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HEAR YE HEAR YE
We'll leave this BlogSpot site here as an archive - or as Condoleezza Rice would call it, "an historic document" - immortalizing the muck we've eagerly raked in the past.
Blogger: July 3, 2003 - December 8, 2004
Hoffmania Posts for Tuesday, September 23
The Howard Dean campaign is getting close to the first million mark in their September to Remember online contribution drive. Help get the word out by clicking the bats in the left column.
Hoffmania! has set its own goal of just $500. Hey, I get a lot of hits, but not as many as the big blogs. I gotta be real here! Let's see how close I can get. You can donate ANY amount from a dollar on up. Here's my own bat:
Raised so far: $65
Okay. So I haven't had any $2000 a plate dinners at my condo. I'm tryin'.
Last August as reported by Robert Novak:
Former international weapons inspector David Kay, now seeking Iraqi weapons of mass destruction for the Pentagon, has privately reported successes that are planned to be revealed to the public in mid-September.Yesterday at Condoleezza Rice's press briefing:
DR. RICE: Well, let me first say that David Kaye has an orderly process for mining the miles of documentation, the hundreds, even thousands of interviews, that need to be done, the physical evidence that needs to be gathered to understand precisely the status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the status of the programs, what became of unaccounted for weapons stockpiles.
MR. SECRETARY GENERAL, Mr. President, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four months ago — and yesterday in the memory of America — the center of New York City became a battlefield, and a graveyard, and the symbol of an unfinished war. Since that day, terrorists have struck in Bali, Mombassa, in Casablanca, in Riyadh, in Jakarta, in Jerusalem — measuring the advance of their cause in the chaos and innocent suffering they leave behind.Dear friends - I am really really REALLY sick of President Flightsuit believing that all terrorists are all coming from the same place and the same organization. Hence the name (as if it were a crosstown rival team), "The Terrorists." But these are complex times and the president likes simple - because simple people are happy people.
However, there's a problem with his message. He's not talking to red states. He's not talking to a group of awestruck garment workers. He's not talking to the bobblehead choir of talkshow hosts for which he can do no wrong.
He's talking to the leaders of the rest of the planet. They're not as naive as Bush thinks Americans are. They know that all these terrorists of which he speaks are not all from the same team. They know that the terrorists who perpetrated 9.11 are not the ones who blow up buses in Israel. And neither of those were the ones suspected of bus-bombing the U.N. in Baghdad. In other words, he's trying to do to the world what he's done to us - lie.
One minute into his speech, he lied - trying desperately to convince the United Freaking Nations that all the same people are trying to kill us all. He painted the grim picture of terrorists getting WMDs and "nucular" weapons to destroy the rest of the world.
He says this to a gathering of nations which knows the one simple truth that has held up throughout history: TERRORISM DOES NOT WORK. It destroys. It disrupts. It kills. But there has not been an instance where a strong-willed country has ever fallen to terrorists. Just don't tell Bush that. It's his number one campaign point for the next year. And he'll prey on our fears and tap into our nightmares to get votes. Terrorism works against the weak, and it's working like a charm on this president.
Bush would rather send that message of fear and dread (with some global child molestation thrown in for good measure) to the United Nations than one of strength and resolve. Sick minds create and exploit sick scenarios.
It's time to cure America (and the world) of this sickness. It's time to send President Pilotpants back to Crawford, Texas where he can send fear and dread into his ranchhands all he wants to - just to show them who's boss.
Just as long as he's not ours.
Once upon a time, our Secretary of State was very confident about Iraq's ability to produce and deliver weapons of mass destruction.
...the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.
By now you all know the California gubernatorial recall is back on for October 7th. This has caused major panic in the Republcan party. Seriously.
If the GOP had more time, they could shake out one of their two top candidates who are splitting the Republican vote. Now, that's not going to happen. Schwarzenegger definitely won't drop out - and bouyed by his rising numbers, neocon Tom McClintock has declared he's in it for the duration.
Well, it gets better.
Remember Darrell Issa? The millionaire congressman who bankrolled the recall so he can become governor? He dropped this bombshell on his partymates...
Shocking Statement About the Election from IssaThis sends a clear message to the state Repubs. In the Bizarro World, that is. Here on Earth, it's panic and confusion.
Fun, ain't it?
Hoffmania Posts for Monday, September 22
At Arnold's request, here are the questions - IN ADVANCE - that will be asked at Wednesday's debate. At least there'll be SOME element of surprise: the candidates can ask each other questions. I kinda like that. Arnold won't.
Chris Andersen of Interesting Times e-mailed a thought out to many of us in the Blogosphere:
I've been thinking long and hard about some of the recent bad blood that is being spilled in the battles between Clark and Dean supporters.If you've been reading Hoffmania! on a regular basis, I'm all over that concept. I'd like to see Kerry and Gephardt take a similar pledge - Kerry to stop trashing Dean when he thinks microphones are off, and Gephardt to begin by dismantling his "Dean Facts" site. Let's get busy on these, gang.
Keep in mind there's a margin of error of 3% here, so yeah - the neocons are in a mild state of horror. Dean and Clark (as well as Kerry and Lieberman) are in a virtual dead heat with the Rove administration!
USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll results
It's about time they moved out of that neighborhood...
