now, that can't be what the administration wanted to hear on a Friday afternoon.

Late addition. You MUST
go here and listen to the clip from The Al Franken Show today. Ed Klein was the guest. He the author of that new book about Hillary Clinton. The one being pretty much universally ripped apart by both the left and right. Franken and Joe Conason had a field day with Klein. I don't think Klein came away feeling very good about the appearance.


Friday Fun and Follies

Here's your sneak peak at the two blogs we'll feature on the air in The WB42 5:30 Report With Doug Krile today:

More evidence from the Casino Jack Indian Reservation scandal. Make sure you scroll down and check the longer post from last night's update.

And the argument presented in this blog entry is tough to counter. Seems that airing it here or airing it in the Middle East could have the same impact, given how broadcasts go everywhere these days. Don't agree? Use the comments and let us know. More later. Stay tuned (as we say in the biz).

NET ONLY EXERCISE: Here's something we're not going with on the air. Just not sure enough about the source, but it looks legitimate. Forbes is reporting the U-S is admitting to torture at Gitmo and in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's all part of a new U-N Report. Go read the report. Then come back and leave a comment. We really want to know. Should it have made the broadcast?


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Let's Figure Out Who's On First

What a day it's been! So many crazy comments from so many corners. Time just to focus on a few tonight.

Looks like NBC caved on the NBC "exclusive" for the Africa trip. They blamed it on a new press person for the First Lady.

The Karl Rove statement had people on both sides of the aisle feeling their collective blood pressure rise. Here's one take on Rove's comments.

and, here's another take on it. The White House comments are amazing. How confusing can McClellan be?

Another blog, another version. It's everywhere.

From the Senate floor, John Kerry delivered a strongly-worded response.

Back to this blogger, who joins those who point out the White House response.

Changing subjects, Here's a Republican who's dropping out, saying she just can't stick with the party. She's not low profile. She's running for the North Carolina Supreme Court Justice position.

And, we may have saved the best for last. The story of Bill Padding and the expense of the Choctaw Indian Tribe. We'll pick up on this one on the TV side of things, but enjoy this blog for now. It just ain't possible to defend what you'll see here.
Here's an UPDATE. This blogger left a comment, but I wanted to bump him up. He's pushing a petition for Kark Rove's resignation.

And Here's a most interesting blog on the Rove statement. Hmmm.hits just keep on coming. a>


It's Getting Brutal Out There

First things, first. CLICK HERE to go to our previous post to find links to the on-air blog references from today's WB42 5:30 Report with Doug Krile.

Now, on to our updates. The words were really flying on a number of fronts today. Donald Rumsfeld ends up in the middle of several situations. A FOX Radio appearance brings out the bloggers who keep track of who's saying what. Rumsfeld also faced some very tough questioning at a Senate Hearing today.

Here's a number that you don't see being tossed around frequently. How many U-S soldiers have deserted in Iraq? Take a guess. Then click the link.

Lots of blogging chatter about the Pentagon's announcement that it's creating a database of high school students. It's being soundly ripped by many left-leaning bloggers.

The other BIG issue out there today is Karl Rove's Attack on Liberals. Read the comments here. And HERE. Make sure you check out the comments. How angry are some of the bloggers and politicians? Mad enough to demand Rove resign. On the other side of the fence, they're celebrating the comment this way. Michelle Malkin is out in front, leading the cheering. Back on the other side, the Rove comment was burning up the airwaves on liberal talk radio.

And then there is the Supreme Court decision that lets local governments seize homes and businesses for private development. Please feel free to leave a comment. On this issue or any of the topics we put online today.


Lots to Choose From on This Thursday

Here's what's coming up on the WB 42 5:30 Report with Doug Krile today:
We'll spend most of our time talking about Iraq. From the Senate Hearings to the continued escalation in violence, we'll bring you up to date.

From the blogs, we'll follow up on yesterday's report on that U-2 spy plane that crash on the way back from a mission in Afghanistan. It was headed for a base in the United Arab Emerits. The blogger posts a map and asks:
Look at which country lies smack between Afghanistan and The UAE.
And remember our links to stories about Iran being next on the attack list.

Our second blog has the details on a new recruiting technique, targeting high school and college students. Here's the basic plan:
The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches. The program is provoking a furor among privacy advocates. The new database will include personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade-point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying....

More later, including links to bloggers response to the Senate Hearings on Iraq. There should be plenty to pick from.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Let's Roll With Some Fresh Material

Dinner is done. Crockpots are wonderful inventions for busy families. And beefalo (a cross between beef cows and buffalo) is great stuff. Lower in fat than turkey and tasting fully like beef. They raise it here in Arkansas. Come visit and we'll hook you up!

Enough personal stuff. On to the links for tonight.

Let's start with the latest from the Southern Baptist Convention, where the talk is all about "religious tyranny". The blogger comments:
religious liberty may be in need of protection these days....from him, the Republican-controlled government, and their masters in the religious right.

Now, the key word is "more". First of all, more troubles for NBC. Another controversial NBC "Exclusive"? From my point of view, as a TV journalist, I find this one just hard to believe. Not that NBC would TRY to do it, but that the White House would agree!

Now the next "MORE". more Press Briefing fun. How many ways can you non-answer a question?

And the "MORES" just keep on coming. Now it's more of the battle between FOX's Bill O'Reilly and Air America Radio. And, it's not just Al Franken who settles into O'Reilly's target zone this time.

Okay, enough with the "more" line for now. Let's do some definitions. Let's define the word "obstruction" and look for some examples. This ain't no right-wing definition. But it is interesting. And food for thought. And talk.

Finally, for now, just how bad is the new book about Hillary? Not even the right wants to touch it. Other than Drudge, that is.
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Which Way is Up?

Questions, questions and more questions. And which answers do you believe? Our first on-air blog mention today focused on whether we're winning or losing on the ground in Iraq. From a newspaper report:
American casualties from bomb attacks in Iraq have reached new heights in the last two months as insurgents have begun to deploy devices that leave armored vehicles increasingly vulnerable, according to military records.

