Beach Rocks wallpaper

Beach Rocks wallpaper 1600×1123

Beach Rocks 1600×1143

The Republican National Committee is thankful today that we don’t give breathalyzer tests to measure the amount of Konservative kool-aid coursing through their icy veins, Campaign Jousting Returns to Iraq War

After a strong push from Sen. John McCain’s allies, the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election, with McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for making up his mind about the war without visiting the war zone and Obama charging that McCain has yet to learn the lessons of President Bush’s mistakes.

“The next commander in chief is going to have to make decisions that will either lead to peace and security in Iraq or chaos and conflict,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, sounding a theme that Republicans have pushed all week. “The voters need to know how the candidates will make that decision. And the fact that there are 2-year-old Iraqi children who weren’t born the last time Obama was in their country raises questions about what he is making his decisions on.”

Please, please, please let the Kool-Kids keep making references to peace, children and security, ‘Silent victims’: What will become of Iraq’s children?

Mustafa Karim, a fourth-grader, now lives with family members in a squalid camp in eastern Baghdad where displaced Shias go after fleeing their homes, often after relatives have been killed.

The young boy’s eyes fill with tears when he recalls the circumstances that led to his exile.

“They killed my father and uncle in front of my eyes,” he says.

He then breaks down sobbing. He can no longer speak. The anguish is unbearable.

Such stories are not uncommon in Iraq four years after the U.S.-led invasion. Health officials say the daily hardships — bomb blasts, gunfire, killings of family members and sectarian violence — are taking an increasing toll on Iraq’s children.

Hundreds of thousands of children no longer attend school. Others have been forced from their homes to camps, while others have fled the nation with family.

2 is the magic number is it. Would that be those that would be five or six year olds that would be alive now if Bush with McCain’s full support threw out weapons inspectors so that the Iraqi people could be shocked and awed for their own good. As of May 2008 4083 U.S. military personal have been killed in Iraq. In the first two years of the war 25,000 Iraqis were killed, 20% of them children and women (probably a few two year olds Alex Conant is so concerned about). In that same two years 42,500 Iraqis were injured. Please Alex, McBush whoever every day, every day talk about how the children of Iraq and how very much you care about the troops . You’ll get to talk about them a lot when you’re seating around the water cooler at the Republican think tank for defeated and retired delusional ideologues.

The RNC says “The next commander in chief is going to have to make decisions that will either lead to peace and security in Iraq or chaos and conflict,”. If Republicans want to try and continue the game of selling the American people that they’re the party of keen national security insights rather then the usual snake oil shouldn’t they and McCain know how many troops are in Iraq, McCain’s “pre-surge levels” misstatement

“There are honest differences about how to move forward in Iraq, just like there were honest differences about whether or not we should go to war,” Obama is supposed to say. “John McCain was for the invasion of Iraq; I opposed it. John McCain wants to continue George Bush’s war in Iraq indefinitely; I want to end it. So there’s going to be a clear choice for the American people this November.”

“But that’s not what John McCain’s been talking about the last few days. He’s been proposing a joint trip to Iraq that’s nothing more than a political stunt. He’s even been using it to raise a few dollars for his campaign. But it seems like Sen. McCain’s a lot more interested in my travel plans than the facts, because yesterday – in his continued effort to put the best light on a failed policy – he stood up in Wisconsin and said, ‘We have drawn down to pre-surge levels’ in Iraq.”

“That’s not true, and anyone running for commander-in-chief should know better. As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own view, but not your own facts. We’ve got around 150,000 troops in Iraq — 20,000 more than we had before the surge. We have plans to get down to around 140,000 later this summer — that’s still more troops than we had in Iraq before the surge. And today, Sen. McCain refused to correct his mistake. Just like George Bush, when he was presented with the truth, he just dug in and refused to admit his mistake. His campaign said it amounts to ‘nitpicking.'”

“Well, I don’t think tens of thousands of American troops amounts to nitpicking. Tell that to the young men and women who are serving bravely and brilliantly under our flag. Tell that to the families who have seen their loved ones fight tour after tour after tour of duty in a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged.”

McCain claims both to be the one to trust and the one that didn’t mean what he said.

* Sorry about the photo sizes the picture host resizes them per their policy. The pixels listed under the photos are have been corrected.


McCain and Republicans need to “Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study”

John McCain has admitted that he doesn’t know much about economics. When I first heard him say that I allowed for the possibility of false modesty. It turns out he really doesn’t know anything about economics judging by his chief adviser, McCain’s scary economic advisor

Even as John McCain struggles to preserve his image as a reformer by dismissing a few of the Washington lobbyists who dominated his presidential campaign, the futility of that effort suddenly became painfully obvious. Dire bulletins in the financial media warned of many billions in rotting mortgage paper held by UBS, the financial conglomerate that just happens to employ former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, McCain’s campaign chairman and chief economic advisor.

