McCain straight talk express wallpaper

McCain straight talk express wallpaper

Two months and a few simple words don’t mean what they used to mean all of two months ago when John McCain swore to  run a “civil campaign”. McCain’s newest and deeply bizarre attacks on Senator Obama are so awful that McCain’s old friend John Weaver calls the new celeb ad “childish”. MCain’s election to public office relied as much if not more on his own celebrity status and the backing of his multi-millionaire in-laws rather then any substantive issues. Why McCain is known as as a maverick rather then a world class hypocrite is another reason to thank the press for failing over and over again to question McCain’s distortions. McCain and his campaign’s continued attempt to portray Senator Obama’s honest attempt to avoid politicizing wounded troops shows how slow McCain will stomp, McCain Charge Against Obama Lacks Evidence

On Saturday in London, Obama addressed the controversy during a news conference. He said Pentagon concerns about Gration’s status (retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, an Obama foreign policy adviser) triggered the decision not to visit Landstuhl.

“We got notice that [Gration] would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy but he wasn’t on the Senate staff,” Obama said. “That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political, and the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not, or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns.”

Obama’s explanation, which came after more than a day of controversy, was the clearest in noting that it was Pentagon concerns about Gration accompanying him to the hospital that forced Obama to reconsider and, ultimately, cancel the visit.

Gibbs was asked yesterday about the continuing allegations from McCain that the real reason was a desire to bring a media entourage to the hospital.

“That’s completely untrue, and I think, honestly, they know it’s untrue,” Gibbs said.

Can McCain win this election without these kinds of scurrilous attacks. Apparently McCain doesn’t think he can. He is consistently behind in the polls so America can expect that Republicans as is their habit will resort to gutter politics regardless of the truth. McCain, who has become increasingly shrill over his claims to be the best next commander-in-chief has shown that he lacks the honor that America should demand from the next person to hold that title. Most of us realize that a small gaffe once in a while or some statements made in the heat of the campaign are going to get a little hyperbolic, but McCain has stepped off the deep end. He’s claiming that he knows how to win wars though he has never won a war or had that kind of strategic planning or command experience. If his assertions are true it means that he is holding back information from the military and the Whitehosue that would reduce terrorism and extract us from Iraq. If that wasn’t enough hot air McCain also claims that he possesses some kind of secret knowledge about how and where to capture Bin Laden, McCain: I Know How to Capture Bin Laden

“I’m not going to telegraph a lot of the things that I’m going to do because then it might compromise our ability to do so. But, look, I know the area, I have been there, I know wars, I know how to win wars, and I know how to improve our capabilities so that we will capture Osama bin Laden — or put it this way, bring him to justice. We will do it, I know how to do it.”

McCain has made dubious claims along these lines on several occasions. I dare the mainstream media to ask the Senator if he isn’t a little delusional. We’re attacked by Bin Laden’s crew in 2001 and McCain has had the secret recipe to catching him, but doesn’t want to reveal the answer until he’s president. CooCoo McCain for president and commander-in-chief. No wonder the dishonest attacks on Seantor Obama are coming fast and furious. They’re mostly about distracting the public’s attention away from McCain’s own very real wackiness.

Barack Hits Back: Ad Says McCain Taking Low Road

Responding to a harsh personal attack from John McCain, Barack Obama released a television ad late Wednesday evening accusing the the Arizona Republican’s campaign of dirty, superficial politics.

Video at link.

From One Military Father to Another: John McCain Shame On You For Abusing Our Wounded Soldiers

Today I am ashamed of Senator McCain. I’m sorry his name is on the jacket of one of my books. He is dishonoring his military record and our men and women in uniform. He is dishonoring them by abusing our wounded warriors for political ends. This is pure filth.

McCain and the Republicans are running a commercial trying to paint senator Obama as somehow neglectful of our troops. This claim and the commercial are a barefaced lies. Senator Obama has visited our wounded service members. He has done so without media fanfare and quietly with dignity.


There never was a good knife made of bad steel

It is a sad day when millionaires like Bill O’Reilly who in return for very little in the way of labor and benefit most from American society have to pay taxes. O’Reilly: Top 1% Would Have To Finance ‘Folks Who…Smoke Reefers 24/7′

In fact, “the average tax rate of the wealthiest 1% fell to its lowest level in at least 18 years,” allowing the wealthiest 1% of Americans to garner “the highest share of the nation’s adjusted gross income for two decades, and possibly the highest since 1929.” The “average tax rate in 2006 for the top 1%, based on adjusted gross income, was 22.8%,” down from “28.9% in 1996, and…24% in 1988?

