Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Voyage to the Blogosphere!

Did you know that for two years the White House gave press credentials to a gay prostitute with a fake name and no background in journalism so that he could lob softball questions repeating GOP talking points to White House officials and plagiarize GOP press releases on the website of his 'news service' funded by a rich Texas Republican? If you didn't, then you haven't been following the Jeff Gannon/Guckert scandal. The current state of the affair gets a good write-up at Salon, if you care to subscribe or watch an ad for a day pass. The whole thing started with some open-source sleuthing by some posters at
DailyKos, and the gay prostitute angle was, uh, beefed up by AmericaBlog. Good job, guys. Together with the revelations about conservative pundits on the administration's payroll, what we're seeing is an unravelling of a small part of the Republican program to flood the media w/ right-wing messages.

So what is Bush *really* up to with his social security phase-out plan? Now that prospects are looking dim for the legislation passing (if a bill ever actually shows up on Capitol Hill, that is), lefties are puzzling about possible White House motives behind pushing a bill that even a leading Republican has called a "dead horse." Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo has been following the social security embroglio very closely, and he suspects that the Prez plans to default on the trust fund's government bonds. But Mark Schmitt at the Decembrist thinks that the whole proposal is just to stockpile some rhetorical ammo for the next election cycle.

Some might also be interested in Mr. Schmitt's recent discovery that Chinese characters are not ideograms, and that a favorite chestnut of management experts and motivational speakers is completely mythical.

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