[ ]…Undoubtedly Gramm is promoting the agenda of those who subsidize him, as he has done ever since he entered politics as a servant of oil interests in his home state. He took hundreds of thousands of dollars from energy and financial interests as a congressman and then as a senator, rising to the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee, where he could really perform major favors. He is famed for slipping in an amendment desired by Enron Corp. back when his wife was on that doomed company’s board. His employment by UBS, a company that recently warned some of its executives to avoid entering the United States for fear of criminal prosecution, demands fresh scrutiny of him as well as McCain.

Gramm along with draft dodger Rush Limbaugh predicted that President Clinton’s budget would ruin the nation. Those predictions were followed by a decade of relative prosperity. The nineties were not perfect, but Clinton came in with a massive deficit left by Reagan and Bush One, and left Bush Two with a surplus that was soon squandered. I guess that McCain embrace of Grammonomics is the desire to continue Bush’s borrow and spend ways in addition to more wise deregulation that screws over investors and consumers. More on McCain and Gramm here,  John McCain, Phil Gramm, and UBS

Remember that SOS Rice holds the office first held by Thomas Jefferson, Clueless Condi Rides Again

Not knowing the difference between an economic sanction and an exception to economic sanctions wasn’t the only bizarre aspect of her statement. What on earth could the oil-for-food program possibly have to do with weapons of mass destruction and the Bush administration’s case for war?

The whole traditional American concept of negotiation through strength. A combination of the stick and carrot approach to foreign policy has come under fire lately by the all death all the time crowd because Barack Obama would like us to return to those traditional American ideals of diplomacy. Leave it to the Right’s provocateurs of historical revisionism to use Kennedy-Khrushchev summit as why talk doesn’t work. Point Being?

It’s nice, I suppose, to see wingnuts expressing so much retrospective anxiety about the Cold War and, in particular, about the American war in Vietnam. But Kennedy had wood for Southeast Asia long before the Vienna conference, and it takes a dramatic oversimplification to treat the Vienna summit as a truly decisive moment in the evolution of Kennedy’s Vietnam policy. Robert Dallek — who usually gets cited when people make the whole Vienna-caused-the-war argument — should really consider writing an op-ed that puts this particular misuse of An Unfinished Life to rest. Among a lot of other things, this thesis requires that everyone forget that Kennedy’s Vietnam policy was shaped by (a) his own advocacy (especially his involvement with Friends of Vietnam) during the 1950s; (b) his personal preference for covert operations and counter-insurgency (rather than the kinds of commitments that Johnson and Nixon would later make)

I remember hearing some tapes of Kennedy talk about the Khrushchev meeting. He pretty much admitted that he went in over confidant. That would count as a lesson learned for next time and next presidents not evidence that tough negotiating never works; that is all that Obama has proposed if you leave off the twisted interpretation of the Bushites.

The unintended joke of the day, McClellan: A Bush turncoat, or truth-seeker?

If a presidential spokesman finds the White House policy so distasteful, he should quit, not package it up in bundles of notes and then write a tell-all book, said Sheila Tate, who was press secretary to Nancy Reagan and to George H.W. Bush during his presidential campaign.

She recalled that Jerald F. terHorst resigned as President Ford’s secretary in protest over Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon. “I think it’s unethical to carry out a job and then turn around and kiss and tell,” she said.

Tate thinks that when the president deceives the country into war you should be a good sport and keep your mouth shut.

McClellan: Plame leak the ‘turning point’ in his disillusionment

Vanity Fair points out one other striking passage from McClellan’s book, in which he states, “It’s … clear to me that Scooter Libby was guilty of the perjury and obstruction crimes for which he was convicted. When the president commuted Libby’s prison sentence and thereby protected him from serving even one day behind bars, I was disappointed. This kind of special treatment undermines our system of justice.”

In contrast, Senator John McCain said of Libby last summer, before the commutation, “I think that you can make a case that he was singled out unfairly. I think that the appeals process goes forward. I happen to be one who admires Scooter Libby. I think he was a dedicated servant.”

McBush thinks he would be a much better commander-in-chief then Clinton or Obama, but admires a traitor. Yep McCain’s a maverick.

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.  ~Henry L. Doherty

Instant liberals and people ready for rockers

The WSJ has excerpts from his Scott McClellan’s book “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,”

* The most obvious evidence that the Bush White House embraced the permanent campaign is the expansive political operation that was put in place from day one. Chief political strategist Karl Rove was given an enormous center of influence within the white House from the outset.

* When Bush was making up his mind to pursue regime change in Iraq, it is clear that his national security team did little to slow him down, to help him fully understand the tinderbox he was opening and the potential risks in doing so. I know the president pretty well. I believe that, if he had been given a crystal ball in which he could have foreseen the costs of war – more than 4,000 American troops killed, 30,000 injured, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens dead – he would have never made the decision to invade, despite what he might say or feel he has to say publicly.

