Spring Mountain Field wallpaper

Spring Mountain Field wallpaper

Today is another day of  reports from the Republican Hamster Cage where conservatives are spinning furiously in every direction on Libya,  Woops, Newt Did It Again: Trying To Defend Libya Flip-Flop, Gingrich Reverses Himself On Air Power. And here, Right Wing’s Libya Kitchen-Sink Attack in which Obama is guilty of all the following – Obama Is “Feeble” And “Dithering”, But Obama Is Just Doing It Wrong, And Obama Collaborated Too Much With Other Countries, But Not Enough Other Countries, If Nothing Else Sticks, Let’s Just Call It “Obama’s Iraq”. Are we even in a war. Spencer Ackerman, who is a good political analysts and someone who I usually agree with more often than not might be right in between the cynicism and righteous indignation, While Libya War Grows, Obama Team Denies It’s a War

But that’s the spin from the Obama White House. While the president travelled through Latin America, his aides told sympathetic audiences in Washington that Operation Odyssey Dawn “is a limited humanitarian intervention, not war,” in the words of White House Mideast troubleshooter Dennis Ross. A letter to Congress notifying lawmakers that Odyssey Dawn was in effect studiously avoided the word “war,” preferring the more anodyne “military efforts” — which are “discrete” and “limited in their nature, duration, and scope.”

Ross’ remarks are outright deceptive. And it fits a pattern with President Obama: escalating U.S. military commitments while portraying them as essentially finite and limited.

It does depend on how you define war. Whether it is or not Ackerman thinks Obama did have the presidential authority to begin this whatever it is based on the War Powers Act. The NATO enforcement and UN sanctioned intervention could be a little of both. A war and humanitarian intervention. Once the Libyan rebels had gained ground and had areas that were clearly rebel controlled that very prgress is what doomed them. Once Gaddafi had a an area which he could call a rebel stronghold, that was the point at which he started his air and tank attacks. Not intervening, whether one approves or not, would have meant wide spread slaughter of tens of thousands of Libyans. Maybe Obama’s reasons are not pure as the driven snow as Josh Marshall, Digsby and Glenn Greenwald claim, but that does not mean his intentions and those of NATO do not have some humanitarian merit. Do all politicians have a tendency to massage their messages. You can pretty much bet on that.

I’m familiar enough with Marshall, Digsby and Greenwald to know they generally make good faith cases. I am equally familiar with the usual suspects on the Right. They have never made habit of making honorable arguments, honest arguments or arguments based on any recognizable school of reasoning. In all things pertaining to foreign affairs, what they like, want, think they need and feel in their pointed heads on any day or occasion is what passes for just and moral. Keyboard commando and perennial bed wetter Ed Morrissey and his current roost at Hot Air is a fair example of taking this opportunity to spin the present with a well spun past, Former Bush officials agree: Obama clueless. As one can see from all the links, the Right has dutifully genuflected to Hot Air’s spin. Praising the spinmeisters of the Bush era and written by one of the shameless crittens who perpetuated every known lie about Bush and Iraq from the non-existent WMD to al-qaedaconnections to Iraq, in the lead up to the invasion of that country.

Had Bush started a war in this fashion in 2007 or 2008, when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, Democrats wouldn’t have stopped at a barbecue.  Nancy Pelosi would almost certainly have started impeachment proceedings, which would have failed as Republicans rallied to the President.

Sure it would make all the booboos better if President Obama had taken eight months to spread lies about Libya the way Bush, Hot Air and the rest of the bed wetters did about Iraq ( and by the way Pelosi said during the 2006 mid-terms that impeachment was “off the table”). These would be the same Bush administration officials who relied so heavily on the word of one informant to send over four thousand Americans to their deaths. Yep, enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya is exactly like that.

Since it took the President more than four weeks to make up his mind, their argument can also be reflected back on the White House.  The delay and vacillation cost lives as well. In fact, since they missed an opportunity to keep Moammar Gaddafi penned up in Tripoli, it cost even more lives and put the lives we’re saving now at risk from our own attacks on Gaddafi’s forces in Benghazi.  Furthermore, it also provided plenty of time for Obama to consult with Congress while deciding to take the nation to war for whatever reason.

Gaddafi is penned up in Tripoli. Hot Air expert makes a living – besides his government pension – from writing “news” for Hot Air. Not only is MG in Tripoli, he is not happy about it, Gaddafi’s entourage sends out secret peace feelers

Members of Muammar Gaddafi’s entourage are putting out feelers to seek a ceasefire or safe passage from Libya, according to U.S. and European officials and a businessman close to the Libyan leadership.

Messages seeking some kind of peaceful end to U.N.-backed military action or a safe exit for members of Gaddafi’s entourage have been sent via intermediaries in Austria, Britain and France, said Roger Tamraz, a Middle Eastern businessman with long experience conducting deals with the Libyan regime.

Tamraz said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar’s eldest son, and Abdullah Senoussi, the Libyan leader’s brother-in-law, were the most prominent Gaddafi entourage members involved in seeking ways to end the fighting.

A U.S. national security official, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that U.S. government agencies were aware that Saif al-Islam and Senoussi had been involved in making peace overtures.

Morrissy and the Right had their noses so far up Bush’s ass for years you could not distinguish between the two. Needless to say that any criticism of Bush’s war meant the critic was pro terrorist and Un-American. Now, Obama’s humanitarian mission or war or whatever you want to call it can be attacked for any reason that pops into their heads – amazingly to include Obama did not act fast enough. Just a reminder of Bush’s approach to war and Iraq, Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says

Although the United States and Britain aggressively sought a second United Nations resolution against Iraq — which they failed to obtain — the president said repeatedly that he did not believe he needed it for an invasion.

Obama waited for the tide to turn in Libyan to the point there seemed  a choice between a slaughter or letting events run their course. Obama also waited until he did have an agreement by the UN and NATO. Acting like a cautious adult before taking human life, Hot Air and others tacitly admits, is a trait gone wanting aming right-wing conservatives, who are and were willling to use decepetion to drag the country into an actual war,

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.

And let’s kill the revival of another less than truthy assertion by the Right that Bush 43 had a great and willing coalition to invade Iraq, Coalition of the billing — or unwilling?

