Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Friday, June 17, 2005

"In the coming weeks, the president will sharpen his focus."
--Dan Bartlett, Senior White House Advisor

Modified Image: Google, Reuters

L to R, Amb. Joseph Wilson, of yellowcake and outed wife fame; Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq; Ray McGovern, an ex-C.I.A. analyst; and John Bonifaz, lawyer and founder of After

Republicans and the media are worried about the growing American public awareness of what has become known as the Downing Street Memo.
The Memo, or the DSM as it is known in the blogsphere, is really a report on the minutes of a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top security officers held in the 10 Downing Street prime ministerial residence on July 23, 2002.
The Memo first came to light through the auspices of the May 1, 2005 edition of, oddly, Rupert Murdock’s Times of London in the midst of Blair’s re-election campaign.
While the Memo received wide coverage in Europe and around the world, the domestic American corporate media, perhaps fearful of their own complicity in the face of plummeting readership and ratings, ignored the story some are calling proof that President Bush tricked America into an unnecessary Iraq adventure by dint of this key paragraph:

C [MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington…Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

American blogs and certain Democratic members of Congress have kept the Downing Street Memo story alive and slowly, thanks to the President’s free-fall in the opinion polls, the corporate press, the very tool Bush used to manipulate pre war sentiment, has been goaded into a sometimes-grudging occasional mention of the Memo in reporting cleansed of any hint of media involvement.
Some, including various timeline-challenged CNN buffoons, have shopped around the absurd idea that the President’s definite 2002 plans for a 2003 Iraq war were “common knowledge”, “widely known” and, thus, not news here in the present day
Additional proof that the imploding American corporate press is terrified of the Downing Street Memo came in this morning’s coverage of yesterday’s Congressional Forum held in a small basement room of the U.S. Capitol in defiance of the House Republican leadership by several dozen House Democrats lead by the Representative of Michigan 14th Congressional District John Conyers, Jr.
The veracity-compromised New York Times offered a brief, snide report with a misleading headline, Antiwar Group Says Leaked British Memo Shows Bush Misled Public on His War Plans, that, to their marginal credit, was at least linked from their homepage.
The Washington Post and reporter Dana Milbank, in a report not linked from the WP homepage, shamed themselves while displaying the fearful whites of their clubby eyes in a bit of juvenile schoolyard mockery.
In his lead sentence Dana attempts to deliver a swift derisive coup de grace:

In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.

Milbank then implied the forum was an ego-trip for John Conyers who didn’t speak or state but who, according to Dana, “spouted” his various thoughts.
The several dozen Democratic Congressmen joining Conyers became, in Milbank’s mandated fever, a most un-inside the Beltway-like “hearty band of playmates”.
Further Dana-esque proof of the Forum’s lack of importance came with this absurdity:

Of the 535 members of Congress, only one -- Conyers -- had mentioned the memo on the floor…House Democratic leaders did not join in Conyers's session.

But this, dear Dana, isn’t proof of the Forum’s lack of relevance but, rather, proof that the media wasn’t the only complicitious institution in Washington during the year long psychological campaign to gin up an Iraq war.
The media and Washington’s political leaders will persist in this shell game until the roar from a war-weary public drowns all opposition to the Downing Street Memo’s inherent truth.

--This link will take you to the DSM archived on the Times of London site.

--This links to the
London Guardian's accurate report on yesterday’s Conyers Forum.

--According to the
C-SPAN site the Conyers Forum will be rebroadcast tonight on C-SPAN2 at 8pm Eastern.

--This links to
Crooks and Liars where portions of yesterday’s hearing have been condensed into Windows Media files.

--Joe Tresh’s photoblog has pictures of Democrats presenting a petition demanding answers from the President and signed by 550,000 Americans.

--Editor & Publisher explains how the Downing Street Memo has expanded with other documents since the May 1, 2005 Times of London publication and, also, speculates on media complicity with the pre-war misdirection.

--AmericaBlog publishes a copy of a letter sent by John Conyers to Washington Post management regarding Milbank's snide report discussed and linked above.

An email from Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center, this morning, revealed a great Father’s Day gift in the form of this glowing sphere.
Called the Stock Orb and possible through the miracle of satellite technology, the ball glows red when the stock market movement is on the downside, green for a rising average and yellow when the market is tranquil.
The Stock Orb retails for $160 and is available through the CAC’s gift shop at 513-345-8431 or

Also, for scary weekend reading this article on a religious broadcaster convention linked through Doug Ireland’s excellent site will scare the pants off your non-fundie butt.

Images: NYT, CAC
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Hijo de Deos!

In the blinding light of the President's collapsing support, those busy beavers at the White House Image Office, this morning, at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, again, resurrected the reliable trappings of Jesus iconography in their scenic stagecraft.
This morning Mr. Bush appears to emulate the risen Christ with the addition of radiating rays to the standard multiple-slogan backdrop.

We first became aware of this jaded and profane technique in those quasi-halcyon days following September 11, 2001 when the President was photographed in front of the presidential seal.

Indeed, the techniques of godhead have proved to be a staple as this photo depicting a Madonna-like halo from the President's February 22, 2005 visit to the European Comission in Brussels signifies.

However, my favorite remains this photo-shopped image entitled, The Profane Heart of George W. Jesus.

Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP, Eric Draper

"She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."
--Dr. Bill Frist, March 17, 2005

"Bill Frist is a quack as a doctor, and the worst kind of panderer. Unfortunately, his kind is far from uncommon in Washington today." Editorial, June 16, 2005

Image:,,, Google
Wednesday, June 15, 2005

L to R-Pot #40, Pot #154 and Pot #93 *

I was pleased, this past weekend, to receive an email from George Rydings of the Rozart Pottery in Excelsior Springs, Missouri announcing 180 new pots for sale.
Founded in 1969 by George and his wife Rose after years of collecting the more famous Ohio Art Potteries and a Community Center course in ceramics, the Rozart Pottery has, over the years, attracted a devoted following appreciative of the Rydings’ artistry and stylistic homage to Rookwood and Weller.
Rozart pots, aside from beauty, also, seem to hold their value, as an occasional glance at Ebay will attest.
This currently ongoing Ebay auction with four days remaining before its close, while currently displaying a rather modest bid, displays a rather immodestly large number of bidders for the attractive cat portrait pillow vase.
The large number of bidders and the relatively low current bid price suggests that this particular vase will hammer in the vicinity of $135, likely a notch or two above its original selling price.
In a backhanded tribute to Rozart Pottery’s collectibility, the Rydings’ experienced an unwanted notoriety when the storeroom in their studio was robbed of their finer pieces on October 14, 2004.
While George Rydings told me that some of the stolen items have been recovered, some from an antique mall less than 100 miles away from Excelsior Springs, many remain missing.
In another backhanded tribute to the Rydings’ artistry, Marie and Mark Latta, in their Report from the Heartland within the current issue of the American Art Pottery Association’s Journal, detail a phone call from a very upset George Rydings concerning an Ebay scam misrepresenting a piece of Rozart Pottery as a piece of Weller.
The vase, a tall two-handled jug bearing the portrait of a monkey, had its bottom altered to reflect a Weller mark and ultimately sold to an unknown and unsuspecting bidder for $2,135.01.
The 180 pots announced for sale by George this past weekend range in price from a very affordable $45 to $295 and would make a lovely addition to most any décor.
I can attest, from personal experience, that George packs and ships his ceramic ware with great care.
I would urge you to visit the Rydings’ web page, peruse the 18 pages of new pots and tiles and email George the item number of the object of your purchasing desire along with your mailing address for a determination of shipping costs.

*Pot #40 is a Floral by George Rydings for $110, Pot #154 is a Copper Verde by Rose Rydings for $125 and Pot #93 is an American Indian portrait of Sa-Lo-So-Tsal-Au-Te by Becky Rydings-White for $225.
The pot's true sizes are NOT reflected in the photo.
Accurate measurements are on the Ryding's site.

Photo: Rozart Pottery Studio
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Premieres Today!

Today, in a dog-barking good Food Network exclusive, Chef Duncan dons immaculate white cotton gloves to prepare his signature Baked Lemon Cod En Panty along with a delightful Fresh Fruit Group A Compote and a yummy gulag-style Rice Pilaf .
End kitchen torture with advice and tips from the U.S. Congress' leading food stylist!

Hunter clip via Crooks & Liars

Transcript of Hunter's June 12th FOX News Sunday appearance via News Hounds

Modified Image:, Food Network, Google
Monday, June 13, 2005
Vee Pee's Playhouse

Is Vice President Dick Cheney getting enough fresh air and sunshine down in the dank subterranean recesses of his of high security playhouse?
Has a pesky incursion of brain mildew affected the legendary probity of the President’s éminence grise while endangering his possible collection of looted high-end Iraqi antiquities?
With yet more reported divisions roiling the fog that normally obscures the intellectual workings of the Bush White House, the controlled conservative corporate press’ cliché “some people” must have their skittish sensitivities in yet another dither anticipating the VP’s highly publicized Dean counterattack within the window dressing of an alleged interview with FOX News scheduled for broadcast later today.
According to a Vice President still steamed from being called a “white Christian”, Reuter's reports him saying, no doubt from the side of his mouth:

"Howard Dean's over the top. I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does."

Clearly, we are entering the Pee Wee’s Playhouse phase of the 2nd Bush term.
What else but probity hampered with shower stall slime would prompt this excessive swing from the heavy Cheney bat?
As Pee Wee once judiciously remarked to Cowboy Curtis, "You know what they say! Big boots...big feet!"
Can anyone really deny the VP’s complaint descends to new grandiloquent lows with this white Christian reinterpretation of the classic and almost Pee Wee-esque “Yo, Momma”?
Governor Dean should be complimented and reassured both by the snuffling squeals he provokes so effectively within the old lady wing of the Democratic Party as well as the Sith elements of our Empire’s dark side.
The DNC Chairman should resort to Pee Wee's classic retort, "I know you are, but what am I?"
We urge the Vice President to take a couple of aspirin as well as a therapeutic Kaboom immersion.

Vee Pee's Playhouse Theme

Modified Image: Herman World, Inc., Google

Refining his clown act, the President juggles during brief remarks at the National Counter Terrorism Center near Tysons Corner in Virginia, Thursday.

Modified Image: Reuters

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