If the Billster was making the millions he was making now under Reagan one wonders if he would still be complaining. I’m shocked that Bill O’ thinks he works for a living. He has a journalism degree, but he’s obviously not in the same league as actual journalist like Bill Moyer, Christian Amanpour or Walter Pincus to name a few. He’s no great thinker or scholar – at least one homocidal sociopath is a fan. Yet we’re all supposed to break down in crocodile tears because he might have to chip in a few dollars more while making a living as a professional whiner and hate monger.

Lynn Sweet apparently isn’t to blame, at least not completely for getting the Obama visiting the troops story wrong, More to the story: about my post on Obama canceling visit to troops in Germany

The new headline on my post read “Pentagon tells Obama aide a visit to U.S. base in Germany would be seen as political.” I thought that new headline and revised paragraph solved the problem; usually there is just one URL for a blog post. But due to a server glitch at the Sun-Times, both the original and updated versions existed on the Internet. The Republicans have been linking to the original post and not the updated version.

Its been a week and the Republican zealots are still drooling on their keyboards with their version of the story – a complete lie. They hate it that most of the troops love the guy – these pictures speak for themselves.

So you’re a U.S. Senator and one of the more famous and popular ones at that. When some college age women run at you hoping to get a group picture, 1. You take the proper Conservative attitude and tell the young ladies to piss off. Or 2. You take 10 seconds for the picture and then head off to your car. Kerry’s office: Sen. wasn’t partying with women. Could be this non-story be about TMZ and Republicans being desperate to get Ted Stevens (R-AK) off the front page of every news site and paper. Weirdest conclusion reached from Steven’s indictment – it helps McCain.


Study Finds Obama Faring Worse On TV News Than McCain

Since the primaries ended, on-air evaluations of Barack Obama have been 72% negative (vs. 28% positive).  That’s worse than John McCain’s coverage, which has been 57% negative (vs. 43% positive) during the same time period.

Golden Gate Bridge from one of the towers

There never was a good knife made of bad steel ~ Benjamin Franklin

The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free

Liberal Media? Sure there is and the tooth fairy is real, MSNBC’s Hall falsely suggested that Obama did not visit wounded American troops on overseas trip

Summary: MSNBC’s Tamron Hall noted that Sen. John McCain was “ripping” Sen. Barack Obama “for not visiting wounded American troops” on his “global tour,” then aired a clip from an ad released by McCain’s campaign which asserts that Obama “made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops.” Hall did not note that, as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell previously reported, Obama did in fact visit wounded troops on his trip while in Iraq, going to “a casualty unit in the Green Zone without photographers as part of the congressional delegation.”

Andrea Mitchell isn’t exactly known for doing her homework or fair reporting. The one time Mitchell gets it right a surrogate steps in to muddy a very clear sequence of events.

Can Obama Run the Offense?

A recent survey found that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the social contract of the 20th century — in which the government, employers and the society as a whole pulled together to see that those who worked hard and played by the rules were afforded the basic necessities of daily life and a shot at the American dream — “appears to be unraveling.”

Nearly 80 percent of those who responded to the survey, conducted for the Rockefeller Foundation and Time magazine, said they are facing greater financial risks now than in the past.

This anxiety is pervasive, and it was clearly evident a little more than two weeks ago when Phil Gramm, then John McCain’s key economic adviser, callously remarked that we were suffering from a “mental recession” and that the U.S. had become “a nation of whiners.”

Been down this road several times. McCain plans to continue Bush’s economic policies. As president he will push the economy into further decline. That will not stop some people from voting for him. Its the What’s the Matter with Kansas phenomenon. Many voters have voted against their own best interests and those of the country as a whole because their perceptions get the better of reality. It wasn’t just that McCain’s buddy and economic adviser accused America of being a nation of whiners, the real issue is how much Gramm and his ilk have contributed to breaking the social contract that Bob Herbert refers to.

