Monday, July 18, 2005

Evening wrap up 7/18/2005

Murdoch, above, asking for spare change.

Billionare tyrant Rupert Murdoch has bought, the popular emo-Blog that features all the fun and convenience of Livejournal, Orkut, Friendster, The Facebook and every other website that people have joined for 25 minutes and then felt pretty regretful about it. Yet, they'll still check twice-a-day. People do get bored at work, you know. The NY Times LINK.

CIA Leak

I'd like to have a consistent, brief tag for these stories. Should it involve: Scooter, Scooter Libby, Rove, KR, double secret background, Dean Wormer, crime, leak, indictment, Bush... You can see my plight.

Bush has shifted his tone, slightly, and now says that any aide found to have committed a crime will be fired. That's like saying you'd call an attractive woman that gave you her phone number. From the NY Times story (LINK):

The remarks appeared to shift the standard for dismissal that has been expressed repeatedly over many months by Mr. Bush's spokesmen - from promises to fire anyone who played a role in the disclosure, to Mr. Bush's statement today that criminal conduct would have to be involved.

The president's comment today, however, was similar to one he made in 2003, when he said that anyone in his administration who had "violated law" would be dismissed.

Democrats pounced on the remarks as a raising of the bar for dismissal. However, Mr. Bush's spokesman, Scott McClellan, rejected the suggestion that Mr. Bush had added a "qualifier" to the standards for his aides' conduct.

Pounced: In my opinion, the Dems have pushed this too far, too quickly. Or, if we were to type like Matt Cooper typed after talking to KR, they've pushed this too war, too quickly.

The GOP appears to be a party about appeasing the base, more so than playing for the middle. So says the LA Times (LINK) in today's New analysis. Of course, that would be the tactic they have used for elections, but will it be the tactic used for the Supreme Court?

Absolutely gang-buster detail in Bloomberg's story on the leak today. Not Mayor Bloomberg, but the work of Richard Keil and William Roberts (LINK.):

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the leaking of a Central Intelligence Agency agent's name is now focused on how Rove, one of President George W. Bush's closest advisers, and other administration officials dealt with a key fact in an equally key memo.

The memo, prepared by the State Department on July 7, 2003, informed top administration officials that the wife of ex-diplomat and Bush critic Joseph Wilson was a CIA agent. Seven days later, Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was publicly identified as a CIA operative by syndicated columnist Robert Novak.


Those two will now be part of my 5:30 a.m. reading. That reference comes courtesy of the diligent people of ABC's The Note.

London Bombing

A report published in London today, and with a genesis back in 2002, hinted at the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan as potential reasons behind the London bombing. I am not certain why you see the blanket denial from Jack Straw in today's Guardian online, but here is the first two grafs:

The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, today dismissed suggestions that Britain's involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the terrorist attacks in London on July 7.

Mr Straw rejected a report by a respected independent think tank on foreign affairs, the Chatham House organisation, which found that a key problem in the UK for preventing terrorism is that the country "is riding as a pillion passenger with the United States in the war against terror".

To read the entire Guardian story: LINK.

To read the 8 page Chatham report: .pdf LINK.

More on this report and this simmering question in London. It is just persistent enough, and the British are just English enough, to make this matter big time in a gradual way. I'll explain that all later.

Other links

The U.S. denies any covert support of any Iraqi candidate that would have been more favorable to the Bush administration. Washington Post LINK.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqis have begun barricading themselves in their homes and forming neighborhood militias in an effort to fend off relentless suicide attacks, residents in the capital said on Monday.


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