Thursday, August 31, 2006

How To Tell When A President Is Not Very Good

Two questions:
  1. Why do you think it is that much of the political fundraising for congressional contestents that W has conducted are at private residences?

  2. What do you think Joe Lieberman would give as advice about becoming a bit to freindly with W this go around on the run up to November?

It's actually quite easy to tell when a president is not very good. It's when people in his own party don't view him as an asset in the race to win in November. Have a look at these slices from an interesting article and you can see that W has become an anathema for the GOP folk in tight congressional races:
The Web sites of the party's candidates in the most competitive races across the country either give only a passing nod to the president or don't even mention Bush, whose popularity has been weighed down by the war in Iraq, high gas prices, economic anxieties and lingering memories of last August's Hurricane Katrina...

...Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who has come up with the "Ferocious 40'' list of the country's most competitive House races, said Republican incumbents and challengers are doing the politically sensible thing by trying to ignore a president who could weigh them down.

"They've heard of him, but they don't know him. In past years he was a good friend, but this year there's mass amnesia,'' he said.

In addition to downplaying Bush, the Republican Web sites with a few exceptions tend to minimize Iraq. Some don't mention Iraq, which many polls show is the No. 1 issue on voters' minds....

...The fundraisers headlined by Bush are often done behind closed doors, with no media present to carry his message beyond the ranks of committed party loyalists.

Rummy "Is Not A Profit"

Have a gander at this vid and then tell us what you think of Rummy:

In case you would like to review Rummy's own words, have a gander via this link.

Is It Okay For The President To Use KIA GIs To Foist His Political Message Upon The American People?

By show of hands, how many of you in the blogisphere are tired of people using KIA GIs to push a political agenda? Does it matter if the President does it?

In what has to be the sickest Rovian ploy ever introduced to the political process, we see that the President uses another GI KIA (and his parents) as a political lever to support his message at the taxpayer dollar supported Utah PR junket in front of a friendly audience. Why do they feel they need to do this and what is their rationale for doing so?

Certainly, when every GOP talking points bulletin has been thoroughly engineered to convey the "fright-wing’s" political message, you have to know that the president uses Marine Corporal Adam Galvez's story for very deep political reasons. Does any one care to venture a guess as to why they need this story to leverage their position?

Are folks on the "right" going to be as mad about this as they are when other folk post pictures of anonymous flag draped coffins? Doubt it. They will most certainly be hailing this president as the best thing since sliced bread for doing so, ad nauseum.
One brave American we remember is Marine Corporal Adam Galvez, from here in Salt Lake City. Yesterday Adam's mom and dad laid their son to rest. We're honored by their presence with us today. (Applause.) About a month ago, Adam was wounded by a suicide bomb in Iraq's Anbar Province. When he regained consciousness, he found he was buried alive, so he dug himself out of the rubble. And then ran through gunfire to get a shovel to dig out his fellow Marines. As soon as he recovered from his injuries, Adam volunteered to go back to the front lines. and 11 days ago, he was killed when a roadside bomb hit his convoy.

Here is what Adam's mom and dad said about the cause for which their son gave his life: "Though many are debating the justification of this war, Adam believed in his country -- Adam's belief in his country did not waver, even to the point of the ultimate sacrifice. It's our hope and our prayer that people share the same conviction and dedication to our troops and fellow Americans." (Applause.)

Our nation will always remember the selflessness and sacrifice of Americans like Adam Galvez. We will honor their lives by completing the good and noble work they have started. (Applause.) And we can be confident that one day, veterans of the war on terror will gather at American Legion halls across the country, and say the same things you say: We made our nation safer; we made a region more peaceful; and we left behind a better world for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

Does Lack Of Freedom Incubate Terrorists Movements?

I don't know if any one else will bother reading the transcripts from today's presidential propaganda venture in Utah. But I have some questions regarding one sentence in W's expository speechifying:

1) Is it true that a "lack of freedom" incubates terrorist movements? If so, prove it!

You see, when the President of the United States stands up and says...
Instead, the lack of freedom in the Middle East made the region an incubator for terrorist movements.
...don't you think that is a great oversimplification?

When our government "leaders" pitch us into "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.)," we should be wary of the rhetoric from both sides of that struggle, no? Simply because a President says something does not make it true.

There may be a correlation, but certainly there is no scientific justification to make the connection causal. It's like saying, you caused the rain because you forgot your umbrella on the way to work. Sure it rained, but does one flow from the other?

Now, I may be an idiot and a simpleton, but I think there have to be more reasons (some of which are were well in our control and some not) than just that there was a lack of freedom. Can't there be another way to reason out the rationale as to why terrorists exist?

I might even suggest that it is the exact opposite as to what the President suggests. Might it not be because we are exposing the middle east to our brand of freedom that there are more terrorists now than there were before we went into Iraq. From that sentence, we might even venture to say that pushing freedom onto a people is a better incubator for terrorism than totalitarianism. How's that for some ideological dissonance?

If I were to ever get an audience with the President while he is in front of the press pool, I would ask the following:
  • Q - Mr. President, thank you for taking my question. You said in your speech in Utah at the end of August that a lack of freedom incubates terrorist movements. Might that not be the whole story? Do you think it could be because we are pushing our brand of freedom on the Middle East that we are doing more to incubate terrorist movements than a lack of freedom ever has?
Certainly, we won't be getting any mea culpa out of this administration, but I do think it is important to question both sides of the ideological struggle, particularly since the 21st century just got started, and our future generations will have to live with the consequences of our actions.

The Trouble With "Ideological Struggles"

Well, the president delivers on his dualistic propaganda push to convince the people that his way is the "right" way to improving the global climate by suggesting we are in an ideological struggle.
The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.) On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.
It strikes me that the W hasn't seen the proper side of a mirror in a long time, or the man in his mirror placates him because he doesn't want to offend the emperor in his new clothes. But I digress.

For me, the trouble is that it is rarely the ideologist that duke it out face-to-face, man-to-man if you will. Instead they send their surrogates to die for them.

If this "war on terror" really is an ideological struggle, and we are about regime change, shouldn't the right wing be considered less than conservative and more revolutionary? Did you vote to put a revolutionary at the head of our country? I did not.
Moreover, is it not always dangerous to instigate revolution in some one else's country? That would be considered a coup, wouldn't it.? And military coups are questionable as a means to justify an ordinary struggle between conflicting ideas and beliefs - which is what an ideological struggle is in the first place. Certainly, we see that military coups in other countries, and in the Iraq case specifically has yet to result in peace as the W Rove and Co suggest is eminent.

Why is it that the W, Rove and Co refused to learn from and selectively ignore history's lessons?

"The Carnival Of Ineptitude"

Here's another fun Mark Fiore vid. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Brace Yourselves: The Presidential Propaganda Catapult Is Fully Armed And About To Be Deployed

Air Force one is now headed to Arkansas for the start of another round of "speeches" in front of friendly audiences. The Presidential Propaganda Catapult will be used quite heavily over the next day or so. Brace yourselves.

Here's an interesting take on what we are about to get shoveled:
Q -- from what was reported in The Wall Street Journal today and other places. What is different about this particular push than the previous three over the past year, and even before that, dating all the way back? He's always highlighted the high stakes involved. He's always highlighted the fact that there needs to be an ability to adapt to the enemy and fight in different ways. What is different about this one?

MS. PERINO: Our nation is heading into the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and it is important that the President be talking to the American public about this war that we didn't start, but one that he is committed to winning, that means being on the offense against the terrorists.

But you asked me what is different, so we're heading into this anniversary, it's 9/11; these speeches will be -- not so much retrospective in nature, although there will be some of that. There will be a sharp focus on the future, important to remember what has occurred, put that in context because that helps everyone understand the nature of the enemy. It's a bookend of speeches between now and September 19th at UNGA. There's opportunities to remind people about the threat that we face and how we're going to overcome it.

Q The Journal had reported it, though, that there would be less focus on progress on the ground, so much as the greater struggle. Is this an attempt to avoid talking about progress on the ground?

MS. PERINO: I would not say that that was entirely the context for what these speeches are. It will not be speeches only about Iraq; it will be about the global war on terror, including a discussion about the institutional reforms that have been put in place and how those have helped to protect us, for example, the intelligence community reforms, the proliferation security initiative, the Patriot Act, the transformation of the FBI. And so it's a comprehensive look. I don't know if that report this morning was entirely in context.
Looks like we are set to witness more propaganda of the same stripe delivered by the W himself. Will he allow any Q & A? And if he does in front of any of these audiences, will it matter?

The W, Rove and Co love to stipulate publically that they are ready, willing, and welcome a particiapative "healthy debate," but we have to ask ourselves: If that is so, why don't they have one instead of subjecting the Amreican people to their speechifying at great taxpayer expense? I, for one, would certainly find it refreshing if they did.

But alas, we can see in the same press gaggle, that I will remain unrequited in that category:
Q Does the President think that the Democratic Party understands the stakes, the nature of this war on terror?