And from a White House Press Briefing:
Question: Scott, can we get a clear "yes" or "no" answer on whether the President agrees on the Vice President's assessment that the insurgency is in "its last throes?" Is it a "yes" or "no"?

Click the link to see how long it took to finally get an answer. Then, use the comments here to let us know which view you agree with.

Our second blog tied to a detailed report we aired about the growing debate over pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control pills. In particular, the morning-after-pill seems to cause moral issues for some pharmacists. The blogger asks:
If its not contraception...then what is it? Contraception prevents pregnancies by not allowing eggs to be fertilized. Am I missing something here?

Now, that ongoing debate over the picture being used by Drudge and some others, showing Bill Clinton and an unknown woman. Here's the definitive answer from the photographer who took the picture. His answer is likely to upset some folks who commented on our earlier link to the issue.

Another interesting question from a White House press briefing. You have to give McClellan credit for his dance moves!

We also aired a piece today that drew some comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam. And, yes, there are some things that can be said about BOTH countries. But comparing Iraq to Houston, TX? Read the Tom DeLay quotes. And make sure you check out the comments.

From an MSNBC blog, reporter David Shuster lays it on the line, detailing the White House Spin Cycle. in part, Shuster writes:
And now, the public is tired of this deadly trip through fantasyland a place where White House P.R. strategies seem to matter more than holding anybody accountable for the war's mistakes and mismanagement.

Time now to bring up religion. I know that issue will get some of you folks typing away. Religion and Politics seem to be closely aligned in certain corners these days. The blogger says "God is Not A Political Pawn."
for months right-wing radicals have been leading an ugly, ugly campaign to disparage the religious beliefs of liberals and paint them as somehow anti-God.

As we get set to wind things down for this post, a little "inside" info on broadcasting. FOX News and bug spray. Stick with me on this one. Follow the link. Read the story. If employees ARE getting sick, something IS wrong with this picture.

And, in the sprit of fairness, it looks like NBC has problems of its own. With the TODAY Show Wedding Contest. Legal problems. Spell that l-a-w-s-u-i-t. Oh, by the way, check back tonight. Right here. NBC is in another heated debate, too.

Here's another issue that picking up more and more coverage and causing more and more problems for the White House. Again, the big issue is the "non-answers" to the questions. Of course, that's the issue BEYOND what happened. Follow the link and keep your eyes open for coverage in the next few days.

Something's definitely amiss here. Read this blog and then, please, tell me why this is happening. You can't honor the men and women who have given their lives in the Iraq war?

Now, that's should be enough fodder for some comments now. Thanks for stopping by.


5:30 Report Preview for June 22

Care to do a little "studying" before the show today? Our first on-air blog mention today will focus on whether we're winning or losing on the ground in Iraq. From a newspaper report:
American casualties from bomb attacks in Iraq have reached new heights in the last two months as insurgents have begun to deploy devices that leave armored vehicles increasingly vulnerable, according to military records.

And from a White House Press Briefing:
Question: Scott, can we get a clear "yes" or "no" answer on whether the President agrees on the Vice President's assessment that the insurgency is in "its last throes?" Is it a "yes" or "no"?

Click the link to see how long it took to finally get an answer. Then, use the comments here to let us know which view you agree with.

Our second blog tied to a detailed report we will air about the growing debate over pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control pills. In particular, the morning-after-pill seems to cause moral issues for some pharmacists. The blogger asks:
If its not contraception...then what is it? Contraception prevents pregnancies by not allowing eggs to be fertilized. Am I missing something here?

Stop back later for a full compliment of additional links. We'll see you on the air at 5:30 on KWBF-TV in Little Rock, AR.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Let's Get Tuesday Evening Off and Running

Here's a couple of things to whet your appetite this evening. Also, don't forget - if you know of a blog you think we should read, leave a link in the comments. We'd be happy to take a look!

How about some support for Democratic opposition to the war in Iraq? From Iraqi legislators? This blogger points out that 82 members of the Iraqi parliament want an exit strategy. And maybe our House and Senate should take advantage of the support.
Lets see. We have a large block of Iraqi lawmakers calling for a withdrawl timetable. And we have the American people saying they want us to get out of Iraq. So theres no reason not to push a detailed plan for withdrawl. Period.

Senator Dick Durbin apologized - publically - from the floor of the Senate - today. Whether he should have been forced to do so is still a matter of some debate. Right-leaning blogs jumped all over it, claiming a victory. Some, though, still were not satisfied.
He's sorry if we believe his remarks crossed the line? How about being sorry making remarks that did cross the line?
Tears or not, this apology strikes me as insincere, aimed more at getting Durbin out from under pressure than anything else.

And here's one I just stumbled on. It's a bit long and the author even admits he's out on a limb with some of what he's predicting. But, what the heck. It's a hot summer evening. Give it a read. Let us know what you think about that scenario.

Finally - a big "thanks" to another Little Rock-based blog for some kind words about our blog. At least we THINK they're kind. The blog is written very tongue-in-cheek. It's a GREAT read. Take a look and laugh along with Matilda, Edna and Delicious. The names alone should give you an idea of what's ahead!


Welcome to Summer in Arkansas

Welcome to those of you who watch our daily program here in Arkansas. And welcome to those of you coming in from other blogs. Welcome to Arkansas. We hope this blog and our TV program will help you understand that we are open to all ideas and all sides of most debates. If we do nothing else, we hope to open your eyes to opinions and stories that you might otherwise not run into.

Here's what we talked about on today's WB42 5:30 Report with Doug Krile:
The latest Presidential Polling numbers. As the blogger says - I actually never thought war poll numbers would go this low. It's a good chance for you to throw your two cents worth in. Discuss it here. Or join the discussion there.

And then there's this blogger who makes an interesting point about right-leaning bloggers' response to the polls.

