It need hardly be said that the subtlest practitioners of doublethink are those who invented doublethink

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Bush Popularity Sinks Into “Disastrous” Range, While House Democratic Money Machine Raking It In

In an earlier BC story, Charles Franklin, Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin and author of the blog Political Arithmetik noted that when a president’s approval rating falls below 40%, mid-term election results for his party are in the “disastrous” range. Above 40%, the likely fallout is simply “bad.”

I’m not particularlly an election strategy wonk, DKos, The Decembrist, MyDD, and The Emerging Democratic Majority among many other national and local blogs do yeoman’s work in keeping up with all that. Frankly I’m uncomfortable predicting numbers, though as this article from Blogcritics points out the history of mid-term trends would strongly suggest that Democrats will pick up some seats in both houses. Regardless of whether they win a majority in either house the dynamics of the House and Senate will change. So a when a commenter writes( and I’ve seen several versions of this comment over the last few years),

The Republicans will hold the House and the Senate after this year’s elections. The Democrats are too far out to appeal to the center and have no real proposals for solutions to any of the nation’s problems.

Let’s say that the commenter isn’t just doing his part to distract from a sinking ship and sincerely believes that Democrats are too far out, what does that say about where the center is. The center has shifted to the wacky world of George Bush, Pat Robertson and Michelle Malkin. People who’s world view seems to be based entirely on beliefs that conflict with American values and The Age of Reason, leaving rationalism as the nation’s abandoned stepchild. Try to imagine a diagram or master-plan that goes from 9-11 to over 2000 dead soldiers and marines in Iraq, and add in well over 30,000 dead Iraqis that lived under Saddam’s iron fist and had nothing to do with Islamic terrorism directed at the west. Follow the line down to tax cuts which haven’t helped the economy for the long term they’ve just delayed the inevitable pain of having to pay for Bush’s blunders and Republican pork. We are a country without an energy policy; again conservatives can drill in everyone’s backyard starting tomorrow and will just be delaying major changes that must be made in how and what we use to light our homes and run our transportation ( Where is the leadership that the party of pufferfish says it has in abundance). Conservatives have claimed for decades that private schools are the savior of American education, it turns out that is not the case (Public, Private Schoolers Perform At Same Level ). It turns out that on every single issue conservatives have been little more then snake oil salesmen. Deregulation has not lead to rock bottom prices, more jobs, or better paying jobs, on the contrary it has lead to fatter executive salaries, dirty air, and companies like Wal-Mart and Microsoft which are very close to being monopolies ( Myth: Deregulation promotes competition.). In almost every facet of our culture and economy conservative policies are those of aristocrats and theocrats, not egalitarians. That commenter and many conservatives for that matter are absolutely positively sure they know what Republicans stand for. I’m not sure they do. It seems more like they turn on their radios or TVs and dial into to their favorite right-wing pundit and soak up every word as some divine truth, while those of us that do not live in an echo chamber know that in every way imaginable conservative policies have been not just been disasters, but down right unAmerican. The following is from an on-line feed aggragator and typifies the one thing that conservatives inadvertently excel at, irony. From Thomas Sowell,

One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.

Tom is the member of a political movement that sent Americans to die based on a series of lies, of the rational and rhetorical type and is under the delusion that he is even capable of distinguishing “hard facts” from fairy tales.
Tom belongs to the Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) school of asshattery, Sen. Inhofe: ‘Gore Is Full of Crap,’ ‘All Recent Science…Confirms This Thing Is A Hoax’

Actually, “all of the recent science” — without exception — accepts that global warming is real and caused by humans. The IPCC didn’t involve “one scientist.” It involved thousands of scientists from over 120 countries, including so-called “climate skeptics” and industry representatives.

I had enough logic in school to remember that you are supposed to have rational arguments, not just use or rely on name calling etc to make your point, and not just dismiss your opponents as crazy, but aren’t old Tom Sowell and James Inhofe ignoring the rules of rational discourse and just pulling BS out of their asses. Actually where would conservatism be without these delusional and bizarre assertions. Its the “I’m a conservative, I’m usually white, usually male and thus anything I say is true” school of political debate. And if that doesn’t work they just use the Bill O’Reilly method and repeat the falsehood, only louder. The loudness and the shrillness makes it proof of validity I guess.

It need hardly be said that the subtlest practitioners of doublethink are those who invented doublethink and know that it is a vast system of mental cheating. In our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane. One clear illustration of this is the fact that war hysteria increases in intensity as one rises in the social scale. Those whose attitude towards the war is most nearly rational are the subject peoples of the disputed territories. To these people the war is simply a continuous calamity which sweeps to and fro over their bodies like a tidal wave. Which side is winning is a matter of complete indifference to them. They are aware that a change of overlordship means simply that they will be doing the same work as before for new masters who treat them in the same manner as the old ones. The slightly more favoured workers whom we call ‘the proles’ are only intermittently conscious of the war. When it is necessary they can be prodded into frenzies of fear and hatred, but when left to themselves they are capable of forgetting for long periods that the war is happening.

from 1984 by George Orwell

Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man It’s insidious

Like just about every issue conservatives have decided that since Bush’s knuckle dragging on Lebanon and North Korea have been failures, responsibility for those failures must be laid somewhere. What a conundrum for the stay the course crowd. Should Bush have stayed the course or been proactive in heading off problems before they came to a boil, or should he have been more flexible and imaginative as new problems presented themselves. That would be none of the above, instead blame John Kerry, Bush faces backlash on the right

Kenneth Adelman, a Reagan administration arms-control official who is close to Vice President Cheney, said he believes foreign policy innovation for White House ended with Bush’s second inaugural address, a call to spread democracy throughout the world.

“What they are doing on North Korea or Iran is what [Sen. John F.] Kerry would do, what a normal middle-of-the-road president would do,” he said. “This administration prided itself on molding history, not just reacting to events. Its a normal foreign policy right now. It’s the triumph of Kerryism.”

Not all conservatives subscribe to such views. Some prominent conservatives, including William F. Buckley Jr. and George Will, have been skeptical of the mission in Iraq and, in Will’s case, much of the Bush mission abroad. In his syndicated column yesterday, Will referred to the neoconservative complaints in observing that the administration is “suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature.”

