Sunday, July 31, 2005

''A Charter Member of Reagan Vanguard''

"In the early 1980s, a young intellectual lawyer named John G. Roberts Jr. was part of the vanguard of a conservative political revolution in civil rights, advocating new legal theories and helping enforce the Reagan administration's effort to curtail the use of courts to remedy racial and sexual discrimination."-from the story in Monday's Washington Post. Ponder that one for a moment.

"When They Knew"

"As the investigation tightens into the leak of the identity of covert
CIA operative Valerie Plame, sources tell TIME some White House
officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph
Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the
Administration. That prospect increases the chances that White House
official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the
Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told
investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from
reporters, according to his lawyer."-from the TIME magazine story. Susan Hu's post on Booman Tribune has a longer excerpt, if you have trouble with the link to TIME.


"Ken Mehlman and Howard Dean, national chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, if not always respectfully, were in Houston last week speaking to lay leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal church. Mehlman, who managed President Bush's re-election campaign, and Dean, a former presidential candidate, talked with Chronicle reporter Matt Stiles in separate interviews." Compare and contrast.

''Bolton Not Truthful, 36 Senators Charge in Opposing Appointment''

"WASHINGTON, July 29 - Charging that John R. Bolton was "not truthful" in answering questions about his record, 36 senators urged President Bush on Friday not to make a recess appointment of Mr. Bolton as United Nations ambassador after the Senate's failure to confirm him for that job.

But one Republican official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the president has not announced his decision, said Mr. Bush would probably appoint Mr. Bolton next week.

In a letter to Mr. Bush, the senators cited the disclosure on Thursday that Mr. Bolton had been interviewed by the State Department's inspector general in an investigation of intelligence failures related to Iraq, even though he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in March that he had not been involved in any such inquiry.

Mr. Bolton "did not recall this interview" when he assured the committee that he had not been questioned by any investigators, according to a letter sent Friday from the State Department to Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the ranking Democrat on the foreign relations panel.

The letter from the senators, all Democrats except for the Senate's sole independent, who usually votes with them, was the latest escalation of the battle over Mr. Bolton."-from the New York Times' story. Did either of our two Senators sign? I'm almost afraid to ask, but let me know if you know.

''Randi Rhodes interviews Larry Johnson''

"The more Larry becomes outspoken about the Rove-Gate story, the more the republican smear machine is starting to go after his credibility. Larry joins Randi and talks about the whole Plame affair and the campaign to discredit him."-audio from Crooks and Liars.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

''Howard Dean's brother exhorts Dems''

"Democrats must stand behind their convictions in a difficult time, said Howard Dean's brother, who now runs his political action committee. Jim Dean was in Wisconsin to attend the state's Democracy for America convention in Stevens Point, scheduled for today. He spoke to about 40 people at a $25-per-person fundraiser at the Inn on the Park on Friday evening.

The organization, set up by Howard Dean after his presidential campaign ended in 2004, is a political action committee that works to boost local and statewide Democratic campaigns. He is now chairman of the Democratic Party, and Jim Dean has taken over Democracy for America.

"People are getting a chance to be trained and work on political campaigns for the first time," Jim Dean said. "This is an off-year, a chance for us to make up a lot of lost ground." The Democratic Party must expand beyond its diehards, Dean said. He urged people to contact the organization if they have a candidate who wants to run for office. Speakers at the event encouraged people to run for the Dane County Board, especially in the outlying areas.

Dean said the potential Democratic candidates for president in 2008 "will require a level of conviction we have not yet seen (from them) in the past."

He said he was "ambivalent" about the possible candidacy of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who is widely considered a front-runner for president. Many people feel passionately about Clinton, either for or against, and he said he feels neither.

But right now, the action is at the local level, he said. "To me, it's about Paul Hackett running for Congress in Ohio," he said of the Democratic candidate who is running in a special election."-from the story in today's Capital Times (WI).

''The House-Senate List of Democrats' Ultra-Sellouts''

"In the interest of getting to a final comprehensive list of both House Members and Senators who are the Democratic Party's real problem, let's take a look at which Democratic Senators are most consistently undermining their party by voting for corporate interests over middle-class interests. Then let's combine it with the list we already have amassed of the House sellouts.The first step towards fixing a problem is admitting we have one, and figuring out what it is - only then will Democrats really be on the road to the majority.
Eleven Senate Democrats voted this past week for the corporate-written Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) - that constitutes about a quarter of all Senate Democrats. These turncoats are:

Bingaman (D-NM)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Wyden (D-OR)

-from the post on Sirotablog.

''How A Bad Bill Becomes Law in the 109th Congress''

"House Republican leaders held the vote on CAFTA open for more than an hour on Wednesday night, twisting arms to eek out a victory by two votes. Jay joined 186 House Democrats and 25 House Republicans in opposing the bill, primarily due to the poor precedent it sets for worker and environmental protections.

So how does one pass a trade agreement that is deeply unpopular across the country, in red states as well as blue? I can sum it up in two words: pants pockets.

In an effort to win the votes of hesitant Republicans, the Bush Administration employed a series of "side deals" designed to provide reluctant party members with political cover. These deals, in theory, address specific concerns of lawmakers in districts likely to be hurt by CAFTA.

One example: U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman offered a deal in which Central American manufacturers of pants would have to purchase pockets from the US to get the full tariff reduction. This was meant to ease the pain in textile producing states like South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

A similar deal was cut on sugar. The Administration assured lawmakers in sugar producing districts that they would cushion the blow of the agreement by doing things like paying Central American farmers to not export their sugar to America.

It's not clear if these deals will hold up -- in fact, a Public Citizen study of side deals on trade agreements found that from NAFTA on, only 16 out of 90 such agreements were honored.
Of course, there's always good old fashioned pork. To secure the vote of Missouri Senator Christopher Bond, the Administration agreed to support a $2.5 billion project to build a series of dams and locks on the Mississippi River. While I haven't yet heard reports of such blatant vote-buying in the House, I won't be surprised if they surface. Unfortunately, the tactic worked, and as a result, Congress passed a bad trade agreement."-from an email today from Jay Inslee. Thanks to Chris McCullough for passing it along. Jay's website posts his op ed in the Seattle Times about his opposition to the CAFTA agreememt.

''Pictures From Today's Paul Hackett Rally!''

"I volunteered to canvass for the Paul Hackett campaign in Cincinnati today. Although I live just north of there and can't vote in the election, it would make me so happy to have a Democrat in national office from this area. Prior to canvassing, our crowd of about 200(?) was given a bit of a pep rally from Paul Hackett, John Glenn, Max Clelland, Ted Strickland and Michael Coleman.

Impressions and pictures from the rally after the bump:"-from TracieLynn's post on Kos.


"From the moment the John Roberts nomination was announced, the media called it a done deal. NPR and the New York Times gushed over his humility, humor, and congeniality. With Roberts’s belief system barely mentioned, you’d think Bush had just nominated Mister Rogers.

In the wake of this media love fest, I keep encountering people who oppose everything Roberts has stood for, but see no use in trying to stop what seems his inevitable confirmation. But we can make a powerful impact by raising the discomforting truth that Roberts may be closer to a smiling Antonin Scalia. However the Senators vote—and it’s not foreordained, the more we raise key issues and principles, the more they’ll echo down the line around future nominations and policies.

Roberts is being hailed as the brilliant Harvard lawyer who gets along with everyone. He’s conservative, but reasonable. He doesn’t froth at the mouth. He barely barks. Unlike Bush’s three most recent Appeals Court appointees, he hasn’t led a right wing ideological charge. He’s being praised as a nomination Bush should be proud of.

We need to tell a different story, and do our best to get it into the media, the arguments raised by our elected representatives, and the awareness of our fellow citizens. The actual outcome will probably depend on a small group of Republican “moderates,” who tend to briefly question about Bush’s policies and choices, then toe the line on critical votes. But if they really demanded moderate appointments, or stood firm against the “nuclear option” power grab that threatens to end the filibuster, Roberts could certainly be defeated. Whatever the final vote, offering a critical perspective gives us the chance to help frame how Americans view this administration and what we can expect from future lifetime appointments to a court that’s our final arbiter of rights and governmental power. Settling for an appointment as regressive as Roberts invites Bush to nominate someone still worse for next round. Challenging him draws a line and invites our fellow citizens to stand up in other ways to this immensely destructive presidency.

How has a seemingly nice man like Roberts supported a politics of contempt for the voice of anyone but the wealthy and powerful? In a time when the Bush administration acts as if granted the divine right of kings, it’s troubling that Roberts defended Cheney’s right to refuse to name the corporate participants in his secret energy policy meeting. He advised Jeb Bush on the 2000 election, and denied being a member of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, then turned up on the Society’s Washington steering committee. He’s argued that the Voting Rights Act can only be violated by intentional discrimination, saying laws that incidentally discriminate are ok. Most damning, Roberts just ruled that if this administration wishes to exempt someone from the Geneva Convention and international law, they have the absolute right to do so. The belief that a president can do whatever he chooses links this nomination, the Downing Street Memo and Plamegate in a common matrix of unaccountable power."-from Paul Rogat Loeb's article, on his website.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Going Camping Today with My Family and Friends

No posting until late Sunday.