The President isn't the only one with bad poll numbers. Out in California, Arnold is getting hit with declining support, too.

And, how about an overview of a series of polls on those key issues? Sometimes putting it into charts makes it easier to comprehend.

One of the other stories we included in the 5:30 Report for today was about how a dozen illegal immigrants managed to work inside a nuclear facility in Tennessee. The blogger links to the story and asks an interesting question.

In the interest of trying to show both sides, consider this take on the koran/prisoner abuse story from the right-leaning point of view. As always, our comments are open for your thoughts and we appreciate your participation!

Now, here's a link to a blog that found a Scott Ritter article that says we're already at war with Iran. Don't know that I can swallow his arguments, hook, line and sinker, but wanted you to have a chance to read it. Let us know what you think. And, take note of the fact that it's published by Al Jazeera.

And, finally (for now) - another well-formed example of confusion. By the administration. On WHY we're in Iraq. Sometimes it really IS interesting to step back and get the big picture.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Welcome, Everyone

WOW! A bunch of folks coming in from other blogs. I'm impressed and very thrilled! You'll be excited to know that we are a TV program that is on broadcast TV (not stuck away on a cable channel) that has the guts to tell both sides of the story. And we search out the blogs to bring out interesting dialogue. We're working on a way to post scripts and maybe even some video of our segments. Feedback has been VERY positive. We're part of the daily lineup on the WB affiliate in Little Rock, AR.
Yes, this is the home of Bill Clinton. And the Clinton library. And much more. We'll be posting some pictures in the days and weeks ahead to give you a peak into our city and our life. It is good. You are invited to visit!
Thanks again for stopping by. Do so frequently. We're going to continue to grow and the positive feedback from viewers and bloggers is wonderful to hear.


One Final Update

The comments are very good on this blog entry on the fact that Republicans didn't get the votes to bring the Bolton confirmation to a vote. No gloating here, just wanting to get the facts out. And to give you another good example of why blogs are so interesting. Read the comments. Really. Read the comments.


Give Me A Break!

Oh, come on now! Give me a break! We blogged this afternoon about how Matt Drudge had digitally altered a picture of Bill Clinton to go along with a story about how Hillary is supposedly angry that he's supposedly having more affairs. Problem is, it's pretty darn obvious that somebody played with the picture! Here's a link to both photos. So, cover is blown. Drudge pulls the pic. Right? Wrong!!!! It's still there PLUS - and here's the REAL kicker - Sean Hannity is using the same cotton-pickin' pic and calling it EXCLUSIVE. Even though it ain't even real! What is wrong with these people?!?!


You Want More? You Get More!

Every day seems to bring another document from the UK, adding fuel to the "how early did the war campaign begin" arguments. It also seems each document makes the case in stronger language. Take a peak:
A key Foreign Office diplomat responsible for liaising with UN inspectors says today that claims the government made about Iraqs weapons programme were totally implausible".

We've heard about the judicious "editing" done by the White House to a COUPLE of recent reports. Well, guess what?!?! It's not just a couple. Take a look at this L-O-N-G list of such goings-on. It's a full dozen of 'em. Go read. It'll make your night.

We're on a roll with photos today. First the Drudge-doctored Clinton pic (see the entry directly below) and now THIS! Just enough for right-wing bloggers to launch an all-out assault. But, wait! Slow down! You're looking mighty bad on this one! If I pulled a quote in, it would give it away. God ahead. Click. It's a good one.

And, just how closely can you be tied to a bad incident and still get a great promotion? In my business, not very close. At all. However, click the link and read about the latest Donald Rumsfeld-directed promotion. Remember the name Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez? You will after you read the blog. See if you agree that Sanchez deserves a big promotion. Click the "comment" link here. You can leave your thoughts anonymously. Don't worry about that!


Monday Brings a Quandry - So Many Links, So Little Time

At least that's a problem for our TV producers - they have to pick two links for each day's program! Today, here's what made the airwaves of Arkansas.

Maybe they are trying to confuse us. The Administration certainly seems to be all over the place with what they tell us about how long the Iraq War would last. Secretary of State Rice said Sunday that it was a "generational issue". The blogger points out this fact (and offers up quotes):
To build support for the war the administration told the American people that the conflict in Iraq will be short and affordable.

The second on-air blog reference was to one of many bloggers talking about New York Times article that reports on how President Bush seems to have slipped into early lame duck status. A quick quote from the article:
Five months after President Bush was sworn in for another four years, his political authority appears to be ebbing, both within his own party, where members of Congress are increasingly if sporadically going their own way, and among Democrats, who have discovered that they pay little or no price for defying him.

Now, off and running with the other things we've found today. Matt Drudge may have really stepped over the line with this. Go ahead. Click and look. Manipulating a photograph of Bill Clinton to illustrate his headline that reads: Hillary Humiliated as Bill has new Affairs." The amazing this is that Drudge STILL had the photo up on his site this afternoon! Even after being exposed by the bloggers.

If you were confused by our earlier conflicting statements from the Administration, here's more confusion to add fuel to the discussion.

From the "And We Wonder Why Recruiters Can't Recruit" department: Go read this story about how the Marines are recommending that new recruits BUY THEIR OWN BODY ARMOR! Dad picked up the tab in this case ($600), but is none too happy about the situation.

If you like to read both sides of a situation, read this. It's a pretty good summary of how Right-Leaning bloggers have been trying to discredit the Downing Street Memo. Problem is, their latest campaign (and there are multiple examples) is easily shot down.

I'm betting that many of you have visited Las Vegas. So, you know how rapidly it's growing. Here's an issue. Vegas gets its water from the nation's biggest reservoir. But it's becoming polluted. What's the future hold? It's not a pretty picture.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Fathers' Day! Let's Debate Some Issues

It's a beautiful, sunny, Fathers' Day here in Arkansas. Sipping a cup of coffee, reading some blogs, meat marinading for a barbecue this noon. Not a LOT happening, news-wise, on this Sunday. John McCain is on Meet the Press. Didn't catch the beginning, but I'm not hearing any bombshells so far.

