Friday, August 31, 2007

Say What, Mr. President?!? Interpretation Needed

Have a look at this from the President and see if you can tell me what he's trying to say:
Q So you need those Australian troops there.

THE PRESIDENT: We need all our coalition partners. And I would hope that -- and I understand, look, everybody has got their own internal politics. My only point is, is that whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq, we've got more work to do. We, the free world, has got more work to do. And I believe those of us who live in liberty have a responsibility to promote forms of government that deal with what causes 19 kids to get on airplanes to kill 3,000 students.
The reporter was asking about the 500 Australian troops in Iraq. Did the reporter get a satisfactory answer? Can you tell me how I should interpret what the president did say here?

I'll leave you with a fine quote from our president as you contemplate your comment to the above:
Freedom yields peace. Asia is peaceful. Why? Because freedom is prevailing, that's why.'s peaceful in Iraq because....

Another Rat Jumps The W, Rove and Co Ship: Tony Snow Gets Replaced By A Fair Beauty

I didn't catch this on the AM MSM reporting today. Did you?

Apparently, Tony the snow Job has had enough. Good news: Dana Perino is taking over. She is definitely easier on the eyes, as Dave Letterman would say.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good afternoon to you.

Tony Snow informed me he's leaving. And I sadly accept his desire to leave the White House, and he'll do so on September the 14th. He is -- it's been a joy to watch him spar with you. He's smart, he's capable, he's witty. He's capable of -- he's able to talk about issues in a way that the American people can understand.

And I don't know what he's going to do -- I'm not sure he does yet, either. But whatever it is, it's going to be -- two things: One, he'll battle cancer and win. And secondly, he'll be a solid contributor to society.
Have a look at what Tony had to day and see if you believe it...particularly about the statement that it was an enormous amount of fun:
MR. SNOW: Just a couple of quick comments. First, Mr. President, thank you and thanks for the honor of serving. This job has really been a dream for me and a blast. I've had an enormous amount of fun and satisfaction, and I'm proud to be working for you, and will continue after I leave working for the White House, to speak out about issues I care about.
And for the second time in the same day, the President leaves a very interesting question unanswered with a "Thank You."
Q How do you feel about losing everybody?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.
As the rats jump the ship, the house of cards that Rove built tumbles.

The Answer Not Given Yields A Most Revealing Question

Many of you know that W was busy trying to paint some lipstick no the economic pig that's been growing because the lenders are no longer dolling out bad loans to bad risks. Of course, the usual propaganda spew comes a day late and a dollar short. Remember, this is the Administration that supported the change in Chapter 11 policy that forced a large number of people into very difficulty places.

Even so, I thought the one question that managed to get asked today was rather revealing.
Q Sir, what about the hedge funds and banks that are overexposed on the sub-prime market? That's a bigger problem. Have you got a plan?

Thank you? My goodness. Sounds like a good question that a president and his crack team should be able to answer, no?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Real People Doing Real Things To Help Real People

The good thing about America is that when you can't depend on your government, you can depend on the people of America.

While the president is busy providing excuses, placating his audiences by citing statistics and pontificating about how wonderful he and his administration are, there are actually real people out there. Doing real things to help real people.

Watch this (note, the original video used to pop on every time folks hit my page. I change to a youtube version of another video, but you get the idea):


The tragedy is thus: For some reason we can muster billions of dollars to spend on Iraq, but we can't fix NOLA in two years or less.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Flush: The Sound Of More Taxpayer Dollars Wasted Because Of The Actions Of The W, Rove And Co.

In case you didn't know it, the W, Rove and Co continually tosses good taxpayer monies after bad. No, I'm not talking about the billions of dollars being flushed into Halliburton's coffers by way of Iraq via no-bid contract awards. No, I'm not talking about the pallets of dollars lost in trying to bribe people in Iraq and Afghanistan to be our friends.

And no, I'm not talking about the FEMA trailers still undistributed to the people of NOLA, or the like. I'm talking about the law suit settlements to people who are mistreated and have their rights violated by the W, Rove and Co.

No doubt, this settlement discussed today will be the first of many:
Q Does the President have any regret that $80,000 in taxpayer funds is being paid to a couple that was forcibly removed from a presidential appearance in West Virginia in 2004 and sued the government and the government arranged this settlement?

MR. JOHNDROE: I've not discussed it with the President, so I'm not familiar.

Q Do you know if the Presidential Advance Manual is being modified in any way so that people who do nothing more than have an anti-Bush slogan on their tee shirt are removed from presidential events?

MR. JOHNDROE: I'm not aware of whether the manual is being revised or not. I think there are rules that govern the conduct of activities at presidential events and people try to adhere to them and, I think, for the most part, do.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Flip Flops Are Okay If The President Does It

Tuesday, the President was asked the following question:
Q Thank you all. Mr. President, yesterday, Senator Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said that the Iraqi parliament ought to oust Prime Minister Maliki and his government for being politically unable to deliver political unity there, for utterly failing on that point. I'm wondering what your reaction is to Senator Levin's comment, and whether you think Maliki has lost credibility.
Here's the flip response:
There are two types of political reconciliation that can take place in a new democracy: One is from the top down, and one is from the bottom up. Clearly, the Iraqi government has got to do more through its parliament...and now their government has got to perform. And I think there's a certain level of frustration with the leadership in general, inability to work...
Wednesday, as W was shooting another load off the Propaganda Catapult we witness the flop:
Prime Minister Maliki is a good guy, a good man with a difficult job, and I support him.
Well, that just about sews up the fate for Maliki, no? Might he go the way of Brownie and all the others that W supports? Fortunately, for us:
And it's not up to politicians in Washington, D.C. to say whether he will remain in his position -- that is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy, and not a dictatorship.
We shall see what they do with Maliki...but should we tollerate the presidential flip flopper?

Vietnam: The Unfortunate Iraq Comparitive Case

What I find completely offensive from W's Vietnam parallel aside from his complete and utter abuse of history by ignoring the full lessons of such an example is the way he wrangles the heaping lump of blame on the GIs who were told to go to Vietnam for the outcome:
The question now before us comes down to this: Will today’s generation of Americans resist the deceptive allure of retreat and do in the Middle East what veterans in this room did in Asia?
First, strategic withdrawal is not the same as retreat. What the exit strategy is, is truly a much more important question than the politically charged and blame laced question above.

