Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Which Threat Is Worse: Global Warming Or Terrorism?

After Gore and Co. won their Oscar for the Inconvenient Truth, I thought I would hunker down and actually watch it, particularly since it arrived via Netflix a couple weeks ago and I hadn't even cracked the seal. I do have to say, the movie is rather disturbing, particularly the projected levels of CO2 for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, the video brought to my mind several very important question beyond what to do about changing our habits to reduce CO2 emissions and our dependency on and addiction to carbon based energy derivatives. Let's roll this out...drum roll please...as

Windspike's Topics For Tuesday
  1. Which threat is worse: Global Warming or Terrorism?

  2. Which threat resolution receives the most in terms of dollars spent to solve?

  3. Which solution investment has a higher potential return on investment?

P.S. I rode my bicycle to work today. What did you do today to reduce your carbon emissions?

Don't "You See A Contradiction At All?"

Let's just let this spin cycle stand on it's own. You have got to love the W, Rove and Co's ability to duck hypocrisy. Have a look:
Q Do you see a contradiction at all in the fact that when the Brits pull out, it's a success on the ground, that's why they're pulling out; when the Democrats call for U.S. troop pullout, it's, well, the job is not finished, they want to help al Qaeda.

MR. SNOW: No. Maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough. The Brits were pulling out a small number of forces precisely because they were able to transition authority to the Iraqis and they had succeeded. This was not withdrawing on a time line; this was not saying, we're going to leave no matter what. The goal of the Brits is to win. And the goal in some of these resolutions is to leave. There is a difference.
Okay, I can't resist - there's more fun in the Tony's briefing from Monday, and if you look closely enough, you can see him expose the W, Rove and Co for who they really are - dividers instead of uniters:
Q Can I just follow one point about the Vice President's comments, because the President said again today he's not questioning the patriotism of those who disagree. But isn't it disingenuous to go out there and say that when you've got a Vice President saying that the Democrats are basically validating al Qaeda strategy?

MR. SNOW: No.

Q And at the same time you guys say you want an honest debate about this out there -- that's an honest part of the debate?

MR. SNOW: No, actually, it's a little surprising that -- number one, the President has made it clear that he doesn't impugn patriotism. What he impugned was an idea, a bad idea. And if in taking on a bad idea, somehow you suddenly get accused of being the bad guy, that's not a way of having an open debate, that's a way of shutting off debate and saying, we don't want to talk about this.

The fact is you do have to talk about what the consequences would be, David, if the United States -- that United States Congress --

Q But you argue this point as if there's no other consequence. In other words, you guys -- you -- the Vice President makes it seem as if there's only one alternative. And Democrats say, wait a minute, this is a failed strategy and they keep asserting what the alternative is, but they've made faulty claims before. So what I'm getting at is, this administration has consistently equated critics with supporting terrorists, even after they said they weren't going to do that anymore.

MR. SNOW: No, no --

Q And that's what the President -- that's what the Vice President is saying.

MR. SNOW: No, what you've just done is you've twisted it, and this, I think, is what some of the President's critics have also done. We're trying to be very careful here. Just because we disagree with you does not mean we don't think you're patriotic. Just because we think that an idea may have bad consequences and adverse consequences for American security, it does not mean that the people who are trying to come up with those ideas do not have the noblest of motives.

We think the ideas have bad consequences. And, furthermore, in this case -- again, I refer you back to the National Intelligence Estimate, and also the Baker-Hamilton commission, which came to precisely the same conclusion. This was framed in a way that was not designed to be ugly to Nancy Pelosi or anybody else -- and I must say that the personal insults tend to flow in the direction of the President and not from the President. We do not believe engaging in mud slinging and name calling toward other -- to people on either side of the aisle.

But it is important to understand, David, that as part of the robust debate about what happens, you do have to be honest about what you think the consequences of the other people's ideas are. And that's what the Vice President was doing, and I think I've pointed out a number of times now that it certainly has pretty distinguished support, both from the intelligence community and Baker-Hamilton.

Meanwhile, The W, Rove and Co Continues On Their Taxpayer Dollar Spending Binge

In case you were wondering what The Big Dick Cheney is doing galavanting about the globe on AirForce 2, don't ask the government or you will get a big, swift, kick in the ass:
Q What's the purpose of the Vice President's trip, swing through these countries?

MR. SNOW: Well, he's visiting a number of important allies.

Q And what is he doing? I mean, is he carrying --

MR. SNOW: He's having conversations. He's had conversations with Prime Minister Howard; he has spoken with President Musharraf; he had a stop in Oman. I mean, these are things that you do. A Vice President is somebody who, serving as the President's designee and representative, is speaking with important allies in the war on terror.

Q They are rare trips for him. He doesn't travel that much.

MR. SNOW: Well, he's traveling this week.

Q Does he have a message for these people?

MR. SNOW: Well, if he does, it is not one that -- he will deliver it to them.

Q Don't you think we think we ought to know?

MR. SNOW: No. I mean -- and I'm not being glib about this -- what I'm telling you is the general message is, yes, we support you and we want to help you in the war on terror. But a lot of times the desire is for very long readouts of the candid conversations the Vice President may have with other leaders, and we do not give those out and other administrations do not give those out.

Q I don't want a readout, I just want to know what you're telling them.

MR. SNOW: What we're telling them is we're supporting them in the war on terror, and we look forward to working with them in each and every way possible to be more effective in going after those who are trying to contribute to a global terror network that is determined not only to destroy democracy in that region, but also wants to come here.

Let's see, do you trust these people to do what is right for American interests?
The demands that Americans refrain from criticism of the war and the Leader have nothing to do with trying to create unity so that troop morale remains high. What they really want is the ability to continue to lie to Americans about Iraq without being challenged.

The reason our mission in Iraq has proven to be so disastrous and corrupt is very simple -- the advocates and architects of that war are completely corrupt, inept, and deceitful. Recognizing this fact and ceasing to accord people like this respect and credibility is infinitely more important than any specific debates over particular policy or strategic questions. Everywhere Joe Lieberman goes, he should be asked by journalists why anyone should listen to anything he says, or believe anything he says, in light of his history of deceitful statements and tragically wrong assertions, beginning with his 2005 Op-Ed which today he completely repudiates while pretending he never said any of it.