Couple of interesting things floating around the blogosphere today. This has a pretty grim picture of the situation in Iraq and it's from someone who really SHOULD know.
A former Pentagon official, journalist, and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Leslie Gelb, a man with considerable political and military knowledge, came back from a fact-finding trip in Iraq talking about the ''gap between those who work there, who were really careful of every word they uttered of prediction or analysis, and the expansive, sometimes, I think, totally unrealistic optimism you hear from people back in Washington."

There is yet ANOTHER memo making the British papers today, confirming the Downing Street Memo report. Right-leaning bloggers say it's nothing new. But, there IS a tidbit that is a bit bothersome.
The eight memos all labeled secret or confidential were first obtained by British reporter Michael Smith, who has written about them in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times.
Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals.
The AP obtained copies of six of the memos (the other two have circulated widely). A senior British official who reviewed the copies said their content appeared authentic. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secret nature of the material.

Hmmmm. But, visit the link. Read the entire report. Is it diminished by the "copies" aspect? Leave a comment.

UPDATE: Well, here's one to raise an eyebrow or two. It does make sense, when you run the numbers. But it's downright upsetting, if true. It all has to do with the published count of American deaths in Iraq.
U.S. Military Personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals have not previously been counted. They total about 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005. The ongoing, underreporting of the dead in Iraq, is not accurate. The DoD is deliberately reducing the figures. A review of many foreign news sites show that actual deaths are far higher than the newly reduced ones. Iraqi civilian casualties are never reported but International Red Cross, Red Crescent and UN figures indicate that as of 1 January 2005, the numbers are just under 100,000.

Go read it. It's either conspiracy theory stuff or the next big story. What do you think?

UPDATE 2: Well, let's give credit where credit is due. Looks like the author of that "Military Personnel Deaths" article has been pretty roundly dis-credited. 'Nuff said. Read it, but know what it is.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Late Saturday Update - Just because we can

Is it just me, or did anyone else get a chuckle out of the caption under an AP photo in our paper today. I assume it ran elsewhere. If you didn't see it, CLICK HERE for the yahoo story with a very similar picture. Note the lady's name - Dorothy Bourgeois. BOURGEOIS! Did they make that one up? Bush and Bourgeois. Hmmm.

Here's the latest from a key GOP member who's been outspoken in his lack of support for President Bush. No suprise in that. But he also says:
"More and more of my colleagues up here are concerned."

Don't forget. Father's Day is Sunday!

Oh, here's one more. I've never run into this blog before, but it's very well written.
A coherent long term strategy for what we are going to do with these guys needs to be elucidated, and sooner better than later. I dont know what to do with those guys, but I would like to know what this Administration intends to do with them. Right now, though, the absence of a clear policy is doing the country almost as much damage as having these people locked up does good


A Hot Saturday Afternoon in Arkansas

Just grabbed another glass of iced tea and make a quick trip through the blogs. Some really interesting writing going on this weekend. Let's take a look!
Remember the censorship issue with the report on green house gases? Looks like it isn't the ONLY report to undergo some pretty extreme admiinistrative editing! Take a look at how an editor turned the meaning around 180 degreees in another incident.
This is a whitewash, they took all of our science and reversed it 180 degrees," said Erick Campbell, a former BLM state biologist in Nevada and a 30-year BLM employee who retired this year. Campbell was the author of sections of the report pertaining to impacts on wildlife and threatened and endangered species. "They rewrote everything. It's a crime," he said in an interview this week.

And, we didn't have to go far at all (it's from the same blog), to find to find this follow-up report on the Downing Street Memos that takes the issue to a new level. It's an AP article and the blogger says:
Seriously, read this report, it's long and detailed and THAT GOOD. We're talking impeachable offenses here, and the Brits' own Deep Throats are starting to talk.

The next blogger did something I've not seen done anywhere else. He totalled up the number of insurgents killed or captured in 2 days in Iraq and asked a pretty good question:
I was thinking that if we can get that many in two days, how many insurgents are there? In this story alone, there is mention of 500 insurgents killed or captured. Think about that. Say an average of 500 are killed or captured a week, not every couple of days. That makes 26,000 a year. We're going on two years now of this insurgency. How many are there again? This sounds like a never ending "last throe" to me.

We haven't had a lot of copy from the right-wing bloggers on the Downing Street Memos. Here's the way they reported on the Conyers hearings this week.
In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.

And, make sure you read the comments, to find the link to Conyers' response!

Finally, some fun. I just love it when somebody puts Bill O'Reilly in his place! This time it's his own reporter, Juan Williams, who does it! The transcript is good, but download the video! It's worth the bandwidth! Stay tuned. We'll try for another update later today.


Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Night Update

Welcome to those of you coming here via a trackback link. We sincerely hope you find something of interest. We're still working on the technicalities of creating the linkbacks, so please bear with us.

Let's talk about the missing Alabama girl in Aruba. More news coverage than you can shake a stick at, right? (Is that a Southern phrase? I'm not sure. Transplanted Northerner here!). Kudos to USA Today for tackling this issue. Why does the Aruba case get tons of coverage, while missing minority girls can't get a mention! Now, in personal defense, I can say that I've never shown preferential treatment on a local level. But, there's a big, bad, world out there.

And, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, here's a followup to the story about Mary Carey, the porn star who attending the big Republican fundraising dinner in DC the other night. Then comes word that the GOP-supported Family Research Council is touting a new government assault on the porn industry? The blogger looks at the $23 millions raised at the dinner and says:
The first step to crippling the porn industry: drain their resources by encouraging large political contributions.

More later in the weekend!


It's FRIDAY! How about a daily ration of DSM, polls and press conferences?

