Friday, March 26, 2004

Impeachment 3.0
Gee, I wonder how long it's going to be before the Bush Administration comes up with something to divert our attention from the explosive revelations of Richard Clarke--because the spinning and stonewalling isn't working. A new poll out today says 90 percent of Americans have at least heard of Clarke, which is an astonishing number. (I'll bet fewer people have heard of John Kerry.) Both MoveOn.Org's Daily Misleader and the Center for American Progress' Progress Report have chronicled the open and easily debunked lies the administration has told this week in trying to make the controversy go away. (The curve of the administration's spin-control attempts is moving pretty quickly--from infuriating to pathetic to downright funny. In honor of Condoleezza Rice's appearance on Hannity and Colmes earlier this week, in which she claimed the insistence that the administration didn't pay attention to terrorism before 9/11 is false, the Progress Report has launched a contest in which readers are invited to report any instance of Bush, Cheney, or Rice uttering the words "Al Qaeda" or "Bin Laden" in public between Inauguration Day and September 11, 2001--in contrast to the over 400 times they said "tax relief" or "tax cut." The winner gets a copy of Sean Hannity's book Deliver Us From Evil--signed by the members of the Progress Report team.) Fact is, the administration knew that Al Qaeda was a threat, and if they had chosen to care, they could have known that the threat included driving airplanes into skyscrapers. That they didn't makes them guilty of--at the very least--impeachable misfeasance and/or nonfeasance.

Speaking of funny--in the world of software development, releases are numbered. Then, revisions are given new numbers. The first version is 1.0; depending on their scope, revisions that follow may have numbers like 1.1 or 1.01. When an entirely new version of the product appears, the number becomes 2.0, and so on. P.J. Crowley and Robert Boorstin (also from the Center for American Progress) have analyzed the various versions of Bush's rationale for the Iraq war. A sample:

Version 7.0 - We won't need hundreds of thousands of troops—that's wildly off the mark
Version 7.1 - Mission accomplished
Version 7.1.1 - We'll stay as long as needed and not one day more
Version 7.1.2 - The troops will be home in six months
Version 7.1.3 - The Iraqi Army will provide security
Version 7.1.4 - Where's the Iraqi Army?
Version 7.1.5 - We've disbanded the Iraqi Army

Sports note: The Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey team returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001 tonight in Albany, New York, with a first-round game against Ohio State. The Badgers won five NCAA championships between 1973 and 1990, an era in which hockey ruled the Madison sports scene. The success of Wisconsin football and men's basketball over the last 10 years--and hockey's move from the Dane County Coliseum to the more sedate Kohl Center on campus--has dimmed the luster of the hockey program. But the sudden return to prominence of Wisconsin hockey under coach Mike Eaves--who played on the 1977 championship team--has lots of us dreaming big dreams. We know they may not come true this year, but we dream on nonetheless.

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