''Dean: How Far Will They Go? CIA Told Novak That Rove's Story Was Wrong''

"According to the Washington Post, columnist Bob Novak was told by the CIA's spokesperson that Karl Rove's story was wrong. Wilson was not sent by his wife to Niger and she was still a covert agent whose name should not be disclosed. [Washington Post, 7/27/05] Nevertheless, Novak still disclosed the agent's name and went with Rove's story.

"How far will the Bush smear machine go?" said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "Novak knew all this and still published his story. Who in the Bush Administration was powerful enough to convince Novak to disregard the CIA? Who else did Novak speak to about Wilson's wife? It is becoming clearer every day that more and more White House officials are involved in this scandal, having put partisan politics above our country's national security."-from the DNC via Buzzflash.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

''Which of the 15 Dem Sellouts Should Start Looking For Another Job/Party?''

"We now know who the 15 Democrats are that each undermined their party and America's middle class by casting the deciding vote for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The bill passed by one vote, meaning each of the 15 Democrats cast the deciding vote. When 27 Republicans vote against their own party leadership as they did on CAFTA, Democrats have only these 15 sellouts within their ranks - and groups like the DLC that pushed CAFTA - to blame for the fact that the Democratic Party has been relegated to permanent minority status.

The 15 Democratic sellouts were:

Melissa Bean (IL)

Jim Cooper (TN)

Henry Cuellar (TX)

Norm Dicks (WA)

Ruben Hinojosa (TX)

William Jefferson (LA)

Jim Matheson (UT)

Greg Meeks (NY)

Dennis Moore (KS)

Jim Moran (VA)

Solomon Ortiz (TX)

Ike Skelton (MO)

Vic Snyder (AR)

John Tanner (TN)

Ed Towns (NY)"

-from the post by David Sirota on his Sirablog.

"Rep. Major R. Owens: My Nightmare"

"A few nights ago, I had a dream. As a member of Congress, we tend to dream about Congressional things. Committee hearings, floor speeches, preparing to vote in the cloak room. So, I had a dream. A dream about the Republicans. I was at a banquet, where they were celebrating the extension of the Voting Rights Act. Needless to say, there were a plethora of African Americans at this event, and as this whole celebration continued, even more Blacks started to magically appear. We ate, and we ate well, the food was almost like a Harry Potter celebration, with every little delicacy that you could imagine presented gloriously before us.

After the meal was finished, the leftovers were made available to the hungry, and the destitute. It was a culinary manifestation of a very successful Republican “Faith Based and Community Initiative Program” where billions of dollars in small grants are given to grateful organizations that serve the African American and Hispanic communities.

As our evening came to a regrettable end, “God Bless America” was sung by all and a multitude of benedictions were offered by African-American and Hispanic ministers as the theme banner opened up in large black block type:


The shock of it all woke me in a cold sweat because this was a nightmare. A gross unreality of reality, an almost surreal event in the recesses of my mind.

And then I saw a headline the next day:


This was no dream anymore. It’s real and launched. Faith based grants, Voting Rights Act Leadership, and apologies for “strategies.” The Republican political war machine is pushing its blitzkrieg to win African American votes. A significant shift of African-American votes in New York City, Detroit or Philadelphia could turn important blue states into….RED states.

So my thinking was jump-started. Ruminations began about the Democrats and here are some random thoughts:

Perhaps Democrats should apologize for ending welfare without providing work. Apologize for ignoring the high rates of African-American unemployment, and the rapid increase in incarceration rates for African-American males. Maybe Democrats should apologize for their sluggish concern about the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

Abraham Lincoln, that’s right REPUBLICAN Abe Lincoln, with public opinion overwhelmingly against him and the risk of losing his bid for reelection ahead; nevertheless, still issued the Emancipation Proclamation. By the same token, no Democratic President has been willing to merely issue an apology for slavery. Republicans are taking advantage of the fact that Democrats are suffering from an apology deficit.

And you wonder why, core loyal voters are slowly…slipping away…."-from the column on Yahoo News by Rep. Major R. Owens.
He has a rap song there, too.

''Roberts a Federalist Society Leader, Despite Denials''

"The conservative Federalist Society has been a force on the right for decades, and counts three former or current Bush Cabinet Secretaries among its membership. Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, Jr. denies any membership with the Federalist Society. The White House went so far as to call reporters who wrote that he was a member, and told them that Roberts, in fact, did not recall being a member. However, a 1997-1998 Leadership Directory names Roberts as a member of the steering committee. Roberts continues to deny membership despite the revelation of the directory and the White House continues to cover for him. The Republican Administration calls for a "fair" confirmation process, but how fair can that process be if the nominee and the White House will not be frank with the American people?"-from the DNC.

''Republicans Ready to Slime Fitzgerald''

"Under the harsh but savvy tutelage of Karl Rove, Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated their adherence to a venerable cliché: In politics, as in sports and warfare, the best defense is always a good offense—and the more offensive, the better. It’s an effective strategy, as John Kerry and many other hapless victims have learned, and at this point also a highly predictable one.

Circled in a bristling perimeter around the White House, the friends and allies of Mr. Rove can soon be expected to fire their rhetorical mortars at Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the White House exposure of C.I.A. operative Valerie Wilson. Indeed, the preparations for that assault began months ago in the editorial columns of The Wall Street Journal, which has tarred Mr. Fitzgerald as a “loose cannon” and an “unguided missile.”-from Joe Conason's article in The New York Observer.

''The GOP is Certain to Win in 2006 — Unless...''

"I have frequently been accused of being hopelessly optimistic. Perhaps so: that’s what keeps me going.

But now, for those who thrive on gloom and doom – it's your turn.

Here’s the very bad news: the Democrats will almost certainly lose in 2006 and again in 2008.

Three essential reasons: (a) the GOP and the Bush junta simply cannot afford to lose, (b) they can prevent their defeat no matter what the voters have to say about it (as they have in the last three elections), and (c) apparently the Democratic Party, the media, and law enforcement are unable and/or unwilling to do anything about it."-from the post on The Crisis Papers by Ernest Partridge.

''Labor tells Dems: Vote for CAFTA at your peril''

"Labor groups put aside their differences for a moment Monday to draw a line in the sand on the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), telling House Democrats that unions would not support any Democrat who voted in favor of the pivotal trade pact.

“Simply put, there must be real and measurable consequences for opposing labor on this issue. The stakes are too high for the workers of America. We cannot and we will not give any Democrat a pass on CAFTA,” wrote the presidents of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the AFL-CIO Building and Trades Department, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Teamsters and nearly every other large, politically active labor union in a strongly worded letter to House Democratic leaders."-from the story in The Hill today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

''David Sirota: The Democrats 2008 Choice: Sell Out & Lose, Or Stand Up & Win''

"The 2008 Democratic presidential candidates this week are busy genuflecting at Corporate America's altar -- otherwise known as the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Now, it's true -- the DLC is really just a group of Beltway-insulated corporate-funded hacks who have spent the better part of the last decade trying to undermine the Democratic Party's traditional working class base -- a base that had kept Democrats in power for 40 years and now, thanks to the DLC, has been forfeited to the Republicans. Even so, the fact that these presidential candidates feel the need to bow down to the DLC is a troubling sign about whether the Democratic Party is really serious about regaining power in America."-from his article on The Huffington Post tonight. Also, check out his website, where he extends and expands his remarks on this topic.

''Hillary wants a cease-fire!''

"Heh. The problem is that Hillary wants a cease-fire on her (and the DLC's) terms. What she fails to understand is that the DLC did only two things in the last 24 months: alienate millions of Democrats, including many elected officials who requested to be removed from their membership rolls, and continue an ongoing and ugly losing streak.

See, when you're the US and you've just beaten the shit out of Germany in WWII or vaporized entire cities in Japan, you call a cease-fire on your terms (and by the way, think Bush would act with the restraintand dignity that was shown in those agreements?). When you're the DLC and you can't muster a winning campaign no matter how many Joe Lieberman's and John Kerry's suckle at your corporate teat, you don't get to call cease-fires unless you're telling your own shills to sit down, shut up, and learn from the progressives who are actually changing this country. It's time for a little humility out of Cincinnati, instead of continued attacks on hard-working grassroots Democrats.

Thanks for the advice, Hillary, but when we're done knocking on doors and actually working for the Democratic Party, we'll let you know the conditions of the cease-fire."-from Ray Minchew, via his blog, Switzerblog. I didn't even know Ray had a blog.

''The DLC Rises Again''

"Hillary is calling for a truce within the party, and that would be a good thing, but it’s the DLC who’s been jumping on Dean and any other Democrat who is too “shrill” in attacking the Bush administration."-from the post on DCDL, The DC Chapter of Drinking Liberally's website.

