Saturday, March 18, 2006
Disgraced Bush PR hack/NYT "reporter" Judith Miller is blaming her downfall on...bloggers.
She claims that blogs "without editing, without a way for people to understand what was good, what was well reported—to distinguish between the straight and the slanderous. Things would get instantly picked up, magnified, and volumized...."
That is a rather remarkable assertion put forth by the woman who craved acceptance so that she was the willing and uncritical mouthpiece for the Bush propaganda that drove this unholy war.
Hello, Pot? I have the Kettle for you on Line 1, something about you being black?
Friday, March 17, 2006
First of all, as I argued in one of my first posts here, such war is illegal. (bottom of the archive page) It is a clear violation of both customary international law and the UN charter.
We also have a perfect example of what historian Barbara Tuchman defined as "folly"--the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interersts, despite the availability of feasible alternatives. This woodenheaded administration refuses to learn from its disastrous mistakes.
Then there is that little matter of beyond the defense contractors, what have we gotten for the $57 million A DAY we're spending?
It is also important to note that this conflict, and future reckless dalliances into places like Iran, unlike Viet Nam, are not set pieces of the larger controlling Cold War paradigm with a relatively static U.S.-U.S.S.R dynamic. These disasters alienate us from the world and weaken the country at a time of profound global political and economic change. It is only a slight exaggeration at most to suggest that this reckless criminal incompetence has imperiled the very future of the republic. As described by Paul Kennedy in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, declining powers often spend excessively on the military as economic security lessens, and military adventuring leads to an almost inevitable decline through 'imperial overstretch.'
Congratulations, Nancy Foulke of Chicago!
For two weeks, I have silently read Voice of the People Letters that have continually bashed and trashed our President. It has been personally difficult not to respond to some of the truculent comments printed without valid reason. Some articles claim Mr. Bush is stupid and is creating hatred of all Americans around the world because of his ignorance. No person can be that idiotic and still win two terms serving in the highest office of our country.
Yet most polls indicate that he is blamed for failure to find "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina's devastation and undoubtedly will be faulted for the next earthquake that strikes halfway across the world. Criticism is good and debate is healthy, after one has done their homework. Shall we invade the entire Middle East to prove that Iraq really did have these awful weapons and used them on their own people to vindicate Mr. Bush? How much more money should we keep giving Louisiana to build golf clubs before all their residents are safely returned to their home state? And should we incarcerate the governor of that same state for failing to accept help from the National Guard? Easy to point out failure, but oftentimes difficult to substantiate all the angles.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
There's being steadfast.
There's being a blockhead.
And then there's your Chief Executive, your Commander in Chief, the 43rd President of your United States, Chimpy McFlightsuit:
"If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur — even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack."
To clinch this stunning victory, conducted by sheer coincidence in Memphis, Tennessee, Terry Schiavo's personal video physician bussed in large numbers of his supporters (shown below):
I'm betting, though, that Bill won't get the PETA vote. If there was ever a man who would make this come true:
it would be Frist. According to press reports, "Frist acknowledged in a 1989 book that he routinely killed cats while an ambitious medical student at Harvard Medical School in the 1970s. His office said it had no record on how many cats died. Frist disclosed that he went to animal shelters and pretended to adopt the cats, telling shelter personnel he intended to keep them as pets. Instead he used them to sharpen his surgical skills, killing them in the process."
What makes this more interesting than your typical baseball story is the way the Cubs handle these things. He's fine, he's fine, he's fine,--but he's not, you know--pitching, and then one day his arm has fallen off. It is practically the old Soviet Union, where the premier has a cold, the premier has a cold, the premier has a cold, the premier's funeral is Thursday.
