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Friday Open Thread

Don't like the news? Feel free to make some of our own in the comment thread below.

Some headlines to prime the pump:

Politics: Rove Subpoenaed: Senate Democrats sought a special prosecutor to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lied to lawmakers and they subpoenaed President George W. Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, to testify about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Charges by four Democratic senators that Gonzales repeatedly lied under oath, plus the latest subpoena, raised the stakes in the congressional fight with Bush over his refusal to allow aides to testify about the firing of nine prosecutors last year.

Economy: GDP up 3.4%, Inflation Signals Mixed: The U.S. economy resurged in the second quarter from its wintertime fizzle as the drag from the housing sector lessened, businesses built inventories, and exports grew.

Gross domestic product rose at a 3.4% annual rate April through June, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The first estimate for second-quarter GDP showed the economy rebounded from its paltry, downwardly revised 0.6% advance during January through March. Previously, Commerce estimated first-quarter growth at 0.7%.

Inflation gauges were mixed. The government's price index for personal consumption surged 4.3% April through June, after rising 3.5% in the first quarter. But the PCE price gauge excluding food and energy rose just 1.4% April through June, after climbing 2.4% in the first quarter.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 3.9% April through June, after increasing 3.8% in the first quarter. The chain-weighted GDP price index advanced 2.7% April through June, after increasing 4.2% in the first quarter.[...]

International trade added to GDP in the second quarter. U.S. exports climbed by 6.4%, and imports decreased 2.6%. In the first quarter, exports had gone up 1.1% and imports rose 3.9%. Trade added 1.18 percentage points to GDP, after reducing GDP by 0.51 percentage point in the first quarter.

Businesses increased second-quarter spending by 8.1%, after rising 2.1% in the first quarter. Investment in structures surged 22.1%. Equipment and software rose 2.3%.

Federal government spending rose 6.7%. First-quarter spending decreased 6.3%. State and local government outlays increased 2.9%.

Entertainment: The Simpsons Movie Delivers: After 18 years and 400 episodes of a show that refuses to grow old, "The Simpsons" finally graduates to a movie theater near you. It doesn't take Homer long (about two minutes) to ask the obvious question: What kind of sucker pays for something he can watch at home for free?

To escape troubles in Springfield, Homer Simpson moves to Alaska -- which brings other problems.

Thankfully this is the last time the thought will intrude on what proves to be a smooth and assured transition. Clocking in at just under an hour and a half, "The Simpsons Movie" is basically a bumper edition of the show; bigger, longer and uncut. (Newsflash: we get a passing glimpse of Bart's manhood after Homer double-dares him to skateboard through Springfield butt naked.)

Fans will be relieved, mostly. And latecomers should get an idea of why this rudely sketched animated sitcom inspires such widespread devotion.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (19)

kim:

You want to talk about what a destructively cynical jackass Foer is?
========================================

kim:

Do you understand that Scott Thomas Beauchamps now has his communications deprived and is being investigated for either telling lies or for not reporting crimes, and it is all because the criminally negligent Foer just wanted to keep telling lies to you all?
============================

bryanD:

kim==the warbloggers' outrage keeps evolving. They're running interference for the neocon gambit that is on brink of collapse. I speak of foreign and domestic policies and the criminals that have implemented them.

All other Bushbot media not pidgeon-holed by self-imposed war coverage mission or capitol hill beat are busy in deep space with Lindsay Lohan, Michael Vick and Harry Potter. (they.know.nothinck!)

On loyal radio, Rush is reviewing Japanese sexbot (the G-something), O'Reilly "cares about the kids" and why they're dirty rotten cheaters. It's Friday so John Gibson will have his weekly Rap Roundup.

See? They don't REALLY care either.

As for desecrations and illegal acts by US force in Iraq, check out Youtube or Liveleak. I'll link upon request.

I'd rate Gonzo, Bush's removal of the Natl Guard from the border (for spite) and Tillman as headlines myself. So many ignored, I've forgotten some myself, method:madness.

