BUSH TOASTS KOFI ANNAN AND THE U.N. — WHAT?!

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I LOVE READING THE WHITE HOUSE POOL REPORTS, which are an art unto themselves. Wonkette posts these from time to time, so you can get a more regular diet of the creative commentary of presidential pool reporter drudgery from her. While Fox News has been absolutely gleeful about Dan Rather eating crow on the questionable origins of the Killian memos and arguing that Rather didn’t really want to confess on TV, but was forced to — I’d love to see…

WOOLSEY WATCH: SADDAM HUSSEIN & AL QAEDA

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THIS OBIT FOR JAMES BEASLEY RAN TODAY IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. It turns out that Woolsey was out marketing his services as an expert witness on the Saddam Hussein-al Qaeda connection and with Woolsey’s help, Beasley won a $104 million suit on behalf of two families of men killed in the 9/11 attacks by al Qaeda. The judgment has never been collected from either Saddam or bin Laden, but I wonder if Woolsey collected his fees for this case….

THE JOBS DEBATE: FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC POLICY QUESTION?

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NOW THAT THE BUSH-KERRY DEBATE SCHEDULE IS OUT, one of the irritating facts about these sessions is that they create false divides between policy challenges that need to be considered at a systemic level. Jim Lehrer will moderate the foreign policy debate, and domestic policy will come as the last of the three scheduled exchanges. Are energy questions domestic or foreign policy? Do drugs and organized crime constitute a domestic or foreign policy challenge? Do the topics of alternative fuels…

AMERICANS (AND BRITS) BOUND & GAGGED: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THE IRAQ WAR

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AMB. IVOR ROBERTS, BRITAIN’S AMBASSADOR TO ITALY, thought he was off the record when he uttered a controversial truth — and described George Bush as “the best recruiting sergeant ever for al-Qaida”. One excerpt from the article in The Guardian: According to one of those present, Sir Ivor had been taking part in a discussion on which candidate Europeans would back if they had a vote in the US election. The ambassador said they would vote for Mr Kerry but…

LAURA BUSH OOZES CONFIDENCE IN PASTRY CHEF APPOINTMENT

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THADDEUS DUBOIS HAS BEEN NAMED WHITE HOUSE EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF. With only six weeks to go until the presidential election — and not many state dinners planned between now and then — and the Bush family on the road a lot — Dubois either really wants this credential on his resume or Laura Bush has the “confidence thing” mastered. Here’s an idea for the Kerry Campaign. Call Dubois, who must be preparing to move to Washington — and assure him…

BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL SECRECY: SOME HEROES FIGHT THE DARKNESS

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“NO ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE MORE TO CONCEAL” the workings of government from the people — this from a new report just released from the minority staff of the House Government Reform Committee. In 1983, I worked as a staff assistant to Arnold Horelick at the RAND/UCLA Center for the Study of Soviet International Behavior, based at RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. Horelick was one of those mesmerizing high priests of Soviet studies whose knowledge of the inner workings of the…

NEOCON CIVIL WAR: ACT III

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STAY TUNED. I JUST RECEIVED A COPY OF CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER’S blistering, as yet unreleased counter-attack against Francis Fukuyama for his article, “The Neoconservative Moment,” which appeared in the last issue of National Interest. I profiled the outbreak of this battle inside the neocon nest some time ago — and that piece triggered articles across the blogosphere and also in major media. I hope to have my own op-ed out in the next few days and will post it (and whatever…

PENTAGON UNDER-REPORTING IRAQ CASUALTIES

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THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PAKISTAN TODAY and reports that 17,000 U.S. soldiers are not listed on the Pentagon’s casualty list. This piece is based on Mark Benjamin‘s UPI article. Benjamin also brought the lariam/suicidal behavior by some U.S. Special Forces to light. Key points from Mark Benjamin’s article: — Nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan are absent from public Pentagon casualty reports — In addition to those evacuations, 32,684 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan now out…

FRAUD AND CORRUPTION: BUSH TEAM SCORES

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ALL MORNING, I HAVE BEEN SEETHING AS FOX & FRIENDS has crowed about the Killian memos, which CBS is apparently about to acknowledge as fraudulent. Bush’s team has been engaged in duplicity, obfuscation, the expansion of official secrecy to anti-democratic levels — and now the critics are undone by fraud on their side. This is not good. The targets are so easy, so evident — it seems to me — among Bush and his administration that contrived documents and memories…

HELP GET <em>KINSEY</em> RELEASED BEFORE THE ELECTION

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A FLOOD OF EMAILS HAS COME IN REGARDING BILL CONDON’S KINSEY film, which depicts the life and times of Indiana University sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and stars Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, John Lithgow, Peter Sarsgaard, and others. An enterprising reader of The Washington Note has reported that the email to write to to ask Fox Searchlight Productions to release Kinsey early is weekendread@foxsearchlight.com. A.O. Scott, the chief film critic of the New York Times, has published today a terrific, balanced…