"Now that the combat phase of the war in Iraq is officially over, what begins is a debate throughout the entire U.S. government over America's unrivaled power and how best to use it." (CBS reporter Joie Chen, 5/4/03)
"Congress returns to Washington this week to a world very different from the one members left two weeks ago. The war in Iraq is essentially over and domestic issues are regaining attention." (NPR's Bob Edwards, 4/28/03)
"Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics' complaints." (Fox News Channel's Tony Snow, 4/27/03)
"The only people who think this wasn't a victory are Upper Westside liberals, and a few people here in Washington."(Charles Krauthammer, Inside Washington, WUSA-TV, 4/19/03)
"We had controversial wars that divided the country. This war united the country and brought the military back."(Newsweek's Howard Fineman--MSNBC, 5/7/03)
"We're all neo-cons now." (MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 4/9/03)
"The war was the hard part. The hard part was putting together a coalition, getting 300,000 troops over there and all their equipment and winning. And it gets easier. I mean, setting up a democracy is hard, but it is not as hard as winning a war." (Fox News Channel's Fred Barnes, 4/10/03)
"Oh, it was breathtaking. I mean I was almost starting to think that we had become inured to everything that we'd seen of this war over the past three weeks; all this sort of saturation. And finally, when we saw that it was such a just true, genuine expression. It was reminiscent, I think, of the fall of the Berlin Wall. And just sort of that pure emotional expression, not choreographed, not stage-managed, the way so many things these days seem to be. Really breathtaking." (Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly, appearing on Fox News Channel on 4/9/03, discussing the pulling down of a Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad, an event later revealed to have been a U.S. military PSYOPS operation [stunt]--Los Angeles Times, 7/3/04)
Mission Accomplished? "The war winds down, politics heats up.... Picture perfect. Part Spider-Man, part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan. The president seizes the moment on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific." (PBS's Gwen Ifill, 5/2/03, on George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech)
"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits." (MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 5/1/03)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
"No man is above the law and no man is below it, nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. "
From Tony Perkins (no, not THAT one), head of the wingnut Family Research Council, on Feingold's censure motion:
You know that Senator Feingold is out in left field when Nancy Pelosi is distancing herself from him. I mean, this is-in a time of war, this is borderline treasonous behavior. I mean, this takes politics to a new low. I mean, this literally-what he is doing-puts our military and our nation at greater risk by sending the message that we're divided, that we're not intent on protecting our nation against terrorists.
Tony, I can only comment upon that with the wit and wisdom that came from Billy Madison:
what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
From Bubble Boy: Some of the most powerful IEDs we're seeing in Iraq today includes components that came from Iran. Our Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, told the Congress, "Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capability to build improvised explosive devises" in Iraq. Coalition forces have seized IEDs and components that were clearly produced in Iran. Such actions-along with Iran's support for terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons-are increasingly isolating Iran, and America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.
From the U.S. military: Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."
As we have seen before, America is not the valedictorian of the globe. When asked, a vast majority of Americans would probably say that FISA is "a kind of bird." BUT--the administration has simplified things. America can't grasp FISA or outing a CIA agent, but they get stealing stuff from Target and Blasty McBirdshot shooting a guy in the face!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Last night, I am anxiously awaiting Sean Hannity's stupid spinning justifying the disastrous week for the president, from the ports to the civil war in Iraq to the Katrina video to the domestic policy advisor/Target thief. and what to we get?
February 23, 2001 (Yup, 2001, --no misprint)
We recognize the existence of a common threat stemming from the growing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and increasingly sophisticated missiles for their delivery. We are already working together in this area, and agree on the need for further substantive bilateral consultations, as well as close consultations with other allies. This consultation process, which will involve contacts with other interested parties, will include a review of our common strategic assumptions so that they reflect the contemporary security setting, and especially the growing threat from WMD-armed adversaries in regions of vital interest.
We need to obstruct and deter these new threats with a strategy that encompasses both offensive and defensive systems, continues nuclear arms reductions where possible, and strengthens WMD and missile proliferation controls and counter-proliferation measures. We reaffirm our determination to oppose the development or use of WMD and ballistic missiles by Saddam Hussein and the threat his regime poses to its neighbors, while seeking to protect the Iraqi people from the brutality of Saddam Hussein and his indifference to their humanitarian needs. We call on Iraq to comply with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
"I believe that one of the reasons for the deep division about [XXXX] is that many Americans have lost confidence in what their Government has told them about our policy. The American people cannot and should not be asked to support a policy which involves the overriding issues of war and peace unless they know the truth about that policy.
I could only conclude that the precipitate withdrawal of American forces from [XXXX] would be a disaster not only for [XXXX] but for the United States and for the cause of peace.
We have adopted a plan which we have worked out in cooperation with the [XXXX] for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by [XXXX] forces on an orderly scheduled timetable. This withdrawal will be made from strength and not from weakness. As [XXXX] forces become stronger, the rate of American withdrawal can become greater. I have not and do not intend to announce the timetable for our program. And there are obvious reasons for this decision which I am sure you will understand.
In speaking of the consequences of a precipitate withdrawal, I mentioned that our allies would lose confidence in America.
Far more dangerous, we would lose confidence in ourselves. Oh, the immediate reaction would be a sense of relief that our men were coming home. But as we saw the consequences of what we had done, inevitable remorse and divisive recrimination would scar our spirit as a people. We have faced other crisis in our history and have become stronger by rejecting the easy way out and taking the right way in meeting our challenges. Our greatness as a nation has been our capacity to do what had to be done when we knew our course was right.
