The Rules

A writer friend of mine, recently published after years of trying, often says that getting published is just like dating: You send a query to an agent or house, and then you wait. Should I call him? Is it too soon to call? Will I sound desperate? But if I don’t call maybe he won’t think I’m serious. I’d better call. You call, get halfway through the number, hang up. You go shopping. There is no problem that does not look insignificant in comparison to the search for the perfect black skirt. You rehearse a short spiel, breezy, casual, as … Continue reading The Rules

Bush Blocks Release of Abu Ghraib Images

From Holden: I’m sure no one is surprised that the dead-enders in the Bush assministration made this move late on a Friday. On July 22, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) denounced the latest efforts of the Bush Administration to block the release of the Darby photos and videos depicting torture at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison facility. On June 2, 2004, CCR, along with the ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace filed papers with the U.S. District Court, charging the Department of Defense and other government agencies with illegally withholding records concerning the … Continue reading Bush Blocks Release of Abu Ghraib Images

Our Children Is Finally Learning

From Holden: Via Rorschach America may be waking up a bit. Nearly half of Americans say the war in Iraq has hurt what the White House calls its ”war on terror”–the highest percentage since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003–according to a major new poll released Thursday in the immediate aftermath of the latest bomb attacks in London. The survey, by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, also showed that 49 percent of respondents now believe that Washington should set a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. President George W. Bush opposes such a move, … Continue reading Our Children Is Finally Learning

Schedenfreud and the Man Who Did Not Take His Own Advice

From Holden: News of Ari Fleischer’s possible legal problems flashes me back to a classic edition of your Daily Les. Q As Commander-In-Chief, what was the President’s reaction to television’s Bill Maher, in his announcement that members of our Armed Forces who deal with missiles are cowards, while the armed terrorists who killed 6,000 unarmed are not cowards, for which Maher was briefly moved off a Washington television station? MR. FLEISCHER: I have not discussed it with the President, one. I have — Q Surely, as a — MR. FLEISCHER: I’m getting there. Q Surely as Commander, he was enraged … Continue reading Schedenfreud and the Man Who Did Not Take His Own Advice

Finally, A Prominent Republican Speaks Out Against On Traitor Karl

From Holden: And the prominent Republican is Karen Hughes. Speaking of Hughes, in her acclaimed book “Ten Minutes from Normal,” the former White House counselor opines about the investigation into the leak on Valerie Plame . She suspects columnist Robert D. Novak ‘s sources may have been in one of the agencies, not the White House. “But regardless of the source, the leak compromised the confidential identity of a longtime public servant, which was wrong, and unfair to her and those who worked with her. Whoever did it should come forward and not hide behind journalistic ethics for his or … Continue reading Finally, A Prominent Republican Speaks Out Against On Traitor Karl

Eyes on Iraq

From Holden: Civil War Watch In Baquba north of the capital, police said militants had blown up a shrine holy to Shi’ites, damaging its dome overnight. Fodder Watch Faced with major recruiting problems sparked by troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has asked Congress to raise the maximum age for U.S. military enlistees from 35 to 42 years old. The request, sent to lawmakers this week, would apply to all active duty branches of the military services, said Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, on Friday. But it is aimed chiefly at the active duty … Continue reading Eyes on Iraq

Less Than 40 On Iraq

From Holden: Public opinion on Chimpy’s Vanity War is in freefall according to the latest Harris poll. Sixty-four percent of those polled gave Bush a negative rating for his handling of Iraq, up from 61 percent in May, while 34 percent had a positive assessment of Bush’s actions in Iraq, Harris Interactive said in a statement distributed by PR Newswire. A year ago, 58 percent of Americans gave Bush a negative rating on Iraq, Harris Interactive said. Less than a quarter of those polled, 23 percent, said they were confident the U.S. policies in Iraq would be successful, down from … Continue reading Less Than 40 On Iraq


From Holden: Can anyone find a link to the original Financial Times article Josh Marshall cited in this post from last December? We have let the earth-movers roll in over this one (i.e. the Plame investigation). “Senior White House official” Financial Times December 5th, 2003 ‘Cause I’m thinkin’ that the sound the “senior White House official” heard was not an earth-mover. Perhaps the official heard Karen Hughes rumbling around the corridors of the West Wing. Continue reading Earth-Movers

Desperation Smells Like An Unwashed Armpit

From Holden: The Army is willing to give away the store to recruit more cannon fodder. Active-duty Army recruits can reap an unprecedented benefit of more than $100,000 in bonuses, college funds and extra pay for accepting high-demand jobs in priority units, the Army announced yesterday. Beginning July 13, the Army offered new incentive pay of as much as $14,400 — or $400 a month for 36 months — to soldiers who enlist for three or more years as infantrymen, mechanics, medics and a wide range of other career fields, according to U.S. Army Recruiting Command. The soldiers must also … Continue reading Desperation Smells Like An Unwashed Armpit

The Nixon Comparison

It’s not the lies, it’s the cover up: Two top White House aides have given accounts to the special prosecutor about how reporters told them the identity of a CIA agent that are at odds with what the reporters have said, according to persons familiar with the case. Lewis “Scooter’’ Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson. Russert has testified before a federal grand jury … Continue reading The Nixon Comparison

