Friday, October 28, 2005

Traitorgate trivia question

Something I've been pondering over the past week or so, as we were getting a somewhat clearer picture of what went on around the Plame/Wilson leak: of course, it's verboten to reveal classified information that you know to be classified to someone not cleared for it. But is there a law that would cover the specific situation of someone who shares classified information with someone who is cleared for it, but doesn't tell them that it's classified, or at what level it's classified?

I'd think that may possibly be a very relevant matter in the (still!-)current investigation.

Things to Come

I'm half-expecting that, with the Miers nomination withdrawn, the conservative Christians are going to want to deny the use of any "litmus tests" on the next nominee, despite the one they applied to Miers (and she apparently eventually failed). So, I'm waiting to hear some right-winger say of the Miers process, "oh, that wasn't a litmus test, that was just a test of qualifications using binary logic"* any day now.

* "litmus test" is a layman metaphor for what might be properly called "a test of qualification(s) using binary logic".

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Traitorgate trivia

If you've been following Traitorgate (Plamegate, whatever you will) affairs somewhat closely, you might have noticed the name "Ghorbanifar" crop up a couple of times, in regards to the Italian meetings that may or may not have resulted in the Niger uranium forgeries. I decided to take a peek at my usual source, Wikipedia, to find out more, and between him and Michael Ledeen, it's quite an interesting story. Apparently, they've got history of doing unpleasant things "for" the U.S. together going back to the Iran-Contra affair.

Manucher Ghorbanifar
Michael Ledeen

Slashdot goodness (?) for the day

Two interesting items from Slashdot today:

Your Rights Online: Significant FBI Abuses of the Patriot Act

from the who-watches-the-watchers dept.

Noksagt writes "The Washington Post is reporting that recently discovered documents indicate serious intelligence violations by the FBI. This comes just months after the U.S. House voted to extend the Patriot Act, EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center) has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act of thirteen cases of possible misconduct in intelligence investigations. The case numbering suggests that there were at least 153 investigations of misconduct at the FBI in 2003 alone."

Students Banned from Blogging

from the it's-for-your-own-protection dept.
wayward writes "Students at Pope John XIII, a Catholic high school, were told to take down their blogs from sites like Xanga and MySpace or face suspension. Rev. Kieran McHugh, the school's principal, said that he was trying to protect students from online predators. Not too surprisingly, free speech advocates got more than a little concerned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Confusing reality, again & still

"It's a hypothetical," the [Bush] adviser said of the possibility that [Rove's departure] could happen. "Unfortunately it's a very real hypothetical."

No wonder these people have such difficulties with reality. That's not a "very real hypothetical"; that's a "very possible hypothetical". A "real hypothetical", while not quite truly a contradiction in terms, is certainly a completely useless phrase, semantically null. But hey, who needs that pesky reality stuff when you're working for the administration?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A minor quibble

We were given an idea as to what topics he may discuss with us, but it's the President of the United States; He (sic) will choose which way his conversation with us may go.

I'd just like to point out: he capitalized the "he" there when it wasn't starting a new sentence. You know for whom that sort of usage is usually reserved, right?

He's here to chew bubblegum...

The special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case has told associates he has no plans to issue a final report about the results of the investigation, heightening the expectation that he intends to bring indictments, lawyers in the case and law enforcement officials said yesterday....
By signaling that he had no plans to issue the grand jury's findings in such detail, Mr. Fitzgerald appeared to narrow his options either to indictments or closing his investigation with no public disclosure of his findings, a choice that would set off a political firestorm.

I believe the phrase the Times is looking for is "and I'm all out of bubblegum."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Those hotel churches

The Rude Pundit was reminded of this story from the distant past when he learned that the "church" that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers attends is a hotel-based breakaway group from a larger Dallas church, and they gave her a standing ovation when she walked in late to their worship this past Sunday. This crazed Christ worship mixed with the piquant aroma of chlorine from the hotel pool is what Karl Rove touted to James Dobson in his "confidential" phone call, and it's what the President said is "part of Harriet Miers' life."

Suddenly, I'm very much reminded of a recent local big news story here. The Living Church of God is a hotel-based breakaway group from the Worldwide Church of God. They also happen to be the one where one of the members opened fire during services, killed seven others and wounded four, before shooting himself.

Gotta love those hotel-based breakaways. The main body of the church just wasn't quite wacky enough for them.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Word for the day

nade (nād), vt.
In politics, to split the votes of potential supporters who would otherwise vote as a bloc, such that neither of their preferred candidates wins

Not exactly terribly clever; the only original thing about it is making it a verb, such that Nader is "one who nades." But it'll do.