Second, who made the decision to pull the troops out of Vietnam was not made by the Veterans in the room yesterday. Vietnam Vets rightfully should be extremely pissed at this question raised by W. It was their civilian leaders who had a poor strategy to begin with - much like the current situation we are in.

More importantly, Bush's Vietnam parallel ignores all the completely different aspects of that war in comparison to the "war" in Iraq. Whether it was good for Vietnam is questionable, but in the long run, Vietnam isn't such a bad place for our leaving today, is it? I know there are people who have visited there recently and can attest to that better than me.

So, it comes down to this. If the President is going to trot out Vietnam as an example, he can't self select the only acceptable parallels and ignore the complete history. He effectively is trying to squash debate and wrangle the example of Vietnam for political gain. If we are better off for having left Vietnam alone as is Vietnam today, then who's to say that the same thing wouldn't happen if we did the same thing in Iraq?

I'm not advocating immediate retreat, but a strategic redeployment and reassignment of mission may actually work to more effectively extinguish the terrorist threat than the current strategy, no? The answer to that question is a big fat maybe, but we won't know until we try.

At least at this point, the existing strategy of going forward only appears to be leading us over the waterfall. The good ship America is sailing toward it with all sails unfurled, the engine running, the lights on and with no one at the rudder to turn her around.

Mr. Bush's Vietnam comparison is, indeed, very unfortunate, and well, downright shameful. I hang my head low today in embarrassment for the leaders of my country who choose to ignore the real lessons of Vietnam and work to leverage a whole lot of Veterans for political gain.

Any one else out there offended?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Shall We Scrap The Electoral College?

Found an article today that poses an old question for the blogosphere. However, given that we are in the long run up to the 2008 election, it may be time to rehash the debate.

Here's a slice:
The Electoral College should be done away with, but in the meantime, any reforms should improve the system, not make it worse. If California abandons its winner-take-all rule while red states like Texas do not, it will be hard for a Democratic nominee to assemble an Electoral College majority, even if he or she wins a sizable majority of the popular vote. That appears to be just what the backers of the California idea have in mind.
I'm of the mind that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped. What say you bloggers?

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Since When Does A President Need "Rally Squads?"

I thought rally squads and committees were reserved for the cheering section of the local collegiate sports teams. This fits squarely in the category that we already knew they did this, but now we know for sure.

You could also place this in a category of either dirty political propaganda tricks, or another reason why the President thinks he's always right. It's because he doesn't expose himself to people who vehemently think he is wrong:
The manual offers advance staffers and volunteers who help set up presidential events guidelines for assembling crowds. Those invited into a VIP section on or near the stage, for instance, must be " extremely supportive of the Administration," it says. While the Secret Service screens audiences only for possible threats, the manual says, volunteers should examine people before they reach security checkpoints and look out for signs. Make sure to look for "folded cloth signs," it advises.

To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to create "rally squads" of volunteers with large hand-held signs, placards or banners with "favorable messages." Squads should be placed in strategic locations and "at least one squad should be 'roaming' throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems," the manual says.

"These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators," it says. "The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protesters(USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."
Now, there's nothing like a large, high volume dose of jingoistic slogan chanting to boost a president's ego, is there?

Was It Worth It?

I found this image in a NYTimes article about Iraq war vets.

Was it worth it?

I can't help but pose the question: Was it worth it? The W, Rove and Co. "Ideological struggle of the twenty first century" seems less and less like it was a good investment. Moreover, the ROI has never been worth the outlay, in my book.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
This background provides the context for Ms. Berman’s photographs, which are themselves tip-of-the-iceberg images. No matter what the viewer’s political position, the images add up to a complex and desolating anti-war statement. Mr. Acosta makes that statement outright: “Yeah, I got a Purple Heart. I don’t care. I don’t need anything to prove I was there. I know I was there. I got a constant reminder. I mean like all the reasons we went to war, it just seems like they’re not legit enough for people to lose their lives for and for me to lose my hand and use of my legs and for my buddies to lose their limbs.

Meanwhile, the President is busy pandering to the American people:

9:06 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: How is everybody doing? Thank you for joining me. I'm visiting with some of the area's finest citizens. We talked about businesses and opportunities and sports and culture. It's good to be with you. Thank you. I hope you leave here with the sense that I'm upbeat about the future of this country. I believe strongly we can do anything we put our minds to do.

Thank you all for coming.

END 9:07 A.M. CDT

What say you blogosphere?

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meanwhile Uncle Karl Goes On A Media Tour?

Have a gander at this video offered up at Crooks and Liars. Since when does a senior Whitehouse adviser who quite his job need a PR campaign?

Who Will Be To Blame When The Legal Dominos Fall?

The W, Rove and Co (well, I suppose we should subtract the Rove portion after he exits at the end of this month. But for now, I'll continue to use this label as Rove is as responsible if not more so than the others for building the house of cards that is this current administration.) have to let the nasty terrorists they are holding in Gitmo go for violating their rights and not putting them on trial, who's to blame?

No doubt the GOP propaganda machine will blame it on "activist" judges, the term they use whenever they don't like the outcome of a trail. But on the the whole, I think we aught put more faith in the system that our forefathers wisely put into place:
Many people around the world have come to question America’s commitment to the rule of law. There are few places in the world where that principle is more hallowed than in the United States federal courts. The best course of action now, in dealing with terrorism suspects, is to use these courts — the keystone of American jurisprudence — and show the world that America can protect itself while it respects the rule of law.
It would help if the current administration actually respected the rule of law rather than place themselves above it. Thus, I don't see this happening under the current regime, do you?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meanwhile, It Still Sucks In Iraq

While the President takes care of vital brush clearing on his hobby ranch, we see that it still sucks in Iraq:
...Fighters in white tunics and running shoes moved like ghosts over the battlefield, displaying tactics that the Americans said mirrored their own. They signaled with flashlights, bounded into position and crawled to try to evade the superior U.S. firepower.

Even when dozens of the fighters lay dead, Stark and his platoon mates discovered that their enemy possessed an unsettling determination. Making a final push toward the canal in his hobbled, bullet-pocked Humvee, Stark saw a wounded insurgent on the ground with a hand behind his back.

"Turn on your stomach!" Gilbertson, the gunner, yelled, intending to detain the man. But the insurgent hurled a grenade at the truck. The pin failed, and Gilbertson shot him with his machine gun...

...Spannagel, the scout leader, said the fighting revealed "a false sense of security that we'd won the battle in Ramadi."