These are people who are completely bereft of judgment and integrity, and their behavior has wreaked incalculable and arguably unprecedented damage on our country. Holding them accountable, and recognizing them for what they are, is critical not only for cleansing our deeply poisoned political system, but also for averting identical, or worse, tragedies in the very near future.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tying Hands Of The W, Rove and Co.

Of course, Condi and her compadres in the W, Rove and Co are in full spin mode trying to suggest that any attempt to block their strategy in Iraq is another weapon for the terrorists. Correct me if I am wrong, but the system of checks and balances was established by our founding fathers to prevent the deployment of absolute power given how it corrupts to. Thusly, as to whether tying the hands that brought us the Iraq conflagration is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder, no?
Asked if he was "tying the hands of the commander in chief," he answered in part: "Of course we're trying to tie the hands of the president and his policy. We're trying to change the policy. And if someone wants to call that 'tying the hands' instead of 'changing the policy' — yeah, the president needs a check and a balance."
This may be a day late and a trillion dollars and many thousands KIA short, but what say you, blogisphere participants?

Meanwhile, it's important to suggest one more time that, becuase the W, Rove and Co ignored the history, we are destined to repeat it:
Maude had arrived in Baghdad after a long and arduous military campaign. British forces had been fighting the Ottoman army for 2 1/2 years and had suffered one of the worst defeats of World War I in the six-month siege of the eastern city of Kut, which had ended in an ignominious surrender to the Turks in April 1916.

Having rallied from that loss and finally reached Baghdad, Maude tried to create common cause between the British army and the city's residents, whom he saw as having been oppressed by 400 years of Ottoman rule. "Your lands have been subject to tyranny," he declared in his proclamation, and "your wealth has been stripped from you by unjust men and squandered." He promised that it was not "the wish of the British Government to impose upon you alien institutions." Instead, he called on residents to manage their own civil affairs "in collaboration with the political representatives of Great Britain."

Maude did not live to see the failure of his efforts to rally the people of Iraq to the British occupation. He died eight months later, having contracted cholera from a glass of milk.

After his death, British policy toward Iraq changed repeatedly as the army attempted to dominate the country and suppress the population, while the government strove to adjust to Britain's diminished role in the international system after WWI. Initially, the aim was simply to annex the territory and make it part of the Empire, run in a fashion similar to India.


Blog on friends, blog on all.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Knowing What We Know Now, Was It Right To Go Into Iraq?

You can't get any more definitive than the following response that the Big Dick Cheney unleashed at yet another Australian based opportunity to fire the Presidential Propaganda Catapult:
Q Sir, looking back now you would say the strategic calculus, it was right to mount the Iraq operation?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q The benefits outweigh the negatives?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do, indeed, believe that.
That about sums it up.

The Big Dick, isn't going to taint his record by saying otherwise, now is he? But really, it looks as if he was interviewed by the Australian equivalent of Fox News. The reporter pitched him nice lobs, slowly, so he could swing for the bleachers. Just have a look at the arsenal unleashed on Friday. How I wish he would sit down one day under oath to answer questions pitched by Helen Thomas, please just once:
Q Sir, welcome to Australia. And thank you very much for making time to see me.
Q Of course, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about Iraq. But I wondered, sir, if I might start with Iran. And I'd like to ask you how dangerous for the world would a nuclear-armed Iran be?
Q And, sir, how far away from having nuclear weapons, do you think Iran is?
Q How bad is their interference in Iraq?
Q So would you share Senator McCain's formulation that the only thing worse than a military confrontation with Iran is a nuclear-armed Iran?
Q Sir, on Iraq, what will success look like?
Q Sir, without providing the terrorists a date, do you have any sense of a time frame for when that might likely evolve, that situation?
Q Sir, Australia has been in Iraq and Afghanistan with the United States from the very beginning. But the troop numbers have been relatively small. Do you believe the Australian contribution has been meaningful -- militarily meaningful in both those theaters?
Q Would it be a significant setback if all Australian combat troops were withdrawn from Iraq?
Q Sir, under President Bush and Prime Minister Howard, the U.S.-Australia alliance has become very close. There's a new level of intelligence sharing and so forth. Have you been happy to participate in that process? Would you say the alliance is now closer than it was when President Bush came to office, closer than it's been perhaps?
Q The new arrangements between Australia and the U.S. in areas like intelligence, do you think they'll outlive President Bush and Prime Minister Howard? Do you think there's a new institutional closeness between the two countries that will live on?
Q Sir, you've been Vice President a long time now --
Q What's the highlight for you personally of being Vice President, your time in office?
Q Sir, are you concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism around the world, that this compromises the ability of free people to achieve the security ends that are necessary?
Q Do you think that's a realistic danger, sir?
Q Sir, looking back now you would say the strategic calculus, it was right to mount the Iraq operation?
Q The benefits outweigh the negatives?
Q And the same must apply to the U.S. allies, too, sir.
Q Finally, sir, on North Korea. Do you have any reason to be optimistic that deal will hold given North Korea's history?
Q Yes, indeed. Sir, thank you very much, indeed.
Where's the liberal bias the Reichwingers oft lament? Certainly not in any outlet where the Big Dick sits for an interview.

Meanwhile, we see a better question pitched at Friday's Whitehouse press briefing. Let's see if you are satisfied with the answer:
Q To reiterate my earlier question, since British troops are so seasoned and successful, why don't they go to Baghdad, instead of leaving town?

MR. FRATTO: Yes, they're not -- what the British intend to do, if conditions permit, is to reduce their forces in the regions they're operating in. That was the mission that the British troops were given. They see themselves as being able to fulfill that mission and be able to draw down some of those troops.

They're also looking at the possibility of increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan. That's part of their mission, also, and that's a mission that we support. Our mission, the mission that U.S. forces are taking is to bring stability to Baghdad and other parts of the country.
Is there something that the British did that we are not doing? Certainly, if the Whitehouse suggests the British are drawing down troops because things are better where they opperate, maybe we can learn a thing or two. Moreover, the fact that they are withdrawing instead of shifting to assist in the W, Rove and Co. much loved "surge," is saying a whole lot.

Well, and the truth of the matter is that the "coalition of the willing," is shrinking leaving the US the Iraq albatross weighing heavy around our necks.
Q Even some of the multinational forces have interpreted it differently. The Italians were there under that, and they're gone now. The Koreans were there; they're leaving.