''More Blogging from the White House''

"The last question asked during the briefing was interesting too:

Q: There has been a lot of speculation concerning the meaning of the underlying statute in the grand jury investigation concerning Mr. Rove. The question is, have the legal counsel to the White House or White House staff reviewed the statute in sufficient specificity to determine whether a violation of that statute would, in effect, constitute treason?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that in terms of decisions regarding the investigation, those are matters for those overseeing the investigation to decide.

That question was asked by Paul Sanford, a lawyer from Aptos, California, who has just been accredited as a White House reporter for Air America Radio. Today was his first day in the briefing room. We met while going through security, and I was able to give him some pointers on what to expect during the briefing. Welcome to the White House, Paul, and great question!"-from the post on BTC News. I wonder how many more questions he will get to ask.

''Democrats Test Line of Attack for 2008''

"In the wake of terrorist attacks abroad, a procession of potential Democratic presidential candidates" at the DLC conference in Ohio "raised sharp questions about the Republican leadership's handling of national security," the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, a Washington Post piece on the conference notes Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) called "for a cease-fire among warring factions of the Democratic Party, arguing that a united front is needed to reverse the party's recent electoral defeats and halt the advance of conservative Republican ideology."

As for a cease-fire, its seems Kos, Sirota and Atrios want no part of it."-from Political Wire.

''DLC Rising?''

"Two years ago, as the Democratic primary season was heating up and Dean's star was very much on the rise, I remember noting with amusement that not a single Democratic Presidential candidate either spoke or attended the annual DLC meeting in Philadelphia. That, however, is a very stark contrast with the meeting this year: I am not a master political strategist by any means, but one thing I can tell anyone not named Hillary Clinton right now is that you have no prayer of defeating, much less seriously competing, with Hillary in the 2008 primaries if you take the same path she takes. If Hillary is in the race, then she is the DLC candidate, period. I don't care if Vilsack is the DLC Chair--Hillary shares a name with the only President they helped elect. You cannot possibly hope to challenge her by somehow out-DLCing her. Your only option is going to be to look to outside sources of power within the Democratic Party that she would not have a stranglehold over, such as labor and the netroots. In fact, finding, appealing to, and eventually tapping the rising netroots star may even take a noticeable amount of distancing one's self from the DLC, which, deservedly or not, is, um, not very well liked in these parts."-from Chris Bowers' post on MyDD.

Monday, July 25, 2005

''Heat rises over leak: 26 Democratic senators call for hearings''

"Democrats are raising the heat on the White House's role in the outing of a CIA agent, issuing a letter to the press from 26 Democratic senators and holding a 4:30 press conference on the role of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

They're irritated that Congress has refused to hold hearings on the matter. Behind the scenes, Democratic staffers are privately expressing their frustration.

"Republicans in the House issued over a 1,000 subpoenas for information from the White House during the Clinton years," one aide told RAW STORY. "Today, those Republicans just sit there doing nothing to get to the bottom of a potential felony."-from the article in RAW STORY, Can you guess which Senator from the state of Washington signed the letter?

''Democrats seek nuance on abortion''

"Senate and House Democrats, with the support of Minority Leaders Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are pressing party Chairman Howard Dean to establish an official relationship with Democrats for Life, an anti-abortion-rights group that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has previously shunned.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) is leading the Senate effort, while in the House Reps. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) are playing prominent roles. Their hope is to respond to last year’s election setbacks, make the party more inclusive and make it less identified with abortion.

The effort comes at a sensitive time as Democrats wrestle with how best to approach the upcoming confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge John Roberts to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Abortion dominates the Supreme Court debate among conservative and liberal activists and is expected to be central in Roberts’s hearing. But Democrats are now downplaying abortion as confirmation hearings near. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last week warned reporters not to “translate this entire process into a referendum on Roe v. Wade.”

Instead, Senate Democrats are attempting to broaden the debate to one about the right of privacy and focus on Roberts’s writings on the interstate-commerce clause of the Constitution, the legal underpinning for much congressional regulation. In the wake of defeats in the 2002 and 2004 elections, Democratic leaders acknowledge that the issue of abortion has been a political liability for their party.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), who is considered the front-runner for the 2008 presidential race, took the lead in adding nuance to the party’s position on abortion when, in a speech earlier this year, she said it was important to reduce the number of abortions. Her remarks were widely interpreted as a move toward the center of the political spectrum.
Reid and Pelosi have discussed a relationship between Democrats for Life group and the DNC. Dean has also participated in the discussions, according to Democrats for Life.

Representatives of Democrats for Life, including Nelson’s staff, and 16 House Democrats met with Dean on Thursday morning to urge him to establish an official relationship that would be signified by, among other things, posting the group’s Internet address on the DNC website. So far, the DNC has refused to allow even that modest show of affiliation with Democrats for Life.

DNC spokesman Josh Earnest said, “We don’t have links to any other third-party groups.”

But when asked about Dean’s talks with Reid and Pelosi, Earnest said, “I’m sure he’s had conversations with them about that because he supports a big-tent party.” Democrats for Life representatives are scheduled to meet Pelosi this week, and Reid has voiced his support for establishing the more official relationship.

“Senator Reid has been contacted and has been very receptive of what we’re trying to do,” said former Rep. Chris John (D-La.), who sits on the group’s board of directors, adding, “He is pro-life, as you well know. He is very supportive of trying to make that link and make that recognition.”

Reid’s aides have put the emphasis on their boss’s efforts to reduce the number of abortions. They said that Reid met with Nelson and Democrats for Life earlier this year and discussed his work on legislation that would lead to fewer women seeking abortions. Reid’s aides said they were not familiar with the dispute between Democrats for Life and the DNC about an official link. The efforts to build a relationship seem to be having an impact on Dean. A day after meeting with Democrats for Life, the Associated Press reported, he told a group of college Democrats: “We do have a big tent. I do think we need to welcome pro-life Democrats into this party.”

Dean also recognized that Republicans have successfully used the abortion issue as a weapon.
“I think we need to talk about this issue differently,” Dean said. “The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party.” Dean’s public comments reflect remarks he made to the DNC’s national finance board last week. He told his top moneymen and -women that he would “like the word ‘abortion’ struck from the political discourse.”

Steve Grossman, a fundraiser and adviser to Dean who attended the meeting, said, “[Republicans] use it to misrepresent us. We haven’t found a way to characterize ourselves properly.” People attending the meeting between Dean and Democrats for Life said that he was very receptive and that he would look into building a stronger relationship with the group. He also said that he would explore establishing the Internet link.

But whether that happens may depend on the final version of a legislative proposal pro-life House Democrats are crafting that would try to reduce the number of abortions in the country by 95 percent over the next 10 years. Rep. Ryan is expected to introduce the proposal after the August recess. The Democrats for Life website would heavily promote the bill, and DNC officials have told lawmakers opposed to abortion that they would like to review it before linking up the two groups’ websites.-from the story The Hill.

''Ex-CIA officer says Bush must act on leak''

"WASHINGTON - President Bush is jeopardizing national security by not disciplining Karl Rove for his role in leaking the name of a CIA officer, and has hampered efforts to recruit informants in the war on terror, former U.S. intelligence officers say.

Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson used the Democratic Party’s weekly radio address Saturday to reiterate comments he made Friday to a panel of House and Senate Democrats.

At that event, Johnson and others expressed great frustration that CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name was made public. Plame is married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of Bush’s Iraq policy.

Instead of a president concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a president who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson,” Johnson said in the radio address.
Johnson, who said he was a registered Republican, said Bush has gone back on his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak."-from the AP story.

''JULY 25: Senate Call-in Day!''

"Help PDA, Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, James Cromwell, Winona LaDuke and more to oppose the energy bill and Private Fuel Storage waste dump!

On July 25, PDA will be on Captiol Hill with Ani DiFranco, The Indigo Girls, James Cromwell, Joan McIntosh, Winona LaDuke and Skull Valley Goshute tribal members Margene Bullcreek and Lena Knight who will be spearheading a national lobby day against the energy bill and the proposed Private Fuel Storage (PFS) high-level waste dump on Goshute land in Utah. They, along with members of DC-based environmental groups, will be holding a press and congressional briefing, and then meeting with individual Senate offices throughout the day in an effort to bring out the truth about the billions of dollars of nuclear funding contained in the energy bill and about the backroom maneuvering and dealmaking—and lack of congressional oversight—that has brought the unjust PFS project close to final approval.

You can support our efforts
by making July 25, 2005 a National Senate Call-in Day. We ask each one of you, even if you’ve called your Senators before, to call them on July 25 with two messages:
1. Vote against the energy bill when it returns to the Senate. No taxpayer funding of the nuclear power industry.
2. Urge their colleagues on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hold hearings and investigate wrongdoing by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in its approval of the PFS/Skull Valley Goshutes lease agreement.
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Toll-Free: 1-888-355-3588 or 1-877-762-8762

For more background on the energy bill and/or PFS, visit" -from Progressive Democrats of America. Update: Thanks to Karen Backman for this: "Local numbers for Murray: (206)553-5545; Cantwell: (206)220-6400 or 1(888)648-7328."

