Sunday, September 30, 2007

The nag, the witch and the media
Democratic women tend to support Hillary Clinton. Female pundits? Not so much.
by Joan Walsh

Mets historic collapse is complete; N.Y. Yankees move on to playoffs

The New York Times
October 1, 2007
Marlins 8, Mets 1
Mets Complete Stunning Collapse

The Mets completed a stunning collapse with an equally stunning performance in a 8-1 loss to the Florida Marlins today that, coupled with the Phillies’ 6-1 victory against Washington, eliminated them from postseason contention.

Tom Glavine, the 41-year-old veteran with 303 career victories, was charged with seven runs in only one-third of an inning, the second-shortest outing of his 20-season career. The Mets stranded eight runners on base in the first three innings and hardly threatened afterward.

No team had ever lost a seven-game lead with 17 to play. But since Sept. 12, the Mets went 5-12, including losing six of their final seven — all at Shea Stadium against sub-.500 clubs — to make yesterday’s 13-0 thrashing, which pulled them into a first-place tie with Philadelphia, an afterthought in their quest to win a second consecutive division title.

Before the game, Glavine stifled a yawn, and it probably was not because he was up all last night thinking about this start. He has made 35 career postseason starts, and this, in effect, would be No. 36. After getting ahead by 0-2 on the leadoff hitter, Hanley Ramirez, Glavine threw four consecutive balls out of the strike zone. Two of the pitches barely missed the outside corner, and when Glavine does not get those calls, he is often in for a long day. As it turned out, the long day became incomprehensibly short.

Dan Uggla hit into a fielder’s choice, but Glavine did not retire any of the next seven hitters. It went single, single, double, single, walk, single and hit batsman. The major blow was the double by Cody Ross that knocked in two, and Ross himself scored when Glavine tried nabbing Ross at third but instead threw the ball into left field. Glavine’s day ended when he plunked Florida’s starting pitcher, Dontrelle Willis, to force in the Marlins’ fifth run.

In what could have been his final time walking off the Shea mound in a Mets uniform, Glavine was booed mercilessly. His contract expires after this season, and even if Glavine decides he wants to play another season, the Mets may decide they want to get younger and not attempt to re-sign him. The insult to his pitching line came when the reliever Jorge Sosa gave up a two-out, two-run double to Uggla that put the Marlins ahead, 7-0.

The Mets could not capitalize on an ineffective Willis, scoring only one run despite twice loading the bases in the first three innings, and managed only two hits in six and one-third innings against the Marlins’ bullpen.

So I'm a "Phony Soldier," Rush?
by Jon Soltz

He said that those troops who come home and want to get America out of the middle of the religious civil war in Iraq are "phony soldiers." Where to begin?

Saturday, September 29, 2007


The epithet of choice these days for Republicans who oppose any expansion of government’s role in health care programs is “socialized” medicine.

Real Time: Who Really Called Rudy..?
Turns out the call really did have something to do with 9/11.

Friday, September 28, 2007

by Katrina vanden Heuvel

The Iraq War, the most outsourced in history, is costing $500,000 per minute. Call the Pentagon to account for the corruption, boondoggles and profiteering of its contractors.

by Terence Samuel

Half a century after the Little Rock Nine, Bill O'Reilly comes to Harlem. Too bad he hasn't visited our schools. Or our polling places.

Bush's 2003 conversation with the Spanish prime minister shows his smug determination to invade Iraq at all costs.

By Joe Conason

Thursday, September 27, 2007

By Marie Cocco —

If a candidate for any office ran on a promise to render government dysfunctional—to destroy its capacity to work on behalf of something roughly considered to be the common good, to assure that bitter division and not even a grudging tilt toward compromise would prevail—it is reasonable to assume that voters would recoil.
Yankees Clinch Postseason Berth

His lawsuit will attempt to show that CBS tried to suppress the report on Bush's National Guard Service and the Abu Ghraib abuses.

By Sidney Blumenthal

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No Way Baby
By Digby
This week is the 50th anniversary of a seminal American event --- the desegregation of Central High in Little Rock Arkansas. It's a different world. But not different enough.

By Amy Goodman —

As world leaders gather this week to address the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush’s refusal to negotiate on the two key issues of our day—war and global warming—has been stunning. And the media haven’t helped.
House Bucks Bush Veto, Passes Landmark Children's Health Bill

Blackwater, Corruption in Iraq at Issue

By Karen DeYoung

What’s All This Fuss About Free Speech?