MS. PERINO: I think the President said it best last Monday when what he said in the press conference was that there -- in any democracy, he expects healthy debate and he expects criticism. It makes the country stronger. He said, and he believes, he does not question the patriotism or the love of the country of any other American. He does believe that there are choices to be made, and it is wholly appropriate for the President to define the decisions that he's making and the choices that are before us and how he chooses to address them, and contrasts that with other ones. Those are not arguments that we shy away from, but in terms of the speeches, that's how he will try to draw those distinctions.
That doesn't sound like a debate the W, Rove and Co is willing to engage in. It must be wonderful to always know you are right.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

With Such Fantastic Choices Outlined By The Big Dick, Which Options Is A Person Supposed To Pick?

Tuesday marks the second day in a row that the Big Dick Cheney was out with the presidential propaganda catapult trying to remind us at every turn that they will not forget nine eleven. Really, as you can see by his speechifying, there is no arguing with the Big Dick.

Could it be that there is no arguing with Cheney because he is an elder statesman and wise beyond his years? Well... Perhaps there is no winning a debate with the Big Dick because he presents false choices laced with a hint of a dare for you to answer them and rarely leaves time for you to do so (or for some real Q & A or debate).
But there is a difference between healthy debate and self-defeating pessimism. We have only two options in Iraq -- victory or defeat. And I want you to know, as members of the United States military, that the American people do not support a policy of retreat or defeat.
Let's see, which shall we pick...

Healthy debate or self-defeating pessimism? No contest!

What about victory or defeat? Again, you've got a winning point there Mr. Cheney.

Now let's have a look at the last one: retreat or defeat? You've got me on that one to. I concede victory for this debate to the Big Dick.

By the way, if the Veep is a fan of "healthy debate," why doesn't he engage in some rather than present false dichotomous choices in front of friendly audiences?

Let's, for the sake of generating decent discourse in the comments section here, present a hypothetical. Let's pretend - just for this post - that we all agree: things are not going well in Iraq and a "stay-the-course" strategy is the very reason things are dire in Iraq. What solutions do we have for the W, Rove and Co?

You've Been Armitaged

The Valarie Plame affair gets more interesting. Don't know what to make of this report, but I am still thinking that Fitzy knows more than he's been telling us. And, there should be some more indictments, but when?
Armitage's involvement in the matter does not fit neatly into the assertions of Bush administration critics that Plame's employment was disclosed as part of a White House conspiracy to besmirch Wilson by suggesting his Niger trip stemmed from nepotism at the CIA. Wilson and Plame have sued top administration officials, alleging that the leak was meant as retaliation.

But Armitage, the source Novak had described obliquely as someone who is "not a political gunslinger," was by all accounts hardly a tool of White House political operatives. As the No. 2 official at the State Department from March 2001 to February 2005, Armitage was a prominent Republican appointee. But he also privately disagreed with the tone and style of White House policymaking on Iraq and other matters.

"Just because Armitage did this on his own, earlier, doesn't mean that there wasn't a White House conspiracy to 'out' Valerie [Plame] Wilson. We don't think it affects the case," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group pressing the lawsuit.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Big Dick Takes Another Penetrating Stab At Linking Nine Eleven To Iraq: You Be the Judge

My first reaction to this paragraph from The Big Dick's Speechifying in front of (yes, another PR opportunity for the Veep in front of a friendly audience) the VFW in Reno on Monday was: WTF! My next was: "Ah Ha! More evidence the W, Rove and Co is desperate to link Nine Eleven to Iraq, even when they know they can't." What do you think of this paragraph?
I know some have suggested that by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein, we simply stirred up a hornet's nest. They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and the terrorists hit us anyway. As President Bush has said, the hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse.

"Time To Throw The Rascals Out"

Here's an interesting vid a friend pointed my mouse to. Enjoy:

Just So You Know I'm Not Crazy

Here's at least one other person that might agree with my stance that fear is a drug, and many have become addicted:
Although it remains heretical to say so, the evidence so far suggests that fears of the omnipotent terrorist -- reminiscent of those inspired by images of the 20-foot-tall Japanese after Pearl Harbor or the 20-foot-tall Communists at various points in the Cold War (particularly after Sputnik) -- may have been overblown, the threat presented within the United States by al Qaeda greatly exaggerated. The massive and expensive homeland security apparatus erected since 9/11 may be persecuting some, spying on many, inconveniencing most, and taxing all to defend the United States against an enemy that scarcely exists.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

"The Politics of Fear Is Alive"

I've said this before, but it's worth saying again: I love Helen Thomas. She seems to have a very good head on her shoulders. And now, you can hear her take the President to task at this podcast I just found. Have a listen and tell us what you think.

America Tightly Lashed To Iraq: The Sinking Ship

I never asked to have the USA umbilically attached to Iraq. Did you?

"Let's not cut and run," but really, how do we cut the chord without bleeding to death ourselves? Step One: Vote the bastards out in November. Certainly, it can't get any worse by doing so:
No one has an endgame for Iraq. No one offers any magic bullets against stateless terrorists undeterred by conventional military power, or the dangerous regimes in Iran and North Korea that many believe to be bent on nuclear arms. The United States now faces a set of bad options -- or, at best, a deeply chastened view of the limits of American power.

By many measures, the United States is weaker and its enemies stronger than before the 2003 Iraq invasion, the experts say.
Well, now, how did we get here? More importantly, how do we get out?

The Drug Of Fear: Unfortunately For Us, The W, Rove And Co. Is Hooked On The Crack It Pushes On America

Terrorism is only as vile and divisive as you make it. Once you accept that death is a certainty (well, okay, and taxes), you can go about your day. That old axiom fits here: You cannot control what people do to you, but you can control your reaction to it.

Unfortunately for America, and the Globe for that matter, the W, Rove and Co bought lock, stock, and barrel, what Osama and his pals sold us; and it is proving to be addictive. Fear, I'm afraid, has become the GOP drug of choice. And the W, Rove and Co has willingly become Osama's pushers.

It is a shameful turn of events where fear has become the primary political lever for getting things done in the W, Rove and Co, and some of us are hooked. And, members of the GOP are the biggest users, having become crack addicts selling the soul of America to pay for their fear addiction. More disappointingly, the pushers themselves have been using their drug and have become addicted as well.

If we were to subtract the message of fear from the W, Rove and Co political platform, what is left? Subtract the fear and you will see that the W, Rove and Co has not done much good for America, barring doing more for a small slice of the upper crust in hopes that it trickles down to the average person. Well, it ain't trickling down, but that's a bigger problem best left for another post.

It strikes me that W was and is an accidental president: selected, but not elected. And before Nine Eleven, he didn't have a platform upon which to stand. Post nine-eleven, his platform is firmly grounded on and predicated upon fear. But that indeed, is a shaky proposition because it has made him and us co-dependent upon the terrorists that supply that drug. Like all good drug dealers, Osama gave us the first dose free, and we have been paying for it ever since.

Here’s a good illustration of what I mean. If we are winning the "war on terror," why don't the color levels go down as more of the bad guys are rounded up and brought to justice? Instead, you will notice that as they catch more bad guys, the fear scale is elevated rather than taken down a notch or two. Why? Because fear sells more of the drug, greasing the skids for more war-mongering and the war-time-profiteering approach to policy setting and political decision making.

Apparently, the GOP as a whole and the W, Rove and Co specifically has decided that it is better for their party to have the American people living in a constant state of fear rather than work toward peace by any means necessary. Let’s have a quick tour of some of the latest attempts by the W, Rove and Co to load up the Presidential Propaganda Catapult and sell us some more of their drug of choice: Fear. Let’s start with Rummy:
If we left Iraq prematurely, he said, the enemy would tell us to leave Afghanistan and then withdraw from the Middle East. And if we left the Middle East, they’d order us and all those who don’t share their militant ideology to leave what they call the occupied Muslim lands from Spain to the Philippines. And finally, he intoned, America will be forced “to make a stand nearer home.
Next up, let’s see some of the artful fear mongering from Tony the Snow job, knowing full well that the bathroom in American homes is more dangerous than terrorists:
Q Tony, there's a new Washington Post poll out today as to which political party people would trust to do a better job handling the U.S. campaign against terrorism? And Democrats got 46 percent, Republicans got 38 percent. Are you concerned that in this particular category, in which Republicans have always done better than Democrats, here, as well as in other categories, Republicans are falling behind?

MR. SNOW: For the umpteenth time, I will remind you that the President is not trying to conduct foreign policy in the war on terror in response to public opinion polls, but to the realities on the ground, and I am sure that that is going to be an important consideration voters are going to have to make this November: Who really does take seriously the threat of the war on terror; do they acknowledge or not that terrorists are still trying to hurt Americans and American interests around the globe; and who has the most credible way of addressing it. And that is a debate we look forward to having.
And The Veep has another stab at scaring the party faithful out of their hard earned dollars at a fund raiser in AZ:
Above all, we're going to remember our number one responsibility: to protect the American people, and to support the men and women who defend us in a time of war. There is still hard work ahead in the war on terror, and the central front of this war today is in Iraq. We can expect further acts of violence and destruction by the enemies of freedom.
And again, here’s where we discover that the W, Rove and Co is hooked on the drug they are selling us as Tony the Snow job just about confirms for us that the republican strategy for winning elections is to keep the fear of terrorism at the fore because it helps them win:
Q Tony, isn't one of the reasons the poll numbers look bad is because Americans hear the administration say again and again, we've captured or killed two-thirds of the known leadership of al Qaeda, we've got them on the run, and, yet, a plot like this is uncovered?