* Contradictory intelligence was largely ignored or simply disregarded. Evidence based on high confidence from the intelligence community was lumped together with intelligence of lesser confidence. A nuclear threat was added to the biological and chemical threats to create a greater sense of gravity and urgency. Support for terrorism was given greater weight by playing up a dubious al Qaeda connection to Iraq. When it was all packaged together, the case constituted a “grave and gathering danger” that needed to be dealt with urgently.

The Rude Pundit’s view, Scott McClellan Confesses for His Damned Soul (and Lots of Cash)

What’s been revealed so far from McClellan’s book will be greeted by anyone paying attention for the last few years with, “Yeah, what else ya got?” The administration launched a propaganda campaign to sell the war? The not-really-liberal-at-all media didn’t do its job in the run-up to the war or after? “The Iraq war was not necessary”? Rove and Libby lied about the outing of Valeria Plame? Bush was a complete dunderhead when it came to Hurricane Katrina? Really, Scotty? At this point, is there still wool that needs to be pulled from someone’s eyes? We’re all about ten steps ahead of McClellan by now. Jesus, at least give us something new, like, say, Cheney threatening to have Libby’s cats gutted if Scooter didn’t take the fall.

The Rude Pundit ain’t in a forgiving mood when it comes to lackeys and co-conspirators in the Bush administration. McClellan doesn’t get to say, as he does in the book, “The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise.” Not when he said, in late January 2004, months after the invasion, regarding the chimeric weapons of mass destruction, “Yes, we believe he had them, and yes, we believe they will be found. We believe the truth will come out.” No, the little bulldog bitch who every day snarled at the press, even when caught in outright lies, does not get the bounty of fulsome forgiveness. ( as much as I borrowed there is more at the link)

This is something to be said for confessions like McClellan. What ever his motivations which probably do include money and saving his reputation, but on the other hand there has been another stone placed on the modern Conservative movement’s crypt. The Right’s reaction has been as predictable as the Bush Cult usually is. Though it takes a little more then a book that tells us a lot we already knew and insists that good old Dubya had the best intentions to become a liberal, The Republican Townhall blog writes, Scott McClellan’s Opportunistic Book, Posted by: Matt Lewis at 7:27 AM

Bush’s legacy has been badly damaged by his staffing decisions, which included too many “loyal” Texans, too many liberals, and too many light-weights.

In this case, McClellan fits all three categories.

Scott call your mom so she doesn’t hear it from someone else first, you’re now a liberal. I wonder if TH realized they were admitting that this administration was full of lightweights. One, maybe two years of lightweights would be excusable, but eight? Rightwing News thinks its 1778, Scott McClellan’s Loyalty In Doubt, May 28, 2008, Melissa Clouthier,10:09 AM

Scott McClellan joins Dick Morris as a disloyal, self-serving former staffer. Who ever likes a “snitch” as Drudge says? He better enjoy his moment in the sun. Wait, what am I saying? The MSM loves a turncoat. He’ll probably get his own TV show.

Is Melissa talking about the same media gave Karl Rove a cushy job about whom Scott McClellan said,

If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq.

The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. . . . In this case, the “liberal media” didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.

Glenn expanded his update on the “liberal media” here. People confuse the fact that people like Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams are pleasant enough people with whether they performed their job functions properly. They both have multi-million dollar contracts with large media corporations. They have a well entrenched vested interest in going along to get along. Maybe they ask an occasional tough question, but for the vast majority of the time, well talk about lightweights.

The National Review, Wednesday, May 28, 2008, Re: Scott McClellan [Seth Leibsohn]

The idea that the press didn’t do its job and was too soft on the president — as McClellan writes — is, frankly, laughable. Raise your hand if you have any evidence that the press was too soft on the administration. ( If Mr. Leibsohn would take a break from the sound of his own echo and visit Greenwald’s story he’ll find some of that there truth and facts.)

[ ]…Finally, we’ll learn more as those written about in his book speak out. I note Fran Townsend is already on record saying she recalls no meeting where Scott McClellan ever objected to what was being said or made his dissenting views known. And I’ll just leave you with this — having not read the book and having no plans to do so: don’t you think that when someone has an objection to what is being done, they owe it to the public and as a mark of duty to do something about it or say something about it at the time, rather than wait two years and save it for a book? Does that in and of itself not cut down some of the credibility.

We all know what happens to people that object openly to Bush or Cheney’s policy decisions – just as Paul O’Neil, General Zinni, Richard Clarke or Admiral Fallon among many others.

Senator John McLiar thinks he’d be a bang up Decider Guy:

He thinks it would be a swell idea to have something like a “League of Nations”. John might want to up his dosage of ginkgo biloba. We had a League of Nations but it dissolved in 1946. If McUnorginall wants to steal ideas from Woodrow Wilson that fine, just don’t tell Jonah Goldberg who in his revisionist history portrayed Wilson as a liberal fascist.