George W. Bush who once called Franklin D. Roosevelt a socialist is channeling Senator John Kerry? Not a George Will fan, but we have to give him credit, it is beyond caricature. What we’re seeing, despite what seems like a conservative split, is the right-wing in a panic because Bush carried the banner for the most far right fire brand ideology from American Enterprise Institute, the flagship of so called conservative intellectualism. Bush and that brand of conservatism failed. The should haves crowd are different, but most of what we’re hearing from the think tanks is just a bloodier version of what stay the course and a tacit admission that things have gone terribly wrong, except for ostriches with rose colored glasses like Kenneth R. Weinstein,

“Given the laundry list of global challenges, the administration has had to make dozens and dozens of tough calls — and overwhelmingly it’s been right.”

Looking around if all is right, one has to wonder what wrong is.

Even if Bush is a disaster and there is probably some acknowledgement of that over Cuban cigars at the country club out of ear shot of the press, there has been an attempt already to distance conservatism from Bush. It is Twilight Zone-ish to see some from the far right willing to drown the baby to save the basket. At the end of the day differences amongst right-wingers is a matter of a few degrees not wholesale shifts in thinking. Getting new spark plus will not make the conservative engine run better.

Modern conservatism has always been about going to extraordinary lengths to protect and enrich large corporate interests at the expense of working Americans, the environment, and what little social safety net we have. Conservatism has never been about the common good, it has always been about paying lip service to the concept of small government as it doled out billions in tax payer dollars and greased the wheels of special interests. A move to lift the veil on US spending

Every new fiscal year brings its list of projects tagged with the “pork” label, such as a $320 million earmark for Alaska’s “bridge to nowhere,” or the $500,000 appropriation for a Teapot Museum in Sparta, N.C. In all, Congress added more than $29 billion pork projects in the FY 2006 budget, up from $27.2 billion in FY 2005, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, which sifts through appropriations bills every year looking for earmarks.

Remember Bush just used his first veto on stem cell research, not pork busting. Why would Bush stop pork, he sees it as an intrical part of government. In no way should this be seen as compassion. Republicans haven’t been throwing money at the problem, they’ve been throwing it at corporate benefactors, Medicare Mailer: Claim v. Fact

CLAIM: “This new law preserves and strengthens the current Medicare program. [mailer]

FACT: The bill weakens Medicare by privatizing it, at great cost to beneficiaries and taxpayers. The President estimates the new law will result in an extra $46 billion going to private plans. The Congressional Budget Office agrees with the President that the cost of covering seniors through private plans is “substantially higher” than the cost of covering them through traditional Medicare.

That 46 billion didn’t go to improve the quality of health care, it went into the pockets of health care corporations. “Privatising” has just become another Republican code word for Enroning government programs that may be flawed, but actually did work. Doing away with Medicare and Social Secuirty is the wet dream of most conservatives, but they know that would be political suicide. George, Dick, and Unka Karl didn’t sit in a bubble and dream this approach to government domestic programs up, it is at the root of conservatism. If they couldn’t killthe social safety net, they could at least make money off of it and if that siphonong off of funds toward the private sector does undermine the system, they just get to point fingers at the system. It doesn’t matter if George Bush or Newt or George Allen or any other conservative is doing the steering, America will always end up in the same place; in a broken economy and ill advised wars.

Interesting critique of The One Percent Doctrine: deep inside America’s pursuit of its enemies since 9/11 by Ron Suskind

Suskind is trying to challenge fear with fear. Where Bush officials argue that inaction will allow terrorists to flourish, Suskind says that the wrong kind of action will create more terrorists. He overlooks one of the ironies of our so-called “age of terror”: that there is less terrorism today than at any time over the past 30 years. In the 1980s, there were roughly 360 international terror incidents a year; by 2000 there were roughly 100. The biggest fall was in America itself, where the number of terror attacks has gone from 40 a year in the mid-1970s to fewer than five every year over the past ten years (although admittedly, if 9/11 is included, the annual death toll has gone up). Where Bush officials claim that they are winning the war against lunatics who pose a threat to life as we know it, Suskind says the war isn’t going very well and the lunatics may have acquired chemicals, gases and “suitcase nukes”.

A good critique of the war on terror should start by challenging the politics of fear that underpins it, not by advancing an alternative version.

If you take the Iraqi insurgency out of the picture, a dynamic that only exists because we are in Iraq O’Neill is probably more right then wrong. To admit that requires being level headed, a quaility once held in some esteem in this country.

‘Are you guilty?’ said Winston.

‘Of course I’m guilty!’ cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ‘You don’t think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?’ His frog-like face grew calmer, and even took on a slightly sanctimonious expression. ‘Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man,’ he said sententiously. ‘It’s insidious. It can get hold of you without your even knowing it. Do you know how it got hold of me? In my sleep! Yes, that’s a fact. There I was, working away, trying to do my bit — never knew I had any bad stuff in my mind at all. And then I started talking in my sleep. Do you know what they heard me saying?’

He sank his voice, like someone who is obliged for medical reasons to utter an obscenity.

“Down with Big Brother!” Yes, I said that! Said it over and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I’m glad they got me before it went any further. Do you know what I’m going to say to them when I go up before the tribunal? “Thank you,” I’m going to say, “thank you for saving me before it was too late.”

‘Who denounced you?’ said Winston.

‘It was my little daughter,’ said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. ‘She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.’

from 1984 by George Orwell

We’re making an all-out effort — going to put on a tremendous show

For the arm chair Indiana Jones this is interesting news, Carved stone still mystifies scholars

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) — In 1872, so the story goes, workers digging a hole for a fence post near Lake Winnipesaukee in the central part of this New England state found a lump of clay that seemed out of place.

There was something inside — a dark, odd-looking, egg-shaped stone with a variety of carvings, including a face, teepee, ear of corn and starlike circles.

And there were many questions: Who made the stone and why? How old was it? How was it carved?

To date, no one has been able to say for sure, and the item has come to be known as the “Mystery Stone.” Seneca Ladd, a local businessman who hired the workers, was credited with the discovery.

While no one has observed lightning bolts being emitted, it does have a very smooth symmetrical shape. I guess you can attribute some of the smoothness to weathering, but it does have the effect of making it almost other worldly.