MR. SNOW: Well -- no. I really am not going to sit here and do a seance about public opinion polls because I don't know. I don't think anybody knows. I think it's pretty -- when you're in a war like this, and especially with a vague and unseen enemy, you can understand that people are going to have anxiety. And one of the frustrations is you can't show everybody the kinds of things that are going on each and every day. But the fact is, just because you've degraded a lot of al Qaeda doesn't mean that you still don't have people who are committed to killing Americans. And that is an important ingredient.
And the President continues to push the fear to drum up political support for his agenda:
Yet these young democracies are still fragile, and the forces of terror are seeking to stop liberty's advance and steer newly free nations to the path of radicalism. The terrorists fear the rise of democracy because they know what it means for the future of their hateful ideology.
And one final example, where W slaps the Nine Eleven Monkey and gets called on it:
You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of "we're going to stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

Q What did Iraq have to do with that?

THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?

Q The attack on the World Trade Center?

THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case.

And one way to defeat that -- defeat resentment is with hope. And the best way to do hope is through a form of government. Now, I said going into Iraq that we've got to take these threats seriously before they fully materialize. I saw a threat. I fully believe it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein, and I fully believe the world is better off without him. Now, the question is how do we succeed in Iraq? And you don't succeed by leaving before the mission is complete, like some in this political process are suggesting…

…THE PRESIDENT: This is a global war on terror. I repeat what our major general said -- or leading general said in the region. He said, "If we withdraw before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here." I strongly agree with that. And if you believe that the job of the federal government is to secure this country, it's really important for you to understand that success in Iraq is part of securing the country.
Really, “the best way to do hope is through a form of government?” When was the last time you gathered some “hope” from our government?

This accidental president turned pusher of fear, uses it very effectively to lever his political and policy agenda. He and his cronies have had almost five years of practice with the GOP drug of choice. And because they have been using this drug for the same amount of time, they have become hooked on the crack of fear. And this addiction of our accidental president has caused a gory accident in the Middle East. And unfortunately, the GOP - in charge of all portions of the executive and legislative branches - is too busy rubber necking at the accident scene, and its party members are so buzzed on the fear that they can't see any solutions to the problem.

But I do have hope, and that hope rests with the people of America. The America I know does not cower in the bunkers W would push us into. And when they (particularly the incumbents) come to us this Fall during the election cycle we are about to enter and again try to sell us more of the drug of fear they are pushing, it is our responsibility to “Just Say No.” It is time for Americans to stop the selling of our Constitutional soul by our politicians for the illusion of safety and protection, otherwise indeed, the terrorists have won again.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Pledge From This President Is Worth What?

Does any one listen to presidential radio addresses? This is what I found after reviewing the text of this week's load of propaganda:
So last year I made a simple pledge: The federal government would learn the lessons of Katrina, we would do what it takes, and we would stay as long as it takes, to help our brothers and sisters build a new Gulf Coast where every citizen feels part of the great promise of America.

That was the same pledge I repeated to Rockey during his visit to the White House....

...We will stay until the job is done, and by working together, we will help our fellow citizens along the Gulf Coast write a new future of hope, justice, and opportunity for all.
Now, I don't live anywhere near NOLA, but the reiterated "promise" from the President leads me to...drum roll please...

Winspike's Weekend Sentence Completion Contest

There are two parts to this week's contest:

  1. I was just wondering - do folk in the Big Easy feel like the government is with them until this presidential "promise" is requited?

  2. If you can, finish the title sentence: A pledge from this president is worth...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Surprise, The W, Rove And Co Violates Another Law

In case you missed this little article in the LA Times this AM, we now have another ruling stipulating that the W, Rove and Co broke the law:
Ruling that the Bush administration "plainly violated" the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge overturned a regulation Thursday that streamlined approval of pesticides by eliminating reviews by wildlife officials responsible for protecting rare animals and plants.
Lest you be tricked by their rhetoric where they claim they are dedicated to the environment, we have to ask what was the motivation for violating the Act:
"Pesticides are driving America's wildlife toward extinction, and this administration wants to remove the checks and balances that hold them accountable," said attorney Patti Goldman
Ah, I see, they are for exploitation of the environment for the gain of whom?
The Bush administration's 2004 rule had allowed the EPA to bypass the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to shorten the years-long process of reviewing whether each pesticide posed danger to any of the nation's 1,200-plus endangered species.
The pesticide industry? Regardless, it didn't do any good for us, the environment, or the animals and plants the EPA is supposed to protect. Moreover, this ruling demonstrates once again, that the Bush Administration is all about leading by faith over fact:
U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle ruled that the process approved in 2004 was "less protective" of wildlife than the old process and that there was a "total absence of any technical and scientific evidence to support or justify" it.
That figures. This administration has been one giant dissapointment over and over again.

T-Shirt For The Politically Minded Four Year Old

Image Copyright Windspike (2006)

Here's a fun t-shirt for the politically minded four year old. A friend brought his son over for a little play date with this t-shirt on. Thought y'all would get a kick out of it. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

"America The Shootiful"

Here's another fun vid from Mark Fiore. Enjoy.

"Fighting Them There So We Don't Have To Fight Them Here"

Anon has been quite erudite commenting on some of my posts. Here's one point I thought worth elevating to the top page. Regarding the use of all means to fight the "Global War on Terror:"
Too bad no one knows the location of the GWOT.
And here's another regarding the continuous sentiment from the W, Rove and Co that if we "fight them there, then we won't have to fight them here:"
Logic, our Iraq involvement's strong suit.

On the link:
THE PRESIDENT: This is a global war on terror. I repeat what our major general said -- or leading general said in the region. He said, "If we withdraw before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here." I strongly agree with that. And if you believe that the job of the federal government is to secure this country, it's really important for you to understand that success in Iraq is part of securing the country.
To belabor the obvious, What's stopping the terrorists from coming here now? If they going to follow us home when we leave Iraq, why don't they leave Iraq now to come here? We couldn't stop the foreign terrorists from entering Iraq, how would we stop them from leaving?

Appeasing The Presidential Conscience By "Meetings With Families Of The Fallen"

I can't imagine what it must be like to meet with folk who have lost their loved ones in a war that was ignighted at your behest. Looks like Shurb is on his way to Daddy's location in Kennebunkport. On the way up will be meeting with some folks to ease his conscience and attempt to make himself look good in the eyes of the public:
Q Why is it taking him so long to get to Walker's Point? I mean, that's, like, two-and-a-half hours.

MS. PERINO: The President does have a meeting today with families of the fallen, at the airport. I forgot to mention it, I'm sorry. Thanks, Josh.

Q Will you have any more readout on the families, who the soldiers were?

MS. PERINO: -- not have any further detail on that. So probably not today.

Q Do you know how many?

MS. PERINO: I don't know --

MR. DECKARD: It's five families -- I'll double-check.

MS. PERINO: It's five, plus or minus one. But at least five, I believe.*

Q The fallen soldiers were in Iraq?

MS. PERINO: I'll confirm.

MR. DECKARD: And the family of a sailor who died on September 11th.

* Five families of fallen soldiers, three from Iraq, one from Afghanistan, and one killed on September 11th.
What would you say to Bush if you had lost a loved one in Iraq and had the opportunity to meet the man face-to-face?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"I Think It's Important To Look Back At What President Bush Has Said From The Beginning:" Take Dana Perino's Whitehouse Challenge Today

There was a really fun exchange at Wednesday's Whitehouse press briefing. It furthers the argument that the W, Rove and Co is very selective in "hearing what they want to hear, and disregard the rest" (points to the blogger who can name the tune and artist I stole that lyric from). There are three purposes for this post:
  1. There is one line I would like to highlight that Dana Perino (pinch hitting for Tony the Snow job) stipulates.

  2. Then I'm issueing an all hands blogger challenge.

  3. Then I'll give you the remainder of the exchange.
First,'s not a mystery as it's the title for this post:
I think it's important to look back at what President Bush has said from the beginning.
Yes, indeed! I fully agree Ms. Perino, but you should be careful what you wish for. There are whole web locations dedicated to pointing out some of the astonishing things W has said.

But, I think we can expose the WWW to some of the more troubling things things W has said that are just plane wrong. Care to take the challenge? I dare you. I double dare you. Come on; you know you want to take what I will call...drum roll please....

Windspike's Dana Perino Whitehouse Challenge?
  • What are some of W's words you that you can quote that you find most troubling or disturbing.

  • Explain.

Here's the whole of the exchange. Enjoy:
Q Senator McCain, in his comments yesterday, said that the American people had been led to believe by the administration that the Iraq war would be a "day at the beach." Does that concern the White House? Do you feel that you're losing support among Republicans?