I know it may not be fashionable to speak of patriotism or national destiny these days. But I feel it is appropriate to do so on this occasion
Two hundred years ago this Nation was weak and poor. But even then, America was the hope of millions in the world. Today we have become the strongest and richest nation in the world. And the wheel of destiny has turned so that any hope the world has for the survival of peace and freedom will be determined by whether the American people have the moral stamina and the courage to meet the challenge of free world leadership."
Richard M. Nixon, November 1969.
Monday, March 13, 2006
His mom, Debbie, wrote me a letter. She said: "These words are straight from a shattered but healing mother's heart. ... My son made the decision to join the Army. He believed that what he was involved in would eventually change Iraq and that those changes would be recorded in history books for years to come. ... On his last visit home... I asked him what I would ever do if something happened to him in Iraq. He smiled at me with -- his blue eyes sparkled, as he said, 'Mom, I love my job...If I should die I would die happy, does life get any better than this?'
His mom went on: "Please do not let the voices we hear the loudest change what you and Scott started in Iraq. Please do not... let his dying be in vain. ... Don't let my son have given his all for an unfinished job. ... Please...complete the mission."
I make this promise to Debbie, and all the families of the fallen heroes: We will not let your loved ones dying be in vain. We will finish what we started in Iraq.
By killing more and more and more...
What did you start in Iraq, George? You started the destabilization of the Middle East, and by "finishing," you will have bankrupted the treasury, made Iran the dominant player in the middle east and as we bleed ourselves to death, made China the world's one superpower.
BING!!! A NEW WORLD RECORD!!!!
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for the warm welcome. Cliff, thanks for the introduction. It's a pleasure to be with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. This organization was formed in the wake of the September the 11th attacks to fight the ideologies that drive terrorism.
I am honestly stunned. Not that he said it, that was the whole point of this post, but in only TWO SENTENCES?
What must those who knew and loved the people who suffered and died that day feel when then this criminal brings it up every time he speaks?
As the bright lights of Oscars 2006 fade into history, Hollywood ultimately will be remembered more for how it failed in its moviemaking ventures rather than for the awards it presented to anointed actors and movies.
Your Editorial page cartoon of March 7 captured the essence of the Oscars. One lantern-holding explorer is seen viewing ancient cave drawings, while another explorer is shown simultaneously viewing the Oscar ceremony inside the cave. An Oscar statue can be seen on the cave wall in back of the TV set. The lantern-holding explorer makes this remark about the illuminated cave drawings he is viewing: "It was a primitive culture whose sole existence was to worship the stars."
Participants in the Oscar ceremony do deserve some credit for refraining from the typical Hollywood Bush-bashing. On the other hand, the Oscars did reveal how Hollywood perceives itself and the objectives behind its moviemaking. A theme present in the Oscar ceremony was that of Hollywood patting itself on the back for producing movies, both past and in the present, that were on the cutting edge of society. Examples of topics: AIDS, civil rights and gay marriage.
Shame on Hollywood for being so out-of-touch with many in mainstream America. Hollywood regularly insults American intelligence and its values. During the heyday of moviemaking (the ’30s and ’40s), the revered moguls of that time produced movies that often portrayed a love of country and the goodness of America and its people.
Most telling is that not one movie has been made about the bravery of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq or of America’s war against Islamic radicals. Where are the movies that reflect the goodness of the American people and an America that is worth fighting and dying for?
Patriotism seems to be a concept no longer fashionable. The Hollywood of today prefers making movies that push the envelope and are rife with political bias.
The outcome: The American people are the losers and movie-going will undoubtedly continue to decline. Most worrisome, however, and detrimental to this country is that negative images of America are being sold abroad via Hollywood.
Nancy J. Thorner
Nancy, here's a clue for you. Hollywood film-making is all about what SELLS to an audience. Apparently there is very little market for movies recounting the "bravery of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq." However, if you'd like to see a great movie that used the Gulf War as a backdrop, might I suggest "Three Kings?"
And the second is--you have regularly blamed natural disasters on God's righteous rage involving sexual affronts and the teaching of, oh, what's that word--oh right, SCIENCE. I'm just wondering, why then did God send twisters yesterday through KANSAS of all places, and solidly red parts of Missouri and southern Illinois, where right-thinkin' folk believe the world is 6000 years old and damn straight we don't want two fellers a'smoochin?
"Nice to see you, Mr. President and Mrs. Bush,'' Obama said to the president seated to his right and first lady to his left. "I think it takes a great spirit for the president, who we all know is an early riser, to sit here until midnight and hear himself lampooned, when he could be back at the White House enjoying a quiet, peaceful night, watching TV and approving secret wiretaps.''
