"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."


Watched a little BattleStar Galactica last night with Luke and Steve and Julia. Re-runs for me and luke, but new stuff for the others. We went out around the corner to a lovely restaurant (kind of incongruously lovely for the 'Shwick... seems to be leapfrogging the neighborhood development) called Northeast Kingdom. Vry tasty organic chicken pot pie, $12. Cans o' Pabst, $2. Works.

Anyway, I'm reminded what a good show that was and I'm looking forward to picking up some Season Two action. Luke's got it on his HD. I can't imagine what it would be like to try and watch with commercials.

If TV people have any brains, they'll get behind initiatives like this Video iPod thing that let regular people do what us Nerds do when we use bittorrent, external hard-drives, some adaptors and couplers and a little patience to watch our favorite episodic video content at our leasure and without consumer propaganda interrupting it every 10 minutes.

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So the guy Bush puts up for the Supreme Court -- Sam Alito -- is roundly anti-abortion, thinks a husband is legally a co-owner of his wife's uterus, gets the nickname Scalito, etc. I'll be fighting this, but the odds are that he will be confirmed. Sorry.

Meaninful reisistance to movement conservatism is going to have to take place on the state level. They won't directly overturn Roe v. Wade in the sense of making a national ban on abortion, but they will continue to weaken federal protections for privacy, and push the strong stuff (things approaching outright bans) through state and local law. We can and must fight back in the same places.

That means organizing a whole lot more people. Luckily we've got some nacient organizations in place which are working on chapters. In the long run, I think we'll win. In the short run, things look pretty tough.

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Bill and Patti got married! Congratulations!

My Aunt Janis had inadvertantly tipped me off about this over the summer, but I think that Pa wanted it to be a surprise. They had originally planned this I think for their trip to the Adderondacks, which got nixed because Patti busted her leg. Anyway, I'm glad they didn't let that stop them. Really lovely to see.

While I'm at it, I should also note that my cousins Sam and Terry were also recently married. I believe I was on the road, and they happened to plan them for the same weekend (that's my family! <g>), and that my man David and his special lady Jessica are getting hitched in a couple weeks back in Oregon. 'Tis the season, I suppose.

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I'm planning, getting a feeling for what I want to do here. The business is going to work out, and it's going to leave me with enough free time to do some other things. Projects. I'm looking forward to projects.

One of those is going to be a re-org of this whole "josh's website" business. I'm realizing how much of the supporting content for this site is neglegently out of date, think maybe moving to drupal and updaing a lot of the non-blog pages is in order. I'm also going to transplant my political writing... somewhere. Not completely, but I realize that I'm producing different kinds of content here and I want to take this site back to its roots as an individual gonzo institution. I think it will help me produce better stuff.

In a perfect world, the political content moves to a website I start as an effort to organize and develop and publicize my book idea. In a perfect world I also get to use the regular blog to be a real time autobio, which will partly be about the process of the other stuff I do. I think that will let me push things forward on multiple fronts.

So things will be moving and shifting. May be totally broke from time to time. Please bear with us in this time of transition.

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Ciao Lyric

Lyric Lounge
Back when it first opened and I lived across the street...

Went to the Lyric Lounge closeout party. A good time was had by all, I think. Jeremy made the mistake of inviting two (2) ex-girlfriends, one of whom -- our friend Kristy -- created her second Princess Leah gold bikini outfit. 2.0 for her, last one sold on ebay. Anyway, she's half-naked, and the other -- our friend Lilah -- isn't. Caused a little drama. Could have told ya, brah. Never works out.

Overall it was everything you could have wanted. Archie working the door. Cal talking big about the future. At least one fist fight. Carrie gives out t-shirts to the former staff: "It's closed now. It never happened." But the place is getting a raucous send-off. Murph rolls with an entourage of asian women. Lots of women around, actually. Devil girls. dead girls, girls from Kansas. Viking girls too. Working class cocaine. We're in for the long haul, the idea for the closing party to drink the place dry.

I have a crush on a bartender, which is good and bad. Good because it gets me out of a tight spot with some pink-haired lady. Good because it's exciting for me to have a crush on someone. Good because she's interesting and beautiful of course; and tall, oh yes. But bad because I know her from the bar, so 9 out of 10 times she's seen me I'm looking back through the whiskey. Last night does nothing to break that pattern or set new expectations. That's me, par for the course. Just like all the other leering jackasses. I've been trying to play the long game there, but I get the impression that I'm running out of time.

So I get gone around 5:30 (would have been 6:30 without the fall-back clock change) and I get McDonalds from Meeker on the way back. That's another thing I haven't done in several years.

And now it's Sunday and I'm hearing the misfits in my head -- this is a ghoul's night out -- and Todd Snider (below), and I've got to start thinking about work and the future and tomorrow and things like that. And, and, and. Yes. Selah.

Play a train song
Pour me one more round
Make 'em leave my boots on when they lay me into the ground
I am a run away
out of my one-track mind
And I'm lookin' for any kind of trouble that I can find...

Who knows where life goes from here. You grows up and you grows up and you grows up.

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Fitzgerald Indictments

Got home, decided to peep a little C-Span. Woke up, decided this needed a little re-writing for clarity.

One thing that's striking to me that I haven't seen blogged about (though I'm sure others have observed it), is that part of Libby's intended alabi is that he was passing some information on without knowing if it were true. This was the manner in which he supposedly blew Valarie Wilson/Plame's identity: "well, you know what I hear? I hear the buzz from some other reporters -- you know, Tim Russert is one of the people who told me this -- is that this Wilson guy's wife works for the CIA. Oh yeah. What? No, I don't know if she does or not, but that's what I hear..."

