On Skepticism

Today on our very special tour of all things that make Athenae say oh fer chrissakes: Readers routinely call or write to cite stories they’ve seen blazing the Web but that are missing or downplayed on the newspaper’s news pages. Many of those readers blame a right-wing or left-wing conspiracy. But whether those stories gain traction in the news pages of The Oregonian often depends on whether wire services, including those of the major newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post or Los Angeles Times, report on them. The gap goes to the heart of what is … Continue reading On Skepticism

Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle Expanded

From Holden: I feel the need to blow off more steam built up while thinking of the two questions I mentioned below. First, let’s look at Terry Moran’s question again. Q Scott, these are remarkable scenes we’re witnessing in Beirut. Is this a domino falling? Does this show the President’s strategy is vindicated and confirmed and right? He could easily have asked Scottie for the president’s opinion, an open-ended question is not necessarily bad. Something like, “Scott, these are remarkable scenes we’re witnessing in Beirut. What does the president think of the developments in Lebanon?” Then if Scott wants to … Continue reading Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle Expanded

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Compare the fawning Terry Moran’s question… Q Scott, these are remarkable scenes we’re witnessing in Beirut. Is this a domino falling? Does this show the President’s strategy is vindicated and confirmed and right? With the incisive questioning of Helen Thomas. Q Has the President ever issued an order against torture of prisoners? And do we still send prisoners to Syria to be tortured? MR. McCLELLAN: The President has stated publicly that we do not condone torture and that he would never authorize the use of torture. He has made that — Q But has he issued an order? … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Innovations in Killing

From Holden: Need a new way to kill people? Count on the good ol’ EweEssufEh. Human Rights Watch raised a red flag on Monday over US plans to deploy a new system of remote-controlled anti-personnel mines in Iraq. The New York-based rights watchdog said the US Army had failed to answer critical questions regarding the potential harm the mines might pose to civilians. The new system, called Matrix, allows a soldier with a laptop computer to detonate Claymore mines remotely via radio signal from several kilometers away. While Claymores normally propel lethal fragments from 40 to 60 metres across a … Continue reading Innovations in Killing

Great Moments in Winger Journalism

From Holden: F-list winger “columnist” Ken Hughes rises to Jeff Gannon’s defense in his masterpiece of unedited prose, Is Jeff Gannon, The New Matt Drudge, in The Conservative Voice. Oh, the humanity. What’s this? Did the high school boys’ senior basketball team go after Jeff Gannon? If they did, would he protest? When the media goes after someone with the varsity they’ve targeted Jeff Gannon it makes us all take a second look. I’m sure Jeff Gannon hope Ken Hughes does not write any letters of recommendation to any of his prospective employers. Will the same fate befall Jeff Gannon, … Continue reading Great Moments in Winger Journalism

Bill Safire’s Buyer’s Remorse

From Holden: Either Bill Safire has lost faith or his check from Karl Rove did not come this month. MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Safire, let me start with you. Busy week for the president, went to Europe, met with Russian President Putin. Give him a grade. MR. SAFIRE: I was disheartened and dismayed by the way he went eyeball to eyeball with President Putin and Bush blinked. Here is a president who has been talking eloquently about extending freedom and fighting for democracy around the world in his inaugural address and the State of the Union. And as soon as he … Continue reading Bill Safire’s Buyer’s Remorse

Switching the Military Machine Off

From Holden: Unnending casualties in an increasingly unpopular, illegal war prompt parrents and school administrators to say no to military aptitude tests. Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, military recruiters had no trouble getting New England high schools to offer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which is used to screen promising candidates. But three years later, in the midst of a controversial war in Iraq, things have changed dramatically. “It’s much more difficult right now to get into schools,” said Petty Officer Jason Lowe, ASVAB testing coordinator at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Boston, which handles enlistment processing … Continue reading Switching the Military Machine Off

