Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stupid Wikipedia Tricks

Wikipedia Ripe for Political Dirty Tricks
Yahoo! News

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that can be altered by anyone with a computer, has proved remarkably useful for pulling political dirty tricks. Political operatives are covertly rewriting — or defacing — candidates' biographical entries to make the boss look good or the opponent look ridiculous. As a result, political campaigns are monitoring the Web site more closely than ever this election year.

Colbert Roasts Bush | Updated

Colbert Lampoons Bush at Dinner; President Does Not Seem Amused

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, "and reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Read the transcript.

Slate: The Truthiness Hurts.

CNN Lou Dobbs: more reaction.

5/10/06 William Rivers Pitt & Richard Cohen

5/11/06 HuffPo:

"He walked up to that podium a basic cable cult figure, and came back a political comedy legend"
5/11/06 jang, geebus, uthboy exchange

Thank you Stephen Colbert! (the geebus 5/3/06)

1/19/07 singe don't burn (binge don't surge?)

and Harry Taylor: speaking truth to power!

4.19.2007 colbert, josh marshall, john kerry

. . .. ... .. . .

3.13.2009 good times andrew sullivan

Friday, April 28, 2006

Fitzgerald to Seek Indictment of Rove

Despite vehement denials by his attorney who said this week that Karl Rove is neither a 'target' nor in danger of being indicted in the CIA leak case, the special counsel leading the investigation has already written up charges against Rove, and a grand jury is expected to vote on whether to indict the Deputy White House Chief of Staff sometime next week, sources knowledgeable about the probe said Friday afternoon.

5/12/06: Rove informs White House he will be indicted.


The post below is from Lawrence Lessig's blog. I copied his html to preserve the links including the link below to the free pdf download of the book being discussed as well as the book's wiki. Here is a quote from Lessig in a review on

"In this book, Benkler establishes himself as the leading intellectual of the information age. Profoundly rich in its insight and truth, this work will be the central text for understanding how networks have changed how we understand the world. No work to date has more carefully or convincingly made the case for a fundamental change in how we understand the economy of society."-Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

I happened upon his blog via a link on about ten minutes after reading a logical commentary in Wired (which I can't find on their website) by Lessig about the stifling of competition by the admistration's policies and actions which favor established big business, not free markets.

Benkler's book is out


Yochai Benkler's book, The Wealth of Networks, is out. This is by far the most important and powerful book written in the fields that matter most to me in the last ten years. If there is one book you read this year, it should be this. The book has a wiki; it can be downloaded as a pdf for free under a Creative Commons license; or it can be bought at places like Amazon.

Read it. Understand it. You are not serious about these issues on either side of these debates unless you have read this book.


Check out this explanation of the basic idea for the wiki for The Wealth of Networks quoted in a post with commentary at

At this point, don't take any of this as an endorsement as I haven't read the book or the wiki and have not spent any time at The collective potential of the book wiki sure sounds interesting, though, and it does seem like a book I might find interesting.

Also, if you didn't click on Lessig's link Creative Commons license, check it out here:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Specter threatens to block money for NSA domestic wiretapping

AP Wire

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said Thursday he is considering legislation to cut off funding for the Bush administration's secret domestic wiretapping program until he gets satisfactory answers about it from the White House.

"Institutionally, the presidency is walking all over Congress at the moment," Specter, R-Pa., told the panel. "If we are to maintain our institutional prerogative, that may be the only way we can do it."

Specter said he had informed President Bush about his intention and that he has attracted several potential co-sponsors. He said he's become increasingly frustrated in trying to elicit information about the program from senior White House officials at several public hearings.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Regis High School - Interview with Patrick Fitzgerald

I posted this mostly because it is an article from a high school newspaper which I think is really cool. The power of the information age. It is actually a well written and interesting article too.

via Crooks and Liars

Regis High School:

"Though the pecuniary reward as private attorney would be much greater, Fitzgerald has pursued the noble path of a federal prosecutor. I think that people do not realize that when you are a private lawyer, your obligation is to serve your client, says Fitzgerald. If your client wants to do something, you have to take that position even if it's a position that you don't agree with.

As a federal prosecutor, my job every day is to do the right thing, emphasized Fitzgerald. Working in the federal government is a learning experience and I feel like I am always on the side to pursue justice. Fitzgerald warns, In the private sector, you make a lot more money [than in the public sector], but it is a lot less interesting and you do not have the luxury of making your own decisions."