Such are the naked politics of checkbook diplomacy, currently on gaudy display as the Bush administration tries to pull from among the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council the nine votes required to authorize an invasion. In the tug-of-war over the six undecided countries that will determine the final outcome, the U.S. is brandishing its wallet as a weapon. Guinea, Mexico, Chile, Angola, Cameroon and Pakistan all face the same dilemma this week: Ignore mounting opposition to war at home, or face the wrath of Washington?

Turkey has been offered $6 billion in direct aid, plus billions more in loans, if it will allow the U.S. to base soldiers there in advance of an invasion. But promises are flowing to nations far from the war front. A no vote by Chile could jeopardize a bill now pending in Congress for increased trade access — a measure worth billions of dollars over time. For Cameroon, a proposed 670-mile oil pipeline from Chad to be built by Exxon Mobil and ChevronTexaco is at stake. Poland stands to win $3.8 billion in loans for military aircraft. Bulgaria has no doubt heard hints that it could win a chance to host a new U.S. military base, which would inject millions into its economy. Guinea’s army rangers continue to need U.S. training to prevent attacks from neighboring Liberia.

Of the 48 or 49 countries that have been described as the “coalition of the willing”, only three contributed troops to the invasion force. Some contributed troops afterwards as part of a stabilization force. Obama has more actual supportive participants than Bush. Many of Bush’s coalition were literally bribed or coerced into participating – United States Puts a Spin On Coalition Numbers. In the Right’s version of the story this was all justified because there were a few old leaky chemical weapons canisters found. Even if those canisters could have been moved without killing the handlers, what would Saddam had done with them. Made a giant sling-shot and hurled them over the Atlantic. Listening to the Right’s hypocritical and sanctimonious advice about when or how to engage in any military conflict is like listening to an arsonist with third degree burns lecture you about how to use matches.

Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003

Here are the differences between George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current United Nations action in Libya:

1. The action in Libya was authorized by the United Nations Security Council. That in Iraq was not. By the UN Charter, military action after 1945 should either come as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. Most countries in the world are signatories to the charter and bound by its provisions.

2. The Libyan people had risen up and thrown off the Qaddafi regime, with some 80-90 percent of the country having gone out of his hands before he started having tank commanders fire shells into peaceful crowds. It was this vast majority of the Libyan people that demanded the UN no-fly zone. In 2002-3 there was no similar popular movement against Saddam Hussein.

3. There was an ongoing massacre of civilians, and the threat of more such massacres in Benghazi, by the Qaddafi regime, which precipitated the UNSC resolution. Although the Saddam Hussein regime had massacred people in the 1980s and early 1990s, nothing was going on in 2002-2003 that would have required international intervention. * see note.

update: Marc Lynch puts is more succinctly than I have, The U.N.’s High Stakes Gamble in Libya

Yesterday’s UN Security Council vote authorizing a No-Fly Zone and more against Libya has brought the United States and its allies into another Middle Eastern war.  The charge leveled by advocates of the war that Obama has been “dithering” is as silly as is the counter-argument that the West has been itching for an excuse to invade Libya to seize its oil.  The administration clearly understands that military intervention in Libya is a terrible idea, and hoped for as long as possible that the Libyan opposition could prevail without outside military assistance.  It only signed on to the intervention when it became clear that, as DNI James Clapper testifed to great public abuse, Qaddafi had tipped the balance and was likely to win. The prospect of Qaddafi surviving and taking his revenge on his people and the region is what forced the hand of the United States and the Security Council.

Conservatives learned absolutely nothing from Iraq. No surprise the same is true of conservatives and Wall Street’s ravaging of the nation’s economy, Rep. Weiner On The GOP War On Dodd-Frank: If They ‘Have Their Way, We’re Going To Have More Bailouts’

As Wall Street speculative trading on oil helps push up the price of gasoline, threatening to derail the economic recovery, the government agency charged with regulating oil speculation has so far failed to properly do so. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law gave the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) new powers to regulate oil speculation, but the Republican members of the commission, along and one Democrat, have blocked the CFTC from writing the rules necessary to exercise this power. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are hoping to slash the agency’s budget by a third.

[  ]…Indeed, from oil speculation to fraudulent mortgage lending, Republicans have attempted to tie the hands of regulators, and even asked lobbyists how they would want regulations curbed.

Can you smell that old time tea smoker populism. Let the same lobbyists and corrupt big banks that fought regulation and against the enforcement of regulation, to decide how to lead us all down the next rabbit hole and the next economic collapse.

* The Right likes to drag up the dead bodies of the those Saddam killed in the 80s and early 90s as justification for a war in 2003. There are lots of problems with that ridiculous rationale. One is that once these atrocities became known during the Reagan administration, Democrats wanted to pass sanctions and it was Dick Cheney and Colin Powell who fought against them.

Joshua Trees Nevada wallpaper

Joshua Trees Nevada wallpaper

 

Detainees Fared Worse in Iraqi Hands, Logs Say. One thing I took away from this is that many of the U.S. forces did live up to the honor and tradition of the best of the U.S. military. Going so far as to take tortured Iraqis out of Iraqi police custody. If there were an investigation (highly unlikely) it would be great if those honorable soldiers and marines were singled out for a commendation. As Mahablog notes much of the blame for looking the other way ultimately rests with a command structure that went up to the Bush White House. The Wikileaks documents come at  a time when White House torture enabler John  Yoo has recently crawled out on his lizard belly and declared the 17th Amendment to the Constitution has to go. John Yoo agrees that direct election of senators is bad – The torture memo author says the 17th Amendment is a threat to federalism

Torture memo author John Yoo is a conservative folk hero, purely and solely for authoring the torture memo. Yoo argued that the president can violate the Constitution whenever he feels like it. His legal defense of torture was so awful and flawed that other Bush appointees were horrified enough to rescind it. Because of his instrumental role in violating the principles that make us supposedly morally superior to our many enemies, the editors of the National Review allow him to contribute to their little blog.

Actually more then advocating the U.S. violate well established laws against torture – under which we prosecuted others for doing what Yoo claims is legal – Yoo claimed that during war time the president has unlimited powers. If that is a fundamental constitutional issue which the National Review and other right-wingers is settled law then it applies to anything President Obama does. Which – if conservatives should begin to care about being ideologically consistent, everything Obama does is covered by Yoo and the National Reviews interpretation of the Constitution. Thus according to Yoo and conservatives, Obama can do no wrong. Conservatism rests on rickety ideological foundations that go back to European monarchists – the aristocracy model of a nation. Which is one of the reasons they keep tripping over their own rules.