''Tell Representative Jim McDermott to Join the ''Homeward Bound'' Resolution''

"The resolution in Congress pushing President Bush to plan an Iraq pullout is gathering steam. You probably didn't hear about this in the papers last week, but it will be news soon. Now's the time to give this resolution a big push.

Representative Jim McDermott has not yet signed on to support the "Homeward Bound" resolution. If you aren't yet a member of TrueMajority, or if you'd like to personalize the message, click here."-from TrueMajority.

''July 23rd House Parties featuring Amb. Joe Wilson and Randi Rhodes''

John Conyers' website has stories and photos from Saturday's house parties as well as audio of the conference call with Wilson, Conyers and Rhodes.

''Harber's viewers get to interact with Dean interview''

"It's an interactive world.

When Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean blew through town July 14 to pep up the local troops, the one-time presidential candidate/primal screamer taped an interview for "The Aaron Harber Show."

The host has decided to put a different spin on the 15-minute interview, the only in-depth one Dean gave while here.

It's posted on his website so viewers can watch the interview, then make comments, rebuttals, etc. which Harber will read on the air during the second half of the show. Some editing may be involved.

Anyone can take part. "What we're doing is, we're saying, 'Here's the interview, you get to complete the show,"' Harber said. "We thought it would be a different approach. It's a great way to get people involved."

Harber was impressed with Dean, who is not, he emphasized, a raving maniac. "He's a smart guy. He comes across as very level-headed, very reasonable." Harber wasn't unfamiliar with Dean. "He married a college classmate of mine and I interviewed him seven or eight times on my radio show. It was an easy interview to do.""-from Dick Kreck's column today in the Denver Post.

''Democrats anticipating gains from GOP's losses''

Nearly three-fourths of all votes cast in the 2004 presidential race in Denton County went to George W. Bush.

Josh Berthume, who was recently hired by the Democratic Party to help organize grass-roots activity in Denton County, hopes to benefit from voter resentment of Republican policies. So, why is the new Denton County Democratic Party administrator smiling?

"The difficulty that the Republicans have had pushing the Bush administration agenda has not been detrimental to our efforts," said Josh Berthume, 26, who has held the job since June."-from the article in the Dallas Morning News on grassroots political organizing in one Texas county.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

''Did MSM & GOP Blogs Cover Friday's Hearing?''

"Larry Johnson and Pat Lang felt discouraged Friday night.

The mainstream media had written scantily about the testimony by Johnson, the former CIA and State Dept. intelligence analyst, and his mentor Lang, a retired colonel and intelligence expert, before the "Hearing on Security Implications of Revealing Covert Agent's Identity" (PDF format) on july 22, 2005.

The joint Senate/House informal hearing by Democrats remains the #1 requested video at C-SPAN. C-SPAN, in response to demand, reaired the testimony three times on Friday afternoon and evening.


Johnson's experience with CBS, told in e-mails between him and the producer
How Johnson's subsequent Saturday morning Democratic radio address got the mainstream media interested in his Friday testimony, and
How the rightwing blogs have reacted to the Friday hearing


Johnson's experience with CBS, told in e-mails between him and the producer
How Johnson's subsequent Saturday morning Democratic radio address got the mainstream media interested in his Friday testimony, and
How the rightwing blogs have reacted to the Friday hearing
Crooks & Liars has the series of e-mails between Johnson and CBS news producer Carrie Rabin..."-Susan Hu stays on the story on Booman Tribune.

''Online news consumers become own editors''

"NEW YORK -- J.D. Lasica used to visit 20 to 30 Web sites for his daily fix of news. Now, he's down to three - yet he consumes more news online than ever. Lasica is among a growing breed of information consumers who use the latest Internet technologies to completely bypass the home pages of news sites and jump directly to articles that interest them.

He can scan some 200 Web journals and traditional news sites - all without actually going out and visiting them.

Online news consumers are increasingly taking charge, getting their news a la carte from a variety of outlets. Rarely do they depend on a single news organization's vision of the day's top stories.

"The old idea of surfers coming to your Web site and coming to your front door, that's going away," said Lasica, a former editor at The Sacramento Bee. "People are going to come in through the side window, through the basement, through the attic, anyway they want to. Nicco Mele, webmaster for Howard Dean's presidential campaign, said he rarely visits news sites directly anymore and instead trusts bloggers like Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, a Dean supporter.

Pointing to Moulitsas at a recent conference, Mele remarked, "I'll read what he thinks I should read."

"-from the AP story today.

''Rebel With a Cause''

"With one spontaneous scream, Howard Dean went from Democratic front-runner to political laughingstock. No one's laughing anymore, though, as the former Vermont governor roams the country as his party's new chairman, bashing Republicans while also making Democrats cringe. The 2006 midterm elections will tell him, and his party, if swing voters are listening."-from the story in the Boston Globe's Sunday magazine.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

''Jim McDermott: Seattle Labor Temple''

"I was unable to blog directly from the Labor Temple but kept my eyes and ears open & rushed home via the first bus possible, to upload my photos & get on-line! (I'll also be posting at, &

I had always intended to read the Downing Street Memo in full but hadn't completed the task, so the skit - sponsored by the Backbone Campaign - was stunning in its overt plotting behind the backs of the British & American people. The readers wore the costumes and nametags of Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon and other British dignitaries/neocons & Tony Blair was played by a puppet that looked like something between a poodle and a lamb.

I was sitting in the front row between a guy from Vets for Peace/ Washington Truth in Recruiting & a guy who was scaring the heck out of me with conspiracy theoriees. To my left, really close up, was the familiar face of Congressman Jim McDermott. He's familiar because he's from my district, he was in Fahrenheit 9/11, I've voted for him many times, & I was not surprised to see that he was reading the New York Times.

Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign introduced Jim and mentioned that he was the first recipient of the Backbone Award (there are also Spinless Awards). When Jim accepted the invitation, he didn't check with his scheduling people - he just said yes, he'd be glad to speak.

When Congressman McDermott was going to return to Iraq on a fact-finding mission (he had been there multiple times before, investigating depleted uranium effects after the lst Gulf War), he first met in Washington DC with the Ambassador to Iraq. He was told that even if Saddam let the weapons inspectors back in, it was expected that Bush would go into Iraq regardless. This was in September of 2002. The war started in March of 2003. Now the Downing Street Memo proves that what McDermott heard was true.

At that time, in September of 2002, Jim decided to call a press conference to let it be known that the President would mislead us into war. A month later, Jim went to Iraq and was asked by George Stephanopolous whether he still believed this. He said yes, knowing full well that if he didn't, they'd pull out his statement from a month before. This unleashed an assault from the rightwing press such as FOX and Limbaugh and earned him the moniker "Bagdad Jim."

Yet he points out that if the American people had really known and absorbed the truth, we would never have gone to war! Absolute untruths were first told on the floor of the House, then by the President to the people in the form of the State of the Union Address.

Thanks to Ambassador Joe Wilson's piece in the New York Times, the truth was told about the Niger/uranium claim. This unleashed another full-scale assault, this time on both Wilson and his wife.

Recently, Jim sat with retired CIA officers who are very unhappy about the fact that an officer's identity has been "outed" and that the President won't protect agents. This creates a dire emergency and lowers morale. On top of that, there is the matter of Rove, who if "convicted" will probably lose his position rather than going to prison like anyone else would. Jim believes that Judith Miller is probably sitting in prison because she is protecting someone.

Then there is the matter of the Vets. Did the government ever think ahead when rushing to war? & what about the 25,000+ Iraqis killed? The administration now admits we may be in Iraq for 12 years or more. "America is not safer. The Republicans refuse to admit it."

Jim then produced his folder copy of the New York Times and reminded us that today, "everything above the fold is about terrorism" and that more terrorism was unleashed by starting this war. As we know, the American military has the power to bomb but what do they do once the bombing stops? We seem to have turned Iraq into another training ground, like Afghanistan was. This is a democracy?!

Almost half of the Iraqi Parliament signed a letter asking us to end the Occupation, much as in our country, Congressman Conyers did something similar. The US government says we can't leave til they ask us to leave, but then when they do, we can't explain how we will leave or why we are building four full military bases there.

There will be an "Out of Iraq Caucus" with as many as 60 members, probably having a hearing in September. The focus will be ways to extricate ourselves from Iraq, which we need a plan to do. Of course it can't be sudden, with so many there. Jim also informed us that yesterday there was an amendment to a bill in Congress which gives us more of a "blank check" for staying in Iraq.

He compared it to the old West, where we had forts all over the Indian territory, only now it's throughout the middle east. He reminded us that Vietnam War was stopped because of people power, and that democracy, as Churchill said, is not an orderly form of government. We need to organize, to support Barbara Lee's letter of Inquiry which is the first step. We need information and we need a very good case, for cleaning up the mess in Washington."-from the post on One of the comments says KOMO 4 ABC will air something on this event tonight.

''Democrats Concerned by Prospects of a Labor Schism''

"With several of the nation's largest unions threatening to quit the A.F.L.-C.I.O., Democratic leaders say they fear that the possible schism might hurt their party's chances by making labor a less potent political force.

