Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Christian Nation, Huh?.
Courtesy of Ed Thibodeau, at Nonplussed: Itís the law of the land, as
negotiated by George Washington in a treaty with the nation of Tripoli
on November 4, 1796, and ratified by the United States Senate on June
Dog Pack Politics.
By way of First Draft, we learned that on June 15, Senator Dick Durbin
seemed to have no intention of backing down from his statments
concerning the torture at Guantanamo Bay:"No one, including the White
House, can deny that the statement I read on the Senate floor was made
by an FBI agent describing the torture of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.
That torture was reprehensible and totally inconsistent with the values
we hold dear in America. This Administration should apologize to the
American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing
torture techniques that put our troops at risk...
[Paperwight's Fair Shot]
Cenk Uygur: Blame it on Boston
tired of all the outrage. Not other peopleís outrage, my own outrage.
And I donít mean Iím sick of it; I mean Iím worn out. And just when it
looks likes I want to take a breather and write something light and
fluffy, Senator Santorum comes along and makes me get back on the
What am I going to do with these guys? Look at this quote from Rick Santorum (R-PA) about the Catholic child abuse cases:
ďIt is startling that those in the media and academia appear most
disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted
moral relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as
alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by
culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes
infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise
that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in
America, lies at the center of the storm.Ē
Okay, okay, he just compared ďalternative lifestylesĒ to pedophilia.
And he said the media and university professors are to blame for
encouraging this type of child abuse. This guy is unbelievable. The
only thing more unbelievable is that a state like Pennsylvania would
even consider re-electing this guy.
But Iím beyond it, simply because Iím tired of being outraged at
these clowns (if they were just relegated to the sidelines, as all good
clowns should be, I could actually be entertained by this sideshow; but
itís hard to laugh when theyíre in charge of our government). So,
thatís not what inspired me to write about this. It was the Boston
Does anyone remember that Boston is still in the United States? Does
anyone remember that we started a little revolution there called Ö the
American Revolution? And the men (liberals) who started that revolution
were called our Founding Fathers? Even their football team is called
Iím not from Boston (although I had my first radio job there and so
it has a little special place in my heart), and Iím annoyed at how much
conservatives love to rag on the city. If I was from there, Iíd want to
go on the warpath. You donít think weíre tough or patriotic enough, why
donít you step in the ring with Tedy Bruschi, Tom Brady and Larry Izzo?
These Republicans act like Massachusetts is a state in France when
itís one of our proudest states. If thatís how they feel, why donít
they leave Massachusetts and never run another Republican candidate
The other comical (and here I agree with Woody Allen that tragedy
and comedy are beginning to meld into one) point of view represented in
the above quote is that Boston is somehow responsible for child abuse
since it is at the epicenter of liberalism. As my co-host, Ben
Mankiewicz, said on the air yesterday, thatís like blaming the
conservative culture coming out of Kansas for the BTK killer. In other
words, itís asinine.
But then again, these are the same clowns who thought it made sense
to attack Iraq because it was in the center of the geographic region
where terrorism was coming from. Thatís like Roosevelt saying China is
in the center of the geographic region where our enemies in Asia are
coming from, so we have decided to attack China instead of Japan for
It would be funny, if it werenít so sad. - Cenk Uygur
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
A Reuters report on Iraqi reaction to Bush's speech quotes the head of a humanitarian aid group as saying, "Why don't they find another place to fight terrorism?"
The Bush Speech on the Iraq War
I planned to blog on it in great detail but there was nothing new. It was all about 9/11 and freedom and hard work. The only interesting quote is this one:
Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't
you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more
troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the
number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans
would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in
this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to
stay forever Ė when we are in fact working for the day when Iraq can
defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level,
our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice
that matters Ė the sober judgment of our military leaders.
Passing the blame to the military. Not mentioning that there are no more troops to send.
It was boring.
[ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES]
Max Blumenthal: Bush Stares Into The Abyss
last evening contained all the expected outrages. The exploitation of
soldiers for an aesthetic effect; the bellicose tone; the myriad
falsehoods; the repetitious, Tourette's Syndrome-like delivery -- this
stuff never fails to make me cringe. But there was one thing leapt out
of the speech like a jack-in-the-box. It was Bush's employment of bin
Laden's words not to show how cynical the terrorists are, but to quell his own critics. This is truly disturbing:
Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war
on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of
Osama Bin Laden: ďThis Third World War Ö is ragingĒ in Iraq. ďThe whole
world is watching this war.Ē He says it will end in ďvictory and glory
or misery and humiliation.Ē
According to bin Laden's logic, Iraq is a central front in the war on
terror. And therefore we must operate under the same reasoning?
Unfortunately, Bush thinks so. This is an idea the neo-cons who hover
within the administration's orbit impressed have been impressing on
Bush since 9/11, and possibly before. Consider how similar the remarks of one of those neocons, James Woolsey, are to those of bin Laden:
I believe we won't know how to win the war on terror unless
we take it seriously. I think taking it seriously means regarding it as
a world war.
I think The War on Terrorism is in fact, World War Four.
The negative view of mainstream American society held by Bush and
many of the Christian conservatives close to his administration also
bears chilling parallels to those espoused by radical Islamic
propagandists like Sayyid Qutb, whom Bush implicitly denounced. "The
terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and
decadent," Bush declared last night, "and with a few hard blows they
can force us to retreat."
Now consider what Nixon hatchet man-cum-born-again Christian Chuck Colson wrote last October for Christianity Today:
We must be careful not to blame innocent Americans for murderous attacks against them. At the same time, let's acknowledge that America's increasing decadence is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
When we tolerate trash on television, permit pornography to invade our
homes via the internet, and allow babies to be killed at the point of
birth, we are inflaming radical Islam.
Colson serves as an informal advisor to Karl Rove on evangelical issues; Rove tasked him with expanding
(or perverting, depending on your perspective) St. Augustine's
time-honored Just War theory to fit the occupation of Iraq and the
so-called "war on terror." Colson's embrace of radical Islam's dim view
of American society is a clear reflection of the zeitgeist within the
Christian right wing of the White House.
Bush and his minions have been staring into the abyss for a long
time. Through Bush's endorsement of a Holy War on bin Laden's terms, we
now know they can see their own reflection. - Max Blumenthal (email@example.com)
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
Bush Kicks off the 2006 Sales Drive.
had to time shift the Bush speech - there was real work to be done.
Having just finished watching it, certain facts leap to attention. The
speech wasn't any of them. Instead, this speech recalled all of the
"Bush Speech at Big Moment" moments. This speech was neither better,
nor worse, than the one that followed 911, neither better nor worse
than the impeachable State of the Union address.
What was different is the country that heard this address. What is
not different is the meaning of this address: it is the visible part of
a very large attempt to sell the American people on shovelling another
100 billion dollars down the rathole of Republipork. It wasn't about
Iraq, it was about what every Bush speech has been about "Give me the
money." Like a group of caught investors who hired the wrong CEO -
think Hewlett-Packard - the American people keep showing up at share
holder meetings to be told that all the current management team needs
is another infusion of cash, so would they please vote to dilute their
shares some more.
Daniel Gross had it right: Bush is President Cram Down. [BOPnews]
finally had a chance to catch a few clips of Bush speaking. And there
was something really off about it. I think it's because there was
something almost uniquely contemptible about the way the Rovians used
the troops as political props -- worse, even, than the flight deck
follies on the Abraham Lincoln.
Back then, Bush was basking in what he thought was a famous victory, and sharing a little of his
reflected glory with the swabbies. He was happy to be there and they
were, too. It may have grated on those of us who understood how many
unwritten constitutional rules Bush was breaking by dressing up in a
military costume. But the sailors genuinely seemed to enjoy it.
