Money, hope and haplessness of Conservatives

Big Coffers and Rising Voice at Conservative Group

Freedom’s Watch, a deep-pocketed conservative group led by two former senior White House officials, made an audacious debut in late August when it began a $15 million advertising campaign designed to maintain Congressional support for President Bush’s troop increase in Iraq.

[ ]…One benefactor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the group was hoping to raise as much as $200 million by November 2008. Raising big money “will be easy,” the benefactor said, adding that several of the founders each wrote a check for $1 million. Mr. Blakeman would not confirm or deny whether any donor gave $1 million, or more, to the organization.

[ ]…Among the group’s founders are Sheldon G. Adelson, the chairman and chief executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, who ranks sixth on the Forbes Magazine list of the world’s billionaires; Mel Sembler, a shopping center magnate based in St. Petersburg, Fla., who served as the ambassador to Italy and Australia; John M. Templeton Jr., the conservative philanthropist from Bryn Mawr, Pa.; and Anthony H. Gioia, a former ambassador to Malta who heads an investment group based in Buffalo, N.Y. All four men are long-time prolific donors who have raised money on behalf of Republican and conservative causes.

You might want to clip and save this entire article for two occasions. For the next time a Republican says the Democratic Party is run by elitists. The second is for those that try to use millionaire George Soros as some grand all powerful manipulator. The sole purpose of the formation of this Republican billionaires club is that Republicans are losing the war of ideas. There only recourse to to overwhelm the public with bought and paid for propaganda.

Is arch neoconservative and fascist plagiarist Michael Ledeen ( by the way if you type “fascist plagiarist” into Google Ledeen’s is the first name in the results, so congrats to Mike) capable of writing anything that contains more truth then spin. At the National Review on-line Ledeen titles a post, Spitting on the Marines, Saturday, September 29, 2007. Sounds awful. I read the title and I was outraged that someone would spit on a Marine. The title to the story was intended to have just that effect. Yet no Marine was actually in fact spit on. In an e-mail he received from a Marine chaplain ( obviously an ideological aligned contact) it says,

It felt like being spit on. Every Marine and soldier

felt the message loud and clear, “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME

IN OAKLAND!”

Why did this chaplain feel like he was spit on? Because of some problems with TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in Oakland. TSA administrators are Bush administration appointees. Kip Hawley is the current head of the TSA and part of his resume includes a stint as Deputy Assistant and Special Assistant to President Ronald “Iran-Contra” Reagan. Kip is a member of the club. Ledeen writes in reference to the Marine’s problems with the TSA,” I hope that one of our leaders will find a way to put an end to such behavior.” The federal bureaucracy that we all live under is not run by faceless strangers, it is run by Ledeen’s buddies, like Kip. So to be clear. The agencies run by Ledeen’s ideological brothers in incompetence have “spit” on the Marines and Ledeen “hopes” they will do something to correct the problem.

The price of service

“The wounded and their families no longer trust that the government will take care of them the way they thought they’d be taken care of,” says veterans advocate Mary Ellen Salzano.

It’s a story which is much bigger than PTSD, TBI, or the particular rigors of combat, although that’s part of it. The bigger story has to do with the economic, social, and personal transition that soldiers must make when they leave the highly institutionalized world of the military for the competitive and often-unforgiving world of civilian life. It’s a massive life change, and as one person tells the AP: “What the VA has to offer is insufficient economically to take care of the impact of what happens.” Right. But how should we take care of veterans when they come home from war, or leave the service?

Maybe Mike could write up a little something where he “hopes” that the Bush administration and its appointees at the V.A. will take care of those vets the neocons sent off to an unnecessary war. Maybe some of them feel “spit” on too.

If You’re a Republican its OK to Call Generals traitors and the troops “phony”

Just last week every Republican ( as far as I can tell ) and many Democrats voted to yes on a resolution to condemn MoveOn’s ad in the New York Times General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Many folks can’t seem to get past the title or don’t wish to because they do not want to deal with the substance of the ad,

Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed.
GAO report, 9/4/07
NIE report, 8/23/07
Jones report, CSIS, 9/6/07
Independent AP investigation, 9/1/07
Independent L.A. Times investigation, 9/1/07

Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count.
“Time to Take a Stand,” by Paul Krugman. 9/7/07

The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front.
“Experts Doubt Drop in Violence in Iraq,” by Karen DeYoung. 9/6/07

According to news reports, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there.
The Associated Press, “Violence Appears to Be Shifting from Baghdad.” 8/25/07
National Public Radio, “Statistics the Weapon of Choice in Surge Debate,” by Guy Raz. 9/6/07
Associated Press, “Key Figures About Iraq Since the War Began in 2003.” 9/5/07

Two of the most inept wankers to ever serve in the U.S. Senate said this,

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “This amendment gives our colleagues a chance to distance themselves from these despicable tactics, distance themselves from the notion that some group has them on a leash.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “It is MoveOn that is the disgrace. And I think it is important that the entire Congress publicly repudiate these absurd charges.”

Not one Senate Republican to date has addressed the documentation in the ad. Ironically the Democrats that went along with the puppet show that deflected attention away from the facts in the ad have the following posted on their web site,

GAO Found Iraqis Had Met Just 2 of the 9 Security Benchmarks. “Our analysis shows that the Iraqi government has met two of the nine security benchmarks.” While the Iraqi government “has established political, communications, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad security plan and, with substantial coalition assistance, 32 of the planned 34 Joint Security Stations across Baghdad. Of the remaining 7 benchmarks, the Iraqi government partially met 2 and did not meet five.” The five benchmarks met are, 1) Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security. 2) Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S. commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. 3) Ensuring that Iraqi security forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law. 4) Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces’ units capable of operating independently. 5) Ensuring that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi security forces. [GAO Report: Securing, Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq, September 2007]

The Senate Democrats own fact sheet supports MoveOn’s ad on the substance. Rather then then pointing out that even when the nation is involved in foreign conflicts the 1st amendment is still in effect. That grass roots organizations like MoveOn still possess the right to express themselves even if the wording offends a few people. Now will those same people that voted to condemn MoveOn for nothing more then petty partisan reasons vote on a resolution to condemn Fox News and David Hunt,
Fox News’ attack on the honor and integrity of our war generals

Fox News Contributor and frequent O’Reilly guest David Hunt — is even more Despicable, as it repeatedly attacks the honor and integrity of members of the United States Armed Forces in one smearing paragraph after the next, beginning with this first sentence:

Our generals are betraying our soldiers . . . again.

What has Hunt so worked up. The Pentagon is going to stop setting “bait” ( weapons, ammo, etc) and letting snipers kill the people that pick it up. There is under some circumstances ( Hunt mentions Vietnam) where the argument can be made for baiting, but that is beside the point. Hunt didn’t just accuse one general, but accused all the generals of being traitors. This after the over the hill right-wing gas bag Rush Limbaugh clearly said in chorus with one of his fans that any soldier that opposed the continued occupation of Iraq was a phony – Presto! False Associated Press Reporting Makes Limbaugh’s Bogus Pushback Sound Perfectly Reasonable

In the AP’s telling, Limbaugh says he first mentioned the specific phony soldier, and then “followed” with a reference to “phony soldiers.” This description, of course, makes Limbaugh’s pushback sound completely reasonable: Limbaugh says he established the specific context — a discussion of MacBeth — before using the controversial phrase.

But this is not what Limbaugh’s transcript says at all, of course. Indeed, not even Limbaugh himself is arguing this. Rather, Limbaugh’s transcript shows that the mention of MacBeth came long after his initial reference to phony soldiers. He hadn’t established this context first at all. This is just a pathetic error.