Democratic leaders said a split could hurt their candidates because it could keep unions from coordinating their political efforts as well as they did before and could mean that unions devote less energy to politics and more to fighting among themselves.

"To the extent your allies are fighting among each other, it's not helpful," Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said."-from the NY Times article today.

Fiore presents: Double super-secret background

Have a laugh at Turdblossom's expense.

''PlameGate Hearing Video & Transcript Links''

"The video and transcripts from today's (Friday) hearing on PlameGate are all linked here."-from Dem Bloggerss. Jay Inslee was the last Member of Congress to speak.

''Partying on''

"Many of these students are recovering Deaniacs, one-time volunteers for Dean's presidential campaign. They greeted him with a long, rhythmic ovation yesterday and were reminded, during his speech, of why they had fallen for him.

"We don't need two Republican parties," said Dean now chairman of the Democratic National Committee. One of his biggest applause lines came when he said Democrats are the party of moral values: "We think it's a moral value to tell the truth to the American people before you send their sons and daughters to die in Iraq."-from the article on the College Democrats meeting in today's Baltimore Sun.

Dean: Democrats need 'big tent'

"Young Democrats need to embrace Americans with different ideas and create a more civil tone in politics, the party's chairman said yesterday.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told the group of about 700 students at the annual convention of the College Democrats of America in Washington that "it's a moral value to respect those who disagree with you."
He defended the party's support of pro-life Democrat Bob Casey Jr., saying that the party needs "a big tent." Mr. Casey is challenging Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, in the 2006 election.
Mr. Dean said Mr. Casey is a good Democrat because "he cares about the child after it's born as well as before."
The DNC chairman, who has been criticized for attacking Republicans as a "white Christian party" and for being "brain dead," said that Republicans should take his advice and embrace different ideas.
He criticized President Bush for tailoring public engagements to avoid dissenting opinions and suggested that Mr. Bush listen to other ideas. Mr. Dean said if he were president, he would talk to people of all opinions. "I think there's some Republicans with good ideas," he said, without naming any.
But he criticized Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, whom he called "a lunatic." Mr. Tancredo recently came under fire for suggesting that the United States would retaliate for terrorist attacks in major cities by bombing Muslim holy sites, including Mecca. Mr. Dean said Mr. Bush "should put a collar and a mouthpiece" on some Republicans.
Mr. Dean thanked the students for being part of the only age group that Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, won in the 2004 presidential election. "The Republicans are all about voter suppression," Mr. Dean said, joking that "maybe we should get into that. Only people under 30 can vote."-from the story in today's Washington Times.

Friday, July 22, 2005


"WASHINGTON -- The special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation has shifted his focus from whether White House officials violated a law against exposing undercover agents to determining whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges, according to people briefed in recent days on the inquiry's status, the Los Angeles Times reports Saturday, RAW STORY has learned." The msm begins to wake up.

Larry Johnson To Give Sat. Democratic Radio Address

"Larry Johnson [No Quarter blog] to give tomorrow's Democratic radio address. Transcript follows:

NOTE: Watch Larry Johnson's testimony today before the Senate/House committee -- it reairs at 5pm PT/8pm ET on CSPAN (1). The video is available at C-SPAN. His written statement began, "I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson."-Susan Hu posting on Kos. Johnson testified yesterday at the hearing with House Democrats, including Jay Inslee.

"Howard Dean on Gawker"

"Waiting to board the jam-packed red-eye from the Mormon-Republican nexus of Salt Lake City to JFK Saturday night, I watched Howard Dean quietly try and talk himself into a seat. The drones from Delta weren't having it, despite the Dem Party chairman's pleas that "something was mixed up at the office." He traveled alone, carried a giant bag slung over his frumpy suit. All the baby-eating Republicans on hand watched him hatefully, waiting for him to go diva on Delta's ass, but he disappointed them and said "thank you" kindly when he he couldn't get aboard. Ho Chi Dean has tiny feet, and waddled away quickly, presumably bound for a hotel and a tall scotch."-from the post on Gawker, caught by Darcy Hudgens, slaking your thirst for political gossip.

''Dems urged to reach out to pro-life voters''

"WASHINGTON -- Democrats need to reach out to voters who oppose abortion rights and promote candidates who share that view, the head of the party said Friday.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a group of college Democrats that their party has to change its approach in the debate over abortion.

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," said Dean. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."
Dean's approach echoed similar arguments advanced in recent months by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
"We do have to have a big tent. I do think we need to welcome pro-life Democrats into this party," said Dean.

Dean did not mention the looming confirmation hearings. He discussed the abortion debate after a student questioned why the party was supporting Bob Casey Jr., a Pennsylvania Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum. The chairman tried to draw a distinction between Casey and Santorum, even though both men oppose abortion rights.
"You have to respect people's positions of conscience," said Dean. "I think Bob Casey's position is a position of conscience."

Dean, a former Planned Parenthood board member, said the difference between his party and Republicans is that "we believe a woman has a right to make up their own mind and they believe (House Majority Leader) Tom DeLay should make it up and Rick Santorum should make it up for them."-from the AP story this afternoon.

''A Crystal Clear View of Democrats' Problems''

"Reflecting on my trip to DC this week, I was really impressed with a lot of the people I met with - there seems to be an awakening among progressives there that we're at rock bottom, and we need to fundamentally rethink how we are going to move forward and start winning again. That said, when I read this article, I realize just how far a journey we have in front of us in making the Democratic Party return to its roots - and to its prominence.

The story is about the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) holding a three-day conference in Ohio about how to reverse conservatives' gains. The story quotes the DLC's ultimate Beltway insider Bruce Reed saying "If Democrats can't win in Ohio, we don't deserve to win the presidency." That's a true statement - but its ironic coming from the head of the DLC - a group that has ardently pushed the very "free" trade policy that has destroyed Ohio's job base."-from the post on Sirotablog.

''Rove and Libby: Perjurers?''

"Bloomberg is reporting today that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby gave testimony to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak scandal that directly contradicts accounts given by reporters.

Libby told the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, that NBC's Tim Russert was the first person to tell him about Valerie Plame's identity as a covert CIA operative. Karl Rove said he first heard about Plame's identity from conservative columnist Robert Novak, who was the first person to reveal her identity to the public. But Russert testified that he didn't tell Libby about Plame, and Novak gave a different story than Rove's to the special prosecutor. Republicans have built their defenses of Karl Rove around the argument that he didn't violate the exact letter of the law in revealing Valerie Plame's identity. But perjury is a much simpler matter.

If Rove and Libby did give false testimony to the grand jury, then there is no question that they committed a crime. Will President Bush finally keep his promise to fire anyone who was involved in leaking Valerie Plame's identity?"-from the DNC.

''Public Disclosure of Covert Agents'' (UPDATED)

C-SPAN3 is NOW airing here, the Democratic House Members Hearing on Rovegate.Update: Susan Hu has the text of former CIA agent Larry Johnson's remarks before this committee here. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) website has "Hearing Live Blogging."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

''Leaking Standard: No pal left behind''

"President Bush likes to talk about high standards, accountability and personal responsibility. While Bush expects students, school systems and future retirees to toe the line, his friends get an easier deal.

Consider White House political strategist Karl Rove, now implicated in off-the-record discussions that preceded the exposure of a CIA officer's identity. Viewed in the best light, Rove was engaged in leaking information about national security for the political purpose of making the president's sales pitch for the Iraqi invasion appear to have been honest. Whether Rove did anything illegal, he did exactly what the White House repeatedly said he had never done. Rove offered the media information about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the administration's attempts to connect Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction. And Rove's conduct met the standard for removal from his post that the president laid down in 2004 when he promised to fire anyone involved in the leak.

Now that Rove's involvement in leaking information has been confirmed, the president has decided to modify that pledge. Bush let it be known on Monday that he would fire any staffer who "committed a crime."

Schoolchildren, take note. There will still be high standards for you, your teachers and your schools. But at the White House, the rule is a little different: No pal left behind. Unless, of course, he is an out-and-out criminal. That's quite a standard."-from the editorial in Thursday's Seattle P-I.

Conference call with Sen. Ted Kennedy about John Roberts

"DNC members were asked to participate in a conference call this morning with Sen. Kennedy to talk about the Roberts nomination. Here’s what he said:

“The decision about a Supreme Court justice is, outside of war and peace, the most important decision we make in the Senate. This decision is important for not only our generation and our children’s, but also for future generations. All who are concerned about our rights, freedoms, and liberties should be on full alert for the next few weeks.”

Kennedy said that not much is known about Judge Roberts. He wants to know whether Roberts is on the side of average Americans or large corporations. Will he ensure that private companies can’t pollute our environment; will he protect progress on equal opportunity for all; will he protect people from abuses of power by corporations? Can he separate personal ideology from his rulings?

Kennedy mentioned that he would be meeting with Judge Roberts today. He said that he would be asking Roberts himself how he can find out more about him. “We have come too far. Too many tears and too much blood has been shed in our progress to a fair and just America to lose ground now.”-from the post on The American Street.