News from the War on Women

Shameless in Colorado by Sharon Lerner Cella Roberts was 23 weeks pregnant when she discovered her fetus had a heart defect that would make it unable to survive outside the womb. Roberts herself was suffering from a blood sugar problem she had developed during the pregnancy and, as it wore on, she was getting sicker and sicker, facing the potentially fatal complication of toxemia. Though an abortion seemed the most logical choice–her doctor counseled it, and everyone from her neighbors to her in-laws urged her to follow his advice–Roberts wasn’t sure what to do. So she brought her rabbi along … Continue reading News from the War on Women

A Tale of Two Cases

From Holden: Much attention will be paid this week to arguments before the Supreme Court regarding the display of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas Capitol. Of more importance to me will be opening arguments in a civil case here in Travis County, Texas, in which Democrats who lost to Republican candidates who received illegal corporate donations funnelled to them by Tom DeLay’s TRM-PAC seek redress. The Democrats allege Bill Ceverha, a former state House Republican who is now treasurer of the Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee, or TRMPAC, conspired to illegally collect and … Continue reading A Tale of Two Cases

Bill Gates is Fucking With My Bush Boom

From Holden: Personal incomes were hit with the biggest drop in more than a decade in January, a decrease the AP attributes to Microsoft divdends (or the lack tereof). Personal incomes which had been bolstered by a large stock dividend payment in December plunged 2.3 percent in January, the sharpest decline in more than a decade. [snip] The Commerce Department said Monday that the sharp January drop in incomes followed a record 3.7 percent jump in incomes in December with both months heavily influenced by a $3 per share dividend payment that computer software giant Microsoft made on Dec. 2. … Continue reading Bill Gates is Fucking With My Bush Boom

Shorter Frank Rich To the World:

Have a nice big cup of shut the fuck up! At least President Bush is now on tape saying he won’t “kick gays.” He leaves that to surrogates. It’s gay people and teenagers being denied potentially life-saving sex education who ultimately are the real victims of the larger agenda of the decency crusaders, which is not to clean up show business, a doomed mission, but to realize the more attainable goal of enlisting the government to marginalize and punish those who don’t adhere to their “moral values.” For its part, show business will have no problem fending for itself. My … Continue reading Shorter Frank Rich To the World:

May you find the peace you tried to create in this life

Before Bush and his cabal of ten-a-penny fascisti decided to weep in public over the horrors of Saddam Hussein’s regime, before Nick Kristof asked us all to praise his new awareness of child prostitution, before Bay Buchanan and Beverly LaHaye discovered the Taliban were unkind to women and claimed the mantle of female champions for themselves, one man spoke up for those in darkness. It was the students’ toast to freedom in Antonio Salazar’s dictatorship in Portugal, leading to their arrest and sentencing to seven years in jail, that first fired Benenson into action. He wondered how to get them … Continue reading May you find the peace you tried to create in this life

When the Rule of Law is shattered, we’re all victims

Thrown to the Wolves Published Friday, February 25, in the NYT; link (note: the link goes to the story as reproduced at CommonDreams. org, and not the original NYT source) by Bob Herbert In the fall of 2002 Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, suddenly found himself caught up in the cruel mockery of justice that the Bush administration has substituted for the rule of law in the post-Sept. 11 world. While attempting to change planes at Kennedy Airport on his way home to Canada from a family vacation in Tunisia, he was seized by American authorities, interrogated and thrown into … Continue reading When the Rule of Law is shattered, we’re all victims

Department of They Did WHAT On A Clear Channel Station?

True confessions time: I have a thing for bad hip-hop, Kelly Clarkson, peppy morning DJs who watch American Idol so I don’t have to, and generally listening to pointless trash in the A.M. these days before turning on the world’s horror on NPR. Go ahead, make fun, you bunch of liberal elitists, you. You just don’t understand my Real American soul. So I often tune in to these guys first thing, because listening to them is like sitting around a dorm room at 2 a.m. listneing to your shitfaced floormates talking about who did what to who for how many … Continue reading Department of They Did WHAT On A Clear Channel Station?