McCain thinks he knows more about Iraq then Senator Obama and has challenged him to visit Iraq with him. Kind of strange since McCain has assured us that Iraq is in fine shape.

What McCain failed to mention was that he was accompanied by “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead.” He also appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest during his visit.

Since that trip, McCain has claimed that the situation in Iraq has improved even more. A few months ago, McCain claimed that “we’ve succeeded militarily” in Iraq. Things, of course, are going so well, that he wants to keep U.S. troops there for at least 100 years.

America needs another four years of a Commander Guy telling us every six months that victory is within reach, but we’ll keep troops there infinitely just in case.

Commander-in-chief McCain would really get tough and put a missile defense system in Czechoslovakia. That’s going to be a little difficult. Besides such a missile system creating problems with Russia, Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

All good reasons to get John a nice spot in the shade on the front porch with a good rocker, not to be CIC.

Union Station Fountain

Obama misspeaks, Republicans manufacture some outrage, McCain is befuddled and Bush appeases

Jacksonville Florida Skyline wallpaper

The worse possible gaffe in the history of politics took place on May 27, 2008. The distinguished Senator from the great state of Illinois said Auschwitz when he should have said Buchenwald, Campaign Says Obama Misspoke On Nazi Camp

“Senator Obama’s family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II – especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. “Yesterday he mistakenly referred to Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald in telling of his personal experience of a soldier in his family who served heroically.”

Aides said Tuesday that his grandmother’s brother, Charlie Payne, helped liberate a Buchenwald sub-camp in April 1945 as part of the 89th Infantry Division.

Especially ironic that Conservative bloggers, on which one can usually depend to be historical revisionists of the first order, were so quick to make sure that the Soviet Union got proper credit for being the first allied forces to reach Auschwitz ( which in itself was a series of three major camps and several subsidiary camps). Republican blogger Ace of Spades is beside himself, May 27, 2008,, Obama rewrites WWII history

In one of his more egregious and easily demonstrated lies, made even more so by the day he decided to let it loose on, Obama has rewritten WWII history such that the allies liberated Auschwitz.

“Egregious” as in the worse possible combined with “lies”, nothing like a since of proportion. The RNC is also upset,

“It was Soviet troops that liberated Auschwitz, so unless his uncle was serving in the Red Army, there’s no way Obama’s statement yesterday can be true,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

So Ace and the RNC really really hate it when people lie and distort the truth. These are some examples of some actual egregious lies and distortions. What makes them especially despicable is the lost of innocent lives they lead to and the billions spent.

* In an interview with Polish television on May 29, 2003, President Bush stated: “We found the weapons of mass destruction.” Bush was referencing two trailers or “mobile labs” discovered in Iraq.

Just days earlier, the Defense Intelligence Agency had concluded that the trailers “could not be used as a transportable biological production system as the system is presently configured.” It was ultimately acknowledged that the trailers had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction and were probably used to manufacture hydrogen employed in weather balloons.

* On July 30, 2003, in an interview with Gwen Ifill of PBS’s NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, Condoleezza Rice said: “What we knew going into the war was that this man was a threat. He had weapons of mass destruction.

* “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men — the shock troops of a hateful ideology — gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. – President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended, White House (5/1/2003).

This statement was misleading because by referencing the September 11 attacks in conjunction with discussion of the war on terror in Iraq, it left the impression that Iraq was connected to September 11.

* “Saddam Hussein had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. His regime cultivated ties to terror, including the al Qaeda network, and had built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction.”
Source: Richard B. Cheney Delivers Remarks to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, White House (1/14/2004).

Saddam never had operational connections to al Qaeda.

* “We said they had a nuclear program. That was never any debate.”
Source: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC (7/13/2003).

This statement was false because there were deep divisions within the intelligence community on the issue of whether Iraq was actively pursuing its nuclear program. The statement also failed to mention weeks of intensive inspections conducted directly before the war in which United Nations inspectors found no sign whatsoever of any effort by Iraq to resume its nuclear program.

* “Going into the war against Iraq, we had very strong intelligence. I’ve been in this business for 20 years. And some of the strongest intelligence cases that I’ve seen, key judments by our intelligence community that Saddam Hussein . . . had biological and chemical weapons . . . .”
Source: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice Interview with ZDF German Television, ZDF German Television (7/31/2003).

This statement was misleading because it failed to acknowledge the Defense Intelligence Agency position that: “There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons or where Iraq has — or will — establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.”

* McCain’s Gaffes Reflect Bush’s Iran-Qaeda Myth

Sen. John McCain’s confusion in recent allegations of Iranian training of al Qaeda fighters in Iraq is the result of a drumbeat of official propaganda about close Iran-al Qaeda ties that the George W. Bush administration and neoconservatives have promoted ever since early 2002.0322 02

McCain, the Republican nominee for the presidency, was confusing the Bush administration’s charges of Iranian training of Shi’a militiamen associated with the Mahdi Army with the administration’s propaganda theme of Iranian tacit or explicit support for al Qaeda operatives in Iran — charges which have amplified by right-wing media.

