Subject to Change, version 2.0
I'm a goddamed liberal. Deal with it.

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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 10, 1797:...

9:29:05 PM    

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]
9:27:51 PM    

Cenk Uygur: Blame it on Boston

Iím 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 treadmill.

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 comment.

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 the Patriots.

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 there again?

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 Pearl Harbor.

It would be funny, if it werenít so sad.

- Cenk Uygur

[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
2:09:48 PM    

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?"

2:08:28 PM    

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:

Some 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.

2:07:10 PM    

What Bush Should Do.

[because Santa still visits my house] Bush and Rove understand poll numbers. They can feel...

 [Booman Tribune]
2:47:48 AM    

Max Blumenthal: Bush Stares Into The Abyss

Bush's address 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 (

 [The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
2:27:06 AM    

Bush Kicks off the 2006 Sales Drive.

I 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.

2:25:31 AM    

An Astonishing Point.

Billmon reflects on the general mood of the military audience and how it played on the vidscreen during tonight's riveting presidential oratory. Don't ask me how riveting, I didn't watch. I know all I need to know about this crime...

[DunneIV -- Trying not to be retarded about all this]
2:24:13 AM    

Bush acknowledges Peak

Peak Recruitment that is.
-- Bush prime-time speech at Fort Bragg

" And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces. "
We have long since gone past peak as far as the total number of soldiers recruited by the military goes. Still, I thought the blatant advertising for more soldiers kind of jarring.

More importantly, why oh why, does not Bush acknowledge the silently effective war we can wage by becoming more energy efficient and conservation minded. He just continues to refuse to suggest that the American public do their share of sacrifice, other than by praying and waving the flag. The NotCarter presidency continues.


[M O B J E C T I V I S T]
1:29:00 AM    

Shorter George W. Bush.

Addresses Nation, Discusses Iraq, War on Terror

  • Any war I can do, I can do better.

See Also: Tom Tomorrow.


[Busy, Busy, Busy]

1:27:34 AM    

Bombing Run.

I 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]
1:25:33 AM    

Lying to the troops

If we boo, we lose our pensions. So we'll just work for

Blackwater instead

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 ordered 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 possible.

What did the President tell them?

Everything's fine.

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 noble.

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./

[The News Blog]
1:23:42 AM    

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]
1:20:20 AM    

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

1:18:49 AM    

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