MR. FRATTO: That's true, but there are still a significant number of countries represented there, they comprise the multinational force, and the U.N. Security Council resolution speaks to the multinational force. It's very clear.
Well, they are talking about the 2002 UN resolution regarding Iraq. However, now that Saddam is gone, and we have installed a new government, might it not be null? Moreover, if the true definition of what is happening in Iraq is no longer a war on terror, but a policing effort in an ever growing civil war, might it also not apply?
Q Can I go back to the 2002 authorization? In fact, Saddam Hussein is gone. There were no weapons of mass destruction. You say it's still broad enough that it applies today, the 2002 authorization. Does that mean it also applies, then, to U.S. troops being caught or fighting in the middle of a civil war, as some people have described the situation?

MR. FRATTO: What the authorization refers to very, very specifically, is the use of force in strictly enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions. And that's the authority under which we're operating. And the U.N. Security Council resolutions call for multinational forces to support the government of Iraq and bring stability to that region. And so that's where we're operating.
And thus far, have we achieved that mission - which by the way, wasn't the original mission?

Which brings us smack back to the original question asked and answered at the top of this post by the Big Dick himself. Given what we know now, was it right to go into Iraq?

Let us know your thoughts.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

"It's Not A Fight We Can Win Using The Strategies From Other Wars."

Today, you may have learned that things are not going all too swimmingly for The Big Dick Cheney as he traipses about Australia on our Tax Dollars. You may not know what he is slinging there.

Have a look at this and ask yourself, does it look like the W, Rove and Co follows it's own advice?
We've never had a fight like this, and it's not a fight we can win using the strategies from other wars.
Really, then why does it look like we are using traditional methods to fight the war in Iraq?
An enemy that operates in the shadows, and views the entire world as a battlefield, is not one that can be contained or deterred.
Really, why would you set yourself up for that kind of failure?
An enemy with fantasies of martyrdom is not going to sit down at a table for peaceful negotiations.
Okay, but why mention this and not announce some new kind of strategy that might be wholesale different than a "troop surge," which looks a lot like more of the same tired war strategies deployed over the last 50 years by US military operatives?
The only option for our security and survival is to go on the offensive -- face the threat directly, patiently, and systematically, until the enemy is destroyed. (Applause.)
Sure, but then why did we invade Iraq when there weren't any terrorists there in the first place? Surely, it was a strategic blunder to do so rather then utilize our resources in a much more adroit and narrowly targeted plan that aimed specifically at the real terrorists?
The war on terror is more than a contest of arms, and more than a test of will. It is a battle of ideas.
Really, how does one win a battle of ideas by blowing the shit out of a country that didn't deserve it?
We now know to a certainty that when people across the Middle East are denied all freedom, and left to the mercy of fanatical tyrants and false prophets, that is a direct strategic concern of free nations everywhere.
If that is the main concern, then why don't we point our guns at the House of Saud? They have been persecuting their peoples living on their lands for a long time - this is not to say they treat other Saudis badly. No, they give out great sums of money from their oil gains to their people. Even so, their women can't drive, vote or go out without being completely covered. Is that freedom?
By taking the side of moderates, reformers, and advocates for democracy; by providing an alternative to hateful ideologies; we improve the chances for a lasting peace, and we advance our own security interests.
The real litmus test here is if this is actually happening in places like Iraq or Afghanistan. So far, the jury is still out on those qualifications. And the wild ass guesses these people made to drive their actions have been extremely costly.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mission Creep, Strategic Drift, And An Unending War: Just The Recipe For Success In Iraq

Why the W, Rove and Co continues predict the future in some areas but not others is an obvious political gambit to gain support for their agenda. Here's the most recent:
The terrorists also know that as freedom takes hold, the ideologies of hatred and resentment will lose their appeal, and the advance of liberty, equality and self government in the broader Middle East will lead to a much safer world for our children and our grandchildren...We know that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. We know that if we leave Iraq before the mission is completed, the enemy is going to come after us. Having seen our interests attacked repeatedly over the years, and knowing the ambitions of the terrorists, this nation has made a decision: We will engage these enemies. We will face them far from home, so we do not have to face them on the streets of our own cities.
Trouble is, that when the Big Dick Cheney suggest things are getting better in Iraq and then claim that withdrawing troops would be harmful to the war on terror, he does it in the face of the British move to withdrawal their troops. If withdrawing troops is good enough for the British, why not for our troops in harms way?
This isn’t the first reduction in the British contingent, which originally numbered 40,000. But it comes at a time of spiraling violence in Iraq and emboldened opposition in Washington to Mr. Bush’s disastrous war. It also comes as Mr. Blair is preparing to leave office, painfully aware that popular fury over the war threatens to overwhelm his entire legacy.

The British announcement has already served as the catalyst for other departures. Denmark, with 460 troops under British command, announced yesterday that it would leave by August. With the Pentagon already straining to find enough soldiers for Iraq, a troop drawdown by its most militarily capable ally can only add to the strain — and to the clamor for bringing American forces home as well.
There's nothing artificial about those deadlines. Are the terrorists more or less emboldened by the announcements? Who can say for sure, really?

What we do know is that the coalition of the willing is getting smaller and smaller. Moreover, I've always wondered this: Why is it that the coalition of the willing never included troops from nations of Arabian persuasion? If this really was a decisive struggle as the W, Rove and Co. suggest, the coalition would be getting larger and more inclusive, not shrinking and more exclusive, no? You can go to this link for a list of the actual number of troops provided by coalition members, if you are curious.

Surely, when you have trusted republicans suggesting that the Iraq war is "A train wreck," perhaps we need a new approach rather than stay the course or more of the same (read: surge).

Perhaps, it is time to turn the “Global War on Terror” off, and turn it onto what it really should be - a war on Al Qaeda. Instead, we get mission creep, strategic drift, and an unending war that will be about as successful as the never ending, republican initiated "war on drugs." Really, when the Big Dick Cheney says,
Every member of our military can be certain that America will stay on the offensive in the war on terror.
when will we know that we are done? Mr. Cheney, the American People don't issue blank checks forever, even if the entire Republican controlled congress voted to support your war at the outset. But, remember, the war in Iraq was supported before all the facts were laid on the table.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

When The Big Dick Talks, Does Anyone Listen?

In the odd event that you had nothing to do this AM and tuned into the Big Dick Cheney's interview on ABC News, you would realize that nothing had changed about the tune the W, Rove and Co is singing.