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Howsa ’bouta Little Scottie Feeding Frenzy? Let’s allow Helen Thomas to get us started. Q Why does Karl Rove still have security clearance and access to classified documents when he has been revealed as a leaker of a secret agent, according to Time magazine’s correspondent? MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there is an investigation that continues, and I think the President has made it clear that we’re not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation. Q You already have the truth. MR. McCLELLAN: We’re not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation through — Q Does he have … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Another No Comment on Traitor Karl

From Holden: From this morning’s gaggle, as told by TalkRadioNewsService’s Gregory Gorman. Karl Rove’s Security Clearance Helen Thomas asked if Karl Rove still had his security clearance in this White House to see classified documents. McClellan answered, “I have already answered all of those questions about the investigation”. Thomas followed up by saying that this was a direct question about Rove’s security clearance status. McClellan did not answer further. Continue reading Another No Comment on Traitor Karl

Missing Gaggle Transcripts

From Holden: Many readers have e-mailed me asking about transcripts from the press briefings held in Africa during the month of July 2003 that seem to be missing from the White House web site. I recall that in March of 2004 Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed the telephone logs from Air Force One for calls placed during that trip to Africa as well as a transcript of the July 12, 2003, gaggle which at the time was missing from the White House web site (it has since been restored). Atrios found the July 10 transcript over at TalkRadioNewsService. I’ve poked around a … Continue reading Missing Gaggle Transcripts

This War Criminal Is Not Her Husband

From Holden: Condi Rice finds that cozying up to the war criminals who run Sudan can be unpleasant. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a congratulatory round of meetings with officials of the new unified Sudanese government Thursday, but expressed outrage after security forces manhandled aides and reporters accompanying her. “It makes me very angry to be sitting there with their president and have this happen,” she said. “They have no right to push and shove.” Rice made her remarks to reporters after she and her entourage board an airplane to fly from the Sudanese capital to a refugee camp … Continue reading This War Criminal Is Not Her Husband

Bring Them Home Now

From Holden: The Troops! are sick and tired and ready to come home. A majority — 54% — of U.S. soldiers in Iraq say morale is low, according to an Army report released Wednesday that finds psychological stress is weighing particularly heavily on National Guard and reserve troops. [snip] The report recommended that the Army reconsider whether National Guard and reserve support troops are getting adequate training in combat skills. Only 55% of National Guard support soldiers said they have “real confidence” in their unit’s ability to perform its mission, compared with 63% of active-duty Army support soldiers. The report … Continue reading Bring Them Home Now

Back In The Headlines

From Holden: Doesn’t anyone at the White House read First Draft? I keep telling you guys that it’s not such a great idea to have the senior assministration official facing a possible felony indictment devising your strategy for how to deal with the story of a senior assministration official facing a possible felony indictment. That “knock it off the front page” strategy is not working, as this is the headline I woke up to on the front page of my local paper this morning. CIA Operative’s Identity Was Secret, Memo Says. The story is not just on the front page … Continue reading Back In The Headlines

A Tale of Two Kos Posts

Post one. But there are good losses too, and this is the concept that many refuse to accept. You can lose in a way that makes people sympathize with the principle you fought for. You can lose in a way that sets the stage to make a compelling case later. �If you send a clear message to the American people that “we oppose Roberts because X will happen if he is confirmed,” and then X does happen, now you have your campaign issue for 2008, 2012, and beyond. “Elect Democrats so we can roll back X and make sure it … Continue reading A Tale of Two Kos Posts

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: In today’s gaggle changing the subject did not yield a passive press corps. Q One more on this. When the President met with Judge Roberts, did he discuss any issues in particular, any hot-button social issues with him to understand his views on them?* MR. McCLELLAN: The President is not the one who has a litmus test. The President has always made clear that he doesn’t have a litmus test, and he’s not someone who tends to get into questions with potential nominees to the bench about issues of that nature. What he looks at — what he … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Gaddamn Liberal Media

From Holden: I just heard former Time magazine White House correspondent John Dickerson explain on Franken’s show that Traitor Karl’s efforts to smear Joe Wilson by outing his wife fell far short of some great Rovian media campaign because he only contacted three reports (Novak, Cooper and Miller). Yet in Septmeber 2003 the Washington Post reported that “senior administration officials” had contacted six reporters in the first round of calls, and we know there was at least one more round in which Rove contacted Tweety and Rove or another official contacted Mrs. Allan Greenspan and two-dozen other reporters. To add … Continue reading Gaddamn Liberal Media

The Italians Are Not Giving Up

From Holden: They’re still looking into Chimpy’s extraordinary renditions. An Italian prosecutor asked an appeals court Wednesday to issue arrest warrants for six more purported CIA operatives, accusing them of helping plan the kidnapping of an Egyptian radical Muslim cleric in 2003. An Italian court issued warrants for 13 purported CIA officials last month but turned down a request by prosecutor Armando Spataro to issue warrants for six Americans accused of helping prepare the abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. The prosecutor’s request, obtained by The Associated Press, said the six were involved in studying the area in Milan where … Continue reading The Italians Are Not Giving Up