Conservatives encourage reprehensible preemptive pardons

That Bush is getting a record number of requests for pardons isn’t all that news worthy. What did the country expects after Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence for being convicted of four felonies including perjury and obstruction of justice. By that action and others Bush has given hope to some of America’s worse criminals. That he is being encouraged to issue what would be preemptive pardons by Conservative legal consultants for crimes that were probably committed by operatives and political cronies is reprehensible, Think Progress notes,

Such a pardon would reduce the risk that a future administration might undertake a criminal investigation of operatives or policy makers involved in programs that administration lawyers have said were legal but that critics say violated laws regarding torture and surveillance.

Some legal analysts said Mr. Bush might be reluctant to issue such pardons because they could be construed as an implicit admission of guilt. […]

“The president should pre-empt any long-term investigations,” said Victoria Toensing, who was a Justice Department counterterrorism official in the Reagan administration. “If we don’t protect these people who are proceeding in good faith, no one will ever take chances.”

The argument among some will be the inevitable this is all for the best. Any attempt to punish those would be perceived as a partisan witch hunt. President Ford made that argument when pardoning Nixon and we’ve paid for that mistake. The current administration seems to have looked back at Nixon and rather then learn to govern under the rule of law have based thier eight year tenure on loyality to extremist ideology to the detriment of American values and tradition. Whatever the issue or policy the Bushies are determined to  lie, distort and obfuscate to their last day. They have simply refused to answer Congressionalsupenas claiming king like privileges that have no basis in law. Considering the possibility of these preemptive pardons how can Congress not consider impeachment and investigation of war crimes, Nine Reasons to Investigate War Crimes Now

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Another crony in McCain camp, British back Obama, Victor David Hanson lies for the cause

Included in Stephen Payne’s ( the lobbyist and all around GOP water carrier who was selling Whitehouse access for cash payments) web of friends includes Randy Scheunemann.  Scheunemann is chief foreign policy and national security adviser to John McCain. President Bush lobbyist Stephen Payne in ‘bribes’ row quits

In a further link, Randy Scheunemann, chief foreign policy and national security adviser to John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, was listed in the WSE brochure as part of its executive team. Scheunemann and Associates, his lobbying firm, is reported as having represented the Caspian Alliance in 2005.

At the undercover meeting last week, Payne said Scheunemann had been “working with me on my payroll for five of the last eight years”. When confronted over the link to KMG, Payne declined to comment.

McCain multiple ties with powerful lobbyist, besides making his claims of being a maverick look sillier by the day also give another black eye to Republican brain trust and New York Times columnist Bill Kristol another notch on his Kristol Ball – Bill has previously suggested that McCain run as a “reformist” for “the whole U.S. government.“ Difficult to run as a reformer when you’re running around with the same cronies that America is fed up with. More here on Randy Scheunemann and McCain, McCain’s senior foreign policy advisor tied to global petro-influence peddling

Just to briefly revisit this, Iraqi Prime Minister Backs Obama Troop Exit Plan

A number of media outlets likewise professed to being confused by the statement from Maliki’s office. The New York Times pointed out that al-Dabbagh’s statement “did not address a specific error.” CBS likewise expressed disbelief pointing out that Maliki mentions a timeframe for withdrawal three times in the interview and then asks, “how likely is it that SPIEGEL mistranslated three separate comments? Matthew Yglesias, a blogger for the Atlantic Monthly, was astonished by “how little effort was made” to make the Baghdad denial convincing. And the influential blog IraqSlogger also pointed out the lack of specifics in the government statement.

SPIEGEL sticks to its version of the conversation.

Is it likely that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki might be playing politics, playing Senator Obama’s remarks off Bush’s attempt to have an ill defined permanent military presence in Iraq. I’m not sure that matters as much as the substance of the implication that Iraqs want us out. They don’t see the American military in its current deployment status as necessary for Iraqi security. British Prime Minister Brown seems to agree, Brown plans to withdraw troops as he backs Obama over ‘war on terror’

Gordon Brown prepared the ground for a historic realignment in the “war on terror” yesterday by setting out a four-point plan for withdrawal of British troops from Iraq by the end of next year.