In fact, he said, "this shows the enemy is patient. This is his land. He's got all the time in the world. . . . They're going to continue to fight in Anbar."
When the W, Rove and Co suggest that the MSM doesn't cover the good news in Iraq, perhaps it's because there is none. Read the whole article for a real account that will unnerve even the most staunch GOP supporter.

Brilliance From Boots On The Ground

I love our GIs. These guys and gals really lay it out on the line. Often, I've said, I'm glad they are on our side, and I would not want to be on the receiving end of their lethal trade. Many should head the Marine slogan: Your best friend, and your worst enemy.

They go unquestioningly, but this doesn't mean they sacrifice their rights for it.
The NYTimes published a letter by several GIs currently coming to the close of their tour in Iraq. These guys know from what they speak, and they are brilliant.

Here's a slice, but I highly recommend you read the whole thing.
...In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a “time-sensitive target acquisition mission” on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse — namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force...

... In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, “We need security, not free food.”

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.
And so, as we rapidly approach the artificial deadline of 15 September, we ask the following mundane question: Will George Bush listen to all boots on the ground or just those who tell him what he wants to hear?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Will They Honeymoon In Baghdad?

I'm late to the game today, I know. Although the W and Laura are not announcing a wedding date, perhaps Jena would be happy to celebrate the forthcoming nuptials with a spectacular honeymoon in Baghdad.

I think for the Jena to do so would be a nice way to confirm and validate that her father's freedom and democracy spreading experiment is going splendidly. No?
President and Mrs. George W. Bush are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter, Jenna Bush, to Mr. Henry Hager, son of the Honorable and Mrs. John H. Hager of Richmond, Virginia. Miss Bush and Mr. Hager became engaged Wednesday, August 15, 2007.

No wedding date has been set.

Who Needs Liberal Media When The CIA Changes The Language For Us

If this doesn't sound like something very fishy, much like the Propaganda Masters of old Russia, I don't know what does.
WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.
I thought we lived in America?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When Is Charity Not Really?

Found this snip on they NYTimes and thought it could be more broadly applicable to such situations as Iraq and the like:
"If someone wants to help you, they shouldn’t do it by destroying the very thing that they’re trying to promote."
GEORGE ODO, a CARE official, on U.S. food aid to Africa, which his organization says can undermine struggling local farmers
Could it be that the general practice administered by the US of A and executed by the good people of America for a great long while has led people in other countries to a co-dependency upon our aid thus never reducing their dependency nor the problem and feeding our addiction feeling charitable rather than actually being such?

My theory is that the W, Rove and Co's preoccupation with "faith-based" "do-good" agencies may asphyxiate any chance to ameliorate some of the most dire situations in some of the most desolate places on the globe. What's that biblical slogan: Better to teach a person to fish than to feed her a fish?

Likewise, perhaps it's not good policy to destroy a country in the name of improving it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thinking About Iraq With The Big Dick: Was He Right Then Or Now?

Well, I'm sure many of you have seen this, but have a gander at this little snip from our immediate past:

Here's what he is saying now:
The central front in the war on terror is Iraq. We are there because it is where lethal enemies have gathered. We are there because, after 9/11, we decided to deny terrorists any safe haven. We are there because, having removed Saddam Hussein, we promised not to allow another brutal dictator to rise in his place. And we are there because the security of this nation depends on a successful outcome -- an Iraq that can defend itself, govern itself, sustain itself and be a ally in the global war on terror.

Was the Big Dick correct then or now? It sure seems like, from our vantage point here in Aught Seven, that present conflagration begun as W, Rove and Co's miserable Freedom and Democracy spreading experiment being waged right now in Iraq is as he predicted in 1994.

What say you blogishpere?

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wouldn't You Rather Be Clearing Brush With Bush?

Found this article today. Juxtaposed with what W will be doing on his "vacation" at his hobby ranch in Texas, I know where I would rather be:
BAGHDAD - Three suicide truck bombers targeted members of an ancient religious sect in northwestern Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and setting apartment buildings and stores ablaze, while the crash of an American transport helicopter near an air base in Anbar killed five U.S. service members.

Four more U.S. soldiers were reported killed in separate attacks — three in an explosion near their vehicle Monday in the northwestern Ninevah province and another who was died of wounds from combat in western Baghdad.

In a separate attack, a fourth suicide truck bomber struck a strategic bridge on the main highway linking Baghdad with the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 10, police said. The span was bombed three months ago and only one lane had reopened, according to the police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

And in Baghdad, dozens of uniformed gunmen in 17 official vehicles stormed an Oil Ministry compound and abducted a deputy oil minister and three other officials, a ministry spokesman and police said.

The violence came as 16,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops began a new operation north of the Iraqi capital targeting insurgents who have fled a crackdown in the restive city of Baqouba, the military said Tuesday.
When they come at you in official uniforms and trucks, how do you know who to kill? Who is on our side in Iraq is a legit question, don't you think? Wouldn't you rather be clearing brush with shrub in Texas than trying to prove W right in Iraq?

Monday, August 13, 2007

When Is The Best Time To Quit The Whitehouse?

You know, I've heard this phrase numerous times today:
Karl has said that there was never going to be a good time to leave the White House, but that this was the right time for he and his family.
Well, if you've signed on for a particular stint and were one to honor your commitments, the best time to leave would be at the end of the proper term, no? Unless, of course, there are some extenuating circumstances.

Certainly, the Whitehouse is in full blown whitewashing mode trying to convince the American people that it's because Rove and his family want to "spend more time together."

The bullshit meter has to be running high even by Washington standards. Do you think Rove's family actually knows the man? Could it be that after all this time he spent working for political gain that he was doing it because he was avoiding his family?

There has to be extenuating circumstances surrounding his resignation. What we need is a good old fashioned W, Rove and Co style leak to get us the juicy bits on this one. With out it, we just get the typical snow job delivered by an attractive spokesmodel.

Have a look:
Q Dana, I think there was some comment by Rove that Bolten said that if anybody wants to leave, they need to do it before Labor Day. Is that what the staff has heard?

MS. PERINO: I haven't heard Josh say those words specifically, but I think there has been an understanding that there is a natural time for people to leave. Oftentimes, as you know, August in the summertime is that time. And as we get into the last 16 months of the administration, I think people need to consider whether or not they're going to be able to serve out the entire term. And I think that that's what the request has been, is to really think about that.

Q Are there additional people?

MS. PERINO: I have no one to announce for you right now; would not speculate on any other departures. But we'll let you know if that changes.

