Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ten Things Our Leaders Got Wrong in their Efforts to Ensure that George W. Bush is Remembered in History as the Worst President Ever

10) Attempt to Get Death Penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui: Long after it was clear that the hapless Frenchman was neither the "20th hijacker" nor a key plotter in the attacks of 9/11, the government pressed to execute him as a "conspirator" in those attacks. Moussaoui's alleged participation? By failing to confess to what he may have known about the plot, which could have led the government to disrupt it, Moussaoui directly caused the deaths of thousands of people. This massive over-reading of the federal conspiracy laws would be laughable were the stakes not so high. Fortunately, a jury rejected the notion that Moussaoui could be executed for the crime of merely wishing there had been a real connection between himself and 9/11.

9) Guantanamo Bay: After the Supreme Court struck down the military tribunals planned to try hundreds of detainees on the U.S. base in Cuba, and after President Bush agreed that it may be a good idea to close down the prison, the worst public relations fiasco since the Japanese internment camps lives on. Prisoners once deemed "among the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth" are either quietly released or still awaiting trial. The lucky 75 to be tried there will be cheered to hear that the Pentagon has just announced plans to build a $125 million legal complex for the hearings. The government has now officially put more thought into the design of Guantanamo's court bathrooms than the charges against its prisoners.

8) Bashing the Media: Whether the Bush administration is reclassifying previously declassified documents, sidestepping the Freedom of Information Act, threatening journalists for leaks on dubious legal grounds or, most recently, using its subpoena power to try to wring secret documents from the American Civil Liberties Union, the administration has continued its "secrets at any price" campaign. Is this a constitutional crisis? Probably not. Infuriating? Definitely.

7) Slagging the Courts: It starts with the president's complaints about "activist judges" and evolves to congressional threats to appoint an inspector general to oversee federal judges. As public distrust of the bench is fueled, the stripping of courts' authority to hear whole classes of cases -- most recently any habeas corpus claims from Guantanamo detainees -- almost seems reasonable. Each tiny incursion into the independence of the judiciary seems justified. Until you realize that the courts are often the only places that will defend our shrinking civil liberties. This leads to . . .

6) The State Secrets Doctrine: The Bush administration's argument in court is that judges should dismiss entire lawsuits over many of the outrages detailed on this very list. Why? Because the outrageously illegal things are themselves matters of top-secret national security. The administration has raised this claim in relation to secret wiretapping and extraordinary renditions. A government privilege once used to sidestep civil claims has mushroomed into broad immunity for the administration's sometimes criminal behavior.

5) Government Snooping: Take your pick. There's the continued defense of the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program wherein the president breezily authorized spying on the phone calls of innocent citizens, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The FBI's Talon database shows that the government has been spying on non-terrorist groups including Quakers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Veterans for Peace. And that's just the stuff we know about.

4) Extraordinary Rendition: So when does it start to become "ordinary" rendition? This government program has us shipping unindicted terrorism suspects abroad for interrogation/torture. Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, was sent off to Afghanistan for such treatment and then released without charges, based on some government confusion about the small matter of his name. Canadian citizen Maher Arar claims he was tortured in Syria for a year, then released without charges. Although Arar was cleared by a Canadian commission, the government denies wrongdoing.

3) Abuse of Jose Padilla: First, he was "exploring a plan to build and explode a radiological dispersion device, or 'dirty bomb,' in the United States," according to then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft. Then, he was planning to blow up apartments and, later, was part of a vague terrorism conspiracy to commit jihad in Bosnia and Chechnya. Always, he was a U.S. citizen. After 3 1/2 years in which he was denied the most basic legal rights, it has emerged that Padilla was either outright tortured or near-tortured and, according to experts, is too mentally damaged now to stand trial. The Bush administration supported his motion for a mental competency assessment, in hopes that such a motion would help prevent his torture claims from going to trial. As Yale Law School's Jack Balkin put it: "You can't believe Padilla when he says we tortured him because he's crazy from all the things we did to him."

2) The Military Commissions Act of 2006: This was the "compromise" legislation that gave Bush even more power than he initially had to detain and try so-called enemy combatants. He was effectively handed the authority to define for himself the parameters of interrogation and torture.

1) Hubris : Whenever the courts push back against the administration's unsupportable constitutional ideas -- ideas about "inherent powers" and a "unitary executive" or the "quaint" Geneva Conventions or the limitless presidential powers during wartime -- the Bush response is to repeat the same chorus louder: Every detainee is the worst of the worst, every action taken is legal, necessary and secret. No mistakes, no nuance, no regrets.