Although he is refusing to set a detailed timetable for withdrawal, it is clear Mr Brown is in agreement with the US presidential candidate Barack Obama on the need for military action in Afghanistan to take priority. Both appear to be working to a 16-month timetable.

McCain was on all three network news programs this morning trying desparety to have something relevant to say about Iraq and Afghanistan. I almost felt sorry for him.

What A Difference A Day Makes, neocon grand chef of hypocrisy Jennifer Rubin  states on 07-18-2008 that Senator Obama should make his trip to the Middle-East with an open mind and ask questions. On 07-19-2008 says that Senator Obama is asking too many questions on his trip.

Victor David Hanson is another Conservative brain trust. An historian and intellectual. More Iraqi Ironies
Our short memories.

We were paralyzed for a year over Ambassador Joe Wilson’s carnival-like mission, in part due to the prompt of his wife at the CIA Valerie Plame, to find out whether Niger sold, or tried to sell, yellowcake to Saddam. Meanwhile unmentioned is the fact that all the time 1.2 million pounds of yellowcake continued to sit in a warehouse in pre- and postwar Iraq. We chose a special prosecutor to find the culprit who, in some sort of supposed conspiratorial retaliation to Wilson’s flamboyant but erroneous claims, divulged the employment status of his wife. The result is that the special prosecutor found the culpable party, but ensured that he is free from indictment, and indicted and convicted the person who, we know, did not first divulge Ms. Plame’s identity — the object of the original inquiry

Sloppy work for a historian. Dick Cheney was the one that asked the CIA to send someone to Niger. The same Dick Cheney who was SOD during Bush One’s administartion and knew that Saddam already had that yellowcake in country. He had a say in leaving it there. Knowing that Iraq had yellowcake in country what did it matter whether they had made recent attempts to purchase more. There are a couple of choices to explain Cheney’s move. One he conviently forgot what he did as Secretary of Defense in 1991. The other is that he planned to distort anything the CIA found to his own purposes. Bush ended up using the infamous 16 words. Very clever wording, laying the claim that Saddam had recently tried to acquire yellowcake at the door step of the British giving himself some plausible deniability. Bush accomplished his goal of planting in the mind of the American people that Saddam was actively restarting his nuclear program, which was known then and remains a lie. As Bush made that speech Dick Cheney and Bush had to know that Saddam had tons of yellowcake under IAEA seal for years. The administartion lied and made selective leaks to the press. The object of the original inquiry was to find the leaker/s. Scooter was in the loop with Dick Cheney. That is why Scooter Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing justice – he lied to protect his masters. Yes Victor there is some irony here. That a historian and intellectual would be so blinded by partisan loyality that he’d sell his integrity for a little nod of approval from his fellow zealots.

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Kilmeade on NY Times report of American deaths in Iraq due to faulty wiring: “They had to find the negative story in Iraq?”

In its July 18 article, the Times reported that “[s]hoddy electrical work by private contractors on United States military bases in Iraq is widespread and dangerous, causing more deaths and injuries from fires and shocks than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to internal Army documents. … The Army report said KBR, the Houston-based company that is responsible for providing basic services for American troops in Iraq, including housing, did its own study and found a ‘systemic problem’ with electrical work.”

Imagine you’re loved one goes off to do their duty. They fight in a war that was based on nonsense about WMD, “urgent” threats, and mutiple implications that Iraq was somehow connected to the events of 9-11. You’re spouse, brother or friend doesn’t die killing terrorists, but dies because of the shoddy work done by a contractor with Whitehouse connections. In Kilmeade’s world and most Conservatives inconvenient deaths should be kept a secret because, well its makes them look bad. Brian is a little upset and embarrassed that the corrupt and ideologically extreme cronies (KBR) that he hand his network have been genuflecting apologists for have been caught being negligent. Death by cronyism doesn’t phase the Right, but the press reporting it does. Nice to know that Republicans still have their values and priorities straight.