MS. PERINO: I think it's important to look back at what President Bush has said from the beginning. If you look at what he has said, starting even in March of 2003, that, "Helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable, and free country will require our sustained commitment." Throughout the year, since we've been in Iraq, he has called it -- he has said that it is difficult work to do, going to require sacrifice and patience, prevailing in Iraq is going to require much more tough fighting, it's going to require more sacrifice, and he's thankful for the sacrifices that the military and military families are making.

It's puzzling to me that McCain's comments yesterday are getting so much attention today when if you look over the past couple of months, Senator McCain has made similar comments. He is a Senator who is not shy about sharing his views. That's one of the reasons he is such a unique figure in American politics, and also one of the most popular. And he shares, however, a commitment with the President that we win Iraq, and he understands the struggle that we're in. The President appreciates his support.

The President has never made the comments that you referred to. Any time that the President has felt a need to acknowledge mistakes in the war on Iraq, he has done so. And other members of his administration, they can speak for themselves. And I know that the Vice President has repeatedly been asked about comments that he's made in the past, and he's answered them. So I don't understand why we're going back over all this ground now.

Q Well, perhaps because support for the war seems to be slipping, it's down at a new low point in the latest polling, and may reflect concern for the political year that we're in.

MS. PERINO: I think if you look at what the President said on Monday, this is tough work that we're doing in Iraq, and criticism is part of our system of government and certainly a part of when you take tough action and when you are stalwart in your action. We're aware of the polls, and the President said on Monday, of course, you want people in America to support your positions. You've seen him out talking about it. His administration is going to continue to explain to the American people the situation that we're in, the struggle that we face and how important it is that we win.

War Vet Dies? Bend Over While The GOP Screws The Surviving Spouses

Here's an interesting article pointed out to me by a friend. He said, "Think any one cares? Guess again."
As many as 61,000 military widows whose husbands died of causes relating to their military service lose out on thousands of dollars a year in survivor benefits because of a law that dates from the 1970’s.

Widows and retirees have spent decades trying to persuade Congress to change the law, which hits hardest at the widows of lower-ranking service members and is referred to by many critics as the “widow’s tax.’’

The Senate passed such a change last year and again this year as part of the military authorization bill. But House Republican leaders oppose the change because of its steep price tag, nearly $9 billion over 10 years, Senate legislative aides from both parties say. A change was not in the military bill that passed the House, but lawmakers who support the change are hoping to make it part of the bill’s final version, which is now being worked on by a bipartisan Congressional committee.

“My husband thought he was securing my future,” said Edie Smith, a member of the Gold Star Wives, a group of military widows who are lobbying to change the law. “He didn’t realize his own disability would void the benefit he purchased for me.”

Two Questions Regarding Connecticut

Given that we know the President has disavowed the GOP Nominee for Senate in Connecticut, I have two questions:

1. Do you think that this will help or hurt Schlesinger?

2. What do you think it means that the President is refusing to endorse Schlesinger?
Q On Monday, The New York Times reported that Tony Snow refused to say the President will support and campaign for Connecticut Republican nominee, Alan Schlesinger. My question: This is primarily because Lamont, the Democratic nominee, has accepted public support from Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Maxine Waters, and Schlesinger --

MS. PERINO: And your question is?

Q -- has slipped to a single digit. Isn't this the reason Tony didn't want to answer that question? Or would you like to answer the question?

MS. PERINO: I'm going to leave it where the President left it on Monday, and I will give you that transcript so that you have it.

Q He will not campaign for this Republican, will he?

MS. PERINO: He will not.

You say "Rotation," We Say "More Troops Going To Iraq"

Dana is second stringing it for Tony the Snow job today. Now, we know that the President is giving the Marines the authority to involuntarily put people back into Iraq. Have a look at how she likes to bend the truth. No matter what you call it, this is the exact opposite of "As they Stand up, we will stand down," now isn't it?
Q Why are we sending more troops to -- Marines and soldiers to Iraq?

MS. PERINO: I think "more" is the wrong word. I think this is a rotation.

Q What?

MS. PERINO: This is a rotation. The order was signed by the President several weeks ago. The military commanders at the Pentagon know best how to do those troop rotations. And just as he defers to his commanders on the ground in Iraq, he defers to his military leaders here. That's why he signed the order.

As I understand it, DoD held a roundtable today to discuss the order. And they'll be taking volunteers first, and then going to involuntary action, if necessary. This does reflect the fact that we're in a long and difficult struggle. The President is grateful and thankful for every soldier's sacrifice and the sacrifice made by their families, especially.

I would note, this morning, somebody asked if this was a recruiting problem. But across the military, at all branches, the military is hitting its targets for recruiting.

Q So it's not an increase?

MS. PERINO: No, as I understand it, it's a rotation.
Is it me, or is it not the responsiblity of the Press Secretary's office to speak for the President and not for themesleves?

Ah, The Rhythm Method Doesn't Work As A War Strategy Either

At times, a simple editorial eloquently states what any person who has passed the SAT can conclude based on the President's speechifying.
President Bush: "We will not pull out while I am president," plus "We will not pull out until the mission is accomplished," equals "We will not accomplish the mission while I am president."
Oh, and that Mission Accomplished Banner on the Aircraft Carrier turned out to sea to fool the American people - forgedabout it. You should not remember that...The insurgency in the "last throes..." - Forgedabout that as well...You should not remember that...I am not the Jedi you are looking for. Go on your merry way...

The Difference That Gets You A Face To Face Meeting With The President

Sicophancy: That's the difference. Cindy Sheehan won't get a meeting like Rockey Vaccarella a Katrina survivor from St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. Do you know why? Cindy says things like:
When we went, the first time we went, there was a little over 700 crosses, now there’s over 1,800 crosses.

And I’m glad to hear everybody else’s words, because somebody’s gotta stop those lying bastards. Somebody has to stop them.
Rockey falls in to a whole different category of citizen - those not critical of Bush. Have a look:
THE PRESIDENT: It's an amazing country, isn't it, where --

MR. VACCARELLA: It is. You know, it's really amazing when a small man like me from St. Bernard Parish can meet the President of the United States. The President is a people person. I knew that from the beginning. I was confident that I could meet President Bush.

And my mission was very simple. I wanted to thank President Bush for the millions of FEMA trailers that were brought down there. They gave roofs over people's head. People had the chance to have baths, air condition. We have TV, we have toiletry, we have things that are necessities that we can live upon.

But now, I wanted to remind the President that the job's not done, and he knows that. And I just don't want the government and President Bush to forget about us. And I just wish the President could have another term in Washington.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. (Laughter.)

MR. VACCARELLA: You know, I wish you had another four years, man. If we had this President for another four years, I think we'd be great. But we're going to move on.

Mr. President, it's been my pleasure.

THE PRESIDENT: You're a good man, Rockey. Thank you all.

MR. VACCARELLA: You are, too. Thanks a bunch.
Well, the President won't be meeting with Ms. Sheehan any time soon, nor many of folks who blog on over here. But here's the point, and another person the president will selectively screen out of his view with the official presidential propaganda blinders on:
Editor -- If you want to gauge who's winning the war on terrorism, look to Spike Lee and the news. It seems to me as if Hezbollah is doing a better job of rebuilding Beirut than the Bush administration is doing rebuilding New Orleans. Hearts and minds. Hearts and minds.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When It Comes To Politics, Who You Choose To Go To Bed With Is Important

So, we see that the W, Rove and Co is unwilling to chime in on the race in Connecticut. More importantly, they have decided not to get in bed with the GOP nominee there. But, they are willing to get into bed and raise money for Allen - who, if you remember, was not such a nice person the other day revealing the underside of his thinking by uttering some racist remarks. But, all is forgiven by the W, and in fact he will be raising money for the racist congressman. Let's hope he gets the Lieberman kiss as well.
Q Why a George Allen fundraiser tomorrow? Is the President concerned about his statement the other day about the web staffer?

MS. PERINO: I was asked earlier if the President had qualms about attending, and the answer is, no. Senator Allen apologized and I think it's in everyone's best interest in this day of (inaudible) politics when everyone is trying to improve the tone and discourse to accept apologizes when they're offered. So the fundraiser will happen tomorrow evening, and Senator Allen will be there, as well.

It's Getting Drafty

No, this post is not about another leak of top secret information by the W, Rove and Co. This is about the pending decision by the Marines to start involuntary recall of troops. Sounds like a new euphamism for a draft to me, or is it slavery? What do you think?
The Marine Corps' authority to involuntarily recall Marines for jobs in the "Global War on Terror" -- a war whose parameters remain largely undefined -- has no expiration date.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Finally, Some One Confronts The President Directly About The W, Rove And Co.'s Rhetorical Linking of Iraq and Nine Eleven

I don't have much to say about this slice from today's Presidential Press Briefing, except that I don't think that the President gets why this is an issue for us. See what you think:
Q Quick follow-up. A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn't gone in. How do you square all of that?

THE PRESIDENT: I square it because, imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who would -- who had relations with Zarqawi. Imagine what the world would be like with him in power. The idea is to try to help change the Middle East.

Now, look, part of the reason we went into Iraq was -- the main reason we went into Iraq at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction. But I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq, and I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda. And so my question -- my answer to your question is, is that, imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of "we're going to stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

Q What did Iraq have to do with that?

THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?

Q The attack on the World Trade Center?

THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case.

And one way to defeat that -- defeat resentment is with hope. And the best way to do hope is through a form of government. Now, I said going into Iraq that we've got to take these threats seriously before they fully materialize. I saw a threat. I fully believe it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein, and I fully believe the world is better off without him. Now, the question is how do we succeed in Iraq? And you don't succeed by leaving before the mission is complete, like some in this political process are suggesting.
Balls, this reporter has them in spades. What do you make of the President's "answer?"

Nothing Good To Say About Connecticut

Well, it looks like the President doesn't really appreciate the state in which he was born...more importantly, I have a question for the blogisphere: Is it important that the President is not going to back any one in CT? Explain:
Q And would you campaign against Senator Joe Lieberman, whose Republican candidate may support you, but he supports you, too, on Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to stay out of Connecticut. (Laughter.)

Q You were born there.

THE PRESIDENT: Shhh. (Laughter.) I may be the only person -- the only presidential candidate who never carried the state in which he was born. Do you think that's right, Herman? Of course, you would have researched that and dropped it out for everybody to see -- particularly since I dissed that just ridiculous looking outfit. (Laughter.)

Q Your mother raised you better than that, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: That is -- so I'm not going to say it --

Q There is Al Gore.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't want anybody to know that I think it's ridiculous. Look, I'm not through yet.

Q -- make-or-break issue for you?

THE PRESIDENT: And by the way, I'm staying out of Connecticut because that's what the party suggested, the Republican Party of Connecticut. And plus, there's a better place to spend our money, time, and resources --

Q But you're the head --

THE PRESIDENT: Right, I've listened to them very carefully. I'm a thoughtful guy, I listen to people. (Laughter.) I'm open-minded. I'm all the things that you know I am.

Leave Or Stay? More Dualistic Political Artwork From The President - Subtitle: The Difference Between Tactics And Strategy

I love Martha's approach to questioning the president almost as much as I enjoy reading Helen's questions. Today, Marth sets up a great question. Let's have a look at the President's "Answer."
Q That's quite all right. Mr. President, I'd like to go back to Iraq. You've continually cited the elections, the new government, its progress in Iraq, and yet the violence has gotten worse in certain areas. You've had to go to Baghdad again. Is it not time for a new strategy? And if not, why not?
This is a fairly straight forward question. A very good one at that. Let's see what the President has to say:
THE PRESIDENT: You know, Martha, you've covered the Pentagon, you know that the Pentagon is constantly adjusting tactics because they have the flexibility from the White House to do so.

Q I'm talking about strategy --
Ah, I see, diverson won't work. Have another try Mr. President:
THE PRESIDENT: The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and their dreams, which is a democratic society. That's the strategy. The tactics -- now, either you say, yes, its important we stay there and get it done, or we leave. We're not leaving, so long as I'm the President. That would be a huge mistake. It would send an unbelievably terrible signal to reformers across the region. It would say we've abandoned our desire to change the conditions that create terror. It would give the terrorists a safe haven from which to launch attacks. It would embolden Iran. It would embolden extremists.
Still doesn't answer the question, now does he. Can he prove his his points? Are we shoveling a dream down the Iraqi's throats? Did that "dream" exist before we got there or did he forget that we were supporting Saddam long ago to have him enforce his dream on the Iraqi people? Leaving will "embolden extremists?" I say, prove it.
No, we're not leaving. The strategic objective is to help this government succeed. That's the strategic -- and not only to help the government -- the reformers in Iraq succeed, but to help the reformers across the region succeed to fight off the elements of extremism. The tactics are which change. Now, if you say, are you going to change your strategic objective, it means you're leaving before the mission is complete. And we're not going to leave before the mission is complete. I agree with General Abizaid: We leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here.
there's another great leap. We weren't in Iraq when they attacked us before, but there is no way you can prove that being there stops them from attacking here. Or if you move the troops elsewhere, say to where OBL is and "bring him to justice" that we couldn't stop "terrorism" by means of a different, but workable strategy...but the W, spills on:
And so we have changed tactics. Our commanders have got the flexibility necessary to change tactics on the ground, starting with Plan Baghdad. And that's when we moved troops from Mosul into Baghdad and replaced them with the Stryker Brigade, so we increased troops during this time of instability.


Q Sir, that's not really the question. The strategy --

THE PRESIDENT: Sounded like the question to me.
See, you didn't answer the question but continue to use these venues to push your own political agenda, Mr. President. You don't want to hear what the real answer is: That the W, Rove and Co strategy is not working well, not by a long shot.
Q You keep -- you keep saying that you don't want to leave. But is your strategy to win working? Even if you don't want to leave? You've gone into Baghdad before, these things have happened before.

THE PRESIDENT: If I didn't think it would work, I would change -- our commanders would recommend changing the strategy. They believe it will work. It takes time to defeat these people. The Maliki government has been in power for less than six months. And, yes, the people spoke. I've cited that as a part of -- the reason I cite it is because it's what the Iraqi people want. And the fundamental question facing this government is whether or not we will stand with reformers across the region. It's really the task. And we're going to stand with this government.

Obviously, I wish the violence would go down, but not as much as the Iraqi citizens would wish the violence would go down. But, incredibly enough, they show great courage, and they want our help. And any sign that says we're going to leave before the job is done simply emboldens terrorists and creates a certain amount of doubt for people so they won't take the risk necessary to help a civil society evolve in the country.

This is a campaign -- I'm sure they're watching the campaign carefully. There are a lot of good, decent people saying, get out now; vote for me, I will do everything I can to, I guess, cut off money is what they'll try to do to get our troops out. It's a big mistake. It would be wrong, in my judgment, for us to leave before the mission is complete in Iraq.
More speculation from the presdident...and no real answer for Martha and the American people go unrequited.

The difference between tactics and strategy are important. More importantly, staying the course in a failed strategy does not mean abandoning the overall vision for the mission.

"Seersucker Is Coming Back," The Trouble With Lebanon/Israel, And Other Tips From W

While everyone else is being rather serious in today's presidential press briefing, W yucks it up a bit. Even so, Helen (and I love her, in case you haven't gathered that already) whips out her cast iron skillet and hits georgie over the head with a very tough question. But let's unpack his reply and see what we think about it:
Helen. (Laughter.) What's so funny about me saying "Helen"? (Laughter.) It's the anticipation of your question, I guess.

Q Israel broke its word twice on a truce. And you mentioned Hezbollah rockets, but it's -- Israeli bombs have destroyed Lebanon. Why do you always give them a pass? And what's your view on breaking of your oath for a truce?
So, we see, the point of the question is thus: If you can't even control your allies, how can you stop millitant terrorists?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, thank you. I like to remind people about how this started, how this whole -- how the damage to innocent life, which bothers me -- but, again, what caused this.

Q Why drop bombs on --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me finish -- let -- ma'am. Ma'am, please let me finish the question. It's a great question to begin with. The follow-up was a little difficult, but anyway. (Laughter.) I know you're waiting for my answer, aren't you, with bated breath.
Ah, the President complements Helen for her question - finally, a point I can agree with him on - it is indeed a great question and one taht he will have trouble answering. So, he inserts a little "humor" to ease us into the non-answer he is about to deliver:
This never would have occurred had a terrorist organization, a state within a state, not launched attacks on a sovereign nation. From the beginning, Helen, I said that Israel, one, has a right to defend herself, but Israel ought to be cautious about how she defends herself. Israel is a democratically elected government. They make decisions on their own sovereignty. It's their decision-making that is -- what leads to the tactics they chose.

But the world must understand that now is the time to come together to address the root cause of the problem. And the problem was you have a state within a state. You have people launch attacks on a sovereign nation without the consent of the government in the country in which they are lodged.

And that's why it's very important for all of us, those of us who are involved in this process, to get an international force into Lebanon to help the Lebanese government achieve some objectives. One is their ability to exert control over the entire country; secondly is to make sure that the Hezbollah forces don't rearm, don't get arms from Syria or Iran through Syria, to be able to continue to wreak havoc in the region.
So, did he answer the question? I don't think so. What do you think?

Meanwhile, he lets loose some more presidential witicisms, which is wear we find out that seersucker is coming back in:
Let's see -- we'll finish the first line here. Everybody can be patient.

Q Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. (Laughter.) It's kind of like dancing together, isn't it? (Laughter.)

Q Yes, kind of. (Laughter.)

Q Very close quarters.

THE PRESIDENT: If I ask for any comments from the peanut gallery I'll call on you. (Laughter.) By the way, seersucker is coming back. I hope everybody -- (laughter.) Never mind.

Q Kind of the Texas county commissioner look. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Martha. Sorry.
I see, so we get more comedy per American Taxpayer dollar spent from this President - but really, if I wanted to watch comedy, I would have turned on Jon Stewart.