By Christopher Platt

Free Speech isn’t really free. Just as there’s no free lunch, there often comes an invoice with Free Speech: You may sometimes have to listen to something you dislike, or disagree with, or otherwise don’t want to hear. Awwwww!

These thoughts came to me last week after hearing that Rabbi Avi Weiss, a respected, often-extremist (well, compared to me, anyway) NYC religious leader, said that allowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at a scheduled event at Columbia University is “a perversion of free speech.” Uhhh, no, Avi! Actually, that’s EXACTLY free speech. The perversion is saying that the right to speak freely – or the right to hear, unimpeded, someone else speaking freely, can and should be controlled. Free speech has two components. You must be allowed to speak and be allowed to listen. If you don’t like what the speaker has to say, don’t listen – or craft a response with your own point of view. Kind of like I am doing right now. Not only is that allowed, it’s almost a civic duty.

In an earlier era, our Supreme Court held that – unless someone were to go into a crowded, darkened theatre and falsely yell, “Fire!” abridging speech was a slippery slope (Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing in Schenck v. United States, 1919). Fifty years later, Schenck was overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), with the Court holding that speech could only be banned when it was directed to and likely to incite “imminent lawless action” (like, say a riot). Even in the unlikely event (in jaded NYC) that Ahmadinejad’s words had caused a riot, it would be tough to argue that it was “directed” at doing so.

Happily, in the case of Ahmadinejad and Columbia, the university said it would not call off the speech by Iran's president, despite pressure from various critics, as it had folded, regrettably, on a previous occasion. City Council speaker Christine Quinn fumed, "The idea of Ahmadinejad as an honored guest anywhere in our city is offensive to all New Yorkers." She also said that Ahmadinejad was coming to New York "for one reason -- to spread his hate-mongering vitriol on the world stage." His appearance at Columbia also was denounced by some Jewish groups -- the Jewish Defense Organization called Ahmadinejad "the Hitler of Iran." To which John Coatsworth, a Dean at Columbia, responded that – if he were in town -- they would invite Hitler to speak there. See? Even a university can learn a lesson about Free Speech.

Dr. Coatsworth was right. Not only was it important for us to be allowed to hear what he had to say, it was doubly important for Ahmadinejad to experience the uniquely American give-and-take that such a venue provided. Nothing like that at home, that’s for sure. And the protestors and demonstrators that convened concurrently at the school have surely broadened his education about what it means to be American.

In the same vein, I was amazed that several candidates for this nation’s highest office have come out against the dapper Iranian on another issue. Prior to his visit to NYC, Ahmadinejad had made it known that he wanted to visit Ground Zero. Giuliani fairly screamed, “Assisting Ahmadinejad in touring Ground Zero -- hallowed ground for all Americans -- is outrageous." Mitt Romney said, “It's inconceivable that any consideration would be given to the idea of entertaining the leader of a state sponsor of terror at Ground Zero… Instead of entertaining Ahmadinejad, we should be indicting him." And our own ambitious Senator, Hillary Clinton, weighed in with “It is unacceptable for Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who refuses to renounce and end his own country’s support of terrorism, to visit the site of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in our nation’s history." It’s funny how demagoguery is contagious. But it WAS nice to see Rudy and Hillary agree on something, I guess.

Listen! Free Speech is the reason I can write and disseminate my thoughts – and is why you can read my words today. You can also, if you choose, freely read Ann Coulter’s words, or Norman Podhoretz’s words, or Al Franken’s words. Or Dick Cheney’s words. Of course, if the latter party had his way, this field would be much circumscribed. And that, of course, is the point. For all that a corrupt administration like the one currently in power (I mean ours, not Iran’s) strives mightily to suppress the free expression of dissent, that dissent somehow, eventually, manages to find its way to the light.

Ahmadinejad, who is no dummy, probably knows this as well as anyone. After all, back when his country was ruled by the American-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi, the Ayatollah Khomeini was in exile in France. But his destabilizing, revolutionary rhetoric was successfully spread back home -- and the Shah’s regime was ultimately brought down -- by a weapon called the tape player. If that hadn’t happened, Ahmadinejad wouldn’t be where he is today.