Remember the GOP lobbyists and Department of Homeland Security advisor Stephen Payne that was doing some influence peddling in return for cash and Whitehouse access. It turns out he has close ties with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Payne has suddenly become remarkably unremarkable. Though he was Vive-Chairman of Hutchinson’s campaigns in 2000 and 2006 and did a little ghost writing for  Hutchinson for one of Payne’s lobbying clients the nation of  Azerbaijan, a Hutchinson spokesman says nobody remembers him. Hutchinson has been known to flip-flop on some issues like perjury and obstruction, sometimes its important and sometimes its not.

The recent hearings on torture brought up yet again claims that it has probably saved lives, The Truth Is Out on CIA and Torture

Throughout this ugly drama, U.S. leaders have assured the public that the extreme interrogation measures used on detainees have thwarted acts of terrorist and saved thousands of American lives. The trouble with such claims is that professionals who know something of interrogation or intelligence don’t believe them. This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture doesn’t work – it doesn’t – but also because they know that torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.

The administration’s claims of having “saved thousands of Americans” can be dismissed out of hand because credible evidence has never been offered – not even an authoritative leak of any major terrorist operation interdicted based on information gathered from these interrogations in the past seven years.

It is more then odd that after the 9-11 attacks the administration felt it had to torture people to prevent another attack, but would not allow the FBI to question the one suspect they had immediately taken into custody, Justifying’ Torture: Two Big Lies

But once the attacks took place on 9-11, confirming the Minneapolis FBI unit’s worst fears and finally overcoming FBI Headquarters’ reluctance to conduct further searches of Moussaoui’s belongings, there was still little sense of urgency.

At that point, Moussaoui sat atop the list of prime sources for information about any “second wave” of attacks. But the Justice Department persisted in its refusal to allow agents to attempt to interview Moussaoui even after the attacks.

During the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, the acting U.S. Attorney denied the unit permission to interview Moussaoui.

Rowley — having seen what just had transpired due, at least in part, to the FBI unit having accepted No for an answer in August — decided to go a rung higher by calling Justice officials in the FBI’s Command Post in Washington on the morning of Sept. 12.

In that conversation, Rowley repeatedly drew attention to the Supreme Court decision (New York v Quarles, 467 U.S. 649, 1984) granting an “exigent-circumstances” exception to the Miranda rule in cases where an interview is judged necessary to protect public safety.

Rowley was told by Justice Department officials that “no such public emergency existed.” This is what Rowley encountered on 9/11 and 9/12.

Moussaoui remained the only al-Qaeda terrorist in custody for many months, but the Justice Department’s ban on interviewing him remained in place — at huge potential cost by forfeiting the possibility of acquiring information on other terrorist activities about which Moussaoui was very probably aware.

This is not merely theoretical. It appears that Moussaoui almost certainly was acquainted with Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who on Dec. 22, 2001, almost succeeded in blowing up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami with nearly 200 people aboard.

So, in Rowley’s May 21, 2002, letter to FBI Director Mueller, she reminded him that if, as he claimed, priority was now being given to prevention over prosecution, the FBI needed to explore how to apply the Quarles “public safety” exception.

Rowley also reminded Mueller that Minneapolis had not only been prevented from further investigation of Moussaoui before 9/11 but also was prohibited from interviewing him after the attacks on that day.

Ironic considering these recent excuses for torture,

– On May 22, 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice publicly discussed the use of enhanced interrogation techniques: “After Sept. 11, whatever was legal in the face of not just the attacks of Sept. 11, but the anthrax attacks that happened, we were in an environment in which saving America from the next attack was paramount.”

– On June 5, 2008, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Jim Angle of Fox News that it was fear of an imminent attack that led to the controversial interrogation practices – including waterboarding, which Hayden referred to as a “high-end interrogation technique.”