Source: Rove to Testify in CIA Leak Case - Yahoo! News

Source: Rove to Testify in CIA Leak Case - Yahoo! News:

"WASHINGTON - Top White House aide Karl Rove prepared to testify Wednesday for a fifth time before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity, a person familiar with the case said.

Rove consulted with his private lawyers before a scheduled afternoon court appearance and was prepared to answer questions about evidence that emerged since his last grand jury appearance last fall, the person said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy rules.

That new evidence includes information that emerged late last year that Rove's attorney had conversations with Time magazine reporter Viveca Novak during a critical time in the case.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury Wednesday. Among other things he is investigating why Rove originally failed to disclose to prosecutors that he had talked to Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper about the outed CIA operative, Valerie Plame, back in 2003.

Months before Rove acknowledged speaking to Cooper about the CIA status of Plame, Novak told Rove's lawyer the White House aide might have disclosed Plame's CIA work to Cooper."

Jason Leopold weighs in on

Karl Rove's appearance before a grand jury in the CIA leak case Wednesday comes on the heels of a "target letter" sent to his attorney recently by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, signaling that the Deputy White House Chief of Staff may face imminent indictment, sources that are knowledgeable about the probe said Wednesday.

It's unclear when Fitzgerald sent the target letter to Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin. Sources close to the two-year-old leak investigation said when Rove's attorney received the letter Rove volunteered to appear before the grand jury for an unprecedented fifth time to explain why he did not previously disclose conversations he had with the media about covert CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who criticized the Bush administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence.

A federal grand jury target letter is sent to a person in a criminal investigation who is likely to be indicted. In a prepared statement Wednesday, Luskin said Fitzgerald indicated that Rove is not a "target" of the investigation. A "target" of a grand jury investigation is a person who a prosecutor has substantial evidence to link to a crime....
....People close to the case said that Fitzgerald has presented additional evidence to the grand jury in the past week that shows Rove lied to federal investigators and a grand jury eight out of the nine times he was asked about his knowledge of the leak since October 2003.

Should Wednesday's court appearance by Rove provide the grand jury with answers to lingering questions, Rove may not be charged with obstruction of justice, but will likely be indicted for perjury and lying to investigators, sources close to the case said.
For one, according to the sources close to the investigation, the likelihood that Rove will be charged with perjury centers on the fact that Rove has testified at least three times that he first discovered that Plame worked for the CIA after her name was printed in a July 2003 newspaper report by conservative columnist Robert Novak. Evidence has since surfaced that shows Rove spoke to Novak about Plame prior to Novak's published report in which Novak outed the undercover CIA officer.

Moreover, Rove did not disclose that he had also been a source for a story about Plame written by Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, and Rove testified that he was not involved in a campaign to discredit or attack the credibility of Plame's husband, Ambassador Wilson, when at least two dozen witnesses have testified before the grand jury that Rove was in fact instrumental in the smear campaign on Wilson.

Rove's grand jury appearance Wednesday is crucial in determining whether he will face a charge of obstruction of justice for not turning over an explosive email that was written moments after his July 2003 conversation with Time's Cooper. Rove volunteered to testify before the grand jury Wednesday to explain why he did not disclose and locate the email for more than a year, sources close to the case said.

Lawrence O'Donnell offers analysis and speculation on The Huffington Post.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Smart Mobs:

Smart Mobs:

via Smartmobs via SocialSoftwareBlog and originally Gristmill,

'UC Irvine informatics researcher Bill Tomlinson has set up a web site called where users can search for product reviews by UPC. Intended to primarily cover environmental impacts, the site really shows any reviews posted by users. Easy access by mobile devices make this a simple but workable project I think.'

(Press release)

Irvine, Calif., April 4, 2006- Shoppers deciding what to buy at the supermarket now have a new tool to learn more about products ranging from cans of peas to bars of soap. GreenScanner, developed by UC Irvine researcher Bill Tomlinson, is a public database of product information and opinions that can be accessed from home or by using mobile devices with Internet capabilities such as cell phones and PDAs.

[Similar to Marc Smith's AURA project, previously posted to SmartMobs here"]

Mobile phone users in China boom to 409m | Shanghai Daily: China news blog

Mobile phone users in China boom to 409m Shanghai Daily: China news blog:


"CHINA had 5.42 million more mobile phone users each month for the past quarter and the total number of mobile phone users climbed to 409 million by the end of March, the Ministry of Information Industry said today.