Chicks to break with country scene
The attack campaign against Gen. Wesley Clark began practically minutes after his announcement of candidacy. It's no secret that this is Karl Rove's M.O. - to find as many enemies Clark may have and sic them on the right wing propaganda machine.
As Joe Conason pointed out in Big Lies, the machine's heirarchy is to give the story to Drudge, Newsmax, the Freepers and the other bottom-feeders who then feed it to Fox, the Washington Times and NY Post who report it on their "legit" media. Then said bottom-feeders bang the drum loud enough that the other ("liberal") networks and newspapers are "ignoring" the story until they cave in and it becomes "news." See Drudge right now for his headline, "GENERAL CLARK WORE BOSNIAN WAR CRIMINAL'S MILITARY CAP!" for the latest spawn of this machine.
And since the White House has access to all of Clark's military records, we'll get accounts like this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jack Kelly - a former Marine who served in the Reagan administration:
Gen. Clark was CINCEUR when the Kosovo war began, and bears much of the responsibility for President Clinton's decision to try to bomb Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo. Gen. Clark argued that after a few days of bombing, Mr. Milosevic would fold his tent and slink away. When the Serbs didn't budge after months of bombing, Gen. Clark lost Mr. Clinton's favor.
Hoffmania Posts for Sunday, September 21
NBC's 'West Wing' to Take More Bipartisan ApproachI'm wondering if this has anything to do with Sorkin's "quitting" last May...
There have been suggestions that the show, launched in more peaceful times, lost its course after September 11 as make-believe politics were displaced by real world events. The series' star, Sheen, has also come under attack for his antiwar efforts. After voicing his dissatisfaction with President Bush and the war with Iraq last month Sheen said NBC big-wigs "let it be known they're very uncomfortable with where I'm at" on the war and said the network worried that his vocal antiwar stance would affect the show's ratings--NBC officials swore there was "no concern among top management."This story points out that Wells was put in place at the request of NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker - not the show's creative team or studio.
(MONDAY MORNING UPDATE:) Hope NBC enjoyed what will probably be the last Emmy for "West Wing" if their plan takes root.
Looks like a lot of military folks saw right through the flightsuit. From the Independent U.K.:
White House is ambushed by criticism from America's military community
Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. Sept. 18-19, 2003. N=377 registered Democrats and independents who lean Democratic nationwide. MoE ± 6.Dean's and Kerry's numbers were unaffected by Clark's numbers here - other than everyone's rank going down a notch with Clark's debut. Gephardt and Graham took pretty big whacks. But with a margin of error of a whopping 6%, this is pretty much a non-story here. Just interesting.
...in the next ballpark. We knew the Howard Dean campaign was going to try to do something spectacular this month, and here it is. They're trying to raise $5 million in web contributions over the next ten days.
I've always wondered how they were able to pull off their past endeavors by targeting both Bush and Cheney in their respective fund-raisers, but they did it. So I'll bury any doubts I have about these folks pulling it off, and we'll just watch the progress from here with the progress meter in the left column.
By the way, contributions made through this site get credited to Hoffmania! - no monetary reward, just an ego pat on the head over our ability to help out. If I get any status update, I'll let you all know. So far, we've already raised $50 since I posted the link several minutes ago. Damn.
The result of a little rivalry quibble:
Police detained two suspects and were searching for another Saturday in the killing of a 25-year-old San Francisco Giants fan in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, a shooting that authorities said had been triggered by a decades-old baseball rivalry.Family "men". Ya gotta love 'em. Always setting a great example in front of their families.
Last night, less extremely, we waited in line at the taxi stop following "Bugs Bunny On Broadway" at the Hollywood Bowl. After waiting 45 minutes, ours came - but some "good dad" tried wedging himself and his snotnose kids between us and the cab, cursing his ass off and screaming that he phoned for that cab (the driver denied it). He almost took off my friend's leg by trying to slam the door when he lost the argument - all this in front of his kids.
You need to go through a rigorous weeklong screening process to adopt a cat today. But any gearhead with reproductive organs can have a kid. And not very many of them are fit to be fathers.
Mortar Fire Kills Two U.S. Soldiers at Iraqi PrisonEvery week, we're turning sad corners on this war. Now we're seeing words like "routine" and "relatively light attack" when we read reports of U.S. casualties in Iraq.
Hoffmania Posts for Saturday, September 20
Bush was asked, "How did you feel when you heard about the terrorist attack?" Bush replied, "I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower--the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly myself, and I said, well, there's one terrible pilot. I said, it must have been a horrible accident. But I was whisked off there. I didn't have much time to think about it." Bush repeated the same story on January 5, 2002, stating, "First of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on. And you know, I thought it was pilot error, and I was amazed that anybody could make such a terrible mistake...."I'll flog this video until my arms fall off - the video which conclusively shows Bush's inaction while New York was exploding. See it here.
Dan Ingram is the reason just about every disk jockey from the NYC area got into the business. He's still one of the smartest and quickest minds you'll hear on the air, and he deserves much better than this.