Last night, by contrast, seemed about as enjoyable as a root canal
for all parties concerned. When the only way you can get a hand from a
handpicked military audience is by having a ringer in the audience
start clapping, you know you're bombing (so to speak.)
The problem, I guess, is that while Bush was using the troops as a visual backdrop, politically speaking he was trying to hide behind them. And it showed.
A good actor, like Ronald Reagan, could appear before a crowd of
Marines under somewhat similar circumstances -- after the Beruit
bombing -- and play the commander in chief, rallying his warriors. Even
greater actors, like Mussolini, or the dictator of a certain Central
European country in the '30s and early '40s, could use military
audiences to make themselves look larger than life, and even larger
than their assembled legions -- with the help of a llttle stagecraft.
Bush can't do that. At his best, when the going is good and he's
relaxed and confident, he can come across as one of the boys -- or as
their biggest cheerleader, the Turkey Server in Chief. But he can't
make himself larger than life, and neither can his cult followers, no
matter how hard they try. Compared to St. Ronnie, Shrub is the child of
a lesser God. Reagan, like Mussolini and that other guy, always -- always
-- knew he was the star of his own movies. Bush isn't sure. And at
times like last night, such doubts are fatal. The speech may have done
him even less good than I originally thought. [Whiskey Bar]
Lying to the troops
If we boo, we lose our pensions. So we'll just work for
[The News Blog]
George Bush's speech before America's professional warrior class went over like a fart.
It was recieved so coldly that the White House advance team had to start the clapping. The attendees were
to be polite tonight. But considering the audience was filled with
various variety of paratrooper, 82nd ABN, Special Forces and Delta,
that's an astonishing thing.
The majority of the men there were people who
chose to be warriors. They chose airborne school, some chose Special
Forces, some were picked for Delta Force. In short, these were men who
were willing to serve their country in the most dangerous situations
What did the President tell them?
They KNOW everything isn't fine. Some of the NCO's have masters degrees
in international relations, some of the officers, doctorates. Most have
been to both Iraq and Afghanistan. They know how fucked it is because
they work hand in glove with the CIA or as it's called in the field,
OGA (Other Government Agency). They are the people who send the
intelligence to the president.
All the White House wanted was a serious
military audience. The problem is that it's also a smart military
audience, with real-world experience. So they were respectful to Bush,
but the audience was icy cold, smirks and tepid applause. And that was
from an audience which wanted to listen to him, along with the families
of the dead. By the end of it, only the Sergeant Majors were left to
shake his hand. Men who have seen more combat than most other humans
outside the Congo. And they knew he was full of shit. They talk to
generals. It's part of their job. They know Bush lied to them.
And that plea for military service dripped with cowardice.
But it was a gift from God.
Why? Because we can now ask if the twins have ever considered military
service. Or any other members of the Bush family, since it's so fucking
If we lived in a country with shame, Bush should
feel some while lying before some of America's bravest soldiers. Butr
we knew he wouldn't before he opened his mouth.
But unless they were a freeper, they knew they
had just sat through a bit of delusion which rivaled calls for Army
Group Steiner to save Berlin./
Rich Santorum on Karl Rove.
According to Santorum's Office:
TAPPED: June 2005 Archives :
Karl Rove speaks for himself. He doesn't speak for the senator. On
9-11, there was no such thing as a Republican or a Democrat, and that's
what the senator believes. It's nice to see at least one Republican
senator who is willing to say that Rove is an embarrassment....
[Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
Same-sex Legislation Passes In Canada
Supported by most members of
the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP, the legislation passed
easily, making Canada only the third country in the world, after the
Netherlands and Belgium, to officially recognize same-sex unions. The
legislation sailed through final reading in the House of Commons, with
a vote of 158 for and 133 against, and should become the law of the
land when as expected it... - canuk
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7/1/2005; 6:38:14 AM.