From a study done by the Rand Corporation, How Terrorist Groups End – Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida

All terrorist groups eventually end. But how do they end? The evidence since 1968 indicates that most groups have ended because (1) they joined the political process (43 percent) or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members (40 percent). Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this time frame have achieved victory. This has significant implications for dealing with al Qa’ida and suggests fundamentally rethinking post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism strategy: Policymakers need to understand where to prioritize their efforts with limited resources and attention. (full pdf at link)

Here again McCain wants to continue Bush’s policies. The centerpiece of which is that Iraq of all places is the front that will end all terrorism in our time. That notion is both silly and dangerous. The McCain/Bush Doctrine is an experiment based on shrill declarations about threats, winning, losing and even patriotism. There are still amazingly enough a good number of Americans that still see Iraq as WW IV and victory, however they’re defining victory this week, determining the very survival of western civilization. While the Bushies have run our troops ragged we still have enough missiles and bombs to tun the entire Middle-East into a sandbox. Yet the Right is trembling in their bunny slippers that the olive skinned headscarf wearing foreigners willing be rowing their dinghies to our beach fronts and forcing us all to face east four times a day. All of this while the guy that master minded 9-11 sips tea in his newest hideout on the Pakistan border.

Traffic City wallpaper

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free” – Spinoza

McCain Adviser’s Horrifying Iraq Track Record: Will the Press Notice?

* Like other war supporters, Scheunemann threw caution to the wind in declaring, wrongly, that Saddam had WMD. “There is no doubt Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction,” he assured Americans a month before the invasion.

Its is not so much remarkable that Scheunemann is a Cheney/Rove clone or even that McCain embraces this record of failure, poor judgement and campaign of disinformation. The remarkable thng is that McBush’s supporters could care less about the lost lives and squandered opportunities to actually do something about terrorism.

Black and White Cincinnati Skyline wallpaper

Black and White Cincinnati wallpaper. Not a pure black and white. There is a very pale silver blue tint.

No big surprise really that John McBush sometimes thinks the presidency of the United States should be conducted more like that of former Russian Empress Catherine the Great ala Bush and Company then the co-equal branch of government that our Founding Fathers had in mind, Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps

A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.

In a letter posted online by National Review this week, the adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said Mr. McCain believed that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a 1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance.

[   ]…Following up, the interviewer asked whether Mr. McCain was saying a statute trumped a president’s powers as commander in chief when it came to a surveillance law. “I don’t think the president has the right to disobey any law,” Mr. McCain replied.

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that while the language used by Mr. McCain in his answers six months ago was imprecise, the recent statement by Mr. Holtz-Eakin “seems to contradict precisely what he said earlier.”

OK, sometimes he feels like an Empress and sometimes not. So voting for him will be a spin of the roulette wheel. Which McCain will show up for the actual governing of the country.

Lies, damned lies and John McCain

Sometimes he lies about more important matters. Responding to Democratic attacks that he voted with his Republican colleagues to block an investigation into the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, McCain angrily replied that he’d voted in favor of every such investigation even though he didn’t.

Whether Obama or any one presidential term can turn around the status quo in Washington is debatable. At least Senator Obama has ideals while over and over again McCain proves that he is for the status quo – corruption, pandering to special interests and working against rather then for the rule of law will be the hallmarks of a McCain presidency just as they have been of his Senate career.

Al Franken got off to a rocky start, but seems to be recovering, Dispatch from Minnesota: Al Franken v. Norm Coleman

With every national and state political wind at his back, this race should be Al Franken’s to lose. Minnesota is a blue state where Barack Obama currently leads John McCain by 18 percent. Coleman’s recent efforts to distance himself from the President and reposition himself as an moderate Republican will have to contend with the fact that he has voted with the President nearly 90 percent of the time over the course of his term. As recently as last month, Coleman attended a fundraiser with and publicly embraced the President he once called “part of God’s answer.” According to Hannah August of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Norm Coleman is “one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country.”

The contrast is remarkable. I didn’t always agree with the late Senator Wellstone, but he always promoted with those old fashioned ideals about the “common good”. While Coleman has been nothing, but a lap dog opportunist.

Just another chapter in this era of the Conservative Culture of Corruption, but Paron’s explanation was funny, U.S. Says Contractor Made Little Progress on Iraq Projects

Parsons said in a written statement yesterday that it had “some serious reservations about the conclusions” in the audits, saying the company was hindered by the violent and unstable security situation in Iraq. One of Parsons’s subcontractors was shot and killed at close range while in his office, the company said.

Parsons’s work is emblematic of other troubles in the $50 billion U.S. reconstruction effort, in which there have been widespread problems of contractors doing poor work, being late and overspending on projects.

Jon McCain and the Right keep claiming that you can’t tell the difference between Iraq and a luxury resort so violence can’t be the reason for shoddy work.

