It's Something About Those Orange Backgrounds…


In the future, all journalism will be done for us by important people posting their thoughts on blogs. Two examples from Daily Kos, where, over the weekend, Cindy Sheehan had announced she was quitting the Democrats. Here's Sheehan again, quitting… the anti-war movement!

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

That's the gist, although you can get an even shorter version from the headline: "Good Riddance Attention Whore." It's impolite to suggest that Sheehan is quitting exactly because she's not getting attention anymore. So, don't do that.

One possible reason that Sheehan (says she) is dropping out of public life is the weirdness of the people who glommed onto her. Not the predictable anti-Sheehans like Mike Gallagher (whose activism to stop the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting funerals might be penance for his bizarre Sheehan protest in 2005), but the galaxy of anti-war activists and thawed-out lefties who attached themselves to her campaign. If you want to see how that happens, check out the Daily Kos debate between "drational," a poster who's followed the U.S. Attorneys scandal, and Greg Palast, the roving investigative journalist whose incredible stories haven't recently panned out. Palast did beat some American news orgs to the story of a Florida voter blackout in 2000, but since then he's argued that "Kerry won" in 2004 and AMLO won the Mexican presidency. Drational noted that the latest Palast scoop shopped around the blogs, about a cache of Karl Rove e-mails he had received, didn't make sense.

Considering this has been a "story" for over 2 years without further public disclosure, the most logical conclusion is that there is not anything (other than what has already been disclosed) incriminating present in "Greg Palast's 500 emails". It is not accurate to call the presented emails "Rove emails" or "Rove Office" emails. Nothing about these disclosed emails suggest they "hold the keys to the kingdom" of Rovian machinations.

Palast responded in a measured tone, marshalling his evidence with the calm confidence of a Shaolin monk. No, I'm kidding! He went into full meltdown mode:

There's two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can't read, for whom I'm entirely sympathetic—and those who CAN read but WON'T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.

Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: 'caging voters.' His "evidence" is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.

Nowhere does he suggest he's bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove's right hand man, Tim Griffin, "in prison, not in office."

Picking up a book won't hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect.

You can check out the other 50,000 words in Palast's post or scan an interview with him at 10 Zen Monkeys. Or you can check out a video of Palast. Or, better yet, check out the super-secret cache of e-mails which is so secret it's available online, complete with the .xls file Palast is hanging his future Pulitzer on.