We’re making an all-out effort — going to put on a tremendous show

For the arm chair Indiana Jones this is interesting news, Carved stone still mystifies scholars

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) — In 1872, so the story goes, workers digging a hole for a fence post near Lake Winnipesaukee in the central part of this New England state found a lump of clay that seemed out of place.

There was something inside — a dark, odd-looking, egg-shaped stone with a variety of carvings, including a face, teepee, ear of corn and starlike circles.

And there were many questions: Who made the stone and why? How old was it? How was it carved?

To date, no one has been able to say for sure, and the item has come to be known as the “Mystery Stone.” Seneca Ladd, a local businessman who hired the workers, was credited with the discovery.

While no one has observed lightning bolts being emitted, it does have a very smooth symmetrical shape. I guess you can attribute some of the smoothness to weathering, but it does have the effect of making it almost other worldly.

The week is not over, but I think that Craig Crawford probably has claim to to the quote of the week, Indignation, Full of Holes

It’s a given that presidents relish leaks to the news media when it serves their purposes, and that they act outraged at leaks that do not make them look good. But George W. Bush’s relativism on this score is like watching a roller coaster on acid.

The lesson here is that we should not take White House complaints against the news media at face value. These tirades tend to be more about politics than national security. It is, after all, red-state planting season on Capitol Hill. Republican leaders are preparing for the November harvest of voters in the midterm election with an array of goodies aimed at stirring up their conservative base, from targeting flag burners to protecting the institution of marriage.

I understand the leak game and how politicians use them to their advantage. Sometimes they are to the partisan advantage of one side or the other. The issue here is not that we will ever be able to stop politicians from leaking, the issue is the LEAK as standard operating procedure and the weird way the right celebrates the ones that help them and foams at the mouth about the embarrassing ones. Bush obviously loves leaks and uses them as one of the first tools he grabs when he needs to manipulate public support. Bush’s leaks are carefully managed manipulations of reality. The infamous Niger speech was rather clever giving him plenty of excuse room by sighting a British report rather then a CIA report – well the British gave us some false info what can we do. In the case of the NYT SWIFT leak, the Whitehouse knew very well that it would be leaked and what followed was some melodramatic outrage that served up some soft bone for the conservative base to chew on. Pretty darn clever. The program continues, a few members of Congress have been spoon fed a few details (what passes for Congressional oversight nowadays) and at the end of the day Bush plays the smiley face version of a tin horn authoritarian while his program continues unregulated and there goes a big cha-ching  in the propaganda wars column. OK maybe its not all that simple. If you don’t happen to be a kool-aid drinker and your memory includes things said and done more then two weeks ago,

Still, the latest revelation reconfirming that Bush’s political right hand, Karl Rove, is one of the flapping tongues in the CIA leak case again spotlights the subjectivity of the White House on this front. In finally identifying Rove as one of his confirming sources for the undercover identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, columnist Robert Novak belied Bush’s tough talk nearly two-and-a-half years ago when he vowed to punish the leakers once they were identified. Instead, the president steadfastly refuses to let Rove go.

Contrast White House tolerance in the CIA leak case with how the president went ballistic in the wake of leaks not directed by his administration. He denounced last year’s New York Times disclosure of his domestic eavesdropping program as a “shameful act.” When the same newspaper and others recently detailed administration monitoring of international banking transactions, Bush called it “disgraceful.”

The Bush roller coaster on leaks took another turn recently as the administration heralded the capture of a terrorist leader accused of plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York City. Despite noting that it was an “ongoing investigation” with potential suspects at large around the globe, the administration was only too happy to provide the media with details. Had the case been reported without permission, no doubt the White House would be accusing journalists of aiding those terrorists still on the loose.

Craig isn’t too far off when he describes it as an acid trip. I have no idea what the process entails where right-wing pundits and conservatives see and hear the whole picture, but only manage to mentally digest the parts that support their world view. Its the story of Little Red Rove conservatives as victims and the media as the big bad monster. This whole mental process must require quite a bit of internal reality management, not to mention that any standards of integrity get trampled flatter then road kill. That doesn’t seem to matter to conservatives as long as the base is whipped into a frenzy.

Why aren’t Democrats giving history lessons, Spending lots of money, poorly

Democrats really ought to brag about their Clintonian track record. Not only did they keep government growth in check, but they paid its bills the old-fashioned way, with tax revenues.

Even more important, Democrats have spent the taxpayers’ money with greater care. The reason, in part, is that Democrats don’t maintain a childlike faith in the good intentions and can-do of the private sector. They believe in regulating these guys — and that government can do some things better than can business.

The Bush administration likes to send big checks and a have-a-nice-day to private contractors, who then do as they please. Our MBA president seems to forget that he is supposed to represent the taxpayers in these transactions, not the business interests.

Sloppy oversight has led to a plague of overbilling, incompetence and shoddy work. The gruesome details are just now emerging from at least two spending ratholes — the hurricane-relief efforts and the so-called rebuilding of Iraq.

Democrats could go on, as I am apt to do pointing out the bubble of hypocrisy that conservatives live in, but I’m not running for office. It would probably serve the interests of Democrats and the nation better if anytime a Democrat is given a soapbox to talk about conservative history, especially the last six years, but actually since Nixon. They suck at managing money. To hear Bush, The National Review, Glenn Reynolds, or the Wall Street columnists talk about the conservative economic record is like listening to a faerie tale. Every time a conservative wants to publicly have some disturbing obsessions about what they imagine some adults are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms, just say lets talk about some more substantive issues like running the economy on debt and corruption. Remind the American public that conservatives have never ever really believed in a free market economy and K-Street corruption is proof of that. Democrats should talk about what conservative corruption and economic policies are doing to American families and how it cannot go on.

‘Which sub is that?’ said Winston, automatically feeling for money. About a quarter of one’s salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them.

‘For Hate Week. You know — the house-by-house fund. I’m treasurer for our block. We’re making an all-out effort — going to put on a tremendous show. I tell you, it won’t be my fault if old Victory Mansions doesn’t have the biggest outfit of flags in the whole street. Two dollars you promised me.’

Winston found and handed over two creased and filthy notes, which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate.

‘By the way, old boy,’ he said. ‘I hear that little beggar of mine let fly at you with his catapult yesterday. I gave him a good dressing-down for it. In fact I told him I’d take the catapult away if he does it again.

‘I think he was a little upset at not going to the execution,’ said Winston.

‘ Ah, well — what I mean to say, shows the right spirit, doesn’t it? Mischievous little beggars they are, both of them, but talk about keenness! All they think about is the Spies, and the war, of course. D’you know what that little girl of mine did last Saturday, when her troop was on a hike out Berkhamsted way? She got two other girls to go with her, slipped off from the hike, and spent the whole afternoon following a strange man. They kept on his tail for two hours, right through the woods, and then, when they got into Amersham, handed him over to the patrols.’

from 1984 by George Orwell