Legendary disc jockey Dan Ingram says he decided to hang up his headphones rather than take a pay cut.Ingram's a pro. He has always conducted himself with class and grace in his entire career, and they really underestimated him. I was both sorry and elated to read this part of the story:
Ingram added he has no plans to return to the air as a disk jockey. Instead, the die-hard Democrat and longtime union official is shopping a one-minute commentary segment to radio stations.For my money, anything this guy does is golden, and he'll be great at it. I worked with this radio giant, and he unselfishly gave me huge moral support when my feet were being dragged out the door of Musicradio WABC. As I said - class. Good luck, Kemosabe.
Kerry Says Dean Is 'Imploding'John, John, John, John, John. Keep your eye on the ball, buddy. It's Bush who needs your focus. Don't worry so much about Dean if you're as strong as you believe you are.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Under fire from Republicans on Friday, Sen. Edward Kennedy defended his harsh criticism of President Bush's policy on Iraq, in which he charged that the threat from Saddam Hussein was exaggerated by the administration for political purposes.
Breaking News: They found Nemo.
Hoffmania Posts for Friday, September 19
Interesting news from the recall today:
Gov. Gray Davis said Friday he wanted to get the recall election over with Oct. 7, as he appeared with former Vice President Al Gore and cast the recall as the latest in a string of Republican power grabs."Interesting" because Gray Davis seems to have absolutely no ulterior reason to make such a pronouncement. He supposedly has enough of a war chest to last him even through a March postponement. It's been reported that his opponents don't have that kind of scratch and that Schwarzenegger's campaign team can't last that long.
So either Gray Davis is (a) ready to blow the bank in the next couple of weeks, (b) he's confident he's got the recall beat, or (c) he's finally just as fed up as all of us with the whole thing.
Somehow, I've seemed to have attracted a very smart and erudite following. DEAR GOD HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? My e-mail has been a great source of pride for me because of messages like this one (name and work info withheld):
I have quickly become addicted to your blog. The only other one I read regularly is Talking Points Memo. You have an amazing talent of getting news stories before they become mainstream. My friends think I am psychic.We pride ourselves here at getting items posted as soon as we get our mitts on 'em, so for you to notice is genuinely appreciated. And to be lumped into the same company as TPM is indeed an honor.
As for the "crackhead" thing, there's a great point there if you're going to pass my kicky-feet rants around more legit venues. Part of my reply to this writer told of both me and my wife dealing with cocaine addicts in our past (thankfully, neither of us were). Their behavior ranged from arrogant to bull-headded to paranoid to violent - and all the while unable to take responsibility for their actions. Sound familiar?
As I mentioned before, there is far more evidence of Mr. Bush's past with cocaine than that of Mr. Clinton using pot. Still, Clinton's enemies still refer to him as "that pot-smoking draft-dodger" to this day. Even if it were true, the difference between the knee-jerk arrogance of Team Bush and the calculated level-headedness of Team Clinton illustrates the difference between the two personality cultures.
But let's not kid ourselves - I'm an attention whore. And anything I can do to get the message out to as many people as possible who need to be educated to a higher level of sanity and fairness, well - okay. I'll back off on the overusage of "crackhead" when refering to the current presidency.
Unless of course they do something really crackheaded. Which can be at any minute.
Best wink at the polititoon industry yet:
How bad has it become for the Repubs? Neocon Tom McClintock may be joining forces with Democrat Cruz Bustamonte to boycott the only debate Schwarzenegger has deemed fit to attend. Again, the L.A. Times:
Both candidates demanded that the format of the debate set for Wednesday in Sacramento be changed, saying it was inappropriate that questions had been provided in advance.Standing outside of California (which I wish I was until this thing is over), you can understand why the rest of the country is laughing its collective ass off. The Republicans wanted their leading candidate with political experience to step aside and pave the way for a bodybuilder/actor who will not debate unless he can see the questions first.
It's all part of that dumbing-down process we keep hearing about. We see it every day in a president who has lowered the competency bar to the point where the press and the public give him and his thugs a pass at just about everything they'd impeach our previous president for. Well, now we have a living, breathing and tangible example of this on a local level in its embyonic stage. And still, the GOP is sticking by its guns.
Republicans. They're the party of lowered expectations, plain and simple - designed intentionally, so that when any of them does anything that resembles mild success, it seems genius. I call it political flugtag.
The lead editorial this morning:
So Which Story Is It?
Hoffmania Posts for Thursday, September 18
Oopsie daisy! It's not there!
AP: No Evidence Iraq Stockpiled Smallpox
The radio gabblers and the Internet nutcases will smear Clark because they and their master Karl Rove fear him.I still have to wonder if Clark would be in the running at all had it not been for the road being paved by Howard Dean. Dean essentially gave us credible permission to openly criticize the Crackhead Administration with a boldness that knocked the right - right on its ass. They still haven't come up with a plausible defense against it.
I've devoted a lot of time and energy to Dean's run, so I'll admit it colors my view of this campaign. But while everyone is tripping over each other over the general's candidacy, y'all should give credit where it's due and give props to the guy who opened the door.
Jobless claims fell last week, the government said Thursday, by more than analysts expected, dropping just below the benchmark 400,000 that signifies job-market weakness.Hey, America! We're 1000 shy of "weakness"! But we're down to only 399,000 new folks this week who won't vote for Team Crackhead next year.