But, again, it's a natural time for people to start thinking about that in August, especially -- this pull of wanting to be more with your family, I think, is even more acute in the summertime months, especially when you get a little time off and you spend some time with them and realize how much you are missing and how much they're missing.
Meanwhile, our GIs continue to get sizzled in Iraq, and W retreats to his hobby ranch to "cut some brush."
MS. PERINO: I would expect no public events this week. The President will be spending time on his ranch. We'll try to give you updates, but just to set your expectations pretty low about details coming out of the ranch this week. When he's there, he likes to ride his bike, he likes to go fishing, he likes to cut some brush, he likes to exercise a lot and spend time with family and friends. To the extent that I can get more details on that for you, I will. I don't know what family and friends might or might not be coming this time around.
Gee whillikers that sounds like loads of fun, Ms. Perino. Sure wish I was the President and had my hobby ranch to retreat to after your best buddy drops you like an IED with a cellular phone attached.

Damage Done: A Day Late And A Dollar Short, Rove Calls It Quits (And Is No Doubt, Simultaneously Lying To The American People)

By show of hands, how many of you out there are getting tired of politicians tossing in the towel suggesting that they really just desperately want to "spend time with their family?" Just once, I would appreciate some one actually telling us the real reason they are jumping the sinking ship that is the SS W, Rove and Co.

Any one have a real sense as to why Rove is tossing in the white hankie of surrender at this time? Has he been defeated by the Dems? Doubtful. Is the President working some magic before he Rove is indicted for some reason? Maybe. Is the President so desperate that he needs to fire his closest friend to prove he's moving in a new direction even if he isn't? Perhaps.

I came up with this joke on the way to work this morning, as I knew I would be late to the Rove posting and needed something fresh. Howsabout this one:
What do you get when the blossoms on the turd wilt? One stinking pile of shit. Ha, ha....
...but no wait, that's not really a joke, now is it? It's more like the sorry state of affairs for America that The W,Rove and Co have led us to.

Really, let's call this what it is, the Resignation of Uncle Karl is another political parlor trick to get people distracted from the real problems that are facing America. A day late and a dollar short, the resignation of Karl Rove will lead to no significant gain in the positive improvement of the geopolitical climate both abroad and here at home. And you can quote me on that. Hell, Uncle Karl may well be the sole reason why things are so divisive in American Politics today. I hold him fully responsible in that matter.

Do you think the terrorists are dancing in the streets to the tune of this news at this time? Well, I have no idea what makes terrorist happy, but if I was a betting man, my guess would be that OBL is chalking this up as a sweet, minor victory for them. Place one mark in the win column for them. Managing to get the President's best buddy and closest confidant to quit? Hell, that has to be fantastic news for them. Guns blazing into the air, I can hear the dancing chanting Jihadist from here.

For us here on the Home Front, victory is Pyrrhic for all us who despise the direction these men have taken us.

I turn to a more interesting political question: Who is going to hire Uncle Karl next? If it be a GOP candidate for President, will it be the kiss of death or the breath of life? Can you imagine Mitt and Karl teaming up? Most certainly, Karl wouldn't toss his hat into the ring as a candidate himself, would he? That would be Chutzpah with a capital Holy Shit, now wouldn't it?

In case you are wondering what they official line is, here's what the Whitehouse is saying:
11:31 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Karl Rove is moving on down the road. I've been talking to Karl for a while about his desire to spend more time with Darby and Andrew. This is a family that has made enormous sacrifices not only for our beloved state of Texas, but for a country we both love.

We've been friends for a long time, and we're still going to be friends. I would call Karl Rove a dear friend. We've known each other as youngsters interested in serving our state. We worked together so we could be in a position to serve this country. And so I thank my friend. I'll be on the road behind you here in a little bit. I thank Darby and I thank Karl for making a tremendous sacrifice, and I wish you all the very best.

MR. ROVE: Today, I submitted my resignation as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor effective the end of the month. Mr. President, I'm grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve our nation and you. I'm grateful for being able to work with the extraordinary men and women that you've drawn into this administration. And I'm grateful to have been a witness to history. It has been the joy and the honor of a lifetime.

I've seen a man of far-sighted courage put America on a war footing and protect us against a brutal enemy in a dangerous conflict that will shape this new century. I've seen a leader respond to an economy weakened by recession, corporate scandal and terrorist attacks, by taking decisive action to strengthen the economy and create jobs. I've seen a reformer who challenged his administration, the Congress, and the country to make bold changes to important institutions in great need of repair.

Mr. President, the world has turned many times since our journey began. We've been at this a long time. It was over 14 years ago that you began your run for governor, and over 10 years ago that we started thinking and planning about a possible run for the presidency. It has been an exhilarating and eventful time.

Through it all, you've remained the same man. Your integrity, character and decency have remained unchanged and inspiring. Through all those years, I've asked a lot of my family, and they've given all I've asked and more. And now it seems the right time to start thinking about the next chapter in our family's life.

It's not been an easy decision. As you know from our discussions, it started last summer. It always seemed there was a better time to leave somewhere out there in the future. But now is the time. I will miss, deeply miss my work here, my colleagues, and the opportunity to serve you and our nation, Mr. President.

But I look forward to continuing our friendship of 34 years, to being your fierce and committed advocate on the outside, and to the next journey we might make together.

At month's end, I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you. Like them, I will ask for God's continued gifts of strength and wisdom for you and your work, your vital work for our country and the world, and for the Almighty's continued blessing of our great country.

Thank you again for this extraordinary opportunity. (Applause.)

END 11:35 A.M. EDT
Four minutes from the start, I'm wondering, is he taking his GOP sponsored Blackberry with him? Is the ruse about needing to spend more time with his family just a shroud for the fact that Rove's been fired...that he was no longer serving "at the pleasure of the president?"

If there was one man who could write a damning tell-all that would sell giant sums of books, it would be Rove. But could we trust him if he did? Doubtful.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What's Wrong With This President?

There are a litany of problems propagated by the current president. Not the least of which is his habitual use of the "trust-us" approach to making statements that sound plausible, but are completely false. Or, his tendency to think he has the credibility to lead by faith over fact.

