Polls Are Down So Karl Rallies the Base

“Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war… Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies… No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.”

Karl Rove, spokesman for George W. Bush, at the New York’s Conservative Party annual dinner, on Wednesday, June 22, 2005.

Big Cypress, Big Scam, Little Justice

According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, an official report from the Department of Interior’s Inspector General let stand a $120 million rip-off of the public over a land deal in Florida. In 2002, the Department of the Interior paid that sum to the Collier family (Collier County is named for the family patriarch, Baron Collier) for its gas and oil holdings in the Big Cypress National Preserve, located on the western edge of the Everglades.

Because the Collier clan are in tight with both Jeb and George, they qualified for a sum that was more than 12 times the amount the supposed energy holdings were actually worth. The BIG buyout was announced at a May 2002 White House ceremony intended to bolster the Bush bros’ environmental creds. It is notable that no significant oil or gas reserves have ever been found in Florida, mainly because it is formed primarily of oolitic limestone and spent most of the last hundred million years under water.

The nearly three-year investigation did find that Interior Secretary Gale Norton placed one of her top aides, Ann Klee (now the General Counsel for the EPA) in charge of closing the deal but made no other mention of Norton except to “commend” her for actions taken after another, similar land exchange scandal in Utah. Instead, Earl Devaney, the Interior Inspector General, repeatedly cited unnamed “political appointees” or vague forces. One key but typical passage of the IG report reads as follows:

“Exploiting a combination of public policy, politics, and environmentalism, which was being fueled by the demoralization of career DOI employees, at one extreme, and synchophantical enabling, at the other, [Collier Resources Company] took complete advantage of a negotiating environment weighted heavily in its favor.”

PEER noted that beside the enormous payout, the deal also ran counter to President Bush’s drive to increase energy production on public lands and the administration’s moratorium on parkland purchases.

Congress has yet to appropriate the dough, though, so the deal’s still in limbo.

Goodbye, PBS & NPR

Unfrickin’ believable.

They did it.


The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, already embroiled in controversy over allegations of a liberal-leaning bias in PBS programming, chose a former Republican Party co-chairman Thursday as its president and chief executive.

Patricia S. Harrison, the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, was selected following three days of closed-door meetings by the corporation’s board of directors.

…In a letter to Tomlinson, Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and others expressed dismay at the expected appointment of Harrison.

“We find it astonishing that Ms. Harrison, given her former prominence as a partisan political figure, would even be considered as a candidate for a job that demands that the occupant be non-political,” the senators said in their letter.

Disney: “You Were Still Boycotting Us?”

If holding your breath until you’re red in the face and stamping your foot real hard doesn’t work – and you’re a Baptist – just pretend it did and find something else to be pissed off about.

Orlando Sentinel:

The Southern Baptist Convention voted to end its eight-year boycott of the Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday, an implicit acknowledgment that its “family values” campaign failed to bring the entertainment giant to its knees.

Officials of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, completing its two-day annual gathering in Nashville, Tenn., put the best face they could on the vote.

…The convention, meeting in Dallas in 1997, voted to boycott all parts of the Disney empire, from theme parks to movies, television shows and networks, books and retail items. The resolution cited a departure from the company’s “family values” tradition, in particular, its support of gay days at Disney theme parks and its offer of health benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

However, throughout the boycott, no national financial analyst was able to say the effort had any impact on the company, and analysts were indifferent to Wednesday’s news. Some were unaware the boycott was still in effect.

The company didn’t even know the boycott was still on until the holy announced it was over. How embarrassing.

But not to be discouraged by the fizzled attack on Disney, the righteous quickly regrouped and decided to go after our beleaguered public schools. After all, there are just not enough people trying to stick their noses there.

Delegates also approved a compromise resolution dealing with homosexuality in public schools. Anti-gay resolutions are a staple of Southern Baptist Conventions, and one had been put forward before this year’s gathering calling on Baptists to withdraw their children from public schools.

Instead, the measure that passed Wednesday encourages parents to investigate their children’s public schools to determine whether they are too accepting of homosexuality.

“Homosexual activists and their allies are devoting substantial resources and using political power to promote the acceptance among schoolchildren of homosexuality as a morally legitimate lifestyle,” the resolution says.

Too bad that one about just removing Baptist children from public schools failed. If these folks want their children taught Baptist dogma, they should send them to Baptist schools, rather than try to make public schools conform to their various viewpoints. It seems like life would be more pleasant for everyone.

Das Guber Is Dissed During Commencement Speech at Alma Mater

Faculty members turned their backs on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger while he gave the commencement speech last week at his alma mater, Santa Monica College. Marc Cooper from the LA Weekly was in the stands:

As I watched the governor give the commencement address at Santa Monica College, I started to wonder if Arnold, and his political handlers, have completely lost touch with reality.

