Karl Rove, CREEP for Nixon


George Bush is often compared to Richard Nixon, and we find a connection with Karl Rove. This video of Dan Rather reporting on The Committee to Reelect The President shows a young Karl Rove as a GOP College Director just over four minutes into the story. I wonder if Karl was responsible for my favorite Nixon reelection campaign slogan: “Don’t Change Dicks In The Middle Of A Screw–Reelect Nixon in ’72.”

Ron Moore Provides Some Answers on The Battlestar Galactica Finale and Season 4

In an interview with Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ron Moore answered some of the questions raised in the season finale of Battlestar Galactica and provided some hints as to what is to come in Season 4. The finale showed four characters hearing strange music, leading them to conclude that they were actually Cylons. No evidence was acutally given that they were correct, but Moore has verified that they really are four of the five members of the final five. In explaining the music that they heard, Moore said:

It’s more that they arrived at a certain point in space and they were made aware of who they are. The music manifests a dawning awareness. These are four of the final five, which puts them in a separate category from everybody else. There are reasons for that I can’t really get into. We’ll be playing out those plot lines for quite a while.

With Tyrol now identified as a type of Cylon, we find that Hera is no longer unique as the only half-human, half-Cylon. When Owen noted in the interview that Hera isn’t the only half-Cylon baby, Moore simply answered, “Oh, yeah.” When asked if there are others, he said, “You never know.”

Having Tigh be a Cylon creates obvious problems with our view of Cylon history, as we are led to believe that Tigh had been around since well before there were even Cylons in human form. When Moore was asked if the four were placed in the Colonial fleet as adults, Moore gave a vague answer:

I don’t know if it’s that simple. I think it’s something that goes back pretty far. A lot of the specifics of the back story of how this came about will reveal itself over the course of the next season. Those four are trying to figure out their own story. They don’t really understand what this all means. Tigh’s been in two wars and wondering, how could this be? A part of next season’s storylines will uncover how they came to be who they are and the specifics of that.


Ron Moore on Politics and Battlestar Galactica

In my post on the Battlestar Galactica season finale I promised to provide information on Ron Moore’s interview in Salon. Since this interview was posted, Moore has revealed more in subsequent interviews. I’ll review the Salon interview as planned, but stick around. The next post will reveal far more about next season. The interview begins with a comparison between Baltar’s trial and the current scandal over the pressure on prosecutors to follow the political lead of the Bush administration:

One of the things people like about “Battlestar Galactica” is the way it seems to touch upon the issues of our time without stooping to obvious connect-the-dots political commentary. In last week’s episode, the lawyer prosecuting the big human rights trial in the season finale told an aide to President Laura Roslin to back off, and then added, “Of course, I do serve at the pleasure of the president.” I thought you either had to be working much faster than is humanly possible, or “Battlestar Galactica” has become prophetic.

Wasn’t that wild? We wrote and filmed that line months ago, before it became part of the current conversation. That was shot in November or October. It’s a phrase I’ve been familiar with and I put it in the show because that’s the expression used about people who serve for the president.

Do you often find the show echoing current events even when you didn’t intend it to, or is that pretty rare?

It happens. It’s an odd confluence of events sometimes. When we’re working on a show and developing the story lines and scripts we’re certainly keenly aware of what’s going on in the world. You can project some things out to where the world might be when the show airs. But with some things, like that line, there’s a bit of serendipity that happens.

What’s especially weird about it is that the situation is so similar to the ones that led to the Alberto Gonzales scandal.

Yeah, it is. It’s Laura trying to tell the prosecutor what to charge, what crime to prosecute. It’s been interesting to watch that.


Watchdog Group Accuses Bush Administration of Suppressing Climate Change Research

Brian Ross of ABC News reports that a watchdog group will be releasing a report at a hearing of the House Science Committee accusing Bush administration officials of interfering with the release of reseach on climate change:

Bush administration officials throughout the government have engaged in White House-directed efforts to stifle, delay or dampen the release of climate change research that casts the White House or its policies in a bad light, says a new report that purports to be the most comprehensive assessment to date of the subject.

Researchers for the non-profit watchdog Government Accountability Project reviewed thousands of e-mails, memos and other documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and from government whistle-blowers and conducted dozens of interviews with public affairs staff, scientists, reporters and others.

The group says it has identified hundreds of instances where White House-appointed officials interfered with government scientists’ efforts to convey their research findings to the public, at the behest of top administration officials.

The report is slated to be released tomorrow at a hearing before the House Science Committee, which is investigating the issue.

“The evidence suggests that incidents of interference are often top-down reactions to science that has negative policy or public relations implications for the administration,” the group says in its report.

Some of the alleged interference — including restricting scientists’ ability to talk with the press and Congress — may have violated federal laws protecting their right to speak, the group concludes.

“Directives and signals” from White House offices, like the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget, are handed down to political appointees and politically-aligned civil servants through off-the-record conversations, the report says. Frequently, those giving the direction have little or no scientific background, according to the report.

Half of All Adults Say They Wouldn’t Vote For Hillary Clinton

The Hill reports on a poll which says half of all voting age Americans would not vote for Hillary Clinton:

Half of voting-age Americans say they would not vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) if she became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, according to a Harris Interactive poll released Tuesday.

More than one in five Democrats that participated in the survey said they would not vote for Clinton. Overall, 36 percent say they would vote for the former first lady and 11 percent are unsure of their top choice.

Forty-eight percent of Independent voters also said that they would choose another candidate over Clinton, the poll, which surveyed 2,223 potential voters, states.

Fifty-six percent of men said that they would not vote for Clinton, while 45 percent of women said that she would not be their pick. In addition, 69 percent of those 62 and older said that they would not vote for Clinton.

