Let me tell you what I think about this:

Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was “blindsided” by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush’s re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.

What I think about this is that I’m tired of people demanding hard and fast proof that would pass muster before the Supreme Court of the nefarious nature of the right wing. All thinking liberals … all … knew that Bush raising the terror alert when he did was a election related gambit.

Yes, it is nice to know the truth, but when it comes to these people the presumption of innocent is a fools’ errand.



  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    August 20, 2009

    Never assume the right wing or evangelicals or other fundamentalists are innocent. There nature makes them liars, cheats and criminals.

  2. #2 MadScientist
    August 21, 2009

    People play these games with the basic assumption that most people are too damned stupid to see through their lies. Two of the most popular games include:

    1. plausible deniability (“where’s the absolute proof?”) This seems to be popular with people in politics. Remember Ollie North and Ronald “I don’t recall” Reagan?

    2. manufacturing doubt (“but there’s all this which proves that they’re wrong”) This was very popular with the tobacco lobby (“smoking doesn’t cause cancer”) but is currently extremely popular with the global warming deniers.

  3. #3 gruebait
    August 21, 2009

    Ronald “I don’t recall” Reagan.

    This was a guy who didn’t know the difference between actual history and movies he’d seen. I’m sure he truly believed Star Wars was real technology, which had everyone in the entire military-industrial complex giggling endlessly.

    He was probably the only politician who honestly could not recall.

  4. #4 Mike H
    August 21, 2009

    Mr. Ridge provides no evidence that politics motivated the discussion. Until now, he has denied politics played a role in threat levels. Asked by Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times if politics ever influenced decisions on threat warnings, he volunteered to take a lie-detector test. “Wire me up,” Mr. Ridge said, according to Mr. Lichtblau’s book, “Bush’s Law.” “Not a chance. Politics played no part.”

    Swing and a miss Greg.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    August 21, 2009

    Sorry Mike H, I’m going to have to declare that you area moron. I hate having to do that to commenters, but it’s official.

    You are quoting the opening paragraphs of the artcle. These paragraphs were put there to set up the scenario. All you needed to do is to read the next paragraph. And th e next. And so on. It would have taken you about 200 words beyond what you quote above to comprehend the whole thing. You would have read stuff like this:

    “What Tom Ridge disclosed confirms our worst suspicions,” said Sen. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who criticized the color-coded system back in 2003. “Just like they did in Iraq, the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence to cause fear in the public to further its political goals.”

    One would have thought that the title “Tom Ridge: I Was Pressured To Raise Terror Alert To Help Bush Win” would have clued you in.

    You could have at least noted the link to the denials by the former Bushies, clicked through to that, and used that info to refute what is said in the Huffington Post piece. But no. A moron would not have figured that out.

  6. #6 Mike H
    August 21, 2009

    So its official .. not just official but officially official I see. Well, now that that’s settled. .

    You are quoting the opening paragraphs of the article.

    Actually, it’s the VERY LAST PARAGRAPH of the article mister (Bin)Laden, not the first. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/us/21ridge.html?_r=1&hp

    And quoting Lautenberg, sheer genius man! After all, why would we care what the actual source of the alleged allegations says about them, adding context and what not, when we can pumps some partisan jackass like Lautenberg

    This might be more fun if you weren’t so pathetic.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    August 21, 2009

    Mike: You are more than welcome to make the argument, but do so in a respectful and non-stupid way. Since your quote was unattributed, I assumed it was from the link I provided (and there it is, indeed, the first paragraph). It is important to contextualize your comments so people know who you are talking to and what you are talking about.

  8. #8 Mike H
    August 21, 2009

    There are no links in any of your posts. I think you just naturally assumed that everyone gets their news from the Huffington Post, but I cannot stand the place. Arianana Huffington bothers me so much that, well lets just say that I don’t blame her last husband for going gay.

    Secondly, my quote appears nowhere in the Huffington Post piece.

    You know what happens when you assume thing right? You make an ass out of u and …. well mainly just you.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    August 21, 2009

    There are no links in any of your posts. I think you just naturally assumed that everyone gets their news from the Huffington Post

    #10 Mike H
    August 21, 2009

    Actually, it did when I looked. That piece has changed several times over the last several hours.

    Likely story Mr Laden. Do you really expect us to believe that a journalistic outlet with unmatched ethics and reputation of like the Huffington Posit would delete wholesale entire paragraphs from its article without sop much as a note on what changes were made and when they were made?

  10. #11 Stephanie Z
    August 21, 2009

    Mike, your meds are calling. They’re very upset you didn’t take them with you when you ran away from home.

  11. #12 Greg Laden
    August 21, 2009

    No, I think they reorganized the post a couple of times, thus the word “update” on there.

    Mike, that’s enough bullshit. Start making actual contributions or go away. Disagreement is welcome and encouraged. Pedantic shit mongering is boring. Or at least, if you are going to do it, don’t do it in a boring way.

  12. #13 Mike H
    August 21, 2009

    Now now Mr Laden .. there’s no need for the potty mouth!

    Usually when someone “updates” a story, they add additional relevant information and/or make corrections including a note as to what they did. To the best of my knowledge they don’t remove entire paragraphs of relevant material without indicating such.

    Perhaps your memory is failing you as the sands of time wriggle their way through the hourglass of your life. I hear ginko works well, perhaps I could send you a bottle?

  13. #14 Stephanie Z
    August 21, 2009

    Mike: “In my experience, things sometimes happen the way I wish they had happened here, so I must be right.”

    Still not entertaining.

  14. #15 Mike H
    August 21, 2009

    Hey Steph, cant understand a thing you are saying. Come take some Premsyn and join the conversation again.

  15. #16 Robert
    August 21, 2009

    I saw it to, or at least, I think I did. I had read the HP article first by chance, saw Mr. Mike’s comment and thought “WTF?”

  16. #17 Stephanie Z
    August 21, 2009

    +4 for spelling. -2 for punctuation. -2 for uninvited familiarity. -3 for not engaging with the material. -8 for originality of PMS reference. -251 for thinking any woman would take one of those seriously.

    Aggregate score: still not entertaining.

  17. #18 Greg Laden
    August 21, 2009

    Priceless. Emphasis on “less”

  18. #19 Jason Thibeault
    August 21, 2009

    Let’s see… he comes out of nowhere when something is posted damning his precious Bush administration (and this fact is correlated by his right-wing blog), is the first to cry “potty mouth” when everyone in the conversation is presumed to be adults, can’t maintain grammar structure or punctuation, makes the most insufferably sexist and presumptuous remarks about regular commenters as though they are the ones that are new to the conversation, AND, he presumes that the leftists on *SCIENCEBLOGS* would consider Huffington Post to be a reliable source of information just because we’re leftists.

    Amazing how wingnuts just drop out of the skies these days. They’re like dropbears or something. Maybe if you read more than the first post that annoyed your tender conservative sensibilities you might get a sense for exactly the level of discourse that you’re failing so miserably at. You’re totally fucking up here, pal.

  19. #20 Jason Thibeault
    August 21, 2009

    Also, ginkgo biloba has had careful scientific studies performed indicating that it is totally ineffective at increasing memory or mitigating Alzheimers. Trying to make a snarky remark on a blog centred around science by using a specious herbalist claim that would probably only get considered on Huffington Woo, ain’t going to score you any bonus points.


  20. #21 Jared
    August 21, 2009

    Jason, +10 for the Pratchett reference.

  21. #22 John Funk
    August 22, 2009

    Why does everyone keep accusing this guy of not being entertaining? He used the phrase “alleged allegations” without any detectable irony. That’s pretty entertaining.