U.S. Deficit Goes Over $400 Billion
Simi Valley conservative activist Steve Frank on Arnold Schwarzenegger:
"He goes on [the Howard Stern Show which has] whores, prostitutes, moral degenerates and says, 'I'm a wonderful guy, I should be governor. He goes on Larry King, who fawns over every misbegotten movie star who comes down the pike. He goes on Oprah Winfrey and talks about his sex life. What kind of sickness is this?"It's much more fun when Republicans rag on each other, isn't it, Mr. Gephardt?
I'm hearing this "Howard Dean is George McGovern" crap again from both Repubs and Dems, and frankly, I'm sick of it. So to repeat what I said about this subject last July:
Dear readers...what people keep forgetting in Nixon's landslide over McGovern in '72 was what a fallen rock zone McGovern's campaign was. I was there. I was a student activist for McGovern. And even I lost faith as that November loomed.
So for any pundit/columnist/political genius who has forgotten, PAY ATTENTION:
In the middle of the campaign, it was revealed that McGovern's running mate Tom Eagleton was treated for nervous exhaustion three times in the 60s - and twice went for electroshock therapy for depression. McGovern's pledge to stand behind Eagleton "1000%" - just before he replaced him with R. Sargent Shriver - was a political disaster. And Shriver's vast (and only) political experience as head of the Peace Corps wasn't what we in advertising call "added value" in a presidential team.
If Dean has half a brain (which gives him the edge over Dumbya if he's the Dem's choice), he won't repeat McGovern's ineptness. Let's drop the comparisons once and for all. Okay?
President Bush said Wednesday that there was no proof tying Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11 attacks. Bush's statement was the latest in a flurry of remarks this week by top administration officials after Vice President Dick Cheney resurrected a number of contentious allegations about Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.I don't give a rat's ass about where Saddam gets his neckwear. We were lied to and now these crackheads can't get their stories straight.
Well, look who wants to go nuclear...
Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned.Wonder how much dot-connecting is going on at the White House over this? Forget it. They're too busy backpedaling on the Saddam-9/11 connection.
Hoffmania Posts for Wednesday, September 17
That's what Dick Gephardt's doing with his latest online strategy: an official Gephardt Bash-Howard-Dean website. In New Jersey, we used to call this sort of thing the work of stunads. Any game plan that Gang Rove can use against whoever the Democratic candidate will be (and we know this: it WON'T be Gephardt) is giving a second green light to the Crackhead Administration.
We all remember what the first green light was, Dick.
From Today's Jamaica Gleaner:
Cash contributes to Jamaican charityWe've been going to Jamaica for several years (in fact, we'll be there this coming winter), and were very much aware that Cash had a home there. Jamaicans are amazing people who genuinely treasure their children. This is exciting news for a little country that's seen its share of hard times.
Thank you, Johnny. You can contribute to the SOS Children's Village in Jamaica by clicking here.
Hoffmania Posts for Tuesday, September 16
Because after seeing the unmitigated garbage it's become, you'll never want to go back. It seems the gradual process of Slate becoming a right-wing nuthouse has blossomed. Check out the headlines adorning the homepage. You'll find William Saletan's left-bashing article called "Democrats Aren't Nice People" (where he proceeds to brazenly plagarize the title of Al Franken's book). Right under that is a pretty nasty review of "K Street" called (here comes that word again) "Liars In Love." Then float your cursor over "Campaign 2004" and gag at what's there.
Farewell, Slate. It's been nice knowing you.
Saying it is time to put aside differences with France, [Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee] circulated a letter on Monday urging the U.S. House of Representatives to put back the word "French" in fries and toast on House cafeteria and dining hall menus.The House will also return to its original name, "Box Full O'Schmucks."
Eh...uh...duh I er...bdah bdah bdah...bbblblble...meebeebeebee...
Rumsfeld Sees No Link Between Iraq, 9/11(Since my frontal lobe exploded over this, Blah3 came to the rescue to reprint a New York Times article from Sept. 28, 2002. Section A. Page 9. Column 2. "Rumsfeld Says U.S. Has 'Bulletproof' Evidence of Iraq's Links to Al Qaeda". I'll be in the corner in the fetal position.)
I invented this sniglet in the post below this one. Here's the effective Blogger spell-checker at work:
Of course. I meant to say "Where do I begin with THAT simplistic dogtooth?" Thanks, Blogger!
Damn straight. With Gen Wesley Clark hopping into the fray, it'll certainly take a lot of heat off Howard Dean by the other candidates and the press.
How? Dean's and Clark's ideologies are extremely similar on the big issues. What Dean has been lambasted over for being too liberal or too extreme in the past will be vindicated by the revelations of Clark's views.
Now I've said in the past that my concern over Clark is his experience in campaigning against the knives-and-knuckles gang of Rove and Co. As a result, I've been asked why I feel he can't govern. Whoa. It's apples and oranges.
We know deep down that he can govern. I overheard a conversation this morning at our favorite breakfast joint - some guys were wondering why the Democrats liked a four-star general so much if they're so anti-war.
Yipes. Where do I begin with THAT simplistic thoughtoid? Clark has to educate the masses from square one, that's obvious.
