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July 29, 2005
hand_lg.gifMore Best of Blogtopia: Weekly Roundup

I know, I know: weekly, biweekly, I could never figure it all out.

So, on the day after two bills passed -- one bad energy bill the dems successfully sank last session -- and CAFTA -- a bill the Dems should have been able to sink like a submarine with the Titanic in its sights, here we go:

The Poor Man and Digby have something to say about the Democrats' incredible commitment and never-ending resolve to pull out all the stops in fighting for what they believe is right. (It involves a possible lack of testosterone -- or estrogen -- whichever you prefer.)

Addiestan shares some of her fan mail.

That Colored Fella has some interesting thoughts on Republican Ted Nugent's run for Governor of Michigan, i.e., should democrats support his bid?

Jesse Lee over at The Stakeholder tells about how one representative who wanted to vote against CAFTA, but his voting card allegedly didn't work -- and how another who claimed to want to vote against it was at a Boy Scouts meeting. I'll repeat that: a meeting of the Boy Scouts. (The vote was 217-215.) Look at the comments, there, too: I would like to know the names of the 15 democrats who voted for the bill.

And finally, more Norwegian Opinions You Should Have. It's about Karl Rove, as best I can guess.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:04 AM in Links

July 26, 2005
Shuttle Astronauts To Be Subjected To Random Spot Searches

NASA announced today that shuttle astronauts would be subjected to random spot searches starting this morning. Launch Director Algonquin Brown explained that the searches were reasonable measures designed to make shuttle launches safer.

The program was inspired by New York City's new program instituting random searches of passengers' bags on the city's subways. "The program has been very successful," Brown told reporters. "Not a single tile has fallen off the "6" train since they started searching people last Friday."

A Federal marshall assigned to administer the random spot checks shook down Commander Eileen Collins early this morning and discovered two packs of dentyne, a canister of lipstick that works in zero gravity and a nail clipper. The nail clipper was confiscated because Federal regulations prohibit the carrying of nail clippers into a cockpit.

NASA expects that random searches of astronauts may delay future launches and diminish astronauts' sense of privacy, but "that's the price you pay for liberty in a free society," said Brown.

In related news, New York City police officers assured the public that they were not profiling or targeting only Arab-looking males during searches. "We're harassing everyone," a spokesman said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:33 AM in News

July 21, 2005
Chess for Dummies

JOHN: We're back to All Night Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen, where the Democratic Party seem to have Karl Rove on the ropes. Sen. Harry Reid has Rove on the mat, it looks like it may be all over . . .

JIM: Rove actually looks worried.

JOHN: And what's this!?! Bush tags in with a partner, is that allowed? -- a Judge Roberts is in the ring, and Bush and Roberts have thrown Harry Reid into the bleachers where he is already nursing a wound.

JIM: He doesn't have a wound.

JOHN: But he believes he does, and in Democratic wrestling, as you know, Jim, that's half the game.

JIM: That's right, John, and now -- Karl Rove has pulled out a chessboard!

JOHN: That's right, as we've seen before, he can play any game he wants.

JIM: Yes, once again, Karl Rove has pulled out a chessboard, where he has queened yet another pawn.

JOHN: How many pawns does Rove have there, Jim?

JIM: I lost count a long time ago, John, but there are an awful lot and -- oh! And he's queened another one while we were talking.

JOHN: Yes, he has, Jim. And now the Democrats appear to be coming back into the ring -- there's Chuck Schumer, he seems wary of Roberts, who is distracting him from the board. I'm not sure he even sees it, Jim.

JIM: Yes. Schumer is proceeding almost daintily, walking quietly around the ring while Rove, Bush, and now Mehlman --

JOHN: Yes, Karl Rove and George W. Bush have now tossed the few Democratic pieces remaining on the board out of the ring. They are wholly dominating this arena.

JIM: Well, the Democrats were at a huge disadvantage in this game to begin with, John, you'll remember they had no King or Queen, the few pieces they had were either hemmed in by the Republican pieces so they could barely move, or those few pieces they had, they were afraid to take out of the box. Also, Karl Rove co-opted all of the bishops early in the game, and a couple of the Democratic knights seemed almost to be playing for the other side entirely.

JOHN: Yes, Peter.

JIM: Jim.

JOHN: John. Yes, Jim, they had a poor opening gambit, and now that Roberts is in the ring, it's yet another disappointing rout in an altogether dismal season for this once great franchise.