The week is not over, but I think that Craig Crawford probably has claim to to the quote of the week, Indignation, Full of Holes

It’s a given that presidents relish leaks to the news media when it serves their purposes, and that they act outraged at leaks that do not make them look good. But George W. Bush’s relativism on this score is like watching a roller coaster on acid.

The lesson here is that we should not take White House complaints against the news media at face value. These tirades tend to be more about politics than national security. It is, after all, red-state planting season on Capitol Hill. Republican leaders are preparing for the November harvest of voters in the midterm election with an array of goodies aimed at stirring up their conservative base, from targeting flag burners to protecting the institution of marriage.

I understand the leak game and how politicians use them to their advantage. Sometimes they are to the partisan advantage of one side or the other. The issue here is not that we will ever be able to stop politicians from leaking, the issue is the LEAK as standard operating procedure and the weird way the right celebrates the ones that help them and foams at the mouth about the embarrassing ones. Bush obviously loves leaks and uses them as one of the first tools he grabs when he needs to manipulate public support. Bush’s leaks are carefully managed manipulations of reality. The infamous Niger speech was rather clever giving him plenty of excuse room by sighting a British report rather then a CIA report – well the British gave us some false info what can we do. In the case of the NYT SWIFT leak, the Whitehouse knew very well that it would be leaked and what followed was some melodramatic outrage that served up some soft bone for the conservative base to chew on. Pretty darn clever. The program continues, a few members of Congress have been spoon fed a few details (what passes for Congressional oversight nowadays) and at the end of the day Bush plays the smiley face version of a tin horn authoritarian while his program continues unregulated and there goes a big cha-ching  in the propaganda wars column. OK maybe its not all that simple. If you don’t happen to be a kool-aid drinker and your memory includes things said and done more then two weeks ago,

Still, the latest revelation reconfirming that Bush’s political right hand, Karl Rove, is one of the flapping tongues in the CIA leak case again spotlights the subjectivity of the White House on this front. In finally identifying Rove as one of his confirming sources for the undercover identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, columnist Robert Novak belied Bush’s tough talk nearly two-and-a-half years ago when he vowed to punish the leakers once they were identified. Instead, the president steadfastly refuses to let Rove go.

Contrast White House tolerance in the CIA leak case with how the president went ballistic in the wake of leaks not directed by his administration. He denounced last year’s New York Times disclosure of his domestic eavesdropping program as a “shameful act.” When the same newspaper and others recently detailed administration monitoring of international banking transactions, Bush called it “disgraceful.”

The Bush roller coaster on leaks took another turn recently as the administration heralded the capture of a terrorist leader accused of plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York City. Despite noting that it was an “ongoing investigation” with potential suspects at large around the globe, the administration was only too happy to provide the media with details. Had the case been reported without permission, no doubt the White House would be accusing journalists of aiding those terrorists still on the loose.

Craig isn’t too far off when he describes it as an acid trip. I have no idea what the process entails where right-wing pundits and conservatives see and hear the whole picture, but only manage to mentally digest the parts that support their world view. Its the story of Little Red Rove conservatives as victims and the media as the big bad monster. This whole mental process must require quite a bit of internal reality management, not to mention that any standards of integrity get trampled flatter then road kill. That doesn’t seem to matter to conservatives as long as the base is whipped into a frenzy.

Why aren’t Democrats giving history lessons, Spending lots of money, poorly

Democrats really ought to brag about their Clintonian track record. Not only did they keep government growth in check, but they paid its bills the old-fashioned way, with tax revenues.

Even more important, Democrats have spent the taxpayers’ money with greater care. The reason, in part, is that Democrats don’t maintain a childlike faith in the good intentions and can-do of the private sector. They believe in regulating these guys — and that government can do some things better than can business.

The Bush administration likes to send big checks and a have-a-nice-day to private contractors, who then do as they please. Our MBA president seems to forget that he is supposed to represent the taxpayers in these transactions, not the business interests.

Sloppy oversight has led to a plague of overbilling, incompetence and shoddy work. The gruesome details are just now emerging from at least two spending ratholes — the hurricane-relief efforts and the so-called rebuilding of Iraq.

Democrats could go on, as I am apt to do pointing out the bubble of hypocrisy that conservatives live in, but I’m not running for office. It would probably serve the interests of Democrats and the nation better if anytime a Democrat is given a soapbox to talk about conservative history, especially the last six years, but actually since Nixon. They suck at managing money. To hear Bush, The National Review, Glenn Reynolds, or the Wall Street columnists talk about the conservative economic record is like listening to a faerie tale. Every time a conservative wants to publicly have some disturbing obsessions about what they imagine some adults are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms, just say lets talk about some more substantive issues like running the economy on debt and corruption. Remind the American public that conservatives have never ever really believed in a free market economy and K-Street corruption is proof of that. Democrats should talk about what conservative corruption and economic policies are doing to American families and how it cannot go on.

‘Which sub is that?’ said Winston, automatically feeling for money. About a quarter of one’s salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them.

‘For Hate Week. You know — the house-by-house fund. I’m treasurer for our block. We’re making an all-out effort — going to put on a tremendous show. I tell you, it won’t be my fault if old Victory Mansions doesn’t have the biggest outfit of flags in the whole street. Two dollars you promised me.’

Winston found and handed over two creased and filthy notes, which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate.

‘By the way, old boy,’ he said. ‘I hear that little beggar of mine let fly at you with his catapult yesterday. I gave him a good dressing-down for it. In fact I told him I’d take the catapult away if he does it again.

‘I think he was a little upset at not going to the execution,’ said Winston.

‘ Ah, well — what I mean to say, shows the right spirit, doesn’t it? Mischievous little beggars they are, both of them, but talk about keenness! All they think about is the Spies, and the war, of course. D’you know what that little girl of mine did last Saturday, when her troop was on a hike out Berkhamsted way? She got two other girls to go with her, slipped off from the hike, and spent the whole afternoon following a strange man. They kept on his tail for two hours, right through the woods, and then, when they got into Amersham, handed him over to the patrols.’

from 1984 by George Orwell

‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.