Our first on-air blog today should pretty much put to rest the debate over the word "fixed" in the Downing Street Memo. There were those of said we couldn't really be sure of the meaning, given the context of the sentence. Click the link. It's an interview with the reporter who first wrote about the memo:
There are number of people asking about fixed and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it.

Our second blog has a great exchange during a White House Press Briefing. From my point of view, it was great to see a reporter who was persistent in his questioning and most interesting to watch as the Press Secretary tried to stay on point. The blogger saw it this way:
Seriously, how can anyone defend the mess in Iraq? McClellan had no chance against a reporter interested in really asking the tough question.

Now, in no special order, your Daily Extras!

Following the Presidential Polls? Here's the latest batch of numbers from CBS and the New York Times. Not a pretty picture for the administration.

Analysis of prisoner treatment at Gitmo is really all over the map, from those who say we're doing absolutely nothing wrong to those why say we're as bad as the Nazis. Media Matters tends to side with those who say we're not doing things correctly.

One thing is for sure, we're not finished with Guantanama Bay. Here's a link to a conservative blog that was among the first to point out that Halliburton got a contract to build ANOTHER building at GITMO. The blogger writes:
This will have the lefties in a tizzy.

And, it didn't take long for the group of bloggers at BlondeSense to jump on the story. They (and the folks who comment there) don't like it one bit. Compare the arguments and comments between the two blogs.

Now, lots of good reading on the Downing Street Memos - the hearings yesterday - and reaction to them.

This blogger has excerpts and links to audio and video from the hearing.

This blogger gives you great links to background documents.

And this may be the best reading of all. Watch as Rep. Conyers disects the Washington Post for it's story on Thursday's hearings.
And there will be more over the weekend. I should have time to scan a few blogs and post any interesting links.


Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Just One Quick Update

I've already gathered a pretty good bunch of links for Friday's show, but thought some of you might enjoy reading this from the reporter who first dug up the Downing Street Memo. It pretty much kills all the questions of exactly what was meant by one crucial line in the memo.

Oh, and here's another LATE update.
Looks like ABC has caved and WILL air the Robert Kennedy story about the drug additive causing all the problems for kids. Read the story. Interesting, the way the pressure apparently ebbs and flows.


Patriot Act, Downing Street Memos and Franken vs O'Reilly - And that's just for starters!

Our first on-air blog today updated the progress of the Patriot Act revisions in congress. It doesn't look like there will be smooth sailing for all of the changes the President wants:

In a rebuke to President Bush, with a nod to the First and Fourth Amendments, the House of Representatives today voted to ban the use of the Patriot Act for searches of library and book store records.

Our second blog takes a look at yet another article that says there is a growing rift in the Republican Party over the administration's Iraq policy.
"While the complaints remain low-key and aren't enough to produce significant changes, they signal a lessening of the broad and deep support Mr. Bush has had among Republicans for his approach to both the war on terror and the conflict in Iraq. Even minor Republican defections may embolden Democrats, whose criticism of the administration's war strategy has at times been muted, in large part because of the public support Mr. Bush's efforts have received."

Yesterday, we linked to this entry that quotes from an AP article that seems to take pretty much the same approach.

Now, the Downing Street Memos. We'll try to update the blog with reaction to today's Congressional Hearings sometime this evening. But, for right now, Take a look at a couple of exchanges between reports and the White House Spokesperson at this afternoon's briefing. Guess Scott really didn't want to directly answer that question!

Looking ahead to the 2008 presidential elections - Guess who wants to screen Republican Presidential Candidates? The Religious Right:
Gary Bauer, president of American Values, said in an interview that the sit-down sessions, likely to begin after the 2006 elections, would be "a very effective way to nail down where people are on cultural issues." He said candidates have become "very astute" at answering written questionnaires in ways that avoid making firm commitments.

Will our elected officials never learn? That you can't say one thing today and something completely different tomorrow? Check that link to some Bill Frist statements.

Now, THIS is some really fun stuff! Talk about a fight! Al Franken and Bill O'Reilly are going at each other! At that link, you'll find video from O'Reilly last night and links to other transcripts of the on-going battle. The blogger says:
He has lost his mind. What I find interesting about their dispute is that Al Franken uses facts, video and audio clips to prove O'Reilly's deceptions. Bill on the other hand just resorts to name calling. No proof of inaccuracies, just kindergarten rhetoric.

What started it all? A New York Times article on Franken, apparently. At least this latest round.

Time for some media self-reflection. This blogger makes a good point. It hurts. But probably more correct than I would like to admit. Read it. Comment about it. Is the media REALLY as biased as he makes us out to be?

Quite a bit of continuing chatter about Gitmo. We've heard a lot from the left about how horribly some of the prisoners are being treated. How about something from the other side? (Warning - graphic pictures) Not that we should be mis-treating ANYONE, but maybe we're not truly to the level of "torture". Or are we? Read it. Let us know what you think.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Memo Hearings, Where's Bin Laden, and so much more!

The Downing Street Memo hearings are still set for tomorrow in Washington. But, get this! The hearings are being held at the DNC building. Why?
The hearings are being held at the Democratic National Committee because the Republicans controlling the House Judiciary Committee refused to permit the ranking Democratic Member to use a room on the Hill. See Article. Nonetheless, Republicans are welcome to attend.

Why can't we all just get along? In the interest of fairness, HERE'S a link to an update. The hearings are back on the hill, but not because the Republicans had a change of heart.
And before we drop this subject for today, read this article that has still more information that seems to show the U-S was, indeed, attacking Iraq long before we had the green light from congress.

Did FOX News really get an "exclusive" on this one? Or could it be a planted story, to set up what might happen next? To quote the blogger:
President Bush, you may now commence Shock & Awe II: Operation Persian Annihilation . . .

Remember our post from May 27th? About how the Navy was moving into the Persian Gulf? If you didn't read it then, read it now.

Let's just call THIS "Advance Planning". Military-style. Could it have been just coincidence? The topic is construction of a detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. Get this:
The basic contract was competitively procured with 44 proposals solicited, three offers received and award made on June 29, 2000.

