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Despite the explicit request of former DCI George Tenet, the White House "overruled" the CIA in order to include the now infamous "16 words" in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

As part of Bob Woodard's testimony in the Lewis "Scooter" Libby perjury trial, a taped interview was played in which former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the journalist that Tenet "personally" had the statement "taken out" just 3 months earlier in a speech in Cincinnati.

When Woodward asked why it re-appeared in the State of the Union, Armitage replied, "it was overruled by...the White House. Condi doesn`t like being in the hot spot."

Armitage's statements to Woodward seem to confirm the version of events reported by ePluribus Media almost a year and a half ago.

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Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 09:06 PM PST

WSJ lies: protected free speech?

by Todd Johnston

Those who have not read "The 'Obfuscation Agenda'", a letter sent by Sens. Rockefeller (D,WV) and Snowe (R,ME) to ExxonMobil CEO Rex W. Tillerson, missed perhaps one of the most important documents of this century.

Diaried about -- brilliantly, as always -- HERE by Jerome a Paris, the letter itself is by a long shot, the most cogent summary of how ExxonMobil actively promotes intellectual dishonesty to discredit global climate science. The motivations of career politicians aside, the issues addressed by the letter are dead on.

But what about the WSJ? IMO, their response was willfully dishonest, a cowardly distortion shouted from the safety of "editorial" anonymity. I will argue "intent" below; if you agree -- but even if you don't -- does one of the world's most influential newspapers have any obligation whatsoever to be truthful?

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Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 11:14 AM PST

Team Allen, best of the worst

by Todd Johnston

On Nov. 9th, with deference to Jesus and Jefferson, VA Sen. George Allen publicly conceded his seat and Republican control of the 110th Congress. After thanking his family and team, Allen proffered some hope with a forward-looking and artless simile about strong winds and deep-rooted trees, spoken in soft tones that rang dissonantly after arguably the year's most heated electioneering firefight.

Just 3 days earlier, VA election officials had decided to contact the U.S DoJ to seek advice -- now seemingly disremembered by federal lawmakers and enforcers alike -- after a weekend spate of voter harrassment complaints spilled over into Monday.

Allen's team is hardly a testimonial to enlightened governance, bristling with the latest and greatest election law benders and breakers, the lavishly paid closers of anointed up and comers, and career flesh pressers. Largely unknown off Capitol Hill, their tradecraft exemplars are nonetheless iconic, persistent welts on not only the opposition but language itself: swiftboating, flip-flopping, ratfucking.

This is Team Allen.

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According to a story posted at ePluribus Media, the spate of phony calls placed to VA voters under investigation by the FBI, strongly suggests the campaign of Sen. George Allen may be involved.

Allen's campaign manager, Chris LaCivita is a former lobbyist for the DCI Group, a public affairs firm with a long history of phone jamming and push-polling. LaCivita has denied any involvement.

However, Friends of George Allen, the senator's principal campaign committee has made several payments to emotive, LLC, a firm whose Director of Creative Strategy is another former DCI Group employee, with connections to TSE Enterprises and GOP-only web firm New Media Communications.

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In 2005-2006, Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) proposed 42 bills that if approved would reduce by millions of dollars the import duties paid by large corporations on specific chemicals used to manufacture pesticides.

Most of these trade amendments list German chemical giants BASF Corp. or Bayer CropScience as the "proponent," in reports issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) that estimate over $10M per year in U.S. Customs revenue loss.

A classic example of pork barrel politics, this election cycle Talent has received over $600,000 in campaign contributions from the agribusiness sector, almost 25% more than even Senate Agriculture Committee head Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

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xposted ePluribus Media Community

The Talent for Senate committee has taken contributions from 11 different executives of UniGroup, Inc., a $2B Missouri-based federal contractor whose biggest client is the Department of Defense.

Because Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees defense funding and procurement, the contributions violate Senate ethics guidelines and, potentially, campaign finance laws that prohibit candidates from accepting donations by persons performing contract work with the federal government.

UniGroup's current president has personally donated over $4000 to the Senator's campaigns, including $500 on 12/20/2001 while Talent was registered  with Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin, and Kahn as a lobbyist for his company.

