Rewriting History

The New York Times writes on how the Chinese are rewriting history, minimizing subjects like Mao and the Communist revolution. It is sort of the way that the Republicans are trying to rewrite our history, ignoring the liberal roots of the American revolution, including their support for separation of church and state. In each country, George Orwell could argue that he predicted it.

ABC To Show The Path to 9/11

Here’s a show that could be extremely interesting if it gets out the full story. ABC has announced a miniseries entitled The Path to 9/11 to air September 10 and 11:

The miniseries will take viewers behind closed doors at the CIA, the FBI and the White House and into the world of Richard Clarke, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Sandy Berger and CIA Director George Tenet, among others. Viewers will follow the international manhunt for elusive bomber Ramzi Yousef (Nabile Elouahabi, Eastenders) and meet several key players in the 9/11 saga, including: John O’Neill, the career FBI agent who spent years zealously chasing bin Laden; then-ABC newsman John Miller (portrayed by Barclay Hope, Stargate SG-1), who interviewed bin Laden; Emad Salem and other key Muslim informants who aided the U.S.; and Ahmed Shah Massoud, commander of the Northern Alliance, a crucial American ally and the person bin Laden feared most.

Let’s hope they tell the full story of all the warnings the Bush Administration ignored, how ineptly they responded at the time of the attack, and how they chose to play politics rather than act to keep the country safe. It would be disappointing if they stick with the Republican mythology and show us pictures of Bush with the bullhorn after the fact as opposed to Bush reading My Pet Goat after receiving word of the attack.

Update: Apparently they do stick to the Republican mythology. Salon gives a run down of several shows planned on 9/11. Here’s what they wrote on this one:


Republicans Get Dirty–Against Fellow Conservative Republican

A few days ago I wrote about speculation that the Republicans were responsible for attacks on Stephen Laffey, Lincoln Chafey’s challenger in the Rhode Island primary. Walter Shapiro writes about this race in Salon:

One of the nastier attack ads currently being aired anywhere in the country is being aired here, and is sponsored by the National Republican Senate Committee, the official arm of the GOP majority. The 30-second spot employs all the traditional techniques of political fear-mongering: a voice-of-doom narrator, grainy photographs, purported FBI warnings, menacing footage of a Willie Horton-like villain (a Hispanic illegal immigrant) and the stark closing question about the challenger, “Will he put our security at risk in the Senate?”

The factual basis for the commercial is flimsy. The mayor of Cranston agreed in 2005 to accept Mexican-government-issued matricula cards as a valid form of identification, a position so radical that it is shared by the U.S. Treasury Department. But that justification is enough to allow the NRSC to tar the mayor, who is now running for the Senate, as a permissive advocate of open borders who is seemingly eager for every resident of a Mexican barrio to move into the mansions of Newport.

What makes this GOP smear attack so unusual is that the target of this venom, Mayor Steve Laffey, is a Republican. And he is the only Rhode Island Senate candidate who voted for George W. Bush in 2004, supports the Iraq war and believes in the magic elixir of Miracle-Gro tax cuts. Laffey’s unforgivable sin in the eyes of the national Republican establishment is that he has an even-money chance of defeating antiwar incumbent GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee in the traditionally low-turnout Sept. 12 party primary.

There are other Senate races that are weird (Republican Katherine Harris impersonating Cruella De Vil in Florida), but none that are simultaneously as odd and as important as the Rhode Island race. Without picking up Rhode Island, the Democrats have almost no chance of winning back the Senate. Chafee represents the only hope for the Republicans to hold the seat in a state so blue that no GOP presidential candidate has received 40 percent of the vote here since 1988. (Bush’s approval rating in Rhode Island is a comically low 20 percent). If Laffey, a populist conservative, were to win the primary, all the polls and portents suggest that he would be whomped by Democratic nominee Sheldon Whitehouse, a former state attorney general.

It is hard to imagine a senator more diffident and more different from the blow-dried norm than the aristocratic 53-year-old Chafee, who was originally appointed to the Senate in 1999 on the death of his father, John Chafee, who had served since 1977. His lonely guy approach to politics transcends his voting record (Chafee was the only GOP senator to vote against the Iraq war and also opposed the Bush tax cuts) or his outspoken liberal views on social issues (during last Saturday night’s final TV debate with Laffey, the senator stressed his support for gay marriage and bravely opposed capital punishment for Osama bin Laden).

Chaffee may be more liberal than me on that last one. If there is capital punishment for anyone in existence, bin Laden is not the one I would defend against execution. Shapiro discusses Chaffee further and then turns to Laffey, and the bottom line as to why the GOP support Chafee, knowing he is their best chance to hold Rhode Island’s Senate seat when even even one vote might tip the balance:

Sci Fi Friday: Looking Back At Al Gore’s Appeal To The Federation Council

Liberal Values remain at least partially in reruns for the holiday weekend with Sci Fi Friday set to post today before I left on vacation. Under the fold I present old posts which question whether neocons are more like the Sith or Vogons, how the final Star Wars movie warned of dangers to democracy, and a couple of old Star Trek posts including Star Ship Captains for Truth Attack Jean-Luc Picard. Before getting to that I’ll start with something which isn’t technically an old blog post of mine. It was written before I had heard of political blogs, shortly after the 2000 election. Parts of this require quite detailed knowledge of Star Trek, but hopefully others will find the bulk of it amusing.

Gore Star Fleet

Al Gore Appeals Election to Federation Council

In what could be the final blow to Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential campaign, the Federation Council has refused his appeal to overturn the adverse ruling against him by the United States Supreme Court issued on December 12, 2000. An unsigned majority ruling agreed that this would be a violation of the Temporal Prime Directive.

In a concurring statement, Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan refused Al Gore’s request to perform Vulcan mind melds to definitively determine the will of the voters. While conceding that a majority of Florida voters may have intended to vote for Mr. Gore on election day, Ambassador Sarek declared that “Logic would dictate that voters who preferred Al Gore should have punched the chad by Al Gore’s name, not Pat Buchanan’s name.”

The majority statement did not refute Mr. Gore’s assertion that Texas Governor George Bush’s future Supreme Court appointees would result in further racial and cultural divide, culminating in the Bell Riots of 2024, but did find that the these events were part of the time line which ultimately resulted in the formation of the United Federation of Planets. For reasons which were not explained, Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space Nine recused himself when discussion of Gabriel Bell was raised.

In a dissenting view, several members saw no justification in refusing Mr. Gore’s request to travel to the Guardian of Forever to determine if there was any validity to his accusations that a Bush Presidency would cause an alternative time line with the alternative Empire encountered by Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise.

A review of the time line also suggested that Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush were actually from an alternative time line than the one in which Star Fleet is a reality. While history of that era was sketchy, records seems to indicate that the President circa 2000 was actually named Jeb Bartlett.

Reaction to the Federation Council’s decision was mixed. The Ambassador from the Bizarro Planet was puzzled as to what the controversy was all about, stating that, “On my Planet, the candidate who comes in second is always declared the winner.”

Mr. Gore had no immediate response to this latest setback. After rumors that some aides were suggesting a further appeal of this decision to a higher authority, the Q Continuum offered to hear the case. “This is my kind of election,” declared Q.