I emphasize the word “watched” instead of listened because the jeering and hissing and booing and chanting were so overwhelming that neither I nor the couple of thousand graduating students and their families could actually hear much of what he said.

And, frankly, the catcalls (including the sewer-level sing-song Spanish jeer “culero” [asshole]) were more interesting than the text of the 15-minute address that Arnie struggled to finish. Here we were on the first campaign day of a five-month run-up to a November 8 special election that, according to the governor, is so crucial to our future it’s worth its $50 million to $80 million cost and worth holding a year before regularly scheduled balloting. But what was the governor’s chosen topic? Well, himself, silly!

Talk about girlie-men. Arnold plain didn’t have the walnuts to as much as broach any of the issues raised by the special election he decreed the day before: the state budget, redistricting or the dreaded e-word – education. Instead, Schwarzenegger clumsily droned out a canned Horatio Algerish homily about how he hard he worked to become a world-class bodybuilder, an internationally beloved movie star (and something far less of a politician). “I never lost sight of my goal,” was the tin-plated advice from the governor now threatening to further shrink state education spending.

He either chickened out completely on arguing his new crusade or he’s so detached from ground-level politics that he still believes he can skate by as a controversial governor plagued with plunging popularity ratings by rolling out one more vacuous celebrity-driven appearance. Pretty pathetic either way.

Watchdog Detects Liberal Bias in Pensito Review

Taking my cue from CPB chairman Ken Tomlinson, I have conducted an independent, fair and balanced investigation into Pensito Review’s content and I am herewith prepared to make my findings public for the first time.

Pensito Review has been infected by LIBERAL BIAS. Indeed, my exhaustive investigation has failed to turn up a single article or link that could be construed to be the least bit CONSERVATIVE. Double-indeed, the contributors of Pensito Review, as well as its readers who post comments, appear to be consistently atheistic gender-bending commies who hate everything that Americans hold near and dear, and they don’t have any respect for elected politicians or the God-based traditions that have made this country great.

Just look at the way they pick on Gov. Arnold and Gov. Jeb, how often they employ incendiary and inflammatory rhetoric, how snarky and sarcastic they are, how often they use words like “wingnut” and “Repugs” to describe those whose political beliefs they eschew.

Granted, I, too, am a contributor to Pensito Review, but I can put aside my LIBERAL BIAS and evaluate the Weblog with PURE OBJECTIVITY. Plus, I would be willing (for an honorarium of just $20k) to appear before a wingnut Congressional witch-hunting committee and testify about my study of the content of Pensito Review.

For a few dollars more, I’ll even name names (sorry, Jon and Trish).

Bush-man CPB Chair Tomlinson Caught Lying and Lying and Lying

In an administration full of Teflon-coated liars – President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Rice come to mind – Ken Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), stands out as perhaps the lying-est liar of them all.

Recently, however, Tomlinson has made a series of public statements that are demonstrably false. Media Matters has compiled a list of the chairman’s provable lies that is so spectacular that it would shock a used car salesman.

The charter of the CBP explicitly states that its role is to protect public broadcasting from political interference. As with the Bushes’ “Clear Skies” initiative that allows for increased air pollution and the myriad other “through the looking glass” policies of this Administration, they have put a political hack into the job of protecting an invaluable cultural resource from political hackery.

You won’t hear about the serial lying of the chairman of the CPB in the mainstream media, so please visit Media Matters for the full descriptions. Meanwhile, here are justa few of his lies from their list:

In a letter to a U.S. senator, Tomlinson said CPB Kathleen Cox president approved and signed the contract to hire a rightwing media consultant to monitor the Bill Moyers show in order to catch Moyers criticizing President Bush when, in fact, Tomlinson signed the contract himself five months prior to hiring Cox.

Tomlinson denied that Mary Catherine Andrews had done work for CPB while she was still employed at the White House as director of global communications. A broad inquiry by the CPB inspector general has uncovered a series of emails proving Tomlinson’s above statements false – that Andrews did extensive work for the CPB while on the White House payroll.

Tomlinson claimed that he had had no communications with Bush White House regarding public broadcasting, but leaked emails show that he regularly took instruction from the White House on arcane matters like appointments to high-ranking positions in the CPB and even the wording of the job title for an appointee.

Tomlinson said he publicly released polls showing the public did not find liberal bias in reporting on NPR and PBS when, in fact, the polls have yet to be fully released.

Tomlinson said he hired both a conservative and a liberal omsbudman, but the “liberal” is Ken Bode, a journalist who has publicly supported Republican candidates like Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who once headed the budget office for Bush II.

These lies by the head of the CPB come to light at the same time that the conservatives who control Congress are passing legislation to de-fund public broadcasting. It is obvious that Tomlinson’s role is to work inside the institution to help the Rightwing tear it down.

You have to wonder if there is anyone who can stop them, or even if anyone cares enough to try.