The clown who makes millions off selling conspiracy theories to people who he thinks are idiots chimes in on Juan Williams – Conspiracy: Conservative media link Beck’s “spooky dude” Soros to Williams firing

The real danger from NPR’s firing of Juan Williams – By Glenn Greenwald

I’m still not quite over the most disgusting part of the Juan Williams spectacle yesterday:  watching the very same people (on the Right and in the media) who remained silent about or vocally cheered on the viewpoint-based firings of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, Eason Jordan, Peter Arnett, Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield, Bill Maher, Ward Churchill, Chas Freeman, Van Jones and so many others, spend all day yesterday wrapping themselves in the flag of “free expression!!!” and screeching about the perils and evils of firing journalists for expressing certain viewpoints.  Even for someone who expects huge doses of principle-free hypocrisy — as I do — that behavior is really something to behold. And anyone doubting that there is a double standard when it comes to anti-Muslim speech should just compare the wailing backlash from most quarters over Williams’ firing to the muted acquiescence or widespread approval of those other firings.

I usually don’t weigh in these types of stories. Glenn is correct about the inconsistencies and most of the arguments quickly get weighed down in appeals to overwrought emotions. It would have been fine with me if Williams had been fired for turning into a mediocre pundit, but he was fired for basically being an assclown. Glenn found this from Juan about Jewish prejudice against African-American customers,

Responding to Cohen’s argument, Williams said:  “In this situation and all others, common sense in my constant guard.  Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me.”

Williams made a Faustian deal with the devil when he decided to stay on at Fox years ago as one of their pet paper liberals. Gawker of all places puts aside the usual comic cynicism and notes, You’re Making a Bad Mistake, Juan Williams

Because, Juan, we now fear—and we wish we didn’t, but we do—that you have swallowed the Fox News company line. Which is that you are a hero. A heroic martyr, sacrificed upon the altar of NPR’s left-wing liberal correctness. Of course you are smarter than that, Juan, but it’s surely difficult to think very clearly when your brand new friends on the right are rushing to your defense and attacking the mean people who just fired you and dumping $2 million in your lap.

But here is what is much easier to see from the outside than it is for you to see from where you’re sitting, Juan: You are not a hero. You’re a decent guy who said something dumb. Apologize, try to improve, and move on. More importantly, these people, these newfound supporters, Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly and Mike Huckabee and Pat Buchanan and Roger Ailes, are not your friends. They are using you, Juan. They are using you because of who you suddenly are: a black, moderate, journalist who was fired from NPR for saying you don’t like Muslims. Those credentials are extremely valuable for Fox News, and for the right wing at large. Because they can be easily presented in a way that bolsters the myth of the “liberal media,” a myth which the right wing has used to shockingly successful effect over the last two decades, to systematically erode the influence of media outlets that they don’t like. Respected, earnest, good media outlets. Like NPR. Now, Juan, you are a convenient tool in their furtherance of this campaign. $2 million is cheap, for them. ( emphasis mine)

Apparently Williams thinks the money makes it worth being  a useful tool. It is tragic, while I frequently disagree with Williams, he is was not exactly a villain and he was capable of good work as Glenn found in the forum in which Williams participated and reflects some of the core ideals that have run through his written work.

Dispute over New Black Panthers case causes deep divisions

On Election Day 2008, Maruse Heath, the leader of Philadelphia’s New Black Panther Party, stood in front of a neighborhood polling place, dressed in a paramilitary uniform.

Within hours, an amateur video showing Heath, slapping a black nightstick and exchanging words with the videographer, had aired on TV and ricocheted across the nation.

Among those who saw the footage was J. Christian Adams, who was in his office in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in Washington.

“I thought, ‘This is wrong, this is not supposed to happen in this country,’ ” Adams said. “There are armed men in front of a polling place, and I need to find out if they violated the law, because in my mind there’s a good chance that they did.”

The clash between the black nationalist and the white lawyer has mushroomed into a fierce debate over the government’s enforcement of civil rights laws, a dispute that will be aired next week when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unveils findings from a year-long investigation.

WaPo dos themselves a terrible disservice with that headline. The article goes on to be rather fair. The only “divisions” within the DOJ seems to be Adams and his obsession with two guys outside a polling place in Philadelphia. Where no actual voters complained about being intimidated. Even those the two idiots should not have been there that does automatically bring the incident up to the level of a federal civil rights violation. Here again is the Right’s inconsistency on display. If there were several complaints or there were people dressed in paramilitary garb outside of several places then there might be cause to bring in the feds. In this case the New Black panthers were more of a nuisance rather than a threat – a situation for local authorities to handle. Once again it is what WaPo left out that could make the story a little more accurate in fully describing Adams and other conservatives at the DOJ were trying to do – GOP vice chair: Conservatives on commission “had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president”

A scholar whom President George W. Bush appointed as vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom has a reputation as a tough conservative critic of affirmative action and politically correct positions on race.

But when it comes to the investigation that the Republican-dominated commission is now conducting into the Justice Department’s handling of an alleged incident of voter intimidation involving the New Black Panther Party — a controversy that has consumed conservative media in recent months — Thernstrom has made a dramatic break from her usual allies.

“This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers; this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” said Thernstrom, who said members of the commission voiced their political aims “in the initial discussions” of the Panther case last year.

“My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president,” Thernstrom said in an interview with POLITICO.

Booman Tribune’s take – WP Sends Racially-Charged Gift to GOP

Believe it or not, the average Philadelphian isn’t likely to take any special notice of a couple of faux Panthers making racist comments on a street corner, at least, not in the hustle-bustle of Center City. On Election Day, these guys just wanted to be seen. They didn’t have any interest in helping Obama get elected (they reportedly called him a tool of the white man), and any successful intimidation they did that day would have had over an eighty percent chance of costing Obama a vote.

So, without any victims or complainants, the case should have ended with no action. But that didn’t happen because the Republicans saw a golden opportunity to create a false equivalency argument and accuse the Justice Department of disinterest in the civil rights of white people.

Adams supposed obsession with poor voters being chased away is just that. He seems to get angrier and hyperbolic as the months pass and he doesn’t get the political traction he was hoping for.

Autumn Glass wallpaper

colored glass

Autumn Glass wallpaper

US wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq

A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children’s hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million waste water treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets.

