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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

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Denial Isn't A River

It's a flood. In New Orleans.

The Pentagon has sent about 40 percent of Mississippi's National Guard force to Iraq and 35 percent of Louisiana's -- a combined total of about 6,000 troops. But officials maintained this had not hurt the relief effort in those states, hardest hit by the hurricane.

"None of the states impacted are stretched thin at all," said Jack Harrison, a National Guard Bureau spokesman at the Pentagon, noting there are about 31,500 guardsmen either activated or available to be activated in the four states"

Read It:

And of course, Rush is able to pinpoint the real culprits here...

"I shouldn't be, but I am continually surprised by (laughing) our news media. Yesterday on this program, I shared with you that all over the wacko, extreme kook Democrat blogs and websites, there were snide comments about how we wouldn't have enough National Guard troops to go in and perform rescue and rebuilding efforts in the hurricane zone because they're all over in Iraq -- and, of course, in Iraq, they're just useless. "They're not being used! It's just pointless for them to be there, and if Bush hadn't started the war and if Bush hadn't sent them there, why, why, we would have this hurricane effort under much more progress, and it would be much faster." Okay, kook idea, crazy idea. We laughed at it".

Read It If You Must:

Yes, that's right...That kooky, crazy, biased media and their high-fallutin' understanding of arithmetic--their bizarre assumption that having half the national guard in Iraq might leave us with fewer troops here to respond to hurricanes...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bill O'Reilly Lies Again: The Highway of Death

Today Atrios quotes Bill O'Reilly as claiming that he was on the Highway of Death. Atrios quoted O'Reilly in order to highlight his spoonfed false claims linking Iraq to Sept. 11th, but it seems he inadvertently showcased O'Reilly's delusions of macho grandeur.

On the September 14th, 2001 edition of The Factor, O'Reilly claims:

But what we didn't do and what is really going to come back to haunt us, and I'm going to have to take a short, just a very short pause to go to our affiliate stations, but I was over there on the so-called highway of death (emphasis mine) and we had a chance to knock out the Republican Guard, the only people that prop up this monster, Saddam Hussein, who I believe is involved with this World Trade Center and Pentagon bombing. I believe that you're going to find out that money from Iraq flowed in and helped this happen.

Read It:

O'Reilly has never been on the "highway of death". It is conceivable that O'Reilly went to Iraq at some point during his time as an ABC correspondent, but that was in the eighties, long before it gained its present moniker.

Here's his bio from Faux news...If he's been to Iraq during the war, don't you think he'd mention it with every breath?

Read It If You Have A Strong Stomach
Thank You, Republicans!

That's not what they're going to be saying in Louisiana this week...

In June, New Orleans City Business reported:

In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.

It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said.

Read It:

That's what happens when you elect anti-goverment, anti-tax zealots and chickenhawks to office...essential services are cut in favour of your thick, juicy tax cuts and luscious shock 'n awe wars...Let's hope for minimal loss of human life and voter backlash next year.
Chickenhawks As Defined By James Wolcott

If you were to look up "chickenhawk" in the dictionary, you'd see this face:
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That's the haggard visage of Michael Ledeen, neocon luminary and pro-war draft-dodger, famous for the following pro-war sentiment:

'Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.'

Nice. As Wolcott notes, the term shouldn't be used gratuitously, but it should be saved for men like Ledeen, who are not only ecstatic about the "progress" in Iraq, but are also gleefully violent in general...

For me, the working definition of a chickenhawk is--a chickenhawk is a cheerleader. A cheerleader for war. And not necessarily just the war in Iraq, or regional war in the Mideast, but war in general. A chickenhawk glorifies war as an enterprise, enjoying the heroics inside his or her head, mocking those less enthusiastic about military aggression as pacifists, appeasers (Michael Ledeen's pet word), even traitors. Who patronize anyone with qualms, from the Quakers to the Chuck Hagel, with edgy impatience and disdain. Who treat the destruction of human life as a stupendous flourish as long as it's the US doing the destroying--who, that is, propose "creative destruction" on a geopolitical scale as an instrument of transformation. Not to mention an opportunity to teach those desert folks in sandals a lesson upside the head.

Read The Rest Here:

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Is Bush Imploding?

From Capitol Hill Blue yesterday:

While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.

“I’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. “She can go to hell as far as I’m concerned!”