The Republican Party seems to be falling in line with some of the recent Presidential performance polls. This blog talks about an AP article (by former Little Rock journalist, Ron Fournier) who writes:
Fearing that President Bush's political problems may become their own, Republicans in Congress and elsewhere are beginning to yearn for the good old days of seven months ago, when he had somebody to run against.

A little bit of an "insider" note about broadcasting: The NYT is reporting that Al Franken may run for the Senate. That's right. THE Al Franken (from Saturday Night Live fame). But he's making a name for himself now as a liberal radio host on Air America Radio. The article claims:
His delivery manages to be caustic and laconic, an unhurried savaging of all that is conservative and Republican, all wrapped up to a trumpeted call to arms."However, Franken "continues to hedge his bets, partly because Air America seems to be gaining some traction."

And, lastly, see what the German press has to say about OUR homeland Security. They see just a tad bit of wasted money. Just a tad bit.
Fear can be a lucrative business. That, at least, is what American companies selling security gadgets are finding out as the US government continues to spend billions of dollars on a variety of different Homeland Security programs. The only problem? Most of them are useless.

Double-lastly. Striking writing from a soldier in Iraq. And he's not happy about what's going on. Includes a link to the soldier's blog. You have to wonder if the government knows he's writing it.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Iraq, Downing Street Memo hits MSM, Lynching resolution lacks a few supporters

Let's kick things off today with this pessimistic assessment of the possibility of military success in Iraq.
A growing number of senior American military officers in Iraq have concluded that there is no long-term military solution to an insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis and taken a heavy toll on U.S. troops during the past two years.

And, then, there are those new supporting documents for the Downing Street Memo.
But today we released the British Briefing Papers which clearly shows the British had serious doubts about whether Iraq had WMD. In the Iraq Options Paper, the British government acknowledged our intelligence is poor about Iraq WMD.

Oh, by the way, the Downing Street Memo IS starting to get some mainstream media attention. NBC says it has confirmed the supporting documents. And here is an interesting account of how Condoleezza Rice handled a question about the memo.

Now, on to the Senate Resolution appologizing for not passing a law against lynching. Take a look at the list of senators who did not sign on as sponsors. The blogger points out this:
Only one Democrat, all the rest are Republicans. What was Howard Dean saying about the GOP being the party of white guys? That would be 27% of the Republican Senators who refused to oppose lynching, vs. 2% of the Democrats. Enough said.

Too young to really know much about the lynchings? Read this stomach-turning account and then try to explain to me why ANY senator would refuse to get on board with the resolution.
And, as long as we're getting a history lesson, let's do a quick review of what-happened-when on the Iraq timeline. Well-researched, with links to all the supporting material.

Coonspiracy theory alert! I don't usually venture too deeply into these areas, but THIS is certainly interesting. It will either make you laugh or scare the heck out of you. Here's the opening paragraph.
A former chief economist in the Labor Department during President Bush's first term now believes the official story about the collapse of the WTC is 'bogus,' saying it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7.
Makes you want to read more, doesn't it?

Ouch. First military recruiting numbers plummet. Now comes word that military academy applications are down, too. Way down. Go read the numbers. Then, hit the comment link. Tell me what's wrong.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Monday Night Update

Two great links on one page -

One on treatment of detainees at Gitmo and one new theory on the missing girl on Aruba.

Click here and you'll get both for the price of one.

And, Here's an interesting tidbit about our Governor and a possible Presidential bid.

And, this is just wrong.


The Downing Street Memo - Moving onto Mainstream Media

We're beginning, I believe, to see how bloggers have created a legitimacy for themselves, by keeping the Downing Street Memo issue alive and, quite possibly, forcing the mainstream media to report it.

AmericaBlog has a link to what they say is the BEST overall analysis of the Downing Street Memo and supporting documents.
...the idea of UN inspectors was introduced not as a means to avoid war, as President Bush repeatedly assured Americans, but as a means to make war possible.

And from right here at home, the Arkansas Times blog has a lively discussion going about the Memo and its treatment by the press. And they push the envelope a bit by saying:
The American media and public don't seem much interested in this aftermath story, with a few exceptions. But evidence grows that it is not insanity to talk of impeachment for a president who built an expensive and killing war on lies.

Interested in a first-hand look at how the foreign press is covering the Memo story? Here's the way the London Times reported on it yesterday.

With new polling numbers showing support in a nosedive for keeping our troops in Iraq, newspapers are beginning to editorialize against President Bush and his Iraq plan.
There should be no statute of limitations -- or shortness of public attention span -- on an issue that cuts to the core of this government's integrity and credibility. Congress must fully investigate the actions in Washington that led the highest officials in Great Britain to be convinced that the Bush administration was hell-bent on war and working to concoct a rationalization for it.

An old Arkansas murder case continues to get some national attention, mostly because of its "Clinton Connection".

I hesitated to include information on the outlandish claims about Hillary Clinton in a new book by a fairly-rerspectable (until now) author. I'm not going to include details on the allegation here. But do click the link and read about it.

Finally, for now, read read this comparision of the top Right Wing blogs versus the top Left Wing blogs.
Of the twenty-four liberal blogs in the top quintile, Dailykos, TPM Café, Smirking Chimp, Metafilter, BooMan Tribune, MyDD, and Dembloggers are full-fledged community sites where members cannot only comment, but they can also post diaries / articles / polls. By comparison, there are no community sites among the top twenty-four conservative blogs. None, zip, zero, nada.

Oh, what the heck. This is very interesting. A bit "inside information" on broadcasting, perhaps. But it certainly does seem to indicate that liberal shows may be poised for a big-time explosion on the broadcasting horizon.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saturday Night Update

Just a few interesting things.
Guess how much the military will pay YOU to sign up? The numbers are reaching the astounding level.
And it's just part of this - how the military plans to recruit this summer.