Blog on all

Are People Saying What The President Says They Are Saying

I had to chuckle at the title of this post, but it goes to the heart of a deep problem for the American people regarding the W, Rove and Co. Simply this: If the President says something, many people don't question it.
You know, it's an interesting debate we're having in America about how we ought to handle Iraq. There's a lot of people -- good, decent people, saying, withdraw now. They're absolutely wrong. It would be a huge mistake for this country. If you think problems are tough now, imagine what it would be like if the United States leaves before this government has a chance to defend herself, govern herself, and listen to the -- and answer to the will of the people.
Maybe the President and I travel in different circles and listen to different people, but most of those who disagree with the Iraqi conflagration ignighted by W I know are not saying pull out now, but let's plan (strategicaly, and wisely) to pull out sooner than later. There is a substantial difference between the two points of view.

Really, we have to ask ourselves, is what the President saying what others are advocating as a solution for Iraq? Or, as I believe it is more likely, is the President saying what he wants you to believe his opponents are thinking? The latter is a political parlor trick, no doubt designed by the Rove component of the W, Rove and Co.

I say it's time for us to stand up and not allow W to distort what opponents of his illegitimate war in Iraq are saying and meaning when they say "staying the course," is not the right way to go.

A Racist Republican Senator From Virginia: Should We Be Surprised?

Well, I hadn't heard this until I clicked on an article from today's LA Times. Here's the question that you should mull over as you read through these snips: Will this be enough to get him voted out in November?
Here's what a smiling Allen said to his laughing supporters Aug. 11: "This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great…. Let's give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." The object of Allen's ridicule was in fact born in the United States, but the senator's Confederate-tinted understanding of this country apparently has no room for people of color.
I had never heard of this term before this article, but at it's best:
in the words of Allen's own spinmeisters, the Virginia Republican and putative 2008 presidential contender was just playfully combining the words "Mohawk" (to mischaracterize the cameraman's haircut) and, well, "caca." As an Allen staffer explained to the National Journal's Hotline blog, he was "an annoyance."
At it's worst:
is that "macaca" is an Americanized version of the similarly pronounced French racial slur "macaque," which literally refers to a species of stub-tailed monkey, but is figuratively used to insult North Africans and other people with dark skin. It's the French equivalent of "darkie," making all decent people who hear it shudder. Allen's mother is French, from the North African country of Tunisia. He speaks the language well.
Now will this get him voted out of office? Given that he is in Virginia, it's hard to say, saddly. That the man is a bigot may work in his favor - and there is no shortage of bigotry supported by members of the GOP.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

"The Unstoppable Power of Freedom" Or Is It Another Political Ruse To Trick The American People And Garner Political Support?

Well, the rhetoric in this week's Presidential address is as thick with Rovian red, white and blue ideological fervor as ever.
The way forward will be difficult, and it will require sacrifice and resolve. But America's security depends on liberty's advance in this troubled region, and we can be confident of the outcome because we know the unstoppable power of freedom.
I am not altogether certain what type of sacrifice the President himself has made in this struggle. It appears to me that he has made very little sacrifices of his own.

From the people's stand point, we have been requested to shoulder an undo burden and unfairly distributed amount this sacrifice on his behalf: from the enormous debt accrued that will weigh heavy on unborn generations of taxpayers, to W's willingness to sacrifice other lives for his cause, among other things. I just am not seeing what sacrifices the W, Rove and Co have made that equate with those shouldered by ordinary, hard working and honorable citizens of this country (not to mention the civilians killed in Iraq at his behest).

Does any one have some insight into what sacrifices this President has made for his "war on terror?"

The Point Of Terrorism Is...

Just out of curiosity, I have some questions for folk in the Blogisphere that spun from some words I read from this week's radio address by W (which does anyone listen to those by the way?).

Here's his quote and I'll follow with my questions:
Yet these young democracies are still fragile, and the forces of terror are seeking to stop liberty's advance and steer newly free nations to the path of radicalism. The terrorists fear the rise of democracy because they know what it means for the future of their hateful ideology.
Is it me or is the W, Rove and Co assigning too much credibility to the terrorist agenda? Moreover, I thought that, really, there was only one point to terrorism. This leads me to...drum roll please...

Windspike's Sunday Sentence Completion Contemplation
  • Finish this sentence and explain: "The point of terrorism is..."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Which Global War Are We Winning?

So, how long have we been at the "war on drugs?" If I recall correctly, it was launched by another famous republican after his wife said, "Just say,'no.'" That was round about the early 1980s which, by the way, are becoming ever so trendy. Click on your itunes and pop up Journey's Escape album while you contemplate this post (Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world...but I digress). So, this brings me to our first question: Are we winning the "war on drugs?" Uh, maybe not:
The latest chapter in America’s long war on drugs — a six-year, $4.7 billion effort to slash Colombia’s coca crop — has left the price, quality and availability of cocaine on American streets virtually unchanged.
Now we know who the W, Rove and Co took their lessons on effectively spending taxpayer dollars from. Billions and billions of dollars spent, with no change in the status of the global condition said "war" was ignited to stop. Sounds a lot like the global "war on terror," no? This leads me to....drum roll please....

Windspike's Weekend Blogger Challenge
  1. Which war has been more effective, The "War On Drugs" or the "War on Terror?"

  2. Explain

  3. What are the real reasons these wars were started?

  4. Who are the real winners and losers vis-à-vis the execution of these wars?

What's On Your List Of Things To Do?

Dean Karnazes is certifiably nutty. He's done 100 mile races. He's said that's not far enough and run over 200 mile races, alone, and up to over 300 miles at a pop. And he has said that's not enough and done marathons in Antarctica and a variety of other locations.

Now, if you view yahoo's most emailed stories, many people are aware of his next challenge...running 50 marathons in as many days. Not only that, but he is dragging his family along for the ride in their Winnebago. I am going to offer a contrary opinion to most that would view this as a set up for an amazing accomplishment. Sure, it is for the average person, but for Karno, this will be like licking frosting off your birthday cake.

Given Dean's training regimen and natural ability to run far and long, I think 26 miles a day is going to be a romp in the park for him. Not only that, but the rest he gets in between races will be like gassing up the NASCAR for another 25 laps. He's going to appear rested and ready to rumble.

On an aside note, I didn't notice in the article if he is doing this for only personal gain/accomplishment or notoriety, getting paid by his sponsors to do it (he is sponsored by Northface among others), or is he raising money for a worthy cause? Indeed it a combination of all three:
Yet beyond the running experience, the mission of the Endurance 50 is to encourage people of all ages to get out and do what they can, to enjoy the outdoors, and to make physical wellbeing an important priority in life. The event is a benefit for Karno Kids, an organization committed to reversing the unfortunate trend in childhood and youth inactivity and poor diet. The numbers are staggering, fully one-third (25 million) of children and teens in the United States are overweight. Together, we can make a difference and take back the heath of our nation, one step at a time.

Friday, August 18, 2006

At Least The President Didn't Call The Judge An Activist: Subtitle - Toss Another Civil Liberties Brick Onto The War On Terror Conflagration

Maybe W saves such "derogatory" labels as "Bleeping Activist Judge" for behind closed doors or when he thinks the microphone is turned off. But, at least he didn't use the phrase in today's unscripted speechifying.

What we see here is another case of "simply because the President believes warrant-less spying on Americans is legal" doesn't make it Constitutionally appropriate behavior. I would have to agree with Diane Feinstein when she says that we must ensure that the President and his pals understand that they are not above the law.

You know, two things strike me here as operating in the presidential psyche at this point. First, the whole ideology stemming from this self professed commitment to a "culture of life" has W confused. This profound, cult-like attachment to a specific ideology has confounded his thinking about what priorities are most important to the American people. He thinks that it is possible to stop people from dying or being killed, by terrorists or other means. This leads him to subjugate constitutionally protected liberties and freedoms in a devils bargain trade for what he thinks will yield universal "protection" of the people. In doing so, W fails to see that every inch of our civil liberties and freedoms that are discarded as necessary collateral damage into the "war on terror" conflagration is another mile of victory for the terrorists.

Secondly, we see time and again, that the President dualistically believes that the means justify the ends. That is, even as he works to erode the very Constitutional foundation upon which our country rests, he truly believes that it is in our best interest. Like the new embassy being built in Iraq, we shall all suffer when we find out post-W that he has reduced that foundation to quicksand.

Here's the Q & A that prompted my thinking above. What say you?
Q Mr. President, the federal ruling yesterday that declared your terrorist surveillance program unconstitutional -- the judge wrote that it was never the intent of the framers to give the President such unfettered control. How do you respond, sir, to opponents who say that this ruling is really the first nail in the coffin of your administration's legal strategy in the war on terror?

THE PRESIDENT: I would say that those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live. You might remember last week working with the -- with people in Great Britain, we disrupted a plot. People were trying to come and kill people.

This country of ours is at war, and we must give those whose responsibility it is to protect the United States the tools necessary to protect this country in a time of war. The judge's decision was a -- I strongly disagree with that decision, strongly disagree. That's why I instructed the Justice Department to appeal immediately, and I believe our appeals will be upheld.

I made my position clear about this war on terror. And by the way, the enemy made their position clear yet again when we were able to stop them. And I -- the American people expect us to protect them, and therefore I put this program in place. We believe -- strongly believe it's constitutional.