During a press conference in Jordan Tuesday, McCain brought up the charge that Iran with training al Qaeda operatives and sending them to Iraq, then corrected himself after Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat from Connecticut, whispered in his ear. It was the fourth time in a little over three weeks, however, that McCain had made the same charge.

Remember Bush’s recent statements “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” Sentiments echoed by fringe Right pundits and bloggers; Dubya would have nothing to do with negotiating or restated as one of their favorite buzzwords, appeasement. Bush Straddles His Hard Line in Engaging Sudan

Sometime in the next few weeks, a special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths.

Bashir’s government has been accused by Bush of participating in a “genocide” in Darfur, the only U.S. government use of such a strong accusation. Yet Richard S. Williamson’s visit to Khartoum follows a series of direct contacts by senior Bush administration officials with the Sudanese president, including Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rice’s deputies, and several special presidential envoys.

[ ]…Bush recently accused those advocating talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other radical figures of “appeasement.”

These things are really pretty simple – they just look complicated

Sydney Pollack, 73; Oscar-winning director and producer

“He is never satisfied. . . . His passion is contagious. It inspires everyone around him to dig a little deeper,” Roizman said.

George Clooney, who starred with Pollack in “Michael Clayton,” said: “Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act. He’ll be missed terribly.”

Three Days of the Condor is one of my favorite movies. Its odd that a political thriller with all the melodrama, secrets, lies and conspiracies seems tame when compared to current realities. Havana was on cable just last month. The style even though made in 1990 about the Cuban revolution seems almost leisurely compared with the films of the last few years as does Out of Africa. Those pictures could get made today, but the studios would probably insist Pollack pick up the pacing, audiences seem to have less patience for slowly unfolding narratives. Pollack was up to delivering on that kind of style, the Interpreter (2005) had a tension that started from the first few minutes and barely let up until the end.

Noir City wallpaper

Iraq War May Have Increased Energy Costs Worldwide by a Staggering $6 Trillion

The invasion of Iraq by Britain and the US has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone.

The oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), told The Independent on Sunday that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, if it had not been for the Iraq war.

Goldman Sachs predicts that the price of oil will reach $200 a barrel.

Dr Salameh told the all-party parliamentary group on peak oil last month that Iraq had offered the United States a deal, three years before the war, that would have opened up 10 new giant oil fields on “generous” terms in return for the lifting of sanctions. “This would certainly have prevented the steep rise of the oil price,” he said. “But the US had a different idea. It planned to occupy Iraq and annex its oil.”

The occupation of Iraq was a terrible mistake on both a moral and financial level. Violence in Iraq has subsided somewhat in the last few weeks with the dead enders yelling you see what a great success this has all been; much like an arsonist claiming he isn’t all bad because only nine tenths of your house burned down. Cost, benefits and priorities in national security have all been thrown out the window replaced with childish emotional appeals.

Former California prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi wants President Bush charged with murder.

Former California prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi wants President Bush charged with murder.

Bugliosi – who in the early 1970s successfully prosecuted Charles Manson for the murder of Sharon Tate and six others – lays out his case against Bush in The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (Perseus Books, 2008).

The book will hit book stores tomorrow – Tuesday May 27, 2008.

“My motivation for writing this book is simple – to bring about justice,” Bugliosi says in a video posted on the book’s web site (

“George Bush has gotten away with murder – thousands of murders,” Bugliosi says. “And no one is doing anything about it. The American people can’t let him do this.”

Bugliosi wants one or more of the fifty state attorneys general or one of the nation’s hundreds of district attorneys to step up and prosecute Bush for murder.

I always thought it was a shame that Bugliosi wasn’t the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case. OJ would be rotting in jail now here he belongs. Prosecuting Bush? Good luck with that as they say. The rich and powerful are difficult to bring to justice especially the Bush family who have been clever about keeping their tracks covered,  Dirty Tricks, Patrician Style. That article has a sad irony to it now as John McCain obviously decided that if it takes gutter level rhetoric to win then that is what he’ll do, Stay Classy, John McCain

On a day in which most people tried to put politics aside and honor those who have given their lives in service to this country, the always “civil” and “respectful” John McCain had this to say:

Obama, McCain said, “really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time.”

McCain doesn’t mind in the least if your son or daughter dies for a war based on lies, nor does he mind if they get paid less then the corporate soldiers from Blackwater and he sure as heck isn’t going to give those dying for politics, not the defense of the nation, one more penny in benefits, Conservatives Spend Memorial Day Weekend Explaining Their Opposition To GI Bill

Two of the White House’s key Senate allies — Ted Stevens and John McCain — have been disingenuously spewing misinformation about the GI Bill this weekend. Stevens warned of a “mass exodus” from the military if the 21st Century GI Bill goes into law. Similarly, McCain said today that the Webb GI Bill “would hurt the military and our country very badly.”

