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June 17, 2006


I believe the bloggers need to use a Rovian strategy and use this "accountability" issue to attack Rove and Luskin. To hold the bloggers accountable, we need to know some details about Rove's role in the Plame case. Since Rove has been "exonerated" how about some straight up answers from Rove and Luskin. These direct questions need to be answered from Rove and Luskin to help clear things up.

Was Rove a source for Novak?
What does Luskin know about the Sealed vs. Sealed case?

I'm sure there are plenty of other questions that can be asked. These are answers we need to know so we can hold the bloggers accountable ya know.

I wonder whether Rove's comments are intended to influence the debate over net neutrality, an attempt to impose some Party discipline on wayward Republicans like Sensenbrenner and Party organs like the Christian Coalition.

I was thinking the same thing. By giving the blogs (fairly, to a degree) credit for Lamont and Webb, Rove scares the old-timers into wanting to gut the medium.

And FWIW I think the timing of this attack has to do with a confluence of events: YearlyKos, Rove's no-charge (which frees him up to complain about the case, if not Fitz), the Lamont poll, the Webb primary victory, and net neutrality.

"but my editors tell me I need to call and ask,"
Sounds like their last job was selling used cars. Apologies to all used car dealers. Thanks emptywheel.

Let Rove-Luskin eat their heart out. They think just because they got media training theirs is the most respectable argument. They know better: having their own spy reports from the Ykos convention last week that the anonymousphere when it showed up for the panel discussions instead of looking discreditable, for the most part appeared much like what one observer compared to a meeting of accountants; i.e., Rove's opposition is informed, communicative, intelligent; just incompletely media-trained, as yet. When they pay their trolls to drop by, the bearers of barbs simply find their datapoints logged into the trollodex. I am sorry for Luskin that Rove encouraged him to select the paradigms he has for their fictitious publicity campaign. I believe none of us know yet how the numerous investigations will end, though polarized partisan commentary from their bullypulpit is to be expected until we transit election cycle and some of the study groups now engaging make their reports. I look forward to ABA's publication of their research into the presidential signing memos practices of the current president's administration.

Gonzales is the one who figures he can repress journalistic speech, but he has to frame it in Patriot Act terms, not typecasting himself as the adversary of the commons of public speech. Congress and judiciary both will repel that.

When the internet first developed, people in the third world paid for messages by the byte. Congress and even the current FCC, are going avoid regressing our communications infrastructure into those neanderthal times.

Rove and Luskin can taunt but they will find little of substance to attack, which is precisely their point. They are not going to discredit academia and social studies; maybe they will enhance the tenor of the public dialog. Place the acceptable emoticon after that.

Holy crap!

(lightbulb going off....)

Are they also signaling to the cocktail weenie crowd that if they stick with them, and ignore all that crazy truthtellin' stuff, that they will protect them no matter what, and that if the weenie spear-carriers* don't, well.....?

*those, of course, would be toothpicks.

emptywheel, fyi
"Christy Hardin Smith says:
June 17th, 2006 at 10:43 am
Gang — Jane’s mom has had to go back in the hospital. We’re going to need some patience over the next few days, since Jane will be travelling to see her and deal with things. And if you could see your way to some thoughts, prayers or whatever it is that you do in this situation, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks."

This use of "accountable" is fascinating. Seems to me, the broad definition would be "one of us." According to Luskin, CBS forgot its place (that it was Accountable to the White House) when it reported the story of Bush's National Guard service. The cozy connections between D.C. insiders and certain journalists ensure that the Press is on the government's team and therefore Accountable. Of course, one result of this bizarre form of Accountability is uncritical reporting of government leaks.

Really, it's just scary how these people manipulate language in an attempt to lull the public into accepting whatever they do. Every sentence needs to be examined for its true meaning.


You've discovered Luskin's personal dictionary!! Now please make 1000 copies and send them to me and everyone else you know.

Talk about rosetta stone.

Per Luskin, it was o.k. for the Right-wingnut bloggers to hold the MSM accountable for the CBS National Guard story but the Left blogosphere has not held to the same "principle" in the Rove story. Mary Mapes might like to set Luskin straight on her view of the "principles" of the Right's bloggers' attack on her National Guard story.

It is now time that we declare war on Karl Rove. We must use all investigative tools available, i.e, video, digital photography, audio(secretly recorded and not in violation of any state or federal laws, to expose this bastard to the world, and once and for all end his influence in America.