The demand for mobile phones keeps expanding in China, the ministry said. For every 100 people in China now, 30.3 have mobile phones.

Short messages sent in the first quarter reached 98.82 billion, up 47 percent from a year ago.

Compared with mobile phone users, the country had more than 358 million fixed-line users before April, 8.34 million more than last year, it said. For every 100 people in China, 27 have fixed-line telephones.

The postal and telecom industries in China reported a combined revenue of 169.26 billion yuan (US$21.16 billion) in the first quarter, up 11.8 percent from a year ago.
The telecom industry had an income of 153.43 billion yuan, while postal offices around the country collected 15.83 billion yuan in the same period, Xinhua said. "

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bush Faces Growing Dissent From Republicans on Climate Change


Representative Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican, says he "pooh-poohed'' global warming until he trekked to the South Pole in January.

"Now, I think we should be concerned,'' says Inglis, who heads the U.S. House Science Research subcommittee. "There are more and more Republicans willing to stop laughing at climate change who are ready to get serious about reclaiming their heritage as conservationists.

U.S. companies including General Electric Co. and Duke Energy Corp. have come out in support of national limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists say contribute to global warming. They are now being joined by Republican lawmakers who have parted company with President George W. Bush on the issue.

In addition to Inglis, who says he saw evidence of heat- trapping gases in the atmosphere during his trip to Antarctica, the list includes Senators Pete Domenici of New Mexico, the chairman of the chamber's Energy Committee; Mike DeWine of Ohio; and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Representative Jim Leach of Iowa.

Read David Corn on Al Gore's new global warming film An Inconvienent Truth, and visit the film's website.

Congressional Leadership Wants Rumsfeld Out

Insight Magazine

GOP sources said many in the congressional leadership have warned that growing opposition against Mr. Rumsfeld could result in the loss of the Republican Party's majority in the 2006 elections. They said Mr. Rumsfeld has become the lightning rod for the public discontent with the administration.

"The leadership wants a sacrifice to show the American people that the president is listening to them on Iraq," a leadership source said. "The most obvious choice is Rumsfeld."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Reality in the Ranks

Criticism of Rumsfeld Widens to Young Officers
NY Times via Truthout

An Army major who is an intelligence specialist said: "The history I will take away from this is that the current crop of generals failed to stand up and say, 'We cannot do this mission.' They confused the cultural can-do attitude with their responsibilities as leaders to delay the start of the war until we had an adequate force. I think the backlash against the general officers will be seen in the resignation of officers who might otherwise have stayed in uniform."



"Use Feedster when you are looking for timely information from millions of news, blog and podcast sources.

Feedster is the largest and richest archive of indexed feeds on the web.

Subscribe to your search results and always be connected to what is important to you."

(click on image to enlarge)

Interesting Internet Stats report

(click on any image to enlarge)

getting news on-line:


a role in decision making:

2005 vs 2002 studies:

everyone is getting on-line:


generational differences in activities:

Evolutionary Design Software

John Koza Has Built an Invention Machine - Popular Science:

"Now 62 and an adjunct professor at Stanford University, Koza is the inventor of genetic programming, a revolutionary approach to artificial intelligence (AI) capable of solving complex engineering problems with virtually no human guidance. Koza's 1,000 networked computers don't just follow a preordained routine. They create, growing new and unexpected designs out of the most basic code. They are computers that innovate, that find solutions not only equal to but better than the best work of expert humans. His 'invention machine,' as he likes to call it, has even earned a U.S. patent for developing a system to make factories more efficient, one of the first intellectual-property protections ever granted to a nonhuman designer.

Yet as impressive as these creations may be, none are half as significant as the machine's method: Darwinian evolution, the process of natural selection. Over and over, bits of computer code are, essentially, procreating. And over the course of hundreds or thousands of generations, that code evolves into offspring so well-adapted for its designated job that it is demonstrably superior to anything we can imagine. The age of creative machines has arrived. And its prophet is John Koza."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

DualCor Handtop PC

Best of CES 2006: April 2006
DualCor's new cPC Handtop PC is the first handheld device to sport two operating systems: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 and Windows Mobile 5.0 OS. It's powered by a 1.5 GHz Via C-7 processor and has 1GB of RAM, 1GB of flash ROM, and a 40GB internal hard drive. The screen is a 5" diagonal, 800x480 touch screen-reasonable for a Tablet PC and great for a Pocket PC. The end result is an instant-on Tablet PC with all of the features you love in your Windows Mobile Pocket PC..