Have a look at the first sentence out of his mouth as he tries to "set the record straight" in his last press briefing before a long hiatus to Kennebunkport and then onto his hobby ranch in Texas to cool his heals and clear some brush (while our GIs are still getting pasted in W's much beloved Iraqi Democracy Freedom Spreading Experiment):
When I came into office in 2001, our nation was headed into a recession.
Sounds plausible, but is he accurate? What he is doing, as he usually does, is start off the bat playing the blame game - which he suggested a long while back that he didn't cotton to. It's all Clinton's fault, right?

Really, W's suffering from a real lack of sincerity and is not believable at all, in my book. Have a look at this reply and see if you find his answer credible?
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You speak often about taking care of the troops and honoring their sacrifice. But the family of Corporal Pat Tillman believes there was a cover up regarding his death, and some say perhaps he was even murdered, instead of just friendly fire. At a hearing last week on Capitol Hill your former Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, other officials used some version of "I don't recall" 82 times. When it was his term to step up, Pat Tillman gave up a lucrative NFL career, served his country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Now you have a chance to pledge to the family that your government, your administration will finally get to the bottom of it. Can you make that pledge to the family today, that you'll finally, after seven investigations, find out what really happened?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I can understand why Pat Tillman's family, you know, has got significant emotions, because a man they loved and respected was killed while he was serving his country. I always admired the fact that a person who was relatively comfortable in life would be willing to take off one uniform and put on another to defend America. And the best way to honor that commitment of his is to find out the truth. And I'm confident the Defense Department wants to find out the truth, too, and we'll lay it out for the Tillman family to know.

Q But, Mr. President, there have been seven investigations and the Pentagon has not gotten to the bottom of it. Can you also tell us when you, personally, found out that it was not enemy fire, that it was friendly fire?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't give you the precise moment. But obviously the minute I heard that the facts that people believed were true were not true, that I expect there to be a full investigation and get to the bottom of it.
Okay, I think I know what he's trying to say, but I still don't believe him. Moreover, it leaves a lot of wiggle room for there to be a cover up executed by his run-away Veep who answers to only to himself to orchestrate just such a thing.

Perhaps he didn't know, but he didn't bother to find out the truth and he certainly tolerates being lied to more than I think a president should. Here in lies the rub.

Given: We know for a fact know that the Tillman case was a cover up.

Given: The President came to know about it, but we don't know when.

Given: Obviously the President was not told the truth until much later because, according to his own words above, if he had known about it, he would have started an investigation sooner rather than later.

Given: Pat Tillman was killed a long while back, not just yesterday.

Thus my question: If we know that W's subordinates regularly either lie, don't report, or purposefully mislead the president, how do we know if the president is making decisions based on all available, credible information?

In other words, the president may only be telling the truth because he doesn't know the full scope of what is going on. Let me demonstrate:
Q Thank you, sir. A two-part question. The New Yorker reports that the Red Cross has found the interrogation program in the CIA detention facilities use interrogation techniques that were tantamount to torture. I'm wondering if you have read that report and what your reaction to it is? And the second part of the question is, more than a year ago you said that you wanted to close the detention facility at Guantanamo, and a year later nothing has actually happened in that regard. And the Vice President, Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary are reported to be resisting such a move. I wonder if you could tell us who's really in charge on this issue, are you doing anything about it, do you expect Guantanamo to be open or closed when you leave office?

THE PRESIDENT: I did say it should be a goal of the nation to shut down Guantanamo. I also made it clear that part of the delay was the reluctance of some nations to take back some of the people being held there. In other words, in order to make it work, we've got to have a place for these people to go. I don't know if you noticed a resolution of the Senate the other day, where all but three senators said we don't want these prisoners in the country. I don't know if it was a 97-3 vote, but it was something-to-three vote. In other words, part of the issue, Peter, is the practical issue of, what do we do with the people. And you say nothing has taken place. I strongly disagree with that. First of all, we are working with other nations to send folks back. Again, it's a fairly steep order. A lot of people don't want killers in their midst, and a lot of these people are killers.

Secondly, of course, we want to make sure that when we do send them back, they're treated as humanely as possible. The other issue was whether or not we can get people to be tried. One of the things I'm anxious about, want to see happen, is that there to be trials. Courts have been involved with deciding how to do this, and Defense is trying to work out mechanisms to get the trials up and running. And the sooner we can get that up and running, the better it is, as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to make any predictions about whether Guantanamo will be available or not. I'm just telling you it's a very complicated subject.

And I laid out an aspiration. Whether or not we can achieve that or not, we'll try to. But it is not as easy a subject as some may think on the surface. Again, I refer to you to the Senate vote. When asked whether or not you want to shut down Guantanamo, and therefore receive some of those prisoners in your home state, there didn't seem to be a lot of support for it. Like, three people said, it's okay by me, in the Senate.

Your other question, sir?

Q Red Cross report?

THE PRESIDENT: I haven't seen it. We don't torture.
You see how W can fully and forcefully believe this don't you? People didn't tell him about Abu Gharib until the pictures were released by some one with a real conscience.

It may well be that, indeed, the President is completely wrong here but he still believes it because his employees purposefully keep him out of the loop. Reagan perfected this political ploy, and it's called "plausible deniability." But what it gets America is a president whom we don't know if he's unwittingly or knowingly lying to us.

The Red Cross doesn't usually make shit up, but our government does. See my argument about the Pat Tillman case if you need a hard factual example of this.

Finally, the president has his chance to spill the usual rhetoric and dodge another question for him by diverting the attention to others. I'll not comment at the tail end leaving it to you to chime in on your thoughts in a comment to this post.

Suffice it to say, what's wrong with this president is that he is not credible, believable, or trustworthy by any measure. Thus, when he exhales his political hot air, and launches yet another volley from his Presidential Propaganda Catapult (from the bully pulpit), I don't find I can stomach the opinion because I know that he's being lied to by his staff.
Q Mr. President, I wanted to ask you about accountability. You're a big believer in it, you've talked about it with regard to the public schools. But given the performance of Iraqi leaders, given your decision to commute the sentence of Lewis Libby, you've also stood by the Attorney General recently -- there have been a lot of questions about your commitment to accountability. And I'm wondering if you could give the American people some clear examples of how you've held people accountable during your presidency?

THE PRESIDENT: Lewis Libby was held accountable. He was declared guilty by a jury and he's paid a high price for it.

Al Gonzales -- implicit in your questions is that Al Gonzales did something wrong. I haven't seen Congress say he's done anything wrong. As a matter of fact, I believe, David, we're watching a political exercise. I mean, this is a man who has testified, he's sent thousands of papers up there. There's no proof of wrong. Why would I hold somebody accountable who has done nothing wrong? I mean, frankly, I think that's a typical Washington, D.C. assumption -- not to be accusatory, I know you're a kind, open-minded fellow, but you suggested holding the Attorney General accountable for something he did wrong.