Whenever those pain in the ass conscientious patriotic Americans raise their little hands and suggest that maybe W’s spying program(s) mat not be completely legal or may be used in a manner that is not completely ethical, they’re immediately accused of being paranoid. Josh Marshall has a little fun with that today. American may have be paranoid or not, but many of us seem to be developing an incurable case of eye rolling in utter disbelief syndrome as we get our weekly dose of politburo doublethink from either the Whitehouse or some jelly spined Congressional conservative, Bush agrees to have domestic eavesdropping program reviewed

By having the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court conduct the review instead of a regular federal court, the Bush administration would ensure the secrecy of details of the highly classified program. The administration has argued that making details of the program public would compromise national security.

(Note: Why this reporter thinks the “details” of the program will be made public if there is legislative or judicial oversight seems to be an unfounded bit of editorializing) Who’s paranoid here? Those of you that think the president should trust the senate, the house, the FISA courts, the Department of Justice and the SCOTUS or Bush who thinks that no one can be trusted except Bush. Bush does realize, unless he knows something that we don’t, that president is not a lifetime appointment. No guarantee of course, but it is likely that the nest president will have a little more faith and trust in the institutions and laws that constitute our government.

Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group that’s suing AT&T over its cooperation with the NSA program, called the bill “terrible” in part because it provides no opportunity for outside attorneys to contest the program’s legality before FISA court.

“This bill says nothing about how any outsider or the folks that we represent would have any kind of a voice in this,” he said. “It’s almost alien to the concept of judicial review in this country.”

I’m not sure how much money FISA court judges make or Supreme Court judges, but considering the bottomless black-hole otherwise known as the Conservative Plan to Saddle Our Children with an Off the Richter Scale National Debt, maybe this was just a move to save money, Bush Blocked Justice Department Investigation

Gonzales was questioned by Specter in light of a May 27 story in National Journal that reported that the OPR (Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility), investigation was quashed because of the refusal to allow investigators security clearances. Senior Justice Department officials told National Journal then that the investigators were seeking only information and documents relating to the National Security Agency’s surveillance program that were already in the Justice Department’s possession.

A senior Justice official said that the refusal to grant the clearances was “unprecedented” and questioned whether the clearances were denied because investigators might find “misconduct by those who were attempting to defeat” the probe from being conducted. The official made the comments without knowing that Bush had made the decision to refuse the clearances.

(Parentheses mine). This administartion’s legacy will be doing things previously unheard of in this democracy, that Bush shut down the OPR investigation was “unprecedented” is actually just par for the course. No wonder the temptation to think that the administration is covering up something. They are hiding something, they admit they are. Is this president or any president enabled by current law to act without any constraints on power. Are they entitled to hide programs to the degree that the most esteemed members of our elected bodies and the courts can’t have the smallest little peak at the details. You’ll just have to trust George and those freedom fries in suits otherwise known as conservative legislators. Let me check the scorecard, Bush versus democracy: Bush is not obligated to uphold legislation passed by Congress, if Bush thinks a law is unconstitutional he feels that he is under no obligation to file a brief with the Supreme Court challenging that law – he can just ignore it, he can amend any law passed by Congress with a signing statement, Bush can stop any investigation into presidential wrong doing simply by sighting national security concerns, he can declassify anything he wants and leak it on Tuesday and on Wednesday can reclassify same and call those that leak it danger to national security. Excuse me for playing the paranoid definition card, “Describing an individual affected with paranoia and presents such personality traits as extreme sensitivity to rejection, suspiciousness, hostility and self-importance.” Bush and conservatives are certainly sensitive to rejection since the new definition of sedition is any opinion that is contrary to what has been written in the Holy Book of Conservative Collectivism. Bush and conservative pundits can’t get though a day without hostility. Hostility is their molotov cocktail shaken not stirred. Bush’s whole governing style is built on self-importance; self and movement always takes precedence over the good of the republic.

I’va frequently linked to Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory who has rightly been hailed as a hero of the netroots. He has the combination of writing skills, intellectual gifts, and insights that inspire many of us and so of course that was bound to make him a prime target of the right-wing fringe. Poorman has a small salute, Keep it up

Glenn Greenwald – like David Neiwert – spends a lot of his time cataloging, recording, and referencing the extremist, often eliminationist rhetoric which has become the standard form of “debate” in the modern right-wing media. This is exhausting, thankless work – I tried, I tired – which he undertakes with admirable patience, and (what I personally consider a completely unnecessary) civility.

I’ve done a few posts on the rightie fringe and it just gets boring. Serious fact checking requires time and they will just ignore inconvenient facts anyway. The fall back rationales are tiresome versions of Bill Clinton did it first or whatever twisted nonsense they can dream up. Satire doesn’t work all that well either, considering the Bush presidency you can understand why conservatives don’t really comprehend satire. The whole nose-rope meme started on right-wing sites and one blogger turned it around on them, what is probably sincere outrage on the right has ensued. Yet they don’t, for the most part see how depraved their original meme is or how effective the satire is. Here’s some background for those that may have missed it, Media pounce on “screeching,” “frothing [liberal] bloggers” — while waving on conservatives who advocate … murder

Misha of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler on the Supreme Court: “Five ropes, five robes, five trees. Some assembly required.” [7/11/06] – ( a Note here. He has replied that the left doesn’t get hyperbole. The thing is that his whole post is pretty over the top. He sees Islamic extremism as the most dangerous threat that has ever faced America. Which means he thinks that the threat of worldwide nuclear annihilation during the Cold War was just a piffle. Since the guy writes in nothing but hyperbole it is safe to say that the entirety of his opinion is not to be taken seriously, it is all just hyberpole)
BC of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler on John Kerry: “Rope. Tree. Justice. The only three things that Qerry [sic] deserves for his ‘service’.” [10/28/04]

Dean Esmay on New York Times reporters: “Exposing such a secret program is not whistle-blowing — it is high treason. When I say ‘treason’ I don’t mean it in an insulting or hyperbolic way. I mean in a literal way: we need to find these 21st century Julius Rosenbergs, these modern day reincarnations of Alger Hiss, put them on trial before a jury of their peers, with defense counsel. When they are found guilty, we should then hang them by the neck until the are dead, dead, dead.” [12/18/05] ( Again the sweeping elimnationism – It has not been proven to this day that Ethel Rosenberg was ever involved with epionage, her death sentence was a tragic travesty of justice; not to mention equating the NYT story on administration wrong doing to espionage)

