Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Last month, it would have been "extortion" to talk with Iran and Syria, according to Suckertary Rice. Today, it's an "opportunity...to work for peace and stability in the region." What has changed to cause this ... er...flip flop by the Bush Assministration? Uh, we dunno. Except maybe they're thinking (if that's not an oxymoron) that the "surge" in Baghdad might fall a leeeetle bit short of expectations, and they might need others in the region to come to the rescue?
If there was a more feckless assministration in U.S. history than the current one, Hackwhackers will eat the Iraq Study Group report. You'll remember, of course, that last December the Group recommended the very course of action now being undertaken, in addition to other recommendations that have been largely ignored by this criminally clueless assministration and its shrinking corps of lickspittles in Congress.
The Government is reporting that 754,000 people are living on the streets or in homeless shelters in the U.S., based on a snapshot in January 2005. That's greater than the population of (take your pick) San Francisco, or Memphis, or Baltimore, or Seattle. Another reason that we need to look to our domestic priorities regarding not only affordable housing, but care for the mentally ill or alchoholic.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The right wing is having its giggles over some specious information about former Vice President Gore's energy use. Sludge Drudge, Hugh Halfwit, and their cohorts launched a coordinated smear (a la Swift Boat Veterans)following the Academy Award win for Gore. One of the groups at the point of attack is an obscure outfit called Tennessee Center for Policy Research. As they describe themselves, they're for reduced tax and regulatory burdens on business, limited government, school choice, free market policy solutions, etc. Oh, and they're "non-partisan." Oh, and they are funded in part by Exxon/Mobil. Their philosophy sounds like the Rethuglican Party platform. The NY Times' The Lede has a brief rundown of the right wing effort.
Matthew Cole's gripping article from the front lines in Afghanistan describes that Taliban and al Qaeda forces are gaining the initiative, and territory. Yesterday's suicide attack at Bagram Air Base that was aimed at Cheney shows just how emboldened they have become. In the past 4 years, Afghanistan has almost become the "forgotten war", with the focus being tragically on Iraq. Now, with the 9/11 terrorists on the march, the consequences of Bush's misadventure in Iraq are evident. Four years has been ample time for al Qaeda to recruit, resupply and reposition, and we will pay the price at some point.
Monday, February 26, 2007
The current edition of "Foreign Policy Magazine" has a series of articles on who benefits from the war in Iraq. Shockingly (!), the U.S. isn't one of the winners. Among those who are? Iran, Moqtada al-Sadr, and al-Qaeda. Ah yes, Mission Accomplished!
Yesterday's Washington Post reports that during last Saturday's White House/Homeland Security exercise to check on emergency responses in 10 U.S. cities in the event of a terrorist bomb attack, Bush was out taking a bike ride. Well, better than getting photographed reading "My Pet Goat" again. Actually, a more likely explanation for his ride would be that he was role-playing a school boy during the mock attacks. And he would do just fine in that role.
Watching last night's Academy Awards, it was hard not to imagine how different life would have been if the 2000 election hadn't been stolen from Al Gore. We'd be on a much better path domestically, and despite the 9/11 attacks, we'd be fighting and likely winning a war focused on those that attacked us. Whether he would have had to contend with Rethuglican Congresses during his term is open to speculation. But had he the opportunity, Al Gore would have made this a better country, and the world a safer place by now.
The Sunday London Times had a fascinating piece on the mood inside the Pentagon among senior military officers facing a potential conflict with Iran. In brief, the article quotes officials close to British Intelligence that "4 or 5" generals and admirals are poised to resign if the Bush Assministration starts a war with Iran. Many of the most senior military officers are increasingly horrified about the drift toward war, acknowledging that the U.S. is ill-prepared to take on Iran, with our forces stretched to the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, try telling the Bush/Cheney regime; they are hell bent on conflict with Iran, despite the terrible consequences for our armed forces, the people in the region, and the war on terror.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The abnormally visible and loquacious Dead Eye Dick Cheney keeps popping up in the news. Maybe he's asserting his true role as Decider-in-Chief, albeit abroad. The statement he made in Australia that "all options are on the table" when dealing with Iran's nuclear program seems particularly disingenuous, since the option of diplomatic negotiations with Iran is "off the table." So, what does that leave? Varying degrees of military action. (Bonus: Check out the matching outfits of Dead Eye and Australian PM John Howard in the AP photo - - they could be body doubles).