And as a matter of fact, I would hope Congress would become more prone to deliver pieces of legislation that matter, as opposed to being the investigative body. I mean, there have been over 600 different hearings and, yet, they're struggling with getting appropriations bills to my desk.

Q If I could follow -- sorry. Given the decision to commute the sentence of Libby and given the performance of Iraqi leaders, is it fair for people to ask questions about your commitment to accountability?

THE PRESIDENT: I would hope people would say that I am deliberate in my decision-making; I think about all aspects of the decisions I make; and I'm a fair person.

Back to Iraq, no question they haven't made as much progress as I would have hoped. But I also recognize how difficult the task is. And I repeat to you the fundamental question is, does it matter whether or not there is a self-governing entity that's an ally in the war on terror in Iraq? Does it matter? Does it matter to a guy living in Crawford, Texas? Does it matter to your children? As you know from these press conferences, I have come to the conclusion that it does matter. And it does matter because enemies that would like to do harm to the American people would be emboldened by failure.

I recognize there's a debate here in America as to whether or not failure in Iraq would cause there to be more danger here in America. I strongly believe that's the case. It matters if the United States does not believe in the universality of freedom. It matters to the security of people here at home if we don't work to change the conditions that cause 19 kids to be lured onto airplanes to come and murder our citizens.

The first question one has to ask on Iraq is, is it worth it? I could not send a mother's child into combat if I did not believe it was necessary for our short-term and long-term security to succeed in Iraq. Once you come to the conclusion that it's worth it, then the question you must ask is, how difficult is the task of a young democracy emerging? Those who study the Articles of Confederation would recognize that there are difficult moments in young democracies emerging, particularly after, in this case, tyrannical rule.

That's not to say that, Dave, we shouldn't be pushing hard for all opportunities for reconciliation. But for those of us who believe it's worth it, we'll see progress. For those who believe it's not worth it, there is no progress. And that's going to be the interesting debate. And what it's going to come down to is whether or not the United States should be in Iraq and in the region in a position to enable societies to begin to embrace liberty for the long-term. This is an ideological struggle.

Now, I recognize some don't view it as an ideological struggle, but I firmly believe it is an ideological struggle. And I believe it's a struggle between the forces of moderation and reasonableness and good, and the forces of murder and intolerance. And what has made the stakes so high is that those forces of murder and intolerance have shown they have the capacity to murder innocent people in our own country. I put that in the context of accountability.

In the case of Iraq, it's a lot more complicated than just the passage of four laws, even though I would hope they would get the four laws passed. But again, I repeat, the threshold question, does it matter, does it matter to our security here at home? And the answer is, absolutely, it does. It does. And then the second question really for a lot of Americans is, can we succeed? And in my mind, the answer to that is absolutely, not only we must succeed, we can succeed.

Listen, thank you all for your time. I appreciate it.

Spineless Democrats?

Here's another fun Mark Fiore video: enjoy.

Who Is Really Running Our Country?

This quote falls in to the "I'm-not-surprised-but-I-still-find-it-disturbing" category.
“It was relatively easy for me to read the sitting president’s body language after he had talked to his mother or father,” Mr. Card said. “Sometimes he’d ask me a probing question. And I’d think, Hmm, I don’t think that question came from him.”
It begs the question as to who is really running our country. Most certainly, as W packs up and heads to Kennebunkport for the annual Bush family soirée and then onto Texas to play on his hobby ranch, it's not us - you know, the of the people, for the people, by the people brand of us.

Too bad W didn't have better parents.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Treating Terrorists As They Should Be Treated

Found an interesting assortment of articles today. Thought I'd toss them out there for y'all to ruminate on.

The first was suggesting that elevating the status of terrorist from criminals (that they are) to unlawful combatants (which the W, Rove and Co suggests they are), to soldiers (which some people think they are) is really the wrong direction. We should treat them like the criminals they are:
Treating terrorists as combatants is a mistake for two reasons. First, it dignifies criminality by according terrorist killers the status of soldiers. Under the law of war, military service members receive several privileges. They are permitted to kill the enemy and are immune from prosecution for doing so. They must, however, carefully distinguish between combatant and civilian and ensure that harm to civilians is limited.

Critics have rightly pointed out that traditional categories of combatant and civilian are muddled in a struggle against terrorists. In a traditional war, combatants and civilians are relatively easy to distinguish. The 9/11 hijackers, by contrast, dressed in ordinary clothes and hid their weapons. They acted not as citizens of Saudi Arabia, an ally of America, but as members of Al Qaeda, a shadowy transnational network. And their prime targets were innocent civilians.

By treating such terrorists as combatants, however, we accord them a mark of respect and dignify their acts. And we undercut our own efforts against them in the process. Al Qaeda represents no state, nor does it carry out any of a state’s responsibilities for the welfare of its citizens. Labeling its members as combatants elevates its cause and gives Al Qaeda an undeserved status.
Good point. The W, Rove and Co has been a witting mouthpiece, oft trumpeting the Al Qaeda message for political gain for too long. It's time to squash them like the criminals they are and not do them any favors by elevating their status to anything more.

Another article begs us to ask us the question as to what has happened to the W's "surge?" Moreover, why is it that more people have to die for W's failed democracy and "freedom spreading" experiment?
The size of the U.S. force in Iraq has reached nearly 162,000 troops, the largest American presence at any point during the 52 months of the war, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

The increase is the result of the regular replacement of troops and does not represent an additional buildup, said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.

"There is no change to the level of effort and the combat power that we are projecting into Iraq," Whitman said.

Officials reported Tuesday that five more U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq, bringing the total this month to 21, and putting the military on pace to see more than 100 deaths in August. Three of the soldiers were killed Saturday by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad. The two others died Sunday in Baghdad in mortar or rocket attacks. The British military also announced that a British soldier was shot and killed Monday in the southern city of Basra.
When does a "surge" not constitute a surge? Answer: When it's run by the W, Rove and Co. I don't understand the W's strategy at all. Do you?