Is McCain Losing It

McCain doesn’t think honor matters

It’s been so long that maybe McCain has forgotten the cadet honor code from the U.S. Naval Academy, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” Sen. Hagel (R-NE) Criticizes McCain Ad

In the ad, the Republican presidential candidate complains about Obama’s recent decision not to visit U.S. troop hospital in Germany, saying, “Sen. Obama made time to go to the gym but canceled a visit with wounded troops.”

“I do not think that ad was appropriate,” Hagel said in an appearance on CBS-TVs “Face the Nation.” Obama’s staff was advised by the Pentagon about the military’s concerns with Obama bringing his political campaign to see soldiers there, his advisers have said.

Hagel jumped into a discussion of the McCain ad between CBS host Bob Schieffer and Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.), who called the ad “completely distorted.” Reed and Hagel had accompanied Obama to Afghanistan and Iraq as part of an official “congressional delegation.” Hagel said that it would have been wrong for Obama, as part of his campaign-financed political trip, to visit troops at the U.S. hospital in Germany after the official congressional trip had ended.

Hagel said that if Obama had visited the U.S. hospital at that point, he would be “using our wounded men and women as props for his campaign.” Obama “probably did the right thing,” Hagel said, adding that Obama, he and Reed visited troops “everywhere” in Iraq during their congressional trip.

The Jed Report notes that as has become standard operating procedure with McCain, the lies usually walk lock step with some hypocrisy, Why didn’t McCain want to see the troops in March (2008)?

The curious thing about John McCain’s dishonorable attack on Barack Obama is that McCain himself visited Europe in March, but didn’t visit the wounded troops in Landstuhl, Germany.

I wonder why the broadcast media will micro analyze every word out of Senator Obama’s mouth, yet have just let this story fade away, McCain Disputed On 1999 Meeting – Broadcaster Recalls Urging FCC Contact

Broadcaster Lowell “Bud” Paxson yesterday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Paxson’s behalf.

Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson’s quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.

Paxson also recalled that his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, likely attended the meeting in McCain’s office and that Iseman helped arrange the meeting. “Was Vicki there? Probably,” Paxson said in an interview with The Washington Post yesterday. “The woman was a professional. She was good. She could get us meetings.”

The recollection of the now-retired Paxson conflicted with the account provided by the McCain campaign about the two letters at the center of a controversy about the senator’s ties to Iseman, a partner at the lobbying firm of Alcalde & Fay.

John McCain Professional Waffle Maker

McCain’s advisors and marketing strategy

McCain is more of an ideological risk for the Right then for patriotic Americans. He changes positions on issues so fast and so often Talking PointsMemo had to have a researcher take a look at the history of McCain’s policy positions on Iraq alone, The Definitive McCain Iraq Timeline

3/18/03, Fox, “O’Reilly Factor”

O’Reilly: “All right, Senator, if you were president, what would you have done differently in the run-up to this war?”

McCain: “Nothing.”

O’Reilly: “Nothing?”

McCain: “The president has handled this, in my view, skillfully.”


2/26/06, ABC News

“We have made serious mistakes in Iraq, which have caused us enormous problems and we’ve paid consequences”

Did it take a whole three years for reality to set in or was McCain so embarrassed by the debacle that Iraq was and is that he had to admit something was wrong. He still can’t bring himself to admit that putting boots on the ground in Iraq was a monumental mistake both in terms of a strategy for fighting terrorism and a travesty in which the U.S. military has been used by the Right – the frequent counter argument of the war dead enders is the comical assertion that we must all support the Right’s policies as the sacred gateway for supporting the troops. Bush’s/McCain’s policies are the miltary? The height of arrogance and not a point of view held by the military The Other Iraq Surge

Assessed favorably this week by the war’s lead general, the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq appears to be causing a surge of another sort—and one that’s not positive for President Bush or the Republican Party. Since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, members of the U.S. military have dramatically increased their political contributions to Democrats, marching sharply away from the party they’ve long supported. In the 2002 election cycle, the last full cycle before the war began, Democrats received a mere 23 percent of military members’ contributions.* So far this year, 40 percent of military money has gone to Democrats for Congress and president, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Anti-war presidential candidates Barack Obama and Ron Paul are the top recipients of military money.