I say, Let Ahmadinejad see Ground Zero, even lay a wreath. Perhaps, as some savvy columnists have noted, he’ll learn something. Maybe we’ll learn something, too, watching him. Remember that when the towers fell, four years before he took office, Iran was among the first nations out there to express its sympathy and support of its erstwhile enemy, the Great Satan, the United States. Let me take this further: foreign heads of state should be brought to Ground Zero as a matter of course – maybe we can arrange a few busloads while the UN is in-session. Why? To remind them all that – in early September, 2001, we were all on the same page. On 9/12, every world leader had the same thought, the same fear: What would happen if terrorists did something like that in MY country. It wasn’t until later that they came to worry more about the actions of the United States than the threat of terrorism.

Kristen Breitweiser, a 9/11 widow and outspoken activist, writes on Huffington Post, “So far not one presidential candidate has seized the opportunity to do something ‘out of the box’ and important on Iran -- like actually meeting Ahmadinejad at Ground Zero and challenging him to a real dialogue. Can you get the visual? Extending hands like an olive branch -- saying to the world that it is high time for Iran and the U.S. to join together to end terrorism, root out rogue extremist groups, and combat the injustice that nurtures them? That would be bold action, not cheap, tough talk. It would show the world that we are strong and confident enough to deal directly and squarely with our enemies, inviting them to join these common battles. Imagine Rudy or Hillary actually engaging Ahmadinejad in a dialogue at Ground Zero, asking him tough questions about what his real intentions are, explaining the pain that Ground Zero represents to Americans, and why we all must work together to root out terrorism.” In other words, she says, this is yet-another blown opportunity for real statesmanship.

Last week, our castrated Congress, unable to do any meaningful work on important issues these days, managed to join together to pass a resolution condemning an ad by, which called Gen. David Petraeus “General Betray Us.” Ahhhh, cut it out, will you? If you hold a national office, your sworn oaths are all about protecting and supporting the Constitution, not subverting it. You can better uphold that oath by commencing impeachment proceedings than by condemning a friggin’ ad. What are we paying you for, anyway? Stop wasting your time, and our patience. Everyone in this country who writes… everyone who reads – Hell, everyone who thinks! – should be concerned about the growing, spreading assault on the First Amendment. The insults start at the top and slither their way down to the street.

At least a resolution isn’t legislation. Or corporal punishment. Guess we still have that to be thankful for. At least, nobody “tasered” for exercising its First Amendment rights, and questioning one of our nation’s leaders. Tasers were invented to be non-lethal weapons to get control over violent offenders – they were not meant to be used to stifle legitimate discourse in the national interest. Those over-zealous campus cops – and their employers at the University of Florida -- should take a lesson from Columbia.

Here, the fiery Iranian engineer spoke freely and, after a fashion, answered some pointed questions. Did he answer them directly or completely, or to the satisfaction of his interlocutors? Of course not. He is, after all, a politician. He did, however, clarify some of the statements that have been attributed to him. Sort of. But he was not the bad actor here. I watched in surprised dismay as Columbia President Lee Bollinger tore into him, insulting him and berating him in a ten-minute harangue that, as an American, embarrassed me no end. Even in America, but certainly throughout the Mideast, it is bad manners to so insult someone you have invited over for a conversation -- and that while you’re supposed to be introducing him, for God’s sake. Yet, Ahmadinejad stood his ground, commented on Bollinger acting badly, and went right into his prepared remarks, then took the questions he knew were coming. An impressive performance. I tried to imagine our own leaders walking so knowingly into this hornet’s nest and responding so well. Go on, YOU try imagining our own President or Vice-President in the Iranian’s place, being expected to answer for all the words now returned to haunt him… Yeah, I couldn’t either.

# # #

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

by Bob Herbert

Last week the Republicans showed once again just how anti-black their party really is.
Bush Goes Down with the SCHIP
By E.J. Dionne —
This week’s showdown over children’s health insurance is the first skirmish in the new battle for universal health coverage. It is also the first confrontation between the president and Congress fought out almost entirely on terms set by the new Democratic majority.

With Big Ideas Like These…
By Marie Cocco —
Now that the hubbub over Hillary Clinton’s health insurance plan has temporarily subsided, that silence you hear is the sound of Republican presidential candidates offering their own alternatives to finally cover all of the country’s 47 million uninsured men, women and children.
Ahmadine Minute
All Eyes on Iran

by Katrina vanden Heuvel

As Iranian President Ahmadinejad visits the United Nations, the international community must challenge the Bush Administration's continuing threats to take miltary action against Iran.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Demonizing the Iranian president and making his visit to New York seem controversial are all part of the neoconservative push for yet another war.