Folks, Clark was commander of NATO. Listen carefully: NATO isn't just military. It's schools, roads, government, justice - in essence, it's infrastructure. Clark's experience makes him EMINENTLY qualified. The concern: he just doesn't have a lot of experience in GETTING there in a nasty political campaign. And it will be nasty.
Dean has both the infrastructure experience AND the campaign experience - that's why I like him. He's ready to take it to Bush. He wants to. And he feels a strong calling to do so. Clark has just received the first tinge of his muse. It'll be fun to see how it all comes together.
So if the worst-case scenario for Team Dean is that it becomes a two-man race between Dean and Clark - I'll take it. Both these guys are pretty damned fine by me. And if both of them form a dream team when it all shakes out, Bush and his Team Crackhead better start checking the classifieds for new gigs and new digs.
The message from the Democrats will be - at long last - crystal-clear and powerful.
That's the title of an L.A. Times editorial this morning:
...Cheney, in commenting about Iraq on Sunday during a rare television appearance, broke new ground. He not only defended the Bush administration's record in rebuilding Iraq but he upheld sweeping, unproven claims about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism.I hope for the day that the Times can use the word "bullshit" in their editorials. It'd be in there several times today. Let's try it, shall we?
...Cheney, in bullshitting about Iraq on Sunday during a rare television appearance, broke new ground. He not only defended the Bush administration's bullshit record in rebuilding Iraq but he upheld sweeping, unproven bullshit about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism.See? Effective and on message.
CBS: General Wesley Clark is in the race.
In case you haven't gotten burned by an e-mail like this, you'll eventually get one of these from "Ebay" or "Paypal" that says something to the effect of:
During our regular udpate and verification of the accounts, we couldn't verify your current information. Either your information has changed or it is incomplete. As a result, your access to bid or buy on Ebay has been restricted. To start using your eBay account fully, please update and verify your information by clicking......followed by a link. Always look for these signs when you get one of these:
1) eBay spells "eBay" as "eBay". Not "Ebay". And it's "PayPal", not "Paypal".
2) Click on the link. If anything other than an eBay address appears in the URL address line in your browser, it ain't eBay.
3) There's invariably an entry for your debit card and ATM secret code. If you're idiotic enough to enter this info ANYWHERE on the 'net, ignore all this.
4) Even if all the above looks legit, delete it unanswered anyway. If there's a problem, you'll see it when you go to their real site.
5) Oh, and this was sent to my blog e-mail address...which eBay doesn't have. Duh.
Hoffmania Posts for Monday, September 15
OTTAWA (CP) - Some of the first patients to smoke Health Canada's government-approved marijuana say it's "disgusting" and want their money back.
I mean prices. PRICES. Not blouses.
...for now. At issue are antiquated voting machines in districts up and down the state - notably in (surprise) minority areas. According to reports I'm hearing, hitting the October 7th election day date is next to impossible. Here's the breaking story at SFGate:
In what was the last of about a dozen legal challenges trying to delay or thwart the recall to unseat Gov. Gray Davis, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday it is unacceptable that six counties would be using outdated punch-card ballots, the type that sparked the "hanging chads" litigation in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.
Yesterday, we showed you a story on the long-awaited David Kay WMD report being delayed/shelved indefinitely. The source was Sify, a news site in India. Today, it hits the American media: CBS News is first to pick it up. Let's see how it progresses as the day goes on, shall we?
UPDATE 3:35PM PT: Well, that didn't take long. CBSNews.com has already changed the story to "Impatience Over WMD Report" rather than the earlier headline of the report being shelved. Developing...
Christiane Amanpour on CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown about CNN's war coverage:
"I think the press was muzzled, and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say, but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."And Fox's reply?
Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."Fox - never one to miss an opportunity to educate the public - shows the pride in its role in 70% of Americans not knowing the difference between al Qaeda and Iraq.
It's a pretty interesting mix of reality and fiction, and I heartily applaud the effort by George Clooney and Steven Soderburgh. But the political junkie in me loved the real parts and could do without the fiction. Decide for yourself. Last night's debut episode runs again tonight at 8:30 on HBO.
Overall, I loved it. Seeing Howard Dean's impersonation of James Carville is worth it alone - it took place leading up to last Tuesday's Democratic debate as Carville and Co. are asked by Dean to prepare for it. Damned if he didn't use two of their suggestions in the debate, and Carville's reaction shots are priceless.
Bill Clinton can still electrify a crowd. The Big Dog yesterday at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in L.A.:
"Gray Davis and I have been friends a long time, and I don't want this to happen to him. But this is way bigger than him.Arnold's spokesman Sean Walsh responds:
"While we acknowledge that Mr. Clinton has support from a certain segment of the California electorate, it is Gray Davis who is on the ballot, not Bill Clinton. And to use the now famous line from Mr. Clinton, 'It's Gray Davis, stupid.' "Schwarzenegger and his handlers just love to use cliches 'til the cows come home...even some that weren't written by screenwriters.
The facts cannot be refuted in Al Franken's book - so Horowitz lamely tries to tear it apart by attacking his resources - which Al copiously owns up to in the book. You can hear Horowitz's brain gears grinding as he tried to come up with an angle to attack. This is all he could muster.
