In 1982, in an essay entitled “The Spawn of Annenberg, Part 1”, Harlan Ellison wrote about his visit to San Quentin and the chilling experience of listening to the convicted murderer of a 5-year-old child explain why he couldn’t have done what he obviously had done.
The convict had stomped the boy to death, but explained that he could not have done it because he wears sneakers.
And sneakers are soft.
This film is a must see. About an hour and ten minutes in length.
No enemy of the U.S. in the last 40 years has had as dim a view of American willpower as neo-conservatives do. To hear them tell the tale, U.S. foreign policy has been one long series of impotent withdrawals.
Here, for example, is Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman, in a letter, obtained by the AP, responding to questions from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) about Pentagon contingency planning for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq:
Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia.
Haunted by this dark narrative of failure, the neo-cons are bound and determined not to repeat the weak-willed mistakes of the recent past. Why, even the very discussion of how to get out of this mess will embolden our enemies and undermine our own resolve. Instead, we must march in lockstep forward, chins jutting ahead, ignoring all of the distractions which could so easily turn us into quivering Jello.
Keith Olbermann responds:
I just find the links Danny, I don’t post the video. Maybe I help you find the link so you can notify the poster by reproducing it here.
P.S. This video deserves to be spread widely.
Faiz at Think Progress:
To recap, here are the previous faulty rationales offered by CBS for firing [Gen. John] Batiste:
Reason #1: Batiste was engaging in ‘advocacy.’ CBS VP Linda Mason said Friday, “We ask that people not be involved in advocacy.” But Greg Sargent revealed instances in which CBS News military consultant Michael O’Hanlon has engaged in advocacy for the Iraq escalation.
Reason #2: Batiste was ‘raising money’ for VoteVets. Mason later amended her statement, saying “It isn’t just that he took an advocacy position. … General Batiste took part in a commercial that’s being shown on television to raise money for veterans against the war.” But the VoteVets ad that Batiste appears is not a fundraising ad.
Reason #3: Batiste was taking part in the ‘partisan political process.’ In fact, Batiste consciously avoided engaging in partisanship. Newsweek reports, “Batiste says he remains a ‘diehard Republican’ and has no intention of wading directly into the presidential campaign. … He took part in the VoteVets.org campaign, he says, because it’s a ‘nonpartisan group.’”
Were CBS truly concerned about not allowing its consultants to engage in the partisan political process, it would not have a McCain presidential campaign aide currently on staff.
Thanks to Josh Marshall.
Hat-tip Ellroon for the quote.
Well, you know, I would find it kind of surprising if he showed up here in the comments, which would be fine, but still surprising and worth noting, especially if he had been using some pseudonym and I’d been conversing with him for awhile and then, all of a sudden he goes, hey I’m the president, I’d be like, yeah, I now Understand I was involved in a conversation with the president, or maybe it was just a troll.
Jon Swift: “I had another point to make but it slipped my mind.”
Passing someone’s words off as your own without attribution is plagiarism. Reading someone else’s words in first person, saying things like, “I still remember when I got my first library card, browsing through the stacks for my favorite books,” is dishonest if it was not your own recollection. But having ghost writers in news reporting is one thing, and having ghost writers who themselves plagiarize other writers is another. If you read a work-for-hire, you claim credit, so you must also accept responsibility.
Katie owes the American public an apology, a correction for the record, and very possibly her resignation unless she can demonstrate some reason we should trust her now.
And I owe more thanks to Melissa McEwan for this:
Update: It’s interesting to Google for “Katie Couric plagiarist” — you find gems like this.
Update 2: I should have included the direct link to Oliver Willis above. It’s a gem:
She clearly wasn’t involved at all. She had no idea what she was saying. They stuck something on a teleprompter and like she’s done for years now, Couric just read the darn thing.
Sad, but if true, it’s hardly an excuse.
The preacher on that page reinterprets things in his own dark image, to invert plain meanings with deft commentary. Read with care. Judge every tree by the fruit thereof.
John McCain is delusional. Not that he actually believes his own bullshit. But that he expects us to buy it…
Update: CNN’s John Roberts responds to John McCain,
Roberts: I checked with General Petraeus’ people overnight and they said he never goes out in anything less than an up armored Humvee.
Watch the interview, at C&L.
Williams: To put this question another way — if you didn’t review their performance during this process, then how can you be certain that they were fired for performance reasons?
Gonzales: I — I’ve given — I’ve given the answer to the question, Pete. I know — I know the reasons why I made the decision. Again, there’s nothing in the documents to support the allegation that there was anything improper here. And there is an internal — department review to answer that question, to reassure the — the American people that there was nothing improper that happened here.
IHT (emphasis added):
Gonzales said last week he was not involved in any discussions about the impending dismissals of federal prosecutors. On Friday night, however, the department disclosed Gonzales’ participation in a Nov. 27 meeting where such plans were discussed.
Update: Phoenix Woman channels Freddie Mercury.
Alberto Gonzales and DOJ officials materially misled congress with intent to evade oversight.
“As Secretary of State, I intend to begin a thorough review of all voting systems currently certified for use in the State of California.”
Hat-tip Brad Friedman, and if I haven’t written about the voting machine issue in awhile, BradBlog has remained on top of it and I know they could use your support.
The problem with current voting machines is they are proprietary and inherently untrustworthy. There is a strong political incentive to cheat, so there must be every protection against cheating. The consequences of a stolen election are dire indeed, as most people may realize. This is a matter of not merely life and death for one person, but potentially for the whole world, all of humanity. So if machines are used, they cannot be a black box that “does something” which cannot be audited publicly. No count which is stored in electronic form should ever be trusted if it cannot be checked against paper ballots, and such checks should be performable without cost to a candidate. It should never be the case that democracy is held hostage by the lack of financial resources on the part of outsider candidates to get a fair counting.
I’m pleased that Debra Bowen is doing her job, she is an exceptional human being in politics.