By Juan Cole

Sunday, September 23, 2007


The Idaho senator has been an unexpected boon not just to the nation’s double-entendre comedy industry but to the imploding Republican Party.
Rewriting 'God Bless America'
By Steve Benen

It didn't generate much in the way of media attention this week, but a bunch of religious right groups co-sponsored the first-ever "Values Voter" debate a few days ago for the GOP presidential field. The top four (Giuliani, Romney, McCain, and Thompson) stayed away, but seven other Republican presidential hopefuls cozied up to luminaries such as Phyllis Schlafly, Paul Weyrich, and Don Wildmon.

There were plenty of bizarre questions and answers, but one of the elements of the debate that stood out for me was, oddly enough, the song that got things started. Event organizers invited the Church of God Choir, from Springfield, Ohio, to sing "God Bless America" -- except the lyrics were rewritten. Instead of a song about "the land that I love," and "home sweet home," this version condemns the country, saying we've all turned against God, and that He won't bless us. It was a big hit among the conservative Republicans in the room

(The lyrics are here.)

I'm trying to imagine the response if, say, Yearly Kos hosted a Democratic presidential candidate forum, which started with a rewritten version of "God Bless America" that disparaged the United States.

It's the kind of thing Fox News would jump all over -- and every Democratic candidate on hand would be asked whether they agreed with the song's lyrical condemnation of the country. Bill O'Reilly would tell us that "God Bless America" is fine the way it is, and it doesn't need to be rewritten by liberals to serve a radical political agenda.

Admittedly, it gets tiresome to hear "if this were a Democrat..." but in this case, I think it's appropriate.
The Sharp Difference Between Them and Them
by Hunter

I used to think that the Republicans were primarily little more than marvelous opportunists. Their effectiveness at "catapulting the propaganda" over the last two decades have been astonishing, and never more so than in the last six years.

Case in point, obviously: the MoveOn ad. The horrible, mean, cruel MoveOn ad that questioned the integrity of an Army general simply because he had a proven history of making, you know... intentionally misleading statements based on transparently manufactured statistics. It's still the talk of the news cycle, because Republicans are outraged -- yes, outraged! Offended! Disgusted! Repulsed! Exclamation points!! -- that such a thing would happen in politics. Not the manipulation of numbers and of evidence, mind you, that long being the standard currency of unpopular wars: no, the offense was the ad.

The irony has not been lost on anyone, I imagine. For six years, opponents of the war have had their patriotism, their integrity, their very status as Americans questioned by Republican administration officials in their public statements, by Republican senators on the floor of the Senate, by Republican congressmen in the House, from the White House press office, in the pages and websites of every conservative and Republican rag out there, by Republican activist groups, on Republican radio programs, by Republicans holding up signs on street corners, and so on. Along with a generous application of rank dishonesty, it has been the standard and defining element of War On Terror Discourse. It has been as prevalent as now-faded yellow ribbon magnets, and exactly as substantive. The questioning of patriotism, of Americanism, of integrity, and of courage was the id of the war, and the ego and super-ego as well.

You lack patriotism if you question the President. You lack patriotism if you question the competence of the war planners. You lack patriotism if you do not support the correct number of tax cuts (namely, every one proposed.) You lack patriotism if you object to Social Security "reform" packages. You lack patriotism if you point out dishonesty on the part of political leaders. You lack patriotism if you ask where Osama bin Laden is. You lack patriotism if you point out where he is not. You lack patriotism if you disagree with how the "war on terror" is fought, or worse yet if you express that disagreement in such a way as to inconvenience an American elected official. You lack patriotism if you print certain stories in a newspaper, such as any investigative story that questions the effectiveness of Republican leaders, or which shines too bright a light on the policies of our glittering new war.

For six years, anyone on the opposing side of a Republican proposal have had our "integrity" questioned at every turn, and at podiums throughout the capital, by the top members of American government. As a matter not only of course, but of intentional strategy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The candidates for the Republican party's presidential nod are building quite a track record--of snubbing prospective voters. It's getting to be a long list.

The Victor?

By Peter W. Galbraith

Of all the unintended consequences of the Iraq war, Iran's strategic victory is the most far-reaching.

Keith Olbermann: "President of Hypocrisy"
Daily Show: Bill Clinton Part 1

Daily Show: Bill Clinton Part 2

Friday, September 21, 2007

Taser Nation

Bravo to Chris Matthews for speaking out against the Bush administration's policies of stifling free speech.