Friday, February 23, 2007
A hearty "amen" to Jim Fallows' suggestion for Dead Eye Dick: come home and STFU. He's been out and about in Asia lecturing countries on their behavior, in this case China. He's no one to be talking about any country's peaceful deportment, now is he?
Politico's interview yesterday with Sen. Joe Lieberlikud (Himself-CT) is must reading for those who thought electing him last fall would not cause problems for Democrats. Here, he's suggesting that he might join the Rethuglican party if Iraq war funding is reduced. Note that his sole litmus test is Iraq, a failed venture sold to the public on false premises. Not health insurance, not education, not Court appointments. He can be counted on to stifle any inquiries into war profiteering abuses and homeland security foul ups, too. He can, in fact, do great damage to the Democratic agenda that the voters supported last fall. And the likelihood is, he will.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo has a sampling of Lieberlikud's numerous promises to remain with the Democrats here.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo has a sampling of Lieberlikud's numerous promises to remain with the Democrats here.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
It's never too early for feral Democratic campaign staff, whose interest in their candidate trumps party or national interest, to begin to lose focus on the target-rich authoritarian Rethugs and direct withering fire on their own. The Geffen/Clinton/Obama kerfuffle only feeds the right-wing agitprop machine and the MSM (MainStreamMorons) who love to intersperse their Anna Nicole and Britney coverage with anything damaging to adult public discourse. Already, the Murdick empire and Moonie press are feasting on the Dems' pot shots, and this time they don't have to manufacture a madrassas red herring. For example, why aren't the Dems blasting away 24/7 at Dead Eye Dick's assertions that they give aid and comfort to al Qaeda (Pelosi's comments notwithstanding)? Why aren't they continuing to hammer 24/7 the Assministration's incompetence, the latest example being the Walter Reed outrage? The inconvenient truth is that many of these campaign operatives have tactical skills, but act as if they have no sense of the greater good that would come from campaigns focused on the Rebunglecans' 6 misbegotten years of incompetence, arrogance, lying, and subverting the Constitution. If Dems can't muster the discipline to hone in on why they, as a party, are better equipped to lead the nation, they will be allowing Rebunglecans to establish the terms for the '08 election, using ammunition they themselves provided.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
When CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviewed a senior Iranian government official, the official stated that Iran is "not after conflict. . not after war" with the U.S. Saying that Iran and the U.S. are "natural allies", the official went on to say that when al Qaeda bombed the Shiite al Askariya mosque in Samarra a year ago, they struck against one of the holiest symbols of Iran's faith. He suggested that the U.S. and Iran should both be fighting al Qaeda. Asked whether his views represented those of the top religious leadership, he replied "Yes." So what will the Bush Assministration do with this information? Probably nothing, since their goal is now more about regime change and dominance over the resources in the region, than Iran's nuclear program.
Think Progress covered a discussion at the National Press Club, where some media luminaries tut-tutted about the blogosphere not understanding their journalistic role. Bush Press Suckertary Tony "Blow" Snow was there to add his amens. We think the majority of the press has ducked its role over the past few years, perhaps due to being cowed by the Bush Assministration's wielding of the 9/11 patriot sword over their heads. There have been exceptions, but the majority have gone along and tolerated the misinformation doled out by the Bushies. It's not that journalists should advocate a political issue, they just need to stop acting as stenographers for the Assministration. Otherwise, we might as well go directly to this.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The National Journal's Murray Waas has an interesting analysis of a discussion between Scooter Libby and his former boss, Dead Eye Dick Cheney, that may lay the groundwork for a subornation of perjury charge against the VP. As Waas notes, when Libby trotted out his cover story about getting gossip about Plame from Tim Russert, "the vice president already had reason to know that Libby's account to him was untrue. . .yet Cheney did nothing to discurage Libby from telling that story to the FBI and the federal grand jury." There's more, and it's beginning to look like the Libby trial is just the beginning. Underlying question: why was Cheney so obsessed with discrediting Joseph Wilson's claim that Iraq was not seeking uranium cake from Niger? Likely answer: the claim would help unravel the Administration's deceit about Iraq's possession of WMD, etc. that led us to war.
As alums, Hackwhackers must take this opportunity to congratulate the 26-2 University of Wisconsin Badgers on their first-ever #1 ranking (AP) in men's college basketball!! The Badgers, under their fine coach Bo Ryan, have the country's best winning percentage (.929) and most wins for the season so far. They face a tough test against Michigan State tonight in East Lansing. Go Badgers!