Ensuring that an Argueable Success is Turned into an Assured Failure

By the time we ensured Saddam's execution, it was meaningless.

And here's a link to our success.

Around the World: Iraq; Musings and Stuff

A few good questions:
Is the idea behind this "troop surge" that George W. Bush, despite the advice of everyone he's said he trusts, honestly thinks 20,000 more U.S. soldiers will really make a difference? Or is it that he's hoping the newly-Democratic Congress will stop him and then he can say, "I could have won the war if not for those craven Democrats"?

Or is he maybe just doing it because he can't admit his war has failed, can't continue to Stay the Course and doesn't know what else to do?

That's what I wanna know.

One guy's not-completely incorrect survey of theories of what went wrong:
The easiest view to dismiss is the 20/20 hindsight of the neoconservatives, who blame the Iraqi tragedy on Bush, Rumsfeld, Tommy Franks, Jay Garner, Paul Bremer—on anyone, in short, other than themselves. In the January issue of Vanity Fair, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, and others explain that incompetent Republicans spoiled their picnic by failing to prevent looting, to give contracts to the right people, to rein in Paul Bremer, to trust in Chalabi, and so forth. In the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol and the Brothers Kagan have consistently argued that the administration has failed to send enough troops. Paul Wolfowitz, the chief brain behind the war, reportedly takes the view that our big mistake was not removing American troops fast enough.

Blame-shifting aside, what's irritating here is the continuing fantasy that war in Iraq could have dependably followed any preconceived plan. Rumsfeld is right about one thing—stuff happens. Military decision-making demands improvisation and entails error. Our problem in Iraq hasn't been too much military flexibility—it has been too little in responding to looting and chaos, the insurgency, and the growing strength of sectarian militias. It's absurd for the neocon architects to stand around now complaining that the builders rendered their masterpiece poorly, especially now that we know how implausible their original design really was. The idealized war of the neocons, with its reliance on Ahmad Chalabi, remained a blueprint for good reason. It might well have produced something worse than what has happened, such as an Iranian superstate or a quicker plunge into anarchy and ethnic cleansing. There's little basis for thinking it would have produced something better.

Yet the arguments at the other extreme—that no occupation of Iraq could have been successful because it is an artificial country, or because we don't understand it, or because the ethnic and religious factions there prefer war to peace—also seem unpersuasive. Much left-wing criticism of the war sees American intervention as a kind of original sin. Born arrogant, we cannot help screwing up other countries when we try to fix them. Yes, as Sam Rosenfeld and Matt Yglesias recently wrote in the American Prospect, blaming incompetence can be a way for those of us who endorsed the war to dodge responsibility for our mistake. But nothing that went wrong in Iraq, including the Sunni-Shiite civil whatever, was fated or inevitable. The difference between Kosovo and Iraq isn't between a country that wanted peace and one that didn't. It was a matter of better management and better luck. To assume that American intervention can't work ignores the relative success of recent "wars of choice" in Bosnia and Kosovo (leaving aside the more debatable propositions of Somalia, Haiti, and Panama).

Closer to the truth, it seems to me, is the broad middle ground occupied by various supporters, opponents, and journalistic neutrals, who, whatever their views on the war's original merits, think that the catastrophe in Iraq was contingent rather than foreordained. Reading Thomas Rick's Fiasco, or Larry Diamond's Squandered Victory, or James Fallows' Blind Into Baghdad, or George Packer's Assassins' Gate, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Bush and the Pentagon made a series of avoidable, catastrophic errors in the run-up to the war and the first year of the occupation. These errors were so significant that they virtually guaranteed our defeat.

Thank You, George W. Bush

Or: A Reason to Believe in an Afterlife:

Something else the nation's worst president ever will, if his beliefs are true, must account for (because he never will in his lifetime):
How Do You Repay A Hero's Sacrifice? Three years ago, a fellow Marine gave his life to save Kelly Miller. It has been a hard road since. Two mothers join forces

January 5, 2007 11:05 p.m.; Page A1

EUREKA, Calif. -- Kelly Miller has the dream once or twice a week.

He's on patrol in Iraq, searching a white Toyota Land Cruiser. The driver lunges out and grabs Cpl. Miller's squad leader, Jason Dunham, around the neck. The Iraqi and Cpl. Dunham tumble to the ground in a ferocious hand-to-hand struggle. Cpl. Miller beats the insurgent with a police baton. Another Marine races over to help. The Iraqi drops a hand grenade.