As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds has been wasted on these projects – more than 10 percent of the $53.7 billion the US has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.

That amount is likely an underestimate, based on an analysis of more than 300 reports by auditors with the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. And it does not take into account security costs, which have run almost 17 percent for some projects.

The money spent on Iraq can be reported in a couple of ways. Both reminiscent of the movie War Inc. or an episode of the original Twilight Zone. There are success stories which include the building of new schools and hospitals. Much of the construction done by contractors, but military personnel sometimes pitched in or provided security so that projects could be completed. The irony is those schools and other projects were only necessary because neoconservatives and their minions in the media ginned up the case for war. A war supposedly required for the national security of the USA. Bush 43 invoked visions of mushroom clouds. Dick Cheney swore Iraq has reconstituted its nuclear program – one that had been dead since the late eighties and any dreams of such a future program by Saddam was wiped out by Clinton’s Operation Desert Fox. Thus Bush destroyed a country to rebuild it so premises that would make for an entertaining, yet unbelievable political thriller. Where were the marches by the tea nuts, the Palinites, the Beck-stanians and the let’s get  back to the roots of the constitution Sunshine Patriots. In the Right’s daily whining and rants about the descent of the US into tyranny – one never hears requests for accountability – either as such accountability pertains to the rationale for invading Iraq or the money that had disappeared down the memory hole. Whether they be your common variety wing-nut or the new improved tea wing-nut – they have the whole imminently pressing issue of Obama’s true religion, the  Marxist conspiracy to take over America and ending wasteful programs like Social Security in their sights, but the real betrayal of the United States by conservatives who sent neophytes  to do some of that there trivial nation building – Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq is completely and conveniently off the true conservatives radar,

To pass muster with O’Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn’t need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

O’Beirne’s staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .

Many of those chosen by O’Beirne’s office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq’s government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.

Conservatives are fed up, they’ve had enough, they are going to return America to the righteous – all because of health care reform that will save over 18,000 lives a year. Conservatives hope the rest of us do not care or have very short memories about the billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives lost because of their stellar knowledge of national security and public policy.

Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle, maybe next Alaska Senator Joe Miller and other tea smoking Constitutional enthusiasts, based on the most astoundingly toxic reading of history,  are sure doing away with Medicare and unemployment insurance are the key to returning the USA to the perfection that we somehow squandered.  No mention of the corruption perpetuated by the conservative movement and its wealthy benefactors.

“Calvin: Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?

Hobbes: I’m not sure that man needs the help”

The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.

Only the fat cats change — not their methods and not their pet bugaboos (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources of their fortunes remain fairly constant. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPont’s portfolio of paint and plastics. Sometimes the biological DNA persists as well. The Koch brothers’ father, Fred, was among the select group chosen to serve on the Birch Society’s top governing body. In a recorded 1963 speech that survives in a University of Michigan archive, he can be heard warning of “a takeover” of America in which Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the president is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.” That rant could be delivered as is at any Tea Party rally today.

I watched the tea nut health care reform town hall videos. I watched videos from Beck’s rally. There is one constant to always keep in mind when trying to get at what conservatives stand for. They do not stand for the truth. They’re interested in being reassured whatever they believe is true. Those beliefs do not require the justification of facts in any way, shape or form. America’s conservatives are not the first political movement to think they were actors rather than puppets. There is obviously a personality type which enjoys manipulating and being manipulated. Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Glenn Beck, Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity and the run of the mill winger are all made for each other. We’ll never have a self-perpetuating energy machine, but we do have a self-perpetuating cycle of right-wing proto-fascist propagandists and followers.

Just so we’re clear: Dr. King vs Glen Beck, an info-graphic.

This is the Right’s new messiah – Glenn Beck becomes damaged goods, The radio phenom takes over the morning zoo, makes fun of miscarriages and flames out. Part 2 of 3

The animosity between Beck and Kelly continued to deepen. When Beck and Hattrick produced a local version of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” for Halloween — a recurring motif in Beck’s life and career — Kelly told a local reporter that the bit was a stupid rip-off of a syndicated gag. The slight outraged Beck, who got his revenge with what may rank as one of the cruelest bits in the history of morning radio. “A couple days after Kelly’s wife, Terry, had a miscarriage, Beck called her live on the air and says, ‘We hear you had a miscarriage,’ ” remembers Brad Miller, a former Y95 DJ and Clear Channel programmer. “When Terry said, ‘Yes,’ Beck proceeded to joke about how Bruce [Kelly] apparently can’t do anything right — about he can’t even have a baby.”

“It was low class,” says Miller, now president of Open Stream Broadcasting. “There are certain places you just don’t go.”

Canyon Sky wallpaper

Canyon Sky wallpaper

Anyone keeping track of how many times conservatives drag out some kooky analogy and then use a what would FDR or Truman have done in this contrived situation or as someone once said “urgent threat”. It could be because conservatives have never won a war. Their war lust is a dangerous version of keeping up with the Joneses mentality. Battles and skirmish here and there might be necessary, but war on the scale of WW II, or Iraq for that matter,  have become an anachronism. Talking about all out war has become war porn for conservatives. The very idea of it sends shivers down their spines, their toes curl and their eyes bug out. Different strokes for different folks and all, but it’s embarrassing to watch.  Gingrich: Roosevelt would have attacked Iran, N. Korea

In a speech Thursday before the conservative American Enterprise Institute, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich charged that the United States had failed to take George W. Bush’s 2002 “axis of evil” speech seriously when it ignored the opportunity to attack Iran and North Korea following the invasion of Iraq.

Newt’s speeches are productive. Being an attention junkie they give a much needed fix and makes the Right feel tingly all over. Thus I should get paid for doing my part, attention wise. It is difficult to take one of the most morally, intellectually and monetarily corrupt individuals in the U.S. seriously. Let’s pretend for a moment Newt is not batshit insane. What would happen if the U.S. decided to attack North Korea, A Nightline ‘War Game’ Pits North Korea Against a Hypothetical U.S. Strike

Although North Korea has openly defied the United Nations’ weapons inspectors and has admitting having a secret nuclear weapons program, the Bush administration has made it clear it has no intention of subjecting the communist nation to the kind of military action it is considering against Iraq.