If I had the journalistic ethics of right wing hack like Matt Drudge, I would present this as gospel truth. Since it's actually from only one source and all the sources mentioned are confidential, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless, Bush's temper tantrums are well-documented, and Doug Thompson is an award-winning journalist with longstanding connections in the inner circles of Washington.

What would be wrong with asking Scott MacClellan for a denial?...Prove me wrong, Les Kinsolving!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

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Remember Afghanistan?

When you've dug yourself into a hole, the first step is to stop digging. Because of the war in Iraq, we're not only less safe at home, we're also less safe in Afghanistan.

So far in 2005, we've lost 74 soldiers in Afghanistan this year. We lost twelve in 2001.

Read It:

What does that mean?

For the sake of any conservatives who might come across this post, I'll explain that point further. That's six times as many coalition casualties. Six times twelve equals seventy-two. Add two and you get seventy-four. Got it?

O.K. You still don't get it. If you take six cartons of eggs, and add two more eggs, that equals the number of casualties in Afghanistan this year so far. No, I'm not arguing that soldiers and eggs are equal--I'm just trying to help you understand...No this doesn't have anything to do with stem cell research...O.K. forget about the eggs...

...Now if you have four cases of Coors Light, and you and your buddy drink 22 beers, that number of full cans equals the number of soldiers killed to bring Bin Laden to justice and eliminate the threat of Al Quaeda in Afghanistan--except for the fact that their deaths didn't accomplish that by anyone's reckoning.

...Those 74 people who died in Afghanistan aren't numbers, eggs, or beercans. They're fathers, sons, husbands, and neighbors. If that doesn't get through to you, nothing will.

I'm convinced that the neocons who run this country don't care whether three thousand die or three million--as long as it's someone else's loved ones headed to the meat grinder in the Great War on Terror, or whatever they're calling it today.

Why are they dying in increased numbers? Because of the war in Iraq.

Foreign militants with links to al-Qaeda - some believed to have experience in Iraq - are trying to encourage Afghan insurgents to adopt more Iraq-style tactics against US forces, well-placed sources in eastern Afghanistan have told the BBC.

Read it:

...Did Bush ever pronounce "Mission Accomplished" in Afghanistan? Will he ever answer the question "what noble cause did they die for"? Will he ever smoke Osama out of his hole? Not likely.
Jeff Gannon's Big Daddy in the Press Corps: Les Kinsolving

Prostitute/Reporter Jeff Gannon, famed for lobbing softballs at Scotty MacClellan, didn't invent the slow-pitch question. The White House Press Corps has a long and illustrious history of bending over for Republican presidents.

Consider the case of longtime White House correspondent and AM hate radio host Les Kinsolving:

On his own website, Kinsolving shamelessly exposes his own sycophancy, proudly displaying a toadying, toothless repartee with President Reagan:

QUESTION: "Mr. President, will your crime commission investigate Bob Woodward's televised announcement that at the Washington Post there are 40 hardened users of cocaine?... or are you inclined to sluff off here -- because this explains a lot of what goes into the Washington Post?"
PRESIDENT REAGAN: "You're tempting me -- almost beyond my strength!"

Read It:

When Scotty runs into that rare and elusive creature known as a "real reporter", he calls on Les to provide a useless non-sequitur or spin the conversation toward the lunatic fringes of conservatism.

Like his apprentice Jeff Gannon, there is some latent honesty in Mr. Kinsolving's whoring. It's right there in the open for everyone to see. His website lists the questions he's asked at press conferences over the last four years.

Read it:

On Sept. 17th, 2001 in the president's first press conference since 9/11, Kinsolving asked the following question:

The Baltimore Sun reports that radio stations in Washington and Baltimore and elsewhere owned by Maryland multi-millionaire Kathy Hughes are, "broadcasting African-Americans either endorsing or excusing the acts of terrorists who took thousands of lives and who are expressing sympathy with both bin Laden and the Palestinians."

And my question is, does the President, who stated, we are at war, believe it would be wrong for the FCC, which already take action on pornography, to contact Mrs. Hughes? Or does the President believe we were wrong after another war to send to federal prison Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose?

Considering Kinsolving's history as a whore, the implications of his questions are pretty clear. It's time for us to crack down on internal dissent...People should watch what they say.

While Jeff Gannon left the press corps, Old Les still takes to the field, giving Scotty something to hit out of the park.