Pencomputing added
The 6.5 x 3.3 x 1.2 inch DualCor has a 5" 800x480 passive touch screen, a 1.5GHz C7-M Via chip for Windows and a 400MHz processor for WinMo, a 40GB hard disk where files can be moved between the two operating systems, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 1GB of Flash, Bluetooth and WiFi, 3 USB 2.0 ports, a mini-VGA port, audio in/out, a CF Card slot.

DualCor Technologies, Inc. ( is an innovative provider of strategic enterprise mobility solutions. Its flagship product, the DualCor cPC, is an “all-in-one,” wireless “handtop” (handheld desktop) device combining the functionality of a personal computer, PDA and cell phone. A unique dual processor architecture and integrated 40GB hard drive allows the cPC to concurrently run both Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows® Mobile 5.0 applications while simultaneously supporting broadband data and phone connectivity. The device represents a new category of hardware for global enterprise computing and promises to end the compromise between mobility, functionality and productivity for the mobile business professional.

Print vs On-line Questions

Pen Computing Magazine:

Apple ticked at gossip sites that leak information

Apple is ticked off that online sites are spreading product information before the embargo is lifted. So much that the company is presenting its case to a California court in San Jose today. One of the questions to be settled will be whether bloggers and gossip site writers are the same as print journalists and should have the same rights, or not. Good question, actually.
At Pen Computing, we've been signing NDAs and have been scrupulously observing embargos ever since we started. That means that the 'news' in the Pen print version was often months old when it reached readers. Unless, of course, a company informed us of the new products way ahead of time. Over time, many companies stopped giving advance notice entirely, and we learn of a new product exactly when it is officially introduced. So punishing the gossip sites affects us as print magazine journalists. However, the line between print and online is no longer clear. These days we're spending as much time on the Pen website as on the print edition, and our new site is all online. -- Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006 by chb"

Friday, April 21, 2006

NEIL YOUNG has a blog

NEIL YOUNG - Living With War

via Huffington Post

A blog from rocker Neil Young whose new album includes the ditty Let's Impeach the President. I include the link as it is interesting to follow (a la Glenn Reynold's An Army of Davids) how the blogosphere impacts things.

Watch the CNN Interview (posted on Neil's site here, hosted on

Click on the image below to watch...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Marty Kaplan: History? Shmistory!

The Huffington Post
To those who believe "history will judge," I think a measured response would be, What are you, nuts?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R. Neb.) lacks confidence in Rumsfeld

Lincoln JournalStar

Senator Chuck Hagel said Monday he shares the lack of confidence in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld separately voiced by six retired generals.

(Senator Hagel serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, among other assignments.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Carl Bernstein in Vanity Fair

Carl Bernstein calls for bipartisan hearings

Already in the White House, there is talk of a nightmare scenario in which the Democrats successfully make the November congressional elections a referendum on impeachment and win back a majority in the House, and maybe the Senate too.

But voting now to create a Senate investigation chaired by a Republican could work to the advantage both of the truth and of Republican candidates eager to put distance between themselves and the White House.

The calculations of politicians about their electoral futures should pale in comparison to the urgency of examining perhaps the most disastrous five years of decision-making of any modern American presidency.

via The Huffington Post

Scientists say they're being gagged by Bush / White House monitors their media contacts

Scientists say they're being gagged by Bush / White House monitors their media contacts:

"The assertion that climate scientists are being censored first surfaced in January when James Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the New York Times and the Washington Post that the administration sought to muzzle him after he gave a lecture in December calling for cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. (NASA Administrator Michael Griffin issued a new policy recently that make clear that its scientists are free to talk to members of the media about their scientific findings, including personal interpretations.)