Well, and to be fair and balanced like Fox News, here's a take on the FISA legislation by some people who clearly have an agenda. It was writing by
David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey are partners in a Washington law firm and served in the Justice Department under presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
They think that FISA goes too far in protecting the rights of Americans. Have a look:
It's true that the foreign targets' U.S. correspondents may be overheard in the surveillance process, just as innocent people are overheard in conversations with court-ordered surveillance targets. No one can reasonably expect that they would not be unintentionally overheard in the course of a lawful surveillance of others. A "reasonable expectation of privacy" is the key here.

Our privacy is compromised daily by government and nongovernment actors. This is the price of living in a modern society. The real question is how to strike the balance between permissible and impermissible invasions of privacy, and what expectations may be reasonable. Americans may, for example, be subject to physical search without a warrant or judicial oversight whenever they leave or enter the United States. The same should apply to electronic communications coming into or going out of the United States; they should not be subject to a more stringent rule.

The real problem with the FISA amendments isn't about civil liberties at all. It is that they allow an unprecedented and constitutionally problematic review of the executive branch's foreign intelligence activities by the FISA court.
Really, if you say so. Right. And why do you think this?
In the last few weeks, however, actions by the FISA court -- requiring the NSA to obtain court orders before intercepting purely foreign communications that simply pass through switches physically located in the United States -- have dramatically reduced the NSA's intelligence "take." As a result, the government was not getting much of the information it needed to "connect the dots" and frustrate future terrorist attacks.
Really, and how do you know this? Is there more leaking going on by the W, Rove and Co? Really, how the bleep can we trust these authors? They are lawyers after all...and they did work for republicans. I think Reagan is turning over in his grave right now vomiting his last diner over this crazy "trust us because we said so" brand of logic to squeeze the rights of the people.

This goes back to my identification of the fatal flaw of the W, Rove and Co, which you should have read yesterday.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

The Disturbing Thing About The Bush Administration

A friend of mine pointed me to a forthcoming article in the New Yorker Magazine that all in the blogisphere might like to view. In it, we find out the fundamental flaw that has led the W, Rove and Co to the painful situation our country is now married to in Iraq. It's this: That leadership by faith often trumps leadership by fact.

Even absent evidence, they tend to lend heaping sums of credence to disastrously faulty intelligence.No, I'm not talking about the WMD boondoggle and charade that lead Libby to prison and a commutation.

I'm talking about the on going situation revolving around the investigation of Daniel Pearl's murder case. Have a look and then keep reading at the link:
In March, Mariane Pearl, the widow of the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, received a phone call from Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General. At the time, Gonzales’s role in the controversial dismissal of eight United States Attorneys had just been exposed, and the story was becoming a scandal in Washington. Gonzales informed Pearl that the Justice Department was about to announce some good news: a terrorist in U.S. custody—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda leader who was the primary architect of the September 11th attacks—had confessed to killing her husband. (Pearl was abducted and beheaded five and a half years ago in Pakistan, by unidentified Islamic militants.) The Administration planned to release a transcript in which Mohammed boasted, “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.”

Pearl was taken aback. In 2003, she had received a call from Condoleezza Rice, who was then President Bush’s national-security adviser, informing her of the same news. But Rice’s revelation had been secret. Gonzales’s announcement seemed like a publicity stunt. Pearl asked him if he had proof that Mohammed’s confession was truthful; Gonzales claimed to have corroborating evidence but wouldn’t share it. “It’s not enough for officials to call me and say they believe it,” Pearl said. “You need evidence.” (Gonzales did not respond to requests for comment.)
What this really does is confound the process of extracting people, who may or may not have a connection with terrorism, and base the action on simply your say so. I've said this before, but the days of "trust-us" we're with the W, Rove and Co are over.

Really, have we ever operated with a government that we could completely trust? I don't think so. Our founding fathers were justifiably dubious about the trustworithiness of an institution that grants powers, particularly the brand of absolute power the W, Rove and Co. is continuing to acquire.

Who was it that said...power corrupts, absolute power corrupts, absolutely?" Oh, yeah...."four legs good, two legs bad"...I get it.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

"Islamification" or Simply Serving The Customer

This may be old news, but I just had a friend point me to an article about the University of Michigan at Dearborn installing foot washing stations to accommodate the religious desires of nearly 10% of it's student population.
DEARBORN, Mich. — When pools of water began accumulating on the floor in some restrooms at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the sinks pulling away from the walls, the problem was easy to pinpoint. On this campus, more than 10 percent of the students are Muslims, and as part of ritual ablutions required before their five-times-a-day prayers, some were washing their feet in the sinks.

The solution seemed straightforward. After discussions with the Muslim Students’ Association, the university announced that it would install $25,000 foot-washing stations in several restrooms.

But as a legal and political matter, that solution has not been quite so simple. When word of the plan got out this spring, it created instant controversy, with bloggers going on about the Islamification of the university, students divided on the use of their building-maintenance fees, and tricky legal questions about whether the plan is a legitimate accommodation of students’ right to practice their religion — or unconstitutional government support for that religion.

Some have said that this constitutes the "Islamification" (as if that was a real word and derogatory too boot) of the University. Given the population around Dearborn tends toward a large number of Muslim people of all stripes, it seems to me that it makes practical business sense.

Since when is serving your customer a crime in a capitalist society? Perhaps, we all should periodically wash our feet through out the day. Even if it weren't for religious reasons, maybe there is some solid hygienic reason for it. It was good enough for Jesus, no?

Monday, August 06, 2007

What Else Is A President Supposed To Say?

I never quite figured out why members of the MSM continue to ask the President questions that don't have any other response than what you would expect. For example, today, a reporter lucky enough to have an audience at Camp David with the President asks:
Q Mr. President, if you had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of top al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, would you wait for Musharraf's permission to send in U.S. forces, even if it meant missing an opportunity to take them out? Or have you and Musharraf worked out some deal about this already?

And President Karzai, what will be your top concern when you meet with Musharraf later this week?
Well, gee, what do you think the president will say? Of course:
PRESIDENT BUSH: I am confident that with actionable intelligence, we will be able to bring top al Qaeda to justice. We're in constant communications with the Pakistan government. It's in their interest that foreign fighters be brought to justice. After all, these are the same ones who were plotting to kill President Musharraf. We share a concern. And I'm confident, with real actionable intelligence, we will get the job done.
You see, there is no other appropriate answer. So why ask the question? Nothing to see here, but foolish waist of time, yours, mine, and the Presidents. But with all the means at his disposal, he hasn't been able to stop them yet, so why should we believe that W's strategy is the right one to get us out of this situation? But I digress.

Later on in the unscripted portion of this "Joint Press Availablity," we see the man for who he is as his thought process unravels.