The force of the explosion lifts Cpl. Dunham into the air, his back arching before he falls back toward the brown-dirt road.

Cpl. Miller wakes up.

Almost three years have passed since that grenade exploded for real. But the images are never far from his mind -- the insurgent, the explosion and the friend who intentionally took the brunt of a live grenade and gave his own life to save Cpl. Miller's. The adrenalin of combat, the pain of hot shrapnel, the guilt of making it home alive.

At the White House on Thursday, President Bush will present Cpl. Dunham's parents with the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor, the first such award for a Marine since Vietnam. The ceremony will enshrine Jason Dunham for posterity as one who loved his brothers more than himself.

In the audience will sit Cpl. Miller, a 23-year-old still struggling with what it means to receive that much love.
Link. (From the new shrunken Journal; sub req'd.) (As if you really need to read more. Doesn't this say enough?)

How the Private Sector Makes the Public Sector Unnecessary; Way to Go, Bushies!

Scientists' Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science

Friday, January 05, 2007


Either the present group of generals dealing with Iraq are blatantly, grossly incompetent or they just know better than Our Leaders and have to be replaced because of disobedience or disrespect for what Our Leaders want (not that they know). Hence, wholesale replacement.

But what kind of leadership have they been receiving from Our Leaders? Our primary goal is Kurdish oil; everything else is secondary. But fo Our Leaders have a clue what they're doing??

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Our Beloved Leader's New Low

One thinks that maybe Our Beloved Leader hits a new low every day. Here's a two-fer from the nutjob page of the new shrunken Wall Street Journal. First, Our Leader expects a Democratic-majority Congress to give him what his peeps couldn't in six years. And second, the nutjobs credit the piece to him; I mean, really, who in their right mind believes he actually wrote the piece? I don't even believe he read it. (Don't think he could be bothered to and the piece is way too big.)

You know, it's almost like something from the old National Lampoon ("NatLamp")....

There are lies, they say, and then there are damned lies, and then there's this....

Our Leader is alleged to write:
What the Congress Can Do for America
Let them say of these next two years: We used our time well.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

Tomorrow, members of the 110th Congress will take their oaths of office here in Washington. I will have the privilege of working with them for the next two years--one quarter of my presidency, plenty of time to accomplish important things for the American people.

Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don't expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today's Washington. To do that, however, we can't play politics as usual. Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve.

In the days and weeks since the November elections, I have been encouraged by the productive meetings I've had with many of the new leaders in Congress from both parties. I am hopeful we can find common ground without compromising our principles.

I believe we share many of the same goals for the people we serve--and with good will and hard effort, we can find practical ways to advance the American Dream and keep our nation safe.

My principles are no secret. I have campaigned on them in my races for governor and in two presidential contests, and I have worked hard during my presidency to translate these principles into sound policy.

I believe that when America is willing to use her influence abroad, the American people are safer and the world is more secure. I believe that wealth does not come from government. It comes from the hard work of America's workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses. I believe government closest to the people is more responsive and accountable. I believe government plays an important role in helping those who can't help themselves. Yet we must always remember that when people are hurting, they need a caring person, not a government bureaucracy.

These are all common-sense principles, and they provide the basis for how I will approach governing with the new Congress. We've proved it can be done: When our nation was attacked, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the Patriot Act and reform our intelligence agencies. When our economy was struggling, we worked together to pass tax relief that has helped our economy grow, create jobs, and raise the standard of living for the American people. When we saw that our public schools were failing our children, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, insisting on high standards, accountability and better options for parents.

The outcome of the elections has changed the balance of power in Congress, yet the priorities for keeping our country safe and prosperous go beyond party labels.
Our priorities begin with defeating the terrorists who killed thousands of innocent Americans on September 11, 2001--and who are working hard to attack us again. These terrorists are part of a broader extremist movement that is now doing everything it can to defeat us in Iraq.

In the days ahead, I will be addressing our nation about a new strategy to help the Iraqi people gain control of the security situation and hasten the day when the Iraqi government gains full control over its affairs. Ultimately, Iraqis must resolve the most pressing issues facing them. We can't do it for them.

But we can help Iraq defeat the extremists inside and outside of Iraq--and we can help provide the necessary breathing space for this young government to meet its responsibilities. If democracy fails and the extremists prevail in Iraq, America's enemies will be stronger, more lethal, and emboldened by our defeat. Leaders in both parties understand the stakes in this struggle. We now have the opportunity to build a bipartisan consensus to fight and win the war.