Moreover, the MSM is tossing nothing but slow pitch softballs at these people.

It's a short interview so let's pick it apart:
Q So, Mr. Vice President, Tony Blair is announcing that the British are beginning their withdrawal from Iraq. Are you concerned about that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, they've indicated for some time now that they were going to make adjustments based on conditions on the ground. I think they believe that in southern Iraq, that Basra region where they've been most active, we have made significant progress. And I think that's one of the reasons they feel that they can draw down their forces there. I believe they're at the same time continuing to be very active in Afghanistan. And they'll continue with some forces in Iraq, but it won't be the same level it was at before.

Q But how does it look to the American people to see our most important ally begin to pull their troops out as we're actually sending more troops in?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I look at it, and what I see is an affirmation of the fact that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well. The focus that we've had, obviously, is Baghdad and the decision the President made to surge troops into Baghdad. The Baghdad Security Plan is based on conditions in Baghdad.

But in fact, I talked to a friend just the other day, a guy who knows the region very well, has spent a lot of years in that part of the world who had driven from Baghdad down to Basra in seven hours, found the situation dramatically improved compared to where it was a year or so ago, sort of validated the British view that they have made progress in southern Iraq, and that they can therefore afford to reduce their force posture.
So, you have an unnamed friend who thinks it's better now than it was when? Who is this friend and why don't you tell us who it is if you expect us to believe the veracity of your statement?

By the way, if it's good enough for the British to draw down troops, why can't we?

Here's another interesting question:
Q Now regarding the U.S. surge, the Congress is now on record opposing the President's policy --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, the House is on record with a Sense of the Congress resolution.

Q Does it matter?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it's an important debate. I think it's important to remember that this is a Sense of the Congress resolution, that it doesn't have any binding impact or effect. It's still hung up in the Senate because the Democrats haven't agreed to allow our guys to vote on a resolution they'd like to have a vote on which would be a commitment not to reduce funding for the troops when they're in the field. So there's a certain amount of politics involved, I suppose.

The important thing is that we go forward with a successful strategy to prevail in Iraq. Ultimately, this ought to be about winning in Iraq, not about posturing on Capitol Hill. And I think the important debate will come up down the road when we get time to vote, for example, on the supplemental, or if there are votes in the meantime that do have a significant impact, have a binding impact, if you will, especially with respect to appropriations.

Q Because Congressman Murtha and Speaker Pelosi have made it clear that what they would like to do is they would like to stop the surge. Can they do it? Do they have the power to stop the surge?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't think so. The question is whether or not they have the votes. Jack Murtha is an old friend of mine. We've done a lot of business together over the years. When I was Secretary of Defense, he was perhaps my closest ally on Capitol Hill. Jack clearly has a different perspective. With respect to Iraq, I think he's dead wrong. I think, in fact, if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we'll do is validate the al Qaeda strategy. The al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people -- in fact, knowing they can't win in a stand-up fight, try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit.

I think that's exactly the wrong course to go on. I think that's the course of action that Speaker Pelosi and Jack Murtha support. I think it would be a huge mistake for the country.
Well, I don't think that the strategy of Al Queda is what the Veep says it is. Moreover, how is drawing down troops the same thing as quitting? The British are drawing down troops, are they quitting?

How can such a complex geopolitical situation resting on a foundation over a thousand of years of hatred be boiled down to such a simple, dualistic perspective - "they win when we quit." Really, just because you disagree with some one doesn't make you right, Mr. Vice President.

To answer to the question as to if it matters, no, the opinion of the people don't matter on iota; Not to the W, Rove and co.
Q Now you just made a very clear statement in your speech saying the American people do not support a policy of retreat.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I believe that.
But isn't drawing down troops different than retreat?
Q Is that policy that we hear from the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi -- from other Democrats, is that a policy of defeat?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
A swing and a hit! Wow, where is the liberal media bias when you need it?

Need another to swing for the bleachers, Mr. Cheney?
Q So the American people don't stand with the Democrats, what the Democrats are trying to do?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think the American people want to see first and foremost success in Iraq. I think the preference would be -- even those who are not happy with the current situation, given a choice would prefer a situation in which we succeed in Iraq in terms of being able to deal with the security situation, turn things over to the Iraqis so the Iraqis can govern themselves. But I think to do what Nancy Pelosi is suggesting -- and she's made it very clear on many occasions that she, in fact, wants to get out -- that that's exactly the wrong medicine. It's the wrong course of action. It will do nothing but encourage the terrorists. And it will have the devastating long-term consequences in the global war on terror.

You can't look at Iraq in isolation. You've got to look at it in terms of its impact, what we're doing in Afghanistan, what we're doing in Pakistan, what we're doing in Saudi Arabia. All those areas are part of the global battlefield, if you will, and you can't quit in one place and then persuade all your allies who are helping you in all those other theaters, if you will, to continue the fight. So the thing we need to do is to let the President's strategy have an opportunity to work. The Senate just confirmed Dave Petraeus unanimously -- not a single vote against him -- and then you've got a lot of senators turning around saying, but, we don't want to give you the resources you need to do the job we've asked you to do for us. So I do think that the important thing here is that we support the troops and we support the strategy, that we give it a chance to work, and that we not lose sight of the fact that our ultimate objective has to be victory.
Supporting the troops, in my book is qualitatively different than supporting the strategy. In fact, and I've said this before, you can have absolutely no confidence in this Administration and their handling of the war and still support the troops.

But the Big Dick Cheney would have you believe and think those two notions are one and the same.
Q And I wanted to ask you -- you probably heard John McCain again come out and say that your friend Donald Rumsfeld is perhaps the worst Secretary of Defense ever. What do you make of that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I just fundamentally disagree with John. John said some nasty things about me the other day, and then next time he saw me, ran over to me and apologized. Maybe he'll apologize to Rumsfeld.

Q So what's your take on where Secretary Rumsfeld fits in?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think Don's a great Secretary [sic]. I know a little bit about the job. I've watched what he's done over there for six years. I think he did a superb job in terms of managing the Pentagon under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. He and John McCain had a number of dust-ups over policy, didn't have anything to do with Iraq -- other issues that were involved. John's entitled to his opinion. I just think he's wrong.
Well, that's a wild speculation - that Rummy would get an apology from McCain.
Q And I know we're just about out of time, but I wanted to clarify, Senator McCain had said that the problem with President Bush is he listened to you too much. So this is what he was apologizing to you for?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, yes.