Howard Dean on Air America's Al Franken Show Right NOW

On AM1090 radio in Seattle or online here.

'', spoof or really stupid Republicans?''

"So only a day after Mike McGavick announces his exploratory committee for his "possible" run as the GOP opponent to Maria Cantwell, we see up and running. Registered on July 8 to a Jerry Toomp in Spokane with the ominous email of, it's hard to tell if it's a serious website by a really stupid GOP activist or a brilliant spoof by an unknown player on our side. Several similar sites (, point to the same place. The evidence is 50/50, and it wouldn't be unheard of for a GOP goon to hold the sites ransom from their own candidate."-from the post by switzerblog on Kos, via Susan Hu'a post on Booman Tribune.

''Planning Progress 2005''--Seattle

"Head over to the new Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) - a new organization that I am co-chairing and find out about our kickoff event on August 16th and how progressives are going to start taking control of the political debate, one state at a time."-from David Sirota's blog.

''Rove Didn't Tell FBI About Cooper''

"There's a must-read article in the online version of the American Prospect about Rove. Turns out that when he was first interviewed by the FBI, his "I was just waiving a reporter off a bad story" line didn't exist. In fact, he never even mentioned that he talked to Matt Cooper about Plame (or "Joe Wilson's wife"). Investigators have been suspicious ever since..."-from the DNC.

''Downing Street Minutes 3rd Anniversary Event''

"July 23, 2005: Seattle Labor Temple at 2800 1st Ave in Downtown Seattle, 1:00 PM. Congressman McDermott has confirmed that he will participate. Also invited are Congressmen Inslee and Smith, and Senators Cantwell and Murray. Showing of DVD, dramatic reading of the DSM. Sign up here!"-from Thanks to Dina Lydia Johnson for the heads up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Democrats plan their own hearings on outed CIA agent"

"House and Senate Democrats, frustrated that the Republican majority has held no inquiries into how a covert CIA agent's name was leaked, plan their own forum Friday, RAW STORY has learned. The Democrats' release follows:
The U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority will conduct a joint hearing at 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, in Room 138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, to examine the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer. The hearing will be co-chaired by Senate DPC Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Committee. The panel of witnesses will include former intelligence officers and analysts who will discuss the impact of such disclosures, based on decades of experience and service to our country on intelligence and national security matters."-from the article on RAW STORY.

''Dear Democrats''

"This is your chance. We know there was not a snowball's chance in hell that the Shrub was going to appoint anyone that wasn't thoroughly anti-choice and anti-enviroment and pretty much anti-everything that Americans cherish. Bush's complete and utter inability to compromise or take other people's opinions into consideration is his weakness--he's incredibly predictable. You should have your homework done.

We know that Justice Roberts will get voted in. But that in no way means that he should go without a fight. I'm an optimist. I say we have a basketful of lemons, let's make lemonade. This is leverage to expose the fact that the Republicans, including the President, are a bunch of far-right wingnuts who are beholden to Bible-thumpers who are single-handedly determined to ruin the lives of average Americans by taking away, first and foremost, the right to privacy that ensures that we can live as we choose.

Hammer at this guy, Democrats. Make sure that there's not an American alive before this is over that doesn't have the words Griswold v. Connecticut dripping off their lips. Make sure that every time they purchase a condom, pop a pill, go to the fucking doctor's office, they know that the Republicans are positioning themselves to take the right to do those things unimpeded away.
On the abortion issue, I want everyone to memorize these words--"criminalize ordinary women". Something like 1 in 3 women will have one in their lifetime. Abortion is exceedingly common. Selling out women who obtain them for political gain is not only wrong, but it is politically stupid. Anti-abortion laws turn every woman into a potential criminal. Rinse and repeat until people get how extreme that position is. For some stupid reason that I can't understand, people can get behind the jailing of teenage girls who have sex. But they won't feel that way when it's 40-year-old soccer moms.

Americans are pro-choice and especially they are pro-privacy. This is the opportunity to get it hammered into the brains that the Republicans want to turn your bedroom into a fishbowl. Look, quit trying to chip off a few voters from a tiny minority of Christians who hate women and look at the big picture--the vast majority of Americans use contraception and will be sorely pissed when they find out that right is in peril.

I would also like to remind everyone that Bush the First appointed a misogynistic wingnut named Clarence Thomas, helping drive female voters into the arms of one Bill Clinton. It's worked before. Let's work it, folks."-from the post on Pandagon by Amanda Marcotte.

''Dean slams GOP on immigration''

"PHILADELPHIA - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean predicted Tuesday that the Republican Party will make immigrants scapegoats in the 2006 election.

In a speech to an influential Hispanic organization, Dean said that Republican-sponsored immigration legislation and escalating rhetoric on the issue are part of the latest GOP effort to use fear as a political tactic. Republicans tried to scare people by talking about "race quotas" instead of affirmative action in 2002 and putting ballot initiatives to ban gay marriage in several states in 2004, he said. "In 2006, it's going to be immigrants, you wait and see," he told the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization, at its annual convention.

After the speech, Dean said he doesn't think that President Bush is a bigot but that he "doesn't have the guts" to speak up against "the bigots in his own party."

Dean said he thought anti-immigrant sentiment was a "party-wide" problem for Republicans and that "they're making a huge mistake." Dean, who peppered his speech with phrases in Spanish, said that his party will not take the Hispanic vote for granted and that 92 percent of Latino elected officials are Democrats."-from the Cox News Service story.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

''Can Roberts Abandon Partisan Streak?''

"Statement by DNC Chairman on the Nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court: Washington - Faced with a growing scandal surrounding the involvement of Deputy White House chief of Staff Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby in the leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative, President Bush announced his nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court late this evening. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement on the nomination:

"It is disappointing that when President Bush had the chance to bring the country together, he instead turned to a nominee who may have impressive legal credentials, but also has sharp partisan credentials that cannot be ignored.

"Democrats take very seriously the responsibility to protect the individual rights of all Americans and are committed to ensuring that ideological judicial activists are not appointed to the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will now have the opportunity to see if Judge Roberts can put his partisanship aside, and live up to a Supreme Court Justice's duty to uphold the rights and freedoms of every American and the promise of equal justice for all."-from the DNC website.

''GOP, Dems Court Hispanics at Conference''

"PHILADELPHIA - Democratic and Republican leaders touted their parties' records on inclusion Tuesday, courting voters at the annual conference of a Hispanic civil rights group. In a sign of the growing political clout of Hispanics, the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee chairmen both appeared at the event for the first time.

"There's a lot of talk about which party Hispanics in this country are most likely to affiliate with," DNC chairman Howard Dean said. "This is a party that will give opportunities for elected officials in politics to Latinos and Hispanics." Dean, who peppered his speech with Spanish, said, "Free trade is good, but fair trade is better. We must have worker protection."-from the AP story tonight that tries to be very "fair and balanced."

''July 23rd House Parties featuring Amb. Joe Wilson and Randi Rhodes'' (UPDATED)

"Downing Street, Rovegate, and the Ongoing Deception in Iraq: July 23rd is the 3-year anniversary of the drafting of the Downing Street Minutes. I am organizing a series of house parties on this date throughout the country in order to broaden public understanding of how Karl Rove and the Bush Administration have manipulated intelligence, deceived the American people, and misled our nation into war.

Given that we learned in the past few days that Karl Rove served as a source for Robert Novak in his column outing Ms. Plame, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need to learn not only what and why Rove told the press, but what the president knew and when he knew it. If Rove is willing to spin this issue with the press, as this New York Times story appears to show, he ought to be willing to come clean with the American people.The house parties I have organized for July 23rd provide a platform for people to come together and express their strong opposition to the Bush Administration’s conduct of war. Please join us at a house party near you. If you can host a party, click here to sign up. We will provide media kits and other materials to assist with the event. If you would rather attend an event, click here.

I will be conducting a conference call for house party hosts featuring Ambassador Joe Wilson and Randi Rhodes as my special guests."-from the invitation by John Conyers on his website. If you click on the Washington button, you will find one Seattle houseparty that is already planned.
Update: There are now seven Seattle area parties.

''The Plame Game''

Laugh along with Jon Stewart as he mocks Mehlman, Graham, Blount, Karl Rove and the Chimp-in-Chief on The Daily Show, via Crooks and Liars.

''Federal Leak Case Has Formidable Grand Jury -- It’s Mainly Black Women''

"In the new issue of Time magazine, reporter Matthew Cooper writes that he testified before a federal grand jury last week -- a panel that was predominantly black and overwhelmingly female.

"Grand juries are in the business of handing out indictments, and their docility is infamous," Cooper writes. "A grand jury, the old maxim goes, will indict a ham sandwich if a prosecutor asks it of them.

"But I didn't get that sense from this group of grand jurors. They somewhat reflected the demographics of the District of Columbia," he wrote. "The majority were African-American and were disproportionately women. ... These grand jurors did not seem the types to passively indict a ham sandwich. I would say one-third of my 2-1/2 hours of testimony was spent answering their questions, not the prosecutor's."-from the article on

''Fineman: Bush didn't move the goalposts, he moved ''the whole stadium''

Video from Keith Olbermann's Countdown show: via Crooks and Liars. "Karl Rove's light-versus-darkness politics where the details are left out are, ironically, being turned back on him right now. Karl Rove is facing the kind of politics that he's used on other people for twenty years."