Critics have asked why war against North Korea is not an option for the United States. A Nightline “war game”  in which teams of experts took sides, one team playing the United States, the other North Korea found that military action on the Korean peninsula could quickly escalate into a full-blown war, with North Korean shells and missiles inflicting massive damage on South Korea and the American troops there, possibly forcing the United States to respond with tactical nuclear weapons.

One of the experts predicted a “symphony of death,” with hundreds of thousands or even millions of casualties.

[   ]…Nightline asked a fifth expert, a former analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, with 20 years’ experience on the Korean peninsula, to comment on the outcome of the war game. He firmly believed that China would not stand by, but enter the conflict on the North Korean side. And he said the casualties from a North Korean attack over the DMZ would be much higher, with closer to five million South Koreans and Americans dead in the first few days.

I disagree with the last expert. China has become an authoritarian capitalist economic power and an increasingly wealthy one at that. With a U.S. crippled by war they would lose too much economically by siding with  North Korea. China bought a lot of U.S. debt during the Bush era – Republicans were able to float the economy, including two wars on that debt. We’re not likely to feel obliged to pay off a debt to someone we just had the worst war in history, crippling China’s economic ambitions. Splitting the difference between experts, Newt would be happy to get us into a war with as many as two and a half million causalities. Why Newt thinks this is a serious foreign policy stance is anyone’s guess. Currently North Korea is held in check by its poverty and the same U.S. and NATO nuclear deterrent that was partly responsible for winning the cold war. The NK have shown no expansionist tendencies, they’re the most isolated country in the world. It’s just Newt war porn talk or maybe he really is insane.

Any blogger that would call themselves “Confederate Yankee”  pretty much tells you all you need to know about the mentality at work. Why not just call himself the “Pro-Treason Yankee”. Those that thought the genuflecting for Andrew Breitbart or the attacks Shirley Sherrod would stop had only to read the tortuous thinking of Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator. Lord was confused, poor man, by the term lynching. The pitiful Confederate doesn’t know what the word edit means – A Confident Prediction

First a few words about the narrative that the AP writer is trying to further.

The video was not heavily edited… it wasn’t edited at all. It was merely an excerpt proved to Breitbart from a much longer speech.

See, it wasn’t edited at all! Someone just selected a particular excerpt and cut out the rest!

Why, what do you think “edited” means, college boy with your fancy word-definition understanding?

So CY is at his keyboard. He reads back to himself “it wasn’t edited at all”  and hits the publish button. Let’s all take a moment and be thankful for the small, though inadvertent, lesson CY has passed along to all of us.

Orange Blue Splash wallpaper

water splash

Orange Blue Splash wallpaper

It’s Unanimous! GOP Says No To Unemployment Benefits, Yes To Tax Cuts For The Rich

For weeks, Senate Republicans have filibustered an extension of unemployment benefits on the grounds that Democrats aren’t willing to cut spending or raise taxes to pay for them. At the same time, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire, and Republicans want them to be renewed. For two days, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl has raised eyebrows by insisting that emergency aid to unemployed people — what he called a “necessary evil” — be paid for through either tax hikes or spending cuts, while the tax cuts (which mostly benefit wealthy people) not be offset in any way. Yesterday claimed that this view is shared by “most of the people in my party.”

He was correct.

“That’s been the majority Republican view for some time,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told TPMDC this afternoon after the weekly GOP press conference. “That there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject.”

Do not be fooled by that fact based chart. The Right has some powerful mental capacity to deny any reality that interferes with their fantasy filled world view. WHEN AN ENTIRE POLITICAL PARTY MOVES TO BIZARRO WORLD….

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), considered by much of the media as a credible voice on budget issues, is singing from the same ludicrous hymnal. “When you’re spending money, you’re spending money that is — it’s not the same thing because it’s growing the government,” he told Brian. “So I tend to think that tax cuts should not have to be offset.”

Honestly, what’s to be done when an entire political party buys a first class ticket to Bizarro World? It’s one thing when right-wing blogs and Fox News hosts spout such nonsense, but how does our political system function when “virtually every Republican” believes reckless tax cuts for the wealthy that created huge deficits actually “increased revenue”? How can we have an intelligent conversation with those who use the word “vibrancy” when describing the economy in the Bush years?

Republicans aren’t just wrong about this; they’re pathologically confused. The evidence isn’t ambiguous –– Bush’s tax cuts led to massive deficits, and if existing policies are left in place, those tax policies will be the single biggest factor in our budget deficits for many years to come. (emphasis mine)

Maybe that vibrancy was the glowing magical aura that surrounded Bush and when he left office. When millions of American suddenly realized Republican policies were a death spiral for the nation’s economic well being. Invincible Ignorance

And who in their right mind would describe the Bush economy as “vibrant”, anyway? Even during the peak of the housing bubble, it never achieved the kind of job growth that was routine in the Clinton years.

Letting Bush tax cuts for the rich expire will simply return us to pretty much the same tax rates of the Clinton – or Reagan years for that matter. Hard to believe for Republicans in denial or readers too young to remember the Clinton years – about eight years of relative peace and prosperity.

Conservatives Don’t Care About the Deficit

1) There have been two presidents who were members of the modern conservative movement, Ronald Reagan and George W Bush, and they both presided over massive increases in both present and projected deficits.

2) The major deficit reduction packages of the modern era, in 1990 and 1993, were both uniformly opposed by the conservative movement.

3) When the deficit was temporarily eliminated in the late-1990s, the mainstream conservative view was that this showed that the deficit was too low and needed to be increased via large tax cuts.

4) Senator Mitch McConnell(R-KY) says it’s a uniform view in his caucus that tax cuts needn’t be offset by other changes in spending.

Much was made of a recent Obama poll. Well Obama is still ahead of Mitch McConnell who is enjoying a whopping 34% in his own state. Matt is understating his case. Given the power conservatives always run deficits, but more than that they act like sugar addicts in a candy store, buying everything in sight. A few years pass, during which they do their usual kabuki dance about deficits and shrinking government. Than get back into power and start the same irresponsible behavior all over again. Some of them are flat out liars, but many of them truly believe they are fiscally responsible. Which just adds to the bizarro quotient.

A Clarification on the NBPP Case.