Maybe former FBI agent Coleen Rowley should have asked the Justice Department if she could torture Moussaoui rather then question him. She probably would have gotten immediate approval.

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people

Like Bush, McCain Said Capturing Bin Laden Isn’t ‘ that important’

2002: McCain said capturing Osama Bin Laden Isn’t “‘That Important.” [CBS, “Face the Nation,” 3/2/02]

Rushing into Iraq and losing 4000 American lives over WMD and terrorist connection that didn’t exist according to the commander-in-chief wannbe was more important then capturing the mastermind behind 9-11.

Pundit and Republican model of patriotism Michael Savage thinks that kids with autism are little fakers and their parents are to blame.

Ashcroft: Waterboarding is not torture.

“I believe a report of waterboarding would be serious, but I do not believe it would define torture,” Ashcroft said.

This guy used to be the Attorney General of the United States of America. It makes you wonder if he didn’t get his law degree by way of a correspondence school off a matchbook cover, Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime

After World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war. At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: “I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure.” He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. “Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning,” he replied, “just gasping between life and death.”

Nielsen’s experience was not unique. Nor was the prosecution of his captors. After Japan surrendered, the United States organized and participated in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, generally called the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Leading members of Japan’s military and government elite were charged, among their many other crimes, with torturing Allied military personnel and civilians. The principal proof upon which their torture convictions were based was conduct that we would now call waterboarding.

Bush’s Pakistan-Afganistan-Iran “legacy”

I think the White House has finally become seriously spooked about Pakistan. When Benazir was assassinated, they lost Plan A and there never was a Plan B. They’ve been treading water while watching things go from bad to worse in both Pakistan’s domestic political chaos and in the border areas with Afghanistan. The US doesn’t have more troops to put in, and even if there were a few more brigades available, everybody (except Mr “I authored the Surge(TM)” McCain) seems to realize that the military isn’t going to solve this problem, it’s only a finger in the dike.

Whoever is the new President come January, US-Pakistan policies are going to have to be reworked entirely. The Biden-Lugar economic aid package, which Obama is sponsoring, is just the first step.

Not Conservatives, but the reality based community knows that Bush squandered victory in Afghanistan in order to protect us from Iraq. What often goes over looked is that Iran had helped organize the anti-Taliban Northen Alliance in Afghanistan and had offered to continue to help the U.S. in getting rid of them and al-Qaeda. One can’t help but wonder how many lives could have been saved in Afghanistan and Iraq if the Bushies had not let their hubris get in the way of working with Iran against the Taliban.

McCain’s humor often backfires. Most of the examples of McCain’s humor is defensible, free speech and all. The purported rape joke is the deal breaker. Not surprising that the Republicans in the comment section defend McCain -” It also shows that McCain is down to Earth at least.” Rape jokes manage two things at once and showing how someone is down to earth is not even close, they’re tasteless and cruel. That is what sets them apart from jokes about cigarettes and someones looks. They’re a little window into the dark side of the person telling them.

Faux News had been echoing McCain’s inane criticism that Senator Obama had not been to Iraq enough. Now that he is going again they’re crying that he’s getting too much media coverage.

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Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. ~ John Adams