Where did a comedian like Al Franken get the time, research power and expertise to cover such a wide range of subject matters, almost all of which are out of his normal depth?Horowitz also rips the book for not being funny. I'm almost done with it. It's hysterical - much funnier than the slapstick of Ann Coulter, the wackiness of Sean Hannity, or even the crack comic mind of David Horowitz.
Ask yourself: Whose Passover seder would you rather attend: Franken's or Horowitz's? 'Nuff said.
Hoffmania Posts for Sunday, September 14
Color us shocked. SHOCKED!
Iraq WMD report shelved due to lack of evidenceIt just keeps unraveling for the crackheads AND their "friends" - Tony Blair has got to be cursing into his pillow over his estranged lover President Puffcrotch:
Revealed: new doubts on Blair's Iraq dossier
Just when you thought the Crackhead Administration couldn't get any more blatant about their actions, Atrios brings to fore the latest atrocity - the appointment of an over-the-top partisan to the post of Chief of Staff at the Pentagon's inspector general's office - the division that investigates military fraud and corruption. None other than L. Jean Lewis. Who? This'll jog your memory:
"...in 1993, Lewis drafted a criminal referral alleging illegal Whitewater dealings that eventually became the basis for Ken Starr’s probe. Republicans praised Lewis as a whistle-blower; Democrats blasted her as a partisan. (In a private letter on her computer, she once called Bill Clinton a “lying bastard.”)Yeah. That L. Jean Lewis.
We highly recommend you see the story as Atrios reports it. WARNING: The opening sentence is plastered with expletives, but believe us - the story itself is the very definition of "obscene."
Hoffmania Posts for Saturday, September 13
The Cal GOP convention wound up today's session with Arnold and Tom refusing to budge:
The weekend convention, meant to energize the party's most loyal activists, instead featured a version of political chicken, each man wanting the other to exit the race and allow a one-on-one contest with Bustamante, the sole major Democrat running in the Oct. 7 election.Now there's this bombshell from The San Jose Mercury News:
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger has denounced illegal immigration in his bid to become California's next governor, but the Austrian native may have stretched the bounds of United States law to secure his own ticket to America in the 1960s.And in the midst of this, Californians are finally coming to their senses:
Gray Davis is far from popular. But with the recall campaign at its midway point, a substantial portion of Californians - perhaps enough to save the governor's career - appear to have come around to the argument that the effort to oust him violates basic standards of fair play.All this combined with the state Democrats officially rallying behind the "No On Recall - Yes On Bustamante" idea, and we can call it a pretty lousy day for the GOP. (Short pause here for shedding tears)
What could be more balanced than his portrayal Thursday of the voting habits of conservatives vs. liberals? Listen.
"Ideologically-driven voters don't care. It's like if you're a bedrock conservative Republican, that's the way you're going to go every time. All right? If you're a looney liberal, you're going to go there every time. You don't care."I prefer "crackhead conservative" and "honest liberal" but I'm not fair and balanced like Bill is.
"Woohoohoo-WOO!" said a jubilant McClintock as Arnold walked into the room.
During the conclave here in Los Angeles, California's GOP movers and shakers also are going to take neocon Sen. Tom McClintock into a private room and pistol-whip him into pulling out of the race, despite his gains on Schwarzerzerneggegger in a recent L.A. Times Poll (Arnold 25%, McClintock 18%). Democrat Cruz Bustamonte still leads at 30%.
That same poll, incidentally, puts the recall itself at 50% Yes, 47% No and 3% Undecided. With a margin of error of 3%+, that makes it a virtual dead heat.
Meanwhile, the guy who bankrolled the recall - only to find out that no one wanted him to be governor - Rep. Darrell Issa praised Bill Simon and Peter Uberroth for dropping out by stating this gem:
"They put the interests of our party and our state first."...in that order of course, which is the moral high road for the GOP in Cali.
Read about the fustercluck convention at the L.A. Times.
"We are following a clear strategy with three objectives: destroy the terrorists, enlist international support for a free Iraq and quickly transfer authority to the Iraqi people," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address.Item:
U.S. soldiers killed nine people Friday, including eight Iraqi law enforcement officers, in the worst "friendly fire" incident since the end of major combat operations, further inflaming anti-American sentiment in one of the most tense corners of Iraq.Quite a strategy there.
Hoffmania Posts for Friday, September 12
Joltin' Joe asks - and answers - some very important questions on the communications between Dr. Howard Dean and Gen. Wesley Clark on what might be the eve of Clark's declaration of candidacy:
By publicizing his meetings with Clark -- and perhaps slightly exaggerating their significance -- Dean's team has created an awkward situation for the good doctor from Vermont. How will he campaign against a man whom he reportedly tried to lure onto his ticket? What will he offer voters as an argument to support him instead of Clark?That's why I like Conason. We agree. I've said here many times that Dean has the political experience and is up for the bare knuckles brawl the 2004 election will be.
Will I hedge my bets and put my money on both horses? We'll see as it all shakes out.
The hole in the White House won't read it. You better do it yourself.
While the usual suspects keep driving the rest of America crazy with their noses wedged stubbornly in the buttcracks of the Crackhead Administration, every once in a while we find someone who has seen the light.
Bill Rentschler is a Republican - a very disillusioned Republican. How Republican? He ran the 1968 Nixon campaign in Illinois. In 1960 and 1970 he ran as a Republican for the U.S. Senate, chalking up strong campaigns.