The original complaint in the NBPP case alleged that the behavior of the men outside the polling station was part of a larger scheme to disenfranchise white voters (“Prior to the election, Defendant New Black Panther Party For Self-Defense made statements and posted notice that over 300 members of the New Black Panther Party For Self-Defense would be deployed at polling locations during voting on November 4th 2008 throughout the United States”). But there’s no evidence that’s the case — no voters in Philadelphia or elsewhere came forward to say they had been intimidated. One of them actually had a poll watching certificate, and the remarks from the NBPP leader state the obvious — that the NBPP thought they were protecting blacks from being disenfranchised by whites. Basically what you have — to the extent that you have anything — is a conspiracy to wear black clothing outside of polling stations as part of a fringe group, which career attorneys at the Department of Justice weren’t comfortable prosecuting as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

At that time it would have been Bush’s DOJ. Eek! Black Panthers!

DOJ did not pursue allegations that Minutemen intimidated Hispanic voters with a gun in 2006. Perez testified that in 2006, the Justice Department “declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation” “when three well-known anti-immigrant advocates affiliated with the Minutemen, one of whom was carrying a gun, allegedly intimidated Latino voters at a polling place by approaching several persons, filming them, and advocating and printing voting materials in Spanish.”

One would think the average person would be more intimidated by a gun than a club. The Right seems to have a very inconsistent threshold on exactly what constitutes intimidation. Media matters profiles the wing-nut conservative that is fueling a lot of this Black Panther paranoia. Three is an awful combination of racism and race baiting in the trumped-up DOJ -Panthers scandal even for the wing-nuts.

Camas Prairie Landscape Idaho wallpaper, Conservative’s National Security Reputation Coming Undone

Camas Prairie Landscape Idaho wallpaper

Contrary to conventional wisdom there is never going to be a deadline reached at which the legacy of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be forgotten. Not because some of us might justifiably have a grudge. But because their legacy lives on with real life consequences. George and Dick were sold to us as the A-Team. They knew what was best for the economy, their stellar national security and foreign policy expertise were the standard by which all future policies would be measured. Even given the span of two terms Bush and Cheney’s policies, trumpeted regularly by his supporters on TV and in print, turned out to be dismal failures. Then and now Dick Cheney, who has the gull to pop up occasionally and offer up his expertise, was a former Secretary of Defense under Reagan ( where he cut ten divisions from the armed forces) was always cast as the national security expert. On that basis, or that continued misplaced perception, many conservatives would like to see him as president in 2012. Out of office in 2009 Dick Cheney said this about President Obama’s national security policies,

As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. [. . .] He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war.

For seven years Cheney and like-minded sycophants used similar language to attack anyone that dared disagree with the mighty voice of right-wing authority on all things pertaining to terrorism. Critics of the Bush administration were more than wrong they were terrorist sympathizers. There was always that arrogance of absolute tactical and moral authority. To their credit it was a clever tactic. Stick to a message that appealed to the base fears of much of the public and repeat daily. Silencing the Lawyers

A total of 779 prisoners have been held in Guantánamo in connection with the war on terror. Five hundred seventy-nine were released, most by the Bush Administration, a quiet recognition of errors made in the decisions to detain them. A large number of those still detained are contesting their imprisonment through habeas corpus—under which the government must make a minimal showing that it has a reasonable basis for holding the prisoner. In roughly three-quarters of these cases so far (36 out of 50 decided), which are being heard before largely Republican-appointed, conservative federal judges in Washington, the court has found that the United States has no reason to hold the prisoner.

[   ]…What happened to the 600–800 Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders for whom the prison was originally conceived? We now have a pretty good idea. In the late fall of 2001, military operations in Afghanistan were successful, and Taliban and Al Qaeda leadership figures had fled to two last redoubts—the city of Kunduz in the northeast, and the Tora Bora region along the Pakistani frontier. But for reasons known only to him, Vice President Dick Cheney ordered a halt to the bombardment of Kunduz and opened an air corridor to allow the Pakistani military to airlift the Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders out of Kunduz. The maneuver was ridiculed by one U.S. military official present at the time as “Operation Evil Airlift.” The United States quickly moved to fill Gitmo with nobodies.

The Conservative A-Team of terror fighting let Bin Laden get away at Tora Bora, squandered victory in Afghanistan and assisted Al Qaeda. To shore up their reputations as the national security pros the Bush administration threw a combination of predominately low-level stooges and innocent bystanders into Gitmo. Some lawyers have been successful at pushing the cases of those detainees for whom the reasons for detainment are dubious. The mythical legacy of Bush-Cheney and the conservative movement as the Gurus of national security has and continues to come undone. What can conservatives do to stop the ever widening erosion of their national security credentials. They can persecute the lawyers, who are proving to Bush appointed judges no less, for exposing the ineptitude and lawlessness of the Bush administration’s actions in the “war on terror”.

Instead, influential Republicans in Congress are crying out for an investigation of the lawyers. Florida Republican Jeff Miller has secured a provision in the current defense appropriations act (PDF) requiring that the Defense Department’s inspector general “conduct an investigation of the conduct and practices of lawyers” who represent clients at Guantánamo if there is some reason to believe that they “interfered with the operations” at Gitmo or “violated any applicable policy of the Department.” Of course, as Steven Vladeck has explained, in the thinking of the Bush era, prisoners were to be held at Gitmo without access to attorneys or the ability to make legal arguments, so everything that the defense counsel did amounted to “interference with the operations”–starting with securing a series of Supreme Court decisions holding that those operations were illegal.

The defense counsel working at Guantánamo have been subjected to a barrage of officially sponsored indignities. They have been tarred with ethnic slurs and accusations of homosexuality, accused of undermining national security, subjected to continual petty harassment. They have also had their livelihoods threatened through appeals to their paying clients. These events have been reported as separate incidents in the press, but this conduct results from a carefully orchestrated Bush Administration policy that goes under the rubric of “lawfare.” With the Bush Administration out of power, these efforts have been taken up by former Vice President Dick Cheney, his daughter, and a collection of Republican hacks. There’s nothing remotely “disgraceful” about the efforts of defense counsel to identify witnesses and collect evidence, and to prove torture if indeed torture was used. That’s the essence of justice. Congressman Miller is afraid that the truth of what happened to these prisoners will be fully exposed and that they may be proven innocent.