"The truth is, I'm terrified to be here,'' he said. "Not because you're such a tough audience, but because they're serving drinks. I'm standing about 30 yards from the vice president, and I'm a lawyer. The only thing that could make this more dangerous is if he considered me a friend.
"It's an honor to share this stage with Lynne Cheney – a great personage in her own right,'' Obama said. "Scholar. Author. A few years ago, she wrote a book called, Telling the Truth, or as they call it in the vice president's office, Telling the truth – 24 hours later.
"I'll tell you, that Grammy was a big surprise. I thought, for sure Jack Abramoff would win for his rendition of 'It's hard Out Here for a Pimp.'"
Turning for not quite equal time on his party, Obama said: "You know, the Gridiron Club is an aging institution with a long, proud history, known today primarily for providing a forum for jokes.
"To some,'' he said, "that may sound like the Democratic Party.
"You hear this constant refrain from our critics that Democrats don't stand for anything. That's really unfair,'' he said. "We do stand for anything."
"And then there's the flap about global warming,'' Obama said. "You know, the Bush administration's been a little skeptical about the whole concept of global warming. It's actually not the warming part they question. It's the globe…. The president was so excited about Tom Friedman's book, The World is Flat. As soon as he saw the title, he said, 'You see? I was right.'''
"Truth is, this domestic spying has all kinds of useful applications for homeland security,'' he said. "And I have a suggestion in this regard, Mr. President: you can spy on the Weather Channel, and find out when big storms are coming.
In reference to "South Dakota’s abortion error" (Editorial, March 7), I think that once the Supreme Court recognizes that innocent until proven guilty applies to the fetus, it will not only void Roe vs. Wade, it will also prevent states from making abortion legal in any form. How does "innocent until proven guilty" apply? Abortion is the killing of a fetus. Unless aborted or miscarried, everyone recognizes that a fetus will always become a person. By applying the principle of innocent until proven guilty, it mandates that life must begin at conception until proven otherwise.
"Thank you President W for saving the babies and keeping boys from kissing!"
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Anyone who spends any time on the internet knows that the real base of the Democratic party isn't just mildly peeved at the Chimp who would be King, we are furious. Not just because of his policy decisions, but because of the immeasurable damage he is doing to our country and our world in our name. For five years now, however, the leadership of the Democratic party has been operating as if opposing such horrible acts is a no win-situation. That leadership led to pathetic showings in 2002 and 2004, and instead of turning back the fascists and avaricious, they let the world continue to decay around us. People like Senator Clinton want to continue with that failed strategy. Russ Feingold does not.
Today, on "This Week with Russ Stephanopoulos":
Tomorrow in the Senate, [Senator Feingold is] going to introduce a resolution to censure George W. Bush. Let me show that to our viewers.
It says, "Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans."
Let it be said that if the election were held today, Senator Feingold has my vote.
MR. McCLELLAN: All right, let me give you an update on the President's morning. The President did participate in a video conference with federal officials. And let me tell you who all was on the video conference call. The President was on the video conference, obviously, here from Crawford. Joining him from Crawford were Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Advisor J.D. Crouch, and Secretary Card was on the video conference from Maine. He is returning back to D.C. today, as well. The Vice President was on from Wyoming. Back in Washington, at the White House, you had Secretary Chertoff and Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson. You also had Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend, Claude Allen, who is overseeing the White House Task Force [EDITOR'S NOTE: SEE POST BELOW], Dan Bartlett, and other staff was on, as well, back in Washington. And then in the region, you had Mike Brown, Under Secretary Mike Brown, participating in the video conference.
Claude Allen had recently resigned as White House domestic policy adviser.
......According to the Montgomery County Police Department, Allen was arrested yesterday and charged in a felony theft and a felony theft scheme. According to a department press release, Allen conducted approximately 25 fraudulent "refunds" in Target and Hecht's stores in Maryland. On Jan. 2, a Target employee apprehended Allen after observing him receive a refund for merchandise he had not purchased. Target then contacted the Montgomery County Police. According to a source familiar with the case, Target and the police had been observing Allen since October 2005. [More at slate.com.]
It fits, doesn't it? Note that this isn't the White House catering manager or the Assistant to the Undersecretary of Transportation for Bike Paths--this is the CHIEF DOMESTIC POLICY ADVISOR!!!
It appears the White House has become quite a menagerie recently, showcasing
1) rats off a sinking ship and
2) frog marches
Great--an idiot savant, minus the "savant" part.