As for Beauchamp getting flack from his seniors: that's the life of a non-rate (E-1 thru E-3). Could be legit, could be by the CO's whim. All you can do is take it and be glad if you keeps your rank, money, and/or freedom. It's pretty much like that until E-7 in fact. E-6s are summarily drummed out all the time. E-7 (SFC), they'll grant your humanity and worth, til then, it's a series of tests and BS.

kim:

Beauchamp's publisher knew or should have known he'd be getting the poor child, the 'sweet polar bear', in trouble.
==================================

Lee Ward:

You're not suggesting that Beauchamps is going to get Tillman'ed, are you?

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

Three bullet-holes in his forehead from 10 feet away and the army covers it up.

kim:

Well, I don't know if Tillman was fragged, but inferiors don't get fragged, they get blanketed. I wouldn't be surprised if that happened to him.

Also, what's with his rank? It looks like he was as poor a soldier as he is a writer. Dog smiling at the sun, forsooth.

This poor fuck will end up in the stockade 'cuz Foer wanted to flog rags to fools.
==========================

kim:

Well, with the Tillman stuff, I see you've visited the well, today, Daily Kos, and drank deeply. You don't have to read much into what they say to see that Cheney planned Tillman's death at the secret energy conferences he had.

Uproarious.
=======

Lee Ward:

Uproarious, and wrong. I haven't read anything about this on Daily Kos. The Tillman account is an Associated Press report. It says that Tillman received three M-16 bullets to the forehead from a distance of 10 feet. The Army covered it up. Clearly he was executed. From the same article linked above:

_ In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

_ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

_ The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

_ No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

How long have you been an enemy of the United States, kim, because only our enemies would rejoice over something like that?

kim:

Kos would have it a Cheney plot. Check it out.
============================

kim:

You can lose a little of the hyperbole, Lee. I've already claimed agnosticism about Tillman.
============

kim:

And are you purposely ducking Beauchamp? I'm beginning to develop a lot of sympathy for the poor fabulist. He was fattened on garbage from the likes of Foer, and he is an innocent lamb led to ritual slaughter by Foer.
======================

kim:

Explain to me the internal inconsistency of your quotes from the AP article. In the first quote, there was fire, presumably enemy. The last quote implies no enemy fire.

I will resolutely remain ignorant about Tillman. I suspect by now the truth cannot be found. That's Nomad's Land, there, above Peshawhere.
======================================

Lee Ward:

Nicely sung rendition of "see No Evil, hear No Evil" kim.

kim:

I'll give you my opinion; he was leading his men into a trap and they prevented them all dying. Alternatively, marksmanship gets keen in hill country.

To paraphrase:

We R in ur Kanyons & we No Pla Futbol.
==========================

bryanD:

kim as Dr. Zaius==

"I'll give you my opinion; he was leading his men into a trap and they prevented them all dying."

Charleton Heston as Astronaut Taylor-

"THIS A MADHOUSE! A MADHOUSE!"

On another topic: "The US treasury tried to sell new US ten-year treasury bills worth $8 billion to plug the gap between what Americans spend and what Americans save. For the FIRST TIME EVER, foreigners said: ''No thanks."

http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2007/07/08/world's-financial-community-gives-two-fingers-to-the-us

bryanD:

The above direct link died but go >Articles >scroll to Jul 08. It's a short article that cuts through the sales spiel of Wall Streetese.

Also: should read: "This IS a madhouse!" a'la Planet Of the Apes. Too busy to google lyrics to "The World Turned Upside Down". But kim's implying that Tillman was a traitor (otherwise signals or voice commands would suffice) is to enter the realm of jhow, RobLA, and Scrapiron. Blood & Body Parts R Us! From the keyboard, of course!

kim:

Shame on you, bD; I make no such implication.
=========================

kim:

Be less shamed, bD. I purposely write ambiguously, often; the risk is flawed inference. Your durance is to link to the ballad of the squad commander leading his men into the Big Muddy.
================================

kim:

I'll explain, Lee, my reason for staunch ignorance, and the rationale for my opinion. I've said the first, basically, short of torture, I don't think the truth can be wrought from the Tillman case. I think it is possible the Army would contort itself to cover a fragging. I don't think it is possible for the chain of command of this Army to support an assassination order. They don't have to do so.

I repeat, I don't know the truth, here. I'm playing odds. Enemy fire is within the edge of Roger of Ockham.
====================================


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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