Leaked British Document Indicates War Crimes

holiday snow skyline

City Holiday wallpaper

Its not that heads are rolling in Great Britain, but at least some careers have been ruined and the British post Iraq invasion investigations continue. Leaked British Report: No Preparation for Iraq Invasion So Blair Could Keep Lying

Military commanders are expected to tell the inquiry into the Iraq war, which opens on Tuesday, that the invasion was ill-conceived and that preparations were sabotaged by Tony Blair’s government’s attempts to mislead the public.

They were so shocked by the lack of preparation for the aftermath of the invasion that they believe members of the British and US governments at the time could be prosecuted for war crimes by breaching the duty outlined in the Geneva convention to safeguard civilians in a conflict, the Guardian has been told. (note: Not to mention the total lack of respect for the lives of British and U.S. military forces)

The lengths the Blair government took to conceal the invasion plan and the extent of military commanders’ anger at what they call the government’s “appalling” failures emerged as Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry’s chairman, promised to produce a “full and insightful” account of how Britain was drawn into the conflict.

Fresh evidence has emerged about how Blair misled MPs by claiming in 2002 that the goal was “disarmament, not regime change”. Documents show the government wanted to hide its true intentions by informing only “very small numbers” of officials.

The documents, leaked to the Sunday Telegraph, are “post-operational reports” and “lessons learned” papers compiled by the army and its field commanders. They refer to a “rushed” operation that caused “significant risk” to troops and “critical failure” in the postwar period.

One commander said the government “missed a golden opportunity” to win support from Iraqis. Another commented: “It was not unlike 1750s colonialism where the military had to do everything ourselves”. One, describing the supply chain, added: “I know for a fact that there was one container full of skis in the desert”.

[…] Significantly, the documents support what officials have earlier admitted – that the army was not allowed to prepare properly for the Iraq invasion in 2002 so as not to alert parliament and the UN that Blair was already determined to go to war.

The documents add: “In Whitehall, the internal operational security regime, in which only very small numbers of officers and officials were allowed to become involved [in Iraq invasion preparations] constrained broader planning for combat operations and subsequent phases effectively until Dec 23 2002.”

Blair had in effect promised George Bush that he would join the US-led invasion when, as late as July 2002, he was denying to MPs that preparations were being made for military action. The leaked documents reveal that “from March 2002 or May at the latest there was a significant possibility of a large-scale British operation”.

The closet thing we have this this report is one from Rep. Henry A. Waxman(D) report: Iraq on The Record in which is was determined that Bush and administration officials made at least  237 public statements that ranged from misleading to out right obfuscation.

Jonathan Cohn on the current state of the health-care reform bill, Should We Laugh? Cry? Both?

But the public option fight–however it turns out–could also help progressives in other ways. Whether out of pique, politics, or principle, Lieberman, Lincoln, and Nelson (and maybe one or two others) want to scream about something–and to have a concession they can claim as their own. If they end up demanding the public option as the price of their support–and I’m not saying I want that to happen–perhaps the rest of the bill can go through relatively unscathed. Or, to put it more starkly, if they didn’t have the public option to attack then it’d be the subsidies, or the price tag, or the insurance regulations. Merely by including the public option in his bill, Reid has increased the chances that the final bill is a good one–even if the public option is gone by the time deliberations are done.

And don’t forget that the debate doesn’t end with the Senate. There’s always conference committee. Jay Rockefeller, among the Senate’s most reliably liberal voices on coverage issues, has said he’ll be one of the negotiators.

Cohn notes “But to get a bit of perspective, glance over to the other ideological corner–where the right, and many of its kindred special interests, are going absolutely crazy.” Sure we can all justifiably get mad at Nelson, Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln, but think of current proceedings in historical perspective. Out of forty Senate Republicans the American people cannot find ten that will stand up for genuine “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and the “common good”. Its conservatives first and country last. This has been the conservative movement nihilistic philosophy for fifty years. On every policy issue they ask first and foremost, not for the best solution, but what will make their opponents look bad. Children on the average playground seem more thoughtful by comparison.

Fir Tree and Ferns Fall wallpaper, The Republicrite Party

Fir Tree and Ferns Fall wallpaper

A regular feature of the conservative noise machine is the weekly faux outrage. What makes it false is that given a few days to do some research it is usually found that when a conservative did the same thing or something very similar, the rabid right’s response was either to praise the behavior – behavior that could be classified as either bizarre, unethical or illegal – or ignore the glaring hypocrisy. Flashback: Students Sang Bush’s Praises Too (And For Katrina Response!).

But on Friday it boiled over into the realm of political opportunism when the Republican National Committee sent out a fundraising appeal calling the episode an “indoctrination of our nations… children” and “fanaticism.”

“Friend,” RNC Chairman Michael Steele wrote, “this is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin’s Russia or Kim Jong Il’s North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I’d see it here in America.”

The Chairman of the Republican takes what one teacher did ( who certainly used poor judgment in those lyrics) and extends that poor judgment to the President. Steele’s distortion and exploitation is what feeds the ideological agenda of the conservative movement. When the story of the New Jersey children’s song lyrics broke Fox put up a very different story then the one they took down, the one with reports of death threats against school officials. Fox also edited out the remarks of one parent.  Fox News altered ‘Obama praise’ story to exclude ‘death threats’.

The story also appears to be significantly shortened and comments by one of the kids’ mothers, who took an opinion contrary to others expressing outrage, were deleted outright. Paragraphs nine through 11 in the first published version read:

But Andrea Ciemnolonski, the parent of another one of the students in the video, said the song was part of a second-grade project on a variety of topics related to the month of February, such as Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day.

“They did songs about President Washington, Lincoln, and they did do one about President Obama,” Ciemnolonski said. “My daughter was in the class that did the songs about Obama. It was black history month. … It was something for the kids to celebrate.”

The lyrics of the final song the kid’s used was more a celebration of the historical significance of electing the first Black president.

Obama is the President!
First African America in history
44th president of the United States
The ground has shifted
The world has changed!

CHORUS:
Oooo Im a proud American
Oooo yes yes yes yes YES WE CAN!

Im going to study really hard just like Barack
Learning never ever stops
Gonna set my goals HIGH and graduate
You might be looking at the President of 2048!