Monday, July 18, 2005

''How dumb do they think we are?''

"In my line of work, you get lied to a lot. Today in Washington, the big, barefaced lie is very much back. Are you ready for a barefaced lie? Listen to the Republican talking points. It is true that Rove did talk to Matt Cooper. But he was not trying to smear Wilson and thus silence a formidable critic of Bush's Iraq policy.

No, Rove's only motive was to make sure that Cooper and Time did not publish something that could turn out to be false. This is a side of the man we have not seen before -- selflessly saving gullible newsmen from publishing anything inaccurate.

All of this raises one nagging question: Just how dumb do the Bush people believe we are, that we would swallow, for even a nanosecond, the fabrication that Karl Rove's only motive in calling reporters was to discourage inaccurate stories? Do they really think we are that stupid?"-from the CNN column by Mark Shields, who appears regularly on the PBS show "NewsHour."

''White House press briefing: What the hell is going on?''

"Monday's briefing exhibited perhaps the most vitriol from the press yet over the White House's refusal to answer questions -- at one point one reporter seething with irritation, saying, 'What the hell is going on?'-from the article on RAW STORY that has a transcipt of the "Rove-specific content."

Joe Wilson on Ed Schultz Show Right Now (UPDATED)

AM1090 in Seattle or online here. Update: Schultz has the archived version of today's Wilson interview here. And while I prepared to post that, I found Howard Dean's interview with Ed on July 7 online, here.


SEYMOUR M. HERSH writes in The New Yorker about how the Rovians were handing out cash like candy kisses in Iraq before the vote.


"Bush: Any Criminals in Leak to Be Fired"-from the AP story, posted today at 9:11 AM, Pacific Time. I hope this doesn't mean he has the prosecution wired in his favor. Update: A new version of this story has the following: "Reflecting the highly politicized environment surrounding the issue, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, dispatched an e-mail to reporters barely an hour after the president spoke, challenging the shift in Bush's wording.

"Faced with a question about whether or not he will keep his promise to fire those involved in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent while we are at war, President Bush backed away from his initial pledge and lowered the ethics bar," Dean said." Update: In the latest version, John Conyers is quoted: ""It appears that an administration that came to office promising 'honesty and integrity' and to avoid 'legalisms' is now defining ethical standards downward," said Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.

"In this White House, apparently no aide will be fired or forced to resign unless and until the jail cell door is locked behind him."

And the story also mentions a Democratic congressman from California: "Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said Bush's standard for firing Rove was not consistent with a 2-year-old executive order governing the protection of national secrets. Under the order, Bush is required to impose administrative sanctions such as dismissal if anyone acted negligently in confirming information about Plame's identity."

Joe Wilson's Seattle Connection

"Two years ago, Ambassador Joe Wilson chose a forum in Seattle to suggest that presidential strategist Karl Rove was the leaker who had "outed" Wilson's wife as a CIA agent in retaliation for the ambassador's criticism of White House Iraq policy. "Wouldn't it be fun to see Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs?" he asked at that meeting.

Wilson was basking in vindication in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer last week. But he was finding new reasons for disgust at the hatchet job in which Bush higher-ups went after Wilson through his wife. "This has been a smear campaign that just keeps on giving," said Wilson, who served as ambassador to Gabon and chief U.S. diplomat in Baghdad during the days leading up to Gulf War I.

His career was launched right here -- while working as a carpenter in Sequim, Wilson came to Seattle for the exam that led to his 22-year Foreign Service career."-from Joel Connelly's column in today's P-I.

"Top Aides Reportedly Set Sights on Wilson"

"WASHINGTON — Top aides to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were intensely focused on discrediting former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV in the days after he wrote an op-ed article for the New York Times suggesting the administration manipulated intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq, federal investigators have been told.

Prosecutors investigating whether administration officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, and Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson's credibility, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

Although lower-level White House staffers typically handle most contacts with the media, Rove and Libby began personally communicating with reporters about Wilson, prosecutors were told.

A source directly familiar with information provided to prosecutors said Rove's interest was so strong that it prompted questions in the White House. When asked at one point why he was pursuing the diplomat so aggressively, Rove reportedly responded: "He's a Democrat." Rove then cited Wilson's campaign donations, which leaned toward Democrats, the person familiar with the case said."-the story in the Los Angeles Times today, via The Smirking Chimp (so you can see some comments).

''Liberals embrace faith, seek greater clout among voters''

"God doesn't belong to conservatives.
So sayeth more than 1,000 clergy members, scholars and activists convening upon the University of California, Berkeley this week for a four-day conference on "Reviving the American Spiritual Left." Just as Mohandas Gandhi, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Aung San Suu Kyi have made faith part and parcel of their causes, so too must American liberals embrace faith in fighting for their ideals, organizers say. They hope to emerge from this conference and another scheduled for February in Washington, D.C., having laid groundwork for a "Network of Spiritual Progressives" with chapters nationwide to challenge what they see as the religious right's misappropriation of God, religion and spirituality.

Another conference presenter, Sojourners magazine editor and "God's Politics" author Jim Wallis, met last week with Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, whom Wallis has called the leader of the "secular fundamentalist wing of the Democratic Party" and accused of being inauthentic in speaking about faith.

Also among dozens of presenters scheduled for the conference's working groups and seminars Wednesday through Saturday are Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope; Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence; physicist and author Fritjof Capra; political linguistics expert George Lakoff; Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-San Rafael, and Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.; and the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance."-from the story in today's Oakland Tribune.

''Reporter: Rove was first source on CIA leak''

"WASHINGTON - Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper says a 2003 phone call with White House political adviser Karl Rove was the first he heard about the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson apparently working for the CIA.

Giving a first-person account of his role in a case that nearly landed him in jail, the reporter recalled that Rove told him, “I’ve already said too much” after revealing that the wife of the former ambassador apparently was with the CIA.
Cooper speculated in the piece, released Sunday, that Rove could have been “worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else.”-from the AP via MSNBC. There are also two video clips from NBC News.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

''Congressman Blunt and Joe Wilson On Face The Nation''

The host, Bob Schieffer of CBS, says in this 90 second video clip that the issue of the White House's credibility is at stake. Dem Bloggers' Brian Wilson, who posted this, says: "Wilson did have the proper comeback for all of this stating that the President did say he would fire anyone caught leaking information to the press. Then, he went on to state that he thought that the President should fire Karl Rove because he is a man of his word."

''Give Dean credit for visiting red state''

"Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, in a visit to Boise Friday, served as the leader of a pep rally aimed at boosting prospects for the party's local and legislative candidates. Given Idaho's preponderance of Republican voters, that's about the best he could hope for. Democrats, by tacit admission, are unlikely to win any ballot races in 2006 above the Statehouse level even though Republicans have obvious liabilities.

Give Dean a lot of credit for showing up. His message was serious, and any time you can draw 500 Democrats to a rally in Idaho, you've accomplished something.

Dean, the former governor of Vermont who had the early lead in the Democratic presidential primary campaign of 2004, stuck to some familiar rhetoric in Boise. He lambasted the Bush administration for its failure to offer national health insurance. He took aim at those targets de jour, Tom DeLay and Karl Rove, and accused Republicans of treating veterans shabbily.

Significantly, Dean refrained from overt criticism of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq; it is unproductive to suggest our troops are not winning when it is imperative they must.

Neither did he offer any alternative to Bush's unpopular Social Security rescue plan, though national observers have criticized the party for failing to do so. Some of Dean's topics are the grist of blue-state Democratic campaigning: that abortion and gay marriage, for instance, "are none of the government's business - those decisions belong to individual families."
Dean says traditional political roles have been reversed, that Republicans are the party of big government, and Democrats are espousing traditional family values. When it comes to federal spending, no one can quarrel with that.

So, what is Dean's role in the immediate future?

He has thrown out some inflammatory comments about the GOP, columnist David Broder observes, which fire up the Democratic faithful, but make some other party leaders cringe. They would like him to focus on grass-roots organizing and leave the policy-making to the Democratic leaders in Congress. As to the party's prospects in Idaho, Dean should carry the message back to Washington that while the Democratic presidential candidate three years from now probably cannot carry this Republican state, the choice of a national nominee could have important repercussions at the local level. If Hillary Clinton emerges as the presidential candidate, her coattails would be woefully short in Idaho, much as Jimmy Carter's were in 1980. Idaho candidates would rather have someone in the mold of Sen. John Edwards, the vice presidential candidate who ran with Sen. John Kerry last year. The Republican record of enormous budget deficits and moral lapses coupled with public concern about the Iraq war, pensions and Social Security, and the cost of health care offer opportunities for Democrats. Dean, it seems, may have stopped shooting from the hip and is focusing on those possibilities."-from the editorial in today's Pocatello Idaho State Journal.