JIM: Oh, and this just in: a missing turtle roils Western Connecticut. This and what you don't know about sea bass that could kill you, after the break.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:02 AM in News

July 15, 2005
Rove Entirely Dependent on Novak for Top-Secret Government Information, Says Super-Secret White House Source

A White House source who declined to be identified because it did not serve his purposes -- Lewis Libby, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff -- leaked to reporters today that Karl Rove was entirely dependent on columnist Bob Novak for confidential government information. For instance, Libby said, Rove did not leak Valerie Plame's name and occupation to Robert Novak; Novak leaked it to him.

"I understand that it is rare for a a government official at the highest levels of the federal government, in the White House, virtually sitting in the President's lap, to be entirely dependent on a reporter for top-secret, highly confidential government information, but that's the case here," said Libby anonymously.

Libby asked to be known to the public only by the nickname "Hand Job," in the tradition of other famous government leakers.

"Sadly, despite Rove's powerful influence in the White House, his top-secret clearance, and his intimate association with the heads of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, DIA, DNA and DDT, he knew nothing about anything until Bob Novak clued him on it," said Libby. "This is Karl's terrible little secret."

In related news, Minority Leader Bill Frist said that Democrats calling for Rove's ouster were resorting to partisan war chants and refused to "pass the peace pipe" and "make'um nice."

"I have set the tone for working with my comrades on the other side of the aisle," said Frist. "It's awfully sad when democrats feel they have to be as fiercely partisan as I have been."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:15 AM in News

July 12, 2005
White House Cannot Confirm Ever Having Met Karl Rove

In a press conference yesterday, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan refused to confirm that the President knew a "Karl Rove" or that he had ever come across anyone by that name.

"I will not comment upon whether the name is even vaguely familiar to me," said McClellan, saying that "the White House has a policy of not giving potentially damaging information to the public at any time."

McClellan received questions from reporters about an incident wherein Mr. Rove -- today the Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House -- compromised the nation's security in order to punish a former ambassador with whom he was displeased. In response, McClellan declined to say whether the President still had confidence in Rove, would not say whether the President had spoken to Rove about the "Plame incident," whether the President knew him, or had heard of him.

Finally, Mr. McClellan denied understanding the words "Karl Rove," merely shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders in a show of incomprehension.

The questioning soon turned to abuse, and reporters hurled threats, insults, and rolled-up newspapers at McClellan until he left the Briefing Room and was replaced by his assistant, Pamela Wiesenstadt.

Ms. Wiesenstatdt refused to confirm or deny the existence of any "Scott McClellan."

Hat tip to Sebestian Meyer of Sebimeyer. Sebimeyer has the entire transcript of yesterday's press gaggle here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:45 PM in News

July 8, 2005
hand_lg.gifBest of Blogtopia: Weekly Roundup

It's been another great week in America, and that means choice pickings in Blogtopia.

Liberal Oasis has two posts that contain the best thinking on how important it is for liberals to frame the upcoming Supreme Court battle and how they can do that.

Norbizness puts his finger right on the nub of what's going on in America today.

Whitehouse.org has Bush's speech after the London bombings. It would be funny it it weren't so sad.

Pudentella over at Skippy's (creator of blogtopia) has the metrics on whether we are losing the war on terror.

Liberal Oasis on why Judith Miller's communications with the White House aren't privileged. (I know, another Liberal Oasis link. My advice: read it every day.)

Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest reminds us about the duffel bags.

And last, but not least, the Norwegian translation of Opinions You Should Have!! Thanks, Hyorthen! Now if we could only read it . . .

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:41 PM in Links

July 7, 2005
Judge Changes Mind; Orders Miller To Do Time At Novak's Home

A Federal judge decided today that New York Times "reporter" Judith Miller "wasn't being punished enough" for refusing to obey the law and ordered that she be transferred from a Virginia detention facility to Robert Novak's home, where she will be incarcerated until October.

"I decided to grant Ms. Miller's request for house arrest," said the judge. "And this is the house she should be in." The judge added that he thought that Mr. Novak "deserved some punishment, too."

Miller's lawyers are returning to court this afternoon to argue that the judge's new ruling constiutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Upon learning of the ruling, Ms. Miller said, "If young men can give their lives to fight the war in Iraq, I guess I can muster the courage to spend 120 days in Bob Novak's home." She went on to say that she was willing to "sacrifice everything" in pursuit of a "free America" and babbled about the First Amendment and "responsible journalism" until at least one reporter smacked her.

Mr. Novak reflexively called the judge "a braying jackass," and complained that Miller "always hogged the remote," among other things.

Miller and Novak have not spoken since Miller told Novak that Lewis Libby had called to tell her, on Karl Rove's instructions, that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:38 AM in News