America's priorities also include keeping our economy strong. The elections have not reversed the laws of economics. It is a fact that economies do best when you reward hard work by allowing people to keep more of what they have earned. And we have seen that businesses can expand and hire more workers when they have more money to invest--and since August 2003, America's employers have added more than seven million new jobs.

It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues. Because revenues have grown and we've done a better job of holding the line on domestic spending, we met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule. By continuing these policies, we can balance the federal budget by 2012 while funding our priorities and making the tax cuts permanent. In early February, I will submit a budget that does exactly that. The bottom line is tax relief and spending restraint are good for the American worker, good for the American taxpayer, and good for the federal budget. Now is not the time to raise taxes on the American people.

By balancing the budget through pro-growth economic policies and spending restraint, we are better positioned to tackle the longer term fiscal challenge facing our country: reforming entitlements--Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid--so future generations can benefit from these vital programs without bankrupting our country.

One important message I took away from the election is that people want to end the secretive process by which Washington insiders are able to slip into legislation billions of dollars of pork-barrel projects that have never been reviewed or voted on by Congress. I'm glad Senator Robert Byrd and Congressman Dave Obey--the Democrats who will lead the appropriations process in the new Congress--heard that message, too, and have indicated they will refrain from including additional earmarks in the continuing resolution for this fiscal year.

But we can and should do more. It's time Congress give the president a line-item veto. And today I will announce my own proposal to end this dead-of-the-night process and substantially cut the earmarks passed each year.

The strength of our economy also requires us to address some of the biggest issues facing the American people--greater energy security, comprehensive immigration reform, and affordable health care. While progress has been made in each of these areas, we must do more. I look forward to working with Congress on these difficult issues.

Our Founders believed in the wisdom of the American people to choose their leaders and provided for the concept of divided and effective government. The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.
That gives us a clear challenge and an opportunity. If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate. If a different approach is taken, the next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation. We can show the American people that Republicans and Democrats can come together to find ways to help make America a more secure, prosperous and hopeful society. And we will show our enemies that the open debate they believe is a fatal weakness is the great strength that has allowed democracies to flourish and succeed.

To the new members of the 110th Congress, I offer my welcome--and my congratulations. The American people have entrusted us with public office at a momentous time for our nation. Let them say of these next two years: We used our time well.

Mr. Bush is the president of the United States.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Olbermann: Wasted Lives

If in your presence an individual tried to sacrifice an American serviceman or woman, would you intervene?

Would you at least protest?

What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them?

What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them — and was then to announce his intention to sacrifice hundreds, maybe thousands, more?

This is where we stand tonight with the BBC report of President Bush’s “new Iraq strategy,” and his impending speech to the nation, which, according to a quoted senior American official, will be about troop increases and “sacrifice.”

The president has delayed, dawdled and deferred for the month since the release of the Iraq Study Group.

He has seemingly heard out everybody, and listened to none of them.

If the BBC is right — and we can only pray it is not — he has settled on the only solution all the true experts agree cannot possibly work: more American personnel in Iraq, not as trainers for Iraqi troops, but as part of some flabby plan for “sacrifice.”


More American servicemen and women will have their lives risked.

More American servicemen and women will have their lives ended.

More American families will have to bear the unbearable and rationalize the unforgivable —“sacrifice” — sacrifice now, sacrifice tomorrow, sacrifice forever.

And more Americans — more even than the two-thirds who already believe we need fewer troops in Iraq, not more — will have to conclude the president does not have any idea what he’s doing — and that other Americans will have to die for that reason.

It must now be branded as propaganda — for even the president cannot truly feel that very many people still believe him to be competent in this area, let alone “the decider.”

But from our impeccable reporter at the Pentagon, Jim Miklaszewski, tonight comes confirmation of something called “surge and accelerate” — as many as 20,000 additional troops —f or “political purposes” ...

This, in line with what we had previously heard, that this will be proclaimed a short-term measure, for the stated purpose of increasing security in and around Baghdad, and giving an Iraqi government a chance to establish some kind of order.

This is palpable nonsense, Mr. Bush.

If this is your intention — if the centerpiece of your announcement next week will be “sacrifice” — sacrifice your intention, not more American lives!

As Sen. Joseph Biden has pointed out, the new troops might improve the ratio our forces face relative to those living in Baghdad (friend and foe), from 200 to 1, to just 100 to 1.