By Joe Conason
Dear MoveOn Member,

The U.S. Senate just told you to sit down and be quiet when they passed a Republican amendment condemning MoveOn.

Every day, our brave men and women are dying in a bloody civil war this Senate has done nothing to stop. Yesterday, they couldn't even pass a bill to give soldiers adequate leave with their families before redeploying.2 But they're spending time cracking down on a newspaper ad?

So, we're making clear where America stands. We're releasing a statement from MoveOn members—and anyone else who feels the same way—saying, "We will not be quiet, we will fight back. We will keep speaking out until Congress forces an exit plan for this awful war."

Clicking here will add your name:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The courage of Mayor Jerry Sanders

Grab a hankie and watch San Diego's Republican mayor explain why he changed his mind to support gay marriage.
by Joan Walsh
The Mercenary Factor
by Robert Scheer
Who elected Blackwater USA and other hired guns to rule the world? The Iraqi government's decision to ban Blackwater from operating in the country sheds more light on the Bush Administration's aims to wage perpetual war.
By Marie Cocco —
There is no set piece more emblematic of the tragic farce that is the American involvement in Iraq than the grotesque episode of Blackwater USA and the killing of civilians in Baghdad—at least nine and as many as 28—on Sunday.

All in a day's work

Hours after blocking a vote on restoring habeas corpus rights to detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Senate Republicans and Joe Lieberman blocked consideration Wednesday of a bill that would have guaranteed U.S. troops as much time at home as they spend deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Both measures had bipartisan support, but not enough to get Senate Democrats overthe 60-vote hurdle that a Republican-plus-Lieberman filibuster would have presented. Republicans Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar, John Sununu and Gordon Smith joined all Democrats in voting to move forward on the habeas corpus bill. The same group -- minus Specter and Lugar, plus Norm Coleman and Susan Collins -- joined all Democrats in voting to move forward on Jim Webb's troop bill.

After the remaining Republicans joined Lieberman in killing Webb's bill, the Senate considered whether to proceed with a watered-down, non-binding "sense of the Senate" measure John McCain proposed as a way to provide cover for Republicans who didn't want to be seen as voting against the troops. Although Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Tim Johnson, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and Bill Nelson crossed over to support what Webb called a "fig leaf" of a bill, enough Democrats stuck together in opposition to block McCain's measure from getting an up-or-down vote either.

Having thereby blocked actual consideration of three different measures aimed at addressing two of the most critical issues facing the United States today, the Senate adjourned for the evening.

-- Tim Grieve

Hoping that history will somehow vindicate him, the president has entered a phase of decadent perversity.

By Sidney Blumenthal
Betrayal of Trust

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Alan Greenspan
Dept. of Misdirection: With Iraq a Disaster, GOP Goes Crazy Over a Newspaper Ad

by Arianna Huffington

Was the MoveOn ad blunt? Yes. Did it go for the jugular? No doubt. But while the way it chose to make its points can be debated, the accuracy of those points cannot.

Despite saber-rattling, and the Washington buzz that a strike is coming, the president doesn't intend to bomb Iran. Cheney may have other ideas.

By Steven Clemons

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2007 GOP Won't Even Talk to Black Folks
by Inrock
It appears the Grand "Old" Party see 2007 as a year for "old" white Republicans standing their ground and preparing an old fashioned dish of classic old school race politics for black folks to eat.

By E.J. Dionne —

The genius of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been her skill at turning liabilities into assets and weaknesses into strengths. By putting out a detailed health care plan on Monday, Clinton embarked on this year’s most daring act of political jujitsu.
Thompson Joins Giuliani, McCain And Romney In Snubbing Black Voter Debate

Once a mighty war god, Bush has run out of tricks, troops and time. Will Americans finally rise up to stop his endless war?

By Gary Kamiya

Monday, September 17, 2007

The president's A.G. pick: Bush Blinks

In selecting Michael Mukasey, Bush dodges a fight with Senate Democrats.

by Tim Grieve

Sunday, September 16, 2007

by Paul Starr

Did Hillary doom health reform in 1993? It's time to get the facts straight about the Clinton plan and why compromise failed. Here's the real story, from the Prospect co-editor who was a White House senior health policy advisor at the time.

Could 2008 be the year that Democrats finally admit an old sweetheart is never coming back, and stop pandering to the white male voter?

