The news media finally found the Valerie Plame story and was dancing in the streets with the news that someone in the administration revealed the identify of a CIA covert agent.
Calpunidiot (Kevin Drum) was organizing a band to frogmarch administration officials, Karl Rove, particularly out of the White House now that the news media had found the story 2 months after columnist Robert Novack revealed that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. Mark Kleiman was beside himself with joy at the attention the story was finally getting. Kleiman was predicting trials by July 2004.
People commenting on Drum's site were going nuts calling Bush a traitor, predicting Bush's impeachment and worse.
Peter Jung writes: "If Rove is behind this, he might well be declared guilty of treason. It is my dearest wish that he then be declared an "enemy combatant" and assigned to a wire cage at GITMO."
Squiddy was peeing all over himself: "We're witnessing a historic event. Inexorable and inevitable."
Maccabbee is still obsessed with BJs: "How does outing a US field operative in the field measure up to getting as blow job under the desk at the White House? Forget yellowcake. THIS is an impeachable offense."
JimBob also has ML on the mind: "Lewinsky (and before that, Whitewater) were nothing stories amplified by the Wurlitzer and used as an excuse by revenge-mad House Republicans. This is a huge story that the Wurlitzer will do its best to mitigate."
Drew (Calpudidiot) is laying odds. Any takers? "If I were a betting man I would take 3 to 1 odds on an indictment for exposing Plame as an undercover agent."
Kynn likes to drag ML into this discussion too: "However, it's possible that once the investigations get going, they may discover other things which George would rather not have us know about. Remember that the whole Lewinsky thing came out of Whitewater."
Chris Anderson is somewhat bitter: "At this point I don't care if they can prove Bush was involved in this. Just the mere fact that two of his close advisors were involved will smear him by implication. The veneer of "honesty and integrity" will be stripped from that fuckers face for all the world to see and hundreds of thousands of Americans who looked at Bush as a trustworthy leader will find themselve as disgusted as they ever were when they first heard the name Monica Lewinsky. How sweet it is."
All the bandwidth that this story has taken up on liberal blogs slicing and dicing everything and hopefully predicting a major scandal that would bring down the Bush White House is huge. Go to all the major liberal websites and read it for yourself. It is overwhelming. Now they are going to have to work overtime covering their tracks and backtracking now that the key piece of the story hit Drudge. All these smart people ignored the litchpin to the story as they blissfully went on with the dire predictions of arrests, imprisionment, and even death (for treason) for those who leaked Plame's name. No one, in authority or who was a principal in the story, in all the material I have read about this story ever said Plame was an UNDERCOVER or COVERT operative. If she is not then there is no story. Who cares if she is just an analyst?
Novak was quoted on Drudge on Mon Sep 29 2003 16:44:51 ET:
"According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operator, and not in charge of undercover operatives."
We will look for the apologies, but we will not see them. We will see unrelenting attacks on Robert Novack. It is not Novack's fault. It is the pundit's for jumping to conclusions before all the facts are known.
When companies or people make political stands and expect me to support their stands with my money, I get irritated. I would prefer that they would separate the commercial part of their business with their attempts to influence the political landscape, particularly when I disagree with their viewpoints. Some businesses like Ben and Jerry's are right up front with their political views. That is good. Consumers can make a choice. Buy great ice cream and have a portion of the profits go to Ben and Jerry's favorite organizations. Others, like Target Stores, are sneaky and disguise their support for their extreme political stances with donations to organizations like Planned Parenthood that you rarely hear about.
There was a great flap over the Dixie Chicks who have loudly claimed that their first amendment rights to speak out on political matters. Nothing can be further from the truth. People have a right to speak out and people have a right not to buy. Nothing complex about that.
A boycott opportunity is going to present itself in the next couple of weeks. There is a movie due to come out that stars actors (Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Lawrence Fishburne) who stood arm-in-arm with people who walked around with signs shown in the accompanying picture. If you want to send these people a message about their support for our country during war do not go see Mystic River. I won't.
