Lost in Translation?

“Al Qaeda Link To Iraq May Be Confusion Over Names” carried in the Washington Post made the Top 20 emailed articles list for today so it will be interesting to see if it gains more traction in the press.

There was another instance of possible mis-interpretation that unfortunately I cannot link to because it came to me from source connected to a military insider based in Japan. In his case, when the story about the famous August 6, 2001 Daily Presidential Brief and the lack of response started making the rounds, he recalled a memo that was sent to all military installations in Asia with instructions to be prepared for a possible terrorist action in the region. His thought was perhaps the intelligence community mis-interpreted chatter that was indicating an “attack in the East” to mean an attack in the “Far East.”

One can only wonder.

Wanna join the RNC?

Junk Mail

Today I received an envelope in the mail not unlike those junk bank mailings that ask if you’d like to borrow money from them. It even came with one of those flimsy, fake credit cards with your name embossed in gold. Yet, this one was different, it was from George W. Bush.

Dated “Wednesday Morning” the letter went on to thank me for “all you do as a long-time friend and supporter” and asked if I would like to verify my membership to the Republican National Committee with a donation. Pretty presumptious I’d say – I’ve been a Democrat all my life.

Wondering how I made it onto the rolls of “supportive Republicans,” I noticed that the letter was addressed to “Ian T. Kennedy” – Bingo! Thank you Verizon, you made another dime off my name. When they signed me up for my phone number, they got my middle initial wrong and ever since have provided me with a useful tag to track all the places they’ve made money off of my name and address. Now they’ve profiled me as an ideal prospect for Republican campaigners. I wonder what tipped them off? All those phone calls to Japan?

Anyway, I would never think of giving money to this administration after what they’ve allowed to go on under their watch. You’ve got Ashcroft thinking he’s above the law & constitution (click here for a hilarious clip from the Daily Show) and now you’ve got Rumsfeld trying to explain reasons why they can ignore the Geneva Conventions and international law by hiding a prisoner from the Red Cross for seven months.

It’s embarassing and disgraceful and sets a terrible example for the rest of the world. Is this the kind of “democracy” they want to bring to Iraq?

No, I do not think I will become member number 574842516-P623 of the RNC.

Mad Ernie Fletcher

plane.jpg

Kentucky Governer Ernie Fletcher was the source of widespread panic in the Capitol yesterday when the Governer’s Beech King Air 200 lost its transponder signal 13 miles away from the DC area airport. The air traffic controllers with the FAA knew about this but neglected to inform the folks that run air security for the Capitol who took the Governer’s plane for an incoming bogie.

Lawmakers, dignitaries and mourners preparing for Ronald Reagan’s funeral ceremony raced from the Capitol Wednesday after police feared an airplane was headed for the building and warned: “You have one minute to impact.”

Police in the Capitol had urged people running down staircases to run faster. An officer shouted at one photographer trying to look back through a camera, “You don’t have time to look back.”

“Incoming plane!” another police officer shouted at reporters asking what was going on.

Women, many wearing formal dress for the Rotunda ceremony, kicked off high-heeled shoes to enable them to run faster.

Don’t be suprised to here of reductions in Kentucky’s federal assistance.

Strawberries!

Tyler gets started

The weekly harvests have begun at our local organic farm, the Watershed, where we split a family share that allows us to share in the food that they grow there. Most of the crops are harvested for you and all we need to do is drive down the road to fill up a couple of grocer bags full of wonderfully fresh and pesticide-free veggies. It’s fun to go with the kids because each week there’s always something that’s available on a “pick your own” basis. In May, it’s strawberries to be followed soon by rasberries and, *yum* blackberries. This week too were snap peas which are so sweet you can eat them right off the vine!

Julia in the strawberry fields

Summer is truly here as our neighbors, the Trasks, have yet again graciously opened up their pool which is unofficially known as the, “East Franklin Swim Club.” After a morning of picking in the fields, a dip in the pool is always welcome.

A bit of Fame touched our block this weekend as we heard the good news that the Trask’s daughter, Emma, who had been busting her butt for the last year on a Michael Moore film project not only was able to attend the Cannes Film Festival but also that the film won this year’s Palm D’Or.

Not only did Fahrenheit 9/11 pull down the world’s top film prize, it received a 20-minute standing ovation (a record in the film festival’s history) and was only the second documentary to win the Palm D’Or in 50 years.

As you may know, the film’s original backers have pulled out which prompted all kinds of conspiracy chatter and probably only helped boost the film’s profile. Disney’s recent punch in earnings was due, in a large part, to their theme park business and the most successful Disney theme park is in Florida. Some say that Disney didn’t want to jeapordize their cozy relationship with the Governer of Florida, Jeb Bush (the President’s brother) by distributing a film so openly critical of the President.

Disney just can’t seem to call any of the right shots in their film division. First they piss of Steve Jobs and send him, Pixar, and the Shrek franchise off in search of their own distribution channel. Shrek 2 opened last week to a “record shattering $125 million” for through this weekend. Now it looks certain that Fahrenheit 9/11 will be a money-maker as well. I recall Moore’s first documentary, Roger & Me, was extremely profitable because production costs on a documentary are so reasonable. Way to go Emma!

Allowance

Oh man! I just found a PDF of Bush’s request for more funds referred to below and it’s even funnier than I thought. Krugman referred to the one page cover letter to the budget ammendment but he didn’t mention that the ammendment request was only THREE pages with the first two pages being a cover note explaining why costs “cannot be estimated with precision.”

How do you estimate something with precision anyway???

To think of all the business plans, market analysis, and positioning statements I need to submit to initiate projects at my company and this is all it takes is four pages for our government to fling $25 billion overseas! The kicker is in the footnote:

**The original version of this document inadvertently contained an incorrect date. The money is intended to be available on the first day of Fiscal Year 2005: October 1, 2004. The orignal document incorrectly listed this date as October 1, 2005.

Not only do we want our money, we want it NOW.

Rummy Blustered

Rummy Blustered on Face the Nation

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you’re the–you and a few other critics are the only people I’ve heard use the phrase “immediate threat.” I didn’t. The president didn’t. And it’s become kind of folklore that that’s–that’s what’s happened. The president went…

SCHIEFFER: You’re saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I–I can’t speak for nobody–everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn’t say that? The…

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not–if–if you have any citations, I’d like to see ’em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says “some have argued that the nu”–this is you speaking–“that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.”

Sec. RUMSFELD: And–and…

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I’ve–I’ve tried to be precise, and I’ve tried to be accurate. I’m s–

Mr. FRIEDMAN: “No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.”

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It–my view of–of the situation was that he–he had–we–we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that–that we believed and we still do not know–we will know.

Thanks to Stephen Berlin Johnson and the Center for American Progress