By Thomas F. Schaller
Citizen Gore
By Michael Tomasky

For a significant number of impatient citizens, there is one possible candidate who is, they would argue, the most electable of all. First, he's already won a presidential election; he was merely denied his rightful victory by an ethically compromised Supreme Court majority. Second, to the extent that foreign policy and terrorism remain potential Democratic weaknesses, he has extensive experience and expertise in dealing with both. Third, he was right on Iraq. And fourth and most importantly, he has reemerged in the Bush era as a completely different man from the cautious candidate, surrounded by too many consultants, we saw in the 2000 campaign.
By Ronald Dworkin

The revolution that many commentators predicted when President Bush appointed two ultra-right-wing Supreme Court justices is proceeding with breathtaking impatience, and it is a revolution Jacobin in its disdain for tradition and precedent. Bush's choices, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, have joined the two previously most right-wing justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, in an unbreakable phalanx bent on remaking constitutional law by overruling, most often by stealth, the central constitutional doctrines that generations of past justices, conservative as well as liberal, had constructed.
The Nightmare Is Here

by Bob Herbert

We’ve heard from General Petraeus, from Ambassador Crocker, and on Thursday night from President Bush. What we haven’t heard this week is anything about the tragic reality on the ground for the ordinary citizens of Iraq, which is in the throes of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
Still Waiting For Thompson
By Ruth Marcus

Go to a Fred Thompson rally and for $5 you can buy an "I'm a Fred-Head" button. But you might not be able, at any price, to learn what exactly is in Fred's head.

How Much Jail Time For Women Who Have Abortions?

By Anna Quindlen
Michael Mukasey's role in the Jose Padilla case
The apparent nominee for Attorney General has displayed some impressive qualities of independence and a willingness to defy the President
by Glenn Greenwald

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Randy Bean & Condi Rice. Red beans and rice?
posted by Wally

Turns out Dubya is NOT Condi's hubby. This is Condi's hubby . . .

It appears that our suspicions were true. Condi DOES love bush.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice co-owned a home and shared a line of credit with another woman, according to Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, who reveals the information in his new book, The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.According to the book, Rice owns a home together with Randy Bean, a documentary filmmaker who once worked with Bill Moyers. Kessler made the discovery by looking through real estate records. The home is located in Palo Alto, California.

Bean explains the joint ownership and line of credit in the book by saying she had medical bills which left her financially drained and Rice helped her by co-purchasing the house along with a third person, Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor. Blacker is openly gay.

Frankly, we don't give a rat's ass if she's gay, straight, curly, whatever. What pisses us off again and again about these people is the hypocrisy.

"Condi Rice works for an administration that uses attacks on gay rights to win votes. She has stood by silently while the President has proposed writing anti-gay discrimination into the Constitution of the United States. Whenever she is given the opportunity to distance herself from their anti-gay polices she punts."

If you don't have the backbone to stand up for what you believe and who you are, what does that make you? In this case, as the old saying goes, Condi is what she eats. Pussy

Yes, Condi, it is Relevant
by Michael Rogers

Friday, September 14, 2007

Think Again: Beware the ideas of Newt

by Eric Alterman

By Joe Conason

Following two days of carefully staged theatrics on Capitol Hill and cable television, the essential facts about Iraq remain unchanged. Despite the big charts and the blustering fanfare highlighted by Fox News, neither Gen. David H. Petraeus nor Ambassador Ryan Crocker could convincingly claim that the American military escalation in Iraq is achieving its original goals.
John Edwards - Response to President Bush

Bush says his troop drawdown is due to the success of the surge, but his own advisors -- including Gen. Petraeus -- have given a very different explanation.
By Alex Koppelman
The president announces his "new" new way forward in Iraq.
by Tim Grieve

Thursday, September 13, 2007

24-Hour Republican Party People
by Bill Maher

New Rule: Republicans changed their party before -- from the party that freed the slaves to the party that freed Scooter Libby -- and they survived. Now it's time for them to stop pretending they're still the party of Reagan and take up a new banner: The Party of Superfreaky Superfreaks.

This week, the chairman of the St. Petersburg, Florida, City Council was accused of having sex with his two adopted daughters and their nanny. And he could have been in real trouble, too, if it turned out the nanny was an illegal. But he got ahead of the story when he killed himself by sitting in the garage with the doors closed and the riding lawn mower on.

Two guesses which party he was a member of. And the first guess doesn't count.

And that's not fair. You knew he was a Republican, because even in death, he was still wasting gas.