Megan McCardle (who uses the pseudonym Jane Galt) on anti-war demonstrators in New York City: “I think some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it’s applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.” [2/13/03]

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit: “Civilized societies have found it harder, though, to beat the barbarians without killing all, or nearly all, of them. Were it really to become all-out war of the sort that Osama [bin Laden] and his ilk want, the likely result would be genocide — unavoidable, and provoked, perhaps, but genocide nonetheless, akin to what Rome did to Carthage, or to what Americans did to American Indians. That’s what happens when two societies can’t live together, and the weaker one won’t stop fighting — especially when the weaker one targets the civilians and children of the stronger. This is why I think it’s important to pursue a vigorous military strategy now. Because if we don’t, the military strategy we’ll have to follow in five or ten years will be light-years beyond ‘vigorous.’ ” [11/19/02] ( Why Glenn thinks that the Romans were fine and civilized, while Carthage was nothing but barbarians displays a stunning ignorance of history)

If its Monday we’re out to save Arab Muslims from tyranny, if it is Tuesday Glenn thinks it is time for genocide. You would think genocide would be a fairly time consuming business, hardly leaving time left for anything else. Except for hunting down the children of newspaper editors,

Denny K of The Flying Monkey-Right Blog in reaction to the Rumsfeld-Cheney photos: “Let’s start with the following New York Times reporters and editors: Arthur ‘Pinch’ Sulzberger Jr., Bill Keller, Eric Lichtblau, and James Risen. Do you have an idea where they live? Go hunt them down and do America a favor. Get their photo, street address, where their kids go to school, anything you can dig up, and send it to the link above. This is your chance to be famous — grab for the golden ring.” [7/02/06]

One of the most cartoonish characters on the right is male version of Peggy Noonan, Hugh Hewitt who specializes in unsupported assertions and who’s facts generally consist of a link to another right-wing blog who has made the same unsupported assertion with different wording. I’m still not, like you know accusing Hugh of anything, but if someone who lived within a few miles of Hugh died of a heart attack… I’m not saying that Hugh might be involved. I’m just wandering about things,

That’s three journalists and Hewitt, a partisan (actual Hewitt book title: If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends Upon It) with an interesting approach to journalism: while director of the Richard Nixon presidential library, Hewitt reportedly said: “I don’t think we’d ever open the doors to Bob Woodward. He’s not a responsible journalist.”

Your very life depends on voting for a right-wing conservative. Hugh must be getting editorial advice from Dick Cheney, the vote for us or you’ll die crowd.
ts the perfect circle, the right advocates various degrees of eliminationism, the left satirizes them, the right squeals that the satire is real and goes too far ( which maybe some of it does), then the right ratchets up the rhetoric in response to the satire. The easy answer to all this is to teach conservatives what satire is, but that would be like trying to teach George Bush what compassion is.

The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.

excerpt from 1984 by George Orwell

I just needed a few slow nights, a week without tragedy followed by a couple of days off

I once had what would probably be described by many as a liberal history professor. It is true that he was a classical liberal that believed in individual rights and being fair minded. he never said those things outright, he showed those qualities by the way he approached the subject of history. He did make the observation, prefaced by “in his opinion” that when you go far enough to the left or right you just get two heads on the same coin. With that in mind, Who Is ‘We’?

One of the beliefs that most distinguished the fascists, Nazis, and communists of the 20th century was their organic view of society. Proponents of all three ideologies thought of society as an organism – and of each of you, dear readers, as simply a cell in some part of the organism. And just as our cells have no importance outside their ability to serve our whole body, in the aforementioned three ideologies, our whole beings had no importance aside from their ability to serve the whole society. So, of what value was the individual? He was simply a tool for the ends of others, none of whom have importance either because they, also, were tools. And if society was an organism, then it made sense for the head to run things, right? Government was thought to be the head. And, of course, because there were many people within government, the true head was leader of the government – Mussolini, Hitler, and Lenin or Stalin.

It is not surprising or really all that ironic that America’s far right has embraced government as some holy shrine not to be questioned. There may have been some genuine small government conservatives back in the sixties, but since Nixon, given the chance to govern modern conservatism has always been about power. Power for the shrill pleasure of it, a huge monolithic authority, and regardless of how many examples you offer up of corruption, ineptitude, the cost in lives and taxes, the collective monolith is always right. This is the right’s version of a collective, some organic entity that cannot be questioned. For them to admit that they were wrong about even one thing invites the possibility that they were wrong about others things. It is very akin to those that take religious texts literally, if you show through the rational scientific method that one incident was surely a parable, then you have opened up the possibility that the texts are not infallible. This accounts for the bizarre denial of Cheney and Rove’s involvement with outing a CIA agent as political revenge among other nefarious acts by the administration and Congressional conservatives. Nothing they do can ever be wrong, there are never any negative consequences to their acts and if push should come to shove all is forgiven by a god that they feel they own.

A take down of Powerline, a fringe right blog that spouts lies like their was a grave national shortage, is easy, but always gratifying to see. Nitpicker ups the take-down score by knocking a couple inches off Newt Gingrich in the process, Power Line: Bush at the top of his game

what kind of kooky liberals would suggest Bush wasn’t working hard to bring peace to the Middle East? Oh, that’s right, it was the American Enterprise Institute, in 2002.

Newt doing his collective infallibility impression,

Remember, though, this is the party that brokered the deal that enabled North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons, yet now blames that regime’s nuclear status on President Bush.

and Nitpicker has to go and drag reality into the discussion,

May I point this out just one more time? In 2002, just months after it had achieved “Axis of Evil” status, Bush handed North Korea a bunch of money and said “We don’t want to see what you’re hiding.”

Bush turned his back on the N. Korea problem his like he turned his back on the presidential daily brief that said Bin Laden likely to attack. “We” did not use our worse judgement, “we” were not the ones that after six plus years did nothing about N.K. They all sit around and in their wise and wonderful way and made deeply intelligent decisions that have been wrong at every turn. You buy the conservative mindset and you buy the malicious intentions that goes along with it.