Two weeks later, Hansen suggested to an audience at the New School University in New York that his counterparts at NOAA were experiencing even more severe censorship. 'It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States,' he told the crowd. "


Gallup Poll: Congress' Approval Rating: 23%

click on image to enlarge

Gallup Graphics: Congress Poll

State of the Blogosphere

The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago.

to enlarge

Sifry's Alerts

New blog creation continues to grow. Technorati currently tracks over 75,000 new weblogs created every day, which means that on average, a new weblog is created every second of every day - and 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. That's an increase both absolute and relative terms over just 3 months ago, when only 50.5% or 13.7 million blogs were active. In other words, even though there's a reasonable amount of tire-kicking going on, blogging continues to grow as a habitual activity.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Richard Clarke and Steven Simon - NY Times Op-Ed

Bombs That Would Backfire - New York Times

Richard Clarke and Steven Simon were, respectively, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism and senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Benoit Mandelbrot and Nassim Taleb

The problem is that measures of uncertainty using the bell curve simply disregard the possibility of sharp jumps or discontinuities and, therefore have no meaning or consequence. Using them is like focusing on the grass and missing out on the (gigantic) trees. In fact, while the occasional and unpredictable large deviations are rare, they cannot be dismissed as "outliers" because, cumulatively, their impact in the long term is so dramatic.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation - New York Times

The Latest:

Bush Gives Rumsfeld Strong Show of Support


Huffington Post

More Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation - New York Times:

"Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, on Thursday became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to call publicly for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster. Also Thursday, another retired Army general, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, joined in the fray.

'We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores,' General Swannack said in a telephone interview. 'But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq.'"

Those comments may seem rough, but the real kiss of death came from the administration:

"The president believes Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job during a challenging period in our nation's history," the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, told reporters on Thursday.


Arianna Huffington's take


The Revolt Against Rumsfeld
The officer corps is getting restless.
By Fred Kaplan, Wednesday, April 12, 2006

MacArthur's legacy in particular has kept even the boldest generals deeply reluctant to criticize civilian leaders over the decades. Rumsfeld's arrogance, his "casualness and swagger" as Gen. Newbold put it—which have caused so many strategic blunders, so much death and disaster—have started to tip some officers over the edge. They may prove a good influence in the short run. But if Rumsfeld resists their encroachments and fights back, the whole hierarchy of command could implode as officers feel compelled not merely to stay silent but to choose one side or the other. And if the rebel officers win, they might find they like the taste of bureaucratic victory—and feel less constrained to renew the internecine combat when other, less momentous disputes arise in the future.

Both paths are cluttered with drear and danger. Does President Bush know this is going on? If he does, he would do the nation—and the Constitution—a big favor if he launched a different sort of pre-emptive attack and got rid of Rumsfeld now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Powell: It was all Cheney

Robert Scheer: Now Powell Tells Us via The Huffington Post

On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told me that he and his department's top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that the president followed the misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim. Now he tells us.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One month ago, 36% of Americans polled had "very negative" feelings toward Bush

Bush: Favorability Polls
NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll

A month ago (3/10-13), 36% of those polled say they have "very negative" feelings toward George W. Bush. This is the highest this metric has been during his presidency. In January 2002 only 4% of those polled felt that way. In mid-2004, around 30% of Americans felt "very negative."

Only 20% of those polled say they have "very positive" feelings toward Bush. This was as high as 36% of those polled in September 2004 and as high as 53% in January 2002.

This will be an interesting one to watch.

33% of [polled] Americans say that they think Bush should be impeached and removed

I have no idea how this would compare to other times or other Presidents, but it seems significant that 1/3 of Americans in this poll think The President of the United States should be impeached and removed from office.

click on image to view

see this ABC News/Washington Post poll (of 1,027 adults nationwide) at Polling Report.

Re: The Link Changes Everything

thegeebus on The Link Changes Everything
Midwest Values PAC, Information Agers

This is where the LINK CHANGES EVERYTHING. I predict that very soon an article (obviously online) won't be considered credible unless every fact and reference is hyperlinked to the relevant portion of a source document. The link allows you to get to the truth or quickly and easily develop your own informed opinion.

Lies don't hold up under scrutiny. Facts do.

How Crazy Are They?

William Rivers Pitt
Truthout Perspective

Things have come to a pretty pass in the United States of America when the first question you have to ask yourself on matters of war and death is,

"Just how crazy are these people?"

Monday, April 10, 2006

MSNBC clip on the leaker-in-chief

Crooks and Liars

4:23 segment from MSNBC on the leaker-in-chief.