In other words, the manner in which the office of the Vice President interacted with the Press -- which is not unlike how other public and political officials do -- is intimately bound up in the crime. It's quite a regular thing to traffic in rumors and nudge-nudge-wink-wink leaks like this, which I think is a problem with our public information ecosystem. That Scooter Libby was savvy (or devious) enough to use this to construct an alabi for a crime against national security serves to highlight the problem fairly well.

Libby seems to have been thinking that as long as that's the conversation that got traced, he could give the same story to an investigator as he used to spin off the fact-as-rumor to the press. Then Fitzgerald found evidence that Rove had told him previously, and that he had talked about it previously. He didn't learn it from other journalists. The result? Libby, called back to the Grand Jury, was actually forced to claim that, "yeah, Karl told me that, but see then I forgot and when I heard that "rumor" from Tim Russert, it was as if it were for the first time. "

Scooter Libby, born again virgin.

In terms of what's really going on here, I think billmon has a good take. Fitz really zeroed in on busting heavy on the coverup. He also essentially said in his press conference that because there was a coverup, he couldn't indict anyone for the explicit crime of outing Plame, because the statute that applies is pretty heavy. The presence of the coverup means you can't really tell what's going on, so best to prosecute that.

But the investigation continues. It would seem that the "anonymous" Official A listed in the indictment -- aka Karl Rove -- is in the sights, although there's a certain tempting logic that Fitzgerald will lean on Scooter to burn someone more powerful than Karl. Still, I don't think it will drag on too much longer.

UPDATE: However, that being said, this is also the truth:

The moral of the story, I think, is that we really need a public investigation through the political system to get to the larger conspiracy here - the cabal that took us to war under false pretenses to further their own unstated aims. Our challenge, as citizens, is to force the political system to live up to its obligations. This is where I am pessimistic for obvious reasons - when the Congress is in the hands of the President's party, it's hard to imagine a repeat of the Senate Watergate hearings.

The grand jury process is designed for secrecy, to protect information about individuals who don't end up charged with a crime, also to protect whistleblowers or people who testify against their superiors. Fitzgerald's investigation is not going to indict the whole White House Iraq Group, the cabal of Bush Administration figures (and a few select others, like Judy Miller), who conspired to "make the case" for invading Iraq.

If we want accountability on that, it's got to happen through congress. If we want that, Democrats need to take control of either the House or the Senate. While I try not to villify the GOP en masse, I just don't seen them launching an investigation into the White House's use of false and misleading information in their effort to sell the war.

I dunno... I sort of loose interest here. Anyone who cared to pay attention three years ago could plainly see that a decision had been made to pursue an offensive against Iraq. Anyone who cared to look could see they were committed to whipping up support by any means necessary; humping the smoking hole at ground zero and vastly overstating the threat Saddam Hussein represented. Anyone who cared to listen could hear careful language -- misleading without being criminally false -- reflecting intention and planning.

But the people who mattered didn't care to see, or perhaps saw and didn't feel they could or should do anything about it. The simple fact is that the DC press and Congressional Democrats are accountable for the success of the Bush Administration's campaign of dis-information. The Bush administration is obviously accountable too, but we have checks and balances and a free press for a reason. With alarmingly few exceptions, everyone in power dropped the ball here. I'm not holding my breath for these people to come out and admit this.

Remember: regular folks never really supported this war. If you look at the levels of support, a greater proportion of American citizens were skeptical compared to those in congress or in the elite press corps, who were overwhelmingly either cooperative or openly cheerleading the war. The public was more right (or less wrong, if you like) than congress or the press. Don't forget it.

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Drank Liberally

Rudy's continues to be a stomping good time. And pretty girls too, not even the ones I expected. That's always good.

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The long hair is gone. I was thinking about waiting for a friend to do it, but I was getting sick of the wait, feeling on hold somehow, and when you want a squarecut, you can't go wrong with the Polish girls. They're meticulous, focused, and really want to bring out the best in you vis-a-vis short, tidy hair.

Yeah, photo soon. I'm still getting used to it, but it will definitely work. Now to get some pomade...

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Spud Guns

Entertainment? I have some.

Scott has video of him and Roger's latest creation: check it out. Fuckin' a, man!

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Politics is Messy

Yeah, I know. A lot of "politics" posting lately. I'm ramping up back into the profession and I need a place to ruminate.

There's a bit of a shakeup going on in the world of new-school liberal politics. It's odd to watch people I've met, and in some cases sort of know, and in some cases consider to be allies, friends even, end up smacking one-another around rhetorically. As the new blood moves into positions of power, conflict is inevitable. Crises precipitate change, but change often precipitates a crisis. Entropy is a Real Thing.

To be honest, I'm happy to not be directly involved in any campaigns for the '06 cycle. The only thing I'd consider doing would be local, and I'd only do it on a volunteer basis. I think there's an enormous amount of fighting to be done in reforming the establishment, in working out our coalitions and in setting long-term goals. Those are were my political passions lie, and the truth is that the tactical maneuverings of an-off year campaign are going to be 80% business as usual. To put it another way, I'm interested in working on the Public, not a candidate.

Someone's got to keep the Gonzo juice flowing.

I'm consciously shooting for something different with my political blogging going forward. Trying to find my value. Kevin Murphy told me a while back -- after he told me that he respected my work, but that he might have voted for Bush anyway -- that what made it worthwhile for him was that I've "been there." Zack told me in explaining why he appreciated my opinion that what made it work for him was that I'm coming at it from a point of view that centers around "our generation" and that I'm not a hack. John told me the other day that he's got punk-rock friends who tacked print out's of this MFA blog post to their wall. That's sobering.

Anyone else actually give my opinions any merit? Feel like telling me why? I'm not just fishing for ego-strokes. I'm contemplating a somewhat more professional writing/publishing venture, and I'm curious what people are hungry for.

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