As ThinkProgress has previously noted, these fear-mongering claims about the GI Bill have little basis in reality. A recent CBO report showed that any loss in reenlistment rates is entirely made up for by increased military recruits.

The NYT editorial correctly notes, “[A]s a long-term investment in human capital, in education and job training, there is no good argument against an expanded, generous G.I. Bill.” But that won’t stop far-right conservatives from offering bad excuses, even on Memorial Day.

McCain does officially meet the criteria to be the nest Republican president. He has ditched the concept of duty, honor country in exchange for money, power and lies.

Dr. Lappe: We have people to service these machines.
Joe Turner: These things are really pretty simple – they just look complicated.
Dr. Lappe: Mr. Turner, I wonder if you’re entirely happy here.
Joe Turner: Within obvious limits, yes sir.
Dr. Lappe: Obvious limits?
Joe Turner: It bothers me that I can’t tell people what I do.
Dr. Lappe: Why is it taking you so long to accept that?
Joe Turner: Well, I actually trust a few people. That’s a problem.

from Three Days of the Condor (1975)

McCain’s bizarre lobbyists and Russian connections

Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain – Davis, Then a Lobbyist, Has Spurred Debate in Reform-Focused Campaign

Rick Davis, who is now McCain’s campaign manager, helped set up the encounter between McCain and Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in Switzerland during an international economic conference. At the time, Davis was working for a lobbying firm and seeking to do business with the billionaire.

[  ]…When Deripaska met McCain, Davis was part of Davis Manafort, a lobbying firm that was being paid to provide political advice to pro-Russian and oligarch-funded candidates in Ukraine, according to interviews and news accounts. At the same time, McCain was publicly supporting those candidates’ Western-oriented democratic rivals.

The socializing with Deripaska provides a case study in the challenges faced by McCain, a longtime foe of Washington lobbyists who has a well-known lobbyist as his top political aide. Davis, who has been a political adviser to McCain on and off since 1999, was part of a lobbying firm that worked not only for Ukrainian politicians but also for telecommunications firms, a lottery services provider and freight companies.

So far there is no concrete proof that McCain himself did any favors for Deripaska, but Davis did is stll on McCain’s payroll and did work for people that McCain had said publicly he was against.

Davis’s firm provided political advice to a pro-Russian party in Ukraine during the parliamentary elections of 2006. McCain, on the other hand, backed President Viktor Yushchenko, a Western-oriented reformer who led 2004’s Orange Revolution, which overturned what he and his allies considered an election stolen by the party helped by Davis’s firm. McCain visited Ukraine to boost Yushchenko after he won a new election and even nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Then there is the obvious problem of McCain selling himself as the heir apparent of the ever nebulous Bush Doctrine the cornerstone of which is spreading democracy and fighting oppression. Davis is another of the faceless members of the Conservative Cronyism and Corruption Corps that we’ve all become too familiar with under the Bush dynasty and he is McCain’s buddy. If a McCain administration gets up to the same shenanigans that the Bushies have it will be people like Davis who leave fingerprints and gives McCain some kind of plausible deniability. War and Piece also reports on the connections between Davis and McCain adviser Paul Manafort (whose done some unregistered lobbying).

This is all in graphics format or I would have put up a snip, How John McCain’s hypocrisy is rendered as reform

I lost the link, but I was reading another right-wing Republican blog who even for a right-winger was frothing at the mouth more then usual about how all Democrats love terrorists and hate America. This is a Republican blogger mind you, that in addition went off on how Democrats are nihilists complete with Webster definition. Calling liberals nihilists is always a good reminder of the terrible degree to which most Republicans suffer from cognitive dissonance, the party to which the End Timers and preachers of eminent Armageddon have attached themselves. In other words the party of the Christian Republican and NRA member that bombed Oklahoma City and white supremacists Demetrius “Van” Crocker who was planning to blow up Congress.

Memorial Day wallpaper

Memorial Day wallpaper meant for those that can tell the difference between rabid nationalism and genuine patriotism.

Vietnam Memorial wallpaper

“The Wall”

Vets for Peace Booted from National Memorial Day Parade

There is one group of veterans that isn’t allowed to march in the national memorial parade in Washington on Monday.

That’s the Veterans for Peace, Delwin Anderson Memorial chapter, based in D.C. It’s named after a World War II vet who fought in Italy and then worked for the VA for many years designing programs for injured veterans.

The group had applied to join the National Memorial Day parade.

And initially, anyway, it was accepted.

But then, late last month, the group was told that it didn’t meet the criteria to participate.

