BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday, October Somethingth

(New stuff added at 2:00 pm PST - as a part of this first story.)

Judgment Call - Did Christian conservatives receive assurances that Miers would oppose Roe v. Wade?

On Oct. 3, the day the Miers nomination was announced, Mr. Dobson and other religious conservatives held a conference call to discuss the nomination. One of the people on the call took extensive notes, which I have obtained.

According to the notes, two of Ms. Miers's close friends--both sitting judges--said during the call that she would vote to overturn Roe.

The call was moderated by the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. Participating were 13 members of the executive committee of the Arlington Group, an umbrella alliance of 60 religious conservative groups, including Gary Bauer of American Values, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and the Rev. Bill Owens, a black minister. Also on the call were Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court and Judge Ed Kinkeade, a Dallas-based federal trial judge.
That's a fun bunch: Messrs. Bauer, Perkins & Weyrich.

Actually, that's my definition of HELL.
Mr. Dobson says he spoke with Mr. Rove on Sunday, Oct. 2, the day before President Bush publicly announced the nomination. Mr. Rove assured Mr. Dobson that Ms. Miers was an evangelical Christian and a strict constructionist, and said that Justice Hecht, a longtime friend of Ms. Miers who had helped her join an evangelical church in 1979, could provide background on her. Later that day, a personal friend of Mr. Dobson's in Texas called him and suggested he speak with Judge Kinkeade, who has been a friend of Ms. Miers's for decades.

Mr. Dobson says he was surprised the next day to learn that Justice Hecht and Judge Kinkeade were joining the Arlington Group call. He was asked to introduce the two of them, which he considered awkward given that he had never spoken with Justice Hecht and only once to Judge Kinkeade. According to the notes of the call, Mr. Dobson introduced them by saying, "Karl Rove suggested that we talk with these gentlemen because they can confirm specific reasons why Harriet Miers might be a better candidate than some of us think."

What followed, according to the notes, was a free-wheeling discussion about many topics, including same-sex marriage. Justice Hecht said he had never discussed that issue with Ms. Miers. Then an unidentified voice asked the two men, "Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?"

"Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade.

"I agree with that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur."
Here comes the weird part of this column:
There are philosophical reasons for REPUBLICAN senators to oppose Ms. Miers.

In 1987, the liberal onslaught on Robert Bork dramatically changed the confirmation process. The verb to bork, meaning to savage a nominee and distort his record, entered the vocabulary, and many liberals now acknowledge that the anti-Bork campaign had bad consequences. It led to more stealth nominees, with presidents hoping their scant paper trail would shield them from attack.

President Bush has now gone further in internalizing the lessons of the Bork debacle. Harriet Miers is a "superstealth" nominee--a close friend of the president with no available paper trail who keeps her cards so close to her chest they might as well be plastered on it. If Ms. Miers is confirmed, it will reinforce the popular belief that the Supreme Court is more about political outcomes than the rule of law.

Soy confusado: This column, from the turbo-conservative Wall Street Journal, was penned by John Fund, a turbo conservative dude.

Further evidence that the strongest resistance to this nomination is coming from "the other side."

Really, really weird.

Fund is basically GIVING us "libtards" the Roe-bomb, and I haveta say, I don't know why.

"Why do they hate her so?"

Christ, part of my tiny dinosaur brain thinks, "If they hate her so much...she must be cool."


MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Jessica.

Q: JOHN FUND writes an article today saying that several people on a conference call assured religious conservatives that Harriet Miers would overturn Roe versus Wade. You were going to find out if any member of the White House staff was on that conference call.

MR. McCLELLAN: That was not a call organized by the White House, and as far as I've been able to learn, no one at the White House was involved on that call.

Q: And is it correct that Karl Rove was the person who asked those two people who made the assurances that she would overturn Roe versus Wade -- that Karl Rove asked them to join?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it's well-known that Karl and Dr. Dobson spoke about the nomination and about the process. And they had a good discussion.