Q What did he say?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, he came up to me on the floor a couple of days later, the next time I was on the floor of the Senate, said he'd been quoted out of context, and then basically offered an apology which I was happy to accept.
Can we check that with Mr. McCain? Would he support the Veep's story here? Simply because the Veep says it's so, doesn't make it so.

Where is the investigative journalism and the veracity check?
Q Another senator that's been involved in this debate is, of course, Senator Clinton. Now, Senator Clinton has been trying to figure out whether or not she should apologize for her vote in favor of the resolution. She has just come out and said that she is not going to apologize for that vote, that if people want to hold that against her, they should find other people to vote for. Do you admire that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think -- I'm not going to get involved in the presidential campaign. The President and I have both sworn off commenting on the give and take of the campaign in both parties. It's already well underway, and so I'll withhold comment for now.

Q Mr. Vice President, appreciate it.
Well, are you satisfied here? There are many other questions that could have been asked that were not.

How I wish that Helen Thomas was conducting this interview, but Cheney's too big a chicken hawk to face her, no doubt. Where are the questions about his unwillingness to testify in Scooter's case? Where are the commitments to get him to talk about the leaks when the trial comes to a close, given his unwillingness to talk during an on-going legal proceeding?

The list of unasked and unanswered questions is extensive. I remain unrequited. How about you?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rummy, Down But Not Out

Remember Donald Rumsfeld?
Q John McCain is out there saying that Donald Rumsfeld may go down as one of the worst Defense Secretaries in history. Is that something you agree with? (Laughter.)

MR. SNOW: I think on this one --

Q The Vice President has called him one of the -- if not, the best, I think.

MR. SNOW: Look, we think Donald Rumsfeld was an enormously consequential and effective Secretary of Defense, and somebody who led to the transformation of the Department of Defense. Senator McCain holds a different point of view. The thing that's important to us right now is that Senator McCain is a strong supporter of the President's position on the way forward in Iraq and somebody who has been an eloquent voice and a reliable leader on the issue, and we appreciate it.
Consequential? Sure, but effective at what is a better question.

Well, speaking of Rummy, I heard via the blogisphere somehwere (apologies for not having the appropriate link) that aparently, he's been given the boot, but he's still got an office in the Pentagon and a staff sponsored by yours and my tax dollars. Sounds like he is down, but gets the usual royal treatment by the W, Rove and Co for bad performance.

Monday, February 19, 2007

When Is Good News For Terrorists Also Good News For The President?

Just found this article and thought it would be bad news for the W, Rove and Co. Or, is it good news as it could be used as leverage to argue for more military spending? Funny. I never thought that good news for terrorists might also be good news for the W, Rove and Co, but perhaps it can:
Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Misunderestimating The Power of Prediction

I've said this a long while back: Just because the President says something doesn't make it true. Indeed, it appears that the W, Rove and Co continues to speculate the future when it leverages their political agenda. Have a look at this wild prediction:
This week's voting gave the world a glimpse of democracy's vigor. The next votes should provide unmistakable assurance of this nation's resolve in achieving success, supporting the cause of democracy, and stopping terrorist forces in their ultimate aim of bringing their violence to our shores.
Again we see that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence of terrorism. Why, indeed, then is it that the terror threat level goes up when we happen to catch wind of yet another plot or catch a particularly bad guy? I do not believe the president or his pals when he suggests more of the same is going to produce a better result than already obtained. How about you?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Imitation Is the Most Sincere Form Of Flattery

They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. It looks like Fox News can't resist replicating a winning formula.

Even so, I don't know that the market for a conservative slanted "Daily Show" rip off will fly; particularly with support from that reichwing nut hag, Ann Coulter. Why any one continues to pay her to speak is beyond me.
Urging viewers to tune into to the rest of the show, Coulter said, "If you don't, we'll invade your countries, kill your leaders and convert you to Christianity."
Ha, ha, ha...so funny, our collective sides are splitting open with the blood of innocent Iraqi's pouring out of the American soul.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pelosi Stands Up As Cheney And Bush Step Down

Now, doesn't that look like a lovely title? Perhaps I'm making a prediction that will come to fruition some time in the very near future, but I get ahead of myself.

By now, you all know that Cheney and Libby have taken the Chicken Hawk route in defending their actions - they ain't goin' ta talk about it. Makes me wonder what beyond the obvious they are trying to hide? Dirty tricks aside, I'm certain they owe the American people an explanation: Scratch that - they owe us an honest recount of the facts as they happened. No doubt, the truth is beyond their capacity at this point as they haven't dabbled in it in a great long while. That's one problem with living a lie; you never know what is true.

Take that one step further and we see the trouble with lying to get one's way that the president experienced today. Specifically, he's lost all credibility with the American people. So much so, that when he suggest that a vote against a surge doesn’t support the troops, he has forgotten what it really is: A vote of no confidence in him. I support the troops, for sure. But I most certainly don't support the president nor have any confidence that he can do the job.

Let's have a look at his press conference from Valentine's Day to assess the problem a bit further. First off, we see that a man who cries wolf too often is often left holding a megaphone and nothing more. Why else would he answer a perfectly good question that he cannot answer with a lousy question?
Q Thank you, sir. I'd like to follow on Iran. Critics say that you are using the same quality of intelligence about Iran that you used to make the case for war in Iraq, specifically about WMD that turned out to be wrong, and that you are doing that to make a case for war against Iran. Is that the case?

THE PRESIDENT: I can say with certainty that the Quds force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops. And I'd like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds force was ordered from the top echelons of government. But my point is what's worse -- them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening? And so we will continue to protect our troops.
Well, that really isn't the question now is it? The question is can we believe you after all the mistakes you and your administration has made in the bungle that is Iraq?

Why should we trust an administration that isn't even supported by people that we usually see singing their praises?
Q Mr. President, on the North Korea deal, the former U.N. Ambassador, John Bolton, yesterday said, "It's a bad, disappointing deal, and the best thing you can say about it is that it will probably fall apart." This is from a man you repeatedly praised for his judgment and leadership at the United Nations. His main criticism is that the financial pressure led North Korea back to the table, and now it's being released. How do you respond to that?

THE PRESIDENT: I strongly disagree -- strongly disagree with his assessment.
Really, but how do you know? But we should have the utmost confidence in our President, don't you think?