Right next door, a brainwashing summer camp for gay kids in Tennessee. And there's more:
This 16 year old attendee is writing a blog from the camp, and he's none too pleased. He says his parents lied to him and it's worse than boot camp. Go read, before they make him take it down.

How about both sides of an issue? Here are links to articles supporting the Downing Street Memo AND countering it. Both are quite long and both are well-written.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Downing Street Memo and Congress (and then there are a couple of FOX news fiascos)

If you've been following the debate over the Downing Street Memo, this will come as welcome news to you. Congressional Hearings
The hearings, which will be held next Thursday, will bring renewed attention to what is being called the "Downing Street memo," actually official minutes of a secret 2002 meeting.
Conyers office has revealed that they will introduce new documents that corroborate the Downing Street Memo at the hearings June 16.

And, here is one of the better summaries on the memo and response to it. opening words:
The Minutes now stand as irrefutable proof that the road to war in Iraq was paved, with absolute intent, with lies and deceit and misdirection and fraud.

Now, the FOX News fiascos. First, Al Franken analyzes how Bill O'Rielly edited a quote from Senator Biden and managed to change the meaning completely.

And there's the story on a bizarre outburst by Brian Wilson, attending a photo op in the Senate Building. Part of what's in the blog is this:
As they raced down the hall outside the austere Senate chamber, we're told that Wilson displayed an impressive knowledge of four-letter words, and was incredulous that he would either not be recognized without proper ID or would be called out on being completely one-sided and working from GOP talking points.

I don't often link to two articles from the same blog, but this piece on the problems with Military Recruiting is worth your time, even though it's from the same site as one of the Downing Street Memo pieces.

That's a good starting point for the weekend. Do check back periodically. We'll see what we stumble on over the weekend.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Thursday Night Update

Just a few from the evening blogs. The Patriot Act extension debate has heated up. Here's a pretty decent summary of what's being said.

Saw this on Olbermann's Countdown Show tonight. How big a role do looks play for a candidate?
The AP reports on new research in Friday's issue of the journal Science that found "voters frequently pick the candidates with more mature looks, exuding competence, over those who have certain features -- round face, big eyes, small nose, high forehead, small chin -- in other words, a babyface.""They found that a quick look at a candidate's photograph -- a one-second exposure -- created an initial impression that often lasted through the more deliberative process that helps a voter decide."

Just a couple of things to round out your evening. Enjoy. Join us Friday at 5:30 for more.


CoinGate Rocks Ohio Politics, The President Pushes the Patriot Act, But First....

this story out of Seattle. It's about Marine Recruiters and what they did to a young man they were trying to recruite. This is NOT going to help boost those recruiting rates.
The basics of this story is, a Marine recruiter pulled everything he could out of the box to get this young man to join, including waiting till the parents were away and nabbing this kid at his place of work.

Next up from our Blog Segment today: this summary that links the Family Research Council to the Ku Klux Klan.
The Family Research Council's executive director, Tony Perkins, reportedly paid former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke over $80,000 for his who's-who-of-racist-America mailing list in 1996. This should be the death of the Family Research Council, one of the religoius right's lead organizations, and the end of Tony Perkins career.

Now, more background on the story that led the 5:30 Report today - It's being called CoinGate in Ohio. It involves millions of dollars and has Democrats accusing Republicans of widespread corruption. It even has some talking about trying to kick the governor out of office. Why? Because his office allegedly knew about the problem last October, but didn't do anything at the time. The blogger writes:
Now why would this have made national news on October 26, 2004? And why were they hiding it?Hmm....because it would have created a huge GOP scandal one week before the election? Who knows what would have been dredged up if the Governor's office had told the public about this fiscal mismanagement. And who knows how it would have affected the vote in Ohio. But, the Governor's office kept it a secret. The GOP in Ohio is corrupt. It's really that simple.

If you're looking for even more on CoinGate, Here's a pretty active online discussion of the situation. This story really IS much bigger than just an Ohio story.

Now, the Patriot Act. Necessary and legal? Or a threat to our civil liberties. Here's one take on the issue, along with a lot of good background on changes to the act.

And here's an extra for a warm summer evening. This issue is Global Warming and how the Administration did a bit of editing on an official report about it. The New York Times lead sentence:
A White House official repeatedly edited climate reports in ways that play down links between emissions and global warming.

But, it's not just ANY White House Official. This from the blog:
Let's put this in context. Qualified scientists prepared reliable reports based on real information. Before they could be shared, however, the White House turned them over to a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry, to edit to his heart's content. This is the Bush administration's approach to quality science. In one instance, a report noted the need for research into how warming might change water availability and flooding. Cooney saw a section on projected reduction of mountain glaciers and snowpack, didn't like it, and deleted it. Cooney has no background in science - he's a lawyer by trade - but the Bush gang has made him the chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Follow the links. There's plenty more to read. Including the Admininstrations explanation of why it's standing by the edited version.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wednesday Night Update - Fascinating Newspaper Story

Coming on the heels of bad recruiting numbers for the Army, this is not good news for military recruiters. If the facts are accurate, this is another on a growing list of overt recruiting abuses. Or is it not a problem at all. Read it. It's from Seattle. Then comment here. Let's talk.
The basics of this story is, a Marine recruiter pulled everything he could out of the box to get this young man to join, including waiting till the parents were away and nabbing this kid at his place of work.


Presidential Polling: Numbers and Comments from the Left and Right

Something for everyone today. Our on-air blog references pit the Left against the Right in trying to figure out what the latest Presidential poll numbers really mean.

Here's a summary of the numbers and some comments from Americablog, a prominent liberal-leaning blog. The summary?
The American people just aren't buying all the happy talk coming from Bush and Cheney. And they are being to realize they've been had.

