The Complete Saudi Primer

Center for American Progress

One-stop shopping for information about Bush family ties to the House of Saud. Moore's film could only scratch the surface.

We Had a Meeting and You're Kicked Out Of The Party

Democrat to speak at GOP convention

It's Zell, of course.

Senator Daschle: your nuts are calling. They want you to kick this idiot to the curb.

Fahrenheit 9/11

The biggest impression I got was how refreshing it was to hear real people talk about these issues. And I'm not talking about Michael Moore, and in a real sense, neither is he.

I'm talking about Lilly Libscomb, the woman who lost a son in Iraq.

It's an effect Moore means to acheive, and it's done easily. Moore simply rolls tape. Yes, the first half is a slick presentation of facts that you will never hear any interviewer of Michael Moore try to dispute. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, and that's what a dedicated examination of the news online will do for you.

But then he gets to the heart of the matter. Our children and the innocent civilians of Iraq are dying in this war. They have stepped up to defend America, and the least they deserve is that we only send them into harm's way when it's absolutely necessary.

It will take a most dedicated Fox News viewer to maintain the Iraq war to be absolutely necessary after viewing Fahrenheit 9/11.

One of the things Moore relies on most is what the viewer brings to his film. There are no shots of the Twin Towers being struck or falling. Only the sounds of the day play while the screen remains black. The viewer can bring his own pictures of those events, because we all have them already. Finally he fades in shots of people watching the towers burn and the victims fall.

He doesn't painstakingly lay out the case against al-Qaeda. He understands that to be settled and moves on to his point - how is it that the bin Laden got a quick ride out of this country on 9/13 and then in Afghanistan, how did Osama get a two month headstart when we invaded?

People can rail about Moore's technique all they want. Facts are facts.

Bush is on tape talking to who he calls the "haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base." The knowing headshake of the woman behind him shows just how true this is.

While young men and women are being gladhanded by Marine recruiters at a destitute mall, cooperations hold conferences on how they can carve out a nice thick slice of that Iraqi money that the government will be spending.

Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia puffs a cigar in the Rose Garden while he watches the smoke rising from the Pentagon.

The White House censors the name of the pilot suspended on the same page as 1 Lt. George W. Bush. It's James Bath, a Bush family friend, who was later hired to invest bin Laden family money in America. Bath funded Bush's Arbusto oil company, and bailed him out of failed business a couple of times.

James Baker is Bush's spokesman in Florida, during the failed attempt to recount the votes. Later, when the family members of 9/11 victims sue the Saudi royal family, Mr. Baker steps in as the Saudi's chief counsel.

The hits just keep on coming - though I knew all of this, I kept hearing startled gasps around the theater as each new revelation came to light. People knew it was bad, but they didn't know it was this bad.

And then Lilly started talking about the sacrifice of her son. Moore's narration fades completely away.

She reads the last letter he sent, a week before his Black Hawk went down. He shares his love, pleads as all soldiers do for the letters that break the monotony and the loneliness, and in one tragic paragraph, rails at the idiot Bush for the mess he has sent so many of our children into.

There's so much more to Lilly's story. But Michael Moore's argument in Fahrenheit 9/11 is simple.

We should only send our children to fight and kill and die when it's absolutely necessary.

The war in Iraq wasn't absolutely necessary.

So why the hell are we there?

Just got CNN...

...and my head may explode.

After three or four years of having "limited" basic cable (local channels, religious channels, and shopping networks), I've broken down and upgraded to regular basic cable. I wanted access to CNN et al. during the election season, especially C-SPAN. To be true, I could always go to C-SPAN's website and watch the different networks on streaming video, but my roommate wanted ESPN too, and she's paying half the bills. So the upgrade has occured.

So I'm watching CNN a hour or so ago, and Kyra Phillips is indignant that so far, no journalist has really taken Bill Clinton to task for his infidelity. Impeachment wasn't enough for this vulture? Did she miss the nineties, where every possible detail of Bill Clinton's sex life was displayed and analyzed and pondered on every news medium in existence? But Bill Clinton hasn't suffered enough for Kyra.

So I go get something to eat, grab some coffee, come back in to the tube, where Kyra is now talking to the Gallup Poll guy. And the Gallup Poll guy comes really close to busting the "Reagan is the most popular president ever" myth, but doesn't. He's showing Clinton's popularity rating over the eight years of his presidency. And he points out that "like Reagan" Clinton had a bad couple of years and then climbed out of the doldrums. Oddly enough to the Gallup guy, Clinton's popularity peaked and held strong around the time of the impeachment proceedings.

Why was this, Gallup Guy?

"We're still trying to figure that one out," says the Gallup Guy.

***insert sound of me striking my forehead with my hand***

Maybe the public saw the impeachment as the partisan witch hunt it was? Just a thought, Gallup Guy.

NIST Interim Report on World Trade Center Collapses

Sorry to have disappeared on you guys again - my ethernet cable bit the dust this time.

You may not be aware that I confound 9/11 conspiracy theorists with the truth over on Democratic Underground. I don't like to advertise that here much, because this is a different gig. But when something this big happens in this field, I'll let you know about it.

There are many crazy ideas floating around about the collapse of the Twin Towers, along with Building 7 that day. We're talking small-nukes-in-the-basement and substituted-Flight-175-with-missile-pod-installed-underneath-shooting-flamethrowing-missiles-one-third-of-a-second-before-impacting-the-South-Tower type of theories. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has almost completed a two year study on the collapses and released an interim report on Friday. It's very comprehensive and should help people with genuine questions.

Those members of the conspiracy-industrial complex, however, couldn't be more displeased with this scientific study of the collapses. For that reason alone, you should check it out. I'm certain that this study is going to get the highest honor that I personally can bestow on any human endeavor: the newly concieved Lawrence David Kusche Award for acheivement in human rationality. Kuschies for short.

The made-up-as-I-type award is named in honor of Lawrence David Kusche, who wrote an incredible book. It's called The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved! I read this book as a kid, punch drunk on the amazing disappearances of boats and planes in the Bermuda Triangle. Kusche's methodical investigation into every story ever told about the Bermuda Triangle gave my brain an incredible jolt of reality. It seems that all those disappearences into broad daylight and calm seas? It turns out that 98% of them actually happened at night during storms!

The same human instinct that created all of those stories about the Bermuda Triangle is busy at work around the events of 9/11. The most famous revisionist take on that tragic day is a denial that Flight 77 actually hit the Pentagon. Though this NIST report doesn't approach the Washington crash at all, it does a lot in quelling the growing cloud of chattering about the New York events.

Not that this will stop the CTers from babbling about missile pods and controlled demolitions, not at all! There's too much money to be made from too many fools. But it's nice to have a sensible place to point when someone with real questions wants some answers. The NIST study is one such place.