As a columnist, he won the 1996 Ethics in Journalism Award by the Chicago Headline Club and has been nominated nine times for the Pulitzer Prize. He currently writes a column for the Journal News in Hamilton, Ohio.
He wrote a huge piece for the Washington Spectator (which is not available online, but George Loper posted it at his site) which displays Rentschler's disenchantment for this administration and his unwillingness to support it. Read it all here. Some highlights:
How can an administration led by a president who pipes the message of Christianity ignore or treat lightly God's overriding concern for the poor, downtrodden, sickly and unfortunate, the frail elderly and helpless children? How can the president sign a huge tax-cut bill that provides zero support for the poorest families-too poor to pay taxes?
I know most of the readers of this kicky-feet rantfest always wisely read MWO before they get to me, but...
Two great pieces at Media Whores Online today. Read about the myth of "stabilizing" polls on President Crackhead and the right's latest smear on Joe Conason.
Michael Kinsley at Slate:
President Bush will get his $87 billion for a year's worth of victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he will have to endure a lot of nyah-nyah-nyah and I-told-you-so along the way. He could have avoided all this irritation—and he is just the kind of man to find it incredibly irritating—with two little words in his TV address last Sunday evening:"I Resign"?
"I'm sorry."Oh. Thanks a pantload, Mike. That took guts.
Johnny Cash - We all wear black today.
John Ritter - Thanks for the laughs.
Larry Hovis - Hogan's, Rowan's and Martin's hero.
Tuesday it was Dick Morris. Today, Ann Coulter has finally - FINALLY - plunged head-first into the abyss. She's satire. She's zeroed her self-image. She's hit the reset button. She's insane.
It ain't a third-party misquote or liberal slander you're about to read here. This is directly from her website:
Gov. Howard Dean has been issuing diatribes against the Bush administration that would surpass even Tariq Aziz with severe menstrual cramps. This strategy has made him the runaway favorite of the Democratic Party. Even Mr. War Hero, John Kerry, is getting shellacked by Dean. At times Kerry seems almost ready to surrender, making him look even more French. (If only Kerry had a war record or an enormously rich spouse to fall back on!)The position of the Democratic Party is that OSAMA BIN LADEN hit us on 9-11, you miserable CRACKHEAD!
She's just made herself a pathetic non-entity. If this doesn't cause her book to fall into the clearance bin, her minions deserve to go broke buying her bullshit.
The otherwise brilliant Bill Maher keeps rationalizing his friendship with this humanoid as, "It's all about acceptance." I still don't know what he sees in her that's so acceptable, especially when she propagates blatant lies like this. I just don't get it.
Hoffmania Posts for Thursday, September 11
Jobless claims rose last week, the government said Thursday, climbing even higher above the benchmark 400,000 that signifies job-market weakness.
A new Harris Poll on who Americans perceive as allies and enemies.
Well, the change in my pockets is safe. It's being reported now that Gen. Wesley Clark will make a bid for the presidency.
However, the Dean campaign is taking a very healthy attitude toward the whole thing.
"The governor's told him repeatedly that he should run if he wants," Joe Trippi, Dr. Dean's campaign manager, said at the campaign headquarters here. "I'm sure that along the way the governor's made clear that we want General Clark's support if he decides not to run for president. I assume every other candidate has done the same thing."I've seen Dean live and saw him on the tube, and he's been emphatically saying that it would be a good thing if Clark ran for president. It leads me to believe there's some kind of alliance going on here behind the scenes, BUT...
...the jumping for joy thing is still not in my immediate plans. Great big cynical me.
Two years later, I'm crossed between moving on and stopping to reflect. The images are burned in my memory, thank you. I don't need to see the horror any more, as I'm wary of becoming desensitzed by it. And I remain angered by an administration who used the event so blatantly as an excuse for their cynical abhorrent behavior toward the rest of the world.
Take a look at this commentary by Dick Meyer at CBSNews.com.
We'll never forget. And by that, I mean everything that's happened since.
Blue Movies Proliferate in Post-Saddam Iraq
Hoffmania Posts for Wednesday, September 10
Gen. Clark Reportedly Is Asked to Join DeanIn baseball terms, this is a blockbuster deal if it happens. Jumping up and down in glee will make my spare change fly out of my pockets, so I won't.
Another reason is my disappointing track record in expecting a lot from the world of politics, so I'll just settle for being the messenger. For now.
UPDATE - I received a bunch of e-mail overnight misconstruing what I said here...I guess I was too subtle, so I'll clarify. I like this. I really do. It's exactly what a Dean ticket needs. But I am old enough not to hang any hope on anything until it actually happens.
Other e-mail asked me why I'm not really getting behind Clark as a presidential candidate. Simple. Political experience. Clark's been a great general, a great American and a great TV analyst. But I don't think he's ready to take on Team Crackhead in the 2004 street fight. Dean is. This doesn't diminish Clark's ability to be a White House giant.
Next November, Dean is the quarterback we need. Clark is the running back who can score the touchdown.