And Karl talked about individuals who know Harriet Miers well, like Justice Hecht, and said that they would be people that probably would be willing to talk about her.

Q: And did he say this knowing -- and is the White House aware that Harriet Miers would vote to overturn Roe versus Wade?

MR. McCLELLAN: Not at all.
Q: I understand you have no litmus test. Do you still know that she would?

MR. McCLELLAN: We don't know what her positions will be on future cases because we don't have a litmus test, and we don't ask those questions.

What we do know is that she is someone who is deeply committed to strictly interpreting our Constitution and our laws.
Ha, ha.
Q: Does the President disapprove of this conference call and what happened on it?

MR. McCLELLAN: What happened?

I don't know about the conference call.

You'll have to ask those who organized the conference call.
What...a dick.

Let's wrap the collective brain around something that's...easier to digest.

Soldier Propagandist

Mediacitizen has exposed ANOTHER RINGER from last Thurday's "teleconference."
Intrepid MediaCitizen reader "lebkuchen" Googled some of the soldiers who were used as stooges before Bush and the cameras on Thursday and found another GI who didn't pass the smell test.

I've dug further into the history of First Lieutenant GREGG MURPHY of the 278th Regimental Combat Team and found that there's more to Murphy than meets the lens. His pro-Bush rhetoric is sprinkled throughout the media in articles dating back to 2003.

This begs the question: how could one soldier get so much face time?

Was Murphy like other soldiers, giving Americans a "sincere" assesment from the field -- as Scott McClellan claimed at his White House press briefing Thursday? Or could he be part of a larger scheme -- involving already outed Seargent-cum-shill Corine Lombardo -- to covertly stack the media deck with pro-war, pro-Bush propagandists?
Survey says, "propagandist."

Murphy waves the flag in several other Times-Free Press stories. Most come from the pen of Edward Lee Pitts, the journalist who last December prompted a soldier to ask Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about the lack of armor for U.S. military vehicles in Iraq -- an exchange that became a global embarrassment for the administration.

Here's Murphy in action in a 2004 Lee Pitts story:

"Recruiters said their biggest promotional tools are combat veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, who are helping bolster the ranks by tapping into the South's tradition of patriotism.

Lt. GREGG MURPHY, of Chattanooga, is one of about 4,000 soldiers with the 278th Regimental Combat Team now in Iraq. He said in an e-mail that he would jump at the chance to 'set the record straight about Iraq' by telling 'the real story of soldiers, not the blood, guts and carnage.'

He said returning soldiers could counter the media's focus on the losses in Iraq by talking about ongoing humanitarian work there such as new schools, libraries and water projects."

Click on the above mentioned link for the full story.

Tinfoil-hat time, yo. From the UK:

Senior military investigator found dead in Iraq

A senior British military police officer in Iraq involved in the investigation of alleged abuse of Iraqi civilians by soldiers has been found dead at a camp in Basra.
The body of Captain Ken Masters, the commander of 61 Section of the Special Investigations Branch (SIB), was found in his bed at the airport at the weekend. The death is being investigated by the SIB.

Defence sources said the death was "not due to hostile action and also not due to natural causes".

However, it is believed that investigators have not found a suicide note, nor firearms related to the incident. Capt Masters was not receiving any medical or psychological treatment.
But he "was" investigating allegations of soldier abuse.
Despite being of middle-rank, Captain Masters was in charge of ALL SERIOUS INCIDENTS involving the British military in Iraq.


It was not immediately known which particular cases he had been personally involved in investigating. The British military is, however, looking into several dozen cases.


A spokesman for the British forces in Basra said: "The commanding officer of 61 Section, Special Investigations Branch, Capt Ken Masters, was found dead last night at a military establishment in Iraq.

"The matter is now under investigation and until this is completed it will be inappropriate for me to make any further comment. It was not due to any hostile action. It was not down to natural causes."

A military source said "This has come as shock to us. Ken was not suffering from depression or anything that indicated that he would take his own life."

I'll have excerpts from today's WH Press a bit.

Peace out.


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