McCain can’t hide his record

Bush: Iraq had WMD.  McCain claimed Iraq had WMD and was a threat to the U.S. – “now, with more than 200,000 American and British troops at his doorstep, Saddam Hussein still refuses to give up his weapons of mass destruction.” McCain asserted that we had no other choice even as weapons inspectors were finding absolutely nothing and Bush was deciding to kick them out. Bush and McCain both claimed that they had no choice but to invade. Bush: deciminated false, distorted and incomplete intelligence to the media and the America. McCain was one of the leading proponents of creating a special intelligence unit that would, remarkably come up with information that supported the Bush administration’s agenda. Bush and McCain’s little unit produced information that was contrary to the intell produced by analysts at the State Department , the CIA and the International Atomic Energy Agency. McCain like Bush and Cheney has on multiple occasions conflated al-Qaeda, a radical Sunni organization with Iran, an overwhelmingly Shiia country, as is Iraq. In doing so he has equated Iran and Iraq with those that attacked the World Trade Center. Pure disinformation. Disinformation that creates the impression that Iraq had to be attacked in revenge for something it had nothing to do with. As he runs for president Mccain claims he is not George W. Bush. If integreity and “straight talk” is one of the qualifications for being the next commander-in-chief McCain has failed miserabily. If he were a private citizen his lies and distortions would be bad enough, but he is a U.S. Senator. A post in itself that McCain has proved himself unworthy of holding and now he wants a promotion. The ultimate perverse application of the Peter Principle, McCain thinks his ineptitude and treachery should be rewarded. The irony is piling on as McCain pretends to be the new improved version 2.0. Nope he is not Bush redux, Senator Obama is according to a Mccain spokesman,

I think the American people have had enough of inflexibility and stubbornness in national security policy…We cannot afford to replace one administration that refused for too long to acknowledge failure in Iraq with a candidate that refuses to acknowledge success in Iraq.

Bush and McBush both claimed Iraq had WMD and connections to al-Qaeda, not Senator Obama. Thus making Iraq the artificial front in the war on terror that had to be won. Just like Bush and the neocons McCain has a tendency to try and create his own fabulistic world rather then the reality that most Americans live in, After Voting For Education Cuts, McCain Touts Education Reform At NAACP. It probably doesn’t even cross McBush’s mind that his lies are insulting to others.

The U.S. is not the highest taxed country in the world, The U.S. Tax Burden Is Low Relative to Other OECD Countries

Researchers generate hydrogen without the carbon footprint

Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) is exactly the kind of do nothing know nothing arrogant obstructionist assclown that has turned off so many people about politics.

McCain’s shifting positions on Afghanistan indicate poor leadership skills

If you’ve been trying to keep up with Captain McCrunch – John McCain’s position on what to do in Afghanistan these have not been the best of times. Marc Ambinder rounds up McCain’s ever shifting views at The Atlantic. Let’s just call it McCain’s merry-go-round with American lives. Position one: A week ago nothing going on in Afghanistan and Obama doesn’t know what he is talking about by suggesting that troops should be shifted from Iraq. Position two: Yesterday morning McCain decides more brigades to Afghanistan and guess where they’ll come from, thats right Iraq. Position three: Yesterday afternoon (July 15) McCain thinks that the U.S. brigades can’t be pulled from Iraq that he would ask for more NATO troops. McCain Afghanistan plan four: Still the afternoon of July 15, 2008: McCain decides that the U.S. will contribute some troops and NATO would contribute some. So Captain McCrunch knows how to “win” wars. Salemanship 101 keep repeating the same exaggerated claims for your product regardless of how silly and unsubstantiated they are. McCain as is obvious enough to anyone over the age of five has never won a war. He has no actual battle field tactical command experience. Neither did George Bush or Dick Cheney. If McCain’s sudden discovery of Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden sounds familiar its because he has largely stolen his new foreign policy position ( it might be changing yet again as I write this) from Senator Barrack Obama, Position in Progress

I think TPM was one of the first places to note that what most of the media was playing as McCain calling for an Afghanistan Surge (TM) today was actually his abandoning his position and adopting the position Obama’s been pushing for a year. Even Mark Halperin eventually caught on. But it’s hard to keep your record of being ahead of curve.