Monday, February 19, 2007
When people are asked to provide one word best describing their impression of George Bush, "incompetent" and "arrogant" rank a commanding #1 and #2, according to the February 2007 Political Survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Other less-than-flattering adjectives in the top 10: "stupid," "idiot," and "ignorant" (all of which, given their thrust, could have been combined into a new meta-adjective: "stupidiorant," which would have captured the #1 position). Dead-ender wingnuts, folks without access to modern communications, and/or folks with no sense of irony came in with the #3 and #4 descriptors ("honest" and "good").
When the Bush Assministration launched its war in Iraq, it gave al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan a breather. There's now a resurgence there of al Qaeda and Taliban forces that is increasingly ominous. Intelligence sources indicate that al Qaeda has regained control of its structure and communications, and is gaining in strength. This means they are planning new attacks globally, while we are bogged down refereeing a sectarian civil war in Iraq. Heck of a job, Bushie!
When we hear Rethugs talk about supporting our troops, what they're really saying is keep the troops in the unwinnable situation in which they find themselves in Iraq. Now, as reported on the front page in the Washington Post, we see that "support" only goes so far for the Rethugs. When the wounded soldiers arrive back in the U.S. for medical care, they are given what amounts to the back of the hand. Poor conditions, Bush Assministration reductions in the Veterans Administration's budget, and endless "stop loss" orders to recycle our troops, show that the Rethugs truly treat our armed forces like Kleenex tissue. So the next time you hear them talking about "supporting our troops," remember that their support only goes so far.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Fux News right-wing shill extrodinaire, Brit "the S--t" Hume was talking on Fux Sunday today, and had some nasty things to say about Rep. John Murtha, suggesting that Murtha didn't have "the foggiest awareness of what the heck is going on in the world." Juan Williams replied "not everybody is as smart as you are. . " Maybe if Hume had spent his youth ducking fire in Viet Nam like Mr. Murtha, rather than getting a student deferment, he'd be a bit foggy too. Then again, as the "go to" guy when the Administration has something to sell to the media, it's better that he remain sharp and smart.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
. . .before some asshat recycled the phony Lincoln quote about hanging dissenters during time of war. It appeared in the Washington Times piece by Frank "Gaffe" Gaffney, neocon deep thinker (see February 14 post below). Meet the asshat: Don Young (Rethug - Alaska).
The Catholic League's Bill "Secular Jews Control Hollywood" Donohue has been making the rounds of the media of late, ostensibly to defend the faith against some naughty bloggers. What doesn't seem to be widely discussed is that the League itself seems to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rethuglican Party. Check out the board of advisors: Brent Bozell, Linda Chavez, Dinesh D'Souza, Robert George, Alan Keyes, Lawrence Kudlow (!), Kate O'Beirne, William Simon, Jr. for starters. President Donohue himself is an "adjunct scholar" at the Heritage Foundation, a Rethuglican "think tank," and is on the board of the Washington Legal Foundation, which litigates in favor of the tobacco industry and is supported in part by the far right Scaife Foundation. Think about that the next time Bigoted Bill shows up on your tube with his pious message.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Question: How do you know White House Press Suckertary Tony Snow is fibbing?
Answer: When his lips move.
Snow's lips are moving again. In today's daily press briefing, a reporter cited military documents from 2002 that projected that by now a token American force of only 5000 soldiers would be needed in Iraq. "What went wrong?" the reporter asked. "I'm not sure anything went wrong" Snow fibbed. He went on to spin a tale of how once battle begins, all bets are off. Well, not in this case. The initial fight to overthrow Saddam went according to plan. The problem was, there was nothing planned for the subsequent occupation that was based on reality. And for that, thousands of people have died. So Tony, STFU.
With closing arguments scheduled for February 20, and most speculating that the jury will convict former Cheney chief of staff "Scooter" Libby of perjury, the question is whether Libby and his defense team will try to negotiate a last-minute deal with the prosecution to roll over on higher ups in the Bush (mis)Administration - - read Dead Eye Dick. Sid Blumenthal has an interesting overview of the situation.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The always excellent Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon today about the pernicious, un-American values of the neoconservative movement. One of the leaders in that movement, Frank Gaffney, has a curious belief that members of Congress who oppose the Leader's war policies should be tried for treason - - a hanging offense. Read Greenwald's take down. The bottom line: how can a movement that's deeply hostile to freedom at home (see illegal surveillance programs, indefinite detention, calls for dissenters to be hung, etc.) possibly spread freedom throughout the Middle East through war after war?