A young woman in California dies after taking RU-486 the so-called morning-after abortion pill. 7 weeks is not the morning after. Part of the baby had not been aborted and the young lady developed massive systemic inflection and went into septic shock. A horrible way to lose two precious human beings
RU-486 (mifepristone) is given between the fifth and seventh week after the start of the woman's last menstrual period. It may be given up to the ninth week, however the effectiveness diminishes. Mifepristone causes the body to act as though it is not pregnant and a heavy period occurs. Mifepristone can be given alone or in combination with prostaglandin for increased effectiveness. Prostaglandins cause the cervix to dilate and the uterus to contract and push the fetus from the woman's body, similar to labor. The procedure takes approximately three to five days. The first office visit consists of a physical, an ultrasound and lab tests. On the second visit the woman takes RU-486. Approximately 36 to 48 hours later the third office visit occurs and a prostaglandin is given to induce labor. The woman is monitored for a few hours and sent home. The woman usually aborts the fetus at home. The fourth office visit is scheduled for one week later. If the abortion has not occurred at this time, or if there is heavy bleeding, an ultrasound is performed to determine if the uterus is empty or if parts of the baby or placenta remain. If parts remain, a D&C will be performed.
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times provides a good look at one side of the debate about drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). A debate is needed and although I will not often recommend reading a liberal columnist like Kristof, his article, written after actually visiting the area and talking to the people there gives a good, balanced view of the refuge. Some people will not accept the cutting down of one tree to build a house and they will never accept the thought of a drilling rig in this refuge even though they themselves, nor will 99.98% of Americans, will ever go there. Drilling in ANWR is in many ways unthinkable, but on the other hand our economic need for oil is not going to go away. The solution to the problem whether to drill in ANWR lies somewhere in between. Drilling, if done, has to be done in such a way to minimumize the impact on the land and to maximumize the possibility that the land can be restored to its original state. Neither political extreme should get its way in this case. There is too much at stake.
Recently we bought a house in an Active Adult (+55 years of age) community in Arizona and plan to move there in a couple of years. We may be renting it out until we do move since it is furnished and ready to go. It is a beautiful place in a great community with tons of things to do.
The interesting thing I learned about the community was that there were active card playing groups that played poker, bridge, euchre, and cribbage. For money!! My eyes must have gotten bigger than dinner plates when I saw those guys handing bills back and forth. I was, at one time in the Marine Corps, a pretty decent poker player and won enough to pay for almost one year of college so I think I can hold my own against some grizzled old guys like myself.
The guy at the membership desk told me that they only played 7 card stud hi-low and Texas Hold'em poker at the club everyday. So I went home smiling and got on the trusty computer and played Texas Hold'em in play money rooms night and day until I was pretty good (won close to $80,000 in play money in $5/10 games pot limit games). Confidently I went into the club the next week and signed up for a membership. Then I went over and put my name on the board to get the next seat. I put my name in the Texas Hold'em section of the board and started to walk away and a guy said "You must be new. No one plays Texas Hold'em here. Only Omaha Hi-Lo." I thanked him and visited with him for a bit before signing up for Omaha Hi-Lo even though I had never played it before. Someone once told me that the games are similar so I thought that I would pick up on it pretty quick and do as well as I was doing online playing Texas Hold'em.
I got my seat and pretty soon I learned that the games were quite a bit different. Luckily the guys were nice gentlemen and helped me learn how to play. I won one really big pot. Do not ask me how. That pot kept me from losing probably $10. I only lost $3. The game is 5 cent/10 cent so it is hard to lose a lot of money if you are a little lucky. A big pot is probably $8. I had no idea what I was doing. I left and when I got back home and found a good place to play and to learn Omaha Hi-Lo. I have been practicing ever since.
I am beginning to understand the game. This is poker spring training for me. At first I was doing very well against online opponents and said to myself "hey, this is piece of cake". Then I had 7 losing sessions in a row and couldn't figure out what my problem was. So I re-read everything and re-thought out my approach to playing. I started paying attention to every hand I played and how they played out. And I started winning. In my session today I won $11,000 in play money to add to the $8,000 I had won in 2 sessions yesterday.
There is a lot of luck involved but the old saw about preparing to be lucky certainly applies to playing Omaha Hi-Lo. The primary rule is that you should never pay big money to chase and make a good hand. I started asking myself "Is it worth $200 to see the next card?" and do I really want to get that next card anyway? If I get it and it makes a good hand is there someone around the board who can beat me? In play money games there is very little bluffing so if someone bets big they more than likely have something pretty good already. It is interesting and fun. The guys at the club are going to see a new person. They are expecting a fish to come back in and lose money to them but that is not going to happen. Spring training is almost over and I am ready to move north.