A drop in the bucket.

The additional men and women you have sentenced to go there, sir, will serve only as targets.

They will not be there “short-term,” Mr. Bush; for many it will mean a year or more in death’s shadow.

This is not temporary, Mr. Bush.

For the Americans who will die because of you, it will be as permanent as it gets.

The various rationales for what Mr. Bush will reportedly re-christen “sacrifice” constitute a very thin gruel, indeed.

The former labor secretary, Robert Reich, says Sen. John McCain told him that the “surge” would help the “morale” of the troops already in Iraq.

If Mr. McCain truly said that, and truly believes it, he has either forgotten completely his own experience in Vietnam ... or he is unaware of the recent Military Times poll indicating only 38 percent of our active military want to see more troops sent ... or Mr. McCain has departed from reality.

Then there is the argument that to take any steps toward reducing troop numbers would show weakness to the enemy in Iraq, or to the terrorists around the world.

This simplistic logic ignores the inescapable fact that we have indeed already showed weakness to the enemy, and to the terrorists.

We have shown them that we will let our own people be killed for no good reason.

We have now shown them that we will continue to do so.

We have shown them our stupidity.

Mr. Bush, your judgment about Iraq — and now about “sacrifice” — is at variance with your people’s, to the point of delusion.

Your most respected generals see no value in a “surge” — they could not possibly see it in this madness of “sacrifice.”

The Iraq Study Group told you it would be a mistake.

Perhaps dozens more have told you it would be a mistake.

And you threw their wisdom back, until you finally heard what you wanted to hear, like some child drawing straws and then saying “best two out of three … best three out of five … hundredth one counts.”

Your citizens, the people for whom you work, have told you they do not want this, and moreover, they do not want you to do this.

Yet once again, sir, you have ignored all of us.

Mr. Bush, you do not own this country!

To those Republicans who have not broken free from the slavery of partisanship — those bonded still, to this president and this administration, and now bonded to this “sacrifice” —proceed at your own peril.

John McCain may still hear the applause of small crowds — he has somehow inured himself to the hypocrisy, and the tragedy, of a man who considers himself the ultimate realist, courting the votes of those who support the government telling visitors to the Grand Canyon that it was caused by the Great Flood.

That Mr. McCain is selling himself off to the irrational right, parcel by parcel, like some great landowner facing bankruptcy, seems to be obvious to everybody but himself.

Or, maybe it is obvious to him and he simply no longer cares.

But to the rest of you in the Republican Party:

We need you to speak up, right now, in defense of your country’s most precious assets — the lives of its citizens who are in harm’s way.

If you do not, you are not serving this nation’s interests — nor your own.

November should have told you this.

The opening of the new Congress on Wednesday and Thursday should tell you this.

Next time, those missing Republicans will be you.

And to the Democrats now yoked to the helm of this sinking ship, you proceed at your own peril, as well.

President Bush may not be very good at reality, but he and Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rove are still gifted at letting American troops be killed, and then turning their deaths to their own political advantage.

The equation is simple. This country does not want more troops in Iraq.

It wants fewer.

Go and make it happen, or go and look for other work.

Yet you Democrats must assume that even if you take the most obvious of courses, and cut off funding for the war, Mr. Bush will ignore you as long as possible, or will find the money elsewhere, or will spend the money meant to protect the troops, and re-purpose it to keep as many troops there as long as he can keep them there.

Because that’s what this is all about, is it not, Mr. Bush?

That is what this “sacrifice” has been for.

To continue this senseless, endless war.

You have dressed it up in the clothing, first of a hunt for weapons of mass destruction, then of liberation ... then of regional imperative ... then of oil prices ... and now in these new terms of “sacrifice” — it’s like a damned game of Colorforms, isn’t it, sir?

This senseless, endless war.

But — it has not been senseless in two ways.

It has succeeded, Mr. Bush, in enabling you to deaden the collective mind of this country to the pointlessness of endless war, against the wrong people, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

It has gotten many of us used to the idea — the virtual “white noise” — of conflict far away, of the deaths of young Americans, of vague “sacrifice” for some fluid cause, too complicated to be interpreted except in terms of the very important-sounding but ultimately meaningless phrase “the war on terror.”

And the war’s second accomplishment — your second accomplishment, sir — is to have taken money out of the pockets of every American, even out of the pockets of the dead soldiers on the battlefield, and their families, and to have given that money to the war profiteers.

Because if you sell the Army a thousand Humvees, you can’t sell them any more until the first thousand have been destroyed.