The spokesperson for the American Veterans Center used as part of the justification for the exclusion of VFP that some pro Iraq war group was excluded last year, but the American Legion has a strong ideological bent. Since that is the case wouldn’t a little balance like including VFP be the more appropriate course. Most Americans would also find it curious that the AVC would include the country of Kuwait and not a home grown group of vets. The AVC can claim this is not a political decision just as some people can claim they’ve been kidnapped by aliens.

Some Republicans as expected are over trumpeting McCain’s chances in the general election. While it isn’t wise for any of the candidates to be over confidant McCain’s bandwagon might want to ponder for a moment what happens when the mainstream media stops and takes a closer look at McCain’s friends,: McCain’s Top Advisor Organized Coronation of Cult Leader

More here, The Moonies and McCain’s Main Man

So we can only assume that they’ll likely ignore the revelations in Gorenfeld’s book that none other than uber-lobbyist Charlie Black — not just McCain’s “chief political adviser” but a right-hand man for the Bush clan as well — played a role in making that coronation happen.

According to Gorenfeld, Black admitted to helping invite people to attend the coronation. And he’s listed as a sponsor in the coronation’s printed program.

And the newest thorn in the side of McCain and the Republican party, Will Libertarians draw conservatives from McCain?

“I traditionally voted Republican. But we wanted a conservative and we didn’t get that. McCain is not a conservative,” Kluck said. “With Barr as the Libertarian candidate, people will be willing to cross party lines.”

If Barr siphons off even one percent of the Conservative vote in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York he’s left over turkey.

A nice bi-partisan dog story, An Iraqi Dog’s Life

Memories of Iraq haunted soldier until suicide

Democrats Condemn Republican’s Maoist Misinformation Campaign

America pre Chimp Emperor

H/T to War and Piece for this news from the LAT, House aims at Pentagon ‘propaganda’ on Iraq war – An amendment to a defense policy bill would forbid efforts to plant upbeat news stories.

The House of Representatives moved Thursday to crack down on a Pentagon program that Democrats say planted false and overly optimistic news stories about the Iraq war, using military analysts who appeared regularly on television.

Acting on a 2009 defense policy bill, lawmakers forbade the Defense Department from engaging in “a concerted effort to propagandize” the American people over the war.

The amendment by Rep. Paul W. Hodes (D-N.H.), which passed by voice vote, also would force an investigation by the General Accounting Office of efforts to plant positive news stories about the war. The overall bill passed 384-23.

The action follows an April 20 New York Times article that described how the Pentagon promoted its positive view of the war by cultivating former military officers who became regulars on Fox News, CNN and the broadcast networks.

The report prompted outrage among war opponents, who called it just the latest example of the Bush administration’s secretly trying to manipulate the media. Defenders of the war said the Pentagon merely tried to ensure that its views were understood by the retired officers, who have become a broadcast staple.

The Senate will not take up the defense policy bill until after next week’s recess. Its version does not yet include language about the military analyst program.

The White House, citing concerns with other provisions of the overall legislation, has threatened a veto.

When one tries to recall all the examples of when Bush and Republicans, allegedly Constitutional fundamentalists simply made up rights out of thin air or denied rights with flimsy legal arguments it becomes an exercise in memory overload. Even Superman’s super vision could not find an implicit or explicit passage in the Constitution that allows the executive branch to do its best impression of Mao Tse-Tung (Zedong) style propaganda management. Beyond the probably breaking the law, where are those things, you know, values that Republicans have claimed an exclusive copyright on for the past forty years,

In a related analysis, the GAO explained that “The publicity or propaganda restriction helps to mark the boundary between an agency making information available to the public and agencies creating news reports unbeknownst to the receiving audience.”

In case anyone disagrees with the GAO on this point, here’s what the White House’s own Office of Legal Council had to say, in a memorandum written in 2005 following the controversy over the Armstrong Williams scandal (when it was discovered that the Bush administration had actually paid him to publicly endorse its No Child Left Behind Law):

Over the years, GAO has interpreted “publicity or propaganda” restrictions to preclude use of appropriated funds for, among other things, so-called “covert propaganda.” … Consistent with that view, OLC determined in 1988 that a statutory prohibition on using appropriated funds for “publicity or propaganda” precluded undisclosed agency funding of advocacy by third-party groups. We stated that “covert attempts to mold opinion through the undisclosed use of third parties” would run afoul of restrictions on using appropriated funds for “propaganda.” (emphasis added)

The key passage here is the phrase, “covert attempts to mold opinion through the undisclosed use of third parties.” As the Times report documented in detail, the Pentagon’s military analyst program did exactly that.

Jesse Ventura Schools Pat Buchanan on Gay Marriage

VENTURA: “Well, first of all, I made a statement when I was governor and stand by it today. Love is bigger than government. Who the hell are we as a government to tell people who you can fall in love with? I think it‘s absurd that fact it‘s even being debated. “

[ ]…VENTURA: Let me throw something out. You can‘t take a civil rights issue and put it up to a vote. If you did that, we might still have slavery if it was allowed to be voted on.

