If you guys haven't seen it yet, there's a really funny cartoon called Tripping The Rift. It airs on the Sci-Fi channel. The first episode, the only one I've seen so far, is called "God Is My Pilot". Memorable quote from the episode:
”They must be out doing something religious, like bombing abortion clinics.”
In The News:
White House targets Clarke
Bush aides move aggressivelyto head off political damage
By Mike Allen
If you guys haven't seen it yet, there's a really funny cartoon called <a href="http://www.scifi.com/tripping/" target="_blank"><u><b>Tripping The Rift</b></u></a>. It airs on the Sci-Fi channel. The first episode, the only one I've seen so far, is called "God Is My Pilot". Memorable quote from the episode:
<i>”They must be out doing something religious, like bombing abortion clinics.”</i>
<font size="+1">In The News:</font>
<lj-cut text="White House Targets Clarke; Administration Looks Like 20 Kitty Cats In A Box Trying To Cover Shit">
<font size="+2"><font color="#ff0000">White House targets Clarke</font></font>
<b>Bush aides move aggressivelyto head off political damage</b>
<font size="-2"><b>By Mike Allen</b></font>
<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/"><img src="http://media.msnbc.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Sources/sourceWaPost.gif" target="_blank"" width="140" height="20" style="border: none"></a>
<font size="-2">Updated: 12:10 a.m. ET March 26, 2004</font>
As his advisers tell it, President Bush had tired of the White House playing defense on issue after issue. So this week, his aides turned the full power of the executive branch on Richard A. Clarke, formerly the administration's top counterterrorism official, who charges in his new book that Bush responded lackadaisically in 2001 to repeated warnings of an impending terrorist attack.
Bush's aides unleashed a two-pronged strategy that called for preemptive strikes on Clarke before most people could have seen his book, coupled with saturation media appearances by administration aides. They questioned the truthfulness of Clarke's claims, his competence as an employee, the motives behind the book's timing, and even the sincerity of the pleasantries in his resignation letter and farewell photo session with Bush.
The barrage was unusual for a White House that typically tries to ignore its critics, and it was driven by White House calculations that Clarke would appear credible to average viewers. Bush's advisers are concerned that Clarke's assertions are capable of inflicting political damage on a president who is staking his claim for reelection in large measure on his fight against terrorism.
James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, said he had been stunned by the ferocity of the White House campaign but said Clarke "is raising fundamental questions about the credibility of the president and his staff in regard to what they did to keep America safe."
"They are vulnerable, which is why they are attacking so hard," Thurber said. "You have to go back to Vietnam or Watergate to get the same feel about the structure of argument coming out of the White House against Clarke's statements. They've had multiple people rebutting him, with information that is incomplete and selective at best."
White House communications director Dan Bartlett said officials had to take Clarke seriously because "at face value, based on his résumé and experience, you would think this guy is credible.
"Particularly because of how egregious the accusations are, you couldn't let them stand," he said.
They invited reporters into West Wing offices where they rarely tread, for on-the-record interviews with top officials. They released an e-mail from Clarke to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that they contend is at odds with the account Clarke gave during his testimony to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They said he was disgruntled because his application to be deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security had been rejected.
An official also read reporters an e-mail that Rice had sent Clarke chastising him for skipping several of her morning staff meetings.
Perhaps most surprising, aides who routinely spar over such distinctions as "White House official" and "senior administration official" granted Fox News permission to unmask Clarke as the anonymous briefer in an August 2002 White House conference call that highlighted the administration's efforts in the war on terrorism. The administration's allies say Clarke's statements that day conflict with allegations in his book.
In contrast to his assertions that the Bush administration did not consider terrorism an urgent problem, Clarke told reporters in that briefing that before the attacks, Bush's aides had developed "a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al Qaeda." He said the administration also approved a fivefold increase in CIA funding for covert action to pursue al Qaeda.
Clarke said Wednesday that as an administration official delivering the background briefing, he focused on positive developments but left out the administration's failings.
<font size="+1">'Classic political triage'</font>
Officials from both parties said it would be at least a couple of days before it is clear whether the offensive succeeded in eroding Clarke's credibility or whether the public, and especially independent voters, would wind up viewing him as a courageous whistle-blower.
Joe Lockhart, a press secretary in the Clinton administration, said he believes <u><b>the White House is going to pay a price for focusing more on Clarke as a person than on the substance of his contentions.</b></u> "This was classic political triage," he said. "You do what you think you need to do to get through the day. At the end of the day you feel pretty good about yourself, but you may have created a bigger problem for yourself down the road."