And, from a leading conservative-leaning blog, read this detailed exploration of the raw numbers, and the explanation of how the poll is skewed:
First of all, the Post polls only "adults," not "registered" or even "likely" voters. As you know 36% of the respondents aren't even eligible to vote, and of those that are eligible, only 60% vote.
Next, 1/2 of the polling nights are considered weekend nights, and weekend polling is notoriously unreliable and favorable to Democrats.

Which arguments do you buy into? Click the comments link and let us know.

Now, some "extras".
New administration road-building rules rankle Western Governor. It all has to do with the announcement that the government is opening 58 million acres of roadless land in the West to road building.

The Expansion of the Patriot Act passes a Senate Committee. This analysis questions the impact it could have.

Journalistic standards. Is there a double-standard? This blogger says there is. When you compare coverage of the Clinton administration with the Bush administration.

There's a new book about Hillary Clinton on the way. Media Matters says it looks like the author might have "borrowed" from another writer. Great little comparison chart with quotes from both books. Does kind of make you go "hmmmm."

And, so does this. Remember the $130 Billion settlement with the tobacco industry? Well, it's down to $10 Billion now. Wonder why? Click that link.

New numbers on military spending. Ours vs the rest of the world. We spend almost half of the world total.

And, finally, seems John Dean's recent comment isn't riding all that well with key Democrats.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Religions, Prison and Hillary Blasts Journalists

Tuesday brings some interesting background reading on the issue of how we treat those prisoners at Guantanamo and the other prisons. Read this blog about the issue and note this allegation -
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld specifically authorized religious degradation as an interrogation tactic. That ill-conceived policy has endangered the lives of U.S. soldiers and impeded the progress of peace and democracy in the Middle East.

Now, let's let our former First Lady of Arkansas take some verbal shots at journalists.
The press is missing in action, with all due respect, she said. Where are the investigative reporters today? Why arent they asking the hard questions? Its shocking when you see how easily they fold in the media today. They dont stand their ground. If theyre criticized by the White House, they just fall apart. I mean, cmon, toughen up, guys, its only our Constitution and country at stake. Lets get some spine.

New poll numbers just arrived. They're not looking any better for the President and his policies. Here's a snippet -
A clear majority of Americans say President Bush is ignoring the public's concerns and instead has become distracted by issues that most people say they care little about, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Kerry has released his military records. The blogger questions why it took so long. In a nutshell, the records show -
The records... are mostly a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004 campaign for president, including numerous commendations from commanding officers who later criticized Kerry's Vietnam service.

From the other side of the aisle, here's a roundup of right-leaning comments from Michelle Malkin.
"This release by Kerry still doesn't answer key questions about what he's claimed about his service and the conflicts in his narrative first exposed by the Swiftvets. Let Kerry make the entire record public, so we can all see the answers to these questions."

There continues to be lots of chatter on the blogs about the Downing Street Memo. Think Progress blog has a link to the memo (in case you haven't read it) and pulls together a long list of quotes from President Bush that don't mesh with the memo (assuming you believe the memo!).


Monday, June 06, 2005

Some Evening Updates

Interesting analysis here about another John Bolton report. Is he still the best man?
The Bolton Battle is getting ready to rev up again -- and this news on Bolton, Burns and Libya may turn a number of other U.S. Senators against his nomination.

Now, the Downing Street Memo. Does it seem it's not getting much attention? Think again. There are tons of links to coverage in this blog.
And there is this blog about a Los Alamos whistleblower who was beaten.
Our friend Noah Schachtman has a bizarre and unsettling story up on his DefenseTech blog about a Los Alamos whistleblower who was beaten senseless over the weekend by a group of thugs who apparently told him he'd better keep his mouth shut as they were knocking him around. I'm not quite sure what to make of this and I don't know much of the backstory. But I do know Noah. He follows this stuff pretty closely and he knows his stuff. So I pass it on on that basis.

More tomorrow. Gotta dodge the storms tonight.


Iraq in Retrospect and Money, Money, Who Has the $$$$$$$?

Reporters are supposed to report what they observe, right?

Here's one who actually seems to have done that. And he's not leaving with a very good feeling about any "progress" that's been made.

Since April 2004 the liberation of Iraq has become a desperate exercise in damage control. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib alienated a broad swath of the Iraqi public. On top of that, it didn't work. There is no evidence that all the mistreatment and humiliation saved a single American life or led to the capture of any major terrorist, despite claims by the military that the prison produced "actionable intelligence."
The most shocking thing about Abu Ghraib was not the behavior of U.S. troops, but the incompetence of their leaders.

Now, try to find the missing money. This is simply INCREDIBLE.
"First, the federal government cannot account for $25 billion it spent in 2003. Thats billion with a b. Federal auditors know that $25 billion was spent by someone, somewhere, on something, but dont know who spent it, where it was spent or on what it was spent.

Here's one extra link - obviously very left-leaning, but the points are well-made, no matter which side you're coming from:

Click Here for a couple of examples of "Conservative Elitism".
Here's the setup -
Liberals, and Democrats by association, are often stereotyped and criticized by conservatives for being "elitist." You saw it in the last election, with pundits portraying Kerry as a snobby intellectual going against the good-ol-country-boy George Bush.
But what about conservative elitism? Can't right-wing pundits be just as condescending and arrogant as anyone? Let's take a look.

Oh, what the heck. Here's one more. We frequently link to blog articles by Michelle Malkin. She's a very right-leaning author who also makes frequent television appearances, debating political issues. Here's an article from the "other side" that really takes Malkin to task for some of her recent writings. Again, no matter which side you're coming from, this author seems to have built his case well. Don't agree? Leave a comment and we'll kick start some discussion.

And here's a good summary on a story we really need to include in a future show. The Ohio Coiin scandal. It's difficult to explain in a few words, but click the link and you'll be up to speed in a few minutes.
Here's the first paragraph to get you interested -
Tom Noe has outraged and angered the governor of Ohio, caused the President to return his campaign contributions, and his $50 million state-coin funds are in disarray.

Now, go forth. Click. Read. Comment.