McCain and the Right by attacking Senator Obama are the ones attacking the U.S. military. Enlisted military, the ones that do the actual fighting are reaching into their pockets for a change in direction. Someone to get us out of the Iraq quiqmire, not someone who sees Iraq as a win/lose situation or seems to change their idea of withdraawl timelines every other day McCain Embraces Senator Obama’s 16-Month Iraq Withdrawal: ‘I Think It’s A Pretty Good Timetable’. That was Friday, McCain is certain to do some more pandering depending on what audience he’s speaking to. Just this pass week we also had McCain and his chorus of apologists declaring in no uncertain terms that the “surge” was absolutely necessary and unquestionably succeeded. Well as usual they bellowed and blustered emitting an enormous amount of green house gases, but were a little short on absolute honesty, McCain’s embarrassing assertions on the Iraq surgeEven military leaders involved in last year’s troop escalation agree that the prospect of U.S. withdrawal is the main reason violence has ebbed.

In fact, it was the prospect of an early U.S. withdrawal, not the surge, that prompted the Sunni insurgents to change sides, according to the American officers who worked with their leaders. A fascinating article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs by Georgetown professor Colin Kahl and retired Gen. William Odom quotes Marine Maj. Gen. John Allen, who ran the tribal engagement operations in Anbar during 2007, saying that the Democratic sweep in the 2006 midterm elections and the increasing demand for withdrawal by the American public “did not go unnoticed” among the province’s Sunni sheiks. “They talked about it all the time.” Allen also told Kahl that the Marines exploited those concerns by telling the sheiks: “We are leaving … We don’t know when we are leaving, but we don’t have much time, so you [the Anbaris] better get after this.” Kahl and Odom write that “the risk that U.S. forces would leave pushed the Sunnis to cut a deal to protect their interests while they still could.” They also quote Maj. Niel Smith, the operations officer at the U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center, and Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of U.S. forces in Ramadi during that crucial period, who wrote a long article on the Anbar awakening in the journal Military Review. “A growing concern that the U.S. would leave Iraq and leave the Sunnis defenseless against Al-Qaeda and Iranian-supported militias,” they recalled, “made these younger [tribal] leaders [who led the awakening] open to our overtures.”

Probably. much like having more police cruisers in an area can bring down street crime a notch, having a few more troops on patrol coincided with many other factors to bring down the level of violence. One of the biggest factors in bringing down the organized resistance that included deadly IEDs was that Muqtada al-Sadr called on his militia to stop their attacks and turned his attention to jockeying for political power.

Crashed Aeroplane by Sargent John Singer. Painted in 1918. His spelling. I make enough of my own typos.

McSexist: McCain’s War on Women

One reason many pro-choice women are confused about McCain is because he has flip-flopped on the abortion issue.

In 1999, McCain said he backed Roe: “Certainly, in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”

But on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in May 2007, responding to a question about his statements in 1999, McCain said: “Well, it was in the context of conversation about having to change the culture of America as regards to this issue. I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan says his shifting rhetoric is an attempt to “game” the electorate and confuse voters about his actual stances. “[The McCain campaign] knows full well that women in America, especially independent and pro-choice women, will not support a candidate who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Keenan says. “So they’re still trying to make the case that he’s a moderate and a maverick, when his record proves that he is neither.”

The record also shows that McCain has rarely strayed outside Republican Party line on the issue of choice. He has consistently voted against measures to provide access to contraception and sex-education, and voted to approve anti-choice judges.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL have each given him a zero for his record on women’s health issues. (The record dates back to his days in the House of Representatives, between 1983 and 1986, and carries through to his career in the U.S. Senate, which began in 1987.) Of the 130 congressional votes related to reproductive freedom that McCain has cast, 125 have been anti-choice, according to NARAL.

The smaller blogs like this one that don’t have interns and tons of diarists really are having a difficult time keeping up with McCain. He not only regularly changes his views on a semi-daily basis, but tailors his message to suit whoever his audience is that day. Do you really think that McCain supports your position? Whatever your point of view on an issue is he’ll get around to it eventually. It is almost surreal that the mainstream press keeps telling us that Senator Obama is the candidate that America needs to get to know. Does anyone want to absolutely swear they know John The Waffler McCain.

Birth Certificates, Conspiracies and Batman

Strange that some of the bizarre rumors about Senator Obama continue. They stepped up from the regular political smears that we’ve come to expect from Conservatives to the level of accusing NASA and Neil Armstrong of creating a fake moon landing. Only this time its not about shadows supposedly cast in the wrong direction its about embossed seals. I was reading this post at Seeing the Forest, “Who Sent You?” — The Coming Attack on Obama

And here we are again. The widely-spread, widely-repeated — and consequently widely believed — smear emails about Obama being a secret Muslim who went to a terrorist training school, burned his flag pin etc. have been “preparing the ground” by “raising questions” that get people ready to give a positive reception to this conspiracy theory. I am seeing signs that the wingnuts are starting to roll out the next phase with the right’s recent “Obama forged birth certificate” blogswarm, with stories like this from Christian Web News..