We are a nation of a thousand colors, look at me
Our strength is our diversity
Walking hand in hand we sing
Each a day a little closer to the dream of Dr. King

Fairly innocent stuff. For better or worse the kind of elementary school glossing of history and all presidents that has become the standard. Raygun Ronnie speaking directly to school kids was doing OK, sounding a lot like President Obama in telling kids to work hard, have goals etc then went off on a weird digression about tax cuts,

PRESIDENT REAGAN: I do. That’s a big argument that’s going on in government and I definitely believe it is because one of the principle reasons that we were able to get the economy back on track and create those new jobs and all was we cut the taxes, we reduced them. Because you see, the taxes can be such a penalty on people that there’s no incentive for them to prosper and to earn more and so forth because they have to give so much to the government. And what we have found is that at the lower rates the government gets more revenue, there are more people paying taxes because there are more people with jobs and there are more people willing to earn more money because they get to keep a bigger share of it, so today, we’re getting more revenue at the lower rates than we were at the higher. And do you know something? I studied economics in college when I was young and I learned there about a man named Ibn Khaldun, who lived 1200 years ago in Egypt. And 1200 years ago he said, in the beginning of the empire, the rates were low, the tax rates were low, but the revenue was great. He said in the end of empire, when the empire was collapsing, the rates were great and the revenue was low.

Reagan actually increased taxes. He lied to those kids when he claimed supply-side (“voodoo economics”) would create so much growth in GDP they would pay for themselves. Now that’s indoctrination and indoctrination is OK when conservatives do it..

I was reading this post at Newshoggers about neocon Michael Ledeen’s latest diatribe at National Review and its the usual logic impoverished crap that the Right’s “intellectuals” have become notorious for, it reminded me of something. Ledeen writes,

Is Obama Naïve?

….There is nothing unusual about elitist hatred of freedom. Back in the 18th century, when book publishing really got going, British authors were infuriated that they had to submit to the judgment of a marketplace. They didn’t want to be judged by people who were obviously inferior to them, and there was a great rage among the intelligentsia, including some very famous men. And in modern times, we can all name famous intellectuals who fawned all over Mussolini, Stalin, Fidel, and even Hitler.

Ledeen should have left out the histrionic comparisons between our sometimes maddeningly centrist bend over backwards try and please everyone  president and some of history’s worse tyrants. They reminded me that Ledeen is a fan of Italian fascism, Neocons plagiarize Italian Fascists

What Leeden(Sp.)did was not copy Marinetti word for word, but rather he stole his ideas and passed them off as his own (My add – Leeden’s book is called “The War Against the Terror Masters”) , without ever crediting the source. Now this is not the first or the last time that some bit of fascist ideology will be resurrected and passed off as new.  What makes this instance frightening are two things, the sector of fascist ideology being recycled and the recycler, a man with a great deal of influence in American foreign policy.

F.T. Marinetti helped Mussolini found the Fascist Party and is perhaps most famous for his love and glorification of violence and war.  Marinetti wrote eloquently and convincingly about the beauty of violence and death.  He wanted perpetual war and believed that only through continuous violent destruction could society move forward.  Marinetti wrote:
We will glorify war- the world’s only hygiene- militarism, patriotism, the destructive      gesture of freedom bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.  We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, we will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.

Leeden has repackaged Marinetti’s ideals into a theory he calls “Creative Destruction.”  Like Marinetti, Leeden believes that only through violent action can society progress.

Liberals have historically been demonized by the far right and the far left. Obama may have a a few actual liberals in his administration, but so far he is not shown that he is a liberal. Ledeen, like the Beckian tea baggers think that Obama is a liberal because their ideological alliances are so extreme that anyone closer to the center then Marinetti is a threat to their bizarre dystopian ideals for the United States.

Whether its isolated incidents of well meaning, but misguided teachers or historical comparisons and utterly unsubstantiated similarities, the modern Republican party is the party of shrill hypocrites.

Joe Wilson Lied, Pete Stark Told the Truth. Rabid Right Calls Hypocrisy Where There is None

Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) fifteen minutes of notoriety should be up soon. In the mean time the rabid Right Gateway pundit is complaining about the “hypocrisy” of the House voting to disapprove of  Wilson shouting out “liar” during President Obama’s speech: Hypocrisy Alert: Dem Rep. Pete Stark Called Bush Liar On House Floor… Twice (Video)

But, of course, democrats didn’t bat an eye when Rep. Pete Stark called President Bush a liar on the House floor… Twice… In the same speech.

Reality has always been a tough call for Righties. Stark made the fellowing remarks during a speech on the House floor during a debate over funding for low income children’s health insurance,

The Republicans are worried that we can’t pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don’t care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where you going to get that money. You gonna tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war. You don’t have enough money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement…

…But the President Bush’s statements about children’s health shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States, and in Congress.

What Stark said was true and said during a debate. What Wilson said was a lie and said during a president’s speech to Congress. The House is, as one should expect in a democracy, pretty open about free speech by its members. They’ve been insulting each other and getting generally hyperbolic for its entire history. Shouting down presidents is another matter. While many of us wished he had not done so, Stark did apologize. Why should Stark have to apologize for daring to utter the truth,

His suggestion, however, that Bush is indifferent to the tragic toll on US troops and their families, not to mention the human catastrophe being inflicted on the Iraqi people, is entirely justified. This is man who has exhibited a sadistic streak throughout his political career—presiding over the execution of 152 people during his six years as governor of Texas, and, as president, launching aggressive wars that have killed hundreds of thousands and authorizing such atrocities as torture, abductions and indefinite imprisonment without legal counsel or trial.

Stark’s remarks prompted a cascade of denunciations from Republicans, who immediately demanded a public apology. Utilizing the standard smear that any criticism of the “commander in chief” is an attack on the troops, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner declared, “His remarks dishonored our soldiers, their families and our commander in chief. I don’t think the House can afford to let these kinds of remarks go unanswered.”

Predictably, the congressional Democratic leadership and the major Democratic presidential candidates immediately and demonstrably distanced themselves from Stark, in some cases joining in the attack on his remarks.

Stark initially refused to apologize, issuing a statement on October 18 saying he supported the troops, but adding, “I respect neither the commander in chief who keeps them in harm’s way nor the chicken hawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care.”

This was too much for the Democratic speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, who publicly denounced Stark on October 19, declaring that his comments were “inappropriate and distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand.”

Republican attacks on Stark were absurd and delusional, but that did not stop them from equating the draft avoider Bush, sitting in the White House in his two thousand dollar cowboy boots with troops under fire in Iraq. Under fire because Bush used a combination of falsehoods and exploited patriotism and God to put those troops in harms way.