And if al Qaeda is calling in to the United States, we want to know why they're calling. And so I made my position clear. It would be interesting to see what other policymakers -- how other policymakers react.

Presidential Confusion

No one would suggest that the Israel/Lebanon situation is not confusing, but you would expect a sitting President to be a bit more clear about the situation. Unscripted, George Bush shows us his real feathers, and they seem ruffled to me. Here's the question from one of the privileged few that got to query the President:
Q Mr. President, on Lebanon, how can you say that Hezbollah has suffered such a bad defeat when it's rebuilding -- helping rebuild in southern Lebanon, and it remains intact? And secondly, are you disappointed at all about France's decision to scale back its support of the international force?
It's the last two paragraphs that have me convinced that the president is just as, if not more, confused about the situation as we are. Certainly, if you can figure out what he is trying to say here, you win today's blogger prize for presidential interpretation :
...Hezbollah, they're pretty comfortable there in south Lebanon. They're now going to find themselves not only that which caused the destruction, but they'll find themselves with now a Lebanese army, with U.N. help, making it clear they won't have the safe haven necessary -- that they think is necessary to launch attacks.

The issue is broader than just Hezbollah. The issue is also Syria and Iran, two nations that supported Hezbollah in its attempts to create enough havoc so that -- I guess people feel like they could take political advantage of the situation, we just can't let them do it.
I see. How would you complete the following sentence? The president's remarks offer more evidence that we are "fill-in-the-blank" the "war on terror?"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's Handy When The Press Secretary Points Out That The President Is Fabricating His Own Reality

Okay, the geeks out there are going to love this one. In Thursday's press breifing, Tony the Snow-job sides with the Budget Office, which has a contrarian perspective to the President's rose colored glasses look at the deficit. Have a look:
Q The budget deficit: CBO estimate out today says, Yes, it's coming down to $260 billion this year, but then will jump to $286 billion next year. And then over the next decade, the total deficit will be $1.76 trillion, even if the tax cuts aren't made permanent. Aren't things going in the wrong direction with the President?
Zoiks, those numbers are grim. But is the President slightly worried? Nope:
MR. SNOW: No, I'll tell you --

Q As he talks to his economic advisors, is he looking at spending cuts or tax increases to close the gap?

MR. SNOW: The answer is the President is working on keeping the economy growing, and the other thing is, go back and take a look at CBO estimates from last year or the year before. Go back to the Clinton years. It's an inexact science, and I'm not going to get into that whole methodology.

The President is confident that we remain on a path to cut the deficit in half by his stated deadline, if not before, and the way you do that is by promoting government growth. The deficit declined in the '90s because we had a booming economy, and as the economy continues to boom, you're going to find revenues coming in and enabling us to close the deficit. The President still believes that.
Well, now we know that simply because the President uses some facy rhetoric and belives something, it won't necessarily become true now will it? Here's where Tony commits rhetorical suicide again:
Q So is the CBO wrong in projecting that the deficit will increase next year?

MR. SNOW: Who knows? The problem with it, it's like asking if the weatherman is right about next Tuesday. Economic prediction is always inexact. You use this as benchmarks for guiding policy. As you know we do our own estimates, and I'll stick with the OMB estimates. And I will let our number crunching guys, our econometricians go through the methodologies with you. I'm just not competent to do so.
I think he meant CBO, or is the OMB different? Perhaps, Even so so, is it the President or the CBO that is correct? Tony correctly sides with the geeks and thusly proves the President has his head up his ass in thinking that his policy is going to be good for America.

If No One Knows When The Iraq Mission Will Be Accomplished, Why Did They Hang The Banner?

Just wondering, if nobody knows when we will be finished in Iraq, why did they hang the Mission Accomplished banner as the President was flown into the aircraft carrier so long ago?
Q Tony, you mentioned, the obvious ultimate goal of getting mission accomplished. When is that going to happen?

MR. SNOW: You tell me. I mean, again -- as I've also said, you don't do this by a clock. The President has practiced strategic patience. The term "The Long War" has been used. If you can tell me when terrorists are suddenly going to turn their swords into plowshares, we'll settle upon that as the date.

Q Is this years in Iraq?

MR. SNOW: I mean. I really don't know. I honestly -- I don't think anybody knows.
This is just the kind of confidence you would expect the democrats to exude wouldn't you? But, might I remind you, these are Republicans in charge here. And what do we get? More security? Do you feel safer today than you did five years ago?

"Soul Searching" And Other Lies Told By The W, Rove And Co

Okay, I love Helen Thomas. She is one of the smartest people in the Whitehouse press pool. But it is astonishing how big a lie Tony the Snow job will toss at the American people in order to asuage the guilt they should be feeling about Iraq, but undoubtedly are not. Have a gander at Thursday's press briefing dish of horse manure:
Go ahead, Helen.

Q After a week of soul-searching -- I mean, not soul-searching -- I mean briefings the President has had, has he done any soul searching in terms of policy towards Iraq? The highest fatalities in July and so forth, so there is an increase in violence. Are any policies changing?
Good question. We don't necessarily care much about how much soul searching a man can do especially since it appears that his soul is eternaly tarnished and destined for hell. What we are really concered is this: Is the president going to take us in a different direction in Iraq, are we headed straight down the same path to the toilet bowl flushing us down with the Iraqis?
MR. SNOW: Well, I've tried to -- the answer is first without -- I will -- without having cleared this with the President, I think it's safe to say that any President in a time of war does constant soul-searching because he understands the human toll of sending people into harm's way. And any President who has held the office will tell you the same thing. It is a deeply personal and very difficult thing to do.
I don't think it was altogether that difficult for the president at all. Just witness the amount of vacation days he has had since he took office...clearing brush, mountain biking, etc...

But Tony continues:
The other thing the President does is -- he wants realistic assessments of what's going on, and he wants the ability to adjust. It is an absolute fact that, in a time of war, you're going to try things that don't work. And what you have to do is to figure out how to define the proper formulation of things that are going to work.

The President is not going to walk away from Iraq. It is central to winning the war on terror. It is central to sending a message to terrorist organizations. It is central to creating a democracy in the region.
What happens when the realistic assessments goes contrary to current policy? It seems like there is a disjuncter between what is happening on the ground and the W, Rove and Co's policy and action pursued in Iraq if you ask me.

The discourse continues:
Q Willing to sacrifice?

MR. SNOW: Well, as they continue to exhume and now put together exhibits in Iraq of the hundreds of thousands who were killed by Saddam Hussein, there is still the hope that was expressed by more than 12.5 million people who went out and voted at some risk to their lives, but they think it's worthwhile.

And if we could do this in a totally bloodless way, that would be great, but terrorists, as I pointed out before, they look at human carnage as a political asset. We look at it the different way. We mourn the loss of lives. We don't look at that as a way of advancing our ideology. We look upon every human life as possessing unique and independent dignity, and we wish that none of them had to be sacrificed, and we hope that we're precisely working toward the day in which you're not going to have to worry about mass graves in Iraq, where you're not going to have to worry about sectarian violence, and that the primary concern is whether their taxes are too high and whether they're getting what they need from their government.
Here's the problem and how the lies unravel for me:
  • I don't think the mourn the loss of lives. The President hasn't attended a single funeral for some one who was KIA in Iraq.

  • I don't think they look upon every human life as possessing unique and independent dignity. How many Iraqi civilians have been killed in the name of this political process?

  • I think the mentioning of mass graves in Iraq is a diversion.
There are many more things to be concerned about as the W, Rove and Co digs themselves a rhetorical grave, but what I hope for most of all is a time when we are no longer looking for these people to take us out of this mess...for they are expert at getting us into messes, but fools for getting us out.

Here's the proof that we are doomed under this administration:
It's just not possible. But on the other hand, you also cannot be a President in a wartime and not realize that you've got to stay the course.

The Iraqi Wack-A-Mole: Or Is it Operation Together Forward?

I just love this metaphor for how things are going in Iraq. Sucks for Iraqis and sucks for us, but it's funny nonetheless - Terrorist pop up some place every time you wack one down.

I don't konw about you, but I'm getting a little tired of the euphamistic naming of US operations in Iraq. Have a look at what the latest incarnation is:
Q Earlier you said that violence is down 80 percent in one Baghdad neighborhood. John McCain has complained about a whack-a-mole taking place across the -- cross-country -- you've heard of that.

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q It seems like it's whack-a-mole now on the local level because by all accounts Baghdad is -- by most accounts, Baghdad is worse than it's ever been, as far as the security situation. So how is this not whack-a-mole on the local level?

MR. SNOW: Well, let me ask you a question. Is every time that we have a success going to be called whack-a-mole? Because if that's the case -- no, I think what you have now is we had to retool Operation Together Forward. It wasn't producing the desired results. I'm not saying that suddenly everything is sunny and helpful and bright, but I am saying that you do have some successes. And it's quantifiable, and you can call Major General Caldwell or others in Baghdad and they'll give you all the good numbers on this stuff. But there has been progress. But there's a lot to be done.