A commenter linked to this report from Politifact, Obama’s birth certificate: Final chapter

As a fact-checking news Web site, we went to extensive lengths to sort out the truth. We got a copy of his 1992 marriage certificate from the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics. His driver’s license record from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. His registration and disciplinary record with the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Not to mention all of his property records.

[   ]…We e-mailed it to the Hawaii Department of Health, which maintains such records, to ask if it was real.

“It’s a valid Hawaii state birth certificate,” spokesman Janice Okubo told us.

[   ]…If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud. They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies

How remarkable that about 47 years ago so many state and federal officials began to participate in this political Area 51 style plot.

Jefferson Memorial Aerial View

We don’t have to look far from home to learn about hate, Report: Hate crimes hit 5-year high in LA County

The most common hate crimes were those motivated by race, with 310 committed against black people and 125 against Latinos. However, crimes in which anti-immigrant slurs were used dropped slightly.

If you like your news about Bush corruption in nicely colored graphic form you’ll like this post, Crimes and Misdemeanors. Guest stars or partisan cronies or Republicans hacks, which ever term you prefer include George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, David Addington, John Ashcroft, John Yoo, and Alberto Gonzales.

Its probably a misprint. The Wall Street Journal which is definitely part of the media and all media has a liberal bias thinks Bush is Batman incarnate, THE BEST OP-ED EVER!!!!!

There is an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that compares Batman to . .  wait for it . . . wait for it . . . George W Bush! I am not making this up:

There seems to me no question that the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

There are so many bat-shit crazy statements in this paragraph I could literally be blogging for hours, weeks, months even years. You would have to pry the laptop off my comatose, snark-emptied body.

Maybe it was a tiny bit courageous for Bush to stop reading My Pet Goat eventually on 9-11 and mosey over to the Bat phone and check in with Dick Cheney at the bunker. Then later giving up golf in remembrance of the Iraq military casualties. Hilzoy stepping in at Andrew Sullivan’s writes, An Old, Old Story

Congratulating yourself on your willingness to put aside ordinary scruples in order to do something decent people would never attempt; convincing yourself that your willingness to become inhumane is a strength, a sign of how much you are willing to sacrifice for some greater good; telling yourself that it is an act of kindness to take on the burden of doing terrible things so that others can flit innocently about, secure in their own virtue: this is an old, old story that people tell themselves to disguise the fact that they have chosen to do evil.

Isn’t one component of courage (in the way that the WSJ op-ed speaks of it) putting yourself in harm’s way knowing that you might suffer some horrible consequences. Bush knew that the worse thing that could happen to him for having the most corrupt presidency in our history was no where near those that paid for his moral and legal negligence with their freedom or lives. The history of Bush’s life and that which has continued into his presidency is the ability to avoid consequences for his actions, others have always bailed him out and made excuses for him.

Which is the joker
Which is the joker

100 female U.S. service members have died in Iraq

Twinkle, twinkle, little Surge! How I wonder what you’re at

McCain major gaffes might be coming faster and faster to keep with with that legendary temper, Anbar Sheik Cited By McCain Was Assassinated Last Year

On Tuesday evening, McCain falsely claimed that the downturn in violence in Iraq’s Anbar province was a result of the surge, when in fact the surge began months afterward. Moreover, he said, if it weren’t for the work of U.S. forces, the major Sunni figure leading that awakening wouldn’t have had the protection he needed.

“Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks,” said the Senator. “Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening.”

The Arizona Republican’s campaign went further the next day, claiming that the major figures that turned around Anbar province would have been killed had the surge policy not been in place. “If Barack Obama had had his way, the Sheiks who started the Awakening would have been murdered at the hands of al Qaeda,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.

Sadly, that murder took place even with the surge underway. In September 2007, Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the sheik widely credited with persuading Sunni leaders to turn against al Qaeda in Iraq, died in a bomb attack in Anbar. His work, prior to then, was held as a major effort in transforming the province from one of Iraq’s deadliest areas into one of its safest.