Last Saturday night at Fenway Park:
"(Bruce Springsteen) prefaced "Born in the U.S.A.'' with a public service announcement about holding our political leaders accountable and closed by plugging Al Franken's new book."Meanwhile, just 56 miles away, Charlie Daniels was plugging Laura Ingraham's book in the Seekonk Bradlee's parking lot.
Gotta love those guys 'n' gals at the Dean 2004 Blog. They already set up shop with knick knacks and schwag featuring John Kerry's quote, as featured on the clip in the post below.
Fun With Multimedia Day continues with Sen. John Kerry forgetting he was still miked at the end of this interview. (Clip courtesy DeanDefense.org)
An mp3 clip. This went out live.
Hoffmania Posts for Tuesday, September 9
I'm not quite sure exactly when Dick Morris became a terminal lunatic, but his column in the New York Post seals the deal. Not only is he beating the tired old drum about Howard Dean being an "ultra-liberal, who Bush could defeat with his eyes closed" - but for good measure, he serves up this bit of fright:
Why is Bush falling so badly? The superficial reasons are the Iraq casualties, the failure to find WMDs and the continuing inability to round up Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. But the real reason is that terror is receding as an issue, largely due to Bush's success.Insane. Certifiably chronically insane.
It includes a great story of Zevon playing with The Rock Bottom Remainders. Read it.
Character was a huge issue to Clinton's detractors (the ones who supported and continue to support Bush). It's now officially become an issue with the Crackhead Administration. The New York Times, at long last, throws down the gauntlet in an outstanding editorial titled "Presidential Character." In part:
Mr. Bush rolled out a domestic agenda that included some ambitious programs aimed at lifting up America's least fortunate, particularly his No Child Left Behind education package. But in this — as in the African AIDS initiative and even his controversial faith-based initiative for social services — Mr. Bush has been content to take the credit for proposing, without paying the political dues necessary to get things done. Certainly most American parents, whose public schools are racked by state and local budget crises, are not feeling that their children are enjoying better educational opportunity. The AIDS program that got such a positive response when the president unveiled it has been underfinanced by Congress, with the White House's encouragement.
Peter Uberroth swings and misses.
Mary Carey still hanging on with both hands.
"Cadillac Jack" Garrett tells us the boys are gearing up for a 37-city tour and a remastered hits CD this fall. They announced it at NYC's Bottom Line this morning. Check out Jack's online flame-thrower, JACK-FM.
Yeah, they pointed out the true and obvious, but it's finally good to see balanced coverage for once. First, the lead headline:
Iraq Estimates Were Too Low, U.S. AdmitsThen we turn to page A9 and see what this site and my brethren/sistren in the Daily Links have been saying all along:
Iraq-Terrorism Link Continues to Be ProblematicI know. "Duh." But the mainstream press is finally growing enough hair to begin to challenge this maniac.
Finally, the letters. Not a single one supports said maniac - including these gems:
"Now Bush says it's the United Nations' responsibility to fix the mess he and his administration created. When will this irresponsibility, hubris and abuse of power end?"That last one has a delayed-reaction chill to it. For that reason alone, Cheney's pals will do everything they can in the next year to prop this crackhead up so they get their share of - what's sure to be - the $140 billion pie.
But at least (along with Scheer's column) reading the paper today was a welcome surprise.
Hoffmania Posts for Monday, September 8
Finally - a city that wants to know why its money is being pickpocketed by the crackheads in Washington.
Santa Cruz council to ask about dumping President BushRotkin was also on the radio today, and said that Bush's request for $87 billion pushes the request over the top - that they demand answers before their constituents fork over the bucks and services need to be cut to pay for this war.
Santa Cruz has a nice boardwalk, cool shopping - and brass balls that clang when it walks. We salute these true Americans.
Here's a real American.
SHANNON, Ireland (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday opposition to the U.S. President was encouraging Washington's enemies and hindering his 'war against terrorism'.1) WE aren't making your task difficult. You've made your own task a nightmare.
2) If you're not sold on the free speech thing, don't try to force it on other countries.
3) Shut up.
Warren Zevon, forever only age 56.
Hoffmania Posts for Sunday, September 7
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination, called Bush's remarks "nothing short of outrageous."And in 15 seconds, Dean hits it out of the park.
A refresher: Here is the video of how Bush really sprung into action on 9/11. Here is the written account.
And for America, there will be no going back to the era before September 11th, 2001 -- to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength -- they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today, so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.Here he his again, tying Iraq to 9.11 - pandering to the misinformed poll respondents who still believe that patently false notion.
The terrorist activity in Iraq was close to nil before Crackhead commanded our kids charge in there last March. Now it's swarming with it.
I'm getting tired of pointing out the obvious.
Every word he speaks, he proves my theory. Bush's latest:
I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87 billion. The request will cover ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, which we expect will cost 66 billion dollars over the next year. This budget request will support our commitment to helping the Iraqi and Afghan people rebuild their own nations, after decades of oppression and mismanagement. We will provide funds to help them improve security. And we will help them to restore basic services, such as electricity and water, and to build new schools, roads, and medical clinics. This effort is essential to the stability of those nations, and therefore to our own security.So the thing about Iraq's oil paying for the cost of the recovery was another frigging lie? Jesus H. Christ, I've had enough of this guy.
Toss cargo inspections a billion or two if you're that damned concerned about our security, you crackhead.