The fact is, yes, al Qaeda is going to scatter and run, and there's going to be the need to pursue them. Now, in response to that, what have we been doing? We've been training up Iraq forces. We've also been chasing down al Qaeda independently. And so it is not as if it's a static situation where we just have a bunch of people here. We have people who are gathering intelligence throughout the country, both U.S., Iraqi -- all three and coalition forces, and they are responding.

So Senator McCain, I'm sure, will get fully briefed on the latest developments, and I'll let him give his own assessment in the future. There's always the danger that you think that you're chasing around an elusive enemy. And there's no doubt that some guys are going to run and hide and try out something else.

What they have been finding out is that the Iraqi forces which have been standing up are becoming more capable and more combat-ready and more able to address this. The United States, in and of itself, cannot be chasing all over Iraq for each and every piece of insurrection. That is inappropriate.

But what we are doing is we're trying to target resources and operations in such a way as to go after the key sources of terror and secure some of the key places. I think Senator McCain would agree -- in fact, I believe he said as much, you've got to secure Baghdad.
Yes, indeed. We have got to secure Baghdad...but how many years is that going to take, Mr. Snow? How many billions of US taxpayer dollars and GI dead? Worth it? Fuck no! Sorry for the obscenity, but I'm not a happy carnival attendee at this point.

Meanwhile Good News Keeps Pouring In From Iraq

Well, okay, it's not good news, but hey - at least the Whitehouse is admiting that they are floundering about in Iraq:
There were reports that an unnamed military expert had received briefings at the White House that we are continuing alternatives other than democracy in Iraq. It's just not true. The article does note, however, that there has been increased violence in Iraq in recent months, and that is absolutely true.
Who cares if Tony the Snow job bends the truth? Maybe it was a named military expert. Remember, violoence in Iraq is on the rise. Can that be good for Iraq? Can that be good for the American people? Nope.

We had testimony from General Abizaid last month; ones of the things he noticed is, I think he said the sectarian violence had been worse than he'd ever seen it, and that if trends continued, it could place Iraq on a path towards civil war.
Like they are not on that road already.

NSA Spying Illegal Sounds About Right To Me, But Here's What The W, Rove And Co Thinks

In case you have been hiding under a rock, you may not have noticed that a Detroit judge has ruled in favor of the American people and decided to put a halt to the illeagal NSA spying program sponsored and addored by the W, Rove and Co.

This is good news, but here's what the W, Rove and Co had to say:
Last week America and the world received a stark reminder that terrorists are still plotting to attack our country and kill innocent people. Today a federal judge in Michigan has ruled that the Terrorist Surveillance Program ordered by the President to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the American people is unconstitutional and otherwise illegal. We couldn't disagree more with this ruling, and the Justice Department will seek an immediate stay of the opinion and appeal. Until the Court has the opportunity to rule on a stay of the Court's ruling in a hearing now set for September 7, 2006, the parties have agreed that enforcement of the ruling will be stayed.

United States intelligence officials have confirmed that the program has helped stop terrorist attacks and saved American lives. The program is carefully administered, and only targets international phone calls coming into or out of the United States where one of the parties on the call is a suspected Al Qaeda or affiliated terrorist. The whole point is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks before they can be carried out. That's what the American people expect from their government, and it is the President's most solemn duty to ensure their protection.

The Terrorist Surveillance Program is firmly grounded in law and regularly reviewed to make sure steps are taken to protect civil liberties. The Terrorist Surveillance Program has proven to be one of our most critical and effective tools in the war against terrorism, and we look forward to demonstrating on appeal the validity of this vital program.
Gee Wiz Mr. Bush, if it's so effective, why do we need to have such a great presence in Iraq? Who cares if it is effective, and by whose definition we might well ask, if it actually violates the very feedom you suggest it is designed to protect? Hypocritical morons runing the show in the whtiehouse is a fair assessment.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"But Clinton Got A Blowjob"

A friend of mine sent this link to a fun tune by Eric Schwartz...remmeber, "Clinton got a blowjob..."


Meanwhile...17 Folk Get Their Presidential Pardons

Just wondering who they are. Any one know?
The President today granted pardons to 17 individuals, none of whom are still serving time, but these are largely for people who have served their time and this helps expunge their records.

Ah, The International Game Of Tit For Tat

I didn't catch wind of this until today's press briefing, but it seems the Iranian government is getting into the cartoon business:
Q Are you commenting on Iran's international holocaust cartoon contest?

MR. SNOW: No, and I -- no, I'm not.
Not sure what to make of it, but I hope that they are as funny as some of the Mohamed cartoons that came out a while back. Really, I don't know if it is possible to come up with something funny about the holocaust. We'll the judge of that, I'm sure. That is, if the MSM has the balls to publish the comics.

When Death Tolls: Does It Make Sense to Label Iraq At Civil War?

Helen Thomas whips out her cast iron skillet and hits Tony the Snow job over the head again today in the press briefing. I love her.

She has a legit question: At 100 people a day killed in Iraq, at what point do we actually classify the Iraq Conflagration that the W, Rove and Co started as a Civil war?

Sure it doesn't look like our civil war, or any one elses for that matter. But ours was over 100 years ago and the weapons were quite different then.

Q Is there a civil war going on in Iraq? And is the President frustrated with the lack of American public support for Iraq?

MR. SNOW: No, number one, there is not a civil war going on. I was on the phone earlier today with Major General Caldwell in Baghdad --
Okay, stop right there Tony. Why are you calling Generals in Baghdad in the first place? Hmmm, is he just trying to get his spin correct?

Q One hundred people a day?

MR. SNOW: He understands. And the other thing that's happening is that there has been -- there has been some improvement at least in the situation on the ground, slightly. Yes, you have a number of sectarian violence operations going on, but you've also seen now in targeted neighborhoods in Baghdad, there has been a notable decrease in violence in three of the neighborhoods that have been targeted in the last week, and that's obviously a promising sign; that's not a victory lap.
So, now Tony has given him the responsiblity of speaking for Generals in Iraq? I thought he was the president's spokesmodel, not speaking for any one else except the Whitehouse, no? Oh, and "Not a victory lap?" Well, no of course not, we already have the "Mission Accomplished" banner hung on the victory boat (well, okay aircraft carrier) to provide that photo op.

But I digress...Tony continues:
Prime Minister Maliki today went outside the Green Zone to talk about Iraqi forces -- to talk to Iraqi forces, not only to thank them for their efforts, but to encourage them. And it's significant to note that the one thing he said was that Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Sunni, Shia and Turkmen should be united with each other to form a country united to defeat terrorism. And I think what you saw there, at least according to General Caldwell, was a very passionate speech delivered by the elected head of Iraq.

Everybody knows that sectarian violence is a problem, and that extremists, especially in the Sunni and Shia camps, are doing everything they can to disrupt it. And we're keenly aware of that. For those who argue that the administration does not react, as a matter of fact, there is constant adjustment in terms of strategy and tactics to meet that challenge, because it's a very real challenge. And it's one that Prime Minister Maliki is working with our forces in the field to try to deal with, because he has to. And we know that, we understand it. We also understand that those who want Iraq to fail as a democracy will do everything they can, they're going to do everything in their power. And what we have to do is to demonstrate the determination and commitment to see it through.

As the President has said -- the President knows the capability of our forces, and he knows the decency of the American people, and he knows that people do not want us to walk away from something this important. As far as public opinion polls, I've addressed it many times. He's aware of polls, but he's also more keenly aware of his constitutional obligations, and he takes that first, and if it means taking a PR hit --
Okay, sectarian violence between two waring factions is about as close a definition of civil war as I can gather, no? And simply becuase some politician speechifies outside of the green zone doesn't make it less a civil war, now does it?
Q He doesn't think he needs the support of the American people on the Iraqi endeavor?

MR. SNOW: I think what's going to happen, as people learn more and more -- as you saw just last week, there was an 11-point pivot just on the basis of the fact that things that people had not seen in terms of behind-the-scenes operations to thwart terror, suddenly said, oh, boy, we do have something -- boom, 11-point jump. I think as people begin to see more --

Q I'm talking about Iraq.

MR. SNOW: Well, as people begin to see more of what's going on -- and Major General Caldwell is doing detailed briefings -- and one of these days maybe will bring some of the slides and things that he has -- giving you a better sense from ground level what's going on. I don't think -- I think the American people see headlines, they hear about these appalling acts of violence, and they are rightly concerned. What they don't see are the operations ongoing, the apprehensions of terrorists, the seizure of weapons caches, all of which are going on on a daily basis.
Now Tony is falling into the trap that Scotty McClellan did - trying to speak for the American people. And frankly, he doesn't speak for me - nor for many. And honestly, he doesn't get paid to predict what the American people will think about his boss's illegitimate war in Iraq.

Then Helen follows up with a really great question:
Q Is everybody a terrorist who opposes our presence in Iraq?

MR. SNOW: No, but somebody is a terrorist who kills innocent civilians to try to make a political point.
Well, just to turn the mirror in the correct direction. Might that definition, if it suits the W, Rove and Co in one direction, also apply to the W, Rove and Co itself? Certainly, how many civilians have died by the hands of the USA to make George Bush's "noble" political point in Iraq?