A couple important dates. In August of 2006 the vast majority of the 31 tribes that resided in Anbar came together and created the the Anbar Salvation Front to band together to fight foreign fighters from several Middle-Eastern countries that were calling themselves al-Qaeda. In January 2007 Bush’s Surge begins – troop levels at 132,000. In September of 2007 according to the Whitehouse full “surge” levels were meet – number of U.S. troops at 168,000. McCain’s assertion is not a little flub of the day, but a major misrepresentation of fact. Worded in a way to create an impression much like the Bush administration used when they used words like “urgent” and “weapons of mass murder” to describe the “threat” from Iraq. Unless we’ve all been transported into an episode of Dr. Who it is incumbent on someone that wants to be the next commander-in-chief to realize that our time, or time in the reality based community is linear. Events can happen simultaneously or they can happen in succession, but events are not game pieces that can be picked up and moved around at random. A real leader would acknowledge that fact. McCain also seems to have Orwellian tendencies with words and meanings. Defining words to suit McCain’s surreal concept of time, Fun With Definitions: John McCain-style

The Arizona senator told reporters Wednesday afternoon that when he refers to the surge, it encompasses not just the January 2007 increase in troop levels but also the counter-insurgency that started in Iraq’s Al Anbar province months prior.

“A surge is really a counter-insurgency strategy, and it’s made up of a number of components,” McCain said. “This counter-insurgency was initiated to some degree by Colonel McFarland in Anbar province, relatively on his own.” (McCain)

It’s amazing that a guy whose entire campaign revolves around his supposed foreign policy expertise and his support for “the surge” specifically could manage to make himself look this foolish.

First, to state the obvious, the word “surge” is not a term of art with some agreed-upon military definition.  It’s a political term that was coined to describe a plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Now McCain and his apologists are all over what the surge meant or means or will mean. As the Anonymous Liberal points out the term “surge” wasn’t even part of the military’s lexicon until the American Enterprise Institute and Bush invented it (a search of military terms at FAS turns up no listing for the word “surge”). The word could mean almost anything. One Conservative today has specially defined it as method of counter-terrorism. Convenient, but not supported by anything but the usual arrogant bluster. How did the Whitehouse define its own policy with the word they invented to describe it, from a July 2007 Whitehouse press briefing.

A surge, by definition, is temporary in nature. You don’t surge on a permanent basis. So the question is, will the surge be successful, and can we take that success and move on to the next stage.

Q Tony, what’s the definition of success of the surge? And what’s the next stage if the surge is not successful?

MR. FRATTO: The definition of success of the surge is that there is a sufficient amount of breathing space. And by that, we mean basic security and basic delivery of services in Iraq; that the political leadership can make the reforms that they need to make in order to move Iraq to a more functioning society.

If the surge was as McCain and his defenders are now claiming was a counter-terrorism tactic then the Whitehouse was only going to fight terrorism in Iraq temporarily. Defining the surge as an escalation of troops with the general goal of better policing seems like a more real world definition. Previous to that press briefing the Whitehouse described the surge like this, 7 July 7 2007,

The term “surge” has been used in relation to increasing U.S. troop levels, and an increase certainly will take place. But what is really going on, and what is going to take place, is a surge across all lines of operations — military and non-military, Iraqi and coalition. The President’s plan has Iraqis in the lead and seeks a better balance of U.S. military and non-military efforts than was the case in the past. We cannot succeed in Iraq without the important non-military elements Secretary Rice just mentioned.

The Iraqis feel, contrary to Senator McCain and his entourage of excuse makers that the military and “non-military elements” are far enough along that the U.S. should start making plans to leave. The Right claimed that we had to escalate troop levels to decrease violence. The causality count went up. Violence eventually went down because of several factors. The Right claims they were correct about the surge even though it made political reconciliation take longer and more difficult – a problem that still exists. Surge, no surge, what is a surge, Iraqis fighting and winning their own battles, time warps; none of it seems to matter. McCain and the Right’s answer to Iraq is always stay.

Iraq Veteran Takes On McCain In New Ad

The independent group, VoteVets, will begin running a new television ad this week that features an Iraq war veteran who asserts that if elected, Senator John McCain “would occupy Iraq indefinitely,” against the wishes of the Iraqi people.

The veteran, Brandon Woods of New York, says in the ad: “What did we fight for in Iraq? I have some idea. I fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And ‘freedom’ means when the Iraqi people and their Prime Minister ask us to make a plan to leave, we do.”