The first amendment is pretty clear, yet as Ventura asserts about gay marriage and government meddling if you put the five basic rights set out in the first article of the Bill of Rights people like McCain buddies John Hagee and Ron Parsley would probably toss freedom of religion out the window. We’re all free to do a lot of things, but we’re not free to destroy the tenets that allow us those freedoms.

Obama as You’ve Never Known Him!

Those charges were relatively benign compared with the questions. One inquired about the link between “the American left and Islamofascists.” Another asked about nefarious influences on Michelle Obama. A third raised the possibility that Obama’s “change” slogan is based on the 1961 communist “Movement for Change.”

This are people that shuttle back and forth between Flat Earth Society meetings and Victims of Martian Kidnappings. Thursday night is free tin foil night.

Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

Who can we blame for the radical expansion of executive power? Look no further than you and me

Even though Republican nominee John McCain tends to eschew rainbows and uplift in favor of the grim satisfaction that comes from serving a “cause greater than self-interest,” he too sees the presidency as a font of miracles and the wellspring of national redemption. A president who wants to achieve greatness, McCain suggests, should emulate Teddy Roosevelt, who “liberally interpreted the constitutional authority of the office” and “nourished the soul of a great nation.” President George W. Bush, when passing the GOP torch to his former rival in March, declared that the Arizona senator “will bring determination to defeat an enemy and a heart big enough to love those who hurt.” Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, suggests she is “ready on Day 1 to be commander in chief of our economy.”

The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He—or she—is the one who answers the phone at 3 a.m. to keep our children safe from harm. The modern president is America’s shrink, a social worker, our very own national talk show host. He’s also the Supreme Warlord of the Earth.

This messianic campaign rhetoric merely reflects what the office has evolved into after decades of public clamoring. The vision of the president as national guardian and spiritual redeemer is so ubiquitous it goes virtually unnoticed. Americans, left, right, and other, think of the “commander in chief” as a superhero, responsible for swooping to the rescue when danger strikes. And with great responsibility comes great power.

There does seem to be less idolatry of the office of president and the men that have held that office on the liberal side of the aisle, but Gene Healy isn’t far enough off the mark for this writer to put up much of an argument. While there have been some trying times in which the country has needed a little Dr. Phil-ish pep talk, it has always been my view that like the founding fathers the president was an executive in th most modest stripped down interpretation of the term. A person that served as an enlightened manager rather then a mini-messiah thorugh which the general population channeled all its hopes and dreams. For the party that has done remarkedly well at selling the public as the nebulously defined anti-government party, Republicans have been incredibly shrill genuflectors when it comes to the presidency, when they hold the office that is.

McCain strafes Obama for not serving in the military

Republican John McCain launched a harsh attack on Democrat Barack Obama’s lack of military credentials Thursday, charging that the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination has “zero understanding” of veteran’s issues.

Obama responded in kind, accusing McCain of engaging “endless diatribes and schoolyard taunts” that “do nothing to advance the debate about what matters to the American people.”

We’re going to have so much fun with McCain’s name. Here it lends itself so well to McHyopcrite,

McCain said that he urged Kerry sometime ago not to talk about Vietnam during his campaign. “I did advise John. I said, ‘Look, you shouldn’t talk about Vietnam because everybody else will. Let everybody else do it.’ His advisers figured that was probably not enough, that he had to emphasize that in his campaign. In my campaign, as you know, I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t need to.”

[ ]…”Let’s worry about the war that’s going on in Iraq. Probably some American is dying today in Iraq. I’d like us to focus our attention on the war at hand and how we can win it, rather than revisiting the one that was over 30 years ago.”

As everyone probably knows McCain was a Navy aviator who was shot down on a bombing mission in Vietnam and then became a prisoner of war for five years. All Navy aviators are officers, but the McCain never commanded a group of aviators or a platoon or anything like that – he has no command experience. Naval aviators require some physical courage, but it can certainly be argued it is not the same or the degree of that required by an Army Corporal facing enemy fire in a Vietnamese jungle; so McCain can’t really claim to be able to use his military experience to relate to the boots on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. That is not a criticism, I’m not doing some partisan snipping at McCain, its a reality check. The media will not critically examine McCain’s claims that his particular military service makes him the better choice for president then Clinton or Obama so his supporters have no need to worry in that regard. McCain is a bright guy, but his graduation at the bottom of his class suggests a certain intellectual laziness. We’ve had eight years of intellectually lazy, other then the rabid Right who really wants another four years of that. McCain has no, none, nada strategic planning experience. McCain is a former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee which qualifies him to be a military bean counter. That position required making decisions on spending priorities and to listening to reports on various aspects of military readiness, not planning winning battle scenarios. Former Defense Secretary Donlad Rumsfeld had military experience about as deep as McCain’s and the families of thousands of U.S. fatalities can tell you where that got us.

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. ~ Carl Sagan