Friday, February 06, 2004

Fix Your Makeup, We've Got Tricks to Turn
The way David Kay chose to spin his conclusion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction was a major favor to the Bush administration--it subtly shifted blame to the intelligence agencies for blowing the call, a shift that administration officials have been happy to accelerate. TomPaine.com posted two articles analyzing the shift this week. First, there's Jim Lobe's splendidly titled "Chutzpah, Thy Name is Perle." To the Prince of Darkness and his neocon pals, any evidence that the CIA bungled the job confirms their preconceived notions about the agency, some of which go back to the 1970s. Pay no attention to the fact that the neocon warnings of imminent threat were utterly wrong--they want you to believe they were misled, which only someone not paying attention could possibly believe. Second, Robert Dreyfuss writes about the neocons' private intelligence agency, the Office of Special Plans, which was dedicated to coming up with a rationale for the Iraq war independent of the CIA. They're the ones that got it completely wrong, and got snookered in the process.

That Bush has finally agreed to an independent commission to investigate the mess is positive. The appointment of maverick John McCain to the panel certainly looks good, but ultimately, the fix is in. Bush is appointing all of the commission's members--a departure from the normal "blue ribbon commission," in which Congress gets to appoint some too. And with a report not due until after the elections, it won't matter. (As Dreyfuss says, the "conclusions will probably end up on President Kerry's desk anyway.)

Speaking of the fix being in, Bush is doing an hour-long interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press this Sunday. Blogger Brad DeLong has some questions Russert should ask. Just one or two would be enough to blow Bush completely out of the water, destroy his credibility, and elect John Kerry or John Edwards (or John Cusack or John Mellencamp, for that matter). You gotta wonder why Bush would submit to this risk--unless his handlers think it won't be a problem.

Recommended reading: There is one hell of a stench rising from the Medicare bill. First came the news that it's going to cost half-again as much as Bush promised. Then the bill's chief author, Congressman Billy Tauzin, announced he was leaving Congress to take a position as chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry at over a million bucks a year. Now comes the TV ad campaign to sell the bill--the Center for American Progress examines claims versus facts in these inaccurate, essentially partisan political spots paid for by tax dollars and developed by an ad agency with ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Good God, America--do you need it spelled out any more clearly? The administration couldn't be a bigger load of whores if they paraded around in Spandex miniskirts down by the docks.

In today's New York Times, Paul Krugman does it again--when it comes to WMD and the budget deficit, "Your memories are no longer operative."

Richard Blow unpacks the Janet Jackson controversy and sees Justin Timberlake as an icon-smashing warrior against the Soviet-style glorifying of capitalism inherent in the Super Bowl. More or less. (And he's right about Led Zeppelin, too.) By the way, a woman in Tennessee has filed a class action lawsuit against Janet, Justin, CBS, MTV, and Viacom, claiming millions were "caused to suffer outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury," although the suit doesn't say what the injury might be. I am suffering outrage at the political opportunism, anger over the hypocritical prudery, embarrassment at how stupid we look as a culture, and serious injury by having to share the planet with people who are more offended by a one-second flash of breast than they are by neocons or Billy Tauzin. Where do I go to sue?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?