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April 10, 2006

A Take on a Leak


As we bang the drum about Cynthia McKinney or any of our other various pet interests, a hearty, partisan few have surfaced asking: "Where is The Malcontent on President Bush's scandalous leaking of details from the National Intelligence Estimate"?

Let me explain a couple of things:

Continue reading "A Take on a Leak" »

November 17, 2005

Washington Revelation - People Talk

In any social circle - and this goes doubly so for gay men - there is no small amount of gossip, idle banter, story swapping, and muckraking that makes the rounds. A side comment to a friend ("This stays between us!") about getting drunk Saturday night and sleeping with that creepy red-headed guy with the leather fetish is generally common currency among scores of people by Sunday brunch.

Gay men are smart enough to know there is no point in tracking down the source of rumor and gossip. Everyone knows everything. We pride ourselves on it. Four months later, you'll introduce yourself at a bar to a perfect stranger and they'll respond "Hey, you're that guy who slept with creepy red-headed leather fetishist!" If you're lucky, in three years, only several dozen people will remember it.

So it is with Plamegate. When it came to so-called "covert" agent Valerie Plame's job at the CIA, someone told Libby who told Rove who told Novak, and by this time Russert and Miller were telling their own people. When you look at it from afar, it's clear everyone was telling everyone. Even Plame's husband, Joe Wilson, was apparently telling people like David Corn.

Now, Bob Woodward has come forward as one of the earliest peddlers of the tale, casting doubt on whether or not Scooter Libby intentionally misled investigators.

Continue reading "Washington Revelation - People Talk" »

November 01, 2005

Liberals Dig Deep for Media "Bias"


Liberal journalists take Republic of T's advice not to cover stories where they might have a bias; newsrooms empty out from New York to L.A.

October 31, 2005

Wilson, Lightly Braised By Blitzer


Wilson On the fourth day of Fitzmas, we get the gift that keeps giving: a live TV interview with Joe Wilson.  And wherever he goes, you know the lies are sure to follow.

Wilson was, well, not really grilled tonight by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room."

[Watch video - 11:05, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video - 11:05, WMV format, low bandwidth]

Wilson's finest whopper:

"Mr. Fitzgerald made it very clear: My wife was a covert officer at the time that these people were leaking her name."

But Fitzgerald would beg to differ:

"I am not speaking to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert. And anything I say is not intended to say anything beyond this: that she was a CIA officer from January 1st, 2002, forward."

Next, Wilson seems to have jettisoned the idea of due process:

"Again, it's now very clear that (Karl Rove) leaked it.  Mr. Cooper's sworn testimony indicates that and the emails indicate that."

He really wants that frog-march.  So much so that he has overlooked the fact that no indictments have occurred over the "outing" itself.

Wilson also admitted he was a source for the incredibly inaccurate and self-serving May 6, 2003, Kristof column:

"It was important for the Administration to correct the record. ... It is an act of civic duty.  It is what citizens across this country do every day in our democracy.  You hold your government to account for what your government says and does in the name of the American people."

So it is a civic duty to chat up reporters and embellish what the intelligence actually said about Niger and Iraq?  Ah, yes, my heart is just swelling with patriotic music.

And then for the laugher of the evening, Wilson commented on the decision by him and his wife to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair:

"When one is faced with adversity, one of the ways that one acts in the face of adversity is to try and bring a certain amount of humor to the situation.  It's called irony.  And if people have no sense of humor or no sense of perspective on that, my response is it's about time to get a life."

Humor?  Irony?  But what happened to St. Valerie, the put-upon hero whose very life was risked by the leakers?  You're joking about that?!  Let's face it, were Libby and Rove the ones who were out peddling pictures of her to national magazines?

Then Wilson revealed what must be the ultimate motive, when asked if there would be civil lawsuits:

"We're keeping all of our options open."


October 28, 2005

Perjury for Demmies

Perjury_1  Welcome, Democrats. Please set your tray tables and spin machines to their full locked and upright positions. We have professional medical staff standing by just inside the terminal at our destination should any of you suffer excessive cranial apoplexy. The captain does regret any severe cognitive turbulence we may encounter during our historical journey. Pundits and New York Times columnists will be on hand with complimentary conscience vouchers for those who've had their understanding of the rule of law shaken free of their complacency compartments. History regrets any emotional or psychic damage this may cause.

We hope you enjoy our in-flight documentaries, "When Presidents Lie to Grand Juries," and its sequel "The Return of Perjury - Republican Edition." The captain would like me to remind you that rule of law should remain safely fastened within the constitution, as during unforeseen partisan spin, these standards may break loose and shake about the political cabin at any time.