Some questions cry out to be answered.

Is this leader of the party of family values presently, or in the past, ever engaged in an extramarital affair? We don't rumors, we want pictures and video of him with his paramour.

How has Rove accumulated his wealth when he, for the most part, has been sucking on the public tit for so many years? Who is willing to research public records on Rove's financial transactions?

These are just a couple of areas in which we must begin our efforts to expose this fraud. Wherever Rove goes, people must be ready with video or digital cameras to document Rove's activities. Let me be clear, I am not talking about stalking or law breaking, but rather a photographic record of Rove's activities.

Should Rove speak at an event, camera or tape must be at the ready to record every word that comes out of this pig's mouth. Everything on the record.

I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that people like Rove like to work in the shadows, and for the most part become very uncomfortable about having their life monitored. This is usually when they become frustrated and screw up big time.

Just one point. If we had been monitoring Rove's activities we would know whether he spent fifteen hours at his attorneys office as reported by Leopold.

Final comment. This will not be easy,and takes dedication to the task. If we are really concerned about this nation, and our future, this player must be sidelined.

It is sort of flattering to become the target(along with Kerry Murtha and a numerous other honorables) of a Rovian attack. Bloggers are players now, how times have changed.

>Bloggers are players now<

And it's happened very quickly, because that's how things work on the internets. Blogs are a mutation, an unexpected and warp in the political fabric. People who have worked their whole lives to get inside the bubble (without breaking it) see their livelihoods threatened, and they react viscerally. They have to eat somehow, and if the blogs wind up managing the discourse, well, who needs em?

Yeah, that Rove addresses us at all is meaningful. It means we should keep doing more of what we've been doing.

The Rethugs have been operating this way for millenia -- remember Ed Meese, Reagan's AG? Under him, it was the "Just Us" Department, dedicated to covering Republican ass wherever it was exposed. Instead of investigation, trial and punishment (as in Watergate), we got the wet farts of pleas and pardons touted as accountability for Iran-Contra. Maybe that's the issue Dems should start beeping about: Republicans are dedicated to the proposition that, as superior beings, they are entitled to anything they want and allowed to rig the system to get it. Of all the ways they've damaged this country, that's the worst. It's no longer the land of equal opportunity -- it's might makes right and screw you, neighbor, I'm taking what I want even if it belongs to you. America the Unfair, where only a rich, born-again Southerner can ever be President -- brought to you by Republicans.

Sorry Karl: It is not hate and anger, but a feeling of utter betrayal of our trust by a public servant and your ugly cynical manipulations of truth that motivates us to search for your accountability in these matters. Come clean, and be honest and stop spinning. But I think that is highly unlikely.

BTW, EW, I finally managed to download the Plame Panel(YK) on my creaky 3w connection. You people were absolutely superb.

The Investigative Reporters and Editors is having a convention in Fort Worth, TX this weekend, and they have been complaining about the way Investigative Reporters are seen by newspapers as an expensive luxury. They say Time magazine just laid off two prize-winning investigative reporters very recently, and it is a tendency among newspapers.

The publications can't seem to figure out why they are losing readers.

The IJE suggests that the short-sighted view on investigative reporting is the reason. Big newspapers and TV networks are the only reporting organizations with enough money to field investigative reporters. They suggest that investigative reporting is an area of specialization that there is a demand for and that the internet cannot match.

I suspect they are correct. Daily reporting can be handled by Talon News or something similar. It really is just stenography. TV does headline news, and newspapers and news magazines can match the headlines on the internet. But who does investigative journalism?

Besides Talking Points Memo, of course.

Let the large news organizations do most of the real investigative journalism. Then ask Luskin how "accountable" the press is to the administration.

Perfect take on that part of Rove's attack...but it's the other part that intrigues me...that gets overlooked.

The right do trounce the left on the Net. But it's not the blogs....it's the hundreds and hundreds of conservative websites - many that don't appear to be political - geared around religion or hunting or family values etc. Sprouting up every day.

Would I want the left to emulate that? Hell no! But it's something that many net roots advocates overlook...when they talk about present or future power. I dunno...other than exposing those kinds of sites - and non profit organizations that pretend to be nonpartisan - I'm not sure what else can be done about them (and I think there's a lot of left-leaning people that would defend them for various reasons).