Villa mosaic’s secrets revealed

The mosaic, which dates back to the 4th Century, is part of the Dinnington Roman Villa site near Ilminster.
It is thought to be the only one of its kind in the country to feature the figures from Greek mythology.

The treasure was uncovered by a team of experts from Somerset County Council and students from Winchester University and Taunton’s Richard Huish College.

Frank’s detached voice speaks over the urban landscape:

FRANK (V.O.)
Thursday started out with a bang: a
gunshot to the chest on a drug deal
gone bad. Heat, humidity, moonlight–
all the elements in place for a long
weekend. I was good at my job: there
were periods when my hands moved
with a speed and skill beyond me and
my mind worked with a cool authority
I had never known. But in the last
year I had started to lose that
control. Things had turned bad. I
hadn’t saved anyone for months. I
just needed a few slow nights, a
week without tragedy followed by a
couple of days off.

from the screenplay BRINGING OUT THE DEAD by Paul Schrader, based on the novel by
Joseph Connelly

active adherence and loyalty to that which is the essential principle of Boosterism—Good Citizenship in all its factors and aspects

At Washington Whispers just below a puff piece on Greta Van Susteren is an interesting snip of news, That Times Leak Was No Surprise

Before you jump in with those heaping scorn on the New York Times for using a leak to reveal the secret Treasury program to search financial transactions for terrorist activities, know this: The Treasury Department expected it to leak. When the program was developed in 2003, a press plan was included. The goal: Get out front with the spin that there are safeguards to prevent snooping on private accounts, that it is legal, and that there are big benefits to it.

Again I would not have much of a problem with the domestic side of this program if Congress and the courts had proper oversight. The role of president was not conceived to resemble that of a king. That was being one of the bedrock principles on which this democracy was established it is disturbing that so many people support secret and unregulated activities by this president. Programs like this should be used, but in a lawful manner and not just as a tool against terrorism. The fact is that dirty money from corporations, drug dealers and others flow in and out of America on a pretty regular basis. Whether those in charge will sniff out some of the conservative movements largest benefactors is another matter. I wonder after another month of who can yell traitor the loudest, the clown princes of right-wing punditry will put two simple pieces together, the distance betwenn 9-11-01 and 2003. A time long ago where something as simple as monitoring international money transfers and links to terror money was probably put aside to plan the wonderfullness that is the Iraqi occupation or so that Bush and company could do important things like coordinate lies about John Kerry with their local campaign staffs.

Jane Goodall, and she would know better then me thinks that using monkeys for AIDS research is not productive, The Chimp’s Champion

…I think we have wasted huge numbers of dollars doing things with chimps and monkeys. Most medical breakthroughs are not the result of work with animals, although the law requires the new breakthrough to be tested on animals before it can be applied to people.

This may well be one of those times which old good intentioned regulations has outlived its usefulness. Since the current ruling party can’t seem to be guided by regulation that does work it is unlikely that they will find a working solution to an outdated one. This isn’t because conservatives are incompetent in the traditional sense, but because of the incoherent nature of their logic, the answers they come up with are doomed to the Katrina effect.

Sometimes you hear of strange and mysterious phenomenon such as Number Stations

Short wave radio enthusiasts worldwide have heard of the strange and elusive Numbers Channels. It is a name that refers to any one of several of unusual broadcasts that usually start at a very specific time, though often from different locations. The broadcasts contain some odd elements like excerpts of music, a regular attention message, and a sting of phonetic letters or numbers—for which they are named. For the most part, the signals make no sense—at least not to most people—the messages are fairly random, and there is not enough information in the broadcast itself to allow one to decipher it.

and hope that the mystery is never unraveled. As a mystery we can infuse it with all kinds of imaginative qualities. When finally unraveled the sources for and reasons behind the transmissions are probably going to be a dissappointment.

Damn James Wolcott for cutting through some of the muck about which war we’re in World War Two-and-a-Half

I think one of the reasons our world warriors are so eager to hang a new Roman numeral on the current turmoil is because it enables the U.S. to work off a a clean won-loss slate.

Wolcott pummels Newtie, yet never calls him what he is, an irrelevant wife hopping chickenhawk hypocrite that is all too happy to send Biily Joe Bob off to die in his real life enactment of a video game. I would not call for rounding up the Newties of America, they should display the bravado that their words suggest and volunteer to be summarily air dropped into Baghdad central with a full magazine where they can exercise their demons. Michael Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz, and Jonah Goldberg can bring their sewing kits to reattach the asses that get blown off.
There is something else about the new advertising campaign by the right that is charming in its repetitiveness of a certain meme of authoritarian conservatism; they have no clue what to do about the middle-east other then worship the sacred god of more force, yet the near first thing out of their mouths is no matter what what ideas the Democrats have, ignore them. Don’t listen, don’t weigh any elements of a thoughtful discussion, just start deriding Democrats now. Somewhat an admission on the right-wing fringe’s part that they’re lousy at discourse, but also denotes a fear of words. Here we are at a point where Democrats have been cast into political Siberia by the right and most of the MSM, yet the very thought of us having ideas strikes fear in the hearts of conservatism’s mightiest pundits.

At each place was the Boosters’ Club booklet, listing the members. Though the object of the club was good-fellowship, yet they never lost sight of the importance of doing a little more business. After each name was the member’s occupation. There were scores of advertisements in the booklet, and on one page the admonition: “There’s no rule that you have to trade with your Fellow Boosters, but get wise, boy—what’s the use of letting all this good money get outside of our happy fambly?” And at each place, to-day, there was a present; a card printed in artistic red and black:

SERVICE AND BOOSTERISM

Service finds its finest opportunity and development only in its broadest and deepest application and the consideration of its perpetual action upon reaction. I believe the highest type of Service, like the most progressive tenets of ethics, senses unceasingly and is motived by active adherence and loyalty to that which is the essential principle of Boosterism—Good Citizenship in all its factors and aspects.

from the novel Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

your problem is you’re always doing stuff before I’m finished figuring it out

popcorn2.jpg
The American Roadside
Is a site about road trips, diners, food and I found one entry about drive-in theatres. Diners always seem to be in the middle of a mini-resurgence, but my annual hopes for the drive-in theatre are much like my wish that we return to being a democracy. Maybe its that drive-ins are associated with cars. What if modern drive-ins were walk-in and instead of places where you would have cars parked next to speaker pools you’d have a kind of half clam shell with a cushioned bench inside with surround sound.