For example, here's a legit question:
Q I will ask in Pashto and then I will translate my question. My question is for Mr. Karzai. (Speaking Pashto.) I will repeat in English, too. Four years ago, in a press conference, Mr. President Karzai said Taliban do not pose any threat to Afghan people. So who do you think supported Taliban to threaten the security by doing kidnappings and taking the government officials, and why?
Never mind Karzai's reply. Here's what your president had to say after Karzai spoke:
PRESIDENT BUSH: One thing is for certain: We know the vision -- their vision of how to govern. They've been in power. They've had the opportunity to show the world how they think and what they do. It's instructive for people to speak to a mother of a young girl about what life was like under the Taliban. These are brutal, cold-blooded killers.
Say what? How does this explain the juxtaposition of yesteryear with today? Karzai say's "yes," but I'm not certain he understood W either. Bush continues to dig himself a rhetorical hole:
PRESIDENT BUSH: That's what they are. And the fundamental question facing those of us who believe in freedom is whether or not we confront them, and whether or not it's worth it -- the effort -- to spread an alternative to their hateful vision. And we've come to the conclusion it is. And that's why President Karzai stands right here at Camp David, discussing common concerns, common opportunities, about how to defeat a vision of darkness. That's what they are. They just don't believe in freedom. They don't believe it's possible to live in a society where people are allowed to express themselves in free fashion.

And it's really part of an ongoing challenge that the free world faces. The real question is whether or not those of us who have the blessings of liberty will continue to pursue policies -- foreign policy, security policy aimed at not only protecting our homeland, but aimed at laying a condition for peace to prevail.
But, Mr. Bush, you haven't offered any remote kind of answer to a very legitimate question. Moreover, we know nothing about your strategy to accomplish these lofty goals.

If we go further, we find an obvious point at which we know for certain that Bush is lying, outright. I'll show you. Here's another legit question:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. President Karzai said yesterday that he believed Iran was playing a helpful role in Afghanistan. Was he able to convince you in your meetings that that was the case, or do you still have concerns about Iran's role? And I have a question for President Karzai as well. Just wondering if the President was able to give you the assurances that you sought about the effort to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan?
Now, get ready, see if you can spot the outright fabrication here. It happens in the first two sentences and unravels from there. Note, that he even confuses the order of his points mixing thirdly with secondly and the like:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me comment on the civilian casualties, if I might. First, I fully understand the angst, the agony and the sorrow that Afghan citizens feel when an innocent life is lost. I know that must cause grief in villages and heartbreak in homes. Secondly, I can assure the Afghan people, like I assured the President, that we do everything we can to protect the innocent; that our military operations are mindful that innocent life might be exposed to danger, and we adjust accordingly.

Thirdly, it is the Taliban who surround themselves with innocent life as human shields. The Taliban are the cold-blooded killers. The Taliban are the murderers. The Taliban have no regard for human life. And therefore, we've spent some time talking about -- as the President rightly expressed his concerns about civilian casualty. And I assured him that we share those concerns.

Secondly, it's up to Iran to prove to the world that they're a stabilizing force as opposed to a destabilizing force. After all, this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon. This is a government that is in defiance of international accord, a government that seems to be willing to thumb its nose at the international community and, at the same time, a government that denies its people a rightful place in the world and denies its people the ability to realize their full potential.

So I believe that it's in the interests of all of us that we have an Iran that tries to stabilize, not destabilize; an Iran that gives up its weapons ambitions. And therefore, we're working to that end. The President knows best about what's taking place in his country, and of course, I'm willing to listen. But from my perspective, the burden of proof is on the Iranian government to show us that they're a positive force. And I must tell you that this current leadership there is a big disappointment to the people of Iran. The people of Iran could be doing a lot better than they are today. But because of the actions of this government, this country is isolated. And we will continue to work to isolate it, because they're not a force for good, as far as we can see. They're a destabilizing influence wherever they are.

Now, the President will have to talk to you about Afghanistan. But I would be very cautious about whether or not the Iranian influence there in Afghanistan is a positive force -- and therefore, it's going to be up to them to prove to us and prove to the government that they are.
I call bullshit when I see it. And it's thickly delivered by your President. Anyone living in the USA that pretends they can identify with the Afghani who, after years of prosecution by the Taliban, to be "liberated" and surviving the invasion by the USA, and then has their baby child killed in an explosion (either perpetrated by the Taliban or the US Troops)has to have been smoking the GOP crack pipe too long and inhaling too deeply. To say that one "understands" the Afghani perspective in the loss of innocent life is purely reprehensible and an outright fabrication. Is any one else as offended by that comment?

Well, in the end, it's indeed interesting that the President would have people prove to him what will and will not work when he can't even defend his own strategy. Remember, he's got the scapegoat in waiting/training and he goes by the name of Dave Petraeus: And the artificial deadline of 15 September.
As Wesley Clark explained at YearlyKos on Friday, Petraeus is executing the president's Iraq policy, not the other way around. "Mr. President we're not questioning the generals, we're questioning you," Clark said. "Stop hiding behind Dave Petraeus and come out and defend your strategy. It's your strategy. You defend it."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Makem Go Braugh

Another news item that I didn't pick up from the MSM...Tommy Makem passed away 1 Aug. I'll raise a glass for him on Sunday night and sing a song at my local pub in his memory. I encourage you to do the same.

Blog on friends

Is W's War Still Worth It?

Grab the Kleenex box if you dare read this article. Dry eyes won't remain so. Here's a slice:
It took less than a week for his body to reach home. Joane wanted to see her husband one last time. He had taken the worst of the blast, and a funeral director decided on a closed casket. The casualty officer assigned to the case — he wasn't anyone she knew — dodged questions about Greg's wounds, trying to spare her an awful memory. But she was determined. Finally, they took her to see him. His body was arranged in full dress and ribbons. His head was covered, but she could at least hold his hand.
Is W's war - the "great" ideological struggle and democracy, freedom spreading experiment - still worth it?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"The White Tree:" An Injustice Story - Subtitle - Why Does White Libby Get Off Scott Free When Black Men Receive Harsher Sentences For Lesser Crimes?

One of my favorite locations that I haven't visited in a while (GNN) is looking for a few good videos. Here's the teaser that I think folks may be interested in viewing.


The video lead me to this question: Why does a white Mr. Libby get out of jail free when black men receive substantially harsher sentences for substantially lesser crimes?