But to me....that was the main thing that sucked me into gopusa.com last year at the beginning...those mailing lists that Bruce Eberle turned over to Bobby (distantly related) Eberle. Up until then...I thought the left had the edge on the net...but I've seen so many similiar type operations (like the New Hamshire website in my story on Rove) that I know the race ain't even close.

It is true that a supply-demand effect applies to the field of investigative journalism and recently those ranks are thinned; but the largest news entities employ some worthwhile people still. There is a lot of expertise on the internet both by investigative journalists and people with diverse expertise. EW's stature has appeared during the past year. There are other reliable people writing in the bsphere, as well. The regulatory atmosphere sets the tone, and that is what Luskin's commission apparently has become, to give rebirth to the Powell FCC; he selected a difficult opening move, though.

I was struck by this passage:
This story began July 6 when Wilson went public and identified himself as the retired diplomat who had reported negatively to the CIA in 2002 on alleged Iraq efforts to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger. I was curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill Clinton's National Security Council (NSC) was given this assignment. Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one.

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.

So July 8 is definately the earliest Novak got the info. This allows us to narrow down the possibilities for official one very nicely. It means it can't be Hadley or Armitage. I always thought Novak was lying and Rove was the original source. Now I'm thinking Cheney might be the original source.

Rove rants about "hate and anger" in the blogs, which merely parallels the one true core of the conservative movement. We forget the Rove (and the Bush family for that matter) believe in political jujitsu - throwing your own biggetst failing into the eyes of your opponents, which is what this charge. does. I say ignore it and go on the attack.

What could be said to be the major failing of the progressive blogs? One could make an argument that "conspiracy theory" ranks pretty high on the list. Slap that label on Rove. Hell, his whole rant reeks of "conspiracy theory" and makes the claim plausible. Make Rove look weak, foolish, stupid and bizarre. That's the one thing bullies really can't tolerate and it is their true Achilles heel. It's also usually true.

exact birth data: Jan30,1941 730pm Lincoln,NE

natal chart: pluto opp. sun

Jealousy and possessiveness are inherent qualities. Wrath of individual can be brutal. In previous lives has been tyrannical and despotic...The ego has been blown out of proportion and must now be reduced to its proper size. (Hickey, Astrology, Cosmic Science)

current transit: saturn squ. saturn (peak 6-19)
(starlights solutions report for tricky dick)

This is a crucial period of testing, which challenges your commitment to the life you have chosen thus far. A failure, a loss of status, a personal disappointment, or some other disheartening event may usher in this period of reexamination. You are more aware than ever of your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and insecurity, fear, and self-doubt may be unwelcome companions now. Basically you are thrown back on your inner resolve to continue on the path you've been on. Areas that are shaky and less than solid will need to be built up or eliminated altogether. Discern what is worth holding on to or working to strengthen, and what must be shed. If you stubbornly resist letting go of what isn't really essential to living out your authentic life, you set yourself up for even greater loss later on.

Negative Potentials:

A severe crisis of confidence reaping the results of past dishonesty (with self or others), unconscious behavior, compromises, or shortcuts.


Negative Potentials:

Self-pity, self-isolation, depression.


Frontline PBS features CHENEY in the "DARK SIDE" on JUNE 20, 2006

tnhblog, sorry, I'm no good at this dot-connecting. Why do you think it's Cheney? I kind of think so too-- but just because of those handwritten notes on the article.

tnhblog - how do you make the inference about July 8?

I don't think we can take for granted anything Novak says in his Oct 1 article. By then the cover story was fabricated.

In the article Novak says it all began July 6. Theeafter, he says, he had a lengthy conversation with a senior administration offical. So it could be anytime after July 6. It doesn't really matter. Or, like you say, he could be lyng about everything.

tnhblog, sorry, I'm no good at this dot-connecting. Why do you think it's Cheney? I kind of think so too-- but just because of those handwritten notes on the article.

Just narrowing down the possibilities and speculating on the same basis you are.

You are so right. No one ever in the history of the White House wrote notes on an article about a critic of the White House who happens to be a liar.

Perhaps, Cheny was wondering who on his staff sent the incompetent liar. Give it up folks!