When Torture Isn’t Good Enough kidnap and threaten their families.
Last year when many of us – the media, Congress, and blogtopia were having debates over torture I pointed a right-wing Bush supporter to this article, The Torture Myth

Aside from its immorality and its illegality, says Herrington, torture is simply “not a good way to get information.” In his experience, nine out of 10 people can be persuaded to talk with no “stress methods” at all, let alone cruel and unusual ones. Asked whether that would be true of religiously motivated fanatics, he says that the “batting average” might be lower: “perhaps six out of ten.” And if you beat up the remaining four? “They’ll just tell you anything to get you to stop.”

Worse, you’ll have the other side effects of torture. It “endangers our soldiers on the battlefield by encouraging reciprocity.” It does “damage to our country’s image” and undermines our credibility in Iraq. That, in the long run, outweighs any theoretical benefit.

The Bush supporter didn’t hesitate to simply brush aside this argument and assert that our willingness to use torture, whether it was effective or not, or whether it was moral did not matter, torture showed the enemy that we were tough. The guy’s mind was spinning with some theoretical benefit that we have never seen. On the contrary Bush and Rumfeld’s policies will haunt any efforts we make in the middle-east when we as a nation talk about issues of morality. I guess you could make the claim that Bush has lowered our moral authority, but we’re still not as low as Al-Queda. That we find ourselves even having to weigh one side’s degrees of inhumanity against anther’s doesn’t speak well in how conservatives have calibrated the moral yardstick. The other side, and I doubt the pro-torture Bush supporter has noticed, doesn’t seem the least bit intimidated by our willingness to put aside the Geneva rules. On the contrary they seem more determined to get even for wrongs both real and imagined. Not to mention that it seems that Bush and company has given the other side the advantage in winning the hearts and minds war. Helping the other side? Isn’t that called treason.

Female Soldiers Treated ‘Lower Than Dirt’

Since the fall of 2003, the Miles Foundation has documented 518 cases of sexual assault on women who have served or are serving in Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Qatar. The foundation has counselors on staff around the clock and often receives midnight phone calls from service members or their family members. After counselors and attorneys help the women access medical care and explain the reporting process, they try to transport them to a safe place for care and treatment.

I can’t say something pithy about sinking into the gutter. We as a nation are there. Whether we can pull ourselves up depends on whether we can overcome the dark side, the side that use the word values a lot, but does not seem to have much understanding of what values are.

update: As I read over the comments at the various patriotic sites invariably there is a certain frustration about what to do about Spectre’s gift of the U.S. Senate’s oversight powers to Bush. This may not be much, but then it may lower the blood pressure a notch or two knowing that you did something, e-mail petition  Stop Specter’s Surveillance Bill!

As a constituent who cares deeply about respect for the rule of law, a fair judicial system, and the Fourth Amendment, I write to urge your opposition to Senator Specter’s draft bill transferring challenges to the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” and future “electronic surveillance program[s]” to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Court of Review (FISC and FISCR).  I also urge you to oppose any other bill that would take such challenges out of the traditional court system.

If anyone involved in the NSA’s spying has broken the law, he or she should be held accountable.  This determination can only be made fairly in open federal and state courts.  FISC and FISCR’s secret, one-sided proceedings violate our nation’s tradition of open judicial proceedings and due process of law.
JESSE
Such as?

FRANK
You could have worn one of those
big, floppy woman’s Easter Sunday
hats.

JESSE
That would have made an impression.

FRANK
I figure.

JESSE
See, that’s your problem, Frank. By
the time you finish figuring out
stuff, I’m already finished doing it.

FRANK
No, Jesse, your problem is you’re
always doing stuff before I’m
finished figuring it out.
from the screenplay American Outlaws by Roderick Taylor and John Rogers

We have chains, though no eye beholds them; and are slaves, though men call us free

pom.jpg
It is odd the the Washington Post (Bush Compromises On Spying Program) in a news story, not an editorial mind you, thinks that Bush suddenly decided to act like a good citizen and yield some of his power grab back to Congress and the courts. Nothing could be further from the truth, The Specter Monstrosity

1. At least with respect to terrorism-based electronic surveillance, all of the limits Congress imposed on electronic surveillance in FISA are in effect repealed. The statute does not require the Executive branch to meet any statutory standard for terrorism-based surveillance, and eliminates the FISA provision that prescribes FISA and Title 18 as being the “exclusive means” of electronic surveillance, i.e., the provision that principally limits what the President can do. [UPDATE: Eric Umansky writes: “One other thing flagged by the [Washington Post] in the 28th paragraph [of its story]: ‘Specter agreed to repeal a section of the original FISA law that made it the exclusive statute governing such intelligence programs.’ . . . . [T]hat might have been worth mentioning, oh, say, 27 paragraphs higher.”]

The Supreme Court, through the Scholars Address NSA Spying Issue in Light of Hamdan

Earlier this year, a group of leading constitutional scholars’ penned two letters criticizing the legality of the Bush administration’s NSA spying program. In light of the Court’s recent decision in Hamdan, they have written a third letter to Congress arguing that the legal reasoning behind the Hamdan decision firmly supports a conclusion that the NSA spying program is illegal.

The scholars’ letter contends that the Court in Hamdan “addressed arguments regarding the military commissions that are very similar (in some respects identical) to the DOJ’s arguments regarding NSA spying, and the Court’s reasoning strongly supports the conclusion that the President’s NSA surveillance program is illegal.”

I just keep thinking of this quote from William O. Douglas, ” As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
The same people that support this decision and Bush are the same ones that think they own the flag and are the ultimate arbiters of all things patriotic. There is little that is patriotic about tearing down own freedoms brick by brick. This week they managed to tear down a whole wall and most of the nation has simply ordered a pizza and opened a beer. That is the barometer at which many Americans and their representatives have come to measure freedom, as long as they can shop and pick up their paycheck all is well.

Phil Carter on the tragic consequences of allowing standards to be lowered for military recruitment, An Object Lesson in the Importance of Standards

It’s a tragic case in nearly every respect — but especially for the Iraqis involved, and for the effect this atrocity will have on our efforts to secure and rebuild Iraq.

