GOP memo

A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and “restore his image as a leader of the American people.”
The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”
The memo says such a reversal in the President’s fortunes could keep the party from losing control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections.

More here. Why isn’t this a bigger story? Anyone know if this is bogus?


The Senate voted Thursday to strip captured “enemy combatants” at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, of the principal legal tool given to them last year by the Supreme Court when it allowed them to challenge their detentions in United States courts.

From The NYT. The question being, when did giving Big Government more power become a Conservative value? When did the idea that you have to prove someone guilty of a crime before you lock them up and throw away the key become a radical idea rather than the bedrock of the US legal system? More importantly, why are GOPers only concerned about the rights of the accused when those accused are Rove, Delay, Cheney and Frist?

The Senate voted 82-9 for director of National Intelligence John Negroponte to provide Congress’ intelligence committees with a classified “full accounting” on any clandestine prison or detention facility run by the U.S. government at any location where terrorism suspects were being held.

Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said most lawmakers learned about the covert prisons from the newspaper and said his amendment was to “reassert congressional oversight.”

From reuters. Thank you John Kerry for taking a stand against illegal secret prisons. And that 82-9 vote gives me some comfort that the Republicans in office now are not all insane. Clearly the leadership in the White House is the real problem.

Frist and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) surprised both Roberts and House intelligence committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) with a joint letter demanding a House-Senate inquiry after the Nov. 2 publication of a Post article detailing a web of secret prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, maintained by the CIA to detain suspected terrorists.

From the WaPo. So on Planet GOP, the problem isn’t that the CIA is running potentially illegal secret prisons where torture may occur; the problem is that this revelation might embarrass them.

Maybe the GOP thinks that feudalism, despotism and sadism are traditional American values; rather than those radical values of respecting human rights, rule of law and due process.

news mashups

paris hilton + paris riots = paris hilton riots

Google news reports 17 hits. I’m wondering if this might be a cool new net-sport. Take a news item and mash in a celebrity name and see how many hits are produced.

FDR Quote

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President (1882-1945)

Makes me wonder why anyone would be against the

McCain amendment

no person in the custody or under effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field manual on intelligence interrogation.

That’s it. What exactly is objectionable about it?

putting the hip in hypocrisy

You gotta love the way GOPpers can’t see hypocrisy in the Bush administration while being hyper-aware of every action in France.

Or the way they are hyper-aware of the demand a windfall profit tax for the oil industry and willfully ignorant of the history of energy subsidies for the energy industry.

I could go on, but what would be the point? Some people really like the shadows on the cave wall.

the need for copyright reform

When 75% of all books are under indeterminate copyright status, clearly there is something wrong with the copyright system. This type of legal issue, perpetuated by large copyright holders; is preventing the folks at google from creating a library to rival the lost library at Alexandria.

Vaidhyanathan believes that what Google wants to do may well be illegal under today’s copyright regime. At the same time, he notes that Google can’t really create a system that relies on publishers’ granting permission to digitize their books, namely because nobody really knows who owns the rights to all the books in the library. So, Vaidhyanathan says, Google is stuck; scanning books without asking permission may be illegal, and scanning books after asking permission is impractical to the point of impossibility.

near perfect guy story

What can you say about a story that involves cheer leaders, lesbianism and a drunken bar-room cat fight? If it involved a car chase and/or a jet pack, it would be the perfect guy story.

if irony could kill

Last week I overheard someone on the Subway talking about music with someone I assume was a friend. This guy was wearing a Ramones shirt. The one with the the names of the band members wrapped around what looks like the Seal of the United States.

Some the guy wearing the Ramones shirt is complaining about Rap/Rock fusion bands stating that those bands can’t play their instruments that they can’t sing and that their acts are all attitude.

If irony could kill, this man would have been struck dead where he slouched; ipodded and fully hipster accessorized. You could accuse the Ramones of many things. But you can hardly accuse them of waiting to learn how to play before they started their musical career. I imagine that if you asked them what Juilliard was, they would guess that had something to do with cutting carrots.


“The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees,” Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them.”

That quote doesn’t come from Michael Moore, Air America or the so-called liberal media. It comes from Republican Lobbyist Michael Scanlon. Finally, a Republican willing to say the truth. And it is refreshing to see that they understand how wacky thier base is too.