I also think Cheney was Woodward's source. I keep hearing from speculators that it's for sure Armitage. Does anyone know that as a Fitz-fact? I think the Armitage speculation is because Woodward said his source is not a partisian gun slinger. But, if I get into Woodward's brain, Cheney is not a partisan gunslinger since he has no aspirations for a political future for himself. Plus, I don't think he would have gone as far as he did to protect Armitage as he did to protect Cheney. Also, if Armitage did quickly spill his guts to Powell upon recognizing the error of his ways, it wouldn't have taken as long as Woodward states it took him to convince his source to come forward. Perhaps a Freudian slip, but in Woodward's interview with Larry King over the matter, one of the questions Woodward asks is what did Cheney do? I'd like to hear from ew what she thinks of the possibily that Cheney was Woodward's source.


I think I'm the person who has least believed the partisan gunslinger comment, period (I think it's intentional misdirection), and who has believed that Woodward's source (which is not what Novak was referring to) could be Cheney, but who now believes it is Armitage.

Proof number one is a filing in which Armitage fits the redactions best--and Cheney doesn't fit at all. Proof number two are comments from Jeffress that Official One (Novak and Woodward's source) is not in the White House. I think Cheney might be Novak's source, as a third source. But if so we need to rethink what Novak has told us.

ew, thank's for your response. I am going to read over this carefully. It's 11:56 pm my time, so it won't be tonight. I am so sorry that I am so new to this or I would have already read this posting of yours. I think you are so smart. Smarter than I am and I'm pretty smart! I hope you don't mind my reading the comments on your current article. My initial take on your link is Ari or Richard. New brain challenges are always good! I still think the partisan gunslinger comments are meant to throw us off track, but I'll learn more and perhaps not be so suspicious.

Absolutely fascinating, EW.

Yes, Rove is beneath contempt (a cliche which fits him perfectly), but we knew that already. The vital thing now is to keep the pressure on about net neutrality. THAT'S the big deal at the moment, IMO. Everybody check Josh Marshall everyday, and if your Senator waffles, get on the phone to their offices and let them have it (civilly but in no uncertain terms). This is one of those issues which people in congress think nobody really cares about that much. We have to show them that we do. Yes, there are two sides to the argument, but the this is war against an opponent without scruples. Screw the other side of the argument.

As for dogging Rove - that's actually not a bad idea in a way. Rove is like Atwater in more ways than the obvious, tactical one: he really cares about his reputation as a person, believe it or not. I somehow doubt that Rovie would apologize on his deathbed like that asshole Atwater did, but I do think he really cares about being 'respectable', a family man, a 'nice' man personally, etc. [ 'It's just politics John (McCain)' - Bush in the S. Carolina primary 2k]. The DC bubble is of the utmost importance to him because it enables him to be the amoral prick he actually is and still 'feel good about himself'. 'Murdering puppies is just my day job!'.

The other night, Larry King had a panel of people being (except for David Horowitz) publically outraged by Coulter's 9/11-wives schtick. The (sorry!) grotesque Georgette Mosburger (sp?) was properly offended by Coulter's crap, but then said something to the effect of 'you have to admit, though, that she is a brilliant marketer'. That is the GOP/Reagan/Bush sickness, right there, and it effects 'liberals' just as much as anybody else. 'If you can't be good, be careful'. Dog Rove, but chances are, you won't find much dirt of the tittilating kind on him (maybe, but who knows?). He's a family man all the way, I think. It's the obvious: the amorality, the awful character, the vertiginous cynicism that's key. Rove and Bush exemplify that. You don't have to make anything up or find nasty sexual secrets, just concentrate on what's in plain sight. Dog him to make him personally responsible. He's not the president and has no offical teflon. Embarrass him. MSM reporters don't like to be held up to scrutiny, but Rove is an even better target for this kind of thing. Make the guy squirm personally. He would HATE that, and, unlike members of the press corp., he really can't conceivably provide any public service - he's just a scummy political operative.

Joe McCarthy used to booze it up with reporters and say stuff like 'Of course there's no list of communists - I'm just playing the game, boys! Haw haw haw. Have another drink'. But that was before the Unmaking of the American Consensus. We have to make these varmits wish they had been careful for what they wished for (and got). The idea that 'if it SELLS, it's good' is the modern GOP's biggest weak spot, and the contradictions it implies are deep and systemic (the Immigration 'debate' - with bidnis on one side and nativists on the other - is just one exponent of this contradiction). Rove is at the center of it all, the absolute apotheosis.

EW, thanks for the gentle reminder that the gunslinger comment was made by Novak (not Woodward) in reference to his (Novak's) source. I'm off to study your link. Thanks!

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