Although Clarke had submitted his book to White House lawyers for security clearances months earlier, communications officials said they did not see it and did not know the extent of his denunciation until they saw his comments Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes." Some officials said they believe Clarke has been more critical in his public comments than he was in the book.
Two hours before airtime, the White House released the text of a rebuttal interview that deputy national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley taped last Friday for the "60 Minutes" segment, on which Clarke made his case. Also before airtime, the White House sent reporters a six-page document titled "Setting the Record Straight," with entries divided between "Myth" and "The Facts."
<font size="+1">'Fantasy fiction'</font>
Later in the week, James R. Wilkinson, deputy national security adviser for communications, said on CNN, MSNBC and Fox that Clarke's tome should be in "the fantasy fiction section" of bookstores.
Rice told network correspondents summoned to her office Wednesday that Clarke's book, "Against All Enemies," is "180 degrees from everything else that he said." Yesterday, the White House circulated an e-mail headed "Richard Clarke v. Richard Clarke" listing what they said were contradictions between his statements this week and in the past.
Administration officials were so intent on mobilizing every possible argument that they did not worry about potential contradictions. Collectively, they said Clarke was responsible for counterterrorism but out of the loop, claimed he was obsessed with which meetings he could attend but refused to go to some meetings, and argued both that his book was published too soon and too late.
The dispute became deeply personal. Clarke said Wednesday on ABC's "Nightline": "These are mean and nasty people, when it comes down to it." White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday that the author "has a growing credibility problem."
Clarke chuckled during a phone interview when he was told that the White House had leaked word that during his departure meeting in the Oval Office, he had told Bush that he would be happy to help "if you need a friend on the outside."
"If I had done anything else, they would now be telling you that I was a rude person," Clarke said. "Their complaints have nothing to do with the argument I'm making. I would like them to start talking about the argument that I'm making and the facts about what they did and didn't do prior to 9/11."
Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) yesterday pointed to Bush's promise in 2000 to change the tone in Washington and said that, instead, "the people around him . . . are doing things that should never be done and have never been done before."
But Sig Rogich, a crisis and image consultant for President George H.W. Bush, said that the White House "is doing everything they have to do and should do to point out the fallacy of what Clarke has had to say."
"I don't think the American people believe that a president would, in a cavalier way, turn his back on information that could jeopardize the nation," Rogich said. "The White House has done an effective job and should continue to do that."
<i>© 2004 The Washington Post Company</i></lj-cut>
Oh yeah - and by the way, does it seem particularly interesting to anyone else that Condoleeza Rice is now requesting a <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4601195/" target="_blank"><u><b>private meeting</b></u></a> with the 9/11 commission, yet <i>STILL</i> refuses to testify under oath? <i>THIS</i> from the Bush administration's National Security Adviser? Were there sufficient strength in her convictions about the administration and its history, shouldn't she be jumping at the chance to testify under oath? In an election year, with her boss lobbying so hard to get reelected, shouldn't she be putting her money where her mouth is? Mark my words, this action alone is going to be another nail in the campaign's coffin and a big wedge between her and the entire cabinet. Here is a <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,115170,00.html" target="_blank"><u><b>transcript</b></u></a> of her statements to the press at the White House on Wednesday.
<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/03/25/bc.germany.nazis.reut/index.html" target="_blank"><b><u>Neo-Nazi music files spark German raids</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032504marrPoll.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Majority Of Americans Reject Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032504pelosiMarr.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Dem Leader Breaks From Kerry & Supports Gay Marriage</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032404gayTeach.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Investigation Launched After Teacher Tells Class He's Gay </u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032404courtDad.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Court Strikes Down Ban On Gay Dad From 'Exposing' Son To Homosexuality</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032404arkParent.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>No Difference Between Gay & Straight Parents Court Told</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032404KingMarry.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>MLK Widow Condemns Anti-Gay Amendment</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032404RheaPride.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Community That Tried To Imprison Gays To Get A Taste Of Rainbow Pride</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032204jesseAend.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Governor/Former Pro Wrestler Jesse Ventura Body Slams Gay Marriage Amendment</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032104lindnerOUt.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Gay Holocaust Denier Dumped By GOP</u></b></a>
<a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032204revisedAmend.htm" target="_blank"><u><b>Federal Anti-Gay Amendment Rewritten;</b></u></a> <a href="http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/03/032304senateBan.htm" target="_blank"><b><u>Senate Amendment Hearing Shows Little Movement On Same-Sex Marriage</u></b></a>