Captain McCrunch’s Foreign Policy Notes

Presidents enjoy the largely ceremonial title of commander-in-chief, but no modern president actually commands the armed forces ( though Bush/Cheney have done some tragic micro managing). Senator Obama’s advisers include President Clinton’s National Security Council staffer Philip H. Gordon ( from the years of relative peace and prosperity. Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense. Former Air Force chief of staff Gen. Merrill A. (“Tony”) McPeak and former Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander, Jr. Of course should he be elected president Obama will consult with the same Joint Chiefs of Staff that Bush does. This all probably seems pretty elementary to most of the people that visit this blog, but much of the public has the the perception that presidents actually command like some movie where he moves ships with a stick around a large table map. Doing some double checking on some names in this post there are obviously some people that beleive presidents and command generals are the same thng or at least want others to believe it. Presidents are more like executive managers. They don’t go down to the lab and invent the next miracle drug that manage the experts that do. Who has shown the best understanding and judgment about Afghanistan. Not Captain McCrunch obviously. That being the case how can he or his supporters continue to make the case that he’ll be a brillant manager of our national defense.

Remember that Bush and McCain have both become livid at Senator Obama’s desire to eventually have constructive talks with Iran, See, We Tried. dday thinks the Bushies are putting on a show. Short term, Bush’s sincereity aside, hypocrisy about talks with Iran is still hypocrisy.

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Chicago wallpaper

Spin-Watch: The Right is Trying to Blame Democrats for the Bush Economy

The right is orchestrating a campaign to blame Democrats for the economic collapse. In cases like this it is often a matter of being the first out there with a story. For example, Progressives and Democrats could have been explaining the economic collapse on the cost of the war, or the huge borrowing that resulted from the tax cuts. But now the right is out there with a story, and the ability to get that story to the public. So we’ll see which narrative takes over.

Here’s the story. A major bank failed yesterday, and a Bush appointee in the government put out a statement directly blaming Democratic Senator Schumer. So the narrative the right is pumping out is that “the government” says Schumer is at fault for the bank failure. (What Schumer did was say that the bank appears to be insolvent because it was. Republicans say this “caused” a run on the bank. The fact is the bank was closed because it was insolvent, not because people were taking their money out. Runs can’t cause SOLVENT banks to fail because the Fed provides all the cash needed during a run. The FDIC closes banks that are NOT solvent. But facts don’t matter.)

The Right knows its base. Telling them a bank closed because someone stated the facts is such a head spinning bit of nonsense we’re bound to hear it repeated for years. It is funny that Conservatives are against the government giving people a hand up in hard times, but don’t have a problem with government stepping in to save Fannie and Freddie and their executives and their shareholders.

Its looks like I was in the minority when it comes to that New Yorker satire.  John Nichols over a the Nation didn’t care much for it,  The Beat Satire or Smear: Muslim Barack, Black Panther Michelle

So this issue of The New Yorker will be a very big seller.

At one level, that’s very good because Ryan Lizza’s 18-page piece on Barack Obama’s background as a Chicago political player is excellent. Lizza cuts through the ridiculous spin that would have us believe that Obama somehow rose to the top of the Illinois political scene by chance or serendipity. In what for Obama fabulists will be agonizing detail, Lizza explains that, “perhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama is that he is some sort of anti-establishment revolutionary. Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear them down or replace them….he has always played politics by the rules as they exist, not as he would like them to exist. He runs as an outsider, but he has succeeded by mastering the inside game.”

To the extent that a provocative cover leads Americans to Lizza’s important article, that’s healthy.

Nichols says the problem is that voters have to buy the magazine and actually read the article that praises Senator Obama, but they probably won’t. Maybe they will. It shows that Obama ublike the fake cowboy from Crawford or the pretend everyman Millionaire With 8 Houses McCain, Obama is the real thing, the great American success story. Obama is ahead in the polls and McCain keeps trying to be some strange combination of Ronnie Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and a bad game show host that shoots himself in the foot every fouty eight hours. So there is plenty of time for everyone not familiar with Senator Obama to find out more. Look at it this way, Obama could walk on water and the wing-nut crowd still wouldn’t vote for him regardless of what appears on a magazine cover.

