Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth

Charge: Desperate To Curry Favor With Bush, CBS Execs Tried Not To Run Abu Ghraib Story

The lawsuit adds elsewhere that CBS chief Sumner Redstone “considered it to be in his corporate interest to curry favor with the Bush administration.”

Again, some stuff about CBS’ foot-dragging has been known for years, but the details here are really key. If true, it’s pretty surprising that CBS, in apparent response to government pressure, allegedly tried to downplay its own scoop by airing it only once and not precede it with on-air promotion.

I wasn’t sure what to think of Mr Rather’s lawsuit. I’m still not sure. There was some evidence all along that suggests that the substance of the Killian documents was true. Now that it appears CBS and the corporate powers behind Rather’s railroading might be in the hot seat. Things could get interesting.

Recently we had this story where Congressman Moran simply questioned AIPAC’s influence in Washington and the knee jerk response from Republicans was that he was antisemitic. There is always a certain irony in Republican moaning about any kind of bias because ultimately they still carry an awful lot of baggage in the antisemetism department, International Jew Conspiracy. That would be courtesy Investor Business Daily and a right-wing blogger named Captain’s Quarters that tries to sell himself a moderate temperate conservative. And prime rib is the same thing as baloney.

There are many ways to kill something. One is to talk it to death, That MoveOn Ad

The whole fracas of Petraeus, Crocker, MoveOn, etc. has had, to a good first approximation, no impact whatsoever on anything of any significance. Bush continues to be stubborn. Republicans continue to back Bush. The war continues to go poorly and continues to be unpopular. There was nothing else that ever could have happened. A bunch of editors and politicians talked themselves into believing that this September showdown was crucially significant, but they were all wrong and their theory never made any sense.

Any one mad at MoveOn or Democrats for the ad is just using up some energy that could be constructively used on another issue. Did those who are so upset on the Democratic side think that ad made the slightest bit of difference in what Petraeus would say or his level of honesty. Bush and Republicans using fear, the troops and some perversion of patriotism for political cover is SOP. Glued to Our Seats in the Theater of WarTall Tales from the Annals of the Bush Administration

Part of the answer is revealed in the most astounding polling figure of recent weeks. A New York Times poll asked, “Who do you trust the most with successfully resolving the war in Iraq?” In response, only 5% of those polled gave the nod to the Bush administration, just 21% to Congress, but fully 68% — more than two out of three — plunked for “the military.”

Once again, the top-rated show of the season is evidently that all-time favorite, “The Military Saves the Day,” a sequel to the smash hit of the past several seasons, “Support Our Troops.” No wonder the White House brought its hero and surge commander, General David Petraeus, on stage for the final scene in this act of a seemingly unending drama. No wonder Bush used the general as cover, not only for continuing the war, but for making his own shadowy compromises in his September 13 address to the nation (which, by the way, drew a far smaller audience than his last major speech introducing his surge plan, or “new way forward,” on Jan. 10). “General Petraeus recommends that in December, we begin transitioning to the next phase of our strategy,” the President said. “Our troops will focus on a more limited set of tasks.” It was as if, all of a sudden, the newly four-starred general, and not the President, were now the commander-in-chief.

This actually isn’t the first time Bush has put on a little sock puppet show using a military face. Remember Colin Powell’s slide show for Congress that lead up to the occupation of Iraq. Like many people I respected General Powell enough to listen even if we were on different political sides. The same is true of many Americans and General Patraeus. The American people know they have an arrogant inept frat boy in the Whitehouse, even most Republicans realize that even if they don’t admit it publicly. That’s what makes Patraeus’s recent performance all the more disappointing. The American people were looking for someone to find them a dignified way out of the Iraq. The polls haven’t changed, everybody still thinks we’re stuck in Iraq without a real plan and even a great plan at this point can’t bring back all the people that have died for Republican lies..

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth. ~ Lillian Hellman


World Map wallpaper circa 1690

World map circa 1690 wallpaper. Done by cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli (August 16, 1650 – December 9, 1718)

Subverting Majority Rule

The Republican obstruction campaign continues. Yesterday, the Republican minority in the Senate filibustered and blocked two measures that had majority support in the House, and bipartisan majority support in the Senate. Republicans continue to filibuster at a pace three times anything ever seen before, in a systematic effort to block popular reforms.

Fifty-six Senators, including six Republicans, supported the resolution offered by Sen. James Webb, D-Va., and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to guarantee the soldiers fighting in Iraq adequate home rotations. This sensible bill – vital to the mental health and readiness of the soldiers on the front line – was blocked because the remaining Republican senators lined up with their leadership to filibuster it.

Similarly, 56 Senators, including six Republicans, supported the legislation introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Arlen Spector, R-Pa., to restore the fundamental right of court review for those detained under suspicion of terrorism. Once more the will of the bipartisan majority was subverted by the filibuster strategy of a partisan minority.

Republicans are filibustering so many bills that the press has begun to cover this extreme tactic as business as usual.

Remember Republicans whining just a couple years ago that the filibuster was terrible, an obstructionist dirty tactic that only those underhanded Democrats would use to deny the will of the majority and they would use the now infamous “nuclear option” to end Democratic filibusters.

Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS): “[Filibustering] is wrong. It’s not supportable under the Constitution. And if they insist on persisting with these filibusters, I’m perfectly prepared to blow the place up.”

In recent weeks, Frist has been relentlessly preaching about the evils of judicial filibusters. Speaking to the Federalist Society on November 12, Frist said filibustering judicial nominees is “radical. It is dangerous and it must be overcome.” [1] Frist called judicial filibusters “nothing less than a formula for tyranny by the minority.” When Bill Clinton was President, however, Frist engaged in the same behavior he is now condemning.

A new synonym for situational ethics – Republican.