Have a look at this exchange as Helen Thomas whacks W over the head with her cast iron skillet and he will give us the reason why we shouldn't have as much confidence in this president. He just doesn't know:
Q Mr. President, do you agree with the National Intelligence Estimate that we are now in a civil war in Iraq? And, also, you talk about victory, that you have to have victory in Iraq; it would be catastrophic if we didn't. You said again today that the enemy would come here, and yet you say it's not an open-ended commitment. How do you square those things?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, victory in Iraq is not going to be like victory in World War II. It's one of the challenges I have to explain to the American people what Iraq will look like in a situation that will enable us to say we have accomplished our mission.

First, the -- Iraq will be a society in which there is relative peace. I say "relative peace" because if it's like zero car bombings, it never will happen that way. It's like -- the fundamental question is, can we help this government have the security force level necessary to make sure that the ethnic cleansing that was taking place in certain neighborhoods has stopped.

Look, there's criminality in Iraq, as well as the ethnic violence. And we've got to help the Iraqis have a police force that deals with criminals. There is an al Qaeda presence in Iraq, as you know. I believe some of the spectacular bombings have been caused by al Qaeda. As a matter of fact, Zarqawi -- the terrorist Zarqawi, who is not an Iraqi, made it very clear that he intended to use violence to spur sectarian -- car bombings and spectacular violence to spur sectarian violence. And he did a good job of it.

And so there -- and then there's this disaffected Sunnis, people who believe that they should still be in power in spite of the fact that the Shia are the majority of the country, and they're willing to use violence to try to create enough chaos so they get back in power.

The reason I described that is that no matter what you call it, it's a complex situation, and it needed to be dealt with inside of Iraq. We've got people who say civil war, we've got people on the ground who don't believe it's a civil war. But nevertheless, it is -- it was dangerous enough that I had to make a decision to try to stop it, so that a government that is bound by a constitution, where the country feels relatively secure as a result of a security force that is even-handed in its application of security; a place where the vast resources of the country -- this is a relatively wealthy country, in that they've got a lot of hydrocarbons -- is shared equally amongst people; that there is a federalism that evolves under the Constitution where the local provinces have got authority, as well; and where people who may have made a political decision in the past and yet weren't criminals can participate in the life of the country; and is an ally in the war on terror. In other words, that there is a bulwark for moderation, as opposed to a safe haven for extremism. And that's what I would view as successful.

Q Do you believe it's a civil war, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I can only tell you what people on the ground, whose judgment -- it's hard for me, living in this beautiful White House, to give you an assessment, firsthand assessment. I haven't been there; you have, I haven't. But I do talk to people who are and people whose judgment I trust, and they would not qualify it as that. There are others who think it is. It is, however, a dangerous situation, thereby requiring action on my part.

Listen, I considered several options -- one, doing nothing, and that if you don't believe the situation was acceptable, then you should do something. And I didn't believe the situation was acceptable. Secondly, I could have listened to the advice of some and pulled back and hoped for the best. I felt that would be extraordinarily dangerous for this young democracy, that the violence in Baghdad could escalate mightily and then spill out across the country, creating chaos, vacuums into which extremism would flow; or make the decision I made, which is to reinforce the troops that were on the ground, to help this Iraqi government and security force do what they're supposed to do.
There is a large difference between could, would and should. The fact is, I don't believe that he is listening to the right people, nor does he know first hand. He admits the latter. So, the fundamental question for the blogisphere today is thus...let's call this...drum roll

Windspike's Valentine's Day Political Questions
  1. If we were to take a vote of confidence in this president and his administration today, how would you vote and why?

  2. Should W and Cheney step down today or by the end of the week at the lattes?

  3. Would you like to see Pelosi stand up and take the helm as the first female President of the United States?

Monday, February 12, 2007

There Will Be NO Victory In Iraq For The W, Rove and Co.

If you read between the lines, you will notice the tacit admission of defeat echoing around the Whitehouse and with in the whole of the W, Rove and Co.

Overtly, you will notice that the talk a good game saying things like, non-binding resolutions do not support the troops, or that suggesting we bring the troops home is tantamount to aiding and abetting the terrorists.

But really, you need only look so far to see how we should all know that "victory" in Iraq is neither going to be realized in the near term, nor will it be possible to proceed as is if we are to retain a modicum of face in this matter.

Exhibit 1: The W, Rove and Co is setting up the next administration to carry on:
Q Tony, I just wanted to follow on what you were saying before, about the President -- with the resolutions flying around the Hill, what the President is doing. He's focused on trying to, you said, leave tools in place to fight the war on terror for the next President.

MR. SNOW: Correct.
But to what end?
Even his advisors suggest that W is simply putting off the declaration of defeat. The new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq starkly delineates the gulf that separates President Bush's illusions from the realities of the war. Victory, as the president sees it, requires a stable liberal democracy in Iraq that is pro-American. The NIE describes a war that has no chance of producing that result. In this critical respect, the NIE, the consensus judgment of all the U.S. intelligence agencies, is a declaration of defeat.
So, the bigger questions remain. If things are so bad, why does the W, Rove and Co. insist on it's flag waving, patriotic rhetoric in the face of opposition to their current plans?

Would it be wrong to declare defeat and move on, not unlike declaring chapter 11, and retool the whole operation? Given how much the W, Rove and Co has been wrong about Iraq so far, might they also be wrong about what would happen if we pull out the troops?

Harvard Gets With It

You may already know that Harvard smartened up and followed Larry Summer's controversial tenure with a female selection for President of the storied institution. Faust (ironic name aside) may be a good choice. Of course, leading such academic institutions is a lot like herding cats with giant egos. Thus, the jury is out.

The selection of the first female president at Harvard is merely interesting only in that there hasn't been one. Women have been leading institutions of higher education for a great long while. That it can be done is not the question. As to why it took so long for an institution that suggests it's on the cutting edge of scientific and social knowledge generation to come around may be a better question. After all, Harvard was founded in 1634. That's a long wait.

Even so, if you can't successfully lead an institution with the largest endowment on the planet, with a stable of overly pedigreed faculty, what does that say about a person? Larry Summers really screwed the pooch, but without him, there may not have been room at the top for Faust. I think she is going to do a fine job.

A more reasonable question might be to ask her, not if she will be up to the task, but why it is that a Harvard education is only offered to a small slice of the privileged few? With many billions in the foundation coffers, they could afford to broaden the delivery to reach a bigger audience. Might we not all benefit from better access to a Harvard degree?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Do You Get The Impression The President Ignores The Will Of The People He Serves?

