Daily Archives: March 31, 2004

Bush/Cheney to Testify in Tandem

The Miami Herald printed the text of a letter from Alberto Gonzales to the 9/11 Commission setting out the ground rules for Condi’s appearance under oath. It’s a remarkable document in a lot of ways. It starts out insisting that the Prez has done just everything he can possibly do to support this Commission, hinting that it really isn’t very fair of them to ask more but, because–

…the president recognizes the truly unique and extraordinary circumstances underlying the commission’s responsibility to prepare a detailed report on the facts and circumstances of the horrific attacks on September 11, 2001…

–Rice will be allowed to testify. Whoopee. And what does the WH want in return? Nothing much, just that the Commission agrees that this doesn’t count as precedent, which it probably doesn’t since a number of other such appearances have happened before, thus the precedent has already been set, and–

…that it will not request additional public testimony from any White House official, including Dr. Rice…. Other White House officials with information relevant to the commission’s inquiry do not come within the scope of the commission’s rationale for seeking public testimony from Dr. Rice. These officials will continue to provide the commission with information through private meetings, briefings, and documents, consistent with our previous practice.

Oh. Right. So the Commission is trading off everybody else in the BA they might need to talk to in order to get Rice under oath. Helluva deal. But the capper is yet to come when he throws the Commission this bone.

I am authorized to advise you that the president and vice president have agreed to one joint private session with all 10 commissioners, with one commission staff member present to take notes of the session.

Ain’t that nice? Junior gets to bring his PuppetMaster with him. Question: Will the strings show? Will Cheney drink a glass of water while Junior talks to prove his skill as a ventriloquest? Will Junior be allowed to talk at all? I tell yah, I can’t wait for what comes outa this one.

Senate Increases Child Care Funds for the Poor

Wha’s sup wid dis?

WASHINGTON, March 30 — Over strenuous objections from the White House, the Senate voted on Tuesday for a significant increase in money to provide child care to welfare recipients and other low-income families.The vote, 78 to 20, expressed broad bipartisan support for a proposal to add $6 billion to child care programs over the next five years, on top of a $1 billion increase that was already included in a sweeping welfare bill. The federal government now earmarks $4.8 billion a year for such child care assistance.

The Bush administration objected to the increase in child care money, saying it was not needed. (emphasis added)

Wanna bet after fighting this tooth-and-nail, Junior will take credit for it this fall?

AirAmerica UP

Sen Bob Kerrey, a member of the 9/11 Commission, is Al Franken’s first guest on this, AirAmerica’s first day. I’m not sure how good an idea it was to name a major broadcasting effort after the CIA’s disastrous, not to say inept, Laotian drug-running operation, but wise or not that’s the name and it is officially up and running. I am listening–or trying to listen–on the web right now. It’s on Real Player and I keep losing the connection for several minutes at a crack.Kerrey has said, so far, that the Commission doesn’t understand what took the Bush Admin so long to accept terrorism as a legitimate threat. Franken pointed out that Cheney’s CT Task Force didn’t even meet until after 9/11, and Kerrey agreed. In response to a question from a caller, he also said the finished report will be posted in full on the internet, which is good news.

Quick review based on a total so far of about 10 mins listening? Franken’s dull. This might work on NPR but on commercial radio, it’s a real “if”.

Second guest–Chucky D, a hip-hop DJ and member of Public Enemy, who’s encouraging people to vote.

Randi Rhodes comes up after Franken. Her, I know. I listen to her show whenever I have the chance. She’s lively, she’s opinionated, and she don’t take no shit. She’s a huge success in Florida and other areas of the South, and she knows how the game is played. If anybody’s going to challenge Rush, based on today’s brief excerpt, it’ll be Randi, not Al.

Whoops. They ended the segment with a bit where they’ve got Ann Coulter locked in a closet. Maybe there’s hope for Al, after all. More of that, Al!

Anyway, listen online here. Check it out. It’s just our future they’re talking about, after all.

Updates: 2.17pm–Michael Moore is reading letters from soldiers in Iraq.
2.33pm–Al Gore just called in. Moore is apologizing for voting for Nader.
3.10pm–Randi Rhodes is explaining how conservative stations get advertising for products and services people don’t buy–offshore oil rigs, for instance. She’s debunking the idea that liberal radio isn’t commercial. She should know, she’s been making a ton of money doing it for 10 years, as she pointed out, by selling products people actually buy.
330pm–Greg PALAST! He’s Randi’s buddy, apparently. GREAT! He’s going to be a regular guest. RANDI ROCKS!
335pm–Palast says Garner had a plan given to him by the BA that split up Iraqi industries among American companies. He asked Garner what he was going to do with the plan and Garner laughed and said, “Give it to an Iraqi govt and see what they think of it.” The day he got to Baghdad he called for elections, and that night Rummy called him and told him not to unpack because he wasn’t staying.
352pm–Randi says Bush is going to testify with Cheney. Randi: “What, are they married now? He needs somebody to hold his hand?”