Republicans sex scandals are getting to be like Iraqi car bombings. By the time you hear about one, there's been another. Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, Vitter, Craig... It's like "Clue" only the answer is always "A Republican... in the washroom... with his cock."

The Republicans should run on that. "America: You're 230 But We'll Still Fuck You." Especially if you're a dude.

It's not really inspiring, but it's better than "Mitt Romney: He Has Hair."

The president is now taking credit for turning Sunni tribes against al-Qaida in Iraq. But two years ago he rejected a Sunni offer to negotiate an end to the violence.
By Sidney Blumenthal

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Obama To Bush: "You Don't Have Our Authorization" For Iran War

by Tom Hayden

The military's new strategy in Iraq draws on an old tradition rooted in violence and repression.

by Thom Hartmann

The eerie juxtaposition of General Betrayus testifying today before Congress, and it being 9/11 (which helped Bush bring us disasters ranging from the PATRIOT Act to the Iraq War and Occupation) brings an opportunity to re-understand what’s been happening here and in Iraq these past six years, and offers an insight into a way forward.
by Robert Scheer

Of course, Gen. David Petraeus predicts success in the Iraq war. What wonders couldn’t generals achieve with more troops and more time? The battle is always going well until it is lost, and then they blame defeat on the politicians and the public.

Warriors and Idiots

By Christopher Platt

Only warriors and idiots – No! Only SOME warriors and only SOME idiots – can love war. Most warriors are not idiots. Damned few idiots are ever warriors. There are a lot more idiots in this world than there are warriors. And, more often than not, the warriors go to war because their leaders, most-often the idiots, tell them to do so.

Having some limited experience at being both of these, I can tell you that when a warrior loves war, it’s not for the same reasons that an idiot does. A warrior is suffused with “the mission.” With the cause. With the honor of serving one’s country and serving proudly with other warriors, doing a dangerous, dirty job. For some, there is also, make no mistake about it, the exhilaration of combat. Fighting for an idea, for survival, or to save the life of a comrade, is about as life-affirming as you can get, even though the outcome often means someone is going to die. War can give a life meaning, purpose. In the olden days, being a warrior was also a path to fame and, even, immortality: “Spartans! Prepare for glory!”

An idiot loves war because it’s a power trip. Having no experience as a warrior, the idiot is often fascinated with the hardware – the weapons, uniforms, the devices that convey the weapons and the warriors to and from battle – the trappings. And the special effects: bangs and booms, flashes of light and fire. That’s often all an idiot sees of war. The human element, the blood and guts, the screaming, crying, broken bodies lying in the dust, the smells of urine, excrement or burning flesh, is of significantly less interest to them. Why? Because they are idiots! Duhhh!

War is always war. But, when warriors send other warriors into battle, they at least know the human consequences. They know that pain and death will be the outcome. When they forget that, they can become idiots. Then, well, there’s natural selection on the battlefield, too. Today, listening to Congress trying to impale Gen. Petraus for his association with this morally bankrupt administration, I heard one sympathetic Senator relate a story about the architect of the postwar Marshall Plan. There’s a version in an article posted on the National Review Online, by Jim Lacey: “… During World War II, General George Marshall, the first chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff]… sent the casualty list to the White House to remind the president that real people died as a result of every order given. General Marshall continued this despite a White House request that the practice be discontinued.”

Lacey’s article talks about Richard B. Myers, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, “General Myers starts each workday with a full briefing on the circumstances of every American casualty in the previous 24 hours. I can think of no more emotionally searing way to begin what are often long, arduous days. This is not something he has to do and I imagine he continues it only because it is a daily reminder that any decision he makes can have a dire consequence for the men and women who make it happen.” That’s what a real warrior does. For the rest of Lacey’s thoughtful article, “The Commanders,” go to

Conversely, when idiots send warriors into battle, it’s more about making their weenies look more like bigger, stronger woodies. Bigger to their enemies, for sure. But also to their allies and girlfriends – and themselves. C’mon, don’t pretend you’ve never heard this before. Long before Freud, it was understood that the long, tubular shapes of modern weaponry stand in for the rampant male organ: cannons… rifles… bullets… rockets… airplanes. Ooooh! It’s enough to make any idiot swoon. To pretend they still cling to a shred of humanity, idiots may make brave, seemingly heartfelt, statements of concern for the casualties, but frankly, Scarlet …

It’s also true that, while idiots will happily send warriors off to fight their battles for them, no warrior wants to send idiots off to war. Warriors know that sending idiots into harm’s way isn’t going to make their manhood appear any bigger, especially to other warriors, who are only interested in whether or not you won the battle you were tasked with. So they don’t do so if they can avoid it -- unless or until an idiot leader orders them to do otherwise. Truth is, savvy warriors will always shrink from making such a decision. That’s why politicians were invented. That’s why we have… The Decider.