I love Helen Thomas. At Thursday's whitehouse press briefing, she delivers another fatal swing of her cast iron frying pan to the head of Tony the Snow job.

The thrust of the issue: Does the President Ignore the will of the people? Of course, Tony's on full denial mode here.

Have a look:
Q Does the President think that the role of the Commander-in-Chief is so powerful that he can ignore the will of the people as manifested in the election and also in Congress?

MR. SNOW: Helen, if you can find somebody who says that they want us to fail in Iraq, then perhaps --

Q That's not the question. I --

MR. SNOW: No, what you asked was a very vague question about the will of the people.

Q It's not vague.

MR. SNOW: Yes, it is, because if you want to talk --

Q I want you to -- do you think the power of a Commander-in-Chief is so all powerful that he can ignore the people?

MR. SNOW: The President never ignores the people. And that's why it's a tendentious assumption on your part that somehow the President runs roughshod over the will of the people. But he does have an obligation to keep the people safe --

Q -- ignored --

MR. SNOW: No, he doesn't -- if you get a non-binding resolution, he certainly is not going to ignore it. But on the other hand, he's going to do what it takes to keep you safe, and everybody in this room safe.

Q That's not the question.

MR. SNOW: Oh, yes, it is. Au contraire, Helen.

Q It is, is he going to ignore --

MR. SNOW: I got to tell you, you've got to understand in this particular case, when the President is thinking about national security, he understands the importance of opinion. He shares people's opinion that what's going on is --

Q (Inaudible.)

MR. SNOW: What do you think --

Q -- responded to it?

MR. SNOW: He's responded to it. He's responded to it by laying out a new way forward --

Q (Inaudible.)

MR. SNOW: Well, it will be interesting. Let's see how the debate unfolds and let's also see how facts on the ground unfold in Baghdad.
Well, let's see if I can't get my signing statement pen out and change the course of the will of the people one more time...

Boo Hoo

I don't mean to sound overly callous, but the MSM is a buzz with Anna Nichol Smith keeling over. For fuck sake, like she did anything important? In direct contrast, how much attention is paid to the latest GI fatalities?
Four U.S. Marines were killed in combat in two separate attacks in western Anbar province, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

Wednesday's deaths took to at least 11 the number of U.S. servicemen killed in
Iraq in the last two days.

All seven crew members and passengers aboard a U.S. Marine transport helicopter were killed on Wednesday after their aircraft crashed in Anbar province. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The vast desert province of Anbar west of Baghdad is a stronghold of the Sunni Arab insurgency, and the deadliest place for U.S. troops in Iraq.
Is this media blitzkrieg-style attention paid to celebrity over people that have been placed needlessly in harms way by the W, Rove and Co. symptomatic of all that is wrong with America? Methinks, yes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

AMT: Any One Else Out There Petrified By Bush's Push Toward It?

There are a number of concerns that we should raise when W states outright that he will "balance the budget without raising taxes."

One of them legitimately would be: What about the debt he is lacing around our necks for the Iraq war so that at any moment our lenders can tighten up that noose?

Another would be to question the "Alternative Minimum Tax." I haven't done much research in this area, but it sure sounds fishy to me.
Even President Bush acknowledges that he can't balance the budget without raising taxes.

The president would never put it that way, of course. In fact, his message is exactly the opposite. But the coming tax increase is the unavoidable, unstated subtext of his supposedly balanced-by-2012 budget.

The reason is the governmental cash cow known as the alternative minimum tax.
What say you blogisphere?

No Wonder The W, Rove And Co Wasn't Interested In Finding The "Leakers"

If you remember, a long while back when the Valarie Plame case broke, the W of the W, Rove and Co promised to find and punish all involved in the leak - and any leak of secrets, for that matter. Those of you who have watched the case know that the W, Rove and Co, as a whole, has not done much beyond assign a special prosecutor to investigate - and even then they did that begrudgingly and rather perfunctorily.

As it turns out, we now know why punishment was not meted out more swiftly. Moreover, any one who has lost their job because of it was only pushed out only after they were caught by Fitzgerald doing something egregious - like lying to the grand jury.

Well, you ask, why didn't the W, Rove and Co. follow through with their promise to swiftly act and punish all those associated with the leaks (of the Plame and other varieties)? Well, silly, it's because the leak started at the top.

What's that old saw: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely?" Hmmm:
Former White House official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby told a grand jury in 2004 that Vice President Dick Cheney was upset by an ambassador's public questioning of the Iraq war and that President Bush, Cheney and Libby were involved in a plan — kept secret from other senior White House officials — to leak previously classified intelligence to reporters to counter the criticism.
Of course; they are not interested in punishing themselves. They always think that their way is the "right" way. Might we suggest that they are dead wrong here, yet again?

You would think that years of "service" to America proclaimed by Cheney in particular would prevent them from making such blundering, preposterous, and catastrophic mistakes. Perhaps in Aught Eight, it's time to elect some one without the same pedigree.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Winning Hearts And Minds

If I were working for the W, Rove and Co, I'd be just about ready to toss in the towel for winning the hearts and minds of the American people, but that's the least of their worries. If we are to prevail in Iraq, they are going to have to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Trouble is, that ain't going to happen.

Have a look:

The camouflaged American soldiers, weary from hours of struggling to talk with Iraqis during a patrol in eastern Baghdad, laughed with relief after an Iraqi army major's wife met them at her door. The soldiers had no interpreter. She had a master's degree in English translation.

"Do you want to work for the Americans?" asked U.S. Army Lt. Anthony Slamar, 26. "Do you want a job as a translator?"

The woman stepped back into her darkened doorway.

"With you? No. Not with you. Do I want to die?" she said. "I am afraid of you, I'm sorry."
If our GIs can't get the wife of an Iraqi Major with a Master's Degree in English Translation to help them, we are SO screwed. She is supposed to be on our side, no? No doubt, she is holding out for a lucrative contract with the US Government at 10 to 100 times what they would pay her as a civilian employee. Even then, the job is not worth getting killed over, now is it?

This is a symptom of the larger problem caused by the illegal and illegitimate invasion of Iraq perpetrated by the W, Rove and Co. Any chance the bumbling idiots in the W, Rove and Co will be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity after they are out in 2009? Don't hold your breath.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Very Definition Of "Setting Artificial Time Lines"

Might not the president have stepped into his own rhetorical trap today?