President Bush's Words

President Bush: Now, if you're going to be the president or a policymaker, you never know what's going to come. That's the interesting thing about the world in which we live. We're an influential nation. And so, therefore, many problems come to the Oval Office. And you don't know what those problems are going to be, which then argues for having smart people around. That's why you ought to serve in government if you're not going to be the president. You have a chance to influence policy by giving good recommendations to the president.

You've got to listen in my line of work. And I listen a lot.

You know, ours is a complex organization that requires, you know, a management structure that lets people come in to the Oval Office and explain their positions. And, you know, I think -- I think it's to my interest, by the way, that not everybody agree all of the time. You can't make good decisions unless there's a little -- you know, kind of a little agitation in there. And sometimes we have.

But anyway, good question. It's -- I guess my answer to your question is, is that you've got to be ready for the unexpected. And when you act, you base your decisions on principles.

Joe Klein on the Decline of Politics

Joe Klein: Pssst! Who's behind the decline of politics? [Consultants], courtesy DJH

Consultants are unavoidable, given the complexity of modern communications. But I have a vague hope that the most talented politicians now realize that the public has come to understand what market-tested language sounds like, and that there is a demand for leadership, as opposed to the regurgitation of carefully massaged nostrums. To be sure, the old tricks -- the negative ads, the insipid photo ops -- still work, but only in the absence of an alternative. What might that be?

More on the Leaker-in-Chief

Leaker in Chief? Scooter Libby and George Bush:
Newsweek Politics -

"Leaker in chief is something that could stick," said a senior GOP aide, who declined to be named for fear of angering the president. The White House has not denied the central thrust of Libby's claim. But by late last weekend, the White House was scrambling to distance Bush from the leak, putting out the word that the president had not been involved in tactical decisions -- like who should leak, or picking which reporter to leak to. The White House may just be spinning -- or the reaction could portend a rift between Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who seemed to be giving Libby his marching orders.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Edge traffic report

(click image to view)

For the first three months of the year, Edge readership has grown at a rate that surprises even us. It's an indication that the third culture is alive and well and continues to grow. Thanks from the Edge community to our readers/subscribers for their interest, and to the many bloggers who continue to put out the word.

[The Impact of the Blogoshpere?] "U.S. Aims to Dampen Talk of Striking Iran - Yahoo! News

U.S. Aims to Dampen Talk of Striking Iran - Yahoo! News

Senior Republican to Bush: say "exactly what happened" - Yahoo! News

Senator Arlen Specter (R, PA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that "there's been enough of a showing here with what's been filed of record in court that the president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people."

See the interview.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Deja Vu

The New Yorker:

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do, and that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.

From Crooks and Liars:

BLITZER: And you're saying that some senior military officers are prepared to resign?

HERSH: I'm saying that, if this isn't walked back and if the president isn't told that you cannot do it -- and once the chairman of the joint chiefs or some senior members of the military say to the president, let's get this nuclear option off the table, it will be taken off. He will not defy the military in a formal report. Unless something specific is told to the White House that you've got to drop this dream of a nuclear option -- and that's exactly the issue I'm talking about -- people have said to me that they would resign.

HERSH: ...And then, of course, nobody in their right mind would want to use a nuclear weapon in the Middle East, because it would be, my God, totally chaotic. When the JCS, the joint chiefs, and the planners wanted to walk back that option, what happened is about three or four weeks ago, the White House, people in the White House, in the Oval Office, the vice president's office, said, no, let's keep it in the plan. They refuse to take it out. And what I'm writing here is that if this isn't removed -- and I say this very seriously. I've been around this town for 40 years -- some senior officers are prepared to resign. They're that upset about the fact that this plan is kept in. Again, let me make the point, you're giving a range of options early in the planning. To be sure of getting rid of it, you give that option.

JACK STRAW (British Foreign Secretary):

The idea of a nuclear strike on Iran is completely nuts.

BLITZER: He didn't mince any words: "completely nuts" in his words. You want to react to that?

HERSH: Well, what he didn't say -- he didn't deny that there's serious planning about the military strike is the point. I mean, he's absolutely right about a nuclear option, but there is serious planning for a conventional war.

Full Transcriptof Interview[s With Zalmay Khalilzad,] Seymour Hersh

U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord [undermining the far rosier White House/Pentagon depictions]

U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord - New York Times:

An internal staff report by the United States Embassy and the military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces "serious" and one "critical." The report is a counterpoint to some recent upbeat public statements by top American politicians and military officials.

