Friday, March 24, 2006


"Augustine" Was No Saint

What a week for the Washington Post! They unveil their new Right Wing Blogger, Ben Domenech, who supposedly balances out Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing, but who soon admits (after being outed by bloggers) that he writes under the pseudonym "Augustine" at Not a big deal unless you call calling Coretta Scott King a communist on the day of her funeral and repeatedly plagiarizing all in a day's work.

On Monday, Digby proclaimed "this is gunna be fun" but today it was over as the Washington Post announced Ben's resignation. There's been enough written about this elsewhere but it's nice to see a small group of committed people make an arrogant institution take notice. Here is a comment I left on Digby's blog:
"And if you look at the overwhelming bulk of everything I've written, you'll find there is no question about it."
-Ben Domenech

In other words, "most of what I wrote wasn't plagiarized, so get off my back!" Reminds me of the great philosopher Homer (Simpson) who once opined, "I wasn't lying; I was writing fiction with my mouth."

It's a great day for the digby-inspired Davids of the world. A few well-organized, committed individuals banded together and uncovered enough facts, within days, that an institution, which was supposed to be built for checking facts, flat-out missed.

It's a great day, but I wonder how the empire will spin this, how they'll try to twist the firing of an obvious plagiarist and "dog whistle" racist and call it liberal bias somehow.

Oh well, y'all made an institution take notice of the truth and sent one of their golden boys back to the gated community.

Above the Law, Again

As you know, after much debate in Congress and after the inclusion of new provisions granting Congressional oversight over its implementation, the Patriot Act was renewed and signed into law on March 9. Here's the rest of the story...

It seems a lot of time was wasted in Congressional debate because, as the President stated in a signing statement that accompanied his signature:

"The executive branch shall construe the provisions of H.R. 3199 that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch, such as sections 106A and 119, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties."

In other words, as the Unitary Executive (sounds a little King-like, doesn't it?) I don't have to follow the law doing so "impair[s the President's deliberative processes." While the concept of Bush deliberating is oxymoronic and darkly humorous, ignoring the law, repeatedly, is not.

Keep in mind that no investigation of the so-called "terrorist surveillance program" is in the works at this point. In other words, while Bush feels entitled to ignore Congress, Congress doesn't feel the need to investigate how far this Unitary Executive is taking his belief that their oversight power doesn't exist.

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