Let's have a quick look at the ceremonial cabinet meeting where W took two questions. In W's unscripted answers, he reveals himself one more time as the Emperor with no clothes.

Q Mr. President, thank you. You oppose setting time lines for withdrawal in Iraq, yet your new budget plan assumes that war spending will be down to $50 billion by 2009 and none beyond that. Are you, in effect, sir, setting a time line for the end of the war?

THE PRESIDENT: Ben, we've had years of projections in the past. We've said to the Congress, here's what our anticipated expenditure is in the short-term. And we've been able to manage our budgets with five years of war behind us, and we'll manage the budgets in the out-years. There will be no timetable set. And the reason why is, is because we don't want to send mixed signals to an enemy, or to a struggling democracy, or to our troops.
Interesting. Very interesting.

Q Mr. President, how do you respond to some criticism from the Iraqis that the reason for the recent escalation of violence in Iraq is because the United States has been too slow to implement its new strategy?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, General Petraeus is heading to Iraq this week, early this -- tomorrow. And my message is, is that both of us, the Iraqis and the U.S. and coalition forces, have got to get this plan in place as quickly as possible. Of course, we want the plan to work, and we want to make sure that the strategy we've implemented -- or the strategy we've outlined is implemented properly.

I appreciate the fact that the Iraqi government is anxious to get security inside the capital of the country. That's a good sign. It's a good sign that there's a sense of concern and anxiety. It means that the governments understands they have a responsibility to protect their people. And we want to help them.

What we're trying to do with this reinforcement of our troops is to provide enough space so that the Iraqi government can meet certain benchmarks or certain requirements for a unity government to survive and for the country to be strong.

I had to make a decision as to whether or not we were going to allow the status quo to continue. And the status quo wasn't acceptable. I listened to a lot of people in Congress as to whether or not we ought to slowly withdraw and redeploy troops. My worry about that was that the capital would get worse, and out of that chaos would come grave danger to the United States. And so I listened to a lot of other folks, including our military, and said, look, we got to take care and help these Iraqis take care of the violence inside of Baghdad.

And that's why I made the decision I made, and we're in the process of implementing that plan. We'd like to do it as quickly as possible. The success of that plan is going to depend upon the capacity and willingness of the Iraqis to do hard work, and we want to help them do that work. And the fact that government officials are now saying that it's time to start implementing the plan is a good sign. It shows that they understand that now is the time to do the things necessary to protect their people.
Well, perhaps it's not the new strategy that is the problem. Perhaps it's the situation on the ground that is causing the problem? What other explanation is there?

Here's the piece W didn't want us to know:

Q Why the $50 billion figure in '09? Is that just a place holder, or it's something that's going to happen that's going to cut the war costs by $95 billion?

DIRECTOR PORTMAN: I think we call it an allowance, and it's a notion that we believe there will still be war costs in 2009. We have no idea what those costs will be.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lest We Get Sidetracked By Sports

I found three interesting bits in the MSM today to remind us not to succumb to the antiseptic theatre that is the Super Bowl. Have a gander:
A dump truck hauling a ton of explosives hidden beneath boxes of food exploded in the center of a crowded Baghdad market Saturday, killing at least 130 people and injuring more than 300 in one of the deadliest blasts since the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The attack, carried out by a suicide bomber, was designed to inflict a massive physical as well as psychological toll on a population haunted by a string of devastating strikes on other markets, including one Thursday that killed 73 people in the southern city of Hillah, and another in Baghdad last month that killed more than 80.
What do our deferred tax dollars borrowed from China get us in Iraq? More corrupt contractors:
Without a public debate or formal policy decision, contractors have become a virtual fourth branch of government. On the rise for decades, spending on federal contracts has soared during the Bush administration, to about $400 billion last year from $207 billion in 2000, fueled by the war in Iraq, domestic security and Hurricane Katrina, but also by a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost everything government does.
:Lastly, there's a snazzy Vietnam style graphic to remind us that things aren't going swimmingly in Iraq.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Super Bowl Sunday: Anesthesia For The Masses or Antidote For What Ails America?

I'm felling a little bit like Charlie Brown in the Halloween episode. You remember the one. Every one gets fantastic treats and when it comes down to answering the question, "What'd you get Charlie Brown," he answers, "I got a rock."

When given the Super Bowl Sunday slot for a BIO Feature post, I felt like I had another rock dropped in my bag. Really, aside from the sports blogaholics, how many people will be turning on their computers Sunday to surf political blogs as they tune in to the Annual event that draws more viewers than people who vote in presidential primaries?

Meanwhile, as the president trumpets all the "good" news he can spin, he proves once again, that he is not open to real and true negotiation:
Another important tool for eliminating wasteful spending is the line-item veto.
Sure, right. For a man who only issued one veto in his entire career as president and still couldn't get anything positive done, and manages our government like he managed his baseball team, he's asking for this like there is going to only be republican presidents for the foreseeable future?

Of course, the President is full of the usual W, Rove and Co suggestions. Watch out middle class, you're an endangered species:
Controlling spending also requires us to address the unsustainable growth of entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Excuse me, but didn't W sign the legislation to substantially increase costs of Medicare and Medicaid by means of a drug benefit? In hind sight, might we not have spent the money on Iraq instead of cutting programs that the American people already pay into?

Seriously, can you trust the man who perpetrated the largest bait and switch (WMD in Iraq) in political history on the American people? Let's have one last look:
I look forward to working with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to address these challenges. Together, we can pass a budget that keeps our economy strong, keeps America safe, and makes deficit spending a thing of the past.
Really, I don't buy it. When you ask for the line item veto, it doesn't suggest that you are willing to work with people on either side of the aisle to fix what ails America. It says exactly what W has said over and over again in the face of great questioning regarding his "surge." "I'm still the decider:" fuck you, America.

But I got off on a rant. I'm really here to pose a question for today's feature. That is, as we face global warming, things worsening in Iraq that lead to more GIs KIA who won't be watching the Super Bowl with us, we have to ask ourselves a very serious question. Let's call this...drum roll please...

Windspike's Super Bowl Super Query
  • Is the Super Bowl anesthesia for the masses or an antidote for what ails America?

Leave a comment and chip in your two cents.

Blog on friends. Blog on all