Nearly half of the respondents said that they dislike Clinton’s political opinions and Clinton as a person. Fifty-two percent of people also said that “she does not appear to connect with people on a personal level.”

Interesting, and not good news for Clinton, but I’m not sure how much attention to pay to this poll. It’s one thing to say that you won’t vote for a candidate, but actual voting behavior might differ when offered a real choice between two candidates. I’d also be curious to see similar polling data on other candidates for comparison.

Cancer’s Bipartisan Attacks

Cancer certainly does not respect party lines in who it attacks. Soon after the news on Elizabeth Edwards we now have news that Tony Snow‘s colon cancer has returned with metastasis to the liver. Hopefully both are successful in their battles against cancer.

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Almost One Third Lack Interest In the Internet

Reuters reports, “A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the holdouts seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a survey released on Friday.”

Approximately the same number of people lack interest in the internet as approve of George Bush’s job in office. Perhaps that’s why people can vote for Bush with a straight face, lacking concern for his belief in “using the Google” over on “the internets.”

Who needs that internet thingy any ways? They don’t need the internets any more than they need to be concerned with new fangled ideas like challenging the authority of the monarch, climate change, or DNA.

Lancet Estimates on Civilian Casualties Found To Be Reliable

The anti-science right has never been known to let facts and evidence get in the way of their ideological arguments. Just as they deny established science in fields such as evolution and climate change, they tried to discredit the Lancet study on civilian casualties in Iraq. The BBC has found that the Ministry of Defense’s chief science advisor found the data to be reliable:

The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.

Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet.

But the Ministry of Defence’s chief scientific adviser said the survey’s methods were “close to best practice” and the study design was “robust”.

Another expert agreed the method was “tried and tested”.

They found a discrepancy between what was said by the scientists and the politicians–on both sides of the Atlantic:

Shortly after the publication of the survey in October last year Tony Blair’s official spokesperson said the Lancet’s figure was not anywhere near accurate.

He said the survey had used an extrapolation technique, from a relatively small sample from an area of Iraq that was not representative of the country as a whole.

President Bush said: “I don’t consider it a credible report.”

But a memo by the MoD’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Roy Anderson, on 13 October, states: “The study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to “best practice” in this area, given the difficulties of data collection and verification in the present circumstances in Iraq.”

Idiots to the Right of Us

Neil Boortz, the conservative talk show host who claims to be a libertarian while helping to enable Republican authoritarianism by promoting the usual right wing talking points, does take a moment to point out the idiocy of many on the right wing. Of course he does so in the sense of a warning that they must get rid of a few kooks in order for the rest of them to have more credibility, ignoring the fact that anti-science flat-earthers now dominate modern conservativism. Boortz writes:

Sadly … many conservatives seem to have dedicated their lives to lending credence to the left’s “conservatives are idiots” claim. You will remember several weeks ago I told you about one Georgia Republican (former Democrat) legislator whose campaign chairman sent out some memos and letters promoting legislation to outlaw the teaching of evolution in government schools. The letter referred the reader to the website of “The Fair Education Foundation, Inc.” In this website — and I’m not kidding you here — you will learn that the Earth stands still in space … not even rotating … while the Sun and everything in the universe rotates around the earth every 24 hours. Think I’m kidding? Check it our for yourself.

Well .. there’s more. Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us about another website, this one run by Andrew Schlafly, the son of Phyllis Schlafly. Conservapedia pushes the creationism theme with revelations that dinosaurs and humans roamed the Earth at the same time. You’ll also learn that atheism has led to a large increase in bestiality. But once again you’ll learn that not only is the Earth standing still, but it’s actually flat … and sitting still in space while everything revolves around it.

Tell me .. how do you counter the “conservatives are ignorant” argument, and how do you manage to recruit more people to the cause of lower taxes, less government and more individual responsibility when you have people running around loose calling themselves conservatives, getting elected to office as conservatives, and running websites as conservatives all the while telling us that the earth does not spin on its axis and does not revolve around the Sun .. and that everything in the known universe revolves around the Earth?

If true conservatives really want to expand their philosophy and mount a sustained movement that just might save individualism, freedom and economic liberty — they had better jettison these zealot nut-cases …. and FAST.

If they want to mount a sustained movement which supports individualism, freedom, and economic liberty they must actually support these ideas. It no longer flies to use such the rhetoric of freedom while supporting increased government power and decreased liberty, or to claim that corporate welfare has anything to do with economic liberty or the free market.

Neil Boortz’s attacks on those of us on the left who really do support individualism, freedom, and economic liberty are just as absurd as the claims of other right wingers who deny established science on evolution, cosmology, and climate change.

Further discussion at Whiskey Fire and Instaputz

The “Liberal Media” At Work–Covering Up for Bush Once Again


Here’s the so-called liberal media at work. The Chris Matthews Show, where Matthews is typically more restrained than on Hardball, devoted four minutes to the prosecutor scandal in a panel discussion with orah O’Donnell, chief Washington correspondent for MSNBC, Richard Stengel, editor of Time magazine, Gloria Borger, national political correspondent for CBS News and columnist for U.S. News and World Report, and Patrick Healy, political reporter for The New York Times. There’s no discussion of the impropriety of firing prosecutors for failing to go after political enemies of the administration, or of the responsibility of Congress to preform oversight functions on the Executive Branch. Instead they basically accuse the Democrats of playing politics. The news media should be acting to investigate corruption, not acting as the surrogate defenders of the Bush administration.

Transcript is below the fold (hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report). Glenn Greenwald also discusses this issue at Salon.