John McCain and his shrill supporters think he’ll be a darn good commander-in-chief. They seem to keep repeating it over and over again like a magic mantra hoping that its true. While McCain shouldn’t be expected to be the next Geography Bee Champion, but what the heck is his obsession with Czechoslovakia, a country that does not exist. It hasn’t existed for fifteen years yet he has been referring to it in speeches for years. McCain voted for Bush a 100% of the time in 2008 and 95% in 2007. The American people think the country is headed in the wrong direction. So by what logic can we assume that McCain will be the commander guy to clean up Bush’s mess.

If you’re going to get into social criticism with absurdity and satire, you can’t be politically correct when you do that

New Yorker satire

What Obama and some liberals are upset about is the Barry Blitt satire (upper left) of all the e-mail, internet right-wing diatribes and urban myths that gave been spread about the Obamas. I think its good satire. It takes the hot air out of some people, of voting age one assumes that have engaged in some down and dirty hate mongering. The one in the upper right is one Blitt did portraying Bush as Cheney’s maid – au pair girl would be more accurate. The lower left is of Iranian president and homophobe Ahmadinejad playing the foot tap game in a public restroom. The lower right is the Bush administration up to its neck, in problems, we’ll assume. I got these covers over at HuffPo where the NYer responded to an e-mail, New Yorker Editor David Remnick Talks About The Obama Cover

I don’t know if this story is in the same issue as the current cover, but it looks at the phenomenon of some right-wing blogs and a few liberal ones have tried to portray as Senator Obama as a flip-flopper. Flip-Flop Flap. Obama did not flip-flop on women’s rights (NARal Pro-Choice America backs him up), he did not flip-flop on gun rights or the death penalty (he has always been pro death penalty for some crimes) and there are a couple of others. The only serious change of course that Obama has taken since cinching the Democratic nomination has been FISA. There has been some defense of that switch in position by liberals like Morton H. Halperin and RBC,  I’ll just leave it at that. The New Yorker hardly seems out to get Obama. The funniest part of this little brouhaha is that at least a couple right-wing blogs are pretending outrage and trying to paint The New Yorker as racist. The Brooklyn Bridge is also made of silly putty.

I came across this today and coincidentally adds a little weight to Blitt’s assertion that the bizarre claims being made about Obama are so out of control and so absurd that taking a moment to laugh at them is a worthy response, Barack Obama, Secret Jew?

The latest Pew Poll (in which Barack Obama leads John McCain 48-40) asks registered voters what religion they think Barack Obama is……….1% say he’s Jewish!

Lesson if you’re going to send out surrogates to speak for you have them do some homework first, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MCCAIN AND BUSH IS, UH, UM, AH, ERR…

BLITZER: Are there any significant economic differences between what the Bush administration has put forward over these many years as opposed to now what John McCain supports?

SANFORD: Um, yeah. For instance, take, you know, take, for instance, the issue of — I’m drawing a blank, and I hate it when I do that, particularly on television. Take, for instance the contrast on NAFTA. I mean, I think that the bigger issue is credibility in where one is coming from, are they consistent where they come from.

Sanford, of course, can’t come up with any significant difference because McCain has systematically wiped those differences out. Where he once opposed the President’s tax cuts, he’s flipped and now swears he’ll make them permanent. His health care plan is pretty close to what Bush proposed in his 2006 State of the Union.

The only thing Bush did for the economy, supposedly anyway is cut taxes. Those benefited mostly the wealthiest American and created the biggest deficit in our history. Bush said his tax plan, the one that McCain has now decided to support, would stimulate the economy, create jobs and pay for themselves. Bush and McBush were completely wrong. Nothing that Bush said would happen, has happened. An economic record only Bush could be proud of

McCain, two faces for the price of one

Army Secretary Asks for Probe of Firing

The Washington Post reported on Gray’s firing yesterday. After assuming her director position three months ago, Gray discovered that cemetery officials were trying to impose new media restrictions on funerals of Iraq war dead, despite families of the fallen having granted permission for coverage.
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Gray believed the new restrictions were wrong and were not supported by Army regulations, The Post reported. But she was demoted six weeks after The Post first reported on her attempts to restore news coverage, and she was fired on June 27.