In a statement the chairman of VoteVets, Jon Soltz – also an Iraq war veteran – noted that Mr. McCain once said that the United States should pull troops out of Iraq if asked to do so by the Iraqis

Things have changed. McCain can’t win without the vote of those lizard brained dead enders who keep trying to define Iraq in terms of winning and losing as though it was the Invasion of Normandy.

Source: Novak’s Victim Worse Than First Thought

The victim, a 66-year-old man, appeared somewhat incoherent, said the source who had seen the victim. The man appeared to have casts on his neck and back. The victim was X-rayed and a surgical team plans to evaluate him, the source said.

[ ]…”I see something of an older gentleman in the crosswalk get hit. The black Corvette convertible take a right turn onto the K Street service road; the pedestrian rolls off to the left and the car speeds away,” he said.

The alleged hit and run driver was that stalwart Conservative propagandist of the highest values and stellar morals one Bob Novak. When he’s not plating grab ass with the Bushies helping to expose the identity of CIA NOC agents he can be found speeding through cross walks in his black Corvette.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at.- The Hatter, Alice in Wonderland

Vote for McCain get more of the same

Senator McCain might be a maverick after all. His propensity for doing a double back flip and shot himself every forty eight hours seems to be picking up pace. He and his campaign staff seem to want to do one a day, kind of like vitamins, McCain Gets History Of The Surge Wrong, CBS Doesn’t Air Footage

During a CBS interview on Tuesday, John McCain made a stone cold error on a subject about which he claims expert knowledge: the “surge” strategy in Iraq. In an interview with anchor Katie Couric, the Arizona Republican said, inaccurately, that the surge strategy was responsible for the much-touted “Anbar Awakening,” in which Sunni sheiks turned against Al Qaeda, helping in turn to reduce violence in the country.

From the transcript:

Katie Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?

McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is as– such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.

In fact, as Spencer Ackerman and Ilan Goldenberg have reported, the record firmly establishes the opposite: instead of being caused by the surge, the key signs of the Anbar Awakening occurred not only before that strategy was implemented, but before it was ever conceived.

Yet McCain’s error was not seen by any CBS Evening News viewers. As MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann noted (video below), “CBS curiously, to say the least, left it on the edit room floor. It aired Katie Couric’s question, but in response, it aired part of McCain’s answer to the other question instead.” (Ironically, this edit came on the same day that McCain’s campaign released a video mocking the media’s “love affair” with Obama.)

As HuffPo notes CBS has since put the entire interview on-line. For a foreign policy guru that belongs to the supposed political party of foriegn policy gurus if serious deceptions like this this one were felonies they’d all be in jail, but hey its just politics mixed with a little life and death, right. McCain has an uncanny ability not realized before his current presidential run that he is his own best proof that is he not only unqualified to be president, but has no business being a U.S. Senator. This latest inability to understand what is happening on the ground in Iraq points to another problem for the Right who have becoming increasing shrill over the claim that the “surge” worked. Much of the violence in Iraq subsided for several reasons. Many tribal leaders like those in Anbar formed alliances for their own reasons and while they struck back against foriegn fighters from North Africa, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan they still see American troops as occupiers. Between the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that have been killed and the two million Iraqi refugees there is literally fewer people to engage in sectarian violence. The “surge” is only one of the contributing factors to the down turn in violence. If the Right, like McCain wants to screw around with the facts, create a narrative that provides yet more cover for lying us into an unnecessary war, well that is what we have come to expect.

Joe Klein at Time  must be taking his meds. In a moment of pure sanity he sees what many of us have already seen, McCain Meltdown

John McCain said this today in Rochester, New Hampshire:

This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.

This is the ninth presidential campaign I’ve covered. I can’t remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.

Sure its sad as Klein says, but its more then that. Its where a sense of entitlement meets unhinged anger. McCain some years ago did some honorable service for his country and suffered during the course of it. Now he’s married to a millionaire, he’s kissed Karl Rove’s ass, he’s a “staright talker”, and he’s a Republican damnit; no intelligent upstart with actual ideas and leadership skills has the right to McCain’s presidency.

I don’t do concern trolling so when I hear McCain surrogates talk about experience as being the end all of qualifications for president, I have two words for them, George Bush. Jus keep talking about experience and where people like George, Dick and McCain have gotten us. Here’s a slogan they can use, Vote for McCain get more of the same.

In sports they say that making the other guy play your game is the path to victory. Obama’s Iraq Trip Changes McCain’s Position On Iraq

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