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
News reports indicate that former CIA head of operations Kyle "Dusty" Foggo (ed. - is there a more apt name for someone in the spy business?) will be indicted in connection with shady contracting at the CIA. Foggo's name was prominent in the Duke Cunningham bribery prosecution. Yet another Bush political appointee forced to do the "perp walk", in what has to be the most corrupt Administration since Warren Harding's - - maybe worse. Before he slips out of town in 2009, the Presidork may have a whole months worth of Presidential pardons, perhaps including Dead Eye Dick.
Field Marshal Sean Hannity and Prince Frederic von Anhalt.
Ist das nicht ein doppelganger?! Perhaps its the Faux military bearing, or perhaps merely the overgrown eyebrows. Frederic's been busy. We think it's time to fess up to this one, too, Frederic!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Proof that there is life, success and vindication after a wingnut keel-hauling, the Dixie Chicks picked up 5 Grammys at last night's ceremony, including Album and Record of the Year. Lead singer Natalie Maines provided the perfect rejoinder to the country music establishment and fellow Rethug amen choruses who were harshly critical of Maines' temerity in disowning fellow "Texan" Bush (while overseas!) in 2003: "Well, to quote the great Simpsons, 'Ha Ha!'"
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Yesterday, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dropped a poo-bomb on White House and Rethug attempts to portray debate and opposition to the troop escalation as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. In his remarks to the House Armed Services Committee, Pace said, "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." He also noted that enemies "don't have a clue how democracy works." That also applies to the White House and its Rethug supporters.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
On February 8, 2005, the Doughy Pantload bet Middle East expert Juan Cole that in two years' time, Iraq would not be in a civil war, and that the majority of Iraqis and Americans would agree the war was worth it. Even though Cole didn't take him up on the $1000 wager (note to Mr. Pantload: decent people don't bet on things other people get killed in), the two years are up. A better wager would have required the perceptive Mr. Pantload to enlist in the Army if he lost, but his prognosticating services are far too valuable here on the home front to put his rear end in harm's way. (Photo: Mr. Pantload blogging from his mobile office)
The growing stench surrounding the Bush Ass-ministration's firings of U. S. Attorneys around the country prompted a Senate hearing yesterday. One of the Federal prosecutors to be fired was Carol Lam, who prosecuted the "Duke" Cunningham corruption case. In Arkansas, the Justice Department is naming J. Timothy Griffin, a Rove colleague involved in opposition research for the Rethugs, as U. S. Attorney. Smell something familiar? Whitewater smears, in time for the 2008 elections? However, the Senate appears to be considering striking a provision in the Patriot Act which gives the Attorney General the power to appoint Federal prosecutors on an indefinite basis without Senate approval. Wish them success.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Monday, February 5, 2007
Thanks to Princeton University's Emily Pronin, we may have yet another way to explain why the neo-cons led us into the debacle in Iraq . Pronin has a study which examines the phenomenon of "magical thinking," peoples' belief that they have influenced distant events or can sense connections between things that have no known physical connection. Clearly, Dead Eye Dick, Wee Willie Kristol, Paul "Socks" Wolfowicz and the rest of the neo-con crowd were engaged in "magical thinking" when they imagined the Al-Qaeda--Saddam Hussein link, WMDs, the insurgency in its "last throes," "Mission Accomplished," a democratic, peaceful Iraq, etc., etc. Some of the same magical thinkers are now turning their attention to Iran. Bibbity-bobbity-BOOM!
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Think Progress has a couple of recent posts that illustrate the deceit of the neocons. A couple of days ago, neocon Ken "Cakewalk" Adelman said that if there were no progress in Iraq by July 4, then it would be time to call it "hopeless". With the neocons, however, "progress" is not fact-based, and they can be expected to spin the situation in Iraq to their liking. Oh wait, Wee Willie Kristol, above shown receiving the Biotic Baking Brigade's 2005 Pie Award, has already started. Now, if the situation in Iraq were to totally collapse, that would really be "progress"!
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Yesterday's scare in Boston over the mysterious packages placed around the city turned out to be a stupid promotional stunt. But we see that the 101st Fighting Keyboarders think there may be more there than meets the eye. Commandante Malkin hints at a possible Islamofascistoterristo plot to probe our defenses. Never fear. The Keyboarders have sprung into action, and are at this very moment retrieving their G.I. Joe action figures from their closets, and beginning war games on their bedroom floors. Ten-hut! Mommy, can we have some graham crackers and milk?