I happened to catch former White House Press Secretary and Austinite Scott McClellan this morning on the NBC 'Today' show, being interviewed by Meredith Viera about his new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.

Most of the details he divulged were disturbing, albeit not entirely surprising -- stopping just short of saying the President actually lied; instead using words like "shading the truth" with regards to the lead-up to and "marketing" for Iraq.

But at one point, I heard Mr. McClellan say "I'm disappointed that things didn't turn out the way that we all hoped they would."

"Things," Mr. McClellan? Things?

Things like the four thousand lives that were sacrificed for a war built on "shading the truth?"

like the marriages, families and relationships that were fractured because of these deployments and deaths during a war built on "shading the truth?"

Things like the billions of dollars that could have been spent providing health insurance, education, and other basic necessities for Americans and third-world citizens alike, rather than being squandered on a war built on "shading the truth?"

like the shameless and nearly criminal carbon-copy votes of your fellow Texans like Republican Congressman Michael McCaul (CD-10) and John Carter (CD-31), who continue to vote against veterans while simultaneously choosing to support and fund a war built on "shading the truth?"

Things like the debt that my grandchildren will end up paying for not only the cost to America but also the world-view of our country after foolishly entering a war built on "shading the truth?"

Things like the 'detainees' who sit in Guantanamo Bay, devoid of their civil rights and their dignity, for no reason other than the fact that we 'detained' them during a war built on "shading the truth?"

Things like the innocent Iraqi civilians who were blown up, dismembered and disemboweled because of a war built on "shading the truth?"

Things like the thousands of soldiers who will no longer walk, talk or think the way they did before they were hit by IEDs fighting a war built on "shading the truth?"

Mr. McClellan's book doesn't promise to be groundbreaking -- at least, not to anyone who already believed that we have been living in the shadow of lies for the last eight years.

But to Mr. McClellan himself, I say this: My 8th grade English teacher taught me one rule of thumb about writing. You degrade your piece and insult your audience by using the word "thing." In this case, the "things" you have stood idly by and watched happen, your mouth stuffed with a twisted sock of misplaced allegiance to a President, not a Country, deserve a mention.

Next time, if you're going to tell-all, be more specific.

Politics: Rhode Island Style

I had some time to kill after I got into Providence today, and my hotel (thank you, Priceline!) which is located in a renovated Masonic temple, sits directly across from the Rhode Island State House, also known in Texas as "The Capitol."
So I wandered over to take some pictures and met a nice man from Connecticut taking photos as well.

It's much smaller than the Capitol, and much more stout looking. It's also rather gothic. Interestingly enough, the architects who won the design for the State House were McKim, Mead and White, the same people who designed Chicago's "White City" during the World's Fair. I'm reading The Devil in the White City right now, so there was a little coincidence.

Some interesting factoids about Rhode Island:

  1. The first Afro-American regiment to fight for America made a gallant stand against the British in the Battle of Rhode Island.
  2. Though second in command to George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, a Rhode Islander, is acknowledged by many historians as having been the most capable and significant General of the Revolutionary effort. Cornwallis feared Greene and his forces most. Greene ultimately defeated Cornwallis.
  3. Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, established the first practical working model of Democracy after he was banished from Plymouth, Massachusetts because of his "extreme views" concerning freedom of speech and religion.
  4. Rhode Island's official state name is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  5. Rhode Island has no county government. It is divided into 39 municipalities each having its own form of local government.

Roger Williams, the founder, was one of the first people to lobby for the separation of church and state. The front of the State House has his philosophy inscribed on it.


Larry Joe Doherty Podcast with The Texas Blue's "Who's Blue"

Over on The Texas Blue this week, Josh Berthume interviewed Larry Joe Doherty about his CD-10 bid against Bush rubber-stamp Congressman Mike McCaul. Berthume starts with a great question -- "So how'd you get started in politics?" -- which segues into Doherty's 37 years of malpractice law that allowed him to watch firsthand the unraveling of our Constitution as well as our civil rights, particularly for those who make up the misrepresented constituency of CD-10.

The interview highlights some of Doherty's comprehensive knowledge of and innate compassion for the environment. This to me has always been one of Doherty's major strong suits, since water and land conservation have been important to him since before they were an inconvenient truth.

Doherty also touches on the economic as well as societal factors of the quagmire in Iraq, and the travesty of the current CD-10 Congressman really hits home when McCaul's voting record comes into play.

After Berthume brings up McCaul's recent vote against the new GI Bill, H.R.5740, which would offer higher education assistance to 1.5 million servicemen and women, Doherty states he absolutely would have voted differently than McCaul. Doherty also has the opportunity to mention the fact that McCaul voting against veterans and active-duty armed forces personnel (and their families) is nothing new, and yet McCaul never hesitated to vote "for millions and millions of dollars necessary to put them in harms' way."

Click here to listen to the podcast, and once you're done listening, make a contribution to the Larry Joe Doherty for Congress campaign and help CD-10 turn blue in 2008.

An Open Letter to the Texas Powers That Be

Hey, um, Texas, we need to talk.

The next time you decide to drop $30 million on raiding a bunch of kids out of a polygamist compound, perhaps you ought to find out whether it's even legal in the first place, ferchrissakes.

That is all.