The service men and women are ancillary to the equation.

This is about the planned obsolescence of ordnance, isn’t, Mr. Bush? And the building of detention centers? And the design of a $125 million courtroom complex at Gitmo, complete with restaurants.

At least the war profiteers have made their money, sir.

And we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.

You have insisted, Mr. Bush, that we must not lose in Iraq, that if we don’t fight them there we will fight them here — as if the corollary were somehow true, that if by fighting them there we will not have to fight them here.

And yet you have re-made our country, and not re-made it for the better, on the premise that we need to be ready to “fight them here,” anyway, and always.

In point of fact even if the civil war in Iraq somehow ended tomorrow, and the risk to Americans there ended with it, we would have already suffered a defeat — not fatal, not world-changing, not, but for the lives lost, of enduring consequence.

But this country has already lost in Iraq, sir.

Your policy in Iraq has already had its crushing impact on our safety here.

You have already fomented new terrorism and new terrorists.

You have already stoked paranoia.

You have already pitted Americans, one against the other.

We ... will have to live with it.

We ... will have to live with what — of the fabric of our nation — you have already “sacrificed.”

The only object still admissible in this debate is the quickest and safest exit for our people there.

But you — and soon, Mr. Bush, it will be you and you alone — still insist otherwise.

And our sons and daughters and fathers and mothers will be sacrificed there tonight, sir, so that you can say you did not “lose in Iraq.”

Our policy in Iraq has been criticized for being indescribable, for being inscrutable, for being ineffable.

But it is all too easily understood now.

First we sent Americans to their deaths for your lie, Mr. Bush.

Now we are sending them to their deaths for your ego.

If what is reported is true — if your decision is made and the “sacrifice” is ordered — take a page instead from the man at whose funeral you so eloquently spoke this morning — Gerald Ford:

Put pragmatism and the healing of a nation ahead of some kind of misguided vision.


Sacrifice, Mr. Bush?

No, sir, this is not “sacrifice.” This has now become “human sacrifice.”

And it must stop.

And you can stop it.

Next week, make us all look wrong.

Our meaningless sacrifice in Iraq must stop.

And you must stop it.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

20-20 Vision, Hindsight; Part 2

And Medea Benjamin reveals a new side, candy-ass: she actually claims in public that progressives made some progress in 2006. Well, no, there actually was no lasting progress....

20-20 Vision, Hindsight

Juan Cole looks back and finds ten ways Our Leaders messed up in Iraq.

Freedom on the March -- in America -- Backward

If Our Leaders are so great at retreating from American freedom and liberty then what's so hard about retreating from Iraq? Just scream "P.U.!" and run like Hell.

But I digress.

We are no longer free to discuss possible policies, you know, before the fact.

Our Course, Proto-Fascists are Conservatives and Conservatives Cannot Deviate....

In unexpected dig against Jeff Greenfield, entire Bush war cabinet adopts Ahmadinejad look.


Thought for the Day

[Y]ou can still discern a liberal from a conservative by whether she perceives the protesters or all the President's men as a greater threat to democracy.

Well, yeah, it was the great fear of the anti-war demos in the 60s, the establishment's fear of loss of control -- more powerful than its fear of doing something wrong and disastrous.

Some but not All of the Issues on which Our Leaders are Dropping the Ball

Richard Clarke's piece here, how you say, scratches the surface. There is so much more Our Leaders' ineptitude. It's the Harding administration on crack and steroids.

Message for the Day


A Trbute to Pinochet

Once upon a time, the wingnuts was besotted by Pinochet's privatization of Chile's social security system. It was in fact a sadly typical example of how a rightist idea can be made to sound fantastic on paper.

But that wonderfulness rested on a pair rickety supports. First, the Chilean economy had been so depressed that accelerated growth was inevitable. And the system relied not just on growth but growth at, well, an unsustainable pace. (In the real world, I mean, not the right wingnuts' faith-based -- delusional -- world.) Second, the brilliant free market system forgot to include actual incentives to make people opt from the public plan to the private system.

Speaking of the private plans, they included what were essentially unconscionable management fees -- you know, in that right wing perverse free market where offering money managers a huge pool of money they wouldn't normally have access to isn't enough. Rather, they have to be assured of unconscionable profits in addition to the assured profits thay'd have anyway.

Only problem:

It failed.

Not that that teeny-weeny fact will affect Our Leaders' determination....

Official Portarit of the Leader of Homeland Security