Continue reading "Perjury for Demmies" »

A "Surplus of McGuffins"


Mike Kinsley has a great take on the Plame kerfuffle.  He sums up the confusing and ephemeral nature of every twist and turn with an extended Hollywood metaphor.

If this convoluted potboiler ever does get the greenlight, the only possible screenwriter would be Rube Goldberg.

Fitzgerald Transcript


For those who can't get enough Fitzmas, or Fitzween, or whatever you want to call it, the full transcript of the special counsel's news conference is here:


The Derailing of St. Valerie


Rich Leiby plays the violins for Valerie Plame Wilson:

With her career derailed, Plame, 42, the mother of 5-year-old twins, hasn't publicly signaled her plans. But privately she has said that she feels she has no future at the spy agency where she has worked for 20 years.

What he failed to mention, however, was that her career was probably first "derailed" not by a Bush administration official, but by CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames:

First, the CIA suspected that Aldrich Ames had given Mrs. Wilson's name (along with those of other spies) to the Russians before his arrest for espionage in 1994. So her undercover security was undermined at that time and she was brought back to Washington for safety reasons.

So Plame goes from her perch as a gallivanting international spook, chucking grenades and squeezing off rounds from an AK-47, to being a desk jockey at Langley – long before Scooter Libby or Karl Rove knew her name.  Yet the implication is that her career was only recently "derailed" by malevolent Bushies, even though the Kristof link above says she was already "moving away" from her non-official-cover status before the leak.

I don't mean to trivialize what Scooter Libby is alleged to have done, or the circumstances in which it has placed Plame.  But it would be nice for a little more perspective from the media and a little less beatification of Vanity Fair covergirl Plame and her dissembling husband.

October 27, 2005

Bloodlust Not Sated


So a nobody is about to be indicted in a nothing scandal.  Congrats, Dems.  Quite an accomplishment.

But I doubt an indictment of Scooter Libby will quench the burning desire of the left to get something, anything, on this president.  That their bete noir, Karl Rove, is slipping the hangman's noose will likely drive the moonbats even moonbattier.

October 26, 2005

Typographical Excellence the Olbermann Way


For a political commentator, Keith Olbermann is a pretty good sportscaster.  His show's promo last night on MSNBC helps explain the news net's perennial cellar-dweller status:


Yeah, that's the look of smug satisfaction that says, "I pay my Chyron operator minimum wage."  It would seem that Karl Rove isn't the only one who might be fighting to save his career.

October 25, 2005

Cheney Watch?


From the AP:

[White House Spokesman Scott] McClellan said Cheney ... is doing a "great job" as vice president.

So is a "great job" better or worse than a "heckuva job"?

October 24, 2005

KBH: Having It Both Ways


Sorry, Kay, perjury is perjury.

Whereas, like Sen. Hutchison, I draw a distinction between a perjury indictment (potentially Rove and/or Libby) and perjury adjudication (Clinton's loss of his law license despite the Senate's "acquittal"), I part ways with her when she downplays the seriousness of the charge now versus then.

Lying, when it reaches the level of perjury, and obstruction of justice undermine the constitutional independence of the judiciary and a crucial check on the other branches.  That is why it is especially odious when the liars (again, not prejudging Plamegate) are Executive Branch figures.

August 22, 2005

4½ Easy Rules for Being a Good Liberal

HippieMalbug_131. Every scandal is Watergate.

2. Every war is Vietnam.  (That goes for you too, Hagel!)

3. Every protest worth its salt needs a burned-out hippie.

4. And every election is "rigged."

4a. Except for the ones that you "win."

August 19, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Gets SWOTted


August 05, 2005

Prince of Darkness Abdicates Set

Malbug_16Novak The Prince of Darkness, Robert Novak, crawled out from his rock long enough to offend the Red State voters who hang on his every word, then went home.

During an exchange about Rep. Katherine Harris on CNN's Inside Politics with James Carville, Novak got angry and stormed off the set, saying "This is bullshit!" and ripping off his lavaliere microphone.  Novak apparently didn't want to address the too-close-for-comfort topic of PlameGate, which host Ed Henry was planning to breach.

Media Matters has the video.

TV Squad reports on Jon Stewart's schoolboy reaction.

Is it possible for CNN to hire a conservative pundit who isn't either a paleocon crank like Novak or a milquetoast veal like the now-departed Tucker Carlson?  Sounds like they now might try.

Not very princely, Bob!