"Vice President Dick Cheney, on the CBS News program 'Face the Nation,' suggested last month that the administration's positive views were a better reflection of the conditions in Iraq than news media reports.

'I think it has less to do with the statements we've made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality,' Mr. Cheney said, 'than it does with the fact that there's a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad.'

In their public comments, the White House and the Pentagon have used daily attack statistics as a measure of stability in the provinces. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a senior military spokesman in Baghdad, told reporters recently that 12 of 18 provinces experienced 'less than two attacks a day.'

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on the NBC News program 'Meet the Press' on March 5 that the war in Iraq was 'going very, very well,' although a few days later, he acknowledged serious difficulties."

How to know everything

Consider this.

Currently I have web access from almost anywhere with my tablet (and Verizon EVDO), my cell phone (Sprint web), my work machine (wired) and my home machines (wireless network throughout the house).

When I am at one of these machines and I want to know something or someone says something that I don't understand, increasingly I look it up on Wikipedia or through Google. I am getting better and better at finding stuff, relatively quickly. But, I don't carry my tablet with me everywhere I go as it is still too large to make that practical.

I am attracted by the new mobile PC machine Microsoft has recently announced. It still seems too big for my purposes, but I can see that in the next year or two someone will develop an extremely portable (like the current one, also tablet-based) version of this that will be convenient enough to whip out at any time and any place.

Therefore, as these two trends converge I can see that I will increasingly have the ability to know almost anything I want to know at any time. There are lots of situations where I wish I had the ability to quickly have a little bit more background information on a particular subject or an introduction or quick refresher to a concept someone has referenced. I can see how this could be very useful for me, but also how it will change the world.

In his book An Army of Davids, Glenn Reynolds quoted William Gibson:

"The future has already arrived – it's just not evenly distributed."

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Leaker-in-Chief

The Leaker-in-Chief

William Rivers Pitt says Bush committed treason.

Clip of an interchange between Bush and a truthboy critic

Crooks and Liars

How many more people will see and possibly be influenced by this clip [of a questioner grilling Bush to his face] because of the power of the internet and the speed at which information can now be retrieved and distributed?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lies and the lying liars

Papers: Cheney Aide Says Bush OK'd Leak - Yahoo! News

Jason Leopold on Bush at Center of Intelligence Leak

9/30/2003: (link to transcript on

Q Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?

President Bush: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.

I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.

Yes, let's see, Kemper -- he's from Chicago. Where are you? Are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? (Laughter.) Wait a minute. That doesn't seem fair, does it? (Laughter.)

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it --


Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him --

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Feingold, John Dean: Bush Scarier than Nixon

Report on the 3/31/06 Feingold Hearing re Censure
The Progressive, courtesy BLR

(Here is a link to the Senate Judiciary Hearing itself.)

Bruce Fein, who was in Reagan’s Justice Department, joined Feingold in denouncing Bush’s secrecy. “President Bush’s intent was to keep the program secret from Congress and to avoid political or legal accountability indefinitely,” Fein testified. “Secrecy of that sort makes checks and balances a farce.”

Fein also argued that Bush’s theory of his inherent powers would justify him in “employing battlefield tactics on the sidewalks of the United States.”

Feingold did not limit himself to Bush’s NSA scandal. He put it in the context of Bush’s assertions of executive power with regard to torture and preemptive war.

“What we have here,” Feingold said, “is one of the greatest attempts to dismantle our system of government that we have seen in the history of our country.”

Monday, April 03, 2006

DeLay Won't Run, Intends to Resign

Officials: DeLay Won't Run, Means to Resign:
AP via Yahoo! News

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texan touched by a lobbying scandal that ensnared some of his former top aides and cost the Republican his leadership post, won't seek re-election to Congress and intends to resign, Republican officials said Monday.

[O]ne official said the congressman began informing close associates late last week. That was around the same time as a second former DeLay aide, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty in a federal corruption investigation that has reached into DeLay's office.

On Friday (March 31st), Rudy, DeLay's former chief of staff, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and promised to help with the federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud relating to Abramoff. Rudy admitted conspiring with Abramoff — both while Rudy worked for the Texas congressman and after he left the lawmaker's staff to become a lobbyist himself.