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Sun Oct 29, 2006 at 11:37 AM PST

Climate Change: Stern NAILS it

by Todd Johnston

As one would expect, this story from the BBC hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. But it will.

In today's political climate, the only hope for meaningful global climate action lies in profitability. The unholy alliances between government and corporate interests have resulted in diminished funding for "science for science sake." Companies typically will not fund projects that aren't likely to return a profit, and so only government can can be counted on to truly advance science.

But today, a U.K. economist -- Sir Nicholas Stern -- is finally stating what scientists have known for a decade: "An international plan to tackle climate change is needed to prevent a global recession." And in that statement lies hope.

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The speculation about whether House Speaker Dennis Hastert is gay/bisexual is gaining steam, as well as ammunition. Some consider Hastert's co-habitation (when in DC) with Scott Palmer -- his 55 year old, single Chief of Staff -- a compelling argument. And those who believe everyone knows everyone else's business in DC are swayed by mounting reports that Hastert's same sex preference is not exactly news on Capitol Hill.

All of which begs the question: so what? The question was even fiercely debated here on Kos, in Mz Kleen's diary "Is Hastert Gay?

Most of the debate centers on whether GOP anti-gay rights stances (and outright gay bashing) is balanced by "outting" those members who are gay to demonstrate their hypocrisy. But that argument misses the point. Politics isn't about ideology these days -- it's all about money. Sadly, Hastert's sexuality is now an important issue for voters, although not to decide whether he's a hypocrite.

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Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 12:50 PM PDT

More nonsense from Democrats

by Todd Johnston

Are you kidding me? Democrats are 'offended' by the comments of Hugo Chavez? Really?

Emphatically, the answer to that question is NO. Rangel, Baldacci, Dodd, et al are in fact using Chavez's characterization of President Bush to pander to the alarming number of Americans unable to differentiate "patriotism" from "jingoism."

And in the end, by exploiting this non-story with moronic and opportunistic sound bites, these self-serving Democrats bolster the notion that "all politicians are liars," and reinforce that national somnolence that condones the very evil to which Chavez referred.

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM PDT

Insulating Rice

by Todd Johnston

Scooter Libby's testimony that Bush authorized Plamegate is subterfuge, plain and simple. The Bush administration and the current GOP leadership, always -- always -- lie. The trick is to ask how a particular lie serves their interests.

Remember why Scooter Libby stands indicted: obstruction of justice. He is not charged with the crime of revealing Plame's undercover status, but for impeding the investigation of it. And yet now -- not at trial, but again before a grand jury -- he provides information that would almost certainly have prevented his indictment in the first place. Why?

My opinion, FWIW? The GOP is planning to run Condoleezza Rice for President in 2008.

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So it's official: blowing Valerie Plame's cover was authorized by Bush himself. Who here didn't already think that? Only those who believe W. is told just enough so he'll think he's in charge, that's who.

So what will the fallout be? Presumably, whatever the administration is angling for with this stunt -- unless the media, and all of America wise up and don't take the bait.

I confess, I liked Fred Dalton Thompson, the actor, I really did. But I liked those old "Go, O.J. Go!" Hertz commercials, too. And yet, in The Hunt for Red October, Thompson summed up Libby's 'revelation' best:

"Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan."

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Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 07:39 PM PST

Happy Conception Day!

by Todd Johnston

Inspired by the ePluribus Media article Tom Monaghan's Pizza Pilgrimage, I looked a little deeper at Monaghan. Well that was a friggin' mistake:


"Monaghan often lists the date of his conception...as his birthday."

-- Wikipedia

Oh for Christ's sake...yuck. Like all good and decent, sexually repressed adults of Western European origin, I find it repulsive to imagine my parents bumping uglies. Really, I'm perfectly content to accept the whole "birthday thing" on faith, so long as we maintain a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Otherwise, I really can't enjoy my cake.

The implications of knowing the date of your conception, and choosing to celebrate it...eeww.

Eeww, eeww, eeww, eeww, eeww. Crazy f'ing bastard.

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