Anti-Terrorism Law Actually Used to Convict Terrorist!

From Holden: I’m shocked to read that a post-9/11 anti-terror law was actually used to convict a terrorist, White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader David Wayne Hull (News of the Wierd fans take note of that middle name). The leader of a Ku Klux Klan splinter group was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday in what prosecutors said was the nation’s first conviction under a new anti-terror law. David Wayne Hull, 42, was convicted of teaching a government informant posing as an anti-abortion activist how to use a pipe bomb at a November 2002 white supremacist gathering … Continue reading Anti-Terrorism Law Actually Used to Convict Terrorist!

Another Hooker With A Heart of Gold

From Holden: JimJeff says: Regarding the nude photos and escort business Gannon’s been connected to, Gannon told me, “My sinful past will not prevent me from having a future. I am a decent, giving person who has provided comfort and assistance to AIDS victims for over a decade. I am a leader in my Capitol Hill neighborhood responsible for improving the quality of life in a transitional part of the city.” Continue reading Another Hooker With A Heart of Gold

More Trouble in Our 51st State

From Holden: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham must have left his rose-colored glasses at home when he visited Iraq this week. South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, back from a weeklong journey overseas, offered the sobering assessment Friday that American troops will be in Iraq for years and casualties are likely for some time to come. [snip] “The Iraqi people are more empowered but the security situation is worse,” he said. “We had a lot less freedom to move around. In many ways in terms of security it is not better off than [sic] all.” [snip] “Casualties in Iraq are very … Continue reading More Trouble in Our 51st State

Theft From U.S. Taxpayers Rewarded With A Bonus

From Holden: The Pentagon is giving Halliburton $9.4 million in bonuses for it’s fine work in Kuwait and Afghanistan. Only in America. U.S. defense contractor Halliburton, under scrutiny for its contracts in Iraq (news – web sites), has been given bonuses for some of its work supporting the U.S. military in Kuwait and Afghanistan (news – web sites), the Army said on Thursday. [snip] Much of Halliburton’s work for the U.S. military is on a cost-plus basis, which means the company can earn up to 2 percent extra depending on their performance. An Army spokesman said KBR had been awarded … Continue reading Theft From U.S. Taxpayers Rewarded With A Bonus

Shortchanging Operation Infinite Justice Enduring Freedom

From Holden: A senior U.S. general goes off message in a warning about America’s forgotten war. Maj. Gen. Eric Olson told The Associated Press he was concerned that policy-makers will seize on a recent drop in Taliban and al-Qaida attacks to cut the 17,000-strong U.S. force here to ease the pressure on American forces stretched by their deployment in Iraq. “If there is no real spring offensive (by the Taliban), I think there may be pressure on the international community to draw down force levels and I think that would be a big mistake,” said Olson, the No. 2 U.S. … Continue reading Shortchanging Operation Infinite Justice Enduring Freedom

I Bet They Would Howl if Sponge Bob Got a Press Pass

From Holden: Bill Berkowitz does his best to get a comment on Jeff Gannon out of Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, The Traditional Values Coalition, The Free Congress Foundation, Town Hall, The American Family Association, Charisma News Service, and The Christian Response Network. And fails miserably. Continue reading I Bet They Would Howl if Sponge Bob Got a Press Pass

Big Oil Passes on ANWR

From Holden: Major oil companies have decided that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge does not contain enough oil reserves to merit their time and money. Chimpy will try to push opening ANWR to oil exploration through congress anyway because a hollow victory over environmentalists is more improtant to him than good governance. [I]f Mr. Bush’s drilling plan passes in Congress after what is expected to be a fierce fight, it may prove to be a triumph of politics over geology. Once allied, the administration and the oil industry are now far apart on the issue. The major oil companies are … Continue reading Big Oil Passes on ANWR