If you’re going to get into social criticism with absurdity and satire, you can’t be politically correct when you do that. ~ John Cusack

McCain The Three Headed Flip Flopper

The Amazing Adventures of McCain the Three Headed Flip Flopper

John McCain — 61 Flip-Flops and Counting

National Security Policy

1. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.

2. McCain insisted that everyone, even “terrible killers,” “the worst kind of scum of humanity,” and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, “deserve to have some adjudication of their cases,” even if that means “releasing some of them.” McCain now believes the opposite.

[  ]…Foreign Policy

12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.

13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.

[  ]…Military Policy

15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good idea and a bad idea.

16. McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.”

[  ]…Economic Policy

33. McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. And soon after that, McCain abandoned his second position and went back to his first.

34. McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.

We all know they’re going to flip-flop. Sometimes changing one’s policy position is the smart thing to do. Obama has made what appears to many, including me a fairly large one on FISA. As has become Standard Operating Procedure for Republicans McCain has embraced the flip flop, the complete 180 degree and sometimes the 360 position on many issues. Steve posted this story 24 hours ago and McCain has already thrown his top economic adviser Phil Gramm under the bus for saying that America’s current financial wows are a national mental problem, but has kept Gramm on with his campaign. McCain probably doesn’t think its all that big a deal since McCain lives in the millionaires bubble where he doesn’t know or care what a gallon of gas cost. McCain adventures in flip flop land far surpass the normal amount allowed to most politicians. No one can honestly look over the list of 61 flip flops and counting then say that when you vote for McCain you really know what you’re voting for.

War Sucks especially the ones we’re lied into

On it, Marine seems to discuss Iraq slayings

On the tape, Nelson recalled Nazario shooting a kneeling captive at point-blank range, then saying: “I’m not doing all this by myself. You’re doing one and Weemer is doing one.”

Weemer then pulled his 9mm sidearm and killed one of the detainees, Nelson said.

“He shot him and the dude was on the ground and rolling and (Weemer) was shooting, shooting, shooting, shooting, shooting,” Nelson told the naval investigator.

A Good and Caring Person

Army Spec. Joe Dwyer was one of those soldiers. He went to war as a combat medic with the 3rd Infantry Division, serving with 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, during its headlong rush to Baghdad in 2003. Immortalized by a Military Times photograph depicting him carrying a young Iraqi child, he went on to see a great deal of suffering on all sides during his tour, and he brought many ghosts home with him.

Dwyer tried mightily to beat these demons, but eventually succumbed to the struggle. On June 28, he died from the effects of various chemicals he ingested to kill himself.

Missing soldiers’ bodies recovered in Iraq

For more than a year, Gordon Dibler held out hope that his stepson, Army Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, would return home from Iraq. Then military officials delivered the grim news that the bodies of Fouty and another soldier (Army Sgt. Alex Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass) captured in an ambush south of Baghdad had been found.

Radio Ad Hits McCain As “Shameful” For “Makin’ Stuff Up” – audio at link.

The Obama ad hammers McCain for the spot, saying the Arizona Senator is “shameful” for “makin’ stuff up,” and links the mendacity to Bush and Karl Rove.

What if Republicans adhered to a five percent rule. They could use their five percent lie allowance and no more. Could they ever win any election to anything if they had to tell the truth 95 percent of the time.

“Mind,” he began again, lifting one arm from the elbow, the palm of the
hand outwards, so that, with his legs folded before him, he had the
pose of a Buddha preaching in European clothes and without a
lotus-flower–“Mind, none of us would feel exactly like this. What saves
us is efficiency–the devotion to efficiency. But these chaps were not
much account, really. They were no colonists; their administration was
merely a squeeze, and nothing more, I suspect. They were conquerors, and
for that you want only brute force–nothing to boast of, when you have
it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of
others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to
be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great
scale, and men going at it blind–as is very proper for those who tackle
a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking
it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter
noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too
much.

from Heart of Darkness by  Joseph Conrad