''Dean exhorts Demos to stand up for beliefs"

"Howard Dean brought an impassioned message and his apparent rock star status to Salt Lake City Saturday afternoon, drawing a crowd that started lining up at 8 a.m. for his noon speech.

Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a former candidate for president, told an overflow crowd of about 600 people at Westminster College that the way for Democrats to win in 2006 and beyond "is not to become a pale copy of the Republican Party" but to stand up for what they believe in.
What Democrats believe in is what most Americans — even Utahns — believe in, he said. Even on controversial issues, he insisted.
"We will not divide people in order to win elections," Dean said, arguing that President Bush's strategy of encouraging ballot initiatives against same-sex marriage in 11 states in 2004 was an attempt to "find people to scapegoat."
In 2008, Dean predicted, the scapegoat will be immigrants.
"We can't do this to ourselves," said Dean, a physician who served five terms as governor of Vermont. "It is immoral to divide Americans against each other. We are one family." People need to think of themselves as Americans first "and some category" second, he said.
The party chairman's reputation, and last year's brouhaha at Utah Valley State College over the appearance of filmmaker Michael Moore, apparently is what prompted a disclaimer "Fact Sheet Regarding Howard Dean Visit to Westminster College," put together by the school's office of communication. The fact sheet noted that because the speaking engagement fit into Dean's pre-existing travel plans, the appearance did not cost the students or the school administration anything. The event was co-sponsored by the Associated Students of Westminster College, the Utah Democratic Party and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, Dean's cousin.
Dean filled the school's Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory Concert Hall, as well as an additional overflow auditorium and an overflow classroom. Additional people stood in the concert hall lobby and listened to the speech via loudspeakers.
Dean supporter Cindy DeRoda, a Spanish teacher at Juan Diego High School, was first in line, having arrived at 8 a.m. She said she likes Dean for his early opposition to the war in Iraq, and "his willingness to tell the truth." Following Dean's speech, DeRoda walked over to the overflow auditorium to get a second look at her hero. Inching her way toward the stage after Dean spoke briefly to the overflow crowd, she shyly asked him to autograph the back page of a novel she had brought along to read during the long wait in line.
Dean's original speech had been presented in the overflow auditorium on a large screen, and the audio wasn't exactly in sync with Dean's lips. But that didn't bother Lauren Mermejo and her friends, who found Dean passionate and clear about his beliefs. "He tugs at my heart strings," Mermejo said.
America cannot succeed, Dean told his audience, unless the president and others reach out to the people who disagree with them. He urged his audience to knock on doors and engage their neighbors in dialogue. "Vote by vote, door by door, election by election, year by year, we will take this country back for the people who built it," he said.
The people who voted for Bush in 2004 and cited "moral issues" as the reason, are most worried not about abortion or same-sex marriage, he said, but about the TV programs their children are exposed to, the meth labs in their neighborhoods and the fact that their children come home to empty houses because both parents need to work to make ends meet. Most Americans, he said, want universal health insurance and a public education system that is not controlled by "unfunded mandates" like No Child Left Behind. Most Americans, he said, did not want the federal government to interfere in Terri Schiavo's death.
He urged his audience to purchase "democracy bonds" at The DNC's goal, he said, is to get 1 million Americans to buy a $20 bond each month, "if you want ordinary people to run America."-from the story in today's Deseret Morning News (UT).

''Costco Debunks Corporate America's B.S.''

"Read this New York Times article about Costco and you will realize that the rest of Corporate America's B.S. about needing to cut workers' wages and health care/retirement benefits while paying CEOs exorbitant salaries is just that: B.S. There are still some concerns, of course, about how stores like Costco hurt small business, but it's clear that in an age of globalization, Costco presents a much more sustainable/egalitarian vision of economic development than the rest of Corporate America."-from the post on Sirotablog.

''Follow the Uranium''

"WELL, of course, Karl Rove did it. He may not have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, with its high threshold of criminality for outing a covert agent, but there's no doubt he trashed Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame. We know this not only because of Matt Cooper's e-mail, but also because of Mr. Rove's own history. Trashing is in his nature, and bad things happen, usually through under-the-radar whispers, to decent people (and their wives) who get in his way. In the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain's wife, Cindy, was rumored to be a drug addict (and Senator McCain was rumored to be mentally unstable). In the 1994 Texas governor's race, Ann Richards found herself rumored to be a lesbian. The implication that Mr. Wilson was a John Kerry-ish girlie man beholden to his wife for his meal ticket is of a thematic piece with previous mud splattered on Rove political adversaries. The difference is that this time Mr. Rove got caught."-from Frank Rich's op-ed today in the New York Times. Everybody says it's a home run.

''Top Cheney Aide Among Sources in CIA Story''

"WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was among the sources for a Time magazine reporter's story about the identity of a CIA officer, the reporter said Sunday. Until last week, the White House had insisted for nearly two years that vice presidential chief of staff Lewis Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove were not involved in the leaks of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity."-from the AP story today.

''What Karl Rove, and Cheney's chief of staff, told TIME''

Matt Cooper's testimony to the grand jury this week, from TIME magazine, via RAW STORY: "Before going into the grand jury room at 9:30 a.m., my lawyers and I met briefly with Fitzgerald, a couple of his attorneys and the lead FBI agent in the case. It was, to say the least, unsettling sitting there in the federal courthouse in Washington with the man who, for months, had tried to get me to testify or he would put me in jail. Fitzgerald counseled me that he wanted me to answer completely but didn't want to force any answers on me or have me act as if I remembered things more clearly than I did. "If I show you a picture of your kindergarten teacher and it really refreshes your memory, say so," he said. "If it doesn't, don't say yes just because I show you a photo of you and her sitting together." "A grand jury, the old maxim goes, will indict a ham sandwich if a prosecutor asks it of them," he writes. "But I didn't get that sense from this group of grand jurors. They somewhat reflected the demographics of the District of Columbia. The majority were African American and were disproportionately women."

The questions center around the week leading up to the outing of Plame Wilson.

"Virtually all the questions centered on the week of July 6, 2003, he writes. "As it happens, that week was a big one at the White House. On that Sunday, the New York Times had published former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's now infamous Op-Ed describing his mission to Niger. Wilson said he had found no evidence of that and was confounded as to why the President would claim otherwise in his 2003 State of the Union address."

"I was curious about Wilson when I called Karl Rove on Friday, July 11. As I told the grand jury--which seemed very interested in my prior dealings with Rove--I don't think we had spoken more than a handful of times before that."

He called Rove.

"I recall saying something like, "I'm writing about Wilson," before he interjected. "Don't get too far out on Wilson," he told me. I started taking notes on my computer, and while an e-mail I sent moments after the call has been leaked, my notes have not been.

Double-secret background? Cooper says it's from 'Animal House' -- not top-secret journalistic lingo. "The grand jury asked about one of the more interesting lines in that e-mail, in which I refer to my conversation with Rove as being on "double super secret background," a line that's raised a few eyebrows ever since it leaked into the public domain. I told the grand jury that the phrase is not a journalistic term of art but a reference to the film Animal House, in which John Belushi's wild Delta House fraternity is placed on "double secret probation."

"Rove went on to say that Wilson had not been sent to Niger by the director of the CIA and that Dick Cheney didn't send him either. Indeed, the next day the Vice President's chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, told me Cheney had not been responsible for Wilson's mission."

Cooper fills in what we already know about his conversation with Rove.

"As for Wilson's wife, I told the grand jury I was certain that Rove never used her name and that, indeed, I did not learn her name until the following week, when I either saw it in Robert Novak's column or Googled her, I can't recall which. Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the "agency"--by that, I told the grand jury, I inferred that he obviously meant the CIA and not, say, the Environmental Protection Agency. Rove added that she worked on "WMD" (the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction) issues and that she was responsible for sending Wilson. This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson's wife.

Perhaps most notable, is one line Cooper recalls that he said 'has been in my memory for two years.'

"I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, 'I've already said too much,'" he wrote. "This could have meant he was worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else. I don't know, but that sign-off has been in my memory for two years."

This was actually my second testimony for the special prosecutor. In August 2004, I gave limited testimony about my conversations with Scooter Libby. Libby had also given me a specific waiver, and I gave a deposition in the office of my attorney. I have never discussed that conversation until now. In that testimony, I recounted an on-the-record conversation with Libby that moved to background. On the record, he denied that Cheney knew about or played any role in the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, "Yeah, I've heard that too," or words to that effect. Like Rove, Libby never used Valerie Plame's name.

Where's the case going?

"Did Fitzgerald's questions give me a sense of where the investigation is heading? Perhaps," he pens. "Maybe Fitzgerald is interested in whether Rove knew her CIA ties through a person or through a document."

And he sums up.

"So did Rove leak Plame's name to me, or tell me she was covert?" he scores. "No. Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the "agency" on "WMD"? Yes. When he said things would be declassified soon, was that itself impermissible? I don't know. Is any of this a crime? Beats me. At this point, I'm as curious as anyone else to see what Patrick Fitzgerald has."