Not that Bush and his cult care.

If you get a chance Jeff Huber at Pen and Sword has a two parter on SCOTUS and Hamdan, Dog Pile on SCOTUS, Part I and Dog Pile on SCOTUS, Part II

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.”– George Orwell

The young King went over to one of the weavers, and stood by him
and watched him.

And the weaver looked at him angrily, and said, ‘Why art thou
watching me? Art thou a spy set on us by our master?’

‘Who is thy master?’ asked the young King.

‘Our master!’ cried the weaver, bitterly. ‘He is a man like
myself. Indeed, there is but this difference between us–that he
wears fine clothes while I go in rags, and that while I am weak
from hunger he suffers not a little from overfeeding.’

‘The land is free,’ said the young King, ‘and thou art no man’s
slave.’

‘In war,’ answered the weaver, ‘the strong make slaves of the weak,
and in peace the rich make slaves of the poor. We must work to
live, and they give us such mean wages that we die. We toil for
them all day long, and they heap up gold in their coffers, and our
children fade away before their time, and the faces of those we
love become hard and evil. We tread out the grapes, and another
drinks the wine. We sow the corn, and our own board is empty. We
have chains, though no eye beholds them; and are slaves, though men
call us free.’

from A HOUSE OF POMEGRANATES by Oscar Wilde

It’s the green one; and that does credit to your patriotism, and it’s the smallest one; and that does credit to your judgment

Just in case you were trying to keep track of the rules in Big Con Conservative politics I sympathize. Reviewing conservative hypocrisies is a head spinner, they happen almost everyday, sometimes more, and quickly recede into the sunset of our national memory so fast that one would have to quite your full time job and know shorthand or stenography to keep track. There are a few consistent themes however, one is that when conservatives do it, it is OK, whatever it is doesn’t matter, Images of war

Republicans, trying again to rally their conservative base, are

But the latest flap shows Democrats trying to turn the tables on a Republican technique that has worked against them in the past – manipulating the images of Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee web ad titled “New Directions” opens with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco greeting a young girl on Capitol Hill.

It quickly moves to the war images, including an impromptu battlefield memorial from one U.S. soldier to his fallen buddy, then to images representing soaring gas prices and Hurricane Katrina while mixing in photos of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former top House leader Tom DeLay and Bush political aide Karl Rove.

Republicans, and the right-wing bloggers, are furious at, in the words of Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, the “attempts to exploit U.S. military casualties in the global war on terror.”

“It’s disgraceful that … the Democrats would use images of caskets of dead American soldiers to raise money. I think they should pull the advertisement immediately and sincerely apologize to our men and women in uniform and their families and the American people,” Boehner added today.

Boehner, who thinks that integrity is a kind of salad dressing and the usual cast of batty conservative bloggers have taken one too many cups of brazen hypocrisy, Bush used flag drapped coffins of 9-11 victims in his 2004 re-election campaign

The Bush reelection campaign yesterday unveiled its first three campaign commercials showcasing Ground Zero images, angering some 9/11 families who accused President Bush of exploiting the tragedy for political advantage.

“It’s a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people,” said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin tower attacks. “It is unconscionable.”

As of this date there have been no apologies from Bush or his supporters for the exploitation of September 11. Another rule from the conservative handbook, never apologize when you are wrong.

Vice President Sued by Plame And Husband, and the reason that this is important as a way to crack the wall around Bush as infallible ruler is this,

Plame and Wilson might be entitled to demand documents from Cheney and others, as well as to require them to sit for sworn depositions, much as President Bill Clinton had to answer questions under oath in Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit.

While as the story pints out, Cheney may be immune or can simply claim the right to babble under the first amendment. Still the entire nation will be treated to the spectacle of a hard right-wing conservative vice-president avoiding legal jeopardy by the use of legal wrangling rather then actual innocence. Then there’s Maude or in this case civil service flunky Karl Rove, Bush Directed Cheney To Counter War Critic. While we have to take Bush’s word at this point that he only directed that the VP to somehow discredit Wilson, the question remains of how Valerie Plame’s name and the revelation of her employment became part of Cheney, Libby’s, and Rove’s statements to Novak and other members of the press. We do know that only the portions of the National Intelligence Estimate that were manipulated to support Bush’s claims was initially released. If Cheney, Rove and Libby had just wanted to make Wilson look bad all they had to do was stick to their version of the NIE, dragging Wilson’s wife into the whole matter wasn’t relevant and seems to have been an act of petty political vindictiveness. Despite the shrill denials of the right, the CIA sent Wilson to Niger, not M’s Plame. There was no legitimate reason for her name to even be discussed.
Bush’s Middle-East Big Bang Theory In Ruins

By late November of this year, the United States will have been at war in Iraq for as long as we were involved in World War II. Under those circumstances, the burden of proof should not be on those who argue for changing what we’re doing. It should be on those who set a failed policy in motion and keep promising, despite the evidence, that it will somehow pay off if only we “stay the course.”

To conservatives this is still a raging success, war porn that has just become more hardcore, just the way they like it. Success is, for these counterfeit patriots measured in buckets of blood. It is the Victor David Hansen school of historical quackery, more deadly force will eventually engulf the middle-east in some kind of cleansing fire. So even if we were lied into a war and democracy at the point of a gun fails they still succeeded. Difficult for a normal person to follow, just remember in the conservative handbook it says that failure is winning.

“‘The O’Connors,’ says he, ‘are a warlike race. There is me father’s
sword; and here is the map. A life of inaction is not for me. The
O’Connors were born to rule. ‘Tis a ruler of men I must be.’

“‘Barney,’ I says to him, ‘why don’t you get on the force and settle
down to a quiet life of carnage and corruption instead of roaming off to
foreign parts? In what better way can you indulge your desire to subdue
and maltreat the oppressed?’

“‘Look again at the map,’ says he, ‘at the country I have the point of
me knife on. ‘Tis that one I have selected to aid and overthrow with me
father’s sword.’

“‘I see,’ says I. ‘It’s the green one; and that does credit to your
patriotism, and it’s the smallest one; and that does credit to your
judgment.’

“‘Do ye accuse me of cowardice?’ says Barney, turning pink.

from the story A RULER OF MEN by O. Henry