Fishbowl has more:

Read It:

Monday, August 22, 2005

Despite All Evidence To The Contrary

Bush still insists that invading Iraq is making the world a safer place despite having no evidence whatsoever to support this dubious claim. To put this case of pipe dreaming in perspective, he believes in Rafael Palmiero's steroid claims, intelligent design theory, and the veracity of Fox News.

Here's what he said today in Utah to the VFW before blowing smoke up their bums about improving VA medical care:

Defeating the "hateful ideology" of terror-mongers in Iraq will not only make Iraq and the Middle East safer, Mr. Bush said, but it will make the United States more secure - if not yet safe - in a world whose new dangers were brought home to America on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Terrorists in foreign lands still hope to attack our country," he said. "The lesson of Sept. 11, 2001, is that we must confront threats before they fully materialize."

The president is clearly delusional. The War in Iraq is making us less safe, but don't take my word for it. Listen to the experts at the CIA, the State Department, the Institute for Strategic Studies, And top counterterrorism experts:

”A rump leadership (of al Qaeda) is still intact and over 18,000 potential terrorists are at large with recruitment accelerating on account of Iraq,” the respected International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London said last May in its latest assessment, one that is widely accepted among counterterrorist experts here.

”U.S. forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s,” wrote a top counter-terrorist official at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who calls himself ”Anonymous”, in a new book entitled 'Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror'.

Read It:

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Billion Dollar Snipe Hunt: The Case of Sgt. Sherwood Baker

So Celeste Zappala has joined Cindy Sheehan in the West Arlington protest. Why is she there?

Imagine if your child went to Iraq as a member of the national guard. His specific responsibility was protecting the Iraq Survey Group, whose mission was to find the fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction, which formed the basis for our justification of invading Iraq.

How well did that go? First of all, presidential appointee chairman David Kay resigned, claiming that "we were all wrong and that is most disturbing" in his remarks to the Armed Services committee.

Kay was then replaced as head of the ISG by Charles Duelfer, whose final report to congress concluded that "Iraq had no deployable WMD of any kind as of March 2003 and had no production since 1991".

Remember, these guys were appointed by the administration and had the full cooperation of U.S. forces on the ground; they weren't sent by Michael Moore to make the president look bad.

Read It:

So how much did we spend to find out that the causus belli was a farce? One Billion Dollars, and thousands of lives, including that of Zappala's son, Sherwood Baker, sent on a fatal snipe hunt by a government that couldn't have cared less.

As President George W. Bush's motorcade sped
by, Celeste Zappala stood behind a police line, singing and waving a
cross bearing the name of her fallen son.

Zappala wanted to meet the commander in chief and ask him about his
rationale for starting the war against Iraq. Her son, Sgt. Sherwood
Baker, 30, died there last year.

"He literally was killed looking for the weapons of mass destruction
that never existed," she said, standing under the sweltering Texas sun
at a makeshift anti-war camp set up near President Bush's ranch.

So what noble cause did Sgt. Sherwood Baker die for, Mr. President? You can move the goalposts all you want, be he died in the hunt for WMDs that your administration now admits might never have existed.

Read It:

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The New Neocon Mantra: We Don't Care

At first I was furious, but after further reflection, a modicum of sincerity is refreshing. Finally their words coincide with their actions.

From Bob Geiger's Yellow Dog Blog:

As Ms. Sheehan and the "Camp Casey" protesters sang America The Beautiful or stood quietly, the right-wing group chanted "we don't care" at the mother who lost her son, Casey, to Bush's war in Iraq.

Read It:

Why should they care? After all, Cindy Sheehan's protest "borders on treason" according to O'Reilly on The Factor:

So I mean, I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this and also for the responsibility of other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq, who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.

...But wait, there's more! Everyone hogpile on the grieving mother!

As quoted by Digby:

So, really, how much exactly are we supposed to grieve over this guy? Isn't a certain amount of disapproval in order for the guy-and by extension his mom, for making such a fuss over a person who was, in the last analysis, by definition, a loser?

So shouldn't Mrs. Sheehan be showing a little more shame about the situation and maybe not wanting to get her son and his shortcoming splashed all over the media?

Read It:

Thursday, August 11, 2005

These People Have No Shame

Did Cindy Sheehan change her story?...As usual David Brock cuts through the B.S.

Read It:
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