Politics, too, is all about making your wanker look bigger. Yeah, I know, that’s hot news, too. We have a situation in this country, where the idiots have sent a new generation of warriors off to improve the perception of their genitals. Think I’m offbase? Start with the fact that one’s a Dick, and another’s a Bush. Then proceed to the fact that virtually none of these bozos in leadership positions has ever been a warrior. “Bring it on!” “Mission Accomplished!” Jeez, people, have you ever seen so many phalluses being waved more aggressively? Say what you will about Bill Clinton… at least when HE unzipped, nobody died.

So, how do we get out of this mess we’re in? Take Iraq. Please! I have a quandary that I’ll bet also troubles some other Blue Shirts out there: On the one hand, I’d love to bring all of our warriors home, alive and in one piece, tomorrow. On the other hand, our idiots have so screwed up that miserable country that – as bad as things are for the Iraqis now, odds are that it would get much worse if Johnny came marching home too soon. I’m not, at least about this matter, an idiot. I’m certain there’s no way for us to win, even on the continuously shrinking punchlist of benchmarks our idiot leaders are using to define success. There will be no victory. But tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have also died, and millions more have been displaced, because our idiots – our leaders – couldn’t keep it in their pants. I feel a terrible, helpless anger and pain whenever another of our young warriors is killed in Iraq. But I also feel anger and pain when another bunch of Iraqi citizens is blown up on a bus or in a market – or at a funeral, because there’s no way to protect them. I am ashamed for what my country has done. I am ashamed for what my country has become. Isn’t there a great big “Undo” button somewhere?

This is probably going to make those Red Shirts smile because it almost sounds supportive of their position. It’s not. But do I feel that, as a nation, having so thoroughly destroyed Iraq, we owe the Iraqi people something. We can’t bring back the lives that have been sacrificed, but perhaps there is something we can do to “make it right.” I abhor the bloodshed, and bemoan the wasted lives, but there’s that “cut-and-run” thing, which would likely bring down even more shame upon us. Yes, somehow, we should find a way to make amends for the crimes and sins our idiots have perpetrated there. I dread the prospect of walking away and leaving such a hopeless mess behind, but I don’t want to sacrifice any more of our warriors. However, maybe, there’s a solution. There IS a sufficiently bloodthirsty cohort we could employ in their stead.

Warriors don’t send idiots into battle. But OTHER idiots might. We have a whole contingent of newly elected idiots waiting in the wings of the halls of power. So far, they’ve been singularly unsuccessful at getting an anguished citizenry to notice their impressive genitalia -- a few even lack the requisite equipment altogether. So, let’s have them create a Legion of our best, most-aggressive idiots – oh, name it “The First Neocon Division” – and send this rough beast slouching off towards Baghdad. I say we prevail upon our new idiots to pressgang the creaky, cranky warmongers themselves, stalwarts such as Dick Cheney, George W. Bush (but not his father, who was a warrior) Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Richard Perle, R. James Woolsey, Ken Adelman, Norman Podhoretz, Douglas Feith, Karl Rove, David Addington, David Frum, Charles Krauthammer. These folks are so enamored of war, let’s be supportive and give them their day in the hot, Iraqi sun. Outfit them all in sexy, black leather uniforms from Fredericks of Hollywood’s Men’s Division, with big sturdy codpieces behind the zippers of their trousers. Put Podhoretz, one of the original, founding Neocons, at the head of the column, riding Point in the lead black Hummer. That way, if – by chance they should prevail, their victory would be known ever after as The Norman Conquest.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The attacks exposed grave weaknesses in our nation's defenses, our national institutions and ultimately our national character.

By Gary Kamiya
Ambassador's Testimony At Odds With Recent Comments
Recently Told Reporters: "What’s Happened Over The Last Couple Of YearsIs Stunning...The Violence, The Population Shifts, The Displacement, The Tens Of Thousands Of Iraqis That Have Been Killed."

Democrats Blast Petraeus Recommendations


Arianna Huffington: Denying the Truth: Petraeus, Iraq, and Our Pontius Pilate Press

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